It’s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival! Everyone, that is, except for Regina Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her younger sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney), two valley gals who care more about meteoric fashion trends than celestial phenomena. But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn’t either disintegrated or turned into a zombie, they… well, they go shopping! But when their day of malling threatens to become a day of the mauling, these two val gals flee with both killer zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit!
1984 – Certificate: PG-13 – American Film
6.5 out of 10
Over the past year or so, I’ve become somewhat lazy in terms of travelling to and from work. Using the excuse that “I’m really busy” to justify turning into a fat, sickly, exploitative capitalist, I’ve got into the habit of driving most days. Fortunately, realising my impending metamorphosis into a fat, middle-aged asshole, along with the fact that at work we’re even more penniless than usual at the moment (it’s a company car), I’ve resolved to do things differently. Remember kids, ‘smashing the system’ starts at home! If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. In an effort to save the planet even more than I normally do and increase the likelihood of my still being around to enjoy the fruits of my labour, I’ve started walking into work and home again. It’s 2.4 miles each way, so when I add a bit extra on for all the staggering I do that results from the exhaustion walking this far causes me, that almost 5 miles a day. After a week or so I have to report that the main effect has been to make my left knee really sore, although I’m sure the reduction in the amount of driving I’m doing has probably resulted in the reversal of Climate Change and consequentially the crappy, cold weather we’ve been having recently. I’m really sorry if I’ve spoilt anyone’s holiday. This film is also about something that has global consequences.
This is a cult movie. That means a lot of people have convinced themselves that it’s good, whereas in fact it’s pants. Two young sisters, the tall, attractive but slightly geeky Regina and the out-and-out bimbo Samantha, manage to survive a phenomenon that turns most people turn into a brown dust or a zombie. (I hate days like that.) They manage this as one of them had sex with her boyfriend in a cinema, whilst the other had an argument with her mother about something ‘teenage’ that I don’t understand and then spent the night sulking in a garden shed. Fortunately for them, they then manage to meet up with Lieutenant Commander Chakotay from “Star Trek Voyager”, although he’s a lot younger in it, nearly 400 years or so younger, given the date he was first aboard Voyager. But it’s definitely Chakotay and not some actor playing his part; the way he reacts to the zombie boy in his parents’ house is just so Star Fleet. Anyway, the sisters talk bollocks a lot, go shopping and foil a sinister plot of sorts by a group of Government scientists. With hindsight, I guess it was lucky that their absent father was in the military and taught them how to use a range of guns. Don’t mess with an armed cheerleader, good advice at any time. In its defence, this is a fun, über 80s film, which manages to lampoon many others without ever turning into a parody of them. I guess that makes it a bit of a geeks’ film too. The fact that one of its two main characters has the top ten scores on a Tempest arcade game, just goes to reinforce my point. (Tempest was crap; Asteroids was loads better.) Less impressive is the random survivor that turns up near the end. He’s driving a Mercedes sports car. He’s in Los Angeles, almost everyone else is dead and he’s probably got the pick of just about every sports car ever made within a mile of the city centre; and he’s picked a Merc. That’s so unrealistic, it totally undermines the believability of the whole film…
I like to moan about how rubbish most music is these days is, but in the 80s it was even worse. This movie features a lot of music from that time period and it’s dire. Trying to consider that it’s some sort of important cultural landmark and should be preserved, is rather like arguing we should keep a 60’s concrete tower block in place, simply because it’s an example of a certain type of architecture. No, no, no. The clothes women wore at the time were awful too.
Recommended for airheads, scientists, geeks, bimbos and Star Trek Fans.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? When the whole burden of civilisation has fallen upon you, it’s good to see that the Green Cross Code Man’s word still counts for something. After all, remember what he turned into. How the once mighty can fall… Even more badass is the fact that the traffic lights are still working so long after 99.9% of the world’s population has died.
I’m one of the lucky ones. Now of course, when I say this I do so with a degree of irony, as I’m talking of the current RBS ‘software glitch’ that’s prevented people getting money into (and therefore out again from) their bank accounts. Not only that, but I’m one of the extra-lucky 1% of its customers that banks with Ulster Bank, which still hasn’t managed to get things sorted out. I have most of my Direct Debits and credit card payments set up to happen at the beginning of each month, so I’m now looking forward to a couple of weeks of fun, as just about everyone I have any sort of financial relationship with starts hassling me for money. Anyone got Stephen Hester’s mobile number, so I can pass it onto these people? The only good thing I have to say about this is when I rang up my branch (not some stupid call-centre on another planet somewhere), I got straight through to a guy who was able to answer all my questions. RBS, great customer service, great corporate sponsorship (hey I work for a charity and it helps to pay for my wages), totally sucky IT. I’ve been consoling myself by considering that someone, somewhere, has had a seriously seismically cosmic bollocking over this; I’d have paid good money to have been a fly on the wall and seen that; oh, except of course I can’t get at my money… No one in this movie appears to have any issues with money, or banks, or IT; I guess that’s why it’s a fantasy film.
2010 – Certificate: 12 – USA
Rating Details: Moderate violence, sex references and bleeped strong language.
This is one amazing film. It’s got music, it’s got the awesome bass battle, it’s got an old computer game vibe, it’s got good-looking chicks, it proves that vegans are better than everyone else, it proves that ROCK (excuse the capitals, but it’s a word that you really have to always shout when you say it) is better than knob-twiddling keyboard-based dance music, it looks great and has fantastic sound; plus all the stuff you normally need in a film too, like a decent (and in this case quite original) plot and a ‘proper’ ending, etc. I’m starting to believe that Edgar Wright IS God. (I watched it on Blu-ray and this probably had more extras on it than any other film I’ve watched too.) So why am I not giving it 5 out of 5 I hear you ask? (Well okay, don’t ask then, but I’m telling you anyway.) Unfortunately, Scott Pilgrim annoyed me just a little bit too much at times; for a loser and a geek he was just a bit too successful for my liking; I have to work dammed hard to be even remotely adequate in life, so drifters that manage to do better than me without trying piss me off a bit. So I’m afraid the film isn’t perfect as I couldn’t totally engage with his ‘quest’. Yes, it loses a point because I’m bitter and jealous; (what, you going to make something of it)? Despite that, it’s a ‘must watch’ film because it’s brilliant and possibly my favourite film from 2010.
Recommended for everyone; no seriously, everyone, even you; and yes your granny; and yes your boss at work too; the dog yes, him as well; and yes the nice lady at the corner shop who occasionally lets you off a few pence when you don’t have quite enough to pay for something; and no, I don’t think she’s doing it just because she fancies you, she’s happily married and far too old you anyway; and what, no, I’m sure her sex life is fine and this really doesn’t have much to do with this film anymore has it? Well fine, ask her out then but don’t blame me when it all goes pear-shaped. Good, because I really don’t want to know about it.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? Jeez, so much choice! However I’m vegan, so it has to be the timely arrival of the Vegan Police to strip the vegan superpowers from someone who hadn’t truly stuck to the faith. Everyone secretly knows that vegans are simply better than anyone else (not that we make a big deal about it), but nevertheless it’s good to see such a positive portrayal of veganism in a mainstream film; em, I think. Being vegan is entirely badass.
I seem to have developed some sort of repetitive strain injury in my left shoulder and arm. For the past five weeks they’ve been sore, but there’s no sign of any swelling and the pain tends to move about from day to day. I’ve actually lost a lot of the strength in my arm too, as a result of trying not to use it too much. In fact I’m going to go and see the doctor in the next week or two if it doesn’t improve. I always though as a conservationist, that one day I’d be shot by poachers, angry at my preventing them from harvesting elephant tusks, freeze to death whilst heroically planting one too many trees up a frozen mountain somewhere, or be poisoned by the ultra-rare and ultra-venomous bunga-woonga jungle snake that I was fighting to protect from extinction; (I made that name up by the way as a sort of plot contrivance to keep things moving here, so don’t bother Googling it). Sadly I seemed to have been ‘taken out’ by driving to too many meetings and writing too many e-mails. I guess this makes me a bit of a geek; but without the ‘clever attribute’; or the looks for that matter.
1992 – Certificate: Not Rated – Japan
This is another slightly bonkers Japanese film and the first in a loosely connected trilogy with the overall tagline “human beings are garbage”. Nice. Despite this, it’s more of a thriller than a horror, with a little comedy and romance thrown in too. The story sort of makes sense, but there’re plenty of blatant “but what about the…” moments in it too. Three young guys become friends after witnessing a random murder at a level crossing. They decide to hold a party, (well doesn’t everyone after witnessing a bloody, multiple stabbing of a schoolgirl)? They all try to find a woman to take to the party to impress the others, but only one manages to find someone; of the other two, one ends up handcuffed to fence by a prostitute (well I think she was one anyway) and the other gets so nervous that he’s sick on his would-be date, which rather puts her off going with him for some reason. Anyway, the lucky guy is on his way to the party with his date when they get attacked by a gang and of course she ends up dead. Well the new friends all get together to track down the baddies, which results in some suitably nasty shotgun action and some general all-around unpleasantness. The best/worst things to watch out for are the rather bizarre, entirely over-the-top maniacal laughter that most of the characters seemed to insist on emitting when they’re doing something particularly, em, maniacal; and the guy who plays the young geek (he’s the one that was sick on his date-to-be), who really does look and act like everyone’s idea of a Japanese geek. Great stuff. The music, when used, is surprisingly effective too. In a technical sense, my DVD of this film was pretty awful. The picture quality wasn’t very good (very over-exposed and washed out) and the sound was even worse. Not only was it mono, but the centre of the sound-stage was located somewhere near my birthday cards, rather than in the centre of the TV screen. (The cards, all three of them, which even after nearly three weeks I’ve still got displayed, are located somewhere off to the left of the telly.) It’s surely not asking too much for the sound to seem vaguely focused near the picture, rather than adjacent to a cruel reminder of how many friends I don’t have?
Recommended for would-be-geeks who want to see the real deal in action; plus anyone who collects recordings of horror-movie laugher; I guess there aren’t a lot of the latter.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? It has to be the guy in the car at the end, complete with maniacal laughter and Proclaimers style glasses. Weedy geeks fighting back is always badass. The moral being, never push a geek, because in movies they’ll always kick your ass in the end.