Sunday, 31 October 2010


I guess it's an obvious one for Halloween but Michael Jackson's Thriller Video is a reminder of when Jackson was at the peak of his career, not necessarily musically; i feel Off The Wall is his masterpiece, but in this Video, shot by John Landis it shows how vibrant and exciting Jackson could be.
Much parodied and easy to criticise out of context but everyone wanted to see it and everyone talked about. It was fun too!


Saturday, 30 October 2010

Wecan be heroes # 2 Paulie

Rocky Balboa: My son's coming over tonight, so I'm going to have something special made for him.
Paulie: Italian food made by a bunch of Mexicans doesn't sound so special to me, Rock

Paulie: You like her?

Rocky: Sure, I like her.
Paulie: What's the attraction?
Rocky: I dunno... she fills gaps.
Paulie: What's 'gaps'?
Rocky: I dunno, she's got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.
Paulie: Are you ballin' her?
Rocky: Hey!
Rocky: You don't talk dirty about your sister!

Friday, 29 October 2010

We can be Heroes # 1 Buddy Love

Alaskan Polar Bear Heater

Two shots of vodka, a little rum, some bitters, a smidgen of vinegar, a shot of vermouth, a shot of gin, a shot of scotch, a little brandy, a lemon peel, orange peel, cherry, some more scotch.
"Mix it nice" and pour it into a tall glass

Thursday, 28 October 2010

NAUGHTY NAZI DOUBLE BILL # 2 - Ilsa She Wolf of the SS

Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS The Canadian sexploitation Nazi cult classic is a mainstream mix of depravity and stupidity, and the only film that even producer David F. Friedman, the sultan of sleaze, removed his name from.
one of Ilsa's best bits
The buxom blonde lead Dyanne Thorne plays Ilsa, the commandant of a Nazi experiment camp who puts her naked women patients through painful, brutal and bizarre ordeals to prove the superiority of the female to her Nazi high leaders.

Night time sees Ilsa bonking her way through the male prisoners only to toss them aside the next day with only castration to look forward to. "Once a prisoner has slept with me, he'll never sleep with another woman!" is Ilsa’s mantra.
Inevitably an untameable bloke proves to be her downfall.

Ilsa’s corny German grow is straight out of ‘ello ‘ello, she leers and overacts at her contrived tortures: grotesque, gangrenous infections, exploding sex toys, boiling alive, and a mealtime centre piece involving a naked girl, a noose, and a melting block of ice. It was shot in a week on sets left over from the sitcom Hogan's Heroes, and was surprisingly successful; it went on to spawn two official and one unofficial sequels.
over the top trailer
Not quite as nasty as Hostel due to it’s total lack of believability Ilsa: she wolf of the SS is a must see for those that want to know what the term Grindhouse really means.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

NASTY NAZI DOUBLE BILL # 1 - 5 para el infierno (Five for Hell)

Before there was Inglourious Basterds there was Five For Hell, a film I saw on a double bill with Zulu at The Finsbury Park Astoria (later to be known as The Rainbow music venue).

The star of Basterds is clearly Christopher Waltz as Nazi Col. Hans Landa. His predecessor though would have to be Klaus Kinski as Nazi SS Col. Hans Mueller in Five for Hell. Kinski can always be counted on for his quirkiness and reptiliuan charm and therefore is perfect as the lounge Nazi Mueller.
The film itself is an Italian production that features the standard ‘men on a mission’ format a la The Dirty Dozen but has some great and strange moments that include an unexplained tap-dancing sequence, a lengthy Rififi style break in and numerous pseudo spaghetti Western flourishes.

A group of oddball soldiers (the five from hell) are sent by the allies to steal the details of Plan K a secret Nazi blueprint. led by a baseball fanatic, an ace safe cracker, an athlete and trampoline star, a big dishevelled lunkhead and a soldier who can read and wears spectacles, thereby identifying him as the intellectual of the group. In true ‘mission’ style not all of them will survive.Colonel Muller is staying in the exact location of the plans and therefore becomes the five’s nemesis.

This is a movie that has wooden acting, poor dubbing, gymnastic soldiers, baseballs, a sex bomb double agent and ludicrously unconvincing action. But you know what? It's a hoot!
trailer trash

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

MY HIT LIST # 34 The Sopranos

What can one say about The Sopranos?
Having just watched all 5 seasons of the Wire for the second time I am embarking on my third viewing of the Sopranos season1-6. This post is not going to be about making comparisons between these two exemplary pieces of Television but more of a reminder of how good the Sopranos was/is.

To talk about the story is not for here and now, it’s the unravelling of the intricacies of Tony’s life and the small moments that always lead to large repercussions both physically and emotionally. For me the strength is in the ‘less is more’ quality in the writing, staging and acting. In amongst the larger gestures and violence are the subtleties and nuance.

An example is in Season 3 episode 4 Employee Of the Month in which Dr Melfi is raped and is tempted to tell Tony what happened, her temptation to see her rapist punished is tempered by not wishing to involve herself in Tony's world. During her second session with Tony after the rape, Melfi is overcome by her inner conflict and breaks down. When Tony attempts to console her and asks "Do you want to say something?” the pause is filled with power, but she regains her composure and responds, "No."
The dynamics of relationships also have humour to offset intensity. In season 3 episode 11 The Pine Barrens Paulie and Christopher’s bungled interaction with Valery, an utter hard nut, leaves them stranded Blair Witch like in the Pine Barrens. There anger and frustration makes them turn on each other with some hilarious moments of conflict.
In Live Free or Die, Season 6 Episode 6, Vito Spatafore is on the lam in New Hampshire and sees a dream of what life outside ‘our thing’ could be like but we know that he is destined never to have this normal life. The moment he was outed as being gay he was doomed.

Many great moments, many truly wonderful characters aside from the main protagonists; Ralph, Big Pussy, Adriana, Artie, Johnny Sack, Richie, Hesh, Silvio the list goes on.

A number of great cameos from Steve Buscemi, Burt Young, Peter Bogdanovich, Frankie Valli, Ben Kingsley, Lauren Bacall among others.

The Sopranos is so good it actually makes the mind boggle as to how all the elements came together and worked perfectly. Fate or determination to succeed on the part of the production team. Great writing great cast and a real understanding of the life is what sets The Sopranos right at the plateau of excellent US TV Drama.

Episode 1 season 1 is about to go in the DVD player;
“Woke up this morning got myself a gun…”

Monday, 25 October 2010

Christian Bale-Mr Angry

Christian Bale's rant at a director of photography on the set of Terminator: Salvation is a superb example of an actor taking himself a bit too seriously. Bale's rant is delivered while trying to keep his American accent in tact. In just three minutes, he unleashes the F word 39 times!
I like Bale, he's gone the extra yard for The Machinist he was hysterical in American Psycho and he's by far the best Batman. This rant is really funny therefore I like him even more. Sure he's having a pop at a working man but in the film industry it's not all political correctness and Dignity at work policies.
Here's the rant

“Do I walk f**king walk around the… NO! Do not shut me up, Bruce! Do I walk… No! NO!”

“Why the f**k are you walking right through? AH-DAH-DAH-DAH-DAH like this?”
“Do you want me to go and trash your lights? DO YOU WANT ME TO GO AND TRASH ‘EM?”
“You’re a nice guy. YOU’RE A NICE GUY! But that don’t f**king cut it.”
“I don’t need any f**king walking. He needs to stop walking. I AIN’T THE ONE WALKING!
"Don't be sorry, just think for one f**king second. What the f**k are you doing? Are you a professional or not?
"I want you off the f**king set, you prick"

Click to listen!
To be fair Bale did say this afterwards:
"I was out of order beyond belief,I acted like a punk and I regret that"

Sunday, 24 October 2010

MY HIT LIST # 33 Archie Bell and the Drells-Strategy

Juicy horns, succulent strings, a relentless groove marshalled by a killer bass line. A build up that keeps rolling along. Archie’s yearning, and improvisation and the Drells’ sweet backing vocals. All these components come together to make Strategy a masterpiece of dance floor dynamics.

Sampled to great effect by faithless on their tribute record Muhammad Ali, this Gamble and Huff Philadelphia record is a standout in a catalogue of great Philly recordings.This tune also featured the Instant Funk Rythm section
Main man Archie Bell was supported by The Drells who were — at varying times — Archie's brother Lee Bell, James Wise, Joe Cross, Billy Butler, Lucious Larkins and Willie Pernell. The act had a number of fine records and features on many a compilation album. Seek out the extended version for the full experience

For me Strategy is a phenomenal tune that grows and grows because it just doesn’t stop.
muhammad ali
dubious fusion

Available on this album

Saturday, 23 October 2010


Todays post is a tribute to an old friend
such a feeling

MY HIT LIST #32 Pie and Mash

During the 18th and 19th Centuries the River Thames was filthy and the only creature able to survive in its murky waters was the humble eel, making it a cheap source of food for the working men and women of London. The Spud was another source of cheap food and they were mashed up as a side dish to a pie alternative. This pie consisted of cheap mince without onions or any other ingredients. To add a bit of flavour a parsley sauce, known as liquor; made from eel juice originally, was added. Thus was born Pie & Mash.

ode to pie and mash
Now I’ve never been one for eels and have managed to avoid their dubious charms, but Pie & Mash, oh boy what a treat!

It’s the Tiles and the sawdust flooring. The bench and pew seating. The spoon and fork of mismatched cutlery. The vinegar, the white pepper, the liquor. The slightly burnt crust of the pie the soft pastry base absorbing the juices. The trowelled on mashed potato (the real thing not Robot endorsed Smash) at the side of the plate and the warming feeling as one gulps down the combination of flavours and textures.

I love the old world charm of the original Pie & Mash shops. I love the smell. I love Pie & Mash for its taste but also as it conjures up Saturday afternoons in Chapel Street market. A trip to the Pie & Mash shop was an inducement to accompany my mum on her weekly shopping trip up ‘chap’.
link to the pie & mash website

Friday, 22 October 2010

MY HIT LIST#31 the Natural History Museum

In a City of amazing Architecture My favourite building is the Natural History Museum.
It's quite simply breathtaking and has the contents to match.
No more words just watch...
NHM as inspiration

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Dan the Jacobs Creek man holds court at the obligatory dinner party surrounded by easily impressed moronic lovely people in an advert that look like it was forged in the mid eighties advertising mire.

The new ‘True Character’ advert for Jacobs Creek Wine is unbelievably annoying. It has a loud mouthed antipodean character called Dan who supposedly captures the true character of the wine. Problem is that he is a smug narcissistic twonk with an insipid smirk who makes you want to kick his teeth in.
The people behind this appalling attempt at a lifestyle commercial are obviously big fans of BT and their sadverts featuring the irritating lead character and his cliché by numbers mates.
“The worlds most important wine critic” Dan calls himself in this eighties throwback, more like “the worlds most important anodyne cretin”
Anyone seeing this monstrosity would be put off buying Jacobs Creek (if they were stupid enough to buy it in the first place) for ever; it's cast are that obnoxious!
See the Advert in all its unedified horror:

Death by a thousand cuts

As thousands of working men and women face the very real prospect of losing their jobs it’s time to look at some context. No one has a job for life; that’s a foolhardy expectation, but when one looks at those claiming benefit that are clearly playing the system, a feeling of injustice is a natural reaction. I can’t vouch for other parts of the country from first hand experience but I know that in London anyone, who is physically able to do so, can get a job. That’s a fact.

I recognise that parts of the north where industry has suffered over the years jobs are hard to come by. But in London? No way!

The cuts being imposed from today’s announcements will effect local government, which is viewed as a haven for the under talented. That may be the case in certain areas but, and here’s the thing of it; there are a lot of people working in local government who are actively vocational about helping others. Helping other human beings from the very young to the very olds. That’s another fact.

There is an argument that says you make your choice you take your chance, which is partly true but not choosing to make six figure salaries in the city in order to make a difference is now going to be actually penalised.

The word cut is emotive. What it actually means is throwing people out of their jobs. Getting rid of people that actually give a shit about others. At the same time those who choose to leech off the system will be unaffected. Given that they don't want to improve their lot they won't miss those people who's job it is to care. The people who want help and actually need support in sorting themselves out will  miss out though.

We may end up with less people who care and even more people who couldn’t care less.
some levity

Pretty Vacant

Being as how this great record is being used for a betting advert with the voice of that tit Tim Lovejoy, i feel it's an apt time to dust it down and go back to the heady days of 1977

...and a bit extra the B side of God save the Queen which did not appear on Never mind the bollocks, making it a little heard Pistols song

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Hello Honky Tonks

Clarence, with his catchphrase, "Hello Honky Tonks, how are you" was a character from The Dick Emery show that was a personal favourite of mine. More so than buxom blonde Mandy whose end line was always "Ooh, you are awful. But I like you." While clearly not the most sophisticated and erudite of comedic creations but I liked it without over thinking; I was a child looking for a laugh.

clarence joins up

The Dick Emery Show was a staple for me as a kid; I used to love it, along with The Dave Allen show. The Dave Allen show consisted of Allen sitting in a chair with a fag and a drink telling comedy tales interspersed with sketches and was a great example of a virtual one man show. Dave Allen unfortunately was lumped into the 'passe' bracket in the eighties but his comedy was intelligent and focused. (a post on him soon)
Dave Allen
Dick Emery’s writers were David Cummings, John Warren and John Singer, with contributions from David Nobbs, Peter Tinniswood and sketches imported from America by Mel Brooks and Mel Tolkin. The closest modern day equivalent to Dick emery is probably the Harry Enfield. Creating characters and sketches that utilise their individual gifts.
 more clarence

I liked Clarence the most and as a child I probably didn’t get the subtext, but I don’t remember Clarence being put upon or bullied in any way. Sure he was a camp stereotype of a gay man akin to Mister Humphries in Are you being served, or as portrayed in a host of TV shows of the time. But stereotypes prevailed for every minority. I just liked Clarence and found him funny. Comedy and political correctness make strange bedfellows and sometimes laughter is absolutely the right way of dealing with stupid people who hate without conscience.

Clarence was a character who made me laugh as a kid, as did Basil Brush and Sylvester the Cat. Do I think Emery was homophobic? no. Do I think the character of Clarence caused pain and suffering? no. Is it any good watching it now? not really but time and place is everything. Innocent times indeed, and maybe that’s the point.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

MY HIT LIST # 29 SE7EN opening credits

Se7en is a movie i admire greatly (more on that at a later date) The opening credits capture the feel of the film and, looked back on, give a clear indication of the content. The Nine Inch Nails song Closer (Precursor) is blended with imagery and editing that are dark and unsettling.The result is a perfect nudge towards what's to come. I think it's called Synergy.
SE7EN credits
Interestingly the end credits are black screen aand text with David Bowie's Hearts filthy lesson playede over the top. It's a piece of music that sits well with the tone and feel of SE7EN
hearts filthy lesson

Monday, 18 October 2010

MY HIT LIST #28 Routemaster bus

The AEC Routemaster is a model of double-decker buses that was built by Associated Equipment Company (AEC) in 1954 (in production from 1958) and produced until 1968.Primarily front-engined, rear open platform buses, a small number of variants were produced with doors and/or front entrances. Introduced by London Transport in 1956, the Routemaster saw continuous service in London until 2005, and currently remains on two heritage routes in central London.
Get on board
Easily the best way to get around London. The open platform made for jumping on. The metal work inside, the wind down windows and the communication cord. The Dalek like bulbs, the thrum and chug of the diesel engine. The ticket reeled off by the conductor. The front seat peeking into the drivers cab. The back seat upstairs cozy and snug. The all seeing front seats upstairs. The sound of the ding ding and 'Fares please '. Daredevils jumping over them on motorbikes and tourists seeing the sight on opened top ones. Incomparable; The Double Decker.

up and over