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A guilty pleasure

People of a certain age will remember this:

An Austrialian programme first made in 1989/1990 (then resurrected in '93, '00, and '01), this is the story of the Twist family who move into a lighthouse. A haunted lighthouse. This series is best described as the poo-jokes-are-funny version of "Are you afraid of the dark?". Did I mention that it is Australian?

You see, any normal programme might have seagull droppings land on somebody's head. Not Round The Twist. This programme weaponises the gull droppings and, well, here are the older brother and his sister hiding from the gulls. Notice how they look.

The series is mad, so far removed from reality that your ability to suspend disbelief takes a clobbering - such as an episode with a magical remote control that can make things go forwards, backwards, stop, and repeat. Take a moment to imagine where that could go. Now let me add in that there's a pig-out spaghetti eating competition in the same episode. Maybe you're starting to get the idea now...?
Round The Twist also has production values only marginally above Prisoner Cell Block H and being made in '89 it employs the special effects technology common in the era where freeze frames jitter and inserted effects have such distinctive side-effects as making the borders of the screen shimmer. It was probably quite advanced at the time. Now it looks rather comical.

Still, I used to watch the Twist Family way back when (though I think I've only ever seen the first season) so when the entire thing came up on DVD for a good price (easter sale), I decided to go ahead and order it. Twenty hours of Twist (52 episodes) on eight discs. Plus now the Internet exists, I can look up unknown Australian terms such as "bunyip"...

 

Tag (Riaru Onigokko)

Many years ago, I watched a bizarre low-budget film called "Real - the chasing world" about a parallel dimension where people with the same name were being killed off one by one by being chased by leather-clad masked assailants.

I was interested when I saw that a new version of this film was available. Would somebody have rewritten the script to be less hokey? Would the ending not be so rubbish?

Well, no. This is an entirely different film, with what might be one of the goriest openings in a long time - we're barely into the film when dozens of people (mostly schoolchildren) are slaughtered by being sliced in half by the wind. The rest of their bodies are those things in the road back there a ways.

That's okay, you can back up and read that again. It's incomprehensible, and the actress playing the only surviving girl would agree with you. She runs, and more people are sliced in half messily. Yes, it's that kind of film. The thing is, this film has aspirations way beyond the normal cheap splatter-fare with a complimentary soundtrack, some nifty editing, and a number of camera movements that are simply sublime, not to mention a recurrent theme involving feathers. When feathers fall, something heavy is going down. It's all way more than that which is usual for this genre.

I'm not going to say anything about the ending, suffice to say that while the explanation is rather lacking (in my opinion), the ending seems oddly satisfying, like anything else would just have been wrong.

At time of writing, this film is on YouTube. ☺ It is short at 1h25, but worth a look.

 

Spring season 2016 animé

I've been cutting back on my animé watching - lack of time. So...

Kuromukuro

This animé opened with this:

Something to do with a schoolgirl and her mother who works in a UN research facility. Things appear from space. Big robots march out. Humanity has its own big robots. The first episode ends with this ridiculous looking contraption:

That monstrous robot is probably intended to give a hard-on to boys and men too young or stupid to know anything about mechanics and how utterly dumb that design would be in practicality (alien or otherwise). As if that's not bad enough, huge humanoid shaped robots fight with massive swords. Utterly purile.

Dropped. With prejudice.

 

Kuma Miko

She's a Miko, or shrine maiden. Seemingly unwillingly. She wants to go to school in the city instead of her dead-end nowhere town. Her guardian...is a talking bear. Okay, I get that the Shinto spirit world is weird, so I could put up with that. What was less appealing...

Local legend was that the bears and the sacrificial virgin copulated. So one of the boys (pictured) is imagining the bear and the Miko (who is like twelve or something?) making out. The gag was made and then we got the imagination spot. This crossed the line.

Dropped.

 

Bakuon!! (yes, two !s)

Basically a bunch of girls at a high school sharing their love and admiration of motorbikes. Doesn't might poking fun at the idea of biking, and Suzuki, but it's kinda dumb really.

Dropped.

 

Mayoiga

This. This could be the series of the season. The first episode was very nicely constructed with the characters introducing themselves. All, what is it, thirty or so? You see, they are on a bus tour to find a secret hidden village where they can leave their old selves behind and live in peace away from the world. Most people identify themselves with their online handle, perhaps as a way of disassociating themselves from the reality they are desperate to escape. Already, we are introduced to the protagonist, and a somewhat bizarre and ditzy girl that is prone to puking (vomit discretion shot below). With this many people in the cast, you know that the numbers are soon going to be whittled down. The question is, will cute weird girl be the Final Girl or the first one killed?

Mayoiga is throwing out a vibe that is somewhere between Another and Shiki, so I'm going to see this one through. After all, Shiki was a slow burn until all hell broke loose, not to mention the horrific special episode.

 

 

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Gavin Wraith, 19th April 2016, 19:37
I did not know that shinto went in for hierodules. One hopes that the bear spirit would have the grace to transform his offspring, should Kuma Miko carry any, into humans, or alternatively Kuma Miko into a bear, before the birth takes place, or else things could get complicated. At least in classical mythology when gods scatter their seed about, the results are usually apotheosized. Or maybe Kuma Miko could take a leaf out of Leda's book, and produce an egg with a furry bear inside. That would solve a host of problems. 
 
We had a lovely book about a bunyip when my children were small. He is lonely and does not know what kind of creature he is. Eventually he meets a girl bunyip and all is well.
Rick, 22nd April 2016, 21:33
A part of me wonders if the girl+animal pairing is nothing to do with Shinto, but an excuse to....you know.... Hentai-Lite or something.

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