Friday, April 30, 2010

Protect and Heels

That guy is, like, eight feet tall.

Bite the Hand That Feeds You

April has passed by at a speed usually reserved for insidious subliminal messages [drink pepsi] and we are compelled to bring to you a new installment of the Hyper Kitchen's notorious Monster of the Month Series. Earlier, a friend suggested an entry on vampires, and while we're ordinarily way too hip to be swayed by popular demand, we relished the idea of digging up a vampire that wasn't your typical pale-faced Romanian...or a sparkly teenager. Our search yielded some mighty interesting subjects, which we will doubtlessly return to at some point in the future, but after careful consideration we went for another figure from the world of horror films. With no further delay, we are proud to present Zoltan, the Hound of Dracula!

Appearing in the 1978 movie that bears its name, Zoltan was originally a normal dog in 19th century Russia that defended a woman from the legendary vampire Count Dracula. Enraged, Dracula drains the dog's blood instead, leaving Zoltan an undead hound of hell. The now-malevolent Zoltan promptly attacks and drinks the blood of Nalder, his old master and the two go forth to perpetuate the tragic endless cycle of blood-drinking and murder. Through a series of unseen circumstances, they are defeated, staked, and locked in coffins.

Two hundred years later, the crypt is discovered by road-workers who foolishly remove the stakes and thereby return the demonic dog and his sidekick to life. Still thralls of Dracula after all this time, they travel to America and seek out Dracula's non-vampire descendant, who is in the middle of camping with his family, his German Shepard, and a box of adorable puppies. These animals, as well as dogs belonging to other campers, are eventually transformed into vampires, but human good triumphs over canine evil and Zoltan is destroyed. The film was directed by Albert Band, who also directed the supernatural potboiler I Bury the Living and was the father of Charles Band (the man who brought Robot Jox to the world.)

Now you know.

Would you like to know more?
-Watch this trailer and feel the horror

How Things Work Part IX: Where Milk Comes From

Everything you thought you knew about dairy is entirely wrong.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Farmyard Frankenstein

In the late forties and early fifties, H.E. Babcock served as the chairman of the board at Cornell University. An agriculture expert and one of the original nutrition advocates, Babcock was always searching for ways to promote the type of balanced diet that New York farms provided. He was especially keen on educating children. To this end, he created the Unimal, a wide-eyed hybrid of every principle farm animal that seemed overjoyed at its ultimate fate on America's dinner table.

While it's probably easy to discern the different animal features present in the Unimal, the official sources of inspiration were the chicken, cow, pig, steer, and sheep. A tiny toy version was produced for the kids, and in a manner similar to a Pez dispenser it would eject tiny plastic food items from its body by clicking a special button. Curiously, despite being created to teach young'ns about nutrition, the food offered by the Unimal (including a block of butter, a ham, hotdogs, and eggs) seemed to point towards high-blood pressure and cholesterol. One can only assume that a toy multi-hybrid vegetable wouldn't have been quite as popular.

Would you like to know more?
-Watch this excerpt from the 2009 documentary Farmboy.