Another clueless, airhead model

Saturday, October 09, 2010



Plot (From Netflix)

When the bodies of several dead swimmers and divers begin washing ashore, a seaside town is thrown into a panic. A giant octopus is responsible, and Dr. Ned Turner (John Huston) thinks that its appearance may be related to the construction of an undersea tunnel. And even though an upcoming sailing competition may endanger the lives of countless people, local authorities are hesitant to keep anyone out of the water.


I'm glad I got this one over with first. It was wretched and I felt pity for the once great actors who starred in it – Shelly Winters, John Huston and Henry Fonda. The dialog between Winters and Huston and Fonda was actually quit good but you will notice a precipitous drop in acting ability for the rest of the cast. The monster? Well, you need a lot of imagination to overcome the few seconds it is shown as either stock footage of a real octopus or a piece of tentacle. When the octopus was present you had to assume it killed the victim when he or she disappears beneath the water. The protagonist was Will Gleason (Bo Hopkins) who owns or maybe works for a sea world type venue that includes two killer whales. I'm not sure but the movies degrades further when Will ask his whales to hunt down the octopus. I know whales are smart but this is a stretch. At the movies' climax Will is trapped underwater as the octopus closes in but is saved by the killer whales. This scene looks like someone used rubber whales to poke at a real octopus. A dismembered tentacle tells you the octopus was killed. Since the octopus looks as big as the rubber whales you must assume it was gigantic.

Rating: Don't bother watching unless you like Farah Fawcett hairstyles and late 70's action music.


Plot (From Netflix)

After research scientist Dr. Sands (Eric Roberts) and his daughter, Nicole (Sara Malakul Lane), develop an electrical-implant-controlled hybrid shark/octopus for use by the government as a classified naval weapon, the creature breaks down and goes on a homicidal spree. As the animal chomps its way through the resort beaches of Mexico, Dr. Sands tries to convince a retired colleague to help him and Nicole stop the carnage.


I saw this in Colorado with my friends Rob and Sue and annoyed her by critiquing the eating habits of the monster. A thin, tired plot and overused computer graphics. This movie gets points for showing the monster frequently and in its entirety as it gobbled down most of the cast plus extras. You have to admire the cheesiness of blood splatter on the camera lens. The final scenes leading to the demise of the monster was tedious as you wondered why Sharktopus didn't immediately eat the hero like everyone else. Dr. Sands is portrayed as a scientist that doesn't care how many people are killed by the monster so long as he has a chance to capture it. Thus you know he's a goner. Also, you'd think that after spending millions combining a shark and octopus that Dr. Sands shouldn't have skimped on securing the gadget that controlled the behavior of the monster. It was knocked off by a propeller from its position on top of the head. Why wasn't it implanted near the brain with only an antenna sticking out of the skull?

Rating: Barely worth seeing once and that is why I'm not giving away the ending.


Plot (From Wikipedia)

A space probe, dubbed Helios 7, is sent to study Jupiter. En Route to the planet, the probe is invaded by Yog, an extraterrestrial being of pure energy. The probe lands in the South Pacific, where the disembodied alien leaves the device and invades the body of a Gezora, a giant cuttlefish, which proceeds to wreak havoc. When a photographer named Kudo and a small entourage landed on Selga Island, they are likewise menaced by Gezora.


This movie is not distributed by Netflix although the director, IshirĊ Honda', has many available movies starring Godzilla and a host of other monsters. It is for sale on Amazon and I expect to receive it in a week. Nevertheless I have fond memories when I last saw it in 1970 and will go on what I remember as a 10 year old. I include it because the giant cuttlefish (close enough to an octopus) is the dominant monster. Yog also inhabits a giant crab and giant turtle. Giant animals are always around in the ocean in Honda's movies. Some say this movie was evidence that Mr. Honda had lost his creativity; that his great monster movie days were behind him. I say rubbish. It was ingenious to come up with bat sonar as the disrupter of Yogs' control over the animals. Classic Godzilla-like destruction and the sound track compliment and heighten the edge-of-your-seat action. Selga Island must be in the same region of Monster Island where Godzilla, Rodan, and Mothra live.

Rating: A must see movie. One wonders why the quality of monster movies dipped in the late 70's (Tentacles). Then again all cultural media seemed to bomb after Disco became popular.  Originally titled "Space Amoeba".


Plot (From Netflix)

After a series of mysterious disasters occurs in the Pacific, from the disappearance of a plane to the destruction of an oil rig, a group of scientists discovers that a secret military mission has unearthed a prehistoric shark and a giant octopus. When the government learns of the existence of the menacing beasts, the team of scientists is tasked with formulating a plan to destroy the phenomenal creatures. Lorenzo Lamas and Deborah Gibson star.


I awaited the viewing of this movie with much anticipation. I don't' know if it was ever shown in a movie theater but it was a Youtube sensation. There is only three ways to get a giant shark or octopus or a combination – manmade experiment (radiation or laboratory), alien body invasion or creation of nature. The latter was used for this movie and ripped off from a Godzilla movie or two because he to was frozen in ice. You cannot take this movie serious. There are so many gaps and horrible acting that it is a must-see event for a crowd of intoxicated people. Deborah Gibson (formerly Debbie Gibson of 70's pop fame and still looks great!) is the heroine. She is exploring in a mini sub in what I assume is the Arctic Ocean even though the stock video shows manta rays and hammerhead sharks. As she and her portly navigator (gone after the first 20 minutes of the movie) follow a pod of humpback whales when an illegal Low Frequency Action Sonar Device (her words) is dropped by a helicopter that must be working for the United States Military. Maybe. This device screws up the sonar calls of the whales and somehow emits the right ice-cracking frequency to unlock the giant shark and octopus from their iceberg prison. That's where they somehow froze together while in mortal combat with each other 80 millions years ago. The shark was determined to be a prehistoric megalodon. In reality it is at most 50 ft long. For this movie it is the size of a submarine, can withstand artillery shells and jump 2000 feet in the air to snatch an airliner. Awesome! Too much to talk about. There's also a 30 second love scene between Gibson and her lab geek coworker. After they are finished they figure out how to lure in the shark and octopus. The Geeks shall inherit the Earth! The silliness peaks in the last 20 minutes. Lorenzo Lamos also stars as a CIA(?) Operative that needs to keep the monster's presence a secret.


Umm... Someone needs a girlfriend.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A nation of sick, fat children because....

Of the thirty-eight ingredients it takes to make a McNugget, thirteen that can be derived from corn: the corn-fed chicken itself; modified cornstarch (to bind the pulverized chicken meat); mono-, tri-, and diglycerides (emulsifiers, which keep the fats and water from separating); dextrose; lecithin (another emulsifier); chicken broth (to restore some of the flavor that processing leeches out); yellow corn flour and more modified cornstarch (for the batter); cornstarch (a filler); vegetable shortening; partially hydrogenated corn oil; and citric acid as a preservative. A couple of other plants take part in the nugget: There's some wheat in the batter, and on any given day the hydrogenated oil could come from soybeans, canola, or cotton rather than corn, depending on the market price and availability.
Chicken McNuggets also contain several completely synthetic ingredients, quasiedible substances that ultimately come not from a corn or soybean field but form a petroleum refinery or chemical plant. These chemicals are what make modern processed food possible, by keeping the organic materials in them from going bad or looking strange after months in the freezer or on the road. Listed first are the "leavening agents": sodium aluminum phosphate, mono-calcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and calcium lactate. These are antioxidants added to keep the various animal and vegetable fats involved in a nugget from turning rancid. Then there are "anti-foaming agents" like dimethylpolysiloxene, added to the cooking oil to keep the starches from binding to air molecules, so as to produce foam during the fry. The problem is evidently grave enough to warrant adding a toxic chemical to the food: According to the Handbook of Food Additives, dimethylpolysiloxene is a suspected carcinogen and an established mutagen, tumorigen, and reproductive effector; it's also flammable. But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to "help preserve freshness." According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse." Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.”

- "The Omnivores Dilemma" by Michael Pollan"

A 10 piece order of McNuggets = 420 calories and 24 grams of fat

Friday, October 01, 2010

Burn Here, Burn Now

Nearly a year has passed and Connor finally had the opportunity to participate in a prescribe burn at the San Bernard NWR. It was a good initiation for him as most of the burning was preformed from the back of a marsh buggy. He and I manned the buggy's water pumps and used a drip torch to ignite the prairie to lay down a burn line that would stop the approaching head fire. Fairly routine for me but it "ignited" the fire passion in Connor. He wants to do this again and if possible be involved in the world of Wildland Firefighting. This is a good start.

Colorado High

45 hours driving within 6 days brought me to Colorado and back. When my Toyota 4-runner at 206,000 miles decides to die on me is undetermined but for these 6 days it preformed the job asked of it. Rob and I go back 31 years to when we met at the Jester Dormitory on the Univ. of Texas-Austin campus as freshmen. He was studying engineering and I attempting a degree in cluelessness. After miserably failing out of UT I maintained contact with Rob and his soon-to-be wife Sue. Both he and she were working for the war profiteering Lockheed Corp. in Austin. When they tired of working on Tomahawk missiles they changed directions in their lives to concentrate on physical fitness and therapy. Degrees in this field took them to Montana, Washington and Oregon. A bold move to Grand Junction, CO resulted in anxious moments of dwindling funds until the Gods of recreation took pity and gave them each a job as Physical fitness instructors at Mesa State University.

Cut to the present. I stayed two days in Grand Junction with Rob as my guide into the mountain range outside the city. Our first hike was downhill and through a canyon for 8 miles. Phenomenal trail therapy allowed me to vent my anger at Dungpileton and the cultural isolation I've endured over the last 11 years. Walking the trails I railed against the lack of intelligent rapport, the wasting of mind and body by the local denizens and their insipid, indolent mentality. I likened my life to that of Robert Neville in the novel "I Am Legend". Robert must endure the onslaught of "vampires" nightly by shoring up the defenses of his house during the day. The vampires are actually creatures induced by a pandemic virus to desire the nourishment of blood. A former co-worker, Ben Cortman, repeatedly calls out for Robert to join him  – "Come out Robert". For years I've shored up my mental house against these vampires I call the zombies of Dungpileton. A mind shored up against the cultural morass, the wastrels that live only to exist on this island of hopelessness. Like Robert I contemplate joining them to end it all, to give in and join the living brain dead. To come home - medicate my body and mind with a myriad of fats and chemicals and listen lemming-like to opinionated faux news media outlets. So easy to just give up and join them I think to myself, so easy to live in utter denial and ignorance. Chelsea offered a brief respite but she was able to escape while I was resigned to maintain my job in the hopes of leaving this cultural wasteland someday. "Come out Thomas" is what I hear every day and my tope consumption of alcohol offers only a momentary escape.

And so the trail helped me vent for a time until I reenter the land of Zombies. We walked for 8 pleasant miles, mostly downhill. The air was crisp and temps hovering around 70 degrees. Very few hikers were on the trail this day as we bonded with Mother Earth. On a detour that added one more mile we came up a canyon that prompted Rob to explain about the geological formations; the layers of sediment and their age.  I quipped that it made sense or a creationists might say God took his finger and swiped out a giant indention in the earth to make this canyon.  I like Rob's answer.  To quote him: “I would rather be a magnificent speck than a grandiose inheritor.   The next day was a little more arduous. This sea level flatlander followed Rob up a steep 2 mile accent up Mt. Garfield. I was up for the challenge although my lungs and legs begged to differ. Nevertheless I was victorious. As you hikers know the decent is sometimes more brutal on the body and my legs paid the price for my endeavor for the next few days.

Back in Zombieland. Pictures when I can find that damn SD card.