Archive for July, 2013

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Like we always do about this time….let’s go!

1. We Are What We Are (2010): A nicely disturbing Mexican horror movie about a poor family of cannibals living in the modern-day.  While the gore is there, this is not a slasher flick that follows typical American studio formulas. No hot young teen actors to come save the day, etc. The movie focuses on the family members themselves, their disturbing heritage and belief system, their struggles to survive and stay hidden, and their apparent genetic predilection to stalk and hunt human prey.  I think we can all relate.  Not for the meek or those against immigration (Mexican cannibals! Ahhhh, build higher fences!).  And it really hammers home a moral we all could learn: Never eat a prostitute!

Prostitutes: they're NOT what's for dinner.

Prostitutes: they’re NOT what’s for dinner.

2. Dark Skies (2013): It was in theaters for a millisecond and then went off to the world of DVD and Netlflix.  You probably remember seeing the trailers on TV and that’s about it.  While not a financial bomb (it only cost $3.5 million), a $23 million haul isn’t considered a hit by most standards.  It’s been panned by many who did see it (which were few) but it deserves your attention.  It’s a solid flick about alien abduction that builds well, holds the suspense, and delivers the right amount of “jumps” to keep it fun and scary.  Its spin on alien abduction isn’t new, but it’s intelligently vague…vague to enough to keep it terrifying but not too sci-fi.  There have actually been very few good alien abduction movies over the decades…and this is really among the better made.

3. Salvage (2009): A seriously good British monster flick that works even though the monster in on-screen for maybe 60 seconds total.  The creature is just a plot tool, this movie is pure psychological horror done lo-fi…and right.  There is little rote or trope about this.  The acting is fantastic.  The action is messy but realistic.  It’s gritty and sad.  It’s desperate and suspenseful.  And there is sustained full-frontal nudity and sex, so…shit, what are you waiting for?

4. 6 Souls (Shelter, 2010) 2013: A box office disaster by any measure.  It’s release and re-lease under a different name was bungled to embarrassment, and virtually every critic who did see it treated it like the Trayvon Martin verdict (Oh YEAH, not too soon).  But this is actually a pretty solid, if not great movie (and I think it fucking is).  It weaves a tale of faith vs. science as a psychologist gets mixed up in a generations old serial killer legend.  A serial killer who steals souls and uses them as needed.  Or is he just a legitimate case of multiple-personality disorder?  Help us, Julian Moore!

"Ha...yeah, no.  I deny all knowledge of this movie now."

“Ha…yeah, no. I deny all knowledge of this movie now.”

5. Lunopolis (2009): THIS movie.  Jesus.  You will love it or hate it, but I really dug it.  In the found-footage format (stay with me), two documentary filmmakers stumble upon a time-traveling, moon-worshipping cult just in time to try to prevent a world-ending prophecy that may have all ready happened…a bunch of times.  That’s not even the weirdest shit.  It was done on the super cheap so the acting is serviceable and some dialogue is kinda forced, a few scenes were obviously shoe-horned into the story on-the-fly to move it along faster-complete with long-winded monologues that explain what they don’t have time to explain with the story..but…BUT….it’s pretty fucking cool.  You can find it on Netflix or maybe on DVD if you dig.  Probably find it online for free also.  Sci-fi, bitches.

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“No, daddy…you have to raise your pinky when you drink the tea.  It’s fancy.”

“Raise my pinky?”

“Yeah, like this.”

“Daddy doesn’t want to raise his pinky. That makes daddy question his gender role and sexual orientation.”

She stares blankly at me with giant, 4yr old eyes.

“Daddy is joking.”

“Just raise your pinky, daddy.”

“Fine, but then I get to take off this fucking feather boa…”

“MOMMY!!”

And thus, the tea party continues on and my manhood sinks into the dark abyss.

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Just look at this desolate pit of despair

It wasn’t always like this.  And I mean that as in 30 minutes ago my daughter and I were killing aliens aboard her magic space carpet…and it was glorious.  We had racked up heavy casualties and the fog of war was thick, but we were winning goddammit.  The earth had a chance.  Then my daughter decided she wanted to take the aliens to a tea party instead.  I tried to explain to her that this was no fucking time for diplomacy, but she was resolute…and she doesn’t know what the word “diplomacy” means and it made her giggle.  So I tried to fly with it.

“Can we put poison in the alien’s tea?  So then they die and we win.”

“No, daddy.  That’s mean.  And I want to give them cookies too.”

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NOT WORKING FOR ME!

When I was a little rugrat, I pretty much lived in a fantasy/sci-fi world 90% of the time.  I would patronize reality only when absolutely necessary or forced to, otherwise I was knee-deep in GI Joe, He-Man, or racing around the house killing whatever evil threat I could conjure up in my brilliant little head.

Imagination is what makes us what and who we are, and childhood is the place to let it run buck-fucking-wild.  It was a skill and tradition I was confident I would pass on to my kid.  And I did.

The difference is that my kid was born with ovaries instead of testicles.  And with those ovaries comes an entirely different set of imaginary interests.  Interests that seem to surface rather quickly whenever we set off for the land of make-believe.

I offer up the idea of killing monsters and flying airplanes, which any 4yr old will quickly agree to.  But as the minutes tick by, the conversation and level of play quickly switches gears:

After about 10 minutes, she no longer wants to shoot the monsters, she wants to style their hair in her Barbie hair salon.  And she wants me to help.

After 15 minutes of playing superheroes, she no longer wants to save the city, she wants us to use our super powers to babysit her dolls-which is a clear waste of superhuman strength but this point is completely lost on her.  She tells me I can just carry more dolls to the zoo then.  And I do.  And she makes me keep the cape on (which is fine because I look good in a cape).

And so we sit at the alien tea party, my daughter smiling from ear to ear, making adorable peace with the enemy, while I am forced to serve them more cookies and keep my goddamn pinky waving high.  It’s miserable…but it makes my little girl happy.  She’s not a blood-thirsty warrior, she’s a princess.  She likes dolls not guns (her loss).  She’s a little girl…and she’s her own person.

I’m ready to admit defeat in my quest to make my daughter something she’s not.  I can’t project my boyhood aggression on to her and I shouldn’t want to, I guess.
I relent and consider this to be my last attempt at pushing machismo violence upon her gumdrop imagination…but then:

“Okay, daddy…we can shoot them now.”

“Wait…really?”

“Yeah, they said my tea is yucky so we can shoot them!” she says with a wicked grin.  I pull out my triple-barreled plasma rifle with photon grenades and drop it on the cookie plate.

There is hope for this young one yet.

We dash from the table, guns blazing and grenades firing.

And I keep my feather boa on.

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