Sunday, July 31, 2005


I went to an auction yesterday up at McLernon’s, in which they were disposing of the contents of the defunct Lone Star restaurant franchise. I was there to try and buy a moose head, because… well, moose head! Moose head, people! If I have to explain the appeal then I’m sorry, but there’s an impossibly wide gulf between us.

Unfortunately moose heads are more popular that I’d imagined, and the cheapest one went for more than $7,000. At that price, as I said to a friend who was there with me, it’d be cheaper to buy Canada and then take your pick.

The crowd was a fascinating and almost unprecedented blend, an uneven mix of bogun bikers in Harley Davidson T-shirts and too many tattoos and groovy urban hipsters in vintage shirts and ornate sideburns. Some of the more interesting members of the group included:

- A middle-aged man who could apparently afford to spend $25,000 on three stuffed bison heads, but bought his clothes from Target. And I’m not exaggerating there; I was behind him and could see the tags peeping out.

- A fat woman rebelliously wearing horizontal stripes, who laughed like a hysterical seagull at anything and everything, be it a witticism by the auctioneer or the knocking down of a particularly high bid. Fortunately she soon discovered the catering van and put her mouth to quieter use.

- An old Mediterranean woman with fine hair tinted a delicate shade of pink, thus giving the impression that she’d been briefly dunked headfirst into a candyfloss machine.

- An old man who gave off the most astonishingly evil vibes. He had the aura of someone who’d spent his entire life bullying and exploiting people to get what he wanted. I didn’t even speak to him but I had an inexplicable impression of deep, calculating vileness. If I’d had children, I would have clutched them tightly to me as he passed.

It was clear that many in the crowd were new to the auction game, and they got caught up in classic auction frenzy. Someone paid over a thousand dollars for a short-horned cow skull. Another paid $170 for a tray of ordinary stoppered glass bottles that could be purchased new for $2 each at a warehouse store. Still another paid more than $500 for a battered antique sideboard that could be picked up at a junk shop for $200.

Even I got a little caught up. I bought a cupboard. It was only $24, and it’s a lovely beech veneer with a roll front of delicate beech slats. But I don’t need a cupboard. I have nowhere to put it. It’s just sitting there in the living room right now, like an inappropriate new girlfriend brought to a family dinner.

A moose head I could have found space for. Sigh.


On Friday evening I was sitting on my scooter at the Kent Street lights on Berwick Street, when I heard an aggressive shout. As usual, this inspired an instantaneous and instinctive audit of my self and my situation. Is this directed at me? Am I currently breaking any road rules? Is my headlight on high beam? Are my Florsheims an affront to good taste and professional footwear? Anything? Anything?

The shout came again, a second later, and I realised that it was far too hardcore to be mere sartorial criticism or roadrage; it wasn’t the roar of someone crazed with anger, but that of someone holding and directing his anger in a tight, focussed beam. I looked over my shoulder and saw a cluster of police converging in the front yard of a nearby house. The shouting one had a shotgun levelled at the head of a man in a red flannel shirt, and everything about his voice and demeanour announced that he wouldn’t think twice about shooting him like a dog.

Even so, Red Flannel Man was clearly considering all his options as he slowly put his hands behind his head and lay down on the grass. But there were at least six cops, and only one of him, and he must have realised he had no real option but surrender.

Of course if I was in the same position, I would have gone down and kissed the ground faster than the Pope on speed. I’m about as hard as a jelly doughnut.

Friday, July 29, 2005


I was a little late to work this morning because I got stuck behind Santa Claus on Riverside Drive. For some reason he was driving a mid-80s Toyota Corolla; I guess his sleigh must have been getting some work done on it.

Poor Santa. He wasn't going very fast, probably because calling "Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!" at a Toyota isn't as effective as, say, pushing one's foot against the accelerator. It probably didn't help that he was being menaced by an irritable man on a motor scooter, who kept shouting MOVE YOUR FRICKIN' ARSE, SANTA, OR GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY!

Note to all festive holiday mascots: if you're being overtaken by a 50cc Vmoto Milan JX50, THEN YOU'RE DRIVING TOO SLOW!

Now I sort of regret losing my temper with him. There's something that feels slightly blasphemous about shouting abuse at Santa. It's like pistol whipping the Easter Bunny.

You know, I still feel bad about that, even though it was many years ago and the fuzzy little bastard deserved it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Does anyone know where I can get $140,000 fast? I suppose I could sell my house. Failing that, I have a relatively well-maintained kidney I don't use all that much.


I considered having another Festival of Bad Cinema on Friday night. But when I thought about being snide and mocking over yet another piece of obscure filmic kitsch, I realised that my heart just wasn't in it.

So instead, I went for a genre I like to call 'Bruckheimapalooza!' It's still Bad Cinema, but you don't enjoy it on an ironic post-modern level. You enjoy it with that part of your hind brain that drags your eyes toward a car accident as you drive past it.

‘Bad Boys 2’, baby, and ‘Blade Trinity’.

I didn't like ‘Bad Boys 1’; there was too much whiny crap about the personal lives of the two heroes, as if people had come to see this movie to learn about the intricacies of male bonding. ‘Bad Boys 2’ avoided that fault by framing every scene in relation to the all-important car chases. Every scene was either the heroes setting up a car chase, being in a car chase, or suffering the after-effects of a car chase (ie being chewed out by their theatrical police chief, not anything as mundane as whiplash). It worked a treat. Cars exploded, boats exploded, trucks exploded… if they could have worked in a locomotive falling out of the space shuttle and landing on a hovercraft, I’m sure they would have.

Then there were the bodies. Rastafarians splattered against the structure of a high-rise car park, Cubans blown up by a booby-trapped remote control car, and the piece de resistance, in a car chase with a mortuary van, a full load of corpses dislodged one by one and strewn across the freeway. It sounds appalling, but remember, at this point the higher functions of the brain have given up in disgust and it’s just your id, gibbering excitedly at the movement and colour.

As for Blade Trinity, well, memos to all involved…

Memo to Wesley Snipes: That’s right. Just keep repeating ‘I am being paid millions of dollars for this.’

Memo to Jessica Biel: Nice work, but if you want to replace Jennifer Garner in the world’s affections, you’re going to have to do some more hand-to-hand combat in skimpy lingerie.

Memo to Ryan Reynolds: Damn, dude, leave the gym for fifteen minutes and eat a doughnut! You can’t possibly be comfortable!

Memo to Parker Posey: It’s a good thing your resume has more on it than this and ‘Josie & The Pussycats’.

Memo to Kris Kristofferson: That’s right. Just keep repeating ‘I am being paid less than Wesley Snipes for this, but I didn’t have to be on set more than a few days or in the gym more than twice a week, if that.’

Memo to Dominic Purcell: The good news is, you’re playing Dracula! The bad news is, you’re playing him as a Syrian poseur in ‘Blade Trinity’!

It may be a stupid way to spend your Friday night, sitting in the dark in your living room with half a dozen friends, drinking beer and eating popcorn and watching stuntmen earning their pay packets, but it’s great fun.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


On Saturday I attended a birthday party for the son of some friends.

What To Say At A Birthday Party For A One Year Old.

Correct: "Hello, you special little birthday boy you!"

Incorrect: "How's it goin', Monkey Boy."

Correct: "Ooh, isn't he just as cute as a button!"

Incorrect: "Has he done anything interesting yet?"

Correct: "He looks more like you every day!"

Incorrect: "Child schmild. I'm just here for the free fairybread."

Well, at least I can argue that my impoliteness is genetic. I have a nine month old nephew who is variously referred to by my family as Butterball, Porker, Lard Boy, Blubber Butt and The Sphere of Doom, because he has a higher percentage of fat than a block of cheese. Family gatherings have become little more than 'Heap Insults On The Hilariously Obese Nephew/Son/Grandson' sessions.

I sometimes worry that, at some level, he's absorbing the near-constant jokes about him having the shape and consistency of a silicone breast implant. If he ends up with bulimia in twenty years' time, we'll all know who to blame.

Friday, July 22, 2005


For a while I've been thinking of sharing my impeccable musical taste with my devoted readers. Or rather, with my couple of devoted readers, half a dozen ambivalent lurkers, and people who drift in looking for kiddie porn (I knew I should never have let Michael Jackson post here). So earlier this week I scrolled through iTunes trying to work out how to choose from the 3000 or so songs on the hard drive. I tried to compile a playlist based on the letters of the alphabet; e.g. Ain't Misbehavin', Black Betty, Chuck E's in Love, etc. The choices were still too great. So I narrowed it down to an alphabetical listing of songs by Australian artists.

Bingo. Well, more or less. Absolutely no luck on X or Z, and a struggle with V. But as it happens a single CD doesn't have enough space for a complete A - Z, so I've only programmed A - U. Still, there are some pretty good songs, if I do say so myself, and often not the ones I would have chosen given free reign. There’s a mix of acoustic singer-songwriter stuff, sultry jazz, perky pop, hard drivin’ rock, DJ electronica, and other tunes that don’t really classify well. Three Perth bands are included, so there’s likely to be novelties even for other Australians.

So here's the deal. Email me (via my Profile if you don't already know it) with your preferred snail mail address and I'll send you a CD. In return, send me a CD sampler of your own favourite music.

Just think of it as a hardcopy of a podcast. Because I am a useless techno-weenie.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Love affair between polar bear and snowman ends in tragedy.


Monday, July 18, 2005


There is a certain class of writer and a certain idiom of writing that brings out the truly exquisite nature of the English language.

Even when it's just John Dolan bitchslapping Arundhati Roy.


I went to the Save The Children Fund book sale at UWA on Friday evening. It's an annual event that sets the area's biblionerds swarming like a cloud of well-read locusts.

To get the best books, you have to get there early, before it opens at 6pm, and stand in a line that stretches for several hundred metres. Tradition dictates that the first people in line are members of a local Science Fiction club, who claim their place in the early hours of the afternoon in order to be first to rush in and pick over the Sci Fi section, like fat, bearded, Princess Mononoke T-shirt-wearing seagulls.

I've done the lining up thing in my student days; this time I strolled in at 6.10pm. The mood in the throng isn't exactly cheerful, but neither is it hostile. It's tolerant, in the old fashioned, putting up with minor annoyances sense. Some of social niceties are lost, such as stepping aside to allow people to pass, or not hogging a space at an overcrowded table, but given that the people who do this don't give the impression of getting out of the house much, it's easy to be forgiving. There but for the grace of God and a well-developed case of Asperger's Syndrome go I.

I go as much for the people as the books. Rake-thin arts students in vintage jackets and wispy facial hair, thrifty suburban mothers buying piles of children's books, professorial gents pursuing a few tomes on their niche interests, wild-haired loons feverishly leafing through the psychology textbooks, well-bred retirees shuffling a little from late afternoon cocktails, Claremont matrons hunting down the one Maeve Binchy novel they haven't read yet... they're all there. Not surprisingly, although there's a vast range of ages and income levels, they're basically all from the upper echelons of the middle class.

This was borne out when I overheard one Western suburbs mother introducing her children to another. "This is Annabell," she said, "and this is Alexandra." It's a safe bet that in twenty years Annabell and Alexandra will be marrying boys named Hugo or Simon or James, and their class will continue in safe hands.


Public Notice

Will the person from Norway who came to Get On The Blandwagon after googling "Bollywood actress flab" please, please write and assure me that his or her search wasn't sexual in nature.

I beg you.

The Management

Saturday, July 16, 2005


‘Red Mini’

She drove a red Mini
Straight into my heart
She drove a red Mini
She had me from the start
And there was nothing I could do
It was a 1962
I’d never seen a car or girl like this before.

A car went by me
It was very fast
It was a little Morris Minor
It was red and it oozed class
When I caught up to her
I turned to see
A pretty girl was driving
She was smiling straight at me.

And I was in love
I was in love.

The radio was on
It was blastin’ loud
And that pretty girl was listening
To 'How Soon Is Now'
She wound her window down
Said “Turn left here”
I did what I was told
Cos it was something that I wanted to hear.

Cos I was in love
I was in love.

And I can’t deny it
It was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen
And I got to drive it
It was the most beautiful,
The most beautiful
Beautiful machine.

She drove a red Mini
Straight into my heart
She drove a red Mini
She had me from the start
And there was nothing I could do
It was a 1962
I’d never seen a car or girl like this before.
No I’d never seen a car or girl like this before
No no no I’d never seen a car or girl like this before.

I heard this song by Perth band Sunline on Base FM as I was driving to work, and I think it’s safe to say that it is the most cheerful song ever composed by a human being. I liked it so much I went into 78 Records on Saturday morning and bought their EP.

As a former Mini driver, I also have to salute their priorities. Pretty girls are all well and good, but a red 1962 Mini is something special.

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Single men in short supply, survey finds.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005


From the front page of today's Australian; a caption under a photo of cyclist Mark French and his girlfriend smooching:

Mark French kisses his girlfriend, Melissa Turner

The Australian has a delightful but somewhat undergraduate sense of humour.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


In the bizarro-world that is the BBC, "terrorists" exist. They have training camps, they are a threat to Western civilisation, and they must be fought. But no one actually is a terrorist.

Least of all the individuals who "killed" dozens of "innocent" "civilians" on the London Underground.


My parents are attending a conference in New Zealand, and while they're away I'm looking after my mother's car. Fortunately for me my mother's car, which is mainly used for trips to supermarket and ferrying her grandchildren around, in a turbo-charged '99 Subaru WRX.

You don't so much drive a WRX as hang on to the steering wheel while it tries to launch itself into orbit. It takes a great deal of care to keep it under the speed limit, and even moderate pressure to the accelerator causes the turbo-charger to kick in with an enthusiastic "WheeeeeEEEEEEEEE!"... which is also the sound you make as it happens. It's great to drive, largely because if you do something stupid in it, all it takes is a little push with your right foot, and suddenly any unpleasantness is left several hundred metres behind you for other drivers to deal with. It's very liberating.

Sadly for this particular WRX, it's owned by my parents, who are pigs. I love them and all, but I have to be honest. When they handed it over the outside of the car was so dirty that there were actual stalactites of mud encrusted around the wheel arches, and even though I washed it last night, it needs to be washed again tonight to remove the dirt which loosened up and leached out of the joins and crevices in the first wash. Furthermore, cleaning it only reveals all the scratches and dints inflicted upon it, where my mother backed it into the trailer, or my sister's large, brainless dog head-butted it, or her kids opened the doors into the wall of the garage.

Inside the car the picture is even worse. Remnants of my dad's extra-strong mints lodged in the folds of the gearstick's leather boot, dirty teaspoons in the ashtray, receipts for groceries they bought two years ago on the floor, and a thick layer of dust on every horizontal surface save the seats... which are dotted with bits of chocolate and dried fruit juice that the grandchildren have ground into the upholstery.

Of course the only person properly appalled by this clear case of WRXual Abuse is yours truly, so I'm the one who has to clean it. It's disgusting, but when push comes to shove I don't really mind doing it. Blood is thicker than water, after all, even when that water consists of the hot tears of shame I shed for the suffering of a fine automobile. And a little bit of cleaning is a small price to pay for the opportunity to go "WheeeeeEEEEEEEEE!"

Monday, July 11, 2005


Scientists create dog capable of sniffing own butt.

long dog


Today is the first anniversary of the death of my second-favourite thing in the world: my bright yellow 1977 Leyland Mini convertible*.

I'd been at a small supper party with some friends, eating chocolate fondue and playing increasingly psychotic games of charades in an apartment in Claisebrook. I left around 12.40am on a bitterly cold Sunday morning, and my poor little car chugged and sputtered into life to carry me home.

I drove out onto Plain Street, then up onto the overpass that would take me onto the Graham Farmer Freeway. As I was driving up I saw the lights go green for the right turn I wanted to make, and I hoped they would stay green until I got there. Unfortunately I hadn't noticed another set of traffic lights before the ones I was looking at, and I had barely enough time to think, "What the hell is that car doing there?" before we collided. There was a terrific bang, the front of my car reared up at me, broken glass sprayed across my lap and the Mini was turned around by 90 degrees.

I sat there for quite a while, trying to take it in. My first thought was, "Well, this is not something that can be fixed with a bit of panel beating." My second thought was, "Am I hurt? No? Good." My third thought was, "Oh crap, this is just what I need," closely followed by, "I should really get out of this car in case it catches fire or explodes or something."

The other car was a black Holden Vectra with comparatively minor damage to the front passenger-side corner. The driver was a woman about my age, who didn't want to get out of her car for some reason. I think she was a lot more shaken than I was. The police arrived maybe two minutes after the accident - they'd just been cruising by on patrol. A few minutes later an ambulance turned up, but in my more flippant moments I think that may have been because Royal Perth Hospital is so close that they could hear the bang.

The Mini was towed off to my insurance company's lot and I was taken home by taxi. Despite my car's complete lack of safety equipment, I was perfectly unharmed except for a bruise on my thigh where the impact lifted me off the seat and banged me against the steering wheel, and a small graze on my elbow where it punched through the driver's side window. That, and the unpleasant case of delayed shock that hit me twelve hours later.

The insurance company wasted no time in declaring the Mini a write-off, and paid me out in less than a week. A week later I bought the Golf. Unlike the Mini, the Golf had an electric roof, a working heater, air conditioning and a rear demister. Unlike the Mini, the Golf didn't pull to the left, leak through the door seals, force freezing draughts onto my neck, have seatbelts that locked up or seats that had rusted into position.

But the Golf also doesn't have the distinctive rip-roaring sound in its exhaust that lead my ex-Flatmate to name my Mini 'Blat', a name which stuck like glue. Furthermore it doesn't corner like a go-cart, tear away from the lights like a berserk terrier, or cause complete strangers to smile and wave as I drive by.

I'm sorry I killed you, Blat, and I miss you terribly.


*My first-favourite thing in the world was my cat Pugwash, who died in 1998 and was, without any shadow of exaggeration, the Best Cat in the World. More on him some other time.

Friday, July 08, 2005


An old edition of a Lonely Planet Guide described London as being something we foreigners absorb long before we ever set eyes on it. Toychests around the world hold little replicas of its famous red double-decker buses. Mantle clocks sound the Westminster chimes. Nursery rhymes mention the bridges and cathedrals of the city. Children's books, from Paddington Bear to Harry Potter, make us aware of its streets and landmarks. As the birthplace of the Anglosphere London dwells in a unique place, far away yet intimate, in the minds of every English speaker.

Perhaps that's why it's these pictures that give me that cold little stab, more than those of crying commuters or harried policemen.



And I feel the same deep anger that I felt on September 11 2001 and October 12 2002.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Last night I had a perfect opportunity to hold a Festival of Bad Cinema and introduce some more people to the delights of Mystery Science Theater 3000. So I did. I may miss many opportunities in life, but not when they involve bad movies.

We started with the 'Girl in Gold Boots', a 1969 beatniksploitation dreck-fest ably excoriated by Mike and the robots. Michelle, a small town girl working in a diner called 'Eat' ("They forgot the ' Me'" - Tom Servo), dreams of being a dancer, and her complete and utter inability to dance is not going to stop her. She escapes her abusive father to run off to Hollywood with a greasy Tony Curtis-wannabe named Buz, who is given to pouring beer on bikers' hogs, robbing gas stations, and teleporting into scenes via the magic of shoddy editing.

Michelle and Buz are joined by Critter, a flowery prose-gushing drifter who owns a non-operational motorcycle called Traveller and plays the guitar about as well as Michelle dances. As young people are wont to do, they form a hostile love triangle and troop off to Hollywood, where an apparent crippling labor shortage allows them to all get jobs at the same sleazy nightclub.

The nightclub's star attraction is Buz's sister Joanie, who has evidently achieved notoriety by being the only person in the history of human movement with less dancing talent than Michelle. Given that Joanie is less a dancer than someone who has convulsive fits in front of a band, Michelle soon finds herself wearing the star gold boots and receiving adulation from the crowd, who are obviously whacked out on needle drugs and probably believe that her staccato shuddering is really a secret code conveying the secret to immortality, if only they can work out how to decipher it.

Speaking of the drugs, Buz has become Joanie's boyfriend's drug runner, while Critter has become a lowly janitor. It soon becomes apparent that all is not well in the land of sleazy nightclubs ("Man, even the sex and drug industry has a seamy side" - Mike); Joanie is taking pills that are destroying her "pretty mind", Buz has killed a man, and Critter has been reduced to singing bad love songs in the rain while being menaced by Michelle's giant, transparent, disembodied head.

After it all comes to its thrilling conclusion, in which Critter fights Buz, the nightclub owner and some sort of Armenian gangster in the kind of ferocious tussle rarely seen outside kindergarten playgrounds, Michelle realises that she'd rather marry Critter and live a wholesome life of strictly amateur dancing... at least until Critter is bundled off to 'Nam. Eh, no biggie. We leave her dancing and him singing on the beach, wondering where life is going to take them.

According to IMDB, it took Michelle to such films as 'Blood Orgy of the She Devils', 'Guess What Happened to Count Dracula?' and her final film, 1975's 'Death Race 2000'. As for Critter, it took him precisely nowhere; he never worked again.

It's a terrible film, but a great MST3K. It features some of the funniest ever skits between scenes, during which Mike sings a sad ballad while the robots battle a fire, Pearl tries to get her Mad Scientist accreditation, and Crow becomes a tabletop-dancing stripper. I'm pleased to report that the MST3K newbies in the audience were so wracked and bent over with laughter that, at certain moments, in the dim light, they almost looked like Michelle dancing.

After some restorative drinks, we segued into David Cronenberg's 1981 effort 'Scanners', which was about people with mysterious mental powers battling the guy who voiced Sam Fisher in 'Splinter Cell'. In its day, 'Scanners' was famous for it's then-cutting edge 'exploding heads' special effects, but it turns out that only one guy had his head go bang, and he looks uncomfortably like Frank Oz, so it's all a bit of a let down.

1981 is a year that will bring back fond memories for anyone who's ever had to renovate a kitchen or bathroom from that era. Basically, 1981 was the Year of Red. Glossy, unbroken, B-R-I-G-H-T red. It keeps popping up like a zombie everyone thought was dead, but isn't. Everything's off-white and grey and beige and camel and then BAM! Red formica like a countertop from HELL! Hall carpet like a river of blood! It's no wonder the characters spent most of their time stumbling about in a daze.

Between the assaults of the couleur de jour, the plot is as follows: hero Cameron Vaile is dragged away from his fulfilling career as a homeless person by representatives of a mysteriously generic corporation. He is told that he is a Scanner, which is presumably shorthand for Person with Gnarly Mental Powers That Can Cause Nosebleeds, Make An Annoying Whining Sound, And Cause Frank Oz's Head To Explode. He is recruited by a scientist working for the corporation to track down and stop a renegade Scanner named, of all things, Daryl. Shenanigans ensue, including, but not limited to, the acquisition of a love interest whose eyes are permanently half-closed (probably because she's wearing about thirteen kilograms of bright orange eyeshadow), a ride in a school bus that crashes into a record store, a psychic interaction with a mainframe (because, as the scientist notes, computers have nervous systems just like people) and a spot of self-immolation.

Whether the ending is a happy one or not isn't the point - the point is that it ended, and we were all free from its tyranny.

None of it really made much sense, but that's the early 80s for you. Coherence was for squares.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


For just US$215, you too can dress like a crazy homeless Wookiee living behind a 7-11.


Also useful for all those occasions when you want to impersonate Cousin It and Bob Marley at the same time.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


People smugglers getting more creative, say immigration officials.

big turban

Monday, July 04, 2005


I've been wanting to have a Festival of Bad Cinema for a while, but the logistics have been difficult. I did manage to catch the 1964 version of 'The Masque of the Red Death', a Roger Corman effort that the master really poured his heart into. This is evidenced by the fact that it took five weeks to film rather than his usual three.

Vincent Price is there, as usual, in the character of evil Prince Prospero, stalking about with a grim little smirk as if secretly delighted by the ham and schlock that surrounds him. Paul McCartney's ex-girlfriend Jane Asher is the innocent virgin whom Vincent seeks to corrupt, although she spends most of her time skittering around in a hairstyle that even Dolly Parton would consider too over-the-top, looking dumbstruck. Meanwhile Hazel Court is the older, rather less virginal concubine, who divides her time between nagging Prospero to ease off on the innocent virgins and nagging Satan to become his bride.

There's also an uncomfortable piece of casting in the relationship between an ambitious dwarf and a midget dancer. The dwarf is fine, but Roger obviously couldn't find a female midget to play the dancer, so he got a little girl for the role. It's quite unsettling to see a dwarf discussing his romantic intentions with a six year old girl, especially when that six year old girl's voice has been edited out and replaced with that of a mature woman.

There's not much to say about the plot, because even the Edgar Allan Poe original didn't really have one. "Bloke is brought down by hubris" pretty much covers it. Roger threw in some Satan worship and a romantic subplot between a couple of villagers, but all that does is prolong things. From the outset, even the dimmest viewer knows that they're all just biding their time waiting for the Red Death.

Overall, for a piece of Bad Cinema, it was pretty good. Nice sets (left over from a completely different movie), florid overacting, and plenty of opportunities for Hazel Court to brandish her cleavage at anyone who gets in her way. And in my opinion any film that features Patrick McGee in a gorilla suit being set on fire by a dwarf is well worth eighty nine minutes of my time.

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Ah, another cold, leaden mid-Winter's day in Western Australia.


However do we cope?

Friday, July 01, 2005


Police uncover the grisly truth behind Elmo's disappearance.