Thursday, July 10, 2003


Oh Christ on a bike! Our civilisation is on its way to hell in a handcart. I have just discovered that not only is the world’s least interesting rock star Rod Stewart making a musical of his alleged “songs”, but it’s being written by that arch-wanker himself Ben Elton. That’s Ben Elton who wrote the God-awful Queen fiasco “We Will Rock You”, and Ben Elton who will find himself first again the wall come the revolution.

Oh yes, he also wrote and directed “Maybe Baby”, perhaps the smuggest film ever, during the viewing of which I had to be physically restrained from kicking my television to pieces.

I can’t believe this is the same Ben Elton that had the best stand-up routine I have ever seen (through stomach-cramping tears of laughter), the same Ben Elton that rescued Blackadder from the dumper with the sublime second series, the same Ben Elton that was the evil genius behind The Young ones. Right on, kids? There's so much great stuff that Elton's done, it seems such a shame I've had to resort to this cheap character assassination to unburden myself of this inner rage. And then I think of The Thin Blue Line.

There can only be one explanation for this unsatisfactory state of affairs: the evil twin Ben Elton in the sparkly suit has been imprisoned in an iron mask on an island somewhere, while his smug brother, the Third Baronet Benjamin Elton-Smythe is running around getting on our tits.

And if you’re still teetering on the brink of this hero vs tosser argument, may I provide the final, incontrovertable evidence. The prosecution rests, your honour, and we will settle for nothing less than the maximum sentence.

"Lyle fough the Law"

Lyle at Destruction for Dummies has fallen foul of the grabbing lawyers who "protect" the precious trademark of the "...For Dummies" series of books. In particular:

"In order to fully protect its valuable trademarks, Wiley unfortunately cannot allow use of the domain name,, for a web site....Wiley requests that you discontinue using the domain name, and remove all references to FOR DUMMIES from your site."

We here at Scaryduck for Dummies are more or less of the opinion that the fucking wankers can go piss up a tree, and have joined the growing list of sites that are now "...For Dummies". I'd like to be Swearing for Dummies, please.

"Cheap Laughs"

Check out the advert that blogspot serves at the top of this page. Google had the bright idea of sampling the page and suggesting searches related to it. So far today I've had "bastard", "kiss my ass", "retards" and "twunt". Most excellent.

"Just when you thought it was safe...ANOTHER Bad Movie Review"

Hearts of Darkness - A Moviegoer's Apocalypse - Reviewed by Balders

For a long time now I've hated the film Apocalypse Now. I'm not alone in this dislike, but I am in a minority although that doesn't mean I'm wrong. Once again we have a movie based on a book. This time Joseph Conrad's novel Hearts of Darkness, an exploration of human behaviour and the unconscious mind, inspired by Conrad's journey to the Belgian Congo. Now that might sound a bit prententious, but it's actually a damn fine short novel and not at all prententious.

Then along comes Francis Ford Coppola and lo and behold we have a 153 minute pretentious wankfest about the Vietnam War. The big question from my point of view has always been "How did it happen?" Take a classic novel, stir in a great director, sprinkle library with notable actors, add a dash of contemporary soundtrack and bake in the sweltering heat of the Philippines for the best part of a year. The result? Something a lot less than the sum of its parts, that's for sure.

It could have been great. It should have been great. It wasn't.

A lot of the blame must rest with Coppola himself. To say he was naive is probably an understatement. He started filming in the Philippines with Harvey Keitel as lead, an unfinished script and a 6 week shooting schedule. The Philippines? In the early 70's? Trying to film in a country fighting Communist rebels, and governed by the Marcos's was just asking for trouble. And then Coppola goes and gives Harbey Keitel the boot after 3 weeks. Lucky escape for Harve really.

So in comes Martin Sheen, and Francis is still waiting for the great Marlon Brando to appear. Then out go the helicopters. Yup, in a cost cutting measure, Francis had cut a deal with the Philippines Army to use their helicopters. Sounds like a neat idea, doesn't it? Just back up a second. "... fighting Communist rebels...". Yup, right in the middle of filming, at the drop of a hat, off go the helicopters to blow away some Commies. Leaving Francis and crew to twiddle thumbs.

Soon six weeks becomes 100 days. And still the script isn't finished. Then the monsoon season arrives and trashes most of the sets, suspending filming for months. And still the script isn't finished. And where's Brando?. Then Sheen has a near fatal heart attack. And still the script isn't finished. Two hundred days have passed. And still the script isn't finished. And oh Christ is that Marlon Brando or a misguided sperm whale? A million dollars for Brando to play Colonel Lard just about sums up the excesses of this film.

Sure there are some redeeming elements. Duvall is excellent in his limited screen time, the Ride of the Valkyries never looked better, and visually Vietnam never looked as beautiful and yet deadly.

But two and a half hours is just too long to spend looking at muddled dialogue, confusing scenes and a totally inadequate conclusion. So do youself a favour, and find something else to fill the time. Cross-stitch or maybe a spot of decorating. Or even mowing the lawn. Just don't waste it on this film.
If some of you want to watch a film about the Vietnam War, borrow a copy of Hearts of Darkness: A Filmakers Apocalypse. As a film about the making of Apocalypse Now, it is far more enjoyable and entertaining. And that's got to be the ultimate condemnation of a film; when the "Making of" movie is better than the actual film itself.

ACHTUNG! Vote in ze bad movie poll. Schnell!

Still looking out for reviews of Moulin Rouge and Freddy Got Fingered. Even if it's just the single word "Arse". Anybody?

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