Sunday, January 19, 2020

Cryptokubrology: Oh! Octopus

In "Cryptokubrology: 237 in Films of 1980 and Before," I asked for suggestions of other movies in which people noticed mention of "237s," before The Shining (1980) was released.

One such "237" was spied in the 1937 monster comedy Sh! The Octopus. It shows up as a room number, specifically here, with Marcia Ralston.

Sh! The Octopus is a 1937 comedy-mystery film produced by Warner Bros., directed by William McGann and starring Hugh Herbert, Allen Jenkins and Marcia Ralston. While contract players Herbert and Jenkins frequently appeared in the same picture, this is the only movie to present them as an actual team. The film's oddball qualities have made it something of a cult favorite.

Herbert and Jenkins play two bumbling detectives, who, in pursuit of a master criminal, The Octopus, find themselves inside a haunted lighthouse full of suspicious characters, including the titular character, who appears to be an actual octopus.

Reviews of this film rank talk of it as "dreadful" and truly difficult to watch. However, at "Trailers from Hell," Michael Schlesinger speaks of Sh! The Octopus as achieving near perfection in its genre. (See the original trailer here.) He also says there was a rock group that named themselves after the film

In the long discussion at "1000 Misspent Hours," Sh! The Octopus is viewed as "one of the few known specimens of a seemingly impossible genre, a parody of a parody. By all accounts, this movie was intended as a spoof of The Gorilla, which had itself been a spoof of contemporary spooky house mysteries like The Bat and The Cat and the Canary. Finally, and most importantly, Sh! The Octopus is quite simply one of the strangest and most utterly illogical mainstream movies of its— or any other— era."

That site notes that "Captain Hook (George Rosener, from Doctor X and House of Secrets), the one-handed caretaker, is a dangerously unbalanced man, and has a habit of flying into a homicidal rage whenever he hears the ticking of a clock."

Scott Ashlin, the site's reviewer, says, "The one thing stopping me from nominating Sh! The Octopus as the single stupidest horror or mystery film of the 1930’s is the disconcerting possibility that its creators understood exactly what they were doing."

As to Room 237, it may serve a special function in this film. After the lighthouse explodes, and the viewer assumes the movie is over, it is not.

There is a fade to a scene in a hospital where a major character "is on a bed, flailing about and being attended to. Turns out he fainted because of all those pills he was taking in the car at the beginning of the movie." Marcia Ralston and another actress "are nurses at the hospital, and [one] points this out in a manner that’s extremely similar to the final scene in Wizard of Oz 2 years later. So all that stuff that just happened? Never happened," writes the reviewer Stacia on April 15, 2008 (here).

Marcia Ralston was married to Phil Harris, once upon a time.

Sh! The Octopus, according to some sites is written by Ralph Spence, based on The Gorilla (a 1925 play), also written by Ralph Spence. IMDb credits the writing to George Bricker (screen play), Ralph Spence (from plays by),  Ralph Murphy (from plays by), and Donald Gallaher (from plays by).

The movie was released on December 11, 1937. Schlesinger talks of it being targeted for Christmas of 1937.

The "Octopus" has taken on a sinister cryptopolitical meaning in recent years, with the book, The Octopus: Secret Government and the Death of Danny Casolaro by Kenn Thomas and Jim Keith. As Google notes, "Originally released [in 1996] to critical praise, this book became a much sought-after classic in the underground of conspiracy literature - today commanding high prices on the book collector's market. The new paperback edition [from Feral House in 2004] carries Casolaro's conspiratorial insights and research into the post-911 world, for which it was a harbinger."

Also, the deeper twilight language of having the character "Captain Hook" in Sh! The Octopus is an enigma.  In 2010, I wrote of the mysterious series of deaths of young children, all killed in similar ways via hangings from hooks. The deaths often occurred due to coat hooks, sometimes in closets, sometimes in bathrooms. That essay appeared on January 24, 2010, under "The Peter Pan/Hook Deaths." I followed this on February 27, 2014, with "New Hook Death." In 2017, I updated this phenomena with a new posting.

BTW, Sh! The Octopus has a scene with a hanged man dripping blood, and lends itself to various twilight language interpretations.

Credit for this 237 discovery: Matt Hopewell.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Cryptokubrology: 237 in Films After The Shining

As I earlier detailed, the film The Shining was released on May 23, 1980. The importance of finding the number 237 in movies that have appeared before and since The Shining has become a mainstay of #Cryptokubrology.

In examining the work of Alex Fulton and Robert Shawn Montgomery, the co-creators of the ideas behind @Cryptokubrology on Twitter and of cryptokubrology contributions on YouTube and Facebook, I previously noted their pre-1980 examples in cinema. See "Cryptokubrology: 237 in Films of 1980 and Before."

I looked into Fulton's and Montgomery's series of YouTube videos, which consist of

and the ten films they mention from 1980 and before. As I said, the best evidence for finding true cryptokubrological insights may come from concentrating on the pre-The Shining examples only.

I remain firm in my opinion that the appearance of "237" in films is because directors - after The Shining (1980) - are placing the number in their films as homage to Kubrick.

Nevertheless, for completeness, I wanted to list the other 21 post-1980 films or television episodes mentioned by Fulton-Montgomery, where the number 237 is in the dialogue or shown (for example as an address or room number) in their video series. I've added a few others they and others have noted along the way.


Scanners (1981)

"There are 4 billion people on earth. 237 are Scanners"

Poltergeist (1982)

(CK-add via Twitter)

Starman (1984)

Directed by John Carpenter, he inserted the license plate "PXV 237" in the script for the vehicle (a red Mustang) used by the alien and his companion.

Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Stand By Me (1986)

The amount of change the boys gather together is $2.37.

Married With Children: Eatin' Out (1989)

The Favor (1994)

(my add)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Red's cell number is #237.

Sharpe's Gold (1995)

Twister (1996)

(otherwise & tweet adds)

Jackie Brown (1997)

Go (1999)

The King of Queens: Affidavit Justice (2003)

Saw II (2005)

Battlestar Glactica: 33 (2005)

Capote (2005)
(tweet and web adds)

This film is not mentioned in the Crypto-K video series but has been noted in @Cryptokubrology tweets. Capote is a 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote directed by Bennett Miller. Capote was played by Philip Seymour Hoffman (born July 23, 1967 – died February 2, 2014). In Capote, Truman (in the phonebooth and talking to his lover Jack) visually flirts with a man for an implied sexual interlude as he is waiting outside the bar under the numbers 237.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (2007)

Meet Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman), the eccentric owner of a mystical, magical toy store, one he's run for years and years (237 of them, to be exact). Given his long tenure of duty, Magorium feels it's time to step down.

Toy Story 3 (2010)

Woody: "Who's Velocistar237?"
Trixie: "Oh! That's just a dinosaur toy down the street, that's nothing, let me just take care of that. It's just a dinosaur!"
Woody: "All right..."—Woody and Trixie, after an IM pops up on the computer

The 237 number in the screen name is a reference to director Lee Unkrich’s favorite movie The Shining.

Megamind (2010)

Paranormal Incident (2011)

Captain Phillips (2013)

"Coailtion Warship 237, this is Maersk Alabama."

Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

The USS Enterprise gets pushed-out of warp speed by the USS Vengeance 237,000 km away from Earth.

House of Cards (2016)

Supergirl (2015)

Get Out (2017)

Send along your suggestions.

"We're all children of Stanley Kubrick, aren't we? Is there anything you can do that he hasn't done?" ~ Paul Thomas Anderson

Cryptokubrology: Bowie + 4, Roeg + 2, Henry + 0

Four years ago today, January 10, 2016, David Bowie died (born January 8, 1947). 

Bowie wore Buck Henry’s glasses in The Man Who Fell to Earth (director Nicolas Jack Roeg, released June 24, 1976). 

June 24, 1947, denotes the "birth of flying saucers."

Roeg died November 23, 2018 (born August 15, 1928). 

Buck Henry died January 8, 2020 (born December 9, 1930).

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Golden Globes: The Joker Awards Begin

“The overt pregnancy of the Golden Globes ceremony [was shown via] their 66th and 77th awards given both to players of The Fool or Joker.”‬ ~ Anita Ladaprarez

This occurred through the Golden Globes awards given to Heath ‪Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008) and Joaquin Phoenix in Joker (2019).

Of course, the other fool in the background...Charles Manson...was shown via the script win for Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood.

GG = 77