High Weirdness by Lino...
I don’t know about you, but I’m already sick and tired of the "Millennium™". Not the Dome, I don’t plan on visiting it, but then as it’s in South London, even if it was full of naked young girls writhing around in giant champagne glasses…actually, yes, I think I would go for that. (Note to self, email organisers with great new idea) The basic idea behind the millennium stretches out a "slow news summer" into a whole "slow news year". Well, it would, if not for the fact that the papers have taken it upon themselves to go undercover and blow the lid on 2nd-rate celebrities and their sleaze habits. It’s only a matter of time before Christopher Biggins (Safari? So gooooooooodie) takes to walking about Docklands with his pants round his ankles, screaming for coke (if this appears after News of the World exclusives about "Christopher Biggins – Drug Shock", it’s really got nothing to do with me).
Of course conspiracy theorists among you have probably worked out the slow, lazy news coverage is just hiding the fact that the newspapers know it’s the end of the world but can’t be bothered covering it as it’d effect sales. While I’m not overly paranoid (stop laughing at the back), things do seem to have been coming to a head: the non-war in Kosovo, India and Pakistan playing war and the UK losing the Eurovision Song Contest are, I think, all signs of the impending Armageddon, or are they??! If ITV’s appalling The Last Train (WE MUST GET TO ARRRRRK!) is anything to go on, I hope I die come the great flood/asteroid attack/nuclear war because I’ll end up with a dysfunctional group of badly realised cardboard cut-outs, we’ll wander around the countryside for a few weeks, then at the end of the 6th week something very strange will happen and it’ll be the end, or will it??!
Talking of appalling, and changing the subject, I had the misfortune to watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas last week, now, I’ll put my hand up and say that, despite my writing, the nearest I’ve come to a class-A drug is watching Airport on BBC1, and I do think Gilliam is a great director, but what the hell was going on here? Yes, yes, I know, before you all start shouting "It was like someone had taken written accounts of all the best trips they’d ever had and put them on the screen." Bollocks. Ohhh look, all the people have turned into lizards, hang on they’re in a bar, oh, lounge lizards, I get it, haha. Hard to believe someone actually financed this rubbish. I suppose it goes to prove two things: one, Hunter S Thompson is having a great laugh at all our expense; two, Johnny Depp really is the worst actor in the world (what do you mean I don’t do film reviews? What’s your point? I’m venting, leave me alone).
The same night, I also watched The Suicide Kings, and let me tell you, it was about seven and a half million times better. I’d not heard anything about the film, did a little rollercoaster of emotions as the film started, "Oh shit, that opening title sequence is ripping off Se7en, and I hated that movie, oh, Christopher Walken is in it, I like him", and so on and so forth. Bottom line is (I’ve suddenly worked out I’ve been rambling so’ve decided to cut this short. That said though, me writing this has made it longer than if I’d have carried on, ohhh whatever…) it’s a damned fine movie, so go get it (even if it’s only for the sight of Christopher Walken wearing a long wig and 70’s clothes in a flashback scene).
Right, well, back to reality, and more importantly, to work. I’d have finished a week ago if I hadn’t twisted my knee (saving a pregnant lady who’d fallen in the path of an oncoming bus. Ok, getting in a cab), and yes, that is an excuse. Those with internet access who visit the Trash City site will have, no doubt, seen Jim updating the page count for the new issue (paranoia suggests this is there entirely for my benefit, after all, it saves him having to bother even talking to me). Whatever anyone might say, please rest assured that my article will not be the last one to be completed, and it won’t be the reason the new issue won’t be out before the year 2000. No more time wasting though, there will be a break in the reviews (thanks Jim, for not including any anime "rubbish" this time), so I can tell you lots more interesting things, including, if you’re lucky, the wonderful new LinoCam address! (I was bored, ok?)
So, I lie, just a little bit more time wasting…. It’s now 9:05am on Tuesday 20th July 1999, the 30th Anniversary of Elliot Gould discovering something I think, and I’m going to get everything done and dusted today for three reasons.
- I just need to get this out of the way so my adoring public can gaze in wonder on my words.
- I got yet another phone call from Jim warning me that if I didn’t have the stuff finished by the weekend he’d do it himself (which leads me to believe that he’s actually enthusiastic about this issue).
- I’ve been told that I’ve got some top secret Cosgrove Hall animation footage from the new Noddy series coming in… Doh! Ignore that last comment.
So, without further ado, we present, for your pleasure and delectation…. What you’ve actually come this far to read… What I can’t really get around to starting (Ohhhh hush), no, really, it’s time for…
Bomba Movies 6 (All reviews special). From the people that brought you Vixxxen (see below) comes issue six of Bomba Movies. You know, it’s only now, that I realise having such long gaps between issues of TC makes my life very difficult. Did I enjoy this the last time? Ahhhh the wonders of computers, I’ve found the old batch of reviews, and thanks to a Charles Band like stroke of genius, will reprint what I said last time to pad out what I’ve got to say this time!! Muhahaha!!
>>Creaky old flashback effect<<
...all that and the sordid little pictures are easier on the eye too! Excellent. More please!
>>Creaky old flashforward effect<<
Ohhh, I made it back…. Yep, well everything I said about Bomba still holds true. Issue 6 is reviews only, which is no bad thing, I do like reading reviews (especially mine… ha, geddit?). You’ve got reviews of movies ranging from the sublime Bell of Hell to the ridiculous Porno Holocaust. It’s nice to see a film I reviewed at least 9 years ago in Creeping Unknown get another review (that movie being Centipede Horror), and a little piece of trivia, in the Pervirella review, it mentions the very nice touch of a tribute to the late David Warbeck at the start of the movie, well… I did that! Blimey, it’s a small world after all… So, in closing my friends, do try Bomba Movies… It is after all, the gift that keeps on giving.
Sweet Smell of Sick Sex 2. You know that Tex Avery eyes rolling around in your head type of deal you get sometimes? OK, you don’t, but that’s what I got when I picked this up. The first thing you’ll notice is the amazing, sick, twisted, perverted, fabulous artwork and posters for films I’d wish they’d make tomorrow "The West Family" anyone? How about "Grandpa Ghoul"? You’d think they’d be able to sell it to people on the strength of the artwork only – imagine Eric Stanton if he’d really gone to town, mixed with some Coop for good measure. Add some cartoon strips to the mix, and a hilarious interview with Al Goldstein of Screw magazine fame, who spends most of the phone interview trying to get an eatout order on the female interviewer… One more highlight is coverage of a 1950’s French Canadian "newspaper" called "Allo Police" (No, really, unless of course it’s all bullshit, and I’ve been suckered in), which was the MOST amazing thing. Imagine Faces of Death (or Traces, or whatever sick little Mondo floats your boat), in print form, with pictures of mutilated corpses all over the front cover and you’ll scratch the surface of "Allo Police", and this was all in 1953??!! Throw in an interview with Lux Interior and Ivy from The Cramps and a bucketload more stuff… It’s a hit man!! A HIT!!
Danzine 13. I think it was Margo St. James who once said, "I’d rather suck cock than kiss ass." Of course I only know ‘cause it’s printed on the bottom of the first page of Danzine, which is, if you don’t already know, "An independent publication for exotic dancers and ladies in the sex industry" (is that me?). I’ve got to say before I picked up Danzine, I was confused as to dealing with the IRS regarding the tax deductions on any tips I might make while stripping. Not any more! Turn to page 3 for an answer to that! I was also totally ignorant of the fact that if you’re diagnosed with herpes you should "Love yourself and eat and drink healthily" (Surely, "loving yourself" in the first place would cut any almost any chance of contracting herpes…), more handy herpes tips can be found on page 5. That’s not all! You’ve got fiction in there, Brandi recounting her visit to be a guest on the Jerry Springer Show (apparently, she has an act that involves "Breast Milk"), a "pro’s" guide to the strip joints in San Francisco and of course, a whole lot more. All in all, probably the finest strippers and "professionals" fanzine you’re ever going to read. (No, there isn’t even a picture of a nipple, what a gyp...)
Dark Star Double issue 14-15. Ah, one of those clever "Get half way through then everything gets turned upside down so it looks like two issues" deals. Well, listen here, Rob Dyer! I don’t pay £2.95 of my hard earned money only to have to stop reading something and go through the laborious process of turning the ruddy thing upside down, going back to the front cover and starting again!! OK, so I don’t pay £2.95 full stop. But if I did, oh boy, would I be totally pissed. Actually no, but it has, as you can plainly see, used up some space, and that can only be a good thing (note to self: try reading some books on English sentence construction, you’ve not used a full stop in about 12 lines of text, surely some mistake. Another note to self: buy a copy of Private Eye next week, you’ve not read that for ages. Yet another note to self: yes, it’s correct, eating an entire pack of 6 Mr Kipling Strawberry Sundaes does in fact make you go a little mental; something to do with the food colouring I’ll be bound. Final note to self: weren’t you reviewing Dark Star a minute ago? Ohhh yes, sorry). Any magazine with a picture of Xena on the cover (even if the article inside is written by Jim), can only be a good thing. Ahhhh, we like Xena, with her slightly butch looks and fabulous thighs… In fact, I now present a little snippet from a terribly interesting Xena story I found on-line the other week:
From the table he pulled two round cups. He sprayed the inside with a liquid and then moved to Xena. She tugged at her bonds but there was no give in them. Bazaal carefully cupped her sweaty bosom, each breast at a time and the cups stayed in place even as Xena tried to wobble them from side to side.
The final probe was moved down to her crotch and she grimaced as she felt it enter into her body.
"So this is just some sick fantasy of yours, Bazaal. I expected something better."
"Oh it gets better."
He pulled a lever and water began to flow into the machines on the wall. Wheels moved, cogs turned, pumps started pumping and Xena let out a gasp of shock.
Cor, blimey, that’s not bad is it! If you want to see the rest of the story, don’t hesitate to mail me at email@example.com. I can recommend downloading pictures of Lucy Lawless from the net and making your own little picture book up… Not that I’ve done anything like that, of course!! Oh, and for those who are interested. What IS the story with Gabrielle’s new dykey haircut, she looks trés skank-like now, and you can bloody well print that!!!
Anyway…bumper double issue filled with reviews (though Rob Dyer thinks Cube was the best sci-fi film of 1998. It was diverting, but hardly the best thing in Sci-fi). Rob and his chums (does that sound condescending? Ahhh, whatever), take a look at Cat III movies (I used to make the BBFC cuts in the Eastern Heroes movies, you should have seen what they did with that baseball bat in Whores from China), they also, if you’re interested, and I can’t see you would be unless you’re called Vaughn or something, review a batch of anime titles (Zzzzzzzzzzz). Best thing? Rob’s in-depth look at the movie The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. The funniest? An interview with Julian Richards under the byline "Is this man the Welsh Cronenberg?": how funny is that! According to the opening paragraph of the interview it tells us "The youthful Richards is being hailed as the great white hope of the UK horror genre"…is he? Anyway, look, Dark Star is good, ok? I mean it, I’m not just saying that because it’s suddenly dawned on me that Rob Dyer can punch my head in, honest… I loved it. You will too, well you will if you slit a hole on the cover with Xena on it, then it’s like she’s giving you a b…….next!!
Napartheid – Issue something or other. Probably. Now you see, very occasionally, I love a challenge. This isn’t one of those occasions. At all. Give me something printed in a foreign language and most of the time, I’ll use all available clues to tell you what language it is and where the fanzine is from. Napartheid has me totally stumped. Added to the fact it’s 8:35am on Friday, my cab has conspired to get me to work early, and there is a godawful racket from the studios over the road where some "pop" group is filming a video (They’re so cool that they travel in a school bus with the S and H painted out in the word "School" on the back of it). I’m not saying I don’t like it. I’m guessing it’s Eastern European, and anything that has a cartoon strip depicting the last hours of Di & Dodi (remember them, anyone? Anyone?) featuring cut-out photo heads stuck on scrawled drawings and a last frame containing a picture of an ambulance with the siren wailing "DODIDODI" can’t be all bad. It all looks terribly political, so I’m sticking with my East European theory. Let me take another look through, don’t move… Hey! You at the back, don’t turn to the pictures of cartoons just yet, I said don’t move. You know, this is so political, and dates back 2 years: I imagine that everyone who contributed to it has been rounded up and shot. If you haven’t, mail me. Thanks. I’ll leave you with my favourite quote from Napartheid… "Kuxx laztana! Etor nire etxera zuretzat deputamadekoa den zerbait badut eta." Translate that and I’ll send you a prize. Hilarious stuff from our hairy East European buddies. [Ed: it’s actually Basque Spanish...]
Hand Action 23 + 24. Hey! Are you a wanker? No really, do you like a quick one off the wrist? A little hand shandy? A bit of a spit. Do you enjoy "killing time"? Bashing the Bishop one of your favourite things to do on Sunday after Eastenders has finished? Well get your "hand" on "Hand Action" a photocopied tribute to wanking… so go on you wanker, go to it…. I thought it was a little scary, and that’s saying something.
Vixxxen 2 Hey!!! I remember this… Tell you what, let’s just jump into the old time travel machine again and see what I said about the last issue of "Vixxxen"… Or not, as it seems I can’t find anything I wrote. Hmm, perhaps it’s because I thought it was so bad. Nooo, that can’t be right. Hang on, you know I don’t think it’s really fair to base reviews on past issues of the ‘zine. You’re probably right, but by that same token it’s not fair to base reviews on comments made in that fanzine about the fanzine of someone you know. So, I won’t… Honest. Let’s tear this baby to pieces! I’m feelin’ feisty!! Ripped off interview with Jenna Jameson (boorrrrrrrring)…. Justin Bomba (yes, yes, I know, but Vixxxen is brought to you by the fine people who bring you Bomba Movies) looks at the work of Crepax (wasted on the people who will buy Vixxxen for the porn articles mebbe??), a "Lost Classics" section reviewing movies most people haven’t heard of in a long while. (best thing in the whole of Vixxxen if you ask me… Although I’d hardly call "Pretty Peaches" lost, that was the first porn movie I saw <sniff>). More comic goings on with a retrospective look at "Carnal Comics" (hrm...why?). An Eighties retrospective of the works of Christy Canyon (the 80’s were shit. for the most part, as demonstrated here…), an Eros comics review section (Ok, I liked that. so sue me), and last but not least some porno reviews, and the saving grace, two fangtastic (hah, I’m so funny) pictures of Vanessa Del Rio from the movie Dracula Exotica. What a woman… You see, they only put those pictures in there because they knew I was going to say "£3 for this is a little on the excessive side", which, to be honest, I still think, but I won’t say that obviously because of dear sweet Vanessa <sigh>. I suppose technically, if you’re a jizzfilm boy, you’ll appreciate what’s on offer. Well, when it comes to the reviews of the old stuff, but who cares what Jenna Jameson’s gotta say about anything?
Thunderbox 1? Hmmm, you know, you get to see some worthy things that don’t really interest you in the slightest and you think to yourself "The easiest thing in the world to do would be to slag it off…" but I’ll try and avoid that. Maybe. OK, let’s start by saying that according to the editorial, Steve Green et al wanted Thunderbox to be "a great format for a fanzine, mixing the serious and lighthearted, the timeless and the timebound…". And, if I avoid the fact the editorial goes on to mention "Novacon 28" (which sounds suspiciously like one of those events where people who spend 11 and a half months of the year as shut-ins go and congregate in a hotel near an airport to dissect the hidden meaning behind Babylon 5, but of course, I could be wrong), they set out and achieve everything they want. Of course I can’t stand "serious" so if you want to find out about that, and there’s plenty in there, go get a copy. The one thing I will mention here is the letter sent to the National Lottery organizers (no, I’m not telling you what the letter says), and the po-faced reply. You want me to tell you if it’s worth buying? Well I’m not going to, find out for yourself. Ha! I love doing that right near the end of a column; it does so annoy people. Ignore the "Computers are the new Jesus" imagery on the front too, the contents are better than the cover would have you believe.
Mansplat 14. I’ve said it before (probably – I don’t usually pay much attention to what I say…and neither does anyone else, before Jim says anything), and I’ll say it again. Mansplat is consistently funny, far funnier that I could ever even hope to be, and it’s free. Even if it wasn’t funny, the damned thing would still be free and therefore worth getting your hands on. If you want a rant from a smoker (Go smoker, go smoker…I love a cigarette, me), you’ve got it. If you want a brief, hilarious history of swear words, you’ve got it. If you want a list of "Mansplat Superheroes" (Couch Surfer + Beer Breath), again you’ve got it. I can’t even begin to describe how funny it is, I was considering reprinting some of it, but no, remember I told you it was free? Contact them yourselves and get hold of whatever back issues you can. If you’re at all disappointed (or a girl), mail me and I’ll set you straight, mate.
And that’s it. Whew, that was taxing. No, really! As this will undoubtedly be the last thing I write this millennium, I’ll take this opportunity to wish you all the best, blah, blah. Myself, I hate New Year’s Eve at the best of times but add the 4000% increase in madness and it won’t be any better. I’ll probably do something as exciting as last year when I was hanging speakers. I’d rather do that than go to a party where you’re forced to be nice to people you neither know nor like at the stroke of midnight. Stuff that!
Right, now, as I’m polite, it’s time for some thank yous before I head off, ready to receive thousands of congratulatory emails… In no particular order. Thanks to Jim for cutting out two thirds of this article before you see it (probably all the libellous elements), and for buying pizza on Saturday. Thanks to everyone at work for doing my work when I was doing this, and particularly to Nick for keeping me supplied with coffee and stories about trials for Hayes Town football club, and the scandalous "No oranges at half time" story. No thanks at all to "sickboy", I think it’s about time he shit or got off the pot, I’m getting bored with it now. Thanks to Juliet for putting up with my huge mood swings (at work, natch), and sorting out all my personal paperwork when she doesn’t really have to, even though she’s Northern and I assumed they couldn’t read, well apart from signs they might find in coal mines – "Danger: Gas" and the like. A huge thank you to Howard Stern for totally humiliating Chris Evans and his cronies (you might have seen that if you watch Bravo), it just goes to show that outside the UK, Mr Evans would die a swift death: let’s buy him a ticket now. Thanks to Toby Russell for being the most mentally unstable person I know, always making me laugh even though he’s keeping me late at work with movies about Bud Spencer lookalikes and piglets, oh, and keeping me supplied with pizzas!
Thanks to Wee Jimmy at work for helping me out when he didn’t really have to. No thanks at all to "Wok’s Cooking" restaurant for sucking me in with a hilarious name, getting me all worked up last Sunday looking forward to a Chinese meal, then not bloody well being open at 8:35pm! Thanks to Marks & Spencer for having the best fruit gums in the world…yummmmmy! Thanks to Tesco for delivering food. No thanks to eggs for being breakable bastards and spilling all over my chocolate. No thanks to the summer for being crap, then all humid: remember, kids it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. Thanks to Paul for lifts home from work that generally involve conversations that end in songs, driving very fast over narrow country hills and making me more mental than I already am.
And finally…a very, very, very, huge thank you to Jaime, for being generally the most lovely woman on the face of the planet, putting up with me, and making me feel nice and warm and squidgy inside (most of the time!), for that and so much more, I love you J. Oh look, stop it, I’m getting all mushy, that’ll never do, and I couldn’t end an article like that, could I? Yes, actually, I could. See you in 2000!
- Bomba Movies (£1.95) + Vixxxen (£3) – through Media Publications
- Danzine – 625 SW 10th Ave #233B, Portland, OR 97205, USA
- Dark Star (£2.95) – 64 Arthur St, Gravesend, Kent, DA11 0PR
- Hand Action – your guess is as good as mine...
- Mansplat (Free...ish) – PMB 591, 2318 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
- Napartheid (300 pesetas) – Uztarrotze karrika 40, 31014 Irunem, Nafarroa, Spain
- Sweet Smell of Sick Sex ($7?) – Sophie Cossette, PO Box 41, Place du Parc, Montreal, Quebec, H2Q 2M9, Canada
- Thunderbox – Steve Green, 33 Scott Rd, Olton, Solihull, B92 7LQ
And back on planet Earth, this is your humble editor speaking, with all the ‘zines which Lino didn’t, or wouldn’t, review. First, there’s Mansplat, who’re now up to #16, though there’s not much more that needs to be said about it, ‘cos I agree with Lino: it’s great. The latest one covers lesbians, swearing, hippies, their annual Barbarella awards (‘uncovers’ would be more appropriate there) and beer. Almost as good as the fabulous #13, which set unsurpassed new (low) standards in humour and bad taste. Technically free, but be a sport and maybe send them summat typically British for their efforts. Like tea-bags...
Return to a normal font, I think, since we now move onto the "anime rubbish", as Lino so delicately put it – once more, we opted to save him from them, and indeed, them from him. The British anime industry may be sucking hard but, perversely, the British anime ‘zine industry continues to flourish, with a selection of more or less interesting product. The focus seems to be largely on manga-style comic strips, and Boiled Spoons is a prime example, showcasing the writing talents of Carl Desforges and a selection-box of artists. The word "fluffy" comes to mind: if this were a foodstuff, it’d be an all-you-can-eat buffet of variously flavoured Angel Delight – limited nutritional content, but tasty nonetheless. Taking a similarly eclectic approach to contributors, but probably closer to something involving large quantities of chocolate are not one, but two issues of Cyber Age. The majority of CA is a dense, heavily-plotted maze, inspired by SF-punkish Cyber City Oedo: the ongoing stories might be a bit tricky to follow without backtracking, given the gap between installments, yet it’s well worth the effort, and there’s a good balance of humour and even (gasp!) text. Strange how the brief lifespan of Cyber City Oedo has spawned not one, but two, ‘zines: there’s also Cop Fiction, fan-written stories in the same universe. No previous experience really required though, they stand alone just as well. One staple in the top-left corner makes it feel agreeably like something unauthorised, even if the "Over 18’s" tag is largely down to one, admittedly eye-watering, paragraph. Since the demise of the much-loved Cajun Sushi Bar, anime fan-fiction has been lacking, making this one especially welcome.
Quietstorm has one writer, one artist, and costs one pound; there is a pleasing simplicity to this which is reflected in the spartan and effective artwork. Returning to the dessert theme, it would be a lemon sorbet. On the other hand, Spacenoid is a cheeseboard with a very sharp knife, since it’s an "afters" of a different kind altogether, containing no comic strips at all: instead, it’s an entertaining mix of articles, reviews and whatever else Paul Lampshire finds amusing, with a colour cover. Bastard – why can’t he stick to black-and-white like the rest of us? Finally, there’s British Manga, and here the whole metaphor breaks down, since I like pudding. While an improvement on previous efforts, what can you say about a ‘zine with upside down pages? It’s either an amazing artistic statement or…the artists included deserve better.
- Boiled Spoons – No price or contact details. And we’re already late. Try mental telepathy?
- British Manga (£1) – 99 Herga Rd. Harrow Weald, Middlesex
- Cop Fiction – another elusive bunch, c/o Cyber Age is your best bet!
- Cyber Age (£2.50) – Vanessa Wells, 95 Rosemary Ave, Braintree, Essex, CM7 2TB
- Quiet Storm (£1) – 129 Applegarth Ave, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 6LT
- Spacenoid (£1.50) – 63 West Ave, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3JA
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