Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Whatever Happened To Baby Jinx?

I'm here, I'm here!!!

Bloody hell it’s been a while. First off my most massive and hearty apologies for disappearing for months on end without so much as a by-your-leave, I’m a shocking disgrace and I shouldn’t be tolerated. Secondly, some excuses: it’s been a bit of tough time in The House of Jinx. I was made redundant at the end of September - given as I did very little at work for a good year this wasn’t much of a surprise, also, those of you who have read previous posts will know I despised my job with a fiery passion will also know this wasn’t a great loss. However, financially the lack of income (such as it was) is a bit devastating, point being we’ve all been a bit miserable around here for a while hence my recent absence. But, fear not, we have been handling it in the typically grown-up fashion you would expect of me. The way my husband and I see it is that we’re like a long running TV show, we’ve been around for a lot seasons now and the producers have decided to throw in a bit of conflict to liven things up. We reckon things should work themselves quite nicely and we’ll be back to wacky scrapes and one liners by the season finale.
My other not very good excuse for not being around is that apparently my coping mechanism for dealing with redundancy was to watch nothing but plane based action films for a very long time, an odd coping mechanism I’ll grant you, but apparently that was what was called and I did become weirdly obsessed for a while. Some of the highlights included; all of the Airport films (awesome!), Executive Decision (hilarious), Con Air and Air Force One (obviously), Snakes On A Plane (snakes on a plane?! Don’t really need to add anything there) and something that reunited the cast of Family Ties much to my delight (Ma Keaton and Mallory’s boyfriend Nick in the same film, playing a brother and sister team that happen to be both the President and a pilot! Excited? I nearly died.)


In addition to this I also become briefly obsessed with the sub genre of ‘train based action starring Denzel Washington’ (this wasn’t as fruitful an undertaking sadly).

Anyway, enough of this nonsense, what I mean by all this is that I’m alive and well and as soon as things settle down here I will be back to more regular blogging and catching up with all of yours. Before I bugger off for the traditional Christmas screening of Die Hard, I would really like to say a massive thank you for the lovely emails I’ve received while I’ve been away. I can’t even begin to express what it has meant to know that people from all over the world have been concerned about me. I have great friends and I’m very lucky and grateful. Massive kisses and love go to my girl Jenn who is just so fantastically awesome there aren’t even words and to my wonderful Matthew who is not only a genius but also the most kind and thoughtful man (my presents were the best ever, Matthew, they cheered me up SO much.)
Before I definitely go, I promise the next post will definitely be a proper post about something horror related that isn’t me. I swear.

Me looking like a bag lady, but loving Mattew's presents


Thursday, 3 November 2011

Jinx Lives!


for shame

Normal(ish) service (and apologies) will resume shortly.

Miss you.

xxx

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Birthday Post: Why Jaws is the Best Film Ever


‘Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’.’

As you may know, (because I keep mentioning it) me and Jaws are the same age. Well, to be accurate, Jaws is a couple of months older, but apparently it’s only me that’s counting that, Jaws has yet to express an opinion so probably isn’t bothered. Anyway, as it’s my stupid 36th birthday tomorrow I thought it would be nice (and also might distract me from the horror of the event a bit) to celebrate Jaws and why it’s The Greatest Movie Ever.


I’m sure that there is a complex and intricate criteria for determining the Greatest Movie Ever. A lot of learned people are probably involved and it probably takes into account a great many elements of the filmmaking process, the artistic merits of the finished product and box office results. Or it’s a pubic phone in on Channel Four. Either way, it’s nearly always Citizen Kane.


Now, while Orson Welles’ masterwork may well be a incomparable example of filmmaking genius, I prefer to judge my Greatest Film Ever on a different criteria, I prefer to consider how often I can quote any given movie in my daily life. Hence, Jaws is the Greatest Film Ever, followed closely by Ghostbusters.


Jaws is distinctly quotable, it is choc full of memorable lines that can lend gravitas and drama to any otherwise prosaic occasion. Here are a few of my favourites and some potential uses.



‘Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’.’
I use this all the time as a precursor to the introduction of my opinion in any discussion (see above).


‘I’ll find him for three, but I’ll catch him, and kill him, for ten.’
Obviously good in any bartering situation, but this generally also works quite well as a confusion tactic when someone asks to you to do anything.

‘This was no boat accident!’
An incredulous rebuff perfect of pointing out the mistakes or incorrect assumptions of others.



‘Ha, ha - they're all gonna die’
Ideal for expressing derision at other peoples’ stupidity.


‘You have city hands’
First and foremost this can be used at any time of physical contact to inject an air of vague unease into the situation. Being introduced to someone new can be a wholly new and exciting experience by saying this on shaking hands, friends’ new partners, business associates or clients, even medical professionals, you can immediately disquiet them for the rest of the meeting by throwing a little Quint in there. Also, depending on what intonation you choose to employ, it can operate on a dual level as the recipient can never be sure if you are coming on to them in a uniquely disturbing way or subtly disparaging them. It can also operate as in inarguable closer in any argument.


‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat’
The classic! Variations can be used in any situation as an expression of how ill-equipped you are to deal with a particular task at hand.



‘For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.’
Ah, the multipurpose quote. Can be utilised to highlight how great and indispensable you are, it can also be used as qualifier when you are endeavouring summation of an argument or opinion or even a sales pitch. Furthermore, with the right sarcastic delivery, is also suitable for the illumination of extortionate prices of miscellaneous goods and products.
I have also used this in reference to our kittens so many times, particularly when I’m obliged to help out with claw trimming.


‘Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women.’
There is never a situation where this toast is inappropriate. I used it at my mother’s last wedding. And at my own.
‘That’s some bad hat, Harry.’
Perfect for deriding anyone’s sartorial choices, or just choices or opinions full stop.

Obviously there are lots of reasons why Jaws is the best film ever, it’s phenomenally awesome being just one, but its quotability has got to rank up there, more people should be using Jaws quotes in everyday conversation. In fact, I positively demand it!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Things That Scare My Husband

My husband has many admirable qualities; he’s intelligent and well versed in a myriad of interesting subjects, he’s well read, he’s hysterically funny, he’s thoughtful and kind and loving and tells me I’m beautiful countless times each day even when I’m quite patently not, like first thing in the morning, or when I’m full of cold or when I’m yelling furiously out the window at whatever has annoyed me at any given time. He’s also a diehard horror fan and zombie expert and you’d want him on your team come the zombocalyse. These are all, indeed, admirable qualities. However, he is also inclined to a certain skittishness that, while endearing, is still slightly less than entirely admirable. My husband is easily startled by certain things, rather like a small bunny on a motorway. In fact, in certain circumstances, I’m essentially married to Shaggy from Scooby Doo.


So, because I’m an awesome and supportive wife, let’s have a look at some of the things that scare my husband.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)



The Blair Witch Project’s simple brilliance took the horror world by storm way back in 1999. It took my husband by storm a little later than that, probably somewhere around 2001. It has been sporadically terrifying him ever since. His fear on the Blair Witch front can largely be seen as twofold – scary ghost witches and nature. The truth is we’re not country people, hiking, camping, even gardening, are things that happen to other people, other people who are clearly mad. We are definitely soft city folk, we like comfort and convenience and indoor plumbing. Immersing oneself in sundry flora and fauna is stuff best left to David Bellamy, or that pigtailed kid from Little House on the Prairie, it’s not for the likes of us. Needless to say the very premise of The Blair Witch Project is immediately the stuff of pure, primal horror in our house. For my husband, The Blair Witch is a nightmare from the outset in terms of location but beyond that, once the fledging filmmakers get lost and the spooky noises and flickering shadows start kicking off, he generally dissolves into the couch displaying all the spinal fortitude of a particularly cowardly mollusc. The enduring problem for him with The Blair Witch Project is the corner-staring screamy ending, it leaves him bereft and bewildered searching for answers that just aren’t there, like a small child who’s just been punched by Santa.



I always want The Blair Witch Project to end like an episode of Scooby Doo where we get to find out that the Blair Witch is really Mr. Jenkins the disgruntled owner of the local mill, I think this ending would help my husband to have the kind of closure he needs.

Paranormal Activity (2007)



I never liked Paranormal Activity. It sold itself to me as the scariest movie ever ever EVER and then was decidedly lacking. I wasn’t scared, I was annoyed, partly I was annoyed for not being scared, but mainly I was annoyed because even I, and I’m quite frankly lovely, like Anne Diamond, not only didn’t care if hideous things happened to the ghastly lead characters, but was actually actively encouraging of horrible things happening to them. My husband on the other hand was scared. While I was feeling downright let down by the whole cinematic event he was balancing on a razor edge of fear. Even early in the film, as Katie and the bafflingly named Micah are barely even entertaining the possibility that their home has a demonic squatter, my husband was already braced to the point of pulling several muscles for the night vision terrors that lay ahead. Paranormal Activity clearly plays on our most basic fears, the childlike certainty that monsters lurk in the shadows of our rooms and that every nocturnal sound is something evil closing in on us. I myself am a big fan of sleeping so even I can understand the unsettling building dread of having the sanctity of your sleepy time bower destroyed. My husband, on the other hand, finds the whole thing to be an exercise primordial terror; the expectation, the jump scares, the sinister sounds, demons, just generally, and thee eternal standing and staring. The last one there may be a little bit my fault, I do have a tendency for apparently creepy eyes open sleeping and sometimes, more alarmingly, singing - this has probably damaged him immeasurably.


Personally I found the scariest thing about Paranormal Activity to be the ghastly lead couple and their ghastly relationship, my husband would beg to differ, when he comes out from behind the couch.

Exorcist III (1990)


I think The Exorcist III is highly underrated, I think it suffers partly from the enormity and awesomeness of The Exorcist, but also from the fact that it has the number 3 attached to it. In most cases when the number 3 is attached to something it’s usually a bit rubbish – the obvious exception to this rule being Shark Attack 3 Megalodon, but for my money The Exorcist III is pretty snazzy; it has some great character actors, some brilliant dialogue and is, quite frankly more than a little bit scary.

Now while the whole concept makes my husband a little uneasy, it is that one bit that truly terrifies him. We all know ‘the bit’. ‘That bit’ makes him squeal like a small child. ‘That bit’ it is often used as a measuring scale in our little family to determine how scary something actually is. In testament to how enduringly terrifying ‘that bit’ is to him, we had never actually watched it together until just a few months ago, we hadn’t particularly not watched it because he was scared of it, but rather because he was frightened that ‘that bit’ would let him down and not be nearly as scary as his childhood self remembered it. Turns out he needn’t have worried, girlish shrieks still rang about our house at the moment in question and there was a moment after where he did momentarily debate having be accompany him to the bathroom, just in case.




I’d like to point out that this post was entirely my husband’s idea and that I’m really not pointing and laughing at him behind his back. Honestly. I do all my pointing and laughing to his face.


Hiding behind a small cat. Probably watching some scary ghosts

Other things that scare my husband include:

Clowns

Spiders

Escalators

Mushrooms

More from my husband’s grab-bag of miscellaneous fears later.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Guest Post: 5 Excellent Evil Clowns

There are a lot of awesome things about blogging about horror, I mean seriously, it is awesome, but the most awesome thing about being part of this community is definitely the people I’ve been lucky enough to ‘meet’. It’s just the best. Everyday I am inspired, enthralled, moved, informed, cheered up and given a damn blummin’ good laugh by all your comments and posts, and the support I have had recently from so many of you when I’ve been a bit down with my silly foot and with my whole inability to get a better job and all that has been just amazing. I don’t even have words to express how grateful I am for all of that and to say how brilliant you all are. Because of all this I am naturally, therefore, always thrilled when I get emails relating to my blog and from people I’ve been lucky enough to ‘meet’ here. So when I got an email recently from lovely Ross Tipograph from the fabulous Star Costumes I was very excited and rapidly became even more excited when Ross very kindly agreed to write a guest post for me. And he wrote it about evil clowns which just makes it even more awesome. So, ladies and gentleman, please be upstanding (or cower in a corner, both are valid responses) for Ross Tipograph’s Excellent Evil Clowns:



Clowns have such a bad rap. It’s funny how they started out in culture as harbingers of joy because these days, they’re connected more with hiding in dark corners and waiting to kill than with making balloon animals. The horror genre is notorious for exploiting how freakish they can be. It’s up to us to call out five perpetrators of this crime.

5 Excellent Evil Clowns

PENNYWISE from Stephen King’s It



Tim Curry is nearly unrecognizable as the subject of so many children’s nightmares, including mine. He’s a shapeshifter, adapted from the shapeshifting creature from King’s delirious novel, but mostly he’s a clown in a white jumpsuit and razor fangs that bleed. His eyes may be the scariest part – when he’s at his peak of fury, they glow a deathly blue, weirdly magnetic, which makes them all the more terrifying. He stalks a group of small-town kids, and then, even worse, continues stalking as they become adults. BEST MOMENT: Stretching his arm out of a photo album…

TOY CLOWN from Poltergeist



The clown here is such a supporting “character,” he’s almost difficult to include – but he truly makes an impression. He’s up there with the sliding kitchen chair and the horribly menacing hurricane trees outside the little boy’s window; all parts compose the pseudo-ridiculous Spielberg ‘80s classic. The closet full of violent sucking wind that consumes poor Carol Anne, is nothing in comparison to the toy that comes alive from under the bed. BEST MOMENT: …Under the bed.

KILLJOY from Killjoy


Here’s one you’ve never heard of, unless you scanned the outrageous box cover in Blockbuster one day – like me, and then rented it. When I was twelve. A couple of friends and I got it out of morbid curiosity and watched in one afternoon: it’s an “urban horror,” a sadly condescending sub-genre name for a horror movie tailored for African-American audiences, in which a tiny clown doll comes to life and stalks those around him for no apparent reason. But he is scary as hell – what the movie lacks in everything else, it makes up for in this creature’s make-up. Director of Killjoy, wherever you are, you’re being praised right here. BEST MOMENT: All.

ZEEBO from Are You Afraid of the Dark?


The children’s horror anthology from 1991 made an unforgettable mark on its tiny viewers for creativity and imagination. Nothing compares to Zeebo, the ever-chuckling gangster in clown’s clothing, a myth invented in the very first episode ever of this classic series. The myth, of course, is reality, and the clown brings torment to a very unfortunate victim. He breaks into the boy’s home, screws with his microwave, leaves dark messages on the walls… BEST MOMENT: Leaving smokey cigar butts in his trail. This is a children’s show.

KILLER KLOWNS from Killer Klowns from Outer Space


 
Now these are just bizarre. This campy late-‘80s sci-fi midnight movie boasts creature make-up that’s not exactly scary as it is ugly. The most memorable part of this movie, where the alien Klowns hi-jack ice cream trucks and kill people with cotton candy missiles, is the grotesque faces of the villains. They giggle and shake and destroy you with sugary goodness. You’ll have a good time, but you’ll have no idea what the hell you’re watching. BEST MOMENT: The Klowns lure our protagonists into a demonized funhouse tent for the finale.


When he’s not reviewing movies, Ross is writing about Halloween costumes.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Red Rocks!

I love red! I think it’s awesome, awesome like Def Leppard, and kittens, and Tony Todd, and Saturdays, and Christmas, and pizza, and horror triple pack DVDs and Magic Sand…….


Yup, I do love red and it’s the hair colour I’ve stuck to most enduringly. While I have had many a ridiculous hair colour in my time, red is the one I always come back to, it suits me, it makes happiest, I feel most comfortable and most like myself as a redhead. And, as far as I’m concerned, you can never be too red.

However, recently, I’ve been a bit blue. Not for any particular reason, just a bit down, kind of like how you feel just after Christmas when all the excitement is over and you are faced with going back to work/school and the long, bleak months of cold and snow and ice and sleet and general freezing misery stretch out ahead. I hasten to add at this point that I’m absolutely fine, this current, vague existential ennui is just a passing fad that will dissipate instantly just a soon as I spot something shiny and get distracted, so nothing to worry about.

Now, to get back to the point (kind of), one of the reasons I am wee bit down is because of my day job. My day job sucks, it’s a monstrous parasite that is slowly destroying my soul with its monotony and general hideousness (I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way). Fact is that I’m ill-suited to my day job, it utilises absolutely none of my skills or pervious experience and training, and, in fact, to all intents and purposes, I could be replaced with a wire coat hanger and no one would probably notice, productivity might even increase. But ultimately we all have to do what we have to do to make ends meet, especially in this current climate. Really I need to find a new job, but again, this current climate makes that difficult. I did, however, have a job interview last week. I didn’t get it. I’m still not at the point, but, trust me, I’m getting there. It wasn’t a great job, I didn’t particularly want it except that it was a little more money for 10 less hours (this will give some idea of the pitiful wage I am on at the moment, it’s shocking, it really is). I was, however, glad that I did the interview.

Interviews are horrific, no one normal likes interviews, I utterly hate interviews, I dread them, largely because I really don’t like talking myself, I know that you are not going to believe that for a second and justifiably considering all I seem to do here is witter on about myself, I’m doing it now, for heaven’s sake, but really it’s true. By nature I’m really a self-deprecating person and don’t generally feel the need to be constantly patted on the back for every little thing I accomplish, consequently I tend not to make very much of any achievements I make, in a public sense, and I am often self mocking. This isn’t through any lack of self-confidence or self-esteem or anything silly like that, quite the opposite; I’m secure in myself and don’t feel the need to make myself feel superior in any respect, more significantly it’s my sense of humour and you have to work with what material you have. Add to those facts that I’m British, and we generally find that kind of self praise and boastfulness distasteful. All of this combined gives you the reason I hate interviews - I’m just not very good at them. But despite my clear inabilities in this vital area, I do generally tend to come across quite well; I’m intelligent and eloquent, I have diverse experiences, I’m personable, I’m kind and genuinely interested in others, I have a lot of pretty darn great qualities, but I never get any job I interview for and this is really quite limiting. But again, ultimately, this is largely my own fault and I know it is. When it comes down to it, when a lot of people interview for a job a lot of them are going to be excellent and when an employer comes to making a decision as to who employ in the real world the vast majority are more likely to pick the more conventional looking candidate over the blousy tattooed broad with ridiculous hair and too much make up. I do not mean this as any negative reflection on anyone involved in any of these processes, absolutely not, or on myself for that matter, but I’d be na├»ve not to recognise that that is downfall for me. But, when all is said and done, that is my fault, not theirs, it’s my decision to look the way I do, and I’m fine with that (I’d like to point out that I do scrub up fairly well). I could tone myself down; hide the tattoos better, dye my hair a more natural colour and wear more subtle make up, effectively I could be someone else for the sake of employability, but I don’t want to. A long time ago I made an informed decision that I wasn’t going to comprise myself to conform to what society may expect from me, or I may perceive that it expects, I am happy to be me, and, for the most part, people generally accept that without question and that’s just great, and people who know me love me because of these factors not in spite on them, and that’s even better.

So yeah, I’m an unemployable unnatural redhead and I’m proud!! That really took a long time to get to the point, many apologies. Anyway, to cheer me up in the face of defeat, and to celebrate my unashamed redness and the individuality in all of us no matter who we are, where we come from, what we believe and who and what we love, I have complied a pictorial jubilee of images of red in horror and genre film, TV and literature.



























Yeah, red is awesome. And I got two pics of Ron Perlman as Hellboy in there, did you spot that? Hell yeah!

Just wanted to add to anyone who has emailed me recently (by recently this could mean the last few months), my email account is being weird, I keep replying to emails and then it sends me them back a few days later claiming failure (this is actually quite depressing symbolic of my like at the moment now I come to write it down). I will continue to seek resolution to this issue, please don’t think I am ignoring anyone because I’m absolutely not, I will respond as technology ceases its conspiracy against me. Damn machines.

Foot Watch 2011

I’m off for my second lot of cortisone injections next Thursday. Whoo hoo! Although I know what to expect now, I’m still none to happy about this state of affairs. I will, however, get to spend quite a few days on the couch as I won’t be able to walk, so if anyone has watched anything awesome recently that they think I should see please let me know, I shall have a considerable amount of time on my hands.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Horror of the 80s: Part Two

Pssst, 80s, are you there? It’s me – Jinx - again. I was wondering; if you’re not busy, do want to hang out some more? We could play some Pac-Man or we could practice our dance moves to the top 40 I taped off the radio, or we could do each other’s hair and you could make mine look like Tiffany’s. Hell, yeah, Tiffany! Oh, I know, even better, we could wriggle into our Snoopy jammies and watch some movies. Yeah, 80s, lets do that.

C.H.U.D. (1984)


When the homeless population of New York begin disappearing at an alarming rate, a concerned policeman along with a photographer and his girlfriend and the man who runs the homeless shelter begin to investigate. Little do they know exactly what is lurking in the sewers beneath the city.

A few weeks ago I straddled the arm of the couch and spent a considerable amount of time pretending to be Cher in the ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ video. (Everyone's got to have a hobby, mine's pretending to be Cher, ok?) This made me feel like a silly teenager again. Worrying, but true. And this is how C.H.U.D. makes me feel. There’s something delightfully retro about C.H.U.D., and I mean retro even for the 80s, that appeals to me.

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)


In the employ of a large pharmaceutical company an anthropologist travels to Haiti to investigate rumours of a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people in zombies.

Love me a voodoo yarn. And The Serpent and the Rainbow is one hell of a voodoo yarn. Stylish, colourful and delicious, and Bill Pullman, which for some reason I’m always a little surprised about, the Bill Pullman bit I mean, not the first bit, I don’t know why Bill Pullman surprises me, but he does, I just don’t expect to see him places and then he’s there, or maybe I always get him confused with Bill Paxton, yes, that might be it. But, more to the point, The Serpent and the Rainbow is genuinely creepy and a must see. It also stars the wonderful Cathy Tyson who I believe isn’t appreciated enough as an actor.

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)


A home alone teenager decides to have a slumber party and not to invite new girl in school, and conveniently girl next door (well, across the street) to join in the fun. Unfortunately for our teenage hotties a multiple murderer with a propensity for power tools has escaped and is at large in the neighbourhood. Naturally he soon finds his way to the party and the scantily clad teenage nymphs soon find themselves in all manner of trouble and the unpopular new girl becomes their only chance of survival.

Written originally as a parody of the slasher genre by feminist author Rita Mae Brown, but ultimately filmed in all seriousness, The Slumber Party Massacre is the gift that keeps on giving. I don’t really need to say any more than; boobies, drills, blood and phallic imagery. It like the horror fan’s Christmas all wrapped up in a big blood stained bow, with a free pizza delivery thrown in. While as a woman maybe I’d have liked it to have been the fully realised feminist parody it could have been, and it does have its moments, as a horror fan I just love it regardless.

Terror Train (1980)


Any 80s horror that has Jamie Lee Curtis in it is going to be awesome, add to the JLC, one David Copperfield, and an array of ridiculous fancy dress costumes and the awesome just keeps getting awesomer.

At a college fraternity New Year's Eve party, Alana Maxwell (JLC) is lightly coerced into participating in a hilarious prank that any rationally human being can see is bloody stupid idea from the outset. Instead of saying that this is bloody stupid and telling the wacky japesters to bugger off, Alana instead climbs onboard the stupid wagon and lures the shy and awkward butt of the prank Kenny Hampson into a darkened room with the promise of sex. Really Kenny should have known that this was going to end badly so partially he really did deserve to find a woman’s corpse in the bed rather than the promised Jamie Lee. Understandably traumatised by this turn of events Kenny winds up in a psychiatric hospital.

Failing to realise how badly this bodes, three years later the same get together and hold a costume party aboard a train and as the partygoers begin to disappear it would appear that Kenny is back for bloody revenge.

Classic slasher fare - but on a train! Terror Train is a tense and claustrophobic thrill ride peppered with promiscuous teenagers, decent deaths, an outfit switching killer and cowboy Ben Johnson. And if that wasn’t enough Terror Train also features the bizarre presence of illusionist and notorious supermodel worrier David Copperfield, starring as a creepy illusionist Copperfield’s acting reminds us that he is an illusionist who worries supermodels.

Heck yeah, high five me, 80s! Woo!! You’re my best friend, 80s, I want to dress you in my love, all over your body…. Sorry there, 80s, that was a bit creepy, wasn’t it? I promise it won’t happen again. 80s? Where you going?.....come back…….

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Childhood Horror: The Child Catcher

There are many scary things about childhood; almost everything else is bigger than you for a start, that’s very scary, and then you’ve got strangers, parked cars (according to Dave Prowse), maths, impending acne, and the fact that seemingly every other week you are taken to the doctor to be jabbed with needles to guard against an endless variety of terrible diseases that are apparently constantly trying to kill you. And, as if that wasn’t enough, sometimes, people, with absolutely no thought to future consequences to the innocent children who are, indeed, our future, make the illogical decision to insert the most terrifying characters and imagery into seemingly harmless pieces of co-called children’s entertainment. A prime example of this is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s The Child Catcher. I mean really, who thought this was a good idea?



Eeep

Like the unholy offspring of a spider and an undead funeral director, The Chid Catcher stalked onto our screens 43 years ago and has filled mini hearts with terror ever since, and probably some big ones too. Just to make him even more horrifying, The Child Catcher came fully equipped with a great big net, a savage looking hook and an all action cart cage cleverly disguised as the ultimate child attractant, a sweetshop, this is precisely why our parents so vehemently advise us against sweets and strangers. The only consolation here is that if Dick Van Dyke’s kids were really so dumb as to be tempted out from hiding by the badly disguised skeletal form of creeping pure evil then it probably would have been for the best if they were removed from the gene pool altogether. I really have no sympathy for them.


Largely their own fault

Splitting his time equally between smelling cheeeldren and stalking about balletically brandishing lollipops in their general direction, The Child Catcher was in the employ Baron and Baroness Bomburst and charged to capture and imprison any errant children from the streets of Vulgaria, a task he undertook with all due evil relish.


With Benny Hill (also inappropriate for children)

I have to confess that as a child I actually wasn’t that scared of The Chid Catcher. I suspect that this is because I came from a family of dancers so therefore was on some level aware of the aesthetics of movement and what it can create. Also I didn’t like sweets, and wasn’t dumb so I knew I’d be ok. Weirdly though, as an adult (ish), I can see and appreciate how truly terrifying he was, I mean really scary. Honestly, 60s, what were you thinking?

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