Friday, March 29, 2019

Watch weird movies with your third eye; they taste better that way!

The third-eye is a pretty interesting concept when you really think about it. This notion that if you could really see beyond your current set of senses and know full truth beyond what you know now is a really attractive notions. Most people who believe in this concept also believe that anyone can attain this level of consciousness through meditation, medication, or enlightenment. I'm not sure if anyone currently living has this ability, but I do believe it is attainable to some degree. 

A dear friend of mine once told me about her idea of what the afterlife could be like. We were talking about religious ideas at the time, so I asked for her take. For context, she was Japanese, and she had grown up visiting both Buddhist and Shinto temples throughout her life, but she herself wasn't very attuned to what you might consider to be a real religious foundation. Her idea was this; the moment you die your spirit, or essence, for a brief moment understands the so-called "meaning of life". I found that to be quite beautiful, and in my weakest moments I sometimes consider her idea. It's so simple, and if I'm honest also very Japanese. 

But it makes sense right? You are brought into the game called life and at the end you're given the score. It comes together somehow at the end and you finally understand why it all happened the way it did. The big cosmic secret you'd like right now is on it's way, but you'll have to pass a certain threshold first before you can receive it.  

I've been adding to my window altar lately. I have a collection of Hotei statues, a few incense holders, and now a Archee Mcphee bobble-head Tiki, an Eeekeez Superman, and an old plastic milk bottle in the same of a cow. Part of my near daily ritual is to go into my kitchen, light some incense, and make my coffee (unless it's at night in which case I either start cooking dinner, or I do some cleaning. 

I can't bring into words the joy these dumbass trinkets really bring me, but I can say it does in fact bring me joy and a sort of inner peace. I love lighting my incense, slapping the Tiki to make his head bobble, and I love Superman's giant smile. It's an aesthetic pleasure; a joy from visual stupidity and tranquility. 

I'm not sure what the meaning of life is, but I am pretty certain that it will be the dumbest thing I've ever heard. 

Like good ol' J.R. "Bob" Dobbs says, 
"The dumber something looks, the more important it probably is."

Sameko Channel

響乃学園所属】あなたの推し、氷雨サメ子ですよ♪TRPG&ボードゲーム作るのが好き♪ モルモット/ゲーム/雑談。にじさんじの誰かとコラボしてみんなにぎゃふんと言わせたい!    響乃学園:

I don't speak Japanese. I tried to learn years ago, but I never kept up with it. I still watch anime and Japanese cinema, but I'm not so pretentious as to want to watch it all in Japanese; English subtitles is just fine for me. But recently I found myself running into channels of "Vtubers" (Video YouTubers is the full phrase I guess). 

It's apparantly a huge scene in Japan. You have these 2.5-D characters voiced live by people, and they chat about a variety of subjects. My favorite of these VTubers is Sameko (or "Shark Woman"). Sameko wears a shark hat, and has huge sharp teeth. I'm really addicted to the sound of her voice, it's quite pleasant to listen to even if I can't understand what the heck she's saying. 

Sameko has live shows twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday mornings (US time) and I've found myself having breakfast and getting ready for work while enjoying these conversations that Sameko has with her guests and with the live chat (which I take part in sometimes thanks to Google Translate). 

Again, I don't really understand this online culture. And I don't know why I like it so much! It's a part of my weekly routine now though, and I will continue to support Sameko and her friends every time she's on. She wants to become a famous Vtuber, and I hope she achieves that goal. 

The latest live stream was lots of fun, as Sameko and her friend practiced their English phrases together. I wonder if that was my influence! 

Japanese Mascots

While we're on the topic of Japan, I'd like to introduce you to my new lord and master, Babuchoo. He's a prince from an alien world called ChooChoo. He resembles a fried hot dog-octopus, which you'll be familiar with if you watch anime or if you've ever had a bento box lunch. 

Japan has mascots for everything. Babuchoo is a mascot for a television station, and I seriously want to build a religion around him. As more information comes in, expect updates on this growing faith of mine. 

"The TV channel Nippon BS has a new mascot called Babuchoo, an intergalactic octopus. He is the prince of the ChooChoo Takokaiya Star, which has a short life span of only 1 to 5 years, so he escaped to Earth, where he was discovered by a television executive." - Mondo Mascots 

And while we're at it, here's Amazones, a fetish-themed mascot for Ama City in the Aichi Prefecture. She's so beautiful; look at that luxurious pout. Amazones has an official Twitter account, but she hasn't updated in years. Probably too busy smacking around other mascots. 

"The mascot of Aichi Prefecture's Ama City is an Amazonian dominatrix named Amazones, who whips people with a locally-grown leek." - Mondo Mascots

This is her walk-around outfit for event... 
Not all designs are successful when transitioning into the third dimension. 

 Shasta Tiki Punch

For many years, I have been a fan of the sodas that are harder to find here in NYC. I love RC Cola, Moxie, but I think my favorite soda may very well be Shasta Tiki Punch!

Thankfully, I can easily find it at my local Dollar Tree. It takes a bit of an effort on my part to get it, but it's worth the walk. I actually don't drink much soda at all anymore, not really anyway. Tiki Punch is just my occasional snack, or reward, for surviving the week. 

There's no other reason for me talking about this; I just really like this soda. I don't care if it's just carbonated Hawaiian Punch!

Newlife Expo 2019

So for like the third year in a row, I visited the Newlife Expo to visit my friends at Unarius, and to help them with their booth. These events are fun for two reasons; firstly, it's a good place to see new and strange ideas from all over the world. In a spiritual sense, it's like viewing the multiverse. Secondly, and I don't mean to judge, but there are a lot o snake oil sellers here. Everyone wants to be a messiah, or some sort of way shower. 

Still, even with my cynicism I really enjoy coming to these places and just basking in the spiritual weirdness with everyone. I'm really no different than anyone else here. I just have to learn to accept people more for who they are and leave it at that. Anyway, enjoy these pictures, and maybe consider going to the Newlife Expo with me next year.

And if worse comes to worse, and your spiritual cynicism reaches a breaking point, "Bob" is always there for you... 

 Lost on Earth (1997)

For the short time that it was on, "Lost on Earth" was my favorite sitcom as a kid. It had ugly puppets, weird and awkward adult humor, and a bizarre plot. So far I've only been able to find the first half of the series on YouTube, as currently I guess it's another example of "lost media". I am hoping for a release by Mills Creek someday since they specialize in obscure stuff like this. 

I'm not sure why this show left such a strange impact on me, but I'm grateful it did. I remember being really obsessed with it. If I recall correctly it was on during prime-time on the USA Network, possibly on Thursday nights. I don't know why I remember that so specifically, but there you have it. It's amazing what sticks with you over the years. 

The premise of the show was this; alien scientists from a future alternate universe travel to our planet on a scientific expedition to learn about our then-modern human culture. These aliens come from a Lovecraftian-like cartoon world, and when they come to Earth they screw up the replication process and ended looking like horrible looking puppets. 

Angela was of course the standout character for me. The only female puppet-alien on the show, she just oozed sensuality. My warped teenage mind latched on to her, and I'll admit it; I had a thing for her. I might actually still carry a torch for her now. 

Look at that beautiful, lust-filled expression. Who wouldn't fall in love with Angela? She's just one more example of a fictional character for whom I have nothing but adoration for. 

Cry Uncle (1971)

"Cry Uncle" needs to be seen to really understand why it's so amazing. It's been on my to-watch list for what seems like forever. I first learned about it as a teenager, but I'm more about monster movies than I am about detective stories. Still, I decided to give it a shot the other night and I was hooked! 

Like, seriously, watch it, and if possible watch it with subtitles or closed captions; there are some amazing quotations to be found in this hilarious film. 

As a side note, this movie was based off a book by Michael Brett called "Lie a Little, Die a Little" and I plan on hunting down this very out of print novel. Wish me luck.

Shark Exorcist (2015)

I saw this because some of my Japanese Twitter friends seem slightly obsessed with it. So, for those of  you who are unaware there is a vague cult of fans in Japan who obsess over American shark movies. I don't know how or when this started, but it is truly fascinating. I one time asked jokingly if there was a shark based religion for their fandom, and I was pointed to this film. 

"Shark Exorcist" is fun, no doubt, and has some interesting moments, but I wish the shark in it had more to do. A murderous sexy nun kills in the name of Satan, asks for some sort of enforcer from her Dark Lord, and a killer shark from Hell appears to terrorize the lake. Yes; lake. 

I feel like I shouldn't say too much about this movie, as to not give away the plot. It is kind of short, so saying too much might take away from some of the fun. Just give it a watch, It's up on Amazon Prime. 

The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys (1992)

A lot like "Lost on Earth", "The Amazing Live Sea Monkeys" really stuck with me. Sea Monkeys was a pretty big budget show for it's time. A great deal of make-up work, puppetry, and other special effects were used to bring this show to life. It was kitschy, fun, and weird; all of my favorite things. 

My favorite episode concerns a one-off character called the Octopatomus, which was this strange experimental creature that one of the Sea Monkeys wanted for a pet. 

I simply love this thing; look at that beautiful dumb face! Who wouldn't want this thing for a pet! I know I would love him for the rest of my life! 

This is another one of those shows that isn't on DVD. I'm still waiting for some kind of release! 

Internet Cruise (1995)

Now this was an interesting artifact to bump into. "Internet Cruise" seems to have been a video for folks who weren't sure what the internet was way back in the caveman days of 1995.It's very informative, really it is, but it has a nostalgic vibe to it. It looks like one of those vaporwave music videos I bump into every once in a while. 

There really isn't much to say about it, but it is a cool thing to see. It's nice seeing the old World Wide Web like I remember it being. I'd never go back to it though, but it's cool seeing the early days of what became such an important part of our modern culture.

The internet is a series of tubes. 


This guy is so ugly.
This link still works:

Missile to the Moon (1958)

"Missile to the Moon" (a movie I've mentioned before) is apparently a remake of sorts of "Cat Women on the Moon". I'd say it's more in the spirit of that movie since I feel that "Missile to the Moon" has it's own energy, or aura about it. 

Admittedly, I watch it for it's giant cave spider, who I use as an avatar in most of my social media these days. The plot is fairly interesting, but it's more about the characters themselves; they're all really cartoony. The rock-men on the moon are also fun, but it's all about that grisly demise near the end and the "moon city apocalypse" finale. 

This is a good example of classic Sunday morning sci-fi from the 1950's. Worth a watch if you like weird old movies. 

Psyched by the 4D Witch (1973)

The next time I sit down to watch this movie I want to be blasted. I feel like the only way to enjoy this movie is while totally and completely high. "Psyched by the 4-D Witch" is a psychedelic journey through the fourth dimension, where you see monsters, demons, and of course a malevolent witch who hypnotizes her descendant to have sex on her behalf. 

There are some really beautiful moments in this movie, somehow. They use Halloween masks pretty effectively too. I feel like if I was stoned and watching this in theaters on a big screen I'd be absolutely terrified by the imagery. The plot isn't all that interesting though, and the sex depicted is somewhat laughable; though I did enjoy her initial sexual awakening. 

This movie is pretty experimental. It's more an experience than it is a narrative. Again, it's worth watching while stoned.

Ooga Booga (2013)

"Ooga Booga" tries its best to make you hate it, but I find it all so fascinating. It's rated pretty low on IMDB, but I feel there's more worth to it than most people give it credit. There's something poetic hidden in the depths of "Ooga Booga". I can't place my finger on it, but it's definitely a more layered narrative than you'd expect. 

There are elements of racism, fascism, conspiracy, classism and also scenes that depict rape, bigotry,  and indifference to evil. Ooga Booga, the doll itself, is a racist caricature that kills racists. And, on top of that, the soul that inhabits Ooga Booga is that of an intelligent young black man who had just been accepted into medical school before being murdered. 

So, there are a lot of elements in this movie that should make it work, but for some reason it doesn't fit together so neatly. There are some amazing performances in it, but also some that just fall flat. There are scenes that are great, but others that are just boring and go on for too long. I feel like with better direction this could have been an absolute classic. It's close to that though, so I feel like it's worth checking out. 

I should also mention that this movie is a quasi-sequel to "Doll Graveyard" from 2005. 

My current movie watch list

Here are some movies I plan on watching/purchasing in the near future. The Tempe Apocalypse is particular special because Tempe Films is going out of business. I really want to make it out to see "Robot Ninja" in theaters. It'd be my only chance I think to see one of their movies on the big screen. 

I'm going to try and make it to the Cinema Village showing on April 12th. 

This AMAZING Shark 3-pack is available 3/28 at Best Buy and other retailers.

Anti-Fracking monster movie; available on Amazon Prime

Finally available on Amazon Prime!

Recently screened at SXSW; it was very well received.

I'm not sure when this is will be out, or, if it's out yet. I'm going to check Amazon Prime.