Comics Creators

What are you watching? 2018 edition


I finally watched this tonight.

I’ve been meaning to get around to it for a while, not least because I’ve heard for years what a big influence it was on Red Dwarf.

It was fun, although not quite what I expected - sometimes more polished and sometimes far more crude than I thought it would be, with a slightly trippy and absurd vibe throughout. But it was funny and interesting and not quite like anything else I’ve seen, which definitely counts for something.

And it was fun to note the many clear RD influences, big and small.


I like Joe Rogan but he always manages to steer a discussion to his beloved subjects, “Yeah it’s interesting what you say about sea planes but in the future, computers will be able to do all sorts of weird stuff!”


This needs to be a tweet that becomes a Rogan meme!


It’s also an interesting movie in that it was both Carpenter’s debut movie and his last venture into the field of comedy.

Man, I miss Carpenter.


Still more interesting that pot and MMA…


I watched Space:1999 whenever it came on when I was a kid, but the only episode I remember was End of Eternity.

Saw MANDY last night and Nic Cage, as usual, provided a deep, reserved and subtle performance.

Really, it is a very crazy movie that is never boring. Even though it has elements of 70’s horror movies, it really doesn’t fit in with anything else. As strange as A Field In England but still filled with a lot of familiar elements.


I watched End of Eternity last weekend. Another episode with a great ending.


I was just thinking yesterday that the stretch of movies that Carpenter and Cronenberg made from the mid-70s to early 90s are among the best stretches of cinema made by anyone.

Nowadays I fear they’d make 2 small movies then latch on to a franchise and that would be their career.


His last…?


Neither of those films are comedies though they are comedic. Chase had Memoirs written specifically so that he could start playing dramatic roles and get away from comedy.


Memoirs of an Invisible Man actually is a comedy. Watch it again. It’s mostly laugh lines and sight gags. However, both Big Trouble and Memoirs are no more or less comedies than Dark Star. Dark Star actually takes its situation, this group of dysfunctional coworkers dealing with the isolation of space travel where they essentially demolish planets for a living, more seriously than the other films take theirs.


That’s partly what I liked about Dark Star (and definitely an element of it that found its way into Red Dwarf too) - the situation is played reasonably straight (well, maybe aside from the alien that looks like a space hopper), and part of the comedy and absurdity comes from playing it so straight.

(Part of it comes from the classic setup of having oddball characters being stuck in such a small group in close quarters too.)


Rather out of the blue, I’ve started rewatching Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, which I don’t think I’ve watched in about 13 years.

It’s good. One line sums up the smart stupidity of it for me. Dean Learner, talking about cheap effects: “if you’re going to a Punch and Judy show to look at the wires, you’re a freak!”

I love how well they nail the dated and poor production values, even down to switching to mono audio when it goes from the modern intro to the “vintage” material. Lots of cameos from up and coming British comedy types too.

I’m doing the audio commentaries too, which are in character. Matt Berry is essentially doing a prototypical Toast on them.


I loved Darkplace and was mildly obsessed with it when it came out. So many brilliant, quotable lines.


A Star is Born This is a fine version of the story in every regard except one: Lady Gaga can sing. But she can’t act.


Shocking no one who has seen AHS.


I thought she was really good.


Well, the final 4 eps of season 3 of Elementary were all quite good except for the finale falling prey to the cancer of US TV in its last minutes.

I’m referring, of course, to the last minute, 180 degree, out of fuckin’ nowhere, wholly contrary to the direction of the entire preceding 40mins, bullshit twist in order to generate a cliffhanger. It was utter shite, a disgrace to the episode, a prime example of being, to invoke a line from Deadpool 2, FINE - Fucked-up, Insecure, Needy and Emotional. Utter, utter bollocks.

So, have just got through ep 1 of S4, nice bit of casting for Sherlock’s father, will see how ep 2 continues to recover the series from the abysmal, gaping self-inflicted wound that was that damn finale resolution.


I haven’t seen the last few episodes yet, but the series was supposed to end this season (and it was originally only going to be 13 episodes), but they got a last-minute renewal.


Everything I’ve heard about that one says it’s pretty good.

I’m a bit sceptical about last-minute renewals working well when the writers have closed it down on the basis they weren’t getting another series…