Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Monsters; Despite current trends, they can still not suck.

Between Stephanie Meyers, and before her, Anne Rice, have turned vampires into Emo wimps. Thanks to Twilight, we can add werewolves to the mix as well. God help us if one of these new writers gives us a sexy Frankenstein monster, or a maudlin version of Godzilla...

I will also go a little further and suggest that things like Blade and Underworld are undermining the very monsters they are trying to make awesome for pretty much the same reason. Sure, Edward Cullen is a whiny twit, but even in the Underworld movies, we sympathize and identify with the monsters. They aren't monsters any more; they aren't the uncontrollable forces of evil/nature that they used to be.

Or so it would seem.

I can think of several movies that have come out in the past 5 years or so that are unapologetically standard monster movies; The Wolfman, Cloverfield, The Crazies, 28 Weeks Later, Slither... All of them had a very clear "Us Against Them/It" motif, even if Cloverfield was filled with angsty unlikeable 20-somethings. At least they were eaten/exploded. Wolfman had blood, all kinds of blood. The Crazies and 28 Weeks Later were both great non-zombie zombie movies, and Slither... That was about as pure an homage to 80s horror that has ever been made.

I guess what I am getting at is this; sure this trend of whiny, emasculated monsters sucks. It's geared towards young girls, just like boy bands. And just like boy bands, they are ridiculous, shallow and make shitloads of money, so they won't be going anywhere any time soon.

On the plus side, their very existence pisses off the purists, and many of those purists are very talented film makers and writers, which is good for all o f us. The Emo crap will cause a backlash of traditional horror monsters, we just need to be a little patient.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The world's biggest bomb ever (ever)

Back in the 60s, the Cold War was in full swing, and the Russians, being Russian and therefore brave to the point of foolhardiness, created the Tsar Bomba, the "Father Bomb". In all fairness, they were actually being reserved when they built it; the final bomb was a 50 megaton monster, half the 100 megatons they wanted to make originally. I am going to guess that their scientists discovered something along the lines of "that much energy released at once will open a gateway to Gozer and its minions, which will eat our people, and more importantly, drink our Vodka."

So they reigned it in. The resulting bomb was still the most terrifying man made thing ever; even scarier than Bea Arthur nude, playing volley ball. The explosion was so huge, it nearly knocked the plane that dropped the bomb out of the sky. It was felt, seen, and even caused damage, 620 miles away from ground zero. Despite being an aerial burst (shown above), the explosion struck the ground and reached 8 km into the sky. The resulting fireball/mushroom cloud rose 40 miles into the sky.

The shock wave it generated circled the Earth 3 times, and was still measurable on the final pass.

Ironically, the idea behind making the Tsar Bomba was to create a "cleaner" nuke; you see, the larger and hotter the blast, the less radioactive fallout created by it. So the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated was actually the Russian attempt at making a "green" nuke, decades before the Green movement ever began.

This is a sample of what could happen in a populated area had Tsar Bomba ever been used in war. That is a map of Paris. The Yellow circle indicates the width of the fireball (8 km), and the red is the area of "Total Destruction".

Wait... Death Isn't Funny

Oh, but it will be... It willl beee....

Several months ago, I gathered up some enthusiastic fellow writers to start a book about death. Why death? Well, because I gathered these writers (and artists) from the pool of talented freelancers over at, which I am proud to say, I am a part of, with the original intention of writing a book on zombies. It turns out the book (which was the catalyst for this book. See, I won't be in the Cracked book, and rather than whining, I decided to create my own opportunity) is about zombies, so that was out.

So I decided, why not death? We're all funny people (on the team) and everyone has some tie to death; after all, it's coming for us some day. Even you. (sorry)

So why the blog? Just to keep folks up to date, in case you care. If not... Well then I have no idea what you are doing here. Maybe because I am just so entertaining (probably not).

At any rate, I hope this proves to be fun to follow; not everything here will be related to the book; I will probably post a bunch of random junk I find while researching it (and my other book). Most likely a lot on zombies.