Archive for the ‘twisted reality’ 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!

The “Birds Aren’t Real” Movement…

October 14, 2021

Where performance comedy meets reality, you have the Birds Aren’t Real movement. Living as we are in a post-truth era where personal desires and perceptions take precedence for many over objective reality, we are awash in conspiracy theories to which a disturbing number of people ascribe...

The central mythos of Birds Aren’t Real is that beginning in the late 1950’s, federal agencies began exterminating all biological bird life in North America, replacing them with robotic surveillance drones. These drones watch and report on you to government agencies who in turn sell information about you. – – Don’t believe this? Well, have you ever seen a baby pigeon?!- – And why do you think that birds fly away when you approach them?

Now you see, Birds Aren’t Real is an organization that holds rallies and tours, much like other conspiracy groups that advance claims unbacked by science or factual evidence. It’s leader is Peter McIndoe, an earnest-appearing young man who blends parody and reality seamlessly. He has been spreading his gospel as a “bird truther” since 2016.

Alfred Hitchcock tried to warn us about avian attack drones many years ago in his prophetic film, The Birds. Shouldn’t we be putting up massive domes to keep these “undesirables” out? Remember the Avian Flu? Who knows what horrors some hidden laboratory is creating to be carried by these feathered fiends next?

And Big Bird, come on! Surely you don’t think he’s real? He’s just a clever propaganda creation engineered to lull our young into a false sense of security, and we invite him into our homes!

The revelation that birds are in fact surveillance drones is sure to put a damper on many traditional Thanksgiving dinners this year. I for one wouldn’t want to wind up with a mouthful of electronic parts, would you?! Should you swallow a few components, you probably become an enabler…

So just remember that if it flies, it spies! And ask yourself whether you get the joke, or are one of the people targeted by it. For what is a BIRD but a Basic Information Recording Drone? And bird watching goes both ways. – – Watch the skies, for they may be watching you! 🙀

“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… 🙀

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 🦊

“Ghosts” On CBS…

September 6, 2021

From the ghost of Hamlet’s father to the Kirby’s on Topper, ghosts have always been compelling presences in entertainment. Now it seems that we are soon to be haunted by such spirits on Ghosts, a comedy coming to CBS appropriately enough in October.

Now Ghosts is adapted from a hit BBC series, and ghosts are no strangers to the British or their entertainment. The series Being Human was also translated to an Americanized version, with the characters including a vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost. Ghosts will focus just on haunts, however, as a comic series and not as a paranormal “in search of“ endeavor.

The ghosts in question here inhabit a large Victorian estate recently inherited by a couple, Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar), and Samantha (Rose McIver), who intend to convert the property into a bed and breakfast. When Samantha has a near-death experience, she acquires the ability to see and interact with the multitude of spirits who haunt her property.

And what a diverse crew these spirits are! One is a scoutmaster who wanders about with an arrow through his neck, another is a Viking explorer, a third a 60’s hippie, a fourth a militiaman, plus a prohibition-era lounge singer, and so forth. A number of the spirits have a certain unique power that can manifest itself in the world of the living; the Viking, for example, can cause electrical fixtures to sputter, while another can telekinetically move small objects.

There’s a touch of Beetlejuice here, but the ghosts are far more vulnerable, and have roommate issues. It hurts them when the living walk through them, plus in so doing we smell flatulent to them. It’s no piece of cake being deceased but earth-bound and not having been “passed on,” which is an aww moment.

So you may want to catch Ghosts, premiering on CBS October 7th. It could be a fun way to kick off the Halloween season… 🦊

“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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