Friday FaBOOolousness – Urban Legends

Watching American Horror Story this week reminded us of the power of the urban legend when a patient of Dr. Harmon’s couldn’t even muster up the strength to walk into his bathroom in fear of the Pig Man.

By definition, an urban legend is a modern tale or myth usually believed to be true.    A few favorites include:

The Bloody Mary Legend, the ghost who appears in a mirror after her name is called three times.

The Killer in the Backseat Legend, the story that begins with a woman driving home alone at night when a passerby scares her by flashing his high beams or speeding past her.  She manages to make it home, safe and sound, before realizing the other driver was only trying to warn her about the man in the backseat.

 

The Achilles Slasher Legend, the fear that a mysterious person lays in wait underneath cars ready to slash our Achilles tendons as we attempt to open the car door.

The Spider Bite Legend, the legend of the facial spider bite that swells and bursts, releasing hundreds of tiny baby spiders.

The Hook Legend, a tale of a serial killer who stalks and murders young couples.

 

The Kidney Heist Legend, the terrifying story of waking up in a pool of ice only to discover a kidney has been surgical removed and stolen.

The Pop Rocks and Soda Legend, the tale that enjoying a package of Pop Rocks candy and a can of soda together will result in an explosion of the face, throat, and/or stomach.

Hollywood has told the tales of the urban legend over and over again, and it has thrived in the success of moviegoers perhaps believing in, and definitely enjoying the frightening stories.

Candyman, the 1992 horror film starring Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, and Xander Berkeley combines the tales of Bloody Mary and the Hook, while placing a new spin on the legends.  In this movie, the characters summon Candyman by calling his name five times while looking into a mirror.  A man with a hook for his right hand appears and seeks revenge against those who harmed him years before.

Candyman successfully spooked the begeezus out of our group in high school, and as usual the sequels weren’t quite the same (Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh and Candyman 3: Day of the Dead).

I Know What You Did Last Summer, the classic tale of The Hook, starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Ryan Phillippe.  This movie follows a killer with a hook stalking four teenagers responsible for a hit and run the summer before.

Hollywood produced a few sequels, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Jennifer Love and Freddie Prinze Jr. return with the addition of Brandy Norwood, the singer, and Mekhi Phifer) and I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (all new cast), but these follow-ups lost the shock factor of the original.

Finally, let’s not forget the Urban Legend Franchise that includes tales such as the Pop Rocks and Soda story, the Kidney Heist, the Spider Bite, and the classic, Bloody Mary.

Urban Legend stars a young, popular cast of the ‘90s: Jared Leto, Rebecca Gayheart, Joshua Jackson, as well as other familiar faces like Alicia Witt, Natasha Gregson Wagner, and Freddie Kruger himself, Robert Englund.    This movie resembles more of a slasher flick, but does introduce a few of the classic urban legends within the storyline.

Similar to its predecessor, Urban Legend: Final Cut hit screens a few years later starring Jennifer Morrison, Anthony Anderson, Eva Mendes, Joey Lawrence, and Rebecca Gayheart (again). We watched as another mysterious killer makes his way across campus killing college students working on their thesis projects.

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary wraps up the franchise, but moves toward the supernatural when three friends call to Bloody Mary during a sleep over.  Instead of the usual slasher theme, this movie follows the story of a decades old murder via haunting and mysterious deaths.

Urban Legends – fact or fiction?  Share a favorite in the comment section below. 

What other movies have you enjoyed that tell the tales of the urban legend?  Is the number three the death number for an urban legend franchise (three Candyman movies, three I Know What You Did Last Summer movies, and three Urban Legend movies), or is it just coincidence?  I’d love to hear from you!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Parallel Universe, Fact or Fringe?

This week, Amber West and I are flipping channels over to FOX and sharing our Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday reviews of the new sci-fi hit, Terra Nova, and the returning favorite, Fringe

Fringe science is a type of scientific study whose hypotheses and conclusions differ significantly from mainstream theories.   Creators J.J. Abrams (creator and writer for Alias and Lost, as well as executive producer for the new CBS hit Person of Interest), Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci (both writers and producers of Alias and Hawaii Five-0) used this unorthodox technique to create Fringe, a science fiction television series on Fox.

After Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) witnesses extremely strange events involving her partner and boyfriend (played by Mark Valley, Human Target), she joins the Fringe Division of the FBI.    Olivia tracks down Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson, Dawson’s Creek) and asks for his assistance in releasing his father, Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), from his seventeen year incarceration at an insane asylum.   

Why?  Walter is known as a “mad scientist” and the FBI needs him to experiment and explain the unusual events taking place all around them.  Not long after his release, Walter introduces the parallel universe to the team, and only he, Peter, and Olivia can safely transport back and forth between worlds.

Why Walter and Peter? In the world as we know it, Walter’s son Peter died when he was a young boy.  Distraught, Walter used his portal creation to transport over to the parallel universe where he took Walternate’s (Walter in the parallel universe who also happens to be the Secretary of Defense in that world) son, Peter.  As expected, Peter didn’t take the news that he was from another world so well, and spent some time quite angry with Walter. 

Why Olivia?  As a small child, Olivia participated in a scientific research program and drug trial led by Walter in Florida .  Confused by bits and pieces of memory, Olivia returned to the facility where she spent her childhood and eventually remembered all of the events that took places years before.  She and the other children of the trial possess the ability to transport back and forth safely to the other universe.  Oh, and before we forget – Olivia’s identity in the parallel world is known as Feuxlivia in our world, while she is Olive over there.  That’s right – two Olivias: our world’s Agent Dunham and the parallel universe’s Feuxlivia/Olive. 

Let’s not forget about Massive Dynamic, the company created and founded by Walter’s former partner William “Billy” Bell (Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek).  Nina Sharp (Blair Brown, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd) runs Massive Dynamic and knows all of Walter and Billy’s secrets as they pertain to the parallel universe.  Nina diverts Olivia and Peter from the truth as long as she can, but she can’t hide it forever. 

Sound confusing?  It kind of is, but the show is amazing!  Fringe is sci-fi at its best.  We watch as our world and the parallel universe go to war, and as previously unexplained events involving shape shifting, teleporting, and the intricacies of neuroscience, to name a few, are investigated. 

The team is also assisted by recurring characters: Phillip Broyles (Lance Reddick, The Wire), Fringe Division’s leader; Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole), a junior agent with the FBI who serves as Walter’s assistant and confidant; Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo, Band of Brothers), senior FBI agent and Olivia’s friend; and agent Lincoln Lee (Seth Gabel, Nip/Tuck), the newest addition to the team. 

This may come as a shock to many who know me, but I must award Fringe with a GTV ratingFringe is literally the first science fiction television program of its kind that has me tuned in on a weekly basis to see what the writers and creators will throw at us next (well, the first not involving the usual supernatural creatures like witches, werewolves, and vampires). 

It certainly doesn’t hurt that I have a minor crush on Walter (why hasn’t John Noble won an Emmy for his performance?) and a bit of a larger crush on Peter (Joshua Jackson isn’t Pacey any longer – and did I mention his voice is fabulous?). 

What do you think? Have you watched Fringe?   Who is your favorite character? Do you think the government has a Fringe Division we don’t know about?  Do we have a parallel universe out there, somewhere?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and check out her review of Terra Nova, the TV show with time travel and dinosaurs.  

Come back next week when Amber and I switch channels again – this time we’re moving over to ABC and reviewing Body of Proof and Desperate Housewives.

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future. 

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Friday FabOoolousness – MarvelOoous Mashups & Awards

One of my twitter pals awarded me with my first blogging award this month – The Stylish Blogger.

Ashley, THANK YOU! Being new to the blogging world, this award means the world to me!  From now on, every time anyone clicks on the Stylish Blogger Award icon on my website, they will experience Ashley’s fabOoolous blog!

The award comes with just a few fabOoolous rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 5 new-found blogging buddies.
4. Contact those buddies to congratulate them.

Before I share seven random facts about me, I first pass the baton.  The Stylish Blog Awards go to: 

  1. Jen L Kirchner
  2. Jen Greyson
  3. Julie Glover
  4. Grace Lewis
  5. Robyn Sadler

Congratulations!

In addition to these 5 stylish blogs, click on these fabOoolous sites in my May edition of MarvelOoous Mashups!

Looking for something to make for dinner?  Check out Kait Nolan’s Pots and Plots. Kait also features a special segment – Gluten Free Friday. Gluten free flour tortillasGluten free beer batter fish?  Yum – Try one out!

At DFWcon, I kept hearing about this guy Chuck Wendig.  I couldn’t ignore my new-found writer friends, so Chuck was one of the first people I followed on Twitter.  I am so glad I did!  His post, 25 Things Every Writer Should Know, prompted me to take notes, laugh, take more notes, and then laugh some more.  Chuck is helpful and FUNNY!

Did you read the Choose Your Own Adventure books growing up? Similar to the Stylish Blogger award recipient Jen Kirchner’s Vote Your Next Adventure, Anne-Mhairi Simpson also posts a What Happens Next You Decide blog.  Vote – 1, 2, or 3…A, B, or C…

Roni Loren is brilliant!  Every week she posts her Boyfriend of the Week, which helps the rest of the female writing population’s creative juices flow.  Previous boyfriends have included Ian Somerhalder, Vampire Eric Northman aka Alexander Skarsgard, and Joshua Jackson.  Roni, please keep them coming!

Know the characters – that’s one of the most important things for any writer when traveling this journey.  Ashley Graham’s post, 7 things you might find interesting about my MC, gives a perspective that other’s might benefit from when shaping their main character.  This article really peaked my interest in Ashley’s MC Elena, and I want to read The Socialite.

Now to my 7 fun-facts — A few of my favorite things:

1) I am a bit “Monkish” – Tony Shaloub’s fabOoolous character from the hit tv-show, Monk.  I love to clean; therefore, one of my favorite fabOoolous household items is the Bissell Spot Lifter.  I can’t live without it.  This one invention has saved both of my cats on numerous occasions.

2) Keeping with the “Monkish” theme, I love, love, love for things to smell good.  For my furniture, I use the fabOoolous Febreze Clean Linen Spray.  I use it so much, that friends and family members retreat in fear that I will spray them upon entry of my house.  Ugh, I’ve never once sprayed anyone!  I don’t know why they’re so scared…

3) If I had known in 1993 when I read Ray Bradbury’s famous opening line from Fahrenheit 451, “It was a pleasure to burn,” what I know now, I would have invested in a candle company.  That’s right!  I am a full-fledged pyromaniac.  The fabOoolous Circle E candles are my favorite candle – they burn evenly (there’s my “Monkish” attribute again), and the scent of one burning candle fills every square inch of my house.  If you haven’t already, please sample Circle E’s Bird of Paradise and Slice of Life candles.

4) Everyone knows that the spring & summer weather in Texas can be brutal and that makes it important to stay hydrated.  Water gets so very boring glass after glass, so I throw in a glass of ice tea as often as possible.  Sun tea is tasty, but what’s even more fabOoolous?  My Mr. Coffee Ice Tea Maker might just be the best $15 I have ever spent!

5) The DVR is the best electronics invention – ever!  I am addicted to television (could you tell?), and my fabOoolous AT&T U-Verse DVR allows me to record four shows at the same time!  I’m in Heaven every single night when I curl up in my love-seat, grab my blanket, and turn on the boob-tube.  Will I ever get my recordings below 100?  Probably not…probably not.

6) I’m spoiled, and I believe in spoiling!  I’ve spoiled my cat rotten, so much so he’s actually drawn blood protecting me.  I named him Shady-cat after my best friend insisted he had Bipolar disorder, but really I just liked the fabOoolous Eminem song at the time.  Shady is big like a dog: he plays fetch like a dog, and he runs to the door when the bell rings like a dog.  I actually rely on Shady to protect me more than I do our 65-lb dog, Shadow!

7) I’ve saved the best for last — I’m the luckiest girl in the world.  I have the most fabOoolous man standing by my side, and supporting me every day to accomplish my dreams.   Without him, this blog would not be possible, and I’d still be dreaming about writing my first novel instead of writing my first novel.  He makes my dreams come true; He is my dream come true!  XOXO, honey!

Who are your favorite fabOoolous bloggers? Do you have a list of must-have items?  If so, please share!  Leave a comment, I’d love to check them out!