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Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare

700357spookwarfare

Format: Film; VHS

Time in possession: 12 years

Japan is number one when it comes to the bizarre and strange, and their mythology is no exception. Among their various deities and folktales lie a collection of strange creatures referred to as Yokai. If you stack Yokai up against just about any other countries monsters of folklore, they’ll come out on top in leaps and bounds in terms of numbers and weirdness.

Take, for instance, the “Shirime”;

Shirimi is translated to "butt eye"... and for good reason.

Shirime is translated to “ass eye”… and for good reason.

This guy’s entire point of being is to scare people and gross them out along the way. You might find yourself walking down a rural road in Japan at night, and see a stranger slowly coming your way. You think nothing of it until he stops you to ask if you have a moment. “Sure,” you may say, or “I’m in a hurry,” but it doesn’t matter. Once the Shirime has your attention, he immediately disrobes his clothes and bends over. Glaring right at you from between his cheeks is a huge eyeball. You don’t know whether to scream or get sick… but again, it doesn’t matter. The Shirime’s job is done, and he’s already running along his way, laughing to himself for giving another person the literal stink eye.

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Update

Update on the Purge – November 2014

Wasn’t sure what picture to put up here, so here is the least offensive image that came up when I typed ‘garbage dump’ into google.

Dylan (Thomsen Esquire):As the year’s spookiest month has come to an end, marking just about 10 weeks of working on this silly little thing, we have decided to create what will (hopefully) be our first update.  It’s easy enough to think of the site as just a couple of us reviewing random stuff, but there is an actual theme here with an actual end-goal in sight, and we have made some actual progress. Since the beginning, part of the goal for the blog was to also catalog the results of finally having experienced all these things we have collected over the years by deciding whether we would keep said item or sell/donate/trash it.

Before we get to that, however, I did want to quickly give a tiny bit of insight into how we view our posts thus far. The Purge is all about our opinions and experiences with the items in question. The critiques have been less about what these movies/books/comics are, and more about how we feel about them. They are opinions. Criticism can be super self-righteous statements presented by some Holier Than Thou warrior on a campaign to get you to not like something because they see it as trite or offensive. That is not our aim. We hope that our posts are at least somewhat thought provoking but not at the expense of being fun to read. That would be a bummer.

Anyways! Here are some updates on Das Heap.

Dylan’s Heap:

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Returned

Dancer in the Dark – Donated

Humans Issue #0 – Kept

Eraserhead – Kept

Night of the Living Dead (1990) – Donated

The Mist – Returned

Dan’s Heap:

Weird Fishes – Kept

The Swiss Conspiracy/Moon of the Wolf – Thrown away

Critters Collection – Kept

Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Kept

Uzumaki – Returned

Everything’s Eventual – Kept

Rebirth of Mothra 3 – Reluctantly Kept

Dan (Johnny The Russian Cat) here. Damn. I really thought I had crossed more things off my list than 6 in the past 3 months, but I guess not. That’s good, though, because I’m nowhere near feeling finished with the purge. When Dylan came to me with the idea a few months back, I was very excited for it but had a small sense of dread that it’d peter out after just a couple of posts. It’s still happily rolling along, and my heap has grown almost as much as I’ve taken away from it, leaving me with the same amount of content I had when I started… and I’m okay with that.  It’s going to be exciting to start picking things I actually want to read/watch soon, instead of just grabbing whatever. This Book is Full of Spiders (the sequel to John Dies at the End) is at the top of my most looked forward to list, as well as finishing off Michael Crichton’s The Lost World. On the opposite end, I’m dreading going through all four Tolkien’s Middle Earth books, a lengthy WWIII sci-fi military novel and a book infamous between Dylan and myself; The Unicorn. With that being said, I look forward to powering through the rest of collection, as it’s been  extremely varied so far, and I’m not even halfway done yet. I just hope there’s not as much stupid bullshit in mine as there already has been.

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Reviews

Rebirth of Mothra 3

Rebirth_of_Mothra_3_-_King_Ghidorah_Attacks

Format: Film; VHS

Time in possession: 12 years

At a very young age, my mom bought me Son of Godzilla on the way to the checkout lane at a Toys ‘R’ Us on a whim. I probably watched it 30 times in a row before she got me another Godzilla movie… and then the rest of my family caught on and every Christmas and birthday I’d get another. I absolutely loved the movies and embraced their cheesiness and monster fighting. It never really left me, and I can proudly (shamefully?) state that I’ve seen every Godzilla movie that’s been made. Among those movies, a handful of monsters are used repeatedly… one of the most popular being Mothra, which is… well, a giant moth. While Godzilla’s rights were on loan to America back in the late 90’s to make that movie, the company that owns him still wanted to make giant monster movies… so they decided to give Mothra it’s own shot at a series.  Despite being a fan of Godzilla, I’ve never seen any of these movies, until now. How did it fare? Well… just because you liked “Friends” doesn’t mean “Joey” isn’t a pile of garbage.

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Reviews

Heapers Creepers: Stephen King’s Everything’s Eventual

Everythings_Eventual

Format: Novella/Anthology

Time in possession: 4 months

A few months back, I came across an open call for short stories to appear in a low-profile anthology. I wanted the writing exercise, so I decided I’d churn one out. Only problem was, I didn’t know much about short stories, and I only had a month to read up on them.  A friend lent me Everything’s Eventual, a collection of Stephen King short stories as a resource of examples. I only read two, but I was more interested in studying the structure of the craft than the content of the stories. I forgot about it in the craziness of trying to churn out the short story, but I got around to reading it a lot sooner than I thought I would.

My experience with Stephen King is limited. I read Cujo, and didn’t like it. I know of television and film based on his works, which range from creepy (Pet Semetary, most of It), to just kind of stupid (Dreamcatcher, Under The Dome, The Mist.) I’m also familiar with “Rainy Season”, a short story about a couple who visit a small town. The locals warn them to stay in another town for the night, for that every seven years on this night, it will rain toads. They ignore the warning, and it starts raining carnivorous toads with teeth. They eat the couple. The end.

I’m ready to give him a chance to teeter my very down the middle opinion of him, one way or the other. There are 14 stories in Everything’s Eventual, and I’m going to do a brief rundown of each one, and a thumbs up or down. If there are more likes than dislikes, I’ll hold onto the book. Otherwise, out it goes. Spoilers may follow.

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Reviews

Heapers Creepers: Stephen King’s The Mist

Format: novella

Time in possession: 3 years

I feel like I was born 2 decades too late to really have any deep admiration for Stephen King’s literary works. Having spent my childhood listening to my parents talk about how terrifying The Stand was, and watching so many of his stories take on film adaptations, it was easy to become over saturated with his name. I had spent enough time witnessing his very clearly established ability to create an interesting story as showcased by those that made it into another format. By the point in my life that I came into possession of a brain wholly my own, capable of harboring opinions wholly my own, I was inspired enough to finally read a King novel for myself.

That novel, Thinner, was fine. It wove an unsettling story that fit it’s super relaxed, fast-paced prose well enough to keep my attention for it’s few hundred pages. However, upon finishing it i was stricken with a sense of emptiness. That sense of accomplishment and excitement that usually comes with having completed a book was nowhere to be found, and honestly, I hadn’t really felt much the entire time I was in the thick of it. It was strange.

A few years later, looking at my shelf for the purge, I noticed that I still had the copy of Stephen King’s The Mist that I had borrowed from a friend around the same time i finished Thinner, and decided it was the perfect month to finally give The King of Horror another shot; a decision that has left me with a deep, torn feeling of confusion.
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Heapers Creepers: Junji Ito’s Uzumaki

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Format: Manga

Time in possession: 3 years

Horror, to me, is an infinitely interesting genre.

The range in which it can reach seems to be endless. Horror can be extracted from almost any scenario or subject, and by now, it probably has. We have scary stories and movies about all sorts of things; animals, murderers, monsters, ghosts, kidnapping, being stranded, getting lost, psychological issues, the unknown… the list goes on and on. That’s the majority of the appeal of it to me, I guess. The other part was probably established earlier in life.

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Heapers Creepers Double Feature: Night of the Living Dead

When taking on a project like Purging the Heap with friends, some overlap is bound to happen. In this case, both Dylan and myself happened to have Night of the Living Dead on our list of horror items, and we both decided to go through them for the month of October. The plan was to watch the movie and then leap frog over various topics about the movie itself, and share our overall views on NotLD and zombies in general.  Five minutes in, we realized we were watching two different versions of the same film, mine being the 1968 original, his the 1990 remake.  We decided to stick to the plan anyway. What follows is an attempt of two people reviewing two versions of the (sort of) same movie by simply talking about them. From here on out, anything from “DS” is myself, and “DT” is Dylan.

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