Tag Archives: Smithsonian Channel

It Was Unidentified to Me

17 Dec

I thought about changing the names in this story to protect the innocent. Instead, I changed my mind.

Last night, I watched a show about aliens on the History Channel. You know that channel. The one that is supposed to be about history but is about everything else. (Side note: If you want to watch shows about history, then I would suggest the National Geographic Channel or the Smithsonian Channel.) Anyway, I watched this show about aliens, and it made me think about the time that I saw a UFO.

It was during my high school years, and I was cruising around town with Chris, my best friend. We were doing the usual stuff. Riding up and down Main Street. Hanging out a Sonic. Doing a little drag racing. It was a typical Friday night. We were heading to his house, which sat in that weird place between town and country. We were not in the boondocks, but we were not in town, either.

We were almost to his house when Chris asked about a light that was in the sky. I said something about it being a radio tower or airplane. He said something about it not moving like an airplane and about how a tower couldn’t have been built while we had been out. I looked up and saw this red light in the sky. Then, it was blue. Then, it was yellow. I had to admit that it was weird.UFO

When we got to his house, we stood outside and watched it hover and change colors in a set pattern. We kept talking about it, and I broke down and said it. It could be a UFO. Chris went on and on about how there were no aliens and no flying saucers. I didn’t say it was some alien in a flying saucer. I said it was an Unidentified Flying Object, and it was definitely unidentified to us. He didn’t find humor or logic in what I had said and went in to wake up his parents.

Chris’ dad was one of the highest ranking political figures in our state, and we were waking him up to see a UFO. Chris came out with his mom and dad in their pajamas. His mom was trying to be cheerful, but his dad was not hiding his annoyance.

That’s when it got really weird. We were watching this thing hover when a beam of light shot out of it and hit the ground. Chris’ dad said he was going to bed and went back into the house. Chris’ mom followed. At some point, Chris said he was going to bed. I couldn’t believe it. We watched a laser beam shoot out of this thing, and they were going to sleep.

I got in the car and watched it all the way home. It never moved, but it kept changing colors. When I got home, I went to my room and watched it from the window. There were no more beams, but everything else remained the same. Eventually, I went to sleep, too.

The next morning, I told my parents, but they didn’t seem interested. Chris acted like it never happened. I never said anything to his parents about it, but they probably wouldn’t have talked about it, either. Through the years, I have told a few people, but they all think I am being ridiculous. I tell them the same thing that I told Chris. Whatever it was, it was unidentified to me. That is the definition of a UFO.

Putting the Amp Back into Vampire

24 Feb

Last year, I saw Ozzy Osbourne in concert, and, like everything about the Ozzman, the show started out strangely. As the lights went down, movie scenes were shown on a giant screen with one caveat, Ozzy was superimposed into the scenes. One had him as a blue person from Avatar. As Ozzy checked out his new body, his arms and legs were not the only giant blue appendages showing. He was also placed in a scene with the Twilight girl. As she gazed into the distance, Ozzy slipped up behind her and said, “Vampires are (a slang term for female genitalia), I am the Prince of Darkness!” And with that, Ozzy hit the stage.

Now, Ozzy Osbourne is not a great philosopher by any means, but he is correct when he states at vampires are (a slang term for female genitalia). Things such as True Twilight Blood have taken one of the great characters of folklore/literature/movies and turned him into a dream boat for teenage girls in one incarnation and one member of a creature ensemble dropped into a southern gothic tale in another. How can vampires be reduced to such a status? Well, I am here to fix this and remind people of what a vampire is really meant to be.

The following is a list of real vampires who would not be caught “living dead” in a series of books with a girl named Sookie or in a series of movies that attracts squealing girls.

Eleonore von Schwarzenberg – Everyone should have the Smithsonian Channel because it has cool documentaries like The Vampire Princess.

Bram Stoker's Inspiration?

An Austrian princess, Eleonore gained the suspicions of her people as she battled cancer. Her physical appearance and her attempts to gain better health seemed strange to the people of the early 18th Century. Rumors fed into local folklore, and soon people began whispering that she was a vampire. Upon her death, steps were taken to make sure she would not awake. Some scholars believe her story was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s writings and use the deleted opening of Dracula as the proof. It seems that the original beginning had a vampire attack at the tomb of an Austrian princess.

Nosferatu– What would happen if this guy showed up at Sookie’s house?

Sookie! Sookie! Where's my cookie?

Ok, I have to admit that I have never seen this classic silent movie, but it is high on my list of things to do. After all, it introduces the concept that vampires can be killed by sunlight. And, the director thought Max Schreck, who played Nosferatu, was so ugly that all he needed was some pointy ears and false teeth. That’s a little more realistic that what is put out there today.

Bela Lugosi– The quintessential vampire for many people, Lugosi actually played Dracula on Broadway before he ever played the role on film.

The Curse of Dracula

On playing Dracula, Bela Lugosi once said, “It’s a living, but it’s also a curse. Dracula’s curse.” Perhaps no actor has been associated with a character like Lugosi was associated with Dracula. He played the character with style and a hypnotic personality. He didn’t have fangs because he didn’t need them. Lugosi had aspects that were more deadly. Dracula, one of Lugosi’s first films, was released in 1931, and he seemed stuck playing in horror movies from that point on. In fact, he returned to the role in an attempt to make fun of it when he appeared in 1948s Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein.

Blacula– Two genres come together as Blaxploitation meets horror. William Marshall plays an ancient African prince who is turned into a vampire by Dracula.

I'm Gonna Catch You

With a soundtrack featuring the Hues Corporation, the movie finds the vampire awakened in Los Angeles where he finds his reincarnated wife. In effect, he is played as a sympathetic figure who was a victim of the more famous Dracula. As a fan of Blaxploitation films, I have several songs from the soundtrack on my iPod and know that Blacula better be happy that he did not run into Pam Grier.

Lily Munster– Vampires are supposed to have a sex appeal that attracts their victims. That’s why we have the pop culture vampire problem of today. For my money, the sexiest vampire of all time appears in a sit-com.

Look into my eyes.

Yvonne De Carlo played Lily as a housewife trying to get through the zaniness of her husband and father. However, she also had a bit of spice because De Carlo simply couldn’t help it. Those who know her only for The Munsters have missed out on one of the sexiest and most beautiful actresses of all time. I must admit that the show never made sense to me because I never understood why she was married to Herman. Lily could have sunk her teeth into any man. (Sidenote, the Munster house sits on Wisteria Lane and is not far from the Bates Motel.)

Gary Oldman – Apparently, this is coming full circle. The list started with the princess that inspired Bram Stoker and ends with an iconic portrayal of Bram Stoker’s creation. Obviously, producers wanted everyone to know that Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based on the original work. Why else would they put Stoker’s name in the title? But, I am not honoring Stoker here. I am honoring Gary Oldman.

Nice Shades

I mean, how cool is that? Blue-tinted sunglasses. Top hat. Stick pin. He could be a ZZ Top song. But, the best part about Oldman’s version is his choice of damsels to quench his thirst. Winona Ryder is my favorite actress of all time. I’ve had a crush on her since Beetlejuice, and I am serious when I say that she can steal from me anytime. On top of having Winona hanging around, Dracula gets to have sex on a park bench with the hot redhead.

Look, I don’t know anything about Team Blonde Vampire or any of these other reincarnations, but I know one thing for sure. If I ever head to that little Louisiana town in search of Sookie, then this is the team I am taking with me.