Thursday, August 31, 2006

Severance Charity Premiere

Severance (l-r): Claudie Blakley, Danny Dyer, Christopher Smith, Tim McInnerny, Andy Nyman and James Moran with Alan Jones

The charity premiere of Severance
took place last Thursday at the Odeon West End in Leicester Square in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Director Christopher Smith was on hand to introduce the screening along with actors Danny Dyer, Tim McInnerny, Andy Nyman and Claudie Blakley and writer James Moran - who deservedly got singled out by Chris for being a FrightFest regular. The audience really got the film, laughing and gasping in all the right places and it was a hugely enjoyable experience to see the film again with the enthusiastic Frightfest crowd. As the end credits rolled everyone came back on stage for a Q&A which was really laid back and funny - you could really see the camaraderie between the cast. Even James looked relaxed and cracked a few jokes - and you can read his account of the evening here!

Afterwards I met up with the Eat My Brains guys and we managed to get into the aftershow party at Ruby Blue. I still don't know who put my name on the list but I'm guessing it could have been FF organiser Paul McEvoy - so many thanks to whoever was responsible! We'd only planned to stay for a couple of drinks... needless to say, a couple of large glasses of wine later and I was feeling very sociable, so started looking around for familiar faces to go and say hello to. There was no sign of the Severance mob (apart from Andy Nyman) so I went and chatted to Simon Boyes and Nadja Brand (Broken), artist Graham Humphreys and then Jake West and the gorgeous Emily Booth (Evil Aliens), all lovely people - as I repeatedly told everyone in my drunken state. It's here that things start to get a little hazy... I remember meeting Steve and Payne outside at 11pm, but rather than doing the sensible thing and going home, I managed to get them into the party where we hung out with the FrightFest drunks
and Chief Brody for a while. The next thing I remember is being on a dancefloor with Paul and the girls, but I have no memory of actually leaving Ruby Blue... or the fact that it was a karaoke bar and I kept staggering in front of the screen... or singing Comfortably Numb... or trying to use my umbrella as a microphone... or "bouncing off the walls" (Chief Brody). Luckily there were plenty of people who were only too happy to remind me of my drunken antics the following day. On the way to the bus stop I managed to whack a car with my umbrella which set off its alarm, and then I threw up and tried to sleep on the pavement once we reached Oxford Street... It's just as well Steve was around to get me home in one piece - thanks mate!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Dandy Warhols at Islington Academy

So last Wednesday night Andy and I braved the driving rain and headed up to Islington to see The Dandy Warhols. The Academy was smaller than I'd imagined, only a 800 capacity venue so nice and intimate and afforded a great view of the stage. Support came from The Morning After Girls who sounded a lot like the Dandys and were pretty solid although their sound mix wasn't perfect. Only one girl in the band though, so that name's a bit of a misnomer. The Dandys came on at 9pm and played for nearly two hours without a break - although Zia had to dash off stage twice, allowing the rest of the band to improvise in her absence. With nothing more than the download-only single Have A Kick-Ass Summer (Me & My Friends) to promote, the band were able to pepper their set with whatever they liked - and some of their choices were inspired, especially cool album cuts like Lou Weed, Cool As Kim Deal and Solid mixing it up with favourites like Boys Better and Bohemian Like You. An effortless performance and quite simply the best two hours of live music I've experienced this year.

Adopt a Seamonkey

My friend Andy has launched his new website where you can - for a small fee - adopt your very own seamonkey. You can choose from a number of characters and receive a personalised certificate and t-shirt...


Not content with his two Zazzle pages for cartoons and photography and his recent addition to the MySpace community, my mate Justin has finally started his own blog...

And finally...

Remember the Eat My Brains Zombie Club - Forced Entry night which I went to a couple of weeks back? Well, the official write up (now retitled The Jay And Sean Show) has just been published on their site here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

London Calling...

Me with Christopher Smith at FrightFest 2005

In a few short hours I'm going to be on my way to London for this year's FrightFest event, running from Friday until Monday at the Odeon West End. Then on Tuesday - once I've recovered - I'm attending a focus group for the Extreme Films Research project, and then if I've got any stamina left, I might catch Serena Maneesh who are playing at Madame Jo Jo's later that night.

Most importantly though, tomorrow is the charity premiere for Severance (also at the OWE) with director Christopher Smith, members of the cast - and writer James - all in attendance for a Q&A after the film. And rumour has it that I might be on the guest list for the aftershow party too! The film opens nationwide on Friday and I hope you'll all go and see it! In the meantime Eat My Brains have just published an interview with Christopher Smith and leading lady Laura Harris on their site here and there's also a competition to win some props from the film!

I'll be back next week with all the FrightFest gossip, all my FrightFest movie haikus and everything else that happened in between - plus a report on tonight's gig by The Dandy Warhols which was effortless and brilliant!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Movie Haiku - Monster House

Dir: Gil Kenan

Voices: Steve Buscemi, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Lee, Kathleen Turner

House steals all their toys

with red carpet for a tongue

dare they go inside?

soulmining rating: ***

Movie Haiku - A Scanner Darkly

Dir: Richard Linklater

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder

He spies on himself

and acts all animated

we are all on drugs

soulmining rating: ****

Friday, August 18, 2006

Movie Haiku - Snakes On A Plane

Dir: David R. Ellis

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Julianna Margulies, Nathan Phillips, Sunny Mabrey

There's snakes on a plane

do not siphon the python

you can kiss my asp

soulmining rating: ****

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Can I have another piece of chocolate cake?

Happy birthday to me! I got cake!

Thanks to everyone who's sent cards or messages today, you're all lovely people! I'm actually having a quiet day today (well, so far...) after celebrating all weekend. On Saturday night I had a couple of beers with Mike talking fantasy football stuff, caught up with Hannah and Fran in the Waggon, and then met up with Dave, Andy and Gary for more beers. Onto Red Snapper for a delicious Thai meal and six bottles of wine, then continued drinking at Gary's flat until I was sick, left at 5am (so I'm told...) and then managed to f*ck up our internet connection when I stupidly tried to get online in my drunken state. Spent Sunday in Shoreham with Troy and Rom, along with Steve and Chrissy, although I had the hangover from hell and was barely coherent all day. We ate lots of yummy food, Chrissy baked me a lovely chocolate cake and we watched Blue Crush. :)

I've got two friends with birthdays today, so Sean and Rob - happy birthday guys!

White Panties Haiku

White Panties
Image © Emma Delves-Broughton

Steve bought me this card for my birthday and insisted that I compose a haiku review of it for my blog...

Young girl reads her book

stop staring at her panties

she'll get a cold bum

Play It Cool in August

Mmmmm, some new music at last! Here's what's on my stereo this month:
  • Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther (Bella Union)
  • Nouvelle Vague - Bande A' Part (Peacefrog)
  • Metric - Live It Out (Drowned In Sound)
  • The Kooks - Inside Out/Inside In (Virgin)
  • The Like - Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? (Geffen)

Movie Haiku - Lady In The Water

Dir: M. Night Shyamalan

Cast: Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bob Balaban, Jeffrey Wright

Sea nymph seeks writer

they believe bedtime story

will you believe it?

soulmining rating: ****

Movie Haiku - Nacho Libre

Dir: Jared Hess

Cast: Jack Black, Ana de la Reguera, Hector Jimenez, Peter Stormare

Friar helps orphans

dons the mask to raise money

wrestles some midgets

soulmining rating: ****

Friday, August 11, 2006

Invading MySpace

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I guess it just goes to show how much blogging I was doing at work!

There is a second reason - I've finally succumbed to the lure of MySpace. It was a bit of a snowball effect on Wednesday, as first of all my good mate Justin signed up, and then I was talking about it with Courtney that evening and kinda talked myself into setting up a profile. So if you're on MySpace please drop by add me to your friends list:

I also want to welcome Paul Scott Fulker to Blogger - you can check out his blog Here By The Sea And Sand here.

And finally, one week away from the genius that is Snakes On A Plane, check out this companion website - yes, it's Snakes On A Babe!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Movie Haiku - My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Dir: Ivan Reitman

Cast: Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Faris, Eddie Izzard

She hates getting dumped

so throws shark through his window

bed moving action

soulmining rating: ***

Friday, August 04, 2006

Movie Haiku - Miami Vice

Dir: Michael Mann

Cast: Colin Farrell, Jamie Foxx, Gong Li, Naomie Harris

Out go pastel suits

feast for eyes but plot-heavy

tortoise moves faster

soulmining rating: **

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Zombie Club - Forced Entry Night

Hey, it's not as bad as it sounds. Really. So last night I was in Clapham for my very first Zombie Club experience courtesy of Mike, Jim and Russ at Eat My Brains. Rounding out the audience - for the biggest ZC gathering to date - was Mike's housemate Matt, plus James, Jay and Sean from last Friday night's piss up. The evening began with a series of clips from Jay's collection including Geordie Star Wars (!), Calamity Of Snakes (not on a plane), Rape Squad (actually just one masked bloke) and best of all, Codfish, the Brazilian remake of Jaws which we all immediately agreed deserves its very own ZC outing. And I thought my DVD collection was weird and extreme! First feature of the night (Jay's choice) was The Jail: A Women's Hell (Dir: Vincent Dawn, 2006), the latest Italian exploitation from ZC 'legend' Bruno Mattei set in a Filipino prison - "It's the UK premiere!" announced Jay, who'd been saving it up especially for the occasion. What did we get? A women-in-prison movie where cast and crew seemed to be making it up as they went along. Opening with the vicious prison warden ordering 20 lashes for a prisoner who was ALREADY DEAD, it ticked all the right boxes - bad direction, bad acting, bad dubbing, uncomfortable scenes of sexual exploitation involving a snake, gratuitous female nudity including the customary lesbo shower scene, and at least one beheading... we had to fast forward some bits as the disc kept glitching, but that really didn't hinder the overall effect.

During the intermission Sean showed us some Japanese Shock trailers including the wonderfully named Eat The Schoolgirl, Shark Skin Man And Peach Hip Girl and the less exciting sounding (but equally wonderful) Yakuza's Law. Our second feature (Sean's choice) was Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs (Dir: Yukio Noda, 1974), a Japanese pinku exploitation film with some wonderful OTT violence and questionable morality. Clearly an influence on such luminaries as Martin Scorcese and Tony Scott, this is the kind of movie that Quentin Tarantino dreams of making. With a rather confusing storyline to begin with (thankfully Sean was on hand to clarify what the hell was happening) and rather too many scenes of, ahem, forced entry, it descended into a Western-style bloodbath, complete with a random approach to subtitling - the best line of which came from one detective: "I can feel it in my urine." Quite. The EMB team's official write up for this one should be something special - I'll add the link in due course.

Updated 1/9 - check out the EMB review here!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Movie Haiku - Cars

Dir: John Lasseter

Voices: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry The Cable Guy

Racecar takes it slow

Pixar's most indulgent film

go tractor tipping

soulmining rating: ****

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August Live

August is a rubbish month for local live music. Everyone's either off playing festivals or preparing for their Autumn tours. So what can I find to recommend this month? Well, one gig by a mate's band, one gig in London, plus my annual horror film festival. And that's about it really.

08/08 - My good friend Mr Jim Turner, former vocalist with The Dirty Tricks, returns with his new band Spring Heeled Jim for a self-promoted headline show at the Komedia. Expect guitar led harmonies and heartfelt acoustic melodies from this talented singer/songwriter! Check out their site at

23/08 - Have A Kick Ass Summer as The Dandy Warhols return to the UK for a date at the Islington Academy in London. This will be the 8th time I've seen them play live...

24/08 - Severance gets its charity premiere in aid of Teenage Cancer Relief at the Odeon West End in London. After the screening there will be a Q&A with director Chris Smith, members of the cast (Danny Dyer, Tim McInnerny & Andy Nyman) and of course writer James Moran in attendance.

25/08 - Twenty-four films in four days over the August Bank Holiday weekend... it can only mean one thing - FrightFest, the UK's biggest horror and genre film festival. This year's event takes place at the Odeon West End, opening with Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth on the Friday night and closing with Bong Joon-ho's The Host on the Monday. Full details on