Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Feather And The Filthiest Room Ever.

 The first time somebody mentioned The Hard to me my immediate reaction was "Sounds a bit alarming. why would I want to go there?"  I had this mental image of some sort of nature reserve for feral skinheads.
  As it turned out, The Hard  is what Portsmouth calls the bit down by the Dockyard where the Gosport Ferry terminal , the Portsmouth Harbour Rail station and the Bus station sit right next to each other. I think it's called The Hard because it's a sort of concrete platform built out over the waves. It's not as picturesque as it sounds but it gets the job done.
 There used to be a really good bacon butty stand  down there - until it caught fire.

   The reason I bring all this up is that at one end of The Hard there's a couple of things that fascinate me.

  As the Portsmouth Harbour rail line heads off towards the city centre it runs over a solidly built bit of Victorian brickwork which has handy little rooms built under the arches.  There's a cafe that I keep meaning to check out and a tattoo parlour that I'm too chicken to set foot in. It's what's next to them I'm looking at today.

 The first thing you see is one of the many bits of wall-art I like about Pompey.

portsmouth The Hard art

  That's a nice bit of art. I'm all in favour of making blank bits of wall a little prettier and this is simple and effective. If anybody knows who painted this feather, I'd love a chance to give them a shout-out.

 But if you move a wee bit to the left you get something that intrigues me for all the wrong reasons.

  Right next door is a shop or  lockup or whatever that has been abandoned and boarded up for donkey's years.  Then one day somebody put the window in and that left this lovely, big hole in the wall with a lovely, big empty space on the other side.

 Hundreds of people walk past this hole every single day.  Hundreds of people clutching sandwiches, cans of Red Bull, newspapers, kebabs....

 Can you guess what happens when they pass this lovely, inviting hole?

This happens. 

Room full of trash

 Believe it or not, this pile used to be bigger. At one point there was a frigging Christmas Tree stuffed in there.  Don't ask me how, or what happened to it.

 You'll have to take my word about the smell.  It's like three dustbins full of socks.

  Just up the road from that was one more thing - now gone, sadly -  that fascinated me for yet a third reason. If the feather is pleasing and the room is disgusting then this billboard just puzzled me.


 Somebody spent a lot of money to put up this huge public message  so you think there would be a contact address or something on it. Nope. Just a slogan that screams "Tinfoil hat" to me.

 If anybody knows what the actual fuck this is all about, can you drop me a line?

That's all folks. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Cheapo DVD Review: The Cottage (2008)

British Comedy/Slasher Horror starring Andy Serkis, Jennifer Ellison, Reece Shearsmith & Steve O'Donnell

   Two brothers arrive at a cottage out in the rural wilds, along with the young woman that's tied up in the boot. 

  The plan is to hold their unwilling guest for ransom but there are a few snags.  Like at least one of the conspirators being a complete moron.  Like their victim being a vicious psycho with a big-time gangster for a father.  

And most especially, that they picked entirely the wrong part of the countryside to visit. 

  The Cottage starts off as a comedy caper movie about a bungled kidnapping and if it had stayed that way it would have been a decent enough movie.  But about halfway through it suddenly moves into Texas Chainsaw Massacre territory, albeit darkly comic and set in Yorkshire. 

 Luckily it works, and the cast can be thanked for that as they all turn in a great job. I particularly liked the way Andy Serkis performed as the only sensible man dealing with his useless co-conspirators. Jennifer Ellison was also perfect as the kidnapped Chavette From Hell. 
  The tone switches easily between bloody slashings and broad humour and even manages to fit in a bit of character development between squabbling brothers David and Peter. 

  If I had a criticism, it would be that The Cottage maybe takes longer than it needed to for setting things up. That's probably just me. 

How much did I pay for this: £1.50
Was it worth it?  Very much so. If you liked Severance then you may well want to keep an eye out for The Cottage next time you hit CEX. 

That's All Folks. 
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