Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘The Bizarre’

77. Staying youthful is a killer.

May 13, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: History, Movies, The Bizarre 3 Comments →

The Countess is the third film directed by Julie Delpy. It’s the story of Erzsebet Bathory, a powerful countess who becomes obsessed with a younger man. She starts taking measures to preserve her youth and beauty, measures which become more and more extreme. First she starts using the blood of virgins as a skin cream. Eventually her henchmen are kidnapping young maidens and murdering them so she can bathe in their blood.

I told Noel about this bizarre movie, and he recognized the Countess Bathory as one of the inspirations for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

So much bloodshed could’ve been averted if it had occurred to the countess to inject herself with botulism toxin instead. Blood, botulism, placenta, blubber—the beauty business is built on icky stuff.

Today in weird

April 13, 2010 By: jessicazafra Category: Pointless Anecdotes, The Bizarre 5 Comments →

Satan Comes to the Gates of Hell, one of William Blake’s illustrations to Milton’s Paradise Lost

Yesterday I got this text message from Maria Consolata, aka Maricon.

“My taxi driver is sharing his experiences. . .as a Satanist. Converted back to Christianity. He is now reciting the reverse Ten Commandments. Sounds like a tape recorder.”

I asked Maricon to tape the driver’s recitation on his phone, which he did. We will have lunch today so he can give me the details and I can listen to the recording. The full report later.

This is why I resist the urge to chat up the cabbie. Too much information. Inevitably the conversation veers towards politics or religion and you really don’t want to say anything that will cause the cabbie to drive into a lamppost. Any trip is more comfortable if you remain unaware of the fact that at some point in his life the driver worshipped Satan and his favorite song was “Hotel California”.

* * * * *

Listened to the recording: It’s insane! The ex-Satanist does this rapid-fire stream of consciousness monologue for ten minutes. His nickname for Satan is “Taning”—apparently many local Christians don’t want to say the full name for fear of invoking the bad one. The cabbie recounts how his mother prayed for his conversion by walking on her knees in Quiapo Church for nine Fridays in a row. On the ninth Friday he claims that he spontaneously cried, “Gusto ko nang magbago!” (I want to change!) but it was a difficult process—he’d resolve not to go to the devil worship services, and then find himself there. Freaky stuff, will need time to transcribe it.

That’s So Funny I Forgot To Laugh

July 30, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Amok, Art, Movies, The Bizarre 14 Comments →

On my way to UP for the premiere of Kinatay I received a text joke.

‘Carlo Caparas named National Artist for Visual Arts and Film.’

Hahahahaha, I replied.

Then I remembered where I am.

I’m in the Philippines where the bizarre is ordinary and the ordinary is bizarre.

So I checked. It is not a joke. It is the Ultimate WhattheFuck.

All this week I’ve been blue for no particular reason. I thought I was depressed. This news snapped me right out of whatever funk I was in. My non-problems are nothing compared to this Cosmic Absurdity.

So thank you, Malacanang. You have banished my ennui and replaced it with full-blown Insanity.

Art is Shit. Shit is Art. Mediocrity is Excellence. To quote the bomba star Stella Strada’s suicide note, It’s a crazy planets!


Our friend Noel Orosa is returning to Manila Friday after a year in KL. Hey Noel, Carlo Caparas is a National Artist now. Welcome home, bitch.

Satan Claus

December 24, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Cosmic Things, The Bizarre 1 Comment →

Greeting card by Charles Platt, 1994 (found on Boing Boing)

Here’s a tract by a theologian who argues that Santa IS Satan. And it’s not just dyslexia!

The Monster

July 09, 2008 By: jessicazafra Category: Monsters, Places, The Bizarre 3 Comments →

Michelangelo’s tomb, Firenze, originally uploaded by Koosama.

“Between 1974 and 1985, seven couples—fourteen people in all—were murdered while making love in parked cars in the hills of Florence. The case was never solved, and it has become one of the longest and most expensive criminal investigations in Italian history. More than 100,000 men have been investigated and more than a dozen arrested, and scores of lives have been ruined by rumor and false accusations. There have been suicides, exhumations, poisonings, body parts sent by post, séances in graveyards, lawsuits, and prosecutorial vendettas. The investigation has been like a malignancy, spreading backward in time and outward in space, metastasizing to different cities and swelling into new investigations, with new judges, police, and prosecutors, more suspects, more arrests, and many more lives ruined. It was an extraordinary story, and I would—to my sorrow—come to share Spezi’s obsession with it.”

A writer’s obsession with a serial killer leads to his being charged with obstruction of justice, planting evidence, and complicity in the killings. The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston in The Atlantic.


Invitations and warrants

November 08, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Movies, The Bizarre 3 Comments →

You and your pets are invited to the grand launch of Pupil’s second album Wildlife tomorrow, November 9, from 8pm onwards at Eastwood City Central Plaza. You’re encouraged to wear red, black, and white; pet outfits optional. The album is now in stores.

Watch James Gray’s terrific new film We Own The Night (motto of the New York Police Department) starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, and Robert Duvall, and discuss: Why do most of today’s good movies look like they were made thirty years ago? Did American cinema peak in the 1970s?

In totally unrelated news, a priest has been arrested for stalking and harassing Conan O’Brien, the talk show host and father of my eldest cat, Koosi O’Brien. Apparently the priest had been following Conan’s career since they were at Harvard. In his letters he made reference to the Virginia Tech shooter and to the gangster Frank Costello, who was shot in the Manhattan building where Conan lives. The priest is said to have been turned on to religion by Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. Which tells us that maybe something’s not quite right there. But I would understand people who get the calling after seeing La Strada.