December 2008

Monthly Archive

REEFER MADNESS: THE NEXT (DE)GENERATION

Posted by Office-Bob on 31 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: General Craziness

Turner Classic Movies, aka TCM, runs a series called “TCM Underground” late Friday night where they show old cult movies - some good, some bad, and some that are all sorts of messed up. Today I’m going to be discussing a movie that falls into this last category…a badly-made anti-drug propaganda piece called BLOOD FREAK.
Poster boy for drug abuse

I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll start by introducing you to the co-directors, Steve Hawkes and Brad F. Grinter. Hawkes plays Herschel, our dashing hero who, since he’s a Vietnam vet, is sure to not have an easy time of it. Here we see Herschel with Angel, a young woman who he meets after helping her with her car:



Grinter serves as the narrator who pops in from time to time, reading from his script (no cue cards for this bad boy!) and chain smoking (which becomes a plot point later on, so pay attention):



Herschel may have met Angel by helping her with her car, but then he meets Angel’s sister, the lovely yet wicked CharacterwhosenameIdon’tremember, and must choose between two women. Is it because CharacterwhosenameIdon’tremember is willing to put out, is it because Angel is a Bible-quoting Jesus freak, or could it be a little of both? Who will win?



Yeah, I’d have gone with the drugged-up bimbo too, especially after she flaunted her bikini-clad body in front of me and got me to smoke some pot.

Anyway, Herschel is looking for a job and Angel puts him in touch with a mutual friend who runs a turkey farm and needs an assistant…

(Go ahead and think back to that Sarah Palin turkey-pardoning video; I’ll wait.)

…and while doing errands is introduced to the farm’s resident lab rats who ask him if he’s willing to take part in some human trials for drugs that they’re feeding the turkeys - if he does, they’ll also get him all the drugs he can ingest!



Herschel agrees and is told to come back the next day and “bring his appetite,” so he goes back to CharacterwhosenameIdon’tremember’s place and starts having the shakes…I guess the pot he smoked before going to bed with CharacterwhosenameIdon’tremember must have been some really strong shit because the only way for him to deal with the withdrawal symptoms is, you guessed it…smoke more pot!



(In case you’re wondering, his hands aren’t made up for the scene - apparently Steve Hawkes did have burn scars in real life though I don’t know if he got them in Vietnam or not.)

Herschel goes back to the turkey farm the next day and devours an entire roast turkey (I’ll spare you pictures of that) and goes into convulsions; the lab rats panic and dump his body in the Middle of Nowhere (conveniently located just off the freeway at Exit 142…come on by! Free ice cream and hot dogs for the kiddies!) and leave him to do whatever it is Vietnam vets who take part in drug trials do.

Well, in this movie they turn into turkey-headed mutants who drink the blood of addicts to quench their evil thirst for drugs!



Yes, he looks like a deranged cousin of Sam the Eagle from The Muppet Show.

No, I am not making this shit up.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a clip showing Herschel draining and drinking the blood of a young woman (who’s nice enough to position herself on the ladder she’s draped over) while another woman sees him and screams in endless, repetitive, looped horror!

If one bad instance of looped screaming weren’t bad enough, there’s also a scene where our “hero” uses a table saw to cut off the leg of a drug dealer who then has to spend an eternity screaming the same scream over and over and over and over (OKAY, WE GET IT!) and over and over (I SAID, WE GET IT ALREADY!) until he dies.

In the meantime, CharacterwhosenameIdon’tremember sends a couple of her druggie friends out to find Herschel because, even though she knows what he looks like, she still loves him and wants to wait and see if the mutation will wear off - once the friends find Herschel they’ll bring him back so they can keep him safe while feeding him more drugs to prevent his withdrawal symptoms. Gee, what great friends Herschel has!

After a few more scenes of blood-drinking frivolity, Herschel is found by those druggies - but instead of helping him to safety they decapitate him! Well, I’m assuming they decapitate him because even though the scene is badly shot (like the rest of this steaming pile of turkey droppings), we’re treated to the following:

  • A shot of the mutant turkey head on the ground
  • A clip of a decapitated turkey thrashing around - I’m not kidding, it’s footage of a real turkey flopping around with no head
  • A shot of the real turkey’s head on the ground
  • The piece de resistance, a shot of a roast turkey being torn apart and eaten while “Herschel’s” head sits on the table next to it.


  • Between you and me, I’m guessing that the two roast turkeys were the biggest budget expense for this production.

    Finally, Herschel comes out of his drug-induced hallucination and realizes that in fact, the worst thing he’s done lately was to be involved with this waste of film (and turkey) stock. He’s found by the owner of the turkey farm and the two engage in a stirring dialog about drug abuse.

    (If you listen carefully to what Herschel says, it’s clear that he wasn’t doing anything other than pot at the time, therefore it was a combination of pot and drug-laced turkey meat that caused the hallucinations, therefore POT IS BAD, MMMKAY?)

    Angel comes to get Herschel and take him to the drug treatment centre she works at (how interesting, especially considering that Angel can’t get her sister CharacterwhosenameIdon’tremember to stop smoking pot), She convinces Herschel to try to regain his faith because as we all know, religion solves everything…he goes along with her and prays right there in the car where anybody can drive by and see it happen!



    Angel tells Herschel that despite CharacterwhosenameIdon’tremember getting him hooked on pot (?!?), she does love him and is sorry this happened. At this point we’re sent back to the narrator for the moral of the story, which is the basic “the body is a temple so be careful what you put in it” spiel…but as you watch the last part of the narration ask yourself this: Is this intentional irony, or were they just too cheap to reshoot the scene?

    That smirk at the end always kills me.

    The “happy ending” consists of Herschel and CharacterwhosenameIdon’tremember meeting on a pier and joining in a romantic embrace. They smile, they kiss…

    …and then I’ll bet they went and scored more pot.

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    Snowmaggedon? Snowpocalypse? Snow problem! (UPDATED 12/21/08)

    Posted by Office-Bob on 20 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: General Craziness

    Usually, the Greater Vancouver region doesn’t get a lot of snow and when we do get snowed on, it doesn’t stick around too long because it is washed away by rain in a day or two. This year, however, we’ve received a fair bit (for us) of the white stuff and it’s cold enough (as in “Kee-kee” weather) that it’s still here.

    I live in Port Moody so my typical workday commute consists of driving from here, through Burnaby, into downtown Vancouver; reverse that route for the trip home.

    Vancouver is usually pretty good at plowing, salting and sanding, but I’ve noticed that Burnaby isn’t always as on-the-ball as they could be when it comes to handling snow; my usual route involves taking Barnet Hwy. (which turns into Hastings St.) and you can usually tell when you reach the Burnaby city limits because you’ll go from decent roads (PoMo) to questionable roads (Burnaby) and back to decent again (Vancouver) - this depends on how soon you’re on the road after the snow starts to fall but you get the idea. My theory is that Burnaby is pissed off that so many of us don’t actually live or work there but just use their roads, and they’re trying to discourage us by making the road quality suck.

    Anyway.

    Where I live there’s one hill that is a bitch to get up (going home) or down (leaving home) when it’s covered in snow; you can be the most responsible driver in the world but still be at the mercy of local snow removal and while Port Moody is awesome when it comes to snow removal it does take them time to get to everybody, and side streets are going to be lower on the priority list. We won’t discuss snow/ice removal within my townhouse complex, however, unless you feel like hearing me bitch about breaking my leg and screwing up my ankle 8 years ago (December 18th, in fact) because of how it’s (not) handled.

    We started getting snow this past Wednesday and I went home at noon that day (I work in downtown Vancouver) because, while Vancouver itself wasn’t that bad, I knew “my” hill was going to be a bitch and I didn’t feel like having to find a place to leave my car and walk 15 or more minutes uphill just to get home. My boss was okay with that…however, while I’m fortunate to be able to work from home if necessary I still would have left early even if I couldn’t telecommute.

    The trip home took a little over an hour - about twice as long as it usually would at that time of day without bad weather.

    I did make it up the hill, barely (thank goodness for FWD and manual transmission), and this is what it looked like outside when I got home:



    Bear in mind that depending on where you are this could be a lot, or not much snow - it’s all relative, of course, but considering the driving skills of the average Vancouverite this is definitely enough to cause havoc.

    I worked from home on Thursday because I wasn’t sure when PoMo would make it to “my” hill; sometime between then and Friday morning the hill was plowed and salted so I went into the office on Friday and all was well, although the trip home was another long one because of two broken water mains that just happened to be along two of the main routes through Burnaby (I’m not blaming them for this, shit happens) which required some convoluted rerouting to get past them.

    One very curious thing I’ve noticed is that most* of the drivers I’ve encountered on the road have been driving responsibly - decreased speed, increased distance between vehicles, no sudden turns, and so forth.

    Even if I hadn’t been able to work remotely I might have stayed home, but in that case I’d have walked (very carefully!) down to the hill and checked to see if it was drivable before making the call.

    We’re supposed to be getting more snow this weekend and then possibly have rain/snow mix on Tuesday.

    Christmas should be…interesting. Oh well, Shaw has the “Holiday Fireplace” on channel 1 and I’ve got the fixings for Hot Buttered Rums. If we do get another dump of snow I’ll update this entry with additional pictures.

    Dec. 21 UPDATE: Here’s a picture of my deck from this morning; you can see how much has fallen since last night (the lower part of the railing, which I’d cleared before bed last night)…

    …and here’s a movie taken at the same time through my office window.


    Happy Holidays, everybody!

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    Can I get the baked beans without the SPAM?

    Posted by Office-Bob on 09 Dec 2008 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

    Dear Carolina Marino, also known as
    linda2008@canada.com
    :

    Starting 4 days ago you’ve been sending spam to one of our company email addresses with the subject line of TRUST IN THE LORD and in the body of the email the word “NULL.”

    I won’t get into a religious discussion over your message content (though I think “NULL” is apt), but I wanted to take a few minutes to express my extreme annoyance with receiving the same piece of spam once every 5 minutes. I’m thinking there’s one of two possibilities here:

    1) Since the email address doesn’t “match” the sender name, it’s some sort of fake account set up for whatever reason;

    2) Your email address has been hijacked by a spambot.

    I don’t know which and frankly, I really don’t care. I’ll discuss this with our IT people to see if we can’t get the spam filter tweaked but in the meantime, I’m placing your name and email address here in the hopes the various spiders/bots/harvesters that work the Web will pick them up and put you on all sorts of spam lists, so you know the joy I’m going through.

    After all, the Golden Rule says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you…and Carolina/Linda, you started it.

    Popularity: 20% [?]