Archive for the ‘strange’ category

Jif’s “Squirrel” Commercial…

September 8, 2019

 
I would probably have long since starved to death were it not for peanut butter.  I’ve eaten it since childhood, and continue to turn to it several times a week.  At times, I even crave it; peanut butter is my go-to lunch and snack of choice when I don’t know what to eat. That being said, I indulge my guilty pleasure at home; even I may not be seen at a park, slathering peanut butter on a slice of bread.  I’ve never been known to carry a jar of peanut butter around with me; I’m just not that hard-core…

…not so the curly-haired young lady in our Jif commercial!  Seated on a park bench, she whips herself up a thickly-spread slice of peanut butter bread, only to find herself approached by a squirrel.  Aww…isn’t he cute?  Who could deny him?  So she gives him a tidbit, and is soon approached by another squirrel, then another! No good deed goes unpunished, after all.  Soon the woman is surrounded by dozens of squirrels, kinda like what happens when you feed french fries to sea gulls at the beach…

…It’s then that the commercial takes a surreal turn, for towering above the sea of squirrels is a creepy man-squirrel, wearing a squirrel mask that covers his entire head.  He, too, is seeking a hand-out, and even making beseeching squirrel-noises.  Is this a peanut butter pervert?  And what should the young lady do?  Mace him, scream for help, or try to bean him with the peanut butter jar? This question is left unanswered, but some people will go to any lengths for the product.  It’s that Jif’ing good, we’re told.  I do sympathize, honestly, sharing the addiction…

…but in my twisted mind fed by a love for horror, the question lingers;  what happens when the woman runs out of peanut butter?  Do the legion of squirrels and their squirrel-headed human-sized leader decide that the lady might be tasty, too?  A few pounce on her to take a tentative nibble, and soon she is writhing under a blanket of them…Aieee! (The screen fades to black as we hear squirrels chittering…the Day of the Squirrel is at hand!)

 

“Preacher” vs. Furries…

August 18, 2019

(Advisory:  some mature content)

AMC’s show Preacher  is one of the most over-the-top shows on television, outrageous yet compelling, and definitely not for children, those easily offended, or squeamish about blood and violence.  The series is complex and twisted, and so I won’t begin to attempt to explain it here; it even has Hitler and a likable vampire as recurring characters!  At any rate, in the Deviant episode of the current season (Season 4, Episode 3), central character Jesse Custer enters DeSade’s House of Entertainment to rescue a child, and winds up fighting and prevailing against a small army within that included furries, people costumed as anthropomorphic animals. 

The fight scene was extended, epic, and spectacular, beginning with fists and progressing from there to blunt objects, then knives, and finally guns.  Preacher Jesse was victorious, of course, because it is after all, his show!  I’m not quite comfortable with the portrayal of furries on the episode and I’ve seen far better fursuits,  but it was all intended to be outrageous in keeping with the general tone of the series, which has previously given us the divinity in a Dalmatian suit…

  

 

 

Liberty Mutual’s “Zoltar”

July 24, 2019

Some of you may remember those creepy but cool, coin-operated fortune-telling booths from years ago that featured a glass booth enclosing most often a stereotypic gypsy, witch, mystic, or psychic seer. You simply dropped a quarter into the booth’s coin slot, and the costumed character’s crystal ball lit up, he or she made a few robotic movements, and the booth spit out a slip of paper with your supposed fortune on it, usually something general enough that it would apply to almost anyone.

Well, in this Liberty Mutual commercial, we are shown such a fortune-telling booth in an unusual outdoor location overlooking the Statue of Liberty, undoubtedly symbolic of Liberty Mutual. Such booths were usually housed indoors in arcades. When a lady drops a coin into this fortune teller, the robotic seer, Zoltar, intones that great fortune will find the woman when she allows Liberty Mutual to customize her insurance, permitting her to pay for only what she needs. Grateful for this info, the woman asks Zoltar how she could ever thank him. Eerily, the mechanical seer swivels his head towards her, and mentions that maybe she could “Free Zoltar.”  Well, there’s a convenient button for this purpose on the front of the booth which the woman depresses.  Instantly the walls of the booth drop, revealing our seer clad in colorful shorts and seated atop a unicycle!  He cries “Thanks lady!” and pedals away, a bag held in each hand, and calls for a taxi…

I love happy endings!  Perhaps someday someone will free the fortune-telling Elvis that I’ve seen awaiting business out of a booth…

 

“Cats;” Two Paws Up…

July 21, 2019


  

“Cats,” the movie version based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical upcoming in December of 2019, promises to be one of those things that you will either love, or passionately hate.  Previously the studio had released little information about the film other than that it was coming out in December.  A trailer is now available of the film, and reactions run to polarizing extremes with either praise or excoriation .

“This is not a cat,” huffs one, “this is an abomination!”  Other descriptions have included the terms horrifying and terrifying.  Why, you may ask, do some people freak out so badly over the early images from Cats?  The answer might lie in the fact that they are not comfortable with the idea of anthropomorphic animals, which in this case involves a blend of live action and CGI animation.  The cats in Cats have human mouths, teeth, and lips blended in with their furry faces along with human hands, and this seems to creep some people out to no end.  Some of the cats wear clothing and others do not, with the female felines who do not showing breast swellings.  The cats also have tails that move and sway, which seems to have phallic connotations for some viewers.  Anthropomorphic representations of the animal characters also seemed to disturb viewers of the Sonic (the Hedgehog) movie.

Those things being said, the cats of Cats move with ballet-like feline grace and are quite engaging once disbelief and initial astonishment is suspended; they show distinct personalities and a variety of moods.  The cats are shrunk down to their appropriate proportional size in their environments, and are not human-sized even if bearing some human features.  The cast is stellar, and includes Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Idris Elba, and even Ian McKellan…yes, the actor who played Magneto is playing a cat!  When Jennifer Hudson opens up with her powerhouse voice to sing Memories, time seems to stand still.

I’m hardly objective about all of this, being a furry myself.  I could fit easily into this world, but I can understand the discomfort of those who cannot.  This is entertainment, after all…consider it as something different, not as an affront to reality; you may like it, and it might even grow on you.  Cats the movie is likely to be a big hit for the holidays, with viewers likely to love it, hate it, or simply shrug and say, “that was weird.” Such was the reaction to the original musical, which ultimately became wildly popular.  A tale based upon anthropomorphic cats who sit about introducing themselves until one of them dies is weird by nature, and likely to provoke fur-vor on both sides…

Of Henchmen and Sidekicks…

May 24, 2019

I’ve often pondered whether I’d make a suitable henchman, since I have a dark side and would accordingly make a lousy sidekick for a hero.  I have some unanswered questions, however, that would first need to be addressed. – – Does the job pay well?- – How about the benefits and the retirement plan? Are there stock options?  I think that I’d like to work for Frank Gorshin’s The Riddler to feed off his manic energy, but I’d simply have to have a better set of duds than what his goons usually wear.  Classic gangster henchmen have a good sense of fashion…

Like heroes, the best henchmen work alone, but in confrontations can never actually defeat the hero, or they threaten to usurp the villain’s status.  This doesn’t mean that they can’t actually beat the snot out of the hero as did Oddjob to James Bond, at least until he figures out a way to defeat them.  A henchman who defeats a hero has upgraded to the status of villain, which brings a whole new set of problems, including the recruitment of new henchmen, and all the labor relations issues that come with that.  Heavy is the head that wears the crown…

Then there are those characters like the Seven Dwarves to Snow White who are neither sidekicks nor henchmen.  They fall into the category of not otherwise specified (NOS) figures.

I guess that I’ll just continue to work alone, which seems most fitting to brood over the fate of a city, anyways…

The Masked Singer, Episode 3…

January 20, 2019


In the bizarre singing competition of The Masked Singer, the contestant known as The Deer looked like a stag wearing a gas mask with steampunk accessories such as metallic gauntlets and a long overcoat. Dance moves were hardly the Deer’s forte, with his movements stiff and minimal, possibly due to the headgear.  With his vocals equally forgettable, The Deer was voted off during Episode 3, and was unmasked to reveal football great Terry Bradshaw.  Perhaps his outfit could be used in a remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau…

Lion gave another good performance, and Monster I thought surpassed their previous effort.  Unicorn’s was adequate but not terribly memorable.  I thought that Peacock did well again, projecting a Las Vegas presence by beginning their performance on top of a 30-foot lift before descending to the stage.  It was kind of like watching Elvis with feathers…this bird can dazzle!

 

KFC “Chicken and Waffles” Commercial..

November 12, 2018

When you’ve seen KFC icon Colonel Sanders in his trademark white suit dancing with a human-sized animated bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s, you’ve seen pretty much everything, or at least need to cut back on the recreational drugs. It’s not that I’m judging them, you see, and the Colonel is surprisingly light on his feet, at one point hoisting Mrs. Butterworth aloft in a performance worthy of Dancing With The Stars. They are, after all, promoting chicken and waffles at your KFC franchise, and I wish them every happiness together…

The commercial spoofs the “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” dance scene from the movie Dirty Dancing. The dance moves aren’t quite as spectacular as those in the original choreographed scene, however, in large part because a bottle of syrup doesn’t have, well, legs. One must work with what one has, I suppose, even if the end result is kinda surreal and freaky. I’m cool with that, although if I start dancing with my syrup bottles I’ll be ready for institutionalization. One also must presumably take care to separate bottles of Mrs. Butterworth’s from Aunt Jemima’s lest a sticky business develop. I don’t know what extremes syrup bottles might be capable of, after all, either as rivals or co-conspirators…