On a neglected side-street of Manchester’s city centre, Gorilla sits quietly in the surrounding sprawl. To its right, past a tunnel perfectly sculpted for a stealthy, drunken evening piss, lies Dog Bowl; a bar teetering on the edge of achingly hipster, offering ten-pin bowling as a cacophonous aperitif to overpriced culinary dirge. Given that even the local trams feature caricatures with Monopoly Man moustaches, it seems an inescapable aesthetic. While the stereotype can cause an itch when you’re handing over double for a Jameson and Coke, it’s a welcoming and, eventually, comfortable world to sparsely visit. Within Gorilla, where that sub-culture seems defined, Tim Heidecker and Neil Hamburger proved, in more ways than one, that assumption is all too often erroneous.… [continue reading]
Among musicians, and music fans, pop music sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap. Personally, I’ve found the world of pop music across the decades to be a fascinating and enjoyable one. While I zoned out of the pop world for years, I could always rely on Gorillaz to fill that hole. From Clint Eastwood to Plastic Beach (The Fall doesn’t really count), Gorillaz have been a surefire hit-factory. Unfortunately, whenever they would come out with a fresh batch, they’d inevitably bugger back off again for a handful of years.
Admittedly, the mere concept of LEGO Worlds is what draws me in. Melding the sensibilities of Minecraft and LEGO itself, its subtle step forward is very exciting. Of course, much of its concept relies on established tropes and mechanics. While it’s not building a brand new concept afresh, the ideas and potential it brings to the table seem to be what I wanted from Minecraft in the first place. However, I can’t deny that the inclusion of greatly varied brick sizes is the main allure in that package. It makes for much more detailed, enjoyable and artful landscapes, the creation of which is at your beck and call in a variety of interesting ways. … [continue reading]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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!
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The main plot focuses upon a mad doctor who develops a means to keep human body parts alive.
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]