Sunday, 15 May 2022

World In Upheaval (A Poem)

Here’s a little poem that contains a rather pessimistic view of human nature. When science fiction films and books present a post-apocalyptic vision of the future, often simplistic causes are given such as humanity having messed with nature or technology managing to take over. Perhaps the likely cause of civilization's possible downfall might wind up being more complicated with various factors combining into a perfect storm. Perhaps it might be even more subtle than that, or it might even come upon us in a totally unexpected way. Whatever the case, I’ll bet our demise will be inextricably mixed with something that is faulty within us as a species. As a result, the law of the survival of the fittest may very well come into play. We may well pray that the next 'invasion' is not from something other than a virus which we at least have a hope of doing something about. Also, God help the universe should our species spread to other worlds like some kind of a virus!




World In Upheaval

So what was learned from the recent invasion
Of alien viruses into our bodies and lives?
Why, we learned to live with the intrusion
And keep tally of who lives and who dies.

“Seventeen thousand cases, today’s tally revised,
With four hundred and ninety five hospitalized,
Seven on ventilators, while eighteen have died.”
None “sadly” though for those who haven’t survived.

So, off we go in search of far-off climes,
To bathe in pools of complacent smugness,
While the death-toll tally stealthily climbs,
For the once “regrettably” dead nameless.

Just to prove that recent events were but a fluke,
Off we march to kill our neighbors and rule their lands
While fingering worry beads strung with nukes,
Set for the command to create new wastelands.

“Two thousand soldiers were reported killed today,
With six million deaths world-wide from Covid to date.”
Numbers without body bags or truth to display
The shame we should feel for an evil human trait.

See the thread-bare bear wake from hibernation,
And lash out with ‘Sputnik’ overconfidence!
A mangy beast suffering from a nasty affliction;
Born of delusion and powered by incompetence.

Watch as a dragon stirs, set to self-immolate,
Smoldering within from embers of anger and hate
As mere mortals rise to reject its right to regulate
With power to command, control and eradicate.

Behold an exhausted and spent eagle with wings clipped;
An on-looker with mythical memories of past greatness.
Grounded by impotence, it can only offer wordy prescript
To a global menagerie about to plunge into madness.

A madness that created a world of plenty and more,
In which the means of life can no longer be obtained,
But where virtual Edens can be lived forevermore,
As Techno-priests have long preached and ordained.

And what of our supreme God of the Economy?
A milestone million lives have by one nation
Been sacrificed on the altar of its ideology
With many a pious prayer and alt-truth incantation.

We try to scale the heights of stocks and shares
And seek shelter behind the walls of crypto currency,
Flimsy edifices when bulls are supplanted by bears.
Quick; buy, sell, produce and consume with urgency!

A madness that can fill all the lakes of Europe with tears
Of sorrow for crimes committed against humanity,
While leaving arid wastelands filled with despair and fears,
In the Middle east and Africa: victims of modern sophistry.

The magma chamber of madness rises ever higher
Until the pressure becomes too great to restrain.
A new Tambora’s bellow of rage casts up ash and fire
Into the sky while from above lava bombs of hate rain.

The pressure builds as the dome of freedom and liberty
Is shattered by the blows dealt by the Woke-ocracy,
Unleashing pyroclastic flows of suffocating toxicity,
While captivity can be mandated in a land of democracy.

It has only just begun for the Indian baking and broiling;
The American whose life just went up in flames;
The African with withered crops or maybe drowning,
And countless others whom the tempest claims.

So what was learned from the recent invasion
Of alien viruses into our bodies and lives?
An opportunity for human-kind’s introspection?
Or false optimism derived from telling ourselves lies?

Precisely this: nothing more than has always been,
Is and always will be – our gift to the Universe.
A viral infection for which there is no vaccine:
Human lunacy that will forever continue to disperse.


©Chris Christopoulos 2022



Next Post: 12 To The Moon (1960)

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Queen of Blood (1966)


A rather cheap hybrid sci-fi / horror film with capable performances, strikingly eerie and vibrant visuals and haunting atmosphere.


Directed by Curtis Harrington
Screenplay by Curtis Harrington
Based on story “A Dream Come True” by Mikhail Karyukov, Otar Koberidze
Produced by George Edwards, Samuel Z. Arkoff
Cinematography: Vilis Lapenieks
Edited by Leo H. Shreve
Music by Leonard Moran
Production company: Cinema West Productions
Distributed by American International Pictures
Running time: 81 minutes
Budget: $65,000
Box office: $17.3 million (as at 1 Oct 1966)

Cast


John Saxon as Allan Brenner
Basil Rathbone as Dr. Farraday
Judi Meredith as Laura James
Dennis Hopper as Paul Grant
Florence Marly as Alien Queen
Robert Boon as Anders Brockman
Don Eitner as Tony Barrata
Forrest J. Ackerman as Farraday's aide


Trailer


An alien species from another planet signals Earth to make formal contact with humanity.

The alien spaceship crashes on Mars.

A distress transmission is sent to Earth.

Earth dispatches a ship to attempt a rescue.

On Mars, the alien spacecraft is located.

Only a single dead alien humanoid is found aboard the ship.

An alien rescue shuttle had left Mars but crashed on the moon, Phobos.

A green-skinned alien female is found alive aboard the wrecked shuttle.

For the rescue mission’s crew, their troubles are only just about to begin!


(Read on for more.....)

Friday, 1 April 2022

Village of the Damned (1960)



A sinister horror picture with superb believable performances, an excellent mix of horror and science fiction genres as well as taut and suspenseful direction from Wolf Rilla. 


Directed by Wolf Rilla
Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, Wolf Rilla, Ronald Kinnoch
Based on “The Midwich Cuckoos” 1957 novel by John Wyndham
Produced by Ronald Kinnoch
Cinematography: Geoffrey Faithfull
Edited by Gordon Hales
Music by Ron Goodwin
Production company Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Distributed by Loew's
Running time: 77-78 minutes
Budget: $320,000
Box office: $2,175,000


Cast


George Sanders as Gordon Zellaby
Barbara Shelley as Anthea Zellaby
Martin Stephens as David Zellaby
Michael Gwynn as Alan Bernard
Laurence Naismith as Doctor Willers
Richard Warner as Mr. Harrington
Jenny Laird as Mrs. Harrington
Sarah Long as Evelyn Harrington
Thomas Heathcote as James Pawle
Charlotte Mitchell as Janet Pawle
Denis Gilmore as Keith Harrington
Pamela Buck as Milly Hughes
Rosamund Greenwood as Miss Ogle
Susan Richards as Mrs. Plumpton
Bernard Archard as Vicar
Peter Vaughan as P.C. Gobby
John Phillips as General Leighton
Richard Vernon as Sir Edgar Hargraves
John Stuart as Professor Smith
Keith Pyott as Dr. Carlisle

Trailer




BBC “History's Mysteries – Fact & Fiction” TV Program

Good evening, I’m your host Denis Vaughan. In tonight’s episode we’ll be examining the so-called “Midwich Time-out Incident” that reportedly occurred back in 1960 when it is said that the inhabitants of the British village of Midwich suddenly and inexplicably fell unconscious one day for several hours. Anyone entering the village also apparently succumbed to the same malady.

It is only recently that we have been able to piece together the events surrounding this inexplicable incident through numerous Freedom of Information requests. Much information has been denied to us and a great deal of the documentation (official government, scientific, military and medical sources, along with minutes from various meetings) is in some instances heavily redacted.

Surprisingly, but probably largely as a consequence of the application of the Official Secrets Act, no-one from the village in all the intervening time has come forward to give an open and public account of what transpired all those decades ago. That is apart from one individual now well into his seventies who we’ll refer back to later on. It is as if a cordon of silence has surrounded and encased Midwich and that as far as the residents of the village past and present are concerned, it is none of the outside world’s business what took place there.

To begin with though, we do know that the military established a cordon around Midwich. This was then followed by the establishment of a five-mile exclusion zone around the village for all aircraft. After a few hours, the villagers suddenly regained consciousness, and appeared to be unaffected. Or so it was believed…..

What followed these initial events with the passage of time will have the quality of a work of pure science fiction, so much so that many in government, the military and the scientific establishment scoff at the very idea of any such incident as ever having taken place.

We now take you to Midwich village in rural England where our investigative reporter, Barbara Long will try from whatever evidence is available to reconstruct the mysterious events of what has come to be called the “Midwich Time-out Incident.”


Read on for more.....

Friday, 11 March 2022

"Einstein in the Attic" by Dana Dargos and Said Al Bizri – (A review)


A Search for Truth: Adventurous Sci-Fi Novel,
“Einstein in the Attic,”
Making Big Waves on Amazon



In the 19th Century debate raged between those who espoused Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and those who held the traditional view of the church that God created everything as explained in the bible.

Even today there is a clash of views between the adherents of what is called “intelligent design” and those who subscribe to evolutionary theory. The latter relies as proof upon processes such as mutation and natural selection, whereas the former maintains that living organisms must have been created all at once by an intelligent designer. So, what is truth?


How did we (and everything else) come about?
Why are we (and everything else) here?
Why are things the way they are?
What is it all for?
Are we alone?
Is there a god?
If so…..
Why does God permit evil things to happen?

These are but some of the questions many of us may have pondered from time to time in our lives.

As the world jumps every day from one crisis to another, whilst also being in the midst of a chaotic pandemic and a military invasion of Ukraine, a new book “Einstein in the Attic” looks to find answers within the existential struggle between science and faith.


If there is one question that has intrigued mankind for centuries, it is the problem of evil rampant in the world. The question has become even more relevant today with the advancement of scientific technology—bringing up the responsibility of using science to discover an answer to the ancient question.

Niece-uncle author duo, Dana Dargos and Said Al Bizri, have recently released a new sci-fi adventure book that aims to find the answer to that same question through a mind-bending, thought-provoking novel, “Einstein in the Attic.”

Set against the backdrop of the war between science and God, reason and faith, "Einstein in the Attic” is the story of one scientist’s search for truth and meaning when faced with the ultimate question: Is there a God?

Upon first reading the title, you might be forgiven for thinking that you are being set up for something relating to the ideas of science linked to none other than the man who revolutionised our ideas about the nature of space and time. As for the reference to “attic” in the title, you might be thinking about a place where things from one’s life would likely be stored, or perhaps a reference to one’s ‘head’ and the kinds of ideas, beliefs and impressions that may be stored in the mind.


From just the first few chapters I was impressed with the quality of writing, the way in which the characters were established early on, along with their often complicated relationships together with the social and cultural settings in which they lived their lives. It was very easy to picture the characters in my mind as they were skilfully given flesh and blood on the page. The descriptions of the various settings of the story are also very detailed and vividly brought to life for the reader.

From the early chapters the reader could be excused for thinking that the story might turn out to be rather intense and heavy going, particularly as we follow Adam Reemi growing up; enduring war, violence and loss; moving from one culture to another and having to contend with change; facing problems in school and at home; dealing with work and marital relationship problems, along with dragging around emotional baggage and trauma from his past. As you’ll see, since fleeing war-torn Lebanon, Adam Reemi’s faith will indeed be shaken by the hardships he has endured.

It isn’t all that long before you discover the mood and tone shifting in very unexpected ways. The roller-coaster of adventure kicks off when Adam and a colleague, Muntz successfully construct a nano hadron collider. Using this device, together with sound waves (reminiscent of electronic voice phenomenon in parapsychology) Adam has at his disposal unheard-of power. Hey, don’t forget that we have accepted into our collective sci-fi consciousness the notion of flux capacitors, time-travelling DeLoreans and hover boards!


To help him answer the greatest question mankind has ever posed, Adam zaps the best philosophical minds of all time–namely Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Soren Kierkegaard, and Baruch Spinoza–from the past and into his attic. Yes, they may be the greatest minds of human history, but they are human beings with all the eccentricities, annoying habits, character flaws and foibles that human beings possess! This results in some very comical and entertaining episodes involving the revered giants of science and philosophy. Of course, as is often the case, not all goes according to plan and along with further changes of mood and atmosphere, Adam finds himself in a race against time to formulate an answer to the question of intelligent design… or risk losing everything.

I can well see this book appealing very much to young adult readers, as well as to a general reading audience interested in matters of science, theology and the larger questions of life. Einstein In The Attic would may also prove to be a valuable addition to school reading lists in English, science, religious studies and philosophy subject areas. Furthermore, I can see the story being easily adapted into a movie or TV / streaming service series. Be aware though that some of the language is a bit “fruity” but that it is used in context and lends authenticity to the story.

Keep in mind that Einstein In The Attic is a book of ideas but the concepts are presented in an accessible and engaging way for both readers who are familiar with the subject matter as well as the lay reader with little knowledge of the scientific and philosophical references.

The excellent research behind the novel is very much apparent. For me, a case in point is the character Isaac Newton. This genius natural philosopher’s actual private life and character and personality was in fact very ‘interesting’ to say the least and is wonderfully captured in the novel.


In an exclusive interview about their debut book, Dana Dargos and Said Al Bizri shared that Einstein in the Attic is a one-of-a-kind original novel whose main characters delve into valid scientific proofs, arguments, and counterarguments and objectively scrutinize to deduce the existence of a creator.

The scientific proofs and their subsequent scientific advancements have been well-researched, are accurate, and hold high merit and validity. Furthermore, the novel presents them in a simple, yet unpredictable, entertaining, and accessible manner that makes it appealing to the general audience that keeps the reader hooked and eager to read the next page. “The novel is a distinctive intelligent science fiction story because it grapples with big questions through an entertaining pinch of humor, an engaging manner of dialogue, a strong narrative arc, a unique voice and writing style, diversity, and powerful character developments— all while also delving deeper into the world of spirituality.”


Einstein in the Attic was released on Amazon in January 2022. The novel has already received stellar 5-star ratings from its early batch of readers on Amazon.

The book has received rave reviews from readers:


“The authors were so knowledgeable about philosophy, science, and so much more. The story was engaging and flowed very nicely. What an amazing premise: the most renowned philosophers of all brought to present times. Their impressions of the modern era were hilarious and enlightening at the same time. I specifically loved the thoughtful Einstein and the feisty Newton. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.”

In addition to the encouraging reviews on Amazon, the fascinating tale has even caught the eye of an entertainment agent who is currently pitching and promoting the novel to various media companies for a possible film/tv series adaptation.

Along with some readers, I may not agree with some of the propositions that are advanced in the story in favor of “intelligent design” but I would whole-heartedly defend anyone's right to express, debate and argue such a stance. Einstein In The Attic at least challenges us to question long-held and cherished views and stand-points and serves as a warning against blind acceptance of dogma and orthodoxy, especially when it comes to searching for the truth.

I have no hesitation in recommending Einstein In The Attic to anyone interested in having an entertaining read while taking the time to contemplate the ‘larger’ questions of the meaning of life, our place in the scheme of things and whether there is far more to what we think we know.



About the Authors:


Dana Dargos

Dana Dargos is a published Lebanese-American writer born and raised in the Bay Area. From the moment she created adventurous, crayon-scribbled tales in kindergarten, she knew writing would forever be a part of her life. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English Literature. Einstein in the Attic is her debut novel.


Said Al Bizri

Said Al Bizri is a writer, existentialist thinker, and avid researcher with a BA from the American University of Beirut. He works as a business development director in a number of countries. Together, Said and Dana conducted five years of research to ensure plausible and accurate scientific and historical information. Einstein in the Attic is also his debut novel.


For more information and to purchase the book, please visit Amazon.

Website    (Dana Dargos)




Next Post: "Village Of The Damned" (1960)

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Putin - Might Is Not Right!

 



Those who trust that might is right,
Have most assuredly lost sight
Of the fact that the use of force
Is nothing but the fool’s recourse.



Putin -
get the hell out of Ukraine!




Chris Christopoulos

Friday, 18 February 2022

THX 1138 (1971)

A somewhat slow-paced, thought-provoking, atmospheric and artistic ground-breaking dystopian sci-fi film


Directed by George Lucas
Screenplay by George Lucas, Walter Murch
Story by George Lucas
Based on "Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB" by George Lucas
Produced by Lawrence Sturhahn
Cinematography: David Myers, Albert Kihn
Edited by George Lucas
Music by Lalo Schifrin
Production company: American Zoetrope
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Running time: 86 minutes
Budget: $777,777
Box office: $2.4 million


Cast


Robert Duvall as THX 1138
Donald Pleasence as SEN 5241
Maggie McOmie as LUH 3417
Don Pedro Colley as the hologram actor SRT 5752
Ian Wolfe as the old prisoner PTO
Marshall Efron as prisoner TWA
Sid Haig as prisoner NCH
John Pearce as prisoner DWY
James Wheaton as the voice of OMM 0000

A dystopian future in which people are controlled through the use of android police and mandated use of drugs to suppress emotions.

A uniform and homogeneous world that suppresses
individuality and love.

A sterile bleak future where unquestioning conformity is the rule.

THX 1138 is a citizen of that future society living the reality imposed by the State until the time arrives when his perception of that reality begins to change.


Trailer


Read on for more.....

Friday, 21 January 2022

Planet of the Apes (1968)



An imaginative ground breaking sci-fi film with biting cultural commentary

Happy New Year to everyone! I thought that I might begin the year with another Charlton Heston post-apocalypse sci-fi film, The Planet of the Apes (1968), the first of the three films that also features, The Omega Man and Soylent Green.


Trailer


Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
Screenplay by Michael Wilson, Rod Serling
Based on “Planet of the Apes" by Pierre Boulle
Produced by Arthur P. Jacobs
Cinematography: Leon Shamroy
Edited by Hugh S. Fowler
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Production company: APJAC Productions
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Running time: 112 minutes
Budget: $5.8 million[2]
Box office: $33.4 million


Cast

Charlton Heston as George Taylor
Roddy McDowall as Cornelius
Kim Hunter as Zira
Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius
James Whitmore as President of the Assembly
James Daly as Honorious
Linda Harrison as Nova
Robert Gunner as Landon
Lou Wagner as Lucius
Woodrow Parfrey as Maximus
Jeff Burton as Dodge
Buck Kartalian as Julius
Norman Burton as Hunt Leader
Wright King as Dr. Galen
Paul Lambert as Minister
Dianne Stanley as Stewart



Thrust into the year A.D. 3978!
Three astronauts emerge from deep hibernation…
Their vessel crash-lands on a mysterious planet!!
One of the crew has accidentally died in space!
The space craft sinks under the waters of a lake.
The three survivors head off to explore their new home:

With limited rations
&
A hostile arid desert plain,

They trek in search of food, water and evidence of life,
Only to discover that they are not alone,
and that their troubles have only just begun…….


Read on for more......