Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Neo Parasyte m

The following stories are based on Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki as essentually fanart or fan fiction. 

* Through Yura's Gate

A girl named Yura constantly hears a voice that tells her to kill people and loathes it. She saves Ju, an angry boy from her school who always gets in fights, from drowning. Their story together involves random psychotic family members and murder. I wasn't really sure how it related to parasites, but it was an overall interesting story.

* Eat It Tonight Too

An old man's head is a parasite. As a young man, he married a woman he didn't love and had children with her. The man went through everything mechanically, only aging on purpose when people pointed it out. The ending is strangely emotional and sweet despite the dry tone of the story.

* Granny's Regrets

The art of this one is amazingly photorealistic with an old woman and the parasite whose toothy maw is on the side of her head. The parasite is bored and sees the opportunity to enter a bear with craziness ensuing. The story is short with a bit of humor.

* Paragant

This story is one of the few in full color. Parasites fight each other for money. The plot didn't really go anywhere, but the depictions of violence were impressive.

* Lucy and Migi

The art style was much more cutesy than the other stories and based in the world of Fairy Tale, which I also haven't read. A girl's hand is infected with a parasite from her cat. I didn't love or hate the story, but I lacked context.

* Teach Me Ryoko Tamya Sensei

There's a love triangle betweem a parasitic hand, a teacher, and a teenage boy. Not sure what I just read but it was weird. 

* The Strange One

A parasite raised a family of his own and is confronted by another parasite. The first seems to truly love his family and covers it up by saying it's easier to transfer to the same bloodline. Another bizarrely sweet story.

* Perfect Soldier

The military have figured out that parasites are the best soldiers and hire them to fight against their own brethren. These particular parasites have heads that can morph into giant blades and this story had a bleak bent that made it one of the most memorable.

* Migi's Journey

Unattached parasite Migi encounters an old host in the city. The story is pretty dull. However, the background of each panel is insanely and intricately detailed.

* Edible

This is another of the blade-headed parasite stories. One is working for humans and his brother is working directly against him and his human team. The actions scenes are the highlight of the story.

* Kiser Ekoda Chan

This was my least favorite as it feature in parasite in a woman's vagina. The artwork is more cutesy like the Migi stories, but this one was weirdly vulgar and pointless.

* Chinless Gen and I are Parasites

This silly story has parasites being more metaphorical parasites, freeloading off of people and terrorizing them. 

Overall, I liked some of the stories. I didn't realize it was based on anything, so I missed a lot of references and context that probably would have been useful.

My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Mom and Dad

The Ryan's are a normal family with typical problems. Teenage Carly is defiant, abrasive as hell, and no longer confides in her mother. She fights with her little brother Josh, who is young and rambunctious. Parents Brent and Kendall mourn their lost dreams sacrificed to be parents and raise their family. Amidst their drama, something is making parents rage filled monsters whose only motivation is to kill their own children.

Mom and Dad is a crazy, over the top movie with a premise to match. The very first scene has a mother leave her car (containing her child) on the train tracks just before a train goes by. It's bold and tells the audience immediately what kind of film it is. Afterwards, the Ryan's are shown in their normal life with bickering kids and unfulfilled parents. Carly is an insufferable teen with nothing but disdain for her parents. She feels no guilt about stealing right from her mother's purse or saying purposefully hurtful things just to get a reaction. I felt a lot of sympathy for Brent and Kendall because society feeds people that the norm is having children. Both of them envisioned something else for their lives despite having conventional successes as a business man and a stay at home mom. They are unhappy and frustrated, a typical state for suburban parents. Both tried to do something to change up their lives (Brent built a pool table and Kendall tried to get her old job as a graphic designer back), but their attempts fail miserably.

The disease or contagion causing parents to savagely kill their children is never identified. Some random static appears on electronics preceding this behavior, but it's never said what it is or how it seems to affect anything technological. Parents' first instinct in an emergency is to find and protect their children. This contagion completely weaponizes this instinct. It starts out with come parents acting oddly at the high school, hovering outside of the SAT testing place and outside of the school. This behavior isn't completely strange because some parents actually do this on a daily basis (usually for smaller kids at the schools where I teach). Suddenly, the parents basically riot and physically fight anyone who gets in the way of them and their children. They act like killing their children is completely normal and otherwise act normally. The pandemonium following is gruesome and brutal. The child I felt most for was Carly's boyfriend Damon. His father is clearly an alcoholic that Damon has to care for. It's heartbreaking to watch Damon defend himself from and accidentally kill his father. The actions were necessary, but the result accidental.

Once Kendall and Brent are affected by the signal or disease, all hell breaks loose. Both parents go from struggling, unhappy, and exasperated to the happiest we see them in the movie since their teen years. Nicholas Cage is at his most extreme here and makes the film so much fun with how far he's willing to take the character. Before he's even infected, he destroys the pool table he built while screaming the Hokey Pokey. Afterwards, Brent and Kendall get along nicer than they have in years, united against their children. Kendall is slightly less insane and even has some fleeting moments of fighting the urge to kill. The last quarter of the film is a cat and mouse game with the kids trying to survive their parents' attacks that involve an infomercial saw, flooding the basement with gas, and a meat tenderizer. Apparently, all parents are affected, so Brent's parents also try to kill him. Lance Henricksen plays Brent's dad and almost matches Cage's insanity.

Mom and Dad is violent, insane fun. Some of the violent situations seemed a bit sanitized for my taste. If the filmmakers are going to touch on taboo subjects, they should be delved into instead of backed away from. The ending is abrupt and makes it seem like the creators either wanted a sequel or simply didn't know how to end the film. Carly makes a big transformation throughout the film to be a responsible human being, but I still found her parents to be more compelling characters. If there is a sequel, I'm first in line to watch it for Nicholas Cage alone. By itself, Mom and Dad is a darkly comic film that proves to stand out.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why

* spoilers *

Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel is back to fight against the inventor, a man using teens as batteries to power his dastardly machines that threaten her hometown. Along the way, she encounters Wolverine (with some fangirling), Lockjaw, and the truth about her origin.

Ms. Marvel is amazing at making a teenage superhero realistic and acknowledging both her superhero and teenage experiences. Kamala is still worrying her parents by being late to family functions and shirking familial duties. Her parents make her talk to the Sheikh at their mosque who gives her some surprising advice. She expected the regular lecture on putting her family first and blah blah and of course tells him a vague version of the truth. He tells her to be the best at "helping people" and find someone to mentor her. It's refreshing for her to have an adult taking her seriously and giving truly useful advice. Kamala runs into Wolverine and they team up for a while with a hilarious and fun dynamic.

The main plot has the Inventor turning teenagers into batteries. Right from the beginning, adults such as teachers are complaining that teens are frivolous and awful, obsessed with social media and narcissism. It's no wonder that these teens willingly submit to being batteries because they have internalized the view that they are useless leeches with no future. Considering that adults are the ones who have ruined the world for those teens, adults should be treating them as hope for the future instead of putting them down. Kamala solves this problem admirably and perfectly fights against the inventor.

Other developments in the comic are Kamala's state as an Inhuman who was genetically altered by an alien race and her powers. The more she regenerates, the less she can change her appearance. Eventually, she might only be able to change size. Lockjaw acts as her guardian for a while which is fun, especially considering his size. Overall, I love Kamala's story because she is a realistic teenager with relatable problems. I can't wait to see what's next for her.

My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Devil's Backbone (2001)

During the last days of the Spanish Civil War, 10 year old Carlos is taken to Saint Lucia's School, an orphanage for the children of Republic militia and politicians in a remote area of Spain. It's operated by harsh headmistress Carmen and kindly doctor Casares, along with volatile groundskeeper Jacinto and kind teacher Conchita. Carlos is bullied by the other orphan boys until he gains their trust. Along the way, he discovers a ghost they call "the one who sighs." Is this apparition another danger or is it trying to tell them something?

The Devil's Backbone is an incredibly emotional film to watch due to the children in the middle of a war zone, the unrequited love between the adults, and the horror of fascism and hate. Saint Lucia's has been attacked, leaving a supposedly disarmed bomb lodged in its center. The bomb represents the danger of war, ever present and looming over them. The children at the orphanage don't have anything and immediately become jealous of Carlos with his comic books and privileged background even though they are now in the same position. One of the most heartbreaking things about this movie is that Carlos is never told his father died. His tutor drops him off without a word and he's dropped into a place where he isn't exactly welcome. Through bonding experiences, teasing each other, and shared fear, Carlos becomes friends with the boys, especially Jaime, a boy known for being a bully. Jaime and the other boys are understandably spiky and distrustful considering their situation losing everything including families, living in such a vulnerable position, and the trauma they have experienced.

The adults of Saint Lucia's have their own microcosm of drama amidst the war. Steely Carmen and kind Casares align with the Republican loyalists against fascism and the Nationalists. They hold a cache of gold bars to fund their causes, information kept from everyone else. Casares and Carmen love each other but don't really speak about it besides whispering to each other through their bedroom walls. Carmen is a harsh, no nonsense older woman who cares for the children and makes the hard decisions. She gets her physical needs met with Jacinto, a source of deep shame and self loathing. Jacinto is in a relationship with Conchita, a sweet woman who teaches the children. His relationship with Carmen is purely manipulative to steal the gold from her. As the film goes on, Jacinto becomes the main villain, driven by greed and the drive to be more than he started. He grew up as an orphan just like Carlos and Jaime and he feels like a failure for not leaving and making something of himself. At his core, shame and machismo drive his every action without thinking about those who supported and cared about him for most of his life.

The supernaturally elements are incredibly well done. The ghost starts out as a mere rumor that is perhaps the boys trying to scare each other. Casares dismisses it as hearing Carmen and Jacinto's lovemaking, in a comical scene. In actuality, he is Santi, another orphan who suffered a tragic end. He warns the other children of danger, shows the real risk of death, reveals the crime of his own death, and guides the others. As in most Guillermo del Toro movies, the supernatural elements are not where the horror lies, but within humans and their violent acts. The effects hold up exceptionally well for film made in 2001 due to del Toro's decision to combine CGI with practical effects. This method serves him well especially in movies like Crimson Peak and The Shape of Water.

The Devil's Backbone unifies reality and fantasy elements to make a compelling story. It devastated me emotionally and become one of my favorite del Toro movies. It has children squarely in harms way but also has them uniting and fighting for themselves against great odds. Del Toro never underestimates children and shows both their vulnerability and their power. American films don't often show them in this way, opting for fake precociousness or infantilizing them. This film seems to be lesser known and I would highly recommend you give it a chance.

My rating: 5/5 fishmuffins

Monday, January 15, 2018


Kurouzo-Cho is a normal town unlike every other until spirals can be seen everywhere in plants, ashes coming for a crematorium, whirlpools, whirlwinds, and even the topography of the town itself. Uzumaki is an anthology of stories about this town with two main characters that connect all of the stories: Kirie Goshima and Shuichi Saito. These two are teens that are going to the local high school and dating each other until Shuichi's father becomes obsessed with spirals. He collects every object he can that is spiral shaped or has spirals on it. His wife becomes concerned by his behavior as he only stares at his objects, forgoing work and anything else not spiral related. She throws all of his things away and he opts to find spirals within himself leading to his grotesque death when he crushed his entire body into an elongated spiral. When he is cremated, his ashes take a spiral shape and fall into Dragonfly Lake.

Much like Tomie, the stories told have that seed of obsession throughout on a bigger and bigger scale as the book goes on. Each story is related in some way to something that has happened. An artist gets clay from Dragonfly Lake and becomes obsessed with his pottery that comes out of the kiln with bizarre spirals with a much sinister origin. Shuichi's mother fears spirals with as much furvor as her husband loved them, even removing them from her own body in hair, her fingerprints, and eventually inside her ear. Kirie herself becomes effected as her hair spirals, growing larger and larger, and attacking her when she tries to cut it. Classmates and others flock to her hair's mesmerizing power until another classmate vows to be more popular than her. Azami, a Tomie-esque girl, entrances anyone she sets her eyes on. When Shuichi rejects her, she becomes obsessed with him. A lighthouse with no power lights up again and hynotizes people to go to it. People start turning into giant snails. Spiral cursed mosquitoes bite pregnant women with monstrous, disgusting results plus even more stories. These stories have transformations, murder, mayhem, and, beneath it all, a town that largely ignores every instance and goes back to some semblance of normal.

During the last few stories, the curse of spirals amps up to completely isolate and change Kurouzo-Cho. The spiral curse is simply too big to ignore at this point since life has completely changed for its inhabitants and anyone unlucky enough to fight their way there. Six hurricanes (of course as giant spiral storms) surround the city along with deadly whirlpools in the ocean, keeping rescue away and keeping people from leaving. Inside the city, any sound above a whisper creates a twister that will tear through the city. Some people use this power liberally as a weapon while others prefer to live as peacefully as they can. As a result, the enture city is in shambles with the only true shelter being old row houses that were deemed as slums in more normal times. The row houses are rebuilt, but the curse doesn't spare them even where the whirlwinds can't enter. If people move too slow, they turn into giant snails, a source of food for the starving and less morally burdened. I didn't know how a story at this scale could end, much like Gyo kind of had a non-ending, but it eventually settles down until the next cycle (or spiral) who knows how many years later.

Through all of this, Kirie goes about her life as normally as she can while Shuichi becomes a sullen, justifiably antisocial harbinger of the harm these spirals can do. However, they still remain in Kurouzo-Cho for no reason. In Tomie, the title character is the connective tissue for the stories, but this one doesn't quite work for me. If any normal person had seen a fraction of what they have, why would anyone stay in that one city? It's stated early that none of the surrounding cities are affected so they would have been safe if they moved even one town over. The only other thing I have a problem with is Ito's habit of characterizing the majority of the young women in his stories as completely vain and obsessed with popularity. It's a rehashing of the Tomie story which was proven to be much more than just a misogynistic stereotype. In these small moments, it seems more like that is the case and it's disappointing.

Uzumaki is another successful horror anthology that serves up surrealistic horror, gut punching and grotesque surprises, and horrifically detailed art. Each story is more extreme than the last even when I think it can't go any further. While I see some storylines or concepts that Ito likes to return to, many of the stories are completely unique and go places I never expected horror to go. I especially enjoyed the Sunnydale vibe about the town that refuses to see what's really going on and eager to go back to normal as soon as possible. If you like Japanese horror films or Lovecraftian, surreal horror, I would highly recommend just about anything Junjo Ito produces.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Friday, January 12, 2018

Maniac (2012)

* spoilers *

Frank Zito runs a mannequin restoration store inherited from his recently dead mother and spends his time looking for love on dating sites. He often stalks them for a while to find out their routine and discover all he can about them. All of the dates eventually end with him murdering them, scalping them, and attaching their scalps to mannequins. His relationship with Anna, a woman as interested in his trade as he is, might end differently. With the cycle of murder stop or is it simply too late for Frank?

Maniac is a slick remake almost completely filmed from the point of view of Frank Zito, a seemingly awkward and shy man who murders women for their scalps. Elijah Wood portrays him so sympathetically that I felt sorry for him quite a few times during the film despite his horrific actions. He is physically diminutive and sickly with bouts of extreme anxiety and panic attacks. This and his approachable appearance greatly contrast with the strength and brutality of his attacks. At times, he seems to loathe his cycle of murder and truly wants to break out of it to have a normal relationship. Other times, his rage explodes out of him, seen when he treats a victim as a proxy for his mother, screaming at her and then scalping her while she's still alive.

All of his neuroses and hatred of women come from his childhood and his mother. His mother was a sex worker and drug addict who forced him to watch her have sex with men. Frank murders women because he simulataneously hates and loves them. He obviously has abandonment issues and wants them to stay with him. Whenever they act in a way he doesn't like, such as any sort of sexual interest, he is overcome with rage. His solution for their free will and refusal to adhere to his view of them is to collect their scalps and place them on mannequins to live with in his home. This act recalls the only happy memory of his childhood, brushing his mother's hair. There are a few moments of black comedy, like the way he stocks up on bug spray to keep the flies away from his beloved scalps.

The violence is brutal and graphically portrayed often in closeup. We see these murders from Frank's point of view, but they aren't justified in any way. Their horror and pain are seen just as closely as their deaths. The women are often in various states of undress when they are murdered because they are in vulnerable states, never expecting this attack. The ending has the women fighting back in Frank's delusion. Once he has their scalps attached to a mannequin, he still isn't satisfied. He sees all the women but Anna as crass, horrible, and cruel. Anna simply turns her back on him and refuses. Even though it's all in Frank's head, I prefer to view it as the women he murdered getting their revenge.

Maniac is told almost completely in the first person from Franks point of view. The striking visuals set this film apart from other slasher movies as well as the unique view. Frank's face is only seen in flashes with reflections. Because the story is told from his view and Elijah Wood is so sympathetic, the audience tends to feel for him up to a point because of his abusive background and conflicted nature. Maniac is a must watch if  you can stand the subject matter.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Fisherman find an odd fish in their nets, but it scurries away back into the ocean. Tadashi and his girlfriend Kaori arrive at his uncle's beach home to have a relaxing vacation with swimming and scuba diving. It doesn't go as planned when they find a horrible smelling fish with crab-like legs walk out of the water and attack them. Tadashi seals it in a bag and leaves it outside, but it escapes. They return to Tokyo, find that same fish, and discover that it's not an isolated problem.

Gyo is another installment of surreal horror from Junji Ito. Tadashi and Kaori become entrenched and almost haunted by this disgusting walking fish problem. Their relationship before the incident isn't really seen, but it grows more and more strained as the fish follow them and invade Japan. Tadashi is a typical young man, but Kaori is reduced to a flat, annoying character. This was the most disappointing aspect of the story. Literally 90% of her dialogue is complaining about the rotten smell coming from the fish, screaming at Tadashi, or being jealous whenever he's around any other women. The difference between their characters is troubling especially what later happens to Kaori.

The problem starts with one walking fish that floats to Tokyo in its sealed bag. Soon Okinawa is completely innundated by wakling ocean life of all kinds. Sharks, octopi, squid, and all manner of fish are walking around, attacking people. Then it spreads to Tokyo and all of Japan. Tadashi's uncle discovers that the legs are actually machinery that latches onto the creature working in conjuction with a contagion that makes them release gas from all orifices. The machinery hooks tubing into those orifices, making the creatures gas power the legs. The fish are actually dead from their time on land and the machinery turns to humans once the fish are useless, bloating them with the contagion and turning them into automatons.

Gyo has many of the staples of Ito horror, but it's the weakest of his stories for me. The disease apparently starts to produce its own machinery and that's why basically all the fish in the sea have legs. This concept tries to be scientific and it's ludicruous. I prefer when he stays in the supernatural that doesn't need explanation. This technology is defunct and left over from World War II, commenting on the Japanese involvement during the war and its effect on the world. It doesn't make the concept any more coherent or less absurd. Though it all, Gyo is a compelling read that has some of the most memorable, gross, and absurd horror I've ever seen.

My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Holiday Horror: Body (2015)

Holly and Mel return home for holidays and plan to party at home. Their friend Cali has other plans and convinces the others to go to her rich uncle's house with luxuries galore. They have a fun night playing games and drinking only to discover that the house isn't Cali's uncles. A groundskeeper discovers them and falls down the staircase after a fight with the women. They assume he died, but soon discover that he's only paralyzed. Cali wants to kill him since the harm is done and the others want to save him.

I went into this film no knowledge of what it was about. The women act realistically with foul language, drinking, and teasing each other. They simply want to have a good time. When they go to the mansion, it's everything they wanted. All of it comes crashing down when it's revealed that it isn't Cali's uncle's place, but it's owned by a family she used to tutor. Without knowing it, Holly and Mel are guilty of breaking and entering, enough to spook and panic them.

When the caretaker falls down the stairs, Holly and Mel just want to call an ambulance. Cali is the one pushing to kill him since he saw their faces and she tries everything to convince the others. It calls into question what you as the viewer would do and comments on the more prevalent cynical and selfish nature. Cali is only thinking about her own future and how to get out of the situation scotch free. The others are thinking more about morality and the man's life rather than saving themselves.

Body is an thought provoking thriller that could have been a short film. It struggles to fill just over an hour with such a bare bones plot. The tension could have been amped up if it was shorter and it wouldn't feel so empty. The twists are well done, but the characters are thin. After watching, they blend together because their dialogue together is too light. It's worth a watch, but flawed.

My rating: 3/5 fishmuffins

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Holiday Horror: Red Christmas (2016)

Diane gathers with her four adult children for Christmas dinner at her house. No one knows that twenty years ago, she had an abortion that happened to be bombed by right wing extremists at the same time. She escaped and the baby somehow survived the operation. The terrorist raised the deformed child and he returns to his family on Christmas day. At first, the family tries to welcome him despite his odd clothes and bad smell, but once he accuses their mom of trying to abort him, they throw him out. He takes offense and starts murdering each member one by one.

Red Christmas is an odd movie that tackles some controversial subject matter with mixed results. Abortion is on the forefront. The prospect that a fetus would survive an abortion and then raised by the terrorist that bombed the clinic is a right winger's wet dream. The fact that a woman endangers her entire family because of a secret abortion years ago pretty squarely puts abortion the evil side of morality, apparently even more so due to the fetus likely having Down Syndrome. She already had a child with Down Syndrome and understandably didn't want to raise another on her own when her husband was deathly ill. Even though Diane believes in her choice and doesn't take anyone's criticism about it, a murderer is still hounding them as a direct result. I don't like media, even over the top, silly media like this, that paints abortion as evil in a time where every inch of bodily autonomy has to be fought for.

The film does have some things going for it. The gore and kills are over the top crazy with head explosions and blood rocketing in all directions. The filmmakers' had enough sense to create a villain with Down Syndrome and also have a conventional character, Diane's son Jerry, with Down syndrome. This makes Cletis, the murderer, a monster because of his actions and not because of his disability. Diane is a kickass woman who fights tooth and nail for her family even though they are all insufferable. One of her daughters is devoutly religious and judgy while the other is the polar opposite, drinking and smoking pot while pregnant. I wasn't sad to see either die.

Red Christmas touches on hot button issues for shock value and not much else. It seems to be on the prolife side of things, which isn't great as I already addressed. If you go in looking for a silly, gory ride and don't read into the story, you will have fun. Other than that, it's a bit of a mess and not even very satisfying as a slasher movie.

My rating: 1.5/5 fishmuffins

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Holiday Horror: Follow (2015)

Quinn aspires to be an artist and works as a bartender to support himself and his girlfriend Thana. Both of them are waiting for acceptance to Columbia University. Five days before Christmas, Thana intoduces a gun into their foreplay and asks Quinn to kill himself. He refuses and everything goes black. When he wakes up with the gun in his hand, he discovers Thana dead from a shot to the head, shattering his entire world.

Follow is an impressive indie horror that tells its story in bits and pieces. Small flashback vignettes fill in the gaps to the story and show more of Quinn and Thana. Thana seems to have been obsessed with death shown in her continually asking Quinn cryptic questions and acting strangely. She challenged him to hold his breath underwater for as long as he can and asked him what he would do with her body if he found her dead. These are bizarre questions and hypothetical situations that showed her true state of mind. Quinn largely dismissed them and sometimes humored her.

The reality of the present is bleak as it looks like Quinn killed Thana. He has a choice to make: call emergency services or cover it up somehow. After a reasonably dazed time trying to remember or figure out what happened, Quinn decides to clean it up and act as if it never happened. It would work a lot better if he didn't still have the body lying around. He grows obsessed with her and decides to bathe her body, have dinner with it, and even tries to preserve it. I understand the grief and sadness Quinn is going through, but his choices go from bad to worse to psychotic as his mental state deteriorates. Honestly, the inital situation with the gun should have been shut down right away and his actions started out pretty bizarre. As a result, he gets less relatable as time goes on.

Outside of his grief spiral, various people enter the house and try to see what's going on, including Quinn's co-worker Viv (who has fallen in love with him), his landlord, Thana's twin sister Shay, and a Christmas caroler who sings a carol for $1. Not all of them fare so well. Reality warps with Quinn's psychosis and what we see isn't always what actually happens. The Christmas aspects put cheery holiday trappings right next to this depressing plot. Overall, the film has an uncomfortable air that gets more and more intense. Most of the film takes place in one claustrophobic house. Follow has a unique form with interesting twists, but populated with unrelatable main characters.

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins