Nightman Listens To – Madonna – Rebel Heart!

Rebel Heart - Wikipedia

Greetings, Glancers! Wellity well, we’ve almost caught up with Madonna’s output. I know I’m slow at getting these things out (for anyone who even still reads them) but there’s only a couple of albums to go. And give me a break, I’m also doing Jovi, Adams, Roxette, The Stones, The Beach Boys, and of course my Top 1000, Non-Beatles, and 1966 series. A more diligent blogger would of course just pick one artist and pump out posts about their work over a few week period before moving on to the next thing. But I can’t focus on one thing for too long. And as I say, no-one even reads these things anyway and they’re not exactly the most exciting reading given that they’re unimaginative reactions as I listen for the first time. A smart blogger would of course switch to YouTube and make gargantuan gasps and wide-eyed stares at the camera in faux shock as if I’ve just stumbled upon a kitten in a waistcoat shaving a cow with a cigar. My hope is that people simply Google Madonna (or whoever) one day and stumble upon my posts, and read through them all in a single sitting, tutting at how I’ve misunderstood their favourite song. In any case, you’re stuck with me.

So, Rebel Heart. I know two of these songs – one I’ve only heard once and don’t really remember, while the other was an instant hit for me and has become one of my favourite Madonna songs. Beyond those, I don’t know much about the album. It’s another which seems packed to the gills with collaborations, something I generally don’t approve of and something which tends to show an artist is creatively flailing around, hoping someone else will save them from mediocrity or pull them back up from their mire. I’m hoping that’s not the case here, but given the (lack of) talent Madonna has aligned herself with on this record, I’m not holding out for greatness.

Living For Love: A blippy bloppy warbling beat emerges. Then deep Madonna vocals. Melody – fair enough. Then a beat. Then piano and a different melody. Am I getting some sort of Gospel feel from the melody? Then the beat returns. Then the song does that horrible chorus fake out thing that every was doing a couple of years ago. Maybe they’re still doing now, I don’t know. It’s well produced and it doesn’t follow a simple set pattern. At least the chorus drop isn’t as bad as most. There are a few other voices in the chorus, it does seem to be going for a Gospel approach. There’s too much space between the different vocals, space which could have been packed with additional voices for ore impact. Then it ends abruptly. It’s a decent opener, not horrible, not overly memorable.

Devil Pray: An acoustic guitar opener, with an almost Latin tone. Then weak ass hand clap beats screw up a perfectly good vocal. I will never understand why artists choose that sound for their beat. The lyrics aren’t great from what I’m picking up on the surface. Decent pre-chorus, but again the chorus drops instead of peaks. It’s frustrating as the song is fine – it’s not extraordinary – it’s a B grade song which falls to C because of those stylistic choices which are clearly made for modern sensibilities and not me. Her vocals are patchy in places too. It stretches out for another minute, presumably for dancefloor purposes, adding lots of beeps and sounds which don’t do anything.

Ghosttown: Is the one I mentioned at the top that I loved. It’s A Tier Madonna. It’s a great song all round, even if I’m not in favour of all the musical and production choices. However, you could record this a hundred different ways as long as you keep the central melody, and you’d have a great song each time. It’s a perfect pop song, something Madonna knows a little something about, plus it has plenty of emotion ensuring it makes it up to the next level up the ladder.

Unapologetic Bitch: Although the sound isn’t my go to, this starts well but then drops into a slower Reggae style thwomp. I would have preferred keeping the pace and intent of the intro. It reminds me too somewhat of The Delays. The lyrics are quite sweary which is unusual for her – it’s your standard woman scorned stuff and that sort of lyric only works for me if it goes deeply personal, like Alanis. Credit for the little rap portions (getting Chas and Dave vibes from those – rabbit rabbit rabbit) and for how the rhythm of ‘unapologetic bitch’ works. The chorus gets nuzzled into your brain.

Illuminati: It’s not the first time Madonna has done some rapid fire name-checking. Not names I give a shit about, but she’s gonna do what she’s gonna do. This is quite experimental for her – the verse doesn’t have anything obvious to grab hold of, then the chorus becomes quite sweet. At least it’s interesting, which is more than can be said for most pop stars of her, or any generation at the moment. There’s a John Carpenter synth vibe here and there. Once again, credit for trying something different, but I can’t say it all works for me. I don’t dislike it by any means.

Bitch I’m Madonna: This is the other one I’d heard. Some of the melodies are fine but the lyrics are abhorrent and the production is all over the place hitting all the black boxes of modern pop I can’t abide – silly sounds? Check. Dropping the momentum at the chorus? Check. Random newb warbling in the background? Check. Wafer beats? Check. Self interest? Check. Emotionless? Check. Catchy? Kind of, I guess. Bland and repetitive? For the most part, yeah.

Hold Tight: This seems much better. A more classic sound and vocal while still adhering to modern norms. It’s a simple approach this time, and a simple melody to go with it. The beats and production isn’t what I would choose again, pandering too much to today’s sound and quirks which will likely date the thing in a few more years. I would have gone all in on the backing vocals on this one to give a booming transcendent feel. It’s almost one of her better songs, but still good.

Joan Of Arc: A pondering guitar intro gives way to a lovely vocal and melody. It’s instantly more touching and honest. I feel like this is already going on the playlist. The drum beats could have been toughened up and rounded out, but that’s a minor issue. I think this will grow on me over time and it’s another example of a Madonna song which would work in any generation, with any production as long as the melody and purity is kept intact.

Iconic: With a name like that, this could go well or very badly. We’ll see. Oh balls, this is another .feat thing. This time it .feats a rapist, so that’s something. Verse is right up the middle, the little hey-yays are bordering on annoying. Decent pre-chorus. Of course the chorus loses the momentum and does that thing I won’t shut up about. At least there’s some sort of Halloween tone to that chorus. Some day in the future, someone’s going to re-do all the songs from the 2010s, but fix the chorus so that it doesn’t do the beat drop thing, and on that day every single one of those songs will take 10 large steps upwards in quality. Some bloke I’ve never heard of raps in the middle of everything else going on. It’s not very bad, but it’s a long way from good.

Heartbreakcity: Thankfully this one feels more streamlined – a lone piano line without tweaking. A neat military parade beat drops and the chorus builds and feels similar to Ghosttown. It’s another spiffing melody at times, but it doesn’t quite sustain that quality over the whole running time.

Body Shop: This is, what? Eastern folk inspired, with a child-like nursery rhyme quality? There’s some sort of tribal trance rhythm. In other words, she’s playing with conventions again. I can’t quite pick up many of the lyrics or what it’s all about during first listen. I don’t like the little ‘yeah’ shouts in the background, but then I never do. Without those I’d be willing to listen to this more. It’s a curio which is almost ruined by those repeated ‘yeah’s as they increase in frequency towards the end to the point that I had to stop the song early.

Holy Water: A more dance influenced, near rap from Madonna. It has some sex noises in the chorus. I could do with some more bass in the verse – something really dirty would have made it grind in a more sweaty, sexy way. At least the chorus doesn’t collapse like so many of the others. It’s nice that she’s still singing about her vagina. And that she’s referencing and sampling herself. An interesting one for sure, but I’m not sure there’s enough melodic quality for me to listen to it again.

Inside Out: There’s a dirtier fuzzier bass which should have been in the previous song. This is a stronger second half than the first. The verse is solid enough, then the chorus goes all Sia. That’s always a good thing. It’s not top tier Sia, or top tier Madonna, but definitely good enough that I’ll happily hear it again.

Wash All Over Me: Sole piano keys open and traverse the verse and a fair melody spreads itself out. The chorus is better, but it’s lacking something – a key change, another push? I don’t know, I just feel a tiny sense of frustration that it doesn’t go the way I wanted it to. It’s a good song to end the album with – a B song which doesn’t unleash the sadness or hope or whatever extra emotional push it is I was hoping for to shunt it into A.

So… it’s another good album. Solid. There aren’t as many true stand out tracks which I see making my long term playlist, but there is a long list of songs which just miss out and a short list consisting of average or crap. It once again confirms that when Madonna keeps things simple and builds a song around a melody rather than an idea or trend, that’s when she’s at her best; that’s when she still makes great pop songs. The worst moments are when she goes too experimental to the point that the song stops being a song, or when she copies what others are doing (chorus drop). There are some annoying quirks – backing shouts and vocals being the main offender, but when the song is good I can mostly overlook those. We’re almost caught up with Madonna now and I must admit that I didn’t expect to enjoy her post Ray Of Light stuff as much as I have. Sure there has been some crap, but there have been plenty of songs added to my playlist – and a few of those are from this album.

Nightman’s Playlist Picks: Ghosttown. Hold Tight. Joan Of Arc. Inside Out.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Rebel Heart!

Nightman Listens To The Best Albums Of 2020 (and blog meanderings)!

No photo description available.
Remember going and seeing live music with actual real life people?

Greetings, Glancers! It’s what nobody asked for – more moaning about music by me. Puhlease, pretty puhlease try to understand that I’m really only doing this for myself. I want to keep track of modern music – not just the artists I listen to myself, but what the majority of people and critics are listening to and loving. I could do that without writing about it, but I find that if I have a task to complete – such as writing a post – then I’ll give more dedication to it, something more than a cursory throwaway listen (I’m also going to try to give all of the other albums I’m listening to for my other series more than a single listen).

This post is just to alert all of you that it’s coming. I don’t know what sort of format this is going to take – do I look at some consensus site and listen to the top 50 albums there? Do I go around various publications and lists and listen to the top five on each, from NME to Metal Hammer to Q to Rolling Stone to the biggest sellers? I don’t know. What I do know is that I want to hear music I wasn’t previously aware of. I want a mix of genres. I’m not holding out much hope for finding a new favourite band or singer, that would be nice, but if I can find a couple of songs on each album to enjoy then I suppose I’ll be happy. Mostly, I don’t want to be the curmudgeonly old man out of touch with new music.

At the time of writing, I haven’t checked out any of the sites or publications or lists to have any idea of what was popular in 2020. I think there was a new Taylor Swift album which dropped out of the blue? I haven’t listened to anything by her, but I am at least aware she exists. I assume there will be a bunch of crappy next big thing Indie bands, plenty of in your face Rap peeps, and a lot of overrated solo crooners. On the Metal side, I don’t really know. I bought hardly any new albums last year that I have listened to a significant number of times… JDB’s new album, the new Lovebites album… that’s about it.

Elsewhere, I still have this niggling urge to start my own podcast. The thing holding me back, as with anything, is the effort involved. I wouldn’t want it just to be a random chat, though that would make up a significant part of each episode. There would be a focus, leaning towards something similar to what I do on the blog, such as a listenathon of a particular artist or chart but with the bonus of having the opinion of another 1-3 people. But I’d like to start each episode with general chit chat and catch up on what movies and shows we’ve been watching. The other problem is of course finding 1-3 other people. I’m old – I don’t have friends anymore!

I realise that I already have a load of other series on the go – some are close to the end, some are only beginning, and some will probably never be done. In other words, this new thing will always be a work in progress and by the time I get around to listening and posting it may very well be the end of 2021. But as it’s a work in progress I’ll just keep carrying it on from year to year, and hey, maybe rather than going track by track I’ll actually write the thing like a real reviewer! Between following Marillion, finishing up my Bowie, Bon Jovi, Madonna, Beatles Solo bits, Beach Boys, and Best Evers, and now throwing newbs into the mix, I’m hoping to enrich my musical oeuvre and maybe learn a thing or three along the way.

Let us know if you have any favourites of 2020 you think I should check out!

My Blog- October 2020

Greetings, Glancers! Another month begins, and the Corona Saga continues. Northern Ireland is getting its highest figures yet and the fear is that further lockdowns will come, even as Schools and Businesses remain open. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here given serious thought to starting my own podcast. I have most of the right equipment to start a shitty one to go along with all the other shitty ones, and I have an idea of what I would like to do. It’s just getting the will and courage to actually do it, and to rope in some people to help. That, and the logistics are quite difficult given my lack of spare time. It’s these excuses and procrastinations which stop me from ever doing anything.

If you’re seeing more music posts than normal, it’s likely because I’m playing along with Paul Rose/Mr Biffo’s new podcast, in which the Marillion super-fan charts the band’s history release by release with his wife, his wife who only knows a handful of songs. It’s very similar to the Do You Love Us podcast I’m also listening to, where a Manics fan shares his love with two friends who don’t know much about the band. That’s an idea I’ve had for a while – for years really, long before podcasts ever existed. I say ‘idea’, but isn’t it more like a compulsion we all have – to share the things we love with the people we love? To impart and pass down our wisdom to the next generation, or to our peers we feel may be missing out? In the old days, this was bringing in your favourite CD or cassette and forcing the person sitting beside you on the School Bus Trip to listen, or to take control of the stereo at your house party. Nowadays, we have genuinely entertaining and insightful folks spreading this love and wisdom over the internet via the Podcast form, and us existing fans or newbs can revel in the agreements and arguments and new knowledge which follows.

By the time this post will be published, I will have published two Marillion posts for everyone to gawp at and I should have finished writing two more. I’ve listened up until the first half of the band’s first album, and have mostly enjoyed the journey. I’m not used to this sort of process – listening repeatedly with the express purpose of giving my thoughts – in my other Nightman Listens series, I type my thoughts at the same time as the song is playing, and I only listen once while in my regular music reviews, I tend to review music I’m already a life-long fan of.

To close today, and because I know some of you enjoy this sort of thing, I’m linking to a post about Northern Ireland and giving a few of my own thoughts below.

30 Reasons Why Northern Ireland is Weird But Wonderful

To be fair, I don’t think I could have picked 30 reasons, but lets go through them.

  1. Our newspaper headlines are insane: Given that I rarely, if ever read any news – especially local news, this doesn’t mean much to me. I don’t think our headlines are any more or less silly and exaggerated and click-baity than any other nation.
  2. We eat sandwiches filled with crisps: This is, or was pre-lockdown, my daily lunch diet. Why go to the bother of making something else, or heading out to buy overpriced junk, when a loaf and a 12 pack of Tayto has you covered?
  3. We have our own unique version of the English language: Aye rite mate, wind yer neck in and smell yer ma when I get home.
  4. We have one sacred rule – sun’s out, taps aff: Or for anyone outside of Northern Ireland – Sun’s out, tops off. You do get a lot of steeks strutting around Belfast as soon as it hits 16 degrees with their ribs on display with only crayon textured spotty skin to protect from UV rays.
  5. For some reason we’re really good at bread: Yes, we are. Lots of different brands too, not one main boyo.
  6. Our graffiti is while creative: Or for anyone outside of Northern Ireland – ‘wild creative’ – or ‘very creative’. They’re talking not only about our murals, but the random quotations you’ll see spray painted on the side of buildings.
  7. We made Eamonn Holmes: And a bunch of other people you don’t know.
  8. Our politicians work hard and play hard: Or, more accurately, they refuse to work at all, but still get paid more than anyone else
  9. We have an annual bog snorkelling competition: I wasn’t aware of this, but also read ‘bog’ as ‘dog’.
  10. People come from all over the world to see The Giant’s Causeway: Yes, they do.
  11. When someone asks you where you’re from, you have genuinely no idea how to answer without putting your life in danger: Because, you see, we have only two types of people, and both want to kill each other.
  12. One of our most delicious foods is called ‘fadge’: I have no idea what this means, or what they’re talking about. Unless they mean fudge, yet the associated picture is of some soda looking thing.
  13. The PSNI like a bit of craic: Strangely, it turns out that police officers are human too. You wou;dn’t think so given some of the truly pointless wastes of humanity you hear about on the news these days, but most cops, and people, try not to be dicks.
  14. We have a dark sense of humour about our past: Yes, we name our drinks after terrorist events. Like walking into a cocktail bar in NYC and seeing a Twin Tower Crumble on the menu.
  15. Our Christmas lights look like penises: Fair enough. So do our politicians. Flaccid, diseased ones.
  16. This picture isn’t as shocking as it should be: It’s a picture of two vans of riot police standing on guard outside an Ann Summers (sexy lingerie) store. This store is bang in the middle of Belfast City Centre, though I’m sure why it would be shocking.
  17. You can ask little children if they’re having the craic and not be arrested: Assuming this is a twee play on words. Given I don’t say ‘craic’, it doesn’t work for me.
  18. You can ask a woman if she would like a poke and not be arrested: See above. Poke means Ice Cream.
  19. We may have Snow Patrol, but our most recognizable musician is this guy: It’s a migrant who plays an instrument which is half violin, half trumpet. As of 2020, he’s still out there doing his thing to my knowledge.
  20. Your Granny will either have a picture of the Pope or the Queen above her fireplace – never both: Again, I have never once seen or experienced this in my life, so I assume it’s entirely concentrated to the most scummy parts of Belfast.
  21. You can buy home furnishings that look like this: It’s a giant picture of a cat. I don’t see how this is different from anywhere.
  22. Our sculptures have poignant names: It’s a picture of two large orbs near one of Belfast’s hospitals which people apparently call ‘the balls on the falls’. It’s near the Falls Road in Belfast. I’ve no idea what it’s actually called nor have I heard people call it this.
  23. This monstrosity is a hospital: It’s a picture of City Hospital (not the one with the balls on the falls). It looks like a giant death cube, in industrial taxi colours, inconceivably balanced atop a smaller cube, with crematorium chimney alongside. I always tell people you can’t get lost in Belfast, because you can see the lights of City Hospital from anywhere.
  24. No matter where you live, you can have lemonade delivered to your door: Yes, Saturday mornings were great because of cartoons and the Maine Man coming round to drop off some Rasberryade and Coke. Feckers don’t make Ciderette anymore.
  25. No one else in the world knows the joy of introducing Coronation Street in their best Julian Simmons’ voice: And now on the UTv…
  26. Game Of Thrones employs more locals than the Civil Service: Not anymore.
  27. Your granny loves a good gravy ring: Not anymore.
  28. No-one knows what’s in a pastie bap, but we eat them anyway: No we don’t.
  29. Burning wood is part of ‘our culture’: And tyres.
  30. The way you pronounce the letter ‘H’ determines whether or not you’ll get a dig in the bake: For whatever reason, Protestants say ‘aitch’ and Catholics say ‘haitch’. So THEY ALWAYS KNOW. Dig in the bake? Punch in the mouth.
  31. We’re obsessed with Jamie Dornan: Who?

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a sile post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!

 

My Blog – September 2020 (With Added Fun)!

Greetings, Glancers! At the start of these My Blog posts, I usually go on about my feelings about the month I’m posting in, or what nonsense is going on in the world, but I’m not going to do that this time. Instead, I’m going to jump straight into a new fun challenge which probably thousands of people have done before, but which I’m going to do now. It’s a simple Playlist creator challenge. Make a playlist which broadly encompasses your musical tastes, but you can only choose one song per artist. Simple! Me being me, I’m doing a double album. What’s the average, or best, number of songs on an album? Twelve, right? So a double album equals twenty four songs. Me, still being me, added the caveat that it should flow like an actual album, not like a random collection of songs or greatest hits. So I grabbed my iPod, had a quick gander for 24 of my favourite artists of all time, and picked 24 songs before painstakingly putting them into a logical order – should the album fly out of the traps with a banger, or ease you in gently?

Now, these are not my favourite 24 songs of all time, or necessarily my favourite songs by the particular artist, because the idea is that you share these playlists with your friends on Spotify or whatever things people use these days. With all things, I’m doing this at a rush, and will likely miss out some people and later think ‘wtf, Nightman’ but there you go.

Feel free to add your playlists in the comments, share with your friends, have a go if you think you’re ‘ard enough. You don’t have to do a double, just give it a go. Please. Please?

  1. Basil Poledouris: Battle Of The Mounds

2. G’n’R – Nightrain

3. The Music – Getaway

4. Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven

5. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

6. Tori Amos – Winter

7. Gemma Hayes – Something In The Way

8. The Gathering – Eleanor

9. Metallica – One

10. Nirvana – Territorial Pissings

11. JJ72 – Bumblebee

12: Muse – Knights Of Cydonia

13: Michael Jackson – Wanna Be Startin Somethin

14: Sia – Bring Night

15. Eminem – Kim

16. Radiohead – Paranoid Android

17. Alice Cooper – Halo Of Flies

18. Opeth – Marrow Of The Earth

19. Alice In Chains – Nutshell

20. Natalie Imbruglia – What’s The Good In Goodbye

21. The Bangles – I’ll Set You Free

22. Nightwish – Ghost Love Score

23. Iron Maiden – Fear Of The Dark

24. Manics – A Design For Life

There you have it. Turns out I went over my count by a few, and had to drop the likes of The Beatles, Koji Kondo, John Williams, and many others. But I think that looks like a decent set – there’s your banging intro section, a little acoustic interlude, a collection of more dance oriented ones, and a crowd-pleasing finale. Share your lists too – what does the 12 or 24 track Greatest Hits of your life look like?

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a sile post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!

My Blog – August 2020

Dunluce Castle Medieval Irish Castle on the Antrim Coast ...

Lets start out with an apology. I realise the last couple of weeks I’ve been slacking somewhat on my blog posts. I’ve still been writing, but just not publishing as much as I normally do. Partly this is because we have our new son gobbling up all of my time, as he should, and partly because I’ve been on holiday for a week and typically I don’t do a lot of this stuff when I could be drinking and playing with the kids and watching stuff. On top of those wonderful excuses, when I have been writing it has been on silly stuff I have no intention of ever publishing. Procrastination of a sort, but I don’t spend a lot of time writing random stuff as it pops into my head, just to get it out of my head. So sorry.

As such, I don’t have any plans for today’s post so I’m typing on the fly. As I almost always do. To make up for the lack of published posts, I’ll plan to post some stuff every day over the next month – as I reminder, I do still have hundreds of movie and music reviews that I’ve written over the years for other sites, but just haven’t posted here yet. Many of them are rubbish though, so I debate whether to update them or just bin them completely. In terms of what else I’ve been working on in the background – I’m still writing my Oscar posts, though I have stepped back somewhat on those too, I’m still working on my Essential Movies and Introduction to Foreign Movies posts, I have a load of Manics Song By Song posts ready to publish at any moment, still working on my various Music series and lists, and I’m still plugging away at assorted movie and miscellaneous lists. There are a handful of other new series which I haven’t announced yet, but those are well underway. Unfortunately for you guys, this is my writing style; I get sucked into one idea like a leech for a few weeks, then I exhaust my interest in it and move onto something else. The positive is that my interests are cyclical, so invariably whatever was exhausted comes around again and I pick it up once more. That just means my publishing and completion of such things is all over the place and has zero consistency.

As it’s been a while, why don’t I do another irreverent (irrelevant?) Northern Ireland questionnaire type thing. Those are always a hit. I Googled ‘Things To Do In Northern Ireland’ and found the following Trip Advisor post: Click here to read.

First on the list is Crumlin Road Gaol – you can tell it’s important, because ‘Jail’ is spelled stupidly. I’ve been on this trip, as part of a work outing a number of years ago, because why the hell else would I ever choose to go? In truth, it was a decent way to spend a couple of hours outside of work, and given that I’m not someone who is particularly interested or invested in my Country’s history, there was plenty of interesting things to learn – outsiders or those more interested will get more out of it than I did. The Gaol no longer operates, but for many decades (centuries?) it was the premier spot to house all of Belfast’s most dangerous bad guys – from Terrorists, to thieves, murders, and most of our current sitting politicians (read-Terrorists). You’re given a full tour of the gaol, outside and in, while a knowledgeable Belfast Boyo will regale you with stories of the history of the facility, the intake process, the various escape attempts, the famous inmates, and some of the more grisly details. Notably, the prison was also used for executions up until deep into the 20th Century, and you get to visit the Gallows and see how those on death row met their end. This makes for a more interesting Halloween themed trip – the Gaol runs these special nights in October each year as they focus more on the dark side, taking visitors through the undergound tunnels which link the Gaol to the Courts on the other side of the road, where, naturally, ghosts are frequently spotted.

2nd on the list, with a whopping single review on Trip Advisor, is ‘Let The Dance Begin’. I’ve no idea what this is, but it seems to be a collection of spindly looking 20 ft statues standing in a circle playing musical instruments. It’s in Strabane – which is another way of saying ‘Don’t Come Here’.

3rd up is The City Walls in Londonderry (if you’re a dick) or ‘Derry’ (if you’re a dick) or ‘Stroke City’ (if you’re a complete knob). It’s the Walls which surround and divide the town of Londonderry (seriously, it’s not a city – Belfast is the only place worthy of that name in Northern Ireland), and you can walk on top of them, around them, through them etc. Every so often there’s a more interesting piece of brick – a church, or a cannon, or a monument – something more than ‘Paddy Woz Here, 1916 yeeoo’. Though why anyone would choose to visit Derry is beyond me.

4th is the Titanic Building in Belfast. Oh, you didn’t know? The Titanic was built in Belfast and… well, we know how that story ends. Rejoice in one of humanity’s most embarrassing tragedies by visiting the Titanic Museum. You can see it from pretty much any tall point in Belfast, though I haven’t actually been to it yet. I’m sure it’s great.

5th – Giant’s Causeway, the first true landmark on the list. I have only been here once in my life, even though I only live about 15 miles away from it currently. I didn’t go until I was almost thirty, and some friends from London wanted to see it. It’s best kept for a sunny day, or at least a day with a clear or atmospheric sky, because you can get some kick ass photographs. It’s basically a pile of rocks which stretch like steps out to the sea, but this being Ireland we have a bunch of quirky mythology surrounding it.

6th – Florence Court. I’ve never heard of this. Seems to be, some sort of garden?

7th – Dunluce Castle. You’ll have seen it in Game Of Thrones. I’ve driven past it a hundred times, never actually been in it though. It’s in a very picturesque spot, dangling off the side of a cliff.

8th – Tollymore Forest Park. Somewhere I’m much more familiar with, I’ve spent countless days and hours here in my childhood. It’s the gateway to the Mourne Mountains, our largest and tallest Mountain range. There’s miles of forest and rivers to arse about in and pretend you’re being chased by a Predator or Hitler.

9th – Bangor Castle Walled Garden. Bangor is the town beside the town I grew up in. Though I did also live there for a while. Did I know it had a Castle? I don’t think it has a Castle. This place probably doesn’t exist.

10th – Museum Of Free Derry. See, even the name is being all edgy and political. I’ve no idea if I’ve been here or not. But again, you have to go to Derry to see it, so why would you bother?

11th – Crawfordsburn Country Park. I have been here. I didn’t do much at it, or see the sights which are supposed to be here. I played football and probably got drunk.

12th – Whitehead Railway Museum. Another place I’m sure I’ll never visit.

13th – Ulster Aviation Society. Isn’t this a nerdy club, not a thing you can actually visit? Sure, if you’re into airplanes, knock yourself out.

14th – Blackhead Path. Never heard of it.

15th – Peace Wall. Belfast’s turn for a Walled Tour. This is the wall which was historically used to separate the predominantly Protestant and Catholic sides of Belfast. It’s still there, but it’s all a bit silly given that there are a bunch of other ‘sides’, cultures, races, and religions in Belfast now, and given that you can just take a stroll around any edge of the wall or part of the city without there being a physical divide. Maybe some parts are still used and cordoned off, but I’ve no interest in finding out. Knock it down, move on.

That’s genuinely a sorry list. There are much of interesting places to visit, both of historical and cultural value, and in terms of sheer fun and entertainment. Belfast Zoo, the number one spot on any list, isn’t even here, and our much more interesting musems such as The Folk And Transport Museum, Ulster Museum, American Folk Park aren’t in the Top 15. Seriously, if you’re coming here just grab a car and go wherever you want. I recommend a weekend break in Belfast, and driving yourself around the two best coasts – up Antrim Coastline towards Portrush, and down past Newcastle through the Mournes towards Newry. That’s all you need.

Oh yeah, during my week off I was making cheese and crackers for my lunch and decided to try this mindblowing concoction:

It’s a Toffee Pop (a chocolate and toffee/caramel biscuit) topped with Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and three types of hard cheese. Yum.

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a sile post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!

Nightman Gets Excited About Liverpool Goals – Part One!

Liverpool F.C. - Wikipedia

Greetings, Glancers! I don’t typically write about Sport much here – I’ve tried in the past but have given up because I gave up caring and because nobody else did. Also, given the amount of genuine Sports blogs and Journalism out there, why would I bother throwing my balls onto the pitch too? To be fair, the same can be said for any topic, and as this is something I currently feel like writing about, hopefully the people who come here to laugh at my crap will get something out of this too. Probably not, I know.

Given Liverpool’s recent title win and groundbreaking season, I thought I would go back and revisit the best goals we’ve scored. I usually do this at the end of the Season when some kind soul on Youtube creates a compilation video, but this time I thought I’d do a bit of a write-along. First I was going to do a list of my favourite goals, then I thought I’d just do them all. These aren’t going to be match reviews necessarily, just my thoughts on the silky skills. I’m only including Premiership goals here, no other competitions. So let us begin!

Liverpool 4 – Norwich 1

Our first game of the Season saw us in terrifying form. Our Pre-Season wasn’t the most exciting but we got off to a flying start here, putting four past lowly Norwich. It’s perhaps amusing that the first goal scored this Season was an OG by Norwich’s hapless Hanley. Good work down the wing by Origi and a simple ball played into the six yard box saw Hanley stick a leg out in hope, inadvertently sticking into his own net – if it was any consolation, Firmino and Salah were lurking behind him and may have slotted home. Salah got the second goal, his first of another superb season, and there was a touch of luck involved with the ball bobbing around the box and dropping favourably twice to Liverpool boots – though the hunger to reach these balls first was clearly greater than the frightened Norwich defence. Salah picks it up after a Firmino pass, and side foots it into the net – simple. Salah turned provider for the third goal of the first half, swinging in a simple corner for the beast Van Dijk to rise above everyone else to power home a trademark header through the keeper’s legs. Making it 4 in the first half was my favourite of the bunch – the first of many floating crosses by TAA this Season, cutting the defence in two and allowing Origi to head in his first goal. Firmino should have made it five in the second half – a goal which would have been the best of the game after Henderson saw a shot touched on to the crossbar, followed by some silky Salah and TAA interplay leading to Firmino getting the balls caught under his feet.

Southampton 1 – Liverpool 2

A tighter affair didn’t see many chances for The Reds in the first half, and we could have been behind but for Adrian. In injury time in the first half, Sadio Mane channelled his inner Coutinho, coming in from the left after some swift triangle work, and unleashes an absolute belter into the top corner. Poor Bobby fluffed his lines again after a blistering counter attack, putting his chance narrowly past the wrong side of the post but made up for his miss by skipping a couple of challenges and hitting home from just outside the box. Former Red Danny Ings got a consolation goal, but it was Mane’s rocket which gets my vote for Goal Of The Game.

Liverpool 3 – Arsenal 1

Arsenal have been on a downward spiral since Arsene Venger departed, similar to The Scum once Red Nose retired. If there was any single reason why those two teams had such success in the 90s and 2000s, it was because of their two managers – taking sometimes average teams and making them consistent winners. Without that consistency, that same lack of consistency which Liverpool had in the 90s, those two teams have fallen on hilarious hard times. This game had some comedy defending from both teams before TAA’s corner and Joel Matip’s head broke the deadlock. Weekly mistake-maker David Luiz gifted Liverpool a second goal, tugging back Salah who looked clear to score and giving away a Penalty. Salah battered it into the top corner. As if that wasn’t enough, Salah destroyed Luiz on the halfway line and proceeded to sprint towards the quivering Arsenal goal before slotting home in my choice of Goal Of The Game.

Burnley 0 – Liverpool 3

Our final game of August was of course another win, with Salah almost scoring another screamer after Mane passed out wide allowing Mo to crash one into the post. Trent… he’ll say it was a goal but of course it was supposed to be a cross – in any case his 30 plus yard lob found Pope off his line and the ball swinging over his head and in. If there’s any lesson teams have learned this year – it’s if you make a mistake, Liverpool will make you pay. A ball given away near the centre circle saw Firmino race away, play it Mane, and Mane bang it in for the second. Bobby wrapped up the third after some persistence from Salah, the ball sneaking away from him but into the path of Firmino. Goal Of The Game to TAA.

Are you a Liverpool fan? A bitter Manc? Someone who has no clue what I’m talking about? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

My Blog – July 2020

We only went and did it! 30 years. 30 Years of near misses and nowhere nears. 30 Years since Liverpool Football Club was last crowned Champions Of England. Last Season of course, we were Champions Of Europe (6 times) and even after a club record of 97 points in the League, we still missed out on winning it by a single point. Most clubs would shatter after doing everything possible to win, beating records left and right, and still not winning, but the never give up mentality which has always been a part of the club and the city, and which has been rejuvenated and solidified under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp meant we simply pulled up our socks and went one better this year. With a 25 point lead at the top before the outbreak of COV-ID halted things, it was always inevitable that this was finally our year. I for one wasn’t taking anything for granted until it was mathematically impossible for anyone to catch us – which it now is, even with seven games remaining. Being 37 years old, I don’t really remember the last time we won. I remember us being Champions but none of the details. In the years between, we’ve seen some of our greatest players and managers come and go without getting their hands on the biggest price in British football, and the running joke from critics and naysayers was ‘maybe next year’. The jibes are no more. The critics and naysayers have been soundly destroyed on and off the pitch. As the clock ran down, at the poignant 96th minute in the match between rivals Man City and Chelsea, we knew that anything less than a City win would have crowned us Champions. Of course it would have been nice to have done the job ourselves – beating Everton and then Crystal Palace to have the celebrations on our own turf, but you don’t always get everything your own way. No matter – we got over the line in style – like no other club in history, and no have a claim to being the greatest football squad the Country has ever seen.

Champions Of Europe

Champions Of The World

Champions Of England

Oh yeah – here’s what I originally wrote for this blog post last week –

School’s Out! Here in Northern Ireland, we finish School in the last week of June before taking the entirety of July and August out – eight weeks to bask in the glorious lack of sunshine in whatever passes for Summer over here. Most people head to the Costa Del Booze for some unbegotten Continental flings or assorted lilo shenanigans with the family, but it’s a little different this year. Instead, all the Northern Ireland coastal resorts are being filled to bursting with chip-eaters from the rest of the Country, leaving their junk strewn over the beaches before heading back to the big smoke with sand in their cracks and resentment in their hearts. On top of that, the kids have been home schooled for the last few months, and we’re not even sure they’ll be back in September – which is a complete shambles given my eldest is going into her Primary 6 year – the most important year of School.

But that’s not what you came to read about. Last time out I told you about my current enjoyment of specific reaction channels. I love the idea behind some Reaction Channels – Americans watching British Sitcoms or trying British Snacks etc – that’s mildly interesting to me – but unfortunately most of the reactors are so obnoxious/low budget/have apparently just snorted 100 metres of coke as to make their content unwatchable. I enjoy seeing people experience things I am familiar with for the first time, whether it be food, TV, Music, Movies, but it really only works if they are people I’d like to hang out with IRL – not the self-obsessed bin lids who have cloned and spread all over YouTube.

Which is partly why I find myself drawn to different perspectives – people, who don’t seem to be dicks, who I may not usually have the opportunity to meet IRL. People from other cultures and countries, people with experiences and lives which may be truly alien to me. Plus, this also aligns neatly with the Post-Colonialist part of me which I have an inkling resides in all of us. When I was young, I wanted to be an explorer. Not because I had a desire to conquer and enslave like our forefathers, but because I wanted to visit places I hadn’t been before, or that perhaps nobody had been before. I still imagine visiting new worlds, parallel worlds, and sharing our culture and history – not with a view of showing we’re superior or trying to take over – but because what we’ve achieved as a species is pretty damn cool. So, in some way watching these Reaction videos is a harmless, vicarious way of living out these fantasies.

There are few unexplored places in our planet anymore. Places like the North Sentinel Islands – we’re unlikely to get Reaction videos from there… but places like North Korea, people who live in South American, African, or otherwise distant tribes, people who have grown up shielded or sheltered from World wide or Western Culture, people indoctrinated by Cults who have since escaped – people who have had lives so wildly outside of ‘the norm’ that they may have never heard of The Beatles, The Simpsons, Disney, Pizza, Canada – things the rest of us know by heart. I enjoy hearing stories and watching Reaction videos by people who escaped North Korea, but there are not many of them. Recently, Reactistan has been scratching this itch perfectly, as it has been publishing a series of Reaction Videos by people from Tribes in Pakistan. Videos include ‘Tribals React to Super Mario’, Tribals Try Nutella For The First Time’, ‘Tribals Try Coffee For The First Time’ – you get the idea. These wonderful, Meme-ready men and women have honest, often hilarious reactions to some of our supposed greatest exports. from the Elder who doesnt’ trust any food which is put in front of him, calling ‘Only God knows what is in this’ and claims his village has better versions of whatever he is reacting to, to ladies favourite Peer who is much more outgoing and willing to give thoughtful critiques. From dropping truth bombs to being surprised, disgusted, amused, or bemused by what is put in front of them, every episode is gold and it’s probably the most addictive thing I’ve watched in months.

When I first started watching the channel, they had under 20K subs, but at time of writing it’s over 100K – obviously I’m not the only one watching and enjoying. Plenty of people are commenting and creating their own memes in the comments so the community is growing, and fans are being asked for ideas for future episodes. Now’s the time to join in if it sounds like this is your sort of thing. If anyone reading this knows of any similar channels or wants to promote their own channels – feel free to share those here. I’m always interested to catch up with these, and it’s something I’d like to see more of online – less of the Buzzfeed type crap, more of the natural, truthful first time reactions. With that, kind of in mind, here are ten more TV shows I’d love to see individual Reactors React to.

Top Ten Shows NOBODY Is Reacting To (or probably are but just in vastly diminished numbers).

  1. Party Of Five

Party Of Five was one of my original personal obsessions. For early teen me, it had the hottest cast imaginable, with Neve Campbell, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Lacey Chabert giving me special loin feelings, and Matthew Fox and Scott Wolf for the ladies. On top of that, it was such a wonderfully acted and written emotional show. While my brother and others were still stuck on shite like 90210, I was dining in the mire of the Salinger family’s trials and tribulations. Every episode featured some sort of MAJOR DRAMA and it’s one of those shows which made me yearn to be in the USA at the time – when Grunge was still on a high and where the beautiful people were not vacuous. It’s probably wouldn’t make for the most entertaining of Reactions – it’s not a show which relies on cliffhangers or outlandish plots or has a lot of comedy or surprises. Instead, it’s a powerful, authentic drama which will probably rip your emotions asunder. NOTE: I’m aware there has been a Latino focused remake of the series featuring an all new cast, and that it has Reactors. I’m going to assume the show has not done well as I have heard zero people talk about it, which sucks.

2. Medium

Medium is a show I only started watching after it ended, buying the boxset because I love Patricia Arquette and the plot sounded like a neat merging of Supernatural, Cop drama, and balancing family life. And that’s exactly what it is. I haven’t finished the show yet, but it didn’t take me long to fall in love with these characters, thanks to excellent all round performances and the chemistry the cast has. Special mention must go to the chid actors here – they’re excellent. Again, not the most exciting show to watch others react to, but it’s a sweet show with a touch of horror, romance, humour, and mystery, and it is absolutely littered with guest stars who happen to be some of my favourite performers. No-one else is doing it, so go for those Blue Sky views.

3. Shooting Stars

This is where things get interesting; Shooting Stars was unlike anything else at the time, and while celeb based panel shows are all the rage in the UK now, they still haven’t come close to matching the majesty of Vic and Bob’s unholy spawn. I heard that panel shows aren’t really a thing in the US – I’ve no idea if that’s true or not. Basically, they are (typically) Quiz shows which feature celebrity guests. There’s no real prize on offer, beyond the honour of beating your opposing Team Captain. Typically there are Two Teams headed by an unchanging Team Captain, each week each team has one or two additional celebrity guests, and the show is hosted by an unchanging Quiz master. Sometimes the shows are based around Music, Sports, or Politics, but in the case of Shooting Stars, the subject matter was of course giant doves, True Or False questions (William Shatner’s real name is Bill Schitz?), and surreal video clips. There are a small number of, truly cringeworthy clips out there, of young US big-mouths watching the show uncomfortably and laughing at all the wrong parts, but I fell there are plenty of US viewers who would ‘get it’ and love it. The humour is both very British, and very Vic and Bob – you’ll either be a fan or you won’t, but it’s certainly their most accessible work with the bizarre tempered by the celebrity guests and the presence of Lamar, Jonsson, and Georgie Dawes. It’s one of my all time favourite shows, I used to regularly annoy people in school with my skits from it, and it’s one of those shows where you instantly have a sacred affinity and kinship with someone else who appreciates it.

4. The Outer Limits

Another seminal Anthology show, The Outer Limits is possibly seen as the little brother of The Twilight Zone. Honestly, I think the 90s version of the show may fare better with Reactors than the original. Maybe that’s because I grew up with the 90s one. A little more focused on horror, and on sci-fi, and with a touch more sex and violence, The Outer Limits is prime fodder for Reactors, mainly because not too many Reactors are watching Anthology shows (outside of Black Mirror) yet they offer provocative quick thrills and twists which the viewer will be anticipating – wondering if the Reactor will work it all out or be shocked.

5. Inside Number 9

I’ve talked about it multiple times before, it’s another Anthology show, but it is so clever, funny, scary, and offers something different with each episode while rarely dipping in quality, that I’m going to keep mentioning it until everyone has seen it. There are some Reactors doing bits and bobs of Inside Number 9, but we need some more dedicated Reactors following through and giving their Reactions to the whole thing.

6. Beavis And Butthead

Yes yes, it’s another personal favourite. Now, this is never going to happen due to licensing balls – the sort of which mean we’ll probably never get a good official Beavis And Butthead TV release on DVD/Blu Ray. Yes, I have the Mike Judge Collection, but it doesn’t have every episode, and it doesn’t have any of the music, which was 50% of what made the show appealing. Beavis And Butthead were the original Reactors, giving their beatdowns on MTv videos while slapping the bejesus out of each other, then going on anarchic adventures. In an ideal world, it would be Reactors watching every episode of the show, giving their thoughts not only on the humour, stories, and antics, but on the music. The 90s were a different time, it would be interesting to get some insight on how both people who were there, like me, and all you young cubs who weren’t born.

7. Eurotrash

What the hell was Eurotrash? If I’m honest I still don’t really know. A mixture of soft core pornography, reality, news stories with Europe’s sex oddities, and strange camp skits? Running for a marvellous 153 episodes, it was mainly helmed by the deadpan Antoine De Caunes, ably backed up on occasion by the likes of Jean-Paul Gaultier, Melinda Messenger, Graham Norton, Lolo Ferrari, and a host of others, and each episode featured segments where the crew would visit some strange European festival or couple or group and see what sort of sex escapades they would get up to, from orgies to painting to fetishes. The segments would consist of amusing voice-over translations of what was being said and side voice-over anecdotes a la Come Dine With Me. Back in the studio, usually garishly adorned to make it look like some Deee-Lite video, De Caunes would offer up random thoughts, speak with guests, introduce regular features, and be past of surreal skits involving giraffes or nuns or French people. All of this would surely cause the average ‘I’m like, low-key, not gonna lie, but I have like, oh my god, like no frickin idea what is going on’ spouting Youtuber’s fragile ego to disintegrate. And that can only be a good thing.

8. The Fast Show

Like last time around, you may be sensing a theme here. This time, it’s the surreal – something which I have always enjoyed from as long as I remember. I don’t know why I like it or how I got hooked on it, but you know what they say? ARRRRRSSSSSSE. The Fast Show was a sketch show born out of the charred corpses of Harry Enfield And Chums and Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Looking back, it is very dependent on catchphrases, with short sketches sometimes a build-up to a single one-liner that the audience has anticipated. But the key to The Fast Show was that there were hundreds of characters – some appearing only once or twice, some appearing for maybe 10 seconds, while others were given more screen time and back story. It would almost certainly be a case of your average US Youtuber being bewildered and not getting half of the humour, and waiting for that one strange soul that it would click with. Still, people reacting negatively can sometimes be as entertaining as people reacting and loving it.

9. Look Around You

Taking the bizarre to the next level was both glorious seasons of Look Around You – possibly the greatest unseen show ever made. The show took different approaches in each Season, but ostensibly was a spoof of 70s and 80s British Education TV shows for Children. The first Season was the sort of crap they used to show me in Primary school, while the Second was a longer form show which reminded me of several post-School ITV educational fare. The first season was made up of very short – less than 10 minute epsisodes focusing on a single topic, such as MATHS or GERMS, or GHOSTS. Most of the humour is dialogue based and I’ve heard several stories of people channel hopping, stumbling upon it and thinking it was a genuine educational show only to do a ‘wtf’ did he just say when one of the more bizarre turn of phrases was unleashed. The second season is more akin to something like Blue Peter or Tomorrow’s World and saw show creators Peter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper joining Olivia Colman and Josie D’Arby as hosts. Once again, each show centered on a a specific topic – Music, Sport, Computers, and featured a special guest with an invention hoping to be crowned Inventor Of The Year. Many cameos abound, from Simon Pegg to Edgar Wright, and the amount of detail and content puts other shows to shame – there’s so much here from visual gags to the script to the performances, that you’ll find something new each time. Primarily I want Reactors to watch this, because nobody ever talks about it and I fail to see how anyone wouldn’t laugh their nuts off at it.

10. Sliders

Sliders was one of the first non-kids shows I considered mine. In that nobody else in my family watched it, and none of my friends seemed to watch it. This was never a popular show at all in the circles I travelled in, and I kind of liked it that way. I think my brother caught on or two episodes and called it a cheap copy of Quantum Leap. That’s partly true, but equally unfair. It was a show about travelling to parallel worlds in an attempt to make it home – while Quantum Leap saw one man travelling in time in a roughly 50 year period, Sliders saw (initially) four people ‘slide’ through a wormhole to a parallel version of San Fransisco – some very similar to what they already knew, some very futuristic, some very technologically backwards. They had to stay in this place for a defined amount of time before moving on to the next randomly generated world, hoping they would make it back to their world. While it was very much an episodic show, it did have that overall Story Arc about Quinn, Wade, Arturo, and Brown getting home, and there would be smaller arcs involving double episodes or recurring threats such as the Kromaggs. It all went severely belly up after the third season, with cast changes and a loss of what made the first seasons so interesting, but it’s still the sort of show sci-fi fan Reactors should be watching while we wait for TV schedules and new shows to pick up again.

So that’s that. Oh wait, I did say there were two types of Reaction I wanted to talk about, didn’t I? Maybe I’ll save that for next month as this post is long enough already and I kind of want to make my own ‘Ten Shows Reactors NEED To React to Video’ now for Youtube. Yeah, there’s this channel called Reactistan – it has been going for a while now, but really found its niche recently when they began posting a series where ‘Tribal People’ react to common place Western shit. The link to their channel is above, but seriously go watch those – it’s gold. There are so many future memes, from ‘Only God Knows what it’s made of’ to ‘Well it’s free so I’ll take another bite’. Yeah, I guess I’ll talk about why I love those Reaction videos so much next time – by that point their channel will prob have a million subs.

Oh yeah, I actually went and made that Youtube video alluded to earlier, between the time I wrote the post and now (about an hour) – so here it is. It’s every bit as terrible as all my other videos, but it does feature some stellar original music so whack on the headset and max out the volume (seriously, DON’T).

Do you like Reaction videos? Why not – why do you hate them so? What would you like Reactors reacting to? What would you rather the youth of today spend their time doing? Let us know in the comments, and until next time, check around my site for more incoherent rambling!

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a single post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!

My Blog – June 2020

Quick Edit – Since writing the post below, it’s all been kicking off in the US. I have a lot of friends and family in various cities and States in the US, so if you’re over there at the moment – stay safe, and hopefully this turbulence which has been building for days, weeks, years, and arguably centuries, will pass and lead to better lives for those who have been mistreated, victimized, beaten down, told to stay silent, forgotten, ignored, and tortured. I hope for a day we can all be treated with respect as equal humans, that any minority does not have to live in fear of unjust persecution and death, and that we all wise the fuck up.

Quarantine is over! Oh wait, no it isn’t. However, all over the planet (yeah, it’s not just in the USA) people are getting antsy over some deluded notion of freedom or believe that their ‘faith’ is somehow going to shield them from a disease which will soon hit half a million deaths worldwide, and are stepping out of their homes to demand that their fast food stores re-open because that’s what God stipulated in the Constitution. Or something like that – I don’t really understand how the brains of idiots work. Stupidity is, it seems, far more dangerous and widespread than Cov-ID.

Here in the UK, the list of politicians (the very same ones who crafted our ever so vague Lockdown legislation and guidelines), who have broke their own laws to go visit family and friends because they don’t need to do whatever they tell the plebs to do, continues to grow. And half the plebs make excuses for them and will surely vote them back into office. Stupidity indeed.

I assumed in Lockdown I would get a lot more games played, books read, movies watched. As is always the case, more important stuff gets in the way. Or in my case, much less important stuff – such as watching stupid Youtube videos instead. Yes, I’ve been using my extra free time to catch up on dumb reaction videos. Specifically two types of Reaction videos, neither of which I should really like, given what a contrarian I am.

I find there are three (or four at a push) camps of people with regards to Reaction videos; those who love them, those who can’t stand them or even see the point, those who will watch a few here and there, and those who don’t even know they exist. I should hate most of them given the fact that they promote a level of talentlessness not seen since the heyday of Big Brother and other such species-reducing reality shows, and because I don’t care what other people think. Except, that last part isn’t really true, is it? I think all of us care what others think – it’s just that we want to either find those people who agree with us, or find the subject matter of the Reaction videos which speak directly to us, regardless of what the Reactor may think. I think that’s why Reaction Videos are so popular nowadays – they give us that taste of what all humans love – a confirmation bias shroud. We find someone who falls in love with something we already hold dear, and experience that new found love which in turn rekindles our own, all the time nodding in mutual appreciation and understanding at the comments and posts which praise the thing or agree with the Reactor. That second piece is important too – rekindling our feelings, and perhaps vicariously re-experiencing our favourite show or song for the first time through someone else’s eyes. It can be very cool, and quite addictive.

I’ve probably spoken before here about me watching people React to Buffy for the first time. Sure, the cynic in me wonders why for so many years nobody watched it, and then all of a sudden the floodgates opened and you have new channels popping up every week dedicated to reacting to the show. In my experience of watching React Channels, this is definitely one of the problems I have in watching them, and I imagine the Creators have too – everyone is reacting to the same shit. Now, some of those people are clearly jumping on the bandwagon of whatever is popular and riding those Likes and Views all the way to Kingdom Come, but I can only assume there are also some honest souls out there who are pissed off by this and want genuinely to React to Shows they haven’t seen before AND which no-one else is reacting too. Which belatedly gets to what I really wanted to talk about today:

Top Ten Shows NOBODY Is Reacting To (or probably are but just in vastly diminished numbers).

  1. Twin Peaks

A snazzy title, don’t you agree? I have found 1 Youtuber who reacted to every episode of Twin Peaks, but unfortunately wasn’t the most exciting or engaging person to go along with. There are quite a few Twin Peaks reactors out there, but the problem is that they are all fans of the original series and were reacting to Twin Peaks The Return. That’s not what I want – I want virgins. Newbies to the world of Cooper and Co, watching and freaking out the first time just like we all did. Much of the enjoyment for existing fans watching, would be of course anticipating the classic moments of the original two seasons – the weirdness, the one-liners, the laughs, the reveals, the BOB, and in encountering those special precious few souls who would ‘get it’.

2. Farscape

Farscape was one of my favourite shows when it first aired, and one of the original ‘no-one here gets out alive’ TV shows. Seriously, Farscape is an often depressing, downbeat watch, and more often than not a show which makes you feel stupid more not catching all of the intense, complicated, interweaving arcs going on, but if there’s one thing for certain it’s that it was a wonderfully unique show with plenty of laughs, and one which will leave you emotionally drained. That’s why we need more people, or any people, reacting to it – we want to watch you suffer.

3. Warehouse 13

Warehouse 13 is just a delight – yet nobody talks about it, never mind reacts to it. It’s a flawless combination of comedy and action, monster of the week and long arcs, and has some of the best chemistry between its performers that I’ve ever seen. The cast is wonderful and the merging of myth and history always made for a fun watch. It’s the show all nerds and Reactors are sleeping on but need to watch immediately, instead of forcing their way through utter shite like Once Upon A Time. If you needed any more reasons – it was written by Buffy people and has a tonne of Buffy actors popping up.

4. SG1

If you’re sensing a theme here, you’d be correct. A lot of sci-fi… basically this is a list of some of my all time favourite shows and me wishing that other people could watch them so I can share in their enjoyment. A lot of these shows would be a hefty undertaking, but perhaps none more so that SG1. Because you’d have to watch the original Stargate movie too, and probably before the show, even though the cast is different. And then there’s 2 SG1 spin-off movies to consider. Not only 2 spin off movies, but 2 spin-off series in Atlantis and Continuum, which ran for a total of seven seasons. Of course, SG1 itself ran for 10 seasons so, yeah – it’s a whopper. There was a prequel series too recently, but i haven’t seen it yet. Rumours are that a barnd new movie/revamp is coming, so this one maybe has more likelihood than others in getting Reactors on board. But it’s a great show – and plenty of Farscape crossover too!

5. Eerie Indiana

Everyone loves Stranger Things. I like it, but there is something lacking. Maybe it’s the fact that everybody loves it so much and suddenly thinks they’re huge 80s nostalgia freaks when five minutes before the pilot aired those same chumps couldn’t have distinguished their Carpenters from their Cravens. So I like it, but why watch it when you can have the original and best horror nostalgia show – Eerie, Indiana – a show Stranger Things liberally borrows from but has so far yet to beat in terms of comedy and overall writing. It is a kids show, but it’s smarter today almost thirty years on than most adult oriented shows today. It’s only one season, so a dedicated Reactor could power through it in no time.

6. Airwolf/The A-Team/Knight Rider/Street Hawk

Basically any of those 80s crime-fighting shows involving a souped up Black-tinted vehicle. You could throw in Thunder In Paradise (girls look pretty, ooh they look nice), and Blue Thunder here too, except those were shite. Reacting might be tough, as most of the shows didn’t really have any arc or character growth or anything beyond cool action and tough as nails 80s badasses. But they all had their own flavour and would tick a lot of nostalgic boxes – Airwolf at least had more emotion, The A-Team had a variety of characters, Street Hawk was short, and Knight Rider had David Hasslehoff. I guess people could react to Baywatch too, but then they’d spend half their time trying to shield their raging boners from the camera.

7. The X Files

I assume some people out there are, or have gone through The X Files, but most of the people I subscribe too haven’t. Too bust faffing around with Agents Of Shield, or The 100, or Dexter. I don’t care about any of those, and this is all about me. I’m sure there’s a generation of young’uns now who haven’t seen a single episode, so it’s about time they leapt back in. It’s another large undertaking, with double figure seasons and two movies, but it’s one of the all time greats and people would still be sucked in by the conspiracy plots and freaked out by all the mommy freaks living under beds and bendy Tooms slithering up drainpipes.

8. The League Of Gentlemen

It’s the last great British sitcom – fuck off Miranda, Dinner Ladies, The Office, The In Betweeners, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Gavin And Stacey – fuck right off. I’d love to see some of those precious over-exaggerated faux-shock reactions to some of TLOG’s finest moments, you snowflakes wouldn’t have a chance. In all seriousness, it’s a wonder this was ever shown on TV, but it is some of the most perfect 30 minutes in comedy history. And when they’re done, they should absolutely react to Psychoville, and most definitely, perhaps even more so than TLOG react to Inside Number 9 – a few people are already doing that, badly.

9. The Twilight Zone

The original, of course. By all means if you want to move onto the various reboots, go ahead, but nothing touches the majesty of the original. A range of ages in Reactors here would be nice, not just the fresh face new to College Americans we mainly see. Sure, a lot of the twists now may be seen coming, or hackneyed, but the show was made well over 50 years ago. Still it has more ideas and better dialogue than almost any show made since, and still has the power to scare, to make you laugh, but most importantly, to make you think – and it would be cool to see the more vocal reactors share their thoughts.

10. Quantum Leap

I could easily fill another 10 spaces here (don’t worry, I won’t. Yet) but decided to end it on another all time classic. Quantum Leap had less of a season long arc, and more of a show long arc – the Odyssey of Dr Sam Beckett trying to get home – to his own body, and his own time. There hasn’t really been a show like Quantum Leap, that combination of good old fashioned – I was going to say Patriotism, but that’s not right at all – good old fashioned goodness – morality mixed with science mixed with US history, adventure, comedy, romance. Honestly, with all of the pivotal moments which have occurred in the US since the show ended it seems ripe for a reboot – preferably a sequel given the heartbreaking ending of the original series – but possibly one which branches out to other Countries would be cool. We still just want Sam to make that final leap home. But this is a show which Reactors would get a kick out off – it would entertain them while teaching them, and all us nearing middle age or beyond original fans would get a kick out of it too. Come on – all it takes is one of you to make a successful reaction series, then everyone else will jump aboard!

So that’s that. Oh wait, I did say there were two types of Reaction I wanted to talk about, didn’t I? Maybe I’ll save that for next month as this post is long enough already and I kind of want to make my own ‘Ten Shows Reactors NEED To React to Video’ now for Youtube. Yeah, there’s this channel called Reactistan – it has been going for a while now, but really found its niche recently when they began posting a series where ‘Tribal People’ react to common place Western shit. The link to their channel is above, but seriously go watch those – it’s gold. There are so many future memes, from ‘Only God Knows what it’s made of’ to ‘Well it’s free so I’ll take another bite’. Yeah, I guess I’ll talk about why I love those Reaction videos so much next time – by that point their channel will prob have a million subs.

Oh yeah, I actually went and made that Youtube video alluded to earlier, between the time I wrote the post and now (about an hour) – so here it is. It’s every bit as terrible as all my other videos, but it does feature some stellar original music so whack on the headset and max out the volume (seriously, DON’T).

Do you like Reaction videos? Why not – why do you hate them so? What would you like Reactors reacting to? What would you rather the youth of today spend their time doing? Let us know in the comments, and until next time, check around my site for more incoherent rambling!

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a single post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!

My Blog – May 2020

1993 Me, Flipping off 2020 You.

May The Fourth Be With You! How many posts will begin with that today? Four billion? Make that four billion and one, punk. Once again I’m not at all prepared for what I want to write today. When I did these monthly, more personal posts last year, I had it planned out in January at a high level what I should tippidy type about each month, but this year all fucks have gone fuckidy flying out the window.

So how are you? That’s what we’re all asking these days – how are you coping? It’s all very strange to me because before nobody ever asked me these things, or if they did I was too busy not listening. It’s nice though, isn’t it? Or is it? I don’t know, social stuff is weird for me. Anyway, Northern Ireland is still in quarantine, but you wouldn’t know it in my speck of the country – idiot farmers are still idling along in their tractors, phones clapped to their ears as they drag their 10-tonne crush machines blindly up the middle of the road, vacantly oblivious to the instant carnage they would bring if they were distracted and bumped a kerb. These are the demented thoughts of a parent, pushing a pram with a 10 week old bundle of helplessness down the middle of a country road where the chavs think it is their duty to drive at 60 rather than 30 and I take great delight and pinging their windees if there’s a suitable stone laying nearby. Why am I walking in the middle of the road, you shriek? Well there’s not a lot of choice when the dickheads with driveways large enough to house four cars, whose houses dot the edge of said road, decide to park their chavy little R Plates on the pavement, leaving barely enough room for a proto-anorexic like me to sidle by, never mind a mammoth buggy. Inconsiderate twats, everywhere you go.

Don’t worry, this isn’t isolation getting to me – I love isolation. In truth, essentially nothing has changed for me since Quarantine started, beyond taking and lifting the kids from School. Sure, home-schooling is an issue but it also goes to highlight just how shitty our School is – as near as can be estimated, the teachers are off work on full pay, and have barely lifted their finger since day one. Which is awesome for the rest of us who have to keep working as normal – I’ve always been able to work from home, it just means that now I absolutely don’t need to go into work at all. There are plenty of teachers going over and above – not in my School of course, but in the towns nearby – so to supplement the work we already have, our daughters are watching a teacher from nearby Portstewart who is making daily Youtube videos. This is also beneficial because when we home school, or even in the past when we have done the girls’ homework, we have no clue how they are being taught in school and revert back to how we were taught. It’s easier for everyone if we follow the teacher’s lead.

Ha. My wife just walked into the room to say she’s just received an email from the School to say that each week the teachers will be adding some additional online work for each class. Success! Now I bet if I go for a walk, the car which was blocking the pavement will be on fire. Nothing to do with me, of course. The main positive of all of this nonsense is that I’m getting to spend a lot more time with my son than I normally would have – an almost three hour commute when I’m travelling into work has been dissolved so now there is no rush to get out of bed or get home.

That aside, last month I was messing around with some DVDs which my parents had brought up a few months ago – conversions of our old VHS and camcorder memories. Hours of footage of me messing around as a kid – playing outside, Christmases, Birthdays, assorted family outings and weirdness. My old pal, Mr Biffo – creator of the old Teletext page Digitiser which I used to read on a daily basis before the days of the Internet, had asked on Twitter if anyone happened to have old VHS footage which he could use in some upcoming Youtbe vids. A few conversions to MP4 later and I sent him a batch. If you’re interested (and you should be), you can watch his madness here  – for someone with my sense of humour, it’s the best Youtube channel in the biz. Some of my footage has been used already, so it’s nice to be a minuscule part of something I love.

That’s really all I wanted to say. Okay, fine – I know I usually do one of those silly personal questionnaires when I write these posts, but they’re always terrible, bland or quirky – but I suppose that’s their nature. Here’s a quick Music survey I found – I’ve no idea what it’s about:

  1. What is your gender: Male
  2. What is your age: 35 and older (I guess once you reach this category music stops being important)
  3. Choose the top 3 genres of music you listen to most often (the survey provides a list): Classic Rock. Metal. Heavy Metal.
  4. What genre do you listen to most: Isn’t that the same question? For the sake of brevity I just lump it all under metal.
  5. How do you listen to music: CD, MP3, iPod, Youtube.
  6. How many hours a day do you spend listening to music: 1-2 hours.
  7. Where do you listen to music most: This of course depends on where I am – I’ll listen to music more at work on the days I go in, more at home in the day’s I’m wfh.
  8. List the last three songs I chose to listen to recently: Hmm, according to my calculations those would be ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’ theme, ‘Ave Satani’, and ‘Lucille’.
  9. Of the three songs listed above, what musical aspect do you enjoy most: again there are options to choose from which are highly limited, but out of those I would say ‘the instruments being used’.
  10. On a scale of 1-5, how open are you to listening to new music: Well, what do you mean by ‘new’? Music which was recorded and released within the last 12 months? Or music which I’m only hearing for the first time which may have been recorded and released decades ago? In any case, I’m open to anything. It’s just that most ‘new’ chart music is terrible, I’m mostly out of the loop when it comes to new metal and I haven’t bothered keeping up to date recently. But music I haven’t heard before – take a look at any of my musical posts and you’ll see all the crap I’m hearing for the first time. 

That’s that, I guess. Till next time, stay away from coughing strangers and look after your sanity by visiting digitiser2000 on Youtube and browsing my plethora of junk at the links below.

Reminder on blog links:

A-Z Reviews: This category is a single post with links to all my movie, music, and book reviews. It’s the best place to start and you can check it via THIS LINK. I try to update it regularly.

Amazon Vine: I’m a member of Amazon Vine, a program where Amazon’s best reviewers are provided with free products for reviewing purposes in order to drum up publicity before the product is released to the general public. You can find links to the Products I have received here.

Book Reviews: Something I don’t really do anymore, even though I still read plenty. I need to get back into this, but movies are so much easier to review. Maybe I’ll come up with a different format.

Blogging: A new category! This is where I’m going to put this exact post, and the others like it to follow.

Changing The Past: This category is where I go back through every Oscars since 1960 and pick my winners from almost every category. I pick my winners from the official choices, and then I add my own personal list of who I feel should have been nominated. It’s based on personal preference, but it’s also not based on any of the usual Academy political nonsense and I bypass most of their archaic rules. It’s not quite me just picking my favourite films, but it’s close.

DVD Reviews: I should probably just change this to Movie Reviews. It’s what you would expect – reviews of the movies I’ve watched. I’m not a big fan of reviewing every new film which comes out – there are a billion other blogs out there all doing the same thing. I don’t often watch new movies as they release, unless they’re streaming, so instead you’ll be getting reviews of those films a few years later, once I get around to them. Here you will find horror, actions, classics, foreign, indie, sci-fi, comedy, drama – everything. A word of warning – I frequently post reviews that I wrote almost twenty years ago when I didn’t have a clue – they’re crap, but I add them here in all of their badly written glory.

Essential Movies: I’ve only published an intro post for this category, but I have written some other posts for the future. I’m basically questioning what actually makes a film Essential, because it cannot be a definitive statement. What’s essential for you, may not be for me, so I’ve broken down the definition into a few generic user types, then gone through some lists of the best movies of each year to see which ones are essential for each viewer. It’s pretty boring, and I already regret starting it, but that’s me.

Foreign Cinema Introduction: This category hasn’t been published yet, but once again it exists and I’ve written a bunch of posts for the future. The idea came from my many years of hearing people I know IRL or on the internet dismissing anything not mass-produced by Hollywood. If you only watch movies made in the USA – you’re not a movie fan, it’s as simple as that. I follow a few Facebook fan pages and blogs on WordPress which completely dismiss foreign movies – it’s ridiculous as you are missing out on many of the best films ever made. More than that, you are missing out on films which I know for a fact you will adore. So, this is me breaking down all that bullshit about subtitles, about foreign stuff being boring and every other excuse you’ve ever heard, while giving some very basic thoughts and introductions of the various countries of the world from a film perspective.

Lists: Here I post lists – some with comments, some without. All sorts of lists – from monthly previews of the year’s upcoming movies, to my favourite movies by actor or director, to best horror anthologies, best Christmas songs and TV shows, best movies for Halloween, my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, my ranking of Bond movies, songs, and girls, my favourite albums by decade, my favourite songs by artist, bands I’ve seen live etc. I love lists.

Manic Street Preachers Song By Song: One of the first reasons I started this blog was to try to spread the Gospel of my favourite band, especially as they are not well known outside of Britain. Defo not in the US. Then I found out there were other blogs doing it too. Ah well. These are my thoughts on each song. Don’t know them? They are a Welsh rock band who have been around since the late 80s, early 90s. They are highly political and intelligent, on the left wing, and they are probably the finest lyricists in the world. Their main lyricist suffered from various addictions and mental health issues and disappeared in 1995 – although there have been sightings, nobody has ever confirmed they have seen him and no body has ever been found, though the band, fans, and family are still looking. After three albums with him, they suddenly became commercially successful after his disappearance. If you like rock music… if you like music in general, please give them a try.

Music Reviews: This is the same as movies, except for music. Reviews of albums I’ve always loved, as reviews of albums as I’m listening as a virgin. I take a look at the Top Ten UK Charts from a random month in each year and review each song, while giving my own alternative ten songs from the same year, I am reviewing albums that I’ve never heard by artists I am familiar with – filling the gaps in those discographies. I’m listening to spin-offs of my favourite bands, I’m reviewing the Disney soundtracks. I was a metal and grunge kid, but also had a love for the best in 80 pop when I was young, so I like to listen to anything though since around the mid-noughties chart music has gone from extremely bad to entirely worthless.

The Nightman Scoring System ©: This is something I truly love, but something which nobody really pays attention to. You’ll notice in my reviews I don’t give a score. I just talk about the thing I’m reviewing. Scores are arbitrary and when given, people jump to the score and form a conclusion and a bias. If they read the content of the review, there will be a better discussion. That made me think, in a very unprofessional, semi-scientific, ill-examined way, to come up with a fair, universal scoring system which tries to avoid personal and systematic bias as much as possible. If you look at sites like Rotten Tomatoes which are stupidly becoming reference points for quality or to convince you to watch something, or used by advertisers, it’s a completely flawed system. Anyone can post whatever they like, and drag down or push up an average. The same used to happen on IMDb. There are a lot of posts online recently about the disparity between Critical and Audience consensus on RT and it leads to more worthless arguments, because if there’s something the world needs more of these days, it’s people fighting online about pointless stuff.

I devised two scoring systems – one for movies and one for music. To use it, you have to follow the guidelines and be honest. If you’re not honest, it will be obvious, and your review won’t be valid. For both music and and movies, I break down the scoring into twenty different categories of equal weighting – out of five, for a total out of 100. Categories include acting, directing, sales; or for music – charts, influence, musical ability etc. Say you hate the Marvel movies or The Beatles. You can’t score them a 1 out of five in the Sales category because both of those were factually monster hits – they can really only be 5 out of five. In other words, some of what is opinion and bias is removed from the equation. In the same vein, the disparity between critics and audiences is reduced – typically you may think that a movie or music critic care more about how arty or original or influential something is, while the audience might care how many boobs are seen or how catchy the melody is. I’m making sweeping assumptions – but you get the idea – each category is equally weighted so that influence is only worth five points, chart performance is only worth five points, directing, advertising, whatever – each is five points. I’d love to see people use this, and I’d love to run an experiment where a group of people each use the system to score the same thing, and see how similar or different the results are. I’m positive the average would be a more true reflection than anything on RT or IMDB or anywhere else. The only issue with it is, it’s more suited to scoring once something has been out there for a while rather than a pre-release or first week review.

Nightman’s Favourite Films By Year: Self-explanatory. I list my favourite ten films from every year since 1950, with no comment. Then I give a list of my top films from each decade once I’ve done each year, but this time share some comments. There’s also some stats in there, such as how many films I picked which were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, which were top ten grossing movies etc.

Top 1000 Albums Of All Time: A journalist called Colin Larkin made several of those popular ‘Top 1000 Albums Ever’ books. I grabbed one of them, I removed the ones I had already heard, and in this series I go through the ones that I haven’t heard, give my virgin thoughts, and whether I think it deserves to be called one of the best ever. I want to sync up my Nightman Scoring System © with these. Just one word of warning – I don’t plan or put any thought into these ‘reviews’. I literally listen and type at the same time. Not the best way to give thoughts I know, but that’s the format.

The Shrine: People die. Famous people die. But they live on, in our hearts and minds and in the work they left behind. Here I offer the chance to remember and offer thanks.

The Spac Hole: Each Monday I post a random lyric from a random song. Every so often I write something which doesn’t fit in any other category. Usually it’s weird. That stuff all goes here. There are more semi-regular pieces like those posts where I use Google translate to change the lyrics of (s)hit songs or dreadful imaginings like what I would do if I owned my own Cinema.

The Spac Reviews: Carlos Nightman is my alter ego. Derek Carpet is his alter ego. He is an idiot. He likes movies. These are his reviews. They are…. different.

TV Reviews: I sometimes review TV too. I talk about my current shows and my all time favourites.

Unpublished Screenplays: Derek Carpet sometimes likes to pretend he’s a writer too. Here are some of his original works, based on other movies and TV shows.

Videogame Reviews: I do these sometimes too. Usually retro. Usually with a humourous bent.

Walk Of Fame: Hollywood has a Walk Of Fame. I have one too. Mine’s better, except I don’t update it anymore. Not only do my inductees get a star, but they get a statue too! And, in each post one lucky soul gets a special building concerning their work or life dedicated to them!

TTT – The Shock Waves 100!

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Greetings, Glancers! It’s time for another overlong list – yay! I’ve been listening to the Shock Waves podcast for a while now – for a anyone who doesn’t know it features four horror fans (who also work in the industry) chatting about their love of horror, which movies they have seen recently, and then in the second half they bring in a guest – typically a horror legend/actor/director/effects guy/distributor etc. It’s a great listen. Anyway, I recently listened to their 100th episode (which is actually a couple of years old now), which sees the team of four picking 100 movies which they all agree upon, that they feel every horror fan, and every film fan, needs to see. Naturally, I wanted to give my thoughts, which absolutely no-one asked for.

So below I’m going to list the films below and give a couple of one-liners on each. I’ll give some semblance of form by splitting each movie into three parts – have I seen it, is it in my top movies of the release year, and a brief sentence explaining my high level thoughts. As always, stick your thoughts in the comments!

28 Days Later

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Brought the zombie genre running and screaming into the new Millennium.

A Nightmare On Elm Street

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y (Favourite Horror Movie Of All Time)

My Thoughts: Yes, it’s my favourite Horror Movies Of All Time. That about covers it.

Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A (But probably)

My Thoughts: One of the earliest and still finest examples of merging Horror and Comedy, and a great gateway film for younger viewers to be introduced to the world of Monsters.

Alien

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s the critical pick for best Sci-Fi horror. It’s deceptively simple – unstoppable killer in space stalks ill prepared crew. It’s basically another Slasher movie, but with one of Cinema’s best Monsters doing the killing.

Angel Heart

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: A stylish mix of noir and horror and boobs. It’s good, though I don’t love it as much as the Shockers.

Angst

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

An American Werewolf In London

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: I’d agree it’s the best example of horror comedy out there. It’s also a fairly downbeat movie, even with the laughs. Jenny Agutter is gorgeous, the creature work is superb, and it has some classic jump-scares.

Asylum

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: For the longest time it has been my favourite anthology (outside of Creepshow). The wraparound actually makes sense, and each of the stories is strong. I saw this one young, probably why it has stayed with me.

Audition

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Classy, confusing, creepy.  Stylish, scary, soul-scarring.

Basket Case

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: I like the first one, but my more or less dislike of the series brings down my enjoyment of the first – something about the creature effects and camp sounds in the later movies once I saw them took away from how I view the first.

The Battery

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

The Beyond

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: It’s Fulci doing what Fulci does, but dialled up to 69, with just enough Lovecraft to nudge the WTFery into the next realm.

Black Christmas

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: A fine slasher, but one I came to later than most so it had a lesser impact.

Black Sabbath

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

The Blob

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: It’s better than the original and it has some yummy 80s effects. I must revisit it as it’s been too long.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: I loved this when it was first released, a big budget sumptuous, serious vampire movie with a legitimate cast and director – and that rare example of such a thing being done correctly.

The Bride Of Frankenstein

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A (But probably)

My Thoughts: Probably James Whale’s best movie. He has a few classics.

The Brood

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: Mehhh, I always classed it as a lesser Cronenberg movie, but it’s been probably 20 years since I’ve seen it so I suppose I should go back again.

Cabin In The Woods

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s basically a Whedon movie with lots of Buffy related shenanigans, so of course I was going to love it. It’s also very funny and clever too.

Candyman

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s funny how life imitates art. Or is it the other way around. The film itself became something of an Urban Legend when I was young, when it was released. Older siblings would explain the Bloody Mary-esque plot to creep out the younger kids, and I was somewhere in the middle, intrigued by the vision of a hooked man hunting down, well, anyone.

Cannibal Holocaust

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year:

My Thoughts: It’s not for the faint of heart, not really because it’s overly bloody or obscene, but because of how grimy and docu-real it feels. It’s cheap and nasty like an Abel Ferrara movie, and it gets under your skin. Plus there’s the animal torture stuff. Plus an all time great main theme.

Carrie

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: King’s first book and King’s first movie – it does come across as dated and cheesy now, but it still features two great lead performances and De Palma sense of style brings the most out of the shocks.

Cat People

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year:  N/A (but probably)

My Thoughts:

Cemetery Man

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: One in a long line of bizarre zombie movies which tries to do its own thing, this one blends comedy, horror, romance (of sorts) and introspection as one man’s malaise deepens.

The Changling

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: It’s another I came to late – I saw it in pieces when I was young – but it never had the effect on me that it seems to have on everyone else. It’s certainly moody and downbeat, but others love it a lot more than I do.

Child’s Play

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: Some good performances and effects, and the whole series is entertaining, but at the end of the day – it’s still a fucking doll; punt that shit.

Christine

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: Lesser Carpenter, and lesser King for me, this tale of obsession has some good performances, some great effects, but the soundtrack and the scares aren’t as impressive as most of Carpenter’s work and it’s one I rarely revisit.

Creepshow

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s probably my most loved anthology – Romero, King, ideas, comic, gore, laughs – what else do you want?

The Conjuring

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: Of all the modern series, The Conjuring manages to be the best melding of classic scares and atmosphere, newer sensibilities and fresh ideas, and a good cast attempting to make something legitimate.

Dawn Of The Dead

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s the greatest Zombie movie ever made. It’s one of the best horror movies ever made. It passes from being merely a great movie, to an all time movie, to one which is rarely far from my thoughts.

Braindead

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s a top 5 all time horror comedy for me, one of the bloodiest movies you’ll ever see, and one which will unquestionably make you laugh your ass off.

Deathdream

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Demon Knight

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: It’s a long time since I saw this – I think I’ve only seen it once, in my early teens. I remember enjoying it well enough at the time.

Demons

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: It’s a fun time in its own right, but I truly do think this one would benefit from a remake – or maybe the time it would have had a decent remake has since passed. It’s the premise I love more than the execution.

The Descent

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: I must say I didn’t care about, or remotely think about, the fact the cast is all women/any feminist issues, until several watches later. All I cared about was that it was a kick-ass movie. It’s not as flawless as some – I think too many of the characters are similar and similar looking, but as far as claustrophobic horror goes, there aren’t many better/

Don’t Look Now

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s heartbreaking, stylish, unique, haunting. I know a lot of people won’t appreciate the approach but it’s a lyrical, layered movie.

Drag Me To Hell

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: From lyrical and layered, to cats, gypsies, and saliva. This is pure entertainment which delivers precisely what it promises – scares, laughs, and fun.

Event Horizon

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: I’ve personally found it overrated, but I’m not going to moan at the people who love it. I think there’s a better movie in here than what we got, but it’s still okay.

Evil Dead

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s Evil Dead – no brainer.

Evil Dead 2

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: See above

The Exorcist

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: See above – but adding that it’s one of a very short list of horror movies which garnered critical acclaim from those outside the horror community.

The Exorcist III

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: I need to see it again, but it’s a fun movie which is better than it has any right to be, and tops it off with some impressive, memorable scares.

Eyes Without A Face

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: One of those foreign horror movies which horror fans quickly find when they start branching out. It’s best to see this early in your Odyssey, but it’s still shocking and surprising after all these years.

The Fly

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Possibly Cronenberg’s most accessible and well-known body horror movie, it made stars of Goldblum and Davies, and features some of the best make-up and effects ever put on screen.

The Fog

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s one of the great ghost movies and one which doesn’t get as much praise as some of Carpenter’s works. It’s an exercise in atmosphere which every budding filmmaker should see.

Friday The 13th 4

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: Lets be clear; in terms of the great trilogy of horror franchises, Friday The 13th is dead last in terms of quality. The original is clearly the best, but it’s barely on terms with the mid tier Elm Street and Halloween sequels. Part 2 is okay, three is a laugh-fest, Part 4 is the Corey Feldman one, 5 is trash, 6 is marginally better… you get the idea.

Fright Night

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: I like it, I saw it young, it just didn’t have the profound impact on me of say, The Lost Boys. It’s one I revisit less than others so it’s probably due another watch.

The Funhouse

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: I’m not sure what this is doing on the list, beyond the fact that it’s Tobe Hooper. It’s fun, but it never feels more than just another 80s Slasher. Again, it’s the premise I love more than the film we got.

Get Out

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: I like it. Is it the greatest horror movie ever, or of the year it was released – no. But credit for making people who don’t usually watch or care about our dirty little movies sit up and take notice.

Habit

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Halloween

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Nuff said.

The Haunting

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Any number of films on this list I can call out as being must sees for aspiring film-makers, but The Haunting should be one of the first. Atmosphere, tension, sound, and how to make a terrifying film without a lick of gore or obvious scares.

Hellraiser

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: There’s something seductive about Hellraiser, which is apt. It’s bloody, grim, imaginative, and has a style which I don’t believe has been coined yet – neo-gothic? Gothic Noir? Post-gore? Sado-masochistic appreciation?

The Hitcher

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: I don’t remember when I first saw The Hitcher. I was pre-teen in any case. It blew my mind. It still does.

House Of The Devil

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: It’s a great love-letter, like several Ti West movies are, but it’s more than that as he seeks to and successfully makes a film which is more than a series of nods and winks.

Insidious

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: A dry run for The Conjuring, but it’s more twisted cousin. The first one is great, the rest are increasingly silly and convoluted, but this one has scares never seen before.

Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: A film with an idea and a twist so good that I used to tell school friends and kids about it, have them hanging on every word, and have them shocked by my retelling of it. Which, looking back now kind of spoiled the movie for them, but still made them all go off and watch it.

Jacob’s Ladder

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: It’s a very odd movie, there isn’t a lot like it, and it make me question why there aren’t more war/PTSD related horror movies. With lizards and chiropractors.

Jaws

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Perhaps the greatest gateway horror movie of them all.

Just Before Dawn

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Killer Klowns From Outer Space

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: Some of the make-up is cool, but it’s a very silly film. It’s impressive thatit ever got made, with its premise, with how amateurish it all is, and it’s definitely worth seeing, but I wouldn’t have it anywhere near any sort of Top 100 list.

Let The Right One In

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Maybe the first of the new wave of classy horror (as opposed to elevated horror), it’s a chilling, thought-provoking, beautifully shot and acted film with doses of grisly action.

Lets Scare Jessica To Death

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: A disturbing, atmospheric film which builds upon Repulsion and The Haunting, but is more visceral.

The Lost Boys

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: A rites of passage classic – one which remains fresh even though it’s deeply entrenched in the 80s.

Malevolence

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Martin

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Romero proving he wasn’t just a zombie, gore guy.

Martyrs

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: The pinnacle of the French Extremism New Wave, brutal and unforgettable.

Messiah Of Evil

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

The Monster Squad

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: Another one of those movies with a poster which drew me in as a kid on the video store, but one which actually live up to the promise of the poster.

Near Dark

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Maybe my favourite Vampire movie.

Night Breed

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: I need to see it again, it always felt messy when I was young, and a let down after Hellraiser. 

Night Of The Creeps

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: It’s fun. Funny. Never impacted me as much as it did others.

Night Of The Living Dead

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: A near flawless exercise and example of how to do low budget horror.

The Omen

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Great kills, iconic scenes, wonderful score, stellar cast.

Peeping Tom

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Pushed under the rug after Psycho, but just as notable.

Pet Sematary

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: King’s scariest book goes heavy on the shlock, but still packs a few potent punches.

Phantasm

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: I never grew up with these movies like others did, but the first is fun and innovative.

Pieces

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Poltergeist

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Another rites of passage movie for when kids are getting into horror.

Possession

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Psycho

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It’s Hitchcock, and the daddy (Mummy?) of modern horror.

Pumpkinhead

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: I’ve only seen it once, can’t remember a whole lot about it.

Re-Animator

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: Gory 80s fun, the likes of which you don’t see anymore.

REC

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: The pinnacle of hand-held horror.

Return Of The Living Dead

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: One of the premier mixtures of horror and comedy.

Rosemary’s Baby

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: While dated, and while it relies a little too heavily now on the ending, it’s a masterclass of paranoia with some great performances.

Scream

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Another Wes Craven classic which remains clever and funny decades on.

The Shining

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Kubrick. King. Nicholson. Overlook. Saggy bewbs.

Slumber Party Massacre

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Society

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: A front runner for title of goriest movie ever, it’s a funny, often John Waters-esque satire, with added fisting.

Sole Survivor

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Suspiria

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: Argento’s best, and one of the most visually stunning horror movies you’ll ever see, with a typically bewildering plot, inventive kills, and terrific score.

Tenebrae

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: Argento again, maybe the finest Giallo movie with plenty of up close and nasty violence and memorable moments.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: A clear contender for best of all time, while it’s rough around the edges in places, their’s no doubting the emotional, visceral, and cinematic impact.

The Thing

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: When it comes to best Sci-Fi Horror film of all time – it’s this or Alien, right? Aliens is more all out action. The Thing is my favourite of the two, and it’s a Top 5 all time favourite Horror movie for me.

The Tingler

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N

My Thoughts: It’s fun – we need more interactivity in our Cinemas.

Tourist Trap

Have I Seen It: N

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: N/A

My Thoughts: N/A

Trick R Treat

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: It still hasn’t really found an audience outside of dedicated horror fans – if TV channels would show this every Halloween like they do with Christmas movies in December, this would be much bigger – it deserves it.

The Wicker Man

Have I Seen It: Y

Is It In My Top Movies Of The Year: Y

My Thoughts: The pinnacle of folk horror, British horror, and not a bee or bear suit in sight.

There you have it – The Shock Waves approved 100! Which films have you seen, which ones are you yet to see, and which films would make your list. Remember, this isn’t necessarily the best 100, or your favourite 100, more of a ‘100 we can all agree should be seen by horror fans’. Let us know down below!