There are many universal Christmas traditions that are acknowledged around the world. The Christmas tree is one, decorations are another and even the very act of giving presents is another. Some of us have our own personal or family traditions that we stick to each year to make the holiday season that bit more personal. There are also many traditions that are celebrated in specific countries that never made it globally. Here we take a look at some of the more interesting international Yuletide customs. Roller Skating To Mass – Caracas, Venezuela Every year in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, you will see hundreds of people making their way to mass on roller skates on Christmas morning. The tradition is no such a spectacle that some of the city’s main streets are closed for the morning to ensure the skaters’ safety. The Yule Cat – Iceland The Yule Cat is a traditional monster from Icelandic folklore. The story goes that if you have not gotten any new clothes before Christmas Eve, the Yule cat will come and eat you. The cat is supposed to be huge and vicious, and traditionally farmers would use the Yule Cat as an incentive for their workers. If you worked hard you would receive a new set of clothes, but if you didn’t, you would be eaten. The Gävle Goat – Sweden The Gävle Goat is a traditional Christmas display erected annually at Slottstorget in central Gävle, Sweden. It is a depiction of the traditional Yule Goat, straw goat figures, that are an ancient Christmas tradition in Nordic countries. In Sweden, people regarded the Yule goat as an invisible spirit that would appear some time before Christmas to make sure that the Yule preparations were done right. A Pickle In The Tree – America One particularly weird Christmas custom is the hanging of a decoration in the shape of a pickle on the tree. The first child to find the pickle is said to get an extra present on Christmas morning. What is really strange about this custom though, is that no one is really sure where it comes from. Originally, it was thought to have come from Germany. However, this has been debunked. It is now accepted to have origination in the United States, but no one is really sure why! KFC For Christmas – Japan In 1974, KFC in Japan launched an advertising campaign that promoted chicken as a Christmas meal. The slogan,  “Kurisumasu ni wa kentakkii!” or “Kentucky for Christmas!” spawned a national tradition that still thrives to this day.  Although Christmas is not a national holiday in Japan, families from all over the country head to their local KFC for a special Christmas Eve meal. Befana The Witch – Italy In Italy, on the eve of January 5th, according to folklore, an old woman named Befana visits all the children of Italy to fill their stockings with candy and leave them presents if they’ve been good. Just like Santa Claus, Befana enters through the chimney and treats are left out for her by the children of the house. The Poop Log – Catalonia Tió de Nadal, the Christmas log is a tradition in Catalonia, Spain and is made from a hollow log, with stick legs, a smile, and a red hat. Each night from December 8th until Christmas Eve, children feed the log small treats with water, and leave him under a blanket to keep him warm. On Christmas Eve, children beat the log with small sticks and sing songs including this little gem: “Poop log, Poop nougats, Hazelnuts and mato cheese, If you don’t poop well, I’ll hit you with a stick, Poop log!”. Once this ritual has been completed, Tió de Nadal poops out presents and candy. Once he has done this he is then used on the fire by the family for warmth. Perchta – Austria We have all become very familiar with the folklore behind Krampus, the Christmas devil. There have been a number of films made about him over the last few years, however there has been very little mention of Perctha. In Austrian tradition, Perchta is a demon who roams the countryside between Christmas and Epiphany to find naughty children. It is said that she would know whether the children and young servants of the household had behaved well and worked hard all year. If they had, they might find a small silver coin the next day, however, if they had been bad, she would slit their bellies open, remove their stomach and guts, and stuff the hole with straw and pebbles. She would also slit people’s bellies open if she found out that someone had eaten something on the night of her feast day, other than the traditional meal of fish and gruel.   So there are some weird and wonderful Christmas traditions from around the world. Will you be adopting any of them yourself this Christmas? I know we might just decide to tell people a little bit more about Perchta if we aren’t happy with their behaviour over the Christmas period!
We all have that one show that we obsess over. That TV show that no matter how many times you watch it, still fills you with joy and you find something new in it each time. Many of us also like to theorize on what certain aspects of the show could mean, what connections it might have to a broader world, or even, if what we are being shown is really the full story. Here we have some fan theories for some of the most beloved TV shows from the last few decades, some of them make so much sense they might even be true! Friends – Phoebe’s Imaginary Friends This one is a real tear jerker. Fans of the beloved 90’s sitcom have theorized that, rather than being a part of the close knit group of friends, that Phoebe is in fact, a homeless addict. She lives on the streets and stares in at the rest of the group of friends, as they meet for coffee each day in Central Perk. Each of them has got different names than what we are shown, different lives, different personalities. Everything we have watched was merely the imagined life of a down and out. The theory even goes so far as to offer  an alternate ending to the show, a scene where we see the camera pan out from the group, and focus on the bedraggled Phoebe, she looks on at the group as one of them says from inside the coffee shop, isn’t that the crazy lady that always stares at us. The camera follows her along the street where she looks into a mirror in a shop window, she stares at that for a moment, the camera pans up to reveal the shops name to be ‘Ursula’s’. We then see her bedding down for the night on the park bench where she sleeps every night. Thankfully the shows creators have denied this is the case, but it would make a really interesting twist. The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air – The Prince Is Dead This theory claims that The Fresh Prince is actually dead and everything we see is his heaven. The show ran from 1990 to 1996, and each episode has the famous theme song that states: “There’s a couple of guys who were up to no good, starting making trouble in my neighbourhood, I got in one little fight and my mom got scared she said; you’re moving with your auntie and uncle to Bel Air”. Well the theory goes that he never made it out of that fight alive.  He died and the Bel-Air mansion is all a part of his own personal heaven. The cab ride described in the song too, is important, as the cab driver is supposed to be God, transporting him from one world to the next. With fans theorizing that the reason we see his parents so infrequently is because he only gets to see manifestations of them every time they visit his grave. Murder She Wrote – Jessica Fletcher Is A Serial Killer Murder She Wrote is everyone’s favourite guilty pleasure. You know those jokes you hear about never trusting a jogger because they’re the ones who always find the dead bodies. Well, what would you say about a crime novelist who always happens to be at the scene of murder. There were 12 seasons of Murder She Wrote and that equates to almost 300 killings that Fletcher encounters. Surely that amounts to much more than a coincidence. So there is a theory out there that suggests that Jessica Fletcher is in fact a crazed killer who murders as a research for her stories. The Flintstones – Takes Place After The Jetsons Everyone assumes that The Flintstones are in the past and The Jetsons are in the future, but what if The Jetsons are in the future, and The Flintstones is set in a further ahead future than that? According to a fan theory first put forward on, The Flintstones exist in a post-apocalyptic world that takes place after the The Jetsons. The post-apocalyptic theory suggests that a nuclear war destroyed the world which led to modern society being wiped out and replaced with a primitive form of culture. After several hundred years, the Flintstones, residents of Bedrock, and the surrounding cities are what humanity has managed to rebuild. Thus, the Jetsons’s world might have even pre-dated the Flintstones’s world – that is, all the futuristic technology, robots, and rockets of the Jetsons’ world have collapsed, leaving the Flintstones with the remnants of high-tech devices, but with none of the fancy trappings.It is also suggested that the dinosaurs we see in the Flintstones are mutated lizards from the nuclear fallout. Also, this would account for the super intelligent animals that are able to run devices such as record players and televisions. Breaking Bad – The Breaking Dead A theory exists that Walter White’s crystal meth from Breaking Bad was what caused the walker outbreak in The Walking Dead. The theory first examines a time when Walking Dead character, Merle Dixon,  bought some Blue Sky, something we see on screen for ourselves,  in an episode in season 1.  Another fact the theory leans heavily on is the car that Walt buys for  Walt Jr. in Breaking Bad season 4. The car is identical to the one driven by Glenn in season 1 of The Walking Dead.  There is even more evidence where the car is related, when Walt brings the car back, he brings it back to Glenn’s Car Lot.  Furthermore, AMC has recently seemingly confirmed the connection. In an episode of spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead, attentive fans would have heard the song “Negro y Azul: The Ballad of Heisenberg” playing in the background, the same track which was featured in Breaking Bad, season two . Fear the Walking Dead showrunner Dave Ericksen confirmed its intentional placement. Stranger Things – Eleven Is The Monster Any fan of the show already knows all about the powers that Eleven possesses. But what if part of her powers was to manifest scary creatures to help her deal with all of the bad things that were happening to her as a little girl. We all know that the Upside Down is a sort of duplicate of the real world. Could her Upside Down doppelganger actually be the Demogorgon? This could explain how she is able to recognize both Will and Barb in pictures up in the real world—because her monster duplicate has seen them in the Upside Down. The fact that the monster resembles the Demogorgon from Dungeons & Dragons could be a clue to this being true.  According to the game, the Demogorgon is a two-headed creature that is in constant battle with itself. This suggests that while neither like one another, they need each other to survive. This is something that we see come to fruition in the finale of season 2, where it looks like Eleven defeats the monster, however in the next clip we see that the Upside Down is actually still there. Rugrats – The Babies Don’t Exist This theory states that none of the babies are actually real. They are all just figments of Angelica’s imagination and she invented them on account of her parents’ neglect.  Chuckie died with his mother, which explains how much of a nervous wreck his father was. Tommy was a stillborn baby, which explains why his father, Stu, was always in the basement making toys for the son he never had. The DeVilles had an abortion. To compensate for not knowing the sex of the baby, Angelica invented twins in her head, one boy, one girl, so: Phil and Lil. Susie is Angelica’s only friend, and plays along with her hallucinations so she doesn’t take away her only coping mechanism. Dil was the only baby who couldn’t speak like an adult because he was the only baby that wasn’t a figment of Angelica’s imagination. Saved By The Bell – Bayside High Is Zack’s Dream World Saved By The Bell was one of the greatest TV shows of the 90’s. At least, that’s what we all thought at the time. Before Saved By The Bell,  Zack Morris, Screech and Lisa were all in a Disney Channel teen sitcom called Good Morning Miss Bliss. After a 14-episode run, Good Morning, Miss Bliss was re-made for NBC. Some of the characters stayed on, while others were cast aside. The location changed, from John F. Kennedy Junior High School in Indiana to Bayside High School in California. That’s not all that changed, though, since Zack’s character changed somewhat from one show to the other.  Because of this, the theory exists that Saved By The Bell is nothing more than the escapist fantasy of Zack Morris. In Saved By The Bell, Zack is the coolest guy in school, when he originally was a complete dweeb. Fans think he made up an entire dream world in California, where he was popular, cool, charming, and a real hit with the ladies.
Ah Christmas, the most wonderful time in the world. Sleigh bells, family, home cooked meals, presents, twinkling lights, warm fuzzy feelings and general good vibes. That is what most of us think about when we think about the holiday season, but, what if all the saccharine, holly jolly nonsense gets a little bit too much for you? Well, we have just the remedy: a Christmas horror movie marathon! That’s right, there are plenty of horror movies out there that are based around Christmas themes and traditions, and provide the perfect antidote to an overdose of holiday cheer. Read on to discover some examples of some great, cheesy, scary, Ho-Ho-Horror to really send a tingle up your jingle-bells. Black Christmas Black Christmas tells the story of a group of sorority sisters who are all about to go on winter break. Before they all leave for the Holidays, Jess (Olivia Hussey) and party girl Barb (Margot Kidder), begin to receive anonymous, lewd phone calls. One by one the girls begin to turn up missing, and they soon realise that there is a serial killer stalking them. Sint Sint depicts the legendary Saint Nicholas as a murderous bishop who kidnaps and murders children whenever there is a full moon on December 5th. It is a 2010 Dutch movie and was one of the most talked about films in Belgium the year of its release. Silent Night Deadly Night Silent Night Deadly Night was released in 1984 and follows the story of Billy, who suffers from post traumatic stress disorder after witnessing his parents being brutally slain on Christmas Eve. Years later, after an abusive upbringing in a Catholic orphanage, Billy finds a job in a convenience store, but the impending Christmas holiday sends him on a murderous killing spree. Christmas Evil This is a super low budget 1980 slasher movie. A toy factory worker who revels in the Christmas spirit suffers a mental break when his work is met with cynicism. This leads him to go on a yuletide murderous rampage. A Christmas Horror Story A Christmas Story is a 2015 anthology horror movie comprising of 4 interconnected tales of yuletide terror that takes place on Christmas Eve. Each tale is told by a festive radio host, DJ Dan, (William Shattner): a family brings home more than just a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes a young couple lost in the woods and Santa slays in the ultimate good vs. evil battle. Krampus Krampus is another 2015 horror movie. It depicts Max, a young lad who is struggling with his belief in Santa Claus. When his rambunctious relatives come to visit, Max’s mean cousins find his letter to Santa and tease him at the dinner table. In a temper, Max rips up the letter and sends the pieces out into the night. This brings on the the dark shadow of St. Nicholas, known as Krampus. A strange blizzard descends over the street and the house, and Krampus begins to terrorise the neighbourhood. Silent Night A vicious killer hides in plain sight during a small town’s holiday festivities. Donning a Santa costume, a crazed lunatic murders local townsfolk on Christmas Eve in this loose remake of Silent Night Deadly Night. Jack Frost Not to be confused with the 1998 family movie of the same name starring Michael Keaton, this 1997 Jack Frost follows a serial killer on his way to his execution. After a car wreck and a bizarre dip in some sort of genetic material, Jack is mutated into a murdering snowman hell-bent on revenge for the sheriff who caught him. Rare Exports On Christmas Eve in Finland, Santa Claus is unearthed in an archaeological dig. Soon after, children start disappearing, leading a boy and his father to capture Santa and, with the help of fellow hunters, they look to sell him back to the corporation that sponsored the dig. And then there’s Santa’s elves, who are determined to free their leader. Santa Claws Another extremely low budget slasher romp. This movie follows an erotic-horror movie actress, who is being stalked by a deranged fan, hell bent on claiming her for himself. Elves A young woman discovers that she is the focus of an evil nazi experiment involving selective breeding and summoned elves, in an attempt to create a race of supermen. She and two of her friends are trapped in a department store with an elf, and only Dan Haggerty, as the renegade loose-cannon Santa Claus, can save them. Better Watch Out   On a quiet suburban street, at Christmas time, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion. A gritty home invasion thriller with a huge twist.   These are but a few festive frights that exist in the sub-genre of ‘Christmas Horror’, so if all of the Christmas caroling and pudding eating is getting a little overwhelming, stick on one of these movies at your family gathering, and watch merrily, as their Christmas cheer turns to Christmas fear. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
The holiday season is all about lounging about in your fluffy PJ’s, munching on festive treats and indulging in hours of Yuletide programming. There is nothing quite like the warm fuzzies you get when watching the Christmas special of your favourite TV show. So, with that in mind, we have put together a small selection of some of the greatest Christmas TV specials, and themed episodes of the last few decades. Bob’s Burgers – God Rest Ye Merry Gentle Mannequins When Bob’s Uncle Ernie dies,he leaves Bob a storage unit in his will. Ernie once owned a department store and when the Belcher family goes to find out what is inside the unit, they find Chet, (voiced by Zach Galifianakis). Chet used to work in Uncle Ernie’s department store and is convinced he is a shop mannequin. The family takes him in, only to discover that he has a talent for creating seasonal window displays out of mannequins, in which he also poses. As Christmas approaches, Chet becomes increasingly unstable. He tells the family of his lost love Nadine, (another store mannequin, this time a real one), and how he despairs of her loss. It is everything you would expect from a Bob’s Burgers Christmas special, and despite its weirdness, is full of festive, feel good cheer. Ally McBeal – Silver Bells Christmas was always an exciting time for Ally McBeal fans. Each year the series would focus at least two or three episodes around holiday themes, with lots of seasonal parties and plenty of Christmas songs being sung by the wonderful Vonda Shepard. In Silver Bells, a smart, intelligent threesome, go to court in a bid to win the right to have a three-way marriage legally recognised. Initially dubious of the whole thing, Ally soon begins to notice similar parallels between her clients love-life and her own. Also in this episode, there is plenty of Christmas cheer to be had as we watch Richard Fish, as he busies himself organising the office Christmas party. South Park – Hankey The Christmas Poo Christmas has come to South Park, but Kyle feels left out because he is Jewish, while virtually everyone else is Christian, and celebrating Christmas. He tries to convince everyone of the existence of a piece of poo named Hankey, who comes to everyone at Christmas time. No one believes him, and he is locked in a mental asylum, until Mr. Hankey eventually shows himself to everyone else! Elsewhere in the episode, the town is in an uproar trying to put together the most politically correct nativity play ever. Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Amends Every 90’s teenage girl was obsessed with Buffy. It was rare for the show to do a Christmas themed episode, so this was a real treat, even though things do not go smoothly for the Sunnydale residents. Tormented by ‘The First Evil’, who poses as all of Angels victims from when he was Angelus, (the evil version of Angel), he descends into madness. ‘The First Evil’ tries to convince him to kill Buffy, but instead he decides to kill himself. Ultimately, as it always does in Buffy, everything turns out OK in the end. The episode is full of Christmas themes, right down to an unexpected snowfall in the usually sunny, Californian town of Sunnydale. American Dad – The Most Adequate Christmas Ever the underrated little brother of Family Guy, American Dad is another Seth MacFarlane masterpiece. The show has quite a few Christmas episodes in their arsenal, but this one is one of the best. In this episode, we see Stan return from a mission for Christmas. The family has decked the halls with boughs of holly so to speak, but Stan is unhappy with the decorations. He wants it bigger and grander. In an attempt to find the biggest and best Christmas tree, Stan ventures into the woods and is killed by a falling tree. His soul lands in limbo, and he has to fight both heaven and hell to prove it is not his time, so he can get back to his family in time for Christmas. My So Called Life – So Called Angels My So Called Life had a tragically short run of just one series. It introduced the world to Jared Leto and Clare Danes, and followed the life of high-schooler Angela, as she traversed the tumultuous landscape of 90’s America as an angsty, forlorn teen. In this episode, Christmas has arrived in Three Rivers, and Angela’s good friend, Rickie has spent the night on the streets, after a fight with his abusive uncle. Angela tries to find him, and is helped by a mysterious, guitar playing, homeless girl. The episode was aired on December 22nd 1994, and still stands up today as an important commentary on the true meaning of Christmas. The Simpsons – Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire The Simpsons turn 30 in 2019, and there have been many, many, Christmas episodes over its impressive run. The most iconic of which is the very first episode of the very first season, that aired on December 18th 1989. Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire sees the family struggle through a rather frugal Yuletide. Mr. Burns cuts Christmas bonuses, Bart gets a tattoo that has to be removed, and Homer gets a second job as a shopping mall Santa. Full of cheer and typical Simpsons good humour, this episode really set the bar for a show that would go on to (so far) span three decades, with no signs of slowing down. Friends – The One With The Holiday Armadillo Friends has recently enjoyed quite the comeback thanks to its recent inclusion to the Netflix library. One of its greatest episodes is The One With The Holiday Armadillo. Ross, being Jewish, wants to introduce his son Ben to Hanukkah. Ben is obsessed by all things Christmas, and when he hears that Santa has nothing to do with Hanukkah, he wants nothing to do with the Jewish tradition. In an attempt to spark an interest in his son, Ross rents the only costume they had left at a costume store: an armadillo. Posing as ‘The Holiday Armadillo’, Ross tells Ben all about Hanukkah, and the Festival Of Light. Chandler also tries to help by arriving in a Santa suit. Meanwhile, Phoebe and Monica plot to convince Rachel to move back in with Phoebe, and out of Joey’s apartment, but their attempts fail. Family Guy – A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas This episode from the third season of the show focuses on the Griffins as they spend Christmas at the local mall. Peter accidentally gives away all the family’s Christmas presents to a needy children’s charity. Seemingly unfazed by this, Lois insists that they all go to the mall to buy new gifts. Back at home, Brian nearly burns the house down while watching the Christmas turkey, but luckily, escapes with only minor burns. However, the interior of the house is destroyed, and all of the decorations have been burned to a crisp . Lois so far maintains her calm through all of this, but when Meg informs her that they have no more paper towels left, she finally flips and goes on a rampage throughout the town of Quahog. Alan Partridge – Knowing Me Knowing Yule With Alan Partridge Knowing Me Knowing Yule was the Christmas special of the BBC comedy: Knowing Me Knowing You With Alan Partridge. Alan is a fictitious television show host, who has been given his own BBC chat show. Each episode follows him through various capers, and cringe-worthy bungles. In the Christmas special, Alan has been given one last chance with his show, and has been allowed to produce his own Christmas special. Things inevitably go hilariously wrong, and there are lots of festive laughs to be had, mostly at Alan’s expense. Futurama – Xmas Story Futurama, Matt Groening’s other show, follows the life of Fry, who falls into a cryo-tank in the year 2000, and wakes up in the year 3000. He is a delivery boy for Planet Express, a company owned by his Great, Great, Great, Great Grandnephew, Professor Farnsworth. In this episode, Fry learns that Christmas is a very different deal in the 31st century. Santa is no longer the jolly old man in the bright red suit, he is now a 7 foot tall robot, hell bent on slaying (sleighing?!) anyone who has made his naughty list. As it turns out, because of a malfunction, everyone is on Santa’s naughty list. The Planet Express team must find a way to defeat the evil robot Santa, and save Christmas, or rather Xmas, as it is now exclusively known.   These are just a few festive goodies to get you in the mood for Holiday season! All of these episodes are readily available to stream, and would make a great ‘Christmas Eve viewing marathon’ for the whole family. There are many other amazing Christmas specials out there too. These are just some of our favourites.       #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
When we think of comic book movie adaptations, our minds automatically turn to The Avengers, Batman, The X-Men, Superman etc. But there are tons of blockbuster movies out there that were based on comic books that just weren’t as generally well known as the big DC/Marvel heroes that we all know and love. Here, we take a look at some movies that you may not know are in fact based on a comic book! Wanted The film Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie, was actually a Mark Millar comic book series first. The book ran form 2003 – 2005 and the movie adaptation was made in 2008. The comic book was Mark Millar’s breakout original series, having previously penned for Marvel. There are a fair amount of differences between the comics and the movie. Namely, the comic book version being way more violent. The comics are also a lot more risqué, featuring characters like Johnny Two-Dicks, Shithead, and a cloned superhero with Down’s syndrome. The Road To Perdition This one usually comes as a big surprise to most. The movie adaptation was released in 2002 and stars Tom Hanks as the lead character. The original comic was released in 1998, and has spawned a number of spin offs since its original run. The movie was directed by Sam Mendes and was based on two of the editions from the comic book series. The Max Allan Collins’ comic book series was in turn based on the 1970 Japanese manga series, Lone Wolf And Cub. The movie is set in 1931, whereas the graphic novel version spans multiple generations, from the Great Depression to a post-Vietnam America. Cinematographer Conrad Hall won a posthumous Oscar for the graphically influenced cinematography of the movie. Barb Wire The Comic book Barb Wire ran from 1994-1998 and was adapted for screen in 1996 by David Hogan. The movie starred the buxom Baywatch beauty, Pamela Anderson, and was a resounding flop at the time. Bizarrely, both the comic and the film are loosely based on the old world Hollywood classic, Casablanca, although you would be forgiven if this slipped your notice. In it, Humphrey Bogart’s eponymous nightclub owner, Rick Blaine is replaced by the scantily clad Barb. It is set in a futuristic 2017, while a second American Civil war rages on. Shockingly (note: heavy sarcasm), despite all of this, the movie was still nominated for a Raazzie (a mock award given in recognition of the worst film of the year). It lost out to the movie Striptease. The Addams Family The Addams Family screen versions have become ensconced in our collective consciousness since the early 60’s television adaptation. However, it first began as a comic strip in another cultural institution: The New Yorker. Penned by Charles Addams, the strip ran from 1938-1988. There have been three movie adaptations of it, The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, and the direct to video Addams Family Reunion. Despite the incredibly long run of the comic strip, it was always remarkably light on detail. In fact, the characters weren’t even given individual names until the creation of the TV series in 1964. A History Of Violence Another one that often surprises people, David Cronenberg’s 2005 crime classic is in fact based on a 1997 graphic novel of the same name. While both are truly brilliant, the movie does differ greatly from its original source material. In the book, we are given lengthy flashbacks exploring the protagonist’s history with the mob. In the movie however, the story is linear. Men In Black While not a lot of people know that Men In Black was a comic book first, most wont be surprised given its subject matter. The comic ran from 1990-1997. There has been three movie adaptations so far, Men In Black, Men In Black II, and Men In Black 3. The movie’s focus was the fight against aliens, but the comic book focuses on everything that can be deemed paranormal. Werewolves, zombies, vampires and even demons, none are safe from the Men In Black. The basic premise is still the same, however, the comic books often strikes a much darker note than any of the movies ever did. The Mask The much loved 1994 movie starring Jim Carrey as the titular charecter began its life as a comic book series. The comic ran from 1989-2000, and was published by Dark Horse publishing, an off-shoot of DC comics. While Carrey’s mad-cap comedy routines are beloved by many, the movie’s tone bears little resemblance to the source material. The Mask comic books were full of dark, dark humour, with none of the Carrey-esque, slap-stick comedy that is so prevalent in the film. The two share a basic origin story: a magical mask transforms Stanley Ipkiss into a powerful, cartoonish maniac. However, thematically, the comic’s vision is a much darker more violent one. Over The Hedge   Over The Hedge started as a newspaper comic strip in 1995, and is still being published today. The movie adaptation was released in 2006, and there are really very few differences between the two. They are even aesthetically very similar, considering the two completely different mediums both are created with. Some of the biting satire of the original strip is lost in translation from page to screen however, but most of the sharp commentary on modern consumerism remains. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
Source: Everyone loves Disney movies. From the earliest ones, like Snow White, right up to the CGI masterpieces that are Disney/Pixar movies. What a lot of people don’t realise, though, is that Disney movies have been the source of a number of conspiracy theories in recent times. Fans, desperately trying to connect the dots between all of their best loved animations, have come up with some pretty interesting theories. Here, we present to you a few of the more interesting ones. Aladdin One of the earliest conspiracy or fan theories that began to float around the internet about Disney movies was this one. It has been rumoured that Aladdin is not set in the past but actually set in a post-apocalyptic future. The theory cites the many modern day pop culture references that the Genie makes as proof of this. It would also explain why, in the Sega Megadrive game of the movie, there are modern day road signs, poking up through the sand, throughout the desert of Agrabah.   Toy Story 3 The big theory behind Toy Story 3 is that it is actually an allegory for the Holocaust. Parallels have been drawn between the toys being left behind by Andy, and the Jews being left behind as the Third Reich conquered Europe. The toys are supposed to go up in an attic, just like Anne Frank, but instead they find themselves in Sunnyside Daycare. The daycare is supposed to represent a concentration camp. The toys are abused by both the children, and the other toys, and eventually end up in an incinerator. But they are saved at the last minute by aliens, who apparently represent the Allied forces in WWII. Up This one is a real tear jerker! This theory suggests that Carl actually dies at the beginning of the movie. In the movie, we see Carl Fredricksen fall in love, grow old and eventually lose that love when his beloved wife dies of cancer. At the age of 78 he decides to fulfill a lifelong dream. He ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the South American wilderness. To Carl’s great dismay, he finds that a little boy named Russell has stowed away aboard the balloon-powered house. The theory puts forward the idea that, perhaps, none of this is real and that Carl died in his sleep the night before he was headed to Shady Oaks. What we see in the movie is actually just his journey to the afterlife. Would this make Russel his guardian angel? At the end of the movie, we see Carl and Russel return to the city, could this signify that Carl finally made it into heaven? Monsters Inc./Brave This is one of the best known one on the list. Boo from Monsters Inc. is the witch from Brave. It is a little hard to wrap your head around, granted, but it does make sense when you examine it. We know that the witch can magically disappear when she goes through doorways. Something Boo can do too. It is entirely possible that little Boo walked through one of the doors that opened in the past, and either got stuck there, or decided to stay there. Also, make sure that you pay close attention to the carvings in the witch’s workshop. You should see a picture of Sulley in there even though he won’t exist for a few more centuries. Toy Story 2 Andy’s mom is actually Emily. Boom! Jessie is introduced into Toy Story 2 as another addition to Andy’s toys but she has a huge fear of abandonment. Jessie’s former owner, Emily, had her for years and played with her all the time. Eventually, when Emily got older, Jessie was left on a shelf on her own, eventually being given to charity. One very popular fan theory claims that Andy’s mom is actually Emily, all grown up. Remember that red hat Andy wears whenever he is playing with Woody? Jessie and her original owner have the same exact hat. Tangled/Snow White What if the Evil Queen never died in Snow White? What if instead she moved far, far away, and became embroiled in another fairytale caper? This popular theory notes that, in Tangled, the dagger in the drawer that Mother Gothel opens looks very similar to the box and dagger the Evil Queen gives the huntsman in Snow White. Both characters are obsessed with beauty and youth. The Evil Queen is intensely jealous of Snow White, the only one whose beauty surpasses her own, while Mother Gothel, obsesses over maintaining her youth. Not only do these two villains have similar personalities, but they also look alike. When Mother Gothel returns to her old age in the end of Tangled, she looks just like the old hag in Snow White. Snow White This one is a total bummer, in Snow White, she is actually really dead, and the Prince is just Death personified. The evidence is pretty convincing too. According to a theory put forward by reddit user, Scherazade, the kiss at the end doesn’t actually wake Snow White instead, that kiss symbolizes Death taking her to the next realm. The white horses that she and the prince are seen riding off on are Biblical metaphors for death, (Revelations 6:8: the pale horse). She is also saying good bye to the dwarves as if she is never going to see them again. Why would she need to do this unless she were, in fact, dead. Finding Nemo This one’s a doozy… Nemo isn’t real and Marlin has just been suffering from depression and can’t accept the loss of his entire family. The theory goes that Marlin has hallucinated the single surviving egg that later becomes young Nemo. For the rest of the movie we see a broken hearted father he goes through the five stages of grief, from denial (refusing to accept his family’s death), through bargaining (dealing with the amnesiac fish Dory), and finally to acceptance (letting Nemo go to school). Further adding to this is the latin meaning of the name Nemo which is no one.   We hope your mind is suitably blown with all of these theories. Now we suggest that you go back and watch all of your old favourite Disney movies, and see if you can come up with any of your own theories!   #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper {display: none;}
The chestnuts are roasting on open fires, Jack Frost is nipping at all of our noses, and the 12 days of Christmas are fast approaching. What better way to fill an hour or two each night, than with a Christmas movie, in the run up to the big day. Here, we present to you 12 Christmas movies, one to watch each night, right up until Christmas Eve. On December 13th, Watch: Elf Elf follows the story of Buddy the elf (Will Ferrell), or rather the human who thinks he is an elf. As a baby he was accidentally transported to the North pole and was raised by the elves, but once he is told that he is in fact a human, Buddy travels to America to find his real dad. One of the funniest Christmas movies ever, and super heartwarming too. On December 14th, Watch: Jingle All The Way What could be better than an Arnold Schwarzenegger Christmas movie?? This is actually way better than you might imagine. Schwarzenegger plays the part of a workaholic dad, who can’t find any time to spend with his son. When he forgets to pick up the hottest toy of the season, a Turbo-Man action figure, he has to fight off other desperate parents, in a race to get the last doll in the city. On The 15th, Watch: Miracle On 34th Street While we do love the original 1947 version, the 1994 adaptation of this movie will always have a place in our hearts. When a department store Santa Claus claims to be the real Santa, he is met with scoffs and scorn. He sets about proving he is the real Santa in a court of law after he is threatened with institutionalisation. Meanwhile, he befriends a little girl who has lost the spirit of Christmas, but wants to help him. On The 16th, Watch: Home Alone No Christmas would be complete without watching Home Alone. When Kevin McAllister’s entire family accidentally leaves the state without him, Kevin thinks he is going to have the best Christmas ever, all by himself. However, danger lurks in the form of two cat burglars, determined to break into Kevin’s home. On The 17th, Watch: Home Alone 2 If you watched the first one the previous night, it is an absolute must for you to watch the second one the next night. This time, we see poor Kevin getting lost and abandoned in New York City. He has his father’s credit card, and books himself into a swanky hotel, and orders room service. He is having a whale of a time, until he accidentally bumps into the thieves from the first movie. Chaos ensues, and Kevin is forced to come up with even more inventive booby traps, just to escape the bad guys, in this hilarious and touching sequel. On The 18th, Watch: It’s A Wonderful Life It’s A Wonderful Life has become a staple of Christmas viewing over the years, and with good reason. James Stewart plays George Bailey, a troubled man on the cusp of ending his own life. We then see a group of angels discussing George’s life, and we see it whole life in a flashback. George attempts to jump, however his guardian angel is there too. George rescues the angel, and the angel shows him what life would have been like if he had never existed. On The 19th, Watch: White Christmas The movie that gave us one of everyone’s favourite Christmas songs, White Christmas follows singers Bob Wallace, (Bing Crosby), and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) as they join talents with two singing sisters, Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen). The four set off to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. They meet a WWII war veteran, now a country inn owner, whose business is struggling. The four decide to plan a yuletide fun-filled musical extravaganza to help with his business. On The 20th, Watch: Christmas In Connecticut While recovering from injuries, war veteran Jefferson Jones develops a love of a news paper column, The Diary Of A Housewife, written by Elizabeth Lane. The column depicts the life of a housewife, who lives on a farm with her husband, and her children. Jeff is totally charmed by the whole thing and his nurse decides to plan a surprise for him. She arranges for him to go and spend the Christmas holidays on the farm in Connecticut, where Elizabeth lives. However, all is not quite as it seems, as the totally non-domestic Elizabeth is in fact a singleton and the column is a work of fiction! On The 21st, Watch: The Santa Clause Eric is staying with his dad, Scott, for Christmas Eve. Scott investigates something on the roof of the house, and when he goes up there, he accidentally knocks Santa off the roof, killing him instantly. He and Eric are then magically transported to the North Pole, where he is going to have to take on the role of Santa Claus, and sign a ‘Santa clause’, by way of contract. During the year, many changes start happening to Scott, he gains weight, and overnight, sprouts a beard. He realises he has no option…he is the new Santa! On The 22nd, Watch: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation As Christmas approaches, Clark Griswold is desperate to have the perfect family Christmas. He goes to painstaking lengths to assure that everything is just so, perfect decorations, perfect tree, perfect family. However, a spanner is thrown in the works when Clark’s cousin, and his wild family, arrive unannounced and park their trailer on the front lawn! To add insult to injury, his boss has decided to renege on the holiday bonus he needs. On The 23rd, Watch: Mrs. Santa Claus This movie, starring the one and only Angela Landsbury, is a true Christmas gem. In the week before Christmas, Mrs. Claus (Angela Lansbury) is feeling a little unappreciated. Santa won’t look over the new delivery route she has spent time coming up with, and she is feeling pretty low. She decides to go for a test drive on the sleigh, but winds up in New York City due to a storm, injuring her reindeer. While she is incognito as “Mrs. North,” she befriends neighborhood inhabitants and helps them resolve some of their own issues, which run the gamut from worker abuse to unrequited love. On Christmas Eve, Watch: Santa Claus The Movie The absolute best Christmas movie ever, and definitely not to be watched before Christmas Eve! Santa Claus The Movie tells the story of a master toy-maker, named Claus, who discovers a magical kingdom full of elves in the North Pole. Claus becomes Santa Claus and spends many years with his elves and his wife in merry Christmas bliss. We come to the present day however, and Santa is beginning to feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of children and their bigger demands than years before. Ever the eager helper, Santa’s faithful elf Patch, decides to try to help and seeks the help of a toy factory owner in New York City. What Patch doesn’t know is that this owner is corrupt and evil and wants to destroy Christmas. Santa then has to go on an adventure with the help of his reindeer, and some other friends, to rescue Patch and save Christmas for every boy and girl across the globe.   So there’s our list, we’ve checked it once, we’ve checked it twice, we’ve picked out movies that are really only nice, for when Santa Claus is coming to your town!
Feeling bored, and you have already tried everything to keep yourself entertained, from collecting stamps to throwing eggs at random people on the street? No need to panic, we have it covered. With these fantastic hobbies inspired by no-less fantastic TV characters, you’ll never experience another boring day in your life. This being said, you might lose some friends. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory) – Playing with miniature trains Who said a rather annoying and socially awkward scientist didn’t know how to have fun? Sheldon Cooper has proved them wrong with this amazing hobby of his: going to the miniature train store, and buying the greatest trains of all times for his collection. They are so tiny, and that’s all the fun. That rule doesn’t apply to everything, though. Mickey Aldrin (How I Met Your Mother) – Creating disturbing board games Tijuana Slumlord, There’s a Clown Demon Under the Bed!, Diseases!, these are just some of Mickey Aldrin’s greatest board games. Surprisingly enough, these very disturbing games have never met the great success they deserved. If you feel inspired by the bizarre ways a person can die, by everyday life absurdities and by having your friends worried about your mental health, creating disturbing board games is the perfect hobby for you. Ross Geller (Friends) – Puzzles Yes, the ones with the pieces that fit – or don’t. Paleontologists are fun people, and have equally fun hobbies. Who doesn’t like a good puzzle on a sunny Saturday? It is so much more relaxing than hanging out with people, and you get to keep that pale skin tone that makes you look so serious and smart. Captain Holt and Kevin (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) – Hula-Hoop classes Want to spice up your marriage? Captain Holt and his husband Kevin have figured that out in the most clever and entertaining way. Like having a plastic circle around your hips, that keeps falling on your toes, making you feel as stiff as a stick? Here you go! Another advantage is that you can now compete with the guy singing his very personal interpretation of the hit song Wonderwall at parties. Lisa Simpson (The Simpsons) – Studying We have a winner. When you have no idea what to do with your free time, just keep your brain busy with some maths exercises or a philosophy dissertation. Being that bored means you have no friends, which means no one will miss you when you spend weeks at the library on your own. No need to thank us for all the fun that’s now ahead of you! On the other hand, you could just keep reading excellent Popkore articles. Your choice! #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
  While comics used to be mainly associated with younger readers, the relegation of the medium to to cult status has seen a rise in adult readers. This has caused many writers to aim their story lines at a more mature audience, and many creating straight up adult only content. Here, we take a look at some of the darkest storylines, graphic novels and incidents in comic book history. Crossed Crossed is a comic book series, written by Garth Ennis, that is absolutely brutal. The storyline centres around a virus that has spread across America, turning people into immoral savages who derive pleasure from pain. They are referred to as the crossed due to a cross shaped rash that appears on their faces. Every issue of this is full of obscene imagery and grotesque subject matter. What the crossed do to ordinary people is straight out of the worst horror movie. Essentially a tale of human survival, Crossed depicts the worst atrocities of humanity, and how the last remaining people try to survive them. Quicksilver And Scarlet Witch Incest Storyline Marvel’s characters Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch have had a checkered past in the Marvel universe. The Eastern European twins have been portrayed as being both bad guys and good guys, but the one thing that always remains is their intense bond. In the comic book series The Ultimates, their closeness was taken to a whole new level, when it was revealed that Scarlet Witch was in love with her brother, and the two were involved in an incestuous, sexual relationship. Needless to say fans were not on board with this development, but their story arc soon took a back seat. The Ultimates also included other controversial moments; the cannibalism of both Wasp and Blob, and the deaths of the majority of the Ultimate universe. Speedy Addicted To Heroin In 1971, in the DC Comics cross over, Green Lantern/Green Arrow, Green Arrow’s side kick, Speedy, was discovered to be a heroin addict. Green Arrow and Green Lantern return from a trip to find Roy Harper, AKA Speedy, shooting up. Roy had become addicted to the drug while his mentor was away and he fell in with a bad crowd. It was a story arc that brought the growing drug problem to the forefront of the comic book industry. He eventually recovers but his character would go on to deal with this storyline, and his time as a junkie, for the rest of his career as a hero. The comic also dealt with the fallout of Speedy’s addiction, and how it affected those around him as well as himself. This iconic and controversial storyline is remembered quite fondly today by fans and creators. Johnny The Homicidal Maniac Written by Jhonen Vasquez, this comic series follows the life of Johnny C. A disturbed young man who commits a string of murders, yet always seems to get away with it. He is compelled to commit these murders by dark, malevolent forces, that exist within his home. Throughout the comic, we see him battle with the demons that exist both in his mind, and in is living room, as he talks to styrofoam cutouts of the Pillsbury Dough Boy, and the corpse of a dead bunny he has nailed to the wall. The comic is really an allegory for the isolation of a youth who is fundamentally different from his peers. It is also a satire of the exclusivity that exists within the goth culture. Wolverine Kills Everyone In the comic book run, Wolverine: Old Man Logan, we are offered a possible future scenario. Set on an alternate Earth, super villains have overthrown super heroes and everything is in chaos. Wolverine, now aged and at the end of his life, wanders the earth, with his family, having given up being a super hero. There are no super heroes left, and slowly we see Logan finally begin to remember, that he is the reason all the superheroes are dead. He remembers that the villain Mysterio put a spell on him, and sent him to kill everyone at the X-Mansion, the X-Men, The Fantastic 4 and The Avengers included. Mr. Hyde Rapes The Invisible Man To Death The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LoEG) is a crossover fiction mythology, created by writer Alan Moore and illustrator Kevin O’Neill. The comic takes characters from countless works of fiction and media, from traditional literature to film and television productions, and puts them in a shared, cohesive universe. In one of the most controversial story-lines, the Invisible Man attempts to sneak up on Mr. Hyde after betraying the League and assaulting Mina Murray. He does not realise that the monster alter ego of Dr. Jekyll can actually see him, though, and Mr. Hyde catches him. He locks himself in the room with his now terrified invisible foe, and proceeds to rape the Invisible Man…to death. The dialogue between this scene is downright creepy and the following panels of the comic show Mr. Hyde at a blood drenched table eating a meal, covered in The invisible Man’s blood. Black Hole Set in Seattle in the 1970’s, Charles Burns’ cautionary tale warns of the dangers of STD’s. But, these aren’t ordinary STD’S, they transform the carrier into hideous monsters, some worse than others, and once you have it there is no going back. What unfolds throughout this graphic novel though, is not a battle to stop the plague or even a search for answers. What we get is a fascinating and eerie depiction of the nature of high school alienation itself, the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and the longing for escape. We get all of this, and a murder mystery too. This work is horrifyingly beautiful, and extremely macabre.   Uzumaki Junji Ito is a masterful horror writer, and this talent is never more prevalent than in his epic tome, Uzumaki. It follows the story of a teenage girl named Kirie Goshima, and the people and events she observes, in the Japanese village of Kurouzu-Cho. When strange happenings occur in the village, Kirie’s boyfriend points out a pattern that seemingly ties the strange events together; not a person or location, but a shape, that of the spiral. As the story progresses, the town becomes even more haunted by Uzumaki, the mysterious Spiral. A psychological horror story, Ito delves into the bizarre and macabre to set the mood and to always keep the reader guessing. Uzumaki brings something original and fresh to the table to appeal even to longtime fans of the horror genre. #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }
These days, being called a geek is not the slur it once was. With the resurgence of retro games consoles, PC gaming, and the appropriation of geek culture by commercialism, ‘Geek’ is now a badge we can wear with honour. But what do you get for the nerd in your life? Here, we have a list of a few awesome and quirky presented xsd for you to give to your favourite dweeb this Christmas. Motherboard Chopping Board The perfect gift for the computer nerd, and the amateur chef in your life! Buy it here: Amazon Ctrl + Alt + Delete Hot And Cold Soup Set Perfect when you want to unwind and end tasks, or log off for a bit. Oh, and eat some soup too. Buy it here: Amazon Gameboy Watch It looks exactly like the original, and the alarm sound is the Super Mario Bros. theme. What more could you want! Buy it here: Amazon Second Breakfast Bowl Ideal for the extra hungry Tolkien fan in your life. Buy it here: Lenny Mud Floating Bluetooth Speaker These are really cool, and they look a bit like R2D2! Double geeky! Buy it here: Amazon Legend Of Zelda, Link’s Shield Backpack If you have to go out, and have a lot of stuff to carry… it’s dangerous to go alone…take this! Buy it here: Merchoid Star Trek Door Bell It makes sci-fi noises when ever anyone crosses the threshold of your room. It has motion sensors, and it lights up! Not getting this for the Trekkie in your life would be highly illogical, Captain. Buy it here: Amazon Stormtrooper Whiskey Decanter For the scruffy looking nerf herder and the booze hound in your life! Drink whiskey from a Stormtrooper’s head! What could be better? Buy it here: Temptation Gifts Magic The Gathering Spellslinger Starter Kit Ideal as a gift to play together, this set has everything you need to start you on your Magic path. Buy it here: Miniature Market Batman Egg Cup And Toast Cutter Serve breakfast with a side of vigilante justice, with this egg cup, and Batman symbol toast cutter. Buy it here: Amazon Floppy Disc Coasters No, kids, those aren’t 3D models of the save icon, those are floppy discs, the 90’s version of cloud storage. Well, those are coasters made to look like floppy discs, but, you get what we’re saying. Buy it here: Amazon Playstation Wallet How adorable! A wallet that is an exact mini replica of the original PlayStation 1 console! Perfect to put in your Link Shield backpack. Buy it here: Pink Cat Shop Star Wars Crochet Create your favourite Star Wars characters out of yarn! Look at these cuties… Just look at them!! Buy it here: The Book Depository Rick And Morty Cluedo Oh jeez, oh man! It’s everyone’s favourite mystery solving game, but with Rick and Morty, set in the multiverse. It even comes with custom sculpted Rick and Morty miniatures to use as game pieces. Wubba-Lubba-Dub-Duuub! Buy it here: Zavvi Awesome Mix Vol. 1 Pendant A miniature replica of the Awesome Mix Vol. 1 cassette tape from Guardians of the Galaxy, as a pendant. It even comes in a cassette tape box. Buy it here: Think Geek     There are just a few ideas to please all your nerdy loved ones this Geek-mas! #acp_paging_menu, .acp_wrapper { display: none; }