Friday, December 30, 2005

Top Ten Movies 2005

I've always wanted to do one of these, but every year when it got to the end I had forgotten most of the movies I saw, even the good ones. But this year I wrote about every movie I saw, so it was easy.
These are not in order of greatness, but the order in which I saw them. Click on the titles if you want to read my original reviews.

1. Sideways - This movie, along with American Splendor, made me jump up and down shouting to the four walls what a GREAT actor is Paul Giamatti. Don't forget to watch Duets, he's in that one too! He also has a small part in Saving Private Ryan, which I only discovered when I watched it again the other day.
2. The Aviator - Martin Scorsese's movie about Howard Hughes. I liked how he locked himself in the room with his piss bottles. I can see myself doing that somewhere in the future, for sure.
3. Ong-Bak - Tony Jaa is insane, man. I was reading some blog recently where somebody was complaining that there has been no martial arts hero since Bruce Lee. Well, please step forward Mr Jaa! Your eyes will pop right out of your head watching this guy and his AWESOME action scenes. A movie like this makes a laughing stock of movies by such *action stars* as Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Segal (not that I've ever managed to watch an entire movie with either of those guys, they are so awful).
4. The Machinist - Christian Bale lost about every last atom of fat for this one. He looks like he just stumbled out of Dachau. The guy is hardcore. This movie was a very grim and grotesque thriller, and so great.
5. Crash - I think I only started blubbing once at the movies this year and it was when Matt Dillon pulled the girl out of the car in this one. But the whole movie was excellent. There is hope for humanity yet!
6. Batman Begins - Christian Bale again, this time playing Batman, and doing an excellent job. The best Batman movie since that first one with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.
7. Grizzly Man - OK, this is not a movie at all, it's a documentary, but I saw it at the cinema, and it's one of the most amazing cinema experiences I've had in my whole life. I couldn't stop thinking about this guy and his beloved bears for weeks afterwards. And I'm still waiting for the DVD to be released!.It's taking a long time!
8. Howl's Moving Castle - Another wonderful animated fantasy from Hayao Miyazaki. This, and his Spirited Away, will delight you, guaranteed.
9. The Magician - Just about every other Australian movie in 2005 had much higher production values, but this was the one that grabbed my attention the most. A *documentary* following a Melbourne hitman and his regular day-to-day life. If your jaw doesn't develop an intimate relationship with the floor throughout this one, I'd be surprised.
10. The 40-Year Old Virgin - Before I saw this one, and if I saw the previews, and if I was Spiderman, I might have said, 'My Spider-sense is tingling! It's telling me that this will be another dumb-as-fuck gross-out movie!' But my Spider-sense would have been wrong because this was really good, and impossible not to like. How could you not like this movie, and these characters? Impossible!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

It's Not The Heat...

Why is it still so hot at this late hour (9:20pm)? That's what I'd like to know. Actually, it is not hot, but humid. You know, it's not the heat that gets you so much as the humidity. Have you heard that one before? I'll bet you have. If you live in a place that has high humidity in summer, you will have heard that line, or a subtle variation of it. Well, I've heard it enough times, man. I know very well it's the goddam humidity and not the heat! Everybody friggin' knows that already! I'll tell you what, man, the next time somebody says that to me, about it not being the heat but the goddam humidity that gets you, I will ask them if that's the best they can come up with.
'Is that the best you got?' I will say. Then I'll start windmilling my arms and shout:
'Everybody knows that already and you're only saying it because you can't think of anything else to say, you goddam robot! Get some new material!'

Of course, I would never really say that. What I would say would be something like this:
'You know what? You're quite right! It IS the humidity and not the heat! Because, if you just have the heat, you can sit in the shade and cool down, but with the humidity, you can't even sit in the shade! It won't work! You will still be sweating like a maniac! It's that humidity, is what it is! You're quite right, I say!'
And I'll have twisted my face up into a grotesque expression of intense admiration.
Then that person will give me a funny look, and walk away.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Codeine Problem

When you buy Nurofen Plus/Panafen Plus (12.8Mg Codeine Phosphate) and you read the back of the packet where it says not to take these things for more than three days in a row, you should pay attention to that. Yet maybe you forget about that and take them for eight weeks straight, every night. Some nights you might go a little cRaZy and take eight, or ten, or twelve even. But that was only once; the next night you're back to eight, or ten. But when you start snapping at everybody, and having anxiety attacks all over the place, and an overwhelming sense of impending doom overtakes you, and you begin to despise yourself, and your writing seems to suck all of a sudden, you decide to quit (the stuff doesn't seem to work like it did at the beginning, anyway), but two days later you feel like your damn joints have frozen up and you have suddenly aged fifty years.
It is at that point you realise you should have paid attention to the back of that packet.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Well, Brother will be here any minute in his automobile and we are zooming off up to Woy Woy to spend Christmas with Ma and Grandma and the Cousins. Merry Christmas to you all!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Morning Fantasy

This morning I woke up before the alarm went off. Half-asleep I wondered, not very optimistically, if it was Saturday. No, it didn't have that Saturday morning feeling, and it didn't feel as though I had served my full weekly term, so I knew it must be Friday. 'Oh well', I thought, 'if it has to be a weekday, Friday is the best one!' I sprang out of bed, lost my balance, and went straight into the wall. With an egg rising fast on my head, I bounced like a pinball into the bathroom.
I showered without incident and made sure the skin was dry before I stepped into my uniform: black shoes, guacamole pants, black t-shirt. Then, standing in the middle of my room looking at the green clock numbers and listening to the man talking about a Muslim Barbie doll, I understood it was time to get going. I pushed my bike out the door, making another big black smear on it with the rear tyre. Sometimes I wonder what people think when they walk past my door. It looks like stormtroopers with sticky rubber boots tried to kick it in. I like it, maybe because it makes me feel like I'm in 1984. Why do I have this obsession with living in a robot world where there is a TV or radio that is constantly on, and there is only one channel or frequency, and you are not allowed to ever turn off, can only turn it down a little? In my fantasy I yank it off the wall and smash it into pieces, but then the robots come after me in force, armoured, with their high-powered weapons and electric stun sticks and they jab them into my ribs and armpits when I say: 'FUCK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME.'
Then I am taken away to an ugly bare room and subjected to torture - psychological and physical.
I don't last long.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Stratu Comic by David Puckeridge

Here's another Stratu comic. Another one? Yes, however this one was not drawn by Simon James, but by my old comics pal David Puckeridge! I got this in the mail today and it really made my week. It's really great.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I left work early this afternoon and went speedily to the movie house in order to catch the 3:45 session of King Kong, but as I was waiting in line to buy a ticket I looked up at the board and it said that session was FULL. Ah! Foiled was I! A decision had to be made: go home or see a different movie? I decided to see a different movie, and that movie was called Domino.
What a stinker! This movie was awful! Boo! Oh wait, I had better write something about what actually happened in the movie...
Domino is apparently BASED on a true story of a woman (Domino) who became a bounty hunter. Domino is played by Keira Knightley. It begins with a big shootout in a little cabin out in the desert then cuts to a scene of Lucy Lui (who plays a detective) interrogating Domino. Domino declares she will spill the beans and tell Lucy all about it. Yay! No need for torture! [There's enough of that just watching the movie.] Now we go back to the TRUE beginning, in England, when Domino was a little girl and her goldfish died. At that very moment she decides never again to invest her love in anything; from now on she will be a real BADASS! Then her mother falls in love with Beverly Hills 90210 and drags Domino to live there. Where? Beverly Hills, of course! But then she goes to college, ends up in a fraternity with a bunch of bimbos and when they start hazing her by calling her boobs "mosquito bites" and asking her how she feels "having the body of a ten-year-old boy" she asks that girl, "Have you had a nosejob?" and when the girl says "Duh! No!" Domino winds up and punches her real hard in the schnozz, busting it up real good. Hurrah!
[Hey, wait a minute! This movie sounds pretty good! What's going on here!]
Anyway, she gets expelled from college and becomes a model. We see her on a catwalk and some other model bumps into her so Domino gets mad and turns around and yanks that girl's hair so she falls down. Woah! She is badass, alright!
Then! Somehow she learns about a seminar on how to become a bounty hunter. She rolls up, pays her $99.00 and listens to a bit of the pitch but then the guy says 'OK break for lunch and see you after.' But it's a scam! The three guys wanna take the money and run but Domino sees one of them going out the bathroom window and gives chase. She confronts them and throws her knife through the windshield of their car and with her badass attitude convinces them to give her a go.
I won't go on with the story because it's too ridiculous and convoluted. Also, soon after that I gave up caring what the hell was going on because it was too stupid. The movie is cut so fast it looks like a really long music video, and every scene is filmed using a heavy yellow or green filter.
The music is awful, I didn't like any of it. One track they have the nerve to play TWICE is some loud obnoxious rap song with a chorus of "MOTHERFUCKER!" The soundtrack seems to be aimed at people who start giggling when they hear a cuss word in a song. Or maybe they use those tracks to reinforce the point that Domino is very ANGRY and BADASS. It could be one, or the other, or both.
Mickey Rourke is in the movie and he plays the main bounty hunter and Domino's mentor. It's a shame to see him in this after his recent AWESOME appearance in Sin City. Oh well, I hope he gets something good next time. Christopher Walken is also in it for a little while but hasn't got much to use. Oh well, he probably got paid a lot of money.
The dialogue is awful too, like in one scene near the end where Domino has just about finished her story, she notices that Lucy Lui has been staring at her goldfish tattoo and tells her so. Lucy Lui knows a lot about goldfish and tells her some facts about them. Then Domino says:
"I'll bet you are in a very unsatisfying marriage and you hate your job."
"Actually, I am not married, and I LOVE my job."
"Well, tonight I'll bet you will go home and fantasise about my pussy."
There's also many, many scenes where Domino is screaming at people, but she only sounds like a teenage girl jumping up and down on her bed throwing a fit at her mother for telling her to turn her Spice Girls record down a little.
People who hated (or even loved) Beverly Hills 90210 might want to see the movie because Ian Zeiring and Brian Austin Green are here playing themselves as washed-up actors, and Domino even punches Green in the face (breaking his nose) for suggesting that she's pretending to be badass when she's really only an angry daddy's girl.
Jerry Springer fans may also want to check it out because there's a big Jerry Springer Show scene where a black woman comes on ("America's Youngest Grandmother!") and shows a chart naming new racial varieties, like 'blacktino', and this of course starts an audience riot.
You know what? It suddenly occurs to me that this movie may actually end up with a cult following. Good grief, yes, it could happen! It certainly has many of those 'hey-what-about-the-scene-where...!' moments.
Yikes! Could I be wrong and this awful movie is, in fact, an accidental work of genius?! Please God don't let it be so! Or forgive me and only give me one more chance to watch it again and realise its great worth!
*falls to the floor, groaning in the Spirit*
[Dear readers, you are invited to comment on the movie if you have seen it. I'll welcome your opinion!]

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Last Day Of Recreation Leave

It's the last day of my Recreation Leave so I go back to work tomorrow. It won't be so bad because Boss has the week off. Although I must admit she hasn't thrown any big fits for a while. She's really not a bad egg when she is not thowing fits. Anyway, as strange as it may sound, I don't even mind going back to work, in fact I am even looking forward to it, in a way. You see, when I don't have to go to work, I don't go out unless it's absolutely necessary. I'll happily spend weeks on end shut up in my small room, (like Ren) going about my intellectual pursuits. That's why it's good that I have a job, because it forces me into contact with other biological units; and as you may know, that can be a fine and healthy thing. It is also good for coming up with stories to write. If one is shut up in a room for days on end reading books and playing videogames and eating chilli sauce on toast, it can get tricky coming up with a story to write (unless, like Terry Goodkind, you have *The Magic*. I don't have *The Magic*, so it's tricky). That's why I don't mind going back to work. I will also get to ride the bus again every day and perhaps my obsession with those reading women will return, or something else equally wonderful. Also, I am looking forward to being reunited with the morning mailbag. If you believe Boss, it is a shameful thing to enjoy sorting the mail, but I don't care! I LOVE sorting the mail! What's wrong with that? Nothing, that's what! Let me sort the mail unmolested, Boss, and you go play with your chihuahuas!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Another World

For long time I wondered what that great wonderful Gackt song Another World lyrics were, such a perfect song to throw self around one's small room to, but every time I hear the Japanese words I don't understand. Yet that song can be enjoyed without being understood, very much, don't worry! But right now just then I discovered the lyrics! I must share them with you immediately!
*falls to floor delirious with joy*

A ripped and trashed magazine A taintless soul
A one scene out of a movie You are safe

Don't look away... The two of us together
will say good-bye to this world
and go as far as we can

Farther than anyone, If it's a dream don't wake up
Across the sky You can see the another world

The cityscape is moss green A battered soul
Crumbling taxi You are beautiful

Exchanging words Don't cry darling...
Softly embraced by dearly pain
We'll go as far as we can

Looking kindly Please don't cry
Show me your smile You don't need another words

No matter how much pain I feel, because you were always there

Farther than anyone, If it's a dream don't wake up
Across the sky Hold me tight...

Looking kindly Please don't cry
Don't say Good-bye You don't need another words
You can see the another world

Friday, December 16, 2005

Nothing, Nothing!

Brain is frozen. Once again I have nothing. This is a familiar tune, and I know you've heard it before. Could it be the pressure to come up with something? Yes, it could be that, alright. Maybe I have been reading my book for too long today. Intimidated by a man whose book is now a Penguin Classic. Could that be it? But why am I still sitting here sweating at 10:42pm (it's 29 degrees Celsius! or 84 degrees Fahrenheit!) trying to come up with something? I have been sitting here since 9:50, I'll admit it. Well, somehow I turned into a zombie. The only difference I don't feel like eating brains. But at least if I went out eating brains I could come back and have something to write about. ... If you are still reading, it must be because you are an optimist and are expecting something to happen. I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. I still have nothing, and there is nothing on the horizon. Wait! No, its only vultures lazily circling.
10:54pm and the only idea I had was to walk five paces to the fridge to get another beer.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sydney Riot City

Mr. Blowhard asked me what's up with the race riots here in Sydney. Here it is as I understand it:
Two surf lifesavers on Cronulla Beach (a south Sydney suburb) were bashed by some Lebanese dudes which started a riot where hundreds of proud white Aryans ran through the streets searching for anybody who looked even remotely Middle Eastern to bash the fuck out of. No doubt the whole War on Terror thing and those bad egg Muslims didn't help the situation.
But of course there's more to it than that.
On Friday and Saturday nights we'd get carloads of these Lebanese dudes (are they ALL Lebanese? apparently...) coming into the city from the western suburbs and driving through, out to Bondi Beach. I had my own encounter with one of these carloads of obnoxious tracksuits since where I live is just off Oxford Sreet, which is the street you take to get out to Bondi Beach. I was going up to get more beer from the pub on the other side of Oxford Street. I was waiting for the lights to change and so were the cars. The car right in front of me was full of these young Leb dudes and they were all staring at me. Some awful modern R'n'B was booming out of the car and they were all wearing tracksuits. Oh well, so they have appalling taste. That's their problem. But as soon as the light turned green the guy in the front passenger side spat in my direction, shouted 'FUCKING FAGGOT!' and the car sped off. What the fuck? ... Ah! You see, the area where I live is a gay-friendly zone. That was it: they thought I was a homo. It was funny though, in a way, because they probably all sit around watching porn looking at each other as they crank their Lebanese sausages.
Anyway, I also had another recent experience with these dudes. A couple of months ago when Anders and I went to Bondi Junction to work at one of Brother's club nights, it was shut down by the cops before it even started, so we headed back to my place. But as we were walking to the bus stop, there were some young raver girls on the corner, sitting on the ground giggling at one another, and naturally they were dressed for a rave party. Short skirts, hot pants, boob tubes, that kind of gear. But this car bursting at the seams with macho Leb honchos cruised past. The girls were pelted with a half-full McDonald's thickshake cup and loudly called 'SLUTS!' As my friend Anders said, these guys are very protective of their own *slutty* sisters, but when they see other girls who look like that, it's a potential fucking rape zone.
Anyway, so these Leb dudes would go out to Bondi Beach. God knows what they did out there, probably drive their cars up and down Campbell Parade looking for hot chicks to shout at and call sluts. But it seems they wore out their welcome at Bondi and were somehow persuaded to stay the hell away, so they just moved down to the southern beaches, like Cronulla and Maroubra. Apparently they have been raising hell there for the last few years and people have been getting pretty damn sick of it, but beating up those two surf lifesavers was the last straw. Surf lifesavers are an Aussie icon, you know!
One of the problems seems to be the way these dudes are brought up in regards to the womenfolk. Their women are kept locked up in closets and have tents draped over them when they go out, so if they see a woman in hot pants with boobs almost popping out, it's a big blazing neon sign invitation for rape. The bitch deserves it anyway for sure, right? Pull your big stupid car up with the dumb sleazy R'n'B music pumping out at a million decibels, jump out with your retarded as fuck tracksuit-wearing mates and jump on the bitch, rip her barely-even-there-anyway clothes off and pump her full of Lebanese sausage and creamy garlic sauce. The louder she screams, the more she likes it, the fuckin' white trash bitch. Ugh. Ugh! UGH!
Well, there you have it. It's an ugly business, no doubt about it. But are all Lebs like this? They couldn't be! But no doubt there is enough of them making arseholes of themselves to piss people off in a big we're-not-gonna-take-it-anymore kind of way. Riots? We don't have riots here. We watch riots on TV. The Aussie philosophy is 'she'll be right, mate' and 'no fuckin' worries'. We don't go crazy like that for no reason. And forget anything you have heard about it being a white supremacist action. Sure we have those groups here, but they are pissing in the toddler's pool, as it were; nobody is listening.
Look, really I am just as amazed and confused by this riot action as anybody else, and especially as it's going on here. It's crazy, man. But what the fuck am I doing writing topical shit for anyway? I don't do topical shit!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Girl In A Cafe

I got out of bed at 10:00 (which is pretty early for me when I don't have to get up at 7:30 to go to work) and went up to Kinko's to get those comics pages scanned. I found out it's not called Kinko's any more, it's called Fed-Ex Kinko's. Thanks a lot Fed-Ex, you fucked up a perfectly good copy shop name. Oh well, people will probably still call it Kinko's. Who the hell is gonna say, 'Hey! I gotta go to Fed-Ex Kinko's and make some more copies of my awesome zine or comic book!'? Nobody, that's who.
Anyway, when I walked in there and explained that I wanted some pages scanned, the guy went over to a machine and fiddled with it but came back a minute later and said he had to wait for his supervisor to get back from somewhere because something was wrong with the machine. I went and sat down at a table and pretended to get things out of my bag to look at, or sort through, or do something important with. But there was nothing else in my bag since I handed the pages over, so I pulled out of my pocket the folded up piece of paper that I use to make notes, but on this one there were only dumb shopping lists. Happily, the supervisor arrived on the scene at that moment and she got the scanning business underway. Then I had to go and sit down at the table again. I had nothing to read, and it was pretty boring in Kinko's, there were no women reading books, so I looked out the window. Across the road was a cafe. In the window I saw a girl sitting up on a stool at a table. She must have been talking to someone because she was waving her arms about, gesturing fervently with her hands, and moving her head up and down and from side to side. I quickly became entranced by these movements. She was very expressive! What in the world was she talking about that could animate her so? It was mesmerising. Then I noticed her face and hair. She looked just like Nadia. Not how Nadia would look today, because I don't know what she looks like today, but how she looked when we were together. How she looked ten years ago. And this observation had the effect of amplifying my already fascinated gaze by magnitudes. God, how much it looked like her! Then again, so what? A girl in a cafe who looks like Nadia did ten years ago. Big deal! Yet didn't it take years to get over her? It seemed to take years. I looked at the girl in the cafe again... But did I really get over her?
'There is no end to it,' I said to myself, as if spellbound, as if doomed.
I was snapped out of this strange grim reverie by the Kinko's supervisor calling me over to collect my comics pages and computer disc. I took them back to the table and checked the pages to make sure they were all there. The first page was missing. I went back to the counter and said, 'Hey, I think there's still a page stuck in your machine.' The supervisor looked in my direction but seemed to look through me. Was I really still there? Maybe that really was Nadia and it really was still ten years ago, and I wasn't in Kinko's after all, because Kinko's wasn't even there ten years ago...
But then the first guy I spoke to came over. I asked him to check the machine for my missing page. He went over and came back with the page and handed it to me. I walked outside.
I looked across the road at the cafe. The girl wasn't there anymore.

[Postscript: The Kinko's robots scanned the comics pages in some retarded format which I couldn't even use so I took photos of them. Which I should have done in the first place. Why didn't I do that? Why did I not think to do that? Am I an idiot? Yes, that could be it, for sure.]

Professional Glo-Stix Salesmen Comics Preview

page 1

page 4

page 6

Art: Simon James
Story: Stratu

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Stratu Comics Update

Like I mentioned last night, when I checked my mailbox yesterday there was a package from Simon James, my Tasmanian comics friend. A couple of months ago he wrote that he liked my blog stories and wanted to make comics out of them. It's impossible to describe how totally buzzed I was by this news, so I'll only say that it made me so happy I did a lot of jumping up and down, along with some big air guitar moves.
Anyway, in this package I got yesterday there were nine pages of the comics version of the Professional Glo-stix Salesmen story I wrote back on 6 February. I'll try to get a page or two scanned this week so I can put it up here. It's pretty cool (to understate it somewhat). But this is still an early stage because, get this, Mr James believes that this project will blow out to around 200 pages. In short, graphic novel length.
Along with the glo-stix story, Simon is also planning to make the following stories/fragments/bloggy bits into comics: Mercy Hug; I Saw Her Again Today; 500,000 Kilograms; In The Office, In The Woods; Silver Cars; Dirty Look; Night Walk; Are You Having Fun; Night Piss; Army Barracks; A Song; Riding The Bus; Bloodshot; Operation; Women Reading On The Bus; Bus Trip With Giant Woman; and Woman Reading At Bus Stop.
This covers the Feb-April 2005 period. It is provisionally titled 'Women Reading On The Bus' and will be an A6-size (14.5 x 10.5 cm = 7.5 x 5 inches) clothbound book and will be finished around February 2006.
Is this all really going to happen? I dare not believe it! But who knows what could happen? Why could it not happen? Why not something so cool happen to me?
God Bless you, Simon James, and please don't let this be only a dream.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I'm Back

Here I am, back from my holiday. Actually, I am still on holiday because I don't go back to work until Monday 19 December, and then Boss is on holiday for that week so really it's like I got three weeks holiday. Pretty cool, man.
So where was I all week? I was on the Gold Coast, up in Queensland. Brother and I went to the Gold Coast. Why do we go to the Gold Coast for a holiday? It is very hot up there and that's the place to go if you want to run around outside in the sun, and splash around in the sea, under the sun. We don't like to run around in the sun because our thermostats are busted or something. It's genetic. It comes from our mother. When it's hot I start sweating like a maniac. I'll look around and nobody else is sweating, so why the hell am I sweating? Am I guilty? Have I got something to hide? Well, everybody has got something to hide, it just looks more obvious with me because I sweat like a bastard. It's not very nice, is it? You see somebody next to you sweating like a bastard and you go 'Ugh. That bastard is sweating like a total maniac bastard!'
But why do we go there then? Well, I can't speak for Brother, but as for myself, I can't afford to go to Norway.
What was good about my holiday: Sleeping in; eating Big Chief Burgers; reading videogame magazines; playing Half-Life 2; hitting the beers, bourbon and vodka; sitting on the balcony smoking cigarettes; the big late-afternoon thunderstorm that turned the sky Apocalyptic; the other thunderstorm way out at sea so you couldn't hear it, only see the orange lightning flashes; also, when I was walking out of Oasis (the local mall) a guy dressed all in black with long hair called out to me and ran up. He said, 'You gotta come and see us in Brisbane on the 23rd!' For a while I couldn't figure out what it was all about, but then it clicked. He was a metal dude and had spotted my Nile t-shirt. I asked him what his band was called and he said Invocation. I told him I would be back in Sydney by the 23rd but if his band came down to Sydney I would go along for sure. He said 'Oh yeah, we'll probably go there next year', so that was pretty cool, it was big smiles all around.
What was not so good about my holiday: All the damn anxiety attacks I had. Being out in public really sucks sometimes, and it sucked a lot the past week. Feeling like everybody is examining you like a bug is not very fun. And it doesn't help when you are sweating like a maniac.
Anyway, it was a pretty cool holiday, and like I said I've still got another week off. Plus! When I checked my post office box this afternoon there was a package from Simon James, my Tasmanian comics friend and the very talented young man who is making comics out of my stories. A good mail day indeed! But I'll write about that tomorrow night.
And how wonderful it is to be back in my small dark room writing in my bloggy! *Blub!*

Friday, December 02, 2005


I am going away for a week tomorrow so I probably won't be able to write anything here. I know you will cope somehow. Somehow! But will you miss me? In my fantasy you will miss me terribly! In my fantasy!
*falls off chair in rapturous fit of sadness and joy*

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Survey of Some Recent Blogs X

I wanted to do this last night when it was still November but Anders came over and we drank beer and listened to music and I played some Onimusha 3: Demon Siege and Anders looked up sodium on the internet because I thought these little cans of tuna I have been eating were healthy but he noted the sodium content and found out that one of them, the Cajun Spices one, had as much salt in it as a packet of salt and vinegar chips. That was very depressing news and, in short, it shattered my illusions.
Anyway, let's take a peep at some recent blogs, what do you say?

1. Zeeny's Playground - a blog by a Romanian girl. Hm. Not bad, pretty good, not bad. Some nice photos; yes, it does appear that Zeeny likes taking photos, and she takes some very nice ones. What's more, she can put words together in an appealing way. Look here! I can't think of a single smart-arse thing to write about Zeeny's blog! Indeed, this is what this bloggy business is all about. Hurrah! for the Romanians!
2. Neo Tokyo Times - This is actually a blog by an NYU law student, so why is it called Neo Tokyo Times? I don't know, maybe he or she is an Akira fan. Is this person a boy or a girl? My guess is a girl because she uses the word *froofy*. Ugh. Well, but this blog is not easy to make fun of. What's going on here? The blog is not great, but it's not terrible. It's not awful, but neither does it make you jump up and shout goddam I must bookmark this thing immediately! Yet, the more I read it, the more annoying it gets! Why is that! Did you have the same experience? Is it only me?
3. Overseas- England - A teacher talks about decorating a Christmas tree and says 'goodness!' or 'my goodness!' all the time. I must be brutally honest and admit that this one seems like it was written by a robot. It is deadly dull. Ugh. Reading it makes me want to jab pins in my arm. And what the hell is going on with the stupid title anyway?
4. The Busybody - Holy Christ, some truly hardcore theology right here. You want some? I don't. I'll admit this makes my head hurt. I want no part of it. Theology robots!
5. Archtomato - Wow. How about this one. Archtomato gets the award for Most Unlikeable Blogger I've ever come across. Not only did he write a thoroughly mean-spirited anti-smoking top ten, but he also gloats about Nguyen Tuong Van, the Vietnamese Australian, going to the hangman tomorrow morning. Arsehole Blogger of the Year! For shame.
6. Jean Smith Paintings - Hey! Here's some paintings you can buy! I like the one with the cowboy saying: 'We're here now. Everything is ours. Too bad for you.' There's also a photograph of the artist, Jean Smith herself. Her facial expression seems to say, 'Will somebody buy one of my goddam paintings, already!'
7. S2 Naty S2 - Only one post and I can't even read it. Looks like Spanish. Or Portuguese. Stupid title, too. Off to an appallingly bad start!
8. Gatas do Flickr - Hey, look here. It's a sort of porno blog, but not hardcore, softcore. Actually, it's got some fetish elements too: women lying on motorcycles, showing their toes, flipping the bird, wrapped in plastic; some very nice photographs. Yes, sir, I do like this one!
9. Ozarkrain - This here is a blog written by a woman who has young kids and she's trying to grow them up in the Christian way. Yes, it's a Christian blog mostly featuring quotes taken from various Christian-themed books, along with the Bible. I have no smart-arse comments to make on this one. I had my own time trying to write about this stuff, and it's not easy!
10. NYC Taxi Shots 4 - This one is pretty interesting, and another example of what blogs are really all about. A taxi driver takes photos of people and things as he drives around the city. Pretty cool.

That's it. The end! Hard to believe there was not even one rotten adblog in this Survey. Maybe my campaign has been successful and those evil robots have realised that their brand of foul pollution is (to understate it) unwelcome. Ha! That will be the day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Are You In Love?

I tried to write a story about something that happened at work today but when I read it afterwards, it was terrible. OK, look, all that happened was that I rode the elevator with a woman who admitted that she never had a hairdryer, and she never wore makeup. I loaned her my phone that for some reason has a mirror on it, and she looked at herself in the mirror as she rearranged her hair and examined her makeup-free face, and said something about a boyfriend she had who was twenty years younger than her. I don't know why she told me all that. I couldn't think of anything to say, so maybe she just kept going.
What I should have tried to write about was when I delivered the mail to the HR department and there was the Filipino woman I like to talk to, and she overheard me singing some song I made up, and she came over and said what was that song? Where do you get those songs? I told her they come from another planet and the only way to stop them is to wear a helmet made from aluminium foil. She started laughing. Maybe that's why I like her - she laughs at things I say.
Later I found out I had left some other department's mail in the HR department - the Polish woman I'm CRAZY about told me that on the phone.
'You left it here,' she said. 'Are you in love?'
Why did my heart leap in my chest when she said that?
Are you in love?

Monday, November 28, 2005


Friday night Anders and I went to the Gaelic Club in Surry Hills to see Nile. Have you heard of them? Yes? No? Well, Nile are a US death metal band obsessed with Ancient Egypt. They write songs about all the different ways that people were killed by Egyptian gods and demons in the Ancient Egyptian world. As with all the best death metal, you can't understand any of the lyrics so you need to consult the booklet in the CD. You can't understand the lyrics because the singer growls, or rumbles; sometimes it sounds like he is vomiting, or he is trying to clear a blockage in his throat. It's a very guttural kind of sound, like you would imagine a zombie might make. It's really great and fits the music perfectly. The music is fast and violent and sounds like you are under attack, but in a good way.
Anyhow, we got there early so we saw the two support bands. The first band I can't remember what their name was, but they were pretty good. Then the second band came on and they were called Furor and they were pretty good too. But wait a minute, I thought, these bands sound like black metal bands! See, black metal has keyboards - there is more of a symphonic element. But I like black metal too, so it was all good, as the saying goes. But with this band Furor, I became sort of obsessed with the guitarist. What I mean is, for their entire performance I was trying to figure out what was going on with him or her. From what I could tell, this guitarist had long beaded hair with glowing lights in it, and goat horns on top. Sometimes he or she reminded me of the Predator in the Schwarzenegger movie, the way it moved. To get closer to the point, this guitarist didn't seem completely human! It was a hypnotic performance, whatever the case.
Then Nile came out and to the dismay of everybody there, took a while to get started. The audience chanted NY-AL! NY-AL! NY-AL! The air was buzzing with suspense! At last they began. They played some songs from their new album Annihilation of the Wicked (which I've got), and from their last album, I forget the title. Yes, I am a total Nile noob, ha ha! I only discovered them fairly recently, actually. But for years I have hardly gone out so you must understand, it was a big deal for me, and for Anders, for that matter. But Nile were great, and the sound quality was magnificent; loud and clear and brutal beyond words. The audience were as interesting as the bands too. Some of them looked like vikings, as though they might swing an axe any minute and send someone's head flying, spurting great jets of hot blood. Yet, consistent with my limited experience of death metal shows, the audience were perfectly well mannered and polite. Excuse me, excuse me, yes yes, of course, no, after you, by all means! etc. But having said that, what do you know happened after the concert! Anders and I walked across the road to sit down for a minute so I could have a cigarette, the cops showed up and started shoving their weight around. They were not dressed like regular cops but like some special division, the same that I have been seeing on street corners around the city lately. Anyway, three of them came over to me and Anders and said OK time to go, time to go. Move it. I said what, I'm just gonna finish my cigarette, but the cop said no you're not, you're going. Now! What the fuck? Well, we didn't feel like giving any shit to these bullies - it would probably not be a very good idea, so we got up and headed off, but the cop said not that way, that way!, pointing back towards Central Station. I said no, we're going THIS way, pointing in the opposite direction. The cop said oh is that where you live? I said yes, we live that way, we have to go that way. I thought it was strange, but soon figured that maybe it was because he thought that it was only Westies who liked death metal, so we would have to go back to Central Station to go home, back out to the Wild Wild West.
Anyway, it was a sour note to end the night on. But at least before those cops rudely forced us to move on, some dude handed us a flyer for another death metal show coming up in January: Behemoth! Hurrah! We'll be there!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Rabbit King

Earlier this year I read a news report about a man who had been arrested after allegedly having sex with and mutilating a large number of rabbits in an empty building across from the [Sydney CBD] office where he worked.
There is an update on this story here:

Rabbits case gets stranger still

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Market City Beautician

Every day I go to Market City to have lunch. Every day I walk past this beautician joint. Every time I walk past it, my eye is drawn to a particular detail. I can't help it, it just happens. You can see for yourself. Would you not notice it? Of course you could not fail to notice it. But God! Is it strange to notice that? Is it perverse? Did only I notice that? Is it strange? Only normal?
*falls into a tunnel of madness*

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Office Nipples

Pray tell, dear readers, what do you make of the following scenario?

A man is going about his morning routine of delivering and collecting mail around the many offices of the large organisation in which he is employed.
In one of those offices he begins a conversation with a woman he enjoys talking to and who, by all indications, enjoys talking to him. They are standing next to a large office machine being operated by another woman. In the middle of this conversation, the woman who a second ago was operating the machine approaches the man and woman and, with a big smile, leaning forward slightly and standing directly to the side of the woman, appears to examine that woman's breasts from her side-on perspective.
The man and woman are confused and maybe even a little embarassed by this odd behaviour, and even though the conversation is halted momentarily, they do not betray any signs of alarm or indignation. In fact, the man finds it rather amusing. And not only does the man find it amusing, but when he looks from the first woman's breasts (which, naturally, he could not help - there may very well have been something interesting to see there) to the second woman's breasts, he notices that her nipples are clearly erect beneath the red fabric of her sweater, or t-shirt, or whatever it was.
The only conclusion the man can reach is that, since he well knows that many women complain of the low temperature in these offices, it must be that she wants to find out if the other woman is *feeling it* to her own degree.
But that would raise the further question: Is this appropriate office behaviour?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Five Seconds

I was joking with somebody saying I would get in a taxi and see how far one cent would get me when all hell broke loose. Men started shouting, 'IN FIVE SECONDS WE ARE GONNA START SHOOTING, SO YOU BETTER START RUNNING!' They had set themselves up in the middle of intersections over a grid three blocks by three blocks. They wore blue denim and red bandanas. I started running. One of the men saw me and fired. I felt a bullet zing past my right shoulder. People were screaming everywhere. I felt sick with fear. At that moment, I remember thinking, 'You know, those super sadistic horror movies don't seem so funny all of a sudden.'

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Devil May Cry II

I spent most of the afternoon reading my new book (The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov - the Devil appears on Earth and torments Moscow's literary and theatrical community) but tonight I have been playing Devil May Cry. (Devils and demons everywhere! No wonder I've been dreaming about them.)
I'm at around the halfway point and now can do some pretty spectacular moves. My favourite one right now is double-jumping against a wall for height, blasting the hellfiends with Dante's twin handguns which also makes him hover in the air for a while, then on the descent come screaming down with a devastating meteor blast. The way the automatic camera spins around to get the action, sometimes you will have Dante in the air letting rip with his guns (he calls them Ebony & Ivory) and the camera is behind the enemy, so you see Dante high in the air in the distance, so when you do the meteor charge, he comes blasting in toward you, that is, the camera. It is impossible to convey just how awesome stunning amazing breathtaking and cool this looks. Not only that, but there is one breed of fiend called Sin Scissors - insane cackling witches with big scissors - and they fly around so you can land on them with your meteor strike move, jump higher when they block it, open up with the handguns, the witches will slash at you with their big scissors but if you jump at the right moment you bounce off the scissors and fly up even higher, so these battles can take place fifty metres in the air. This game is so pumped full of style it's ridiculous.
The game never gets boring. The missions are never too long. It's never too hard. OK, well I am actually playing on Easy mode (yes, by all means feel free to have a big laugh at Stratu who is not a hardcore gamer at all, ha ha!)
Anyway, even though I'm only halfway through, it's already become one of my favourite videogames. What are those games, you say? I'm glad you asked! ... The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, LoZ: The Wind Waker, Ico, Final Fantasy X, Resident Evil 4, Beyond Good and Evil, Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time and Animal Crossing.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Don Quixote

I've read some more books lately. None of them were space operas.
One book I read was Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I'd heard the saying 'tilting at windmills' but didn't know what it meant. Why didn't I try to find out what it meant all those times I heard it? I don't know, but I heard it again recently and found out that it was from Don Quixote. Don Quixote was the one who tilted at windmills. I was a step closer, yes, but still didn't know what it meant. But a couple of weeks ago I saw the book in the library. The answer to this windmill question was there! There the answer was, and so close! Dare I ignore this sign? And of course it was A SIGN. I dare not!
Don Quixote lives in a small town in Spain and spends all his free time reading books on chivalry and knights errant. He becomes so obsessed with it all and wrings his hands despairing that chivalry and knight errantry has disappeared from the world that he decides to bring it back by becoming a knight errant himself.
He rides off on his flea-bitten horse, wearing some pots and pans beaten into the shape of armour, recruits a local goat herder called Sancho Panza to be his squire, and heads off for adventures.
He has created such a fantasy world for himself in his mad brain that innocent people he meets on the high road he believes to be black knights and bounders, scoundrels. He stands in the middle of the road and demands they acknowledge his Dulcinia as the greatest beauty in the world. In reality he has only seen that woman from a distance, never spoken to her, she is probably not even aware of his existence.
His squire Sancho Panza soon realises that his master is raving mad, but still goes along with him, and in fact seems swept up in Don Quixote's extravagant fantasy.
They meet a barber on the road and Don Quixote charges at him with his lance and the barber runs away, dropping his metal bowl, which is only a bowl used to put water in when he shaves somebody, but Don Quixote seizes it and believes it to be a helmet of legend and triumphantly puts it on his head.
To most people who encounter him, Don Quixote is clearly mad and delusional - he transforms reality into something that fits everything he has read in these chivalric books - yet he is so eloquent and passionate that people get swept along with it.
What a great book! I'll read this one again for sure.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Three Dreams

Yes, it's true that talking or writing about your dreams can be a terrible bore to other people. Why should mine be any different? I wouldn't dare say they are, but I had these three in the last seven days, and the third one was this morning and it really freaked me out. I woke up in terror! And these are very short anyway. Are you excited? Prepared to be bored? You don't have to read on anyway, after all. Exercise your free will!

1. I made a comic and read it to some people, but after a little while they walked away. But when I looked at it again, wondering why the hell they walked away, I was convinced it was a masterpiece.

2. 'When TVs first appeared, it was not uncommon for people to sit right next to them all day to make sure they, the TV people, did not disappear.' - from a book in my dream. [I never remember stuff I read in a dream. But I managed to hold onto this line! Can you imagine how triumphant I felt, even with this one ridiculous line?]

3. Gosia showed me a short footage of a demon. The man sitting next to it moved so the face could be seen, with an intense expression, gnashing his teeth, blue face, very frightening. A real demon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Bunster Gorbin

Hey, do you remember Bunster Gorbin? He wrote some funny music reviews on Amazon and I wrote about it here. Anyway, he found out about it and left a message:

Hey this is Bunster Gorbin. took off most of my reviews because they thought my reviews were tasteless. I did a google search for my name and found your website. Luckily I backed up all my reviews including the Kansas, Styx and everything I reviewed, so they will be appearing again. If they are not under the Buster Gorbin name they will appear under the name Munster Borgin, because Amazon has me blackballed for right now. Thank You, Bunster Gorbin

Good to hear from you, Bunster, and that was unsporting of Amazon to remove your reviews. Maybe you should start a blog. Your writing is amusing. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Devil May Cry

I started playing another videogame today. This one is called Devil May Cry.
This game is AWESOME. (Did I put that in caps? Yes. Good.) And not only is it totally awesome but it is so goddam INTENSE that while playing it I think I am going to have a heart attack any minute. I can only play a mission or two then I have to lie down.
In the game you play as Dante, a guy who is half demon and half human. His father (Sparda) was a demon-knight and 2000 years ago a supreme evil dude (the Devil Emperor) appeared and wanted to enslave humanity, but Sparda liked the humans so he and his pals went up against the Devil Emperor and his foul hordes and kicked their asses, destroying his army and imprisoning the Devil Emperor in a sealed vault. So peace was restored and Sparda settled down with a human woman and they had a kid, Dante.
Now, somehow, the Devil Emperor has broken out of his sealed vault and Dante is the only one who can stop him and his demonic army. Why the Devil Emperor didn't decide to start with Sydney or New York City or London or Paris or any other big city where he would have a chance to really make his mark is a mystery. Instead he chose to start with an old Gothic castle on some remote island. But who cares? I don't. The main thing is the castle looks great. No! The main thing is how amazing the ACTION is!
See, Dante goes up against all these demons armed with a big sword AND guns so what he can do is whack a demon up into the air with his sword, then whip out the twin handguns and blast away at the demon, in effect juggling the infernal creation, and then let it fall just enough to switch back to his sword and finish it off with a great killing slash of his sword. These combos look AMAZING and are only limited by your imagination.
I'm probably not even a quarter of the way into this game but everything so far has left me in awe. In AWE, I say!

Post Office Confusion

I didn't go and see a movie today even though it is Budget Tuesday and even though I had a half day. What the hell is going on here? It's highly unorthodox, I'll agree. But what happened was that I looked at the movie listings and there was nothing I wanted to see.
So instead I took a bus and went straight to the post office because I had one of those red and white cards (PIAC - Postal Item Awaiting Collection! for any mailspotters out there) that say I have to pick up a parcel or something because it won't fit in the little mailbox. Inside the post office the lady asked me if I had ID. That was strange because I never get asked for ID. But I showed my ID (the one where my face mysteriously looks like that of a frog) and signed for the thing and when she gave it to me I thought hey look! here is another odd thing! This looks like a record, being as it is, square and flat and not small and rectangular and a bit thicker, like a DVD, which I was expecting and thought it must be. Then I looked at the name and it said Owen Wigov. I didn't know who Owen Wigov was but it wasn't me so I pointed that out. She said oh that's why I asked you for your ID. I said hey that's cool and she said OK no worries I'll sort it out, and it wasn't until I got outside that I wondered why she didn't say something when she saw that the name on my ID was different to the one on the thing I signed for. She could have said: Are you Owen Wigov? I only ask because the name on your ID says Stratu Perfect Leader. Is Owen Wigov an alias? Is he your brother? A brother who changed his name? Is he a friend? If he is, you can't sign for it, he has to come in and sign for it.
You see, it should have gone on like that.
Oh well. Everybody makes mistakes, to use an exhausted old saying, but I hope they are more on-the-ball with the exploding felafels.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Who Killed Bambi?

I just finished watching a movie on SBS. It was a French movie called Who Killed Bambi? or, more accurately, since it is a French movie, Qui a tué Bambi?
Isabelle is a young nursing student, an intern at a hospital. As she is going about her hospital life - trying to get enough sleep between juggling nursing studies and her boyfriend (who is an orderly at that hospital) - she comes into contact with a young brain surgeon, Dr Philipp, a handsome devil and quite charming when he wants to be.
Isabelle has recently begun having dizzy spells. What happens is, she hears a buzzing sound then falls over. While sharing an elevator with Dr Philipp she has one of these spells and slumps down into the corner of the elevator. Dr Phillip looks down at her like what the hell are you doing down there? She says oh it's cool, I'm OK, really, and gets up. He says you better get that checked out. It could be an inner ear problem because that affects balance you know and you lost your balance just then and slumped down into the corner like that, so maybe that's the problem.
Meanwhile we see Dr Philipp on his rounds and discover that while he may indeed be a handsome devil and quite charming, he is also a fiend because he likes to visit the female patients who have come out of surgery. He visits them late at night and even though we see nothing with the first two, we know he's up to dastardly deeds. To put it another way, he is not simply going into their room late at night to examine their charts.
The third patient he visits on one of his nocturnal missions is an Asian girl, and this time we explicitly witness his fiendishness. What's more, while he is running his hands all over this unconscious girl's body, he is whispering wacky stuff like I'm your baby and you're my mummy. The guy is clearly abusing the Hippocratic oath.
Gradually, Isabelle realises that there is something sinister about Dr Philipp but when she mentions to senior nurses that he is probably a fiend, they laugh and say well that cannot be, after all he is a genius surgeon while you are only a dumb student nurse. Banish the thought, and all that jazz.
Dr Philipp finds out that Isabelle is onto him and his sick hobby. Isabelle gets really freaked out when she has to have an operation on her ear, knowing for sure that he will come and visit her post-op and have some fun with her hot nubile defenceless body.
The movie looked great and the hospital was successfully transformed into a terrifying place, made more terrifying because this is a hospital and supposed to be a place of safety and not a place where you get porked by a sick deviant surgeon. That sort of stuff is only supposed to happen in funeral parlours and morgues.
The soundtrack was very good too, and the end credits theme song reminded me of Julee Cruise and her songs for Twin Peaks.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Walk to Work

This morning I got out of bed feeling groggy. Unsteady on feet moving in not one direction but multiple directions toward bathroom.
Wait. I've already done this one, haven't I? Or one like it. Oh well, who cares.
Anyway, I got up wobbly and stood swaying under water. Didn't ride bike to work because bike was already at work. So yes I walked to work and again there was no sign of my reading walking woman. Where is she? Maybe she only works one day every six months. It seems that way. That's how often I see her. She's like an eclipse.
There was nobody else notable on this walk to work. Was there really not? Well, there was the Asian guy who had a t-shirt with a big dragon illustration and it said 'Sinful Dragon'. What is that? I wrote it down and still haven't found out what it means.
There are metal cages along Oxford Street where they are widening the footpath or the street or something. This has happened before but on George Street and I still wonder how they can widen the footpath AND the street while the space between the opposite buildings remains the same size. How do they do that? Yet another mystery!
Walking along I realised how hot it was already. It was only just after 8:00 and already 27 degrees (that's 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you know). Already it was time to start sweating like a maniac. If it's not enough that other people have white eyeballs, everybody else seems to handle the heat like it's nothing. The rare times I see another poor bastard sweating like a madman I feel like cheering.
And I see other men wearing proper shirts. I can't do that. It's not only because of the heat. I have to wear t-shirts because my skin is itchy. I've always had itchy skin. When I was a kid I looked like a leopard. I used to curse my mother's choice of white bedsheets because they showed the bloodspots so clearly. Every morning it looked like a bedful of baby mice had been slaughtered. When you are a kid these kind of afflictions are a horror, not because you are horrified by them, but because of the horror you feel that you know they will be discovered.
Anyway, that's why it's t-shirts for me. I twitch and itch enough without having to do battle with a goddam collared shirt.


I raise my glass to you, dear readers!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dancing Men

Walking to work this morning I saw a sign saying DANGER MEN WORKING OVERHEAD. I thought, Could that sign really say DANCING MEN WORKING OVERHEAD, but I read it wrong? In that part of town it would not be surprising to learn that dancing men were working overhead. Nobody would question it, or wonder about it at all, they would only walk past and think to themselves, Oh well, I guess those dancing men are working overhead again.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Gantz 3

Monday night has become Gantz night so on the way home coming up to where the video store is and even before the bus slowed down for the bus stop I jumped out the window with my feet moving fast so I wouldn't trip over when I landed. Imagining that somebody was filming, because it must have looked spectacular, I crossed the road went into the video store and got Gantz 3: Process of Elimination.
Here is the rundown on the four episodes. Beware of spoilers. Just about everything that follows is probably spoilers so if you haven't yet watched it, don't read it.

Everybody argues in the Gantz room. Kashimoto almost gets raped again. The dog licks her again. Nishi (the veteran of Gantz) berates everybody and lets them know how lame they all are. One of the bikers shoots him but it has no effect. Woah. Nishi turns around and shoots the biker but with these weapons there is a delay so the biker has a moment to regret his action before his head explodes. Big mess. Kurono's power suit (he calls it his *cosplay suit*, ha ha) is back in his apartment so he is shitting himself. They all get beamed down to go after the Suzuki Alien.

ep.10 YUZOU-KUN?
Kurono arrives first and is scared because the Suzuki Alien is walking towards him, making a noise like a robot. In fact he walks like a robot and really seems to be a robot. He has little robot birds walking around him and one jumps up onto Kurono and starts pecking at his shirt sleeve, it looks harmless and cute but Kurono gets scared and swats the bird off, killing it, which makes Suzuki Alien angry so he chases Kurona to where everybody else is. Nishi has a big fight with Suzuki Alien. Nishi can teleport around the place but his device breaks so he asks the others for help. They debate it because Nishi said all those mean things to them. Eventually Kato jumps down to help Nishi.

Before Kato can get to Nishi, the Suzuki Alien pops up and delivers a nasty sonic scream right next to Nishi's head which bursts his eyeballs and eardrums. Kato manages to get hold of the alien in a bearhug grip from behind and Kurono shoots. Did it hit him? It must have because a big bird comes out of the Suzuki robot head. Now Kashimoto shoots it and it gets lasered up into the night sky. Big emotional scene at the end where Nishi is scared of dying. It is revealed that he (like Kishimoto) committed suicide. Unlike Kishimoto, who slit her wrists in the bathtub, Nishi jumped off a bridge. At the end, Nishi dies. Maybe. Could he really be dead? I, for one, hope not. Even though he berated everybody, by the end there he didn't seem like such a bad egg.

It turns out there is more than one of these Suzuki Alien robot/bird things around here, which they soon realise when they are not beamed back to the Gantz room. There is a big fight with the Suzukis. Everybody gets split up. Grandma and the spoilt kid get attacked by two of the Suzukis when the kid needs to take a wizz. Grandma gets killed. Maybe the kid too. Kurono is forced by one of the bikers (who managed to get the guns, although Kurono sneakily stashed another one away in his jacket) to go into the house where the radar shows there to be a whole bunch of Suzukis. Kurono walks in to find not only four Suzukis coming out of four rooms, but in a room at the end of the hall he sees an ENORMOUS creature sitting on the floor surrounded by little plastic toy eggs. The end.

Speaking of endings, maybe it's the 13 year-old Japanese girl in me, but, like Depeche Mode, I just can't get enough of that power ballad they use for the closing theme.

Finally, and it KILLS me to report this, but there won't be any Gantz 4 next Monday because the video store girl told me it doesn't come out until later this month. Yes, depressing.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Dialogue Wizard

Goddam it. Don't know what to write. Wait! Nope. Really got nothing. Hey! How about some stupid dialogue? Big drumroll.

'You are an idiot.'
'You sir, are the idiot. I am a genius.'
'Prove it.'
'OK. Behold! Here is a bunny rabbit I just pulled out of my bum hole, as you can plainly see.'
'That is amazing and disgusting, in equal parts.'
'Yes it is. Now you see I am not an idiot.'
'No I do not see. That what I just witnessed failed to prove you are not an idiot. If you ask me, only an idiot would keep a bunny rabbit up his bum hole.'
'Sir, you have me there.'

Was that stupid enough for you? I hope so. OK, let's see what else my idiot brain can produce. Another dialogue? Why not.

'Look! I bought new shoes!'
'They sure look new alright.'
'I just told you they are new, but what do you think of them? Aren't they fabulous?'
'They look pretty stupid to me.'
'How dare you say such a thing! Are you trying to hurt my feelings?'
'No. Do you have a problem with criticism?'
'I do when you call my new shoes stupid.'
'Well, that's not my problem.'
'You are horrible and mean!'
'Oh well.'
'You don't even care!'
'You are right about that.'
'You're a MONSTER!'
'Now who's trying to hurt whose feelings?'

Ugh. Have you had enough? Is anybody even still reading this stuff? If you are, I salute you. Your threshold for tolerating this idiot dialogue is admirable. And if indeed you are still reading, you no doubt have the constitution to read one more.

'Fiddle faddle foddle, the world fits in a bottle.'
'What the devil are you on about?'
'I am writing a poem.'
'Is that what you call a poem?'
'It's the best I can do. Please don't say anything mean that will hurt my feelings.'
'I wouldn't dare. What do I know anyway? It might be a great poem that will cause a sensation.'
'Now I am sure you are making fun of me.'
'Not a bit of it. Let's hear some more.'
'Well. OK. Blitto blotto blatto, the moon is like a tomato.'
'That was rather fine.'
'You really think so?'
'It moved me. I felt something.'
'You really did?'
'You have made me so happy!'
'Think nothing of it. Now let's take ourselves off at once to celebrate your poetic triumph with a drink.'

UGH. I will subject you to no more. If you are still reading, God bless you! *BLUB!*


Saturday, November 05, 2005

Friday, November 04, 2005

Robot Helmet

After work today I had to go to the mini market for some supplies. I rode there on my bike and went in. I got everything then went up to the checkout. There was a man in front of me, in the line, and he had a little kid up on his shoulder. The kid couldn't make words very well but it was obvious he had spotted the lollies. I guess the father pretended he couldn't understand his kid because he didn't move an inch, and kept his head straight forward. Then one of the checkout people, an Indian guy, started calling out for the next customer, which was the man in front of me. The man with the kid didn't hear. He was wrapped up in ignoring the kid's lolly lust, I guess. But the checkout guy kept calling and eventually I said hey dude you're next and he heard that and went up.
At that point I could look up at the security monitor and see myself standing at the checkout, which I always do. I spent some time trying to figure out where the camera was located, which was tricky, then I moved my head from side to side and up and down, and shuffled to the left and right, watching my movements on the monitor. But I couldn't enjoy that distraction for long before I got called by one of the checkout people, this time a Japanese girl. I walked up to her and started taking my stuff out of the red plastic basket and told her don't worry about putting it in a bag I'll put it in my backpack.
'Is that for a scooter?'
What? Was she talking to me? Was what for a scooter? Oh. She was talking about my helmet, my silver bicycle helmet, that I was holding in my left hand.
'Oh, this? No, this is for a bicycle. It's a bicycle helmet,' I said.
'It looks amazing! It doesn't look like a bicycle helmet.'
Her face was animated. Her eyes were shining. She was smiling.
'No, it looks like a robot head, or a futuristic army helmet,' I said.
She laughed, her face seeming to radiate a pure and mysterious joy.
'What is that TNT on it? Is that who made it?'
This girl. This strange girl with her questions. And I was already falling, enchanted and falling.
'Yeah, I guess so. Yep, that must be it,' I said, looking down at the TNT ('There's No Tougher') sticker.
I believe we could have continued in this way for ever, discussing my robot head bicycle helmet, and maybe even other things, but there was the line, other people who wanted to pay for their stuff and get home.
With not a little reluctance I said thanks and goodbye. She still had that big smile, her whole face was smiling. And her eyes!
My God. But wasn't it all really a simple, small thing? She was only fascinated by my strange-looking bicycle helmet, wasn't that it? Yet why did it affect me so much? Did it somehow get into my mad head that it could have been more than that? Of course it did. This girl, who was clearly half my age, was using her fascination with my robot helmet as a clever way to start a conversation in the hope that it would lead to me asking her out. Of course, that couldn't be it. What a crazy idea! No, it was really only an innocent conversation, after all. ... But was it?
etc. etc., on and on until the sun explodes...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Phobias A-Z

Australophobia, Novahollandiaphobia - fear of Australia, Australians, Australian culture etc.
Ballistophobia - fear of missiles or bullets
Cacophobia - fear of ugliness
Demonophobia, Daemonophobia - fear of demons
Epistolophobia - fear of writing letters
Fecophobia, Coprophobia, Scatophobia - fear of feces
Gymnophobia, Nudophobia - fear of nudity
Hadephobia, Stygiophobia, Stigiophobia - fear of hell
Ithyphallophobia - fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis
Japanophobia, Nipponophobia - fear of the Japanese
Kneemaphobia - fear of the knee bending backwards
Leukophobia - fear of the colour white
Metallophobia - fear of metal
Nyctohylophobia - fear of dark, wooded areas
Optophobia - fear of opening one's eyes
Panophobia, Pantophobia - fear of everything
Quadraphobia - fear of quartets or of being drawn and quartered
Rhypophobia - fear of defecation
Sesquipedalophobia - fear of long words
Teratophobia - fear of bearing a deformed child, of monsters or of deformed people
Urophobia - fear of urine or urinating
Venustraphobia - fear of beautiful women
Wiccaphobia - fear of witches and witchcraft
Xenoglossophobia - fear of foreign languages
Ymophobia - fear of contrariety
Zoophobia - fear of animals


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Grim Prospect

The TV is on but I am not going to look at it. No sir. Why should I look at it? Any kind of magnetic attraction it may exert on my eyeballs will be neutralised by me trying hard not to look at it. Blazes! It didn't work. I snuck a look, and saw white eyeballs. Thank you, that's all I need to know. Ha! Nobody has eyeballs that white. Only on TV. I won't be tempted to look anymore, knowing they airbrush the eyeballs. Maybe somehow I could get on TV and they could airbrush my eyeballs. Just once I would like to see my eyeballs pure white, not even a tiny bit bloodshot. Yet I suppose it will never happen. The TV people are obviously robots and if I went in to the TV studio they would, with their superior robotic technology and white wires, detect the presence of a biological intruder and hit the alarm, then I would most likely disappear, never to be seen again and would not be able to make my reports here, ever again. A grim prospect!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Stratu Comics a Reality?

I saw a movie today but tonight I've been writing back to my Tasmanian comics friend Simon James. Remember him? He said he wanted to make comics out of some of my blog stories, like the ones about the women reading on the bus. Well, I got another letter from him today and he says that he's involved with some zine workshop (he calls it 'Zine Idol' because it's a competition) and whoever makes the zine or comic that gets judged the best will win. And if they win, the prize is that 500 copies of this comic or zine are made and sent all over the place. And guess what? The project he is going to do is the 'Stratu Comics' project. So can you blame me for being excited and neglecting my movie reviewing duties? No you can't, because these things do not happen very often so I am naturally excited about it and wanted to write back to him immediately, tonight, meanwhile shamefully neglecting my movie reviewing duties.
But the movie I saw today was called The Devil's Rejects and it is Rob Zombie's sequel to House of A Thousand Corpses and it was very good and even very funny at times although sometimes quite nasty, but that was OK. People are getting upset by horror movies again. At last people are again making movies that have some nasty elements of real terror, unlike those lame Scream movies, and people are getting all upset and indignant. But you know, you must know, it was just a movie and these things did not really happen to real people. They were in fact actors who walked away after it all, with money in their pockets, quite unscathed. And you are supposed to be horrified by what is happening on screen anyway. That is why it is called a Horror Movie.
And I like horror movies, and this was a pretty damn good one.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Gantz 2

Last Monday I watched the first volume of Gantz and wrote about it here. I really liked it a lot. So today after work I jumped off the bus early again went back to the video store and got the second volume. I just finished watching it. Well, now I'm addicted to it. I'm addicted goddam it and can't wait to watch the third volume. There's something about this crazy show that's put a great big hook in me. I don't know if it's the quick jumps from a scene of brutal violence to one of exaggerated heart-wrenching emotion, or a jump from a gratuitous nude scene to one of stark psychological torment. It could be both of those. But could it be the characters, with their many and obvious flaws, but also their history of PAIN that is slowly being revealed? Yes, it could be that too. That for sure could be part of it. The excellent soundtrack and voice acting plays a part too. Even that power ballad at the end of each episode. It may be a little cheesy I guess, but I love it!
I am a Gantz fan now, I'll admit it. It's hooked me in a big way. And it's killing me that the third volume isn't right here in front of me so I could slam it into the machine and smash PLAY on the remote.
It's KILLING me.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Survey of Some Recent Blogs IX

Well, I think it's time for another survey. I can't think of anything else to write about, so it must be time for another survey.
Let's take a peek, bracing ourselves for another barrage of stinking adblogs.

1. Dusty Busty - What the hell is this? A porno blog? No. A closer examination reveals that it's only another sneaky adblog. See, they put that piece of a sex story up front to get you hot and drooling so like a sucker you will rush to join this stupid Adult Friend Finder website.
2. Nos Media - A boring Portuguese political blog, by the looks of it. Predictably, even the pictures are boring. Snore.
3. Casamento Manoella - A Brazilian blog, the sole purpose of which appears to be displaying photos from some wedding. Who are these people? I don't know, but some of the women are HOT.
4. Greener Magazine - Hemp shirts, electric cars, panda bears, rainbows, tofu burgers, eco warriors, and all that jazz.
5. Nochalantme - Good grief, it's a blog written in verse form. And it's not Dylan Thomas either, but a 21 year-old Muslim girl. Is there any entertainment value here? Is the moon a tomato?
6. Snowy Land - A blog by a Singapore girl. Here you can read many entertainment-free tales of her work life in the office and with other people in the office, and text messages between her and them. It occurs to me that when you read blogs like this, you could be forgiven for wondering if blogging technology is in fact some kind of Satanic invention designed to make you gouge your own eyes out from unbearable despair.
7. Aventuras en America - You only need to know that this person, when writing about how hard he or she is going to study for some exam, uses the words "110% effort".
Meanwhile, I am only going to use 100% effort in navigating away from this snooze-inducing blog as fast as I can.
8. Dock Ellis - You only need to know that this blogger's most recent post announces that today is the thirteen-month anniversary of his iPod ownership. But look out your window and maybe you will see the fireworks going off in honour of this great milestone.
9. Sounds Like Trouble - OK what is this one all about then? Well, this chick Saskia visits Spain and goes shopping. That's about it. Sounds like trouble? Sounds like boredom.
10. Pensees Delicats - Hey, another Asian pork chop. She sure looks like a cutie, but they all do. Every one of these young Asian girl bloggers is so damn cute but their blogs are all so damn dull and boring. They could at least include photos of themselves at the beach. At a nude beach, preferably. We must have the Yin and the Yang! Is that too much to ask? Is it too much to ask for some reward for reading this boring stuff? Of course it's not.

Well, that brings us to the end of yet another Survey. What have we learned from this excursion?
On the one hand, there was only one adblog, but even that had some pictures of naked women, so while it was naturally a hideous and foul creation, at least you got a peek at some boobs.
On the other hand, the real blogs seem to be getting more boring. Are people actually getting more boring in this day and age? It seems so.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Flies and Mosquitoes

Three days ago I noticed two things. Flies are back on the scene and so are mosquitoes.
I was walking over to Market City to get lunch and flies started buzzing up into my face. They were everywhere. I looked and everybody was waving their hands around their heads, swatting flies away. The flies don't give up easily though, they come back and come back, like it's a game. At these times I always think of those people you see who let the flies sit on their face. They don't try to swat them away, in fact they seem calm and not irritated by those little bastards. Are they Buddhists? I've seen those Buddhist priests who walk along with one of their junior burger acolytes sweeping in front of them as they walk, sweeping any ants away so the priest doesn't step on the ants and screw his karma up, or whatever. Do those Buddhists let the flies sit on their face? I couldn't do it. I have to swat them, and I'll admit sometimes they drive me so bananas I get enormous satisfaction by squashing them, I'll admit it. But today I was reading something about these flies, and an expert said one reason they like to hang out on your face is for your sweat which contains salt and proteins - food for them. Another reason they do it is so they can meet up with their mates. How about that? Your face is a kind of singles bar for flies. At the bar your sweat is the pretzels and peanuts. Even if you are one of those Buddhists, would you put up with it knowing that? No you wouldn't. You have to draw a line.
Was it enough with the flies? No it wasn't. That night I saw a mosquito in my room. But it's different with the mosquitoes because that means I get to use mozzie coils again. I LOVE the smell of mozzie coils. Last summer one day at work I reached down for my backpack, had to get something out of it, but when it got up close to my face I could smell that mozzie coil smoke. Perfume! I like it so much that I was still burning those coils two months after the mosquitoes had headed north for the winter, or hibernated, or whatever they do. If I was a Buddhist I would save money because instead of having to buy mozzie coils and incense I would only need the mozzie coils.
Give me a mosquito summer with a crate of mozzie coils.
It's the simple pleasures for me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The 40 Year-Old Virgin

I left work early today to go see a movie. I like to see a movie at the movie house on Tuesday because it is Budget Price Tuesday. These days I pay eight bucks to see a movie when every other day of the week it is fifteen bucks fifty. Does $15.50 sound like a lot of money to pay to see a movie to you? It does to me. I have never paid $15.50 to see a movie and can't see it ever happening. It's funny because I'm not a person who is obsessed with getting a bargain price on everything. I don't listen to somebody tell me they bought some pants for fifty bucks and laugh and say well my pants were on special they only cost twenty bucks. I don't live my life worrying about that stuff. I like to throw the money around if I got it. Who cares. It's only money. Oh yeah, you say, only money. It's only money when you got it hey, but when you ain't got it, it ain't only money. You got a point there, I'll admit it. But I didn't always have money. I've had my share of nights eating chilli sauce on toast and it wasn't fun that's for sure. But this is going off the track a bit. What I was going to say was that even though I am not obsessed with getting a bargain for every damn thing, I will only go and see a movie on Bargain Price Tuesday. Maybe it is an obsession.
Anyway, the movie I went and saw was called The 40 Year-Old Virgin.
When I walked into the theatre and found a seat in a perfect position, right in the middle with my eyes about level with the vertical middle of the screen, I sat down with my vanilla choc-top. I used to always buy the coffee choc-tops but since that episode with the collapsing cone I have been getting vanilla choc-tops. I think what it was was that not many people buy those coffee choc-tops so they get old there in the freezer and the cone loses its structural integrity. I seem to be terrified now of buying another coffee choc-top to find the damn cone all floppy.
Well, I sat down with my vanilla choc-top and a funny thing happened. I heard people giggling all over the place. I thought yes for sure I am about to see a comedy movie, everybody is already giggling like schoolgirls and the movie hasn't even begun yet. These were obviously hardcore comedy fans, people who laugh all the time about God knows what, but everything is funny. I got a big smile. I thought it was pretty funny myself, this crowd. They were all laughing at God knows what, but it seemed to be funny as hell. Maybe they had heard about my coffee choc-top phobia.
Oh yeah, the movie. I guess anybody who was reading this for the movie review is long gone, so here it is for my hardcore readers. God bless you!
The movie is about a guy called Andy (Steve Carell who I saw recently in another funny movie called The Anchorman) and he is 40 years old and has never had sex with a woman. Most people probably have sex by the time they are 13 these days so Andy's case must seem pretty bizarre to most people. Andy works in an electronics store, like a Dick Smith Powerhouse here in Australia. He lives by himself and collects action figures that he never removes from the box, plus he reads comics. Not only all that, but he also rides a bicycle to work! Yes, he lives in Los Angeles (it must be Los Angeles because every American movie is made in LA) where if you don't have a car you are a bum or a nerdy bicycle rider like Andy.
When the other guys at work find they are a man short for a poker game they reluctantly ask him if he wants to join them. During the poker game they are all telling stories about sex experiences when it gets around to Andy's turn. The more he says, the more the other guys stare in amazement at the nutty things he is saying. Then he compares a woman's boobs to bags of sand, so that's when they know he is still a virgin. So they take it on themselves to get Andy laid.
I'm about to pass out so I'll wrap this up as fast as I can. This movie was very good. The cast was excellent, every one. It was very funny and even though there were gross-out gags - like Andy getting up every morning with a boner, then one morning sitting down to take a dump sits down with that boner and starts pissing up into his own face - the movie had a lot of heart, to put it in a corny way. All the characters were very likeable and funny. There were a lot of big laughs in the movie, it was very funny. It was so good that I am looking forward to seeing it again. I could watch it again next week and be excited about seeing it again.
It was a good movie, and very funny.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Today at work I took a break from my dedicated activity to check out the upcoming DVD releases for November. I always do that at the end of the month. It usually takes me a million years to get around to things, but I'm pretty good at this DVD pre-order biz.
Anyway, scrolling down the list I saw something called Gantz, a Japanese anime and it was rated R. There aren't many animes with an R rating. In fact I don't think I've seen one since Legend of the Overfiend, and since I can't help these occasional surges of *prurient interest*, as they call it, I felt a strong urge to check this Gantz out. I called my video store and the girl told me they had the first four parts (It is a 26-episode series with four episodes on each disc.) I got the bus home jumped off early near the video store went in and rented the first volume.
I just finished watching the first four episodes. This shit is wild.
It starts off with a shoolboy Kei and he is daydreaming in class. He pictures the female teacher and students all naked and gets a boner. Other kids in class notice this and torment him about it. He gets embarassed. Then after school he goes to the train station to get a train home. All the while we hear his thoughts and he is thinking things like man she is hot I wouldn't mind giving it to her, and goddam that stinking bum why don't ya go and have a bath and get a job.
At the train station that bum he saw wanders up smelling bad then stumbles and falls down onto the tracks. Nobody on the platform goes to help, instead we hear their thoughts, making excuses why they can't help, and even some looking forward to seeing the train run over the poor guy.
Kei has noticed another guy, he used to go to school with this guy, his name is Masaro. Well, Masaro jumps down onto the tracks to help the bum. Oh my God, somebody actually does something to help this guy. It's unheard of. But there is Masaro down on the tracks yet he can't lift the guy by himself, and that's when he sees Kei. Naturally he asks Kei to come down and help him, but Kei is going aw man, why did he have to notice me, I don't wanna go down there, we might get hit by the damn train, and all that jazz. But he is shamed into going down eventually.
They manage to get the bum back on the platform before the train comes. The problem is they can't get back up there in time and they get hit by the train. Heads fly off and blood spurts. The end.
No, not the end. They reappear in a room with a big black sphere in the middle of it. It looks like a big wrecking ball. There are also some other people in the room. There's a goofy schoolteacher, two Yakuza guys, a loud guy with long blond hair and a strange sinister looking dude sitting in the corner, and a dog.
Where are they? Are they dead? They can't get out of the room. There's a force field or something preventing them from opening the door or getting out to the balcony.
Suddenly a girl (Kishimoto) begins to appear - a laser transports her into the room gradually so you see the inside of her body as she is being recreated. She arrives naked and groggy and one of the Yakuza guys, a big brute of a bastard, takes her off to rape her. We hear her screaming. Kei does nothing but Masaro rushes in to save her and there's a big showdown between him and the nasty Yakuza. Masaro succeeds in saving her but as she is sitting sobbing against the wall, the dog comes up and starts molesting her with its tongue. What a crazy show!
Anyway, back in the main room some text appears on the big black sphere saying, basically: I OWN YOU ALL NOW AND YOU WILL DO WHATEVER I SAY. What the hell?
The sphere splits open to reveal all kinds of hardcore-looking guns and a uniform for each person. They all get transported down to what seems like a regular suburban town with an order to kill a Green Onion Alien. Built into their suits is a radar so they find the Green Onion Alien pretty fast. This little green guy, all he wants to do is eat his green onions. Why do they have to kill this poor little guy? What kind of rotten cruel horror have these supposed dead folks been placed in?
But it's the Yakuza guys who shoot the little Green Onion Alien. Masaro is horrified and disgusted and sick, starts crying and wailing what have you done! But then an enormous guy comes along and he is obviously a relative of the little Green Onion guy. He rips the Yakuza guys to pieces, also the schoolteacher who tried to shoot him.
Well, in the end it's only the three of them who survive - Kei, Masaro and the girl, Kishimoto. That weird sinister dude who was sitting in the corner appears and it turns out that he has been there for a long time. In the room, that is. He has seen dozens of people come through and die on these missions. So he seems to know about this Gantz sphere, did I say the sphere is called Gantz? Well that's what Gantz is. That's where the name comes from. And there's a guy in the sphere, a sick green guy with his eyes closed and he is plugged into the sphere. It's all wild and crazy man. It's violent and gory and there's nudity. I guess this was made for teenage Japanese boys. So why do I like it? Have I not grown up yet? Have I not progressed to the next level or something? Oh well. But there's more than just sex and violence going on here, you know. And this is only 4 episodes out of 26, after all.
The theme songs are excellent as well. The opening theme is a fast drum'n'bass/breaks type of tune Japanese style ('Super Shooter' by Rip Slyme) and the closing theme is a Japanese power ballad ('Last Kiss' by Bonnie Pink).
Gantz has really sunk a big hook in me and I will be zooming off to the video store for the next four-episode disc very soon.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

No Damn Subtitles

A funny thing happened when I was watching the special features on The Grudge DVD yesterday. You know The Grudge. It was a Japanese horror movie (originally called Ju-on: The Grudge)written and directed by Takashi Shimizu. Sam Raimi saw it and thought it was so damn awesome that he wanted to remake it. He knew that the only way Americans would watch it would be if it was remade with American actors. But he got Shimizu to direct this new American version starring Sarah Michelle Geller and Bill Pullman.
So what was the funny thing that happened? It's coming up, I promise.
I was watching the 'making of' featurette (A Powerful Rage) and they spent a lot of time talking about how tricky the language problem was. They were shooting in Tokyo with a Japanese director and crew, so everybody needed translators. Also, when they made notes and changes to the script, these had to be translated back and forth between English and Japanese. So you see, language translation was a big deal with this movie, you could say one of the BIGGEST deals.
Which gets us at last to this funny thing that happened. In this making of thingo, the director Takashi Shimizu and the Japanese guy who plays the detective, were talking away in Japanese, but there were no subtitles, and there was no person doing a voiceover translation of what they were saying. So unless you knew Japanese, you couldn't understand what they were saying. This was pretty frustrating because I wanted to know what they were saying, but it was amazing because it was such a big deal with this movie, the language translation. They really made a big deal about it, and it must have been quite tricky, but how tricky would it have been to subtitle these short little speeches by the director and the actor?
Anyway, in the commentary they were also saying that a Director's Cut would be coming out sometime because the censors made them cut out a bunch of stuff so they could get a PG13 rating, so hopefully they will sort it out for that.
If anybody reading this has The Grudge on DVD, could you tell me if yours is the same?