Friday, 28 March 2014

HYPNOBOBS 146 - The Natural History of the Batman Part 10


Pin back your ears Bat-fans! In the tenth part of our Bat-history, Mr Jim Moon continues his exploration of the Caped Crusader's adventures in audio, detailing the slew of vinyl that appeared in the wake of the 1966 TV show. We delve into a brace of LPs from Tifton - a Childrens Treasury of Musical Batman Stories and The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale, uncover the tales related by the Golden Records Storyteller, and chart the Official Adventures Of Batman & Robin: Exciting Episodes Of Their Battles Against The Evil Forces Of Society from Leo the Lion! 

DIRECT DOWNLOAD - The Natural History of the Batman Part 10

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   HYPNOBOBS is hosted by GeekPlanetOnline and is part of the ROGUE TWO Podcasting network.


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Thursday, 27 March 2014

C. H. U. D. (1984)


I originally caught this back in the day on VHS and I remember being impressed by how smart the movie was, despite seemingly being a bit cheap and disjointed. However it always stuck in my mind as one of the more interesting low budget monster movies of the '80s; the monsters were good, there were interesting, and the plot not only had an intriguing twist to it but also seemed to be reaching to give us some socio-political discourse too! All in all, not bad for a cheapie about modern day ghouls eating assorted hobos and random passersby.

Now from a good while, I was keen to revisit it to see if C.H.U.D. was as interesting as I remembered. Did it had more to recommend it other than not being a poverty row rip-off of either Alien or The Thing, which most cheap creature features of its period seemed to be?  So when I discovered that there was now a director's cut available on DVD from Anchor Bay, well it was high time to venture into the sewers once more.


In fairness, it's been that long since I first saw it on a grainy rental tape I can't really tell you how different the new cut is. But certainly the movie now feels more coherent and seemed to flow better than the VHS version I remember. And certainly there's a vast improvement in picture - while still obviously an *ahem* inexpensive production, the cinematography is sharp and the movie definitely benefits from being in widescreen, giving the movie a visual flair that was cropped out of the pan-and-scan video version I first saw.

So how does the movie stand up today? Well, pretty darn well, it has to be said. Although there is one large caveat to that - which is, if you're going in expecting  a schlock horror fest, the usual mix of scenes of cheese and gratuitous boob shots linking together the oozy splattery monster attacks, then C.H.U.D. will disappoint, and I strongly advise you to find something from Troma instead.

However what C.H.U.D. does deliver is a smart, well plotted and well performed monster movie. Like the old '50s classics, here we have monsters made accidentally by science with the origin of the monsters being a mystery for our heroes to solve. However like '70s creature features there's a strong element of anti-authoritarianism with big business and the government covering up the dirty monster secret. And to bring the production grittily up to date, the extensive guerrilla shooting gives the movie a real world bite that strengthens the tale its telling.



But if all that sounds a little po faced, it has to be said that C.H.U.D. never forgets it's a monster movie, teasing us with little reveals of the titular creatures and the script is sprinkled with enough humour to stop the movie taking itself too seriously but at the same time never undercutting the plotting or drama.

 And the C.H.U.D.s themselves are still a great monster - nice and slimy in that classic '80s FX style and very well realised for such a low budget. Admittedly they are wisely only shown in glimpses for most  of the flick but that just makes their later unveiling all the more fun.

C.H.U.D. might not be a perfect movie, but it's certainly a very interesting and engaging one. There's a sparkle to dialogue and a intelligence in the script that you rarely see in low budget monster movies these days, with so many now preferring to revel in how stupid and cheap they are. And so the likes of C.H.U.D. , a movie made with little money but a lot of wit, intelligence and talent , is a most refreshing blast from the past.


THE BLACK DOG PODCAST 191 - Berkshire Hunt



In another epic lengthed show we discuss such diverse subjects as... The Flash, Teddy Robinson retro love, Nebulous, and running and twisting a testicle. Add to that more superhero crappiness and the joy at Prometheus 2 news and a fine dragon profanisaurus entry, before we review this weeks film How to Train Your Dragon.

Next week we break out the casual racism and chilled monkey brains of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom... With points awarded if a feedbacker can get through a reply without mentioning Short Round.

DIRECT DOWNLOAD - THE BLACK DOG #191

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THE BLACK DOG is hosted by GeekPlanetOnline 


Saturday, 22 March 2014

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975)


Now what can be said of such a classic comedy movie from one of the greatest comedy group ever that hasn't already been said? And doesn't just descend into a tangle of quotes lines?

Well this... (which you may read in an outRAGEous French accent Cleese style if it helps) 

...To start with, it's often overlooked how well-filmed this movie is.  Directed by the two Terrys, both had little experience behind the camera but both had plenty of ideas how it should be done. And indeed the pair proceeded to drive the rest of the Pythons and the crew completely nuts by making them stand around for ages until they could get the perfect. And the bulk of filming was outdoors on locations, this meant waiting until the weather would deign to cooperate. 

However their patience did pay huge dividends, for just look at the use of light and shadow and the dramatic cloudscapes they capture in this movie. Seriously folks, you don't often see such painterly cinematography, mainly because experienced directors wont waste time and money waiting for the bloody weather to get its act together. However I'd also argue that few directors have the same kind of visual imagination of the Pythons that leads to standing around in drizzle just waiting for that moment when the sun breaks through the shot will look like a painting by an old master. 


The other mostly over-looked point concerns the film's structure itself. The plot line is fragmented and almost non-linear, and many have pointed and said it is just a set of themed sketches. And furthermore, the received wisdom goes this was because the Pythons were coming to the big screen from a small screen sketch show. Indeed their first foray into cinema - And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) - had been just a re-filming of a selection of sketches from their TV show. And hence Monty Python and the Holy Grail is often seen as an interstitial stage between their original sketch show and the full fledged comedy narrative of their next movie, arguably their cinema masterpiece, The Life of Brian (1979).  

But hold on! While that theory fits a nice pattern, it based upon looking at the history of the performers rather than the background of the source material the movie is parodying. Yes, we all know that the Pythons are having a surreal laugh at the legend of King Arthur.... but which legend? Unlike other classic myths and folk tales, there is no definitive version of the Arthurian stories. Rather there is a great swath of different versions all telling different stories, with an array of different knights, and many of them are incompatible and contradictory. Most don't tell the whole of King Arthur story, frequently being episodic and lacking a proper end.... Sound familiar?  

Yes folks, the ramshackle structure that veering all over the place like a pair of coconut laden swallows in a high wind isn't just sketch based comedian not knowing how to construct a feature length story for the big screen, but a joke in itself on the nature of Arthurian legends! 

Now go away before ah taunt you a second time! 


Friday, 21 March 2014

THE BLACK DOG PODCAST 190: Life, The Universe And Stuff


Welcome to this (delayed) edition of The Black Dog Podcast, episode 190, Life, The Universe and Stuff.

This week we discuss such diverse subjects as Minecraft addiction, dishwasher repair, boomerang colds and getting the cast recognized as a holy order.

Then a space time continuum issue causes the news to vanish into a wormhole, but luckily we have The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy on hand to cover for that...

After some bovine superheroics and a lot of Deep Thought from the Profanisaurus, we finally get to review the movie adaptation of The Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy.

Next week we return to learn How To Train Your Dragon!

DIRECT DOWNLOAD - THE BLACK DOG #190

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THE BLACK DOG is hosted by GeekPlanetOnline 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

WITLESS FOR THE DEFENCE #12 The Asylum's Sherlock Holmes (2010)



Here comes the judge! Here comes the judge!

Hello and welcome to our 12th case, in which we find The Asylum's Sherlock Holmes in the dock. Judge Chris Johnson and legal eagles Mr Jim Moon and Elton McManus of Shonky Lab weigh up the case: is this just another cynically made mockbuster or an over looked steampunk gem?

WITLESS FOR THE DEFENCE #12 - Direct Download

WITLESS FOR THE DEFENCE on  iTUNES

WITLESS FOR THE DEFENCE HOME PAGE



Sunday, 16 March 2014

HYPNOBOBS 145 - Zombi Zombi Part IV


In this installment of the Zombi Zombi series, Mr Jim Moon traces some of the more dubious branches of the Living Dead family tree, looking at Zombie 4 and Zombie 5, and then going on to talk about Zombie 4 and Zombie 5. Confused? Wait till you see the movies! And the first pair of 4s and 5s are Italian flicks After Death (1988) and Killing Birds (1988), and their alternative numbers are a brace of Jess Franco movies, A Virgin Among the Living Dead (1973) and Revenge in the House of Usher (1983).

DIRECT DOWNLOAD -  Zombi Zombi Part IV

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   HYPNOBOBS is hosted by GeekPlanetOnline and is part of the ROGUE TWO Podcasting network.


CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

ZOMBI ZOMBI - The Story So Far...


ZOMBI ZOMBI Part I  or Direct download

In the first of new occasional series, Mr Jim Moon foolishly decides to chart all the various spin-offs, remakes and sequels to George Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead. In this opening episode, we discuss the Zombi: L’alba Dei Morti Viventi - AKA Dario Argento cut of Dawn of the Dead, Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 AKA Zombie and Zombie Flesh-Eaters, and the Fulci/Mattei hybrid horror Zombi 3.




We return to explore the many children spawned by George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Mr Jim Moon rounds up four flicks that at one time or another have purported to be a sequel to Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 - Zombie Holocaust (1980), Burial Ground (1981), Paul Naschy's The Hanging Woman (1973) and Jorge Grau's The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue (1974)!


ZOMBI ZOMBI Part III  or Direct download

Rising once more from the grave, it's Part III of our series on all things living dead Zombi Zombi! And in this edition, Mr Jim Moon is descending into all manner of benighted worlds of ill to explore Italian mastreo Lucio Fulci's the Gates of Hell trilogy, looking in-depth at City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981) and The House By The Cemetery (1981).  The Sea of Darkness awaits! 

COMING SOON on HYPNOBOBS! - ZOMBI ZOMBI 4!

Featuring voodoo! Mad science! Insanity! The living dead! And... erm... woodpeckers!

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   HYPNOBOBS is hosted by GeekPlanetOnline and is part of the ROGUE TWO Podcasting network.


CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS





Monday, 10 March 2014

Saturday, 8 March 2014

ANTARKTOS by HP Lovecraft



A poem from HP Lovecraft's sonnet cycle Fungi From Yuggoth, detailing Cthulhoid horrors in the polar wastes,  read by Mr Jim Moon




Thursday, 6 March 2014

THE BLACK DOG #189 - Brooks Was Here



In this weeks episode Lee, Darren and Jim are joined by Danny Graydon and discuss such diverse subjects as... Essex Gangland, deadly pancake mix, blu ray purchases and Clowns.

Then there's a bit of disheartening interview revelations about Superman vs Batman vs Wonder Woman vs Kramer vs Kramer, some unsubstantiated rubbish about Matrix prequels and some discussion about the Hugos and SFF fans knee jerk reactions to Jonathan Ross.

After a trip to the vegetable patch for this weeks Shitty superheroes and another entry from Jim Moon's profanisaurus, the guys get busy reviewin' or they get busy dyin' as they re-review the classic Shawshank Redemption, with some tourettes help from Morgan Freeman.

Next week is a very different movie when, to coincide with the anniversary of the first radio episode, the guys return to review the movie version of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

DIRECT DOWNLOAD - THE BLACK DOG #189

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THE BLACK DOG is hosted by GeekPlanetOnline 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

SFFAUDIO - The Anticipator by Morley Roberts


In the pages of Galaxy magazine Arthur C Clarke published the above short tale... However in an ironic twist, Clarke had misremembered the author of the short tale referenced in his own short tale - The Anticipator was not written by HG Wells, but by his contemporary Morley Roberts. Mr Jim Moon joins Jesse Willis to discuss this fascinating tale of recursive fictions...

SFFaudio - The Anticipator
DIRECT DOWNLOAD
SFFaudio homepage


Monday, 3 March 2014

HYPNOBOBS #144: The Unnamable on Screen



In this episode Mr Jim Moon looks at various screen versions of HP Lovecraft's The Unnamable. First we have a matching pair of movies from director Jean-Paul Oullette - HP Lovecraft's The Unnamable (1988) and it's sequel The Unnamable II - The Statement of Randolph Carter (1993). And we round off with with a far more faithful recent short version, the award winning Shadow of the Unnamable (2011)

DIRECT DOWNLOAD - The Unnameable on Screen 

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As mentioned in the show, assorted Lovecraftian linkage -

FRAGMENT 1890 Indiegogo campaign
FRAGMENT 1890 home page
SHADOW OF THE UNNAMABLE homepage




   HYPNOBOBS is hosted by GeekPlanetOnline and is part of the ROGUE TWO Podcasting network.


CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS



ARE YOU TELLING ME PORKYS: Battle Edition!

The Witless for the Defence team - Judge Chris and legal eagles Elton MacManus and Jim Moon - unite to take on host Olly Peters in the first Are You Telling Me Porkys: Battle Edition!

ARE YOU TELLING ME PORKYS: BATTLE EDITION #1

DIRECT DOWNLOAD

ARE YOU TELLING ME PORKYS home page



Saturday, 1 March 2014

DINOSAURS! A Ladybird Leader!


Ladybird Books were an essential part of childhood for many British children in decades past, delivering books for a variety of ages, covering everything from fairy stories, to history, to science to hobbies. And this 1974 tome was many a child's introduction to those most beloved prehistoric monsters the dinosaurs!


Lavishly illustrated and with handy phonetic pronunciations of all those tongue-twisting names, this little book not only parades favourite dinos such as the T Rex and Triceratops but also gives us a simple but detailed potted history of early life on earth.


So with the Shonky Lab turning their attention to dinosaurs, I just couldn't resist doing a reading of this much loved little book, and with Mr Pete Kelk's help, the reading became a little movie.... Enjoy!