Archive for August, 2008

Stuff Geeks Like #1: Zombies

Posted in Stuff Geeks Like with tags , , , , on August 29, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Welcome to “Stuff Geeks Like”, a new regular feature on Six Demon Bag that explores the anthropological reasonings behind the attachments geeks form to a wide variety of genre media and culture. These posts will be familiar in structure and style to those found on the awesome blog, Stuff White People Like.

#1- Zombies:

The legions of the undead have been a constant source of entertainment and obsession for geeks since the late 1960’s, serving as popular antagonists in countless films, TV shows, novels, comic books, and video games. Zombie geeks are a proud, tightly-knit subdivision of geek culture, openly displaying their love for zombies by wearing T-shirts, reading Fangoria magazine, and attending conventions where they can meet actors and actresses from zombie films and engage in social interaction with other zombie fans. Zombie geeks also have close ties with the geeks of the Heavy Metal community, sharing their affinity for long hair, black clothing, and bands that utilize horrific imagery such as Iron Maiden, Dio, and Slayer.

The prevalence of Zombies in geek culture can be traced back to the successful 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead, directed by George Romero. Geeks regard Romero as the patron Saint of zombie filmmaking, holding him in the highest esteem. Though the concept of a re-animated corpse has existed for thousands of years (with its primary origins in Afro-Caribbean Voodoo culture), and several notable films such as 1932’s White Zombie pre-date Romero’s work by over 30 years, geeks firmly believe that the history of zombies begin and end with Romero. Do not attempt to dissuade a geek from this belief, as you will be met only with hostility and ridicule.

When questioned about their admiration for Romero, geeks will often cite his use of zombies as a device for social and political commentary. They will say things like, “Romero is holding a mirror up to society man! In Dawn of the Dead, he’s showing us that shopping malls, commerce, and urban sprawl are turning us into soulless, mindless, drones. WE’RE THE ZOMBIES, DUDE!”, in a thinly-veiled effort to sound scholarly and disguise their juvenile predilection for mutilation, decapitation, dismemberment, fake blood, latex intestines, exposed “scream queen” breasts, and cheesy synthesizer soundtracks.

If, by some strange reason, you wish to impress a zombie geek in a conversation, it would probably be beneficial to mention someone like Tom Savini. Savini is a powerful and well-loved figure in the zombie-geek community, as he was responsible for the majority of the gore and makeup effects in Romero’s movies. Saying something like, “Romero is fantastic, but Tom Savini is the man,too! That machete through the head effect he did as one of the bikers in Dawn was awesome and so innovative!” This will illicit an enthusiastically positive response from the geeks, and should protect you from further humiliation or social awkwardness in the presence of zombie fans.

Be cautious though, saying something like this may invite more probing questions from the zombie crowd, delving into obscure zombie trivia or even worse, they may attempt to engage you in a discussion of foreign zombie films such as Zombi 2 or directors like Lucio Fulci. If this happens, it’s best to just excuse yourself to the restroom or change the subject to another suitable geek topic that you are more knowledgeable about. Under no circumstances should you attempt to discuss the Resident Evil series as valid entries in the zombie genre. Doing so may result in permanent banishment from the zombie community. 28 Days Later is acceptable in some cases.

Many geeks, at some point in their lives, will inevitably feel “inspired” to make their own low-budget zombie movie using their parents’ video camera (or outdated video equipment borrowed from their local community college), thus adding to the countless thousands of no-budget zombie movies featuring nine or ten pasty high school/college students wearing torn flannel shirts and sloppily-applied $2.99 iParty makeup kits devouring overcooked linguine and cherry Jell-O “guts” off of some poor kid’s stomach.

Some geeks will make these films just for the fun of it, but a good percentage of geeks suffer from the delusional belief that their zombie project will be “unique and different”, and propel them into a successful and lucrative film career. This ludicrous pipe dream has been perpetuated by individuals such as Peter Jackson (Braindead), Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead series), and most recently, Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), who have parlayed early low-budget zombie filmmaking into worldwide popularity and God-like status in the geek community. If a zombie geek approaches you to appear in his or her low-budget zombie film with promises of future fame, immediately run away. Fast. It’s likely the only audience this “film” will ever reach is the 10:45 AM “Intro To Video Production” class at (Insert town name) Technical Community College.

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Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 08/27/08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Here’s a link to those fan-made “Batman 3” posters, featuring Kristen Bell as Harley Quinn, David Tennant as the Riddler and some broad named Marion Cotilliard as Catwoman. These are nicely done I suppose, but after Ledger’s Joker and Eckhart’s Two-Face, having these three C-Listers as your villains is like going on a date with Scarlett Johannson and Marisa Miller that ends in some mind blowing sex, then jumping back into bed only to find they’ve been replaced by Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, and a drunk Verne Troyer.

Speaking of bad Batman casting, the Internet was ablaze this past week with the rumor that Christopher Nolan was in talks with Cher to play Catwoman in the next Batman movie. Of course, this is complete and utter bullshit, but it’s astonishing what people will believe and publish, isn’t it? Besides, Catwoman is all wrong for her, with all the shit she’s had injected into her head, shouldn’t she play Clayface? yuk-yuk!

On the box-office front, Jason Statham’s newest film Death Race got it’s ass handed to it this past weekend, finishing a pathetic third place behind Tropic Thunder and freakin’ House Bunny. Apparently more people wanted to see Anna Faris do her dumb blonde shtick for the five hundredth time and wiggle her ass in a Playboy bunny costume than Statham and a bunch of grimy, sweaty male convicts drive around in armor-plated cars and blow the holy hell out of each other in a Paul W. S. Anderson movie . Actually, that first one does sound more appealing. Sorry Statham fans, here’s a trailer for Transporter 3 to cheer you up.

George Lucas frozen in Carbonite. This is pure fried awesome.

The Dragonball Z movie was rumored to have been shit-canned by Fox executives after they saw some completed footage, but that later turned out to be a false rumor. A true victory for 10 year-olds and morons everywhere.

In other shit-canning news, HBO has stopped development on the PREACHER series because it “was just too dark and too violent and too controversial.” What a bunch of wussies they are. Correction: wussies and hypocrites. So it’s okay to air a series about a Mormon with three wives, a Mafia series where there are weekly murders, a prison drama with full-frontal male nudity and horrific violence, and an expletive-laden Western show with more horrific violence, but not PREACHER. Unbelievable. HBO has absolutely no balls, and if they don’t grow a pair soon, they are going to continue to get their asses handed to them in the original series department by SHOWTIME.  If the PREACHER showrunners were smart, they’d give them a call.

Finally, Warner Brothers released an official plot synopsis for Watchmen, and here’s some gorgeous ‘Set’ magazine covers featuring some close ups of some of the characters. Rorshach is ten tons of awesome!

The Mona Leia

Posted in Art, Star Wars on August 24, 2008 by Jeff Carter

You have to love the classics… (click on pic for full story)

Lo Pan’s Link Dump 08-20-08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Look kids, brand new posters for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen! I like the one taken from Optimus Prime’s audition for The Dark Knight. Heh.

Brian Austin Green says he wants to play the Riddler in a sequel to The Dark Knight. Yeah, okay David Silver. I have a better chance of riding on a winged unicorn with a naked Scarlett Johannsen through an enchanted kingdom made of gumdrops and rainbows then you do of even sniffing the door to Christopher Nolan’s office. In a related story, Ian Zeiring stated that he would dress up as Catwoman for a grilled cheese sandwhich.

You know, just as an aside, I really don’t get all this talk of the Riddler as the next Batman villain.  I mean, for the third act, you’re going to follow Batman’s arch nemesis with a second-rate baddie like the Riddler? The way I see it, there’s really only one way to go, and that is to re-cast the Joker. That may seem sacreligious after what Ledger has done with the character, but hey, the show must go on. There have been six James Bonds, Three Jack Ryans, and five Batmans, so there’s absolutely no reason why there can’t be a fourth Joker.

Tom Cruise wants to make a comic book movie. Wonderful. I’m sure this project will feature absolutely no Scientology propaganda.

It looks like the Voltron movie has some new financiers and may be close to being green-lit for production. Apparently it won’t be a huge-budget production like Michael Bay’s Transformers, but rather a moderately-priced feature with lots of green screen effects ala 300 and Sin City. Hmmm, so are we going to get a shirtless Keith screaming, “Madness? THIS. IS. ARUS!!!!” ?

Bad news for Superman movie fans: it looks like the proposed sequel, The Man of Steel is in a “holding pattern” over at Warner Brothers, until studio executives “figure out what to do with the property next”. Translation: “We need to hire someone who won’t make Superman an effeminate, whiny, jealous super-stalker. Oh, and also the movie was a giant, smelly turd.”

Here’s a really cool article about the making of the 1980 film, Flash Gordon. God, I love that movie. The highlight of the piece is Brian Blessed (the guy who played the Hawkman leader, Vultan), talking about how he would laugh and chase midgets around the set. Awesome.

Last but not least, here’s an awesome and hilarious blog called Springfield Punx, which features all manner of superheroes, sci-fi characters, and other random pop culture figures rendered Simpsons-style.

Movie Review: ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’

Posted in Movie Reviews with tags , , , , on August 17, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Jabba’s effete, sissified, feather-headdress wearin’, neon tattooed, nightclub-owning Uncle Ziro. WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW!?

Well, congratulations George, you’ve succeeded in creating a character that is gayer than C-3PO and more annoying than Jar Jar Binks. Wow…just typing that sentence has completely blown my mind.

Ziro pops up about 40 minutes into the new CGI animated feature film Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which I caught at a matinee showing on Friday afternoon. That  40-minute mark will henceforth be known as the point of no return for you Star Wars fans wishing to hang on to whatever shred of hope you still had left for this saga to retain some manner of dignity and magic. Consider yourself warned, because after you see and hear Ziro the Hutt squirm on screen and threaten Padme with his effeminate, Truman Capote-esque southern drawl, all will be lost forever.

Honestly, nothing George Lucas conjures up shocks me anymore. The man obviously has a bad motivator. He’s blown a restraining bolt. He’s nuttier than a Gungan. He’s batshit insane.  I have absolutely no clue what happened to George in the decade between Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Phantom Menace, but somewhere along the line he decided that what movie audiences really wanted to see were horrific Asian, Arab, and Jamaican stereotypes in the guise of aliens, inept battle droids that say “Roger! Roger!” endlessly and cannot remember numeric coordinates given by another battle droid, despite the fact IT’S A FUCKING ROBOT!!! A WALKING, TALKING COMPUTER CAN’T REMEMBER A TEN-DIGIT COORDINATE??? *sigh* Oh yeah, and there’s that big, homo Hutt I mentioned before. Thank you George…thank you for all you have given us.

Oh, the movie? It was actually pretty good. Fantastic battles and lightsaber duels. Smooth animation, nice voice work. The TV show that starts in the Fall should be pretty entertaining.

*** (out of five)

Lo Pan’s Link Dump: 08/13/08

Posted in Lo Pan's Link Dump with tags , , , , , , on August 13, 2008 by Jeff Carter

Ed. Note: Lo Pan’s Link Dump is a weekly roundup of the latest geek culture headlines, ripped off gathered from various websites and news sources, all brought to you by your favorite 3,000 year old Chinese sorcerer, David Lo Pan!

Tropic Thunder hits theaters today. Go see it and do your part to piss off the retarded retards who are holding retarded protests outside theaters because people in the movie say ‘retard’ too much. That’s just retarded.

In all seriousness, these disability groups that are calling for a boycott of this flick are totally missing the point. No one in this film is making fun of mentally challenged individuals, they’re making fun of all the pretentious actors and scumbag movie executives who try to exploit mental disability as subject matter in order to gain critical acclaim and parlay that into Oscar nominations. What’s more astonishing to me is the fact that no African-American organizations have made a peep about Robert Downey Jr.’s blackface character.

Awesome images from the upcoming Science Ninja Team Gatchaman CGI animated movie. Those of you you who were kids in the late 70’s/early 80’s will know Gatchaman as the original Japanese title for Battle of the Planets, which featured characters in kickass bird-themed outfits zooming around in a super-cool spaceship called The Phoenix. The animated film from Imagi Studios (the folks who did the CGI Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), is set to hit theaters in April 2009. Dear Lord, I can’t wait for next Spring! Battle of the Planets was God-like to me as a small child, second only to the mighty Star Wars. Unfortunately, the film will not feature Seven Zark Seven.

Not content to simply ruin music, MTV is now going to attempt to ruin comic books and geek culture with their new blog, Splash Page. This week the blog featured two very interesting stories: 1.) Joss Whedon made a Batman movie pitch to the studio? WTF? Man, I had absolutely no idea that ever happened. I knew he wrote a script for a Wonder Woman and was pretty close to directing it before it was inexplicably shelved, but a Batman script? I had no clue. Does this mean my geek membership is going to be revoked? Anyway, I’m glad it was rejected and we got Nolan’s awesome take on the caped crusader. I love pretty much everything Joss Whedon has ever done, but creating a new villain that’s a “Hannibal Lecter” type in Arkham Asylum? Pretty lame, Joss.  And 2.) Comic Writers chime in on how to reboot the Superman franchise. I love this article. It’s basically paragraph after paragraph of Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, and Brad Meltzer ripping Superman Returns to shreds.

Seth Green and Breckin Myer set to join ‘Heroes’. They will supposedly play two comic book geeks who get involved with a few of the Heroes. I recently watched the DVD extras of the Robot Chicken Star Wars special, and what I saw horrified me. From what I could glean from the footage, Seth Green and Breckin Myer spend all day hanging around a cool studio filled with action figures and puppets shooting eachother with nerf blasters. Oh yeah, and they also got to go to Skywalker Ranch, hang out with George Lucas, and have their DVD release party in the private Skywlaker Ranch theater. I fucking hate them.

Finally, Star Wars: The Clone Wars comes out Friday. It will be interesting to see if anyone cares. Anyone taking bets on whether it will top The X-Files box office gross?

Bernie Mac & Isaac Hayes

Posted in Celebrities with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by Jeff Carter

I know this is old news by now, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the deaths of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes.

I remember seeing Bernie Mac for the first time back in the early 1990’s on HBO’s Make Fun Of White People Show Def Comedy Jam, and for the most part I found him to be more annoying than funny. I passed over most of the films on his resume, as well as his TV series, but I will admit that he was pretty entertaining in the three Ocean’s films with Pitt, Clooney, and the gang. This scene where he makes an uptight van salesman squirm by going on and on about his ashy hands (all while close-talking and not relinquishing a handshake) is one of my favorites from the series.

Isaac Hayes will probably best be remembered for his acting career in the 70’s and 80’s, as well as for his singing career, especially the theme from Shaft. To me though, he will always be Chef from South Park. It’s a shame that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone never reconciled with Hayes after he departed the show in 2006 after taking offense to Stone and Parker’s views on Scientology in the classic South Park episode “Trapped in the Closet” (Hayes was a Scientologist). It would have been nice to see Chef return to give Kyle, Cartman, Stan, and Kenny some more sage-like advice about vaginas and succubi. Oh, and who could ever forget one of the greatest songs of all-time?