Monday, July 26, 2010

HK47 6

After undeservingly inflicting that sickening beige attack post regarding Hello Kitty onto you, here's something that's almost as scary (thank you to Steven). You have been warned...

HK47 5
HK47 4
HK47 3

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Pieces (***)
Boston, Massachusetts is an unlikely setting for a Spanish giallo cum slasher, and anyone familiar with Madrid will knowingly chortle at several of the locations; just as amusing are the dubbed voices for the actors, along with the insane narrative, and yet it's not only the sheer badness of this sleazy cult classic but its infectious energy that make it so much fun to watch: 'bastard! bastard! bastard!!'

Delirium: Photo Of Gioia (***)
an enjoyable and underrated latter-day giallo by Lamberto Bava, full of essential ingredients: insanely beautiful women, piles of sleaze and gore, red herrings, and thankfully not too much police drudgery; the movie is unusual in its use of a first-person killer perspective, you experience the crimes from inside his/her head

Death Walks At Midnight (**)
after a promising opening, Luciano Ercoli's lesser movie gets bogged down in the dreary details of police detective work and inexplicable narrative and character development; that said, it's eminently stylish with a superb score

A Blade In The Dark (***)
highly watchable Lamberto Bava weirdness - huge dollops of Hitchcock, boatloads of red herrings, fantastic electronic soundtrack, and a creepy plot device that presages Svankmajer's Down To The Cellar by a good decade


Thursday, July 22, 2010


Tectonic plates II
shock investigation? once again, it would be surprising were it to be otherwise - why so much resistance to female priests? religion's hypocrisy against homosexuality (amongst other things) is far more to do with the delicious exercise of power through denying others pleasure combined with a desperate fucked-up cycle of internal conflict between their own sexuality and an inherited set of bizarre beliefs; I blame that maniac Augustine

Tate Britain
on September 3rd I'm contributing what I'm describing as 'extralinguistic sequencing' as part of the Late At Tate monthly special event sponsored by Urbanomic, which is 'exploring the emerging philosophical paradigm of Speculative Realism and its impact on contemporary art practice' - also at the event will be new work by Florian Hecker, plus screenings, sculpture, and a panel discussion; it's a free event and I hope you can come, it'll be quite special

oops... after the critical failure to resurrect the old PS3, you'd think I wouldn't risk an attempt at replacing the cracked glass on my old iPhone - and predictably, after another self-inflicted botch-up resulting in a damaged LCD, am now getting the entire upper part replaced; the lesson has, finally, been learnt

this is the update of remaining titles from List A - look out for a List B in a few weeks' time!


Saturday, July 17, 2010


The books for sale list (A) is now live and ready to download - all the necessary info should be contained within.


Un Jeu Brutal (***)
an eminent scientist, also part-time serial killer, takes it upon himself to look after his attractive disabled teenage daughter in the French countryside after the death of her mother; what begins so promisingly gradually unravels into a tediously incoherent Haneke-like exploration of motive and moral imperative

Gurotesuku (*)
don't get too excited: this Guinea Pig clone may be the first film to be banned in the UK since Murder Set Pieces, but it gets really dreary really quickly, not just due to cheesy plot devices and dialogue but also for its obtrusively irritating use of MTV-style close-up camera work and Saw-style video filters

Penance (***)
a young woman saddled with debt is tempted by the easy money her friend makes stripping in private homes; that flimsy plot serves as a valid excuse for an energetic low budget shaky-camera outing that involves a fair amount of effectual gore and sleaze, and for that you can overlook its glaring faults

Psychopathia Sexualis (*)
MacBook movie-makers and porn-quality repertory actors combine in a dreadful misguided attempt at interpreting Krafft-Ebing's anthology of perverted sexual practice


Friday, July 16, 2010


The latest from Pravda. I suspect these three stories are connected in unimaginably horrific ways.

Chupacabra Devours Rabbits And Cats In Ukraine
On weekly visits to a local charity bookstore my third favourite shelf is the one they have dedicated to 'the unexplained'. It's populated with titles on alien visitations and abductions, mysterious natural phenomena, and best of all, on cryptids. Whether the folkloric Nessie is actually a plesiosaur or a giant sturgeon is less important than my urgent need to believe that there really are goatsuckers out there. Even better that they be from Ukraine.

Russia To Become Childfree Land Under Western Influence
Even by the extreme standards set by Pravda's opinion features, this one is out-and-out bonkers. You wouldn't want it any other way. I love the strident tone of its premise that couples are 'refusing' to have children, as if being threatened by some external force, and that it's misguided anti-abortion propaganda and the sexual promiscuity in TV series to blame for the increasing childlessness of Russia's couples. This is NLP.

Carbonated Drinks: Learn The Truth!
The success of the fizzy drinks industry is an extraordinary demonstration of the effective powers of marketing and advertising. Lidl sell their own brand 'cola' in huge 2 litre bottles for 29p and nobody will go near it, like it was some kind of contaminated brown mouthwash. Meanwhile, the ubiquitous and undoubtedly no less toxic products of Pepsi, Red Bull, and Coca-Cola are embraced like long-lost friends, damn the expense. Does anyone really know what Irn Bru is made of?


Thursday, July 08, 2010

HK47 5

Beige is that weird colour they use to clothe sex offenders in Californian penal institutes. It's also the colour of choice for serial killer footwear, if you look carefully, you'll spot them on public transport. It's even a creepy kind of word when you say it aloud and think about it. Beige. Go on, extend that vowel sound.

Even the normally reliably innocent and super-cute Hello Kitty, in her Tropical iteration, is transformed into a thing to be scared of. Never mind the troubling pink bikini.

HK47 4
HK47 3
HK47 2


The names are arguably worse than the products. When you discover the packaging of your partner's Spanx Seamless Control Pants nestled in the wastepaper basket, it's not even the thing itself any more that is as gross a turn-off as it is the name. Let's forensically dissect this.
  • Spanx: it's already been proven beyond reasonable doubt that any thing Spanx, anything, signifies a desperate concealment of perceived faults allied to all-out war against sexual attraction
  • Control: control what exactly? after barely a few seconds' transderivational search one's mind is already moving into an incontinent overdrive of piss, shit, and various other secretions, along with the not entirely unrelated litany of shape issues such as muffin top minimising, saggy bum lifting, love handle elimination, baby belly taming, lumpy midriff smoothing, and thunder thigh reduction; all gloriously evoked thanks to... control
  • Pants: any movie starring Keanu Reeves, Christian Slater or Macauley Culkin is pants; 'pants' is but an adjective and should never ever be used as a noun unless being applied in an entirely derogatory or comedic way
  • Seamless: seams are a major feature to make clothes attractive; let me say that again: seams make clothes attractive, give them their worth - it's the beautiful seams on coats, shirts and blouses, skirts, stockings, lingerie, that all give the eye pleasure to appreciate the curves of the body, pleasure to follow to where it leads, pleasure to appreciate the craftsman's loving investment in its creation
Yes, it's true that nomenclature employed for men's products is pretty embarrassing, appealing to an apparently insatiable love of technology and gadgets. But what's with the cringeworthy names for women's mustn't-haves? It must be part of some gigantic practical joke that something as unflattering and smelly as UGG boots, or that most repellent of legwear, footless tights, are named thus; or that 'gladiators' could imply any kind of femininity; or that there might not be some thing unsettlingly inconceivable about the phrase 'Maureen peeled off her jeggings before surrendering herself to her man's desire...'



Post coming soon.


Sunday, July 04, 2010


The Wire
god knows I have a love/hate relationship with that magazine: it's thanks to the free annual subscription I earned from having written the piece on Yoko Ono last year, I get to feel apoplectically irritated on a monthly basis over lunch at the nearby Himalaya Indian restaurant; and yet with that all said - and ignoring wankers like Edwin 'Pencil' Pouncey and Nick 'But' Cain - the editorship is genuninely respectful towards its contributors, I'd much rather it existed than it didn't, and they most pleasingly capitalise all words in song, book, and movie titles

Nurse With Wound
Andrew Liles kindly invited me along to Nurse With Wound's performance a couple of weeks ago at the Tramway in Glasgow; never having seen them play live, nor having heard recorded output since Soliloquy For Lilith, it seemed far removed from the carefully structured fondly anarchic surrealism of the 80s, more like loud droney lo-fi ambient; and yet that was neither here nor there because it was a real pleasure to see Steve, erstwhile loath to stages and audiences, revelling in the limelight

Wroclaw Industrial Festival
sad to report that there won't be a Whitehouse performance at this year's Industrial Festival in Wroclaw, Poland - there's more than enough else to enjoy at the packed four-day event for everyone who'll be there; I certainly would have loved the chance to catch up with Glenn (Michael Wallis) again

I've been acquiring new books at such a prodigious rate in the last few months that I've decided to sell some older ones to create some much-needed space - they're mostly on the usual filthy subjects that we all love, and many are pretty rare; I'll post a downloadable pdf list of what there is soon, or just drop us a message


Thursday, July 01, 2010


The Girl Next Door (*)
An American Crime (***)
although both films are ostensibly based on the true case of the torture and murder of teenager Sylvia Likens by Indiana housewife Gertrude Baniszewski, both adaptations come well short of the shocking facts of the case; The Girl Next Door is poorly acted and particularly phoney: much of the context being altered (for example, the 60s become a Happy Days-style 50s), and the children who assisted Baniszewski in the torturing are depicted with that highly irritating adult-imposed evil knowingness typical of cheesy horror, likewise the story is seen through the eyes of the one kid with a conscience, a boy who is given the highly anthropomorphised script of what seems to be a timid yet responsible septuagenarian; An American Crime is vastly superior mostly thanks to its excellent cast (Ellen Page is brilliant, far less annoying here than in Juno and beyond), but also because many of the interactions amongst the children involved actually feel believable - in addition, there are several brief and poignant courtroom sequences interpolating the narrative; sadly, in order to make for compelling entertainment, the movie makes some big compromises by smoothing out the narrative in easy-to-understand chunks (little of the familial chaos of the true story is depicted) and tacking on a sickly sentimental resolution

The Runaways (**)
judging by the film's ludicrously amped-up live sequences, you'd think The Runaways were a Metallica/The Donnas hybrid, therefore it comes as no surprise to note Joan Jett credited as producer of this profoundly dishonest biobpic - the whole is an exercise in rehabilitating her career through the tawdry twin strategems of making her bandmates look as bad as possible and by giving Jett phoney proto-punk credentials; that said, the central dishonesty is failing to acknowledge that The Runaways were shit: weedy undercooked unmemorable glam rock at best