Freaky Friday… hmmmm.

Anything goes?  That’s what the schedule says.  I have to do what the schedule says.  The schedule is the boss of me.

Well, crap.  I’ve got nuthin’.

Oh, I do have potatoes.  My potato plants are planning to take over the world.

Potato Jungle

Potato Jungle

Or we could discuss the one semi-silly scene (my only complaint) in the opening episode of Game of Thrones.  Daenerys was walking along a pier and saw a young girl playing with a ball.  The girl turned into some freaky hissing zombie clown black-magic assassin who could walk on air/water/fly/disappear at will but she was quickly forgotten when Sir Barriston Selmy pledged his oath.  Man, I’d be too busy looking over my shoulder for that freaky hissing zombie clown black-magic child assassin to pay much attention to anything else.

Creepy assassination attempt.

Creepy assassination attempt.

What is it about children in a horror film that is so horrifying?  Ah, I remember– it’s the Uncanny Valley.  Which is forever fascinating.  And scary.  Let’s reiterate:  The Uncanny Valley is a concept in robotics which holds that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers.

Guillermo del Toro anyone?

Thomas Jefferson and I share a birthday – April 13th.  Our anniversary is coming up as well – the 17th.  My husband planned something special, which we’ve postponed for a week, but I suspect we’ll go to dinner at least.

Thanks so much for all your support.  I’m definitely feeling better.

Hope you have a great weekend.  See you Monday!

Horror.

Guillermo del Toro knows horror.  He knows what frightens us and he uses that to his film-making advantage.

I can’t even watch a trailer for his movie without running from my computer, screaming in terror.

Remember Pan’s Labyrinth?  A child, a fantasy world, and fascist Spain?  I couldn’t watch it.  The Devil’s Backbone, again a child and a fantasy world set during the Spanish Civil War?  Couldn’t watch it either.

Guillermo del Toro is from Mexico.  He’s a director, screenwriter, producer and novelist.  He directed and wrote the first Hellboy movie (with Ron Perlman as Hellboy), and was a producer for the second and third installments.

Fortunately I have a resident horror expert, my son.  I keep him on staff for just such occasions.  I discussed Guillermo del Toro’s new movie, Mama, with him.  My expert had actually shown me a short film, Mama, made in Spanish with subtitles, sometime in the past year which had me so frightened I refused to touch my computer for three days.

Oh god, I think I’m gonna pass out just uploading that sucker! Jesus!

From my resident expert:

“There is actually a hypothesis which discusses why we react the way we do to the kind of horror movie Guillermo del Toro makes. It’s called The Uncanny Valley. It’s a theory of robotics and it hypothesizes that when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like human beings, it causes human observers to experience revulsion. It was originally discussed by Ernst Jentsch, a German psychiatrist, who wrote an essay in 1906 entitled, On the Psychology of the Uncanny. Sigmund Freud elaborated on this in 1919, when he wrote his own essay on the same subject, The Uncanny. Robotics professor, Masahiro Mori, (think Japanese horror films), coined the phrase, The Uncanny Valley.

“Horror comes from the grotesque, from showing something familiar acting in an unfamiliar way. We are hard-wired to expect humans to act in human ways. When a human moves like an animal, or an insect, something that is inhuman, it plays with our sensibilities and becomes frightening. Guillermo del Toro is a master at showing us a human being acting in an inhuman way.

“He also tends to center his films around children. First of all, let’s be honest, children in horror movies are creepy. However, by placing a child at the center of the abnormal activity, he’s giving adults permission to participate along with the child, because in childhood the impossible is possible. In childhood, there is no impossible.”

And then my resident horror expert showed me this:

Holy fuckin’ shit. I have to run and scream now. Later.

The Walking Dead Season Premier- more questions than answers…

which is not necessarily a bad thing.  I simply haven’t yet decided if it’s a good thing.

Maggie the Zombie Slayer

SPOILER ALERT!

We missed a lot.  Seriously, I’m missing a lot of information here.  The writers skipped over the entire winter,  leaving us in the dark as to how the small group survived. Herschel did mention something about running from house to house, but other than Lori looking a might peaked– (What else is new?)– everyone appeared too well fed to have spent months living hand to mouth.  While characters have obviously changed, as in Carol can now shoot a gun and Maggie is channeling Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, there was no indication of how the group came to terms with the following:

a.  Shane’s murder and Rick’s culpability.  For the good of the group?  Self-defense?  One has to wonder…

b.  The certain knowledge they will all become walkers when they die.

c.  Rick’s word = The Law.

In other words, last season ended with such a powerful scene, every character horrified and traumatized by Rick’s multiple revelations… Yeah I killed Shane (my best friend and father of my wife’s baby).  Yeah, we’re all gonna be walkers when we die and I’ve known for quite some time.  Yeah, I’m the boss of you so shut yer dang pie holes.

Only Lori seems troubled, but casting frequent concerned glances at Rick just doesn’t cut it for me.  Without Shane to add tension to the relationship I’m not really feeling it.

Yes, there was a somewhat humorous and suggestive tete a tete between Daryl and Carol, although I wasn’t certain how seriously to take it or how far they’ve taken it– which is too bad because I like Daryl and Carol together and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them.  Unfortunately during the conversation Carol tossed off a thoughtless insult about my dearly departed Shane.  If that’s all Carol has to say about the man who kept them alive for months, the man who stopped Carol’s husband from beating her and beating her daughter… very out of character.  Although I did think it was hilarious when she almost shot Rick.  Passive aggressive or an accident?

*** An Addendum:  Carol said – and I may be paraphrasing – “I doubt Shane could have gotten us this far.”  A fallacious argument if I’ve ever heard one.  While it’s true Rick has taken on some of Shane’s qualities, i.e., he’s grown a thicker skin and he’s ruthless, at least to all (superficial) appearances, he lacks Shane’s pragmatism, intelligence, instinct and cunning.  (I’m going to use a lot of ‘head’ references here- Rick doesn’t think ahead, he tends to blunder headlong into situations where he finds himself in over his head.  Rick is still ‘proper’ and ‘prideful’.   Shane, for instance, would order everyone to eat the dog food.  He’d say – “We’ve eaten worse.”  In fact I doubt there would be any hesitation among the group.  I would bet under Shane’s leadership they would have resorted to pet food on many occasions because it was available and they have a pregnant woman to feed.  Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.  In a catastrophe human beings have eaten all kinds of things to stay alive.

I meant to put up this link to Marina’s Zombie Report, her take on the season opener.  Check it out, it’s great!  https://mustlovefiction.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/marinas-zombie-report-season-3-walking-dead-premiere/

Glen and Maggie are cute together – I give their scenes two thumbs up.

The episode featured lots of blood and gore, always a plus for a big segment of the viewing population, although I’m left wondering why there are so many walkers.  Even if you have a functioning brain stem, body parts will begin to fall off after a while.  See?  Questions.  As in why do those riot police still in full riot gear look pretty darn healthy for walking dead?

Dear Rick (and writers), as a nurse I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the following… chopping off Herschel’s leg with an ax will not stop the infection from spreading since it had already spread throughout his bloodstream by the time you dragged him into that room.  Besides, how do you plan to cauterize the wound?  You don’t have a way to stop the bleeding and you don’t have any antibiotics so all I can say is… a hair-brained scheme if I ever saw one.  Just about as hair-brained as saving that kid, hauling his ass back to the farm, wasting time and effort saving his leg, and then deciding to kill him.  I’m quite fond of Herschel but you shoulda just shot him in the head.  Would have been kinder.  Even if he doesn’t become a walker he sure as shit ain’t gonna outrun ‘em.

On the one hand the season opener was entertaining, on the other hand, something was missing and it wasn’t just Shane.  Rick can’t carry the show for me, he’s too stupid.  Note to Rick’s asinine brain… If dog food is the only thing available you eat dog food.  Beggars can’t be choosers, oh glorious leader.  Daryl, in his previous incarnation, would have given Rick a well-deserved smackdown for that bonehead move.

Michonne!

On the other hand, I’m already loving Andrea and Michonne.  Here’s to hoping Andrea and Michonne enliven Season Three.

 

I dream dead people.

What is up with this?  For the past three nights I’ve dreamed of dead people.  It’s not like I’m trying to dream of dead people.  I don’t climb into bed thinking, gee, I’d sure like to dream of dead people.  But it doesn’t seem to matter.  My subconscious has plans of its own.

Dream number one – I am married to a distorted version of Jeff Goldblum, an actor I would be quite attracted to under normal circumstances (because I think he’s super sexy in that Anthony Bourdain bad-boy way and Jeff delivers the best one-liners in Hollywood with great aplomb) but I’m not attracted to him when he looks like he’s stepped straight out of some satanic fun house mirror.  Anyway, Jeff’s evil twin and I were invited to a party.  Each couple invited had to bring an original work of art.  Each work of art had to be created from a dead body.  So we, fun house mirror Jeff and I, had to go dig someone up and like… shellac them – mix and match parts in an artistic fashion.  To say the process was gross is an understatement– all these pieces of dead bodies in various states of decay on display.  Delightful…

I didn’t like this dream at all and I certainly did not appreciate being married to fun house mirror Jeff Goldblum.  I remember hiding in the bathroom of the house where the party was being held, wondering how the hell I was going to escape via a tiny window and climb down from the second story.

Dream number two – Driving in a car with my mother, a dead body in the back seat.  Didn’t recognize the body.  Don’t know where we were going.  I tried to keep my eyes on the road, but still I had to glance into the backseat every now and then to see if that dead body was still there.  Didn’t want any reanimation happening while driving.  RWD.  Reanimation While Driving.

Dream number three – Dead body encased in plastic like one of those paperweights, floating in my bathtub.  WTF???  See my scorpion paperweight?  That’s what it was like.

Enough with the dead bodies already.

I’d rather dream about oh, pretty much anything else.

 

My Favorite Monsters.

There’s a huge difference between horror and gross.  Aliens is horror.  Aliens vs. Predators is gross.

Aliens grabs you by the whatever and squeezes until you squeal.  The movie evokes so many emotions, dialing up the fear factor until it becomes outright terror which morphs into righteous anger which ultimately morphs into sacrifice and heroism.

Aliens vs. Predators goes for the disgust factor, as in fear factor participants eating a live spider.

Movies like Aliens and Predator lead you through the valley of the shadow of death.  This is the difference between horror and goo.  Predator may be a gore-fest, but it’s not goo.

When I watch a horror movie, and I much prefer sci fi to slasher crappola – which I actually will not watch – I want the protagonist faced with a life or death challenge, and I want to see the protagonist rise to the occasion in a realistic fashion.  No Deus ex Machina and no Nickelodeon green slime.

Think Sarah Connor, The Terminator.

In fact, my husband and I just had an discussion about how much the Queen in Aliens weighs – because remember she holds onto Ripley and Ripley holds onto the ladder? My husband says – between 500 and 1500 lbs. I say at least a ton. Heavy exoskeleton. He says hollow, lightweight exoskeleton. Nope I say heavy. Either way IRL Ripley could not have held on, but we’ll let that go…

Ooh, I found an interesting horror movie the other day – Outlander.  No, it’s not what you think, although I did hear a Scottish brogue or two.  The story combines a few of my most very favorite tropes:

Vikings/Norse mythology.

Swords.

Battle axes.

Woman warrior.

Spaceman, i.e., man out of time, time traveler.  Humanoid who crashes on early medieval earth and locates a forgotten humanoid colony (of course we’ve forgotten we’re a colony).

Mythological monster – a dragon.  The Morwin.

A tragic back story.  A decent man, spaceman, trying to repent for what he views as his sins.  Hot guys and gals battling legendary creatures.  Destruction, death, rebirth.  Story incorporated into local mythology.  Great stuff.

And you’ll recognize the players:  Jim Caviezel from Person of Interest and one of my favorite time-paradox movies,  Frequency, and Sophia Myles from the short-lived and much-mourned vampire series, Moonlight.