March 29th, 2011

Scary Books

Movie Reviews: Evil Under The Sun + Rope

Evil Under The Sun (1982)

Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) goes to an island hotel as part of an insurance scam investigation. He also reveals he gets sea-sick, but what about ‘Death on the Nile’? The hotel is full of tropes and an obvious victim in the form of stage star Arlena (Diana Rigg) who everyone loathes.

Arlena is rude and mean to everyone and ignores her chump husband to pal around with Patrick Redfern. Christine Redfern (Jane Birkin) sits around weepy and pathetic looking as her husband wears tiny swimshorts and chases after Arlena in blatant fashion.

Arlena wears OTT costumes and smart mouths everyone until someone finally gets around to strangling her. Arlena treated people like toys but never realised that someone has turned her into a toy.

Poirot sniffs out the killer and does a dramatic reveal. The killer when revealed doesn’t explain why Arlena was killed in such a complicated way. If the killer had gone for a simpler plan they’d have gotten away with it. For once the killer doesn’t fess up instantly but is still foiled. This was okay camp.

Best Lines:
A sudden attack of gold digging.”

“Go and play with jellyfish.”

“Even in those days she could always throw her legs up in the air higher than any of us. And wider.”

“He’s a nice fellow.”
“Yes I suppose he is. As gigolos go.”

“Scenes of jealously played close to open windows.”

Rope (1948)
Brandon and Phillip kill a friend just because they can. They stash the body in a chest and use the chest as a dining table during the party they give just minutes after the murder.

The clean cut killers can't resist going on about murder being a privilege and dropping big unsubtle hints as to what they’ve done. They debate intellectual superiority with their former mentor Rupert (James Stewart) and are so unsubtle Rupert soon smells a rat. This was okay even with the gimmicky camerawork but the ending is an anti-climax.
Scary Books

Tape Tale of 2000

Cleared out a tape from 2000. First up was a season 4 ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ ep entitled ‘Beer Bad’ in which Buffy obsesses over Parker. Maggie Walsh blathers. Xander and Giles have no direction or purpose. Buffy drinks beer to everyone’s horror. This was ridiculous.

Then came a season 1 ep of ‘Angel’ called ‘RM w/a VU’ in which Doyle showed he had less acting ability than Callum Blue. Cordy gets a new apartment and Phantom Dennis debuts. Cordy makes an unfortunate comment about Patrick Swayze and faces down a ridiculous ghost. Whatever became of Phantom Dennis in later seasons? How did Cordy go from amusingly shallow to the pain she was in season 3? This was dull.

Best Line:
I’m not a snivelling whiny little cry Buffy.”

Then came a ‘Nash Bridges’ ep entitled ‘High Society’ in which Caitlin wore a horrible suit that looked like a kilt. Jake (Steve Austin) shows up to fight people and shout all his dialogue, he has no indoor voice. Nash annoys. Joe ends up in Boz’s shower. Caitlin wears an ill fitting purple dress and is flung into a wedding cake. Caitlin’s nose and eyes look runny. This was not as funny as it thinks it is.

Finally there was another season 4 ‘Buffy’ called ‘Wild at Heart’ in which Oz leaves. He was probably sick of the ridiculous werewolf make up and costumes. This was dull and Willow makes everything all about her, again.
Scary Books

Quotes of the Day

Hollyoaks’ Quotes

“What he does to you is a lot of things. But love? He doesn’t know the meaning of the word.”

“He might now have beat you up since last time but he’s still abusing you.”

“He’ll get his.”

The Devil & Dan Cooley’ Quote

Computers are an abomination. I’m from a family of luddites; we still regard movable type with suspicion.”
Scary Books

Fringe Season 3 Ep 10 Reviewed

The Firefly

It’s been renewed for a 4th season! Yay! Just as long as they don’t make any more eps like this one. A man named Mr Joyce (Christopher Lloyd) sees his dead son. Olivia does an icy stares and sulks. The Observer does stuff. There is a ‘Twin Peaks’ shout out.

Olivia goes on about all she missed while stuck in the other universe. What about what Peter missed? You know being a kidnap victim who has taken from his family and his universe and raised in the wrong universe for over 20 years.

Observers can time travel? Observers can open car doors with a glowing ET like finger? Walter still doesn’t care that he took Peter from Walternate. Season 4 has to give us a confrontation between them. Peter nearly dies because of funny milk. This was utterly boring.

Best Line:
He runs up five flights of stairs just to shoot me with his magic air gun.”
Scary Books

The Event Ep 13+Bones Season 6 Ep 12+Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog+Hawaii Five-0 Ep 9 Reviewed

Ep 13: Turnabout

Is this cancelled yet? Thomas steals a nuclear core. The President has finally had enough of Sophia and her lies, it took him long enough. Sean looks up Vicky. Blake has had an epiphany and now thinks he was too hard on the detainees. Simon (Ian Anthony Dale of ‘Surface’) does nothing.

Michael stashes his children with some alien buddies. The alien buddies don’t want to know Leila and her face that never moves. Thomas continues displaying his conduct disorder and there is an extremely crass throwaway line that states he caused Chernobyl.

This was utter, utter rubbish. Anyway why does no-one suspect Simon is a sleeper? He’s always hanging out with Sophia and in an earlier ep Blake suspected him of being a sleeper and was all ready to go ‘enhanced interrogation’ on him. Then Blake changed his mind and now trusts Simon, or does he? Why do I expect logic from this show? Eps 1&2 started out with a bang but the show has NEVER reached that level of enjoyment since.

Ep 12: The Sin in the Sisterhood

This was like a demented ‘Big Love’ ep. A man is found dead in a cornfield and turns out to have three wives. Thusly Brennan and Booth investigate a web of jealous wives, an angry father-in-law, a disapproving pecan farmer and an oversexed grad student. This was good but the Brennan/Booth relationship is laboured at this point.

Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog (2008)

Dr Horrible (Neil Patrick Harris of ‘Starship Troopers’) is in a love triangle with his super hero arch nemesis Captain Hammer and a boring girl named Penny. Dr Horrible talks and talks and talks and then talks some more. Then he bursts into some truly awful songs.

Horrible fancies Penny. Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion) is a burk who can’t sing. Supervillains called: Conflict Diamond, Bait and Switch and Bad Horse are mentioned. Captain Hammer is a bully who likes to casually smack Horrible’s head off a van.

Penny still dates Hammer. Horrible pines but when Hammer reveals he’s dating Penny just because Horrible likes her. Well, Horrible cracks up and decides Hammer must DIE. Horrible’s sanity slippage leads to his triumph and being crowned the Worst Villain Ever. He’s still miserable though. This was boring.

Best Lines:
“My application is strong this year. A letter of condemnation from the deputy mayor.”

“Captain Hammer threw a car at my head.”

“The thoroughbred of sin.”

“I don’t go to the gym; I’m just naturally like this.”

“You give my regards to Saint Peter or whoever has his job but in hell.”

“I think this what pain feels like.”

Ep 9: Po’ipu
As assassin (Emmanuelle Vaugier) is on the loose. A General accused of war crimes is coming to Hawaii. Danno is annoying and there are apparently no other cops in Hawaii. This was good. There’s a gunfight at Steve’s house but Chin doesn’t do much.
Scary Books

V Season 2 Ep 1 Reviewed

Red Rain

Anna’s turned the sky red; it’s like ‘Night of the Comet’. Anna also smacks a guy around with her tail and kills him. This makes Marcus smile. Tyler is stupid. It rains red.

Chad blathers, Anna claims the red sky/rain has cleaned the atmosphere and Tyler’s a snot who says Anna deserves an apology. Erica has to let her stupid offspring stay on the ship.

Erica and co meet Dr Miller (Bret Harrison of ‘Reaper’) who’s a scientist despite the fact he acts and talks like he should be hanging out in Central Perk as a poor man’s Ryan Reynolds.

Miller found a V skeleton. It has a lot of spiky teeth. Do the V’s in this remake eat humans like the V’s in the original series did? Hobbes hits a V with a car door while Tyler gets it on with Lisa.

Erica finally cops on to what the V’s want with humans: Earth is to be a breeding planet. Joshua’s alive. Anna looks up her mommy (Jane Badler). This was good; I hope Dr Miller shows up in future eps and is written better. He could be a decent character, but I'm wary TPTB will mess him up or forget he exists.

Best Lines:
Anna’s a lizard? That sucks, she’s so hot.”

“First they want to invade us, then they want to shag us."

Scary Books

Survivors (1975 – 1977) Review, Part 6

Series 2


A guy shows up on a barge looking to trade. He has a lot of stuff he found in: “an abandoned lorry in a lay-by off what was once the A40.” His name is John, Mina likes John. She is pleased when he says he’ll come back the next day. Mina’s baby seems to have vanished. In fact a lot of characters aren’t in this ep, it is explained that they are off on “salt detail”.

Greg continues being a sexist burk. Then John’s barge returns but it is now crewed by two wideboys. Charles and co are stupid. The stupid kids play with a shotgun obviously having learnt nothing from ep 5.

Mina who walks around in an ironed pink nylon shirt dislikes the wideboys and suspects they killed John and stole his barge. She’s right but it takes ages for the rest of the Whitecross idiots to catch on. This was a slow moving dull ep. Lewis the parson tries to mediate with the wideboys and is shot dead for his efforts. No-one seems to care. The wideboys die via karma.

How are the Whitecross idiots washing their hair? Where do they get their endless changes of clothes from? What happened to the horses?

Best Line:
They’re all here pretending its some jolly outward bound camp.”

New Arrivals
There have been no reoccurring antagonists in this series, the London gang and the fascist settlement would have been good ones. Anyway new arrivals come to Whitecross and they’re young hippies. Shock! Horror!

Once again the 10 day quarantine rule is ignored. Mark, one of the new arrivals knows all about farming and points out all the stuff Charles and co have being doing wrong. It’s all about communal living and long term survival now. No-one seems upset that Lewis is dead.

Pet is rude and unwelcoming to Mark and co. Arthur, who has done nothing in two series, but sit on his ass moaning dies. The stupid kids are snotty and stupid. It’s never been explained on this show, what they are doing about loos. Or where they get their sugar. Or how the men shave.

Greg cures meat. Mark draws up a five year plan for Whitecross and decides to wander the land spreading the gospel of farming. This was okay.

Best Lines:
Murderers, that’s what they are. Giving us their diseases.”

“A cow’s got legs, it’s got teeth. It’s a mobile mowing machine.”

Over The Hills
Where do the Whitecross lot get their plastic bags from? Greg wants to get a tractor. Alan and Melanie court. Pet and Sally who is one of the new arrivals, discuss their “monthlies”. Sally is pregnant by Alan. So begins a look at the fact there is no contraception and the need to repopulate.

Charles has a child out there somewhere that he doesn’t seem too concerned about. Pet finds out about this and gets upset because she is probably infertile. Greg goes on about his superior mental acumen. Sally is upset because Alan doesn’t care. Alan is upset because Melanie won’t sleep with him as she wants to avoid pregnancy.

Melanie wants to go to Paris; Greg dismisses it, the days before the Channel Tunnel. Alan wants to leave Whitecross, there is no sign of the five year plan being implemented and Charles doesn’t seem too concerned about the possibility of Sally dying in childbirth,

Sally doesn’t want the baby. Charles is outraged. Ruth points out a few things to him, he doesn’t listen and stomps off. Glad to seem TPTB remember his series 1 views. Pet is insecure. Greg ignores his crying son as he’s a man. The fields are not overgrown. Whitecross residents named Maggie, Elsa and Norma are mentioned. Who are these people?

It’s obvious Greg and Jenny are miserable. Pet hits on Greg and then reconciles with Charles. Sally’s unhappiness is ignored. This was good which covered a lot of attitudes and concepts in this dead world.

But where did the drum set come from? How did Danielle perm her hair? Where did they get the long table cloth from? Who cleaned up after the party? Is Charles not the slightest bit interested in his child?

Best Lines:
Sally’s the kind of girl whose father would have turned her out of the house if that had happened in the old days.”

“Who’d want a baby in this dump?”
“Oh, there are other dumps?”

“Phil and Judy got away.”
“And I wonder what happened to them.”

“There must be somewhere the plague didn’t reach.”

“That lad ought to be gelded.”

“Before the plague your ideas of self sufficiency made you a crank in the eyes of the supermarket society.”

New World
The global plague left the world a wasteland but now things are moving on from year zero. Greg the angry farmer is the first to see it, the symbol of change. Then everyone else sees it and stands there in shock: a hot air balloon flies over Whitecross.

Greg and co follow it only to find it has crashed and the balloonist is dead. They go through his stuff and learn he was from Norway and charting settlements. Greg and Charles, who still haven’t implemented the five year plan, study the man’s notes thanks to a convenient English/Norwegian dictionary and talk of federation and trade.

But Greg has a different idea. Then Agnes shows up, she is the daughter of Lars the dead balloonist. She reveals news of the outside world: Denmark is desolate and Norway is starving. She is from Bergen where they have hydro-electrical power and a dormant industrial plant. Agnes and her father came to propose a trade pact. Greg’s eyes light up.

Pet snots. Jenny whines about needles and glue. Jenny hasn’t stopped whining throughout series 2. The Whitecross settlement is about to break up. Agnes will return home taking Greg and Jack with her to restart the dormant industrial plant. The wider world beckons.

Greg desperate to get away from methane, the rival alpha male Charles, the whining Jenny and the son he obviously does not care about can’t get into the balloon fast enough. Somehow there are enough crash helmets for three people. How they will eat and pee isn’t gone into.

Jenny blubbers and the rest of Whitecross wave as the balloon flies away from the boring commune. The wider world beckons and Greg wants away from the lack of pace, drama and confrontation at Whitecross. This was good and a signal that series 3 would differ from series 2.

Series 3


Once again TPTB took note of problems with series 2: everyone was too clean and farming life at Whitecross could get boring. So they give us what the show’s concept was all about: the end of the world with mud.

Its six months since ‘New World’ and Jack is back in the UK and has been attacked by dogs. Those dog packs mentioned all during series 1&2 have finally shown up. Charles, Jenny and Hubert have left Whitecross and live somewhere else. They look dirty, cold and there’s a lot of mud.

Pet’s now a brunette and Jenny’s son Paul is not seen. Jenny doesn’t care about her son, that poor neglected child. What she does care about is that Greg and Agnes are also in the UK. They got the plant going and are somewhere nearby setting up trade.

Jenny whines and moans about why Greg hasn’t come back to her. Thinking that he’s ditched her for Agnes, she gets on a horse and sets out to find him. Charles and Hubert accompany her. Paul is forgotten, Greg and Jenny have the parental instincts of wolf spiders. Pet still doesn’t like Hubert.

Charles, Jenny and Hubert stumble across an army camp. Charles is suspicious, yells a lot and is highly annoying. Jenny doesn’t know what a junkie is and is really stupid. This was annoying and the ending was weird.

Best Lines:
There are still decent and reasonable people left.”
“Oh, yes. Enough?”
Scary Books

Book Reviews: The Green Hornet Chronicles + Shalador’s Lady

The Green Hornet Chronicles edited by Joe Gentle and Win Scott Eckert
An enjoyable collection of pulp crime fiction tales based on the 1960’s TV show. The Green Hornet and Kato are wanted criminals. But in reality the so called crime boss and his henchman are in fact vigilantes out to destroy crime by posing as criminals in the city of Detroit.

The Night Car
A man uses a computer programme to try and track the Hornet to his lair. This was okay, the close call at the end was a bit too easily evaded though.

I Had The Green Hornet’s Lovechild
A floozy sells a kiss and tell story claiming to have had The Green Hornet’s lovechild. The Green Hornet has to save the day when his enemies kidnap the baby. This was okay.

Britt Reid plans to take down a politician who has vowed to bring down his criminal alter ego. This was okay.

The Green Hornet and Kato target a Charles Manson wannabe. This was okay.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
An okay Kato origin story.

Just A Man
A man targets The Green Hornet for revenge. An okay look at the collateral damage the Hornet can leave in his wake.

The Cold Cash Kill
The Hornet thwarts a somewhat improbable counterfeiting ring; this was not one of the better tales.

Flight of the Yellow Jacket
The Hornet gets an arch nemesis while Mike Axford thinks Kato looks familiar. This was okay.

By Scarab and Scorpion
Flesh eating beetles, enough said.

You Can’t Pick the Number
The Hornet busts a numbers racket, this is okay.

Eyes of the Madonna
The duo retrieves a stolen painting. This is good.

Stormy Weather
A female PI tries to catch the Green Hornet. This was good and for bonus fun contains a reference to the episode where Britt Reid was shot.

The Auction
A hood claims to have killed The Green Hornet. So The Green Hornet and Kato crash his victory celebration. This was good and Britt talks about how his father died in prison framed for murder.

Go Go Gone
The duo busts a human trafficking ring. This was okay.

Mutual Assured Destruction
The duo stumbles across a government secret. This was good.

The Crimson Dragon
The Green Hornet faces down a rival crime lord in this good pulp tale.

Fang and Sting
The Hornet faces up to a crime lord who may be Fu Manchu. Also this reveals how the irritating Lenore found out about Britt’s secret life. This was good.

The Inside Man
A man gets a job with The Green Hornet. This is good.

The Soul of Soloman
Kato tells us how The Green Hornet met The Phantom. Sort of. This was good.

Shalador’s Lady by Anne Bishop
The 8th ‘Black Jewels’ novel. Cassidy is Queen of Dean Nehele, she is a good Queen and her court serves her loyally except for one member. Theran Grayhaven dislikes Cassidy for stupid, snobbish reasons. He undermines and sabotages her but things get worse when Kermilla arrives.

Kermilla is a rival and enemy of Cassidy’s. But Theran is drawn to her and decides she should be Queen of Dena Nehele and not Cassidy. He overlooks the fact Kermilla is spoilt, stupid and selfish. A reminder of the corrupt Queens who were purged.

Cassidy and her court decide to continue rebuilding the land and trust. Theran cannot understand why no-one wants Kermilla as Queen. Cassidy has to triumph over her rival and prevent another bad Queen from ruling.

This was good but one has to wonder. The corrupt Queens ruled for centuries until the purge in book 3. Shouldn’t the Blood society be far less stable? Shouldn’t Blood society have fallen apart as corruption and cruelty had become so entrenched? Also Janelle and co are way too cosy and cute after all they endured in books 1 – 3.