Okay vampires, that’s far enough.

I thought I could put up with the lame Twillight and True Blood crap that now plagues this universe; but I can’t. It makes my blood boil that something that was once he pinnacle of modern horror has now been reduced to nothing more than a cheap commodity. This rage has been building for a long time, like a bus driver that is one rude passenger away from becoming the new Fred West. But what has made it spill over the edge, is a new film; “Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”.

Now I am all for experimental cinema, in fact it usually makes some of the best films. But there is no reason whatsoever why anyone should make a film that destroys the memory of a great man. What’s next, “Einstein: Zombie Slayer”, “Michaelangelo: Demon Destroyer”. What is it with modern society and their need to put a historical figure into a film where they ruin the very core of their character? I suppose the next Sherlock Holmes installment will follow along the suicide inducing storyline that the last Indiana Jones film chose, and be based around aliens? Here’s a good one.

The star of this film is Benjamin Walker (who you won’t remember from any movie before or after this, which is a shame because he might have become a good actor, but we will never find out because he chose to star in a movie called Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.) Starring alongside him is the forgettable face of Dominic Cooper, who you won’t remember from such movies as “Mama Mia”, “The Dutchess” and “The History Boys”. The strangest thing about this film, aside from the fact it was actually made, is that it appears to be a serious movie. There is a deep, emotional storyline at heart and a murky grey overlay filter to give it that real “19th century” effect we all know and loathe. I dug a little deeper, and discovered that it is actually based on a book! Someone actually sat down, wrote this, and published it. The writer (Seth Grahame-Smith) also seems to have a recurring theme of unecessarily putting horror movie figues into his books, with stories like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”. The problem is however, that the writer of these books happens to write one of my favourite TV shows, “The Hard Times of RJ Berger”. Which sort of makes me want to take all the hate back about his b0oks. So, I am sorry Seth.

Books are one thing, but films are another. We don’t need anymore vampires films. We already have too many around that just thinking about them all makes my brain ache. There will soon be a “vampire” section in the corner of HMV which will eventually stretch out into being a vampire store, which will become more powerful than Apple and Microsoft combined, taking over the entire universe and branching into a planet to store all vampire related media, literature, and film.

On a lighter note, look out for my new book, and then movie, coming out; “God: God Hunter”. It’s about God, THE God, (not any other god) going around and killing all the other gods. The twist of this book is, this all happens before the dawn of time, and since time doesn’t exist yet, neither does the story. It’s quite a good twist.

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Hey what have you got for school dinner today? Salmonella.

There is a section in my brain specifically designed to block out all the horrific memories of my school dinners. It takes up at least 5% of the 10% of my brain that I am supposed to use, and this is the reason why I am basically still a child, in a mans body. Now after the gigantic Jamie Oliver ordeal, when he “changed school dinners forever”, I thought the epidemic of malnourished kids in UK schools had finally subsided, but alas, this is not true. This was brought to my attention recently by a blog set up by Veritas Ex Gusto or “Veg”, which I’m hoping for her sake is a pseudonym. The blog is essentially an exposé of how bad school dinners still are, with health ratings given, as well as price listings of how much the lunch cost and even… how much hair was in it. It’s a very clever blog, and quite astonishing that such a young child is running and managing it. But this does make me worry, are we still bring up kids with the same crap that we were once made to suffer through? We were meant to be passed this. I don’t want people to have to suffer like I did, with food made from 7% food and 93% unknown.

Kids are growing up with all kinds of illnesses and deficiencies because of a poor diet, and it may be largely up to the parents to make sure this does not happen, but it should also be taken as a serious responsibility by schools. Kids spend 30 hours a week in school, so how are they supposed to go through their day and function properly without a sufficient lunch? Our brains are powered by energy from our food, and if the schools are serving foods with fat and sugar and hundreds of other unknown chemicals in them, then how are the children supposed to learn and keep all the information they have been taught during the day?

My only fond memory of school dinners is the poisoned goodness of meaty curls (although probably largely made of aborted dog foetuses and paprika) that were infamously known as “Turkey Twizzlers”. These horrible bastards were so disgusting and beautiful at the same time. It confused my brain and mouth for years, and I’m still confused now, how something so horrible could be so good. Turkey Twizzlers would cuddle me at night and tell me I looked great, and the thought of seeing them again made my heart race like a diabetic with a broken pacemaker. They were my one true love. But sadly; they were like falling in love with a herpes ridden Mexican prostitute. You’re bound to get ill from them. And ill I did get. It’s largely because of the fact that they contained so many unknown products that people started to dislike them and get rid of them from schools, but it was even more because of Jamie Oliver. I admired Jamie’s bravery in taking on schools to try and make school dinners better for children, but it seems like as soon as the schools saw Jamie’s van leave the parking lot they immediately dived back into the cupboard to get the ‘almost’ Fish Fingers made for 4% fish, and the ‘nearly’ burgers made predominately of 3 week old road kill.

It’s hard to see how schools can infect kids with such bad food, and worst of all, MAKE THE KIDS PAY FOR IT. They are essentially paying to be poisoned and grow man breasts and moustaches at age 9.

All I can say is, when I have kids, I’m making their lunches myself. At least then I’ll know what they’ll be eating at school.

If you want to read “Veg”‘s blog, the link is here – http://bit.ly/IIDlSy

TV shows don’t have enough characters that are arseholes. Even though they are usually the best characters.

TV shows aren’t brave enough with their characters these days. They spend too long trying to perfect the creation of a loveable protagonist that everyone finds endearing and sweet, with that great mixture of charm and wit. But these characters are like no one I’ve ever met, and even though TV is supposed to be unrealistic (which is what I love about it) the characters have to have certain realistic/horrible qualities that relate to someone in the viewers life, otherwise they’re just another boring “nice guy”. Some of my favourite characters in TV shows are absolute knob-ends, but they relate to me much more because I am, in fact, a massive knob-end also. Much like Dr Bob Kelso in “Scrubs”, I too have two thumbs and don’t give a crap half the time, and other TV characters should be like this too. But the pain hit, when in the 8th season of Scrubs (the one where JD tried to leave at the end but couldn’t and was forced to do another 6 episodes in the new, and painful, 9TH season of Scrubs) they turned Bob Kelso into a light, warm-hearted Grandfather type character that started being nice to everyone and eating muffins in the same coffee shop for an entire year and saying “Hello” and “Thank you” to people. I couldn’t stand it. Scrubs had turned everybody’s favourite, loveable arsehole into this kind, friendly, Hawaiian shirt wearing sham of Bob Kelso. It was disgraceful.

The characters on TV that have related to me the most are people like Denholm Reynholm who originally ran Reynholm Industries in “The IT Crowd”, he was such an enormous bastard, but I loved him. I loved him like a TV father. I looked up to him, and everything he said was always priceless – “When I started Reynholm Industries, I had just two things in my possession: a dream and 6 million pounds. Today I have a business empire the like of which the world has never seen the like of which. I hope it doesn’t sound arrogant when I say that I am the greatest man in the world!”. And truly he was the greatest man in the world. But surely enough, within the same episode that he said that quote, he was killed off. I was so stricken with grief. It’s annoying that the arsehole characters have to die, because they are usually one of the main reasons why people watch a show. Much like Dwight in the office. He is a massive pain in everyone’s shitter, but people tune in every week to see what he’s doing this time. It’s inevitable. We, as humans, just relate well to people we dislike. We may not like them, but chances are, we don’t like them because they are entirely similar to us.

Shows like “Dexter” play huge roles in getting us to root for an absolute wanker. After reading the book that Dexter is based on (Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, try and read it, it’s quite brilliant) I began to grow a burning hate for Dexter, because on paper, he is a complete dick. He constantly screws people over and cares for no one but himself. He’s rude, arrogant and meddles in other people’s lives. But when I went back to watch the TV series of Dexter, I was astonished to find that my hate for the character in the book had not been passed on to Michael C. Hall -the actor who plays Dexter- in the show. It’s as if they were two completely different characters. Now I found this phenomenon extremely strange. Did the actor change the character? The answer is yes. The difference is, looking at Michael C. Hall we can see that he is no harm at all, sure he may go around murdering people and chopping their limbs off and putting them in bin bags at the bottom of the sea on screen, but off screen he looks like a nice guy. Whereas reading a book uses your imagination and you create this idea of a character who’s only purpose is to be that character, meaning that you forever think of that person in a negative way, because they don’t exist in any other way. Because we are all secretly cynical and believe that everyone is a terrible person, we make the mistake of making bad characters appear truly awful and sickening, and good characters with angelic halo’s above their heads and Gods light shining down upon them. But it is possible for horrible characters to be good, and for the good to be bad. In many cases, some of the nicest people I know are actually brutally horrible. It’s because we have this lasting impression that good people will always be good and nothing they do can be wrong, and they take advantage of this. Whereas with people we see as horrible, it’s always such a surprise when we see that they actually are nice, deep down. Like a serial murderer than does part-time work helping children in an orphanage, or David Cameron secretly liking the TV show “24”.

Speaking of “24”, that massive prick Jack Bauer is an interesting character. He always does horrible things, but for the right reasons. This made me kind of like him in a werid way and relate to him on a human level. Because we all do terrible things but usually for good reasons. Although sometimes we are just arseholes because we just are, arseholes. Jack Bauer is the man everyone wishes they could be. He’s a hero, he’s super manly, and he has a voice that could terrify 67 radioactive mountain lions. It’s quite easy to hate him, but you also can’t at the same time because he manages to put with his daughter being kidnapped 50,000 times as well as becoming a heroin addict and his wife being killed. So you kind of feel sorry for him and want to give him a little cuddle, in a manly way.

TV shows need their horrible characters. Without Berta the house cleaner, “Two and a Half Men” would have just been a show about Charlie Sheen living in a big house whining about sleeping with lots of women while his clearly gay brother whines about being poor and dying alone. Berta’s sharp tongue knocks the characters from their pedestals, and occasionally makes such an impact on them that they actually do something of importance. Without Sheldon Cooper, “The Big Bang Theory” would just be a show about a creepy scientist being obsessed with his neighbour. Sheldon is the funniest character in the show, he brings all the intelligence and the jokes, albeit terrible jokes, together. Without him The Big Bang Theory would have died out as a show long ago, the real theory however, would still be valid. Without Dr House, the show “House” wouldn’t even have a name. It would probably be called “Bench” instead. It would be about a bench that did its job as a bench, people would congratulate him for being such a useful and convenient seating arrangement, and at the end of every episode there would be a dramatic close up of the bench and then the screen would fade to black. Look out for “Bench”, it’ll be out on Sky Atlantic soon. Just kidding.

Now go and re-watch the TV shows you love, I can guarantee that your favourite characters are probably absolute dicks. But the great thing about that is, it means you are just a normal human being. It’s normal to like dicks, because we are all dicks.
Except for the vagina’s of course.

There’s too many songs about love. Let’s start writing songs about fish fingers instead.

Love. Eurgh. Just the word makes me feel nauseous. And that isn’t because I don’t have a heart (because a doctor has verified that I definitely do) and it isn’t because I don’t believe in love, it’s because music (as well as film, but that rant is for another day) surrounds us in this mushroom cloud of cliché, vomit inducing bullshit. Saying that love is all fluttery feelings and happiness, which from what I have learned in life, is not true. Not one bit. Nope.

Singers such as Rihanna, who’s every song contains the word love or is about love or contains some weird metaphor for love or equates both sex and love to being virtually the same thing, as well as singers like Bruno Mars, that write songs about imaginary girls that they want to settle down and “be in love with” as well as introducing us to the ever questionable note of being willing to catch grenades to prove the existence of forever flowing love between these two people, keep these themes of love running throughout their music. However, these running themes of eternal, undying love are not accurately portrayed in their personal lives – which I find odd. How can you sing something you supposedly wrote about something you supposedly felt and not reflect that in your life?

Much like the middle class “punk” bands of the 70’s, who were all secretly aristocrats that lied about their anarchical beliefs, the musicians of today similarly don’t live the lives that their music implies they lead. I bet Akon doesn’t actually stay up all night partying and drinking champagne in the VIP room surrounded by big bootied women, I bet he actually sits at home in a relaxing bubble bath and unwinds by listening to some Kenny G and reading a Paul McKenna book. Music is all about persona, but I think a fake persona (actually, scrap that, let’s called it a forced persona) makes for a terrible musician. The public can spot a persona that someone doesn’t really have, they did it with Avril Lavigne, although that one wasn’t too difficult. Of course some personas will be fictionally ridiculous and deliberately unreal, much like David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”. But alternate personas like Bowie’s are simply just a reflection of that person’s own personality, and are as much a part of themselves as an Author’s writing is a part of themselves. Some examples of fake/forced persona’s are:

  • The Kooks, even though they pretend to be northern, are actually from Brighton.
  • Slipknot, who pretended to be the worst people in the world for years, equal to the level of child murderers, turned out to actually be a bunch of lovely guys that are married with kids and are great fathers.
  • 50 Cent off-screen actually being a white guy named Clive from Toronto, Canada that is really into water polo.

This also extends into actors, with:

  • Eddie Murphy who pretends to be an all round family man full of sunshine actually goes out at night and picks up transsexual prostitutes off the streets.

It’s ridiculous. JUST BE YOURSELVES PEOPLE.

Love has always been a central theme of music, and its hard to find a song in the world that isn’t about either a man or a woman who has fucked somebody over or alternately made them happy as larry. But I think the songs of the past about love were a lot more emphatic and emotional, turning phrases and coining new ones, not being modest and simple about love and giving it a lukewarm glow of happiness. Now, it seems, songs feel the need to have no emphasis or express exaggerated terms that are way, way over-the-top. Most songs now about getting drunk in a nightclub and meeting the skankiest, grottiest, greasiest girl known to man and taking her home with you for a night kebab-fuelled sex, which is immediately regretted the next day. It may be real to life, but it’s not exactly “My Heart Will Go On”.

But although there are some good songs about love, that’s not what this article is about. It’s about stopping love songs where we are now, they aren’t going to get any better or more meaningful. We need to start branching out to other topics, like food. I just want to hear songs about pizza and chips. Not dissimilar to The Fast Food song. MacDonald’s, MacDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut.

Those were the days. The good old days.

Remember the days when horror films used to be good? Me neither.

Horror films have always been a crushing disappointment for me. I can guarantee I have spent more time trying to find a decent horror film than the accumulation of time spent actually enjoying every horror film I have ever seen. The problem with horror movies is they are utterly, utterly clichéd. They are either about teenagers being murdered by a serial killer who’s goldfish died and now he’s upset and needs to kill everyone at a summer camp, or they are about ghosts in a suburban American house filmed on a hand-held camera where things jump out un-expectedly and make you jump a little bit. These two styles of horror movie might be enough for the millions of mindless morons who pay to see them in 3D, but not me. The best kinds of horror films are those that draw similarities from our own lives and play games with our fears and dislikes. Films about zombies killing everyone on the face of the planet are less likely to scare me than say a film where a man becomes lodged between two rocks and can’t get out, inflaming my paralysing fear of claustrophobia and forcing me to sit in the cinema stuck to the floor (and not because of the already sticky floors) and keeping me there all the way through the movie, as well as the next two movies showing in the cinema afterwards.

The problem with film makers these days is, they think horror is about making people jump out of their seats, and don’t get me wrong that’s an important part, but it’s not everything. Films that have people/monsters jumping out left, right and center shouldn’t have the good grace to call themselves horror films, they should be called Jumpy-Movies. Films that test your endurance and your mind and make you question your own beliefs and ethics, they are horror films. Movies like “The Shining” started the fallacy that all horror movies should make you jump and people have just kept idea that going since. But occasionally, every once in a while, I find a good horror film that restores my faith in humanity and makes me believe there is still a future for the horror genre yet. The film in question is, of course, “The Human Centipede”.

This film has been analysed to death. People saying it is sick and unnecessary (but what horror film IS necessary?), some people saying it is hilarious, but the truth is (and say what you will), it redefined the horror genre once again. It was a film that didn’t make you jump, but made you feel sorry, made you feel sick, and made you question the sanity of all German people. It was an idea that brought some originality back to horror and shied away from annoying ghosts and ridiculously absurd serial killers. It was a film about a man who had lost his mind, a film about survival and a film about sickness. It may not have been the greatest horror movie ever created, and it may have furthered the stereotype that all German people are sick minded, but at least it was an interesting film.

Remakes. More horror films are re-made than any other genre of film. From Nicholas Cage’s appalling performance as a dancing/woman-punching bear man covered in bees in the 2006 remake of the 1973 classic movie “The Wicker Man”, to unnecessary re-make of the 2007 Swedish masterpiece “Let The Right One In”. Hollywood has an alluring talent of taking horror movies that have been somewhat successful and turning them into piles of rotting faeces. But what’s worse is that they don’t seem to learn their lesson, as is shown through their snubby re-makes of “Halloween”, “The Omen”, “Psycho” and the 2005 sham of a film (that tried to hide from the fact is was secretly a re-make of The Last House On The Left), “Chaos”. We honestly don’t need any more re-makes Hollywood, too many films have been obliterated by your hands already.

Please, world. Start making real horror movies again. The kind that used to make me defecate in my trousers by relating to my fears as a human being, not because of a spooky ghost slamming a cupboard door really fast in 3D.

Trusting News and Media Corporations for Health Information is like trusting Eric Pickles with your Big Mac.

A large quantity of the universe still live under the impression that when a news/media company makes a report about a “brand new” health risk, that they are 100% telling the truth and would never lie to their precious readers. These people are similarly like a teenage girl who believes that her high school boyfriend “loves” and definitely, does not, just want to sleep with her and then dump her. It’s funny to think that millions of people take health advice from people who know nothing about health in the slightest, especially journalists, some of the most unhealthy people in existence. You wouldn’t take advice from a hedgehog on how to cross the road now, would you? Oh wait.

A new, up and coming journal titled ‘Public Understanding of Sciencehas been established in the aim to help pull the wool from the publics’ eyes about the health related news stories that the media publish, and finally learn to stop trusting non-scientists for scientific information. The journal, in a recent study, found that from a weeks worth of stories from the top 10 UK newspapers, 67% of all the health risks mention had insufficient evidence, as well as only 10% of the health risks actually being possible, with a mere 12% probable and 15% “convincing. These are pretty low figures from people we apparently trust, you say? That’s correct. Science might be predominately based on theories, but the heart at the bottom of the scientific well pumps the thirst-quenching blood of fact. Newspapers however don’t have time to mess around with facts, as they need to get the story out to meet their deadlines and keep their readers happy. Which is understandable. But how much is it affecting our society to be reading half-assed news reports about health risks that affect us all? In my opinion, quite a lot.

Newspapers play a huge role in the flow of information on our planet (though the torch is slowly being passed on to the internet and social networking sites) so surely they should be taking this role seriously? Newspapers that report about health risks that are not backed up with evidence are a lot like a fun, wacky, long-lost Uncle. They show up out of the blue and spout a lot of bollocks, with almost no proof to what they are saying, and just disappear again before you have a chance to ask why he needed to photograph you dressed up as Peter Pan in his basement. Newspapers’ publishing unproved health risks has made us hypochondriacal as people, living each day in fear of some new, undiscovered disease that will rot out our eyes and kill us at the first chance it gets. It makes us scared to do the things we like, such as enjoying a Cornish pasty while bungee-jumping or drinking an ice-cold pint served by an ex-serial murderer, named Gary.

News and media companies, I believe, do more damage than human beings on their own, because it is with the media’s acknowledgement of a disease or illness that we really start to fear we will get it. I’m not saying we should live in a world that is blissfully ignorant of all disease, but that world must be at least 50% less stressful than our own.

I’d happily live in world where I could eat peanuts in a bar without the fear of contracting Hepatitis, or eat a spoonful of cake mixture with raw egg in it without thinking I will die from Salmonella poisoning. Sadly though, we do live in this horrifying world.

Thanks a lot Newspapers, and you old wives and your damned tales.

Netflix. The worst thing to happen to the film industry since Blockbuster stopped renting porn.

Netflix is a great place to watch movies, provided the movies you like are from 2001 and starring Ryan Reynolds playing a character who is pretending not to be a homosexual. I was promised a vast selection of great movies by the Netflix advertising campaign, and I’m sorry to say that they didn’t deliver on that promise.

The problem is that Netflix is an American company, whose idea of a movie usually involves explosions, catch-phrases, and the ever questionable presence of faeces and vomit. It’s quite hard to find a movie you actually like on Netflix, they all seem to be films you’ve watched late at night on Channel 5 just pass the time and stop yourself thinking about your own miserable life during another lonely Saturday night on the sofa. I mean seriously, who actually creates the lists of films they want to upload to their website? It must have been written by a man who has never seen a film in his entire life and lives out his days carving pictures on the wall of a cave in the Himalayas, with a wooden spoon.

Around 83% of the movies on Netflix are films that no one with a brain has heard of. The person who directed them probably doesn’t even remember them. He may have even paid for some emergency therapy to help his brain forget such a terrible time in his life, but with no such luck, decided to have a lobotomy. After about 2 hours searching for a decent movie on Netflix, I resorted to reading reviews on the films I have never heard of. Most of the reviews appeared automated and generic, or typed by a chimp sitting at a desk with a laptop and every time he voted 5 stars he got a banana. It was incredibly hard to find a single film that I liked, nor a single review that showed some genuine literary capabilities beyond “It was good”.

The one thing I can praise Netflix for, though, is re-igniting my love for Woody Allen’s film “Annie Hall” (yes I finally found a film I liked). A masterpiece of cinema that I haven’t seen in years. The great thing, this time, was that I understood nearly all the references, really appreciated Allen’s nervy demeanor as an actor, and laughed at every anti-semitic joke that Allen made about himself. It was the movie that first included the audience in the film; for those who are unsure what I mean, Annie Hall was the first movie in which the main protagonist spoke directly to the camera, and the audience, informing them of his own feelings throughout the movie. The opening scene is a perfect example of this. With Allen’s long shots, with one shot going on for 5 minutes perfectly uninterrupted, and his relatable charm, this film became a piece of cinematographic history. It’s an utter shame that cinema has shied away from this, focusing less and less on letting the audience work out who the character is and focuses more and more on telling the audience who the character is supposed to be.

I supposed that is the future of cinema, people watching movies on the internet staring Channing Tatum as a hunky, yet sensitive murderer who kidnaps an exploding bus full of children, with lots of family fun and laughs for everyone throughout. I guess I can just fondly look back on the greats on cinema history (Hitchcock, Kubrick, Cassavetes) and weep into my popcorn, making it even more salty, as I watch A Clockwork Orange for the 19th consecutive time and reminisce about the good old days of film.