Month: December 2011

Kill Katie Malone, or, Bros Remake Hellraiser

I can see how this was pitched.

At least, in my head, I’ve made up a (to me) entertaining situation:

Dude, okay, so these guys buy a ghost on an online auction. It comes in a box. You open the box, and you get whatever you desire. But then you have to pay for your desires! It’s so totally original!

Honestly, this movie reminds me of what would happen if you were to roll all of the gifs and tropes that get brought up on a livejournal horror comm into one script and cast it with stereotypical frat brothers.

I’m going to break a cardinal rule of reviewing anything and tell you that I would like the movie, if someone else wrote it and it was a completely different script. As in, there’s a lot of potential. The premise is the stuff of internet legend, and the ghost itself is pretty solid. Even the stupidity of the male characters (one of them jokes that the main characters bought the box to store condoms and spare change…another doesn’t want to go on a date because he might have to eat carbs…) would be enjoyably ironic if the movie didn’t take itself so seriously.

A different handling would actually make this watchable. As it is, it may actually not be that bad as a party movie because not hearing it would probably improve the watchability greatly.

Top Posts of the Year!

…because I’m boring like that.

These are the posts that have gotten more than 50 hits each since January 1st.

Hazeltine (knitting)

Sunday Legends-the Naughty List (folklore)

Burning Down the House (knitting)

Friday Food Wastes/Friday Tips (off topic- seasoning cast iron)

A Pictorial Guide (off topic- my chili recipe)

Level Two: Ridicule (knitting/folklore)

The Fox Sisters (folklore)

Sugary and Skulls (knitting)

YellowBrickRoad

I look for movies that are rated 3 stars or lower on Netflix. I’ve found that these are movies that are often underrated, and underviewed. On the other hand, there’s also reason why a lot of these films are rated so low.

Right off the bat, YellowBrickRoad is a little forced. The opening audio doesn’t even attempt to sound authentic-unless all radio transmissions in the 1940s sounded like air traffic controllers. Maybe they did. Maybe I’m not giving the film enough credit.

And there’s the classic horror trope montauge to open. But the storyline intrigued me, and I do love me my tropes.

I like the general basis for the storylne (but then, everything old is new again). It’s slightly less overdone than some of the other tropes. The movie starts with a description of how a New Hampshire town walks into the woods one morning in 1940 and disappears, never to be heard from again. The one lone survivor is found under great distress. In 2008, the first expedition to go looking for them is mounted.

…Which is my first major issue with this film. It took…68 years…for anyone to bother going and looking at what happened? And it’s sort of left hanging. There’s no real logic behind that decision-notice I said ‘real’ logic. The explanation for it is a little weak. Remind me to never move to New Hampshire. It may take them 80 years before they notice I didn’t come home with the groceries.

I think that the issue with the film is the casting. The characterization is horrible (“What scent reminds you of the color red?!”…um, BPAL’s Suck It from Halloweenie 2008 and Dark Chocolate and Cherries. Though for the sake of theme, I’m going to go with Gore-Shock). I can handle stilted characters though. But the cast just looks…bored. There’s a scene where they take photos of each other, and you would think they’re at a funeral not the start of a major project.

And prime numbers should not be a plot element. Ever.

End of Year Goals Wrap Up and Fiber Diet

Goals

I’ve started 3 of my knitting goals, and one of my spinning/dyeing goals.

-I’ve got about half of my charity scarf goal done, so after the 1st I’m going to stop pushing it so hard. The drive I’ve been knitting for will be done by then anyway.

-I’ve got a project for myself on the needles, plus a few that I started before this year’s goals started.

-I’m about a third of the way through my queue goals.

what came up when I googled yarn + horror

 Fiber Diet

I have mixed feelings about how my yarn diet has worked out. I still have a few days, I said it would run until the 1st.

I did well with not buying new fiber. I bought a few skeins for commissions and presents, but it’s all been used and the projects delievered. I was gifted a skein of sock yarn. That’s the only fiber I’ve gotten.

On the other hand I’ve only used 27 skeins. That’s including the stuff I got for commissions, and the skeins I’ve dyed and gifted. I was hoping to use a lot more than that. I had intended on sending more yarn out for holiday wishes but posttage is expensive.

27 skeins is still decent, and I’m fairly certain that’s the size of my entire stash this time last year.

The Shrine

What an odd little film.

I can’t decide if I like this one or not.

It carries tones of The Village (seriously, this town has connections to the outside world, so why are people dressed like a Polish living history museum?), The Wicker Man (but more that horrible, horrible, painful, almost intolerant mess that Cage put his name on), and even Black Death to a point.

It’s a mess. Even the town name is a mess- when I googled this film (I have a bad habit of googling movies as I watch them), it was pointed out that the name can’t exist in modern Polish because the language doesn’t use Vs. Maybe they’re trying to make it seem like a town out of time? Who knows.

However, thematically I like this type of horror. And it’s not a totally ineffective delievery, but I have to agree with Bloody Disgusting’s review– it looks digital. I get that a lot of films are shot that way, but a film filter would have helped significantly.

I guess my one major fault with it, which is a total review no no because it’s reviewing the movie as I would have written it and not as it was made, is that it’s not like Polish folkore and mythology isn’t strange enough on its own.

my winter cure-all

I’m lucky in that while I have a couple of asthma related issues, I don’t get sick that often during the winter.

Unfortunately, when I do, there’s very little over the counter that I can take for it. I’ve been drinking this for years when I have a cold. I love it so much that I probably told you about it last winter and just forgot.

hot water

lemon

cayenne pepper

cinnamon

honey

Mix as much lemon, honey, cinnamon, and pepper as you can handle with the hot water and drink often.

Merry Christmas!

And a belated Merry Yule!

This month has been busy, busy, busy. I was hoping to do one last seasonal folklore post today but that requires research, and the last thing that I want to do today is research.

I want to be lazy and lay around…except apparently I don’t and I’ve been tackling small odds and ends type projects around the apartment. My living space looks like it’s been ransacked and there’s lots of small stuff to get done.

And new recipes to try. The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook comes highly recommended from the Frugal Girl and it was high up my wish list for Yule this year. I made french toast this morning- the recipe was good but my bread wasn’t sturdy enough, and honestly I just don’t like french toast that much.

I’m still working on Mid’s Christmas present and I can’t even give you a status photo because I put my camera down somewhere and can’t find it now. Like I said…lots of small projects to be accomplished.

On the other hand…

If my review of Oberon makes it sound like BPAL makes bad perfume, they don’t.

My love of Nephilim knows no bounds. It’s the first gc bottle I’ve gone out of the way to purchase.

The scent description, while being a little omnimous, is such:

Dark children conceived from the union of Fallen Angels and the Daughters of Men. According to lore, the angel Shemhazai led a group of his angels to earth to instruct mankind in the ways of piety and righteousness. After a time, the angels became prey to earthly desires and began to lust after the daughters of man, and thus they fell. They instructed their mortal mates in the arts of conjuration, summoning, necromancy and other magickal arts. The fruits of their union are the Nephilim: possessed of superhuman strength, cunning, and infinite capacity, and hunger for, sin. Venerated as heroes by some, vilified by most, the Nephilim eventually annihilated one another in a cataclysmic civil war instigated by the angel Gabriel as punishment for their transgressions. Holy frankincense and hyssop in union with earthy fig, defiled by black patchouli and vetiver, with a chaotic infusion of lavender, cardamom, tamarind, rosemary, oakmoss and cypress.”

(personally i’ve always had issue with myths that punish the children for the sins of the father, but that’s neither here nor there).

Patch, vetiver, fig, tamarid…it’s one big ball of love notes. This blend does go on a little sharp and astringent. Once it dries down though, it turns into love. It’s a sweet, syrup fig scent warmed by the herbs and grounded with a vaguely piney cyprus.

The wonderment of this blend is that there’s no bad days with it.  There’s days where it’s less amazing than others, but then there’s days where it’s just straight up gorgeous.

The only blend that I feel is more me, and gets linked with me more in real life, is Doc Constantine. But my favorite white haired pretty boy demonic snake oil seller currently is missing from the catalouge so I don’t like to heavily use my two decants, whereas I have several imps and an entire bottle of Neph that I can wear through.

Haunted Western New York-the Fox Sisters

Western New York’s history with the paranormal extends beyond hauntings and murders. The area has a long history of interaction with the Spiritualism movement, including being the home of Lily Dale (to be discussed in a future entry).

Spiritualism has been on the wane for decades, but at the turn of the century it had huge influences on popular culture. Mediumship and contact with the dead was exceptionally intriguing to the American popular thought. Proponents of Spiritualism, which emphasized contact with ghosts through various means, divination, and other pursuits that may or may not be linked with the paranormal, was practiced as both a religious pursuit and entertainment by large numbers of people.

Spiritualism had a particular appeal to the middle and upper classes. Major followers included Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mary Todd Lincoln. The roots of the religion (or movement, depending on stance) are traced back directly to western New York- including the activities of the Fox sisters.

The Fox sisters (Leah, Maggie, and Kate) gained notority as teenagers for claiming that they could contact spirits through a series of rappings. They first contacted spirits in their bedroom, where the ghosts were able to identify them by age and other features. The sisters claimed that the spirits ranged from the devil (Mr. Splitfoot) to a murder victim buried in the cellar.

Originally from Wayne county, the girls were sent to Rochester to avoid the attention the rapping was attracting. However, their ties to the paranormal increased and the girls gained a reputation for mediumship. The activities continued, attention increased, and the supposed interactions began to include automatic writing and other paranormal acts.

As the sisters grew older, their ties to the movement weakened. Criticism mounted against the sisters’ claims. In 1888, Maggie admitted to the press that the sisters’ actions had been a hoax and had always been a hoax. The rappings were the result of dropping apples and other objects, or popping their joints on cue. The rest of their activities, such as summoning spirits that supposedly made physical contact, Maggie explained away as environment influencing the guests at the seances.

In the end, both Kate and Maggie completely rejected Spiritualism- going so far as to public attack the movement in the press.

See More:

Spiritualism

The Fox Sisters

Spook

The Fox Sisters on Historynet.com

dear mr. oberon: i hate you.

ahem. i’ve been thinking about where and how to say this ever since the crypt king debacle a couple of months ago.

i should start this by saying that i’m still a loyal BPALer.  the vast majority of my perfume box comes from black phoenix, and it’s really the only cosmetic product i spend money on.

but i don’t believe in blind loyalty. i think that a company’s success is partially dependent on hearing criticism from the customer base. it’s not like i’m the only one saying this.

my criticism? what the frakk is up with the increasing numbers of ultrarare blends? you can’t be hurting for exposure after the RPG line went up.

so why are you doing things like 40 bottles of crypt king, 25 samhain candles, and 200 bottles of leather phoenix? i’ll cut some slack on leather phoenix because that was supposed to be ultralimited by design. but i don’t play this game with roving, yarn, or anything else. i find it, in a word, annoying. i don’t want to have to go chasing after a product. i won’t do it.

okay. deep breathe. for the point of this post.

i talk about bpal a lot. i wear their blends for the most part because when they work, they work splendidly. but when they don’t work…glares at the fairy king in the corner.

i don’t remember what it was that made me put oberon on my wishlist but at some point i must have because i was offered it three or four times in the space of a week. i was going through my to-test bag and found an imp of it. i don’t know when it showed up, but hey why not.

oh sweet gawds this stuff was awful. something in this blend went to barbosal. then roses. shaving cream and roses. and then it was like if Carpenter made a movie about shaving rose fogs that take over apartments. it was a monster unto itself, a horrible clean floral haze over everything- and i test with a quarter application.

looking back at the notes, i have no idea why i ended up with this on my wishlist in the first place. orchid and white musk? florals and the one musk i can’t wear? the fey king must hate me. that’s the only answer i have. they have this thing called death notes, it’s notes you absolutely can’t wear- at least in 99% of blends. florals and white musk are top of that list for me.

and i could still smell on my skin after getting dressed, going about my day, getting changed, sleeping, walking a 3 mile trip to the post office, and getting changed again. evil, evil fairy.