Film Category

Includes cinema reviews and trailers for upcoming films. A digest of the best and worst interviews on movies and cinema.

Proof: DVD Covers Are Rubbish

IT’S UNFORGIVABLE  to squander excellent source material in favour of garbage.  Anyone who read World War Z and saw the film can vouch for that.  Well, the same sad fact is true for most DVD covers.  An excellent movie poster exists, but the distributor opts for a poor substitute thrown together and Photoshopped in two minutes.

Before anyone points out that movie posters have an edge via larger canvas size –  I’ll acknowledge that.  But there’s plenty of awesome paperback artwork – the smaller canvas didn’t seem to handicap Frank Frazetta or Robert McGinnis. So, I’m not going to give DVD covers a pass.

No excuses.  And to prove my point I’m going to show you some side by side comparisons (DVD abominations are always on the right).  Young children may want to shield their eyes.



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Posted: 8th, January 2014 | In: Film, Flashback | Comment (1)

The Baftas 2014 Nominations Are Announced!


2014’s Bafta film nominations have been announced, which is particularly good news for London’s cocaine dealers as they prep themselves for one of their busiest awards of the year.

Leading the pack is Gravity with 11 nominations and true stories dominate the main categories (which probably means all our fiction writers are either rubbish or they’ve given up through a lack of funding) with all but two films (Gravity and The Selfish Giant) falling into that pocket.

It’ll be a good night for Dame Judi Dench too. She’s got a nod for Philomena, which gives her a whopping total of 15 Bafta film nominations – the most nominated actress in the history of the event.

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Posted: 8th, January 2014 | In: Film, TV & Radio | Comment

5 Inconceivably Awkward 80s Movie Moments


Andrea Howard and Don Adams in the Inconceivably Awkward film The Nude Bomb

BEFORE we carry on with the list, let’s define what we’re talking about here.  “Inconceivably Awkward” simply means it contains both of the following qualities:

  1. It is so terrifyingly uncomfortable you instinctively flinch as if you’ve been punched squarely in the genitals.
  2. It is so unimaginably awful you question whether the director suffered head trauma and should seek medical attention.

I should also mention that this isn’t a “top five” list as there’s plenty worse out there.  These are just five scenes (plus a runner-up) which spring instantly to mind when thinking of the worst of the worst.

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Posted: 7th, January 2014 | In: Film, Flashback, Key Posts | Comment

The Rock-afire Explosion: World’s Greatest Anamatronic Band Are Back For One Last Show

THE animatronic band of animals that once rocked the Showbiz Pizza Place restaurants have been reprogrammed by fan Chris Thrash to play Pop, Lock and Drop It.

Pizza and robots. Live the dream, kids.




The Rock-afire Explosion rock on. Before the song, let’s introduce the band:

Billy Bob Brockali (bear / bass)
Fatz Geronimo (gorilla / keyboards)
Mitzi Mozzarela (mouse /vocals)
Dook LaRue (dog / drums)
Beach Bear (bear / guitar)
Rolfe & Earl (wolf / puppeteer)
Looney Bird (bird / vocals)



Inventor Aaron Fechter’s band starred in The Rock-afire Explosion, a documentary about their lives and loves:

* The movie focuses on one fan in particular, a small-town roller-rink DJ from Alabama by the name of Chris Thrash. Thrash has actually installed a fully working version of the Rock-afire Explosion in his home, and eventually brought the group new exposure in the 2000′s when he began programming the robots to sing along to current popular music and released videos of it on Youtube.


chris thrash


Fechter’s story of how he came to create the Rock-afire Explosion is told in the movie, and it’s an interesting and even inspiring one – a struggling inventor trying to door-to-door sell a pool-cleaning device he had created, he just happened to knock on the door of a businessman looking for someone to build him a mechanically operated shooting gallery.




In 2013, the guys and gals played with Cee Lo Green:

* We’ve seen the RF band appear in music videos and feature films, and today the band takes up residency as part of Cee Lo Green’s live Vegas show at Planet Hollywood opening the show with a rousing Rock-afire rendition of “F*** You”.

See them play Nine Inch Nails, and The Black Eyed Peas.




According to the imdb:

* “The Rock-afire Explosion” is the story of a small-town disc-jockey, a struggling inventor, and an animatronic rock band, that quickly becomes an eccentric portrait of childhood memories, broken dreams, and the resilience of the human spirit.



In this clip the band plays Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) by Arcade Fire:


In October 2013, Aaron Fechter’s downtown Orlando warehouse fell victim to an exploding gas tank. The Rock-afire Explosion went ka-boom.

* An inventor with a flair for music and a degree in finance, Fechter was a CEO and millionaire before he was 30. In 1982, Fortune Magazine called him “a prodigy of automatons,” when his creatures — created in the Orlando warehouse — became headliners at ShowBiz Pizza Placejoints across the country…

As ShowBiz expanded, so did Fechter’s company, Creative Engineering Inc… At its peak, CEI had 300 employees building 70 shows a year. Fortune said each cost $90,000.

When ShowBiz opened its 100th store — in Texas — Fechter donned a Billy Bob suit and arrived by helicopter to mingle with fans. “It was like being a rock star,” he says.

But like every good rock-‘n’-roll story, it couldn’t last. And in 1983, Fechter got a call from ShowBiz. Stop production, the company said, we’re not opening any more restaurants. The company had grown too quickly, expenses had soared, and ShowBiz couldn’t afford Fatz and friends.

ShowBiz merged with rival Chuck E. Cheese, which was also struggling, ultimately asking for the rights to the Rock-afire Explosion. Fechter refused.

“These were my characters, and I thought I might do something with them in the future,” he said. “So I walked away.”


If you like what you’ve heard, the whole film is here:

Posted: 6th, January 2014 | In: Film, Music | Comment

Watch The Day The Clown Cried: Jerry Lewis’s Holocaust Horror Show

THE Day The Clown Cried is an unreleased 1972 Jerry Lewis film. It’s the story of a clown who finds himself in a concentration camp during the Holocaust.

Like the Aryan Papers, Stanley Kubrick’s Holocaust drama, Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and David O Russell’s Nailed (a small town waitress gets a nail accidentally lodged in her head causing unpredictable behavior that leads her to Washington, DC) you won’t have seen it.


jerry clown cried


The film ends in a gas chamber, with the clown going in to face his death with a group of terrified children, trying to make them laugh in order take away their fear. It ends with them all locked in, the kids laughing as the clown juggles stale bread.


American comedian Jerry Lewis performs as a clown at the 38th Gala de L'Union des Artistes at the Cirque d'Hiver in Paris, France, April 24, 1971. Watching in the background are, from left, Italian film director and producer Vittorio de Sicca, opera singer Maria Callas, unidentified woman, Italian actress Gigliola Cinmetti and French singer Hughes Aufray.

American comedian Jerry Lewis performs as a clown at the 38th Gala de L’Union des Artistes at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris, France, April 24, 1971. Watching in the background are, from left, Italian film director and producer Vittorio de Sicca, opera singer Maria Callas, unidentified woman, Italian actress Gigliola Cinmetti and French singer Hughes Aufray.


Why did he make it? has more:

In 1971, producer Nate Waschberger asked Jerry to direct and star in “The Day the Clown Cried”, based on Joan O’Brien’s book by the same name, about a German clown who was arrested by the Gestapo, interred in a concentration camp, and used to march Jewish children into the ovens. Jerry lost close to 40 pounds to play the role. The shooting began in Stockholm, but Waschberger not only ran out of money to complete the film, but he failed to pay Joan O’Brien the money she was owed for the rights to the story. Jerry was forced to finish the picture with his own money. The film has been tied up in litigation ever since, and all of the parties involved have never been able to reach an agreeable settlement. Jerry hopes to someday complete the film, which remains to this day, a significant expression of cinematic art, suspended in the abyss of international litigation.


clown cried


Why was it never released? In 2009, Lewis spoke with Entertainment Weekly:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When I asked you about The Day the Clown Cried, you shut me down pretty quickly.
JERRY LEWIS: Why do I want to go there? If you want to play 10 Questions with me, you can ask me any 10 questions you want about it and you’ll get a pretty good amount of answers. And it will only be to satisfy you that it’s not so shut-down because you’re a nice man and I’m comfortable with you. I’ll give you 10 questions.

You’re serious?

Okay, I better weigh them…
I’ve never done this before, I’d like to see what I come up with. Don’t f— this up, Chris!

Do they have to be yes/no questions?
No, I didn’t say that. That’s kind of limiting.

Will I ever see The Day the Clown Cried?
He writes on a piece of white paper in green ink: NO.

Is there more than one copy of the film?
He writes: NO.

Is the film in a safe somewhere?
Yes, yeah.

Okay, number four: is the reason the film has not been released because you are unhappy with it?
He writes: Yes/No.
Which doesn’t mean that Yes, I’m unhappy with the work that I did. But who am I preserving it for? No one’s ever gonna see it. But the preservation that I believe is that, when I die, I’m in total control of the material now. Nobody can touch it. After I’m gone, who knows what’s going to happen? I think I have the legalese necessary to keep it where it is. So I’m pretty sure that it won’t be seen. The only thing that I do feel, that I always get a giggle out of, some smart young guy like Chris is going to come up with an idea and he’s going to run the f—ing thing. I would love that. Because he’s going to see a hell of a movie!

I was going to ask you, it’s only creating more interest and tougher criticism if and when it is ever shown.
Of course, of course. What the f— is he saving?!


I’m honestly surprised as hell.I am too. I’m very surprised. There’s a gurgling inside that I get when I think about, would this make certain that the Holocaust would never happen again? It’s too small a piece. It isn’t large enough to make a dynamic impact.

Do you think Jewish audiences would like it?
Jews? Oh, they would love it. I traveled for 18 months from Stuttgart to Belsen to Auschwitz. I was putting together my crew and they brought me a man named Rolf, who was the guy who pulled the f—ing lever on the gas chamber. And I said the only way I ever allow him near me, no less interview him, would be if he understood that I am concerned about the accuracy of the film and it would be because I need some information. But I said to my production manager, “I’m not sure I can handle it.” After about six weeks of pretty good meditation, I talked to the guy. The question nobody could answer, that the victims couldn’t answer, was: Where were they [when they] were waiting for the ones ahead of them in the gas chambers? How long were they waiting? Where were they standing? Was there an adjacent room? Did they sit? What kind of time was involved? The torture here was waiting! And they couldn’t dull the sound effects, the screaming. Could I get that information from this man? I wanted to wear a mask so he wouldn’t know it was me. When he came into the office and sat down, I thought, This poor human being. I’m sitting there and it was five after nine at night by the time we were done talking and I was…undone. But he gave me the bottom of his f—ing soul! He wanted penance. I kept looking at his right hand. I was going to ask him which hand did you do it with? I couldn’t do it.


Jerry Lewis, center, shot first sequence of his film The Day the Clown cried and seen here left with French actor Pierre Etaiy, right, March 20, 1972, Paris, France.

Jerry Lewis, center, shot first sequence of his film The Day the Clown cried and seen here left with French actor Pierre Etaiy, right, March 20, 1972, Paris, France.


You can read the film’s script in full here.


Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 13.19.40

Harry Shearer told Spy Magazine:

With most of these kinds of things, you find that the anticipation, or the concept, is better than the thing itself. But seeing this film was really awe-inspiring, in that you are rarely in the presence of a perfect object. This was a perfect object. This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is. “Oh My God!” — that’s all you can say.

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 13.18.28



The footage:

Posted: 3rd, January 2014 | In: Film, Key Posts | Comment

Pink Floyd: Syd Barrett’s First Trip (Magic Mushrooms) Filmed In 1966

SYD Barrett’s first trip (magic mushrooms) as filmed in 1966 by Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon.


SEE RANK Syd Barrett's First Trip


This experimental silent short is very rare (filmed in 8mm) and only lasts 11 minutes. Nigel Gordon, film student, filmed Syd Barrett while he tripped on mushrooms. This film is made up of two parts. Part 1: Syd tripping at Gog Magog Hills. Part 2: April ’67, Pink Floyd right after they signed their first recording contract, with EMI Records at Abbey Road Studios.


Pink Floyd - 1967. Back row: Roger Waters (l) and Nick Mason. Front row: Syd Barrett (l) and Rick Wright.

Pink Floyd – 1967. Back row: Roger Waters (l) and Nick Mason. Front row: Syd Barrett (l) and Rick Wright.


Early signs of the Pink Floyd front-man’s mental disintegration were apparent in 1967. That year he appeared on stage with an entire tube of Brylcreem in his hair into which – according to some accounts – he had crushed a handful of Mandrax tablets. Mandies or not, the lotion melted under the lights, leaving him looking like ‘a guttered candle’. The song Vegetable Man (unreleased) reflected Syd’s self-loathing at the time…

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Posted: 2nd, January 2014 | In: Film, Flashback, Music | Comment

Are You Ready For Candy Crush, The Movie?

WE’VE entered a strange time for films. Films everyone can remember first time round are being remade, Ryan Reynolds is still getting work and, weirdest of all, films are being made based on toys.

Now, of course, action figures and the like have ended up on the silver screen, but the Rihanna-starring ‘Battleship’, based on a coordinates board game, flummoxed everyone. What next? Well, to save us all from a ‘what’s next – [insert ludicrous ‘Monkey Tennis’ idea here] joke’, we’ll cut to the chase.

Candy Crush, that’s what.

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Posted: 27th, December 2013 | In: Film, Technology, The Consumer | Comment

10 Wonderfully Insane VHS Action Movie Covers

HERE are some particularly interesting examples of VHS box art in the  action genre.  And by “interesting” I mean “utterly insane”.  These covers represent the perfect synergy of over-the-roof subject matter in the hands of unskilled mental patients.  The words “quality control” and “subtlety” simply weren’t a part of the vocabulary of VHS cover artists…. And that’s why we love them so.


Raw Force (1982) 


Aside from the three apostrophes that have no business being there, this VHS cover is about as good as it gets.  You simply can’t top Kung Fu Zombie Cannibals….. okay, maybe if they had lightsabers

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Posted: 20th, December 2013 | In: Film, Flashback | Comment (1)

Jmes Bond’s Drinking Linked To 2.5 Million Deaths Every Year Around The World



THE results are in. Ian Fleming ‘s James Bond liked a drink. Science says there is no way … that Bond would have been able to consume the amount of alcohol he is described as drinking … and still have kept up the precision, coordination and critical thinking skills that made him such a successful agent”.




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Posted: 15th, December 2013 | In: Film | Comment

Top 10 Overpaid Hollywood Actors



MAKING films is a risky business. Why should anyone listen to your stupid story? To convince people, you need someone famous to sell it because, for whatever reason, we trust certain actors more than others.

However, some A-listers just aren’t worth the money as they’re not recouping costs for the studios. With that, Forbes looked at who the worst 10 were and, here they are, with examples of their dubious work.

For example, Adam Sandler commands $15m paychecks, which is great for him but not so much for the studios. Based on the actors last three projects, the list looks at earnings at the box office per dollar of pay.

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Posted: 10th, December 2013 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comment

Mandela Marketing: Nikki Finke Plugs The Film Of The Dead Man

NIKKI Finke says the man how inspired the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has died. Yeah, that film based on an actual true story. He was 95. That’s older than the film. Who knew?


nikki finke mandela


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Posted: 7th, December 2013 | In: Film, Politicians, Reviews | Comments (4)

Disney’s Laugh-O-Grams Films – Little Red Riding Hood (1922)

laugh o gram



IN 1922, Walt Disney brought us the Little Red Riding Hood laugh-o-gram. This was Walt Disney’s first full-length short cartoon.

* In 1915, Disney founded the Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City, Missouri, inviting some of animation’s future greats, including Iwerks, Hugh Harman, Friz Freleng, and Rudolph Ising, to create fairy tale cartoons. This program features six of these tales: Little Red Riding Hood (aka Grandma Steps Out), Jack the Giant Killer (aka The KO Kid), Puss in Boots (aka The Cat’s Whiskers), Goldie Locks and the Three Bears (aka The Peroxide Kid), The Four Musicians of Bremen, and Newman Laugh-O-Grams. Iwerks, a Kansas City native, followed Disney to Hollywood, where he was instrumental in the creation of the Alice Comedies and the transformation of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit into Mickey Mouse.

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Posted: 30th, November 2013 | In: Film, Flashback | Comment

Happy Hanukkah From Chewbanukka

HAPPY Hannukkah:

happy hannukah

Posted: 27th, November 2013 | In: Film | Comment

Star Wars: The Twickenham Auditions

FACE of the Day: Chris Twamley (centre) from Reading is dressed as Obi-wan Kenobi as he joins hundreds of budding actors queuing for hours for a chance to act on the new Star Wars film as Disney hold open auditions at Twickenham Stadium in West London.

PA-18287172 (1)

Posted: 26th, November 2013 | In: Film | Comment

John Reed’s Automated Cat Petting Machine

THE Automated Cat Petting Machine is a real thing. No. It’s not RoboSpinster. It’s John Reed’s work for his senior thesis film at Tyler in 1987. As he says, “The Cat Petter turned out to be far more interesting than the film”. Our tip would be to rename it the BBC DJ Recruiter and call the cops on the old stroker:

Posted: 26th, November 2013 | In: Film, Technology | Comment

Ajay Devgan Versus Jean Claude Van Damme



YOU’VE seen the Volvo advert with Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits. But have you seen Bollywood actor Ajay Devgan in Phool Aur Kaante?


Posted: 23rd, November 2013 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comments (2)

Mark Caldwell Interviews Tim Curry About The Rocky Horror Picture Show 1975

rocky horror


PLAYING the role was physically demanding:


Spotter: The End of Being

Posted: 22nd, November 2013 | In: Film, Flashback | Comment

The Meat Industry In An Eye-Opening Six Minute Video Of Sterile Death And Fat

SAMSARA food sequence from Baraka & Samsara is a six-minute section of their longer film on life.

Director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson created SAMSARA (a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life”).

This section deals with cheap protein.

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Posted: 22nd, November 2013 | In: Film, The Consumer | Comment

Blow-Up: When the Swinging Sixties Came to Stockwell

STOCKWELL Road isn’t the most exciting and handsome of roads. It may have been once, but the Luftwaffe and the usual unimaginative sixties south London redevelopment put paid to that. It’s got a skateboard park, if that’s your thing, and David Bowie was born in a road just off it, but even he moved to Bromley when he was six. And that’s about it, to most people in the area it’s just a road that joins up Stockwell and Brixton.

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Posted: 18th, November 2013 | In: Film, Flashback, Key Posts | Comment

Customer Letters: The Perils Of Watching Thor: The Dark World In 3D


Posted: 11th, November 2013 | In: Film, The Consumer | Comment

How To Take Robert De Niro’s Photo


BRIAN Appleyard interviews Robert De Niro, in London to plug his new film. The Family.

My private mission is to take his photograph. Big stars are funny about such things — they usually need their image doctored by trusted retouchers, Photoshop jockeys — but not, I have persuaded myself, really big stars, the ones who are too big to care. I don’t know what he will say when I ask: Travis Bickle’s “You talkin’ to me?”, from Taxi Driver, perhaps. I’ll leave it to the last minute.


“How’s your health?” I ask nervously. He had prostate cancer in 2003. “It’s fine,” he says, touching some pricy Dorchester wood. “I’m going to make it. I’m sure we can make it.”

The time has come. “Can I ask you a favour?”


“Can I take your picture?”

“Sure, what do you want me to do?”

“Nothing,” I say, meaning I want him to be Robert De Niro.

I fish out the Leica and shoot three frames.

Tom Miles has more on how to photograph a celeb:

Don’t be surprised when a celeb turns up with several people in tow — some celeb shoots can become very crowded once you factor in people from your side (an assistant, your client, hair and make-up, a stylist and so on) and their side (agents, managers, friends, family). Try not to let this distract you, and remember the golden rule of photographing people: There’s only room for one ego on set, and that’s the one in FRONT of the camera. Leave yours at the door. Be prepared to flatter, but not simper. One of the best approaches I’ve always found is to talk about what they’re doing, rather than simply saying: “I loved you in that film; you were really cool.” Ask intelligent questions about their work (you did do your research about them, didn’t you?)…

Brian Friedman:

“Also, when your part is done, get out of there as fast as you can!”

And the golden rule: your job is to entertain the reader. That’s where your loyalty lies.



Posted: 10th, November 2013 | In: Celebrities, Film | Comment

You Can Now Buy Back To The Future Style Hoverboards

hoverboard copy

PEOPLE have long moaned that, now we live in the future, where are our hoverboards? Well, glad you asked because some bright spark has decided to do something about it!

ZBoard have been inspired by the hoverboard in Back to the Future and manufactured a hi-tech weight sensing electric skateboard, which has the same design as the board Marty McFly rode.

The limited edition board uses a pressure pad on the front which allows you to move without ever needing to put your feet on the ground and can manage 20 miles of electrically-assisted skateboarding.

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Posted: 1st, November 2013 | In: Film, The Consumer | Comment

Star Wars Blooper Reel Turns Op Online


STAR WARS is a film that is extraordinarily well documented and new stuff shows up all the time. However, one of the best finds is this original blooper reel from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope which has been released.

Originally released by Lucasfilm editor JW Rinzler for this summer’s Comic-Con, the footage features Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Alec Guinness and some Stormtroopers that will make you titter.

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Posted: 29th, October 2013 | In: Film | Comment