Monday, January 30, 2012
Evidence is still trickling in from the Third Annual Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema. In addition to the sighting inside the theater (see the January 17th post) there was what can only be described as a photo op on the Red Carpet earlier that day. One of the participants in the Festival, Director Ben Cooper, tracked down a member of our staff inquiring about the possibilities of an encounter between an Idyll-Beast and the Creature featured in his offering, "Primitive."
Soon after the call, "Idy" bounded out of the forest, across North Circle (looking both ways before crossing) and onto the Red Carpet. Ben did his best to corral the animal over to the area where a model of his creature was on display, but not before the Beast was thronged by admirers. A few accommodating visitors did allow themselves be photographed with the model, but all eyes, and cameras, were on the Beast. Posing with the ladies, holding the babies, exchanging grooming tips with the gentlemen, working the crowd. During a pause in the hub-bub, Cooper quipped to the Beast "You're really popular up here!"
"We don't get many celebrities in this town," was the Animal's reply.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
This morning I was awoken by a curious scratching sound and a thump on the front porch. It was a little early for the UPS man, but I went downstairs and opened the door. I could have sworn I saw a furry figure vanish into the forest, and when I looked at my feet, I saw a manuscript tied up with string on the door mat. I took it inside and began reading. It turned out to be a “treatment” and screenplay for a very unusual psychological horror story.
In keeping with our practice of never abusing the attention of our gentle readers, I here reproduce the treatment alone. I think it conveys an accurate impression of the script.
THE BEAST WHO FELL TO EARTH
Copyright 2012, The Idyll-Beast Research Center. All rights reserved
Opening shots, forested mountain. Birds sing, a creek chatters, squirrels gossip, a coyote saunters warily. A furry biped is carrying a handful of berries and tubers. He approaches a Heidi Beast and a Cub, both intent upon the grinding of acorns. Scenes of domestic tranquility.
Night in the forest. The Beast family sleeps peacefully.
As the Beast sleeps he dreams…
A human face at the mirror, shaving. The man (the Hunter) walks downstairs past mounted antlers and animal heads. He takes a few bites of his breakfast and throws the rest down a noisy garbage disposal. He gets into a truck, starts up its smoke belching engine, and heads for the mountains.
We see the man taking a huge rifle out of its bag and heading up a trail. Soon shots echo through the valley and creatures are falling. The hunter beheads their lifeless bodies and leaves the good parts there to rot.
The Idyll-Beast wakes up in a cold sweat, his pulse racing. He jumps up and realizes it was only a dream…
But then while eating breakfast he hears a rifle shot… or was it only thunder?
The next night he dreams again. He again looks a strange face in the mirror as it emerges from shaving cream. This man (the Truck Driver) goes downstairs and kicks his dog. He treats his mate little better, and twists the ear of his child. He gets into a smoke-belching truck and heads onto the freeway, cursing the other drivers and honking his horn.
The Beast again wakes with a start. His mate is now concerned, and they attempt to comfort one another. At lunch he hears what sounds like the air horn of the truck in his dream. Or was it a bird?
The dreams continue: a doctor performing cruel experiments on monkeys, a farmer keeping pigs on a factory farm, a politician accepting bribes from the owner of a meat-packing consortium, a child who sets ants on fire with a magnifying glass, pulls his cat’s tail and pins butterflies to cards.
Increasingly agitated the Beast seeks solitude in a strange part of the forest., journeying further than he ever has before. He sits down to rest. Suddenly he feels a prick in his shoulder and sees a little colored dart sticking out of his furry flesh. He becomes dizzy and falls to the forest floor. Before he loses consciousness he sees emerging from behind a tree…. The Hunter!
When he regains consciousness he is bound and being carried from the Hunter’s truck to another larger vehicle. At the wheel… the Truck Driver!
They take him to a laboratory where the doctor removes his mask to reveal… the frightened face of …the Experimenter…
Finally the Beast ends up in a cage at a circus side show. A curtain rises and the other monsters from his dreams are crowded around, gawking with open mouths and looks of fear…
False ending. Fade to black.
Then we see the Hunter waking from a dream, shaking and screaming, sweat soaking his night shirt.
The Truck Driver also wakes in the cab of his truck, and notices he has wet his pants.
The Experimenter leaps from his bed, clutching his heart, eyes popping in horror. One after another the monsters waken in fear and trembling as the credits roll.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
At first seating himself (with a large bucket of "delicious" popcorn) at the rear of the theater, he soon noticed Chamber Mascot Steve Moulton and joined him.
In an interview Steve stated:
The Beast offered me some of his popcorn, but when I tried it I got a mouthful of fur. Those paws of his get fur in everything. The Beast seemed really interested in a film that he had heard was "about eating," but seemed a little disappointed by the film's "stereotypical depiction of fur-covered Americans." After about a half hour he stopped eating his popcorn and never finished. I think he stayed until the end just to be polite. When the lights came up I wasn't sure what to expect. He hemmed and hawed a little bit, complimented the acting and direction, the cinematography and especially the music. "Very professional." Before he left he said something about "just for once they should make a film about an animal that dreams he is a human and does terrible things. That would be scary."