Double plus good, eh? Classy AND creepy.
The character design is great even on its own as it whimiscally re-imagines the inner structures of various creatures as if they all possessed human-like skeletal structures. Then there’s the effective choice to depict these designs in monochrome to give an old-timey x-ray feel. Then there is the clever narrative about a day in the life of this bizarre little world, one that is portrayed through very effective shots and pacing. But my absolute FAVORITE part of this lovely little clip is the fact that it features all the credits at the very end! By the time I’ve been wowed by the animation, I WANT to keep watching just to see who was responsible.
(Female, 40′s) It was the middle of the night in my dream, and I was not able to sleep so I woke up– that is, in my dream I was awake and the only one in the house
who was awake.
So I wandered around the house, being quiet so that I didn’t wake my sleeping family. I went into the kitchen, and I walked to the backdoor to open it and look out in the yard. I wanted to see what the weather was going to be like.
When I opened the door, I saw a huge menacing dog or wolf standing in the yard about 20 feet away from me. It was very dark outside, but the animal was an even darker black in the night. The opening noise of the door caught its attention, and now its gaze was focused on me. Its eyes were bright red; I could see the gleam of its big pointy teeth in its growling mouth. Its fur was ruffed up along its back so it was obviously an angry animal.
As I had opened the door, a broom had fallen into the doorway, so I knew I couldn’t just slam it shut and be safe. I would have to bend over and pick up the broom before I could shut the door, and that action would give the dog enough time to charge me if it wanted. Of course, after mauling me, the dog/wolf would get my sleeping family.
But the dog hadn’t yet made up its mind about attacking me.
Instead, we locked eyes across the short distance. Both of us stood stock still, having a staring contest. Time stretched on. I was too afraid to move at all.
Then suddenly, I blinked and it was gone. I hurried to move the broom and close the door.
“Even those who are pure of heart, and say their prayers at night,
can become a wolf, when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.”
As a public service announcement to all readers who are werewolves, shape-shifters or otherwise lycanthropic, this is what wolfsbane looks like. It comes into full bloom this time of year, right around the time when animosity against the lycan community tends to be highest.
Thirteen songs are enough to anchor a good party mix. Not everything here are tracks you’ll love but mix and match. It’ll all turn out OK. The idea of these themed playlists is that a lot of folks end up with lame costumes, not because they can be anything but because they can’t choose. Help them. Throw a Halloween party with a specific theme. This playlist is for a lycanthropic party. Show movies with the sound turned down. Serve theme-related snacks – for werewolves, I’m thinking lamb and that means gyro sandwiches. You got the idea. Run with it.
1) (The Obvious) – Werewolves Of London (2007 Remastered) by Warren Zevon off “Excitable Boy” or “Genius.” It’s the obvious track because everyone knows it and it’s clearly related to the theme. It’s got the same name at least as a classic werewolf movie, though as with all of Zevon’s tunes, he was likely referring to something else entirely. Give in. It’s got to go on the mix somewhere. At least the live version linked here has enough novelty and verve to remind us what made the song a classic in the first place.
2) Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival. This tune was linked forever to the werewolf mythos through “American Werewolf in London.” If you don’t want to be SO obvious about it, use the very servicable cover version of Bad Moon Rising by Raspuntina.
3) “Hungry Wolf” by X off Under The Big Black Sun. Classic X, driving beat, tight harmonies that made it almost as much as folk as punk. Personified wolves.
4) Will the Wolf Survive? by Los Lobos (get it? “the wolves”) A band from the other side of L.A. uses wolves as a metaphor for the difficulties of human life. Relatively profound lyrics and a catchy tune.
5) She Wolf by Shakira off the album of the same name. A bouncy latino-pop track from that lady who, I swear, has an extra vertebra in her spine.
6) Dire Wolf (Remastered LP Version) by the Grateful Dead. The studio version is on “Working Man’s Dead” and that rendition at least has relatively clear lyrics for those unfamiliar with the tune. A gabillion live recordings as well, most of them with a bit more verve and life. A jaunty rhythm and an odd, singable chorus “Don’t murder me.” the song tells tale of a card game with a 600 pound wolf.
7) Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf. This has no explicit werewolf references, other than the “wolf” in the band’s name which is actually an artsy reference to a German novel. Blue Oyster Cult does a version and live they used to ride a motorcycle onstage. The idea of a biker gang of werewolves actually has been turned into a movie “Werewolves on Wheels (1971)”
8 ) “My Werewolf Mama” by Lenny Bruce – This track often is played by Dr. Demento but I wrestled including it because it’s just so darned corny.
9) I’m a Werewolf, Baby by The Tragically Hip from their first EP Tragically Hip – The Hip are a solid act. Their lyrics are literate, their music is blues-y and raucous rock and their fan base is rabid– that is, if you’re from Canada. North of the border they’re more popular than the Beatles but in the U.S. hardly anyone has heard them. This track isn’t their best tune by far but heck, it fits on the list.
10 ) Lil’ Red Riding Hood by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs – I knew this song primarily through a version my brother in law would croon. Research it unearthed some fun details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lil’_Red_Riding_Hood
11) “Du riechst so gut” by Rammstein – This track is a bit of a stretch but the video is all over the RotKäpchen (er, little red riding hood, in German) thing. If you’ve got the ability, stream the video too. The title translated is “you smell so nice”
12) Werewolf by the Five Man Electric Band. Obscure track from the mid 1970′s that I think I can bet no one at the party will have heard. Tells the tale of a boy gone feral and his family’s attempts to cope. Using a gun.
13) I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1989 Digital Remaster) by the Cramps. Heck, if you’re pressed for time, you could drop on a whole album of the Cramps. There’s a movie link of course to Michael Landon (Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie) in the title role.
And one to grow on:
“Little Pig” by Dale Hakwins — “I’m a wolf and I wanna come in…”
To be honest, very little is nightmarish about the repairs we’re making to the bathroom. The buddy of mine who’s helping is scary efficient and competent, though he occasionally sings along with the radio which I’m attributing to that irresistable urge to sing while in the proximity of a shower.
The real horror show was the condition of the place before we started: spongy floor, tiles that stuck to your feet (i.e. not to the subfloor) and hidden terrors like load bearing walls with large gaps in the joists.
And one secret tenant.
We found a mummified rodent encased in the wall. It’s clearly not the remains of Poe’s Black Cat, which is good, I suppose for several reasons, one of which is that I rather like cats. I really can’t convince myself that it’s a rat – though again that would pump up the goth factor of the Ye Old Homestead a bit. It was, in fact, a squirrel – a kind of creature I have no spare love for – and in its current condition, it’s cool as hell. See for yourself:
So the stinger to this tale is what my daughter said when we broke the news to her.
Me: “Eric found something in the walls”
Grown daughter: “Was it a dead baby?”
It’s the chance exchange like this that reminds me she’s my kin, that there was no mix-up at the hospital, no abandoned basket on the doorstep. Where my first thought was a dead rat, like a nice and proper piece of Nosferatu set dressing, Dear Daughter’s imagination shot straight to an essential gothic plot device: a buried child.
“…I looked at the wallet of a soldier I had killed earlier in the day. I was an assassin! …”
“…If he started to freak out, the wolf would go crazy and it would all be over….”
“…Nothing was happening here at all. It was a cultural low pressure zone…”
“…And there was the smell, horrible stench of blood and manure, the smell of a slaughterhouse…”
“…It wasn’t really alive, not really a creature on its own…”
“…I stood ankle deep in the dead shells and bones of these creatures. I was trapped…”
(Male, 30′s) Other night I woke up, the room was cold and my two dogs were at the foot of my bed- whispering to each other. I looked up, and they were looking at me, eyes shining from the streetlight outside, like they’d been caught.
I wasn’t dreaming.
(Male, 40′s) I was at home. Most of the time when I dream about houses that are supposed to be my home, it’s not really the house where I actually live. But in this dream, it was really my home and what’s more it looked like it does right now. This is remarkable because much of the furniture was moved around recently. I was in the front room. I was looking out the front window. It was night. A very large panther walked down the side walk and it saw that I noticed it.
The panther was huge, svelte, sleek muscles, serious expression on its face. It took a couple strides and then made a bounding leap at the front window. The glass in the pane didn’t break but it sort of bowed inward under the blow. The panther bounced off back into the night.
“…nearly a dozen household pets from the neighborhood, all dead and bloody…”
I looked out the smaller window by the door. At first I thought I saw a mass of curly auburn hair but when I looked again, it was just a Christmas wreath hanging on the door. What really caught my attention though was what was on the lawn. Scattered across the front yard were nearly a dozen household pets from the neighborhood, all dead and bloody. It resembled the empty beer bottles in front of a frat house after a party.
One of the cats nearest the door wasn’t dead. It was only maimed. It stared out at me, pleading with me for help but I knew if I went outside, if I even opened the door, that the panther would attack me. The panther was trying to lure me out.
(Male, 30′s) This nightmare I had kind of cracks me up when I write it down but there was nothing funny about it at the time. I’m almost embarrassed by how silly it sounds.
“…Seemed a pretty awful situation. …”
I was in the house where I grew up, a place I haven’t even seen in like 10 years. There were people on the front lawn who were doing something. I went out there to yell at them. They were painting the countertop of their kitchen cabinets. The paint was this hideous green, like a yellow green, a color from a 70′s rental property. I told them to get lost. And then there was a policeman who told me they’d be OK. See, their landlord was kicking them out because the building was being foreclosed and soon to be demolished so they were down on their luck. I asked the cop what was with the countertop and he said that the landlord was making them fix up the place or they’d lose their security deposit. Seemed a pretty awful situation.
I looked around the neighborhood and it was a decaying, urban nightmare. There were multi-story buildings that looked like they’d been bombed. Whole walls were missing, not just the windows which were all smashed out. The cop and I walked around a bit and there was just block after block of wasteland, tall buildings ready to collapse under their own weight.
“…”…It was a zombie. And it was a skunk. How much worse can you get from that!…”…”
That’s when we saw the skunk. It jumped out at the cop and started running for him like it wanted to bite him. The skunk was sealed in a plastic bag and chunks of its flesh were falling off. The cop was stupid, just standing there but I knew to start running away immediately. I knew somehow that this skunk was infected with the zombie plague, probably the same kind of epidemic that was causing the whole world to go to hell. The scientists has sealed it in a plastic bag to keep it safe because in this future skunks were an endangered specie. They were trying to protect the genetic material even though it was sick, er, I guess, dead. It was a zombie. And it was a skunk. How much worse can you get from that!
So I started running because I was afraid of what would happen when the cop turned to a zombie. Every pile of rubble I passed seemed to have another zombie creature creeping out of it. Possums, squirrels, a mangy old cat. I was just running and running, hopping over piles of rubble trying to get away and the terror was all around me.