Spooky Trailers: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

It’s October, the spookiest month! I love horror movies, so for October I’m going to be highlighting some of my older or lesser known favorites thanks to YouTube’s huge backlog of trailers. I also add a “scary rating” for folks who like a little fright but not a full on horror fest.

Official Rating: R
How Intensely Scary Is It?: 9/10

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the grandfather of modern horror. It has a sense of authenticity that few movies have ever been able to duplicate, although they try. TCM doesn’t complicate the story — there’s a family of killer hillbillies and a van full of partying teens — and never worries about making Leatherface more than a crazy human who loves his chainsaw and human skin.

The modern “torture porn” horror movie, a genre I loathe, has been unsuccessfully trying for over a decade now to recreate the same rawness you can see here. The thing they always miss is that TCM isn’t mean spirited. It doesn’t revel in the pain of victims.. it’s just telling a horrifying story.

Also, the trailer is super duper 70s.

Spooky Trailers: Noroi (2005)

It’s October, the spookiest month! I love horror movies, so for October I’m going to be highlighting some of my older or lesser known favorites thanks to YouTube’s huge backlog of trailers. I also add a “scary rating” for folks who like a little fright but not a full on horror fest.

Official Rating: not rated but estimated to be PG-13
How Intensely Scary Is It?: 4/10

I love, love, love “found footage” movies. Noroi, aka The Curse, is one of the best I’ve ever seen. This is not a fast-paced movie, and honestly it can be a little slow in the middle but oh man, stick with it. There is little if any blood, but instead a pervasive sense of creepiness that builds and builds until the end of the movie kicks you in the gut with full force. Noroi is difficult to find in North America, but I bet if you searched for it on YouTube you’d find a full version with subtitles, wink wink.

Spooky Trailers: Tremors (1990)

It’s October, the spookiest month! I love love love horror movies, so for October I’m going to be highlighting some of my older or lesser known favorites thanks to YouTube’s huge backlog of trailers.

Official Rating: PG-13
My Scary Rating: 3/10
Quote: “Broke into the wrong god damn rec room, didn’t ya you bastard!”

I saw this in the movie theatres when I was a youngster, and it remains great. A nice blend of humor and scares, young (so very young) Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are the leads with a really great supporting cast.

The State of the Blog: October

I’m moving in six weeks.

Moving sucks at the best of times and is a huge disruption of one’s life. And of course if that isn’t enough of a challenge you can always add some difficulty levels, including:

1) The move is over a border, from Vancouver, BC to Seattle, WA.
2) I’m bringing two angry senior cats.
3) I’m doing 95% of the work on my own.
4) I’m participating a 24-hour video game marathon a week before the move. (PS: Donate and win games!)
5) It turns out that some bad neighbors have a horrible bedbug infestation, and three weeks ago I found some in my apartment.

Let’s talk about that last one for a bit. People like to keep their bedbug problems a secret, and I understand because they are fricken’ gross. But because of that searching for information on the internet only really turns up forums full of people who either have never had bedbugs but have an extreme phobia about it that consumes their life, or people with horrible stories about how they’ve lived for 25 years with the bugs and they will never go away and now they’ve just accepted their new life as the weird bug person.

After reading some of these sites, you may find yourself losing hope. “I could just start taking meth,” you might say, “because in the long run it will probably be a cheaper and easier path to full neurotic collapse.” But it will be okay! You will have to do a lot of work for a bit and things that were previously easy like getting dressed and going to bed will not be easy for a while but if you are vigilant and do the work now I promise that you are not going to end up posting insane things on the internet from your house made of bugs.

(I knew I would be okay when I figured out that bedbugs are best handled with strong organization and a slightly compulsive attention to detail. It turns out I am their natural predator.)

So where was I? Oh right, moving to America! Did you know that when you move to America your credit history doesn’t come with you? You just kind of show up with a new passport and a smile and a story about a fair-to-middling credit history that is sealed back in your home country while bank managers squint at you suspiciously. Welcome to just one of the many exciting facts I have learned recently.

Long story short, I’m going to be a little preoccupied for the next 6 weeks. As a result I will probably be posting less stuff, less often. I also have less time to play games, so some of these posts might be more about pop culture (like horror movies in October!) or more personal life stuff like this one because it’s my site and I’ll blog if I want to. I’m going to try and not miss any episodes of Cat Context or Game On, but we’ll see how it goes.

Thanks in advance for bearing with me, dear reader! I am truly super duper excited about getting this move done and starting my adventures in the land of blue jeans, guns, and machines that make 99 different flavors of Coke.

Hypothesis: There is no such thing as the “WoW Community”

A reminder that I’m giving away games to folks who donate at least $5 to Extra Life!

The topic of this post is just an idea I’ve been kicking around lately.

I frequently see people refer to the “World of Warcraft Community”, and I’ve absolutely used the phrase myself in the past. But more and more I think that’s ascribing a sense of collective where none exists. It’s less a “community” than simply a huge and diverse audience of people who enjoy playing World of Warcraft.

Think about it — a large number of people around the world play pool. Some just play on the odd Friday night, some play professionally. Some folks don’t think about the metagame at all, while others are avid members of the Pool Monthly forums. Is this a community, or just a whole bunch of pool players?

I would define “community” as a group of people who share an ethos. I absolutely believe that there are communities within WoW players — there are guilds, and groups of friends, and high end raiders, and people who chat together on the MMO-Champion forums, just to name a few — but on the macro scale, I’m just not sure.

WoW players share a similar hobby, but everything else varies. What people enjoy doing, how many people they enjoy doing it with, their philosophy on optimization, or PvP, or solo content.. it can all be wildly different from player to player. It’s hard to make any blanket declaration about WoW players beyond “they like WoW”, which makes the “community” label a little tenuous.

Why does it matter? Two reasons.

First, because when you take away the community angle, it becomes much more evident that being prescriptive about WoW players is a lost cause. You can’t argue that the “WoW community” will love garrisons or hates optimization or whatever because you can’t really rely upon the notion that they’re a collective. (I think you can say “the majority of WoW players” should you have that information.)

Second, if you stop assuming that everyone in WoW will hold the same common beliefs as you because you all play the same game, then you’re going to be a lot less disappointed. You won’t be surprised when someone loves the game but also lobbies for totally opposite political views as you, or has a different opinion about how to behave online, or even just when you really liked that zombie invasion back in the day but they didn’t.

There are a huge number of WoW players, and there are a huge number of communities that exist within that pool, but calling it the “WoW Community” is assuming a homogeneity of thought that I don’t think actually exists.

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