Amoeblog

Werewolves in Film, DVDs, Games and Music

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 26, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
 

Whilst werewolves have been the subjects of films at least as early as 1913's The Werewolf, werewolf movies has always played second fiddle to vampire movies. Heck, maybe even third fiddle, with zombies probably having overtaken them. Werewolf films are therefore like the Dr. Pepper to Zombies' Pepsi and Vampires' Coke. The Rodney Dangerfield of monsters. And yet werewolves' history, both in cinema and reality, is indelibly intertwined with other, more popular monsters. Historically, werewolves were even viewed as likely candidates for vampirism after death. And in films they have a long history of grudge matches with their undead enemies. In the past, it was usually Dracula himself vs. The Wolf Man in a series of B-movies. Now, vampires and werewolves are often depicted as members of different races of beings with ancient hatreds that play out less in the horror genre than the fantasy.
 

 

Why don't werewolves get more love? Where did it all go wrong? Maybe it's just because, for the most part, great werewolf films are few and far between -- most of the early ones, which may be the genre's Vampyr or Nosferatu, are lost. Maybe it's because werewolf films are always introducing more and more mythology to the canon, shaping and shifting our perceptions of werewolves as cunning and secretive in the silent era, to rampaging maniacs in the '40s, to Vampire hating proles in modern, dark fantasy. Beyond film, vampires have captured the black hearts of the dispossessed and pasty goth subculture in a way werewolves never have. I mean, Peter Murphy didn't sing, "Lon Chaney Jr.'s Dead." I, for one, have always identified with werewolves more than any other monster. I'm not sure why, but I think there's more to it than them being the underdogs... or wolves as it were. Plus, once (after going to bed in upstairs), I awoke in the early morning on the ground outdoors... unclothed... with bloody bits of skin under my nails and no memory of how I got there.
 

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Io -- as seen on TV, DVD, VHS, games and telescopes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, January 17, 2009 11:57am | Post a Comment

Io is the fourth largest moon in the solar system, about the same size as Earth's. But, whereas Earth's moon (like most) is a boring ball of dirt, Io is bat guano insane, with over 400 volcanoes spewing plumes of material from its molten core as high as 500 km into space, creating a thin atmosphere of sulphur which disperses, due to Io's low gravity.

   

The volcanoes were first noticed by a navigation engineer named Linda Morabito when she was analyzing images sent from Voyager 1. It is also covered with mountains (most tectonic and not volcanic), some higher than any on Earth. It's also highly radioactive. And as pockmarked and hard to look at as it is, it has no known impact craters. Io remains difficult to look at for dermatosiophobes like myself. If you also have this probelm, maybe it will help to compare it to a moldy fruit.

     

It was first discovered in 1610 by Galileo Bonaiuti de' Galilei, an astronomer curiously referred to, in most cases, by his first name (like Bjork, Sadam, Lawrence, Madonna and Prince) -- a fact which I find fascinating. It's not as if Galileo is an overly common family name. Though named "Io" by Simon Marius in 1614, the moon was usually referred to as Jupiter I until the mid-20th century. Marius claimed to have discovered Io, in fact, a week before Galilei.

 

The name "Io" comes from one of the priestesses of Hera. Her father was Inachus, a river god who inaguarated the worship of Hera in Argos. As a hot young priestess, Io caught Zeus' eye. Zeus came to her nightly and begged her to meet him in a meadow for a fling. She told her father about having weird dreams and he reluctantly sent her away. An implacable serial cheater, Zeus disguised himself as a cloud so that he could get it on with Io without Hera noticing. He turned her into a cow to avoid Hera's suspicion. It didn't work. Hera was no slouch, used to Zeus going to all kinds of magical lengths to cheat on her, and when she noticed the earth blanketed in a thick fog with Zeus no where to be found in Olympus, she figured it out so she asked for the cow as a gift.

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(In which Job & Corey cuddle with comedy & cookies.)

Posted by Job O Brother, December 30, 2008 12:06pm | Post a Comment

The author & his beloved celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

It’s been a leisurely day, hanging at my boyfriend’s house. We’ve both been productive in our way; I’ve been souping up my new iPhone while he’s busied himself by setting people on fire and yanking things out of the bodies of little girls. It’s called Bio-Shock, and it’s a video game – don’t go calling the cops on my boyfriend. He almost never does those things in real life.

You know how human bodies are 55% to 60% water? I think, by now, my body is like 65% cookies. My holiday has been overwhelmed by cookies. I think I might hate them now. I’ve been bringing them to Amoeba and pushing them on our customers. If you want cookies, brother, come to the jazz room information desk at Amoeba Music Hollywood. I’ll help you find Pink Martini only if you first eat four peanut blossoms.


Lately, when my boyfriend and I go to bed together these winter nights, we’ve been doing the same thing.
...

…Er… Okay. I’m going to give you a moment to enjoy your imagination.

Okay, dear reader, if you’re quite done, I’ll tell you what we really do.

Curled beneath the covers, we’ve been watching sketch comedy on his laptop. It’s the perfect way to pass the time as you wait for the melatonin to kick in. And much more relaxing than our previous habit of watching Taliban executions and/or Carol Channing musicals. (It’s interesting to note that both will give you the same, horrific nightmares.)


Eeek!

I’m constantly ransacking the DVD section of Amoeba in search of used copies of sketch comedy. For Christ Mass, I bought Corey two season sets of Kids in the Hall.

Who doesn’t love Kids in the Hall? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. If you don’t, I guess I don’t mind – so long as you keep it to yourself – behind closed doors – and don’t try to push your not-loving-them on me and my life. …And don’t teach children. …And don’t get married.

Not loving Kids in the Hall is an abomination unto the Lord, you know.


Another keeper is French & Saunders, the brainchild of Dawn French – star of many British TV shows – and Jennifer Saunders, who went on to write and star in Absolutely Fabulous, a show which stemmed from a single sketch on French & Saunders. (You might also recognize Jennifer Saunders from various cameos in another show I think is swell, The Young Ones.)

French & Saunders is simple. They took whatever was hot in pop culture and made fun of it. In this way, the show is not only funny, but stands as a kind of time capsule of popular culture.



In today’s entertainment landscape, where it takes Sarah Silverman posing as Evita and singing about her fake AIDS, or the mass, pastel-colored carnage of South Park’s Imaginationland, French & Saunders may be too old-fashioned for some, but I like it – but that does not mean I’m old fashioned! Now then, where are my horehound candies? I just set them next to the Victrola a second ago…

I recently stumbled upon another British sketch show, Man Stroke Woman. No one seems to know about this one, so I’m telling you now. It focuses on, but is not limited to, making light of the communication (or lack thereof) between men and women. Neurosis, cruelty, alienation, child abuse – all the great comedy elements are there. Check it out.






Okay – that’s it for now. Time to cook my boyfriend and myself some vittles. You’re welcome to join us for dinner, if you like. We’re having leftover cookie loaf in a melted chunk cookie gravy with a side of Tandoori oven smoked cookie in a cookie reduction, topped with cookie sprinkles. For dessert I’m serving cookies, but if you’d rather have cheese or salad, I have cookies. RSVP.

A Year in the Life of Amoeba Hollywood -- Year of Sanitation, the Potato, the Frog, the Planet Earth, Languages, Intercultural Dialogue & the Rat

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 30, 2008 01:33am | Post a Comment
 

2008 The Year in Review

movies set in 2008

Well, first of all, I’d like to point out what 2008 wasn’t. I mean, probably 2000 and 2001 are the most famous years of the oughts in speculative fiction. However, 2008 also piqued the imagination of Science-Fictionalists. Silent Running didn't resemble my 2008 much, although something kept knocking the ficus in my back yard over which did make me angry. I didn't hear about anything that fit in with the prophecies offered in Jason X. But perhaps no speculation about what 2008 would be like was the 2006 film, The Lake House. I mean, come on. They really thought that in just two years we'd have magic mailboxes that would allow us to send love letter to the past. People get real!


Cassandra moaning about something                                                                  I don't know

No, 2008 was more like most years than all the hysterical Cassandras out there would have us believe. Global warming fuelling massive natural disasters. Political scandals of sexual and corrupt natures were rampant to the Left and Right. Car bombs and suicide bombs killed scores daily. Unending oil wars waged in the Middle East. Somali was insane. There was horrendous, state-sponsored terrorism in Burma, Darfur, East Turekstan, Palestine, Tibet and the Democratic Republic of Congo (where the death toll is estimated to be around 5.4 million. Yet presumably because their main resource is cobalt, the world turns a blind eye to the most destructive war since WWII). Like William Joel sang in his Baby Boomers-exonerating hit, “We didn’t start the fire.”

Amoeba's Video Game Top Sellers

Posted by Eric Brightwell, November 13, 2008 05:29pm | Post a Comment


Guitar Hero World Tour



Fallout 3



Madden NFL 2009



Lego Batman



Rock Band 2



Silent Hill Homecoming



Star Wars the Force Unleashed



Bioshock



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