Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Babies 2

February 8, 2015

They were called The Babies, but they weren’t babies. They were pre-schoolers: four years old to a man. This much can be verified. But what else do we know? We know that they were a boy band popular in the last few years of Earth 1.0. We know that they numbered four: Duck Naesmyth, Ruud Shoemaker, Larry Bannatyne and “Master” Thomas Trimbleby. Beyond these rudimentary knowings, the trail goes dead.

Or rather it did, until the recent discovery of an astonishing artefact 2 miles beneath the surface of the Birmingham Desert. This tome, known to scholars of the Inuit Intergalactic Empire as ‘The Bull-Ring Manuscript’, was referred to by pre-apocalyptic people as ‘The Babies’ Official Fan’s Fun Fact Pack-Book.’ From the manuscript, the Inuit Intergalactic Empire’s foremost experts on Earth 1.0 pre-pubescent noise culture have managed to deduce the following 5 facts concerning ‘The Babies’:

1) In the final minutes before the catastrophic involution of Earth 1.0, The Babies confronted their nemesis, Spangulatron, upon a blizzardy precipice beneath the peak of Mont Blanc. Spangulatron, an eight-legged glam-rock cyborg under investigation by the London Metropolitan Police for historical sex offences dating back to the era of Piltdown Man, held the Catastrophe Box in his hideous, atrophied seventh leg. “What say you now, Babies” cried Spangulatron. “All of your scheming, dance routines and key changes have come to naught. Now watch as I reduce your home planet to a chuffing anus in the fabric of space-time.” “It’s your home planet too” shouted Master Thomas, launching a torpedo punch at Spangulatron’s Adam’s apple. But by then, of course, it was too late.

2) Ruud’s favourite supper dish is a Chicken Caesar Salad, but not because he’s “fancy or anything.”

3) Since their first single was released in 1987, the Babies have had ten number one hits: “Georgia on My Mind”, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On”, “We’re the Babies, We’re the Babies”, “Truffle Rock”, “Strange Fruit”, “Let it Be”, “Pupper Master Vs. King Puppet”, “Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)”, “Fruit Pastilles”, “Rupert in The Deep Dark Forest”.

4) The Babies first became aware of Spangulatron during a tour of Wessex. It was 2pm, roughly, and the boys were halfway through a visit to the Camelot Geological Museum. Their tour manager, Dr “Mammy” Grapes, had taken them there for a treat. As they passed between the limestone and the quartz exhibits, the temperature suddenly dropped. “Damned chilly” said Duck, rubbing his goose-pimpled arms in the traditional hominid fashion. “What the devil is that?” shouted Larry, as the silhouette of a sequinned arachnoid in high heels passed over the ceiling, like the dark dream of a forbidden cloud. “’Tis Spangulatron, my loves” said Old Margaret, their tour guide. “He is a varmint and he bain’t never meant no-one no good, no how.”

5) When The Babies grow up, they would like be: a pastry chef (Duck); a U-Boat commander (Ruud); a writer of children’s books (Larry) and a warlock (Master Thomas).



Point Break

September 6, 2014


Of course I’ve never seen Point Break. What is Point Break?

Here is my review of Point Break:

K Reeves is a beautiful law-droid with a 2-second delay. “You’ve got that kamikaze look in your face again” says L Petty, his hard-bitten love-boglin. Yet the audience must take her word for it, for the nuanced motions of K Reeves’ face are imperceptible to the ordinary viewer. What seems to be a sequence of facial expressions on K Reeves’ face is in fact K Bigelow shooting his impassive flesh-edifice from a number of different angles in quick succession.

P Swayze is a salty old surf-parson with a neat line in lifestyle koans. Like the bone-wielding monkey at the start of 2000: A Space Odyssey, P Swayze is regarded as somewhat of an evolutionary prodigy by his contemporaries, who spend much of the film picking fleas out of their own anuses and gurning while P Swayze does his Hamlet-in-a-wetsuit routine.

Whooosh. P Swayze rides his spicy plank up a hard bank of spume.

Crasssshhh. K Reeves drives his whizz-board down a tight bright tube of brine.

Point Break could have been a profoundly homoerotic film, had the responsible hand of K Bigelow not been at the helm. Whenever the bonhomie between P Swayze and K Reeves gets a little too convivial, the narrative is punctuated with a solemn bout of heteronormative front-bumping, or a ‘Time-Out’ as it was referred to on set.

The film ends with K Reeves and P Swayze grappling ecstatically in a giant vat full of seeds. ‘We’re just angry sperms in the nutsack of Buddha’ shouts P Swayze, confusingly, as the film draws to a close.

I give it four out of ten.


Film Studies. Tutorial 1

September 3, 2014

Have you ever read the Agoraphobic Reviewer and thought ‘Gee, I wish my film criticism was as astute and well-informed as those guys”? Fear not, little buddy. Simply master the following critical vocabulary and you too can talk about films you haven’t seen with confidence and authority:

Rickets Shot: Sometimes cameramen use a special lens with all of the Vitamin D drained out of it. When pointed at the legs of any biped (e.g. Tim Allen), it creates the illusion of bowing in the leg region, as if the biped in question (e.g. John Lithgow) had rickets. The Rickets shot was used to very suggestive effect in The King’s Speech.

Half-Roll: This basically involves the cameraman rotating the camera 180 degrees so that everything turns upside down, and then turning it back again. It allows the viewer to see the world from the perspective of a beginner gymnast who has not yet mastered the forward roll (cf. Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, in which Gandhi attempts unsuccessfully to forward roll away from his colonial oppressors)

Hem-Haw Effect: Sometimes screenwriters and actors like to create the illusion that their films actually reflect real life, and aren’t just puffed-up lies shat out of their frivolous brains. This is an easy fix. Actors simply say ‘err’ or ‘ummm’ in between words, and the audience is lulled into forgetting that they are watching a film, believing instead that reality itself unfoldeth before their eyes.

Milkshake Theory: This school of thought gained popularity in the 1970s. Its most vocal proponent, Dargle R. Footbook, contended that films are just like milkshakes, insofar as they consist of a lot of different ingredients (e.g. lighting, costume, script) that are ‘all shook up’ by the film-making process and consumed by people. Also (he added), films come in a lot of different flavours, such as horror, action, holocaust drama and so on, just like milkshakes, which also come in a lot of different flavours, such as strawberry, banana, chocolate, vanilla, mint choc chip and raspberry. Milkshake Theory was the dominant paradigm in film studies until the early 1990s, when it was replaced by Tapeworm Theory.


A Birthday Card from Pariah Rustbucket

February 12, 2014

So I got a birthday card from Pariah Rustbucket. In the card was a story. It was the best story I’d ever read. Here’s how it went:

“The Birthday Robot” by Pariah Rustbucket

One day it were my birfday and i got a BIG present it was all in papur I ript the papur and there it was a ROBOT. Mum and dad say there son it your burthday we have brought you a robot. well the robut waked up and say bleep bleep hello and then did a sound like zzt and we all laghed it sound like the robot fart. then the robot had a flashy gun and zappp Pickles our dog were goned. mum and dad say holy cow stop that thing the robut spinned round and round with all smoke. well the robut bursted through the front door. And we nevir saw it again and that was my butthday robot.

Iron Man

December 28, 2013


Is Iron Man a bold, romantic knight yclad in hardy steel? Or is he a wiggly tapeworm of a smartarse prancing around in the intestines of a dirty robot? Don’t ask me, I’ve never seen the film.

Here is a detailed summary of the plot of Iron Man:

Barnacles on his rusty jib; boreholes in his exhaust unit. The scrapyard hobos used him so roughly that night beneath the Detroit moon. So roughly. “Purdy tailpipe, boy” they said. Must send a memo to Pepper Panza. Not to tell anyone.

Pepper Panza tumbles in a fat forward roll of a walk by his side. That earthy clod of paunch and moustache (played by Gwyneth Paltrow). How many scrapes has he got me out of? Too many.

And meanwhile Windmillosaurus is planning his final assault. His sinister sails glinting beneath the Detroit moon. Conventional weapons hadn’t worked against him. Prod a jousting lance in his stout bod and those swift swift sails snatch it up before it can puncture his navel.

And meanwhile he says nothing. Windmillosaurus! Your day is coming! I will dine on the fat of your jugular and shit on your sails!

 Iron Man swashes in the shallows: a sad salty cyborg, humping on the jetsam. A sexy-looking segment of corrugated iron drifts into his net. Score! Why do you do it to yourself, Iron Man? Leave me alone. Even Iron Men have needs. The sea spumes darkly beneath the Detroit moon. Iron Man discharges and is filled with loathing. For God’s sake, pull up your knickers and get out of here, he shouts at the corrugated iron. The corrugated iron says nothing. Forgive me, my darling, I’m a complicated man, he adds. The corrugated iron drifts away.

Iron Man is my favourite Avenger. Which is yours?

Pokemon: The Movie

June 27, 2013

Sad Yukio is shunned by his peers. Why? His regulation rucksack sits like an obedient cuboid upon his unbending plank of a spine. The other children like their satchels saggy and their spines curvilinear. Therefore Sad Yukio must be banished from their boyish communion like the tight perpendicular pansy he, alas, on first inspection, appears to be.

Is there a society, club or federation that will welcome Sad Yukio into its fold? Must he stand a perennial outsider, hovering like a beggar – albeit one sporting clean bright underpants – on the fringes of the infantine feast? Who will claim Sad Yukio as their own?

The Fraternity of Pokemon Breeders, Trainers and Affiliated Representatives (PBTAAR), that’s who. For who needs friends when you can be a member of one of the most exclusive, exciting and imaginary organisations in the world?


Here are some fun Pokemon facts that Sad Yukio learned via his Pokemon Fun Fact FiloFax:

– A Pokemon is bonded to its master by a blood oath and by an unspecified, ritualised act of intimacy.

– The plural form of Pokemon is Pokemen.

– The most famous Pokemon in the world is Linford Christie

– Pokemen come in all shapes and sizes. Some are globular and viscous like frogspawn, others look like nan-nans, but with nasty skin conditions.

– Walt Whitman once wrote a poem about a Pokemon. Here is an extract:

                I’ve felt its tongue and tooth

                I’ve felt its velvet pelt

                And I SING the POKEMON, right?

– Here is a picture of Sad Yukio’s Pokemon, which is called ‘Cranking Pob’:

Cranking Pob: a Pokemon

Cranking Pob: a Pokemon

– Here is a picture of another Pokemon, called ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’:

Sonic the Hedgehog: another Pokemon

Sonic the Hedgehog: another Pokemon

Screen Legends 4: Danny De Vito

April 20, 2013

A while ago I started a Screen Legends thread on this site. Thus far we’ve had profiles of such mega-thesps as Peter O’ Toole, Armand Assante and Matt Le Blanc. In today’s installment, we’ll be considering the career of everyone’s favourite actorling, Danny De Vito:

When Danny De Vito was a baby, he was the size of a hamster. Now 58, Danny De Vito is size of a baby. Indeed, Danny De Vito is Italian for “Danny the Baby”. But De Vito has taken advantage of his homunculine proportions, for instance by insinuating himself into the unsuspecting papooses of breastfeeding mothers, so that he might dine in high style on their overburdened paps. He does this not because he is a sexual misadventurer, but because he is addicted to calcium.

Danny De Vito played Harry Potter in Harry Potters 3-5, and made for a more convincing Potter than the two actors who preceded him: namely, Pierce Brosnan and Steve Guttenberg (in Harry Potters 1 and 2 respectively). He was succeeded in the role by Daniel Radcliffe, who cast a spell on the minds of the cinema-going muggle population, making them believe that only Radcliffe had ever played the pubescent warlock. It is therefore difficult for film reviewers to evaluate De Vito’s performance objectively, on account of Radcliffe’s bad hoodoo gumming up their brain-valves.

In Tim Burton’s funny little filmy-wilmy, Batman Returns, Danny De Vito played ‘A Penguin’ (definite articles didn’t enter the Batman mythology until the Christopher Nolan muscled in on the franchise). When De Vito learned that he would have to share not only a trailer but a bed with the incorrigible biter, Michael Keaton, he threw one of his world-famous and widely-celebrated tantrums. This involved throwing food on the floor and other classic signals of grumpiness and/or tiredness, as outlined by the rogue babyologist, Gina Ford. But help was at hand. Tim Burton’s siamese twin/wife, Helena Bonham Carter, stepped in, or rather, leaned in (Burton has 90% control of their shared limbs) and swaddled De Vito up a treat. Result: a happy, restful Danny De Vito.

In conclusion, I give Danny De Vito eight out of ten.

The Babies

April 3, 2013

Here’s a short story about your new favourite boy-band:

The Babies


1. Pre-Apocalyptic Complacency

They were called The Babies, but they weren’t babies. They were pre-schoolers: four years old to a man. Duck was the heart-throb, a golden Ganymede in dungarees. Then there was Ruud the rebel, the delinquent, the separatist of eternity. Neither a pretty boy nor a pariah, Larry wrote the songs and the boys sung them with a song in their hearts, which Larry had authored too. It wasn’t clear what Master Thomas’s role in this outfit was, but everybody knew that Duck, Ruud and Larry would not go on stage without their fourth brother Baby. They were called The Babies and the world loved them tenderly in its final, oblivious days.


2. Literacy Crisis

Larry squinted at a chaotic arrangement of wiggly black markings on a discarded document.

“It’s Greek to me, boys” he said.

“Don’t grieve yourself Larry” said Master Thomas. “None of us is a scholar”

“Fellas” said Ruud, “I wouldn’t trust a bunch of words on paper even if I could reads. Y’ask me, we’re better off not knowing what horse muck is written here. The letter killeth.”

“…And the spirit giveth life” said Duck, with a handsome shrug.

“You said it brother baby”

And with that The Babies trilled out a seething spiritual, all about bald, blind Samson and his thirst for demolition. Better to be blind than to be a dupe, the song seemed to say. Better to be illiterate than a puppet on a writingman’s string.


3. Time for a Treat!

A pin-striped adult with a monstrous gut strutted into the room. One hand held a red lollipop, which he licked with a vexing air of self-satisfaction; the other twiddled in his pocket. Great beads of red saliva plopped on to the floor as he pulled the lollipop stick in and out of his mouth.

“Can I have a lollipop?” said Duck.

“Haw. No.” said the man, smirking.

“Why not?” asked Duck.

“Maybe I’ve not got any more. Or maybe I don’t want to give you one”

The Babies fell into a conference.

“What do you reckon my hearties?” said Master Thomas, “reckon we should press the issue further, get us some well-deserved lollipops?”

Ruud pulled out a tiny switchblade from the elasticated waist of his junior jeans. “I plan on slashing his pockets and seeing what falls out”

The other Babies nodded solemnly. “Slash him, Ruud” they said, “see what falls out”.

The insolent adult was looking at a magazine with a picture of a naked lady on the cover, and producing a laugh that was identical to his earlier guffaw, as if he were somehow withholding lollipops from the ladies in the magazine too. While he chortled, Ruud slunk up with an assassin’s gait. In one swift slash he filleted the adult’s blazer pocket, and a cornucopia of sweets fell out: bangers, fruit swagglers, fizzy colins, corn whups and the real prize: tens upon tens of lollipops. Ruud squirreled the confectionary into a shiny satchel and left a horrific surprise in the adult’s trouser pocket.

The Babies crept into the adjoining room to gorge on their loot, and everyone patted Ruud on the back and called him a true soldier. Ten minutes later a weak scream came from the doorway where the adult had been. Ruud snickered softly.


4. Do You Know Your Enemy?

There was a short interval for the sponsors’ messages. The audience brooded in their seats and The Babies were brought some refreshments. Lemon squash and two custard creams each. In his artery-blue armchair, the chatshow host squirmed and sweated into his makeup. He kept looking over his shoulder towards the backstage area and wincing. He pulled at his collar. “Do you mind if I smoke boys?” he said. The Babies all shook their heads. Except for Ruud, who held no quarter with smalltalk.

“Welcome back folks” said the chatshow host. “Don’ t worry. The Babies haven’t left the building.”

A genial babble of laughter and applause followed, but the audience was as still and silent as a jury.

“Well” said the chatshow host, “you boys sure like custard creams, right?”

“I’m going to square with you, Henry” replied Duck, “the way you’re sitting cannot be good for your sperm count.” Duck pointed his pudgy forefinger at the tense legs of the chatshow host, which were crossed tightly above the knee.

The audience laughed. But their laughter was cruel and sarcastic. Small diamonds of sadness welled in the eyes of the chatshow host.

“So” said the chatshow host. “So” he said. “So. So. So”

“So” said the chatshow host. “Everyone’s been talking about how you boys helped to bring that sex trafficking gang to justice. Perhaps you could tell us a bit about that.”

“Henry” said Master Thomas. “This is a light entertainment show.”

“Of course” said the chatshow host. “Of course. Of course.”

“So” said that chatshow host. “Err. Larry. What’s your favourite colour?”

Larry exhaled. “That’s a toughy Henry. I’m a fan of the old classics. Navy Blue. Forest Green. There’s a lot to be said for the old classics.”

The chatshow host warmed to the theme. “How about red? Do you like red?”

“Give me a break” said Larry, spitting on the floor.

A quietness followed, like the quietness inside a vacuum-packed chicken carton.

After a while, the quietness was broken by a pealing noise that seemed to originate from inside the nose of the chatshow host.

“Hey Henry” said Ruud, “how’s your sister doing?”

At this the chatshow host began to smile but then his face exploded into sweaty, messy tears. He put his face in his hands and his hands in his lap. From where The Babies were sitting, the audience’s tutting was deafening. A sound of synchronised bootfall on metal flooring could be heard.

“Oh no” said the chatshow host. “Help me boys. Help me.”

“I’m sorry” said Master Thomas “If you’d let us know before, our people could have got you out.”

The chatshow host shuddered convulsively.

Four men in bullet-proof playsuits marched on to the studio floor. Smooth black carapaces covered their faces. One of the carapaces opened to reveal a nasty man.  “Come with us” he said and held out the hand that wasn’t resting on his sub-machine gun.

Like a naughty but weary boy, the chatshow host took the hand of the guard and allowed himself to be led away. His trembling had ceased but a periodic sob made his gizzards vibrate.

“God speed you” said Duck.

Now the audience seemed happy and relaxed. They all turned to one another in a congratulatory manner. A young woman with a powerful haircut hailed The Babies.

“Hey boys, how about a song?” she said. And everyone else cheered, saying “A song! A song!”

Larry trod down slow and hard on the dying fire of the chatshow host’s abandoned cigarette. He clicked his finger and combed his quiff. He stared the audience right in its eye.

“Go fuck yourselves” he said.



Pan’s Labyrinth; or, A Labyrinth of Pans

February 15, 2013

The camera pans out to take in the general and his squaw. The camera pans out to take in  the general and his squaw but not to take in their legs. The camera pans out at an angle that cuts off the general and his squaw above the navel. The camera pans over to the bedroom window to take in the imposing panorama. The camera pans back to the general and his squaw, taking care not to pan down below their navels. The general is wearing ungeneral-like pantaloons so that the camera does not pan down below his navel. The camera does not pan down below the navel of the general not because he is wearing ungeneral-like pantaloons nor because the general is standing on two large-print copies of Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel but because the director has instructed him not to. The general is standing on two large-print copies of Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel because he has a Napoleon complex. The director has decided to pander to the general’s Napoleon complex. The general does not believe the director’s assurances that the camera will not pan down to reveal the two large-print copies of Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel on which the general is standing and so he is wearing ungeneral-like pantaloons. Unnecessarily, as it turns out. The squaw notes the irony of a tiny man standing on a book that has Gargantua in its title. The squaw is wearing panty-hose and a pannier. Her films to date include Pancreas (horror), Pandemic (thriller), Panty-Liner (adult) and Pan-Am and the History of Commercial Flight (TVM docudrama). During a difficult period in her acting career she was driven to panhandle. In the hospitality area the catering staff put the onions into pans. In the hospitality area the catering staff put the parsnips into pans. In the hospitality area the catering staff put the beef, the beef stock, the beetroot, the butter, the breadcrumbs, the beans, the biscuits and the bass into pans. The head chef stubs his toe on a kitchen panel. This aside the filming is panning out well.

Horror Film Titles

February 9, 2013

Sometimes you can learn all you need to know about a horror film from its title alone. With that in mind, here are some of my favourite horror film titles (obviously I’ve never watched them):

I Spit In Your Eyes

Dinner Time

Supernatural Unpleasantness


They Came From The Other Place

The Whistler

Don’t Be Frightened

Chain ’Em To Grandma

Mexican Burrowing Weevil

But I Turned Off The Tap…

Dead Chicks 3D

The Fiddling

The original VHS release poster of 'I Spit In Your Eyes'

The original VHS release poster of ‘I Spit In Your Eyes’