As Paranormal Activity 3 opens in more than 3,000 theaters in the U.S. this weekend, we are reminded that Americans still love to be spooked by classic supernatural stories.
The movie will undoubtedly rake in an enviable amount of cash this weekend, but we’re still struggling to find a reason we need to pay money to go to a theater to be scared out of our wits, when we’re plenty terrified just sitting in front of our televisions or computers.
Here are a few real-life examples of horrifying events, objects and realizations we’ve recently faced, culled just from this week’s news alone:
1. Celebrity lips that look like they are about to explode. As Lindsay Lohan added a sixth mug shot to her growing collection this week, the number of bulging celebrity lips on our radar swelled to a larger-than-usual size. Actor Chord Overstreet’s “Trouty Mouth” was back on our favorite web pages this week when it was announced he’d be returning to Glee later this season. On Monday we watched a distraught Taylor Armstrong, the owner of the most plus-sized pucker on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, jump in between sparring “wives” Brandi Glanville and Kim Richards.
What’s in those things? Will they pop under extended exposure to direct sunlight or keep expanding when submerged in water? Perhaps at some moment they’ll just leap off the wearer’s face and run away?
2. Concerned parents’ outrage over tattooed Barbie. Mattel has armed women (and a few sons of liberal-minded parents) with boat-rocking Barbies before: 1997’s Share a Smile Becky’s wheelchair wouldn’t fit into the handicap-unfriendly elevator of Barbie’s Dream House; 1992’s Teen Talk Barbie complained that “Math class is tough!”; and 1965’s Slumber Party Barbie came with a bathroom scale set to 110 pounds and a “How to Lose Weight” book that succinctly counseled “Don’t eat.” Despite the fact that the doll-maker claims designer Simone Legno’s new Barbie is for “adult collectors,” some folks apparently feel very threatened that Barbie would have a couple of tattoos. Seriously? To the parent who wrote “Mattel why not put a cigarette and a beer bottle in her hand while you’re at it!” go turn on the TV and catch up with the real world. Isn’t there anything else going on to get angrier at?
3. (TIE) We will never have the opportunity to have Muammar Gaddafi commission a song for us.
4. (TIE) We will (probably) never be able to hear the dance remix of “Black Flower in the White House.” Jealousy can be an embarrassing, weak trait, albeit a human one, but pretending this week’s news didn’t cause us to become even more jealous of Condoleeza Rice would be even more shameful. What other person can claim they’ve sat with the late Colonel, who had compiled a slideshow of photos of them, and had it set to a song specially commissioned in their honor? Since we’ll never get anyone to write anything comparable to “Black Flower in the White House” for us, we’ll have to settle for bad poems written on napkins by ex-boyfriends instead and imagine the havoc “Black Flower…” would wreak on the Billboard charts if only it were released to US radio.
5. The final nail in Nicolas Cage’s career’s coffin? Forgive us for not noticing, but Nicolas Cage has actually made a lot of movies since 2002’s Adaptation! We’d feel more guilty about not realizing it, but take some comfort in the fact that we’re apparently not in the minority; Cage’s most recently released film, Trespass, which debuted in theaters last Friday, made only $18,200 last weekend, making it the worst per-screen average in all of Cage’s career. How did this happen to the man who starred in cinematic gems like Moonstruck, Honeymoon in Vegas, Raising Arizona and Valley Girl? Unfortunately, considering Cage has another Ghost Rider film coming out next year and three other films slated for release in 2012 and 2013, perhaps this is just the penultimate nail?
6. Another reason we’ll never move to Zanesville, Ohio. There was a whole lot of horrifying business going down in the Midwest this week. Imagine how terrified the people of Zanesville might have been when they learned that 56 exotic animals were running wild after 62-year-old Terry Thompson set them free right by their homes? Had this man never seen 2005’s Madagascar or Disney’s 2006 film The Wild? Wild animals don’t do the whole release onto America’s “fruited plains” and into our “purple mountain majesties” smoothly at all . Pity the poor Zanesvillians who had to batten down the hatches to avoid being eaten by the 18 free-roaming Bengal tigers.
7. What about the male star of Melissa and Joey flashing his hairless, chiseled torso at the paparazzi in a playground close to his home? While dedication to one’s fitness is commendable, how are we supposed to explain to our children why a grown Hollywood star can’t afford a gym membership or is glistening, topless in our local parks? Or that the bigger one’s pecs get, the smaller one’s nipples appear? Or why someone might be wearing his black Nike socks rolled almost all the way up to the knee like that?
8. 80s Week on Dancing With the Stars.
9. Certainly there are plenty of good, capable parents raising children in the state of Connecticut. Sadly, Ms. Juliette Dunn cannot be included the company of that upstanding set. This week Dunn pleaded guilty to giving her 4-year-old a beer and plying her 10-month-old daughter with liquor and cocaine. Is it even worse that the 4-year-old was made to chug a 40-oz can of Steel Reserve in public? Or that Dunn and a friend called the boy “an alcoholic” after they made him down the beer? Maybe it’s most unsettling to read the sound bite provided to a social worker by the 4-year-old, who, in describing his preferences, said he likes “Natural Ice beer, Budweiser beer, but [not] the taste of Dog-Bite beer.” Though there’s nothing even remotely laughable about drinking and drugging minors, it made us giggle a little nervously when we realized our palettes are evidently on the same stage of development as a 4-year-old’s.
Yet despite the abundance of horrors described in our dying daily papers and recounted from the desks of our occasionally alarmist evening news programs, Americans seem to still like to get scared by the same characters that have been scaring us for centuries.
And because we figure it’s only right to do something horror-inspired in the month that houses Halloween—plus we weren’t going to do a cocktail themed for the release of the less-than-appetizing The Human Centipede 2—we’ve collaborated with a bartender from the self-proclaimed “most haunted nightclub” in the country this week to come up with a cocktail for Paranormal Activity 3.
Bobby Mackey’s Music World is a club and honky-tonk owned by singer Bobby Mackey in, natch, Wilder, Kentucky, just about eight miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Guests come out to the venue each week to hear Mackey and his band play and to enjoy cocktails, conversation, and rides on “Turbo,” the mechanical bull.
But Mackey’s venue is probably best known for being located on a “gateway to hell” and as the haunted site of multiple murders and a remarkable amount of bloodshed.
The area where Mackey’s nightclub currently sits was allegedly the location of a slaughterhouse in the 19th century and where Satanists tossed the head of a pregnant woman they murdered and decapitated in 1896. On top of that heartwarming bit of trivia, a woman named Johanna was said to have hung herself in the building in the 1930s and her ghost continues to haunt the location today, accompanied by several other angry spirits.
Many who have worked at or visited the venue have attested to being attacked and harassed by said spirits, including Mackey’s wife Janet, who says she was attacked by a ladder and shoved up and down the stairs while pregnant. Records claim that the building’s caretaker, Carl Lawson, was possessed by a spirit at one point, and visiting Bishop James Long was slapped and scratched by another violent, invisible entity.
For a Paranormal Activity 3-appropriate drink, Bobby Mackey’s Music World bartender Donna Clifton put a spicy spin on a cocktail she originally made to honor musician George Jones and called The Jones Boy. Should you wish to celebrate this weekend’s release of Paranormal Activity 3 or get a taste of a no-frills Kentucky cocktail, Clifton has built an easy-to-make cocktail that almost any novice bartender of legal drinking age should be able to replicate in his or her own home.
The Bobby Mackey Special
Created by Donna Clifton of Bobby Mackey’s Music World
1 1/2 oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Liqueur
2 oz. cranberry juice
2 oz. pineapple juice
Splash of Tabasco
Pour a shot of honey liqueur into a rocks glass filled with ice and fill half of the rest of the glass with pineapple juice and the other half with cranberry juice. Add a splash of Tabasco and stir. Enjoy.