As he watched another one of his airships crash and burn Professor Lindquist realized that blimpin' ain't easy.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Like a cinematic BP the SyFy Channel continues to spew crap onto the airwaves...
I swear to God that movies like SHARKTOPUS might be retroactively ruining the Cthulhu Mythos.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
TALES FROM THE ODDSIDE: Precious Machine
Al Bruno III
(for Ray Garton)
A rusted electric fence surrounds the walled facility and the facility itself is a series of squat single story buildings connected by hallways. Every window is barred, every door is bolted, every surface is gray or blue. In this way the Kaydeross Asylum keeps the murderous nightmares of its prisoners tucked away from the world of ordinary madness.
Orderlies move through the hallways and buildings like ants, jaded boredom has rendered them faceless and emotionless. They go through their routines but have long ago stopped seeing their charges as human beings. The physicians and psychiatrists assigned to this place are no better, any thoughts of rehabilitating their patients have long been ground away by the never-ending crush of State-required paperwork.
Only Dr. Annabelle Masters truly cared about what went on here. Despite being the director of the facility she still made it a point to oversee the progress of the women remanded to the Kaydeross Asylum. There is a framed photograph she kept on the wall of her office, it shows her standing within the center of a crowd of women wearing faded hospital gowns and slippers; she is smiling despite the fact she is standing with a group of convicted murderers.
As I went through Dr. Masters's office my gaze returned to the picture again and again. There was something about the patients that haunted me- despite their smiling faces their eyes seemed to be screaming.
I was just a temporary administrator sent in to replace Dr. Masters while the investigation into her disappearance moved forward. It was my job to restore some semblance of order to the facility but I already knew it would be no easy task.
A tall bookcase occupied one side of the room, some of the texts shelved there were the standards of our profession but others had fallen out of print after being dismissed as bald faced quackery.
After this I turned my attention to her desk. It was ugly, gray and metallic. It reminded me of the sort of desk a schoolteacher might have. I searched through the drawer and found one had been locked. It took some effort but I was able to break the lock and found seven files that were thick with handwritten notes and EEG readouts.
Dr. Masters's notes were written on cheap onionskin paper, her handwriting script was cramped and strange, reading it was hard going. There was one folder for each of the Kaydeross Asylum's more infamous charges. She had been interviewing and treating these murderesses secretly.
No it was more than that, she had been experimenting on them.
Even now I can recall some of her notes almost perfectly-
...the Precious Machine continues to perform better than expected on Leslie Knapp but she resists treatment. She claws at the air and calls the names of her children. The modified styluses titter and scratch at the paper, there is something beautiful about the patterns they make. When I playback the audio tapes it almost sounds like an animal is skittering in the background like a rat gone wild with the urge to gnaw...
A search of Dr. Masters's office revealed no audio tapes or electroencephalogram, and her notes were maddeningly vague as to what exactly she was trying to accomplish.
Exhaustion, confusion and the murky February afternoon conspired to make me drowsy. I sat down in Dr. Masters' leather-backed chair and leaned back. I meant only to rest my eyes but I was soon asleep.
The dream that came was at first very literal, I was sitting in the office with the cryptic files spread out before me. There was a hollow rapping at the door and I called for the visitor to enter not looking up from my work. Once the visitor stood on the opposite side of the desk I became gripped with a childlike terror. I did not want to look up but my head moved of its own volition and I found myself staring at a figure from my long-abandoned faith. I knew that frail, beatific gaze and those stigmatic hands. But the crown of thorns he wore was metallic and it sparked. My breath caught in my throat as the figure opened his mouth to speak but all that came out was a faint scraping sound like a record that had reached the end of its song.
I awoke then, choking and gasping like a nearly drowned man, but the scratching sound continued. Once the dream had faded away and I was calm, I realized where the strange noise was coming from.
Initially the orderlies balked at my request insisting that the moving of furniture was a job for maintenance but I insisted. Once the heavy mahogany bookcase had been moved a doorway was revealed.
We forced the door open and found what must have once been a storage closet. The so-called 'Precious Machine' was there and it was, as I had thought, a strangely modified EEG machine. A tangle of wires led to a web of sensors that resembled the crown I had seen in my dreams. The EEG had long run out of paper and the styluses scraped and scratched on the bare rollers.
And beneath that crown of sensors was a desiccated figure, she had only been missing for a little over a week but the flesh had an almost mummified look to it. We could only identify the body because of the name badge clipped to the lab coat, and by the eyes, the perfectly preserved eyes that stared back at us.
Oh how Dr. Masters's eyes screamed.
(Recommended Reads) "Necrofiche" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith
Albert walked up to the funeral parlour feeling happier than he had in a long time. For the last few years he had been performing his mortician duties listlessly, but today he felt that he had a purpose. He was about to enter using the front door, when he saw that the funeral director was in the reception area with clients. He decided to access the mortuary via the side entrance...
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
(Recommended Review) AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A SCIENTIST! examines and explicates the film ORCA
THE NIGHTCRAFTER has honored me with ' the Versatile Blogger Award'
I want to thank THE NIGHTCRAFTER aka Joanie M. Rich for recognizing and enjoying my work.
(Recommended Article) ALL THINGS HORROR reviews the utterly awesome LAKE MUNGO
Each year the After Dark horror fest unleashes eight films onto a dwindling and skeptical public. The majority of films released by the imprint fall somewhere between inept and SyFy's Movie of the Week. The problem is so many of the films have been terrible; the proverbial diamond in a lump of coal can go unheralded. This year's Australian import Lake Mungo is such a film. It's been one of the best films no one has seen this year. Trust me, don't let the fact that it's an After Dark film frighten you (or in the case of AD NOT frighten you) from seeing it). Normally I pride myself in writing fairly non-spoiler filled reviews, but for some reason, despite writing a few drafts of this post, I find myself unable to talk about it without giving too much away. Don't worry; I've posted tags in order to provide fair warning. Better yet, feel free to watch the film first, then head back and see if you agree, or go on and tell me I've got cottage cheese for brains...
click here to read the rest of the review
(and if you have not seen LAKE MUNGO then for God's sake do it NOW!)
(Recommended Reads) Kate Sherrod's Poetic Farewell To HARVEY PEKAR
There's nothing words and pictures cannot do,
(Recommended Reads)*AT THE BIJOU* Most Proudly Presents J. DANE TYLER's 'In Short Order'
He drags on the cigarette and lets the smoke out through his nostrils in a gray-blue plume. It clashes with the red vinyl of the stools, chairs and pocked countertop. A lump of adobe which used to be a pile of donuts fossilizes under a glass cover at the L-turn. A waitress is smacking her gum and flipping through pages of a bright magazine with tattered corners and a permanent crease in the center...
(Recommended Reads) "Caretaker" by Louise Dragon
"You're treating the street people like pets," Everett said as he watched his new girlfriend pack squares of leftover lasagna into a foil lined cardboard box...
Monday, July 12, 2010
(Recommended Reads) "Fundo" by Donald Conrad
Matthew Fundo wanted to die. His internal thought processes had become external mutterings and people were giving him space as he walked away from his burning car...