Mandy [SPOILERS]

Image result for mandy 2018

***

Director: Panos Cosmatos

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roach, Bill Duke, a bunch of real life cultists, The Cheddar Goblin

Plot: Red and Mandy live a peaceful life in the Shadow Mountains, a place that is idyllic during the day and nightmarishly red and misty at night. One day, Jeremiah Sand and his cult get lost on the way to the recording studio and pass by Mandy, who chooses the worst possible moment to look interesting. Sand decides that he must possess her so sends his goons to summon some demonic bikers and kidnap her.

Subplot: An overweight kid has a gnawing sense of dread as he suspects his new friends don’t like him as much as they say they do.

Subplot 2: Bill Duke sits in a trailer, worrying that ‘Fuck Off’ isn’t clear enough.

***

Is there nothing else out there like Mandy?

I don’t watch enough movies to make that claim, but it is weird, and slow-paced, and it does have those moments that transcend expectations and make you think, J J Abrams would never have done that.

Instead of reviewing it, I’m gonna point out all those moments, in no real order.

Calling the satanic bikers using the rock of ??

As with most of the film, there’s no exposition about what the rock of ?? does or how it works or how Jeremiah Sand came across it, the cultists just park their van in the middle of a blood forest and blow on it. Then wait.

While waiting, the blond cultist who always has his mouth open, winds down the window, looks out at nothing, winds it back up again, pauses, winds it down again, looks out at nothing etc. The cultist who blew on the rock is caught in the foreground slowly losing his patience and maybe what’s left of his mind. In most other films, there would’ve been dialogue. In this one, nope.

When they’re not glued to their leader, these cultists hate each other. Continue reading

Advertisements

Urdu Camper van [textbooks lie]

Related image

***

By the end of this unit, you’ll be able to say

Amir

undercuts Urdu with

ballots of concern, debris spilling lung shaped, five ditch down, round up Ismail + Fatima + Callie’s Tanith Lee [the darker one]

Fax left, stretch fur

Drench two heads, one higher than the other, debate John Hannah

with hidden numbers and

slippery oar

Contact SETA, if you have to

don’t fall for Cube

Hold onto Heinlein

Stretch more fur

attempt physic, call up

causative agent green

offer cheek

dry out the Romulan

slide along not down the fibreglass Continue reading

Gong Dung Wah

Image result for the midnight after

***

Gong 2

Dung 1

Wah 2

 

In the man with 2 brains it only took two scenes before Doc Hfffrr found one whose brain he could replace, very fast, very efficient, and although Hong Kong wasn’t Austria, it was still human based and full of sleaze so I shadowed what Steve Martin did and went looking for a prostitute who a] wouldn’t be missed, b] was local and c] wouldn’t put up much of a fight when I drugged her and said, it’s okay, I’m not a perv, I just want to transfer your brain knowledge to my brain and, because you speak Cantonese and won’t be missed, it has to be you.

Sorry.

Mong Kok had lots of them, some Chinese, some Russian, all sitting on plastic bedsheets or killing time in the park.

How you could psyche yourself up to suck off those old guys from Yau Ma Tei, I had no idea, but I figured I wouldn’t need to worry about that even if I did have their brain.

I went up the stairwell with the pink neon sign and knocked on a door, hiding the syringe behind my back. I didn’t even know the Cantonese for ‘door’, that’s how bad it was, but never mind, I’d soon know it all, and the tones too.

The door opened and the woman spoke Mandarin, not Cantonese [I knew enough to know the difference], so I nodded and tried the next one. 8 doors on the whole floor and only one of them spoke Cantonese. I walked in and let her lead me to the shower and as soon as she turned her back I stabbed her with the syringe and went to work. It took 2 hours for the transfer, just like Avon said, and suddenly I could speak Cantonese, gutter Cantonese maybe, things like do you like it, do you really like it, are you sure you like it, time’s up etc. It was enough.

I leaned against the sink and stared at her thighs.

Then her face.

She was still out.

Then her neck.

Then her kneecaps.

Then her hai.

Everything seemed well-kept.

I pushed away from the sink and peered into the living/bed room.

There was a book on the floor, in Chinese, it said Pushkin ‘The Queen of Spades’, and, ah, god, not Pushkin, I knew what he wrote about, some of it, but my situation was different, she wasn’t rich, or lonely, or Russian, so it wasn’t the same at all, not even theme, not really. I would never pursue someone that coldly, look them in the eye, talk to them, watch veronica’s closet with them, stab them, I couldn’t, it was murder, mau sat, I’m no hong sao, I’ve got a syringe, had a syringe, he didn’t, he knew her, I didn’t, and mine’s still alive…maybe… Continue reading

Uesugi Kenshin vs Takeda Shingen

Image result for uesugi kenshin is a woman

***

Two of the most well-known samurai daimyo of Sengoku Era Japan [the historical period between 1477-1600 when everyone bullied peasants and stabbed each other in the back] were

Uesugi Kenshin of Echigo Province

And

Takeda Shingen of Kai.

If you’re a human being, as soon as you start reading about any two rivals then you’re probably gonna pick a side. In this case, both Kenshin and Shingen were strategic thinkers and decent warriors, though it’s debatable how often they actually had to fight in any battles, and their overall record against each other in direct battle was either a no score draw or a Kenshin victory, depending on the sources. I think some historians give the 4th battle of K River to Shingen due to the fact that he lost fewer men, but this omits the point that the men he did lose included most of his generals, whereas Kenshin only lost ashigaru and a few stray tourists.

Tourists?

Some locals would grab a good seat on a nearby hill and watch the battle, which could backfire fatally if one of the daimyo was a creative thinker and decided to shift the battle to that hill

or if one of the archers was drunk.

Kenshin or Shingen?

If it were a film about the two of them, I would side with Uesugi Kenshin for several reasons.

He trained to be a monk,

He didn’t want to be a leader

He gave salt to Shingen when no one else would

And

He was the god of battle.

Shingen, on the other hand, was a bit of a twat.

Didn’t he have a secret group of women ninja spies?

Allegedly, yes. They were led by Mochizuki Chiyome and would embed themselves in towns and castles that Shingen wanted to attack at some point, usually acting as shrine maidens, prostitutes or talent agents to get the info their boss needed. Continue reading

The Tomb of Ligeia 1964 [thoughts + spoilers]

Image result for the tomb of ligeia

***

Starring: Vincent Price, a possessed cat

Director: Roger Corman [Masque of Red Death]

Screenwriter: Robert Towne [‘Swing Shift’, ‘Mission Impossible 2’, Lloyd Bridges Show]

Plot: A reclusive widow with an aversion to sunlight, who is supposed to be in his 20’s but is instead Vincent Price in his early 50’s, allows an impulsive young woman from a mansion nearby to hang around his own mansion twice before she falls in love with him and they get married. The only problem is the dead wife of the man is buried in the back garden and she’s some kind of Egyptian witch who isn’t fond of sharing her husband with anyone. Her plan; ring a bell very loud and snarl at the new wife when in cat form.

Subplot: an admirer of the young woman tries to use his brain to figure out what’s going on and rescue her from her dangerous + exciting marriage so he can then trap her in a stable and tedious marriage with him. Opening line of Tomb of Ligeia 2? ‘Into the living room and knit me a sweater, sweetheart.’

Sub sub plot: a cat tries to regain control of its brain after being possessed by a dead Egyptian witch, but ultimately fails and is relieved when Vince Price strangles it to death.

Any good?

As with all Corman-Poe-Price films, it’s watchable, though it doesn’t achieve the greatness of The Masque of the Red Death, probably because the main horror comes from a possessed cat.

Possessed cats are neither interesting nor scary. Continue reading

TVB // Blue Veins

#

Objectively, all TVB dramas are terrible, the Cantonese equivalent of Monster Dog or Space Truckers, but at the same time weirdly addictive. If you switch on during an episode, there’s a good chance you’ll see it through to the end [of the episode] cos the plot and time within the drama move at lightspeed.

Example:

If a character decides to do something, even something that takes a really long journey like go to Holland to find an ancient artefact, the very next scene will be that character walking around Amsterdam with a map.

This is common in a lot of movies, but TVB stands out more cos a] it happens frequently, and b] it’s juxtaposed with endless scenes of characters exchanging bland dialogue + life philosophies.

E.g. Relationships are just like the waves of the sea, sometimes they’re choppy, sometimes they’re calm. But if you are good at surfing, you can ride them for 10-15 seconds before falling off and potentially hitting your head on a submerged rock.

That’s not a hundred per cent accurate, but I remember hearing the first part of it in one of the dramas and it gives you the basic idea of what I’m talking about.

Rumour has it TVB has an archive of these philosophies that they recycle every 2-3 years, in new dramas. No one really notices, due to the abundance of them, so they keep doing it. New ideas are frowned upon.

It’s not just the dialogue that’s bad. The writing in general is awful, no subtlety at all, which I guess is understandable when you consider they often write the script as the drama is being filmed. This obviously leads to ridiculous plot twists, uneven performances and copycatting.

E.g. in the new vampire drama, the main female character [Kay Tse, channelling a P4 student playing a tree in the school nativity play] can touch dead bodies and bring them back to life for 1 minute. Obviously, the writers have never seen or heard of the US show ‘Pushing Daisies’. Continue reading