Archive for the ‘television’ category

Cheating Death Stuntman…

June 12, 2017

We all know that it’s not a great idea to try and cheat death, since eventually he’s gonna win.  Even 60’s “Batman” Adam West couldn’t hold him off indefinitely, and death is pretty intimidating in his popular “Grim Reaper” incarnation, with black garb, skeletal hands, scythe, and all. This Grim Reaper can even exude a rather impressive black spectral cloud around himself for dramatic effect.

…but when you’re a stuntman, cheating death is what you do; if you want to save 15% or more on your car insurance, switching to Geico is what you do.  So this stuntman racing death cuts out of a race for a bite to eat, and then rides conveyances, rolling out of a cab in time to beat death to the finish line.  Death shrieks his displeasure, but has lost…at least for the moment.  Time, however, is on his side, and the race goes not always to the swift.  Until that time, the Reaper will always have a place at heavy metal concerts…

Dentists Where Not Expected…

June 7, 2017

It’s said that the most terrifying thing that you could find on your doorstep after midnight is a clown, simply because they don’t belong there. Wouldn’t you find it equally creepy to be broken down on a desert road, and have a dentist approach to render aid, clad in a crisp professional white jacket? How about being lost on a wooded trail, and have a dentist appear to lead you to safety, again wearing his white clinical coat? How about being stuck in an elevator, to have a dentist appear prying the doors open?

These are the scenarios in three recent commercials for Aspen Dental, featuring dentists as the proverbial fish out of water, appearing unexpectedly in all kinds of atypical places to render help. Supposedly this is because Aspen is a different kind of dental clinic with different kinds of dentists. But for me, this is all strangely unnatural, someone terribly out of place who we aren’t happy to see even in their proper domain. Steven King could have dreamed these scenarios up for one of his horror stories.

“Open wide,” says the dentist as he pries apart the elevator doors. Conditioned from times in the dental chair, two of three elevator occupants gape their mouths open: how quickly we are trained!  In yet another commercial of the series, a dentist foils a bank robbery, only to have bank patrons throw their wallets at his feet as if he were in on the heist.  Come to think of it, I’ve surrendered more than a little of my money at dental offices, although voluntarily and under legal circumstances.

I’m more accustomed to see dentists portrayed as villains: the ex-Nazi dentist of Marathon Man, for example, or the sadistic dental practitioner of Little Shop of Horrors. If dentists continue to crop up portrayed as unlikely heroes, perhaps “Molar Man” will eventually join the Marvel or DC universes.  I shudder at the thought…

 


The Blood Skull and Woman of the Woods on “Mountain Monsters”

June 5, 2017

 

When we last left Buck in the previous episode, he had gone solo to the “Three Rings,”  and encountered the mysterious “little girl.”  Well, it turned out that while Buck was momentarily distracted, she conveniently vanished. Meanwhile, ailing team leader Trapper re-entered the scene, and collected Buck and Huckleberry.  He directed them to collect Jeff, which Willy and Wild Bill did, pursued in their truck by the other team.  Jeff related that the rogue team had a building deep in the woods where secrets resided,  and Buck was sent by Trapper back to the shed where photos of the AIMS team had been found on the walls.  Stripping these pictures off the walls, Buck found the words, “Find the blood skull,  find the Woman of the Woods” painted on the walls.

The Rogue Team’s cabin described by Jeff was found by the rest of the team, and Willy and Wild Bill entered it, guns at the ready.  In a back room of the cabin, they found skulls decorating the walls and a topographical map of the dark forest.  Buck then called Huckleberry from the woods, relating that he felt a foreign object was the cause of Jeff’s frequent nosebleeds; Buck had remarked in a previous episode that he knew why Jeff’s nose bled, and he may have received this knowledge as ‘the chosen one” from the little girl during his “lost time.” Well, Jeff was reclined on a table, and in a gross scene the team used a forceps to extract what turned out to be a small skull-like object from his nose…there was screaming and blood. — Yes, the secret of the Dark Woods was not under Jeff’s nose, but up it!  Eww!

Meanwhile Buck had again been seeking the little girl by returning to places where she’d been seen, and spotted her again.  The girl pointed to a grapevine and stump “throne” within which was…the blood skull, seen but fleetingly.  Buck also caught a brief glimpse of the Woman of the Woods, who did not appear to have eyes, but rather flaming orbs or perhaps empty sockets. Returning to his truck, Buck found it occupied by the skull-masked figure who had earlier held him and two team members captive in a shed.  If all of this seems a bit Grimm to you, some say that the current story line has been a hillbilly re-construction of the Little Red Riding Hood tale…

“The Secret of the Little Girl” on “Mountain Monsters”

June 3, 2017

In the previous episode of “Mountain Monsters,” Jeff was seen wandering around three large grapevine rings in the Dark Forest while carrying a torch.  In S5/Ep7 it was learned that Jeff had met with the boss of the other team, and had been shown a ritual for the Three Rings constructions that was supposed to draw the “little girl” of great interest to that other team.  Buck in that meeting with Jeff shared his “lost time” in the woods when he ditched his cameraman and wandered about in a trance-like state following which time he was not immediately aware of what had happened.  A video was on Buck’s cell phone from that time which showed the enigmatic little girl, who it was deduced was the key to what the other team was looking for.  Jeff was sent back to tell the other team that he knew someone who had talked to the little girl.

This lure worked all too well, with the other team descending on the AIMS base camp with firearms, threatening to burn them out if they failed to surrender Buck, who had hidden in the woods near the base camp.  Managing to steal one of the other team’s trucks, he led them away in it, and hid until the next morning.  Meeting at that time with Huckleberry, Buck decided to go back north to the Three Rings area alone, with the rest of the team asked to create a diversion in the south to lure the other team away.  They did this by setting off trip wires of the other team, and dropped a tree across the road to slow that team’s exit, setting it afire for dramatic effect.

Arriving alone at the Three Rings constructions, Buck lit the torches that were there and walked through the Three Rings as described in the ritual to lure the little girl.  Reporting that it got colder after he did so, Buck remarked in hushed tones “She’s here,” and we were shown a fleeting, blurry monochrome image of the little girl at a distance as seen through one of the rings.  The season finale is coming soon, and hopefully too will be the end of this long, drawn-out saga that seems closer to The Blair Witch Project than cryptobiology…

“The Three Rings of the North” on “Mountain Monsters”

May 26, 2017

 

 

With an episode title like “The Three Rings of the North,” (S5/Ep6), you might think that Mountain Monsters was getting into some kind of Tolkienesque fantasy, but the rings referenced were of grapevine, and hobbits were nowhere in sight.

In the last episode of this increasingly strange series, a bloodied Huckleberry was left inside their base camp, and it seems that he claimed to have gotten into a knife fight with a creature he had driven off.  Huck understandably contended that they needed to fortify the camp, at which point Jeff walked off, saying that he needed some air.  “I’m falling apart here bad,” he told pursuing team member Buck, who was able to talk Jeff down and arrange another private meeting with him the next day.

During that meeting, Buck described his getting lost in the last episode, and hearing the “sickening cackle” of the “Woman of the Woods.”  Becoming upset in this recollection as well as a video left on his cell phone, Buck decided that he had missed something and needed to go back to the woods alone to search for clues.  Doing this without even a cameraman, Buck had another fleeting encounter with a little girl who seems associated with the “Woman of the Woods,” and left the site.  

The next day, the team met with their leader Trapper, and Jeff who had been serving as a double agent confessed that he was not a higher-up in the other organization.  An electrified fence was erected around their base camp, with blood found on trees outside the camp, presumably from Huckleberry’s knife fight with the mysterious creature in the camp itself.  Trying to continue his role as defector, Jeff met at night with members of the other team and was told that his tenure there was done; a scuffle ensued when Jeff insisted on hearing that from the other team’s boss.  Jeff was taken away by the other team, later managing to text the AIMS team to turn on the radio that Willy had stolen from the other team in the previous episode.  Listening to this radio, they heard that the other team was headed north to the “three rings.”  They headed north themselves on foot, eventually finding a large grapevine construction of three rings with torchlight illumination.  Jeff himself was wandering about the scene, apparently in a daze and holding a torch…

…the plot thickens, huh?  Not exactly gripping entertainment, but the show’s attempt to live up to their opening promise that “In the Dark Forest, the mystery ignites.”  At this point in the series, the cryptids are almost a peripheral consideration to the soap opera and mystery elements.

Huckleberry’s Predator…

May 16, 2017

Skipping now the “Superfan” episode of the previous week which basically served to recycle old material, S5/Ep5 of Mountain Monsters picked up with Jeff and Trapper being found in a barn by the rest of the AIMS team.  It turned out that Jeff was basically working as a double agent, working with “Harry and Stinky” of the other team to gather information.  Jeff advised his team mates to download video from a tripped trail camera, which they did only to find it password protected.  Jeff later supplied the password , and the video revealed an image of…the Black Wolf!

At a night meeting with Jeff, Buck was told that “something big” would be going on by a high rock wall.  Buck became lost in the woods, sending the rest of his teammates by phone to the designated location. Willy and Wild Bill rappelled down the wall in order to listen, with Willy managing to steal a radio of the other team to facilitate this process.  On the radio, it was heard that Jeff was down and bleeding. Fearing that he was gunshot, Willy and Wild Bill hastened to that location, finding Jeff down with one of his gradually-worsening nose bleeds.  Meanwhile still lost in the woods, Buck heard the laughter of the “Woman in the Woods,” wandering off in a daze for ninety minutes before being located by his cameraman.

Meanwhile Huckleberry shared his impression of being stalked by a creature in the woods, following it back to their base camp cabin.  He entered the cabin alone, and was later found there in a bloodied condition by his now-reunited team mates.  “It knows we’re here,” remarked Huckleberry at the end of the episode, which will be continued next week in this endlessly drawn-out saga…

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…