“Cheap Turd”: the mysterious charm of Valet Girls (1987)

Valet Girls (1987) Dir. Rafal Zielinski Starring. April Stewart, Meri D. Marshall, Mary Kohnert Valet Girls is a poorly made, badly paced, atrociously acted, flatly filmed, desperately unfunny, trashy near-exploitation movie; it has almost no redeeming features; so why is it so great? Mostly, this…

A Cure for Culture: Die Brücke at Moritzburg

There is a (completely valid) argument that originality in the arts is overrated; and clearly it is better to have something derivative or traditional that is good, than something completely original that is bad. But at the same time, to take conventional or traditional tools…

LIVE DEAD: Mayhem 1990

Suicide and murder will get a band noticed, but more than enough has been written about all that elsewhere (best short version; Ian Christe’s Sound of the Beast, best longer version; Michael Moynihan & Didrik Søderlind’s classic Lords of Chaos), so… Looking at the history…

Once Upon a Time in Argentina: Swords & Sorcery, 1980s style

  If the heroic fantasy movie has become synonymous, post-Lord of the Rings, with state of the art special effects, epic locations and massive budgets, there was a time, not so long ago, when its natural home was the video rental shop and its scope,…

Petty Obsession: Hair Metal you never hear in the movies

  With the resurgence of all things 80s in the last decade, it was inevitable that hair metal would have some kind of renewed popularity, but even so, its respectability is surprising. Mötley Crüe for instance, seem to have far more credibility now than they did (in the UK at…

Woman Power! Ms Marvel & 1970s ‘Farrah Fawcett Feminism’

Problem: It’s the 70s, you are editor-in-chief for Marvel Comics, the biggest (or joint-biggest) comicbook publisher in the USA. Your readers are mostly fairly young; you want to move with the times. Your top titles regularly receive mail from female readers who want to feel represented,…

The Story of an Artist; Daniel Johnston covered

Due to his highly idiosyncratic, sometimes unnerving style and often rough and sometimes non-existent production values, many people prefer to hear the songs of the great Daniel Johnston performed by others; they are wrong – but there are many great covers of his work. The…

Constructive Misanthropy: Wyndham Lewis – Tyros & Portraits

It’s not just ‘the general public’ that sometimes finds abstract or conceptual art to be the empty, meaningless work of opportunistic charlatans; sometimes artists do too. While belonging firmly to the European avant-garde of his time, artist, poet and novelist Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) created…

(Don’t) Lower Your Expectations; the evolution of Oblivionized

  We’re not quite at the ‘albums of the year’ stage yet, but when we are, Oblivionized’s Life is a Struggle, Give Up will be featured prominently. From their earliest demos onwards, the band has epitomised the vital UK underground extreme music scene, with a…