A Smark’s Guide to: WWE Fastlane 2017

WWE‘s fledgling Fastlane event is still, in many ways, just finding its feet.  It’s not a bad concept for a Pay-Per-View either, introducing last minute twists and turns to the Road to WrestleMania.  This year, the main point of contention was Kevin Owens‘ Universal Title defence against Goldberg.  With the victor going on to face Brock Lesnar at the imminent WrestleMania, it’s something that the WWE Universe had their eyes set keenly on.  Of course, the finish was always going to end up predictable.  We’ll discuss that in the end but, first, there’s quite an undercard to comb over.…   [continue reading]

Our Cinema/On Cinema Season 9 [REPORT]

Gregg Turkington‘s Our Cinema Oscar Special should have been a triumph.  Instead, Tim Heidecker found a way to derail proceedings regardless of his absence.  It could have been an evening of insightful movie expertise; as we’ve come to expect from its host.  What we ended up with was a travesty.  Of course, Heidecker has a history of live meltdowns.  I had deep hopes that his personal issues wouldn’t fringe on another Oscar Special.  Unfortunately, On Cinema has become nothing more than a kind of therapy for Heidecker.  That his chaos can extend to the cool waters of Turkington’s winning criticism should be a concern for us all.…   [continue reading]

The Best Kept Secrets of British Comedy

The world of British comedy is a rabbit hole you can lose yourself in for life.  Just following a list of long-gone essentials would keep you busy with viewing for some time.  That doesn’t even mention the constant stream of new arrivals who, though watered down, keep us restocked year after year.  There’s an even bigger wellspring of obscurity beyond the surface too, where the fourth wall is of no consequence.  Editspotters, as they call themselves, have made it their solemn duty to explore this abundant vein of intrigue.

Considered an important part in the fight against bullshit and political correctness, editspotting keeps a keen eye on the divine hand behind our much beloved national comedies.  …   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [MARCH 2017]

This month’s playlist is much more varied than the February edition.  I tried a lot harder to make it a bit more representative of my overarching tastes.  That said, quite a lot of this material was new to me.  I’m finding that making these is helping me to discover a few things myself.  That, at the very least, makes it worth doing.  Overall, i’m really quite happy with this one.  However, I do have a couple of problems i’d like to iron out for April’s Office Chart.  For example, I feel the two halves are slightly too separate.  After a more upbeat opening, it’s quite a bit more chilled out by its conclusion.  …   [continue reading]

Reefer Madness (1936-1939) [COMMENTARY]

Reefer Madness
DIRECTOR: Louis J. Gasnier
STARRING: Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lillian Miles

Originally known as Tell Your Children, Reefer Madness has become infamous. Better known today as an archetypal “stoner” movie, it was first released in 1936 as church group propaganda.  As such, it’s full of nonsense.  Later re-cut in 1938 by Dwain Esper into an even more tawdry film, I honestly have no idea which version I have here.  Many consider it one of the best “bad movies”. For me, the current “bad movie” champion remains The Amazing Mr. X.  With a myriad of public domain movies still to come, there’s plenty of time for it to be dethroned….…   [continue reading]

Natural Signing Stone

One of the reasons I’ve lost interest in mainstream film is its utter unreality.  All too often, what I see portrayed on the screen holds almost no relation to the world.  However, i’m not saying I want every movie to be gritty and realistic.  It would simply be nice to relate on some level to the characters, setting or even pacing of a movie.  Rick Alverson, and directors like him, seem to be reacting to that with a tense fascination for the awkward.  That holds my interest much more, and i’m glad to see it increasingly seeping into popular culture.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [FEBRUARY 2017]

Yep, I’ll admit with my hands in the air that this is hardly an original idea.  Radiohead have been doing office charts for years, and I can only assume that thousands of hip blogs and magazines have adopted it.  Of course, it doesn’t really matter.  I just thought it would be a fun monthly thing to do.  Besides, I’ve got a High Fidelity-esque predilection for making playlists anyway.  Neither of the Bens have anything to do with this, in case they get ashamed by the choices.  This is just my own personal “writing an article for Secret Cave” playlist.  …   [continue reading]

The Yellow Brick Road of Internet Hysteria

Communities have a habit of obsessing over breadcrumb trails.  It’s an impulse within us that goes back far further than the internet.  However, with the advent of social media, this hysteria has been easier to track.  It’s impressive just how quickly these self-proclaimed “detectives” can get to work.  You can always count on teams of basement dwellers to decode any stray ARG.  As I’ve recently stated, this can be a great way of engaging a fan community.  That’s all just marketing though, in essence.  Deep in each of these explorers’ hearts must be a wish that something more hides in the folds of mystery.…   [continue reading]

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962) [COMMENTARY]

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
DIRECTOR: Joseph Green
STARRING: Jason (Herb) Evers, Virginia Leith, Leslie Daniel

Completed in 1959, but not released until 1962, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die has one of the best titles I’ve ever come across. Produced in the same year as Attack of the Giant Leeches, it does a much better job of being coherent, likeable and gripping. Unfortunately, it devolves into a sexist and meandering plot. Its opening is strong enough to make it memorable, however. Overall an enjoyable hour with some genuinely disturbing moments!

From Wikipedia:

The main plot focuses upon a mad doctor who develops a means to keep human body parts alive.

…   [continue reading]

Samurai Jack Season 5 [TRAILER REACTIONS]

I was a mere eleven years of age when Samurai Jack first premiered on Cartoon Network.  Because of this, I can speak with first-hand clarity of its instant obvious quality.  Even at that tender age it smashed out from the screen, leaving its peers far behind with an unbelievable strength of vision.  That’s not even to denigrate the network’s surrounding programming, itself a rich buffet of well-crafted material.  It’s just that Samurai Jack is so singular.  In no way does it ever hand-hold its audience.  Instead, each frame shines with its own beauty, leading us through a slow and quietly crafted narrative.  …   [continue reading]