8 January 2017

Movies: The Screaming Skull [1958]

There's a top albums 2016 coming at some point, but in the meantime...

Even by my standards this is cheap, four movies on one DVD. For well under a fiver. So first up : The Screaming Skull. We get a voiceover, warning us it is so scary that it may kill us, and offering us free burials. Nice.
On we go, opening on a skull in water. Ohhh nice Mercedes driving along, one of those pretty gullwing merc's. [car talk? from me? sheesh] They're in a run down house, a unique fixer-upper opportunity, they're newly weds, and his previous wife died, ahhh this is his house he's returned to...we sense there's a plot device about to happen there.
The gardener has 'issues' !! More plot devices!!
She died when it was raining. Her skull smashed, thankfully there are men around to man-splain this to the new wife. And the audience. Lucky break that.
A banging window scares the new wife, who is then petrified at a painting of the old wife. Man calms her down. Silly woman. We notice the new wife looks very similar to the old wife. Things potter along, and the new wife is left alone in the house at night! She see's a skull, her hand bleeds, much moody lighting ensues, oh and the gardener is ambling around.
this is not a pacy movie. I've just seen it's only 30 mins in, it feels like significantly longer than that...
She throws the skull (from the cupboard) out the window, it bounces on the lawn and grins back at her. Like the catty bitch of a first wife, the skull comes back. Ohhh the new wife is very shapely in her diaphanous nightwear :)
Ahhh she's been told she's 'very impressionable' - huzzah. Another tick box for the 50s horror movies.
More shenanigans with the skull, Micky the gardener gets slapped around a bit more (literally).

Yet more skull action, and a ghostly apparition, much craziness. Not much plot tho'. Highlight? possibly the skull getting all bitey.

24 December 2016

Movies: Frankenhooker (1990)

I'm 'busy' prepping for christmas dinner, so while the pavlova is cooking...it's time for some sleazy horror, Frankenhooker. I know on title alone, how can it fail.
We open with a chap slicing into a brain, which has an eye attached, encouraging it to follow his hand. this is done on the kitchen table. There is some terrible over acting, so this is starting well.

Jeffrey likes operating on things, he's a part-time doctor, kinda. An automated mower, has just killed Jeffrey's fiance Elizabeth, 'reduced to a tossed human salad', although parts of her are missing! I think we suspect Jeffrey !! Mainly because he's been designing an electric circuit for a human, with Elizabeth's head at the top.
Jeffrey is concerned he's becoming amoral, his mother offers him a sandwich.
'To new beginnings...' to Elizabeth's head and various body parts. He's a hopeless romantic, and is awaiting a storm to make her a whole new her. Even the weatherman says the storm will be ideal for mad doctors out there. He's now drilling a hole in his own head, to get in the mood to abduct a hooker. But he wants 6-7 women, who he measures to create his perfect body - sadly the crack he'd made, which they took, makes people explode. With very cheap effects, brilliant.

Elizabeth, reanimated, reconstituted, appears to have the personality of a hooker. So she's off to town. Things don't go well. Ohhh evidence body parts can self-assemble. Elizabeth then saves Jeffrey.

Overall? Quality entertainment here.

21 December 2016

Movies: Van Nuys Blvd

Van Nuys Blvd [1979]: We open in a sunny car based US city, funky music, cuts to woman getting ready, while a lad drives his van across vaguely rural countryside. Soundtrack is getting better and better.  She loses her clothes, and cracks him a beer. He doesn't seem very interested in shagging her. He watches a news article on Van Nuys Blvd, and expresses his displeasure at this small tin pot town, and takes off for VNB. In his van.
We're now enjoying a very extended sequence of people cruising up and down VNB. Thankfully the tune is good. Oh look a drive in restaurant.
"no-one calls chooch a creep" - stunning dialogue between guy the cop pulled over, and the cop (the cop is crooked, and called Zass).
Those kids, all that car racing. Crooked cops. All happening here.
It all appears to be an excuse for dance routines, drive in restaurants, and beach parties.  It's pretty damn bad, and although there's lots of sun and nipples, basically everyone seems to be whining at each other. But the kids do get one over the cop, or 'the man' as they adorably refer to him. In what may have been an amusing metaphor to the directors, a pig is released and runs around the beach. Yes. There are a number of vignettes of this type.


Here's the theme song. It's great.
And now, the full movie

11 December 2016

Movies : Scorpion [1986]

Scorpion opens in a mexican/spanish? village. With a ferrari. We move into a bar, there's a lot of hairy angry looking men. They exchange meaningful glances, a fight breaks out. More tragically a beer is spilled, and they switch the jukebox off.
The credits are rolling with suitably epic synth led music, also we're in Spain. For some reason we're now in Amsterdam. We learn the president has allowed pre-emptive strikes. OMFG, coincidence or what, but there's been a sky-jacking! Our top man, Scorpion, is going on the plane (it's on the ground), the hijacker has the worlds worst German accent. Which isn't nearly as offensive as Scorpion's very short shorts.
Oh he won. He beat all the terrorists. Amazing.

Now he's on the hunt for the big bad terrorist. People keep getting shot, synthtastic.
Hospital scene had the classic soundtrack "Dr. Blair, Dr. Blair, Dr. J. Hamilton, Dr. J. Hamilton" - sadly the guitars didn't kick in. Our hero is sad now, his friend is dead. He's now passing through the stages, is on anger. But the bad guys are in the hospital now, our hero has sprung into action. As has a slowly pulsing bass synth.
This movie is not rocking along. Our German is trying to escape, slowly. More people are dead, and yet the plot hasn't moved. I know i'm expecting too much. But really, moody shots of a grumpy hero are wearing a little thin now.
Oh bollocks, I'm only an hour in, there's another 38mins !
I think we've reached the penultimate fight scene, it's dire.
For some reason we're on a boat now. Chasing someone. For some reason. Everything is moving so slowly, the editor needs a serious talking to. But anyway, we get more synth heavy tunes, so it's not all bad.
A solid 2/10.

4 December 2016

Cabal Strikes Back : we hit SMWS

Half of the cabal reunited to drink whisky, solve world problems, and argue over flavours. We decided SMWS London was the location, and Saturday afternoon the time. It also gave us opportunities to swop xmas gifts, all booze based, and for me to collect my Bruichladdich MP5 (Port Charlotte) from Alec. Google Keep provided the note taking, and the open fire, the relaxing ambiance.

1.202 Delightfully delectable 22yo d. 23/9/93 53.8%, virgin oak hogshead
Nose - green grass, bourbon prickly, wood polish, lemons, malt loaf
Palate - sweet, honey, fruit salad - melons,
Finish - med long

Add water, brings out bourbon and makes it v prickly.
A very rare Glenfarclas from SWMS, really nice and would be great to have sitting in the cupboard.
8/10

35.168 Essence of BFG, 15yo d.17/5/2001 60.4% virgin toasted French oak butt
Nose - odd, sweet marshmallow, Parma violets, deep complex, old house, cherry, burnt sugar
Palate - warm, butter, tingly, salted toffee, caramel, liquorice at end of palette
Finish - long, tingly, salty caramel
8.5/10 this is quite odd, and quite lovely

With water, warmer and smoother on palate possibly with ginger.
Glen Moray? why yes, I will try some of that. We both really liked this, interesting and a lot happening in the whisky (contrary to someone else's review on the web). Definitely recommend.

36.111 Benrinnes
Nose - light manuka, medicinal, star anise, hay
Palate - sweet at finish, prickly, sherbet at start, bourbon, not quite ripe kiwifruit, hint of tea??!!
Finish - med
Could be more complex, but interesting 7/10

3.286 Islay Village Peat-Smoke Haze , 17yo, d.25/09/1998, 57.8%, refill ex-bourbon barrel
N - medicinal, big, smoke, hospital bandages,
P - throat clearing, bacon, salt, honey,
F - massive, salty
8.5/10 it ain't subtle but it is brilliant, more evidence Bowmore indie bottlings are better than their own.

Lovely wee tasting, with two standardouts (Bowmore and Glen Moray).

27 November 2016

Movies : House (1986)

House was on the HorrorChannel the other night, so I'm watching it on Sunday morning. I haven't seen this for years - all I really remember is that william katt (greatest american hero) is in it.

Starts off with atmospheric (very Goblin-esque) music, as we pan around a gothic house, and see a delivery boy head up to it. He explores the house, and we find Mrs Hooper just hangin' around. Cut to a rain lashed graveyard with the young looking willian katt.
Huzzah, a reference to 'nam. God bless those crazy 'murcins! And now some back story, the loss of Jimmy, and some high action diving action by Katt. Emotional !!!

Next door neighbour - George Wendt.

Our hero, cobb (katt) decided to move into the house to write his next book - also about 'nam, cos all his books are about 'nam. We have a flashback. He's spooked by some visions of horrors, so sets up some betamax camera's (yeah!!) to capture them, we even get two dive rolls.  The stuffed fish, attached to the wall, is now trying to attack him.
Things potter along, with a lot of 'nam flashbacks, and helpful neighbour interludes, we even get a song. It's nice and light hearted, even if it's not entirely sure if it's a horror-comedy, or a horror.

Worth watching, and stood up well after 20+ years since I last watched it.

4 November 2016

Movies : The Silencer

The Silencer, another action movie, this time from 1992. It opens with some stunning 8bit computer game type stuff, with the theme song "the silencer, her body is her weapon". Because I love you, I've found the opening credits, you need this in your life:

They've obviously been watching a number of Bond movies, but decided they weren't cheesy enough, and what Bond was missing was a voiceover - from a video game console (those big free standing things).
Our hero (and also heroine) like silencers, they used to be a couple, but for reasons I probably missed, she's now in the video console. But he's narrating stuff, as if it's sex. It's all very emotional. Well for him anyway. For me, the flu is proving more engrossing. Our heroine is very curvy, is wearing a very short top showing a little *cough* breast. And quite lovely they are too. The officer, isn't as convinced the brunette's 'liplocking' is relevant.
Ahh 10mins in, we have nakedness. They're taking a bath. This is supposed to be sexy. I need more cough medicine for this. Lots of slow mo soapyness, which appears to be going on for awhile. Now we have him talking to the video console again. I guess that was a flash back, which we listen to an accordion player. I'm confused. Already. Bodes brilliantly !!
I think, our two are using the computer game to get targets, but it's all very confusing. Or maybe they're not. But no matter, there's a lot of synth based early90s dance music.
They've almost just met, but killed a corrupt vice cop instead. Look, I'm sure it made sense to the writer.
Fight scenes are abysmal, although in saying that they're an accurate reflection of the acting.
"i kill people, it's my job", "bullshit". and that was the emotional scene.

Actually, I have no idea what happened. Definitely recommended. I'm just not sure why.

I have found the trailer:

and the theme song


24 September 2016

Movies: Knight Rider 2000

HorrorChannel has a reasonable record for crap Bgrades, and my trusty freesat recording helps. Or at least enables.
So Knight Rider 2000 . It's unbelievably bad, really really bad. But at the same time, in true car crash fashion, can't stop watching.
And the guest stars are worth it. Script is dire, acting even worse, and I feel for Mitch Pileggi.
Rogue cop, thinks the department is corrupt, and moves to Knight Industries.
Things potter along. Kitt gets moved into a newer car.

15 September 2016

Glenrothes Whisky Tasting

Half of the cabal reformed to drink whisky, this time in London for a Glenrothes tasting run by The Whisky Exchange, and hosted by Brand Heritage Director and Whisky Expert Ronnie Cox. I'm quoting from the tasting sheet. Ronnie is excellent value, good patter and one might suggest, a natural raconteur.
Very similar to our whisky tastings back at Regional Wines, so without further ado, here's my notes. Oh, just to be contrary links may not be to TWE :)

Glenrothes Bourbon Cask Reserve 40% (around £41)
Nose: green apples, gentle, manuka honey, hint of bourbon
Palate: vigorous, honey, warm, apples
Finish: warm, med-long
6.5/10

Glenrothes Sherry Cask Reserve 40% (around £41)
Nose: watery, sea salt, very light/empty, cream
Palate: warm sherry, honey, light-ish
Finish: spiky, medium
6/10

My notes include NMS, or Needs More Sherry.

Glenrothes Vintage Cask Reserve 40% (around £37)
Nose: grassy, green apples, bourbon, shiitake mushrooms [no really!! that kinda earthy smell]
Palate: light, warm, honey, quaffing whisky, fruity
Finish: short Bit bland
5/10
Didn't think much of this one, not much happening, even tho' the nose was great.

Glenrothes Vintage 2001 40% (around £50)
Nose: sweet, sherry, wood glue, warm, very nice
Palate: warm, but oddly bland, hint of figs?
Finish: spiky, med-long
6.5/10
Didn't live up to the nose.

Glenrothes Vintage 1995 40% (around £80)
Nose: green grass, honey, very light, more sherry than bourbon
Palate: pineapple, apple, fruit, mango, fruit salad
Finish: spiky, med-long, bourbon
8/10
like this one a lot, I'm pretty sure I've had it before (possibly when it was cheaper)

Glenrothes Vintage 1988 40% (around £344)
Nose: wood glue, light, floral
Palate: raisins, wood glue, complex, tingly, relaxing, mango
Finish: long, floral, lovely
9/10
Really good whisky, it used to be nice and cheap (ie I've picked it up duty free, but there's not much left now...)

Glenrothes Cask Sample 1970s d1973, b2000 43%
Nose: superb nose, complex, sherry, parmesan cheese
Palate: fruit salad, light, warm honey, not very complex, very very smooth
Finish: short-med, very smooth
7.5/10

Glenrothes have a pretty light style, and I've always rated them as a quaffing whisky (this is not a bad thing), I'd like to find a cask strength and see what happens in those.

30 August 2016

Movies : Sexy Killer

A Spanish horror movie from 2008, Sexy Killer was on the Horror Channel a few weeks ago and with my new and exciting Humax FreeSat + external harddrive, the world is my oyster. Opens with a bunch of attractive young ladies getting changed and bitching about each other. Followed a peeping tom getting a little decapitated by our sexy killer. And she is. Very.
All with a lounge version of Barbie Girl.
It's very funny, in a very black kinda way. Reminds me a lot of Takeshi Miike. The small interludes are inspired, inclduing a guide to murder using common kitchen implements in the style of a home cooking show.
Additionally we get machines which pull back memories from the dead, zombies, and a killer soundtrack. The reanimated zombies pottering around the morgue is 'different'...but never fear, they're off to a party.

Highly recommended.