Color Out of Space (2019) – A Science Fiction and Fantasy Movie Review

Tyler Cook of the Portly Politico and I have decided to cross link on our reviews for this movie.  We both thought this movie was awful but we thought that readers should see nuanced differences.  Actually what you’ll see is our two styles.  Tyler is a witty and intelligent writer and I like to rant.  So here’s the link to his review and below is mine.

This is a cinematic version of Lovecraft’s story about a meteor that lands in a rural Massachusetts farmyard and infects the soil and the water with an entity that subtly alters the plants and animals and then sucks the vitality and finally the life out of every living thing around it before shooting back into space leaving a dead landscape behind.  But let us say the movie takes liberties with this plot.

How do I hate this movie?  Let me count the ways.

First off, I despised all the characters in this story.  I even despised the seven-year-old who was the youngest kid in the family.  They are stereotypical yuppie transplants to the countryside and all of them have extremely annoying personalities.  The father is Nicholas Cage and he spends his time milking alpacas and raising heirloom tomatoes.  The mother is a financial advisor who has neglected her kids to the point that older son is a useless pothead, the daughter is a bitter Wiccan wannabe and the younger son appears to be a doofus.  Tommy Chong is the forest dwelling pot grower who supplies the son with his weed and also seems to be acquainted with alien invasions.  Then there is the hydrologist who is taking water samples for a new reservoir that will be covering the property that Nick Cage’s family currently inhabits.  He walks around warning everyone about the dangers of meteorites and contaminated water but achieves nothing other than somehow surviving the apocalypse.

Next is the plot.  In the original Lovecraft story, the baleful influence of the entity slightly modifies the appearance of plants and animals but its most powerful effect is the sapping of the life force and eventually even the structural integrity of organic materials.  By the end of the book the whole farm where the meteor lands, the house, the trees, the animals and people, the wagons and the fences crumble to dust.  Only stone and metal remain.

In this version of the story the entity is able to fuse groups of animals together into hideous many-headed monsters.  It can disable all communication devices and even alter time, making days and nights shorter as needed.  So, they’ve revved up the monster’s power quite a bit.  But the use they put this to is horrendous.  In one scene the mother and the seven-year-old kid are walking in the dark near the barn when the creature zaps the both of them with its potent “light.”  Next, we see that the mother and the little boy have been fused together.  His head is attached to her shoulder, their torsos are fused and both of them are writhing in agony.  And the older son characterizes what’s happening to them as the younger son being re-absorbed into the mother’s body.  Even the thought is horrifying to consider.  And later on, the fused creature starts taking on a preying mantis like shape and Nick Cage’s character shoots both of them in the head to end this nightmare.  Okay sure, this is a horror movie and it’s no more disgusting than the scenes in John Carpenter’s “The Thing,” but he didn’t use a mother and a little boy as the victims of this abomination.  To my mind this is awful.

Finally, the acting.  The only cast members I’ve heard of are Nick Cage and Tommy Chong.  I’m guessing the rest of the cast is unknown and they should stay that way.  They were awful and so were the two better known actors.  The script was awful.  The plot was tedious and the resolution seemed pointless and annoying.  I will say some of the special effects were interesting looking and well done.  But not the fused animals and people.  Those were hideous and depressing.

I would avoid this movie.  Nick Cage has descended indeed from the time when he was a pretty good actor.  He should be ashamed that he was in this crap.   Seeing this movie has ruined a perfectly good day out of my life.  Not recommended.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Domestic Munitions and Explosives in the Old Days

Warning Statement – The current exercise of control over explosives manufacture precludes today’s Americans from practicing the kind of backyard munitions and explosives production described below.  The FBI will lock you up if you attempt the stuff that used to be done by backyard Edisons all over the formerly Land of the Free.  photog

 

Me and my brother had our own space. Right next to dad’s shed where his machine tools lived, we had our own shed. In there we made our own gunpowder, other explosives (it was the 60s) fireworks, rocket motors, and made the stocks for our handmade, muzzle loading, cap-and-ball rifles and shotguns. We used dad’s tools to cut down, bore, and rifle the barrels and make the locks. Everything else was made in our shop. The powder, the balls, then the mini balls. All we had to buy commercial was the caps themselves. We found out that fulminate of mercury was ticklish and fussy so we bought our caps. We took a lot of deer and other game with the rifles and the shotguns we made, too. Today, we’d likely be in federal prison for making those things as juveniles. We did our chemistry experiments in there, too. To keep thieves out we rigged up an explosive and flash device. Open the door without reaching in to find the disarming wire and you got the sound of a 12 gauge shotgun shell with a large flash from flash powder. Sort of like police flahs0-bangs. About once a summer someone would try to sneak in an set it off. They ran like red-arsed baboons with lions after them. Since practically everyone knew we had gunpowder in there they may have thought they had set some off and worse was to come.

We loved “playing” with thermite. We used it to weld old railroad rail pieces and steel bar stock together to make things. We found that if you added small amounts (powdered/filings) of magnesium or aluminum to the mix you could do even more. When a piece broke on papaw’s farm implements, me and my brother would weld it back together with thermite.

People complain about the internet teaching people to make bad things. When I was sixteen, papaw (my grandfather) had some stumps that a pipeline company had left on his farm when they put the pipeline through. They needed to come out. As they were quite large, we could not shift them with the regular tractors (middle 1960s) and renting, having delivered and picked up heavy equipment was cost prohibitive. I blew a few stumps with dynamite, but they wouldn’t sell papaw any more when the rumor got out, I was doing the blasting. So, I went to the county Carnegie library and did a little research. I had not yet taken high school chemistry, you understand. Our black powder might have done it but it would take me and my brother a long time to make that much. We needed an explosive that was easy to make and cheap, and would raise no suspicions.

I settled on fuel/fertilizer. There were no charts of equivalent explosive power between fuel/fertilizer and TNT so I guessed. We used the tractor’s auger to bore under the edge of a big stump, put in 3 sacks of fertilizer and 5 gallons of diesel and let it soak for a while. I had inserted one of the blasting caps we had left over and we backed off a couple hundred yards and used the tractor battery to light it off. We had tamped the borehole with the dirt we’d dug out.

The explosion was tremendous. The stump shot about 100 feet into the air and seemed to dissolve into toothpicks-sized shreds.

Papaw said; “I think we used a bit too much.” I replied; “Oh, ya think?!”

The crater it left was impressive, but papaw said he’d wanted a small pond about there, anyway, for the hogs to wallow.

Eventually I got to where I could lift a stump out of the ground and set it five feet away with no damage to the stump or the ground. All from readily available books in a public library in the middle 60s. Eventually we had to use fuses as we ran out of blasting caps. A neighbor asked to borrow me to get rid of a few stumps of their own. It went well until one day when I was not there, the sheriff came and said he’d hate to make a fuss about a teenager without a license doing blasting. That ended my teenage career of explosive demolitions. I still did minor blasting at papaw’s farm but not enough to raise concerns.

Today, me, my parents and my grandparents would all be wearing orange prison jumpers. The 50s and 60s and early 70s were a lot more fun than today.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – On Women in the Military

It would be interesting to see how women fare in the infantry in actual combat as an example of why we should not do it again. It would be expensive for the women involved but since infantry is voluntary, too bad. Women have their uses in even spec ops. Delta has a “fuzzy section”. Women can be brave and intelligent. However, physically, they are no match for men in a fight. I am 70-something and I could whip pretty much any 20-year-old woman in an all-out fight. When I was 60 I proved it to a MMA femme fighter by manhandling her when challenged as I voiced my opinion on the matter.

After, she said that; “Well, you’re a trained soldier”. “Yes” I replied; “And so are all the enemy infantry you are going to go up against. I could have killed you several times when I was mopping the floor with you. Any fit, enemy soldier will not be so considerate.”

My concern with the experiment is that the men in the mixed unit may suffer when the women prove physically unable to withstand combat. In one unit I was assigned to the Army placed women where they did not belong. The sergeant major placed them all in my section as he knew I was faithful to my wife and there would be no hanky-panky. As soon as the femmes found out they were going to be treated like any other soldier you never saw so many sick call runs. They wanted the sex-based special favors they were used to, not to work like any grunt. Pretty soon I had two, only two out of twenty, that stuck around. In the meantime, the others had tried to use sex to get favors from me. When that backfired on them, they tried false accusations of sexual harassment or battery. One flat out offered me oral sex to get out of weekend duty. All she got was 25 pushups for offering. Then my wife started getting calls from disguised female voices telling her I was sweating up the sheets with so-and-so, one time when I was sitting across the table from my wife.

Having a flock of women in a military unit is like high school all over again. Sure, there are a few, damned few who are worth their salt, but the great majority are not. Maybe that has changed since I retired. But with politics involved, I doubt it.

The Disturbed Deputy Has a Post on Performing the Double Tap

In these troubled times it’s probably not a bad idea to understand the basics of self defense with a hand gun.  And being a law enforcement officer I guess the Deputy is performing a public service for his readers.

I’m always interested in practical information and I guess there’s nothing more practical than knowing how to survive actual problems.  And after what’s been going on across the country during the BLM/Antifa riots I would say knowing how to use a gun to save your own life sounds practical.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – On Boys’ Books and Real Rocket Ships

Loved the book (Treasure Island) as a lad. In fact, I read it to my brother who was not old enough to read at the time and we played pirates for months on end. One of the greatest boy’s books ever written, true. I’d put it up there with Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn. Billy Bud, Call of the Wild, Johnny Tremain, Old Man and the Sea, Old Yeller (and Savage Sam), Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson, Red Badge of Courage, the Time Machine, War of the Worlds, White Fang, both Jungle Books, Have Space Suit – Will Travel, Tunnel in the Sky, Podkayne of Mars and Rocket Ship Galileo.

Along with the old Boy Scout Handbook, circa 1950-ish.

There was another series, the title/author of which I cannot remember, written for boys. The hero was a Poindexter-like young genius who solved issues such as he broke a case because the witness said they saw a squirrel backing down a tree. Squirrels always run down a tree head first, so the witness lied. A bit Sherlockian but set in Middle America. A bit like the Hardy Boys but better written, I thought. The hero used his brain and his studies and as a skinny young lad never resulted to violence or other like heroics.

One of my favorite Jules Verne novels was turned into a classic comic. “Steam House”, about a group of British nationals traversing India in a trailer thing pulled by a stem powered, mechanical elephant. I read all of Vern’s novels as well as a lad. I was amazed at seeing things he predicted in his novels come true.

I read Big Little books as well “Phantom”, “Mac and the Marines”, “Alley Oop” etc. Heck, I practically taught myself to read on the pulps like “Amazing Stories”.

“Rolling Stones” was pretty good. Castor and Pollux showed up again in “Number of the Beast” which was definitely NOT a children’s book. I preferred “Between Planets” until I learned what Venus was really like on the surface, which Heinlein could not have known at the time it was written. Blast you, Carl Sagan. 😉

I was an omnivorous reader as a child. Sci-fi, dad’s Zane Gray and Louis L’Amour books, anything written by Sam Clemens and Rudyard Kipling. I went through the child’s section at the local library in short order and then onto anything written about dinosaurs and aircraft/space. Dad worked for North American Aviation, later called Rockwell then Rocketdyne. He helped develop the X-15, OV-10, A-5, B-70 and others, as well as worked on the Saturn V boosters and Dino-Soar reentry vehicle and ICBM’s. He brought home color photos and posters for me to hang on the wall of the aircraft he helped develop. He also recommended many books on jets and space vehicles, as well as westerns (his favorite genre).

Dad and mom had rings made from a reentry missile nosecone that had been in space and suffered the fiery reentry. Whatever it was made from, only diamonds could cut it and it took them time. It was like white gold but never tarnished and no chemicals ever had any effect on it.  It must have been some titanium alloy as it looked like white gold and easily survived reentry.  It had his first name and hers on their rings, and the engraving took a week with a special diamond tip. Both were buried with them.

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More Interviews – War Pig

As hoped we have another volunteer to take a crack at my questionnaire for our community.  Thanks War Pig.

Here is my questionnaire and War Pig’s answers.  Anyone who feels like commenting is welcome.  I am interested in how other people got to where a lot of us are now.  Watching as normal politics completely failed to prevent the progressives from destroying our country has been a powerful object lesson for me and probably many others.

 

1. How would you describe your political stripe? Libertarian, social conservative, fiscal conservative, civic nationalist? Feel free to elaborate with examples if conventional labels are not precise enough.

I would categorize myself as a rational anarchist. For the textbook definition:

*A Rational Anarchist:
Believes the state, society, and government are concepts which do not exist apart from the physical acts of self-answerable individuals.

Believes blame, guilt, responsibility, and answerability makes it impossible for a person to shift, share, or distribute blame.

Being rational, the rational anarchist understands not everyone shares his or her views; yet, he or she strives to live perfectly in an imperfect world; completely aware he or she is not capable of achieving perfection.

Accepts all rules society deems necessary to secure its freedom and liberty.

Is free no matter what the rules are in his or her society. If the rules are tolerable, he or she will tolerate them. If not, the rational anarchist will break them.

Is free because the rational anarchist knows only he or she is morally responsible for everything he or she does.*

Basically I believe that government is, at it’s heart, no damned good. Government, like a cancer, always seeks to grow. That was the great fear of the Founding Fathers. They put checks and balances in place but government, when it controls the military, police, courts and legislature does as it damn well pleases. The states should never have relinquished power to the feds. At the same time I realize that there are some things which government should do. Thereby rational anarchy. Settle disputes between the states, allocate bands in the radio frequencies, trade treaties, declare war, or peace, national defense, and a few more. If I could go back in time I’d hang the SOBs who proposed the 16th Amendment. My political musings were unformed until I picked up a copy of “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” by Robert Heinlein. I thought, there is the government for me. I was further influenced by his “Starship Troopers”, both of which I read after Vietnam. Governments, to be controlled, need to be kept on the ragged edge of pecuniary strangulation. With each new tax, license, fee, fine, “fair share” and other means by which the gut-sucking parasites of congress try to keep us in penury, they engorge themselves at the public trough which they demand we keep filled.

2. What events or circumstances most impacted your political outlook? If more than one thing was responsible how do you feel they were tied together?

My parents were Democrats, they loved FDR. I, on the other hand, saw entirely too much of what happens on this planet when government is the Crown. Especially when the government calls itself a People’s Government/Republic. Look around. I saw it up front and personal. I have seen slaves auctions in the Middle East. I have seen the remains of Spetsnaz and KGB and GRU operations. I have seen what Castro did to people at his “Isle of Pines” torture prison. When I see the same tactics of restricting political speech, use of cancel culture, brown shirts militias under the name Antifa and BLM, etc, used by the Democratic Party and their hounds it makes my blood boil. As Orwell could say; “Goddamn them, I warned them!”

When the Democrats surrendered in a war they started it meant all those men and women who died or were maimed or psychologically scarred in Vietnam, died and continue to suffer in vain. I carry scars to this day, both outside and inside. Many have it worse than me. The left is the side of deceit. They have no morals (Cuomo still in his chair?) and no shame. They are dishonorable.

3. What aspect of the progressive attack on our culture do you find the most personally troubling?

The attack on the Bill of Rights. I hold the Bill to be inviolable. Without it we are just another mob of peasants to be ruled over by our betters. The attacks on the First Amendment and on the Second (the protector of the First) are but the beginning. There is a reason those two were the first two. They are the most important. As Orwell showed when you control the dialog, you control the actions. Funny, but I remember all the protests in the 60s over free speech and all. The very same Marxist-taught hippies of that day are the Nancy Pelosi clones of today. Demanding free speech, as long as it is their speech. I disagree with what Pelosi, AOC, et al, say but I will defend their right to say it. The reverse is, sadly, not true.

4. If one thing could be restored to the way it was in the old days what would you want it to be?

I agree with Tyler in that the nuclear family’s destruction is the main problem. But I want to see the states take back their powers under the Constitution. The bribery of federal monies has corrupted the states. The other one I see is overpopulation. I want to see our population reduced by forbidding immigration except for those with needed skills. With limited resources we cannot support our current population. I remember when our population was around a third of what it is today. Familiarity breeds contempt and overcrowding breeds unwanted familiarity. The lack of respect for just laws and the senseless making of new laws which few ever read once passed as part of a boondoggle spending bill are anathema to freedom. With the crush of people we have situations as in LA where homeless sleep on the streets and harass and endanger lawful citizens and especially children. Overpopulation also makes it harder to identify the wrongdoers by legal means. I knew every family on the block where I grew up. Even the adults with no children in the home. They all knew my parents, too, so I couldn’t get away with much. Now I know maybe two families on sight in my neighborhood. Look at the crime rates per capita in LA, then Idaho. Then look at the population figures. Detroit, LA, Chicago, Memphis, anywhere large numbers of people are crushed together, trouble brews. My great uncle, who traveled, told me that in the 1920s White people could walk the streets of Harlem in perfect safety. Look at the population of Harlem then and now.

5. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Why?

I am pessimistic in the short run. The rot has so great a hold it would almost take an armed uprising of civil war proportions to enact any near term change. On the long run, I am confident that Americans will eventually find a way. It may be painful, austere or even violent, but Americans as a breed are too tough and too ornery to enslave, even by each other.

14MAR2021 – A Short Interview with the Portly Politico

Here is my questionnaire and Tyler’s answers.  Anyone who feels like commenting is welcome.  I am interested in how other people got to where a lot of us are now.  Watching as normal politics completely failed to prevent the progressives from destroying our country has been a powerful object lesson for me and probably many others.

My answers to Tyler’s questionnaire is linked at https://theportlypolitico.com/?p=7094

 

Tyler, here are five questions I came up with.  Feel free to elaborate or even direct the questions in whatever way you think gives you scope to answer them in a way that you think is interesting.  Also if any question doesn’t seem appropriate feel free to leave it out.  I’m looking for this to be a positive experience.

 

  • How would you describe your political stripe? Libertarian, social conservative, fiscal conservative, civic nationalist?  Feel free to elaborate with examples if conventional labels are not precise enough.

I would describe myself as a social conservative.  When I was younger, I would have been (essentially) a Christian Libertarian, but then I actually experienced life and realized that pure Libertarianism cannot work; indeed, it can only work with traditional, moral, Christian (inherently or explicitly) values to underpin it.  I very much agree with Tucker Carlson’s notion that capitalism is a tool to be used to better our lives, not a god to be worshipped.  I would add that the trust necessary to maintain capitalism requires Christian ethics and a high-trust society.  A high-trust society can’t work without some moral framework, and the only enduring moral framework must come from God; otherwise, there’s no foundation for morality.

Essentially, live your life as you wish, but remember that you exist in a community, and your actions impact your neighbor.  The family, not the individual, is the principle unit for organizing a healthy society.  Also, stop killing babies.

 

  • What events or circumstances most impacted your political outlook? If more than one thing was responsible how do you feel they were tied together?

Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences was a transformational moment for me.  Reading that book was like reading prophecy that had come true–it was electric.  His diagnosis of the pitfalls of modernity really opened my eyes to the shortcomings of our secular worldview, and the soul-crushing nihilism and existential crisis it has wrought.

Trump’s presidency was another galvanizing moment.  Trump may have been a flawed vessel, and he was ineffective at times, but he helped drop the scales from the eyes of many conservatives, myself included.  Economically I moved much more in a populist and economic nationalist direction thanks to Trump (and Pat Buchanan’s Death of the West–a must-read), questioning for the first time the dogma of unbridled free trade (which, when you talk to free trade absolutists, it really is almost an article of faith–even if America is losing in trade, they argue, it’s worth it because it pleases the god of efficiency).

Trump also made politics fun again.  Notice how boring it is now?  The Biden-Harris administration is a disaster, but I can barely make myself care.

 

  • What aspect of the progressive attack on our culture do you find the most personally troubling?

The whole normalizing of pedophilia and transgenderism, LBGTQ2+ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ thing makes me scared for my niece and nephews, as well as my hypothetical future children.  The whole “let sixteen-year olds vote” project of a couple of years ago served two purposes:  overtly, it would have put more immature idiots onto the voter rolls, helping Democrats; covertly, it would make it easier to argue that sexual relationships with minors is acceptable.  Essentially, “If a sixteen-year old can vote, she can consent to sex with an adult” (H/T to my younger brother for realizing that first).  As we’ve seen with the Left, they’ll keep pushing and pushing until eventually sex with babies will somehow be okay (the argument will be, “well, a child isn’t really a person until the doctors say so, so what’s the harm?”).  This sounds insane now, but mark my words:  child-diddling is going to be mainstreamed fast.

The other would be the continued insinuation of progressive craziness into every institution.  Even at my little country private school, I’m seeing the tentacles of social justice wheedle their way into the curriculum.  That’s something incredibly difficult to fight while still maintaining job security.  The Boomer admins seem all-too-happy to go along with it, too, I think largely out of cluelessness.

 

  • If one thing could be restored to the way it was in the old days what would you want it to be?

The preservation of the nuclear family.  The destruction of the nuclear family is destroying American society.  The Great Society went after blacks first, who were starting to do pretty well economically and socially until the government incentivized divorce and single motherhood.  Now nearly 50% of children are born out of wedlock to mothers under thirty, regardless of race.  Look, there are good single moms out there, but just plain commonsense tells us that being a single parent is harder than being part of a two-parent household.  With a mom and a dad, parents can shoulder the load.

I also increasingly believe that pushing women to enter the workforce was a terrible idea.  Sure, you have your high performers like Nikki Haley, Margaret Thatcher, Phyllis Schlafly, etc., but those women are, at best, the 5%.  The rest–if they were honest with themselves–would much prefer being at home raising children, or maybe working a little part-time gig.  But we’ve lured women into the soul-crushing atmosphere of the workforce with vague promises of “fulfillment” and “empowerment,” when really they’re just maintaining some strange man’s schedule (instead of their husband’s) and posting to social media–or, even worse, issuing edicts from the HR department.

I’m not saying we should ban women from working–that’s a bit much–but a healthy society would encourage domesticity and motherhood for the vast majority of women, while still allowing a pathway to the workforce for that alternatively talented 5%.

 

  • Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Why?

On a macro scale, I am always a declinist.  Trump was an all-too-brief reprieve, and didn’t accomplish enough–either due to his own lack of effort or due to intense interference from the Deep State (I’m inclined more to the latter–to turn things around long-term.  History does suggest that these fevered periods of revolution and upheaval burn themselves out, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do incredible amounts of damage in the meantime.  I don’t think we’re the Roman Empire in the 5th century A.D., but we’re definitely the Roman Empire in, say, the 3rd or 4th Century A.D.–the glory days are over, there are more and more problems, but we’re largely coasting on the accomplishments of generations greater than our own.  The ultimate collapse might not be for another 100 years, but it’s coming.

On a micro scale, however, I am optimistic.  We still enjoy many freedoms.  We still have a window of opportunity to learn to grow our own food, to stockpile our weapons and preserves, and to build our own institutions outside of the mainstream.  I always rejected Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option” as cowardly, but I see some wisdom to it–rather than waste our time trying to fight an unwinnable culture war, let’s build our own culture.  I can’t do much about Biden’s senility, but there is much I can do to improve my land, my neighborhood, my town, my county, and even my State.

Ultimately, God is in control.  I believe He is, or will soon be, visiting a judgment upon us for our wickedness.  Sodom and Gomorrah look like a weekend at a Free Will Baptist Bible college compared to the United States in 2021.  Prayer is our greatest weapon, and we need to be on our knees daily praying for some relief.

A Questionnaire For Our Community

Here are the questions I sent to Tyler over at the Portly Politico.  I’ll post his answers tomorrow (Tuesday 3/16 at 6:30 am).  Tyler came up with a similar set of questions that I answered and he will post my answers at the same time tomorrow on his site the Portly Politico.

If you would like to give your own answers then attach them to the post tomorrow.

 

  1. How would you describe your political stripe? Libertarian, social conservative, fiscal conservative, civic nationalist?  Feel free to elaborate with examples if conventional labels are not precise enough.
  2. What events or circumstances most impacted your political outlook? If more than one thing was responsible how do you feel they were tied together?
  3. What aspect of the progressive attack on our culture do you find the most personally troubling?
  4. If one thing could be restored to the way it was in the old days what would you want it to be?
  5. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Why?