Monday, December 30, 2013

Carp Fest 2013 -- Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin



COME ONE, COME ALL!!!
 
The 2013 Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin Carp Fest is in Full Swing!  T-shirts, funnel cakes, Carp kissing, Carp bowling, Carp revelry of any type imaginable...
 YOU NAME IT, IT'S ALL HERE! 
 
I FAIL TO UNDERSTAND, however, why they don't take the additional step of changing the name of the town from The Prairie of Dogs (Paririe Du Chien) to PRAIRIE DU CARPE. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

SHARKTOPUS!

 


RELEASE THE...WHAAAA?

YES LADIES, the review you've been waiting for is here at last.  SHARKTOPUS, the 2010 made-for-TV brainchild of STRICTLY HUMAN FILMMAKERS, who have come up with the finest horror chimera since DINOCROC, PIRANHACONDA and those ill-tempered MUTANT SEA BASS WITH THE FRIKKIN' LASERS ON THEIR HEADS.  I give you...SHARKTOPUS!

PLOT SUMMARY:  A hideous military experiment called S-11 unsnaps its MIND CONTROL HARNESS and goes on the rampage, focusing its loathing on the coastline of Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.  Why there?  Because the only man who can defeat the menace happens to be playing "tequila pong" there with the local bathing beauties.  BATTLE IS JOINED as the musclebound hero, flirting relentlessly with the pretty daughter of the mad scientist who created S-11, tries to get close enough to aim his grenade launcher at the monster -- not to kill it, but because (we are informed by the Mad Scientist) only a grenade launcher is accurate enough to allow the team to hit the SHARKTOPUS with the last of their precious mind control darts.  This will allow them to round up their military secret without losing all the money they've invested.  WILL ANYONE SURVIVE?

SOUND GOOD?  Yeah, that's what I said, too.

CLIFFIE'S NOTES:

>> Dude, if you thought Paul the Shark Guy in Hammerhead Shark Frenzy  was unseaworthy, wait'll you get a load of this.  They somehow sewed the head of a Great White onto the tentacles of a really, really big Octopus and then got the gill slits to sprout...javelins?  What are those spikes for, anyway?

>> I have absolutely no idea how this animal locomotes.  There is no Octopodal water siphon to jet the creature along, as far as I can see; there is no tailfin to provide the usual form of Shark propulsion. The arm fins are not modified to push water; they just steer the thing, the way the same fins would on a regular Shark.  It somehow just...moves forward.  I HARDLY NEED TO REMIND MY READERS that Sharks are ram ventilators.  How does it swim?  How in the everloving, blue-eyed world does it breathe?

>> How, for that matter, does it EAT?  Here we have the mouth end of a Shark sewn onto the mouth end of an Octopus.  Where does the food go?  Where is the GI tract?  I can't even FIND a poop chute.

>>  It gets crazier.  This animal, with no workable method of swimming, also climbs up on the beach, spidering along the sand on the tips of its tentacles.  It is mobile enough to spend quite long periods of time breathing air.  It's also limber enough to spear bathing beauties with the blades on the tips of its tentacles (!?!?!?).  It's strong enough to drag cars off cliffs into the water. 

>> But wait -- there's more!  This is the ONLY aquatic life form I've EVER seen that can walk on the surface of the water with its tentacles, somehow keeping a strong enough grip on the water's surface to lift heavy objects into the air without sinking -- like regular Great White Sharks and sizable motorboats.

>> I HARDLY NEED TO TELL YOU that the Sharktopus roars like a lion.  It roars underwater.  It roars on land.  I have no idea what the poor creature is trying to tell us. 

>> Maybe it is trying to alert us to the fact that in this movie, THE LAWS OF PHYSICS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED.  Not only is the monster tiptoeing along the sand on its blade-tipped tentacles, but at one point you see a little boy running panic-stricken along the surface of the water like a Jesus lizard.  Or maybe like plain old Jesus.

>> The Sharktopus has been modified, we are told, to be more aggressive than normal -- although I admit the normal level of aggression in an Octoshark is unknown to me.  It wants one thing:  REVENGE.  I would, too.

This movie would make an excellent double bill with, say, The Magnificent Ambersons.

SHARK NIGHT

 

WELL, THIS ONE WAS A REAL WHIZZBANGER!

This 2011 release, directed by David Ellis and starring A CAST OF KILLER SHARKS, was a delight to behold.  For a change!  The Shark recruiters closing in on Sara Paxton, Joel David Moore, Alyssa Diaz, Sinqua Walls and Katharine McPhee as they lark in the water LOOK LIKE SHARKS.  They SWIM like Sharks.  They prefer SALT WATER like Sharks.  They PUT THE MUNCH ON YOU like Sharks.  They CHOOSE THEIR HUMAN PREY, I MEAN RECRUITS, the way real Sharks do.  Now how many other killer Shark films can you say all these good things about, aside from Jaws, the holy of holies? 

OK, I never said it was flawless.   Here are the flaws:

CLIFFIE'S NOTES ON THIS MOSTLY-WONDERFUL NATURE FILM:

>> The Sharks are under the direction and control of landscum.  As anyone who worked on the set of Jaws can tell you, that NEVER works out in practice.

>> The Sharks have ONLY ONE GOAL IN MIND:  eat the landscum.  If you know Sharks the way I do, you know they AVOID that sort of stringy, ill-tasting meal WHENEVER POSSIBLE.  Humans are strictly EMERGENCY RATIONS to our sandy-skinned sisters.

>> The Sharks, like the cameras and the male characters in this film, focus almost exclusively on the jiggling rear ends of bikini-clad college students, as if there were NOTHING ELSE ON THEIR MINDS.  Oh, I beg to differ.  If only fish could laugh!

>> The Sharks in this movie...roar like lions as they close in on their screaming victims.  OK, you knew THAT was coming.  It never frikkin' fails with these Shaved Monkey filmmakers.

BUT WAIT!  THERE'S MORE!

>> The Sharks are recruiting awfully actively in the Louisiana bayou in this movie -- and even I had to stop and ask why the Gulf Coast was home to so many Hammerheads, Requiems, Makos, Great Whites and Cookie Cutters, as the humans insist on calling them.  The reason they reveal towards the end of the story would make a cat laugh.  But here's the thing -- it's NOT beyond the realm of possibility.  This is just the sort of thing you CAN'T put past a human.

>> While the Sharks are roaring like lions -- no, come to think of it, they sound more like Spot from the old Munsters sitcom -- the bypassed love interest in this story (a guy named Dennis) is seething with resentment towards the girl from his past.  Why?  Because Dennis -- a dead ringer for Casper Van Dien with his piercing eyes, broad shoulders and cheekbones that reach  from here to there -- is bitter because of his TRAGIC DISFIGUREMENT.  I looked and I looked and I couldn't even find an acne scar.  What was that about?

>> So, ultimately, WHAT WAS THIS MOVIE ABOUT, ANYWAY?  Sharks eating college students, is what.  Enjoy.  You'll love this one.  Be sure to share it with a friend.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Last-Minute Squidmas Shopping Idea

 

DEFINITELY my favorite t-shirt of 2013.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Secret To Our Success In Keeping Projects, Well, Secret!

 
 
 
 
 One of my operatives just quoted a line from a book to me:
 
"In the ocean, there are no street addresses." 
 
WELL, YEAH!
 
(Unfortunately, she did not tell me the name of the book, so...
Oh well. 
She did say the author is a New Yorker, if that helps.  The guy, I should add, lives almost entirely surrounded by water.)
 
Oddly, though, as we were listening to the NPR news quiz today, they mentioned another small point -- they said that someone looked up the address of Marlo Thomas's New Yorker character in the old TV sitcom That Girl, and discovered that she lived at the bottom of the East River. 
 
IS SHE AN OPERATIVE?  If you think I'm going to post that kind of information on the Internet, you're dreaming.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Johnny Gatorseed Strikes Again -- Right Here In Michigan!



SAYS HERE that the new Cajun Gator restaurant in Port Huron has hired Wally the Alligator as hostess/greeter. 
 
BE SURE TO DROP BY AND SAY HELLO.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I Just Heard This From One Of Our Michigan Operatives!



I apologize for the HIDEOUS photo, ladies, but bear with me here -- it goes with the legend just revealed unto me, your North American Conspiracy Zone Leader blogging out of the Detroit Metro area.

An operative who has part-time duty patrolling the Great Lakes with the Coast Guard just approached me in my watery lair in the secret sub-basement of the Manoogian Mansion.  She explains that many years ago -- presumably she was still largely human at that point, because she was at a New Year's party -- someone told her at this party that you should eat FISH after midnight at the New Year "because fish only move forward."

Now, that is JUST the kind of landscum superstition I LIKE TO HEAR.  (And it seems to have originated with Naked Apes, not fish, if you can believe that!!!)  Associating fish with forward movement and progress PLANTS A SEED in their little monkey brains.  Then, one day, one of our recruiting operatives shows up and shows them HOW IT'S DONE.  Next thing you know, the recruits are turning into fish themselves.  And we are that much closer to TOTAL WORLD DOMINATION.

Tip:  As you are spreading this delightful legend this New Year's Eve to your fully-human guests, make sure the recruiting operative you serve them is what they call a finfish.  Salmon, Trout, Tuna, even Shark are all fine.  But nothing with tentacles!   A few of the diners might realize that Calamari or even that traditional Squidmas dish, frutti di mare  salad, consists of fish who only swim BACKWARD.  Let's not confuse the poor dears.

Tip:  Same goes for Crabs.  They do almost anything BUT move forward.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

LAKE PLACID 2, 3, AND 4: THE FINAL CHAPTER

OK, I'm NOT going to belabor the few differences -- and the far-more-numerous similarities -- between the three sequels to the CLASSIC 1999 tale of the exploits of the FRUITS OF JOHNNY GATORSEED.  Let's just hit the highlights, so I can underline for my semi-aquatic readers what they need to notice as they watch.
 
 
 
 
Lake Placid 2 was released, to no fanfare I am aware of, in 2007.   I can't get the dang cover art to show up on my blog entry, so I'm serving up a nice screen capture instead... 
 
In the continuing tale of The Crocodiles of Aroostook County, Maine, John Schneider, of all people, is now sheriff -- and apparently he has never communicated in any way about the wildlife in Black Lake with Sheriff Keogh (played by Brendan Gleason in the first movie), who I assume was once his boss. The crocs appears to be more or less news to the hero of this movie.  Mrs. Bickerman (Betty White) has mysteriously disappeared, with all her livestock, from the little house by the lake.  At some point, Mrs. Bickerman's sister, "Crazy Sadie" Bickerman (Chloris Leachman), moved into the old place and is keeping it up.  At no point do they explain why a married woman and her unmarried sister have the same, fairly unusual last name -- unless Hector Cyr (played by Oliver Platt in the first movie) was righter than he knew about the pecadilloes of people from the woods of Maine.   
 
There are a lot more nekkid young adults in this movie, because come on, someone has to get eaten, right?  Otherwise, this is exactly the same movie as the first one.


This is the next, 2010, sequel.  And, yes, the Bickermans are back!  This time, a relative of Crazy Sadie's -- a treehugging type married to a citified realtor -- has come to check out the now-deserted homestead and see if they can sell it, despite a depressed market.  The first thing they do is bestow Sadie's stuffed toy crocodile on their red-headed misfit son... 
 
...And at this point I need to interject.  I am starting to really understand Mrs. Bickerman's comment in the first movie: "Incomplete records haunt me so."  They never explain whether the dad in this family is the child of Sadie (who was clearly childless in Lake Placid 2),  or the son of Betty White's character from Lake Placid, or maybe a relative of her never-seen husband or someone else entirely.  If he's Mrs. Bickerman's son, why does he only talk about his aunt and never mention his mom or dad?  What was he up to while his parents were disappearing?  If he's Sadie's son, why is he still not interested in the fate of his aunt?  In short, what manner of Bickerman do we have before us?  Are the Bickermans like the Addams Family, with everyone married to everyone even though they all had the same last name to start with?  Oh, it probably doesn't matter... 
 
WHAT YOU NEED TO NOTICE is that as soon as the mother's back is turned, the kid starts feeding the crocodiles meat stolen from the freezer.  Then he goes to the store to steal more for them.  We quickly learn that the lake is fairly teeming with the scaly operatives, and like the first set of Bickermans to find them there and Crazy Sadie in the first sequel, THIS KID IS DEVOTED TO THEM.  I also want you to notice that mom is distracted from noticing any of this by her laptop computer.  THIS LITTLE INVENTION, LIKE THE SMARTPHONE, HAS ALLOWED MORE SECRET COMMUNICATIONS TO GO ON BETWEEN FISH AND HUMAN THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN DECADES. 
 
THAT IS NOT TO SAY that fish are connecting to humans through Facebook or (chuckle) that other app called Plenty of Fish; it's simply that humans are so focused on their electronic screens that they do not notice that their partners, siblings, and children are turning into fish.  It is to laugh.  Onwards.
 
The sheriff in this sequel is played by Michael Ironside.  His position on the matter is that the crocs were all cleared out long ago, and anything you hear about it now is just backwoods legend.  HE GOT THAT WRONG! 
 
Watch for some great continuity errors in this movie.
 

 



Annnnnnd this one came out in 2012. At this point, utter confusion sets in.  The Army Corps of Engineers has been called in to build an electrified fence all the way around the lake.  The good townspeople have finally come to grips with the fact that there are so many killer crocs in the water that you can almost walk across their backs from shore to shore.   But -- where are we again, exactly?   At different points in the story they refer to the infested waters as Lake Placid, Black Lake and even a totally new name, Clear Lake.  Even the warning signs change the name of this lake from one scene to the next. 
 
And where is the Army in this story, exactly?  The guys brought in to build the fence are not from the Army Corps of Anything -- they are a civilian father-and-son team with emotional baggage, not unlike the baggage dealt with by the sheriff and her daughter.  Yes -- Black Lake, which apparently goes through sheriffs like wet Kleenex, now has a pretty blonde sheriff (Elizabeth Rohm) very much like the one you remember from Piranha 3-D (Elizabeth Shue).  This sheriff's daughter looks about 5 years younger than the sheriff herself and never goes out on dates.  Mom convinces her to go along on a swim-team barbecue, which for some reason includes a long bus ride through the woods and an overnight camping trip -- several nubile young girls, several horny young men -- and 2 MALE chaperones, one of which is the bus driver who gets them lost because he is too busy looking at Internet porn on his smartphone to notice where he's going.  That sounds like a recipe for some safe, wholesome fun, doesn't it? 
 
HOW THE CROCS STEERED HIM TOWARDS BLACK LAKE WITHOUT HIS KNOWLEDGE IS CLASSIFIED, SORRY.  HOW THEY KEPT EVERYONE ELSE ON THE BUS FROM NOTICING IS ALSO CLASSIFIED.  SORRY!

I CANNOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY A GROUP OF LOCAL KIDS -- AND THEIR SWIM-TEAM COACH -- DO NOT NOTICE AT ANY POINT DURING THIS CAMPING TRIP THAT THEY ARE AT THE WRONG LAKE.  NO FISH CONCEALMENT TECHNIQUE IS NORMALLY THAT GOOD.
 
While all this is going on, there is a group of poachers looking to cash in on the scaly fortune in the water, closing in with what appears to be the help of yet another treehugging research guy who thinks that "the world will be a lonelier place" if anyone kills the crocs. 

Nobody explains at any point why the poachers and the conservationists are working together.
 
One moment I love in this movie is the one where a guy BACKS into the electrified croc fence, dances the I'm Getting Electrocuted dance as all humans do in the movies, then falls dead to the ground -- with soot and wire marks ACROSS HIS FACE.  Dude, the wire never touched the front of his head! 
 
Then the piece de resistance -- ANOTHER BICKERMAN! 
 
The moral of these stories is THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ANOTHER BICKERMAN.  Similarly, JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO GO BACK IN THE WATER:  MORE RECRUITERS ARE WAITING TO GREET YOU.  No matter who the sheriff is, no matter what the lake is called and no matter the species of the recruiting operatives, there will be someone working to bring the Shaved Monkeys together with their finned, scaly, water-loving dream dates. 

Then the humans turn into fish, enter the sea and dwell with Dagon in wonder and glory forever.