Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Woman Becomes Mermaid

Weta workshop, the company who produced such films as King Kong and The Lord of the Rings, have granted a woman's wish and made her a mermaid.

Nadya Vessey lost her legs below the knee due to a childhood illness. She told a child once she had no legs because she was a mermaid and the idea stuck with her so she asked the New Zeland effects studio if they could make her dream a reality.

Working between films, Weta constructed the mermaid suit from plastic molds and wetsuit fabric, Vessey's mermaid tail looks and works much like the real thing.

Story Link:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Forry in the Horror Hall of Fame 1990

Really cool video presentation from the Horror Hall of Fame with comments by John Landis, Rick Baker, and Joe Dante.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lost King Kong Films

While most King Kong fans argue about the existence of the fabled lost spider pit sequence from the 1933 classic, few may know that there are also three entire lost King Kong films.

Produced in Japan, they are Wasei Kingu Kongu (Japanese King Kong) (1933), Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu (King Kong Appears in Edo) 1934, and Kingu Kongu Zenkouhen (1938)

There are no known existing prints of any of these films. They are believed to have been lost due either to neglect or the allied bombing of Japan during WWII.

Of the three, there seems to be more information about King Kong Appears in Edo. Edo is the Japanese term for medieval Tokyo. Fuminori Ohashi, who would later produce the first Godzilla suits claims to have worked on this early film. Those who remember the film say it featured sets reminiscent of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and King Kong fought giant insects rather than dinosaurs.

I was only able to find these two small images from any of these films. Should I find larger copies, I'll be glad to post them.

Wasei Kingu Kongu(Japanese King Kong) (1933)

Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu (King Kong Appears in Edo) 1934

Friday, February 20, 2009

Psycho Bates House Paper Model Kit

Fans of the Hitchcock classic will love this paper model kit of the Bates House from the 1960 film "Psycho".

If you've never built a paper model before, it's a lot of fun. All you need is a color printer, some card stock paper, scissors, x-acto knife and glue. The finished product is really striking.

This kit was created by CGI artist Ray Keim and is available for free at his Haunted Dimensions website here.

If you enjoy building the Psycho House, be sure and try the Disney Haunted Mansion kit available on the same site.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Living Sea Serpents

Tales of giant sea serpents are as old as the sea itself. Often discounted as mythological, sea serpents are very real. Commonly known as "oarfish", these Lampriform fish are members of the Regalecidae family and inhabit most of the temperate oceans of the world.

Woodcut of a giant oarfish caught off Bermuda in 1860

Preferring deep water, some species of this fish reach lengths of thirty-six feet (with some reports of fish fifty feet in length) and weigh more than five hundred pounds. They have a long, ribbon-like body, covered with scale-less silver flesh and bright red fins. Despite their fearsome appearance, oarfish have almost no teeth and eat mostly plankton and small fishes.

An oarfish caught off Mexico in 2007

A deep-water species, the oarfish rarely comes to the surface. Encounters with humans usually happen after a storm when turbulent waters bring them to the surface and some have been captured in deep fishing nets.

Rare video of a living Oarfish

Read more about the oarfish at Sea and Sky

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lost: Friends and Enemies and Piles of Shit

Red Hair, Red Shirt
Wow, Charlotte died! I guess I should have seen it coming with the nosebleeds and all, but wow! I was kind of hoping she'd live so we could find out more about her life on the island as a little girl.

Was it just me or did her blue eyes look really creepy with her pupils constricted to a tiny little dot. I wonder if they did that intentionally. There's three ways to do it, she could be wearing contacts, they could have erased her pupils digitally, or the combination of Hawaii sun and film lights might have just naturally caused them to constrict.

Before she died of a nosebleed, Charlotte gave Locke and company a very important bit of information. If you can't get to the frozen donkey wheel by the Orchid station elevator, try the well. Sure enough, by the time our intrepid band reaches the orchid (and a couple of time flashes) the only way down to the FDW is via the well.

Locke Goes Down a Well
What is it with the people on Lost sending John Locke into holes? First the smoke monster tried to drag him into one, then he went down the shaft to reach Desmond in the Swan, and now he's lowering himself down a rope into a very creepy well. Is it because Locke is the only one not to find a hook-up on the island besides Walt and Vincent? (And Frogurt too I guess)

Who's at the bottom of the well but, Christian Shephard. I'm starting to not like that guy. Christian has a Jacob friendly non-electric lantern and the first thing he does is chastise Locke for not following instructions. "I told YOU to move the island." Apparently when Ben turned the Frozen Donkey Wheel, he busted it, and now Locke has to give it an extra shove to get the wheel back in place and get him off the island.

Turn about can be a bitch. When Boone died, Locke rationalized it by saying the Island needed a sacrifice. Now Christian tells us it's Locke's time to be the sacrifice and Locke is ready to go.

Has Ben Turned Over A New Leaf?
Does Ben tell the truth now? Back in LA, he promises to show Sun proof that Jin isn't dead so she doesn't shoot him in the neck. Last week, Ben suddenly decided to quit lying and come clean with Kate about the whole lawyer trick. I guess with all the crappy things he's done over the years, it's fitting the straw that broke the camels back was hiring a slimy LA lawyer.

While they're driving to get Sun her proof, Sun and Jack are bickering amongst themselves over who gets to kill Ben first, when Ben slams on the breaks and lays into them for not appreciating all he's done to help them and their friends.

Friends and Enemies and Piles of Shit
I wonder if he means putting Jack in a bear cage, kidnapping Walt and tricking Michael so that he accidentally shoots Libby and Anna Lucia. What if it's all been to help Jack and his friends?

That reminds me of an old story. One very, very cold morning, a baby bird has fallen out of his nest. On the ground, in such cold, the baby bird has no chance of survival. A fox comes by. Normally a fox would eat a baby bird, but this fox feels sorry for the lost fledgling, and to save him from freezing to death he finds a fresh warm cow pie to put him in. The baby bird smells bad, but the warmth from the cow dung keeps him alive.

A little while later, a sweet little old lady walks by. She sees the baby bird in the cow pie and feels bad for him being in such a disgraceful situation. The little old lady takes the baby bird out of the cow pie, cleans him off and sets him back down on the ground and goes on about her day. Without the cow pie to keep him warm, the baby bird soon dies.

The moral of this story is: the person who puts you in a pile of shit isn't necessarily your enemy and the person who takes you out of a pile of shit isn't necessarily your friend.

Maybe that's what's going on with Ben. He's put our heroes in several piles of shit, but maybe he's been trying to help them the whole time. If that's so, Charles Widmore made it possible for the six to get off the island. Maybe he's the one trying to take them out of a pile of shit.

When they get to their destination, it's the church where Hawking is hanging out. (What is it with Hawking and churches?) Who should walk up at that exact moment but Desmond. "Hello Brutha!" Not one to waste any time, Desmond immediately confirms what we've suspected for a while now: Hawking is Dan's mom.

With Jack, Sun and Desmond now with Hawking that's three down and three to go for Ben. (Does Aaron have to go back?)

Smoke From The Temple
I've saved the best for last. Since season one, two of the biggest mysteries on the island have been Danielle Rousseau and the monster. In this episode, we find out a lot more about both.

When we meet Rousseau in season one, she's already pretty crazy. Who came blame her? Within hours of landing on the island, she and her friends are set upon by the this really weird monster, dropping the dead body of one down on them and dragging another into a hole (another hole!) with such force that trying to save him only succeeds in pulling his arm off. (What's with the island and missing arms?)

We see the monster returning to a hole in a creepy island temple with Egyptian hieroglyphs on it. Living in the temple suggests that the smoke monster pre-dates the Dharma Initiative and possibly the others (hostiles). The smoke monster apparently comes from the period of the people who built the four toed statue and the frozen donkey wheel.

As usual for Lost, answering some questions only opens up new ones. Is the temple the "Cerberus Vent" shown in the hatch map? Is this the same temple Ben sent Alex to for safe keeping? If it is, why was Rousseau willing to go there since her previous visit was so unpleasant? Did she suspect that the smoke monster might keep Alex safe from the mercenaries? Did the for toed statue people really build the smoke monster as a "security system"? If so, what the heck were they afraid of? Were there threats so awful that only a monster could protect them?

Lost On DVD at
Lost - Season One DVD
Lost - Season Two DVD
Lost - Season Three DVD
Lost - Season Four DVD

Lost on Blu-Ray DVD at
Lost - Season One [Blu-ray]
Lost - Season Two [Blu-ray]
Lost - Season Three [Blu-ray]
Lost: Season Four [Blu-ray]

LOST - McFarlane Toys 6"
Each 6-inch Lost figure comes with a detailed base and photographic backdrop, capturing an episode-specific moment in the character's story. In addition, each package includes a detailed prop reproduction central to the character's story.
Series 1 Hurley, Locke, Jack, Charlie, Kate, Shannon, The Hatch Diorama With Light

Friday, February 6, 2009

Stop Motion King Kong Fan Film

Eric "King Kong" Kessler has spent the past two years producing his version of a "prequel" to King Kong using stop-motion animation and sound bites from the original 1933 film and other sources.

Kessler lovingly combines some of the best elements from the origian Willis O'Brien/Marcel Delgado effort with more recent films like Jurassic Park.

Teaser showing some of the best bits from the series:

Other installments in the series
Kong in his lair
Kong Vs Giant Vulture
Kong vs Deinosuchus
Spinosaurus Attack
Kong vs. Spinosaurus
Dimetrodon Attack
Kong vs. Pack of Raptors
T. Rex attack

Garage Kit sculptor Chuck Yagher produced the King Kong and T Rex animation models Kessler uses in his film.

American Kaiju Artist Draws Harryhausen

Former Zatso? Magazine contributor Todd Tennant has signed on to illustrate the final two issues of Bluewater Productions Ray Harryhausen Presents: It Came From Beneath the Sea...Again!
In the 1950s, the U.S. Navy encountered and destroyed a gigantic octopus that attacked shipping and wreaked havoc on the west coast of the United States. American forces killed the creature and ended the threat once and for all. Or so they thought. They were wrong. Now, another monster is rising in the warm blue waters surrounding Taru Taru, a speck of land far out in the Pacific. And this time it’s worse than anyone ever imagined.
I'm a big fan of Todd's style, especially when it comes to really big monsters. This should be a lot of fun

Link: Bluewater Comics
Link: Todd Tennant's American Kaiju Website

World's Largest Snake

Scientists have uncovered the fossilized remains of the largest snake that ever lived.

In life Titanoboa cerrejonensis was some forty-three feet long and possibly weighed as much as 2,500 lbs. (that's a big snake)

It lived in South America some sixty million years ago and probably lived mostly in the water.

Artist's Conception of Titanoboa

Read more at Live Science and Popular Science

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Klingon Robs Convenience Store

In Colorado Springs, clerks in two different 7-11 convenience report being robbed by a white man, in his 20's, wielding a 'Bat'leth', which is a type of two-handed bladed weapon used by the fictional alien race of Klingons in the Star Trek franchise.

The first clerk gave the man an undisclosed amount of money, but the second clerk refused: suggesting that the hooded man "transport himself on outta here" instead.

Story with security photos of the "Klingon" at the Denver ABC affiliate website.

I guess the assailant, who remains at large, needed the money to buy more Star Trek memorabilia.

Interestingly, the clerks at both stores not only recognized the imaginary weapon, but knew it's proper name: Bat'leth

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lon Chaney Masks

Bump in the Night Productions releases really cool officially licensed masks of Lon Chaney's 1000 faces.

The First is The Man in the Beaver Hat, from London After Midnight (1927) Taken from one of Chaney's most famous (but apparently lost) films, this mask features attached hair and a latex hat.

The Second is of Paul Beaumont (HE) From He Who Gets Slapped (1924) which also features attached hair and a deluxe frill.

Bump in the Night Productions is an American company that produces collector-quality latex masks and props.

Remembering Karloff

RHSmith at Movie Morlocks Blog writes a touching memoir of Boris Karloff that begins with the announcement of Karloff's death over the radio.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange

More than just a movie with Malcolm Mcdowell

Time Travel on Battlestar Galactica

By now, pretty much everybody knows that at least some of the bigger mysteries on television' s LOST comes from the fact that the show features time travel, and possibly a loop in time, but what about the second highest rated science fiction television show, Battlestar Galactica, could it feature time travel or a loop in time as well?

Here are some elements from Battlestar Galactica that might suggest time travel:
  • When the colonial fleet finally finds Earth, they discover it was destroyed almost two-thousand years ago and was populated by Cylons (both human and robotic). As far as the colonials knew, cylons didn't even exist 2000 years ago.

  • There are two versions of the character Starbuck, one living and one dead. The dead Starbuck crashed on earth, we don't know how long ago, after flying through a worm-hole. The second Starbuck has no idea where she came from.

  • The "final five" cylons discover they were on earth 2000 years ago when it blew up. They have no idea how they ended up in the fleet or why they're alive after 2000 years.

  • Last season, a rogue cylon hybrid said: "all of this has happened before, and will happen again..."

  • We know that earth was destroyed 2000 years ago by nukes like the ones the cylons used on the twelve colonies. Although some cylons have forged an alliance with the colonial fleet, we know that other cylons are still looking for them and want to destroy both the humans and the rogue cylons. Could they be responsible for the destruction of earth 2000 years ago? Perhaps either they traveled back in time 2000 years or perhaps the colonials traveled forward in time 2000 years.

  • The mysterious "fifth cylon", we discover is both Ellen Tigh who died on earth 2000 years ago, and the captured Six who is now alive and pregnant on the Galactica, but somehow morphs into Ellen when she has sex with Sol Tigh.
Certainly, the answer to these mysteries doesn't have to be time travel, but it's sure starting to look that way. With time travel an element on two of the most popular science fiction television shows, it would be a perfect hat trick if there could be a way to feature time travel on the third most popular science fiction television show: Dr Who.

Is Locke Really Dead

Originally posted on Boyd's Life 6/8/08

Since all my Lost friends have commented on the season finale, I thought I'd throw in my two cents plus inflation.

Last year's season finale opened several questions and we had to wait until this year's season finale to get any answers. The biggest of these was "who the hell is in the coffin?"

"I've looked into the heart of this island
and what I saw was beautiful"

If you watched this years season finale, then you know it was John Locke in the coffin. John, knife-wielding, pig hunting, button pushing, Obi-Wan, faithful believer in the island's mysteries, man of faith not science, Locke.

If you can't tell I'm a big fan of Locke.

Like a lot of people, I was pretty sure it was Ben in the coffin. Now that we know it's Locke, fans all want to know if it means he's off the show.

The thing you have to remember is that on Lost, death doesn't mean what it normally means. Dead people come back all the time. Hurley was playing chess with the beaten to death by the smoke monster Mr. Eko in the nut house and Jack's dead dad appears to people who never met him in life.

In the real world, as in the show, the difference between life and death is just a matter of time, literally.

"I hope you're happy now, Jacob."

Marcus Aurelius spoke of great gulf of time before we're born and after we're dead and the brief moment of time in-between when we're alive. Jesus spoke of an eternal life, unbound by time, constituted only of faith. The Lost island operates independently of time. By turning the frozen donkey wheel, the island hops from spot to spot on the (what is to the rest of us) unbreakable sequential progression of time.

"When I said you had to go back to the island,
I meant all of you... Him too."

Clearly, Benjamin Linus intends for drunken, bearded, Jack to steal Locke's dead body and take it back to the island. Why? Because, in a place like the island, where time doesn't matter, then life and death is really only a matter of perspective and dead-in-Los-Angeles Locke will be alive again.

Locke to Jack: Why is so hard for you to believe?
Jack to Locke: Why is it so easy for you?

Wait. Have we seen this scenario before? An innocent man gives his life for his friends, only to have his dead body seemingly stolen from its grave but appears to his friends again, very much alive.

Imagine this: Jin (who also is not dead) is fishing off the now re-located in time island, when a stranger appears on the beach. "Have any luck?" the stranger asks. "No" says Jin, in improving English. "Cast your net on the other side." says the stranger.

Lost On DVD at
Lost - Season One DVD
Lost - Season Two DVD
Lost - Season Three DVD
Lost - Season Four DVD

Lost on Blu-Ray DVD at
Lost - Season One [Blu-ray]
Lost - Season Two [Blu-ray]
Lost - Season Three [Blu-ray]
Lost: Season Four [Blu-ray]

LOST - McFarlane Toys 6"
Each 6-inch Lost figure comes with a detailed base and photographic backdrop, capturing an episode-specific moment in the character's story. In addition, each package includes a detailed prop reproduction central to the character's story.
Series 1 Hurley, Locke, Jack, Charlie, Kate, Shannon, The Hatch Diorama With Light