**NOTE: this was supposed to be a patreon exclusive, but patreon shit the bed as i was uploading it, making all the work i just did pointless. in order to salvage this, i’m just going to post this here for anyone to see. oh well. enjoy.

hi, i meant to write this yesterday but it was my boyfriend’s birthday so i spent it with him instead [everyone boos and throws solid objects at me] i know i know.

these characters are not going to be important enough to dedicate too much of your brain pan to. im not about to dump a bazillion new important randoms on the already big cast, but the process of creating characters within a fictional world involves conceptualizing what kind of people would organically emerge from those conditions. i end up having to create a bare bones back story in my head to feel like i can draw them correctly. i dont think that makes a lot of sense now that i think of it. i feel like people usually draw the character first and then come up with a story for them. i have to think of a character first and then think “what would this character look like, based on this dumb idea i had?”

this problem was amplified ten times when faced with having to populate maxine’s coven because the only people who would choose to practice a defunct means of (what is essentially) house cleaning would be the biggest freaks in the world. it’s like joining a club for churning butter.

anyway, i’ll tell you about the freaks from left to right, as they appeared in the most recent page:

note: most them dont have names and choosing them would just add another thing to agonize over forever until they’re perfect, so some will get nicknames.

  • name: rosa, after dona rosa who offers a really interesting look at an authentic limpia in ecuador
  • approx age: late 30s
  • practices?: white magic, as a curandera. less exotic than it sounds
  • bio: rosa is a butch lesbian who works as a dental assistant. a lot more people die there than you think. it’s always cheaper to have someone on already on staff who can take care of ghosts big and small, so, you know. it looks good on a resume. even if it means you have to close for the rest of the day to clean up all the unsterilized and unidentified liquids you spit all over a space where people lay with their mouths open.
  • her specialty: using cigarette smoke to purify a room. it’s called “multi-tasking”.

 

  • name: lorena, after this pep torres song. it fucking rips, it’s mexican surf rock
  • age: late teens
  • practices?: black magic. uses her own blood.
  • bio: lorena is all in on this witch shit. it’s more than just an aesthetic, which might be your first impression when she turns around and you see her wearing that one fucking “black flag” (or worse, the “unknown pleasures” album cover) shirt. oh great, you might think, another goth wanna-be here. every time school starts, these baby-bat kids start flooding in to your local morgues and funeral homes and covens looking to boost their credibility by hanging out with some real freaks…only to find an icy reception from an insular and secretive group that protects their own. eventually these posers drop out and find some other way to assert their credibility. lorena made the cut when she opened a vein for her fellow coven member with no hesitation. usually, they just, you know, wait to get to know you over a period of time. but whatever.

 

  • name: “mom”
  • age: late 30s, early 40s. lookin good girl!
  • practices?: white magic, kitchen witchery, specifically.
  • bio: her mother was in the gottwin coven when maxine’s grandmother ran the joint. now, she’s the day to day operator of the coven (with valdo, but he defers to her when it comes to anything involving magic or the coven itself) since maxine only shows up when she has to or needs to. she has no interest in taking over the coven officially since it’s already hard enough to be a PTA member AND a witch AND a den mother. that’s too many hats and this one is pointy enough.
  • she found witchcraft to be a less expensive, in the long run, way to keep the house clean of supernatural contamination. much in the same way that clipping coupons is good value even if it takes time to do it.

  • name: millie
  • age: late teens
  • practices: white magic, not well. trying her best.
  • bio: jeremy’s girlfriend. going to college and uses the coven as an excuse to see her boyfriend, who up until very recently was spending a lot of time working shitty jobs. brace face late in life. not really taking this too seriously but valdo likes her and thinks she’s a good kid.

 

  • name: “gordon”. as in freeman. read on.
  • age: mid-20s.
  • practices: he does not.
  • bio: a grad student studying covens and their functions in a modern society, he has been reluctantly allowed to hover and observe as long as his questions are not intrusive, he doesn’t take photos or video and he does not identify anyone in the coven. so far, has kept this up, possibly out of direct fear of retaliation from either valdo or maxine. as a note: every single grad student on planet earth looks like a gordon freeman clone. it’s fucked up and wrong and we should stop tolerating it.

 

  • name: “penny” for penanggalan
  • age: died in her late 20s, currently tipping 40 years old.
  • practices: law
  • bio: killed in a freak car power window accident, penny is the daughter of an immigrant mother/former coven member. having been brought to coven meetings as a child, penny feels a sense of familial comfort among those whom she grew up with and frequently visits to spend time people she ultimately feels the most comfortable with, despite her upward mobility in life. except uh, sometimes she does have to go upstairs if someone starts experimenting with an extermination technique. its not like they’ll accidentally exterminate her, but it wont feel good and she will make that known. studied hard and became a lawyer, much to her mother’s surprise and joy. she does not represent maxine often due to her being “career poison”.

 

  • name: albert
  • age: early 80s
  • practices: oh, a little of this. a little of that.
  • bio: albert is a hobbyist witch who has spent a long and storied career studying, discovering and fine-tuning some spells from difficult to decipher grimoires. while this never lead to any mind-blowing discoveries, he did make some significant enough to have his name appear in a few research papers and books. albert is one of those guys who will be like “ah, i can use this skill i learned from when i tamed lions in the circus when i deserted the french legion!” and you just have to take his word for it that he probably did that at some point…but its impossible to know if he’s bullshitting or not. legally blind. dont feel too sorry for him, he looked at a lunar eclipse.
  • “bea dont you mean solar eclipse” no i do not!!! you will read more in the coming pages about the MOON. im annoyed that lunar magic is already a thing that exists but everyone will think im just cribbing bloodborne. a hell of my own making.
  • currently attempting to make a major discovery before he dies by unlocking the secrets of alchemy using forbidden black magics. the thing is, alchemy is not real. but he’ll show them when he’s swimming in his scrooge mcduck gold vault

  • name: uh…m-mary? no that’s not it. it’s like uhh, japanese? shit. juri? maybe it was juri. ayami? wait! asami!…right?
  • age: uh did anyone get this from her? i dont think we asked
  • practices: definitely black magic.
  • bio: he’ll be sorry.

 

 

penny again. moving on.

 

 

  • name: fatima
  • age: just a little baby…
  • practices: only with adult supervision
  • bio: some kids are just born weird and develop an affinity for things that make absolutely no sense to their befuddled parents. these children might also have a difficult time connecting with other children without beating the absolute fucking shit out of them with their patented HULK HANDS. fatima’s parents are dealing with a certified weird child who has developed an all consuming interest in something that does not have an after school program or any mainstream means of indulging. plus it’s threatening to make her even MORE socially awkward than she already is; who wants to be friends with the kid obsessed with butter churning? valdo, having been a family friend since they moved into town (he’s friends with EVERYONE its SO annoying to jack and maxine) offered to babysit on coven nights. the diversity of mostly successful weirdos in the coven did much to assure fatima’s parents that she was in good hands. maxine had not attended that day. things might have been different if she had.

that’s all for now. there are some not pictured who are joke characters or just haven’t shown up yet. such as:

– a ghost learning white magic to sate his sexual masochism

-a living sex worker learning for the same reason, but as a niche dominatrix.

-a living woman who has “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” and claims to feels pain from the electro-magnetic pulse bombs used in commercial ghost extermination. this is not a thing.

-a man who has emblazoned his hat with the runes (WOMEN) (NEED) (SELF) / (WATER BEAST [bountiful]) (TERROR) (SELF)

-mervin, from the municipal government


well. ill see you soon. i have a page to draw and movie reviews to do. i finally thought of an angle for one of them. it was struggling with how to tackle it bc there was something i wanted to do with it but the framing of it all wasn’t coming together. this is incomprehensible, sorry. well. good night

great (?) news: it’s a bone deformity!

i was going to make a follow up post when i got results from the orthopedist but he’s booked up until mid-april so i’ll post a shorter-update now.

you’re my captive audience so i’m going to complain a little bit (but i’ve bolded the important bits for anyone here for the leg info): this turned out to be the month from hell. at the beginning of the month i was still doing p.t. (which did not do anything to correct my pain but it did DRASTICALLY improve my balance. i’m going to keep up these exercises so i don’t become wobble like aluminum foil when walking on stairs) two times a week. then, just for fun, our heat stopped working. this turned out to be due to a broken valve on our apparently leaking oil tank. because the valve is welded to the tank, it was necessary to purchase an entire new one. then the heat stopped working. after having an emergency plumber come out to light my burner for $400 dollars, i was at least given the information that the oil tank men failed to install part of the system. so then they came back out.

now my heat works. all that plus various other appointments i keep monthly and p.t. AND an MRI. the mri was very, very enlightening.

here are the notable bits from my results:

i hope this is also incomprehensible for you, because my eyes started glazing over reading this the first time. after a combination of google, consulting my bone professor friend, using a basic knowledge of latin roots/bones, and getting a final confirmation from the physical therapy guy on my last day, i have discovered what this means in simple terms:

my knee doesn’t move correctly when in motion, causing swelling to jimmy hoffa’s fat ass. the kneecap rides too high. “weiberg type III” refers to the shape of my patella but it seems like that’s not really involved in the myriad of problems here, just an observation. the top of my tibia is shaped weird and all of this combines together to cause damage to my cartilage. ooooohh ohhh owww my bones.

the mri itself was no sweat. they pretty much only put you far enough in the machine to get your leg and i just laid there with headphones on for 1/2 an hour listening to classical music. the easiest test you could ever get. requires absolutely nothing from you but the ability to sit still.

here’s what i feel the most relieved about: i’m not crazy. this isn’t the result of me being lazy, out of shape, and pushing myself to exercise more the way that i was BEFORE physical therapy was probably destroying my legs faster instead of helping them. after a lifetime of open disdain from family for my inability to engage in physical activity, telling me to stop complaining about my pain, and waving off my problems as “growing pains” (to be fair, these are real), i finally have proof i’m not a malingering lunatic and my pain was real. i really, really have to underscore that i try not to complain about this much. if i complained about my leg every time it hurt people would treat me like a wilting flower or get so sick of me they give me the “misery” treatment so i really have something to cry about.  i’m going to use this irrefutable proof of my deformity (? that seems like a very drastic word to use in this instance doesn’t it. i’m not really sure to to think of myself in relation to disability but i guess the real answer is that it doesn’t matter and no one cares and the chances of someone pushing me to be more formal about my fucked up leg are near 0. so that’s reassuring.) to uhhhh get better i guess. i’ll find out the next steps from the doctor in a few weeks. see you then!

it’s been a little over a month since i started physical therapy for my leg. and what a heart-pounding adventure it’s been. im really out of shape.

in the interest of sharing my experiences for any other adult who has an out-toe and has no idea whats in store for them, i will tell you what i’ve been up to. maybe someday someone will google their way here and find a little assurance in some demystification of the untwisting process (? actually im not sure if my leg will visibly untwist).

the good news is that this week the doc told me i don’t look like i’ll need to surgically twirl the bone and my gait can be adjusted by continuing physical therapy. great news, because, despite the surgery feeling like a very direct way to address a problem that otherwise will take a lot of hard work and sweat, its probably really expensive and we just had to drop a lot on a new boiler. he does still seem a little weirded out by my skeleton despite his assurances. when you go to the leg doctor, they take your leg and wiggle it in a bunch of directions. my doctor told me my knee was weird a few times. not bad. and not specific. just weird. exactly what every patient wants to hear.

my physical therapy is covered by medicaid and thank god for it; i would actually be extremely bad at trying to correct this myself. the guidance a therapist offers you is invaluable and being physically forced to go to a location ensures i actually do them. the way i walk and move is so weird that i kept needing the therapist to physically re-adjust me until i started to feel muscles stretching in new directions. just knowing which muscles i needed to work on was useful information. so: if you can get physical therapy, i recommend it. my experience has been very positive and i can feel improvements especially to my balance! my balance was shockingly bad prior to this. my poor boyfriend has to be caught near me when i trip over nothing and faceplant onto the pavement.

an average visit goes like this: i arrive, i check in, i dump my purse and my coat on a chair and do 5 (then 10, then 15 as the month went on) minutes on a bike machine. the machine is recumbent so it doesn’t shatter my tailbone like upright bikes do. honestly, this is the most enjoyable activity to me because the way it works your muscles feels GOOD. years ago, i bought a step machine with the intention of using it to get fit and found it very difficult and painful to use regularly (especially in the fucked up knee lol). i had assumed it was just because i was THAT out of shape but it never seemed to get better no matter how many times i used it. now it gathers dust in the basement where it will stay, because it turns out i picked a body destroying machine by accident.

after the bike- wait i forgot. the first 2 days they would have me sit with a hot damp weighted towel on my knee and it was sooooooo good but then they stopped doing it. >:(

some context going forward: i am a 110 lb, 4’10” woman. not a typo. please do not sit on me. i have a history of bursitis in the fucked up knee. i created this chart to show you my various aches and pains, i hope it is useful. honestly the pin is my least favorite one because it makes me limp. it only kinda hurts but i can’t get the fucking thing to move right. second worst was the tooth-ache type pain that went away when they replaced my birth control. so. whatever.

 

anyway, then i do my exercises while my physical therapy guy checks in on me to make sure im doing things right and make small talk. “bridges” and “clam shell” exercises work the ass, which will help my hip bones face the direction they’re supposed to (i don’t remember what’s going on down there. they’re pointing out or down or something). specifically, the gluteus medius, the middle child of the ass, needs to be strengthened. i enjoyed doing the clam shells more with the resistance band; being able to work against something made me feel like i was actually doing some kind of physical work. the hamstring stretch also involves the band.

Tamarian voice: leon, on the floor

leg raises, in which you literally just lay down and lift one straight leg up in the air, were surprisingly difficult at first. maybe difficult isn’t the right word uhhh there was more resistance in my body than i was anticipating. the muscles dictating that action were pretty tight and unwilling to give way. anyway, after a month i can do it with 6lb weights attached.

 

 

there’s a smattering of other random exercises they had me do as well. it seems like we’ve been slowly whittling down my capabilities and needs by throwing things at me and seeing what puts us in the right direction. the very, very low squats completely destroyed every muscle in my body for a weekend so they were adjusted to account for my short height. i can squat much better now. not slavic style yet, but getting there. the ones where i just wiggle my knee up and down or kick my legs while sitting in a chair seemed extremely trivial for me, but now i go in and leave having broken a sweat.

i won’t lie, given the relative low intensity of the work out, i feel a little embarrassed about how hard i its for me. this is stupid, because everyone in the clinic is experiencing the same exhaustion from similar “easy” workouts. however, those people are all over 50; i am the youngest person i’ve seen there all month by a wide margin. i’m hesitant to call myself disabled, as i am to all outside observers a very weird looking able bodied adult woman and to claim that label feels like it indicates a more immediate seriousness to my condition. my knee hurts when i stand for long periods of time and i can’t walk far because my calves start to burn and every time i use stairs it hurts. but is it debilitating? no. does it affect my day to day activities? well, kind of. but what i am really, really worried about is how knee pain progresses. i need to get this done now so i’m not paying for it as an an old geezer. i want to minimize the amount of suffering i experience day to day as a general rule.

anyway i guess that’s it. i have a MRI soon for the knee which should be a very boring experience. they asked me if i had claustrophobia and i said no but after i hung up i was like “do i?” im afraid of literally everything else so i don’t know why this would be any different. guess we’ll see. check obituaries and see if someone died of a terror induced heart attack.

 

 

as always: major spoilers ahoy

i’m back, with another self-indulgent 3,000 words about a video game and how normal i am. i was trying to figure out how to start these subsequent posts but i got a great idea: i will use this space to inform you of the current state of the bloodborne community. for example: 

BLOODBORNE COMMUNITY UPDATE: today it was discovered that by uncommenting two lines of code, a kick attack was restored. it doesn’t really do any damage, but it staggers an enemy. this is a less exciting update to me than the discovery that the moon in the yharnam sky isn’t a .jpg but a fully rendered round sphere. like why would they do that. the moon is flat in the hunter’s dream. why is one flat and the other rendered!! you know what i don’t want to think about this anymore.

oh hold on breaking news: japanese bloodborne players discovered you can do gestures while using hunter tools, so it looks like the effects are coming out of your dick.

boi-oi-oi-oi-oi-oing!

level 2: the tip

today’s madness level indicator is gehrman, the first hunter. you meet gehrman in the hunter’s dream after you gain your first point of insight, which most people gain after seeing one of the two first bosses, the cleric beast or father gascoigne. right after the beast scrapes you against the pavement (or gascoigne pins you between gravestones and clobbers the shit out of you), gehrman makes himself known to the hunter in order to encourage you to give the hunt all you’ve got, guide you through the blood-drenched streets of yharnam and to make a very inappropriate sexual offer. gehrman is an “old hunter”, one of the first to treat the hunt as an organized attempt at dog control, and is now very, very, very, very, very, old, having been apparently kept alive by the power of the hunter’s dream. what a poor old man……..NOT!!!! fuck this shitty old bitch.

for bloodborne aficionados, here’s a weird tidbit: gehrman can appear in the garden before you gain your first point of insight. i happened to be recording the time i found him there and i was quite shocked. he didn’t do anything but mumble at that point (his dialog doesn’t change until the next moon phase) and nothing else happened. i just had no idea he could do that.

for normal people: the old man is almost always in a chapel that only opens after you see the first boss. let’s get on with this.

arianna is vileblood

shit, i already covered a lot of this in my little addendum at the end of the last update, but why not refresh your memory: arianna is a saveable character who is heavily, HEAVILY implied to have special blood. one way they do this is by having her give you special blood. in hindsight, maybe implied isn’t the right word; it’s pretty overt.. yet somehow this remains a frequent re-occurring discovery to people who presumably just learned how to read.

here’s the clues, detective. first, arianna is wearing the noble dress, which explicitly states it’s clothing for cainhurst nobles. it’s kind of a weird thing to wear on your day off from your job as a prostitute but who knows, maybe it’s really soft or something.

“ahem, um , excuse me? um, wearing clothes doesn’t make you royalty”. fine, here’s some more proof, you little doubting thomas. arianna will act as a “blood saint” and give you a vial of her blood to heal with (it also boosts your stamina recovery). the description is:

A member of the old Healing Church would know
that her blood is similar indeed, to precisely what
was once forbidden.

oh such as…………………..THE FORBIDDEN BLOOD OF CAINHURST???? yes.

here’s some interesting info about royalty in bloodborne. first, let’s get you up to speed on arianna’s entire questline(s). much like the other survivors of yharnam, you can choose to send arianna to iosefka which will net you some numbing mist. the numbing mist description reads:

Said to be used by the blood hunters of Cainhurst, its recipe is a secret closely guarded by the line of nobles inhabiting the castle.

OR you can send her to the cathedral, where things can end up one of two…well. three ways. but we’re not going to count “can be someone’s lunch” as an option. taking blood too many times from arianna in front of another survivor, adella, will trigger murderous jealousy in adella. but, if you just avoid being seen taking blood or don’t take it at all, arianna will fulfill the prophecy found in the books of byrgenwerth:

When the red moon hangs low, the line between man and beast is blurred. And when the Great Ones descend, a womb will be blessed with child.

i think its kind of cute

 

its implied that the celestial child arianna gives birth to after you end the nightmare of mensis is the “child of blood” that annalise has been attempting to uh…host? through the use of blood dregs.

i’m ending this with an even more useless fact than usual: arianna actually has 3 different face models she swaps through as she grows sicker.

this is what happens when women are not given cucumber lime gatorade

 

cum dungeon

lmfao. okay. so. “chalice dungeons” are optional areas for grinding blood gems and blood echoes. i guess we should talk about the chalice layers since they will end up being important to refer back to. you can first enter chalice dungeons by obtaining the “ritual blood” item left on the altar in front of the flayed, dead (blood-starved) beast in old yharnam and the “pthumeru” chalice you get from the flayed, alived (blood-starved) beast. the blood of this magical dog and his special cup will unlock the labyrinth beneath byrgenwerth, which will then unlock deeper and deeper labyrinths.

ANYWAY:

you can also create your own chalice dungeons and invite people to try them out. in this case, “cummmfpk” is the code for a hacked dungeon that gives you 83,489 blood echoes if you just stand there for like 5 seconds. you can reload the dungeon over and over and get infinite enormous amounts of EXP. it’s great for cheaters and people who are just sick of the first part of the game and want to steamroll through it but. you know. the unfortunate randomly generated name…

cum dungeon facts: the layer 1 boss is a keeper of the old lords. layer 2 is a maneater boar. layer 3 is a headless bloodletting beast. all of them drop glitched items you can’t pick up. data-miner/soulsborne experimenter zullie the witch did some exploration of the cum dungeon to see who was dying in such a weird manner. the health bar doesn’t drop all at once (otherwise it would be easy to assume something was put outside the map and fell to its death) but instead is taken off in chunks. turns out there’s an enemy hunter who is placed in the path of a swinging blade that loads weird.

 

paleblood is the moon presence

in my opinion, they spell this out for you directly as well but for some people it’s still a matter of debate for some reason. i don’t know. i’ll present my argument.

the note in iosefka’s office at the start of the game and the messengers in yahar’gul mention “Paleblood”:

 

it’s capitalized. it’s a name. the name given to the moon presence that you kill to transcend the hunt.

oh nice going laurence.

 

voila.

curiously, there IS a character that bleeds white blood…we will get into later.

 

the doll was based on maria

i talked about this on tumblr before, so i’m going to copy-paste my answer and clean it up for you all.

the first hunters of the beasts were gehrman and lady maria; they worked together long, long before the player character ever arrives in yharnam. together they founded they principles and core techniques that other hunters worked off of when hunting beasts, based out of a workshop underneath the cathedral ward of the healing church (who, unbeknownst at the time, was responsible for the spread of the beast scourge through the act of irresponsible blood ministration). this is the abandoned workshop you discover that has an eerie resemblance to the hunter’s dream.

there is an abandoned doll in the abandoned workshop who looks identical to your friend, the animate doll. the doll is almost always standing in her spot in front of the church, though she occasionally moves from her designated spot to pray in front of a grave near the doors of the dream workshop. she never comments on why she does this.

back to the abandoned yharnam workshop: inside you will find some weird shit. a hair ornament for the doll, a spare set of clothing for the doll (the description adds that the clothing was made with “a precision and obsession that borders on mania”) and the umbilical cord, signifying that a deal occurred between the hunters and the moon presence here.

A great relic, also known as the Cord of the Eye. Every infant Great One has this precursor to the umbilical cord. Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a surrogate. The Third Umbilical Cord precipitated the encounter with the pale moon, which beckoned the hunters and conceived the Hunter’s Dream.

this deal appears to have included the creation of the living doll.

there’s one last item: a bone that gives you a sick new ability to disappear when you sidejump, called “quickening”. its found at the same gravestone at the abandoned workshop that the doll prays at in the hunter’s dream. the item description is this.

The bone of an old hunter whose name is lost. It is said that he* was an apprentice to old Gehrman, and a practitioner of the art of Quickening, a technique particular to the first hunters.

and that was all. until the dlc came out.

the second to last boss of the dlc is lady maria of the astral watch tower, who is extremely, uncomfortably, very creepily visually similar to the doll. they even have the same voice. personality wise? nothing alike. maria is a firecracker. the doll is passive and demure; gehrman even offers her to you as a sex object.

oh thats……..oh no

 

in the original post, i erroneously stated that only maria and gehrman could use the quickening, but it turns out there’s two hunters in the hunter’s nightmare who can use it. they have saifs that operate much like gerhman’s burial blade, implying they were his and/or maria’s apprentices. however, the point is that maria can use the quickening without casting.

all this to say: gehrman is a sex criminal and it is good that he is in hell

bonus tip: it seems like the bloody crow of cainhurst has her other leg bone.

*result of poor translation, the original pronoun here is gender ambiguous.

 

chalice illusory walls

lol this one is very short and sweet. in dark souls, there are a number of fake walls you can roll through that reveal treasure or secret areas. bloodborne does not have these at all………except for literally one place: lower pthumeru. for some reason, in this chalice dungeon only, there is one illusory wall on every level, for a total of 4. what’s behind them? treasure mostly, but the final one has a messenger bath that sells versions of weapons that take different gem slots than the vanilla version. this doesn’t matter to anyone who isn’t really into build mechanics.

fun fact! very, very, very, VERY, VERY, VERY, SO VERY RARELY, a bath messenger will be replaced with patches. yes, THAT patches.

[nervously looks around for a hole]

 

 

rom was a she

another short one. and is it important? probably not. but if someone calls rom a ‘he’ they don’t know SHIT. FAKE bloodborne fan. let’s ATTACK THEM.

straight from the man himself:

Miyazaki: That’s another hard one. Hmm… Which would it be for this game? Maybe this is cheating a little, but if you ignore gameplay for a moment, it’s Rom, the Vacuous Spider. From the design and atmosphere to that kind of plaintive air she has, I really like her. There are some oddly cute aspects to her moves and modeling.

its just because she has a lot of feet, i think.

 

yharnham, pthumerian queen

an eerie pthumerian woman in a white ball gown stained with blood at the abdomen appears as an apparition (?) twice in the base game. first, after defeating rom, the woman must be approached for a cutscene to begin; while she stares up at the approaching blood moon revealed after rom’s defeat, a baby begins to cry. then, you meet her again outside of the boss elevator that leads to the fight with mergo’s wet nurse (where the baby’s cry is loudest). after the defeat of the wet nurse, the woman will bow to you in appreciation before fading away.

this is yharnam, pthumerian queen, and she is a secret boss fight in the game, available only to those who. who do the. chalice dungeons. all of them.

the good news is that your dungeon progression carries over to new game +. but here’s the thing: doing the chalice dungeons is an exercise in tedium. they layouts are all largely the same with almost no deviation. enemy/boss levels are static and unchanging. since there is a lot (like a LOT) of new, cool stuff in the dungeons that cant be seen anywhere else (including exclusive loot) they are unfortunately worth going through. you will not like it though! unless you are a little mouse who was trained to run through mazes for cheese and still gets the dopamine even when there’s no reward at the end.

okay, there’s some reward. the yharnam fight whips ass. it was a seriously great fight and i was immediately frustrated that such a fun and interesting boss battle was locked behind some of the worst video gaming of all time. i cannot understate how long and agonizing and aggravating doing this is. im certain getting plat for bloodborne took years off my lifespan.

i have, in my madness, created a flow chart of ONLY the chalice dungeons required for the yharnam fight. i know that this APPEARS to be very straight forward. however, i will do my best to convey the experience of actually completing this gauntlet. please use this for reference.

 

 

the pthumeru chalice dungeon is a joke. by the time you finally get around to completing it (read: when you get stuck in the base game), all of the enemies will be so low level that you will just slice through each layer like a hot knife on butter. the only notable creature is the final boss, the watchdog of the old lords. i want you to think about him. remember him. you have the advantage of knowing he’s coming. i did not. right now? at this moment? no big deal.

no!!! no!!! not on the rug noooo!!!

 

there is little of interest in central pthumeru when it comes to the quest to see a pretty lady. you might find yourself tempted to use the “hintertombs” chalice you find here, but try to stay on task. we’re here to, ostensibly, have fun and the best way to do that is to avoid the hintertombs.

although the hintertombs IS home to the scariest fucking thing ive ever seen in a video game. so head on over if you want to shit your pants.

i agree, youtube video title.

 

welcome to hell! lower pthumeru lures you in with a false sense of security by soft-balling you an insultingly easy repeat boss fight. the game then has the audacity to throw yet another repeat fight at you, but worst of all it’s a boss you’ve fought two times already: the undead giant. “ah,” you will think to yourself, “i’ve done this before, piece of cake”. then, from literally the entire opposite end of the room, the giant does a little twirl and blends you into a slurry with his new chains.

this is the fight where, after so many failed attempts lasted a humiliating 10 seconds or less, i realized i could no longer progress in the chalice dungeons without starting new game plus. i needed exp. the kind of exp you can only get from defeating bosses. so, let me be clear, this path to the hot babe is not linear. by the time i reached the final layer of pthumeru i was on new game+ 4. that’s all of bloodborne 5 times. i think the winning solution to beating this guy is to abuse his weakness to fire with molotovs and shooting him in the face with the ol’ cannon-and-bone-marrow-ash combo.

still having fun? not for long! now fight rom again (AGAIN???) in a room with several huge pillars in it. this fight is pretty annoying, but not too difficult. it’s mostly luck based on whether or not her horde of 20 or so spiderlings manage to pincer attack you in the dressing room sized arena.

boss number three: the bloodletting beast. he is a complete bastard but at least he’s new. note: if he touches you, you WILL die, because he does 12 bazillion damage on every hit. if you somehow survive the first hit, you WILL be juggled into a second one. his arm span is approximately the length of the room and he moves faster than the speed of light, so trying to get some distance between the two of you for a healing break is impossible. this is a “don’t get hit” fight. the first one.

the first one.

welcome to cursed and defiled pthumeru.

in a cursed and defiled dungeon, your hp is halved. hope you’ve been putting points into vitality because if not, ahahahaha. enjoy your no-hit run of the entire labyrinth! (i did this to myself as a staunch, smug believer in “just dont get hit”. this was the most painful lesson ive ever been taught about putting points into hp and the reality of being able to avoid every hit). out of the kindness of their hearts, fromsoft did you a service and changed enemies so that they do half of the damage they usually do.

except fire damage. oh, also your first boss is the keeper of the old lords, who uses fire based magic attacks. so, this moment was finally the point when i understood that this wasn’t a game meant to be “fun”, it was intended to keep very sick people occupied so they don’t do vigilante crimes with all their spare energy.

but then:

the watchdog of the old lords happens to you. again.

the deck is already stacked against you. 8 out of 10 times you get trampled by the dog before you even have time to finish walking through the fog gate. you level up but the incremental health improvements aren’t enough to make a difference and by now your level is so high that it takes significant effort to stack up the blood echoes. you equip your fire-resistant hunter clothes which gives you a 1% boost in defense. nothing is working. it’s time…to summon an npc hunter!

……………………………..

 

i’m 99% sure this is the boss that forced me to go from ng+ all the way to ng+3 before i had the exp to beat it. after many days of being violently trampled in the exact same way, at the exact same moment, i felt my sanity fraying and my ability to emotionally regulate in a healthy manner deteriorating. it is fundamentally cruel to create a game that can be beat fairly so long as you engage the game on its own terms and then ambush you with the bloodborne equivalent of trying to fight a flaming mack truck with a knife. while losing repeatedly, i said some things to the game i can’t take back, but i meant it and i stick by it.

 

 

it was only through the wisdom of goons i was able to finally put this horrible beast in the ground. use a very upgraded saw spear and just poke his head from a distance. he has absolutely no chance against the power of a poking stick.

“””fun””” “”””””fact””””””: the defiled chalice watchdog of the old lords has the second most hp of any boss in bloodborne with a whopping 23964 hp. he is second only to the second fight with a bloodletting beast which barely squeaks by with more at 24052 hp. they didn’t want to make it too easy, you see.

don’t think this is over yet. we still have one more defiled boss. haha but at least it’s one we’ve fought before AND it doesn’t do fire damage! whew! right? …right?

is this good

 

wrong, moron. defiled amygdala WILL jump on your head. she WILL stomp on you. she WILL hit you with her arms and kill you in one hit. this boss is the maddest i have EVER been at a video game. im talking white knuckle rage that could only be suppressed by turning the game off and standing in the other room for an hour while my heart rate slowly returned to normal. i hate her. she is so flighty and takes to the air with little provocation and will use heat seeking technology to land directly on you no matter how far you run. and the thing about amygdala is: some parts of her body take more damage than others. her legs and tail take the tiniest wafer thin slivers off her health bar while those who bravely go for her arms and head are rewarded for their bravery with much larger damage chunks. so your choices are:

  1. get really close to her and hack away at her legs and ass for 15-20 minutes hoping she doesn’t successfully stomp on you in that extremely long period of time like a coward and a yellowbelly would.
  2. shoot her in the face with a cannon 10 times after baiting a specific attack that brings her head very close to the ground (wasting 10 very expensive and rare bone marrow ashes and replenishing your bullets with your precious health vials because every cannon blast costs 5 fucking bullets!), perform a visceral attack when she’s staggered, apply bolt paper and look to god for salvation.

both of these are bad. when you finally deplete that health bar, you’re worse off for it. you’re a worse person now. you have a status effect irl causing you psychic damage. fromsoft games are rarely unfair but the defiled dungeon takes the cake as the biggest bullshit of all time.

oh my god but finally. FINALLY, we are on the last chalice. this broad is within goosing distance (i have already forgotten why we are looking for her). and great news: the pthumerian descendant fight is fun; you’re finally playing bloodborne again and not “i wanna be the guy”. here’s a neat detail: the descendant fights with a sickle that splits into two separate ones during the second phase…like a trick weapon…! who REALLY invented what!!!

next is a fight that is annoying but in a way that is familiar and understandable: the blood-letting beast is back baby!!! and this time, he’s headless! it’s still a very hard fight, and during the second phase a big worm grows out of the stump on his head and spits fast poison at you, making it difficult to stay close to him. at this point, i was too close to the end and was fully in the thrall of a life wasting sunk cost fallacy. i finished bloodborne ng+4 to defeat the beast.

oh my GOD SHE’S HERE. WE DID IT.

kind of a milf, reblog.

 

the fight lasts about 3 minutes.

it’s a little easier than you expect, but you spend the entire time dodging, weaving and running to keep yourself moving. this is a different character model than the one we’ve seen at other locations: the one in the chalice dungeon is pregnant (but still bloodied) and her illusions are not. it’s impossible to stay close to her and just hack away since the baby’s cry paralyzes the hunter if they’re within AOE distance. she has 3 phases and is the only user of blood arts in the game besides maria (excluding martyr logarius, alfred and the hunter who all use a pale imitation of the REAL blood arts) and she makes maria’s blood arts look like little baby shit*. stay limber, hunter, you have to be fast on your feet for this. it’s a hell of a rush.

when it was over, i felt a consuming, dark emptiness swallow my chest as i realized i would never experience this very fun activity again. this shit took way too long. sure, i could just use a glyph and go to a hacked dungeon where i could fight her, but then i’d have to buy playstation’s online service and i’m not paying for my internet twice!!! its the principle of the matter!!!!

and now you know how it feels to play from software’s “bloodborne”. writing this section took the most time because whenever i sat down to hammer away at it, i would have to re-experience the emotional agony of doing the chalice dungeons and my suffering would become so great that i could only be revived with a defibrillator.

defeating her rewards you with an item that does nothing. well, it implies the queen is undead in the exact same way that annalise is, which is interesting. all hail the undying queens of blood!

 

*oops future bea here. i forgot the bell ringing women in yahar’gul use blood magic to make guys that kill you. so jot that down.

the research hall is byrgenwerth

come on man.

the same enemies…the same clutter items…somehow chunks of byrgenwerth got sucked into the nightmare. byrgenwerth is a really small area for how much it’s hyped up in the lore; it’s literally a two story room and the tiny grounds (oh, and a lunarium but that thing is really REALLY small). but if you take the lecture hall into consideration (which is actually a large two story wing of labs and classrooms), the size of the area is more analogous to other areas in the game.

to access the first floor of the lecture hall, you need to be smunched into the nightmare dimension by an amygdala.

this is how your cat feels when you pick them up

 

therefore, i think it’s fair to assume that amygdala is responsible for the theft of the lecture hall. the first floor double doors of the lecture hall lead to the nightmare frontier where you can find amygdala’s sad little house. the second floor is accessed via micolash’s skull in yahar’gul (the entrance to yahar’gul is guarded by the amygdala you use to access the first floor) and the double doors lead to the nightmare of mensis, an area which shares aesthetic overlap with the frontier. case closed.

except i have no idea why it would do this. another weird detail is that there’s a unique pthumerian church giant here with flaming hands. why is he here? to learn? not with those hands.

here’s some relatively baseless speculation: when willem and micolash had their ideological split, micolash made a deal with amygdala in a similar vein to gehrman’s deal and just took some school with him. amygdala also seems directly tied to the blood moon (more on this later, i see its on my chart lol) which was micolash’s very weird personal project he was working on, so i think it’s a fair assumption that these two were in cahoots together in some capacity. mergo’s cord is proof of a covenant, hey oh shit i just realized where they got the cord from lol. oh no. sorry yharnam pthumerian queen.

anyway: let me sum up. byrgenwerth had access to the labyrinths (chalice dungeons) which we can presume are beneath the college itself. this is where they met yharnam pthumerian queen and friends. the first schism of byrgenwerth between laurence and willem revolved around what to do with the discovery of blood that makes you live forever, which lead to the creation of the healing church. the second lead to micolash bailing on willem to found the school of mensis under the healing church, which coincided with the development of another church organization called “the choir”. while the choir did human experimentation with ebrietas and laurence turned people into dogs, the school of mensis took over the unseen village to do something i still don’t understand entirely. some of it involved discovering loran (the chalice was likely provided by amygdala since she drops it after you defeat her) and stealing a darkbeast from loran (paarl) to play with. all three institutions are in a race to see who can elevate humanity into godhood first.

speculation: micolash chooses the DIY option: mergo is the stillborn child of blood you win (?) as a prize after defeating yharnam pthumerian queen. using the umbilical cord from mergo, which they pilfered from yharnam directly (killing mergo in the process, byrgenwerth is established in canon as loving matricide especially when they’re pregnant), they forged a pact with amygdala who gave them cover while they uhhhh mashed people together into a horrible monstrosity called “the one reborn” using parts provided by the ladies of hemwick and the yaharghul kidnappers. i would assume “the one” was intended to be a body for the brain that mensis “retrieved from the nightmare”. they fucked up really bad and (almost) all their brains turned off except for micolash, who used his infinite time in the nightmare to become a long distance endurance runner, and some guy named edgar who was actually a choir member in disguise doing covert ops. lol owned.

killing the brain grants you the living string, a one of a kind item used exclusively to open the great pthumeru ihyll chalice. this was its final connection with its mother. the brain itself was a legitimate great one, even if the body was going to be artificial, but it was dying.

mysteries:

1. why are the bell ringing women from the chalice dungeons in yahar’gul? if they teamed up with the school of mensis (as it seems they have), why? are they in service of yharnam and looking to revive the child of blood? i think yharnam is going to notice the difference guys.

2. why do winter lanterns have brains very similar to the mensis brain? both also have messenger corpses in them (as many things in the nightmare do), why? why is the doll the body? why do they sing?

3. who the fuck is the wet nurse lol


 

mysteries galore. i have been very slowly working on a little project so that i can make a chart explaining various important character relationships to refer back to. this shit is confusing.

i still have many more to go. its impossible to draw paarl in a simplified style. have you seen that motherfucker’s face. go look it up right now.

ok. bye. see you next time.

 

6 months ago:

 

it’s been an embarrassingly long time since i first received this request. it coincided with real life stressors and i fell behind on my reviews/work/ability to care for myself to a shameful degree. i have a plethora of excuses and explanations but who cares. we don’t have time for that. we need to prepare for our case. although, i’ll be honest with you, i think it’s a slam dunk. you read the notes, right? never mind. we’ll go over them again.

 

i mean it all revolves around this ad here. a newspaper ad? probably. they really don’t make ads like this anymore; exuberant testimonials from some unseen narrator who is both too friendly and too formal at the same time. in this case it’s like getting a movie recommendation from your “cool” teacher who has to think extra careful about what words he’d going to use in front of a classroom of bloodthirsty 13 year olds.

nearly every statement in this poster is a lie. it looks like lionel hutz already took the marker to it.

 

i do plan to “see it twice” in order for me to “really get it all”, like it do when i review all my movies. im feeling a little self conscious about this one because i dont know robert altman’s movies at all outside of “popeye”, which i think is charming and fun in it’s own way (not something i’d seek out on purpose but, you know, if someone else put it on i wouldn’t complain). im not unaware that altman is a beloved filmmaker and this movie has, in my opinion, a baffling, inexplicable array of glowing reviews. taking aim at something that i am likely not “getting” due to the honest truth of being a regular ol’ simpleton feels like im setting down my own rake to walk on. regardless, the mission statement of this my reviews are to view these movies through the eyes of someone devoid of sophistication. i do not think these reviews should be intended to be insightful. they’re for laughs and recommendations on the basis of taste (not expertise) only.

additionally, i am going to be looking at this movie as a modern day viewer, which i mention because it will make my assessment seem a little less unhinged to people who do like altman and this movie. i can admit i do not have extensive context for the 1970s that would have likely given much more context to this VERY “of the times” apparent satire. the only stuff i picked up on was the bullitt reference and the m*a*s*h poster in the background. oh wait, i just noticed that it just tells you its bullitt inspired lol. they’re just saying it!

special note that doesn’t fit anywhere else: the soundtrack is from john phillips from the mama and the papas and it fucking sucks.

with that said, let’s talk about what IS true on this ad so we can address the egregious false advertising at play here.

i will now examine the claims made by the defendant in preparation for our “big case”.

TRUE

RAVE: roger ebert gave it a 3.5 out of 4. that’s all i have to say about that. okay roger!

“I DON’T KNOW”:  ryan cracknell from “movie views”, a website that sounds like it was made up exclusively to be the workplace of the protagonist of a 2015 a hallmark movie, seemed delighted but mystified by this movie.

“NOW I HAVE SEEN EVERYTHING”: 0 out of 1 people found this helpful.

YOU’LL TALK ABOUT IT: i am, as part of my agreement with my patreon donors. many people were contractually obligated to talk about this movie. the problem is, i haven’t really be sure HOW to talk about this movie. that’s why we have this silly framing device.

WEIRD: i’ll give it this one. i am forced to admit its not every day that you watch a movie in which a serial killing boy uses bird shit as a calling card.

HOT LIPS: absolutely true and the kind of nickname i would murder someone to have. if someone named “hot lips” was starring in your movie you bet your fucking ass you’d put that on the poster.

RATED ‘R’: factual. today it would be like, pg.

“SOMETHING ELSE” FROM THE CREATOR OF M*A*S*H: this might be the funniest use of sarcastic quotation marks i’ve seen in a long time. this is just a non-controversial statement of fact made passive aggressive for no reason. spectacular.

FALSEHOODS

YOU DUG M*A*S*H*: i have not seen m*a*s*h*. i did like m*a*s*h* the tv show. does that help.

THIS ONE WILL BLOW YOUR MIND: sorry mr. altman, no dice. i literally have no idea what this thinks its referring to.

FAR-OUT:

adjective
  1. unconventional or avant-garde.
    2.excellent.

i guess, arguably, it could be the first one but it is by no means the second one.

VERY HIP, VERY IN: i hate to imagine that it was.

STARRING ‘THE WEIRDO TWOSOME’:

god who the fuck is this part talking about. what the fuck does this mean!!! every time i’m face to face with it i’m fucking vexed at this phrase that no one outside of a marketing exec would ever think to use in any context. imagine being one of the stars and seeing this poster. did they ask first if they could call them a pair of freaks.

WILDEST AUTO CHASE SINCE “BULLITT”/SPACE ODYSSEY: okay, first of all, the gothic novel-esque use of capital lettering in this section is absolutely bizarre. like, this is a transparent attention grab for people who liked actual good movies, but the phasing and the formatting is completely sporadic and random. no rhyme or reason.

additionally, this is not a “tip”. and not true.

IT SHAPES UP REAL GROOVY: perhaps “brewster mccloud” is a movie that simply exists too far outside the parameters of my enjoyment specifically. i am vexed by the knowledge that other people truly gained something from this movie that i did not so i can assume it is a combination of these factors: 1. i am too far from the historical immediacy needed for context for many of the references or concepts that fly (hee ehehehehe ohohohoh) over my head, 2. it is simply not to my taste, being a movie that is both too grounded to be fantastical and too self-serious in spite of its deliberate use of ridiculous situations, and 3. maybe it fucking sucked a little to begin with. and all of these factors combined made for a watch that was the movie sensory experience equivalent to walking down a baby toy aisle with all the toys playing noise at once.

also i hate birds, so there’s that.

UNVERIFIABLE

GREENBORO, ET AL.: unverifiable. this is evidently a tri-city area in north carolina. i think the opinions of people in greensboro, north carolina have never mattered less in human history.

CONTROVERSIAL: maaaaaybe. by today’s standards…? the most controversial aspect is the language, which we’ll cover more in detail in a moment. there is a fair bit of suggestive nudity in it (with occasional incestual overtones) and a girl who has extremely annoying screeching orgasms twice while gesturing wildly under a blanket. although, it was the early 70s. wasn’t that when directors realized boobs sell tickets? i guess it was a different time.

this is what our case hinges on. let’s examine this…in depth.

the movie begins with a man who is not, but is trying to be, gene wilder. he is a disheveled professor teaching us about man’s lust for the concept of flight and the jealously one harbors for birds, who move as freely as the wind. after his monologue, which continues throughout the movie and results in his loud and physically-embarrassing-to-watch degradation into a squawking bird-type man for no reason. i guess the parallel is that as brewster gets closer to the clouds, the professor uhhh wait this doesn’t make sense. i guess he’s just doing it to be random. anyway, smash cut to a racist woman bellowing out a deliberately bad version of “the star spangled banner”. this movie is an audio and visual torture session. the CIA should just play this movie on loop at guantanamo if they want people to really crack. don’t worry if you missed it, because she make everyone, including the credits, stop and start over again; this opening scene is only a taste of what’s to come. i was already checking my watch and realized i was in for a rough time.

our titular character is a “dork” aka a ripped guy with glasses. despite this reality, everyone around him keeps trying to push him around like he couldn’t just crush their heads with a well timed judo punch. a bird takes a dump on a newspaper clipping about agnew. wow. social commentary. the professor reads about bird pecking order as a rich landlord in a limo with the license plate “owl” (who delights in taking mustache-twirling actions against his renters such as: calling them racial slurs, hitting them, sexually abusing them, stealing money from their boobs, etc.) abuses his driver, brewster.

cutting edge stuff.

the radio announces the murder of the aforementioned lady who is apparently the singer at the astrodome? do people not have ears in this universe? i don’t mean this in like a cinemasins “HEH PLOTHOLE” kind of way, but more bewilderment at the truly off-putting, grotesque world the movie is trying to build in front of me. i dont want it. i don’t want to be here. go away mr. altman.

the shittiest song you’ve ever heard in your life plays as the old man is lifelessly rolled down a hill after pointing a gun at brewster and getting shid and farded on by a bird.

a flashback to the death of the national anthem singer reveals that she died wearing the wizard of oz ruby slippers for no reason. as “somewhere over the rainbow” faintly plays, a bird shits on her shoes. how irreverent! take that “hollywood”.

shelley duvall is in this movie, thank god, and she is somewhat charming acting as brewster’s ACTUAL love interest (until she realizes he’s batshit crazy), as opposed to the screeching intrusive orgasm-haver that invades his living space over the astrodome. “hot lips” has been skulking around various locations stealing things and being sexually attractive. a detective from the exotic locale of “san fransisco” arrives. another bird shit-related murder of a racist occurs, this time its an off-duty cop who beats up his wife, emotionally batters his kid and then tries to start shit with brewster over a camera.

the detective discovers that brewster stole a book from the racist old man after he killed him. a book from the old man’s “brothers”.

[sighs heavily]

the first actual joke happens in this movie at 31 mins in.

brewster’s supernatural………….mom??????? aka hot lips shows up and takes off all her clothes and bathes this grown man with a sponge bath. according to her, brewster’s quest for his wings is also his quest to preserve his virginity and purity, since if he comes in contact with a sexually interested woman he will become tainted and bad and stuck on this gay earth without any magic. love this movie’s heart-warming message!

but uh oh! shelley duvall is soooooo pure compared to La Horny Llarona. when brewster tries to steal duvall’s car she just brushes it off and offers very sweetly and lightly to drive him where-ever he wants because she’s soooo quirky. 🙂 i have no idea what these women see in him since he is explicitly disinterested to the point of seeming like he might be slamming xannies. like, when she asks if hes going to kiss her he says “i don’t know how” in a flat tone one might use in therapy when recalling how you used to rip the wings off flies as a kid. mom runs interference with the cops making sure brewster can’t be arrested for his murders of scumbags. serial killer moms really are on another level.

fashion…

the car chase happens and fellas, it’s not exciting. its just like the rest of this movie: loud. a guy does drive through a wall of cardboard boxes though. that’s pretty cool. just kidding that’s lame as shit. i’ve seen literally any martial arts movie where they smash each other over the head with florescent bulbs and drive into walls of bulbs. you gotta work way harder to impress me!!!

it ends with the detective killing himself after getting in a mildly inconvenient car accident. me too, dude.

brewster and shelley duvall have the traditional post-car chase sex, taking brewster’s magical virginity; immediately after having sex for the first time brewster tells her that he’s going to be with her forever. men are the worst. hot lips mommy has a problem with brewster seeing other women and tsks-tsks over his sexual exploration. however, when she finds out that it wasnt just SEX and he LOVES shelley duvall, mom squawks like a heart broken bird and leaves the astrodome presumably forever due to brewster losing his inherent magical spirit to those yucky dream-ruining sluts. how can mom stay 5 steps ahead of the cops, but she can’t cock (hehehe hahaha hhoohoho) block her bird son. its because women are duplicitous disgusting creatures naturally. i hate this movie dude. this second watch isn’t doing it a single favor.

shelley duvall squeals on brewster after he spills his whole insane plan to use his magic bird mom’s advice to create wings to fly in order to escape his serial killings. she and her ex-boyfriend, a low-level government employee who hasn’t mattered at all, are spotted by brewster while making out very close to his astrodome home (poor planning on her part). unfortunately, they’re spotted and spot brewster while he’s wearing his goofy ass looking wing machine. it’s awkward for everyone.

brewster takes flight as another shitty, corny song takes over the soundtrack. what could have been a technically impressive moment is really undercut by this school house rock ass music.

brewster starts to screech and freak out like a bird. turns out flying is harder than it looks when you’re coated in the weighty sins of eve or whatever. he stalls out and plummets, dying on impact. uh. i guess there were people in the stands. despite the camera showing moments before that the place was completely empty except for the cops rolling in. but now there’s a crowd here to clap in an ironic fashion at brewster’s splatfest. how ironic that he chose to do this the day of the circus! and that everyone watched him fly and fall screaming to his death and managed to keep themselves contained until they saw a clown.

miserable film. some real misogyny 101 shit. lot of making me think about how this says much about society. blech! the ending would have been shocking and upsetting in literally any other movie or if it happened to a character that didn’t come off as a jeff dahmer’s apprentice.

ah, oh shit the trial’s starting. okay. uh, your honor. we plead guilty.

this post is originally from tumblr, hence any strange formatting that may occur

 

recent events in the newspaper comic “mary worth” (yes, the one about the old woman you skip over if you’re one of the 50 americans still reading newspaper comics) have been downright thrilling. local despised bastard wilbur finally bit the big one after drunkenly falling off of a cruise ship after another stupid fight with that dumb broad estelle. everyone on planet earth is pleased with this development, most of all the comics kingdom (the parent company) store, which is producing the best merch in honor of this event. i literally need this shirt or i’ll die.

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for a mere $72.00 you can celebrate the happiest moment of your life

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additionally, the 55-80 year old age bracket that reads mary worth (that aren’t ironic/not ironic fans from longtime comics staple the comics curmudgeon) is elated over this development. imagine bloodthirsty posts from the crowd that loves minion memes on facebook. ive done you a service of picking the non-horrifying ones.

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love this discussion on the science of wilbur visiting davey jones’ locker.

but that’s not why i’m here. well, not entirely. i wanted to talk about two other insane instances in newspaper comics in the “modern day”. the first is the like, entirety of the 2017 comic arc of “the phantom”, a pulp hero comic strip about a guy in a purple costume who does both annoying and useful things in a fictional african country that’s been running daily since the 30s. this story, called “the phantom stamp”, involves a guy who is just orson welles but he wants to make a stamp of the local urban legend….THE PHANTOM!!

the phantom doesnt like that.

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his whole thing is not drawing attention to himself unless necessary. so the phantom must arrive to make business negotiations.

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by which i mean “call upon his native friends to have a laugh torturing this guy for 24 hours and repeatedly dousing him with hallucinogens”

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im going somewhere with this i promise. anyway, when its just the phantom and his very high captive, orson is permitted to make his case for his stupid stamp everyone told him not to make.

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which in turn leads to the funniest series of panels ive seen in a long time.

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this last one is much shorter bc to chronicle the entire event would take forever. in 2019, a goon (something awful forums member for baby readers) named vargo who did a moderately critical quote tweet of the combination of the official mark trail and artist/writer james allen’s personal account. of the conservative slant, climate change denial in a comic about a nature lover, and lazy traced clip art. allen self annihilated immediately

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and then repeatedly and endlessly over the next year as he drew an entire story-line where a guy who looked suspiciously like vargo took mark trail and that lady who’s always with him on a wild goose chase looking for a yeti he claims bit off his leg. not-vargo wants fame…and FORTUNE!

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anyway he dies in a bitch way in an avalanche chasing a noise he thought was a yeti and then is memorialized as a sensationalist liar

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james allen was fired shortly after this for making a blowjob joke about AOC for literally no reason. he just did that i guess. no one working comics is known for their brains

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thanks for reading!

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my friend e is right that this is worth mentioning but i will warn people ahead of time that it doesn’t end funny. but it IS wild up until that point.

before olivia james took over nancy, the previous artist was guy gilchrist. guy was a career cartoonist who primarily did work on the muppet comics. you’ve probably seen his work before with this comic, which is unfortunately good (by accident it seems).

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you know nancy if you know comics, so you also probably know her aunt fritzi who takes care of her. you probably don’t know about phil fumble, her boyfriend created by artist ernie bushmiller to be fritzi’s clueless boyfriend.

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fritzi was created by another artist who left her to bushmiller after a few years. bushmiller, who was picked for the job due to his talent/penchant for drawing pretty ladies, created a loving caricature of himself and his wife in the relationship between phil and fritzi

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this is notable because phil is very much just a side character who showed up for gags. but then bushmiller’s playful self-insert was elevated to a different kind of self insert by gilchrist.

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gilchrist’s run is defined by two guiding principles: one, nancy must never ever be funny or tell a joke.

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the other is that aunt fritzi is hot as hell and fuckable (sorry this is for ants)

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gilchrist’s nancy run was like comedy chernobyl. everything he touches withers and rots on the vine. fritzi’s anatomy would become so laser focused that her breasts, hips, legs, and head/hair would all start to dominate the vast majority of panels. she would start wearing shirts with absurdly long (uninteresting) references to random nashville things so that gilchrist would have an excuse to draw a t-shirt straining with huge tits.

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the comic took on a decidedly conservative slant. and not the batshit kind of conservative that’s at least fun to laugh at. the bizarre psuedo-wholesome kind that seem at odds with the man’s barely restrained lust for milf milkers.

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gilchrist’s fritzi’s obsession didn’t start and stop at her honkers. gilchrist reformed fritzi in his own image like a sort of twisted version of genesis, making her the saint of all things held dearly in conservative amber nostalgia for guy gilchrist only. she would opine over the state of media and kids these days, she would express an inexplicable and inauthentic appreciation for music and movies created prior to 1960, and often the resolution of a comic would be “the 80s were good, right?”

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this is really long sorry. i find gilchrist’s bizarre pathological disrespect to the original author and his characters tasteless in a way that’s fascinating. he is a professional 60+ year old man operating on fandom rules at a national scale. i find something immensely repugnant about taking two characters that were light-hearted stand ins for the author/artist and the wife he loved and using them for evident sexual and emotional gratification. he got paid to not tell jokes in a gag a day strip and instead collected a paycheck to, i guess, stir up the dicks of everyone in the retirement home who also want to fuck aunt fritzi from the newspaper comic “nancy”. i cant imagine why an editor let him run wild when it was obvious that his sexual fixation with fritzi was coming to a head with the (aforementioned by my friend lee) sudden leap in height and muscles phil fumble suddenly experienced.

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heres where things are not funny. sorry.

in late 2017 it was becoming obvious that something was coming to a head in gilchrist’s run. phil proposed to fritzi, adopted sluggo and got married all very quickly before gilchrist announced his retirement in jan of 2018.

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when gilchrist was replaced with a woman, the announcement had an interesting sidebar.

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well. that’s the story of guy gilchrist and many other newspaper stories.

what did we learn? cartoonists are severely mentally ill and should be kept in zoos.

note: this is copy-pasted from my tumblr and is therefore formatted like a call for information. on tumblr its reasonable to expect a response; on a personal website not so much. i have been asked by people who are discovering they have the same or a similar problem to take what i learn from the process of trying to get this (apparently very rare) fixed and make it easily available. so cross-posting it here, where its more static, makes the most sense.

that was a lot of words to say: copy-pasted from my tumblr

original title:

very very specific call for information: anyone out there deal with out-toeing caused by external tibial rotation (duck feet from a fucked up tibia) AS AN ADULT?

im putting this out here because 1. there’s like no fucking information on the entire internet about adults who never grew out of a common childhood problem (unlike children, who self-correct by strengthening muscles, my tibia is an inherited condition. mom has it but not nearly as bad) and 2. i just want to know more! especially what im looking at for recovery.

e: im me from the future. this post is so long and boring and navel gazey so i added images in the hopes it might trick you into wanting to share it.

i only just started this process yesterday: after a series of free association google searches stemming from the fear that i had developed peripheral artery disease at age 31, i discovered symptoms i had been attributing to other random issues (pain radiating down leg? i must be bloated and pressing down on a nerve. pain in shins when i walk even for a short while or up a single flight of stairs? i must be out of shape and destroying my body. knees swollen with fluid in the 4th grade? bursitis, etc) could pretty much all be traced back to my fucked up leg.

my right leg (my right) is visibly fucked from the outside and always has been since i was born. the left is as well, although to a much less (and likely ignorable) extent than the right. i’ve know about this forever; my parents at one point took me to a doctor who was like “yeah she’s shaped like a twizzler” but didnt actually recommend any action. therefore, it was assumed by all that there was nothing we could do and i just had to suffer my junji ito uzamaki curse forever.

which would suck because it’s not great. my family was not receptive to any complaints i had about my body hurting growing up (to be fair there’s only so many times you can hear “but it hurts to exercise” from your sickly, pale, bespectacled, dweeby-ass kid before you cant take it anymore) so i just gave up on giving a shit about it. i’m going to start from the top bottom on symptoms/pain:

  • sometimes i walk with a limp because my hip and knee joint would work in tandem to develop a sharp pain that makes putting weight on it hard.
  • during my period, i usually end up with at least a day or two where i get deep toothache like pain in my thigh. its always there, not throbbing, and it just. aches.
  • for some reason my body favors it so when i’m standing i find myself almost completely leaning on it (which just makes it hurt more later). i can feel myself fucking my knees up when i do this because of how it has to shift around the twisted bone.
  • my knees swell up every time i kneel and put weight on them (growing up catholic made this excruciating).
  • walking is a nightmare. i usually try my best to pretend like my shins (specifically) aren’t screaming from mild exertion. i bought a step machine thinking i was just out of shape and a big whiner but it didn’t ever get better no matter how much and how consistently i did it. i though i was just assigned a really dogshit corporeal form that wasn’t built for improvement.
  • dont even think about running, buddy. i flip flap around like i’m wearing clown shoes AND it hurts like a bitch.
  • speaking of which, i also trip and fall on my own feet a lot. the doctor asked me this like “you don’t find yourself falling a lot while walking, right?” and i had to laugh because i eat shit at least 2x a month. i have a huge scar on my foot from last year.

now im about to upload some pictures of my legs. try not to scream. ignore the bruises, i spent all day yesterday/day before completely re-arranging my office so i beat the crap out of my legs lol.

 

here they are together, standing comfortably. i’m using the edge of our ugly tile as a straight edge for reference.

 

here’s the left one. i have no idea if this is normal. the doctor i saw yesterday said it was “less pronounced” on this side. i agree.

 

i look like i’m uploading instructions on how to hokey-pokey. anyway: right leg in. notice how it is, indeed, fucked up when lined up against the edge.

 

and here’s the knee straight. i really thought this was normal and i just had to deal with it for the rest of my life lol. i mean i still might uhhh let’s find out.

I AM LOOKING FOR INFORMATION FOR ADULTS:

pretty much everything online is for kids with assurances that they’ll “grow out of it” and absolutely no info otherwise for the rest of us. now for my QUESTIONS:

-which surgery would be done to correct this?

-i am an american, any idea what surgery cost might look like? (lol ignoring insurance, i want to see if im even close to the ballpark of it being feasible)

-how long is the surgery recovery time?

-can physical therapy correct this? if so, how long would it take?

-can you direct me to more information on living with out-toeing/duck footing/external tibial rotation? how can i manage symptoms?

-does anyone want to study me, because apparently im a rare specimen. im minting myself as an nft or whatever. fuck

ok thank you.

hi, i have movie reviews to do. but since i have spent the last 2 months re-arranging my molecules after adding new medication to my daily regimen, i’m feeling a little rusty. before i get back to writing things that are good, i would like to stretch my brain writing something bad. stick with me.

my friends, allow me to present to you…the greatest videogame ever made in human history

 

my relationship with the 2015 fromsoftware title “bloodborne” could best be described as “worrying”. considering the already fragile mental state/ego of the dark souls community, this is a confession that should put me on a list of some kind. if we aren’t creating incredibly tortured and tenuous connections between the barest scraps of information, then we’re reading other people’s baseless speculation and going “wow, that really makes sense to me”. they should add whatever we have in the next DSM; i didn’t realize how deeply insane i sounded until i tried to talk to another human being about the game with my mouth in a real-life physical space. go to another person right now who doesn’t know what bloodborne is and try to explain who the celestial emissaries are without being forcibly removed in a straight jacket. life imitates art, i guess.

prognosis: terminal

 

as much as i try not to succumb to the urges*, i too find myself weaving elaborate narratives as a result of my love affair with the fromsoft lore delivery system: the player must take the initiative to read item descriptions and notice their placement, examine the environment for context clues both big and infuriatingly miniscule, and explore every inch of yharnam to try to to gain even an inkling of what the fuck is happening. that’s how it starts. then you’re reading interviews, cracking the game for cut content (fromsoft famously just leaves all of their cut content in the game and there’s always a stunning heap of it) and comparing beta versions of the game’s map that looks like it was drawn on a napkin with the canonical map. collecting and making sense of fromsoft lore is arduous, deeply annoying work that involves reading a lot of annoying and wrong people’s ideas to try to spur some of your own, but at least we can take comfort in the fact that its also extremely pointless and time consuming.

*a lie

 

 

[sobbing] help us we are very sick (via the bloodborne-wiki)

 

(as a weird site note: i do not think i would call the collective of people are absolutely nutty about fromsoft a “fandom” due to fandom culture’s inability (largely, not entirely) to gain traction in these circles. obviously there are people that share fanart, ideas, and mods, but the cooperation within the community has been, i think, drastically shaped by 2 things: 1. the sexlessness of the games themselves. which i recognize is a bold and incredible claim for me to make considering gwynevere’s massive honkers and the suspicious number of women without shoes on. but while the developers are horny as hell, i dont think anyone in the dark souls universe knows what sex is except for arianna. that’s one out of how fucking many?! additionally, no one wants to see these beef jerky people have sex because then they’d have to think about how they’d fall apart like someone shredding a boiled chicken. and 2. the game itself utilizes and fosters stark, silent, jolly cooperation. your ability to communicate to other players is limited entirely to silent gestures and, if they find them, wood carvings that yell “IM SORRY” when you smash them on the ground. the community, i think, mirrors the relationships you build within the game. anyway)

ive never seen people communicate like this in a videogame. incredible stuff (via kite pride worldwide @somethingawful)

 

at some point this year, in a fit of self-righteous pique, i created and posted my own “bloodborne iceberg” meme as a catty response to the two that i knew existed at the time. the existing ones were, in my eyes, baby shit; either barely scratching the surface of the stories and details i found fascinating or they were just fucking WRONG. stupid wrong! the kind of wrong that makes you realize some people’s ability to think critically calcified in the 8th grade. as soon as people start trying to drag lovecraft shit into bloodborne lore i completely lose it. no!!! you are NOT utilizing outside knowledge to draw logical conclusions when you say byrgenwerth is miskatonic university!!!!!

 

 

shut up!! shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

anyway here’s the damn thing already:

if you don’t know anything about bloodborne, this is probably like word salad to you. if i showed you this and told you it made sense to me, you would be right to take me to a hospital. but i know there are fandom rubberneckers who have no interest in playing the game itself who nevertheless enjoy looking at charts detailing how desperate for answers or explanations we’ve become. of course, i personally think that the soulsborne (a portmanteau of “dark souls” and “bloodborne”, both fromsoft creations) games are not to be “solved” and should retain much of the deliberate, artful ambiguity. i think generally anyone who has interacted meaningfully with me would agree that attempting to discern a definitive, irrefutable, seamless meaning to narratives that are purposefully constructed as to invite the reader to fill in the gaps on their own is sad. just a sad, sad way to interact with art. absolutely refusing to do anything but examine it at arms length so it doesn’t touch you.

the gimmick of the iceberg is this: it’s supposed to be a collection of easter eggs, observations and theories, or (arguably) plausible speculation (colloquially known as “lore”) that grows more and more obscure/bizarre as you reach the bottom. the image on the right that accompanies each level is intended to depict the level of psychic damage you would have taken to store all this stupid shit in your brain.

i will go over all of these and why i chose the images i did. I’ll also try to include (when possible) the origin of specific theories and a determination of how plausible they are. i’ll do my best to provide the information necessary so that the uninitiated can try to understand what the fuck im talking about, but you’re going to have to use context clues for some things. this will contain spoilers and frank discussions of nasty shit like infanticide. reader beware!!! you’re in for a scare!!

level 1: surface knowledge

our image for this level is the player character, the hunter, in his iconic outfit that you find in a sewer in the game.

altar of despair + annalise

jesus christ, i started out with one that requires a 3 hour lecture to understand. and, even better, no one else understands it either. i’m going to do my best here: there is- uh, were a contingent of nobles called “vilebloods”; vampires to compliment the abundance of werewolves in this game. there is only one living vileblood left: the vileblood queen, annalise.

annalise is immortal and impossible to wound, but its not really clear why she is. people have all kinds of theories, but i have trouble working around how she is the seemingly only immortal being in the entire game*†. by all appearances she is an average noble woman who also happens to have a helmet welded to her face to prevent her from, presumably, biting or eating people.

*wrong! future bea here. the “undead giant” in the chalice dungeons technically counts. although he looks like he’s been forcibly stitched back together a few times where as annalise is physically fine. zombie undead vs vampire undead i guess.

all hail the undying queen of blood!

it can’t be a trait inherent to vilebloods because the rest of them were brutally slaughtered by a church sanctioned group. i assume someone came up with the helmet solution when they realized they couldn’t kill someone described explicitly as “undead” and trapped her in her magically concealed throne room. despite the best efforts of the executioners,  you show up and find her. okay, now here’s where it gets a little awkward, through a series of unfortunate events you facilitate, she is mashed into red paste by a maniac.

annalise is the leader of a covenant (a pvp thing) so her being dead is kind of inconvenient if you’re trying to raise your rank. fortunately, there’s a solution: you can dump a chunk of what’s left of her (specifically her liver) on a rock in an underground cave beneath the grand cathedral that has a big dead spider on it. the message “time flows in reverse for this scrap of flesh” pops up and next time you visit annalise she’s back on her throne good as new! why, you may ask?

don’t worry, she’s fine (long story)

your guess is as good as mine. its not clear why this happens at all. my theory is simple: the altar of despair (the big spider rock) is located in an area of the game world that is kissing the unfathomable, eldritch cosmos (look around, you’re in great isz!) and is bound to have some weird shit happen there. all the bosses in that dungeon end up being ones you’ve already killed…how mysterious…!

this is a surface level game mechanic. i have no idea how people discovered it in the first place but now its a open secret.

celestial emissaries were people

whew! this one is easy. there’s a boss/enemy mob called “celestial emissaries” that look like 1950s b-movie rubber aliens. their name suggests they were meant to be a conduit between humanity and the great ones, but how did they come about…?

well, in the clinic of a woman named iosefka, we find…THIS!!!!!

oh my god they were people all along aaaaaaaa

its hard to miss this in game. just open your eyes.

abandoned old workshop

if you manage to pull off the most spectacular acrobatics of your life (thank you fromsoft, i love your platforming sections), you can discover a location called “the abandoned workshop”. it is an eerie, run-down replica of the sanctuary area of the game, “the hunter’s dream”. the hunter’s dream is not a physical location (it is a literal dream) and there are items to collect related to the original group of hunters from hundreds of years ago (“the old hunters”) that makes one wonder why it was abandoned and when. there’s even a lifeless version of the doll.

“ok”

this is easy to find in the game. it’s a lot harder to get to.

three third cords

one of the items in the abandoned old workshop is “one third of umbilical cord”. it is described as the “precursor to the umbilical cord” (?). there are four one third umbilical cords in bloodborne but you only need three; a note left by someone who felt they didnt have to elaborate gives us this stark information: “three third cords”.

careful distinction: it is not “one third of an umbilical cord”. you aren’t collecting 3 parts to one cord. you’re collecting one of three umbilical cords from three (well, four) different…origins. there is some debate about whether this is the case of a bad translation. in other versions (including the UK iirc) have it listed as “third umbilical cord” which not only makes more sense considering the item picture is of an entire umbilical cord, but the idea that alien space gods have 3 umbilical cords is delightfully repulsive to the human species. it invites a little more imagination than just a standard human pregnancy and makes the “making a eldritch baby” process sound much more complicated and mysterious.

you can tell they are aliens due to the presence of goop in this image. goo is a vital part of alien culture

anyway, these items give you three insight (a game mechanic that reveals hidden horrors as the number goes up) when you “consume” them (very unclear what this means, terrifying to contemplate), and eating three of them sets you up for the real final boss of the game (“the moon presence”), who can only be summoned by the cords.

since we’ve talked about the workshop, here’s the description of the umbilical cord you find in the workshop:

“Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a surrogate. The Third Umbilical Cord precipitated the encounter with the pale moon, which beckoned the hunters and conceived the hunter’s dream.”

the umbilical cords herald encounters with the great ones no matter whether it was because humanity attempted contact or the great one just decided to drop by unannounced. the being described as the “pale moon” responsible for the creation of the hunter’s dream is the moon presence. the child loss part is extremely unclear. i dont think anyone knows wtf that shit’s about.

yes, they are covered in eyes. don’t worry about it. that’s just your “eyes on the inside” as they say (or Insight….get it?).

you’re likely to discover at LEAST one of these one any given playthrough.

iosefka is an imposter

the first character most people meet in the game is Iosefka (pronounced “yo-sef-ka”), a doctor who has locked up her clinic for the duration of that night’s hunt (the hunt is a frequent event, but people within the world of bloodborne start to comment and worry about how supernaturally long the night is lasting this time) to protect her patients. she’ll only talk to you through the door for everyone’s safety, gives you a little medicine vial of her own creation, and then gently and kindly shoos you away.

come back later after progressing to the next big area of the game and iosefka has a job for you: send her any survivors you find. if you do this, she’ll give you a little something for your trouble. send her enough people and the veil will drop, allowing her to indulge in some patented Fromsoft Sinister Laugher. 

how awkward, this isn’t the iosekfa from the start of the game! this is an impostor!

affectionally called “fauxsefka”

 

you never see the original iosekfa’s face and enough time passes between your first encounter and the next that you likely forget what her voice sounds like. they are certainly two different people though; the new iosekfa is a high ranking member of the church who seems to be engaged in unauthorized off-hours research that involves turning people into celestial children (see above) so that she herself could transcend humanity. the only way into the clinic is through the back, so when you sneak in she’s quite cross with you for discovering her unethical experimentation and will try to kill you.

whatever, bitch! i was one of the last people on the planet to realize there’s two iosekfas so i think everyone figures this out at some point.

make contact

an initially seemingly useless gesture you learn from a withered corpse at the highest echelon of the healing church. you hold your arms like you’re saying it’s 9 o’ clock.

if you hold it for one minute, the hunter will switch the arms. now it’s 3 o clock.

do this in front of a giant rotten brain you find in a big hole and get a special caryll rune (a gameplay mechanic that gives you temporary boosts): moon. moon (the one in the sky) is important. i have no idea what the gesture is trying to convey. a funny (maybe good?) guess is that your hunter knows math and is doing gauss’ pythagorean right triangle proposal.

the only other character who reacts to this is the doll, who claps politely when you swap hands and not when you begin the gesture, like all other gestures. odd.

this is another one where i have no idea how people found it. i THINK it was the official guidebook lol.

mergo’s lullaby=music box

the worst track in the game, lullaby for mergo, is an intentionally off-tune clunky music box song. off tune means SCARY.

 

this song is encountered for the first time at the very start of the game. a young girl gives you a music box  with the hopes that it will bring her father back to his senses and stave off beasthood just a little while longer. you can use it in the fight with one of the first bosses, father gascoigne, to stun him. the song appears once again as the background music for mergo’s wet nurse. she was robbed of a better song.

i would guess its an in universe folk song. it’s also hard not to notice they’re the same bc they’re both terrible in the exact same way. 

that wraps up the first part. see you next time with uhhh oh cum dungeon, great.


† future bea here again, sadly i came up with some more “theory”. i was going to mention that there’s one character in the game that probably SHOULD be undead: yharnam, pthumerian queen (the city was named after her). she is the true, TRUE end boss of the game but requires a ton of dedication and diving into the (optional) chalice dungeons to fight her as a boss. you encounter her mourning her infant (who appears to have been cut out of her) in the base game twice.

there is a stark difference between her appearance in the game and in the chalice dungeons: the boss version is pregnant.

 

god this is so stupid complicated but someone out there might appreciate it. the second half of bloodborne is VERY baby-crazy, starting with the first appearance of yharnam as you unwittingly reveal the blood moon. the blood moon is a bad omen:

“When the red moon hangs low, the line between man and beast is blurred. And when the Great Ones descend, a womb will be blessed with child.

well, there’s a red moon and people are turning into dogs. the great ones do appear to be descending. but who was womb?? was it this mysterious queen?? no. because after you defeat the queen in the chalice dungeons, your reward is (to many people’s annoyance) a dead baby that’s functionally useless:

a dead baby is about as useless as it gets

this item literally serves no purpose in game but has an eerie item description that shares many similarities with the item “queenly flesh” (annalise’s aforementioned chunk):

A sacred heirloom left by Yharnam, Pthumerian Queen.

The Queen lies dead, but her horrific consciousness is only asleep, and it stirs in unsettling motions.

despite the item description, you cannot use the “yharnam stone” on the altar of despair and raise the queen. at one point there was a small, useless “purpose” for it.

when the moon descends, one woman gets pregnant: arianna. we know arianna is a cainhurst (the castle of the vilebloods!) relative or descendant of some sort based on her dress’ item description. the blood you can solicit from her is described as forbidden and after you kill her “child” , the umbilical cord it drops suggests that this isn’t just an ordinary monster baby.

“Every Great One loses its child, and then yearns for a surrogate, and Oedon, the formless Great One, is no different. To think, it was corrupted blood that began this eldritch liaison.”

arianna’s vileblood in her vileveins elevates this monster kid from “oedon’s one night stand” to a prophesized “child of blood”. we know about oedon from his caryll runes: he has “inadvertent worshippers” (our dumb asses for revealing the blood moon) who “seek the precious blood” (hot babes). if oedon can impregnate vilebloods, then he is responsible for arianna’s baby AND yharnam’s baby.

yharnam’s baby lives in some strange capacity despite its stillbirth. with enough insight you can hear it cry in the distance while in the chalice dungeon boss fight, the baby takes a more pro-active role by paralyzing you with its screams. oedon is described as “lacking form, exist[ing] only in voice”; a quality he apparently shares with his offspring. given all of this AND yharnam’s appearance at the bottom of the loft in mergo’s nightmare, i think it’s fair to assume that mergo is just a voice. there’s nothing in the baby carriage because there’s no physical form for the baby.  because mergo is physically dead, the attempt by the school of mensis to communicate with it resulted in a “stillbirth” of their brains.

alright, finally back to annalise, who oedon skipped over. poor annalise thinks she the last vileblood, having no clue about arianna. but annalise was working very, very hard to be the recipient of that child of blood. the cainhurst knight set explicitly states this. the rune “blood rapture” has three different versions, one is found on queen yharnam’s bodyguards, the other is found on annalise’s most bastardly knight. yharnam wears a low poly version of the ring of betrothal, an item with freakish rarity that you can only give to annalise for new dialog (but she rejects your marraige proposal). worst of all, annalise’s covenant revolves around “getting the queen her cummies”.

come on man

and here is why annalise knows about yharnam: even in the deepest possible parts of the chalice dungeons, you will still find piles and piles of cainhurst armor and bones from the knights who went into the dungeons and never came back. treasure from the chalice dungeon can be found in cainhurst castle. there are even a few very rare living cainhurst knights in the dungeons, presumably bringing back something for their queen to eat.

all this to say: annalise is not the only immortal. there’s also queen yharnam. and oedon is mergo’s father and mergo is just a noise you soothe away. i can’t believe you read this. fuck us all.

i’ve never seen a ™ in a credits splash screen before.

not a lot of meat on this bone so this might be a shorter review (ed note: hello, i am bea from the future, editing this and this was a lie). in modern day viewings, “warriors of virtue” suffers from a very specific problem: it is almost entirely indistinguishable from every live action children’s film made from 1985-2005. this genre of movie is what i like to call “bad”: a precocious child (usually one who is weaker or in a weirdly prominent couple of cases, disabled) meets (a) creature(s) and goes on an adventure to get a thing and defeat the final boss. there are mini-bosses and dungeons. it is like the hero’s journey but marred by the existence of the typically hideous creature accompanying the child. “mac and me” is one of these. “warriors of virtue” is obviously one of these. you couldn’t swing a dead cat in the 90s without hitting one of these.

bad enough to go in the zine? sure. i wasn’t blown away by it, but i think people who are just starting to dip their toes into bad movies will feel like they’re getting their psyche sandblasted. it’s a good entry point, but i don’t think it retains the same power it had when it made that movie critic hurl in 1997. here’s a list of things it is to give you an idea of what you’re in for: isekai, a flamboyant but only somewhat charismatic villain, old wise chinese guy, extremely poorly crafted and unsettling anthropomorphized kangaroos, insensitive to outright insulting portrayal of the disabled, the martyrdom of the child protagonist.

i’m hoping to ease you guys into this as we delve into the rich (?) and enchanting (??) world of tao. like entering a hot bath. i’ll try to relay the emotional journey you take watching this bizarre little project cobbled together by four physician non film-maker brothers. with that in mind, the movie feels like a fake movie you would see on a tv show: it copies the beats and shape of a real movie yet is so artificial and clinically crafted that each and every scene feels deliberate instead of “an experience”. it’s so calculated and so obviously created from The 90s Kids Movie Template that the artificiality’s potency is enough to set off all kinds of warning alarms in your head. it activates the lizard part of your brain that recognizes that something is not quite right. 

our hero is a young boy with a disability that affects his mobility in one leg. this is…absolutely the most missed mark in an attempt to portray disability on screen i’ve seen that didn’t also feel actively malicious. it’s just very obviously stupid and blatantly insensitive, and kind of a worrying belief to portray if this came from the doctors themselves. we’ll cover it as we hit the relevant story beats, but this is important to keep in mind as we move on. it was honestly the most upsetting part of a film with man-kangaroo hybrids. it’s not like balls to the wall wild but it makes you put your hands on your hips and go “hey knock that off!”.

our plucky little lad, who is supposed to be going to school, makes a pit stop at a chinese restaurant that’s open at like 8am (bad sign, you want a place that’s open from lunch to 5am. thats the good shit). here, his epic chef friend is doing teppanyaki-esque moves in a closed kitchen where the only people who can see him are his coworkers. one of which is a kung-fu kick to turn on the sink. very unnecessary and dangerous.

bro stop

in a scene that is edited very strangely, with lots of soft dissolves that in normal filmmaking would imply that significant amounts of time are passing, they wander around this brown brick kitchen (which is suddenly and mysteriously empty) as they discuss how cool it would be to be a martial arts warrior (very cool).

ah, but alas. our hero is not a cool kung-fu guy. he is a loser white kid who is the water boy of the football team. i’m not really sure why he does this. it’s obvious he hates it, the team openly harasses him and watching the other kids do football leaves him embittered because his leg excludes him from school sports. so, ryan? is his name ryan? ryan of course is a football tactical genius who is also SUPER nice about helping his bullies win the football game so he can get mad about how it was HIS play that won them the game. maybe he should just not help his bullies and say “fuck this football shit” and get really into collecting knives or something. he probably won’t, because he has a very encouraging and nice friend who gasses him up like a king.

at the behest of the bully’s (i just noticed he has huge 90s cool boy earrings) inexplicably super nice girlfriend, ryan is invited to hang out with them that evening. he goes home where he takes out all his frustration of the day out on his poor mom. in a pure white boy moment, he tells her that her cooking is shit, he wants his dad back, and when his mom offers to order take-out, he bitches about that too. don’t worry, she gets her revenge by serving him a pile of dog shit in the first place. she must have anticipated this.

bon appetit

ryan returns to the chinese restaurant to cheer himself up (? i dont know why he went back). his epic chef friend who lives above the restaurant tells him a metaphor about letting people complete their own journeys in life that ryan barely understands and uses once again to depreciate himself over his leg. don’t worry, our cool ass friend has a magic ancient chinese book of tao that will give you wisdom or whatever. but ryan dismisses it by telling his friend that his job is lame and leaves. wtf lol.

ryan and his less epic friend show up at a water treatment plant to hang with the bullies. kids are stupid. no one goes to a water treatment plant for fun. you go there to be killed. rookie ass mistake. in fact, his bully convinces him, in a rite of initiation, to try to cross a VERY narrow pipe over a terrifyingly strong looking open whirlpool of water. why isn’t there a cover on this thing. ryan is knocked into the vortex by a pipe that just hurls out water once in a while. its like a pipe connected to a single person’s toilet or sink or something. anyway ryan dies. movie over.

just kidding. he gets isekai’d to a magical fantasy world by falling into a big toilet. like he does seem to die in the real world at this point in the movie. he’s fucking dead.

fromsoft platforming

he falls into a fucking swamp. honestly not a bad looking set!! it’s hard to say anything about the technical quality of this movie because it’s stunningly competent (the budget for this movie is HUGE! $36 mil huge!) . the forest he wakes up in is tropical and dense with huge rubbery hanging vines from gnarled trees and a boggy environment that he’s about to run around in freely. because…because…

his leg is “fixed”. this is not a movie aimed at uplifting and empowering disabled kids by depicting them on the big screen in a heart-pounding adventure. as it turns out, you can’t have a big adventure when you’re different. only “normal” people who are “just like everyone else” (ryan’s words, not mine) get to have adventures. in the movie, it’s presented as a moment of triumph for ryan in what i can only assume (all my disabilities are under my skin and in my head, so i highly encourage any bad movie seekers to give me their thoughts on this) was an ill-advised attempt to both demonstrate that something magical has happened (unnecessary, he fell to his death and woke up in dagobah) and to. i don’t know. “fix” the protagonist in the eyes of the writer(s)?

i’m bothered by this. naturally not every movie featuring disability needs to revolve around it or be a purely positive portrayal of it (many movies in fact try to tackle the complicated subject of how one relates to their own body), but why does this one have it at all? the answer is: it only exists here so that it can be “cured” and symbolically free him from his inhibitions. ryan’s leg is the only thing preventing him from being “a leader” instead of “a follower”. it is an issue that is raised and discarded, suggesting that ryan’s legitimate only problem is not his adversarial relationship with his own body but his body itself.

this shit suck. thank you for allowing me all that build up for the first 20 minutes of the movie so you can understand how hard this pistol-whipped me when it happened.

then- oh no! OH SHIT!

crap i already used my fromsoft joke

dudes! dudes are after you! just when all hope is lost and ryan really looks like he’s about to get turned into pastes by some medieval knights, the most obvious and cliche thing happens next: a kangaroo jumps out of the swamp water and beats the ever loving shit out of these knights. these kangaroos are our titular warriors of virtue. why kangaroos? don’t know. there was apparently a sequel where they retconned the kangaroos into humans. a wise choice perhaps for a wide audience but the kangaroos are the only thing this movie has going for it that sets it apart from bog-standard kids fare. 

and they look like this:

so, like, not great. this the first view we get of them and it’s so foreboding.

ryan runs away and then is immediately ganked by who other than michael j anderson, noted loon. he starts strangling the shit out of this kid until a knife thrown by a mysterious pretty girl interrupts the fight. she’s looking for a newcomer….everyone is looking for a newcomer, as it turns out. the girl, elysia, grabs ryan by his shirt and then rockets upward with her fist extended like superman. absolutely insane to behold actually. (ed note: i just realized she never does this again in the movie)

but now…the villain…the dreadfully fabulous and eccentric komodo. his lackeys include two bald guys and not-maleficent (the best one). there’s like 5 bald guys in komodo’s court. there’s something in the water here, which might have been what alos gave komodo his ~telekinetic powers~. komodo actually kind of rules. he has these incredibly goofy monologues and angus macfadyen is playing him at maximum ham. “what’s the point of power” he muses, “if you don’t abuse people?”. if i had ultimate power i would use it to force the baskin robbins people into giving me free scoops so like i get it.

komodo gets his hands on ryan’s backpack and with it, his dope ass book about tao he got from epic chef. they say it “t-ow” by the way. not “d-ow”. i had to look this up to make sure i wasn’t going nuts. meanwhile, ryan is asking the normal questions you would when you wake up in a new place: where am i? was that book i lost important? was it a vital piece of the puzzle that would allow us to save this world i’ve been flung into? answers: you’re in tao, yes its the manuscript of legend, and yes nice going moron. ryan gets the skinny on the situation: komodo is draining some magic………….lumps. for the mineral inside. the mineral makes him strong and live longer, but the mineral also supports all life on earth (tao, whatever). there’s only one magic lump left so the battle is on to protect the lump.

exhibit a: the lump

we enter the village of the lump which is another impressive set piece with some goofy looking animal people mixed in with the regular people. they’re all shockingly alien looking; there’s been no attempts to try and make these “cute”. they’re very freaky looking and i kind of like it. like, look at this guy:

i like him. i trust him.

the village is freaking out because 1 of the 5 warriors of virtue is awol. no one is happy to see ryan the newcomer of legend except for wise master chung. we see the rooz (that’s the species name) from afar and the suit actors are honestly doing some CRAZY shit in these awful bulky things they crushed them into. one of these rooz is doug jones! we also finally see one of their faces from a reasonable distance.

you won’t like this so brace yourself.

yuck! no good! skin texture is very very unfortunate. looking very klingon here. the lips are an insane choice.

elysia lets ryan in on more lore: one rooz (? is that the plural or the species name?), yun, is missing because he broke the warrior’s creed not to kill. it’s obvious from the way elysia reacts to ryan’s bonkers and insensitive “SO WHAT” that the person yun killed was her aforementioned dead brother- yo holy shit not-maleficent is wearing a SPIDER WEB CAPE. anyway, yun the rooz saves ryan from some evil dudes again (yes, it WAS him the first time saving ryan, making this 2 wins for yun after a big off screen L) and re-unites with the rooz. very short lived separation in the scheme of the movie. no one had to convince him, really, or help him overcome his trauma. he’s back and ready to punch people non-fatally.

we get a scene with komodo where he like, free associates some evil thoughts while swinging in a hammock as a monkey man sing/screams at him. excellent, dude. but what’s this…? ELYSIA IS WORKING FOR KOMODO!!??! i actually didn’t see this one coming because it’s revealed like halfway through a movie where the adventure is literally just getting started. its been an hour!!! dude her perm is whack lol look at this:

oh no lol

she’s got weird sexual tension with komodo in this scene, which means i guess i don’t know how old she is. she’s either too old to be ryan’s love interest or way too young for komodo. i’m glad the adventure is beginning so i can stop typing for a while.

ryan wakes up from a nightmare and checks his leg to make sure its still working. i lean back in my chair and make a pained noise like a dying sheep.

michael j anderson returns and tries to talk ryan into some kind of scheme and tricks ryan into getting owned and kidnapped along with all of the warriors of virtue. elysia is extremely evil now; she and komodo are making the most insane “YOO HOO~!” noises together while strutting around the room like a pair of roosters. ryan is saved by master chung so he’s safe for now but the warriors are straight fucked. just kidding, they escape from the deadly spinning blade trap without harm. meanwhile ryan is picking his fucking nose and eating dandelions while learning about kung-fu from master chung. the warriors are fucking DYING ryan.

no time for ryan to get his shit together. its time for the star wars moment: old man versus bad guy; komodo is here to KILL. the fight choreography in this is driving me insane on my second watch. it’s all in slow motion, but not REAL slow motion, the kind that’s for showing detail and near scrapes or impressive maneuvers. it’s skipping every other frame i think. it’s the entire fight and it feels like i’m playing a videogame while my latency is fucked. naturally the old, wise leader everyone was depending on is no more after he gets his face slashed by komodo…we must forge our own path in life now…..etc…

i can’t believe i forgot to show you komodo. you know this guy ruined someone’s brain chemistry at an early age.  he’s a sephiroth type!

ryan can’t help because, get this, his leg is stuck in a hole and he’s USELESS. really makes you think. he’s so useless he gets kidnapped and then get his heart broken by elysia who reveals how evil she is (but shes actually nice or whatever). he is forced by komodo to read the magical manuscript since the newcomer is the only one who can read the pages…but it’s empty to ryan as well. so ryan uses his presumed last seconds on earth to ruin komodo’s vibe.

not bad but this is a kid’s movie so points deducted

elysia is killed by not-maleficent in front of ryan who completely and rightfully freaks out. ryan escapes but has a total emotional meltdown realizing he’s going to see people die for real. so he takes it out on michael j anderson by totally and brutally reading him the riot act about what a fucked up little dude he is. ryan returns to help the rooz and komodo makes a “the warriors” reference. the one you were thinking of. that one. it’s time for the FINAL battle. [checks the time left on this movie] uh oh.

komodo summons shadow clones of himself to fight the rooz, indicating he has reached his second phase and his health meter is halfway down. his hair looks SO soft. like compared to the rooz, who look like they might leave a film on your hand after your pet them, komodo looks so silky. just an observation. i don’t care about this not-slow-motion-yes-slow-motion fight scene.

ryan receives the wisdom of the book when he’s at his most desperate, revealing that komodo’s powers have been lessened by his desire and willingness to kill. you know, in hindsight, if ryan had a gun, this whole thing would have been easy. instead ryan has to trick komodo into using up all his magic juice on blowing this 10 year old to smithereens. after this, the warriors are able to “purify his spirit” and turn him into a nice boy again.

lol

the world is saved! except ryan is fucking dying for real. like this kid straight up dies on screen. he fucking dies!

don’t worry he wakes up in the real world again right before he takes his fateful plunge. but this time he decides not to jump in the swirling hole of instant death. everyone leaves the bully to “get owned” by water in a non-fatal way. ryan apologizes to his mom for being a little dick before and then settles in to tell his fucking dog about his adventure. his dog.

movie over. what did we learn? uhhhh discriminatory attitudes toward the disabled mostly. also you can shoot a 10 year old with a laser beam and it isn’t immediately fatal.

both equally valuable pieces of knowledge (?).

 

okay, so first of all, right off the bat. let’s get this out of the way: “a cure for wellness” did not make the cut for the zine. this is for two reasons which are somehow not at polar opposite ends of the movie review spectrum: it’s very beautiful and compositionally competent. the costuming walks that thin line in capturing a sense of both mundanity and unease in all the bleached white uniforms and scrubs without giving in too much to one or the other. these locations they’ve scouted give a sense of isolation and insolation, with the tight hallways and symmetrical architecture. all this in effect creates a very claustrophobic feeling movie, which i feel is very appropriate for a movie which revolves around, and hardly leaves, a single creepy location. no one is slacking in their performances (some are working harder than others and dane dehaan zero charisma in this role but its fine).

its also insanely boring, insipid as shit and the plot is fucking stupid. i’m actually not sure what the hell happened with this movie. it’s an anomaly to me. everyone who worked on it appears to be totally average movie makers who tried to box above their weight class in a major way. this movie was trying to Be something. in that way it is kind of interesting, but it is absolutely NOT entertaining enough to recommend to people in good faith. it is cursed with an absurd run-time only get funny once or twice before barreling full steam ahead in the last 30 minutes.

the person presumably responsible for what it looks like, cinematographer bojan bazelli, has worked on nothing i’ve seen except for “boxing helena” (1993) (which i hated), hairspray (2007) (absolutely unremarkable filmmaking, maybe even leaning toward bad), and “the ring” (2002) (probably his best effort but its just like. okay). the writer has no notable credits and gore verbinski has graced us with a lifetime of terrible movies (starting with the 1997 “mouse hunt”) before winning an oscar for “rango” because there wasn’t a disney or pixar movie that year. these guys all got together and decided “what if we made an artsy psychological horror film?” and…to their credit…they got halfway there. they thought they could bamboozle me just by shoving film through my eyes for nearly 3 hours until i was overloaded with information. but im too powerful for them and saw through their ruse because i’m insane.

[begrudgingly] that’s pretty cool gore

the writing in this movie is outstandingly terrible. like we’ll hit all the individual components here because this movie is like a pale, ethereal, slippery soup made up of many stupid ingredients but let’s start with the shit they hit you with right off the bat. justin haythe writes his evil corporate glenngary glen ross wannabes with the grace and authenticity of a literal child. i’ve seen episodes of “riverdale” with more convincing suits. our main character is a boiler-plate business asshole whose introduction to the audience is literally shuffling numbers around in excel for evil reasons. it’s so fucking lucky for haythe that we get the fuck out of this setting immediately because any more time spent here might have. actually you know what i was going to say it would have ruined the movie but who cares and how could it have..

it’s a completely functional story, which is usually a major hurdle a psychological horror movie has to cross, so at least i can give it that. is it good? uh. no. its not bad either, it just is. our protagonist is a business guy (dane dehaan) who did business crime so his business bosses threaten to give him up to the business police unless he retrieves a business guy from a decidedly non-business sanitarium overseas. unfortunately, he gets owned big time by a deer while cruising in the swiss alps and flies through his windshield into a big ol’ clumsy leg cast at the super special clinic he was looking for. enter the mysterious doctor volmer (jason isaacs, who is really playing this role lol. he’s having fun being a naughty little mysterious man…hee hee! hoo hoo!). he encourages him to drink plenty of……water….hehehe…[exits enticingly]

isaacs is great in his role but for whatever reason the entire cast was directed to speak like they were in a public library. you really gotta lean in to hear anyone in this damn movie. there’s not really any jump scares so at least they’re not cheap enough to hit you with that, but then it begs the question as to why? you have to struggle to hear the persistent squeak of our protagonist’s crutches over the soundtrack CONSTANTLY going full ear-drum popping dolby BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR that overtakes the soundtrack every 15 minutes.

our business boy finds his business man (harry groener) who refuses to come home in order to cure his non-specific illness he’s determined himself to have. that’s the psychological part of the horror you see. the water from the wells and springs at the sanitarium is believed to have very, very vague healing powers that the many elderly patients are gaga for. he also meets a very mysterious and wispy girl named hannah (mia goth, who i feel a little bad for her since she keeps getting stuck with these “creepy girl” roles because she has pale eyebrows) who is clearly under socialized from having lived in the sanitarium her whole life waiting for her dad to come back from getting cigarettes or whatever. 

our business lad, lockhart, is dumped into an enormous tub of water after he hallucinates and passes out in a very public way that was a little too close to my real life for MY comfort. the water vat is a treatment for what ails him; like sensory deprivation except there’s a huge window letting in a bunch of light on the side of the tank and he has to be submerged under the water with a snorkle, so nothing like it at all actually. this is where shit gets hysterical. please prepare your body, mind and soul for the next sentence which will reveal to you the unspeakable horror which awaits you in “a cure for wellness”.

our hero is menaced by a hundred eels (who just kind of gently swim around him while he screams and flails) while the guy who is supposed to be watching him is literally masturbating to a nurse who just decided today was more of a tits out kinda day.

just like grab them and tie them in a knot dude.

his stupid flailing pulls his snorkel out and he almost drowns. like at no point were the eels a danger to him in this instance. he almost killed himself because he saw creatures he wasn’t expecting. frankly. i wouldn’t do that. i would simply enjoy the creatures.

lockhart survives and reconnects with hannah, who is the only person not allowed to splash in the waters due to “her condition”, which is just Victorian Wasting Waif Disease at first glance. they sneak away on her bike into town which is FORBIDDEN and stop in the least friendly bar i’ve seen in a motion picture that isn’t a biker or trucker bar. the whole time we’re here, the soundtrack is blaring german (?) post-punk over the jukebox and it looks like a place where you go to be crucified by the local extremely niche pagan cult specific to the town.

wow big crowd tonight

look, they make plot progress here but all of it is so minimal and so uninteresting. it’s shockingly banal and cliché; lockhart runs into a kid drawing a ~scary picture~ and talks to the town vet (~who is covered in blood~) about his suspicions that the sanitarium might not be on the up and up! turns out the place used to be owned by a baron obsessed with creating a pure bloodline and his sister-wife, who was infertile. they both came here seeking a cure for her “condition”. meanwhile, hannah (who he left in the bar) flirts with womanhood by applying someone else’s lipstick that she found in a public restroom?! GIRL THAT’S YUCKY DISGUSTING

the vet cuts open a dead cow in front of lockhart and a bunch of eels fall out. ahhh heed this warning that this might happen to you!! after witnessing this frankly insanely fucked up scene that would have me questioning whether or not satan is real, lockhart runs back to the bar to… call his workplace so he can ask them if his business partner here at the sanitarium had any pre-existing health conditions. now, here’s a thing about employers: there’s this little thing called the ADA that makes it so they specifically can’t ask you about that. so why would they know that. im not trying to be smarter than the movie here but it’s a weird detail when it ends up honestly not mattering. this would have been a great scene for the cutting room floor in this THREE HOUR MOVIE.

lockhart freaks out at hannah over the Mystery of the Sanitarium instead of telling his employer to send a fucking car and a plane and the fbi and the guys that dealt with waco. instead he makes the wis 20 move of  starting a bar fight in a leg cast. 

i’m starting to think this guy is fucking stupid.

oh shit! the saca tripas! used to gut sheep and other warm blooded animals!!!

the MYSTERIOUS DOCTOR VOLMER pops in just in time to save them and bring them back to the sanitarium. lockhart should have maybe refused to leave. that’s what i would have done. but maybe i am not psychologically horrified enough yet. the eels didn’t do it for me. you know what is giving me the fucking willies are these scenes between the spooky doctor volmer and hannah, who is pining for her missing father. the unpleasantly horny doctor volmer makes a few REALLY bad moves on this explicitly underage girl while i check how much runtime i have left.

our protagonist starts to investigate the bowels of the sanitarium, where the movie honest to god does the room rattling BRRRRRRRRRRRR to reveal a woman in a laundry room witting a stick. two seconds later we see two nurses punch an old man in the head to no fanfare. the movie is starting to go off the rails a little but it’s not enough to make the movie worth it yet. we will be stuck in this speed for another 40 minutes. it’s a little better, but not quite where i need it to be.

he meets one of his allies in the sanitarium, an older woman who earlier enticed him with a crossword puzzle comprised of plot points, who gives him a little history lesson while lying on a slab like a corpse. legends say that the baroness was once infertile…but cured…through strange and mysterious means! means that apparently involved a fuck ton of dead peasants. once the remaining villagers found the bodies, they burned down the manor and killed the baroness. just to add insult to injury, they cut out the baronesses’ fetus and chucked it in a well where it apparently thrived long enough to be rescued. haha well baby

speaking of drowning in a well lockhart finds a horrible room full of naked old people soup.

ding-dongs unconfirmed but theres boobs

he spies his old pal pembroke the business man but that bitch just floats in the soup. he can’t be helped. business boy hustles back to the main hallway filling his pants with terror induced shit where he is intercepted by……THE EVIL DOCTOR VOLMER!!! YAY!!! the incomparable doctor volmer takes this time to show off his cartoonishly malevolent dentistry skills by just drilling straight through his tooth after strapping him down into what can only be described a dental bdsm device. oopsie!! tee hee!!

lmfao come on

there’s a wholly useless scene where lockhart tries to go to the cops that progresses nothing and adds no emotional depth to the film. this is truly the most useless scene in the film. if its supposed to underline the helplessness of our protagonist, i’m not sure it helps or hinders. our idiot protagonist had access to a phone and used it to ask his boss about his coworker’s dietary needs. i dont really need to be shown why the cops are useless. there’s already a good reason why our protagonist can’t be saved from the sanitarium: he’s fucking dumb.

it does have a hysterical moment where they bring pembroke into the room to prove he’s alive, implying that they brought him with them somehow knowing they’d need him. he was in the soup like thirty minutes ago so he probably had to dry up too.

we have forty minutes left and here the movie starts to offer us pockets of hope: our protagonist starts to hallucinate. you might be thinking “well, that could be spooky” but what if told you were treated to the delightful sight of watching a man in a leg cast rip a toilet full of eels out of the floor. the handle had the audacity to jiggle ominously at the camera. an eel peeks its head out of the bowl. it’s an all-timer honestly but it’s also only like a minute long. in no way enough to justify a three hour movie.

lockhart succumbs to life in the sanitarium. he goes in the soup but does NOT get his dick out. he’s wearing VERY conservative swim trunks like a bitch. in a moment of dawning realization, he finally tears off his cast to reveal his leg was fine the whole time (something i feel like would have been obvious much earlier??). 

thirty-five minutes left. the movie is now going to go full speed. hannah puts on the lipstick to symbolize her womanhood while lockhart discovers that the sanitarium is feeding the eels mummified corpses. get this: gore verbinski is about to blow your stupid mind with these sick editing tricks. you see, while lockhart witnesses the bloody feeding frenzy of the terrifying…eels, hannah gets her first period in a pool she walks into for some reason and starts bleeding like someone turned on a tap. i get its supposed to be a visual spooky aesthetic choice but…c’maaaaan. anyway the eels are like “yum yum blood” and swoop in. like literally i think they’re trying to swoop into her pussy based on her defensive maneuvers.

you need medical attention

let’s check in with our hero. oh he’s fighting off a henchman but don’t worry, he won. the eels meanwhile have abandoned the quest for pussy and instead are just circling her ominously. been there! hannah, wet and bloody, runs in and ruins a fancy banquet that the TWISTED DOCTOR VOLMER is holding for his patients! lockhart also wants to ruin the banquet and makes an impassioned plea: the doctor is keeping you sick! the water makes you dehydrated until you’re mummified! you’re dying and you don’t even know!!! literally everyone gets up and beats the shit out of him. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

it’s plot resolution time. i’m going to try to explain this but if it doesn’t make sense it’s not my fault, im just the reporter. we are given an explanation for the spooky occurrences: the water at the sanitarium is very toxic to humans…unless it can be filtered through them (process unknown). im not sure how something can be extremely toxic but also can be filtered through them over a period of time. many things are unclear. the result is a little bit of juice that gives you a freakishly long life. the mischievious doctor volmer then floods our protagonist’s mouth with eels. as you do.

now for a creepy wedding ceremony between the fifty year old doctor and the almost certainly not legal girl. i dont know what age you got your period at but for me it wasn’t even remotely close to eighteen.

if you showed this to someone they would think it was a real movie

the honeymoon begins instantly. and his super-hot come on is to gesture at the bed he’s dragged her to and say “this is where you started”.

that’s right. the fucked up and jokerfied doctor volmer is hannah’s FATHER!!!!!! oh, great. and he’s tying her down and talking about how he used to do this with his sister. i fucking hate germans, man. anyway whattttt the lascivious doctor volmer is the baron and hannah is the fetus that was chucked in the well and they’ve been living for a long time using the people eel juice??? oh no her boobs are out.

lockhart figures this all out when he finds a photo with a lot of important exposition hidden in it. he has like a jimmy neutron brain blast and saves us the trouble of going through this again.

with fifteen minutes left in the movie, the depraved doctor volmer tears his fucking face off revealing a bunch of green goosebumps goo underneath. i dunno! i laughed, i didn’t know what the fuck what happening. now this movie decided to get good all of the sudden? why now? why now after 2 hours and 35 minutes!! and then lockhart lights him on fucking fire!! it’s great! but not for long.

verbinski insults me and his audience by cutting between the incomprehensible doctor volmer flailing frantically due to his fire problem and the wedding guests dancing in the ballroom. we get it; there’s one thing happening, but at the same time a bad thing is happening that is visually similar to that first thing. i get it gore!! you need a second hook!

oops, we didn’t count on the undefeatable doctor volmer actually being a terminator. the fire did nothing except light everything on fire. now you have two problems. actually three, because the entire sanitarium is in flames and not just this sex room. hannah solves one problem when she hits her dad-husband with a shovel and the unfuckable doctor volmer dies an ironic death at the hands of his precious eels and daughter-wife.

hannah and lockhart escape! they are fleeing! our heroes have taken hannah’s bicycle and are riding it to freedom-

fuck!

you thought this movie was ending for the 20th time but you’re wrong. the people in the car are his bosses from new york (??) and they get out and yell at him while he’s bleeding in the street. we finally get our scene where lockhart tells his bosses that he’s “feeling much better” (get it? eh? eh?) and then he skids away on his little bike. i’m not sure how his teeth come back but they’re here for this final shot where he grins into the night. how did the teeth come back.

this is a movie of contrasts. it’s so fucking long and asks so much of the audience. it is too boring to recommend to people, too competently made to be sold to people solely on the basis of it being a bad movie (if this movie had a worse budget it would have been a whole different experience lol), and while there are some genuinely “what the fuck” great belly laugh moments in it, they are too few and far in between.

i spent 6 hours of my life on this movie watching it twice. imagine how i feel.