Archive for the ‘television’ category

Still Rockin’ the X-Files…

January 13, 2018

  
Hard to Kill” might have been a subtitle of the second installment of the new limited X-Files  season as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully eluded and thwarted deadly Soviet operatives when guided themselves by the artificial intelligence version of a deceased Lone Gunman who sought to be unplugged, Richard Langly (aka Ringo).

I like how the series has kept its paranormal core while expanding the two central characters into almost action-heroes.  I mean, when armed with only handguns against a legion of Soviets with automatic weapons who attacked them at home they killed two Soviets outright,  and not only eluded death  but despite being handcuffed together managed to escape!  These are two smart, savvy, and tough FBI agents who could probably be featured on recruitment posters for the agency.  The episode expanded upon real-life events, too, with the enigmatic Skinner referencing how the current administration in Washington didn’t like the FBI much, and had even been infiltrated by Soviets.  

Now deep in the bowels of a compromised FBI resided a supercomputer into which had been uploaded the virtual essences of Langly and hundreds of other people whose survival was deemed desirable for the dark times to come.  A computerized existence was abnormal and apparently hellish, however, for Langly who wanted the program ended and his virtual existence expunged.  Mulder and Scully now as renegade agents were ultimately able to penetrate the forbidden FBI complex, with Mulder going mano-a-mano against a younger agent (and besting him) while Scully zaps the computer.  Plot twist, however; the bad guys made a backup system, so we may be hearing from the virtual Lone Gunman again.  I’d like that…

The notion of uploading an individual’s life experiences and general personality attributes to a computer program to simulate that person in life is within the fringes of a possible future reality, and may someday provide a kind of worldly immortality while allowing relatives to interact with a version of a departed loved one without requiring the downside of a zombie…I want to believe! — And hooray for the FBI and two of its coolest agents!

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The X-Files, Season 11…

January 4, 2018


I’m glad that there’s a Season 11 of The X-Files, even if it’s only comprised of ten episodes.  The season premiere that aired on Fox network January 3rd was heavy on the series mythology, bringing together many of the core iconic characters of the series and its on-going themes of deep-level government conspiracies and alien involvement. The quest in search of Mulder and Scully’s son William will be a strong underlying thread this season, and we learn that his parentage “by way of science” includes DNA from the nefarious Cigarette-Smoking Man, perhaps with some otherworldly genes also thrown in. 

Poor Dana Scully spends a lot of time in the hospital this episode, getting banged up in car wrecks, troubled by disturbing visions, and almost being smothered with a pillow by a baddie; it sucks to be her.  Fox Mulder was in heroic investigative and defensive mode, really putting a Ford Mustang through its paces and dispatching Scully’s assailant at the last minute with a scalpel; the guy’s got skills!  There’s even a shouting match with shoving between Mulder and Skinner, who may be in collusion with the CSM.  In the rambling undercurrent of the series, it would appear that the Cigarette-Smoking Man is actually trying to exterminate humanity with some kind of alien pathogen, which is probably why flu shots are no more than 10% effective this season…  

There was a lot of action and plenty of tantalizing unanswered questions in the episode, and I’d ride shotgun in Fox Mulder’s Mustang anytime…

Revolutionary Soldier and Creature in the Woods…

December 24, 2017


How would you like to live right by a cemetery?  The neighborhood has been a bit dead lately, you say?!  Well, on the Season 1/Episode 7 installment of Terror in the Woods,  we are first told the ghostly story of Annie in Ohio, who when visited by her two sisters (Amy and Mary-Beth) at her Ohio house decided that it would be spooky fun to go on an after-dark graveyard walk in the adjoining cemetery.  This they did, complete with loud joking conversation and picture-taking. It was all fun and games until the night seemed to darken, and a presence was felt.  The sisters retreated to Annie’s house, where one felt a hand touch her when retrieving something from the car.  Returning to the cemetery the next day in broad daylight, they found graves of people sharing their names.  Looking later at the pics they had taken the previous night, a blurry but full-body image of a revolutionary war soldier was seen.  It seems that the cemetery was the final resting place of folks born in the area in the late 1600’s and early 1700’s.  Annie swore that she later momentarily saw a revolutionary war soldier in the cemetery from her window, and she would never again return to the graveyard.  

The second segment, Creature in the Woods, involved a couple in Nebraska (David and Laura) and their two children who went on a deep woods retreat to a cabin constructed by one of the lady’s relatives.  The woman had been going to the woods in general and that cabin in particular since childhood, and was not a nervous Nellie.  While fetching water, the family heard a deep grunting in the forest together with stamping on the ground which sounded aggressive.  They later heard resonant growls and thumps while preparing lunch.  Banging on wash tubs and an oil drum near the entrance to the camp was also heard, at which point the family decided to pack it in and fled in their car, afraid.  While no sightings were made, the inference was clearly made that they had encountered one or more Bigfoot-type creatures…

“Haunted Cabin” on”Terror in the Woods

December 11, 2017

 

The Haunted Cabin episode of “Terror in the Woods” (S1/Ep8) was basically a ghost story, but with a side order of cryptid thrown in.  The story was pleasantly scary and creepy, and I like that!

In deepest Kentucky in the Red River Gorge, a rustic cabin sat in the woods on an abandoned logging road that married couple Bill and Charisse chose as kind of a retirement retreat.  Bill held the fort while Charisse worked hard for the money at a city job about two hours away.  Now Bill was a college grad, not some yahoo, and he put up a security camera outside the cabin.  One night around two to three a.m., said camera picked up a sporadic green mist that seemed to morph in and out.  We, the viewers, were shown the actual footage, and it did look like a floaty mist to me! Alerted by the security camera, Bill went outside and thought that he saw a ghost…

…other creepy things then transpired.  Bill’s TV and Playstation came on twice by themselves!  Now Bill was suitably creeped out by this. I mean, would you want ghosts messin’ with your PlayStation?! They’d stay on it for hours, and leave slime all over the console and controllers, for cripes sake! Bill then did what any sensible person would do, and spent the night in his car.

A week later, Bill’s trusty security camera showed a ball of white light that seemed to come out of the ground and which floated along the area; ghost alert! Viewers were also shown this footage. Bill trucked into town, speaking to and showing locals the footage; not surprisingly, they thought it ghostly.

Now comes the Bigfoot alert; walking outside his cabin in the woods, Bill hit a tree with a branch, and thought that it was answered with other knocks. Bill experienced fear and panic, since ghosts and Bigfoot make for a full paranormal schedule. A friend later visited him, and they found strange footprints with four digits and hooked claws; pictures were taken of this, which viewers of the episode were again shown.

His wife later returned to join Bill, and things went smoothly for a time until they heard howling and barking of a guttural, hellhound nature. They tried to record the commotion, but the sound stopped. Later when watching a ghost show on television, the two decided it would be a kick to casually try and summon a spirit themselves. Be careful what you ask for, because a loud knocking then came to their door, although nothing was there when the door was answered!

So our protagonist again went to the nearest town, showing the locals and woodsmen his latest videos and pics of the strange footprint.  Not surprisingly, they couldn’t explain them but agreed that they were freaky.  It was learned, however, that the cabin Bill and Charisse had bought was built for an ailing daughter who died in the cabin.  The cabin has since continued to be plagued by paranormal activity…spooky!  

“Hunted by Bigfoot” on “Terror in the Woods”

December 4, 2017

  

The S1/Ep2 episode of Terror in the Woods on Destination America was titled Hunted by Bigfoot, and was an hour-long account of a personal encounter with the legendary cryptic creature.  In Adams County, Ohio two men both named “Mike” and their son, Jordan, hunted for Bigfoot on their own, equipped with portable voice recorders and amplified listening devices.  On October 11, 2014 they drove deeply into the woods, initially setting up by a bridge where they mimicked Bigfoot howls in an effort to lure them in.  They successfully recorded howls, tracking them deeper into the woods and ending up in an isolated graveyard at night where they again set up.  Knocking on a tree with a baseball bat, they got a response perhaps sixty to seventy yards away.  Half an hour later, they heard a howl.  Footfalls and a whistling, aggressive howl were perceived coming in two different directions.  Coyote sounds were heard joining in, one apparently in distress.

The three decided to leave when the creatures appeared to be drawing closer.  They stopped for a deer on the road who appeared to be fixated on something in the woods.  Howls heard appeared to shift in front of them as if they were being pursued.  One of the men, recounting that he “was excited and scared at the same time,” saw a shadow or dark shape about six to seven feet tall standing by a tree which howled.  One of the men pulled his sidearm and went to the treeline where he heard a great inhalation of air followed by a deep, intense roar.  He fired a round into the air before they resumed their escape in the vehicle.  The son, Jordan, said that the night was life-changing…

Bigfoot and the Catacombs

December 3, 2017

The S1/Ep6 episode of Terror in the Woods featured an encounter with a cryptid and later a ghost, haunting, or restless spirit encounter.  First considered were the adventures of Rodney and fellow campers who were settled in at a campsite in Red River Gorge, Kentucky when a large rock landed near them, followed by others.  Guttural vocalizations then came towards night as well as tree-knockings, sounds reportedly generated by Bigfoot creatures hitting limbs against trees.  The campers heard bipedal footfalls, and Rodney saw the outline of a large creature, which shunned flashlight beams and began throwing tree limbs.  Later into night, camping pans were knocked over, rummaging sounds were heard, and Rodney despite having only a machete exited his tent to see a Bigfoot creature scraping a pan, presumably scavenging food.  The creature stood six to seven feet tall, and had broad shoulders and long arms.  This Bigfoot made long, angry vocalizations as it made off.  The other campers with Rodney were professionals who did’t want to speak of the incident.  Rodney, however, continued to wander the woods in later times with a camera and firearm in search of the creature.

The “Catacombs” segment took place in Savannah, Georgia.  Ashley and Jess with others climbed down into the catacombs which were located near an abandoned hospital that was used as a quarantine location for yellow fever patients in the late 19th century.  Some of the unfortunate patients had tried in the 1800’s to escape the grounds via the catacombs while others were simply contained there.  Anyways, the group held a seance in a large chamber of the catacombs and heard a large stone shatter on the wall.   The last person in the group to depart the catacombs is reported to have felt a suctioning force on her body which pulled her back into the underground chamber.  A second effort to climb up and out was successful, however.  It was related that guards were stationed in the catacombs in the past to prevent patients from escaping them, with the inference being that they had encountered one of these spirits, still trying to perform their duty…  

“The Hell Hound” on “Terror in the Woods”

November 30, 2017

The Hell Hound episode of “Terror in the Woods” (S1/Ep9) wasn’t the kind of hell hound that I had been expecting.  In fact, at first I was wondering if the episode bore the wrong label, or if the hell hound would show up in a second segment.  To me, what was presented was more of a shadow person, restless spirit, haunting, or possession-type case, none of which represent my usual territory…

…at any rate, the dark, full hour-long story concerned a woman called Amy who in May of 2016 went on a ghost-hunting expedition with a number of others to an abandoned prison (also described as a hospital) situated outside of Columbus, Ohio. where over 300 died in a large fire in 1930.  She described a feeling of eyes upon her as she entered the building, and felt uncomfortable.  Although a person fascinated by the paranormal, Amy’s feelings turned from excitement to fear.  In one cell, she reported encountering a featureless, dark shadow of which she snapped a picture that later did reveal an image.  Amy fled the hospital and returned to the isolated cottage in the woods where she resided with her husband and a dog, Jake.

The week after the incident, Amy’s husband, normally a skeptic on paranormal matters, heard a raspy voice in his ear telling him to kill himself.  The family dog whined and sat at the bedroom doorway, refusing to cross the threshold.  Unnerving events continued for months thereafter, and Amy dreamed of seeing a featureless dark shape in the corner of the bedroom that slowly moved towards her.  The day after, she found bruises on the top part of her legs that looked like finger marks.  Due to recurrent vivid nightmares, Amy became afraid of going to sleep.  The dog “Jake” would apparently perceive the entity, which the woman described as being a “hell hound.”  Research performed by the woman suggested that seeing such a creature meant that you were about to die.  Others reportedly had also seen black dogs in the prison visited.

One day Amy found her dog lying outside, unable to move.  She apparently had a nasty dream prior to this of finding the dog eviscerated in the woods with the dark entity nearby.  Taking the dog to the vet, they found it to have a spinal condition which prevented use of its rear legs, and had the animal euthanized.  Although the dog was eleven years old, Amy blamed herself for his death, or rather thought that the entity that latched onto her in the prison was responsible.  Three months transpired from the time of the prison visitation and subsequent nightmares until the dog’s demise.  The once skeptical husband had come to believe that something malevolent had attached itself to his wife, and followed her home from the prison.  The woman warned people to be careful if they went looking for something because they might find it, and it might not be what they had expected…