Tag Archives: G-G-G-Ghosts!

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 Cop Shows

There is no limit to what can be turned into a police procedural now, from Sleepy Hollow to Minority Report to an upcoming Oliver Twist procedural series, and that’s not even going into Dick Wolf’s ever-expanding Chicago universe.  So I’ve taken the liberty of writing up 100 episodes (exactly enough to go into syndication!) of my own Cop Show.  You’re welcome, CBS.

  1. Alan Smirk is a loose cannon who gets the job done in his own way, and Douglas Gambull is a cop who obeys all the rules.  Their worlds collide when Captain Louis Stevenson of the NYPD ask them to become partners!  Will these two be able to reconcile their differences and capture a Jewel Thief?
  2. Yes they will.
  3. Gambull and Smirk attempt to diffuse a hostage situation where one of the hostages… IS GAMBULL’S DAUGHTER! Will they succeed?  Will Gambull be able to tell his daughter that he’s sorry for not coming to her ballet performance last night because he was too busy filing papers? Again: Yes. Yes they will.
  4. Leo “The War Piece” Tolstoy, a notorious criminal and mob boss, goes head-to-head with Gambull and Smirk when their on the case of a murdered shop-owner who refused to pay protection money.  Tolstoy avoids getting into jail this time, but Smirk makes a vow to catch him one of these days.
  5. Captain Stevenson has to work with his least favorite person in the world: Fire Commissioner Oliver Stevenson, his half-brother, when a serial arsonist’s attacks turn deadly.  Gambull and Smirk are put on the case, but they better not screw it up or it’s the Captain’s ass on the line!
  6. Incriminating evidence has been taken from police lockup, and Smirk is the prime suspect!  SPOILER ALERT: It wasn’t Smirk.
  7. Smirk may have just had his heart stolen when he tracks down Victoria Smiles, a beautiful con artist who’s newest mark is guest star famous restauranteur Guy Fieri. It looks like this will be a case that’ll take a “Big Bite” out of New York!  Because Guy Fieri has a show called “Guy’s Big Bite”. It’s about burgers?  Yeah, it’s probably about burgers.
  8. Gambull and Smirk are shocked when Captain Stevenson is implicated in planting a gun on a black man shot dead, specifically because the dead man was Gambull’s childhood friend.  Also, Gambull is black.  We should have said that before.  But when new evidence surfaces, Gambull finds out that maybe he didn’t know his friend as well as he though.  And when even more new evidence surfaces, Gambull and Smirk realize that they don’t know Captain Stevenson as well as they thought. And when even MORE new evidence surfaces Gambull and Smirk realize that maybe they don’t even know… THEMSELVES.
  9. Gambull and Smirk have to protect a Russian Diplomat who’s head is marked for DEATH.
  10. Gambull and Smirk have to solve a case where the prime suspect… IS A TALKING DOG!
  11. Gambull and Smirk run into Smiles again, only this time she claims to be the next victim of dreaded Laserdisc Killer who leaves a single Laserdisc clue at all of his crime scenes.  Though the Laserdisc killer hasn’t been seen since 2001 and was presumably caught and sitting on a life sentence in Sing Sing.  Smirk, Smiles, and Gambull race against the clock to figure out this puzzle and save a potentially innocent life!
  12. Gambull and Smirk search for a murderer at one of Gambull’s daughter’s dance performances.
  13. Gambull and Smirk sort out fact from science fiction when they go to a robotics convention to look for a terrorist.
  14. Gambull and Smirk realize that there may just be more to New York state senator Mike Reinald than meets the eye.  One of those things is that he’s a murderer.  Another one is that he hates the New York Yankees.
  15. Tables are turned when Gambull becomes obsessed with tracking down the person who shot and killed his wife, so obsessed that he doesn’t even file the correct “obsessed cop” paperwork!  Smirk has to tighten up his own cannon to keep Gambull from going over the edge.  SURPRISE TWIST: GAMBULL’S WIFE WAS NEVER SHOT!
  16. Gambull and Smirk have to rely on the help of an eccentric IT worker when a hacker threatens to shut down New York City’s power grid!
  17. “The War Piece” returns!  This time Tolstoy’s been running an illegal boxing ring, and the worst part is that it looks like Captain Stevenson might just be involved!
  18. A death at a steel mill causes Smirk to go undercover!
  19. Gambull and Smirk think that a well-known newspaper journalist’s death by jumping from the Brooklyn Bridge may not have been an accident!  You’ll never guess, though, who the evidence points to being the murderer!
  20. Captain Louis Stevenson was the murderer from the last episode. He sets the entire NYPD against Gambull and Smirk as they try and prove it.
  21. In the thrilling conclusion to the two-part season finale, Gambull and Smirk go up against the two foes who have been secretly pulling their strings all this time: Stevenson and Tolstoy!  But the deeper our two cop friends go the more they realize that Stevenson and Tolstoy were only the lackeys for the true criminal mastermind: returning guest star famous restauranteur Guy Fieri!
  22. As Season 2 premiers and the dust from Season one clears, Gambull and Smirk have quit the NYPD and moved to the sunny shores of Los Angeles to become private eyes!  Their past immediately comes back to haunt them when the DVD Slayer, son of the deadly Laserdisc Killer, returns and is out for blood against his old foes: Gambull and Smirk.  Will they be able to catch the DVD Slayer this time?  Will their past as gritty New York cops keep coming back to haunt them?  Has Guy Fieri’s reign of terror truly ended?  Will Gambull be able to live without doing paperwork?
  23. Mostly no.  Except that their past as gritty New York cops will continuously come back to haunt them.
  24. What at first seems like just another string of race-related murders becomes something much more deadly when Gambull and Smirk team up with a helicopter pilot to solve… THE CASE OF THE BIRDS EYE.
  25. Detective Guitierrez of the LAPD comes to Gambull and Smirk for their help: He’s afraid that a corrupt cop may be about to incite another round of race riots at a fundraising ice cream social, and that corrupt cop has a familiar name: Stevenson!  SPOILER ALERT: Stevenson is guilty, but of no relation to the former Police Captain Louis Stevenson.  Gambull and Smirk have to learn that people can have the same last name.
  26. Gambull and Smirk find out just how strange the world is when their prime suspect has been dead for 50 years!
  27. Fact becomes fiction when Gambull and Smirk go to the set of CORRUPT, a movie based on their adventures last year to find out that the actor who is playing Captain Stevenson has been shot dead, and all evidence points to Smirk!
  28. Gambull and Smirk investigate a string of robberies at a Hollywood Hotel, only to run into a familiar face: Victoria Smiles!
  29. The owner of Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is shot down in a drive-by shooting.  As Gambull and Smirk Dive in, they realize that this may be the fiery work of their deadliest foe: Returning guest star famed restauranteur Guy Fieri!
  30. Gambull and Smirk head out to Martha’s Vineyard for a weekend of wine… AND MURDER.
  31. Gambull and Smirk go see a movie at Mann’s Chinese Theater for a night of silver screens… AND SILVER SCREAMS.
  32. Detective Guitierrez comes to Gambull and Smirk for help in tracking down a group of bank robbers before they rob a shipment of Iranian gold and incite international conflict!
  33. Smirk wakes up to a terrifying discovery: A DVD.  He thinks this could only be the work of the DVD Slayer, Gambull thinks he’s overreacting.  Will this break up our dynamic duo? No. Will the DVD Slayer return? Yes.
  34. Smirk has to face his overwhelming fear of Dinosaurs when a body is found at the LaBrea Tar Pits.
  35. A former cop is killed after he eats an avocado, and Gambull and Smirk are put on… THE CASE OF THE HASS-LER!
  36. Hank David “The Walden of West Los Angeles” Thoreau, a notorious LA gangster, has his sights put on Gambull and Smirk after he is released from prison.  The reason? HE’S THE COUSIN OF LEO “THE WAR PIECE” TOLSTOY!
  37. While hiding out from “The Walden of West Los Angeles”, Gambull and Smirk recount their favorite memories of working together.
  38. Detective Guitierrez needs Gambull and Smirk’s help in tracking down a magician who’s disappearing act seems real!
  39. As temperatures rise so do racial tensions in LA as a death ignites hatred against a poor Latino family on the outskirts of Santa Monica.  Evidence points to Luis, the youngest, but Gambull knows for a fact that Luis is innocent as he was playing basketball with him at the time and also he knows that Luis is a good kid!  Also also, Gambull is Latino.  that should have been said earlier.  Anyhoo, it turns out the mayor of LA is corrupt.
  40. An investigation into a birthday party where all the guests were beaten to death leads Gambull and Smirk to think that the crime may have been drug-related, and you’ll never guess WHO is the leader of the drug ring.  SPOILER ALERT: It’s returning guest star famed restauranteur Guy Fieri!
  41. Guy Fieri’s Burger Bombs have been set all around LA, and Gambull, Smirk, and Guitierrez have to race against the clock to make sure they don’t explode!  Meanwhile, Fieri has nefarious plans for that empty LA Mayor’s seat.
  42. Gambull and Smirk have to protect mayor-elect former Detective Guitierrez from being assassinated by none other than Hank David “The Walden of West Los Angeles” Thoreau (which would, by LA law, mean that he’d take over as Mayor).  Meanwhile, Victoria Smiles gets in over her head trying to implicate Guy Fieri in conspiracy to commit murder.  As this season draws to a close, you’ll never guess who dies in the action!  Spoiler Alert: It’s Gambull!
  43. Season 3 begins with Smirk at his most loose-canon-y as he’s on the war path to track down Guy Fieri across the US.  Gambull is dead… or so he thinks!  In truth, Gambull’s body was sent to a secret NASA facility in Miami where his brain is being put into a ROBOT!  Smirk finds this out and meets up with his old partner in Miami, where they join the Miami Experimental Crimes Unit!
  44. Uh Oh Spaghetti-O!  The DVD slayer is back! Gambul1 uses his new-found robot vision to look into the DVD code to try and catch the slayer before he kills his next victim,  but will he get too far into the Slayer’s head only to become the next DVD Slayer?  No. No he won’t.
  45. G4mbull sees a murder take place with his x-ray eyes, but no one believes him when the victim is seen walking around unharmed the next day!  Could G4mbull’s new robot brain be fallible, or is there a crazy conspiracy at foot?
  46. 6ambull, Smirk, and the people at MECU go up against their greatest foe yet: A super-intelligent dolphin who’s trained to kill!
  47. A hot Miami nightclub gets even hotter when it’s burnt down.  Gamb0ll and Smirk are shocked to learn that the nightclub’s owner was MECU head Shellonius Monk’s Brother!  Now- more than ever- they have to track down the arsonist!
  48. Gam8ull is rushed to MECU with a nail in his eye!  While Gerhardt the Robot Scientist works on repairs, Smirk and Monk look at the video footage of the past day when a worker at the Villa Vicaya was found murdered with a nail gun!
  49. The Miami Dolphins need the help of MECU, as it seems like their best players are getting murdered one-by-one by a crazed Atlanta Falcons fan!  It’s a good thing Gambu11’s a robot, because otherwise this could end up bad!
  50. G4mbu1l and Smirk rush back to where this all started: New York, when their old, corrupt Police captain Louis Stevenson is let out of prison early!  Stevenson’s got his sights on getting revenge against G4mbu1l and Smirk, and he’s got a secret weapon to help him out: a prototype police robot that issues the death penalty… FOR EVERYTHING!
  51. The thrilling conclusion to the return to New York!  Robots fighting Robots!  People fighting People!  The New York Knicks playing the Miami Heat! That’s right: NOW IT’S PERSONAL!
  52. 6a3bull realizes that being a robot is really hard when his body is taken over by a hacker and forced to rob a bank!  Smirk and the rest of MECU have to out-hack the hacker or else Smirk will have to kill his best friend!
  53. Gam80ll and Smirk’s vacation in the Everglades turns deadly when they have to track down an evil oil baron who’s trying to build an illegal oil rig!
  54. Gamb011 and Smirk have to figure out truth from fiction when a string of murders take place in real life that are shockingly similar to those carried out in a video game!
  55. The DVD Slayer walks into MECU: We have to work together, there’s a DVD Copy killer out there!  6am8u1l and Smrik, along with tech genius Gerhardt, look through the past few days and realize it’s true: There’s a Copy Killer on the loose!
  56. G43b0ll and Smirk are put on duty safeguarding punk rocker Jimmy Stabbbs, who is the star witness for the prosecution in the trial of notorious Miami gangster Walt “The Shepard” Raleigh who has put a hit on Stabbbs’ head.
  57. Smirk has to solve a case alone when an evil Building inspector locks the rest of the MECU team inside the Spacedome while 6a3b0ll is having his brain re-nutrialized.
  58. 643bul1 and Smirk are going to Disneyworld!  Only this isn’t for fun, it’s to solve… A MURDER!
  59. Gam8011 and Smirk have to dive into the weird world of competitive MMORPGs when computer genius of MECU Gerhardt goes missing.
  60. G4m8011’s computer brain starts to put together some odd puzzle pieces that never quite fit: The DVD Copy killer, evil dolphins, The Miami Heat playing in New York when they should have had a home game that day.  All evidence points to a singular mastermind at work: Famed restauranteur Guy Fieri!
  61. With Guy Fieri in town for a Famous Restauranteur Conference, Smirk sees his chance to finally take revenge against the gruesome griller.  But 64m8011 thinks otherwise, especially when he’s visited by a mysterious source with ties to the Restauranteur underground: Guest Star Alton Brown!
  62. A Restaurant Conspiracy is unveiled: by working with the Sovereign Dolphin nation and the Secret Evil Government of Cuba, restaurants will take over the US and trap everyone in a soviet hell!  It’s up to G438011, Smirk, Victoria Smiles, and our friends at MECU to stop this from becoming a terrifying reality!
  63. Guest Star Alton Brown leads the march against Guy Fieri and his evil Pastabots as 6438011, Smirk, Smiles, and MECU race to solve a series of nefarious puzzles, or else risk Miami falling into the sea! You’ll never guess how the season ends, so I’ll tell you: Smirk is shot! BY 6438011!
  64. 6438011 is recommissioned for a new assignment: Search for the twisted mastermind who left a newborn baby in duffel bag!  Meanwhile, returning guest star famed restauranteur Guy Fieri begins to plot his escape from Guantanamo Bay, and Smirk wakes up in a University of Chicago laboratory where they’ve done the seemingly impossible: Bring back both Smirk and Smiles… only now they’re the same person!  That’s right, now 6438011 has to figure out how to work with his new partner who’s a woman! Can this robot figure out how to make it work?
  65. Yes. Yes it can. It is a robot. It can do literally anything.
  66. An old case becomes shockingly relevant as the DVD Slayer is transferred to the Cook County Jail as per the request of his kindly old Grandfather.  Only this Grandfather may in fact be Chicago’s most ruthless of unsolved killers: The Betamax Basher!
  67. 6438011 and the new Victoria Smirk adjust to their new life in Chicago as they’re once again gritty street cops, and also as they’re now roommates! They’re about to find that the only thing worse than Chicago crime, is living together!  Also Chicago traffic in festival season is God awful. It’s just terrible.
  68. Victoria Smirk has to put her new life to the test when she gets a new assignment: In the Chicago Vice department!  It’s here where she first meets the next in a long line of dastardly gangsters: Eddy “King of the Urban Jungle” Burroughs.  Meanwhile, 6438011 find out the hard streets of Chicago are even harder for a NASA robot.
  69. 6438011 and Smirk’s worlds collide when they encounter… MURDER AT THE BEAN.
  70. The King of the Urban Jungle is trying to spread his gang business into another Chicago Gangster’s territory.  Burroughs sends his best hitman to take out this rival gang, along with none other than Victoria Smirk!  Meanwhile, 6438011 tries to remember what a hot dog is.
  71. Tech Genius Gerhardt from MECU moves to Chicago to join the elite crime force, and just in time too because 6438011 has run out of batteries WHILE PURSUING A KILLER!
  72.  6438011 is away testifying in court, and so Gritty Chicago Police Chief Stephano Roix asks for Smirk and Gerhardt to team up with his best cop, a gritty Chicago street kid named U, to track down a group of thieves who stole $40K worth of gold and are on their way to the National Bank of China- Chicago Branch! Then things get weird.  U finds a dead clown, which Gerhardt is able to identify.  Meanwhile, Roix finds out that all of the thieves have been killed except for one who Smirk takes into protective custody.  Using the fingerprints of the dead clown, U is able to find the gold.  Only Gerhardt then realizes that it’s not gold they’ve found… BUT CHOCOLATE!  Eventually they solve the crime, and 6438011 comes back to a round of applause.
  73. 6438011 and Smirk are on one of their few days off when they get trapped inside a haunted house and have to solve a decades old murder, or else become victims themselves!
  74. Gerhardt, doing routine maintenance on 6438011, mistakenly erases all of 6438011’s memory!  To make matters worse, old foe Louis Stevenson is in Chicago and out for blood- literally!
  75. A casual day of gang activity at the aquarium turns deadly when Smirk comes face to face with THE DOLPHIN!
  76. Special Guest Star Rahm Emanuel asks to the Elite Crime Unit’s help when he gives a speech at the University of Chicago.  Things turn deadly, though, when Emanuel is struck with a deadly virus that could spread through Chicago like a fire, and Gerhardt and Doctor Cassandra Frankenstein race to find a cure.  Oh, Gerhardt’s been having a romantic subplot this whole time.  He and Dr. Frankenstein kiss at the end of the episode. Spoiler alert.
  77. It’s a triple format threat when the Laserdisc Killer, the DVD Slayer, and the Betamax Basher all escape from prison, join forces, and attack their two greatest foes: 6438011 and Smirk.  Only one group will survive the night, and it’ll probably be the series’ protagonists!
  78. Smirk finds herself trapped on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan with Eddy “King of the Urban Jungle” Burroughs, and what’s worse: She’s starting to think that maybe he’s not evil! Meanwhile, 6438011 tries to remember what pizza is.
  79. A murder occurs where you’d least suspect it: at an active crime scene!  What’s worse? SMIRK’S FINGERPRINTS ARE EVERYWHERE!  Has Smirk turned to the dark side?  Has 6438011 completely lost its humanity?  Will Gerhardt and Frankenstein be Chicago’s newest “it” couple? WHAT’S INSIDE GRITTY POLICE CHIEF ROIX’S DESK?! These questions will be answered…
  80. But not in this episode!  Here, The life of Gerhardt’s mentor and brilliant computer person Toby Turring hangs in the balance when the heart he needs for a transplant is stolen!  Putting everything on hold, they track down the heart.  It turns out it was satanists!
  81. 6438011 confronts Smirk about the fingerprints, and it turns out that Smirk may have turned to the dark side, but that she didn’t kill the person.  Instead her hands were used for latex casts.  Gerhardt tells 6438011 the terrible truth: It is no longer human, and basically just a toaster that solves crimes.  643 would cry if it had emotions. Frankenstein talks to Gerhardt: They are so madly in love that Chicago has awarded them the honor of being the “it” couple.  They now have keys to the city.  Using these keys to the city, they break into Gritty Police Chief Roix’s desk and find a conspiracy that goes straight to the source: The 1893 Chicago World’s Fair!
  82. Smirk is faced with a difficult choice: Get promoted from Vice and become a gritty Chicago detective, or get promoted in the gang world and become The Queen of the Urban Jungle.  Meanwhile, 643 meets a nice chess-playing robot.
  83. 643 and Smirk race against time to stop the city’s water supply from being poisoned in… THE WATER TOWER CRISIS!
  84. A holiday party turns deadly when GPC Roix, Gerhardt, Frankenstein, Smirk, 643, and U get trapped in the Willis tower by The King of the Urban Jungle.  Meanwhile 643 gets a strange message… from returning guest star Alton Brown!  Could the restaurant conspiracy be afoot again?!
  85. In this cliffhanger of a season finale, Smirk reveals that she’s been working as a double agent for the past five episodes and has- indeed- turned to the dark side of crime.  GPC Roix reveals that all the trouble with Satanists and vampires and killer clowns all has one nefarious goal: To bring Chicago into Hell, and the reason he knows this? HE WAS GRANTED IMMORTALITY AT THE 1893 CHICAGO WORLD’S FAIR! Also, Gerhardt and Frankenstein have a fight!  Will they continue to be an “it” couple? Has smirk been lost to Crime?  Will she kill 643? Will 643 ever go into a swimming pool again? Will Hell come to Chicago?
  86. In order: Yes. No. Not really. Yes, and it’s a bad idea. Yes, but then they all fix it.
  87. The dust of THE CONFLUENCE fades.  Smirk has blood and oil on her hands and knows she has to redeem herself.  GPC Roix gave up his life to close the gates of Hell.  Gerhardt and Frankenstein are a really cute couple, even if they’re now a talking dog and an amorphous blob that shoots lasers out of her eyes (respectively).  643 is gone.  Oh, and to make matters worse? THEY’VE GONE BACK IN TIME!
  88. Smirk, Gerhardt, and Frankenstein investigate a murder-arson case while continuing to deal with the aftermath of 643’s death.  Oh, and who could this mysterious murderer-arsonist in 1803 Chicago be?  Why none other than the WAX CYLINDER STABBER who’s a distant relative of the Betamax Basher and, by extension, the DVD Slayer!  Will killing this murderer-arsonist alter the timeline?
  89. Yes, but our fearsome foursome doesn’t care.  Oh, and they’re a foursome now because 643 has returned as the ghost of a robot who insists on being called Doug.
  90. The Wild West is about to get a lot more wilder, as Doug, Smirk, Gerhardt, and Frankenstein find themselves involved in a train robbery!
  91. A killer in a small Swedish village in 1974 gets the attention of The Time Brigade in their Foreversphere.  While investigating, Gerhardt realizes that the killer’s next victim could be… HIS MOTHER!
  92. The Foreversphere gets invaded by a swarm of Time-Bees, which bring out the best and worst memories of all members of the Time Brigade.
  93. 1968: New York City. On these mean streets a killer walks, taking whatever he wants and blowing up buildings.  It’s up to Doug and Smirk (Gerhardt and Frankenstein are off on their honeymoon) to catch this monster before it’s too late.  But do these gritty New York Cops turned Los Angeles Private Investigators turned Miami Special Ops turned gritty Chicago cops turned Time warriors have what it takes to investigate on the gritty streets of New York?  Yes. They do. They now travel through time, finding a killer is remarkably easy for them to do.
  94. Trapped together in a Grain elevator, Smirk apologizes to Doug for getting him killed all those times. And for betraying everyone to a crazed gangster.
  95. Gerhardt the Talking Dog is elected president in the future year 2042, or at least that’s what it seems like.  Only as Frankenstein, Smirk, and Doug investigate further they realize that this future may be more dire than they thought.  It’s more dire because of robot dolphins. They kill people and eat their skin.
  96. The Time Brigade find themselves trapped in a deadly torture maze in Ancient Rome and subjected to the mad whims of none other than Caligula!
  97. The Time Brigade find themselves in 2027, and what’s more they’re face-to-face with their older selves! Gerhardt and Frankenstein have gotten a divorce in this future, Smirk went to prison for her crimes but secretly works with the FBI, and Doug is the Sheriff of a small Virginia town where nothing ever happens until a string of bizarre murders with otherworldly ties rolls in.  Our heroes now must put aside their differences to solve the greatest mystery of all: Friendship. Oh, and at the end of the episode the Foreversphere crashes into Victorian England.
  98. With present Doug dead in the Future (who knew a Robot Ghost could be killed?) and Future Doug alive in the present which is actually the past, Gerhardt no longer being able to talk but just being a regular dog, and Frankenstein lost forever to the streams of time, it’s all up to Victoria Smirk to solve THE CASE OF THE FOGGY STRANGLER.
  99. Smirk and Future Doug- along with their new friend Sherlock Holmes- find themselves in a conundrum: They witness the beginnings of the restaurant conspiracy that has been a thorn in their sides for far too long.  What’s more?  The Cult of the Illeterati’s leader is none other than a distant relative of the DVD Slayer!  And you’ll never guess who’s in the center of all of this knotted mess of time-crime: Returning Guest Star Famous Restauranteur Guy Fieri!
  100. Hell. Time. Crime. Greed. Love. Friendship. Grit. Restaurants. Dolphins. Robots. It’s been one heck of a ride for our two detectives Gambull and Smirk.  But now it all comes to an end.  Now it’s the two of them up against Guy Fieri at the End/Beginning of the Universe.  SPOILER ALERT: Guy Fieri is reduced to simmering blob of hair product, for he can never truly be killed, and Doug decides to keep him as a pet alongside the dog Gerhardt.  Doug moves to Virginia where he settles in and continues in his timeline as a small-town sheriff in over his head.  As for Victoria Smirk? She’s having adventures with the love of her life: Sherlock Holmes in the new spinoff series: Baskerville.

These 100 United States

As the thunder of fireworks and election sounds, the people of the United States think to themselves: We need to re-draw state lines.  Well, don’t worry America, I’ve done just that.  I even took the same rule all modern country-makers take: Draw a bunch of lines in existing territories without much thought. Now, am I saying that this is a dark visage of of our own future?  Yes. Yes I am.  Pack your bags, this will probably happen tomorrow.

TUS


Colympus

Eureka

Pacifico

Los Santos

Guadalupe

Sonora SpacefallSparganophilusModocFremontMeadowlark

Mr. Starkey

Inland Empire

SnakelandBitterrockBasalt Falls

Goldpit

Walker

Warm Springs

Escalante

Tetonia

Salt Lake

Kruckeberg

Foreverwood

AntipodeAnda NangkwaChantemakhaBleeding PeaksNuevo FosilClovisThe ShardScopulosusMisfortuneDrainageCloud Peak EnergyBlack HillsBuffalo 57720Commanche's WingLonestarThe GireNorth GireUbetchaZedlakeSuxlandConfluenceNodawayTourmentCreekstone Farms Premium LandsA Liscenced Pizza Hut LocationOzarkTerminusMagnolionBoue RougeBig ThicketSamslandAustiniaInterexitYazooWartburgGinoozininiMesabiSuperionDriftless ZoneMuskellungeChicagoWestcagoTullyMuskogeeLutheronThe Brave and Beautiful Kingdom of Buffalo TraceWabashGeneral MotorsHuroniousThe ClawOhweoAllegheniaAppalachiaCoca-Cola CorporationTupossoluhThe FourDisney's Territory of FunFloridiumPiedmontShenandoah!CommonwealthCapetownChesapeakeJoiseeAdirondackEerieRochesterRegular YorkNewest YorkHavenBorschtbeldtKhaaaaaaad!!!MaineslandBeringiaYukonStill Hawaii

An Unhelpful Guide to the 2016 Blockbusters

For the past few months cinema has been a wasteland.  Zootopia? More like BOOtopia.  Hail Caesar!? More like, FAIL Caesar! Captain America: Civil War? More like Captain AmeriCAN’T: Civil BORE.  Everyone knows that movies that aren’t Oscar winners and aren’t blockbusters are just not trying that hard at being movies.  But thankfully, we can all let out a collective sigh: The sun has risen, the ice has melted, and Summer Blockbuster season is here!  We all have reasons to live again! We can all spend $14 and a bag of popcorn to see these movies!  But just in case you don’t want to pay that price, you can still join in talking about Blockbusters with your coworkers and avoid the humiliation of being “The One Who Doesn’t Watch Movies”. That’s right, as always, I have the most important of our summer Blockbusters this year summarized below.  You’re welcome, America. Captain America.  Civil War: Solved.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3)

The Heroes in a half-shell are back, and this time their up against the greatest evil of all: Tyler Perry’s Madea.  Having not learned “her” lesson in Madea’s Neighbor’s From Hell (when Madea used the dark arts to to get back at a foster mother and her unruly kids), Madea is again playing God resulting in the creations of the hideous monsters Bebop and Rocksteady.  How will our rad Quartet eat their way out of this pizza?  With the help of The Green Arrow!  While our Turtle heroes are fighting the boar-headed Bebop, an arrow flies out and strikes him down, revealing a hooded figure: “Hi, I’m Oliver Queen.  After spending five years in Hell I’ve returned with a mission to save my city. But my old approach wasn’t enough, I’ve had to become someone else, I’ve had to become something else. I’ve had to become: CASEY JONES”- by this time Bebop has waddled away to his monster truck and lived to terrorize another day- “Because archery is a sport, you see”. “Oh yes, this makes sense. Squeak-squeak”, replies Tony Shaloub’s Splinter, who was there the whole time.  Fred Armisen also stops by to voice alien-brain Kraang because Nickelodeon is only going to get this one last movie before TMNT movie before it looses its nostalgia appeal, so they might as well throw everything into this one.  Also expect a surprise cameo from the TMNT’s greatest foe: Pizza Face.

Warcraft (June 10)

This extended video game cutscene tells the story of how a bunch of orcs crossed through a dimensional portal into the human world in order to escape an evil orc-wizard.  Only they then come up against a new evil: racism.  The humans are repulsed by the orcs appearance and refuse to learn their orcish culture, and instead insist that these dimensional outsiders are pure evil and should be killed, their tusks cut off and made into tourist trinkets.  What follows is a human-orc war that all eventually crosses into Elf territory.  When the Elven fields of Elfwhistle (a flower known for its glittery petals and glow-in-the-dark color), the Elves become furious and join the battle, shooting arrows at everything: Including a nearby town where Dwarfs and Goblins exist in an uneasy alliance.  Pretty soon, everything all gets shot to hell and promo for the next World of Warcraft game (Opossum Person Rising) ends the movie with a giant question mark.  It’s up to you to finish the story now!  SPOILER ALERT: You end the story by shouting “Leroy Jenkins!” and rushing into a spider pit.

Now You See Me 2 (June 10)

Also known as “Magician Heist 2: Heist Harder”, we catch up with Morgan Freeman who is now in prison for being black and the “Four Horsemen” who rob banks… WITH MAGIC!  The Horsemen (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, and Mark Ruffalo) break into a computer laboratory with cards, flash paper, and MAGIC(!) in order to expose a deranged tech millionaire and probable magician Daniel Radcliffe.  However something goes wrong and Michael Caine traps everyone in China.  Now the Four Horsemen and their non-white-male magician friend Lizzy Caplan have to magic their way out of the most heavily guarded fortress (China) and hopefully come up with a way to saw open a banking scandal that’s stealing millions of dollars away from the public (because that’s what banks do. Look it up).

Finding Dory (June 17)

The lovable blue tang Dory is back in this sequel to Disney-Pixar’s hit film Finding Nemo.  This time around Dory remembers she has parents (because as we the audience remember, Dory has short-term memory loss, and if we don’t remember that maybe YOU have short-term memory loss! [If you do, consult a doctor, it’s a serious problem]), and she sets out to the Jewel of the Morro Bay in California with her friends Marlin, Nemo, Crush, and Squirt.  Once Dory gets to Morro Bay she finds herself at the Marine Life Institute, where she meets up with a Seven-legged Octopus named Hank and plenty of other whacky fish!  They all swim around and have a grand old time, until it’s revealed that Dory’s Parents were killed and eaten at a seafood restaurant.  Dory is very sad, but then she can’t remember why she’s sad.  At that point, Marlin and Nemo had wandered away, and Dory finds herself all alone with no memory of where she is or what she is doing.  Floating in the open ocean, too forgetful to be confused, she is eventually hit by a boat and eaten by an eel.  Elsewhere in the ocean, Marlin has lost Nemo again and he questions himself on whether he is actually a good father or not, and decides that it’s best for Nemo to be alone.  Nemo then meets Hank, the two bond over their respective issues with limbs, and Hank takes Nemo in as his son and the two become best friends.  The moral: Out of tragedy comes hope. Or maybe: All of your family will one day die and you’re powerless to stop it.  There will also be a funny Loon named Becky.

Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)

Don’t close your eyes, because you’re not going to want to miss a thing: Jeff Goldblum is back and ready to kick people off his plane when the Aliens come bursting out of the chest of the universe again.  “Hold on to your butts”, says scientist Brett Spiner who most certainly didn’t die in the first movie (or maybe he did and robots happened so now he’s alive?), “This is going to be a bumpy ride”.  President Bill “Clinton” Pullman also shows up, now in jail for being the jerk president who let aliens blow up the jerk white house, only this time he’s not going to take the invasion sitting down : “It’s time to suit up and rock and roll!” President Pullman says, activating his energy ring which calls forth the UN general council who all come together in their own robotic vehicles to form UNITRON: EARTH DEFENDER!  Meanwhile Jeff Goldblum stutters his way into our hearts again, and Liam Hemsworth shows up to be handsome.  “Be in a spaceship movie they said”, Hemsworth mutters to himself in a corner, “It’ll be fun they said. Well Ho Ho Ho, I’ve got a laser gun”.  Also, for those of you concerned with “Independence Day” not premiering on July 4th, this is actually meant to mirror the decisive Battle of Carabobo on June 24 1821 during the Venezuelan war for Independence (though actual Venezuelan Independence Day is July 5th).

Swiss Army Man (June 24)

A biography of Karl Elsener, Swiss knife-maker, inventor, and entrepreneur.  From a very young age Elsener (played with aplomb by Paul Dano) knew he was destined for greatness, and after years of working in the Knife Fields of Switzerland (including several years as an apprentice to Swiss Knife-Giant Zug) Karl was able to open his own knife factory.  The film truly takes off in the fateful year 1894 when, after a decade of making commercial surgical instruments and knives, Elsener fulfills his destiny and invents the biggest leap in knife manufacturing since the first bread knife (which, in turn, was instrumental in the invention of sliced bread): Elsener invents the Swiss Army Knife.  Elsener’s name goes down in history, and even the ghost of his father Manfried (played woodenly by Daniel Radcliffe)- the same man who swore that if Karl went into the dangerous field of knifework that he would never become a proper gentleman- has to smile and say softly to Karl “Congratulations, son, you’ve truly become a Swiss Army Man”. Fade to black.

The BFG (July 1)

A little girl is kidnapped by a Giant and taken to his weird farting house, but it’s all okay because he’s not just a giant, he’s a Big Friendly Giant.  It’s also okay because the girl’s parents are neglectful and mean and want to send her away to an evil boarding school where they’ll try to stop the girl’s telekinetic powers from manifesting.  Unfortunately the BFG has problems of his own (and it’s not just the uncanny valley that his CGI dwells in that makes him look like a nightmare coming out of a joint feature of David Lynch and David Cronenberg) in that the other giants want to both keep the BFG from being the girl’s foster father but also want to eat the little girl.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, expect plenty of people to be staring up into the sky in awe and for a warm message about the power of family at the end.  Oh, also there’s a cat.  Expect for the cat to cock its head and mew as a question.  Kids like that, it’s funny.

The Purge: Election Year (July 1)

Following the rise of the Trump campaign as they went from joke to GOP frontrunner (one could call this an improvement ; one almost certainly could), , The Purge offers unique insight into The Big D’s personal turmoil throughout this time.  With almost no time to tell people about the immense size of his hands, seldom a day to spend looking out the giant windows of his various towers contemplating the insects toiling below him, and having to make all of his bad business decisions on the road; The Purge: Election Year shows us the Man behind the El Trumpo mask and reveals a genuinely caring person, a person who feels very strongly about a lot of things like money, coming up with funny nicknames for people, coming up with new nicknames for himself (He’s work-shopping “Mr. T” right now, but is that too racist? Donald wonders if there’s such a thing. We in the audience yell at the screen “Yes, Donald, there is such a thing. There most certainly is such a thing”), money, towers, money, and sending letters to all of the former GOP candidates telling them that he’s won and he’s really handsome and they should be honored to have shared a stage with the Trumpinator.  He was also excited about calling himself “Dangerous Donald”, but Hillary Clinton found that e-mail he wrote to himself and started using it.  At any rate, when elected Donald will put into effect “Purge Law”, making all crime legal for one night a year.  That’s why it’s a The Purge movie.  Donald “The Big Handsome Shark” Trump is the purge.

The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

Talented Filmmaker Jason Lees has already made this movie.  It’s embedded below. You don’t need to see this in theaters.  I understand you want to support Louie CK, but instead how about you buy seasons of his hit TV Show “Louie”, or his critically-acclaimed TV show “Horace and Pete”.  Talented Filmmaker Jason lees has also made many other movies, some of which even include his adorable pug.

Ghostbusters (July 15)

Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon star as a bunch of ladies out to destroy your childhood.  Even though New York is experiencing a ghost-pocalypse, our trio of so-called “Ghostbusters” set forth to tell children that Santa Claus doesn’t exist and God is dead.  Then they go up to the statue of liberty- symbol of truth, justice, and the American dream- and they punch it in the face!  As if this weren’t enough, original Ghostbusters Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, and Ernie Hudson show up just to be cursed out and defecated on by this new lady-trio.  Also, Leslie Jones shows up as a sassy black woman and Sigourney Weaver speaks directly to the camera when she says “I hated Alien“.  Australian hunk Chris Hemsworth also makes an appearance, only to be possessed by another racist ghost and destroy what little integrity was left.  By the end of the movie expect not only to be curled in your seat questioning the point of existing in a world that would allow such a monster to exist, but also expect the fall of the once-proud cinema giant that brought us a scene where the Statue of Liberty dances through the streets to the musical stylings of Howard Huntsberry..

Star Trek Beyond (July 22)

Also known as “Oh Yeah There’s Also A New Star Trek Movie This Year”, we catch up with the intrepid Captain Kirk and the fearless crew of the Enterprise on an alien planet outside of Federation control.  Captain Kirk goes against the Prime Directive (*GASP*) in order to help female alien Jaylah (*GASP!*) escape from a tyrannical ruler who has nearly destroyed the Enterprise (*GASP!!!*).  Spock questions Kirk over whether its wise to get involved with lifeforms who have no conception of outer space and are embroiled in nuclear-based territory disputes, Bones says some things about how he doesn’t like space travel, Scotty and his tree-dwarf friend share some banter in the teleportation room, and Sulu and Uhura say a few lines too! Also expect the Star Trek reboot to finally bring back a fan-favorite character as Adam DiMarco is set to play… The Injured Senator (*GASP GASP GASP!*).

Jason Bourne (July 29)

The Government sends out a drone to the Himalayas or somewhere with a message “Jason Bourne: We need you to punch things again please thankyou”. “Ugh. I hate the stupid government. They always want me to punch things. What about what I want?” says Jason Bourne into his pillow “No one understands me except for all these bands I listen to!” Jason Bourne then puts on Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” and looks up at the ceiling. “It’s so unfair!” says Jason Bourne to no one in particular.  Julia Stiles as herself then breaks through the wall (As she is known to do) to give Jason Bourne a stern talking-to “You think you have it bad? Why, people mostly remember me from 10 Things I Hate About You or Ghostwriter.  GHOSTWRITER, Jason Bourne, you hear me?  I’ve done Shakespeare and I’ve won awards, but people just think of me as ‘That girl in the movie with a young Heath Ledger. Oh, it’s such a shame what happened to Heath Ledger, he was really going places, that Heath Ledger. Boo hoo hoo Heath Ledger’ What about ME, Jason Bourne? WHAT ABOUT ME?!”. “You were also in that season of Dexter, Julia Stiles, don’t forget about that. And Save the Last Dance.  And the largely Underrated It’s a Disaster” replies Jason Bourne. “That’s right, why I’ve had a long and storied career. How about we take a look?” And they do. For two hours, Jason Bourne and Julia Stiles go through and look at all of Julia Stiles’ many roles throughout film and television. Afterwards expect to have a new found respect for Julia Stiles, and 10 Things I Hate About You, which really is more than just a film with a young Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in it. So, so much more.

Suicide Squad (August 5)

Suicide Squad represents two big realizations for the DC Cinematic Universe: 1) People like DC villains more than DC heroes, and 2) The DCCU needs to have more fun.  Enter Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), clown princess of crime, and the rest of the Suicide Squad recruited by ARGUS head Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to carry out missions that will likely involve members of the team dying, perhaps even dying to save us all resulting in us reconsidering their status as “villain”.  Will Smith shows up as the Robot-Eyed Deadshot and Ben Affleck’s Batman makes another appearance this summer, just to make sure that we’re not having too much fun.  Also to make sure that we remember that Ben Affleck is now Batman and any ideas we have of a Christian Bale or- God forbid- George Clooney Batman were just dreams (good and bad, respectively) that we’ll have to wake up from if we ever want to see a full on Aquaman movie.  Jared Leto also provides the requisite “actor who decided to go deeper into a role that was really necessary” for the summer, so at least he took that bullet for all of us.  As for the plot of this movie?  Um. Well… Cara Delevingne plays the demon-fighting word-activated antihero The Enchantress, Jai Courtney the mercenary Captain Boomerang who fights with [wait for it…] a boomerang, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the skin disorder/experiment gone awry Killer Croc, Hit Rapper Common as Monster T the tattooed man, and Karen Fukuhama as Katana.  Also expect an appearance by the DC Universe’s premier Latina superhero with Alyssa Veniece as… HISPANIC WOMAN!  And, once again, Ben Affleck is the Cowled Scowl Batman.

Pete’s Dragon (August 12)

Deep in the Disney Dungeon Vaults, director David Lowery, CEO of Disney Bob Iger, and Sean Bailey President of the Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production were writing things on a board. The first thing: DRAGONS. Dragons are big right now.  “Daenerys Stormborn, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Mhysa and Khaleesi of the great grass sea, the unburnt, the breaker of chains, the mother of Dragons” Heck yeah, let’s jump on that.  Item two: darker reboots of former Disney properties. It’s worked great: Alice in Wonderland got a billion dollars, Maleficent got a Subway sandwich deal, these reboots are GOLD.  Item three, this is where David Lowery comes in, Disney needs someone with an edge. “Well…” says David Lowery, clasping a tumbler of fine walt whiskey (it’s like malt whiskey, the barrels its aged in are wearing mickey ears) “I DID edit Upstream color.  Oh, and did you see the episode of Sundance Television’s crime drama ‘Rectify’ that I directed?  What about my Indian Paintbursh Producer’s Award-Winning Crime Drama feature Ain’t Them Bodies Saints?”.  “Okay, Dave, we get it, your good” says Iger “Heck, your Goofy Movie Good”. “What a compliment!” Lowery drops his tumbler.  Item four: America’s Heartthrob Robert Redford.  Item five, going hand-in-hand with Daenerys Targaryen: Bryce Dallas Howard, Daughter of Ron, Queen of last years blockbuster, winner of the golden globe, breaker of racism in The Help.  Item six: We want something huge, but we don’t want to show it.  Like… like if we had a giant dragon in moody woods that was invisible to everyone but a little boy. Item seven: Oakes Fegley, AKA “Young Eli Thompson from the hit show Boardwalk Empire“.
Iger and Lowery drew lines between all of these pieces for hours, trying to come up with a movie.  Finally, Sean Bailey- who had been staring deep into the abyss of the Disney Vault- spoke in a voice that destroys worlds. “We use every little piece. Every little cut. We could make a million on every little piece!”  All three of them looked at each other and smiled and said simultaneously “WATCH THE PROFITS COME ROLLING IN!”

Ben-Hur (August 12)

Also Known as “Sure Let’s Re-make Ben-Hur”, this sword-and-sandals picture is about Roman Slave Ben-Hur (his parents didn’t want to change their slave names when they slave-married) who has a chance to win his freedom in the Colosseum by driving a chariot around and fighting people with swords, sandals, and (of course) punching them over and over again.  Over the course of the movie it’s revealed (through flashbacks accompanied by lens flares and music swells. Also, the flashbacks are sepia-toned) that Ben-Hur was once a Jewish nobleman, but he was betrayed by the Devil Ben Kingsley.  Finally, after one particularly harrowing chariot race against a lion in a chariot, Ben Hur is able to have an audience with the Man Himself: Pontius Pilate.
“Hey Pilate, Ben Kingsley sent me to race lions in the Colosseum even though I was a land-owning white male”
“In my defense, Pontius Pilate, this man is Jewish” snivels the Devil Ben Kingsley.
“Yeah, but… you’re stupid” replies Ben-Hur. He’s got Ben Kingsley now.
“Okay Fellas, let’s stop fighting, ’cause you know what? I’m sick of this. You figure it out, last time I judged someone it turned out they were a messiah to a bunch of people and- I’m just done with all this. Pilate out”. With that Pontius Pilate drops his microphone and gives the finger to the Roman Court. Ben-Hur and Ben-Kingsley look at each other wondering what the world is coming to. The movie ends.

Kubo and the Two Strings (August 19)

Portland-based animation company Laika has provided wonderfully hand-crafted worlds with Coraline and The Boxtrolls, but it looks like this year they’re making the bonehead decision of making an original screenplay (they did this with ParaNorman, and that was only nominated for an Oscar.  you’d think they would have learned their lesson).  Kubo follows a young boy who inherit a magic two-stringed guitar from his dead mother when she released demon twins from the moon into the world (The sisters are voiced by Rooney Mara, in the second sly attempt to get us all to see Ain’t Them Bodies Saints this summer) who are under the command of the nefarious Moon King (Ralph Fiennes, voice of evil).  Along the way Kubo is guided by the ghost of his father (who died as well. Probably a boating accident. Or a mandolin-playing spider monster) who is voiced by the indomitable George Takei, and his talking animal friends Monkey and Beetle (The soundtrack also includes a Beatles song. Presumably this will become a plot point when Kubo has to go Across the Universe to the Octopus’ Garden to meet up with Eleanor Rigby and her Piggies before going Back to the USSR).  The video-game like qualities of Kubo are yet to be determined, however it’s assumed that by the end of the movie Kubo will have to jump through platforms on the final ice-level of the moon, collecting guitar strings while also keeping Beetle safe from wandering into the gaping maws of The Twins.  Kubo and the Two Strings is expected to loose the oscar win to The Angry Birds Movie in 2017.

Southside With You (August 19)

Two words: BARACK. OBAMA.  Movie written, Oscar won, mic dropped.

Hand of Stone (August 26)

The “Summer of Punches” ends with a movie all about Professional Puncher and lead singer for most of Duran Duran’s existence Simon Le Bon (played by Edgar Ramirez) who goes on a quest to punch out the lights of Sugar Ray front man Mark McGrath (Played against type by Usher, in a questionable decision by the Weinsteins) because why did anyone ever like Sugar Ray?  Robert DeNiro co-stars as someone who teaches Duran Duran how to punch good, and punch good he does. PUNCH PUNCH WHAMMO! With that the Summer will be out cold, pun intended.

G for Gefulltengeist and H for Hedgegrove

Our duo of stories this month bring us a bit of background for both our unnamed narrator and Chadwick Hedgegrove.  We also get a ghost story, so that’s a plus.

G for Gefülltengeist

The Gefulltengeist story is one that I feel better about of the two stories we have this month.  Part Faust legend, part way of understanding depression, part Dracula. It’s a nice story.

H for Hedgegrove

The Hedgegrove story ended up being a bit different from what I was originally planning, but I think it works.  The dead child may be a bit much, though, especially as this is going to be the primary look into Hedgegrove’s character.  I do think it helps a bit that it’s not out of guilt that he locked himself away, but more an unending grief.

100 Chicken Names

  1. Gertie
  2. Heimlich
  3. Carbuncle
  4. Alfred Hitchbock
  5. Zebulon
  6. Erlenmeyer
  7. Orson
  8. Pietro
  9. Mortimer
  10. Dortimer
  11. Gortimer
  12. Commander Sulu
  13. La Llorona
  14. Robert Bockenheimer
  15. Vorhees
  16. Calusari
  17. Dongle
  18. Featherbreath
  19. Mustafa
  20. Salieri
  21. Kjuklinger

  22. Oilasco

  23. Yuki-onna

  24. Cluck Bruckman / Clyde Bockman

  25. Nonono

  26. Nanana

  27. Hephasteus

  28. Somorost

  29. Vanderbleit

  30. Adarna

  31. Alkenost
  32. Kharkatak
  33. Hoodwink
  34. Wingmar Bergman / Ingmar Birdman
  35. 1973 New York Mining Disaster
  36. Kaddish
  37. Chicory
  38. Ballyhoo
  39. Vuvuzela
  40. Corsica
  41. Calliban
  42. Tyblat
  43. Gillygaloo
  44. Heny Lamarr
  45. Sampson
  46. Prometheus
  47. Nausicaa
  48. Moebius
  49. Escher
  50. Asher
  51. Wexler
  52. Winkler
  53. Baku
  54. Jackson Pollo
  55. Kura
  56. Arcadia
  57. Oberon
  58. Titania
  59. Hellion
  60. Cronos
  61. Roc
  62. Ziz
  63. Fenghuang
  64. Frida Clucko
  65. Yoruba
  66. Goldberg
  67. Apollo
  68. Beagle
  69. Joan of Arc
  70. Stella
  71. Klondike
  72. Usurper
  73. Grootslang
  74. Pearl S. Cluck
  75. Mastroianni
  76. Empendocles
  77. Marcello
  78. Azaroth
  79. Mercury
  80. Banquo
  81. Claudius
  82. Ophelia
  83. Basilisk
  84. Barbu Stanwick
  85. Vincent Gallo
  86. Audrey
  87. Paul F. Tompkins
  88. Ichabod
  89. Fyodor
  90. Ursula
  91. Mycroft
  92. Fermat
  93. Tengu
  94. Henry Houdani
  95. Irving
  96. The Were-Monster
  97. Vonnegut
  98. Ada Lovelace
  99. Mary Shelley
  100. Curiosity

Spam 3: Spam Rising

I’ve been pretty lax about looking at Spam comments.  But now a few are starting to catch my eye again.  Let’s go back into the vault of that which should never be seen:

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  • Don’t hang me on day oneAustralian Open 2015: Can the reigning kings be toppled down under?With reforms, states will fund the railway projects willinglyRBI’s rate cut: Do not be surprised if the rupee takes a knockDoes the literal reading golf putters of sacred texts translate into hijacking, murder and terrorism?The kite runnersGender equality starts with family planningRBI has smoothened investors’ feathers. “That’s my specialty,” new raksha mantri Manohar Parrikar said as he took charge of the defence ministry on Monday.The defence establishment needs a strong dose of his medicines, grappling as it is with a floundering defence industrial base, holes in operational military capabilities, complicated procurement procedures dogged by scandals, and last but not the least, a TaylorMade Speedblade Irons civil military divide that refuses to be Titleist Vokey SM5 Wegdes bridged

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”.

Vvinni Gagnepain’s “The Shining”

Directing class, 2010.  The assignment was to direct a scene from a film we hadn’t seen, using only the original screenplay and our own ideas.  I chose Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, and I had about two weeks to get the whole production up and running, three or four weeks to finish it.  The result is below.

Vvinni Gagnepain’s The Shining from Vvinni Gagnepain on Vimeo.

In my mind I always go back and forth on whether I like my adaptation or not.  I had the most people working under me for this shoot and on top of it I had my directing professor looking over my shoulder the whole time (who was a very kind and non-judgmental person, but it was still terrifying).  I had a limited cast pool and I’m not sure how my actors did with my idea for how the movie went and just generally how they were as actors.  I wondered about my set, I wondered about my decision to use the tracking dolly, I worried about a specific edit that doesn’t work at all.  Mostly, I was worried about living up to this:

Upon this viewing I was pleasantly surprised by how not awful it was.  The dolly track isn’t as obtrusive as I remember it being, Tim Maloney as my Jack Torrance works surprisingly well (Despite it being a line flub, I really enjoy the way he says “I’d like to hear those things”. I also like how the reading and wording of that line only adds to the psycho-sexual feeling of this scene), and I think the sudden re-appearance of the ghost ambiance works well to cover up the terrible edit I was talking about (which was my plan, I’m just never sure how well it works).  In the end I like this scene, and since directing this I have seen Kubrick’s version so I can answer that question that’s burning in your mind: Yes, I do think my version of this movie could be better, and I do think that the general ideas I’m working with are better in this scene (And, to a certain extent, I do think the set design in what I did come up with is better than Kubrick’s).  Now is my scene better than “The Shinning”?  No. Oh my no.

100 SpooOooOOOooky Things

1. On a dark night in a carriage going across a remote mountain range in eastern Europe there is a scratching at the door. You had heard a strange monster inhabits these parts, but those are just superstitions, right? “Rat-a-tat” goes the scratching in return, accompanied with a cluster of nervous bubbles that begin popping in your stomach.
2. Spiders
3. Barracudas

4. You ask for the carriage to stop and ask the driver about the scratching. “Little English” says the driver before patting the horses “Good horses”.  You nod: It was just a tree. You’re working yourself up too much.  That, of course, doesn’t explain this deep feeling that not only are you being watched, but that you can almost make out the smiling face of your assailant in the forest.
5. Bumblebees: THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.
6. The Rhinoceros that just can’t stop laughing
7. Gangrene
8. Eyes.

9. The carriage has stopped at an inn for the night. The scratching has followed you.  In your room you brush your teeth and get ready to sleep: It’s a tad early, but you and the carriage driver head out early in the morning.  You lean down to spit, and look back into the mirror.  There, standing behind you, is a cloaked figure with a bleeding club. “The driver is dead. There is no escape. You belong to us now” the figure says before knocking you over the head. You descend into blackness.
10. The look of absolute disapproval when you tell your extended family “I make movies for a living”.
11. Home invasions by people wearing lifelike animal masks.
12. Lifelike animal masks.
13. The liquefaction of your insides.
14. The Dark
15. Paintings of children

16. You awake, tied to a table with your head strapped in.  Somewhere just outside of your field of vision comes the sound of a record skipping, far off in the distance is the sound of an air raid siren.  Directly above you is a peeling picture of a wide-eyed smiling ape holding a cup of coffee.  A gelatinous mixture drips slowly onto your forehead, you know full well that soon this mixture will drip into your eyes and it will sting. Oh how it will sting. The record almost plays something: It sounded like your name and a gunshot.
17.The sound of a dying cat.
18. Precious Moments Figurines: THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.
19. The many-toothed mouth of a lamprey.
20. The morning you wake up and realize that you’ve become everything you’ve ever hated.
21. Teddy Bears
22. Disembodied hands
24. A hen bathing in lamb’s blood

25. More paint peels form the picture above you. You don’t know how much time has passed, but the ooze has already started to flow into your eyes. It hurts more than you expected. The door to your chamber creaks open. A cloaked figure (A different one from the one who knocked you out. This one’s shorter) walks into the room. It hovers above you for a moment, watching you; observing you. Light creeps through the hood, and you’re able to see some of its face: Peeling skin, sharpened teeth, the works. The worst part is its smile, its near ever-present smile.  You start to ask the figure something (perhaps yell, you haven’t decided which yet), but the figure presses a hand over your mouth. The hand smells like moldy blankets. The figure leaves its hand on your mouth for too long. Your breathing slows. You black out.
26. A lamb bathing in chicken’s blood
27. The farmhouse of the dead
28. Low light conditions, fog, and a mysterious drone coming from somewhere.
29. Marionettes
30. The knowledge that you are but a small cog in the infinite and meaningless machine of the universe. Worse still, you’re not even an important cog.
31. The face of a flounder
32. Furbies: THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.
33. G-G-G-G-Ghosts!
34. A Goat’s Eye
35. Leftover food that’s still stuck on a plate after its come out of the wash.

36. Falling. You feel as though you’re falling through an endless black void.  You think your eyes are open, but there’s nothing around. No peeling ape, no cloaked figure, nothing.  Your head spins. You try to breathe but all you smell is moldy blankets. You start to cough, but you can’t hear it. You try to scream, but nothing comes out. You scream and scream again, but not a sound can be heard.You feel yourself gasp for air. You feel your lungs grasp for air. You feel a metal enclosure push down on you, trapping you.
37. Nightstalkers
38. Clowns
39. Snake heads
40. One day you will be forgotten, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
41. Small screaming monkey-rodents gripping onto your leg with their terrible claws.
42. Red, squinty eyes and sharp teeth.
43. Giygas.
44. Young Adult Vampire Fictions:  THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE
45. Deep sea fish
46. Parasitic worms
47. A million tiny papercuts!
48. Rusty dentist drills

49. Your clothes stick to you with sweat. You’ve lost track of time, you’ve even lost track of your own mind. Finally, the metal box is opened. You’re alone in a large banquet hall: Just you, a large table of food, and a great stone ogre with glistening ruby eyes.  You’d wonder how the box opened, but instead you eat. You eat and eat and eat, shoving as much food into your mouth as possible.  Tastes don’t matter, the fire that’s slowly spreading over the room doesn’t matter, all that matters is shoving as much food into your mouth as you possibly can.  After what seems to be a lifetime of eating, you gaze up at the stone ogre. It’s ruby eyes bore into you, it’s stone mouth gradually morphs into a hideous smile. You sweat, you panic, you see that the room is on fire and that there is no escape. The flames glisten in the ruby eyes. Your stomach starts to hurt, and you realize that there’s no way out of this. You lie on the floor and wait for the flames to eat you.
50. Your children will never appreciate all you’ve done for them until it’s too late.
51. Vampire Mummies! Oh No!
52. Vampire Squids! Oh No!
53. Eyeless toads
54. Narrow hallways without any doors
55. Faceless names
56. Rotting pumpkin heads
57. Maggots
58. Clowns
59. The Krampus
60. Modern medicine will keep you alive long enough for your brain to turn into mush.
61. Ghost Popsicle!
62. Flaming shrews
63. Moldy peaches

64. Cold water. You hope it’s water, anyway.  You open your eyes and find yourself in a doctor’s office.  Antiquated charts of human anatomy decorate the walls, and one of the cloaked figures  examines your medical chart (it’s also wearing a stethoscope, thank God). The figure looks up “Oh good, we weren’t sure if you’d make it and we’ve spent so long looking for you”. You open your mouth and realize that you’ve forgotten how to speak. Instead you let out a dry moan.  The cloaked figure walks closer, the smell of blankets again invades your brain.  “We need your blood. It’s not for us, though, it’s for the awakening of Garothe. And I’m happy to say that your blood will be perfectly healthy for it.  Your skin’s mostly gone, and we’v head to restrain you again, but your blood will be perfect”.  The figure winks at you and leaves you alone in the office.  You turn your head and look at a jar of pickled eyeballs. You try to sit up, but the leather belts of your restraints dig into crispy shell that used to be your skin. Searing, blinding pain takes over. You let out another dry moan and stare at the eyeballs.
65. Parasitic worms
66. Sticking your hand into a vat of jiggling jelly
67. Old purple drapes with teal polka dots.
68. Bratz Dolls: THEY JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.
69. Sewer mutants
70. Credit card debt
71. Frozen bodies
72. Baby Pigeons (Look it up)
73. Insects burrowing in and out of your skin.
74. Loud thuds
75. Crowds
76. Spiked walls slowly closing in
77. Body-snatching plant pods
78. The noise Donald Sutherland makes in the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers
79. Microscopic lake organisms
80. People who are important to you will die, but no one around you will seem to care.

81. The tickling of the flies wakes you up. You’re back in the feast room, which hasn’t been cleaned out since you passed out.  What food wasn’t burnt in the fire (and even some of the burnt food) has layers of mold growing on it.  Your eyes meet the great stone ogre. This must be Garothe, you think. You try to stand, pain shoots through your legs. You fall on your back, only bringing forth more pain.  And still, the flies buzz away. You start to gain more consciousness as the stress from food, fire, and kidnapping begins to wear off.  You notices a tube leading from the blackened husk that was your arm straight into the cavernous mouth of Garothe. Your blood slowly drips into the ogre-demon’s mouth, and it’s all too happy to gobble it all up.  You try to take the tube out, but your hands have been been fused shut due to fire and spider’s webs.  Even if you could open your fingers, the tube itself has been fused to your skin.  Your head feels weak, but your eyes stay open: Locked onto the gaping mouth of Garothe as all of your blood is drained into its great stone stomach. You notice a crowd of the hooded mutants around you now, they begin chanting and throwing handfulls of salt at you. This is either to spice your flesh for the monster you’re about to set loose, or just another in a long line of tortures.
82. Dunkleosteus Terelli
83. Crocodile smiles
84. I DON’T KNOW BUT IT’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!
85. Ticks
86. Footsteps that you aren’t sure are real.
87. Nothingness
88. The popularity of Vince Vaughn: IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
89. Haunted Jukeboxes
90. When you realize that your heroes and mentors are awful, terrible people.
91. Proterozoic Monsters
92. The slow march of hot lava
93. Old mansions
94. Decaying statues
95. Fish bites
96. Fly stings
97. Festering pits
98. Ant lions
99. A beast with the head of a chicken, legs of a spider, and wings of a skeleton crow. We’ll call it “The Skelenid Fowl”.

100. Garothe’s ruby eyes let loose a stream of light. It’s mouth slowly clenches down on the tube of your blood. Your eyes stay open, though you can hardly muster any energy left. The stone paws of the great best move right towards you.  The hooded figures chant and scream and cheer as Garothe bends down to sniff you. It opens its terrible mouth letting loose a breathe that smells like rotten eggs and burnt toast.  As the great stone jaws of this infernal beast close around you, and you feel as your bones are slowly crushed, you realize that all of the time you’ve spent being locked and tortured and beaten in by this satanic mutant cult you probably would have wasted reading useless articles on the internet anyways.