The Heretic’s Goof & Spook Film Spectacular Part IX: The Maid

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Welcome to another post in my “Goof & Spook Film Spectacular” series. 

For today I have two posts since I decided to take a break yesterday. Just wanted a little bit of some me time like most people. 

But today I am back, ready and have more of my favorite films in my collection that I have been delighted to share with everyone. 

Hopefully you are in the mood for something a bit spooky and on the spirit side of the horror spectrum.

The Maid

The Maid

A young girl from the Philippines is hired by a Chinese couple in Singapore as their housekeeper. But there is a very dark secret that the couple is hiding when the young girl arrives smack in the middle of the Chinese Seventh Month, as well as more that the couple fail to explain to young woman.

This movie is fantastic! The film’s cover does not do it one iota of justice. As the image above really doesn’t look like anything related to the movie. 

There are some nuances that you might have to acquaint yourself with when it comes to this movie. Especially since there a lot of very subtle hints that dropped early on that would be over your head if you aren’t too familiar that you might not give a second thought. Although you will realize what is underneath everything as you progress towards the end of the film.

There are some moments character-wise that don’t make sense. Like when the couple get angry that the maid doesn’t know the specifics and details of the ghostly thirty-days. How do you expect someone to know what to do and not do when you don’t bother to inform them when you first hire them.

Another thing that I felt really made the film seem a bit odd was a lot of the sound effects that really do not fit over certain objects. Like one scene that has a creaking metal gate noise place on the wooden doors of a wardrobe. 

Outside of that I cannot really complain as I enjoy this film quite a bit. If you are definitely into ghost stories and folklore type of things in your horror movies, then this is the movie for you. 

Pacing is a bit slow, but not super, trudging through thick mud kind of slow. It is definitely worth it when you get to the film’s reveal.

One thing you might want to make sure to do if you ever watch this film is to make sure the subtitles are on. Even though the movie is predominantly in English there are moments that are crucial to the story as well as the plot and what is going on. Especially since the beginning narration is not in English and is the setup for what is transpire later.

Unlike the tagline in the image above, this movie is nowhere close to either “The Sixth Sense” or “Ju-On”. It is a ghost story, yes, but it really doesn’t go about it in the same manner or execution as the aforementioned films. 

This is definitely one of those movies that will probably having you shouting at the screen during the more intense scenes.

It can also be a hair-raising experience if you watch this film completely in the dark.

Especially if you are by yourself. 

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The Heretic’s Goof & Spook Film Spectacular Part VIII: The Dark Crystal

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Welcome back! Whoever…whatever you are!

For this next installment I hope you have your chocolate bars, candy corn, and whatever else you feel like munching on while reading these. As well as something to drink.

Hopefully you ate whatever meal you are supposed to have eaten before chomping down on whatever snacks you have at hand. I don’t want to be blamed for anyone eating their snacks over their proper meals. 

For today’s post I wanted to delve into a movie that I had seen at a drive-in (You adults remember those I hope!).

Let’s take trip through the realm of…

The Dark Crystal

The Dark Crystal

It is hard to imagine that there are people who haven’t seen this movie, but in case you haven’t I will give a synopsis.

A young Gelfling must journey to retrieve a crystal shard to heal the Dark Crystal and make it whole again and restore the almost depleted world. Figuring he is the last of his kind, as they have been persecuted by the evil Skeksis, he meets another Gelfling who helps him along with his quest.

There! Vague, probably not completely accurate, but doesn’t give away too much of the story.

I hope!

This will probably be another film that people question why I included it in my Halloween “Goof & Spook Film Spectacular”, but for those of you who have seen this movie, as well as taken a good glimpse at the Skeksis you pretty much know why. Although you might have to explain to the uninitiated.

The one thing that always creeped me out with this movie was the Skeksis. A race so monstrously callous, egotistical, arrogant, and a million other adjectives that can describe their horrendous nature and how it twisted and turned them into the way they look and act. Although the Chamberlain creeps me out the most with that whimpering noise he makes. 

I don’t know how they came up with it or what inspired it, but I like how the Skeksis and the Mystics have their fates intertwined. Like when something happens to one it happens to the other. It just makes the movie cool to me.

“The Dark Crystal” is a movie I have a very deep love for. It was one of the many movies my parents took my sister and I to see at the drive-in. Yeah, it creeped me out quite a bit as a kid but that hasn’t deterred me from liking the film. 

As much as I like “Labyrinth” and “Mirror Mask” I have always felt that “The Dark Crystal” had a much more complex story and a richer background to its world. Unlike the later Jim Henson movies it actually gave quite a bit of the backgrounds of the world and its denizens from how the Skeksis and Mystics came to be to how the Gelflings and Thra’s other inhabitants came to be persecuted by the Skeksis. Through the narrator as well as the characters themselves.

I have always felt “The Dark Crystal” was a much darker film as well. Although I feel that most people tend to dismiss it because of Henson’s work with children’s programming and puppets in general, but I feel that kind of thought gives this film a bit of a disservice. 

I do like that in the story it is Jen who must rejoin the crystal, but they didn’t go through that whole route of his reasoning to do so as “Because I am a man/male, and it is MY duty! It’s a place for man to go! etc.”. I like that there is a good balance between the two main characters, and that they accept each other’s company throughout the journey to get the quest done. 

I think it is cool that there isn’t much violence, if at all. The only time you ever see a weapon is at the beginning of the film when the Skeksis are deciding who will become emperor. It kind of gives everything a different dynamic rather than the normal “fight to death”. Not to say I do not like that in a story if it is there, but it is nice to have something come along and change things up a bit.

My favorite character, even though everyone will probably say Jen or Kira, is Aughra. To me she is just ballsy. I like when the Garthim captures her, brings her before the Skeksis, and she just tells them off.  

I know there is supposed to be a table-top roleplaying game in the works based off of “The Dark Crystal”, but last I read it was still in development hell. Just like the supposed movie sequel that has yet to be made. 

Oh well! Here is to hoping, at least we still have this movie to enjoy and talk about.

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The Heretic’s Goof & Spook Film Spectacular Part VII: Re-Cycle

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It’s so nice to have you join me once again for another “Goof & Spook Film Spectacular” post. 

As I mentioned before because I do not own a copy of the first “Eye” movie I won’t go over the trilogy until I have the first film of the original trilogy. Which is why I went with this particular Pang Brothers film. 

This one definitely fits with the theme of these series of posts especially since, like the “Eye” films, goes into the spiritual realm of things so to speak. Even if it isn’t super gore-soaked or completely horrific. 

I bring you…

Re Cycle

Re-Cycle

A novelist is just beginning work on her next book while her publisher throws a publicity arrangement to announce the new novel as well as a movie being made based off of one of the author’s previous books. A lot of weird things begin to happen while she sits down to write her book and somehow ends up in another realm.

The best way I could think to describe this movie is take everything you love about “Wizard Of Oz”, “Alice In Wonderland”, “Labyrinth”, “Mirror Mask”, and “Spirited Away”, as well as some other Ghibli and other animated films. Mix them together and give them to the Pang Brothers to sort out and create their take on the various points and themes of what they include. Not so much that “Re-Cycle” regurgitates frame by frame each of these parts and scenes from these films and books, but takes whatever it is that makes you enjoy them.

There is a couple of scenes that are like “The Never Ending Story” and “Spirited Away” but the context is quite different. Although the movie does share the whole “spiritual realm” concept like “Spirited Away” it is nowhere near as shiny as the Ghibli film, rather it is pretty dark in its approach although a bit bright in its grey look. It has CGI, but it isn’t too the point where it is completely in the foreground or overtakes the movie.

This movie starts out very mundane but isn’t utilizing the mundane beginning as complete filler until it leads up to its more epic moments. The movie does reward you if you manage to stick with through the entirety of the film, especially when a lot of the underlying realities of the plot come to fruition throughout the movie. 

The movie deals with the overall theme of abandonment while the main character traverses through a spiritual world of abandoned ideas, thoughts, objects, people, etc. It does give it a rather profound voice to its story that I think a lot of people (mostly adults) can relate to. As much as the film is described as a “cuddly movie” I feel children won’t quite grasp the points that movie is trying to get crossed, but it is something they can watch. 

“Re-Cycle” does touch on the subject of abortion but not to the point where it is trying to make a political statement that it is trying to beat over everyone’s collective heads. It actually has more to do with the main character and the convictions she has chosen in her past and how it relates to what she is experiencing in the spiritual realm.

It definitely has one of those endings where it makes you go “WHOA!” when it comes up. A bit of a twist on the whole “Book End” trope.

Some might be questioning why I included this film in this series of posts, or anything for that to do with Halloween. To be honest I feel it completely fits the theme. It takes place in a spiritual realm, it isn’t a completely happy story, and definitely has a rather grim theme to the story as I’ve said before. 

I regard this film very highly amongst the films and books that I mentioned above. I feel it is definitely worth the watch. To me it is one of the many gems in my collection.

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The Heretic’s Goof & Spook Film Spectacular Part VI: Ghostbusters

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Welcome again! 

Hopefully everyone is enjoying these posts. As for whether or not anyone actually is I honestly couldn’t tell you.

 I will be publishing two posts back to back to make up for not having a post up yesterday because of upgrading my Macbook to Yosemite (I liked it better when they named them after felines. I feel like I should be either doing Yosemite Sam or Yogi Bear imitations). Basically as a make up and thank you for being patient with me. 

This time around I went with an 1980’s classic (Obviously!). 

Although this will be a rather brief post.

So have your popcorn balls at hand and something to drink as we dive into..

GB 1984

Ghostbusters

Venkman: “Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!”

Let’s face it! There is really no need to do a synopsis for this movie. 

One of the many comedy films that I rely on for a quick fix of funny as well as lines that have been regurgitated from fan to fan of this film. I remember seeing this one in the theater with my family when I was kid, I loved it that first moment I saw it and I still love it now. Although since I’ve seen the movie so many times it does feel like it just blazes through because how familiar with the scenes and the various memorable dialogue that a lot of us love to repeat (like the one above). 

It is kind of weird to learn years later that this movie was intended to also star John Belushi. I do wonder how much different it would have been had he still been alive at the time. 

One thing I do have to admit is that I am not too fond of is the sequel. Even though I’ve seen it in the theater like the first one, it just didn’t resonate with me for some reason. It just felt a little too pretentious for me. 

There isn’t a whole lot I can say about this movie that hasn’t already been said. It is sad since Harold Ramis passed away at the beginning of this year, especially when the announcement of a new “Ghostbusters” film is in the works and I wonder whether or not he had a hand in any of the writing for the upcoming movie. It is cool to learn that this time around it will be an all female cast, but I do hope it manages to deliver the funny like the first film.

Favorite scenes in the movie are when the Ghostbusters are climbing the massive stairwell towards the end and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Although some rather quirky moments was spotting Ron Jeremy as an extra in one scene and the large, chunk of concrete that falls off of the building towards the end only to bounce off of the blue, wooden police barricade instead of smashing through it and the ground. 

Speaking of Ghostbusters!

Funko Pop released a series of figures based off of the characters from the movie. The most awesome looking one is this guy…

61kEJQxcmXL SL1500

For some reason he doesn’t seem so threatening when he looks this cute!

Until next time!

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The Heretic’s Goof & Spook Film Spectacular Part V: Save The Green Planet!

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Alrighty! Time for another full-on post in my Halloween series! 

This time around I decided take the sci-fi route. Going with something little quirky, a little odd, and a little bit on the strange side.

It has abductions, torture, investigations, alien conspiracies, wild accusations, and a high wire act.

I shit you not!

It actually has a high wire act! 

And before you ask without having reading the heading; No! It is not “Plan 9 From Outerspace”. I don’t own a copy of that film let alone have had the opportunity to have seen it.

I was going to do John Carpenter’s “They Live” (I’m here to kickass and chew bubblegum! And I’m all out of bubblegum!), but since this series of posts is about the movies I physically own I cannot do “They Live” since I do not own a copy (Yet!).

Without further delay I give you…

SVGP 2003

Save The Green Planet!

Before I get to the synopsis, I have to admit that I am so grounded. How did I forget to write about this one? And it is one of my many favorites to come out of South Korea! The reason I watch so much South Korean films (Although the honor for the gateway to South Korean media goes to Dae Jang Geum. AKA Jewel In The Palace) before I even touched the mighty Vengeance Trilogy, which I also forgot to write about (I seriously searched my own blog)! I am seriously grounding myself!

Heretic! Go to your…

Oh wait! Ummm……..nevermind!

On to the synopsis.

A bee-keeper (Just stick with me on this!) kidnaps his former boss with the help of his girlfriend, believing that the company head is an alien sent down to destroy mankind.

There is a reason I did the synopsis this way. I really do not want to ruin it for anyone who has not seen it.

You know you are definitely in for one hell of a ride when a movie starts with a spoken line,

“You probably think I’m crazy.”

And then segues into the title sequence with a punk rock version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. Although the song tends to be a leitmotif later on in the movie.

“Save The Green Planet!” is part comedy, part thriller, part horror, and part sci-fi. Although it might take a few watchings to understand a bit of the humor once you understand the nuances the movie utilizes. You could have someone explain it to you, but you would be better off watching it a few times get accustomed to its mannerisms. It is like when a friend is messing with you by telling you something completely outlandish with a serious face in front of you, but must try to contain their laughter when you look away. That isn’t to say that the movie is total comedy all of the way through. Although the cover above is very deceiving.

You aren’t hit completely with movie’s science fiction theme until later in the movie, but it definitely works to the film’s advantage. Especially when the plot’s overall truth is inevitably revealed. But if the alien conspiracy folks might ever be right about the whole “aliens living and walking among us” it might be a good idea, after seeing this movie, to not even bother with kidnapping, torturing, and interrogating them, especially with how this particular movie ends. Just a thought.

This movie is just so out there! I love it! I’ve seen some pretty brutal torture scenes in a lot of films, horror and otherwise, but as for sheer insanity this movie wins hands down. It definitely keeps you on your toes, especially the scene where the antagonist prepares a certain torture device that will make it very uncomfortable to sit down for a long while. 

Besides the very intense horror/thriller moments of the movie there are some rather soft and pretty sad moments too, especially when the things that have been hiding on the surface are finally revealed. I have actually touched a bit on this in other posts when it comes to South Korea’s approach to most comedies, but also extends to their horror and thriller movies. You aren’t really going to find a complete sociopath without some underlying reason for why he kills. Also like the other South Korean films in the same genre, they do have a bit of the grit and feel of the old 1980’s (maybe earlier too) movies, even if they are a bit more modern, which I feel current Hollywood has been completely lacking. Even if there is CGI is kept to a minimum, provided a movie has any.

The character I feel bad for the most in “Save The Green Planet!” is the antagonist’s girlfriend. She pretty much gets the shit end of the stick.

The movie definitely has an underlying pessimistic point of view about humanity. It is a very strong and poignant message the film has, but not one that is revealed right away nor completely tries to beat you over the head with. 

Just don’t stand next to Earth, he seems to have acquired a taste for ground human.

You know that scene in “Beetlejuice” when Michael Keaton says “I’ve seen ‘The Exorcist” about 167 times! AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY TIME I SEE IT!”? That is pretty much how I feel about “Save The Green Planet!” and how much I like the movie. Although I have a movie that is much weirder than this one, but that is reserved for later down the road in this series. 

So that is all for this post. Hopefully whoever is reading these are enjoying them.

Laters all!

By the way!

Hey South Korea! 

Is there any way I could get one of those awesome hats from the movie? They kick ass! I can make the rest of the costume myself.

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The Heretic’s Goof & Spook Film Spectacular Part IV: The Black Cauldron

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Welcome back, and thank you for sticking around…provided anyone stuck around.

Originally for this installment I was going to do “Abbott & Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” which was randomly chosen from rolling a six-sided die in order to choose between their five monster films. But after sitting through the first ten to twenty minutes of the film it just didn’t have the Halloween spirit that I was looking for with this series. In short; it was just boring. So I might have to go with “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein” a little later or something else if that doesn’t fit in the spirit of Halloween, unless none of their five monster flicks fit the mood. Either way, I have one of the Universal collections of their movies. I am bound to either find something or nothing.

This time around I figured I would do one of the animated films that I have for the kids and everyone else that loves animation. Which I must also admit that I am quite embarrassed that I didn’t do a post on earlier. Especially since I’ve owned my copy since 2008.

So without further delay!

Grab your favorite chocolate bar, something to drink, and let’s dive into…

TBC 1985

The Black Cauldron

A pig boy must journey to find somewhere safe to keep the pig he has been caring from falling into the clutches of the evil Horned King. Along the way he manages to make friends with a hairy, Welsh mythological creature, a princess, and an old bard whose instrument has a tendency to break a string every time he tells a lie. Can this small band of heroes stop the evil Horned King and his minions from taking over, or will they fail.

Yeah! I know pretty much everyone has seen this movie, but hey! I still like doing these synopsis. Unlike Wikipedia (Who I link, I know!) who lack the ability to make a synopsis and opts to tell you the story of the entire movie. It isn’t the only film they do this with. 

I know this is Disney’s first “dark” animated film (or one of) because they wanted to appeal to the the older teen, roleplaying demographic and laughingly try to be as edgy as a Ralph Bakshi film. One thing that I have to admit with “The Black Cauldron” is that for as much as I love this film it does have quite a few flaws. 

While the backgrounds are awesomely spectacular and breath-taking the character animations look completely rushed. There were moments where a given character’s detail would change from scene to scene. Sometimes with good details or missing details, it is like either the director or animators weren’t 100% certain the characters should look as good as the backgrounds or like a cheap Saturday morning cartoon. It is as if they spent most of the animation budget on the backgrounds and the film’s antagonist and then just said fuck it with the rest. 

I do love the smoke/mist effects for the scenes with the cauldron and other moments throughout the movie. They just look cool!

The Horned King looks awesome though (would’ve been nice if they use the same amount of time and detail with the rest of the characters). He looks evil, menacing, the stuff of pure nightmares. Seriously! The Horned King is a Halloween costume I would want to make and wear while handing out candy. Even voiced by John Hurt he just ups the creep factor for a Disney villain. That is until they decided towards the end of the movie when the he is being sucked into the black cauldron to animate red eyes into his empty sockets and completely ruin the entire effect they had with him earlier in the movie. It just deflates everything that made him ominous. Skeletor would wet his pants at the sight of him, until the end of the movie.

Even the film’s overall pacing feels a bit rushed. You feel as if it is ending just as you started it. It feels like “The Black Cauldron” could’ve been a bit more epic had they used more from the source material to really flesh the story out (mind you, I have only read the first book so far).

Does that make this movie entirely bad or unwatchable? Not really. It is still good, even if it is a condensed telling of the first two books in the Prydain series.

I find the scene where the heroes retrieve the cauldron from the three witches who have it funny. Especially the moment with the gratuitous cleavage shots when Fflewdur is turned into a frog. You can have huge, jiggling boobs in your feature, but you just can’t have supposed, secret, hidden words that spell “sex”. I know this isn’t the first out of these films to have this.

My favorite character is easily Fflewdur Fflam, I love the moments when he begins to tell a fabrication just to correct himself before more strings on his harp breaks. This was actually a common thing throughout what I read of the first book. He definitely is a liar with a heart of gold, because he doesn’t lie to be malicious, mostly just boasting just to make himself come off more important (which we all do). I think they could’ve expanded on Fflewdur’s character more than just the cuteness factor of Gurgi, because he really does have some great moments in the book. 

Outside of that I still love the movie. I saw it in the theater when my parents took my sister and I, I had it on VHS (the pan and scan looked like shit), and now I have the 25th Anniversary edition on DVD. Even with its shortcomings it is still my favorite Disney film, and I still enjoy watching it with the surround sound on. 

I cannot believe it took me a couple of years to do a write up. 

So that is all for now until the next post. 

Don’t fret!

I have some goodies up my sleeve! 

But for now I will leave you with this preview of the next installment of my “Goof & Spook Film Spectacular”.

Ok!

Brace yourselves!

 

This could get scary.

 

Have your heart medication ready and cover your children’s eyes!

 

You ready for it?

  

Here you go faithful readers!

Tammy 2014 Movie Poster

 AAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I’m an ass, I know.

I am seriously going to do a write up for this movie, but after Halloween and the festivities come to a close.

Laters everyone!

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The Heretic’s Goof & Spook Film Spectacular Part III: Bloody Reunion

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Welcome back to the third installment of my series of blogposts for October.

And yes! They will ALL be numbered!

Since I had a lot of fun watching the movies and writing the first two posts that I will keep the ball rolling while I can be as productive as I can with my film spectacular. 

One thing I have to confess before we get started is that I never really thought I would be writing any type of follow-up posts while revisiting a lot of these movies, or any of the content that I’ve already written about for that matter. I pretty much just write about the various things I enjoy and move on to writing about more things that keep my life on the positive. 

As I have said before; hopefully I might be able to turn a lot of you on to various films and movies you haven’t seen or maybe have forgotten about.

Grab some popcorn, something to drink, and don’t get too tense when your spine begins to tingle.

Make sure you have your splatter shields on hand because quite a few of these are going to get bloody.

BloodyReunionBox

Bloody Reunion

Former students visit their old teacher for a reunion to catch up and show their appreciation. Of course what happens later is not your normal “Class Reunion” affair.

There you go! Vague, slightly close to what the movie is about, and without giving too much away. 

I definitely have to say for “Bloody Reunion” is that it isn’t your standard type of horror movie. So if you are going into this film with the thought that this will be your average slasher film you will probably be disappointed, but maybe quite surprised. There is a large underlying motive to what goes on in the movie and has one fucked up plot twist. The build up to the gore-soaked action that happens towards the climax makes everything just worth it. 

One thing that definitely sets this movie apart is that it also doesn’t take the route of senseless killing or killing without motive. There is a motive and reason for everything going on, but the way the film executes it all will have your head reeling. There are some subtle hints that the film gives you for what is going on, but they are easily missed because of how obvious they are not.

That is one thing I have noticed with a lot of South Korean horror movies is that everything has a reason to what is happening. Even if the character is a sociopath, there is always some underlying reasoning or motive for why they are doing the horrible shit they do.

The movie does start with an investigator going into a hospital to take a statement from someone at a crime scene and then shifts focus to the actual story until towards the end. I can admit that I will never know what it is like to work as a police investigator and have to gather information, take testimonies of suspects and witnesses and try to file everything down to what is the truth of the matter. Even if this movie really doesn’t go that far in on that particular perspective.

My favorite moment in the movie has to be the stapler scene. I just can’t help but wince when that scene comes up every time. There are some moments that are kind of funny, but they aren’t enough to turn the film into a complete horror comedy. Or maybe funny to me.

There is some blood and blood splatter, but not a whole lot especially when you learn what is underneath the surface of what is actually going on. It does have a rather sad tone for a horror movie when everything is revealed towards the end.

There isn’t a lot I can really go on about, especially since this is a movie that I don’t think a lot of people have seen. So I don’t want to ruin it for you. It is a really good movie. Although I would suggest placing this one earlier in your lineup for night of scare features.

I was originally going to do “The Eye Trilogy” in place of “Bloody Reunion” but since I do not own the first movie (the original one, not the remake), I would prefer to leave the two films I have in my collection out. Maybe next year (if I do this again) I might be able to do it if I manage to buy a copy.

Laters everyone! Have a safe one!

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