WORST ROOMMATE EVER. (2022) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

WORST ROOMMATE EVER. (2022) A NETFLIX TRUE CRIME DOCU-SERIES DIRECTED BY DOMINI HOFMANN.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I’d been avoiding this American true crime docu-series as I didn’t think it looked much cop, excuse the pun, but it’s actually a really good, gripping watch about some of the most awful people you could ever possibly imagine moving into your house or flat and living with you as your roommate.

The first of the episodes concerns Dorothea Puente, a sweet-looking little old lady granny-type-figure from Sacramento, but don’t be fooled by the pinnies that she wears, lol. Underneath the mauve eyeshadow and the shampoo and set, Puente was a stone-cold serial killer.

She murdered several of the lonely, elderly tenants who rented rooms in her boarding house in the ‘Eighties and buried their remains in her back garden, like a sort of transatlantic Fred and Rose West. Why did she do it? Mainly so that she could steal their often pitiful Social Security checks, which is the way they spell it in ‘Murica.

By the way, today is Happy ‘Murica Day, isn’t it, so fire up those barbecues and illegal fireworks and have yourselves a great day, but for gosh sakes’ don’t go in the waters round Amity Island because word has it there’s been a sighting of a Great White Shark thereabouts. Hey, y’all can ask Chief Brody if you don’t believe me. He’s right over there, talking to Mayor Murray Hamilton and some square from the Oceanic Institute…

The second episode features a Korean man called K.C. Joy (kind of a misnomer, that), who murdered his roommate, the beautiful college student and former US soldier, Maribel Ramos, probably because she rejected him in love. Men sure don’t take too well to hearing the word ‘no’ sometimes, do they…?

Episode three is about a tall, dark and handsome athlete called Youssef Khater who commits multiple frauds on the people he meets; on his roommates concerning a new apartment building, on a fellow marathon runner regarding property investment, and on the entire Palestinian nation by pretending to be from Palestine in order to weasel sponsorship for his ‘marathons’ from a group of genuine people who try to maintain and improve the good name of Palestine through acts like the sponsorship of a fellow countryman in a big race, the proceeds of which go to charity. He’s Danish, by the way, in case you were wondering…

What a jerk. He’s violent and dangerous too, though, this Youssef fellow, and resorts to attempted murder when his schemes go awry, as they often do. He’s not a very good crook, methinks, hence the ‘attempted’ murders, and doesn’t always seem to think things through, the muppet.

This guy’s currently on the loose, I believe, after serving some jail time, so be warned. His modus operandi is a lot like the Tinder Swindler, the guy who fascinated us briefly earlier in the year. How fleeting is our moment of fame on Netflix. One minute you’re SQUID GAME and flying high, next minute you’re old news and we’re skipping and scrolling merrily in fine fickle fashion down to ‘New Releases…’

The next bad roommate is so awful he has the last two episodes devoted to him. He’s the loathsome Jed Creek, aka Jamison Bachman. Yes, he used aliases! His modus operandi was to use his handsome looks- another tall, dark and handsome criminal- and charm, and even his lovely dog Zachary, to worm his way into an apartment-share, without references and often without even a deposit.

Once in, he’d dig his heels in and refuse to leave, pay rent or stump up for bills. He’d become aggressive and weird as well, obviously his real nature showing through, and rearrange the furniture in the flat or take some of it into his own locked bedroom for his own use.

He seems to have targeted only women for his vile shenanigans, as another man would probably tell him to fuck off or even threaten to punch his lights out if he started in on them. What a despicable coward, seriously, to only choose women as his roommates because he could bully and terrorise them.

The fourth episode shows us Jed Creek in all his awfulness, and in the fifth the three women who had the misfortune to room with him tell us about the lengths they had to go through, both legal and psychological, to get rid of him.

In each case, the women lost the homes that meant so much to them (in one case, someone lost their beloved cats to this man), and it’s all because they were unlucky enough to have the psychopathic Jed Creek answer their hopeful ads on Craigslist.

I guess it just goes to show you that you can never be too careful about who you let in your home, and also just what a lot of crazy people are out there. This series really gives you a glimpse into the dark side of advertising for a roommate.

There are some terrific animated sequences in the programme as well, that serve as reconstructions of the crimes. It’s kind of funny, though, when you see the bad guys’ eyebrows drawing together in a ferocious scowl, ‘cause that’s how you know they’re evil, lol.

Anyway, I won’t say ‘Happy Viewing’ because this is pretty harrowing stuff you’ll be seeing, so I’ll just say Happy Fourth of July, peeps, and watch those fingers when you’re lighting your sparklers, Catherine wheels and assorted rockets. Fireworks can be dangerous…

  AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

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:

3,096 DAYS. (2013) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS.

3,069 DAYS. (2013) BASED ON TRUE EVENTS. DIRECTED BY SHERRY HORMANN. STARRING ANTONIA CAMPBELL-HUGHES AND THURE LINDHARDT.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I absolutely loved this brilliantly acted film, which is more or less what you’d call a two-hander, with just a duo of main characters. In 1998, the adorable, chubby little Austrian schoolgirl, Natascha Maria Kampusch, is walking to school by herself after an unfortunate argument with her mother (unfortunate because it’s the last thing they’ll remember of each other for several years) when she is abducted by an unemployed telecommunications technician called Wolfgang Priklopil.

He brings her back to the home where he lives alone and keeps her captive in his house for eight years (or 3,069 days), after which time she escapes. He’s a genius with houses, and has converted a sort of nuclear bunker created by his father and grandfather into a permanent room for his captive. Over the years, he’ll add more comforts and conveniences to the room, but initially there’s just a thin foam mattress, a toilet and a sink in the room which becomes all life to Natascha.

It’s heart-breaking to see Wolfgang, a quiet loner who seems to be visited by only his mum and grandmother, shouting at and bullying the ten-year-old girl in the beginning. But wee Natascha has a stout heart and a lot of courage for a little girl. Remember Punjab from the musical ANNIE? ‘A child without courage is like a night without stars.’ Good on ya, Punjab old chap.

Little Natascha tries very hard, even in the beginning, not to let Wolfgang break her spirit. When she’s older, she even yells back at him sometimes. But her captor is a total control freak. He frequently batters the living daylights out of her for failing to follow his rules to the letter.

He subjects her to sexual violence, though we’re not sure of Natascha’s age when this starts, whether it’s straightaway or not until she’s older. On her escape from captivity, she steadfastly refused to discuss the ‘personal’ side of their relationship.

He often starves her as well, to keep her physically weak and unable to run away. It’s so distressing to see her bony, concentration-camp-thin body naked in the shower, or clad only in his horrible, ill-fitting Y-fronts and vests.

In her entire period of captivity, she only puts on a pitiful seven pounds in weight. Seven pounds in eight years! She has to deal with getting her periods while in Priklopil’s dubious care (she’s so malnourished it’s a wonder she gets them at all), and ‘learning’ the facts of life from him as well.

In the later years of Natascha’s captivity, Priklopil lets her up into the main house a fair bit, mostly to do housework and cook for him, but also to have sex with him in his bed. Sex while attached to him with a cable tied round both their wrists. Talk about possessive. He uses her as unpaid labour for the various construction jobs he wants done around the house.

She can tile and probably grout a bathroom by the time she’s free of him, so she can go into business as a handywoman if she wants to, but as it isn’t her own choice to become a feckin’ apprentice builder, I’d say she never wants to see a fuppin’ bathroom tile again in her life…!

As well as the physical and sexual violence, we also see him forcing her to eat her food off the floor and shaving her head so that she feels ugly and maybe unable to run away. That was the main reason the nuns in the horrible Magdalen Laundries here in Ireland shaved the poor, so-called penitents’ heads. Penitents? The only ones who had anything to apologise for were the nuns…

A couple of random facts about what happens after the film ends. A copper gets in trouble for saying that Natascha had a better life in captivity than with her parents, and, as recently at 2017, Natascha Kampusch owns the house in which she was a prisoner for eight years.

Interesting, isn’t it? Some people, of course, will say that she has Stockholm Syndrome and has come to identify with her captor. I personally would lay odds that she feels terrible guilt for what ultimately happens to the weasly little Prik(lopil). The poor girl. There’s probably nothing she can even do about it.

Even though the exact ending is a matter of public knowledge, I won’t ruin it for you in case you’re not familiar with the case. It’s an incredibly sad story, though it probably gives hope to everyone out there whose child has been abducted, but unfortunately not all of these tragic cases end with the captive returning home. The two actors here play an absolute blinder anyway, and though the film is grim and bleak to the max, it’s well worth a watch. Mind yourselves, now, and your kids.

 AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
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:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/

RED DRAGON. (2002) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

RED DRAGON. (2002) DIRECTED BY BRETT RATNER. STARRING ANTHONY HOPKINS, ED NORTON, HARVEY KEITEL, PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, RALPH FIENNES, MARY-LOUISE PARKER AND EMILY WATSON. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is a superb horror film. There isn’t a single bad thing to say about it. It’s one fifth of the fantastic quintet of Hannibal Lecter films that also includes THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, HANNIBAL and HANNIBAL RISING and MANHUNTER.

This film, though it was made after THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, is actually the prequel to it. It first of all tells us how evil genius Hannibal Lecter came to the attention of the police in the first place, and the gory circumstances of his apprehension and incarceration in that special cell for the criminally insane in which we are accustomed to seeing him. You know, with the mask on and everything so he can’t (literally) bite the hand that feeds him, haha.

Then it tells us a different and equally thrilling story. The story, to be precise, of the deranged serial killer known to the police and the media as The Tooth Fairy. This is a killer who slaughters entire families in the most sickening ways. Who, if anyone, is capable of catching such a maniac…? The FBI are putting all of their eggs in one basket on this one, folks.

These eggs take the form of Special Agent Will Graham, the man who caught Hannibal Lecter. (I’m not really saying he’s an egg, of course, it’s just a metaphor!) Now, Graham adroitly picks Lecter’s brains in an attempt to figure out the identity of The Tooth Fairy.

The scenes of verbal thrust and parry in which the two engage with each other are terrific fun. Anthony Hopkins is just so good as Hannibal Lecter that you feel you could watch him in the role for all eternity. Well, that’s how I feel about his faultless and gripping performances, anyway. The reader, naturally, may have a different opinion…!

Ralph Fiennes is also utterly electrifying as the messed-up photograph-and-home-movies development technician whose upbringing was so abusive you could almost forgive him for turning out so loopy. We see rather a lot of Ralph’s naked butt in the movie. He’s in great shape and one gets the impression that he likes to show off his body.

It’s certainly not the first time we’ve seen his naked butt in a film. Remember THE END OF THE AFFAIR with Julianne Moore and Stephen Ray…? Phwoarrr…! (On another note, one can’t help but wonder what Professor Dumbledore would have made of such flagrantly saucy shenanigans on the part of Voldemort, the Harry Potter villain…!)

In SCHINDLER’S LIST, I think he might have been nekkid as well, just before the famous balcony scene in which he picks off concentration camp inmates with his rifle while his lady love bitches from the bed at him. ‘Amon, you fucking idiot, knock it off!’ Or words to that effect.

Harvey Keitel as FBI Agent Jack Crawford is another actor whose naked butt we’ve also seen on the big screen, THE PIANO with Holly Hunter being a definite case in point. The late great Philip Seymour Hoffman does not show off his naked butt in his film, though he does appear partially-dressed in one scene, haha. He turns in a great performance as the loathsome investigative journalist Freddy Lounds who meets with a gruesome death at the hands of the killer.

There are so many memorable scenes in the film that it’s hard to single out just one or two for special mention. I love when Ralph Fiennes is getting a blow-job from ANGELA’S ASHES lead actress Emily Watson while he’s watching the home movies of the next family he plans to kill.

Reba McClane is blind, you see, so she doesn’t know what he’s looking at. She actually thinks he’s turned-on because of her…! It’s just so twisted and somehow disturbed that it makes for unmissable viewing. 

Can you imagine getting a blow-job off your wan from ANGELA’S ASHES? She’s an excellent actress and I honestly dig her but she’s got such a miserable face, God love her. If she was giving someone a blow-job, it’s probably be with the same pained expression of someone performing a tiresome but necessary chore that she seems to wear in all her films. I also love the tiger-petting scene for the powerful emotions which it unleashes in both Reba and Dolarhyde.

There’s a nice little twist at the end which leads us neatly into THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Watching all five Hannibal Lecter films back-to-back or, say, over the course of one weekend, would make for a great horror movie marathon or film festival theme. Feel free to use my idea. Don’t worry, you won’t be stealing it or anything. It’s already totally patent-pending, I can assure you…!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
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:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/
 

TAXI DRIVER. (1976) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

TAXI DRIVER. (1976) DIRECTED BY MARTIN SCORSESE. SCREENPLAY WRITTEN BY PAUL SCHRADER. MUSIC BY BERNARD HERRMANN.
STARRING ROBERT DE NIRO, JODIE FOSTER, CYBILL SHEPHERD, LEONARD HARRIS, PETER BOYLE AND HARVEY KEITEL.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

So much has been written and said about TAXI DRIVER, one of Martin Scorsese’s best and most memorable movies. It’s too violent. It’s a vigilante film, but one in which the vigilante is experiencing a severe existential crisis. Travis Bickle is an anti-hero-slash-murderous thug. Jodie Foster as Iris was too young to be witnessing such violence as takes place in the climactic shoot-out. The film’s too dark/too bleak/too grim. It has no redeeming features. Well, these things might be true or they might not be true, but one thing is for sure. TAXI DRIVER is an unforgettable slice of cinema pie.

Robert De Niro is superb as lead character, Travis Bickle, an ex-Marine and Vietnam veteran who’s trying to find his way back to the world after the horrors of war. Even if we didn’t know he was a Vietnam veteran, we’d still know he was someone who’d been away somewhere for a while- prison, maybe, or a mental asylum- and who was having trouble adapting or acclimatising back to real life. He looks at the world and its occupants like he’s seeing them for the first time and doesn’t quite know what to make of it all.

He lives in one room, a room which he doesn’t know how to make comfortable for himself or how to make it feel like a real home, which surely he must have had once. Travis Bickle suckling on mother’s milk? Hey, everyone, even a half-baked vigilante assassin-type, had a mother once…

He works nights as a taxi driver because his nights are miserable, too long and fraught with insomnia and over-thinking. He occasionally mixes with the other cabbies, who’ve all been in the cabby-ing game for a long time now. He even confides in the much older, worldy-wise driver Wizard, but Wizard hasn’t got the answer to Travis’s problems.

After messing up his fledgling relationship with posh girl Betsy (a gorgeous Cybill Shepherd), who’s working on the political campaign to elect Senator Charles Palantine as President, Travis’s existential crisis comes on him like a cloak of fog on a country road at night. What the hell is the point of living, anyway? What’s it all about?

Travis stocks up on guns and teaches himself to shoot in order to fill the emptiness inside him that started long before Bitchy Betsy left him outside the porno theatre where he’d taken her for an ill-judged night out.

God Almighty, Travis man! You don’t take your classy Uptown Girl to a seedy porno cinema where the only other customers are sleazy old men with their hands inside the raincoats they wear to cover their shame! That’s Dating 101, that is. It’d be like taking the fucking Queen to see Roy Chubby Brown in fucking concert, that would.

Anyway. Alone Again, naturally. Travis spends hours alone in his untidy, uncomfortable bedroom, which resembles at this stage a sort of overnight army camping spot, practising his moves with his guns in the mirror and perfecting his by now iconic speech:

“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”

He’s the only one here. How very true that is. Travis is desperately lonely, unsure of his purpose in life. He sees the people all around him interacting effortlessly with each other, and wonders in the back of his mind why he can’t manage to do the same himself. Is it the post-Vietnam PTSD that’s responsible? Or maybe Travis is autistic and doesn’t know it. It would explain his difficulties talking to people, his lack of social skills.

Travis then attempts to save twelve-year-old prostitute Iris, played by an already competent and professional Jodie Foster, from herself, her grim situation and her manipulative pimp Matthew (Harvey Keitel, but he’s not running around in the nip in this one, that’s THE PIANO you’re thinking of!), nicknamed Sport. She hasn’t asked to be saved, by the way.

It’s Travis’s way of going some good in the world, of making his mark, whether little Iris wants to be returned to her parents or not. After all, didja see ‘em in the newspaper? They’re no spring chickens, I’ll say that for them…!

Travis may even be feeling that he won’t come out of the showdown alive. He could be contemplating suicide-by-cop, or suicide by lowlife, drug-dealing pimping scumbags. He might equally be thinking of taking his own life.

Either way, Travis Bickle will meet his destiny in the scruffy, ill-lit landings of the shabby brothel where Iris works. He acts like a man on a mission that must be kept secret at all costs, a man preparing for a war that only he knows about. God help us all.

What kind of guys do you think carry out school or mosque shootings? Guys like Travis, maybe, who think that society has abandoned them and nobody cares about them? If only we could look into everyone’s bedrooms and see which people are standing in front of their mirrors trying on guns for size and practising the speech they’ll make if they ever get the audience they crave. But of course privacy laws wouldn’t allow it. We will have to figure out some other way to identify these ‘involuntary celibates,’ as they’re becoming known, before they commit their ill-judged crimes.

What do you think of the very last scene, anyway? I prefer to pretend it doesn’t even exist, lol. TAXI DRIVER ends when Travis Bickle puts his fingers, gun-shaped, to his own head, and don’t you be telling me any different. Are you talkin’ to me, or what…?

I adore the musical score, composed by Bernard Herrmann, who also did the iconic theme tunes to Alfred Hitchcock movies, PSYCHO, VERTIGO, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and NORTH BY NORTHWEST. He also did the music for the stone-cold classic film, CITIZEN KANE. What fabulous stuff to have on your CV. There’s one guy I’d like to play Celebrity Dinner Party with.

This is one of my personal favourites of Martin Scorsese’s films. I love GOODFELLAS too, of course, and CAPE FEAR, CASINO, MEAN STREETS and RAGING BULL. Robert De Niro’s association with the director has done him no harm at all, and vice versa. Travis Bickle is a guy we can alternately pity, admire, identify with and be repulsed by. He’s a complicated mix of good and bad, scared and fearless, repugnant and loveable. Love him or hate him, you won’t forget him.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
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:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/
 
 

SHE MADE A MONSTER. (2022) A BRILLIANT SHORT FILM REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.

SHE MADE A MONSTER. (2022) WRITTEN, DIRECTED AND EDITED BY JAY REEL.
STARRING FAITH KESTER, PAYTON BOTELHO AND ANDREW BILLINGSLEY.
ORIGINAL SCORE BY JEFF PILCHER.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘Let the girl ping…!’

‘Henry’s in the cloud now…’

‘Now fill me up with duct tape. Quack quack…!’

Humph. When I was a young ‘un, we sat sedately indoors all the time, embroidering elaborate tapestries, playing the harpsichord and singing to demonstrate our accomplishments, giggling behind our fans and waiting for Messrs Darcy and Bingley to come along and validate our very existences by, to put it bluntly, putting a ring on it. It was the done thing back then.

Kids today, however, are all about their gadgets. My son texts me from upstairs to order a snack sent to his room at 11.40pm. There’s nothing at all wrong with his legs, by the way. I’m not your fucking butler, I mutter as I struggle with the tray on the stairs and add a single flower in a jam-jar for decoration and fold a napkin expertly into a flock of graceful swans. In flight. Over Greenland. While the Aurora Borealis is fully visible. Well, I have certain standards to uphold…!

Dottie, the little girl in SHE MADE A MONSTER, is no less of a gadget fiend, only she has a decidedly scientific mindset as well. One day, tooling about on her laptop and home-made teleporter after sacrificing her sister’s hamster to the gods of progress, Dottie accidentally creates a bonafide JURASSIC PARK-style T-Rex from a harmless movie dinosaur.

Methinks I recognise a scene from the fabulous 1925 movie, THE LOST WORLD, based on the writings of one Arthur Conan Doyle, who also penned a little-known series of detective novels about a gumshoe called Sherlock Holmes. A lot of potential in those novels. Shame they never took off…

Anyway, now Dottie’s got a genuine Tyrannosaurus Rex in the back garden, to the discomfiture of her angry big sister, the gothic Kate, and her easygoing but slightly bemused Pops. (‘If that’s Sam Dietle’s dog again, I’m calling the animal warden…!’)

You will, of course, recognise the T-Rex from his numerous cinematic roles. You know, big scary razor-teeth, short little arms, terrible trouble jerking off? Yep, that’s the one! I wonder, I really wonder, what God was thinking when he made the biggest most fearsome animal the world has ever known and then gave him arms too short to scratch his balls. Maybe he was feeling playful, or was having a mischievous day…?
 
Anyway, now the killer dinosaur is on the rampage in small town America, eating goats (I see you, JURASSIC PARK!) and terrorising the Led Zeppelin out of the ageing rockers who don’t know whether to shit or go blind when they see what’s ambling down the highway in their direction.

All hell is definitely breaking loose as Dottie and her dotty family high-tail it to Grandma’s house to see if she has enough, erm, tinfoil, to vanquish the dinosaur. Don’t ask, lol, just watch!  

There’s so much humour in the film. There’s the old couple who think they’re still high as kites when they see the dinosaur disporting himself merrily around town: ‘Ah toldja we shouldn’t be smoking in the daytime!’

I also love the old geezer who stands and faces the marauding monster with the immortal words: ‘Buddy, I’ve been to ‘Nam. I seen worse‘n you…!’

And the poor paraplegic guy in the wheelchair who’s trying but failing to commit suicide by the railway tracks: ‘God, Laura’s shacked up with the mailman, ya took mah legs, the least you can do is gimme a natural death…!’ Then he looks up and sees 65 million years of history rumbling down the track towards him and he looks up and says: ‘I’ll give ya this, you’re creative…!’

Faith Kester as Dottie is adorable and extremely confident, as you’d expect from the kids of today. Don’t get me started. Entitled little know-it-alls, every one of them. Look at them crooked and they’re calling Childline.

But Dottie is likeable and funny, so much so that you could nearly forgive her for unintentionally unleashing a beast from the Jurassic era on her sleepy little hometown. I said nearly, mind you. Nearly. Something tells me that there’ll be a yard sale in said hometown pretty soon with a gosh-darn home-made teleporter as the piece de resistance…

Aw, shucks! This film is funny and clever and will totes remind you of the time when you were a kid and you bought the little dinosaur sponges in the KWIK-E-MART and then, when you got them home and poured water on them, they grew into a gigantic dinosaur that roared fire and gobbled up your little sister until nothing was left of her but a scrap of red dress and a string of pearls. No, wait, that was THE SIMPSONS. Still a good memory, though. It’ll also put you in mind of the movie, THE FLY, in all its superb ickiness.

Anyway, I understand that SHE MADE A MONSTER is currently doing the festival circuit and could conceivably be coming to a screen near you sometime soon. Do watch it if you can. It’ll only take up about twenty minutes of your time that you were probably going to piss away anyway. Ah, don’t take offence, shure I’m the exact same. I’m going off now to sneak in a quick nap before lunch. (Mindy, the Simpsons again, lol.) Happy watching.

PS, There will be a memorial service tonight at the community centre at 123, Fake Street for Henry the Hamster. Henry was a beloved member of his community and leaves behind a grieving wife and four hundred and seventeen children, all of whom will dearly miss their wonderful ‘Pops.’

The family have requested that mourners who would wish to honour Henry by bringing flowers ditch that idea and bring enough cheese, pumpkin seeds and gnaw sticks for four hundred and eighteen hungry hamsters instead.

Anyone who wishes to remember Henry in poem or song will be given the opportunity to do so. The memorial service will last from 7pm to 9pm. You are asked to leave the hall as you found it, and to please watch out for next door’s cat, who’s a proper c*nt. God bless us every one.

    AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
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:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/
    

SE7EN. (1995) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

SE7EN. (1995) DIRECTED BY DAVID FINCHER. WRITTEN BY ANDREW KEVIN WALKER. STARRING MORGAN FREEMAN, BRAD PITT, GWYNETH PALTROW AND KEVIN SPACEY.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

When I first watched this psychological serial killer drama on television, I was so scared by the guy tied to the bed I think I stopped watching it, and then didn’t pluck up the courage to go back to it until a few years later. It still looks good today, as it happens, and it still spooks me.

Morgan Freeman, he of the iconic voice, plays tired old homicide detective just a short time from retirement, William Somerset. He’s seen it all, or so he thinks, the very worst that human beings can achieve and inflict on their fellow men.

He’s been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, spilled Diet Coke down the front of it and smeared it with peanut butter and jelly from the sandwich he habitually eats at his desk when he’s not missing lunch altogether because of his heavy caseload, brought the T-shirt home to be washed, washed it, worn the T-shirt again, decided he wasn’t that keen on it after all and donated it to Goodwill. Whew. The journey of a single garment, much.
 
He’s taciturn, the kind of television gumshoe we normally refer to as ‘jaded’ or ‘hard-bitten.’ He’s looking forward to retirement, when he probably plans to do the crossword, go fishing and catch up with a bevy of other superannuated old geezers like himself whom he’s known since Moses went up the mountain and came back down with a load of pills. Tablets, sorry, I meant tablets…!

Brad Pitt plays David Mills, the hot-headed ambitious younger detective who’s the Ying to Somerset’s Yang. He’s just moved to this rainy, crime-filled unnamed shithole of a city with his beautiful blonde wife Tracy, played by Gwyneth Paltrow. Tracy is up the duff and is considering not having the baby. She confides in Detective Somerset, to whom she’s taken a shine, that this filthy city is no place to bring up a child.

Disgraced actor Kevin Spacey is brilliant and chilling as John Doe (sorry, but he is!), the cold-blooded, supremely confident and methodical serial killer sought by Somerset and Mills. He kills his victims according to the Seven Deadly Sins, otherwise known as Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Envy, Wrath, Pride and Lust. No matter how many times you think you’ve remembered ‘em all, there’s always one you forget. Try it! It’s like trying to remember the Ten Commandments. I always run out of steam when it comes to all the coveting.

A fat man is forced to eat until his stomach explodes. Sin of Gluttony. A prostitute is savagely raped with a strap-on metal blade. (Yee-ikes!). Sin of Lust. See? Each crime represents one of these Seven Deadly Sins.

Can Mills and Somerset catch this twisted, sadistic serial murderer before he kills again, or is it already too late? Or, if it’s too late to stop the deadly roll-out of pre-planned murders, can the two detectives at least have a ringside seat to the Grand Finale…? I have a distinct feeling that the killer will insist on it…

I love the dark, rainy, gritty feel to this movie. It’s a very brown-looking movie, if you get me, just like David Fincher’s later crime thriller, PANIC ROOM (2002), which is one of my favourite films.

SE7EN is considered by some to be the best serial killer flick ever made, next to 1991’s THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, in which Hannibal ‘the Cannibal’ Lecter is the psychopath to, quite possibly, end all psychopaths. I prefer LAMBS, personally, but that doesn’t take away from how good SE7EN is and you can’t twist my arm on that.

By the way, do you think that Dr. Lecter was named ‘Hannibal’ by his creator, Thomas Harris, because it rhymed with ‘Cannibal?’ Almost certainly. I feel like the monikers Andrew the Cannibal, Bob the Cannibal or even Laurence the Cannibal might not have had the same punchy, catchy memorable sound to them.

Brad Pitt was engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow during the making of SE7EN, the horny beast, and was later married to and divorced from Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. I don’t think he’s ever been hitched to or divorced from either Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts or Penelope Cruz. He missed out there, anyway. Top birds, these.

Brad Pitt also has a minor planet named after him. My God, how the other half live. Planets and top actresses and such like. Shure you couldn’t be up to them. That’s an Irish-ism, by the way, that signifies that your attempts to replicate the celebrity lifestyle will be feeble and pitiful at best and you should just not bother your arse even trying.  

I like the shock ending to SE7EN. My only regret is that I’ll never again be able to watch it without knowing what’s in the box. Once you know it, you know it for life. What’s in the box, you say? I can’t tell you that. It would be a massive head. I mean, spoiler. Sorry. Sorry about that. I meant it would be a massive head. Fuck it, I did it again. Never mind me, you’d better just go and watch the fillum if you want to know…!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

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:

THE FATHER. (2020) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

THE FATHER. (2020) DIRECTED BY FLORIAN ZELLER. BASED ON THE PLAY, LE PERE, BY FLORIAN ZELLER. SCREENPLAY BY FLORIAN ZELLER AND CHRISTOPHER HAMPTON.
STARRING ANTHONY HOPKINS, OLIVIA COLMAN, OLIVIA WILLIAMS, IMOGEN POOTS, RUFUS SEWELL AND MARK GATISS.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Wowee-wow. Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for his portrayal of the titular father in this, and the film-makers won another one for Best Adapted Screenplay, and no wonder. This is a beautiful, flawless and agonisingly painful portrait of a man with dementia, a man whose once fine, needle-sharp brain is falling away from him piece by piece, leaving him devastated.

Anthony Hopkins is sublimely good in the lead role. He plays an old man, also called Anthony, who is living with his daughter, Anne. He finds life these days strange and confusing. He keeps losing or mis-placing things, forgetting things and people. Whenever he painfully adapts to one reality, the director immediately changes it up so that Anthony, but also the viewer, is left wondering, which reality is real?

Does Anthony live in his own flat with his daughter, or is he living with Anne in Anne’s flat? Is Anne married or divorced, and is her husband called Paul or James? Is this husband or is he not abusive to Anthony, because he’s fed up with all the sacrifices his wife has had to make to accommodate her ageing father? Is Anthony’s home carer the young blonde Laura, or the much older dark-haired woman? Did someone steal Anthony’s watch or has he just forgotten where he’s hidden it as usual?

The scenes segue-way seamlessly into each other as Anthony is confronted with different realities, whilst being unable to tell which is real, which is the past, which is the present and which simply may never have happened at all.

Anthony Hopkins, surely the greatest actor of his generation, runs the full gamut of emotions here, from angry and accusatory to sly and sarcastic to frightened and helpless, calling for his mother who would of course be long dead by now.

His performance is so immaculate he won the Oscar for it. They should have given him all the Oscars and just been done with it. You will bawl like a baby at the end, by the way, so be warned. The last scene, with the trees rustling in the breeze against a glorious English sky, is just stunning to look at and deeply moving, especially given what’s transpired just before.

I love Anthony Hopkins. I’ll be gutted when he eventually shuffles off his mortal coil, which hopefully won’t be for a long time yet. My favourite movies of his, in chronological order, would be THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980), ARCH OF TRIUMPH (1984), 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD (1987), THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991), HOWARD’S END (1992), THE REMAINS OF THE DAY (1993) and HANNIBAL (2001), the sequel to THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.

Hannibal Lecter, his character in these two superb films LAMBS and HANNIBAL, has some fantastic lines of dialogue:

‘I’m having an old friend for dinner…’

‘So, bowels in, or bowels out?… Bowels out it is then.’

‘I’m giving serious thought… to eating your wife…’

‘Well, hello, Clarice…’ This last one mightn’t sound like the sparkliest repartee ever recorded, but it’s the way he says it and the way he looks at Jodie Foster as FBI agent Clarice Starling, like he’s amused by her on the one hand and wants to eat her face off on the other.

They have a strange relationship, that pair. He’s fascinated by her and even respects her, and she, though repelled by what he’s done, still treats him like a human being. He likes her ‘shapely feet’ and buys her fabulous Gucci shoes and a matching designer dress, but I don’t think he’d want to have sex with her. I think he’d only want to look, and worship, and savour, but hey, I could be wrong. He could be as horny for her ‘cornpone country pussy’ as a toad in mating season, for all I know.

Anyway, THE FATHER is probably one of the best films on the subject of dementia you’ll ever watch. It covers such related topics as elder abuse (very upsetting to see) and the pressures and burdens placed on adult children who have to care for aged parents with the memory loss, difficulties with performing everyday tasks and emotional problems which all come under the umbrella of dementia.

I’m glad Anthony Hopkins won another Oscar late in his career. Not only did he thoroughly deserve it for this, but it’s also a bit like a nice bookend to it all. Although rumour has it that he will reprise his role of Anthony in Florian Zeller’s next film, THE SON. Hopefully we’ll all live to see that one.
(THE SON, THE MOTHER and this one, THE FATHER, initially formed a trilogy of plays written by Florian Zeller. See?)

Do watch THE FATHER anyway, streaming on Amazon Prime right now. Anthony Hopkins provides us with a masterclass in acting we’d have to be nuts to miss out on.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
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:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://www.amazon.com/Thirteen-Stops-Sandra-Harris-ebook/dp/B089DJMH64
The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books:
 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/
 

LEGEND. (2015) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

LEGEND. (2015) WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY BRIAN HELGELAND. BASED ON THE BOOK BY JOHN GEORGE PEARSON, THE PROFESSION OF VIOLENCE: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE KRAY TWINS. STARRING TOM HARDY, EMILY BROWNING, DAVID THEWLIS, CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON, CHAZZ PALMINTERI, TARA FITZGERALD AND TARON EGERTON.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is my second favourite screen adaptation of this true-life crime story, my favourite being the one with the Spandau Ballet twins in it, the 1990 one. This one has been described as more of a showcase for Tom Hardy in the dual lead roles of Ronnie and Reggie Kray than an accurate depiction of the gangster part of the story of their lives, but maybe that’s why I like it, because Tom Hardy is a bit of all right as Reggie Kray, the non-crazy twin, lol.

The twins were the leading players in London’s criminal underworld of the 1960s, and were known for the savage violence of their crimes. Ronnie was a paranoid schizophrenic, and is portrayed here almost as a comical, even genial, buffoon, as opposed to the more dangerously irrational and violent in his business dealings of the two brothers.

Ronnie was probably the most feared of the brothers for his unpredictability and the way that you never knew what mad, vicious thing he might do next. He was also homosexual, and is shown in this film as referring to his gay tendencies openly, even to business rivals, as opposed to keeping it as a sort of open secret amongst the gangster underworld, which was my previous understanding of the situation.

Reggie was more ‘normal,’ if you could describe either of the Kray twins as normal, and is shown here having a romantic relationship with Frances Shea, the sister of his driver, Frankie. Frances is stunningly beautiful but is physically and mentally ‘delicate,’ unable to cope with the brutal realities of her husband’s business. What happens to her after their marriage is of no real surprise to anyone, I would say.

The main landmarks of the twins’ grisly ‘career’ are all present and correct here; firstly, the murders of George Cornell and Jack ‘the hat’ McVitie, both indications that the Krays’ lives and actions were spiralling horribly out of control towards the end, and, secondly, their constant pursuit by Superintendent Leonard Ernest ‘Nipper’ Read, the police officer who was determined to take the Krays down.

It’s so ironic to think that the man who locked away the Krays for good should himself pass away from COVID-19 in April of 2020, very early into the pandemic that brought the world to a virtual standstill for about eighteen months. Of course, the poor guy was ninety-five at the time, a grand old age and a jolly good innings by anyone’s standards.

The twins’ relationship with their legendary doting mum, Violet, is barely touched upon in this film, unlike in the 1990 one when Violet is played by the magnificent Billie Whitelaw, a lady I like to imagine was as feisty in real life as the characters she played.

Maybe the director of LEGEND felt like that relationship had been sufficiently dealt with in film, and he wanted to concentrate on the relationship between the brothers and between Reggie and the exquisite but repeatedly-described-as-fragile Frances.

One gets the feeling here that Ronnie was his brother Reggie’s cross to bear, and a heavy enough one at that. In the one scene in LEGEND in which Violet does appear, she reminds Reggie warningly that ‘he’s still your brother,’ and that loyalty to him is paramount.

We all saw what happened to Frances, the one person that ever really came between them. The bonds of loyalty between the brothers, and from Reggie to Ronnie in particular, were too strong for any woman to ever sever…

I love the poor little terraced streets the Krays grew up in, and from where their mother saw no reason to ever move, as far as I know. In this film, they look exactly as I imagine they would have looked during Hitler’s Blitz. I love the nostalgic feeling these streets evoke in me, and I’m not even English…!

I want to fight them on the beaches and on the landing grounds and on the fields, streets and hills of our beautiful green land. I want to dance on the cobblestones of my local street and celebrate VE Day by kissing an American soldier and swapping romantic favours for nylons and bubble-gum and cigarettes.

It’s powerful stuff, this nostalgia. Really sweeps you away with it. I want to have a little American war baby and later go over to the States to try and find his father only to find I’ve been ‘ghosted’ more thoroughly than a single woman on Tinder today. No, wait, I don’t want that bit, lol. I went too far, as usual. I always do that!

By the way, David Thewlis (HARRY POTTER, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS) portrays the Krays’ business manager Leslie Payne, who played a part in their ultimate downfall, and Taron ROCKET MAN Egerton is here also as Mad Teddy, Ronnie’s yes-man and rumoured lover. Welsh singer Duffy (MERCY, WARWICK AVENUE) also appears in the film as iconic club singer Timi Yuro.

Anyway, great film, and a great acting feat by the delicious Tom Hardy, who plays both brothers. And sometimes they’re filmed side by side as well, which really makes you wonder, how did they do that…? The film’s just dropped on Netflix (yes, I talk like that now!) and it would make great Saturday night viewing over the Bank Holiday. Enjoy.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

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:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

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

https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv

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

The sequel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS LATER,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thirteen-Stops-Later-Book-ebook/dp/B091J75WNB/

A GOOD MARRIAGE. (2014) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

A GOOD MARRIAGE. (2014) BASED ON THE NOVELLA BY STEPHEN KING.  SCREENPLAY BY STEPHEN KING. DIRECTED BY PETER ASKIN. STARRING JOAN ALLEN AND ANTHONY LAPAGLIA.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

I’ve recently watched some absolutely terrific Stephen King film adaptations- DR. SLEEP, GERALD’S GAME, 1408, 1922- but this one is really disappointing, even weak. We know almost straight away who the killer is, when the protagonist discovers proof early on in the film.

Then the killer finds out almost immediately that the protagonist knows their secret. There are no twists, no more secrets, no more mysteries left to unearth. All that remains is to see what the protagonist does about the terrible knowledge they’ve acquired.

Joan Allen plays Darcy Anderson, a woman with two grown-up kids who’s just celebrated a milestone wedding anniversary with her husband, Bob, played by Anthony LaPaglia. (Does anyone else think that he could play George Bush Jr. in a biopic about, well, George Bush Jr.?)

As a couple, they still seem to have love and affection and even lust for each other after all this time. I mean, they still have sex with each other, despite their advanced years. Eeuw, wrinkly, old people sex, lol. Can you imagine…?

Anyway, Bob is always popping off on business trips and leaving Darcy alone for the night. On one such night, there’s a storm brewing when Darcy pops out to the shed in the rain and the dark to get batteries for the TV remote control, which has left her stuck on an unsavoury slasher horror film, tsk tsk. Whoever watches those must be properly out of their tree, ahem. (Don’t look at me, don’t looooook at me!)

And isn’t that terrible planning on the family’s part, to keep batteries for the TV remote control across the garden in the shed, instead of somewhere in the house, like in a kitchen drawer or something? People in horror movies are crazy.

I mean, you don’t keep your phone charger in next door’s attic, do you, or in the bird feeder down the end of the garden? You keep it somewhere to hand. Jeez. That’s housekeeping 101, is that. Unless the film-makers are using it as a device in order to give Darcy a reason to go into the shed while Bob is away, which they are…

(My housekeeping advice still holds good, though. Keep things close to the place where you’ll be using the things, and you won’t go far wrong. No doubt you’ll be using your boyfriend, husband or significant other for sex and suchlike bedroom shenanigans, so store them upright during the day when you’re not using them in a wardrobe or similar. I keep mine in a tall, narrow alcove when I’m not using them. Dustsheets are optional, but are especially useful if you’re going away without them, say, and won’t be needing to use them any time soon. That way, they should be still in pristine condition when you get home.)

Whilst rootling about for batteries, Darcy accidentally uncovers the identity of the serial killer of women who’s been operating out of their area for a good few years now. Let’s call him Mr. X, shall we, so as not to give away his identity? When Mr. X comes back from his business trip… No, that’s no good. It’s immediately obvious who the killer is from that.

What about this? Try this. While Bob is away on his business trip, Mr. X spies a woman he likes the look of on the road and follows her in his car. When Bob returns home from his so-called business trip, he makes it clear to Darcy that he knows she knows. About Mr. X being the killer, I mean.

Now it’s up to Darcy to decide what her next course of action is going to be. Staying married to Mr. X, erm, I mean, to, um, Bob, of course (Mr. X isn’t Bob, and Bob isn’t Mr. X, how could you possibly infer that from what I said???), isn’t going to be easy, under the circumstances.

By the way, how dare Mr. X keep his murder souvenirs and trophies in a special super-secret hiding place in Bob’s shed, which no-one ever goes into or uses but Bob Anderson? Damn and blast you, Mr. X! Get your own damn shed! Oh Lord. You all know who the killer is, don’t you? It’s just so obvious. We might as well wind this up, lol.

And I will, except to say that the film seems to be setting Busty Betty, Darcy’s younger, sexier friend, up for a bit of the old ultra-violence, courtesy of Mr. X, but then it simply never comes to pass, which feels like a massive swizz.

The whole feeling I get from this movie adaptation is one of incompleteness, or of something that isn’t properly finished or that someone hasn’t put enough thought into. Or a massive swizz, if you prefer.

Joan Allen is great in it, to give her her due, but the script is weak and the finished product is not as good as it could have been. Sorry, Steven King! I- mostly- love everything else you’ve done, but this one, erm, sucks a bit. Over and out.

  AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
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:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM. (2020) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM: DELIVERY OF PRODIGIOUS BRIBE TO AMERICAN REGIME FOR MAKE BENEFIT ONCE GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN or BORAT 2 or BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM. DIRECTED BY JASON WOLLNER. BASED ON CHARACTERS CREATED BY SACHA BARON COHEN.
STARRING SACHA BARON COHEN, MARIA BAKALOVA AND TOM HANKS AS HIMSELF.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

‘I must protect my daughter’s vagine from American mayor.’

‘Take my anoos!’

I’ll be honest with you. I love this film. I love this character, Borat. Borat’s bluntly expressed political incorrectness is exactly what we need in this day and age to help us laugh at how crazily ‘woke’ we’ve become. The more politically incorrect the better, I say. Bring it on.

This film is a sequel or at least a follow-up to the original 2006 movie, BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN. In it, journalist Borat Margaret Sagdiyev- yes, Margaret!- has been imprisoned in Kazakhstan since the previous film was released for bringing shame on his home country with his cinematic offering. It makes Kazakhstan look like a poor and backwards nation of ignorant peasants, lol, but that’s the joke, see?

Anyway, he is released by his country’s Prime Minister on the condition that he makes it up to Kazakhstan by delivering a gift from there to Donald Trump’s second-in-command, Mike Pence. (There are reasons why Borat’s not allowed to get near Trump himself…)

The gift, which will hopefully endear Kazakhstan’s Premier to the biggest world leader, will take the form of Kazakh’s very own Minister of Culture and Kazakhstan’s most famous porn actor, Johnny the Monkey. Yes, Johnny really is an actual monkey, lol. Borat goes to say goodbye to his family, only to find that a ‘non-male son’ of his, actually a teenage daughter named Tutar, is living in the barn.

Tutar is overjoyed to see her Daddy, and stows away to America with him in Johnny the Monkey’s trunk. Johnny doesn’t survive the journey, so it’s just as well that Borat has something else he can gift to Vice President Pence on behalf of Kazakhstan… his lovely daughter, Tutar…

Tutar is thrilled to bits at the thought of being made-over into a Disney-style princess like Princess Melania Trump, and living in the kind of beautiful ‘bride-cage’ in which Trump keeps his stunning missus. It’s all she’s ever wanted. She gets a blonde hair-dye job and a crash course in how to be submissive and agreeable to the American male, because that’s how American males apparently like their ladeez…!

Tutar in a dress shop: ‘I want man to make sex attack on me…!’

Borat in the same place: ‘Where are your ‘no means yes’ dresses…?’
 
There are some hilarious moments at a pro-life medical centre, where in all the confusion it appears that Borat has accidentally impregnated his own daughter, and also at a posh debutante ball, in which Tutar’s monthly period or ‘moon blood’ makes at least as big a splash as her and Borat’s father-daughter dance.

We learn that the coronavirus that brought the world to a standstill in 2020 is a ‘fake’ or ‘hoax’ virus, and also that the Holocaust, ‘our country’s proudest moment,’ according to Borat, meaning Kazakhstan, didn’t actually happen.

But then Borat meets a friendly Holocaust survivor who convinces him that it did happen, so then he’s as happy as Larry again. (Don’t the Kazakhstanis like the Jews, then…? I’m afraid I’m not at all au fait with the history there.)

It turns out as well that the men of Kazakhstan, Borat included, have been lying to their women for years in order to keep them down. Tutar is shocked but delighted to discover that masturbation won’t kill her and that women are not only allowed to drive but physically able to as well. Their country’s ‘Bible,’ or the Ministry for Agriculture and Wildlife’s Daughter-Owning Manual, as it’s often known, might be a tad out of date, harrumph harrumph…

The controversial ‘Running of the Jew’ has been replaced by the ‘Running of the American,’ but Jewish viewers still must cope with an anti-Semitic chocolate cake and Borat’s wildly inappropriate choice of destination when he’s feeling suicidal…

Rudy Giuliani (he doesn’t acquit himself terribly admirably) and Mike Pence appear in the film, seemingly without their permish, and the scientific community will be excited to hear that the real source of COVID-19 is revealed in the film. Never mind the Wuhan flu, Borat Margaret, we’re looking at you…!

Oh, and Borat wears a ‘mask-ini’ in this film as a loving tribute to COVID-19. I just love this guy, and I want to see more of him, not less. The ‘mask-ini’ is as good a way as any to achieve that, I suppose!

I love the way that Sacha Baron Cohen has no qualms at all about making himself look foolish. It’s great when actors are brave like that. Sign of a true professional, that is. Oh, and I want to dedicate this review to Billy Sexcrimes. He knows who he is…

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
 
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:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her new book, THIRTEEN STOPS EARLIER, is out now from Poolbeg Books:
https://amzn.to/3ulKWkv