Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy ... um, er....

Okay, so it's not Halloween.  It's Halloween Eve?  All Hallow's Eve Eve?  Is there even a word for today?

There is.

That's right, to end Halloween month we're getting EDUCATIONAL, people!  And truly, that's the scariest thing of all, unprompted learning!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

What The Heck Am I Doing With This Blog?

You know, sometimes I wonder what my goal is with this blog.

Originally I was going to review Succubus: Hell-Bent, a dopey-looking movie that came in a three-pack with Vampires: Out For Blood and Blood Angels.  I'll admit, the first movie was bad, but my having been a huge Vanessa Angel fan for years gave me an actual reason to want to watch it.  It was bad, but it was enjoyably bad.  I wasn't expecting masterful acting from any of the cast, but the movie actually managed to surprise me with a few clever ideas and gave some hints as to how it could be much better given a real budget, a few better actors, and some cleaner writing.

I realize that's like saying "Dirty Dancing 2 could have been The Artist with some better writing and an entirely different cast" but work with me here.

Blood Angels shook my faith in everything I'm doing.  It reached deep into me and left me lying in my bed in the middle of the night staring at my ceiling going " this really worth the time and investment I put into it?  Am I even really enjoying myself when I do movies like these?"  There were no actors in it I was eager to see, miserably awful writing, terrible special effects, and a plot that was so transparent it had to be kept away from areas where lots of birds would fly around, lest they die immediately on impact.

So why would I expose myself to that again?  I can't think of a single reason to, and now I find myself idly looking around for something to do so I can finish this month and move on.

Blood Angels, you made me start to hate Halloween.  I'll never forgive you.

Maybe...maybe I need to look back at something nostalgic, something that I loved when I saw it when I was little.  Maybe there's something out there that I can remember that helped me get more "into" Halloween, something that made me appreciate it more than just "that holiday where people get scared and then eat candy."  For a long time growing up I was so convinced that all "fear" was bad that it took my slowly exposing myself to different kinds of fear to understand what I liked and what I didn't like, and I can really only think of one thing that threw so many references at me that I was able to explore each and realize "hey, some of this stuff is really good."

That.  That is what I remember.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Blood Angels

At a certain point in any bad movie you just know what you're watching is absolute garbage.  Maybe it's the first time Tara Reid opens her mouth in Alone In The Dark (if you haven't seen it, replace that with "anything Tara Reid has been in besides The Big Lebowski).  Maybe it's the first time bad CG effects show up.  Perhaps it's when you first realize how much they've diverted from the source material.

This is, I think, the first time I ever got a strong indication a movie was going to suck because of the DVD menu.

It's the lack of special features that's the biggest hint.  Not even a director commentary?
See, in the lower left, about a third of the screen is taken up with a small "screen within the screen" showing segments from the film.  While the scenes were playing, I did some research on this movie and found out two things.  First, the title Blood Angels isn't what it was called here in the United States.  In the United States, it was called Thralls.  Blood Angels is its Canadian name.

Second, the video clips being shown are just the trailer for the movie done on loop.  Plus, the rest of the screen is just the same video with bad CG clouds washing over it and weird light effects from the letters.

When your only option for a DVD menu image is the movie trailer for the movie someone is already going to watch, that's a really bad sign.

But let's get into it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bullet Witch

I shouldn't love this game as much as I do.  The controls are twitchy and not very responsive, the story line is laughable, the voice acting is cheesy (and in some cases almost unbearable), and save for the lead character all the other people you interact with are absolute garbage, including the other good guys.

So why do I love this game so much?

I dunno, man.  I just can't explain it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mall of Horror

One of the very first board games I went out and bought when I decided to get serious about board games (which is, admittedly, a weird thing to get "serious" about) was a small game created by Asmodee.  It was in the clearance bin for 25% off, but I snatched it up and bought it without a second thought.

The game is a mixture of horror and strategy as you try to not only figure out your own moves, but also everybody else's moves.  Alliances can be formed and broken in minutes, and eventually you know you'll have to stab an ally in the back and sacrifice them to the zombie horde.

It's quite simply put the second most terrifying game to take place in a mall setting.

There's nothing scarier than fiscal irresponsibility.
This is Mall of Horror.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Erik's Favorite Things: The Haunting

In 1963, a movie came out that started to generate a lot of buzz as to how terrifying it was.  Movie theaters held contests to see who could get through a midnight showing of it.  Reviewers claimed that people they saw it with climbed out of their chairs in terror.  It wound up on the favorite horror movie lists of people like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and many other respected film-connected individuals.

And yet, if I tell you the title, you're going to remember a sub-par movie with Owen Wilson, Liam Neeson, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, because it came out in 1999 during a flood of lackluster horror remakes and it cranked up Catherine Zeta-Jones' sex levels to 11.

But we're not going to talk about that bucket of chum so rank and stale that not even a starving shark would be drawn to it, we're going to talk about the original.  We're talking about The Haunting.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Betrayal At House On The Hill

So far this Halloween Month I've discussed movies, video games, and comic books, but I've left one hobby of mine woefully under-represented.  I'm talking about board games.  Spooky, scary board games that can reach into your psyche and mess with what's there, even as you're just moving a plastic token around a cardboard layout and rolling dice.

The one I've played that's, in my opinion, the most fun is Betrayal At House On The Hill, a game that somehow manages to be cooperative and extremely paranoia-inducing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dead At The Gates Redux: The Walking Dead: Season 2

Imagine, if you will, that you're trapped in a dungeon somewhere.  Sand covers the floor, strange liquid drips from various areas, and you're never able to get a decent night's sleep.  Every now and again a figure shows up with bread crusts for food.  He drops them on the ground and waits for you to crawl forward to cram them into your mouth, but the moment your fingers get close, he brings his boot heel down and crushes them into the sand, breaking them apart into mere dust.  And if you try to be aggressive when you grab the bread, you just wind up with broken fingers.

Then, each time, the figure kneels down and lifts your chin up.  He looks you over, observes the bloodshot eyes, the sunken cheeks, and the cracked lips you have.  He smiles kindly for a moment, and asks, "I'm sorry...have I upset you?  Here, let me go get you some bread."

The cycle continues.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the experience playing The Walking Dead: Season 2.

The only thing more emotionally draining than that experience is the fact that behind you in the cell is an open door that leads to freedom.  All you have to do is take it.  But you won't.  Because, somehow, you've convinced yourself that it's not as bleak as it appears, and that if you can just last a bit longer, that one piece of bread you get will be worth it in the end.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


I need to be honest here.  Up until today, I've never seen the full movie Hellboy.  I've seen snippets of it here and there.  I know that it's one of the movies that really helped launch the career of Guillermo Del Toro (along with Blade II and Pan's Labyrinth).  I know it's the movie that returned Ron Perlman to his "several hours in the make-up chair" roots that stemmed from Beauty and the Beast.

But being able to genuinely discuss the plot?  ...not so much, because I had no idea what happened in it.

I know what you're saying.  "But Erik," you're exclaiming in disbelief, "didn't you say you loved Hellboy in your blog post about giant robots and giant monsters?"  Yes, I did, and I acknowledge that sentence could very well be misleading, so I'm asking for permission to take it back.  It should have been "I loved what I saw of Hellboy, and the fact that he's embraced strange stories such as that and is willing to elevate them to another entertainment medium."  That line in that blog post was an unintentional lie, and a blemish on my record.

But that's all changed.

...because I've watched it.

Okay, this intro has pretty much stalled, let's get into the movie itself.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Erik's Favorite Things: Koudelka

Okay, I've mentioned Koudelka before.  In fact, I think I spoke pretty highly of it.  If I was to keep talking about it, I might mention how, if I sat down and thought about it, it'd wind up on whatever my "favorite games of all time" list would wind up being.

But...just why do I love this bizarre little RPG so much?

Let's dig a bit deeper.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Archie's Weird Mysteries: Invisible Archie

Okay, everybody, this is it.  So far we've had killer potatoes, twisted wishes, possessed cars, and giant teenagers.  Now we're getting into a more "classic" movie monster homage, with Archie Andrews, eternal teen, becoming the Invisible Man.

Now, I know what a lot of teenage boys would like to do if they were suddenly invisible, and none of them are not creepy, and most are illegal.  Let's see if this cartoon series holds true to Archie being the most pure and noble person on the planet (who has already seen one of his girlfriends naked this season) or is human like everyone else.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Archie's Weird Mysteries: Attack Of The 50-Foot Veronica

What else is there to say about Veronica Lodge?  Well, I don't think I've discussed her friendship with Betty that much, but watching this program and thinking back to some of the comics I used to read, I can't help but wonder if the relationship between Betty and Veronica is more than just "friends when convenient" but probably the strongest relationship about of any two characters in Archie Comics history.

This is a friendship that survives multiple backstabbing attempts as both girls attempt to win the heart of Archie, and if I remember correctly, there were multiple instances when the two of them realized that "if anybody is going to get Archie, better one of us than anybody else."  The two really are friends in the truest sense, with both of them constantly hanging out together, traveling together, scheming together, and generally helping each other be complete people.  Betty would probably never take as many risks in life without Veronica encouraging her, and Veronica wouldn't be as grounded and would probably be an even bigger snob without Betty around.

However, that's probably a full essay for another day, so instead let's look at Archie's attempt to do an homage to Allison Hayes' finest work.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Archie's Weird Mysteries: Driven To Distraction

You know the one thing I never understood about Archie Andrews?  Why does every young woman who's single decide he's the absolute best dating material to ever live?

I mean, sure, he's a nice guy, but he constantly has two women jumping in and out of his life (well, okay, only Veronica really jumps "out" of his life, Betty just moves into the background for a bit, biding her time).  His car is a classic junker, he never really seems able to hold down any kind of summer job, he's continuously broke, he's clumsy, goofy, and always getting into trouble.

There's a lot of other guys in town who are probably dating material (and in today's modern age we can even include boys who aren't the same race.  And yet, Archie's had five serious girlfriends that I can think of off the top of my head, and lord knows how many girls as simple "one-offs."

So what does that have to do with today's episode?  Well, when the inspiration for the episode is pretty blatantly Steven King's Christine, except the car is in love with Archie, it makes you wonder.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Archie's Weird Mysteries: Me! Me! Me!

Veronica Lodge.  Sometimes girlfriend, sometimes nemesis, sometimes enabler, sometimes de-enabler- okay, this sentence is going out of control.  The point I'm attempting to build to is that while Archie is almost always the "nice guy," Jughead is the "lazy, hungry guy," and Betty is the "nice girl," Veronica has a lot more variety to her roles.  In one story she might be attempting to help raise awareness for the needy or an endangered animal, the next story she's having her jet personally fly her a new purse because her other one is ten minutes out of style.  Sometimes she dotes on Archie Andrews, sometimes she and Reggie work together to set him and Betty up for failure.  Then, in the next story line, she and Betty are best friends again.

What I'm trying to say is that in the comics, Veronica is either an amazingly complex character with many layers to her...or is one of the most inconsistent characters ever written.

So, I hope you like her, because you're going to get an awful lot of Veronica in this episode.

Our story opens at Riverdale High, where eternal "nice guy" Archie Andrews is carrying a stack of approximately sixteen books out of the building.  He gets partway to the parking lot when Veronica's voice exclaims, "Archie! The door!"  Archie, apologizing, comes back to open it for her.  It appears Veronica's in full on "lazy rich girl" mode, but hold on, it gets better.

While Betty, Reggie, and Jughead bond over a) critiquing Veronica's behavior and b) joking about how broken Archie is that he just keeps doing whatever she says, we find out that Veronica only has all those books because "taking them home each day is easier than memorizing a locker combination."

Okay, let's address the first thing here.  Archie can't be there every minute of every day.  We've established he hangs out with other people and has other activities, so the idea that Veronica would always have Archie there to carry her books not just to and from her house each day but between classes is insane, even for a show that last episode gave us potato aliens.

Second, she has sixteen books.  When I was in high school we didn't have that many books.  What the heck is Riverdale High trying to teach kids that they need so many books?

Veronica begins massive amounts of whining for the next few minutes, and between complaining that Archie needs to put the top up on his car so her hair doesn't get mussed, her spoon landing on the ground and needing a new one, and the phone being inches out of reach because leaning slightly is for peasants, I say, peasants, well, Veronica becomes by far the most obnoxious character on the show, and is in a strong running to catch up with Orko and Snarf.

Fortunately, Mr. Lodge is watching the whole thing, and he is not amused by his daughter's antics.

First off, I don't think it's ever come up before, but Hiram Lodge there talks like he understudied for Thurston Howell the Third.  Second, I've always liked that Archie Comics has a somewhat contradictory back story when it comes to Hiram.  Sometimes his family were the original founders of Riverdale and he comes from old money, other times he attended public school and earned his money before marrying into even more money.

Here, he's just rich and has a touch of Locust Valley Lockjaw.  Perfect.

Veronica gets a call from Archie to hang out at Pop's, but Hiram interrupts by telling Archie over the phone that Veronica has "chores."  Hiram lectures his daughter on the fact that "one day all this will be yours" and how staying rich is hard work.  It's almost like the more money you have, the more problems you see have. 

So what sort of chore does Veronica Lodge get assigned to teach her that hard work is important?  Balancing her checkbook?  Donating clothes to charity?  Cleaning up the mess from the last party Archie invariably broke something during?

If you guessed "pack exotic artifacts for a museum to pick up and exhibit while the butler supervises her" then man, I just don't even know how your mind works.  You are right, however.

"This room belongs in a museum!" - Hiram Lodge, attempting to be cute.
Meanwhile, at Pop Tate's, Jughead, Reggie, and Betty (really?  Do those three EVER hang out by themselves?) enjoy a few burgers, by which I mean Jughead enjoys a few burgers.  Archie shows up and updates everybody else that Veronica is "still" packing things, which I guess is the script's attempt to let us know that time has passed.  Betty just happens to have a pamphlet about the upcoming exhibit, and something the gang notes is a statue to ... I have no idea how to spell this guy's name, because it's said strangely by Archie.  "Snakebah?"

Anyway, Snakebah is a statue, and the name translates to "granter of wishes," according to Betty.

Personally, I think it translates to "raise the roof!"
This just happens to be the last object Veronica has to pack (naturally), and after Smithers attempts to once again get Veronica to consider other people for a chance, she retorts with "I wish everyone else was just like me."  This causes the statue's eyes to glow and an actual earthquake to tremble the land, but Veronica doesn't notice either because...well, being whiny apparently makes you immune to feeling things?

Later, when Mr. Lodge is looking over the packed boxes with Smithers, the doorbell rings.  Hiram asks Smithers to get it (extremely politely, I might add), and Smithers is quick to retort with a "ooooOOOOoooh, I don't wanna!"

Stay with me, folks, it sounds like this is going to get awful, but it gets fantastic instead.

At Pop Tate's, Veronica's wish is spreading, as Pop Tate, previously happy to serve burgers to eager customers, is now whining about needing to cook and insisting people "cook their own burgers."  Archie decides to call the doctor to come see Pop Tate and steps outside to use the pay phone (remember, this came out in 1999, cell phones weren't HUGE yet).  This means he doesn't see the huge flash of light behind the counter, but he does bump into Veronica.  He leads her in, explaining that things are strange, when this site meets his eyes:

That's right.  Overweight, middle-aged Pop Tate has turned into another Veronica.

This, of course doesn't phase Veronica at all, as she complains about being double parked.

Anyway, Archie now gets to deal with two Veronicas fighting over him and arguing over which one is the "real" Veronica.

"This should be a lot more fun than it's turning out to be."  - Actual quote from Archie Andrews
Can we discuss the fact that not only did Pop Tate's body and personality change, but his clothes reshaped themselves to be tight on a teenage girl's body?  This Snakepah-whatever thing doesn't do anything by halves.

While Jughead and Reggie keep Pop Veronica safely stored away in, well, the storeroom, Betty, Archie, and Veronica decide to investigate this mystery further.  Things aren't any better outside, though I find it interesting that either all the women in town decided to wear yellow dresses that day and all the men wore lavender shirts and jeans, or the character designer got REALLY lazy when he decided to dress up a city of Veronicas.

Veronica spots another "her" about to steal her car, and takes off into the crowd of duplicates, which, let's face it, is probably dumbest thing she could do at this point in time.  She tries to get a Veroni-cop (see what I did there?) to get involved, but the cop simply whines that the thief is too far away and it would involve chasing her and then catching her and then filling out paperwork.    Veronica starts to realize how she acts around others around this point, but it helps that she meets a Veronica mail carrier who complains about lugging a heavy bag of letters around.

The icing on the cake, however, is the Veronica mime.  You read that correctly.  Veronica.  Mime.

Glorious.  Just glorious.
The Veronica mime starts complaining about needing to mime things, wondering why she can't just "tell people what she's doing."  In a moment of comedic gold, the Veronica Mime starts pushing at the air around her while yelling "Look at me, everyone, I'm trapped in a box!"

Then the crowd turns on Veronica for....reasons?  She finds herself running away from a small mob of identical clones of herself, but manages to catch back up with Betty and Archie.  She, again, not being the brightest bulb in the box, laments that just a few hours earlier she was wishing that everybody else would be "just like her."  Betty, being a pretty bright bulb when it doesn't come to snuggling on couches, catches this and asks her to explain.

The trio are able to connect the strange happenings to the statue of Snakebah,  They call the Lodge household to have Hiram get the statue back, but both Hiram and Weatherbee are too busy sitting by the pool with the phone just out of reach.  The three need to go to the museum and find the statue themselves.

Remember how I've been promising this episode gets amazing?  Well, here it is.

Betty reads some more of the pamphlet and notes that the idol used to be kept on a high pedestal surrounded by death traps.   So whoever the Indiana Jones of this world is, he had to bust in and steal the idol from where it was being stored.

The amazing part?  The Museum has faithfully recreated the pedestal the statue used to sit upon, including all of the death traps.  This, in itself, is absolutely fantastic, because nobody seems shocked that a museum, a place that receives public and private funding, would go so far as to risk murdering a visitor who wants to see one of the prized exhibits.

Seriously, Archie, I think we found your next "weird mystery" and it's "what the hell is going on with the museum board of directors?"

At the museum, things start going from bad to worse as Archie takes off down the hallway towards the exhibit.  Betty and Veronica start to follow, but partway down there's another flash of light and Betty starts whining about, well, everything.

Veronica tries to rush ahead to catch up with Archie, but doesn't pay attention to where she's going and runs headfirst into a low stone archway.  Because if a museum is going to equip a place with death traps, it may as well make people crouch to avoid traumatic head injuries.

May I just point out that this is twice in a row that a female lead character has been knocked unconscious by a blow to the head?

Veronica wakes up hoping it was all just a bad dream, and upon seeing Archie stand over her offers her hand to him to help her up.  He turns her down flat, whining that her hands are probably dirty and sweaty.

I know it's a negative trait of Veronica we're dealing with here, but I kind of agree with Archie there.  Sweaty hands are the worst.

Veronica is left on her own to deal with the problem, and instead of trying to do a long, flowing narrative of how she avoids the death traps, I'm just going to show you the things that a MUSEUM, an honest to god MUSEUM that doesn't even charge the people at the front door to come in and see things, built to add "realism" to an exhibit.

First, the giant stone that can crush you upon entering.

Then there's the pressure plate that triggers the deadly darts to shoot out of a wall.

There's the giant column (seen two pictures above) that rolls forward to flatten any intruders.

Finally, there's the giant spiked pit with the rope dangling over it.


Veronica finally gets her hands on the idol, and I have to admit I chuckled some at her attempts to bond with an inanimate object.  "Veronica Lodge here.  We had a moment a few hours ago.  You, me, and the box?"   She manages to reverse the wish, the population of Riverdale returns to normal, and Archie and Betty rush in to make sure Veronica's okay.

I love this little moment towards the end when Veronica starts to walk towards them and then remembers the giant spiked pit's still there.  "Could you help me get across?  ...oh, never mind, I'll do it myself."

Um, Veronica, I know the whole point of the episode was to show you just how needy and whiny and selfish you are, but when it comes to dealing with SPIKED PITS you're allowed to ask for help.  Lesson learned, but NOT in the appropriate manner!

Apparently nobody in town remembers "being" Veronica, and Archie wraps up with the standard "be careful what you wish for" lesson, but it ignores the bigger issue here: THERE IS A STATUE IN THE RIVERDALE MUSEUM THAT GRANTS WISHES.

What's to stop some child from (somehow) avoiding all the deathtraps and wishing that there weren't any adults, or that the world was made of chewing gum, or just their step-brother Toby would vanish and never come back?

I just- I don't even- man.  Why not use that statue for good?  "I wish nothing weird would ever happen in Riverdale again.  I wish doom upon the alien potato people.  I wish all vampires were instantly turned to dust."

Then again, maybe I'm just over thinking this.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Archie's Weird Mysteries: Attack Of The Killer Spuds

I think I've made it abundantly clear over time that I have a huge appreciation of all things Riverdale.  In fact, the only reason why I haven't done lengthy reviews about  Afterlife With Archie or Archie vs. Sharknado or Archie vs. Predator (yes, these are all real things) is that if I put all of them into individual posts, well, I'd immediately fill up three things on my Top Eleven list for the end of the year.

But man, the Archie's Weird Mysteries show was something absolutely amazing, and I've been itching to get back into reviewing episodes of it.  So, with a simple 10-pack of episodes on one DVD picked up on the cheap from a small store, I'm ready to go.  We're going to see Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie, Dilton, and the rest of the gang face the unknown.

First episode on the list?

Okay, so it's not as immediately grabbing as "Veronica Lodge: Vampire Hunter" but stick with me, folks, it'll be worth it.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Moon

In the future, mankind has managed to shed its dependence on oil and gas.  Helium-3 harvested from the dark side of the moon supplies a majority of Earth's energy needs,  You might remember Helium-3 as being the reason astronauts landed on the moon in the movie Iron Sky, but this isn't going to get anywhere near as ridiculous.

Today, we're talking about the movie Moon, a movie I never knew existed until just recently, and one that I'm kicking myself for having never seen before.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Devil Seed

You know what would be a great title for a movie?  "The Devil Inside."  In fact, it was a horror movie back in 2012, and a pretty huge success of one, considering it cost one million dollars to make and brought in over one hundred million dollars.

I think it might have been the impromptu success of that movie that caused Devil Seed to change its title from its original name, "The Devil In Me."  This movie also came out in 2012, and unlike the former movie mentioned, this one only brought in... well, it cost... huh.  I can't find any of the information regarding this movie online.  In fact, this movie doesn't even have a Wikipedia page.

Truly we are in for a delight.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Wytches

Looking back at last year, I saw that I covered a lot of different sources of Halloween delight, but I didn't really cover anything from comic books.  Today, that changes, as I actually found a horror comic that's well-crafted, well-written, and well drawn.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Danganronpa 2

Yesterday I discussed a video game that I think might have had one of the most profound emotional impacts on me since the time I tried to foolishly save everybody in a video game about the zombie apocalypse.  Today I discuss its sequel, which handles being a sequel better than most games I've played, and still manages to be one of the most amazing game experiences I've had in a long time.

We're talking Danganronpa 2.

Monday, October 5, 2015


There have been a lot of attempts at capturing the surprise success of the series Battle Royale from Japan, a story set in a (somewhat) dystopian future where students are selected to battle each other to the death for the "entertainment" of the masses.  It's actually a cautionary tale about overpopulation, and the lengths a government might need to go to in order to keep the population from growing too quickly.

There have been a lot of similar stories that have emerged in the last few years, not the least of which is The Hunger Games.  Now, I can't say for sure whether or not the person who wrote this series ever heard of Battle Royale (and Steven King seems convinced it's actually a The Running Man knock off), but I can say that The Hunger Games has inspired his own massive flood of knock-offs and imitations.  Everything from The Maze Runner, the Divergent series, Slashers, and- wait, hold on, I think my timeline got messed up in there somehow.

But while you can shift the world setting and mix up some of the characters and genders, in the end it always feels like you have a bunch of young people being killed off for the amusement of older people, and I still maintain that The Cabin In The Woods messed around with that idea the best.

At least when it comes to movies.

Enter Dangan Ronpa (also known as Trigger Happy Havoc), a game so amazingly good that several months later I finished the sequel and I'm still thinking about the original.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Review: The Martian (The Book)

So yesterday I said, and I quote, "...I can proudly say I've never seen all of Ernest Scared Stupid."   This has absolutely no relevance to today's topic, but I just wanted to point that out again.

What I also said was that today we would "explore what I'd probably describe as my greatest fear of all."

What does that have to do with Alan Weir's magnificent book The Martian?  They both involve being alone.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Halloween Month Begins!

It's October!  As anybody who read my blog last year during this time knows (or anybody who casually strolls over there now to take a quick's okay, I'll wait...) I'm a huge fan of Halloween.  I carve up pumpkins, I decorate, and I get deep into the idea of scary movies, TV shows, video games, books, and everything else.

Which is surprising, because when I was young I hated scary movies.  I've talked about the first thing that I remember scaring me on TV (which my father insists wasn't the first thing that ever really scared me, but it's what I remember).  What I haven't talked about is the fact that I grew to hate scary things so much that once, at a party at my own house, a group of my friends decided to watch Ernest Scared Stupid.  I knew that Ernest movies were dumb.  I watched his TV show when I was young, and looking back now, I have no idea why anybody thought he was funny.

But instead of watching a movie that might have been "dumb scary" and "probably not funny," I instead excused myself to another room know, I don't even remember what I did in there.  Played a board game by myself?  Read a book?  Playing my Game Boy?  I remember sitting on the floor doing something, but I can't for the life of me remember what.  But when the movie was over, I came back out and rejoined my friends.

I'm still embarrassed by that, but I justify it by saying that I can proudly say I've never seen all of Ernest Scared Stupid.