Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happiness In Slavery

I might stand corrected.

I love horror films, I think we've established that from the rant I posted last December, but really... I just want them to work. I want us to stop cannibalising old plots and films, I want us to move forward, and do something brilliant.

I want horror to be special again.

But I might stand corrected with a few of my points from the previous blog (Help Me. I Am In Hell) due to the fact that I've seen parts of the new Friday the 13th. And the thing is... it doesn't look bad. It looks... awful... but that's because in this day and age we can't take masked serial killers seriously.

I mean honestly, in Saw, Jigsaw, our villain/anti-hero, wears a pig mask and has a clown puppet called Billy. Those aren't scary (well they were in the first film, the scene with Cary Ewes in the parking garage and Jigsaw crawling out of the back seat... guh, and when the director does that irritating quick IN-YOUR-FACE cut/cut/cut shoot style...), they're funny. If you turn off the sound (ignoring the sultry tones of Tobin Bell) you've got this clown puppet yapping away. Horrifying-- Not.But we don't have masked serial killers walking the streets. No urban myths and legends really have those kind of terrifying figures (Obviously ignoring the Hook Man legend, but even then, he doesn't wear a mask, he wears a hook. Go figure) that instill fear.

Anonymity should be scary.

Films like When A Stranger Calls are scary because we don't know who the hell is doing what, and by the end of the film, we still don't. He's, like Michael Myers before him in Halloween, a "Shape", ethereal, ghostly, but when he strikes... he strikes hard and vicious. To be honest, the sequences without actually seeing the "Prank Caller" in When A Stranger Calls are the scariest. When we actually see him, he's a human being, and he's just there. Real. It looses something. Faceless serial killers are the best, in that we don't know who they are, or why they're doing what they're doing. Why is Jason killing? Because he nearly drowned and, oh, because of one the funniest quotes of the film: "Kill for mother!" Thank you Pamela Voorhees. And thank you, shades of Psycho (another film that brilliant in it's anonymity, and not diluted by the eventual reveal of "Mother" Bates)!

I don't like knowing why the killer is killing. Certain films work like that, "discovery horror", as I've just decided to call it, where-in the story is moved forward by a mystery, but others, not so much. I'm going out on a limb and declaring the remake of House Of Wax as "discovery horror", as we eventually discover the history of the Wax Town, the twins, etc, but what really matters is how fucking horrifying a lot of the murders are. How happy was I when Paris Hilton got skewered by a phallic symbol? Tres. One of the weaker murders, sure, but some of the events in that film were really bloody scary. The guy at the piano, his mate finding him, prodding his cheek and then-- oh, if you've seen the film, you know what I'm talking about. God. And Elisha Cuthbert's fingers!! Shit. That was a scary-ish film!

So Friday the 13th. I was a bit fanboy-ish outraged at the idea of Jason running. But now, thinking about it, so what? So what if he runs? That doesn't matter, does it? I mean, I may prefer my slow moving serial killers, Michael Myers, aka The Shape, the classic Voorhees... but fast moving can be scary too, in different ways. Freddy Kruger of Nightmare on Elm Street fame jumps around like a freaking ADD afflicted twelve year old, and he's terrifying, the "ugly clown", that glove, the close ups on his massacred face... scary as. The zombies in the remake of Dawn of the Dead and in 28 Days Later (one of the greatest British films ever made) too, are scary in a different way. They will get you. And there's no fun in that. I like zombies that loiter about and then won't stop till they eventually find you, moving in herds, never stopping, slowly but surely catching up with you. In Dawn of the Dead, they just... ran... and it was disappointing. Where was the suspense? Where was the horror?

But Jason Voorhees runs in Friday the 13th. And I don't know, really, I don't mind. I've not seen the entire film, I want to, sure, but I've not got round to it. As long as he doesn't, I don't know, dance about, I think I can be ok with it. So whilst I'm not a big fan of nu-horror, shallow and dilute as it is, I think I can abide it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

(Don't) Save the Whales

Only one blogpost in 2009? This is supposed to be our year, the year of Psychotronik and yet somehow the combined effort of like four or five individuals have only managed to produce ONE blog... and about BRUCE CAMPBELL? No offense to my Fearless Leader, but Bruce Campbell couldn't act his way out of a plastic bag. Why plastic? I hate the environment.

Where was I? Oh yes. The blog. I'm writing a blog right now.

So I should introduce myself in this thing in some fashion for all of those that read this blog and aren't already subscribing to my other blog, all one of you? I am Ramon Villalobos. I am the rabble-rouser of our dysfunctional little clan of comic book creators. There is no subject too insignificant for me to make a fuss over and then drag on until we all have forgotten what we argued about in the first place. That's my role.

At this point, I would usually ask you who you are, but given the format of this exchange, I'm going to leave that to my imagination. To me, you are a cockroach who is so fed up with life you have turned to a life of drinking spilt bear off the ground and have found some way to pound on the keys of the keyboard before you enough to surf the Internet and have stumbled upon this very blog with the hope that it will provide you some semblance of a reason to go on... some life force that will fill the void in your life so you can get your act together and go procreate cockroach style so that you will father the generation of cockroaches that survives nuclear annihilation and will inherit the earth after we humans have completely drove it to ruins. You will be the ancestor of all existence and your kind will evolve beyond my comprehension so that you will rocket away from this planet before the sun burns out and nothing is left of this very blog but the faint dissonant note of information that ring on in subconscious of your great great great great grandchildren and be encoded in their dna. And in that eventuality, I will live on too. That's who you are to me.

Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, I want to address a very important topic of discussion: Saving the Whales.

We've done too much of it. I know what you are thinking if you are on the liberal end of the spectrum, "but Ramon Villalobos, co-writer and artist of Frank and Elenore In... and artist of To Earth with Love, what are you saying? Whales are majestic creatures and we should preserve their species so that they can live noble peaceful lives undisturbed by human interruption!" Well you are wrong. Dead wrong. Why? Because we have to destroy the whales to further promote the evolution of OUR species. Let's be honest here, we are no radioactivevolved future cockroach, we are never going to figure out the key to realistic space travel so that we can leave this planet and inhabit another one. That's just not going to happen when people are mindlessly devoting their lives to religion and rejecting scientific advancement and the slaughtering of fetuses (fetusi?). We'll just never go that far.

So what will we do when we run out of space on earth and need to find new places to build McMansions and Super Wal-Marts? Well after we completely level those worthless rain forests that take up too much space and allow deadly viruses to spread and waste us off, we'll need to venture into the true final frontier. The ocean! It's so obvious of an idea, I'm surprised we are wasting time with NASA's failures and overspending and not putting valuably fleeting resources into underwater breathing technology! We could build whole colonies underwater that would theoretically function the exact same way as society does on land but with Atlantis motifs! Think about it, isn't that the future you want for your children and grandchildren!? (Not you roach, you come into play a little later)

Of course it is.

Why wouldn't you?

Are you some kind of inhumane aquaphobic monster?

I didn't think you were.

So anyways, that brings us back to those fucking whales.

When we eventually do go all Sealab 2020 we are going to have to face all sorts of oceanic wildlife that may not like us lighting up the blackness of the ocean depths and polluting the living shit out of their turf, or tide as the case may be. Among these, the creature I see presenting the most problems to us would be the whales. The sharks would be a threat sure, I think Jaws is overrated, but the threat they presented in the movie was legitimate, sharks are big and have lots of pointy teeth. But at the end of the day, they can be blown to smithereens by missiles and probably eaten as sea-burgers. Whales? They are the raging Goliaths that we will need far more than torpedoes and spears to kill. Once they realize what our intentions are, they will try to resist our hostile take over and use their sonic communication to communicate with one another and lead a revolution against us mammalian outsiders. We will fight bitter wars with them and they will eat our ships whole just like in Pinocchio, except we are not immortal wooden avatars of the child a lonely carpenter was never able to father, no-no, we are people and when people get consumed whole, the stomach acid of larger beast will kill us. Probably.

So what are we waiting for? We all know the day will come when we will have to fight these bastards, why allow the opportunity to grow larger armies and become more a advanced species as time creeps forward? It's arrogant to think the people we look down on and help out today won't try to compete against us in the future, look at Japan. Those kooky little fuckers have already built better cars and created legions of anime obsessed little demonic capitalists the likes of which our good wholesome, pot smoking American mallrats can never compete with in any capacity. Didn't you watch our version of Hole in the Wall? We suck at it and they are probably pretty decent! If that's not a test of superiority, I honestly don't know what is.

At any rate, lets not make the same mistake twice. Let's take any and all opportunities to kill off this fast growing race of water-mammoths while we still can do so with very little effort.

That is all.