Friday, August 6, 2010

Review: "Fact or Faked"

(This time, one of my buddies is appearing as the "guest breasts")

"Fact or Faked" last night showed an interesting video of a supposed ghost on stairs who shows up in the windows and believed to be nothing paranormal. A hellhound beast was caught on film running across a field and England; they decided to pursue this one. Next, a video of a dude on all four in a white bodysuit in the background behind campers at night--total hoax. In El Cajon, CA a nighttime triangle UFO had them intrigued; they decided to pursue this one. A triangle UFO like a pyramid sat over top of Moscow. They aren't too impressed by that one.

Half the team goes to England in search of the beast. I found this one interesting. They took the potential animals and filmed them running with green screen and then were able to superimpose them on the location where the original film was taken to see if they look similar in the environment. They thought the lion off the bat looks similar. A tracker discussed the sightings of black cats and potentially wild cat hybrids in the area and boars, as well. They went out in the woods to see what they could find. They found a killed ram and wondered what large animal might have killed it and dragged it. The turned on IR and thermal imager and sat in the darkened woods. They found another carcass at night. They came up with a hilarious hybrid animation of a boar mated with a lion. They came, once again, to the conclusion...unexplained. (I'm glad they don't get paid for decisive answers or they'd be poor.)

Next case, half the team went to El Cajon, CA to investigate a triangle-shaped UFO filmed at night. It looked like 3 solid lights staying equidistant and it was silent. It sort of faded out fast. They tried chinese lanterns in the sky and only did one and it burned out quickly. Now, at my 2000 New Year's party, we lit many lanterns and let them float away and they did quite well and looked very very much like the video that man took. They called it quits after one burnt lantern. I wasn't impressed with how wimpy this team is on followthrough. They hooked up a helicopter with an LED light beneath it. Not sure what this was supposed to prove as I seriously doubt any helicopter pilots were putting a rig underneath their helicopters and putting lights on them. It looked very similar, but it was noisy. Even up higher, it was still loud. They launched a balloon with lights. Okay, any of us could have said that a helicopter is too freaking noisy to even consider, but no they had to rent one. The weather balloon with lights was precisely the same. They came up with a "faked" designation (someone is going to make some cash for a decisive answer).

Okay, I'm not going to rip apart the show. I still love the premise. I will say, though, that the women are troubling. They are both totally unable to make expressions on their faces which is rather telling--if you know what I mean. They are much too young to be paralyzing themselves, so I will just hope they have some sort of scleraderma condition instead of taking the Hollywood method to rid themselves of furrows. If for some reasons they come by it naturally to be completely unable to soften their concrete expressions, then they are the most waxen lifeless human beings I've ever seen. Either way, I find it hard to believe their surprise or shock and find it a bit like staring into Medusa. I fear I too will turn to stone.

Beyond that anxiety-producing aspect of the show, I have to say that I still love Ben and Bill and I would include in that the curly-haired blonde dude and I'm oh so sorry, but I never pay attention when they flash their names below them. He seems rather gullible. Bill acts skeptical, but I think he tends to believe stuff. Ben seems to carry the group's decision more than his own. I think I'd like to see a horrible skeptic on the team who is bristly and can express on his/her face and perhaps someone very nerdish who is seriously into the technical aspects of recreating things and willing to go the extra mile instead of running a lion in 10 feet of space and expecting that to show how a lion runs across a field.

I'm pulling for this show. I think it still has the kinks of first season to work out and after that I will be probably as avid a viewer as I am of "Destination Truth." It's the right concept and concept is a huge part of success. It's just a matter of adjusting the characters within.

I am still going to get on hands and knees and beg to see more viral videos and just have them sit around and tear them apart with clues. When they showed the first film of the supposed ghost in the hallway and in the windows, I got all tingly when the pointed out the discrepancies and shadows and features that made it a hoax. That's what I want; more skills for the folks at home to start questioning viral videos with their own skills. I want them sitting around a dorm room and watching the vids and tearing them apart. I'd like a clown to be amongst them who mocks the vids, a skeptic, a nerd, and a gullible guy. I want to hear them banter back and forth and point things out and talk atop of each other. Jeez, I really want that.

QUIZ: Which animal did they NOT suggest as what the beast might be?


  1. Beast, hellhound, or a Newfoundland - called Troy ?

    I have to say that I am beginning to wonder if FoF is inept or deceptive? They pull out a dog that looks nothing like the creature on the film and then tell us that it (the beast) looks nothing like a dog? Come on FoF do you think that your viewers are so dumb as to think that all dog breeds look alike? Man, you would have come closer to the beast with a pekinese.

    Inept or deceptive? I'm starting to think deceptive.

  2. I don't know what to make of it, Barry. They don't pursue things much. The ghost writing one, they got some bad hazy pics and said "we couldn't replicate our lab findings in the home," but they didn't really give it much of a try. Their paper lantern burned and they called that a bust. I agree about the Newfoundland, in fact, that's the breed I thought it was because our neighbors had one when I was a kid and it would go running through our yard and looked exactly identical.

  3. That isn't to say that I don't like some of the cast members. I just don't understand why they are giving us these solutions (or lack of) to the videos.

    I like Ben. He seems like a cool person. Maybe someone should suggest that he take over the GHI team now that Robb Demarest has quit.

  4. Barry;
    I didn't hear that Robb quit. Hmmm... Yes, I think that Ben would be a ghost magnet. I'd put him in that spot in a heartbeat. I get the distinct feeling from him that he has one foot in this world and one in another... Those kinds of souls don't come along too often, so using him in a position such as that would be ideal. The issues with the show are really more that it's kind of infantile in the way it goes to all this trouble. Hiring a helicopter when obviously it makes too much noise was like a beginner's idea. I still would love a show just of viral videos and sitting around debunking them--not building models or using green screen. That said, I think Ben is a keeper and I like Bill a lot too. There's something very sincere about that man. You can see the wheels turning and you can tell debunking and looking for phenomenon is his passion. Okay, so how do we get hired by SyFy to fix these things???

  5. They pulled out one random dog and had it prance happily across the screen and then decided it looked nothing like the "beast". They then agreed the lion didn't look right either, but excused it for the conditions under which it was filmed...much as we all would have for the dog as well.

    I really need to see someone that is willing to point and laugh and say "come ooooon" when the group is acting the fools.

    Their search for the "beast" in the field left me perturbed. They are searching for monsters, not answers. They did not want to hear that the dead sheep could have died and been scavenged or been killed by local, known beasts.

    I'll add that my first thought regarding the vid footage was boar. It just had that stocky, low to the ground look.

    However....the virtual boar-lion was almost worth having watched the whole thing. I love the idea of a composite of what witnesses think they saw. Especially when it is a ghastly, demonic boarlion!

  6. Pangs;
    I guess a Boarlion is better than a Liboar. Yeah, that had me laughing and getting excited at the same time. It reminded me of the crazy animations "DT" does and I dig that stuff. That they put it out there was funny because they're supposed to be serious. I'm surprised they didn't look for an expert and ask the veterinarian if you could made a boar and a lion (this would be their usual way of following through). I don't know. It's fantastic to handle viral videos and question them, but I think when they try to make them an "action" team but have to edit so much of what they do, we end up with a simpleton's version. I would like to kick the director/editor in the butts and move on to the next version of it for the next season--streamlined, pared down team to 4 great characters, more vids, and less ridiculous attempts at faking. I'd get a moviemaker special effects dude on the team too. He could cut right to the guts of it. Hell, I'd still like Joel McHale to be on the team and let them all drink Guinesses while reviewing the vids in a dorm room. Yeah, I think reality TV has made me go over the edge, but the team is just too stilted for my entertainment.

  7. Here's what bugged me, they heard that awesome growl in the woods and they didn't follow up on it. Clearly they caught it on audio, so I'm surprised they didn't even try to take it to an expert to get it identified. That's something they would've done on Destination Truth. Also, I thought it was funny that even though the EXPERT was saying a dog could've killed the sheep, they kept pushing for something bigger lol.

  8. Halloween Blues;
    I'm with on you that, buddy. I didn't quite get why they they were more excited about the ponies in the woods than the growling thing. I get the feeling sometimes that someone is holding them back and pushing them on to the next thing rather than pursuing. They seem like they run into dead ends and then shrug and walk away as if they're baffled. The sorry thing is that this group seems really intelligent, but they're not being allowed to live up their potential and have more say over how this is all done.

  9. @Sharon,

    The fix is easy debunk the videos. They are having some sort of mission creep. If they are debunking videos, why are they looking for a sea serpent in a man-made lake that is only in a still shot and not on a video??? The whole point of the show, as I understand it, is to debunk viral videos. Why are they trying to find sea serpents?

    If the point of the show is to be a second rate DT then they will only be a second rate DT (if that). Let DT do what it does and let FoF focus on debunking viral videos.

    How's this for an idea for a new show.

    Put a group of different people in a haunted house for 90 days. Conservatives, liberals, gay, straight, religious, atheist and have them live together and investigate the building. At the end of each week the can debunk each others evidence.

    Will they tolerate each other? Will sparks fly during the debunks? Will they collect some good evidence or will there be to much fighting? Will the house cause them to pull together?

  10. First, the answer to your trivia question is puma.

    In that ghost video, despite being a hoax, kind of freaked me out at the beginning. I don't know why but watching an alleged ghost peek around the corner of a doorway or building gives me the chills.

    The whole Beast of Dartmoor thing made me flash on the Beast of Gevaudan. Everyone thought a werewolf was murdering people but after through investigations, the conclusion was that the werewolf was actually a hyena. I remember watching an entire special about this on the History Channel I think. Anyways, they said the hyena probably was owned by a king or someone and was released in to the wild. Had a similar thought when they theorized the beast being a black lion (which I didn't even know existed). Maybe the animal in the video was a black lion that escaped or was released in to the wild by those who weren't suppose to have it. Just a thought.

  11. I haven't watched the show yet, but appreciate your insight.

  12. Barry;
    I'm with you. Let's start this show! I'm game for it. Give me a room with a camera in the corner watching me as I try to sleep and listen to others up and shuffling in their rooms, searching under the beds and looking for boogeymen. Give me a some equipment, let me investigate. Let others just pray and wish the demons away. Let others just watch TV and think it's all a crock of shit. Everyone can sit around the table in the morning like I did when I was growing up with everyone commenting on what happened during the night, except with this mix of folks they'll be arguing about it being a loose door hinge or something evil... If you sign on to stay in a haunted reality house, buddy, I'll sign on too. Let's get a room with connecting doors so we can giggle about the others late at night. Oh yeah, I forgot, we were talking about FoF. I think it's fixable. I agree--it's all about viral vids, not trying to be an action team in the field because no one can compete with Josh and his team unless they're willing to don some khakis, scream a lot and climb frayed ropes up cliffsides.

  13. Love the photo again! Just wanted to hop in and reiterate that I'm the biggest critic of myself and therefore there's nothing new I haven't heard. We really appreciate the feedback and instead of trying to defend each point I'll just add that most of the improvements being discussed didn't have time to be shown. We had whole other segments of things we tried, but maybe didn't result in very interesting material. For a full length documentary, I would want to see all the nuts and bolts but you have to remember the wide range of audience age and experience for which the show is made and why you get to see mostly the hightlights. Some elements have to really be simplified for younger viewers. We're tackling centuries old legends in about 17 minutes:) There's a plethora of experiments I would have wanted to try and many we did, we just don't have the time to air it. At any rate, maybe we can have a chat session, interview, etc. sometime and I can tell you how I fell face first into Dartmoor pony crap...another clip that we didn't have time for:)

  14. Andrea;
    Yeah, definitely an explainable creature and with the pixelating on the film, it's hard to be clear about it. I thought it was hilarious when they first arrived there and were standing in the field and a black pony with a long mane was grazing in the distance behind them. Haha (turn around dudes!)

    If you don't get it on your tv, you can always find episodes online, probably at the SyFy site. It's worth seeing what you think.

  15. Ben;
    This has to be exasperating and one reason why, although I'd adore my own show, it would bother me to no end to have others take the bits and pieces and toss them across the floor like a bunch of pickup sticks. In the can they look so neat and orderly and on the tiles, they look rather chaotic. So, I appreciate the director/editor hand in the process. You are a very sharp guy and also I can tell have high ethics and really want intelligent conversation on this topic, so it probably is frustrating not being able to take it to the levels you want to. Everything gets washed out when it goes to TV. That's the burden. I would love to discuss the beast with you. I found that one a really exciting subject as the supposed wild cats in England seem to have a lot of merit. Mr. Blue Eyes, if you ever want to do a documentary, I'm with you. I suspect if we had unlimited control of editing and a project, it'd get done the way our minds see it. Yeah, I'm psychic, but I can see something behind those pretty eyes--a big kid regulated by a high IQ. It's a battle. I know it myself. I don't doubt you guys can get this thing solid on the rails. It's got the right stuff and the right concept and I hope you can get more control of the projects because I think the way you see things is the way we want to see them too. So, keep plugging along cutie and I'll be watching faithfully and flashing some new shots of fact or faked "girls" on the reviews. :-)

  16. "Let's get a room with connecting doors so we can giggle about the others late at night."

    separate rooms ??? That wasn't what I had in mind.

  17. Barry;
    Oh, you're talking about a "Big Brothers" scenario? Maybe that's what we should propose to the networks--a Big Brothers Haunted House. Oh, but you don't want to share a room with me. You'd be all embarrassed cause I hate to wear pjs.

  18. The answer is Puma.

    The Dartmoor investigation could have certainly been more thorough, but I thought the ufo investigation was awesome. They really nailed it with the baloon and flares. People have seen triangles like this before, so now I'm wondering if that's what people are seeing when they see lights forming a triangle in the sky.

    Maybe when you go do your hug-a-blogger thing, you can film you, Julie, and whoever your hugging watching viral videos and discussing can make your own little show about it.

  19. Jeff;
    You have some great ideas! I have a huge list of fun things we can do and I like that one. In fact, in one of our hotel rooms we might just watch the videos on the laptop and film ourselves MST 3000'ing them. I want to try to get bloggers who are in the areas we're stopping in to come by and have supper with us in a group if they're in driving distance. I'd also love to get a flash mob of bloggers to show up in a city and film them hugging each other. I plan to collect cheesy shot glasses at every bad tacky roadside gift shop for giveaways and do roadside dares on Twitter where I tweet where we are and ask what I should do and the first person to tweat back a dare, I do it and get filmed doing it. I want a total reality/interactive thing. You'll see the good times, the bad times, the times we get lost, brave rainstorms, get homesick...