Archive for the ‘fantasy’ category

“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!)

Arm & Hammer “Slide Out of Funk” Cat Disco Commercial…

October 16, 2021

Many of us wonder what our cats do when they disappear from home for hours at a time. Hunt and kill things to bring home to you? – -Nah, they go to the disco where they got it going on!

This feline disco is in the best 70’s tradition, complete with a lit-up dance floor and a mirrored disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Anthropomorphic cats are in colorful period threads, and there’s even a lithe, scene-stealing tomcat who moves like a young feline John Travolta. Yes, this cat is where it’s at!

It’s no wonder that the female kitties are all moon-eyed over this Top Cat. “Where did he learn to slide’ like that?,” wonders one. Why, Arm & Hammer “slide” cat litter, of course! And doesn’t the cat below on the left look as if she’s wearing a Star Trek uniform? Is this a Caitian, perhaps the feline version of Uhura?

I was never into the “disco” scene much; it ain’t what we called Rock ‘n’ Roll! The kitty disco scene is fun, but if leisure suits ever come back, I’m out of here! 😸 Until that time, “Go Cat, Go!

“Creepshow,” Season 2’s “Model Kid”

September 24, 2021

Creepshow, a horror anthology series that premiered on Shudder, may now be viewed on AMC, UTube, On Demand, and probably other venues. Now in its second season that began in April 2021, the Creepshow series may be considered an extension of the 1982 movie, and blends retro horror, animation, and live action, with each installment having two separate segments.

Plastic models of classic Universal monsters were big decades ago, and the Model Kid segment of S2/Ep1 pays tribute to this tradition with the tale of Joe, a 12-year-old boy in 1972 who is obsessed with horror monsters, building models of them and watching cheesy but wonderful flicks with titles like Gillman Meets the Mummy. I watched such titles in my day, and would still if given half a chance…

Well, it turns out that following the sad death of his indulgent mother, young Joe falls under the abusive thumb of his uncle, who trashes Joe’s monster collection…but a contact with his late mother from the great beyond prompts the boy to add to his collection with the purchase of “the Victim,” which functions as a voodoo doll for him, and enables Joe to summon monsters into reality. Karma ensues for his uncle…

Ahh yes! Horror has a sublime effect on its viewers, and is well said to be the most fun you can have being scared.” And do check out the Creepshow series, won’t you? The Creeper will be waiting for you… 🙀

“Alter Ego” Coming to Fox…

September 11, 2021

We’ve all probably gotten a bit weary of singing competitions, even the offbeat ones such as The Masked Singer where contestants perform in full body costumes that disguise their identity. Now in an attempt to pique our jaded tastes, a new type of singing competition has hooked into technology, and is allowing contestants to perform as their chosen avatar.

These are not static avatars, but 3D moving, full-bodied representations limited only by the imagination. Want to perform as a humanoid with purple skin? – – Got you covered! Prefer to be singing with butterfly wings? – – No problemo.

You can also be gender fluid on the show, looking like someone androgynous or other than your sex assigned at birth. Your performing avatar can interact with and respond to competition judges as well.

Performing in motion-capture suits, the singers will control their avatars and appear before the judges as them. It’s kind of like American Idol meets Ready Player One, and just when you thought singing competitions were old hat…

So September 22nd and 23rd on Fox, contestants “from all walks of life” will compete, but not as themselves. They will have such names as Lover Boy, Night Journey, and Fern. Cartoonish? Perhaps…but if you could perform as an avatar, what might that “alter ego” be, hmmm? I think that I should like to perform as a demonic fox, just to stretch myself creatively a bit…then if the judges didn’t like me, they’d be sorry, heheheh! “Mr. Producer, need a new panel of judges here, ASAP!” Oh well, singing was never my strong suit…

“Godzilla vs. Kong” Satisfies…

August 31, 2021

I have at long last been able to see the much-touted Godzilla vs. Kong movie, crown jewel in the MonsterVerse series. While the film is overly-long and leaves many unanswered questions, it’s still a good guilty pleasure for Kaiju fans.

Now it takes over forty minutes for our combatants to finally meet in a neon-lit Hong Kong, which thoughtfully has Titan Shelters (so labeled) present for the safety of its human inhabitants. The dang Titans run amok every so often, and wouldn’t it be great if Titans were the only problem faced by humanity? They would constitute an external, readily-identifiable enemy.

Now Kong in the movie receives much of the initial film time, even taking a waterfall shower to the strains of a 50’s doo-wop hit. He’s being kept in a containment environment, but knows that it’s fake. When Godzilla begins attacking shipping and otherwise behaving badly, Kong is transported via air and sea to protect the mainland, and then it’s match on. Kong and Godzilla have an ancient rivalry and generally bad blood towards one another, you see. Kong is also recruited to fight for humanity by being shown “Hollow Earth,” a vast environment within the Earth where he’s led to believe he may find others like himself. The notion of Hollow Earth should really delight and get fringe conspiracy and pseudo-science adherents buzzing.

So Kong and Godzilla fight in Hong Kong, and I won’t detail that outcome so as not to spoil the spectacle for those who have yet to see the film. I will say that Mechagodzilla enters into it prominently, however, and that he’s become sentient, gone rogue, and is infused with the mojo of King Ghidora through one of his three decapitated heads, and despises Godzilla for having killed him in a previous film. Understandably, this could ruin your entire day. It all gets rather complicated, but suffice it to say that Mechagodzilla here is an impressive creation, his red eyes glowing like a gigantic Terminator endoskeleton. When Godzilla and Mechagodzilla go at one another head to head, it’s like seeing a Jedi vs. Sith light saber battle on a epic scale, so pull up a chair for this one…

So by all means, indulge yourself in Godzilla vs. Kong, which at times is oddly satisfying and a great guy film! No one else needs to know that you saw it. Perhaps in a future film, the absence of the other Titans from this one will be explained. I could do with a good Mothra epic, after all. Until then, satisfy yourself with Mechagodzilla… 🦊

Brando’s “Dr. Moreau” 25th Year Anniversary…

August 21, 2021

Everyone should read the 1896 novel The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells at least once. As a furry, I’ve read it several times, and catch the film versions whenever they’re on. Burt Lancaster played the doctor in a more traditional 1977 version, whereas Marlon Brando really took the role off the rails in a 1996 version that is generally regarded to be the worst film that he ever made.

Brando‘s Dr. Moreau is by almost anyone’s definition bizarre. Playing the part in white Kabuki-style makeup and other outrageous garb, Brando’s characterization is really far out there, and hard to relate to. What makes the film memorable, however, is the cast of animal hybrids that were created in one of the last special effects extravaganzas using makeup rather than computer generated special effects. You can even catch Ron Perlman in the film playing the Sayer of the Law, a goatish-hybrid.

Now Ron Perlman is no stranger to having played furry and other offbeat characters, having appeared as Hellboy and even Vincent in the series Beauty and the Beast. Perlman wanted the experience of having appeared in a project with the legendary Marlon Brando, although this film hardly qualifies as Brando’s best work. Perlman would describe the movie as being an incredible mess…

Now Dr. Moreau was a mad scientist type who endeavored to create human-animal hybrids via vivisection. When his gruesome and painful experiments were publicly exposed, Moreau fled to his island to continue work perfecting his Beast Folk. It continues to be a classic work of science fiction to this day while reflecting the ethical, philosophical, and scientific concerns of the time of its creation. So consider visiting The Island of Doctor Moreau in literature and film, with the 1996 Brando version celebrating its 25th anniversary…and if you see Fox-Bear Woman, a female hybrid of a fox and a bear, tell her I’ve got her back… Are We Not Men?!

“Lamb;” Bizarre but Awesome?

August 4, 2021

Mary had a little lamb, goes the familiar nursery rhyme…and so, apparently, did a childless couple depicted in the upcoming movie Lamb, set in rugged rural Iceland. Now the couple (Maria and Ingvar) did not produce the hybrid themselves, but rather received it as the product of a kind of supernatural visitation to their sheep shed during lambing season. They regard the hybrid as a gift, and raise it as their own rather defensively, the human-ovine child bringing the couple happiness and filling in the gap in their lives. The lamb-child is raised in a crib and fed from a bottle, becoming a bipedal furry humanoid of sorts.- – Kinda the ultimate blended family, right?

Called the strangest movie of the year,” Lamb crosses a number of borders and genres as good films so often do, and viewers are left confused thinking about whether they’ve seen a folkloric horror flick or some kind of absurdist comedy. Perhaps a bit of both in what’s been described as a “visual poem.” The lamb-child herself is the product of puppetry, performance acting, and CGI blended seamlessly.

This isn’t Sheepsquatch, but we of the furry fandom are quite familiar and comfortable with the notion of animal-human hybrids; I’m on board with this! We all know people who think that their kid is a little lamb whereas they’re really a little devil, right? Reviewers of the film are not overly talkative about the details of it out of fear that doing so might spoil the cinematic experience for viewers. Produced by the A24 studio that has done such films as The Lighthouse, Hereditary, and The Witch, the film may become a cult classic. Lamb brings forth the elemental beauty of the Icelandic landscape, and touches upon the deep, often unfathomable relationship between animals and humans…and that’s not a baaad thing! Watch for Lamb premiering in the U.S. October 8th… 🐑

The Guilty Pleasures of “Puppet Master…”

July 21, 2021

Horror as a genre is not for everyone, and even those of us who enjoy it have our favorite sub-domains. One of my favorite niche franchises is that of Puppet Master, now having produced over a dozen films since the first one issued in 1989.

Now calling these inspired creations “puppets” is technically incorrect as they are actually marionettes, although of the autonomous Pinocchio type that function without strings, or even direct human guidance. Crafted by old world-type puppet master Andre Toulon, these puppets are infused with the souls of people who died fighting the Nazis, and have an axe to grind against them and other rotten individuals. Toulon had picked up the trick of animating the figures with transmigrated souls through Egyptian magic, and as we know the ancients were quite concerned with resurrecting things. A glowing green brew with which he infuses his creations keeps them perking. Each of the anthropomorphic Puppets has a distinct appearance, personality and skill set.

Consider Blade here. Skull-like but not quite a skull, he’s inhabited by the soul of a German scientist and doctor who wanted to work with Toulon, but was shot by the Nazis. Now he operates with a hook as one hand, and a blade for the other, and is arguably the leader of the Puppets. He has kind of a Goth appearance.

Then we have Six-Shooter, undeniably well-armed with three sets of them each brandishing a pistol. Cast in the mold of a dastardly western outlaw, he can use his arms to climb walls, like Dr. Octopus of Spiderman infamy, and has a memorable hee-hee-hee laugh. Other Puppets include Jester, Torch, Pinhead, Tunneler, and Leech Woman (don’t ask). These are just a few of the regulars, who at times serve for either good or evil as protagonists or antagonists. It can all get rather confusing, and their universe is far from seamless.

The series has prequels, sequels, and cross-overs which add to the general mayhem and confusion. While a horror series with considerable gore, there’s a bit of leavening humor throughout. One leaves each viewing wondering what exactly they have seen, but this strange brew of Egyptian magic I find oddly invigorating and certainly offbeat…

“Sexy Beasts” Is Coming to Netflix…

June 24, 2021

If you melded The Masked Singer with The Dating Game and sprinkled in some psychedelic drugs, you might come up with something similar to Sexy Beasts, a bizarre dating series premiering on Netflix July 21st. The show is based on an earlier British series that also had versions run in Germany, Korea, and the United States.

The show’s prior core concept involved taking an eligible male or female and matching them on successive dates with three other singles, with all four individuals transformed by heavy prosthetic facial makeovers to resemble animal or mythological figures. Only the contestant’s face would be altered, the rest of their body being as it would normally appear. In the course of the episodes two of the three suitors would be eliminated, allowing the remaining person to go on a second date with the bachelor or bachelorette, both parties then unmasked.

The idea is supposedly to see if romance can be generated solely on the basis of personality if not allowed to see the true face of a prospective suitor. A scenario can then be generated where a woman wearing a panda head inquires of a man resembling a bull whether he has health insurance. We all know that this happens all the time…

Not all of the contestants will be furry, with some facially made up to resemble insects, aliens, monsters, or assorted supernaturals. We all know that the course of true love seldom runs smooth, after all. One’s “date” might turn out to be a real dog, but then presumably you’d at least have a new best friend…

Ah well! In the search for a sexy beast, if nothing’s ventured, nothing’s gained. You might, after all, find one of your own kind.- – Do you know any sexy beasts?  Might a few of you out there be one? Time to ‘fess up…or maybe not. Feral is as feral does, after all.  And what might be a suitable soundtrack for this series?  Perhaps You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate!   🦊

“Grilling Out” with the LiMu Emu…

June 11, 2021

I’m not sure that one would want to date or marry an insurance company spokesman or rep as depicted on TV, where they never seem to be able to talk about anything but insurance, which can get old really fast! So it is at an outdoor cookout for Liberty Mutual’s “Doug” (David Hoffman), the Emu, and their presumed wives. The partners are dressed alike in matching loud yellow floral Hawaiian print shirts, and even their wives are in matching tones. It’s a surreal occasion, their outfits matching the yellow finish of the Liberty Mutual-mobile visible in the background. They’re nothing but thematic here…

When Doug blathers only about insurance, his wife politely asks him to change the topic, it being the weekend and all.- -Give it a rest, dude! In the awkward silence that follows, Doug asks the Emus wife if she would prefer to eat either a hot dog or chicken right off the grill, the latter offering seeming to be at least quasi-cannibalistic for the bird. The Emu vocalizes a brief response which Doug interprets to indicate a choice for a hot dog. It is not clear whether this is possibly because chickens may resemble baby emus in their sight…

For inquiring minds, the Emu memorably depicted in these commercials is a mix of real bird and CGI effects. At any rate, he certainly can rock a pair of aviator shades! Perhaps a future commercial could touch on a sensitive issue, such as The Great Australian Emu War of 1932, where 20,000 emus prevailed against World War I veterans armed with machine guns. They are a resourceful and resilient species… 🦊


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