Month: July 2014

The Space Lizard Next Door

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Is it me, or does there seem to be more people these days that might be carnivorous space lizards, hell bent on controlling the Earth and systematically enslaving the entire population – who they intend to eat as part of some intergalactic sushi bar?   You know what, let me dial it back a little and explain the concept.

The whole space lizard way of thinking was the brainchild of ex-football pundit and part-time messiah, David Icke.  It goes a little like this:

Flesh-eating reptile humanoids, living in underground bases around the world, have infiltrated every facet of human life and are the key players in a world-wide conspiracy.  In fact, many of the world’s leaders, decision makers, cultural icons and royalty are decedents of these space lizard people – who according to Icke, originated from the Alpha Draconis star system… which is, for those that are interested, just left of Krypton and two hundred yards before the Death Star turn-off.

Now, I’m currently living in Portsmouth, England, and while this place does not appear to be one of the hive locations for the space lizards, it could well be twinned with one.  So, as perhaps the only genuine human (keep your jokes to yourself!), living in Portsmouth, I need to ask a question… where is the real downside to this theory?

I mean, how cool would it be to have space lizards walking around, staffing pound shops and creating government policy?  What a hoot!  Prime Minister’s question time would be insane.  Just imagine the BBC broadcasting our beloved PM lying under a giant heat lamp, with the Defence Minister shedding skin and all the back-benchers eating flies, cockroaches and other examples of junior minister.  Say what you like about the licence fee, but I would certainly watch it.

Joking aside, what is the lizard conspiracy against humans – apart from wanting to dip us in hot sauce and chow down?  What could be worse than that?  Are they going to wreck our rock solid banking system and plunge most of us into negative equity?  How about dragging our arses into questionable wars with other lizards from sunnier, middle-eastern, climes?  The best conspiracy theory I heard was along the lines of the secret installation of a government no one actually voted for, and is working against our better interests and systematically rear-ending us into oblivion… oh, hang on!

How about the proliferation of an endless stream of mediocre talent shows, designed to slowly brainwash our kids into manufactured consumers who are controlled by social media and influenced by Justin Blabber and Miley Montana?  Is that the best shot they have?  We’re already living that shit and guess what, I’m still standing.

And if their plan is to simply turn Earth into a posh gastro-planet, what’s so wrong with eating humans?  It wasn’t long ago people were losing their stupid minds about eating tuna because the nets were also catching dolphins and asylum seekers.  We’re so limited in our taste.  We can’t eat swan (only the Queen can – another lizard!), monkey chunks don’t actually exist (but sound yummy), and beef will send you crazy from cow, hoof, swine-avian flu or some shit.

Maybe it’s time to enter a new food group into the mix and get ourselves some earlobe stew with dick mash.  If we have any doubts on the health implications of eating orange-coloured Essex drones, try feeding it to those bastards on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here – they’ll swallow anything in return for a contract to sell frozen food on national television.

And how about when these space lizards die, just think about what we could do with the skin.  You could have a lizard-skin suit made from the remains of William Hague, a bunch of nice wallets from Prince Phillip, how about a whole fucking closet from the Kardashians?  We need to do something with these things once the MTV gravy train runs out, why not recycle and look fashionable all at the same time.

I guess what’s more worrying is not so much the prospect of space reptiles controlling the planet via their New World Order, but the fact that so many people are gullible enough to believe such horse-shit.

I’ve done minimal research into this, I just couldn’t bring myself to verify facts on space creatures that live underground and hold civil service jobs.  But with that said, and from the little research I did achieve, it seems some 47 countries have vocal supporters of David Icke’s theories and rainbow-thinking bollocks.  Icke himself regularly preaches the word to hoards of paying clowns crowds.  The guy has built a very nice line in seminars, books, and public addresses.  It’s amazing, such influence and power sounds vaguely lizard-like – maybe Icke is nothing but a scaly-skinned traitor to his own people… lizards… whatever!

Perhaps the best statistic comes from our brothers and sisters across the pond.  A poll taken in 2013 calculated that over 4% of Americans believed in David Icke’s theories – I’m guessing that 4% were all lizards, or tourists from Portsmouth.

Paul Millard 2014

(First published in The Spoof – February 2014)

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A Zombie Holocaust

I know the title is a little sensational, largely misleading, and not even close to rational or truthful.  However, you take a walk around any high street or shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon, and the heading of this week’s rhubarb becomes very real and alarmingly honest.

By the way, I’m not talking about the zombies seen in too many movies, or the ones stumbling around a dozen TV shows.  I’m not referring to the types found in every videogame since 2006, not even the one wailed about in that shit-awful song by The Cranberries (although I think that zombie was less about eating brains, and more about the socio-political issues facing Ireland… an easy mistake to make I’m sure you’ll agree).

No, these zombies are far more relentless and come in far greater numbers – certainly more than anything a team of hacky Hollywood script writers could conjure up.  Without the need of a toxic spill, a troupe of rage-infected monkeys or the Umbrella Corporation, these unfortunate collaborations of limb, fluid and tissue appear without any noticeable ingress and swarm en masse with a single, unifying purpose.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m referring to those ruinous bastards (usually men) who shamble behind their partners on that unavoidable, vomit-inducing, Saturday afternoon shopping trip.

We’ve all seen them, ambling around shop doorways and eerily peering inside, vacantly observing the frenzied shoppers inside, all in the vain hope of spying their significant other.  They can also be found leaning against walls or handrails, glowering into space and dribbling into their ready-nit scarves.  Occasionally, you may see one of these sorry mofos trying to mimic the actual behaviour of their “handler”, with lacklustre attempts to engage in the rows and rows of identical jumpers and skirts, all in the hope of appearing semi-normal… and not dead inside.

You don’t believe me?  You think I’m exaggerating this stuff and trying to be all humorous and shit?  I was in my local town only a few days ago and I took the below photos as proof.  I wasn’t in some hide, waiting for these things to appear… I was sat in a sodding Burger King!  Check it.

 

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And this is just a tiny fraction of the pandemic now facing every guy who would rather be doing anything else on a Saturday.  It’s a silent, despair-inducing, sickness that attacks without provocation or aspiration.  Regardless of race, religion, social standing or financial positioning, the look found on these people is waiting for you.  All it takes is one nanosecond of weakness, observed and exploited by your devious, self-serving partner.  This is how it works…

Right off the bat, you find yourself in the car (and perhaps more remarkable, you’re the one driving it!).  Already baffled by the cunning ruthlessness of your usually soft and mushy spouse, a jeremiad of inconsequential nonsense is spoken at you.  She drones on about her week, her stupid TV shows, and her awful friends – who are all no doubt cocooning their own partners in a similar web of mall-seeking bollocks.

Wiping the blood from your eyes and ears, the inane babble is only halted by the view of the multi-storied car park.  With pay-and-display paid and displayed, you exit the car and slowly begin the transformation into a bag-carrying undead piece of shit.  Your will is not your own, your mind is not your own, your coffee is not your own… as she inevitably always wants whatever you have.

I’m not kidding around here; it only takes three visits to the same store to turn any fellah into the first stages of zombification à la SuperDry.  Chase this with a ten minute examination on the implications of owning two pairs of pink Converse, and you are all but ready to succumb to an afternoon of mindless wandering.

With three hours in, the gangrenous rot of imposed consumerism has not only settled into your lymph nodes, but has also ravaged the immune system of your relationship with your partner – someone who clearly has no issues with dragging your frustrated carcass around Debenhams.  In fact, you begin to question what kind of banshee you have chosen to be your special honey-bunny.  What was once a loving soul-mate has now deformed into a cross between Gok Wan, and the spiteful sister of that Jigsaw bloke from the Saw movies… and all because she needed a new pair of skinny jeans and a “few bits” from Accessorize!

As the cashiers and shop floor robots get twitchy for closing time, the last remnants of your humanity are rinsed from your body with the swift efficiency of a Hotpoint spin-dryer.  “Full Zombie” is achieved and you are eventually led to the car, bags in hand, car keys in mouth, and soul in the fucking crapper.

However, all sagas have an ending, and this one is no different.  From the confines of your home; and only after it has been suitably sterilised and medically certified, the infection can be addressed and neutralised in short order.  A slow rehabilitation process is realised and your return to being a semi-human is at hand.

With a belt of Jameson’s whiskey, a snifter of Hendrick’s gin, and a few ounces of “Mike down the Road’s Weed”, the effects of Saturday shopping are despatched.  The love lost for your shit-bag partner is soon rediscovered – with promises of never putting you though that pain ever again.  You are given assurances that next time she will go shopping with her sister, and in my case, I get to snuggle up to a bacon sandwich and Test Match Special.

Paul Millard 2014

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P.S.  Should you agree/disagree/don’t give a shit with any of my rhubarb, then put your money where your mouth is and leave a comment…  no need to provide your name or email address, just your inner thoughts!  Easy.

The Wolf of Wall Street

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I love films that look at excessive behaviour, whether it is gangsters, people who used to work for gangsters, or biopics about dead people – The Doors (Jim Morrison), Man on the Moon (Andy Kaufman), Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (a few are dead, the rest are in prison).  In fact, I was frequently reminded of The Smartest Guys in the Room when watching The Wolf of Wall Street.

For those not acquainted with the documentary, The Smartest Guys (as I’m now going to term it), is an absolute powerhouse of a movie, detailing the rise and fall of what was America’s most innovative company, Enron – a business with a one-time value of an estimated $100 billion.  It encapsulated the realisation of the American dream, and was promptly uncovered as being nothing more than a massive criminal conspiracy.  An epic smoke and mirrors show, all conducted by some very, very clever men – with testicles the size of medicine balls.

With a similar swagger, The Wolf of Wall Street is all about the excess and the conspiracy, fun and decline, instant fortune and rapid failure.

I loved every second of it, and was immediately inspired to re-watch.  However, that pleasure will have to be taken another time, partly as a result of the three hour running time, but mainly due to the damage my four year-old boy would sustain if walking in on me watching this film.  For a Marty Scorsese film there is hardly any violence, but the language and graphic sex depicted throughout is outrageous – and utterly fantastic.

So, whilst I’m all in on the sex and expletives, the prospect of my son overhearing some of this film and then calling me a ‘cocksucker’ over the breakfast table, is not desirable.

Based on the true antics of one time Wall Street titan, Jordan Belfort, this movie tells a very simple tale of greed and excess, while offering a loud ‘F-You’ to any molecule of morality or realised consequence of action.  As a Wall Street broker, Jordan Belfort spun a web of bollocks like no other.  If any of this portrayal is accurate, and I’m pretty sure most of it is, then this guy was a virtuoso in the field of unquenchable demand from a pool of illusionary supply.

This film’s vision of greed is only matched by its utter entrenchment towards excess.  In fact, the necessity of sexual conquest and fanatical drug use often overpowers the ability to successfully perpetuate the crimes Belfort and his army of clones are chained too.

In typical fashion for such films, the decline is eventually realised and as the wheels fall off the fun-bus, poor old Jordan loses everything (to a degree).  Roll credits.  I don’t mean to be flippant, but that’s exactly what happens.  This film is a very basic, one dimensional telling of an all too familiar rise and fall story.  In some hands this would be a serious problem, but with Martin Scorsese it’s an absolute joy to behold, much like Goodfellas.

I think we’ve all heard how good Leonardo DiCaprio is, and the balls-out performance he gives, so much so that I really have nothing more to add.  He is immense and totally sells the shit-bag character of Belfort perfectly.  In fact, I’ll extend that to all those around him, even the usually awful Jonah Hill puts in a decent turn – clearly, working with people other than the vomit-inducing Michael Cera and that talentless twerp, McLovin’, helps his nauseating attempts to remain relevant.  Keep working with real talent, Jonah, and you might just survive the oblivion usually reserved for your type.

However, with source material provided by Terrance Winter, and based on Belfort’s own book, I would defy any actor to not have a hoot when speaking this dialogue.  The blackness of the comedy is a welcome break from the usual frat-pack stuff, and is akin to Seven Psychopaths and the works of Joseph Heller and early Coen Brothers.

DiCaprio is a force of nature when delivering his sales speeches, Johan and crew are equally memorable with their episodes of living in overabundance, even Matthew McConaughey has a cameo that is up there with Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross – yet another film about the quagmire world of vicious sales and vulgar sales people.  In fact, the pleasurable assassination of sickening sales drones is a ripe topic to poke a shitty stick at.  Speaking from the safety of personal experience, your average sales person is perhaps the perfect example of base arrogance with a slimy, snake-oil void of charm or empathy.  Whilst they may weave a picture of familiar friendship and helpful requirement, the reality is more akin to the arena of prostitution – but without the integrity or valour of screwing someone honestly.

It’s clearly a perspective Hollywood loves, with the likes of the aforementioned Glengarry Glen Ross, The Wall Street movies, Boiler Room, Tin Men, and to a lesser extent, Death of a Salesman and Jerry Maguire.

With The Wolf of Wall Street, this interpretation of greed dominating veracity is almost faultless.  Granted, you are not going to see any original use of lighting, camera position, or a more diegetic soundscape.  The story is very linear and seldom strays from what you already know is coming, and the acting – which is solid – is not breaking any new grounds or challenging the craft.

With this said, it’s a testament to the film that none of the above actually matters, and would only detract away from the real focus of the film – an A to Z route map of the glory of excess and egocentric bullshit, and the stark recognition of its consequences.

Paul Millard 2014

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Scenes from a Portsmouth Supermarket

I take my lunch at the same time every day.  On the appointed hour, I rise from my desk and vacate the building as quickly as possible (usually via the 1st floor window).  Evading the guard dogs and searchlights, I play a game of Frogger across a very busy road and make my way to the local Tesco for a sandwich, a packet of crisps and a critique of the human condition.

In between bouts of awareness towards the inescapability of death, and upon its arrival what happens to my club-card points, I manage to cross paths with a wide variety of indigenous shoppers… and other forms of local pond life.  It’s a strange place, filled with the very base levels of human emotion, moments of stark insanity and attractive buy one, get one free, offers.  On average, I spend thirty minutes each day within its confines and I’ve come to a very worrying conclusion – I’m addicted to the place!

I like to believe that the world is a much safer place than the one portrayed on our television screens.  If you take the scaremongering for what it is and step out, more often than not the world will meet you with an aura of vulnerability which comes from a good place, and when in sync, can be embraced and surrendered too.  Unfortunately, this philosophy is completely redundant at the local Tesco – a supermarket that should be avoided like a council estate prostitute.

With each visit I pretty much see the same series of events played out, usually by the same people I saw the day before.  Honestly, it’s like watching a really bad Betamax copy of Groundhog Day, it’s all grainy and annoying to look at, the tracking is a little fucked and it skips at the best bits.

Right off the bat you have the people that lurk outside the store entrance, usually selling either roadside breakdown cover or paintballing weekends.  They all have the same Joker’esque smile crayoned onto their face and are desperate to make eye contact as a means of kicking off their sales pitch.  On those occasions when I’ve accidently gazed in their direction, and have been asked how my day is going (an enquiry that is delivered with all the sincerity of a politician wiping his arse on a homeless person); I usually supply the following response with the same levels of sickening bonhomie:

‘I’m terribly sorry, old bean, but I don’t speak a syllable of English.  Thanks all the same and toodle-loo.’

This usually confuses them to such a degree that by the time they have worked out that I’m being a little snarky; I’m already in the shop and moving towards the next collection of mouth-breathers.

Why is it that stores of this type have the same layout wherever you are in the world?  I was in a Publix supermarket in Florida last year and the layout was identical – so much so that I didn’t like going in there because it felt so bloody similar.

Right up front you have the magazine aisles and lunchtime sandwich selections.  I’m guessing they put this up front because it’s common knowledge that eating and reading are intrinsically linked, like swimming whilst painting.  I’m also guessing that these aisles are up front because those taking lunch are so weak from hunger and lack of quality reading material they are unable to fully enter the shop.  Truly, my heart bleeds.

After this point, you are plunged into a theatre of dread, in which to survive you must depend upon your ability to predict the unpredictable and invoke whatever supernatural guile you may possess.  A skilfully-crafted maze of refrigerated cabinets, awkward salad isles, and confusing corridors of brightly coloured tins, boxes and packets await you – all of which is being traversed by a myriad of coupon-crazies and guttersnipe shoppers hell-bent on messing with my groove!

With each trip I take I can always rely on two things happening.  Someone will usually stop dead in front of me for no obvious reason, and a kid will be shouted at by a grotesque parent… for no obvious reason.  Of the two, I particularly like the stop dead event.

It’s not like these people stop to look at something, or pause a brief moment to mull over the store brand spaghetti hoops.  No, these people seem to be governed by an invisible traffic light system that demands their total compliance regardless of all those around them.  They just stop, like a fat bloke’s heart during his third plate of cheese.

I’m always tempted to take the hard line, and act as if I were in my car.  In those moments when someone just stops for no reason, and you slam on your brakes in order to avoid a collision with their fuck-tarded stupidity – I’m not alone in my knee-jerk desire to immediately act like an arsehole taxi driver, lean on the horn, and swear until my vocal chords fray, am I?

Well, try this approach the next time some bastard hits the brakes on their shopping trolley.  Get as close behind them as possible and start making loud “beeeeeeeep” noises.  Go ahead and scream ‘fucking idiot’ at the back of their head, and question the whereabouts of their father and need for corrective spectacles in the hope of avoiding future altercations of a similar nature.  As you pass them, give a massive “wanker” sign right in their face… and call them a ‘effing idiot’ again for good measure, and maybe do the “beeeeeeeep” noise again.  At the very worst you will get a suspended sentence and maybe a little community service.

As for the poor child being berated by their parent, well, I currently live in Portsmouth, an area renowned for incestuous teenage pregnancy and people that revel in the lower spectrum of intelligence, respect and self-worth.  I can only hope the poor little bastard gives their grunting mother/sister the slip and seeks a better life away from this abysmal plague-pit of a town.

So, after taking a zig-zaggy, partially-sighted, tour around the place – avoiding traffic violations and inbred kids caterwauling their lungs onto the floor – I eventually arrive at the last stage of the supermarket experience, the cashiers.  After yet another battle of wits with an unarmed opponent, and with my head filled with visions of a toxic spill coating the area and rendering it uninhabitable for the next two-thousand years, I eventually leave the supermarket and head back to my office… another place filled with empty-headed-who-cares-bollock-talkers.

But do you know what the real kicker is?  Ultimately, when all is said and done, the joke is on me.  Why?  Because through all this nonsense and snarky opinion, and away from my tortured tales of battles with local beer-can goblins and £2.00 fruit salads, I still sit at my desk and look forward to my next trip into oblivion.  What a loser!

Paul Millard 2014

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Meandering Through The Medicine Cabinet

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Why is it that in this age of enlightened attitudes from the new generation of modern families and forty-something hipsters-wannabes is there still a wholly unrounded perception towards those who ‘do’ drugs?

My days of indulgence were sadly snatched away from me upon the birth of my son.  My last joint was rolled and flamed on the very day he was born.  I had spent all night at the hospital, the little fellah arrived with screaming and tears (mainly mine), and once Mum was settled in her fancy recuperation unit, I went home and rolled a fat one.

Sitting in my back-yard with the strongest coffee I could find, an empty stomach, and a few ounces of Afghanistan’s finest Kush, I not only pondered the reality of being someone’s dad, but also that being a dad means I need to stop getting stoned all the time.

Don’t get me wrong, the minute my son leaves our house and ventures off to college, university, whatever, and with a large part of my fatherly duties achieved, I will no doubt revert to the waking-baker I have always been.

My misadventures with various herbs, tabs, pills and powders were always conducted away from the normal and the acceptable.  In a strange London club that was allegedly operated by the Real IRA, on a transatlantic flight (back in the days when you could do shit like that without being mistaken for a terrorist), and once whilst stumbling through downtown Miami, at 4am, with two transvestites in a Pontiac Firebird!

All those moments, and many more, yet strangely enough not once during my times in the medicine cabinet did I feel the need to rob someone, hassle someone, fight someone, rape someone or act like a lady’s clunge area.

However, and not including the panic roused by the scum-bag media, the amount of times I see a viciously over-stimulated man-woman-thing, trying to lock an aggressive gaze with anyone who makes eye contact, is beyond a fucking joke and worryingly regular.  What makes it worse is when you realise it’s not the behaviour of your usual chavvy little fucker whose parents are one DNA sequence away from dog shit, but actually as a result of drug use.

That sullen-eyed expression, the sickly smell of a recently dogged joint, or even the overpowering bouquet of the one drug we all find acceptable, alcohol.  It’s a sight that not only provokes a sense of avoidance and revulsion, but also an instantaneous disgust for the drug you have attributed to the behavioural patterns displayed.

Seriously, it’s this kind of stuff that gives drug use a bad name!

Please, all you people that fit the above description.  Stop.  Stop ruining the party for the rest of us that can handle our high without the need to become a loathsome little puke.

There’s no great mystery to it.  Drugs can make you better.  They have the power to lead me to a nightclub – a place I would normally fucking avoid with my broken fingernails scratched in the pavement.  They can make the most boring flight into a possible alien encounter in the sky (no time to explain now, but it was very trippy).  They can make me talk for hours with two transvestites in a Pontiac Firebird!

All you twats that get fucked up and rob someone, please leave the area, leave the country, leave the fucking planet if possible.  Take all those bastards that have given acid a bad name with you, those people that dance in fields to awful music designed to provoke tinnitus and extreme diarrhoea.  Try blowing your whistles and throwing shapes as my fist punches through your thorax.

I know it’s trite, but look at music and comedy; it’s a fucking hotbed for great drug use.  Hendrix, Keith Moon, Dee Dee Ramone and John Bonham, Lenny Bruce, Greg Giraldo, Chris Farley and John Belushi; they all took drugs and they all made the world a much nicer place to get wasted in.

Ok, so they also died in hideously fucked-up and horrifying ways – with most of them found lying in their own shit, riddled with Hepatitis B, and drained of any semblance of their previous personality – but let’s not get hung up on that.

Besides, those guys act as a nice little precautionary tale for anyone looking to step up from the lower leagues of funny, mischievous, lovable drug addict to the scary premiership of “I’ll fuck your mashed skull” drug addict/droog.

I want more of those guys and a little less of Michael McIntyre, The Wanted and those little scrawny fucks that congregate around the local Kwik-E-Mart.

It’s two sides of the same Rizzla paper.  We have those that can freely use drugs with minimal disruption to their lives (perhaps a little more time than usual spent talking to transvestites, but that’s it), and those that fucking ruin it for the rest of us with reckless indulgence and escalated arseholery.

I don’t want to be mean, or avoid the whole “it’s a disease” horseshit, but let’s bottom line it for a second.  You rob someone, you attack someone, you rape someone, it’s all on you, bitch.  Everyone who’s every committed a criminal act had a fucking reason for doing it – usually as a result of either piss-poor judgement or trying to work outside the system we all adhere too.  That’s it.

Just because you’re a drug addict doesn’t give you a free pass to run riot, and blame the blackened tin-foil for the shit YOU have elected to do.  You rock the pipe, stab a vein, smoke a bowl or any of the other terminology I’ve heard in The Wire, then you and your broken shitty-arsed veins need to stand up and be counted, rather than hide behind an excuse based on a sickness.  Cancer is a sickness, Alzheimer’s is a sickness, man-flu is a really bad sickness – smoking crack is a fucking life choice, at best.

In essence, those that can’t manage their high, start robbing the town-folk, and go all Breaking Bad on us; you people need to stop playing with the rest of us.  Go to a clinic, or wherever you need to go, and take up basket weaving or Moshi Monster collecting.

Stop ruining our lovely drug-taking.

Paul Millard 2014

P.S.  I think I’ll give the past word on this to one of my heroes… over to you P.J.

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A Christmas Evening, With Fish and Tits

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It was just before Christmas when myself, and my wife, took the decision to do a movie double-bill one evening.  Our son was safely in bed and we were free agents to watch whatever we fancied.  We weren’t going to watch yet another episode of that Welsh fire-fighter bloke who appears to live in the most flammable fucking town on the planet, or those American kids who morph into plastic toys that look gay and shit.  Oh no… we could be masters of our own viewing!

So, with such time on our hands what masterpiece did we decide to watch?  Yep, you guessed it; we chose Piranha 3D and Piranha 3DD.

We decided on these films for two very sound reasons.  I really wanted to see Kelly Brook in a sexy bikini, and I thought my wife would really want to see Kelly Brook in a sexy bikini.

To raise the stakes a little higher, we also watched these films whilst building one of those online photo albums as a Christmas present for my parents.  Different, huh?  You won’t get this kind of film critique from those stale, uninspiring hacks over at Empire, and as for Total Film, they are little more than a fucking poster magazine at this point and therefore no real competition when it comes to unique movie reviewing.

Anyway, back to the movie…

The lovely Kelly Brook only appears in the first film, and whilst she was truly amazing in that bikini, to say nothing of her poignant acting throughout the stirring underwater lesbian scenes, I was truly surprised by how good this movie turned out.

First off, any film that starts with Richard Dreyfuss, rowing a boat whilst whistling “Show Me The Way To Go Home”, already scores big with me as a hard-core Jaws fan.  However, whilst it was nice to see him, the appearance is short lived as it seems a Great White Shark, and a prissy Robert Shaw, is no match for a bunch of angry fish.

The plot is easy to reach.  An annual spring party held on the postcard perfect Lake Victoria falls foul to some bad joojoo, and a pack of prehistoric piranha set about fucking up the incredibly young and beautiful people dipping their toes.  That’s pretty much it.

It’s hard to discuss this film without falling into a dozen clichés and nods towards the B-movie creature features that inspired its remake… but that’s the point, this film has its fins firmly in that wheelhouse and is actively looking to be compared to those that came before.

Fun, gory and at times a little scary… and I’m not referring to the acting.  Although, whilst we are on the subject, the crappiness of the performances is only matched by the dreadfully stereotyped characters these luvvies are trying to inhabit.  Let’s be honest, there’s more depth to a fridge drip tray than there is to the portrayal of a sexed-up, Girls Gone Wild video director who only seems concerned about the prospect of the piranhas eating his dick.

This being said, the film manages to bag a few good actors.  Kelly Brook is obviously in a class of her own (and is perhaps best suited to silent movies), but the director, Alexandre Aja, managed to sign up Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames and Christopher Lloyd, to say nothing of the aforementioned Ricky Dreyfuss.  Hell, they even got a porn star, Riley Steele, to eventually sleep with da fishes.

As the credits rolled, and with thirty pages of the online photo album done, my wife looked at me and we both gave an approving nod – we liked this one.  Piranha 3D feels like the kind of movie that is destined to become a true cult classic… but you may need to wait another 15 years for the film to reach that pinnacle.  Enjoyably gruesome with some genuinely funny moments, and all aided by two of the sexiest women on the planet making out… underwater.  Enough said.

Made a few years after Piranha 3D, Piranha 3DD ushered in a new director in John Gulager, and a grand total of five different writers, all geared up to make a worthy sequel.  However, with so many people involved in penning this script I’m still unsure how they all managed to miss the point of a B-movie, and make a truly fucking awful mess of a film.

This time, Nemo and his friends set their tiny eyes on a Wet ‘n Wild type waterpark, and manage to do a pretty good job messing shit up for all the amazingly young and still beautiful-looking people dipping their toes… again.  However, that’s where all the fun ends.  It’s a film that looks half decent on paper, but desperate and trite on celluloid.

I’ll be honest, ten minutes into the film I gave up on the plot, gave up on the characters, I even gave up checking out the rack on the lovely ladies, and concentrated more on cropping the photos for my online album.  It’s that bad.

The Richard Dreyfuss cold open from the first film is replaced with a similar manoeuvre employing Gary Busey.  So even before the film starts, the audience is pretty much slapped with a notice telling you that zero thought or originality has gone into this, and instead the writers have tweaked the nipples of the first film to see if anyone notices.

Talking of cast, it’s once again a veiled version of the original.  Christopher Lloyd is still here, as is Ving Rhames, but the rest are about as forgettable as that thing I just forgot about.  The heroine, played by Danielle Panabaker is watchable, but this is largely due to Danielle being as cute as a button, and from her work in the Friday the 13th remake and The Crazies.

Even the attendance of David Koechner (Champ Kind from Anchorman), fails to divert your attention away from this lazy river of dog shit.  I’m genuinely staggered by how much this film choked, and if I’m being honest, a little disappointed and cheated.

With the rise of films like Sharknado, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus and Big Ass Spider, the continued health of the modern day creature feature is not in question – however, the continued adventures of the piranha are dangerously close to being filleted, and may require the industry standard reboot in another five years in order to stay appetising.

And with that, our piranha double bill evening was over.  The first fishy tale was a delight, and one I will revisit at some point – if only to watch Kelly again – the second movie was a big, fat red herring, dipped in mouldy breadcrumbs and eaten by a shabby homeless person who has a faint smell of piss on his fingers.

… and if you are curious, my parents loved the photo album.

Paul Millard 2014

Snarky Tuesday Paul Millard Kelly Brook Photo1