Thursday, December 19, 2013

Throwback Thursdays: Puppet Master

Submitted by John Cantwell, Reimagine Media

Cheesy, strange, terrible effects, eighties music, and absolute humor dissonance. Puppet Master is a cheesy classic with some of the most memorable scenes in horror history. (If you like amazing terrible classics like this….) It starts off in a hotel in the year 1939 with an elderly puppet master Andre Toulon giving finishing touches on a puppet. Well, the touches are not just painting… He has a peculiar power which can make objects (puppets in this case) come to life. Meanwhile, two Nazis are tracking him down to find out more information on his power. Toulon knows they are coming, and decides to hide his creations in a secret compartment in a wall. The Nazis finally arrive to his room, and Toulon pulls out a pistol. As they walk through the door, he puts the gun in his mouth, and kills himself.

It then switches gears into the year 1989, four psychics believe that they have all received visions of a deceased colleague, who they think discovered Andre Toulon’s hidden secret. All of their visions consist him pointing a gun to a woman’s head. They all decide to go to the hotel where it all happened. They meet their colleague’s widow, who strangely is the woman from their visions. The widow still has her husband’s body in a casket. They observe the body, which they stab a needle into make sure he is dead. They all decide to go to bed, when strange things happen….. It is all still in the night, when all of a sudden, a puppet comes out of the casket! It has an extremely small head, a muscular body, and what appears to be almost human like sized hands. The housekeeper's assistant is taking care of the fireplace, when she hears a faint sound originating from the piano. She goes to see if someone is there, but in usual horror movie fashion, nothing is there. She then goes back to her fire poking duties, until she hears another sound coming from the piano. She looks over again, and you guessed it, NOTHING THERE! She goes back to poke the fire, and the poking stick has disappeared. She is searching for it, until she looks behind her and the human hand puppet is wielding the poker. He then proceeds to hit her in the head with it, and apparently she drops dead with an extremely unnecessary blood spatter on the ground. At the same time, two psychics (which are in a relationship) decide to perform an “experiment” of sorts. The woman looks over to discover that the door is opened… She then hears numerous footsteps from around the room. She decides to look under the bed. She is greeted by a visitor…. This time a puppet with a drill on its head! The puppet begins to “drill” and the woman dies. While the man is still on the bed, he begins to feel a tingling sensation on his torso. He thinks it’s his wife…. It’s not. In fact, it is another newly introduced puppet. But this one is putting leeches on him… He also dies. This brings it down to two more psychics left. One is intruded by oversized hand for one for the most hilarious fight scenes (if you can even call it that) I have seen in any movie. She loses the fight and you guessed it, she dies. This brings us down to only one psychic left, and I am not going to tell you what happens because it practically gives away the whole ending to the movie.

To be honest though, for a “straight to VHS movie”, it truly wasn’t as bad as I thought it was. Of course it was predictable, but you can get over that. The acting surprisingly wasn’t as bad as I would expect. In fact, I have seen worse acting in mainstream horror movies. The puppets movements weren’t bad, they were stop motion, and they actually looked somewhat believable. Not going to lie, for as cheesy as it was, it actually wasn’t that bad of a movie. I feel like the company (Full Moon Studios) did a great job with the budget they had, and pushed it to its limits. Puppet Master is a movie that can be enjoyed by any horror fan, lame scares, mediocre acting, and all around cheesiness, this film can give you a good laugh.

John Cantwell is a WYEP Reimagine Media contributor from the Carlynton School District. 
If you're interested in contributing or joining Reimagine Media, contact Matthew Spangler at

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Throwback Thursdays: Young Frankenstein

Submitted by John Cantwell, Reimagine Media

What is the definitive Horror movie parody you ask? Young Frankenstein is the number one answer. Directed by Mel Brooks, this clever, quick-witted comedy has every element of what a parody should be. Gene Wilder portrays the great-grandson of the insane Dr. Victor Frankenstein.  Frederick Frankenstein is a science teacher at a university, and takes pride in his work. But one thing is, he does not take pride in his ancestry….

When a student asks him a question about how his grandfather attempted re-animation, he got into a fit, and repeated that he was not a Frankenstein. (He calls himself Frawn-ken-steen) As he dismisses class, an elderly man comes up to him, (calls him Frankenstein) and says that he has inherited his grandfather’s castle. He takes up the offer, and leaves immediately.

Once he gets to Transylvania he is greeted by a short, hunched, googly eyed man. The man asks if he is Frederick Frankenstein, and again he says Frawn-ken-steen. The man’s name is Igor, (which he pronounces eyegore) he proceeds to take him to the carriage, as Frederick throws his suitcase in the carriage, he notices that a woman is in there as well, and that he threw his luggage. This woman is Inga, who will accompany him on his experiments. They arrive at the castle and soon realize there is something mysterious about the place…. Dr. Frankenstein finds a hidden entrance that reveals a passage way. This passage leads to his grandfather’s lab.  He goes down to it to find a book on the desk, consisting of his grandfather’s plans for re-animation. He later becomes obsessed, and begins digging up corpses. Then, He tries to re-animate a corpse, and Frankenstein’s monster is alive!

This movie is filled with humor, and has a very funny take on Frankenstein. Everything from clever jokes, to sexual innuendos, to times that make you say, “Did he really just say that?” Proves that this movie is a laugh that will be passed down to generations.

John Cantwell is a WYEP Reimagine Media contributor from the Carlynton School District. If you're interested in contributing or joining Reimagine Media, contact Matthew Spangler at

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lucky Number 7

Submitted by Alyssa Gephart of the TJ Times:

The iPhone has been a pop culture symbol of change in the modern era, and with the new iOS 7 operating system of the device, Apple has worked to maintain this image with the development of a simpler, easier to use software. After months of waiting since the June announcement of the update, owners of the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, and now the 5C and 5S have access to the software. While owners of iPhones are mostly seen as adaptive to change, some are not. Apple's new OS, when compared to those its iOS6 predecessor, contains drastic changes. Most notable of these is the newly updated, simplistic theme of the home screen and Apple-Created apps (safari, music, weather, clock, ect.). The fresh theme of the device continues with the Control Center, a central hub of settings for the iPhone ranging from brightness control, to a calculator, to a flashlight.

Also accessible from the Control Center is the updated Photos app. The revised application allows users to choose from a variety of different camera functions, such as adding Instagram-esque filters on pictures taken right from your iPhones built in camera. The much needed overhaul of the app allows for greater ease of use, which is a central theme in all Apple updates. Music, an essential component of most portable Apple products, is not forgotten in the update’s attempt at making a simpler and easier to use device. iTunes radio is Apple's newest music-based endeavor, aimed at reducing user dependence upon third party apps such as Pandora and iHeartRadio. While sharing music via radio is prevalent in iOS 7, a new sharing technique has been pioneered by Apple. Proximity sharing, seen in the new Air Drop function, uses Bluetooth technologies to share images, videos, and messages with your contacts and other iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S owners with the touch of a button, all by an encrypted file and without the need for cellular data. Following this theme of low reliance on cellular data is the release of FaceTime Audio, a newly developed addition to the current FaceTime application. FaceTime Audio allows for voice communication over Wi-Fi to other iPhone users with FaceTime, giving consumers the ability for phone-like conversations without having to use minutes or be hassled by providers. Apps such as this which iOS 7 bring with it are the core of the update. Essentially, Apple has seen what its third party application creators have made and said "We can make it better," and they have. The changes found within the 667MB file are radically different than the previous updates to the device, bringing about a new style, new simplicity, and a new outlook for the future of the company. iOS 7 effectively made the future of Apple look ripe.