March 30, 2007

Rocket Launch

This weekend and next, our rocketry club will be holding two-day launches. The main reason is so that the students participating in the annual Team America Rocket Contest can have the opportunity to make their qualification launches. With thousands of dollars in scholarship money on the line, not to mention trips to the Farnborough Airshow for the winners, we're giving them every chance to succeed.

Of course, I have a box o' rockets prepped and ready to fly myself, including a UFO-style flying saucer that I'll fly as a two-stage, a couple of small rocket gliders, a couple of clusters, and several others. The trick for me will be to remember the sunscreen, because I traditionally get burnt to a crisp on the first couple of launches of the year.

I'm also hoping to pick up the last of the parts and supplies I need for my new high-power hybrid system, which will inspire me to get back to work on my Level 2 project.

The weather is supposed to be beautiful tomorrow, and I hope the wind cooperates, because I loaded up some maximum motors in most of my rockets.

Enjoy the weekend!

Posted by Ted at 10:05 PM | Comments (120) | TrackBack
Category: Rocketry

March 28, 2007

And the Survey Says...

A while back my representative to the Virginia House of Delegates sent a survey to our house, asking our views on various local issues, so as to better understand what his constituants expect from him as he represents us in Richmond.

Today we got back a nice letter showing some of the results of the survey.

85% support amending the Constitution of Virginia to require the Transportation Trust Fund be used exclusively for transportation.

Transportation is probably *the* issue here in Northern Virginia. We're barely keeping up working like mad to not fall behind faster as growth overwhelms the roads. Every new major artery proposed is delayed for years as the environmentalists pile lawsuit after lawsuit on top of it to keep it from happening. The'll only be happy if all new transportation infrastructure consists of bike paths paved with the ground-up bones of oil company executives and windmill powered busses. It's so bad that a couple of counties have passed (largely symbolic) moratoriums on new development until the local infrastructure catches up. Oh, and 94% favor giving local governments the authority to deny new development for just that reason.

Meanwhile, much of the rest of Virginia complains, with good reason, that Northern Virginia and Richmond suck up almost every available transportation dollar raised state-wide. Tell Ma and Pa Kettle that patching the pothole their tractor disappeared into isn't as important as adding that seventh lane to the expressway up near DC.

And yet, somehow, the Transportation Trust Fund gets raided on a regular basis to fund other state priorities.

In related results:

71% favor bonding to finance transportation projects.

78% favor spending the state surplus on transportation.

77% support phasing out the car tax.

I indicated that I was against the bonding. I prefer to not run up personal debt, and I'd rather my state acted the same way. Slow down the rampant growth and stay in the habit of pay-as-you-go. While we have a surplus, set it aside for emergencies because as sure as the sun rises, when the surplus disappears the programs it funded aren't going to disappear as well.

The car tax? I hate it. I love that they're phasing it out. I'd love it even more if the state were cutting spending to match the reduced tax income. Fat chance of that happening. In fact, our new govenor, Tim Kaine, has already mentioned raising taxes way too often for my comfort level. So far the legislature is fighting him off, but his first instinct for everything seems to be "more taxes".

74% support requiring public schools to dedicate at least 65% of state education funding for items related to classroom instruction.

79% oppose a taxpayer-funded, mandatory, universal pre-kindergarten program in Virginia.

The first seems like a no-brainer. Education funds should be spent where it does the most good, in the classroom. But look at that second one. "Taxpayer-funded", "mandatory", "universal"... I bet the proponents want it to be bilingual as well. That's a pretty emphatic "NO" from the people, I'm pleased to see.

68% do not believe that additional gun control laws are necessary.

If I remember correctly, the question specifically mentioned enforcing the laws already on the books instead of passing new laws to be ignored. I was slightly surprised by that number, I thought it'd be higher than that. Then I considered the folks up even norther than here, since the closer you get to DC the more nanny-staters per capita you'll find. And many firmly believe that the perfect way to live your life is to smile politely and do what the nice police officer tells you to, because the police are your friends and protectors.

87% support requiring abortion clinics to comply with the same health and safety standards as other health care facilities.

Again, to me this is a no-brainer. The clinics are legal according to current laws, so requiring them to conform to modern medical standards is sensible. The thirteen percent dissenting probably would rather the clinics be razed, leveled, and the ground salted so that nothing will grow for a hundred years. That'll keep the weeds down around the feet of the giant statue of Billy Graham that they'll want to erect next. Of course, construction on that will be delayed by lawsuits from the tree-huggers who would rather put in bike paths. Snark aside, if you want the clinics gone, then debate, make your points and change minds to eliminate them, but in the meantime make them as safe as possible for the women who use them.

82% favor amending the Constitution of Virginia to prevent local governments from taking away a person's property through eminent domain and using the seized property for private commercial development.

I still do not understand the reasoning behind the 18% who favor that one. What good are property rights if someone richer than you can come along and convince local officials that he can make "better use" of your land than you can. Come to think of it, how is this different than the government taking more of your money as taxes because "they know better than you how to spend it"?

91% oppose giving illegal aliens in-state tuition rates at Virginia public colleges and universities.

90% believe that businesses which hire illegal aliens should be penalized.

Yes, yes, a thousand times YES!

And finally:

73% support requiring that family life education courses in public schools which include discussions of sexual intercourse emphasize that abstinence before marriage is the accepted norm and the only guarantee against unwanted pregnancy.

Re-read this one carefully. First off, I don't think schools should be in the sex-ed business. But, pragmatic man that I am, I realize that many parents either cannot or will not provide proper guidance to their children. As much as I hate it, I know that if the kids are getting at least the basics in school, then they won't be running around with a vial of gypsy tears around their neck to prevent AIDS.

Note that word "emphasize". Despite the alarmist cries, that doesn't mean "teach exclusively" and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in Christian cultures (and America *is* primarily a Christian culture) "abstinence before marriage is the accepted norm". That statement is absolutely, completely and 100% factual. Don't confuse reality with "accepted norm" since you'll just sound shrill and idiotic because even the clergy knows that there's a lot more pre-marital sex going on than they would prefer.

As for "guarantee against unwanted pregnancy", no form of birth control is foolproof, yet other than one notable exception some two thousand years ago, abstinence has by far the best track record in that regard.

So those were some of the survey results. I found them interesting, especially the ones I don't necessarily agree with. I like the way he ended the letter too, with "I am here to serve you."

He's started off on the right foot as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by Ted at 09:50 PM | Comments (327) | TrackBack
Category: Politics

Playground

I've been spending time over at the new Minx beta test site. Stop by, leave comments and pings, and let's all give this puppy a serious workout.

Posted by Ted at 10:49 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

March 27, 2007

Forest? What Forest?

Paraphrasing a radio commercial I heard this morning on the radio:

An important piece of the news that lets you understand the whole story, that's information. At Washington Post Radio, we only give you what you need to know, to understand the world around you.

No pretense there. They'll tell you everything you need to know. Too many supposedly well-informed people get all their "information" from one source, because it's easier and faster than dealing with contrasting viewpoints or hearing both sides of a story. That thinking stuff is hard.

Posted by Ted at 05:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

A Literal Description of my State of Mind

I was surprised last weekend when my wife explained to one of the kids that Rocket Jones meant I was "jones'n" for rockets and my daughter claimed that never knew that. Hmmmm. I've sometimes been referred to as Mr. Jones around here, but I thought that the Cheech and Chong reference was pretty self-evident. Maybe not.

Thanks to YouTube, here is the original Jones. Basketball Jones!

Posted by Ted at 05:00 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Category: About Ted

March 26, 2007

Big Warm Fuzzy Secret Heart

Me Code Monkey too.

Thanks Pixy, that's awesome.

By the way, I've watched all three versions, and although the sound quality isn't as good as the first one, I like the video of the girl dancing the best. I just think she captured the song, and I loved her facial expressions.

Posted by Ted at 03:49 PM | Comments (390) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Snippet

Rachael: You need a polka dot tie. Polka dots are in.

Dad: I do have a polka dot tie, but the dots are very small.

Rachael: How big doesn't matter, just the fact that they're there.

Dad: Kind of like a penis.

Rachael: Growing up in this house has already psychologically scarred me, you can stop now.

Posted by Ted at 05:05 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

March 24, 2007

What Hockey Goalies Do During the Off Season

Clark, the Canadian Hockey Goalie. A short but very funny film.

I never knew there was a history behind the term "hoser" (maybe). Thanks to Off Wing Opinion for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 08:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

Alzheimer's Gardens

While googling about for garden-related information (spring is in the air!), I came across this site about designing a garden for those aflicted with Alzheimer's.

Good garden design can be part of a treatment plan for people with Alzheimer's who are very restless or agitated and who like or need to walk a lot...

You can plan a garden that allows access outside but always leads the wandering person back to their house or building.

Think about visibility and observation so caregivers can relax if they use the time for separate pursuits.

I'd never thought about it before, but it makes perfect sense. Or maybe I have thought of it before, but it still makes perfect sense.

Posted by Ted at 07:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Anti-Zombie Rifle Project

Now here's a man who takes preparations for the undead apocolypse seriously.

Thanks to Random Nuclear Strikes for pointing this one out.

Posted by Ted at 07:18 AM | Comments (188) | TrackBack
Category: Links

March 23, 2007

Either I'm Dog-Sitting, Or My Dogs Are Having A Sleepover

No matter, the universe is in balance.

Daughter Robyn came home for the weekend yesterday and brought along her new dog, Army (short for Armando). That makes three dogs running around, which matches the current number of rabbits in the house (Fred, Java and Ozzie). Now that Rachael is on her way home for the weekend, I will have all three kids underfoot as well.

Three. Three. Three. Half the number of the beast. Satan light.

Posted by Ted at 05:59 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Comments

Mu.Nu has been swamped the last couple of days with comment spam, which means that our filters have been working overtime to defend the virtual ramparts. Unfortunately, this means that quite a few of you have been unable to leave comments, and I appreciate the emails I've gotten with feedback and letting me know that there's a problem. My apologies for the frustration, and know that we're just as sick of it as you are.

Minx will be up and running soon, beta test-wise, and I've been working on a new XML <Electrocute Spammer> tag, but it's not quite functional yet.

Posted by Ted at 05:20 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

The Mortgage Crisis (Updated and Bumped!)

I feel sympathy for those folks who are starting to lose their homes because they took out adjustable mortgages. That's a bad situation to be in. I just didn't realize that they were all stupid. I figured that they had gambled that rates would stay low, and lost that bet. Or maybe they miscalculated just how much rates would rise and how it would affect their ability to pay.

Today I heard a news report that actually told me that these poor people were in the position they are because they didn't understand how an adjustable mortgage worked.

So these unfortunate borrowers - who, by the way, initiated contact with these evil lending institutions - were forced to sign enormous documents in multiple places in the presence of lawyers without anyone making an effort to explain what the conditions were in order to borrow tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

See what I mean? These folks were stupid! They didn't know enough to ask questions. They didn't *understand*! They're victims.

Like I said, I feel sorry for them because it's a lousy situation to be in. But not sorry enough to think we (as in the taxpayers) should bail them out. And if their credit is ruined for a while, then maybe it's better that way because they're obviously not ready to play with the adults in the real financial world.

Update: Over at Wizbang!, new contributor Jayson Javitz provides an insider's look at the looming "Mortgage Tsunami". It's worth checking out.

Posted by Ted at 04:57 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

March 22, 2007

Choice

When the World Trade Center collapsed, not quite 3,000 people died. That's a big number, but not really inconceivably big*. It's human nature to generalize when the scope of death is that big. It's easier to get our minds around it when the numbers are rationalized into "a whole lot". But by doing that we collectively dull the pain and outrage by reducing it to a statistic.

Benton City, Washington. Population 2,790.

Could you make the decision to kill every man, woman and child in that town? The terrorists on 9/11 made just such a choice.

The victims that day weren't all American citizens. They came from more than a score of countries. They all contributed in their own way to the modern world, from the executives in the boardrooms to the illegal alien bussing tables in the restaraunts.** They shared one trait, they were collectively hated because of where they lived and worked.

Holden, Maine. Population 2,827.

Can you even conceive of something that would make you so angry that you would be willing to murder thousands? Not thousands of soldiers or another group of people who've wronged you, just several thousand randomly selected innocent targets.

Sedgewick County, Colorado. Population 2,747.

Imagine waking up one morning knowing that you were going to commit mass murder. How perverted is your worldview to even allow consideration of such an act?

The people who died in the attacks that day represented many varied belief systems and religions, and no doubt more than a few were followers of Islam. Not that it mattered, because the object was mass destruction and death, and the who that died mattered less than the why of it to the terrorists.

Today, followers of that same perverted vision of religion are intentionally murdering civilians in Iraq. Somehow, it's gotten all turned around that it's America's fault. If you can, please explain to me how anything America has ever done can make it morally acceptable to choose to walk into a crowded public place and detonate explosives strapped to your body.

And if those numbers are too large and impersonal for you, how about the latest car bombing in Iraq, where terrorists detonated a car bomb with two children inside it. The children were there to lure the checkpoint soldiers into letting their guard down.

Godless, subhuman savages. Anyone who believes that it is possible to negotiate with such as that is a fool. The terrorists have been clear about what they want, and you can make the choice for yourself. You can choose to live under their twisted form of slavery, or you can fight and keep fighting so that you and your children can live as free people. You cannot choose compromise, because the terrorists do not recognize the possibility.

* That number seems even less threatening considering the number of dead in the last tsunami, but that natural event points out that on our worst days, mankind is a piker compared to what Mother Nature can do to us.

** I guess the politically correct term would be "undocumented immigrants" but "illegal aliens" is more technically correct. There are substantiated reports that at least a few lost their lives that day. I mourn for them as I do for everyone who died in the attacks, but I'm not going to sugarcoat their legal status.

Posted by Ted at 04:54 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Square Pegs

March 21, 2007

No Spitting Either!

China has unveiled their official Olympic logo:
OlympicChina.jpg

Image stolen from the Jawas, who got it from somewhere else.

Posted by Ted at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

March 19, 2007

Precisely!

A Promise Made Is A Promise Kept.

Posted by Ted at 11:36 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Unknown Kadath Mountaineering Club?

It's no secret that I am a huge Lovecraft fan, which is why I dearly love this shirt.

Thanks to the Flea for this link and others of a Cthulhu bent.

Posted by Ted at 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Links

This May Only Interest Victor

Y'all might want to re-read the chapters of my story, "Zombies of Autumn", just to refresh your memory of what's already been posted.

Just sayin'. ;)

Posted by Ted at 05:29 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

March 18, 2007

Google Chumming As Hard As I Can

Warning: Indelicate Language Follows.

Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks!

Ok, so remember when I said that my DVD drive went kaput a couple of weeks ago? The laptop was still under warranty, so I took it in to the "Geek Squad"* and they had it for two weeks. It came back in a reasonable time, called me when it arrived and when I picked it up the itemized receipt showed that they had replaced the DVD drive.

Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks!

There was also a note saying that the DVD drive was not accessable from "My Computer" (or anywhere else, as it turns out) because of a software problem. You know what the software problem is? They didn't bother to install the fucking device driver for the new goddamned drive!!! They booted from the drive to ensure that it worked, and that was it. Installing the driver is my problem because the warranty doesn't cover "software".

Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks!

Of course, finding and then installing the new driver from the internet turned into a bit of a hassle (translation: major fucking ordeal) that corrupted the Windows bootup, so I had to restore back two days to get back to normal. I still don't have a DVD drive working - yet - and once I calm down I'll try again.

Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks!

*"Geek Squad" gets their own special rant. What is it with this juvenile cutsie bullshit? Do they think anyone is impressed with their psuedo-military codenames on their paperwork? C'mon... "Tactical Analysis"? I fucking told you that the goddamned DVD drive didn't work. If this is the best you can do with your mad computer skillz then I suggest immediate suicide, because you're a goddamned loser and there is no fucking hope for a dickhead like you.

Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks! Best Buy Sucks!

Posted by Ted at 04:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Links

March 17, 2007

I Don't Ever Want To Hear That Crap Again

Yesterday at an office luncheon, I was sitting at a table with some coworkers and they spent a good part of the time talking about American Idol and other reality TV. And people think *I* watch weird shit.

Posted by Ted at 09:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

March 16, 2007

Mi Casa Sanitorium Es Su Casa Sanitorium

Mexican horror movies, I grew up watching them and they hold a special place in my heart. I was intrigued when I heard that someone was rereleasing a series of classic Mexican horror movies, so I did some investigating. Intrigue turned to excitement when I learned that these movies were going to be remastered and restored to their original form, not just rereleased as the heavily edited and badly-dubbed prints made for US consumption. The news and reviews that I found were all in agreement, Casa Negra has done a spectacular job with these films. Of course, you know that I had to have them in my collection.

I watched the first of them last night. Let me tell you, it was like seeing your friend's mom (you know, the hot one) after she went out and got a complete makeover, and even though she looked good before, she looks amazing now and you'd risk a long-time friendship just for a shot at that.

That wasn't autobiographal.*

The Black Pit of Dr. M. (Misterios de Ultratumba)

Let me start this review by saying that the best way to watch the movie is in Spanish with English subtitles, which is great because that's the only way available on the DVD. Supposedly, there are no existing original copies of the film dubbed in English. If you absolutely cannot stand it that way, then you've only yourself to blame for missing out because this movie is worth the effort.

The English title really doesn't have much to do with the movie.

I'm all done with the downside. Read on.

This 1959 movie is simply astounding. The cast is virtually a who's who of famous faces from the Mexican movie industry (including several that we'll meet again in future reviews of the Casa Negra releases), and the acting is uniformly excellent. Unlike many contemporary Mexican horror movies, this one is played straight. There is almost no camp or melodrama, for this is a dark tale.

The main part of the story takes place in a hacienda where Dr. Masali operates a lunatic asylum. The sets here are rich and include a beautifully done courtyard full of tropical plants and misty shadows. Other than the hacienda the sets are almost minimalistic, seemingly dreamlike away from the reality of the hospital.

The overall atmosphere is haunting and gothic, and the details are extraordinary. Shadows and light play in the background in most scenes, and are an integral part of the staging. Two things combine to make it work so spectacularly, firstly the original genius of the cinematography, brought back to life in the beautiful remastering job that Casa Negra did on the film. The movie is in black and white (appropriately, in my opinion), yet looks crisp and brand new. There was a disclaimer at the beginning that due to some damage to the original source materials, portions of the soundtrack were "brassy". I never noticed.

Beatriz Aguirre, the actress who plays the medium, is the official dubbed voice of Angela Lansbury in Mexico. She has won the Mexican version of the Oscar.

Dr. Masali and his collegue Dr. Aldama make a pact that whichever one dies first will let the living one know the secrets of the afterlife. After Aldama dies, they're not even done shovelling dirt over his coffin before Dr. Masali has a medium contact his spirit. Dr. M is warned during the seance that there will be a horrible price to pay, but he brushes that aside in his obsession to know the truth. The deal is made, and Dr. Aldama's spirit will make it possible for Dr. Masali to die and then return to life with his newfound knowlege.

Thus begins a macabre series of seemingly unrelated events and coincidences that lead towards the fulfillment of the pact. More than once during the movie, you are literally told what will happen at some point in the future, yet you don't realize it until it happens and you get that chilling deja vu shiver running down your spine. You can see the ending coming from about two-thirds of the way through, yet there are still enough plot twists and surprises to make it different from what you almost but not quite guessed correctly.

The leading man, Gaston Santos, is famous throughout Spain, Portugal and Latin America, but only peripherally for his acting. He's legendary as a bullfighter of the Rejoneo style, where the bullfight is done completely from horseback.

This is a creepy scare-the-hell-out-of-you movie, not a gory bloodfest. I've intentionally not given most of the story, because you really do need to track this one down (or put it atop your Netflix queue) and see it for yourself.

The character of Dr. Masali is fascinating. Far from the mad-scientist type, his principle weakness (and ultimate undoing) is his self-confidence and utter faith in scientific reason. He truly cares for his patients, although we only meet the violently psychotic. There are few 'wasted' characters in the story. Everyone has an important part to play, even though that part might be small.

Ok, a little more about the DVD itself. Besides the aforementioned music video inspired by this movie, there are a couple of documentaries on the disk about Mexican horror and the industry in general, as well as a wonderful commentary track chock full of trivia and background to listen to as the movie plays.

I'll say it again. SEE THIS MOVIE!!! See, I'm even yelling at you! SEE THIS MOVIE!!! SEE THIS MOVIE!!! SEE THIS MOVIE!!! SEE THIS MOVIE!!! SEE THIS MOVIE!!! SEE THIS MOVIE!!! SEE THIS MOVIE!!!



* You came down here looking for dirt, didn't you? I only wanted to say that "autobiographal" doesn't look right, but the spell checker had no alternatives.

Posted by Ted at 05:13 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

March 15, 2007

Maybe Someone Sells "Hypocritical Asshole" Offsets?

According to this editorial, the supposedly "green" Prius is an environmental nightmare, especially when compared to the Hummer.

Thanks to the Jawas for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 05:59 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Links

A Civilization In Decline - Example 1

Why is it that when I want onion rings with real onion "rings" inside I have to buy gourmet-style? If you buy regular onion rings, they're ring-shaped breaded minced onion.

Chip in with your examples.

Posted by Ted at 05:45 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

March 14, 2007

Tease (updated)

Imagine this:

Back in 1993, five superb musicians set up in front of a big-screen television. Their host produced a box full of weird movies on VHS and asked them to jam as inspired by the images on-screen. Later, the recorded music was matched to scenes from the movie and their first music video was created.

The video is included with the extras on a classic horror DVD that I'll be reviewing in the near future. Very haunting music, very cool result.

Update: They have a website! I haven't had time to explore everything there, so I don't even know if the video is online or not. It looks like the original loose affiliation of musicians and artists have evolved into a multimedia consulting group.

Posted by Ted at 11:22 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

What?!? No Artificial Phlegm? Believe Me, I Even Checked Google.

Did you know that they make synthetic saliva? My wife Liz recently started using it on her doctor's recommendation because one of her new medications just sucks the moisture out of her mouth.

Saliva is a vital component of such everyday processes as tasting, swallowing, speech and digestion, and its absence is what leads to dry mouth. A reduction in salivary flow can occur for a number of reasons, but medication use is a key contributor.

I love that "duh" statement above about [saliva's] absence is what leads to dry mouth. Even so, it makes sense to have developed synthetic saliva.

Of course, in our family we call it "pseudo-drool" or just "fake spit".

(mental note: brownie-flavored saliva for dopers...niche market but has potential)

Posted by Ted at 05:14 AM | Comments (2)
Category: SciTech Square Pegs

March 13, 2007

Apropos of Nothing

pmf.jpg

Posted by Ted at 05:31 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

March 12, 2007

Pink Sticks

Once again this year, pro hockey players will be using pink hockey sticks for three days beginning Friday. After game use, the sticks will be auctioned off on eBay to raise money for Breast Cancer research.

Last year, over $176,000 was raised.

Posted by Ted at 11:07 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack
Category: Balls and Ice

March 11, 2007

Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinaaahhhhhh!!!

Lime Salsa

1 cup diced peeled jicama (or Granny Smith apple)
1 orange, peeled, sections and coarsely chopped
ľ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp grated lime peel
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar

Combine jicama (or apple), orange, bell pepper, onion, lime peel, lime juice, vegetable oil, sugar and a little salt to taste in medium bowl. Toss to mix. Cover and chill at least an hour to blend flavors.
Stir before serving.

This is wonderful on pork and over white rice. It would go nicely with chicken too. The recipe came from a giveaway card at a supermarket.

Posted by Ted at 10:38 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Recipes

High Hopes, AKA Once A Nazi Bastard, Always A Nazi Bastard

What a great idea for a movie! During WWII, a Nazi convoy carrying a fortune in gold is ambushed at a desert oasis. Forty years later, the oasis is shunned by the Arabs because of stories that the undead still protect their cargo.

Nazi zombies! Woot!!! I had such high hopes for this one, but Oasis of the Zombies disappoints on so many levels.

I'll start with the biggest annoyance first, the soundtrack. Much of the movie background music consists solely of long, drawn-out minor organ chords, interspersed with stock generic "arab" music and seemingly randomly placed sound effects. It becomes obvious early on that you're listening to the same 5-second clip of a bird, over and over and over again. There are never layers of sound, when it's the organ, you hear only the organ. When it's bird calls that's all you hear. The dubbing in this movie is atrocious, not even to the quality of a Japanese monster movie. Everyone, from Arab street merchant to ex-Nazi commander, speak in the same accentless English.

"If Adolf Hitler came back as a zombie perhaps he would resemble Dr. Hook."
-- reviewer comment on IMDB.com

To give credit where due, the zombie makeup is pretty good, as are the bits of gore. Having said that, it spoils the effect when these supposedly WWII military veterans all return from the grave looking like a Beatles convention. For crying out loud, make the damn actors get a haircut before filming!

You know that continuity wasn't a priority when the sun rises, twice, in order to stop a zombie attack. Now if you know that the zombies only come out at night, then why in the world would you camp at the oasis? How about looking for the gold during the day, then getting the hell out of Dodge before sunset? Especially when you have to drive to get there in the first place.

Cinematography. Ha! Zooming in on the same spider-in-a-web three times in a movie is not artsy. Seeing the half-buried skull once would've sufficed, and the same goes for the box with the swaztika on it (by the way, after forty years I think the freakin' paint would've faded some, instead of looking like you painted it just that morning).

Do I sound pissed off? I am, because I'm so disappointed in this one after reading the synopsis and then seeing the movie itself.

Here's the plotline, assuming you care. I'm going to give it to you straight on, because like most everything else in this flick, they goofed it.

Modern day, and the commander of the Nazi gold guards has tracked down the only survivor of the battle. He wasn't there with his men, so he never knew where the ambush happened, only that his men didn't arrive at their destination.

Flashback: The only survivor was the commander of the British troops who ambushed the Nazis. All total, there were maybe 50 men in the battle, and apparently the battle scenes were lifted from an Italian war movie. They're very nicely done, but once again the effect is ruined when you see the same guys die the same way several times. Everyone 'cept the Captain is killed, and he's wounded, and he staggers off into the desert, where he's found by a Sheik.

The Sheik nurses him back to health, and the Captain and the Sheik's daughter fall in love. The Captain leaves to rejoin his army before a big battle, and doesn't return for almost a year. When he does, he discovers that the daughter died giving birth to his son.

Flashback over. The Nazi commander proposes to the British commander that they team up to recover the lost gold. Once the Brit tells the Nazi where the ambush happened, the Nazi poisons the Brit and heads off to find the money for himself. He takes along his wife and two strong backs to help.

The first night, the Nazi and wife go to bed, and the two strong backs decide to look around the oasis. One decides to dig a hole at random, and the zombies come up and kill him and his partner. Nazi's wife gets eaten and he manages to escape after being chewed up pretty good.

The British commander's illegitimate son (from the dead daughter) convinces three friends to skip their university finals and go to the desert to look for the lost money. He thinks he's figured out where the Sheik lives, and he can tell them where the oasis is.

I have no idea why nobody makes the connection that the Sheik is the grandfather of the kid. Through the whole movie this point is never once mentioned.

Moving right along. Find Sheik, find out location, find "Professor" who's also looking. Professor has female assistant who falls for one of the friends, providing reason for gratuitous nudity. They find "sick man", aka Nazi, who's dying from zombie bites. For some reason, the professor and assistant leave for the oasis immediately, but the kids wait for another day (honest, they never said why).

When kids find oasis, they discover professor and assistant wounded from zombie attack. They patch 'em up and start digging at random, looking for gold. That night, zombies attack. Kids panic, throw "exploding" torches (wtf?), and at dawn the son and maybe his girlfriend (unclear) are only survivors. Sheik shows up on camel, says, "did you find what you were looking for?". Kid says, "I mostly found myself", again, wtf? Sheik rides camel into sunset, kid driving beside him in land rover.

The End.

I'm disgusted with the utter dreck I've been watching lately. I love those movies that are so bad they're good, but I'm on a cold streak. This movie is a turkey through and through. But I have the answer. Four movies I've been saving, and I think it's time to queue them up. Reviews to come, and I'm almost certain there won't be a Nazi zombie to be found.

Thank God.

Posted by Ted at 12:07 AM | Comments (215) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

March 10, 2007

Visionary

"I'd stumbled into the middle of an evil, isidious cult of chainsaw-worshipping maniacs. I had to wonder if we'd let our religious freedom go too far in this country, or maybe our immigration laws were just too lax."

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

Posted by Ted at 12:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

March 09, 2007

Dredging Up A Little History

The Llama Butchers note that today is the anniversary of the battle between the Monitor and the Virginia (aka Merrimac). That rang a bell, faintly, and I recalled a post I made way back on the history of ironclads in the US Navy. There were more of them than you realize.

Posted by Ted at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)
Category: History Links Military

Not As Good As "Sofa King", But Pretty Darned Good

From Dustbury, a link to this page of cleverly named portable toilet companies.

Around here, the common names are "Johnny on the Spot" and "Don's Johns". If I ever need a second career, maybe "Ted's Heads"...

Posted by Ted at 07:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Links

Treading Water

An interesting look at rocket programs and the economies of scale, titled A Rocket a Day Keeps the High Costs Away. Originally written in 1993, it's sad to see how little we've progressed since then.

Posted by Ted at 05:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Space Program

March 08, 2007

The Greatest Computer Game Ever

M.U.L.E.

Plus, a brief bio about its tragic, underappreciated creator.

For those wishing to play this classic today, follow this link.

Posted by Ted at 11:35 AM | Comments (0)
Category: Links

*wiping tears of laughter*

I've never seen an elephant wearing glasses, but then again, I'm sure I've never read a news story that begins:

MASTURBATING an elephant in the cause of science isnít an easy job...

Llama Butchers, damn you, tomato soup *hurts* when it comes out your nose!

Posted by Ted at 11:30 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Category: Links

That Chekov, He's A Funny Guy

Anton, not Pavel.

Posted by Ted at 05:00 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

March 06, 2007

More Hippy Horror

Some time ago, I listed a whole bunch of movies that I wanted to track down and see, based simply on their descriptions. One of them was Track of the Moon Beast, and here's the synopsis that was given in the catalog:

During a meteor storm, a fragment strikes Paul Carlson, burying itself deep in his skull. An unpleasant side-effect develops causing Paul to mutate into a giant reptilian monster at night and go on murderous rampages.

I've recently added Track of the Moon Beast to my collection. Just for a change, I'm going to live-review this flick as I watch it.

Opening scene: an astronomer gazes into the night sky and focuses in on a flaming fireball. Really bad special effect.

Quick cut to an indian dance and chant ceremony, then back to the cheesy fireball. We find out via a news report that it's a meteorite that's going to hit the moon.

Joe Stud (Paul Carlson) shows up, takes off his shirt and begins carefully excavating a small bone in the ground. Apparently he's an archeologist. Funny thing though, after delicately brushing away the dirt from around the bone, he carelessly drives the shovel into the ground not two feet away to get it out of his way.

Professor buddy shows up, named Johnny Longbow. Another indian reference. Two graduate students accompany him, and we learn that the thing they just threw on the ground was an ancient Indian burial mask that they'd borrowed from a museum.

Bimbo photographer also introduces herself. Short shorts. Big blond hair.

He's not an archeologist, nor an anthropologist, he's a minerologist. What's he messing with bones for?

News report: impact on moon was "beyond the end of the Richter scale". NASA keeps reassuring everyone that all the ejecta headed towards the Earth will burn up in the atmosphere. The grad students are raving over the "authentic indian meal" that the professor made. When they ask what's in it, he rattles off chicken, corn, green pepper, chilies, onions... Wow, that's some serious ethnic cooking.

Joe Stud takes the photographer up to the top of a mountain. They're falling for each other. She's changed clothes, kind of, still short shorts.

Pretty good meteor storm, right up until one zings into the ground right near them. The photographer dabs a cloth at Studs temple, where he's bleeding a little from the meteorite grazing him. He snags the cloth from her good naturedly and flings it to the ground. Way to go, eco-boy. He finds the meteorite that almost nailed them and waits for it to cool off (maybe 10 seconds) before putting it into his pocket.

The photographer was hired for looks, not for acting talent. Either that, or the casting director was related to the producer.

They wind up at his place, where they have some deep soul-searching conversation before he scares the shit out of her by introducing her to his pet Komodo Dragon.

Hippy music!!! Yay! A Tom Petty wannabe on accoustic guitar accompanied by a bass and a chick singing harmony. Hint to bass player, don't wear black if the spotlight isn't on you. Looking at this 70's crowd, I'm thinking it might be a zombie movie, but no, they're all just "grooving" on the music.

Costume change! Photographer wearing a dress-kinda thing, still short short, but proves that she's not completely flat-chested. She looks nice, if only she'd stop trying to act. More indian lore and references, they're really pushing that aspect. We get it already.

Twenty seven minutes into this flick before the first murder happens. Still no monster shot, no gore, just a puddle of blood and some screams.

Next morning, police chief calls in Professor Johnny, shows him a bloody handprint on the wall (super-sized) and then a footprint in the mud. It's a dinosaur footprint.

Pink short shorts and matching terry top.

Chief and Professor see an expert over at the university, and when the Chief expresses disbelief that anything that large can be living in New Mexico, both of the academics assure him that lizards that large do exist. It takes a minute to realize that they're both talking about Komodo Dragons in Indonesia! The footprint though, is from something "closely related to Tyrannosaurus Rex!" (cue scary music)

The professor makes all of his own archery equipment (Johnny Longbow, get it?), right down to chipping flint arrowheads. He keeps it in the back of his car, along with two ears of maize for impromptu demonstrations.

Forty minutes in, we get our first look at the monster as he kills four guys in a tent. The monster looks like a man in a lizard-suit, minus the tail. It's pretty pathetic, as is the gore and special-effects. Particularly pitiful is the arm being ripped off.

Photographer dress-up day! Maroon business outfit over pale-pink blouse. Still short shorts though.

Stud's Komodo Dragon escaped at some point, and he doesn't seem the least bit concerned. He sure get a lot of shirtless time in this movie. Oh, and he's got a chunk of meteorite embedded in his brain.

Professor Longbow is showing the police chief a series of 400 year old paintings that depict an ancient lizard demon attack. I'm no indian painting expert, but those were drawn by a third grader told to paint like an indian.

Fifty-one minutes. Scientific mumbo-jumbo alert! At least the professor says he doesn't really know, just before launching into a detailed nonsense explanation.

Joe Stud is tied down in the hospital so they can see if he turns into a lizard monster overnight. Theory confirmed. There's a fairly well done sequence of him turning into the monster, up to the last scene, which really doesn't follow from any of the prior physical changes. He's shook up when he realizes that he's killed six people.

VIP's. Gotta hate 'em. "May we get off the plane first, please? (we're very important)". "Of course, that's already been arranged."

Experts have been brought in, but Joe Stud is screwed. His solution is to run away from the hospital to commit suicide. Photographer (monotone): "Oh Paul, why couldn't there be time for us?" Dressed in a tight white top and tighter black slacks.

How convenient, someone leaves a motorcycle running (and helmet) in front of the hospital just as Joe Stud comes out to make his escape.

One hour, eight minutes. Piss-poor motorcycle spill. Obviously every expense was spared when it comes to stunt performers.

The photographer randomly pulls off the road and grabs a pair of binoculars. She spends 10 seconds scanning a mountain and zeroes in on Joe Stud among the rocks. At least she looks both ways before crossing the road.

Another nice scene of transformation into the monster, this time focusing on his hand. Two cops on the road hear the photographer screaming halfway up the mountain and start to fire into the darkness, as if they could see anything.

Professor Longbow pulls out his bow and a special arrow. He's made a special arrowhead out of meteorite. I'd be a lot more confident if he wasn't lashing it to the shaft while he explained what he wanted to do.

Photographer lies to everyone else (again) and drives off. She takes a random turn and slams on the brakes because the monster is right in front of her. Instantly, professor shows up, takes aim and puts the arrow into the monster's chest.

Pretty special effects, mostly ruined by everyone standing ten feet away while monster disintigrates in spectacular fashion. This thing was supposed to be atomically unstable, shouldn't you be getting the hell away from it?

No closing credits. Huh.

This wasn't the hippy-fest I was expecting. The hairstyles and clothing was seriously 70's, and except for that one goofy song, the soundtrack was conventional monster movie fare. Pretty bad, but not in a bad way. Don't go out of your way to see it, but if it comes on tv and every single thing you've ever wanted to do with your life has already been done, then I suppose...

Posted by Ted at 09:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

Hippy Horror

Being under the weather for a week means I've had plenty of time to watch those crappy horror movies that I love so much. This one is long on the "crappy" part of the description and short on the "horror" part.

Slashed Dreams is notable more for its background story and the cast than for any resemblance to entertainment. This movie is bad. Bad bad. This movie is so bad that the horror derives from the concentrated badness of it. In spite of that, several of the cast members went on to long and successful careers in television and on the silver screen, which boggles the mind after appearing in this movie.

Somebody PLEASE kill that singer!!!
-- reviewer comment on IMDB.com

Made in 1975, this flick features (to tragically misrepresent it) folk music in the peace-puppies-and-sunshine style, sung by some unknown songstress. Her name doesn't appear on the credits, which leads me to believe that a lawsuit was involved. Either she sued to remain anonymous, or the producer sued her for her (major) part in this fiasco.

The storyline: Two college students, a guy and a girl, head into the mountains to visit a friend who's "looking for himself" by being one with nature. They meet two local nitwits who rape the girl and beat up the guy. They get over it and walk away hand-in-hand into the sunset.

That story should realistically take about ten minutes to tell, yet they stretch it to almost an hour and a half with endless (at least they seemed endless) montages of the two hiking through meadows, picking berries, admiring waterfalls, climbing rocks, etc. All accompanied by that treacly soundtrack.

The monotony - and that word is perfectly descriptive - is broken only when the two go skinny dipping and we catch the briefest glimpse of the lady naked. Even though you only see he from three-quarters behind, it's obvious that Kathrine Baumann has a spectacular body. It's a shame that we didn't see more of her, especially since this was her only nude scene ever.

The rape happens and the two are shocked to find that the world isn't the loving, peaceful la-la land that they thought it was. The next day their friend arrives back at the cabin and we get the second treat of the movie ("treat" being a relative term here since at this point the DVD player catching fire could be classified as a treat). Their friend is none other than Robert Englund, of Freddie Krueger fame. He turns in the best performance of the movie, which is a shame because he's only seen for about the last ten minutes. Not that he does anything except be sensitive to her needs and offer sympathy. There's no thought of revenge or retribution here, just more flower-power passivity.

After a few minutes of getting over it all, the other guy sees the two rapists and goes after them. In one of the lamest fights ever recorded, he manages to knock one into the mud and actually throws a few punches before Freddie (you know who I mean) and the girl show up and the bad guys run away. "They won't be back" is actually spoken. Yeah, getting one muddy is really going to deter them in the future. Sheesh. The ending is literally as described, the two hikers walking off hand-in-hand into the sunset. To that music.

Background story, you know, the interesting part. This film was originally released as Sunburst and was quickly and rightfully forgotten. Then, after the phenomenom of Nightmare on Elm Street, everything that Englund ever did was dusted off. This bomb was re-titled as Slashed Dreams (gee, I wonder why?), by crudely overlaying the original title in the credits and re-inflicted on an unsuspecting public as "horror". Ok, so not so interesting, but once again, it's relative to the rest of the film, which makes it downright fascinating.

Posted by Ted at 04:14 PM | Comments (46) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

Weakling

I've been fighting a cold for almost a week now. Tomorrow I *have* to be at work, so I called in today to get some much-needed rest. Mmmmmmm... Nyquil.

Posted by Ted at 09:16 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

Know Your Japanese Movie Monsters, Part 2 - Mothra

Outside of Japan, Mothra is probably the best-known monster after Godzilla. Maybe it's the influence of my culture, but I don't think I'd ever think of twisting reality to the point of creating giant turtles and moths as monsters.

Thank God for the Japanese, eh?

Quick, grab the psychodelic bug spray!

As monsters go, Mothra is pretty much another good guy. No one knows how Mothra originated, but it is known that it was the guardian for an ancient subterranean race on Earth called the Cosmos. Another race created a monster to fight Mothra and although Mothra defeated the other monster, the Cosmos race was mostly destroyed in the battle.

The first Mothra movie starts out when researchers discover that several shipwreck survivors suffer no radiation poisoning after landing on an island used for atomic testing. A team is sent to find out why, and they discover that the island is not only inhabited, but the natives are healthy despite the recent tests. They also find two miniature fairies who are protected by the villiagers. The researchers attempt to take the fairies with them back to Japan, but the natives arrive and thwart their plans.

A few weeks later, the head of the research team arrives back on the island, this time leading henchmen instead of scientists. His crew machine gun the natives, he captures the fairies, and they make their escape.

Back in Japan, the fairies become a nightclub singing sensation, but people don't realize that the enchanting songs that they sing are actually pleas for Mothra to awaken and rescue them. The Mothra egg hatches on the island and the giant larvae comes to (surprise, surprise) stomp Tokyo.

The entire tomato crop is in danger!!!

But this is Mothra! First, after some preliminary destruction, the larvae creates a cocoon on a giant downtown tower, and finally reemerges as the fully grown Mothra. While it's been metamorphosing though, the bad guys have taken the fairies across the ocean to New York (cleverly disguised as "New Kirk City"). Mothra flies across the Atlantic and for a change of pace stomps New York Kirk City for a while.

Finally, through some clever misdirection, Mothra is lured to a spot where she is reunited with the fairies, and they return to their island home.

Suggestion: Search US cities for Al Gore eggs, before they hatch into larvae.

Now, that sounds weird. Believe me though, Mothra movies just got more and more strange through the years, eventually resembling some kind of enviro-whacked acid trip. At least thirteen Mothra movies have been made, and the last few have been out and out children's fantasies focused on righting environmental dangers to Earth.

Something else unique about Mothra is that the monster is a God. Not possessing god-like powers or being a gift-from-God for the Cosmos or such - Mothra is literally a God. For all that, God dies a lot. Mothra spends much of it's time in egg or larvae form, and when the "adult", insect version gets killed, the new egg hatches and Mothra returns to save the day.

Among Mothra's powers are the aforementioned telepathic link to the Cosmos Fairies and the ability to fly at supersonic speeds. In various movies you'll find Mothra can project a poisonous yellow dust, shoot rays from her antennae or lightning from her wings. She can also block Godzilla's radioactive breath ray.

Trivia:
In the first Mothra movies, the fairies are played by The Peanuts, who were a popular singing duo in Japan and Germany at the time. After the success of the movie, they released an album in the US in English.

Mothra was by far the most popular monster among women in Japan, which convinced studios to feature her more often.

Mothra is usually, but not always, female.

One of the stars in the original Mothra was US actor Jerry Ito. We all know about the Japanese and problems with the letter "r". He was billed as "Jelly" Ito in the film credits and most all publicity materials.

I'd like to thank Monster Island News for Mothra information and pictures. That's a great link to follow for all kinds of interesting B-movie knowlege. Wikipedia also has a nice page about Mothra.

Ooooo looky! You can purchase a plush of Mothra here! Isn't the internet wonderful?

Posted by Ted at 08:43 AM | Comments (841) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks

March 05, 2007

Not To Brag, But...

List all 50 states in ten minutes.

I did it in 4:53, but spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to spell &@*#! Massachusetts.

Thanks to Transterrestrial Musings for the pointer.

Posted by Ted at 05:24 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Category: Links

March 04, 2007

Mid-Sen...

I cringe when I hear about people who are "writing the last chapters of their lives" or similar sentiments.

Bullshit.

I don't care how old I get, my life story (like anyone would ever actually write it, let alone read it) would be going along great guns and then abruptly end in mid-sentence.

Because if yours doesn't, then you wasted at least some of the precious gift that life is. Or even worse, you gave up too soon.

Posted by Ted at 08:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Category: Square Pegs

"Cute" Is Just A Disguise

I've said before that Ladybugs creep me out. In the spirit of "know thy enemy", I found this page with all kinds of information and pictures about ladybugs. *shudder*

Lots of info there, although some of the links seem to have expired.

Posted by Ted at 08:03 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Category: Links

March 03, 2007

Chiller Theater

I Bury the Living(1958)

This black and white movie, despite the lurid title, sets up a nice little psychological study and does more with less than many other bigger-budget pictures. A prominent local businessman (reluctantly) takes over management of the local cemetary. While he's getting a tour of the place from the long-time caretaker, he sees this enormous map of the graveyard, filled with color coded pins. Black for occupied graves and white pins for plots that are already sold, for when the time comes.

Here is where an odd note strikes me as a plot point that just doesn't ring true. Apparently, everyone in town goes to this cemetary for any reason at all. It's like reunion week as folks drop in and reminisce about how the old manager's office sure hasn't changed over the years.

Back to the story. The manager, Kraft, accidentally puts black pins into a couple's newly-purchased plots, and shortly afterwards the couple dies in an automobile accident. When he discovers the incorrect pins, he feels somehow responsible for their deaths. Fully understanding that it was purely coincidental, he nevertheless randomly selects a plot and replaces the white pin with a black pin, just to prove to himself that he's being foolish.

Guess who drops dead? From here on, the focus of the story is on the manager and his attempts to understand what is happening. He calls in the police and his good friend (played by Herbert Anderson, who you might remember as Henry Mitchell from Dennis the Menace), and tries to convince his business partners that he caused those deaths. Every step of the way, the others involved refuse to believe him, and they ask him to exchange more white pins for black, to prove to him that he's not the cause of these untimely deaths. His mental condition deteriorates quickly until he realizes that if he can place a black pin to kill someone, then he can place a white pin to bring someone back to life (a Poe-etic ending, if I do say so).

Done groaning?

The plot is full of misdirection and twists, so don't think that I've given away any spoilers.

Richard Boone (Paladin from Have Gun, Will Travel) plays Kraft and does a fine job. Theodore Bikel (200 Motels) and his outrageous Scottish accent co-star. He's enjoyed a long and active career, appearing on television to this very day. But the real scene stealer of the movie is the map. As the movie goes on and Kraft descends farther into despair, the map seems to grow in size and power relative to him. The map itself is not malevolent, it's just the channel being used to focus Kraft's power. Because of the low budget, instead of special effects we're treated to several creative camera tricks (ok, and a few not-so-creative ones too). The above average direction and cinematography really help this movie to shine.

I see that I Bury the Living has been shown on Turner Classic Movies. If you get a chance to see it, it's worth the time and trouble. Recommended.

Posted by Ted at 10:41 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack
Category: Cult Flicks
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