limp 2

LIMP. 2013. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

limp 2LIMP. 2013. AN INDEPENDENT HORROR FILM WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY SHAUN RYAN. STARRING EOIN QUINN, ANNE GILL, SHANE LENNON AND LAURA CANAVAN HAYES. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

When I was asked to review this by the star of the film, who also happens to be a Facebook friend of mine, I didn’t really have a clue what to expect. ‘I played the rapist in THE DEVIL’S WOODS,’ he told me cheerfully, referring to the low-budget horror flick by up-and-coming Irish director Anthony White. The movie took the Irish Film Institute by storm during their 2015 Horrorthon. ‘Oh, and I kind of play a weirdo in LIMP as well,’ he added. He’s not kidding…

LIMP typifies everything that’s good about independent horror films. I was glued to it from beginning to end. The storyline is utterly gripping. Eoin Quinn plays the lead character, a chap called Mr. Grot. You wouldn’t expect a guy with a name like that to be a sex symbol, would you? And you’d be right. Mr. Grot is a socially awkward loner. He dresses unfashionably, he has no friends that we know of, and he finds it hard to talk to girls. Unless they’re dead. You heard me…

Mr. Grot has a house-guest. She’s docile, amenable and easy to please. That’s because she’s, well, dead. Just like I implied in the last paragraph. She’s about his own age. He chats away to her while they’re eating dinner together, he dresses her up in nice little outfits which he sources from shops in Dublin city centre (I saw Moore Street…!) and he even has sex with her. They actually show that. I love it that they did that. It shows real balls. Except they didn’t. Show real balls, that is. Ain’t nobody needs to see that, haha.

The scene where Mr. Grot is dancing with ‘his’ girl while she’s alive and happy and animated is interspersed with shots of him dragging the corpse around his living-room in a grotesque parody of a dance. It’s well done and so chilling. It would really make you think about how many men out there might actually be into this kind of thing. Ted Bundy, after all, found dead women much easier to control than real live breathing ones. I think our friend Mr. Grot has more than a touch of the Ted Bundys about him.

The corpse starts to decay, however, as corpses do. It’s a little quirk of theirs. And the people in the missing woman’s office (it’s Mr. Grot’s office too) are starting to wonder what the hell’s happened to her. All this stuff really freaks out our main man. Maybe the enormity of what he’s done is starting to hit home or maybe, as is more likely, the fear of exposure and prison is what’s getting to him.

Whatever the inner workings of his mind, however, he decides that he can’t leave Corpserella lying around the flat anymore. She’s starting to stink the joint out, anyway. He makes a decision so grim and grisly that you’ll need a strong stomach to keep watching. The great thing is that most of the horror is implied and not shown. Your imagination fills in the gaps. That’s a sure sign of good horror right there. Sometimes what you don’t see is even scarier, as has been proven time and again in some of the best horror films.

Eoin Quinn is terrific in this role. You believe every bit of his performance. He is Mr. Grot, a weak, selfish individual who cruelly separated a mother from her child just because he wanted to have her all to himself. Anto and Jacinta are two great characters as well. Trust me, unless you’ve seen a tattooed native Dubliner beating the shite out of someone in slow motion to the accompaniment of the most beautiful choral music imaginable, you haven’t really lived.

The cinematography in the film is top-notch stuff. The shots of red skies, the sea, birds flying and the Dublin mountains in all their glory are just stunning. There’s a gorgeous original score too by a chap called Chris Zabriskie and a rather interesting red herring that packs a bit of a wallop. In fact, I really can’t think of anything bad to say about this film. It’s brilliant, and it’s available to watch online as well. I would definitely watch anything else of director Shaun Ryan’s. He’s got it going on, haha, and this is a fine debut if ever there was one. Oh, and we’re not told directly why the film is called LIMP but a quick game of word association and a wee bit of imagination ought to sort that one out for you…!

The central character of Mr. Grot is undoubtedly the best thing about LIMP. The strong characterisation pays off and the memory of Eoin’s performance (we’re friends, I can call him that) will stay with you long after the credits have rolled. Go check this film out for yourself. There’s even a clip of classic British comedy ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE thrown in for free. What more do you people want…?

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can contact her at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

Universal Soldier035

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER. 1992. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Universal Soldier035UNIVERSAL SOLDIER. 1992. DIRECTED BY ROLAND EMMERICH. STARRING JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME, DOLPH LUNDGREN AND ALLY WALKER. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a great action film. I don’t normally go in too much for action films but, when they have wall-to-wall beefcake starring in ’em like this one, I can appreciate the heck out of them. I recently watched UNIVERSAL SOLDIER on the big screen at Dublin’s Lighthouse Cinema courtesy of Grindhouse Dublin. Let me tell ya, folks, beefcake looks even better on a nice big wide screen.

So, who’s this beefcake exactly, then? Well, we’ve got Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren on duty here as the eye-candy for chicks. Oh my Lord, they’re both so hot they’re positively sizzling, goddammit. They play American soldiers who were both killed in Vietnam, a very sad day for women everywhere.

In an unexpected twist, however, the two lads’ beautiful corpses are ‘reanimated’ in a top-secret army project along with a bunch of other deceased soldiers. They become the titular Universal Soldiers, ie, an elite group of super-soldiers who can be called upon to resolve situations of extreme peril and delicacy. They’ve had their memories wiped clean and they’re programmed to follow orders at all times.

These genetically augmented hotties have superior strength and healing abilities but they need careful handling as well, in case they overheat and what have you. Well, I don’t mind being on standby with cold compresses and suchlike. I’m just throwing that out there, heh-heh-heh.

Anyway, a twist of fate throws one of the super-soldiers and a nosey reporter lady together for a crazy road-trip. Jean-Claude Van Damme, aka The Muscles From Brussels, plays Luc Devereaux. He’s a super-soldier who still has flashbacks to the harrowing time in Vietnam that lead to his death at the hands of Dolph Lundgren’s Sgt. Andrew Scott.

Veronica Roberts is, well, a nosey reporter lady who needs one more big scoop to get her ailing career back on track. The top-secret Universal Soldiers story will do very nicely indeed for that purpose. Hell, she might even win that Pulitzer Prize she’s (presumably) been hankering after. That kinda pushy woman is always hankering after something. Trust me, I know. I’m one myself, haha.

It doesn’t take her long to fall for the sexy-as-hell-but-also-endearingly-vulnerable Luc Devereaux as they drive madly across country to get away from an enraged Dolph Lundgren. Sgt. Andrew Scott’s gotten some of his memory back too, which is bad news for Luc.

He thinks they’re back in Vietnam and Luc’s just disobeyed one of his murderous orders. He’ll stop at nothing to bring back the ‘traitor’ Luc, who’s absconded with the reporter lady in an attempt to get back somehow to his home town. Will they make it, or will THE PUNISHER catch up with them first…? You’ll have to watch this terrific science fiction and action flick to find out, folks. I’ll never tell…

The best scenes are in the diner when Luc is discovering the joy of eating real food for the first time, to the bewilderment and enragement of the other diners, and at the motel when Luc asks Veronica to check his magnificently buff naked body for some kind of tracking device. She checks him everywhere, to the accompaniment of several hilarious double entendres.

‘Check for something hard,’ he tells her, or words to that effect. Wish I’d been there to help out.

Luc has no self-consciousness whatsoever, and so he doesn’t think twice about stripping off when he needs cooling down. When he strides outside the motel completely starkers to look for Veronica and we got to see his unbelievably tight bare buttocks in all their muscly glory, I think I accidentally, well, came, haha. And when he lies naked in the bath of ice, holy mother of pearl…! I needed some serious cooling-down myself, I don’t mind telling you.

Yes, yes, there’s shooting and car chases and explosions to beat the band in this film. I think I’ll leave it to some male reviewer to describe those to you in detail. For my part, I just spent the whole night fancying the gorgeous arses off of both male leads, which was tremendous fun altogether, let me tell ya.

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Dolph Lundgren anyway. but Jean-Claude Van Damme’s sexy voice and beautiful velvety chocolatey-brown eyes converted me in no time flat. Remember when Rachel and Monica from FRIENDS were arguing over which of them got to go out with him? I can’t say I blame them, folks. I can’t say I blame them…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can contact her at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

Christmas-Vacation

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION and IT’S A VERY MERRY MUPPET CHRISTMAS MOVIE. A (BELATED!) BUMPER DOUBLE REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Christmas-VacationNATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION and IT’S A VERY MERRY MUPPET CHRISTMAS MOVIE- A (BELATED!) BUMPER DOUBLE CHRISTMAS REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION. 1989. DIRECTED BY JEREMIAH CHECHIK. STARRING CHEVY CHASE, BEVERLY D’ANGELO, RANDY QUAID, JOHNNY GALECKI, JULIETTE LEWIS, DIANE LADD, DORIS ROBERTS, SAM MCMURRAY AND JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS.

IT’S A VERY MERRY MUPPET CHRISTMAS MOVIE. 2002. MUPPETS CREATED BY JIM HENSON. DIRECTED BY KIRK R. THATCHER. STARRING THE MUPPETS, JOAN CUSACK, DAVID ARQUETTE AND WHOOPI GOLDBERG.

I adore Christmas movies, which explains why I’m still watching ’em in the middle of January, haha. I’m just reluctant to let go of the whole tinsel ‘n’ turkey thing, I guess. Luckily, there are enough Crimbo movies in existence to keep me going for a while.

The two I’ve chosen for this review probably wouldn’t be at the very top of my Christmas movie wish-list, but they’re still good for a nice bit of heartwarming festive cheer tempered with madcap misunderstandings, zany schemes and a race against time or two.

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION is the story of Clark Griswold, ably played by Chevy Chase. Clark just wants a nice perfect family Christmas for his family. He wants the perfect Christmas tree, the perfect turkey and the house all decked out with so many lights that you can see it from space. I’ve said this before, but the Americans really do do Christmas better than anyone else, and nowhere do they do it better than in these lovely ‘Eighties Christmas movies.

Clark’s so looking forward to the perfect family Christmas that he doesn’t even mind that his own parents and his in-laws will be joining them for the holidays. The more the merrier, is how he sees things. That is, until his wife’s cousin and her deadbeat hubby rock up in their decrepit RV with their nippers and delinquent mutt Snots in tow and announce their intention to stay indefinitely.

And when the expected Christmas bonus from his Scrooge-like boss doesn’t materialise and he’s seven and a half grand out of pocket on the deposit for a swimming pool for his family, Clark finds that he’s really up against it. Can he recover his Christmas spirit and manage to enjoy the holiday season to which he’s been looking forward so fervently? We can only hope he does…

There’s a load of slapstick comedy in this film to satisfy the viewers who love to see people hit in the face with planks of wood, electrocuted hilariously and attacked by squirrels. Yes, I said squirrels. Randy Quaid does a good job as the obnoxious but lovable Eddie who sees fit to empty the foul contents of his RV’s ‘shitter’ on Sparky Clarky’s lawn. There’s a whole host of familiar faces in the film that you’ll have seen in many other movies since this one, so have loads of fun playing ‘Now where the diddly-dickens have I seen him/her before…? And what the devil was the name of that thing they were in…? Martha, get in here! Who’s that actor there? No, not that one, that one! I’ll be up all night trying to remember unless I can think of their name, it’ll drive me mad…! Martha, get the kids in here, maybe THEY’LL know!’

The pre-Christmas mishaps come thick and fast and the scene in which the cute but uncouth little Ruby Sue asks her Uncle Clark if he’s Santa Claus is as sweet as sugar. The film has all the trimmings and trappings of the ideal American family television Christmas so, you know what? I’m perfectly satisfied. Sometimes that’s all you need from a festive film. I’m not American, by the way, I’m actually Irish. Just in case you were wondering why I’m bigging up the Americans and their festive traditions so much. But there sadly aren’t any Irish films in which a paterfamilias falls off a snow-covered roof while trying to put up twenty-five thousand twinkly Christmas lights. More’s the pity.

IT’S A VERY MERRY MUPPET CHRISTMAS MOVIE is based on Frank Capra’s perennial favourite, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, in which a small-town chap called George Bailey finds out just how much he’s loved and needed by getting a glimpse of what life would have been like if he’d never been born. It’s one of the most successful Christmas movies of all time, as if you guys didn’t know, haha. You can’t turn on a flippin’ telly at Christmas without seeing a snatch of it.

Speaking of Frank Capra, if you carefully watch the credits of NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION you’ll see that someone called Frank Capra The Third worked on the movie. Could he possibly be the grandson of the original Frank Capra? That would be amazing if it were true. Answers on a postcard if you know, film fans and movie nuts.

Anyway, the Muppets are all out in full force for this Christmas caper. In a nutshell, the adorable puppets are in danger of losing their beloved theatre to a Scrooge-like property developer called Rachel Bitterman, competently played by Joan Cusack. She plans to tear it down and turn it into a sleazy nightclub, of all things, unless the Muppets can pay her what they owe her.

Kermit The Frog gets horribly depressed and declares that he wishes he’d never been born, because then he wouldn’t have been around to screw everything up for the Muppets and himself. David Arquette, the one-time hubby of FRIEND Courtney Cox, plays the role of the angel sent to show him the error of his ways. He ain’t no Attaboy Clarence, put it like that, but I love Whoopi Goldberg in the role of the Great Creator Of The Universe. She’s laid-back and funny and witty and, furthermore, I always knew God was a woman, haha. In your face, anyone who ever thought otherwise…!

There’s plenty of singing, as always, and the cast of popular comedy show SCRUBS shows up in one scene, which is kind of random…! The scene with the most pathos, apart from that which has poor Kermit freezing his scrawny green butt off on a park bench in the snow, is the one in which we see what would have become of Miss Piggy if she’d never known Kermit. I won’t give anything away but let’s just say that her bill for tins of WHISKAS must be sky-high. Miaow…!

This isn’t as good as my favourite Christmas movie of all time, A MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL. This re-tells the story of Charles Dickens’s most famous creation, Ebenezer Scrooge, or Michael Caine in one of his most best-ever roles, in my humble opinion. The Muppets’ version of the most famous Christmas story of all time (yes, yes, I meant apart from the birth of Our Lord And Saviour Jesus Christ, obviously…!) is chock-full of gorgeous old-timey scenes and costumes and the heartwarming factor is off the freakin’ scale. It’s your all-round perfect Christmas movie, end of story. Don’t argue with me, I know people, haha.

Mind you, nothing could be as good as that brilliantly clever and funny festive flick, so don’t hold that against IT’S A VERY MERRY MUPPET CHRISTMAS MOVIE. It’s still a nice feel-good watch at the time of year when you need to feel like life is something worth holding onto and you have friends and family who care about you. It also has a talking prawn in it. What more do you people want…???

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline.

In her capacity as a performance poet, 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. In 2003, she was invited to be a guest on Niall Boylan’s 98FM late-night radio talk show purely on the basis of having a ‘sexy voice.’

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:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

blazing saddles

BLAZING SADDLES. 1974. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

blazing saddlesBLAZING SADDLES. 1974. DIRECTED BY MEL BROOKS. STARRING MEL BROOKS, GENE WILDER, CLEAVON LITTLE, SLIM PICKENS, HARVEY KORMAN, BURTON GILLIAM, ALEX KARRAS AND MADELINE KAHN. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I think this is the funniest film I’ve ever seen in my life. And I do mean genuinely funny. There isn’t a single forced or strained laugh anywhere to be found in it. I first saw it with my family over Christmas donkeys’ years ago. I was an impressionable teenager at the time. I’m not lying when I tell you that the tears of laughter were streaming down our faces by the time the credits rolled. We’d literally never seen anything like it in our lives.

The humour lies in the fearlessly irreverent nature of the jokes. The film is blatantly racist and sexist and we all know it, but it’s done so well that you don’t mind a bit. The ‘n’ word is used repeatedly to describe black people, rape is considered an admirable activity to stick on your curriculum vitae and women are portrayed as huge-breasted, vacuous dummies whose sole purpose in life is to satisfy the nearest man.

It sounds so wrong, but I challenge you to get uppity about it. I positively challenge you…! The writing is just so clever and witty, it’s impossible to take the (black…?) humour the wrong way.

It’s a spoof Western set in 1874. Cleavon Little plays a slave who gets promoted (for purely tactical reasons on the part of the corrupt businessman Hedley Lamarr) from working on the railroad to the post of Sheriff of Rockridge, a little town that’s having big trouble with lawlessness.

Sheriff Bart is handsome, urbane, multi-talented and as smooth as James Bond any day of the week and he’s well up for doing the job he’s been assigned to, but the inbred citizens of Rockridge subject him to the kind of racism that you could be locked up for nowadays. How in the hell is that funny, I hear you ask? It’s the way they do it. Watch it and I promise you you’ll get what I mean. Even Sheriff Bart has trouble keeping in the laughs at times.

My family and I laughed ourselves silly at the rollercoaster of gags that came hurtling towards us at full speed. The Number Six Dance. What happens when you feed a bunch of cowboys nuthin’ but beans. The Waco Kid. ‘The little bastard shot me in the ass…!’ ‘Don’t just stand there grasping yo’ hands in pain.’ ‘What about a good old n***** work song?’ The toll bridge in the middle of nowhere. The citizens’ of Rockridge’s terrible plan to create exact facsimiles of themselves and their town overnight. The fact that their God-awful plan actually works for a minute or two. That’s the real joke, haha.

Wait. There’s more. Much more. ‘Candygram for Mongo.’ ‘Mongo have deep feelings for Sheriff Bart. Sheriff Bart only man ever whip Mongo.’ Madeline Kahn doing her best Marlene Dietrich for the lads. Mel Brooks himself playing the sex-obsessed governor of the state who also happens to be not very good at governing. Doing The French Mistake. The old lady who says to poor Sheriff Bart: ‘Up yours, n*****!’ The long line of ne’er-do-wells applying to Hedley for the post of… well, ne’er-do-wells needed to trash the town of Rockridge:

‘You said rape twice.’

‘I like rape.’

The end of the film had us sitting up and goggling at the screen, wondering if we’d accidentally switched over to another channel. We hadn’t, though. You’ll just have to watch the film to find out what I’m being so cryptic about, haha. It’ll be worth it if you think you might enjoy seeing Adolf Hitler grabbing a bite of lunch in the cafeteria of a Hollywood movie studio. Wondering what the bleedin’ hell I’m rabbitting on about…? Watch the movie!

Gene Wilder is superbly cool as the Waco Kid and Sheriff Bart is infinitely fanciable. If you’re in any way human, this rather under-appreciated gem of a film will make you laugh till you ache. I have to finish up now because I’ve got some cattle to stampede. Through the Vatican. (How kinky is that…?) Oh, and also, I’m having the s**t raped out of me tonight at the Number Six Dance. Ooops, sorry, was that non-politically correct? I rather suspect that it might have been. Well, what can I say, folks? I… Um, well, I like rape…

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

gollum

THE LORD OF THE RINGS- THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY. A WHOPPER TRIPLE REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

gollumTHE LORD OF THE RINGS- THE MOTION PICTURE TRILOGY. BASED ON THE BOOKS BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN. A WHOPPER TRIPLE REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING- 2001. THE TWO TOWERS- 2002. THE RETURN OF THE KING- 2003. DIRECTED BY PETER JACKSON. STARRING CHRISTOPHER LEE, IAN MCKELLEN, VIGGO MORTENSEN, ORLANDO BLOOM, JOHN RHYS-DAVIES, LIV TYLER, CATE BLANCHETT, ELIJAH WOOD, SEAN ASTIN, BILLY BOYD, DOMINIC MONAGHAN, IAN HOLM, BERNARD HILL, KARL URBAN, MIRANDA OTTO, SEAN BEAN, HUGO WEAVING, DAVID WENHAM, JOHN NOBLE AND ANDY SERKIS AS GOLLUM.

When the late great Christopher Lee, a lifelong Tolkien fan, was asked why this trilogy had been so successful, he replied with the words: ‘Nobody’s ever seen anything like it before in the history of cinema, and they never will again.’ I literally could not have put it better myself.

Speaking for myself, when I watched the first film, THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, in Dublin’s Savoy Cinema in January of 2002, I was completely blown away. I was in the early stages of a truly ferocious break-up (the mother of all break-ups, in fact) and this was one of two films that helped somewhat to take my mind off it. I’ll tell you what the other one was another time, I promise.

I’ve always been a fan of war films and lavish spectacle anyway, but this was something else. The scale was utterly massive, the scenery breath-taking and the battle scenes epic beyond anything that had ever been seen before. If this trilogy were my own magnum opus, I would die a happy woman. Imagine being a part of something this brilliant, never mind being the creator!

The two films that followed more than lived up to the expectations of the first movie. If anything, they surpassed it. In my own humble opinion, in fact, THE TWO TOWERS is one of the best films ever made, with one of the best and most memorable endings. So gloriously heavy metal…!

When the first film drew to a close in the cinema, I cried. I couldn’t believe that I would have to wait another year for the next instalment. But wait I did (we all did!) and now I look back on these three films as the best cinematic trilogy ever made. Sorry, STAR WARS, you don’t even come close.

I suppose that’s my cue to be murdered horribly now by a load of furious STAR WARS fans, but before that happens let’s have a quick overview of the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. It’ll be necessary to condense the plot a good bit on account of the fact that we’d be here till Kingdom Come if we went into its intricacies and convolutions in any detail, so you’ll forgive me if I’m guilty of over-simplification…!

Put as succinctly as I can manage it, a motley crew or ‘Fellowship’ of nine people (well, some of ’em are people, anyway!) are tasked with returning an evil ring to the fires of Mount Doom from whence it came, the only place where it can feasibly be destroyed.

The ring’s monstrously evil owner Sauron, however, will be dead against the destruction of the ring and will therefore put any obstacles he can in the Fellowship’s way. Also, the journey to Mount Doom in Mordor is fraught with more peril than you can shake a stick at. The place is harder to get into than… well, a place that’s really, really hard to get into. A fancy nightclub or something.

Will the brave little Fellowship ever make it to their destination, or will the poisonous ring turn them against each other before they reach Mordor? Mordor, by the way, is a wicked, soulless place that burns night and day with the fires of industry, industry geared towards the manufacture of cruel weaponry that will help to wipe out the world of Good and replace it with the world of Evil. Cripes…! That doesn’t sound too clever, does it?

Naturally, you can be sure that nobody who was ever a good decent person would want such a thing, hence the ‘Fellowship’s’ quest to return the naughty ring to the nasty flames that wrought it. I think that that’s basically the plot in a nutshell. Many apologies to Tolkien for the dumbing down, haha…!

The ‘Fellowship’ is made up of the following: the flaky-as-f**k (well, he keeps wigging out at the most inopportune moments!) Frodo Baggins, a Hobbit, and his three Hobbit buddies, the loyal Samwise Gamgee and the utterly feckless Merry and Pippin; Legolas, the high-cheekboned blonde-haired Elf; Gimli, the tough and fearless Dwarf whose rivalry with Legolas is a source of ongoing humour; Aragorn and Boromir, two hot-as-hell human males with longish, sweat-soaked hair and stubble and piercing eyes; and, last but not least, Gandalf the Wizard, superbly played by Ian McKellen. Did you know, by the way, that a Wizard is never either late nor early, but in fact arrives precisely when he means to? You didn’t? Well, now you do.

All of their different worlds are threatened by Sauron so for the ‘Fellowship’  it’s literally a case of ‘unite and fight together or die.’ Individually, of course, they don’t have a hope of defeating Sauron and his All-Seeing Eye, which has always looked like a Flaming Vagina to my eyes, but there’s strength and safety in numbers and all that jazz.

Together, the motley crew have to battle savage and hideously ugly Orcs, Goblins and the Uruk-Hai, a deadly blend of Orcs and Goblins, specially created for the destruction of the World of Man by Saruman, Sauron’s agent. The role of Saruman is one of Christopher Lee’s last epic performances and it’s obvious he totally revels in every second of it.

His legendary voice is as strong and sexy as ever and the scene where he battles his old mucker Gandalf is a stand-out in a series of films that contains almost too many memorable scenes to mention, but let’s see if we can isolate a few really terrific ones for your amusement and entertainment.

How about Frodo and his three Hobbit pals hiding under a paltry bit of twig from the Black Rider, who surely should have gone to SpecSavers for that long-deferred eye-test? That scene from the first film’s been parodied by the likes of French And Saunders and, I must say, Peter Jackson had it coming, heh-heh-heh. The deadly assault on Sean Bean (Boromir) by the powerfully-built King Of The Uruk-Hais (is it wrong that I’ve always fancied him?) in the silent, spooky forest filled with felled trees mildewed and broken statuary is unforgettable also. Ditto Gandalf and the Balrog and the death-filled Mines Of Moria. Poor Gimli’s despair when he sees what’s become of his relatives…!

The attack of the Warg-Riders in the second film is terrifying, and the Battle Of Helm’s Deep is the best battle I’ve ever seen in a film in my whole entire life, bar none. Bar none. The sight of King Theoden’s raggle-taggle army of old men and young boys preparing to face off against the savage beasts surrounding their keep and castle is just heartbreakingly moving. So too is the death of the gorgeous Haldir, the only Elf I’ve ever fancied. His last moments are poetic and even balletic in their beauty and unutterable sadness. God, how I’d like to ride him, haha…! And Treebeard and the Ents, how could we forget the Ents? What’s an Ent? Watch the film and you’ll find out, haha.

I love the bit where King Theoden of Rohan is rid of Saruman’s evil spell by Gandalf and then Saruman’s slimy agent, the aptly-named Grima Wormtongue, is banished from Rohan forever only to go crawling straight back to his master Saruman. Fancy an odious toad like Grima Wormtongue thinking he had a chance with Eowyn, the beautiful niece of the poor befuddled King Theoden! Talk about punching above your weight. Mind you, guys do do that, don’t they, the poor misguided, delusional little beggars…? God help them.

Oh, and don’t forget Shelob, the hideous giant spider in the third film. I bought my youngest child a toy Shelob a few years back, in a set that came complete with a Frodo and a Sam whose hair came off more or less straightaway and left the pair of ’em looking like escaped convicts. Anyway, he (my youngest) thought it would be an hilarious jape to hide the Shelob around the house for me to find.

When the revolting creature turned up in my bed, I packed it up and gave it to charity, minus the Frodo and Sam action figures. They’d gone missing and were presumably Shawshank-ing it somewhere in the house. Why I’d ever bought the Shelob in the first place is still a mystery to all concerned, given my fear and vehement hatred of giant spiders. Ah well. Just another one of Mammy’s mad impulse purchases…! God knows, there’ve been a few mad ones all right.

The third film, clocking in at nearly three-and-a-half hours, is an epic watch. It has Pippin singing his little Hobbit heart out in it about loss and sadness to the insane Steward Of Gondor, who later tries to make toast out of his least favourite son, Faramir. (So unfair! Just because he’s not Sean Bean, presumably.) It has the ugliest of all the Orcs in it too, the one I call Mr. Potato-Head and the one who says that the time of Men is kaput and the time of the Orcs is at hand, or words to that effect. A chilling vision of things to come, as Kent Brockman might say.

It also has Eowyn teaching a long-awaited lesson to the deadliest and scariest of all the Nazgul, which is pretty cool to watch. She’s the one Aragorn should go for, if you ask me. She’s gutsy and ballsy and feisty and she can swing a sword, unlike mopey Arwen whom I’ve nicknamed Droopy Drawers. She might be Aerosmith’s daughter but God Almighty, she’s a miserable, whispery sod.

Aragorn and his (slightly reluctant and accursed) Army Of The Dead rushing in to save the day in the third film is another bit I love. A special mention to the fantastic musical score and to Andy Serkis who was superb as the creature Gollum. Every scene he was in, he stole.

Also, I remember that everyone in the cinema for the extremely long third film kept thinking that the movie was ending because there’d be this haunting music and the screen would go black, but then another scene would start up and we’d all sigh with relief because we didn’t want it to end. Oh Lord, how we didn’t want it to end!

But end it eventually did. I think we can safely say that we’ll never see its like again. THE HOBBIT trilogy, also directed by Peter Jackson, sadly couldn’t match it, though of course it had a damn good try. Peter Jackson is a genius, but even he couldn’t out-do his own magnum opus. That’s because it’s unmatchable. Unbeatable. Un-everything-else-able as well. That’s all I’m saying. Over and out.

Oh, except to say that Annie Lennox sings a great song during the end credits called ‘INTO THE WEST’ and if you stick around for the credits, which you should always do anyway (a lot of people worked hard on that film for your benefit!), you’ll see some gorgeous drawings of the cast of characters that are well worth a look. Oh, and Sam is the real hero of the trilogy, not that wimpy, freaked-out Frodo. Now I’m finished, haha.

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

 

Camille-Keaton-I-spit-on-your-grave

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. 1978. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Camille-Keaton-I-spit-on-your-graveI SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. 1978. WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY MEIR ZARCHI. STARRING CAMILLE KEATON, RICHARD PACE, ERON TABOR, ANTHONY NICHOLS AND GUNTER KLEEMAN. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a controversial one. I absolutely love this film, this classic cult ‘rape-and-revenge’ film, as it’s referred to, but there’s no doubt that there’s a lot in it for people to take issue with. It’s the story of a beautiful young woman called Jennifer Hills who is brutally gang-raped by four men when she moves to an isolated cottage in the Connecticut countryside to write her first novel. She then proceeds to take revenge on each of the men in turn in various gruesome ways. Intrigued? Read on, dear film fans, read on…

The rape takes place in the woods near the cottage and in the cottage itself. The vulnerable and physically fragile young woman is held down and raped, sodomized and battered by the local garage mechanic, his two unemployed friends and their mentally challenged friend/hanger-on, who works as the local grocery delivery boy. Oh yeah, it’s a good group all right.

The rape is hard to watch. It lasts a long time and is, sadly, all too realistic. As well as the physical and sexual battery, Jennifer is mentally tormented by the men who twice trick her into thinking that her ordeal is over, but guess what? It’s not. The actress is mostly fully naked for the rape scenes. I’m guessing that that was difficult for her.

The rapists even make fun of her writing efforts and tear them up. As a writer myself, that was nearly as hard to watch as the rapes. I admit that I found the woman a bit annoying at first. I mean, I had to write my first novel at a rickety kitchen table cluttered with all the paraphernalia of a busy household and with the TV permanently on in the background.

I’ve never had the opportunity to lie in a hammock outside my country home scribbling leisurely in a notebook. No, I’m not bitter. I’m just saying, is all. But when I saw those… those ignoramuses tearing up her work I felt gutted for her. Writing’s bloody hard enough. You don’t go around destroying something that someone’s put their blood, sweat and tears into. It’s just not cricket, old boy.

Jennifer’s vulnerability during the prolonged attacks is pitiful to see. She hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of defending herself against the four thugs, who see it almost as their right to rape her because she wanders around the cottage grounds in her bikini and is always ‘flaunting’ her beautiful, near-naked body in front of them.

This part is true. She is always half-naked wandering around the place, lolling in her hammock or drifting on the river in her little boat. Even I wanted her to put some kit on. I just kept thinking: ‘This isn’t safe behaviour! It’s not safe…!’

I’m not even going to touch that one, however. There are those who think that what a woman is wearing is a factor in rape. Then there are others who think that that shouldn’t even come into it. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, the men in the film take it upon themselves to violate a defenceless woman. Or is she…? Defenceless, I mean. Well, not exactly. That’s where the whole revenge thing comes in.

This is kind of where the film fell down a little bit for me. In order to wreak vengeance on her attackers, and there’s no doubt that they do deserve justice, we’re supposed to believe that Jennifer would commit acts that it’s hard to imagine any recently raped woman would perform. If you watch the film, you’ll know what I mean.

Also, her plans seem a little confused and not very believable at times, like when she lets Johnny take the gun from her. That could have gone very badly for her there. Still, she gets the results. All I’m saying is that her plans seem to depend rather a lot on chance and things could so easily have gone a different way for her.

This film is also known as ‘DAY OF THE WOMAN.’ In no way do I see this film as a feminist victory or an empowerment movie. What the men do to Jennifer is wrong. What she does to them in return is wrong too, though. She doesn’t even call the police or seek medical help, for Chrissakes! Playing the vigilante is not the way to go. Therefore, I don’t cheer and whoop with delight when the rapists get what’s coming to them. I just feel a bit queasy and wonder what she thinks she’s playing at. How does this help the situation?

They’re the ones who deserve prison, but the way she’s going, she might well end up there before ’em. After all, they’re more or less the only four people in the tiny, one-horse town. They’re bound to be missed. Mind you, there’s no sign of any law enforcement presence in the place either, so Jennifer may just get away with it after all.

I’m only giving my own opinion here. No doubt there’ll be people- maybe men as well as women- who think that she was damned right to do what she did. Me personally, I wouldn’t go down that route. But hey, that’s just me. Each to their own and all that.

My copy of this film came off my precious BOX OF THE BANNED, by the way, for anyone who’s interested. It’s THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION OF VIDEO-NASTIES and contains six terrific films that were banned for a good many years.

The other films in the set are as follows: ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS, THE DRILLER KILLER, THE EVIL DEAD, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT and NIGHTMARES IN A DAMAGED BRAIN. It’s a brilliant set. ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS and the flick currently under review are my two favourites. If you ever see the set knocking around a shop somewhere, make sure you take it home with you. But pay for it first, obviously, haha…!

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

elf

SURVIVING CHRISTMAS and ELF: A BUMPER DOUBLE CHRISTMAS REVIEW FROM SANDRA HARRIS. ©

elfSURVIVING CHRISTMAS and ELF: A BUMPER DOUBLE CHRISTMAS REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

SURVIVING CHRISTMAS. 2004. DIRECTED BY MIKE MITCHELL. STARRING JAMES GANDOLFINI, BEN AFFLECK, CATHERINE O’HARA, JOSH ZUCKERMAN AND CHRISTINA APPLEGATE.

ELF. 2003. DIRECTED BY JON FAVREAU. STARRING WILL FERRELL, JAMES CAAN, MARY STEENBURGEN, ZOOEY DESCHANEL, DANIEL TAY, EDWARD ASNER, PETER DINKLAGE AND BOB NEWHART. FEATURING THE VOICE OF RAY HARRYHAUSEN AS THE POLAR BEAR CUB.

I love these two Christmas comedy films to bits. Christmas isn’t Christmas unless I’ve watched both of ’em, preferably back-to-back. The funny thing is (well, they’re both comedies so technically they’re both meant to be funny!) that one of them was a box-office disaster and the other was a runaway success.

So, which was the stinker that garnered mostly negative reviews and went almost straight-to-video and which was the festive hit that’s become a much-loved perennial favourite, a film that starts gracing our television screens the moment the first of December comes around? I’m going to be a real meanie and not tell you. See if you can guess which is which. The winner gets a candy cane…!

SURVIVING CHRISTMAS is the story of an eccentric young millionaire, Drew Latham, who finds himself unexpectedly alone for Christmas. Troubled by painful childhood memories of the festive season, he pays an ordinary American family a quarter of a million bucks to let him spend Christmas with them.

The one condition he lays down is that the family, the Valcos, take part whole-heartedly in the traditions and celebrations of Christmas for his benefit. Can they put up with Drew’s nonsense and endless festive demands? Well, let’s just say that a quarter of a million big ones is a mighty tempting incentive…

I’ve never liked Ben Affleck in anything else but this one film. He has an innocent, Buddy The Elf-like quality about him that makes his character appealing and even vulnerable. He’s lonely at Christmas and he wants to experience a nice traditional family Christmas like the ones he never got to have when he was a kid. What the hell is wrong with that? Nothing at all, Drew, that’s what. Nothing at all.

He wants the full works too: the tree, the decorations, the presents, the snowball fights, the roaring fire, Christmas jumpers and his ‘Dad’ to wear a Santa hat when they go Christmas tree shopping. All the trappings of Christmas are present and correct in the film so it’s gorgeously festive to look at, which is certainly important in a Crimbo movie.

The main reason I like this film is that James ‘Tony Soprano’ Gandolfini plays Tom Valco, the big, burly bearded paterfamilias. He brings a lot of Tony to the role. He has Tony’s impatience, quick temper and intolerance for anything that he sees as wasting his time or being unworthy of his attentions.

His marriage to Carmela, sorry, I mean, Christine Valco is on the rocks and life seems to have lost its flavour for the couple. Can Drew’s enthusiasm for capturing the perfect family Christmas rekindle the spark in their tired relationship? It might, or then again it might not. We’ll have to see…

Highlights include the two Doo-Dahs, ‘Mom’s’ sexy photo-shoot, and the ultra-posh Van Gilders witnessing what they think is an incestuous snog between Drew and his pretty ‘sister,’ Alicia Valco.

ELF, on the other hand, is the tale of an orphaned human boy called Buddy who is raised in the North Pole by Santa and his elves. When he is all grown-up and a little too big and clumsy and ungainly for Santa’s workshop, he goes on a quest to find his real father, Walter Hobbs, who works as a book publisher in New York City. Walter is obsessed with work, has virtually no Christmas spirit and is not one iota pleased to find out that he has a fully-grown elf for a son.

Walter’s wife Emily and son Michael come round to the idea of Buddy staying with them quickly enough, but Walter continues to hold out. Can Buddy melt his father’s stony heart and teach his grumpy dad the true meaning of Christmas? Well, it’s a Christmas film so I’m sure you can probably work out the answer to that all by yourself, haha!

The whole film is literally bedecked (Is that a word? Bedecked?) with the frills and furbelows of the happiest season of the year. (C’mon, I’m just going by what the Crimbo songs say!). It’s simply breath-taking to look at. The shops are fantastic. No-one does Christmas like the Americans, and maybe the New Yorkers do it best of all.

The department stores, the shopfronts, the streets, the houses, everything is lit up like a… well, like a Christmas tree, haha. It’s a winter wonderland of snow. It’s just beautiful. You’re guaranteed to feel Christmassy and full of love for your family after watching ELF. Guaranteed.

Will Ferrell is superb as Buddy, the elf with the child-like qualities of innocence, fun, generosity of spirit and a belief in magic and all things Christmassy. It’s my favourite performance of his, apart from maybe his portrayal of figure-skater Chazz Michael Michaels in the superlative and screamingly funny BLADES OF GLORY, in which he co-stars with Jon Heder.

The funniest scenes in ELF are the ones with childrens’ author Miles Finch, whose small stature leads Buddy to call him an ‘elf,’ and the one in which Buddy helps his new brother Michael to win a snowball fight against some bullies. Also, BRING YOUR GROWN-UP ELF SON TO WORK DAY, which is what it should be called, is an unmitigated disaster for Walter Hobbs but is hilarious to watch. The whole film is a gem. It’s perfect family viewing and a must-have in your festive movie collection.

By the way, have you worked out yet which film was the stinker and which was the runaway success? You have? Well done. You may help yourself to a candy cane. Just the one, mind. I’m not made of flippin’candy canes…

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