Monday, 15 May 2023

Dr Who at 60 Cliffhanger Fan Poll: The Results

Friday, 31 March 2023

The Witches (1990 film)

 THE WITCHES (1990 version)

Did you enjoy the Roald Dahl book when you were a kid? Well, I was scared by it. Even the soothing sounds of Emma Thompson reading the audiobook on my Walkman was a thrilling event, as she went into agreeable detail with the nasty things the witches did to kids.

Another person who loved the book was Jim Henson, who bought the rights to the film almost immediately. Henson decided that the best person to film a kids book was Don’t Look Now director Nicolas Roeg, and we get a film full of his usual POV shots, quick cuts and handheld camera. In short, Nicolas Roeg shoots The Witches like a horror film.

Thursday, 30 March 2023

Death Watch (1980)

 Death Watch (1980)

Bertrand Tavernier, the great French director, died in 2021 aged 79. This is his slightly mentalist futurist horror - which, despite being far more popular in France, has gained a sort of cult reputation in the decades since.

And as we open to a child skipping around the Glasgow Necropolis, you might see my interest in the film! For it was shot in Glasgow in 1980, and while the outdoor scenes are far too brief, we get to see an intrusion into a snapshot of the city, shortly before it was restored.


 Hellraiser (1987)

"I've seen the future of horror - his name is Clive Barker" said Stephen King once. Which is high praise in marketing terms, and in literature terms, if you like Stephen King.

A guy plays with a puzzle box, then is ripped apart in FX that would have freaked me out if I was still 8 years old, but looked very goofy now. This was Frank, whose lust for pleasure starts the whole plot in motion.

Train to Busan


During the Korean War, pivotal battles were held around the province of Busan to hold back the North Korean army. So the area has a long held role in the legacy of South Korea, as being the place where you hold out until reinforcements come. Here a commuter train to Busan becomes the last refuge against a sudden and virulent zombie attack.

Zombie films are everywhere nowadays. They have been to the 21st Century what vampires were to the early 20th. As metaphors for all of the ails of society, there is a never ending source of metaphors. The Rezort took on the world's blind eye to refugee rights. Others play with commercialisation.

Hallowe'en IV

Halloween IV (1988)

Ten years on from the first Hallowe'en film, everything's changed. The Sherriff retired. Jamie Lee Curtis has gone (read: doing well in non-horror films). Well, not everything has changed - Michael Myers survived his imminent death, has returned to Haddonfield, and is murdering lots of folk again. And he's got the increasingly frail Dr Loomis after all.

Collins on Collins: Sins of Omission


(Michael S. Collins, 2016)

From the taxi, Alice looked, dead-eyed, at all the merriment on the streets of Glasgow as they passed. It seemed like, from every corner as they passed, she could see, mixed in with the joyous and merry, the singed faces of hatred, and the static threatened to overcome her ears. But no one approached the taxi, even when it stopped by a red light, and their dead faces gazed at the occupants on each side of the street. They weren’t even following her; it was more like the people at the side of the road watching a hearse slowly weave its way to the crematorium. The lights turned green, the taxi moved on, and Alice blinked and missed the faces of the dead...

House of 9


"Only the most passionate genre fans will be able to sit through House of 9 and be able to semi-recommend the thing to anybody else."
Scott Weinberg

Turns out I'm a passionate genre fan, because I'm delving into good old shlock here.

I saw this film when it came out and I loved it. You should understand that I have a weakness for anything pretending to be And Then There Were None. And this film takes all of its cues from Christie, from Saw, from numerous other sources. It's entirely unoriginal B-movie stuff.

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Top 40 Chart Singles (2005)

 So, for those who don't know the score with this glacially progressing project...

A number of years ago, when the BBC4 Top of the Pops repeats reached 1984 (they are currently on 1994) I realised that, if you took the best forty songs which made the Top 40 in that year, you would get an amazing playlist. Which you did. The challenge was then to create such a list for each year of the charts. To gnash in fury when favourite songs only made it to forty-two in the charts, and were thus ineligible. To try and get forty good songs out of a year dominated by Jive Bunny. 

This is the 2005 edition of this project. 2005 was not a brilliant year for charting music in the UK. There are songs which qualified for this list which wouldn't make the Near Misses list in better years. Why did I pick 2005 then?

Monday, 6 February 2023

Top Ten Pokemon by Out of Touch Dads (minisode)

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