Monster Hunter Nation

B-Movie Review: Subspecies 4, Bloodstorm

Okay, just from the title, you know it is going to be awesomely bad.  Just say it with me, Subspecies 4:  Bloodstorm.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181315/  You know you can’t say the whole title without smiling.   

 

I watched this last night.  It had a few good points, and was a relatively entertaining vampire movie.  But the main problem was that this was one of those gothic, angsty vampire movies.  See, there are a few basic types of vampire characters.  Vampires as bad guys, and secondly vampires as “misunderstood” gothy types.  This movie was kind of in between, with one angsty wimpy vampire, and one bonafide psycho.  The others were your typical Anne Rice washouts. 

 

To clarify, curse Anne Rice’s homoerotic sissy vampires.  Vampires are supposed to be the evil incarnate bad asses of the B-movie world, not sensitive, tormented artist types.  Vampires should never be mistaken for the Art History major that works at your local Starbucks. 

 

So we’ve got one wimpy vamp, and one evil one.   The wimpy one was played by B-movie staple, Denise Duff.  I can’t remember the name of it right now, but she directed another vampire movie where the best part was how the boom mike kept falling into all of the shots.  That was a good one.  Basically her job is look hot, and be sad and tormented. 

 

The evil one just wasn’t very convincing.  It was nice that he was ugly, but they took it a bit too far with the ridiculous extended fingers.  It worked for the original Nosferatu movie, and really created a creepy atmosphere, but we didn’t see long scenes of the guy just walking around with these really idiotic fingers dangling all the time like in this one.  If you’re going to have 18 inch fingers, you could at least have him flip somebody the bird. 

 

Then there was a nonsensical subplot about a vampire doctor, and some politics amongst vampires with big 80’s hair.  Overall, it was kind of dull.  I have no rating system to speak of, but let’s put it this way.  I wasn’t tempted to burn a bootleg copy of it for myself.   

Ticked off about Food Stamps

This morning I was commuting to work, when the news said something that damn near gave me an aneurism.  Apparently the federal government has just granted $600,000 to the state of Utah so we can give out more food stamps.  Then they quoted some lady from some BS organization like Utahns Against Starvation  (arch-nemesis of Utahns For Famine) or something, and how she was saying how super-dooper this was, because there are so many Utahns that are eligible for food stamps, but don’t know it, and how now they can educate them, so that even more people can get government assistance, so that way nobody will go to bed hungry…  These are people that make a decent living, but they still qualify for handouts.

WTF?  

I’ve seen some of the poorest people in America.  I was a Mormon missionary in what was considered one of the most impoverished areas of the entire country.  I spent a bunch of time in innercity Birmingham and Montgomery, and then saw the rural poor in places like Corinth, Mississippi and areas like that. 

And even there, there weren’t exactly people starving.  Even people on every form of government handout imaginable had TVs, phones, and air-conditioning.  Even in the nastiest projects in Birmingham, (which if you’ve seen Black Hawk Down, you know approximately what the Brickyard looked like) there wasn’t exactly a famine.  And if somebody was starving, it was because they were whacked out of their heads on crack, meth, and huffing paint. 

Starvation?  How many people actually die of starvation in America?  And then if you take things like child abuse and people lost in the woods out of the equation, how big is the number?  What, four? 

Not only that, but the poorest people on food stamps I ever saw still managed to buy name brand things like Pepsi and Doritos.  Wheras I grew up dirt ass poor on a dairy farm, but we worked for a living, so didn’t get crap from the government except for an occasional kick in the groin, and I grew up eating generic Chippos and drinking Shasta.  We did eat lots of steak, but that usually involved me killing it myself. 

Oh, but the report got better.  Because there are apparently thousands of people in Utah who are making lots of money, and have jobs, but they still qualify.  And now they were going to have a big ad campaign to inform these poor folks that they too can get free crap from the government, in fact, all of the details would be posted on the internet and these poor suffering people could get the details on their home computers.

I’m sorry, if you can afford internet access, you shouldn’t be starving.

Now if I go to Honduras, I’m willing to bet that their poor people aren’t going to find out about their handouts on their friggin’ home computers.   But Correia, you’re so insensitive, those poor Utahns only have Dial-Up!  Oh the Humanity!

Explain to me why exactly the government takes a whole bunch of my money, to give to people who the only reason they need assistance is because they’re too damn stupid to balance their checkbook, and they’ve run up tons of credit card debt?  Our system is broken, and it is only getting stupider. 

Once upon a time I got into an argument with a bleeding heart co-worker.  There was a picture of this woman in the paper, with a big old sob story about how hard her life was, and how she had five kids from four different men, but thankfully she was able to get help from the state to get by.   The ironic part and source of our argument was the brand new, 40+ inch, TV sitting behind the “poor” lady in her apartment.   My liberal co-worker thought that was just dandy.  Since I was putting myself through college by working for $7.15 an hour for 60 hours a week while taking 16 credits, rented a single room in a house that used to be a closet, and owned a TV that could fit into a shoe box, I didn’t find that giant TV amusing at all….

When I got home from my mission, I got really sick.  In fact, if I didn’t get an operation, I was probably going to die.  I lost 50 pounds over 3 months.  I couldn’t afford the relatively simple surgery.  I kept on working, scrimping up everything I could, and finally gave up, realizing that no matter how tough I was, there was no way I was going to be able to do it myself before I would finally just croak.  Swallowing my pride, I decided that I was going to try to take advantage of that same broken system I had always mocked. 

I went to the Bureaucracy of Health, Wellness, and Mosquito Abatement, filled out 2,000 pages of paperwork, and applied for help so I could get the operation.  I was turned down… See, apparently, since I had kept working lots of overtime in order to try to save up enough to do it myself, I had made $14 too much in the prior month to qualify.  No, I’m not making that number up.  My last paycheck was literally $14 over the limit.

Nope.  Didn’t matter that I had worked and saved, and was able to pay for most of it myself, and didn’t want them to pay for the whole thing.  Rules are rules, they told me, work less, and come back and apply again next month.  I told them that I would be dead in a month, but thanks… 

Finally I got my operation.  Through the generosity and charity of some people that will remain unnamed, but who I’m eternally thankful for. 

Years later, after working my butt off, and putting myself through college, and finally getting a decent paying professional job, we had our second child.  We were a single income family, as my wife is a stay at home mom, and in reality I wasn’t paid very well at all, but by working hard, being smart with our money, and avoiding debt like the plague, we were doing better than we ever had before.  So it was really fascinating after we took the baby home when we were informed that we now qualified for all sorts of free government handouts and stamps and stuff. 

Screw that. 

We turned it down.  And more than anything, I was offended that it was even a possibility.  We weren’t poor.  We had an apartment, we paid our bills, nobody was starving, and for the first time in my life, actually had health insurance.  There is something inherently broken in a system that seeks out people that are doing okay, and gives them other people’s money. 

Yep, that news report put me in a great mood. 

This isn’t meant as an insult to anybody reading this who is taking advantage of a government program.  1% of government programs actually make sense, so I’ll assume you’re part of that one.  Seriously, when somebody is giving out free stuff, I can’t blame the people who take the free stuff.  I blame the idiots who give it out, especially since it isn’t really free, especially for the other sucker they managed to extort it from. 

Now, I’m quitting my cushy corporate job, and going to work full time at FBMG, my start up company.  This means that I’m giving up my fat benefits and having to buy health insurance for my family out of pocket.  At the same time, I’ve got Hillary Clinton telling America that she’s going to give out free healthcare like some sort of demented Santa Clause from Hell.  You would think that of anybody, I would be all excited for “free” healthcare, I’m gonna have to buy it myself, and that’s expensive right?

Oh, hell no.  I would rather make passionate love to a sack full of rabid porcupines that have socialized medicine.  Look how broken and wrong our current system is, and just imagine for a moment, giving the people that seek out folks with plenty of money and jobs to give food-stamps, total control over all the health needs of the entire country. 

Nothing is ever free.  Pass me that bag of porcupines…

Review of Frostbitten

Over the weekend I got to catch a couple of monster movies.  The one that stood out was Frostbitten, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454457/, a dandy little vampire flick from Sweden.   Yes, Sweden, which means that A.  It is subtitled, B. Everything looks vaguely like it came from Ikea. 

The movie revolves around a doctor with a stash of red pills that turn the user into vampires.  And apparently it is totally cool amongst Scandinavian teenagers to take random unknown drugs to see what happens.  (must be from the socialized medicine).   They pills get passed around at a party, and hilarity ensues.   

Monster movie fans should catch this one.  There are some good performances as various people turn into vampires, talking dogs, and assault and battery with garden gnomes.  Which leads to my favorite lines of the whole flick, “Quit hitting me with gnomes!” 

It drags in places, and nothing really resolves, but I’ll recommend anything where somebody eats a poodle, bonus points if it is still on the owner’s leash. 

Video Games

Holy moly, no posts for a couple of days.  I’ve been a bit distracted, what with all of the explosions and killing.   Halo 3 is really fun.  I have to say that I’m really impressed.

Visually, it is so impressive that sometimes you find yourself stopping, just to admire the scenery.   Then something usually comes up and clubs your brains out, but that is beside the point.

Next I’m eagerly awaiting Mass Effect.  It is from the same people that made the best role playing video games ever, Knights of the Old Republic and Baldur’s Gate.  Figure that when that one comes out, just write me off for a couple of weeks.  I’ll be in my basement, growing a beard, squinting at the TV, and living off of Ho-Hos until I win it or die from lack of vitamin D. 

The dumbest thing I've ever done with a gun

So last night, I finish teaching a CCW class, and get home around 9:30 at night.  My wife, who must really love me, surprised me with Halo 3.  Now I love video games.  I enjoyed Halo 1 & 2 immensely, and since I’m a sucker for hype, I was really excited for the final chapter.  This was a great surprise.

One problem, the batteries were dead in my X-Box controller, and I couldn’t seem to find any double As anywhere in the house.  (D, N, 123, A, but none of those darn AA) So I decided to run down to the local store.  Now keep in mind, if I’m outside of my house, I’m always armed.  Since I had already gotten comfy, and had put on a t-shirt and a pair of sweats, my usual methods of carrying wouldn’t work.

Normally I carry on the belt, or on a bellyband that fits under loose clothing.  I was too lazy to change, and figured it would only take a minute.  Now some people would go out unarmed, but I’m a man of principle.  Snort… Nah, seriously, I’m just one of the most unlucky people I’ve ever met, and that means that the very first time I go out unarmed, I’m going to blunder into the finale of Heat. 

So I borrowed one of my wife’s concealed carry rigs.  She sometimes uses a fanny pack with a Makarov in it.  The fanny pack is a fashion no-no, but Master Chief is waiting for me to save the earth from the evil forces of the Covenant, so there was no time for pants.  I lengthened out the straps, (a lot), strapped on the pack, and ran out the door. 

I made it to the store, walked inside, in a hurry, thoughts of Halo dancing in my little brain, asked a sales person to point me toward the batteries, and then…

CLANK

I look down, and see a Bulgarian Makarov sitting there on the white linoleum floor of my local grocery store. 

See, this is my wife’s rig.  I don’t normally use a fanny pack since on a big, normally fully-dressed man that looks kind of like a young Tony Soprano, it just screams I HAVE A GUN, SHOOT ME FIRST.  In seven years of carrying a gun every day, I had never dropped one. 

See, my wife unzips the fanny pack when she gets done using it.  She leaves it open inside the safe, and she is in the habit of doing a chamber check, and zipping it shut when she leaves the house.  I didn’t even think that the pack might be unzipped.  And while in a hurry, it looked closed, since she zips it across the top, and shoves her hand in through the side.  The side was open, and that evil little gun just waited until it had witnesses before jumping out, while screaming “Hey World!  Look at me!” with a Bulgarian accent.

So back to our adventure.  I scoop up the gun, and shove it back into the pack.  The clerk looks at me, having seen the gun, and says “What was that?”

Being really clever, I answer, “I dropped my gun.” 

His response?  “Oh, that kind of thing happens.  I’ve got a .380 on right now…  Batteries are over here.”

God bless Utah.

I felt like such an idiot.  What a horrible, ignorant, newbie mistake.  The fact that I had just gotten done teaching 25 strangers how to legally carry a gun was painfully ironic. 

Moral of the story?  Never assume.  Know your gear, especially when you borrow your wife’s stuff.   No matter how cool Halo 3 is in HD with surround sound, you still need to pay attention to real life.  And most importantly, be friendly to your local grocery store staff.