Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday Miscellany

Well, I'm finally beginning to get things back on schedule after last week's power outage cost me an entire evening.  The story for The Sleaze which I had been planning to write that evening was finally completed over the weekend and appeared on the site today.  All the delays and disruption didn't, I'm afraid, improve the story, which I'm still not really happy with - I completely lost my thread when the power cut hit and never got back into my rhythm whilst writing it.  But at least we've finally got a new story up on the site for the first time this year, (other than an editorial, which counts as a feature rather than a story).  Which, in turn, means that I can finally start moving on to do the things that I had originally planned to do over the weekend, before the power cut.  I can't deny that I might have got more creative work done over the weekend if I hadn't taken time out to watch Brides of Fu Manchu and Horror Hospital again.  But hell, they're both classics in their own way, (although the Horror Channel, from where I recorded Fu Manchu, seemed to have sourced the version they broadcast from a very scratchy and slightly faded print), although both would probably be condemned for racism, sexism and homophobia if made nowadays.  Doubtless, I'll come back to both of them later to look at them in more detail.

Changing tack completely, I have to say that the latest problems with my electricity supply have left me paranoid.  Past experience has taught me not to trust the electricity company when they claim to have fixed the problem for good - twenty years of outages tell a story of bodged 'fixes' and temporary 'solutions' which just don't hold up.  Indeed, I spent some time this past weekend looking into the possibilities for setting up some kind of emergency electricity supply system for my house.  At the very least, I'd like to have some kind of battery back up supply for my router, so that I could stay online during outages, but have so far been unable to find such a thing.  I've also given serious consideration to buying a small diesel generator, so that I could produce my own electricity to keep essential stuff like heating and lighting going during a major outage.  Despite the fact that I  have genuine and practical reasons for looking into this sort of stuff, there's a part of me which worries that this interest in portable generators and the like is just the first step on the rocky road to becoming a survivalist.  Before I know it, I'll be stockpiling tinned food and converting my front room into a fall out shelter.  I'll probably start wearing tin foil hats while I'm about it.  Who'd have thought that having an insecure mains power supply could have such disturbing consequences?



Blogger gavcrimson said...

I did read a rather misguided online review of Horror Hospital recently that cried homophobia. I’m guessing that they saw Askwith, saw red, and due to the Askwith connection assumed the filmmakers were cut from a similar cloth as the people who made the ‘Confessions’ films. Predictably the review called the filmmakers out as being blokish, gay hating, skirt chasers and deploying the ‘male gaze’ in the direction of Vanessa Shaw. Quite funny really considering that in reality HH was born out of a gay collective, with director Antony Balch and co-writer Alan Watson being openly gay and pretty much everyone else involved in that film on a creative level being gay also.

As for the homophobic dialogue in the scene that introduces the Askwith character and the pop band, I tend to suspect that Watson just got a kick out of winding straight men up in real life and this tends to be reflected in the film. Watson pops up a few times in Barry Miles’ William Burroughs biography ‘El Hombre Invisible’, where there is reference to an incident involving Watson and some workmen “In Mason's Yard, behind Antony Balch's apartment in St James, workmen building the new Cavendish Hotel used to play football during their breaks. Alan would sashay past them, hand on hip, blowing kisses and squeaking 'Score a goal for me, boys!'. The workmen would howl with laughter and shout abuse, but Alan loved it. He was a real exhibitionist.” So, it does sounds like enraged straight men and provoking some kind of homophobic reaction out of them was a source of amusement, maybe even eroticism for Watson. Its not as if the film lets the Askwith character completely off the hook for his homophobic tirade at the start of the film either. He gets a bloody nose from the transvestite singer (played incidentally by Watson under a pseudonym), has that awkward encounter with the sexually predatory Dennis Price character in the scene after (which again might be a reflection of Watson’s amusement with placing straight men in uncomfortable situations) and that is even before the more traditional horror movie indignities the film throws the Askwith character’s way. Wish I could find the online review in question again, it was a textbook example of people jumping to the wrong assumptions and misunderstanding things, plus their mental image of the filmmakers was so spectacularly off the mark that it really cracked me up at the time.

8:16 am  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home