Monster Hunter Nation

The best of Sci-Fi Channel Original Pictures

I’ve got to hand it to the Sci-Fi channel, every week they manage to crank something out to keep people like me happy, and I’m not talking about Ghost Hunters either.  (I’m such a sucker for that show)  Almost every Saturday they premiere some new B-Movie.  Most of them really suck, but that is okay, because that is part of being a B-Movie nerd.  B-Movie nerds are trapped in this kind of dysfunctional relationship, where most of the time we’re mistreated, but every now and then we get some good B-Movie love, so we keep on coming back. 

 

If I were going to give Sci-Fi channel a letter grade for its movie premiers, it would probably be a C.  They’ve got the ability, they’ve got the talent, they’ve got the resources, but it is like they just don’t apply themselves.   Let me try to explain…

 

I was thinking about this after watching their latest, Wraiths of Roanoke. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0875696/  Overall it was a typical Sci-Fi channel premiere.  It was a movie that had actual potential.  It had some good lead actors, (why isn’t Rhett Giles a famous actor yet?  Got a B-Movie that needs a Englishman?  He’s your man.   He kicks ass in like 30 B-Movies, oh wait, there’s my answer right there, it is like the Curse of Bruce Campbell) it had an interesting idea (basically what happened surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the Roanoke colony, well obviously they were killed by Viking ghosts, duh.) 

 

It just couldn’t manage to congeal into something cool, but it was so close.  A lot of Sci-Fi original movies are like that, almost good.  Proficient and watchable, but nothing that you’re going to watch and say “Damn!  That was awesome!”   Usually they’re a little predictable, the plots are kind of weak, and there is an over-reliance on lame CGI effects. 

 

Others are just horribly bad.  Painfully, awfully, terribly, brain rotting suckitude.  Usually these involve some sort of giant snake, ravenous insects, dinosaurs, or something of that nature, that inevitably eats some scientists and Lorenzo Lamas.   Basically most Sci-Fi plots read like one of those games you played as a kid where they would give you a noun or a verb, and you would have to pick something, those would fill in the blanks in some sort of story.  Then you would read the story, and it would be really absurd and funny.  (What the hell were those things called?  I’m thinking Mad Libs or something like that).

 

For example:  A giant ( adjective ) ( noun ) attacks a ( place ) and eats ( people ).    Starring Lorenzo Lamas and a girl from the last season of Survivor.   

 

Despite that, I can think of a few gems that were Sci-Fi original premieres that have risen to the top, and rank up there amongst some of my all-time favorite monster movies.  (at least I seem to remember them as Sci-Fi originals)

 

3.  Primal Rage http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0194543/  or as my wife and I like to call it, KILLER MONKEY ISLAND!  If you’ve ever wanted to watch B-Movie super hero Ron Perlman beat up a killer baboon in hand to hand combat, this is the movie for you.  The basic plot is that people are stuck on an island with killer genetically enhanced monkeys.  This is one of those movies that’s just so bad, that it does a complete circle and comes back around to good.  It features awesome dialog like “They went insane… with a desire to kill.”  I saw this movie like eight years ago, and to this day I’ll just randomly look at my wife, and say that line.  It probably got old to her about seven years ago, but it still makes me laugh.

 

2.  Frankenfish http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0384833/ the worst title, for the best mutant Snakehead fish movie ever.  And yes, there are multiple movies about mutant snakehead fish, and one of them even has Bruce Boxleitner, which Frankenfish does not.  But somehow despite its lack of Boxleitner, Frankenfish is just plain fun.  It has heart. 

 

It is a huge cheesefest of every bad monster movie cliché you can think of, set in swamp, on some houseboats, with mutant fish killing people in a surprisingly cool fashion.  And I even have to admit that I actually cheered when they take care of the last super fish, and keep mind, I’m pretty jaded. 

 

1.  Abominable http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0402743/ for the win, the finest killer Big Foot movie ever made, hands down, by far.  And I’ve watched a lot of killer Big Foot movies, most of which have B-Movie super hero Lance Henriksen in them somehow, no I kid you not, check it out.  He’s been in like 37 movies about Big Foot.

 

Basically Abominable is Rear Window with Big Foot.  A wheelchair bound man is at his cabin, and watches as a Big Foot stalks a bunch of cute girls in a nearby cabin.  If you’re a B-Movie geek and you haven’t seen this one, remedy that as soon as possible.  It takes a lot to make somebody like me jump and squeal like a little girl in a movie, but I honestly did. 

 

The Big Foot looked pretty cheesy, but he made up for it with violence.  This Big Foot had some panache.  He didn’t just kill people, he killed the HELL out of them.  If Harry and the Hendersons was a nice Big Foot, this is Harry’s psychotic little brother that liked to put firecrackers inside of frogs, and crazy stuff like that.  People get their guts stomped out, faces bitten off, and pulled at unnatural angles through some very small spaces (and you’ll know that scene when you see it, because it was an awesome effect, thanks towel!). 

Oct 27th Machine Gun Fun Shoot Cancelled

We had to cancel the planned Oct 27th Machine gun shoot at Bigshots Ranch.  We’ve got some unforseen scheduling problems that have popped up.    We’ll still be planning on the annual April one, and if we do a second one during the year, we’ll plan it next time to be earlier than October.  Sorry if this bums you out, it does me too. 

Not bad for less than a month

Out of curiosity, I checked to see where Monster Hunter Nation ranks amongst WordPress blogs.  Amongst English language blogs, I’m number #65.  Holy crap.  I figure that is mostly from HK fanboys looking in here to curse my name and pray for my death, but still kind of cool. 

http://botd.wordpress.com/ 

WordPress is a pretty vast service, so not bad for a few weeks of me rambling about stuff.  Look out Lol Cats.  I’m coming for you…

Just kidding, those guys are bigger than the page with Hamster Dance.  They could squish me like a bug beneath their giant, yet adorable, paws. 

The joys of being a gun dealer

Some names and identities have been changed to protect the criminally stupid.

 

As a local neighborhood Gun Monger, I get to meet all sorts of interesting people.  A few nights ago was a perfect example of “interesting”.  This individual comes into the shop, right before close of business, and says he wants to buy a gun.  Okay, no problem, that’s what we do here.  But then it took a turn for the weird.  There were three of us working the shop that evening, (PvtPyle, Ice Dragon, and I) and we all got the same weird vibe off this guy.  Think of Norman from Office Space.  He was adamant that he had to have the gun THAT NIGHT. 

 

I’ll call this guy Norman.  So Norman looks at a couple of guns for all of ten seconds.  It is obvious that he doesn’t know jack squat about guns or how to manipulate them, but he’s dead set on getting a gun right now.  He’s creepy, weird, twitchy, barely coherent, and at this point I figure he’s either crazy, stupid, or an ATF plant checking to see if we’ll do something illegal.  After a minute of (difficult) conversation with Norman, PvtPyle and I had already agreed he wasn’t getting a gun from us.

 

Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m a 2nd Amendment absolutist.  I think background checks are a tool of Satan.  I’m in favor of machine guns for everyone.  I think anybody should be allowed to carry a gun, Alaska style, with no permit necessary.  A liberal could maybe, just maybe, on a really emotional day, talk me into a 24 hour “cooling off” period before allowing the purchase of a 155mm Atomic Howitzer.  Maybe… 

 

Okay, there could be legitimate reasons for Norman needing a gun RIGHT NOW, but as a dealer, if I think you’re going to take this weapon and go do something bad with it, to paraphrase the Soup Nazi, NO GUN FOR YOU! 

 

So I waited for him to fill out the first couple of lines on the 4473 form, (because I dang sure wanted to know who he actually was) and got his ID.  Then I started to ask him, point blank, why he absolutely needed the gun right now.  He wouldn’t answer.  So I flat out told him that I wasn’t going to sell him a gun if I believed that he was going to use it to commit a crime.  He said he needed it for protection.  I asked why tonight.

 

Because his ex-wife was coming to get her stuff, and see, it was really his stuff, ‘cause he paid for it… So he was going to shoot her if she came by… for protection

 

Now I’m not an attorney, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that would be bad.  Okay, we’ve got us a friggin’ brain surgeon.  NO GUN FOR YOU!   

 

 We informed him that that wasn’t lawful self-defense, that was what is known as premeditated murder.  I told him that the correct thing to do was call the local police, and have them present when the wife arrived, if he was really worried about protecting himself.  He said that it wasn’t worth involving the courts.  PvtPyle said that if it wasn’t worth going to court, then it wasn’t worth killing somebody.  Then he asked if we wouldn’t sell him a gun, if he knew a place that rented moving trucks at night, so he could move her stuff away.  Told him sorry, good luck buddy, have a pleasant evening. 

 

So Norman left, and I took the 4473 form with all of his personal information and called the police department in his jurisdiction.  I told them the story, gave the address, and that I thought there was a real good chance we had an individual planning on offing their wife over a domestic squabble. 

 

Later that evening, Halo 3 was interrupted (I’m ¾ of the way through on Legendary, solo, because I’m a Bad Mother F’er) when a police investigator called me back, got the story again, asked a few questions to clarify, and then informed me that Norman was in custody.  Apparently he decided to just go with good old fashioned assault and battery against his wife.  The cops had swung by after my call, and picked him up in the act.  Nice.

 

Now for an example of why gun laws suck, the doofus in question still went ahead with trying to commit a crime.  No gun law prevented that, because he would have PASSED a background check.  Background checks are a waste of time, as everybody who is an actual criminal knows they’re already going to fail one, so they’ll procure a weapon some other way. 

 

I’ve never had a bonafide criminal try to buy a gun and fail a background check, but I have had perfectly good people get denied for a variety of stupid reasons that have nothing to do with crime. 

 

But some liberal-ninny hammer can now bring up how waiting periods.  Even if we had a waiting period in Utah, which we don’t, if I had sold Norman a gun, and he couldn’t pick it up until Tuesday, what’s to keep him from shooting his wife Tuesday?  Nada.  Because repeat it with me everybody, gun laws suck.

  

HK. Because you suck. And we hate you.

An open letter to the gun community from HK’s marketing department: In a world of compromises, some people put the bullets in the magazine backwards…But it doesn’t matter, because our gun is on the cover of the Rainbow Six video games. Look how cool that SEAL coming out of the water looks… If you buy a $2,000 SOCOM, you will be that cool of an operator too. And chicks will dig you.

At HK, we stuck a piston on an AR15, just like a bunch of other companies have done, dating back to about 1969. However ours is better, because we refuse to sell it to civilians. Because you suck, and we hate you.

Our XM8 is the greatest rifle ever developed. It may melt, and it doesn’t fit any accessories known to man, but that is your fault. If you were a real operator, you would love it. Once again, look at Rainbow Six, that G36 sure is cool isn’t it? Yeah, you know you want one.And by the way, check out our new HK45. We decided that humans don’t need to release the magazine with their thumbs. If you were a really manly teutonic operator, you would be able to reach the controls. Plus we’ve fired 100,000,000 rounds through one with zero malfunctions, and that was while it was buried in a lake of molten lava, on the moon. If you don’t believe us, it is because you aren’t a real operator.

By the way, our cheap, mass-produced, stamped sheet metal guns like the G3 and MP5 are the bestest things ever, and totally worth asinine scalpers prices, but note that cheap, mass-produced, stamped sheet metal guns from other countries are commie garbage. Not that it matters, because you’re civilians, so we won’t sell them to you anyway. Because you suck, and we hate you, but we know you’ll be back. We can beat you down like a trailer park wife, but you’ll come back, you always do.

Buy our stuff.

Sincerely

HK Marketing DepartmentHK.  Because you suck.  And we hate you. 

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m not the biggest fan of H und K.  I posted that letter on THR a long time ago as a joke, but it sure did manage to tick a lot of people off.  Ironically, the tag line, HK.  Because you suck.  And we hate you, has been popping up in various places ever since. 

Sure, they’re decently reliable, decently accurate guns, but they’re massively overpriced and overrated by legions of fan boys.  One of the most frustrating things about dealing with gun people on the interweb is that folks tend to pick a brand, and then base some of their self-esteem on that brand.  Kind of like rabid sports fans who feel the need to burn cars if their team wins, or loses, or they just felt like burning stuff.   Say something negative about that team to one of those rabid fans, and you’re probably going to get beat up.  Likewise, if you say anything negative about the Teutonic superiority of HK, people get mad at you. 

Well, I love hate mail, so here goes. 

For each of their wunder guns, you can get something else that costs a lot less, and works better, and has ergonomics designed by people that actually shoot.   HK came about when some Nazis fled to Spain and built the Cetme.  But Cetme doesn’t sound very tough, does it?  So they went back to Germany and became H and K, and if you call it H and K, fan boys will get mad, and insist that it is HK, because manly Teutonic operators and Navy SEALs don’t have time to say the word And.  So HK rose to prominence by building the G3, which is what the Germans call the Cetme.

Now the G3 is a decent rifle.  It is a cheap, stamped sheet metal, battle rifle.  It has terrible ergonomics, with a hard to use safety, (and this is coming from a guy with gorilla hands), and difficult to use charging handle.  It is reliable, because of the roller locking bolt that destroys your brass, and recoils worse than other competing .308 rifles.  The FAL smokes the G3, and the only reason the G3 exists is because the Germans were too proud to pay royalties to those uppity Belgians. 

The G3 can be really accurate, if you weld a bunch of metal to the sides of it, stick on a nice barrel, and jack the price up $10,000.  And no, that’s not a typo.  The PSG1 is absurdly priced, and the cheaper version, the MSG90 is proof that if make anything absurdly heavy enough, it can be accurate. 

There is a collapsible stock available, which is awesome, if you like getting hit in the face with a piece of rebar, which is what their $400 stock feels like when you shoot it.  Germans must be tougher than we are or something.

Other stamped, sheet metal guns exist, but HK fan boys mock those as commie garbage.  See, if you build a cheap gun, but it is from Germany, then it is superior, but if you build a stamped gun in the eastern block (a hundred miles from Germany) then it is commie garbage. 

But what brought HK to international fame and the cover of Dick Marcinko books (for example, Rogue Force Delta Green Team 7 Ninja Force Alpha II:  The beginning)  was the G3s little brother, the MP5.  Take a G3, shrink it, and chamber it in 9mm.  At the time, CQB doctrine was to use 9mm subguns.  Now the MP5 is a neat little gun.  I have two.  They work well, and if compared to the other subguns of the day, like the Uzi or the Mac, then the MP5 was a lot easier to use, easier to hit with, and was decently reliable. 

The MP5 became famous when the SAS used them to kick the living hell out of some bad guys at the Iranian embassy.  This was marketing gold, and HK rode the wave.  Pretty soon everybody wanted an MP5.  It was what all the cool kids were using.  Soon every video game and action movie was filled with HK stuff.  HK may have overrated guns, but they’ve got the best marketing department in the gun business, and they milked that fee cow until it was dry. 

But the MP5 isn’t as great as people make them out to be.  They still malfunction.  (if you’re favorite gun hasn’t malfed, you haven’t shot it enough).  The mags are hard to insert on a closed bolt.  Safety still sucks.  Most versions don’t have a bolt hold open.  Honestly, if I had to get into a gunfight with a subgun, then I would rather have my PPsH. 

HK long guns were mostly unobtainable to US civilians, primarily because HK hates the civilian market.  If you don’t believe me, go talk to them at SHOT show, and watch them sneer at regular people.  They can’t help themselves.   But like all unobtainable things, like Ferraris, and super models, regular folks start to imagine these unobtainable things as perfection, when really they’re just an expensive car that spends most of its time in the shop, or a chick with mental problems and Bulimia.  That’s what happened with HK.  Their products took on this aura of coolness amongst the fans, that just isn’t real. 

For example, go to any thread on the internet where somebody brings up “What is the Best Rifle EVAR!”  and there is a poll.  On the poll will be some HK long guns that 99.85% of the gun owning public has never seen, let alone shot, but those guns will have the most votes, because the HK marketing department told you how awesome they are. 

Read up about the XM8 on most gun boards.  According to the interweb, the XM8 is the finest combat implement of all time.  In actuality it is a plastic AR18, that tends to melt, break, and is universally loathed by the Army staff that had to test it.  It takes bizarre attachments, so no US accessories will work.  They took the G36, which is basically a blah rifle, used by a handful of countries that don’t ever actually shoot people, and uglied it up so that it looks like the demented lovechild of Bloaty the Pizza Hog and a Super-Soaker.

Or the HK416. According to the internet, the HK416 is the best gun EVER!  It is called THE AWESOME.  Lightning bolts of coolness fly from the gun and smite your enemies with Teutonic fury!  However you can’t have one, because you’re a civilian, ergo, you suck.  And HK hates you.

The 416 is basically an AR with a gas piston, which has been done by like ten companies now, but somehow the HK is better, because it was on Future Weapons, and HK won’t sell it to civilians.  In fact, a couple of 416s slipped out into civilian hands, and HK freaked out about it.  There is no legal reason that 416 uppers can’t be sold, but HK despises regular people, and the idea of you having their long guns offends them.

You can get civilian HK long guns, once in a while, when HK feels like it, but they’re usually hyper-neutered and over priced.  Hell, the last ones were actually grey, because you know, black is too dangerous, or something.

HK’s new subgun is the UMP.  They tend to break.  One of our local PDs traded all of theirs in after they broke all the stocks.  Cool idea, because everybody loves .45, but bad execution.

HK’s flagship pistols, the USP line, are decent polymer handguns.  They are extremely reliable, that is the plus side.  On the down side, their triggers universally suck, but they don’t have to.  HK likes to use a square peg in a round hole, (literally) that makes the trigger pull a lot heavier and grittier than it needs to be.  Why?  Beats the heck out of me.  The USP series should be reliable, they’re enormous. 

The most annoying thing about the HK pistols is how they cost almost twice as much as every other polymer handgun on the market.  Somehow being made in Germany means the USP series is worth $800-$1000, when all of the polymer guns made within a thousand miles are $400-$600.  Only most of those guns tend to have better triggers, are just as reliable, and are usually more accurate.

Then there is the Mk23.  Which is huge, accurate, reliable, (which it damn well better be, since it is the size and weight of a Mini-14) costs as much as a used car, huge, and is universally despised by the SF that it is issued to.  Talk to anyone that is in an SF unit.  The Mk23s they’ve been issued sit unused in arms room.  Did I mention that it is HUGE?  But that’s okay, because the HK fan boys will explain that it is an OFFENSIVE handgun.   (scratches head) whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.  

They are reliable, but so is a $125 Makarov.  Only the Mak has a better trigger.

I have two guys that I work with that have been to the HK armorer’s school.  If you think I’m biased, you should talk to them.  They especially love working with the Germans.  One fellow was yelled at because he had two magazines clamped together on his MP5, because “NEIN!  That is not the H und K way!”  Even though he had bought the mag clamp from HK.  When you ask why the original MP5 doesn’t have a last shot bolt hold open, they’ll yell at you and say, “NEIN! Why would you want your enemy to know your gun is empty!”  Hell, Hans, I just want to know when my gun is empty!

One friend of mine took his personal MP5, and cut an extra notch into the collapsible stock, so it would be shorter for when he was wearing his armor, and also it removed the nasty wobble that all HK collapsible stocks have.  It is an easy fix, and a no-brainer that the HK should have been doing for years.  Fritz at the armorer’s school damn near had an aneurism when he saw this blasphemy against his ineffectual German gods.  

Look, gun owning public, just because you saw it on Future Weapons, or read about it on the internet, doesn’t make it true.  For the love of John Moses Browning, before you formulate super strong opinions about a weapon, you should have at least shot the damn thing first.

 Do I have anything positive to say about HK?  Yes, the sneer of disdain they give you at SHOT is priceless and entertaining.

Edit: My book, Monster Hunter International, is available now on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0741444569/ref=s9_asin_title_wishf_r4-f9_p_c_f_p-2785_g1?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1EXBBDFCRIV04&colid=3QAUVGDWI48Y7&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=right-4&pf_rd_r=0YJY8KAT16R6R571HXSP&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=362209101&pf_rd_i=507846