Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Monsters’

Reading year 2014: Tabi Po is a weird and beautiful trip

May 05, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Monsters No Comments →

tabi po
Thanks to Noel Pascual for sending us a copy. Tabi Po, Issue # 1 is available at National Bookstores.

Tabi Po messes with your head. It’s real horror, set in a cruel world that offers neither comfort nor explanation. Here, the human condition is dread. The masterstroke: it is inspired by the novels of Jose Rizal. In 19th century Philippines, a young man, awakens from a deep sleep with no memory of who or what he is, only a bottomless craving for human flesh. He is an aswang, our local ghoul that transforms itself into a black dog and eats people. When he devours his prey, his consciousness merges with the cosmos. His name is Elias, and he makes his way to the town of San Diego…It’s a weird and beautiful trip.


Read our column, coming up at

Surrender, killers, Chloe Sevigny is on the case

March 11, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Monsters, Television No Comments →

There are probably too many serial killer crime shows on television. They all have protagonists who possess a special understanding of the serial killer mind, as if they went through high school illustrating that quote from Nietzsche on the backs of their binders (“When you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you”), then majored in Monster Psych in college. The current shows range from excellent (The Fall, True Detective), to amazing-looking (Hannibal), to stupid (The Following). Someday soon we will get sick of all these shows, but for now we are watching the new A&E series Those Who Kill.

From the title we may glean that it is not about girls looking for love in the big city. Those Who Kill is the American version of the Danish crime series based on the novels of Elsebeth Egholm—the Scandinavians seem to own the bleak existential crime genre. Our primary reason for watching Those Who Kill: Chloe Sevigny. We love her. Cast her as a relentless police detective with personal issues, and you know she will be a fabulous relentless police detective with personal issues.

In Those Who Kill, Chloe plays homicide detective Catherine Jensen, who slouches as if Juergen Teller were in the immediate vicinity. In the first episode, she correctly deduces that a serial killer is at work, and she asks forensic psychologist Thomas Schaeffer for advice on how to catch him. In an interesting bit of casting, Schaeffer is played by James D’Arcy, who was Psycho star Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock. Schaeffer has been at odds with the police department because of his unorthodox methods, etc, etc, you’ve seen this before. What sets it apart from the dozens of shows in its category are the sparky interplay between Jensen and Schaeffer, and the glimpses into Jensen’s troubled childhood, which may account for her fascination with monsters. Put it this way: people do not slice themselves for laughs. In the second episode we expect to meet Jensen’s stepfather (Bruce Davison), who may hold the key to the disappearance of her brother at age 16.

After the thrilling first episode, the challenge is to find villains who are freakier than Chloe, who can scare you just by removing all expression from her face. We’re such fans of Chloe, we even love fake Chloe.

Those Who Kill airs every Thursday at 9pm on JackCity—channel 31 on free TV, 72 on SkyCable , 60 on Destiny, 40 on Cable Link, and 22 on Cignal.

Every movie we see #7: Me, Frankenstein

January 24, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Monsters, Movies, Television 2 Comments →

Movie #5 was Breakfast at Tiffany’s, our umpteenth viewing. Movie #6 was Take the Money and Run, also our umpteenth viewing.

This review was inspired by Monsterpiece Theatre’s stunning production of Me, Claudius.

* * * * *

Me, Cookie Monstress, watch Me, Frankenstein for one reason: Aaron Eckhart. Harrum-nom-nom-nom. Aaron Eckhart, best known for Two-Face, brilliant at playing super-articulate assholes (In the Company of Men, Thank You For Smoking) and he have granite-y handsomeness me love. Aaron look like Nikolaj Coster Waldau, me think they twins. Me still mad he not punch anyone in the face in stupid White House attack movie Olympus Has Fallen. Why? Why?

No, wait. Me have other reason for watching Me, Frankenstein. We in Church of Whedon love demon-slaying and angels vs demons stuff like the one with Viggo Mortensen as Lucifer. Cookie! Me not watch Underworld movies but the makers of those bake this one, too. Instead of vampires fighting werewolves, gargoyles fighting demons. Original!

Aaron Eckhart play Frankenstein’s creature in 21st century. For someone 195 years old and stitched together from parts of eight corpses, him hot! Mmmm, six-pack. He not eat cookies, me think. In case you finicky, creature’s dad is Frankenstein so that his name, too. Frankenstein monster delicious as long as no smell of putrefaction. Me hate that.

Demons in suits led by Bill Nighy out to get him so they can figure out reanimation technology. Why they need that, demons have no powers? Gargoyles led by Eowyn of Rohan try to stop them. Yes, scary statues in cathedrals are really forces of good. Gargoyle general is son of Bruce Willis in crap Die Hard in Russia. Mmmm, cookie! Demons can be destroyed with sacred objects like swords with gargoyle sigil or holy water.

Me ask: Why not bombard demons with holy water cannon? Oh right, this dumb movie. But fun! in bananas way. Mmm, bananas. Me like bananas but me like cookies more. There should be Aaron Eckhart cookies and Nikolaj Coster Waldau cookies.

Me recommend Me, Frankenstein if you like Aaron Eckhart, Nikolaj Coster Waldau, demon-slaying and popcorn with extra butter. And cookies. Sesame Street, please don’t sue me. Mary Shelley, maybe you should sue Me, Frankenstein but creature in public domain. Oh right, it’s Frahnkensteen!

You think it’s easy to achieve this look?

April 15, 2013 By: jessicazafra Category: Monsters, Movies 4 Comments →

It takes two hours in the make-up chair with the brilliant prosthetics artist Cheryl Cabanos and her team administering pee-smelling latex and shreds of toilet paper to your face.

We play a zombie in Ang Huling Henya (The Last Genius), written and directed by Marlon Rivera. Specifically, ourself as a zombie. Yes, years of bugging our friends to give us cameos in their movies has paid off at last! Marlon warned us that a zombie’s life is hard: you get more make-up on than a drag queen, and sticky with sugar syrup blood. That’s actually what sold us on the part.

The make-up would’ve taken another three hours, but Marlon explained that we were only a 6-hour-old zombie and not yet in total disintegration. Also we could keep our glasses on.

So two hours to apply the prosthetics and just five minutes to rip it off. As a bonus, your zits and blackheads come off with the latex, so it’s like a facial.

Ang Huling Henya opens in late May.

What to wear to your business meeting

July 02, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Clothing, Monsters No Comments →

Half the year is over (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa) but you still have time to show your colleagues, clients and competitors a sight they won’t forget.

Beautiful, hideous science-fiction and horror masks knitted by Tracy Widdess. via io9.

This one says, “We’re not parting with our network for less than Php200 Billion.”

And this one gives you credibility when you cry, “Of course it’s a super-duper-mega-monster-blockbuster-bonanza! Don’t listen to the people who actually saw it!”

Can’t argue with that face.

Meanwhile, in art crime news, read the curious case of the Spongebob artist, three ninjas and a gallery owner.

The meanest person we’ve ever heard of

July 21, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Food, Monsters 5 Comments →

Consolata and I were talking about meanness. “I was much meaner when I was younger,” said Consolata.

“You mean before Frodo threw the Ring into the fire??” I asked.

How do you know Sauron is a bitch? Because he looks like a flaming vagina.

Consolata mentioned the time that he (Yes he is a he) had an assistant who was a college graduate but had no idea what percentages were. “One-fourth is what percent?” he asked, and the assistant wrote “14%”. “I want you to go to each of your teachers in elementary school, high school and college and apologize,” Consolata declared. “Tell them you wasted their time.”

But Consolata’s meanness—more crankiness really—was provoked. We recalled The Meanest Person We’ve Ever Heard Of. This man noticed that in his garden a bird had built a nest in a tree. The bird had laid three eggs in the nest and was incubating them. One day when the bird flew off in search of food, the man took the three eggs and hard-boiled them. Not to eat, which might have made sense. No, he put the hard-boiled eggs back in the nest. To see if the bird would continue incubating them.