Monday, December 5, 2011

14 Really Stupid Things

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14 Really Stupid Things People Always Do in Apocalypse Movies

Image via Scary for Kids
Don't go near the crypt after dark! Sounds like good advice to me. I'd take it. Wouldn't you? Then why do people in horror/end of the world/monster/zombie flicks always do dumb things? Well, I suppose if they were logical and did "the sensible thing," there wouldn't be any story. - Nealbo
Whether it’s a plague brought on by unethical experimentation, or mother-nature fighting back with meteors and tsunamis, or even a simple zombie outbreak, there is absolutely nothing more satisfying than a fantastic apocalypse movie. Although it may be an outrageous scenario, there is something incredibly familiar about people running around trying to stop an apocalypse – mainly because those who try to stop it, always seem to work from the ‘Things Not To Do When Confronted by an Apocalypse’ playbook.

Still, we love to watch and yell out at the screen, “No! Just keep running! No, don’t turn around to save the dog! No! No! No!” Anyway, it’s amazing how much fun it is to watch the world end in apocalypse movies, even though we always see people doing things they shouldn’t be doing.

Can the same be said about KoldCast TV’s new zombie thriller series, The Last Stand, where an airborne virus spreads through the population like wildfire, before mutating to leave millions dead, and only 7 uninfected survivors to fight-off the remaining infected, who rage through the city like rabid animals? ... Yep. pretty much.


More often than not, there is safety in numbers. It’s as simple as that. Despite the obviousness of this statement, characters in apocalypse movies, action films and horror flicks, decide the best way to get out of a sticky situation is to split up and do some individualized investigating. One hundred percent of the time this plan proves to be a monumental failure. Soon the corpses of their pals start popping up or, worse yet, they return as a flesh-eating zombie, alien, or simply wailing and pointing to a hissing Donald Sutherland.
THE LESSON: Always bring back-up.

Image via Dread Central


At first, the idea of fortifying a single position, in defense of whatever caused the apocalypse in the first place, might seem like a pretty solid idea. In many ways, it actually makes a lot of sense. The problem is that when movie characters stay in one place for too long, that place starts to feel like home. And when a place starts to feel like home, you begin to get comfortable. And, when staring head-on into the dangers of an apocalypse, comfortable is not a good thing.
THE LESSON: Drop your guard and you’ll become zombie lunch


It doesn’t really matter whether there’s been a zombie outbreak, a meteor rushing toward Earth, or a viral plague killing the human race – believing in the idea that government will be there to save the day is generally a mistake. The government looks out for the government. Period. If the government needs to round up some people and perform experiments, that’s just what the government will do. And, if the government needs to drop a bomb on a town to save the town next to it, you better believe that bombs will get dropped.
THE LESSON: Fend for yourself – in the eyes of the machine, you’re just a number, and a contaminated host.


When apocalypse movies characters get the itch to play the hero, things can end one of two ways. Sometimes they wind up saving the day, getting the girl, and become a savoir to their species. Other times they just plain end up dead. Spitting in the face of danger and putting it all on the line for the safety of others takes guts, and the line between guts and stupidity is so thin it barely exists.
THE LESSON: Run. For every successful hero there are fifteen less than successful corpses.

demotivational poster HORROR MOVIE HEROES


In the aftermath of an apocalypse, simply surviving from day to day can be a struggle. But juggling the problems associated with a relationship, while also evading viral contamination, is next to impossible. Over the years more characters than I dare count have come to this conclusion the hard way. With love comes emotion, and with emotion comes the lack of a clear head. And the lack of a clear head most often results in a very messy, and very bloody path to the afterlife.
THE LESSON: You’ve got enough things to worry about. Keep your pants on.


As a general rule, investigating strange noises should generally be avoided. In a world ripped to shreds by an apocalypse of some sort, unrecognizable sounds should at all times remain unrecognizable and uninvestigated. There are far too many unknowns, and far too many dangers in such a world, to go mucking about in darkened streets, or a mysterious forest, or that burnt up building… that was once a top-secret military lab.
THE LESSON: Answers are overrated.


Unless it’s entirely necessary, going back for something left behind is generally a terrible idea. Seriously, this never ends well. Heck, even when one character tells another character that it’s a horrible idea to go back into the burning building, or back into the house now filled with an angry post-apocalyptic biker gang, more often than not, the advice is ignored and someone winds up dead.
THE LESSON: Unless it’s the serum that could possibly save your life, leave it behind!


All too often, characters in apocalypse films are traveling across the country on their way to “a safe haven in the west,” or a “zombie-free zone back east,” or to “the place where humanity is rebuilding itself up north.” Usually these tall tales of apocalypse-free zones in which the human race is thriving are exactly that – tall tales. When found, they are usually a disappointment, or a trap of some sort, or a little bit of both.
THE LESSON: Chances are good that everyone is dead. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can move past it.


In the movies, it’s usually science that lit the match that started the fire that started the apocalypse. Believing that the very thing that caused the problem in the first place will be what puts an end to it is almost as stupid as crawling through the sewers to investigate a mysterious sound. Not only is it stupid, it generally only makes matters worse. Instead of simply dealing with a viral outbreak caused by genetic research on chimps, the chimps now somehow have bazookas and they know how to use them.
THE LESSON: The most basic solution is the right one.


When the basic social structure of society has been uprooted, tossed into a blender, and pureed into a fine paste, money and those who have lots of it are suddenly a lot less important than they once were. Still, it’s a pretty common occurrence in apocalypse movies for the rich guy to try and buy his way onto the ship that will save humanity, or into the last protected stronghold in the center of the city. But it almost never works.
THE LESSON: You’ll have better luck offering sexual favors. Burn the money for heat.


Characters who believe in an all-powerful God, who controls the moon and the stars, almost always find themselves disappointed when that very same God doesn’t come to their rescue. Think about it. If God controls everything, then it’s God who brought forth the apocalypse in the first place. Believing that the omniscient movie God doing the killing is also going to be the one doing the saving is flawed logic on the most fundamental of levels.
THE LESSON: When the clouds are dropping acid rain, take cover.


Joining forces with a large group might actually seem like the way to go at first. After all, there’s usually strength in numbers, right? (See #1) While it’s true that the chance of survival might raise significantly after putting on a spiked leather jacket, strapping a little person to your back and joining that gang of marauders operating out of the Thunderdome, there are a wide variety of other problems that immediately arise once you’ve done so. First and foremost is the fact that with a large group comes a group consciousness. The group’s choices become the only choices. What’s that? You have no desire to pillage, murder, and rape? Too bad – start pillaging.
LESSON: Individuality is important. Nonetheless, find a couple of trustworthy friends but keep away from the hoards.


Bring a lot of ammo. Bring so much of it that you can barely carry it all. This one should really be the most obvious of all – but far too often characters in apocalypse movies seem to forget ammo and find themselves staring down a horde of flesh eating, post-apocalyptic freaks while wielding an empty shotgun.
THE LESSON: You can never have enough bullets.


The best way to keep a hiding place hidden is to not tell anyone about it. Duh. Though that might not sound like a remarkable bit of thinking, it’s one the characters in apocalyptic movies too often forget. It takes only one slip of the tongue to turn a hiding place into a beacon for every murderer, infected weirdo, or flesh-eating zombie in the city. Once that happens, there’s no turning back.
THE LESSON: If there’s anything these types of films have taught us, it’s that helping those in need can often have disastrous results. Don’t trust anyone.
The Last Stand is a dramatic zombie thriller web series now playing on KoldCast TV.
It's about survival and redemption in a zombie apocalypse nightmare. An airborne virus known as the Campion Virus, is spreading like wildfire through the populous. When it mutates, it leaves millions dead. The second mutation brings about an even more terrifying threat. The infected are now raging like rabid animals. While the infection seems spread only through fluid, the threat of this virus getting to the survivors of the airborne version is just as horrifying as ever.
Seven people start out trying to make it out of the city and across the river to a place they had heard about before the media went quiet. They are running from zombies, the left overs of the military trying to fire bomb the infected, and themselves. Limited supplies and itchy trigger fingers have caused this group to come to their last chances of survival. 
Steven Novak is a writer, illustrator, graphic designer and admitted lifelong nerd with an embarrassingly large DVD collection. He is currently working and living in the Southern California desert. His most recent fantasy/action adventure novel, “Forts: Fathers and Sons,” is available everywhere books are sold.

While on the subject of stupidity, have a squiz at this...

Oscar Wilde's tomb not safe from dangerous kisses

British journalist Merlin Holland, Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde's only grandson, delivers a speech during a ceremony to unveil the Irish writer's renovated tomb. (AFP)

 PARIS, FRANCE - Nov 30 2011 20:41

The last time I was in Paris I stayed at an auberge within easy walking distance of Pere Lachaise cemetery. Naturally, my partner and I paid a visit to Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison and of course, Oscar Wilde, just to name a few. And sure enough, Wilde's tomb was covered with lipstick prints in a rash of colours. 
My first thought was it was a shame the tomb had been vandalised and secondly, how unsanitary it had to be with the many kisses overlaid upon each other. It also occurred to me that since Wilde was gay with a capital G, he wouldn't have been in the least interested in all the kisses so many girls had lavished upon him. It was a go figure moment. - Nealbo 

Oscar Wilde's renovated Paris tomb is to be unveiled on Wednesday, complete with a new glass barrier to shield the quintessential dandy's memory from a torrent of dangerous, admiring kisses.

Kiss upon lipsticked kiss in honour of Wilde, who died penniless aged 46 in a Paris hotel room in 1900, has worn down his elegant tomb at Pere Lachaise cemetery, as the grease from tourist lipstick sank deep into the stonework.
The tomb, designed by modernist sculptor Jacob Epstein and featuring a flying Assyrian-style angel, survived almost unscathed until 1985, except for the angel's genitals being hacked off, according to the Irish Cultural Centre.
Then, the expense of cleaning operations to deal with increasing graffiti on the tomb led the descendants of Wilde and of his friend and executor Robert Ross to try, successfully, to get it listed as a historic monument.

When in Paris

The hope was that fines of thousands of euros for defacing the monument would deter fans of the author of The Importance of Being Earnest.
But in 1999 the graffiti was replaced by a much more worrying phenomenon when someone had the idea of planting a large, lipsticked kiss on the tomb, sparking a craze for Wilde's many admirers to perform when in Paris.
"The grease base of the lipstick penetrates the stone and long after the colouring pigments have faded, a grease 'shadow' is still visible," the Irish Cultural Centre said in a statement.
Wilde left London after serving two years in prison for homosexuality, a crime in the eyes of Victorian society, and never regained the creative impetus that had made him a hugely popular, if controversial, playwright.

Disgraced Irishman

When the disgraced Irishman died of meningitis in a Paris hotel, famously remarking that "My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One of us has got to go," he was initially given a "sixth class burial" outside Paris.
His friends, in particular his literary executor Ross, managed to annul Wilde's bankruptcy, buy a plot at Pere Lachaise and have Wilde's body transferred to its more dignified and appropriately Gothic surroundings.
A ceremony to unveil the new tomb on Wednesday, exactly 111 years after Wilde's death, is to be attended by Irish and French officials as well as Wilde's only grandson, Merlin Holland, and British actor Rupert Everett. - AFP
Article via The Mail & Guardian

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