Author Archive

Flight of the Living Dead (Plane Dead)

June 2, 2008

Flight of the Living Dead

I love zombie films, me. They don’t scare me, but I can’t think of anything more horrific. You want ‘horror’? Think about it, re-animated rotting corpses walking about, and in some recent cases; running. Think about the smell. Zombie Diaries wasn’t the best zombie flick I’ve seen but I liked the idea and one thing they got spot on (I imagine, I’ve never seen a zombie holocaust in real life) was the horrible buzzing of all flies when the living dead are bumbling about like walking sides of off beef.

I’m no zombie flick aficionado though, there’s plenty of those on this very blog…and I’d like them to email me with a list of recommended zombie films please. I’ve seen the obvious ones (Dawn of, Day of, etc etc) and some were good, some were bad. The remake of Dawn of the Dead fr’example, ace. Some were shit; 28 Weeks Later; big let down after 28 Days Later. I know some people don’t consider the “28” series to be proper zombies and that but I’m including them anyway. Not to is just too nerdy for me.

Anyway, in my quest to find good zombie movies to watch I’ve seen some fucking turkeys, let me tell you. You know the ones, the strange, lazy hybrid ones where people have made a shit film and haven’t even bothered with a title… “Dawn of the Living Dead” remains unwatched on my shelf six months after I bought it for £1.99 in Sainsbury’s. My brother, 13 years my junior saw it in my collection and said “you’re not seriously going to watch that piece of shit are you?” in such a sneering tone I took his word for it and haven’t bothered. Actually, I didn’t really need to take his word for it. It’s called Dawn of the Living Dead for fuck’s sake. Anything that splices the titles from successful films together and costs less than two quid can’t be good. Like cheap porn…don’t fucking bother.

Anyway, there I was the other night in Blockbuster with my girlfriend. She wanted to get a movie to watch with her son that night and I was on the verge of getting that Will Smith movie that’s just out on DVD, the one where he’s the last man alive or something. I’ve not seen it so thought I might as well…I Am Legend, that’s the fucker. Just as I was going to get it I suddenly saw a DVD looking at me from the cheap-as-shit shelf. My girlfriend had just selected Lake Placid 2 on the basis that the first one was shit but made her laugh (it’s awful apparently, so don’t get it) and I thought “what the fuck eh? I mean, what could go wrong with a film called FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD?”

What indeed.

It’s mind bendingly awful. Don’t watch it. Please God don’t watch it. This contains spoilers, and since you really don’t want to see this movie it doesn’t matter. I’ll make it briefer than my last review.

Flight of the Living Dead (Outbreak on a Plane) has a fairly simple plot. No it doesn’t actually, it’s got a fucking simple plot. There’s this 747 right, and it’s flying from the States to Paris. Brilliant. Some scientists have put ‘something’ in the hold. Gasp, what could go wrong?! Here’s the main players:

  • Pilot: Old, it’s his last ever flight! (he’s fucked then)
  • Co-pilot: quite handsome in a B-Movie kinda way. He dies, which surprised me.
  • A cop with a prisoner handcuffed to him: They tend to crop up in most air disaster movies don’t they. It’s ok, the prisoner is a good egg really. And the only person in the film worth watching because the others are so shit.
  • Two couples of teenagers. The girls are both slags and the boys are both jocks. So they’re zombie fodder.
  • Three scientists: All dodgy, the leader’s the worst. Munch munch.
  • A nun. Fucking EVERY time…nuns infest the air.
  • A black golf pro and his arsey missus. We know he’s a golf pro because he’s brought his fucking putter on the plane to polish. For about eight hours!
  • Some air hostesses. The slutty ones die first of course.
  • A weird bloke, who, fuck me, turns out to be a bit of a saviour.
  • A zombie who kicks off and turns everyone else into zombies.

You can fill in the rest yourself. It’s utter shit. Yeah anyway, like, the zombie shit kicks off and there’s all these zombies multiplying and coming through the floor of the plane and that, and there’s blood and shit everywhere, and people don’t die very convincingly. Oh, and you’d think people would be able to act like zombies at least. They can’t.

I’m a bit of a stickler about how my zombies behave. They either shuffle along moaning quietly a-la George A Romero, or go run-around apeshit like the remake of Dawn of the Dead. These ones sort of try being fast zombies but they’re not nuts enough, and they hiss a lot. Hiss. Zombies don’t fucking hiss! I’ve never even seen a real zombie and I know they don’t hiss!

Anyway, take it from me, it’s utter shit and if you go and watch it it’s not my fault. I’ll save you the effort; the last survivors are the cop, the criminal (who can sort of fly a plane), the main hostess who wasn’t slutty so didn’t die, and the weird bloke who turned out to be an air marshal. The black golf pro nearly made it but he and his wife sacrificed themselves like the heroes they were. The plane crashes in a desert near a small town and the survivors walk off laughing and joking…only to be followed by loads of zombies what survived the crash! Thus leaving room for a sequel which I’m betting is never ever made.

Please, somebody (that’s you Swineshead) put a list of decent zombie movies on the reply section because I’ve watched all the Romero ones and very little else satisfies…and I’m sure there’s loads I’ve not seen.

Jack The Ripper & The East End

May 29, 2008

Ripper

For £7 I’d expect to find out who the bastard was, frankly. I am no wiser to the existence of ‘Saucy Jack’ today than I was yesterday, which leaves me disappointed. So disappointed I want to go and eviscerate a whore. I’d best not be disturbed though, cos if I am I’ll only have to go and find another one to vent my spleen on, like Jack did to them two tarts in one night. You know – the one who just got cut a bit and then the one who ended up all over the shop. Anyway, I digress.

Did I mention it was seven quid by the way? Seven quid. Think on that as you read this. I took my girlfriend with me so that was a total of fourteen pounds.

In the 1880s fourteen quid would have got you a slap up meal at Simpsons, a carriage to your club, some fine cigars, more port and brandy than you could possibly drink in one evening, a carriage home to whichever leafy square you lived in and enough left over to do it all again the next day. Or, if you preferred Whitechapel to the West End fourteen pounds would have kept you in the cheapest, rottenest old whores just itching to have their internals worn as Easter Bonnets for years. I know which option I’d go for, eh readers!?

The exhibition is in The Museum at Docklands in the docklands, in The London. I paid my fourteen fucking pounds and entered the exhibition, already sweating in anticipation.

I’ll be honest, some bits were quite good, but I’ll sum them up at the end. The exhibition has a lot of audio going on. And since it’s not divided up into small rooms very well it can get a bit blurred and noisy if you’re growing into an old codger like me whose hearing ain’t what it used to be what with all syphilitic beldams screaming their last cockney death rattles in my fucking ear at point blank. They all sound like Babs Windsor when you cut them, y’know.

Most of the audio comes from screens in the walls with various experts on things telling you shit. One is a young lady who works with prozzies and she guffs on about how awful it is to be on the game. Like we don’t know already. Apparently, ninetysomething percent of street walkers are just mad for the heroin or crack. Yes love, I know. What this has to do with a debonair murderer in a top hat and opera cape I don’t know. Also, apparently most prostitutes today are in constant danger of being bashed up, raped or murdered. Yes, I fucking know. Saying “and it would have been the same in Victorian Whitechapel” does not a mind-bending link make.

Another expert was a copper. He was talking about modern murderers of the serial killery type. Didn’t spend time on him. It didn’t look like he was about to put the finger on who The Ripper was so fuck him.

The last one was fucking great. Some middle aged harridan with a short haircut (know what I mean, boys?) banging on and on about how she hates all the interest in Jack the Ripper as no-one cares about the victims, it treats whores like non-people…etc etc. You get her drift. She’s a lesbian. She then whines on about how the East End should be remembered and celebrated for all sorts of other things other than suave top-hatted gentlemen who like to indulge in genital mutilation of an evening. She says that the East End is good because it is multi-racial. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Right, so I can go down Brick Lane and eat a damn good curry, or stop off at a Kebab House, or buy illegal bush-meat from a rotting suitcase full of dead monkeys…but can I stumble out of a hellish gin-house and trip headlong over the spread-eagled corpse of a mangled ‘unfortunate’ with a gaping hole where her fanny once was? No I fucking can’t. So stuff your multi-racial East End ‘full of artists’…like that’s a good thing…up your PC fanny. Anyway, she wasn’t paying attention in class because the East End was very multi-racial back then as well. At that particular time it was full to bursting with Russian Jews who were fleeing terrible persecution and that. So she’s talking out of her arse. Jack would’ve know what to do with her, oh yes.

The exhibits are a bit of a let down too. There’s a stuffed bloodhound which is the cutest dead thing I’ve seen ever. Well, cutest after that ten quid trick I left splattered all up the wall with her liver between her legs. You then read about this dog to discover than the reason it’s on display is because bloodhounds were not used in the case. Well that’s fucking useful then.

Then there’s the letters. These are potentially quite interesting. These are the ones that were sent to the pigs and some of them were signed ‘Jack the Ripper’, which is how he got his name. Some of them don’t have the same hand writing though, so as usual the fucking maniacs and copy-cats were all over the case like an unhelpful rash. Shades of ‘Tyneside Jack’ methinks. Anyway, you can’t read most of the letters due to the (admittedly beautiful) handwriting that was common at the time. Fucking hard to read if you’re used to type and bubble writing. There’s a few artefacts from life in the poorest parts of London of the time…matchboxes, stuff, things and that. There’s also pictures of the poor up on the walls, who look, to be honest, as if they fucking stink. I don’t want to sound insensitive but I know them prostitutes were cheap as chips and a bargain’s a bargain but who in their right mind would stick his cock up one of them? The smell must have been appalling. Much better to pay your money, cut them up and then get your money back if you ask me. Jack knew.

The exhibition doesn’t focus on the five women that we tend to think of today as Jack’s victims, but all eleven or so who were in the included in the case by the police at the time. It’s not hard to see why most were then dropped as supposed victims of the one killer though. Some were just stabbed and one got strangled although this might have been an accident while she was all pissed.

The biggest disappointment were the photos. Now, I know those fucking whores were innocent human victims of a terrible man, and I know we shouldn’t take voyeuristic pleasure in the sight of their mangled remains…but come on! For seven quid apiece I’d expect to see a bit more hot fucked-up Jezebel action. The girlfriend and I were steeling ourselves as we approached the walled off photo area (covered in warnings) only to find some crap that wouldn’t even give Peter Sutcliffe a heavy dick. There was each beldam lying in a coffin with not a wound on show. Well, there was that classic pic of Mary Jane Kelly on…and around…her bed. And another one’s face looking a bit out of sorts, but nothing you’ve not seen before. I know there’s other pics (and trust me, they’re red hot) but they’re not on show. What a let down. Like the whole exhibition actually.

There were some ‘quite good bits’. Here they are:

A lower jawbone with a nasty case of Phossy Jaw. Horrible gangrene of the jaw what match makers got. Christ that must’ve hurt.

A skull with all the signs of tertiary syphilis. Fuck me, look at the corrosion on that skull, she must’ve gone fucking mental by the end.

A recording of some old codgers taken in the very early 70s. They were all poor Eastenders and some old granddad remembers the murders very well. The way he talks about one of the women sounds like he knew her very well. Bet it was him the old fuck.

The postcards at the end for visitors who have been ‘touched’ to write thoughtful things on. I fucking love the British public. Some twats had written how awful life must have been for wanton fucking whores who were just asking for it back then. But I think it was foreigners who wrote them. I had a quick look and these were some of the ones I liked and can remember:

  • I am a dinosaur!
  • I’m glad he’s dead!
  • I’m glad he’s probably dead because I’m a prostitute and can now go out on the game and get pissed on cheap gin in peace.
  • I’m glad you pointed out that Jack the Ripper was so named because he was a murderer. Until now I had thought it was because he had terrible flatulence.

That’s it really, that’s the only really good bits. And you’ll notice they’re not that good. Still, it put me in the mood for a drink and light repast and I steered my good lady out of the museum to go and look for a bawdy gin-house and pie shop. There were too many people around though so I’m looking forward to seeing her later so I can get sexy with the kitchen knives and wear her tits as earrings.

Dave

February 20, 2008

Dave 

First things first. I love the new(ish) TV channel ‘Dave’. I’m not sure it’s worth losing UKTV History at 7pm, but it does sweeten the pill slightly.

Thanks to Dave I’ve now watched every episode of Top Gear made over the last couple of years… I never knew how good it was until now. I’ve also caught up on every episode of QI and Mock the Week ever made, which for me is also a good thing. I wonder what they’re going to do though. I think I’ve seen everything on Dave’s playlist now – I hope they get some more telly programs soon or I won’t have anything else to watch.

So, in my opinion, Dave is good. That’s that sorted.

I suppose the demographic Dave is aiming at are males aged from their 20s to their 40s. Or thereabouts. I’m sure some media type could narrow it down. So what’s with the idents in between shows? They infuriate me. They might, might appeal (I suppose) to some of the more impressionable, younger, thicker members of the target audience, but surely to most of Dave’s viewers they are merely irritating?

I’m talking about the mansion full of cunts that pops up between programs, showing the occupants carrying on in a way that inspires violence.

There’s that twat on an elephant; shaved head, fighter pilot sunglasses, short sleeved shirt and a tie. An anus who minces out of the mansion wearing what looks like a velvet jacket and massive silk scarf. And an absolutely hateful cunt (and this one really is the fucking worst) who sports a ‘mohican’ (sort of), a white leather jacket and ridiculously tight red fucking jeans. And fucking ear muffs! All while he throws fucking snowballs at his mate.

Then there’s some twatty tart who pops her head out of a tent indoors, trying to look bleary eyed and yet all made-up who takes a pint of fucking milk back into the tent. For what? What’s she got in there? It’s tiny! She’s in a fucking mansion, why doesn’t she walk through to the kitchen, sit down and have the bastard butler make her an egg banjo with a proper pot of tea?

And why are they all in tents in a downstairs room when there’s about 20 bedrooms up there?

The cunts in question are in their twenties so why are they having a sleepover on the floor like children? Maybe they’re ill.

What irks me is – who thought of this? I’m not in the media, but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to make idents appeal to the target audience. Or reflect the kind of telly shows what you put on. So why show what’s clearly a mob of twenty year old male models, all dressed as shop window dummies for places like River Island, Bay Trading and Cunt’s Clothing cavorting around like special needs arses to an audience which consists mainly of beery, plump, possibly balding heterosexual men who like watching programs about cars presented by other fat, middle-aged men?

The knobs in the Dave mansion look like the sort of people who watch nothing but Hollyoaks and Celebrity Dignity Swap on Ice.

It baffles me.

Books by Giles Milton

December 3, 2007

John White 

I don’t know about you, but I like to read history books for fun. I often find that there’s more blood, guts and gratuitous sex to be found in history than in any made up schlock you buy down Waterstones. I tend to read the sort of books that tackle well known episodes of history; Berlin (Germans act like utter beasts in Russia then get rather upset when the Russian hordes rape the shit out of anything with a pulse in Germany), Stalingrad (Germans act like utter beasts in Russia then watch in dismay as their toes go black and drop off in the cold), anything by Richard Holmes (good, honest Tommy goes to Flanders for King and Country and gets blown to smithereens by the Hun) and any other book that involves historical carnage.

A few years ago my older brother introduced me to a book called ‘Nathaniel’s Nutmeg’ by Giles Milton. Milton seems to like writing about the parts of our history which for some reason or other have slipped from our national conscience. Often the reason for this slippage is that later events were so colossal that they eclipsed the earlier events, or that over the years our society has altered its priorities slightly on what is, or isn’t, important to us. Either way, the events he writes about were, at the time, very important and would have been well known in good old Blighty.

I’ve read four of his books so far; Nathaniel’s Nutmeg, White Gold, Big Chief Elizabeth and Samurai William. All were superb. If you like that sort of thing. By ‘that sort of thing’ I mean stories of gentlemen adventurers trying to make a fucking fortune, getting lost, losing vast amounts of crew to sickness, mutiny, cannibalism by savages, torture at the hands of the Dutch and Portuguese and generally making a complete arse of everything. Right up until the moment they somehow manage to pull a rabbit out of the proverbial hat and escape with their lives, and some of their teeth intact. Or not, I have to admit that an awful lot of these men just die really, really horribly.

Nathaniel’s Nutmeg focuses on Nathaniel Courthope, a rash chap who led a rag-tag group of adventurers to the Spice Islands, particularly a godforsaken hole called Run where, at the time, was the only place you could find nutmeg. This made nutmeg very expensive back home and if you could bring some back (as well as cloves) you could retire as one seriously rich bastard. The slight problems were that Run was the furthest place away on the map (not far from Australia) and that the Dutch had found it first. The Dutch in those days weren’t the dope-smoking homosexuals we all love today, but were in fact the sort of murderous bastards who’d make Idi Amin cringe in disgust. During the wonderful caper that is Nathaniel’s Nutmeg various jolly jack tars are captured by the Dutch and the sort of stuff that happens to them would make you puke. Or turgid, depending on your bent. It’s great.

Samurai William is about an Elizabethan hooligan who gets lost and ends up in Japan. You thought the Japs were a bit rough in Nankin? Just you wait to see what they did to criminals. It involved a lot of swords and lumps all over the ground, some needle and thread to put them back together and then more swords and lumps all over the ground. The real baddies in this book are the Jesuit priests who got to Japan first, utter, utter bastards.

Big Chief Elizabeth is more familiar in that it’s about the English trying to establish a colony in America for the first time, you’ll know some of the people who crop up, Pocahontas being one of them.

White Gold is a real revelation. It’s about the one million European slaves who were taken from their homes (or home waters) by the North Africans and kept in slavery in the 17th and 18th Century. How most of us don’t know about this is a mystery, but one reason may be that at the time we were fighting an awful lot of European wars and we preferred to read about our triumphs over the Frogs than about a bunch of Africans who were landing in places like Cornwall and clearing out whole villages and setting off for Morocco. Fact. They even went as far as Iceland, I think they nabbed about 200 from there once. It all ended of course when Napoleon was finally defeated and we could concentrate on getting a few gunboats down there and razing some of their cities to the ground. Fascinating stuff.

If you like reading sterling quotes such as “his fingers turned black as inke” or “whereon they were eaten by savages, their screams were most piteous to hear” then you’ll love these books. They can be a little hard going in places, you have to refer to the maps a bit since names of places have changed in the last few hundred years (you won’t find a city called Bungo in modern Japan) and some of characters can blur into one another (one Elizabethan sociopath with a beard and syphilis is much like another) but they are fantastically written and tell of an age before Empire, when we were a small outpost on the edge of Europe, trying to muscle in on the big boys’ patch (Holland and Portugal). Oh, and often dying along the way. I’d recommend Nathaniel’s Nutmeg as the first one you should try. Think Tom Baker’s character in Blackadder (you have a woman’s legs my Lord!), then imagine a whole fleet of them tearing around the globe (often in the wrong direction) causing nothing but havoc as they went. These days they wouldn’t be allowed to own a pet or go to the shops on their own but these were the very people who got the ball rolling for the British Empire. Great stuff.

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Kate Nash – Mouthwash

October 25, 2007

Nash 

Kate Nash…Kate, Kate, Kate. What can I say?

First off, I have to say I’ve only heard two of your songs, so there’s a chance (a fucking remote one, but a chance nonetheless) that the rest of your musical arsenal will contradict everything I’m about to say. But I doubt it.

I’ve heard these two songs because I listen to XFM, an ‘alternative’ radio station. Not as alternative as it used to be, judging by Kate’s recent arrival onto the airwaves. Kate is another member of the recent herd of female singer-songwriters who have, frankly, made me hate women. No, that’s too strong. They’ve just made me hate THEM.

The first one I heard was ‘Foundations’. A dreadful song about a spoilt little bitch who enjoys being fucking horrible to her boyfriend and somehow (in a way, let’s be honest, that most men will recognise) make out it’s all his fault in the first place. She screeches in the least convincing regional accent I’ve ever heard apart from that fucking chim-er-ney sweep in Mary bastard Poppins.

The accent she tries, if you haven’t heard it, is cockney. Only it’s not cockney at all, it’s what middle class children who are embarrassed about having a received English accent think is cockney. People often refer to it as ‘mockney’, I prefer to think of it as ‘cuntspeak’.

In this dreadful, dreadful self-pitying song she admits that the story she’s telling in the pub is boring, but then rounds on her poor boyfriend for putting up for it for ages before trying to change the subject. He was saving you love. No-one around the table liked your story and he was trying to move on as he could see the sideways glances your mutual friends were giving each other, and he was embarrassed for you. He claims at one point that she must eat an awful lot of lemons as she’s rather bitter, to which her witty (and entirely irrelevant, juvenile and brattish) retort is, “I’d rather be with your frendz mayte, cuz they are mach fittah!”. Dreadful bitch. I’m assured that this song is a ‘floor filler’ for the young ladies at the discothèque, which doesn’t surprise me. It just adds to the already steaming pile of lady-favourites such as ‘I Will Survive’ and anything by Lily Allen which show that a lot of women empathise with self-pitying crap bleated by spoilt little madams.

The song that she has on the radio at the moment is called ‘Mouthwash’. I’ve heard it a couple of times because, if it comes on when I’m in the bath, I don’t bother turning it off, unlike at any other time when it doesn’t get past the first two bars.

I don’t understand this song at all. Not one bit of it. I don’t know all the lyrics, but a fair few have made their way into my brain like an illegal immigrant with plans of racial unrest and terrorism and detonated a shit bomb within, leaving lasting damage. This is what I can glean from the song:

She has a face, it is covered in freckles, the occasional spot, and some veins.

Furthermore, she has a bo-o-o-deeeeee. It’s covered in skin. Skin I tell you! Not all of it you can seeee.

She drinks tea.

She uses mouthwash.

Sometimes she flosses.

I shit you not. That’s what the song is about. Yet she sings it in the character of a tragic Eliza Doolittle (prior to getting porked by Professor ‘Iggins). You can just imagine her looking pained while banging away at a piano like the bastard sister of Tori Amos.

Why are these silly, silly girls getting record contracts? There are young women out there with something to sing about, in their own fucking voices, whether they be cockney, scouse, brum, Geordie, taff, jock or just some middle class type from North London. There’s really nothing wrong with being Middle Class, Kate. Middle Class people are allowed to have opinions too, and singing a load of old cock with a fake accent doesn’t make it any less of a load of old cock.

Kate Nash: She’s well shit.