Pleasantville and the Cthulhu Mythos.

This thought is not mine, but Ken Hite’s. It’s part of his bloody marvelous Tour de Lovecraft, which should be on everybody’s short list of horror-genre analysis books to buy, but the relevant bit is here:

Hence, you can watch Pleasantville as a photographic negative of “The Colour Out of Space.” As the color which nobody in the world has ever seen before spreads, their society is destroyed. We have met the Colour, and it is us.

No, think about it for a second.  Consider Pleasantville as a horror film:

Continue reading Pleasantville and the Cthulhu Mythos.

Books of the week changes.

First off, thanks to Constant Reader Matt we have our replacement for Momfidence! (which is a good resource for the new, harried parent) as the featured sidebar book: How To Survive a Robot Uprising: Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion.  I haven’t read it, but I’ve known Matt for going on decades now, and I trust him.

Also, there’s Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen.  Which I also have not read yet, but if it’s good enough for Ken Hite, it’s good enough for me.

A plethora of Trail of Cthulhu / Esoterrorist resources.

Although I should probably come up with something more squamous than “plethora.”

Anyway: I think that I’ve previously mentioned Trail of Cthulhu, which is Ken Hite’s exceptionally good sourcebook for 1930’s-style Cthulhu Mythos roleplaying (the default time period is actually the 1920s, which is of course a completely different style from a roleplaying standard) for the GUMSHOE system, which is an attempt to create a roleplaying game that is actually designed to accommodate mysteries and investigation.  It’s the same game engine that’s used by Robin Laws’ The Esoterrorists, which more of a modern occult-horror investigation/repression game.

Good gaming stuff, in other words – and Steve Jackson Games is selling supplements for both Trail of Cthulhu and The Esoterrorists as part of their PDF publishing service. Significant savings over the dead-tree version, instantly accessible, good stuff with which to get your geek on – a nice deal all around.  Check them out

Ah. Push.

I’ll add an additional reason to Ken Hite‘s observation of why you (apparently incorrectly) decided to give Push a pass:

You may remember Push as the movie whose preview made you go: “I saw that movie already, and it was called Jumper, and it sprang for Samuel L. Jackson instead of Djimon Hounsou, and it still sucked.” Well, this is what we in the rhetoric business call “poisoning the well.”

…the official website is obnoxious as all get-out. I had to go find a copy of the trailer on YouTube.

…It didn’t look that bad, actually. Ken says that it’s nifty, and there’s definitely something to be said for psionic shenanigans in Hong Kong, particularly if they involve a techno beat and a lot of gun fu. Guess Feng Shui‘s going to have to write a new gaming supplement…

You know, I STILL can’t figure out if Land of the Lost is going to be worth it.

If you watch the video:

…you rapidly come to the conclusion that the basic principle is, well, kind of stupid.  Then again, so was the the original series.  I mean, let’s face it: it was crap, crap, crap, like much of Sid & Marty Kroft’s work (all hail James Lileks for coming up with the indispensable adjective “Lovekroftian,” by the way: I’d email it to Ken Hite, except he might run with it, God help us all).  Which would be a double-strength not-a-chance, except that Will Ferrell’s involved.  The guy has a talent for making the best of crap.

So it’s a hard call.  Maybe when it hits video.