Posts Tagged ‘cinema’

These are just some of the films that were on telly all the time when I was a nipper–I haven’t seen them since…’s like they’ve disappeared off the face of the Earth…

1.Zoltan,Hound of Dracula

Vampire dog eats unsuspecting American campers…what’s not to like?


Starring James Stewart,this is the one about the bloke with the imaginary friend in the shape of a 6-foot rabbit,funnily enough called Harvey.I saw it once during the 70s,and that was my lot.Honestly….when was the last time you ever saw or heard this film even being mentioned?? (It’s a terrible film,anyway…but well,it’s the principle of the thing…..)

3.Harold & Maude

Bud Cort plays Harold,a teenager obsessed with death who drives a hearse and regularly fakes his own death by staging increasingly elaborate suicide attempts..He meets Maude,played by Ruth Gordon,and an unlikely love affair unfolds.This film was on television pretty much weekly when I was young.It’s an emo’s wet dream,as goth as can be…..time for a remake,think of all the pale young teenagers it could inspire.

4.The Tenant (Le Locataire)

Another cinematic one-night-stand,directed by and starring Roman Polanski (not exactly Mr.Popularity right now,but he has made some of my favourite films),it tells the tale of a chap who moves into an apartment recently vacated by a woman who committed suicide by jumping from the apartment window.Gradually he comes to realise that everyone around him is trying to drive him to take his own life in exactly the same way.A great film for the paranoid.


Back when Channel 4 was a proper channel that showed programmes and films that people actually wanted to watch,this Wim Wenders film was on telly every month without fail.Starring Nastassja Kinski (who was a source of much comfort to me in my lonely teenage years) in a fluffy pink jumper,and Harry Dean Stanton as her father who is looking for her,Paris,Texas is another film that has been lost down the TV company sofa.(Also worth a mention is the twangy Ry Cooder soundtrack….you know the one I mean even if you’ve never seen the film)


The original with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine this film is rarer than rocking horse doings…although throughout the 80s it was the only film the BBC had.


Starring a young Jenny Agutter,the actress single-handedly responsible for the boom in VCR sales during the 80s (but that’s another story),it tells the tale of a schoolgirl and her young brother lost in the Australian outback.Our Jenny “loosens her clothing” (well it’s hot in Oz) quite a lot…this film definitely DOES NOT feature any steam trains.You might think that there is a perfectly logical reason for all this wanton “nuddiness” …when you’re a teenage boy,you don’t need a reason.The BBC clearly needed no justification for showing this every Friday night on BBC 2.

8.The Anniversary

Official legend Bette Davis plays the eye-patch wearing,manipulative matriarch to three sons who come to her house for an annniversary party.One of the sons likes to wear women’s undies,another takes his missus to bed only to discover his mum’s glass eye waiting for them on the pillow.Our Bette is the ultimate bitch….she has to be seen to be believed.

9.The Incredible Melting Man

The title says it all,really.There’s this man……….and he melts.It’s excellent.

10.The Appointment

There are quite a few films with this title…the one I’m thinking of stars the late,great Edward Woodward.Unable to attend his doting daughter’s violin recital due to a business appointment,Ed experiences malevolent forces whilst driving to the meeting,brought into being by his psychic daughter.As you might expect,it ends badly.The boy Woodward never had much luck in films…


The next President of the United States relaxing at home,yesterday...

The next President of the United States relaxing at home,yesterday...


Look….it’s like this….

I could bang on at great length as to how Predator is Arnie’s finest hour,possibly even greater than’s certainly his best “action hero” film.

But it all boils down to one line,uttered by the Governator himself,because no-one else could do it justice…..

“If it bleeds…..we can kill it.”

Those are words to live by,dear reader….words to live by.

20070525_star_wars_con2_74318146_21STAR WARS

Needs no explanation.

Neither does this photo…it’s a fan thing.


Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus....she has issues

Kathleen Byron as Sister Ruth in Black Narcissus....she has issues


Made by Powell & Pressburger in 1947,Black Narcissus is a psychological drama about the emotional tensions of a group of nuns in a remote Himalayan convent.

The eternally wonderful Deborah Kerr plays Sister Clodagh,who is trying to forget a failed romance in her native Ireland,and is the top nun at the convent.Her heart is set a-flutter by the charms of the local British agent,Mr.Dean,who is the only person who can communicate with the locals and trots up to the convent everyday on the smallest donkey you will ever see.

Unfortunately,Sister Ruth,played with an eye-popping intensity by Kathleen Byron,is also attracted by the hunky Mr.Dean,and becomes pathologically jealous of our Debs.

And Sister Ruth is as mad as a lorry.

There’s only one way to sort this out….FIGHT!

Which the two ladies do,conveniently on the edge of a cliff…I won’t spoil it for you by saying who lives to “nun” another day,but will just urge you to check the film out when it’s on telly next…you will not be disappointed.I’ve only touched the surface of this masterpiece here,it’s worth a blog of it’s very own.

(As an interesting aside,Deborah Kerr was director Michael Powell’s ex-OH…and Kathleen Byron was his current one.Can’t be bad for the ego,to have two women fighting to the death over you,even if it is in a film.)

2001_a_space_odyssey_hello_dave2001-A SPACE ODYSSEY

Computers….more trouble than they’re worth.

But I’d wager your PC,prone to failure and freezing as it no doubt is,has never actually tried to kill you because it has been given conflicting orders.

2001 is not only about HAL chucking a wobbly in deep space….it’s about aboutness.

It’s about the journey of mankind from the Dawn of Man through to his death and rebirth as pure thought in the form of the Star Child.

I think.

It has so many classic moments that have become part of cinema history,and the greatest ever jump-cut as an ape throws a bone into the air,only for it to fall down and change into a space-weapon–millions of years of evolution and history in a few seconds.That’s the genius of director Stanley Kubrick—no need for superfluous scenes of exposition.

The long sequence as the astronaut Dave Bowman travels through the stargate (possibly) is perhaps a tad too long,and how he gets to his final destination,a kind of alien hotel where his every need is catered for until he dies and is reborn,is never explained…but perhaps it doesn’t need to be.


Da da da-daaah,da da daaaaaaaah.

May I be controversial for a moment,and say that there shouldn’t have been any sequels to Raiders of the Lost Ark…it’s just too perfect and wonderful.

They shouldn’t have even made The Last Crusade,and you can forget about The Temple of Doom and the latest one.

Stick with the original and the best.

OMG..they know we voted for the twins!!!

OMG..they know we voted for the twins!!! Claire Bloom & Julie Harris in The Haunting


If you’ve seen the recent version of this story with Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta Jones,you should give the original a spin.

Four people move into the mega-haunted Hill House to investigate the ghostly goings-on,being driven mad in the process.

Mysterious writing appears on walls,and a wooden door breathes.

What sets this film apart is is the way a ghostly atmosphere is built-up without the use of gore or violence,and it features the line-

“Don’t make me give a name to something that…..hasn’t got a name.”

"Fancy a shag?"

"Fancy a shag?"


I am a bit of a soppy bugger at heart.

I really love a good old-fashioned weepy,and they don’t come more old-fashioned than the extremely nice and well-mannnered tale of Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard meeting in a train station waiting room and falling in love.

Everyone is very English and polite…men wear hats,women are called Dolly.There are no naughty bits on show and no swearing….Celia helps her husband with the Times crossword,which thankfully isn’t a pseudonym for rampant rumpy-pumpy.

Here’s a sample of the dialogue-

“You know what’s happened don’t you?”

“Yes…yes I do.”

“I’ve fallen in love with you.”

“Yes I know.”


Adultery has never been so polite.

close_encounters_large_09CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

Richard Dreyfuss’ finest hour,it’s not only about aliens…it’s about a normal man trying to cope with something he can’t understand,while trying to hold on to his family in the process (and his marbles)

The final part of the film,with the aliens landing,is more classic than classic,and has probably actually happened in some remote part of the USA…but that’s for another blog. 😉 There are a couple of funny moments too…

When the mothership opens up,a bloke runs for the toilet.

A bank of cameras continually takes photographs,and a scientist type stands up behind it and takes a snap with a tiny instamatic camera….to show the wife and kids,presumably.

Interestingly,before the film came out,when people reported seeing aliens landing in their back garden,they always described them as 7ft men in shiny spacesuits….after Close Encounters,the descriptions changed to short,grey aliens in the nude.

Exactly like the aliens in the film.

I reckon Spielberg knows something.

the thingTHE THING

How’s this for a classic line-

“I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.”

Not for the faint-hearted,The Thing is a gut-wrenching remake of the original film The Thing From Another World.

With added guts.

And slime.

And awful,gungy,stretchy wobbly bits.

And the daftest cowboy hat in the history of cinema,as worn by the star,Sir Kurt Russell.

Not to mention a shape-changing,body-ripping,brain-sucking alien.

(Best bit-the doctor tries to revive one of the other scientists with those electro-shock pads things they have on Casualty (I don’t know the proper name…don’t judge me)…but the alien has already taken the poor bloke over.The Doc’s hands fall through his chest..the sides of which then slice off his hands.In the long shot of this scene,where you see the Doctor sitting on top,loudly bemoaning the loss of his appendages,it’s actually an amputee dwarf,not the original actor,as it was found to be cheaper to hire the dwarf rather than using prosthetics.)

the-wizard-of-oz-the-wizard-of-oz-925344_420_326THE WIZARD OF OZ

No explanation necessary.

Possibly a cautionary tale about the dangers of eating cheese before bedtime,possibly the biggest mind**** in cinema history…..whatever,poor Dorothy obviously needs to lay off the blue Smarties.

Also recommended is the sequel,Return To Oz,in which Dorothy,having nightmares about Oz,is given electro-shock therapy to help “cure” her of her delusions.Travelling back to Oz,she finds the place totally changed and a bit “wrong.”

Interestingly enough,in the original book,Oz is a real place….random fact for ya.

And if you’re wondering why such a virile,handsome,thrusting young buck like myself likes such a film,and not something like Die Hard,then take a look at my next bestest film–



I like Grease….get over it.

Too awesome for words,surely the greatest thing about it,apart from Olivia Newton-John being sooo thin,is the fact that all the actors were pushing 30 when they made the film.

If it was remade today,they would have young actors in the roles,and that would not be good.It would star Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers…and the only thing the Jonas Brothers should be in is a grave.

Only joking,Jonas fans. 😉

(By the way,on no account watch Grease 2….I’ve seen it TWICE (don’t ask)…it’s not a pretty sight,even with Michelle Pfeiffer in it.)