15 Farm-Fresh Facts About “Green Acres”

Stacy Conradt and Mental_Floss present 15 Farm-Fresh Facts About Green Acres.  Here are three of my favorites…

If it seems a bit farfetched that a city slicker would leave a lucrative career in finance to rehab a dying farm without knowing a thing about agriculture, well, at least one person has tried it. “I got the idea from my stepfather when I was a kid,” Sommers, the show’s creator, said in a 1965 interview. “He wanted a farm in the worst way and he finally got one. I remember having to hoe potatoes. I hated it. I won’t even do the gardening at our home now, I was so resentful as a child.”

During his retirement years, keeping tabs on the residents of Hooterville became one of the former president’s favorite pastimes. The Eisenhowers loved the show so much that they deemed their valet’s pet pig “Arnold” and allowed it to freely roam their house—even letting it lounge on slip-covered chairs that their grandkids weren’t allowed to sit on.

Actor Pat Buttram, who played Mr. Haney, met Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, on the set of the movie Roustabout, where Buttram played the owner of a carnival. He got the part of Mr. Haney just a year later—and later stated that he used Parker as inspiration for the Green Acres swindler.

7 Real-Life Horror Stories Behind “American Horror Story”

Kristin Hunt and Mental_Floss present 7 Real-Life Horror Stories Behind American Horror Story.  Here are three of my favorites…

Also during season one, American Horror Story revealed that one of the past guests at the “Murder House” was Elizabeth Short, better known as The Black Dahlia. While AHS suggested a creepy dentist raped the aspiring actress and then let a ghost mutilate her, Short’s real-life killer remains a mystery. A mother and her child stumbled upon her body, which was sliced in half and drained of blood, on the morning of January 15, 1947. Her death became a media sensation, and newspapers quickly dubbed her “The Black Dahlia.” This was supposedly both a play on the 1946 film noir The Blue Dahlia and a reference to Short’s love of sheer black dresses.

Because the cuts on her body pointed to a murderer with surgical skills, the police began searching for doctors. They never identified the culprit, but people are still naming suspects to this day. In 2014, retired homicide detective Steve Hodel produced evidence that his own father was the killer.

Another NOLA murderer appeared in American Horror Story’s witchy third season. That would be the so-called Axeman of New Orleans. The anonymous killer terrorized the city between 1918 and 1919 by breaking into houses and slaying residents with an axe. In March of 1919, he reportedly wrote to The Times-Picayune, threatening a fresh attack but promising to spare any home that was playing jazz, his favorite music.

Jazz was blared across the city that night, so no one was killed. But sporadic attacks continued until October, when a grocer got the final blow. Although some speculated that the deaths were spurred by Mafia feuds, the Axeman’s motive and identity were never determined. He remains famous for his peculiar letter to the editor, which was recreated on American Horror Story.

John Wayne Gacy’s crimes filled out two separate seasons of American Horror Story. In AHS: Freak Show, his spirit is channeled through Twisty the Clown, a disfigured children’s entertainer who kidnaps and kills. Later, in AHS: Hotel, the same actor who played Twisty (John Carroll Lynch) returned to play Gacy for “Devil’s Night,” a special Halloween episode featuring other notorious serial killers, including Aileen Wuornos and Jeffrey Dahmer.

It’s easy to see why AHS used Gacy twice, given his backstory. From 1972 through 1978, Gacy sexually assaulted and murdered at least 33 teenage boys. When he wasn’t luring those young men into his suburban home, he was dressing up as Pogo the Clown for kids’ birthday parties. After the police uncovered mass graves in his crawlspace and throughout his property, Gacy was put on trial and sentenced to die by lethal injection. He spent 14 years on death row before he was executed in 1994.

Top 10 Coolest Movie Cowboys of All Time

Alex Maidy and JoBlo.com posted their list of the Top 10 Coolest Movie Cowboys of All Time.

Using just their choices, I present my top five…

#5.  Ethan Edwards [John Wayne in The Searchers]

#4.  Wyatt Earp [Kurt Russell in Tombstone]

#3.  Butch Cassidy [Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid]

#2.  Sundance [Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid]

#1.  The Man with No Name [Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly]

How could they not have included Doc Holiday [Val Kilmer in Tombstone]?

And if they’d included tv shows James West [Robert Conrad in The Wild, Wild West] and Cheyenne Bodie [Clint Walker in Cheyenne] would have made the list.

You Betcha: 14 Polite Facts About TV’s Fargo

Jake Rosen and Mental_Floss present You Betcha: 14 Polite Facts About TV’s Fargo.  Here are three of my favorites…

One reason Littlefield was more supportive of this spin-off was because creator Noah Hawley had no desire to revisit McDormand’s Marge Gunderson character, the heavily-pregnant sheriff of Brainerd, Minnesota. In 2014, Hawley told IndieWire that he opted for an anthology format with a different narrative every season to avoid the show becoming about the “grim” day-to-day adventures of Marge.

Hawley has been quoted as saying he thinks of the Fargo-verse as being influenced by a big book of Midwestern crime tales, with each season being a different chapter. He cemented that idea in the ninth episode of the second season, opening with a close-up of a book titled The History of True Crime in the Midwest.

Saving Patrick Wilson’s Lou Solverson character during the “Massacre at Sioux Falls” referenced in the first season was the appearance of what appeared to be a UFO hovering over a motel parking lot. Even by Fargo’s standards, it was a strange occurrence. According to Hawley, who was pressed for some kind of explanation during a June 2016 book signing, the scene stemmed from the idea that the show is taking cues from “true crime” books and all of the unbelievable details they often contain.

Speaking of a similar scene that felt disconnected from the narrative of the original film, Hawley said that he asked himself, “‘Why is this in the movie?’ It has nothing to do with the movie—except the movie says, ‘This is a true story.’ They put it in there because it ‘happened.’ Otherwise you wouldn’t put it in there. The world of Fargo needs those elements; those random, odd, truth-is-stranger-than-fiction elements.”

The Ultimate TV & Movies Car List

One of the fun things about movie and tv shows is that the characters in them (usually) get to drive the coolest vehicles.  I’ve always said I’d drive the ’66 Batmobile or the ’50 Merc that Cobra drove if I had the extra cash.

The folks at autoacessoriesgarage.com created The Ultimate TV & Movies Car List.  There are 114 vehicles on our list and a fun factoid about every single one.  Click over and enjoy!

The Strain Producers Carlton Cruse & Chuck Hogan Talk about Watching the Apocalypse Happen!

The Strain is one of my favorite shows producing new episodes.  Based on the trilogy of books by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Strain tells the story of a vampire apocalypse… but these ain’t your pop’s or your little sister’s vampires!  They’re not romantic and they don’t sparkle.

One of the things that I love about apocalyptic stories takes place at their start when no one is sure what is going on or what is the best course of action to take.  You know, when Brad Pitt watches in amazement as normal citizens begin attacking each other, or when Barbara is attacked in the graveyard by the creepy guy in the business suit or when Rick wakes from his coma to discover… well you get what I mean.

That’s one of the reasons I’m such a fan of The Strain.  We’re two seasons in and just 23 days have passed.  The audience knows what’s coming but the characters on the show have only slowly come to realize what’s happening.  The producers were brave (smart) enough to not just jump in to the frenzy.  A slow build-up has been such fun.  I can’t wait for season three to start Sunday night.

/Film has an interview with The Strain Producers Carlton Cruse & Chuck Hogan Talk about Watching the Apocalypse Happen!

Star Trek Beyond (2016) / Z-View

Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Director: Justin Lin

Screenplay: Simon Pegg & Doug Jung based on the Star Trek television series created by Gene Roddenberry 

Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba and Sofia Boutella.

The Pitch: “It’s time for a new Star Trek movie!”

No Tagline

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The Enterprise crew is ready for a little well-earned R& R when they are chosen to respond to an SOS.  The SOS turns out to be a terrible trap.  The Enterprise is destroyed.  Kirk and crew (those that are left alive) find themselves separated and stranded the planet of those that attacked them.

Their mission now becomes a way to get back to Federation territory to warn of the coming invasion, to stop the coming invasion or both… but first they will have to survive.

Of the new Star Trek films I rate this the second best.  I loved the new Jaylah character, was extremely happen with the expansion of McCoy’s [Urban’s] role and was impressed with the new and unique way the attacking aliens boarded the Enterprise.


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