Taking a week off, coming back after New Year. But I leave you with this short story. Enjoy!

***

Light stabs my eyes as the hood come off. My hands are bound, so I cannot shield my face. A figure is silhouetted in the bright light. No, not silhouetted. Some of the light seems to come through the figure, as if it isn't all there. I am already bound, helpless and terrified, yet the sight of this translucent form makes my guts feel like ice.

They have me. Them.

"Name?" the figure says.

"Please," I say. "What have I done?"

"The sooner you answer, the sooner you will be processed. Name?"

"I am Oswick Bozzbaddle."

It raises a clipboard, opaque against the light, and makes a tick. The sound of the pen on paper is hard; precise.  "Do you like Christmas, Bozzbaddle?" ...continue reading "Yuletide 101"

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The skirmishing was over and war had come at last to the Handy Pavilion. Employees that had once arrived by bus or on foot were now in mandatory car pools. Safety in numbers. Every effort had been made to conceal from the public all of the preparations for battle. Still, an observant customer might have noticed how the theft-prevention people on the door now focused their attention on the outside rather than inside; how the skylights all suddenly sported heavy iron grilles; how the woodwork demonstrations now seemed to produce nothing but baseball bats.

Axel Platzoff sat alone in the cramped little breakroom, building a matchstick model of the Riechstag and wondering about the role he would play in the coming conflict. He'd been involved in wars before. He was a veteran of wars of secrets, wars of infinities, invasions, civil wars and a seeming endless array of world crises. They were always hard. Hard on survivors, harder on the dead. ...continue reading "Do It Yourself: Chapter 46 — Farewell"

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Well, the title tells me nothing. Let's check out the show.

Two people stand in a canoe, silhouetted by the sea. Leonard Nimoy tells us that they're dumping stuff from a tuna cannery in the Solomon Islands. Sure enough, the sea is full of frenzied sharks chowing down on the chum. The seething mass of ocean is pretty impressive, especially from a show that isn't known for its wildlife photography. Nimoy tells us that a camera was attacked, and an oar bitten in half.

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Now a lovely pan along a golden beach, the sun on the horizon. Nimoy says that to be in the sea is to risk 'the remote but ever-present possibility of shark attack'. Now some gnarly footage of radical surfers on bodacious waves. And now we're back to sharks for a bit, and now we're looking at waterskiers. Then some children in shallow water. Then more swimming children, shot from below, Jaws style, then some windsurfers ...continue reading "In Search Of… S02E12 The Shark Worshipers"

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It this was Halloween makeup, I'd say it was good. As movie makeup... eh.
It this was Halloween makeup, I'd say it was good. As movie makeup... eh.

I'll just race through the synopsis quickly, because while there's lots of running and screaming in this movie, not a lot actually happens. What does happen is pretty icky. Just thought I should warn you. On the other hand, it does give a nice jumping-on point to talk about the character of Elizabeth Lavenza.

Frankenstein is tracking the Monster through the snow with some soldiers. He is seen by the daughter of the old blind man. We have a little look into their family dramas, then the Monster kills them all, the daughter last of all. We see the dying daughter being stitched back together in a darkened room. ...continue reading "Frankenstein: Day of the Beast – 2011"

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It was Buck Dusty who took the glass skull. Definitely. The security camera footage had been useless, so Christian didn't know how he knew. But he knew. There had always been something fishy about the guy. Seriously, who wears cowboy hats to work?

Well, cowboys, obviously. Oh, and country singers. And truckers. And corrupt Texan mayors, but also Texas rangers. And that one guy in the commando unit who isn't the hero, but survives for pretty fair while.

Okay, lots of people wear cowboy hats. But even so, Christian didn't trust Buck an inch. There was just something uncanny about the man. Something eerie had slowly overcome the man. When Christian had first joined the Pavilion, Buck had seemed like a friendly, happy sort of cowboy, like in the old movies his Christian's grandfather had loved. Someone like Audie Murphy or Hoot Gibson. Now, though… Now he didn't seem so much fun. ...continue reading "Do It Yourself: Chapter 45 — The Barn Door is Open"

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Cold open on a woman with a somewhat Brady-esque quality. Leonard Nimoy tells us that some people remember events of a former lifetime. "It is a strange phenomenon called reincarnation." What is the truth behind this mysterious phenomenon?

Maybe the owner of this eye knows the answer!
Maybe the owner of this eye knows the answer!

Now we're looking at a woman in a white robe who we're told is called Maria and lived in France in ye olde dayes. When she bends down to look at a plant we see that Maria is wearing a 1970s sundress under her robe. This doesn't quite prove reincarnation, I think, but it's still pretty special. Now torches carried by a bunch of extras because (I guess) Maria was burned at the stake, and some 1970s woman remembers it all. ...continue reading "In Search Of S02E11 Reincarnation"

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After Eddie Munster (Mason Cook) turns into a werewolf and attacks his friends in his boy scout troupe, the Munsters have to move house. They settle on 1313 Mockingbird Lane, a house at the centre of a terrible string of murders. Herman Munster (Jerry O'Connell) has a heart attack, but revived by Grandpa Munster (Eddie Izzard), who warns him that he will soon need a replacement.

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Grandpa wants Eddie to know that he's changing into a werewolf, while Lily (Portia de Rossi) and Herman want to break it to him gently. Marylyn helps Grandpa to show Eddie something of the monsterous world. Grandpa enslaves one of the neighbours with blood-laced cookies. ...continue reading "Mockingbird Lane 2012"

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This is a film that pitches Jackie Chan into a battle to the death with John Cusack.

I thought I'd put that out there to start with. Just so you don't get the idea that this movie isn't stupid. I mean, it's not impossible to imagine a Jackie Chan/John Cusack vehicle – some sort of cross cultural comedy, like Rush Hour, only funny. Chan and Cusack both got their start in eighties movies, maybe you could do a riff on that, only with the silliness of Chan's '80s HK action movie logic impeding on the silliness of Cusack's '80s US teen romance genre. Might be fun.

But no. Dragon Blade is not a fun movie. ...continue reading "Dragon Blade – Review"

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Norman was late to arrive at the party in Garden Furniture. Adam had spread drop-sheets over all of his beloved display tables and chairs and though he seemed happy, there was a sub-strata of worry every time someone put a drink down.

Only a month earlier, Norman thought, Ms Shan would have balked at the idea of using the Handy Pavilion as the base for Zorbar's buck's night. Now, she not only gave her blessing, but invited herself. Wellsey – who, like many old rebels was a traditionalist at heart – objected to a woman attending a buck's night. But Fiona and Belinda also ended up on the invitation list, and then Zorbar's fiancee Carol announced she was coming. With that, any chance that the evening would involve strippers vanished in a puff of smoke, so Wellsey had had to grin and bear it. ...continue reading "Do It Yourself: Chapter 44 — The Party"

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Opening shot of the Dead Sea. We're told it's the lowest spot on the face of the Earth. Honestly don't care enough to look that up. Google it if you want. It's also very salty. Neither of those two facts are relevant, anyway.

This episode: rocks!
This episode: rocks!

Or at least I don't think they are. I have to admit, I don't know much about the Dead Sea Scrolls. I'm just going to watch and maybe fact-check at the end.

At the Dead Sea, Nimoy tells us, Jewish scholars hid out from the Romans. Until the Romans, you know, came anyway. Bloody Romans! Nice footage of Romans, though. From an Italian movie, I'm guessing, but not sure. ...continue reading "In Search Of… S02E10 The Dead Sea Scrolls"

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