Monthly archives: March 2015

I don’t think I aimed high enough

When I was plotting Solstice, I needed a secondary threat, something longer term than a killer on the loose, which could also go some way to explaining his actions. After doing some research, an organised paedophile ring run by influential people was my choice, for renewed relevance amongst other reasons.

I’m beginning to think that I should have aimed higher, and made a few of them MPs, or even Ministers. When I was doing my research, Leon Brittan’s name came up a couple of times, but I was wary of the claims against him, as they seemed just a bit too far fetched. Then he died not long after I’d published the story, and the allegations against him are out in the open again. Not only that, but the evidence that there was a high level cover up is more convincing too.

The Daily Beast has an article about it, and the Manchester Evening News has a report about how accusations about Cyril Smith were revealed to Thatcher when he was being considered for a knighthood. David Cameron wants to introduce a law to punish teachers, councillors and care workers who ignore evidence of child abuse. How would he feel about it being extended to cover more senior politicians and civil servants, I wonder?

The world’s biggest movie set?

You think of ghost towns as places that once were busy and full of citizens, only to be emptied out when whatever made them rich dried up. The city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, however, never achieved any commercial success, and is full of empty tower blocks and part finished public spaces. It is home to only 2% of its projected population.

Just think of the films you could shoot here. Something creepy with a not quite functional future vibe to it. Gattaca with a far East twist or one of the planets of Serenity.

Ford shot a commercial there, but it’s just begging for more screen time than that.

B Movie Night- Stanley

The disturbingly dull story of one man’s unhealthy relationship with his snake.

(A real snake, not what you were thinking. You people disgust me.)

Traumatised Vietnam vet Tim is back in the swamps after suffering two years of “The white man telling the red man to kill the yellow man.”* He avoids his old tribe, preferring to live in a shack with just the snakes he catches- to be milked for their venom- for company. He’s taken to talking to them, and treating them as pets or friends. Particularly the eponymous Stanley, a rattler ‘married’ to another snake and about to be a father.

Suffering from terrible headaches, the cause of which is never explained, Tim wanders around behaving bizarrely and building up to a confrontation with the animal skin trader/poacher responsible for his father’s death. He has increasingly deranged conversations with Stanley, builds a crib for the baby snakes and provides snakes for an aging stripper to use in her show

When Tim does snap, it’s not just the snake skin belt selling rustler who suffers, but his lackeys and the stripper and her husband, as well. They’re all despatched, obviously, by snake bite, Stanley killing a drugged up psycho who has killed the snake’s wife and kids. Then there’s even more dullness as Tim kidnaps the poacher’s hot daughter to be his swamp-Eve, only to have the snakes turn on him when he tries to have them kill her.

It’s possible the film had something to say about man’s appalling attitude to nature and cruelty to animals, but, if it did, it’s terribly undercut by the way some of the snake co-stars are killed on screen (I’m quite certain they took a shotgun to one of the rattlers, because this isn’t a film that could afford prosthetics that convincing). I’d say you shouldn’t watch this film if you’re sensitive about that sort of thing. In fact, I’d go so far as to say you just shouldn’t watch this film, sensitive or not.

Another film from the Gorehouse Greats collection.

*The only good line of the movie, and I’m sure that they stole it from Mohammed Ali.

Get thee to the singles colony!

Housing was a big subject in the politisphere last week, with lots of numbers being thrown around. This Dutch project sounds interesting as part of a possible answer.

The Heijmans ONE is a prefabricated home meant for residents who are young, single and just beginning to build their careers. This “not quite” generation, as the company describes them, has a steady job and makes a decent living, just not enough for them to live on their own in an expensive city.


The idea is that the ONE houses will be constructed outside of city centers as a way to make use of underdeveloped plots of land.

It does conjure up visions of singles ghettoes, hidden away out of town. Which could be terribly sad, or ridiculously debauched.