The Grate Stupid

There’s a reason I don’t watch Silent Hill fan video blogs and podcasts. I’m 100% supportive of fan creative projects, such as fan made games, films, etc, because there are some great examples of incredible creativity and artistry to be found. Those are true labors of love. But when it comes to Silent Hill “fan” theories, podcasts, etc., I avoid them like the plague. Ever heard of Twin Perfect? I’m not surprised if you haven’t, but if you’ve ever seen any of their videos, you know what I’m talking about. Most Silent Hill fan boys are exactly like those losers.

But in feeling somewhat nostalgic today, I decided to revisit some fun P.T. game play videos on YouTube. I was cruising through P.T. videos when I stumbled on a fan theory video blog by two people with a channel called The Grate Debate (their actual screen names are too desperately try-hard to mention). Despite my better judgement, I gave it a listen. Surprisingly, it wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t anything special as it rambled a bit and it took a while for them to get to their points. There was lots of repetition too, but I guess that was merited since they later insinuated that they didn’t think their listeners possessed too much intelligence (big red flag number one: head lodged firmly up sphincter; red flag number two: contempt for their viewers). In any event I found this video blog marginally superior to other such videos. And let’s be honest, with my constant butchering of the English language, including atrocious grammar, rambling thought process, usually resulting from my barely coherent 4 a.m. rants, do I really have much cause to complain?

Then I made the mistake of clicking on their podcasts about P.T. (when will I learn?).

The first half was okay, but then in the second half they made the unfortunate mistake of spilling their thoughts on the rest of the game series. Uh oh.

You can almost pinpoint the exact moment when they stopped analysing the game they were speculating about and started getting high off their own excretory gases. They could barely contain themselves, and after a while stopped trying.

I have two main issues with these losers.

First, they claim they love the Silent Hill franchise, and claim to understand all that Silent Hill is and to be enthralled in the mythos and stories, etc, etc, but really they only love the first two games. Actually, they merely tolerate the first game (basically, they seem to feel obligated to pay some homage to it, but largely ignore important aspects about it).

See, they hate all games after Silent Hill 2.

They especially hate Silent Hill 3. Yes, critically acclaimed, fan favorite, considered one of the most tense, emotional, and scariest games of the series almost universallythat Silent Hill 3.

Want to know why?

Because one of them played Silent Hill 2 first, and therefore thinks the entire series should a series of anthologies in the style of Silent Hill 2. They also think the cult is mentioned “too much” and that things shouldn’t be “explained” because it’s “scarier.”

*sigh*

Just…

*sigh*

So much stupid found in a few short sentences.

I hate Silent Hill 2 fan boys. I really do. They’ve tainted my love for such a great game because they are so idiotic and infantile. I also have a special sort of loathing when they force me to resort to this kind of argument: that they are obviously not “true” fans of the Silent Hill series (and everything it’s about), just of Silent Hill 2 (Cuz Pyramid Headz is the Scurriest guys!!!111).

Did these two morons bother paying attention at all to what happened in Silent Hill 1? At all? You know, the game that started the franchise, IS the definitive Silent Hill game, and has set a precedent for how all games should follow it? NOT Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 1!!

Hey Grate Stupid, all games that follow should follow the trend set by the first game, because you know, it’s the first flipping game!! It sets the standards and tone of the series, which is why it’s the first game.

Stupid, stupid, stupid idiots.

And here is the second reason I hate these guys. That same pointless argument spouted by idiots like Twin Perfect (what is it with these douche-bags and dumb pseudonyms?). NEWSFLASH: The cult of Silent Hill is the entire FLIPPING catalyst for the events of Silent Hill 1, therefore, they have established their roots within the game series and are an integral part of that world.

What? Logic?? I doubt they can comprehend.

Yep. Such a pretty obvious detail somehow flew right over their little empty heads.

It’s sad how many times this has to be pointed out, but the cult IS the REASON that the town delved into the darkness. There is evidence that the town has always been mysterious and haunted, sure, but we have NO EVIDENCE that anything remotely like the events of the first game had happened prior. Therefore, we can only conclude that the powers of the town found a way to manifest its full power using Alessa’s psychic abilities (caused from her birth by the cult). There is evidence that the cult was trying to use the town for years prior to birth its god. There are references to the cult and the occult even in Silent Hill 2. YOU HAVE TO BE THE BIGGEST MORON ON THE PLANET NOT TO SEE HOW TIED TO THE TOWN’S POWER THE CULT IS! The cult was born of the town, so yeah, it’s pretty freaking significant. Sorry you’re so butt-hurt over it because for some reason  you don’t want a cult in the game. Get over it.

Of all the stupid criticisms.

You know, it’s one thing to say that the cult shouldn’t be a huge FOCUS of the entire series (which I whole heartedly agree with). But it belongs there every bit as much as the rust and fog.

And guess what? Silent Hill 3 is a DIRECT SEQUEL to Silent Hill 1. Do these morons understand what the term “DIRECT SEQUEL” means? A CONTINUATION of ideas, themes, and characters in a cohesive story. Why? Because ALESSA is one of the most interesting freaking characters in the entire franchise!!

And guess what important group gets a mention? The same group tied to the events of the FIRST GAME (that gave birth to the damn series)!

QUELLE SHOCK AND AWE!

I hate these morons that try to pretend a game isn’t good and make grunts, whine, and spout bull-ish to try to act like the game is just a complete fail because of their own personal bias.

Let’s be honest: Silent Hill 1 had the best story, BY FAR. If Silent Hill 1 had the graphics and controls that SH2 and SH3 had, it would be as beloved as SH2 and SH3.

It had the mystery, the enigmatic aura. It built the franchise and despite the flaws of the technological and budget restrictions of the era, has held up very well.

Let’s break down the story:

Silent Hill 1: A man traveling with his daughter drives to a remote resort town with a dark past one late night, when a mysterious figure runs out in front of him. He swerves to avoid her, crashes and becomes knocked out. When he awakes, his daughter is missing. He enters the quiet town, now desolate and shrouded in fog with an unseasonal light snow. An eerie siren sounds periodically, bringing tension as it’s coming brings a nightmarish Otherworld. He journeys through the town searching for his daughter, encountering strange, grotesque and freakish creatures, as well as encounter a few odd individuals whom speak to him in cryptic riddles. As he unlocks the secrets of the town, it’s past, and residences, he discovers the story of the iconic Alessa Gillespie based on the clues she leaves him. In the end, none of this matters to him, because he only wants to save his daughter. He fights demonic entities derived from Dahlia and Alessa’s twisted psyche in order to save her humanity.

The “twist” comes from the fact that his daughter isn’t whom he thought she was (to say the least), and this seemingly quiet town is a haven for dark forces to manifest and corrupt the “innocent.”

In this game, we are introduced to the town, we visit the most interesting locations in the series, we meet the cult (who plays a big role behind the scenes), and we meet Alessa/Cheryl/Heather, the best character in the franchise (sorry G-debags).

The cult also has many sects that aids in establishing an interesting mythos to the town. It’s almost like the towns creations and history are TIED to it!

In Silent Hill 2, the player follows around an unsympathetic wife-killer who spends most of his time complaining and being forced to begrudgingly doing anything. He shows virtually no emotion (despite “advancements” in voice acting and script writing). And, considering all the blatant sexual imagery in the game (most of which is based on his own psyche) we have to figure he is extremely horny the entire time. So, after running around acting like an entitled creep, the player finds out that *shock* he murdered his wife, and he either has to accept his guilt or continue to suffer in some form (it should be noted that there are many great endings here that almost make up for this boring troupe of a character).

Look, I’m not saying Silent Hill 2 is a bad game. It’s a damn masterpieceno question, but it is a bit over-hyped, and in my opinion it just isn’t as good or engaging as Silent Hill 1 in terms of story, characters, and atmosphere (it’s just more polished). In Silent Hill 2 the town feels kind of lack luster in appearance to be quite honest, and only a few of the locations feel inspired. James is also a unsympathetic douche bag while Harry is a truly valiant character. It’s why I could never get into Silent Hill 2 as much. James was a jerk. He whined, was a bit of a coward, didn’t have much concern for other characters (only Maria because she made him feel like a “hero”, reminded him of Mary, and was hot) but was pretty dismissive of Laura and Angela, two of the most defenseless characters in the game. I’m sorry, but you don’t leave a despondent and potentially suicidal woman alone after witnessing her playing with a knife, nor do you leave a little kid to run around a town full of monsters (he only gave a spit when Maria said something, he clearly didn’t care about Laura, only when he was guilted into looking after her did he bother). And it wasn’t like James was ultimately into the end goal (finding Mary). He took so many detours and made so many dumb decisions. He showed little emotion. Everything centered around him and his selfish needs. He had to be guilted into behaving like a responsible human being. Sure, a character doesn’t have to be the “good guy” to be an interesting character or be one that I can empathize with, but he was just such a bland douche-bag that the big “reveal” wasn’t much of a surprise to me, and there were too many times I would have rather ditched him to follow Laura or Angela around. I honestly think that people have such a hard on for his character because he’s associated with Pyramid Head. He is not a great character, to be quite frank.

And to be frank, there isn’t much of a difference between the character of James and Murphy, except Murphy is more fleshed out (and to be truthful, a better character).

(shhh, we aren’t supposed to praise anything from Downpour, just blindly hate it)

Let’s now look at the locations.

Silent Hill 1 had a seriously creepy school (which sadly never fully returns to the game), Alchemilla hospital (a legit medical hospital that doesn’t hit you over the head with the theme of mental illness, and actually has a direct tie to one of the major characters, therefore giving a meaning to the actual mystery), the Amusement Park (the freakiest locale ever visited in the games), a lighthouse (to summon aliens), the resort town (tons of fun references found, not to mention many other cool areas of the town. I loved how chock full of easter eggs and crazy puns and imagery was stashed throughout the first game.

And of course there was also Nowhere, probably another one of the most awesome areas of the series.

Silent Hill 2 introduces South Vale (an area which, to be honest, serves little purpose for existing). It features the historical society (unimpressive), the Labyrinth (a cool, freaky maze that gives some insight into the town’s history), the Prison (one of the few locations that has an actual allegoric meaning and purpose to serve the protagonist), Brookhaven Hospital (also pretty unnecessary for existing other than “mental hospitals = scares!!!!111”). There’s Rosewater Park (fairly interesting, but also ultimately a pointless location because nothing happens here that couldn’t happen elsewhere), the Bowling Alley (*yawn*), Lakeview Hotel (which reminds me of the Shining, so major props there).

Silent Hill 3’s major problem was it tried to be too much like Silent Hill 2 in terms of locations. Brookhaven should have been substituted with Alchemilla, and the shopping center served no purpose. Thankfully though, we have locations like the Mall, the lower chapel levels, the revamped Amusement Park and revamped Brookhaven to make up for the mostly bland locations in Silent Hill 2. Unfortunately, like SH2, some of the locations didn’t serve as having a particular meaning to the protagonist of Silent Hill 3, unlike Silent Hill 1.

And what was with all the over-the-top sexual imagery of Silent Hill 2? That sort of thing made sense with Alessa/Heather because they dealt with a multitude of issues concerning sexually inclined topics such as physical deformity, forced impregnation, threat of rape, sexual maturity/awakening, etc. James was *just* sexually frustrated because Mary became ugly due to her disease (and wouldn’t sleep with him).Yes, we get it, he was a shallow guy. Okay. So why was the imagery so bang-you-over-the-headish? Sure, scenes of Pyramid Head attacking or molesting other creatures were interesting, and since PH served as a manifestation of a certain part of James and his desires, as well as his punishment, I could understand those scenes. And I’m not saying that the creature designs weren’t great. But I could  not understand how every creature had to have some sort of phallic or feminine, dripping wet reference to it. It seemed a bit over the top. Of all the issues he was dealing it, it seemed the monster designs concentrated a bit more heavily on this aspect. It was so blatant that at some point I thought he might be revealed as a rapist or some sort of predator. As in, maybe Mary wasn’t his wife but a woman he was obsessed over, violated and murdered. I definitely pinned him for a murderer and sex fiend. It just served as another reason for me not to trust him or give a spit about how he is treated in the game, which distanced me from the character.

Harry in contrast, is self-sacrificing and pretty proactive in finding and following any potential clue that might lead him to his daughter. Also in contrast to James, Harry’s wife has been dead for quite a while, yet he doesn’t seem eager to hit on the much more attractive Nurse Lisa or Cybil. Even though his voice acting lacked, he was sufficiently shown as focused and clear-headed, and not willing to be easily diverted from his main goal.

And since most of the monsters in Silent Hill 1 are manifestations of Alessa, and she is a much more enigmatic character, they are ultimately more interesting to me. There’s a primal edge to them because they come from the primitive imagination of a little girl who buried herself into a fantasy world to hide from her real hell.

So what of Silent Hill 3?

How DARE this game exist!!

Let’s see, a young girl is born with psychic abilities in a haunted town (and nurtured by said town). She’s horribly abused by her mother (who makes Margaret White look like a saint) and further ostracised by the town because of the freaky stuff that keeps happening to her (forces that she doesn’t fully understand). She is forcibly impregnated and goes around with the knowledge that she will birth a hellish creature. Then in a disgusting ritual, she is fully BURNED ALIVE by her mother, sent to a hospital where she is completely isolated (and presumed dead), and left to stew in her rage and hate for her situation and lash out at those around her as she suffers unbelievable mental and physical pain for SEVEN MORE YEARS. Meanwhile, she splits her soul in an effort to save herself, in which her other half is brought back to Silent Hill and THE CULT attempts to use both halves to bring about the god and drag the world into an apocalypse. After her father suffers and fights a great deal to save her and her other half, she is “reborn” and her father flees with her.

Yeah, surely a dedicated group of religious zealots aren’t going to want some sort of revenge or to finish the work of Dahlia, their head priestess. They wouldn’t try to find her, no no no. It can’t be possible a part of the soul of Alessa tainted by the Otherworld, may force itself onto this new birth, causing issues at some point later in her life, right?

*sigh* I just don’t get how people fail so hard to get it.

And again, a character suffering from a plethora of physical and mental anguish, who only knows pain, suffering, and unhappiness; who uses her abilities to split her soul, only to have to fight using the darkness from the town to keep the other part of the soul safe, isn’t an interesting character to the Grate Debate morons. THEY feel that we don’t need this character fleshed out anymore (WHICH HAPPENS IN THE THIRD GAME) because it’s not as “scary”. But let’s obsess over what James went through, right?

No, idiots, it’s called CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. It happens to all great characters, which Alessa/Heather is. James was kind of bland, which is why no one really cares what his ultimate outcome was (hopefully he died in the “Lake” ending).

I also love how they say that every room in Silent Hill 2 feels like Pyramid Head was “just there” or is constantly “stalking” the player. No, no, that is just your obsession over the character of Pyramid Head clouding your feelings in the game. There is no evidence that he is directly following you in EVERY room or any other such nonsense you spout. And, please, Silent Hill 2 fan boys, stop riding PH’s junk (that’s what most of us REAL fans are sick of by the way). I’m honestly starting to think most of the hype from Silent Hill 2 comes from that fact that people love Pyramid Head so much.

Look, I LOVE Silent Hill 2. I really do. It’s among my favorite video games of all times.  I just think that Silent Hill 2 has been put on a pedestal for the sole purpose of trashing all other games. I’m merely pointing out that it isn’t as perfect as some people claim, and that some, such as myself, have good reason to prefer Silent Hill 1 and Silent Hill 3 over Silent Hill 2, and think it’s ridiculous how much nasty elitism that comes from the fan worship of SH2.

To make a long story short (too late!), I like SH1 and SH3 more because the stories on ultimately revolve around the theme of love in a sea of darkness and pain. For Silent Hill 1 and 3, it’s about the love between a father and a daughter, and about choosing forgiveness over revenge. SH2 was about a more selfish motivation; James desire of absolvement for a horrible crime. Keep in mind, everyone in SH2 (except the fictitious Maria and Laura), has murdered someone. Yes, their stories are very interesting (and Angela’s among the most tragic of the series), but I couldn’t connect with those characters like I could connect with Harry and Alessa/Heather. I know that’s hard for some people to understand, especially as many don’t want to play a teenage girl unless she is fetishized, but they, like The Grate Debate, have completely missed the point of the game.

But that’s what happens when you obsess over one game in a series and just google various facts about the rest.

I also loved this bit in the podcast: they actually complained that parts of Silent Hill 3 and Silent Hill 4 didn’t take place in Silent Hill, yet two minutes later went back to say that they “loved” that the town influenced other towns. Please make up your flipping minds.

Stupid hypocrites.

Let’s face it, “Grate” debate, you are just another one of those fan boys that liked the story of Silent Hill 2, and wanted that single game revamped and repeated throughout the series, and were pissed that didn’t happen and are grasping at straws to hate on good sequels.  And I know it’s lost on you, but Team Silent was responsible for Silent Hill 3 and 4, meaning that they thought those stories where a very integral part of the series (which included the cult). And keep in mind, the theme of people wandering into the town of Silent Hill with select memory loss and a dark past which they must somehow atone for (JUST LIKE JAMES) are themes that have continually been carried out throughout the franchise.

You tried, you failed.

But hey, at least they aren’t like Twin Perfect, who envision themselves as warriors for the series (which in their mind, begins and ends with SH2).

*rolls eyes*

What a surprised the female podcaster had “just played” Silent Hill 2 before the podcast (yet somehow missed all the hints about the cult).

And I bet that’s the only game in the series she’s played more than once (if she’s even played the others).In fact, I’m pretty sure of it. She probably just watched Twin Perfect videos to get a “feel” for the other games.

I also loved how they complained previously about people being negative about the series, you know, after they made all manner of disgusted noises and threw shade about the other games in the series. I especially love how they practically call out some of their “fans” for asking dumb questions. While I agree that anyone that is a fan of their video series and follows them on Facebook is likely a bit dim, no decent person would actually insinuate it out loud about their fans to their faces (these are their supporters after all) and then call out the dumb questions asked!

Hey, Grate Debate, are you so socially incompetent you can not think of a way to address the issue without mocking your viewers? What jackassery. Those people you have such contempt for give you the attention that you so crave.

Also, try to educate yourself on whom Guillermo Del Toro is and all of his work (not just Pan’s Labyrinth). He was only serving as a major influence on a series you supposedly love (and by series, we mean two games in the franchise, but really only one).

God, these people suck at all levels of life.

For my readers that aren’t part of this level of stupidity that has long infiltrated the fan base (and have suffered a great deal reading through my ramblings), I leave you with this awesome mod that has been circulating the web:

Silent Hill: Alchemilla

(sorry, I don’t see the name of the person who made this mod, but major kudos to them)

Now I’m going to end with this:

Dear Mindless Debaters:

I’m going to spell it out for you. Silent Hill 3 was a great game. If you find it cheesy or awful then I hate to break it to you, but you have bad taste. And it’s not up for debate. Objectively, it’s a solid horror game and a fine addition to the series. If you don’t like the game, that’s one thing, but to try to pretend that a game like Silent Hill 3 is sub par or in any way mediocre is an automatic fail on YOUR part (just as you fail in life).

And I’m sorry that your parents failed to educate you on basic levels of comprehension. You certainly have no business posting theories videos (theories that I’m deducing that you probably ripped off other sites based on your obvious lack of awareness to what is happening around you when you game play).

I know you’ll whine that I’m being too harsh and taking things too far, but there’s no nicer way to put it. You. Are. STUPID. And you need to hear this, so let me repeat again: you suck at all things that require a minimum effort of thought. If you would just keep your stupidity to yourselves, people like myself wouldn’t have to educate you.

Just because you have an opinion and can freely share it, doesn’t mean you should.

In short, you are dumb, stupid, ignorant, foolish and simple. A pair of dummies, losers, mindless, nonsensical, half-witted, obtuse, dense, doltish, moronic, dim, thick-headed, witless, puerile, idiotic, and imbecilic wastes of space.

Your arguments are the typical dumb lazy fan boy arguments made to try to convince yourselves that you are fans of all that the franchise is (the essence of the story of Silent Hill) when in reality you just liked one game and have since developed an obsession over it; and now pretend you’re a fan while riding the hypercritical wave posed by other phony fans that too just liked Silent Hill 2. Your phony concern over the series is noted. You are not one of us, you never were. Go away.

But feel free to thank me for ripping that hole in both of your backsides wider, so you won’t feel the need to force so much bile from your mouths from now on (seriously, you guys are stinking up the place). No charge for the procedure. 🙂

sincerely,

Lady Lil,

           a fan who understands that there is more to the series than just Silent Hill 2

The Truth Behind the Hanuda Incident

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If you will recall, a while back I wrote about the J-Horror video game series, Forbidden Siren. You may be shocked though to hear that people actually think that Hanuda is a real place. Part of this comes from the fake websites (which you can still visit today) that were set up as part of the promo for the game. These websites mention an urban legend around a partial ghost town with strange inhabitants. This part is based on a real life Japanese urban legend. However, when people say that the events that happened in the game are based off real life events, they are only partially correct. Let’s take a moment to separate the facts from the fiction, shall we?

The story: If you’ve played the game, you know the story. A reclusive mountain village in Japan with a dark past once again undergoes a dimensional shift, the events of that day are speculated but to the rest of the world the facts concerning the villagers fate are thus: on the day of a rare constellation, a massive avalanche occurs and is the probable cause to the disappearance of all inhabitants save one. This avalanche mimics similar events from years back, in which again only one survivor was picked up from the rubble. The town also has a history of violence that dates generations back to when a soldier returning from war killed 33 people. The inhabitants of the village were known to be wary of strangers, most lived in the village their whole lives, and practiced a strange religion.

The myth: In Japan, there are a great many villages that have become ghost towns. However, unlike the ghost towns found in the States, what makes these ghost towns particularly eerie is that a great many personal items, furniture, and equipment owned by previous inhabitants have been left behind, making it appear as though the locals just up and disappeared one day. According to Japanese folklore, there are tales of a strange village that can’t be found on any map and the few queer folk who reside. Upon entrance to the town are signs that proclaim the town exists within its own laws, and murder, incest, and cannibalism are a common occurance.  The mysterious town is said to reside in another world, and the few travelers that have found a way to enter are rarely heard from again. This village is known as INUNAKI VILLAGE. Many alleged imagery of the town show a mountainous backdrop and a nearby mine.

Many of the “facts” about the town are similar to what was written in one of the promotional (fake) websites for Forbidden Siren,:

   “The Hanuda Incident”

XX village is located in the middle of the mountains in XXcounty, XX prefecture.
This time we investigate the strange disturbances in XX village.

First of all,”33 Murdered, XX Village”.
The 33 murders took place in a small village during the war.
We will take you back to that time.
One disturbed young man, carrying a Japanese sword and several guns,
slaughtered the 33 villagers one by one.
The village was completely annihilated in only one night.
After that night the village became a ghost town and completely
disappeared during a landslide in 1976.
No longer can you find the village on any map.
XXvillage was merged with the neighbouring village, Hanuda.
From then on the existence of XX village was hushed up. Or so we thought.

This ghastly night was never completely wiped from people’s memories.
Over the last couple of years a rumour has been circulating that XX village still exists.

Let us introduce you to the rumours about the curse of “33 Murdered, XX Village”.

Testimony 1: The village still exists in the mountains of XX county and blood stained clothes can be found in the abandoned houses.
Testimony 2: One old woman, on all fours, can be found in the village devouring something .
Testimony 3: I f you enter the village you will lose your mind and pass out, due to the hatred of the dead villagers.
Testimony 4: Young people, in search of the ghost village, have gone missing, never to be seen again.
etc…

These rumours are circulated on the internet have have attracted the attention of a lot of people.

<The Kasutori Inquirer “33 Murdered, XX Village”>
Did the “33 Murdered, XX Village” really happen ?
Investigating the mystery, I called Hanuda town hall. Here is their answer…

kasutori

“We don’t have any official record of such happenings.”

But is all this just rumour?

Before we conclude our investigation, let’s go back to Hanuda village.
Hanuda village was the hiding place of a religious cult that was persecuted in the past.
There is another theory that XX Village” is actually part of Hanuda village.

At this point, let us review the rumours associated with Hanuda village.

・The persecution of the religious cult.
・Hanuda village and XX village are mysteriously linked in the depths of history.
・Hanuda village has strange customs and traditions that are not found anywhere else.
・People describe the village as a place between two worlds, where you can be spirited away. There are many reports of missing people.
・This village, from time to time, is the center of natural disasters on an enormous scale.

I have concluded that behind all of these rumours, it is actually the land that is to blame for all these happenings.
Then I decided to visit Hanuda village to unveil the darkness deep within this part of Japan.

It was my first visit and I thought it would be easy to get there.
All I had to do was find XX county on the map and find XX village in the middle of the mountains.
It took an hour and a half by car from the nearest train station.
As expected, I could get to Hanuda village.

But the village had sustained a lot of damage from a landslide caused during an earthquake.
The villagers were occupied rebuilding the village with dark expressions on their faces.
They appeared to me without life, the walking dead.

From the second promotional website, Occultland:

The Bloody Village
Before the war…or during the war. There was XX village in XX county. An outraged young man killed all 33 villagers in one night.
This case is called “33 Murdered, XX Village”. It was very shocking news in Japan. I heard that village became a ghost town.
Wondering if “Bloody Village” is “XX Village”…
Re: Bloody Village Quote

Unknown – 29/07/2003 (Tue) 03:30:27 < REPLY >

XX Village disappeared by landslide in the 70’s.
It no longer exists on the map, might have merged into the neighbouring village (Hanuda Village)…
There are rumours around there. One guy saw a bloody villager’s ghost, people pass out when they go through that area.
This map looks like XX village for sure.

map

The truth: There are a few real life incidents that seem to have served as inspiration for the game and it’s back story. The biggest and most obvious is the mass murder incident, which really happened. The incident is known as the Tsuyama Massacre, and very closely mimics the in-game legend of the murderous soldier (a role to be repeated in a very similar fashion) .

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From Wikipedia: Mutsuo Toi cut the electricity line to the village of Kamo on the evening of 20 May, which left the community in darkness. At around 1:30 am on 21 May, he killed his 76-year-old grandmother by decapitating her with an axe. Then he strapped two flashlights to his head and prowled through the village entering the homes of his neighbours. He killed 29 neighbours (27 of whom died at the scene of the incident, while two others were fatally wounded, dying of their injuries later) and seriously injured three others in about an hour and half using a Browning shotgun, a Japanese sword and an axe. This was almost half of the residents of the small community. At dawn he committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest. 

More info about the murders found here.

The second is the village itself. The pictures used for the promotional website are obviously real, and Japan has no shortage of eerie ghost towns that look as though they were abandoned at the spur of the moment. It seems that there was, in this case, one particular village used (that supposedly can be found today) to represent Hanuda/Hanyuda (Inunaki). This real life village is called Shiraiwa Village, and is found near Chichibu, north of Tokyo.  Here is another website with photographs: here. There are many YouTube videos available of the reclusive locale, some that show an eerie school gym.

So there you have it, the real story of “Hanuda/Hanyuda” aka “XX village”. There was such a great team behind the game, how could they predict that their fiction would become online legend?

For further enjoyment, feel free to visit this cool Siren fan site.

 

Cannibal Holocaust (spoilers)

Despite having virtually no free time, I decided to celebrate the best month of the year by watching one of the most notorious horror/exploitation films in history. I particularly chose this film having enjoyed The Forest, a game heavily inspired by the film, and in the wake of the renewed “cannibal jungle” craze that seems to be sweeping the net (likely thanks to Eli Roth’s Green Inferno). Since this film essentially birthed the genre, is still highly controversial (notorious), and is considered the best the genre has to offer, I figured it was appropriate, even though I am not a fan of cannibal films (unless it’s the original TCM, of course).

So what was my verdict on this film?

It was….alright. In fact, I sort of liked it. True, it’s every bit as trashy as works by Folci and his ilk, but I will give this film credit for having better acting and some resemblence of a plot. Actually, compaired to the absolute dumb trash that is Italian slasher horror, particularly in the cannibal genre, it’s a damn masterpiece. It’s certainly better then the rest of the crap it’s director, Ruggero Deodato, farted out. Let me be blunt, I’ve seen about seven or eight “classic” Italian slasher films, and they are all garbage. They have just the thinnest sliver of a plot, ridiculous dialogue, horrible direction, atrocious acting and dubbing, all because the director wants to rush through to get to the gore. All those “great” effects these films are known for are a thin disguise for the fact that the director is a mindless hack who likely slept his way into the business. I try not to judge people based on their film tastes, but…seriously…. In terms of brutality and gratuitous rape scenes, this film is right up there. Five rapes, real animal slaughter (no really, they actually killed real animals on camera for a bunch of throw-away scenes), and several grisly deaths with the typical money shots into the guts. Having seen several of these films before hand, you can imagine the feelings I had going in to watch this. However, this film is surprisingly watchable, as in I didn’t want to stab my eye balls out after the first twenty minutes.

First, the music is absolutely superb. The opening theme, which is used throughout the film, is very memorable and used well as a great piece of irony. There’s also a more dramatic score that sets up the tension well. Likewise there’s some great cinematography here, several great shots are utilized to optimal dramatic effect (key word here: drama, there’s actually some tense scenes).

Second, the plot premise is decent. A professor journeys to an isolated jungle in search of a missing film crew. After befriending the locals, he finds the remains of the crew along with the crews last piece of footage, which records their travels and eventual fate. The primary actor, Robert Kerman, whose better known for his pelvic girth, gives a surprisingly solid performance as the films protagonist and voice of reason. In fact, all the primary actors gave credible performances. Of course, it helps that the dialogue doesn’t sound like a bunch of incoherant dribble put together in five minutes by a wino on a bender. Having sat through several bad such genre films with actors that all look as though they were drugged, drunk, or held at gun point, believe me this was well appreciated.

In any event, I actually cared about Kerman’s character and was interested enough to see what the outcome would be. That’s right, a Italian cannibal horror film actually impressed me enough to keep watching. Maybe it’s because the genre is so heavily plagued with such trash that anything that has some obvious ounce of effort put into it seems like a Coppola production.

To be fair, there are Italian horror films deemed classics that I actually love. Suspiria is such an incredibly stellar visual/atmospheric masterpiece it overshadows a muddled crap plot. Phenomena (Creepers) is interesting and surprisingly engaging with a surreal storyline and an ending that makes the viewer forget about the idiotic, bipolar dialogue. And let’s not forget the first three Dead films. Those films I can understand having high ratings on IMDB.

What would I rate this film?

Well, considering the death scenes were impactful enough that the director had to prove in court that he didn’t kill any of the actors. Considering the fact that I actually liked the main protagonist and felt that all the actors put some effort into their performances. Let’s also bear in mind that I liked the plot and was satisfied with the outcome. Just the fact that this was an exploitation film with all the crappy gratuitous junk that I hate in this genre but the script and visuals were good enough to get me through that boring cliched nonsense….I would give it a 4.5/10, though as far as cannibal/Italian-slasher genres go, it gets an 11/10.

Couple-dom

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I’ve noticed my last few posts where I’ve talked a bit on feminism and relationships and such, and these are sort of heavy topics. Let me have one final say about a subject in this field and I PROMISE I am done with this stuff and will happily go back to the world of film and video games.

When it comes to relationships I’ve noticed another fairly disturbing trend that I must speak on (one last time). I hate these women that run through life trying to “get a guy.” Who value themselves on the whole act of “being married.” That’s the wrong way to look at couple-dom. Women (and men) who seek companionship should be doing just this, seeking a COMPANION. It’s not about the “act” of fulfilling some archaic role in society as proactive breeders who pay joint taxes. It’s 2015. Seeking a companion should be about finding that one person that can make you smile in your darkest moments, someone who will hold your hand as you plunge into the scary abyss of old age. Someone who “gets” you in a way no one else can. And in order for this to happen, one should be FULLY themselves, and not seek to play some part in order to “snare” someone else, because that is a way to almost guarentee resentment and bitterness in the end. Notice how high our divorce rate is in this country?

Now, why am I bringing this up? Well, it’s in small part thinks to a pop star named Meghan Trainer. Or so I think. See, I don’t know much about her, and I should really do my research on her, but I am lazy in this way and in the end it really doesn’t matter if it’s Meghan or somebody else (it’s not personal). The point still stands.

Anyway, Meghan Trainer, as you probably know, is a pretty but very curvy pop singer who sings silly songs about loving your curves, which I’m all for. I’ve only heard a few of her songs, and they all have a bit of a retro flair (in both sound and video) and seem to be all about the same thing, “getting a man” or “knowing what men what (so you can get the men”. This is nothing new in the pop world. Meghan is obviously interested in the opposite sex. That’s perfectly fine. Unfortunately that seems to be ALL she’s interested in. And what’s more disturbing to me, or so from what I keep hearing, is that her message is also that women who aren’t Megan Fox, or have her waste size, should have to work harder to “get a man.” It’s all about that endgame and nothing else, apparently. Now, I haven’t looked up Meghan’s lyrics, I’m only going by what friends have said and discussions in the blog-sphere. So if this isn’t the case with Meghan then I apologize to her for being too lazy to do my research. The fact is though is that this is a popular attitude in the “undesirable” set (women who see their worth valued on a totally superficial chart created in men’s magazine and championed by worthless drecks like Stephanie Meyer). The attitude is that in order to “get a man” (not a “good” man, not a “kind” man, not a man with similar interests and a personality) “undesirable” females should play the role of Stepford Wives-in-training in order to ensnare a guy (preferably one that looks okay in a suit).

This is such a crappy attitude and dumb life goal for so many reasons. One, it objectifies guys as some sort of trophy. A prize to be won, like at a carnival. It tacks on superficial qualities onto men, making them seem like sexist, mindless dolts with a slight Oedipus complex. Two, it makes women seem like conniving and superficial ring whores. It also sends the message that a woman shouldn’t have too much personality, that “pretty girls” should just be vapid and dull (because men will flock to them anyway) and that “plain Jane’s” and heavy girls should just be focused on putting a man’s perceived interests and wants before their own (that 50’s housewife mentality) otherwise the man will “stray.” It’s such a gross and stupid mentality and demeans both sexes. It completely devalues the entire concept of life long companionship. Newsflash: looks fade and people get arthritis. What’s left when he has bushy nose hairs and she can’t hold a pot?

Again, I don’t know if this is Meghan’s message, but it’s definitely one I’m seeing in society. In the 30+ set there is an additional pressure of baby making, and quickly marrying a guy to pop out offspring. Again, it’s 2015. If someone wants a baby so bad, then just HAVE ONE. Don’t try to trick some guy into thinking this is what he wants. If the dreams of a suburban lawn and school buses is so important, then DO IT YOURSELF! The only other option is to wait it out, go on dates and hope you find a guy who not only wants a family (key word: wants) but who is compatible on a deep level. And yes, this is just as important as his sperm and that ring, because guess what happens after the kid grows up and moves out? And any problems in the relationship will be intensified GREATLY with all the stresses that come with being both newly married AND raising a kid. Again, note how high the divorce rate is.

A thing to remember about marriage is that it is, and will always be, a CONTRACT. Just a contract. A legally, binding contract. Marriage in itself isn’t a romantic gesture, the idea of a romantic union is a fairly new construct. Marriage used to be between a man and his wife or wives, and it served almost as a legal barter system. I will trade you 3 goats and 5 pigs for your fertile offspring. Arranged marriages were often the norm and I believe it wasn’t until the 1400s to the 1500s that the concept of marital “love” became a thing (and even then wasn’t really practiced). Modern romance itself didn’t come into play until much later, with the works of Jane Austen and such. In any event, marriage is just something the government uses to keep track of the movement of it’s citizens. It’s the idea of commitment to a fruitful life long companionship that can really make a marriage last (especially in modern times when divorce is not only an option but doesn’t face quite the social stigma it used to). Commitment can come easily if the companion is someone that one genuinely enjoys spending time with, cares deeply about them, and finds them dependable and trustworthy. “Love” shouldn’t be confused with lust. Too often “true love” is gauged on attraction and the idea of financial security (and the fear of loneliness). It’s become too much about needing someone else to validate a person’s self worth and providing for their future (why else do you think Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey became so popular?). Companionship, true couple-dom, should be an equal partnership filled with honesty. There should be no smoke and mirrors, no desperation, no pandering.

The problem has become that too many women are valuing their self worth on wearing a stupid, overpriced ring. It’s all about how much he spent on it, how big it is, showing it off, flashing it on Facebook. See! See how desirable I am! I’m attached! I have value! Look how marriage is depicted in movies and novels. Women throw parties so their friends can buy them gifts and oogle over the ring and dress. The wedding is all about HER, it’s the BRIDES day, not a celebration of two people who have made a life long commitment to be there for each other, nope, it’s all about the WOMAN having value now and making it HER day to show off HER dress, which has to be the fanciest, with a reception that has to be the FLASHIEST! Meanwhile the night before the man is celebrating his “last night of freedom,” when shouldn’t it be a celebration instead? Is it no wonder than that the couple later feels resentment toward each other! They are going into their union in the worst way!

Sorry, I’ve gone off on a slightly different tangant. Allow me to summarize my thoughts:

It’s not about the ring, ladies, it’s about the companion.

If a guy (or girl) only wants you based on the most superficial qualities (your waist or how good you cook their eggs in the morning), they aren’t worth having. Better single and happy than “stuck” (and likely abandoned later).

Regardless of a woman’s appearance, she shouldn’t stoop to becoming some semblance of a Fembot. Having confidence and a sense of humor can go a long way. Don’t give up your personality to trick some guy into being your boyfriend. It’s an exhausting charade that will basically implode on you.

Men, be very wary of women that want to show you off and place too much emphasis on the material. If after an engagement a woman shows Bridezilla qualities, run for the hills! She places more value on that ring than you.

And that’s all I have to say.

The Relationship Advice You Never Hear About

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How often has this scenario popped up:

Guy A likes Girl A because Girl A is cute, friendly, and they have similar interests. Because Girl A is nice and thinks Guy A is fun, she enjoys sharing a friendship with Guy A. However, Guy A has a crush on Girl A. He thinks they would make a great couple and that they should go out. He keeps hinting they should become more than friends. Girl A would like to keep things friendly because she’s just not into him like that, so she gently turns him down. But because Guy A is a “nice guy” he can’t figure out why Girl A won’t go out with him, even when she is single. So Guy A starts telling anyone that will listen, “I’m a nice guy. We have good times as friends. I would treat her great. Why do girls always go with jerks?”. He starts feeling resentful because she keeps turning him down. He plays the love-lorn Romeo to anyone that will listen, pointing out all the reasons why they get along and any of her failed relationships until finally he gets people to agree with him. He continues pressuring Girl A to go out with him. He thinks he is being subtle, but often not. He tries to buy her things. He tries to take her on (covert) dates. He gets his friends to say what a cute couple they would make and start pressuring her to go out with him. When she won’t, Guy A complains again that girls only like jerks, and why, WHY won’t she go out with him? “Can’t she see he would be the perfect guy for her?”

Guy A doesn’t sound quite so nice.

That’s because he is not. Nice guys don’t finish last; whiney, selfish, entitled jerks do though.

I’ve been in that situation too many times myself. It’s ridiculous. So let’s set the record straight, once and for all.

First off, being “nice” isn’t a badge of honor. It isn’t something hard to do. It’s called “being a decent human being”. When guys talk about how much of a “nice guy” they are, it makes me want to vomit. As if being nice is such a difficult achievement, like I’m supposed to swoon or pin a medal on them for not being a jerk. Please. If you want people to like you and want to be around you, you act like a decent human being. It’s not something that should automatically make you a “babe magnet.” Grow up.

But a person isn’t such a “nice guy” when they spend half their time with a “desirable” female friend (in this case Guy A and Girl A) whining about how they are such a “nice guy” and sooo sick of girls not wanting them because they aren’t jerks. That’s insanely insulting and self-serving. Just because a girl isn’t into him, she must be defective somehow? Are you kidding me??

Some great relationships start out as friendships, sure, but if a person feels ZERO chemistry for another then that’s that. Consider the other person in the permanent friend zone. Trying to force it out of someone is so such a grossly self serving  and nasty thing to do. It’s also abusing a friendship. If a person isn’t interested now, they aren’t ever likely to be. To ask someone to “settle” is doing nothing more than trying to deride that person’s own potential happiness to the selfish benefit of another.

Chemistry has little to do with looks or personality, some people just don’t have anything in them that sparks that romantic ting in another. It doesn’t make anyone inferior, it’s just part of our biological urges. There is, however, only so many times a person can say “no” to someone before they start to purposely avoid them and begin to hate them. Get the picture?

Just because you are a “nice” guy does not mean you are entitled to another person, even the “girl of your dreams”Move on and stop being so obvious, obnoxious, and pathetic.

And while we are at it, let’s also get this straight: Women aren’t interested in a long term relationship with jerks or bad boys, unless they have issues. So stop repeating that misogynist bull crap, because we all know it’s a bunch of bunk lies made up by bitter men feeling inferior due to their own failures in love. Stop projecting.

In fact, let’s use their own sceneaio against them. Why doesn’t anyone ask Guy A to “settle”? He’s so lonely after all, he just wants a “nice” girl. So why doesn’t he get one? It isn’t hard to find nice girls, they are everywhere. Or maybe they are often over-looked because (according to the Guy A’s) many of them can’t rock out a bikini in quite the same way as the Girl A types? How many Guy A types over the years have I tried to hook up with nice friends (funny, smart, cute, similar interests, etc), but they just “weren’t interested.” Why? Because they feel entitled to a certain type, and won’t take substitutes. Funny how they expect others to change their standard though, so long as it serves the interests of the Guy A’s.

Girl A’s are getting sick of it, and this nice Girl A is done. Too many guys try and take advantage of their friendships, and then act like jealous whiney *ssholes when the Girl A’s (kindly and numerous times) tell them they aren’t interested.

So listen up, “nice” guys! We aren’t the problem, YOU are. We don’t want to go out with you, EVER. There is nothing wrong with US, so stop being insulting and bitter. Stop trying to buy us. Stop following us around like a puppy dog. Stop trying to HINT HINT HINT how great you think you would be as a boyfriend. YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO HAVING US AS YOUR GIRLFRIENDS!

Give me a break, George

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So a while back George R. R. Martin gave a sort of condescending statement in regards to the misogynistic nature of his hit series, Game of Thrones. Now, I have several friends that have tried to get me to watch the television series and read the books, but I’ve never been too interested due to the exploitative nature of television show (and I hear the books don’t fall too far from the tree in that sense). But based on his statement, I now officially have no desire to.

Here’s what he said, “The books reflect a patriarchal society based on the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages were not a time of sexual egalitarianism. It was very classist, dividing people into three classes. And they had strong ideas about the roles of women. One of the charges against Joan of Arc that got her burned at the stake was that she wore men’s clothing—that was not a small thing. There were, of course, some strong and competent women. It still doesn’t change the nature of the society. And if you look at the books, my heroes and viewpoint characters are all misfits. They’re outliers. They don’t fit the roles society has for them. They’re ‘cripples, bastards, and broken things’—a dwarf, a fat guy who can’t fight, a bastard, and women who don’t fit comfortably into the roles society has for them (though there are also those who do—like Sansa and Catelyn).

Now there are people who will say to that, ‘Well, he’s not writing history, he’s writing fantasy—he put in dragons, he should have made an egalitarian society.’ Just because you put in dragons doesn’t mean you can put in anything you want. If pigs could fly, then that’s your book. But that doesn’t mean you also want people walking on their hands instead of their feet. If you’re going to do [a fantasy element], it’s best to only do one of them, or a few. I wanted my books to be strongly grounded in history and to show what medieval society was like, and I was also reacting to a lot of fantasy fiction. Most stories depict what I call the ‘Disneyland Middle Ages’—there are princes and princesses and knights in shining armor, but they didn’t want to show what those societies meant and how they functioned…

I’m writing about war, which what almost all epic fantasy is about. But if you’re going to write about war, and you just want to include all the cool battles and heroes killing a lot of orcs and things like that and you don’t portray [sexual violence], then there’s something fundamentally dishonest about that. **, unfortunately, is still a part of war today. It’s not a strong testament to the human race, but I don’t think we should pretend it doesn’t exist.”

Give me a freaking break George. J. R. R. Tolkien took from history (and folklore) too, particularly wartime history (he actually served). He created languages and has a lasting legacy to this day by basically inventing (or re-inventing) fantasy story telling. Guess what his classic, critically acclaimed series didn’t have? Same as C. S. Lewis. So did a million other fantasy writers. Take some freaking responsibility. No one is holding a gun to your head and making you write that bullsh*t. All that graphic brutality (both male and female) and blatent sexism is because YOU want it in there. I can’t help if your readers are mindless sheep (composed of twelve-year-old fan boys). I can’t help it if they need the “hard-core” graphically depicted scenes to get off on (and don’t we just love their equally offensive arguments to try to justify it all – thanks for proving our points, *ssh*les). At the end of the day it’s all unnecessary detail.

Georgie, it’s insulting how much you try to rip off Tolkien (even in your name) and then shade his work at the same time. But you will never be Tolkien. He didn’t use, nor need, mindless graphical and sexual exploitation to get cheap thrills because he didn’t want to detract from character development and instead wanted to focus on the damn plot. Yes, sometimes atrocities happened in war-time history. But it doesn’t need to be explained to the audience in such over-the-top detail (here’s a hint: every woman in the world knows how horrific being raped is, we don’t need it depicted for us step-by-step). This isn’t about making things “cartoony” either but rather cutting out the unnecessary BS to get to the story. Tolkien didn’t go into detail in his books, not to “Disney-ize” his story for the kiddies, but because such graphic details did nothing to further the plot or build his characters. Anyone that says that such things are necessary need to get their heads checked. Tolkien WAS able to discuss sexism and discrimination, and depict the hardships of war, WITHOUT BEING EXPLOITIVE (look up that word, Georgie). His Middle Earth series was so rich and full, with interesting (and well thought-out) back-stories and even its OWN mythology. Your bullsh*t? Graphic novel paint-by-numbers BS with nudity. Sorry, but after a few episodes I have yet to see one character or event that doesn’t feel like some tired, hollow, worn-out cliché.

As brilliant as he was, H. P. Lovecraft was a bitter narcissistic racist. And he OWNED it. Just saying.

Jurassic World Review **SPOILERS**

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Welcome to Jurassic World

To say I was a fan of the original Jurassic Park film is an understatement. Like many children I was enthralled by the fantastic (and often scary) story of a dinosaur park gone rogue. Steven Spielberg was in top form and everything, absolutely everything from the acting to the mesmerizing special effects were FLAWLESS. It was a one-of-a-kind journey that could not be replicated, so it wasn’t a shock to find that the sequels couldn’t even come close to recapturing that magic. To state that they were lackluster is putting it mildly.

The ultimate bad ass! You do not want to f*ck with him!

The ultimate bad ass! You do not want to f*ck with him!

WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE_

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I won’t lie though, this was pretty bad ass too!

Jurassic World II is perhaps the most overrated sequel to date. It’s one of three films by Spielberg that gets a better rep than it deserves simply because it’s a Spielberg film (see also: War of the Worlds and Poltergeist). Overtly preachy with “heroes” that cause way more harm than good, it’s like watching The Avengers/Iron Man/Thor and any number of those awful Marvel comic book films. But like everyone else I went to see it, and even got a slight guilty thrill from watching the T-Rex raise hell in a city-scape. But after the initial excitement of seeing it in theaters (and it being the direct sequel to a childhood masterpiece), watching it on dvd the flaws are painfully obvious. It’s the same of course with Jurassic Park III, which did a lot of pandering to the fans (similar to the first sequel), only at this point it was OBVIOUS pandering, so naturally it is the least favored of all sequels. How though anyone could believe that Jurassic Park III would be the FINAL sequel to an astronomically profitable movie series (Jurassic Park III grossed beaucoup cash, baby) is beyond me. What did puzzle me however is why it took so darn long to crap this new one out, and CRAP they did!

To be fair though, on the initial onset the latest sequel appears to be a fun, nostalgic ride. Sort of. It’s always nice to see our favorite dinosaurs (like the Triceratops, the T-Rex). There’s also some pretty cool fights (near the end). And seeing the park up and running in today’s world answered several questions I had when watching the first film and while reading the book (seriously read the book), plus you get a chance to see what became of the park from the first film (a happy welcome back to the Visitor’s Center, if you will). I am also thrilled to say that the CGI/Special effects were fantastic compared to every other film that’s been out in the last ten years. Spared no expense. Unfortunately I found myself quickly losing the thrill at about 15 minutes in, and it was a bumpy ride the rest of the way.

To say I had some problems with this film though is a bit of an understatement. I had a great many, many problems with it. Tired movie troupes, an un-likable hero, and more pandering to the audience were among my chief complaints. It would also help if the director of this film had actually bothered to pick up the book or re-watch the original. All the lessons learned in the original are completely ignored in this film, but I will get to that in a bit.

Let’s see, where to begin?

Jurassic-World-New-Image-Chris-Pratt-Raptor

Here comes Douchey McDouchebag to f*ck u— “save” the day!

Let’s start with this films sub-par Alan Grant, Owen (Chris Pratt). Right away I didn’t like this guy, and by the end of the film I practically loathed him. Owen is an ex-military guy who for some reason has been given the task of training Raptors. That’s right, those hyper-intelligent, super athletic, super aggressive, malicious, conniving, can’t-be-tamed-that’s-why-we-have-to-feed-them-in-a-massive-concrete-chamber Velociraptors (who bear absolutely ZERO resemblance to their real-life equivalents) can now be trained. But only by Owen, who as far as we know has had ZERO prior experience to training vicious extinct predators. Riiiiiight.

And before you scream “imprintation!” keep in mind that we’ve been shown that imprinting on these animals doesn’t work, at least for carnivores. John Hammond, both in novel and movie canon, imprinted on every animal in the park. That didn’t stop him from getting eaten (in the novel). Same with Dr. Wu (also eaten in the novel). And every other biological technician and handler in the park. Guess who got eaten? Bad boy/special snowflake Owen claims he imprinted on the raptors, I somehow can’t see him in a laboratory setting playing with a baby raptor, can you? I love how they don’t go into detail on that in the film. But one thing they stress big time in this film is that you can’t question Owen! He’s always right, likely due to the fact that he looks good with his shirt unbutton and man-penis solves all problems. So he has GOT to be our hero, right?

Does it get dumber than this?

Cheesy rider.

No. It - like the audience - is bored and trying to claw it's way out of the movie!

We are going to need a bigger DOUCHE!

And when Owen isn’t playing with his vicious little buddies, he likes to wander the park lecturing all them book-learners with his “no-nonsense” good ol’ boy logic. You know, the people who spend every waking moment visiting and observing various and all sections of the park, monitoring the development of the creatures IN the park, including learning about their habits and their contained environments? They don’t know SPIT! Let’s ask good ol’ boy Owen who, as far as we know, only spends his time playing with his clawed buddies or fiddling with his bike.

By the way, am I really supposed to buy that Claire, whose job it is to monitor ALL activity in the park, to work with investors, to oversee development of new attractions (dinosaurs), to oversee the maintenance of old attractions (dinosaurs), etc, etc, etc, doesn’t know the name (or can’t accurately pronounce) of EVERY dinosaur in the park? Um, no.

But let’s get back to Owen. I love how the movie tries so hard to make him the hero, but he is more Nedry than Grant. It is after all, his actions that upthrown the whole park. Remember? He is busy puffing his chest out in the observation deck with Claire, whom he is also busy flirting with when not being a condescending jerk to, when he notices GIANT CLAW MARKS that somehow no one else sees, and throws everyone into a panic, DESPITE the fact that when building the containment they obviously knew the Hybrid wouldn’t be able to climb its way out (remember, the raptors nor the T-rex, with their giant claws, couldn’t do the same). Yet he manages to throw everyone in a panic, then does the UNBELIEVABLY STUPID THING of dragging two other people INTO the containment with him WITHOUT KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT THE ANIMAL. He didn’t even know what the animal LOOKED LIKE! Naturally everyone but him gets killed and the unit is opened to allow the Owen’s dumb ass to get through, and of course the Hybrid tags along so it can wreak havoc all over the park. Nice going, Owen.

Despite the fact though that it’s all this jerks fault, that doesn’t stop him from boring the audience with his lecturing and chastising everyone. Oh, shut up Owen!

Now let’s get to Claire.

Please don't be another troupe!

Please don’t be another useless female troupe!

*sigh*

*sigh*

Claire is played by the very talented Bryce Dallas Howard, so she comes off as mostly like-able despite being a one-layered character. And of course being the attractive female lead, she will be romantically tied to the male hero and of course live. Unlike the other “Hammond” of the group, Masrani (Irrfan Khan). I was sad to see her not take on more of an Ellie role. She’s basically another tired troupe, like Owen, she’s emotional, but “tough” in that she will “dress down” from business to casual to slutty business in half a minute.

Seriously, what was with that scene? She and Owen are running off into the jungle looking for her nephews (who are pretty forgettable characters) and, ever the lecturer, Owen tells Claire to buck up or she’ll be eaten (as if she was some sort of hysterical banshee in that scene – she was pretty calm). So she literally rolls up her sleeves and rips her shirt to reveal a sexy tight halter. Why though? All that loose fabric guarantees a snag, and what was wrong with her shirt buttoned to begin with? Oh I get it, we are titillating the audience. Or was that supposed to be a funny moment? And what about the damn heels? Supposedly the actress wouldn’t take them off, in which case the director should have done his job and put his foot down. We are supposed to buy that she ran around the jungle/hard concrete in stilettos without breaking her ankle? Please. And what is with her clothes being all ripped up while Owens just remained dirty? Oh, I get it, titillating the audience again. We seem to enjoy seeing women in action films look like assault victims by the end of the journey. They must always be wearing something flimsy, preferably white and preferably a skirt. Am I the only one disturbed by this?

Yet another capable, smart female lead that will be almost incompetent when the  obvious crisis occurs.

Yet another capable, smart female lead that will be almost incompetent when the obvious crisis occurs and will serve the rest of the film as little more than sobbing eye candy. 

We miss you Dr. Harding.

We miss you Dr. Harding.

And as the female of the bunch, she will do very little to actually help, because it’s got to be the man who saves the day (at least with this director). Seriously, is anyone else sick of seeing this in films? I’m not trying to be preachy, but how hard would it have been to reverse roles here? Are there no ex-military women? No female trainers? And let’s say the role of Claire was played by a man. Are we still to the point where we have to play the tired old meme that the man has to take charge because women in leadership roles can’t handle crisis situations? Even Ellie in the original made a remark about such things! I just, I can’t with this crap. Claire was a character that took charge in the day-to-day operations, she was shown as capable, was even level-headed through-out much of the film, but the movie treats her as incompetent as soon as Owen arrives on the scene. It’s just kind of another slap in the face to female viewers, and for that, f*ck you director!

And that awful forced kiss at the end (because beautiful people have to get together I suppose). Eck. Let’s move on.

Because we have TOYS to sell!

Because we have TOYS to sell!

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Okay, okay, he is pretty cool.

Okay, okay, he is pretty cool.

Let’s examine the movies main villain, the Hybrid (and also Vincent D’Onofrio, but we’ll get to him in a bit). SPOILER ALERT: it’s part raptor, part T-Rex, and part of some chameleon fish. He’s pretty awesome, I’ll admit, but I’m still confused at why this creature was even made. Firstly, I don’t care how many years that the fully functioning park has been in existence, living, breathing, interactive dinosaurs are ALWAYS going to be super cool! Especially if the park they are in is the only one of its kind in the world. This isn’t like lions in the zoo, you can’t go out into the wild to see one (get eaten by one). People certainly aren’t going to get tired of them twenty years later. Secondly, remember that really cool, gigantic half-Rex, half alligator looking thing that was in the third film? The Spinosaurus actually existed and looked and behaved VERY MUCH like he was depicted in the film. Remeber that freaky scene where he is eyeing Dr. Grant at the edge of the clearing? Goosebumps! And remember how easily it kicked the crap out of the T-Rex? It was one heck of a bad mutha! Why not just breed one of those??

You mean to tell me you are going to get bored of this?:

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And let’s take another look at that bad ass Spinosaur:

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Bigger, muscular, and a more efficient killing machine. Yeah, I don’t know what Nostalgia Critics’ deal was either.

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This couldn’t sell tickets?!

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Epic showdown!

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Forget “show stopper.” How about “heart stopper” instead?

And get this, like Owen, the Hybrid is a super special snowflake too that can control the other raptors, because it has a little bit of raptor DNA! Uh, huh. Well if those raptors were idiotic enough to let a walking skin sandwich like Owen tell them what to do and put his oily hands all over them daily maybe it’s not too far fetch.

No wait, it still is. I can’t. My brain is on overload from the sh**ty logic of this film.

Velociraptors

You want to pet that?

You want to pet that?

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He just wants a friend…

...and a hug!

…and a hug!

We're so misunderstood!

We’re so misunderstood!

Yep, totally trainable!

Yep, totally trainable!

Want to play a game of fetch?

Want to play a game of fetch?

Which of you guys wants a thigh? Or a HAM bone?

Which of you guys wants a thigh? Or a HAM bone?

Did anyone notice that the cunning hunting style of the Raptors, the thing that made them so cool in the other films, is completely missing here? They are more like Lassie with a bad tooth ache. I know the hyper intelligence of Raptors in the movies (and novel) are complete BS, but this movie tells us they are virtually unchanged from before. Yet those Raptors are not the same bad asses we originally fell in love with.

Speaking of bad ass, let’s bring back the T-Rex for his required cameo. Only about five minutes does he spend in this film. There’s an “epic” battle between the T-Rex, the Raptors, the Hybrid, and what ever that giant crocodile thing was in the water – which was actually pretty cool I’ll admit. The problem though comes in the aftermath of battle. Am I really, REALLY supposed to buy that the T-Rex wouldn’t turn around and snap the neck of ol’ Blue? And then gobble up the humans for desert? Or that the Raptor wouldn’t continue to engage the T-Rex? This isn’t Homeward Bound! These are vicious, aggressive, PRIMAL predators! This isn’t Cats Vs. Dogs here. They aren’t going to just nod heads (which they literally almost did, I kid you not!) and go their separate ways. They are going to kill, develop a territory (which means more killing), and then kill again. This was so fricken bogus of an ending I could scream!

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Fetch the stick, boy!

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Cuddly as a cock-a-too!

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Remember kiddies, he’s your friend!

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smile!

But we are not done. Let’s talk about my greatest grievance. Remember all the pages, and pages, and pages, and pages of Malcolm and Grant in the novel lecturing about WHY the park would FAIL. Remember the speeches given by both in the films, and even the freaking ENDING SPEECH by Hammond at the first films’ conclusion? Do we remember what was said in those speeches? What was made very, VERY clear. The overall freaking theme and moral of the story? I’ll give you a hint boys and girls: It was SH*TTED on in this film!

YOU. CAN’T. TAME. PRIMAL. ANCIENT. ANIMALS.

But what happened? Not only was the park extremely successful with the original, “authentic” dinosaurs for MANY YEARS, but the RAPTORS, prehistoric life’s most vicious and cunning killers with near human intelligence (in movie/novel canon only), are almost trained domesticated dogs. And you know what’s WORSE! They actually recognize humans as beings WORTHY of not being eaten, EVEN AT THE FILMS CONCLUSION! Total freaking pandemonium has erupted. The Raptors are near the top of the damn food chain at this point (more so than humans), and they don’t try to eat/maim/kill the humans. They don’t attack any other herbivores, and they allow themselves to be led around by a chimp on a motorcycle. Good lord. And what about that awesome water dinosaur? How the heck was he able to be contained and not eat his trainer or the audience? I can’t conceive of a freaking way that was accomplished!  Remember he could throw himself onto the concrete platform!

Yeah, that looks completely safe!

Yeah, that looks completely safe!

And remember how Hammond said at the end of the original film that the dinosaurs needed to be left alone, with no human interaction? It was the basis of the entire plot to the direct sequel? And he basically admitted that making a park containing these sorts of creatures was a HUGE mistake? Well chalk that up to Alzheimer’s, because Hammond made Masrani his partner/protege to continue his legacy (notice they had Hammond’s name up for one of the attractions?). And at one point Masrani makes a comment about being given the reigns BY HAMMOND to create a new park! WTF!!!

And wasn’t INGen out of business during the events of Jurassic Park III? Remember that control room guy had an old shirt from the original NEVER-OPENED park? He said got it online and that there were more of them. This would make sense if, as in the novels, the company went bankrupt and sold all their stuff. But this apparently never happened, so how was anyone able to get merchandise from a park that was not only never opened, but that the company almost-literally buried under the new park? “Bad taste” indeed.

I’m still confused why Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio – a fantastic actor in a bad role) was at the new park to begin with, other than to serve as the human villain for the movie. His part was so dumb, and he was so obviously a moron and entirely predictable that I was losing focus when he came on screen due to sheer boredom.

Did I mention the kids were highly forgettable? Two brothers, one Timmy-esque and the older “too cool for this”, girl-crazy brother that were such clichéd stock characters I was secretly hoping they would get eaten so we could go back to having some resemblance of a plot. Also boring and predictable characters that just serve as fodder to give Claire and Owen more conflict.

Speaking of conflict, why wasn’t this film bloodier? I know it’s a family film, but let’s think about what happens when a herd of vicious Pterodactylus/Pteranodon/Flying dinos descend on a bunch of rampaging humans. Remember their behavior in Jurassic Park III? I would expect these vicious birds of prey to swoop down on any small humans (children) and carry them off to feast. I certainly don’t expect them to play a game of carry-and-drop with what are essentially pink moving popsicle on a hot afternoon. But I guess we need an excuse to kill off the annoying female assistant, whom nobody misses at the end of the film, it’s not like she had a family or friends, right? She was on her cell phone the whole time instead of watching a bratty teenager and his loud brother. She deserved her fate!

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And all those dinosaur bodies slashed but not gored up or strung around by the Hybrid who “hunts for sport”. Right. I’ve seen my cat catch mice “for sport.” Do you want to know what he does to them? Even Ted Bundy would be sick to his stomach if he saw. But I guess we need a mindless dinosaur to just rampage about for virtually no reason, but we musn’t show too much carnage! Let’s face it, none of these animals are acting like freaking animals in this film.

But now let’s talk about the REAL aftermath of the movie. The glorious epilogue of this film won’t be a white wedding, but the mountains of LAWSUITS! Claire and Owen may be in the throes of movie love, but they ain’t going to have a penny to spare (and might be lucky to avoid jail time) by the time the families of the dead, dying, and maimed get their day in court!

Heck, even before hand I noticed potential lawsuits with some of the rides. I realize that the river ride and atrium shown were shout outs to the original novel (that the director and script writer apparently never read), but even in the novel those rides were closed for the trial tour based on the massive problems that arose during their construction. The Pterydons were maiming the workers in the atrium, and I didn’t see any means in this film for viewing patrons of the park to be protective from these territorial and highly agitated flying attractions. And as for the river ride, I don’t care how “gentle” those big behemoth Brachiosaurus (or whatever they were) are, all it takes is for one unruly child to start poking them and it’s over. The park is beautiful, and as a viewer I would have loved to have seen more of it, but it still looked highly impractical. I mean, kids riding Triceratops? Even Triceratop babies! How has PETA or ASCAP not shut them down? And Triceratops were just as territorial and aggressive as some carnivores! It’s like the stupid director divided every animal up into two categories and every animal that ate green was deemed super passive! Has he ever been to a petting zoo? Kids can be violent and cruel. These animals, even small ones, are made to protect themselves and will act instinctively! At the very least, some child is going to have a broken arm or leg when they get stomped on or butted! Yet another example of how this park could not have lasted this long!

Actually, come to think of it, do you remember in the book how these animals were so valuable to Dr. Hammond? Millions of dollars spent to create and raise just one, IF it survived the first stages. Not to mention all the problems they had with diseases that these dinosaurs would catch. They were so valuable Hammond wouldn’t even dream of maiming one, so let’s throw them in with a bunch of disease carrying humans to be prodded and poked!

And while we are at it, let’s talk briefly about Dr. Wu and genetics. How does the series make do with the fact that with each passing year, the dinosaurs shown throughout the films are more obviously dramatically false representations of their real life equivalents? At least Jurassic Park III paid some lip-service by going back to the feathered, striped carnivorous colorings of the creatures, which was actually more accurate. In the novels, all the carnivores had bright coloring and stripping, as you would have found in the wild and would have looked really cool on-screen (my one problem with Spielberg’s otherwise perfect film), even though the velociraptors were still depicted as pure fantasy. Here, the movie makers decide to pay homage to the novel, stripes are in, and at least we have Wu here to explain that the reason for the now obvious discrepancy was because they were genetic hybrids from the very beginning. Unfortunately, new problems now arise. In the novel, this was well explained by Dr. Wu. The gaps in DNA sequences were replaced with other species. Dr. Wu and his scientists worked hard to try to create these creatures as close as they could, but admitted they were not pure species, which made their behavior even more unpredictable, adding to the fact that they were extinct species to begin with, with no known behavioral history. This was important in the novel because it stressed the unreliability in these animals, and further explained WHY they couldn’t be contained. Bringing it up in movie canon, NOW, as a hand-waved way of half explaining the continuity issues and dissociation from reality, now raises MORE questions.

That’s all good and well, but why breed raptors so incredibly hostile that they need the Raptor-whisperer to pacify them and yet aren’t used for show? If it stands to reason that these animals were bred “bigger” and “scarier”, why are they isolated from the rest of the attractions? Remember, these animals are very clever, can jump fantastic heights, and can coordinate themselves to flank and even create traps! Near their containment unit, did you see anyway for audiences to view them? They can’t view them on those tiny platforms above, too easy for a child or adult to fall into the pin. They can’t view them arena or cage style, one leap or one swipe of those huge claws and it’s all over. They would have to view them through some sort of class containment or such, yet I didn’t see anything like that. So what was the point of creating and raising them, since they were in obvious isolation for a while. Why not just breed them more docile? Or not have them at all?

And again, where is the damn Spinosaurus, Dr. Wu? That thing certainly would have brought in a hefty pay-day!

I will say though that this is pretty cool:

Jurassic-World_1_0

I’m sorry. I tried to get on board with this film. I really, really did, but I can’t help but feel that the director thought his audience were a bunch of morons. At least up until now we’ve had heroes from the first film pop up for audience good will, but this time instead we got an unlikable smug a-hole, a ineffectual female troupe, a park that shouldn’t exist (at least not in its current state), cool looking animals with no soul, and a script stuck in an early draft.

Eh, watch it if you want, but don’t expect much more than some small tangents of good old nostalgia (and a LOT of cringe-inducing moments).

The Cat Lady

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The_Cat_Lady_video_game_poster

I almost never get emotionally attached to games. Sure, there are few characters here and there that I feel for, but none was I so deeply connected to then the story of The Cat Lady. A brilliant and haunting game brought to you by Screen 7/Harvester Games, it tells the story of a woman without hope, who must suffer again and again in order to discover that she is not a loss unto herself, and that there is hope and simple beauty in a world filled with death and pain.  The dialogue, the visuals, the sound, the acting, all come together to carve a truly unforgettable experience that will haunt the player long after the game is completed. There are a few questions left ambigous, but the player will not walk away without full satisfaction.

The plot is simple, as it should be, because it is the Cat Lady herself that creates the journey (though the player will provide details of her backstory). Susan Ashworth is our protagonist, and the player will meet at the end of her life, the first life. Like the cats that she calls her only friends, she will have nine lives, though the price for each will be enormous. But for a woman who feels such worthlessness, her actions will have the gravest of consequences. Giving such gifts of immortality (through sacrifice), she must rid her world of five Parasites that would seek to destroy her and those around her. Her journey is long, and she much use her wits and resources to discover and destroy these cretins.

The game play is equally simple, but a bit rare in that it makes use of the keyboard instead of a more point-and-click or mixed style. The player will only make use of a few buttons, as this is a story driven, psychological horror game. Those that want a by-the-numbers horror/action need look elsewhere.

The voice acting and writing are superb. Such a wonderful crafting of dialogue that recreates a true sense of the hollow numbness that envelopes the soul after a decade of despair and hopelessness. Lynsey Frost is able to express so well how when creature comforts lose all meaning and there is nothing or no one left to fill the gap, the soul spirals into such boundless emptiness. This emptiness is so wonderfully portrayed by the voice actress here. And yet there is light at the end of the tunnel, and when the player gets there it will be all that much brighter.

To say it’s the humanity that drives this game is an understatement, so the music adds to mood very well here. At times there will be a very haunting tune that will play in moments of sadness and reflection, other times thrash metal or industrial sounds will heighten up the tension.

The art direction will leave something stamped in your brain. Like something found from a dark graphic novel, a collage work of active animation, soft backdrop, splashes of dark color, detailed layering, etc, all leave this side-scroller impressionable in your mind’s eye. It’s so beautifully done that I often spend a few moments just checking out all the little details on the screen.

There’s a few jump scares to be found, but this isn’t a “scary” type of game. Think of it more like the Jacob’s Ladder of video games. The story has a purpose, the imagery is well done, and the acting is excellent.

I won’t lie; to say I spent a great chunk of this game on verge of tears in an understatement. This also may well be one of the few games that gave me legit nightmares afterwards. While playing I was riddled with bad dreams only to wake up feeling an overwhelming wave of sadness, forcing me to get up and finish the game. Everything she went through, I felt. And despite the beauty in the ending I was haunted a for a bit of time afterward. That there is the signal that I have just played a brilliant game.

And now you should too.

Visit here: The_Cat_Lady

or visit the Steam page.