Nightmares in a Damaged Brain

Have you ever really sat down and wondered about the reviewers in the Hi-Fi magazines? For instance, what kind of person can come up with such wild prose as:

  • “…sound was rather dry and lacking air, while string tone was syrupy…”
  • “…Image width was par for the course, while the bass was also above average in terms of weight and clarity, showing decent extension as well as good articulation.”
  • “…with grain and tizz very well controlled…”
  • “…a different sound: it was unusually sweet and tended to give a more relaxed, laid-back impression…”
  • “…distinctively rich and creamy tonal quality…”

And lastly, because any more would reduce me to incoherency and tears :

  • “…They were as crisp and clear and fast as reality, with no overhang, no smearing – nothing…”

Did you understand that one? After my brief section-8 in Valladolid, I think I can cope with the simpler concepts involved. Much careful thought into this subject has caused me to come up with two distinct theories to explain these phenomena.

The first possibility is that they are a form of human butterfly. From birth, they live on nothing but old hi-fi reviews, purple prose, hair-raising metaphors and big thesauri. Then, on reaching maturity at about 25, they undergo an astonishing metamorphosis to turn into that fabulous winged beast: The Fully-Fledged Hi-Fi Reviewer (a protected species).

My second theory is altogether more reasonable and is simply this: Aliens. Whether they are here to destroy civilization, by reducing us to idiocy, or just hanging out on this dreary planet waiting for a really serious party, I have yet to discover.

Here, I point out a possible terrifying scenario for our agile minded readers. Imagine our alien/hi-fi reviewer Arnold Eight-Ohms trying to write a piece on the film “Eyebrows”. First, he sits down and reads a few other reviews of the equipment, forming a preliminary opinion. Then he goes out and tries to get one for free. Eventually, he ( or she, as there could just as well be a distaff sex ) will realise that things are different in the world of moving pictures, that films can be more fun than all the hi-fi in the world, and that they are a lot harder to use at home.


  • Stars: Julie Robertson, Nicholas Wright, Ferdinand Groot, Maria Teresa Caballero.
  • Director: Frederico de Apothecaria.
  • Running Time: 1 hr 52 min.
  • Certificate: 18.
  • Opening Date : 27th April.

Classic cave romp, set in the South of England during the Rather Dark Ages following the separate journeys of the two cavepersons to their joint Mecca. Hallucinogenic is a fourteen letter word.

This film is a floral pastiche of landscapes, architecture and sound. The epic scenery is of such hgh quality one would think it was made in Switzerland and not, in fact, England. Filmed entirely around Milton Keynes and Cambridge by the British company Hand Maid Filums, this masterpiece of mendacious transcendental art is, in its simplest form, an erratic caveman movie.

The twin separate power supplies of Julie Robertson and Nicholas Wright stand out in the sheer quality of construction. The director obviously believes in using only the best. And what a choice. These two are stars of the first magnitude. After all, who can forget Miss Robertson’s enthralling performance as the CD-player with six separate identities in Dino de Longname’s 1985 masterpiece “Sunset, Moonrise”? And Nicholas Wright’s excellent rendition of a profligate Romeo in the 1978 film “Nuevo Romeo y Juliet, eight-times oversampling”?

In this film, they play two ex-cave inhabitants from Spain who, instead of being pre-occupied with sex and Dolby-B noise reduction, are wholly obsessed with travelling to the mythical centre of the universe, a place known only as Milton Keynes, first seen in the opening credits as the atypical caveperson’s nirvana.

Their tribulations and triumphs are set out in fine detail across the awe-inspiring sound stage of post ice-age Britain, fully utilising the six channel surround sound system of the modern cinema (400W rms per channel into a nominal 4 ohms).

Plot wise, the script lacks definition in the lower registers and exhibits a slight tendency to whiffle and splutter in the mid-range. A slight tendency to overstate the obvious affected one of the cross-intermodulated channels, most noticeably on The Velocity Kid. Also, the characters portrayed were creamily indistinct and the lacked the clean focus of a larger, more weighty, budget.

Maria Teresa Caballero comes across as a great newcomer. Her relaxed, laid back style really lends credence to her part as the angel Gabrielle, cancelling out a fractional tribble right at the top of the high end. Watch for the faintly anachronistic car chase between Gabrielle and the anathemised Velocity Kid (Groot again).

Director Frederico de Apothecario (“Sweaty”, “One Night Locked in a Cupboard with Vanna White”, “Sequel II: The Sequel”) has made a visionary break-through in his use of new technology. Compared to conventional analogue filming, his wholly digital technique gives a far better result for the same expenditure. Indeed, in years to come, this film will be the reference standard against which future digital films will be compared.

The driving rock soundtrack is well matched to the screen imagery, giving one a real feel for the events dramatized on screen. Pure digital recording techniques and the use of a very clever hardware algorithm gives one an impression of really being there. So much so, that during one particularly effective chase scene, where Marta (Robertson) is chased by a horde of drug-crazed Koala bears, I actually ran screaming from the cinema. Be warned, this soundtrack is not for the faint-hearted, those with pacemakers fitted or budding neurotics. It also has a tendency to blow up inadequately rated speakers.

To sum up, this is a great product and I recommend you go out and buy one. Or two even. Take your girlfriend, or boyfriend, or cat even – why not take the whole family and see if you can get rid of a few? I know I will. In fact, as I write, I am going to take my mother-in-law Tabitha Clench to see it. Next month, I will be reviewing the latest animated movies from Japan, including “R-Rated Bears of Doom” and “Fluffy the Rabbit”.

Just about as incomprehensible as the real thing I think…

The Dinner Party Game (Second Sitting)

Simon Wood’s choice of guests:

Dieter Meier (Yello – “member of the Swiss national golf team,
ex professional gambler, millionaire, dress designer”)
Salvador Dali
Hunter S. Thompson
John Lydon (Johnny Rotten)
Roland Rivron (aka Dr Martin Scrote, etc)
Jack the Ripper (“just to see who it is!”)
Beatrice Dalle
Edie Sedgewick [???]
Lydia Lunch
Gala Dali (Salvador’s wife)
Princess Margaret

Interesting meal. Simon managed to leave himself out – presume he’s the waiter!

You may have seen the “Chimp tears arm off toddler” headlines recently. Now, I know zoos sometimes give monkeys TV to stop them getting bored, but I suspect that the “Cat People” video may not have been a wise move…