Posts Tagged ‘Gurning twats’

Long Way Down

November 6, 2007

Twat being twatty with a bicycle 

A few months ago I did a spot on Long Way Round.

Hot on its baffles is a review for Long Way Down – right here, right now.

My first gripe comes with the fucking awful theme tune. I moaned about it in the last one and here I am moaning about it again, look. It’s a dreadful moronic noise that suggests we’re about to watch cage fighting with the homeless. Actually, if it wasn’t for my vast kink for motorcycles I wouldn’t bother staying tuned in.

What is obvious from the outset is that both Ewan and Charley have lost the wide-eyed trepidation of the earlier trip. They seem a lot more seasoned and confident – cocky, almost. HQ in this series consists of a vast garage containing thousands of quids worth of high-tech machinery and offices that deal with all the admin. I don’t recall such luxury originally. In ‘Round’ they spent an episode getting their bikes and another dealing with all the 4×4’s. This time they just materialised out of the blue, as did all the support vehicles and equipment.

Basic survival training was undertaken as they’re passing through some war torn parts of Africa. It went some way to taking the edge off their swagger, but apart from that and a few visa issues they were good to go. Then things got awkward.

Ewan breaks his leg at some traffic lights in London, minor fracture though, so it’s no big deal, yeah? But more seriously, Charley’s wife gets pneumonia and a collapsed lung. Being the hardly lass she is, she has no problem letting her husband go with her blessing, but Ewan’s wife has other ideas.

Not having ridden a bike before and being French, she decides she wants to accompany them on the trip. Ewan seems quite chuffed at the prospect but I should imagine this was for keeping the peace at the McGregor homestead. Charley began chewing his nails…

My immediate thought when I saw her explaining that she wanted to get involved was anger. It’s fucking ridiculous to even entertain the thought of biking in such extreme conditions if you’ve no experience. It puts an unnecessary pressure on all involved – it’s one thing trying to focus on what one is doing when biking without having to check the welfare of another. It’s dangerous, tiring and shit and happily fucks the dynamic of the two protagonists not to mention putting a strain on their genuine friendship

So now we’re subject to her learning to ride a fucking bike; really Ewan should’ve put his foot down (on her head) and told his wife to get on with looking after the kids and hehaw hehawing with onions, but instead he’s actively encouraging her! This wasn’t the original idea, what the bloody hell is going on here? Mercifully Charley had something to say about this situation (and a whole lot more off camera I’ll wager) so instead of joining them for the while trip, which I suspect would’ve been cancelled anyway following Charley storming off the programme, she’s now going to be joining them for two weeks in Africa, which is still a fucking ludicrous idea.

Despite being a little more rushed and little less oblique than Round, from my point of view it’s still a very entertaining series, but I wonder if that’s because I get the chaps, I am afflicted with the same motorcycle obsession they have, especially Charley who like me was riding before he was 10. Really, you can point a camera at a big bike and I will happily sit there and watch, even if it’s not moving. I’m mentally involved in their enthusiastic bike-related chatter, by proxy I experience the euphoria of getting on something beautiful and feeling extraordinary. Jesus, readers, I fucking get it.

Subsequently I empathise with their friendship, the bond they have over and above just being mates, making me even more angry that Ewan’s wife insisted on poking her fucking gallic nose into their business.

I’ve never been angrier about anything in my life, look… graaahhh, aaaarggghhh roar etc.,

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Picture the Loan

August 16, 2007

Money. Boy, it can be a bugger sometimes can’t it? There’s never enough to go around. There’s never enough to cover all the bills and still buy that new luxury car, family holiday and all the technological products that you desperately need to make your life fulfilling. Never mind. In years past people would have worked to afford their products or possibly gone without, having realised the sliding scale of income and outgoings have to at least partially balance.

Not any more though. Now you can have all the trappings of a materialistic lifestyle within days, with one easily arranged loan from any number of highly dubious, unregulated money shops. There’s Freedom Finance, Norton Finance, Intelligent Finance, Clearway Finance, Lombard Direct, Marble Loans, Loans.co.uk… there are now so many adverts for these fuckers on daytime television and across the board on cable that they’ve practically become a programming genre of their own.

The adverts are a mixed bunch. Some target those who’ve had bad luck in the past by using heavy-handed yet desperately amateur, metaphorical imagery (it’s raining on those in debt but the sun shines for those with a loan) while others bombard your senses with clip-art representations of desired material possessions. What binds them all though is that they are run by unscrupulous thick-necked bastards operating a bizarrely legal scam out of a shitty one-roomed office somewhere in a forgotten B-town in England. They’re not about helping you consolidate your debts, they’re about trying to get their mitts on your house when your financial guard is down.

Top of the pile for me is Picture Loans with an advert that simultaneously demonstrates the flippant and highly irresponsible approach they have to money management whilst treating their audience / potential customers like idiots. If we are to believe their advertising, they want people to make highly uninformed financial decisions on a whim, to willingly offer up their homes as collateral to afford a holiday and bind themselves to 25 year contracts with a company who think having ‘no paperwork’ for such a monumental decision is a virtue.

Just look at the advert above, or the second example that is at the end of this article, to see their dangerously casual approach to money. On both occasions the loan amount is decided in the moment, as if they were choosing the colour of new bathmat and the couples are so excited by the prospect of being given more money that they fail to realise they’re going to be paying back near double what they’ve borrowed.

“Yes” they all say “we’ve got a mortgage… and how much will that be a month?”

The casual indifference with which home ownership is presented is truly terrifying. It’s not a home, nor an investment, nor a nest-egg for your children – it’s a simple tradeable asset that you can cash in when your Ford Mondeo becomes more more than three years old. The couple in the advert below are actually filming themselves on a camcorder as they gleefully sign away the children’s inheritance, as if in years to come they can proudly pull out the projector and show the whole family exactly when they fucked up their futures.

The reason why these adverts are so wrong is simple; their key audience is the gullible, the stupid and the financially disastrous but they can’t put them on the telly as they’re unappealing. Instead they transpose the characteristics of the common moron onto the middle class, as if to say “hey, look, they’re just like you – or just like you want to be. If people with a nice house and abundant family can treat £25,000 as if it’s nothing then you can too.”

Picture Loans, and all those companies like them, are bastards. Quite how they can legally co-exist alongside the countless news reports and articles about the rising debt problem in this country is beyond me. They’re the equivalent of the dodgy man talking his way into your Grandma’s house before conning her out of her valuables… they target the desperate, the weak and the stupid and they do it under a pretence of wanting to help.

Then again, there’s always the argument that if you believe this shit in the first place you probably deserve everything that comes to you…

Lovebox 2007

July 23, 2007

Lovebox 

Lovebox then. Not sure how I got hoodwinked into this one, but I was, the missus was keen and so we set off on Saturday afternoon in the unwavering sunshine. I’d not been to anything like this since the Phoenix Festival in 1996, and I can barely remember that because ageing hippies kept putting drugs in my face. All I really remember is sitting on the coach home for half a day, covered in mud and feeling thoroughly miserable. Luckily this mini-festival was pretty much on my doorstep and we only had a one-day ticket, so after a 15 minute wander we were at the gate, a bizarre cattle grid wherein guestlist types had a choice of six heavily staffed entrances and the rest of the hoi polloi (ie me and my better ‘alf) had to crowd round a thin strip with no idea what was in store for us.

Turned out a thorough search was in order, I fully expected to be asked to bend over. I had to sump a bottle of wine before going in because I was obviously going to smash people over the head with it rather than drink it. I had a fucking wrench in my bag which they didn’t notice, but still the bottle had to go. Bastards.

The minute we got in, a tropical rainstorm appeared from nowhere and we got fucking soaked. Braving it rather than allowing ourselves to be washed out, we were immediately seized upon by a Christian Aid git. Our spirits weren’t dampened as yet so rather than tell him where to stick his petition regarding carbon emissions, we signed it, chuckled about the torrential downpour as our toes instantly developed trenchfoot and then bid him farewell. Drenched and past caring, the only solution was to follow the obvious plan. Food. Beer. Smokes.

Always well-prepared, the lady had pre-rolled some beauties so all we had to do was grab some noodles with tempura vegetables, deep fried to a mush but just edible and then queue at the bar. Because everyone was hiding on the dodgems I got served almost instantly. Splendid. Two cans of redstripe – I wagered they’d be charging a good £2.50 for it, pub prices for a can – fair enough. £3.20 though. £3 fucking 20p for a can of red stripe. BASTARDS. That’s the price you pay for a pint in the kinds of pubs I avoid, the way I’d avoid syphilis or gonhorrhea – by not fucking entering. Still. It was a necessity so I purchased and consumed. And in the end I’d spent £32 on ten cans of lager like the alcoholic twat I truly and horribly am.

It was still raining so we decided to wander around and absorb out surroundings. There was the dance tent – apparently done up like an interior in Doctor Strangelove. Peeking through the crowds, I can confirm the walls were white. Beyond that there were so many heaving bodies that it really wasn’t worth investigating. Especially seeing as the music sounded like this: WOOOOP WOOOP WOOOP WARGH WARGH WARGH twat twat twat twat twattwattwattwattwattwattwattwat WOOP WOOOOP WARGH WARGH.

The fairground looked fun, but given the rain we weren’t sure we fancied our chances, slipping off a lubed high speed ferris wheel and landing in a splat of limbs in Walthamstow didn’t seem worth the risk. So what else was there to do? The day was about music, supposedly, so we checked out the other stages. First, the Clash stage was the indiest of the stages, except that these days indie tends to mean electro and middle of the road rock. Looking at the crowd, 16 year olds in trilbys and 39 year old women dressed as Lily the fucking Allen, it wasn’t worth hanging about to see who was on. So over to the main stage we went and en route the sun came out. Hallelujah. In fact, it came out so strongly that we almost went from drowned to burned to a cinder. God bless British Summertime.

En route to the main acts, we noticed the set of a burned out building with a big crowd around the front entrance. Turns out this was some kind of fake New York 70s club, with lots of people in fancy dress having a dance inside. By mid-afternoon the queue for this attraction actually cut the festival site in two. The queue was longer than the one for the female toilets.

Speaking of the female toilets – surely we can develop some new system whereby ladies don’t all need a separate cubicle? it ruins things for everyone. Moody boyfriends waiting for ladies to queue, the bladders of their other halves pushed to breaking point. We either need some kind of technology that can be attached to a wanny discreetly and store their effluents, or they need to stop being prudes and whip out their urethras in a communal manner. I don’t particularly enjoy the urinal experience, but it beats queuing – so come on ladies, grab a slice of the unified urination movement and save us all some time. In the event, the ladies ended up using the boys’ cubicles, which meant after a few beers I found myself pissing into a plastic latrine whilst a hundred women stood around chatting. If I were a damaged man it would have been nothing short of erotic.

And so to the main stage. Groove Armada were running the event and, being easy-listening techno types, they’d selected acts that they felt would rock the field but in a style befitting their tastes. They failed miserably. Despite the beatbox champion who played compere and who was actually really great, the rest was a letdown.

First up, the Junior Boys made me feel I was trapped in an 80s elevator and having my brain fiddled with by a vocoder. Truly awful, po-faced rubbish.

Then followed Patrick Wolf, a young man I’d despised but who turned things around here by actually having decent tunes and making a complete and utter twat of himself. I laughed quite hard.

After this, the Presets arrived to bore the masses. Beyond tedious. It was like being stuck in your car in GTA Vice City with a stuck radio, repeatedly driving into a brick wall. Interminable.

New Young Pony Club in the Clash tent lifted spirits. The tent was packed with the population of Hoxton but all the same this was a good set, we found a spot where you could sneak out to have a slash beside a van and all was well.

Wobbly by now, we made one last jaunt over to the main stage and caught most of Blondie, singing along to Tide Is High as we doddered home. Deborah Harry looked whacked out by the way, poor old cow. Imagine having to jump about on varicose veins in the evening at that age. She should’ve at least been given a comfy chair and a cup of tea.

Not a bad day all in all, but wet and overpopulated by 80s synths – not always a bad thing unless dropped into the hands of the Presets or the Junior Boys.

Highlight of the day, for me, was getting home, drying off and sticking on Lucio Fulci’s House By The Cemetery without a single member of public in sight. I don’t think I’m leaving the house ever again unless absolutely necessary.

The Queen

July 12, 2007

Elizabeth 

I’m reviewing Her. Not the film, Her. The DVD arrived in the post and kept skipping, so I’ve no other choice.

From the day she was born to the present, the Queen has sat about on her crown jewels doing absolutely fucking nothing.

The ‘oh she works very hard’ crap that gets bandied about is unacceptable. She signs a few things if she’s not in bed moaning about her fucking dogs or racehorses, and everything else is done by advisors or servants. She doesn’t lift a finger about the house, she neither cooks nor cleans, she doesn’t know what ‘washing up’ means and I bet she leaves big poos in her solid gold chod bin without flushing.

My grandfather turned 100 last month. Amid all the celebrations someone appeared with a telegram from Her Royal Scrotness. It featured a dour fizzog picture of my shit don’t stink Highness, a printed load of drivel which can be boiled down to ‘yeah, you’re 100 which is okay by me’ and a signature which I doubt was hers anyway and looked more like ‘Easynow’ than ‘Elizabeth’.

I was dead unimpressed, here is a man that has seen two world wars, fought in one, has clawed his way up from abject poverty to hosting glittering soirees for prime ministers and heads of state, is the patriarch of an enormous and for the most part, happy family and all he gets is a half-baked tag from a person who can’t make fucking toast.

Let’s face it; the Queen is a miserable old cow (married to fucking alcoholic racist with genuinely inbred offspring. Come on, those ears don’t come from a rational gene pool) and recently poor Annie Leibowitz copped her ‘one is not amused’ in the face.

She was only trying to take a portrait photo of the gem-encrusted slattern. Oh, fuck me, the work required to sit around on ones Royal freckle and look holier than thou, the German tool. Anyway, because she had to appoint servant #45 for the state opening of a tin of Ceaser for Aloisius the 3rd, her fave Corgi of all time, she got all shirty with Annie due to the unbearable pressure of having to do two things in the same week.

Basically, Leibovitz told the Queen she will look better without her tiara because “the Garter robe is so…” Before she can say “extraordinary”, the Queen replies, pointing to what she is wearing: “Less dressy. What do you think this is?” And then fucked off out it muttering “I’m not changing anything. I’ve had enough dressing like this, thank you very much.” What? Had enough of not wearing your tiara?

If I’d been Annie I’d have said ‘sorry, are you fucking talking to me?’ and kicked her Royal Highness in cunt for being sarky. Uncannily, this is just the sort of behaviour that midget red-faced Princess Elton John would carry out. I mean at least he gave us ‘rocket man’, apart from organising Diana’s execution what has that Royal git ever done for anyone?

What is more is we, the public, pay for her upkeep. It’s a fucking disgrace.

The Wright Stuff

July 6, 2007

 Wright Stuff

If you’re a dole-scrounger, old, mad, or one of those fools who work from home, you need to keep yourself entertained during the day before the real human beings get home from a hard day’s work. May I recommend you start your pointless day with The Wright Stuff – Channel 5’s flagship 9 O’clock current affairs show for morons, drug-addicts, cunts and kiddie-diddlers hosted by jug-eared, Croydon-obsessed, big-nosed, flappy-mouthed, pig-eyed FREAK Matthew ‘CroydonCroydonCroydonCroydonI’mFromCroydon’ Wright?

For those of you who aren’t untermenschen and therefore haven’t seen it the show’s format, it goes a little like this:

(OPENING CREDITS – CUE MATTHEW WRIGHT LOOKING SMUG)

9:00 Hello! Welcome to today’s Wright Stuff with me – Croydon’s own Matthew Wright!

9:05 Here’s the dreadful, wide-mouthed, arrogant fishwife Lowri Turner … and here’s spiteful, boorish, pointless Fame Academy ‘Headmaster’ Richard A-Blahblahblah. And today’s special guest is … big-titted, completely insane, ex-sexy not-that-sexy-then definitely-not-sexy-now McFadden’s-had-his-way-with-her-and-she’s-full-of-Iceland-pasties … Kerry EricCantona!

9:10
Lowri? What’s in the papers?

9:11 Spittle spittle I’m a woman motherhood spit spittle goff spittle motherhood woman no no no spittle

9:14 Richard?

9:15 It’s a disgrace!

9:!! Kerry?

9:%% Brassy breezy northern northern … B-B-B-B-BRRRIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAN! WHHHHHHHHYY?

9:£6 (7)
Did I happen to mention I’m from Croydon? Coming up after the break I talk to ‘Dr’ Gillian Makeeeef about shitting …

(ADVERTISEMENT BREAK)

!0:00 HI! Croydon! So, Gillian, what are we talking about today?

10:0K Well Matthew, today we’re talking about the ‘S’ word …

10:89 Croydon?

10:88 Huh?

10:87 Croydon?

10:86 Shitting vaginas are funny old things Matthew …
BLAST OFF!! They certainly are Gillian, snarf snarf … let’s go to the phones. Corin, who’s there?

10:24 This is Mary from Brighton (calls cost 10p, mobiles may vary, all calls will be charged but most won’t be answered)

10:25: Mary? You’re on

10:”7: Mumble mumble mumble pointless public opinion etc

10.30: Thanks Mary! That’s all we’ve got time … so tomorrow … MP BORIS JOHNSON!

(AUDIENCE APPLAUD WILDLY – CUE CRAPPY CLOSING TITLES)

It’s a great show.

Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps

July 5, 2007

Two Pints of Piss 

Too pointless for laughter and a sackful of shit

In the absence of Tycoon, I realised that I would have to turn my attention elsewhere this week, and as I was drifting aimlessly through the channels late last night, I came upon an easy target. Not just an easy target mind, but an insipid, zombified beast wearily waiting to be put to sleep forever. And while, unfortunately, it is not yet within my power to do so, I was nevertheless struck with the irresistable urge to clobber such a pathetically inept and flailing subject on it’s sickbed. No, I am not referring to Make Your Play or indeed Glitterball, though you would be forgiven for thinking so. No, I’m talking about Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.

Canned laughter aside, there are no indications whatsoever that this is indeed intended for the purposes of humourous relief. In fact, any claims at all that this is funny are just out and out lies and anyone who even so much as smirks at the situation-based japes therein should be punched in the face for days, mercilessly relieved of their scalp, tossed into a volcano and shot at on their way down. Especially since those who enjoy its witless attributes are clearly chavvy types anyway. This is not intended as a purely throwaway remark either. It’s bland, shallow and utterly void of redemption, as well as being as much a reprehensible enemy of intelligence as anything else, anywhere on this knackered planet. As such, it is not just a programme for chavs, it is a fucking chav.

Taking into consideration that I have yet to encounter another human being who speaks well of this awful show, I am somewhat bamboozled as to the reasoning behind BBC 3’s incessant airing of it. As soon as it strikes midnight, it’s there. Multiple episodes, back to back, five nights a week. Lord above, how many series of this cascade of rancid camel shit have been commissioned? Someone, somewhere, needs a rare old twatting.

Ralf Little has long since bypassed his own sell-by date and must no longer be allowed to surf his own faded projection of success. Granted, he was quite funny in The Royle Family, but time has passed and now he’s just an offensive stain. I don’t even know the names of the rest of the cast but quite frankly I pity the joyless wankbags. I find comfort in assuming they’re all two strokes short of a climax.

I realise that this is not the only British sitcom guilty of bringing comical emptiness to the masses, (My family, My Hero, anything with Nicholas Lyndhurst post Only Fools And Horses) but Two Pints of Lager should voluntarily die for the sins of all the others as far as I’m concerned, minus any kind of resurrection.

Already, I have devoted a near-regrettable amount of my own precious life-span to this unworthy subject, and if I dedicate any more then I’m in danger of becoming a fool to myself.

Tycoon (Week 2)

June 27, 2007

Peter the Beanstalk 

This week, the disputably humanoid Peter Jones and his motley crue of shameless arse-kissers carry on where they left off last week in attempting to turn their mainly shoddy business ideas into something so astoundingly brilliant that they will knock baby-faced beanstalk Peter Jones’ socks off.

Something tells me it ain’t gonna happen. Ever. Well, not for most of the so-called entrepreneurs on this programme anyway. Among those expected to fail miserably are camp Tom (and his teen newspaper) and Elizabeth – that snotty-faced bint whose feeble brainwaves have materialised themselves in the form of fruity vodka smoothies, while the chances of success for the others still hang in the balance.

If you need a recap as to who the rest of the contenders are, then here you go: Eco-bag man Justin, whose invention is simply a bag to keep plastic shopping bags in,  former glamour model Lauren, with her hair extension business, (who, by the way, is quite attractive but resembles a waxwork dummy) and toy-fancier Ian, who came up with the remote-controlled-crash-proof-indoor helicopter concept, which is just what the world has been waiting for, clearly.

Also in the running are Cathy and Helen and their gardening for women thing (Sod), which isn’t just for women anymore, it’s now for everyone, though what it is that they are specifically offering still evades me.

The six competitors have so far been trying to market their respective products, attempting to sell as much of their wares to whoever will take them as they can, with the goal obviously being to make as much money as possible.

In this episode, Jones has supplied each set of entrepreneurs with their own individual targets to try to complete in time for the next meeting, where they will be scrutinised, resulting in the weakest of the six businesses being shut down. The meeting also being the point at which each business gets to double any money they have made, as Jones had arranged to personally equal any profit gained. As it turned out, only Sod and Helicopter boy had made anything substantial anyway, Sod making around £3,500 and ‘Copter boy with approximately £4,000. None of the others made any profit at all, aside from bag man Justin who had raised the princely sum of £80.
Before this meeting however, Peter Jones had set up a press launch to see how the soulless drones manage to cope with the media. The most memorable point of which seemed to feature camp Tom, who, after managing to get several top newspapers interested in the possibility of adopting his free student rag as a weekly supplement, delivered such a life-draining presentation that all interest swiftly died on it’s arse, leaving the wilted boy pondering the many errors of his approach as well as his product.

The next best thing in this sequence was hearing Elizabeth, who looks like Gillian McKeith’s slightly less evil twin, claim that her drink is “as refreshing as a cup of tea would be if you were in the desert”. Now I don’t know about you, but the last thing I would want if I was traipsing through a desert would be a hot drink of any description.

Sod hardly featured at all in this episode for some reason, and neither did the eagerly anticipated Paul McKenna. In fact McKenna only got one scene in which he semi- successfully brainwashed Eco-bag man into becoming a good speaker. To be fair it did seem to work, but fortunately it wore off later; halfway through a presentation to Peter Jones.

Elizabeth, who cried last week, cried again this time. Partly because she really can’t hack it and partly because she didn’t get to meet McKenna. I noticed from the trailer at the end of the show that she weeps again next week too. So that’s something to look forward to. If only she were not so nauseating and contemptible, I really would feel a bit sorry for her.

When it came to crunch time after the meeting, Jones narrowed the worst of the bunch down to two, waxy Lauren and paperboy Tom. Lauren, who so far seems quite sound, despite her plastic dimensions, got Peter well and truly riled when she revealed some sensitive information about her business over the phone to a stranger. She was blabbing, it turns out, to Sir Phillip Green, who was pretending to be a journalist. This was something Jones had arranged in a bid to get Green interested in her business. Jones considered the blunder to be catastrophic though, as for all she knew she was sharing compromising details with a potential rival. Aside from being almost entirely pointless, drippy Tom found himself on the chopping board for hiring an ex-editor of OK! magazine to basically create his product for him. A product by the way, which went from originally being a newspaper to becoming yet another celebrity gossip mag.
In the end, Lauren was saved and it was Tom who got his marching orders, which is probably for the best, as everything he said sounded like a double entendre, which I found unnecessarily disturbing.

Peter Jones lacks both the straight-talking manner and killer lines delivered by Alan Sugar which contribute to The Apprentice being such an entertaining show, but this is still pretty watchable, especially as it seems to be livening up a bit now with some bitching creeping in between the contestants. I will say this though, I’m already absolutely sick of hearing the word ‘tycoon’ and it’s only the second episode. Last week the word was uttered so frequently that it completely wore out it’s own sense of meaning.

Vacancy / Hostel Part 2

June 26, 2007

 

Does ‘torture porn’ exist? Not in mainstream cinema, if you ask me. The point of both of these recent horror movies is that you’re gunning for the victims to escape. And if there is any violence onscreen, it’s hardly protracted. Horror films work off the odd flash of a gruesome sight – the fundamental basis of the genre being the power of suggestion. Even Cannibal Holocaust, with castration and impalement on the agenda, don’t linger too long on the special effects. Ok, so it did linger on the native chick with the pole through her fanny for quite a while, but that was only because the special effect was so bloody good. And anyway, Cannibal Holocaust isn’t mainstream cinema.

Vacancy and Hostel Part 2 are two very different beasts that have been placed willy-nilly in the same ‘torture porn’ cage. ‘Torture porn’… it’s a complete misnomer. Granted, I haven’t yet seen Captivity which, from recent reviews, may well fit the tag, but I’ve recently had a gander at these two and any sadist hoping to have one off the wrist over the nastiness within will be sorely disappointed.

Understatement is key, and though many critics might lambast Hostel Part Two in particular for violence against women, it’s pretty liberal with its use of power tools and blades if you ask me. And what really surprised me is that, for the sequel, Eli Roth decided to use a plotline. In fact, two plotlines that meet in the middle. Which is a step forward from the first instalment which was an exercise in linear pedestrianism. Having said that, it doesn’t stray too far from the formula, meaning the teenagers who went to see Hostel One will get their shocks. Personally, I felt that I’d seen it before. The element of surprise – the hell the innocents were being taken to – was no longer unknown. It drained a massive part of the element of terror. The action sequences were slicker though and, most impressively, the dialogue didn’t sound like it’d been written by a frat boy with a hard on (which is essentially what Eli Roth is – and probably proud of it).

Vacancy is different to Hostel Part 2 and a world away from the visceral violence of the films it got lumped in with. In fact, it has more in common with stuff like The (original) Hitcher (except it’s much better) and also shares a bloodline with Spielberg’s Duel. It’s not even, to my mind, horror in the perceived sense. It’s a tense, taut thriller with little in the way of violence. It piles on the suspense and relies entirely on our sympathy for the main duo – and it got that sympathy from me. It’s a very old fashioned date movie that happens to have used the fear of starring in a snuff film as a very basic grounding for the shocks to float off.

Both are worth seeing, but if you’re a psychopathic misanthropist, don’t worry too much about getting the Kleenex out.