Clyve Barker: Cenobytes
The man from U.N.C.L.E.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Starting with the scene of Henry Cavil’s character breaking into the safe. Guy Richie directed it. The next scene is the boat chase scene, with the protagonist getting thrown from the boat, swimming to the town, he opens a truck, finds the keys, and… there’s a bottle in the passenger seat, and a while picnic underneath it, a sandwich, grapes. He tucks the napkin in his collar, enjoying the meal, watching the boats, and the gunfire, and the Russian agent he had reluctantly been working together with’s boat catching on fire, and then blowing up. He found a radio channel with some classical tunes.
Upon crashing the truck into a boat, the protagonist awaits the cabin to fully submerge in the water before calmly hand-cranking the window open, waiting for the cabin to fill entirely, and then swimming out, scooping up the Russian’s neutralized body floating right in his view—perhaps lit up by the search lights.
Cut back to the two agents meeting each other at the restaurant. The Stake is like this agent, dresses like him, can fly off the handle like him, and they kind of even resemble Bullseye from Netflix’s Daredevil Season 3, resembling each other and perhaps touching on a kind of archetype.
The man from U.N.C.L.E. is another kind of effective agent, for this sort of occupation, more of a sigma male, the Old Man, or a person like Dr. Van Hellsing… Harry Dresden, or Peter Vankman. Those James Bond types, the Sherlock Holmes, the Shadow, or Batman—[the Stakes] is the wild card: the 006, the Russian, the Robin, boy-wonder.
There’s a cold-bloodedness, an icy calculation, but also a goodness. It is directed, the violence inside, and the insult—the stuff about the “shame”—the man from U.N.C.L.E. had crossed his lines, and the Russian wondered if he had any buttons of his own.
He really hated this American.
The admiration made him hate him more, but they needed to work together: and if he was one thing, it was a consummate professional.
Was a Roman Empress from 27 BC to AD 14.
She was the famous wife of the Emperor Augustus Caesar, and was the daughter of Roman Senator Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus. She was first married around 43 BC, and had two sons: Tiberius and Drusus.
In 38 BC she divorced and married the political leader Octavian. In the role of empress of Rome, she served as an influential confidant of her husband and was rumored to have been responsible for the deaths of a number of Augustus’ relatives, including his grandson Agrippa Postumus.
After Augustus died in AD 14, Tiberius became emperor. Livia continued to exert political influence as the mother of the emperor. She died in AD 29. She was the grandmother of the emperor Claudius, great-grandmother of the emperor Caligula, and the great-great-grandmother of the emperor Nero.
In AD 42, Livia was deified by Claudius, who acknowledged her title of ‘Augusta.’
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
He was good at everything. He was even good at being the American President. His axe wielding skills are remarkable, and first it was the man from U.N.C.L.E. for [the Stakes], and now it was this guy. He lead America through the Civil War, but what people don’t know about him is he’s one of the legendary slayers in the underworld. Anyways, I heard he shut down the newspapers of his political opponents—and [the Stakes] saw him, overall, as another mirage, another reputation that sadly lacked the substance. Another disappointment, as far as his Presidency went, or the image he had of the man as a kid, never meet your heroes—but this was added on: he was better than ME at MY job.
On the train, I wonder why I’m even needed to come along, as honest Abe did all the work; he even took out a werewolf.
Clive Barker: The Cenobytes
‘Hellraiser’ came out in 1987, and the horror franchise centers around the Cenobites, who are an order of former-humans turned-monsters, who harvest human souls to torture in their sadistic experiments.
The overall plot of the franchise focuses on a puzzle box that opens a gateway to the Hell-like realm of the Cenobite lifeforms called the Lament Configuration. Barker, who created the franchise and served as writer/director of the original film, stated that he signed away the story and character rights to the production company prior to the release of the first film, not realizing the critical and financial success it would be.
Morpheus and Mr. Wednesday: A fantasy novel from 2001, written by Neil Gaiman, writer of ‘The Sandman,’ is a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of ancient and modern mythology. This work would be followed by ‘Anansi Boys,’ and a famous movie, ‘Coraline,’ would also be made adapted from Gaiman’s works. Currently, there is a Netflix series available for view on ‘The Sandman.’
Plot: Shadow is an ex-convict who is released from prison three days early when his wife Laura is killed in a car accident. Shadow is devastated by her death, and is distraught to learn that she died alongside his best friend Robbie, with whom she had been having an affair. He takes a job as a bodyguard for a mysterious con man, Mr. Wednesday, and travels with him across the United States, visiting Wednesday’s acquaintances. Shadow meets a leprechaun named Mad Sweeney, who gives Shadow a magical gold coin after Shadow beats him in a fight. Shadow later tosses the coin into his wife’s grave at her funeral.
Shadow meets Czernobog and the Zorya Sisters. One of the sisters gives Shadow a silver coin, coming from the moon, that will protect him. Shadow learns that Wednesday is an incarnation of Odin, the all-father and that he is recruiting American manifestations of the Old Gods, whose powers have waned as their believers have decreased in number, to participate in a battle against the New American Gods – manifestations of modern life and technology, such as the Internet, media, and modern means of transport.
The New Gods abduct Shadow (utilizing a group of shadowy Men in Black called Spooks, led by the mysterious Mr. World), but Laura rescues him, killing several Spooks in the process. Wednesday hides Shadow, first with Mr. Ibis (Thoth), and Mr. Jacquel (Anubis), who run a funeral parlor in Cairo, Illinois.
On the way, Shadow picks up the hitchhiker Samantha Black Crow and drops her off at her house. Once in Lakeside, Shadow hides under the alias “Mike Ainsel” and spends time with several Lakeside residents, including the elderly Hinzelmann, police chief Chad Mulligan and local reporter Marguerite Olsen. Hinzelmann explains the Lakeside tradition to take a car onto the ice and bet on when it will fall through. Wednesday periodically takes Shadow on jobs to meet other gods. They are pursued all the while by the Spooks, particularly Mr. Town, who blames Shadow for the death of his friends. When a teenager in the town goes missing, Shadow helps the other residents search for her, but she isn’t found. Shadow learns from another teenager in the town that children and teenagers often go missing from Lakeside. Shadow runs into Sam and Robbie’s widow out of coincidence. He is shortly arrested by Chad for breaking his parole, but is able to escape with help from Czernobog and Mr. Nancy.
The New Gods seek to parley with Wednesday, but murder him at the meeting. This act is witnessed by and galvanizes the Old Gods, and they rally to face their enemies in battle at Rock City. While retrieving Wednesday’s body, Shadow is surprised to discover his old prison cellmate and mentor, Low Key Lyesmith, is working as a driver for the New Gods. Shadow is bound by his contract with Wednesday to hold his vigil by re-enacting Odin’s time hanging from a “World Tree” while pierced by a spear for nine days. During these nine days, he is visited by Horus, who has become mad from living too long as a hawk. Shadow dies and visits the land of the dead, where he is judged by Anubis. Shadow learns that he is Wednesday’s (Odin’s) son, conceived as part of the deity’s plans.
The film [‘Hellraiser’] marked Barker’s directorial debut. Its plot involves a mystical puzzle box, that summons the Cenobites, a group of extra-dimensional, sadomasochistic beings who cannot differentiate between pain and pleasure.
Kirsty, Larry’s teenage daughter, sees Julia bringing a man to the house and follows her to the attic, where she finds Frank. She evades Frank and escapes with the puzzle box, collapsing shortly after. Awakening in a hospital, Kirsty solves the box out of curiosity, and unknowningly summons the Cenobites and a monster called the Engineer, which she narrowly escapes from. The Cenobites’ leader (referred to by fans as “Pinhead”) explains that although they have been perceived as both angels and demons, they are simply “explorers” from another dimension seeking carnal experiences, and they can no longer differentiate between pain and pleasure. When they attempt to force Kirsty to return to their realm with them, she informs Pinhead that Frank has escaped them. The Cenobites agree to spare Kirsty and re-capture Frank instead, with the condition that Frank must confess to escaping them.
FX Presents: ‘The Strain’ aired in 2014 and ran until 2017. Created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan. Del Toro directed the pilot episode, “Night Zero,” When JFK ground control loses all contact with an inbound jet after it lands, the CDC Canary team, headed by Dr. Ephraim “Eph” Goodweather, is called to investigate. Goodweather and Dr. Nora Martinez discover all the plane passengers are seemingly dead. They also discover strange parasitic worms aboard the plane and fear an Ebola-like plague could break out. Four people are unexpectedly found alive, including the pilot, Doyle Redfern, though none know what happened. At JFK, Goodweather is approached by Abraham Setrakian, an elderly Harlem pawnbroker. He insists the victims’ bodies must be destroyed and the elaborately carved, coffin-like cabinet that was removed from the plane’s hold not leave the airport.
Afterward, Kirsty throws the puzzle box onto a burning pyre. A vagrant who has been stalking Kirsty walks into the fire and retrieves the box before transforming into a winged skeleton-like creature and flying away. The box ends up with the same merchant who sold it to Frank.
… where he offers it to another customer.
“What’s your pleasure?”
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