Mephistopheles is loving his new home.

There are some challenges that come with caring for a cat this large, and other challenges that come with caring for Maine coon cats. While his visits to the litter box can be a sensory overload, he is gentle and kind.

Last night I woke up with Pooka sleeping on my pillow and Mephistopheles purring contentedly across my back. I fell back asleep and, for the first time since the end of the summer, slept until morning.

When you live with chronic pain, that kind of contented sleep is priceless.

While this new year has not begun as the return to the good times some of us hoped for, here in Crisfield, one cat went from living in the wild to sleeping in a big cozy bed with a full belly and nothing more to worry about except patrolling his backyard.

It took a long time to earn his trust, and I was bitten badly a few times, but I think every life has value. When something comes to you for help, you help. I never expected him to stay with me, but I look forward to our adventures together in the days and years to come.

Bad Movie Night: Sniper: Special Ops (2016)

While Sniper: Special Ops (2016) claims that Steven Seagal appears in this movie, the lumbering hulk we see in this film is not even human. It is, in fact, four possums hiding in a trench coat.

They are a loving passel. Fang, One-Eye, Bent Tail and Dave. They get around movie sets by sticking a mannequin head on a broomstick. They keep that ridiculous goatee on the head, so people won’t notice the lips are not moving. The painted-on eyes were too lifelike to pass for Segal, but sunglasses cover that up. The arms are just inflatable tube-man props stolen from used car dealerships.

Sniper: Special Ops (2016) begins with a bunch of grubby dudes in paintball gear yelling military-ish nonsense in Sam Kinison-ish yodels. “Steven Seagal” (wink-wink) is very still for most of the opening sequence. Everybody looks like that creepy distant cousin who never shuts up about the dark web. It looks as if they just took some random action shots and attempted to edit it into a coherent sequence.

They did not succeed.

Early in the film, a woman says the word war in such a way that it becomes multisyllabic. Until now, I did not know this was possible outside throat singing traditions. “This is a wa-aaghlaghbargh-r zone!” It is not a choice I would go with, but how many actresses would be willing to work next to four possums hiding in a trench coat? You make the most out of what you have.

A congressman is being rescued…

I am unsure if this man is aware he is in a movie, or if he is, he may not there willingly. Somebody’s grandpa was probably in the bathroom at a Stuckeys somewhere. Steven Seagal crept up (possums are stealthy), thrashed him unconscious, threw him in a van and filmed the poor battered bastard.

There is probably video of this on Twitter somewhere: “At Mapville VA Stuckeys. Steven Seagal just kidnapped some old dude. His arms move like inflatable tube men from car dealerships, and he smells like a possum.”

Right now, some kid mistakenly rented this movie from a RedBox and is right now screaming, “Grandpa? Grandpa! Steven Seagal, you leave my grandpa alone!”

The pudgy screaming rescue squad gets shot up saving congressman grandpa. They scream a lot, but the editing renders most of the dialog incomprehensible and the red-faced screaming approach to acting turns an action movie into an audio/visual spasm.

My dad once hit a wild turkey in a mid 90s Mercury Marquis. The aerodynamic design of the car swept the unfortunate creature tumbling over our car and flying through the air behind us where it went directly into the grille of the truck behind us in a hideous blossoming of feathers and gore. It only took a matter of seconds for me to scream, “bird”, then the thud, the rolling, the launch, a pause, the angry honking and squealing tires of the truck behind us to my dad screaming, “What the hell was that?” to take place, but each moment was – unlike this movie – clearly defined and easy to follow.

Yes, I am throwing in a pointless roadkill anecdote to avoid writing about this movie.

I swear to God, with one exception, the cast excretes lines like each word and letter hurts, and they come out all ugly, twisted and hard like the stools of somebody who lives on beef jerky and cheddar cheese.

Steven Seagal, on the other hand, mutters every line in a lackadaisical whisper. He moves like frozen sloth crap rolling uphill and talks like the possums need new batteries for the Talkboy they used to fake his voice.

Things happen. People scream. Dialog is spoken. Images move. Possums can’t act. My friend tells me that one of the paintball squad is a pro wrestler – it may have been the dirty guy with the goatee, the other dirty guy with the goatee or the other dirty guy with the goatee. I tried facial recognition with these guys to maybe identify them and all I get back are pictures of clenched fists, crying children and mimes.

Sniper: Special Ops (2016) is free on Tubi.

Bad Movie Night: Hunt To Kill (2010)

My last movie review got some laughs. With the news being scary, I thought I’d give another movie some tough love.

If you are like me, and I sure am, there is nothing like a fantastic movie to wind down a great day.

Since these are not great days I am going to punish myself like the flagellants of the black death… Whoa.

Maybe I am delirious from watching a Stone Cold movie, but I may have stumbled upon the greatest rock band name ever!

“Ladies and gentlemen, Legion Hall 7223 welcomes the hard rockin’ beats of FLAGELLANTS OF THE BLACK DEATH!” “Hello, Cleveland!”

Oh. I’m sorry. My brain is trying to escape remembering the plot of Hunt To Kill (2010).

I think this movie hurt me. I need to get Stone Cold’s phone number, so we can set up a safe word before I start watching another Stone Cold film. If I had, I would have dropped the remote and yelled, “Rutabaga!” as soon as Eric Roberts wandered into the frame.

I do not know what this movie is about. I watched the entire film, but my brain rejected the plot and replaced it with images of the Donny and Marie Ormond in a death match with Shaggy and Scooby-Doo.

From what I can recall, Eric Roberts shows up long enough to make cash for payments on that toaster oven he is trying to buy at a pawn shop, and then he explodes or the meth lab self-destructs in self-defense to get away from Eric Roberts.

Stone Cold is sad that Eric Roberts exploded, so he takes his daughter camping. Bad guys show up and stuff happens in the woods. People say things. People move about. At one point we watch Stone Cold unravel one of those paracord watchbands because this movie hates you.

Near the end of the film, old Stony finds a crossbow, or makes a crossbow. By then the acting, direction, cinematography and canned music had me so distraught that I may have been speaking in tongues and trying to crudely fashion hummus from pork n’ beans.

The crossbow is important because Stone Cold uses his training and survival skills to make crossbow bolts from spindly crooked twigs and green leaves. Stone Cold uses his fragile crossbow bolts with amazing precision, impaling his prey like a hot knife through butter because Stone Cold is wearing the fabled Suspenders of Disbelief.

  • Suspension of Disbelief: the audience loves the film and puts logic on hold.
  • Suspenders of Disbelief: Stone Cold wants to go home and drink beer, so we’ll halfass it.

The movie leads up to a grand finale, Stone Cold style. My buddy Matt will cheer on the true hero of movies like these: conveniently placed discarded rebar! Once rebar does its good work, Stone Cold mutters the movie’s title like it means something before killing the super-duper inexplicably unkillable bad guy for the six hundred and thirty seventh time by popping a wheelie.

  • This movie makes a shovel fight dull. I really dig shovel fights, but I failed to unearth any enthusiasm and the choreography buried the action.
  • The bad guy’s catchphrase is, “Is that you got?” In my dreams he is played by Randy Marsh.
  • Stone Cold runs like a man with something uncomfortable taking place in his pants.
  • I feel bad for the women acting in this movie. The dirt-cheap filming location makes me wonder if they were acting, or just unfortunate hitchhikers. “It puts the lotion in the basket and appears in a Stone Cold movie.”
  • Stone Cold has been concussed so may time his flashback sequences look like they were filmed through a hobo’s ass. All blurry, oddly colored and smeared around the edges. For a moment, I thought I had clicked over to Telly Savalas singing If.
  • Stone Cold’s Stunt Double looks nothing like Stone Cold. I call him Velvety Lukewarm.
  • Do not try a drinking game with any part of this movie. You will die.
  • I want to live in a world where Stone Cold was doing crafty things in the woods for HGTV. “Today on Critter Craft Time, Uncle Stone Cold is going to gut a deer only using his forehead muscles, weave a nice fruit basket from twigs and tell you five ways to spice up your marriage with ordinary rock salt. That’s today on, Critter Craft Time, only on HGTV”.

Hunt To Kill (2010) is free on Tubi.