Archive for the ‘Brilliant but twisted’ category

Paging, “Dr. Rick…”

May 2, 2022

In a series of Progressive commercials, we are introduced to a sagely and much-needed therapist, Dr. Rick, who counsels people how not to become their parents. He’s kinda like Dr. Phil, but with a specialty practice, and more hair

Now parentomorphosis is a terrible but common disease. No one wants to become like their parents, but let’s face it, your genes predispose you that way, and you’re environmentally shaped. If you’re not careful, you may some day be seeking out Early Bird specials at restaurants, and looking to buy comfortable, practical shoes...

Dr. Rick both conducts group therapy, and takes his clients into real life situations. It is there that he can stop his charges from giving unwanted advice, telling the waiter their name, or gawking at people with their hair dyed blue. “We all see it,” Dr. Rick tells the staring client…

So if you have a bag containing bags (and oh God, I do!), you may be in need of Dr. Rick’s help lest you transform into your parents. I do hope that it’s not too late for me… 🙀

CarMax’s “Car Buying Reimagined”

March 14, 2022

Alpacas are cute and appealing, and as we learn from a recent CarMax commercial, apparently quite clever! We see an alpaca on a farm watching the owner return in his pickup truck, his faithful dog hanging out of the side window. Digging this scene, the alpaca apparently feels that he would like to ride shotgun, too…

So to a minimal instrumental theme that sounds vaguely western-ish, we are shown the crafty alpaca making his way to a shed towards evening where behind closed doors, where he is apparently able to go on line, surf the web, and apparently order a vehicle with sunroof, all without the benefit of digits!

The next morning, the vehicle is delivered to the astonished farmer, neatly tied up with a bow! In the closing scene, we see the new wheels out on the road, the alpaca getting a commanding view with his long neck and head extended out of the sunroof! This alpaca (whose name is Randy) is like the closing theme tells us, “Bad to the bone!”

“King Shark” Rules!

February 3, 2022

In the depths of winter and the continuing pandemic, we could all use a little King Shark right now! Anthropomorphic sharks are a rare breed indeed, and this one is a metahuman criminal denizen of DC’s extended universe, a villain who somehow manages to be cute and even likable despite a taste for human flesh…

The son of a “King of All Sharks,” King Shark (real name Nanaue) is a demigod who is voiced to perfection by Sylvester Stallone in the Suicide Squad 2 movie. Stallone’s mumbling, monotone delivery suits the man-shark character well. Although quite deadly and almost indestructible, King Shark (shown above reading a book in prison upside down) is child-like and dull-witted, speaking in short, simple phrases. Just point him in the right direction, and then get out of his way!

You would want to be King Shark’s friend, because if you were not, you’d be nom nom, namely something good to eat. King Shark doesn’t eat his friends, although almost anything else organic would be considered fair game. He may be seen chewing happily on a human head and other body parts of those opposing him in the movie…

So catch King Shark as memorably created in the Suicide Squad movie. And when he celebrates Shark Week, you’d better party along…. 🦊

IKEA’s Mighty Teddy Bears…

January 25, 2022

If you’re going to have a teddy bear past the age of 10 or so, you’ll want to have one that’s built like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime…

…and so are these teddy bears in the IKEA commercial, “Every Home Should Be A Haven.” These are buff bears, and ever so useful! They stand outside a home like protective Mafia muscle, wearing sunglasses and functioning like gatekeepers or bouncers! Think you’ll enter uninvited? I don’t think so… 🙀

These teddies are in shape! They lift weights, easily uplift a sofa, and even screen calls inside, crushing a cell phone in one mighty paw when an undesired call comes through. Although powerful, the not-so-soft plushies are good with kids, putting up with makeup parties and tucking the young-uns into bed, all to the rap strains of Final Form by Sampa the Great…

The only thing I don’t like about this commercial is that in the full version, a bear growls, and scares away a fox foraging through garbage outside. We only want milk and cookies, for cripes sake!– – Bear brutality! Oh well, who am I to argue with such ursine muscle? These bruins could take out Yogi without breaking a sweat… 🦊

“Resident Alien” Rocks!

January 10, 2022

We’ve all seen plot elements of this show before, in such shows as Mork and Mindy, My Favorite Martian, ALF, and Coneheads, among others. The core story varies but little; an Alien comes to Earth, either crash-landing or voluntarily visiting. For one reason or another, he exists as a fish out of water among us, learning about humanity, behaving awkwardly at times, struggling to understand us, and gradually coming to like us.

Based on a Dark Horse comic and set in the town of Patience, Colorado our alien masks his natural reptilian-type appearance with some kind of molecular projection. He has assumed the appearance, identity, and possessions of the first human he encountered, an unfortunate doctor whose body now reposes in the freezer. A scientist on his own world, our alien’s original mission was to sow a destructive device intended to exterminate humanity. An atmospheric storm caused his vessel to crash-land on our planet, however, so the parameters of his mission have been altered…

Resident Alien is at core a dark comedy, with actor Alan Tudyk doing an extraordinary job of portraying the alien Dr. Harry as kind of a clueless 10-year-old boy who frequently misreads social cues, having learned our language and culture from television. His facial expressions are all slightly off, he does a simulated laugh that is quite remarkable, and he is rather pleased with himself when he successfully makes a joke. At a social gathering, his requested beverage is “milk drawn from a cow’s teat.” Dr. Harry’s medical knowledge of humanity is all taken from Google…

and being an extraterrestrial visitor impersonating a human can be complicated. The small town law enforcement team is closing in on the murder he committed, his home planet is unhappy with him, and not-quite Men in Black agents are also posing a threat to him…

Happily, Resident Alien has been renewed for a second season, and we will see how some of these plot complications play out. If you’ve arrived late to the party as I did, you can stream Season 1, and Harry will be riding tall in the saddle until late January when Season 2 arrives. It’s two paws up for Resident Alien… 🦊

“Coyote vs. Acme” In Development!

January 8, 2022

I have some good news, and some bad news. First, the good news; Wile E. Coyote is finally getting his own movie! Now, the bad news; it probably won’t open until July of 2023.

I’ve always loved Wile E. Coyote, and it’s not just because foxes and coyotes are kinda cousins. Wile E. has always taught valuable life lessons about the value of persistence. No matter how many cliffs he falls off of, how many explosives ravage him, or how many anvils to the head he receives, Wile E. Coyote is never dissuaded from his goal of catching the Road Runner. It helps, of course, that the coyote is functionally indestructible even if he at times appears to be worse for the wear…

Now Coyote vs. Acme will reportedly be set in the Acme warehouse, that legendary source of all items used in the Looney Tunes universe. Since many of these items seems to be defective or malfunction, I don’t know if litigation against Acme will figure in the plot. The movie may also be using a combination of animation and live action techniques.

So get your Acme Rocket Roller Skates ready, because the endlessly resourceful Super Genius is coming as the champion of all of us losers! Meep-meep! 🦊

Liberty Mutual’s “Bird Call” Commercial…

January 5, 2022

When Liberty Mutual’s “Doug” in a recent commercial starts to ply a fellow park-goer about insurance, his avian partner the emu has wandered off. This prompts Doug to resort to a key ring of bird calls, although he can’t determine which one is an emu call. Doesn’t everyone carry a key ring of bird calls?! Blowing many, Doug summons a variety of diverse birds, including raptors, a flamingo, and even penguins!

Forget that the birds represented can’t all be indigenous to the same area…we’re in commercial land, after all. Anyways, after trying multiple whistles and summoning diverse birds, he evidently hits upon the right one, because the LiMu Emu appears, frisbee in beak!

Doug’s bird calls all seem to work. Perhaps both he and Wile E. Coyote order from the Acme company. Gotta get me one of their catalogues sometime, because they have everything! 🦊

Liberty Mutual’s “Spider-Man” Commercial…

November 22, 2021

Like many of us, Doug of Liberty Mutual notoriety harbors a superhero fantasy. So when he and the Emu view footage of Spider Man web-swinging and saving a city, Doug just can’t resist putting a nasty-looking spider on his arm, and encouraging it to bite him in the expectation of receiving spider powers…

Doug appears to have a surprisingly good office, actually…one would expect him to be in a converted broom closet. Anyways, once bitten Doug raises his arms dramatically in expectations of receiving the spider-gift…

Doug is no Peter Parker, however, and what Doug receives is a nasty reaction to the spider bite. “Did it work?!,” asks Doug as he is packed off to the hospital, grotesquely swollen face and all. First the poor sap is denied a helicopter in a previous commercial, and now this. I guess most of us aren’t destined to have superpowers, but we’ll keep the fantasy alive… 🦊

“Shapeshifters Anonymous” on “Creepshow”

October 23, 2021

Gee, they’ve got support groups for everything these days…weight control, problem drinking, and even apparently Shapeshifters. I don’t know if it’s a 12-step program, but it’s certainly inclusive, sponsoring a were-cheetah, a were-boar, a classic werewolf (their newest arrival), and even an unlikely were-tortoise. And oh yes, there’s even a garden-variety furry with no shifting ability but whose character is a hippo. She’s readily accepted here as well, and identifies with the group.

In the Creepshow episode, a confused and troubled werewolf seeks admission to the support group. He only has the previous week’s password, but comes bearing a nice box of donuts, so they let him inI know that donuts would seal the deal for me! The new arrival is conflicted and full of angst about his werewolf side, as werewolves tend to be since the days of Larry Talbot. I prefer Ann Rice’s perspective of the wolf gift. But anyhow, the were-cheetah leader of the group takes the lupine under her wing (or paw), and she’s a gorgeous specimen, even if not quite on a par with Cheetah from Wonder Woman…

Anyways, the Shapeshifters don’t have long to get acquainted as they have a serious Santa problem, and are soon locked in a royal battle with an attack by a myriad of mall-type Santa’s helpers, capped off by a visit from the not-so-jolly old elf himself, who presents as more Krampus than Claus. He’s truly Santa Claws, complete with wicked blades where he should have hands. This is truly Psycho Santa…

Well, anthropomorphs aren’t going to take being pushed around easily, so with the aid of a transformational serum supplied by a previously-mute member they fight the helpers and then the big guy in the armored red suit with firearms, environmental weaponry, and tooth and claw. It’s wonderful stuff!

So catch Shapeshifters Anonymous, originally a 2020 Shudder special, on Creepshow. It’s based on a story by J.A. Konrath…

(Tip o’ the pen to Carycomic!)

American Horror Story’s “Death Valley” from “Double Feature”

October 20, 2021

The current Double Feature season of American Horror Story is exactly that, with the first Red Tide segments being about ghoulish vampires, and the second Death Valley feature centering on aliens. I’m only going to comment on Death Valley to keep things more contained, and frankly because I’m a bit tired of vampire themes, although admittedly Red Tide is innovative.

Now aliens I can really get my teeth into (with apologies to the vampires). What makes Death Valley a real hoot is the number of historical personalities portrayed, ranging from Eisenhower and Nixon (above) to JFK, Marilyn Monroe, and even an all-too brief appearance by Amelia Earhart, who without having aged in 20 years is delivered to the Eisenhower administration and pregnant with an alien child…yes, you heard that right! Well, a little later on Amelia has her alien baby and it’s a bad one, because it kills Amelia and the docs and nurses in the room until Ike and a couple of soldiers shoot it dead. This is wild stuff, and wildly entertaining!

Now you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Mamie Eisenhower possessed by an alien consciousness and levitating, with her eyes a milky white. The aliens communicate through possession of a human intermediary at times, and can cause the heads of opposing humans to explode by a wave of their hands, which is messy but compelling viewing. Wouldn’t you love to be able to do that?! Anyways, by possessing Mamie they gain emotional leverage over Ike so he agrees to allow the quiet abduction of several thousand people a year in exchange for alien technology. One of the goodies so obtained are cell phones, taken for granted now but unbelievable stuff during the Eisenhower years. Ike suffers angst over this, but hey, the aliens would simply have gone to the Russians had we not allowed them to abduct people, impregnate them, and breed hybrids so their race can survive on Earth.

Some of the alien genetic engineering projects fall short of the desired outcome, however, with disconcerting results like the humanoid above with one alien and one human eye…and the aliens can impregnate anyone and use them as a vessel, including males!

So catch Death Valley from Double Feature on the current season of American Horror Story. It unites so much of the mythic speculation on alien contacts and designs, with historical personages thrown in as you’ve never seen them before, very reminiscent of The X-Files and just as much fun… 🦊


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