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    IN EARLY January, Helen and I discussed the fact that we lacked Lebensraum in our house due to our growing family and, more importantly, our growing amount of STUFF. While the idea of building an extension to the house is a long-term plan, in the short-term we talked about buying more bookcases for the back room to house an ever-expanding collection of Geronimo Stilton and Garfield books, free CDs from work and kids’ trophies.

    Out of the blue, I said, “Why don’t I clear away the beer bottles on those shelves near the bar? That’ll add some extra storage space.”

    Now, this was a momentous decision on my part and I’m surprised I made the call so quickly. I had been collecting bottles and cans ever since we first moved into our present home 10 years ago. Every new exotic overseas beer or quirky local brand that I drank at home found a place on the shelves left by the previous owners (and the extra shelf I added a year after we moved in).

    They were a source of quiet pride to me and some bemusement to people who came to visit, like Jonesy’s Muslim friend.

    Anyway, I announced my intention and Helen, a little surprised, agreed.

    I spent the next hour humping hundreds of bottles and cans to our recycling bin and I felt surprisingly alright on an emotional level about dumping 10 years of boozy history.

    I just didn’t expect my six-year-old son Dash to take it so hard. He’s a lot like me and hates change, so this radical move on my part knocked him for a loop

    Dash was very upset – he kept trying to block me from taking bucket after bucket of empties to the bin. He even sprayed me with the water hose and kept shouting, “You can’t pass me till you say the password!”

    To which I replied, “The password is ‘You won’t get any more screen-time today unless you let me pass.’”

    Since then, Helen’s told me that Dash reckons we need to drink exactly the same beers and replace the bottles.

    Ain’t gonna happen, lil’ dude.

    Daddy’s grown up…or something like that (but I aint’ getting rid of my comics or wrestling dollies, Helen. Okay?)

    Three empty shelves are ready to be cleaned, then filled up with CDs and kids’ trophies

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  • 03/12/17--22:04: MARCH ZINES ROUND-UP

  • HARD-COPY zines - yes, they still exist. Obviously.
    I don't receive as many as I used to, but here are a couple that landed in my mailbox in recent months.

    SPRAK! Vol. 2 No. 12 (Kami McInnes,  PO Box 278, Edwardstown, SA, 5039, AUSTRALIA or has been around forever and is still the same delicious mix of bad movies, blood, babes and beer. This time round, Kami focuses on an Ozploitation Special that features reviews of some well-worn faves (Howling III, Patrick, Chain Reaction, Stone) and more obscure titles like Pandemonium, Demons Among Us and Flange Desire. There are also reviews of some classic soft-core pornos such as the underrated Felicity and the crazy Coming Of Age starring ex-AC/DC frontman Dave Evans. Kami writes with enthusiasm and respect for the film-makers. Sure, some of these flicks are low-budget shite, but they all have SOME redeeming features and Kami is more than happy to point them out to the reader. I want to thank him, too, for turning me onto Terry Bourke's 70s horror flicks Inn Of The Damned and Night Of Fear. I recently bought them as a double-DVD in Newtown. Noice!

    Stu is back in 2017 with a second volume of STRATU'S DIARY COMIX (Stratu, PO Box 35, Marrickville, NSW, 2204, AUSTRALIA or The January issue comes with a personalised cover, which is pretty damn cool. "I'm doing these for - at least - January and February," he informs me. If that's not enough to entice you, then Stu's day-by-day comic diary will keep you informed and entertained on the life and times of one of this country's premier underground artists and zinesters. As he puts it on my personalised cover: "Good mail days...Instagram obsession...internet shopping addiction...and much more!"
    B&W copies are AUD$4pp ($5 overseas), while colour copies are $9 ($10 overseas).

    UNBELIEVABLY BAD #19 and #20 (AUD$9 from Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA or email or head to
    High-quality, square-bound, full-colour covers and 68 A4 pages of rock'n'roll goodness.
    Issue 19 has a lot of articles that will appeal to different people, but my personal highlights were a feature on a guy who hung out in prison for a time with Port Arthur massacre gunman Martin Bryant. Eye-popping stuff...the final instalment of UB's never-ending interview with gore flick pioneer Herschell Gordon Lewis (although nobody, let alone HG, knew this was the case at the time)...the true story behind oddball 60s masked Australian pop band The Mystrys...and a piece on "The Two-headed Nightingale" Millie and Christine McKoy.
    Issue 20 has a loving tribute to HG Lewis, the man who gave us Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs and so much reviews from Kami...and the amazing story of outsider muso John Watermann... Plus a ton of interviews with guys revealing a surprising amount of man-flesh in their photos.
    Finally, editor Matt Reekie's editorial will break your heart. Anything I could say beyond that is inadequate, so I'll stop there. R.I.P. Angus.

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    I’M NOT certain what sorta audience Colossalis aiming for. I think audiences COULD get behind a quirky mash-up of Godzilla-style monster flicks and small-town romantic comedies, but what will they make of director Nacho Vigalondo’s main themes of alcoholism and domestic violence? What starts out as a fun, light-hearted fantasy turns into something dark and ugly, with a sad, ambivalent ending that is very un-Hollywood.

    Gloria – played by the breathtakingly beautiful Anne Hathaway – is an unemployed writer who wastes away her nights drinking heavily and partying in New York City while being supported by her workaholic boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens). When she lets him down one too many times, he throws her out of their apartment and she’s forced to return to her childhood home in a rural town.

    She renews her friendship with school chum Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who runs a bar. The easy-going bachelor offers her a waitressing job and they’re soon best buds, spending the wee hours after work boozing with Oscar’s buddies.

    At this point, I was thinking Gloria and Oscar were gonna hook up, because he’s a chilled, fun guy unlike her uptight ex Tim. But Oscar has a dark past and it surfaces in an ugly manner soon after they learn the news that a giant monster is smashing up Seoul. It appears briefly every night and causes untold mayhem in the South Korean capital.

    Through a few quirky coincidences, Gloria discovers that SHE controls the monster and it only happens when she walks through a playground near where she lives.

    When Oscar follows her one morning and walks through the playground, a giant robot appears in Seoul. It seems there’s a strange link between the couple and the playground, but it takes us quite a while to find out what it is.

    In the meantime, Oscar – who feels he’s done little with his life – is affected by the new-found power he now possesses as a skyscraper-toppling robot. Gloria is forced to take on the role of Seoul’s protector and fight her former friend.

    And that’s where things turn really nasty. A few scenes between Gloria and the mentally disintegrating Oscar are almost unwatchable. Give credit to Sudeikis for taking a likeable character and, mid-way through, turning him into a genuine human monster.

    Colossal is unlike any other film I’ve seen and goes in completely unexpected directions. It’s not perfect – and I suspect it won’t find much of a mainstream audience – but it is wholly unforgettable.

    Oh, and Anne Hathaway is goddamn GORGEOUS. Sorry, I just had to say that again.

    * Colossal– released by Transmission Films – will open in Australian cinemas on Thursday, April 13.

    Watch the trailer HERE.

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    I WAS reminded me of a 1982 short story by Stephen King called Survivor Type while watching director Julia Ducournau’s shocking 2016 movie Raw. In the story, a crooked surgeon is marooned on an isolated island with only his surgical tools and a large suitcase filled with heroin. With nothing to eat on the island and unable to hunt for food after breaking his ankle, he makes the horrendous decision to amputate his foot and eat it to survive. Snorting vast amounts of heroin as a makeshift anaesthetic, the surgeon continues to amputate his limbs for food. With the lower half of his body gone, he eventually cuts off his left hand and muses, “Lady fingers…they taste just like lady fingers.”

    It may class itself as an arty coming-of-age story, but Rawis PURE HORROR and easily one of the most disgusting films I’ve ever seen. It’s not hard when Raw deals graphically with the subject of cannibalism. I’m not surprised people passed out when it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

    Mousy Justine (Garance Marillieri) arrives at veterinary school to join her big sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf), but part of the learning process is dealing with the, at times, extreme hazing from older students.

    One bizarre ritual sees the newbies forced to eat raw meat. Alexia orders her younger sibling to do it, even though she’s a vegan. Almost immediately, Justine begins to notice physical changes – she develops a nasty skin rash, sexual feelings towards her gay roommate Adrien (Rabah Naït Oufella) and, more disturbingly, a craving for meat.

    Wolfing down burgers and consuming raw chicken from the fridge doesn’t seem to satisfy her carnivorous urges.

    One night, there’s a freak accident and she accidentally severs Alexia’s finger. While contemplating the digit, Justine is overcome with desire and begins to greedily gnaw at it like a BBQ rib.

    “Lady fingers…they taste just like lady fingers.”

    Alexia eventually reveals a shocking family secret to Justine, a secret that you just KNOW will end in tears for everyone.

    While I enjoyed Raw (despite my disgust) I feel like there were a few plot holes and a somewhat ambiguous ending. But there’s no doubting the movie’s…ahem, RAW power.

    This is an extraordinary film, not least of which because both Marillieri and Rumpf are extraordinarily beautiful women and they spend large parts of it wearing very little. They ooze eroticism. And danger.

    Raw may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those willing to put up with the gore, they will find it a thought-provoking experience that will stay with them long after the final credits roll.

    * Raw– released by Monster Pictures – will open in Australian cinemas on Thursday, April 20. Watch the trailer HERE.

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  • 05/06/17--01:52: Article 0
  • So.....after umpteen years, this is the last entry in my blog. 
    But never fear, BETTY PAGINATED lives on in my NEW blog, which can be found HERE.
    Please come check it out - it's SAFE FOR WORK, too. ;)

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