Thursday, July 18, 2013

no hell field in.

A Field in England (2013).
Dir: Ben Wheatley.
Cast: Julian Barratt, Peter Ferdinando, Richard Glover, Ryan Pope, Reece Shearsmith and Michael Smiley as O'Neill

For those readers from foreign parts a wee bit of a history lesson might be in order to truly appreciate this movie seeing as it's set in the olden days.

During the year (of our Lord) 1642 the weather in England was particularly warm causing the majority of the nation to become rather grumpy due to half of them having to wear heavy cloaks, frilly shirts and large hats, topped off with rather fancy moustaches every day because shorts and t-shirts had yet to be invented.

These foppish fellows were nicknamed Cavaliers.

At the other extreme of English culture were an unfortunate group suffering the affliction of massive heads due to the law forbidding them to remove their hats.

Banding together in the town of Bradford these unfortunates pulled together to form Britain's first "crusty-punk" pop combo's The New Model Army.

These fellows were known as Roundheads.


With neither the weather or the fashions improving everyone got together and decided that what the country needed was a war to take everyone's minds of things.

Being English tho' it was decided not to have any violent skirmishes like other less civilized nations but to conduct the whole thing in a very courteous and kind manner.

Hence The English Civil War was created.

A war that was fought without real weapons but mainly with the armies standing either side of a huge hedgerow firing eggy smokebombs and shouting at each other.


"Quick men! Load the rotten egg cannon!"

It's during one of these hedge-based hullabaloos that we're introduced the angry Captain Percy Trower (the tiny eyed Barratt from hit teevee comedy The Mighty Boosh).

And the reason for his anger?

Apart from having to appear in this movie obviously?

Well, it appears that the other team have decided not to turn up instead rigging up a selection of flour bombs in the bushes accompanied by a tape recording of common people screaming and shouting "Ooh Aar!".

Not expecting such coarse language, Trower's men have become so frightened that they've taken to falling headlong thru' the shrubbery in a state of utter panic not helped by the fact that poor Trower ends up impailed on a Do Not Feed The Ducks sign due to an unexpected chorus of The Wurzels hit 'Combine Harvester' suddenly blasting from a hidden tannoy.


"Miso! Miso! Fighting in the dojo. Miso! Miso! Oriental prince in the land of soup!"

As Trowers men run screaming from the scene, trainee alchemist and master debater Richard Whitehead (professional grumpy Blackbird Shearsmith from teevees The League of Gentlemen) awakens in the hedgerow only to discover  the enigmatic gypsy Ivor Cutler (Pope who was once in The Bill here channelling David Essex) gently trying to persuade the stubbly soldier David Jacob (ex ABBA hit Ferdinando) and his friend Friend (Sightseers star and fancy hat wearer Glover) to help him dig up a missing Irish necromancer (Smiley) who just happens to be hidden somewhere in the field alongside some treasure or something.

It's all rather vague and arty.

"This is a local field for local people! We'll have no plot development here!"

To aid them in their quest Cutler has kindly cooked a broth of magic mushrooms for everyone and organized a friendly game of tug o' war as well as penning a few novelty ditties to keep their spirits up.

Cue what seems like 16 hours of sub Wicker Man imagery, fetid folk tunes and endless scenes of one of Britain's greatest comedy talents running around pretending to be a pony.

In slow motion.

What the hell did poor Reece do to deserve this?

Fuck Wheatley's daughter?

"Please don't let the mooth shite-in start!"

From Ben Wheatley the pie guzzling beard obsessed director of the botched backstreet abortion that is Kill List and the fairly harmless Sightseers (well put it this way, I at least didn't want to self harm after it) comes quite possibly the biggest load of arse I have ever had the misfortune to sit thru.

Seemingly shot in glorious shades of muddy grey on an old Panasonic M10, what the film lacks in charm, production values and plot it more than makes up for in cod-intellectual (and ineffectual) ramblings and a pompous sense of self importance rarely seen in someone with so little talent, desperately wanting to channel the British horror brilliance of Pete Walker, Wheatley comes across more like a peat bog.

Obviously aimed at the lemming like chin strokers with more money than sense and those sockless art fags that clog up tube trains with their big portfolio's full of vapid reheated retro-wank, the lack of effort that appears to have gone into it's production (even the white balance is off, could they afford even a piece of fucking A4 paper?) is as offensive as the makers claims of producing a thought provoking piece of cinematic genius.

A field in England yesterday was unavailable for comment.

And for those of you angrily pouting that I've missed the point or that I'm just not clever enough to understand it (hello director of Yellowbrickroad) I have just this to say:

You've been had mate, get over it.

Truly the worst movie I have ever seen.

And from me you know that's something.

Friday, July 12, 2013

rental ralph.

Remember when the hyped to fuck 'scariest movie of all time', the found footage fiasco V/H/S was released to a few apathetic sighs from those of us over the age of 14 late last year?

Well they've made another one.

So will it be more of the same or something actually watchable?

Go on, guess.

V/H/S 2 (AKA S-V/H/S. 2013).

Dir: Simon Barrett (Tape 49)
       Adam Wingard (Clinical Trials)
       Eduardo Sánchez/Gregg Hale (A Ride in the Park)
       Gareth Huw Evans/Timo Tjahjanto (Safe Haven)
       Jason Eisener (Alien Abduction Slumber Party)

Cast: The incredible Kelsy Abbott, no one else matters.

"All talkin' Scotch ain't they?"

As we all know, every good portmanteau horror needs a wraparound story to grab the audiences attention, getting them to sit up and take notice.

V/H/S started with someone being filmed showing their breasts but the sequel goes one better by having a topless man being filmed too.

This is all thanks to shifty and thrifty private investigators Larry and Ayesha (Imagine a council estate Mulder and Scully with a day job at Cash Converters) who've been hired to investigate the disappearance of a young(ish) college student who, from the look of him is doing a degree in bin diving.

I mean you can actually smell the egg on his breath thru' the screen.

Anyway back to the plot where our daring duo have managed to find the missing guys address (partly due to his mum giving it them obviously) but after violently smashing his back door in are disappointed to discover that he's appears to be out shopping or something.

Luckily for our private dicks they'll be kept busy sorting thru' the massive stack of T.V. sets, video recorders and VHS tapes piled high in the living room.

Larry, needing a pee heads upstairs to find the toilet leaving Ayesha to start sifting thru' the tapes for clues beginning with the spookily titled...

"Aye son!"

Phase I Clinical Trials.

Jeff Tibbs, part-time Tony Stark alike (and full-time annoying fuck) is about to leave hospital after having a groovy robot eye fitted to replace the one he lost in a bizarre shopping trolley accident.

As luck would have it (seeing as the movie is about found footage and the like) his new eye contains a camera to enable the doctor's to monitor his progress as well as watch him piss, shit and indulge in the occasional tearful, Pot Noodle fuelled masturbation session.

All for 'research purposes' obviously.

On his way out of the clinic, Jeff notices that a particularity big chinned and bouncy breasted goth girl is staring intensely at him as he walks toward his friends waiting car, assuming she's just admiring his perfectly honed buttocks (he's been working out) our hero forgets about it and heads home to begin living the rest of his life.

Oh and maybe style his beard.

Arriving home Jeff busies himself with such mundane activities as making his bed, fixing a snack and occasional sexy side glances at the mirror only to find that where was once a freshly linened bed now lies a blood soaked body.

Fairly surprised by this (it's not like you'd forget if you'd put one there yourself), Jeff flees sobbing and swearing to the bathroom in order to throw cold water at his face and check out his mainly profile in the mirror before attempting to call out to the person in his bed.

Being dead tho' they fail to reply.
Cautiously making his way back to the bedroom Jeff notices that the body has now gone, replaced once more by fresh smelling sheets and a little mint on the pillow. Putting the whole experience down to the stresses of having a new eye Jeff settles down to a well deserved poo and a read of the daily paper.

"Hallo? Mooth shite-in service!"

Imagine his reaction then when halfway thru' a fairly bold movement he raises his head only to see that not only has the dead body has returned but a ghostly man and girl are now standing watching him in a manner usually reserved for drunks and gypsies.

Quite literally shitting himself our hero bravely closes then locks the bathroom door before hiding in the bath where he proceeds to spend the rest of the night.

Waking with not only a fright but a sticky brown residue all the way down his Chinos, he immediately calls the doctor only to find that he's away playing golf leaving Jeff no option but to leave a frightfully explicitly worded message as regards his hallucinations.

With that out of the way our bearded buddy decides it's time to take out the bins.

Which does beg the question how much has he eaten in the last twelve hours to fill them up? I mean he's not been home for two weeks.

Aha I get it now, it's just an excuse to get him outside so that he can bump into the blissfully boobed and fairly big boned babe from the hospital who just happens to be looking for him.

It appears that she was the recipient of a cochlear implant a few months ago at the same hospital and since then she too has experienced strange things, researching the technology used in both her and Jeff's operations it has become clear that the electronics used in both cases have had the side effect of giving the patients the ability to see and hear ghosts.

I'll admit I never saw that coming.

Well not the ear bit anyway.

As  she's explaining all  this plot-moving bollocks to Jeff, a big fat man in tiny pants appears from nowhere behind them.

Jeff's description confirms that it's her pedo uncle who died a few years back and that the only way to get rid of him (and any other spirits floating about) is to have sex on the floor.

No, really.

Jeff despite much argument and complaints agrees to join in once she's taken her top off.

"Anyone for tennis?"

Later that night, as she lays farting and snoring on his couch, Jeff heads to the bathroom in order to give his helmet a good rinse only to be disturbed by screaming and splashing coming from outside.

It seems that Uncle Fiddler isn't to happy with his niece and has decided to drown her in the pool.

Add to that the body is back in the bed, the scary figures are back in the house and Jeff has a soggy, flaccid penis in his hand.

Watch out! Savile's about!

After unsuccessfully attempting to rescue his gothy gal, Jeff  runs back into the house to his bedroom to call 911, only to come face to face with a spooky man standing in the hallway leaving our hero only one option.

Yup, that's right, he runs into the bathroom and messily removes his new eye with a blunt Bic razor, dropping it on the sink and enabling us a great view of the spooky man picking it up and forcing it into Jeff's mouth.

Back at the wraparound Ayesha calls Larry back into the room in order to discuss the legitimacy of the tape.

Which frankly due to it's shoddy nature I'd be wary of too.

Taking a break from the gratuitous sex and violence our gumshoe groupies turn their attentions to a helpful video message left by the missing student where he waxes lyrical about needing to watch the tapes in the correct sequence in order for them to have any affect.

Tho' I'm sure the effect it was having on me wasn't the desired one.

Oh well.

A Ride in the Park

Camera hatted cyclist Terry Pushbike is taking a quick break from, um, cycling to enjoy a fairly sickeningly lurved up chat with his fiancee on his cell phone when he's rudely interrupted by a bloodied and battered woman jumping out from behind a bush who promptly collapses in a pool of vomit.

"Aya! Mah BCG!"

Jumping off his bike to help Terry is shocked when the woman sits up and bites him causing our hapless chum to accidentally step on her face before running off into the trees and losing consciousness.

And possibly bladder control.

As time slowly passes we see two cyclists approaching our stricken pal (all thanks to his squinty helmet camera, remember?) whilst frantically dialling 911 (the emergency number not the hit pop group).

Suddenly our bite-marked buddy leaps up and attacks the do-gooders, biting them to death and so eventually  causing them to be reanimated as zombies too.

You can see where this is going can't you?

Especially when the undead mob hear a noise in the distance.

A noise soon recognizable as a group of children singing "happy birthday" in a gazebo just over the hill.

"I love you....could it be magic?"

Obviously kiddie biting, zombie stumbling, parent killing hilarity will ensue, stopping only when a phone call from Terry's girlfriend to tell him that she loves him rekindles his humanity causing our undead pal kill kill himself.

Which is a pity cos I was enjoying the kiddie based violence.

Oh well it's back to Ayesha who in a tribute to how thrilling the movie is so far is asleep with a nose bleed.

Larry, being a nice guy (or knowing it's easier for characters to be picked off one by one) offers to go get medicine from a nearby chemist leaving Ayesha free to view another tape.

Foolish girl.

Safe Haven.

Larry Newshound and his dependable news crew are getting very excited, it seems that they've been given the exclusive opportunity to go behind the scenes of a radical (re: freaky) Indonesian cult and interview it's founder the enigmatic (and pudding bowl haired) Father Vipco Smallpiece.

Fuck me! It's Fred Titmuss!

Unfortunately the interview doesn't really get off to a flying start, seeing as the batteries on the camera keep dying every few minutes but things begin to get even worse when Larry, Whilst outside overhears a conversation between his fiancee and his best pal.

This would probably be OK if they were discussing Larry's upcoming birthday but alas it isn't the case.

Yup, you guessed it they've been having 'the sex' together and now she's pregnant.


There's no time for recriminations tho' as a sinister bell has started bonging, Father Vipco has stripped naked before stabbing Steve the cameraman in the neck and the entire compound are busy guzzling down pills and water.

Cue 25 minutes of random throat cuttings, head shootings, dribbly zombie types and exploding cult leaders as our hero bravely attempts to rescue his fiancee from a group of crazed nurses before she gives birth to a giant goat.

No, really.

Ben Affleck, up the casino, Cannes, 1997....YESCH.

Back at the house Larry's returned to find poor Ayesha dead on the floor, which is a shame really because the actress playing her - Kelsy Abbott - is really quite attractive, plus I've heard she's really quick to sue anyone who says anything bad about her.

On a plus point tho' she has just sat thru' the best bit of the movie so it's not like she'll miss much.

Tearfully cradling her lithe body in the manner of a man missing his Cuppasoup Larry is quick to notice a solitary VHS tape with the word 'watch' written on it in lipstick tucked ever so gently under Ayesha's frankly magnificent bottom.

He pops the tape manfully into the VCR and settles down to watch...

Slumber Party Alien Abduction.

Which by this point I'd really lost interest in seeing as it appeared to involve a group of 30 somethings pretending to be teens wandering around their mum and dads house attempting to earn £250 making sub-standard 'You've Been Framed' videos involving the family dog and their older sisters attempts at having sex with her jock boyfriend (portrayed here by a particularly punchable block of plywood.

"...And then his head slipped!" 250 quid! Thanks Harry!"

After enduring what seems like an eternity of water pistol fights, head slapping and interrupted masturbation sessions it's a relief when the aliens turn up and start attacking everyone.

Until that is you realise that you're now sitting thru' a low(er) budget remake of the last 20 minutes of Howie Askins' found footage classic Evidence.

But without the attractively shot to fuck lady in the dirty t-shirt.

"...And here come The Belgians!"

 Larry partly thru' confusion but mainly crushing disappointment stares blankly (tho' to be honest with this guys acting ability he could be in full thrusting cum face mode and you'd be hard pressed to notice) at the screen before hastily scribbling down everything that Mr. Missing Boy has said/written/blogged since the film began, coming to the conclusion that "These tapes mess with your mind".

Yup, profound or what?

Intensely watching the rest of the boy's laptop recordings, Larry is shocked to see the final entry where our missing fella calmly pulls a handgun out of his arse and blows the bottom half of his face off.

Ooooh creepy biscuits.

The boy lies there for a moment before standing up and shuffles out of the room with his jaws hanging of like a half chewed caramel, the video camera still recording and showing Larry and the lovely Ayesha entering the house.

Suffice to say Ayesha comes back from the dead and Larry has to fight her before something fairly inconsequential happens and the film ends to the strains of some shite metal music.

The biggest shock here must be that a movie so bollock numbingly awful as V/H/S could ever warrant a sequel. I mean don't tell me that there are folk out there that actually enjoyed it?

Folk over 14 I mean?

To be fair tho', it is slightly less annoying than the original, with Sir Gareth of Evans segment standing out as the most enjoyably bat-shit whilst Eduardo Sánchez's section is a perfectly formed homage to all things EC.

Plus they look like they've been given more than 5 minutes thought before hand unlike the rest.

Ok guys you've had your fun now just stop before someone decides to invite Ben Wheatley and Rob Zombie along.

Now that would be fucking terrifying.