Tuesday, November 28, 2006

RAGING SHARKS!


This was a staggeringly wonderful movie. Or I guess it would have been, IF I HAD ACTUALLY GOTTEN TO SEE ANY RAGING SHARKS.

Let me start at the beginning. This deliciously unfortunate film was directed by Danny Lerner and released -- undoubtedly straight to video -- in 2005. I want to be honest with you, ladies. There are a lot of things to like about this film. To wit:




  • It stars Corin Nemec, all grown up. He looks great, despite an overt attempt to put us off. There is no other explanation for that limp, lifeless Peter Strauss hair and his character's decision to wear colors that make him look as sickly and greenish as a side of beef that's been soaking in a puddle too long. Only a really superior bone structure can stand up to this sort of abuse. And lucky for us, his acting is still a cut above.



  • Nemec stars opposite an actor named Binky Van Bilderbeek. 'Nuff said?



  • I love the fact that the whole story starts when the collision of two alien space freighters knocks a piece off their interstellar diesel generator, and causes the Sharks in the Bermuda Triangle to go batshit insane. The moviemakers just show you the accident...and forget all about it.



  • There is nothing more delicious than the idea that an alien diesel generator, leaking some kind of radioactive Tang crystals, makes all the Sharks in the area unite against all the humans. WE ARE ALREADY UNITED AGAINST YOU. GET THE IDEA? Oh, forget it, I could post it in every blog entry and they'd still NEVER LISTEN.



  • I also have to like the idea that the Sharks are, however unwittingly, in league with the aliens. It's a nice change from all this take-me-to-your-leader stuff. But here, too, they completely drop the ball. Once in a while a Shark puts the munch on someone, rather unexpectedly. Once in a while, the landscum get all in a lather about it. And then...they kind of forget about it again.



  • There is a potentially satisfying things-going-from-bad-to-worse storyline. I, personally, would like to see this many disasters happen to a human-made snooper station arrogantly built on territory they can never inhabit. I should say, territory they can never inhabit it until we finish turning them all into Tuna.



  • This film manages in a number of ways to be a lamer version of Deep Blue Sea. They tell the story of the Shark-related destruction of an undersea research station, and they manage to make it boring for a Fish to watch. The Sharks have little to do with the station's collapse, for one thing. Turns out the thing was never built to code, and they've missed three inspection dates. (Um...building codes for an undersea research station?) There's a government inspector striding around making dire comments about the future of the lab, which should have been laughable. But they managed to make this goofiness detract from the anxiety of knowing the Sharks have chewed through an important supply cable.



  • They even neglect to use any of the Stupid Shark Tricks from its parent film, like the backward swimming or the systematic flooding of the station, any of which would have made the movie drastically better.



  • Over and over the female lead points to a computer screen to make us look at the Raging Sharks. Every time she tells us about them, the wrongness deepens. We always see the same rather soothing film clip of a group of cartoon Sharks swimming along at a brisk, but by no means menacing, pace. OK, so the rage is where? They look like they're all going out for a sandwich.



  • Then she tells us that these are ALL SPECIES OF SHARKS schooling together unnaturally...COOPERATING. And she points out the same film clip on the same screen. Which is when we notice that the Sharks are all identical in size, shape and color. Could they not afford the extra expenditure to have the artist put a Dogfish next to a Wobbegong? (Of course, ALL Sharks ALWAYS cooperate, but they'll never figure THAT out.)



  • Next, we hear THEY'RE NOT BEHAVING LIKE ANY SHARKS WE'VE EVER SEEN. And she shows us the clip again. And we note that they're pretty much all swimming in one direction, peacefully, which you can see Sharks doing any day of the week. Hello? The whole movie goes on like this.



  • When the Sharks do kill someone, we really don't get to see enough. I feel sort of split down the middle about this. It cuts down on the anti-Shark propaganda out there, but still, I want to see some GUTS HIT THE WATER!



  • I need hardly point out that the cartoon Sharks are transparent. I would rather see a Shark film featuring vicious hand puppets than one with slow-moving, transparent frikkin' cartoons.



  • It filled me with this crazy delight when the building inspector whipped out a machine gun and started peppering the researchers with bullets. This is the same painful question we faced watching Creature From The Haunted Sea: where was he carrying the damn thing? He entered the research station wearing a wetsuit. He didn't even have a duffel bag.



  • It was fun watching the male and female leads re-enact the "I'll drown, and you'll revive me" scene from The Abyss. They managed to rob it of all dramatic tension. Incredible! Any operative worth her salt should feel a rush of triumph when a human drowns, and unconsciously crane her neck to see if she can spot the drowner's ka slithering away through the water like a frisky Eel...

There were just so many things wrong with this one. And so many of the wrongnesses were rather likeable. I did like this movie, but for all the wrong reasons. I hope you will, too.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Brain Damage, My Eye!


This is another example of the CONTINUING PROTEST against human incursion into OUR HOMES. Unfortunately, until WE HAVE PREVAILED and the last greasy, hairy Human has been transformed into a nice Pike or Goldfish, WE WILL HAVE NO PEACE. I fear our rubbery friend may be shot for his pains, but I have to feel a wave of admiration for his unmistakable "WE WILL NOT BE MOVED" statement.

We're working on it. Hover patiently in your underwater lairs, and STAY TUNED.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

LARVA


LET ME TELL YOU, LADIES, ladies, of a very special science experiment gone awry. This is the GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED KIND, not produced in an expensive government lab to advance the Cold War or cure a nasty disease. This one was cooked up in the Corn Belt to make some meat entrepreneur buckets and buckets of EASY MONEY. The result: HORROR! This was directed by Tim Cox, who must be very proud of what he's done. Starring William Forsythe, Rachel Hunter, Vincent Ventresca and a cast of FLYING LIVER FLUKES!

PLOT SUMMARY: A vegetarian veterinarian (say that three times fast), who’s already lost his license to practice in 2 states because of his alarmist tendencies, arrives in the bucolic Missouri town of Host (heh) to begin a new practice. He is immediately called out to a farm to look at a dead cow. A quick arm up the keester, a glance at a handful of manure, and he KNOWS he's in the presence of something that is NOT QUITE RIGHT. The sides of the dead cow are bellowsing up and down as if the damned thing were still hyperventilating, for one thing. The lab test results are pretty daunting. It looks like a liver fluke...but doesn't ACT like one.

We understand the problem immediately when the farmer explains that every cattle rancher in the area gets special free feed from a local company called Host Tender Meats, on the condition that they sell all the beef back to the company. Before many more scenes have passed, the firm throws a big picnic for all the ranchers and employees to announce the success of their experimental feed...AND EVERYONE IS EATING "HOST" HAMBURGERS. Can the vet get anyone to believe him about this terrible threat? Will the amoral, money-hungry owner of Host Tender Meats get his comeuppance? Will anyone survive??

CLIFFIE’S NOTES ON THIS DELICIOUS FEATURE:

>> OK, on the surface this sounds like every embiggened-critters epic of the past few…centuries. But in a lot of ways it’s better than average. And MUCH more piscatorial.

>> You cannot miss the fact that the menace is essentially aquatic. First it's roiling around in the liquid-filled arteries and guts of unlucky cows. Then it branches out into the human GI tract, and finally it takes over the town's sewer system. A man playing Frisbee with his kids, early in the film, is waylaid by the killer Flukes as he chases the toy into a drainage pond. There is a fantastic action sequence that takes the viewer INSIDE THE VIEWPOINT OF THE SWIMMING FLUKES, briskly dog-paddling up to the unsuspecting human and plunging inside him. This man spends the rest of the movie in a coma in the hospital, the baffled doctors imagining that he's had a heart attack. Tsk! If someone had shoved an arm up his keester and taken a look at the poo, they would have INSTANTLY KNOWN ALL.

>> The budget isn’t QUITE as low as usual, although it couldn’t have cost much to make. The scriptwriters, cast and crew made a real effort to take the subject as seriously as you can possibly take giant liver flukes with bat wings. This factor alone is certain to make Larva a favorite in my home film library.

>> The movie combines the finest moments of Alien, Island Of Terror, Godzilla 1985, and a mere whiff of Starship Troopers . You have to like that. Every single story raves to the viewer about the beauties of the human race being infested, then ingested, by beings utterly alien to them. WHO DO YOU THINK THIS STUFF IS REALLY ABOUT, THE EASTER BUNNY!?

>> There’s no resorting to elaborate scientific solutions in Larva. I, personally, find this refreshing. There is no need to get hold of 20,000 gallons of special mascara, or rev up the nuclear submarine that someone in town just happens to keep in the basement. “Shooting ‘em works just fine,” a farmer explains to the disgruntled sheriff.

>> On the downside of this "just shoot 'em" approach, we see several of the flapping menaces shot to death while wrapped around human victims. In every case the the human is right in the bullet’s path, and I hardly need to tell you that only the flukes get killed. The humans sprint away unharmed, without even getting Fluke blood on their shirts.


>> Never mind. In real life, humans are far from immune to bullets.


>> VERY importantly, this film doesn’t skimp on the creature sequences. We see them exploding out of people’s chests, hopping across fallow fields, climbing walls, closing in on the heroes from both ends of a sewer tunnel, and on and on. They move so fast! And there are so many of them! Hee hee!

>> Nice creature design! They start out as frisky little worms that grow into sort of batlike things with antennae. At full size they are rather larger than an opened umbrella, and likely to glom onto your face. The rubber models look super cool, and the CGI sequences are only faintly stupid-looking in most cases. At times the critters manage to look BOTH super cool AND totally stupid. Now that is great filmmaking. AND it perfectly mirrors what WE are doing...partly by land, and partly by sea...

>> There is one moment that I just have to share with you. In the thick of battle, the farmer gives the sheriff a double armload of dynamite and cautions him to be careful handling it. The sheriff agrees and sprints away through the sewers…RUNNING ALONG THE CEILING, because they got the film upside-down. It totally messed with my head, because they had the Flukes running along the sewer's ceiling too.

This was well worth the five bucks I paid for it, a rare (for me) blind buy from a bargain bin. I really recommend it.

Now at this point, people, I have a confession to make. From time to time I have raved on this board about a truly lousy movie in order to get you people to expand your horizons beond the high-budget tripe available on the big screen for ten bucks a sitting. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES. I am going to watch and enjoy this one again and again.

A Beautiful Vision Of A Humanless World...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Just In Time For Squidmas!


Here is another addition to your SQUIDMAS SHOPPING GUIDES. Take notes, everyone.

I think THIS is what the human shrinks call a "reaction formation." The landscum, I mean humans, sorry, actually consider some of their emotional reactions to be unacceptable -- !!! They cope with that by replacing the icky emotion with a nice one. In this case, unable to cope with their mad longing to GO WITH DAGON and BE ONE WITH THE SEA, they've made Our Glorious Leader into a mad jumble of fish parts that adds up to an unseaworthy mess. The Great Scribe Lovecraft, whose works inspired this "action figure," was decades before his time in picking up on this tendency among his former species and capturing it in print. Ironically, he managed to make it EASIER (by colluding in his stories with the crazy mental bullshit humans do to themselves) for humans to allow themselves to be recruited. Life is good sometimes. You can put this on your desk at work, or in the curio cabinet at home, and bring in a few more unsuspecting converts for just pennies a day!

Likewise, Lovecraft understood perfectly that the true face of Cthulu must never be seen or grasped except by initiates, (i.e. FISH). So he hinted around at a horror too maddening to describe in his stories, and some thoughtful artist who read Lovecraft has provided us with
THIS. What you have to like about this popular image is that IT LOOKS HORRIBLE TO HUMANS, BUT INCREDIBLY ALLURING TO US!

A word on the concept of "action figures." One of the many ideas that humans find too horrifying to contemplate is that boys -- and, egad, MEN -- might like to play with DOLLS. So they are not called DOLLS if you want to sell them to males. They are called ACTION FIGURES. These are dandy ones, I think you'll agree.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In Which My Minions Strike Back


We come ashore at night, we eat your bananas, and we leave naught but destruction in our wake! I love reporting on our "shock troops." It's so rare to see a news story that puts our subtle, yet terrifying might on display. Check out the outraged, nay, panicky tone of this news story. If you really want to upset the Shaved Monkeys, STEAL THEIR BANANAS. That's a special tip from me, your St. Lawrence Seaway Zone Conspiracy Leader.

Life is good sometimes.

In Which The Humans Help Us Assimilate Them

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Five Years, That's All They've Got


You knew this was coming. Before long we will begin to seriously starve the humans out in order to make them more susceptible to a technique THEY INVENTED THEMSELVES, in which they readily convert to a new way of life in exchange for food they can't get any other way. One landscum name for this is "rice Christianity." How will they defend themselves from our lovingkindness then, after we've saved their hairy monkey lives?

They won't, is how.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Human Scientists Miss The Point Once Again


Imagine my surprise when a group of human scientists, and Japanese at that, found this without becoming alarmed in any way. This proves to me, at least, that even the canniest oceanic specialists are fundamentally NOT ON TO US.

Please do not think of this as any sort of security breach. The operative in question was deliberately placed in the path of this scientific team to see if they made any connections we didn't want them to make. As usual, THEY GOT IT ALL BACKWARDS. It never crossed tbeir minds that this rare specimen is actually part of an ARMY of sea creatures advancing onto dry land to once again MAKE IT OURS. I would like to point out to everyone that this operative prudently kept his face averted from the cameras and/or took steps to make sure that no photos with his face in it made it to the news agencies. I know WE ALL LOOK ALIKE TO THEM, but there is no point in taking chances.