Archive for the ‘animal elements’ category

The “Black Wolf” Mountain Monster Saga Continues…

May 3, 2017

 

 

The Black Wolf, according to the visitor to the AIMS base camp in the previous episode, has been around for 200 years, and is the spirit of a Shawnee shaman who takes their spirits to the afterlife, kind of like a Grim Reaper.  As Jeff is apparently at least part Shawnee, it was speculated that the Black Wolf was some kind of legendary spiritual entity there to collect Jeff.  Once again, the Black Wolf was not revealed in S5/Ep4, but only more complications and plot twists.

Going out at night close to the base camp, the team found a scent post and claw marks on a tree.  They later found another tree construction (a medicine circle) with a dead black rabbit in the center of it.  The next day, Willy and Wild Bill constructed a maze trap with multiple snares within it to capture the Black Wolf.  A paw print was found in the woods that seemed to suggest an animal presence.

Meanwhile, Buck and Huckleberry went to meet Jeff in the woods, finding him standoffish.  A scuffle ensued over Jeff’s phone, which he originally claimed was turned off and had no reception in the woods, but which rang nonetheless during the encounter.  Following a scuffle over who he was talking to, Jeff stormed off.  Pursued, his nose was found to be streaming blood although no blows had been landed. 

The rest of the team decided to stake out the farmhouse where Jeff was staying that night, observing him to leave in a truck with two people.  They pursued the truck at a distance, eventually finding Jeff at the previously discovered medicine circle, which had been lit on fire together with the ill-fated deceased rabbit.  When Jeff and his companions had left, a trip wire was triggered to draw then back.  Jeff alone returned in the truck and walked around the vicinity of the trip wire while shadowed by Buck.  When Jeff doubled back it appeared that Buck would be discovered, a fate he avoided by hiding in the bed of the very pickup truck that Jeff was driving.  This truck with Buck as cargo then drove off, but was pursued by the rest of the team until it stopped by an old barn.  Deciding to venture within the barn, they discovered Jeff with team leader Trapper within, and the others wondering what was going on. – – Such high tension! –Can you stand the suspense?

This ended the episode, which again failed to reveal either the Black Wolf or the Woman of the Woods.  One hopes that this tiresome tangent of a tale isn’t dragged on too much longer…

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Mountain Monsters: Secrets of the Dark Forest

April 26, 2017

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There’s a lot of repetition and drawing out of story lines in this bargain basement reality show, and if you were hoping to see “the Black Wolf” or “The Woman of the Woods” in this episode, you were likely to be disappointed…

Team researcher Jeff had been acting vaguely as if possessed recently, showing the others a video with a creepy voice recording, and relating how he had awoken in the Dark Forest alone with his clothes beside him.  The team in response followed GPS coordinates to the Dark Forest in Lee County, Virginia.  There they found Bigfoot signs such as broken branches, and ran across a reticent man they questioned who denied knowledge of anything but advised them not to go into the woods.  Of course they did (at night, no less), finding a deer head hung in the woods and perceiving something to run past them.  At that point, Jeff inexplicably got a nosebleed, and the evening’s festivities were called off.

Meanwhile, team members Willy and Wild Bill had been building a base camp shelter.  In the daytime, the team heard a high-pitched squeal, and pursuing it found what appeared to be wolf tracks by a river.  A tree-structure sign marker (pictured) was found near their camp, with Jeff later collapsing and being termed a security risk by team security member Huckleberry.  

Looking in the woods for additional marker-type signs, the team found sharpened branches and multiple trip lines.  Headlights were seen, causing the team to hunker down, at which point Jeff wigged out further, running off and leading them on a merry chase.  They found him in a trance-like state being pointed at by a small girl, who then conveniently ran off.  Jeff became combative when they tried to bring him around, but eventually came to himself.  Another strange noise was heard, and the team headed back to their base camp, finding someone sitting there who said that the noise they had heard was the Black Wolf.  The episode ended on this note, presumably with more to follow on the big bad wolf in the upcoming installment…

AIMS versus the Rogue Team…

April 20, 2016

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The S4/Ep13 installment of Mountain Monsters had little of monsters in it, but rather more of a backwoods feud atmosphere as the clash between the AIMS and the “Rogue Team” further spun out.  Having returned to the “Little Red Shed” of the Cherokee Devil encounter in Ashe County, North Carolina our protagonists (?) discovered that six envelopes had been placed within there that bore the real names of each of the AIMS team members.  More disturbingly, within each of the envelopes was found pictures of the individual named, together with confidential information on details of their private lives, such as their real life addresses, credit histories, military records, etc. Each folder also contained a cryptic card with a letter and number on it.

As this was a bit on the creepy side, the AIMS team members returned to West Virginia to see convalescing team leader Trapper, and it was determined that the letters on the cards spelled “shot by,” a reference to the supposed shooting of the Stonish Giant by the Rogue Team in a previous episode.  Other picture clues within the envelopes were thought to reference an older Wildman episode, so the team then headed to eastern Kentucky where that encounter had taken place.  At the “Tool Shed” location where that encounter had taken place, the team found more cards pinned to a dart board.  Car lights were then discerned surrounding the shed, and storming out of the shed with weapons drawn the team found that the vehicles were empty, but belonged to themselves and had been stolen and driven to that location by the “Rogue Team!”  Thinking that a distraction, the AIMS  team hurried to where Buck’s truck had been parked.  The photo trap camera battery in the truck bed constructed by team member Willy and housed in a box that resembled an old crate had captured partial photo images, presumably of the rascally Rogues.  A phone left in the truck then rang, and when answered played an audio loop with a recorded conversation captured of AIMS team members from the supposed shooting of the Stonish Giant Bigfoot by the Rogue Team, who were thought to have absconded with the creature’s body at that time.

Returning again to their West Virginia base and Trapper, the team discerned that the newest cards picked up in Kentucky spelled CQUAD, which was thought to be the name of the Rogue Team.  It was admitted that this group was pretty slick and had high tech skills which they were using to shadow and mock the AIMS team in kind of a cat-and-mouse game.  The intent and purpose of this was essentially to exploit the tracking skills of the AIMS team by following them stealthily at a distance and then essentially claiming their prize.  When the letters collected thus far were arranged yet a different way, they spelled “Squatch body.”  Using the numbers in order on each of the cards that spelled such, it was deduced that they represented a phone number.  Calling that number on the cell phone left in Buck’s truck resulted in a guttural, electronically-altered voice answering,  “Hello Trapper, we’ve been waiting for you.  Are you ready to make a deal?”

The plot thickens, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more developments in upcoming episodes… 

The Slack.com Animal “Team” Does Wonderful Things…

April 11, 2016


They’re quite diverse, yet they work as an office team…the CGI animals presented in a commercial for the messenger app “Slack,” that is.  Headed by a lion boss called “Geoff” who observes a prawn employee (Alan) struggling with an umbrella, the idea of a flying umbrella is born, developed, and implemented by the surreal office team which includes a beaver, goat, rabbit, owl, and sloth.  They all act in accordance with their respective species, with the sloth, for example, moving in slow motion.  The commercial spot is surreal yet captivating, and it works as does the product.

Remarkably, a “bloopers reel” is also available for the commercial, showing such deleted scenes as the prawn falling from his chair, the goat beating her keyboard to pieces with their hooves, and the prawn doing a beatbox routine following his presentation.   This is strange but wonderful stuff…

The Phantom Forever!

January 10, 2015

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I’ve always had a soft spot for the Phantom, also known as “The Ghost Who Walks,” and “The Man Who Cannot Die ”  A lesser known rather retro comic hero who was kind of a Batman of the jungle, the Phantom (alias Kit Walker) usually fought crime and evil in the company of his white horse, Hero, and his trained wolf, Devil…all while wearing a skin-tight purple suit rather well!  Not that many guys can wear purple and pull it off without looking like Prince, especially in the jungle where Tarzan was probably better attired for the climate. The Phantom was the first comic hero to wear such an outfit, however, as well as the mask which fails to reveal the underlying pupils.

Now the sea may have belonged to Aquaman, but the Phantom ruled the jungle rather well, which was admittedly strange for a white guy wearing purple. The Phantom pulled it off, however, having a cool heritage with an ancestry going back several centuries to 1536 when pirates caused the shipwreck of the original Phantom. The current-day Phantom was then actually the latest in a long succession (21) of dudes in purple, the previous generations of which were all tidily buried in the Skull Cave, kind of the Wayne Manor of the franchise.  The Phantom line kind of traded on the reputation of their supposed immortality, wearing a skull ring without being Goth about it; said ring left a skull imprint upon those slugged by it. The Phantom otherwise has no superpowers, but is simply a superb athlete, marksman, and martial artist who can get along with the pygmy poison people…

Now the Phantom legend and lore is far more extensive than this, but suffice it to say that it managed to be both cornball and cool at the same time, a strange mix of yet oddly appealing elements that not surprisingly has never translated terribly well to either film or the small screen. Originally created by Lee Falk in 1936, efforts to re-make the character have been less than successful but will continue in 2015.  I hope that the “Guardian of the Eastern Dark” continues to be “rough on roughnecks” (old jungle saying)…

 

“Penny Dreadful” is Dreadfully Good!

July 1, 2014

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If you have a taste for horror that’s complex, intelligently written, and well-acted you might find Showtime’s series “Penny Dreadful” a real gem! The title of the series hails from sensational serialized British literary entertainment of the 19th century that was pitched to working-class males, each installment of which cost a penny.

Now before your eyes glaze over, this framework unites classic literary horror characters of the 19th century, such as Victor Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Dorian Grey, and others all updated and re-imagined in refreshing ways. Victor Frankenstein, for example (pictured), is portrayed as a young man, vital, intellectual, and with knowledge and capabilities light years ahead of the Victorian times.  His creations (yes, there is more than one “monster”) are not mute, shuffling brutes, but rather agile and articulate if socially impaired creatures who read and learn, grow, and suffer angst; they wander about London.  We are really starting to like the second-generation “Proteus” when the first-born unexpectedly appears to rip him apart.  Characters not presented in classic literature are also introduced, such as the dark and formidable Vanessa Ives, an at times demonically possessed medium and clairvoyant who reminds me of Wednesday Addams as she might have been in adulthood; a seance scene featuring her is absolutely incredible. Timothy Dalton, who has taken a turn as James Bond, portrays Sir Malcom, the leader of a group of Victorian-era “ghostbusters” including Dr. Frankenstein who are trying to retrieve his one daughter from a particularly nasty group of vampires.  Each team member has a unique skill set; these characters could do Mountain Monsters, and actually catch and subdue something!

It’s all wild stuff played seriously, and the series isn’t for the squeamish or the young as there is violence, blood, occasional nudity, and adult themes. The Victorian setting is recreated lavishly and with attention to detail; this is upper-level television, even if death and the supernatural as art. – – What furry elements are there is all of this? Well, in the last episode of the first season that has just concluded, one character when his back is hard pressed to the wall by bounty hunters about to drag him off in chains is revealed to be a werewolf!  I won’t reveal which character so as not to spoil the surprise for those who have yet to view the series or the episode, each of which has a dramatic twist of some kind you probably won’t see coming.  

With a dynamite ensemble cast and an underlying idea that hasn’t been visited since The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, this series is great for those who like psychological thrillers and dark horror.  Catch it on Showtime, or view it on Xfinity On Demand…