Sleep Paralysis in “The Nightmare” (2015)

0

The Nightmare (2015)

Director: Rodney Ascher

Starring: Yatoya Toy, Siegfried Peters, Steven Yvette, Age Wilson, Elise Robson, Nicole Bosworth

Guys. I  have a lot of thoughts about this documentary, but I’ll keep this review short. As someone who battled sleep paralysis daily for 19 years, I had high hopes and expected The Nightmare (2015) to shed new information about the misunderstood sleep condition. Instead, I got weak re-enactments of the documentary subjects’ hallucinations and zero scientific clarification about sleep paralysis. There’s literally one sentence in the opening credits explaining what sleep paralysis is, and then discordant montages of “alien abductions,” “demonic possessions,” “Shadowman,” and other paranoid conspiracy theories linking sleep paralysis with the paranormal.

To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. So let me break it down for you without scare tactics.

What is sleep paralysis? In a nutshell, it’s a physiological disorder that happens during the REM sleep cycle when the sufferer awakens while the body is still immobilized from sleep. The dream continues to play outside their mind while they are paralyzed and aware. This can be a very frightening experience and can sometimes leads to panic attacks, hallucinations, and anxiety. Every person with sleep paralysis experiences their own unique cocktail of symptoms, but ones most people share are:

1. Full-body paralysis–unable to open or close eyes, sit up, or open mouth to call for help

2. Buzzing, banging, and other auditory hallucinations (some people hear screams or disembodied voices)

3. Heavy feeling weighing down the chest (can feel like being smothered or forcibly restrained)

4. Sensing an outside “presence” hovering above or near the body

If you’re like me, you also get crazy, intense hallucinations and temporary amnesia. I used to wake up each morning not even remembering what my name was. Panic attacks and night terrors haunted me almost every night, and as a child I slept in bathtubs at sleepovers, hid inside kitchen sink cabinets, and laid awake for hours, to the point of exhaustion, just to avoid falling asleep. I found no relief until starting relaxation therapy with a professional therapist.

It is tempting to link sleep paralysis with demons, alien abductions, and other paranormal phenomena, but I assure you, sleep paralysis is a medical condition and can and SHOULD be treated. I only wish the filmmakers had taken a scientific approach instead of misleading people.

If I were to judge this documentary for its entertainment value, it’d still get a lackluster grade. I’m afraid I can’t recommend The Nightmare (2015) to anyone who actually has sleep paralysis. It is triggering. Make time to “cool down” after watching the film (if you choose to watch it at all!) For everyone else, meh, if you like cheesy re-enactments with unconvincing graphics, this documentary is chocked full of them. Giving this one a “D.”

Advertisements

Dinner Is Coming To An End…Or Is It?

2

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that NBC has made the worst mistake of it’s existence. They have decided that as brilliant as Hannibal is, they’d rather not continue with it. I’ll never understand why companies do this. You’ve got a critically acclaimed show with brilliant actors and a great plot and you decide “Whatever let’s trash it while the getting is good”?!

It’s almost as if they want to lose viewers. Well, I thought that all hope was lost. Yet another amazing show that got the ax for no reason…until I saw that support from other Fannibals like myself. Carlos Mazal form Uruguay has created on online petition on change.org to save the show. It’s actually received over 67,000 signatures and need 75,000! It’s been mentioned all over twitter with #SaveHannibal. So please be a gem and sign the petition. I’m sure Hannibal won’t make you part of his main course if you do.

Not only are the Fannibals fighting to keep the show but Brian Fuller, the show’s creator, is hopeful that Hannibal will be picked up for another season elsewhere. Can we say Netflix or Amazon? Nothing is set in stone yet but we all need to keep our fingers crossed and hope that we can save this deliciously gory show from the copping block. I really don’t want this dinner party to end. Check below to sign the petition!

Sites:

https://www.change.org/p/nbc-netflix-what-are-you-thinking-renew-hannibal-nbc

Trailer:

Jonathan Strage & Mr. Norrell

0

Catch Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell on Saturdays on BBC!

I am not an anglophile like Damsel Bruja. I find most popular British television marketed to American audiences incomprehensible, but Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is refreshing, compelling, and dare I say, exciting? The first two episodes aired on BBCAmerica so you can catch up if you start now. I think English viewers are already on episode six?

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is an alternate historical story set during the Napoleonic Wars. The main characters, Jonathan and Norrell are two very different magicians destined to make magic respectable in England again. No longer the stuff of parlor tricks, magic can be applied to aid the war effort. Norrell is nervous, introverted, and socially awkward where Jonathan is a likable idiot whose failed attempts to win over his lady friend are used for comic relief. I’ve never seen anything like this! (No, it’s nothing like Harry Potter–thank god) There’s necromancy, supernatural deities, prophecies, and an unusual wit about the whole thing.

Not a fan of BBC? That’s OK. Apparently Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is based on the bestselling book of the same title by British fantasy/specfic author, Susanna Clark. I’ve only watched the first episode, but my fondness for female sf/f/h/specfic authors will probably lead me to the library this week. Fun fact: it took Susaana Clark TEN YEARS to finish the novel and several failed attempts to get it published. She was told her book was “unmarketable.” Ha. Showed them, right? I love author success stories like these and I can’t wait to read the book.

It’s rare I come across a series with original, refreshing material, but THIS is it. And I’m excited to sink my teeth into Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Set your DVRs, run to your library and watch/read with me. Trailer below.

Mr. Bucket has never been more terrifying…

0

Do you remember Mr. Bucket? The lovable children’s toy from the 80s and 90s? I do. And it scared the shit out of then and still does now. Why does he want to suck on my balls? Why is this perverted toy for kids?

Mr. Bucket just wants to suck on your balls, kids.

My husband is a fan of The Angry Video Game Nerd (or Cinemassacre) on youtube and has been binge-watching James’ stuff for the past two months. I heard him cackling on the sofa and then he showed me the Mr. Bucket vid. If you aren’t familiar with Angry Video Game Nerd or Cinemassacre’s, you should definitely check out more of his videos. They’re all as hilarious as this Mr. Bucket skit. And don’t doubt for one second that youtubers aren’t “real” filmmakers. They work just as hard (if not harder) than the bigger names in the indie film circuit.

http://cinemassacre.com/

Or catch more on Twitter: @CineMassacre or @Mike_Matei

God bless Youtubers.

Sinister Grin Press is Calling for Support!

0

Alrighty, y’all! Let’s see what we can do for Sinister Grin Press! They’ve recently launched an Indiegogo campaign seeking support for their press. They’re looking to reach a $4,000 goal. So far they only have $185. That’s kinda sad and time is running out! The campaign closes in 28 days.

So what do you get for helping Sinister Grin Press? You mean besides helping a press out? Well depending how much you donate, you can get different gifts. From a mention on their website as a supporter to receiving 14 paperback copies of their current books plus 10 paperback copies of future books they publish! That sounds like an awesome deal to me.

So if you’re interested visit the websites below! I’m sure they’ll appreciate your generosity!

Sites:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sgp3-sinister-grin-press-pernicious-promotional#/story

https://twitter.com/SinisterGrinPre

http://sinistergrinpress.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sinister-Grin-Press/192775404110112

Gorgo (1961) A Kaiju classic…from ENGLAND???

0

Yes, that is Big Ben in the poster. Totally rips off Gamera, Godzilla, and other kaiju films from Japan. But Gorgo is a British classic and capitalized on the “dino craze” before Jurassic Park. So there.

Underwhelmed by Jurassic World’s blockbuster success, I found myself hungering for a true blue, n0-frills kinda Kaiju movie. From England. Because…why not? (Wasn’t in the mood for subtitles, if I’m being entirely honest)

Enter Gorgo (1961) or Britain’s rather lame equivalent to the Gamera franchise.

Director: Eugene Lorie

Writers: Robert L. Richards and Daniel James

Starring: Bill Travers, William Sylvester, and Vincent Winter

The story starts on an Irish island where two British treasure hunters, Sam (Sylvester) and Joe (Travers), discover a baby monster that killed two divers. While they strategize to capture the beast, they meet an incomprehensible Irish orphan named Sean (Winter), who, I shit you not, speaks gibberish for the entire film. Maybe that’s my Stupid American™ showing, but I thought I DIDN’T need subtitles for this film. Like Kenny in Gamera, Sean tries to set Gorgo free and generally gets in the military’s way and is forced to be rescued many annoying times.

Every Kaiju movie needs a monster-obsessed kid who puts everyone’s lives in danger by freeing the kaiju at the last second!

Once Sam and Joe make it to England , they sell the creature, who Sean calls “Gorgo,” to a London circus. And surprise, surprise, discover the creature’s mother has destroyed Ireland while they were away. What follows next is an incredibly long montage of bombers, tanks, guns, explosions, and mass hysteria as British forces fight Gorgo’s mother. She somehow makes it all the way to London, destroying the city and mostly everyone in it. These scenes were enjoyable for their kitsch factor, alone. The movie was done in 1961 and had no real special effects to speak of, save for cheesy puppets and model scales, but I thought they were well done.

The circus people lock Gorgo in an electric fenced cage but Gorgo’s mother breaks through and both escape back to the sea. The End.

What baffled me most was how easily Gorgo was caught. He’s impervious to bullets, fire, and other human weapons, but is somehow defenseless against rope nets. He allows himself (without aid of tranquilizers) to be ferreted across the sea to London and does not try to kill Sean when the kid gets close to him. Gorgo is a typical kaiju monster flick with a lot of action scenes.

Giving it a “B.”

Aliens Roaming Around in “Storage 24”

0

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writers: Noel Clarke, Davie Fairbanks, Johannes Roberts, Marc Small

Starring: Noel Clarke, Colin O’Donoghue, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Laura Haddock

Or when Captain Hook steals Mickey Smith’s girlfriend while being chased by a hungry extra-terrestrial.

Anyways, this film is from 2012 and the basic plot is a group of friends are trapped in a storage facility. While they’re trying to find a way out, they realize that E.T. isn’t very friendly. Hopefully everyone can set aside their differences and work together to bring the alien down!

I stumbled upon this movie while channel surfing. The thing that caught my eye were these two names “Noel Clarke” and “Colin O’Donoghue”. I know these two from the shows Doctor who and Once Upon A Time. So I thought, “What the hell. Hopefully it isn’t boring.” I’ll admit, this sounded a bit ridiculous but I was very entertained.

It all starts with Mark(O’Donoghue) and Charlie(Clarke) heading to a storage facility that Charlie and his former girlfriend, Shelley (Campbell-Hughes) shared. Heartbroken over the break up, Charlie pays little attention to the radio announcement about a military plane crashing in London and that the city is on lockdown. While at the facility they bump into Shelley and her friends and start arguing over the “who”, “what”, and “why” about the break up. Once the lights start to flicker and the engineer goes missing, that when things get interesting. They’re now trapped in the storage facility with a CGI/Puppet alien monster that is hellbent on killing them. And then to make it worse, we find out that Mark is Shelley’s “Other Man”.

I loved the concept of this dysfunctional group of friends trap with an alien. I really did. I also liked how Noel Clarke came up with the idea and co-wrote this. Not just a pretty face, am I right? But what bothered me about the alien itself was that it bounced back and forth between CGI and makeup/fabrication. You all know me, I prefer the makeup/fabrication more than CGI. Although, when it came to the really gory parts I thought it was amazing. it didn’t matter if it was CGI or makeup/fabrication.

For example, Mark got his face chewed off by the alien. My response sown below…

All I have to say is that was Karma at it’s finest.

The other thing that bothered me was that there was this “sex scene”, if you can call it that, where the camera kinda zones in and out of their faces and hands and show then taking their jackets off. If you’re going to do that, please let it be for an actual sex scene! These two were just making out; dry humping wasn’t even involved! I hated that scene.

But the best part of the film is…….wait for it……..the black guy DOESN’T die!! You heard right! the Black Guy doesn’t die. He’s actually the one who saves the day! We need more of these situations in HOLLYWOOD.

All together, I was entertained. I wasn’t extremely impressed but this is a movie I would actually like to watch when I want to watch something fun.

Final Grade: C+

Here’s a trailer

Room Escape Challenge!

0

Imagine you and your friends locked in a room for 60min with a zombie (played by a convincing actor) and to escape without being eaten you must solve the hidden puzzles. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? I’ll be doing this TODAY with my husband and friends from work.

http://roomescapeadventures.com

I’m terrible at haunted houses and mazes. I don’t like people popping out of corners and screaming and clawing at me! I’m also not very good at solving puzzles. I’m certain I will be eaten by a zombie tonight.

Wish me luck! And…be sure to catch my live-reaction afterwards on twitter!

~Damsel Cannibal

Shall We “Eat The Rude” Together?

0

A thousand apologies for not being able to live tweet during Penny Dreadful yesterday. I was a bridesmaid for my friend’s wedding. It was fun. The Maid of Honor got drunk and started crying, the speeches were tear-jerkers, we(the bridesmaids) had to hold the bride’s dress up so she could pee, and of course the food was delicious.

Speaking of food. How is everyone liking the premiere of our favorite cannibal? Since live tweeting is going to well with Penny Dreadful, I thought it would be fun to live tweet during Hannibal. So please check out TWITTER and join the conversation. I’m super excited for this season because the main story arc is going to be based off of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon. If you have no idea what that entails then I suggest you pick up the book or watch the films “Red Dragon” with Edward Norton or “Manhunter” with William Peterson.

Check the following hashtags if you want to say hi!

#Fannibals #Hannibal #EatTheRude

Hope to see you there this Thursday. Don’t be late for dinner!