Cheezy, wonderful Italian horror movie. Featuring a movie within the movie, lots of blood (and pus!!!!), and a nice negative twist at the end.

The story involves people turned into evil flesh-eating demons after being cut by a mask or bitten by a demon. This takes place in a movie theater showing a movie about people turning into evil flesh-eating demons after being cut by a mask or bitten by a demon.
One of the nice things about this movie is that it doesn't pull its punch at the end, when the escaping heroes find a demon in their midst...

The X-files

Episode: 4X23
First aired:5/11/97
Written by:R.W. Goodwin
Directed by:Kim Manners

This is one of my favorite episodes. It is so powerful, mainly since it deals with Mulder's search for his sister and how far he would go for the truth. It's very dark and somewhat disturbing, but follows what a true X-files episode should be.

We see Mulder's flashback to childhood, in a dream like state he sees Samantha calling him and his mother crying out. Mulder wakes up in a motel room. He obviously does not know where he is and finds blood on his shirt. He calls Scully, waking her. He tells her he doesn't know what happened but that he's in Rhode Island and that there is blood on his shirt that is not his.

Scully drives up to Rhode Island, the the motel room, only to find Mulder naked and shivering, sitting in the shower saying he can't get warm. Scully get's him out telling him that he is in shock. While checking him over, Mulder tells her as much as he can. It seems that Mulder has been there for three days, that he packed a bag, and that two rounds have been fired from his gun. Mulder has no recolection of anything. Scully wants to take Mulder to a hospital to have him checked out for head injurys but Mulder is insitant on figuring out if a crime had been committed.

Scully talks to the hotel manager and figures out that Mulder drove a car that is not his. Seeing the car they find blood on the steering wheel and the car is registered under David Cassandra married to Amy Cassandra.

They travel to the Cassandra's house nearby and talk to the housekeeper who says they are not home. In the house Mulder sees a painting of an old house and seems to recognize it. The housekeeper says its the house that Amy grew up in and that she paints it all the time. Mulder feels strongly that he has been there before and they get the address.

While walking to the house, Mulder experiences a suden seizure and falls to the ground. We again see what he sees, another flashback. Mulder sees his parents arguing and a young Cigarette-Smoking Man standing, watching. Mulder wakes up on the ground with Scully standing over him, looking concerned. She tells him that he grabbed his head and fell to his knees and was unresponsive. He tells her that he is fine and that he had a very vivid flashback to his childhood. Against Scully's wishes to get him to a specialist, they continue and walk inside the house. Scully finds Amy and David Cassandra, both have been shot a point blank range and are dead.

The police arrive to the scene and take Mulder. There is now so much evidence linking Mulder with the Cassandra's death that the police feel that it was Mulder.

While performing the autopsy on Amy Cassandra, Scully notes a small scab wound on the hairline of the victim.

Mulder talks to the police and sticks with his story that he has no recollection of Amy or David and that he did not shoot them. The police present evidence from his gun, the blood on his shirt, and fingerprints in the house. Mulder is arrested.

Scully meets with Mulder in the jail to tell him that she thinks she has evidence to clear him. She found a drug, Ketamine, in Amy that can cause hallucinations. The same drug was found in Mulder. Suddenly, they here a shot fired from within the jail. Scully rushes to find an officer has shot himself in the head.

Scully learns that the officer had become a joke on the force. Scully finds evidence of pronounced mental illness. The officer also has a puncture wound similar to Amy's. Scully feels that they knew each other and that the deaths are linked. Scully later finds that Amy had believed she was an alien abductee.

In his cell, Mulder suffers from another flashback, this time seeing his mother calling out to Samantha. He wakes up and demands to speak to Scully.

Scully comes to tell him that a forensics report has shown that the blodd splatter patter on his shirt does not correspond to the deaths of Amy or David. Scully now believes that Mulder contacted Amy before because he had heard that she had begun psychiatric treatment that was effectively recovering her past. Mulder is released and they go to the office where Amy recieved her treatment.

At the office, they find Mulder's car. They meet with Dr. Goldstien, who tells Mulder they have not met before. Goldstein explains to them that he used a method of therapy that simulates an electrical impulse in the brain, using light and sound. After the meeting, Mulder now thinks that Goldstien is lying and that he has met him before. Scully thinks that Mulder underwent the same treatment and that the seizures are the result of it.

In the parking lot Mulder suddenly has another flashback and sees his mother crying out again. He wakes up on the ground once more. Scully is determined to get him to a doctor but Mulder is insistant that the memories are allowing him to access others about his childhood, about his sister. He and Scully drive to his mothers' house.

Mulder confronts his mother and accuses her of lying to him about Samantha, that she was forced to choose her. He also claims that she was unfaithful to his father. Mrs. Mulder is angry and upset about the allegations, even slaps Mulder, who leaves the house and drives off with out Scully.

Mulder goes to see Goldstien and confronts him. But Mulder asks him to finnish the job. We see another of his flashbacks where Mulder sees his mother, Samantha, and CSM. Later, Goldstien is put under arrest but Mulder is no where to be found. Scully yells at him and Goldstien tells her that Mulder went to "exorcise his demons."

Scully finds Mulder at his old house in Quonochontaug. Mulder has a gun and is being attacked my many seizures. Scully gently confronts him but Mulder lapses in and out of the seizures (we see them). Scully tells him to put down the gun but Mulder yells at her. Suddenly he points the gun at her screaming to get away. Scully tries to reason with him, by telling him that he has been given a drug and that the memories may not be his own. In a tense moment, Mulder fires his gun, but behind Scully. He drops it and balls up crying. Scully gently leans on him.

Important Quotes:
Scully -- It'S almost 5:00 AM. Is something wrong?"
Mulder -- "I think so."
Scully -- "Where are you?"
Mulder -- "I think I'm in a... a motel room in Providence, but..."
Scully -- "Where?"
Mulder -- "Rhode Island."
Scully -- "What are you doing there?"
Mulder -- "I don't know. There's... t-there's blood all over me."
Scully -- "Are you hurt, Mulder?"
Mulder -- "I don't think so. I don't think it's my blood."

Scully -- "Mulder? Mulder, can you hear me? What happened?"
Mulder -- "I don't know. It just hit me."
Scully -- "You fell to your knees and you grabbed your head, like you were in terrible pain. You were completely non-responsive. Do you remember any of that?"
Mulder -- "No. I remember what I saw."
Scully -- "What do you mean, what you saw?"
Mulder -- "I had a very vivid flashback to my childhood. Except, I was there."
Scully -- "Do you remember anything else?"
Mulder -- "No, just that it was very real."
Scully -- "Your heart is racing."
Mulder -- "What do you think it was?"
Scully -- "It was some kind of a seizure. Some kind of acute physiological disturbance. I couldn't tell if you lost consciousness but, it was definitely some kind of clonic event. Kind of an electrical storm in the brain."
Mulder -- "Brought on by what?"
Scully -- "That's what a specialist is going to have to tell you, Mulder."
Mulder -- "I feel really good right now."
Scully -- "Mulder, you are not really good."

Scully -- "You're jailing an innocent man."
Curtis -- "Yeah, well, this way he won't get lost for two days and do something else he won't remember."

Scully -- "Mulder?"
Mulder -- "I'm fine."
Scully -- "No, I am not going to take that for an answer. You do not belong at work. You need to be somewhere where you can be monitored. You are a danger to yourself, and a danger to me. Are you hearing me?"
Mulder -- "Give me the car keys."
Scully -- "No, you're not driving. You're not doing anything until these symptoms go away."
Mulder -- "Scully, I don't want these symptoms to go away. Whatever's happening to me, whatever treatment I've received, is allowing me to go back into my unconscious. The truth is in there, recorded, and I've gotten access to it. What happened to my sister--the reason she was taken--is becoming clear to me, and I need to know that. Now give me the keys."
Scully -- "To go where?"
Mulder -- "To my mother's, in Greenwich."
Scully -- "Okay... but I'm driving."

Mulder (holding gun to Scully) -- "Get away!"
Scully -- "Are you going to shoot me, Mulder? Is that how much this means to you? Mulder, listen to me. You have been given a powerful hallucinogen. You don't know that these memories are yours. This is not the way to the truth, Mulder. You've got to trust me."
Mulder -- "Shut up!"
Scully -- "Put down the gun. Let it go."

Back to The X-files: Season 4
The muses were the sources of creativity in ancient Greece - beautiful women in flowing robes who captured and inspired hearts, minds and souls to the greatest of artistic endeavors of all time. Epic Poetry, History, Lyrics, Music, Tragedy, Hymns, Dance, Comedy, Astronomy. Of these, only Melpomene - the muse of Tragedy - touched upon the darker side of inspiration.

One has to wonder if the muses had evil twins who inspired the words that hurt to write and read. Our view of the muses is that of living along with the gods on Mount Olympus or Helicon (along with Apollo - the god of music). A happy world free of trouble drinking ambrosia.

Those evil muses - demons - sitting in the back of the mind, waiting for some thought to cross. Pouncing upon it - it sits there and festers. A dark part of the mind that we loath to see or express. But, it is there nonetheless and demands expression just as much as an other inspiration.

By writing, it is these demons that we excise. Clearing our mind for a bit until inspiration strikes again - be it the demon or the muse.

Or maybe, the muses just have their off days.

Demons is a mid-career novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, documenting a political intrigue that anticapted the rise of Stalinism in Russia. He considered it a "novel-pamphlet" and published it serially. It is a tremendously humorous book, while maintaining a serious inquiry into the birth of idea-demons that plagued the nihilists of late 19th-century Russia. Inspired by European ideas and the bohemianism of the west, it questions how much responsibility the predecessors to the youths-in-question hold in the fate of Russia.

Based on the true story of a murdered student named Ivan Ivanov (the Shatov character in the novel), whom he thought to be the "new Russian man," the story concerns itself with the politcal ring-leader Pyotor Stepanovich, son of Stepan Trofimovich, a fey, aging intellectual who taught the children that grow up to be nihilists. This sets the scene for a conflict of generations, the psychology of offence & tradition, and the hilarious lampooning of everything that was going wrong in Russia at the time.

Recently released in 1994, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's expert translation changes the misinterpreted title of The Possesed and provides a throughly comprehensible, engaging read. I recommend it to all.

Spoilers may or may not follow, as everything there is to know is revealed very early on in the novel. The joy of Dostoevsky lies in experiencing his philosophical inquiries and psychological make-ups, as well as the absurd situation comedies illustrated within.

Of All Possible Worlds: Notes From Beyond Space and Time in Demons

What is "the goal to everything" in Fyodor Dostoevsky's Demons? Two characters offer their informed, impassioned viewpoints and arguments, forming a model basis to their vision of Russian reality, a reality deeply intertwined with religious underpinnings and the search for happiness in a cruel world. Alexei Nilych Kirillov pursues happiness through becoming the "God-man," conjecturing suicide as the mode of transport to get there. Ivan Palovich Shatov sees the route as lying through a marriage of church and state. Two views that at first may appear contradictory, but overlap, resonating with each other catastrophically, they source from the man who (according to Dostoevsky) "is everything" in the novel, Nikolai Vsevoolodovich Stavrogin.

Kirillov decisively kills himself "judiciously," by his own definition requiring a need to "think a lot." This judiciousness is at the heart of the "everything" he is attempting to express, for to "judge except by himself... there will be entire freedom when it makes no difference whether one lives or does not live. That is the goal to everything." And if it makes no difference to live or to die, then no one will want to live because if the religious beliefs of Christianity are true, the kingdom of heaven will await them in death and as the popular t-shirt remarks, if you think living with Jesus is good now, wait until the second time around. Why wait, when one can live with God? Kirillov feels that in our current incarnation we are "afraid of death because" we love life. Experientially, existentially it is all we can feel and touch, and so we love it—prefer it to the irresolute promise of heaven. But though "nature tells us" that life is good & loveable, in reality "life is pain, life is fear, and man is unhappy." Man continues to love life, but because this life is all so much pain and fear, the difference becomes confused; the love attaches itself to the pain and fear. Kirillov, however, sees a future in which "there will be a new man, happy and proud." Men will not care whether they live or die, they will overcome the "pain and fear," "will himself be God."

In the grand tradition of Dostoevsky's psychosocial inquiries, he directs Kirillov to test his hypothesis upon himself, by committing suicide. In order to have enough willpower to commit the act, he has to care either way about life or death, he must be more inclined towards death, so it follows that he is not this "new man." But he is not to blame for the conflict within his argument, as all great philosophical questions are stricken with paradox and those with the courage to confront paradox are to be commended. And though I am trying to restrict my self at this time to talking strictly of Kirillov's ideas and death, I must wander back to the source of these idea-demons, Stavrogin. For it is he, according to Shatov, that poured "poison into the heart of this unfortunate man, this maniac, Kirillov." Stavrogin "drove his reason to frenzy." Because there are only two suicides within Demons, both Stavrogin and Kirillov's, it is important to consider them comparatively. Is it Stavrogin who is this "new man?" Or is the new man, he who does not care about life or death and thus chooses not to live, even possible? The choice of this "new man" would have to exist prior to existence, whereas God asks of the unborn: You, this is the world filled with stuff, do you care? And if this person cares, they go into the world, and if it were a wrong decision perhaps they would choose death—but it would be in preference that they made that decision, not a lack of caring, a state of nihilism. To truly not care, the choice must be given before birth. But if we take Kirillov's conjectures as a possible outcome, and my scenario also as true, then if Kirillov were to become God, it would be he asking the unborn whether they want to confront the world or not.

Philosophical questioning can be considered as existing "outside space and time"—like a conception of Gods and demons, perhaps even confirming Kirillov's suggestion of becoming the God-man through suicide, extending to Stavrogin's own suicide, and Shatov's death all as a predetermined forward trajectory toward time immaterial: immortality. Shatov holds Nikolai Vsevoolodovich accountable for things he said, taught in the past. Shatov's "examination will end forever and (Stavrogin) will never be reminded of it" (italics added). It will never end because these three characters are already dead in non-linear universe, and somehow they know it already. I'm overreaching here, though, losing track of what specifically I've set out to speak of. But if indeed this questioning is outside of space and time, I have already presented all of my arguments, stretched out to infinity and back again. However, the process of this writing is linear, and I must realign myself to the linear-reality of the reader.

Shatov's argument at first appears mildly distanced from that of Kirillov's, and yet it is sourced from the youthful convictions of Stavrogin, thus sharing a common point of origin. Shatov raises the concept of a nation up to God. In his evaluation of the whole of human history he notes that "not one nation has ever set itself up on the principles of science and reason" in totality. In Russia, on the eve of a socialist revolution, an "atheistic order... intends to set itself up on the principles of science and reason exclusively." He believes it thus ceases to be a nation. For "nations are formed and moved by another ruling a dominating force, whose origin is unknown and inexplicable. This force is the force of the unquenchable desire to get to the end, while at the same time denying the end. It is the force of a ceaseless and tireless confirmation of its own being and a denial of death." Notice the similarities here to Kirillov's personal argument, here presented as belonging to the nation. The microuniverse is in parallel with the macro. As above, so below. "The aim of all movements of nations, of every nation and in every period of its existence, is solely the seeking for God, its own God, entirely its own, and faith in him as the only true one. God is the synthetic person of the whole nation, taken from its beginning and to its end."

Shatov has this vision of the nation-state-god-head, and believes in it as an ideal as well as a truth. But a conflict inside of him complicates the issues, that being that he "will believe in God." He does not yet quite. He believes in "Russia" and "her Orthodoxy" and if through his philosophical conjecturing he equates the two, then in turn he will believe in God, for his conversation is outside time and space and he the future is the present even so. Within a more material timeframe, Shatov knows that he is "a man without talent" and can only give his "blood and nothing more, like any other man without talent." He is willing to die for his country, his beliefs, and his impending belief in God. It is unfortunate then that he must die in the name of a cause he does not agree with, murdered by the atheism he struggles to avoid.

I have always been fascinated with the concept of waveforms. Sound, tides, light—they all move in waves, at different frequencies, different vibrations. I am an over-extender of ideas, this I admit, but sometimes I find it so productive to think of ideas, people, characters, and thoughts as waveforms. When one adds to waves together, they can cancel out each other, or additively become one single wave. Kirillov's notion of suicide as a means to become God when merged with Shatov's argument for the equation of nationhood and godliness represents the whole arc of "the goal to everything" in Demons. For if we look at the acts of these young rebels, these revolutionaries and what they actually want to do with Russia we see the blending of both Shatov and Kirillov's arguments: By metaphorically forcing Russia to "commit suicide," it can become the one true God. But the fact that these socialists are by definition atheists, the waveform becomes mutated and only ruin remains. In actuality, all of this idle (yet fervent) philosophizing equates to nothing. There is no salvation. There is no God-man at the end of the tunnel, there is only death, blood, and sadness—misunderstanding and a lack of faith that leads to ruin. In the end, even Stavrogin cannot live with himself, without love or God. And all of Pyotor Stepanovich's scheming for the destruction of Russia is idle, benign. There is nowhere to go from here. This moment lasts forever, regardless of the passage of history or the passing of lives. It is all toil.

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