Posted in Regular Feature, The Movies, The Pink Panther Snipes Again

Revealer review

More angry women this week and I’m here for it, as always. The world rumbles on and I’m half-watching the bad news unfold in horror (both in the UK and worldwide), half-burying my head in the sand to preserve my sanity. Almost exactly as I did at the beginning of the pandemic.

Still, there are things to be happy about. Dogs, tattoos, seeing friends, having a new niece or nephew on the way – and horror movies. I’ve also been going back into the office which almost makes me feel normal and part of that has been dragging my weary carcass into the cinema after work. I recently caught The Black Phone which was very good.

This week’s pick might not be quite as tense or satisfying as the above-mentioned, which is based on a short story by Joe Hill (Stephen King Jr.) but it does have female solidarity, almost no men and a seedy 80’s aesthetic, which is almost always appealing. Hey, I’m easily pleased.


Tensions rise when a stripper and religious protester are trapped together in a peep show booth and must come together to survive the apocalypse in 1980’s Chicago.

Directors: Luke Boyce
Starring: Caito AaseShaina SchrootenBishop Stevens

Genre: Horror ∙ IMDB user rating: 4.4
My score: 2.5/5 ∙ Runtime: 86 mins

Angie (Aase) is a stripper at a local adult bookstore called Revealers. The gig is pretty soul-destroying for everyone involved but particularly Angie, who begs her colleague Ray (Stevens) to at least try and rustle up some business.

On the way into work, Angie enjoys a feisty back and forth with religious nut Sally (Schrooten), who’s protesting in a group outside the store. Sally begs her to fix her heart and welcome Jesus into her life, a suggestion Ang scoffs at openly.

Once in her booth, our girl gets to work but it’s a slow night. Well, slow that is until the Heavens turn pitch black and the end of days comes rolling in. This is how Ray ends up dead and Sally finds herself inside the bookshop with only Angie for company – and survival. The pair have no choice but to put their differences aside and find a way to safety.

No easy task when, a) the women are on such different moral pages (or are they?) – and b) the Devil’s own evil henchman has been sent to collect their mortal souls. When Angie reveals there’s more to her than just looking good in a thong – and Sally makes her own confession – the pair seem to turn a corner.

But is it enough?


The messaging here isn’t that subtle and is very by-the-numbers. Think retro buddy movie and you’ll have an idea of where this is heading before it gets there. However, I don’t mind that too much. I’m not wild about the central characters and maybe would have liked some more padding around their personalities so I cared a bit more – though I did warm to them (sort of) eventually.

The fact that this has an 86 minute run time is helpful as Revealer doesn’t really have a lot of plot. The day of reckoning has finally come – as predicted by the church – and Sally’s pissed off because she hasn’t automatically been whizzed up to God’s side. Maybe because her secret doesn’t exactly align with her religion – but is she willing to proclaim who she really is and risk her place in Heaven?

The effects are basic too which isn’t unexpected given this is a low-budget straight-to-Shudder TV movie but the setting is unusual and I appreciate it was giving us a slightly different take on the apocalypse. Not original but more than just zombies, who can get old quick.

I did find it a shame that Angie’s character had to have a wholesome side to counterbalance her morally corrupt career choices. As soon as Sally finds out her new ally has parental responsibilities, she softens considerably. Which is what I mean about being heavy-handed. We get it: don’t judge a book by its cover, even a slutty one (especially when you want to fuck them yourself.) As always though, why do flawed characters have to justify their place in the world?

Otherwise this was fine, though probably quite forgettable.


Posted in Regular Feature, The Movies, The Pink Panther Snipes Again

Fire Island review

This week we tan ourselves on a beach on the south shore while Noah and Howie – and their rag tag entourage – navigate Summer lovin’, a BJ room and the ultimate romantic gesture. All inspired heavily by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (especially the BJ room).

Let’s dip in?


A pair of best friends set out to have a legendary week-long summer vacation with the help of cheap rosé and a group of eclectic friends.

Director: Andrew Ahn
Starring: Joel Kim BoosterBowen YangMargaret Cho, Conrad Ricamora

Genre: Comedy, Romance ∙ IMDB user rating: 6.7
My score: 3.5/5 ∙ Runtime: 105 mins

BFFs Noah (Booster) and Howie (Yang) are still as tight as ever, though with the latter having recently relocated for his career, there’s a certain frisson to this vacay. This point is only exacerbated when the pals descend upon “house mother” Erin (Cho), who’s forced to admit that her home – A.K.A their annual Fire Island crash pad – is being sold. Making this potentially the last weekend they’re ever all together again.

Noah is determined to be Howie’s wingman this weekend, even if that means putting his friend’s sexual needs above his own. Howie for the record isn’t super into the idea of putting himself out there but soon changes his tune when he meets Charlie in a club. Unfortunately for Noah this comes with an entourage, and Charlie’s own group are different to Noah’s.

While Howie wraps his head around a new love interest, Noah falls into instant dislike with Charlie’s friend, especially when he overhears Will (Ricamora) slagging him off. Hmmmmmm, I wonder what all that pent up pettiness could equate to?

Then Howie gets dumped, Noah meets a babe called Dex (who has a vague history with Will) and argues with his new nemesis – and things start to unravel. Will any of our new friends salvage a happy ending from the holiday wreckage?


I have the thought that this review is pretty flimsy and maybe that’s because beyond a well-loved narrative – and a hot AF will-they-won’t-they center – it isn’t rocket science.

I enjoyed myself and appreciated it’s heart though there are a lot of beautiful characters to keep up with, hence me not using many of their names. There’s a shocking oversight to mention too, Max, one of Noah’s crew is utterly underused, as is Margaret Cho, honestly.

I also don’t really care about Howie and Charlie, or the Dex is secretly bad side story: lots of time spent with uninteresting side characters could be focused on the ones I did like. Or on the you choose your own family messaging, which is beautiful.

But apart from that, this is a feel good treat that looks great and delivers zingy, satisfying dialogue. Isn’t it incredible what furious/horny chemistry can do for saucy banter?


Posted in Regular Feature, The Movies, The Pink Panther Snipes Again

Blue My Mind review

Our Free For All theme sees us enter mermaid territory this week with a Swiss coming-of-age body horror – which frankly couldn’t be more up our street.

I feel not much more is needed by way of intro so let’s have at it right away, yeah?


An outwardly normal teenage girl faces overwhelming body transformations that put the very nature of her existence into question.

Director: Lisa Brühlmann
Starring: Luna Wedler, Zoë Pastelle Holthuizen, Regula Grauwiller

Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror ∙ IMDB user rating: 6.1
My score: 4/5 ∙ Runtime: 97 mins

15-year-old Mia Weber (Wedler) is new to Zurich, having moved there with her family when dad took a new job. As she settles into her new school things look a little shaky to start, but take a turn when she gets involved with a circle of girls, lead by Gianna (Holthuizen).

The girls are advanced for their years, experimenting freely with drugs, sex and minor misdemeanors, like shoplifting – and as such are considered problem teens. Keen to fit in, Mia takes to these activities like a duck to water. This pulls her further away from her parents but she argues most violently with her mother.

At the same time, Mia notices her toes have started fusing together as if webbed. Her doctor is baffled about what could cause this as the condition is congenital, not something that appears in just a few weeks. This isn’t the only change she’s experiencing: she starts craving water with heaps of salt in it – and also eats two of her mother’s pet goldfish, which does not go down well.

Or rather, they do, which is the problem.

These changes, which are clearly more than just puberty based, add to the general woe of Mia’s life. Noticing there are no pictures of her mother pregnant with her – and that she bears no resemblance to her parents – she vows to find out the truth. Meanwhile, the partying between friends gets more excessive and Mia becomes sexually active – though there’s an undertone to her friendship with Gianna that suggests they could be more.

Her body transformation also picks up speed as her lower half grows scaly and she develops what looks suspiciously like gills. Freaking out but also doing what any self-respecting teenager would do – hiding it – she keeps on swimming. But following a traumatic party situation, Mia finds herself caught between a (sea) rock and a hard place (land).

What will become of this poor girl, all her wants, needs and dreams?


I loved this and not just because it’s a mermaid tale. It looks beautiful, and the practical effects and horror elements are very simple yet effective. They’re also subtle and while the final reveal is no secret, its not given away too easily or too soon, which helps build tension.

All the performances are very naturalistic but it’s our leading lady that carries it. Wedler is mesmerising, commanding the screen and securing my sympathy right away, even when acting like your typical teenage nightmare. I also enjoy the chemistry between Mia and Gianna, which reminds me of the blurred lines between love and something more from my own adolescent friendships.

Maybe it’s a little flimsy on narrative but in fairness this is a rumination on growing up so I don’t think it needs extra action. The fantasy elements are a metaphor for the alienation we feel as we evolve from child to adult and also captures the horror and fear of inevitable body change (and general life) perfectly.

The ending is bittersweet but matches the opening well, alluding to something deeper in Mia’s future. Man, how I wished I was a mermaid as a kid. In reality, or at least as showcased by Blue My Mind, this comes with its own set of icks and probably isn’t really my cup of tea.


Posted in Mental Health Talk, Regular Feature

Springbreakers – March newsletter

Here we are nearing the last few days in March and things are both awful and pretty okay in equal measure. The world is a cesspit with real life war raging on in Europe and honestly, things are almost too horrible to comprehend. While I stand with the Ukraine and will do my small part to help, I know my head in the sand approach to the news is a luxury many just don’t have, and I recognise it.

Throw in the cost of living crisis, which is terrifying, and it sometimes feels like there’s no good left – which is the perfect time to take stock I suppose. What I want to know though is where are the roaring twenty twenties we were promised? I’ve been hanging out for Gatsby-fication of the world post-COVID for a while now.

In the meantime, here’s what I’m grateful for, thinking about, doing and loving this month.

Max’s 1st birthday and thank god for family

My nephew turned 1 last weekend and it was lovely to be part of his big day. Obviously babies don’t give a fuck about the meaning of the day, so it’s more a celebration for the parents. As a (fucking delighted) non-parent, I can’t imagine how it must feel to have created life and kept it happy and healthy for twelve whole months. It’s definitely worth shouting about.

I know I’m completely biased but my nephew is a sweet angel prince and I adore him.

It actually sucks we live so far away from my brother and his wife. I’d give anything to be able to pop round for a cup of tea after work with Maddy – and of course be there to see my nephew grow all the time. But then I guess the way it is now makes family time even more special and anyway, they lived in Hove a few years back and we still saw them the same amount, guess it’s called having our own lives.

As I get older I do fantasise about moving away from Brighton. I don’t know where I’d go and I’d want to stay on the coast. Maybe Hastings Old Town? I can see myself trotting around that area looking bomb AF. I doubt this will ever happen but sometimes I think it would be nice to start over – and be closer to the fam.

Office space

Work are trying to get us back into the office in a hybrid capacity after exactly two years (for me) of working at home in my underwear. I’m coming round to the idea of returning to the working world – and I know it will be good for my mental health – but it’s still a lot to adjust to. Two years of being out of the rat race (sort of) would have been unfathomable before all this happened but it’s funny how quickly you can get used to something. And now I’ll have to get used to two days a week in the office.

I know I’m incredibly lucky to be in this position so there will be no moaning coming from me. Well, until the most minor of inconveniences on my part. In general work news, I’ve said before how I feel more comfortable when I’m flying under the radar. I’m not one for pushing myself too hard but apparently I’m doing something right at the moment and that freaks me out! My first instinct is always panic and doubt in my abilities. I can’t imagine being someone who doesn’t have imposter syndrome, imagine being like “Yeah I can easily do this, no sweat”. Mind-boggling.

Out and about

It does feel good to be going out to dinner with friends and seeing films again. Dressing up to go out is important to me and makes me feel good – so I’m enjoying myself. Equally, I enjoy the down time afterwards and will still always see the bright side when someone cancels our plans.

It’s also nice to actually be doing little things for myself again like going for regular trims and getting my nails done – something I will have to pack up very soon when I stop being able to afford the non-essentials. Talking of essentials (LOL), I have a tattoo consultation in place tomorrow with my regular tattooist to start our next project and an appointment for the 9 April for some work from a new artist. Which is just exciting – and what I spend my well-earned annual bonus on. Irresponsible with money, me? Never.

Also, how nice is it when the weather’s pretty? I can’t stand the heat but I do like a warm day and having a garden is pretty sweet, even though it need a lot of work.

In other news, here are my entertainment highlights of March:

TV/Film/Book of the Month

Book: Gerald’s Game

Frankly I have no choice but to nominate this one as it’s the only book I’ve read over the last two months. I reviewed it in full here. Tonight the We Three Kings book club are watching the film version. I’m not sure I’m ready for the trauma again tbh but at least once we’re done I can put this to bed forever.

Not sure what our next Stephen King will be but I’ve currently got Revival and The Institute queued on my Kindle – and I also got Later on my physical pile. Which reminds me I also have the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novel which would make a good companion piece to Later.

I’m looking forward to getting back into reading this year.

TV: Love is Blind – Season 2

While not nearly as spicy as the Australian Married at First Sight (which was scandalous), I recently fell into this and quite enjoyed myself. The premise is unbelievable really – 14 or 15 single men and women talk to each other through a wall and fall in love the old-fashioned way, without seeing each other. When they eventually ‘fall’ they have to propose to their chosen ‘one’. If that person agrees they get to see each other for the first time and then live together for a month before getting properly married or… not. With mixed results.

Of course not all of them stick and they’re the most fun ones – who doesn’t love the drama? It is cute when it works out though.

Film: The Batman and Ti West’s X

I couldn’t choose between these two so I nominate them both. The Batman is a stonker of a movie, both in terms of enjoyment and in reference to its mammoth runtime. No film should be almost three hours long honestly, even superhero movies and Robert Pattison’s bat odyssey is no exception. That said I really liked the return to a more detective-style Noir Batman who enjoys a great working relationship with Jim Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and rocks a more EMO aesthetic.

Zoë Kravitz‘s Selina Kyle (by day) and The Penguin (Colin Farrell) are, respectively, so much fun but I think we can safely say the main antagonist, The Riddler (Paul Dano) steals the show. I’ll let you process this one for yourselves but I had a blast and remain excited about the evolution of this iteration of Gotham City and it’s fucked up inhabitants. The teased new version of The Joker is pant-wettingly exciting too.

Meanwhile in 1979, we join a small crew of optimistic porno makers as they embark on a fresh new shoot called The Farmer’s Daughters. I guess they must not have heard any negative press about Texas because they head to an isolated guesthouse in the country to begin filming. Guests of elderly couple Howard and Pearl, who have no idea what their intentions are, they’re eager to keep a relatively low profile. Which doesn’t work out real well for them, unfortunately.

I loved X which stays true to traditional horror tropes while injecting some real freshness into the genre. This is movie is probably best described as bizarre and probably not in the way you’d expect. Mia Goth plays both sexy ingenue Maxine and the elderly Pearl – and honestly, this is one of the best performances she’s given to date (and she’s incredible in Suspiria (2108)). At the same time Scream’s Jenna Ortega and Brittany Snow bring their A-games and close up the holy trinity to perfection. One of the most exciting things about this film – besides the unexpected turns, genuinely funny dialog and gore – is that Ti West has already filmed the prequel, Pearl about the lady herself and it looks and sounds wonderful.

I really think the last few years have been very cool for horror and this is yet another hit for A24, the ‘thinking person’s horror producer’. Kidding, I hate the term ‘elevated horror’ but it is true that they’re the connoisseur of intelligent, visually stunning horror and horror adjacent goodness.

Anyway, that’s me for March. I’m looking forward to April – and slowly coming back to myself. It feels good because I’ve missed me. LOL.

What are you up to?