I watched a film this week. In this film, a Nazi spider-robot from the future anally raped an American soldier who had been sent back in time to 50,000 BC to kill a dinosaur-lion thing and investigate an alien flying saucer that had crash-landed there.
Yeah, my brain hurts, too.
This piece of sheer majestic greatness was The 25th Reich; an Australian comedy(?), sci-fi, action, horror…thing from deepest, darkest 2012. I’d discovered this film by accident, having been pounding the streets of Southampton looking for new contenders for my semi-regular B-movie horror gatherings. Yet lo and behold! What should shine out from amongst the standard Hollywood schlock and grime but a sparkling DVD case proclaiming the words: “5 men, 25 dimensions, 1 reality”; adorned with a picture of some US soldiers stood in front of some Nazi spaceships and a sticker saying “£0.75”. Before my brain could even compute what was happening, I found myself at the cashier’s register with the movie in my hand and my wallet 75 pence lighter than it was; suddenly questioning whether what I had just done was a good idea.
Well, what I had just done was cheaper than a cup of coffee and would only eat up 81 minutes of my precious life, so what was the worst that could happen? [Oh yeah, a Nazi spider-robot from the future anally raping an American solider, yada yada yada].
Alas, I’m not going to tell you. Y’see, such is the sheer, intense rage and amusement that The 25th Reich managed to instil in me, I’m going to take some time to really delve into the film; dissect it, poke fun at it and, if absolutely necessary, watch the bloody thing again. I tried my best to formulate my thoughts on it with enough turnaround as to post it here in time for today, but I can only deal with so much madness in one go; so, instead, I’ll post it in a fully-formed, uh, form hopefully sometime soon. I think it’d actually be rather interesting to go through the process for other, similarly-terrible B-movies as well; perhaps as a sort of series, I don’t know. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be fun to revisit the madness again one more time. Maybe.
Okay then, so what good things have I watched recently?
Well, I’ve recently tried to semi-resurrect my commitment to #Project500, my personal goal to try and watch all the of the 500 films ranked as ‘The Greatest Movies of All-Time’ as part of a poll in Empire magazine in 2008. As of today, I’ve managed to check off about 370 of them (to be fair, when I started, I had already seen almost half of the list); in the process, discovering a number of films that would now rank as some of my favourites. The last couple of years have seen a bit of a drop in the tick-off rate, so with the passing of the New Year I decided to sharpen my film-slaying sword and head off back into the #Project500 battle:
From Here to Eternity was a fairly pleasant, romantic drama focussing on a company in the US army stationed at Pearl Harbour just before the infamous attack; The Bird with the Crystal Plumage was a tedious horror/psycho-thriller from Dario Argento that, despite the original film being in English, I somehow managed to watch dubbed into Italian with English subtitles; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was monotonous drudge with some appalling plotlines, rueful acting and some terrible songs; Topsy-Turvy was an entertaining, light-hearted biopic of Gilbert & Sullivan’s struggles to put on The Mikado; and A Man Escaped was a sort of slow-but-tense, black-and-white film by Robert Bresson, cataloguing one man’s efforts to escape prison after being arrested by the Nazis for being a part of the French Resistance. So yeah, films.
In between the #Project500 adventuring, I’ve also returned to my journey through The X-Files: after a bit of a break, I’ve recommenced at the beginning of season two, where the noticeable step up in quality (of both writing and visual effects) is already apparent. I love that the series perfectly combines my three, separate passions for paranormal conspiracy theories, B-movie special effects and detective drama. Also, if I was gay, I would totally try to it on David Duchovny. I’m not, but it’s good to have a Plan B just in case the whole ‘heterosexual’ thing doesn’t work out.
I’m not a person that really goes in for long-running TV series, and I totally shy away from the modern obsession with ‘box set’ TV unless it’s Game of Thrones. It’s like a constantly-repeating mantra that I feel like I have to repeat to everyone: no, I haven’t watched Breaking Bad. I don’t care how ‘good’ people might say it is; I’m just yet to be convinced by the ‘format’ of long-running drama series – I prefer “cinema” as a concept, where drama and storytelling are communicated concisely and character development is progressed more in a way that I enjoy. I’d rather spend 2-3 hours with a brilliantly concise, well-shot piece of celluloid drama than feel like I have to persevere with a bulldozer of a box set in order to eventually receive the payoff about a hundred hours later. In short: Breaking Bad may well be brilliant for its hundred-odd hours, but 2001: A Space Odyssey manages the catalogue the whole of human existence (from prehistory to a science-fiction future) in just two hours.
Speaking of time-consuming television, I’m once again romping through the whole of The Thick of It with gay abandon and unstoppable laughter. TToI is one of the (albeit, very few) television programmes that I could watch over and over and over again, and I’m once again revelling in the monolithic brilliance that is Malcom F. Tucker. [the other programmes that I could watch endlessly being Peep Show, Green Wing, Blackadder, I’m Alan Partridge, Black Books, Father Ted and The IT Crowd]. There’s just something endlessly cathartic about Tucker’s constant swearing and way with words; as if his expletive-filled rants somehow have a emotional connection to the soul and directly expel everything ‘bad’ from the world. He’s possibly the greatest comedy character ever created, and one which I will never tire of listening to.
Three words: Tim. In. Ruislip.