I was recently put on to this cartoon by a good comedian friend of mine, Michael Connell. Considering he’s a clean comedian, I’m not sure how it fits into his media diet. I have a mental image of him secretly delighting in all the crass humour, innuendo, and straight up fuckeduptitude that this show puts forth.
Think of a world where demons, vampires, wizards, monsters and robots have lived in society all along. It’s kind of like Terry Pratchett‘s Discworld in the modern era. Imagine what New York City would be like if that had been the way of society all along. There! You have Comedy Central’s new animated series: Ugly Americans.
The series focuses on Mark Lilly, a human social worker at the Department of Integration. He’s charged with getting various immigrants and non-humans to become naturalised in the way of American life. Unfortunately, his girlfriend is also a demon and happens to be in charge of HR, whilst their branch manager is yet another demon who consistently is looking for ways to get rid of Lilly. Combined with a resentful, alcoholic wizard as a partner, and a zombie that’s going through brain withdrawals as a house mate, it’s a fun little romp.
So far the show has two seasons and with the exception of the first episode, it doesn’t particularly matter if you watch them in or out of sequence. They’re almost entirely episodic, similar to The Simpsons, which in some ways is a pity as there’s clearly scope for a long running series. The animation style is somewhat similar to Daria, and the humour is fairly reminiscent as well… if Daria perhaps lived in Bon Temps.
Here’s a clip!
Ahh those wacky Germans and their wacky cannibals. They haven’t got anything on the latest in beauty treatments. Vampire Facelifts!
This used to be the only way to get a facelift
The latest fad in the extreme cosmetic beauty segment appears to not require that much slicing and dicing, but it does need a stronger stomach than most of the procedures thus far… It’s pretty safe to assume that regular readers (such as they are as this is the first new post in months) are probably young enough to not have ever had to bother with cosmetic surgery. So just to fill people in, generally speaking, a chemical (as opposed to surgical) facelift is usually done by pumping your face full of a “filler” compound that is basically a specifically rendered and patented set of fats, proteins and some amino-acids. These are usually derived from livestock offal and lards (mostly pig as they’re genetically similar to us) although there are a few operators out there that have used liposucked fat in the past.
And this is where the vampire facelift differs.
Hold up a second. I should probably point out that “Vampire Facelift” is actually a specifically trademarked name for a platelet rich plasma matrix infusion, a technique that was originally developed to help burn victims recover their own skin. Rather than using a cow or even your own fat arse to plump up your face, it basically takes the platelets from your own blood to hijack your system into creating more regenerative cytokines (they’re basically the proteins that tell cells and microfauna in your body what to do)… It’s all rather scientific, but not in a way that common people shouldn’t be able to understand. If you paid attention in highscool biology, most of this should be known to you. It’s really basic life science.
Here is a doctor explaining why science is actually magic. Possibly a magic potion even!
Perhaps the most insulting thing about this entire fad, epitomised by this video “explanation”, is how pseudoscience is being used to sell people’s own fat arses right back to them. It’s exactly what Tyler Durden was going on about with his Paper Street Soap. There are three reasons why shit like this pisses me off.
- This is an expensive process. A process that only people in upper classes can actually afford to get done on the kind of regular basis required for “rejuvenating” cosmetic surgery. Developing this process was expensive and time consuming. And the manufacture lab time required is being soaked up by people that don’t actually have anything wrong with them, while other people have to wait for skin to be grafted to their legs.
- I truly wish to believe in a meritocracy, even though I know it’s bullshit.people with money can afford a decent education, so there’s no excuse for falling for this kind of pseudoscientific bullshit… Then again, a lot of highly intelligent people believe n the most ludicrous crap because they’ve used their own intellect to build rock solid arguments for whatever it is they’re wrong about. Intelligent people have a hard time admitting they’re wrong, after all.
- Precisely what is vampiric about this process? Cannibalistic would be much more apt, but I get the feeling that the guys in marketing just went with the fact that vampires are as hot as Hansel right now. Either way, this kind of gives rise to the whole vampire poser image whole heartedly, which is possibly worse than my previous beefs.
At the end of the day, things like this shouldn’t bother me. But when you (over)hear people talking about it and how amazing they look and how expensive it was as they walk past beggars it kind of gets your goat. Especially when they wonder out loud precisely why people in London are rioting right now.
Admittedly, John is neither from Melbourne nor a vampire... but I figured I'd plug him anyway.
When the Times of India tells you that vampires are actively moving to your city you have a bit of a chuckle to yourself, and think “Oh those silly little tamagothies!”
When a credible news source gives you a substantially expanded version of the article, it’s time to reconsider where you live. Adelaide maybe. (more…)
But only because Vince Colosimo can’t speak around fangs.
Something that a whole mess of people don’t realise is that sometime last financial year, a rather large swathe of our tax dollars got was released as a vampire movie. It was an Australian vampire movie, with most of the cast of Neighbours as terrible extras, and Sam Neill pushing something a bit more than just red meat. But for all the terrible acting, the cinematography and actual script, plot and concept of the movie are astoundingly good. Unlike the extraordinarily large precedent set before it by almost every Aussie film I can think of that had to get government backed financing, however, this movie didn’t actually suck. Only the characters in it… and *Vince Colosimo’s acting.
How anyone could confuse this for a shot from the Matrix is totally beyond me...
The idea behind the film is that in about a decade’s time, vampirism sweeps the land. Like zombieism to some degree, as everyone is now either vampire, or an industrially kept sack of fluids and vampire nutrients that are kept in large farming towers to have their vitals tapped somewhat reminsiscent of the way that we’re all currently powering The Matrix. Of course, the problem with this is that in reality, people confined to such conditions are most likely going to die due to muscles being kept immobile. Their muscles would atrophy, the body would become less and less healthy, and then simply cease to sustain its own life. This is precisely what’s happening to the human farms in the world Daybreakers, and the stock of free range humans that the vampire military can find is rapidly running out. This is highly problematic, as all the blood substitutes that the large vampire corporations are attempting to cook up simply don’t have the… desired effect.
Aperature Science - We do what we must because we can...
Generally speaking, when you go and eat something, if it makes your head explode instead of nourishing you, that’s what the current pharmaceutical industry calls “undesirable side effects” (as opposed to Viagra, which was originally intended as a heart medication, having a side effect that was way better than what it was intended to be primarily used for).
It forgot to put the lotion on its skin
As the blood becomes scarce, vampires begin to riot out of panic. Why? Because if they don’t get human blood, they devolve into bat like animals that attack anything, but look way cool thanks to WETA. Dog blood won’t do. Can’t have coffee. Must be people, but not Soylent Green! It’s a brilliant commentary on energy crisii type situations, and no doubt the future food shortages we’re likely to experience as the temperate zones move further towards the polar regions.
Eventually, a cure is found, which in turn causes complications. In yet anotherdig at modern day situations, a cure is no good because there’s no money to be had in a cure. The large corporation within the film is only interested in a human blood substitute, so that everyone must become a long term client. As pharmaceutical companies in real life are similarly disinterested in cures, but rather treatment regimes, as cures do not provide long term customers.
And for good measure, there’s also a couple of fascist dictatorship references. Fun!
The entire film is dark, set with a cool filter over every scene that takes place in the city to emphasise how cold and dark is the night. Sadly, the city isn’t terribly memorable or impressive… It’s Surfer’s Paradise after all (not exactly a place that screams “Vampires live here!”). To counter that, every scene shot in the country regions where not-blood-cow humans escape to is warm and sunny, made more so thanks to a rather obvious warm colour filter. A more critical person would say that the juxtaposition is also there to show how unnatural city living is and that it’s the death of us all as we devolve and feed on our fellow man but that’s the kind of wankery one picks up after having done a semester of film analysis at university… *cough*… Whilst this kind of videography is pretty standard for modern vampire films, it really hammers home the (intended to be) subtle messages of the film.
"My guess is he died of boredom watching WogBoy 2" - "HahahaHEY!"
Willem Dafoe was actually rather week in this film, I felt. He plays “Elvis”, the vampire that somehow manages to cure himself (and in turn becomes a weak, pathetic human again). Dafoe normally has this seedy hyper activity about him, like Steve Buschemi on crack but with nice teeth. He seemed rathe flat and lifeless in this film, which, considering he’s actually alive again, should be the exact opposite of his characterisation I feel. To make matters worse, this isn’t even the first vampire role he’s been in. He was Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire, the archetype for what the vampires in Daybreakers basically turn into without blood, and yet he was off the walls in that film. A bit of a disappointment to my mind.
Ethan Hawk manages to ensure that this isn’t the massive let down it could be though. He plays Edward Dalton, Hematologist man! It’s his job to find a cure for vampirism… or at least a substitute for blood. But he also happens to be a filthy human sympathiser! With clouded thoughts of “perhaps humans are people, too” this sick deviant not only saves a pack of the filthy things, he actively goes to live with them for a time to discover his cure! Degenerate filth!! And he’s believable in this sort of characterisation. You genuinely believe he feels sorry for the fact that people are no longer human, and that he actually thinks of them as an endangered species, rather than what he used to be. There’s a kind of sadness about him, until he basically fucks over Sam Neill.
"Now if they eat more meat, their blood will have more iron and be tastier... I have an idea!"
Sam Neill is rather convincing in his role as Charles Bromley, an evil bastard in charge of an evil pharmaceutical company. Perhaps this is based on his many many roles as a self absorbed narcissist that happens to be better off than those around him, or maybe it’s a side effect of all the meat he’s been trying to get kids to eat lately. I’ve got to say though, having seen this film, it really does all make sense now.
All up, I give this film three and a half swinging blue cocks.
*No, he really wasn’t so bad in this. It’s just that I hate Colosimo for some reason, and the bar has been set pretty low on Australian actors that aren’t Sam Neill. Name me one other local actor that’s pulled out their own eyes. That’s commitment to a bit!
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