Friday 3 April 2009

Portmanteau Emptiness

A search for portmanteau horror proved fruitless today. Among the titles I was after, Dr Terror's House of Horror, The Vault of Horror, The House that Dripped Blood and Tales from the Crypt, I found absolutely no trace at the only HMV I was able to get to (i.e. park free) except for an empty place card for Vault of Horror.

Bloody hell. Must try harder (me or the retailers?). Actually, there's this thing called the internet. Might I be able to somehow purchase these There's not even a DVD rental place where I live now. Nor in the next town. What's that, I hear you say. LoveFilm? I must OWN these things, you fool!

Loads of straight to DVD US bullshit non-horror "horror" and gorno in HMV but none of what I was after. Severely disappointing. My search goes on. I also now want to get my hands on Zulu, Where Eagles Dare & Went the Day Well after recommendations from a good friend (think I've got The Eagle has Landed somewhere on VHS, Colin). I saw the first two titles as a nipper but they now bear analysis it seems. Plus, Burton and Eastwood in the same film. Genius! I always remember that cold shiver down my spine as Donald Houston fell from the cable car, straight down from camera, years before John McTeirnan had Alan Rickman grasp in futility at Bonnie Bedelia's new watch atop the Nakatomi Plaza. Brilliant.

Must think of more effective joyful adjectives.

Yippekyay, Doctor Schreck.

Thursday 2 April 2009

When I Missed Gorgo

Over at Shadowplay, David Cairns' quest to "See Reptilicus & Die!" got me thinking about a monster movie I'm keen to see again. Or actually see in its entirety this time. Must have been about 9 or 10 and we (me, bro & sis) were to go across the road to friends of our parents while they went out for a meal. Mum and Dad get ready and then BBC2 start to show Gorgo! That rare thing, a UK Man in a Suit Monster film, like Konga. I had a real thing for big monster movies at this point and so I became attached to the TV instantly. Gorgo was basically Godzilla, except he (or they, as his mum did much of the smashing) had weird webbed ears and attacked London as opposed to Tokyo. Poor Tokyo. At least they got the day off from Gorgo.

The time came to nip across the road to Mrs Burns' house. Off we went, or off I hurried to continue watching Gorgo. We didn't have a VCR at the time and my mum assured me, half-heartedly, that I could watch the rest across the road. My dad had already teased me about what happened next as he had already seen Gorgo as a kid and I was anxious to see Mummy Gorgo come back to claim her captured offspring. "Wait til you see her! She's 10 times the size he is!" he cried. My enthusiasm grew exponentially. And then we got into Mrs Burns' house where we had some juice and biscuits and I asked to see the rest of Gorgo. Could I?

Could I fuck.

I'll never know why, but old Mrs Burns' (in her 60's I think) refused, giving no real reason. A film called BMX Bandits was on the other channel. We could watch that, she said.

What? BMX BANDITS?!?!?

More suitable for children apparently.

My protestations that the central character in Gorgo was in fact a young boy fell on deaf ears. All I knew was that each second I watched these irritating Australian kids zipping around on their bikes solving some crime I didn't care about, was another second I was missing of Gorgo!

No huge loss in the grand scheme of things, but as a kid, horrendous. Until the next day, when I generally forgot about it went on to the next thing. And this is the closest I can get to it right now:

One of many films I want to see again, probably unwisely. But you can't beat a Man in a Suit Monster Movie. I love the fact that in this age of CG, they still make them like that in Japan. In fact, Man in a Suit Godzilla went up against the CG version of Roland Emmerich's Godzilla, now called Zilla in Japan.

Good ol' Gojira kicked his pixellated arse back into the ocean. This is what happens when rubber meets CG.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Leaky Adamantium

It would appear that a workprint of 20th Century Fox studios X-Men Origins - Wolverine, has leaked onto the internet. My initial reaction was that this was an April Fool's joke. But if it is, is being played against Fox and its CEO and general object of fanboy hatred, Tom Rothman.

Internet comic and movie fanboys are an alternatively amusing and infuriating bunch, if you're foolish enough to pay attention to their infantile tantrums. A glimpse at the Talkbacks at Aint It Cool News gives an instant summation of their general idiocy, thankfully interspersed with some common sense. I love comic book movies (done well, that is) and get as upset as anyone if they're buggered up by a filmmaker with no understanding of the potential of the material or by obvious studio interference (which Fox and Rothman have been accused of repeatedly), but these clowns are in a different league. And now they might be having the last laugh as the torrents for this pirated film spread faster than the Conficker virus (although, that might not be a fast enough analogy, thankfully) across the net.

And consequently, the "reviews" start to pour forth, increasing the damage done by spreading bad word of mouth.

But whatever their opinion on the film (which I'll not go into), they seem to still be fired up with the same vitriol at a viewing experience FOR WHICH THEY HAVE NOT PAID A PENNY. Those who hate the film still complain, as though it is their God given right to do so, and that despicable "rape" analogy appears again.

I'll not watch the pirated version of a film which has a temp score, no wire removal and unfinished FX. I'll pay to see the finished film in a cinema. I might not like it, but at least I'll have contributed to the wages of the people who work their arse off to make these film. And I'm not talking about directors or producers (note I leave writers out of it. Heh.) but those who make up 95% of the crew, who work harder than any of those basement dwelling monkeys, stuffing their faces with plastic cheese and concentrated sugar, getting a free ride while normal folks to make movies. Hollywood is a business and like other businesses right now people are being laid off. While much of the money generated by a film like this does not go into their pockets, unlike the execs and above the line talent, they still need to earn a living. And ruining the chances of a film like this just to get back at the people who are safest financially is pathetic. Hollywood looks to save money - if they can lay off folks to do that while their films get a smaller return, down to piracy, then they will do that. And all the while, the complaining fanboys will find something else to be smug and selfish about.

I'll not wholly condemn all torrenting as there are many rare and unobtainable gems out there. But if you watch this film for free, see it again and pay for it instead of acting like spoilt, selfish brats.