Don’t Knock Twice

thumbnail_68373002-a7bf-43ac-9889-3eb624f4b931I really don’t know what I was thinking, when I decided to watch Don’t Knock Twice. There are so many other horrors, I could have watched instead. But I suppose, by watching extremely bad horror, you learn to appreciate good horror. So, I’ll try to refrain from ripping into “Don’t Knock Twice” too much, in this review.

Don’t knock twice, is about a woman trying to regain custody of her daughter. However, before this can happen, her daughter knocks on a dead witch’s door twice. This somehow summons a demon, that’s hell-bent (King of Cheese strikes again) on capturing her daughter and devouring her completely. The mother must now do everything she can to save her daughter from the demon’s grasp.

The storyline of this film is incredibly messy, making the whole movie one big confusing jumble of nowhere sub-plots, that make no sense and have nothing to do with the outcome of the film. This film literally has no direction. It’s just all over the place. It drifts from one nowhere sub-plot to another and in the end, returns to its first one. All while making a poor attempt at a twist in the main plot, which was so obvious a one-eyed mole wearing a blindfold, could have seen it coming.

To add to this messy storyline, there was extreme badly Frankensteined scenes (a big pet peeve of mine). With the amount of teleporting the 2 main characters did, in the biggest scene of the film. I was starting to think, they themselves were witches and not just Ginger. It was just awful. The 2 characters actually swapped places, at one point. Leaving me to wonder, how on earth no one noticed that, before the film was released.

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 A flaming flower. Some of my abstract art, to brighten up this review.

I think the most annoying thing about this film, was its psychic impulsive characters. Characters just magically knew things, without any sort of research or logical thought. At one point, the mother randomly decided to burn all the doors in the house, without having any sort of reason for doing so. Like nowhere in this movie did it say or suggest, that the demon needed a door to manifest. It had literally just appeared behind people numerous times, by this point. So, what on earth was this woman at. The demon clearly didn’t need a door. There was a lot of this sort of thing in Don’t knock twice, which was very annoying.

As I can’t let myself be completely negative, I had to find something good about this film (which was extremely hard). I suppose the witch aspect was interesting, even though it didn’t make for good horror. I only wish, they had gone into a bit more detail on witches and gave Ginger (the witch) a stronger backstory. They essentially just said she was a witch, even though she never really done anything witchy and was pretty much, just a demon’s slave.

I’ve watched a lot of bad horror films and have always been able to enjoy them, on some level. Whether that be, finding humour in its cheesiness or the irony of how not scary and fake/forced everything is. But with Don’t knock twice, I found it hard to enjoy anything about it. The whole witch thing, just didn’t work well and them trying to throw a demon into mix, just reflects this. They should have really stuck with one and maybe this film would have had some sense of direction. For this reason, I would suggest not wasting your time with this film. I personally wish, I had watched something better instead.
Rating: 1/5 (and I’m being incredibly generous)

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Falling from the Gates of Hell.

thumbnail_20170913_175707It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally finished another set of drawings. These are pretty self-explanatory, unlike my “Without a Bubble” drawings. There’s definitely no chance of horribly misunderstanding these drawings and thinking I’ve depicted some type of heinous act. “Without a Bubble” could have been received very differently, if I didn’t include some type of hint on what those drawings were about.

thumbnail_20170913_180328However, I don’t really like the idea of just posting a load of drawings, without some type of communication about the drawings. That seems too cold, so I’ll add a few words.

thumbnail_20170913_181140There’s just nothing like escaping from your own personal hell, and ending up in free fall.

thumbnail_20170913_182425It’s a weird feeling and very hard to explain.

thumbnail_20170913_191201I sort of missed my mark too and went crashing head first through the ground. Falling further than I expected.

thumbnail_20170913_191703But it least I’ve learnt a lot from this experience.

What the Fudge Anime!

thumbnail_06675a80-228b-47ca-914d-56573c827bfbI like anime as much as the next anime fan. Don’t get me up wrong. Watching anime has improved my existence, in just a chaotic and unjust world greatly (Glob, I sound like the King of Cheese). There just those moments while watching anime, that can only be described as WTF.
(F for Fudge, let’s keep this clean. There will be a lot of fudging in this post).
I hate to say it, but anime has a lot of WTF moments. Usually involving great shock, extremely confusion or incredible annoyance. We’ve all had these moments with anime, so why not share my own WTF moments with all of you.

No season 2- Fudge, this is annoying. You buy into a story, get left hanging at the end of season 1, with a ship ton of unanswered questions and the studio doesn’t bother making a season 2 (WTF). To rub salt in the wound, the same studio starts releasing new but dirt-poor anime series. Like that doesn’t ever make good business sense. What on earth are these studios at?

Lightning speed Subs- I don’t want to cause a sub vs. dub war here. Personally, I enjoy both. Which one I choose to do, really depends on the anime and my mood. Sometimes I even do both, at the same time (I wish that was a bad joke, but it’s not. Watch a dub on Netflix, with subs and it hilarious. So much swearing and randomness. Whoever writes those subs, really gets carried away). But occasionally when watching with subs, those subs go so fast it’s impossible to read. This is extremely annoying, especially if there’s no dub version. You’re left confused, not having a clue what’s happening. If it’s a really good anime, that you’re really into this can be devastating. You pretty much sit watching moving pictures, wishing you knew Japanese or considering making your own dub version of the anime.

thumbnail_e99b0847-fa2e-4207-9bed-011abd4bd3fdClose up creepy bug eyes scenes – Death note is filled with these scenes, but so are a lot of other anime. They usually involve someone on their knees, begging for their life, looking like their eyes are about to pop out of their head. These scenes are so disturbing and creepy, I really can’t say much else than WTF. The only this worse, is scenes were characters don’t even have eyes. It’s terrifying.

The original intentions for Sebastian in Black Butler- Maybe I was too innocent to see this, first time I watched Black Butler. I literally just thought, Sebastian seen Ciel as food and that’s why he was acting a bit strange and creepy towards Ciel. Kind of like, how a hungry person looks at a sandwich. But I was so wrong and found out the creator had a completely different relationship for Sebastian and Ciel in mind. Luckily someone pointed out, that it was an extreme bad idea and the creator changed this, to produce the Black Butler we know today. However, knowing this I can’t help but see Sebastian as a serious creep and this has kind of spoiled Black Butler for me. For anyone with a Sebastian crush, this information will probably kill it. Therefore, I did not come out straight and said it, but I think it’s pretty obvious what I’m on about.

Brutality- Glob, anime can be so brutal at times. They rarely let up. No one can ever just die peacefully in anime. They’re always horrible disembowelled, torn to pieces, eaten or killed by a loved one, in incredibly dramatic act. Weirdly they always spitting up blood, just before they die. Anime deaths are always really heart-breaking too. They literally choose the most lovable character and murder them, in the most awful way possible. There just some anime deaths that never leave you (Wolf’s rain and zero eating his twin). On top of this, they give characters the most tragic background stories. Making anime pretty depressing to watch at times. I’m not even going to touch on the amount of blood spilled and limbs cut off in fight scenes.

Bath Buddies- I can’t think of anything more eye rolling, than anime character deciding to jump in the shower/bath together. At this point, it’s turned into a real cliché. They could at least come up with something a little more original.

Repetition and Unoriginality- Same story or same characters, done over and over again. It just gets boring and predictable. Maybe this is just my dislike of repetition showing here, but the amount of repetition in anime is getting ridiculous. It’s gotten that bad, that now character even look the same and you find anime doppelgangers. Although there is a lot of anime with original and unique storylines and characters, there’s probably twice that amount, that are just outrageously similar and pretty much mirror images of each other.

thumbnail_d4e62167-c503-42a7-828a-5f82153230eaWeird anime crushes and other weird stuff- Yeah, we can’t completely blame anime for this one, we have a hand to play in this too. However, anime can really turn a person into a creep. It just has a way of making you discover very weird things about yourself. Nothing really shocks me anymore, when it comes to people and their anime creepiness. From developing a liking to cat and bunny people, to thoroughly enjoying tentacles. I’ve heard it all and I won’t and can’t judge. I too, will admit I’m quite possibly an anime creep and at times, I’ve had weird crushes on the most bizarre anime characters.
But so that, no one feels like I’m picking on their anime creepiness, I will confess my weirdest anime crush. Grell from Black Butler. I know WTF. Even weirder, I’ve discovered that every character I have a liking to, is either dressed in red or seen with a red backdrop. Anime has essentially given me weird colour association (WTF). I feel so manipulated by anime.

Blinding Light- There just nothing like watching a battle or magic scene and having the eyes burn out of your head, feeling like you might fit. I really wish the creators, Netflix and other anime providers, put flash warning on their anime. If I knew about the bright or flashing light, I could put a coloured filter on the screen and fix this problem. But nope they don’t and my poor eyes must suffer.   

The creepy side of regular anime- This is the biggest reason I have to watch anime in private, with head phones in and the door closed. Due to toplessness, perverted characters, giant breasts, weird angles and casual nudity, being common in regular anime (at least common in the anime I watch), you can’t really watch it, around people that aren’t uses to anime’s creepy side. They pretty much assume you’re watching porn and let’s just say awkward as fudge.
Forget that the person isn’t uses to anime’s creepy side, ask if they want to join you and this situation get a whole lot more awkward. Also, now you seem like a creep. Trying to explain that it’s normal anime, just digs a hole for yourself. Best just to confuse them and calmly ask them, if they prefer Yuri or Yaoi. If they go red or know what these terms mean, you’re in the clear. If not, they’re confused now and you’ve just fixed the awkwardness.
On a serious note, I wish anime didn’t do this. It has given anime a bad name and is why non-anime fans mix up regular anime with Hentai. From the outside looking in, you can see why they make this mistake, when characters are groping each other and have ridiculous large breasts. If the anime and story’s good enough, it doesn’t need nudity and perversions to be entertaining and gain viewers.

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I was in a rose mood and had to make one for my favourite made-up characters.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Hopefully I’ve not rattled any anime cages.

Death Note (Netflix)

b6d72082-b79e-46ab-838b-2d3097382ddaIt’s been over a week since my last post. Unfortunately, I’ve been sick this past week and wasn’t in the mood to review anything. To be honest I felt that bad that at one point, I lay down and sung Si Deus Me Relinquit (in English, Latin wasn’t doing it for me), until someone very kindly brought me a blanket (The Full Moon Slightly Chipped, was also sung, but very quietly. Didn’t want everyone getting teary on me). Now that I’m not feeling as rubbish, I think it’s time I reviewed Netflix’s Death Note.

I have to say this wasn’t as bad as I thought. I really don’t know why a load of people, were getting their undies in a twist over this film. They made it sound like it was going to be painful to watch and it wasn’t. Granted it wasn’t great, but it was an okay film. Not as bad as people were saying.

The story follows the same main plot of the anime. That plot being, a depressed high school boy (Light) finds a notebook (the Death note), that enables him to kill anyone, by writing their name in the death note and visualising their face. Light then decides to use the death note, to rid the world of evil, by writing the names of the worlds hardcore criminals (murders and worse) in the death note. The deaths of the worlds criminals, does not go unnoticed and soon the police and a young detective named L, set out to catch the person behind all these deaths. This quickly turns into a game of cat and mouse between Light and L.

Outside this main plot, the film differs from the anime. For this reason, I think if you want to let yourself enjoy this film to the fullest, you can’t get too hung up on comparing it to the anime. It’s very different and is very Americanised. By comparing the two, you’ll only spoil the film for yourself.

My honest first impression of Netflix’s Death Note was, this is hilarious. As soon as I seen the actor playing Light, I was bent over in two laughing. He literally looks like a blonder real-world version of the evil Killing Stalking guy. I should point out that I’m not a fan of killing stalking (it’s not to my taste), I only know it from the YouTube crack videos. But from that, I think the resemblance is uncanny. If that was done purposely, that’s really well done and the irony is hilarious. Having your main twisted character look like, another similar twisted serial killing yet complex character, is quite the statement. However, I’m not sure, this could just be coincidence and some actually Killing Stalking fans might not even agree with me on this.

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My apologies. I did the art work for this post, when I had a really high fever. Things got a bit weird. Sorry if this disturbs anyone. On a funny note, I didn’t intend for my Light drawing, to look like the Killing Stalking guy. It just turned out that way, making the irony even funnier.

Okay I’m rambling, back to the film. The characters are slightly similar to the anime, but at the same time very different. I don’t want to spoil the movie, so I’ll only touch lightly on this. Light was still very much twisted, but isn’t as ruthless. Ryuk was a lot darker, creepier and is terrifying. Misa is a hell of a lot more ruthless and scary as fring. Also, she seemed to get a sexual thrill out of killing people. L is still weird, but differently weird. These personality changes may annoy some fans, but I thought they made the characters more realistic and made a lot more sense, in terms of human nature.

Although this Death note wasn’t great, it wasn’t a complete loss. It did have a few things going for it. For one, it was very gory. They got very creative with their death scenes and went with the people are watermelons approach. Making for some very gruesome scenes. So, if you’re a lover of gore, you’ll really enjoy this part of the film.

It also highlighted Light’s small mindedness and childlike thinking and even showed him realising this for himself. I liked that about this film. It made Light feel more human and less monster. However, don’t get to excited. He only realises that innocent people could die as a result of his actions, making him as bad as the people he kills. He still doesn’t realise how narrow-minded his idea is and that its only treating the after effect, not the cause. Meaning he’s not really solving anything, just making more secretive and more dangerous criminals. But I guess if Light discovered that, there wouldn’t be a movie.

thumbnail_f6b2d8bd-edad-4c3e-9ea5-ba6c21c87fc6Another good point of this Death note is, the difference in the storyline from the anime. Again, I understand this may annoy some fans, but it makes the film less predictable and more interesting. If they had of copied the anime exactly, what was going to happen would be very obvious and the movie would have been kind of boring. Having these differences allowed for plot twists and allowed them to explore the rules of the death note a bit more. This added a bit of suspense and excitement to the movie and gave a whole different perspective of death note.

Unfortunately, Netflix’s Death Note has a lot of shortcomings, but to keep this short I’ll talk about the two that annoyed me most. One being, bad acting and annoying characters. You can literally smell the cheese coming from some of the acting. The acting is not bad overall, there just a lot of scene where you’ll cringe at the acting. This cheesy acting is somewhere between a bad soap drama and 60s batman (I love 60s batman). There also time were characters are so annoying, that you’re unsure if you just want someone to hit them or if you want their name put in the death note.

The second thing being that, Tokyo made a much better playground for Kira than America. I felt like this film was in need of some really nice city scenes and was missing the whole city vibe, that Tokyo gave the anime. If this film was set the movie in the middle of New York, this probably would have fixed this problem. But it wasn’t and didn’t have that same vibe. Tokyo just provided Kira with a lot more options for hiding, evilness and more criminals for his list. This really makes the film feel like it was missing something.

Overall this film isn’t great, but it’s not as bad as was made out. It’s just an okay film. If you view it as a tribute to the anime/manga, rather than being linked to the anime/manga. Then it’s actually pretty good and quite enjoyable. For fans of the anime or manga, I would recommend giving it a watch, if only for the experience or as a bit of fun. But it’s best not to take it too serious. For people wondering what the hell is a death note, I would say that this film isn’t great but is watchable. Probably only worth watching, if you’re stuck for something to watch.

Rating: 2.3/5

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You can tell my hands were getting tired at this point. My stereotypical dyslexic and dyspraxic handwriting, really started to shines through. Hope it readable.

 

The Road

thumbnail_3f6f5b16-3f0d-4e40-8bc1-44048e211565I love recommendations. I’m always so happy when I get them, especially if it’s really good ones. The Road was recommended to me by another blogger, Alternate Dimension and I’d like to say thanks. Post-apocalypse movies are a favourite of mine and The Road was a really interesting one. I liked it a lot. Thanks for a great recommendation, I really appreciate it.

 

The Road is about, a father and a son wandering in post-apocalyptic waste land, where no animal or plant has survived. They dream of reaching the south coast and finding a better way of life. On their journey they face starvation, sickness, bandits and cannibals. Along the way, the tragic tale of what happened the boy’s mother in this twisted world, unravels bit by bit.

The Road deals with some very serious issues, that some may find upsetting. It’s a lot heavier than the usual movies, I review. For this reason, I’ll try to remain sensitive in this review and I would like to point out, that anything I say is not aimed to upset or annoy. If it does, I am truly sorry, it was not my intention.

I think a good place to start is with the two main characters. The boy is very cute. Somehow in just a horrible situation, he still remains sweet, kind, innocent and very naïve. Your heart really goes out for that little boy, in just an unforgiving world. He’s like Bambi, which is what makes the ending so much more tragic. In saying that, he did have a far better eye for danger and judge of character than his father. If the father had of paid attention to him, it could have saved them from getting into a lot of dangerous situations.

The first thing you notice about the father, is the actor’s (Viggo Mortensen) eyes. I wasn’t even watching in HD and they looked so haunting and soul piercing. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself staring at them, because they’re so captivating and strangely beautiful, but also kind of unnerving. However sadly, I think this was some type of lens or effect. Viggo Mortensen eyes aren’t as pale or grey, as in the film.

thumbnail_dda6ce0a-ac42-467d-903b-cb0148b1f218The father is pretty much the opposite of the boy. He distrusts everyone, takes a lot of risks, is kind of violent and thinks the worse. His only reason for living, is to protect the boy and ensure he doesn’t suffer too much. This leads to him being a bit twisted and to some very dark conversations between the father and son. But given the circumstance, you can’t really blame him for being like that.

Overall the storyline was very interesting. It addresses a very serious and dark subject, that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Personally, I rather enjoyed this view-point of a post-apocalypse worlds. It was very realistic and thought-provoking. It really gets you questioning, how much post-apocalypse suffering and starvation, would you endure or let your loved one endure, before considering the unthinkable. And also, who could you trust, at the end of the world. Some very dark thoughts, but it’s this that pulls you into the storyline and has you wishing, things get better for the father and son.

The constant threat from gangs of cannibals, added a nice amount of excitement and horror to a film, that would otherwise be a psychological thriller. Towards the end of the movie, it gets more psychological, as we see the boy’s character, go from scared little boy, to a kind-hearted humanitarian and then to a fearful reflection of his father. You go on quite the emotion filled journey with the boy, making for a very emotive watch.

One down side to this film, is its pace. It’s very slow and at times you wonder about the direction of the film. Given that the characters are wandering around a dead waste land by foot, you can forgive this. Quickening the films pace, would have made it seem over dramatized and unrealistic. In the end, the story unravels quite nicely and the slow pace, gives you the chance to get to know the 2 main characters and observe the sweetness and love of their relationship.

In all, The Road was different from any other post-apocalypse film, I have watched. The combination of cannibalism, the nature of its apocalyptic disaster and relationship development between characters, is not something I’ve seen often in this type of film. I think this gives The Road an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic world.

The Road is also a very thought-provoking film, that has you constantly questioning, who is saving who. Is the father saving his son or is the son saving the father? In a way, they are each other keepers, which makes the story very beautiful, but also heart-breaking. If you enjoy post-apocalypse films or films with cannibals, The Road is definitely worth checking out.
Rating: 3.5/5

Surviving a Horror Movie (Demon/Evil Spirits)

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Why not to trust your demon butler. He’ll creep on you, while you sleep. 

It’s rather obvious, that horror is my favourite genre. If it’s spooky and dark, I’m all over it. Since I had so much fun creating the zombie 101 post, for surviving a zombie apocalypse. I thought it be fun to create something similar, for surviving a demon/evil spirit horror movie.

I have a bit of a fascination with demons and evil spirit films. I’ve watched more than I care to admit. It’s one of the very few types of horror, that actually scares me. Which has led to me, doing some demon research (I know more on the subject of demons, then I ought too). But don’t worry, I’m not one of those chicken bones and drawing on the ground with chalk people (That stuff is too scary for me). I just like having a plan of action, in case I’m ever locked in a haunted house, filled with blood lusting ghost or demons.

Since I can’t use my demon knowledge, to tell you guys how to obtain a demon butler, I’ll share a few tips for surviving a demon horror movie. But first I’ll set the scene.

How to survive the demon house:

You’ve just been kicked out of your home, by the homeowner association, for not having green enough grass. You’re desperately searching for another place to live, when you come across an old suspiciously cheap mansion. Having no real choice (because you’ve been black listed by every homeowner community for miles, for abusing your grass), you jump on the opportunity without asking questions or doing any research.

Feeling chuffed for, getting a just a great deal, you move in. But on your first night in the house, things start happening. Scary unexplainable things, like the walls start bleeding, a creep doll keeps leaving you notes, wrote in red crayon and there’s a strange creature in your basement. At this point, you realise you’ve been taken for a fool and are in extreme danger. You’re now in dire need of some tips, for surviving your time in the demon house.

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The creepiest building, I could find. An abandoned women’s prison. I would not like to spend a night in there. Unfortunately, it’s in the middle of a city and on the junction of death. So, the only safe way of getting photos, is while driving past at quiet hours. Otherwise, I would have been ran over a few dozen times.  

1. Leave house and never look back- Seems like a no brainer, but no one in a horror movie ever comes up with this idea. They always have some ridiculous excuse, for why they can’t leave the house. I would highly recommend, this be your first call of action and second to be, destroy the house. But to keep this list going let’s just say, you also have a ridiculous excuse, like it’s raining and cold outside.

2. Don’t go crazy and throw holy water around the place or start to burning sage- This never ends well. It just makes the demon madder and hell-bent on destroying you. If you think about it logically, you can see why. In the demon’s mind, the house is their space. If someone comes into your space, throwing water and stinking the place out. You’re going to get mad and do everything you can, to make that person leave. The same goes with religious items. These are probably offensive to the demon and will make it furious. Essentially, don’t do anything to annoy the demon. It won’t end well.

3. Trap it in a coconut- This one sounds a bit weird, but in some cultures, it’s believed that you can trap spirits and demons inside coconuts. All you have to do is trick the demon and get it to go inside the coconut. Once in there, it can’t get out again, so problem solved. There’s a lot of variations in, what to do with the coconut afterwards. But you can worry about that, after the demon is in the coconut.

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This is why I very rarely use colour. I tend to go a bit mad and create something like this.  

4. If you hear a loud bang, definitely do not go check it out. Just run in the opposite direction- The curious person always goes first in horror movies. Curiosity really does kill the cat, when it comes to horror movies. If you’re in a possessed house and hear a bang, its most likely a demon having, one hell of a hissy fit. Best just to tuck your tail between your legs and run in the other direction. You don’t want to get caught up in a demonic tantrum.

5. Ring of salt- You’ve survived this long, but sadly you ignored tip 2 and did something to angry the demon. The demon manifests and charges straight for you. You look for a way to escape, but the demon has you cornered. Suddenly you remember, you have a large shaker of salt in your pocket (You were cruelly melting slug earlier and forgot to return the shaker to the kitchen). You quickly grab the shaker and form a circle of salt around you. The salt stops the demon in its tracks. It furiously waves its claws at you, but is unable to reach you. Laughing, you use the shaker again and form a ring around the demon. As long as the ring of salt isn’t broken, the demon is trapped inside. Just keep the ring of salt topped up and your safe from the demon’s grasp.

6. Do not talk to the demon- The quickest way to get possessed in a horror movie, is to talk to the demon. So, don’t get angry and start shouting stuff at the demon. Definitely don’t try bargaining with it either. For some reason, communication makes demons stronger and enables their possession abilities.

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Close up of the prison. I wasn’t driving, that would be dangerous. Cars are right-hand drive here, so this probably looks really bizarre to some people.   

 7. Find some demon fighting weapons- If you’ve studied your myths and legends hard enough, you’ll know that there’s a couple of weapons, you can use to defeat a demon. These include a sword, a spears and shields. However, being of myths and legends these items will be near impossible to find. But don’t worry, there is something else you can use from Irish mythology. According to Irish mythology, iron burns fairies, evil spirits and demons. So, all you need to do is hit that demon, with an iron bar or pot, until it runs in terror or no longer exist.

8. Scary the kittens out of that demon, with a warrior mask- I’m not 100% sure, what these masks are called, but they’re found all over the world (like in China, Africa and among Pagan and Celtic artefacts). However, the idea of these masks is always the same. You wear the mask or leave it, somewhere for the demon to find. The demon sees the mask and is so horrified, it goes back to, wherever the hell it came from.

9. Find Professor Snape – You’ve tried everything and there’s still a demon in your life, hell-bent on destroying everything that is you. To be honest it doesn’t get much worse, than having a demon after your soul. So, you might as well start looking into the dark arts or more specifically defence against the dark arts. You might as well, find yourself a magic man or a witch and see if they can destroy the demon. At worse, you get to see a really cool magical demonic fight, before your completely consumed by a demon.

10. Call ghostbusters- If all else fails, you’re in the world of film. Call ghostbusters, they’ll sort that demon out. See if they’re true to their word. See if they really are afraid of no ghost, even the murderous demonic ones.

Cat Soup

thumbnail_b10903e2-5c9c-49fb-8df2-8ac93baa5a9aIt’s been a while, since I’ve properly reviewed anime. Truth is, I fell out with anime and needed a break (more about that another time). Now that I’ve finished, having a wee sulk at anime, I’m ready to jump right back into it. No better way to rekindle my love of anime, than exploring its more unusual side. Honestly, I was spoiled for choice of strange anime. Picking one was quite the challenge, so I decided to select one at random. I ended up with a cute looking, short film called Cat Soup. It definitely did not fail to please, in the unusual department. So many WTF moments and questioning my own sanity.

Having no proper dialog and being extremely random, it’s hard to describe Cat Soup’s story. But I’ll give it a shot and say what I seen. To make this description easier, I’ll also give the cats names (I don’t think they had names, in the film).

Cat Soup, starts with a little white cat (Katze) playing in a pool of water. Suddenly Katze falls into the pool and looks to be drowning. However, he manages to pull himself out of the water and looks no worse for wear.

Katze is then distracted by the sound of the wind chimes, coming from outside. He runs to see what the commotion is and sees his sibling Pangur Bán, (who was previously in bed sick) being dragged of by a demon. Instinctively, Katze runs after the demon, to save Pangur Bán and ends up playing a game of tug of war with the demon, using Pangur Bán as the rope. This causes Pangur Bán to be rip in half and you then realise it was Pangur Bán’s soul, the demon ran off with. Not Pangur Bán.

Katze quickly returns home, with half of Pangur Bán’s soul. A doctor has come to see Pangur Bán, but Pangur Bán lies lifeless, in bed and the doctor gives up all hope. Katze then places his half of the soul, back into Pangur Bán’s body. Pangur Bán sits up, but sadly appears to have had a stroke.

In order to make Pangur Bán whole again, Katze and Pangur Bán travel to what seems like, the underworld or land of dead, to retrieve the rest of Pangur Bán’s soul. It is here we get to see Katze do a lot of messed up stuff. Including, very creatively murder several creatures and trap a S&M Mickey Mouse in a pot of soup/stew.

It’s a pretty crazy storyline and may be too much for some viewers. It not very clear what’s happening in this film and at first glance, just seems like a bunch of random weird nonsense. But get past that and with a little thought and imagination, you can come up with a theory, that solves the puzzle of this movie.

thumbnail_8a9788b3-8592-4802-aed8-571b1678ac31My own theory being, that Katze drowned at the beginning of the film and is actually dead (based on the fact that water, is a recurring theme in the underworld and plays a big role in retrieving Pangur Bán’s soul. Also based on the fact that, everyone but Katze disappears at the end of the film). As for Pangur Bán, I’m not sure. Pangur Bán could have been astral projecting, had a stroke, been very close to death or could have sold their soul to the demon. Also, Katze dying mind could have dreamt up the whole experience.

Overall, I’m not sure of this film. I really can’t say if I liked it or not. It was so very, very strange. It made me wonder, if I had eaten some extremely expired cheese and was hallucinating from the toxins. It’s kind of hard to pick out the good and bad point, when you’re not 100% sure about, what the hell’s going on. But that won’t stop me given it a go.

Cat Soup best quality, is that it’s very captivating. It’ll capture your full attention and you definitely won’t be bored, while watch it. There just some many bizarre and thought-provoking things happening, that you won’t be able to look way. Granted you may be staring at the screen, tilting your head like a confused puppy. But that’s all in the fun of these types of short films. They’re not meant to be obvious and aim to get you thinking. It’s like a moving puzzle, that really enjoyable to try to solve.

Cat Soup also has huge cute factor. Seeing little kitty cats do strange things, is just adorable. However, this only least until Katze does something twisted (like use a half-eaten pig as a mode of transport), then you start to question, if Katze is evil and if you’re watching a horror, from the villain’s point of view. On this point, the animation is pretty good. It’s really interesting and colourful, with a lot of weird and wonder creatures and sights. It is very trippy and unique, but you’d expect that from something, as strange as Cat soup.

Best of all, Cat soup is quiet and has no dialog. Meaning you can watch and relax, after a stressful day in the noisy world. Providing some much needed quite time, while still being entertained and not bored. You can literally just sit and watch it all unfold and let your brain turn off and wind down. Or, you can watch and take it all in and get your brain cogs turning. Allowing multiple viewing opportunities.

My only criticism of Cat soup is that, it could have toned down the craziness a bit. At times, I was left thinking “what the fudge is happening” and “Jaysus, that got disturbing fast”. It was a little too much at times. It went from rainbows and ponies to fire, death and dragons, in a matter of seconds. However, if it was toned down, the film mightn’t have had the same impact on the view and might have got boring.

To conclude, I would say Cat Soup is a very unique film, filled with wonder and madness. It has an interesting story and will very easily capture your attention. It would suit viewers, who enjoy or are comfortable with confusion and like watching thought-provoking shorts. But, keep in mind Cat soup has its dark, twisted and messed up moments. Being under 35 minutes long, I would recommend giving it a watch. If anything, it’ll give you a unique experience.
Rating: 3/5

First Attempt at a Self-Portrait on Paper.

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I always give my drawings a title, so I’ll title this :
All That’s Left  

It’s not bad for a first attempt, but I’m determined to get this right. The nature of a self-portrait, makes this hard to achieve, but I’m still going for it. I won’t give up until there’s a mirror image on my page.

But before I go any further, I want to clear something up. A few people asked me about the top hat (in person, not on this blog). It’s a small reference to Alice in wonderland, but in very roundabout way and only slightly about the mad hatter. I also just really like top hats and really want to make one, that looks like this.

The reference is more about the playing card on the hat, than the hat itself. The card is of a made-up suit, I created by combining two suits (the red hearts and black spades), to make the Black Hearts. It’s also missing its ranking, so it’s the Nothing of Black Hearts. I know, I need to improve at making my symbolism clear.

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Back to my drawing. I’ve done an okay job here, but it only slightly looks like me or how I think I look, at least. Good news is, I know where I went wrong. Mainly the nose. I have a little cute button nose and I didn’t capture that. If I want to get this right, I’ll have to learn to draw noses better.

Also, I might be too uses, of drawing in the anime/manga style, so I may need to make the eye smaller. However, I do have big shiny brown eyes and lack eyelids, so I’m not sure. I kind of got carried away, drawing the scar under my right eye, too. It’s not quite as bad as that.

(Warning the next paragraph got graphic. Sorry) If you’re wondering how I got it. I fell with a very sharp pencil in my hand and you can probably guess what happened. Let’s just say deep and didn’t fall out when I stood back up. I ended up with quite a number of stitches and destroyed a perfectly good pencil and a few hand towels.

Overall, it’s a good first attempt, but I aim to do better.

Your average doodler, Nel (a.k.a K.H.)