Film: ‘Disturbing Behavior’ – “Who put the acid in my Spam?”

‘Disturbing Behavior’ is a one of those films that isn’t horror and isn’t science-fiction but incorporates elements of both. This in itself means the target audience is a bit fractured, the fact that it is a teen film makes the potential audience even smaller.

James Marsden – who went on to play Cyclops in the first 3 X-Men films, plays Steve Clark a high school senior who moves to the town of Cradle Bay with his family – parents and one sister, following the suicide of his older brother.

Disturbing Behavior

(Photo from awesomebmovies)

The school has a jock crowd called the ‘Blue Ribbons’ who are the pride and joy of the school psychologist. They seem to generally be dreadful people and to only care about those in their clique. One of Steve’s new friends, Gavin – who went on to play John Conner in ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines’, is convinced that the Blue Ribbons are recruiting via sinister means as people join them having made unbelievable transformations seemingly overnight.

Steve isn’t convinced… until Gavin joins the Blue Ribbon!

Katie Holmes plays the female lead, Rachel Wagner, which it a bit of a token gesture as she basically spends the movie pouting! However whilst pouting she does play a minor part in helping Steve find a video which Gavin left before he was transformed, then She pouts along as Steve works to uncover what is going on with the Blue Ribbon and the increasingly creepy school psychologist.

There may be spoilers below the picture.

cyclops

(Photo from marvel-movies.wikia)

The shrink is indeed evil, he has experimented with implants and mind control on various teens (including his own daughter) and the Blue Ribbons are the latest refinement of this plan. There is a glitch with the implant, when the teenager is sexual interested it causes them to become violent!

Steve grabs his sister, Katharine Isabelle from ‘Ginger Snaps’, and tries to escape the Bay, however his parents want him to be chipped too!

There is the predictable happy ending after the school janitor’s electronic rat-deterrent sends the Blue Ribbons crazy and drives them to jumping off a cliff. Steve kicks the shrink off a cliff leaving Steve and his sister – plus Rachel and some very pale bloke, to run away from home on the ferry.

Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor

(Photo from Last.fm)

Gavin doesn’t jump off the cliff with the rest of his brain-washed buddies, instead he appears at the end of the film as a new teacher in a disruptive inner-city school. Except in the director’s preferred version where he instead gets shot on the ferry and dies complaining that he didn’t get to meet Trent Reznor.

In fairness at the time of the film’s creation Nine Inch Nails had only released ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ and ‘The Downward Spiral’, it is the subsequent albums that render Gavin’s dying wish so pitiful.

I had remembered ‘Disturbing Behavior’ as being a good film even if the plot was a bit basic, however it hasn’t aged well as it doesn’t contain enough to be scary or enough science-fiction to be interesting. Which is a shame, however it is still better than Keanu Reeves’ remake of ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’.

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Book: Paul Johnston’s ‘Body Politic’ – in an independent Scotland ‘IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH’

With the mounting attention being paid to the vote on Scottish Independence it reminded me of two  books that were sitting at the bottom of the “possible charity shop” pile – Paul Johnston’s ‘Body Politic’ and ‘The Bone Yard’.

These are the first two books in a series of five – the remaining three being ‘water of death’, ‘the blood tree’ and ‘the house of dust’. I found the first two abandoned at a train station and felt sorry for them, so I rehomed them.

The vote on Scottish independence is due to take place on the 18th September 2014 and has been dumbed down to avoid confusion; the question is “should Scotland be an independent country” with Yes or No being the only options.

body politic paul johnston

I haven’t been able to work out how you can have a vote on this without there being an actual plan as to how it could be achieved in the event of a win by the “yes” vote.

Having a sensible and considered plan would be a bonus, but currently there isn’t even a half-assed plan, so I guess the vote happens and in the event of a “yes” win then they will make it up as they go along, trying not to ruin their fragile economy – and taking their fair share of the current UK national debt.

So the books are set in 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland has broken away from the UK and the world economy has fallen into ruin following seemingly-endless wars and drug problems.

Edinburgh is tightly run by a council of Guardians with the support of auxiliaries – a glorified police force who are referred to by their uniform number rather than their names. The aim was for a society modelled on Plato’s ‘Republic’ (which the books keep mentioning!)  with no crime, a large number of forbidden activities and strict controls on the few things that aren’t illegal.

So naturally the rulers are somewhat corrupt and the underbelly is rank & diseased – much like a Soviet-era satellite state.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(Photo from Wakeup-world)

The main character is a detective called Quintilian Dalrymple, in the first book he officially works for Park Services and moonlights as a detective; to be honest he isn’t terribly good and seems to get lucky rather than competent.

The first book won at least one award, the ‘John Creasey memorial dagger for the best first crime novel of the year’ and it isn’t a bad book really. The second one is less interesting and wanders into odd territory. Both are a little graphic in places in ways that don’t add to the plot.

The books also aren’t as intelligent as I think the author wants the reader to think, however for the sheer amusement value of painting a picture of an independent Scotland formed with utopian vision only to fall into the same sin and filth as the rest of the world – but with none of the freedoms, is amusing.

Ultimately Johnston’s first two books are a poor man’s ‘1984’ containing nothing that tops the Ministry of Truth for a truly damning vision of the future – ‘IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH’ indeed.

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Scary cat toys – just in time to get bad habits entrenched for Halloween

Cat toys are big business and sometimes they can go very wrong.

However with Halloween looming who is to say that wrong is bad?

That said I am not sure that giving your cat a toys in the form of severed fingers that smell of catnip is a good idea, it seems more likely to reinforce bad behaviour and I do prefer my fingers attached.

severed finges

(Photo and production from DesertRDesigns on Etsy)

In the same way I am not sure that detached eyeballs lovingly coated with catnip is prudent. The trailing gore is a nice touch though…

eyeball cat toy

(Photo and production from Kanga23 on Etsy)

I can’t find anything as creepy for dogs on Etsy but I did find something terrifying on Amazon.com in the form of ‘Kooky Spooky Skull Dog Toy’ – which not only looks Halloween-friendly but also cackles with sinister laughter when squeezed.

Kooky Spooky Skull Dog Toy

(Photo from Amazon.com, I am struggling to find a UK stocked, which is disappointing!).

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Drink: Zeo – no artificial ingredients but tastes unreal

I received a sample of a new(ish) soft drink called Zeo recently. Unfortunately it has leaked all over my shopping and made everything sticky, but there was still about half the bottle left so I decided to try it.

The main reason for trying it was the bottle was pretty stylish to the point where you could imagine months being spent on getting the shape just right.

Zeo is advertised as a Russian product, which means it has Russian money backing it but isn’t particularly traditionally Russian as far as I can recall (it’s been a while and I may be supressing the memories of my time there).

zeo drink

It is aimed at adults and priced to match; it seems to be around £4.29 for 4 bottles from a nameless supermarket. Zeo is low calorie (under 60 calories per bottle) and has no artificial ingredients – instead it is made up for 32 herbs and comes in some random flavours.

For example Peach & grapefruit and blood orange & citrus. I can’t remember which one of the two painted my shopping, it was something citrus-based, it was a mild flavour at the time with a funny aftertaste and a weird tingle that was rather off-putting.

It seemed like the bottle was the focus of their time and research, the drink itself was merely something to justify the bottle!

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Nails: Dogs and puppies – slugs and nails with puppy dog tails

In honour of my new first-cousin-once-removed probably having been eaten by my parent’s dogs I thought it was fitting to look at dog-themed nail art.

And no I don’t think it is a good idea to introduce a 2 month old baby to two dogs who are over 40 kg each, but my cousin is apparently a prat.

The mani below is perfect for this theme, the 3D bone with a pink bow on it really sums up the situation.

puppy nail art 3d pink

(Photo from Slodive)

After eating the baby the dogs may be a little constipated – which would explain the look on this dog’s face. The paws are cute too – I am just glad there wasn’t a red version of this.

blue puppy nail art - you tube

(Photo from some random YouTube video)

The fact that one of these nails is so much shorter than the others is a bit of a shame, it gives a disjointed and awkward effect – almost as awkward as having to make small talk after the dogs’ unfortunate choice of dinner.

gold dog nail art
(Photo from PaintedTipz)

On a happier note, maybe everyone will be friends and it will only be mild peril that can be overcome by sticking together…

101 dalmatians
(Photo from PolishArtAddict)

Failing that you can always pretend the red staining on claws is nail polish…

dog nail art scary  (Photo from APlaceToLoveDogs)

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Film: Ginger Snaps – “If you don’t like your ideas, stop having them”

‘Ginger Snaps’ is as film that I love the idea of but feel cheated by the ending. Brigitte and Ginger Fitzgerald are teenage sisters who are not in the mainstream at their school. They certainly are more morbid than their peers – one school project features them staging photos of their deaths.

There is something large killing dogs in the area, The Beast of Bailey Downs, on the night of Ginger’s first period the beast attacks Ginger and she starts to change – with lycanthropy being a metaphor for menstruation and the (not just emotional) perils of the transition from child to adult.

Ginger Snaps

Brigitte teams up with the local drug dealer in trying to find a cure, although nothing goes as planned and events escalate.

The sister’s relationship is interesting to watch, poor Brigitte tries so hard to be a good sister as Ginger’s behaviour escalates. The soundtrack is a good accompaniment to the deterioration as it features Glassjaw, Professional Murder Music and Cradle of Filth.

The supporting cast are largely forgettable, with the exception of their oblivious mother played by Mimi Rogers. She is fantastically over the top and desperately wants to be a good mother even in the face of a mounting death toll. She also has a wonderful line about how the mother is always blamed for their children’s mistakes.

ginger snaps monster

The film is a combination of horror and dark humour, which makes the ending a bit too jarring for my tastes. So in my efforts to clear down the number of films I have it falls in the To Go pile.

I refuse to accept that there were two further films made – both ‘Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed’ and ‘Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning sucked’ and added nothing to the first film.

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Book: The Bloodhound Files – Home is where your gun is

Sometimes a book’s title grabs my attention and won’t let go, it is generally something short that think it is funny but has an edge to it – ‘Dying Bites’ is a good example.

Fortunately ‘Dying Bites’ was also a good book even if the premise is insane: FBI profiler Jace Valchek is pulled into a parallel universe to hunt a human serial killer who is targeting vampires and werewolves. In this world humans make up less than 1% of the population, so there are a lot of potential targets .

dying bites

The parallel world is interesting as due to a spell no one takes guns seriously, however Jace has taken her gun into this brave new universe and is trying to re-educate various monsters – by shooting them.

Unsurprisingly the new universe has magic as a driving force, which makes things interesting (they have golems!) and slightly odd at times. Jace also requires the same magic-user who summoned her to this universe to return her, otherwise she may not go back to the same point in time – this is an important plot point and one that soon grows arms & legs.

DD Barant wrote a total of six books featuring Jace, The Bloodhound Files, and I have the vaguest feeling that the series was meant to be a trilogy, that might just be because the first three books are the strongest or because the titles start being a bit iffy after the first three.

bloodhound

(Photo from DailyPuppy)

In order the books are ‘Dying Bites’, ‘Death Blows’, ‘Killing Rocks’, ‘Better Off Undead’ , ‘Back from the Undead’ and ‘Undead to the World’. There seems to be a clear split in the title format after the third book.

Unfortunately that was also the case with the plot, it got overly complicated after the first three, there are started being wider ramifications and more magic than even Jace can put holes in.

There also started to be plot creep, the plot seemed to take on a life of its own and it stopped looking like there was a clear cut ending.

undead to the world

The final book, ‘Undead to the World’ starts strangely Jace has been magically and unknowingly dragged into another parallel universe and thinks that she is someone else. All the people in the town are characters from her normal-parallel universe but with a twist.

I did start reading and wonder if there was a missing chapter at the beginning because it just launches into this odd plot and nothing makes much sense at first.
Things sort of start to make sense eventually and it is interesting to guess along with Jace as to what the heck is going on!

But then the book ends on a cliff-hanger, in fact the whole series ends on a cliff-hanger and that feels like a copout. I got the impression that Barant didn’t know what to do with Jace and that he wanted to work on another project.

Under the picture there may be things that could count as spoilers, please be warned!

Wizard of Oz

Jace defeats the Big Bad, saves at least a couple of familiarish faces – although most people are dead long before the final showdown, then has a choice of three universes to go to. She says that she’s made her choice but the reader doesn’t get told what this is, then the book and series ends.

My best guess is Jace went back to her normal-parallel universe. There are too many dead bodies in this new parallel universe and her regular universe (with guns and no magic) was a bit dull, whereas the normal-parallel universe is rather interesting and gives her new challenges.

So maybe making up my own ending is better than an author getting bored and writing a really random ending out of the blue – in what I am sure is an unrelated thought I’ve seen multiple copies of Charlaine Harris’ ‘Dead Ever After’ in charity shops recently and even in the Waterstones’ bargain bin!

Copyright © WhereEvilThoughts 2013 – excluding pictures! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to WhereEvilThoughts with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.