blogs tagged "scifi"

The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31 (tabletop)

Tue Mar 10 2020 22:50:55 GMT-0700 (Pacific Daylight Time)

tags: carpenter thing thething horror scifi game tabletop

We've played "The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31" a few times in the last few months...not so much inspired by the global pandemic, but likely more inspired by our mutual love for John Carpenter's "The Thing".


It's fun, and also complicated/many-faceted...and we're still learning the ropes as far as mechanics and strategy. The table talk (social deduction) aspect was played up this time, but one first-time player (human) with a statistically poor deck made winning the game difficult. Maybe the humans can beat THE THING, but so far we haven't figured it out.

Definitely recommend trying it out!

Phase IV (1974)

Mon Dec 23 2019 22:52:54 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

tags: film movie scifi ants

The other night I had been in and out of consciousness, fighting some unknown food poisoning or 24-hour-bug, and passing the waking time with some restful movie binging. Since it's the holiday season, I first watched some Die Hard, but later found this interesting/familiar image in the scroll:

phase iv

I remembered having seen this cover many times, and I always found it pretty fascinating, so I decided to click it on. Within the first few minutes, I was sure that I had never seen this thing and that I was definitely in for a trip!

The film is Phase IV (1974).

You can read reviews and much more in-depth history and raving critiques of this film elsewhere...but I thought I'd offer up my quick recommendation.

This film was so much fun! It's a huge sweatbox of long drawn-out high-color macro shots of ants and masterful/powerful/deep synth-and-timpani work. The plot revolves around a couple of scientists trying to learn about newfound ant behaviors (strange collaborations) after a cosmic event. Their research turns them into renegades who must struggle against their unseen funding/organization sources...and the ants themselves. Shit escalates quickly -- there's some secrets, a bunch of retro tech/gear porn, a farm girl, lots of great scifi mumbo/philosophy, a little bit of body horror, and LOTS of great sound/score work.

Put all of this together with some intensely artful and colorfully composed sequences of ants doing evil ant things, and it's a winner in my book. Like so many films of the era, it hasn't aged that well in a few areas and has some rough spots, but if you can look past those things, you might enjoy this thing as much as I did!