Archive for the ‘unexplained’ category

“Punished, As A Boy” on “The Terror”

April 10, 2018

To dispense with what the episode title refers to, it appears that when you’re “punished as a boy” on a 19th century British ship, you’re flogged on your bottom rather than on your back, complete with all of your shipmates watching for both pain and humiliation.  We do get to see this, unfortunately, complete with blood spattering, agonized grunts from the punished, and the man’s behind resembling raw hamburger following his ordeal.- – Hey, horror isn’t pretty!  

This is grim stuff, but things are getting pretty grim indeed, with the Tuunbaq creature shredding members of the expedition brutally and pretty much at will, leaving some as only bloody smears on the ice, removing part of another’s skull to expose his brain (“It looks like pudding!,” remarks the ship’s surgeon), and tearing two others in half to crudely reassemble their bodies together.  The Tuunbaq has also demonstrated that it can move onto the English ships pretty much at will, and escape unscathed.  We’re kind of at the stage now that we were in The Thing where the men realize that the alien is inside the camp, and they’re relatively ineffective at countering it.  Composure and discipline are beginning to fall apart, just as some of the men’s gums are starting to turn black from lead poisoning brought by their spoiling and badly- packaged tinned food.

I’m not going to go on about the many complexities and layers of character and plot going on in the story, which can be appreciated on a variety of levels; we limit ourselves to just a few paragraphs here.  But central to the story and ever growing in importance is the enigmatic and appropriately-named Lady Silence, the Inuit woman whose father was accidently shot by the English in an earlier episode.  She was seen engaging in some kind of interaction with the Tuunbaq, perhaps a ritual.  Is she controlling the creature, or what is the nature of her relationship with it?  Hmmm…we’ll just have to wait and see!

 


The Terror – – Go for Broke; Gore

March 26, 2018

 

Watching The Walking Dead Sunday night,  I was unexpectedly treated to an unannounced and unadvertised preview of The Terror.  Quite a change of scenario, but I’ll take two hours of horror over one any night!

“An adventure for Queen and Country!”

Probably, not everyone will be able to get into The Terror because of its period drama aspects.  The pilot episode (Go for Broke) was mostly set-up and mood-setter, and some will be turned off by the rather trudging pace initially prevalent.  I love this kind of thing, however, and enjoy its attention to detail and atmosphere.  It’s all there; the dim  lighting, the creaking of the great wooden ship, and the magnificent desolation of the arctic.  Life was far more elemental in the mid-nineteenth century in a way that we early 21st century folks can only dimly imagine.

Executive producer Ridley Scott brings a touch of Alien space horror to this tale, however.  All of the elements are there; combine a bunch of superstitious sailors in close quarters in unknown and dangerous situations, and you’re bound to get a body count.  Even the first episode, Go for Broke, brought us death, disease, delusion, and even a “space walk” in the form of deep sea diving.  

The creepiness factor slowly started to ramp up in the second episode, Gore.  Locked in ice, the two ships send out expedition teams to seek the best passage through the ice, one of which meets with severe mishap when the tense group spooked by a night storm shoots an Inuit man in the company of his daughter.  A member of this team shortly later is seized and carried off by a creature that they think is a bear, but most likely is a Tuunbaq.  Taken back to the ship, the Inuit male succumbs to his injuries, his daughter advising the commanding officers (who profess that they want to help despite having shot her father) that they must leave or will vanish…

The sci fi/horror themes of malfunction, isolation, and paranoia that factored into such classics as The Thing are beginning to kick in here, and I’m on board for this arctic nautical nightmare!

 

“Haunted Cabin” on”Terror in the Woods

December 11, 2017

 

The Haunted Cabin episode of “Terror in the Woods” (S1/Ep8) was basically a ghost story, but with a side order of cryptid thrown in.  The story was pleasantly scary and creepy, and I like that!

In deepest Kentucky in the Red River Gorge, a rustic cabin sat in the woods on an abandoned logging road that married couple Bill and Charisse chose as kind of a retirement retreat.  Bill held the fort while Charisse worked hard for the money at a city job about two hours away.  Now Bill was a college grad, not some yahoo, and he put up a security camera outside the cabin.  One night around two to three a.m., said camera picked up a sporadic green mist that seemed to morph in and out.  We, the viewers, were shown the actual footage, and it did look like a floaty mist to me! Alerted by the security camera, Bill went outside and thought that he saw a ghost…

…other creepy things then transpired.  Bill’s TV and Playstation came on twice by themselves!  Now Bill was suitably creeped out by this. I mean, would you want ghosts messin’ with your PlayStation?! They’d stay on it for hours, and leave slime all over the console and controllers, for cripes sake! Bill then did what any sensible person would do, and spent the night in his car.

A week later, Bill’s trusty security camera showed a ball of white light that seemed to come out of the ground and which floated along the area; ghost alert! Viewers were also shown this footage. Bill trucked into town, speaking to and showing locals the footage; not surprisingly, they thought it ghostly.

Now comes the Bigfoot alert; walking outside his cabin in the woods, Bill hit a tree with a branch, and thought that it was answered with other knocks. Bill experienced fear and panic, since ghosts and Bigfoot make for a full paranormal schedule. A friend later visited him, and they found strange footprints with four digits and hooked claws; pictures were taken of this, which viewers of the episode were again shown.

His wife later returned to join Bill, and things went smoothly for a time until they heard howling and barking of a guttural, hellhound nature. They tried to record the commotion, but the sound stopped. Later when watching a ghost show on television, the two decided it would be a kick to casually try and summon a spirit themselves. Be careful what you ask for, because a loud knocking then came to their door, although nothing was there when the door was answered!

So our protagonist again went to the nearest town, showing the locals and woodsmen his latest videos and pics of the strange footprint.  Not surprisingly, they couldn’t explain them but agreed that they were freaky.  It was learned, however, that the cabin Bill and Charisse had bought was built for an ailing daughter who died in the cabin.  The cabin has since continued to be plagued by paranormal activity…spooky!  

Bigfoot and the Catacombs

December 3, 2017

The S1/Ep6 episode of Terror in the Woods featured an encounter with a cryptid and later a ghost, haunting, or restless spirit encounter.  First considered were the adventures of Rodney and fellow campers who were settled in at a campsite in Red River Gorge, Kentucky when a large rock landed near them, followed by others.  Guttural vocalizations then came towards night as well as tree-knockings, sounds reportedly generated by Bigfoot creatures hitting limbs against trees.  The campers heard bipedal footfalls, and Rodney saw the outline of a large creature, which shunned flashlight beams and began throwing tree limbs.  Later into night, camping pans were knocked over, rummaging sounds were heard, and Rodney despite having only a machete exited his tent to see a Bigfoot creature scraping a pan, presumably scavenging food.  The creature stood six to seven feet tall, and had broad shoulders and long arms.  This Bigfoot made long, angry vocalizations as it made off.  The other campers with Rodney were professionals who did’t want to speak of the incident.  Rodney, however, continued to wander the woods in later times with a camera and firearm in search of the creature.

The “Catacombs” segment took place in Savannah, Georgia.  Ashley and Jess with others climbed down into the catacombs which were located near an abandoned hospital that was used as a quarantine location for yellow fever patients in the late 19th century.  Some of the unfortunate patients had tried in the 1800’s to escape the grounds via the catacombs while others were simply contained there.  Anyways, the group held a seance in a large chamber of the catacombs and heard a large stone shatter on the wall.   The last person in the group to depart the catacombs is reported to have felt a suctioning force on her body which pulled her back into the underground chamber.  A second effort to climb up and out was successful, however.  It was related that guards were stationed in the catacombs in the past to prevent patients from escaping them, with the inference being that they had encountered one of these spirits, still trying to perform their duty…  

“Terror in the Woods” Werewolf and Demon in the Woods

November 23, 2017


Terror in the Woods does not refer to the state of the weeds and brush in my backyard, but is rather an entertaining if uneven offering on the Destination America channel network, your gateway to the paranormal!   While not the best paranormal show I’ve ever seen, Woods is certainly not the worst, and is probably worth a look if you’re into this kind of thing, especially in light of the dearth of new show material involving cryptids.

Now the Werewolf and Demon in the Woods episode (S1/Ep5) featured two segments, the first of which involved two campers, David and Lisa, who while traveling on Roanoke Island in North Carolina encountered a wolf-like creature with glowing yellow eyes that was about four feet tall and challenged the male of the pair who investigated sounds that he heard outside of his camper and the vehicle that he was pulling it with.  Things got freaky when the beast stood up upon two legs, which increased his standing height to about seven feet.  The wolf-thing then approached the guy, closing the distance while ambulating on two legs!  In the best Clint Eastwood tradition, the guy then pulled a magnum and fired a round at the creature, believing himself to have struck it in the shoulder.  This seemed to annoy rather than deter the beast.  When he perceived a second creature growling, the unhappy camper perceived himself to be outnumbered, wisely retreated to his vehicle, and beat a hasty retreat.  Later at a gas station, the motorist asked another person if he had ever seen something strange in the woods, and the reticent stranger admitted that he had.  This is the stuff of urban legends!

The second segment, Demon in the Woods, involved college-aged geo-cachers who carried their search for buried objects into the night where they found evidence of a satanic ritual in a clearing in the woods.  Discovered was a fenced-in circle with hanging objects around, similar to those portrayed in The Blait Witch Project.  The guys heard growling, grunting sounds which seemed to encircle them, and they took off running.  The tale-teller, Davey, went back for a straggler, and was again surrounded by a sound that seemed to pursue them as they fled.  Limbs and sticks were heard breaking as the duo fled.  While there was no physical presence seen, the sound seemed to be palpable, and shook them.  They felt that something was trying to drive them out of the woods.  It was later learned that a demonic cult held sessions in the area that they had visited… ooh!  (Face-palm scream)

So be careful when you go out in the woods, for “the nights are dark, and full of terrors.”  And that’s the way that I like it! 

 

Spring-Heeled Jack…

October 11, 2017

With Spooktober  here on Destination America, it’s time to delve into the archives a bit and consider a fairly obscure but historically interesting cryptid who reportedly terrorized London in the Victorian era.  He was called Spring-Heeled Jack for his supposed ability to execute astonishing leaps, capable apparently of clearing a house in a single bound.  

Now numerous images of Jack exist, ranging from the hideous to the almost dashing figure shown here.  Most reports describe him as appearing demonic, with clawed hands and prominent red eyes.  Jack also had the described ability to spew blue flames at his victims.  He was prone to attacking women and making off with children, with surviving victims suffering claw injuries and psychological trauma.  His first attack is said to have occurred in 1837, kissing and clawing up a woman who drove him off with her screams.  Numerous attacks were said to have taken place in 1838.

Jack’s escapades became the topics of “Penny Dreadful” fiction, and parents used to keep difficult children in line by threats of his appearance.  The last recorded sighting of him dates back to 1904.  Some have speculated that Spring-Heeled Jack was one of the inspirations for Batman, as you might see suggested by the figure above.  And with his last public appearance occurring over 100 years ago, perhaps this Victorian boogeyman is due for a revival, Steampunk being “in” and all…

  

Huckleberry’s Predator…

May 16, 2017

Skipping now the “Superfan” episode of the previous week which basically served to recycle old material, S5/Ep5 of Mountain Monsters picked up with Jeff and Trapper being found in a barn by the rest of the AIMS team.  It turned out that Jeff was basically working as a double agent, working with “Harry and Stinky” of the other team to gather information.  Jeff advised his team mates to download video from a tripped trail camera, which they did only to find it password protected.  Jeff later supplied the password , and the video revealed an image of…the Black Wolf!

At a night meeting with Jeff, Buck was told that “something big” would be going on by a high rock wall.  Buck became lost in the woods, sending the rest of his teammates by phone to the designated location. Willy and Wild Bill rappelled down the wall in order to listen, with Willy managing to steal a radio of the other team to facilitate this process.  On the radio, it was heard that Jeff was down and bleeding. Fearing that he was gunshot, Willy and Wild Bill hastened to that location, finding Jeff down with one of his gradually-worsening nose bleeds.  Meanwhile still lost in the woods, Buck heard the laughter of the “Woman in the Woods,” wandering off in a daze for ninety minutes before being located by his cameraman.

Meanwhile Huckleberry shared his impression of being stalked by a creature in the woods, following it back to their base camp cabin.  He entered the cabin alone, and was later found there in a bloodied condition by his now-reunited team mates.  “It knows we’re here,” remarked Huckleberry at the end of the episode, which will be continued next week in this endlessly drawn-out saga…