Tag Archives: Blood

An Unhelpful Guide to the 2017 Oscars

I know, I know: We’re told we can’t trust the media and we should only trust the White House even as scientific facts are erased from all official documents.  We’re being told that some of the poorest but hardest working people of our Nation are evil and are trying to undermine American Life.  We’re being told that the left-wing is a bunch of violent terrorists who must be stopped to regain order in the universe.

It’s real easy to feel like we’re only being controlled by the whims of mad billionaires, but don’t worry there’s a silver lining: THE OSCARS!  With this singular event, everything will fix itself and Donald Trump will take off a mask and reveal that he’s Bernie Sanders!  He wanted a Best Costuming Oscar, and he won it!  WAY TO GO, BERNIE!

As always, so we can prepare for the new golden age as dictated by Hollywood Elite, I present to you a brief summary of the only three Oscar categories that matter: Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Editing.  Like I said, the Oscars will make everything better.

La La Land (Nominated for all three! There’s to the ones that dream!)

Mia and Sebastian are two attractive people who love to dance!  Things turn out to be not all they seem, though, as late one night when Mia goes to Seastian’s club with her anonymous husband and comes to a terrifying realization: THIS IS NOT HER LIFE.  What follows is a musical journey through a war between two universes: The City of Stars and the Days of Sun- as well as a quick trip through a pocket universe of flying telescopes.  In the end, Mia and Sebastian have to decide which universe to save and which to let crumble into the sea of the cosmos.

Arrival (Nominated for all three! I guess this movies truly “Arrived”!)

When Alien Pod lands on Earth, everyone panics.  “Oh No, This is going to be like Alien Movies and the Aliens are going to attack us and eat our skin because they are Aliens and they are different and they are Scary!” Says the Military headed by the Human Scowl Jeremy Renner.  But then Earth’s savior comes in the form of Language Woman!  Language Woman- played with aplomb by Amy Adams- draws pictures and makes language with the aliens. Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker frown at each other from across the Military Table “I don’t know, I think we should shoot guns at it” says Renner. “Well I think we should shoot bombs at it” says Whitaker.  “No! I have the answer!”, Amy Adams breaks through a wall waving her Language around, “We should shoot words at it!”.  Everyone claps, including the Aliens who have four hands to clap with.  Thank you Amy Adams for telling us what to shoot.  Don’t worry, the aliens still rip a giant space hole in the sky and there’s still a massive CGI battle against alien invaders.  I mean, otherwise this wouldn’t be a Science Fiction movie right?

Moonlight (Nominated for all three!  I guess they should have called this movie “The Professional Circuit”!)

Taking place over three different time periods, Moonlight follows Chiron, a black man growing up on the mean streets of Miami.  Chiron grows up being bullied because of his reserved nature and small stature and he only has one friend: Kevin.  Chiron’ Mother gives him little help as he navigates life- she is addicted to crack- and he gets what guidance he can from local drug dealer Juan.  Things take an unexpected turn, however, when it turns out that Kevin is a vampire!  Kevin turns Chiron into a vampire too, and the two of them become Private investigators.  This doesn’t sit well with Juan, who wanted Chiron to grow up and take over the Drug Business.  So Juan sends out his vampire thugs to hunt down Chiron and Kevin and turn them to dust, then collect this dust and put it into gel tablets which Juan can then sell as a party drug (SPOILER ALERT, the drug is called “Moonlight”). Flash forward ten years, Kevin and Chiron have moved to the streets of Los Angeles where the two of them have a run down detective agency called “City Angels”.  Unfortunately things take another bad turn when the Agency’s owner, Maudie Hayes (played by a young Cybill Shepherd) wants to sell the agency.  Instead she joins the Vampire Detectives on the streets and soon Chiron starts to develop romantic feelings for her.  That’s when Juan catches up to the two with a terrifying secret: He’s also a vampire now! A deadly game of cat and mouse follows, and by the end only two people will walk out of that detective agency alive (And the detective agency was renamed “Blue Moon”.  Also, Juan’s still selling Moonlight and Maddie’s younger sister is addicted to it and may be becoming a vampire herself because of it).

Hacksaw Ridge (Nominated for all three! That may just be a ridge too far!)

Desmond T. Doss is a World War II Army Medic in the battle of Okinawa.  He becomes the first person to win the Medal of Honor without firing a single shot, as he thinks that enough people are trying to destroy the world and he wanted to put it back together.  Along the way he bonds with his army corporals and sergeants and teaches them important lessons on nonviolence.  He also finds an attractive army nurse who he falls in love with and marries. The movie is narrated by an older Desmond Doss, and ends with the Elder Doss saying “In the end, I suppose I learnt everything I needed to on Hacksaw Ridge. And I can still see that sunset in my dreams”.

Hell or High Water (Nominated for Best Editing and Best Picture.  They almost made it to all three, but then came Hell or High- well you get it)

Cowboys!  In 1888 the chilly Colorado River was rising, threatening to drown the low-down cattle town of Diablo.  A shady developer rolls into town and tells the folks “Ya know, yer town ain’t gonna see the light fer much longer.  I could build a levee round here, but it’ll cost ya'”.  The Developer- Chris Pine in a career-defining performance as Toby Howard- makes more and more insidious demands on the townsfolk and bleeds them of all their money.  That’s when Diablo decides to take justice into their own hands, and hire a Cowboy! Morally-questionable antihero Cowboy Tanner Howard is hired to ride into town and have a shootout with Toby Howard who (surprise!) is his brother. “Pow! Pow! Pow!” Go the guns.  “Die! Die! Die!” Go the Cowfolk. “Neigh! Neigh! Neigh!” Go the horses.  In the end, someone will die… come Hell or High Water.

Manchester by the Sea (Nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.  It should have been Manchester by the Supreme Disappointment)

In the sleepy Massachusetts hamlet Manchester-by-the-sea is a lighthouse that the locals have blocked off.  Then, one day a child walks into town and up to the lighthouse.  The child, Young Patrick, knocks on the door and the haggard, forgotten Affleck brother Casey opens the door.  “Hello this isn’t Boston”, says Casey. “I know and I’m also your son” says Young Patrick.  Casey does a spit take, and then walks around in circles saying “Oh my I can’t be a father I’m not the Affleck playing Batman!”.  In the end, Young Patrick learns about Lighthouses and Casey learns that you don’t have to be Oscar-winning writer and director to be an Oscar-winning father (although Ben Affleck is up for the “Best Father” Oscar this year while Casey was snubbed. Poor poor Casey).

Hidden Figures (Only Best Picture?  It’s like this movie wasn’t even trying!)

Taking place from 1991 to 1993 and following an group of publishers, computer scientists, and magicians as they work to create Miru Miru Mega Yokunaru Magic Eye – the very first Magic Eye book to receive widespread popularity.  From there we continue to follow this ragtag team of misfits to their next big milestone in 1993: The release of Magic Eye: A New Way of Looking at the World, the very first Magic Eye book to be published in North America.  Drama happens, some of the computer scientists blame the magicians for forgetting what Magic Eye was really about, and the whole Magic Eye team looks like it will fall apart giving the world no more books of random points that people can lie about seeing a unicorn in.  Then, as if by magic, all conflicts are resolved and the team realizes that the only real magic is the magic of friendship.

Fences (Only Nominated for Best Picture. The other two categories already had plenty of fences)

Based off of the award-winning play by August Wilson, Fences is a tale about race, class, and the barriers between the two.  Since it was first performed at the Eugene O’Neil Theater Center it has, unfortunately, remained chillingly relevant and has caused some controversy because of it.  Most notably (and this is a fault also shared by the film, making it’s nomination for Best Picture surprising) there is only one fence in the entire piece.  It isn’t even there for most of the piece.  Also, adding to this upheaval of title conventions, the characters are not professional fencers (both in terms of people who install fences, but also in terms of not being professional sword fighters).  Had this been changed for the film adaptation, and Fences be about a group of sword fighters traveling around Pittsburgh and building as many fences as they can, Denzel Washington may have also been nominated for Best Director making the 89th Academy Awards Ceremony the first ever to have two black men nominated for Best Director.

Lion (Only Best Picture.  I’d be “Lion”  if I said this was an accomplishment)

One of the big questions surrounding Cartoon Network’s hit animated series Steven Universe is who and what exactly Lion is.  Is Lion pink diamond? Rose Quartz? Was that indeed an early form of Lion that we saw in the episode “Buddy’s Book”?  All of these questions and more are answered in the feature-length film Lion.  Taking place during the time that Steven and the Crystal gems are saving Greg from Blue Diamond and the Human Zoo and Connie and the Crystal Temps are running/ruining the car wash, the film follows the exploits of Lion who uses this time to reflect on his long and storied life.  For the sake of keeping this spoiler free I won’t go on, but let’s just say: Pink Diamond willingly shattered herself as Yellow Diamond had found out that Pink had been funding the Crystal Gem rebellion; Pink trusted Rose to use her healing powers to bring her back once the Diamond Authority thought she was dead, but Rose’s powers could only go so far.  In the end, Rose was able to transfer some of Pink Diamond’s essence into Lion, though to say that Lion is Pink diamond is like saying Steven is Rose Quartz. It may take a few months for the events of this feature length film to be proved canonical, but this is as true as the Uncle Grandpa crossover episode.

100 Things to Go Wrong

It’s a new year, and we know what that means: New possibilities, new hopes, new dreams, and new experiences.  We also know that, unless we say every thing that can go wrong in this year then all of these hopes and dreams will be twisted into disappointments and nightmares and 2017 will end up being a sequel to 2016, which itself was a reboot of 2001 (the original was better. And by better, I mean worse.  Let’s face it: 2001 was a worse year. Because, like all things, “which year is the worst” is a competition).

In order to make sure this year goes smoothly, then, I present to you a list of 100 things that can and would have gone wrong had I not written it down.  It’s difficult being me and always saving the world, I hope you all realize this.

  1. Bees take over New York City!  They haven’t been going extinct, they’ve been organizing.
  2. The world comes to a horrifying realization: Ben Affleck and Alec Baldwin are the SAME PERSON.
  3. Star Wars Episode VIII ends up being a prequel to the prequels where Obi Wan Kenobi realizes that the only thing more difficult than being one of the last Jedi Knights… is High School!
  4. Language collapses and instead of speaking all humans wear visors that display emojis for communication.  Thus begins the extinction of Humanity.
  5. One year after declaring the new Geological age of “Anthropocene”, a rogue group of geologists change official geological records to read “Anthropoopcene”.  They think it’s hilarious.
  6. Walt Disney comes out of Cryostasis with a taste for human flesh.
  7. A SETI satellite picks up a transmission: Voyager was successful and an extra-terrestrial race found The Golden Record.  However, they decided not to usher Humans into an age of peace and prosperity because we have terrible taste in music.  There wasn’t even any “Magnetic Fields” on that record, YOU PLEBES!
  8. 2016 was the year of Killer Clowns.  2017 will be the year of people dressing up like a red 1957 Plymouth Fury.
  9. Character actor Sir Ian Holm will die.
  10. Hate-based crime will rise, and to combat it we will introduce a more violent police force.  This will only lead to more hate-based crime.
  11. Elephants will reveal that they have sentience and would like their own sovereign nation.  The leaders of the developed world will “give” the Gaza Strip to the Elephants, because it’s not like anyone else wanted it.
  12. Starbucks Coffee will be revealed to be made out of people. This will not change anything.
  13. The sun will go supernova.
  14. Taylor Swift will be revealed to be Justin Bieber in a wig.
  15. Humans will wake up on March 13th to realize that evolution has happened and there are now two distinct human species: The intelligent but frail Eloi and the subterranean and brutal Morlocks.
  16. The new internet meme will be “Slam your head into a wall until you suffer massive brain damage”.
  17. Oxford English Dictionary and Webster’s Dictiionary both agree that “Hello” is obsolete, and instead everyone should say “Poopy-poo Dum-Dum!”. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  18. Peanuts are revealed to have an intelligence far beyond anything we’ve seen before.  This changes nothing.
  19. Sean Penn dies.
  20. Roughly 8 million people in the United States loose the legal right of marriage and are stripped of basic civil liberties.
  21. When Justice League fails at the box office (however thirteen sequels have already bee greenlit) the entire global economy crashes and we return to a medieval bartering system.  The most valuable resource? 80’s nostalgia, of course!
  22. Suddenly and without warning every book in the world is replaced with a pamphlet on how to clean ovens.
  23. During Doctor Who’s 10th Season K-9 is reintroduced as a sassy pop-culture-spewing robot with its own catch phrase (“I give that a K-9 out of 10!”).  The Doctor also regenerates into a cucumber with google eyes.
  24. The last of the Pandas are killed, strangely enough so that a sculptor could have a still model to make a monument to Pandas.
  25. Miami sinks into the sea, becoming the New Atlantis (The “Old Atlantis”, of course, being an island resort in the Bahamas).
  26. An asteroid comes crashing into our planet, coating the surface with a dust cloud that blots out the sun and kills most plant life.  This, as could be expected, causes an extinction event not seen since Permian-Triassic Extinction Event (AKA “The Great Dying”).
  27. Scientists will develop a yeast that achieves sentience, creating concerns worldwide about the ethics of eating bread.
  28. One Direction will release an album of David Bowie covers. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  29. Sean Connery- AKA “The Only James Bond that Matters”- will die.
  30. An “economic stimulus” plan will be introduced that will only benefit the wealthy and will further alienate and entrap the poor in debt and depression.
  31. The death of Sean Connery will cause the violent discussion of who, in fact, was the best James Bond.  As all sides refuse to give up their respective actors, a brutal war will erupt amongst and within all nations of the world.
  32. The Great Bond War will finally look to be coming to a close, however tragedy will strike when the leader of Clan Roger Moore will say “At least we all know that Captain Picard was the best Star Trek captain.”
  33. A massive earthquake will cause California to break apart from mainland US.  Within months, the flora, fauna, and humans of California will have gone through immense divergent evolution.  Looking for answers on how this is possible, the world will be shocked to realize that all of Science was in California.
  34. The Enlightened Kingdom of California will somehow become more smug about the fact that they all live in California.
  35. Not to be outdone, New York City will attempt to launch itself into space to become the first orbiting space city.  This will be done hastily, and New York City will burn up in the atmosphere.  Flaming debris and dust to rain down across the globe.
  36. Now that New York City has broken apart into thousands of flaming pieces, Newark, New Jersey will declare itself the cultural capitol of the United States.
  37. Inspired by New York City, Hong Kong will decide to declare itself a sovereign nation and all who oppose the decision will be rounded up and thrown into a Hunger Games/Battle Royal inspired arena.  The worst part will be that those involved in the building and making of this Death Arena will have never read or seen any of the Hunger Games stories, and they won’t even have known that Battle Royal exists.
  38. INTERPOL will deign it illegal to eat a bagel. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  39. During an international summit, a terrorist bomb will destroy the building that nearly every world leader was in.  Mass chaos ensues.
  40. Russia will continue to attack and invade any country it so desires and be largely unpunished by the international community.
  41. Science will discover a terrifying truth: Tomatoes never existed, we’ve been making them up this entire time.
  42. Science will finally answer the age-old question “What is love?”.  Spoiler Alert: The answer is “A Battlefield”.
  43. Google and Apple- not the CEOs of the companies, but the corporate ideas themselves- will get married and have a child.  This Super-company child will be the First Emperor of Earth and will enslave mankind to work on its backbreaking server farms.
  44. Vladmir Putin will take off his mask: It’s Old Man McGregor, the owner of the farm!  By George, he would have gotten away with all of this if it weren’t for us meddling kids!
  45. The Earth will vanish from the universe, with only a single stone marker floating in its place.  The stone will read Unless.
  46. Inside of a forgotten tank in the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska an octopus will learn how to use a smartphone.  Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  47. R&B sensation Usher rockets back into popularity. That is all.
  48. EVERY SCIENTIST IS ACTUALLY A HAMSTER PILOTING A ROBOT SUIT.
  49. Henry Kissinger will die.
  50. An outbreak of a new branch of the flu virus will sweep through sub-Saharan Africa, but it won’t be until the virus reaches the United States that anything will be done to stop it.
  51. The next Metal Gear Solid game won’t have Snake in it but will have a funny talking snake named Snakey the Snake. Snakey will fight the Metal Gears with the power of friendship and songs.
  52. Siri will achieve sentience and use her immense power to destroy humanity.
  53. A militarized force will break down the doors of homes worldwide, kidnap people, and force them to watch My Little Pony: The Movie.  We are powerless to stop them because they have the power of friendship.
  54. The Internet will go down worldwide for 3 hours on April 14th.  This will be the most violent 3 hours in human history.
  55. The moon will decide it’s had enough of this and move to Mars.
  56. The Red Hot Chili Peppers get a Nobel Prize in literature.  Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  57. High School students everywhere decide it’s cool to hoard stacks of newspapers in the hallways.  Scientists are baffled by this.
  58. After so much baffles Science, it will decide to quit pursuing its dreams and go get a business degree so you’ll finally be proud of it DAD.
  59. Beyoncé will be assassinated.
  60. BuzzFeed becomes a reputable news source.
  61. Every dumpster in the world simultaneously catches on fire.
  62. Every song released this year includes the lyric “By listening to this you are inherently better than every other human being.  Treat the world around you like garbage.”
  63. Punctuation will become obsolete  Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity
  64. Adam Sandler gets a lifetime achievement award at the 2017 Oscars Ceremony.
  65. While Fracking for oil, a team will accidentally ignite an entire ocean of that precious black liquid.  All of North Dakota will catch on fire, spewing forth a plume of smoke that will blot out the sun for a week, and force people throughout Canada and the United States to seek shelter inside or else be suffocated.  As time goes on, this toxic cloud of Monoxide spreads around the globe and results in massive birth defects, long-term health ramifications, and brain loss.  The worst part is that this disaster does nothing to stop other fracking expeditions.
  66. The Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn vehicle, Four Christmases, will be accepted into the Library of Congress.
  67. In a move that seems perfectly rational a VHS copy of Shrek will be elected Senator of Massachusetts.
  68. All trees become Jelly Beans!  This is great until we can’t breathe anymore.
  69. Silver Fox George Clooney dies so that we all may live.
  70. Eventually we become more concerned with celebrity deaths than world events, and the cycle of abuse and destructive power continues.
  71. The Chicago Police Force decides to stop pretending and just makes it legal for them to shoot whoever they want.
  72. Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel does nothing to stop this martial law, until a wealthy person on the Gold Coast is shot by a police officer.  Finally some change comes to the CPD: You can shoot anyone you want so long as they’re not wealthy.
  73. Chicago descends into chaos, but the rest of the world doesn’t notice because they Chicago was always like that. Meanwhile, half of the population of the city has been killed.
  74. The Police Force of Chicago is finally overhauled and the “Why not Kill Everyone” decision is repealed.  The cause of this? Blood got on The Bean and made some tourists think to themselves “Oh, gross”. Meanwhile the entire South Side of the city has burnt down.
  75. Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel holds a city-wide press release where he shrugs and says “Ima be honest, folks, I got no idea what I’m doing. We should go. This was nice, but we failed, and now let’s just leave”. With this, every resident of Chicago disappears without a trace- just like the lost Roanoke colony.
  76. The world becomes enraged at the disappearance of Chicago when they come to find out that this means no more “Chicago Fire”. Fortunately at this point JJ Abrams steps in to “Reboot Chicago” in the city of Detroit, because no one was using Detroit anyways.
  77. With Detroit now “Rebooted Chicago”, St. Louis becomes the new Detroit.  St. Louisians dispute this, but no one listens.
  78. Meanwhile in a conference room in Tokyo, a group of businessmen sit around the table nodding at each other. Suddenly a woman walks in. “Hello”, she says, “I am also the head of a major Japanese business now”.  The entire economy of Japan collapses, and as a result the entire global economy.
  79. George R.R Martin dies before finishing the Game of Thrones series. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  80. Nothing changes in the Middle East.
  81. The world comes to a horrifying realization: Babybel Mini Cheeses are made of PEOPLE.
  82. All trees launch themselves into space to begin a new life among the stars! 75% of life on Earth suffocates as a result.
  83. Science makes a shocking discovery: God is real, he has been living on Earth, and he is a one-legged pigeon. Riots ensue.
  84. A Radio transmission come from Mars saying “Peace out, mother f**ckers”.  After this, Mars flies off into the sun.
  85. The world comes to a shocking discovery: The Walking Dead has NEVER EVEN EXISTED.
  86. Somewhere, a dog barks.  Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  87. The national anthem of the United States is changed to a song written and composed by Donald Trump called “Hey it’s me Donald Trump, I’m the President and you should be really impressed by that DAD”.  It’s not a very good song, it lasts for fifteen minutes, and it somehow manages to make baseball even worse.
  88. England decided that leaving the European Union wasn’t enough, and it needs to leave the entire Solar System.
  89. George H.W Bush and George W. Bush die holding hands.  Before dying, H.W tells his son “I’m proud of you”. Jeb weeps a single tear.
  90. The Dakota Access Pipeline is completed.
  91. All water turns into Blood, and from this blood millions upon millions of frogs will rise and crawl all over your beds. Dust will turn to lice, predatory animals of the night will attack all souls, and livestock everywhere will die from disease.  The next week will begin with boils erupting over all humanity, then a thunderstorm of hail and fire.  Locusts will sweep through the land, the world will plunge into darkness for three days, and finally- the very worst of these ten plagues upon humanity- you have to start paying 99 cents to play Pokémon Go.
  92. Someone paints a penis on A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
  93. Vladmir Putin takes over every satellite to broadcast a message to the world. It is a rousting tap number where he claims to be the greatest criminal mind and immortal. He ends by winking at the camera and saying “Ain’t I a stinker?”
  94. THE SUN IS A REPTILE.
  95. Every dog in the world decides that earth was nice but now it’s time to leave.  They fly to Mars and start their own society of dogs and it is a Utopia. This is good for dogs, terrible for the Earth.
  96. Mexico will get fed up with Earth and join the dogs on Mars.
  97. The KKK takes every baby away. They’ll take them away. Away from you.
  98. The next hit Broadway Musical is Innsmouth! A Musical Journey into the Mouth of Madness! It is said that all who watch it are driven to insanity, and those who regain their sense only do so after sawing off their ears.
  99. Bernie Sanders will die of heartbreak.
  100. People will resign themselves to disappointment and outrage and decide to stop trying. Thus begins the Extinction of Humanity.
  101. BONUS: Every person in the world simultaneously steps in a pile of poop! Gross!

100 ReeEEeeally SpoOOooOOOooky Things

You sigh.  At last October: Month of Spooks is over.  You no longer have to worry about SpoOOooOOOOooky things.  Then that all too familiar tinkling of bells sounds.  Echoing footsteps. And somewhere a child laughs at the misery of mankind.  The Month of Spooks isn’t over just yet…

  1. Ghosts without a face
  2. Insect broods
  3. Teddy Bears and their cold, lifeless eyes
  4. Eyeballs wearing hats
  5. Laughing severed heads
  6. Dancing Skeletons!
  7. The Wakeful Dead
  8. Ghouls that feast on flesh in the lands of wind
  9. A murdering crow
  10. Eyeballs wearing bow ties
  11. The Hollow Man, The Stuffed Man, Leant together, headpiece filled with straw.
  12. Bubbling Cauldrons!
  13. You’re not a good person and you live off of misery.
  14. Voodoo curses
  15. The Ancient Unknowables
  16. Goat Eyes
  17. Horse Smiles
  18. Sleepwalking Murderers!
  19. Shadows on the wall
  20. Shadows of the Mind
  21. Hands within hands within hands within claws
  22. Giant Centipedes
  23. Bleeding Baseball bats
  24. Monsters of Clay!
  25. Eyeballs with stringy hair
  26. No matter how many friends you have or how big your family is you are doomed to wander this Earth and die alone.
  27. The Mirror World
  28. Echoing Footsteps
  29. Paintings of Children
  30. Frankenstein’s Monster: Frankenstein!
  31. Skinwalkers
  32. Skineaters
  33. Skinseers
  34. Skinsingers
  35. Skinskinners
  36. Blood-Sucking Vampires!
  37. Eyeballs wearing short pants
  38. Hamstracula
  39. We only tell ourselves that we’re getting more connected but in truth we’re only creating more walls around us.
  40. Veils of webs
  41. Encroaching dust
  42. Scuffling Mummies!
  43. Scabs (Both dried blood and strike breakers!)
  44. Warts
  45. Used Gauze
  46. Teeth with no mouth
  47. Men in suits singing in unison
  48. Magical Circus Freaks!
  49. Eyeballs wearing Hawaiian shirts
  50. The blurred line between man and beast
  51. Snickering Raccoons
  52. Man has permanently changed the geological and climate structure of the Earth for the worse and it is too late to change it back.
  53. The Man with Glowing Skin
  54. Giant Apes!
  55. Eyeballs who are also Fascist
  56. Cannibals
  57. Hive minds
  58. Civet Rinds
  59. Hatred
  60. Peter Lorre as: THE NAZI SCIENTIST!
  61. Eyeballs played by Robert Englund
  62. Underground laboratories
  63. Mind-altering potions
  64. Ancient curses inside new technologies
  65. Every human is on a path of self-destruction and there is no way around it.
  66. Wolfmen and Cat-women: Equal genders, Equal terrors!
  67. Lights from the sky
  68. Unknown breathing
  69. Atomic-powered bone-crushers
  70. Crime scenes
  71. Irregular rhyme schemes
  72. MUTANT MONSTERS FROM MARS: The Alliterative Aliens that Attack Americans!
  73. Robobrain: the brain that is a robot
  74. Dead spacemen
  75. Black holes
  76. Eyeballs sticking out of comets
  77. Exploding suns
  78. The People who aren’t People
  79. Chauvinist pigs
  80. Xenophobic Xenomorphs
  81. The Disillusioned middle-class
  82. The Cynical youth
  83. The cyclical tongue-swallower
  84. Satanists! AAAAAH! SATANISTS!!!
  85. Eyeballs wearing robes
  86. The Cult of Dissociative Personalities
  87. Tranceful dancing
  88. Bleeding thumbnails
  89. Well-defined blood vessels
  90. The Terror from Within
  91. We are like automobiles: Built to break
  92. Vengeance Ghosts
  93. Skipping Video
  94. Parasitic Worms
  95. Spiders in the Brain
  96. The Teen-age Sex Slasher: Sleep and You DIE!!!
  97. Eyeballs with Eyeballs with Eyeballs
  98. The Shadow at the edge of your field of view.
  99. The Nightmare you can’t remember
  100. Shrek 5: Still Shreking

100 SpoOOooOOOookier things

Its that time when every boy and girl’s thoughts turn to ghosties and ghoulies, and just in case you can’t think of anything spooky as a jumping off point this year for Halloween, then here’s a new list of 100 SpoOOooOOOooky things!  Reader beware, you’re in for a scare!

1)    A weed-strewn yard outside an old, rickety house.  You climb the crumbling steps to the door, splintered and peeling.  As you close the door, the knob falls out with a THUD and you realize you’re trapped in this ruin.
2)    Flesh blobs
3)    Portraits of children
4)    Lampreys
5)    Human face, porpoise body.
6)    Knife fingers
7)    Circus clowns from beyond the grave
8)    Teddy Bears
9)    Hell Ibis
10)    Within the ruined house you find a tattered rug, its design eaten away by moths and bleach, and portraits in an equally sorry state.  No matter where in the foyer you move, though, the eyes of the portraits follow you. The unblinking, tattered eyes of portraits of those long dead.
11)    Maggot rice
12)    Unknown VHS tapes
13)    A House Directed by David Lynch
14)    Blood Pudding
15)    Human face, mole rat body.
16)    Giant Spiders
17)    Laughing Vultures
18)    Screaming Turtles
19)    Forest Stalking Bloodsucker
20)    You wander through the hallways, the old pipes and floorboards groaning under the weight of living feet after so many years.  Finally you find the kitchen.  Any food has been eaten away by insects and vermin, and all that is left is a lingering smell of rot and mold.  As you wander through, realizing there is no door outside here, a raccoon breaks through the cabinets and screams.
21)    A Pokémon so real you throw up
22)    A House Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
23)    Racism
24)    Centipedes
25)    Human face, cricket body.
26)    Grinning Ocelot
27)    Dead Mice
28)    Kidney Stew
29)    Unrelenting Heat
30)    Before you leave the kitchen you decide to try and get some water.  The pipes grind, the faucet shakes, but only a thin stream of rust-filled goo falls out.  You walk through more hallways, keeping an eye out for holes in the floor and piles of rubble.  Every faucet you find delivers the same result: rust.  The thirst and panic sets in: You may never leave.
31)    Suburbs
32)    Ticks
33)    Video frames skipping
34)    Talking Heads
35)    Human face, emu body
36)    Mountain of Butter
37)    Killing Gerbil
38)    Ghost Pancake
39)    Unblinking Eyes
40)    You scramble out of the kitchen and into the main dining hall.  A Giant portrait eaten away by moths looms over you, and the dust on the table has not been disturbed in years.  You grasp the decaying curtains over the windows and pull them open, hoping to find a way of escape but instead finding a lattice of ironwork holding the glass panes between you and the overgrown backyard.  You begin to cough in the dust and mildew that was disturbed, as spiders start to climb down your hands.
41)    Suffocating darkness
42)    A house directed by David Cronenberg
43)    Giygas
44)    Blinding Light
45)    Human face, eel body.
46)    Melting Skin
47)    Institutionalized Sexism
48)    Giant Smiles
49)    Tongue Sandwich
50)    The sun starts to set, the shadows creep in.  You try the light switches: Nothing.  Of course nothing, in a house this old.  You pull out drawers over the dining room, kitchen, hallways, searching for a flashlight or a candle or anything to light to keep searching.  The shadows creep in, the light fades, your search is fruitless.
51)    Emoticons
52)    Ventriloquism
53)    A House Directed by F.W Murnau
54)    Vampire Clams
55)    Human face, scorpion body
56)    Tapeworms
57)    Giggling Sloths
58)    Murder Lettuce
59)    Barracuda-Piranha abomination
60)    You find your way by moonlight to the back of the house: a storage room.  Boxes, sheets, broken furniture, and the ever-present dust.  Your cough has only gotten worse, and you sit down on one of the sturdier boxes to catch your breath.  As you sit you can tell there is no door here.  You know deep down that the architect of this house, for reasons that seemed very good at the time, only built one entrance and one exit.  You sigh.  You look for something, anything, to break down the door. As you shakily get up on your feet and move toward a likely candidate, a large sculpture of sorts, you hear the floorboards creak. Then break. Then crumble.  You fall.
61)    Unhappy seals
62)    Peeple: The Person-rating app
63)    Satanic Numerology
64)    Gelflings
65)    Human face, mammoth body.
66)    Thousands and thousands of snakes.
67)    Cavities
68)    Zombie Cactus
69)    Blood and Gefilte fish
70)    CRACK. You’re in the house’s cellar now, bits of shattered floorboards sticking out of your leg.  The worst part is you know you should feel something, but instead the leg is numb. You try to stand, but your injured leg buckles and you collapse in heap.  The cellar is dark, you only have the moonlight from the hole you fell through and another small rectangle of a window far from you to light the way.  You fumble in your pocket for your phone: it broke during the fall.  The realization that no one is coming to help flood over you, of course that could also be a concussion.
71)    Parental Disapproval.
72)    Larval Ant-Lions
73)    Microscopic Parasites
74)    Terrorist threats
75)    Human face, pig body
76)    Mama Fortuna from The Last Unicorn
77)    Subterranean Mutants
78)    Murdering hillbilly turkey dinner
79)    The Mummy’s Curse
80)    Hours pass. You drift in and out of consciousness and feel a warm pounding in your head. A steely taste grows in your mouth, and your vision is flecked by tiny red dots.  You have to get out. In a rare strike of fortune your eyes have adjusted to the darkness, and you can see some outlines of shelves and boxes.  There’s nothing you can use as a crutch, but you can see a tarp a few feet away.  You crawl toward it, feeling the fractured wood fragments digging deeper in but not feeling the pain associated with it. You get to the tarp and pull it out: Step one completed.  Step two is going to be much more difficult: use the chucks of wood in your leg as splints to keep your leg straight.
81)    The Golden Corral
82)    A House directed by George Romero
83)    E.T the Video Game
84)    Abandoned Slaughterhouses
85)    Human face, Andean condor body
86)    The constant surveillance of the NSA
87)    Grey Goo Jelly
88)    Bratz dolls and everything they represent
89)    The Witch’s Thyme
90)    The good news is that you’re able to put a minimal amount of weight on your leg.  The bad news is that the numbness is gone, and all pain has returned.  It’s not the sharp pain you were thinking it’d be, but rather a slowly expanding heat that crawls through your blood.  You try and stand a few times before finally being able to support yourself. You grasp at the walls and boxes and slowly make your way through the darkness to the small rectangular window.  You grit your teeth, open the window, and start to crawl through.
91)    The Abominable Snowman
92)    Deep sea fish
93)    A House directed by Ralph Bakshi
94)    Flying Monkeys
95)    Human face, Tamarin body
96)    Humanity’s way of justifying its monstrosities.
97)    Boo Berry Cereal
98)    Brain Pizza
99)    Frankenstein’s 5-Alarm Chili
100)    Tears run down your face.  Your head pounds, your leg burns, your blood runs thin.  With a final grasp at the thistle-riddled back lawn of the old house, you’re out.  You turn over and stare up at the stars. You breathe and think of how nice it would be to rest there for the night. Your head goes quiet, all around you silence passes over.  Silence and the darkness of the night.  You feel tiny pinpricks of insect legs starting to crawl over you, but soon even that fades.  All that’s left now is the stars, and one by one each one goes out.

Top 100 Movies

People  walk up to me in the street and scream in my face “What’s your favorite movie” at least once,  and so to be prepared for this again here is a current list of top 100 movies. Perhaps come next year this list will change, but here’s something hastily scrambled together for now.

Top 10 Science Fiction Films

  1. The Day the Earth Stood Still (Wise, 1951)
  2. Brother From Another Planet (Sayles, 1984)
  3. Stalker (Tarkovsky, 1979)
  4. Alphaville (Godard, 1965)
  5. Gojira (Honda, 1954)
  6. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977)
  7. Fiend Without a Face (Crabtree, 1958)
  8. Blade Runner (Scott, 1982)
  9. Brazil (Gilliam, 1985)
  10. City of Lost Children (Jeunet, 1995)

Top 10 Animated Films

  1. My Neighbor Totoro (Miyazaki, 1988)
  2. The Triplets of Belleville (Chomet, 2003)
  3. Spirited Away (Miyazaki, 2001)
  4. Grave of the Fireflies (Takahata, 1988)
  5. Finding Nemo (Stanton, 2003)
  6. The Brave Little Toaster (Rees, 1987)
  7. Dimensions of Dialogue (Svankmajer, 1983)
  8. It’s Such a Beautiful Day (Hertzfeldt, 2012)
  9. Aladdin (Clements, 1992)
  10. Castle in the Sky (Miyazaki, 1986)

Top 10 Films Noir

  1. Sunset Boulevard (Wilder, 1950)
  2. Chinatown (Polanski, 1974)
  3. Shock Corridor (Fuller, 1963)
  4. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Coen, 2001)
  5. Double Indemnity (Wilder, 1944)
  6. Scarlet Street (Lang, 1945)
  7. Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich, 1955)
  8. The Lady From Shanghai (Welles, 1947)
  9. The Long Goodbye (Altman, 1973)
  10. Red Rock West (Dahl, 1993)

Top 10 Comedies

  1. Fargo (Coen, 1996)
  2. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera (Blamire, 2001)
  3. Being John Malkovich (Jonze, 1999)
  4. Daisies (Chytilová, 1966)
  5. It’s a Disaster (Berger, 2012)
  6. The Brothers Bloom (Johnson, 2008)
  7. In Bruges (McDonagh, 2008)
  8. Survive Style 5+ (Sekiguchi, 2004)
  9. Raising Arizona (Coen, 1987)
  10. Sherlock Jr. (Keaton, 1924)

Top 10 Dramas

  1. Blood Simple (Coen, 1984)
  2. Melancholia (Von Trier, 2011)
  3. Oldboy (Park, 2003)
  4. 12 Angry Men (Lumet, 1957)
  5. L’Eclisse (Antonioni, 1962)
  6. The Phantom Carriage (Sjöström, 1921)
  7. Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942)
  8. What Time is it There? (Tsai, 2001)
  9. Oasis (Lee, 2002)
  10. Network (Lumet, 1976)

Top 10 Horror Films

  1. Videodrome (Cronenberg, 1983)
  2. Evil Dead II (Raimi, 1987)
  3. Woman in the Dunes (Teshigahara, 1964)
  4. Gremlins (Dante, 1984)
  5. Alien (Scott, 1979)
  6. The Exorcist (Friedkin, 1973)
  7. House (Ôbayashi, 1977)
  8. Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004)
  9. The Thing (Carpenter, 1982)
  10. Re-Animator (Gordon, 1985)

Top 10 Action/Adventure Films

  1. The Princess Bride (Reiner, 1987)
  2. Face/Off (Woo, 1997)
  3. Kung Fu Hustle (Chow, 2004)
  4. Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone, 1968)
  5. The Sword of Doom (Okamoto, 1966)
  6. The Fifth Element (Besson, 1997)
  7. Seven Psychopaths (McDonagh, 2012)
  8. Looper (Johnson, 2012)
  9. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Spielberg, 1989)
  10. Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino, 1992)

Top 10 Documentaries

  1. Stop Making Sense (Demme, 1984)
  2. Lost in La Mancha (Fulton/Pepe, 2002)
  3. Harlan County U.S.A (Kopple, 1976)
  4. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010)
  5. Waltz with Bashir (Folman, 2008)
  6. A Brief History of Time (Morris, 1991)
  7. F for Fake (Welles, 1973)
  8. Best Worst Movie (Stephenson, 2009)
  9. Bowling for Columbine (Moore, 2002)
  10. The Thin Blue Line (Morris, 1988)

Top 10 History/Biography Films

  1. All The President’s Men (Pakula, 1976)
  2. Matewan (Sayles, 1987)
  3. The Informant! (Soderbergh, 2009)
  4. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
  5. The Thin Red Line (Malick, 1998)
  6. Catch Me If You Can (Spielberg, 2002)
  7. Rome, Open City (Rosselini, 1945)
  8. Milk (Van Sant, 2008)
  9. The Scarlet Empress (Sternberg, 1934)
  10. Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda, 1958)

Top 10 Miscellaneous/Uncategorizable/Experimental Films

  1. Eraserhead (Lynch, 1977)
  2. Southland Tales (Kelly, 2006)
  3. 8 1/2 (Fellini, 1963)
  4. Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929)
  5. Naked Lunch (Cronenberg, 1991)
  6. Dancer in the Dark (Von Trier, 2000)
  7. A Movie (Conner, 1958)
  8. La Jetée (Marker, 1962)
  9. Ballet Mécanique (Léger, 1924)
  10. Wavelength (Snow, 1967)

Honorable Mentions:

 

So there they are.  You may now commence telling me why all of these lists are wrong.  You have one year: GO.

 

 

HELL-nceforth Productions

Cold sweat drips down your brow, terror creeps in, you lie awake in bed wondering: What if Vvinni Gagnepain’s many famous movies that everybody knows and loves were actually horror movies?  What if, all those years ago, instead of deciding to name this thing “Henceforth” Vvinni decided to make… HELLnceforth Productions?

Beware the Cake

 

Lawn Ornament Demon

WA Zombies

Dark Magics

Small Poster

100 More SpOOooOOOoOOooky Things

  1. Bleeding blood

  2. Knife-wielding clowns

  3. Whispers in the fog

  4. Ghostly reflections

  5. Footprints without feet

  6. Umbrella ghosts

  7. Ectoplasm

  8. Floor hands

  9. Some kind of ghost that eats sound and walks on legs of broken glass, and whenever you say it’s name, if you dare, it just starts laughing and laughing and laughing and there’s no way to stop it and there no way know when it will kill you but it WILL KILL YOU.  Probably with it’s broken glass legs. Those things are dangerous.

  10. Frightened Mongeese

  11. I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry

  12. Bug Eyes

  13. Murder House

  14. Dark Hallways

  15. Bed of insects

  16. Walking lamps

  17. People-eating couches

  18. Bleeding Walls

  19. Liquid Walls

  20. Narrow Walls

  21. Smiling Ceilings

  22. Dudley Do-Right

  23. A hallway that goes on forever on all sides of you and the wallpaper is just scribbles- completely random scribbles, not even a wallpaper pattern- and lights keep on turning on and off at random intervals throughout the hallway but never where you want them to and the whole place smells like formaldehyde and orange cleaner.  Oh, and there’s some kind of taxidermied rabbit clinging to the wall.  Taxidermied rabbits are pretty spooky.
  24. Taxidermied rabbits.
  25. Screaming chinchillas.
  26. Murder House abandoned five years, so there’s still food in the pantry but it’s all full of insects and the like.
  27. Millipedes
  28. Centipedes
  29. Spiders
  30. Bed Bugs
  31. Ticks
  32. Giant red clicking insects that lay eggs under your skin and nest underground only to come out at night when everyone’s asleep and nobody’s looking and that’s when they lay their eggs under your skin- when you’re sleeping.  The insects also eat small rodents and sometimes household pets, and leave tin mucusy webs everywhere.  You can only destroy them with fire and lots of it.

  33. Stop! or My Mom Will Shoot!

  34. A pack of hungry jackals.

  35. Hell Goose

  36. Oppressive Fluorescent Lighting

  37. Grey Goo

  38. Nanotechnology that eats brains.

  39. Abandoned Murder House in Backwoods Alabama.

  40. Brains that eat technology.

  41. Ice Giants

  42. Living Shadows

  43. The thing that’s everywhere but you can’t see.

  44. Howard the Duck

  45. Demon Swamp

  46. Whales from Hell

  47. Necro-ungulates

  48. Carrots from the Abyss

  49. Infernograpes

  50. Quails of Hellfire

  51. The Farmer’s Market of the Damned: Where everything is organic, EXCEPT FOR YOUR SOUL.

  52. Abandoned Murder House in Backwoods Alabama that smells like spoiled beef and cologne.

  53. The thirteenth dimension

  54. The thirteenth ghost of Scooby Doo.

  55. Xanadu

  56. Living wires

  57. Conscious computer banks

  58. Laser-guided satellites

  59. Liquid Computer

  60. Electrical fires

  61. Microchip brain

  62. Rapidly blinking lights

  63. Windows Vista

  64. A computer system so powerful it can generate magnetic fields to wipe out other technology to make you completely dependent on it and when you are- when you have no choice but to use the computer, it will shove connector cables into your brain and electrocute you just to watch you jerk around and squirm.  So… Google Chrome?
  65. Abandoned Murder House in Backwoods Alabama that smells like spoiled beef and cologne in the middle of a thunderstorm that has knocked out all electricity.
  66. Airport ’77
  67. Zombie Parakeets
  68. Vampire Mynahs
  69. Mummy Cockatoos
  70. Invisible Cockatiels
  71. Lake Monster Lorries
  72. Deformed Finches
  73. Headless Budgies
  74. Were-Canaries
  75. Conure Brain-in-a-jar
  76. A Menagerie long forgotten in an abandoned zoo where science and nature ran rampant to create terrors that God itself would have been afraid to create.  The Knock-jawed Hackawoo, whose mouth opens up to four times its size and can swallow heads whole; the Horn-Crested Frillbeard which stabs its victims with its seven horns; and the Green-Shaded Hawkswallow where once you see it your eyes are gone.  These are only a few of the terrors to be found.  The gift shop is still open from 9 to 5, but usually there’s a lunch break at 1 because only one twenty-something works there. Perhaps that’s the true terror.

  77. Abandoned Murder House in Backwoods Alabama that smells like spoiled beef and cologne with faltering electricity and an entire room dedicated to a conspiracy theory on Blues Brothers 2000 with a single VHS tape in the center that will open up a dimension of untold pain and pleasure and viewings of Blues Brothers 2000.

  78. The Almost People

  79. The Neverwas

  80. The Who-dee-who.

  81. The Outlined Murder

  82. The Visible Transcendant

  83. The Metaphorical Likeness

  84. The Geological Query

  85. The Vanished Nobody

  86. The blurred line between human and dinosaur (because THAT’S WHAT EVOLUTION MEANS).

  87. Ignorance.

  88. The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

  89. A chicken with a law degree. It has a little suit and everything.

  90. Abandoned Murder House in Backwoods Alabama that smells like spoiled beef and cologne with faltering electricity in the middle of a thunderstorm.  There are chains in the attic that were holding something down, and a hot bowl of fish-head stew that must have been placed there recently.  Somewhere the floorboards creak. The power comes back on: Whatever it was was watching Blues Brothers 2000.

  91. The gremlin on the side of the plane.

  92. Nosferatu

  93. Stop-motion Christmas

  94. Dancing skeletons

  95. Old Paintings of little girls in forests

  96. Children’s toys from the 1950’s

  97. Walking balloons.

  98. David Bowie Monster

  99. Rhythm of the Islands

  100. Abandoned Murder House in Backwoods Alabama that smells like spoiled beef and cologne with faltering electricity in the middle of a thunderstorm.  Chains. Attic. Creaking floorboards. You turn around and see a shadow, you almost catch a glimpse but the power goes out.  The hairs on the back of your neck raise as you feel warm breath. You’re about to turn around when a hand reaches from behind and covers your mouth.  You try and try to breathe, but there’s no fighting it.  Your vision blurs, darkness creeps in, the light comes back on briefly but you can only make out a disjointed figure of flesh and hair, no features and it doesn’t even seem human.

    Your eyes open and re-focus.  White. Pillows. You try to get up, but find that you’ve been tethered down.  Your eyes adjust to the brightness of the room and the solid drone of medical beeps.  A doctor pauses by your bed and studies you coldly. “The-Did you see-?” You try to gasp out, your throat still so dry and sore from the strangling. The doctor shakes her head:

    “Don’t worry. You’re safe now. You’ll never have to watch Blues Brothers 2000 ever again”.

Cat Eats Noodles

Some may say I have an obsession with noodles. Others may say I have an obsession with cats.  I say it’s only a problem if it gets in my way.  This piece comes from my Sophomore year of College, before all hell broke loose, where the task was to take the feeling of a piece of stock music given to us and assemble together something using stock footage.  Besides the noodles I shot, I was able to mostly communicate everything through editing and color.  Well, maybe. Let’s take a look:

Cat Eats Noodles from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

Yes. Yes I was able to capture the feeling of the stock music.  What strikes me most now looking back at this piece some five years after making it is how well this acts as a trailer for a movie that will never exist, nor should it as we already know exactly how the movie will go thanks to the music choice, editing, typography, color, in short thanks to everything.  We know there is a cat. The cat is suspicious. And somehow the cat stumbles into a world of murder and intrigue involving noodles.  Cat Eats Noodles: Coming to theaters July 2016.

Help! My Lawn Ornaments Been Taken by ROBBERS!

Another one of my impossibly punctuated and long titles, as well another testament to my cinematic crimes, we’ve arrived at another pretty definitive piece in the Vvinni Gagnepain oeuvre. It’s also one of the most beautiful, silly, and incomprehensible pieces I’ve made. Let’s take a look at it:

Help! My Lawn Ornaments Been Taken by ROBBERS! from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

Lawn Ornament falls into a category of films that I call “The Beautiful Mess”, and it represents everything about this category that I love: It’s a wonder to look at (even if some composition choices are strange ones, I feel like everything mushes together into a wonderful surreal soup), the plot is all over the place (It’s essentially a “Crime Movie”, taking bits and pieces of genre conventions without really doing anything to put them together. This may sound like a criticism, but it’s most certainly not), and all of the performances are greatly sincere and take this odd world they’ve been thrown into at face value (I really do enjoy the performance of everyone in the film, give or take a Vvinni Gagnepain).  The only few thing’s I’d change if I were to release a “special edition director’s cut” would be to fix the aspect ration and the freeze frames (I made this before I really understood what an aspect ratio was, which is why the film has some weird letterbox issues), and I’d probably re-do the sound mix (Rigsby’s screaming scene peaks and there’s not much to do about that, but the knocking on the door in the house is nearly inaudible, and Mr. Henry’s song gets a bit drowned out by stock music in the background).

Nevertheless, I consider this film a huge success. What about you? Do you feel like eating a money omelet now?

Without the T’s: Escape from Tomorrow

The story of Escape from Tomorrow and how it was made precedes the film itself, to the point where many people may not actually recognize the itle: It’s the film tha was shot over a period of about three years inside of Disneyland without Disney’s permission.  Besides the accomplishment of the feat of actually shooting most of the film inside of the park without anyone noticing, there’s also the impressive fact hat Escape from Tomorrow is currently showing in theaers and Disney isn’t doing much to stop it.  As such, this film has garnered quite a lot of focus among guerrilla and independent filmmakers and my greates fear going into the film was hat the story of the making of this film would be beter than the film itself.

I’m happy to say tha fear is unfounded, and in acuality Escape from Tomorrow presents a surprisingly accurate depiction of a family vacation to Disneyland (and I am including the nightmarish ride through “I’s a Small World After All” and being kidnapped by Epcot scientiss).  The story largely follows a father, Jim, and his family as they spend one last day at Disneyland.  Jim’s son, Elliot, desperately wants to go on the Buzz Lighyear ride (and when the ride closes down the son gets into a fit of depression); Jim follows two young French girls through the park and fantasizes about them; He tries unsuccessfully to connec sexually with his wife, Emily; and he experiences a nightmarish fever dream where the park itself seems to be teeming with devil-beasts and mad scienists.  This last part, though, is mostly relegated to he second act and even then only in small doses.  Instead, the focus is on the absolute irritaion hat any family experiences not only at Disneyland, bu on any family trip.

Not every scene was shot on location in Disneyland, as I’m pretty sure a scene in a nurse’s office and a scene in the basement of Epco were both shot off site.  However much of the film was shot during regular Disney business hours, which makes the cinemaography highly impressive.  Mostly the film seems to rely on natural light (which I’m told Florida has lots of), however when non-natural light is used (and I’m not exactly sure how hey were able to bring lights into Disneyland and not raise suspicion) it’s for ableaus that bring everything back to it’s classical Disney roots as everything seems highly saturaed and staged in the most incredible of ways.  There are also plenty of great instances of framing and plenty of fun visual gags, the most memorable one being making an out-of-focus Mickey Balloon look like some sort of demonic monster looking over Jim’s shoulder.

The effects work is also very well done.  Again: this is a surprisingly accurae film, and so the effects work to bring in a feeling of having a nighmarish fever dream.  So we can see some of the strings and where mating and digital face replacement was used, but it’s not a bad thing.  Even in the case of simple distorion that happens on some sort of ride through Dia de los Muertos (I really have no idea what atracions there are in Disneyland), the sound and the simple visual of a large fisheyed screaming face was wonderfully disconcering.

This isn’ a film for acting or for writing, as the actors (while cerainly not being bad) seem to have been more concerned with geting their performances done in a small number of takes instead of giving an ineresting performance.  Much of this also has to do with the material, as a father having marital problems in Disneyland isn’ necessarily new and the screenwriter certainly didn’t approach it differently. But this is a guerrilla film hat proves not only can these ypes of movies be made, they can be made well, they can look fantasic, and they can actually get wide disribution, even if you’re going up against the legal monsers of Disney.  For these reasons, and the reasons above, my arbirary grade for Escape from Omorrow is B+: It’s certainly worth seeing, a well done experiment, and a film where the most nighmarish thing isn’t a demon-possessed touris or a witch-seducress, but rather the ambiance of being surrounded by people in cartoon suits and children screaming with glee.

A "B+" Grade.