- Honey, I Shrunk The Kinks
- Big Country For Old Men
- Fiend Without The Faces
- The Abbadook
- The 39 Steps
Category: Films And TV
I pretty much gave up on Timelord Victorious before it began, a complete mess of cross media what even is this and why would I want it.
However, they had me at an animated Dalek story, starring the Daleks. As a kid (and a grown up, I reread them often), I was fascinated by the sixties Dalek comics. Alongside Dan Dare and later 2000ad, some of the most formative stuff for me.
On the way back from the shops I’d often lose myself in imagining a cartoon version, Daleks fighting Mechanoids, the kind of “who would win in a fight?” stuff kids are prone to do. You know, one Dalek on a transolar disc versus sixteen Mechanoids on a planet populated by killer plants. The normal stuff.
Daleks! is so very nearly that. It is absurdly low budget and has a faint air of 2000’s fan film but that’s okay. I mean, I would do murders for this sort of thing with a Netflix budget but hey, since when has that ever been Doctor Who? It’s a show all about doing lots with not much money. And this is the closest anything has gotten to making those daydreams of long ago real.
The mismatch of art styles, the Official Indie Game Style Low Poly Explosions, the videogame circa 2004 cut scene vibe and lack of any coherent pacing is all part of the fun. Sitting down and watching the first two parts with the youngest, giggling at them deciding which Dalek is best Dalek, cheering at the battles and so on, that’s what it’s about.
It would be very easy for me to be down on it for the production and initially, I kinda was. I’d missed the point though. None of that matters. All that matters is it works as the closest thing to the Dalek stories that existed only in my head since RTD wrote The Stolen Earth and my kid bloody loves it.
Kinda like me through all the years of loving Doctor Who, it’s as much in the imagination as it is on screen. It sorta had to be, long may it always be.
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Just reading Jonathan Jones on Harryhausen and remembered that for an all too long period of time I was absolutely convinced that Medusa lived in the alleyway leading to some council garages at the back of my old house.
For far too many years I would absolutely pelt it past that alleyway just in case. Even now my brain has a hard time accepting that no, it is not reasonable to think that Medusa, a mythological creature, would move to an increasingly depressing small town at all, let alone into an alleyway leading to some garages.
Look. I have lived an especially full existence and nearly carked it on multiple occasions and I can say with all sincerity that absolutely nothing before or after left such a strong impression on me.
I was bloody well terrified by Harryhausen’s incredible stop motion work like nothing else. I’ll always love it for that. That’s a job well done, I reckon.
Man, he was good.
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I mean, not me personally! I don’t bury anyone, officer. I’m talking about the film starring Richard Boone.
What an absolutely cracking film it is too. It’s the story of a bloke who’s assigned to look after a graveyard and discovers that by exchanging the white “reserved” pins with the black “buried in this plot” pins on a map of the graveyard, the person who the plot is reserved for will die.
It’s got a real spooky comic book feel to it and both the script and Boone’s character, Kraft, share the same disbelief as the viewer. The idea is absolutely silly and of course no-one is going to believe any of this actually can happen, especially including the person ostensibly making it happen.
It’s that disbelief that keeps the film ticking over. I absolutely cracked up when Kraft (no relation to the cheese) does a comedic “pick a pin at random” routine to try and confirm his suspicions as to whether this whole pin thing is real. Like, dude, no. That’s not a good plan. Don’t do that. You know, just in case.
Anyway. The bodycount mounts as the film goes on, nobody believes any of this is happening, it goes totally off the deep end towards the end and finishes up on the full Scooby Doo. In other words, it’s absolutely perfect. What more could anyone want in a film?
It’s directed by Albert Band who directed lots of tat including one of my perennial faves, Ghoulies 2. As many of the best b-movies do, it lurches between drama and not entirely intentional comedy on a whim, sometimes in the same scene (often in the same line of dialogue).
It’s up on Prime Video (UK, natch) at the mo and really, it’s such a great film. You’ll never look at an oversized map of graveyard plots the same again.