messier object


why are the good people dying?

Seriously, this poster is about a thousand times better than the new ones.

So.  They’re remaking The Crazies, Romero’s fourth movie (after his ill-advised dive into romantic comedy).  And as if the “of the Dead” remakes weren’t meh enough – cool opening credits sequences don’t really make up for a mediocre execution – this one looks to be just as middle-of-the-road.  While it’s always nice to see Timothy Olyphant getting work as a sheriff, the concept and apparent execution this time seem to lack some of the wild-eyed paranoia of the original.  That one had a sort of predecessor to the plague-zombies of late – intelligent humans bent on murder by a virus in the water supply, with a possibility of worldwide contamination – while the new one seems, from the viral marketing, to be more along the lines of the X-Files episodes “Red Museum” or “Blood” – evil chemicals make the good people want to kill.  Not that it’s ever a bad time for a Bhopal-referencing horror movie about the terrors of environmental degradation, but… why this one?

When I saw the first trailer, I have to say I was a lot more excited than I am now.  It was, according to Wikipedia, going to be set in Georgia, and when I saw these clips in the trailer it was hard not to think of New Orleans.  We haven’t really had a good Katrina-related horror movie yet, or even a good Southern horror movie that didn’t rely on the Civil War in quite some time.  Sure, there’s Left 4 Dead 2. (‘though I’ve still gotta play that, and, yes, I’m going to extend it to being Katrina-related even if the government is generally competent and not paranoia-inducing just because of where it’s set.  You’ve got to make due with what you get.)  But I thought the ’70s Vietnam-derived paranoia that runs rampant through the original – two of the main band we follow are veterans, and, I mean, it’s a movie about the U.S. Army wiping out a village while under threat from a runaway biological weapon – were going to make a really great match for a Katrina-based horror film.

See what I meant?

Great, then, was my dismay when I put together the slogan on the sign up there and on the header of this viral page meant it was going to be set in rural Iowa.  I mean, yeah, tranquil small-town Americana is a classic horror-within! setting and, sure, pollution impacts us everywhere.  But couldn’t they have just saved that for the eventual remake of Frogs?



hey, look, it’s aelita
2009, December 19, 5:55 pm
Filed under: science fiction | Tags: , , , ,

Hey, everybody, look! It’s Aelita! (The Queen of Mars!)

Wait, it’s not?  But they look so much alike!  Odd.  So far, pretty much every illustration of women in pre- and post-Stalinist SF illustration keeps that same hyperdramatic Weimar cinema look, but I have no idea why.  Yet.



am i high, 1940s?

Membership [in Mister Mind’s Monster Society of Evil]:

  • Mr. Mind
  • Archibald, a satyr
  • An army of termites and worms
  • Artificial bodies Mr. Mind could mentally inhabit, consisting of:
    • A Goat-Man, half-man, half-goat
    • A robot, seemingly indestructible
    • An octopus with a human face, constantly grinning
    • A circus strongman, with strength rivalling that of Captain Marvel himself
  • Bonzo, fanged hunchback with large eyes
  • Captain Nazi, superstrong Aryan warrior
  • Crocodile-Men, a race of humanoids from the planetoid Punkus
  • Dobbin, Mr. Mind’s seahorse steed
  • Dome attendants who tend to Mr. Mind’s undersea base, consisting of:
    • A pig-man
    • A goblin
    • A werewolf
    • An ogre
    • A midget submarine captain, the last of Mr. Mind’s minions to leave him
  • Dr. Smashi, short Japanese scientist and one of Mr. Mind’s three lieutenants
  • Dr. Hashi, spiky-haired Japanese scientist
  • Dr. Peeyu, tall Japanese scientist
  • Dr. Sivana, the “world’s wickedest scientist”
  • Evil Eye, monster with the ability to hypnotize
  • Herkimer, Crocodile-Man and Mr. Mind’s second-in-command
  • Herr Phoul, bald Nazi scientist with a monocle and one of Mr. Mind’s three lieutenants
  • Adolf Hitler and all the resources of Nazi Germany
  • Hydra, head-regenerating monster created by Mr. Mind
  • IBAC, criminal who sold his soul for superstrength and durability
  • Jeepers, last of a race of bat-monsters
  • Jorrk, greatest scientist of the Crocodile-Men and one of Mr. Mind’s three lieutenants
  • Marmaduke, criminal with big ears and a fat face
  • Monster Brigade, undersea monsters under Mr. Mind’s command, consisting of:
    • A sperm whale
    • A giant octopus
    • A hammerhead shark
    • A huge sea-serpent
  • Monster Professors, teachers at Mr. Mind’s Monster School, consisting of:
    • A human,
    • A Crocodile-Man,
    • A fanged monster,
    • A humanoid with the head of a hippopotamus
  • Monster Students, pupils at the Monster School, consisting of:
    • Human tough guys
    • Crocodile-Men
    • A black, horned demon
  • Mr. Banjo, criminal and leaker of secrets via coded music from his banjo, played on a popular radio show
  • Benito Mussolini and all the resources of Fascist Italy
  • Nippo, master swordsman and spy for the Japanese
  • Sylvester, Crocodile-Man and one of Mr. Mind’s preferred gunners
  • Synthetic animals created by Mr. Mind, consisting of:
    • Oscar, a giant lobster
    • Oliver, a giant octopus with human hands
    • Ophelius, a huge ram
    • Oliphant, a dragon
  • Hideki Tojo and all the resources of Imperial Japan
  • Tough guys, generic human enforcers of Mr. Mind’s wishes, notable ones include:
    • A tommy-gun wielder
    • A cloaked swordsman
    • A beret-wearer
    • A stereotypical “Goomba”
    • A Gatsby cap-wearer

Keep in mind, of course, that Mister Mind is a two-inch-tall caterpillar.



liveblogging “hitler’s stealth fighter”

10:04: Well, that ending was terrible.  Seriously, a Nazi stealth bomber? Even my dad thought that was bullshit.

9:50: ads ads ads ads ads ads ads ads iphone ad

9:48: Has anybody talked up the “legend of the Nazi stealth fighter” before this program? I know I’d never heard of it before.

9:47: I wonder if there are different plans for riggin’ a plane for a radar test range and for hanging in a museum?

9:45: The premise of this program is revealed – “I wonder if it really is stealthy.  I mean, it looks stealthy to me.”

9:44: Oh, c’mon, it’s not like out-dogfighting a Me-262 is tough.  Things could fly fast in a straight line, but they couldn’t turn for shit.

9:42: Shit, the Germans are expecting a NUKE

9:41: They keep saying “generations ahead” but I mean the YB-49 only flew in ’47 and the 229 flew for the first time in December ’44.

9:39: Damn, there are a lot of ads on this.  Maybe Fringe and Kings are spoiling me.

9:33: I’m still here, it’s just hard to say anything about the rush to form a plexiglass cockpit.

9:29: Coatings.  Boo-urns.

9:21: Okay, seriously? 2500 dollars a gallon and that’s easier than a little aluminum pipe?

9:18: I realize there’s a whole history of modeling radar reflection but seriously is it tougher to paint it accurately than it is to fabricate a bit of aluminum piping?  Oh, they’re doing it in three months.

9:17: Plus are we supposed to believe the head of the Luftwaffe had never heard of the preeminent glider designers in all Germany?  And I was under the impression the 229 was designed to be a fighter-bomber, and that the Hortens didn’t claim it could be an interceptor?

9:16: “The Horten 229 was generations ahead of the rest of the world.”  Therefore, it was obviously made for revenge.

9:06:

jeff nagle
stop touching it you dicks

allegra black
eh, at least it’s nat geo and not discovery people
discovery people are assholes

9:05: And it’s right there next to the Mosquito, huh.  But where are the Garber peeps? And why do they keep touching it?

9:04:  Hahahahahahaha, a “secure government facility.”  Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys, but you forgot to mention it’s stored next to a mash tank and the expanded human nervous system.  And then the shot of the cyclone wire, geez.

9:03: Norman Leach’s a Canadian military historian? We’re trusting a Canadian specialist to tell us about German aerospace-science relations?