2017 – In Memoriam

We’re here, at the end of another year. 2016 was reportedly ‘one of the worst years ever’ – by December’s end, everyone was depressed by all the Trump, by all the Brexit, by all the everything. It was a year where people from many generations felt their childhoods slip away for ever, felt pieces of themselves die as successful heroes passed out of life and into whatever comes next. 2017 has been no joke either, with more Trump, more Brexit, and more everything seemingly tightening the noose. The Grim Reaper’s scythe has once again swung with abandon, claiming many of the lives who have had a wide spreadh impact on various aspects of culture. Make no mistake – War, Disease, Famine have all claimed the usual millions of souls as they are wont to do, and those are battles we should be working together to overcome, but that is not the purpose of this post.

I haven’t been paying much attention to my Shrine posts recently, so I decided to do a yearly wrap up instead of the deaths which affected me in some way, on a personal level. Naturally that means that we’ll mostly be covering famous people here. I don’t mean this to sound as if I’m putting the famous on a pedestal, as if their lives mean more than some random mother or son who may have died this year – I firmly believe that every life is as valuable as the next. Yet here I am. In the end it comes down to who I ‘know’ or recognise.

Don’t be annoyed or disheartened if some celebrity who meant a lot to you and who died this year isn’t on the list – as I said, these are the people who meant something to me. By all means, add those who meant something to you in the comments. In the end, this is merely a place for you to give a few words, thoughts, thanks, or memories for those who have fallen.

William Peter Blatty – 7th January 1928 – 13th January 2017

Thanks for giving me, and countless others, many nights of unsettled sleep with The Exorcist.

Miguel Ferrer – February 7, 1955 – January 19, 2017

Thank you for being a perminent fixture in some of my most watched and loved entertainment of all time. You may be the only actor who has starred in both one of my favourite movies ever (Robocop), one of my favourite mini-series ever (The Stand), and one of my favourite TV shows ever (Twin Peaks). 

John Hurt – 22 January 1940 – 25 January 2017

Thank you for your willingness to ignore and balk at traditional acting conventions by appearing in cult works, low budget films, and Television, along with the more accepted critical fodder – for Alien, for Spaceballs, for The Elephant Man, for Hellboy, and many more.

Richard Hatch – May 21, 1945 – February 7, 2017

Thanks for being the original Apollo in Battlestar Gallactica – I’m not as familiar with your other work, but for that I’ll always remember you.

Bill Paxton – May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017

Thanks for being a true movie legend and for appearing in many of my personal favourite films – The Terminator, Aliens, Near Dark, Commando, Tombstone, True Lies, Frailty, and bringing a truly unique energy and life to them.

Chuck Berry – October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

One of the forefathers or modern blues, rock, and by extension, metal, thanks for bringing many decades of wonderful music to the world.

Clifton James – May 29, 1920 – April 15, 2017

Thanks for bringing me many laughs in my younger days, especially in the Bond movies, and also for sterling work in a few of my other favourites.

Jonathan Demme – February 22, 1944 – April 26, 2017

One of the few filmmakers to make a critically respected and award winning horror movie in The Silence Of The Lambs, thanks for breaking those boundaries.

Michael Parks – April 24, 1940 – May 9, 2017

Even though he had been acting regularly since the late 50s, Parks became better known in later decades thanks to his work with Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino – thanks for many terrific performances in many terrific films.

Powers Boothe – June 1, 1948 – May 14, 2017

A character actor with great action pedigree, thanks for appearing in some of my favourites such as Tombstone, Extreme Prejudice, Sin City.

Chris Cornell – July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017

Although Soundgarden were my fourth favourite out of Nirvana, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, Cornell was nevertheless a driving force in rock and grunge with unmistakable vocals which have been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember.

Nicky Hayden – July 30, 1981 – May 22, 2017

My dad rides motorbikes. My brother rides a motorbike. Many of my uncles and cousins are bikers. I have dabbled. I live on the same street as the family of my countries most famous motorcyclists and our kids are friends. We all watch motorcycling – none of that F1 shite. Any time any biker dies it’s a tragedy, and Nicky was a particularly heavy loss.

Sir Roger George Moore, KBE (14 October 1927 – 23 May 2017)

I was a Bond fan before I really understood what films were, and Moore was my era. It is typically the Moore films I return to most for their lighter approach and tendency towards action and humour. Moore will always be Bond for me, and while he didn’t have the most varied career outside of that role, he still popped up in many other films and shows and was renowned for being a decent human being.

Adam West (September 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017)

The original Batman… well I’ve heard varying reports on what he was like in real life, but I’m mainly here to focus on their work and what it meant to me – I was never a huge fan of the original campy series, but I still watched it every now and then when I was young. Thanks for being a mainstay on TV and for your great voice work on many shows.

John G Avildson – (December 21, 1935 – June 16, 2017)

Thanks for making some of my favourite films in the Rocky and Karate Kid series as well as a few other notable movies.

Martin Landau – (June 20, 1928 – July 15, 2017)

Thanks for appearing in some of my favourite movies and shows ever, from North By Northwest and The Twilight Zone to Ed Wood and The X Files, and of course for bringing your daughter Juliet into the world.

George A Romero – February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017

There have been fewer bigger influences on my love of horror, and on the wider horror world than George A Romero, the man who essentially invented the modern zombie genre – thanks for that, thanks for your movies, and thanks for never compromising for The Man.

Sean Hughes – 10 November 1965 – 16 October 2017

Sean, aside from Coronation Street I don’t think I ever saw any of your non- Buzzcocks work. I’m not a huge stand-up comedy fan, but you always made me laugh on Buzzcocks. 

Feel free to leave your thoughts and memories of any people we lost in 2017 in the comments below.

Walk Of Fame Inductees – April 2016

To check the dubious reasoning behind these posts, check the original here:


In this new series of posts I’ll be selecting a Star at random from every decade (who was born in that decade) starting from the 1880s up until the 1990s to be interred in this land of magic and wonder, who will for ever more see their name set in stone far beyond the places where Gods dare to tread. Each name will have a unique star placed and statue built-in their honour. Often accompanying these additions will be news of a new store or museum to go alongside those stars whose work is of particular genius, and you too can visit and see the place of your dreams, simply by closing your eyes….

1880sNicholas M.Schenke. For contributions to Movies. Moving from Russia to New York at an early age, Schenke had an eye for opportunity, starting various theatre and amusement endeavours before helping in the creation, growth, and success of MGM.


1890sCharles Laughton. For contributions to Movies, TV, and Theatre. One of the most diverse people in the early years of film, Laughton wrote, directed, and starred in successful and influential movies around the world, picking up three Oscar nominations and winning one in the process while also making spoken word recordings and sporadic TV appearances. He is remember for works including The Night Of The Hunter, The Private Life Of Henry V III, and Witness For The Protection.


1900sLupe Velez. For contributions to Movies and Theatre. Starting out in Mexican Vaudeville, it didn’t take Velez long to being one of the first turbulent careers in Hollywood, being known as much for her fiery temperament as her acting skill. Her life, death, and the many urban legends surrounding both have been legendary in the decades since her death, but she is nevertheless best remembered for performances in The Mexican Spitfire series, Wolf Song, and The Storm.


1910sVal Guest. For contributions to Movies and Television. Guest has one of the more interesting stories regarding introduction to the film business, having been challenged by a director to write a script after a scathing review – the director loved the script and so the doors were opened. Guest continued for the next six decades as a writer and director for films including The Day The Earth Caught Fire, The Quatermass Experiment, and When Dinosaurs Ruled The World.


1920sRoger Moore. For contributions to Movies and Television. After a stint as Captain in WWII, Moore starred as a model in various commercials before appearing in movies and eventually hitting the big time on the small screen. Through his TV work, Moore found his way back to the big screen and earned his most famous role as 007. He is known for works including The James Bond Series, The Saint, and Escape To Athena. 


1930s: Harold Pinter. For contributions to Movies, TV, Radio, and Theatre. One of the finest dramatists of the 20th Century, many of his works have ended up on the screen as well as providing screenplays and performing as an actor on TV, film, and stage. He is known for works including The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Homecoming, and Betrayal.


1940sDwight Shultz. For contributions to Movies, Television, Radio, and Theatre. Known primarily for his work in Television, Shultz has led an incredible career behind the camera, providing voice acting talents to countless videogames, movies, and TV shows. He is known for works including The A Team, The Star Trek Series, and The Ben 10 Series.


1950sKelly McGillis. For contributions to Movies,Television, and Theatre. Since earning rave reviews and having roles in highly successful movies early in her career, McGillis has sought to remain out of the limelight taking several breaks from screen performances while continuing to work on the stage. In recent years she has become a favourite with horror fans thanks to memorable performances in cult hits. She is known for works including Witness, Top Gun, and Stake Land.


1960sJake Weber. For contributions to Movies and Television. Son to wealthy and famous parents, and raised in an environment of drugs and excess, Weber managed to carve out his own career and after having minor roles in major movies he has gone on to achieve wider success of larger roles in works including Medium, Dawn Of The Dead, and The Cell.


1970sAndrew Lincoln. For contributions to Movies and Television. Starting out with minor roles in single episodes of British TV shows, Lincoln has since carved a niche by appearing on cult shows as memorable characters, with works including The Walking Dead, This Life, and Teachers.


1980sLyndsy Fonseca. For contributions to Movies and Television. Earning a spot on one of America’s most famous soaps led Fonseca to continue a career which has seen her move effortlessly between the big and small screen in a variety of genres, with works including The Ward, Nikita, and Kick-Ass. 


1990sWill Poulter. For contributions to Movies and Television. One of the UK’s shining talents since first emerging, Poulter has shown no problems transitioning from child to adult roles and has appeared in some of the most successful movies since 2000 including The Chronicles Of Narnia series, The Maze Runner series, and We’re The Millers.


In addition to the stars and statues erected in honour of the people above, the following attractions have been created.

In honour of Roger Moore’s induction The Saint Museum has been built, featuring sections from every era of the universe including the original book series, and the radio, comic, TV, and movie versions.

In honour of Will Poulter’s induction, The Maze Runner Attraction has been created – this attraction features hundreds of mazes for all the family to test your physical and mental ability – traditional hedge mazes, basic mazes for children, mazes filled with traps, scares, and obstacles, and state of the art shifting mazes which transform while you are wandering through – only the finest will find the exit!

What attractions, museums, or exhibitions based off any of the works featuring the people above would you like to see in your wildest dreams? Let us know in the comments!

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only

Roger Moore is always seen as the ‘funny’ or slapstick Bond, as his films featured even more preposterous situations than usual and the overall tone is not as serious as Connery or Dalton’s. However, Moore’s films are the one’s I remember most vividly from childhood as they had the best gadgets and bad guys like Jaws and Baron Samedi. So it is strange then that this film should be one of my favourites, as it is low on gadgets and memorable bad guys.

After the space capering of Moonraker, this was advertised as Bond’s return to earth, dealing with more serious subjects and is darker than usual. It takes us back to the early days and themes of Bond. Bond visits the grave of his dead wife during the start of the movie, setting the tone, but also showing us that the Secret Agent will always be haunted by the past, and will never be at peace. Aside from the main plot of Bond trying to race the Soviets to the possession of a powerful device capable of messing with submarines (i think), we have a joint revenge tale. Melina (played brilliantly by Carole Bouquet) is in search of those who killed her parents, the same people who want ‘the device’, while Bond is on a quest for the psychotic ‘Dove’ assassin who kills a fellow agent, and one of Bond’s women-Lisle (played by Pierce Brosnan’s wife at the time, Cassandra Harris). Harris would tragically die before Brosnan picked up the Walther. The scene in which Bond kills the Dove is dually one of the most ruthless and satisfying deaths in any Bond film, and Moore plays the scene with great skill.

Another reason for my enjoyment of the film, and ironically this is a central reason for why many dislike it, is the inclusion of Bibi Dahl. The character may be pointless, but Johnson plays it perfectly, making both Bond and the audience cringe. Plus she is one of the most attractive Bond girls…Topol is charismatic, the one-liners do not get in the way of the film or make us turn away in shame like those in Die another Day, and the stunts and car chases are simple but outstanding, refusing to resort to an over-abundance of gadgets. For Your Eyes Only then is the most Connery-like Moore film, is often bleak and full of anger, but because of the emotional content is one of the best Bond films for involving the audience.

The DVD as with the rest of the series has perfect sound and picture quality, contains all the extras from the special edition as well as new ones- deleted scenes, documentaries etc.

Feel free to comment on the movie and my review- do I give it too much credit or do you agree? Check out my other Bond reviews in the DVD section too!

Live And Let Die

Live And Let Die

My personal favourite Bond Movie (largely because of nostalgia) and along with Moonraker, the most bizarre outing for the secret agent. Where Moonraker failed though, Live And Let Die succeeds. There are good set pieces, fights, girls, funny moments (not as over the top as they would become) and unusually for a Bond film, it is actually quite scary in parts, especially for the younger viewer.

When Bond is sent to America to investigate the deaths of several British Agents, his search leads him to Mr Big, a Harlem crime lord. With further investigation, Bond finds a drug-smuggling link between Mr Big, and Dr. Kananga, a mysterious man from a Caribbean island. Bond flies to Kananga’s island to stop the massive Heroin dealing. There he meets the beautiful Solitaire played wonderfully by Jane Seymour, a virgin who has been enslaved by Kananga as her mystical powers bring him success. Bond soon finds himself entwined in voodoo forces he can barely fight, and struggles to complete his mission.

Plenty of stunts and action sequences, chases and humour make this an instant Bond classic, but the characters and performances of Yaphet Kotto and his various goons make it one of the best. Tee Hee is mysterious, Whisper is memorable, and Baron Samedi is a strong Villain as he seems to be immortal. This marks the appearance of Sheriif GW, and his comic escapades which are either annoying or very funny depending on your point of view. Moore gives a good performance, bringing the series in a different direction, and Seymour is one of the most beautiful Bond girls. There are many memorable moments, including the famous train fight, and Kananga’s explosive end. Probably the most scary Bond film so far, in fact there has not been another one like it, and when i was young it was always the one i most looked forward to seeing. There are flaws- it does have more slapstick humour than previous outings and Bond does not seem as tragic or cold a character as before.

The features, like all of the Ultimate Editions are excellent, along with impressive picture and sound restoration work. There are trailers, documentaries, and an interesting early sight of Moore as Bond.

Feel free to leave your comments on the movie and review- is this one of your favourite Bond films or do you think it’s another embarrassing Moore outing? Don’t forget to check out my other Bond reviews in the DVD section.