Sunday, 14 February 2010

Rebecca, I want you back on shore now. Get dressed immediately.

You know, I have a soft spot for things that are just a bit crap

For example, yesterday the Welsh rugby team defeated their Scottish counterparts in what was one of the most dramatic matches in living memory. Trailing with five minutes to go and with no hope of recovery the men in red, er, recovered and managed to win the damn thing with the very last play of the game. Which in turn led to me getting very very drunk and singing songs about beer and women until the early hours of the morning.

So today I’m stationed on my sofa with a bottle of Lucozade, trying to fend off a hangover  like John Mayer and a crowd of exceedingly angry black people (Gee Note: By the way, earlier this week John Mayer broke down during a concert and tearfully apologised for his comments in that now infamous Playboy interview. Amazingly his heartfelt words somehow managed to make him seem like an even bigger douche bag than he did before. Even more amazingly, ten days ago I had absolutely no idea who John Mayer was. Now thanks to some intensive research I know that John Mayer is… a bit of a dick. Knowledge is power my friends. Knowledge is power). In an effort to create a calming and peaceful environment I’ve decided to raid my DVR for something soothing to watch. Valiantly stepping up to the mark is “Curse of The Komodo”.

“Curse of The Komodo” is the latest in a long line of schlock low budget horror movies presented to us by the wonder that is Zone Horror. Zone Horror has quickly established itself as my favourite cable channel, even more so than the insanely named “Discovery Shed” station (Gee Note: Seriously how great is that? What’s better is that the entire schedule of Discovery Shed today is seemingly dedicated to “Record Breaking Fish”. Now I have no idea what this means, but if it involves a tuna trying to see how much it can deadlift it might turn out to be my favourite television event of the year). Really it all started a couple of nights ago when they aired the triumph that was MOSQUITO. A creature feature of the highest order, Mosquito warns us of the dangers of allowing cheap oversized insect puppets to run amuck in a small Midwestern town. It also features ol’ Leatherface himself Gunnar Hansen as a comedic militant hillbilly (Gee Note: Because nothing, and I mean nothing, is funnier than a crazy redneck. The only thing that comes close is when a man dresses up in women’s clothing. Oh tee hee hee. I can feel my sides splitting already). Spewing out such Oscar worthy lines as “You’re the animal expert. You tell me.” and “If I wasn’t having such a bad day I’d kill you myself!”, it’s a veritable tour de force of a performance.

This success was followed up the next night by THEY CRAWL. A cross between a really weak episode of CSI: Miami and a feature length version of The X Files, They Crawl manages to be fantastically useless on almost every front. It also features a cameo from Mickey Rourke, during his “wilderness” years, where he manages to chew the scenery for five minutes before throwing a wardrobe at the head of a woman and running away (Gee Note: I swear I’m not making this up). All in all They Crawl is worth it for the scene where a bus driver is attacked by some obviously irritated cockroaches, only for the rabid insects to never appear on screen. Instead the poor sod has to pretend that his leg is being stripped to the bone off camera, while writhing around the floor in agony and grimacing for all he’s worth. And despite what it might lack in execution, to be fair you can’t help but give the dude an “A” for effort.

Anyway I’m now about 20 minutes in to Curse of The Komodo, and so far it hasn’t disappointed one bit. We’ve had a poorly CGI’d giant lizard, a bunch of marines getting chomped on one by one, and an astonishingly macho conversation along the lines of  “You sent those men in not knowing what we had down there? You sonofabitch!”. Excellent isn’t the word.

Strangely my love of all things a tad rubbish isn’t just confined to horrible movies. Take my favourite alien contactee story for example. Now contactee tales generally fall in to two separate categories. Either the subject is somehow kidnapped by a bunch of extra terrestrials, who then proceed to prod and probe the unfortunate human in some kind of backwards medical experiment. Or the contactee is minding their own business when all of a sudden an alien turns up and proceeds to help them elevate to a higher state of consciousness. You know, like our good friend Ultimate Thor.

But the story of Buck Nelson is neither of those things, hence the reason why I love it so much. Basically Nelson, born in 1894, was an American farmer who in 1954 claimed that a flying saucer had landed on his farm. Two humanoid “friendly spacemen” stepped out of it, and naturally Nelson offered them a drink. So over some biscuits and a nice cup of tea, the visitors explained they were here to spread the “Twelve Laws of God” (Gee Note: You know, like those Jehovah Witnesses who go door to door. Except they’re from Venus. And the travel around in a woovy bezerk spaceship instead of a beat-up hatchback. So, you know, not really like Jehovah Witnesses at all when you think about it). They then convinced Nelson to go with them to Mars, where he was given a 385 lb Venusian dog named Bo.

Alas on the trip back to Earth, Bo lost all his hair due to “cosmic rays” somehow, and Nelson would go on to claim that it was too shy to be publicly exhibited (Gee Note: And to be honest if I was an overweight alien mutt suffering from premature baldness, I’d have confidence issues as well). And that’s why this account of them gosh darned extra terrestrials arriving on our planet unannounced is so unique. No abductions, no getting strapped to a table, no finding oneself spiritually. Instead it revolves around a pamphlet entitled “Why God’s love is the best love of all”, and an animal that might well be a cow with above average intelligence for all we know (Gee Note: Although really it's debatable if a dog is more intelligent than a cow. For example throw a stick for a dog and it will go through all the effort of charging after it at rate of knots and bringing it back to you. Throw a stick for a cow and it will just stand there and moo. Which one is smarter?)

Anyway the reason I bring all this up is that you can imagine my delight when two days ago the Independent Newspaper published a story about a geographical “triangle”, in which all kinds of strange disturbances are causing undue concern for travellers. However this triangle isn’t located in Bermuda. Nuh uh daddio, this one is in the exotic location of, um, Windermere.

Now Windermere is a small town in Cumbria, approximately 1 km from the picturesque lake it shares it’s name with. It has numerous museums, but really it’s main tourist attraction is that it’s near a pretty body of water. When it comes to sleepy towns, Windermere is as docile as they come.

But wait. According to the Independent there’s something very strange going on in them there hills. In a small section of the town it appears that electronic car fobs are, well, failing miserably. People are finding themselves unable to lock or unlock their cars successfully. In one instance a security van was forced to release a distress signal after it became apparent that the cash it had collected wasn’t being safeguarded by it’s electronic security system.

So what’s to blame? Well Anthony Dean, manager of an off licence caught slap bang in the middle of all this chaos, has a theory. It’s the traffic lights, recently installed by the local council. Says Anthony, "One driver was really panicking about it as she couldn't open her car and she was in a rush, so I said 'Don't worry about it, I'll help you,' and after about 10 minutes of trying, I said, 'Just go and press the crossing button at the traffic lights.' When they changed back from red to flashing amber the car door opened. It just seems to pick a car at random and there's no logic to it, no particular type of car or time of day."

Now, excluding the fact that the above hypothesis doesn’t make a blind bit of sense, that all seems reasonable enough. Others disagree however. One such person is the town centre manager Paul Holdsworth. "My guess is that it's some piece of cordless technology that's not working properly in one of the buildings around here and that is causing interference, but I just don't know. Other theories being put forward in the town are interference from CB radios and even the presence of a malevolent ghost." (Gee Note: I love the fact that they mention it could be a ghost as if it’s a completely rational explanation. I’m going to start doing stuff like that myself from now on. “So, um, yeah my fence fell over. Now it could have been that I did a really piss poor job in putting it up and a strong gust of wind blew it down. Or, on the other hand, it could have been Bigfoot. It really is a mystery.”). 

Yet another theory comes from The Society of Motor Manufacturers, who (Gee Note: Weirdly sound like a sinister organization?) issued to following statement.

"These short-range radio frequencies are shared with other industries such as the toy industry, so it could be that those are interfering with the fobs."

So it’s either traffic lights. Or CB radios. Or GI Joe. Or something much more sinister. According to local resident Judith Ainsworth "Either you can't unlock it, or you can't lock it in the first place. The other day I tried to lock the car with the fob and all four windows came down. We're calling it the Windermere Triangle after the Bermuda Triangle." (Gee Note: Oh I see what you did there. Wordplay. Nice).

Either way it’s nice to know that the British version of the Bermuda Triangle isn’t killing people, but rather annoying them slightly. I don’t know why but I find that kind of ineptitude rather charming.

Anyway I gotta go. In Curse of The Komodo they’ve decided to send even more marines to fight those great big lizards. I can’t wait to see how this turns out.


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