Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Jinx Links

Small selection of the things (other than blogs) that have obsessed me this week:

Zombie pinup calendar - Wish I'd found this last year.
Plight of the Living Dead - Awesome lady on Etsy who sells handmade personalised Zomb-me dolls. Excellent, unique gift for any horror fan (I got my husband one for Valentine's day). And the seller, Nix, is a doll herself.
Zombina and the Skeletones - My new favourite band. Can't believe I've only just found them. I defy you not love them too.
Vampire Hunter Kit - Want!!!!
Amazon One Star Reviews - Stupid people who hate classic novels. Love reading these, even thought I suspect some may not be quite what they seem.
Excellent article on Matthew Coniam's Carfax Abbey - King of the Zombies and Mantan Moreland as part of Matthew's Monogram Month, brilliant read.
Dracula: ‘And by the end I realised that it was all because Bram Stoker actually has no story to tell.
This could all be excused if the writing itself was interesting/insightful/anything-less-than-dreary. But from Chapter 5 onwards, this is utter filler. It reads like a first draft. No - not even a first draft. It reads like a set of scribbled notes of 'a novel I might write one day if I can ever dredge up enthusiasm for it'. But dredge he did.’
Frankenstein (complete with spelling and grammatical errors) ‘This is the most boring book i have ever read. I never actually finished it because there are are so many long words that by time you've stopped to look each one up in the dictionary you've forgotten what hapened at the beginning of the sentence. To sum this up in one word: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Psychoville - I've been waiting for ages to see this and I wasn't disappointed, loved it..

Monday, 29 March 2010

Movie Psychic Monday

The Rose Red Six
Rose Red (2002)

If you have even the vaguest intention of committing 6 hours of your life to Stephen King’s mini-series Rose Red don’t peek below as I’m just about to ruin it for everyone. Maybe just look at the pictures.

A renegade team of multi-disciplined psychics and their maverick captain, the decidedly unbalanced university prof, Dr. Joyce Reardon, embark upon a somewhat foolhardy investigation of the reputedly super haunted mansion Rose Red. Displaying a blatant disregard for publicly reported evidence stating that in excess of 23 people have vanished and/or died within Rose Red’s walls, our crack team presses on with their noble mission to irrefutably prove the existence of ghosts and like. What they don’t count on, however, is that Rose Red is a devious little madam with the apparent ability to significantly increase her size and architectural arrangement at will. Unsurprisingly, death and misadventure ensue.

Name: Annie Wheaton (Kimberly J. Brown)
Powers: Telekinetic and Telepathic
Status: Survivor
Stats: Über gifted in the psychic department, autistic youngster Annie shows the oldies how it’s done. You pissed me off now rocks are falling on you.
Psych Rating: 9


Name: Victor ‘Vic’ Kandinsky (Kevin Tighe)
Power: Precognitive
Status: Deceased
Stats: Poor old Vic. Nice, quiet, secretive old men with heart conditions shouldn’t be running around deadly haunted houses.
Psych Rating: 4

Name: Cathy Kramer (Judith Ivey)
Power: Automatic Writing (Seriously? What the ruddy blime is that? That’s the worst power ever! It’s like being the Invisible Woman in The Fantastic Four).
Status: Saved by The Sands - he gave his life so others may be free to write stuff ghost tell them
Stats: Kindly, well-meaning born again psychic Christian, and probably the kind of batty aunt families generally make excuses not to invite to weddings.
Psych Rating: 2

Name: Pam Asbury (Emily Deschanel)
Power: Psychometry
Status: Oh dear
Stats: Sweet, shy Pam pays the price for bothering the restless dead. Should have known better though, if we’ve learned anything from Poe and Walpole it’s that wandering round deeply metaphorical mansions in white nighties is unlikely to end well. Seems to me though if she’d hitched her abilities to more reliable horse than touching stuff she might have faired better. Go for fireballs next time, Pam.
Psych Rating: 2

Name: Emery Waterman (Matt Ross)
Power: Retrocognition (Apparently this only counts if you have knowledge of events you weren’t, and couldn’t possibly be, at, not that you just remember stuff you did. Guess I’m not special after all).
Status: Lives to tell the tale - probably to a self-help group.
Stats: Mother’s boy and connoisseur of ice cream. Emery succeeds where lesser men have fallen by managing to be both pitiful and repugnant all at once. Obnoxious, sarcastic and prepared to dispense with young children to ensure his survival, Emery manages to escape Rose Red, but leaves something of himself behind.
Psych Rating: 6.5

Name: Nick Hardaway (Julian Sands)
Power: Telepathic, Remote Viewing
Status: Sacrificed himself to save the automatic writer then just disappeared, like the Lovely Debbie McGee.
Stats: Definitely not a poor man’s Jeremy Irons. Dry, witty, self-sacrificing, somewhat bland blonde Adonis of a Brit, but see how we don’t all have to be crazy or evil or trying to kill Bruce Willis.
Psych Rating: 5

When considering Rose Red it is my preference to imagine an alternative ending whereby the Rose Red crew all shout ‘activate super psychic conjoining power!’ and assemble themselves onto one giant mega-psychic, much like the Transformer Mini-Cons, and cast that house right into hell. This, I feel, would have made an awesome ending.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Wild Zero

Wild Zero (2000)

You’ve got have respect for any DVD cover that proclaims and promises: “Brutality of screen!” “Thrill, speed and stupid zombies!” “Trash and chaossss!” Yes, that’s chaossss with four ‘s’s’ and that’s precisely what Wild Zero boldly does and, to be fair, it had me at ‘brutality’.

Ace (Masashi Endô) loves Guitar Wolf (themselves (( Guitar Wolf, Bass Wolf, Drum Wolf))), and who can blame him, and later it transpires Guitar Wolf loves Ace as he embodies the true spirit of rock and roll and that’s the kind of spunk Guitar Wolf admire.

While attending one of Guitar Wolf’s, as I am reliably informed by someone who understands the modern parlance, ‘gigs’, avid fan Ace stumbles upon a fracas between his heroes and their deliciously camp manager, (who may well have become my new hero, incidentally), the Captain (Makoto Inamiya) and accidentally manages to ‘save’ the day by giving an impassioned speech about the true nature of rock ‘n’ roll. As a reward for his actions and dedication to the true spirit of rock ‘n’ roll Ace is given the honour of being made their blood brother and presented with a whistle (wolf whistle, geddit?) that he can use to summon Guitar Wolf whenever he so desires. This is really rather fortunate as almost immediately space aliens decide to invade the Earth, even more unfortunately as a direct result of this invasion the dead begin to rampage through Japan, and probably everywhere else, with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. Now you may think at this point ‘but how can this possibly end well, alien invaders AND zombies? We’re all screwed.’ But fear not, my friend, Guitar Wolf with their own peculiar brand of rock are on hand to save us. And save the world is what they set about to do and no amount of crazy missing fingered vengeful managers, hot naked gun toting chicks, arms dealers/incompetent armed robbers or, indeed, zombies are going to stop them.

Our immaculately pompadoured, exquisitely leathered champions proceed to run amok with guns and flame shooting motorbikes, fast cars and explosive headshots while Ace falls in love with a nice, swoony girl, Tobio (Kwancharu Shitichai), who’s hiding a secret and a ragtag band of ineffectual criminals and a superhot lady arms dealer get drawn into the fray to by turns help and hinder our heroes. And all the while the psychotic and flamboyantly dressed Captain is blithely pursuing them hellbent on extracting his barmy and hellish revenge.

If you have even a passing interest in witnessing such visual joys as a starkers lady mid shower taking on a heck load of zombies, an insane, bewigged rock manager clad in lamé hot pants, guitar picks employed as lethal throwing stars, a samurai sword handily concealed within the neck of guitar spectacularly used to take down an overhead invading spaceship and a lot of enthusiastic Thai soldiers acting like zombies then this film is going to make you happier than a leathered up rocker who thought he was out of smokes but found he had a pack rolled in his t-shirt sleeve all the time.

You may be thinking that Wild Zero is just a bit of 50sesque, B-movie fluff, but I say to you ‘hell no, daddio!’ There are two major life lessons I think we all can take from Wild Zero that will undoubtedly serve us well come the zombocalypse, or, indeed, just generally and they are that ‘Love has no borders, nationalities, or genders!’ and ‘rock and roll never dies.’ Wise words, Guitar Wolf, wise words.

Nothing speaks louder to me than sleazy, dirty rock ‘n’ roll, add to that pyrotechnics, my beloved zombies and cute rockabilly Japanese boys and you’ve got one happy Jinx. Wild Zero is an infectiously enthusiastic entry into the zombie canon and so full of heart it’s impossible not feel affectionate toward it. Unfortunately now I’m finding it very hard to stop myself from responding to everything with ‘ROOOOCCCCCKKKKKAANNNDRRRROOOOOLLLLLLL!!!!’

Incidentally, there is also a Wild Zero drinking game featured on the DVD in which participators are invited to drink every time they see:

• Someone drink
• Someone comb their hair
• Fire shoot out of anything
• Anyone say 'Rock n Roll'
• Something explode
• A zombie's head explode

These things happen a LOT. Even as a hardened whiskey drinker I feel obliged to advise against the downing your drink at every occurrence for the sake of your health and soft furnishings, a delicate ladylike sip would still guarantee a jolly good time.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Monday Night Win

Got my copy last night! Pretty darn excited! There's definitely going to be some zombie flavoured frivolity in my not too distant future.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Movie Psychic Monday

Mr. Meek (Reginald Beckwith)
Night of the Demon (1957)

In the 1957 film Night of the Demon (not to be confused with 1988’s Night of the Demons which is entirely different kettle of craziness), Dana Andrews manages to get himself embroiled in an evil game of pass the parcel with a jolly charming occultist called Julian. (It’s scarier than it sounds, honest).

As the film develops, our sceptic Dana’s situation progressively worsens and there’s some unpleasantness involving Foggy from Last of the Summer Wine, occultist Julian’s delightfully batty mother arranges a séance with equally delightfully batty Mr. Meeks and a celluloid psychic legend is born. It is Mr. Meek's enviable psychic arsenal and sheer medium range that set him apart from the young pretenders so let us sit for a moment at the feet of the master and  take a peek at his hefty arsenal. Stop giggling at the back.

In order to achieve the trance like state popular media/fiction reliably informs us is necessary to contact spirits, Mr. Meek requires aural stimulation. Now, while a layman like you or I might pick any old piece of music we find evocative, relaxing, stimulating and emotionally charged, for instance, off the top of my head, the Glen Medeiros classic ‘Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You’, a more seasoned professional, like Mr. Meek, knowing much more about affecting the required atmosphere for such things, cranks up the old Victrola and slaps on that ole chartopper ‘Cherry Ripe’ and everyone sings along. And now Mr. Meek totally comes into his own; he brings out the big guns – Spirit guides - who, curiously enough, appear to be a Scotsman and a whiny child rather than the more traditional Native Americans we have come to expect. I think this clearly demonstrates that Mr. Meek is a trailblazer in his field, a maverick and an intrepid pioneer.

For some reason Dana remains resolutely unimpressed by all this. Mr. Meek can’t even move him by channelling the last man embroiled in this demonic debacle. Meek/Harrington (deceased) desperately tries to warn Dana of his impeding doom by relieving his own demise "It's in the trees! It's coming!" he/they shriek (he borrowed that from Kate Bush, but I’m sure she’s ok with it). By this point Dana’s had enough and commits the cardinal séance sin by breaking the circle signaling an abrupt end to proceedings. But ten out ten for effort, Mr. Meek!

Mr. Meek’s particular psychic flavour, I like to think, is that of a certain kind of British eccentric who happens to chat to the dead is but that probably isn’t a contributing factor to his perceived eccentricity. He knows how to put on a show and I for one admire that. I imagine his special powers are probably cups of tea, folk music appreciation and canasta, or maybe bridge on special occasions. But don’t be fooled by the mild mannered exterior, just like Hong Kong Phooey Mr. Meek is a worthy adversary.

Mr. Meek, it is, in fact, in the trees and it is, indeed, coming, and I for one am thankful to you for bringing it to my attention so I can take the necessary precautions to ensure my safety.

Friday, 19 March 2010

I'm In A Gang!


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Open Letter to Ving Rhames in which I probably get issued with a Restraining Order

Dear Mr. Rhames,

I love you. I think you’re really awesome and dead good at fighting zombies and that and, in fact, I want to be you. Sometimes, when faced with a decision I ask myself WWVD (what would Ving do) and that always sorts things out, though it makes me a little sweary. Do you want to be on my team for the zombie apocalypse?

I really loved you in that film with Gary Oldman that I thought my husband had made up because it sounded too much like a dream I have. I love you too, Gary, in fact I love you so much I didn’t even care about The Unborn, which is good of me ‘cos it was really, really, really horrible, but you got to add rabbi to your c.v. which was nice. Sorry for assuming that you and Gary live together, Mr. Rhames, that too is like a dream I have.

I also loved you in The People Under the Stairs, Mr. Rhames, even though you were a bit mean, and I was really sad when you died and didn’t think it was fair.

I really like it when you just crop up in really odd films when I’m not expecting it, it’s really good of you to do that because it makes me very happy, like when I was accidentally watching Entrapment the other day and then you wandered in and it was really cool and made me smile.

I really can’t wait for Piranha 3-D, I really love water based creature peril movies and I really love you so it’s going to be great. If you want to adopt me that would be perfectly ok.

Love Jinx xxx

Monday, 15 March 2010

Movie Psychic Monday

Zarabeth (Kathleen Wilhoite)
Witchboard (1986)

Zarabeth comes quite low down on my list of favourite movie psychics because, quite honestly, she scares me. As the resident psychic of the 1986 extravaganza of nonsensical silliness Witchboard, Zarabeth lends her considerable Lauperesque talents to persistent frenzied car bonnet roller Tawny Kitaen and her probably homosexual husband in order to deal with a self--inflicted spirit problem that, frankly, they deserved on the grounds of stupidity and for inviting the irritating guy from the office who everyone calls a knob behind his back and sometimes to his face to their boring party with his stupid weegee board, yeah, knobby guy, I said weegee, what you going to do about it? What's that? Oh, yeah, nothing, 'cos you're dead, your weegee board killed you. Sucks to be you.   

What Zarabeth brings to the psychic table is a down to earth, no-nonsense if discordantly tuned approach to dead bothering and a hair do that's possibly highly flammable and in direct violation of a number of health and safety regulations.

Unfortunately for all eighties people in need of psychic aid who don't have the Ghostbusters' telephone number, she then falls into the classic horror death trap of having an inkling of what’s going on, refusing to share it with it anyone, conducting her own research and confirming her suspicions which naturally then ends up her dying rather foolishly by impaling herself on a sundial before she can share it.

Here we see her clad in full battle dress ready to take on any army of the unquiet dead that hell can throw at her armed only with a voice that could strip flesh from bone and variety of improbably flavoured bubblegums.

Here endeth the cautionary tale of Sarah 'Zarabeth' Crawford. 
So, until next time, in the words of Zarabeth herself; ‘Hang loose, stay cool, and don't forget your psychic humour.’
(Wonder if I could make this into a Top Trump deck?......)


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