Everyone knows about the Bermuda Triangle, if not the specifics, at least the general idea. Weird triangle in the middle of an ocean where unexplainable shit happens. But fewer people have heard of the similar, though less catchily named, triangles of misfortune in other areas.
Having lived in Michigan all my life, I’m more than fairly familiar with most of the state lore. Honest to God, you don’t know terror until you’re sitting around a campfire discussing The Dogman and knowing in the back of your mind that there is a long trek through the woods back to your car. And, like most Michiganders, I’m a giant-ass fan of being in the water. I grew up in a town right on Lake Huron, and now I live just a few towns over from Lake Michigan, and yet I’ve never heard of the Lake Michigan Triangle, until just recently.
Lake Michigan is the deadliest of the five Great Lakes, due in part to its 300+ mile long shoreline causing two dangerous types of currents (rip and longshore). After living here for just under ten years, I’ve heard of a lot of accidents happening in the water, and after taking a minute to reflect on it, I’m surprised by the number of people even a hermit like me knows who have lost someone to the lake. Still, none of these deaths have been exotic enough to attribute any sort of paranormal phenomenon…but then again, they weren’t far enough out to take place in the triangle.
The Lake Michigan Triangle stretches from Ludington, Michigan southbound to Benton Harbor, and all the way over to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. By all accounts, the first strange report within the triangle was the disappearance of the schooner Thomas Hume in 1891. The vessel left port in Chicago for a return voyage to Muskegon, Michigan. En route, the crew of seven encountered a storm, and neither the crew nor the ship was ever seen again. The owners of the ship, lumber barons Charles Hackley and Thomas Hume, offered a $300 reward for any information on the lost vessel, believing the small crew may have stolen, repainted, and renamed it. The reward was never claimed, and no debris was ever washed ashore as would be expected had the ship sunk in the storm. Although a well preserved shipwreck was discovered in 2006 and believed to be the Thomas Hume due to the matching dimensions and similar working history based on recovered artifacts, no registration number was ever found and it cannot be said with absolute certainty that the wreck is that of the ill-fated Thomas Hume.
One of the more famous cases from The Triangle is the disappearance of Captain George Donner. After picking up a load of coal in Erie, Pennsylvania, Donner’s freighter, MacFarland, was traveling through the dangerous ice filled lakes when Captain Donner went missing. The captain had been resting in his cabin after having guided his vessel through a particularly treacherous course, and left instructions to awaken him when the ship neared its destination. However, when the second mate went to awaken the captain, there was no trace of him in his room or anywhere else on the ship. Reportedly, MacFarland was in the Triangle in the time the captain is said to have disappeared. To this day, no one knows what happened to Captain Donner.
And the mysteries aren’t confined strictly to watercraft. In the 1950s, a flight from New York carrying 55 passengers and 3 crew members disappeared over Lake Michigan en route to Seattle. Some human remains and debris were found washed ashore, but the aircraft itself was never recovered, although there was an extensive search and there is an annual search conducted by the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates.
Besides disappearances of ships, planes, and people, there’s another mysterious aspect of The Lake Michigan Triangle. In 2007, Northwestern Michigan College professor Mark Holley discovered a North American Stonehenge.
In Lake Michigan.
I know, right?
The stones were found 40 feet below the surface of the lake. Some are arranged in a circle, and one appears, according to Holley, to have a carving of a mastadon–an animal that went extinct approximately 10,000 years ago. What’s that, you say? You haven’t heard of this until just now? Yeah, that’s because experts can’t confirm the authenticity of the findings until they can see it for themselves, and apparently not a lot of qualified experts dive. Pity, huh?
Other stories from The Triangle include two-pound ice chunks falling onto a tugboat from what crew members described as a “cloudless sky” in 1883. In 1921, the wreckage of the schooner Rosa Belle was discovered in pieces, leading the discoverers to believe it had collided with another ship. Strangely, no other vessel reported damage anywhere near as severe as would be expected for the level of destruction inflicted upon the Rosa Belle. All 11 souls aboard, crew and passengers, had been members of the cult known as the House of David, which makes it slightly more or less tragic, depending on how you look at it.
Obviously a huge number of ships and planes have passed through the Lake Michigan Triangle without so much as a scratch, and skeptics scoff at the mere idea of a tragic triangle, Bermuda or otherwise. Still, it’s fun to talk about, right? And all protestations of logic and the like are of little comfort to the Hokansan family, who were onboard Flight 2501. Or the crew of the Rosa Belle. Or Captain Donner. And who knows what the next strange even attributed to The Lake Michigan Triangle might be, or when it might happen?
[Fantastic Fest] ‘Piggy’ Filled With Incredible Heart and Wonderful Terror
Writer and director, Carlota Pereda fascinatingly creates a world in which we are given equal helpings of moments of big heart and a creeping terror. Piggy is one of those rare horror films that could have stood on its own without the horror and been an Oscar-worthy bit of effective drama. The turn from compelling drama to shifting genre is as refreshing as it is entertaining.
Piggy follows Sara (Laura Galán) a young girl who assists her family in their small-town butcher shop. Sara is often bullied due to her being an overweight teen. The small town and its cliques make for a soul-crushing daily life for Sara. She is constantly picked on, called names and even physically tormented by the popular bullies. When Sara ends up having to walk home following an assault by the bullies, Sara comes face to face with a serial killer who actually treats the young girl as an equal – not picking on her or poking fun. The duo begins their strange cat and mouse dance of constantly changing twisted mutual admiration.
The small quaint town featured in Piggy is very minimalistic – matching the incredibly stripped-down, heart-on-its-sleeve story. That atmosphere is one that makes for a brilliant spot to match Sara and her sensitive nature.
Galán is breathtaking in her role as Sara. It’s an incredibly demanding and revealing role that constantly has her being abused both physically and mentally. The constant emotional terrorism surrounding her combined with body shaming becomes a terrifying small-town presence that ends up being more terrifying and warped than the habits of the serial killer.
Much like Sara herself, the film forces you to side with the serial killer. Despite, his cold-blooded actions against the people of the town, he still has a big enough heart to see Sara as an equal and someone who he even fancies at times. In any other situation its heartbreaking to realize that he and Sara could have easily been in a relationship if it hadn’t been for that whole serial killing thing.
Piggy handles bullying and body shaming by shifting the tables and working the story with as much humor and fun as it works with serious themes. Incredibly, the serial killer isn’t as disturbing as the torment that Sara receives. The juxtaposition between those two things is an incredibly compelling exploration for film.
The film allows you to side with the killer and entirely has you cheering for Sara. Galán gives a breathtaking performance that will have audiences siding with her and willing to follow her down whichever path she chooses to take. Piggy is an incredible work that has as much heart and nerves as it does horror.
Piggy arrives in Alamo Drafthouses on October 7 and in theaters and On Demand beginning October 14. The film also won best horror film at Fantastic Fest.
‘Bones and All’ Trailer Introduces Savage World of Cannibals and Lovers
Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria director, Luca Guadagnino is back with a true masterpiece that explores cannibals and lovers. Bones and All is a fascinating film that currently has my vote for Best Film of the Year. It really is that good. It stars Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell in an incredibly brutal road trip film.
The official synopsis fo Bones and All goes like this:
BONES AND ALL is a story of first love between Maren, a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee, an intense and disenfranchised drifter; a liberating road odyssey of two young people coming into their own, searching for identity and chasing beauty in a perilous world that cannot abide who they are.
The film stars Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland, Chloë Sevigny, David Gordon Green, Jessica Harper, Jake Horowitz, and Mark Rylance.
Get ready to dine with cannibals and lovely monsters when Bones and All arrives in theaters beginning November 23.
[Fantastic Fest] ‘Hellraiser’ Fascinates by Carving New Damnation and Games
In a world of reinvention and retooling, there are often a lot of letdowns when it comes to our favorite films and TV shows. More often than not we are disappointed by the retelling. It is great to announce that David Bruckner’s recent Hellraiser reimagining is incredible and makes use of Author, Clive Barker’s original parts to incredibly give us the familiar while also carving its entirely own fascinatingly dark path.
Hellraiser tells the story of Riley (Odessa A’Zion,) an addict trying to live her life and resist all temptation. When Riley and her boyfriend burglarize a shipping container, they come upon the puzzle box. The box immediately begins to draw attention to it begging them to push and pull its corners. Little do they know that the box’s offerings will change their lives forever.
The backdrop of Hellraiser is a dreary one. It is entirely filled with a sheen of darkness and grime throughout. The entire city and places the characters visit all become participating characters in the film itself. An amazing work of production design around every corner.
Director, Bruckner is commanding with the darkness. He is careful to control Barker’s bleakness and is great at it. Between himself and screenwriters Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski the trio actively and effectively manage to solve their own puzzle box of the macabre and the constantly invigorating.
The Cenobites are back with a fully new roaster of incredibly creative beings. Each of them has a patchwork of skin in which flesh itself is what they wear. There aren’t any more bits of leather clothing that brought the legendary, Doug Bradley to life, instead, their wardrobe is made organically. Another fascinating detail of their look is brought about by these carefully placed pins with pearl tips. A touch of The Hellpriest’s personal touch.
The Hellpriest just as revelatory as the film. Jamie Clayton pays homage to and simultaneously reinvents The Priest from the ground up. A head full of pearl-tipped pins along with the fascinating touches from The Leviathan that add pieces of the box to her as well as the same creative organic wardrobe utilized by the other Cenobites. Horror fans have nothing but a brilliant experience ahead of them. Clayton makes the role her own and brilliantly creates her own spine-tingling voice for the character. A terrifying rasp, that is delivered with authority making her lines stand out with imposing importance.
Ben Lovett creates a brilliant score that moves and shifts around as much as the puzzle box itself. Throughout it is entirely its own with tiny shifts to single notes of the famous Christopher Young score. The entire thing is devilishly done and creates an entire audio Cenobite all on its own. By the film’s finale, Lovett and Young become one in a chill-inducing crescendo.
Hellraiser is a fascinatingly dark work that combines Barker’s worlds and sensibilities into a brilliant haunting cocktail. There are hints of Damnation Game, Weaveworld and of course The Hellbound Heart. The hands shifting this puzzle box were tender and caring with Barker’s material. That reverence produces one of the best Hellraiser’s to date. Bruckner’s film gets back to diving beneath the flesh of terror. Jamie Clayton entirely lives in and reinvents The Hellpriest in every turn. Hellraiser brilliantly cuts, carves and pulls nerves. Dark, provocative, and filled with Clive Barker’s brilliance – Hellraiser is finally back.