Produced & Directed by Quinn Costello, Jeff Metzler & Jeff Springer Narrated by Wendell Pierce
So I’m going to admit something to you. If you’ve been hanging around this site for any length of time, though, it’s not exactly a shock revelation. I have a fondness for When Animals Attack films. I especially enjoy the When Giant Animals Attack sub-genre. If a week goes by where I can’t make a Food of the Gods reference, I feel like something’s spiritually wrong. Night of the Lepus is a staple of annual Halloween viewing. So when I heard there was a film about giant rodents eating Louisiana, I expected it to be ATOMIC giant rodents or stop-motion giant rodents or…something. But it was a documentary. Oh yes.
Enter…the nutria. I know it sounds like I’m about to launch into a sales pitch for a new smoothie diet mix, but no…nutria are basically what would happen if naked mole rats got sick and tired of being picked on, so they overdosed on Rogaine and steroids. These things are as big as beavers and have orange teeth. See? Orange teeth. That’s weird. They should be atomic, glowing orange teeth but no, it’s something apparently normal having to do with the enamel.
I won’t rehash the story of how the nutria came to Louisiana, because that’s part of the docu Rodents of Unusual Size. And the animated sequence towards the beginning in which Wendell Pierce (Treme, Jack Ryan) tells you the story does a much better job than I could. Suffice it to say the nutria were brought in with the best of intentions, they got loose, they were fruitful and multiplied, and now they eat vegetation which helps hold the ground together. And with the ground compromised, it has a tendency to just…wash away.
It’s no secret that I’m fascinated by both (as of this writing, there have been only two) World Wars. Simply because about six months or so, I learn some new insane fact about the conflicts. Nothing so far has beaten aircraft carrier submarines, though. So when I saw the Kickstarter for The Neptune Monograph Project, I leapt on it. This is the document that was used for D-Day planning and was the highest level of Top Secret (BIGOT) they had (except for Double Secret BIGOT). The end result is badass and the sort of thing you can data geek out on for weeks. There are descriptions of German fortifications. There are charts about tides and info on the type of ground they’re going to hit when they arrive. There’s a level of info that…well, I have no idea how they pulled together this much stuff. I couldn’t do it today with Google Fu. So basically it’s an important WWII document that is now fully restored for posterity and uses its blank pages to provide historical context. If you really want to deep dive on the subject, you can’t get much deeper than this. If you need one for yourself, there’s still a couple left being sold over at Amazon.
If you’re reading this, then it’s official: you’ve survived 2018. Congratulations. Or you’re in the far flung future and somehow a copy of this site is extant despite the atomic wars, the invasion of mutant hamsters, and the revelation that saliva causes stomach cancer. So you were wise enough not to be born yet when 2018 happened, and thus I say also to you: congratulations.
One of the things we do around here while passing the time awaiting the heat death of the universe is to attempt to keep up with the release of new music. It’s impossible. I tried to listen to as much music from a single year a few years back and it damn near killed me. If anybody comes close to being able to sift through everything, that would have to be Need Coffee Music Ministers, Tuffley and Rob. And keeping with tradition, they have published their best-of lists for the year that was. You can find them on Spotify (links below). Also keeping with tradition, I tried to keep up with them and failed with spectacular grace for someone of my size. So I have my own list, heavily dependent on the other two to remind me of stuff I forgot (like Tuffley’s list reminded me that we had new (!) Coltrane, and Rob’s list making me aware of the existence of Durand Jones).
It’s Episode #190 for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in which our protagonist is blown away not only by badass animation and a kickass story, but also by the fact Spider-Ham is in a feature film. Read More
OBSESSION UPDATE: My attempt at plowing through MasterClass continues apace. As stated last time, I have taken the Helen Mirren and Steve Martin classes.
The Helen Mirren class is excellent and she is an absolute hoot. Her approach to choosing scripts and then how she takes the scripts apart (literally) is fascinating, as well as how she advises you to deal with the writer and director. And when she steps back to actually show you what it looks like to act on film (and the spot on the camera you’re basically acting to), you get a sense that she knows who people on the crew are–and that she’s a class act. Not that you doubted that, I’m sure, but you know what I mean. Granted, in the section where she’s going through set decoration and rummaging through a buffet of props, I hoped she had a good relationship with them because I could see (if you weren’t expecting her to do these things) the people on the crew wincing and wondering what the hell she was on about. Really good insight. Also–and this is a small thing, but I never realized it before–she has a tattoo on one of her hands which, as you can imagine, has an interesting backstory.
The New Scooby-Doo Movies teamed up Scooby and the Gang with Batman & Robin, The Three Stooges, and here, of course, The Addams Family. I’ve long advocated making a new round of these with the likes of Slipknot, Ryan Gosling, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Just because.
Well, unbelievably enough, we’re coming up on time to put 32 Days of Halloween back into the coffin for another year. The Halloween Season, of course, extends through New Year’s, so don’t worry yourself about that. But before we go, we need to go to an old-time radio version of a classic, “The Hitch-Hiker.” Starring Orson Welles, who performed it a few times on radio, it was later turned into a Twilight Zone episode. If you’re starved for time, at least listen to Welles’ intro.