Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chaw(z), the Korean Pig

NetFlix 3/5
IMDB 5.9/10
My Rating: 6.5/10

A gigantic killer pig begins eating residents and tourists in a small Korean village, but the mayor won't close the beaches because...  Look, it's Jaws with a monster pig, OK?

This one was recommended to me personally by Netflix, "based on my viewing preferences".  This is why we should all be terrified of internet privacy issues, folks, because one of these days you're going to be walking through the mall and advertising placards will be shouting, "Hey you!  You should buy this stuffed toy, based on your interest in Furry porn!"

So, Netflix thinks I will like this, a black comedy/horror from South Korea about a killer pig. The giant hog movie is already a crowded genre, what with Razorback (1984) and Pig Hunt (2008), but as it happens, I DO like this savory bacon morsel.  It doesn't take the killer pig crown from Razorback, but it's a close second, and if it only had a little more originality it could have tipped the difference (It's hard to compete with Razorback's early 80's post-apocalypse Mad Max wasteland vibe, and it had practical FX that were more convincing than the often Syfy-esque CGI on display here).

And when I said Jaws above, I wasn't kidding.  I'm not going to worry so much about spoilers in this review as usual, because seriously, if you've seen Jaws, you've seen this...  Well, OK, if you've seen Jaws while tripping slightly on psychedelic mushrooms and listening to Hawkwind on your headphones, you've seen this.  Locals begin getting gobbled up by a giant boar but the village mayor refuses to close the farms because it will scare away the tourists, and before you know it, a plucky police officer has to team up with a young science type and a grizzled pig hunter to chase the thing down.

I'll try to keep the Jaws references to a minimum, but...Oh, hell, screw it.

Young person gets half eaten at night. 
Hero cop assigned to case. 
"This was no boating accident. In the mountains." 
Hero cop warns mayor to close the beaches, err, farms. 
"Are you crazy? This is tourist season! The local merchants will collapse without city tourists vacationing here to eat organic foods!" 
Giant pig attacks. 
Hero cop - "We must close the beaches! Err, farms." 
Mayor - "LOLZ. We'll hire someone." 
Army of yahoos shows up and begins dynamiting harbor, err, forests. Giant pig killed. Mayor happy, stages press event to announce death of killer pig. 
Expert young guy shows up. "The bite radius of this pig does not match" 
Mayor - "LOLZ" 
Expert - "Pigs digest slowly. Let's cut it open to see what it's recently eaten." 
Mayor - "I am not going to let you spill that little Kitner boy all over the dock for some half-assed post mortem on a fish! Err, pig." 
Heroes sneak in later, cut open pig, find Florida license plate inside pig. (OK, I made up that last line, but that's all) "This is not the pig we're looking for." 
Heroes (Cop and young smartypants) and retired master pig hunter Quint gear up and head into the mountains set on makin' bacon.

In my opinion, the movie's only real failing is missing a golden opportunity to have the Quint character give a speech about how his WW2 shipmates were all devoured by killer pigs.  They do manage to blame the whole mess on the Japanese, however, which I understand is something of a hobby in South Korea.  More vexing is their bizarre confusion of Finland and Ted Nugentland.  When the mayor puts out his call for expert pig hunters, the initial crew that turns up consists of giant burly Americans speaking Southern and driving giant American pickup trucks, yet the subtitles AND the in-movie characters all refer to these people as being from "Finland".  Ping the WTF Meter on this one... I have no idea if I'm missing a cultural in-joke or what, but in the world of Chawz, Finland is the home to all  Nashville Network hunting and fishing show hosts.

Moving on... I learned these things from this movie:

  • When Koreans need a giant human-eating pig killed, their first thought is to outsource the job to Finnish bear hunters.
  • Korea, like Japan, is at least 25% populated by sunken eyed Ringu-looking women.
  • Korean hoodie yoof rap bands are an unspeakable sign of the apocalypse and should be burned before they spread.
  • Korean pigs are bulletproof, seriously. Bullets bounce off, flattened.
  • I never want to go to Korea because ALL of the food shown is absolutely terrifying.
There are aspects that set Chawz apart from the big fish movie, however.  Chief among them is a weird sort of slapstick humor sprinkled throughout, as if the Three Stooges were consulted on all of the action scenes.  Also, there's the surreal factor...  First represented by a strange witch-like lady in the forest and later appearing in the form of talking dog ghosts.  The Ringu woman is an odd diversion that sneaks into a really hilarious ending and helps tie the whole package up into a hoot of an experience.

I recommend this, definitely.  It's completely insane, and South Koreans should know that everything I now believe about their country is drawn from Chawz and The Host.  See it.  Get your hog on.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Web Comic News

More KFP news -

I've been fairly unsatisfied with the hosting experience at Drunk Duck, and some investigation has revealed that I'm not alone - Apparently it had a corporate buyout last summer and the site, once highly regarded, has gone to hell... losing many previous features and adding a whole lot of ads.  I'll probably still mirror updates to DD just for the broad exposure, but I've also added a dedicated comic page at hosting site ComicFury, and this is where the comic icon at top right now points to:

It looks a little different and there are a lot less blank ad boxes.  I am perfectly happy to settle for the very simplified layout in exchange for losing the ads.  What do you all think?

It's now up to speed on ComicFury.  If you have a minute, please check it out and leave a comment or two, or some ratings (CF allows ratings of individual pages, hurray!).  I'll be going public with it on the CF forums sometime in the near future.

Another benefit CF has is an author blog, and I finally wrote out a basic description of the characters here:

Let me know what you crazy cats think.  This is obviously still a work in progress.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Twitch, Twitch - Part 5

The saga of Evil Twitch continues, and our gang finds their perfect summer rudely interrupted now that the Chaotic Evil Twitch is revealed and on the loose.   There's an open comment area on the comic page down at the bottom, if anyone has questions or wants to leave their thoughts.  Hope you enjoy, and click Like if you do!

KFP Web Comic - Twitch, Twitch

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Twitch, Twitch - Part 4

...To be continued on our dedicated web comic page!  From now on, I'll be posting the ongoing adventures of the KFP comic cast over at their own dedicated website, where the strips can be organized and flipped through much easier than here.  I've just posted the latest, wherein the Evil Twitch reveals his presence to the gang.  Enjoy, and click Like if you do!

KFP Web Comic - Twitch, Twitch

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Summer of Night

Going for a change of pace here with a book review instead of a movie review, but the KFP web comic work has strangled my time lately for flick reviews.  Also, this was a terrific book for the spring and summer season, so I thought I'd toss the suggestion out there in case anyone was looking for a fun read.

Summer of Night was an ideal inspiration for the fledgeling KFP web comic as well, because it's all about the adventures of a group of 12 year old friends in the summer of 1960 as they face untold horror.  It is very much a "Boys' Own Adventure" book, writ for adults, where brave kids face off hideous evil with holy water-filled waterguns and crazy plans.

The story is simple -
It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break.  From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic middle-childhood.  But amid the sundrenched cornfields their loyalty will be pitilessly tested. When a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the night, the townsfolk know it marks the end of their carefree days. From the depths of the Old Central School, a hulking fortress tinged with the mahogany scent of coffins, an invisible evil is rising.  Strange and horrifying events begin to overtake everyday life, spreading terror through the once idyllic town.  Determined to exorcize this ancient plague, Mike, Duane, Dale, Harlen, and Kevin must wage a war of blood—against an arcane abomination who owns the night..

It really is every kid's nightmare - To be haunted by your own malevolent school!  Old Central is a hulking Hill House of a central character, built generations ago and sized for the town growth that never came, now only partly used by a small town's schoolchildren.  It dominates the book and its presence reaches out to all the kids, haunting them in their own bedrooms with childhood fears - Yes, there IS something under the bed and in the closet.  It's a lot of fun.  Also, with the warm weather of summer coming on, it's perfectly timed to the season and will bring back vivid flashbacks of what it was like to sit in class on that final day before summer vacation, staring at the clock, waiting for the school year to be over.  No more assignments, no more tests, and your teacher had given up and just had everyone sit and read or talk till the last bell rang.

The reviews of this are loaded with comparisons to Stephen King's It, and they're somewhat well founded simply because both books detail the battles of school kids against terrifying evils, but it's not a rehash.  Where It bounced back and forth from childhood flashbacks to adult life and employed the theme of adult regret...  Lost promise, lost dreams, lost potential, Summer of Night plays out entirely with the kids.  It's a much more direct, "Heroes vs Bad Thing" story.  I felt It was the better of the two books - It's one of the few novels that's ever really moved me to tears, after all, but Summer of Night is still a joyous romp that I'd recommend to anyone.

In general KFP news, some of you may have noticed the new Shelfari widget to the right - That will be regularly updated with what I'm reading, for any other avid readers out there.  I may post a book review here now and then, we'll see how it goes.  Some of you may also have noticed these new Chime links - They're for an interest-based social network I've been enjoying recently.  And finally, the KFP web comic will be returning, but I've also set it up on the Drunk Duck web comic site, where it can be formatted and surfed much more easily via convenient "First comic/Previous/Next/Latest" buttons for those who want to read KFP strips straight through without having them interspersed with movie reviews and such.  The link's in the upper right.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Twitch, Twitch - Part 3

To be Continued...

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Twitch, Twitch - Part 2

To be Continued...

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