Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Horror Classics: Trilogy of Terror

This classic three-part made for TV film (Wikipedia tells me it was a failed horror series pilot) is from 1975 and I believe is considered what the kids call a "cult classic." Karen Black stars in four different roles, apparently. LET'S GO!

Part I: Julie

So much long hair and amazing bell bottoms. Too douchebros sit on a picnic table, rating the hotness of the ladies as they walk by. One of them is curious about buttoned-up "Eldridge." The idea of her naked just "jumped into his head." She is some kind of English professor. There's a literary diagram(?) on the board and a cross on the classroom wall. She sits on the desk and her be-nyloned leg sticks out. This douche starts fantasizing about banging her. She has a great giant tie thingy. After class, our man Chad, picks up a book for her and starts asking her if she goes to the movies. I think maybe they're supposed to be in high school, even though they all look 35? There are lockers.

They teach you this pose in grad school.
Miss Eldridge's roommate tries to convince her to go out some time. She thinks she could be attractive if she just "worked at it just a little bit." Eldridge wears a dowdy nightgown and her hair in a bun, working on something. Lesson plans, I guess. She lets her hair down as Chad peeks in her windows. He stares creepily at her house as she takes off her nightgown. Apparently she gets naked when her roommate goes out. Chad is INTO IT. After another class, Chad asks Miss Eldridge to some French vampire movie. She says it's against the rules for them to date. Why doesn't he like the lovely coeds? He likes "maturity in a woman." Apparently that line worked on her.


At the drive-in, Eldridge is easily is scared of the movie. He's so creepy. He gets out of the car to get her a drink. His leisure suit is FAAAAAAANTASTIC. Two large root beers cost $1. He takes the drinks around back and puts some kind of powder in one of the cups. Of course Chad is going to roofie her. She says the drink is bitter, "not enough syrup." Chad stares. She starts to fall asleep. He asks if she wants to get some air. Wow, all it took was like two sips. Must be strong roofies. He's driven the passed out teacher to a sleazy motel so he can rape her properly on the bed. Chad tells the old guy he needs a room for him and his wife for the night. In the room. He takes pictures of her lying on the bed. Then he locks the door and gets down to business. He drives her home and she wakes up. She's confused about falling asleep at the movie. He says he "had a fine time." I bet he did. She keeps apologizing. He wants to call her tomorrow, but she says them dating is a bad idea because she could lose her job and he could get expelled. "No board of trustees tells me who or who not to date." She says they can't and he says "We'll see." Ehhhh...

Later, in his darkroom OBVIOUSLY CHAD HAS A DARKROOM, he develops the photos. Chad calls Eldridge before 8:00 a.m. and wakes her up. RUDE. He says he's coming over to pick her up right now. He drives her somewhere secluded and shows her the photos. She knows he drugged her. GO TO THE POLICE, JULIE. He's blackmailing her hard and it's apparently working. In class, he hands her a note in the middle of her lecture about "muscled prose."  Hemingway, Faulkner, etc. She gets upset and dismisses class. She gets home late and her roommate lectures her. She's worried about Julie. It's been a month. Julie says she can't talk about it.

Over it.
At his apartment, Julie has her hair down, wears a robe, and hands him a drink. She turns off his stupid classical music. She says it's over, she's bored. "Who's idea do you think this whole thing was?" she asks. Ohhhh, she's been orchestrating this WITH HER MIND. She has some rapey fantasies. He starts to cough and he's going to die. "You've drugged me." "No dear," she says, "I've killed you." She pulls his body into the dark room and sets some chemicals on fire. Julie acts really sad that one of her students died in a tragic fire. Her roommate comforts her. Later, Julie puts the newspaper story about Chad in her scrapbook of dead coeds. A guy named Arthur shows up at her door. He's seen her tutoring notice and they're going to start now. "I think we're going to be friends, Arthur." DUM-dum-dum.

Part II: Millicent and Therese

Best bookshelf ever.
Here's Karen Black again, sitting in the dark, watching on old film strip of a man holding his little girl. She writes in her journal or something about how their father has just died. Her sister Therese is apparently evil and uses her wiles on men. I'm assuming she is Millicent, dowdy again in this one. Glasses, bun, no lipstick. Millicent is explaining to this dude how evil Therese is. She shows him a family picture where 15 year-old Therese is "pressing against" their father. At sixteen, she seduced him. Then their mother ODed on sleeping pills. Millicent says it was Therese. I'm guessing this dude is Therese's boyfriend. Therese has a bunch of books about demonology, voodoo, Satanism, pornography. She captures souls. Millicent's trying to help this guy. He says she's the one who needs help and she laughs. He's going to leave, but Millicent says she knows about "that night at Morley and what happened there." Therese apparently enjoyed corrupting this dude. I'm guessing they killed someone together. He cries and Millicent says he's saved now.


Supposedly Therese is becoming more violent. $100 that Therese and Millicent are one and the same person. She calls a doctor and says Therese twists their relationship into something lewd. He comes by the next day to their mansion. "Therese" answers the door. Blonde wig, makeup, tank top, miniskirt. She offers him a drink. He declines. She claims she listens in to their phone calls. I love her nylons. She lights a cigarette with some large glass box lighter thing. The doctor says their rivalry and hatred will destroy her. She comes onto him. "Whatsa matter, doc? You still a virgin? Or is it that you just don't like girls?" She screams at him to leave and never come back after he continues to reject her. This is some United States of Tara shit. Later on, Millie writes in her diary in her room about how much she hates her sister. "Therese must die."


Next day, Millie sees a little girl crying outside. Her super-creepy baby doll has a huge hole in its head. Therese did it. Millie is going to put a voodoo spell on her sister, stealing ingredients like her (wig) hair from her brush and shit. Millie calls the doctor and says she knows how to deal with her sister. The doctor wants to talk to her and she's like, "Nuh-uh." Millie's made a Therese voodoo doll and keeps it in a locked desk drawer. She's got a fancy big long pin to stick in it. Phone rings the next day. No one in the mansion answers. The doctor is concerned and decides to go over to check on Millie. He finds an open side door, but can't find anybody home. Upstairs he finds dead Therese. The voodoo doll is lying next to her with the pin through its heart. The doctor calls the police. He says the cause of death is "unknown." An ambulance shows up to take care of the body, I guess. The doctor wipes off her makeup. Her name was Therese Millicent Lorimor. He takes the wig off. "The most advanced case of dual personality I have ever seen." OBVIOUSLY.

Part III: Amelia


Karen Black approaches a high rise building. She comes out of a luxe elevator carrying an old chest of some kind. Inside is a racist-looking African warrior statuette. "He Who Kills. Boy, are you ugly." He looks vicious. He's got sharp teeth and a spear. Apparently this is a gift for someone. They've actually let her be pretty this time. She has an orangey-brown corduroy couch. She calls her mom, who gives her shit for not calling earlier. She's got a date with a college teacher, Arthur. It's his birthday. We only hear her side of the of the call, but Mom's giving her the business. Her mom apparently thinks she's a bad daughter for moving out and subletting this apartment. She's been dating Arthur for a month and her mom is crazy and manipulative. "A genuine Zuni fetish doll."* He's an anthropology professor who loves hunting fetishes that have a hunter's spirit trapped inside of them, of course. If the chain is removed, the doll will come to life, says the scroll that came with it. Her mom hangs up on her. You should probs not call your mom anymore. Amelia tells herself she will not get a headache. She sets down the fetish doll kind of hard and the chain falls off OH NO.


After her bath, Amelia calls Arthur. She's trying to cancel on him. She doesn't want to hurt her mother's feelings. I think that's inevitable. The kitchen in this apartment has the most amazing floral wallpaper. So '70s. Still in her robe, Amelia gets out some meat to cook or something. Back in the living room, the doll isn't on the table where she left it. She finds the chain. I hope it's gone to kill her horrible mother. She cuts herself reaching for him under the couch. She finds only the spear and hears a running noise. She keeps looking, but can't find him. She hears a noise in the kitchen. The rest of the meat is gone. She considers grabbing a knife from her set, but then thinks better of it. "Come on, Amelia." She sees some motion out of the corner of her eye. She can't find anything, when suddenly the doll attacks her leg, stabbing at her. Probably shouldn't have insulted his looks so much before when you thought he was inanimate. She throws it away from her as it runs at her again in a frenzy. She slams the bedroom door on him. She calls the police, but hangs up before she talks to anyone, because the doll has figured out how to open the door.


She runs into the bathroom and the doll pokes the knife under the door. "This can't be happening," she says. It's figuring out how to unlock the door. She wraps the doll in a towel and tries to drown him. She doesn't complete the job, as he chases her into a closet. She grabs a suitcase and manages to lock him in it. She starts to try breaks the door lock and he starts to cut his way out of the suitcase. She stupidly tries to grab the knife FROM THE POINTY END STICKING OUT OF THE SUITCASE. She fails to open the window as he climbs out of the case. She grabs the knife and stabs him a bunch. Suddenly it's quiet. She opens the case like an idiot. He jumps out and grabs onto her arm with his teeth. She slams his arm in the kitchen door, but he gets in anyway and bites her neck. There are screams dubbed over the action, but her mouth isn't opening. She manages to throw him in the oven with her dinner. She leans up against the oven door as he burns. Black smoke comes out and she puts her hands over her ears until the screams die down.


She should lock that oven and keep it shut forever. Instead, she opens it and screams.  Later, I guess, she walks over to the phone, picks it up, and calls her mom. She apologizes to her mom. I think she's possessed by the warrior now and she's going to kill her. She breaks the lock off the door and hunches, waiting with a giant knife, which she stabs at the floor and smiles. She's got the creepy fangs now. THE END.

That was a relatively entertaining hour or so! Good job, Karen Black in 1975.


*That thing is supposed to be Zuni? Wow, super-extra racist cred. Here is what some actual Zuni people look like according to Google. Which is to say, not like that doll. At all.

Places to see and hear me being funny

Us recording the p-cast. Photo by Philip Simondet.
Guys! My unpaid but emotionally lucrative career in improv comedy is really taking off. After coming in second in the Troika March Madness tournament last month, Pigmeat is making plans for future Twilight Zone-inspired adventures. However! There are other opportunities to see and hear me do the 'provz.* My group Spectrum, which specializes in an Armando form where we tell our own sad-as-shit real-life stories to inspire our improv, is in the HUGE Wednesday lineup through the end of May at HUGE Theater in Minneapolis. So if you live close you should maybe come see us and several other sweet groups for $5 and maybe hear about some real-life tragedy and then also hopefully do some laughing.

Spectrum was recently invited to participate in Matt McCloud and Philip Simondet's improv-focused podcast Next at Bat. You can listen to our episode here. We talk about our lofty artistic and emotional goals and then do some improv with Matt and Philip that is mostly about boobs and dongs! Get your comedy nerd on and listen to that shit! They have a bunch of episodes recorded with the Twin Cities' best improvisers (if I do say so myself). Fair warning: I laugh throughout the vast majority of our episode.


*TRUE FACT: Making shit up might be my greatest talent.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Energy Thingy Review: AeroShot Energy

I'm always on the lookout for new energy sources (for my body, not like, solar panels and shit) and came upon this AeroShot Energy thingy. I'm trying the raspberry flavor. Hmm. How the fuck is this thing supposed to work? You breathe it in/swallow it (though the FDA says that's not possible). It's full of B vitamins and caffeine. I am very, very curious. I'm about to start living the AeroLife.

FLAVOR: Okay, so you breathe it in. It comes in a very fine powder that I guess kind of resembles the flavor of raspberries in a medicinal kind of way. A little bit bitter. Wash that shit down with some water. Not sure how many puffs are in one inhaler thingy, so we'll see how this goes. On the second puff, I'd say it definitely tastes like you ate the Crystal Light powder mix on accident. Not very tasty at all. Small inhalations are better because of the icky flavor. The powder can tickle the throat a bit, also. The aftertaste is sweet if you drink some water immediately.

EFFECTIVENESS: I've definitely felt an upswing in energy in the last few minutes. Lots of leg shaking, though not huge change in mental alertness. I'll give it another puff. After the second pufferoo, I'm feeling a bit silly. 50% is probs the caffeine and the other half is the fact that I'm breathing powder out of a plastic inhaler thingy. I just giggled to myself while crosswording because I thought about how excited I am to watch some more My Love from the Star later today. I think this thing is working. I have no idea how many puffs are in here. A lot. I keep hoping it'll run out because it doesn't taste very good, but I am definitely feeling more alert. Also, I am starving, But that is because it is almost lunch.

It's been over three hours, and while I feel nicely alert (no euphoria, but no crash so far either), when the fuck am I going to breathe in all of this weird, gross powder? I feel like I'm smoking an e-cigarette here. Okay, it took me like 5 hours to consume all the powder, which tastes terrible until it gets wet. I have been perfectly alert all day, however. It was kind of weird, but I have a green apple flavor one at home, too, so I guess I'll be doing this again.

OVERALL: 3.5/5 (works well, the taste and delivery method are weird)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Energy Drink Review: Rockstar Pure Zero Mango Orange Passion Fruit

THIS IS A CAN OF THIS STUFF.
GUYS, I have had so many of the energy drinks, it's rare when I find one I haven't tried these days. If you've got a lead on something interesting, let me know where I can purchase such items. Maybe I should troll Amazon for weird energy drinks this afternoon instead of applying for jobs. AAAANYWAY, a while back, I tried out the Rockstar Pure Zero Silver Ice and thought it was so-so. But yesterday I saw that there are now more flavors in the Pure Zero line being sold at my local Super America and this one sounded tasty: Mango Orange Passion Fruit (with other natural flavors). Rockstar doesn't have the kind of extensive and ridiculous promotional copy written on their cans that could fuel a master's thesis,* so all I know about it is that it is zero calorie/zero sugar/presumably all the chemicals that I love. Let's try this shit!

FLAVOR: Mmm, tasty fruitiness. This is really quite delicious in a juicy way. It's on the less-carbonated side. I like it a lot. Not too different from a Monster Khaos (one of which I have in my fridge at home what-WHAT? Also, I have apparently never officially reviewed it which shall be remedied soon, THXYRWELCOME).

EFFECTIVENESS: About halfway in, I'm feeling a bit of a pick-me-up. I'm not particularly exhausted today since I didn't have to work in the morning, also I'm not drinking for the month of April, so I've only been staying up until, like, 3:00 playing the Bianca Shade Edition** of 2048 instead of 5:00. 2/3 of the way through, my legs are shaking and I'm feeling pretty good, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED MY JOB SITUATION IS AWFUL SAVE ME. Now I've gone into an anxiety spiral. I should maybe lay off the caffeine while I'm at it, but I know I won't.

OVERALL: It tastes good! It works! Drink that shit! 4/5


UPDATE LIKE A WEEK LATER: I'm now trying the Blue Ice flavor. It's got a tasty blue raspberry kind of taste. I like. I predict the effectiveness will be the same as the orangey one, so I'm not writing a whole additional review. DEAL WITH IT.


*Wonkette does it, so I can do it, too.
**You guys are watching Drag Race, right? I want to be/be friends with/possibly date Bianca Del Rio.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Horror Super-Classics: Nosferatu


Many years ago, when I was in high school, I was like, "I should see that original Nosferatu because it looks creepy as shit." But with less swearing because I was a Mormon teenager. So I went to the local Hollywood Video and rented what I thought was the 1922 classic. But instead it was actually the 1979 Werner Herzog Nosferatu the Vampyre. My sister and I were sorely disappointed and also bored but watched all (what seemed like) 4 hours or whatever. Luckily we have Netflix now and we can watch the 1922 film (also German). We are told that this film has been restored from various old-timey copies. I'm gonna have to read this shit because it's a silent movie with intertitles for dialogue/narration. Full title: Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror.

ACT I
This tale is An Account of the Great Death of Wisborg 1838. It says something about a "Deathbird calling your name at midnight." Don't say its name out loud! Apparently "Nosferatu" is kinda like Beetlejuice.


Hutter and Ellen, a young couple lived in Wisborg. Hutter has shitty hair and is putting on his tie. Ellen plays with a kitty. It is clearly the 1800s. Hutter wanders about, picking flowers while Ellen sews at home. He comes in and surprises her with a bouquet. They kiss each other's cheeks like affectionate acquaintances. "Why did you kill them?" she asks about the flowers. Hutter meets some old guy on the street who warns him to slow down, "No one can outrun his fate." FORESHADOWING?

Am I right or am I right?
Knock, an estate agent. Rumors. He pays well. He looks like Ebenezer Scrooge and is staring at a piece of parchment that looks like something Charlie from It's Always Sunny wrote down. Knock is clearly evil/greedy/possibly Jewish? This is a German movie, after all. I think Hutter works for him. That's some Bob Cratchitt shit. Count Orlok, from Transylvania wants to buy  a house in Wisborg. Hutter is given the account. It's going to require "a little sweat and maybe...a little blood." Knock is a creep with shifty eyes.


That letter SRSLY looks like a code written by an elementary schooler. Knock's got some eyebrows. Hutter finds Transylvania on a map. Knock says the Count wants an empty house (And?). He points to a giant rundown mansion across the street from Hutter's place. PERFECT. Apparently Hutter has to go to Transylvania to pick up Count Orlok or something: "to the land of thieves and phantoms." Racist.


Hutter is excited about the big job, but Ellen's all sad that he'll be leaving. They kiss awkwardly. He hands her all his coats. Harding, a rich ship owner, and his sister are supposed to look after "anxious" Ellen while Hutter is gone. (*Insert HARDing penis joke here* HEHEH INSERT) Ellen is totes dramatic while Hutter tries to leave. Now we meet the real star of the film, a horse. Hutter puts on a stupid hat and rides him away. Eventually he comes to the foothills of the Carpathians. (Aren't those Star Trek aliens?) This coat kind of makes Hutter's butt look big. He arrives at a rural traveler's inn. He wants his dinner pronto since he's headed to Count Orlok's. RECORD SCRATCH.


The inn's proprietor tells him he can't go further tonight because there is a werewolf in the woods. I think Hutter thinks he's joking. I'm pretty sure it's not a wolf, but a hyena and it scares some horses. Hutter's staying at the inn on a very tall bed. Maybe it's a weird striped dingo? Old ladies shudder. Hutter's bed is super tall for some unknown reason. In his hotel room he finds a book entitled Of Vampyres and Other Phantoms and the Seven Deadly Sins. It talks about Nosferatu, from the "seed of Belial." YESSS Satansperm. Supposedly it lives in caves and tombs and coffins filled with cursed dirt from "the fields of the Black Death." Mass graves? Hutter thinks the book is silly. His tall boots are totes in style now.


Hutter wakes up to a bright, sunny Transylvanian morning. He's apparently very well-rested. He sees horses frolicking in the fields outside. He ties his nightshirt around his waste and basically dunks his head in a giant bowl of water to wash. Hutter hires a carriage outside to take him up to the mountains. They travel all day. The driver stops before the castle and is like, "We don't go any further. We've got a bad feeling about heading over the pass!" Hutter is pretty cheerful about the whole thing and takes his tiny duffel bag to walk the rest of the way. He crosses a bridge and is suddenly "seized by the eerie visions he so often told me [the narrator] of..." Hutter walks up toward the castle, seemingly growing out of a rocky crag.

Talk about a welcome wagon, amirite?
Another carriage approaches, covered in black curtains. A creepy dude has him get in. Even the horses look like they're wearing black KKK outfits. The driver looks tired but has a jaunty feather in his cap. At the castle, the driver points to a tower and drives away unnaturally quickly.


Hutter spots the Count. The Count takes tiny, effeminate steps. He's in all black, holding his hands creepily up in front of himself. Hunched back. Hutter takes off his cap to greet him. The Count's eyebrows are sweet. He says it's almost midnight and the servants are asleep, so he has to let him in himself. The Count is very skinny.

ACT II

Hutter eats dinner as Orlok pores over a letter written in bizarre symbols. Cool skeleton clock strikes six. Hutter cuts himself while slicing bread. Orlok comments on the "precious blood," grabs Hutter's hand (possibly sucking on the wound), and effectively creeps out his guest. Even though it's late, Orlok wants to keep hanging out since he sleeps during the day, "completely dead to the world..."


Sunrise and Hutter feels better. He apparently just passed out in a chair by the fireplace. Hutter stretches pretty dramatically. I feel that. Uh-oh, Hutter notices two small red marks on his neck, but he's not worried. A lovely breakfast is spread and ready for him. Hutter goes for a walk and grins stupidly at a beautiful view while writing a letter to his wife. Even the bugs that harass him are funny. Mosquitoes--he thinks those are bug bites on his neck. Hutter tries to flag down some barefoot dude passing on a horse to mail his letter. The guy does not want to approach the castle, so Hutter has to go to him. Later: "The ghostly evening light." Hutter's freaked out by the shadows.


He and Orlok are going over paperwork. Hutter drops his photo of Ellen on the table somehow and Orlok is way too interested. He says "Your wife has a lovely neck..." Orlok is pumped to buy the deserted house across the street from them. Back in his room, Hutter consults the Nosferatu book. It "Suckles himself on the hellish elixir of their blood." Also, you should avoid his shadow. Good thing he stole this book from the inn.


The clock strikes 6 and Hutter peeks out of his room to see Orlok creepily standing and staring down the hall. Hutter runs to his bed to hide, I guess. Orlok approaches. The door opens on its own. He walks through the door. Hutter hides under a blanket. Back at home, Ellen awakens and walks out to a balcony on her toes. Harding is smoking a gigantic pipe. I think Ellen is sleepwalking along the railing. Harding saves her and calls for the doctor. Orlok's shadow approaches Hutter.


Ellen wakes back up, screaming Hutter's name. Orlok seems to sense her and maybe doesn't attack Hutter again? The castle's doors have no knobs because they open and shut by themselves. Ellen can sleep now. The doctor says it was just a "mild case of blood congestion." OH, GOOD. Hutter wakes up at dawn, looking a bit worse for wear. He goes to investigate. Through some creepy double doors he finds a basement crypt thing. Oh, a fancy coffin. He sees Orlok sleeping in it because part of the lid is gone, I guess.


Hutter throws off the lid, but Orlok (with his eyes open) apparently doesn't wake up. Why hasn't Hutter run away yet? He's just been hanging out in his room, scared. It's dark again, but he can see Orlok stack several coffins on a wagon, climbs in the top one, the lid puts itself on and the horses run away. Hutter is worried about Ellen. For some reason, Hutter has to use his sheets to escape from his room. He gets scared when he gets stuck to a bush because he is dumb. The coffins are piloted downs a river on a raft. The screen has a blue wash, so I think it's still nighttime.

ACT III

A hospital. A nun there says Hutter was brought in by some farmers. He wakes and starts screaming about coffins. According to a title screen, Paracelsian Professor Bulwer explained to our narrator some shit about the dirt-filled caskets getting loaded on a ship. There are documents for "6 crates of dirt for experimental purposes." OH OF COURSE THAT EXPLAINS IT. "Experiments." The dock workers open one to check it out. They dump it out and find a bunch of rats under the dirt. Dude gets bit in the toe and starts trying to kill them. More shit about the Professor. Something about carnivorous plants. Prof. shows his students a Venus flytrap. He loves it. "Like a vampire, no?" HAHAHA HILARIOUS.


Knock apparently fell under Nosferatu's spell as he approached. A cop tells some dude that the prisoner has gone mad. The prisoner is Knock. "Blood is life!" he's eating bugs out of the sky in his very roomy cell. The cop's stache is pretty awesome. Knock attacks the warden, but the cop pulls him off. Back with the prof, he keeps showing his students creepy nature shit eating other creepy nature shit. Knock loves spiders now.


Ellen is at the beach thinking about her dude. Lots of crosses at the beach. Is this some sort of beach cemetery? Harding and his sister play a lively game of croquet. A letter arrives. Game over, I guess. The ocean. Sad Ellen on a bench in the wind. They bring her the letter, it's the one from Hutter. The letter doesn't comfort her, it just freaks her out.


Back it the hospital, Hutter insists he's well enough to go home, despite the nun's protests. Ship in the sea. Orlok and his dirt boxes are on their way! Here's Hutter with a horse in the woods, I'm just going to assume it's the same one as before. Lots of sails on the ship. WHO WILL GET TO ELLEN FIRST?! Back in prison, Knock steals a piece of paper out of a guard's pockets while he sweeps. It's a notice warning that a plague epidemic has broken out in Transylvania and in the Black Sea ports. Masses dying. Victims with strange neck wounds. Mysteries. Docks closed to suspicious ships. Knock is pumped his boyfriend/master is making progress. Hutter crosses a stream. Now back on the ship. What is happening with  the captain's sideburns? Is he Martin Van Buren? A barefoot sailor says somebody's "fallen ill" below deck and is delirious. The captain yells at the sick sailor in his hammock. They give him a bit of booze, which he drinks hard. They cover him with a blanket and he goes back to sleep. He wakes up later and sees Orlok's ghost (he's kind of see-through?) sitting on the coffin pile.


Plague eats up all the sailors. Their bodies are dumped into a "Dark, watery grave." Only the captain and first mate are left as they throw another body overboard.The first mate says he's going below with an axe and says "If I'm not back in ten minutes..." WHAT?! The captain has kind of a sickly Wolverine look. Hutter is still horse-riding. The sailor goes down to hack up the rat-infested coffins. Orlok rises from his coffin and raises his creepy long fingernails towards the sailor. He runs away.

EXPLAIN TO ME THE COMMOTION!
P.S. I love his little rat friend here. 
Oh, it's blue again, so I guess it's nighttime and Orlok can come out. The captain is tying himself to the wheel even though it's perfect weather. ?? Orlok approaches him very slowly. OMG scared. FADE OUT. "The deathship had a new captain." Deathship is my new band name CALLING IT.

ACT IV


Nosferatu's breath filled the ship's sails. Weak but determined Hutter continues to race him back to Wisborg. Ellen stares at the moon in a virginal nightgown. Why is she always tiptoeing? Oh, it's sleepwalking again. Ship. Ocean. Waves. Harding's sister finds Ellen who says she must "go to him." Hutter bails out of a wagon somewhere, I guess. Ellen runs out of the house. Knock tries to look out the jail window at the harbor. The deathship rolls in, seemingly abandoned. No one will suspect a thing! "The master is near!" -Knock. He has Krusty the Klown hair. Blue wash; Orlok rises out of the belly of the ship. Knock attacks a careless prison guard and escapes. Narrative screen- dirt boxes from where vampires were originally buried give them power. Nosferatu walks into town, carrying a coffin totes easily like, "What up?" Rats also escape the ship.


Dramatz music. Hutter arrives home to meet Ellen--I guess she ran to their house from the Harding place. Orlok continues to walk with his coffin. Ellen is kind of spaced out but also wants to bang her dude. Orlok walks up to their house and looks sinister as they kiss inside. "Everything will be fine now." ARE YOU SURE, HUTTER? Fade out as they bang. Orlok stands on a boat as it drifts creepily on a canal up to his abandoned new house. He apparates through the door?


At the harbor. Dudes find the dead captain tied to the wheel with the plague marks in his neck. They touch his body like idiots. Is he still alive? Why would they bother to move him otherwise? Okay, JK, he's not alive. Why are the bringing the captain's body ashore? I guess the rats already got out. Some guy in charge has sweet striped pants and a top hat. Another dude finds the captain's log INTERESTING. All about errybody dying. Also, beautiful handwriting. The log says the first sick sailor talked about an "unknown passenger" below deck. Later, lotsa rats.

The Wisborg city fathers: sharp dressers, not sharp thinkers.
So many great plaid waistcoats in this inquiry. Uh-oh, mention of plague! All the dudes are instructed to run home and bolt their doors because germs respect locks. A dude in the street drums. He is going to make an announcement. Municipal authorities say plague victims have to stay inside and can't be taken to hospitals so the disease won't spread.

ACT V
This wake is gonna be EPIC, bro!
Chalk crosses on doors. Funeral procession. We're trying to figure out how the plague/vampire thing works. Do they get bitten by the rats and get sick so that Nosferatu can get at them? Or is it all straight-up vampirin'? Or does he just like it when everybody dies? Ellen is mesmerized by Hutter's book of "frightening visions." "Better book-burning than book-learning, I always say," says Isaac, who has a PhD and teaches young adults.


Ellen looks like she's either suffering or orgasming as she reads about Nosferatu. An "innocent maiden" has to sacrifice herself to keep the vampire from hiding from the sunrise or something. Can Ellen really be an innocent maiden what with her bangin' her husband? Hutter's like, what up? And she's all, "I'm terrified of the house across the street." WITH GOOD REASON, MADAM. I'd say they should run, but I guess everybody's under quarantine. Harding's sister is upset about some shit. She rings for a servant, but no one comes. Ellen, still fully dressed at night, stares out the window at a procession of several coffins down the street. Ellen's totes going to make sure the vampire doesn't heed "the first crowing of the cock." (Heheh, COCK.)


Town full of fear. Vampire rumors. Old biddies. Here comes Knock, chased by a posse of dudes, nope, just the whole town. Knock appears on a roof, gleeful and throwing shit. The townspeople throw rocks at him and he escapes rather spryly over the other side of the building. Ellen is stitching "I love you" (in Germgerm) on a giant piece of fabric. Knock runs out into the woods and the people run after him. He hides in a field. The people murder a poor scarecrow.


Orlok stares out the window. Same night still? Ellen awakes. She grabs her own boob. Hutter is asleep in a chair, as is his wont. Ellen sleepwalks to the window. Nosferatu is pumped in his own way. Ellen seems to be half-wake. Hutter's got a serious Joseph Smith look happening. Right era, I guess. Ellen throws open the windows to Nosferatu's siren song. She wants it. The D. Or the V, in this case. She covers her eyes as Orlok ventures out. She wakes Hutter, who puts her back in bed. She yells for Hutter to get the professor guy. Is he the same guy as the doctor? I guess maybe back then biologists were all doctors. Hutter runs off to do her bidding.


Nosferatu's shadow up the stairs. Claws to door. Ellen's going to sacrifice the fuck outta herself, but she's scared and clutches her heart/left boob. Orlok's shadow claw grabs her boob.


Hutter shakes awake the professor, whose robe is awesome. Orlok feeds on Ellen. Knock has been found. Cock crow! Keep drinking, Nosferaaaatz! But innocent maiden blood is so goooooooood. Knock is worried about the master while sitting in his prison cell. It's red (morning twilight). Hutter is hurrying back as the sun begins to rise.


Orlok's coat has so many buttons. He's stayed too late! Um, run and hide instead of standing by the window? He disappears into a small smoke pile. Knock knows he's dead and is sad, all tied up. Apparently Ellen's not dead. She wakes up and calls to Hutter, collapsing. He grabs her as she falls and cries and I think is now dead. The professor is chubby and wipes tears from under his glasses.


The "Greath Death came to an end." Sunrays blahblahblah. Nosferatu's castle is now a ruin on the cliff. THE END. Pretty good!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Picture if you will...

Guys, my Troika Madness team, Pigmeat, has made it to the finals. We are awesome and Twilight Zone-creepy and also hilarious. I made a video:



If you're in the Twin Cities, come and see us (and vote for us) on Wednesday night!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Friendly Competition

Guys, in case you're one of my 3.2 readers who doesn't know me in real life and haven't been bombarded on Facebook about this: I AM IN AN IMPROV MARCH MADNESS COMPETITION! Troika Madness at HUGE in Minneapolis. My Twilight Zone-inspired group Pigmeat is in the semi-finals tomorrow night. I made a picture for our match-up:

Yeah.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Horror Classics: Misery

We ain't never seen this movie. It is one of Stephen King's creations, Misery from 1990.

BOOM. Nailed it!
Typewriter. "Hipster," Isaac says. Champagne. Yum. He lights his cig with a match. He drives a Jaguar and lives in snowy mountains. James Caan speeds down the snowy mountain roads in his fancy car. His manuscript is contained in a briefcase. If this were in the modern era, he could just email that shit in. Oh, William Goldman wrote the screenplay. Uh-oh, Caan starts to slide and goes off a cliff. The car lands upside down in the snow. Isaac says, "It's uncredited, but Rob Reiner plays the car."


Flashback: in his agent's office. Misery's Child was whatshisname's first book. He hates the character, but it put braces on his daughter's teeth. He's killing her off. He's off to Colorado to write something he can be proud of. Somebody breaks him out of his crashed car in the snow, and does what I'm pretty sure is unnecessary CPR in the snow. The person (who is Kathy Bates, duh), fireman carries him away from the accident. Two days later, Caan wakes up in Kathy Bates' house. She's given him some kind of IV. Her name is Annie Wilkes. She's a nurse. She puts some pills in his mouth. She's got a serious cross necklace on. The room he's in doesn't have much furniture. Later, she takes his IV out because  he apparently doesn't need it anymore. Is she wearing long culottes? She gives him more pills "for your pain." He thanks her. She claims she couldn't bring him to the hospital because of the blizzard.


Annie's got a turtleneck on under a denim jumper. It's awesome. The author's legs are super fucked-up. She'll take him to the hospital when the roads clear up. Editor or agent or whatever Lauren Bacall calls the police in Colorado, looking for whatshisname. Paul Sheldon. Silver Creek Lodge is where he goes to write. His daughter hasn't heard from him and they're a bit worried. The sheriff's going to look into it.


As she shaves him with a straight razor, Annie tells Paul she was basically stalking him at the lodge. She calls him a literary genius. There were eight Misery novels. She claims the phones will be up again soon. Kathy Bates looks so young here. She wants to read his manuscript and he says she can. She keeps giving him "Novril," which is probs a fake medicine/date rape drug. She doesn't want to make him feel "oogy." Isaac thinks that that's one of Mike Wazowski's girlfriend's affectionate names.


The sheriff shows up at the lodge to ask about Paul. The proprietor thinks he's probably fine, just taking his time driving back to New York. As Annie feeds Paul tomato soup, she says she doesn't like the swearing in his new book. He says it's about slum kids and he was a slum kid and that's how they all talk. She gets mad and spills soup and yells about how not everybody swears. "Sometimes I get so worked up. Can you ever forgive me?" He's starting to look scared. She says she loves him and his mind. Creepy. The sheriff and his wife are driving along. The sheriff sees evidence of an accident and tries to walk down in the snow. He falls in. He and his wife decide to go to some newspaper office. Annie drives by, sinisterly. Annie went to town and claims that the road to the hospital isn't open. They'll send an ambulance later. She says she called the agent and she will tell her daughter he's okay. He's missing her birthday. He's figured out that he's not a patient but a prisoner. Annie's rereading Misery's Child, which she picked up in town. She calls it "perfect." I'm not sure she'll be happy about him killing off the main character so he can stop writing this series.


A big brown, fuzzy pig bursts into Paul's room. Her name is Misery. Annie snorts at the pig, teasing. Then she snorts at Paul. Later, she talks about her husband leaving her. "Night shifts can be lonely at the hospital." She read the Misery books there. He hands off his pee bottle to her. She talks about marriage, gesturing with his pee container. OMG he is so fucked. It's night. Annie comes in and calls Paul a "dirty bird." She yells about Misery (the character) being dead. She died of childbirth, it happened a lot in 1871. She calls Paul a murderer. She breaks some shit. It is scary. Misery isn't real, but she doesn't seem to understand that very well. She tells him no one's coming for him or knows where he is. If she dies, he dies.


She drives away to cool off or something, apparently. Isaac says she's going to listen to some Kanye and drive around in the mountains. I wish! As soon as she drives off, Paul pulls himself out of bed and tries to army crawl with his one good arm. He's so screwed. He gets to the door, and it's locked. FOILED. A newspaper story asks "Where's Paul Sheldon?" The sheriff has an amazing sweater/giant hat combo. He and the FBI totes know what they're doing. No charges on Paul's credit card after the lodge.


Annie helps Paul back into bed. He's in a lot of pain. He's all broken still. Annie has so many great turtlenecks. She's got a surprise. Her thoughts are "muddy." She couldn't remember everything on the witness stand in Denver. What? She prayed to god. She knows what to do. He wants a snack. She brings in a barbecue and pours lighter fluid on his offensive manuscript. She tells him to light it. He claims there are more copies. There isn't. He doesn't want to do it. She knows there's only one. She's memorized his shit, knows he doesn't make copies and always finishes his books at Silver Creek Lodge. It's gonna get burnt, might as well help. She starts spraying lighter fluid on his blankets now. "Help me help you." Gotta get rid of this terrible abomination. He lights a match. "You're doing the right thing." He throws the match on the grill. It gets real burny and she starts freaking out. NO GRILLING INSIDE. She goes and gets a bucket, which Isaac claims is his piss bucket, and douses the fire.


Annie hears a helicopter. It's the sheriff. He sees the Wilkes farm, but no Mustang, so they turn back. Annie gives Paul Novrils to take. Might as well, there's no reason to be awake. He puts them under the blankets instead. TV dating show. Lady with giant hair. Dude with mullet. Annie eats Cheetos and has a 2-liter of Coke. Paul eats off a tray and cuts open the mattress with his fork to hide his pills in. Annie's gotten him a wheelchair and an electric razor so he can shave himself. OMG Annie is wearing a turtleneck under a flannel shirt under a denim jumper.


Annie's like, "You didn't mean it when you killed Misery." She sets up a table with a typewriter for Misery's return, a book dedicated to her. He's being pretty chill about everything, very cooperative, even with occasional snarks. She's got him fancy paper. The typewriter's missing an "n." He claims the paper gets smudgy, so she has to go back into town to get something different. It was expensive, but it still smudges. She seems kind of pissed. She's being really passive-aggressive. Now aggressive-aggressive. She wants more appreciation. She slams a box on his legs. Not cool. She calls him "Mr. Man" as an insult. Nice.


He's going to pick up a dropped bobby pin to use as a weapon or something, I guess. Oh, he's going to try to pick the lock with it. Isaac thinks Misery the Pig could be swayed to his side, but I am skeptical. She seemed pretty loyal to Annie. Paul drops the pin. Does he even know how to pick a lock? I don't, I'm just saying. Oh, apparently he does. There's an hour left in this movie and he still can't walk, so clearly he can't get away yet. He finds the front door locked, apparently from the outside. He goes into a living room and finds that the phone is not even real. He refers to her as a "crazy bitch." Fact. He should probs get back in his room before she comes home. So much snow on the roads. What is this, fucking Minnesota? She has a ton of porcelain animal figurines. Paul barely saves a li'l penguin from hitting the ground. He puts it back on the table in the wrong direction. He finds her Paul Sheldon shrine: all the Misery books with an autographed picture of him. He goes into the bathroom and grabs some of the the red "Novril" pills, presumably to find out what they are. He tucks a pack in his pants. He can't fit into the kitchen in his wheelchair. Dude, no. Don't try to use your legs to get to the back door. She'll find you and do something real bad. Back door's locked. He eyes the knife block, but then hears her car coming. He fast crawls back to the chair as she comes up the driveway in her old-timey SUV thing. She's got his typing paper! He's so sweaty. Her church lady clothes are textbook. She drops a paper pack, which gives him a few seconds to re-shut the living room door. He goes back in his room, shuts the door, and tries to lock himself back in. Annie says, "Your color is very hectic." He claims he's sweaty because he's in pain and wants his pills.


He takes his pills. She says her genius needs his rest before he writes. She puts him back in bed. She leaves him a notepad for ideas. "I have faith in you, my darling!" She blows him a kiss and he "catches" it. SO CREEPY. He was hiding the pills under his tongue. The sheriff is back up in his helicopter and spots the Mustang. Another cop tells the media that Paul crawled out of the car and must be dead in the snow since anybody who found him would've taken him to the hospital. The sheriff notices that the door's been pried open. He knows he's not dead. His wife practically rolls her eyes, knowing he's not going to let it go.


Paul's made a little paper pouch out of a piece of paper and is emptying the pills into it. Is he going to use them on her? Later, he sits at the typewriter. He types "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck." Is this a dissertation? Just churn some shit out, bro. Doesn't even matter. Later, Annie comes in and says that his work isn't worthy of him. She claims it isn't fair. She's got on overalls with another turtleneck. So great. She's describing some movie she liked at as a kid. Rocket Man. something about Misery being in the ground at the end of the last book and having to start there. Snow. He has sweet salmon-colored sweatpants. She likes something about a bee sting putting Misery in a coma and getting buried alive. She's so excited about romance! She's going to put on her Liberace records. Paul claims he likes him. He asks her to have dinner with him to celebrate Misery's return. NICE. She says it would be an honor. Our friend the sheriff's picked up all Paul's books. Mrs. Sheriff is sassy. "It's just that kind of sarcasm that's given our marriage real spice," he says to her, in an adorable way.


Annie's lace-collared dress is so terribmazing. They're eating at a table in the living room. A big cask of shitty-looking wine and some ketchup. She puts spam in the ground beef for her meatloaf. "Can't get this in a restaurant in New York." They're going to toast to Misery. Paul pours generous wine glasses. He says they should "do it right" and light candles. When she goes out of the room, he pours the pill powder into her glass. She comes back and they cheers to Misery and Annie. She manages to knock over her drink and spill everything. OOPS! But he's gaining her trust and can find more pills.


MONTAGE: Annie reads and scratches the pig, Paul types, and the sheriff reads up on Misery. So much snowing outside. Paul practices lifting the typewriter. Isaac: "hipster workout." It's raining, it must be spring. Annie's depressed about the rain. She loves him, knows he doesn't love her. "You'll never know the fear of losing someone like you when you're someone like me." The book's almost done and his legs are healing, but he claims he likes it there. She knows better. She's got a stubby handgun in her pocket. She thinks about using it. "I might put bullets in it." She walks out in the rain in her amazing robe and drives off to somewhere.


Paul gets out and steals the biggest knife from the block in the kitchen. The sheriff continues to read the Misery books. His wife is like, "Okay, whatever." While out of his room, Paul finds Annie's scrapbook. The most recent entries are news articles about his presumed death. He finds older news articles. A banker with her last name died. A nursing student killed before Annie took top honors at the same school. A pediatrician's death. How fucking many people has she killed? A baby. Two babies! The newspaper called Annie "Dragon Lady." She was arrested for some baby deaths, but apparently didn't serve any time? Later, in bed, Paul's practicing drawing his knife. Annie doesn't go in to check on him tonight, I guess. He got himself all psyched up for nothing. He slides the knife between the mattress and the box spring. "See you in the morning," he says. More rain overnight. He wakes up to see Annie, lit up by lightning. She injects him with something.


Pretty mountain morning. He giggles as he wakes up. She's there. Says she knows he's been out. She's strapped him down now. She finally noticed the penguin. "The penguin in the study always faces due south." She found the knife, too. She found his "key" in his pants. She knows he's been out twice, but I'm pretty sure it was more than that. She talks about "hobbling" him so he can never run away. She's got a huge sledge hammer and is going to fuck up his feet. SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT. She's fucked up his ankles HARD. "God, I love you." Dear lord. this movie is really fucked up (and good).


The sheriff notices Annie being crazy in town. He's got a hunch. He and his wife bicker in a cute way. More sass-on-sass ("spice") than actual arguing. The sheriff does library research and figures out who Annie is. He matches her cry of innocence in the paper to a quote from a Misery book. "Hi, pumpkin!" she calls from outside. Paul flips her off. The sheriff goes in to talk to the general store guy, finds out she's super into Paul and has been buying typing paper.


Paul sits inside and sighs. He sees the sheriff's car coming. Annie comes in and stabs him with the needle to sedate him and he tries to fight her off, but passes out. She hides him in the basement. "When are we going to develop a sense of trust?" she asks. The sheriff comes up to the door. He asks about Paul Sheldon, and she starts to recite facts. She lets him in. She tells the sheriff that God told her to become his replacement. Supposedly that's why she started buying writing materials. Apparently it's only been four weeks. She offers the sheriff some cocoa. She insists. The sheriff heads upstairs while she's in the kitchen and finds nothing. I love that Annie sleeps in a single bed. She finds him up in her room. She was probably trying to poison him, but he won't take the cocoa. He's so fucking suspicious. He hears something fall.


Paul moves around in the basement, knocking over the grill. The sheriff goes back in to check it out, asking if Annie's okay. He hears Paul yelling downstairs and finds the door to the basement. Annie shoots the fuck out of the sheriff. She's got two bullets in her handgun, one for Paul and one for her. Paul's on the ground in the basement, looking for a way out. She heads downstairs with a syringe and her gun. He claims he loves her too and slows her up. He says that Misery must have eternal life. They have to finish the book. He claims he can finish it by dawn and "give Misery back to the world." He stuffs some lighter fluid into his sweats. He's been hiding a lot of shit in his sweats. He's just about done with the book. He needs a cigarette, matches, and a glass of Dom Perignon to finish his book. She goes out to get them. He's going to burn some shit down. He's almost done! She's so excited about the end of the book!


A tray with the cig on a doily and "Don Per-IG-non." She's holding her cigarette. He says they'll  need two glasses. He throws the manuscript down and pours lighter fluid on everything. He lights the manuscript and hits Annie with the typewriter. She only goes out for a second. She attacks. He fucks up her eyes a bit. She shoots him in the shoulder. Another shot hits nothing. Did she really only put in two bullets? Paul gets the upper hand and shoves the manuscript's ashes into her face. She gets up, but he trips her and she hits her head on the typewriter. He army crawls out of the room. She's baaaack! Her face is all bloody. She's on his back, but he manages to grab a pig statue thing and get her in the head again. She passes out again. They're right by the front door.


18 Months Later. New York. Paul, in a suit with a cane. He meets up with Lauren Bacall at a fancy restaurant. He's got a new novel. Not a Misery book. He says he "wrote it for me." "In some way, [it/she] helped me." The agent suggest he write about the experience. He doesn't want to. He knows she's dead, but sees her everywhere. He's terrified of all lady fans because they turn into her in his mind. NICE.


That movie was very good! And fucked up! A basically a feminist opus, is what I'm saying.

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: I did not even realize that James Caan was ALSO in The Godfather as Sonny "Terrible Decisions" Corleone until I started doing Google image searches for this movie. THE MORE YOU KNOW THE MORE YOU KNOW THAT EVERYONE WAS IN THE GODFATHER BUT IS UNRECOGNIZABLE TO YOU IF YOU WERE NOT ALIVE IN 1972 AND DIDN'T WATCH THEIR YOUTH FADE AT THE SAME RATE AS YOURS.