Marvel/DC Comic Mashups – WIF Graphic Novels

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Marvel-DC Mashups

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What would happen if you took elements of two famous comic book characters, one from Marvel and one from DC, and mixed them together? Would the two powers complement each other and make the hero better? Or would having two powers be a hindrance to the character? Well, we wondered the same thing, so we had several artists develop mashup characters using characters from the two dominant comic book universes, the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe. Now we want to know which ones you like the best; please vote up for your favorites and down for ones you don’t like. Also, in the comments below, please feel free to share any ideas you have for Marvel-DC mashups that we don’t have on the list.

1. Captain Bat

 The mashup of two characters that both have an unbeatable, indomitable will is a nice character trait. But think about this, Batman uses the bat to instill fear and the Captain America uses the American flag for inspiration. Together they inspire fear like no one else.
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

2. FlasHulk

 The Flash & The Hulk may not come to mind as good combination superhero, but super-speed and super-strength actually make him…um, Superman….if he couldn’t fly and was green and had anger management issues. Sounds like a good guy to have at parties, “Flash smash fast!”
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

3. Wonder Phoenix

 The mashup of two powerful super-heroines, Wonder Woman and Phoenix (Jean Grey) is a natural combo of two heroes with great hair. An Amazon combined with the Phoenix Force would be a hot date unless you are blue-haired, asparagus-looking aliens.
Illustrated by Rick Marin.

 4. Iron Robin

Even I’m not sure how I came up with Iron Man and Robin as a good mashup. Maybe I was going for a mashup that really makes no sense. They are such opposites. Metal armor vs. tights. Solo hero vs. sidekick. Cool name vs. bird name. Playboy vs. just a boy. I better stop, Robin might be reading this and the differences are quite depressing from his point of view.
Illustrated by Felle.

 5. Captain Crawler

 Blending Nightcrawler’s distinctive features with the wholesome good looks of DC’s Captain Marvel (Shazam) gives us a dashing guy in a hoodie who can teleport and stand toe-to-toe with Superman. Does he remind anyone of Ezio Auditore da Firenze from Assassin’s Creed? Yeah, me too.
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

 6. CyThing

 Two loveable, but sometimes brooding characters who would rather have the body they were born with rather than the body fate gave them. The Thing and Cyborg are more alike than either probably realized, so better to mash them up into CyThing! The Thing would be even more badass with a cannon for an arm, yes?
Illustrated by Rick Marin.

 7. Thor Hawk

Two guys that swing a deadly, blunt instrument, a hammer for Thor and a mace for Hawkman. Seems like a good mashup of beings from other worlds who came to defend earth or Midgard.
Illustrated by Kelly Ishikawa.

 8. Green Wolverine

(Green Claw?)

 Mashing up a blood thirsty killer turned hero and a hero who went insane probably isn’t a good combination for mental stability, but you know he will keep it interesting at the JLA or X-Mansion. You must admit that having claws made out of green energy is pretty cool.
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

 9. Aquadevil

 Daredevil, the Man Without Fear combined with Aquaman, the King of the Seven Seas is a typical fish out of water story mashup. Doesn’t ol’ hornhead need buildings to bound from? Well, at least he has something to throw, and this “billy club” has dangerous barbs. They both share a sonar capability for navigating dark waters.
Illustrated by Doubleleaf.

 10. Amazing Super-Spider

Red and blue superhero costumes never looked better than when worn by Spider-man and Superman. Mashing up Marvel and DC founding superheroes, who seem to be just a bit more of a hero than anyone else, just feels right. And who didn’t want to see Spider-man in a cape with webbing and Superman shooting webs, even though the webs are redundant when he can fly?
Illustrated by Rick Marin.

Marvel-DC Comic Mashups

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TV and Movie Fact-Check – WIF Edu-tainment

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Fan Fact-check About

TV Shows and Movies

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Most films and TV shows take place within the confines of their own fictional universe, which differs from our own in varying ways. Even shows that do seemingly take place in our world, like Friends or The Office, are dramatically different to the reality we all know when you take the time to do the math. Not sure what we mean? Well, why not think about the fan calculations that show that…

 10. Rocky is Filled with Marathon-Running Superhumans

Within the Rocky cinematic universe, Rocky Balboa is considered by many to be the greatest boxer of all-time. The films tell us Rocky is held in such high regard not for his finesse or skill (in fact that explicitly go out of their way each film to show that Rocky blocks haymakers with his chin), but because he’s made of granite and impossible to knock out.

In the film Rocky Balboa, in which Rocky makes a comeback at about 60 years old, the film makes it clear that his only advantage is his power and ability to take a hit over a much younger boxer. Which doesn’t make sense when you realize a fan worked out that for the now iconic montage sequence in Rocky II, where Rocky runs through Philadelphia, the supposedly made-of-cast-iron boxer sprints for over 30 miles. By analyzing the landmarks shown during the montage a fan worked out that Rocky punch-sprints his way through a marathon and a half, across uneven ground, and still possesses enough energy at the end to sprint up a giant flight of stairs.

This isn’t just unbelievable, it also means that not only is Rocky a world-class boxer with near unrivaled stamina and ability to take a blow, but one of the finest long distance runners to have ever lived… and it’s never mentioned in the movie. Meaning either Rocky had no idea being able to sprint 30 miles and then win a heavy-weight boxing match was a big deal, or more amusingly, that nobody in his universe think it’s impressive. The latter of which is more likely, because for the entire montage Rocky is followed nearly the entire way by a large crowd who run the exact same distance, meaning Rocky’s fictional Philadelphia is filled with random people who can sprint 30 miles like it’s no big deal.

9. The Walking Dead – 99.9998% of the World is Dead

the-walking-dead

According to the creator of The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, the universe the characters inhabit, prior to being overrun with shambolic reanimated corpses, was identical to our own save for the fact it didn’t contain any zombie related media. This is why no character on the show ever uses the term “zombie” in any comic or episode.

This is important, because it’s one of the only real clues Kirkman has ever given about the world of TWD, leaving most everything else about it (including the source of the outbreak and even the date it occured) a mystery. This irked some fans, who decided to use what little information the comics and show reveal to work out exactly how many people the show’s zombie apocalypse killed.

One fan in particular, Matt Lieberman, scoured TWD media. Through searching the background of shots with calendars, and noting clothing styles and technology used by the characters, he discovered that the zombie outbreak likely occurred sometime in January 2012. By taking the global population from this time, and a quote from Kirkman saying zombies outnumbers humans “5000 to 1” when the outbreak went global, he was able to discern that only 1.4 million people survived the initial outbreak globally. When you take into account the fact 70% of the characters in TWD die during the series in a country filled with guns, Lieberman additionally calculated that if you extrapolate these figures globally, by the start of seventh season, only about 400,000 people are still alive. That’s roughly 0.0002% of the world’s population.

8. Chandler Bing is Obscenely Wealthy

chandler

There’s a running joke in Friends where nobody is quite sure what the character Chandler Bing does for a living. He clearly works an office job of some kind, and it obviously makes him quite a bit of money, seeing as how he lives in a big-ass New York apartment, pays for his extravagant wedding with his savings, and loans his friend Joey $120,000. Wait, what?

Throughout the series, Chandler lends his roommate Joey a lot of money as well as paying his share of the rent on their apartment for three years. This is clearly established and commented upon in several episodes. In one episode, Joey insists on paying this money back. Chandler works out the rough amount, writes it on a piece of paper and hands it Joey, who sees the figure and immediately backs down.

A Reddit user, curious about what this figure was, calculated the square footage on Chandler’s apartment for the average rent, along with the minimum cost of the other things he buys for Joey like professional headshots and elocution lessons. The minimum figure they come up with for this is $120,760. Remember, this is money Chandler basically gives away to a down-on-his-luck friend who never pays it back in just over three years. That’s approximately $40,000 per year the Chan Man gives away like it’s nothing, meaning he’s presumably earning at least 5 times that. Then again, it’s no wonder he doesn’t seem to mind, considering that another fan worked out that…

7. Every Character in Friends has a Ton of Sex

friends

The average number of sexual partners a person will have in their lifetime is a figure that’s difficult to pin down, with various sources claiming that the number can be anywhere between 4 and 8 for women and 7 and 11 for men. This said, most sources agree that around 10 is a safe estimate for most of the population over their lifetime. Every character in Friends blows this figure out of the water.

Between the group of six, a Reddit user (it’s always a Reddit user who calculates this stuff) figured that they have approximately 138 combined, different sexual partners. That’s more than 20 each, doubling the top end of the national average. While Joey and Phoebe make up the bulk of this data, accounting for 51 and 32 occasions of being joined at the hip, respectively, even Chandler – a character who is married for five seasons – still manages to have sex with 11 partners.

Ross, on the other hand, a total jerk who treats women like crap, manages to convince 14 women to do the horizontal hug with him. Just think about that for a second. In theFriends universe, Ross has convinced more people to have sex with him in four years than 90% of people reading this will in their entire life.

6. Harry Potter Couldn’t Afford a London Flat with his Vault Full of Gold

harry-gold

Throughout the Harry Potter series, a rarely mentioned plot point is that the eponymous Harry has a giant vault filled to the brim with big gold coins. Despite having enough cheddar to fund endless magical cocaine and hooker parties, Potter never once decides to use the money to splurge and buy magical supplies that could help defeat wizard Hitler. This may have something to do with the fact that in reality, Harry barely has enough money to afford a crappy 1-bedroom flat.

 You see, although the Galleons in Harry Potter are described as being made of gold, according to JK Rowling they’re only worth about $7 each. A fan took this information, as well as a screenshot from the first film showing the vault (the films were all overseen by Rowling herself), to work out roughly how much money the boy wizard actually inherited from his parents. The answer? About a quarter of million pounds.

This sounds like a lot until you realize that in the UK, this amount of money would barely be enough for Harry to buy himself a half decent London flat. If you’re thinking “maybe the money is worth more in the wizarding world so he’s probably still considered fairly rich,” remember that in the books Harry notes that even if he emptied his entire vault, it still wouldn’t be enough to buy a Firebolt, which could be likened to the wizarding world equivalent of a fancy sports car.

So in other words, Harry, the savior of the wizard race, barely had enough money to buy himself a second hand Ferrari after killing wizard Hitler and watching the only living relative he liked die.

And hey, speaking of fictional net worth…

5. The Simpsons Live Better Than You

simpsons

For most of the show’s run, the Simpson family has been portrayed as an average lower-middle class American family. Numerous jokes are made in various episodes that the family is, if not poor, at the very least struggling financially most of the time, with Marge once claiming to feed the entire Simpson family on 12 dollars a week. Which is unusual, seeing as Homer earns a fairly decent wage and the house they live in is massive.

The average wage of a nuclear safety technician (Homer’s job for most episodes) is about $82,000, or about $30,000 more than the average American family earns. Which, among other things, explains how the family has basically trekked the entire globe during the series. However, the most ridiculous thing the Simpsons own is their house.

Again, the Simpson home is often shown as being in a state of poor repair, but even so, it’s almost big enough to be considered a mini-mansion. The house contains at least four bedrooms, several bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, a living room, a rumpus room, a sitting room, a sauna, and enough lawn space to build an Olympic sized tennis court.

The house has variously estimated to be worth, $300,000, double that of the average American home with at least 3 times as much space.

4. Jim from The Office Wastes Most People’s Savings Being an Awful Colleague

While the American version of The Office has been praised by critics and fans for many reasons over the years, arguably one of the show’s most popular elements is the relationship between the characters Jim Halpert (played by John Krasinski) and Dwight Schrute (played by Rainn Wilson).

Most of the character’s interactions revolve around the various pranks played by Jim, which vary in the scope and complexity from simple pranks involving putting his stapler in some Jello, to learning morse code.

A Reddit user (we told you) decided to calculate just how much money Jim wasted basically being an ass to his co-worker and found that, at minimum, he invested $5,000 of his hard earned money playing pranks on a guy he claims not to like. This is 5 times more than most Americans have in their savings account, and Jim pissed it away on making one of his co-worker’s lives just a little bit more difficult for his own amusement. Which, when put that way, makes Jim seem like a bit of a tool.

3. Movies have Spent Billions Rescuing Matt Damon

This entry’s a little different from the other in that it takes into account information from different movies, all of which involve Matt Damon. Specifically, movies involving Matt Damon being rescued from some kind of danger or peril, such as Saving Private Ryan and The Martian.

According to a Quora user with either too much time on their hands or a huge Matt Damon man-crush, within the confines of the fictional universes of Damon’s movies, an estimated $900 billion has been spent rescuing his dumb ass. In our world, this equates to $729 million worth of movie budgets on the various films he’s appeared in that have been spent exclusively on rescuing him from some kind of danger.

2. Walter White Makes $5 Per Second

Exactly how much money Walter White makes while he’s breaking all that bad is never actually fully established in the show. Even the character admits that after a certain point, he simply stopped counting. Fans, however, have worked out from that episode with the giant money pile, and Walt’s own comments to other characters, that he earned about $80 million in two years.

An enterprising Reddit user (we really weren’t kidding) went right ahead and used that impressive figure to calculate how much Heisenberg earned per hour. The final figure they came up with was about $5,000 an hour, every hour, for two years straight. Or $5 per second.

But here’s the thing: seeing as for most of the show, White was basically doing regular shifts making his meth, it’s possible to work out how much more he earned than an average person. Assuming Walt was working the average amount for an American man, which is apparently 34 hours per week, Walt was earning about $23,000 an hour. Taking into account the average American wage ($24 per hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), Walter White earned 95,000% more than the average American per hour. Not a bad paycheck, all things considered.

1. Someone Figured Out the Main Character of Game of Thrones with Math

What sets Game of Thrones apart from other shows is that it doesn’t really have a main character, instead following the stories of multiple characters of seemingly equal importance who can be killed off at any point.

This didn’t sit well with a math nerd named Andrew J. Beveridge, who used a mathematical formula usually reserved for studying terrorist cells to map out every relationship in the entire series to determine who the most mathematically important character was. By carefully analyzing every interaction between characters in the books, Beveridge was able to accurately pin down which one was the most important to the overall progress of the plot by their connections to other characters, the result? It’s Tyrion, the wine-drinking (P)imp with a silver tongue.

Meaning yes, it has been proved with math that Peter Dinklage is awesome.


TV and Movie Fact-Check

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Nightmarish Christmas Characters – WIF Around the World

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Nightmarish

Holiday Characters

from Around the World

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With the holiday season around the corner, we thought we would share our favorite holiday characters … with a twist. For centuries, adults have been attempting to shape the behavior of children. Some methods have been proved to be harsher than others, and have been abandoned in modern times. Other methods have simply been altered or changed to put an acceptable face on a medieval nightmare. The characters that we have chosen to share with you aren’t Santa Claus, Rudolph or Jack Frost. Here are 10 terrifying bits of holiday folklore to keep your kids in line…

10. The Whipfather, Assistant to Saint Nick

whipfather

Country of Origin: France

Courtesy of the French, we have the legend of “The Whipfather,” Santa’s Child-Murdering Assistant. Folklore tells us the Whipfather was a desperate, broke innkeeper. One day, he met three young boys from wealthy families. The Whipfather then decided to slits their throats and chop the boys to bits, throwing the pieces into a barrel of brine (salt water). Hoping to further his profit on a slaughtered pig already stewing in the brine, the Whipfather was stopped by – you guessed it – ol’ Saint Nick. Santa is aware that the Whipfather has been overtaken by avarice and murdered the three young boys.

Of course, Santa being Santa, he restores the boys’ lives and binds the Whipfather to an eternity of servitude. The Whipfather is usually dressed in dark clothing and wears a length of rope or chain with unkempt hair and a long beard and a sinister scowl. Despite his fading relevance, children are still warned against getting on his bad side or else find themselves visited by the Whipfather, who leave coal or painful red marks on a child’s bottom. Like all children’s tales the French certainly had a message they wanted to impart to children: don’t succumb to greed.

9. Teke-Teke

teketeke

Country of Origin: Japan

Not exactly a Christmas tale, but a foreboding folktale to scare children nonetheless. Suicide is highly prevalent in Japanese culture, coming from its historical function asan honorable death as opposed to failure or inevitable death on the battlefield. The theme has also extended to its urban legends. According to legend, Teke-Teke was a woman or young school girl, who either jumped or fell in the path of an oncoming subway train and was severed in half. Her horrible death gave rise to the myth of “Teke-Teke,” a woman filled with so much anger and pain that she roams throughout Japan in the form of a torso, dragging herself along with her claw-like hands. The origin of the name comes from the sound she makes while moving: “teke-teke-teke,” as she scrapes the ground and uses her elbows to chase after her victims.

When parents tell their children of Teke-Teke, it always begins with a young man or woman staying out past curfew. They see a beautiful young school girl standing by a windowsill; smiles are exchanged. Suddenly, the girl she jumps out of the window and reveals she is nothing but a torso. The young man or girl tries to get away, but it’s too late… Teke-Teke has produced a scythe, and has cut the child in half. Seems like a bit of an overreaction for staying out past dusk, but that’s just us.

8. Split Mouth Woman (Kuchisake-Onna)

splitmouth

Country of origin: Japan

A perfect character for our readers who would like to go with a little something extra for Halloween is the Split Mouth Woman. Another tale that warns children of traveling the streets at night while unaccompanied has even scarier repercussions. The legend of Kuchisake-Onna deems that a child walking alone may happen upon a tall, female figure in a trench-coat. She will have long, black hair with a surgical mask covering the bottom half of her face. A self-conscious woman, Kuchisake-Onna will ask the child if they think she is beautiful. Unfortunately for Japanese children there is no right answer.

If you reply “No,” a quick and grotesque death awaits you, as she will produce a pair of large scissors and remove your head. An answer of “yes” will lead to Kuschisake-Onna removing her mask and revealing her grotesque and mutilated face. Her smile sliced from ear to ear – she will ask again, “Am I beautiful?” For some reason, if you still answer in the affirmative, she will chase you down and slice you in half anyway. Same goes for if you reply, “no.” It seems the only escape is to be ambivalent and in her confusion, run away to safety.

7. Krampus

krampus

Country of Origin: Austria

Getting back into the Christmas spirit, we must introduce Krampus, probably one of the more well-known figures on our list. Krampus’s exact origin is unknown, but he is said to have come from pagan traditions. His physical characteristics would bear this out. Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure described as “half-goat, half-demon” who punishes children who misbehave. Krampus is also hairy and has cloven hooves. His appearance is similar to the devil with his dark fangs, to boot.

The creation of Krampus might have been analogous to the advent of Christianity, with scholars arguing that his possession of chains, symbolizes the binding of the Devil by the Christian Church.

A direct foil to Santa Claus, Krampus is the stick to Santa’s carrot in shaping children’s behavior. Krampus Night is celebrated on December 5, the eve of St. Nicholas Day in Austria, with men dressed in costumes walking the streets, looking to dole out punishment. Injuries have led to each Krampus being given an identification number to document any overly violent behavior. The Krampus tradition is spreading with more cities in Europe having parades to celebrate the half-goat, half-demon.

It is astonishing that the parades, which took place for generations in the Tyrol Region, have even managed to travel to the United States, with parties and parades taking place in Los Angeles. Goes to show you that good news travels fast.

6. Jólakötturinn

yule-cat

Country of Origin: Iceland

One of the most unique characters of folklore on our list is the Icelandic Yule Cat, or the Christmas Cat. Made to strike fear in the hearts of children and workers alike – legend has it that the Icelandic cat will eat all children and workers who did not finish their work on time. However, children who do finish their tasks will be rewarded with new clothes. Some parents even took it a step further, saying that Jólakötturinn would target lazy children. If children worked hard they would have at least one new item of clothing for Christmas. The lazy children would be sacrificed to the Yule Cat.

Researchers believe the origins of the Yule Cat can be traced back to medieval times when land owners would pressure farmers to finish processing their wool before Christmas. The ones who finished their work would be rewarded with new clothing, while the others would be devoured by a monstrous cat. While we don’t necessarily have a monstrous cat threatening us to be efficient producers, unemployment and loss of healthcare has done the trick.

5. Belsnickel

belsnickel

Country of Origin: Germany

Our first character from Germany, Belsnickel’s name is derivative of Saint Nicholas.Belzen is German for ‘to wallop’ or ‘to drub,’ while Nickel is a pet name for Nicholas. As his name would suggest, Belsnickel carries a switch to frighten children and candy to reward them for good behavior. He wears tattered old clothing and raggedy fur, and in some traditions, also has a mask. The tradition of Belsnickel made its way to the United States in the 19th century when German immigrants immigrated to the Pennsylvania area (you may recall Dwight Schrute dressing as Belsnickel in one episode of The Office).

In that small American community the traditional Belsnickel lived in, he showed up at houses 1-2 weeks before Christmas, scaring the children because he somehow knew exactly which of them misbehaved. Belsnickel would rap on the door or window with his switch and often the children would have to answer a question for him or sing some type of song. Well-behaved children, or those who would answer the question or sing a song, would be given candies. The other children were not so lucky: if they moved too quickly for the treats, they would get struck with Belsnickel’s switch. In modern times, the switch has been adapted to only be used as a noise generated device, and the legend of Belsnickel lives on.

4. Hans Trapp

hanstrapp

Country of Origin: France

The legend of Hans Trapp comes from Alsace and Lorraine. The antithesis of Santa Claus, Hans Trapp delivers beatings to naughty children while Santa, on his worst day, delivers coal. According to legend, Trapp was, in fact, a real man who was profoundly evil. Rich, greedy, and a worshipper of Satan, Trapp was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Trapp was forced into exile and he fled into the forest. In his isolation, Trapp was driven mad and developed an insatiable hunger for human flesh.

He eventually began to prey upon children, disguised as a scarecrow with straw jutting out from his clothing. In one particularly ghastly case, he was about to begin feasting on a young boy he’d just slaughtered when suddenly, God struck him down with a lightning bolt, killing him. The frightening figure is still a part of French tradition, where he visits young children before Christmas, dressed as a scarecrow, to scare them into good behavior.

3. The Jólasveinar

jolasveinar

Country of Origin: Iceland

Another example of traditions being merged or shaped as time passes is the changed identity of the Jólasveinar, or Yule Lads. In their inception, they were 13 Icelandic trolls, who each had their own name and personality. The trolls’ activities ranged greatly, from leaving gifts to rotting potatoes, with some even described as homicidal murders who ate children. Generally, they were known as pranksters that stole things and caused trouble around Christmastime. The Yule Lads were used to scare children into behaving, just like the Yule Cat.

As time passed and cultures became intertwined, the benign Norwegian figure Julenisse (Santa Claus) rubbed off on the Icelandic traditions. Finally, in the 20th century, the formerly devilish Jólasveinar changed its ways and began leaving gifts more frequently. It eventually shed its medieval appearance and is now characterized in the simple costume worn by traditional Santa Claus.

2. Frau Perchta

perchta

Country of Origin: Germany or Austria

During medieval times, fear of a witch could be a very effective way to instill fear into a group of people. And Frau Perchta was a particularly frightening witch. According to German and Austrian tales, Perchta was generous in her rewards to the faithful and kind, but ruthless with the wicked. Very much a Christmas tradition, Perchta would visit homes during the 12 days of Christmas (December 25 through Epiphany on January 6). Children and even adults feared her gruesome punishment of the sinful, “rip(ing) out internal organs and replac(ing) them with garbage.”

Described as a tall, powerfully built woman, Perchata is thought to have been a goddess during Pagan times but transformed to a slovenly witch during the advent of Christianity. As German society progressed, Perchta began to be used more and more to punish and scare peasant women who became involved in the growing textile industry. During that period, “lazy” girls and women would be visited by Perchta … so they best finish their garments!

1. Cuco

cuco

Country of Origin: Portugal

“Sleep little child, sleep now, or the Cuco will come and eat you.” It’s hard to imagine that a child would not have nightmares after that lullaby. The myth of the Cuco originated in Portugal and Galicia with etymology deriving from the Galician and Portuguese côco: a ghost with a pumpkin head. The Cuco is a child eater and a kidnapper; in some instances, it will simply devour the child, leaving no trace, or it may steal the child away to a place of no return. The caveat of course being that it only bestows this punishment on disobedient children.

 Similar to Santa Claus, the Cuco uses the roof… only for more nefarious activities. It is on the lookout for a child’s misbehavior and can morph into the shape of any dark shadow so it can stay watching. The Cuco is supposed to represent the opposite of the guardian angel and is frequently compared to the devil.

Nightmarish Christmas Characters –

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WIF Around the World

Lost Film Library – WIF @ The Movies

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Lost Films

They Should Find

With our world of ubiquitous digital storage and our ability to have, like, 150 Skyrim saves, it’s hard to believe it’s possible to lose something like a film. Alas, thanks to a multitude of factors (such as inadequate record keeping and people plain old not giving a crap), hundreds – if not thousands – of films from the halcyon days of cinema have been lost. Here are 10 that we think they should focus on trying to find first.

  Note: Given that many of these films quite literally no longer exist, plot details for some are sparse, but we’ve included as much information as we can.

10. The Unlicensed Batman Movie, Where he Fights Dracula: Batman Fights Dracula

batmandracula

Over the years, hundreds of unlicensed of Batman products have been made without the permission of DC. Including, if you’re so inclined, the worst porno movie ever made, which is also, funnily enough, a lost film.

Since we like to keep things PG though, we’re instead going to talk about Batman Fights Dracula,an unlicensed Batman film in which the Dark Knight fights the Prince of Darkness, in the Philippines. Little is known about the film’s plot, but come on – do you really need to know anything to want to see a Filipino stuntman, dressed as Batman, punch a guy in Dracula cape?

All we have left from the film is a poster, which is frankly amazing. It shows Batman in a kung fu pose, squaring off against Dracula, who is apparently in the middle of kidnapping someone. From the poster it’s also clear that the film starred Batman’s kid sidekick, Robin, in some capacity – something we can tell from the large R on his costume. For some reason Batman, instead of having a large bat on his chest, has a silhouette of a man dunking a basketball. Something we assume was probably explained during the film, hopefully in a choreographed dance number.

9. The First Ever Voiced Anime: Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka

anime

Anime is a lot like vaping, in that it’s incredibly popular among a diverse group of people, but diehard fans who take it too seriously insist that it’s a niche interest. Even if you’re not a big fan of anime, something cool from your childhood – whether it’s the Power Rangers or Tekken 2 – owes some part of its existence to this genre of media.

Which is why it’s odd that what many consider to be the first example of anime featuring voiceover work is said to no longer exist, in any known form. Created in 1933, Chikare to Onna no Yo no Naka, or The World of Power and Women, follows the story of a man who cheats on his wife with his secretary. We’d say more about the story, but that’s literally all the information about it we have. Also it’s giving us flashbacks to our childhoods so we think it’s best to move on and talk about something less depressing. Like giant monster movies…

8. The Japanese Period Drama Starring King Kong: King Kong Appears in Edo

kong-edo

Godzilla is considered a seminal work of Japanese cinema and is credited with being the genesis of the kaiju (giant monster) genre. Think the kind of movies Pacific Rim was an homage to. Weirdly though, there was a Japanese film starring a giant monster released nearly two decades before Godzilla starring the other OG of the giant monster world, King Kong, that has since been lost.

Released in 1938 and supposedly inspired by the success of the 1933’s King Kong, King Kong Appears in Edo is an unusual movie in that nobody is quite sure if the ape in the film is actually a giant or not (it appears giant in posters, but people who watched the movie don’t remember it being that big). What we do know is that, unlike Godzilla, which was a horror movie espousing the horrors and destructive power of nuclear weapons, this film was a period drama, that also just so happened to feature a giant rampaging gorilla as the title character. If you’re not saddened by the fact you will never see this movie, we think they sell senses of childlike wonder on eBay.

7. One of the Best Spy Dramas Ever Made: Squadron Leader X

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Recently there’s been a backlash of sorts against the glut of CGI-filled movies dominating the box office every summer. There has been a renewed appreciation for good old fashioned practical effects. Few people realize, though, just how old fashioned practical effects are. For example, consider the film Squadron Leader X, a 1943 spy thriller that features actual stunts and aerial dog-fights performed by actual members of the British Air Force during war time.Meaning the planes featured in this movie were real Allied planes, that had taken part in actualdog fights with the Axis, that the director somehow convinced to take part in pretend dog fights, for fun.

Contemporary reviews from the time called the film’s action scenes “among the most actionful and breath-taking ever screened” and we guess we’ll have to take their word for it, because no footage of them has survived.

6. The Gay Porno Starring Jesus: HIM

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Okay so we kind of lied about wanting to keep things PG. But this one is too weird to not mention. Weird because the film was deemed so offensively unerotic that people genuinely don’t believe it ever existed. What little we know about the plot says that it focuses on a young man who becomes sexually fixated with Jesus. Which is, well…really weird. But hey, who are we to judge the kind of things people find sexy?

However, some people do feel like they have the right to judge, and there has been a genuine effort made to find this movie to prove it doesn’t exist, which seems kind of backwards to us. But everyone needs a hobby, we guess. So if you feel like you’re wasting time reading this article, remember there are people out there searching for a movie from the ’70s where Jesus does the horizontal hug with his fellow man.

5. Another Film About a Man in a Gorilla Costume Terrorizing Japan:Wasei Kingu Kongu

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We know what you’re thinking: we already did this entry, right? Well as it turns out, Japan was way more into King Kong than we ever realized. Released in 1933 (the same year as King Kong), Wasei Kingu Kongu (that’s the actual title) follows the adventures of a young man called Santa (that’s his actual name) who, inspired by the film King Kong, dons a gorilla costume and takes part in a stage show to earn money to impress a girl he likes.

However, while performing in the show Santa sees the girl he likes sitting in the audience with a boyfriend and, overcome with rage, begins rampaging around Tokyo while still wearing the gorilla costume. Tokyo police, thinking Santa is a real gorilla (he’s apparently a very good actor), give chase. Showing remarkable mental aptitude for a guy who thought “gorilla costume” was the way to woo a girl, Santa gorilla slaps his paramour’s new boyfriend, steals his wallet, and then puts the gorilla costume on him so he gets arrested instead.

Santa then uses the boyfriend’s own money to marry the girl of his dreams in what we suspect is the most baller move ever committed to film. While there’s no confirmation about what happened to the film, our working theory is that it’s still frozen solid somewhere because of how cool that ending is.

4. The Disney Movie, Before Disney: Le avventure di Pinocchio

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It says a lot about Disney as a company that they’re so powerful, folk stories that have existed for centuries – and in some cases, millennia – belong to them, because nobody would be willing to face down their legal department to make a Snow White or Pinocchio movie. Curiously, Disney as we know it today may never have existed if not for one Italian company abandoning – ironically – a Pinocchio movie.

That company was Cartoni Animati Italiani Roma (a company so dead it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page), who in 1936 were this close to releasing the first animated film ever made. The film would have basically been a retelling of the 1882 children’s story, The Adventures of Pinocchio, and would have beaten Disney to the punch of making the first animated film by an entire year. Budget concerns saw the entire film being canned before release, leaving behind over a hundred thousand drawings, and thousands of feet of film that has since disappeared like a fart in a wind tunnel.

Given that Snow White has grossed nearly half a billion dollars individually, and helped turn Disney into the corporate behemoth it is today, it’s easy to imagine what this film could have done for CAIR’s fortunes. Instead, the company imploded. Everyone involved lost their jobs, and Walt Disney went right ahead and bought the rights to the book and released his own version of the film a few years later just to rub it in.

3. The Bruce Lee Movie Where He Straight Up Murders People: The Big Boss, Original Mandarin Cut

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It’s no secret that we love us some Bruce Lee here at TopTenz. Which is why we’re all kinds of annoyed that there is a film starring our main man that we’ll never get to see. The Big Boss was the film that first catapulted Bruce Lee to fame, but as we’ve mentioned before, there’s a bunch of stuff cut from that movie including scenes of Bruce Lee killing people with gardening implements, and having sex with prostitutes.

As far as film buffs can tell, the only version of the movie with all that good stuff left in was the original 1971 Mandarin cut that has since disappeared. The content was apparently so shocking that the film was heavily edited soon after the first showing, and was edited further in compliance with the various censorship boards of the numerous countries it was shipped to overseas. As a result, the original, true version of this movie – the version the director and Bruce Lee wanted us to see, the version with all the ’70s era violence and sex left in – doesn’t exist anymore, and we hate that.

2. The Colorized Version of the Best Movie Ever Made: Citizen Kane

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We’re not going to waste valuable digital ink fawning over Citizen Kane, because there are like 8,000 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes already doing that. The film is rightfully considered a cinematic masterpiece, though at the time it was crapped on because the guy it was parodying threw a big temper tantrum. Figures.

Sometime in ’80s there were plans afoot to have the film colorized for a modern audience. That was something director, writer and magnificent beard owner Orson Welles vehemently opposed, allegedly quipping “don’t let Ted Turner deface my movie with his crayons” shortly before his death. Welles was so aversed to the idea of colorizing the film that he even included stipulations in his will that the film never be shown in anything other than black and white. Which didn’t stop Ted Turner and his crayons from doing it anyway.

*Note to everyone reading: if there’s one ghost you don’t want to annoy, it’s Orson Welles’

Supposedly, only the film’s final reel was colorized. To date only a single minute of this footage has ever surfaced, in an obscure ’90s documentary aired by the BBC. Of course thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can watch that minute right here and see how awful it is for yourself. Hey, speaking of fetid turds…

1. The Original (Better) Copy of One of the Worst Films Ever: Foodfight!

food-fight

The title of “worst film ever made” is paradoxically one that is more contested than the title of best, with dozens of films vying for the place beneath the scum at the bottom of the barrel. IfFoodfight! isn’t the worst film ever made, it is certainly a worthy contender.

In a nutshell, Foodfight! is an animated film detailing the adventures of various brand mascots in a fictitious supermarket. If you’re having trouble picturing it, just imagine what that new Seth Rogen animated movie would look like if he sold out harder than a special edition iPhone. The film is considered one of the most pandering, blatant, and offensive examples of product placement ever seen and featured animation so poor it wouldn’t look out of place in a Sonic game. It also stars Charlie Sheen, Christopher Lloyd, and Hillary Duff, and cost $45 million dollars to make.

The film’s producers maintain that the version we got looks like it was slapped together at the last second because it was, and that there exists a better, earlier version of the movie, as evidenced by trailers that somehow have significantly better animation quality. Supposedly this god-tier version of the film was stolen in – get this – an act of “industrial espionage” and they were forced to remake the entire movie using old assets and no money.

Sadly, the ninja who stole the film has never released it or uploaded it to a filesharing website, presumably to save us from having our eyes and heads melt like those Nazis who looked directly into the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark.


 Lost Film Library

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– WIF @ The Movies

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #333

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #333

… pure fictional genius…

from-the-desk-of-001

Nearly all of the main Tallahassee characters were real people. I used their actual names and because of the volatile nature of the events, especially in the 1950’s, I may have the legal department pulling out their hair. If I had fictionalized their names, I could never have kept them all straight. Who they were and Image result for real peoplewhat was their relation to A.O. Campbell needed to be as is. Perhaps it is due to my simple mind, but George Lewis, Charles latobsd3-001Wilson, Franklin McLoud, the Dr.’s nurses, the Dr.’s attorneys, the Prosecutors, Starke Prison and Audrie Franich, all appearing in chapter 1 & subsequently, are real.

Now, some of the machinations surrounding his trial and subsequent imprisonment, well that is a combination of speculation and fictionalization on my part. None of this tinkering affects the end result.

Robert Ford-001Carolyn Hanes and Capt. Robert Ford do have a big role in the book. Bob Ford did indeed pilot the Pacific Clipper at the outbreak of WWII and had to fly it back to New York counterclockwise. Carolyn Hanes is pure fiction. You may think she is my alter ego. That is left for you to imagine.

Ferrell's Grocery-001   In chapter 2, the Ferrell family is foundational to the story line. Most all of them are true, in the fact that they did exist. I may have exaggerated their role, but they do and did contribute to Leon County past.

Laura Bell/Olla is a key to the complicated bloodlines of the Campbell family. She is the mother of Maggie Lou, though Maggie’s erotic conception may be subject to my imagination. Maggie Lou does go on to marry the doctor in 1916.Campbell Home-001

The Campbell family, headed by Willy and Amanda, is the all-in-all. Alfrey (A.O.) Campbell had four brothers and sisters. Hosea is the most infamous, but was he such a rascal, I do not know?

More than likely, the Campbell’s were slaves at some point, but the evil Jefferson Smythwick did not exist and his Fort Sumter South plantation occupies made-up ground. You must admit though that the escape by Alfrey et al was an exciting treat. Take that mean old slave owners!

Anti-slavery-001 Chapters 3 and 4 contain the fictional Southeast Anti-slavery Society, headed by the great Herbert Love. I call him great because he is the person, who I posit, providing for the Dr.’s education. In fact, I have since learned that A.O.’s extended family may have sacrificed holdings to finance his education.Sec. of Ag-001

Love never made Secretary of Agriculture in a McKinley administration, but he would have had the qualifications. He was engaged in farming of some sort, though he takes on a lion’s share philanthropy for my purposes.

San Luis Lake-001 Siegfried and Frieda Endlichoffer, the German couple across the lake from John Ferrell, are based on a personal acquaintance. They are a sweet augmentation to the Tallahassee landscape and what better neighbors could anyone have?

Of course the Spanish American War was real. It represents the USA’s first foray into imperial policy, which has led to our global role as policeman to the world.mckinley-at-pan-american-exposition

The Horizons of chapters 5 and 6 are the recounting of what was going on the last time we entered a new century. 1900 had as many amazing changes as we have in the Catfish AL-001year 2000. President McKinley was indeed assassinated in 1901 and that was preceded by the Galveston hurricane, the Great Plague and followed by the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Harv Pearson is a huge player in LATOBSD. He marries Judith Eastman in chapter 7, who is fictional and they start the Pearson-Eastman Journal, a make believe publication that gives this book the legs to reach out to the entire flat world… pure fictional genius.

Continued

… one Episode to go…

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Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #333


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #289

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #289

…Newt Swakhammer seems like a guy who lets the world happen around him…

My Project 20-001

“Look at that! There is an ass on the runway.”

          “Be nice to the man, Bob, we want him to spill his guts.”

          “No, an actual donkey, silly. Oh… okay, he is dragging it off. He must have seen us coming.” He tilts their plane left, then right to signal (the flying hello). He waves them in.

“He certainly looks friendly.”

“His name is Newt Swakhammer and he was the first person to see the crash.”

 

“Swakhammer? Maybe he should have had the government change his name, too. I couldn’t make up a name like that. Hi, I’m Newt Swakhammer.”

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          “Take it easy, Lyn.” Ford doesn’t want her breaking up in front of the rancher. “Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t find him a ranch in Argentina. I have a feeling that we are the last people the Air Force wants him to talk to.”

“Too late.” And it was.

The landing goes smoothly, except for having to dodge numerous prairie dog holes, while causing a small stampede of rangy Herefords.

   “Don’t you worry about them cattle, they’ll be back,” Newt assures his guests. “We don’t get many visitors out here.”

          “Are those cows the same ones you had in New Mexico, because I could see why they would be afraid of things that fly?” Excellent segue into the topic at hand.

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“The ones that ain’t longhorns, yeah, they followed me to Texas. You know, come to think of it, those Herefords is a skidderish bunch. Some of ‘em would be gone for days, then come on back fatter than they was when they left out.” Newt Swakhammer seems like a guy who lets the world happen around him. “No sense in making sense of every little thing, that’s what I always say.”

          “Did that crash a couple years back make any sense to you, Newt?” Bob knows that Newt knows that Lyn knows.

          “Just about scared the tar out o’me, it did. I was in the house, rustling up some grub when it hit the ground, so bright it blinded me for a bit. Still see spots floatin’ ‘round when I’m in the dark.”

“What did you see when you went out to see what’s what?” Lyn broadens his myopic recollection.

“What didn’t I see? Junk everywhere, a full section of land sizzlin’, and smoking’.”

“Did you pick up anything, for a souvenir?”

Alabama Hills pan l

  “At first I didn’t. Never saw anything like that stuff; gadgets, lights still flashin’, some tin metal so thin you could see through it, even a couple bodies. No noses on those little beggars, one of ‘em still livin’ until the army showed up.”

“What did the army do with it, uh, them.”

“Carted ‘em off wrapped in blankets, in a big time hurry too. Told me they was kids in costume. Which I could believe, but that don’t explain the grown-up I saw.”

“Grown-up?”

“Yeah, some guy in a fancy blue suit, well it must have been fancy before gettin’ singed to a crisp.”

***panoramic photography | jacob rosen***


Alpha Omega M.D.

Newt Swakhammer-001

Episode #289


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Film Characters Based on Real People – WIF @ the Movies

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Movie Characters

Based on Real People

As Mark Twain famously put it, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” And so it is with movies. As authors and screenwriters use their imaginations to come up with some truly amazing stories, they do draw inspiration from the real world on occasion. Events, places, and even characters are influenced by what really is out there. Believe it or not, many of our beloved protagonists, or villains for that matter, are rooted in real life.

Be warned: there might be some small spoilers, but we’ll try to minimize them.

10. Ahmad ibn Fadlan – The 13th Warrior

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In 1999, Antonio Banderas starred in a movie called The 13th Warrior, playing an Arab ambassador. The film was based on a Michael Crichton novel called Eaters of the Dead. While stopping for supplies in a Viking village, he finds himself drawn into a quest with 12 Norsemen. The 13 men must face an overwhelming force, threatening a distant Viking king. Throughout his quest, Fadlan learns to speak the language, experiences Norse customs, and fights alongside them against that threat.

The film was a fantastical adventure, but surprisingly an Arab traveler by the same name did exist during the 10th century. As a member of an embassy of the Abbasid Caliphate, Fadlan is most famous for his first-hand accounts and detailed descriptions of the Rus Vikings, Pechenegs, Khazars, and other Turkic peoples living throughout Eastern Europe and Central Eurasia. His descriptions are the most detailed of that age. They present us with the most knowledge we have about the Vikings to date. His accounts also present the famous ship burial of a local chieftain, accompanied by the sacrificial death of a maiden.

Unlike Europeans at that time, Muslim chroniclers bore no grudge against the Vikings and thus their reports are considered by modern scholars to be far more trustworthy and reliable. And since the Norsemen had only a runic alphabet, unsuited for recordkeeping, the historic events as described by Fadlan are the best we have about the Vikings.

9. Ursula – The Little Mermaid

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Even if you’ve never seen the 1989 Disney film The Little Mermaid, you’ve probably seen the evil sea witch Ursula somewhere on the internet. But what most people don’t know is that she was actually inspired by Harris Glenn Milstead, a real person who gained fame in the 1970s and ’80s. Harris was better known by his stage name, Divine. He performed as an actor on both stage and screen. His most notable characteristic, however, was the fact that he was a drag queen. Divine was closely associated with independent filmmaker John Waters, who called Harris, the most beautiful woman in the world, almost.”

Ursula’s general appearance and demeanor were inspired by Divine. Similar to her human counterpart, Ursula received positive reviews from film critics. She was dubbed “Disney’s strongest villain in decades.” However, Divine didn’t live long enough to see the cartoon version of himself, dying one year earlier at the age of 42 of an enlarged heart.

 8. Johnny Fontane – The Godfather

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Johnny Fontane is a fictional character in Mario Puzo’s novel, The Godfather, and subsequent movie adaptations. Godson to Don Vito Corleone, Fontane is a famous singer and film star who needs the help of the family in order to launch his career. The line about the “offer he can’t refuse” was used in reference to Vito getting Fontane out of an ironclad contract. And on another occasion, in an act of intimidation, a film producer wakes up with a severed horse head in his bed. This was Don Corleone’s way of ensuring Fontane would be cast in a film that could revitalize his career. Each scene has become the stuff of cinematic legend.

In real life, however, the role of Johnny Fontane was “played” by none other than Frank Sinatra. Though never confirmed, Sinatra is believed to have been closely linked with the Mafia underworld. And while his career was plummeting during the early 1950s, many believe that some of these connections helped him get a role inFrom Here to Eternity. That film earned him an Oscar and saved his career. Puzo never did make the claim that Fontane was based on Sinatra, but he also never denied it either.

7. Zorro

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Featured in numerous books, films, and various TV series, Zorro is a fictional character created in 1919 by Johnston McCulley. Like Robin Hood of old, Zorro (“fox” in Spanish) was a vigilante who helped the commoners against tyrannical officials and all sorts of other villains. He’s always dressed in black, wears a mask over his face, and always leaves behind his calling card, the letter “Z.” He leaves that iconic mark with a few quick slashes of his rapier. The action takes place in California in the 19th century, during the era of Mexican rule. And surprisingly enough, the legendary bandito is based on a real Californian legend.

 McCulley is believed to have received inspiration for his fictional character, Don Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, from a book called The Life and Adventures of Joaquín Murrieta. Joaquin Murrieta was in fact a real person who lived during the Californian Gold Rush. He turned from an honest miner into a unlawful bandit. Even to this day controversy surrounds Murrieta. Some call him a renegade; others, a national hero. So many stories have been told about him that it’s almost impossible to distinguish fact from fiction. What is certainly true about Murrieta, however, is that the English drove him from a rich mining claim. They also raped his wife, lynched his brother, and had Murrieta horse-whipped. All of these unfortunate events made him follow a life of crime, with the rest becoming legend.

In the 1998 film adaptation, The Mask of Zorro, Anthony Hopkins plays the role of Don Diego de la Vega. Victor Rivers plays Joaquin Murrieta, and Antonio Banderas plays Joaquin’s brother, Alejandro, who takes on the mantle of Zorro.

6. Ignacio/Nacho – Nacho Libre

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A devout priest turned luchador? That’s a comedy perfectly suited for Jack Black. But nobody in his right mind would believe it to be based on actual events. Somewhat similar to the plot of the movie, Sergio Gutierrez Benitez was a Catholic priest in charge of an orphanage in a rundown neighborhood in Veracruz, Mexico. Born in 1945, as the 16th of 17 children, Benitez was a troubled kid using drugs from a young age. He decided to become a minister, however, after he was kicked out of a church by a priest. Basically, he thought the world needed more “cool” priests.

In 1973 he founded the “La Casa Hogar de los Cachorros de Fray Tormenta”orphanage, home to 270 children. In need of money to take care of them, Father Benitez took up wrestling as Fray Tormenta. He designed a red and yellow lucha libre mask kept his true identity hidden. The padre believed that “No one would have taken me seriously as a wrestler had they known I was a priest.”

To prepare for the ring, he woke up at 4:30 a.m. every morning for a year, went to a gym in Mexico City to learn the art of lucha libre, and returned back to the orphanage by 8:00 a.m., in time for mass. The bishop overseeing his parish demanded that Father Benitez stop his wrestling career. Instead, Fray Tormenta told him that he would gladly stop only if the bishop himself would donate the equivalent of what he was earning in the ring. Naturally, that didn’t happen. Father Benitez officially retired in 2011, after 23 years of wearing the mask for his children.

5. Lucy Whitmore – 50 First Dates

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Back in 1985, an English woman by the name of Michelle Philpots suffered a motorcycle accident. The same year, she met future husband, Ian. Five years later, she was involved in another serious car accident. Together with the previous one, she was afflicted with a rare form of anterograde amnesia. In 1994, Michelle was diagnosed with epilepsy as a result of her head injuries. Ever since, she’s struggled to form new memories.

Every morning for the past 22 years, her husband, who she only remembers as her boyfriend, presents her with their wedding album and answers whatever questions Michelle might have. She leaves herself Post-It notes on the refrigerator, and all sorts of other helpful tips she might need throughout the day. She even uses a GPS to navigate her hometown of Spalding, in southeastern England.

Though she can’t form new memories, she can carry out everyday things like driving a car or having a conversation. That’s actually unusual for someone in her condition. She can also remember some bits and pieces after 1994, too, but mostly as feelings or sensations. Sometimes, she can remember special occasions. You may have noticed her story is strikingly similar to that of Lucy Whitmore, the character played by Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. While it’s hard to say if the film is based on Philpots’s story, it’s hard to ignore how eerily similar the plot is to her real life.

4. Frank Costello – The Departed

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In the 2006 blockbuster The Departed, Jack Nicholson plays the role of a ruthless Irish mob boss, Frank Costello. Costello controls the Boston underworld. This character is based on James “Whitey” Bulger, a notorious gangster. In 1999, Bulger was named by the FBI as their second most wanted man, behind only Osama bin Laden. The movie’s plot (spoilers!) revolves around Costello planting a mole within the state police. Meanwhile, the police assign an undercover agent to infiltrate Costello’s “Winter Hill Gang.” The relationship between Costello and his mole is loosely based on Bulger and John Connolly, a corrupt FBI agent who grew up with Bulger. Connolly helped Whitey rise to power in Boston for over 20 years.

Connolly would feed Bulger information about what was going on in the criminal rackets, giving Whitey an edge on anyone else. In 1995, Connolly tipped him off about his imminent arrest, and Bulger was able to escape the authorities. A $1 million reward was issued for providing any information leading directly to his arrest. In 2011, he was finally captured and brought to trial. The 81-year-old gangster was sentenced two two life sentences, plus five years in prison. The charges included federal racketeering, extortion, conspiracy, and 11 murders. In 2015, Bulger’s story was told in a more “official” capacity with the film Black Mass,starring Johnny Depp as Bulger and Joel Edgerton as Connolly.

3. Steve Zissou – The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

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 In 1930, Jacques Cousteau was accepted into France’s Naval Academy and trained as an aviator. However, a near-fatal car accident at age 26 ensured he would never be able to fly. As a Navy man, he swam rigorously to strengthen his weakened arms. One day a fellow officer gave him a pair of goggles to keep the saltwater away. The goggles opened his eyes to the beauty of the undersea world, where he spent the rest of his life.

In 1950 he leased an old minesweeper from a British philanthropist for a symbolic one franc per year. He named it Calypso and transformed it into a mobile laboratory. With it, Cousteau explored the world’s waters from the Mediterranean, to the Amazon, to the Antarctic Ice Shelf. He developed the Aqua-Lung to help divers stay submerged for long periods of time. Cousteau wrote countless books and produced dozens of documentaries. He even had his own weekly TV series, “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.”

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a 2004 American comedy-drama, which focuses on oceanographer Steve Zissou. Played by Bill Murray, the film tells the story of Zissou’s quest to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner. Along for the trip on his aging research vessel, the Belafonte, are his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may be his son. The similarities between Zissou and Cousteau are abundant. Their aging vessels, the names of their shows, and especially the way they dress (blue clothing and red hat) all point to this connection. The only obvious difference is that Cousteau never went on a hunt to blow up a jaguar shark.

Or did he?

2. Viktor Navorski – The Terminal

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In the 2004’s The Terminal, a man becomes trapped in New York’s JFK Airport when he’s denied entry into the US. Viktor Navorski, played by Tom Hanks, can’t return to his home country, either. A military coup took place while he was in the air. His country is no longer recognized, making his passport invalid. And so, Navorski is forced to live inside the airport. The film, as well as the character itself, is based on the story of a Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee.

Being expelled from Iran after protesting against the Shah, Nasseri sought asylum in Britain. But during his layover in Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, his papers were stolen. Nevertheless, he boarded a plane to London but was promptly returned to Paris. Since he legally entered France, and no longer had a country of origin, Sir Alfred Mehran (as he became known) became a permanent resident of Terminal 1. The airport employees gave him food and newspapers. He spent his days reading, writing in his diary, or studying economics. Since he wasn’t allowed to enter France, he wandered the airport for 17 years, from 1988 to 2006, when he was hospitalized for an unspecified ailment. Since 2008, Nasseri has been living in a Paris shelter.

1. Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones

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Many of us grew up with Indiana Jones as a role model. Since his first appearance in Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, Indy has become one of cinema’s most revered characters. George Lucas created the beloved character as an homage to various action heroes he grew up with. One such example is Charlton Heston, who in 1954 played a character named Harry Steele in a movie called Secret of the Incas. Steele has a striking resemblance to Indiana Jones, and not just when it came to their choice in clothing.

However, both Indy and Steele can thank an early 20th century professor for their existence. Hiram Bingham III was an American academic, explorer, and politician. After completing a PhD at Harvard, he became a professor of Latin American history at Yale in 1907. In 1911, he organized a Yale Peruvian Expedition. With the help of some locals, he was able to rediscover the lost city of Machu Picchu. However, he misidentified it as the “Lost City (Capital) of the Incas.” It turns out, Machu Picchu was really more of a summer resort for the Inca Emperor Pachacutiand his entourage. The actual “Lost City” (and last capital) of the Inca Empire, before falling to the Spaniards in 1572, was Vilcabamba. Bingham actuallyalso discovered that on his way to Machu Picchu, but didn’t recognize what it was.


Film Characters Based on Real People

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– WIF @ the Movies