This is a fantastic film for mothers and daughters to watch together. Myself and my own daughter were positively glued to it yesterday afternoon (Sunday). That’s not to say that men and other folks can’t enjoy it too; it’s just that it’s such a brilliant mother-daughter picture, with Glenn Close and Mila Kunis each giving phenomenal performances as, guess what, a mother and daughter, lol.

Glenn Close of FATAL ATTRACTION fame plays Deb, the mom. She lives in suburban America and works as a massage therapist to rich wimmins. Deb’s daughter Molly (Mila Kunis, who plays Meg in FAMILY GUY) has just turned up on Deb’s doorstep like a bad penny. She is absolutely rotten with drugs, the really bad kind.

She begs her mum to let her come back home to allegedly ‘get clean,’ but Molly has no fewer than fourteen failed attempts at de-toxing under her belt already, and we get the feeling that Deb has been right alongside her the whole time. So: Go away, Molly. Come back when you’re clean. We’ve been through all this before, remember? Come back when you’re clean.

Molly has all but ruined her mum’s life with her nonsense. As a heroin addict, she has lied to her mother, stolen from her mother’s purse, nicked her stepdad’s guitars to sell for drugs money, caused a divide between her mum and her stepdad and gotten her two young children taken away from her. I’m pretty sure that Molly hasn’t forgotten about this category of woe.

But Molly has her mother’s stubbornness. If you let me in, Mom, I swear that this time will be different. I really mean it about wanting to get clean this time. Well, her poor mother’s not made of stone. Deb agrees- reluctantly- to let Molly come home, but this absolutely, definitely has got to be the last attempt at ‘getting clean.’ It will be Molly’s fifteenth stab at it.

Deb is heartbroken at the state of Molly. Her lovely teeth have all rotted away. Her bleached blonde hair is so dry it’s a fire hazard. She’s stick-thin. Her once-beautiful face is covered in ugly sores.

Molly hasn’t seen her two children, who are living with their dad, in God-knows-how-long. Everything she’s ever had, she’s lost. Self-esteem, self-confidence, pride in herself, another child which she carried to term and then gave up for adoption. It’s a tragic old story.

Deb helps Molly to go ‘cold turkey’ at home. Deb’s husband, Molly’s stepfather, stays mostly out of it, having been robbed blind by a drug-addled Molly in the past. For Deb, it’s a long few days, full of watching, and waiting, and worrying, and wondering. It’s cool the way the things all started with a ‘w,’ isn’t it…? Lol.

Molly’s doctor tells her something electrifying. If Molly can stay drug-free for only four more days- four good days- he will give her a drug called an opioid antagonist, which will help her body to reject any highs for up to a month. After that she can take the tablet again, and for however many times she needs it after that. (I think that’s how it works!)

Can Molly stay clean for four more days? She and her mum are both doubtful, but to think past this weekend is to be able to imagine a future without drugs blighting all their lives. It’s looking grim there for a while, especially when Molly decides she’s going to look up an old friend who just so happens to live in a crack den/flop house. Can Molly resist temptation? Can Deb hold it together? Will these ladies have their four good days? We can only wait and see, folks. Wait and see…

The story is based on the true-life goings-on of Amanda Wendler and Libby Alexander, Molly and Deb respectively. Glenn Close is still acting up a storm at seventy-five, and I was so impressed at Mila Kunis’s willingness to make herself look truly down-and-out for the role of an habitual junkie. Terrific film, doesn’t just have to be watched by mother-daughter combos! Watch it by yourself or with a roomful of people, it’s a cracking piece of work whatever way you look at it.

PS, having just done my online researches, I’ve discovered that the film’s director, Rodrigo Garcia, is actually the son of Nobel-prize-winning literary royalty, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. GGM penned works such as the famous One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), and was referred to on his death in 2014 as ‘the greatest Colombian who ever lived.’ It was the then President of Colombia who said this, by the way, not some mad randomer.

Rodrigo’s mum was a stunningly beautiful woman, known for being the supportive woman behind Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I wonder if it was hard going for Rodrigo, growing up in the shadow of an internationally famous dad? I did own One Hundred Years of Solitude at one point, but I gave it away to charity without reading it because I thought it looked a bit hard, lol. You know, literary and that. And how right I was!

Anyway, Rodrigo needn’t worry about having to live up to his famous Pops. If even half his oeuvres are as good as FOUR GOOD DAYS, he’s doing all right.





The timing of my watching this Netflix documentary is kinda funny (only to me, admittedly) because I’d recently been watching THE DIRT, the fascinating tell-all movie about the world-famous ‘hair’ band, Motley Crue, and I’d already decided that Tommy Lee was by far the biggest dickhead of the four band members.

Immature, impulsive, probably ADHD (imho), just a complete asshole who didn’t really care about the consequences of his actions, because he was usually long gone by the time they kicked in. I didn’t care for him much, as if you hadn’t guessed…

I loved the guy playing Mick Mars, the older band member with a health condition that meant he couldn’t party the way the younger members did- thank Christ! I fancy the arse off Douglas Booth, so I loved his portrayal of Nikki Sixx, though the sight of his heroin abuse properly put the willies up me.   

Anyway, then I watched this quite good Netflix documentary, PAMELA: A LOVE STORY, and of course everyone knows that sex goddess Pamela Anderson was married to Motley Crue drummer, Tommy Lee, until their well-publicised bust-up.

I’ll be honest with you. Here are the things I knew about Pamela Anderson before seeing this new documentary.

  1. She’s famous for her fabulous blonde hair and huge, surgically-enhanced bosoms.
  2. She’s been a PLAYBOY model, showing off the above attributes.
  3. She’s been the star of television programme, BAYWATCH, from 1992 to 1997. BAYWATCH is about lifeguards and co-starred David Hasselhoff, aka, the Hoff. The lifeguards were often filmed running down the beach in their red swimwear in slow motion. It mesmerised millions of viewers worldwide.
  4. She was the star of an unsuccessful action movie called BARB WIRE.
  5. She married Tommy Lee, the wildman drummer of Motley Crue, in 1995, and they had a sex-based, passionate and tumultuous relationship before splitting up after about three years. They have two sons together, Brandon Lee and Dylan Lee, and Pam and Tommy split up after Tommy engaged in spousal abuse.
  6. A tape of Pam and Tommy having sex once broke the Internet. Nowadays, of course, celebrity sex tapes are ten-a-penny, commonplace things, but back then, it was huge news, and I do mean huge.
  7. She has no fewer than, ahem, six, failed marriages to her name.

The documentary features Pamela Anderson chatting easily away to camera about the above-mentioned topics and other things, but mostly the above. She’s make-up-less, or else very sparingly and artfully made up, simply dressed in a white robe, and is back living in her parents’ charming Canadian home in Ladysmith, British Columbia. She’s open, friendly and has a lovely giggly laugh.

She surprised me hugely by turning out to be someone who keeps detailed journals and diaries, just like I do myself. I wouldn’t class anyone who keeps a diary as ‘dim,’ yet that’s how she’s been portrayed in the media over the years, as a dimwit whose brain shrinks accordingly as her boobs get bigger.

Ah well. That’s the media for you. They’ll always portray a woman as a sex bomb over an intelligent human being any day, and studious women are often unflatteringly seen as ‘bluestockings,’ an uncomplimentary way of defining a woman who reads…!

When I was a young ‘un, I showed off my own big boobs and blonde hair shamelessly, and never failed to give men what they wanted from me, which was a good time with a busty blonde who was uncomplicated, straightforward and devoid of hidden depths, talents or passions. Now I make no efforts to please, because I’m worn out. It happens as you get older, trust me. They can take me or leave me, as long as they don’t wake me…

Pammy looks tired but happy, rather like a woman who’s just given birth, and maybe she has, not to a baby this time but to a new phase of her life, in which she’s single and preparing to have-maybe- a love affair with herself for the first time ever.

She’s certainly earned it. She’s suffered miscarriages in her time, domestic violence at the hands of Tommy Lee, sexual abuse in her childhood inflicted by a babysitter and gang rape by a boyfriend and his mates in her teenage years. She’s also lived her adult life under the harsh glare of an unforgiving media who, as we all know, only build you up so that they can tear you down again.

The main feeling I get from this film is that Tommy Lee was, is and always will be, the main love of Pamela Anderson’s life. She says it herself; that’s why none of her marriages after Tommy worked out, because they weren’t with him.

I don’t know why they don’t just get back together and be done with it. They’re both still single, as far as I know, Pam and Tommy, and we already know they’ve kept up their sex life, lol. (Aw, shee-it, he’s re-married, just looked it up! Still, you know, anything’s possible…!)

Maybe she’s worried about what people would think, maybe even what the ‘woke’ brigade would say about her getting back with her former abuser, but I say feck ‘em. The ‘woke’ brigade can bloody well mind their own business for once.

Or, better still, maybe she should just forget about men altogether for a bit and have that love affair with herself that she’s been putting on the long finger for a while. It might be an interesting voyage of discovery for the woman whose face could still launch a thousand ships any day of the week.

Do what you like, missus, I say, and don’t worry your pretty little head about other people, male or female. You’re a lovely lady, you’ve raised two loving, caring sons, and you deserve a bit of stability and happiness in your life now.

Go for it, girl. With knobs on…





Who doesn’t love a story like this, in which a rich toff lady gets with a nice hairy bit of rough, who’s got good garden soil under his fingernails and fire and a nice pork pie in his belly? LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER is one such story.

Emma Corrin plays the titular Lady C., or Constance ‘Connie’ Reid, the gorgeous young brunette who marries Baronet Clifford Chatterley, who in turn owns a huge bit of real estate in the countryside called-you guessed it- Chatterley.

Anyway, Connie and Clifford manage to consummate their marriage the night before Clifford goes off to fight World War One, and presumably write a shit-tonne of war poems as well, lol, as was the style of the time. When he returns, he’s an impotent as a Nevada Boxing Commissioner, a line used by Montgomery Burns in popular cartoon THE SIMPSONS.

He can’t now get Connie pregnant with an heir- or even a ‘spare,’ eh, Prince Haz?- so he suggests, rather open-mindedly of him, I think, that Connie should sleep with someone else in order to conceive. Enter the deliciously ‘reserved’ (a pun!) gamekeeper of Chatterley, Oliver Mellors, who lives in a darling little rustic hut on the estate.

The sex is hot and raunchy. Just think of long shapely legs in silk stockings wrapped round a trim male waist and firm buttocks. Think of a wail of desire and a woman’s fingers entwined in a man’s curly hair while her lips seek out his and their tongues lap together like waves on a seashore.

Think of his magnificent organ, sliding inwards and upwards in a sauce of feminine arousal, and of his proud, upstanding soldiers, each one ready, willing and able to hit the spot and do the honours on behalf of his battalion. Crikey, I’m confused now. Do I describe the female orgasm or hand out the Victoria Cross? Oh well. It’s much the same thing, you know…!

Oliver the gamekeeper has feelings, apparently. He’s angry at the thought of Constance’s using him to conceive a child, but it must be obvious to everyone at Chatterley that Connie doesn’t give a fig for her injured husband and is head-over-heels in love with the gamekeeper. Utterly besotted doesn’t even cover it.

After all, it’s Oliver she dances naked in the rain with, Oliver to whom she gravitates every minute of the day. And, when she realises she’s pregnant with Oliver’s child, it’s not Clifford (the Big Red Dog???) with whom she’s planning on settling down and playing House. But what’s Stuffed Shirt Clifford going to have to say about all this…? Constance is still his Awfully Wedded Wife, after all, isn’t she…?

Not a whole lot happens in this film except for gorgeous scenery and inter-class sex, is that what you’d call it? The housekeeper, Mrs. Bolton, is played by Joely Richardson who, of course, played Lady Chatterley in the 1993 BBC TV serial version, with Sean Bean as her lover.

Finally, there’s a lot of sex in the fillum as I may have mentioned, but it’s not a very sexy film at the same time. Not a lot of chemistry between the two leads, you see, and no scenes at all where the viewer would be positively transported with passion out of their own circumstances and into the lovers’. It’s a very ploddy, ‘meh’ sort of film.

Here’s a short wee sketch I wrote myself that might have livened the film up a bit.

Characters: Constance is the wife; Clifford the husband; and Oliver the lover.

Constance: Right, well, I’m off then, Clifford. I’m leaving you for Oliver, remember?

Clifford: Bugger. Was that today? I was sure it wasn’t until next week.

Constance: Clifford, you’re fucking hopeless, you know that?

Clifford: Well, at least I’m not the laughing stock of Chatterley like you, doing it with that gardener fellow every time my back is turned.

Constance: Clifford, your back is always turned, silly! It happened at the Battle of the Somme, don’t you remember? The doctors couldn’t turn you back around the right way again, remember?

Clifford: Thanks for reminding me, bitch. So, anyway, how do you and your gardener fellow propose to live without my millions?

Constance: We shall live deliciously, my gardener and I, feasting on fresh air and sunshine and poetry and art and Oliver’s massive knob.

Clifford, savagely disappointed: And to think I spent all that time trying to teach you that money is the only thing worth living for. I’m ashamed of you, Constance.

Constance: Oh, fuck off, Clifford, you old dullard. Here’s Oliver now, anyway. Now you’ll really see something. Oliver, honey, over here!

The couple start fucking, much to Clifford’s utter disgust. A crowd gathers round to praise Oliver’s exceptional swordsmanship.

Constance, moaning in mid-coitus: Lend us twenty quid, would you, Clifford? I’m a bit stoney, and you only pay Oliver once a year. It takes forever to come round.

Clifford: Give me one good reason why I should give you a brass farthing, woman?

Constance: Well, seriously, Clifford, old chap, you’re sucking Oliver’s cock right now. He’s not a bloody object, you know. A sex-thing on sale to the highest bidder. He’s very sensitive on the subject of being used for sex, as it goes.

Clifford: Ah balls. He reaches mournfully for his wallet and does the necessary.

Oliver grins broadly, carries on sucking and waves to the camera.






There are two schools of thought regarding this American teen comedy, made by the man who also brought us SIXTEEN CANDLES, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, PRETTY IN PINK, UNCLE BUCK, HOME ALONE and BEETHOVEN (the dog, not the famous musician!).

John Hughes was one hell of a film-maker, and, had he not died of a heart attack in 2009, no doubt he’d still be making movies today. He brought fame and fortune to the young actors and actresses of the so-called Brat Pack, chief of whom was his own personal muse, the fabulous Molly Ringwald.

Anyway, to return to those two schools of thought? The first one puts the case that ‘FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF’ is the best ‘Eighties movie ever made, besides THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

They maintain that it’s an utterly joyful, entertaining, enjoyable and escapist romp about an endearingly cheeky teenage boy who dares to do what some teens only ever dream about: cut school a month before graduation and enjoy an hilarious jaunt through downtown Chicago- Hughes’s other muse- with his best friend Cameron Frye and his girlfriend Sloane Petersen, who each have to cut classes as well.

Well, it’s true there are some really good laughs in this film. My son nearly died laughing at the bit where Ferris’s best mate Cameron puts on a funny fake accent to give the mortified Principal Rooney a severe bollocking, and I love the bit where the same Principal watches his student Sloane Petersen tongue-kissing her ‘father’ by his car when he comes to collect her from school on the Big Day Out. The look on Rooney’s face!

‘So, that’s the way it is in that family, eh…?’

Okay, so which of us doesn’t want to ditch school or work or whatever else once in a while to visit an art gallery, blag a freebie meal from a posh restaurant, attend a baseball game and sing Beatles songs from the top of a float to amuse a roaring crowd of German-Americans?

We all feel like that at times, but we have responsibilities to ourselves and others and we can’t just drop everything at the drop of a knicker elastic to go gallivanting. Ferris and his pals, though, they do it all, in a day they’ll never forget.

There’s a second school of thought, however, that views Ferris Bueller as a thoroughly spoiled, selfish little prick who, in fact, is ruining the lives of the people around him. Look what happens to poor Principal Rooney when he tries to catch Ferris out in his blatant truancy and disrespect for his school, his studying and his teachers.

Poor old Ed (Rooney) loses his shoes, destroys his (probably) one good school suit, is humiliated at being conned by a student (Ferris!), gets high-kicked in the face by his student’s sister, is accused of housebreaking at the Buellers’ house, gets a dressing-down from another student (Ferris’s pal Cameron!) posing as a parent and is mauled by the Bueller’s vicious dog. Bit of a pattern developing here, much…?

Rooney is the Principal Seymour Skinner to Matthew Broderick’s Bart Simpson. Rooney is the determined ‘non-giving-up school guy’ who just keeps getting thwarted by the deviant mind of a schoolboy. He’ll be in therapy for this for years to come, you mark my words, and the name ‘Ferris Bueller’ will remain a terrible trigger for him forever…

And what about poor Cameron Frye, Ferris’s bezzie mate? Ferris is the cause, let’s face it, of Cameron’s dad’s posh Ferrari crashing through the garage window and down into the vegetation below. To be fair to him, Ferris says he’ll take the blame and apologise to Cam’s dad, but Cam won’t hear of it.

He says he’ll stand up to his dad for the first time in his life, but that could be dangerous for Cam. His dad’s clearly a bully, someone who talks with his fists or whips off his belt the instant a wife or child dares to answer him back. This has all the hallmarks of a very risky domestic violence incident waiting to happen, and it’s not like we’re around to see what happens next…

As for poor Sloane Peterson, well, Ferris might have offered to marry her in the film, but the reality of the situation is that he’ll be off to college next semester, or in the fall, as they say it over there, and Sloane still has one more year of high school to go.

He’ll leave her behind as easily as he’d shed an ill-fitting jacket, and she’ll be left alone, heart-broken, forced to console herself with the handsome captain of the football team and his big dreamy eyes and his enormous… oh, er! Maybe things won’t be so bad for poor old Sloanie after all…

I love Edie McClurg as Grace, the long-suffering school secretary to Mr. Rooney, and a very young Charlie Sheen as a ‘bad boy’ who’s down the cop shop when Ferris’s sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey from DIRTY DANCING) is there and urgently needs kissing, lol.

The joy-riding car valets/garage attendants are hilarious; if Cameron actually knew what was happening to his dad’s precious automobile while he’s downtown watching Ferris entertain the crowds with a Beatles song at the Von Steuben Day Parade…!

Enjoy the film anyway, then ask yourself as objectively as possible; Which school of thought are you…??? Ferris Bueller as hero or selfish wanker? It’s up to you…

All together now… ‘Oh yeah…!’





Wow. This is a bit of a strange one, is this. It’s the latest screen adaptation of celebrated British writer Charles Dickens’s most famous oeuvre, A CHRISTMAS CAROL (it HAS to be the latest; it only dropped on Netflix on December 2nd!), but with a twist.

It’s an animated re-make of my son’s favourite Scrooge adaptation of all time, the all-singing, all-dancing 1970 version with Albert Finney. This 1970 musical version was very obviously intended to be the new OLIVER! THE MUSICAL, which preceded it. Despite some terrific songs (THANK YOU VERY MUCH being a case in point), the 1970 SCROOGE just didn’t hit the dizzy heights that OLIVER! managed to.

What I don’t understand in the case of this new animated musical version is this; why re-make an old version? Why not just make your own completely new musical version? Unless they thought that the songs in the Albert Finney version were just too good not to trot out again in this new millennium…? Who knows? The new version is very kindly dedicated to Lesley Bricusse, the deceased British composer who penned the 1970 film.

So, are there are differences in the plot or characterisation between this and previous SCROOGE adaptations? Well, yes, heaps, lol. Here, perennial miser and moneylender in Queen Victoria’s London, Ebenezer Scrooge, looks a lot younger, fitter and more dapperly-dressed than the usual scruffy, red-nosed, warty-faced Scrooges of old. He’s fleet of foot and not at all decrepit, which is a little unusual all right. He even says ‘Merry Christmas’ freely and of his old volition, albeit sarcastically, which wouldn’t be at all something the regular Scrooge would do, not even for a bet…! He’d choke on it, truly.

And he even owns a dog, an adorable bulldog called Prudence, who completely steals the show with her love, loyalty and funny faces. You know when dogs look at you with their heads on one side as if to say, ‘urrr?’ She does this so beautifully. And Scrooge treats her well, unlike Bill Sykes and poor Bulls-eye in OLIVER! Can anyone, i.e., Scrooge, who owns a dog be all bad? Well, I suppose once more we only have to look to old Bill Sykes for our answer…!

Scrooge’s annoying, Christmas-loving nephew is called Harry here and not Fred, and he’s very generous on the subject of his horrible uncle Scrooge because Scrooge once loved and was loved by Jen (Fan in other versions!), Harry’s beloved mother who died one Christmas Day giving birth to Harry. This is the main reason Scrooge has always hated poor Harry, which of course is a very unfair way to treat someone who was born under such tragic circumstances.

Anyway, the three ghosts- of Christmases Past, Present and Future- all visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve in order to show him the error of his ways. They don’t show Scrooge in his old school (‘I was a boy here!’), and there ain’t no Mrs. Dilber, neither, more’s the pity. It’s not like it wouldn’t be in keeping with the situation.

Scrooge’s lugubrious, gossipy old housekeeper always has an eye to the main chance, and if that means stripping Scrooge’s scrawny corpse’s bed of its linen and bedcurtains, well, who’s to say that it’s wrong or disrespectful of her? He won’t be needing ‘em where he’s going, cue a hideous gummy cackling…

I like the feisty Ghost of Christmas Past, who is made of candlewax, and the Ghost of Christmas Future is mildly scary enough to give viewers a- very mild- thrill. The songs are great, but then we already knew this from hearing them in the 1970 Albert Finney version. Nice to hear ’em again, though.

This is a mildly- there’s that word again!- entertaining and enjoyable Christmas film, but if you’re ever in a situation where you’re told that you can only watch one more Christmas film before you die, then don’t choose this one. Just go with DIE HARD again.

Oh, and by the way, my local library is hosting a season of festive fillums this Yuletide, and first up is DIE HARD. Soooooooooo, if DIE HARD is not a Christmas movie, y’all, then how comes it’s on this list…? I’m just saying, is all. Enjoy the new SCROOGE movie, all you Dickens-heads out there, and Happy Christmas…!  



This is one of the funniest, un-woke-est sitcoms I’ve ever seen, and no wonder, as it’s written by Graham Linehan, the guy responsible for FATHER TED and BLACK BOOKS. All three sitcoms are modelled on the same, seemingly fail-safe, formula:

Take two blokes with hopeless social skills and poor life skills in general (Fathers Ted and Dougal, Bernard Black and Manny Blanco, Roy Trenneman and Maurice Moss) and put them in the sort-of-care of a woman who’s nearly as bad as them (Mrs. Doyle, Fran Katzenjammer and Jen Barber), and off you go; you’re away to the races!

The London-based show is set in the building of Reynholm Industries, a sort of media and communications business of whose exact purpose we’re kind of unclear.

It’s owned by the bombastic, moustached, corrupt and arrogant Denholm Reynholm, who commits suicide by jumping out a window when there are found to be ‘bizarre irregularities’ in his accounts, just like in FATHER TED. That’s an example of Graham Linehan borrowing from himself, lol.

Down in the dingy, untidy basement room in Reynholm Industries, we have the titular IT or Information Technology crowd. (Even Jen doesn’t know what IT stands for!) Chris O’Dowd plays Roy Trenneman, ‘a man from Ireland.’

He’s a big fan of Internet pornography and trying to get women to go out with him (maybe if he did the former less, he’d achieve the latter more!), he has lovely curly Irish hair and he always looks like he’s just crawled out of bed, a look that women do generally seem to find attractive. (Well, the girls on the seventh floor might dig him, I don’t know…!)

He’s horribly work-shy and resents the customers who phone him looking for assistance with their computers. He invariably responds with the by-now-famous line, ‘Have you tried turning it off and on again…?’ and beyond this he’s not really prepared to go, the lazy article.

He’s got a great selection of T-shirts and looks like the kind of big, tall, lopey, hairy Irish guy who might be in the band the Coronas or something. (I wonder are they still called that, or did they change their name after the COVID-19 pandemic??? I would have.)

I love when he’s out for the night at GAY: A GAY MUSICAL, and pretends to be ‘leg-disabled’ when he gets caught out using the theatre’s ‘Disabled’ bathroom. Hilarious. I also love the episode in which he tries desperately to convince a more-successful-than-he-is friend from school that he’s absolutely, definitely, positively not a window-cleaner, lol.

The funniest thing in the whole entire show is probably when the barrister asks Roy to place a cut-out of Ralph Ineson’s face on the exact place on the diagram of Roy’s buttocks where Ineson kissed him after he gave him a massage, it’s just too flippin’ funny. Maybe google this particular bit to see what the hell I’m talking about here…!

Richard Ayoade plays the adorable genius-nerd Maurice Moss, who definitely passes the autism test and who should never be allowed to run after his bullies with a gun, but there you go.

He loves counting and watching COUNTDOWN, being on COUNTDOWN and, when he’s not engaged in any of these worthy pastimes, he adores playing STREET COUNTDOWN with various former COUNTDOWN winners. Me? Well, I’ll have a ‘P,’ please, Bob…

The ravishing red-headed Jan Barber (Katherine Parkinson) hasn’t the first idea about computers but convinces the CEO to take her on as ‘relationship manager,’ or the person who liaises between the IT department and the rest of the company.

She’s only moderately good at doing this, but her personal relationships with men are a disaster, lol. I love the episode where everyone thinks she’s dead and she appears to be haunting a boastful tosser called Bill Crouse, who will certainly never tell anyone he slept with her again…!

Noel Fielding from THE MIGHTY BOOSH plays sometimes-character Richmond Avenal, the strange and forgotten goth who lives in the building behind a red door in the basement, a door which Jen has been warned by her colleagues, Roy and Moss, not to open, so naturally the first thing she does when their backs are turned is… open the door…

Douglas Reynholm, the work-shy son of the late Denholm Reynholm, is a fantastic character. ‘You don’t need to tell ME where to sign on a sexual harassment suit…!’ Loud, super-sexist and with a fantastically booming, carrying voice, he dresses like a reject from SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, he has no idea what his father’s company does, even though he’s just inherited it, he hits on every woman he meets and has fabulously funny lines such as, ‘Damn these electric sex pants!’ and ‘You there, computer man, fix my pants!’ I love when he tells Jen to ‘dress up like my sexy dead wife!,’ and he has the outfit already there and ready to go, the pervert…

The #metoo crowd would make mincemeat of poor Douglas. Would a super-sexist character like his even get written into a sitcom anymore, or is that day gone now too? I can imagine what he might say, in his dramatic booming voice, to such a bunch of marauding feminists as might confront him in his office in Reynholm Industries:

‘You there, ugly hairy men-women! There’s no need to be bitter, and jealous of your prettier female counterparts! My massive knob is an Equal Opportunities Employer! Mind you, I’ll have to shag all of you from behind; I don’t want those earnest, make-up-less faces putting me off my stride while I’m poking the fireplaces, haw-haw-haw!’ The ‘woke’ crowd would tar and feather him, and then run him out of town on a rail…

THE IT CROWD, which also features a great theme tune with nifty graphics, is as funny as Graham Linehan’s other works, FATHER TED and BLACK BOOKS, as I said earlier. He just has a genius for writing about these types of ordinary situations that turn farcical, ridiculous and out-of-control very quickly when you put the right characters into the mix. The show is on Netflix now and is so well worth watching. I’ll leave you with some classic lines…

‘Did you catch that ludicrous display last night?’

‘What was Wenger thinking, putting Walcott on so early…?’

‘The thing about Arsenal is that they always try to walk it in…’

‘Moss, you’re saying football things…! In a football voice…!

Classic lines indeed. Happy Christmas, folks.



This South African crime drama series premiered on Netflix just a couple of weeks ago, and I’m here to tell you that if the writers come up with, say, another eighty episodes at least as good, we could be looking at the new THE SOPRANOS, still the best television programme ever written.

LUDIK, the first Netflix show to feature the sexy-sounding Afrikaans as a language, has several parallels with THE SOPRANOS, starting with an anti-hero who could give Tony Soprano a run for his money in the heart-throb stakes.

Daan Ludik is a handsome South African furniture billionaire in his fifties who smuggles a few diamonds on the side. Well, he didn’t get that mansion and that car and that trophy wife by selling a few pouffes, innit? Tony Soprano is a mafioso whose waste management business is a front for his other less savoury activities. Less savoury than waste management? You’d better believe it.

Daan has a beautiful blonde trophy wife called Anet, who spends all day swilling wine in her bathrobe. She probably married Daan for the luxurious lifestyle he can afford to give her, yet she bitches at him for working all the time instead of dancing attendance on her and their young son, Danie. Tony’s blonde bitchy wife Carmela has to contend with goomars or mistresses as well, so Daan’s wife should at least be content that he’s faithful.

Each wife will be unfaithful, or at least nearly unfaithful, one with a priest followed by an underling of her husband’s, and the other wife with another woman, a psychologist. (In LUDIK, it’s the son Danie who’s getting the psycho-analysing, and in THE SOPRANOS, it’s the head honcho himself.)

Daan was not pampered or spoiled as a boy. He endured savage whippings from his father in his childhood, and he got nothing for nothing. Both Daan and Tony favour tough love, and the odd clip on the side of the head, for their soft-as-butter ‘sensitive’ sons, Danie and Anthony Junior, but the mothers intervene to keep the lads tied to their apron strings, much to the fathers’ joint disgust.

Daan’s beautiful but temperamental, bitchy grown-up daughter Louise seems to have a similar kind of love-hate relationship with him to the one Meadow Soprano has with her Pops. Neither girl wants their alpha male Papas to be telling them what to do at this stage of their lives, either with their careers or with their respective black boyfriends. That’s not me being racist there, by the way. That’s the two dads. Tony comes straight out with it, though Daan is just marginally more subtle about it. ‘Stay away from my daughter!’

Daan’s dad, a preacher due for retirement, is a mean-spirited old bastard called Viljoen. His successful and generous son Daan will pay for everything for him, no matter how much it costs, but the old buzzard is rude, ungrateful and horrible to Daan about it. When he has a cup of tea at his son’s house, he says, how much do I owe you for the tea?

Tony Soprano also has a nightmare parent, his mum Livia, who for a long time refuses to go into a nursing home for her own good and safety. (‘It’s not a nursing home; it’s a retirement community!’) Let’s not forget how she puts an actual hit out on her son at one stage in the series, and how she resists all Tony’s attempts to make the old witch happy.

Both men, Daan and Tony, have their fair share of lame ducks and hangers-on swinging out of them. Daan has his dead sister Linda’s deadbeat alcoholic hubby, Swys, to contend with. Tony has his drug-addicted, hot-headed nephew Christopher, his loser friend, restauranteur Artie Bucco, his hippy sister Janice with the carpal tunnel syndrome and her disability cheques, and finally his elderly Uncle Junior Soprano, a man who’s having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that he’s not the capo di tutti capo anymore…

Daan has the evil gun-running gangster Arend Brown as his sworn enemy, and Tony has new enemies every week, ranging from rival mob boss Phil Leotardo to the FBI. They each have a rat in their camp too, by the way, and feelings will be properly hurt when the news comes out.

THE SOPRANOS has the Bada-Bing; LUDIK has Andy’s Strip Club. Well, I guess it does exactly what it does on the tin. For a series with such a sexy premise and such a fanciable male lead, there’s a surprising absence of sex in it. I waited all series for a glimpse of Daan Ludik’s sculpted, muscular butt mid-coitus or in the shower, but, alas, he keeps his towel on for the full six episodes. Advice to the writers for Series Two: lose the towel…!

If you think you recognise Arnold Vosloo, the man who plays him, it’s probably because he plays the Mummy in the films THE MUMMY and THE MUMMY RETURNS, in 1999 and 2001. He has hardly any dialogue in these two brilliant action and adventure movies set in modern and Ancient Egypt, but he’s so charismatic and gorgeous that you don’t mind a bit. He’s all about the confident movements of his magnificent, semi-clad body. His sneer is second to none, his arrogant superiority lovely to look at. His gorgeous lips and eyes do all the talking.

And his character of Daan Ludik is not at all the a**hole he was described as by another reviewer. He loves his family, lame ducks and all, and will always put them first in his own way. That might mean mostly neglecting them emotionally and even physically much of the time, but it’s ultimately for their own good, lol. Daan Ludik knows what’s best for his family, and that’s the end of it.

I hope that LUDIK will get the go-ahead from Netflix to come back with a second series. It has got to continue, for me and all the other women who fell in love with Daan Ludik at first sight. It’s kind of set up for a sequel already and, as I said earlier, it’ll just take some exposure to catapult this series into the top ten shows on Netflix. Go now, my pretties, and tell everyone you know about this delicious televisual feast. Daan’s life as a lead character in a hit television show, and mine as his Number One Groupie, depends on it…

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:




Wow. This based-on-a-true-story Italian language film set in the mid-Seventies is a really grim watch. For the first hour and a quarter, say, it’s just a mish-mash of a story about the most awful privileged rich white boys you could ever have the misfortune to meet, and how they practically get away with murder in their exclusive Catholic school for rich boys, which is located in Rome.

The sense of privilege and entitlement just radiates off these late-teenage boys like the stink of rotten fish, with heartfelt apologies to the poor fish, who can’t help it. These boys treat women like possessions, to be used, abused and then tossed aside like so much rubbish. It’s horrible to watch.

Then, when they get in any trouble, Mummy and Daddy, who are filthy rich, bale them out and there are never any consequences for their wrongdoings, unless you count the odd slap from a rich father when he loses patience with the little scut he calls sonny boy.

We are told by the narrator, Edoardo Albinati, that consequences for misbehaviour were so randomly applied that the boys chose to go ahead and do exactly what they wanted to do and just take their come-uppance if- and when- it ever arrived.

These rich boys have sex willy-nilly with their friends’ mothers and sisters, all of whom are inter-changeable gorgeous European women with the long dark hair and terrific bone structure. The boys are brought up thinking that the world and everything in it, including the women, is theirs for the taking. Sort of like a bunch of mini-Scarfaces. If no-one ever tells them any different, how are they meant to know right from wrong? The parents and the titular Catholic school are jointly at fault here.

The film is confusing as hell, jumping between the points of view of various boys who all look the same, and it’s divided up into equally confusing ‘time chapters’ such as ‘six months earlier’ to ‘130 hours earlier.’ I mean, what the hell…? It was difficult to make out, not only which boy was which, but which female they were f**king was which. Was it someone’s mum, someone’s sister or someone’s bloody granny? Who knows?

Anyway, the last half hour of the film sees the crime happening, the true-life crime from 1975 to which the whole movie is leading up, the crime that became known as the Circeo Massacre. In September of that year, two beautiful unsuspecting young Italian students, Donatella and Rosaria, are lured to a fabulous seaside villa by two of the boys from the school.

Once there, they are horribly raped, beaten, bullied, humiliated, taunted and tortured by the two boys, who are later joined by another guy whose father apparently owns the villa they’re using to commit their nasty crimes in. The third guy is supposed to be just out of prison as well. Such nice company they keep, right?

Angelo Izzo, Andrea Ghira and Gianni Guido are the mens’ names, though I use the word ‘men’ ironically. They’re not men. They’re cowardly little bully boys who use their superior physical strength to intimidate and frighten defenceless women. Real men don’t seem to feel the need to prove to themselves and their friends that they’re tougher than women or even other men.

I don’t know how any of them expected to get away with it. It’s probably that awful confidence they have in them that makes them feel that there is no price to pay when you’re a rich handsome young guy and your dad can buy off the police. And the school.

One of the girls will be dead after their torturous ordeal, the other as good as. And all because a bunch of lads developed toxic masculinity in the environment that more or less demanded it of its young men. Violence is what is expected of the boys in this environment, the narrator tells us. To be a man is to be violent.

And was justice done, in the end? Sadly, only partially. One of the perpetrators went on to kill two more women after he was released from prison for his part in the Circeo Massacre. As good a candidate for Throwing Away the Key as I’ve ever come across.

Apparently the Italian carabinieri were not exactly ruthless in pursuit of justice for these two lovely young women. Were palms greased, as they undoubtedly had been at the school? I don’t know. One good thing came out of this whole convoluted mess, and that was that Italian law finally allowed that rape was a crime against the person, and not just an outrage against public morality.

Public morality? One wonders how the Italians had been used to prosecuting rape cases in the past. Did a ton of perpetrators walk free? Don’t tell Donatella Colasanti that rape is not a crime against the person. That’s exactly what it is; a crime against the person, and the person’s body, mind and spirit, a crime against the person’s very soul and psyche. Never mind your public morality.

Is this a good film? I don’t even know. Turn to Netflix and see for yourself, but be warned: as I said at the start, it’s a grim watch.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:





All right, all right, settle down now, class. We’ve all seen the memes. Real vampires don’t sparkle, right? Real vampires are Kiefer Sutherland and the Lost Boys, they’re Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie in THE HUNGER. I could go on.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of our collective systems, today I’d like to address the class on the subject of TWILIGHT, the biggest franchise since Harry Potter and without which there would be no FIFTY SHADES OF GREY franchise, because the FIFTY SHADES books started out as TWILIGHT fan fiction. See?

I for one thoroughly welcomed both TWILIGHT, the films and books they said were for teenage girls, and FIFTY SHADES, the ‘mummy porn’ that middle-aged women could supposedly binge-read in perfect privacy on their kindles, like a bunch of sex-hungry, well, mummies. It was about bloody time the film and book industries did something for the female sex!

TWILIGHT (2008) is the first film in the TWILIGHT saga. It features Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl who got in one little fight and her mom got scared and now she’s moving with her auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.

No, wait, that was totally Will Smith as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Bella Swan is actually moving in with her sheriff dad Charlie in Forks, a small photogenic town in Washington, after living with her flighty mom in Phoenix, Arizona. Forks has the most fabulous rainy woods, rivers and mountains and is gorgeous to look at, but Bella, shy and not too ugly herself, isn’t looking at the scenery.

She’s way too busy falling head-over-heels in love with a boy-man at her school, Edward Cullen, a member of the mysterious and pale-faced Cullen family. It takes Bella a little while to work out what we all kind of suspected, back in the day. He’s deathly pale and his skin feels freezing cold to the touch. She’s never seen him eat, and he’s unnaturally fast and strong, even saving Bella’s life in a car accident once with his pure-quick-wittedness and the strength of ten men.

So, what else could he be but… a fortune-telling raccoon with a musical ear and the power to see into the future. . .? No, no and no. He’s a deeply introspective vampire, ‘turned’ by his foster father Carlisle Cullen during the Spanish Influenza Outbreak of 1918. Now he lives with his rich immortal father, just mentioned here, and his rich immortal family in their fabulous glass house high up in the drenched and dripping woods of Forks.

Bella is willing to do anything to get Edward to stay with her forever. Edward isn’t so sure. He gets all mealy-mouthed and says things like, But, I’d only hurt you! And Bella just gets all carried away, saying to the shocked Edward, oh, but I’d really love that, bring it on! And Edward says, well, you must be crazy, missus, but if that’s what you really want, who am I to argue?

So they become the school’s hottest new couple, much to the concern of Edward’s family. They’ve survived this long only by keeping their deadly secret from the humans amongst whom they live and mix daily. If Bella leaks this secret, she will not only endanger all of them but she will be the biggest blabbermouth since Kat Slater from EastEnders. She knows what she did. (‘I’m your muvver, Zoe…!’)

Anyway, Bella goes to the home of the Cullens at Edward’s request and is welcomed by them as cordially as if she were a vegetarian hot dog on a stick. Yes, the Cullens are ‘veggie’ vampires, only drinking the blood of animals, as opposed to whatever’s been murdering and mutilating random people in the town of Forks.

It wouldn’t be the three weirdos who’ve just crashed the Cullens’ lame-o baseball game, could it? And, if they do happen to like the taste of human blood and flesh, has Edward just put the still human Bella in the greatest danger since a bunch of toffee-nosed English chaps decided amongst themselves that that nasty little commoner Hitler was in fact ‘all talk’…?

Now, for homework, class, please discuss the following, giving arguments for and against:

  1. Does Edward Cullen exercise the kind of coercive control over schoolgirl Bella Swan that has recently put Welsh footballer Ryan Giggs in a court of law fighting for his reputation…?
  2. Why do you think Bella Swan is so willing to give up everything for the love of this sparkly teenage boy? Is she suffering from extremely low self-esteem, and from where might she have obtained the notion that she, Bella, is a sack of shit, whereas Edward is a total prize…?
  3. Why did I completely forget to mention Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob Black, Bella’s forgettable old friend whom even Bella has trouble remembering?

One more thing before you go. Jackson Rathbone, who plays the vampire Jasper, is in fact distantly related to British acting legend, Basil SHERLOCK HOLMES Rathbone. There’s the bell, make sure you bring in NEW MOON, the second book in the TWILIGHT saga, with you tomorrow. If we’ve literally nothing else to do, we might have a browse through it. Good afternoon to you all now. No running in the corridor, Matthews, you little shit! Christ, where did I leave my fags?


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:

Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:



There is no faceless woman in this movie; the facelessness is a metaphor, lol. Even if the heroine had been sans a working visage, I don’t think I’d have minded and would still have loved the film. It’s a black-and-white melodrama about a doomed love affair, penned by the Swedish movie maestro, Ingmar Bergman, and it made me forget temporarily how uncomfortable this bloody ‘Big Heat’ is making me. And I know I can’t complain, because other people, across the UK and Europe, have it so much worse. Who knows where it’ll all end, I can’t help asking myself…

Anyway, Martin Grande is our male lead character. He’s a handsome young man, still a student, who’s already married, with a wife called Frida and an adorable little blond-haired boy called Pil.

Martin’s character is weak, soft. He’s been spoiled and over-indulged by his parents and his wife Frida, who does everything for him but who sees more of Martin’s best friend Ragnar than she does of her husband.

One day, Martin and his son Pil are in a florist’s shop buying ‘sorry I was a big jerk’ flowers when Martin sees a woman. Her name is Rut Kohler. She is beautiful, with wavy blonde hair, huge eyes and a wide sensual mouth which I’d say would have been one of the actress, Gunn Wallgren’s, biggest trademarks back in the day. The two are quickly smitten with each other.

Rut cleverly contrives to see Martin again very soon, without his son. Before you can say cheatin’, lyin’ sumbitch, Martin has moved in with Rut, much to the devastation of his own little family.

Frida and Pil have no choice but to struggle along alone without Martin, hoping against hope that the errant husband and father will see sense and come home after the affair has blown itself out. But will it? That’s the thing, you see.

Rut and Martin are the kind of people who are bad for each other, who should never have got together in the first place. They have big dreams they’ll probably never achieve because they’re all talk. Big talk, granted, but still just talk. They fight, they squabble, they argue. They have sex like it’s the Apocalypse and Death himself is galloping towards them on a black charger with his scythe thingy at the ready.

Martin deserts from his National Service stint in order to see her all the time. He risks actual jail time to be with her. She sleeps with other men and taunts him about it. He loses his temper, she stabs him in the hand with a fork. That’s the kind of couple they are. They fight, they make up, they make love, then they fight again.

It’s the kind of relationship that gets described as passionate and tempestuous, which are often just synonyms for sick-making, poisonous, toxic. It’s like Mercedes saleswoman Gloria Trillo’s relationship with mob boss Tony Soprano in HBO drama series, THE SOPRANOS. Best television series ever, bar none, by the way. Not even BREAKING BAD. So there.

Both Gloria and Rut are deeply damaged women. Gloria is a self-confessed ‘serial killer’ who has ‘murdered’ seven relationships… Rut has been sexually abused in her youth by her mother’s odious boyfriend, the rich businessman Victor.

Somehow, they crave the drama, the abuse. It might be the only kind of ‘love’ they’ve ever known. They can be manipulative, intensely jealous and even dangerous. Certainly dangerous to a man’s peace of mind and his marriage, anyway, if not occasionally dangerous in an actual physical sense.

They’re both the kind of girl who’d say to a guy, hit me, go on, hit me, I know you want to, and then cry, you hit me! when he gives in to their pleas, their demands and entreaties. Head-wrecking, beautiful, sexually alluring, frustrating, even annoying, and seriously addictive.

Oh, and ultimately tragic. Someone who lives like that isn’t likely to die peacefully in her bed after a long, fruitful life. The future doesn’t look too bright for Rut and Martin, no matter how many chimney sweeps’ concerts they gleefully attend…

I found this little Swedish language gem on Netflix, of all places, poor beleaguered Netflix that was plenty good enough for us when we had nothing else but which we’re now deserting in our droves because we’ve got ‘shiny new penny’ syndrome and there are too many other glittering distractions out there trying to grab our attention. Well, don’t worry, Netflix, I won’t desert you. I love you to the ends of the earth and back. You’re my life. I’m nothing without you. Go on, Netflix, hit me, I know you want to…  

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Vampirology. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books: