Friday, 25 February 2011
Truly, I do. And I figured I might as well bring this up, after that little list on horror comedies I did recently. You see, most horror comedies came out of the 80s...because it was the decade of camp. Each particular film era can basically be separated by decade, and each has very specific aspects to the films that come out of it, if you just pay attention. The most obvious ones may be the 20s, the 40s, the 60s, and the 80s...to the untrained eye...the 20s was a wonderful time when people were experi-you know what? I'm just going to dive right into the 80s, because I don't have time to write out a thesis on each decade I mentioned, and then delve into the ones I haven't. The topic for this post is 80s films. Of course, I'm specifying camp alone. Sure there were those great dramas and such that came out occasionally, but who cares about those? Here I am going to list 25 fantastic campy flicks...abstaining from menton the horror comedies I brought up in my last one.
1. My Demon Lover - This may be a mild horror comedy, but it's far more of a rom-com. A sweet story about a mousy girl who picks up stray dogs and boyfriends, then finally meets the man of her dreams. Of course, he happens to grow horns and turn into an insanely hateful Catholic mother sometimes (not all at once) but...at least he isn't homeless and creepy. Okay, he is actually homeless and creepy...but far less homeless and creepy than your average homeless creepy guy. So you gotta give him points for that. I saw this as a kid, and for the longest time couldn't find the name...or much info about it, because you're pretty much lost if you don't know the title of a flick and only very vaguely remember bits and pieces. I always thought Scott Valentine (said creepy homeless shape-changing boyfriend) was a member of Tears for Fears...it was probably his hair...and that threw me way off track until I just randomly found this when I was digging through google for something to idly watch. This is the perfect campy film to watch late at night, and it's guaranteed to charm you if you can handle camp and bad acting to a moderate degree (most of the bad acting coming from Scott, but he's cute, so you have to forgive him.)
2. Adventures in Babysitting - Truck driver with a hook hand, giant mexican dog-rat, a zany misadventure with a bunch of kids (one of them being the very annoying horny geek of your nightmares)...and in the words of Steve Coogan: "Elizabeth Shueeeee". This was a film my grandmother would pop into the vcr every weekend, because much like me, she repetitively watches certain films until they wear out. Can you imagine my joy when I saw it for 5 dollars on a wal-mart dvd sale shelf? (Speaking of which, was that sale not crazy? Secret of Nimh, Thumbelina, Puppetmaster 1-3 triple pack...absolutely insane!) I believe it also follows the heroic cycle too. People always go on about 'Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead', but I have NEVER finished that snore-fest. Nah, gimme Adventures in Babysitting any day. I don't want to see a babysitter die, I want to see her trapped in a garage full of car thieves, climbing over a giant pole, fleeing through a night club, and getting the kids tucked in on time.
3. The Back to the Future Trilogy - ...I may have bought the special edition tri-pack recently...and it may be on prominent display in my dvd shelf...and I may or may not be planning to hijack a theater and watch them all in succession on the gloriously huge screen. But I'm sure you'd all do the same too. I don't think I need to describe why this rocks, because it goes without saying. But lemme tell ya, when that sales clerk had to go into the back room and literally dig for it in a bunch of unsold stock...man did she give me the stink eye.
4. Airplane - 1980...it still counts. If you argue, it's disrespectful to the dead. God bless Leslie Neilson and everyone else involved with this. Eat your heart out, Scary Movie, THIS is groan-worthy lulz to the nth degree. It's got everything, from inflatable autopilot, to guitar-playing stewardesses, a little old white lady who speaks fluent street (or funk, what have you)...god...it's just...so...campalicious. Plus, one-liners. Any movie with 10+ amazing quotable one-liners deserves to be in the hall of comedy fame.
5. April Fool's Day - Twist ending. Clayton Rohner. Various 'gory' moments. There's so much to love about this movie, but most of all...the movie box. Do you know how difficult it is to braid your hair, let alone into the shape of a noose, all while holding a knife and a wine glass? I think not.
6. Robocop - This is what influenced me to actually write this whole post. I'd seen it as a kid, but didn't remember much. I know I liked it. But afterwards, once I'd forgotten most of it...I just thought 'man, what a stupid concept...a robo...cop? Seriously, that's got to be the most cheesy, stupid, idiotic, redundant...' True, it may be cheesy, but it definitely isn't stupid. My only issue is that the main character goes from being attractive to horribly unattractive. I hate when they do that. They did it in Spawn too. If the main character was female, her horrible mutilation wouldn't have left her as a bucket of unappealing bolts, I can tell you that much. In fact, they'd probably have managed to somehow save most of her obvious anatomy...but I digress. This was still one of the better cheesy action films out there, and it was quite tongue-in-cheek (most good camp is, lest it risk the wrath of MST3K.)
7. Beetlejuice - Before Tim Burton's works became boring predictable slide-shows of black spirals and dead people in varied states of OTT clothes, there was...Beetlejuice...and other stuff, but right now I'm just talking about this one. This movie spawned a cartoon I spent much of my childhood watching. Plus it's got puppetry AND stop-motion...gotta love it. Alec Baldwin before he was fat, Geena Davis, Micheal Keaton before he practically vanished into relative obscurity...This movie made me terrified to walk around in the sandy driveway on my grandfather's farm for months. And it also gave me an undying urge to somehow create a replica of my hometown right down to the seedy buildings and poor road-work...
8. Big Trouble in Little China - SQUEEEEEAL! Kurt Russell, the only reason there are Chuck Norris jokes is because people were too scared you'd come knocking at their doors. Anyway, Trucker Vs. Evil Chinese Immortal dude and his gang of ferocious video game henchmen...obviously it's a must-see. What about that sentence is not appealing, other than the boring interruption with the word 'and'?
9. The Bill & Ted movies - I preferred the sequel, because I saw it first. But the first one was good. This was when I was a kid, and I had no idea George Carlin had one of the foulest mouths on the planet. Sure, there were plenty....pleeeenty of jokes that flew over my head...but I can't count the number of times I rewound the scenes of Bill & Ted in the afterlife...that cake just looked so tasty...of course, it also led me to foolishly believe that if I tried hard enough, I could actually make real guitar sounds by strumming my fingers in the air...
10. The Boyfriend School/Don't Tell Her it's Me - I really really like this movie. It's another rom-com, but with an aspect I find so incredibly appealing. The main character is a comic artist. I am a comic artist. He's Steve Guttenberg. I love Steve Guttenberg. And jellyfish spaghetti may have looked absolutely foul in it, but I'm still curious...what on earth does it taste like? There's also a major make-over scene, for those of you who love montages.
11. Earth Girls are Easy - Speaking of films with major make-over scenes, let's talk about this one. Even now, I don't think any other movie has beat this one's record for most-played on FX. Three hairy aliens come to earth, and systematically cause mischief generally focused around human women. But don't worry, they don't have tentacles, so it's okay. Did I really just make that joke? Yes I did. You may shower now.
12. Child's Play - Part 4 on are indeed comedies. But the first three weren't. And the first one...is still creepy to this day. For those who've never seen it, laugh all you once. But I DARE you to watch this movie alone, and not jump when she opens the battery pack and then drops the doll...I DARE YOU! Anyway, as cheesy as it may seem, conceptually, the camp was outweighed by the fact that this was really a good movie. I guess I should save it for general horror, but I'd say it's major enough in the 80s to warrent being on this list...
13. Fletch - I don't understand why people nowadays don't classify Chevy as a top comedian. Sure, he's not doing much anymore...but he did a lot of really funny stuff. This being one of the funnier ones. What's amazing is that the sequel is pretty good too, which is an extreme rarity, especially in the case of comedies. Imagine if Clouseau were self-aware and not clumsy at all, but was in fact Chevy Chase...I'll admit, not much in common besides their somewhat similar profession...but they're both funny. So...yeah. Alright, newspaper reporter and inspector/detective/whatever may be vastly different, but I figured I might as well figure out SOME WAY to give Sellers a shout-out...
14. The Gate - This is where we delve into extreme on the camp side, and not much else on the other. But there's one bit where one of the kids has an eye in his hand...and I'm going to give it street cred for that alone. Plus, it proves once and for all that rock/metal is the devil...really, it is...
15. Heathers - How on EARTH did Winona get two movies on this list? Because she was still young enough to be appreciated as a talented young actress, before being old enough to be considered a mediocre adult actress, that's why. This whole story is just so deliciously morbid...but the one fault it has, is that I can't watch it again. But for the one time I did, it was absolutely brilliant, and everything a weird movie should aspire to be.
16. Innerspace - Why doesn't Martin Short do much any more? Really, I want to know. Because this movie was just great, and nobody else could have pulled off his character. But what I really liked is that Innerspace took a tired sci-fi plot that was never really interesting in the first place, and went with it, somehow pulling off a good film in the process. But the part with the bad guy falling in the stomach acid...makes me cringe to this day...and also think of fried chicken...
17. The Worst Witch - The mother of all low-budget movies. But it's still quite good, for a kid's flick. Fairuza Balk plays a clumsy young witch-in-training, as opposed to a psycho-bitch witch (which she would do several years later.) And Tim Curry has a pretty awful good song...yep, pretty awful good. So awful it's good. Not his singing, but the song and ESPECIALLY the special effects. They were bad, even for the 80s, and that's saying something. Rather like a poor powerpoint presentation with cheesy slide effects...and obnoxious colors...
18. Weird Science - Computer nerds make an electronic super model genie, as the name surely vaguely implies. Of course, whenever I think of this movie, I only picture two things...Oingo Boingo and teen boys with bras on their heads in a semi-religious ceremony...
19. They Live - Bad acting. REALLY BAD ACTING. God-awful acting. Terrible acting. But sunglasses that help you see evil alien zombie-looking things? Totally cool...
20. The Stuff - When I was a kid, I'm pretty sure this gave me nightmares. And it's also a subconscious reason I hate marshmallow fluff. Despite it's campy qualities, humerous bits, and cheesy concept, the underlying result of the whole issue is really depressing. It's also an astonishing example of what we're willing to put into our bodies. Forget HFCS, this is volcanic body-snatching white goop with an addictive flare! Moderately worse than the former.
21. Splash - I've always loved mermaid stories. I don't know why, because when you think about it...there's not much they've got going for them. Human above, fish below...I can't imagine dealing with the cloying body odors. They never show that in the films...but love knows no bounds in this cute treasure. Twice as awkward as Ariel, five times as real! And poor Eugene Levy really takes a beating in this...I just love it.
22. Short Circuit - Let's face it, Wall-e has got to be a distant midget cousin of J-5. He's just got better taste in chicks (I'm sorry, but c'mon...she's a poster girl for those crazy PETA nuts. Yes, they're crazy AND nuts.) It's the part of me that can't resist really cute things that landed this one on the list. Even the Nostalgia Critic admitted he loved Short Circuit, after tearing it a new one. So there.
23. Revenge of the Nerds - Sadly, only part one could make it on this list...because it was the only watchable part of the entire damned franchise. I don't know what went wrong, because this one was amazing! I suspect it's because booger became a nerd in the rest of them, when he was originally just a creepy jailbate-chasing slob in this one...yet somehow cool. Plus, the kid was like a teenager in part two, and don't get me started on the rest of those...you know what, let's just focus on what made this one good. It took the losers vs. all-odds in a college campus setting, and went with it in a cute way (by the way, thumbs up here to Animal House as well.)
24. Raising Arizona - I've never really loved kidnappers in movies before. Usually they're evil monsters of scorn and disgust...but in this movie, you really felt for them. Especially when the evil unstoppable motorcycle guy with a relatively non-existent vocabulary started chasing after them. It's a good story, but...very sad.
25. Paperhouse - Kudos to you if you can get a hold of this movie. In a way, it's not really that campy at all. A little girl basically starts drawing a house, and dreams about it...and then gradually becomes aware that she may not be just making it all up. This is pretty much Cronenberg if he wasn't so creepy with his films, and made them oriented towards children. But I mean...he'd REALLY have to tone down the weird factor.
Honorable mentions: Far too many, faaaaar too many to name. Let's just say, I like a lot of them.
Movies that should be destroyed at all costs: Teen Vamp...to be edited later....
Friday, 18 February 2011
House II: The Second Story
By Arye Gross, Jonathan Stark, Royal Dano, Bill Maher, John Ratzenberger
If I had to pick a genre (other than musical) which I absolutely adore...I'm talking can't get enough of, no matter what mood I'm in...it would be horror comedy. But the problem is, I feel like I've seen most of them. At least, most of the readily available ones (and even a few of the rarer films.) Each time I discover or watch a new one, I get both a thrill and a sense of deep depression...because I know that's one more really good movie I'll never watch again with a new sense of discovery. And since the fantastic ones are so few and far-between...
Let's start with 25 really good Horror Comedies...I'm talking the kind I could watch over and over.
1. Any and all 'horror' films produced by Peter Jackson. There may be several, but I'm just going to bunch them into one so I can keep the list down to 25. That's Dead Alive (custard scene + breakfast with the zombies still makes me wretch to this day), Bad Taste, The Frighteners, Heavenly Creatures...okay, not a fan of the last one...but that's just because I hate the story.
2. Love at First Bite. First time I saw it, I didn't really love it...but that's because I was a kid, and don't you dare judge me because I didn't have a fully-developed sense of humor when I was seven! Today I find myself quoting lines from it constantly with friends, plus...George Hamilton in his prime...Me-ow.
3. Love Bites. ADAM ANT. Not the Asia Argento one. Maybe I should just call it by the alternate title: The Reluctant Vampire. Now, this isn't your oscar winning performance (frankly, as talented a singer as Adam is, his acting abilities are...severely lacking...but he makes up for it with being incredibly adorable. Come to think of it, so do a lot of actors from the 80s. Too bad most of the young actors today aren't even cute enough to make up for their talentless schlock they churn out. But I digress...) The story is...just so cute. Cute enough to make it a favorite film I paid WAY TOO HIGH a price for when I finally found a VHS copy online for Region 1...by the way, if you see one that's anywhere above 30 dollars, don't buy it...just look up rare film archives and you can get a 20 buck copy on dvd. I'm not sure about the quality though.
4. Once Bitten. The original screenplay writer for this was piiiissed off about how the movie came out. But honestly, apparently his version involved a somewhat lewd scene involving a sex toy...I really don't want to see Jim Carrey anywhere near that stuff, because it just gives me awful images of him as that female body builder from 'In Living Color' doing terrible terrible things. Terrible. Things. Wow, I got off-topic again. Teenager, virginity issues, sexy vampiress played by the wonderful Lauren Hutton, and two of my favorite Maria Vidal songs. What's not to love?
5. Dracula, Dead and Loving it. I know, this is like...the 4th vampire horror comedy, but I was thinking about them first, so give me a break. Leslie Nielsen, god rest his soul, was the American king of Dead Pan acting...if not the world's greatest. What's funnier is that he looked the same in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010...but he could always make me laugh. In this film, he did a particularly good job...because to put it bluntly, he was the 'straight man'...kinda. Zany straight man, I suppose. But he wasn't the only person who shined with comic brilliance (I'd expect nothing less from a Mel Brooks film) because just about everyone else was hilarious as well. Absolutely brilliant take on Dracula, fangs and all.
6. Creepshow. Does this count as a comedy? I'm going to go with yes. So, horror comedy it is. It's not just the camp and tongue-in-cheek humor, or the Stephen King redneck, or the murderous Leslie Nielson, or vengeful waterlogged Ted Danson, but the cinematography and direction as well. I've grown up on Tales from the Crypt, and Creepshow was always one of the movies I could watch as a kid...with a little sense of fear and laughter at the same time. Honestly, the only story that scared me was the roach one...yich...and maybe the birthday cake story too...oh, and the one with the monster in the cage thing...oh, and-
7. The Fearless Vampire Killers. Damn it Maddy, what's with all of the vampire movies? I can't help if at least half of the horror comedy genre is vampire stuff! Give me a break, I'm only human! I don't make the rules of film trends. I will say one thing, though...I am so glad I saw this before I knew about Roman Polanski...because he wouldn't have been nearly as charming as the bumbling vampire hunter's assistant. Okay, maybe he would have, but it would have been grudgingly! Seriously though, joking aside, Polanski is an eminently talented director, even if he may have serious character flaws. And Sharon Tate, va-va-voom! I like men, don't get me wrong...but how can anyone see her in this movie and not think she's drop-dead stunning? What's absolutely marvelous about this movie, is that it's not only great, but has very little dialogue...and yet managed to get adapted into a hilarious musical which was fantastic in every language but one...english. But that's another story.
8. Mr. Vampire. Honestly, I preferred it dubbed. I know that's weird, when you consider how snobbish I am about this stuff, but Chinese/Japanese movies always seem...I dunno...funnier when they're dubbed? Still, it was pretty damn amusing subbed too. I think it's because most of the humor of the language is lost in the text, whereas other foreign films I can kind of follow the gist of the jokes based on the emotions displayed through the characters' voices. Anyway, very funny. And Chinese Vampires...honestly, I don't think anyone could take a story seriously with them as the monsters. You'd have to be hopping mad...
9. Student Bodies. I believe this was made to be bad...intentionally...because the jokes are...it's just...let's put it this way, none of the actors wanted this film to be released, and no decent television station would play it before 2 AM or after 4. Still, the one-liners are hilarious, if some of them do wear after awhile. Don't watch this expecting sophisticated humor, a terrifying story, or halfway decent camera work...because it doesn't have any of them.
10. Rockula. Ah, Dean Cameron...before he went bald. What a wonderful time...sigh....anyway, horror comedy MUSICAL...I just love it. Oh, it's a romance too (but honestly...if you look closely and think about it, most films are romances in some respect.) And Thomas Dolby plays a crazed funeral...home...sales...tombstone...guy. That's the man who did 'She Blinded Me with Science', fyi. Did I mention Toni Basil doing some of her fantastic dancing? I'd say the best thing about this movie though, in all, is that they've got the best fangs I've ever seen in a vampire movie, aside from Fright Night...1 and 2.
11. Which brings me to Fright Night 2. It's a comedy, because of the bowling scene. It's a horror film because of, well, the rest...of the movie. I figured I had to fit it in somewhere, that being one of my favorite films in general.
12. Evil Dead Trilogy. AHAH! Thought I'd just spend the rest of the list on vampire flicks, didn't you? Well, you were wrong. DEAD wrong. Anyway, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, yadda yadda...honestly, if you don't KNOW about this series, I'm not going to tell you. Watch it for yourself, you pop culture/cinema-deprived freak. All I'm going to say is that part 1 is horror, the other two are horror comedy...and there's also a decent musical based on it (decent and not great, because no one...and I mean NO ONE but Bruce could ever play Ash, really...)
13. Shaun of the Dead. I wasn't going to leave this one off. It's too brilliant not to mention. But I might have, just because I felt it was pretty obvious. Favorite bit? Don't Stop me Now...awesome choreography (it counts as dancing, right? Yeah, I think it does...)
14. Night of the Living Dorks. German film, better dubbed. Think of Idle Hands, but with more pot and less slaughtering of one's family members. And German stuff...and...3 stoner zombies instead of one stoner with a killer hand and two ghost friends. Okay, they've got totally different plots, but they just -feel- so similar. A lot of people said this was trying to copy Shaun of the Dead, but I felt the premise was original enough. Your classic loser story, but with zombies. And they're German.
15. Waxwork 1 and 2. I love love love these movies. Technically not a vampire film, by the way, because there are only 2 vamp scenes...the Dracula bit in part 1, and the Nosferatu bit in part 2...I love this for both Zach Galligan and David Warner. Zach, because he's cute and funny, David because...there's something charming about him in a dry sort of way. I always find myself staring at him whenever he's onscreen. Forget the other characters, David Warner is where it's at.
16. The Man with 2 Brains. While we're on the topic of David Warner, let's discuss Steve Martin's hi-lar-ious comedy about a man who falls in love with a brain in a jar who communicates with him telepathically. This was another movie I didn't love on the first viewing because of some deficit in my ability to laugh at funny things. Thank god I've changed.
17. Reefer Madness, the Movie Musical. Is it a stretch to count this one? Ehhhh...it's terrifying to the townspeople, and...there's murder, insanity, and hallucinations of both hell + zombie...things. Plus, singing vicious clams...yeah, I'm classifying it as comedy horror. And...Christian Campbell...hard to believe he's actually roundabouts 40 and not the innocent boy of 16 depicted in this terrifying tale of the risks that come with the reefer.
18. Forbidden Zone. Okay, it's...insane. Absolutely senseless in all respects, fit only for those with little to no grasp on reality. But fun to watch with friends. Danny Elfman plays satan, Herve Villechaize (Tatu from Fantasy Island) plays an apparently seductive king of a weird dimension where it's apparently protocol for princesses to walk around topless...Susan Tyrrell is a bitch queen (she's always good at that.) I watch this with a mixture of disgust and fascination. Always a good combination, I think.
19. My Best Friend is a Vampire. No, it's not really that great...but the David Warner scenes are so funny, as short as they are. I mean, he's a 'vampire hunter', but he's a total idiot...yet he seems to smart, with his delivery and confidence, that you almost believe he's not really as stupid as what he thinks and says seem to portray. Plus, his sidekick has his moments. ('Let me be your love slave', a line I'd never want to hear from any random chubby bald stranger who'd been chasing be across town all week with a stake.)
20. Terror Vision. As a kid, this movie...scared me...it really did. I don't know why, because it's obviously a trashy comedy in the vein of Troll 2 (yes, not even the original...the even worse sequel.) Honestly, I thought they were made by the same people. But what makes me omit Troll 2 from the list, and add this one? I have no clue. All I know is, once I got past the first hour, I liked it. Granted, it took me 11 years to get that far...so less intrepid pioneers of awful cinema might find it more difficult.
21. Killer Klowns from Outer Space. The key to this movie is really knowing...it's not taking itself seriously at all. This is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SCARY. It's quite funny, especially when you realize the clown costumes are actually the troll costumes from 'Ernest Scared Stupid', just repainted.
22. The Killer Tomato films. I know what you're thinking, after reading this one...the rest of my list is now void, because I have reached the depths of bad taste, and not the Peter Jackson one. And if not, well, I admire your naivete. If I had to pick a favorite, I'd choose part 2 (Return)...but part 1 is the funniest...I guess. I dunno. They're both rivals to me, really. To this day, I still with I could find an FT doll. The damn movie did not deliver on it's promise!
23. Scary Movie. No, not the entire franchise. Dear god, no. It's not even really one of my favorite movies, but it was 'highly influential' I guess...when it was new, it was funny. Now? I curse the day this film came out, crowding American cinemas with a slough of crappy sequels and semi-spinoffs. They're the real reasons the rest of the world thinks we're stupid.
24. Gremlins 1 and 2. Yeah, why the hell would I mention a Zach Galligan movie on this list, but leave off the two films most people remember him for? That would just be silly. Not much to really add to what's been said about this before...Gizmo's cute, god help them if they ever forget about daylight savings time...
25. Return of the Living Dead 1 and 2, but not the rest. This was a real battle, because there were a few others I debated about adding. I settled on this movie, well, these 2...because they were two (and the others were not sequal-fied...ed.) It takes the zombie premise and uses it in a uniquely funny, yet disturbing way. I love the fact that zombies can only really be disposed of through nuclear bombs or burning...and even then, apparently their ashes cause zombie-making acid rain. Plus the costumes of some of the zombies are great, just how I like them. I tell you, zombie makeup just isn't as good as it used to be. You give me a gory skull covered in brown goo on a zombie, that still somehow manages to be expressive, and you've got one awesome monster.
Honorable mention: Vamp, Night of the Creeps, Vampires Anonymous, Critters, Big Wolf on Campus series, Ghostbusters films, House 2, Death Becomes Her, My Boyfriend's Back, House 2, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, VAMPIRES IN HAVANA. (Capitalized those last two because the only thing that prevented me from putting them on the list was because I didn't remember them until I started listing honorable mention.)
Dishonorable mention/films I shall make it my life's work to destroy every last copy of: GHOST FEVER, Dead & Breakfast, Purani Haveli. (Capitalized because I fear the film may have given me brain cancer.)
Well, I hope you've enjoyed this pointless rambling list that gave you little to no idea of what many of the films were actually about, but helped me pass away my insomnia-driven hours.
Yeah, I know I said this was only for discussing my comic...but I changed my mind. Instead, I'm going to make this a general journal again. And my first topic: Staying Up. I will probably return to it several times over the course of the coming months, unless things settle down. I'll start from the beginning...
When I was 8, I always went to bed when my parents told me to. Let me correct that, I always went to bed after my parents told me to about 12 times. I'd ask for a glass of water, complain that the dark scared me, plead to stay up to watch one show, etcetera...etcetera. I was your average kid who hated sleeping because I felt like I was missing out on something amazing.
But one night...I woke up early. Very early. In fact, it was the first time I'd ever been up at such an hour. 4 AM, a mystical time I'd never even considered really existed...let alone 2 or 3 AM. My knowledge of night time did not go beyond 11 pm, because after that there was morning. I couldn't understand why I'd woken up at 4, perhaps I was dreaming or perhaps a magical fairy had granted me a moment when adults and friends couldn't bother me. I was my own person...the world was my oyster. Time itself had frozen still, like it did in tv shows. Over the course of the next month, I kept waking up that early without my parents ever knowing...I watched whatever I wanted, played with my toys, drank my dad's soda...it was exhilarating. But then...dad woke up early too...and he'd found out my secret. Then came a speech about growing bodies, and the dangers of not sleeping enough...it downright terrified me. I didn't want to be a dwarf or have my hair fall out! Let alone both at the same time. So it was back to the usual schedule.
Years later, when I had matured and become a true adult...12...I started staying up late, instead of waking up early. I couldn't help it, I was just so fond of late night programming. Not to mention, a lot of things were going on at that time that really stressed me out. Apparently, when I'm upset and don't know it...I can't sleep (I also have another issue with my scalp, but that's my business and definitely not something I want to post about.) Eventually though, I'd run out of movies to watch on HBO (porn was disgusting, and I'd seen 'But I'm a Cheerleader' plus all of the Coffin Joe films about a thousand times.) So, I began to compulsively clean until I got tired. I'd clean and clean and clean until my leg bones ached...funny story, I always know I'm really tired when my legs hurt. Then it's an unbearable feeling, like having stood on them for several hours straight...I used to think they were growing pains, but I'm 21 and I still get them.
Mom and dad found out I'd been cleaning, and decided to give me an allowance! 20 dollars a month, which was more than I'd ever gotten in my life for anything, sadly. This brought back the feeling of wonder I'd felt when I was 8, about discovering 4 AM. Now I'd get money from it? Who cared if I didn't grow any more, I was already 5'6...tall enough. And if I lost some hair, I didn't care about that either...because again, I've got plenty of it (don't get me started on the complaints I get from beauticians when I go to get it trimmed.)
Eventually things were back to normal though, and I just didn't feel like staying up late anymore...sure, the allowance stopped...but it didn't matter. I was able to sleep again, and I'd forgotten how wonderful it was just to be able to lay down at 10 pm and start dreaming instantly. Off and on though, ever since, when I get stressed...insomnia rolls in.
There's nothing to enjoy about it now. For one thing, I think I've seen too many movies (I'm literally running out of easily available flicks that are both good, and I haven't seen.) For another, I HATE cleaning...but I still do it to get to sleep. Still, it doesn't work. And the later I stay up, the more I sleep the next day. Right now I don't have a job and I'm not going to school (taking a semester off, because I just got my first apartment...) As it turns out, most of my relatives are insomniacs. My great grandmother stopped sleeping 6 full hours the day she turned 40, and my dad...I can't tell you how many times I've heard him pacing across the hallway at 3 AM, and staying up the rest of the night. Sometimes I wonder if when I was 8, the first time I'd gotten up at 4...maybe, just maybe, if I'd gone right back to sleep...it wouldn't be so hard now.
Tuesday, 07 December 2010
Fiddler on the Roof [30th Anniversary Edition] [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
By Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Topol
I've decided to make this a 'note journal' for my webcomic, Trolling Around. This is mainly for my own memory's sake, and that of JT, who is my loyal background artist. I'll start off describing an upcoming environment I need him to draw some work for.
To Jt: Please draw at least 5 different backgrounds in various places throughout. I'll endeavor to describe 'The Lost Troll Kingdom of Chelmicht'.
Chelmicht: Caves are beautiful and ugly in a very familiar way. Gardens of crystal and algea. Clefts and cracks which, by providence, seem to create pathways for the living to discover the stony secrets held within. And so much more which remains hidden knowledge to those who have not searched deep enough. But the kingdom of Chelmicht is contradictory in all ways to what it should be. The trolls, who could not bear the sting of the sun lest they become stone themselves, fashioned a glorious place of magic and greenery. When the party breaks through a well, we catch a glimpse through the hole of an old wooden bridge. Picture...Indiana Jones...the one you didn't like. Those rickety old rope bridges that always seem to get destroyed in movies (either intentionally or not.) Below it are the spires of buildings very different from the structures of the goblins. Imagine something like a combination between Atlantis and Ferngully. Magnificent flowers like poinsettas which grow on vines embracing the buildings, flowing rivers sidling the pathways between the structures. The water has a glow to it...as if there is something mystical about the depths. The colors used in this area will be primarily blues and purples, with splashes of green.
Draw what you wish of the places, but also include a few needed things:
-The Entrance to a Palace
- The bridge with the tops of the buildings in view
-The bridge bordering the wall. Characters will walk on this, just show the rope railing and the cracks in the wall behind with tiny buds climbing up
- A pathway with the water running through
- A sort of...city square
And for a bit of history, just to enlighten you...
When the sun was...evicted...the trolls realized they could finally rise to the surface and settle there, providing their light to the upperworld races (the light orbs, of course) for a fee. Already enriched by their knowledge and the small commerce which flourished below ground due to their ornate jewelry and charms, the sale of their magic is what truly made their economy the powerhouse it has become over the rest of the 'Trolling Around' world. (If you were curious, Chelmicht is pronounced with a gutteral sort of kh at the beginning and then -ell-misht.)
That's it for the extent of knowledge I need to give you for now. Pretty soon there'll be more.