Monday, 23 October 2017

Musical Monday #156

Today's featured career is 'gardener'.  It is a job fraught with peril.  ...If you're a playing card.  ...Who works for a psychotic queen.  ...In what turns out to be a little girl's trippy dream.  ...So most gardeners would probably be fairly safe, actually.

Painting The Roses Red from Alice In Wonderland 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Musical Monday #155

Today's featured career is 'Accountant'.  Apparently, it's a lot like being a pirate.

The Accountancy Shanty from Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life


Monday, 9 October 2017

Musical Monday #154

Do you have what it takes to become a member of a boy band?  Slight issue being that this is a fantasy boy band so all four members are the same person and also need to be mental health doctors.

A Boy Band Made Up Of Four Joshes from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episode 'I Hope Josh Comes To My Party!'
I love the different outfits and styles.  Spot on boy band parody.  Oh horrible 90s flashbacks....

Monday, 2 October 2017

Musical Monday #153

He's quite tall to be a chimney sweep, isn't he?  I mean, wouldn't he get stuck?

Chim Chim Cher-Ee from Mary Poppins

Monday, 25 September 2017

Musical Monday #152

To make up for the absence of Musical Monday for the previous two Mondays (I was on holiday), here are three musical numbers in a row:

Across The Void from 3rd Rock From The Sun (episode: The Thing That Wouldn't Die Part II)

Arabian Nights from Aladdin

The Life I Lead from Mary Poppins



In case you hadn't guessed, the theme this month was 'Going Home'.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Musical Monday #151

Hardly a song at all today, so enjoy those twenty seconds.

A Room With A View from Easy Virtue

Monday, 28 August 2017

Musical Monday #150

The addition of songs to this story add nothing at all.  The scenes as they happen in the book grind to a halt in order to fit them in.  However, on their own, the songs, while simple, are harmless enough.  And so here is the last of August's theme of women singing positive life advice:

Chin Up! from Charlotte’s Web 

Monday, 21 August 2017

Musical Monday #149

Big, Blonde And Beautiful (and the Reprise) from Hairspray

Monday, 14 August 2017

Musical Monday #148

Have they ever seen a robin before?



A Spoonful Of Sugar from Mary Poppins

Monday, 7 August 2017

Musical Monday #147

What is it about old-timey Rodgers and Hammerstein movies that are so unbearably static?  You know what goes with singing?  Dancing.  Not people standing still with the camera shoved in their faces.  Ah well.

A Cock-Eyed Optimist from South Pacific

Monday, 31 July 2017

Musical Monday #146

To wrap up Villain Month, here's a fun little double act from a movie with a dumb name.  Just try not to notice how it's obviously not him tap dancing.  Oops, now you can't.

I’m Number One from Muppets Most Wanted 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Musical Monday #145

Today's bad guy doesn't even know he is a bad guy, because he's, y'know, a moron.  I mean, the guy grows to old age holding on to the only seed left in the world, waiting for some kid to come along and redeem him by growing a tree - Why the hell doesn't he just do this himself at any point in the last umpteen years?  Oh well.  Guess he was too busy singing this.

How Bad Can I Be? from The Lorax

Monday, 17 July 2017

Musical Monday #144

Today's villains are having a very happy montage to the chagrin of the heroes.

Back In Business from Dick Tracy

Monday, 10 July 2017

Musical Monday #143

Following on the theme of bad guys from last week...

Be Prepared from The Lion King

And for extra fun, here is the Google Translate version, because I discovered Malinda Kathleen Reese while checking out some youtube vids last week and it is my latest obsession.


Monday, 3 July 2017

Musical Monday #142

This is one of the less creepy / more convincing 'adults dubbing children' songs from this weird-that-was-a-mistake movie.

Bad Guys from Bugsy Malone

Monday, 26 June 2017

Musical Monday #141

WHY.  THE HELL.  DOESN'T.  SHE CROSS.  BEHIND.  THE CURTAIN?

Also, how did Martha get worn out running after five metres?

I always liked her, but this entire scene makes me wonder why.

My Angel Put The Devil In Me from Doctor Who, episode Daleks In Manhattan

Monday, 19 June 2017

Musical Monday #140



Lounge Medley (Heatwave/My Guy/I Will Follow Him) from Sister Act

By coincidence, the amount of interest they're getting for their show is the same as I get for my blog.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Musical Monday #139

Daughters Of Triton from The Little Mermaid

Monday, 5 June 2017

Musical Monday #138

It's Monday, so let's take in a show.

All I Do Is Dream Of You from Singin' In The Rain

Monday, 29 May 2017

Musical Monday #137

And to round off our month of slipping sanity, today's musical number is

Little Girls from Annie

In case you were wondering whether this month's singers regained their minds in the end, well,
#133 Rebecca Nora Bunch from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - hmm, as of the end of season 2, Rebecca's response to her father saying she's crazy is 'little bit' so I guess not.
#134 Marie de Flor from Rose Marie - well, she goes into seclusion for six months recovering or rather not, from her nervous breakdown and then her lover returns to her, but I don't see how that's a magic fix-all.
#135 Sarah Williams from Labyrinth - she gets better from that hallucination anyway, but whether she is sane at the end of the film or not is rather debatable. 
#136 Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story - yes, he accepts who he is and discovers a new meaning to life.
#137 Miss Agatha Hannigan from Annie - I guess so; she reforms.

What shall June's theme be?

Monday, 22 May 2017

Musical Monday #136

Today's losing of mindness is a case of an identity crisis.  A moment that was handled surprisingly bleakly for my young mind when I saw this movie at the cinema back in '95.

I Will Go Sailing No More from Toy Story

This is such a good movie.



Monday, 15 May 2017

Musical Monday #135

This week's lost mind belongs to Sarah, who is trapped in a nightmare/dream thing after eating a peach that makes her forget her quest to save her baby brother.


As The World Falls Down from Labyrinth

In case you were wondering what the hell is going on, the wikipedia page won't bring you much nearer to understanding, unless you love this movie, like I do, and then it all makes perfect sense, even the stuff that makes no sense.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Musical Monday #134

And carrying on our theme of 'losing your mind' here is a scene from a movie called Rose Marie.  The character Marie de Flor is performing a scene from Tosca in which Tosca thinks her lover is faking his death but has in fact been executed.  She appears to be performing this to an audience of Tosca buffs who can easily tell that she is losing it, when frankly you'd think that was all sort of within the theme of the show.  Anyway, Marie is having a mental breakdown because she risked her life to save her brother, who had killed a man, only to fall in love with the man hunting him, a man who betrayed her and took her brother off to his presumable execution (I dunno, that's the last we hear of him).



'Act III of Tosca, from Tosca’s entrance' (with bits of Indian Love Call) from Rose Marie


But don't worry though because after a few months of being mentally broken, her lover returns to her and they can live happily ever after, even though he's still responsible for dooming her brother and demonstrably doesn't put her needs first.  Yeah, great.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Musical Monday #133

The theme for May is... losing your mind.  I know, great, right?

(Tell Me I'm Okay) Patrick from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, episode 'Is Josh Free In Two Weeks?'

Monday, 24 April 2017

Musical Monday #132

Just Blew In From The Windy City from Calamity Jane

And so ends my geographically themed April.  See you next Monday!

Monday, 17 April 2017

Musical Monday #131


Good Morning Baltimore from Hairspray

Monday, 10 April 2017

Musical Monday #130

Anatevka from Fiddler On The Roof 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Revenge Cycle

















No one wins.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Musical Monday #129

Can you guess what the theme is for April?

A Rumor In St Petersburg from Anastasia

Monday, 27 March 2017

Musical Monday #128

So to round off this month's 'MOTHERS' theme, here is a musical number that always makes me cry, ever since I was a tiny amoeba person (although not for the song, but the images/what is going on in the story).

Baby Mine from Dumbo

Dumbo might be short and contain a random drug trip sequence, but it's the only good thing to come out of Disney during the war years.  A baby is abused for being different, his mother is locked up unjustly for protecting him, he is ostracized, eventually discovering that what makes him different is what makes him special and strong and he takes revenge on those who have abused him.  All we need now is for all the animals in that circus to take revenge on their human abusers and escape... but maybe in the remake.

So, what I have learned from the Mothers theme this month, (apart from that mothers are disturbingly underrepresented in films/musicals because for some reason everyone is obsessed with their fathers instead) is that mothers of females are evil, controlling monsters and mothers of males are loving, nurturing angels.  So... Freud is alive and well in Hollywood.

What theme shall I use next month?

Monday, 20 March 2017

Musical Monday #127

Worst. Mother. Ever.

Rose's Turn from Gypsy

Well, okay, maybe not worst.  But a bad one anyway.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Musical Monday #126

'Mothers' is actually a surprisingly difficult theme when looking for musical numbers.  I can find a dozen about fathers, but films very rarely focus on mothers.  Which is odd, what with mothers being such a major thing in the real world.  Literally everyone had a mother at one point and everyone must have an opinion on theirs, so why are they considered so much less interesting than fathers by Hollywood?  Well, I already know the answer to that one.

I can think of one musical though in which a character is absolutely obsessed with his mother.  Too obsessed, in fact.

Blue Skies from The Jazz Singer

I still think it's a big cheat that this is referred to as the first 'talkie'.  More like the most noisy silent movie.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Musical Monday #125

Since March ends with Mother's Day (Mothers' Day?  Mothers Day? Mothering Sunday...), I thought this month the musical numbers could reflect that most loving and/or challenging of relationships, motherhood.

Where's The Bathroom? from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, episode 'My Mom, Greg's Mom and Josh's Sweet Dance Moves!'

Monday, 27 February 2017

Musical Monday #124

And now, finishing off the February love theme, is a musical number that bored me to DEATH when I was a child.

A Whole New World from Aladdin

Exactly how long did dumb dumb Aladdin think he could pretend to be a different person?  Jasmine cottons on before he even whisks her away for this romantic carpet ride.  He makes no attempt whatsoever to act differently, but he wants to marry her.  How far into the marriage was he hoping to get before the fact that Prince Ali looks, sounds and acts exactly the same as Aladdin was going to become obvious?  Or does he think Jasmine is as dumb as he is?

Monday, 20 February 2017

Musical Monday #123

Thought I'd carry on the love theme from last week.

Can't Help Falling In Love from Blue Hawaii


Monday, 13 February 2017

Musical Monday #122

Since it is St Valentine's Day tomorrow, I thought I'd better go with a love theme for Musical Monday.

So here's a nice number for couples who have been together a long time.

Do You Love Me? from Fiddler On The Roof

And for people who are alone, there's this:

All By Myself from Bridget Jones's Diary

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Top 10 Scariest TV/Film Moments From Childhood



I was the youngest person in my house, growing up.  So I often saw parts of films and TV shows that were not suitable for my age group.

In some cases, this was a good thing.  I was familiar with things like Red Dwarf and Blackadder from pretty much as far back as my memory goes, so I had a more sophisticated understanding of wit than other children my age. 

In some cases though, this was a very very bad thing.  For example, I once saw a sketch from Not The Nine O’Clock News in which Rowan Atkinson put his hand into a mystery box, which contained a mincer and his hand got minced.  It was the most disturbing image I had ever seen.  Until I saw some of Akira, in which a guy grotesquely transforms really big, crushing his girlfriend until she pops, an image that still haunts me.  And then there’s the episode of London’s Burning, in which a fireman saves a little girl’s pet guppies by putting them into a tank of piranhas.  My memory of it is this:
And thanks to Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life I still can’t tick the ‘organ donor’ box.
And then there’s Robocop.  You know that bit where the ED-209 malfunctions and kills that guy?  I was so traumatised by this scene that my memory skewed into the robot killing everyone in the room, Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre style.

But like I say, this stuff wasn’t suitable for me, so of course it scared (and scarred) me.

What’s weirder is the stuff that was suitable for my age and still managed to warp me for life.

And here it is.  The Top 10 Scariest TV/Film Moments From Childhood:


10. Jurassic Park: Velociraptors

When I was little, I loved dinosaurs.  I would totally have been a palaeontologist if that had been a thing they taught at school.  Back in those days, dinosaurs were this cool, fun, exciting thing that you learned about with cheap luminous toys, cutesy movies like The Land Before Time, and lots of colourful books about the best historical era of our planet ever.

Then, in 1993, suddenly dinosaurs stopped being every kid’s best friend, and became the villains in a horror movie.  Well, kind of.  Anyway, all of a sudden dinosaurs weren’t FUN any more, they were SCARY.

Everyone who knew me at school knew I was terrified of dinosaurs.  It was kind of a joke, because it wasn’t like dinosaurs existed, so what’s to fear?



I didn’t even see Jurassic Park when it was at the cinema.  But I heard about it from The Brother and I imagined it.  Specifically the scene in which Ellie goes into the maintenance shed and finds Mr Arnold has been eaten by the velociraptors.  I imagined this scene so vividly, that I was scared of walking past any darkened doorways for fear of what might lie within (velociraptors).  So when I finally did see Jurassic Park, although that scene was less gratuitous than my version, the velociraptors were even more terrifying.

Skip ahead to 1:58

Sometimes I got so scared when I was on my own in a building that there were raptors in there with me too that I couldn’t move in case that alerted them to my location.  I still hate walking past darkened open doorways.


9. Ghost Busters: Dana’s Abduction

I can recall as a kid that The Brother complained bitterly about not being allowed to see Ghost Busters when all his friends could, because The Mother knew it would give him nightmares.  Considering he’d have been about six when it came out, I think she made the right call.  I don’t know when he was finally allowed to see it.  Too late, according to him.

But oddly, I don’t recall this ban applying to me.  And guess how old I’d have been around the time we got it on video.

I had this fear as a kid.  I know this whole post is about stuff that scared me when I was a kid, but this was my biggest fear.  I was afraid of devil-wolves.  These were hounds of hell with red eyes and blood dripping off their giant fangs and claws who were hunting me. 


I don’t know where this fear started, but there are certainly some moments in films and TV that could have been the catalyst, or simply made the fear even worse.  This is one of them.

Dana is alone in her apartment, talking to her mum on the telephone.  We can see light glowing behind her kitchen door.  She hangs up and slowly becomes aware of a strange growling noise.  She looks at the kitchen door and sees it's being warped as if something is trying to force its way through from the other side.  Just as she whispers ‘oh shit’ a clawed hairy hand bursts out of the arm of the CHAIR SHE IS SITTING IN and grabs her over the mouth.  Two more hands burst out of the chair, holding her down as she struggles and screams, as the chair turns towards the kitchen.  The door opens, revealing a dog-like monster with glowing red eyes and huge fangs, snarling and roaring at her, and the chair shoots into the kitchen, the door slamming behind it.



The fact that there is something faintly rapey about this scene makes it five thousand times more disturbing.  If you can’t trust your own armchair, what’s left?


8. Knightmare: Deaths

Kinghtmare was a children’s programme in which teams of four kids would play a pseudo virtual reality fantasy game.  Three of them would give instructions to the fourth, who couldn’t see what was going on.  Trouble is the communication between the kids was poor and the kid in the simulation would often get killed.




The problem was, I didn’t know it wasn’t real.  When that kid fell to his doom or got cut in half by a rotating blade or eaten by a giant talking wall, I thought he really was dead.  I’m pretty sure you’d see all four kids leave, alive, at the end, but for whatever reason I didn’t notice or accept this.  I think I thought it was some kind of terrifying limbo for lost souls (that’s what poor green screen can do for you).  I didn’t understand why anyone would go on this show – presumably they were forced into it, possibly it was the punishment for children who were naughty, and every week was a terrifying ordeal as I watched some poor kid get executed live on TV.  And you wonder why I was such a well-behaved child.

7. Eerie, Indiana: Dogs

I love Eerie, Indiana.  It's one of my favourite TV programmes, and I’m convinced it heavily influenced me and my writing as a child and I’m forever grateful that such an intelligent show was made and that I got to see it when I was a kid.  I adored it.  I really did.  Except...

One of the earliest episodes, ‘The Retainer’, is about this kid who gets one of those massive external retainers (brace) and somehow this allows him to understand what dogs are saying. 


No big deal, except it turns out that dogs hate humans and are planning a glorious revolution.  At one point Simon is playfully wrestling with a German Shepherd, unaware that the dog wants to eat him.  Later the dogs escape the pound and kill and eat the mean dog catcher.  And during the climax, they insist that the kid remove his retainer so he can no longer hear them.  Scared, he struggles with it as the dogs get more threatening and finally panics and runs for it. The dogs give chase.  We never seen him again, but at the end, the German Shepherd brings the retainer back to Marshall.  How did those dogs get the retainer that was attached to that boy’s face?  Well I know how.

THIS is why I’m not a dog person.

6. Round The Twist: Santa Claws

Unlike Eerie, Indiana, Round The Twist does not live up to rewatching it as an adult.  It’s goofy, poorly written and poorly acted.  But I watched it all the time as a kid.  Honestly, I’d watch any kids’ show with a faintly surreal premise in the hopes that it could replace Eerie, Indiana, which had finished in the early nineties.  Nothing ever came close.

Anyway, Round The Twist was always really, really gross.  People got covered in garbage and bird poo, and ate dog food and dead flies, and kissed pigs, and peed up walls and toads ate each other.  But in one particular episode, it went too far.  Pete meets Santa Claus – actually Santa Claws, a revolting, dirty man with clawed fingernails.

Could only find the ENTIRE episode rather than just a clip. Watching from 9:49-11:20 should be enough to get the idea.

And I have never trusted Father Christmas since.

5. Return Of The Jedi: AT-ST Walkers

Okay, these STILL scare the hell out of me.  When I was a kid, I didn’t understand that they were vehicles.  I thought they were giant monsters who wanted to kill us.  But their jerky stride just freaks me the hell out.  Oh god, they’re coming.

Nope, even this is scary.

Only in compiling this list have I realised the reason they scare me so much is probably because ED-209 is so similar in look and motion.  That goes for velociraptors too.  Any kind of animated two-legged thing that brings death is likely to make my brain melt in utter terror.

4. The Neverending Story: Gmork

I started watching The Neverending Story with The Grandmother once.  We turned it off when the horse died because it was too distressing.  So many years later when I finally watched the film all the way through, imagine my surprise when there was the exact replica of the devil-wolves I had always been so scared of.  Trouble is, Gmork doesn’t enter the story until after the horse dies, so I couldn’t possibly have seen it, so how could this have influenced me?  Ah, but wait.  There is one tiny moment when Gmork is first called out of the darkness.  This terrifying creature emerges in a horrifying moment. 


Gmork is actually much less scary once he starts to talk.  But since I never got that far, he was just a beast of darkness relentlessly pursuing the hero.  Add this to that Ghost Busters scene earlier and suddenly my devil-wolf fear doesn’t seem quite so inexplicable to me.  Hollywood has a lot to answer for.

3. Disney’s Alice In Wonderland

Which moment in Alice In Wonderland scared me?  All of it.  A little girl gets transported alone to a dark, trippy dreamworld full of weirdoes who go out of their way to hinder her and no one helps her when she gets lost and cries and then they all want to kill her.  I hated this film.  It was the most terrifying story I had ever seen in my life.

The worst part was when she finds a path home and then a dog-brush sweeps it away.  See, you just can’t trust dogs.

2. Tales Of Beatrix Potter: Squirrel Nutkin

Tales Of Beatrix Potter is a ballet in which the dancers are dressed in huge costumes of Beatrix Potter’s most famous characters.  I used to watch this all the time when I was tiny.  I think it may have been the first thing I ever really watched.  Potter’s stories can be a little dark, but in storybook form you can kind of gloss over it.  But translating it into giant human-sized action makes it so much more disturbing, probably because of the lack of expression, and because they are giant monstrous freaks.  Anyway.

The squirrels take tribute to the GIANT OWL.  Squirrel Nutkin prances about, taking the mick.  This goes on for about five minutes.  Then suddenly the GIANT OWL who has been completely stationary up until this point suddenly grabs Nutkin and drags him, struggling, into the tree.  The other squirrels freak out.  Silence falls.  Then Nutkin escapes the tree, tailless, and his tail is thrown out the top of the tree after him.


It’s the GIANT UNMOVING OWL that just lurks there, a horrifying, threatening presence, that's so disturbing.  But then it actually savages one of the squirrels!  OH MY GOD!  Okay, so he wasn’t eaten, but he was ripped apart.  THIS IS SCREWED UP!

1. Sugar Puffs Adverts: Honey Monster

There was a series of sugar puffs adverts in the early nineties or late eighties referred to as the ‘I want my honey’ adverts.  Basically, a kid would see a box of sugar puffs they couldn't reach and say ‘I want my honey’.  Only their desire for sugar puffs would cause them to hulk out and turn into the Honey Monster.  As they said ‘I want my honey’ their voice would transform into the deep growl of the monster, they would expand and grow yellow fur, bursting out of their clothes.  The monster would then rampage and eat all the sugar puffs.


Once again my childlike innocence was the problem.  I didn’t understand that the children were turning INTO the honey monster.  I thought the honey monster was taking them over in some kind of horrific body snatchers way, that the monster was killing the child as it burst out of them.


SCARIEST ADVERTS EVER.

I genuinely thought that the Honey Monster ate children.  I hated the Honey Monster for ever more.  And sugar puffs are gross anyway.  They turn the milk GREY.

(This confusion also caused me to assume the same thing with the Incredible Hulk, which is why I was terrified of him and subsequently the Jolly Green Giant who I thought was the same person.  Sugar Puffs and tinned sweetcorn; they’re all child killers.)


So compiling this list is going to give me sleepless nights for some time.  I hope you appreciated the ride.  What TV and film moments terrified you as a kid?

Monday, 6 February 2017

Musical Monday #121

"Stop prancing about!" - uh, she knows this is a musical, right?

Eglantine from Bedknobs And Broomsticks

Monday, 30 January 2017

Musical Monday #120

Might be stretching the definition a little bit with this one, but it's a great movie.

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head from Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid

Monday, 23 January 2017

Musical Monday #119

Some inspiring advice to get your week off to a positive start...

Face Your Fears from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episode I Hope Josh Comes To My Party!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Musical Monday #118

A sweet little romantic number today, that is better or worse for the change from stage show to movie, depending on how you want to look at it.

(You're) Timeless To Me from Hairspray

In the stage show a happily married couple sing a love song, which is refreshingly nice but dramatically not very interesting.  In the film, they have a massive bust-up first, which is a lot more interesting, if perhaps a betrayal of the original sensibility, but then a quick song with no real narrative value is supposed to just wipe that dramatic event clean, so you kind of wonder why they bothered.  Still, you don't get many odes to love from stable and/or mature couples in fiction, so it's still welcome.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Musical Monday #117


Mini-Sloths Sing-Along from Ice Age 2

Monday, 2 January 2017

Musical Monday #116

Another begrudging working Monday.  So this little pep-me-up goes out to anyone, like me, who doesn't know where the banks go when they go on holiday but dreams it must be lovely.

I picked this song because I happened to get the soundtrack for Christmas.

The Rhythm Of Life from Sweet Charity

Well... that was weird.