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Archive for the tag “yeti”

Autumn of Terror: There’s Something in The Woods…

By @hmsbeefnuts

Here at All Geek To Me, we love our horror, almost as much as we love Superheroes, and Batman, but not quite. However, in line with our previous month long special events, Avenging April and Summer Knights, we have decided that October, the spookiest month of the year, shall be dubbed The Autumn of Terror here at AGTM.

Why Autumn of Terror? Well it’s a reference to the late Summer and Autumn of 1888, which in London became known as The Autumn of Terror due to Jack the Ripper. I personally find the mystery of who Jack the Ripper was fascinating, and as it was now 124 years ago, we felt that using the name Autumn of Terror was perfectly fine. There will (hopefully) be an article all about Jack the Ripper up-coming, as soon as I write it, as well as a month full of horror movies, books, monsters, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night. It is only 30 days now until All Hallows Eve, when the restless spirits of the dead search the Earth for… ummm, pumpkins, or something I guess? They are definitely after something, so let’s get prepared as we dip into our first serving of the Autumn of Terror, I hope you enjoy this month…

I thought I would kick off AOT with a look at ‘real’ life monsters, things that go bump in the night, and the creatures that are said to inhabit the darkest and most remote places on Earth. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals, and there are genuine people who search for these creatures, known as cryptozoologists. Now I know that it is very unlikely that any of these creatures exist, yet people have seen them for hundreds of years, and in some cases, hundreds of times in one year. Who is to say that these creatures can not be real? People are seeing something, and the next time you find yourself in the woods, or on a lake, it may be worth being a little bit more cautious. You wouldn’t want to end up as a Sasquatch’s lunch…

LAKE MONSTERS

Nessie, or the Loch Ness Monster is the daddy of the lake monster class of monsters. First seen in the 6th Century AD by St. Columba, the monster didn’t really hit it’s stride until the 1930’s When a new road opened the Loch up to passing motorists. Every year tourists flock to the Loch in search of the monster, and there are sightings every year. Numerous searches have proved fruitless, but there are said to be caves under the Loch that link it to the sea, so maybe Nessie goes back and forth? Whatever the truth, I don’t think I’d like to swim across the Loch, and not just because it friggin’ massive either.

Lake Champlain also has a monster, this one dubbed Champie. First seen in 1883, there have been over 300 reported sightings of this Plesiosaur like animal, with no reported injuries to humans, but the important part of that phrase is ‘reported’.

BIG HAIRY MONSTERS

My personal favourite cryptid is Bigfoot. The picture above is taken from the Patterson/Gimlin film from 1966 the most famous piece of footage for any cryptid. Bigfoot, or Sasquatch has been seen for hundreds of years and is the best shout on this list for actually being real, along with his cousin the Yeti. Reports have stated that Bigfoots have kidnapped people, attacked people and are generally not a good a creature one should piss off. Around 8ft tall and hugely muscled, strong and fast, the Bigfoot isn’t a monster to be messed with.

The Yeti is a Bigfoot type creature found in the snows of Tibet as well as the temperate valleys. Also known as the Abominable Snowman, foot prints have been found in the snows since the 1920’s, but perhaps the best evidence comes from below the snow level, where the Yeti are said to spend most of their time in the forests and jungles. Makes sense really, I bet it damn cold up there, even if you have those big furry coats.

OTHER MONSTERS OF NOTE

In Britain we have our fair share of cryptids. There are said to be Bigfoot creatures seen on Scottish mountains, lake monsters and sea serpents aplenty, but perhaps the most common cryptid is the ABC (Alien Big Cat). Now it is quite reasonable to suggest that a population of big cats, perhaps puma or even panther do survive and prosper throughout the UK. Certainly many farmers have seen the damage that these beasts have done to their livestock. The Beast of Bodmin Moor, The Surrey Puma, and even the Essex Lion have all made headlines in recent years. Think twice before taking a walk alone in the countryside…

Many hundreds of people have also reportedly seen werewolves, yes, werewolves. Now this stretches credibility a bit far, but many rational people around America have seen a large wolf-like creature that walks on two legs. I should know, I read a book on it. Theories range from an adapted form of wolf, to a spirit animal, and everything in between, however, one man was reportedly attacked by one, so you know, maybe it was a bear or something, but maybe, just maybe it was a werewolf?

Mokele Mbembee is a surviving dinosaur said to live in the Congo jungles. A creature feared by locals, it is said to upturn boats, drowning those inside. Usually described as a long necked type dinosaur, like an Apatosaurus, which was a herbivore, perhaps the Mokele Mbembee has adapted to feast on the flesh of drowning locals?

The Jersey Devil is said to haunt the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, and woe betide any traveler who meets this horrific creature on their journey.

The Thunderbird is from Native American legend, and is a beast who is said to bring thunder and storms. Even though this creature is firmly set in myth, people do report seeing gigantic birds in the skies of remote parts of America, and there have also been reports of such birds attacking people.

People also from time to time report seeing much larger versions of regular animals. One such example are wolves. From time to time people are reporting seeing wolves of gigantic size, wolves that bear a striking resemblance to Dire Wolves, a now extinct, (or is it?) species of wolf that hunted the American forests thousands of years ago. The Dire Wolf is strong, quick and fierce and is much bigger than any known wolf today, not the kind of creature you want to meet on your way to Grandmothers house…

WEDNESDAY WHIMSY: BRIAN BLESSED SPECIAL

By @hmsbeefnuts

Hello there, and welcome once again to Wednesday Whimsy. This week, we have a bit of a special blog, special in the fact that it will be mainly about one person, one magical, loud and lets face it, Santa-like person. Brian Blessed is one of the most instantly recognisable British actors out there, as well as being a Great British Eccentric, and thus one of the funniest and most watch-able people in show business. Now I realise that some of you will not have heard of Mr. Blessed, but perhaps you remember one of his roles, as Boss Nass in The Phantom Menace, Robin Hood’s Father in Prince of Thieves, or perhaps most famously, Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon.

 

Brian is big, loud and beardy, he has a laugh that seemingly comes from the happiest Viking Warlord in the world, and he is quite simply ace. But why have I chosen the great Mr Blessed as a focus for an entire blog? Well, a few days ago I was having a conversation with a friend and regular commentator Greeny, about TV shows and the comedy actor and ‘Man with the best voice in TV’, Matt Berry. During said conversation, Mr. Blessed’s name was brought up, and this blog was first conceived. Now I will explain further below, but basically, I realised that there is far too little Brian Blessed on TV or film, and there needs to be more. It took me about 15 mins to think up 3 projects that would be perfect for Brian, and thus this blog exists. Now if anyone wants to steal these ideas, as long as you cast Brian Blessed in them, I have no problem, but just remember who thought of them OK? Right, explanation over, time for the ideas…

THE NEW DOCTOR

Now you may not know that I hate Doctor Who. Hate it, despise it, don’t want to watch it. I think it is a waste of money, and I can not see what anyone sees in it. Now I realise that I am in the minority, especially around Geek circles. Geeky Gem and Kirkie Chick love The Doctor, and my very good friend Greeny, loves it. These are all reasonable people, and I trust their opinions, so there must be something about Who that I’m just not seeing. However, what if, The Doctor regenerated into some one I like? What if, instead of a freakish looking young man with no eyebrows, The Doctor was an older Gentleman, loud, brash, with a great big bushy beard? What if The Doctor was Brian Blessed?

 

No I am aware that Brian has been in episodes of Doctor Who, but I don’t care about that, I want Brian to be The Doctor. There are few people who seem to be a perfect fit for a role, but surely, Blessed is the man. The Doctor has always seemed slightly off kilter, and who better than Blessed to bring the crazy? Plus his years in Pantomime will put him in good stead for what is, at heart, a children’s show. Blessed could play The Doctor as a fun old Uncle type character, and is burly enough to stop all the aliens, robots and what have you, that plague time and space week after week. Think about it for 10 seconds, then tell me this idea isn’t genius… see.

BEAST QUEST, WITH BRIAN BLESSED

Now this is an idea based on the fact that Mr. Blessed is a believer in the Abominable Snowman, as well as being a very charismatic speaker and a strong screen presence. My idea is for Brian to film a series on 90 minute documentaries, for The BBC, on a series of mystery animals/monsters that are reported from around the world. The Yeti, obviously, would be one, but I would like to see Brian’s quest for Bigfoot, lake monsters, mystery big cats etc.

 

Brian is the exact kind of person to film these kind of shows as he brings his amazing enthusiasm to a subject he is passionate about. Plus a possible Yeti vs Blessed fight would be a spectacle the likes of which would become legend. Brian isn’t a young man, lets make this a reality before he can’t be bothered any more, come on BBC do it.

THE ADVENTURES OF ALAN QUARTERMAIN

Now this is the idea that started it all. For those who don’t know, Alan Quartermain is a character invented in 1885 by writer H. Rider Haggard. Most famously in the novel King Solomon’s Mines, Quartermain appeared in numerous prequels and sequels, and is the ultimate Big White Hunter. You may also remember the character from Alan Moore’s excellent Comic The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the shitty film of the same franchise. Now here is the idea. I propose that The Adventures of Alan Quatermain is a TV series, much in the same vein as The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Brian Blessed would play an older Quartermain, looking back on a long life of adventure, romance and danger. The TV show, narrated and bookended by Blessed, would star Matt Berry as a young Quartermain.

 

Berry has one of the greatest voices in TV, and could add a lot of humour to the role. This would be an action adventure show, in the style of 1930’s movie serials, and much in the spirit of Indiana Jones. The show would obviously be based on the works of Haggard, but could be elaborated on, perhaps including other characters, such as Tarzan, etc. Maybe even add a little bit of The Lost World magic, with some stronger fantasy elements. I think it could be great, perfect Saturday night entertainment.

 

So there you are, another Wednesday draws to a close. Catch you next time.

Bigfoot Trivia

By @hmsbeefnuts

Happy Sunday to all. I am in a very good mood today as I have managed to convince Geeky Gem that she is much better at Trivia than I am, and that she should do it every week. I also demanded that I was allowed to write my last trivia articles, for the time being, on any subject that I want. She has agreed, and so in the first of my last two weeks on the job as trivia giver of the week, I shall be giving you, dear reader, 10 facts on one of my favourite subjects, Bigfoot, or Sasquatch if you prefer. Now, I don’t know if Bigfoots exist, I would really love them too. But there is enough weird stuff going on in the woods that it bares a closer look.

I have never seen one, but then I live in Wales, and Bigfoot doesn’t often venture across the pond. Here in Wales, we don’t have many big hairy hominids, apart from on the rugby pitches up and down the nation, we have ABC’s (Alien Big Cats), and the odd reports of flying snakes! I have never seen either of these cryptids either, especially winged snakes (I wonder why), but my fascination for cryptozoology continues, for proof see this, and this. Whatever your views, Bigfoot is cool, or at least the idea of Bigfoot is cool. Now I can’t very well give you 10 Bigfoot facts, as facts in this case, can not be determined. I shall however give you 10 famous encounters with the Big Hairy one throughout the ages.

 

In 1884 in British Columbia, a crew of railway workers claims to have seen an ‘ape man’ during the summer, walking near the tracks. The workers forced it into a carriage, and held the ape man in a jail cell for several days, feeding it berries. They named their captive Jacko.

 

Imagine getting kidnapped by Bigfoot! Well in 1924 a lumberjack called Albert Ostman, woke up whilst being carried away in his sleeping bag. After a few hours, Ostman was put down and found himself in the lair of a family of Bigfoots. It seems the adult male had carried him there. They didn’t hurt him, but wouldn’t let him leave. He escaped by feeding the big Sasquatch a can of snuff.

 

Also in 1924, Fred Beck and four other Gold miners claimed that their cabin in Mount St, Helens was put under attack by a number of ‘ape men’ who threw rocks and tried to get in to the cabin. The men grabbed their rifles and shot one of them, although the body fell off a cliff.

 

In the summer of 1958, Jerry Crew, a tractor operator at Bluff Creek noticed giant footprints all over the construction site. He cast the
footprints and sent them to a local news reporter. They dubbed the creature Bigfoot, and a legend was born.

 

Reports from Honey Island in Louisiana’s swamp land describe a monster that lives there. It is known as the Louisiana Wookie, because it looks like Chewbacca.

 

In 1976 Virgil Larson, an outdoors-man and hiker encountered a Bigfoot who he thought was a park ranger. He shouted a greeting and was shocked when the Big man just stared back at him. Larson left sharpish.

 

This next one is straight out of the X – Files. Apparently a rancher shot a Bigfoot in Big Sky County. The dead body was confiscated by the FBI. Seems like bollocks to me.

In 2008 a Bigfoot hoax was perpetrated on the world press by Rick Dyer and Mark Whitton. They claimed they had a dead Bigfoot, which they kept in a freezer. It turned out to be a costume, and the two claimed it was all a big joke.

 

Bigfoot has even made it to the Whitehouse. In 1892, President Roosevelt wrote a book called The Wilderness Hunter. In the book a man named Bauman and his partner are camping along Montana’s Wisdom River. In the night they are disturbed by an ‘ape man’. They fire their gun at the creature who runs off. The next day, Bauman woke up, but his friend didn’t, he was found with his neck snapped and teeth marks on his throat. Bauman ran off, gun in hand, it was the creature who was responsible.

 

1967, Patterson and Gimlin capture the best video footage of Bigfoot ever. In broad daylight, the two men filmed a large female Bigfoot across a sandbar. The film is the best evidence yet for Bigfoot’s existence, but is very controversial.

SQUATCH AND LEARN

By @hmsbeefnuts

I am slightly obsessed by Bigfoot. I love Sasquatch. I think Yeti’s are amazing. Anyone who knows me will probably tell you that there are few things in life I find more intriguing than the big hairy dude in the woods. I don’t know when all this started. I remember really liking Harry and the Hendersons, and the TV show follow up. I also remember a board game where a Bigfoot on top of a mountain would roll boulders down on to players game pieces. I remember loving this game. It’s easy to understand why I love the subject. I like Cryptozoology as a whole, the study and hunt for hidden animals, The Loch Ness Monster, Mongolian Death Worms, the Chupacabra, all these mysterious creatures are fascinating to me, but Bigfoot stands head and shoulders above all others, as the king of the Cryptids.

 

It’s about the mysteriousness of the woods. A deep seated wonder about what lurks in the ferny darkness. It is a very human need, to solve mysteries and perhaps find our more animalistic past. I do not know what Bigfoot is. An undiscovered great ape, a surviving offshoot of Gigantopithicus or something different. I don’t even know if they exist, but if I try really hard, I can just about rationalise to myself that they could exist, it is not beyond the realms of possibility.

 

I can still remember the first time I saw the famous Patterson Gimlin Film. What a moment. I have watched countless documentaries on this film alone. All with different views on the subject, some claiming that the footage is proof, others that the footage shows nothing more than a man in a suit. I would love the footage to be real.

 

As I got older I started to read articles and books on the subject. I am still an avid reader of Fortean Times, the journal of strange phenomena, and have a few books on the subject written by Loren Coleman. I literally, can not get enough of Sasquatch. I then became aware of the many awful and terribly acted Bigfoot movies, and although they are in the main low budget and absolute B Movie crap, I kind of love them anyway. I will sit through the worst film as long as it has Bigfoot or his snowy cousin the Yeti, in it.  Have a large collection of very bad Bigfoot films, that I am quite proud of.

 

Recently however, my obsession has gone into a slightly different direction, all thanks to a TV show on Animal Planet. Finding Bigfoot has become the one show that I absolutely can not miss every week, and it is now coming to an end, for this season at least. I am at a loss on what to watch Monday nights. Sure I love The Walking Dead, Eastbound & Down, The Office, Parks and Recreation, and the simply brilliant Community, but something about Finding Bigfoot keeps me more interested and entertained than almost anything else. Saying that, I don’t think I could recommend this show to most people. Even fans of Bigfoot are divided in their opinions of the show. For me though, this show is gold.

 

As any typical ‘reality show’ on the Discovery type channels, Finding Bigfoot relies on its human cast far more than any creatures that may, or may not exist, and what a great bunch they are. Lead by the founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organisation (BFRO), Matt Moneymaker, Cliff Barackman, team sceptic Ranae Holland, and my personal favourite, James ‘Bobo’ Fay, are our team of squattchers who take us into the woods on our quest to find Bigfoot. The episodes could be described as formulaic, but I would choose to call them comfortably familiar. Basically most episodes conform to a similar set up. The team go and visit an area that has been the sight of a sighting, and video evidence was filmed. They talk to the relevant person involved and perform a recreation. They then spend the night at the sight Squattchin. One member usually stays at the site for a few days, whilst the others hold a town meeting to collect any other stories and sightings, they then visit the most promising people, and finally meet back up for one final squatch session in a place that they feel most likely to be the territory of a Bigfoot.

 

Now whether or not you believe in Sasquatch, well that’s kind of irrelevant, as the show is entertaining on a whole different level In fact, it may be more entertaining if you choose to believe that 4 insane people are wandering around the woods making squatch calls and finding ‘evidence’ around every corner. I love this show. I can’t get enough, it is 45 mins of pure entertainment and joy, about a team of people who may not always agree, but clearly have a great passion for the subject, and at the end of the day, what is more interesting, Bigfoot? Or Deadliest Catch, and Ice Road Truckers? I know what I would choose.

You may have seen the recent South Park episode, Jewbacabra, in which the Finding Bigfoot team were, not so affectionately mocked. I’m of the opinion however that you haven’t truly made it, until Matt Stone and Trey Parker have taken the piss out of you, so well done Finding Bigfoot team. It just goes to show what an impact Finding Bigfoot has made in such a short time. If you get the chance, and have even a passing interest in these kind of shows, or indeed the big hairy guy himself, check it out, it might just become your new obsession.

How Bigfoot Can Save Hollywood

By Hmsbeefnuts

Hollywood loves the reboot, the re-imagining, the sequel. In recent years almost every blockbuster that has emerged has been one of these, or has been seen as the start of a franchise. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with this. I love sequels, as long as they are worthwhile, and I love reboots, Batman Begins was a fantastic fresh start for the Bat franchise and everything has since gone swimmingly. However, there is a trend that Hollywood seems to repeat, and this is, the unnecessary reboot or sexual. Step forward Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and especially you Amazing Spider-man, its time someone put a stop to you.

Now this is a very personal beef that I have with these two films, and I can understand if you don’t feel the same way, understand, but never forgive. Lets start with crystal skull, I’m not putting the title in upper case, it doesn’t deserve it. Now I will admit to being very excited for the new Indy adventure, but little did I know that it was as no more than a cash grab, the story was terrible and it almost tarnished three perfect films from my childhood, but it didn’t, Lucas and Spielberg didn’t rape my childhood, but they did waste a shit load of money, something we will return to later. Lets take the worst offender, the object of my geek rage, The Amazing Spider-man. In 2002, Sam Raimi directed a very good film Spider-man, the story of a boy who once bitten by a radioactive, or genetically modified spider, gain the super human ability of said arachnid. He followed this origin tale with two further films, one very good sequel, and a poor third entry that still made killer box office.

Due to critical reviews, Sony pictures decided to reboot the Spider-man franchise, and so in just under 10 years, the cinema going public will get to see two origin stories for Spider-man. This is uncalled for. By now everyone who cares knows how Spider-man became Spider-man, we get it, we know, stop wasting time re-telling the story and get on with a good film. But no, we get to see a slightly different take on Spider-man’s origin. Now don’t get me wrong, the film might be great, but the trailer looks a bit dark and depressing, but what I’m trying to get over is that the $100 odd million spent on this new film could have gone to something else, something new, or at least, something that hasn’t been tried in more than 20 years. Step forward Sasquatch…

There have been many Bigfoot and Yeti films over the years, but all bar one share a commonality, they are all low-budget B movies that are never really satisfying. The suits are awful, the acting sub-par and the whole thing comes across as disappointing. The exception obviously is our friend Harry above. Harry and the Hendersons is a fantastic film. I loved it when I was young and I think it is down to it and a few books on unexplained mysteries, that I love Bigfoot to this day. The film s high budget, the suit looks amazing, unequalled to this day, and the acting is great, because great actors were in it. However, there is something about it that doesn’t quite sit right with an older me. Harry is adorable and the film is a funtastic ride to jolly town, but guess what? I want a companion piece. I want a scary fall into the horror ravine, and I want to be pushed over the edge by a big budget, scary ass Bigfoot. The world is crying out for a great scary Bigfoot movie. How do I know this? Well I bet I’ve seen more films about Bigfoot than most people knew existed, and I don’t say this to boast, only an idiot would boast about that when he had to endure some of the shit I’ve sat through. I say this because, there is clearly a market for scary films about Bigfoot, so now, someone needs to stop making shitty reboots and sequels, and front up the money for a great Sasquatch movie. Lets look at some of the films that have come before…

Sasquatch Films that are Rubbish…

I have seen many bad Sasquatch films, these include, but are not limited to;

The Snow Creature (W Lee Wilder, 1954)

Shriek of the Mutilated (Michael Findlay, 1974)

The Capture of Bigfoot (Bill Rebane, 1979)

I will not review these films but they are all terrible, acting, beast suit everything a complete waste of time.

Sasquatch Films that are OK…

Snowbeast (Herb Wallerstein, 1977, TV movie)

The Legend of Boggy Creek (Charles B Pierce, 1973)

Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch (2005)

Savage (2009)

These films are OK if you’re in the mood and like shitty horror films, maybe.

Sasquatch Films that are Decent to Good…

Harry and the Hendersons/Bigfoot and the Hendersons (William Dear, 1987)

The Abominable Snowman/The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (Val Guest, 1957, UK)

Abominable (2006)

These films are worth seeing and are actually quite good.

OK so we have established that Bigfoot films are popular with some sort of audience and that there is room for a high budget take on the Sasquatch legend that isn’t a cute comedy, and will scare the bejeezus out of people. Some more evidence? Horror is big business, look at Paranormal Activity and Saw, audiences lap up horror movies. Also, Bigfoot is a recognisable character in pop culture, that no one actually owns the rights to, this means anyone can make a film about him, and it has the potential to be successful. OK, how though? How is a Bigfoot film going to make it worthwhile for an audience and a studio? Well it just so happens that I have come up with three solid gold concepts. Ready children? Then I shall begin…

Concept 1) Bigfoot the slasher, or Scream for Bigfoot

OK simple enough premise. Sexy teens go into the woods for summer camp/spring break, and disturb something in the woods they shouldn’t. Get Kevin Williamson to write the script, known good-looking actors and spend money on the creature, a post modern Bigfoot hit is likely to follow. Easy.

Concept 2) Bigfoot the found footage film.

This will take the style and story of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity films, and feature a documentary crew who venture out into the woods making a documentary on a logging company. A year later their footage is found, but they are not, guess who they pissed off?

Concept 3) The Historical Bigfoot epic

I must admit this is a bit of a favourite of mine and I’ve had this idea in mind for a few years now. Colonial America. As the French and British fight over who controls the new world a small settlement is set up on the boarders of a dense forest. Indian Legends say that something they fear to name lives in these dense woods, they so fear it that they dare not live within miles of the forest. The settlement grows and builds a fort, in preparation for the winter months and everything seems normal, except a few members of hunting parties never return. The leaders put this down to desertion or Indian War parties, that is until winter draws in and the real culprits are revealed. Can the Fort hold out until the early spring when the mountain passes open and fresh troops can arrive with supplies? Or will the Sasquatch get their terrible revenge for the disturbance of their habitat?

So there we are. That’s how Bigfoot can save Hollywood from an endless stream of reboots and shitty sequels. Right, who’s gona stump up $300 million so I can do concept three justice? Anyone…

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