Archive for the ‘twisted reality’ category

Stan Against Evil…

November 25, 2018


A comedy-horror series is a rare and wonderful thing, especially if it’s done well.  If you’ve missed this gem, you may want to check out Stan Against Evil, now in its third season on the IFC network.  The show takes place in the fictional New Hampshire town of Willard’s Mill, which was the site of witch burnings in the late 17th century.  As a result of that history, strange and creepy supernatural things continue to emerge there which are dealt with by the town’s former sheriff, Stan Miller (John C. McGinley) and it’s current one, Evie Barrett (Janet Varney).

Now Stan Miller is a delight as an aging, cynical, slovenly antihero who just wants to be left alone, but can’t even manage to do that! Teamed reluctantly with the young and beautiful woman who is his successor, Stan is pressed into service to battle legions of demonic monsters that include witches, vampires, evil puppets, and even a were-pony! Although he’d much rather be drinking and watching television, Stan uses traditional and improvised weaponry to devastating effect, repeatedly bludgeoning for example a large winged skeleton-bird wraith creature (at right) with a shovel until it moves no more .- – You gotta love this guy! 

 The show parodies horror in a loving fashion, and manages nods to The X-Files and other traditions from which it has drawn.  I’m glad to see something like this still in active production…long may its demonic beasties thrive!

 

 

Animals and Thanksgiving Parades…

November 22, 2018

Being a big fan of Halloween, I love images of early Thanksgiving parades because they had balloons and floats back then that were, well, creepy! Animals have had a long association with Thanksgiving Day parades since their inception, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade beginning in 1924 and including live animals, many of them actually borrowed from the Central Park Zoo for the occasion.

The early Thanksgiving Day parades often had a circus orientation, and hence the animal elements. Actual lions, tigers, and bears were trucked down city streets, traumatizing them and causing the elicitation of roars and growls that frightened observing children. Wisely, the use of living animals was abandoned after a few years, with animal balloons and floats substituted, together with some great vintage cartoonish stuff that was rather surreal. Felix the Cat was an early parade favorite.

In the 1930’s, Macy’s actually released their balloons at the end of the parade for a few years, with rewards of $25 offered for their return, a princely sum in depression-era America. Macy’s wasn’t the only Thanksgiving Day parade on the block, either, with Newark, New Jersey having memorable ones as well as other cities in diverse locations.

So while you enjoy that traditional Thanksgiving feast, remember those poor souls who marched, danced, and performed in frigid twenty-some degree weather this year in parts of America dressed among other things as fried eggs and sticks of butter. As I said, I like my holidays surreal, which makes them and family easier to take…

 

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…

Kayak TV Commercial “Shark…”

July 22, 2018

 

Imagine performing dentistry on a Great White Shark…now that’s a toothy business!  This shark is reclining on a dental chair, too, although there’s no need to tell him to open wide…his maw gapes enormously, and is full of razor-sharp teeth.  In the Kayak commercial, you can even see the shark’s tail moving slightly.  The attending dentist doesn’t appear too worried about his unusual client, however, just going about business as usual.  An observing guy in the background comments that the dentist appears confident.  A woman also in the background agrees, but adds that he doesn’t appear Kayak confident as she is, with Kayak having searched hundreds of sites for her to find the best flight.  It’s “search one and done,” you see…

Now being offbeat, I fantasize about crossover commercials.  Picture one featuring the Kayak shark, and the Aspen Dental dentist.  “You really should take better care of your teeth,” the Aspen Dentist might lecture the Kayak shark, who perhaps deliberately in spite ate a whole box of Oreos before visiting the dentist.  “Cancel the rest of my appointments for this afternoon!,” our Aspen guy might add before settling undaunted into the task of cleaning the hundreds of teeth before him. Dentistry soldiers on…our unsung heroes.

Or imagine Progressive Insurance’s agent Flo trying to sell insurance to the shark, who would only listen so long before snapping at Flo in frustration.  Cobra-like, Flo would whip safely away before chiding the shark that he didn’t have to snap her head off.  Flo has impressive survival skills, you see, enduring being marooned on a desert island with only a “name your own price” tool in a commercial that recalls a Tom Hanks film…

The Aspen Dentist At Large…

April 19, 2018

The Aspen Dentist is ubiquitous, appearing in his crisp white clinical dental jacket in such locales as a beauty salon, a carnival, a garage, a frozen food aisle, and a restaurant.  The man has emerged from a sarcophagus, for cripes sake!  In some of his commercials, he is even whisked through the setting on a motorized reclining dental chair!  I am forced to consider that he may be some kind of trans-dimensional being, appearing as he does on multiple planes of reality unrelated to dentistry.  The dreaded dental chair is some kind of conveyance, like the Silver Surfer’s surfboard.  Or perhaps he is an alien, trying to disarm our suspicions as he operates from a flawed and troubling model of what his kind believes constitutes normal human behavior.  You have been warned…call Fox Mulder while there’s still time!

Parallels may be made to Progressive Insurance’s “Flo,” who is also in the world while not of it.  Flo and the dentist are disturbing approximations of reality, tuned to another wavelength entirely different from that of we mundanes.  There’s something not quite right about them.  Perhaps there’s even a hint of madness conveyed, dancing beneath the surface.  One should not approach or stare too closely, or perhaps you may be pulled into one of their parallel universes, never again to emerge, at least with your sanity intact.  Maybe the dentist is here to harvest our tooth enamel…or perhaps in the afterlife, the Almighty will intone, “Tsk, tsk…you really should have taken better care of your teeth!”  Is the Highway to Hell like the road to gum disease?!  At Foxsylvania, we dare to ask such questions…

So open wide, and no matter how you brush or floss, you’re doing it wrong.  And how do you wish to pay for today’s services?- – With your soul?, ahahahaha!