Using facial recognition software to determine what the average face in a movie looks like.
This Slaughterhouse Mural Is Really, Really Creepy
Photos by Nate Miller
Some tours of L.A. stop in a sketchy industrial area called Vernon to show people the bucolic murals on the walls of a Farmer John pork processing compound called Clougherty Packing Co. This is where the famousDodger Dogs come from. They also convert pigs into stuff like morning sausage and sliced ham for various West Coast grocery store chains.
When you see it from your car, the mural is a shock to the system. It’s clearly a slaughterhouse and covered with artwork that looks like the painted backgrounds from Hee Haw. Which is partly because the piece is an incomplete work called “Hog Heaven” by the TV set painter Les Grimes, who died in a fall while finishing it in the 1960s. It has since been completed and retouched by painter Arno Jordan and other visionaries through the years at the request of Hormel Foods Corporation. It has also gone off the rails, sanity-wise.
These cartoony pigs are pretty close together, as I assume they really are on the other side of that wall. Though I’d imagine the seven thousand real pigs inside that building are probably smiling a lot less.
One of the many painters who’ve taken a crack at the mural over the years had a tendency to make their faces much too human. Like this terrifying lil’ guy.
The Magic Kingdom Is Creepy
Dylan DeRose hails from Orlando, Florida, which sounds like it would totally suck, but Dylan has taken lemons and made lemonade. Or should we say oranges into orange juice. After getting the hell out of his hometown, Dylan bravely ventured back to create his project, aptly titled Orlando. In it, he documents the lasting effects of taking an empty swamp and building it into a mecca of tourism, consumerism, and fantasy. Dylan was especially drawn to the influence of themed experiences on the city as the whole. Check out his photos of the creepier side of living in the shadow of the mouse above.
The ATL Twins Would Like to Introduce You to the Li’l Twins
The world has always been a terrifying place, but few have the bravery to stick there head into the vilest and most dead-end aspects of the human condition and document it. As far as we can tell, this is the thesis ofVrille, a twisted-ass video series directed by Matt Swinsky. We found out about Vrille by way of our favorite stripper-banging, double-penetrating duo, the ATL Twins. They helped Matt put the inaugural “episode” together, which features their childhood friends Adam and Andrew Gates—who also happen to be twins and go by the collective “Suave” and “Cutesy,” aka the Li’l Twins.
The ATL Twins and Matt first met the Li’l Twins at a young age via the skateboarding scene of Atlanta. But over the years the Gates boys went off in a peculiar and depressing direction, devolving into boozing hermits who spend their days watching obscure films on a near-broken TV, smoking cigs, and, on the rare occasion when they’re feeling social, hanging out with the dregs of society. You can tell after the first few moments of this clip, which is shot on gritty VHS tape within the Li’l Twins’ dilapidated home, that the two boys have seen some really fucked up shit in their day.
We won’t completely spoil the story contained within this video for you, but we will say that it involves an alleged murderous KKK member who has skinned a few folks (whether they were alive or dead at the time of the skinning has been lost to the sands of time). We also want to make it clear that the gnarly-ass tale told by the Gates Twins is believed to be gospel by both the ATL Twins and the director Matt. The ATL Twins and Matt also want everyone to know that this document is not meant to be exploitative in any way, and the Li’l Twins gave them full approval to shoot it—in other words, it’s “just real shit.”
VICE: How’d you guys meet the Li’l Twins?
The ATL Twins: When we first moved to ATL, we moved to this neighborhood and we met them they were skaters and they were twins. The whole crew was little kids, we were young too, but they were younger—like 16 or some shit—but we got with them and started skating and became really good friends with them. Eventually we became roommates with them and worked with them and shit. Actually, they used to be really amazing skateboarders.
In the interview Chris Nieratko did with you a couple of years ago that sort of introduced you to the world, you guys said something like “fuck other twins.” So I’m surprised you were so close with these two.
Yeah well, we never really ever met any other twins to be honest with you. Other than the Li’l Twins, we haven’t kicked it with any twins. We can relate to them in a lot of always; they were different, they would fight, they were close, but they would also get into fights. One of them knocked the other one’s tooth out. They werebad. They were also really close. We really clicked with them—skateboarding, movies, and shit. We always saw eye-to-eye on everything, they were really cool.
This Guy Makes Life-Size Child Dolls That Wear Lingerie
Trottla is a Japanese company that produces and sells child-sized, life-like dolls. They’re made to feel and look like real children and come with heating instructions and moveable joints. Before you berate me for immediately assuming these dolls are for pedophiles, consider that there is no male counterpart, they wear lingerie, and just look at the fucking pictures.
The company clearly states that the dolls are not to be used for sexual purposes, but if they’re just kids’ toys, why the hell would you dress them up in matching white lace lingerie sets and give them teeny weeny awkward nipples? The photo galleries used to promote the dolls on the manufacturer's website are also enough to creep out even the hardiest internet veteran.
Generally, it is legal to produce, sell, and buy these dolls in the UK, though obviously the lines begin to blur when it comes to their usage and how they’re displayed. How is there a loophole in UK law big enough for a life-size child sex doll to fit through? I caught up with Shin Takagi, the owner of Trottla and the guy who makes the dolls, to find out how his business continues to operate.
VICE: Hey guys. So how are Trottla dolls made?
Shin Takagi: We produce most parts of the dolls ourselves because a lot of the parts aren’t available commercially. It requires a lot of time to fully reproduce the movement of the human body. Its skin is soft like a marshmallow and is made of the closest material to human skin. The whole process requires great risk. Our dolls are the only dolls in the world that will substitute a human girl.
Why, though? What are they for?
I cannot be precise in my answer to this. The purpose of the doll differs with each customer and the customer is free to use the doll in any way they wish.
So I’m guessing it’s not for kids… Is it a sex toy?
This is the customer’s choice. However, we do prohibit the dolls being used as sexual objects commercially, as they are very realistic and could be mistaken for real children. We pray for the security of our customers and they may be put in danger if they do not treat the doll with caution.
I Got Stalked and It Was a Total Bummer
The phone calls started a couple of weeks ago. I was at work, and didn’t think much of the first one as I politely but quickly hung up before the caller got beyond talking about a music video and a band I haven’t been in for nine years. Right after the last call of the day disconnected my brother rang.
"Did you just get a weird phone call?" he asked. I told him I did, and then asked if he had been pranked too. He hesitated, which made me nervous. Turns out someone had been calling his landline all afternoon trying to get in touch with me. It wasn’t until he’d given her my number that he realized he might have made a mistake. The breathy, repetitive diatribes on religious prophecies and butchered pronunciations of our last name apparently creeped him out the more he thought about it.
Of course, by that time, it was too late. I got four calls from her that day, each resulting in a voicemail that sounded like a dying phone-sex operator trying to recite the plotline of her three favorite X-Files episodes. Eventually, when I got home, I was able to give everything a thorough listen. I learned that God, in fulfillment of a blood covenant revolving around the End Times, had apparently chosen me to father her child. It’s not the worst pickup line I’ve ever heard, but the parts about her dying seven times, needing me to come see her, aliens, and us both being “in danger” didn’t exactly inspire confidence or comfort.
The video that made my stalker fall in love with me. I’m not even in it btw, it was made after I left the band.
I called my old bandmates to ask them about it, and they responded with silence followed by the type of “holy shit” you only want to encounter after someone unzips your pants. Apparently, this same person had been sending “fan mail” through the band’s record label, which included screenshots of the band members from the video, annotated with details of the prophecy she’d begun explaining to me via phone, as well as notarized poems which spoke to the future she saw for her and them. And now me, I guessed.
"We didn’t know how seriously to take it," one of them explained. They knew now.
I headed home and dealt with it the only way I know how: I bought a taped-up Louisville Slugger, filled out a police report, went home, checked my closets, drank a beer in the shower, and locked myself in my bedroom.
Do you know how long you have to wait for a fat, old, white dude in a robe to tell you that his 8-second analysis of your affidavit has determined that blood covenants + command-type auditory hallucinations = not creepy enough to give you a temporary protection order? Three to four hours if you’re lucky, apparently. After shooting me down, the judge scheduled a hearing where I had to have a fucking meet-and-greet with my stalker. Thanks a lot, asshole.
Each month, we bring you the weirdest stuff that our friend Cynthia finds while sorting through donations at the charity shop she works at in Massachusetts. These are some of the things she’s had to touch with her bare hands in the last month.
About four years ago, photographer Johanna Heldebro’s father abruptly left his family in Montreal and relocated to his native Sweden. Johanna’s parents had just finalized a sudden divorce after Mr. Heldebro disclosed that he was having an affair with a mother of two who lived in Stockholm. Of course, everyone was angry and confused. But instead of writing her dad’s name 30 times on a piece of paper in black ink and burning it over a black candle, Johanna decided to use the unfortunate situation as inspiration for her artwork. She traveled to Sweden to stalk her dad and find out about his new life firsthand.
Today is Stalking Awareness Day. Consequently we’re revisiting our classic guide, Stalking for Beginners:
I decided to pick a random stranger and stalk the shit out of him. Just for kicks. Here’s what happened…
I didn’t want to stalk a friend of a friend. I needed to find some jock in a shitty bar. Me and my best friend headed out to the lame part of Montreal, to a bar you normally couldn’t pay me to enter. There I saw my guy: blond-ish hair, ripped-up jeans, and a slick pair of shiny boots. Ew. My friend took off so I could be in complete control of the situation.
I pulled a chair up next to him, introduced myself, and bought him an incredible amount of drinks. Then I started telling him how wet he made me. He agreed to take me home with him. We had some pretty hardcore dark-alley oral sex, which actually ruled. You know when you take a piss in the shower? It felt THAT good. His tongue was as soft as a newborn lamb’s coat.
Then we got to his place and he gave me the most pedestrian pounding I have ever had. Yawn.
After he fell asleep, I took down all the phone numbers in his cell while hiding in the bathroom. Mom, Dad, Susan, Rita, Jeff, and some guy named “Coke Delivery.” Real subtle, dude.
I went back to bed with him and murmured “I love you.” He moved away from me. Everything was working as planned. He was getting stalked.
I woke up fairly early, but he was already up and claiming he had to go to work. I started hugging him and telling him that I had the best night of my life, and he just kind of stood there. I asked him for his phone number, and he said he didn’t know what it was since he had just moved in. I knew it was a lie, but I said, “Fine, I’ll just stop by sometime and we can hang out. I’d love to hang out with you, and I need more of this.” Whereupon I tapped on his junk. He didn’t say a word, but I could tell he was frightened. I also already had his phone number, stolen from his phone.
That night I showed up at his house piss-drunk at 4 AM with lipstick all over my face, and rang the doorbell six times. His roommate answered, and I ran in, jumped on my guy’s bed, and started screaming, “TAKE ME, FUCK ME.”
It was beautiful. He was almost crying from the stupefaction and he told me to leave. I begged him to come and sit on the porch with me to talk. I gave him a letter I wrote him along with several Polaroids. The letter is full of pyscho shit and it’s half in French. That makes it even creepier somehow. Dude couldn’t even speak. He was just like, “Please leave, you’re fucking insane.” I’m pretty proud, so this was the most awkward moment of my life, because I had to play it like a crazy whore with zero self-esteem. I kept telling him we were made for each other and that I wasn’t able to take a shower since his scent was all over my body. He yelled at me, told me to leave again, and I ran into the house and hid under the covers in his bed, crying at top volume. His roommate came into the room and told me to leave. I could tell they felt awful for me. So I finally left, sobbing.
Once I got home, I laughed so hard I thought my head was going to fucking explode. I called him five more times (my number’s blocked), leaving messages every time, that night. He doesn’t know my full name, my address, or my phone number, so I don’t think I can get in trouble. But I planned on fucking with him even more. Being a stalker is hard work, and I can’t believe people can do this in earnest. It’s exhausting. Every night during this experiment I slept like a log.
I decided that the next night, I would call his mom.