Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


And I'm Not Just Talking About A Doll That Shoots Flames Out Of Its' Butt

That's a real thing by the way - if you're REALLY good maybe I'll put it at the end of this entry...

Miss Mayhem here.

While Miss Murder convalesces, I asked her which movie she'd like to see reviewed next. I don't know how the conversation came up, but we got to talking about some of the stupidest scenes we've seen in horror movies. Actually, I should say mostly the stupidest scenes Miss Murder has seen, since she seen a lot more horror movies than I have. 

Funny though, for as new as I am with this movie review stuff, I still have seen a handful of them with so-called séance scenes and so was able to concur 100% with Miss Murder about how formulaic these scenes are, no matter which movie you're watching.

We took some notes down and put them together. Movie séance scenes are easy to predict and basically they happen this way: Two to six stupid teenagers (which usually means they're at least 25 or older) get together with some sort of spirit board as a joke or, sometimes, as a so-called serious way of finding out information they think they need to know.

It doesn't matter what they use. Miss Murder has said she's seen them use regular boards, sometimes scraps of paper, sometimes a glass instead of a planchette (the wooden thingy with a glass or plastic circle so you can see the letters/numbers), and in a couple of cases, they just plain scratched out the letters on the floor.

The idiot teenagers gather around the board giggling because, of course, this is just for fun. They all swear at each other and yell 'be serious dammit' as they place their hands on whatever device they happen to be using in the movie. Of course, no one actually believes that this is going to work. In fact, at least two or three of them will continue to repeat 'this is not going to work'. Massive, massive duh, as Miss Murder would say. 

Miss Murder remembers this commercial - 
there was another one too, even older, but she couldn't find it...
Point is, listen to the voices - the commercial is for kids.

The planchette, or whatever they're using, begins to move. Invariably, we hear them argue with each other 'you're moving it', 'no, you're moving it', 'no, you're moving it', ad nauseam. Finally, somebody asks their question. The planchette, or whatever, begins to move toward their answer because, in movies, Ouija boards always work.

The table goes flying in 3...2...
After getting several answers and giggling like idiots (because they're usually drunk too), they realize that the planchette or whatever is moving by itself. Of course, this signals the end of their so-called fun. Now they start to get scared. Invariably, they say stupid things like 'We shouldn't have done this man!' or something close to it, and all get up to get away from this horrible, horrible thing. 

But that's not good enough for today's horror moviemakers because they need to pound us over the head with their supernatural movie duh point because apparently they think their audience is too stupid to get it otherwise.

Made just for girls... tee hee...
So we get scenes like the board throwing itself off the table, or the planchette flying off across the room, or, in one case, where the board was not a board, but letters drawn onto a table, the whole table flying across the room. All scream and run like rabbits and we get more stupid special effects before the movie ends.

Not to say that there hasn't been some interesting, umm, variations. We have seen people use 'Simon Says' toys (green beeps for yes, red for no), and in one particularly hilarious case, some kind of World War I gas mask attached to a tube which in turn is attached to some sort of listening device. If you do not watch horror movies, know that we are NOT kidding. If you do watch horror movies, you know exactly which movie we're talking about.

Glows in the dark!

The movie Supernatural Activity (not to be confused with Paranormal Activity) spoofed this in their movie about different massively stupid horror movies. The main character offers to bring out his Ouija board to the immediate horror of the others who tell him no way. 

In an aside to the camera, he says always offer the Ouija, they never want the Ouija. When the others tell him that he needs to get rid of that 'demon board' he offers to set it on fire. This brings about another fit of panic from the others who tell him 'do not burn the Ouija'. In another aside to the camera, he says always offer to burn the Ouija, they never want to burn the Ouija. 

I love that movie (says Miss Murder) because it has more truth and more common sense in a movie that supposed to be a comedy spoof then most horror movies that are trying to be serious.

So. Miss Murder said I could go ahead and print this little conversation if I wanted to, as long as I do a little research about the Ouija board and how such a dangerous object (yes people, this is not a game) has become something that retailers have pointed towards small children. 

I did the research, the gist of which follows. If you're really good and read some of it, you can watch the video of a flame shooting out of a butt of a doll at the end.

No one really knows a specific date when this became popular, although spiritism, or the attempt to 'speak with the dead' is something as old as the Bible, which by the way, condemns it. Galations 5:19: "Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom."

But of course the practice has become widespread and even trivialized - after all, one recent version of the Ouija board 'game' sets the age of the users as "8 to 15". How did the board itself start? No one knows exactly, but a patent was applied for and granted at the beginning of the 1900's for the planchette, while the board itself has had a myriad of versions. 

In the mid 1800's, spiritism became all the rage as a parlor game, usually led by a medium using a planchette with an opening for a pen, with which she (or he I guess) conducted what is called 'automatic writing' where she/he goes into a trance and what is written on the paper comes straight from the spirits - I guess.

The planchette has hundreds of variations, including the one with the hole in it to use with an ever-changing addition - the Ouija board. Following its commercial introduction by businessman Elijah Bond in 1890, the Ouija board was still regarded as a harmless parlor game unrelated to the occult until American Spiritualist Pearl Curran popularized its use as a divining tool during World War I.

This looks about right...

In February, 1891, the first few advertisements started appearing in papers: “Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board,” boomed a Pittsburgh toy and novelty shop, describing a magical device that answered questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy” and promised “never-failing amusement and recreation for all the classes,” a link “between the known and unknown, the material and immaterial.” Another advertisement in a New York newspaper declared it “interesting and mysterious” and testified, “as Proven at Patent Office before it was allowed. Price, $1.50.”

What's funny (at least I thought so) was all these places I found information from made sure to tell people about the skepticism of those in the scientific communities - that they called the phenomenon a hoax related to the ideomotor response. I kept reading it as the 'idiotmeter response'. I like mine better. 

Not everyone thought it was so 'marvelous' - it was blamed for all sorts of atrocities and deviant behavior, and some pretty recently.

In West Richland, WA in 2007, there was a horrific double murder of a mother and her daughter. The killers were two teenage boys, one her own son, 15-year-old Don Schalchlin, the  other 16-year-old Joshua Tucker. Tucker's mother tried to claim that he had carried out the murders while possessed by the Devil who found him when he was using a Ouija board. The courts were not moved - he is currently serving nearly 41 years after pleading guilty. The son? He got a mere seven years, for trying to 'cover up' the crime. Nice.

The Mars Volta (an American rock band established in 2001 who broke up in 2012) wrote their album 'Bedlam in Goliath' based on their alleged experiences with a Ouija board. According to their story (written for them by a fiction author, Jeremy Robert Johnson), Omar Rodriguez Lopez (their guitar player) purchased one while traveling in Jerusalem. At first the board provided a story which became the theme for the album. 

Strange events allegedly related to this activity occurred during the recording of the album: the studio flooded, one of the album's main engineers had a nervous breakdown, equipment began to malfunction, tracks would disappear at random, and Cedric Bixler-Zavala's foot was injured. Following these bad experiences the band buried the Ouija board. 

On January 2, 2008, they released an online game called "Goliath: The Soothsayer". The album chronicles the band's purported experience with the "Soothsayer", (the Ouija board) and its transition from a source of fun on tour to a psycho-spiritual force that almost tore the band apart.

In London in 1994, convicted murderer Stephen Young was granted a retrial after it was learned that four of the jurors had conducted a Ouija board seance and had "contacted" the murdered man, who had named Young as his killer. Young was convicted for a second time at his retrial and jailed for life.

Those are three modern examples but there are many, many more. Point being, the board is NOT a toy, NOT a game, and definitely NOT for children. You wanna mess with that stuff, keep your kids out of it. Mainstream religions and some occultists have associated use of a Ouija board with the concept of demonic possession, and view the use of the board as a spiritual threat and have cautioned their followers not to use a Ouija board - but those with a modicum of reason should know that already.

Anywho, here's some history of the progression of this 'game': Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard had the idea to get the patent. An employee of Kennard, William Fuld, took over the talking board production and in 1901, he started production of his own boards under the name "Ouija". Kennard claimed he learned the name "Ouija" from using the board and that it was an ancient Egyptian word meaning "good luck." When Fuld took over production of the boards, he popularized the more widely accepted etymology, that the name came from a combination of the French and German words for "yes".

Product Description from the Manufacturer:

Whether you call it Wee-Gee or Wee-Ja, the Classic Ouija board spells fun.
Just ask it a question and wait to see what answer the Mystifying Oracle will
reveal to you. Includes a sturdy wood Ouija board featuring original graphics
and plastic message indicator. WARNING: Choking hazard for children under 3 yrs.

Product Description: Plastic game unit with Pop-O-Matic die roller, 16 Playing Pegs (4 Yellow, 4 Green, 4 Blue, 4 Red), and English and Spanish Instructions.

(WHOOPS! I think they got their games crossed - I don't see any pegs, do you?)

Miss Manners: Ohhhh, this is what they were talking about - 1980's 
Pop-O-Matic Trouble game. This was one of those board games
 my so-called male parental unit would throw against the wall in fury 
after playing for about ten minutes. Gee my childhood was fun...

The Fuld name would become synonymous with the Ouija board, as Fuld reinvented its history, claiming that he himself had invented it. The strange talk about the boards from Fuld's competitors flooded the market, and all these boards enjoyed a heyday from the 1920s through the 1960s. Fuld sued many companies over the "Ouija" name and concept right up until his death in 1927. In 1966, Fuld's estate sold the entire business to Parker Brothers, which was sold to Hasbro in 1991, and which continues to hold all trademarks and patents. About ten brands are sold today under various names. You might hear such names as 'spirit board', 'witch board', 'talking board', 'Volo board', or 'Igili board'.

Unfortunately, to this day Hasbro continues to market this freaking thing, mostly to children. And you wonder why your kid won't sleep without a night-light.

Sources: Smithsonian, Wikipedia, Google

And now, because you've been good: A review of the Fanny Flambeaux doll that is apparently part of the Smokin' Pussies gang. Not really surprising as you'll see in the video.

To be perfectly honest though - the doll turned out to be a fraud - manufactured by substances listed on the video page - but funny nonetheless!

❦❦❦ Miss Mayhem ❦ ❦ ❦