Sunday, December 16, 2012

Things You Need To Know #310

The Vacktors love Christmas.  With a little bit of paint and cloth they can look exactly like little dolls.  They then infiltrate under Christmas trees and spend some time in the warm embrace of a child.  Just a day of that gives them enough life for the rest of their year.  The child comes to no harm except of course the loss of one of their toys.

This was something you needed to know

Monster of the Day: Tofullu

Source:  The Veggienomicon
Location:  The lower crisper
Threat Assessment:  7.  The Demon of Veganism Tofullu would seem harmless except he wants to turn all humanity into plants and harvest them for that last veggie burger.
Limitation:  Tetchy

Today's Secret Code:

There is no law that can stop the breaking of a law.  Again:  There is no law that can stop the breaking of a law.  Today's Colour is Pepsi Brown.  Today's Author is letting that season in.  That is all Charlie Brown, maho maho.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Things You Need to Know #309

For those who think they can escape vengeance via suicide I present to you one Dr. Allan Malle Mumba who hails from what was formally known as the Dark Continent.  Dr. Mumba was a child soldier and took his first life at nine.  Not happy with his lot he found a way out and spent the rest of his childhood with men who knew strange and deadly wisdom. Now Dr. Mumba, for a proper fee of course, can bring back the spirit of man who has done his client wrong.  Then Dr. Mumba can get very, very painfully creative.  The good things about spirits is they cannot truly be destroyed, merely brought to the very edge of it.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Suspended

Some days there are no monsters worse than the one down the street.

Today's Secret Code:

There is no secret in sorrow, there is only the truth in loss. Today's Colours fly at half mast. Today's Author prays. That is all, that is all...

The Watch

The Watch isn't a bad film, but it isn't what it secretly yearns to be.   What it really wants to be is "Ghostbusters," but it is in tone a bit too mean spirited for that.  Tone is always a bugger when writing a film.  It is just one of those things that is a magical combination of actor, director and script that really can't be predicted.  Sure there's a lot of snark in "Ghostbusters," but when Bill Murray did snark (at least at that point in his career) there was a twinkle in his eye that made us forgive him totally.  There is no such twinkle in Ben Stiller's eye (no doubt killed by Focker movies) nor Vince Vaughn who I believe was born without a soul.

The story is simple.  A naive little town is being invaded by the most generic aliens not imagined.  Ben Stiller is a go getter and club maker so after the first mysterious death it's only natural he starts a neighborhood watch program.  The only takers are a bunch of losers who use it as sort of a man's club slash macho tester.  Everything else is basically clockwork. 

Now this isn't a bad film, it's just two shades above bland film.  You can watch.  You can smile here and there, and then forget it.  Definitely forget it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Things You Need To Know #308

The Black Cup is always empty.  Fill it and it will be empty the moment it is brought to the lips.  You can feel it gently sucking at your lips as it is empty of air as well.  It is a philosophical model but it has certain useful real world applications.  The owner is willing to sell it for  five camels, five drachmas that were once owned by a Roman Soldier and your middle name.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: shoggoths

Source:  At the Mountains of Madness
Location:  Antartica
Threat Assessment:  8.  Able to cause madness just at being glanced at.  Able to take any shape.  Really, Really big and annoyed.
Limitation:  Perfectly happy to be left alone.

Today's Secret Code

Dreams are seeds.  Be the fertile field.  Again:  Dreams are seeds.  Be the fertile field.  Today's Colour is china white.  Today's Author is like the cup, his worth is in his emptiness.  That is all Bruce, maho maho.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Things You Need To Know #307

There is a man in Manchester that talks to rocks.  As anyone who has been reading these can guess they talk back to him.  Things reached the point where he married (unofficially) a very pretty piece of granite with a somewhat suggest femine shape.  If you want his help take our advice and sweet talk the wife.  Gifts, however, are wasted and jewelry is frowned upon.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Trolls

Source:  Disc World Novels
Location:  Disc World
Threat Assessment:  A magical silicone life form of immense size and strength.  They are basically humaniod rocks with diamonds for teeth.  Do the math and run.
Limitation:  We can do the math, they are a little limited.  They tend to be mentally slow at room temp.

Today's secret code:

When you think about it "machine gun" is a stupid term.  It would be like calling your pet "animal dog."  Again:  When you think about it "machine gun" is a stupid term.  It would be like calling your pet "animal dog."  Today's Colour is a lantiny green used for a litany of luminary writings.  Today's Author is indecently decent.  That is all, maho maho.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Things You Need To Know #306

Mr. Scrabble is one of those who feeds on psychic energy.  In this case it is the energy of mobs which tend to be very bitter energy.  He has created more riots than he can remember and constantly has some tums on him.  Life sometimes can be hard.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Bumble

Source:  Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Location:  Somewhere near the north pole
Threat Assessment:  A good seven it took a pack of dogs and guy with a pick to slow it down.
Limitation:  Poor dental hygene

Today's Secret Code:

Rain falls on the guilty and innocent alike and the wise man has his bumbershoot.  Again:  Rain falls on the guilty and innocent alike and the wise man has his bumbershoot.  Today's Colour is a raving orange creme.  Today's Author is building an arc.  That is all Telsa, maho maho.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Things You Need To Know #305

The doggones are a race of fairy pets.  They are very loyal and will stay with the Masters even after the death of one or the other.  Mind you that means they can be rather smelly, but what dog isn't?

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: The REAL Grinch

Source:  The Grinch That Stole Christmas
Location:  Up above Whoville.
Threat Assessment:  Well if he put himself to it he'd be as good as Lector, but since he's really just annoyed neighbor who wants everyone else to be as miserable as him he rates only a 3.
Limitation:  Can't get a read on good people until he has his heart enlargement.

Today's Secret Code:

If the house says get out then get out.  Again:  If the house says get out then get out.  Today's Colour is fluffy bunny golden brown.  Today's Author is sweating it out.  That is all and I will name you George and hold you and pet you, maho maho.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Never Trust a Monkey With Guns

Dust Up and The Dead Inside

I mentioned before IRS films.  Just another relic of the eighties.  A maverick bunch who took independent films to quirky, kooky limits.  They were aided and abetted by their ties to IRS records and the whole indie art scene.  I bring it up because both "Dust Up" and "The Dead Inside" remind me, at least in spirit, of the films IRS used to present.

Dust Up is set in the high desert of the mojave.  A place very familiar to indie film makers.  Here we have a hero with a dark past, an eye patch, and doing a lot of meditating outside his trailer.  His trusted friend is a true indian companion.  Together they do handy man work and get in trouble.  In this case they try to save a loser with a wife and child from a band of pretty much insane meth heads.  Led by Jim Jonesish ex vet they are mostly a fairly ineffectual lot (with the exception of Mr. Lizard), but there sure are a lot of them.  So in the end our heroes must band together and fight off methed off crazies.  It's a pretty exciting and bloody film that is balanced by dead pan dialogue like "Did you wash that?  I mean I dig the whole ear drum for an ear drum thing, but I can't live with an inner ear infection."

The Dead Inside is a bit more complicated.  It's a musical and it's sort of a horror piece.  Our heroes here are a couple.  One a writer the other a photographer.  They hate having to do their mundane jobs and sing about the joys of a zombie apocalypse.  Unfortunately the writer becomes possessed by a spirit and her soul mate now must try to save her... or fall in love with the new person inside her body.  As they sing their troubles they also flash back to her novel about zombies as a zombie couple tries to figure out how to get passed a locked door.

Neither film is perfect, and certainly low budget shows its seams here and there.  But on the other hand we should award those folks who try something just a little different.  So if you can dig something outside the box give both of these films a look.

Things You Need To Know #304

The Semblance haunts wherever mirrors have been broken in great numbers.  It can take on any form but still perfers the likeness of early queens of the silver screen.  If you glance into a reflection and see a beautiful woman in black and white behind you that is just the Semblance and the worst that will happen will be a wicked wink.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Mr. Lizard

Source:  Dust Up
Location:  High Desert
Threat Assessment:  6.  Actually more a villain than a monster, Mr. Lizard still has impressive teeth and a more than theoretical knowledge of combat.
Limitation:  Strictly a mook.

Today's Secret Code

What does a puzzle dream of other than to be whole.  Again:   What does a puzzle dream of other than to be whole?  Today's Colour is not listed in Carmines Contents of Cordial Colours.  Today's Author is not listed as any peerage or knighthood.  That is all Robin, maho maho.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Luno Fingroj

The Luno Fingroj
are a race of fighters
bred to seek
the weak points
The Masters
are no more

The Mid-Season Finale of The Walking Dead

First off can we stop this BS of mid-season finales?  I know they need the ratings and such but I would like to watch the whole darn season in one go not in fits and starts.  I don't want to wait three months to continue the story.  The only good thing is that it means that The Talking Dead is removed as well.  Never has there been more shameless, feckless fan wankage than that show.  It's commerials near the end of The Walking Dead nearly kill all the fun.

Now with that out of the way, let's talk about the good.  After a horrid second season the writers seem to have their pulse on what makes a show about creatures without pulses tick.  They've ramped up the despair, the pain, but also the action.  The show has become like a never ending war where any rest is as likely to produce a breakdown as a respite.  The show has also made characters we hated into compelling ones.  Carl was just a cypher in the second season and an annoying one at that.  Now he's grown up to be a little man of responsiblity, character, and definitely the ability to kick ass.  Is he sane?  He shot his own mom in the head, so let's just say therapy might be needed.  On the other hand shooting your mom in the head so she doesn't become a zombie is the new "normal."  Carl might just be ahead of the curve.

The show also gave us a good human villain in the form of the Govenor.  We've known he's crazier than bugs on a skillet, but he's also been shown to at seem to have feelings.  So we are if not conflicted at least presented with someone who isn't twirling his wax mustache.  Even Merle who was a one note racist in the first season has grown into a very fascinating person.  You don't dare trust him and you don't really like him, but you really want to know what he'll do next.

Ok, back to some bad things.  The writers still can't seem to write for female characters.  I had hoped that problem might have been solved with the death of Lori who was the most hated character up to that point.  Unfortunately, no.  Andrea has been written as if she's been given a lust lobotomy.  Seriously, I've seen women make dumb choices in the men in their lives but she takes the cake.  Also, I thought it was a joke among people in the chat rooms but last night episode seems to prove that there can only be one black man in Rick's group.  First T-dawg bought it when Oscar joined up and now oscar buys the farm the second a new black man enters Rick's prison.  Seriously folks, having two black men in your group will not be the end of the world.  Well, the world has already ended, but you know what I mean.

Overall, a good season so far and I want to see more. 

The Hole

Poor Joe Dante.  It hasn't been his decade.  He started his film career screaming hot.  Everyone loved Gremlins.  But something happened over the years.  A bit of bad luck here, a sense of doing the same old thing there, and suddenly he's no longer the talent stud Hollywood thought he was.  The Hole has been on the shelf for three years and is now finally released.  Usually that's the sign of a full fledged bomb with a lit fuse.  Is that the case here or is it another bout of Dante's unfortunate luck?

Honestly, I'll go with the second option.  The film isn't the greatest thing since a hot pastrami sandwich, but it's not bad either.  It's really a rather good spooky film for kids and that is certainly rare enough.  In fact, I sense that maybe that was one of the problem as it straddled that awkward place in horror movies between scooby doo and one's first slasher movie.

The film is about a small family moving into a small town and finding a "gateway to hell" (as the girl next door describes it) under their house.  The first part of the film builds nicely as the explore the hole as best they can.  Then there's a nice spooky bit in the middle punctuated by a nice over the top performance by Bruce Dern as Creepy Carl.  Then we get basically three different endings as each kid has to face their fears.

The film moves quickly (perhaps a little too quick) but it always has some time for Dante's shout out to other films.  Like there's a scene where the youngest kid puts a blanket over a demonic doll that's a direct reference to Poltergeist.  One other thing the film has time for is to work on the relation between the brothers.  It perfectly captures the deep love and casual cruelty that can exist between brothers.  On the one hand they are ragging on each other and throwing balls at each other's head but when the chips are down they will do anything for each other.  The kids are good actors and really sell the fear they are having as real and not Hollywood.

Really there's nothing wrong with the film at all, it just lacked that one extra dose of fairy dust to make it stand out. I do hope Dante's luck will improve.  He's made many films that have made me smile and I hope he makes more.

Things You Need To Know #303

A 507 is what you really need.  It's so fine, truly refined.  A 507 will bring you comfort and joy.  A 507 will bring you lovers and money.  A 507 is easy to use and only requires the sacrifice of hamsters.  If you want a 507 you will have to contact a free lancer and be sure to bring money, gold, myrrh, and now twinkies.  Remember, a 507 is what you want, what you need, what you must have.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: The Darkness

Source:  The Hole
Location:  A hole, in this case under your house
Threat Assessment:  7.  Able to see what you fear most and manifest it.  Wheeeeeee...
Limitations:  Seems a little sluggish you really have to bait fate to find it and be bothered by it.

Today's Secret Code:

Remember when stocking up for the apocalypse of your choosing that civilization's most lasting creations are soft toilet paper, beer, and twinkies and we've just lost one of them.  Again:  Remember when stocking up for the apocalypse of your choosing that civilization's most lasting creations are soft toilet paper, beer, and twinkies and we've just lost one of them.  Today's Colour is tomorrow's red.  Today's Author is yesterday's afterthought.  That is all Amy and don't fret, maho maho.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Giant Fire King Kupubookoo

Libriomancer and the Things I'd Take Out of Books

Libriomancer is a fun little book that strokes geek greed to insane degrees.  Our hero is one of the few people in the world who know how to do the arcane art of libriomancy which was first created by Gutenberg who's still around by the way.  The act is simple the libriomancer really gets into reading a book.  Later he can use that book as a portal and reach in and pull out anything that can come out of a portal the size of the book.  Later on the libriomancer is encouraged to put the booty back cause it tends to cause cracks in the universe.  The libriomancers consider themselves a force of good using their magic to protect us from things like vampires and to keep magic a secret.

Our hero might disagree with them but that's cause he's been put on short leash and made to promise not to do any more magic.  Instead he's stuck in a library cataloging books with either good booty or potential problems.  Suddenly a gang of glittery vampires (vampires come from books too and each series has its own species) gets up in his grill and he's about to be fang bait except for the help of a kung fu dyrad (don't ask long story).  After that he learns someone has kidnapped Gutenberg and his most powerful magic devices and is starting a war between vampires and libriomancers.  So our hero with a bunch of SF paperbacks and his helpful fire spider goes back into the field to save the day. 

I quite liked the book and I really love the idea of libriomancy.  Which got me thinking of what would I take out of the book.  Now remember the first rule is it has  to fit through the book so that rules out time travelling deloreans.   The second rule is generally anything sentient that comes through is driven barking mad so you better hold off before getting Aladdin's lamp.  Finally, not a rule but a condition of the art is not everything you can get you can use.  For example, Thor's hammer in the comic books (which of course are bound into graphic novel format) can only be lifted by Thor.  So it's not going to do you any good.  With all that in mind here is my list.

1)  Babel fish.  The hero in the book used them and it's a good idea.  Apparently either the fish doesn't have enough brain power to activate the second rule or a mad fish in your ear isn't going to do you any harm.  The great thing about babel fish is that they are instant translators so I'll always know what's going on.

2)  Psychic paper.  Almost as much fun as a TARDIS.  Psychic paper will let me pretend to be part of nearly any organization or have that last minute invite to the party.  Saves a lot of fights.

3)  The Love Magnet.  From the Wizard of Oz series.  It makes people look upon you with a most favorable light.  Again, why fight?

4)  Star Trek Phaser.  Well if you got to this is a great go to weapon to end a fight.  Has a great battery life.  Variable settings such a stun or kill.  It also doesn't have annoying technology that makes it a one person gun like the guns in Logan's Run.

5)  Cold Stick from Logan's Run.  On the other hand they had this cute little club that also freezes what it hits.  We have a lot of things to cause fire but few things I can carry around to cool my favorite soft drink.

6)  The Mandarian's rings.  Sort of a cheat here since there are ten rings, but I'm considering them a set.  Each ring has a different function such as matter disintergration.  Not only blinging but useful.

7)  Star Trek's cartoon life support belt.   Small enough to be worn under your clothes when you want not be conspicuous, but when you need what amounts to an instant space suit it's there for you at the touch of a button.  By the way there are novelizations from these toons so it won't be hard to find as long you can reach a second hand bookstore.

8)  Staff of Long Enough.  There are many versions of this from Dragonball to more traditional fantasy novels.  It's a staff that can shrink or grow to nearly any size.  Put it in your pocket for that rainy day.

9)  From D&D a Bag of Holding.  Nothing can be finer than having something to put the stuff you find in.  Perhaps not the most stylish but it gets the job done and barely weighs a thing even when full.

10)  Also from D&D a magic coin purse.  An odd choice but hear me out.  Everyday you open it and it has some copper, silver, and one or two gold coins.  Enough so you don't starve in the D&D world but not enough to get silly with.  Now here the currency itself is useless but melt down those gold and silver coins and you'd never have to work again given gold prices.

So what would you take out of a book?

Things You Need To Know #302

Dr. Wilcom has created, or rather distilled, the element of sorrow.  He keeps it small vials of purple quartz and the substance itself looks quite vile.  It's sort of a greenish brown with nearly electric glitter.  One vial could send an entire town into a deep depression.  The whereabouts of Dr. Wilcom are now unknown.  If you see him please contact either the CIA, the Vatican, or Doc Happy of Sunnydale.

This was something you needed to know.

Monster of the Day: Dennis Hopper Dinosaur Man

Source:  Mario Brothers
Location:  Alternate Earth
Threat Assessment:  6.  Controls a city the size of New York and has some high technology.
Limitation:  His goons have the intelligence of ....well ... goons.

Today's Secret Code

The shadow is just a trick of the light.  Again:  The shadow is just a trick of the light.  Today's Colour is pure purple.  Today's Author is burning up.  That's all, maho maho.