The House Of Him (2014) trailer – One to watch

I’m a massive fan of Rab Florence’s work. A Glaswegian with a passion for gaming, wrestling, comedy and horror films, he’s basically me with talent.

Naturally, this makes me slightly biased when I say the trailer for The House Of Him, the first feature film from his Bold Yin production company, looks fucking brilliant.

After all, how can you possibly take my opinion as an objective one, given that I’m blindly devoted to Rab’s previous work, such as his video game shows Consolevania and Videogaiden and comedy series Burnistoun (of which cast members Louise Stewart, Kirsty Strain and Richard Rankin also star in The House Of Him)?

In fact, you could go so far as to say my opinion is completely worthless here, and that by disclaiming my obvious vested interest at the beginning my view on the trailer has become null and void.

You’d better have a watch for yourself them. BOOM! I GOT YE HOOKED IN, YA BASTARD.

See? I wasn’t lying. It looks amazing. To keep an eye out for The House Of Him as it nears its February 2014 release, you can follow the film’s Facebook page. And, naturally, you can expect a review on That Was A Bit Mental in the near future.

Just, you know… don’t expect me to say it’s shite or anything.

Celebrity Big Brother 2014 – Liveblog

If you’re like me you’re morbidly curious every time Celebrity Big Brother comes around. It’s the lowest of the low but, just like an old person slipping on the snow and breaking a leg, you can’t help but stop there and wince before getting on with your life.

Celebrity Big Brother logoWith that in mind I’ve decided to revive one of the most popular articles on That Was A Bit Mental, the Celebrity Big Brother opening show liveblog.

From 9pm tonight (which at the time of writing is just under an hour away) I’ll be giving you commentary on the show, discussing each celebrity housemate as they’re revealed and, inevitably, admitting I don’t have the faintest fucking clue who they are.

Sadly, I don’t have fancy auto-updating abilities and can’t sort them out at such short notice so you’ll have to make do with refreshing the page to get new comments.

I hope you’ll join me for Celebrity Big Brother 2014, so we can ‘enjoy’ discovering this year’s batch of E-listers together. Continue reading “Celebrity Big Brother 2014 – Liveblog”

Just Say Hi – Just watch it

A few weeks back the 2013 Virgin Media Shorts award winners were announced.

If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a competition in which emerging filmmakers can submit their own short movies in the hopes of winning £30,000 to go towards the shooting of their next film.

While the Grand Prize went to Nimer Rashed and his short film Touch, it was John McPhail and his crew at Worrying Drake Productions who won the hearts of the common man by winning both the public-voted awards: the Nikon People’s Choice award and the Tivo award.

A disclaimer: I’m biased because John’s a friend of mine. But even if he wasn’t I still would have voted for his film, Just Say Hi, because it’s just so bloody adorable.

Have a gander at the short for yourself to see what I mean. Congrats Johnny boy: can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

Real-Life Mental – The Swallow Hotel, Gateshead

This is a review I’ve written for TripAdvisor, but it takes a couple of days to get a review approved on there. In case it isn’t for some reason, I decided to share it here too.

No work and all decay makes this a dull choice

I recently spent a couple of nights at the Swallow Hotel in Gateshead as part of a stag weekend. From Friday to Sunday I was witness to degradation, filth and shame… and the stag weekend was pretty dodgy too.

Upon arrival at the hotel we were checked in by an elderly lady who, while kind, was clearly jaded after years of stag groups passing through her reception area and acting like raucous ne’er-do-wells. After she gingerly handed me my room key (room 602, if you’re asking), I embarked on my Swallow adventure, starting with the dodgiest elevators in England.

This definitely wasn't a recent photo.
This definitely wasn’t a recent photo.

The Swallow has two lifts, with buttons that give you an electric shock when you press them. One has doors that open so slowly it feels like the scene where the aliens emerge from their ship in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind every time you get out. The other whips the doors open with gusto, but feels like a yacht in a storm as it moves between floors, leading to a constant fear that it’ll break down, trapping you in the Swallow’s aging shaft for eternity.

Once I got to my room the Swallow’s “quirks” continued to introduce themselves. The large CRT television was missing the remote control (assuming it had one). “No problem,” I decided, “I’ll just control it using the buttons on the TV itself. Unfortunately, the buttons had been removed, leaving just holes where they should have been. Continue reading “Real-Life Mental – The Swallow Hotel, Gateshead”

The TWABM list of upcoming films and recommendations

GhouliesI’m delighted at the progress my little film blog’s been making on a monthly basis. I’ve even had a review quote on the back of a DVD (Cannibal, since you’re asking). Every month my hit count grows and that’s partly thanks to you, if you’re reading this right now. So thanks very much, I greatly appreciate it – especially if you’re one of the small group of lovely people who ‘like’ TWABM on Facebook.

People keep asking me what I’m going to review next or suggesting films for me to review. As long as the film suits the “That Was A Bit Mental” theme I’ll be happy to locate and review any films that are recommended or suggested to me. Despite the site title I’ve got pretty wide-ranging criteria (after all, I’ve got Faces Of Death and Blood Feast in there alongside The Diary Of Anne Frank and The Muppets), so as long as you don’t want me to review a rom-com or anything like that then don’t be afraid to comment below and recommend something.

Often I get asked to review a film I’ve already reviewed. With 148 reviews and counting that’s understandable, so why not check out my Review Index so you can get a quick glance of everything I’ve reviewed to date? You can find it here – if you’re relatively new to the site feel free to catch up on the reviews you’ve missed out on.

For now, the following (if you’re reading this on the homepage you’ll see it after the jump) is a list of films I own or have access to and plan on reviewing one day. If any of the films below particularly catch your eye let me know and I’ll prioritise those reviews. To get in touch either comment below, email me at chris@thatwasabitmental.com or Tweet me @TWABM or @scully1888 – and if there’s something you want me to review that isn’t on the list, feel free to suggest that too and I’ll add and prioritise it. After all, I write these reviews to entertain you, so I’m just as keen on reviewing the stuff you’re interested in reading about as I am reviewing the stuff you might not know about.

The films on the list aren’t exclusively the ones I’ll be reviewing, just the ones I definitely want to get round to one day. There’ll be plenty of other stuff on the site that isn’t on this list. Continue reading “The TWABM list of upcoming films and recommendations”

Netflix – How to live the American Dream and get the US library in the UK (or Canada)

Netflix launched in the UK last month. For those not in the know, Netflix UK is a service that lets you pay £5.99 a month to access a wide variety of movies and TV shows and stream them to your PC, Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, phone or tablet.

So far I’ve been very happy with it, but there’s one thing Netflix hasn’t sorted yet in the UK – the size of the library. There’s a perfectly good reason for this – while Netflix has been going for a long time in the US and has spent years building a bunch of license agreements with various film and TV studios, in the UK they’re basically starting from scratch again and so they have to sort out all these licenses all over again.

This is why Netflix UK has, for example, around 80 movies in its horror category, whereas Netflix US has 1680. Little do some people know, however, that there is actually a way to access the US Netflix library in the UK.  Continue reading “Netflix – How to live the American Dream and get the US library in the UK (or Canada)”

Celebrity Big Brother liveblog

Love it or hate it, Celebrity Big Brother is something that could very much be considered a bit mental. So since I’m at a loose end tonight, here’s my liveblog of the first episode, in which each of the “celebrities” were announced, along with my reactions as they happened.

Continue reading “Celebrity Big Brother liveblog”

Site update: Page Breaks

"Page breaks, you say? Well, as long as I still get to boot arses in the dream world you can do whatever you like mate"

Merry Christmas and stuff, hope you’ve been having a brilliant one.

That Was A Bit Mental will soon be turning one year old and with around 100 reviews in its first year I’m happy with its success so far, a success mainly down to any of you who’ve ever read the site, for which I’m eternally grateful.

If you’ve read the Spirited Away review below you’ll notice that I’ve put a page break in it, meaning you’ll only see half the review followed by a “Read more” link. Usually I’ve been putting the full reviews on the main site but I’m going to be changing to this method from now on for a few reasons.

1) Hits
I’m not going to dick about here – basically, the more hits I get the more I can convince film labels to send me review discs, and the more timely and useful film reviews will appear on the site as a result. I’ve already been very fortunate to review the likes of The Exterminator, Deadly Blessing and Cannibal before their release on DVD or Blu-ray, giving you a good chance to consider whether they’re worth buying. The more hits I get, the more of the same will start happening. Oh, here comes a break now, by the way. Continue reading “Site update: Page Breaks”

Your definitive Halloween TV guide (UK)

The Shining is easily the best film showing on Monday

Halloween is that glorious time where nearly every big TV channel in the UK slaps some horror films on the telly to try and compete for the nation’s temporary love of all things creepy. But since there are now officially twelve million television channels on UK television (approx) it can be a bit daunting surfing through massive channel guides to find the diamonds in the rough. No need, because I’ve gathered the full list of horror films showing  on Monday 31 October, along with a little advice on whether I reckon they’re worth a watch. I’m nice like that.

Not listed below (because it’d take too long) is Sky Movies Classics’ top-notch line-up – because they’re showing nothing but Universal horror films all day, including The Creature From The Black Lagoon, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, Dracula, Return Of The Fly and such. If you want a bit of old-school horror, that’s your best bet. As for the rest of the channels, here’s what’s on offer.

Finally, most of these films are on the Sky movie channels, and since not everyone has those I’ve coloured those red to make it easier to identify the films you’re more likely to be able to see. Happy Halloween!

In order of transmission (Monday, 31 October):

Vampire In Brooklyn (1995)
2.55pm, Sky Movies Comedy – What do you get when you cross Wes Craven and Eddie Murphy? Pish 

Tremors 3: Back To Perfection (2001)
3pm, SyFy – Fairly rubbish sequel to the desert worm classic

Sorority Row (2009)
6.45pm, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror – Forgettable teen slasher, typical ‘prank gone wrong’ stuff

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1994)
8pm, Sky Movies Modern Greats – Robert De Niro and Helena Bonham Carter put an interesting spin on the classic

The Ring (2002)
8pm, Sky Movies Showcase – Killer video tape kills you to DEATH after a week of bricking it 

The Final Destination (2009)
8.30pm, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror – AKA Final Destination 4. Death comes back to fuck up more chancers 

Beowulf (2007)
9pm, 5* – Odd animated fantasy starring CGI Angelina Jolie and Danish monsters

The Shining (1980)
9pm, TCM – Kubrick’s masterpiece about isolation and its tendency to lead to insanity

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
9.45pm, Sky Movies Premiere – More grainy footage of ghosts fannying around while people sleep

Scream (1996)
10pm, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror – Wes Craven’s fantastic return to form. Read the review here 

Halloween II (2009)
10pm, Sky Movies Showcase – Rob Zombie returns for more Michael Myers slaughterfun™

King Kong (2005)
10pm, ITV2 – Peter Jackson’s remarkable take on the tale of a monkey who just wanted to have sex with a tiny woman

Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
10.05pm, The Horror Channel – cryptically named Hammer Horror classic starring Peter Cushing

Addams Family Values (1993)
10.20pm, Sky Movies Family – More adequate adventures from the painfully odd family 

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)
11.20pm, BBC 2 – Ridiculous Big Brother knock-off with Michael Myers, Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes. Seriously

Night Of The Demons (2010)
11.20pm, Sky Movies Premiere – Edward Furlong proves he still has a career in this remake

Burke And Hare (2010)
11.40pm, Sky Movies Comedy – Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis star in this graverobbing farce 

Return Of The Living Dead Part II (1987)
11.45pm, TCM – Fantastic zombie film as packed with comedy as it is tasty brains

Scream 2 (1997)
11.50pm, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror – Craven strikes back in this decent sequel. Read the review here

The Amityville Horror (1979)
11.50pm, Sky Movies Showcase – The original that spawned countless sequels and imitations 

The Plague Of The Zombies (1965)
11.50pm, The Horror Channel – Zombies are used as cheap labour in this Hammer gem

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)
12.45am, BBC 2 – Prequel to Canadian werewolf film that shows how it all came about

AvH: Alien v Hunter
1am, movies 24 – Silly sci-fi pish where an alien crash-lands on Earth and another alien arrives hunting it

Session 9 (2001)
1.30am, SyFy – Atmospheric and creepy thriller about an abandoned asylum. Recommended

Scream 3 (2000)
1.50am, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror – Sky completes its Scream trilogy. Read the review here

So there you have it. Personally, I’d recommend the following for the perfect night of horror, if you don’t have the Sky movie channels:
THE SHINING (9pm, TCM)
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PART II (11.45pm, TCM)
SESSION 9 (1.30am, SyFy) 

If you’re just looking for something so bad you can take the piss out of it with a group of friends, then Halloween Resurrection on BBC2 is your best shout by a country mile.

Happy Halloween!

Chris

People search for the oddest things – Part 2

If you haven’t read the first part of this before you can find it right here, but in essence here’s what it was about – WordPress keeps track of the things people search for to find my site, so in the first part I listed some of the oddest things people searched for to somehow end up being directed here.

That was around three and a half months ago however, and I’ve had plenty more visitors through odd searches since then. I thought I’d use this post to list some of the newer ones.

First of all, in case you’re curious, these are the ten search results that directed most people to the site:

Someone searched for "woman being eaten by snake" to get here. Oh you guyzzzz

1. the langoliers
2. children of the corn
3. mega python vs gatoroid
4. the exorcist
5. malachai
6. dinoshark
7. that was a bit mental
8. jaws 2
9. hell comes to frogtown
10. planet of the apes 1968

What do these results tell me? Mainly that the two Stephen King films I’ve reviewed on this site are the two that far and away get the most people coming here, but also that people fucking love killer animal movies. If I was ever to review Pet Sematary I think the internet would explode… so expect that one soon.

Anyway, you’re not here to see that. You’re here to see what sort of weird shit people search for. Here, then, are just some of the searches that genuinely directed people to this site. Continue reading “People search for the oddest things – Part 2”