Trash TV

Well, the BBC did it again. The Saturday before Halloween, they showed David Cronenberg’s ‘The Dead Zone’ and the Tommy Lee Wallace directed ‘Halloween III: Season of the Witch’ (oddly, both produced by Debra Hill). In a startling display of idiosyncracy, they censored the former, removing the scene where the murderer commits suicide, probably leaving those who hadn’t seen it before wondering what the hell happened. Then, two hours later, “Halloween III” was shown in full, including a man having his head pulled clean, or rather, pulled messily, off. Not bad, given it’s cut on video. I can just about bear TV censorship, as long as it’s consistent – this semi-random approach is getting more and more annoying.

Advertisement time. Don’t know whether other regions have it, but down in London, we’ve been getting an advert for Cadbury’s Crunchies. I assume it’s supposed to be a parody of a 50’s musical – it consists of little more than a big-bosomed bimbo waving her cleavage at the camera while singing lines like “I’d rather have a Crunchie, than play a round with Sam”. How this sexual innuendo got past the IBA and what it’s all got to do with honeycomb choc-bars remains a mystery to me, but I can foresee trouble. If the looney feminist lobby can claim on ‘Right to Reply’ that an advert for the Peugeot 209 (I think it was) was a rape fantasy, they’ll be having an apoplectic fit about this one.

Assuming this gets out before Chrissie-mas, you might care to keep an eye out for the following. “Hazard of Hearts” (31st, BBC1, 2015) – it’ll be interesting to see the result when an irresistible force, in the shape of Helena Bonham-Carter, probably the best young actress in Britain today, meets the immovable, leaden prose of Barbara Cartland. “The Prince and the Pauper” (25th, BBC2, 1100), if only ‘cos Sybil Danning’s in it (I think!) and Jan Svankmajer’s “Alice” (2nd, Ch4, 0050); see TC3 for it. Overall the BBC wins, on the film front anyway: “Legend”, “Krull”, “My Fair Lady” (in English!), “The Name of the Rose” & “Clockwise” will do nicely; all I’ll be slapping on tape from ITV is “Escape From New York”.

Saw an interesting piece about Wendy James on ‘Hard News’. She was whining about the tabloid press telling lies and making up stories saying how she called Kylie Minogue ‘that Aussie bimbo’. “Bimbo is such a sexist term” said Miss James, as she sprawled on… Well, where do YOU think would be the most appropriate place to hold an interview, for a girl supposedly trying desperately to lose her bimbo image? A king-size bed? Right first time…

“After half an hour we saw a hooker on the street of a small town. In the DDR there are no prostitutes, peepshows or porn mags, but we knew what she was from Western TV programmes that we’d seen.”

—— East German refugee describing his first impressions of the West.