The Signal (2007): Abnormally Original, a movie review


(A side note before we get started. The first three minutes of the film are abysmal, and are in no way an accurate representation of the film’s overall quality.)

The Signal is a independent visceral-horror/sci fi flick with a splash of dark comedy. The film is the brainchild of three writer/directors: David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry, and is produced by Alexander A. Motlagh. The premiss of the film unfolds in a city called Terminus where all televisions, cell phones, and even the radio broadcast a mysterious “signal” causing the exposed to become homicidal. They suffer hallucinations, confusion, and paranoia until becoming enraged with a complete lack of a moral compass. The Signal is told in three parts, or transmission, that continue the same storyline. Each transmission is told from the perspective of one of the main characters, and has a different director. This is rather confusing for the viewer upon the first screening, due to the fact that there is no real noticeable change when going from one character’s perspective to the other. They do however include a screen with the name of that transmission (segment), even with that the directors’ intentions were lost to this reviewer on the initial play through. The overall look of the film remains constant with a grainy seventies vibe to it. On the contrary the mood of the Signal changes drastically from transmission to transmission This I’m sure was a conscious decision made by the directors’ to showcase their individual style, and vision for the film. All things considered this is not necessarily a bad thing for this is one of they ways the films achieves it singularity in a oversaturated genre.


Mya departing the blood splattered corridors of her apartment building,and heading towards her future that awaits at terminal therenteen. Unfortunately for her its never that easy!

    Transmission One -Crazy In Love is directed by David Bruckner, and presented through Mya’s perspective (played by Anessa Ramsey). Mya is a woman torn between the man she loves Ben (Justin Welborn), and her marital obligation to her obsessive husband Lewis (AJ Bowen). We are introduced to Mya at Ben’s flat. After a brief conversation between the two. Mya travels to her apartment where her jealous husband and his friends are attempting to watch a ballgame. During the trip Mya observes people behaving peculiarly, and growing increasingly aggressive towards one another. This trend continues in her home as well. Violence erupts between her husband lewis and his guest. Trying to leave she backs out her door, and trips over a body in the hallway.

    The film turns ultra violent, and dark. Screams fill the dark dengie corridors, homicidal tenants roam the halls fulfilling a murderous need, and the affecteds’ sheer unpredictability make them truly a unsettling force. David Bruckner does an excellent job of projecting a claustrophobic tension in the dark. The building tenants are exterminating each other. Nowhere is safe, around every corner possibly awaits a violent death. Mya is trapped! Her isolation grows. Everyone she meets could be affected by the signal. Her  mind focuses on one thought, and she becomes determined to leave. Putting on a pair of headphones to drown out the surrounding carnage. She heads for the exit, but will her deranged neighbors ruin her plan?


From left to right  Anna (Cheri Christian), Lewis (AJ Bowen), Clark (Scott Poythress)  

    Transmission two -The Jealousy Monster is directed by Jacob Gentry, and is presented through Lewis’s perspective. Lewis is Mya’s jealous husband who has been exposed to the signal, and is determined to find his wife for better or worse. This transmission takes place in a well lit first story apartment, and starts of with Anna (Cheri Christian) planning a new years eve party with her deceased husband. A knock on the front door introduces you to Clark the landlord (Scott Poythress). Clark is attempting to borrow a hacksaw, and some plastic garbage bags to clean up a “mess” he made in the apartments storeroom. A few moments later Clark realizes that unfortunately Anna is suffering some form of psychotic break, due to the fact that she is still preparing for the new years party, with her dead husband propped upright at the kitchen table. A final knock, and through a ruse, enters Lewis thus completing our comedic trio. Thats right I said “comedic trio”.

    Jacob Gentry directorial entry in The Signal feels in direct contrast to the first transmission with its well lit rooms and up beat cast. The almost laugh out loud funny exchanges, between the characters as they deal with the situations presented to them is the best use of dark comedy this reviewer has seen since “Shaun of the Dead”. As the scene continues to playout Lewis ,due to his hallucinations, realizes that he has had an incorrect interpretation of his newfound cohorts. Now with a clearer mind ,thanks to a better understanding of the signal, Lewis is more determined than ever to find his wife. What follows are some graphically violent scenes portraying a bludgeoning, and a rather brutal interrogation involving insecticide! By the end of the segment the viewer will be thrust face first into the realization that this is a horror movie, and Lewis is no longer laughing!


Ben (Justin Welborn) bloodied and confused begins his search for Mya in the devastated city of Terminus.

    Transmission three -Escape From Terminus is directed by Dan Bush. This segment is set in Ben’s (Justin Welborn) perspective. We join Ben bloodied, beaten, and regaining consciousness in the back of a white work van. Ben slowly exits the vehicle labeled Denton’s pest control. Now standing in the middle of the street confused he pans around in an attempt to comprehend what has transpired. Ben notices a bloody handprint on the passenger-side-window. He places his hand over the dried blood,  it matches. The events that have led him to his current situation come to him as flashbacks. Shaken he see a wrecked car through the van’s window. Ben stagers to it, looking inside his suspicions are confirmed. Its Mya’s car smashed  into a large trash dumpster. Searching the crash site he notices a broad trail of blood leading away from the totaled vehicle, as if someone was drug from the wreckage. Ben begins putting together the pieces of carnage that will ultimately lead him to terminal thirteen, and in turn Mya; however, will a final confrontation with Lewis keep Ben from escaping Terminus at last?

    Dan Bush’s directorial contribution to the film is a journey through the aftermath the signal inflicted on Terminus. Although most of the footage is indoors the director manages to make you feel this post-apocalyptic sense of isolation. He achieves this by showing only the tops of buildings and the rare shot of a street reveals a piece of newspaper blowing around a bloody body. You do not see any living people, except the main characters, until the bottom floor of the terminal. These individuals by definitions are still alive; however they are just randomly muttering to themselves while walking around oblivious to their surroundings. It seem the signal has left none unaffected, and this includes Ben unfortunately who suffers hallucinations through the remainder of the film. The intensity logically increases toward the climax, but due to the signals affect the character’s behavior may seem hard to process. Inturn if the audience is not paying attention the ending might confuse the viewer leaving them stunned; however, if your watching closely, a blink of an eye, and a single tear may allow you a small exhale of relief!


You might want to turn that off!    

     In the end I really like The Signal. It is flawed, yes it true; however, the flaws spring from how ambitious a project it truly is. The film has three different individuals with their own vision to portray, it was made for fifty thousand dollars, and shot in just thirteen days (according to wikipedia). The overall tone to the film is inconsistent, and the middle segment (although my favorite) might be too far a departure from what some would consider horror.The film also makes an halfhearted attempt at a social statement pertaining to the media’s ability to influence people wants and needs through its programming. That aspect of the film was just white noise for this reviewer. My biggest complaint about The Signal is how confusing it can be at times, but most of this can be remedied by a second screening. I don’t want it to seem like I’m being a little biased, or I’m just overlooking the films flaws. The point I am so diligently defending is these three writer/directors could of made good a gory movie that followed all the horror norms, and would’ve been just like the rest. Instead there took a good script, a interesting directing approach, and a meager budget. Juggled them all together, almost perfectly creating an abnormally original horror movie thats one of the best in a decade. It is rather an impressive feat. After all if you walk on water, maybe I shouldn’t give you shit, just because you got your sneakers wet!

This movie is available for Netflix instant streaming here.

Or you can watch the trailer here.


LanOC v.11: Good Games + A Great Community = One Awesome Time! September 1st & 2nd 2012


That’s right friends and neighbors of Geekdom, Its almost time. Time to pack up my rig. Time to say a sad goodbye to my wife and kids. Time to wake up at the crack of dawn (well not quite), and drive the three hours to Van Wert, Ohio. Does it sound like a lot to go through just for a Lan? Maybe for some Lans, but definitely not for LanOC. I would drive twice as far, climb a mountain, and battle a rabid wolverine to the death armed with only a spork if need be, after all its LanOC. With over a hundred tickets sold already, its a impressive sight to see in person. At LanOC v.11 there will be tournaments, raffles/prizes, and of course everyone (new or old) in the community, all signs point to another fantastic event.

This time around the tournaments that will be played are: League Of Legends, Worms Reloaded, Tribes Ascend, and the always entertaining “old school tournament”. League of Legends is one of the most popular free to play MOBAs around. The LOL turney is a 5v5 single elimination match, and the map chosen for this strategic battle to unfold on is the  appropriately named “Proving Grounds”. The Worms Reloaded match is a four person free for all on a randomly generated map. Everyone gets four worms, last player with any left wins. If you haven’t played Worms think chess with a lot of hilarity. Next is my personal favorite Tribes Ascend! Tribes Ascend is a free to play first person shooter. With its old school style of gameplay ,reminiscent of Unreal 2004, and a unique movement system referred to as “skiing” Tribes Ascend is a game that stands out amongst modern day shooters.The Tribes turney is a  random teams 5v5 single elimination arena match, and the maps are Lava Arena, Walled in, and Air Arena. It is played as a three round team deathmatch, and should result in some intense Tribes action. Last but not least is the old school turney. This tournament is a seriously good time. Every participant at the Lan stops by to take a peek at this.It is usualy displayed on a wall via projector making it easy for all to see. The game will not be announced until the time of the tournament. This keeps everyone from practicing, maintaining a just for fun feel to this one. The games I have seen played in the past are familiar to all gamers. Off the top of my head some examples are Excitebike, Mario Kart, and even Pac Man. LanOC tournaments are always great to participate in, entertaining to watch, but above all are intended to be fun.


LanOC v.10

    Another factor in my complete LanOC experience is Raffles! Every person that attends a LanOC event fills out a raffle ticket upon arrival. Then at some point you see the prize tables. Two eight foot tables filled with your wildest PC desires. From that second on, everytime you leave the Lan your main concern will be “What time is the next raffle”, and the dreaded “Drive faster! We’re not going to miss the next raffle because you needed more Monster” Each raffle has a start time that is posted and that schedule will control your life for the next two days. Its all worth it when you win that expensive full tower, or a shiney new SSD. None of this would be possible without the great support that the sponsors show LanOC. I don’t know what is on the prize tables at v.11, on the other hand, a list of the sponsors are as follows: Trendnet, P3 Computers, Cooler Master, Kingston, Gameskulls,, C.P.U Magazine, Systemax,  Corsair, Western Digital, Gigabyte, Rosewell, TP Link, Raidmax, Antec, Steelseries, Seagate, NZXT, Intel, Prolimatech, Hi-Rez Studios, and In-Win. I hope I didn’t forget anyone, but you have to admit its a pretty impressive list. A big thanks to all the sponsors as well. Prizes are not the reason I go to LanOC, but it is a great time standing there with your fingers hypothetically crossed, with that  “Hope I take home that one big ticket item” anticipation.. After all sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, but it sure is fun to play the raffle game.

The main reason I go to LanOC is the community. Sounds kinda lame, doesn’t it, but trust me its not. The first LanOC I attended was v.6. A friend of mine heard about LanOC, and we had only been having four or five man Lans at each others houses. So we jumped in the car and headed off on a road trip to Van Wert. I met the staff and a few other gamers, and it compounded from there. Now LanOC gamers are the majority of people on my Steam friends list. They are the people I game with, talk on vent with, and communicate with on the forums. It is a strong community that broadens everyday.


Tell me you wouldn’t want to get to know this guy at the LanOC.

    Finally, There it is. LanOC v.11 will be a great time. People come for the experience, the tournaments, and prizes, but they come back for the community. The event consist of more than I discussed here. There’s plenty more: the case mod contest, possibly some tabletop games, and any kind of multiplayer game you can think of. I will post on my blog while at the event, and if you want a truly unique Lan experience take a road trip on September 1st, and 2nd to Van Wert, Ohio. You can find out the detales at, ot the event page, and Facebook  Who knows maybe I will see you there!


 If you see this guy at LanOC stop and say hi.

If You Like Tron, You’ll Love EL Wire!



     EL wire is a thin flexible cable that radiates light at a 360 degree angle. Most traditional lights (Christmas lights, or meteor lights)  have bright points along a wire; however, EL wire produces a constant stream of light the runs across the entire length of the cable. The EL wire is surrounded by a transparent or colored PVC outer sleeve which determines the light’s color. For those of you curious as to what else EL wire consists of here is a diagram for your perusing. For a more detailed description of EL wire’s structure please consult the electroluminescent wire wikipedia page at this link.


Commence Perusing

    I bet you’re asking yourself about now “Self, Why is Wooderson going on and on about this fascinating wire light thingy?” Well friends and neighbours that is because (are you ready for this) you can make Tron inspired clothing! I know. I know. Calm down. Breath. Good there you go, and again. Ok are you good? Very well, now onto the pics.

Image For HerImageFor Him Wait thats not right!


 What if Trons not your thing?  


No worries maybe backpacks are more you speed?

No, well then, how about you bike, or car perhaps?Image


Do you like dresses? 


You could always cover your friends and family in EL wire? After all whats the worst that could happen (Yep their at Burning Man)


     Perhaps you have a transformer at home thats needing some bling, or a mannequin who deep down inside always wanted to be a fairy in a bikini, or well those guys? The point behind all of this is EL wire is a unique commodity. It has the uncanny ability to be molded into almost anything, or accent preexisting facets of your everyday life. After all what self respecting citizen of Geekdom wouldn’t want to stroll down the road in the dead of night appearing to be something out of a science fiction novel? You can find tutorials to this and more at these links. Enjoy.  or

Borderlands 2: Bigger, Badder, and Back on Sept. 18th!


     It’s time to wash the roadkill off of Marcus’s bus, because we’re going back. Yep, thats right back to Pandora! The original Borderlands exploded onto the scene in Oct. 2009, and was very successful for a new IP. How successful you say, well thirty-three of my fifty-six friends on Steam own this great game. Even better the word around Geekdom is that Borderlands 2 improves on the original in almost every way! So get in, set down, and buckle up its going to be a bumpy ride.

      Pandora is bigger and shinier than ever. The good people at reported Borderlands 2 is 50% to 60% larger than its predecessor. So all would be vault hunters should prepare for a long haul. The dangerometer (yes I’m inventing words) is ramped up as well. The new Borderlands will introduce at least a dozen new baddies with improved AI to flank and murder you in some horribly demented way. The most impressive change to Pandora for me is look how shiny it is. It maintains the cell-shaded cartoonish art style of its predecessor, but added a kaleidoscope of bright colors. Borderlands was for the most  a bland sandcovered desert wasteland. This was not necessarily a bad thing, but it did get a little redundant.. Borderlands 2 has sand as well ,but also includes grass, an endless sea of mountain ranges, and (according to some screenshots) a tropic forest or two. Just look at the differences in these screenshots.


Most of Borderlands looked like this: rocks, weeds, bland colors, and redundant buildings.


 Borderlands 2:  Where in the wide wide world of Pandora is this?


 Borderlands 2: A cell-shaded kaleidoscope of awesomeness!

    Borderlands 2  is still a single-player or four player co-op experience. The co-op in the original was amazing, and there’s no reason to think that will change in the sequel. As for  classes well, the names have changed, but the song remains the same. Salvador is the Gunzerker with the ability to dual wielding weapons. Salvador is a big guy (ala Brick). He is built to take damage as well as dealing it out. Zero the ninja-assassin is tall and thin. His power is to strategically place a hologram of himself. This tricks the badies into a easley flanked position to finish of with your sword or a well placed bullet to the brain pan squish. He is also intend to be a long distance headshotting destroyer of men (ala Mordecai). Maya is a siren (the only class to emerge with the same title from it predecessor) She is the stereotypical badass female in the game (ala Lilith and thats ok). that works well  for all the elusive women gamers out there, or for you guys who like to play as a chick. Her power is a phase lock which traps the target suspending it in midair. The doomed badie can no longer attack; however, it can still be riddled with bullets. This would will be an invaluable asset for crowd control. Finally this leaves Axton. Axton is a commando, he is a midrange support character (I believe, also ala Roland) Axton special is the turret 2.0 Which almost works as another character dealing damage to anything in range until the ability needs to recharge. Each character has a diverse amount of options in their skill trees, leaving the player the ability to tailor their character to their liking. Introduced in Borderlands 2 is the Badass Point System. These little beauties are earned through you travels by well accomplishing badass feats. BPS earned can be spent on permanent stat boosting abilities, or to change your character’s appearance. With all this depth to the character classes it will definitely lead to a entertaining single player, or (more likely) the best co-op experience available.


Introducing your merchants of death and dismemberment from left to right: Axton, Maya, Zero, and last but not least Salvador!


Here is an example of the character customization using the badass point system

   The overwhelming issue people had with the original Borderlands was the campaign’s story. I will not go into details here, but to summarize the story was almost nonexistent, the plot was boring and dull, also the anticlimactic ending was a monumental disappointment. I sincerely hope Gearbox truly attempts to make a fitting storyline this time around. My understanding of the plot goes like this a man named Handsome Jack takes credit for the players’ exploits concerning the vault, and finds a valuable gem inside. These gems appear all over Pandora after the vaults was opened. Jack uses his newfound wealth to acquire the planets largest arms manufacture, Thus positioning himself as the most powerful man on Pandora. Yep you guessed it, his mind is set on world domination, and only you can stop him (with the help of three friends if you want). I believe that is it in a nutshell. If Gearbox can indeed make an enjoyable story that immerses the player in the world of Pandora then Borderlands 2 could be the sleeper hit of the year.


Spoiler alert! Don’t shake hands with Handsome Jack. He’s a dick.

     Borderlands 2 will be a must have game this fall The amount of character customization in the game is a real improvement over its predecessor. The superbly polished artstyle, along with Borderlands excessive violence will allow you to paint a crimson red masterpiece with you weapon of choice. The demented fun loving npc that roam pandora are always  interesting be them friend or foe, The fact that its co-op is so enjoyable makes this a great game for a group of friends, a Lan, or playing online with strangers. Borderlands 2 is going to be one crazy adventure, and it all starts September 18th. Enjoy the ride!

Does The Horn Of Plenty Hold What You Crave?

     The landscape of Geekdom is abundant, and vast. A place where the word geek is not meant to be derogatory; on the contrary, it’s a badge of honor forged out of DVD-Rs with the words “Don’t Panic” engraved on its reflective blue underbelly. The scholars of this land debate the difficult questions. For example who would win a  fight Batman or Superman, also the unanswerable which is better Godfather or Godfather II, and finally why is the answer 42? The citizens of this utopia decorate their walls with motherboards and graphics card. Displaying them as modern art masterpieces for all the world to admire. The enlighten people of this ample land climb on their rooftops every six month in a mass display of appreciation. They raise a one solitary fist into the air. With a unified voice they cheer a single name to the heavens with such intensity the ground rumbles beneath them, and that name is…………………… Well I think thats enough of that. I’m sure this ranting is annoying to read after a bit. Anyway  Wooderson’s Cornucopia Of Geekdom is a publication which  focuses on PC hardware, movies, and events that would be considered unusual to some, but welcome all.

ImageWhat a difference a window mod makes.

PC hardware, modding, and gaming is a passion of mine. I will review PC components as I’m able (or can afford to lol), but this is not too realistic for me. A better approach to this subject is to discuss the hardware’s capabilities, release dates, and all around tech talk. Modding is amazing! Be it PC or everyday items. It is a eye opening experience when you see what can be done with very little tools, and some determination, I have a modded a Cooler Master HAF-X case (I will post a build log later). Almost anytime someone enters my living room for the first time they ask “What is that” ,“That a computer?”, “That looks amazing”, “You should sell those”. You get such positive reinforcement it makes you want to mod everyday. Finally there’s gaming. I wouldn’t be involved in any of this if not for PC gaming (that story would make for a good post on a later date). I love gaming! I own around a hundred and fifty games in my Steam library. That number is in a continuous state of growing. My game of choice right now is Tribes Ascend. Ironically it is a free to play fps. Anyone who is even remotely competent at W,A,S,D should start playing this immediately. I will review games, talk release dates, screenshots, beta announcements pretty much anything game related. The world of pc is a great place to indulge your inner geek.

ImageThis film make skinny Asian females absolutely terrifying!

In my opinion one of the absolute best ways to spend a couple of  hours is watching a good movie. I want to divide my movies category into two sections. The first being whatever I’ve watch, and  think would be good to write about. The second category is a list that most people will find excessively offensive. (story time) I watched a film called Audition years ago, and the last half hour of the film unsettled me a bit. After that on an occasion I would see a post about someone being unable to finishing a particular film, and of course someone would try to one up the original poster suggesting an even more disturbing film. So I would watch both of the films suggested. I ran into a list that I consider very complete ( the list will be posted at a later date). Some films off this list that I have already seen are: Audition, 8mm, Cannibal Holocaust, Ichi The Killer, Irreversible, Oldboy, A Clockwork Orange, Martyrs, Inside, Deadgirl, and more. I decided when I started this blog that I would watch, and review films from this list. I have never turned off a film due to how disturbing the subject matter is, or due to it just being a bad movie. I will watch the films from start to finish,and give my honest opinion of the film’s worth.. In a attempt at decency I will post no pictures that contains ultraviolence in my blog, Furthermore the title of the film will be marked with the word disturbing in parentheses. A word of caution to anyone reading that decides to watch a film off the list. Some images you see in these films you can’t unsee. They will become flash fried into your memory lingering for a few days, and some for even longer. I do not know what all of these films are about. You could go into the move with no outside info on the film’s plot, and stumble across something you never wanted to see. You have been warned. On a lighter note these will not be the only reviews I will be posting. I intend to post up movie reviews from all genres.Just in case remember to close your eyes and say “It’s only a movie”. Repeat this until the shaking stops, and the nausea subsides.

A small LAN at Plague’s house.

Now on to my favorite part of Geekdom.Without a doubt it’s the community. It is awesome to run into someone with the same interest as yourself. I met a guy the other day that has logged over five hundred hours into The Elder Scrolls Oblivion, and is over three hundred hours in Skyrim! Skyrim isn’t even a year old yet. This daedra slaying mad man also has a tatoo on his forearm displaying a skyrim symbol and a word of power. This unique piece of ink runs from elbow to wrist. This was a enjoyable chance encounter with another resident of geekdom. The problem with that is unfortunately it is such a rare occurrence. Never fear though because great minds think alike. That means that even though PC people are by nature very solitary individuals, they do like to gather in groups with people of similar interest and game. This friends and neighbours is where LAN parties come into the equation. This event exists when a group of PC gamers gather to play some multiplayer games, and hangout. My first Lans were small consisting of four to five people. When a good friend of my discovered LanOC, this changed everything for the better. The last LanOC event (v10) sold out two months early with a total of one hundred and twenty participants. That’s a rather impressive collection of pc gamers. These events hold tournaments, PC mod contest, and even gain corporate sponsorship. The sponsorship allows for raffles to be held. In the end you have a group of like minded individuals receiving swag, winning prizes, showing artistic ability with PC case mods, and last but not least proving their dominance as gamers in tournaments. The sum of all the part equals a whole helluva of a good time.

ImageLanOC v.10 So that what 120 PC gamers looks like

    Wooderson’s Cornucopia Of Geekdom is a publication which  focuses on PC hardware, movies, and events that would be considered unusual to some, but welcome all. Thats the basics of what I want to concentrate my topics on. I will also bring up comics, music, and novels from time to time. In the end what I want to create a place for all my unique interest can be displayed to whoever is watching. I will blend pop culture, technology, and possibly the strange until a kaleidoscope of interesting colors and shapes explode off the screen. Thus producing a safe, non judgemental utopia where all are welcome. Geekdom is starting to take shape and the horn is beginning to fill. So what do you crave?

It All Started With A Keyboard, A Mouse, And A Completely Reckless Sense Of Optimism!

A wise man probably once said “You have to walk before you can run.” That is sound advice in most situations, but not in this one. You see, I have never written a blog, a review, or anything really. Truth be told I haven’t even read a blog before. I believed at first doing some homework on these forms of publications would be a great help. Unfortunately thats all I did. I thought. I did add a background, and a header to my page, but that was it. Not a single word magically appeared onto my screen. So I steeled my nerves, and slid my computer chair up to the keyboard. Now with my chair into position. My mind was ablaze, but again only with more questions. Where to start, do I want to say this or that etc…. Out of frustration (or sleepiness) I closed my eyes. Finally, just like that the lights came on. There it was. One thought with only one word Gordon! What would the one free man do in a situation with only a idea, a desire, but no direction? Well everyone knows Gordon would grab a crowbar with both hands. He would wade in swinging with white knuckled furiosity until the smoke slowly clears and only he remains. With blood on his face and determination in his heart Gordon Freeman would step over the broken bodies of the destroyed enemies he laid low. Only to head down a long asphalt road alone. His crowbar in hand. Ready to face what ever obstacles come between him, and his final destination. With a smile on my face ,and fire in my eyes I said aloud “Fuck yea.” “I’m going to be Gordon Freeman!”