Every year, about November time, Ant Timpson, with the help of ‘V’ (both literally and metaphorically) hosts a marathon of cinematic challenges found nowhere else in the world. It’s a long, arduous journey and only the most devoted fans of the silver screen attend.
Needless to say, I and my compadres were in attendance.
No one really knows what makes Ant select the films he does. Some people say that he consults the Nine Masters on the Holy Mountain, whilst others claim that he uses an agent provocateur by the name of Solomon King. Whatever the case, Ant’s film line-up is always a surprise and never fails to amuse; even the dreck gets a thunderous applause.
And what dreck there was. ‘The Holy Mountain;’ funny for about twenty minutes, painful for what felt like the next seven years of my life. ‘Black Agent, Lucky Man;’ possibly an average film had it not be spliced out of order and feature incomprehensible dialogue. Some people poo-poo-ed Ken Russell’s ‘Lisztomania,’ but not I. This was the film that finally proved once and for all that it was the dirty Protestants who caused the Holocaust and Hitler was Frankenstein was Wagner. Or something like that. I was tired and needed another ‘V’ to get me through the rest of the night.
Top five (in no order): ‘Lady Terminator,’ if only because it finally confirms every man’s worst fear; something does live up there and it is hungry. I have to ask, though; if she had laser eyes why didn’t she use them earlier?
Thunderbirds Are Go: It doesn’t matter that the entire film seems to be about the Tracey Brothers proving their masculinity and that by the end we seem to have declared war on the Martians; it’s about beautiful industrial designs and things clicking together.
And Cliff Richard.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Every year we get a classic film, from ‘The Thing’ to ‘Return of the Living Dead.’ ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ (the 1978 version) is a great example of smart science fiction with an incredibly downbeat ending that suggests that our invaders will end up living a boring version of our own existence. Probably far too deep and meaning for a crowd bloated on the excesses of twenty-three hours of cinema’s more unusual citizens, but damn good to see on the big screen.
Burial Grounds: It isn’t good; as zombie films go it features terrible effects and a plot that isn’t simple but rather dumb. What it does have, though, is either the worst portrayal of an eight year-old by a midget or the creepiest treatment of an adult by his mother ever committed to celluloid. I accidentally bought this film in London and have never looked back. Next year we should get ‘Zombie Nosh.’
Lisztomania: Giant penises, comparing Wagner to Dracula and Roger Daltrey playing Franz Liszt. What more does a boy need. It has musical numbers, a spaceship and the killing of Hitler through music. I suspect I’ll be humming the main tune for a while to come.
Worst film: Not ‘Troll 2.’ It may be consistently bad and wildly illogical, but it was beaten hands down by ‘Streets of Fire: A Rock and Roll Fable’ which scared us with Willem Dafoe’s teeth and didn’t feature anywhere enough Rock and/or Roll. Still, Rick Moranis in a straight role… It didn’t suit him.
All in all, another full day of cinematic joy wrapped in gowns and flavoured with V. The Marathon wouldn’t be the same without that synonymous green can. The Can provides life, the Can provides vitality and Can sponsors the shebang. I can’t hep but associate V with the marathon and when it comes to buying energy drinks (which is far more often than I would like to admit) I tend to go for V, knowing that the Can will reward me come November.
Parts of this ‘review’ were written with the express intention of praising ‘V’ to make sure they continue to support the marathon.