Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tusks and Trotters

2011 is over and good riddance. Sure, it was funny in parts and sometimes exciting, but it dragged in the third act and the ending was something of a let down. The low-budget was painfully obvious at times, and the performances were pretty bad. That said, we'll probably stick around for the sequel. It's already looking like a marked improvement.

But! That isn't why you're here. You're here because you're looking for another edition of our internationally famous Monster of the Month series. For the final freak of the 2011, we return to the world of cinema to bring you...the Razorback.

The eponymous beast of a 1984 Australian film directed by Russell Mulcahy, the Razorback owes its name to an old-fashioned term for feral pigs. These wild hogs were known for their sharp bristly fur, although this overgrown specimen sports a particularly shaggy mane. The Razorback is depicted as a nearly unstoppable force of nature, charging through doors like a hurricane and brutally mauling any who are unlucky enough to be in its way. It's a snarling, snaggle-toothed engine of destruction, shrugging off gunshots like mere bee-stings. In the end, it takes the whirling blades of an industrial fan to stop the Razorback; shredding the rampaging beast into hunks of furry flesh. A fitting end for such a mindless monster.

Razorback is one of many unique exploitation films that Australia has produced and is highly recommended. You'll never think of pigs the same way.

Would you like to know more?
 -Watch the trailer here

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

This post uses protected content

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Would you like to know more?
-Visit American Censorship.Org

Monday, December 12, 2011

Special Projects for the State of Eternity

In Washington D.C., December, 1964, Meyer Wertlieb decided that it was finally time to take a look in his garage. For the past fourteen years, Wertlieb had been renting the small garage to a man named James Hampton, who worked as a night janitor for the General Services Administration. It had been a month since Hampton last paid rent and Wertlieb had reached the end of his patience. When he went to investigate, he found that Hampton had died one month earlier at a VA hospital, stricken with stomach cancer. When Wertlieb opened up the garage, this is what he saw:

The massive, glorious sculpture was referred to as The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' General Assembly on a hand-written title card. It was an intensely personal religious expression. Over the course of fourteen years, Hampton had built it out of cardboard, burnt-out lightbulbs,tin-foil, broken furniture, and miscellaneous junk. He would dutifully work on the throne every midnight after returning from his janitorial job. All in all, the throne was comprised of one hundred eighty different pieces, most of which were labelled with quotes of the book of Revelations.

Accompanying the Throne was a one hundred twelve page journal, along with loose pieces of cardboard, on which Hampton had written St James: The Book of the 7 Dispensation. In the journal, Hampton referred to himself as "St. James" and "Director, Special Projects for the State of Eternity" and recorded various religious visions, along with his anticipation of the return of Christ and a desire to form a church. Some portions of the journal were written in a code of his own design, which has still yet to be deciphered.

The Throne of the Third Heaven was made public a few weeks later in an issue of the Washington Post. Hampton's relatives were especially stunned, never realizing that he was capable of such things. The Throne was donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum six years later, where is it can still be seen today.

Would you like to know more?
-Check out this picture of the Throne
-Read this biography from the Smithsonian
-Read this article from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Saturday, December 03, 2011

"No Real Than You Are"

 It's rare that we do follow-up stories at the Hyper Kitchen. In fact, I don't think it's ever happened before. But, when the ocean waves deposited a giant Lego man onto the Siesta Key Beach in Florida, we knew that we had to act. On October 26th, the Lego man was discovered and promptly "taken into protective custody" by the local police. Perhaps they feared that the Lego man would go on some sort of rampage. Nevertheless, as with the previous giant lego man incidents, this anomalous event appears to be the work of Dutch artist Ego Leonard. Like the others, the words "No Real Than You Are" were emblazoned on its t-shirt. This is the first Lego man to travel beyond Europe, and may hint at a more international Lego presence.

Would you like to know more?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

One Foot in the Grave

Henry Paget, Lord of Uxbridge, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, and Knight of the Order of Saint George, the Order of Maria Theresa, the Royal Guelphic Order, and the Order of the Garter (but known to his friends as "Hank") was a commander in the Battle of Waterloo. On June 18th, 1815, Paget was on the battlefield when he had the terrible luck of being hit by a canon blast of grape-shot.  Paget wasn't killed, but the attack did severely injure his right leg, which prompted Paget to declare to the nearby Duke of Wellington "By god, sir! I've lost my leg!"

The Duke answered: "By god, sir! So you have!

This exchange was presumably followed by some uncomfortable silence, and then the Duke eventually helped his fallen comrade to a nearby house. Paget's leg could not be salvaged by the medical science of the time, and it was amputated without any anesthetic. During the operation, Paget displayed superhuman stoicism, his moustache scarcely flickering as they sawed through his shin.

The owner of the house, one M. Hyacinthe Joseph-Marie Paris, asked if he could keep the leg and bury it in his garden. Paget had no problem with this, and the leg received a "good Christian burial," along with a proper gravestone that bore the following description:

 Here lies the Leg of the illustrious and valiant Earl Uxbridge, Lieutenant-General of His Britannic Majesty, Commander in Chief of the English, Belgian and Dutch cavalry, wounded on the 18 June 1815 at the memorable battle of Waterloo, who, by his heroism, assisted in the triumph of the cause of mankind, gloriously decided by the resounding victory of the said day.

Word of the grave-site spread quickly, and soon villagers started showing up to take a look for themselves. Paris was only too happy to allow them in, provided that they pay a modest fee. Soon, countless travelers journeyed to Waterloo to see the grave of the heroic appendage. The leg became so prominent that the King of Prussia even arranged a visit. Paris' descendants continued to profit from the grave and it remained an attraction until the bones were disinterred in 1878. Fifty-six years later in1934, a newly widowed Mrs. Paris discovered the leg bones in her husband's study along with documents linking them to the Henry Paget. Fearing an international incident, she threw the bones into the furnace and burned them to ashes. One hopes that she was then haunted by an angry spectral leg, but sadly those details are lost in history.

But don't take my word for it!
You can read about it in a book