Paranormal Activity

Movie Review

Sleep. People tire, tone down the thoughts running through their minds, mute out sounds around them, and drop deep into slumber. Every night (and sometimes during class) people entrust their bodies and minds completely to rest. Some may be a bit too comfortable, however, because when Paranormal Activity kicks in, sleep leaves them vulnerable to demonic attacks.

The question the movie ultimately raises is: “What happens when we sleep?” For the young, middle-class couple Katie and Micah, the worst happens when they drift off to dream-land in their recently-purchased suburban starter home. Katie is bothered by a demonic presence with which she’s had a rocky history, and Micah enthusiastically addresses the problem by making his “documentary” to find the clues to Katie’s haunting. The entire movie is seen through the perspective of the couple’s camera, not unlike the 2008 film Cloverfield, which is shot like a home movie (and can make you dizzy and nauseous). The camera provides two purposes: one, to support the low $11,000 budget; and two, to add to the apparent normalcy of the movie. What gets most people about this movie is that is seems all too real. The couple continues their daily routine: brushing their teeth, eating cereal, being haunted by a demon and cracking jokes with each other. When night kicks in, the audience knows something is going to happen, but never exactly when. Suspense continually builds and builds, and that alone provides for much of the creeps.

The movie overall was definitely worth the price of the ticket. Although there were many plot holes and questions left unanswered by the end of the movie, those conclusions could perhaps be made by the watcher. Viewing it in a theater is highly recommended, as seeing the terror on the rest of the audience’s faces is memorable. Some might even run out of the theater when the suspense is too strong.

Right when you are falling asleep, the creak in the other room, the awkward noise in the hall, or the faint hum of something in the distance may not be what you think it is.

Also, pro-tip: Before moving in with your significant other, remember to ask whether or not they are haunted by demons.

Mitch Hedberg

Mitch Hedberg
One of the most under-appreciated and funniest stand-up comedians over the past ten years would definitely be Mitch Hedberg. Mitch’s style of comedy and delivery was always iconic because he was so laid back and casual. His jokes were witty and clever: “a burrito is a sleeping bag for ground beef” or “Foosball is a combination of soccer and shish kabob.” Mitch has been known to preform on the The Late Show with David Letterman, college campuses and his own special on Comedy Central. He has also been a special guest on an episode of That 70′s Show and even wrote and directed his own independent film called Los Enchiladas. Unfortunately for the rest of us, Mitch Hedberg passed away on March 30th of 2005 at the age of 37 due to an accidental drug overdose. But Mitch did leave a legacy in comedy and even everyday life:be mellow, have a laugh and observe the little things in life that make the day uniquely better.

Mitch Jokes

“I walked into Target the other day and I missed.”
“I can read minds, but its pointless ’cause I’m illiterate.”
“Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus or a really cool opotamus?”
“Dogs are forever in the push-up position”
“I got a solution to sweat-shops, air-conditioning.”
“When I went camping I had to look for fire-wood so naturally I was looking for the Dur-aflame tree.”
“To test a product its run over by a steam roller; how do you know if the steam-roller is good?”
“That would be cool if you lived with a monster, you would never get hiccups.”
“A fly was very close to being called a land because that’s what it does half the time.”
“I got my hair highlighted because I thought some strands were more important than others.”
“I never had a piggy bank but one time I did have some bacon that tasted an awful lot like change.”
“Jellyfish are dangerous, unless they’re from Smuckers then you want them to swim towards you.”
“If you are a fish and you want to become a fish-stick you must have very good posture.”
“Sea-horses are slow, if I was in the ocean I would not be a gambler on the races.”

Mitch Hedberg Memorial Front Black Tight

Colossus and the Amazon Queen Movie Review

Colossus and the Amazon Queen by Shakeel
Italy has always been a large contributor to the B-Movie community. Some of the worst films and cheesiest lines of all time have come from several Italian directors. One such example of this kind of film is Colossus and the Amazon Queen. The cover looks interesting enough: a man getting DDT’d by another armored figure right into a casual bystander. Sure, it looks bad, but it seems fun to watch. Unfortunately, the film quickly becomes a major catastrophe. The best analogy would be to say that watching this film is like throwing oneself into a raging inferno while having someone chip skin off with an ice pick. Let’s dive into this pool of elephant feces known as Colossus and the Amazon Queen.

So after the title and 1920s silent-movie background music, we are taken to a stadium where some ruler no one cares about is giving the classic I’m-proud-of-you-even-though-you-fail speech. The fighting begins as the main hero battles several hundred adversaries in a massive “tournament.” Oh, and this “fighting” is really picking someone up, throwing him at someone else, grinning and doing it again. Luckily, these guys are the biggest group of pushovers ever assembled; they are immediately considered defeated after being thrown down once. Then, the movie cuts to a bar scene, where the music is simply repulsive. The second main character is approached by two men in the Wild West bar; they offer him wealth as long as he goes on a voyage to find more gold and finds another person to accompany him.

So they go to the winner of the tournament and kidnap him. The hero (let’s call him Ed Fury from now on since apparently that’s the actor’s name) wakes up on a ship where he immediately sets off to furiously throw people at one another. The boat begins to sink due to holes that, for whatever reason, shoot water out in spurts rather than in a constant stream. Ed Fury attempts to cover these holes while the second guy eats an apple he pulled out of his behind. When Ed agrees to go on the journey, the second guy calls the rest of the crew; they cover up the holes with what look like faceless goombas. Our heroes head off to an island which is clearly not a trap. Meanwhile, Ed Fury comforts a man who wound up on the wrong boat; the supporting actor says that he is an inventor. Let’s call him Alex Delarge.

The ship lands and everyone joyfully jump off the boat at the sight of jewels, gold and food. Those readers who may be wondering if this is too good to be true are right, because it is. The two businessmen tell the crew to eat heartily and drink all of the wine; the men fall unconscious. The businessmen laugh maniacally, presumably take all of the gold as their own, and leave.

Alex Delarge remained on the boat as this transpired and manages to drag Ed Fury away from the group of bodies. After wandering around the outskirts of a city, another awkward capture scene takes place. Alex and Ed are thrown in jail, along with the rest of the crew. Outside, we see a stupid training montage where the Amazons crawl around on all fours; a goofy drill sergeant says nothing but makes random noises. Meanwhile, two of the women argue about whether they should actually execute the crew. Everyone turns their head like those kids from the It’s A Small World ride at Disneyland every time one of the ladies speaks. Of course, the girl in favor of saving the men wins by a vote, although this is pointless because the other guard immediately challenges her to a duel…They then start jousting, despite the fact that jousting is from MEDIEVAL times…Anyways, the men and women start claiming and trading spouses as if they were trading cards. Objectification at it’s finest.

However, pirates start attacking by using palm trees to sling themselves over the castle walls; the magically do not break any bones. The detainees have rope, but do not consider the fact that it would be more efficient to simply scale the walls. The Amazons, on the other hand, prove how horrible they are in combat; despite having better armor, weapons and numbers, they cannot stand the wrath of about thirty unarmed guys. The pirates then proceed to steal several horses, while the surviving Amazons circle their wagons. The pirates are killing Amazons by the hundreds. But the captured men, led by Ed Fury, drive off the pirates. Wait a minute…THEY WERE CAPTURED. Why would they care what happens to their captors? My sensors are detecting a large deposit of stupidity in this movie.

The film is just too cheesy. This movie is essentially 300 if it starred Steve Urkel. It’s Ben-Hur if it was based on Lucky Star. The pain just isn’t worth it.

Colossus and the Amazon Queencolossus-amazonqueen

Manos: The Hands of Fate

I know what the readers are thinking; Why the heck am I reviewing this old movie instead of anything recent such as 9 or Jennifer’s Body or any of the other movies out? Well, there’s an old saying, “One can only learn from others’ mistakes, not their successes.” Surprisingly, that’s mostly true. Let’s say a neophyte just learning the ropes was riding a bike and crashes. At that point the neophyte learns not to go too slowly or whatever contributed to the accident. If any of The Bay Eagle readers are aspiring movie directors, the best advice to give is to try not to model the film after other famous movies; one would not be able to create anything decent without ripping off a previous film and after all, movies are often great because they are fresh and unique (Terminator, E.T., and The Shining come to mind). Anyways, let’s look at one of the best examples of how NOT to make a movie and how to make a person tear their eyes out of their sockets with a bendy straw, Manos: The Hands of Fate.

Manos is more than horrible. It’s an abomination of mankind, the absolute pinnacle of horrendousness. I’d rather rip my toes off one by one while bayonetting the inside of my ears with a rusty axe. Well moving on, let’s watch this deterioration of sanity.

We start off in what must be the worst opening of all time. You know those drives in the middle of nowhere where nothing is happening, the background is boring, everything is quiet and you ran out of battery for your iPod/Phone? Well, that’s the opening. I swear, it’s just dead silence where NOTHING HAPPENS. No one is introduced, nothing is visually interesting, it’s literally the down right most obnoxious way to pad a movie. And I timed it; it’s nine minutes and thirty-eight seconds. Seriously, do you need nine minutes and thirty eight seconds to make the point that they are driving? WHY?!?!? Oh, and the characters are amiss. Some may say that the three characters have no personality. However, I have to be honest; they have excellent personalities. Micheal (The Dad) has the personality of sandpaper, Margaret (The Mom) has the personality of cardboard, and Debbie has the very circuitous and well developed personality of a stapler. Oh, and there’s a dog somewhere in there, but who cares.

Well then, four thousand eons later, the family finally reaches a small hotel where a strange man comes out and says, “I am Torgo. I take care of the place while the Master is away.” Torgo is a satyr-like person who acts as a housekeeper. He takes an hour to walk anywhere, talks like a Microsoft Sam if it was a real boy and is scared by children among other things. Ladies and Gentlemen, our threating henchmen. Just sends chills down your spine, doesn’t he? There is going to be mass hysteria after this film.

Next, we are informed that it’s getting dark, despite the fact that the sun is completely out and the family decides to stay at the hotel. Inside is all this weird hand related stuff. Items include a hand bookend, a hand staff, a hand rug, and…a hand toothbrush. Seriously, I don’t care what cult/fictional religion is, that’s just meh at the highest caliber. Among these things is a large painting (hey look, it’s the best actor in this crappy movie!) of the “Master,” who, despite scaring the crud out of the guests is hilarious. The Master looks like Freddie Mercury with this giant robe with hands on it while he’s striking a goofy snarl. Just give him a spooky green glow and he would be the quintessential Scooby Doo villain. Next to him is this dog that’s cropped out by bad camera editing and consequently looks like one of the ghosts from Pac-Man.

Then, a growl which sounds more like a T-Rex attack than an ordinary desert animal alarms the family, and since Margaret is a selfish coward, she sends Micheal who goes to his car with a flashlight and revolver to investigate the potential Jurassic Park ripoff. Unfortunately, we do not get to see Micheal get his upper torso ripped off since the dinosaur ran off. However, the dog gets killed, although it isn’t that much of a problem for the daughter since she happens to find another black dog with a leash in the middle of the desert. Gee, I wonder if this dog has anything to do with the painting of Freddie Mercury in the Hotel that the film took five minutes to address…

Meanwhile, we see Torgo try to make an advance on Margaret (trust me, it’s as stupid as it sounds) in order to have his own wife. The Master hypnotizes whatever women come to the hotel and force them to become his wife so he can sacrifice them to the mysterious god known as Unexplained Plot Hole. However, Torgo wants his own wife as payment for his services. Blah, Blah, on to the “story” if you can call it that.

Eventually, Michael and Margaret are walking around in the desert for no reason whatsoever when they stumble upon a strange ritual-like scene. We see the master lying on a stone tablet surrounded by a bunch of women (his wives) tied to poles. However, before they have the chance to run away, Torgo ties Micheal to a pole for no reason whatsoever. Eventually, the wives wake up and do nothing but argue about what to do with the girl for seven minutes. Eventually, it evolves into a fight, which would be funny, except that it lasts nine more minutes. Wow, Harold P. Warren must love everything in excess which is ironic because it has no story, no logic, and most importantly, no interesting scenes.

Unfortunately, this is where the movie gets the dumbest. Torgo gets captured by the killer wives, tied to a stone bench, and (get ready) massages him to death. Wow. Torgo is acting like he’s having Instantaneous Epilepsy while the girls act like they’re dog paddling in midair and during all of this, the Master has this goofy grin which is not at the slightest unnerving. Oh god, please don’t loosen my arm muscles! Do what you like, just please don’t stretch my calf muscles! Seriously, this scene speaks for itself; it’s something that has to be seen to be believed. However, Freddie Mercury realizes that this is an absolutely stupid scene and rips off Torgo’s hand while it burns into a smoldering crisp. Freddie Mercury then sets his sights on the family.

So, how does the family escape the wrath of Freddie Mercury? What happened to Torgo? Wait a minute…why would anyone want to find out? I’d rather rip out my jaw with a table leg and cover the wound with acid! I’d rather have all my joints bend the opposite way while getting jabbed with broken glass! It’s more interesting to watch grass grow! It’s more frightening watching markers dry! I hate this movie! What were they thinking? Usually, B-Movies end up being so bad they somehow spring back up to the top and become rather funny. But Manos, on the other hand, is the bottom of the barrel. No, not even the bottom of the barrel, it’s so sinister that it doesn’t deserve to be in the same sentence as “barrel.” Well, that’s all I can take, I just hope that my actions made me a martyr so that none of you will ever have the displeasure of seeing this…this……so called “movie”…

[2009] Dirty Drums and Sub-Sonic Basslines

Dirty Drums and Sub-Sonic Basslines

By Jack Li

A new sound is slowly but surely taking over parties, clubs, and raves in Southern California. This bold new experimental music is called dubstep. Born in the U.K. around 2001, it may be considered the “Frankenstein” of EDM (electronic dance music), with its closest relative being 2-step garage. The new musical genre is influenced by a variety of sources, including dub reggae, U.K. grime, drum and bass, hip-hop, house, and electro. Like all electronic music, dubstep is performed exclusively on turntables and software. Haven’t heard of it? This seems likely considering the never ending stream of regurgitated (albeit catchy) pop and rap on the airwaves. Though it is still considered an underground genre, many new listeners instantly grow to like dubstep, especially if they have initially been drawn to hip-hop, house, electro, or other similar genres.

There are a few sounds specific to dubstep that can be characterized. The beats have a heavy, syncopated feel with a kick on every first beat and a snare on every third. The biggest identifying characteristic is the fat, wobbling bassline that is a staple for the genre (for those who understand electronic music production, the wobbles are produced by oscillating the LFO on a synth or bass instrument). To really enjoy these basslines, a good subwoofer is needed. Dubstep tunes are often said to be dark, menacing, or filthy. Drums and synths often have a reverb added to them which provides and enhances this effect. The heavy and danceable half-time rhythms (similar to rap) combined with the dirty bass lead to the popularity of dubstep.

Within the genre, dubstep has much variation. If you are a fan of rap, you might look into the tune “Millionaire”; Snoop Dog has collaborated with producers Chase & Status to make this hybrid dubstep/rap tune.” If you are geared more towards pop or even EDM such as house and trance, you may want to look up some of the more commercial and well known artists such as Rusko and Caspa. The genre even extends to artists like Substep Infrabass and Borgore -underground artists who are HEAVILY influenced by grindcore and metal. Rumor has it that Rihanna is planning to collaborate on a tune with dubstep producers as well.

My recommendations to get a taste of the sound:

  • Rusko
  • Caspa
  • Bar9
  • DatsiK
  • 501
  • Koan Sound
  • Cookie Monsta
  • Excision