Monday, 1 December 2008

Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in.

Trilogies are, by and large, pretty much rubbish. Even the best franchises tend to go downhill by the third instalment. From “Spider-Man” to “The Godfather” almost every single cinema work that has attempted a three part odyssey has found that final hump just a step too far. Even the mighty Star Wars struggled with Return of the Jedi, before George Lucas decided to prove that what we fondly remembered as being the best thing ever in our childhood was, er, not that good by releasing three of the most poorly judged films imaginable (Gee Note: Seriously, I've tried loving the prequels. Really I have. And I don't think they're bad per se, just an example of a completely wasted opportunity). In fact, with the exception of Serge Leone's “Fistful” trilogy, good three parters are very thin on the ground.

So why do those creative types in Hollywood keep making them, knowing that by film three the quality will have gone down hill so badly that those enlightened folks on the talk back section of Aint it Cool will be questioning the film makers parentage? Well there's two reasons. Firstly Hollywood is foremost a business, and so a movie with an in built fan base and proven track record will always be ridden in to the ground like a lame donkey. If you ever needed any proof just look at what happened to X-Men. Bryan Singer, regarded by most as an absolutely fine director until the misstep that was Superman Returns, had crafted a perfectly decent origin story for the first movie before knocking the ball out of the park with the second film. And then, after months of wrangling with the suits at FOX, he was replaced by Brett Ratner. That's right, the man who directed “The Usual Suspects” was replaced with the guy who directed “Rush Hour”. And the end result, despite being financially successful, was a dreadful film. But as far as FOX were concerned, it made a ton of money and so was therefore the best thing since sliced bread. And they'd do it all over again if they could.

The second reason is that, sometimes even the best of us don't know when to stop. After all nobody on earth outside of Francis Ford Coppola wanted to see Michael Corleone spend four hours trying to make the family legit before deciding to say “Bollocks to it” and kill everyone in sight. Still Coppola did it. Why? Because he arguably misjudged what made the initial two films absorbing to begin with. The Godfather was always about how an honourable man does dishonourable things to maintain a twisted vision of what makes a greater good. Having a remorseful ageing gangster fretting over his past transgressions and his flirty daughter for 240 odd minutes is, well, not all that interesting. And because of that Coppola managed to make part III of the greatest gangster story ever told very very dull indeed. Sadly Francis hasn't come anywhere near making a decent film since to atone for this grave injustice.

Anyway, enough of all that. Welcome to the final instalment of the “I Saw Elvis In The Woods Werewolf Trilogy”.

Yeah, you're right. It's probably going to be awful.

So, the trouble with Werewolves (Gee Note: Not to be confused with the classic Star Trek episode “The Trouble with Tribbles”. Although how great would it be if William Shatner opened that cupboard and a bloody great big wolf leapt out and went straight for his jugular? Now THAT would be drama.) is that, for such an iconic creature, sightings of the wee beasties are frustratingly rare. As mentioned previously, I'm not sure if shown a werewolf I'd be able to distinguish it from a regular wolf. Unless it played basketball really well and pulled Lorie Griffin. That would be a dead give away.

Even the very few reports of Werewolves that trickle in are almost always cases of mistaken identity. Take the story of Andrei Chikatilo. Or the Rostov Ripper if you prefer. Chikatilo was a serial killer who preyed of disadvantaged youths of both sexes for a period of 12 years between 1978 and 1990, murdering 53 people in the process. Chikatilo would often use a knife to rape his victims with, and then eat their sexual organs. Unfortunately, because these crimes were committed within the boundaries of those sensible chaps in the Soviet Union, a media blackout was ordered so that the state's enemies and her own public would not know that a serial killer was loose in her borders (Gee Note: Insane isn't it? “Nah we don't have such things as serial killers. However we do have several thousand nuclear warheads pointing directly at the United States of America”. I don't know about you, but if I was a citizen in the USSR at the time I'd rather hear about one mental chap with a knife, than the fact that my leaders were thinking of instigating a war that would end up nuking me off the face of this earth). And so local communities, upon hearing of the mutilated corpses that were piling up by way of rumour, became convinced that a Werewolf was on the prowl. Now while Chikatilo could be accurately described as a “sick puppy” that's, unfortunately as far as this blog is concerned, about the extent of his canine features.

So Werewolf sightings are about as rare as a decent Pussycat Dolls record. But in a world full of crazy drunks diverse folk such as ours there's always bound to be one or two.

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present Doristine Gipson.

On October 31st 1989 Miss Gipson was travelling along Bray Road near Delavan, Wisconsin. She had reached over to change the radio station (Gee Note: Seeing as “Miss You Much” by Janet Jackson was the number one record in the country at the time, I'm surprised she just didn't turn the damn thing off), when she felt her front tire jump off the ground as if she had hit something. She got out to have a look and did not see anything around her. However off in the distance some movement caught her eye. A large, dark figure was coming towards her with some speed. It was heavily built, and appeared to be covered in fur. Unnerved by this Doris jumped in her car and attempted to drive away. Before she could get very far however the figure had jumped on to the back of her trunk, but was unable to hang on. Instead it fell to the wayside leaving a scratch on the paint work.

(Gee Note: If I was Christopher Davis, I would sue the ass off this woman.)

To her credit Doris didn't for one second believe she had seen anything too out of the ordinary. Instead when relating this story to her friends she would surmise that perhaps she had accidentally knocked down a bear that had then become slightly miffed and attacked the car. But upon hearing this story others came out of the woodwork to tell of their odd encounters along Bray Road.

One such person was Lorianne Endrizzi. Endrizzi was 24 and working as a bar manager in the autumn of 1989 when she found herself one night driving down Bray Road. She saw what she claims was a half man, half wolf creature hunched at the side of the road. It had a strong upper body, grey fur, fangs, long pointed ears, and it's face was “long and snouty”. Oh and it had glowing yellow eyes (Gee Note: Always with the red eyes. What?!? Yellow eyes you say? Well I'll be dammed. That's three in a row).

Even more weirdness was to come. The following year a young woman Heather Bowey claimed to have had a run in with the Beast at some point during the Christmas period after she and some friends were on their way back from a spot of sledding. It approached initially on it's hind legs before bounding towards them on all fours, chasing the terrified group briefly before turning off in another direction. She described it as having grey-brownish fur and was “way too big to be a dog”.

A year and a bit after that in February 1992 Tammy Bray was travelling along Bray Road having finished a hard days work at a retirement home, when a remarkably similar beast to the one described above nonchalantly stepped out in front of her. She slammed on the breaks only to receive what can only be called a “Hey, I'm walking here!” look from the animal before it carried on it's merry way. She ran home to tell her husband, Steve Bray. Oddly enough Steve was one of those that had claimed to have spotted the beast back in 1989. No really, he claimed to have seen it from a distance in a field or something. I don't know, it didn't involve cars screeching to a halt or rosy cheeked children being chased by a demon beast from hell so it's not very interesting. But the coincidence is intriguing don't you think?

Alas this is pretty much where the Beast of Bray road story ends, as no further credible sightings of the creature have been reported. Even though, much like the Chupacabra, a mutilated farm animal turns up every so often that gets the local press all giddy at the prospect of the the return of the Wolfman.

Outside of our old favourite “mass hysteria” no explanation has been offered as to what could cause such a rash of sightings, all of which were remarkably similar and all from pretty reliable people. Was it a bear? A wolf? A hoax? A collective figment of the imagination? Sadly we'll probably never know either way. Which means that we end our trilogy on a bit of an anti climax.

See? I told you they were rubbish.


Brian said...

The Beast of Bray Road made a brief comeback in 2003 according to the local newspapers.

Good post man.

Scumbag Sam said...

Firstly P.C.D (aha! initials! woo!) sometimes have good songs... jeez, I mean, when I grow up? its amazing! :P

secondly, this is probably the best third installment of anything i have ever witnessed, bar the 3rd book of the phillip pullman novels (tha amber spy glass was amazing), anywho. good post.

Ever since reading your Werewolf posts I have become a bit addicted. I am contemplating writing a book about werewolves. although, I always have intentions of writing books, I start them and never finish them!! haha.

Werewolves exist. I believe in them. I might go to this place 'Bray road', and investigate!