CityBeat Blogs - Rapture <![CDATA[The Show-down: Scary TV Edition]]>

Television can be scary year-round (ex. Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Rachel Zoe Project, Breaking Bad), but terror gets turned up a notch this time of year. With Halloween around the corner, here are some horror-ific shows to check out.---

The Walking Dead

Whether or not you're a zombie aficionado or a fan of the original comic, this show is a must if you want some squeeze-your-friends, cover-your-eyes, nightmares-for-days television enjoyment. TWD is one of the most graphic, gory and emotionally intense shows on right now, and it's truly addictive. The show follows a group of people surviving day-to-day amidst the zombie apocalypse. Few other humans seem to be alive, so in addition to worrying about flesh-eating demons, these survivors struggle to find shelter, food, safety and sanity. Catch up on this season's previous episodes online; new eps air Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. Go here to read my review of the second season premiere.

This is not a jumpy, in-your-face kind of haunt, but usually a slower, more "impending doom" kind of terror. Expect gruesome scenes with humans and walkers. Remember no characters are safe and sometimes those zombies are the least of their worries.

American Horror Story

This new FX show puzzled me for weeks with its eerie teaser previews that featured odd snippets like someone playing a person's belly like a cello, and a person in a full-body latex S&M suit, with a giant baby bump. WTF? Having now premiered, the show, from the creator of Nip/Tuck and co-creators of Glee, follows a family who's moved into a haunted house. Sure, it sounds banal, but it's entertaining, intriguing and extremely creepy. Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton star as a tested couple - after experiencing a full-term miscarriage, the wife catches her husband sleeping with one of his students. The two, along with their high school-aged daughter, move across the country to California to start over. They must deal with infidelity, finding romance again, oh - and apparently a bunch of people have died horrible deaths in their new home. Best wishes!

Like TWD, this is definitely not for everyone. The show mixes sex, ghosts and a terrifying basement. The scene-stealer is certainly Jessica Lange who plays the odd neighbor, seemingly of another era, who is mother to a grown child with Down's Syndrome who is constantly drawn to the house.

New episodes are on FX Wednesdays at 10 p.m. Go here to watch clips and trailers.

While there are some seriously scary moments (brief scenes and quick flashes of "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!"), the overall feeling of AHS is disturbing. Reality is a bit unclear at this point - who is alive, who is an apparition, what happened in the past and how is that affecting the characters now? We'll have to stick around to find out. On the bright side, many freaky scenes are followed by Dylan McDermott's buttcheeks.

The old-school intro sets a pretty good stage for the show:


The writers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer took on this fairy tale-crime-drama, which premieres on NBC Oct. 28. The show puts a supernatural spin on the stories of the Brothers Grimm. Network television is never my favorite, but with a description of "X-Files meets Buffy," it's sure to bring in an audience.

Since it hasn't premiered yet it's hard to tell, but I'm betting this will offer more campy fun than true fright.

The Simpsons

Growing up, watching The Simpsons on Sunday night was a ritual. Now, I hear other kids weren't allowed to watch it and went to church instead. Either way, everyone has enjoyed a good Treehouse of Horror, or The Simpsons' Halloween episode. They're epic. This year's debuts Oct. 30, with everyone's favorite God-fearing neighbor, Ned Flanders channeling his inner Dexter. Go here to watch the clip.

Most adults just see the humor in these Simpsons specials, but I remember being kind of afraid of those drooly aliens as a little kid. There is certainly plenty of animated gore and violence to go around.

Fear Fest

AMC's annual Halloween promotion continues through Monday, offering up horror films and shows new and old every day. This year's Fear Fest is hosted by zombie Godfather, George Romero. The remainder of the week promises various Halloween films, Survival of the Dead, Bride of Frankenstein, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more. Check out the full schedule here.

SCARE FACTOR: 2-5/5, depending on the program

Tune in for all the Halloween action and remember, if you things get too intense, just switch over to a Project Runway marathon.

<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 10/21-10/23]]> Happy Friday, y'all! Here's what's going down this weekend: ---

Kicking off the weekend is for algernon, performing with The Minor Leagues at Northside Tavern tonight. Read our interview with the guys here.

Northside continues to live up to its reputation as an arts and culture mecca as the Factory Square Fine Arts Festival takes over the American Can Lofts space Saturday and Sunday. Browse mini art galleries in shipping containers, enjoy live music and get your shop on when The City Flea makes an encore appearance (Saturday only).

Books by the Banks returns to Duke Energy Center Saturday, bringing more than 100 local, regional and national authors to the city. Listen in on lectures, buy books for readers young and old and meet some excellent writers. Go here to read our interview with featured author Dennis Lehane and get BBTB details.

Everyone loves dressing up for Halloween, even pets, right?


Pimp out your pooch and show him off at MainStrasse's Paw-rade Sunday. This year's theme is works of art and famous artists, so strap on a beret, grab your palate and turn your pup into a masterpiece! Lucy, the mayor of Rabbit Hash, is the Paw-rade's Grand Marshall and awards will be given for best original, store-bought (eye-roll) and themed costumes. Show-dog moms and dads can get more info here.

Read our reviews of Know Theatre's Gruesome Playground Injuries, Ensemble Theatre's Ghost-Writer and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's Macbeth, all shows continuing through this weekend.

For those who just can't wait until next weekend for Halloween fun, there are plenty of events, terrifying attractions, family-friendly activities and more happening right now. Read ScaryBeat for all kinds of event listings, haunted house reviews and even a locally-inspired scary story.

For all our To Do picks, visit our new CityBeat Recommends page. It's back! There you'll find art openings, theater shows, comedy acts and more to do this weekend and beyond…unless the (re-scheduled) rapture really happens today. Wah wah.

<![CDATA['The Walking Dead' Returns With a Vengeance]]>

Nightmare Season is upon us as AMC's chilling zombie show The Walking Dead returns. A record-setting 7.3 million viewers tuned in last night to see Rick, Lori, Shane and the gang continue their apocalyptic journey.---

Season 2 Trailer (obviously don't watch if you haven't seen the first season but plan to):

Last year's debut season proved that a graphically gory television series about zombies could be a success when put in the right hands. With comic creator Robert Kirkman and Frank Darabont (director of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist) on board, the show has a cinematic quality and, frankly, scares the hell out of me.

Side note: Last night, I dreamed about an Ikea filled with "walkers" and I had to defend myself by crushing a zombie's skull with an Xbox controller. This show plants some seriously heavy dream seeds. Proceed with caution.

Season 2 picked up right where the first left off - the crew, after narrowly escaping the explosion of the Centers for Disease Control, decide to leave Atlanta for a more rural area. Rick Grimes teases us about what the lone CDC-er, Dr. Jenner, whispered his ear in last season's finale, but doesn't reveal the secret. Not long after their departure, the group runs into trouble (car trouble, zombie trouble, human trouble, you name it) along the way. The 90-minute premiere, "What Lies Ahead," was intense to say the least. The tension of the situations is even more gripping than the more graphic attack scenes, which may or may not have included a zombie disembowelment.

The idea of the group splitting up was touched on throughout the episode, showing that even when the world is over and humans are at the bottom of the food chain, you probably can't trust even the non-cannibals. Wah wah. Without any real SPOILERS, the episode concluded with two characters in probably-extreme danger. And they're both little kids.

According to a Google search in-depth research, the season is supposed to circle back to some story lines from the original comic. After quite a divergence from the book's plot with the CDC debacle, fans of Kirkman's books (myself included) will undoubtedly be happy to see RUMORED BUT PROBABLY TRUE MINI-SPOILER the Greene family will join the show.

If you're looking for a beautifully hopeless, intense show to get into and another reason to dread Monday mornings, tune in to The Walking Dead on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m.

Enjoy this trailer for the next episode (final warning, SPOILERS), fantastically accompanied by Johnny Cash's cover of Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's "I See a Darkness":


<![CDATA[What if the Rapture Actually Happens?]]>

Most people have probably already heard about the widespread belief that the Rapture will occur sometime tomorrow. It's been reported here, here and by this guy, who says what will happen is God opening up all the graves on Earth and everything in those graves coming up out of the ground, their bodies transforming into spirits and going up to heaven, followed by any believers.---

It might sound like a pretty wild scene to most of us but, if you really think about it, this is probably not the time to be wrong about a worldwide concern for civilization. This is not like Y2K, where our greatest fear was a bunch of computers messing up and people losing their ATM codes or having to re-register for the cable company's online billing system. The Rapture is such a big deal that people who believe it's going to happen aren't even stocking up on bottled water like they did in 2000 because if it actually happens THE WORLD WILL FREAKING END. 

In fact, the true believers are spending every last bit of their savings before Saturday, leaving themselves absolutely nothing to fall back on if the Rapture doesn't occur because … fuck it right? Why leave half your net worth inside a bank that's just going to get burned up during Hell on Earth? These are obviously not stupid people — they're logical, analytic and dedicated to getting the most out of life, even if there's only one day left.

I'm feeling somewhat uncomfortable about the length some people have gone in response to the rumor of the End Days being upon us. It was just last night that I found myself casually scrolling through Facebook, enjoying the witty banter among friends and the website's free advice on who else I should be friends with (What's up Ollie Kroner? Glad we were able to be Internet friends for two days before the world ended), when I started to come across references to the Rapture that can only be described as “snarky.” I felt troubled.

In response to hundreds of thousands of people's sincere belief that the Rapture will occur on May 21, 2011, there exists a Facebook event scheduled for noon on Saturday called, “Post rapture looting.” There are currently 494,144 planning to attend, including this guy:


Then again, it's one thing for Kevin Osborne to join such a group (he didn't want anyone to celebrate Osama bin Laden getting shot in the eye so whatever), but then today I get to work, punch the clock, sign into Facebook and soon come across this:


A CityBeat intern advising people to spend the entire day mocking the potential Rapture. And it gets worse — a couple hours later I was still on Facebook and saw this:


She's been making fun of the Rapture for like two straight days! And it gets worse. There's another person, who, admittedly, could be respectfully preparing for the Rapture by tagging a photo of herself eating a hot dog on Earth for the final time as “Rapture weiner.” But if you ask me it's getting a little close to May 21 to be straddling such a fine line, last hot dog ever or not.


And then there's this guy, whose idea to dress up like Jesus and walk around judging people on Saturday is probably not going to go real well if it coincides with the actual Apocalypse. Just sayin'.


The bottom line is that the Apocalypse is going to occur someday, or else a lot of people have been wrong about a lot of stuff for a real long time. And even the biggest skeptic has to admit that there are signs of this Apocalypse's legitimacy all around us.

Consider that the Centers for Disease Control website recently posted instructions on how to survive a Zombie Apocalypse, and people found the information so useful that the increased web traffic eventually shut the whole CDC site down.

A group of atheists has respectfully reached out to the believers, offering a pet-caring service called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA, which for a fee will assure that an individual who has blasphemed in accordance with Mark 3:29, negating any chance of salvation, will care for any pets left behind by believers. UPDATE: Eternal Earth-Bound Pets' email volume has apparently been maxed out and it will be unable during the next 24 to 48 hours to respond to any emails that don't include a contract and PayPal information.

But for everyone taking this epic situation seriously there are people like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who yesterday offered to suspend alternate side parking in the city if the world ends. Real funny. Have fun ticketing a car that's on fire, asshole.

There are also these Minnesota Twins baseball fans, who think their hometown baseball team sucks so bad that its single-game win over the Oakland Athletics last night is a sign of the End Days. Good one, guys. You're not going to be laughing when your taxpayer-funded stadium is on fire for the next year or so.

All I'm saying is that if the Rapture actually happens it will suck because it sounds really scary.