Sunday A’La Carte – August 10, 2014

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stary night

It’s Sunday night, there’s the fifth season of Angel on the bigger monitor as background noise (probably my favorite season of the series that I considered to be better than the show it spun off from), and my shoes and pants are off for the day. Sorry about that mental picture, there. Shall we dish up this week’s A’La Carte?

First, from the People In L. A. Are A Special Kind Of Crazy files, there’s this piece here I found interesting. Amusing as well. Way to perpetuate the whole “self-absorbed L. A. socialite” stereotype, there.

save the twinkee

From the Death Is The Only Happy Ending (de)Composition Book: “Friday mourning. Death and decay permeate the land, the sky gloomy and overcast, the angry Day Star obscured by the grey mist covering the sky like a humid funeral shroud. The zombies shuffle to work, mindless consumers rotting away, slaves to their nature with the delusion of freedom. Horrible, horrible freedom.” Not a morning person, in case you were wondering.

flirting with death

So, I keep hearing that Guardians Of The Galaxy is far better than I have given it credit for. I haven’t seen it, and I wasn’t really planning on seeing it (due to my lack of really not being interested, despite the current track record Marvel movies have been getting)…until I kept reading and hearing everyone else rave about this. Fine. I may have to break my strict “Wait for it to show up at the Second-Run Theater” rule, and watch it at the mainstream cineplex. With the┬ácaveat of watching it on one of those Five Dollar Tuesday nights that Marcus does. Maybe. Haven’t decided.

One movie I know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I will never see–in the theater, on DVD, or otherwise–will be the third Hobbit movie. I have no vested interest whatsoever. The only reason why I actually saw the other two (the first on DVD, and then the sequel on the big screen) was because of my love for the individual who has since left me an empty shell of the man I once was. She loved them, therefore I watched them, because I loved her. Now there is no obligation for me to care.

I’m only bitter because I still love her, you know. Moving on…

stars are dead, just like your dreams

In my ongoing wanderings as a self-described post-Evangelical (I really need to finish up that piece I’m writing about that sometime, mental note), I found this piece from the Internet Monk rather insightful.

Stuff I wrote and posted this week: I took a look at a Stupid Witnessing Trick, had a High School flashback thanks to a Prius, and I read and reviewed another Doctor Who novel.

And as always, the new Session of NECRO SHOCK RADIO was posted today as well. This one features Abolishment Of Hate, Becoming The Archetype, Chosen Stranger, Demon Hunter, Exorcist, Fit For A King, Forevermore, Frost Like Ashes, Godfear, Hail The Blessed Hour, InnerWish, Justice For All, Living Sacrifice, Martiria, MANDITORY MORTIFICATION, My Heart To Fear, Nahum, Officer Negative, The Ongoing Concept, The Overseer, Prayer, Random Eyes, Sacrificium, Take It Back, Ultimatum, and Wolves At The Gate. Check it out, eh?

Time for beddy-bye. It’s another Monday mourning tomorrow, which means I need my beauty rest. Cheers, all.

::END TRANSMISSION::

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Book Review: DOCTOR WHO: Dreams Of Empire

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dreams of empire 1 dreams of empire 2

Justin Richards
BBC Worldwide / BBC Books
1998 / 2013

‘Description of the two intruders still at large,’ Logall said: ‘one is a young male wearing a skirt. The other is older and shorter.’ He started to lower his wrist, then changed his mind, and added, ‘And he’s got a sandwich stuck to his bottom.’

On a barren asteroid, the once-mighty Haddron Empire is on the brink of collapse, torn apart by civil war. The one man who might have saved it languishes in prison, his enemies planing his death and his friends plotting his escape. The Second Doctor arrives as the last act of this deadly drama is being played out–and with both terrifying killers and cunning traitors to defeat, the future hangs in the balance.

The second book in the eleven 50th Anniversary special edition release novels features a Second Doctor story that was originally published back in 1998, when the residue of the 1996 Doctor Who television movie was still an unpleasant aftertaste in the minds of the neglected fanbase. As I mentioned in a previous review of a Second Doctor novel, stories featuring this lovable ragamuffin incarnation of the Doctor seems to be few and far between (a fact mentioned by the author of this book in the introduction of the Anniversary edition I have), and it’s always good to read another story involving this quirky–almost mad, really–individual.

This time out, the Doctor and his companions Jamie and Victoria land on an asteroid fortress outlying the edge of an intergalactic Republic that is still reeling from a recent civil war. The would-be emperor is imprisoned here, wearing perma-armor due to injuries sustained from an assassination attempt, and spending his days playing chess, and brooding. Among other hobbies, I’m sure. His chief rival–and best friend–arrives at the same time as the Doctor, and what follows is an intricate game of political intrigue and subterfuge involving double crosses, murder and games of chess. And when the spaceship full of war bots arrive, things really get wacky. And in the end, in typical fashion, the Doctor manages to prove that he had everything under control while fooling everyone into thinking he barely had his wits about him. Though this be madness, yet there is method in ‘t, and all that.

Dreams Of Empire had the feel of a politically charged Shakespeare drama (hence the crib from Hamlet, there…seemed fitting), what with the whole retro Medieval architecture of the space fortress, hooded cloaks, shadowy and clandestine meetings, the whole “Man in the Iron Mask” motif. I rather enjoy the meshing of the middle ages romanticism with futuristic sci-fi space technology. I think this may stem from being a fan of the original run of He-Man toys in my formative years. In any case, the way the Doctor and company interact with the situation at hand, along with the mystery unfolding before them, was brilliant. I seem to more and more appreciate the method to the Second Doctor’s madness. There’s something to be said about allowing others to think of you as a buffoon to conceal your true genius in the matter. There’s a scene near the climax of the story, where the tide of the siege on the fortress by a long-lost legion of Soldier Bots were temporarily disabled by the Doctor, and one soldier asks, “So the Doctor is in control, now?”, and another speculates that maybe the Doctor was in control the entire time. Illustrates the Second Doctor perfectly, methinks.

Anyway, Dreams of Empire was a rather entertaining Doctor Who tale, keeping the pacing and story tight, very vivid action, good dialogue, and really showcasing the interaction between the Doctor and his companions with the inhabitants of this dire situation they find themselves in. Another good pick for the 50th Anniversary reprint collection.

Prius Plates, The Dead Milkmen, and High School Flashbacks

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Today I was in Omaha, to take care of some errands. Once in a while, this is unavoidable, where I have to leave the relative comfort and isolation of my crypt, and venture into the land of the living, and subject myself to the possibilities of having to socialize with other humans, outside of work. It was my day off, not my idea of how to spend it. But, today there were things that needed to be done that necessitated me to go to Omaha. One of which was picking up the ticket to go see the RiffTrax presentation of 1998’s Godzilla on Thursday.

So there I was, full of Chinese food from one of the nearby buffets, guiding the Aluminium Falcon through the pothole-infested parking lot of the AMC Oakview theater multi-plex, when I pass by a Toyota Prius with vanity plates that read BITCHIN.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never, ever considered the Toyota Prius to be a vehicle worthy of being called “bitchin'”. “Amusing”? Yes. “Pretentious”? Most definitely. But, “Bitchin'”? No, most definitely not.

Really, though, the only thing that went through my head as I pondered this sight I just saw, as I was guiding the Falcon into a parking space between two minivans with various bumperstickers, was “The only time I would have licence plates that said “BITCHIN” would be if I owned a Camaro.”

And that made me giggle a bit, because it’s kind of a reference to this:

And the only reason I know of this song is…well, because I am much more awesome than I let on, and I have a deeper understanding of actual alternative music than any of my rather pretentious alternative music snob friends in the 1990s assumed I had. That, and I first heard of this song by way of this guy I went to High School with, name of Tyson, who played this song one Saturday morning while a bunch of us were helping decorate the gym for the Spring Sweetheart dance. Back then, I had yet to really develop an appreciation for the more avant garde and offbeat side of music genres, but I did find it rather amusing.

There really was no point to this story. It just so happened that I had another one of those brain ricochet moments that stuck with me, so I decided to write about it to exorcise it from my soul. Or something like that. Cheers.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Stupid Witnessing Tricks: SAND IN THE GAS TANK

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Jesus-Facepalm

One of my regular daily blog stops is at Stuff Fundies Like, which–in case you’re not familiar with it–is a much-needed humorously serious ongoing expose’ on the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist denominations from a recovering former member of such wackiness. As a former charismatic Pentecostal, it’s rather therapeutic, as it confronts a bit of the abusive legalism I was privy to, and shows me how to laugh and heal. It’s a great site, comes highly recommended by your Uncle NecRo.

Recently, a post was made featuring this interesting flyer:

sandalcohol

And since my common sense began tingling, I felt compelled to comment on this in my own little bligity-blog post.

This reminds me of the time an AOG youth pastor asked me–upon learning that I attended prom not just once, but four times in as many years (it’s a story for another time)–asked me, “You wouldn’t go to an orgy, would you?” That kind of faulty logical reason is the same kind employed here, with the same kind of effect: logic whiplash.

A few questions and points:
–Do they actually sell sand in boxes? Well, besides sand boxes at playgrounds. I’ve seen said bags, for wintertime and such, but never individual boxes.
–That guy looks far too pleased to be pouring Sand-brand sand into the gas tank, which leads me to believe he’s really pouring it into the tank of his ex-wife in an act of childish retribution.
–Has there been a problem with people thinking that adding sand to the gas tank will, in fact, help with the performance of the vehicle? Because, as Brother Envall has postulated, the origins of many a warning label have stemmed from necessity.
–I usually don’t bother with pointless prooftexting flame wars like this, but just for the sake of playing Devil’s Advocate: 1 Timothy 5:23, John 2:1-11, Jeremiah 13:12, and let us not forget the analogy in Mark 2:22, Matthew 9:17 and Luke 5:37 about the new wine in old wineskins.

Seriously, it’s this kind of bad logic and argumentative fallacy that makes me shake my head in shame. apparently, the invitation God made in Isaiah 1:18 to “Come now, and let us reason together…” no longer applies to us believers in this modern era.

The issue here has nothing to do with drinking. I don’t imbibe, therefore I am not taking issue with the anti-drinking stance. I am, however, offended at the utter insult to mine and others’ collective intelligence with such bad presentation of the argument.

I also find it interesting and amusing that, after recently re-reading the entire book of Proverbs, there’s a LOT of passages dealing with fools that don’t know how to keep their mouths shut. Maybe I should be pondering how it applies to me, as well.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Sunday A’La Carte – August 3, 2014

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20140803brw

Well, I did it again. I blinked, and suddenly it was near the end of Sunday. That means another instalment of Sunday A’La Carte. I just got back from watching my sister and brother-in-law’s puppies over the weekend, while they took my three nephews to Adventure Land in Des Moines, IA for a couple of days. Last vacation for them before school starts up again in a couple of weeks. What was it like, watching over eight about-to-be-weened pups, and their mum who looks like she’s counting the days to getting her teats back to normal? Rather relaxing, actually. They’re still sleeping more often than not, and besides feeding them mushy solids twice a day, and making sure the Mum had her water and food bowls filled constantly (nursing takes a lot out of you, I’m told), I rather enjoyed the solitude, writing on my laptop about various things and whatnot, and taking advantage of the NetFlix streaming on their Roku device. Speaking of which…

– Watched a documentary on the deadliest animals in Australia. I can safely say that visiting there has been removed from any form of bucket list I may have been working on. There’s just so many animals there that can either kill you or mess you up pretty badly, with three quarters of those looking really adorable while doing it. Completely left out the Drop Bears, though. An oversight that should be rectified…

– While in Des Moines, my sister’s family did dine at Zombie Burger. I’ve been meaning to take the 4-hour pilgrimage to that city, just to eat there, since I heard of its opening several years ago. Circumstances kept having me put it off. And now, my dear sister, her husband and my three nephews have beat me to it. It was going to be one of the places utilized for my bachelor party that never happened. Eh, at least they got a copy of the menu, and it’s delightfully awesome sounding. I need to scratch that little item off of my bucket list post-haste. And, they sell tee shirts, I’m told…

bless you

– This week, I read The Resort by one of my favorite horror genre writers, Bentley Little. Always loves me some Bentley Little. Tomorrow, I begin the Second Doctor adventure, Dreams Of Empire

– STUFF I’VE WRITTEN THIS WEEK: Let’s see, I wrote a review of a very horrible zombie movie I watched this weekend, and gave my thoughts on what should be played at my funeral. Along with other things in my Death Is The Only Happy Ending (de)composition notebook that I can’t link to at the moment. I need to write a bit after coming home from work, instead of having my brain shut down like it always does when I see my bed…hmmm…

garfield - profound thought

– NECRO SHOCK RADIO Session 2.19 is up, featuring the sultry, soothing sounds of Deitiphobia, Extol, Guardian, Human 2.7, Inversion, Jet Circus, Krig, Living Sacrifice, Mourn In Silence, Nailed Promise, Not One Is Upright, Overdrive, Promessa Divina, Royal Anguish, Sympathy, Tourniquet, Uzias, Vengeance Rising, Wicked’s End, X-Propagation, and Ziad. Check it out here

So, then tomorrow it’s back to the daily grind at work. Hope everyone has a good week, and all that…

::END TRANSMISSION::

Funeral Playlist

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mix tape

One of my top five favorite non-horror movies happens to be High Fidelity. Those who have seen it probably get the joke I made there. It rings so close to me, because I’ve been making playlists like that since I was in grade school and music became a big part of my life. Personal soundtracks to various moments in life, always evolving over time and music tastes.

Also, thinking up playlists for various made up scenarios helps to pass the time at work during the lulls. And it was one of those kind of lulls–and my morbid disposition, natch–that had me come up with what kind of songs I’d love to have played at my funeral. Mind you, I’d never really know if they ever do get played at the funeral, being dead and all (which is one of the prerequisites to having a funeral, I hear). But, it’s fun to imagine. So, I thought I’d share the songs I’d like played at my wake and funeral, give you an idea of my tastes. If I was a member of Spotify, I’d bring post a playlist from there to listen to. But I’m not, so it’s up to you to search out the tracks to see what they sound like. Think of it as a fun online scavanger hunt.

Anyway, here’s the list. Any other suggestions, share them in the comments. Let’s have some fun with this.

UNCLE NECRO’S FUNERAL PLAYLIST:

“Hurt” (Johnny Cash)
“Last” (Nine Inch Nails)
“Tourniquet” (Marilyn Manson)
“Shed My Skin” (Echo Bliss)
“Burning” (Klank)
“Orion” (Metallica)
“Slow Ride” (Foghat)
“Get To Heaven” (The Electrics)
“My Immortal”–full band version (Evanescence)
“Gloomy Sunday” (Lydia Lunch)
“Haunted” (Type O Negative)
“Burn” (The Cure)
“Toccata & Fugue in D Minor” (Bach)
“Blood, Milk & Sky” (White Zombie)
“Children Of The Grave” (Black Sabbath)
“Sanctuary” (Deliverance)
“The Skeezix Dilemma” (Tourniquet)
“Rift” (Mortal)
“Journey Of Reconciliation” (Mortification)
“Blue” (Angie Hart)
“Mad World” (Gary Jules)
“Soylent Green” (:wumpscut:)
“God Is God” (Laibach)
“Ride On” (AC/DC)

::END TRANSMISSION::

Movie Review: ZOMBIE HUNTER

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zombie hunterWell Go USA Entertainment
2013
NR

Have you ever watched a movie, and think to yourself: “Self, that was x-amount of time spent that I will never, ever get back”? Due to the nature of my masochistic addiction to low-grade horror and sci-fi, I find myself saying it almost all the time. But, have you ever watched a movie, said to yourself, “Self, that was x-amount of time spent that I will never, ever get back”, and then start formulating a method of plausible and working time travel so you can go back, and smack down your past self as you see the movie on, say, Netflix streaming and contemplate giving it a watch, and stand there pointing a finger in your bewildered face, firmly and loudly saying, “NO! NOOOOO!”, hoping the fact that you found a way to break the laws of physics and risked I don’t know how many paradoxes just to keep yourself from even contemplating watching said movie was enough to make you rethink things? I have just now watched that kind of movie. The movie that made me begin brainstorming the various methods of traversing the space/time continuum the very second the final end credits began flashing up on the screen. That movie is Zombie Hunter.

Zombie Hunter has nothing to do with the Manga of the same name that ran in the 1970s, and featured a story of a professional race car driver forced into an ongoing series of survival games where he has to hunt down alien parasites that hide inside corpses, reanimating them into zombies. Pity, as that would have made an awesome movie. Someone get on that. No, Zombie Hunter the movie is a 2013 flick that is set in a post-zombiepocalypse that was caused a year prior by some designer drug that, for all intents and purposes, looks like some crushed-up Pepto Bismol tablets, and turns the users into flesh eating, Pepto Bismol-spewing zombie-like individuals. Which leads me to believe that this isn’t really a true zombie movie, just a plague of zombie-like symptoms. But, that’s never really fully explained; there’s a quick introduction to the drug, and then we immediately find ourselves one year later, in a Mad Max scenario, where our “hero” of the film is zooming down a desert road in a Camaro, listening to mediocre Nickelback-like rock music on the tape deck stereo, and tough guy inner monologing like there was no tomorrow. His name is Hunter–yeah, I know–and he’s going for a Man With No Name-era Clint Eastwood kind of vocal delivery, while trying for Mel Gibson’s Mad Max fashion sense. So already, I’m thinking Zombie Hunter is really a pastiche from borrowed parts of other, better movies that you should watch instead of this one. And when your movie starts to make you think of other movies you could be watching instead, that’s not a good sign. And we’re only ten minutes in.

Anyway, after the obligatory scene of taking out zombies at an abandoned gas station while gassing up (don’t ask), he finds himself the unwilling guest of a band of surviving humans (after inner monologing about how he may be the only human left). This clan consists of an attention-hungry slut (the “actress”‘s credits on IMDB consist of this movie, and being a “free style exotic dancing and professional pole instructor”, which explains a scene where she just starts pole dancing for no discernible reason whatsoever), the sweet, innocent young lady who develops a crush on this mysterious stranger, her scrawny, geeky and perpetually horny teenage brother, the loudmouth moron who would make Biff from the Back To The Future movies say “Dude, shut up and quit being a jerk”, a crotchety old guy who’s always muttering that he’s too old for this…um, kind of thing, and Danny Trejo as a zombie butt-kicking priest named Jesus. Pronounced “Hey-zoose”, in case you’re wondering.

And here’s where we come to my biggest complaint about Zombie Hunter: the complete and utter misuse of the awesomeness that is Danny Trejo. Because let’s face it–the only reason why I gave this movie a shot in the first place was because of the promo poster used on NetFlix, which was of Trejo’s character, the priest Je’sus, holding up his axe and looking all badass, and looming large over the title of the movie. It’s the one I included as the poster art in this review, so you’ve got a visual aide, here. Look at it. LOOK AT IT. Does that image not scream to you, “Machete with zombies”? Yes. Yes it does. Instead, though, Danny Trejo appears for maybe less than a third of the time, showing up fifteen-twenty minutes in, and then killed off exactly halfway through the movie. By a badly rendered CG rip-off of the Nemesis monster from the Resident Evil games, no less.

Look, I’ve spent far too much time complaining about this…thing. Oh, Zombie Hunter tries so very hard to be a stylish grindhouse style horror movie. The entire thing falls so very flat in the execution, though, that somehow it manages to not even be one of those “so bad it’s good” kind of movies. The curious thing is, this movie is listed as a “horror comedy”. Nothing about Zombie Hunter is even unintentionally funny. All but one character were cardboard and annoying, and the only good thing about the movie was killed off halfway through. The CG effects were sub par to the point where it would make the fine hacks at The Asylum blush with embarrassment. There were a couple of times where the streaming itself failed and had to rebuffer, which makes me wonder if even the NetFlix service didn’t want to finish the movie. I wouldn’t blame them.

The only way you can salvage a watch of Zombie Hunter is if you are really, really good at riffing on bad movies, and can subject several like-minded friends to joining you. I watched this alone, and even my finely honed rapier wit had its limits. Unless you really hate yourself, and consider watching a kind of penance to assuage your self-loathing, pass on viewing Zombie Hunter.

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