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Friday, November 23, 2012

Sorry, dudes.

So, yesterday I kinda just posted the video for Nicole Westbrook's "It's Thanksgiving" without any explanation and went on my merry way.  Sorry 'bout that.  Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, I've had time to rewatch the video and listen to the song two or three more times, and I finally feel ready to make some hilarious observations.  Hold on to your ribs, people, because I'm about to tickle 'em.  OK, enough of that.  Here's the video again.

1. What kind of adult-free, Children of the Corn-universe does this video take place in?  Does Westbrook own the posh suburban home in which she is hosting Thanksgiving dinner or are her parents lying murdered and dead on the cold cement floor of the basement, their rotting bodies longing for the dignity of a Christian burial they will never receive, because you know as soon as Thanksgiving is over, Westbrook is burning the bodies?  And if this is the case, the murder scenario, did all of Westbrook's bratty friends murder their parents as well?  I guess that's what all those weird kids did in Children of the Corn, right?  This video would be creepy even if the song was decent.  

Oh, I should add that this song sucks a hobo's bindle full of dicks.

2. In the opening lines of "It's Thanksgiving," 12-year-old Westbrook thanks an unidentified person for the things he/she has done and what he/she did.  It's that second thank you that creeps me out.  Thanks for what you did leads me to believe that whatever was "did" was "did" very recently.  Obviously, in my opinion, it's murdering her parents.  If I may be frank: Westbrook is twelve.  And a girl.  I don't see her pulling off a double murder.  And what if Mr. Westbrook had moved his elderly mother into his family's home after the death of her husband a few months back?  That's three people Westbrook would've had to kill to pull of her kids-only Thanksgiving celebration.  A 12-year-old girl might be able to overpower a feeble grandmother-type, but there is no way she could off her mother and father before they were able to arm themselves or contact the police.  Westbrook had an accomplice and I think this is who she is thanking at the beginning of the song.

Or the song is poorly written.  It's probably that.

3. Oh, wait.  This isn't an adult-less world.  There is at least one adult left. And, oh goodie gumdrops, it's Patrice Wilson, the songwriter/producer/ARK founder who brought the world Rebecca Black's "Friday" and its official sequel, "Happy," which makes "Friday" sound like the most beautiful Beethoven symphony ever written.

4.  Apparently, Patrice has been at every holiday party Westbrook has ever thrown, including the sad Easter Egg Hunt for One she organized in April.  Assuming this isn't a universe devoid of adults and one in which Westbrook's parents simply see no reason to supervise their daughter, weren't any adults Patrice's age throwing any holiday parties all year long?  Why does he show up at every one of Westbrook's shindigs?  The kids are essentially ignoring him - even at the Fourth of July cook-out, and he is cooking for everyone!!! - so why does he keep showing up?  And why, at every party, does he eventually end up in the turkey costume?  Does he keep the turkey costume in his trunk at all times?  "Oh, man, this 12-year-old's party is getting kinda lame.  Time to break out the turkey costume, son!"

5.  That one little girl brought ribs?  That's awesome!

6. I'm not religious or anything, but isn't rapping your pre-Thanksgiving prayer akin to blasphemy?  I know there's something about rap in the Bible, I just can't remember the chapter or verse.

7. Oh, Patrice Wilson ate all the ribs.  Sorry, kids.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Can't be hateful. Gotta be grateful.




and now this...

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4 Thanksgiving-Themed Horror Films That Will Scare the Stuffing Out of You

There is a dearth of Thanksgiving-themed horror movies out there.  I mean, there's Thankskilling and its sequel, Thankskilling 3, which tells the story of Turkie, the homicidal turkey from the series' first installment, and his quest to find the last remaining copy of Thankskilling 2 and has a trailer that should not be missed, but then what?  That's right: nothing.  Christmas has got all kinds of great horror flicks, two of which, Black Christmas and Christmas Evil, are among my favorite horror movies period.  But Thanksgiving, arguably the greatest holiday ever created, gets a swearing turkey puppet and that's it?  Bullshit!

Understanding that this is, in fact, utter and complete bullshit, I embarked on a Turkie-esque quest of my own: to seek out, watch and share with my readers the names and plot descriptions (spoilers and all!) of some forgotten Thanksgiving horror movies.  As predicted, I didn't find much, but my quest was far from fruitless.  So, here they are, after months of painstaking research that at times threatened the very fabric of my soul, my marriage, and, once, time and space itself, 4 Thanksgiving-themed horror movies that will scare the giblets out of your ass.  You've been warned.

1. Killgrim (1985): In the thick of the slasher boom of the 80's, America was introduced to John Killey, a demonic, reanimated pilgrim who stalked and murdered the teenage constituency of Yam's Grove, Massachusetts in 1985's Killgrim.  Killey, who is conjured from beyond the grave one stormy Thanksgiving Eve by Yam's Grove High School's resident outcast, Peter Dooley, and his best friend, Dweeb, discovers that he is not among the well-remembered and revered pilgrims in American history and decides to make a name for himself by murdering horny teens in various Thanksgivingy ways, even though the First Thanksgiving in no way resembles what Thanksgiving has since become, but whatever.  He also makes a lot of "buckle puns" (Example: "One, two, buckle my shoe.  Three, four, suck musket, whore!" AND "The buckle stops your throat." [Killey stabs star quarterback, Kip Fullerton, in the throat with a razor-sharp hat buckle] AND "I'm afraid, you're all out of buck...le." AND so on...).

In the end, Peter and Dweeb, along with Peter's neighbor and total crush, Harley Jackson, who lives with an alcoholic single father who hasn't allowed Thanksgiving to be celebrated in his home ever since his wife died in a horrible boating accident that we witness in several, uncomfortably gory flashback scenes, raise the spirit of Squanto from the dead, pitting Killey against the pilgrim's bestest friend.  Squanto stabs Killey through the brain with a peace pipe and Yam's Grove is once again safe for fornicating teens.  Until the sequel.  Which doesn't exist.

2. Squanto's Revenge (1996): Speaking of Squanto, 1996's Squanto's Revenge isn't about Squanto at all.  Nor does it take place on Thanksgiving.  Well, it might.  It appears to be autumn.  Nobody mentions turkey or cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie or how shitty their family is or anything, but there is a touch football game.  I don't know.

Anyway, Squanto's Revnge is the story of a cigar store Indian who falls in love with the wife of the owner of the cigar store in front of which he stands.  Nobody is aware that he comes to life when the store closes and spends his evenings in the woods, hunting and fishing like in olden day times.  The giant, wooden indian, who is never referred to as Squanto (not even once!!!), witnesses a series of late-night dalliances between the cigar store owner and a pretty young woman from the Vietnamese nail salon next door, and overhears the lovers plotting to murder the cigar store owner's wife and move to Mexico with the life insurance money.  Squanto, or whatever his name is, decides that he must take action, and forgoes his nightly hunting and fishing trips to do some good old-fashioned murderin'.  He dispatches the Vietnamese manicurist in one of the most nauseating scenes ever caught on film (Let's just say it involves a curtain rod, two car batteries, a skinned deer carcass, and an explosion that kills everyone in the nail salon, customers and employees alike.  "Is this a snuff film?" I asked aloud during the scene.  It's gruesome.).  He then murders the cigar store owner (peace pipe through the skull).  Finally, he reveals himself to his one true love, who dies instantly of a heart attack when spoken to by the giant wooden indian who has stood outside of her husband's store for fifteen-plus years.  It's kinda sad.

"You were supposed to bring the corn casserole and you forgot?  How could you have possibly forgotten?  Look at all this corn!  It's literally everywhere!"

3. Children of the Corn: Thanksgiving Massacre (2005): There are officially 65 films in the Children of the Corn series, but only one (so far...) that takes place during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Thanksgiving Massacre pretty much shares the same plot as Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, Children of the Corn: Revelation, Children of the Corn: Feelin' Kinda Corny, Children of the Corn: Isaac's Most Recent Return, Children of the Corn: Space Corn, Children of the Corn: Concert in the Park, Children of the Corn: These Children Be Trippin', Children of the Corn: The One with Korn In It, Children of the Corn: Where Are All of These Children Coming From?, Tyler Perry's Madea Goes To That Place Where the Children of the Corn Live, and Children of the Corn: Cobbed, only it takes place during Thanksgiving.

4. Give Thanks...Or Die! (1981): Identical to the 1980 film Christmas Evil (AKA You Better Watch Out), only instead of becoming a crazy holiday killer after witnessing his mother giving some dude in a Santa suit a blowjob as a child, the killer witnesses his mother giving some dude in a turkey costume a rim job.  Subtle, but different.  Still ends with a flying van.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hero of the Month: French Maid Teacher

When I was a senior in high school, I wrote an editorial for the school newspaper (The Lancer) entitled "A Modest Proposal," which was less about eating babies then it was about teachers jazzing up their lesson plans a little.  It was the first thing I ever wrote for The Lancer that got a reaction from anybody. Well, anybody other than the new Computer Programming teacher who was a big fan of the interview I did with him.  I think that two paragraph puff piece about his hobbies bought me a passing grade in that class.

After "A Modest Proposal" was published, several of my fellow students told me they liked the article, understanding that it was obviously a joke.  For Pete's sake, I suggested that our science teachers invite Nickelodeon's Mr. Wizard to share some of his favorite experiments with the class.  I'm pretty sure Mr. Wizard is dead.*  I got an opposite reaction from teachers.  Well, one teacher.  The Physics teacher.  She cornered me in the hall one day.  "I read your article," she sneered, not a trace of humor in her boring face.  " It was interesting."

Look, I didn't expect the teaching staff at Charlotte Christian High School to don costumes and break into song (Two other suggestions I may have made.  I don't remember.).  "A Modest Proposal" was just my commentary on how utterly boring and horrible I found high school.  I hated high school so much.  It wasn't so much the teachers or my fellow students or anything like that.  It was just the fact that I had to be there, combined with the teachers and students and the homework and the tests and all those awful, nightmare things one must endure in one's teenage years.  

Nothing much motivated me in high school, and I've got the shitty report cards to prove it.  I knew I was smart enough to coast and get into a fairly decent college, where I'd have another four years to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my life.  At least in college there'd be sex, booze and two hours of  the Jerry Springer Show every weekday afternoon.  There'd also be like-minded book-readers and pretentious movie buffs and perky-breasted co-eds who thought it was cool that I carried Jack Keroac novels in my jacket pocket everywhere I went.  But that's not the point.  The point is, nothing and no one ever truly motivated me to work up to my potential during my high school experience.

This month, a teacher in China found a fabulous way to motivate her students to achieve higher marks: she promised her class that if they got the highest grades in the school on their monthly exam, she would teach class dressed in a sexy French maid's costume.  The class delivered, and so did their teacher:

Granted, by American horndog standards, this so-called French maid costume (What kind of French maid wears cat ears, am I right?) ain't that sexy, but it's the principle of the thing.  The opportunity of seeing their teacher dressed in a fetish outfit motivated a room full of students to better themselves, and what's wrong with that?  Nothing.  Maybe if more of my teachers promised to, I don't know, dress like a sexy cheerleader or Street Figher's Chun Li or something, I could've passed a math test for once in my dumb life.  Whatever.

*He is now, but he wasn't when I wrote "A Modest Proposal."

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Wishlist 2012: Fashion

It's never too early to tell people what you want them to buy for you for Christmas.  It can, however, be too late.  We are rapidly approaching "too late," people, and for that I would like to apologize.  I should've started posting my wishlist in mid-February like all the other bloggers.  Yeah, it's a thing.  You see, a blog writer knows that his/her loyal readers want nothing more than to shower the creator of the content they crave with fabulous gifts at the close of each calendar year, and the best way to assure that this process goes smoothly is for said blog writer to post a series of holiday wishlists, which is, quite simply, a list of wishes (presents) someone (me) wants granted (gimme presents!) by someone else (you, gimme presents!).  I celebrate the "religious" holiday of "Christmas" during the month of December, thus, I have a compiled a Christmas Wishlist.  Make sense?

Today the focus is on fashion.  I'm a fashionably guy, I think.  I wear a belt.  Once every other week I put on a tie.  I don't have a lot of money to spend on designer blue jeans or hemp cardigans or what-have-you, but I try to dress myself in wrinkle-free clothing and wear matching socks on a daily basis.  In essence, I like to stay fresh to death.

1. Denim Sandal Boots (or, simply, Jean Flops)

How many times have you been walking around at, like, I don't know, a grocery store or a state fair or a festive corn maze, and thought, "I've got way too much to carry around with me than my four pants pockets can handle.  I've got a wallet, my car keys, an iPhone, my MP3-playing device, a pack of cards, my Jersey Mike's Sub Club card, a Who's The Boss pog slammer, my birth certificate--WHERE AM I GONNA KEEP ALL MY STUFF?!? I SIMPLY DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH POCKETS!!!"

Dani K Shoes have solved your problem AND created a one-of-a-kind style of footwear that totally doesn't look stupid, I promise.  When you purchase a pair of Denim Sandal Boots from Dani K Shoes, you not only get a finely crafted pair of weird flip-flop things, you also get four extra pockets.  And belt loops!  Look at that!  You could literally leave the house wearing three (THREE!!!) belts.  A belt lover's dream shoe!

2. Spirit Fingerz

Sure, you could always show your team loyalty with the traditional, all-natural spirit fingers (i.e. the fingers on your hand, wiggle-waggled moronically), but last time I looked, most human beings don't have tiny pom-poms at the end of their fingers.  I say most because there was this guy in college, Jean Luc, who had a weird finger mutation that made the tips of his fingers resemble fleshy pom-poms.  We called him French Tickler, but that's not important right now.  What is important is that Spirit Fingerz are awesome and I want a pair right now!  Get them in "collegiate," "NFL" or "colorz," which just means they come in different colors.

3. Unisex Beanie LED Knit Caps Warm Hat with Light

For those late night wood chopping situations that seem to pop up on nearly a daily basis during the holiday season.

4. Election T-Shirts

Finally, the election is over, but its shirts will live on forever.  Or at least for the next few months.  There are warehouses all over America full of these things, I bet.  Why not help out the losing team -- or the winning one! -- and buy a couple hundred of the leftovers for your friends and family this Christmas?  Here are a few of my personal "favorites."

...and I'm a bad speller.

Of course I do, I wake up in it every morning.  What are you getting at, shirt?


Was there, like, a whole thing where people were comparing Mitt Romney to the Dick Tracy villain Little Face or something?  I'll admit, I tuned out about halfway through election season, so maybe this was a thing.  Mitt Romney doesn't have a tiny face or anything.  I'm looking at a picture of him right now and his face looks perfectly fine.  His features seem to be those of a man with a normal-sized face. I don't get it.  [UPDATE: Performing a quick internets search, I discovered the Little Face Mitt blog.  I still don't get it.]

And my personal favorite:

Oh, brudder.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Matt vs Matt: Zombies: Fast or Slow???

Occasionally, "hot button" issues arise that I can see both sides of. In these cases, it's up to me and myself to establish a dialogue and hash things out. It's time for Matt vs. Matt!

This week, I watched the trailer for the upcoming zombie apocalypse film World War Z.  If you haven't seen it yet, well, here it is:

Matt: Look, Matt, I just want to say right here at the top that this looks pretty sweet.  What do you think?

Matt: You speak for both of us on this one, my friend.  

Matt: I thought I might.  I don't know much about World War Z other then what I just spent two-and-a-half minutes watching just now, but I'm in.  I like zombie stuff.  Night of the Living Dead, The Walking Dead TV show, Shaun of the Dead...I dig all of that junk.

Matt: Oh, totally.  And let me just add that over the course of the following debate, we plan on keeping the focus super narrow.  We're not going to be ridiculing the people on Facebook who feel the need to constantly post inane ramblings about their zombie contingency plans or can't let a week go by without spoiling The Walking Dead for those of us who like to DVR the entire season and watch it in marathon form in one weekend.  That's not what we're here to do at all.

Matt: Absolutely, Matt.  And we're certainly not here to question whether or not it is a valid use of someone's time to read novels about zombies.  People are allowed to read whatever they want.  If they want to read about zombie apocalypses or vampire-slaying presidents or the memoirs of Hollywood bald-guy Joey Pants, so be it.  I'm not here to tell you what to read.  I've read two Twilight books, for Pete's sake.  

Matt:  What we are here to do is to come to a final decision on this whole fast or slow zombie question, and I think I can do it fairly quickly.  Fast zombies suck.  Let's order a pizza, call it a night.

Matt: Hold on!  Last I heard, this is a debate.  You can't just make a decision, order a pizza, and go to bed.  We gotta hash this out, bro.  It just so happens that fast zombies do not suck, in fact, fast zombies are the superior zombie.

Matt: [stares at Matt in disbelief]

Matt: What's scarier: something shuffling at you, slowly and steadily, mouth agape, arms outstretched, hands hanging limp-wristed, moaning softly OR something running full speed at your face, shrieking like a maniac, and tearing you to pieces like an undead piranha with human arms and legs?  I think it's the running thing.

Matt:  Tell me something, Matt, what's your favorite horror movie?

Matt: Child's Play 2.

Matt:  No, not your favorite movie, you're favorite horror movie.

Matt: Oh, The Shining.

Matt: No.

Matt: 1979's Tourist Trap???

Matt: One more time.

Matt: Halloween?

Matt: Yes.  Was Michael Myers running after everybody like some kind of bloodthirsty track star?  Hell no!  He moved slowly, methodically, murdering teenagers with the ease of a truly professional psychopath, and it was scarier than shit!  Michael didn't work up a sweat stalking Jamie Lee Curtis.  Jason Vorhees didn't get all winded slaughtering teens up at Camp Crystal Lake.  Scary things move slowly.  I think I've made my point.

Matt: The scariest thing in the world to me when I was a child was watching nature documentaries.  Any time there was a cheetah chasing down a gazelle, I had to look away.  No matter how hard that prey tried to avoid it's most certain demise, it never succeeded.  The cheetah always took the gazelle down because it was faster.  That is truly terrifying, knowing no matter how fast you run, how hard you try to keep ahead of the cheetah, or the zombie horde in the case of the non-dead people in the World War Z trailer, you will never be fast enough.  

Matt:  I seem to remember the whole predator/prey dynamic a little differently.  I remember the cheetah stalking its prey and striking when the gazelle least expected it.  A zombie is going to strike, make no mistake, but it's going to sneak up on you first or back you into a corner at least.  Either way, you're zombie/cheetah food.

Matt:  I don't think we're ever going to figure this one out, Matt, so maybe we should just wrap it up.  The truth is, fast or slow, zombies are cool and that's what is important ultimately.  Also, I'm not sure this counts as a "hot button" topic.  Shouldn't we have discussed something more relevant to everyone's lives?  I mean, the presidential election did just happen, you know.

Matt:  It did?  When do we find out who wins?

Matt: I don't know.  Pretty soon probably.  Maybe we should check the internet.

Matt: I don't think they put that kind of stuff on the internet.  Can we order that pizza now?  I'm starving.

Matt:  Sure, slugger.  Good-night, everybody.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

What Is It?: Gangnam Style

Now that election season is over (I can't wait to find out who wins, can you???) and I'm no longer throwing my guts up once an hour, Giant Electric Penguin can get back to the business of wallowing in pop culture silliness.  However, as most of you know, I am only one man and, therefore, cannot experience/report on every bit of pop culture ephemera in a timely fashion.  At the rate things are going, by the time I get to talking about SNL's Louie parody in which Louis CK played Abraham Lincoln as a sad-sack president/stand-up comedian (which was hilarious, by the way), no one is going to remember who Abraham Lincoln is or did, aside from his tireless efforts to eradicate the plague of vampires from America's shores as a young man.  There's just too much!  Something beautifully stupid/amazing/inexplicable comes down the pike (is it pike or pipe?) every day and one man with a 16-month-old daughter, bills to pay, lawns to mow and shitty New Jersey diner food to vomit all over the place, cannot touch on it all.  But I want to try to hit the big stuff, and that is what I hope to achieve with GEP's newest feature, "What Is It?"

I thought I'd start with this song "Gangnam Style," because apparently it is a thing.  I'm not even sure that it's just a song actually.  Is it also a dance?  Is it like the Macerena, which was a song but also a dance but maybe also an actual person???  I don't know.

And, look, OK, I didn't actively avoid "Gangnam Style" because I think I'm better than anybody.  That isn't the point of this exciting and informative essay.  I didn't start seeing "Gangnam Style" posts on Facebook from my less "cultured" friends and think, "Oh my, that new song the lower classes seem to enjoy so much certainly holds nothing of value for me, a man who appreciates the finer things in life, like framed art, fine wine and films about homosexual cowboys in love.  The people who enjoy this "Gangnam Style" thing are obviously inferior beings that deserve to be sterilized so that they may not breed another generation of bumbling dunderheads, if not simply shot through the brain and killed instantly."  I didn't once think any of that.  I just had better things to do.  I no longer have that issue.  Here's "Gangnam Style:"

So, this is "Gangnam Style," is it?  This is the huge international hit everybody loves?  Hmmm.  Maybe I am better than you people.

First, look, I listen to a lot of Top 40 radio--probably too much--and this just sounds like every other popular song out right now, only not as good.  I don't know if you've tuned in to a Top 40 station any time recently, but the big trend in music seems to be "turn any space you're currently occupying into a loud, sweaty dance club."  And if you can cram a little dub step into your song, even better.  I guess it's "interesting" (???) that "Gangnam Style" is a hit in the United States even though the lyrics are primarily in Korean, maybe?  

Is Psy the appeal?  Probably, though that doesn't explain why "Gangnam Style" is a radio hit.  It's not like you can see Psy singing and dancing around when you're listening to the song in your car.  I guess you can imagine him, all pudgy and tuxedo-clad, shouting at women's asses and cuddling with other fat dudes in a steam room, while you drive around.  I don't know what you do when you listen to songs.

Maybe it's the dance.  Maybe, like the Macarena, people (mostly white, because obviously) recognize that "Gangnam Style" comes with an easy dance to do and, boom, instant hit.  I don't know of many people who can't pretend that they're riding a horse.  That's the "Gangnam Style" dance essentially, right?  Bouncing around like you are enjoying a complimentary pony ride at an 8-year-old's birthday party?  Only it's not enough to pantomime a relaxing equestrian excursion, you've apparently got to be very aggressive about it to truly tap into the spirit of "Gangnam Style."

So, how about a ruling (Yes, I'm going to offer unasked for rulings on things in this feature.  Fun, right?).  Is "Gangnam Style" worthy of the kudos being heaped upon it?  The answer is no.  "Gangnam Style" is stupid and this is coming from someone who revels in a wide variety of stupid things.  I don't begrudge Psy his fame or his place in the Wedding Reception Hall of Fame, but "Gangnam Style" doesn't do a thing for me.  It doesn't make me laugh.  It doesn't make me smile.  It doesn't make me want to horse dance.  It doesn't make me anything.  

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