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Hi! Welcome to Vertigo's Fun House. Here, you'll find write-ups on unsolved mysteries and serial killers. Thanks for stopping by! It means a lot.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 7: The Goatman

Say Cheese and Bleat

Amazingly, I had a fair bit of difficulty picking out a mystery to cover today. The original one I wanted to cover ended up being a bit too conclusive for my tastes and I wanted to have something that was a bit more… indecisive. As such, I’ve gone with the Goatman. On its surface, the Goatman is something that most would agree is nothing more than a fable that’s stood the test of time—and with very good reason. The idea of a half man, half goat creature is laughable at best and just flat out ridiculous at worst. So why cover it?

Well, the Goatman is one of those entities that has its roots planted in the same ground as the Wendigo and the Skinwalker. If you’ve ever listened to any sort of scary story YouTube channel, odds are you’ve heard of those two. The Goatman has, at times, fallen into the same category where it’s seemingly interchangeable with them. A shapeshifting beast of legend that hungers for human flesh and lurks within the woods, waiting for unsuspecting prey.

So is this creature real? Let’s find out the truth.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 6: The Bermuda Beast

Ia, Ia, Shub-Niggurath! Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young!

The Bermuda Triangle with a reputation that exceeds its name. Known to some as the Devil's Triangle, this hypothetical location has been blamed for numerous missing aircrafts, ships, and peculiarities—ranging from mysterious lights in the sky to bizarre compass readings. These date back to when Christopher Columbus was waiting through the triangle in October of 1492. Columbus claimed that his crew saw strange lights in the sky that darted around, while the man himself said he had unusual compass readings.

Theories surrounding the Triangle are as plentiful as its body count. These include aliens abducting the aircrafts and ships, Atlantian technology causing aircrafts and ships to crash, wormholes, the Triangle being a portal to another dimension or universe, otherworldly beings destroying or stealing them, and blackholes.

Officially, the explanation to the Bermuda Triangle's bizarre behavior is that it's in a spot that causes unusual magnetic field behavior. I'm likely butchering that explanation, but I'm extremely bad when it comes to how Earth's magnetic field operates. Regardless, this theory has been scoffed at by those who believe there is more to the Triangle than we like to believe.

While I have full the full intention of one day covering the entirety of the Bermuda Triangle in a documentary style write-up, where I'll cover the mammoth legend front and back, inside and out, I want to focus on one theory today. It's called the Bermuda Beast and it's something that reads more like something straight out of the 2019 film “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”.

Described as being four times the size of the Eiffel Tower—which would make it a staggering fifty one times the size of a Blue Whale at over 4,000 feet long—the Bermuda Beast is said to be capable of leaping out of the water to snap entire planes from the sky and devouring them and everyone inside in a single, this colossal monstrosity would be the largest creature to have ever inhabited Earth by a country mile. It would be four times the size of the largest tsunami ever recorded. Ride the wave, dude.

However, is there any evidence to support such a leviathan? Let's find out.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 5: Giant Jellyfish

Don't touch the tentacles.

Jellyfish are some of the most peculiar creatures on the planet. With no brain to speak of (save for Box Jellyfish, which do have a brain), they float around to the ocean’s current. The largest one on the planet, stretching at a whopping 120 feet long, is the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish. However, what if there was a larger one? Well, as luck would have it, sightings of such creatures exist. So today, let’s take a gander at the reports of
Giant Jellyfish.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 4: Krampus


I was given the choice between this legend and The Rake. I can't fathom why I'd not pick the latter given the basis for the Rake is one that could be considered realistic. It is, after all, something that's a lot more true to life than Santa Claus.

Or is it?

The worldwide toy delivering fat man who we as children send letters to in the hopes of getting the shiniest new truck, doll, and remaster/port if The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one that we grow out of. There's no denying that. However, Santa has an opposite who dies more than give naughty kids coal.

Named Krampus, this ghoulish being is the kindness of monster one would expect to see accompanying a death metal band when on tour. Luckily, he doesn't exist. Entry over, right?

Not quite. YouTube has to make life difficult for me. See, if you go ahead and search for “Krampus real life”, you're greeted by some who claim to have really seen or encountered Santa's opposite. I guess the saying is true: a sucker is born every minute.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 3: 1988 Ulster County John Doe

The man in question.

This story is one that I only recently discovered. On the surface, there’s nothing too special about it. After all, there are thousands of John and Jane Doe’s waiting to be identified. What makes this story special—in my eyes at least—is the photo that was found in this particular individuals possession. A seemingly happy man holding a young child. Ever since I saw the photo, I’ve been wondering to myself: who is the
1988 Ulster County John Doe?

Monday, December 2, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 2: The Awful

Due to a lack of sketches, I'm forced to use a generic image of a gryphon.

I was a bit torn on whether I should really dedicate an entry to this alleged beast or not. At first glance, it may seem like something that could be seen as something like a Thunderbird. Apply any sort of analytical eye however and all signs will immediately point towards a fabrication or—if you want to be optimistic—an urban legend. However, I want to cover it both as a jab at a friend of mine (hi, Jim!) and because it’s something quicker to write. I did have plans to cover other gryphon-based cryptids, but those are also really short and manage to be even less compelling than the creature that’s known as The Awful. That said, let’s begin.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Decemystery (2019) 1: Golf Rumors

Welcome to Decemystery 2019!

I had scrapped the idea for Decemystery 2019 a few weeks ago. I had intended to just offset the workload to March/May so I could get together something extremely special and exciting. Yet, I didn't want to nix what I hope to be a yearly thing. Something that makes the end of the year special and fun 

So I wondered what I could do. It admittedly didn't take long to settle on covering mostly extremely weird, quirky, silly mysteries and a few conspiracies. To top it all off, a few truly horrible, maddeningly evil tales. So while this go around may not have the same vibe as last year—instead featuring primarily outlandish, goofy tales—there is still going to be plenty of fun to be had. This is, of course, merely in my eyes. For all I know, you won't agree.

Anyways, let's get to the first story. This one is the sister entry to the write-up I did in the 2006 Volleyball Incident and is the primary reason I resurrected this year's Decemystery. It's a story that's as vague as it is fascinating. Let me introduce you it to via a description from a now archived 4chan thread.

They also hunt down anyone [people who look into Golf Rumors] religiously.

Such a warning like this is something that would no doubt put off anyone who expresses interest. The story of what’s come to be known as Golf Rumors is one that descends into that oh-so lovely rabbit hole of Satanic rituals and all sorts of other occult-based claims. It’s the type of stuff that makes up any New World Order/Illuminati conspiracy you can find on the internet.

What makes this one more fantastical is how it allegedly has been scrubbed from the surface web. It is, for all intents and purposes, a story that's worthy of being seen by the eyes of those who dare to go to the deepest parts of the deep web.

Or so they say. We won't know unless we go on a journey to discover the truth. So let's begin.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Mini Mystery 15: The 2006 Volleyball Incident

It's time to don these, lads and lasses!

Let's have some fun with this write-up folks. We're taking a deep dive into a very strange story today. It's one I found while poking around for something to write about. I wasn't searching for anything special really, but Lady Luck decided I was a good boy and I deserved something extra special.

Nowadays, with how divisive the topic of the second amendment of the United States is, any school shooting—or mass shooting for that matter—is guaranteed to spark a 24 hour long debate about how we should repeal or regulate it. At the same time, the pushback against such a topic will cause the former group to push even harder.

That makes today's story all the more peculiar in its name. It's something called the 2006 Volleyball Incident and it's been called both a conspiracy theory and a case of the Mandela Effect. I try to avoid conspiracies when I can as I try to focus more on your normal mysteries of the world and crime. However, this particular one I'll make an exception for as it's truly something bizarre.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Canceled Cinema 3: B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations

B.O.O. was a DreamWorks film that was roughly 60% complete when it was canceled thanks to corporate restructuring (roughly 500 animators were laid off thanks to the underperformance of films like 2014's How To Train Your Dragon 2). Originally slated for a release in June 7, 2015, the film was sent back to being "in development" seven months prior to its release. Below, you'll discover what this film could have been.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Mini Mystery 14: The 3X Killer

This mystery will be covered more extensively and thoroughly in A World of Terror towards the end of next year. Nevertheless, this entry will cover everything there is to see that's necessary to get the picture of the killer who called himself 3X.

When I began planning A World of Terror, I knew I wanted a roughly 25-75 split of unsolved and known serial killers respectively. This split was so I had a larger focus on the minds of those we know—whether they be those the public knows or a more obscure name—and a smaller focus on the names that chill the everyman, torment detectives, and captivate the amateur sleuths of the world. With this mindset, I got to work finding names that truly defined those three categories.

Two that instantly sprang to my mind were the Zodiac and the Monster of Florence. The former is known around the world as one of the most infamous unsolved crimes—and mysteries as a whole—in history, rivaling the likes of Jack the Ripper in popularity. The latter meanwhile is the European counterpart to the Zodiac, but a significantly more sexually motivated killer. He's also believed by some to also be the Zodiac; the idea being that he fled the United States and went to Italy to continue his rampage.

As I went through numerous stories, lists, and files on unidentified serial killers, I realized something. Many of these individuals echoed any other madman with a gun or knife. There was little to separate them from the sea of other unidentified person who terrorized a neighborhood or city. This forced me to make a decision: either I changed my 25-75 split or I had to dig deeper into the pool of serial killers I'd amassed for stranger stories that I'd otherwise save for a lazy, rainy day to write about.

I contemplated this a bit before deciding that the idea of reducing the split would hinder my ultimate point, which is that while law enforcement can end the terrible reigns of truly evil people, not all will be caught. There are instances in which local police are ill equipped to handle a situation like a serial killer, the killer themselves is one step ahead (the Zodiac falls into this category as an example), or the killer may in fact have law enforcement training and knows how to leave behind little to no evidence.

With that in mind, I got to work digging through what I call my bag of strange. The mysteries and crimes that are more enigmatic than they are chilling or creepy. Stories like the Prophecy of the Popes fall into this category. Their nature is something that I try my best to save for once in a blue moon as they I believe minimize the subjects that I wish to present when discussing a mystery.

Today's mystery is one that fell into that category, but has slowly moved out of it. Known as the 3X Killer (known from here on out as 3X), this mystery is one that I've very rarely seen talked about. The YouTube channel Criminally Listed has covered it, which pleased me and there is a Reddit post on these murders. On the flip side, this story lacks a Wikipedia page. This actually led Tyler—this blogs coauthor—to outright ask me if this mystery was even real, though the details to the mystery itself didn't help matters. It wasn't until he found a New York Times article from back in the 1930s that he realized I wasn't joking about any of this and everything regarding 3X wasn't a joke or exaggeration.

I don't blame him for that skepticism either. Most serial killers are people who murder for the thrill—be that sexual or not—they get from taking another person's life or for extreme hatred towards another gender or race. In the case of 3x, neither of those are applicable. His actions and motivations are much closer to those of a hitman that was hired by an organized crime syndicate.

This isn't terribly uncommon given the time period. The 3X murders happened back in 1930 and as we'll learn, America back then, especially in New York City, had a very real and serious problem with the Mafia. Someone like 3X wasn't necessarily abnormal to everyday life. What him stand out however was how he treated what he did. You see, most hitmen do their job and collect their pay. Should a cop or federal agent have come their way, they'd what they could to make sure they looked the other way. The Shotgun Man is someone who fit this description should you believe the stories of him. Hush money was powerful back then and as we've seen in cases like Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, it's still powerful.

No, what made 3X stand out was his vocal nature. He sent many letters to the press explaining what he did, why he did it, and what could be done to end his reign of terror before he claimed more lives. This action is something I've rarely, if ever, seen done. 3X seemed to hold the entirety of New York City for ransom and his demands were centered on one man and one many only. This paints a very peculiar picture for the psyche and profile of the man, which we'll discuss after we've covered the story itself. All I'll say for now is that I don't believe that 3X was a man who didn't know what he was doing.

All of this and more is why for this Halloween, we'll take a look at what I consider to be one of the most bizarre serial killers in the world; a crime spree that reads more like a hybrid of a Mission: Impossible film and David Fincher's Zodiac. The final thing I'll note is that, as stated at the very beginning this story will be expanded upon when I get to the World of Terror entry for 3X. That entry will expand upon the journalistic, psychological, and other criminological elements of the case—to the best of my amateurish ability anyways. For the time being, let's go over the case.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Mini Mystery 13: J'ba Fofi

Theraphosa blondi—better known as the Goliath Birdeater or Goliath Bird-eating Spider—is the largest spider on Earth, which legs that can reach up to a foot in length. The Huntsman Spider can be larger however and is typically considered the largest spider by leg-span.

The image of those two spiders alone is enough to invoke nightmares. However, both aren't dangerous to humans. The Huntsman Spider can cause swelling and be painful, but it won't kill you. The Goliath Birdeater on the other hand can barely break through your skin and may not even release venom when it does so. Nonetheless: the size of those two spiders alone is enough to trigger a panic attack. That is, until you wonder: could there be spiders that are even larger?

Earth's a mysterious place. Each year, we discover many new species of animals and plants, which is a good reminder that we don't know anywhere near as much as we think we do about our home. Coupled with the history of reports of giant earwigs, birds, ants, octopi, squids (which turned out to be true), sharks, and so on: the concept of a giant spider isn't too far fetched—is it?

Maybe, maybe not. There is a cryptid that's said to be a giant spider: J'ba Fofi. It's associated act is Mokele-Mbembe; the names of both cryptids hail from the same the native Baka people. Unlike the latter however, J'ba Fofi didn't appear in 2019's Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Decemystery 2019 Preview

Last December, I did a daily blog series called Decemystery. Although there were a few days I missed, I did ultimately conclude the month with a total of 32 mysteries. In hindsight. They're rather rough and could've been significantly better. Still, I'm proud of it and loved doing it.

That's why this year. in doing it again! Only this time, instead of 32 mysteries, I've got a collection of 75—I think. I could be wrong as my math talent is absolutely awful. I digress, the normal Decemystery is still 32 mysteries. The other 43 are gifts to some of my closest friends. This'll definitely hinder the progress of A World of Terror, however I still anticipate having the first entry released this year.

But Vertigo, you promise so much and never follow through with it! How can we know that this won't end up like that?

This is something that I've not been told, but rather that I repeatedly think about. Admittedly, I have more ideas than I can realistically handle. I'd argue that this entire series will be me compiling nearly every unused idea into one massive series, but that's besides the point. This blogpost alone will light a fire under me to make sure I don't ignore it. Stress level be damned!

Now then: allow me to show you some of what will be in store this December!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Mini Mystery 12: Lucid Dreaming

My first truly paranormal/supernatural mystery blog. I hope it came out well!

Dreams are, to put it very lightly, something of an enigma. They can reflect the previous day or recent events, bring to life come of your greatest desires or wishes, or show you some of your greatest fears.

To some, dreams hold a very deep, significant meaning that can help shed light on oneself. To others, they are nothing but fragmented memories that happen while we sleep. Either way, they're interesting to me—even if I fall on the side of the latter when it comes to a deeper meaning.

There is, however, one thing related to dreams that I can't deny doesn't make sense to me. Something that doesn't feel like simple “fragmented memories” from the day prior or recent events.

It's simply known as lucid dreaming.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

A World of Terror: Prologue

As children, we're told that monsters don't exist; that we have nothing to fear as nothing lurks beneath our bed or within our closets. While such a fact may be true, the statement that “monsters don't exist” is something that I'll argue isn't true.

Sure, monsters may not reside in our bedrooms, but they exist. It's just that they walk among us.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Preview – A World of Terror

This is a preview to something that I've been working on for the past 7 months. I don't know when this specific entry will be done, but I want to share the opening of it. I hope you all like it.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

So, Where Is It From? Well, That's The Beauty of It! It Isn't From Anywhere!

I want to take a minute to ask you all a question. Tell me: have you ever heard this in a film or television show before?

“So, what does it do?”

“That's the beauty of it! It doesn't do anything!”

I went around and asked 42 people if they'd ever heard that line and their answers were all quite surprising to me.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Video Game Review: Pokémon – Altered Emerald

Life's taken me to many places this year and as of late, the places it's taken me have been nothing but the best. However, these past few days, I've diverged to an area I've not been to with any level of genuine enthusiasm in several years: the world of Pokémon.

I've not really cared for the Pokémon games since Black & White's sequels, though I did complete Pokemon Y and most of Omega Ruby. I never played through any of Sun, Moon, or their… sequels—if that's what Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were. I digress however, one thing I've always quite enjoyed were the ROM Hacks that the fan community make. There have been a few that I've enjoyed, though I never dove into that many. Lately however, I have. So, today, I'm gonna review one that I've played through—most of it anyways. I've not done too much with the post-game content, but I may do a follow-up review when I do.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Movie Review: Brightburn

The superhero genre has grown rather dull for me. Avengers: Endgame was so much movie that to a large degree, I realized that my excitement for Spider-Man: Far From Home had largely waned once I left the theater from Endgame. That isn't to say I don't have interest in superhero films anymore, but I don't find myself quite as hyped as I used to. This is due to how many of them by and large feel very alike; the characters are different, but the perils they face are more or less the same. Hero as a predicament, bad guy is there, hero fights bad guy, overcomes predicament, all is well.

Some superhero films have subverted that formula by throwing a few twists into the mix. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a political thriller, Logan was a heart-wrenching film, and Deadpool was comedic. However, they are an exception to the rule. At their hearts, they are still superhero films that follow a traditional formula.

Then there's Brightburn. Brightburn is different. Brightburn is a superhero-horror film. And it isn't a very happy one at that.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Wednesday Weirdness: The City in the Sky

Going up to the spirit in the sky (spirit in the sky!)

It's where I'm gonna go when I die (when I die!)

When I die and they lay me to rest, I'm gonna go to the place that's the best!

And that place is the City in the Sky.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Monday Mystery: Gef the Talking Mongoose

Last week, I said I'd be covering the mystery of "Adam". However, due to last week having been extremely hellish, plus that story being a rather emotionally difficult one to cover. While I’ve read and written about some rather saddening topics, the story of Adam proved to be more than I could stomach for the time being. So, I’ve instead opted cover a significantly less heart wrenching story: Gef the Talking Mongoose.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Marchopping Block 16: Ringu (Brussels Cut)

Films go through numerous cuts before the finished product is released to the public, which is the consumed by the general population for their entertainment.

However, prior to that, there are premieres for the film. Sometimes, these premieres are at festivals, like the Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film, where the 1998 Japanese horror film, Ringu, had its European debut (in 1999). Much like the rest of critics around the world, critics at the festival praised the film, primarily for its tense atmosphere, strong build up, and not relying on jump scares.

But the continued praise for Ringu wasn't the only thing to come out of the film festival. Along with it was the claim that the cut shown at it was a significantly more disturbing and violent one than the one shown elsewhere.

Marchopping Block 15: Need for Speed: Most Wanted 2

The Need For Speed (NFS for short) franchise has gone through many iterations. Everything from your standard street races with bright colored environments and cops chasing after you, to the late-night Fast and Furious inspired street races with car customization.

With numerous installments, a few reboots, and even a theatrical film starring Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul, Need For Speed is one of the, if not the most, well known Racing series of all time. Perhaps one of the series most popular entries was 2005’s Need For Speed: Most Wanted, the first installment on the then shiny, new Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Marchopping Block 14: This Man

Creepypasta’s are the internet generations version of campfire stories. Scary stories that are told and then passed around from person to person. BEN Drowned, Candle Cove, No End House, and many others fall into this category, with the latter two having been brought to the small screen thanks to  Sy-Fy’s television series, Channel Zero. It’s also thanks to that show that the genre has had its chance to showcase some of its best stories to people that would otherwise wouldn't think twice about reading the actual stories.

However Creepypasta's are no stranger to a larger format of entertainment media. Marble Hornets, the series that popularized Slender Man, was an internet film series. It was thanks in part to that series that Slender Man would become something of an icon in internet culture. Years later, he'd also get his very own feature film.

What am I getting stuff here? Creepypasta's, while they're often given a bad name thanks to the array of less-than good works, aren't strangers to the behemoth that is the entertainment industry. Case in point: This Man (also known as Ever Dream This Man?), a story that began to circulate towards the end of 2009, and quickly became a Creepypasta.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Marchopping Block 13: StarCraft: Ghost

There's a certain bit of painful irony fans of Blizzard Entertainment see when they look back on StarCraft: Ghost. When the reskinned mobile game masquerading as Diablo: Immortal was revealed to the world at Blizzcon 2018, fans couldn't help but remember the cancellation of Ghost.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Marchopping Block 12: My Little Pony: The Movie

Adapting a property into a film can be difficult—especially one that to many is an enigma. There are periods when a property is ripe for an adaptation, and more often than not: that time comes and goes due to studios not taking advantage of it. After that point has passed: the potential box office revenue drops—fast. People move onto the next big thing and only the most devoted stay. Sure, some will remain an unvocal, unengaged member of the fanbase, but the deviation from the series will continue until there's no interest left in it.

Examples of this are Warcraft, which admittedly performed amazingly overseas where the series is still extremely popular. In the US and other territories, however, the series has seen people come and go like seasons. Another example is 2018’s Slender Man. The character, while he still has a fan base, isn't anywhere near as popular as he was in the early 2010s.

Arguably one of the better examples, however, is 2017’s My Little Pony: The Movie, a big screen adaptation of the fourth generation of the series: Friendship is Magic. This movie released at an odd time in the series life—coming out towards the end of it. While not a rarity for a television series, Pony (as it'll be referred to from here on out) is a toy line and like any series based off of toys: the purpose is to sell them. In the case of Pony: that goal was no different, but it had some unused ideas that make it sound more akin to a fanfiction than an actual movie.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Marchopping Block 11: Dead Island 2

California is a place known for Hollywood, sunshine, beaches, celebrities, and the Zodiac Killer. All in all, it's the ideal place to take a vacation if you can afford it.

In the eyes of Deep Silver, however, California is the perfect place to unleash hordes of zombies. Perhaps it's a metaphor for the ritzy folks living in Los Angeles and Hollywood in general. Perhaps zombies and cities go together. Regardless, in 2014 at Sony's E3 conference, Dead Island 2 was revealed and then died like any of the hundreds or thousands of zombies the player would have subsequently massacred over the course of the game.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Marchopping Block 10: Tyrannosaurus Rex

Rob Zombie is a controversial director to say the least. His films, while far from being critically praised, have a devoted audience and have all attained some sort of cult following; the soon-to-be trilogy centering on the Firefly Family being the most popular. This series consists of House of a Thousand Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, and the upcoming 3 From Hell. These films—and I’ll admit that I’m making an assumption for 3 From Hell—have all received generally so-so reviews; some loving them for their warped humor and unique sense of direction and cinematography, while others find them to be nothing more than torture porn.

Regardless of one’s views, the films helped skyrocket Zombie’s career as someone who does brutal, unrelenting violence well. In 2007, he was tapped to direct a remake of John Carpenter’s legendary slasher film: Halloween. The film was considered to be less-than stellar, though there was, as always, a niche audience for it. The sequel on the other hand, not so much. This resulted in Zombie returning to his own original projects which consisted of Lords of Salem and 31.

Prior to those two however, Zombie had another film planned. One that would’ve deviated from his normal genre of violent horror. This film was called Tyrannosaurus Rex and it remains one of the most frustrating canceled films in my eyes for the simple fact that its premise remains one of the coolest and most intriguing to date.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Marchopping Block 9: L.A. Noire


Hey, remember in the entry for Agent how I mentioned that when Rockstar was working on a “new franchise for the PlayStation 3” that some speculated was “another certain upcoming, and extremely troubled, Rockstar game?” Yeah, the game I was hinting at there was L.A. Noire.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Marchopping Block 8: Monster Trucks

Children’s movies are often dark in some fashion or form. Sid’s room in Toy Story still haunts me to this day, Finding Nemo has its opening scene, and Cars 2 is grim to say the least. Then there’s Monster Trucks, which is dark for an entirely different reason. Or rather, was dark.

Marchopping Block 7: Brothers in Arms: Furious 4

Ah, the somber tone of World War II. Fighting against Nazi Germany: considered by many to be one of the most evil, tyrannical governments to have ever existed in human history. The systematic extermination of Jewish people under Chancellor Adolf Hitler and his “Final Solution”. In total, six million Jews were murdered in one of the worst genocides ever seen on Earth.

It's only natural such horrors would attract the entertainment industry. The idea of seeing such monsters get their just desserts would be appealing. In the case of video games, the mere idea of being able to be the one to stop them is even more appealing. Medal of Honor and Call of Duty were the two biggest stars of the World War II military shooter; the latter eventually coming out victorious and now being an annualized first-person shooter known more for its multiplayer and zombies mode that in of itself is a strong enough selling point and could feasibly be its own video game. Nobody tell Activision.

In the midst of those two franchises fighting, a smaller series emerged from Gearbox Software. Brothers in Arms was its name. The game was praised for a much more realistic tone and difficulty; delving into the horrors of the war and the more psychological effects it had, as opposed to the feel-good “we are the champions” tone that both Medal of Honor and Call of Duty sported.

With its presence established, Brothers in Arms went onto spawn sequels and spin-offs. After a while of spin-offs however, the demand for a new main entry struck at an all-time. It was then that Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 was announced. Fans were ready for a next-gen entry of the gritty, emotional, and powerful World War II series; one that would teach Call of Duty who the real alpha military shooter series was. Nobody—nobody—takes away a title from Randy Pitchford!


Mini Mystery 11: Belle Gunness

I’m sorry to inform all of you that Belle Gunness bears absolutely relationship—inspiration or otherwise—to the Belle that was voiced by Paige O’Hara in Beauty and the Beast. However, I do have reason to believe that she inspired Emma Watson in the 2017 live action version as just like Watson’s singing, Belle is one of America’s most notorious female serial killers, and most certainly left me cringing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Marchopping Block 6: Ślizgawka w Łazienkach

Let’s take a trip back in time to the 1890s. Movies are just being born; one of the first of these being made by controversial inventor Thomas Edison. Some credit him with the first hand-tinted film, which was made back in 1895. Before that however—if you wish to believe the estimates—there was Ślizgawka w Łazienkach, or “Ice Rink in Łazienki”.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Marchopping Block 5: Agent

One of the video game industry’s biggest names and powerhouses is without a doubt Rockstar Games. The creators of Grand Theft Auto and the Red Dead series are like very few in the industry, weaving together engaging gameplay, expansive and detailed worlds, and some of the most enrapturing stories. However, they’re also extremely secretive with their projects; seldom does anything get out about them. One of the best cases of this is with Agent.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Marchopping Block 4: Fant4stic

November of 1961 saw the creation of Marvel Comics “First Family”. Known as the Fantastic Four, the series lead to the creation of the Marvel Universe. Such a massively successful property by today’s standards should be ripe for a movie franchise given the gargantuan success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Such an assumption would be wrong in so many ways, you could write an entire book on it.

Like the X-Men, the movie license to the Fantastic Four is owned by Fox, though they were initially owned by Constantin Film. Since 1992, there have been a total of four films featuring the titular heroes. The first was made by Roger Corman and supposedly never meant to see the light of day; a low-budget fare that for a while only existed in the form of low quality bootlegs.

The second—simply titled “Fantastic Four”—was released in 2005 and directed by Tim Story. Although met with mixed to negative reception, the movie was a massive hit, grossing $330.6 million against a $100 million dollar budget. Two years later, a sequel was released entitled “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer”, which was to be followed up with a third film and a spin-off that would center on the titular Silver Surfer. Met with similar reviews and somewhat of a box office success (grossing $290 million against a $130 million dollar budget).

The less-than stellar box office results from Rise of the Silver Surfer led to three things: the cancelation of the planned third film, the cancelation of the spin-off, and a years-long dormancy on the Fantastic Four property. During this time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would come into existence and reshape the superhero genre forever—after which, the House of Mouse bought Marvel. Not wanting to be left out, Fox announced a reboot to the Fantastic Four, which then went silent for several more years.

During this silence, the rights to Daredevil were set to revert back to Marvel, who offered to extend their time hold onto them in exchange for the rights to use cosmic characters such as the aforementioned Silver Surfer and Galactus. Fox refused in what would become a long string of horrible decisions. Marvel on the other hand went on to make the critically acclaimed Netflix television series “Daredevil”.

As for those other horrible decisions, they tie into today’s focus: 2015’s Fant4stic; a movie whose quality can be summed up by just calling it Fant4stic.