Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Yeren- The Chinese Bigfoot

     Nearly every culture has a variation on the Bigfoot legend, beginning with the character of Enkidu, the wild man of the woods, who is tamed by Gilgamesh and a holy prostitute.
      The Chinese variation on this legend is alternately called the 野人 –Yeren or Yeh Ren; 农架野人-The Wildman; or人熊 The Monkey-Man. Most reports seemed to be focused around the mountains and forests in the province of Hubei in Central China. Descriptions of the creature place it as being smaller than its American or even Tibetan brethren.
Yeren Cave, Hubei Province, China
     Probably the best known tale of the Yeren occurred in 1957. During the morning of April 18th, as the local men were away at their labors, Xu Fudi, a young mother, heard a scream from the family barn. She rushed out and spotted her 6 year old daughter struggling in the grips of a naked humanoid creature. It was roughly about five foot tall, around 88 pounds, with white skin covered in dark brown hair, with a broad chest and sunken in nose. Apart from that, it appeared to me nearly human.
     Xu Fudi grabbed an axe handle and frantically beat on the creature. The sudden attack surprised it, and the yeren sprang into a paddy field to escape. Unfortunately for it, the creature became stuck in the mud, allowing the mother to catch up and continue walloping on it. By this time several other women from the village had arrived and joined in on the beating. Sustaining numerous head wounds, the creature fell over.  Assuming that it was dead, the women  turned to console the little girl when the creature recovered consciousness and started to whimper, tears running from its eyes. The women returned to finish the job, making sure that it was dead by snapping its neck and tearing it to pieces.
     Reportedly a biology teacher from a neighboring village took away the yeren’s hands and feet, carefully preserving them in formaldehyde. It was said that for weeks afterwards mournful grunts and howls could be heard echoing from the nearby hills.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Infant Spontaneous Human Combustion

      We are all aware of the bizarre rumors of individuals randomly exploding into fire with no known scientific explanation- or no accepted scientific explanation. For the most part the victims of this occurrence have been alone and their ashes discovered later, along with a few leftover bits and pieces not consumed by the flames. The debate rages as to whether the cause has a biological explanation or if the people die due to some external interference. To add to the mystery there has been two cases, both in England, of spontaneous human combustion occurring in infants.
     In 1973 Parvindur Kaur, a 7 month old boy, and the carriage the baby was lying in burst into flames in the family’s living room, within full view of her mother, father, and two sisters. Initial attempts to extract the baby from the carriage were unsuccessful. The father received severe burns on his hands when he tried to pick up the child and ended up accidently dropping him back into the flames. While the younger daughter called for an ambulance, the other family members hurriedly brought in pots of water to douse the flames. They were able to pick up the baby after this and he was taken to the Burns Unit at Birmingham hospital. Despite the doctor’s best efforts, the child died the next day. An investigation found no cause for the fire, the focal point of it seemed centered around the child itself. The family blamed the carriage manufacturers and initiated a civil suit against them which was ultimately unsuccessful.
       The following year 6 month old, Samantha Bellows, also caught fire in her crib. Her parents woke one night, reacting to a wave of intense heat and found her crib ablaze. The crib was placed in the parent’s bedroom, it being a small flat. Later police found no evidence of forced entry in either the doors or windows, so it was doubtful that a stranger entered and started the fire. As the mother called for help, the father managed to rescue Samantha from the crib. As in the case above, he received severe burns, but managed to hold onto the child and rushed to the kitchen sink to cover her in water. The fire was extinguished but the baby died shortly thereafter. Both distraught parents were held for questioning, but ultimately were released due to lack of evidence of foul play.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bigfoot Sightings Near Blood Mobiles

     In the otherwise peaceful area of Bath, New York a bizarre break-in occurred on the night of July 17th, 1973. The Red Cross had been collecting blood that day from volunteers at Haverly High, the local high school, but their vehicle experienced a mechanical failure, forcing the group to spend the night in town. The local market offered the workers the use of their freezers to store the collected blood in for the evening, while technicians and nurses stayed at a nearby Howard Johnson's.
   The next morning the store manager arrived at the market to find that the back door had been broken into. Police were called in and discovered that the only articles to have been molested was the containers of blood. Several dozen packets were missing, while the rest of the consignment were thrown about the freezer. The market’s back door had not been picked open, but was savagely beaten in, the handle smashed off with a blunt object. Police suspected this to be the work of teenagers.
    The area had been experiencing severe electrical storms for several weeks, quite out of season for the region, and one such storm had struck on that particular night. Several large tracks were found embedded in a field adjacent to the store. The police ignored them as unrelated to the case, but a towns person later made a plaster mold of one of them. The bare footprint was measured at an incredible 22 inches long and 7 inches wide.
An old chestnut
    This discovery is compounded with a phone call the police received the night of the break in. A local man, Albert Biggs, reported being threatened by a monster when he returned home from a bar. He described it as being at least 8 foot tall, hairy, and naked. The creature, according to Biggs, walked upright and wielded a large club. The monster yelled at Biggs (not in English) and waved its weapon in a threatening manner. Biggs ran into his house and the creature departed. Police dismissed the call as a wild tale from one of the town’s many alcoholics.
    No person was ever arrested in connection with the break-in and eventually the case was shelved. The Red Cross workers collected the remaining donations and left Bath the next day. They have since come back nearly every year, with no re-occurrence of trouble.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Meet the Feebles- A Deranged Tribute to the Muppets

     With the upcoming release of The Happytime Murders, a puppet-noir murder mystery, and the first R-rated Muppet movie, I decided to look back on an old, but obscure, favorite- Meet the Feebles, directed by a young Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy) before he was indoctrinated into the cult of CGI.
The Happytime Murders
     Yes, there once was a time when, Peter Jackson relied solely on practical effects rather than miring in the lazy water sof the digital animation quagmire. Meet the Feebles is his second film, wedged between the incredibly low budgeted Bad Taste (Available for viewing on Youtube) and the decently financed Dead Alive (also available).
      It is essentially a Muppet spoof (though Jackson claims otherwise), using many of the techniques employed by Henson Productions, such as the use of full body suits along with hand puppets manipulated by wires.
     The story is a behind the scenes look at a Muppet show equivalent called the Feeble Variety Hour. The cast is preparing for their big show and everything that could go wrong does. Jackson takes every negative stereotype about show business and plunks it in here.
    We see:

·        A rabbit who fucks like Charlie Sheen and gets an STD (referred to here as “the big one”). 

·         A Kermit the Frog analog who is a heroin addict and has Nam flashbacks.

·        An elephant who knocks up a chicken to make a bizarre looking baby and refuses to take responsibility for it.

·        A sleazy tabloid reporter that loves to wallow in shit.

·        The director is an effeminate fox who lovingly sings a song about sodomy.

·        A rat manager who makes disgusting pornos on the side (There’ nothing like watching a cow and a crab perform BDSM acts.) 

·        Blech the Walrus producer, a part time cocaine trafficker, who is married to the star but is having an affair with a feline chorus girl (Another great sex scene).

·        And finally we have the diva, Hiedi, a hippo married to Blech, who goes on a killing rampage with an M60 machinegun when she learns of his infidelities.
Not your standard Muppet protagonist
     This film certainly does show off Jackson’s talent as a filmmaker. You quickly forget that these are just dolls and see then as actual characters. There was one scene of a puppet chicken exploding from gunfire, which caused me to recoil from it gruesomeness. A puppet chicken! 
      All in all Meet the Feebles is a constant shock fest stamping mercilessly on all of your childhood Muppet memories and laughingly evilly the entire time. Apparently Jim Henson’s daughter was invited to the premier and stormed out 20 minutes in, while making a rant about how insulting it was to her father’s memory. Whether it is or it isn’t, Meet the Feebles is a unique movie. It’s gleefully vile, well shot with excellent voice acting, and over-the-top humor. It is highly recommended. And luckily the entire film is available on Youtube.