Tuesday, September 17, 2019

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 87).

English journalist, television presenter and BoJo baiter
Steph McGovern.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

pish dish.

Watched this last night to take my mind off the shitstorm that is Project: Yellowhammer and Brexit.

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Empire of The Sharks (2017).
Dir: Mark Atkins.
Cast: John Savage,, Jack Amstrong, Ashley de Lange, Jonathan Pienaar, Thandi Sebe, Camilla Waldman, Leandie du Randt, Tapiwa Musvosvi, Tauriq Jenkins, Joe Vaz, Tshamano Sebe, Sandi Schultz, Royston Stoffels, Mélodie Abad and Philip Tan.

The power resides within you, the amulet resonated with your power, it was never the source! You are the shark caller!

The time - the near future, the place - a world where PS 2 era cut scenes have become a reality and where 98% of the planet is underwater leaving the remains of society to fight for survival on a collection of shopping trolleys and discarded garden decking shoddily tied together and set adrift in the disused reservoir behind the directors South African holiday home.

Ruling over this sea-based band of unwashed pikeys is the evil warlord Ian Fien (Savage, the ex-man of bronze best known The Deer Hunter, The Onion Field and Salvador as well as Lucio Fulci's final film Door to Silence before bad investments and an expensive divorce caused him to be a wee bit less choosy in his roles - probably) who with the help of the greasy barnetted and stringy lipped Mason Scrim (actor and part-time artists model Pienaar coming across as the unholy lovechild of Iggy Pop and Albert Steptoe) and an army of mind-controlled sharks (no, really) spends his days collecting various 'tributes' from the populace in exchange for clean water.

Sounds legit.

"Do you need any scissors sharpening?"

As we join the story one such group of pikeys are even now being hassled by Scrimm who grumpily informs their leader Tustin Gee (Sebe) that they must double their tributes in future if they wish to get clean water, much to the chagrin of the boyish faced and big-eared Timor (council eastate Orlando Bloom Armstrong) who will be our hero for the next 90 odd minutes.

Which seeing as he has all the talent and charisma of a baby changing table is gonna make for interesting viewing.

Tired of Tustin's excuses - and no doubt his fishy breath -  Scrim orders his men to select 6 women to take in lieu of payment, one of which happens to be Timor's wannabe love interest Willow (de Lange from Blood Drive), a button-nosed blonde with a mysterious secret and a huge poundshop medallion that she keeps furtively glancing at every few minutes.

Maybe she has her lines written on it?

Anyway with Timor standing around looking lost it's up to Tustin to step in and attempt to save the ladies - and by the look of his ample girth attempt to save even more of the tribute for himself.

Unfortunately Scrim is in no mood for chat and punches him in the head before dangling him off the side of his boat then tossing a child's flask filled with electronics into the ocean.

Bizarrely enough these two things are actually related.

You see, the elctro-flask enables Scrim to control - via what looks like a pair of Nintendo power gloves with Christmas tree lights sellotaped to them - all the nearby sharks (who’ve been fitted , you'll be pleased to know, with disco lights on the sides of their heads) and order them to bite folk.

Because as you know, a shark wouldn't bite folk normally.

And with that poor Tustin is devoured in a shower of CG blood fakery as the hostages are loaded onboard and shipped off to Fien's floating fortress leaving Tustin to sob into the ample bosom of his big haired bestie Sion (Sebe, who's probably been in other stuff but I really can't be arsed checking).

Some old rope yesterday.

Being the only member of the cast with any discernible talent Sion is given a fair bit of exposition at this point - not only to fill us in on the background of the characters (Tustin hasn't got any parents, Willow is an orphan, hair straighteners are hard to come by, you know the kinda thing) but to move the plot forward and so to this end she reminds Tustin that he has a submarine stashed behind the bins so he could if he wanted head out to save Willow.

Or even better they could head to the local pub and hire a ragtag team to rescue Willow for them.

And with that they head off.

Destination: adventure - via some FX that would make the cast of Stingray balk at their shoddiness obviously.

Especially the bit where a poorly rendered CG shark gently rubs against the eggbox submarine causing it to leak, an effect that appears to have been achieved by getting a stagehand to piss in Amstrong's mouth whilst he frowns.

Tho' if I'm honest this is probably the most exciting bit of the film, well it's certainly the most erotic.

Taxi for Schubert!

Meanwhile Fien has tied the hostages to a makeshift maypole and is forcing them to walk around in circles whilst a lady explains the importance of Willow's necklace to us - and her.

Yup it seems that Willow's dad was a fabled 'shark caller' who - after the floods had the power to control the creatures thru' the medium of the hand jive.

Unfortunately Fien killed him and now uses the power - alongside Scrim - for evil.


Anyway, Timor and Sion soon arrive at the local pub where they come across (not in that way obviously but you can tell he was tempted) a Lego-haired woman called Nimue (du Randt) who is currently spending her time fleecing the locals of all their cash by challenging them to see who can sit with their head in bucket of water the longest.

No really.

Obviously this is a skill that's needed for a rescue mission so Timor eagerly asks her to help whilst Sion saunters over to speak to the enigmatic Toby (high Scrabble scoring Musvosvi), an explosives expert who also happens to own a scuba diving suit.

Tho' you think under the circumstances there'd be quite a few of those about wouldn't you?

Well fuck you film logic.

Not being one to turn down the chance to blow some shit up he excitedly agrees to join the team.

As everyone stands around uncomfortably trying to look natural Timor notices an Asian guy at the bar fleecing folk in a game of 'find the pea under the cup' and deduces that he must be using a miniature sonar device to rig the game.

Because, um, obviously that would be it.

Anyway he approaches the guy - whose name is Edgar and is played by the pube 'tached Jenkins - and introduces himself before offering him a place on the team.

And guess what? he says yes.

With this cut-price Avengers assemble all they need now is a boat.

And maybe better agents.

Enter (roughly and from behind by the cut of her jib) the dread pirate queen and pleasure cruise captain Ann Aldrin (dead eyed South African soap star and sexy grannie Waldman) who, having a window in her schedule offers to take them to Fien's fortress.

With everything in place Timor outlines his cunning plan.

And by cunning I mean utter shit.

"Oh no....I have my women's period!"

Here goes - Edgar will use his sexy sonar set to scan the fortress and find the hostages and Toby will use his scuba suit and plant explosives to blow open a way in whilst Nimue will hold her breath and swim very fast to lure the sharks away.

Meanwhile Timor will sneak aboard and rescue everyone.

Sion is there no doubt to hold the coats.

Everyone nods in agreement before retiring to bed to get some rest ready for the next days adventure.

Well I say everyone but Toby and Nimue have other ideas and decide to steal the Pot Noodle cargo stored in one of Lord Fien's boats causing all manner of upset and confusion that culminates in Timor radioing Scrim to apologize (whilst using the phrase 'fubar snafu' I kid you not - and Scrim retaliating by threatening to feed an extra to a shark if they don't put everything back exactly as it was.

High stakes indeed.

Obviously being a total walkover Timor does exactly that but as Fien's men are boiling the kettle Toby thinks fuck it and blows the boat up leaving everyone no option but to move ahead with their plan.

A plan that Fien now knows about.

I mean why they just didn't steal the Pot Noodle cargo boat and sneak aboard the fortress I'll never know.

Actually I do know why, that would involve an adult having to write the script.

"Can you smell petrol?"

The thought of a month without any tearful wank-based noodle snacks is the least of Fien's worries tho' as it appears that the sharks will no longer do his bidding, at least when Willow is around that is.

Could this be related?

Well Fien thinks so and chucks Willow into the water to see if the sharks will eat her, which they don't - obviously and with that he helps her back onboard, hands her a towel and orders his men to scan her brain activity so they can copy her powers or something.

Tho' why they need to seeing as they have an electronic device that does the job as well as she can is never explained.

I mean if they just killed her then they wouldn't have to worry about her powers being stronger at all.

And we wouldn't be subjected to her harsh-faced 'acting' every few minutes.

You see?

Everyone would be a winner.

And with that plot point totally ignored we head back over to our merry band who are all ready to set sail for Castle Fien.

But the bad men are prepared and attempt to sink the boat with a shite-firing catapult as Edgar attempts to map the layout on his laptop.

Well it's either that or he's online trying to convince folk he's from the Apple IT department so he can access their bank details.

As Captain Aldrin dodges more and more missiles it's time to put part 2 of the plan into operation, so Nimue greases herself up and jumps into the water to lure the sharks away whilst Timor sneaks up to the underwater door in the hope that Fien has left a spare key under the mat.

Unfortunately in the confusion Toby mistakes a shark for a sausage roll and is inadvertently pulled under the water to his doom.

As the sharks give chase Timor quickly makes it to the fortress and makes his way inside/aboard whilst Nimue - knowing her job is done and she's now surplus to requirements - wiggles about a bit safe in the knowledge that the FX team will do their best to make her death scene look epic and not, I repeat, not like she's getting molested by a pack of poorly rendered Minecraft-esque goldfish.

Laugh and indeed now.

As Timor sneaks about the potting sheds looking for Willow it's revealed that Fein has a secret weapon to thwart our heroes - a kamikaze shark capable of taking out a boat.

As in blow it up, not wine and dine it before making smooth and beautiful love to it in an upmarket hotel.

But you probably guessed that.

And with a girly giggle he orders the shark to attack our brave band in all it's shoddily CG-ed goblin glory.

Seriously it's worth the rental fee just for this sequence.

Tho' not the shame of admitting to watching it obviously.

But Aldrin isn't going down without a fight (unlike your mum) and starts firing a harpoon gun randomly into the waves before thinking "fuck it" and abandoning ship closely followed by Edgar and Sion.

As they swim for the -relative - safety of the fortress Scrim orders the sharks to attack Edgar who is unconvincingly dragged under the waves by a huge bit of curved cardboard whilst Aldrin and Sion are taken to Fien and used as shark bait to lure Willow and Timor out of hiding.

It never rains.

Richard Ayoade, up the casino, Bradford, 2016.....YESCH.

Will Timor and his rapidly diminishing team defeat Fien and restore order this post apocalyptic world?

Will Willow ever master not only her shark powers but the ability to walk and talk at the same time?

Will anyone actually care enough to find out?

'Director' Mark Atkins sequel to his 2016 'classic' Planet of The Sharks features more of what you'd expect from an Asylum/SyFy channel co-production - threadbare plotting, sub-community centre panto performances, sets hastily constructed from whatever was lying around and a load of CG shark stuff that cost a few quid when the original Sharknado came out so the company feel they have to get their monies worth from, hence the never ending cycle of Shark-this and Shark-that titles they seem to release with truly terrifying frequency.

"Shark power activated!" (But it's opposite day!)

That's not to say that the film is without its merits tho' - yes the writing veers wildly between awful and just plain appalling with no rhyme  or reason for anything to happen other that 'just because' and the acting - what there is of it - is either non-existent or trying too hard depending on who's onscreen at any given moment but what they hell most of the cast seem to be enjoying themselves and it'd be churlish not to join in.

Saying that tho' Thandi Sebe is genuinely great, it's almost as if she's stumbled off the set of a better movie and knows it, pissed off and prissy in equal measures she dominates every scene and even manages to convince you at one point that the upturned bath she's sitting in is really a hi-tech minisub being attacked by sharks and not being gently rocked by a stagehand as he spurts water into her face.

Plus she must really like sharks - or director Atkins has some dead dodgy pics of her - seeing as she went straight from this to his magnum opus 6 Headed Shark Attack.

Nuff said.

Para Thandi.

Let's be honest tho', you don't fire up an Asylum shark movie expecting Jaws (or even Shark Attack III), no you pop it on your player, pop out your brain and let the sheer shadiness of it spurt over you like the cheap and cheerful sinematic slut that it is.

Just don't tell your friends about it later.

Or blog about it obviously.* 
*I'm OK seeing as no fucker ever reads this.

Monday, September 2, 2019

terrance dicks

“For an adventure that was to be one of the most astonishing of the Doctor’s very long life, it all began very quietly.” 

A sad day for Doctor Who - Terrance Dicks RIP.