Thursday, September 29, 2011

7 Habits of Highly Effective Killers

What makes a good killer? What makes him/her effective? Killers always get caught or subdued, otherwise our population numbers would be in the negative... So what makes the good ones so great? How do they avoid detection while create fear and confusion?

Well if you listen to Dr. Phil you'll find the basic serial killer profile stuff, nothing they don't run you through at the beginning of Silence of the Lambs but I think killers are a lot more adept and sadistic these days... or at least they're more post-modern.

**Beware Los Spoilers**

1. Get Thee Some Followers

They could be friends, victims or family members but when you eventually get knocked out do you want your fancy kill-shed made from excess Ikea parts to go to waste? I thought not.

If they're your friends make sure they've got a strong constitution. Remember, you're the criminal mastermind. If they deviate then who's going to look stupid? You. If they're family members they will get emotionally involved, so make sure they know who they are after and then go for it like their life depended on it. Love isn't retroactive. And former victims, these are probably the most ideal. Especially if they're rocking the Stockholm Syndrome.

Using Friends: 2-3 sequels
Using Family: 4-5 sequels (possibilty of rebooting the franchise in 10-15 years)
Using Victims: 7 (Bonus Points if 1 or more is in 3D)

2. Pick Up Some Stella Adler Books To Incorporate Any Additional Personalities You Don't Already Have

Multiple personalities is a great way to gain your victim's trust and to evade persecution if you get caught. You can go even further and get some needy person to fall for you and have a fake family. I mean, of all the bad things you do manipulating someone into loving you is probably the least of your (or their) problems.

3. Never Doubt Thyself.

Did Hannibal Lecter doubt himself? No. That's why he got a full series based on his character while Buffalo Bill who did most of the killing in Silence of Lambs got taken down. While wearing night-vision goggles. Not a good look.

4. Ambiguity and Doubt are Different Things

IS Patrick Bateman guilty? Does it matter? He certainly thought he killed those people. Just because someone doesn't have the firmest grasp on reality doesn't mean they aren't a valid killer. In fact, ambiguity will lead to increased debate and popularity if only in university seminar rooms.

5. Ignore Rhyme and Reason

Rhyme and reason leads to patterns which leads to being caught. Take emotions out of the killing. You can still involve a nifty theme to your killings but make sure your subjects are nice and random.

6. Time Travel

It works! Ish.

7. When all else fails ... Become a Supernatural Entity.

You can milk an entire franchise out of that then ride the convention circuit to a time-share in Florida.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Ghosts Continue To Be In The Machine

I love it when I'm right. It's truly one of my favourite things. So as I was breezing through the new additions to Netflix Canada I came across this bad boy:

Anyone? ANYONE? Well, if you remember, when Scare Tactic was in its infancy (it's at least a toddler now) I wrote a nifty little review of a movie called Pulse. A movie so weird and convoluted I maintain that what eventually killed the characters was a complete lack of logic. Granted it's a movie about ghosts attacking us through wi-fi, sucking out our souls which in turn makes us walk around until we kills ourselves, but you'd think there would be some kind of plot or thought behind it. But no, all we have is a bunch of sad-sacks that off themselves.That's right kids, it's ye olde suicide epidemic.

Now it's seven years later. The Amish are being heralded as geniuses and people are making do in pseudo-refugee camps. Everyone is happy... kind of... well, happy in the way people in The Road are happy. Everyone is at least content to ride this thing out and make the best of a slightly uncomfortable situation. Unless you're super bad-ass teenage Justine. She's all messed up and has managed to find the only mini-skirt and and black eyeliner in a post-apocalyptic world, so you know she's hardcore.

Our hesitant heroine uncovers a laptop in some kind of junk yard. (you'd think the new leaders would make with the burny-burny of those wacky technology items, but nooooooooooooooo.) Pulse 3 actually does something incredibly brave. It demands you NOT think. The second you start thinking about the plot and the hows and whys your brain will (ironically) short circuit. So new-wave Courtney Love starts up the laptop which apparently still has power and immediately starts chatting with some lovely fellow who refuses to answer any direct questions about himself. The only piece of information that he parts with is that his name is Adam which in turn brings about this exchange:

ADAM: Tell me about yourself.
JUSTINE: What do you want to know?
ADAM: Are you pretty?
JUSTINE: I don't know?
ADAM: That means you're pretty. How old are you?
ADAM: Really?
JUSTINE: 17 actually.
ADAM: I thought so. I want to see you. I'm imagining you.
JUSTINE: With or without clothes?
ADAM: Does it matter?

At which most people would start yelling "STRANGER DANGER! STRANGER DANGER!"

But Justine is a rebel and therefore not most people so she agrees to meet him in Houston. What follows is an Odyssey-esque journey for Justine (and by "Odyssey-esque" I mean the picture book version) meeting people who are both helpful and creepy, strange and murderous. When she does finally meet Adam she discovers *SHOCKER* that he's not who he said he was.... like every To Catch A Predator episode ever.

Pulse 3: Invasion doesn't just beat a dead horse, it reanimates it and forces it to walk around for a while. It's a pretty amazing exercise in the lengths producers will go to in hopes of keeping a franchise alive. Irrational, illogical, eyeliner-laden lengths.