High weirdness by Mail

Tim Greaves, Eastleigh — “One major league disappointment, however. Where was the “frankie” of Gillian Anderson? I mean, the Phoebe Cates one was very nice, and quite by chance I’d seen the one of Meg Ryan that you referred to (some guy at work was showing a colour print-out of it round a couple of weeks ago, convinced it was real…yeah, like she’d pose for something like that). But I wanted Gillian Anderson!…To ask me in the text if I “fancy Gillian Anderson sucking a rather large dick” (eliciting a scream from yours truly) and then not deliver the payload is just too damn cruel.”

TC’s printers are a tolerant lot, but I suspect even they might draw the line at graphic oral sex. I merely plead cowardice, having no desire to pen this edition from Wormwood Scrubs. However, I noted with some amusement that a few months after we brought the topic to your attention last issue, the Sunday Sport had a series of articles on the same topic – naturally saying how terrible it all was while providing lots of examples! But for the sake of Tim’s health, I should mention that they didn’t print the Gillian Anderson one either…

Claire Blamey, Great Yarmouth — “I am now working at the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, and at last have found somewhere that I can use the mine of useless information that is sloshing around in my grey matter. We have such intelligent queries to sort out e.g. “Where is the sea?” (this is mostly in the summer) — I say “Go to the window. See that wet patch with boats on it? There you go” — and the occasional “I want to sell my kidneys, do you know where I can go?”

I have also been trying to pass my motorcycle test – trying being the operative word:
    1) so nervous I couldn’t use the clutch properly
    2) the intercom they use didn’t work
    3) a car ran into me and I went bouncing down Norwich ring road at 40 mph
    4) the speedo cable came unstuck, so I had to guess how fast I was going. If I had stopped, I’d have failed for not having a roadworthy machine. I was failed for speeding
    5) the instructor’s bike broke down
    6) the instructor was taken ill and died of a heart attack later on
    7) I had flu and had to cancel

Then my licence ran out and I’ve got to wait a year before trying again. What annoys me is that I’m a really good biker and I see some appalling and dangerous people out on the roads who have got their licences.”

Claire, your problem is not that you’re too dangerous to be let loose; you’re just too unlucky. After the litany of woes above, who’d ever sell you any insurance?

Paul Burney, Prestwich — “Good to see Showgirls given a mention…any film which features Siouxsie and the Banshees, good choreography, Triumph bikes and produces a classy picture book can’t be all bad… Disappointed you didn’t mention its stars — or more importantly, feature any pics. Elizabeth Berkely (Nomi) appeared to take much of the flak – even her agent ditched her – but has managed to rebuild her career in The First Wives’ Club [Er, clearly a different definition of “rebuild” to mine!] Her new agent is the same one as Sandra Bullock; I think any chance of her co-starring in Speed 2 is just wishful thinking.”

Probably lucky for her given the box-office receipts. Bullock’s career is apparently riding the Winona-spiral down; maybe she could swap with Berkeley, and do Showgirls 2 instead?

Robin Bougie, Saskatchewan — “Normally, I hardly ever find anything you write that I disagree with, but this time I actually did…The third season of The X Files is the lamest one, not the best…in most episodes [it] works as the opposite of propaganda for the CIA + FBI. If anything, it shows how they’ll fuck you over and leave you dead in a ditch. That said, I don’t really like the show.

However, with one or two exceptions, little of the “fucking over” is done by the FBI, who seem to be presented mostly as guardians of truth, justice and the American way

Robin continues: ‘In defence of Showgirls‘ and the Barb Wire review reeked of “Look! I’m Jim McLennan! Look how different I am! I think the opposite of what everyone else thinks!” Both movies sucked shit. It’s okay to think Verhoeven is a maverick genius and still think ‘Showgirls’ blew, y’know. We don’t have to gobble up our idols’ faeces… Tell Rik his art is swell, but that girl’s hand on the cover is fucked…unless that’s supposed to be a grotesque mutated meat-hook on the end of her arm, and I’m missing the point.”

I had it down as a tribute to the “handgun” in Videodrome myself… As for Barb Wire and Showgirls, I genuinely enjoyed both. Deal with it. Robin does however win the award for ‘Best Decorated Envelope’, with the splendid illo reproduced on the previous page. Our postman hopes to come off Prozac soon.

Steve Midwinter, Scunthorpe — “…yep, I certainly did have some difficulty with the local police. In late October, the plain clothes police knocked on the door at this address, which is where I rent a room in a terraced house as my office. They had a warrant to search the premises and I was told to open the back door where there were more coppers waiting in case I did a runner! I was immediately arrested for ‘Obscene publications for publicational or financial gain’ and told to sit down while the 8 officers took my place apart. They basically cleared me out totally of stock, as well as my own mags, paperwork, computer, files, the lot. They wanted to search two locked rooms upstairs (my landlord’s bedroom and junkroom) but he was at work so they kicked the doors in (and found nothing, of course). I was then taken to my girlfriend’s flat which was also searched, and all my videos were taken from there… I was taken to the station, booked in, searched, and chucked in a cell, thankfully only for an hour before being interviewed (the usual stupid questions about snuff movies, stills from Cannibal Holocaust being real, selling video nasties, etc, etc). I was then released on bail until January 15th.

The good news is that when I answered bail, they said that they were not going to charge me, but that they wanted to keep some of the videos (titles from the banned list and hardcore porn) which I signed away. They also wanted some of the stuff they’d sent to London to be checked out by the Obscene Publications Squad which included: Darkside, Headpress, Divinity, Penthouse Comix, In the Flesh, Mondo Argento, Necronomicon Book, Killing for Culture, Uncut, Fatal Visions, Lord Horror and a load more [I’m disappointed not to make the list. Where did I put that pic of Gillian Anderson…?] I wouldn’t agree to that so they said that, if we couldn’t come to some agreement, it would have to go before a magistrate to decide, which I was quite happy to do. Finally, they let me have everything back except one copy of The Blackest Heart which had some stills from porn movies in showing erections, so I let them keep that. Apparently I was raided because some guy in Hampshire got the same treatment (he was selling banned videos) and they found a flyer at his home for Dark Carnival. They said it was a letter talking about videos, but I know that was a lie, [Lie? The police? No!!!] because I don’t know the guy and have never dealt with him before… And that’s the end of it apart from the fact that I’m seeing my solicitor about some sort of compensation, at least for the smashed door”. [Update: “needless to say, they won’t pay anything”…]

Nice to know crime is so rare that the cops can waste time fabricating charges against magazine distributors. I need hardly add that you should send off two quid for Steve’s (very impressive) catalogue; the man clearly deserves your support. The full story of how he “helped the police with their enquiries” may be found in #3 of ‘It’s Only a Movie’, also available from Steve. Details of both in the ‘zine section.

Mal Aitchison, Liverpool — “In ‘Against The X Files’, there was mention of the episode featuring a malevolent computer resembling a bad 60’s thriller. This is an outrageous, indefensible accusation. It’s quite blatantly a rip-off of a 1970’s episode of The New Avengers“.

I stand corrected – though at least it was deliberately stoopid. Oh, and if you wondered where Andy Collins had got to, after hijacking the letters column last time… See the next article.