31 Days of Horror: The Kingdom

Lars Von Trier's latest movie Antichrist has been causing all sorts of controversy. It's one of those movies that once you see it - you can't ever unsee it if you catch my drift. But it's not Von Trier's first foray into the horror genre. In 1994 he wrote and directed a Danish TV series called Riget (The Kingdom). It's a weird, quirky and at times quite the horrifying little show about the various going-ons at a Danish hospital. The show followed several story lines and was only four episodes long. It ended with more questions than answers. Von Trier then followed it up with a sequel in 1997 called Riget II (The Kindgom II). It also didn't really clear anything up and by the time Von Trier thought about finishing the series up - five of the original cast members had died - including both main leads.

The story follows a Swedish doctor named Stig Helmer (Ernst-Hugo Järegård) who is working at Copenhagen's Rigshospitalet - the city and the country's main hospital. The place is nicknamed Riget - meaning The Kingdom. Helmer is working there after he screwed up and left a patient a vegetable. Meanwhile a psychic old woman called Sigrid Drusse (Kirsten Rolffes) is looking for the ghost of a little girl and the little girl's body so that the poor thing can finally rest. Another story has a female doctor who finds out that she's pregnant and that the father might be a ghost played by Udo Kier.

The show is shot in Von Trier's Dogme style although he breaks more than a few rules for this production. The show itself is very weird, funny, quirky and terrifying. Every episode ends with Swedish Dr. Helmer standing outside screaming at the sky "Danish Scum!"

Despite not being a movie - it has made the list of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Sadly Hollywood remade this as Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital. With emphasis on Stephen King who apparently adapted Von Trier's scripts. That version is not included on 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

The ending of season one is so horrible - it just happens to be one of those things that you can't ever unsee that I mentioned earlier. It's so horrible that Japanese director Takashi Miike borrows the scene for his movie Gozu and to some extent in the movie Izo. I reckon if I have to live with such a horrible image forever burned into my brain - I should have company and thus recommend this show.

Friday Afternoon Puppy!

EDIT: Fixed! Hooray!

Here, have some bonus pugs. To make up for the video-not-working troubles.

NHL in Winnipeg ... AHL in Toontown?

Rod Pedersen's blog is pretty much the gold standard for Saskatchewan sports blogging, so if it's here (pedersenmedia) it's probably being discussed at a level higher than the coffee shops. Rod says the Atlanta Thrashers are almost certain to be moved to Winnipeg after the end of this season. Winnipeg already has a pro team -- the Manitoba Moose, the farm club for the Vancouver Canucks.

So if the MTS Centre (their website) gets a new tenant -- and about 3,000 extra seats, as Rod says -- the Moose aren't going to stay around. And one place they may end up is Saskatoon. And the Blades may end up in Winnipeg -- run as a doubleheader team the way the Hitmen and Flames coexist in Calgary, the Oil Kings and Oilers do in Edmonton, and the Giants and Canucks do in Vancouver.

Hmmmm ...

What Conservative Radio Station Owners in Florida do in their spare time

They have drunken orgies with teenagers. Who knew? (WFTV Florida)

Six In the Morning

1 CRUNCH TIME It's budget-band-aid day at the marble palace as Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer announces Saskatchewan's spending cuts. Hey, it's a Friday--hardly anyone will notice bad news and everyone will forget by Monday, right? (No link yet because no actual news yet.)

2 WAR CRIMES The United Nations endorses a report saying Israel and Hamas have committed them. (Guardian)

3 HELP FOR AT-RISK FISH As a well-known conservative, I always like to hear about conservation efforts like this. It's great that the endangered sturgeon is getting some help. We conservatives are strong believers in preserving animals and ecosystems like forests and lakes and tundra and grasslands for future generations. (CBC)

4 DOESN'T SEEM LIKE ENOUGH A 14 year-old kid who acted as lookout for a gang buddy who raped a woman gets a young offender, 16-month slap on the wrist. The 16 year-old rapist got two years. It's true that revenge-based sentences don't help anyone but this still sucks. (Leader-Post)

5 JURORS FOR JESUS A Texas jury who sentenced a killer to death inspired themselves by reading bible verses. Will Texas Governor Rick Perry commute the sentence since it's clear religious zealotry was involved? Probably not--he's been content to let almost certainly innocent men die before, why would he save an actual murderer? (Guardian)

6 QUEBEC CITY MAKES A PLAY FOR THE NHL Mayor announces a $400-million arena to woo one of these deadbeat American-market teams back to Canada . You can bet this story is getting a lot of play in Winnipeg. (Montreal Gazette)

Pick of the Day: Jet w/ Kill Hannah

I recently checked out Jet's new CD Shaka Rock and I wasn't blown away. So this pick comes with a bit of a caveat attached. That's going to happen occasionally with this feature because, after all, this is Regina. We're on the map a lot more than we used to be. But it's not like we're a megacity like Toronto where something mega-interesting is happening pretty much every night of the week.

Having said that, Jet aren't exactly chopped liver. The Aussie garage rock quartet are best-known for their 2003 hit "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" off their album Get Born which still gets bludgeoned to death -- I mean, receives regular airplay -- on Regina rock radio stations. If you catch them at the Drink Nightclub tonight, I can pretty much guarantee that you'll hear the tune at some point, and when you do those in attendance will go crazy. I don't want to spoil that moment for you, so here's the video for their latest single "Rip It Up". (YouTube)

Backing up Jet is the Chicago alt-rock band Kill Hannah fronted by emo heartthrob Mat Devine. Here's the video for their song "Lips Like Morphine". (YouTube)