Monthly Archives: October 2014
SNOWY SHAW INKS EXCLUSIVE DEAL WITH MAILORDER GIANT !
Extraordinary news is coming today from Snowy Shaw ! He has just announced that he has signed an exclusive European deal with the biggest European mailorder company EMP for the sale of his LIVE DVD/CD double pack release “The Liveshow: 25 Years Of Madness In The Name Of Metal”.
Snowy Shaw about this exclusive deal : “We have just signed an exclusive deal with the mighty EMP, the biggest mailorder company in Europe by far. With my brand new Live DVD/CD Box we are the first band/artist ever to do so and I’d be lying to you if I’d say I didn’t feel a sense of “Fuck yeah!” as I like to think of myself as the breaker of rules and stinky old conventions. Then I learnt I was actually preceded by my former employer King Diamond and Mercyful Fate so you could say it runs in the family, but nevertheless in this day and age, it’s all about thinking out of the box. As a dissident misfit I always have been, so you can’t force me into that box, but you can now go ahead and order my brand new Live DVD/CD Box “The Liveshow: 25 Years Of Madness In The Name Of Metal”. – Happy Halloween!”
The Live DVD/CD has been released through Wunderwurld Music, Snowy’s new label/production company.
“The Liveshow” DVD/CD includes more than 3 hours of amazing, high quality material, recorded on two special theatrical shows, and featuring very special guests from KING DIAMOND,MERCYFUL FATE, MEMENTO MORI, ILLWILL, OPERA DIABOLICUS and Snowy’s backing band featuring lead guitarist Kristian Niemann (THERION), Mannequin De Sade III (NOTRE DAME, ENGEL), Mark U Black (DREAM EVIL) and Vikki Valkyrie (ICE AGE). “The Liveshow” has a one of a kind track listing, as except playing own originals, SNOWY SHAW performed with his band all his personal favorites from his former bands, incl. classics such as “Eye Of The Witch”, “Halloween” and “Sleepless Nights” (KING DIAMOND), “Evil” and “Black Funeral” (MERCYFUL FATE), “The Book Of Heavy Metal” (DREAM EVIL), “To Mega Therion” (THERION) or “The Serpentine Offering” (DIMMU BORGIR) and a helluva lot more, in a truly theatrical way.
The recordings took place during 2 live-shows :
May 27, 2011 – Brewhouse – Gothenburg – Sweden
Nov 3, 2012 – Sparbankshallen – Varberg – Sweden
Filmed by :
Patric Ullaeus Of Revolver Film Company and Rino Hemstad & Co.
Music mixed and mastered by :
Andy La Rocque & Snowy Shaw at Sonic Train Studios
Special Guests :
David Grimoire & Adrian De Crow (Opera Diabolicus)
Mary Ann Cotton
Track list DVD :
DVD ACT I
01. Dracula Sucks!
04. Book Of Heavy Metal
05. Black Funeral
07. Whether With Or Without
08. Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse
09. Seeds Of Hatred + drum solo
10. I Want You To Want Me.
DVD ACT II
01. Serpentine Offering
02. Blacksmith & Co
03. Man Or Mouse
04. Bouffon Bloody Bouffon
05. Eye Of The Witch
06. Sleepless Nights
08. Welcome Home
09. The Medley
· behind the scenes
Track list CD (different than the DVD):
01. Singh Hai
02. Come To The / Sabbat
03. The Fashionista
04. The Dimmu Medley
05. Unguentum Sabbati
06. Dusk + Le Theatre Du Vampire
07. The Book Of Heavy Metal
08. Typhon / Drum solo
09. Vlad The Impaler
10. To Mega Therion
11. Blood Countess Bathory
Follow SNOWY SHAW through these sites :
Buenos días mis amigos. I have just this very minute finished watching the new film The Book of Life starring Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana and Channing Tatum. It is produced by Guillermo del Toro and directed by Jorge Gutierrez and is a burrito shaped Kaleidoscope of colour, music, energy and loveliness. Which is terrible because reviewing films that are good, is so much harder than simply hating them.
A bus full of cartoon children arrives at a museum and are greeted by a sexy cartoon lady called Mary Beth (Christina Applegate), she steals an illusionary trick from Labyrinth, or Dark Crystal or one of those, and takes the children into a dark back room where she explains the various stories of Mexican mythology to them. The story of the film revolves around some easily merchandisable toy dolls that she happens to have near by.
The story is a love story, and concerns two small boys and a young girl and eventually an amusing pig with an amusing bark. The boys, Manolo and Joaquín are in love. Not with each other, but with the prettiest girl in town María (Saldana). The reason Christina Applegate shows them the lives of these two young boys and their potential wife is due to two gods. They have an interest in the affairs of humans as they enjoy betting on events. The Ruler of the Land of the Remembered is La Muerte (Kate del Castillo) who is the wife or something of Xibalba: ruler of the Land of the Forgotten (Ron Perlman). They are basically in charge of a kind of mexican heaven where everyone is a mexican skeleton or a hellish mexican dusty man. One of the things I liked about this film is that the two opposing forces aren’t particularly good or evil. The ‘bad’ guy is a charming but mischievous character, and though he tells fibs you don’t get the feeling that he’s deluded enough to think he’s gonna get away with anything, and he doesn’t do very much harm, except a couple of brief temporary murders.
Manolo, descended from nothing but bullfighters but with a passion for Indie Rock from the 90s and 00s is representing the passionate romantic kinda guy that love Radiohead covers more than watching bulls being killed into tacos. Joaquín also represents an attractive man archetype but has a magic evil medal that protects him from harm but doesn’t protect him from being a sexist prick from time to time in place of genuine charm. The kind’ve person who would definitely but his cock in your face while you were asleep, but you wouldn’t be able to bring yourself to be annoyed at him.
It was around this time that my days of working too much started to catch up on me, my friend who I watch these things with hadn’t made it so I had no one with me. Usually there’s someone with me to ensure that I’d be too embarrassed to fall asleep in case I drool on them. From here on in the film is five times as colourful as ever before, Danny Trejo appears at one point because it’s a film about mexicans and then Ice Cube appears as an amusing but disappointing cameo as a friendly yellow santa man with a beard made out of clouds. It felt miscast for me. Primarily because I can’t figure out why anyone on Mexico would fabricate a religion with a token black guy playing the unusual role of token white guy in an otherwise predominantly Mexican heaven.
I’m not sure what happened at the end really as I say I started to dribble and black out but I assume it was a happy ending, and I left feeling like it was an animated, good natured love story with a supernatural twist aimed at neither adults or children in particular. Like Hugo or [some sort’ve lazy pedophile joke]. I get the feeling it’s called the Book of Life, and not the ballad of Maria and Her Two Stalkers so they can have a different story for a sequel which I would welcome. Kids are idiots but this film was awesome.
Era Muy Bueno.
Just released on blu-ray is the new sketch show come feature film Movie 43. It stars an obscene amount of people you’ve probably heard of including Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone,Kristen Bell, and Kate Winslet among others. The film is, as I’ve mentioned, a group of comedy shorts starring people significantly more famous than what you’d see on BBC3. A bit like a high production value of Saturday Night Live.
A bit of research will tell you that practically none of the cast, if not all of, did not want to be in the film and had signed on prematurely and got guilted into it later. Richard Gere did everything he could to get dropped from the film and other actors denied flat out when asked to be involved such as George Clooney when he replied with the very direct “No fucking way”. It has been described as “The Citizen Kane of awful” and though I struggle to take peoples advice on what films I should watch based on their merits I am always startlingly intrigued by a film that’s famous for it’s terrible quality. Anyway sketch by sketch, here is some of the more memorable parts and some of my favourite parts of Movie 43.
The framing device for the UK version of Movie 43 is one of the weakest parts of the film in which a couple of stoned out morons make a youtube video which gets an obscene amount of views in a very small period of time. It turns out to be the little brother, who is a tech genius, playing a prank with a fake youtube page and they get irate. In response they make up a movie and challenge the little genius to find it for them, this is merely a distraction device so they can download a lot of viruses onto the kids computer as a revenge tactic.. This leads to him ploughing through a collection of ‘banned’ short films. It’s a means to an end and doesn’t overly entertain, unless you play ‘smoke-along-with Calvin and J.J’ then it might be funny.
Beth (Kate Winslet) is a woman, who is suffering from being over worked and under penetrated and her desperation has overflowed until her friends have insisted on setting her up on a blind date with a man so attractive that it seems that coffee tables could get aroused and impregnated just by having him set a mug on them. The gentleman in question is called ‘Davis’ and is played by Hugh Jackman, he is undeniably perfect and for some reason single and Beth can’t believe her luck. She finds fault with him though as he whips off his scarf a big manscaped set of testicles are revealed to be permanently dangling from his throat and for some reason Beth is the only person noticing them. It’s an okay joke, and seems to end just before it gets over used, when he sets his neck-testicles (or nesticles) onto a baby’s head or into Beths face while posing for a photo, its funny, but in a silly way. It feels like an adult cartoon, the kind of thing South Park would have done at the start of their journey all those years ago.
Sweet and innocent girls don’t sleep with their boyfriends until they are seriously invested in a relationship. In a parody of this traditional rom-com trope, the girl Julie decides she is ready to invite her boyfriend Doug to poop on her as a demonstration of her love for him. He doesn’t seem one hundred percent comfortable with discovering his girlfriend is a coprophiliac though he decides, after some friendly advice to eat a lot of mexican food and to down a bottle of laxative to help him perform under pressure. She doesn’t appreciate his eagerness, caused by a turd equivalent of premature ejaculation, and she runs out. Chasing after her he gets hit by a car and explodes the contents of his bowels across the street and pulls out a wedding ring and proposes.
This sketch is low, degrading, disgusting and childish and for some reason one of my favourites despite most of my viewing time having been spent behind my hands so as not to see any sort’ve conclusion. It’s the kind’ve sketch that would’ve been thrown together by an improv group made up of five year old boys.
Superhero speed dating
This is basically batman and robin speed dating, it seems like an interesting premise, but it felt to me like one of the most tedious and lazy sketches in the whole thing. I didn’t realise how much I hated it until I was in a different room weeping into old issues of DC comics and apologising to them for what I had witnessed. Fast forward the crap out’ve this one.
Now the whole film is very hit and miss, just like any sketch show, the only thing it has over a normal sketch show is the budget and the quality of acting, however here are my top three sketches in reverse order of how much shit they weren’t.
3. Middleschool Date
A young girl, while making out on the sofa with her boyfriend, suddenly gets her period for the first time causing all the men in the house to freak out in different ways. Her boyfriend for example is too young to have attended sex education classes or to have seen the first few scenes of Stephen King’s Carrie and thinks she is dying. It’s funny and awkward and is probably better after a lot of illegal green leaves but was entertaining anyway.
2. Happy birthday
This one features Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville. The basic premise is that Knoxville’s character Pete has kidnapped a Leprechaun as a present to Seann’s character Brian for his birthday. The reason being that if you capture a Leprechaun he will give you a big pot of gold. Or so the story goes.
Eventually the phone rings and another leprechaun has called threatening to do horrible things to Seann and Johnny due to the kidnapping of his brother. Eventually the other one is convinced to come up with the gold in exchange for their tiny prisoner. This turns out to be a trap and involves a lot of over the top silly violence. My favourite bit is the end so I’ll leave that to you to discover as it feels like the punchline one of those jokes you would’ve been sent as a “Subject:FWD:FWD:FWD:great joke” in the mid nineties and works well, and also the torture scene of a mystical creature has its merits because of how terrifying those little guys are.
1. Truth or Dare
This is the only real reason to watch this film as it is easily the best sketch wherein Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant are on a date (which could easily be the best joke in the film) and to avoid a stale ‘first date’ vibe they decide to dare each other to do increasingly awful things. The only sketch I laughed out loud at.
The best reason to watch this film is sheer curiosity. It raises a philosophical question ‘Can a film really deserve a positive rating of 4% on RottenTomatoes.com if it’s not directed by Uwe Boll?’
It’s fair to say that I’ve had less fun watching some blockbusters but I’ve also had more fun pulling my fingernails out with a set of Games Workshop pliers, so I’ll leave this up to your personal opinion. I think it’s probably a good one to watch drunk or otherwise inebriated and may become a cult classic.
by David Roberts
Out now on the blu rays and the deeveedees is a new old timey war film about people who were real but not actually in the war and did good things but were actually all a wee bit boring. Welcome onto the stage that is your life ‘Monument Men’, starring the kind’ve people who usually make good films like Bill Murray, George Clooney, Matt Damon and other people that you won’t be able to figure out where you know them from but you will know they are very famous.
The film is about the end of world war II when the Nazzees were starting to lose a bit and they started stealing and burning all the art in the world, with the theory that if you erase someones history you erase their identity. True enough. The Nazzees were well ahead of their time before the internet existed already clearing their history so no one knew what they were up to. The problem is there is so much story to tell that they never get to the point of telling any of it. If I didn’t already agree that preserving art and history is important, I would not have been convinced by the film, fining myself siding more often with the generals who were standing confused about why these ‘soldiers’ were bothering them.
The ‘side quest’ for Matt Damon is to go and seduce Cate Blanchett a superb actress that is used dreadfully here with a french accent akin to a Pépé le pew cartoon and I was absolutely blown away by her mediocrity and lack of chemistry with Damon’s character.
Monuments men struggles with the common problem of trying to be lighthearted while discussing a heavy subject, without becoming a parody so it’s message gets across. From castle, to pit, to grave, to cathedral, to casual murder, to scene about smoking you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing or feeling at an point and are left confused. The film plays like an episode of the fast show, with little explanation or dialogue per scene, the few scenes that are at a healthy length have tension and are engrossing but they are far apart and they only disappoint by reminding you how good the film could’ve been if it had been a little bit more structured.Nothing particularly wrong with it, nothing particularly good either. As with a lot of films in this vain I was left with the generic feeling that the Nazzees were bad and the Allies were good and not much else but it was a light hearted way to kill an afternoon and it’s nice seeing Bill Murray no matter what the situation is, even if he was telling me I had colon cancer, I think it would be oddly calming.
Like a lot of ghost stories Mama is a veiled cautionary tale. This one is a much needed negative take on why you shouldn’t brutally murder your wife kids.
The film starts off with a man taking his kids away because their mother is sick, which I soon discovered meant ‘shot in the temple’, and unintentionally drives them off a cliff with absolutely no damage to any of them except one lens in Victoria’s glasses gets kind’ve broken. If you dropped ice cream, sponge, fruit cocktail and cream from that distance, and then climbed down to get it, you’d find by the time you got there that you had aged 40 years and died in a trifle. What I’m saying is, it’s a long way down and the kids should’ve resembled the slop that butchers throw out at the end of the day.
As they walk about in the wintery woods they come across a cabin and and they chat briefly in what is to be their final moments before an evening of filicide. The script for the ‘child-speak’ for the girls conversation with their father made them out to be alternately stupider than any child I’ve ever met, and they’re all pretty thick really, and more insightful than a particularly insightful psychic who has just finished a degree in insightfulness.
I’m gonna take a step back and put this scene in perspective better than the film does itself. Back in the late 19th Century a woman, seemingly mental, runs into an orphanage with a spiky knitting needle and chooses the closest nun she can find and stabs her half to death with it so she can kidnap the baby the nun happened to be holding. She obviously wanted to skip over the forms and police background checks for adopting the traditional way. It’s probably safe to assume she would’ve failed the background checks because of her predilection to murdering members of the church at the drop of a hat.
She then runs away, jumps off a cliff and accidentally loses the baby to an unfortunately grabby branch that catches it on the way down as she falls to her death in a pond. Angry that she never got to have her child she comes back as a ghost, still mad and still a bitch. This ghost then greedily adopts the two young girls Victoria and Lily, though technically saving them from their fathers hand gun, feeding them endless cherries after sucking off their Father’s skin and sticking him in an Hungarian Goulash that she’s preparing I imagine. It actually seems very tense and the use of Victorias short sightedness to slightly blur out the intricate details of what is happening to her Dad is very clever. At this point I am not on the edge of my seat but not sitting comfortably either.
Years later they are discovered all feral and for some reason have the ability to move faster than any other mammal on earth. The wee kid, Lily freaks my face right off my skull though I don’t know why and I’m never quite scared enough as I’d like to be. I get more scared reading my bank statement. As the plot progresses the girls get adopted by their cool uncle and his pedophobe girlfriend, who due to the ramblings of a pug-faced bitch in court, have had to put their life away and move to a big house where they can be kept under surveillance by a therapist. Yeah that bit doesn’t make much sense in the film either.
There is one really, really, really brilliant scene, which causes me to think the whole film was made so this scene could be created, where you see one girl fighting over a blanket with what appears to be her sister off camera, until every other member of the house congregates in the hall to the left of her room, never quite showing you ‘Mama’ but implying it brilliantly, like the way the first Texas Chainsaw Massacre implied most of the violence and let you make it worse in your head. If I was more impulsive I probably would’ve clapped and cheered and even written a letter commending the directors efforts on this scene alone.
The therapist meets his maker in a way which makes you not feel sorry for him at all, as he goes looking ON HIS OWN for a GHOST at NIGHT in a CABIN IN THE WOODS. Now I’m sure even if you’d never seen a film in your life you absolutely wouldn’t do that because you are definitely going to end up, at the very least being sodomised to death by an eight foot translucent headless lumberjack.
Cool uncle guy, and pug-faced bitch woman come face to face with Mama, and neither really leave the interaction with their organs in the right places, raising the question of why she avoids human contact some of the time and brutally murders or maims people the rest of the time. As a ghost she changes her mood quite a lot and gets unnecessarily aggressive and mood swingy for no reason.
It becomes so bloody boring from here on in, the last ten minutes of the film feel like an outtake from a discarded Harry Potter spin off, or from a fan-made Underworld sequel. The whole film never quite seems to get to where it’s going and it just ends so suddenly and with no logical thought. A bit like if I ended this review thusly.
And they all lived happily accedence pervert binge fort.
by David Roberts
Out on blu ray this month is the biopic of Linda Lovelace the first ‘proper’ porn star, famous for her role in ‘Deepthroat’ (nothing to do with Richard Nixon probably) and her terrible life that revolved around her boyfriend at the time encouraging her to do things she doesn’t want to do with emotional blackmail and putting a gun in her face.
The film commences like a much darker version of Footloose, where an oppressive religious family tighten the reigns too much on their daughter who goes a bit off the rails in rebellion after having been pregnant as a youth. One day while out at a roller disco like everyone else in the 1970s Linda finds herself entranced by a man named Chuck, being played by the evil twin brother of Hyde from that 70s show. Dr Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde hahah. Anway, Linda and her friend talk themselves into acting as gogo dancers for the band that are playing at the time, shaking their booty and whatnot as dictated by KC and the sunshine band et al.. Chuck does a perfectly normal thing for a creepy stalking sadist and waits for the two young girls outside.
They take a trip to the beach in the middle of the night and Linda concerned that she is a ‘drag’ finds herself easily seduced by the charming, absolutely definite rapist that is Chuck, but broken hearts can be easily mended by rapey-glue, which I suppose is semen mixed with cocaine and things progress.
Almost at montage rate she invites Chuck to her house for dinner, gets slapped by her mum for being late, gets married to Chuck and moves out, they make passionate love, or whatever, in their honeymoon suite. Chuck talks Linda through the more experimental arts of sexual performance at this point, mainly stirring her stomach contents with his penis. (And in real life outside of this film apparently getting up to no good with some actual dogs). He gets arrested for a vague reason and encourages his blushing bride to bail him out and then throws a shit fit and moans about money. It’s at this moment you realise he might be a triumphant terrible bastard, as our beautiful Linda, who I appear to be falling in love with more and more as I type, suddenly ends up auditioning for a porn film, which she gets by the traditional job interview trick of showing her ingesting a phallus on the wall. I’m not 100% sure but I think that’s how I got this job writing reviews.
The film with which she is starring in, as Linda Lovelace, is the now infamous ‘Deepthroat’ which is being financed by Mr. Big from Sex in the City.
Screeeeeeech. Hold up, re-rewind.
It’s at this point that the veil is lifted and you see a few of the early scenes in context which moves Chuck from being a creepy guy to a confirmed scumbag, raping Linda on their wedding night, knocking fifty shades of gray out’ve her and literally selling her into a gang rape at gun point in a seedy hotel. No Bueno.
Chuck, you may decide, needs a dose of your sawing arm, and you’d be correct, as he has been writing her autobiography for her, making it sound like she loves nothing more than a Chuck Fuck, and selling sex toys under her name, ‘handling her finances’ and making sure she has absolutely no freedom. Mix in the world of terror that is her mother insisting ‘she stands by her man’ due to the marriage vows. Strong christian overtones involved her mother basically saying it was her fault that she got a raping and handed her a vibrator and told her to go fuck herself…figuratively.
Hugh Hefner is a sleazy rapist as well, everyone pretty much is except Mr. Big, he’s just a business man with a hint of sleaze, but he starts flexing his sawing arm and whips Chuck within an inch of his life with a belt as punishment for what he did to poor lovely Linda Lovelace.
It then shows everything works out ok for her and she is completely happy in her new life until she gets hepatitis from a blood transfusion and dies.
So Lovelace is dark, depressing and sobering and I’d be surprised if you could even successfully complete a wank over the film Deepthroat ever again. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sleep with my girlfriend ever again…even if she was still alive and not slowly decaying in my chest freezer. Aw well. Goodnight.
by David Roberts
I recently finished off a jar of nutella and it sat in my cupboard for about a week, it wasn’t until a few days later when I decided to fire a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream into it and sprinkle it with grated Caramacs that I discovered what angels tasted like and took one more glorious dander towards heart failure and diabetes. I don’t need to tell you that the best things for you in one way are always bad for you in another. I’m sure there are many people out there insisting that their honey chilli four bean salad followed by their afternoon jog is one of the most exhilarating experiences they’ve had since they got off the toilet for the third time since 9am. I however prefer a small tub of heavenly goodness with Nutella written on its outside and watching a film with practically no moral worth and no logical inspiration.
The Last stand is a film featuring Arnold Shwarzenegger, and it’s sort’ve a mixture between a western and a rather low budget version of any cop show you’ve ever seen. The film is about a guy, Gabriel Cortez, who is a dangerous mexican drug lord and has escaped the custody of the FBI while being transferred to another prison and he has plans to cross the Mexican Border to safety of his drugs, cartels and money. If this happens half as much in real life as it does in films they should probably come to an agreement where they are allowed to arrest dangerous criminals even if they have nipped over that bridge.
The Governator comes into it as he is the sheriff of a small town quite near the mexican border but that traditionally you wouldn’t be able to cross due to the massive gap between the america and mexico part of the landscape. The friends of the naughty Gabriel Cortez have built a bridge and murdered their way into position to assist in his escape. Gabriel needs to get from one place to another with Arnie in the middle. That pretty much is the entire plot.
After having recently watched Stallone’s new film, it’s probably fair to say that they are going to be compared to each other at some point. Arnie’s strength comes from his acceptance of his age as an actor. Stallone, while not bad in Bullet to the head, was telling everyone to forget that he’d aged at all since Rocky and just made another 80s film but in the 2010s, whereas Arnie plays a man who used to do ‘Arnie style things’ all the time but has since become too old to participate, and has semi-retired lest he snaps in two trying to hold a mini gun in one hand.
Johnny Knoxville plays the same character as he always does which is a watered down version of himself, but it would be unfair to say that I didn’t enjoy his character, he’s a bit mental in all the fun ways and I’m glad he was in it, which is an unusual experience for me.
The film itself is almost like two different films going on at once, a rather serious minded cop show, with the lead agent suffering from the same disease that makes Keanu Reeves whisper even when he’s shouting in every film except Bill and Ted. The other film is like Dr. Quinn Medicine woman with Arnie playing Dr. Quinn. I loved the over the top violence in this episode of Dr. Quinn, someone actually explodes until the arms are in different parts of town, and an old lady shoots someone to death in her house very much resulting in my pleasure. I have two different rating systems when deciding on whether or not I like a film the traditional star rating system and my infrequently used but preferred ‘Holy Fuck’ system, which only gets carted out providing I have actually uncontrollably screamed these two words at the television at some point throughout. Dollhouse season 2 got a 5 star ‘Holy Fuck’ rating and Law Abiding Citizen got at least 3. I would say this film warrants a 2 or 3 and that’s special.
Arnie’s one liners rattle away inside you like a nostalgia moth caught in a jar, they are hideously bad and gloriously good at the same time. A bit like if you stumbled across and original Golden Wonder Pot Noodle in a shop somewhere. His casual disregard of rules to do what needs to be done is always fun to watch as he blatantly ignores Knoxville explaining to him that the massive mini-gun that has just been unveiled before him is about as legal as the copy of the film you are probably downloading.
Twists. Turns. Explosions. Blood and ridiculous lines, it has everything you want from and 80s throwback film and it’s just a damn good fun film and I heartily suggest it for anyone who loves really great really awful things.
by David Roberts
The Last of Us, released on PS3 this month is a beautifully wrapped gift courtesy of Naughty Dog. It is a survival horror of sorts, based around your character Joel transporting a young girl called Ellie across America. Set primarily twenty years after a viral outbreak has left the world in a post apocalyptic state, The Last of Us is the greatest thing that has ever happened.
The game begins with you in control of Sarah, Joel’s daughter at the dawn of the viral outbreak. The world starts crumbling down around you, in an obscenely realistic fashion with little details such as news reports on the television and distant explosions really giving you a feeling that you are playing in a real world. The virus in question is a human strain of cordyceps, a sinister, creepy fungus that attacks the brain causing the people involved to go completely mental and start attacking everything. If you truly want to shit yourself, watch this video that inspired it, as it is all very real.
Twenty years later a ragged more world weary version of Joel has to transport Ellie who is seemingly immune to the virus to a place where she can be analysed to see if a vaccine can be backwards engineered. That’s pretty much the plot in a nut shell. The game is outstanding and beyond my ability to write about, you really have to play this game immediately. Play the first twenty minutes of this game and you will be hooked and will probably cry just a little. It really is incomparably brilliant. Honestly, stop reading this and go and buy a PS3 if you don’t have one right now. Sell your shoes if you have to, you will never need to leave the house again so you wont need them.
In the early stages of the game you will find yourself coming in contact with two different kinds of absolute terror. The first are runners, they are essentially angry, fast and violent versions of humans, and they are quite allergic to bullet wounds to the face. The second are clickers, they can’t see because the mushrooms have grown all over their faces but they will click constantly using echolocation to navigate, and are much harder to kill. After an hour or so with those guys the clicking noise becomes a new language of fear. As soon as you hear it, your subconscious understands the clicks as a coded message. This message is interpreted by your heart as a command to stop, your bladder and bowels are commanded to release and your eyes are commanded to weep. Unfortunately this isn’t the half of it.
I remember watching a trailer for it last year and it showed Joel and Ellie simply running forwards climbing over things and then doing that over and over again, and it seemed genuinely uneventful. One thing you can’t grasp from watching someone else play it however, is the unbearable tension throughout all of these moments. Having to avoid human guards or human scavengers, both who will shoot you until you become meat confetti without a moments thought, usually stay above ground. The infected are more likely to be underground but not definitely, leaving you very uncertain about your safety at any moment. The second you feel like you’re safe you can relax and enjoy hunting for bullets, or pausing the game and apologising to your neighbours for screaming in terror constantly for the past four hours at three in the morning. This furthers the effect of its realism, the genuine feeling of relief whenever you have cleared a sewer of infected people leaves you praying that you wont come across anymore anytime soon.
Another thing you probably wont get from watching videos is the relationship you as a human-being have with Ellie the computer generated fictional character. If you run off and leave her when you are both surrounded by clickers she is definitely going to die by having her tonsils eaten from the outside in. It makes good gaming sense to stay as close to her as possible, but this is not the reason you will do it, you will genuinely start to care about and worry for Ellie’s safety, her wellbeing becomes important to you, and I find myself engaging in optional conversations whenever she seems worried.
The stats upgrade system is great, the customisable weapon systems are great, the crafting section is great, the plot, the characters, the acting, the music is all fantastic. Is there anything bad about this game? This game that I can’t even part with for a minute without wondering if it’s ok? Yeah sure, of course there is. The sound cuts out every now and then for no reason and sometimes the AI does silly things. The absolute worst thing that it did to me was end. Yeah sure this isn’t massively critical but I love this game more than anything. I suggest you buy one for everyone you know and love, and if there’s anyone you know and hate, make sure to tell them the ending, break their PS3 or sneak into their house and steal their copy because it is an absolute must play.
There is no flag big enough, no word limit long enough, no internet vast enough for me to describe properly just how brilliant this is. I suppose I could tattoo it on the moon, or I could just do a Santa and sneak into peoples houses and leave a copy of it by their bed. I know I’m starting to sound a little like a cult leader here, but I think I know how new fathers feel when they say that they didn’t want kids until they had one now they can’t imagine life without them, because when I first saw the trailer for The Last of Us, I thought it was going to be shit.
But it’s not it’s great.
Go buy it right now.
by David Roberts
Have you ever really wanted to know what happened during Allen Ginsberg’s college years? Have you ever really wanted to see how the relationship between him, Lucien Carr, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs blossomed? Have you ever really wanted to see Daniel Radcliffe masturbating furiously in front of a typewriter or being sodomised semi-lovingly by a strange man? Of course you have and despite the knife wound to the childhood of Harry Potters fans, you would and should enjoy Kill Your Darlings. If you love beat poetry, or even just the film On the Road or even just good cinema you should watch this film. Essentially just a story about a few friends trying to make a difference in the world, this just happens to be a few friends who did make a difference to the world.
Allen Ginsberg (Radcliffe) years before he wrote ‘Howl’ has just been accepted into University and though he doesn’t want to leave his sick mother his father (David Cross) encourages him to go and to learn. In a role that has strange echoes of my own, he arrives all optimistic and ready to learn and with a love for school until he meets a young arian chap named Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan). Lucien is a bit of a knob and you’d definitely hate him if he was in your school, but he has a similar outlook on life to Ginsberg, which is a hatred of what is normal, and the hatred of rules, for rules sake.
I’ve always shared their thoughts on this but also have my own rules that I can’t comfortably break. Creative writing, and art can never truly be taught in my opinion as much as encouraged so what these guys did was very important, very needed. Though they at the time reeked of rebellion, it was rebellion for a reason, a need to express themselves not a self-absorbed rebellion based in a proud lack of empathy. Too many people nowadays will find themselves claiming they do what they want and that they don’t care how it affects others like it’s something to be proud of. They completely misunderstand the nature of rebellion which is to make the world realise it’s stupid and become a better place. These guys rebelled against literary and creative repression, Miley Cyrus is rebelling against what people thought she was so that she can make more money, or spend a longer time in the limelight, this is all about her and nothing to do with art.
This film is a tribute to the genius that was these men and it needs to be seen and they need to be held in the esteem today that they were held in before it is a fabulous film and it if nothing else it reminds us that there was a time when people gave a shit about poetry and literature and it was the adults, the boring people that like the emotionless nonsense, the ‘pop’ society and it was the young children that realised that was not the way it was meant to be, that lives were to be lived and recorded with beautiful words.
So go watch this film and remember these people helped create the world you live in, and shaped it so the entertainment you can enjoy would be allowed to be made.