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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

10 Simple Ways to Survive a Horror Movie

Does anyone remember Mystery Science Theater?  It was basically this old show where a group of guys watched really bad movies and commented and captioned the movie as it was playing.  So basically what all of us do with our friends when we're sitting at someone's house too drunk to actually go do anything and too bored to do anything else.  It was fantastic.

And I really, really want to do this with horror movies, guys.

I talked about my Mom's obsession with bad horror movies when I was growing up in another post. These days, it's rare that I can find a horror movie that I can actually get into and not feel like I've just wasted at least an hour and a half of my life at the end of it.  First of all, you can't be spooked by something that's just completely impossible.  I'm not talking about the ghosts and ghoulies or whatever masked/burnt/robed/fanged creature we're supposed to be afraid of - I'm talking about the stereotypical characters and the dumb-shit choices they make throughout the course of the movies.  All of them.

Clearly, the government is conspiring to dumb us down so we all die horrible deaths in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse,  mutant insect/bird/mammal/shark invasion, deranged sexually frustrated undead serial killer rampage, or whatever the f*ck was going on with the trees in that one movie no one wants to admit that they actually watched.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

We all know the jokes about surviving a horror movie; "don't be the Token Black Guy," "don't be the Slutty Bimbo," "don't drink or do drugs unless you're the quirky stoner guy, because he always survives."  Best to be the pretty, perky, smart, non-drinking, non-smoking, lily white virgin, otherwise your ass is never going to make it to the sequel(s).

Dear reader, if you ever happen to find yourself at the center of a poorly written horror movie, I want you to forget all the above advice.  I mean it.  The answer to survival is simple:  DON'T BE A DUMBASS.

1.  In the Case of a Zombie Apocalypse:

So you wake one morning to the sound of restless moaning and unsettling shuffling.  As the fog lifts from your tired and possibly hungover brain, you realize that you're not hearing your disgusting roommate's morning tryst (or your parents, gross), but rather the beginnings of a Zombie invasion, brought on by some clumsy lab tech or big corporation conspiracy or some shit.

This is the moment all those hours of Call of Duty have been preparing you for.  You're ready.

Ready for what, numbnuts?  They're zombies.  Reanimated dead bodies.

Check your windows and locks.  Secure?  Good.  Now check the weather.  Oh, it's above 80 degrees with high humidity?  Ok, cool.  Or cold and snowy with a wind chill factor of 4?  Even better.  Now what?

Grab a beer.  Pop some popcorn.  Find a good spot where you can see out a window and wait it out.

What do you mean am I crazy?  Do you not understand the dynamics of a zombie invasion?  Sigh.  Allow me to explain.

A zombie - again, a reanimated dead body - has a few disadvantages compared to living, breathing, barricaded you:

DECAY.  That's right, that dead body that's lumbering around your porch sniffing at your door jam is rotting by the second.  Even more quickly if the weather is hot and/or particularly humid.  They'll be hosting all kinds of bacteria and flies and maggots, which will be helping the decay along.  The soft tissues go first - skin, eyes, then the muscles and tendons.  It won't be long before an attempt to pry open a door or break through a window would result in a pretty nasty skinning or detachment of a limb altogether. Superhuman strength won't do it any good if it's losing body parts every time it touches something. Pretty soon, that scary once human thing will be a steaming pile of bones and putrescence dripping between the slats on your porch.  Oh yea, and the smell of putrid flesh will bring plenty of...

NATURAL PREDATORS.  You might just get to see a dog run away happily with an arm or calf, or vultures peck furiously at all that tantalizing open flesh.  A rotting body wouldn't last long stumbling about trying to find its own prey without being quite literally picked apart by animals, especially if the poor soul had the misfortune of being a zombie anywhere in the country. 

RIGOR MORTIS.  Ah, yes.  When a body dies and there is no longer any nerve impulse, muscle fibers contract, causing the entire body to stiffen.  It's happens more quickly in extreme heat or cold, or if the body was under stress before death - like if someone was suffering from a deadly zombie virus or, I don't know, running from zombies.  It may or may not last long depending on several circumstances, but I'd imagine it could disable long enough to be attacked by a predator, hit by a truck, fall off a tall thing, or be incinerated by a wood chipper.

Because if Bobby taught us anything, it's that wood chipper beats all.

So you've got a few weeks, maybe a couple months, maybe even a couple beyond that to let the virus make its full rounds, so unless one manages to find its way in, you're golden.  And if one does manage to find its way in - well, in true bad horror movie fashion, the damn things can't run.  So when it comes in, run and grab your chainsaw or wood chipper or whatever, run back in, take it out, and chuck it out a window.  Done.

Also, don't forget to re-secure wherever it came in at.

2.  Eek!  A Vampire!

Wait... are we talking like, old school Dracula or that sparkling bastard child of Tinkerbell from Twilight?  Like, 80's inter-city leather-clad biker rebel teens from The Lost Boys or the only role I didn't hate Tom Cruise in from Interview With the Vampire?  

Well, if we've learned anything from Hollywood, the typical weapons against Vampires are garlic, crosses, holy water, and a good old stake through the heart.  Legend also has it that a Vampire has to be invited in, so if you're bored or want to be a dick about it, just refuse to let them enter your home and then laugh at them as the stand at your door and hiss at you like a pissed off cat.  Throw in a few "bleh, bleh, blehs" in there for extra measure.  

But Sandra, I didn't know they were a Vampire when I let them enter my home.  I really did want to learn how I could save money and cut my cleaning time in half!

Never fear, dear reader, the answer is simple.  Always, always keep a jar of beetles in your home. Why, you ask?  Because according to Hollywood, Vampires turn into bats, and bats eat beetles and other insects.  So you whip out the jar of beetles, which will remind the Vampire that he hasn't eaten since that morning, and he will turn into a bat to devour your offering.  While he's busy eating his lunch, you'll simply hang up a bunch of industrial-sized fly strips, and voila!  Problem solved.

Of course, if Hollywood is wrong or the Vampire can't be distracted by beetles...


3.  Oh, Mummy!

Well, this one is obvious.  When confronted by a mummy, simply locate the end of their wrapping and pull.  Their wrappings will unravel, and they will be left embarrassingly naked and vulnerable. They'll be so busy trying to cover their ancient leathery naughty-bits that you can grab your trusty Dirt Devil and  suck them right back into the nether-world where they belong.

Also, guys, if there's anything under those wrappings, it's a centuries-old skeleton held together by nothing more than, like, herbs and crazy hoodoo.  Whistle for a f*cking dog, geez.

4.  Oops, You've Summoned a Demon Again.

It can happen to the best of us.

No.  No, it can't.  Because the key here, dear reader, is avoiding the situation altogether.  Do you know Latin?  They call it a dead language for a reason (rim shot).  Sanscrit?  No?  Then for the love of God and all things unholy, DO NOT EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ATTEMPT TO READ THESE THINGS.  Especially not out loud.  Especially not in a barely-standing, abandoned mansion, cabin, or warehouse.  Sweet Baby Jeebus people, the bimbo to your right and the fact that the book itself appears to be bound in human skin should have tipped you off.

Why the f*ck would you even pick that up?  What the hell is wrong with you?  Did Ash and his boom stick teach you nothing?

Also, just as an added precaution, don't buy any pretty knick-knacks or vaguely symbolic-looking jewelry from shifty-eyed street vendors, don't accept any gifts from anyone with a deep Cajun accent (because we're going from what we've learned from Hollywood, right), and for God's sake, how hard is it to be nice to Gypsies?

5.  It's a Bird... It's a Plane... No, It's a... Sharknado?

What. The. Ever-loving -  you know what?  Fire your writers.   If you're that hard up for an acting job, you deserve whatever you get.  I'm looking at you, Tara Reid.

And if, for some crazy reason you ever do see a shark spinning around in a tornado in your real life, for goodness' sake get to a shelter or hunker in your bathroom, because that shark is the least of your worries.  That poor guy was just swimming along minding his own business - maybe hunting a seal or flirting with a cute girl shark - suddenly got swept up into Mother Nature's fury, and now probably feels about like you did that one time that asshole kid spun you too fast on the merry-go-round and you spent 20 minutes urping up everything you'd eaten the entire week before that.  He ain't worried about you, is all I'm saying.

Move along.

6.  Those Pesky Portals to Hell

Ugh.  If I had a dime for every time - yea - no, I'd still be broke.  How many times do you crazy kids have to inadvertently unleash the contents of Hell on the world before you figure out that Hasbro is not your friend and Ouija boards are better left in novelty stores and far, far away from your coffee table?  Or attic.  Or wedged deep inside the walls of your home.  How the hell did it get wedged into the wall of your home?  Who the hell knows, that's why you shouldn't buy the damned things to begin with.

But if your sense of adventure got the best of you and you've suddenly found yourself in some other-worldly Grand Central Station, I'm pretty sure that Google is your only friend at this point.  There are millions of websites dedicated to this type of thing.  I mean, you probably should have Googled "how to use a Ouija Board properly so I don't doom myself to horrifying death and dismemberment by demon" or some shit BEFORE you used the Ouija board, but you know, hindsight and all.

...and if Google has no viable answers, well, it was nice knowing you, friend.

Or maybe, like, roll a 5 or an 8.  Can't make things any worse.

7.  Does This Clown Taste Funny to Y- OH GOD!

Obviously, the kids in IT epically failed their Riddikulus Spells, because clowns are f*cking horrifying.

Especially when played by Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

But this was no ordinary not-so-subtle indicator that your mother hated you because she hired a clown for your birthday instead of a cowboy, otherwise you could just tie his comically large shoes together, boop his big red nose, and spray him in the eye with his own trick flower while you made your getaway.  No, this guy is quite literally nightmare fuel.  Or rather, nightmare-fueled. This psychotic mother could actually turn into his victims' absolute worst fears and torture them mercilessly in deeply psychological ways until he drove them to their own self-destruction.  He's the f*cking Hannibal Lecter of  circus entertainment gone awry.

Now, I'm a big Stephen King fan, but it's excrutiatingly clear that this is a man you never want to cross.  He can kill you 3 billion ways with super-insane and suspiciously plausible detail, and make the reader/watcher root for the villain during the course of your demise.  

That's the only answer I have for you if you ever find yourself in the plot of a King story - don't be the asshole.  Or a side character. Be the quirky underdog with some weird talent that only shows its merit at the most crucial time in the story. The rest will manage to work itself out with awesome plot twists you never could have thought up on your own. You just can't out-King King.

8. Reanimated Serial Killers:

Not to be confused with zombies, these are the bad guys that someone failed to verify were actually dead.  No double tap, no wood chipper, no fiery inferno that burned all the way into ash under the watchful eye of someone actually paying attention, just some stoner intern that looked at a limp body and said, "eh, close enough."

You had one f*cking job.

RUN.  That's it. Fire doesn't kill this fucker. Drowning doesn't work. Weird horror movie crossover deep-space face-offs just result in even weirder and more confusing sequels. But for some reason, this horrifying, indestructible being can't move his feet faster than an arthritic elderly man taking a brisk walk, and yet has a higher body count than logically possible.  So take off your heels, frantic blonde lady who is inevitably wearing half a button-up shirt covering a cup size that is probably higher than your scripted IQ and stilettos, focus your attention in front of you, and make like there's a Pumpkin Spice latte waiting for you at the finish line.

Non-fat, sugar free, half-caff, of course. Duh.

9.  Possessed Dolls    

Okay, I loved the Child's Play movies when I was a kid, but let's be real here - this is probably the stupidist scenerio ever if you're looking for something scary.

But Sandra - yes, I know, dolls are creepy, with their waxy skin and dead eyes and propensity to whisper sweet voodoo spells into your ear as you drift off to sleep.  But come on - 

There's at least one toddler exactly like this at every daycare center across America.

My two year old niece would rip this dude a new one over a cookie. He's maybe two feet tall. Sure, he houses the soul of a serial killer, but have you ever given a 3 year old the wrong color sippy cup? Refused them entry into the bathroom to watch you poop? Taken away a permanent marker with the lid off, or turned off Paw Patrol before they got their fix?

Call a mom. We got this.

10. The Dream Killer

Ah, the guy who gave even the kids who didn't live on Elm Street in the 80's and 90's nightmares.

Featuring, "Oh hey, isn't that Johnny Depp?"

This guy. This was the one who invaded dreams and lured hormonal teens with their deepest wishes and then gutted them with their worst nightmares.

I have bad news, guys.  This is adulthood. Freddy Krueger, the dream-killing psychopath whose history never fully came out until later, lesser quality sequels demanded some kind of filler to provide the appearance of depth, is nothing more than the embodiment of transitioning from care-free, angsty teenager-hood to soul-crushing dream-withering adulthood.  Look at him smirking with his Walkman. He already knows. There is no escape. We're all doomed.

Quick, somebody call Stephen King.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Well, That Escalated Quickly

Believe it or not, I've actually been writing a lot lately.  A lot.

I haven't posted anything consistent in a while, because I've also been drowning in feels for some ungodly reason.

I think that burrito I ate last - wait, nope.  What - shit, that's an emotion.

I go through these weird cycles where I contemplate life on every level imaginable.  Like, in a past life I must have been a philosopher or spoiled socialite or something, because I find myself miserably, deeply unsatisfied with the day to day grind of work, sleep, repeat.

And I know - aren't we all?

But guys, I'm really, really starting to think something's wrong with me.  I once went on a tangent where I bought every foreign language dictionary I could find because I was pissed that I couldn't effectively communicate with every. single. person.  I met.  And I don't even like people.

But, now I can say "hello, how are you" "where is the bathroom," and "there's a pen on the f*cking table, professor" in seven different languages.  That's about as far as I got, because trying to teach one's self six different languages all at the same time causes some hilariously strange linguistic cross-overs.  I'm pretty sure that I stumbled into some Klingon somewhere in there, but I have no idea if my syntax is correct because I don't know anyone who speaks Klingon that I can converse with in the language.  Fml.

Or should I say, joder mi vida, vaffanculo, vie de merde - eh, you get the point.

Oh Google image search, you just get me.

... and nothing says "first World problems" like a rambling white girl with enough spare time to try to teach herself six new languages just because she got bored.  This isn't an "I'm so smart I'm bored with my life" post, I swear.  It's more an "I'm not adult enough to adult" post.  

I mean, really.  The language thing is kind of a metaphor for my whole life.  It's like the kid who's so excited to get a puppy, but then they get a puppy, and within a couple weeks they're tired of the responsibility of feeding, walking, and poop-scooping, so the poor dog just sits in the yard looking forlorn until one of the actual grown-ups takes up the slack.  Only instead of just getting one puppy, I tried to adopt six.  Six f*cking puppies, guys.  That's a lot of poop.  I balk at loading the dishwasher - I don't have enough time to clean up that much poop.  AND I'M THE GROWN-UP.  No one's going to swoop in and out-adult me here.

I think one of the suckiest things about being an adult is that, face to face, in the real world, everyone's so afraid of offending people that they refuse to disagree.  Sure, on the internet, everyone's ready to argue just for the sake of arguing, but how often do you see an actual, intelligent debate that actually touches on important points and isn't laced with profanities and wind up sounding like a bunch of toddlers arguing over the best flavor of ice cream?

Yes, this absolutely DOES make sense.

No, in real life, people avoid topics that they know will bring conflicting viewpoints to surface, unless they are surrounded by people they know already agree with them.  Others just try to placate the person whose view opposes theirs to avoid conflict.  Still others just pick whichever side is popular at that particular moment and fake it into the fucking ground.

I can't be the only person who craves intelligent conversation and debate.  For cripes sake, I already know what I think, give me another view to look at.  Give me something that makes me think outside the box and question the assumptions I already have. I'm suffocating here, dammit, TEACH ME SOMETHING. Don't fucking humor me, put on your big person pants and be honest, or take your wishy-washy fake ass elsewhere, I'm too gaddam old to be babysitting toddlers masquerading as adults.

You know what else sucks about adulting?  Maturity.  Or rather, the expectation of it. Why the f*ck can't I giggle when someone says "duty" without people looking at me like I'm a complete idiot?  You know you want to laugh, don't be all judgey just because I don't give a shit enough about what people think to worry about which way their opinion of me is going to slide if I crack up every time one of my kids tell me that stupid knock-knock joke about the interrupting cow.  Screw you, that sh*t's funny.

Re-moooo-ve the stick from your rear end.  MOO.

Guys, why is it that none of us seem to think we're accomplishing anything in life unless we can physically feel our souls being crushed?  Work.  Relationships.  Trying to live up to other peoples' expectations.  What the fuck?  And this stupid idea that our real selves somehow aren't good enough for the world. Fuck the world. We are who we are for a reason. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to let society dictate "normal?" This is the same society that thought the Earth was flat and that it was a perfectly sound method of proof to toss suspected witches into fire and water to see if they'd survive. Witches. Society thought witches made weather destroy their crops and stole the sun when we had an eclipse. Christ on a cracker, it's not rocket science, people. Society be dumb.

If society were a person, it would be the lobotomized guy shoved away at the back of the mental hospital that's been in a coma for the last 20 years but still manages to occasionally sit up and yell random words into thin air while he hurls his own feces at the wall.

Which explains the shit out of this.

So this post has been sitting in my drafts for months, and now as I write, my Mom's sitting in a hospital battling Lymphoma and a severe case of everybody-suddenly-cares-when-shit-happens.

Edit: my Mom passed away in August. That's how long this post has been sitting in my drafts and how long I've been holding this shit in, but I'm going to publish this mostly as-is because it needs to be said.

And I'm going to get a little bit personal, because it's relevant to my whole rant. My mom had a hard fucking life. To the point of basically having to cut everyone off and live like a hermit in a house that's barely standing but was irresistible to her because it happened to be exactly just too far out of the way for anyone to bother to go see her. Not that anyone but me would have, anyway. Because see, my Mom was one of those people who spent her whole life being worried about whether people liked her or not, and got shit on as a result. I love my Mom. But I thank my lucky stars every day that I didn't inherit her inability to feel exactly zero guilt at telling someone to fuck off when they're intentionally skipping all over boundaries and being a total pain in the ass. And, in case you couldn't tell, I'm a little bitter about the fact that everyone wanted to run to her side when she got sick, but were nowhere to be found all the years that she was building up to this shitstorm.

But yes, tell me all about your fond 5 minutes you spent talking to her while she was checking you out at Walmart, and how much you miss her at a family function she never went to anyway.  Tell me how much you're hurting, while I'm single-handedly taking care of all her personal affairs and making all the arrangements, going through her personal belongings and trying to make sense of the fact that, within the time-span of just a couple weeks, I went from making plans with my Mother for when she got better, to holding her hands and looking into her eyes literally as she took her last breath. Cry on my shoulder while my sister and I are cooking for 50 people to eat, leave a mess, and leave. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Because nothing aids the grieving process like abstaining from throat-punching people exactly every second of every day.

And you know, I'm going to go even further in left field and point out that no one on this damn planet seems to have any kind of selflessness or loyalty anymore. What happened to investing in people? Like, the average human spends roughly 80 years on this planet, if they're lucky enough to make it to old age. In all those years, how many relationships do you suppose those people have that are genuine? Ones that lasted decades and didn't hinge on obligation or convenience? How close do we really even get to people anymore? I guess it's not really that far into left field, after all. We don't forge real relationships because we're scared to death someone will see the real us and run screaming for the hills, telling everyone in the path along the way what a horrible, hideous, human we are along the way.

This all escalated quickly and now I'm sure anyone who's gotten this far thinks I'm some kind of psychopath, but the point is - FUCK ALL THAT.

Fuck worrying about what people think. Fuck thinking that the only way to coexist peacefully with others is to stuff yourself into the same mold they wear or hide away completely. Fuck treating people like commodities, or letting other people treat you that way. Life's too short for that shit.  Live your life, love people, be freaking weird, take risks.

Also, avoid trying to learn more than one foreign language at a time. Unless you really want to, I guess. Then, conquer that shit. I believe in you.  You can --



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