Friday, April 15, 2011

A Surreal and Disturbing Take on Poe's "Hop-Frog"

This production of Poe's short story "Hop-Frog" is called "Fool's Fire," and it's a surreal, trippy mix of puppets and live actors. The stage direction often verges on dance, and the sets and photography are deliciously unsettling. Released in 1992, it features Michael J. Anderson as the jester. You'll recall him -- if you're old enough -- from Twin Peaks. I've posted Part 1, and will give you more later.

Now, I won't lie to you. There's a cheese factor going on here -- I think any show with giant puppets is going to have it. It feels vaguely 1970's, even though that's not when it was made. Watching it may cause you to recover a repressed memory of being molested by characters from H.R. Pufnstuf. But is that really a bad thing?

Actually that answer is definitely yes. Anyway, um, enjoy!

You can read further on the true history behind Hop-Frog here.

Monster Roundup: The Exorcist, Scream 4, and Financial Tips of the Undead

The internet's a big place, and not all of it is pretty. Here are a couple things I've found that might interest you:

A new and somewhat different personal finance book is coming out. Zombie Economics is based on the idea that surviving an economic downturn is very similar to surviving a zombie apocalypse. Find an account over at Zombo's Closet.

Final Girl reviews Scream 4, and proclaims it "enjoyable, if rote." Which actually makes me psyched to see it. I can completely enjoy an enjoyable movie, even if I have no respect for it whatsoever as artsy or innovative or even intelligent. Please, filmmakers, you have my money. All I'm asking is that you don't make me feel like I've aged a year when the credits roll. FG gets extra credit for using the word "ouroboros." I had to look that one up.

Too Much Horror Fiction reconsiders the book The Exorcist, arguing that it might not really be a horror story at all. "[I]t's about the corrosive power of guilt and the redemptive qualities of love, wrapped up in an irresistibly glistening package of vomit, bile, foulness, and blood..." To which I respond: "Whee!"

That's enough for now. May your day contain more love and redemption than guilt and bile. Unless it's what you're into. I won't judge.

Roy Batty's Surprisingly Inarticulate Last Moments

I've... I've seen some serious shit. I mean, if I told you some of the things I've seen you'd be all like, "No frickin' way!" But it's true. This one time, I was in a battle -- I was just arriving, and the whole thing was almost over, but -- well, you don't need to know that. But anyway, this rocket. An attack ship, actually. It was an attack ship, and it had just been hit by all these missiles and crap like that. So it was blowing up. And normally the explosion is really quick and silent. There's not a lot of fire, because the -- there's no air in space, so the fire just snuffs out. But anyway, one of the missiles or something must have punctured an oxygen tube somewhere in the ship, so it was feeding its own supply of O2 into the blast, and it created... this fire that was all bright and crackly and really, really beautiful.
It was an attack ship. On fire. In space. Fuck.
And just beyond it you could see the stars of this constellation. I want to say Big Dipper, but it wasn't that. That archer guy? No.
Christ, my head is killing me. I am seriously fucking dying.
Anyway, also these -- whattaya call it -- these things were glowing near that space gate. The Munchhausen Gate, I think. Yeah. They were these -- these beam things. Shit, it doesn't matter. You wouldn't know what the hell I was talking about, but they were just... really, really bright in the dark there. With that ship.
Everything I'm thinking. Right now, while I'm dying like this. It's all... it's all just going to be lost. You'll probably tell people what I said. But you won't know what it was like to actually see any of the crazy crap I saw. You know? No one will. Just me, and I'm about to croak, so... it'll be gone. Like when you come out of a pool and you wipe your nose with your own hand, but it doesn't matter, because of all the water.
I'll tell you what, though. Giving a robot with feelings a four-year lifespan? That's a dumb fucking idea. Who thought that was some kind of solution? Seriously. You know what you have when you give some kind of hyper-intelligent robot with massive combat skills a four-year lifespan? You have a seriously pissed off killing machine. Stupid. It's too late for me, but maybe you can tell someone.
Why the fuck am I holding this dove? Here. There you go, little guy. Jesus, that was weird. I'm losing it.
Okay, I can feel myself shutting down. We're about done here. Just, just... try to make all this sound cooler, okay?
I don't want to die. That's it. That's basically the only thing I want to say.
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