Thursday, February 28, 2013

Zombie Lake Wizard Video VHS

I'm thinking of buying this Zombie Lake Wizard Video VHS tape on Ebay.

My only issue is I already collect too many things. The last thing I need right now is to feel the need to collect a bunch of expensive VHS tapes of movies I've already see a hundred times. Still, I'd like to have maybe just this one VHS. Or at least the videos featured in Zombiethon. Maybe I'll sleep on it a few times. I just recently found a vinyl LP of The Monster Club Soundtrack and outbid everyone else on the planet. Outbidding everyone else on the planet for all of these goofy collectibles only me and four other people in the world find interesting is starting to get expensive. 

Still, I think maybe just this one time I'll go ahead and order my very own copy of 

Zombie Lake.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

P.S. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

My favorite zombie movie is Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.

I first saw it I think in 1984 on Elvira Mistress of the Dark. The terrible thing about it was we only had the one TV in our house so even though I was motivated by Elvira and her legendary "assets" I had to wait until after the movie to "review it properly."

But it wasn't just Elvira that made the first time I saw this movie stay with me forever. It was everything. The colors, the costumes... I grew up with Hippies and this is what the world looked like to me in 1973.

And, the movie was actually scary the first time I saw it. The scene where they look out the window and the one chick is being devoured by a zombie is actually scary. I had a Cross Country meet the next morning and since there were only three channels then everyone on the bus had seen it and only talked about that scene. 
And since I wasn't a very good runner and we were running through a forest at a local "castle" that morning I spent about ten minutes deep in the forest with no one around scared out of my wits.
And it's just funny and clever in a way that's not smarmy or hipper than thou (a failing of almost all modern culture in my estimation).

The movie is about a theatre troupe that accidentally summons the Living Dead. And you can feel that these people understood theatre and lighting and color and costume and makeup and liked each other and were having a blast making the movie.
I have been fortunate enough to collect two very fine specimens of the original movie poster for Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, and a pristine copy of of the Europix poster of the 1974 re-issue, both designed by star Alan Ormsby. 
So, what's your favorite zombie movie?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dispater and The Second Layer of Hell

The second circle of Hell is a flat, black, barren wasteland, with only one outstanding geographical attribute.... the City of Dis where the Arch Duke Dispater sits on a throne of iron at the top of his mighty, unassailable fortress. We believe it looks a little bit like this...

Originally a Roman or Celtic god of the underworld, Dis Pater became Pluto or Hades. But in Dante's Divine Comedy, Dispater ruled over the city of Dis. 

If there were any roads in the fiery wasteland of Dis, they would all lead to the fortress of Dispater. But much like the Hotel California, you can check in, but you can never leave. 

Even In Baator The Trains Must Run

A good friend of mine today asserted if life were a game of Dungeons and Dragons most people would be Lawful Evil in alignment. I have always agreed with the evil part, but found the lawful part troublesome.

But upon further review in the model used in Hell with Arch Dukes who all have dominion over different levels of Hell but are answerable to one Lord, Asmodeus.

When I started to think of it, though, it made sense, because most people knuckle under to authority and seek to oppress those beneath them. They obey the rules slavishly because they fear punishment and because they receive just enough compensation to keep them in order. They don't make the rules, but they do obey them. 

I tried to fit my own personality and moral code into the dungeons and dragons mythos but couldn't decide what alignment I would be. The only one I know I'm not is neutral, but it's also possible in the wide sweep all my various character flaws and quirks balance each other out and make me neutral after all.

Knock Knock. Who's there? Satan. Satan who? 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dr. Henry Wolfsburg and The Hall of Bad Dudes

Dr. Henry Wolfsburg is the curator of the Hall of Bad Dudes. A doctor of anthropology and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Wolfsburg is an expert on bad behavior and how different cultures define and deal with it. The Hall is his online archive of people various societies have defined "bad dudes." The first class of inductees includes popes, athletes, illustrators, and porn stars. 

Thomas L. Vaultonburg of Zombie Logic Press interviewed Dr. Wolfsburg and learned in the future the Hall will induct men, women, animals, robots, animated characters etc. as the definition of a bad dude is not limited to gender. 

Dr. Henry Wolfsburg, curator of The Hall of Bad Dudes, has written twenty-five books on the topic of cultural relativism. So, who does Dr. Wolfsburg consider to be the worst dude of all time?

Worst bad dude of all time

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope On a Rope

I don't have any real thoughts on the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI. If you want some in depth history of bad popes go to The Hall of Bad Dudes. I just wanted to do an image search of Pope on a Rope and see what came up. I expected to see this...

I'd be proud to scrub my taint with such a fine soap. But there was more than just literal pope on a rope. For instance...

Now this is the kind of pope on a rope I hadn't expected. I'm not sure how many popes were hanged historically. The most common method I saw was the old Sam Cooke treatment where a man burst in while the Pope was diddlin' his wife/daughter/son/dog/sheep/moist pile of feces and beat the pope's brains out. This literally happened more than a few times. Apparently security was lax at the Vatican back in the old days.
Maybe the next pope will say "yes." Many have before.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Wizard Video T Shirt

I want this Wizard Video T-shirt on Ebay, but I'm over budget this month already. Just knowing it exists is enough for now.

Here is a list of Wizard Video movies I'd also like to collect in the original big box:

-The Boogeyman
-Carnival of Blood
-Drive In Massacre
-The Driller Killer
-Zombie Hunt
-The Invisible Dead

Hmm, I see the list of Wizard Video releases at Wikipedia isn't very well documented. But the last thing I'm ever going to do in this life is edit Wikipedia. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Whatever Happened To Nick Yemana?

It happened in season 3 episode 11 of Barney Miller. A tray of brownies was sent to the detectives of the 12th by Wojo's girlfriend. What could go wrong, right? Let's examine. It was a highpoint for Sgt. Nick Yemana, played by Jack Soo, whose disappearance from the series was never explained. 

While yemana's absence from the show was never directly addressed, there were some hints. He was said to be at the DA's office, in court, or on vacation. But later we are led to believe he has passed away by these instances in the show.

In the last episode Barney remembers the detectives who were no longer there: Chano, Fish, Wentworth, and they show an old scene for each one. When he remembers Nick he looks like he is about to start crying, which would indeed indicate that Nick must have died, although exactly when is left up to your imagination. Also, since he has a broad smile when he remembers the others you can assume that Fish and the others are all still alive at that point.

In reality, actor Jack Soo had passed away of esophageal cancer on January 11, 1979. His last episode of the show was "The Vandal," which appeared in 1978. 

Harris(walking toward the coffee and stopping suddenly when he reaches the empty space where Nick's desk was) "Hmm, something's funny."

(Dietrich and Wojo are also there, Barney walks over.)

Barney: "Nick's desk." (looks sad and shocked)

Harris: (somberly) "Oh!" 

Barney: "They called about it last week. It completely slipped my mind."

The group stands silent, gazing at the spot.

Wojo: "I'm really gonna miss it."

(The others nod and say yeah)

Barney (looking sad) "Gonna miss a lot of things."

They fall silent again.

Dietrich: "I made coffee."

(The others seem to snap out of their sadness and follow him toward the coffee)

Dietrich: "It's not as bad as Nick's yet but..."

Barney pours a cup and takes a sip. 

Barney: "You're getting there!"

Everyone laughs and the episode continues.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Effects of Caffeine on Creativity

When I was an undergraduate in psychology I was always questioning my professors as to whether they thought there was a correlation between creativity and depression, and since they were only professors and there was no clear research they were incapable of making any conclusions, but they didn't  think so. 

I don't think they were right, but conclusive research has yet to be done. I know a study done a couple of decades ago at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop documented some anecdotal evidence that there was a correlation.

But how about caffeine? The human brain is a strange place and our dominion over it's vagaries is tenuous at best. For instance, we spend a great deal of our days trying to stimulate antagonistic receptors, drinking loads of coffee in the morning to open up the blood vessels, then aspirin later to close them down. But do any of these substance affect our ability to be creative in any way? I know in my life alcohol has never been a pathway to creation. Far from it. But others have had far different results with drugs or alcohol. 

Today I loaded up on caffeine and had the impulse to create a new website. So I did, even though my rational brain was telling me I can't stock the blogs I have now with real content. This one should be a little easier. 

Chet Retorted is the new blog. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

The TAC-15 Crossbow Is THE Weapon For Serious Zombie Hunters

If you're serious about zombie hunting the TAC-15 Crossbow is for you. Sure, if you're serious about zombie hunting you're budget is probably limited to a snack-sized bag of Cheetohs and something purple colored out of the cooler at the corner Gas N Sip, but you can dream. 

Let's face it, you're never going to have one of these, but if you did it would be pretty awesome. It mounts on an AR-15. For fans of egregious overkill. Like that last fragment of a sentence. Here's the problem with a fine piece of weaponry like this.

Once you show Bub how to use it, that's your ass. Or as Peter said in Dawn of the Dead, the only person who could miss with a weapon this fine is the sucker with the bread to buy it. So, dream on, zombie hunters of America. If you have a crossbow lifestyle on a slingshot budget maybe you can get one the old-fashioned way (whatever that is). 

You never aim a gun at anyone. Scary, isn't it? Isn't it?

The Body Of Richard III Exhumed, Then Re-Buried As a Vampire

Those who adhere to the conspiracy theory that Richard III never really died, but became a vampire and now is secretly pulling the strings at the International Monetary Fund have been foiled this week as the BBC reports the body of Richard III has been found, and much to the disappointment of those who would rather see him as an imposing, Machiavelian schemer, he was really a hunch-backed, feminine twit who died when someone literally shoved a sword up his ass. Kind of a dick shish kabob. 

Now that I've been dead over 500 years, you think someone could finally pull that stick out of my ass?

Richard will now be finally be given a proper burial and the debate as to whether he was really such a bad guy after all will go on. Since a lot of what we think we know about Richard III derives from Shakespeare, and Shakespeare was probably shagging the queen, a descendant of the family that killed Richard, it's quite possible Bill might have fudged a few historical facts. One also needs to keep in mind most of what Richard did in terms of doing away with his rivals, including his own nephews, was rather common practice. As required by law...

My kingdom for something firm up my giggy, please. 
                                                                        Other Demons

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chort, The Russian Demon

I'm primarily interested by demons that appear in Hebrew, Christian, or Milton's fictional tales, but today on Face Off I saw a Russian demon named Chort. Each team of contestants in this special effects make-up competition was given a demon from a different culture to portray, and Chort was the Russian demon. I know all cultures have versions of demons, and there's actually a great deal of similarity in how different cultures view the demonic, but information on Chort is scarce. Let's begin with the make-up the team of Eric and Wayne did for Chort.

And compare that to a brief description. Chort is considered to be a demon of total evil, with horns, hoofs, skinny tail, and a pig-face in Slavic mythology. His closest comparison in appearance is said to be Pan. A claim is made Chort is a character in Christian folklore and is a minion of Satan, but I don't find any evidence of this. here's your change-up demon for the day... Chort. 

That's a scary demon, but not nearly as scary as...

The Trump demon!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Disembodied Head of Judah Zachary

It's a safe bet I watched a couple hundred episodes of Dark Shadows with my mother before my earliest memories even set in. I don't remember any of them. But I know it was on in the afternoon and she watched it. Since I was a toddler and didn't have a job yet I was most likely there watching right along with her. 

In 2000 I decided I had enough of working in the service industry and just wanted to start anew, so I ran up a lazer eye surgery on my credit card, withdrew all the cash I had in the bank, and drove to Evanston in an ice storm to live with two feminist professors at Northwestern who thought it would be a hoot to have a misanthropic poet living in the basement of their enormous 150 year old home.

I had a nice egg of a few thousand dollars saved up, and I naturally assumed by the time the money ran out I'd have figured out what I was going to do with my life on my thirties. All i figured out was I was going to get on the red line at the Dominicks at Chicago Avenue, get off in Wrigleyville, and drink like a fish. Also, I was going to eat almost nothing but oriental flavor Maruchan Won Ton soup and drink Tab Cola. To further complicate matters, the surgeon had botched my lazer surgery and I couldn't see a thing. In short, it was a blast and I wouldn't trade those few months for anything. During that time Dark Shadows was on Sci Fi Network, and I watched the story arc with Judah Zachary's disembodied head. 

The disembodied head of Judah Zachary could make people do things. Bad things. I really disliked the disembodied head of Judah Zachary because it seemed to be screwing around with Quention Collins, who I think I liked. Slowly I ran out of money. And the whole damn thing looked like an Impressionist painting. I wondered many times if my mother had seen these episodes. I wondered if I had. I really developed a taste for the show. But after I left I haven't picked it up again. I see some of the early seasons are on Netflix, but my understanding is these were stories done before the whole vampire/horror element was added. Eventually I will slog through every episode of Dark Shadows after Barnabus Collins appeared. I've seen the two motion pictures Dan Curtis made, House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows. I read somewhere in all the seasons of Dark Shadows they never turned the camera off once. I find that amazing. I look forward to seeing the entire run. 

And to seeing the disembodied head of Judah Zachary vanquished.

Geryon And the Fifth Layer of Hell

The River Styx runs through the fifth layer of Hell. And the Arch Devil Geryon presides over it. In Greek mythology Geryon was a son of the medusa, but for our purposes he is the huge, beastly ruler of the Fifth Level of Hell. We believe he looks like this.

In Dante's Inferno Geryon has become the Monster of Fraud, a winged beast with the face of an honest man, the paws of a lion, the body of a wyvern, and a poisonous sting at the tip of his tail. Which is consistent of this rendering. That he is indeed the Arch Duke prevailing over the Fifth Circle of Hell is debatable. It's a woeful place. Probably looks a little bit like this.

The river Styx runs through this level of Hell, and in it are punished the wrathful and the gloomy. The former are forever lashing out at each other in anger, furious and naked, tearing each other piecemeal with their teeth. The latter are gurgling in the black mud, slothful and sullen, withdrawn from the world. Their lamentations bubble to the surface as they try to repeat a doleful hymn, though with unbroken words they cannot say it. Because you lived a cruel, vindictive and hateful life, you meet your fate in the Styx.

And a river runs through it.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Glasya of the Copper Skin

The daughter of Asmodeus and a mortal woman, Bensozia, Glasya in a consort of Mammon and very powerful for a non Arch devil. She is a good friend of Fierna, a daughter of Belial. Incredibly beautiful, her skin is a copper color and the copper scourge is her symbol. her servants will typically be female demons. 

Like her father Asmodeus, Glasya is very interested in causing unrest in the political arena, particularly by corrupting mortal women and showing them the art of becoming a power behind the throne.
A nice picture, but Glasya's skin would have more of a copper tone to it.