All hail the turtle…?
Sadly, not since 1986. But IT 2017 is still a very good film.
(In my opinion, there are no real spoilers here; that being said, please read at your own risk.)
I give IT, the new film version of Stephen King’s book, a solid B+. Had I been able to see both chapters in the “duology” at once, I might have been able to hump that score up a notch. I’ll admit to wanting to let that B+ inch its way toward A- on the merit of the acting from a few of the kid actors in it, and the digital monster effects on not just the clown but the other things that went bump in the Derry night. I do not like the new Well house concept. And I dislike some changes at the storm drain and in the homophobic hate crime at the canal in Ch 2 in the book, the concept of which was changed: and the terror of which was diluted in the new film.
Skarsgaard beats Curry at the storm drain and in many other places. Curry was just too Uncle Charlie the Molester for me in a literal interpretation of King’s Pennywise as a “Hi Georgie!”-weird-uncle-takes-you-to-Coney-Island-for-hot-dogs-then-fondles-you-on-the-ferris-wheel-while-listening-to-the-Dodgers-on-a-handheld-transistor-radio brogue that I absolutely loathe. Curry won though in places for his mockery of the kids and his zaniness that bordered on insanity. Think the ending of the 80s film Clue.
The 90s TV series like many series made in the 80s and 90s of King’s books, suffers from horrible corniness. The 90s series’ dialogue was truer to the book than that of the new film, which I like, but I’m not sure that matters much in the end (Kee-rect?). Some of the kid actors stole the show like Eddie and the “fuck this, fuck you, fuck that!” kid with the bottle-thick glasses. The absence of adult characters was a bit Hannah Montana…but the scares were real scares.
The performance at the storm drain by Skarsgaard will be hard to match by any scene in any horror movie anytime ever. Absolutely chilling.
I may go see the new film again just for that scene. Or maybe I’ll wait until after I finish my reread of the novel in which King uses many Lovecraftian tropes (that do not appear in either film) which elevate the book to a cosmic-horror piece of art neither film has been able to match to date.
And that’s a shame.
My advice: Do King a solid and read his novel for the masterpiece of horror that it is. Reading is good for your brain, Georgie.
All hail the turtle…
IT: The Inspiration
by Stephen King
In 1978 my family was living in Boulder, Colorado. One day on our way back from lunch at a pizza emporium, our brand-new AMC Matador dropped its transmission-literally. The damn thing fell out on Pearl Street. True embarrassment is standing in the middle of a busy downtown street, grinning idiotically while people examine your marooned car and the large greasy black thing lying under it. Two days later the dealership called at about five in the afternoon. Everything was jake–I could pick up the car any time. The dealership was three miles away. I thought about calling a cab but decided that the walk would be good for me. The AMC dealership was in an industrial park set off by itself on a patch of otherwise deserted land a mile from the strip of fast-food joints and gas stations that mark the eastern edge of Boulder. A narrow unlit road led to this outpost. By the time I got to the road it was twilight–in the mountains the end of day comes in a hurry–and I was aware of how alone I was. About a quarter of a mile along this road was a wooden bridge, humped and oddly quaint, spanning a stream. I walked across it. I was wearing cowboy boots with rundown heels, and I was very aware of the sound they made on the boards; they sounded like a hollow clock. I thought of the fairy tale called “The Three Billy-Goats Gruff” and wondered what I would do if a troll called out from beneath me, “Who is trip-trapping upon my bridge?” All of a sudden I wanted to write a novel about a real troll under a real bridge. I stopped, thinking of a line by Marianne Moore, something about “real toads in imaginary gardens,” only it came out “real trolls in imaginary gardens.” A good idea is like a yo-yo–it may go to the end of its string, but it doesn’t die there; it only sleeps. Eventually it rolls back up into your palm. I forgot about the bridge and the troll in the business of picking up my car and signing the papers, but it came back to me off and on over the next two years. I decided that the bridge could be some sort of symbol–a point of passing. I started thinking of Bangor, where I had lived, with its strange canal bisecting the city, and decided that the bridge could be the city, if there was something under it. What’s under a city? Tunnels. Sewers. Ah! What a good place for a troll! Trolls should live in sewers! A year passed. The yo-yo stayed down at the end of its string, sleeping, and then it came back up. I started to remember Stratford, Connecticut, where I had lived for a time as a kid. In Stratford there was a library where the adult section and the children’s section was connected by a short corridor. I decided that the corridor was also a bridge, one across which every goat of a child must risk trip-trapping to become an adult. About six months later I thought of how such a story might be cast; how it might be possible to create a ricochet effect, interweaving the stories of children and the adults they become. Sometime in the summer of 1981 I realized that I had to write about the troll under the bridge or leave him–IT–forever.”
Source: Lijla’s Library; book cover artwork: tie-in to the 2017 film, IT.
4 stars! Recommended for Quiet Horror fans…
‘They Look Like People is a 2015 independent psychological thriller film that was shot, edited, written, produced and directed by Perry Blackshear and marks his feature film directorial debut. The movie had its world premiere on January 25, 2015 at the Slamdance Film Festival where it won a special jury award. It stars MacLeod Andrews as a man who believes that humanity is being secretly taken over by evil creatures.
Close friends Wyatt and Christian reunite in New York City, where Christian invites Wyatt to stay at his apartment. Wyatt has withdrawn into himself, having recently broken up with his fiancee, while Christian, who lost his girlfriend, attempts to counter his insecurities with bodybuilding and aggressive machismo. As the two old friends bond, Christian invites Wyatt along on the date he has with his supervisor, Mara, calling ahead and asking Mara to invite her friend.
Wyatt and Christian arrive to find that Mara’s friend Sandy has fallen and injured herself. Wyatt examines Sandy and recommends she go to the hospital. Wyatt, Christian and Mara spend the evening in the waiting room until Sandy’s release, and Mara gratefully thanks Christian for staying. As Christian walks Mara to the subway, he fails to take the initiative to kiss her goodnight. Wyatt reassures Christian that Mara is probably still interested in him despite the ending. After Christian falls asleep, Wyatt receives an anonymous phone call, where a muddled voice tells him he only has time to save himself, and he must leave the city and prepare for the demonic invasion.
Mara and Christian continue seeing each other. Wyatt receives subsequent phone calls, this time in Mara’s voice, alerting him to ominous signs of the apocalypse and the nature of the demons, specifically how they infect humans. Wyatt confers with a psychiatrist his fears of psychosis, but cuts the session short when he becomes convinced the psychiatrist himself is possessed by demons. Wyatt stockpiles weapons in Christian’s cellar and alternately contemplates both suicide and murder of passerby he believes to be possessed.
With his newfound assertiveness, Christian believes himself to be in line for a raise, only for Mara to reveal that he has been fired. A note on his computer, signed by his coworkers, accuses him of being an asshole. Christian returns home to find Wyatt waiting for him. Before he can say anything, Mara visits. At first angry, Christian apologizes and invites her in. The three chat amicably, and Christian leaves to get food. Wyatt invites Mara to explore the house and takes her downstairs to show his weapon stash. Wyatt asks her for further information on the demonic invasion, alluding to her voice on the phone. When Mara realizes Wyatt’s seriousness, she flees the house. Christian returns, disappointed that she left, and Wyatt becomes highly agitated and rants about the coming demonic invasion. Christian calms Wyatt down and sets him up with a psychiatrist, the same one Christian went to when he previously attempted suicide.
Wyatt accosts Mara, trying to apologize, and she lashes out in self-defense, injuring Wyatt. Out of remorse, Mara helps him clean up, but Wyatt becomes horrified as she transforms into a demon. Wyatt runs away and finds Christian preparing to join the Army to conquer his insecurities. Wyatt instead convinces him to leave the city and prepare for the coming apocalypse. Christian agrees, so long as Wyatt attends his psychiatric appointment. As Wyatt sees omens of the apocalypse, he instead insists they barricade the basement. To show his trust in Wyatt, Christian allows himself to be bound and gagged in case he is possessed. On the hour of the apocalypse, Wyatt becomes convinced Christian is possessed, and prepares to kill him as he watches Christian transform. At the last moment, Wyatt realizes he is hallucinating, and recognizing Christian as truly human, frees him. The two embrace, and Christian remarks that he has finally conquered his insecurities by facing death.’
My goal in sharing information in Little Grey Men & Their Little Grey Saucers is not to take a side, but to remain as neutral as I feel is fair; and share information that I believe to be beneficial for others to know. This is a subjective launching point, granted. So for the record: I am more of a believer than I am a skeptic. I am skeptical, always, of bullshit and other forms of propagandizing and deception. I am not so narrow-minded, however, to see only within the scientific boundaries, the religious boundaries, or any other “boundaries”. If I read something from either side that is sound based on my training, my research over the years, even my gut and intuition—from my judgement point—I will share it. I am not a fan of Government or bureaucracy or any activity, doctrine, dogma that attempts to control human beings (or “the masses); and I am not a believer in absolutes. I hope you enjoy the topics as we go through them in 2017.
Love to hear from you: email@example.com.
It is okay to want to believe.
Who is Bob Lazar?
I start with Bob Lazar, because he is an important turning point in the way we viewed hidden secrets, conspiracy theories, Area 51, Roswell, NM (1947 crash), etc.
‘Robert Scott “Bob” Lazar (born January 26, 1959) claims to have worked on reverse engineering extraterrestrial technology at a site called S4, in the Emigrant Valley and Old Kelley Mine area near the Area 51 test facility. Universities from which he claimed to hold degrees show no record of him.
Lazar claims to hold degrees from the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1993, the Los Angeles Times looked into his background and could not find any records of Lazar ever having attended either institution nor has he produced his degrees or a copy of his Master’s thesis. UFOlogist Stanton Friedman was able to substantially verify that Lazar took electronics courses in the late 1970s at Pierce Junior College in Los Angeles. His occupation was listed as a self-employed document photo processor.
Lazar worked for a time at the Los Alamos National Laboratory facility. He claimed to have worked “in the Meson Physics facility” and to have been “involved with experiments using the 1/2 mile long Linear Particle Accelerator.” Although Lazar claimed or strongly implied that he was an employee of Los Alamos, Stanton Friedman claims that he actually worked for Kirk Meyer, an outside contractor. A former acquaintance from his Los Alamos days claims that Lazar was fired for using government equipment to work on his cars.’
But, Did Bob Lazar Work for Area 51?
Is he credible at all? Many think the answer to that question is No…
‘Bob Lazar claimed to have worked on recovered extraterrestrial space craft for the United States government. Has been caught in numerous lies about his education — claimed to have degrees in Electronic Engineering and Physics — no records found. Lazar has also lied about his time line and can’t remember what years he graduated from what school. Like you would not remember when you graduated from M.I.T.? Much of his background has been shown to be false. Was he convicted of pandering in Nevada. A model made by Testors (Model S-4) of the craft Lazar claimed to work on was made and sold.
However, George Knapp, a very well-respected researcher from Las Vegas, has doubts about the doubts on Lazar. He says that Lazar has been remarkably consistent in his story and not deviated a bit from what he says happened at Area 51. He also has not tried to capitalize on his fame. The pandering charge? A convenience for the government to discredit him, something that has been done to others as well, including Wendelle Stevens.
Don Ecker corroborates this story and also says the Dr. Teller, father of the atomic bomb, knew Lazar and was responsible for getting him his job. During an interview with Teller there was a break when he was asked, “If we asked you about Lazar, what would you say?” He said he would not answer the question. the camera was still running and this was caught on tape, which Ecker has seen. If Teller had not known Lazar, he would have said, “Who is Bob Lazar?”
Lazar says he has been ‘disappeared’ by the government, which removed all his school records, yet Lazar can’t resolve the contradictions in his own story. How could he have been going to MIT at the same time he attended a Junior College? But what about his employment at Area 51? Stories vary that he either worked for a contractor or directly for the government itself.
But look at this:
Let’s break it down, shall we? (See link at the end of this post to learn more about “Majestic” and “S4” and the rest of Bob Lazarus’ story.)
Is it real or is it Memorex?
We don’t know. The street address is real (and ironic: James Lovell commanded the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission.) It is a real address in Las Vegas, though the zip code is now different–not unusual for an expanding city. We found the house on Google earth. The amount of wages is very small. Even at 1989 wages this could not possibly be for more than a couple of weeks.
A Japanese researcher says that the social security number, here redacted, belonged to a New York woman, but at this stage we can’t verify that one way or another. Of course, the entire document could be 100% fake. There’s nothing on the document that ‘proves” Lazar worked at Area 51. Further, there is no such thing as the ‘United States Department of Naval Intelligence.’ Navy departments are usually called ‘commands.’ Anyone could have typed up one of these on an easily available form. Note: Nevada does not have a state income tax.
One theory is that Lazar was, indeed, hired as a technician–not a scientist–at the Area 51 facility, worked for a couple of weeks, and was fired because he could not obtain a security clearance. That begs the question of ANY association of flying saucers. In the Top Secret security world, it seems unlikely he would have been allowed exposure to something so secret without a Top Secret Clearance in place, which typically takes many months to obtain. It seems more likely this experience provided the skeleton on which he could knit his bizarre story.
Yet George Knapp, once again, repudiates claims that Lazar lied about his experiences. He says Lazar PASSED two polygraph exams, that he is the one that paid for them, and that reports that Lazar failed three or six exams are simply false.
The best thing Lazar could do is come clean on why he clearly lied about his education. It’s not unheard of for people to do this, but it casts a killer light on his story. Nobody cares about a pandering charge, but MIT? C’mon, Bob. Come clean. Nevertheless, the issues are intriguing, and for that Lazar earns a single Gray box from Schuyler.’
(Based on an article by Royce Myers, III. Updates and expansion by Schuyler.)
For Further Reading:
*Element 115 is also known as Ununpentium