Janice Buys A House…

Posted April 27, 2018 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, commercials, television

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“Cycling is my passion!,” declares Janice, sister of Progressive insurance’s arch sales rep, Flo.  The trouble is, sister Janice isn’t terribly passionate about anything, like so many today.  Peddling her exercise bike at a snail’s pace while chewing gem and taking “selfies,” Janice maintains that she is “blasting her quads.”  So when disturbingly perky and intensely focused sister Flo appears at Janice’s house in her trademark white uniform to push the notion of using Progressive’s Home Code Explorer feature, Janice can only complain that Flo is ruining her workout, finding all kinds of reasons not to look at Flo’s presentation.  “I’m in a meeting!,” she contends as she scrolls idly through her phone.- – Isn’t technology wonderful, keeping us all connected?  One can hardly fault Janice for giving Flo the brush-off.

There’s a little bit of trendy Janice’s self-defeating absurdities in many of us, or at least we may know someone somewhat like her.  If not, Flo’s dysfunctional family resonates in the American psyche…and actress Stephanie Courtney has played Flo in over 100 commercials, together with all the members of her fictitious “family…”

(Aside:  This blog has been quietly converted to a paid plan, which means ***No Commercials*** for you, valued readers, and a few other bells, whistles, and shiny things...)

“A Mercy” Episode on, “The Terror”

Posted April 23, 2018 by vulpesffb
Categories: animal elements, animal problems, anomalies, anthropomorphic, cryptozoology, furry, furry horror, horror, sci fi, television

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When the going gets tough, it’s time to throw a party as a counter to the growing anger, despair, and psychosis growing among the crews of Erebus and Terror, as we are shown in Episode 6 of the series. The party is a wild one, thrown in an enormous tent rigged by the seamen, complete with drinking, hot tub bathing, and men wearing dresses, ahem!  There are seamen wearing animal head masks…yes, 19th century furries!   Rum is even being fed to the brain-dead crewman Private Heather, his skull torn open in an earlier Tuunbaq attack.

Unfortunately, one of their own, Dr. Stanley, has quietly gone mad, and he seals off the tent before dousing it and himself with oil, and igniting both.  Stanley’s arms-spread self-immolation is evocative of a scene from The Thing from Another World, and is perhaps the most horrible thing in the episode, rivaled only by Lady Silence‘s staggering bloody entrance, her tongue self-removed in an attempt to forge a shamanistic bond with the Tuunbaq.  We do see the creature briefly, his face a disquieting mix of ursine and human features.

With their food supply starting to run low and the canned food producing recognized symptoms of lead poisoning, expedition leadership now plans to abandon both their mission and their vessels in a risky trek on foot hundreds of miles south to civilization. The ill-fated party was an effort to boost morale prior to food rationing, climatic suffering, and the further predations of their Tuunbaq adversary, although clearly it had the reverse effect, adding also to the mounting body count.  

With only four episodes left to run, we unlike the poor devils in the Royal Navy know that this will end badly, because as Captain Crozier observed, “The place wants us dead…”


The Aspen Dentist At Large…

Posted April 19, 2018 by vulpesffb
Categories: absurdities, bizarre, commercials, television, twisted reality

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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!  


“First Shot a Winner, Lads” on “The Terror”

Posted April 17, 2018 by vulpesffb
Categories: anomalies, anthropomorphic, cryptozoology, furry, furry horror, paranormal, sci fi, television

Tags: ,

Well, the Royal Navy would appear to have fully engaged the Tuunbaq on Season 1, Episode 5 of The Terror, with blood drawn on both sides but the British at least putting on a good show for Queen and country.- –Well played, Lads!  We are given a bit more of a glimpse of the creature, which is set on fire, hit with a cannon shot, and survives just to run off into the snow mist!  “He’ll be back,” we can almost imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger saying…

I like to watch this show in a darkened room to heighten the atmospheric effects, with the pursuit and battle sequence of the episode taking place at night in a blinding snowstorm in the bitter cold.  The filming techniques almost make you feel like you are there as part of the beleaguered crew, about to receive a severe thrashing at the paws and claws of something incomprehensible that moves on its own terms, and may not even be destructible by mortal weapons.  A vicious and cunning predator is not the only problem the crew faces, having flesh cut off due to frostbite, an alcoholic captain, and the matter of spoiling and lead tainted food that is slowly poisoning them.  The enigmatic Inuit woman named Lady Silence breaks her reticence to convey that she doesn’t control the creature, and is really as afraid of it as the English are.  “It’s bound to no one,” she says…

Dread is a difficult emotion to convey in horror, and many horror tales fail to convey it at all.  It is a refined, rarified sense of fear.  Dread is subtle and builds slowly out of bits and pieces, taking its own good time.  The Terror is developing a sense of dread as effectively as about anything seen in recent years on television, and I look forward to the upcoming matches of the Royal Navy versus the supernatural Tuunbaq…

“Lost in Space” Revamped on Netflix…

Posted April 14, 2018 by vulpesffb
Categories: aliens, sci fi, space, television

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The original Lost in Space tv series ran from 1965 to 1968, and was set in the then-distant future year of 1997!  In the Netflix reboot, the year is 2048, the Robinson family is still with us, but Dr. Smith is a woman!  “Oh the pain, the pain!,” as the original Smith memorably would whine.

At least they got the robot (whose name was “Robot”) right.  He no longer looks like he was cobbled together from a vacuum cleaner and several kitchen appliances.  In fact, this robot is not even of human construction, but is alien in origin, and has a dark past.  Although the robot doesn’t sing, ” I am a cybernetic hero,” he will say, “Danger, Will Robinson!”  Gone from the series, however, is the cheesy, camp-classic fun that made the original series a hoot.  This version is serious, gritty, filled with Hollywood explosions, and almost no fun at all.  Like many reboots, it has very little reason to exist.

A movie version of Lost in Space from 1998 with Matt LeBlanc was darker and had its moments, but was commercially unsuccessful.  In this reconceptualization, the Robinson family is not on a solo mission but is one of a number of colonist families trying to populate the Alpha Centauri system.  The Jupiter II winds up sinking into a frozen lake, and most of the first episode apparently involves trying to retrieve daughter Judy from said lake before she buys the farm.  Will Robinson thankfully plays less of a central role in this series than he did in the 1960’s original, allowing some updating and expansion of the other characters.  

The ten-episode series is family-friendly and action or crisis oriented, but while drawing from the original series, fails to recreate its spirit or substitute anything in its stead, making it truly lost in space…

  

Rampage:  Megafauna Rampant…

Posted April 11, 2018 by vulpesffb
Categories: anomalies, anthropomorphic, creature features, fantasy, furries, furry, furry horror, movies, scalies, sci fi

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I’m glad that my cousin, Ralph, finally made it to the big screen!  He always had dreams of going to Hollywood, and deserved it after all those years of parking cars, pumping gas, and hanging out at furry and video game conventions.  It was annoying to him that people would pull at his costume only to discover that it wasn’t one. – – Ahh, his mother would have been so proud of him!  On the other hand, I wasn’t granted Ralph’s athleticism, being only a bookish writer…fortune, thou art a cruel mistress!

I suppose it was inevitable that they’d make a movie loosely based on the vintage video game, Rampage, and starring Dwayne Johnson.  After all, Doom turned out so well!  In the long-ago, I can remember playing the video game, and never doing terribly well…such is the the story of my life!  Anyways, in his latest action film outing, the Rock plays primatologist Davis Okoye who is attempting to intervene on behalf of his albino silverback gorilla, George, the object of a rogue genetic experiment gone awry. – –Tell me about it!  George, Ralph, and other mutant animals grown to enormous size are, well, rampaging through North America, and causing big trouble and general mayhem.  It’s up to Dwayne Johnson and others to find an antidote…

This sci fi/fantasy offering sounds like good brainless fun, and is opening April 13th at a theater near you!  A CGI-heavy movie, it also features Jeffrey Dean Morgan of The Walking Dead, minus his Negan bat, Lucille.  I expect that Ralphie will give a memorable performance, and even if he doesn’t, I’m still proud of the big lug… 😉

“Punished, As A Boy” on “The Terror”

Posted April 10, 2018 by vulpesffb
Categories: anomalies, anthropomorphic, creature features, cryptozoology, fantasy, furry, horror, predators, sci fi, television, unexplained

Tags: ,

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!