Category Archives: Geek

The Top 10 Logical Fallicies You’re Sure to See Today

If you’re like me, (I know you’re not, but humor me), life is just one big mish-mash of ethanol-fueled what-the-what. Effects have no cause, correlation and causation are the same damned thing, and  a paradox is something that Noah brought onto the Ark. Eminent scholars (read: people on the internet) disagree with this view, however, maintaining that human reason is constrained by the laws of logic. Since they are likely much sobererer than I am, I concede the point and present the following list of logical cock-ups.

10. Argument From Ignorance

Homespun wisdom is, more often than not, bullshit.

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Examples:

“You can’t prove that aliens DIDN’T build the pyramids.”

“If cold fusion were really possible, scientists would have done it by now. ”

“Ok, so you saw someone else’s lipstick on my dick. So what? How do you know you I didn’t put it there myself? ”

Why it’s wrong:

Arguments from Ignorance occur when we use a lack of evidence against a claim as evidence for the claim, or vice versa. Unfortunately, logical arguments aren’t like gambling. In roulette, a bet on red is the same as a bet against black (barring house wins). The same isn’t true in logic. Logical arguments have to stand on their own merits, not the merits of any other claim, including their counter-arguments. To complicate things even further, the same thing is true in reverse. It’s usually reasonable to withhold belief in a claim until evidence arises to prove it, but a lack of evidence for a claim doesn’t actually prove it to be untrue. Just like the fact that I’ve never slept with your sister doesn’t mean I’m incapable of ever doing it. This caveat is summed up by the maxim, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence,” which is the kind of thing that sounds really deep when you’re high.

9. Correlation vs. Causation

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Examples:

“Autistic children typically start displaying symptoms within a few months of receiving their 12-month vaccinations. This is proof that vaccines cause autism.”

“Studies have shown that teenagers who display violent behavior are more likely to play violent video games. Obviously, the games are causing the behavior.”

“Nearly all murders are committed by people wearing pants. If we really want to crack down on crime, we should all get naked from the waist down.”

Why it’s wrong

Correlation vs. Causation is actually a whole group of fallacies that I’m far too lazy to name one by one. They all involve an assumption that two related things (your brother and you) must be have related causes (your dad and the mailman, respectively). These assumptions generally fall into one of two categories: 1) assuming that two related things have the same cause and 2) assuming that if two things are related, one must have caused the other.

Also, blue eyes are of the devil.

The first category is exemplified by the Blue-eyed Chopstick Gene. (Stick with me. I’m going somewhere with this.) Imagine that a group of scientists with a massive endowment (dick joke goes here) tested every single person on Earth to see how well they use chopsticks.  In their studies, they find that people with brown eyes, as a group, are several times more likely to be proficient with chopsticks than people with blue eyes. We all know that eye color is genetic. Based on the study, should we conclude that the gene that encodes for blue eyes also makes people bad with chopsticks? (Answer: no. That’s stupid.) Obviously blue-eyed people are less proficient with chopsticks because blue eyes are only common in parts of the world that traditionally don’t use them.

A good example of the second category is personal superstition, like athletes who win a game in a new pair of underwear and refuse to wash them for fear of breaking the streak. The Latin term for this particular fallacy (assuming that an event must be caused by something that happened at the same time) is Cum Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc. My Latin-American friend has assured me that this translates to “with this, therefore because of this”. You learn something new everyday, huh? I assumed that it meant “fuck-nasty crotch rot logic”.

8. No True Scotsman

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Examples:

“We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America…”

“Sure, the Crusades/ witch-hunts/ Inquisition were perpetrated in the name of Christ, but those people were false Christians.”

“Real men don’t eat quiche.”

Why it’s wrong

The No True Scotsman fallacy occurs whenever a person tries to dismiss counter-evidence by claiming that examples used in the counter lack some vague quality of authenticity. The fallacy gains its name from a hypothetical old man who claimed that no Scotsman would ever put sugar on his porridge (sugared porridge being far too flavorful to qualify as authentic Scottish food). When challenged with an example of an actual Scottish man eating porridge with sugar on it, the old bastard qualified his original statement by claiming that no true Scotsman would ever do such a thing. The fallacy is as common as it is moronic, and encompasses nearly all statements with qualifiers like “real Americans”, “true Christians”,  “genuine craftsmanship”, and “authentic Asian cuisine” (unless you’re actually in Asia).

7. Equivocation

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Examples:

“Evolution is just a theory, not a fact.”

“I’m not yelling. I’m just raising my voice.”

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

Why it’s wrong

Equivocation occurs when an arguer deceitfully uses a word to mean something other than its commonly understood definition or changes the meaning of a word mid-argument. In its simplest form, equivocation is the basis of all puns, like the syllogism, “Nothing is better than God. A ham sandwich is better than nothing. Therefore, a ham sandwich is better then God.” More subtle uses can be truly insidious, especially when they’re used to affect public policy. For instance, M.A.D.D reports that “About three in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash at some time in their lives.” To most people reading this, myself included, this sounds the same as saying that 30% of people will get in a wreck caused by a drunk driver. The equivocation here is in the term “alcohol-related”. While most people assume that it means the same a “caused by drunk driving”, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines the term to mean “one driver or nonoccupant (pedestrian or pedalcyclist) involved in the crash has a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration.” A positive BAC is 0.01 or higher, one-eighth the legal limit. Think about all the times you’ve read about an elderly driver, sober as a preacher on Sunday morning, jumping a curb and smashing into a farmer’s market. If one of the unfortunate people on the receiving end of their ’72 Buick had a beer three hours earlier, bingo! You just racked up a dozen “alcohol-related” fatalities. Now, obviously, that’s an extreme example, but the point is clear. “Alcohol-related” is not the same as “caused by drunk driving”. The NHTSA makes a point of defining the term in their reports. M.A.D.D. doesn’t.

6. Overprecision

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Examples:

“Our audio cables are made of fully annealed 99.999% pure oxygen free copper.”

“These fine restaurant-quality knives are laser-sharpened to within a tolerance of three microns.”

“I installed a performance body kit, a stainless steel exhaust with doubled aluminum tips, rear brake coolers, and aluminum carbide rims. Now my Corolla puts out five more horsepower!”

Why it’s wrong

Overprecision is basically the art of making a big deal out of inconsequential numbers. Kind of like that guy you know who updates you every week on how much he can benchpress. Mr. “I bench 307” fails to realize that, while regular exercise will improve one’s quality of life, the difference between “good health” and “bad health” can’t be measured in incremental horsepower. Unless he gets pinned beneath a 309lb. girder. In which case, I’ll gladly admit that I was wrong whilst laughing my fool head off.

5. Poisoning the Well

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Examples:

“The FDA claims that homeopathic medicine doesn’t work, but they’re just saying what the drug companies want them to say.”

“Atheists just don’t want to believe in God so they can continue to live sinful lives. You should take all of their arguments with a grain of salt.”

“I would expect an argument like that, coming from YOU.”

Why it’s wrong:

Poisoning the Well is a rather cunning fallacy that involves attacking an arguer’s motivations, rather than their argument. By implying or asserting that an opponent has an ulterior motive, you call his entire argument, including the truthfulness of his premises, into question. This is a pretty common tactic in religious and political debate, and it often takes the form of a preemptive strike. (“I think we need more grape jam in schools, and anyone who disagrees with me hates children!”) The obvious flaw is that the arguer’s motivations have nothing to do with the validity of the argument. Questioning why an argument has been made does nothing to counter the argument itself. In this view, Poisoning the Well is just a subtle Ad Hominem.

4. Arguing From Is to Ought

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Examples:

“If God had meant for men to fly, he would have given us wings.”

“If God had meant for men to eat oysters, he would have given us little hammers on our hands.”

“If God had meant for people to have sex face-to-face, he would have given men big dents in their chests.”

Why it’s wrong:

The Is to Ought fallacy was first identified by the Scottish philosopher David Hume, who was probably drunk at the time. It is often considered a subfallacy of the broader Appeal to Tradition, wherein one argues for doing something because it’s always been done that way. Is to Ought argues for doing something because that’s the way it’s done right now, which is just circular as fuck. The fact that a certain does condition exists does mean it should exist.

Dolly - miracle of science.

This argument commonly pops up to justify social inequalities (gay marriage, segregation, etc.) and can be seen in Appeals to Law (“Ethically, you should only use low-flow toilets because the high-volume kind are illegal.”) It also forms the basis of every “Things Man Was Not Meant to Know” argument. It’s funny how quickly we, as a society, go from TMWNMTK to “playing god” to “it’s just a fucking sheep.”

3. Weasel Words

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Examples:

“Select items up to 80% off!”

“Mr. President, the claim has been made that you are in fact a transvestite space alien. How do you respond to these allegations?”

“Some scientists believe that Atlantis may still exist in another dimension.”

Why it’s wrong:

Weasel words are not fallacies in and of themselves, but they’re the kind of rhetorical booby-traps that lead to fallacies. In short, they are ambiguous phrases that give the impression of significance without having any actual content, kind of like NutraSweet for words, or CNN. You can make practically any claim if you couch it in enough weasel words. For instance,  “Inside sources claim that your mother may or may not be  a whore.” Did you see what happened, there? Nothing. Absolutely nothing was stated, but long after you’ve read the sentence, the words “mother” and “whore” will stick in your brain like cheese in a frying pan. This gives the person making the claim deniability, allowing them to escape the repercussions of making false claims while still being able to leave listeners with the desired impression.

2. Unidle Speculation

Examples:

“I’m not saying that the president is really a squirrel dressed in a human suit. I’m just saying that would explain his affection for ACORN.”

“What if Mormons really are bent on word domination? Wouldn’t it make sense to eradicate them now? I’m just asking questions, here.”

“If I were the kind of person prone to reading into things, I might say that your fixation on banning gay marriage stems from your own sexual insecurities.”

Why it’s wrong:

The Unidle Speculation is yet another of those rhetorical tricks that is not itself fallacious, but is prone to leading others into fallacy. It occurs when a speaker offers a hypothetical scenario with the intent of making the listener believe that scenario to be true. Like Weasel Words, the technique is used to  avoid that sticky business of backing up what you have to say. By phrasing accusations as questions or innocent speculations, the arguer avoids the blame of making false accusations. Following from the previous example, “I don’t know if your mother is a whore or not. I’m just saying that if she’s a whore, she’s probably not very good at it, what with her age and the bad hip and everything. She probably barely makes enough to pay for her electrolysis. If your mom’s a whore, that is.”

1. Invincible Ignorance

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Examples:

“It doesn’t matter what you say. You can’t shake my faith.”

“I still think Airwolf is the best damned show that’s ever been on television, and nothing will ever make me change my mind about that!”

“LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA”

Why it’s wrong:

Non Sequitur might be the granddaddy of all fallacies, but Invincible Ignorance is at least the creepy uncle. The term was originally used in Catholic dogma to describe innocence based on a person’s complete inability to know that their actions are sinful, but logicians adopted the term around the 1950’s. Since then, it has come to mean the pigheaded dismissal of any argument counter to one’s own position, regardless of validity. Invincible Ignorance  is utterly unassailable on any logical grounds, as it denies logical arguments by simply pretending that they don’t exist. It is my personal favorite fallacy, mostly because it lies at the heart of nearly all tortured logic, rationalization, and cognitive dissonance. If you don’t want to believe something, you really don’t have to, so long as you can convince your brain to ignore the evidence.

That’s what I believe, anyway, and there’s no way in hell you’ll convince me otherwise.

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The Top 15 Horror Films You Haven’t Seen

Thanks to the good folks over at Cracked and their imitators, the intertubes are awash with lists of all sorts. If you ever need to know the six best ways to milk a camel or the top ten reasons why Verdi’s Aida is better than his La traviata, the internet has a list for you. It is to this proud tradition that I now turn my hand.

Out of the many things I do to fill the time between sleep and liquor, watching awful horror films is probably the most legal. And just like a million monkeys at a million typewriters will eventually produce an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (it normally takes them about a day and a half), decades spent watching obscure horror films have produced a few gems. I’m not staking claim to any horror-schlock geekmastery here, but I will say that you shouldn’t call yourself a horror geek until you’ve seen these.

15. Nosferatu (1922)

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Synopsis: It’s German Dracula. ‘Nuff said.

Memorable Quote: None. This one hails from before the “talkie” era.

There seems to be some confusion lately as to what exactly constitutes a vampire. Here’s a handy chart:

vampire chart

Back in the days before the MPAA made it illegal to dream about movies without paying for licensing, filmmakers took the term “derivative works” to new heights. When producer Albin Grau wanted to make a vampire film, he looked no further than the most famous vampire of all time: Bram Stoker’s then 25-year-old Dracula. Of course, making a film adaptation of Dracula would have required vaulting all sorts of legal hurdles (read: paying for it), so Grau and his director, F. W. Murnau just changed some of the names. The titular character became “Count Orlok”, and the word “vampire” was avoided. Despite this intrepid subterfuge, Prana Film (Grau’s production company) declared bankruptcy after the release, for fear of copyright lawsuits.

What nightmares masturbate to.

What nightmares masturbate to.

Nosferatu is filmed in the German expressionist style, which is to say they do fucked up things with shadows. Unlike  the panty-dropping pretty boys of modern vampire fare, the Count is portrayed like a fucking monster, a fiendish, diseased ghoul who preys on the young and innocent. As the original vampire movie, the film laid the groundwork that Hollywood has been spamming for the past ninety years.

14. They Live (1988)

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Synopsis: A homeless guy discovers a pair of magic sunglasses that reveal the world as it truly is: saturated with subliminal orders from our horrific alien overlords.

Memorable quote: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

This man has no gum.

This man has no gum.

What, you thought Duke Nukem originated that line? Think again, plebian. It was ad-libbed by none other than “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who took time away from pretending to fight to take a stab at pretending to act in this late-eighties John Carpenter film. The movie centers around Piper’s character, George Nada, a down-on-his-luck construction worker who stumbles upon a global alien plot to enslave humanity through consumerism and commercial media. It’s the most ham-handed critique of eighties greed imaginable, and you have absolutely no excuse for not having seen it.

13. Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

IMDB link

Synopsis: A homicidal theater owner tortures, kills, and enslaves pretty much everybody.

Memorable quote: “Her mouth shall make an interesting urinal!”

Bloodsucking Freaks is a film with a serious identity complex. Its original title was Sardu: Master of the Screaming Virgins, which I personally think they should have stuck with. It was released in theaters as The Incredible Torture Show and on video as The Heritage of Caligula: an Orgy of Sick Minds. When Troma finally grabbed the distribution rights, they retitled it as Bloodsucking Freaks, and the name stuck.

The film revolves around Sardu, the effete proprietor of a horror theater. Showing his commitment to drama, Sardu forgoes acting and special effects, choosing to simply murder young women on stage before a live, but ignorant, studio audience. In order to give his show more credibility, he has his resident dwarf kidnap and attempt to brainwash a theater critic and a ballerina. I don’t know how this was supposed to work, but even if the theater failed, he could always fall back on his home sex-slave business.

Of course, all this “plot” is just a vehicle to carry across headfucked torture scenes and subtle dark humor. The clip below says more about the movie in twenty-four seconds than I could ever put down in words.

12. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

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Synopsis: A meta-critique of slasher films presented as a documentary.

Memorable quote: “I’ll tell you: never hang out with a virgin. You got a virgin in your crew, either get somebody in her pants or get the hell away from her.”

Behind the Mask is a recent addition to the genre, and one of the best horror films to come out in a long time. It’s the first and only pic from indie studio Glen Echo Entertainment. The movie follows a group of young documentary filmmakers and their newest subject: one Leslie Vernon, the Next Big Thing in costumed mass murder. Taking up the torch passed by Jason, Freddy, and Micheal, Leslie gives the crew a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be a homicidal legend. I realize the whole “meta-horror” genre has been done into the ground lately, but Behind the Mask manages to stay quick and funny while still following its own formula. It actually accomplishes what Wes Craven failed at so miserably with Scream.

11. Luther the Geek (1990)

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Synopsis: A young boy is traumatized by a carnival side-show, then grows up to be a serial cannibal / chicken.

Memorable quote: “Hey chicken-man! Colonel Sanders wants to fry your ass!”

Back in the day, the term “geek” did not describe a guy who sits around in sweat pants drinking bourbon and writing about his favorite horror movies. A geek was a carnival performer who ate bugs or bit the heads off of live snakes or birds. This is what people did for entertainment before Ozzy Osbourne was born. While some geeks were simply performers with high thresholds for nasty shit, like a pre-PETA Jackass, some were die-hard alcoholics who were basically owned by the carnival promoters. Their handlers would let them dry out for a day or two before a show, then pour a bottle of liquor down a chicken’s throat before tossing it into the geek’s cage. Faced with a choice between DT’s and chugging gin from a decapitated chicken, I’m pretty sure I’d choose the chicken, too. It can’t taste any worse than Jagermeister.

Luther the Geek is yet another Troma title that pays homage to this bygone occupation. As a young boy, Luther has several teeth knocked out at a geek show attended by the cast of Deliverance. Somehow, the geek show, the taste of blood, and a childhood spent in the company of abusive dirt farmers transforms Luther into a homicidal maniac who also happens to think he’s a chicken. After the brief scene from his childhood, the story opens with Luther being paroled from prison, thirty years after commiting several brutal murders. Now, I’m all for a progressive justice system that focuses on rehabilitation and forgiveness, but I can’t imagine any situation in which a parole board would release a multiple murderer who only speaks in chicken noises. Seriously. Someone should lose their job over that.

Within minutes of being released, Luther dons a set of metal dentures (which he apparently made in the prison workshop? this isn’t really explained) and starts killing people by biting them. After the first ten minutes, the film has almost no dialogue, with the majority of the soundtrack being taken up by Luther’s clucking and bawking. The actor really gets into it, and one is left to assume that he was cast strictly for his ability to imitate a psychotic chicken. While nearly everything else in the movie is completely forgettable, his portrayal is so compelling, you just can’t stop watching it. Check out this clip to see what I mean:

The fun starts around 1:40.

The only other mentionable parts are two five-minute nude scenes starring the female lead’s truly tremendous tatas. So the movie’s got that going for it, too.

10. A Bucket of Blood (1959)

IMDB link

Synopsis: A wannabe beatnik kills people for art.

Memorable quote: “Life is an obscure hobo, bumming a ride on the omnibus of art.”

Billed as a comedy, Bucket of Blood is a morality play about the dangers of art and bad poetry. The main character, Walter, is a total square. He just can’t fit in with the cool cats down at the coffee shop. Like all ostracized youth, he quickly realizes that killing people will make him popular. While the director’s intent seems to be poking light-hearted fun at beatnik culture, the film is actually pretty compelling. Watching Walter descend further and further into depravity as he finds acceptance in the macabre is a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Like most horror flicks of its time, Bucket of Blood aims for cheap exploitation. Through fate or chance, it manages to hit something real.

9. The Invisible Maniac (1990)

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Synopsis: A mad scientist invents an invisibility potion and uses it to kill and rape high school kids.

Memorable quote: “With this injection begins my erection.”

Invisible Maniac is a straight-to-video boobfest from the early nineties. As the film opens, we are treated to a scene from Kevin Dorwinkle’s childhood, wherein he is scolded by his mother for spying on their sexy neighbor. Fast forward to adulthood, and Kevin is a scientist, presenting his theories on invisibility to his colleagues. In accordance with the peer review process, he is laughed offstage. Because science is much like prison, Kevin responds to this disrespect by killing a few of them, just to reassert his dominance. After a few year in a loony bin, he is paroled and secures a job teaching high school physics. Apparently, public schools in the nineties didn’t do background checks. When the school principal attempts to blackmail him for sex, he murders her, injects himself with his newly perfected invisibility serum, and proceeds to rape and pillage the school.

Note that all of this happens in the first thirty minutes of the film. The next hour or so is devoted to watching young women have their clothes ripped off while they pretend to be murdered. These scenes are made especially hilarious by the fact that the main character is freaking invisible, leaving the less-than-stellar actresses to try to figure out what being strangled looks like when you’re not actually being strangled. Add in a voice-over of truly atrocious dialogue, and you end up with something very special. In a “short bus special” kind of way.

8. M (1931)

IMDB link

Synopsis: A pathetic child-murderer is hunted down by organized crime in pre-war Germany.

Memorable quote: “I want to escape, to get away! And I’m pursued by ghosts. Ghosts of mothers and of those children… they never leave me. They are always there… always, always, always! … Except when I do it.”

Acting!

M is a classic in every sense. Peter Lorre plays a serial killer who preys on young girls. For the majority of the film, however, we never see the killer’s face. He is a shadow, or a trenchcoat, or a whistled tune. When the city’s organized criminals finally apprehend the monster, he is revealed for what he truly is, a pathetic, broken man. Lorre’s performance puts everything through, despite the subtitles. It also forever cemented his role as “that creepy bug-eyed dude in old movies”.

7. Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964)

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Synopsis: An old southern belle with a sordid past gets utterly mindfucked.

Memorable quote: “Do you know what it’s costin’ me not to kill you?”

Nobody plays crazy like Bette Davis. In this one, she plays a somewhat senile old spinster who has yet to outlive an accusation of murder from her teenage years. With her ancestral home in peril due to eminent domain, she summons her saner cousin Miriam to save the day. That is, she calls in her last surviving relative. The only one in the will. You see where this is going. The movie is worth watching just to see an aging Bette Davis pretend that she has to pretend to have dementia.

6. Bad Taste (1987)

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Synopsis: Aliens invade earth and raise humans / zombies as cattle for their fast food chain.

Memorable quote: “I’m a Derek… and Dereks don’t run!”

Before Peter Jackson became a meteoric Hollywood megahobbit, he was a nerdy film kid in New Zealand. Bad Taste was his first feature, and it shows. Jackson cast his friends and filmed mostly on weekends, to avoid schedule conflicts. After four years and $25,000 the result is an orgy of chainsaw-murdering, braineating, sheepsploding fuckedupedness.

I’m not kidding about the sheep thing:

Basically, this is the movie YOU would make, if only you had a camera, friends, and talent.

5. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)

IMDB Link

Synopsis: A group of Italian documentarians enter the Amazon rainforest to document cannibalistic tribespeople. Hololarity ensues.

Memorable quote: “Today people want sensationalism; the more you rape their senses the happier they are.”

A team of filmmakers descended deep into the Colombian jungle to film the savage and cannibalistic Yanomamo people. This is both the plot of Cannibal Holocaust and how they actually made the fucking movie. Director Rugerro Deodato flew his whole damned crew into the rain forest and paid indigenous people to pretend to murder and eat them. Then he paid the actors to fall off the media radar for a year. Then he released his “documentary” in Italian theaters, grossing $2,000,000 1980 dollars in ten days. Then he was arrested on multiple counts of murder. No shit.

I can't imagine why.

Italian horror is typified by tremendous amounts of gore, but Deodato’s effects and cinematography were so realistic that the courts actually charged him with five counts of murder that happened in the freaking movie. He eventually had to dissolve his contract with the actors and have them appear on television before the charges were dropped. The movie was still banned in Italy for its gruesome depictions of rape, torture, and murder. Also, six animals are actually killed on camera… so, yeah.

While it attempts a thinly-veiled critique of modern media, Cannibal Holocaust is pure exploitation with some of the most realistic effects you’ll see on this side of the camera.

4. Unmasked Part 25 (1988)

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Synopsis: An outright meta-parody of gory slasher films that doubles as a gory slasher film.

Memorable quote: “Ridiculous isn’t it? I mean fine.. so I have to kill. I have no choice in the matter. But you’d think they’d let me try something else as well. I do have other talents.”

Filmed in the UK (where it was originally titled Hand of Death)  for what appears to be fifteen quid, Unmasked is the story of a disfigured serial killer who preys on the young and horny, all while soliloquizing about the nature of human existence. He ends up falling in love with a blind girl, forcing him to choose between domesticity and the violent life the writers have forced him into. The film really explores… um… you know what? Just watch the clip.

3. Cemetery Man

IMDB link

Synopsis: An exploration of love, existentialism, and human insignificance that happens to take the form of zombie-killin’.

Memorable quote: “He’s only eating me! … Mind your business! I shall be eaten by whoever I please!”

Is it technically necrophilia if she's UNdead?

Yet another entry from those crafty Italians, Cemetery Man is an art flick posing as a zombie movie. It follows the macabre adventures of that guy from Four Weddings and a Funeral who’s NOT Hugh Grant and his faithful but dimwitted assistant Gnaghi. Four Weddings guy is the caretaker of a cemetery where the dead have problems staying down. He assists them to that end with a .44 revolver and various garden implements. He then ends up falling in love with a young widow played by the boobtacular Anna Falchi. As in any zombie flick, however, love is fleeting, as is everyone’s sanity.

Not-Hugh-Grant’s grasp on reality slips further and further as he commits random (and not so random) murders, falls for prostitutes, and tries to have his junk surgically removed. Despite the foolishness (or perhaps because of it) Cemetery Man actually has a lot to say about the strangeness of love, the finality of death, and man’s position in the universe. The fact that it says it through the dual medium of brainsplatter and titties is just icing on the (very disturbing) cake.

2. Let the Right One In (2008)

IMDB link

Synopsis: A story about young love and vampires that’s NOT based on a trashy romance novel.

Memorable quote: “I’m twelve, but I’ve been twelve for a very long time.”

Ah.. young love. The first girlfriend. The first kiss. The first time you lap up blood.

If you haven’t heard about this one yet, I suggest you find a a more productive place to put your head, like anywhere but in your ass. Let the Right One In is a Swedish horror flick that’s won about a kerjillion awards on the independent film circuit. It’s an inspiring coming-of-age story about two misunderstood kids who find love despite all odds, only one of them is Columbine waiting to happen. And the other one is a vampire. Who knew Swedes were so fucked up?

Seriously, this is one of the best movies of any genre that I’ve seen in a long while. The style is utterly organic, and the two leads pull off performances that would make Leonardo Dicaprio sprain something. If you have a Netflix account, it’s available on “Watch Instantly”. Do it.

1. Dead Alive (1992)

IMDB link

Synopsis: Evil monkeys infect a domineering mother with zombie-itis, forcing her son to get all lawnmowery.

Memorable quote: There are so goddamned many, it’s impossible to pick one. Just pick the one you like most:

  • Paquita: “Your mother ate my dog!” Lionel: “Not all of it!”
  • “Stand back boy! This calls for divine intervention! YAAAAHHHH! I kick ass for the LORD!”
  • “They’re not dead exactly, they’re just… sort of rotting.”
  • “OK, OK! I take it back. Nabakov wasn’t a pedophile. Some of my best friends are pedophiles!”

You just knew New Zealand had to make the list twice didn’t you? Fresh off of Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles Peter Jackson somehow managed to secure three million dollars to make Dead Alive (originally released as Braindead).  From watching the film, it is apparent that he used the majority of that budget on corn syrup and red dye. It’s often listed as the goriest film of all time, by volume. The final scene alone used eighty gallons of fake blood.

The plot is about Lionel, a nervous and cowed young man who lives with his queen bitch mother. Out of the blue, love comes his way in the form of the beautiful and exotic Paquita. Then tragedy comes his way when “these great big rats come scuttling off the slave ships and raped all the little tree monkeys”, creating Sumatran rat-monkeys who zombify Lionel’s mother. Go ahead. Read that sentence again. I dare you.

Did your brain explode? No? Maybe I’m not getting my point across. ZOMBIE CUSTARD!

How about now? Still sane in the membrane? Would it help if I told you there’s a zombie baby?

I am totally fucking serious.

You know where zombie babies come from, right? They come from zombie nurses fucking zombie priests. I’m not making this stuff up, folks.

Fuck.

Image links to source.

Oh, and there’s a lawnmower. The prop mower used in the shoot pumped fake blood at five gallons a second.

Imagine the possibilities.

In sum, Dead Alive is everything I ever wanted in a movie. Bless you, Peter Jackson. Bless you right in your little hobbit face.