Archive for the ‘movies’ category

“Lamb” is haunting…

June 17, 2022

You probably won’t see many Icelandic folk-horror/fantasy films in your day, and Lamb is one of them. From the A24 studio that gave us such films as Hereditary, their latest film crosses genres, confounds us, and almost defies description. I had earlier posted on Lamb as a unique film that was coming prior to being able to view it, and now having seen the flick, I can confirm that Lamb is extraordinary, even though it is likely to mess with your head. The best films often do…

So submitted for your approval is the strange tale of Ingvar and Maria, two childless sheep ranchers living in a remote part of Iceland who one night come upon the birth of a mutation in their livestock, a lamb with humanoid features. They basically take the newborn into their house, place it into a crib in their bedroom, and raise it as their own, a sweet child with an ovine head but scattered human features which despite being a hybrid adapts well to life in the isolated world with human foster parents. This is comical but touching at the same time, and her “parents” are quite happy with their non-traditional family…

Now as a furry, I can probably transition to the world of anthropomorphic animals and animal-human hybrids more easily than most people outside of the fandom. I’m totally cool with the notion of folks raising something that is neither fully animal nor human, and in fact I am envious of them! You can dress such a creature in human clothing, treat it as a loved member of family, and even take them places with you, messing with mundane people as you do so. – -What could be better than that?!

What usually happens, however, is that other people won’t understand, will judge and condemn you, and in some fashion come after you as one harboring an abomination. I rather expected a mob armed with torches and pitchforks to come calling, and demand that this lamb be surrendered to them. Fortunately, this does not happen although there are a few tense moments when we are led to believe that Ada’s “uncle” is leading her off to shotgun her. This too doesn’t happen, and “Uncle Petur” becomes a convert…

Now Ada the lamb-child is revealed to us gradually as a hybrid, having one human hand and a hoof. She uses bipedal locomotion, and is about the size of a four-year-old. She cannot speak, but understands and responds to human language. Ada plays with her human mother, and is very sweet! I’ve seen human brats behave far less lovably…

But unfortunately, the story doesn’t end well but in violence against a target we didn’t expect when Ada’s biological father comes calling, also anthropomorphic and true nightmare fuel. Talk about Ram Tough! When you mess with nature, there are consequences, it would seem. This points to the need to keep firearms out of the hands and hooves of beasts.- – Are you listening, Congress?!

At any rate, Lamb may leave you scratching your head, wondering what you have just seen, and perhaps questioning the lines of separation between humans and animals, as well as questioning our relationship with the natural world. And that’s a good thing, really….so two paws up for Lamb, which now can be seen on some premium networks... 🦊

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey

May 27, 2022

Say it ain’t so…Winnie the Pooh as a serial killer?! Yes, it is so in an upcoming horror movie. Winnie the Pooh and Piglet too have gone feral, abandoned by college-bound Christopher Robin and basically starving. It’s not exactly the beloved A.A. Milne characters from the original 1926 story here, nor their Disney versions. Nope, the boys have gone rogue, reverting to their wild roots and becoming seriously creepy. Piglet even sports tusks, and is clad in black…

In a scene which to me seems reminiscent of Steven King’s Christine, Pooh-bear is driving an ominous-looking vehicle. Just don’t bother looking for Eeyore the donkey, although you’ll see his tombstone. The boys have already killed and eaten him…

With the Winnie the Pooh tale now in the public domain, liberties may be taken with the classic story, although the film strives not to run afoul of Disney copyrights by omitting certain characters like Tigger, and changing the clothing styles of others. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey is not a big budget horror movie, and was supposedly shot in just ten days.

So be afraid, be very afraid of Pooh and Piglet sneaking up on you in your bath. In this horror comedy, you might not even recognize them anymore.- – Aieee! 🙀

Zoe Kravitz as “Catwoman…”

May 6, 2022

I have to say that I was not overly taken by the new “ The Batman” movie. The film was long, dark, and gritty, about as far removed from previous comic-inspired interpretations as it could be. Neither Robert Pattinson’s Batman nor Paul Dino’s Riddler were as I conceived of them to be, especially with the Riddler portrayed as a creepy serial killer. I rather liked Colin Farrell’s Penguin, although we didn’t get to see enough of him in the film…

Zoe Kravitz’s Catwoman, however, worked, as did her chemistry with Batman. This Catwoman is lithe and feline without excessive costuming, and brings a convincing kinetic grace to the role. She’s very much at home on a motorcycle, and while Batman can counter her in physical tussles, she’s more than a match for anyone else. There are layers to this Catwoman including bisexuality, and she’s neither an obvious villainess nor heroic, but rather somewhere in between in the process of becoming herself.- – I like that!

It pains me to read that Zoe Kravitz was apparently denied even an audition for the Catwoman role in a previous Batman film, and told that she was “too urban.” She actually makes the character three-dimensional, with noble intentions and sympathetic motivations, and a story arc is established for the character that can continue. It’s kind of an origins story for Catwoman here, with the character basically Selina Kyle in a mask. That’s really how it should be done…. 🦊

“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…. 🦊

A Darker Pinocchio…

January 29, 2022

We’re all familiar with Disney’s 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio, and Pinocchio’s conscience Jiminy Cricket, complete with formal clothing and umbrella. In a new retelling of the Pinocchio tale by Guillermo del Toro, the cricket is just as verbal but far more insectile, telling his audience that he “lived in the heart of the wooden boy.” Vaguely chilling, right? He’s even got a revised name…Sebastian J. Cricket! Plus this bug looks almost alien.- – I Iike him already!

Set in Italy in the 1930’s with Mussolini’s fascist power rising, this Pinocchio is depicted as a lost soul in a world he cannot understand. Disney sanitized the original Carlo Collodi tale, which included the cricket being killed early on and his ghost serving as Pinocchio’s conscience! Guillermo del Toro promises to return some of the original Frankenstein or nightmarish elements to the story, which included boys being turned into donkeys on Pleasure Island.

So for a darker, scarier version of Pinocchio that’s “about as far removed from Disney as you can get,” you may want to check out this Pinocchio coming to Netflix in December 2022…and tell them that Sebastian J. Cricket sent you,buwahahaha!

Flo Meets the Addams Family…

September 17, 2021

In a crossover commercial event, Progressive Insurance’s Flo, Jamie, and others show up in cartoon form at the Addam’s Family mansion. All of the Addams characters are there, including Lurch, Thing, Kitty Kat, and even Cousin It. It’s just hard to tell if you pitted Flo against Wednesday, who would come out on top. My money’s on Wednesday, although Flo is scary, too, and far more annoying. Wednesday harbors, however, a vast and formidable darkness that is absent from Flo.

But there is no confrontational relationship to be had here as both Progressive and the Addams Family are playing on the same team. The Progressive agents are unswayed by the eccentricities of the Addams Family, and begin doing their protective and safeguarding duties at the mansion, such as Jamie sliding a coaster under a glass of Grandmama’s green brew. All the while, a parody of the classic Addams Family theme plays, this time relating to the Progressive players… “They’re helpful but annoying, they always leave us snoring, their accidents are boring, the Progressive Family!”

“So when do you all go home?,” questions Morticia Addams. “Never!,” chirps Flo, “We’re here for you 24/7.” “How terrifying!,” replies Morticia. The commercial concludes with a promo that Addams Family 2 is coming to theaters and On Demand October 1st. While some translations of live action to cartoons are dreadful, the first version I actually found rather worthwhile. I’ll take all of the Addams Family that I can get, especially on Wednesday 🦊

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…

Space Jam: A New Legacy…

July 5, 2021

Perhaps the alarmed expressions on the faces of the Looney Tunes characters is a reaction to their new movie, Space Jam: A New Legacy, opening July 16th in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously. A key question is whether the world really needed a sequel to 1996’s original Space Jam movie, and the consensus of opinion is not only no, but hell no!

Now the sequel a quarter century later involves basketball superstar LeBron James’ young son Dom being captured and held by a rogue A.I. in a digitized world from which he will be released only if LeBron can best the A.I.’s team in a game of basketball, with LeBron’s team consisting of the classic Warner Bros. Tune Squad characters.

They’re almost all there, with Pepe Le Pew having been deleted due to criticisms that he “normalized rape culture.” I kind of miss the lusty French skunk already, and hope that somehow the character will be reintroduced someday, although probably it will be in a contrite, sanitized form. Well, first they came for Mr. Potato Head and then Pepe Le Pew, and now it would appear that Lola Bunny has also been subjected to cultural revisionism as having been overly sexualized in the original Space Jam movie. – – Give me a break! I’m a furry but not of the ‘toon subdivision. Now Cheetah from Wonder Woman 1984 was a stunning anthropomorphic shifter, much more to my liking. But I digress…

Now the redrawn Lola Bunny (left) is rendered less curvy than her 1996 predecessor shown to the right. Lola is also rendered more fully clothed and styled less like a teenager than her previous incarnation. We wouldn’t want Bugs Bunny to be considered a pedophile, after all. A previous love interest for Bugs introduced in 1966 was Honey Bunny, although she was dropped as she overly resembled Bugs, and might have been him in drag. So now we have the revised Lola Bunny, looking less hawt than before…

..So Space Jam 2 is a mixed bag, with some things that are painful to see, like Porky Pig performing in a rap battle. But other things are a hoot, like Granny channeling Trinity and Speedy Gonzalez doing the honors as Neo in a take-off on the The Matrix. “Abuela, let’s do this!,” exults Speedy before effortlessly dodging bullets like a furry Flash.

Just don’t tell Yosemite Sam to “shoot the ball,” because that’s exactly what he does! And may Speedy have a long run!

“Godzilla vs. Kong” Arriving…

March 4, 2021


In these times of a deadly global pandemic and an insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol, you probably figured that a Godzilla vs. Kong movie was inevitable.  We may even be jaded to it, kind of like “Yeah, it figures, whatever!”  But after years in the planning and multiple delays in 2020, Godzilla vs. Kong is at last set to open in late March.  

Described as a “massive monster brawl,” this latest installment in the MonsterVerse unites in mortal combat the iconic franchise figures of King Kong, who has appeared in a dozen films, and Godzilla, the veteran of three dozen flicks.  Both franchises began cinematic renewal and revitalization programs beginning in 2014, with Godzilla establishing himself as “King of the Titans,” and mankind in this universe being in fearful coexistence with them.  King Kong, for his part, has done well in his domain on Skull Island, and has demonstrated his ability to dominate in battle large reptilian creatures, including three T-Rexes at once.  This makes him a serious contender in any monster match, even if he is essentially a giant ape…

 

Now in the current crossover matchup, Godzilla has become seriously ticked off, and is rampaging around the planet, prompting mankind to recruit King Kong as a defensive agent.  Kong has the advantage of superior intelligence and agility, whereas Godzilla is elemental and practically indestructible, plus he has that radioactive breath thing going on.  You have to choose sides in this combat, and I confess to being a Godzilla loyalist.  He is just magnificent emerging from the sea, an unfathomable, breathtaking, and unstoppable force of nature!  Kong may be King, but Godzilla is…well, a god.  The Internet is having a field day over the upcoming battle royal, and we are at least promised by the producer that one of the combatants will win.  There’s nothing we monster movie fans hate more than ambiguous endings, which are all too common and very unsatisfying.  If I wanted a “write your own ending” conclusion, I wouldn’t be bankrolling someone else to write the script.

Regardless of who emerges victorious in the epic fray, we are promised more MonsterVerse films to come…and there is the revelation that some thing manifested as seismic activity within the hollow Earth may be instigating the fracas to begin with, like a cosmic conspiracy theorist. Perhaps there is a common, real enemy. All is probably not as it appears, with plenty of hooks to hang future movies on.  Producers do, after all, want your interest piqued, and your movie dollars supporting their efforts…Rawrr!  

 

 

Soon, “Cheetah” Will be Unleashed!

August 24, 2020

 

Well, we’re all agog here in our little furry corner of the web called Foxsylvania about the latest trailer revealing more about the appearance of Barbara Ann Minerva (aka “Cheetah”) in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984 film.  The Coronavirus screwed with the original intended release date as it did with many other good things, which has now been kicked back to October 2nd, 2020.  Good things can be worth waiting for, however, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be disappointed by the cinematic appearance of this bad girl furry, portrayed by Kristen Wiig.

While we previously just had fan art renditions, in the trailer we now have brief but actual footage of Cheetah in combat with Wonder Woman, and the battle looks incredibly kinetic and aerial, set in The White House!  We also know that Cheetah undergoes a progressive transformation into the character, eventually winding up with fur and a tail.- – I…am…so…ENVIOUS!  Progressive transformations are really the way to go, since an instantaneous one (I understand) tends to be both painful and unconvincing.

Barbara Ann Minerva isn’t just another pretty kitty…she has a doctoral degree in archaeology, and a complex love-hate relationship with Wonder Woman.  She can change her physiology at will, and as Cheetah isn’t even much bothered by the Amazon’s magic lasso.  The character has come a long ways from earlier representations as a woman in a a costume.  I do so like a character with bite, and you may want to make yourself a prrromise to see this one…




(- –Do we want to send in psychotherapists or animal control to deal with this one?) 

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