The first paragraph contains gross. You were warned.

I just saw the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen on children’s programming. It was this frightening dancing puppet that was a dead ringer for the infamous Brian Peppers, just with popsicle stick arms. Chills me to the bone. After a little research, I fould a picture of the monster. A bit small, but you get the idea.

In other news, went to a hockey game last night. Kickass game, the Moose raped the Peoria Rivermen 6 to 1, and there were some fantastic goals; the first in particular. But there was one thing bugging me the whole time: Peoria. Sound familiar? And to top that off, their logo resembles Stan from American Dad. It left me pondering if by chance Seth McFarlane was the owner of the team. Also, at one point there was a “wave” going around for like 3 minutes, and I lost three precious minutes of hockey because it was so damned entrancing. Did I mention that the box seats at the MTS Centre are ultra-posh?

The best part of the game, however, was during the last two minutes. Seriously, 1:06 left on the clock and a brawl breaks out. At first it’s just the standard two guys throwing down, but then a couple more guys start throwing punches, and finally a third pair starts trying to beat each other’s face in. It was magical. Anyone who says hockey is boring needs to go to a Moose game. I’ve never been disappointed, and that’s even without the beer. (Seriously, it’s too goddamned expensive.)

The Ryanland Horror

So I just watched “The Amityville Horror”. Not a great movie, but it had some disturbing imagery, so I’m satisfied. The ghosts and the basement scene towards the end gave off a really strong Silent Hill vibe, and that’s actually a movie I really want to see. I don’t like the Silent Hill games for gameplay value so much as the atmosphere and storytelling, which is different for me, because usually I don’t give two shits about the story and whatnot. With that in mind, I believe that it could make the move to the big screen faily well. But anyway, onto the main point of the post.

I’ll admit it, “scary” movies (excluding slashers) do strike some irrational fear into my heart. I don’t have any idea why, but I always have trouble with darkness and sleeping after a horror flick, no matter how cheezy/stupid/boring it is. You may think less of me for this, but that’s the way it’s always been. I’m trying to overcome it (I’m typing this in the dark), but the fear is always there. The wierd thing is, I’ve never been scared by a videogame, even if they contain essentially the same things as the movies that send chills down my spine. I mean, SH4 should scare the living daylights out of me, cause it’s filled with ghosts and horrid imagery (To be fair, there is a single room in the game that I refuse to enter, because it does creep the hell out of me), but no such fear. Even the first Silent Hill should be horrifying even though its graphical prowess is limited, but again, nothing.

I do have a sort of conclusion though. See, in the games, I’m always in control, and I’m able to defeat, overcome or escape anything that threatens me. Thusly, my brain interperets that if anything like that were to come at me, I should be able to defeat it as I did in the game, even though it may have involved some crazy voodoo magic which I don’t happen to possess. The movies however, do not put me in control, and as such I’ve never tackled those forces even indirectly. It’s always someone else doing the dirty work, and more often than not, the movie ends with the evil still intact, ready to get revenge on whoever may still be alive or plotting for its next victim. Since the antagonist is rarely vanquished in the movies, I subconsciously think that there would be no hope to escape such a menace, should it happen to be real. I know that nothing like this can actually happen, but unfortunately, that little voice in the back of my head wants to believe it could, so it ends up poisoning my entire psyche in the end. It may be hard to comprehend what I’m trying to get across, since you’re not privy to my thoughts, but I’ve explained it to the best of my ability. Hell, you’d probably go out of you mind if you had to decipher all my thoughts.

But anyway, that’s just something I needed to get out into the open. I even feel a little more comfortable now that I’ve got it off my chest. As a reward for reading this drivel, I’ll tell you a secret. The article will be up later today. I kinda slacked off today, but it’s almost done. If you didn’t read the whole spiel, then shame shame double shame on you for cheating and skipping to the last paragraph to see if there was any article news there. Also, this week’s comic is going to be hilarious. At least, that’s what we think.

The mind of a killer

Last night, I watched one of the coolest movies I’ve seen in a while: The Cell. The basic plot is that this psychotherapist (played by Jennifer Lopez) goes into the mind of a serial killer and tries to figure out where he’s got his latest victim hidden. Anyhow, I started watching because I flipped by the channel and I saw Vince Vaughn, and figured that I haven’t seen a bad movie with him in it yet so why not. A while in, it occured to me just how similar this movie is to one of my favourite PS2 games, Silent Hill 4: The Room. Honestly, if you’ve played the game and understood the whole story, you would just be blown away by when you watch The Cell and see just how many things they have in common. Or vicey versa, whatever. They’re not entirely the same, but you’d be hard pressed to not see similarities between the two. The point is, if the guys who wrote SH4 said they weren’t at all influenced by this movie, I wouldn’t believe them for a second. My advice is to play SH4 and watch The Cell. Awesome game, awesome movie. It’s just like how the original Silent Hill had a lot in common with Jacob’s Ladder (which are also awesome, by the way). That is all.

The Return of Dick Turtle

It’s again the time of year when the snow has vanished, and it’s time for the revival of outside-type activities. Well, for normal people anyhow. Me, I still just sit inside and play video games or type up crap like this. But in the spring and summertime, I often get the chance to sit inside and play video games out at the cottage. And if there’s anything better about going to the cottage than getting to play with the air rifle, it’s getting to browse the dollar stores in the local town. Oh yeah, it’s time for round two.

This year, I knew what I was doing. It wasn’t just a “find anything at all that stands out” affair like it’s been in years past. I knew that the “surprise bag” articles were among some of the top ranked that I’ve written, so I had a mission: find me as many of the damn things as I could. Sadly, as I said in last year’s Dick Turtle review, the places don’t restock stuff like this. The most likely cause is that these things went out of production seven hunred years ago. So unfortunately, I was only able to grab two of the Dick Turtle bags. There were no others, and I decided to leave one behind to see if anyone else ever bought these things. I guess I’ll find out next time I go.

On the pro side, if I were able to buy these things en masse, they’re only fifty cents a bag, so it’s not like it’s a big drain on my funds. Those name brand bags (which are crap as far as surprises go) can go for anywhere up to two bucks, so a cheap reject from the stupid age is like a blessing filled with several little curses (should you try to consume the contents).

Ah, the memories come flooding back. In case you missed the first one (which I’d like to doubt) here’s a link to that one. If you don’t want to read through it, or just want a little refresher, basically, this “Dick Turtle Surprise Bag” is a very old-looking plastic bag containing several assorted things. These can range from candy to toys to fake jewlery to mini-ninjas. God knows when these things were actually made, but the bags themselves look to be about five thousand years older than most of their contents. But age is of no consequence. It’s time to move on.

Ripping open the first bag, I found that it contained a much wider variety of crap than last year’s bag did. No, wait. It’s just a bunch of useless junk and bad candy again. Nevermind what I said. It contained essentially the same spread of stuff as my last DT bag did. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Starting off on the same foot as last time, we see that ol’ Dick is as inconsistent as ever. But at least he’s consistently inconsistent. I think. Anyhow, I’ll point out for nostaligia’s sake that the Dick Turtle on the card shown above is clearly not the same Dick Turtle that graces the front of the surprise bag. How the producers of this product managed to think that they’d get away with this travesty is beyond me, but they managed to pull it off. I guess. … OK, onto the next paragraph.

This time around, Dick tells us to avoid skating on frozen lakes or ponds. I can tell you from experience that whilst ponds and lakes may be dangerous, it is perfectly okay to skate on a frozen river. Just don’t walk around on it. That’s when you fall through and end up a Ryansicle. Unless you’re just heading out to the ice fishing hut. Then you’ll be a-okay. The moral of this story: there was no story.

You know, after going over this puzzle less than once, I realized that clue #4 has absolutely no bearing on the result. Assuming that you’re crossing off pirates once they’re ruled out, and following the clues in order, you’ve already found the culprit by clue #3. I really wanted to make a joke about how one of these guys looks like some sort of pop culture icon, but none of them bear any resemblance to anything. It was pirate E. And he sucks, because he failed to steal the treasure.

How accurate. Kinda makes you wonder how widely these were distributed. Or maybe they were just thrown together by one of the locals in an attempt to make a quick buck (or $1.50, considering I’m probably the only one ever to buy these things). I mean, they have no sort of… Wait a tick! Upon closer inspection, they were produced by… a bunch of Newfies. Apparently they go by the name “The Surprise Bag Company”. After a little research, I discovered absouluely nothing other than this. Hover over the clown picture for a little briefing on the SBC, and click on him to be taken to a webpage that isn’t there. Other than that, there isn’t a lot that Google can tell me about them. I guess it’s a good thing I never noticed the mailing address on the back of the bag last time, or else I’d be out a paragraph of material here.

Woah. Stop the presses. Forget what I said about accurate. The Jets never won the Stanley Cup. As far as I know, they never even came close. Yes, the Winnipeg Victorias took it waaaaay back in 1896, and then again in 1901 and 02, but I hardly think anyone would fashion a toy ring for events so ancient and obscure.

Next up…. A fake tooth. Yow. That one was in deep. Either way, it’s neither interesting to look at, read about, or even write about, so how about I tell you about my day about? No? Fine. Aboot.

Ooh! Candy for all you technologically inclined types out there. They even spelled it ‘bytes’. I guess that about sums it up. Aside from the redundancy of putting both ‘mini’ and ‘micro’ in the name, the package hasn’t got anything to offer, aside from it’s sweet, sweet (here’s hoping) contents. Oh yeah, and remember that raindrop-headed guy. You’ll be seeing more of him before the day is done.

The candies certainly do look appealing. They’re all colourful and tiny. Mini they are. And micro as well. So I threw ’em back, and it turns out they’re pretty good. You know Sweet Tarts? Kinda like those, but not as chewy. Or at least not as chewy as Chewy Sweet Tarts. And just now I looked at the back of the bag, and the thing is dated 1998. Candy doesn’t really go bad, right? I survived the last bag of stuff, after all. But I can’t recall actually eating any of it. If I turn up dead in the next little while, I blame Newfoundland.

This one’s a bit of a toss-up. I really should have just put the two pics side-by-side, but screw that. I’m getting my extra paragraph. By the by, I pretty much destroyed that capsule trying to get it open. I’m not good with vending machine capsules. Never have been, never will be.

Did you see that coming? I didn’t. Why would anyone want a tiny decorative plate featuring a sleeping star who’s mouth is zippered shut? Moreover, why would anyone want a tiny decorative plate? Perhaps to compliment their tiny sports team logo’d mugs? So they have something to display in their tiny china cabinet? To throw in the air and shoot with their tiny clay shooting rifle? Life is full of mysteries, and this is certainly one that will never be solved. I hate that star.

When the casket fell out of the bag as I was shaking it furiously, a wave of pure dread washed over me. Not only because I had to try to review something a second time and make it seem like new, but also because I feared that the skeletons from last year were out for revenge on me. But this one could hold something different, right? There was no guarantee that even though it looked the exact same and had the same “Mr. Bones” engraved on the top, it held the same stuff as the last coffin.

Hopes were crushed, curses were placed, and untruths were typed. There was no curse, nevermind several of them. My hopes that something different would be inside were indeed crushed, however. It’s the same bone candy that I discovered in the last article, and this batch is just as brittle and crappy as the last, making it impossible to actually hook the bones together. So I’m a little sad that there’s a repeat item, but at least this a repeat of a somewhat cool item. We’ll be suffering much greater disappointment a little later on.

And that does it for the first bag. I’d say the Winnipeg ring is the best thing in there, simply because of the coincidence of finding a toy ring that is emblazoned with the name of my city in a bag of completely random junk. The biggest let-down was the tooth. Sure, it had blood on it, but nobody, and not even nobody’s uncle Leopold would for even a second believe it to be a real tooth, so it’s got no prank value for something that should be rich in the stuff.

Now we’re gonna kick it up a notch and delve into the mysteries of the second Dick Turtle Surprise Bag. If it were possible for me to write more about this junk, you’d be clicking a link to go to a second page, but even I can’t reach for that much filler with this crap as source material, so you get off easy this time.

Dick’s advice is a little less stupid this time. I mean, not every kid is going to be presented with the option to skate on a frozen lake or pond, but almost every child will, at some point in their life, have to cross a road. But really, we all know that Dick goesn’t give a flying rat’s ass about children. He’s just trying to better his image to give himself more leverage with the voters. Bastard is all about politics.

Do you want to colour a giant space turtle humping a rocket? I don’t, but if you do, today’s your lucky day! Save the pic, blow it up a little in Photoshop or something, and colour it in! Send it to me afterward, and I’ll make a Dick Turtle gallery and put all of your pretty pictures in it. That’s a promise. If I get even one submission, the gallery will be there. Eventually. So do it!

But seriously, where do they get off calling this a puzzle?

Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged back in. At first glance, it’s just the Mini Micro Bytes again, but if you look real close, you’ll still think they’re the Mini Micro Bytes again. But these packages hold a terrifying secret! While the previous ones were more cylindrical in shape, these bytes are… circles! Okay. I’ll admit it. I’ve got nothing. But then again, do I ever really have something?

I don’t know what the hell this is. Some kind of cat toy of something. It’s just a smiley face in the middle of a plastic ball, with little balls boucing around inside. You can make it jingle a bit, but not much else. At least it should make good lighter fodder come stuff-burnin’ season. Which is now.

You can’t tell from the tiny pic, but that pink thing on the corner of the Mini Tarts packages is the same dude from the Mini Micro Bytes. Word on the street is that he calls himself the Goody Guy. Anyhow, further investigation reveals that not only are the Mini Tarts the exact same candy as their Mini Micro bretheren, but that they were produced a year earlier. I’m not sure what the deciding factor is, but these ones taste marginally worse than the others. Maybe the year made a difference after all? Or perhaps the Bytes were just an improvement on the Tart formula. We may never know. I hope you stay up all night pondering, cause I’ll feel bad if I’m the only one.

More bytes. Only this time they’ve got a block in a diaper representing them. Oh, and they’re made by an entirely different company. Hard as stone and more revolting than a bag of pig ears, these are certainly not good candy. Simply put: they’re shitty Chiclets. They won’t make you want to induce vomiting like those damned bones (a fact I may have omitted earlier), but they do border on nasty.

Two items left, and we’ve got another crappy ring. Only this one looks like a bad Dino wannabe. I’m not even sure if it’s supposed to be a dinosaur at all, nevermind a ripoff of an established character. It could very well be a very poorly drawn duck. I’ve seen worse.

And our final item of the day is this… notebook… thing. It’s tiny, and I doubt anyone without mad skillz similar to mine could have any change of writing legibly in it. Crap. I’m tired of writing about stuff. It’s time to wrap things up and hope I never find another Dick Turtle bag again.

I guess that maybe, maybe if the remaining Dick Turtle Surprise Bag is still sitting in that Bargain Shop next summer, I’ll pick it up and review it. I really don’t think so though, because it took two of them to fill an entire article, should you neglect that a lot of stuff that could have been said was written during the first DT bag review. And if there’s only one left, you’re probably only going to get a mini-review out of it at best, unless I just throw length to the wind and decide to do it just for the sake of getting to use the word ‘dick’ more.

So yes, that’s probably the last of Dick Turtle you’ll be seeing on this website. Unless of course, someone acutually takes up my offer of colouring the Dick Turtle picture. Of course, if you really need a Dick Turtle fix, you could drive out to Lac du Bonnet and search out that last bag for yourself… Me, I’m just gonna look up an antidote for all that candy that probably poisoned me.

Everything is super when you’re gay

But I don’t have a homosexual bone in my body, so everything is most definitely not super. The worst thing ever happened today. They hired a new storefront guy. Being the only man who worked storefront was my thing, and now it’s gone. Now I have nothing. I haven’t met the guy yet, but I don’t like him already. He’s going to seriously cramp my style. Everyone knew I loved being the only guy on storefront. I made it clear more than once. I guess now I’m going to have to be more sociable with my girls if I’m to stop him from getting all my attention.

On the upside, I cracked up pretty much the whole store with my antics today. And would you guess which one single person didn’t bear witness to my hilarity? But it’s always worked out that way for me. No matter what the situation, it always turns out that the party I’m out to impress or entertain either doesn’t care or doesn’t notice.

Final note for today, I finished Silent Hill 3, and boy did it get effed up fast once you actually get to Silent Hill. I’m just dying waiting for tomorrow evening so I can start SH4. The intro scares the crap out of me, so the game itself has gotta be awesome, right?

Starting from zero, got nothing to lose

The February archive is now up. Or, it will be shortly after this post is completed. Maybe I shoulda done that first. Oops.

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned, but I saw Jacob’s Ladder a while back. It seems a bit of an obscure title, and you know how I love the obscure. Truth be told though, I only hunted it down because I heard that the Silent Hill games draw a portion of their creepiness from it. And boy, is it true. Well, it’s not quite as big an influence as I was led to believe, but you can definitely see the similarities. Oh, and it was a pretty good movie as well. Confusing as all Hell until the end (which was a cop-out to boot), but I would certainly recommend it to those who like movies that are out of the ordinary. Oh, and if you didn’t know by the title, you probably wouldn’t pick up on it anyway, but there are lots of biblical references here. Good movie. Wouldn’t buy it, but good movie. It’s really hard to find, but there’s a torrent for it over at Novatina. It’s under “mystery”, but it’s really more of a thriller. Not that I’m championing piracy or anything…

On a related topic, I got Silent Hill 3 and 4 the other day. I’m about halfway through 3 and haven’t even started 4 yet. Such good games, and the only ones I cannot play with the lights off, even with my newfound policy of facing my fears. Creepy stuff. And the best part is that I got ’em for $15 and $25, respectively. I picked up I-Ninja for $10 as well. It’s totally worth $10. this whole “buying preowned games” thing is working out really well for me and my wallet. Three good, slightly used games for less than one new one? Sounds like a killer deal to me. And as an added surprise, SH3 comes with the soundtrack packaged in! I didn’t know that! Ah, material posessions: my one true love.

Oh yeah, and I updated my profile page, for those who care. While I’m at it, I’ll mention that I lost like seven pounds over the last week. This is alarming, because I was in no way trying to lose weight. All these people on TV working so hard to drop the fat, and then I come along and start losing it without even trying. Ah irony, thou art a snide bastard indeed.

It’s (still) aliiiiive!!

Not much to mention today other than the newest installment of the Work Blog is up. It’s called the December 2004 Edition, but it’s really not. It’s not even the Work Blog anymore, really. At least it’s a little more interesting than the first two entries. And it’s got four pictures.

If that’s not enough, I have a very short movie review for you. Here goes. “The Grudge” blows monkey nuts. The story is totally crap, with very little explanation of why stuff is happening, and lacks any ending at all. It doesn’t even hint at a sequel. The characters are all the dumbingest asses ever conceptualized, as they never, ever learn from their own or anyone else’s mistakes. They take the most obvious bait, and pretty much all end up dead because they’re fucking morons. And what’s worse, they all got scared to death. Only one of them actually got murdered, and that was just to open the “plot”. None of them even tried to defend themselves against the “zombies” (they really lack solid description), and instead just died huddled in puddles of their own bodily excretions. Oh wait, one of them just got sucked into nothingness. See, a zombie was chasing her, and she huddled under her covers. The zombie appeared under them, she got sucked under, and then they both just disappeared without even a hint of a plausible explanation. Urgh. It’s frustrating how terrible this movies is. At times it’s fun to laugh at, but most of the time it just makes your head hurt with its frivolous time-jumps and lack of any explanation of anything. I’d say you’d be a better person not to see it, but everyone should see it just so that the entire population of the world learns what a movie should not be like. I’m very disappointed in you, Sam Raimi. Such a respectable name associated with this filth… “The Grudge” killed at least thirty of my best brain cells.

But on the brighter side, I found and purchased all three TMNT movie DVDs today. I am contented to no end. Hooray for me.

Oh yes, and I was tolerant of the PSP before, but now I hate it because the president of SCE is a fucking egomaniacal douchebag. I’m not trying to tell you what to think, but read on and come to your own conclusions.

From the desk of Funk Master R. Valentine

There are tons of fun little tests and things to do on the internet, like quizzes to see how you rate in certain areas, “what [series] character are you?” tests, and plenty of different kinds of funny name generators. The Ninja Name generator at Ninja Burger for instance. The latest one I’ve come across is at Playerappreciate.com. If you’re just reading and not clicking links as you go or didn’t bother to look at the picture, it’s a pimp name generator. My pimp name, it’s pretty sweet. I should probably go by it from now on. It’s a little long, but meh. Oh, and if you try it out, you can keep clicking for different names if you don’t like the first one you get. This was the first one I got, but I kept clicking, and the rest were kinda weak.

So lately I’ve been spending a lot of time over at the Mists of Avalon Online message boards. It’s run by a friend of a friend, who just happened to have a mention once before on the site, sometime back in early November. It’s a much more populated forum (about 40 members), and it’s much more lively than my own. And by that, I mean there is activity there. So yes, I’ve been whiling away some time over there, and if you don’t already know of it, I suggest you check it out. Especially for my great views on things such as video games, literature and abortion. Go! sign up! I need more people to form a sort of forum posse.

Okay, third paragraph, video game time. Resident Evil 4 has been challenging the limits of my patience, with some tough areas and annoying as hell fish. Not that they’re attacking me or anything, but you can kill fish and take them as food. Currently, the only populated body of water is the lake, and I have to kill them with harpoons, and well, you take it from there. It’s interesting that the game progresses in chapters, unlike the other games. I guess it’s just a way to gauge how well you’re doing rank-wise, because they show you your accuracy, kills and deaths at each between-chapter save point. I’m on chapter three now, and I’ve fought two great bosses; one really easy, and one slightly tough (killed me five times). Now it’s nighttime, and the evil people are getting more numerous, and evil wolves have started appearing too. They are really hard. I’m not going to ruin the plot, but as far as I can tell at this point, the enemy is aliens. It only makes sense. That or it’s an underground Umbrella splinter faction that’s using a new type of virus thing. I haven’t a clue, but now the president’s daughter is following me around everywhere, and the villagers keep trying to steal her. Oh yes, and now they throw pitchforks as well. It’s getting really hard, and I’m lovin’ every minute of it. Whoo Loverboy.

Doom 3 doesn’t work so well on my PC. It runs, but when it loads rooms, it starts slowing down rather harshly. But at least it’s a good enough game to see past the occasional slowdown. While there isn’t any action in like the first 20 minutes, there are so many cool little things to see and do, it’s mind-blowing. Then again, I already knew that. I played it once before, but never bothered to mention. Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude didn’t go over so well. First of all, it was in Spanish, a language in which I have not been schooled, and it bugged out right after the opening scenes. Those scenes were rather interesting though, as the graphics were pretty sweet, and the background music was Motley Crue’s “Girls Girls Girls”. I’ve been looking for an English version torrent, but haven’t had any luck so far. Please, internet, don’t make me buy this game. I know it won’t be worth paying money for, but I still want to try it out.

Finally, I have to start getting pissed at Capcom right now. In both Rockman.EXE 4 and Rockman Zero 3, thre were E-Reader features. I searched for and bought an E-Reader specifically for these games. But in the North American versions, those features were gone. I as, as they say, was cheezed. But not so badly, as they didn’t really do anything spectacular. BUT – Rockman.EXE 5 also has E-Reader support. it will probably be removed from the NA version again, and this is where they’ve gone too far. One of the coolest features in the game, dubbed “Forte Cross Rockman”, is only attainable by E-card. It’s not important to the game, but Forte is awesome, and a Soul Unison (stop me if I’ve lost you) with him is like the ultimate dream of EXE fanpeoples. Not to mention, it’s better than a regular Soul Unison, because it doesn’t up and go away after three turns. So yes, urge to kill rising and such. They had better leave that E-Reader crap in there this time, and possibly include the card in the game box so I don’t have to buy a kajillion packs looking for the damn thing. All that, and they’ve delayed the release of the GBA MegaMan Anniversary Collection again. Capcom, you’re really cutting it close these days. Funk Master R. Valentine isn’t going to take this much longer.

Blood is life

As I mentioned yesterday, I recently downloaded and watched the movie “Nosferatu”. But before we begin, I must make a clarification. This version of the film is a newer version. Made in 1979, it is based on the 1922 silent film, which is in itself based on Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. What separates this film from the older one is mainly sound, colour, and character names. I would have liked to watch the 1922 version (as well), but this one was all I could find. Being somewhat interested in monster legends, I figured I would be interested in such a film. Indeed, I was interested, but it really turned out to be a mixed bag.

The main plot of the movie is based around three central characters; Jonathan Harker, his wife Lucy, and Count Dracula. Jonathan is sent on a trip to sell a house to the mysterious Count. Dracula becomes enamored with Lucy when he sees her picture in Jonathan’s locket. He then seals the house deal, bites Jonathan, and travels to the town of Virna to claim his house and his new love. The plot is pretty straightforward and easy to follow, but it takes a long time to set things into motion. If you were to cut out all of the artistic filler and montages, the entire movie would probably be cut from almost two hours to about 40 minutes. The movie itself is interesting, but all of the “blank space”, as I’m going to call it, makes it boring to watch through. I watched half, then had to take a break out of sheer boredom. And for the most part, it doesn’t get to the real good stuff until it’s over halfway done.

And how about the characters? Well, our heroes are kind of annoying, actually. John is just annoying in the traditional sense, but Lucy is like something straight out a Shakespeare tragedy. The whole movie I couldn’t stop thinking of how this is like something you would watch in a high-school English class if it weren’t so obscure. But more on that later. There’s this one chracter, Renfield, who is Dracula’s servant, and he’s just so obviously insane that it’s funny every time he’s on-screen. Not to mention near the end, he’s dressed up almost exactly like the Joker, just without the green hair and makeup. One of the other heroes, Dr. Van Helsing, doesn’t even make his real appearance until near the end of the movie. This isn’t a bad thing, as until the final scene, he’s quite a pompous ass.

Count Dracula, obviously, is the real show-stealer. He not only looks rather creepy with his ghostly white complexion and long fingernails, but the way the character is played out, you almost want to see him win. And I was quite surprised (though I shouldn’t have been, he’s freaking Dracula) that while he looks so old and frail, he can lift objects that look quite heavy and sprint around town with the best of them. And the absolute greatest scene in the movie is when he enters Lucy’s chamber while she brushes her hair. We see her doing her thing in the mirror, and the door behind her opens. Only, there’s no-one there. As you probably know, vampires don’t have reflections, but the shadow was cast on the wall, creating a really cool effect, and scaring the shit out of Lucy. It wasn’t as impressive as some of the special effects they do these days, but I liked the scene pretty well.

The other great scene is right at the end, after the Count is killed (again, I was surprised that he just started convulsing violently and died stiff, rather than burst into flames or something), Van Helsing goes and finishes him off, coming downstairs to some dude and the last town worker. The dude insistes the town worker arrest Van Helsing for killing the Count (which nobody knew was the bad guy), but the old town worker keeps saying he can’t, inciting a dialogue that brings to mind the antics of Monty Python. It was quite hilarious, and the ending scenes are all rather funny, in a stange twist of genre.

Like I said before, this is the kind of thing you might watch in a high-school English class, were it not so obscure. It just seems like that kind of movie. There are a bunch of religious references, and a lot of artistic things that teachers would just love to quiz their students on. It was way better than “the Crucible”, that’s for sure. I wish they didn’t bother having every book students read have to be some kind of social commentary. I’d like it if they just went and picked a good work of fiction that really didn’t have anything to do with anything, but still had enough depth and subtext to learn something from. But in any case, “Nosferatu” was a decent movie. I recommend you watch it, but take some ritalin first, or just be ready on the fast-forward button, as the first half is really slow and doesn’t do much but set up the rest of the plot, much like “The Fellowship of the Ring” does for the other Lord of the Rings books/movies. Heck, after the first half, the main character even shifts. Craziness, I say. But it was way freaking better than the last movie I downloaded – “The Village”. That was just awful.

So there you have it. You can find the torrent over at Bi-Torrent.com. Go for it. I believe it was worth my time to watch, if even only for the ending scenes. Now it’s really just a hunt for the old 1922 version. Make sure to tell me if you ever find it somewhere. Oh yes, and the December archive is up as well.

*DONG* 5 days remain

Because for the next indeterminable period of time I’ll be waaaay to busy with my new baby and a couple new games coming out this week, I’ve decided that I should leave you with a little something to look into while I’m gone, so here are a few websites that you might want to check out and start reading or whatnot. Go ahead. You might like them.

Rockman.EXE Online – I’ve linked to stuff on it numerous times, and I figured why the hell not do it again. Great site if you like the Rockman.EXE anime, and it’s got a lot of cool features like episode summaries and fanart galleries (including stuff by me!).

Weebl’s Stuff – There’s a link to the Weebl and Bob site on my sidebar, but you’d be a fool to not take a look at all his other stuff. Internet legends like the Kenya video originated from this very place. Plus many other great Flash animations. Badgers badgers badgers badgers. Mushroom! Mushroom!

Sprites Inc. – Everyone loves sprites. Especially MegaMan sprites. OK, not a very interesting site unless you need MegaMan sprites, but since it’s in my favorites and I’ve used said sprites many times, I’ll give it a lil’ shout.

Channel 51 – A cool conspiracy-type site. Go ahead, read through it, and watch the videos of aliens and stuff. There’s a few neat stories and stuff, but not an overwhelming lot, so you could probably read through it all in an hour or less. I suggest doing so.

Orbis Labs – OK, not sure how to explain this one. Just check it out and stuff. Like the link above, it’s kind of up in the air, but they’ve got a pretty neat idea. Seems a little farfetched though. People morphing into armored balls…

eBaum’s World – An all-around entertaining site. It’s got videos, games, soundboards, and all sorts of other junk that’s good for whiling away the time. Like Newgrounds, but with a lot of the extremely bad stuff weeded out. And not based around Flash.

b3ta – I’m pretty sure I’ve linked to this one before too, but it’s worth a second time around just for the constant flow of photoshop hilarity on the main page. Plus all the great videos and games. A real haven for those into cyber culture.

MilkandCookies – Ummm… Yet another humour-based site. Mostly with videos and other things of interest. I’ve really just the same as most of the other links I’ve given, so I can’t think up anything original to say.