Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Sunday, December 04, 2011

SIMON REAMES: Trollhunter (Trolljegeren – original Norwegian Title) – Review

I first heard about Trollhunter when I saw a poster showing a defender being dwarfed by a pair of legs (a troll’s I presumed). Seeing this, and the trailer soon after, I decided to give the film a chance thinking that it might be an enjoyable distraction for an hour or so. I am glad I did as this Norwegian offering is a breath of fresh air in a somewhat stale monster movie genre.

As with most horror/monster movies, the plot is fairly straight forward. Three student filmmakers, creating a documentary about bear killings, take an interest in a mysterious hunter and begin to follow him. Despite warnings to leave him alone, the three investigators continue to stalk the hunter until they see him leave in the middle of the night. Thinking he is going out to poach, they follow him but discover their initial thoughts were both right and wrong. He is going out to hunt, but not bears; he’s out hunting (surprise-surprise) trolls.

The film has taken the shaky, hand held camera, point of view option (used in The Last Broadcast, The Blair Witch Project and [REC] to name a few) to try and add an element of authenticity to the film as well as make you feel like you are in the middle of the action too. This doesn’t detract from the film at all; in fact, I thought that it added another element to it. The first encounter with a troll occurs at night, in the woods, and the green tinge of the night vision on the camera captures how I think such an encounter would - you are able to make out the major shapes (for example, a troll) fairly well while the little details are left to your imagination. The film seems to take a while to get going, but once it does, it moves along well and you do feel like you are only glimpsing a fraction of what has been going on. The film is spoken entirely in Norwegian with English subtitles but you are able to easily read what is being said while watching the cast either hunting for or running away from trolls (whichever takes their fancy at the time).

The film borrows a lot from Norwegian fairy tales about trolls and recreates it on the big screen. For example, while attempting to lure a troll out to take a blood sample, the Trollhunter recreates the Three Billy Goats Gruff fairy tale (with varying degrees of success)! Troll folklore is also discussed as the filmmakers begin to come to terms with realisation that trolls actually exist. While all this is going on, you also get stunning shots of Norway’s amazing landscape.
Trollhunter is a brilliant movie with a unique take on a mythical subject. Although it does not have the smooth finish that comes with something mass produced from Hollywood, it mixes action and comedy well and you can’t help but enjoy this film.

Watch the trailer here!

HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 30.7.52

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1945 a squadron of 5 US Navy planes known as flight 19 all became lost in the area known as the Bermuda Triangle, then the plane they sent to find them went missing too...

And now the news:

Half of Europe's frogs and toads face extinction i...
St. Louis Zoo's WildCare Institute is Hell-Bent on...
What are India's citizen scientists looking for? (...
Japan, Russia see chance to clone mammoth
Four lane highway to destroy Indian tiger corridor...
Public call on Government to save British humming ...

Here’s a short video about the Bermuda Triangle from the BBC:

DALE DRINNON: 1995 Tolentino Chupacabras sighting

The latest blog has gone up on the Frontiers of Zoology, this one concerning the 1995 Tolentino Chupacabras sighting and just touching briefly on the theory of Benjamin Radford to explain it.


CFZ CANADA: Charles Fort and the Dundas Minnows

An absolutely smashing story from Robin. Well done hun. Check it out