Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Sad Story of Holley Weane Postscript

The Sad Story of Holley Weane postscript...

A tall man walks into a large, cold room. It's stark, clean, white walls surround and haunt its emptiness like a tomb. The emptiness interrupted only by a lone surgical table in its center, covered by a blood stained, white sheet. The man approaches the table slowly, his stare is stoic, unfeeling. He reaches the table and hovers over it. A second man joins him, wearing medical scrubs, as he adjusts his clear, vinyl gloves. The tall man stands silently, his attention fixed on the veiled body below him.

The second man clears his throat. The tall man is unaffected and his silence continues. He clears his throat again. The tall man signs a deep rumble of annoyance gently echoes in the hollow room. "Yes, Aster" he whispers, "let's have it." "I can't do what you are asking me to do," Aster answers. "Yes, you can," the tall man growls, "you certainly have been paid enough." "This is not about money, Rawling," Aster replies, "this is about the impossible." "Nothing is impossible when money is involved," Rawlings responds, "it just depends how much is applied."

Rawlings slowly circles the table. "You will do this, " he commands, "you know the price if you don't!" He pauses and looks up at Aster. His stare could melt steel. "She's dead," Aster rebuts, "what you are suggesting is ludicrous!" Rawlings shakes his head, "No Aster, what I am suggesting is non negotiable." He grabs the sheet and jerks it back. Blood pours onto the floor, showering his black leather shoes.

"You will do this for me, " he demands! Aster steps back, the color rushes from his face. "It is not possible, " he gasps! "It is, I have given you the tools, resources, technology, now make it happen, " Rawling commands! He walks away from the table and to the end of the room. He stands next to a large steel door. "It's all in here, " he begins, "here is where you will make history." Aster looks down at the body and back at Rawlings. "There is too much damage for what is required," he explains, "my experiment only works when the body is in better condition." Rawlings pulls a key from his vest pocket and smiles, a grim smile.

He holds the key up, it glistens in the florescent lighting flickering down from the ceiling. "I have taken care of that," he replies. He places the key in the lock and turns the knob. The door opens smoothly and he holds it open. Aster walks forward just enough to see inside. "Are those what I think they are, " he gasps! "Yes, they are the resources you will use to make this the greatest achievement of you pathetic little life." Aster approaches and peers in deeper. "You realize if we do this, we will open other doors we will never be able to close again," Aster laments.

"Precisely," Rawlings muses. Aster looks back at him. His face is dark, foreboding, inhuman. Aster looks back at the body. "She will live," Rawlings announces," no matter what it cost me, she will live!"

Aster walks back towards the body. He scans it and pauses. He steps over the pool of blood forming on the white tiled floor. He moves to its side and gently takes its arm in his hand. He lifts it and his eyes widen. Its talon like nails and green scaled skin are like nothing he has ever seen before. How could this creature even have existed? Where is the child that had played in the halls above years before? The child Rawlings wanted to live. The only thing before him was a monster, unrecognizable as his friend's daughter. This wasn't love anymore, it was madness. But he had no choice, Rawlings owned him. He grabs the ends of the table and begins to roll it towards the newly opened door.

"She will live," Rawlings affirms as Aster passes by! Aster enters the cold room, there are several tables being prepped by the lab assistants Rawlings had hired. Probably more extorted minions. The body parts are being carefully cleaned, they must be the remains of the other victims. They have been exposed to the elements, tattered and torn, but they will have to do. He stops in the middle of the room as Rawlings steps in and closes the door behind him. "Gentleman, " he announces, "today is the day we change the rules of life and death!" Aster feels a cold shiver ride his spine. The men applaud mindlessly.

Aster leaves the table and approaches the long counter lining the wall. He looks at the test tubes containing his serum. The serum that he has worked on his entire life. Now he can finally use it without restriction or condemnation. He fills one syringe, then another. "Prep the main body," he begins, "we have a lot of work to do." He turns as Rawling looks on anxiously. The men begin their work as Aster activates the I Pod station on the counter. The room fills with melodious strands of classical music.

"Alright, Holley," he takes a deep breath, "let's begin your greatest and final makeover."

And so the story is reborn.....

To be continued...MonsterBowl 2014!

Monday, October 28, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Jackass Presents:Bad Grandpa

One would think that Knoxville had exhausted his well known repertoire through his long-running MTV series, its various offshoots, and three major motion pictures.  Add into that, the advent of every Tom, Dick, and Harry incessantly posting prank videos ad nauseam on the internet via a plethora of social media outlets almost guaranteeing that this genre had finally run its course.   If that is the case, one would be most certainly  wrong.  Knoxville may be a genius in disguise by incorporating an actual story line, simple as it may be, to fill in the gaps between his gotcha games.   He also ups the ante, by carefully setting up entire groups of unsuspecting victims, to fall prey to his well orchestrated trademark shock tactics.   To detail the movie any further, would allow for spoilers and that would be an absolute crime, as this is hands down, the best outing of the franchise to date.  With that said, not all the jokes hit their marks, but the ones that do are near epic in effect.  Hats off to young, Jackson Nicoll in his second film, his first being the unfortunate Fun Size through no fault of his own, for a solid, yet understated performance.   Knoxville manages to take any remaining taboos and maniacally and gleefully twist them into balloon animals from his warped, yet entirely entertaining imagination.   I look forward to the release of the Blu-Ray which will surely be chock full of all the wonderfully devious snippets that ended up on the cutting room floor.   In reality,  this is a truly juvenile guilty pleasure that I proudly admit I utterly enjoyed.  4 out of 5 Kernels; Knoxville defined the genre and continues to impress, and after this film, I am almost frightened at the aspect of where he may take it next.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Last Act of the Sad Story Of Holley Weane

The last Act of the Sad Story of Holley Weane...

She hungers for Gertie.  Brad and the little geek have finally arrived, or so she thinks.  She slinks through the tall grass, using the fog as a cloak to conceal her presence.  She hasn't seen what she has become, even if she did, I don't think it would matter.  She has traded her beauty to become the beast.  But the metamorphosis is not complete and there are still glimpses of the girl who is now a ghoul.  He hair flies free in the air, mixed with  mud and cobwebs.  Her green eyes glow with the anticipation of her next kill.  This time she will remember it in all of its gloriously gruesome detail.   Her right arm is covered in new green, slimy scales leading to a talon like hand ready to tear flesh and crush bone.   Her skin has transformed from soft, silky white, to a rough, leathery, emerald hide.   Pure white fangs slink out of her mouth over her bright red lips.   Her face is infected with reptile like scales etched deep into her forehead.  Her once perfect complexion is now as murky as the swamp that surrounds the field.  She is beautifully terrifying.

She moves closer to the truck only to see a flashlight's luminescence pierce the darkness and refract off the mist.  She hears heavy steps but not of two people, just one.  It is a man.  She can smell him. and he smells so delectable.   She moves silently closer.  He comes toward her, she plays hide and seek with the flashlight.  He focuses it near the shed.  She can hear him gasp.  His breathing is heavier, heart pounding faster.  Who could the late night snack be, the hors d'oeuvre before the main course?  His steps quicken as he moves towards the shed.  He passes by her, she is huddled in the weeds, masked by the fog, waiting, watching.

He shines his light on the massacre before him.  His heart beats faster.  He dials his cellphone, fingers tripping over the buttons.   She peaks up.  It's Officer Nest.  He must have just come off duty, still in his uniform but no patrol car, just his old beat up truck.    He miss dials several times, hands  shaking.  Even a veteran cop like Nest could have never been prepared for what he has just witnessed.  She growls with delight.  He spins around drawing his gun.   He tries to make out details through the thick fog, but it won't allow him too.  She growls again, toying with him, like a cat battering a mouse about before the kill.   He scans his surroundings but he is lost in the mist.  She rises behind him.  He does not see her.  "How sweet this night will be," she ponders.  She pounces and throws him, head first into a large headstone.  His face shatters on it upon impact and his neck snaps under the force of the blow.  He lays there limp, his gun caught in the tightly woven cobwebs that engulf the marker.

"Oh darn, that was way too quick," she scoffs, "Apparently I don't know my own strength."  She cackles and it fills the air.   She thrusts her new found claw into his back, shredding his spine, finding his dead heart. She pulls it from his back and devours it.  The blood spews from her mouth, refreshing her like a spring breeze or gentle Autumn rain.  She howls and then licks every finger to savor any last ounces of his delicious fluids.   Just then she sees headlights approaching.  "Appetizer finished, here comes dinner!"

The truck is very late.  Little did the vamp know, her plan had already been revealed to Gertie.  Holley thought she had planned it all so well.  She didn't know Brad had a crush on Gertie since the sixth grade.  He had been waiting for the moment to reveal it, but never had the confidence.  Holley's plan provided his in.  They met at her door, and he was immediately smitten.  He confesses his admiration and then Holley's evil plan.  Gertie had always had a thing for Brad too.  Who knew Holley would play October's cupid.  

They arrive ready for Holley's elaborate trick.  Brad pulls in about a hundred yards from the shed.  He'll play along to throw Holley and her goon squad off just enough to give Gertie the upper hand.  Gertie has already slipped out of her dress into her jeans and leather jacket.   She tucks a can of pepper spray into her pocket, a neat little surprise for her foe.  Nice girls can play dirty too.  When Holley's hunk pops out for the scare, he'll get a face full of pepper flavored mace.

Brad leaves the truck and heads toward the shed to meet his pretend demise.  He calls out to Gertie, "the truck has stalled let me see if there are any tools in the shed out here."  He ensures he is loud enough for all to hear.  Gertie loudly replies, "I'll wait by the truck, but be quick, its epic-ally creepy out here!" Their act is well rehearsed.  Brad heads toward the shed to give Holley the green light.  Gertie prepares her weapon and waits, anxiously, to drench the quarterback in costume.  Brad quietly calls out to Holley, but there is no answer.    He calls out again, only silence.

Then some of the ground fog clears and he sees the remains surrounding his feet.  He steps up, his shoes are covered in blood and muck.  Startled he backs up and trips over Nest's fresh corpse.  "Oh my God, "he gasps.  Before he can say another word he feels a sharp pain circling his neck.  He looks down as blood pours from his throat down his tuxedo shirt.  His head rolls off it's neck with ease and plops unto the ground next to Nest's body.  The rest slumps down to the dirt.  He never even knew what hit him.  Holley licks her sharp claws and giggles.  "I never did think you had a good head on your shoulders, " she mocks.  She stomps on his skull with full force and crushes it between her toes.  "Ooooh, that feels nice, " she coos, "better than any foot massage."

Gertie waits by the truck becoming increasingly impatient.   Has her new Beau betrayed her?   She glances over the hood but doesn't see him.  The fog is not helping.   "Should I stay or should I go, " she thinks to herself?  She moves towards the front of the truck.  She wants to call out Brad's name, but that will ruin the payback.  Suddenly something hurtles towards her and lands on the hood spraying her with a warm liquid.  She steps back to realize she is dripping in blood.  She realizes what is left of Brad's head lays oozing on the hood of the vehicle.  She screams.  Who wouldn't.

Holley cackles loudly as she stands proudly in the middle of the cemetery.   "Way to get a head, Gertie," she growls.  Gertie spins around to see her nemesis only yards in front of her.  Holley jumps and sails through the air landing on the top of the truck.  The roof buckles under the impact, windows shattering, spraying Gertie with glass.  She tries to shield the barrage with her arms.  She can feel the glass shredding her jacket and biting her flesh.

She screams again.  Holley jumps down, "Don't make 'em like they used to, huh Gert, " she cackles.  She grabs Gertie and with one movement throws her into the air.  Gertie flies into the cemetery and lands on the ground, hard.    She is covered in mud and tries to push herself up.  She grabs something to brace herself.  As she rises she realizes it is the leg of one of Holley's debutroids.   She quickly pops up and throws it away from her.  Pain racks her body from her fall.  She quickly realizes she is standing in the mist of a bloody soaked mess of body parts.

"It's been one hell of a day Gert, I gotta tell ya," Holley sprints towards her, "friends have been dropping in all over the place, as you can tell."  She is within feet of Gertie in an instant and tackles her to the ground.   Gertie is helpless under the weight of the beast as Holley sits on top of her.  She moves her hair from the horror of her face.  "Well Gertie, here we are again, " she sighs, "you looking up to me and me looking down on you."  She cackles.  Gertie tries to get up but Holley is too heavy and pain is steadily weakening her.  "What happened to you," Gertie gasps?  "Well Gert, I had a bit of a makeover, " she chides, "Do you like the new look."  Holley smiles widely revealing her rows of shark like teeth.  "It's definitely an improvement, " Gertie answers trying to catch her breath!"  Holley laughs, "Cute, girlfriend, are you trying to be funny, or taste funny!"

"Your jokes are getting worse, " Gertie struggles.  "Funny, so your's day," Holley smiles again.  "Bite me you freak," Gertie snaps.  Probably not the best choice of words at the moment.  "My pleasure, pet, " Holley coos and then quickly sinks her teeth into the side of Gertie's cheek.  She pulls back tearing of a sizable chunk of flesh and muscle.  Gertie screams.  "Now, now, " Holley explains as she chews, "you asked me too."  She swallows hard, 'Well at least you taste better than you dress."  Gertie's fear and pain mutates to anger.  "Try that again, freak, and you will wish you were dead!"  "Been there, done that, " Holley interrupts, "and although I appreciate your permission, I really don't need it."  She growls and bites her neck, tearing another chunk of flesh loose.  She chews on it like a cow masticating fresh grass.   Gertie screams again.  "Seconds are even better, "Holley winks.

Holley swallows and takes a deep breath.  "You have to be the sweetest meat I have ever had the pleasure of eating."   Gertie writhes in pain.  She turns her head and sees a broken piece of tombstone laying on the ground.  The top half of a granite cross.  Her hand finds away to her jacket pocket as she tries to desperately find her spray.  "Now, I have enjoyed our time together, Gert," Holley explains, "but all good things must come to an end."  "I hate to say this, "she continues, "but I do have to eat and run."  She cackles again.  At least her jokes are amusing her.

Gertie finds the can with her fingers.   Holley raises her right arm to deliver the final strike, "this will only hurt for a second Gert, nah, I think I'll make it hurt a little longer than that!"  Gertie grabs the spray and pulls it from her pocket.  She swings it up, closes her eyes, and releases it directly into Holley's face.  Holley screams and grabs her face.  Gertie rolls her off with all of her strength and reaches for the broken marker.  Holley falls on her slide, clutching her head, then rubbing her eyes.  Gertie grabs the stone and with all the strength she has left she spins around until she is directly over Holley.  Holley writhes on the ground kicking up dirt and debris.  "You are about to get stoned, freak, " Gertie screams.  Holley looks up long enough to see the large piece of granite looming over her head.  "Bye, now, "Gertie thrusts the stone down onto Holley's head and falls on top of her with it.  The impact fractures Holley's skull, the sound echoes through the darkness.

Holley gurgles as her lungs and mouth fill with blood.  Gertie raises the stone again revealing the gory mess beneath her.  "One more time, " Gertie yells and drops the stone again until Holley's skull crushes nearly flat.  The sound is horrific.  Blood sprays from the sides of the stone.   Holley's hands jerk as the last moments of life slip away from her mutilated body.   Her legs twitch for a few seconds and then stop.  The air around them suddenly falls still.  Gertie collapses on top of the body, the loss of blood, relentless pain, and exhaustion have finally overcome her.   She rolls on to her back and takes a deep breath.  She can feel life fleeing from her.  She begins to weep, tears for Brad at first, then tears from realization that she is dying.   She looks up into the sky, it clears and the moon and stars are bright, almost flashing.  The fogs rolls away as if it is being called.  The wind gently whistles through the grass and the coolness of the night descends upon her.

It is all a small comfort as Gertie's breath becomes more and more labored and her heart struggles without sustenance.   "At least she's dead, " she reminisces, "she can't hurt anyone, anymore."   "The creature of Eerie Field is dead!"  Gertie closes her eyes, a rush of peace fills her.  Her arms and legs warm, and then grow very cold.  "I will miss my mom, " she ponders, "but I don't think she will miss me."   She can no longer feel her fingers and toes.  "I wish I could have done more with my life, " she continues to reflect, "don't we all."  Her legs and arms go numb.  The pain subsides.  "So tired, so very tired, "her mind begins to wander.  Her body feels separated from her, as if she is free from it.  She drifts off into nothingness, all thought, all memory cease.   The wind rolls over her body, but she is unaware.  The field is silent, still, as a cemetery should be.  

And so the sad story of Holley Weane ends...........

Gertie opens her eyes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Europa Report

Yet another entry into the done to death "found footage" genre that starts out as the poor man's version of 2010 but quickly descends into a predictable, disappointing, and uninspired, "let’s see how we can creatively kill the crew off” vehicle.  I apologize for any perceived spoilers, but there just wasn't anywhere else to go.  Lesser known indie director Sebastian Cordero tries his hand at a what if we found life” Sci-Fi story with an indie feel that has some redeeming qualities, but overall his failure at slow build suspense and a lackluster payoff eclipses any and all highlights of his film.  However the good is worth noting, so on the plus side, the acting is solid, authentic and engaging.  The characters interact with sincerity and genuineness considering what little back-story is provided for them.   Sharlto Copley, from District 9, is the only prominent name here and provides a subtle but effective performance; however the writing lets him down.   The script is ho hum, told in a broken story with too many flashbacks.  It would have been better served played in chronological order, which would have also provided a bit more drama and tension, but in its current form much of the emotion and scope are lost in translation.   A portion of the effects are remarkably realistic while others are too clean and sleek to look any more than prop art.   Another film with loads of potential, but because of a director's need to make it artsier, fails to reach it.   I was looking for some die hard cerebral science fiction to satisfy my purist side, needless to say, it wasn't here.  1 out of 5 Kernels: not a horrendous attempt, but not good enough to recommend either.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Now You See Me

There are three key ingredients in every film that are required for it to manifest any value, entertainment or otherwise.   Miss one and you are in bad shape, skip all three and you quickly have a celluloid disaster.  This film falls, quite definitively, in the latter.   The first ingredient is likability of characters.   If the characters do not create an immediate, gradual, or any connection at all with the audience, the plot, scope, effects, etc., become lessened to a point of insignificance.    For the most part, every character in this film, whether by design or not, is in competition to see which can be the bigger douche-bag, so much so, I thought the entire production was sponsored by Massengill.  I couldn't find a single player to root for which made watching this flick even more cumbersome and annoying.   Second is believablity.  Even in the most fantastic of cinematic voyages, where myth, legend, and fiction reach new heights of wonder and awe, it has to make sense in some way and appear to be possible.  This movie is so convoluted and implausible that it makes Avatar look like a National Geographic Special.    The attempts at twist and turns, surprises and sleight of hand, are all lost in a jumble of ideas that, in the real world, in which this story is apparently based, would be absolutely impossible to replicate even with an unimaginable income, a horde of MIT grads, and years to planning and development    Finally, the third ingredient is entertainment.  With the first two elements thoroughly corrupted the entertainment value becomes non existent.   No more so that in this flop, which drags on way to long with the most ridiculous of payoffs  at its conclusion that require downright nonsensical plot devices which utterly fail.  Put simply, in order to make this puzzle form a picture, the writers and directors, took the pieces and trimmed them to fit into place whether or not they appropriately or intelligently made sense.   This farce is directed by Louis Leterrier, the man who reinvented the Hulk and turned the earlier incarnation from a mutated mess into a well conceived, acted, and produced revamp.  This train-wreck was not a great addition to the resume.  It stars;  Woody, why am I still relevant, Harrelson,  Dave, who, Franco, still who, Isla Fisher, and Jesse, can I be any more annoying, Eisenberg.   Oh, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are part of the cast as well, a fact, I am sure in hindsight, they both regret, at least one would hope.    But the biggest disappointment was lead, Mark Ruffalo, one of my favs and the newest and bestest Dr. Bruce Banner, who now seems to be following the same post Avengers career track as Jeremy Renner is his silver screen choices.    0 out of 5 Kernels: Now You See Me, wish I hadn't, I now understand why this film did such a remarkable disappearing act from the box office.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: 42

Not since The Natural have I seen a more authentic, passionate, engaging, and emotionally energized film about America's favorite past time.   Brian Helgeland, who directed two of my favorite films of all time, A Knight's Tale starring Heath Ledger and Payback with Mel Gibson, (pre mental breakdown), brings us one of the most well written, phenomenally produced, biopic on the life of the greatest athlete of all time, Jackie Robinson, who stepped of the bus of the Kansas City Monarch's and into history.   Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson with absolute genuineness and heart, as does Nichole Beharie, who portrays his wife Rachel. Harrison Ford gives the performance of his career, as Branch Rickey, and that is saying a lot with his illustrious resume.   The film inspires, angers, and tells a story of a man who changed the face of professional sports and the hearts and minds of a country.   It makes a remarkably clear point that in addition to the immeasurable impact he had on the advancement of  civil rights in America, Jackie Robinson wasn't great because he was black, he was great because he was Jackie Robinson.    Nowadays when so many try to play the victim and use race to further personal ideologies, 42 reminds us all that there was a terrible time in this country where inequality was a dreadful nemesis, and during that time, individuals rose up to prove, one person can make a difference. They formed and shaped equality bringing us all to look at people as individuals, rising this nation above its past sins.   It is such a shame, so many take that for granted and erroneously invoke the names of giants to further their own agenda and gain that has nothing to do with providing opportunity or assistance to those who actually fight the good fight.   42 is an extraordinary film in every way; script, story, character, dialogue, realism, and scope.  5 out 5 Kernels: This time Hollywood hits a grand slam, let's hope its not a fluke but a trend.   

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Sad Story Of Holley Weane: The First 3 Acts


Holley Weane was the ultimate mean girl, she had it all, popularity, wealth (her parents were loaded), and beauty that only mommy's money could buy. Seriously, by age 18 she had more plastic in her than a life size Barbie Doll. She dated the captain of the football team, Dirk Derringer, drove a brand new Ferrari, that Diddums gave her for her birthday, and was the fashion guru of the little town of Eerie. Her father was the king of Coffins, his company held the monopoly on making the most ornate and elegant dead-boxes in the world all for the rich and shameless. He had build his business out of his parents' garage, much to their dismay, and by age 45 had turned it into a multi-million dollar company. Holley's mom was a former beauty queen winning the Miss Eerie Pageant 10 years in a row, more than any other spoiled debutante in the area. Of course, time and a hefty charge account at the local plastic surgeon had taken its toll. Holley had it all, and yet she wasn't satisfied. There was always something missing. Now for most of us that might have been love, self worth, a feeling of accomplishment, and such. But not for Holley, no Holley thirsted for the one thing money can't buy, happiness. Diddums bought her anything she wanted, mostly to keep her and her whiny voice as far away from him as possible. Mommy dearest loved one thing more than Holley, her friend Jack Daniels, and she visited with him often. Holley had no brothers or sisters, just 6 annoying Pekingese that dominated her families attention far more than she ever could. Yes, she had to compete with the little flea bags and distilled whiskey just to catch a moment of their time. Rather than drown out her empty life with riches and the myriad of Gucci purses to place it in, Holley despised anyone who could achieve the contentment in life that was void from hers. So, to relieve her broken heart, her and her troop of Stepford daughter friends would incessantly torture anyone within their visual scope who didn't measure up to their Gold Mastercard standards. Their favorite victim was Gertrude the resident nerdette, who had the nerve to value her school work and treating people with decency over Pandora bracelets, obscenely bejeweled I-Phones, and the religion of Designershoeism. Gertrude dressed plainly because her dad and mom worked hard for everything they had and spent the money they earned frugally saving most of it, so their only daughter would have a future. I mean she actually had to shop at Goodwill rather than just buy stuff like they did to be trashy chic. How dare she. Holley had committed the remainder of her High School senior year to tormenting Gertrude until she could break her completely.

Act 1:

The fall dance was coming up soon, it had been a crisp October and the fallen leaves left a thick covering on the ground. Holley was going to be crowned the Autumn Princess and had just purchased the most expensive dress Diddum's money could buy. It was a short, shoulder-less, strapless, crimson red dress that brought out the deep green in Holley's eyes. She would be the absolute belle of the ball yet again. She had already won the two seasons before. So as she was discussing the way she was going to run up her parents credit cards at the local Salon, Gertrude made the unfortunate mistake of walking by the stone bench where they were sitting. Holley couldn't resist the chance to once again torment her oblivious arch nemesis. Gertrude had also made the mistake of wearing her torn jeans, worn hoodie, and glasses that day. Not a mistake to anyone in the norm, but for a predator like Holley it was like a drop of blood in a pool of sharks.

"Well isn't the fashionista of Eerie High," she began, "looking fine, Diva, was Goodwill closed and you finally had to resort to outright dumpster diving." Gertrude continued to walk by, she tried to play like she had her ear buds in and couldn't hear them, it would have helped if she could have afforded an Ipod to plug them into. Holley springs up and blocks Gertie's stride and any hope of escape. "I was talking to you freak, " she growled, "or are you as deaf as you are fashion blind!" Gertie looked down at her feet, just waiting for the encounter to be over. She figured, "they'll talk their crap, mock me, and then get bored, I can take it." Boy was she wrong. "Look at me, you mutant, " Holley screams! Now there had to be dozens of students in the quad that day. Do you know that not one of them stopped, despite the fact Holley's voice could strip the marble off of a tombstone. "Cowards come in all shapes and sizes, and there is never a shortage of them," Gertie thought to herself. She had been mercilessly picked on by Holley for three years now, everyday, no relief, no good reason other than Holley's cold dead heart.

Gertie looks up almost involuntarily to stare deep into those emerald eyes, cold dead eyes, like a doll's eyes. "When I speak, you listen, you little skank, " Holley continues, "now give me your shoes, if you are going to look like a homeless person, you need to complete the ensemble!" At first Gertie is dumbstruck, "did she really just ask that?" "I mean, she has been evil to me before, but just words, this is a whole new level of torment, " she thought. Despite Holley's bellows and lack of concern as to who may hear or see her, no one stops, no one even looks her way. She desperately searches the quad to make eye contact with just one soul, one person who might actually care. She is left wanting. "No I won't give you my shoes, " Gertie mutters, barely able to conjure the courage to resist her adversary!

Holley's defiant stare could melt steel. "Oh really," she replies, her attitude so thick you could serve it in a bowl with oyster crackers! "Girls, " Holley commands, and like mindless robots the three debutantes arise and surround her! "They must communicate telepathically," Gertie thinks to herself as her fear mounts, "but then that would require brains." Gertie's attempt at internalized humor to relief her anxiety falls monumentally short.
"One more time, little orphan Annie, " Holley directs, "give me your freakin' shoes!" Gertie stands her ground, she is shaking the gravel loose from below her feet, but she stands as firm as she can none the less.

"Fine," Holley relents, "We will do this the hard way, geek!" Suddenly Gertie is off her feet and looking up at the sun and clouds as if she is levitating. The girls quickly, in precision unison, flip her up and rip off her shoes and socks. "What do they train for this, " Gertie's mind races. Before she can react she is thrown into the grass face first. She can hear her shoes thump into the nearby garbage can, she is sure her socks followed them down. "That's what happens to little creeps who don't obey the law of this jungle, " Holley commands! Gertie tries to rise, her face covered in grass and dirt. "Walk to class like that now, cow, " Holley laughs as she concludes the torture, her girl droids join in. Holley and her troop walk off, giggling in contentment as they disappear from her view. And still no one stops to intercede. "Apparently," she thinks, "they were sent the email or text on the whole law of the jungle thing!" Gertie gets up and tries to dust herself off. Then she realizes that she has had the fortunate pleasure of being dumped in a spot where a dog had dumped earlier. I am sure that was pure coincidence.

She picks up her glasses, which now have a sizable scratch on the left lens.
But she refuses to cry, to even shed a tear, she won't give them or the heartless minions around her the satisfaction. She begins to limp to class. "Well it has to get better from here, " she muses! She cracks a smile through her grass stained face. Despite her stoic exterior, inside, she is weeping so hard she feels like she will lose her balance. Is there any justice in the world, anymore. Do girls like Holley ever get what they deserve.

Little did Gertie know, her question would be answered, with ghoulish consequences.

Act 2:

After facing the entire day barefoot, yes not even the teachers noticed, because then they would have had to ask questions, Gertrude trudges home. Although she is truly a good person, one of the last of her kind, she can't help hoping, wishing, even silently praying within her mind that Holley would get her "come up ens." Why do the truly evil people always seem to flourish in this twisted, sad world of ours, while the earnestly good either struggle daily or just die young. She makes it back to her trailer, Mom still at work, another double at the diner, and dad, well only God knows where he is. He left to get milk and eggs about twelve years ago, there are some long lines in grocery stores, but even she knows, that's a little much.

But all of that is little concern to Miss Holley, who too is at home, trying on a bevy of high ticket dresses in front of her dopey disciples. Diddums had taken the time to buy out one of the local boutiques so she could try each an every one on in the comfort of their plush, million dollar mansion. As she admires herself time and time again in the mirror, she finds that she cannot keep focused on her own beauty, something that usually comes with great ease. No, there is something distracting her from herself, and it most be pretty important as that is a rarity. Suddenly one of her mindless minions comments about how much fun she had tormenting Gertie and why should such a homely creature even exist. "She just takes up space, " she giggles tossing back her peroxide laden locks from her recently redone face. "That's it, " Holley realizes, "it is that ridiculous girl that is sucking all the fun out of being me!"

She must pay for such a crime, but how? How do you punish something that has nothing, you can't take anything away, she is so poor she probably can't pay attention. Holley giggles to herself, it's an oldie but a goodie. But seriously, no matter how she tortures the girl, drags her down, makes her the mock-fest of Eerie High, she still keeps coming back, like a roach or bad acne. How can she remove this thorn from her perfectly toned, tanned, and freshly softened flesh? She has little mind to work with, but she pushes it to its very limits. You can see the veins pulsating in her neck and forehead as she forces concentrated thought. Her brain dead flock seems clueless to her struggle, but they would be no help anyways. They almost share a brain. Besides they are too busy admiring Holley to care for anything or anyone else, as it should be.

Then, after several minutes of intense mental negotiation and almost wetting herself in the process from the sheer force of will, it arises. If she can't be shamed away, maybe she can be scared away! "Eureka," if only she new what that word meant, "I'll scare her so bad she will never show her gruesome face again," she announces within herself! But she must do it alone, her gal pals don't exactly do well with secrets, there is no governor between their ears and mouths. This has to be a lone wolf mission, perfectly executed down to the last detail. But what could she do? What would truly scare such a pathetic child, I mean her normal life is scary enough as it is and her fashion sense is downright terrifying.

What could truly and utterly scare this little minx? Then it comes to her. Only one thing, one thing, has truly terrified the children of Eerie High School since they were old enough to gurgle and spit. One story that every mom and dad tells their rugrats when they have been so bad their parents can't even see straight. One tale that is the last resort of discipline among the quaint cookie cutter families in this miserable little town. And as much as they try to deny it as teens, it still gives them a major case of the willies every time it's mentioned. If she can pull it off, and make that story come to life, real, believable life, her enemy's willpower would never stand a chance. There is no way she could come back from that, it's the perfect steel tipped boot to remedy such an annoying pest. But could she really, truly pull it off? Well, if evil and pure meanness where dollars, Holley would be a rich little princess, and as a matter of fact, Holley is a rich little princess. If anyone could make it happen, Holley would!

Bring to horrifying and unforgettable life, the haunting and terrorizing story of the Monster that hunts the grounds of Eerie Cemetery!

Act 3:

Fast forward to the night of the Fall Ball. Holley's plan was working flawlessly. Everything was falling, so perfectly, into place. Gertie accepted Brad's invitation, she was hesitant at first, even suspicious, but Brad poured it on thick and won her over. It was his best performance ever, off the field, that is. Gertie even bought herself a new dress from the Mall, a real dress, "must have spent her life savings on it," Holley thought to herself. A deep crimson red dress, with spaghetti straps and hemmed up high to show off her legs. A thought that made Holley cringe. "At least she will finally have to shave them," Holley mocked. Her minions were still blissfully unaware of her devious plot but her Beau helped her every step of the way. Even Savannah had come through as she showed Holley the illustrations of what her creature creation would look like carefully sculpted on her boy toy.

With only hours before the dance , Holley donned her eloquent gown, after her marathon spa treatments, tanning, and make over, she calls the blond squad to her home. They arrived and huddled in the grand dining room as Holley unveiled her plan of mass destruction against the nerd nation's queen. They giggled and cackled as each gruesome detail was revealed and pledged their undying loyalty, once again, to the diabolical diva. Her Beau arrives and the well manicure motley crew head out to Eerie Field to execute their strategy.

Savannah puts the finishing touches on the fabricated freak with only minutes before Gertie and Brad are to arrive at the field and have their fraudulent breakdown. He looks as horrendous as Holley had conceived. He takes his spot among the tall grass and thickening fog. Holley is safely concealed behind the Hallow's old, abandoned shed sitting ever so posh in her Beau's overpriced convertible. They will never see her but she has the best seats in the house and can see the entire field. The rest of her crew is at the other edge of the field, hidden by the mist but able to see it all from their distance. Savannah pulls away and all that is left is the wait. The suspense is almost unbearable for Holley. Soon she will have her ultimate revenge and it will be ever so satisfying.

She checks her I Phone, Brad should be here by now. What could be the hold up? The fog deepens. The cold begins to make its way down Holley's spine, haunting her skin breaking it out into thousands of goosebumps. "It's so cold, Brad better step it up, " she shivers.

Still nothing, now he's five minutes late. The anger begins to well. The wind howls and the grass submits to it over and over again. The stars are hidden, the fog is thick on the ground, and the clouds thicker in the sky. It is pitch black and visibility begins to decay.

Now 10 minutes have passed and still no Brad and his ignorant date. Holley doesn't know what is more prevalent, the chill of the night or the ire in her gut. She can no longer see the field in the scope and clarity that she did before. The wind is wet and her dress begins to dampen. It is the prefect white, sheer lace layered dress, with satin green piping. The most expensive dress in the entire town. Custom made just for her. She would be the absolute Belle of the ball, but that was nothing new. Beneath it, a pure white corset and petticoat. Her heirloom pearl earrings and necklace the perfect accents to her ensemble. But all of that stood null next to the desire to exact her vengeance. The dress and the ball were only the frosting and cherry on her cruelly created cake.

15 minutes and still no Brad and his hapless victim. Holley finally exits her royal chariot out of pure, unadulterated irritation. She stands in the grass, her pristine white satin heels assaulted by dirt and dew. "Where the hell could they be!" Just as she is about to scream, she hears a growl swimming in the wind. She turns and quickly scans her surroundings but her line of sight is only a foot to two in front of her. The fog has engulfed her and she is lost within it. The growl gets louder. She frantically looks about but she can not ascertain which direction its coming from. It is surrounding her. The wind picks up and she is slowly becoming drenched by the whipping mist.

The growl deepens and sharpens. Fear has replaced frustration, anxiety has begun to tear way at her confidence. She moves closer to the shed, the only thing she can make out clearly. The growl is immense, filling the air and gnawing at her flesh. She feels her way to the door of the shed. The black sky reflecting off the fog makes it look like she is floating through space. She finds the door and opens it, sliding inside. The growl shakes the decaying building, but it is on the outside. She can barely see inside the shed, but she makes out a shovel laying on what is left of the floor. Her breath quickens, as does her heartbeat.

She pulls the shovel from the rotted floorboards, weeds, and dirt and holds it up. The growl thunders once more and she prepares for the worst. She knows what is hunting her, she doesn't believe it, but what else could it be. And where is her Beau? He has had to hear it? He has had to have heard it, how could you not! "Oh my God," she gasps, "Has it gotten him!" Suddenly the shack begins to violently shake. The boards begin to vibrate loose, rusted nails break free and fall to the ground. The fog quickly creeps in through all the gaps of the dilapidated structure. It encompasses her feet and carpets the ground. The growls reverberate through the building, assaulting her ears and infecting her mind with terror.

Then just as it seems the chaotic cocktail of sound and violence will meet a horrific crescendo, it all stops and silence pierces and fills the darkness. Holley stands there as the world becomes motionless, lifeless. The air is stale and stagnate. The fog sits heavily about her feet. The wind retreats as does any and all sound. Only her breathing and rapid heartbeat can be heard. She glances around trying to make sense of her surroundings. Her concern for her boyfriend, eclipsed by her own dire predicament.

She peeks outside through a gap between the boards but sees nothing. It was all on the outside, but how much safety can this rickety old shed provide her. "It can't possibly keep whatever is out there, from coming in here, "she begins to weep!

Then the growl returns, slowly, subtly. But this time the direction is acute. It is behind her. She can feel the breathe of it on her neck. It has been inside with her the whole time. She didn't run from it, she ran to it. She grips the wood handle of the shovel tightly, the splinters dig deep into the palms of her hands. The growl intensifies. Fear assaults every inch of her body. Then remarkably, unbelievably it speaks. "Hello, Holley, you look absolutely delicious the evening," it snarls menacingly. How does it know her name? She can feel it right behind her, a scaly hand begins to graze her arm rising to her shoulder and back down to her wrist. Her bare skin recoils at its touch. "It's time you pay your Granddaddy's debt, " it growls. She can't turn around. The terror has completely paralyzed her. "And I have waited such a long time, for such a tasty treat," it laughs with a laugh that would haunt even death itself.

She musters all of her strength and prepares to turn around until she feels a sharp pain in her wrist and then something wet sprays on her face. She feels pressure release from her grip on the spade. She looks down and only one hand is now holding the handle. Instead, her other is laying on the ground, quickly being devoured by the fog. She can't scream, the pain is outnumbered, outweighed by the fear. It has numbed her voice. The blood sprays on her dress, leaving random patterns of crimson starkly contrasted against the white lace.

Then she feels her neck being pierced and its flesh torn. It is all moving in slow motion. She is part of it and yet disconnected from it. She feels it pull a chunk of flesh off and the stark and merciless pain reminds her of exactly where she is. She screams and the sound fills the shed. It only excites her attacker who drags its claws across her cheek below her eye. Blood streams down her face and mingles with the gushing liquid already emanating from her neck wound. Suddenly, she is lifted off the ground and all she can see it the rotted ceiling with the sky peeking through the few boards that remain. It roars with delight as she comes back down on her stomach and face and feels it bite deep into her back. Its teeth wrap around her spine and she can feel the bone and muscle shred. She falls to the ground, immersed in her own blood. The creature roars again and the shed shakes.

She can barely breathe, and moving is no longer an option. The creature bends down and hovers above her. What little starlight sneaks into the shed and illuminates its features. A man with the face of a serpent, black eyes, blacker hair, and her blood covering its mouth, staining it long, pearl-like fangs. He is wearing rags for clothes, barely covering his scaly green and grey body. It just stares at her with its lifeless eyes as she gurgles on her own fluids. "Now, you will know what it is like to be a monster, " it grumbles, "but wait, you already know, don't you." It begins to laugh again. "You'll live, Miss Holley, but you will wish you were dead, and so will all those around you!"

Holley is fading into unconsciousness, the mixture of pain and horror are too much to bare. The creature stands and takes the blood stained shovel that is now laying next to her body. It places it against the wall and jams it between two boards. "And now, I can be free of the curse your family bestowed upon me, " it snarls. "But before you sleep, know this, " it continues, " the monster that murdered all those people 50 years ago, was not me." "It was your Grandfather, a monster in a three piece suit who had an insatiable taste for blood!" It then takes the handle of the shovel and with all its force it rams its own chest into the blade. The shovel tears through its chest and exits through its mutated back. The creature slumps forward so the entire shovel, with the exception of what is wedged, passes through its body. It collapses onto the wall, gasps its last breath, and then moves no more. Its lifeless corpse held up by the handle.

Holley falls into darkness, no longer breathing, no longer aware of anything. The world fades to black and time stops. She is gone, her memories dissipate, her identity becomes more and more a stranger until everything falls into absolute silence.

She awakes standing in the middle of the cemetery, in front of the shed. She has no idea what has happened, no idea where she has been, how much time has passed. All that is there is an unmistakable hunger and a darkness that flows through her veins. She feels the evil warm her like a soft down blanket. It gives her peace and strength. She smiles with a sense of satisfaction she has never experienced before. As she does she feels her long, sharp fangs scrape against the sides of her mouth. She looks around through the still night as the fog retreats from her presence to reveal what is left of the body of her Beau beneath her. He has been torn apart, pieces everywhere. She can feel his blood in her mouth and dripping down her cheek. Before she can react to it, she notices, there are body parts everywhere. She knows what they are as the torn fabric litters the grass. She steps back and gathers her thoughts.

Before her lays every one of her fembots, disemboweled and dismembered in the most gruesome of fashions. Instead of panic, shame, and sorrow she is filled with a great sense of horrific joy and pleasure. She cackles in gratification and roars loudly. The field fills with her shrieks and growls. The monster has been reborn, and Holley could not be happier. The curse makes the evil, beyond comprehension. It has not transformed Holley, rather it has amplified the monster she always was. It released all of the malice she had bottled up for so long. And now, she could exact her revenge, not just on Gertie, but the entire town. Who could stop her? Now that beauty has become the hellish of beasts!

Suddenly a truck rolls up and the engine sputters. Holley spins around. Fresh meat has arrived, the sweetest kind!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

I am by no means a Trekkie, but I have to admit I have enjoyed, to some extent, both the movies and the various series that have existed in diverse forms and manifestations.  Of the myriad of nerd cinematic fare, my two favorite flicks in the Roddenberry Universe are Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home and the true sequel, The Wrath of Khan, of which this movie appears to be somewhat of a reboot.   Not being a purist when it comes to this franchise it is easy for me to recognize the need to refresh the chronology in a fresh, edgy, almost revolutionary way as the lineage of the tale has been nearly exhausted.   Abrams does something with the revamp that Lucas failed to do with his very own product as he furthered his continuum.  Which baffles the imagination?  Abrams builds his stories around a solid cast that demonstrates a genuine sense of camaraderie and chemistry among the characters.  Which is why I am delighted that he has taken the helm of the Star Wars mythology, of which, I have been a fan since I was just a laddie.   Abrams effectively develops his characters in an incredible short span of time, creating depth of relationships with very little opportunity to generate lengthy back-stories.   A feat not many could achieve.  He could not have selected a better cast to both celebrate and refresh their predecessors, with each delivering authentic and engaging performances.  With all of that said, this second installment takes one of the darkest and most violent in the original set and successfully gives it a new, exciting, and innovative take.  The story is solid, not entirely original as expected, but flows well, has real moments to call its own, and in the end, positively delivers.  There are a few cool twists, not awe inspiring or jaw dropping, but they inject the plot with energy, and the nods to some of the vintage voyages are quirky and slick.  The FX are absolutely stunning, again filling me with confidence that the next generation of Jedi, Rogues, and Dark Forces will be the nerd's version of off the chain.  So, in conclusion, Khan gets a definitive face lift, in some ways it shies in comparison to its predecessor, but in others it deservedly  improves upon it.   I have to say I do miss some of the camp of Ricardo Montalban's incarnation and Shatner’s reaction to it, but the high tech enhancements and the story’s overall strength, quickly soothe the geekiest of beasts. I have to mention, I did enjoy Abrams’s sneak peak of his envisioning of the Klingons, not to give any spoilers away.   3 out of 5 Kernels:  A top notch sequel, now it’s time for the crew of the Enterprise to venture out into uncharted space and come up with some new and original frontiers to solely call their own.

One Minute Movie Review: The Host

I look forward to the day when the sappy and silly tween fantasy film series adapted from the even sappier and sillier tween fantasy novel series becomes a distant, barely recallable, cinematic memory.   Whomever writes this dribble should be forced to listen to hours of  NPR radio while watching nonstop reruns of Ally McBeal so they too can experience the eye and ear rape they commit when their literary, and I use the term loosely, works become celluloid torture for anyone who has already reached puberty.   Stephenie Meyer is public enemy number one as far as this is concerned.   However, as most of these films fail in every way, the Host has some mildly redeeming, and again I use the term loosely, qualities.   First, the concept, a rebooted for the maturity challenged Invasion of the Body Snatcher's plot line would have actually played fairly interestingly had it been explored and utilized in a serious, adult, horror/Sci-fi take.  Second, actress Saoirse Ronan, whose name sounds like a disease of the liver, delivers a pretty authentic and engaging dual performance as both the alien "host" and the human trapped inside, and that's about the extent of the spoilers I will divulge.  The majority of the remaining cast, whom I will not identify, because most I have never heard of or particularly care about, is about as entertaining and talented as a bowl of cold oatmeal.   Although there are a few headliners, they are unable to elevate the overall ensemble of novices above a collectively stale and insipid performance.  That's it for the good.  The rest is all rubbish.  From a ridiculous ideology that millions of aliens that invaded and committed genocide of humanity are somehow redeemable because they are genuinely just friendly, sparkly, yes, here she goes with the sparkles again, glowing snowflakes looking for a place to chill.  To special effects that rival SYFY channel made for TV fare and ends with action sequences that are about as exciting as watching cows graze.  Director Andrew Niccol has a string of non hits, so this meets all expectations based off of past creations.  0 out of 5 Kernels: As stated before, Meyers loves to make her characters sparkle, whether they are Vampires or E.T's, too bad her movies never do.