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July 24, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt5

[Posted by Ted H]

"Prelude in D Flat Major" is the way overused music in this movie. I've learned to hate it.
...Also, the movie was shot in Canada...because Romero's love for Pennsylvania isn't as big as it used to be...

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


[Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt5]

Part 5: Women and children first!

The overarching plot to this mess is finally reaching its payoff. We have reached Scranton and arrived to Deb's house. After a bit of speculation as to why the house looks abandoned*, Deb decides to abandon the party and urges everyone to get back on the road without her. I am all for this idea. Sadly, this won't happen.

*Did I mention the family was vacationing at the time? And that at one point they managed to get a text out to her that they're ok (at the time) and are driving home? No? Did I gloss over those parts? My bad, I must not have cared. To be fair, the scene where Deb gets a text is right after the 72,000 Myspace views argument and I was still blind with rage at this movie...

Before deciding to leave, Deb looks to the camera (because that's the only way to talk to Jason anymore) and says something along the lines of "I guess I'll call you," like this whole zombie apocalypse thing was more of an awkward first date or something with Jason replying in equally dumb fashion. At this point Jason is committed to the idea that he's gonna leave his girlfriend home alone during the zombie apocalypse to keep filming his Myspace movie. Tony quickly calls bull shit on this and decides to stay with Deb so she isn't alone. Then everyone quickly decides they have their own reason to get off the RV and chill at Deb's house; Girlfriend wants to pee, Elliot wants to play video games, Professor wants to get drunk...I'm not shitting you on any of these reasons...but the only person who has no legitimate stated reason for wanting to stay with Deb is her own fucking boyfriend.

So, upon reflection, it's more and more likely that Jason isn't so much Deb's boyfriend throughout this movie as much as Tony is. Go back and watch some parts of this movie; whenever Deb needs someone to lean on or for general support, it seems like she goes for Tony way more often than she even acknowledges Jason as an option. Maybe because it's Tony actually making an effort for the group to survive, or maybe it's because Deb has silently agreed that she needs to dump Jason for being a dipshit (she just needs to find the right off camera moment to have "that talk") and has already decided Tony makes a fantastic rebound.

Into the house we go and we discover that the family did indeed make it home, but they're nowhere in sight. Deb discovers the abandoned car they drove home on and is pointed to a damaged and bloody window in the front passenger side. So yeah, shit looks bleak. Deb starts freaking out and needs to find them, only for Tony to stop her and explain that they might not be ok. Ya know, gear her up for the worst case scenario...shit a boyfriend would do....while her actual boyfriend silently records it and says nothing. At this point I'm convinced that they did break up off camera.

While Tony is being the concerned apocalypse boyfriend to Deb, you should at this point take notice of the Professor standing over them, rocking out his dumb fucking bow and arrow set and you just know that shit's gonna get shoehorned in this movie now. Just, gear yourselves up now for that. Meanwhile, Elliot and Girlfriend are somewhere else in the house and...not looking for the family? Cuz seriously, how hard is it to find either 3 zombies, 3 scared alive people, or any combination of the two?

Before we continue, I must warn you, this next bit is where the movie fucking dies. Before it was just a shaky plot with some seriously underwhelming acting. But the part where Deb's brother, as a zombie, ninjas over and jumps onto Deb's back (without biting her, because why would a zombie do anything like that?) is the part where the S.S. Diary of the Dead can officially be classified as a sinking ship.

July 17, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt4

[Posted by Ted H]

Just gonna go ahead and announce that it'll be a cold COLD day in hell before I review Survival of the Dead...........

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

[Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt4]

Part 4: Why I hate Deb

Cut to everyone* pushing the RV because something is wrong with it. Girlfriend says it's the fuel line (because her dad was a pit crew guy for some redneck NASCAR driver. Fire arms and cars, she's from the south you guys, GET IT?) so they gotta fix it up. Only after already pushing the RV onto a strangers property does anyone think to maybe ask the owner if it's cool. Don't worry though, the owner is just walking by because anyone having to find him without Jason to film it just wouldn't do.

*Obviously Jason doesn't help because he's too busy filming it, because he's a fucking cunt, and because every single tiny detail MUST be filmed!

The owner does enter immediately, but because this film is full of dumb choices, he's a deaf Amish guy who announces his presence by groaning in the way deaf people do, but it sounds similar to a zombie moan, so everyone needs a dumb jump scare. After quick introductions, the Amish dude points out actual zombies that are pulling a ninja zombie attempt. Then the Amish dude tosses some dynamite and blows them up in a really shitty looking way.

July 10, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt3

[Posted by Ted H]

I'm gonna try to power through this movie as best I can before I move. That way I can give this shitty movie back to my brother. I'd hate to rush the end. If I'm gonna hate on a movie, I'm gonna hate on it right, God dammit!


[Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt3]

Part 3: Priorities
Into the hospital we go...and it too is abandoned. At this point Deb pulls an idea from the Fred Jones playbook: Let's split up, gang! So the group splits up despite one group not being able to bring the injured Mary with them. What happens if they find help first? Run around lost, looking for Mary so they can save her? I know Deb said "We'll look for the ER" but what if whatever help you find goes to the ER to meet them there only to find that Deb and company went to the wrong fucking floor or something? This was not a rational decision, but a Romero decision because we're gonna be in a situation soon where it's just Jason talking to Mary and we need the other characters to not be around for that.

So Jason, Deb and the lovebirds take Mary and eventually run into a zombie. Along the way they hear a radio transmission that explains that you gotta shoot em in the head. Thankfully the male love bird has the gun so he can fight off the zombie. What the shit though-everyone splits up but only one group takes Mary AND the only weapon.

Now another zombie shows up, but OH NO! THE GUN JAMMED! Then Deb walks by the zombie within arms reach and gets some defibrillators, and the zombie doesn't even attempt to go after. Then Deb does the clich├ęd defibrillator dispatch from every move featuring one ever (except for CRANK) then the zombie falls dead out of frame in a way that won't match its position when the camera pans down to see the body. Sloppy sloppy sloppy. But wait, the zombie isn't dead and gets up for a jump scare despite Jason facing that direction. And I know he's facing that direction because that's where the fucking camera is pointed! A little heads up, Jason?

Time to resume getting help, but wait, the camera is low on battery power. Clearly Jason has to stay behind to charge the camera while still filming despite there being nothing to film because everyone else has gone ahead to find help but leaving Mary behind with Jason. So now one group has the only gun, Jason alone has Mary, and the other group has nothing. WHY BOTHER SPLITTING UP? The most likely outcome here is the group with the gun finds nothing while the other group gets eaten because they're defenseless while Mary just dies because she's sitting around waiting for help in a clearly abandoned hospital!

So now we have Jason alone with a dying Mary and a couple dead zombies that I swear to God their position on the floor changed again. Jason is lamenting on how useless he feels being unable to help cuz he's stuck babysitting his charging camera. Don't worry, charging a video camera, and documenting the charging of said video camera is WAY more important than trying to save the life of your friend. This is invaluable footage of a girl dying that the world needs to see!

Scream off-screen and gunshots happen. Normal people would think to help, but not Jason because this camera charging footage isn't gonna shoot itself. Deb returns with a video camera of her own in tow. She uses it as a shame tactic against Jason for everything I talked about in the previous two paragraphs. Jason pleads for Deb to put her camera down and just tell him what happened. Deb does with Jason still filming because fuck consistency in an argument! She tells the story and plays it up for the camera, then halfway through her bullshit another dead guy arrives and Deb IMMEDIATLY starts filming it too on her camera. Didn't you just get done chastising Jason for doing nothing except film shit during this whole ordeal?

Male love bird, that was his cue, now walks in and dispatches the new zombie like it's his fucking dead end job or something then gives one of the most phoned in "I just killed another man" zombie movie speeches ever. And out of nowhere comes the Professor to give some speech about how he was in war or something and killing becomes easier and blah blah blah. Then it becomes his turn to chastise Jason for videotaping everything instead of doing a damn thing to actually help.

Jason, seriously, not a single person so far has said anything along the lines of "Dude, yes, videotape the zombie apocalypse. This is definitely helping us survive this ordeal." Everyone who has weighed in on you so far (Tony, the random criminal in the girls dorm, your girlfriend and your fucking college professor who is the reason you got into directing) have all agreed: stop being a twit and actually contribute.

Before anyone can delve deeper into how much of a fuckass Jason is, Mary dies and starts turning. Male lovebird once again phones in his performance as he goes through the motions of trying to decide if he can go through with killing zombie-Mary even though she's his friend (I think? It was never really established how she knew the rest of the group. My only theories are 1-Deb's bff...2-no ones friend but rather the one chick who has access to the RV everyone wants to party in so everyone pretends to be her friend to get to the RV...3-the naive chick who the Professors been fucking on the side cuz the Professor looks like the type to take advantage of the occasional student) Anyway, the professor takes the gun, dispatches Mary, then continues to bitch out Jason while pawning off the gun to Tony because of psychotic reasoning. Dude, the Professor is a fucking asshole when he's sober. Somebody get this man a whiskey!

Some more preachy bull shit from Deb's voiceover happens and I choose to not acknowledge because I'm trying to get through this part in one sitting. Then the cream-de-la-crop of Jason being a fucking useless human being happens. He fucking films a zombie walking right up to the male love bird and barely warns him as the zombie bites into the guys arm. Then he just fucking stands there filming while the poor bastard tries to fight off the zombie while Elliot feebly pushes the zombie away, then uses an IV pole to stab the attacker in the chest to show everyone else that the zombie is a zombie.

Anyone remember Tom Savini's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD remake? Remember the scene where not-Barbara shoots a zombie a couple times in the chest to show it's a zombie because she's sick and fucking tired of everyone bitching about how the attacking zombies can't possibly be dead? Yeah, Elliot's doing pretty much that right now. My problem here is we've seen plenty of zombie killing action to the point that no one should be questioning that the dead are returning to life. Fuck, didn't everyone just get done watching Mary die and turn? Elliot and not-Barbara's tirades are always a pleasure to watch, but only if you don't feel like it was forced in after you stop and think about the context for a moment. Trust me, there was plenty wrong with Savini's NIGHT, but that scene wasn't one of them (now that shirtless zombie that happened immediately after is a different story, but let's save that for a review that I hopefully never do)

Zombie dead, female love bird rushes to her now (slowly) dying man, who is now poorly acting his way through his post zombie bite. Deb is filming this when she suddenly catches herself and realizes she's a fucking hypocrite. Now more Deb voiceover where she wonders what is it that makes people so interested in tragedies. Let's skip that and talk about what makes Jason so compelled to record everything thus far.

Yes, people are interested when crazy shit happens. And yes, they often times record it. Nowadays it's because their YouTube hits will skyrocket for it. But what they don't do is record horrific events while they themselves are active participants in immediate danger. Yes, people are compelled to record terrible things, but only from a position of relative safety. Need a plausible real world example?

Let's talk about 9/11...

The events at the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 stands as one of (if not #1) the most well documented tragedy in freakin history. Go to YouTube right now and type in 9/11 or anything similar and you'll be buried in a shit ton of results made by people taping and documenting the attack and eventual collapse of the two towers. You've got angles of people hanging out of windows with an inferno behind them. You have angles of people jumping to their deaths, with the camera following their decent as best they can. You even have some idiots who run onto the main plaza to get a better look at the scene (naturally unaware of the potential of the towers collapsing, otherwise he'd be a mile away.)

And speaking of collapsing. There are angles upon angles upon footage upon footage of each tower collapsing. And on top of that, we have countless shots of the 2nd plane crashing into the south tower to go with the one or two rare pieces of footage of the 1st plane hitting the north tower. (Fun fact: the most well known footage of the 1st plane strike was taped by a guy shooting a documentary of a rookie firefighter. He was getting some B-roll footage of the chief doing some lazy Tuesday morning bull shit when the plane happened to fly low overhead and get everyone's attention.)

So, where's the outrage for anyone making 9/11 tapes? Well, it wasn't like they were shooting their footage while inside the towers. Unlike Jason, they were recording their footage from a safe perspective. I mean, yeah, on 9/11 America was under attack and technically nowhere was safe, but everyone with a cell phone camera or whatever were recording their footage from a (relatively) safe place. And it's not like any non-first responder is gonna be of any use anyway.

Jason, on the other hand, is right smack in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. He is not shooting his film from a safe location and he can be of use to his friends if he bothered to put the camera down and help. People around him are dying and all her can do is record it as opposed to bothering to help. There is the outrage. He is a detriment to his group and his actions (or non-actions) are costing other people their lives.

New day and Mary is buried. Jason had the common courtesy to not film the process but I highly doubt he lifted a finger to help. Everyone with a shovel (where did they find a couple shovels?) is finishing up the grave while we pan out to find that the male love bird is already dead. You guys think that maybe a 2nd grave is warranted? No? Did nobody like this guy? Was he only around because he was the blond chicks fuck buddy?

Enter the standard fare of "Why is he dead after one bite?" and the usual conversation as to what could have caused such a quick and fatal infection. Nothing to gripe about there unless you don't like zombie movies (And if you don't, why are you here?). Tony decides that it's time to kill the male love bird before he turns...and for some reason decides that the best way to announce this is by cocking the chamber right next to the grieving (poorly grieving) girlfriend's ear. (Why are you cocking the gun? It's already loaded and has already been fired before. All you're doing is wasting a bullet!)

More run of the mill "He might not turn" or "Let's just wait and see what happens" which is fucking stupid because you just got done burying Mary! Who died and came back without being bitten! So guess what's gonna happen to someone dead who was bitten! This all ultimately turns into the girlfriend having to kill her dead boyfriend as he awakens...alone...because closure? This never really gets explained, which is inexcusable. Jason insists on taping everything he finds relevant to this apocalypse, and if people get pissed, he just pretends to stop filming, just to get what he wants on film. So the conversation where the girlfriend decides she'll wait alone for her boyfriend to reanimate so she can kill him seems like a pretty big conversation to skip.

Whatever, boyfriend reanimates, and the girlfriend shoots him in the head, first try, without properly aiming (or any firearms training but I guess it's assumed that since she's from Texas she should already know firearms? Like it's taught in grammar school right after Math.) Male lovebird is now gone, poorly acting his death as he did everything else in life. Then the Professor makes some tasteless comment about the boyfriend "he just flunked out." I know he's been drinking steadily since at least Mary's burial, but you don't get to make a stern speech to Jason about being a twit in the zombie apocalypse, then turn around and make stupid one liners like you're kicking off an episode of NCIS Miami.

Dead are now buried, we can get on with this road trip. But not before Jason pisses off more people by taping their reactions to the impromptu double burials. You guys go on ahead though and leave me with the bodies. No? Fine, let's keep this train wreck a-chuggin!

Next stop: Amish country!

July 3, 2016

Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt2

[Posted by Ted H]

Oh man, I now know how to end Pure Human. I just, ya know, have to make time to actually write it. But in the meantime-I've been watching a bad movie some more to review!

Part 1


[Why DIARY OF THE DEAD sucked pt2]

Part 2: ROLE CALL!
So the movie started and so far it looks like it can pull off a decent run. The start has introduced us to a bunch of idiots, but the story has hit all the right points and maybe putting these characters through some shit can force a character arch on a couple and make them likable. This movie CAN be good, it just can't throw anything else stupid to make things worse. This was all set up, however, before we meet Deb.

Enter the dorms! And about an hour has passed since it's been first reported that zombie shits going down, everyone in the dorm has abandoned ship. It's iffy to say the least, but it sets up a nice scene, so I'm all for it. Something crashes off screen and Jason investigates to reveal some random dude stealing shit and freely admitting to it to a camera. Right...cuz anyone committing a crime will just up and say it on camera to a total stranger. Ok...maybe they would, but it would be that stupid looking. Anyway, the random criminal turns the conversation back at Jason by asking "What's a guy with a video camera doing in the women's dorm?" a very valid question. I'll stop complaining about this guys needless insertion to the movie for that.

Anyway, about 10 seconds later we meet Deb, the only actual college student in the dorm who didn't leave. How very fucking convenient. The first thing she says is a question as to why Jason is recording the zombie apocalypse. Get used to that question, kids. Jason then puts the camera down, assuming his girlfriend won't notice it's on. Get real used to that, too.

On Deb's computer is a video playing of the zombie attack that opened the movie. Wait, I thought it was mentioned that this was uploaded later by the cameraman? This video playing is pretty much a highlight reel of the good parts with someone talking over it. Considering how the zombie apocalypse is just starting, that's pretty quick for someone to upload the "truth" seeing how there's barely been enough time for any "lie" about this whole situation to even be reported.

Deb has been trying to call home and check on her family to no avail. She decides now that she wants to go home. I guess she was just waiting for her boyfriend to find her? The entire dorm is long gone and there was definitely no certainty that Jason would show up and not (oh, I dunno) try to find his own family (assuming he or anyone else in his little group has one since literally no one else shows any interest in finding their own family in all this) so wouldn't it be a better and smarter option to just make for home first chance you get? Don't have a car? Bum a ride with someone else. Not everyone in a college is a local and not every non-local is gonna want to brave the zombie apocalypse to go all the way home. Worried about your family? Get your ass home. Leave Jason a fucking note if you honestly think he'll break into your dorm room and look for you. Have him catch up later. There's nothing about him that says "this aspiring film director is a must have for when the world descends into chaos."

Deb voiceover: "I think that's what started the panic-not knowing the truth." Oh lord, shut up. I'm pretty sure knowing the truth about the rise of the undead would still stir a fucking panic, probably a bigger panic. Stop trying to be deep.

Now we're in the RV, and the first thing Deb does is question the camera again (that's 2) and Jason decides everyone should introduce themselves to the camera/audience...because that's the sign of a great movie-having to stop the film so we can get to know the characters. Ya know, maybe Romero was on to something. So let me stop this review and introduce everyone as well...

Batting (and dying) 1st: Mary. She just wants to go home. And the best way to accomplish that is to drive to someone else's home first. I dunno why, maybe it's along the way. Where is she driving right now? "I dunno. Just trying to get out of dodge." Because picking a random direction instead of trying to get some place specific is a totally rational idea for everyone to be following. At one point she also points out that she's currently not dating anyone. She is also the only person in this film without any sort of significant other (Jason+Deb...Jason+Elliot...Tony+his established counter nature to Jason that won't end until Jason gets some sort of final 1 up over him...the one love birt+the other love bird...the Professor+booze) So unless Mary hooks up and hooks up quick, she's a goner. Besides, everyone knows how hard it is to find love in the zombie apocalypse. Finally, she's religious, because that won't aid in her expandability in this movie.

2nd: Deb, who twice in her bit questions the camera (4). She just wants to go home, too. And her home is SCRANTON...because aside from a missile silo in Florida, the zombie apocalypse is only allowed to happen in Pennsylvania for George Romero (Night: rural PA...Dawn: some mall in PA...Land: Pittsburgh, PA) The longer the impromptu interview goes, the more Deb gets pissed at Jason for filming. I wanna say that Deb is doing a good job portraying my own attitude to Jason in this movie but she soon descends into insufferable herself. So in retrospect, I hate her from the start.

3rd: Tony. Tony is suppose to be the "too cool for the rest of you" guy who is with the group, but clearly against Jason in a non threatening way. Anyone remember Cholo from LAND? Yeah, he's Cholo; an ass who Romero wants us to think is a bad ass. During this interview, Tony mentions how he wasn't suppose to do makeup for the monster movie and Deb mentions that she was suppose to but "Sorry babe, but you know what happens when we try to work together." Again, not shit people say knowingly on camera...but maybe she does this to embarrass Jason into not filming anymore. Tony is from Queens, meaning he isn't going to die. Everyone also knows that New Yorkers don't get killed by zombies. They're too awesome to die.

Batting cleanup: Elliot. Elliot is clearly Jason's bff. He introduces himself by fixing a TV that we didn't know was broken so that he and Jason can have a generic back and forth about the government explanation to the beginning of the zombies. So...the "lie" is just now making its rounds on the would be a good time for that cameraman to upload the "truth", not before the "lie", AFTER! Anyway, Elliot wants to get home as well, but I guess it's along the way, or maybe he was being sarcastic.

5th and 6th come the lovebirds. Because this film needs two people who love each other (as opposed to Jason and Deb). The one girl has to explain that there's a camera in her phone (because in 2007 we still need to point out that phones have camera functions.)

7th comes the Professor who has nothing serious to contribute, but at least plays along. And I'm pretty sure he's an alcoholic.

There's also Jason. But he's too busy being a cameraman to be a character.

Back to the movie! The RV comes to a car crash scene. "Oh my God, we'll never get passed that," someone says despite the right side of the road being open. A burnt zombie approaches the RV while everyone debates on if it's really a zombie. Just then, the camera has an unknown issue and cuts out for a second, but comes back just in time for a jump scare as the zombie throws its face against the driver's side window...and everyone right then freaks out. So I guess everyone went blind along with the camera?

Mary freaks out and starts driving away (which involves driving passed that seemingly impassable car crash) and along the way runs over three zombies (all on the right side of the road while the left side was wide open)...Later on she pulls over and has a breakdown over the belief that the zombies she ran over were actually living people. Then she goes into a field and shoots herself (with a gun that wasn't even hinted about), but not fatally, because a fatal head shot would be too easy.

Again, this movie is hitting all the points, it's just the acting that's failing hard. And it's really hard to communicate the bad acting on a write up. Don't worry though, the directing and character actions will soon descent into a LAND OF THE DEAD style mess soon enough.

For now though, this movie has an immediate purpose and direction, as opposed to just aimlessly driving around and talking about going home: Get Mary to the hospital before it's too late.

Next time: It's too late

June 19, 2016

Pure Human - Dr Watterson

[Posted by Ted H]

Happy Father's day.....or whatever...


[Pure Human - Dr Watterson]

            They waited for about an hour, during which time they found some sheets and wrapped up the creature's body and brought it out to John's car. John complained about the cleanup he'd have to do with his back seat while Blake kept looking about in case any neighbors were up and happen to notice them smuggling a dead body into a car. Blake attempted to collect the head, but most of it was an indistinguishable pile. He took it anyway and wrapped it in a towel to toss with the rest of the body. They didn't even know where to begin cleaning the blood, so they didn't bother.
            Later they were able to arouse Anin from her shocked state. She was groggy and didn't talk much, she also indicated that the time she was out was anything but restful, but for once she did not return to the dream park and the fading man. They waited for Joey to return, mostly because they didn't want to leave Anin alone, but also to try and explain the state of his house. He was livid, but also thankful Anin was mostly alright.
            Blake offered to show him the creature in the car, but he refused and instead urged the men to leave. Blake wasn't sure if it were because Joey wanted them to get some answers with the corpse in their car or because he just wanted them out of sight because of the chaos they always seem to bring into his life. John also offered to help pay for some of the damages, a prospect Blake wasn't too thrilled about.
            By 3am they were on the road with their body in tow. "We have no idea what that address Bryant gave us even is," John said "Are you sure rolling in there with a corpse is a good idea?" Blake shook his head as he sucked at a cigarette. "No," he said "But we don't know of any discrete areas, we're going there eventually anyway and I'm not gonna sleep anyway."
            "Who did you call, anyway?"
            "Wow, finally broke down?"
            "Meh...Dealing with her was inevitable. Might as well have the buffer of something that'll pique her interest."
            "You know, I still don't get why you avoid her, even if it's over a missing corpse."
            "You'll see. She's a little...odd."
            John made the drive to the address unhindered. They arrived to a parking lot outside of an out of the way three story office building. The near end of the lot had several parked cars, some with out of state license plates. The building had been long abandoned and many windows were blown out. "Well if I were a monster straight out of a nightmare, this is where I'd come from," John said as he and Blake approached the building. The front door was locked but the door was glass and didn't take much effort to break through.
            John led the way inside with his gun and flashlight drawn. The front lobby was in disarray with a thick scent of mold hanging heavy in the air. "This building doesn't look like it's been inhabited in decades," John said "Are you sure we have the right place?" Blake shrugged. "One way to be sure," he said as he ran his finger along the thick layer of dust and grime on the front desk. "Up or down?" John asked as he shone his light at the stairwell door. "Down," Blake said "Always down."
            They walked to the stairwell and found the staircase in good repair compared to the rest of the building. There were a row of flashlights and battery powered lanterns affixed to the wall to choose from that Blake and John neglected as they made their way down the dark stairs. The stairs led to a locked door. Blake searched for a keyhole and found a card swipe panel instead. "I think we got the right address," Blake said. "Door is solid," John said as he knocked on it a few times in different places "What do we do now? Wait for Bryant?"
            "Pretty much," Blake said as he started back up the stairs "Until then, let's get something else off our checklist." They returned to the car and retrieved the creature's corpse and brought it inside. They stayed on the first floor and found a room with a large table inside to lay the body out on. They then retrieved all the battery lanterns from the stairwell and used them to illuminate the room as best they could. Afterwards, they hung out by the car and waited while Blake smoked another cigarette.
            It was just before 6am when they noticed the lights of an approaching car. The sky was lightening up in preparation of the approaching dawn and the office building behind them became a little less foreboding. A small white sedan drove up and parked right next to John's car, pop music blasting on the speakers as the occupant sang along until the end of the song, then killed the engine.
            A long haired brunette girl stepped out with a beaming smile on her face. She wore black pants and a ragged pair of sneakers. She had a stripped button down blouse that strained to hold together over her large chest which Blake later informed John was an intentional choice for her. To top it all off, she sported a white lab coat that was wrinkled and unwashed in some time. "Good morning, gentlemen!" she shouted as she practically bounced over and hugged John. "Do I know you?" John asked as he waited for the hug to end. She then looked to hug Blake, who instead blew smoke from another cigarette. She plugged her nose and greeted Blake from afar.
            "That's John," Blake said, motioning with his cigarette. The girl turned and waved. "I'm Dr. Kimberly Watterson!" she said. "Not a doctor anymore," Blake corrected her. "Hush," Kimberly said as she went to her trunk and retrieved her purse "So where is my surprise?" Blake grinned and invited Kimberly to follow him into the office. "We have no idea what this thing is," he said as they entered the building and made for the corpse room "We were hoping you could look into it and maybe figure where it might have come from or what could have made it."
            "You made it sound like an alien or something on the phone," Kimberly said. "Not alien," Blake said "Pretty sure about that." They reached the room and Blake allowed Kimberly to enter first. Upon seeing the creature, she clasped her hands to her mouth and stood amazed. "What the fuck is that thing?" she whispered before turning back to Blake. "This is awesome!" she shouted as she quickly made for a nearby chair and placed her purse down on it.
            "How did it die?" she asked as she pulled out gloves, a surgeons mask, scalpels and other such tools. "Well, technically it died twice," Blake said "All by gunshot. So ignore the bullets in the chest." Kimberly nodded as she tied her hair into a ponytail and put her mask on. "Where's the head?" she asked. "What's left of it is wrapped in that towel by the window," Blake said as he pointed "And some on the brain matter might still be on my coat."
            "No one else has seen this yet?" she asked as she finished laying out her tools and walked back to Blake. "I'd figure you'd want to be the first," he said. She pulled her mask aside, leaned in and kissed Blake on the cheek. "Thank you, James," she said as he fixed her mask and headed for the table. "We'll leave you to it," Blake said as he headed back into the hall where John waited "Let us know when you got something."
            They walked down the hall in silence for a moment before John asked something that was bothering him. "She called you James," he said.
            "Because that's my name," Blake said.
            "No one calls you James."
            "Pretty sure you did a couple times."
            "Blake, who is she?"
            "I knew her from way back. We met downstate."
            "I thought I knew every shady fucker you knew from downstate and from Sallome's organization."
            "She ain't one of those people. I know her from way back. When I was little."
            "Is she, like, a long lost girlfriend? You never mentioned her before."
            "Because she never came up. And she isn't a girlfriend."
            "She seems hot. What gives?"
            "She's crazy as all hell."
            "I kind of got that vibe, not going to lie."
            "She was smart, smarter than most people, and she wanted to be a doctor. She just has this weird fascination with dead things; why they died, how they died. Rumor was she intentionally let a patient die just so she could bring them down to the morgue to perform an autopsy."
            "Yeah. Ultimately lost her medical license. Still clings to her fascination though."
            "Damn. I bet sex with her is amazing though with her level of crazy."
            "Eh, seven out of ten."
            "Seriously? I thought you two were just friends?"
            "We are. I just remember one memorable night with her where I told the story of our Cazenovia murder investigation. She found the part where I killed the murderer quite arousing."
            "That's so fucking weird."
            "Tell me about it."

June 5, 2016

Pure Human - Impure

[Posted by Ted H]

Pretty sure I've never unintentionally missed back to back weeks before.....don't worry-I'll make up for it with a cool extra long section of action and exposition!


[Pure Human - Impure]

            It was dark and already getting late when John drove into the driveway at Joey's house. Joey's care was gone but the lights on inside suggested Anin was still awake and about. "I don't know," John said as Blake got out and smoked a cigarette "It would be different if Joey were here for us to talk to first. But if he isn't home yet and we go in..."
            "I'm tired and I don't feel like waiting," Blake said "If you're up for it, we can always go to the murder house we found last night if the cops haven't been tipped off yet. Plenty of beds to choose from if you don't mind sharing it with a corpse." John shrugged and they made their way to the front door and knocked.
            Anin opened the door a crack and peeked through before she threw it open with a smile. "Hey guys!" she said "Want some coffee?" Blake happily walked in, going directly for the kitchen. John stayed behind with Anin. "Sorry about earlier," she said as she closed the door. "You're sorry?" John asked "You went and ended up a wreck on the floor, screaming your head off. We thought you went insane? What do you have to be sorry about?" Anin shrugged. "It was weird," she said "And I know the trouble it caused you guys with Joey."
            "About that," John said "I was hoping we could catch him either before he left or, more obviously now, when he gets home."
            "Don't worry," Anin said "We talked a long time earlier. He's sorry for a bunch of things."
            "Is he sorry for trying to hit me?" Blake asked from the kitchen.
            "He tried to hit you?" Anin asked.
            "He shouldn't be sorry for that," John said "A lot of people want a crack at Blake. But we're sorry for how things have gone so far. This isn't turning out to be what any of us expected."
            "It's okay," Anin assured "You don't have to wait for Joey. He said it might be a long night and he said it was okay if you guys needed to crash here again."
            Anin and John made their way to the kitchen where Blake had already poured three cups of coffee. "Maybe I didn't want coffee," John said as he sat down. "You act as if I won't just drink it then," Blake responded.
            "So what happened today?" Anin asked, eager to learn what Blake and John accomplished after the hospital. "Well, we followed up on a lead," Blake said "But then they died." Anin froze and tilted her head. "They...they died?" she asked.
            "It happens," Blake said.
            "What did you do?"
            "I didn't do anything. He offed himself before we could ask any questions."
            "Wait, he was dead when you got there?"
            "Uh...sure, yeah. By the time we got *in* the house, he was dead."
            "How's his head though?"
            Blake paused at the question before answering "Dead too, I'm afraid."
            "No. Okay, how did he kill himself?"
            "Tried to eat a gun. Pulled the trigger before he could swallow."
            "And the brain?"
            "All over the ceiling."
            "There a morbid reason why you cared about that specifics?"
            "Well if the brain was intact, maybe I could tap into it."
            John cocked an eyebrow while Blake leaned in, interested in what Anin said. "You can read minds?" he asked "Even dead ones?"

May 22, 2016

Pure Human - Big Men on Campus

[Posted by Ted H]

Did I miss a week? Psssssssssh
I should be writing more, but things happen. My new job requires me to be sitting all day at a desk...all my previous jobs involved me standing and walking around doing things. So I feel this urge to always be on my feet when I can and choosing activities when I can...excuse me for not wanting to be 500lbs...


[Pure Human - Big Men on Campus]

            "University at Albany State," Blake said again as John parked and they made for the campus "It sounds odd to say no matter how many times I try it."
            "Well it's a real place if you can't tell," John said "Kind of makes Cazenovia pale in comparison when you look at it up close."
            "Pretty sure the McDonalds in Central Square makes Caz pale in comparison," Blake said as he lit up then laughed at a "We are a smoke free campus" sign as he walked by it. They walked through, getting more than a couple sideways looks from students as they passed on their way to one of the academic buildings. "This the first time you've been on a campus since Caz kicked you out?" John asked. "Meh," Blake replied "I might've wandered into SU territory when I was drunk a couple times."
            They made their way inside a building and up to a floor where the professor offices were. "Bryant, Bryant, Bryant," Blake kept repeating as he made his way down a hall, reading every door label. "Bingo," he said as he found the right door and immediately knocked several times. "Is anybody home?" he asked as he knocked again.
            "Check the office hours," John suggested as he pointed to a schedule posted right next to the door. Blake looked to the post and leveled his gaze as he read "All hours and classes: cancelled until further notice." He looked back to John. "Might be a coincidence," John suggested. "You know how I feel about coincidences," Blake said before pounding on the door again.
            "I know you're in there!" he yelled as he pounded on the door "Dr. Kenny Bryant, open up!"
            "He's obviously not in there," John said.
            "If I were trying to avoid people, this is where I'd hide. Put up a sign saying go away and just chill in my office."
            "Yeah, well if he's really laying low in there, what makes you think constantly pounding on the door is gonna make him come out?"
            "I just need to say the magic words."
            "What? Please? Pretty please? Pretty please with sugar on top?"
            "That last one might work, but I got a better one." Blake pounded yet again on the door as he shouted "Let's talk about Derek Melrose!"
            Almost immediately there was a scrambling heard behind the door and it quickly opened. In the doorway was a man also in his 30s with short black hair and a poorly grown mustache. He wore a white button down shirt with a brown tie hanging loosely around his collar. He had thin framed glasses that Blake suspected weren't really needed and dress pants held up by cheap looking suspenders. He didn't look as ragged as Melrose was earlier that day, but he too looked like he had seen his fair share of stress recently.
            "How do you know that name?" he asked with a worried look on his face. "The real question here," Blake said "Is why do you know him?" Bryant was taken aback, but didn't look like he was going to answer. "I suggest you go and find him yourself if you have any questions that need answering regarding Dr. Melrose," Bryant said as he attempted to close his door, but Blake stuck his foot inside.
            "The last time someone blew off my inquiries and shut a door in my face ended up dying minutes later," Blake said "So excuse me for not wanting to walk away from you so easily." Bryant gave a confused look. "What are you talking about?" he asked. He stopped trying to close his door and Blake withdrew his foot. "We tracked down Dr. Melrose earlier today," John explained "He ended up committing suicide. Left a note begging for forgiveness, and he implied more than just he were guilty of something."
            Bryant closed his eyes and sighed. "He also set fire to most evidence of his wrongdoing, whatever that was," Blake added "So now we're here, and we need answers. Half a dozen people are dead, maybe more." Bryant took a step back, but maintained himself in the doorway to bar entry. "So what led you to me?" he asked "Did Melrose implicate me?"
            "Blake here took all remaining notes and such and organized them, eliminated what he felt was unimportant and looked for anything that stood out in terms of other people or information," John explained "I'm pretty sure he's autistic."
            Blake elbowed John as he took over "Your phone number was written a couple times on different papers, not to mention your initials written various times on his calendar. He had a lot of dead end jobs, and we figured he had to once be important as a doctor, so we searched and came up with him once being a professor here. Found your name on the website and noticed you were both associate professors at the same time. You two were up to something, even before he got canned."
            Bryant bit his lip as the two men talked. "Start talking," Blake said "You know something about the things running around, time to start spilling." Bryant shook his head. "Not here," he said. "Why not?" Blake asked impatiently. "No, please," Bryant begged "I can show you!"
            "Show us what?" John asked cautiously.
            "Show you were those things came from," Bryant explained.
            Blake and John looked to each other. "What do you think?" John asked as Blake turned back to Bryant. "Do you own a gun?" he asked. Bryant shook his head. "Do you plan to off yourself in any way to avoid having to face whatever it is you did?" Blake asked. "Christ, no," Bryant said "Let me give you the address on where to go. We'll meet a 7am sharp tomorrow. There, I'll explain everything. Just, please leave now before people start asking questions."
            "Why not leave now?" Blake asked "I'm not interested in putting this off."
            "This is something my family and peers know nothing about that I'd prefer to keep that way."
            Blake rolled his eyes. "Crack of dawn, tomorrow, "he said "Be there, or I come back with a megaphone." Bryant nodded and shut his door. "Hope this one doesn't find a way to kill himself before tomorrow," John said "But at least he gave us something to work with in case he does." Blake shrugged and went to leave with John. "Now we just need to figure where to spend tonight," he said.
            "I'm sure Joey has calmed down," John said "We just have to be a little more respectful. And by we, I mean you."
            "I'm just gonna let you do all the talking."
            "Look at the bright side; We're making headway. Maybe tomorrow we'll figure this all out and be out of this town."
            "That'd be nice," Blake said as he dug around for a cigarette "I'm taking it as a victory that someone didn't just off themselves after meeting us."
            "Did you get to calling 9-1-1 about Melrose?"
            "I thought you did."
            "You have my phone still, how could I?"
            "Oh, well I guess now is a good a time as any."
            "Jesus, Blake!"