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lose your head at the theatre

review :: evil dead- the musical

when i was younger, and other people were able to set rules about what i could and could not watch on the television, i used to dream of having free reign on the movie channels, so that i could watch stuff that would scare me to death. we seek out our fears, conquer them and find new ones on a a regular basis throughout our lives and there is nothing so appealing, especially at a young age, as a fear that we are prevented from confronting.

of course, when i finally was able to confront those things that held the promise of so much fear, i found that almost none of them were truly scary. they were either bland, or they were comedic. yet somehow, the comedic ones became dear to my heart in a way that i could not have predicted. thus went my introduction to camp.

"camp" in this day and age has been so overdone that it is almost impossible to appreciate in the same way. what can you say when the most commercially successful endeavour of the kind of camp cinema, john waters, has found life as a mainstream success on the stage and is now being remade as a big-budget film billed as an adaptation of the broadway hit? parody parodying parody. somehow, although in theory it never had one, camp has lost its soul.

with that in mind, evil dead : the musical, based on the sam raimi cult film, could be a cynical exercise that fails on any number of levels. except that it isn't. somehow, despite the potential pitfalls, it works.

while never taking itself seriously (a patent impossibility), it has decent production values. the actors give it their all (although some sound issues meant that the voices were way too quiet at times). the writing is remarkably clever, allowing anyone to enjoy, but offering special insights to those people (about 95% of the patrons, if i had to guess) who have seen the original movie.

musicals often fall flat for me at the part where the music starts (bring me the head of andrew llyod webber), but, in this sort of a setting, the inherent silliness of almost all musical numbers is, of course, part of the fun. the songs are short, punchy, catchy and well-delivered. there are, perhaps, a few too many of them as the play loses just a little bit of steam towards the end, but the quality level is generally excellent. i will single out "what the f#&*k was that!?!" as a particular high point in the show. (you can see it on the web site, linked above.)

if you choose to attend, this sort of spectacle really does require some level of audience participation to be fully appreciated. to that end, i would recommend getting tickets in the less comfortable but more vulnerable first row, also known as the "splatter zone". if you can't figure out why it's called that, you probably shouldn't be going to this show to begin with.

and speaking of camp, check out evil dead (the film) star bruce campbell in a couple of virulently weird old spice commercials.


as long as you're here, why not read more?

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…