Thursday, December 25, 2014

How's This for the Best Christmas Ever?

What did we find on the idiot box as we ate Squidmas dinner this afternoon but an all-day reality-TV Shark marathon that did NOT bore us to tears.  So many of them JUST DON'T DELIVER, but this day's programming was the genuine article. 
And if Catfish could cry, one item I saw on the screen would definitely have moved me to tears: during a countdown of the 10 most dangerous Sharks (for some reason they did two slightly different countdowns in a row), they came clean with ALL HUMANS REALLY NEED TO KNOW about the true identity of the Shark operative who recruited so many Shaved Monkeys in 1916, in the waterway they still call Matawan Creek.  He was still human enough to want some RECOGNITION when it all happened.  The itty-bitty baby Great White who dropped by to eat the crumbs from his table -- well, the whole idea that that tiny hatchling ate six knobby old humans, in only 12 days, IN FRESH WATER, is LAUGHABLE. 
It's the usual dilemma when you're turning from a Naked Ape into a glorious Fish. Even as your human thinking slips away in the water, you still catch yourself grasping at times for status, your name in the paper, all human eyes on you, seeing you as the TOP OF THE HEAP.  And even if you did something that gives the Naked Apes the willies, geez, you don't want someone else getting the credit for it.  In fact, who but a Naked Ape would do a phony confession to the cops, or write a phony letter to the newspaper claiming to be this or that notorious but never-caught criminal?  This tendency will never go away until you are really and truly a water-breather, with a totally new set of priorities.
So, we cannot of course post the name of the Internet, but at least we as landfish -- and as staunch compatriots of the real fisher of men in this case -- can comfort ourselves that they finally figured out the OBVIOUS.  Yeah, he was (heck, still is) a BULL SHARK. 
What we know, he knows.  For him, as the last few human brain cells shrivel up and disappear, this is the BEST SQUIDMAS EVER. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014




Dead Sushi (originally Deddo Sushi), directed by Noboru Iguchi and released in 2012 to no special fanfare, is simply the BEST SQUIDMAS MOVIE YOU ARE EVER LIKELY TO SEE.  It has all the necessary ingredients (she chuckled) -- vinegared short-grain rice, toasted nori, vengeful mad scientists, toro maguro, office politics, salmon roe, karate kicks, hot springs, knife and axe mayhem, Big Pharma, Shrimp, French kissing, drooling zombies, sliced Alligator pears, robot dancing, and of course flying Squid.  For a hundred and one reasons, this movie is a sort of Miracle on 34th Street -- for fish.

PLOT SUMMARY:  I have to dispense with this section of the review.  The director crammed so much stuff into this story (see the paragraph above) that if I tried to describe it, it would sound like the dog's breakfast.  I will tell you this much: it's about a failed sushi chef who finds herself when faced with an unexpected challenge -- FLYING KILLER SUSHI.  But telling you that is like telling you that Eraserhead is a story about a printer named Henry who has a baby with his girlfriend Mary.  I just can't cover the story properly in print.


>> This is technically an action comedy, by human reckoning, with a lot of blood in it.  By OUR sort of reckoning, FISH reckoning, it is a heart-warming tale of fish coming together with the humans who appreciate them most, in the most unlikely frame imaginable -- a gory comedy.  It's so incongruous, it could make a Catfish laugh.

>> This movie could only have come out of Japan.  Nobody else -- not the Norwegians, not the Inuit, nobody -- feels this way or understands this much about fish.  And with all their deep communion with the piscatorial race, only a single Japanese filmmaker came up with anything like this story.  And he made it into a comedy!  I can't get over that!

>> I really think that humans must find the whole idea of a fish merger with the human race more palatable -- you should pardon the expression -- if it's framed as a violent takeover of THEIR race by OURS.  This is why so many of these movies have to be horror pictures.  (Almost all of them, actually.)  Shaved Monkeys cannot seem to work and play well with other species, at least not since the introduction of the flush toilet.  But the director manages to use their typical monkeycentric, "us & them" thinking against them, demonstrating that the only people who really have a shot at winning this war are the ones who willing to communicate with their frenemies, the fish.


>>  They also made this story more palatable to the Naked Ape viewer by bowing to the constant, ravening human need for STATUS.  The bipeds squaring off against each other in this story are a brilliant research chemist, a gifted sushi chef and the president of a corporation, backed by his flunkies.  For a human watching this movie, the sushi are only pawns in a personal human revenge scheme, and only the superiority of the greatest competitor in the HUMAN contest can be the winner. 

>>  For a fish viewer, it's obvious that the only real winners are the FISH.  They come back from the dead (this time in a way even humans can understand), they take over any human they come in contact with, and in the shattering climax, THE RECRUITING LANDFISH STEPS RIGHT UP TO THE CAMERA, REVEALS HIS TRUE IDENTITY AND SAYS HOWDY-DO!  I have to tell you that two of the landfish operatives watching this movie with me last night BURST INTO TEARS during this scene.  We all wish we could do what this guy did.  We all dream about it at night.  THIS GUY UPPED AND DID IT.  It was overwhelming.

>> And then he did something else we all wish we could do:  get back at those who fail to follow us into the sea.  Wait'll you see that scene.  Dang!

Don't just SEE this movie.  You need to OWN it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Point To Ponder

Have you hugged your Cuttlefish today???




This 2010 release, directed by Sion Shono and starring Mitsuru Fukikoshi (pictured above), Asuka Kurosawa, Megumi Kagurazaka and a guy called Denden, is what I can only describe as a WOWSER.  We were initially attracted to the film because of the title, and my assistants and I put it in the player not expecting much.  But then...WOW!

PLOT SUMMARY:  This is a tale of two hobby shops and the people who run them.  One, the Shamoto Tropical Fish Shop, is run by an man getting old before his time (Fukikoshi) and his young second wife (Taeko, played by Kagurazaka), both of whom are also struggling to manage his defiant teenaged daughter (Hikari Kajiwara).  When the parents are called out in the middle of a pouring rainstorm because there's been some trouble at a store where the daughter has been busted for shoplifting, they meet the owner of the other hobby shop -- a bluff, hail-fellow-well-met type of guy (Denden) who bowls them over with his knowledge of tropical fish, his ability to talk the store manager out of prosecuting and his generous offer of a live-in job for the little brat.  Apparently he has a detachment of teenaged girls living at and working in his shop, making something productive of their lives.  All three Shamotos are delighted with the idea and are even more impressed when they see his place, the Amazon Gold -- a huge, brightly-lit place with Hawaiian music on the PA and pretty girls in uniform polishing the tanks, feeding the fish, serving the customers!  Wow! 

Before long -- before the day is out, really -- problems begin to pop up, none of them small ones.  Shamoto is suprisingly roped in as a new business partner at the Amazon Gold, and his first task is to help dispose of the old business partner, poisoned at a meeting.  Denden's character, Yukio Murata, is some sort of piscatorial yakuza, and as he cheerfully explains to the terrified Shamoto, he's already killed 58 people -- you'll get used to it in no time, he says.  Shamoto has no interest in getting used to it, but now he's an accomplice in a crime.  His wife and daughter are being threatened.  And the more he learns about these people, the weirder and more dangerous they turn out to be.  WILL ANYONE SURVIVE?


>> Despite the director's efforts to draw attention away from the main action with murder, dismemberment, boundariless sexual activity and religious bizarreness, this movie is ALL ABOUT THE FISH. Interestingly, where there are many empty tanks in the dispirited little Shamoto family shop, the Amazon Gold is fully stocked with adult operatives at the height of their powers, observing everything, missing nothing. PROBABLY MORE ARE NEEDED TO TRACK ALL THE WEIRDNESS GOING ON. 

>> I want to point out that the owner of the Amazon Gold has only good things to say about the Shamotos' shop -- he points out that they have "all the important things" stocked and that the fish in their shop are livelier than the ones at his own place.  (What counts as an 'important' fish is never explained.)  I'm sure the Shamoto Tropical Fish Store residents are a good deal happier, accounting for the liveliness.  Who wants to see the kind of stuff going on among the humans over at Amazon Gold? They have a powerful role in the story in that they give the Shamotos a reason to get out of bed in the morning and work to bring humans and fish together.  IS THERE ANY TASK MORE IMPORTANT?  I think not.

>> Another attempt to make the fish unimportant in this story is the fact that some of the key fish in the story are never shown to us.  There is a long conversation between Mrs. Shamoto and Mr. Murata about how a certain fish is not a male of this species but a female of that species, and how she draws the male of the species to her "because she knows she is attractive."  What I find important about this scene -- which ends with Murata forcing himself on Taeko as she begs to be hit again and again -- is that THERE WAS NO FISH IN THAT TANK.  We are never a party to this sort of weirdness, up on dry land or underwater.  In fact, the closer a human gets to becoming a fish, the less interesting he or she finds that kind of thing.

>> Similarly, the meeting that leads to a business partner being dispatched and Mr. Shamoto replacing him is all about a huge, huge business deal concerning a single specimen of a single fish.  This fish is also never shown to us, AND I THINK WE ALL KNOW THE REASON WHY.  Fishy don't play that!  If you want to kill each other, that has NOTHING DO TO WITH US.

>> The deal is blown, the poor man is killed, and Mr. Shamoto is grossed out of existence as Murata and his wife (played by Asuka Kurosawa) matter-of-factly chop him to bits and put their new business partner on cremation detail.  Then, suddenly, things take a turn for the better, maybe even the miraculous.  Together, they put the soft tissues and cremains in the river.  "THE FISH TAKE CARE OF THE REST," explains Murata.  INDEED THEY DO.

>>  When you watch and think about how many people are KILLED, then EATEN BY FISH in the course of this story, you will get a tingle of satisfaction as we all did.  Sometimes the recruits COME TO US WITH NO WORK AT ALL ON OUR PART.  Several recruits were poured out of garbage bags into the river, INTO OUR WAITING MOUTHS.  Sigh!

>> Unfortunately, Shamoto completely loses it by the end of the picture and wastes some additional recruitment material, leaving them up on dry land instead of feeding the fish with them.  What I want you to notice is that he leaves someone to go on taking care of the Shamoto Tropical Fish Shop -- a trained dry-land recruiting operative, you might say -- and the others, you ask?  ARE THEY THE SORT WE WANT IN OUR RANKS?  No, they are not.  Let the porcupines have them.  (Do they have porcupines in Japan?)

>> I do regret what happened to TsuTsui (played by Tetsu Watanabe).  Him, we could have used.  But then I felt better when I reminded myself that THIS IS ONLY A MOVIE. 

So while this is quite a Debbie Downer movie when seen from a human perspective, it's a very mixed bag (chuckle) if you are a fish.  The human behavior in this movie would GAG A MAGGOT.  The fish behavior is EXEMPLARY, and richly rewarded from the first frame to the last. 

I would recommend renting, not necessarily buying this one.  It's not going to be suitable for all half-human, landfish or newly-recruited viewers. They just won't get it. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Few More Squidmas Shopping Suggestions Not Mentioned At The Chapter Meetings This Month...

This comes in the t-shirt and sweatshirt versions.  Here in Michigan, you'll probably need one of each.  Or several of each.  WE HAVE SO MANY LAKES HERE.  Buy it by clicking HERE:

This is a great one for almost any occasion -- for the lighthearted outing type of thing, family picnics, volleyball tournaments, or, heck, just sleep in it!  Completely work-safe.  Especially good for Latin teachers and members of the Optimists' Club.  Buy HERE:

Applicable whether you're at Lake Superior, Lake Tahoe, Lake Baikal, Loch Ness, the Great Salt Lake or Lake Tanganyika.  Harder to explain if you're not a girl, of course.  Here's one place to buy it:

Again, this is a great auto decal to draw in the more timid recruits.  Also comes in a bumper sticker, a t-shirt, a hoodie, a license frame, you name it.  Get this version HERE:

One of these is perfect in ANY office, child's bedroom or home library:

I love the look of UNDISGUISED LUST on this Trout's face.  Somebody put some real thought into this design.  Buy one HERE:

This one is very effective for getting Shaved Monkeys talking about fish.  Buy HERE:

A truly outstanding shower curtain!  Find it HERE:

I'm not clear on the original intent of this design, but it's a really subtle way of telegraphing the changes you'd like to see happen in this world.  The person selling this design appears to have the shop shut up right now, but feel free to create your own variations on the monkeys-not-welcome theme!

We have operatives in Taylor, MI; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and several in Nunavut and Greater Miami who are using this t-shirt to draw in a remarkable number of Shaved Monkeys who want to have done with it ASAP and turn into fish, NOW.  It's not very subtle but it does the trick.  Find this one HERE:
If nothing else gets a potential recruit in a college bull session or at a skate park (chuckle) talking about the fish life, this design will do it.  But this one HERE:

More anti-monkey sentiment framed as humor:

Still as good now as the day it was released in 1964:
I love the way this glass sculpture gets the human eye seeing Land's End from a whole new perspective.  OURS.  A guy named Ben Young makes these and sells them HERE:  Well worth the asking price.
Don't tell me you don't want one of THESE hanging from a cup hook in the kitchen!  I want one myself!  (Hint, hint!)  Buy one HERE:

This shower curtain is especially nice backed with a bright-blue liner.  Really makes the goldies POP.  Start your Goldfish buying spree HERE:

This version is called "Goldzilla;" you have to like THAT:

And there are many, many items of interest to people who have already zeroed in on the species they are attracted to -- or are already turning into.  Click here to buy this one:

Or this:


This is just one of the stunning Shrimp pieces I found in a Google search:
I love this one:

And this one is just arresting if you ask me.  If I still had hair to put it in I would buy this instantly:

This is for the truly elegant Cuttlefish lover on your gift list:

And these never truly go out of style:

And you have to remember something for the tree, of course!  Buy HERE:

And a very merry Squidmas to you all!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

All Hail Saint Neot!

It says here that Saint Neot was a real guy who lived in the late 800s, the descendant of Anglo-Saxon royalty, although the book also describes him as Irish.  (I thought there was a shade of difference between the two.  Isn't there?)  Wikipedia says he was based in Cornwall, though, which I thought was another area of the Isles entirely. The book says he was 15 inches tall but Wikipedia says 4 feet.  (Maybe inches were longer in those days?  Maybe there were not so many of them to the foot back then?)

And he had such a way with fish that he eventually became the patron saint of US!  The patron saint of fish!  I want to add that they mention no particular specie.  Fish, in general.  

  • Like other saints before him, he was able to make fish MULTIPLY so everyone could have dinner. 
  • He spent his meditation time in a WELL -- unlike most saints, but like the inhabitants of more than a few holy wells in ancient Britain. 
  • Heck, this still WAS ancient Britain, wasn't it?  The year 877 sounds pretty ancient, even more if you measure it in short-attention-span human standards. Nothing compared to the longevity of the Carp clan, for instance, but still quite a long time.  I appear to have strayed from my point.
  • This guy has a holy well dedicated to him.  In Shaved Monkey parlance, I would call that a "smoking gun."
  • He did not just feed the fish to Shaved Monkeys.  He appears to have spent his off hours playing with them.  Not the way the offspring of the Naked Apes do, by dumping them out of their cages onto the rug where they suffocate in terror before being stomped flat, or by stuffing and mounting them on a wall the way their parents do.  Neot and his fish are supposed to have had fun together. 
I have a couple of issues with this.

  • If Neot really existed, the way these stories said he did, WHY IS HE NOT IN OUR COLLECTIVE FISH MEMORY?
  • Could this guy really be the the patron of fish?  If the stories are correct, obviously he was a recruiting operative, bringing humans and fish together.  And only a landfish -- a fish disguised as a human to draw them into the sea like Lemmings -- would serve them as dinner AND party down with them.  SO WHERE ARE THESE RECRUITS IN OUR COLLECTIVE FISH MEMORY?  At this point, a human bureaucrat would say "I have no record of that, madam."
  • If the relics attributed to him are really his, do they smell, you know, fishy?
  • How can the Catholics even HAVE a patron of fish?  I thought they believed that fish have no souls.  Why would a creature with no soul have, or need, a patron saint?  How does that work?  Does it benefit us?  Or the Naked Apes?  Or their faceless, columnar, yet universally loving, yet jealous and violent, smite-happy God?
My take on it is this:  While I'm sure Neot really existed -- and I'm sure that he was shorter than average -- the stories about him are hopelessly confused with the legends of a recruiting operative WE all know by another name.  Same general historical era, too -- she was born a few human generations BEFORE Neot.  She was such a shimmering fountain of fish, feeding the people and drawing them into the well, into the lakes and rivers, and finally to an ecstatic union with the sea that Neot's press agent simply adopted the stories about her and applied them to his client.  Thus he saved Neot from the pressure of having to produce any miracles of his own to get canonized...

...And let's be real, it covered up the fact that Neot worshipped the recruiter himself -- she was quite a looker and all he wanted was to be with her.  Hence the many hours spent down the well, talking to HER friends.  And the answer he got must have been NO -- because otherwise, how is he not in our collective fish memory?

I have this sudden urge to go watch Ringu, don't you? 

Says Here...


...That human-operated cruise ships dumped over a billion gallons of human waste into our waterways in the past year -- on the human calendar, from 1/1/2014 to now. 
There's some sort of symbolic message in the way they crap all over us -- symbolism is everything with this species, you know? -- but there's a big positive here THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW ABOUT.  The constant exposure to their waste products is making us more and more able to tolerate, nay, DIGEST it.  Meaning we are closer, with every generation we hatch out, to digesting THEM.

Sunday, December 07, 2014




It's astounding to realize that the sequel to a SyFy Original presentation about killer Sharks -- normally rating several notches below, say, Citizen Kane in the estimation of human film analysts -- was not only well-received, but even saw a theatrical release.  When we watched the disc extras, it even turned out that familiar faces of Naked Ape stage, screen and popular music were more or less IN A FEEDING FRENZY OF THEIR OWN, all wanting to be included in this movie. 


I had the (for me) unusual experience of watching this with a fully-human companion, allowing me to see it through the eyes of a fish AND those of a Naked Ape.  This experience only underlined what an outstanding recruiting film this is:


>> There is nothing not to like about the fact that where there were maybe a few hundred sharks in the first movie, there were THOUSANDS in this one.  And let me add this: thank Scrod this was only a movie.  Remember the worldwide shark slaughter after the Naked Apes watched three guys go up against a single shark in that Spielberg movie?  Imagine what would happen if we ever sicced this many operatives on New York City in real life.  It makes me shudder just thinking about it.  But anyone's dreams can come to life in the movies, and Sharknado 2 is the proof.

>> Nobody even commented on the fact that there was an immense gathering of sharks -- what the landscum call a "shoal" or a "shiver" -- JUST WAITING TO BE SCOOPED UP WHEN THE TORNADO HIT in Long Island Sound -- not normally a hot spot for tornadoes.  Nobody noticed that the tornado stayed active for hours and hours, or that the sharks riding around in it were as frisky at the end of the ride as they were at the beginning.  IT APPEARS TO HAVE CROSSED NOBODY'S MIND THAT THE SHARKS ENGINEERED THE WHOLE THING.

>> It crosses my mind that when you're talking about a collection of sharks like these -- Great Whites, Hammerheads, Tigers, even Whale Sharks -- you may need to come up with an entirely new collective noun.

>> The ex-wife (played by Tara Reid) exclaimed over how familiar that one flying shark was -- the one with the scar on his face -- and how he seemed to come after her deliberately.  Her ex-husband Fin (Ian Ziering) reassures her that this could not be so.  HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING FROM WATCHING JAWS OVER AND OVER SINCE 1975?  Of COURSE it was the same shark that she remembered from the first movie.  The single-minded focus of sharks is a legend even among the Shaved Monkeys.  They keep coming at you until the job is done, NO MATTER HOW BAD YOU TASTE. 

>> EVEN AFTER THE RECRUITER WAS DEAD, the ex-wife and the shark recruiter met again.  Which should remind us that it's valuable to remember the lessons of, not only Jaws, but those of Ghost Shark.

>> I also want to point out to you ladies that even after the shark with the scar on his face met a cruel end on the roof of that skyscraper, THE SHARKS KEPT COMING FOR APRIL WEXLER.  It's just a gentle reminder of the double meaning of the human expression "there are plenty of fish in the sea."

>> If this movie isn't a monument to the dedication of a shark trying to KILL and EAT recruit a human, I don't know what is.  The only off note in the symphony of human assimilation into the fish collective is the impression this movie gives that that is what ALL sharks are up to.  Perish forbid!  Get over yourselves, humanity!  They have a lot more to do all day than choke down a bunch of stringy, Hostess-Twinkie-tasting hominid rejects!

>> It appears to occur to nobody that the hero of this picture and the first one is the LEAD RECRUITER.  Even Al Roker, the voice of reason in this movie, never seems to notice that wherever this guy goes, A SHARKNADO FOLLOWS.  (I wonder if he could conjure one up in Iowa?)  For crying out loud, his name is even "Fin."  Take the hint, willya?   But humans never do.  It is the best concealment technique we have -- their own obliviousness to the TOTALLY OBVIOUS.


>> Isn't it cute that they spoofed so many disaster  movies in this thing?  I loved it when the guy who played the hero in Airplane -- this time he played the pilot of Flight 209 on Santa Mira Airlines, ha! -- was chatting with his copilot about whether to have fish for dinner, just like the pilots did in Airplane -- and that of course spoofed Terror In The Sky.  Spoof on top of spoof on top of spoof!

>> Isn't there supposed to be a lot of wind and rain when you have a tornado?  Hail, even?  Then why is there snow on the ground in this movie -- and how did it go from bone-dry to 3" of snow on the ground without us seeing any, you know, snow falling?  Why isn't anyone's hair even whipping around when they're standing next to a tornado?

>> What could be in April Wexler's book, How To Survive A Sharknado?  Does it tell you to climb inside the shark and cut your way out with a chainsaw, or what? 

>> Was it just an oversight in the movie that after she turned herself into Ash from Evil Dead to take her revenge on the sharks, April never once used the word "groovy"?  If you're going to spoof something, why not do it right?

>> What were they thinking about, putting Kelly Osbourne in a red miniskirt?  It totally clashed with her lavender hair.

>> What was with the cab surrounded by water?  When they climbed out the car's windows to swing on the rope to safety, everyone was bone dry.  Are cabs in New York so waterproof that the car doesn't fill up when a storm surge surrounds the car up to the level of the windows?  Wow!

>>  They shouldn't have given Wil Wheaton any lines.  It did nothing for the movie.

>> Why is there only one black actor in each scene who has any lines?  How can they be so racist?  It was racist when Vivica  A. Fox got eaten, too. 

>>  But it was sweet that all the families were saved and stayed together at the end through all the mayhem.  Maybe that was the point of Vivica A. Fox getting eaten.  I'll have to think about it.

>> This movie proves that sharks are horrible and I am right to be afraid of them.  I know what happens in this movie isn't possible, but that's how it makes me feel about sharks.


Saturday, December 06, 2014

And What Were You Grateful For This Tanksgiving?

Those of you working at the North American Fish Conspiracy Zone HQ know this already, but I gave special tanks this year for the good work done by the little-known Lancet fish.  (Scrod only knows how our operatives get such crazy names.  Human nature.  What can I say?)

Keep those cards and letters coming.  I want to hang them all on my Squidmas tree, listing all the things our operatives are grateful for.  We may even compile the answers into a book.  Stay tuned!