What’s on the Tube?—Sacrifice, a Creepy Thriller Set in the Shetland Islands, Starring Rhada Mitchell & Rupert Graves ☠️☠️☠️☠️!

I loved this film. It’s based on a novel by UK author S. j. Bolton I read about 10 years ago. It was a great story them; and it’s still a great story.

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The 2016 film is based on the 2008 novel by award-winning author S. J. Bolton.

AN IFC MIDNIGHT RELEASE | IRELAND | APR 29TH, 2016 | 91 MINS | NR

Disturbing secrets lie buried in the bogs of a remote island in this spellbinding thriller. Shortly after surgeon Tora Hamilton (Radha Mitchell) moves with her husband (Rupert Graves) to the Shetland Islands—100 miles off the coast of Scotland—she makes an unnerving discovery: the body of a young woman with strange symbols carved into her flesh and her heart ripped out. When what at first appears to be the remains of a victim of an ancient ritual turns out to be a fresh corpse, Tora is plunged into a dangerous mystery that may be connected to the dark folklore that haunts the island’s past.

DIRECTOR: Peter A. Dowling
PRODUCERS: Peter Lewis, Tristan Lynch, Aoife O’Sullivan, Arnold Rifkin
SCREENWRITER: Peter A. Dowling (based on Sacrifice, a novel by S. j. Bolton)


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(IFC)

In Honor of “Shark Week!”—The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey, Introduction & Link

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“An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep.”

– John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez


Introduction

The killing took place at dawn and as usual it was a decapitation, accomplished by a single vicious swipe. Blood geysered into the air, creating a vivid slick that stood out on the water like the work of a violent abstract painter. Five hundred yards away, outside of a lighthouse on the island’s highest peak, a man watched through a telescope. First he noticed the frenzy of gulls, bird gestalt that signaled trouble. And then he saw the blood. Grabbing his radio, he turned and began to run.

His transmission jolted awake the four other people on the island. “We’ve got an attack off Sugarloaf, big one it looks like. Lotta blood.” The house at the bottom of the hill echoed with the sounds of scientist Peter Pyle hurrying, running down the stairs, pulling on his knee-high rubber boots, slamming the old door behind him as he sprinted to the boat launch.

Peter and his colleague Scot Anderson, the voice on the radio, jumped into their seventeen-foot Boston Whaler. The boat rested on a bed of rubber tires beside a cliff; it was attached to a crane which lifted it up and into the air. The crane swung the whaler over the lip and lowered it thirty feet, into the massive early winter swells of the Pacific.

Peter unhooked the winch, an inch-thick cable of steel, as the whaler rose and fell into troughs big enough to swallow it. He started the engine and powered two hundred yards toward the birds, where the object of all the attention floated in a cloud of blood: a quarter-ton elephant seal that was missing its head. The odor was dense and oily, rancid Crisco mixed with seawater.

“Oh yeah,” Peter said. “That’s the smell of a shark attack.”

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What’s on the Tube? A 2015 Canadian Creeper: “Man VS”. The question is: VS what? I’m not so sure you wanna know…💀💀💀

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This poster was “the lure”.

“It came from another world. It did not come in peace.”

Do they ever? I wasn’t so sure about this little Netflix beauty. My “Horror nose” was sniffing around the Horror category, and I adore found footage films. It’s an obsession. I just love them all. I really dug the poster above. And the trailer was very promising. But, it wasn’t until I snooped around some Canadian websites and saw the other poster (below) that I began salivating. Maybe even drooling. . .

The very promising trailer…

‘Man Vs. is a 2015 Canadian science fiction found footage horror film directed by Adam Massey (The Intruders) from a screenplay by Thomas Michael, based on Massey’s storyline. It stars Chris Diamantopoulos, Chloe Bradt and Michael Cram.

As host of his own hit TV series, Man Vs., Doug Woods is forced to fend for himself for five days in remote locations with no crew, food, or water, only the cameras he carries on his back to film his experiences.

Doug is in the remote woods for a routine episode, until he’s awoken by an earth-shaking crash. Things get weirder as it becomes clear he is not alone. Someone or something is watching him.’ 

Reviews:

“The twist of who is following Doug around is spoiled very early on, and it’s a revelation that you’ll either love or hate. If you can deal with it, the payoff is fantastic and the film ends on the perfect note. Even if you’re unwilling to accept the reality that Doug is trapped in, the film still does a wonderful job of building tension…” – William Brownridge, Toronto Film Scene

“The choice to use low grade CGI is pretty baffling as what they are used for […] could have easily been achieved practically and they’d have looked a hundred times better as a result. Chris Diamantopoulos is great as Doug, perfectly conveying his fear and confusion as everything goes to hell around him…” – Daniel Hadley, Addicted to Horror

” …this is a very well made, entertaining sci-fi/horror. The acting is solid and the cinematography is smart, but they are let down by the unoriginal aspects of the story and … CGI. But to make a film that looks this good on such a low budget is a credit to the director.” – Chris Pickering, UK Horror Scene

Source: https://horrorpedia.com/2017/02/15/man-vs-2015-canadian-sci-fi-found-footage-horror-film-movie-plot-reviews/

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That OTHER poster. 😬 Sadly, this scene must’ve been edited out of the final film. But it’s still a cool movie. Worth a watch!

Reblog: Ancient Feasting Rituals—Crucial Steps Forward in Human Civilization…

Belarus Ivan Kupala Day

Kupelo festival (Pinterest).

“The Epic of Gilgamesh” is one of the earliest texts known in the world. It’s the story of a god-king, Gilgamesh, who ruled the city of Uruk in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium B.C. Within its lines, the epic hints at how the ancients viewed the origins of their civilization.

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Art inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh (realm of history.com).

Gilgamesh’s antagonist, Enkidu, is described as a wild man, living with the beasts and eating grasses with the gazelles. But he’s seduced by a beautiful temple priestess who then offers him clothing and food, saying “Enkidu, eat bread, it is the staff of life; drink the wine, it is the custom of the land.” And so Enkidu is transformed from a naked wild beast into a “civilized” man living with other people.

Both bread and wine are products of settled society. They represent the power to control nature and create civilization, converting the wild into the tamed, the raw into the cooked – and their transformation cannot be easily done alone. The very act of transforming the wild into the civilized is a social one, requiring many people to work together.

Over the past few decades, archaeological theory has shifted toward the idea that civilization arose in different regions around the world thanks to the evolution of cooperation. Archaeologists have discovered that the consumption of food and drink in ritually prescribed times and places — known technically as feasting — is one of the cornerstones of heightened sociality and cooperation throughout human history. My own research in Peru bears this out. The data from my colleagues’ and my work provides yet another detailed case study for theorists to model the evolution of complexity in one of the rare places where a civilization independently developed.

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Tonight’s Read: Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould, 1955

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Dinosaur in a Haystack (1995) is the seventh volume of collected essays by the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. The essays in this collection were culled from his monthly column “The View of Life” published in Natural History magazine, to which Gould contributed for 27 years.

The book deals with themes familiar to Gould’s writing: evolution, science biography, probabilities, and strange oddities found in nature. His essay “Poe’s Greatest Hit” analyzes the controversial conchology textbook The Conchologist’s First Book (1839), edited by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe’s volume on natural history sold out within two months, and was his only book republished during his lifetime. Gould’s essay “Dinomania” is a review of Michael Crichton’s novel, and Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film by the same name, Jurassic Park.

About the Author & Links

Stephen Jay Gould (1941 – 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation. Gould spent most of his career teaching at Harvard University and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1996, Gould was hired as the Vincent Astor Visiting Research Professor of Biology at New York University, where he divided his time teaching there and at Harvard.

Gould’s most significant contribution to evolutionary biology was the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which he developed with Niles Eldredge in 1972. The theory proposes that most evolution is characterized by long periods of evolutionary stability, which is infrequently punctuated by swift periods of branching speciation. The theory was contrasted against phyletic gradualism, the popular idea that evolutionary change is marked by a pattern of smooth and continuous change in the fossil record.

Most of Gould’s empirical research was based on the land snail  genera Poecilozonites  and Cerion. He also made important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology, receiving professional recognition for his book Ontogeny and Phylogeny. In evolutionary theory he opposed strict selectionism, sociobiology as applied to humans, and evolutionary psychology. He campaigned against creationism and proposed that science and religion should be considered two distinct fields (or “non-overlapping magisteria”) whose authorities do not overlap.

Gould was known by the general public mainly for his 300 popular essays in Natural History magazine, and his numerous books written for both the specialist and non-specialist. In April 2000, the US Library of Congress named him a “Living Legend”.

The Unofficial Stephen Jay Gould Archive:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Jay_Gould

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/

About the Book/Some Reviews:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur_in_a_Haystack

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/nov/15/dinosaur-haystack-stephen-jay-gould-review

https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/97/11/09/home/gould-haystack.html

Buy this book, here:

https://www.amazon.com/Dinosaur-Haystack-Reflections-Natural-History/dp/0517888246

Author’s Obit:

 

“Restoration” by Barry H. Lopez—a story about fixing old books, history & our place in the natural world…

Above, left: newer trade paperback edition cover; right: illustration for “Restoration” from the first edition of Winter Count.

Restoration

Barry H. Lopez

From Winter Count, 1981.

Just over the Montana border in North Dakota, north of the small town of Killdeer, there is a French mansion. It is part of a frontier estate built in 1863 for a titled family called de Crenir, from Bordeaux. When the last of the de Crenirs died in France in 1904, the two-story Victorian house, its contents, and the surrounding acres were bequeathed to the nearby town. Looking incongruous still in the vast landscape of brown hills, it has since stood as a tourist attraction.

There are various explanations for why the house was built in such a desolate place, after the fur trade had passed on but before the Indian wars were over and settlement had come. In time, the Great Northern Railroad reached it, but the first de Crenirs had to come up by boat seven hundred miles from St. Louis and finish the journey by horse. According to a pamphlet given to tourists, the family had had thoughts of establishing a cattle empire, but their visits were irregular and short. In spite of the rich furnishings freighted in and installed and the considerable expense and trouble involved in construction, only one, René de Crenir, ever overwintered there. His visits began in the spring of 1883 and he arrived each spring thereafter, departing each fall until he took up permanent residence in 1887. Seven years later, in the summer of 1894, he left abruptly, and no de Crenir ever came again. This young de Crenir, too, the pamphlet goes on to say, was the only one of the family to visit regularly with people in town, or who rode more than a day’s journey into the surrounding country.

The gray and white house gives the impression now of being a military outpost on the edge of an empire of silence and space, the domain, at the time it was built, of buffalo, bear, antelope, wolves, Hunkpapa Sioux, Crows off to the west, and others. Today there is little of value left beyond the house itself and a few pieces of period furniture except a collection of extraordinary books.

In the summer of 1974, this collection was in the process of being restored by a man named Edward Seraut. I was driving east and saw a highway advertisement outside Killdeer—HISTORIC FRENCH CHATEAU • 12 MILES • ICE CREAM • COOL DRINKS • SOUVENIRS—and had stopped and toured the mansion with other people on vacation. Afterward, with a guard’s permission and anticipating a conversation, I went back to the library on the second floor and introduced myself, somewhat hesitantly, to Seraut.

I had been struck right away by the sight of him, sitting still and jacketless in a straight chair with a broken book in his lap, as though bereaved. He was perhaps in his sixties. He seemed gratified by my interest, though I startled him when I came up. He showed me, still with a slightly quizzical look, a few of the books he had been working on—an oversized folio of colored prints of North American mammals by Karl Bodmer, and a copy, I recognized, of La Mettrie’s L’Homme Machine. He described a technique he was just then using to remove a stain called foxing from a flyleaf. I was drawn to him. When I asked if I might take him to dinner, he said he would be glad—delighted.

“I’ve been here for months,” he said, “and I’ve hardly looked out the windows.”

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