Stranger Things – A bunch of disjointed thoughts.

“Why disjointed thoughts?” I hear you say. “Why not just form your thoughts into a well written post and elevate the quality of your blog?”

And to that I say…

 

This weekend Netflix released its new original series Stranger Things. A joyful tribute to the 1980s suitable for the whole family. Well, maybe not the whole family. It’s kinda violent and would definitely creep out kiddos, mid teens and above I say.

Imma start with the trailer so as to give at least some spoiler-free content.

Those bikes immediately make me think of ET and the curly haired boy (Dustin) has a look of Chunk from The Goonies. This already cements it as a Spielberg style kid focused adventure. These kids are also rocking Dungeons and Dragons like total bosses, which pleases me no end.

Then we get what seems to be government conspiracy, hazmat suits, weird gross webbing, a shaved head kid with a nosebleed in a tank that looks straight out of Altered States.

That Stephen King font is HEAVENLY. That synth electro.

 

SPOILERSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

 

-The Thing is clearly an influence. First in a poster in the background, then in an actual clip and finally in our Inter-Dimensional Being which looks remarkably similar to the dog-monster.

There’s also an Evil Dead poster but I couldn’t really shoehorn a parallel in the show.

-MK-Ultra is brought in and I think MK-Ultra is another post for another time but DANG THAT GOT ME HYPED!

-I wrote “Giant electric ouija board that Edison would be proud of” in the margin of my colouring book.

-I also wrote “Body horror – Alien – people in walls”

-I loved how the other world/dimension was so wet, rotten and covered in goo. With Silent Hill style falling snow/ash/mould spores.

-There was a certain HP Lovecraft-ness to it. Though that could be Lovecraft influencing Stephen King influencing Stranger Things.

-My husband’s theory is that it will become an anthology series, in a similar vein to American Horror Story/True Detective and will have nothing to do with these characters. I personally hope it stays in the 80s and goes into some Satanic Panic shit.

-Fun fact pointed out to me by my buddy Graeme. The show was initially going to be set in Montauk, New York and titled Montauk. Presumably that is a reference to the Montauk Project

The Montauk Project is an alleged series of secret United States government projects conducted at Camp Hero or Montauk Air Force Station on Montauk, Long Island for the purpose of developing psychological warfare techniques and exotic research including time travel.”

That’s all I can think of for now.

 

 

 

 

 

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Are Aliens the new Zombies?

Are Aliens the new Zombies?

Short answer: Yes.

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As any genre fan knows trends come in waves, particularly in horror. Other than the perennial favourite The Slasher, our boogiemen change throughout the years. The zombie craze has pretty much seen its end now and while there was a little flurry of vampires it didn’t really stick for long, shaky cam possessions and found footage hauntings are seeing their last days too and from what I can see cosmic horror is about to be the new big thing.

What will be the new slow v fast argument?

I think this will branch into two factions. Extraterrestrials and Inter-Dimensional Beings. Extraterrestrials being creatures from other planets, I-DBs being creatures from other dimensions which exist along side our own, often inhabiting the same space usually without being sensed by us.

Why now?

Currently pop culture is going through a 90s revival. Jelly shoes, mom jeans, henna tattoo chokers THE LOT! And with that I think people are also looking back to the UFO craze of that time. UFOs were the new Satanic Panic, both were linked with Government conspiracy and had ruthless hypnotists and psychotherapists rubbing their hands with glee. UFO videos and experiences were all over the TV and Cinema, Ray Santilli’s alien autopsy footage and The X Files fuelled that fire. And with the return of The X-Files to our screens this year that fire is back. The US has a Clinton in the presidential race which also drags us screaming back to the 90s and HRC has been mentioning the so-called UFO files in interviews recently.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS FROM HERE ON. I can’t tell you what I may be spoiling as their inclusion in this piece is kind of a spoiler in itself.

Netflix is currently running a new sci-fi series Stranger Things set in 1983 and is a delicious slice of nostalgia.

Banshee Chapter from 2013 was an early contender to the trend as a loose adaptation of Lovecraft’s From Beyond.

Other recent titles that have fed into my theory include 10 Cloverfield Lane, Midnight Special, 5th Wave, Independence Day Resurgence (which appears to be a garbage fire)  VHS 2.

Upcoming titles that seem to fit in include The Blob, Story of Your Life, Alien Covenant, Rupture, Alien Sleeper Cell and The Predator.

Channel 4’s Utopia AKA The best British Drama this century

Spoilers…maybe? I guess…for a nearly 4 year old show.

It’s still available on demand via Channel 4 now.  Go watch it.

“When a small group of people find themselves in possession of a manuscript of cult graphic novel Utopia, their lives are knocked out of kilter by explosive events. Targeted by a shadowy organisation known only as The Network, they are left with one option if they want to survive: they have to run.”

A visceral drama about a conspiracy and a group of regular people pulled into its web. A dystopian, speculative fiction brought to life in vivid colour and cinematographic style.

Big Pharma, eugenics, politics, mass fast food manufacture, subterfuge, violence, inhumane testing and torture. The ideas of good people and bad people are tested, blurred and broken as the plot twists and turns with every episode.

Why ‘Peck in the Crown’?

Short answer: A very minor character mentioned in the works of the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins.

witchfinder_general

No. Not the West Midlands heavy metal band from the 80s.

matthewhopkins

That guy. The 17th Century, East Anglian witch-hunter. And this image shows us the use of Peck in the Crown, or rather Pecke in the Crowne. This was an imp named by a woman in Manningtree, Essex who was arrested for witchcraft subjected to sleep deprivation for 4 days. After this time she named a number of familiars and imps.

To a modern eye it is clear that these were the ramblings of a frightened, sleep deprived woman who was probably on the edges of society (as most of the accused witches of the time were) and most likely only spoke up in an attempt to stop her torture.

So why did I choose this as a name for my blog? Well I have taken to identifying as a witch, not so much out of a belief in the powers of witchcraft but as a political statement.

I’m a fat, queer, tattooed, mentally ill stripper. Yeah, I’m a fuckin’ witch.