i-saw-the-devil

I SAW THE DEVIL. 2010. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

i-saw-the-devil

I SAW THE DEVIL. 2010. DIRECTED BY KIM JI-WOON. STARRING CHOI MIN-SIK AND LEE BYUNG-HUN. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Picture the scene. A pretty young Korean woman is stuck on a lonely road in the snow waiting for a truck to come and tow away her broken-down car. Can you picture that? Okay. This guy wanders over and offers to have a look at her tyres for her but she’s nervous and so turns him down politely. Next minute, the guy breaks into the car and bludgeons the woman half to death with a hammer. If you’re still with me, we’ll move on…

The woman wakes up, naked and encased in plastic, on some kind of killing floor in a remote building somewhere. We see the guy choosing from a selection of knives, cleavers, choppers and other assorted sharp instruments. Terrified, the woman tells the guy she’s pregnant and pleads for her life. The guy cold-heartedly kills her anyway. Shortly afterwards, her body parts, including her head, are found scattered on waste ground by the police. The hunt for the killer is on…

This is a psychological horror film from South Korea, and I think I can safely say that it’s the most violent film I’ve ever seen in my whole life. There are literally no holds- or holes, if you’ll excuse the bad pun- barred as the young woman’s handsome boyfriend, who just so happens to be a secret agent, uses his police connections to track down the killer and make him pay for his crime. Not just once, mind you, but many times.

It’s the ultimate revenge film. If you like revenge films, then you’ll bloody love this one. It’s thorough, shockingly thorough, in its portrayal of the vengeance inflicted by Handsome Secret Agent Man on the killer. The killer is played by Choi Min-Sik, the star of cult Korean horror/thriller, OLDBOY.

I must confess to fancying the arse off this guy for his slightly sleazy, seedy, been-there-and-done-that good looks, so while watching this film I was in the rather odd position of rooting for the killer rather than the good guy, which was weird all right but also quite good fun and made for interesting viewing.

OLDBOY is utterly superb as the serial killer-slash-serial rapist-slash-all-round-bad-guy. He drives a school bus for a living, by the way, which is an alarming concept by anyone’s standards. Reviled by his parents and pre-teen son, he seems to have it in for women on the basis that all women seem to have it in for him, or so he feels, anyway. They’re always making things hard for him, and not in the way he’d like either, snigger snigger.

Handsome Secret Agent Guy is pretty good too as the Non-Giving-Up-School-Guy (Fans of THE SIMPSONS will know what I mean by that) who tracks down the killer so early on in the film that the viewers are all like, wtf, man…? It can’t be over this quickly, can it…? But fear not, gentle viewers, for the game is only just beginning.

After administering a ferocious hiding to poor OLDBOY, Handsome Secret Agent Man implants a tracking device inside him that will allow him to follow the killer wherever he goes. He can release him, track him down again and make him pay again. And again, and again, and maybe a couple more times after that…

Ingenious, huh…? It’s a step up from your average revenge flick, anyway. Of course, there’s also the question of whether or not it’s actually morally right for Handsome Secret Agent Guy to take the law into his own hands the way he does, and if he goes ahead with his plans for revenge, is he as bad as the man he’s pursuing and punishing…? Will the process make him into a lesser person, or will it perhaps even destroy him mentally and emotionally? These questions are left up to the viewer to answer for themselves.

Scenes to watch out for include the two attempted rapes by OLDBOY which are frustratingly interrupted by Handsome Secret Agent Man, and we also have the mass stabbing scene in the taxi and the scene where OLDBOY- ahem- expels the transmitter from his own body and implants it in an unfortunate bystander to whom he’s given a fearful walloping.

Watch out also for the Achilles tendon-slitting, something I’ve never seen done in a film before, and for the graphic dénouement and its aftermath. These scenes are all extremely violent, but then so is the entire film, which was well-received, by the way. In fact, it received three SCREAM nominations for best villain, best horror film and best independent film.

OLDBOY‘s character in I SAW THE DEVIL is most assuredly one of the best screen villains I’ve personally ever seen. He’s just so, like, I-don’t-give-a-f**k and super-cool as he drives around the place like a madman with his shades on and a ciggie hanging out of the corner of his mouth. In an unrelated matter, I’m off now to dig out my copy of OLDBOY. I just know it’s around here somewhere…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVQ2950

2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X4PABVG

3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SAUGZ6K

4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VR8XE84

5) CANCER BALLS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X62THYY

6) CATCH OF THE DAY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVOFOE0

7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OABATWO

8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OV9EKG6

9) THE DEVIANTS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PPM16YM

10) VISITING DAY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVPB75E

greystoke

GREYSTOKE- THE LEGEND OF TARZAN- LORD OF THE APES. 1984. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

greystoke

GREYSTOKE- THE LEGEND OF TARZAN- LORD OF THE APES. 1984. BASED ON TARZAN OF THE APES BY EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS. DIRECTED BY HUGH HUDSON. STARRING CHRISTOPHER LAMBERT, RALPH RICHARDSON, IAN HOLM, JAMES FOX, ANDIE MACDOWELL, RICHARD GRIFFITHS AND DAVID SUCHET. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

When I was growing up, I loved the old TARZAN movies starring Johnny Weissmuller, the hunky actor and Olympic swimming champion. I still do, though I haven’t seen them now for years. I spent many happy hours fantasising about being dragged off into the jungle (by my hair, of course) by the broad-shouldered, bare-chested, handsome, semi-naked ape-man who could wrestle with lions and tigers and always come out on top.

We’d live together happily in his treehouse, having copious amounts of jungle sex in between swinging from the treetops and hobnobbing with the primates who raised him. It was a dearly-held sexual fantasy of mine for a long time. It sustained me throughout my formative years when teachers and parents would come at me from both sides with demands for ever higher and higher grades. I still wouldn’t say no, to tell you the truth. I’ve always been a sucker for a guy in a loincloth.

What I’m trying to say with this preamble is that I’m not opposed to any film that has a semi-naked, manly ape-man in it. No offence to my fellow Dubliners but there’s a distinct shortage of them where I live. In GREYSTOKE, the film currently under discussion- in case you’d forgotten because of my ramblings- we have a naked ape-man who is brought up by jungle apes after his parents are shipwrecked off the African coast in 1885 and later die.

Our ape-man is fearless and strong and has an uncanny ability to mimic any noise he hears, animal or otherwise. He is fully accepted by his adoptive ape parents and family and he protects them in return. His first contact with humans since the death of his parents comes when he encounters Philippe D’Arnot, a Belgian explorer played by Ian Holm, aka Bilbo Baggins to all the LORD OF THE RINGS fans out there. Bilbo, having correctly worked out our ape-man’s true identity, informs him that he is in fact John Clayton, the heir to the 6th Earl of Greystoke with a huge country estate in the Scottish Lowlands.

Bilbo brings John back to his ancestral home, where he is rapturously welcomed by both his Grandpops, the 6th Earl of Greystoke, and his Grandpops’s American ward, Jane, played by Andie MacDowell, whom I’ve always found intensely irritating, this time being no exception. John/Tarzan and Jane (geddit…?) fall in love, but in trying to adapt to his new life as a rich posh gentleman John encounters huge difficulties.

Where does he fit in? Is he a human being like Jane and his grandfather or does he belong to the world of primates, reminders of which come back to haunt him when he visits the Natural History Museum…? Sooner or later, he has to make a choice between the two worlds/lives and he and the people around him will have to live with the consequences, regardless of what those might be.

This is a film of two halves, the jungle half and then the castle part. I prefer the jungle part. Christopher HIGHLANDER Lambert does a brilliant job of portraying the naked ape-man (though no-one will ever replace Johnny Weissmuller as the Tarzan of my heart and dreams), and the footage of the lush green vegetation of the African jungle and the animals who live in it is simply stunning. John’s ancestral home is magnificent too, though, both inside and out. I adore any film with Victorian explorers and the British Natural History Museum in it, so I enjoyed that element of the film very much.

Dear old Ralph Richardson (1903-1983) stars here in his final film appearance, and GREYSTOKE received no less than three Academy Award nominations. You totally have to suspend disbelief when Tarzan turns overnight from a grunting naked ape-man to a sleekly-groomed male model in a dinner jacket who speaks perfect English with a French accent- he learned from the Belgian Bilbo- but hey, it’s a film. And a pretty good one at that. If you have a rather butt-numbing one-hundred-and-thirty-one minutes to spare in which to watch it, you could actually do a lot worse.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVQ2950

2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X4PABVG

3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SAUGZ6K

4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VR8XE84

5) CANCER BALLS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X62THYY

6) CATCH OF THE DAY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVOFOE0

7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OABATWO

8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OV9EKG6

9) THE DEVIANTS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PPM16YM

10) VISITING DAY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVPB75E

Meryl-Streep--007

A CRY IN THE DARK. 1988. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Meryl-Streep--007

A CRY IN THE DARK. 1988. DIRECTED BY FRED SCHEPISI. STARRING MERYL STREEP, SAM NEILL AND DEBRA LAWRENCE. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I’ve always loved this film, though there’s no doubting that the subject matter, based on a true story, is grim. Meryl Streep acts her stripy ‘Eighties sweatsocks off as Alice Lynne Chamberlain (known as Lindy), the Australian woman who hit the headlines in 1980 when she claimed her baby was carried off by a dingo while the family holidayed at Ayers Rock.

Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, two Seventh Day Adventists, were already parents to two boys, Aidan and Reagan, when Lindy gave birth to Baby Azaria. The little girl was only nine weeks old when the tragedy occurred. Lindy was eventually charged with her murder, even though the baby’s body was never found. Her bloodstained baby-clothes were found, though, and the forensic investigation that followed ended with Lindy being sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour for the child’s murder.

Michael Chamberlain, a pastor in their church, was charged as an accessory but was allowed to remain free to look after their two boys, who at the time were too young to understand the implications of their mother’s imprisonment. The couple protested their innonence throughout the trial and its aftermath.

Judging by Streep’s Oscar-nominated performance (she lost out to Jodie Foster in THE ACCUSED), Lindy Chamberlain appears to have been the kind of abrasive personality who rubs people up the wrong way and who doesn’t see why they should modify their tone or their words to make people like them more. In the film, Lindy seems to have become the most reviled woman in Australia because she refused, or was unable to, display her grief openly. She did not fit the media’s idea of how a genuinely grieving woman should behave.

The couple also seemed to have come under fire from bigots because of their religion. They were accused of murdering the child because her name, Azaria, apparently meant ‘sacrifice in the wilderness.’ I can’t tell you if it does or not, but it’s in the film, anyway.

The couple appear to have been treated badly by both the media and members of the public. Lindy was spat at and called horrible names and accused of everything from witchcraft to being an unfeeling, unnatural mother. She held up well under pressure, even though during her trial she was hugely pregnant with the couple’s second daughter, Kahlia. The way Streep plays her, she seems to have been a woman with real balls, if you’ll excuse my French for a moment.

Michael, on the other hand, became more and more depressed during the trial, throughout which, incidentally, the forensic investigation looks to have been bizarrely shambolic. The couple’s marriage suffered as a result of all the stress and strain. The family was broken up when Lindy went to prison. I won’t tell you what happened afterwards, just in case you want to watch the film for yourself. It’s a riveting watch, though, and one which lingers in the mind for a long time afterwards.

Both the leads act up a storm. I’ve never been a huge fan of Meryl Streep’s but there’s no denying that she’s fantastic in the lead role. Sam Neill I’ve always liked, on the other hand, and he does a terrific job here as the husband who’s bewildered by events and unsure why his God would allow such a thing to happen to good, God-fearing people.

There’s a whole host of familiar faces from Australian television in the cast and there’s even an appearance by Debra Lawrence as one of the witnesses from the campsite at Ayers Rock. Lawrence, of course, spent many years after A CRY IN THE DARK playing earth-mother Pippa Fletcher in Aussie soap opera HOME AND AWAY, in which she and her husband Tom were the show’s two most beloved characters. (Until Tom d-d-d-died, sniffle, sniffle…)

I love this film. There are some truly gorgeous shots of Ayers Rock in it that give me the shivers. It seems like such an ancient, mystical and downright haunting place. And if you’re looking for a well-acted, well-scripted movie based on true-life events, then this might just be the film for you.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVQ2950

2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X4PABVG

3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SAUGZ6K

4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VR8XE84

5) CANCER BALLS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X62THYY

6) CATCH OF THE DAY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVOFOE0

7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OABATWO

8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OV9EKG6

9) THE DEVIANTS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PPM16YM

10) VISITING DAY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVPB75E

Jaws-05112012

JAWS. 1975. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Jaws-05112012

JAWS. 1975. BASED ON THE BOOK BY PETER BENCHLEY. DIRECTED BY STEVEN SPIELBERG. STARRING ROY SCHEIDER, RICHARD DREYFUSS, ROBERT SHAW, MURRAY HAMILTON, LORRAINE GARY AND PETER BENCHLEY. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Ah, the Daddy of ’em all. I’ve got to be careful with this particular movie review, as there are JAWS fin-atics (see what I did there…?) on the Internet who’ll tear me to ribbons if I make so much as the titchiest mistake or say even one stupid thing in it.

I should know, I’m Facebook friends with a good, meaty chunk of ’em and they’ve told me off before for doing things like referring to the shark as JAWS. I never really understood why that’s wrong, but how-and-ever, I won’t make that mistake again. They won’t need to threaten my life twice, haha. Ah, I’m only joking. They’re lovely people really. Not at all uptight and exclusive about their precious film, haha again…!

They needn’t worry about me saying anything uncomplimentary about Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster. For one thing, I don’t think that there is anything negative to be said about it and, for another, I’ve loved JAWS since I first watched it as a teenager.

I’m an unashamed leviathan-groupie, by which I mean I adore huge sea-creatures, especially sharks and whales. I get sexually excited whenever I hear the word ‘megalodon.’ I can only orgasm if I think about the first sighting of Moby Dick in the movie of the same name. Okay, so that’s a joke but you get the gist. Don’t you…?

JAWS is regarded by many as the finest horror film ever made, and by still more as the finest film, full stop. It has many imitators but no-one’s ever quite managed it. Or even come close, to be brutally honest. It’s based on the bestselling novel by Peter Benchley, who actually makes a lovely cameo appearance in the film as a news reporter.

The book is quite different to the film in places. In the book, Hooper and Mrs. Chief Brody have a rather sleazy sexual affair and a suspicious Chief Brody feels like he wants to slug Hooper in the chops. Can you imagine that…? It makes for great reading but the film as we know it would be different if they’d put that in it. I don’t say better, but I do say different.

They’ve left these sordid shenanigans out of the film, and instead Brody and Hooper are buddies, both forced into an uneasy alliance with Quint, the mad-as-a-hatter shark-hunter. In any case, I love the book, but I think the film is better.

Do we all know the plot by now…? Amity Island has a serial-killer problem, a real big, toothsome one. This serial killer doesn’t wear a mask, wield a chainsaw or live in a creepy motel with his mother. Whom nobody ever sees, by the way. I’m just saying, is all. No, a monstrous Great White shark is stalking the waters around Amity, and anyone unwise enough to go swimming is likely to end up as din-dins.

Police Chief Brody, superbly played by the late Roy Scheider, is initially one of the few people who actually believe in the existence of this fiendish fishy. He has the devil’s own time trying to convince the town’s stubborn selectmen, in particular Mayor Larry Vaughan, that there’s a big problem swimming around in Amity’s sparkling blue waters.

They don’t care for the bad publicity, you see. Bad publicity equals fewer tourists and fewer tourists is catastrophic news for the local economy. It’s not until the problem becomes too big to ignore that Brody, Hooper- the chap from the Oceanographic Institute- and Quint are able to set off on the ocean wave to track down the big mutha who’s been chowing down on the locals and visiting tourists.

The acting is flawless, the direction sublime and the script is tight and jam-packed with quotable quotes. ‘A panic on your hands on the Fourth of July.’ ‘That’s some bad hat, Harry.’ ‘Smile, you son-of-a-bitch…!’ And of course the big one: ‘We’re going to need a bigger boat.’ Or is it ‘I think you’re gonna need a bigger boat…?’ Or is it something else again…? People have been famously misquoting cinema’s most famous line since 1975. If you want to know what the line actually is, you’re going to have to watch the film. Snigger. Yes, I can be mean if I have to, haha.

It’s hard to pick out just a few highlights for this review as the film is chock-a-block with highlights, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to a mere three. The death of poor old Chrissie Watkins, the drunken skinny-dipper who encounters JAWS- sorry, sorry, encounters the shark, don’t kill me, please- just a few minutes into the film. Brody and Hooper night-fishing for a rather large prey in Hooper’s pricey, fancy-pants boat. Quint telling Brody and Hooper the blood-chilling story of the SS INDIANAPOLIS aboard THE ORCA. Then there are the fantastic final scenes when… But I’m not allowed to say, am I? Spoilers, you see.

My JAWS friends online are all American and they have some brilliant connections to the film, such as having met nearly all the stars of the film at one point or another. I myself have a couple of JAWS stories. In 2014, Richard Dreyfuss attended a special screening of the film in Dublin’s Mansion House during the world-famous Jameson Film Festival. I didn’t actually attend the screening or meet Richard Dreyfuss as I didn’t have tickets, but the Mansion House is only a short walk from my house so, for an evening at least, The Man From The Oceanographic Institute and I were breathing the same air. Not impressed…? I have a second story. Here it is.

A few summers ago, my local cinema put on a special weekend of late-night screenings of JAWS around the time of my birthday in June. I’m ashamed to say it of my fellow Dubliners, but only one person showed up to the screening I was personally booked in for. You guessed it. Me. I had the entire cinema to myself from approximately eleven at night to one in the morning, which was actually pretty scary. When the shark attacked Hooper in the cage, I nearly peed myself, excuse my French. The only thing that would have made the experience more unnerving would have been seeing the film in 3D. Is that a better story? I hope so. I’m afraid I only have two stories…

JAWS has three sequels. JAWS 2 is excellent, in my humble opinion, and well up to the standard of the original. JAWS 3 I hated. The shark doesn’t look real and he’s not scary, people! JAWS 4, or JAWS- THE REVENGE gets absoluted slated by fans of the original movie but I love it. Michael Caine is in it and it’s got the banana-boat scene. C’mon guys, the banana-boat scene, ya gotta love the banana-boat scene…!

So there you have it, folks. I will now go and hide in a safe place where my online JAWS friends will never find me, because I’m bound to have said something irreverent to annoy or scandalise them. Remember me as a woman who loved sharks in general and JAWS in particular. Oooh-er, this hiding-place is a little cramped. I think we’re going to need a bigger one. Excuse the pun…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVQ2950

2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X4PABVG

3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SAUGZ6K

4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VR8XE84

5) CANCER BALLS

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X62THYY

6) CATCH OF THE DAY

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WVOFOE0

7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OABATWO

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the innocents

THE INNOCENTS. 1961. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

the innocents

THE INNOCENTS. 1961. DIRECTED BY JACK CLAYTON. STARRING DEBORAH KERR, MICHAEL REDGRAVE, MEGS JENKINS, PETER WYNGARDE, CLYTIE JESSOP, MARTIN STEPHENS AND PAMELA FRANKLIN. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a rather superior British supernatural gothic horror film. Yes, that’s a lot of adjectives, but believe me when I say that it’s worth it. The film is based on the novel by Henry James, THE TURN OF THE SCREW, which was first published in 1898. The book in turn would appear to draw on a real-life murder case for inspiration. The case was a real humdinger of a Victorian whodunnit-slash-murder mystery. If you bear with me a minute, I’ll give you the gist of it.

In 1860, a three-year-old boy called Saville Kent was brutally murdered at his home in the English village of Road, five miles from the town of Trowbridge. Five years later, after suspicion had fallen on almost everyone in the household, Saville’s older sister Constance confessed to his murder. She said that she had done it to avenge her deceased mother, who had been usurped by the childrens’ governess, Miss Pratt. Miss Pratt had in turn gone on to marry Samuel Kent, the father of the family, and she then became the mother of Saville. Because of her tender years when she committed the crime, Constance Kent was spared the death penalty. Instead, she spent twenty years in prison.

It was certain enough that Constance killed the boy, because she knew things that only the killer could have known. Because of certain little inconsistencies in her story, however, many people believed that Constance had not been alone in her crime. It was felt by many that her brother William, younger than Constance by two years, had helped her to murder Saville, and that Constance was shielding him to allow him to be free to live his own life. In fact, William Saville-Kent went on to become a famous naturalist and author of one of the most important works on the Great Barrier Reef ever written.

The theme of brothers and sisters sharing a dark secret was explored not only by Henry James in THE TURN OF THE SCREW but also by Wilkie Collins in THE MOONSTONE and Charles Dickens in his final, unfinished work, EDWIN DROOD. In the film THE INNOCENTS, brother and sister Miles and Flora are keeping an unsavoury, unhealthy secret, the kind to which children should not be exposed. It is into this unwholesome set-up that governess Miss Giddens, beautifully played by Deborah Kerr, arrives in blissful ignorance of what she’s letting herself in for.

Miss Giddens has been engaged by the childrens’ uncle and guardian. He’s a bit of a cold fish, this uncle. He wants to live his own life free from encumbrances and entanglements while the children and the staff who care for them remain virtually buried in Bly, his country estate. He wishes Miss Giddens to take on sole responsibility for his niece and nephew. He does not wish to be contacted by her with regard to their well-being or any other matter pertaining to the two poor little blighters. Only when he is absolutely certain that Miss Giddens understands his wishes and will carry them out to the letter does he engage her to be the childrens’ new governess.

Bly is a magnificent home and Miss Giddens is totally blown away by both the mansion itself and the fabulous and extensive grounds in which it stands. The film is in black-and-white but that only adds to the beauty of this utterly impressive country estate rather than detracting from it. Mrs. Grose the housekeeper is warm and friendly and only too delighted to have another adult female around the place. Flora, the little girl of whom Miss Giddens is to take charge, is delighfully pretty and sweet and easy enough to manage. So far, observes Miss Giddens, everything in the garden is lovely. What could possibly go wrong…?

Even when Miles, Flora’s older brother, is expelled from school in somewhat mysterious circumstances and sent home to Bly in disgrace, Miss Giddens is still not terribly rattled. After all, Miles is a charming little scallywag, if a little precocious for his tender years. She is confident that she can provide care and schooling for both children together. It is not long, however, before the earnest and eager-to-succeed Miss Giddens starts to feel that something is horribly amiss in Bly…

The nightmare begins when she sees a man up on the roof of the house, a man whose physical description fits that of Peter Quint, the former valet to the childrens’ uncle. That’s all well and good so far, except for the fact that Quint is dead, and so is the sinister woman who watches Flora at play from across the lake. Her name is Miss Jessel, and when she lived she was the childrens’ governess. Why are this ghostly pair, who in life were dysfunctional lovers to whose abusive and blatantly sexual relationship the children were frequently exposed, still hanging around Bly…?

When a terrified Miss Giddens finally realises that the evil pair have somehow taken possession of the two previously innocent children and filled them with a sickeningly unhealthy sexual knowledge inappropriate to their years, the race is on to save the childrens’ souls and even, possibly, their lives.

I first watched the film late at night when I was dead-tired after a long day and my altered state of consciousness imparted a sort of surreal feeling to the ghostly- and ghastly- happenings at Bly. The house of shadows and spectres held me in its grip from start to finish. The climax is stunningly unexpected and the scenes in which the darkly glowering Miss Jessel stands silently gazing at Flora from across the lake will remain imprinted in my mind for a long time, probably forever. The film is a masterclass in gothic horror. If you like that kind of thing and you haven’t already seen it, you shouldn’t let even one more day pass by before you do so.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.

Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.

She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

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