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Mrs. P. BROOKSBANK (England)

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Beating the Devil: The Making of 'Night of the Demon'
Beating the Devil: The Making of 'Night of the Demon'
by Tony Earnshaw
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Get Nothing for Nothing, 1 May 2013
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Dr. Julian Karswell: Listen, mother. You believe in the supernatural. I've shown you some of its power and some of its danger.

Mrs. Karswell: Yes, Julian.

Dr. Julian Karswell: Well, believe this also. You get nothing for nothing. This house, the land, the way we live. Nothing for nothing. My followers who pay for this do it out of fear. And I do what I do out of fear also. It's part of the price.

Mrs. Karswell: But if it makes you unhappy. Stop it. Give it back.

Dr. Julian Karswell: How can you give back life? I can't stop it. I can't give it back. I can't let anyone destroy this thing. I must protect myself. Because if it's not someone else's life, it'll be mine. Do you understand, mother? It'll be mine.

So goes the conversation between the occultist Julian Karswell and his mother. Played wonderfully convincingly by Niall MacGinnis and Athene Seyler respectively.

Others have talked about the locations, the actors and actresses who all did a sterling performance but really it is all too easy to underestimate this film and how invaluable this book is. As others have said Niall MacGinnis may have had a glimpse of the magnitude of what he was doing but in all fairness its doubtful most of the others didn't.

I have to mention Dana Andrews, who, when I first saw this film thought he was miscast. It's obvious he was brought in to create an American interest ready for when the film was shown overseas. But as the years go past his contribution seems to meld into the slightly offbeat and surrealism of it all.

Peggy Cummins the English actress played Joanna Harrington the daughter of the deceased Prof Harrington who came to a grisly end early in the film at the hands or should I say claws of the Demon. I don't propose to do an outline of the film here but suffice to say there are many sublime atmospheric set pieces. The whole mood is understated and menacing in the 1950s period adds to this feeling. It's a sort of halfway house between the old mediaeval superstition, practices and the emerging modern world.

The book is a marvelous cornucopia of information on the background to the film, filming locations, the making of the film, background to the scenes and much more.

Documented is the struggle between the producer and the director of whether to show the Demon or not. Films of this time needed to show the monster in order to keep audiences happy. The state of the art with regard to special effects was not conducive to suspending disbelief. Even so the makers of the Demon did a fantastic job and testament to this is that it in no way lessens the impact of the film. This to a great extent is achieved by the professionalism of the actors, the suspense that is created and the menacing believable subtext that is almost off screen.

The book adds to this and takes us on a journey through the wonderful making and construction of this supernatural masterpiece.

I don't mean to leave anybody out here but if I put down everything I wanted to say then I would be writing a book myself. So I will finish with saying that I cannot emphasise enough how essential this book is to anybody who is interested in what was a magnificent one-off and in my opinion the pinnacle of the supernatural thriller that has never been surpassed.

I will leave you with the words of Professor Mark O'Brien, one of the scientists gathered in Dr Holden's hotel room. Dr Holden played by Dana Andrews finds that the pages are missing from his diary.

"I'm a scientist also, Dr. Holden. I know the value of the cold light of reason, but I also know the deep shadows that light can cast."

I can say that is quintessentially the grip that this film can hold.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 9, 2014 12:36 AM BST

The Rutles
The Rutles
Price: £8.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hard days rut, 28 April 2013
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This review is from: The Rutles (MP3 Download)
"I have always thought in the back of my mind cheese and onions." Well not really but you might do after listening to this. "Cheese and onions" is a song that parodies the Beatles yellow submarine period.

Quite brilliant, amazingly observed and strangely nostalgic. The Rutles burst onto the music scene back in 1978 with the mock rockumentry about their faux life. Cleverly observed parody of the Beatles they had to have a body of music that would give them substance. This is what you find here.

The various music tracks by necessity sound like Beatles tracks that were never released or were some sort of strange demo. The really weird part is that many have the ability to take you back to a time when they never existed! You even feel that somehow they were part of your childhood or youth, surreal.

I would recommend this album to anybody who is a Beatles fan or indeed a Rutles fan. Great Beatle like tunes, clever lyrics and a good time to be had by all. As the Rutles sing " let the good times roll."

The Complete Books of Charles Fort (Dover Occult)
The Complete Books of Charles Fort (Dover Occult)
by Roy P. MacKal
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth is out there, 28 April 2013
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“I conceive of nothing, in religion, science or philosophy, that is more than the proper thing to wear, for a while.” So Charles Hoy Fort wrote in his book wild talents published originally in 1932.

I have been interested in strange phenomenon since I was a boy and picked up books in my uncles study. My aunt would talk of Babylonian batteries, the mystery of Solomon Gomorrah and rainfalls of fish amongst other weird and wonderful occurrences. Even the occurrence of unexplained glass beads similar to those caused by nuclear fusion that seem to have be created back in antiquity. Then came along Erich Von Daniken and my interest blossomed. Since then I have visited many sites myself, read much on ancient history and strange occurrences. The result of this is that mostly I have become a sceptic but not totally. My other stance is that there is more at work here than we can see, touch and feel. Indeed I take you back to the quote at the top of the page. Quote this to a scientist and I can say with almost absolute certainty he will become unsettled and in some cases quite angry. Such is the close minds of much of science. Charles Fort came to realise that although many revere science, it is subject to the same human failings, prejudices and shortcomings that all human endeavours are plagued with.

I am particularly interested in his evaluation of science and scientists. I find this particularly useful when looking at so-called science of climate change.

Time and time again down the years Charles Fort's name crops up in any investigation of the strange, unusual and paranormal. I myself have quoted many times from his works. So I thought it was long overdue that I owned the works that they often referred to.

Charles Fort had some radical ideas about life and what he called the dammed. That is documented occurrences that did not fit in with scientific thinking and reasoning and therefore were often ignored. He very rarely gave his opinion on how these occurrences came about that more often than not just documented that they had occurred. Poring over books and records both in New York and for over two years at the British Library in London pulling together many occurrences.

This formed the basis for its four books on the "dammed" and all four books are re-printed here under one cover. At one time there existed ten works of fiction but only one survives but none of this is printed within this volume.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has a passing interest in life, the unknown and strange phenomenon. Charles Fort said "One measures a circle, beginning anywhere," and like wise you can dip in and out of this book anywhere. Some have found it difficult to read but I disagree.

Charles Fort led the modest life for the most part but the subject matter that he chose to write about is far from mundane. It has been said that he was the father of the supernatural. This is a grandiose claim it is probably not far from the truth.

I'll leave you with one tantalising quote from Charles Fort and that is “we are property.” If you read this book you will begin to wonder if he was in fact right.

Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Digital Camera (16MP EXR-CMOS Sensor, 30x Manual Optical Zoom) 3 inch Tiltable LCD Screen
Fujifilm FinePix HS30EXR Digital Camera (16MP EXR-CMOS Sensor, 30x Manual Optical Zoom) 3 inch Tiltable LCD Screen

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfaction Guaranteed, 19 Mar. 2013
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I have several reviews of Fuji cameras on Amazon dating back over a number of years and I moved onto bridge camera's rather than continue with SLR's. The title of my last review for the HS20EXR was "is this the last camera I will ever need." Well as you can see it wasn't but I can say the HS30EXR is miles out in front. Others have gone into great details about it's capabilities and rightly so. Because of this I will just say that as a serious amateur of nearly forty years experience this camera fills my every need virtually. I say virtually because regardless of any cameras capabilities I have the need for as much optical zoom as I can buy. The intelligent zoom system is impressive and satisfies me for most applications.

I have had my photography showcased in local cafe's and have many positive comments. I have also done commissions and supplied framed prints occasionally but I mainly take photo's for pleasure. I'm not blowing my own trumpet but just pointing out that no matter what you are told this camera can give just as much if not more satisfaction than many SLR's. Never miss that shot changing lenses.

I love the handling, ease of use and the way in EXR mode it almost makes the need to select manual obsolete. All this capability in a superb one stop shop package and marvellous at the price. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2013 10:22 PM GMT

Holidays In Eden
Holidays In Eden
Price: £10.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rakes Progressed, 1 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Holidays In Eden (MP3 Download)
I was a big Marillion fan by the time Holidays in Eden came out. The first time I heard them was on TV, I can't remember the program but I was blown away. I thought good interesting music was almost dead and here was this band singing about garden parties and forgotten son's. Even better than this they could play and the sound that they where making was quintessentially British in the old prog rock mode.

Since then I have seen them twice, nowhere near enough and I believe I have all of their CD's.

I was as disappointed as the next person when Fish left but when Seasons end came out I knew that they would go on as strong as ever, albeit in a different direction. I also liked the old symbolism but like all things in life change is inevitable.

I feel now as I did then, that Holidays in Eden is a great album. I don't think there is a duff track in there. Powerful, sometimes personal and it builds to a great end.

Let me say right know that before Marillion I was into Genesis, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Yes, Frank Zappa, Return to Forever, Miles Davis, Santana the classics and very big into King Crimson.

I still am and much more but this may go someway to explaining why I get so much out of Marillion and their changing moods.

Dry Land is a stand out track for me; Hogarth's voice rises to the occasion of expressing his admiration for someone who is a cold fish, perhaps introverted and the difficulties he has of dealing with this.

I'm not going to review every track and would add I like instrumental albums also so the lyric isn't necessarily all for me. As with the title track This Town, the Rakes Progress (which I love) and 100 Nights are about change, frustration at the negative effect you circumstances or environment can have on you, self examination and progression. All backed up with powerful playing that is a roller coaster of an emotional ride.

There is no such thing as a bad Marillion album, just different and you can't really go wrong with any of them. Yes I do have my favourites but for musical satisfaction these guys are up there with the best. Long may they continue.

Live from Santa Barbara
Live from Santa Barbara
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: £18.66

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No tears or fears here just a great concert, 13 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Live from Santa Barbara (Audio CD)
I read the other comments about the quality of this recording before I purchased it but I must say it sounds great to me. I was looking for new takes on my old tears for fears favourites and it dosent quite fill that remit although its good to hear Oleta Adams taking the lead from time to time.

I found the whole album satisfying and it took be back to the early nineties when I was really into these guys.I wish their output was greater. I don't know why Amazon don't post a track listing so here it is:

"I Believe" (performed by Oleta Adams)
"Head Over Heels" (along with "Broken", which is unlisted)
"Woman in Chains"
"Year of the Knife"
"Advice for the Young at Heart"
"Sowing the Seeds of Love"
"Badman's Song"
"Famous Last Words"
"When the Saints Go Marching In"
"I've Got to Sing My Song" (performed by Oleta Adams)
"Everybody Wants to Rule the World"

Every track is a gem an features great guitar and piano, I always thought that they could turn out some great atmospheric stuff, above the ordinary love songs that a lot of bands put out. "Year of the knife" and moving "When the saints" are two of these. Even the Spandau Balletesque "Advice for the young at heart" hits the mark.

A good memento of a quality special pop/rock band at the top of its game.

JVC iPhone and iPod Compatible Lightweight Headphones - Red
JVC iPhone and iPod Compatible Lightweight Headphones - Red
Offered by K Direct
Price: £13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Premium Canned Music, 13 Feb. 2013
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I bought these for my ipod, the seem to be nicely made and they a comfortable. They give me the sound that I was looking for and are a much better option then those horrible in the ear things. The do exactly what it says on the can.

Ted Lapidus Pour Homme 100ml EDT Spray
Ted Lapidus Pour Homme 100ml EDT Spray
Offered by Online4Perfume
Price: £21.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stylish classic, 13 Feb. 2013
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I honestly get compliments over and over again about this product. I wouldn't say the women are beating a path to my door but friends and work colegues love it. I will warn you that I'm middle aged and happily married so in all honesty thats not what I'm looking for, but its good for the ego!

I have been using Ted Lapidus for men since buying it in Brugges in 1989 and there is no other like it. Deep, sensuous and woody without been sweet and cloying. It builds on the body and when you shower the next day its warming tones drift up to meet you.

I don't know why its not available more widely.

Christian Fish Pendant Necklace, Finest Quality Stainless Steel Jewelry.
Christian Fish Pendant Necklace, Finest Quality Stainless Steel Jewelry.
Offered by Rainbow Hawaiian Products, Inc.
Price: £7.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Swimming, 13 Feb. 2013
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The pendant is nicely made, a good finish and appear strong. I give it five stars for that. The chain is not in keeping with the pendant and is next to useless for a man, too small. It would have been better to supply a matching pendent suitable for men or no pendant at all. Happy with the fish though.

The Mothership Returns
The Mothership Returns
Price: £9.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beam me up, 30 Nov. 2012
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I bought Return to Forever's Romantic Warrior LP back in 1976 and it was a revelation. Those were the days when you could ferret around in the local record store and you never knew what you were going to dig up.

When the needle hit the vinyl surprise, surprise no vocals. This was egg and milk to me. At that time I was known as the concept kid and concept albums were all the rage in the 70s. The nickname was due to the fact that I have a penchant for concept albums. Artists that made albums that painted a picture and told a story.

Another one of my aims was to find the ultimate album; that is one that really raised the hairs on the back of my neck and got me out there.

Of course early Genesis, Mike Oldfield, Yes and a clutch of classical music albums were already doing it for me.

So when it came to Romantic Warrior I was blown away, coincidentally the name of the album, the band and artwork sold it to me, I'd never heard a note.

And so to the Mothership. It's safe to say that Return to Forever and Chick Corea's Elektric band have never been far away from my turntable, tape deck and now iPod over the decades.

When I first played the Mothership I must admit I was slightly disappointed, what no Al Di Meola? I've played the whole album through five or six times now at least and I've come to appreciate that this is a different animal. The Mediaeval Overture and the Sorceress both remind me of warm summer days, perhaps France or perhaps in a different time and reality altogether. With the addition of Jean Luc Ponty's violin this just reinforces the feeling. Señor mouse, what a delightful track, whimsical in places, the individual solos blend effortlessly and seamlessly from one section to another. Every track is a masterpiece, a testament to the fine musicianship of these players and of course Chick Corea in particularly. We even get treated to Stanley Clarke's Schooldays. And then there is the track Romantic Warrior itself, listening to this is like coming back to a long lost friend changed with time, still as relevant as ever, still with immense impact but more subtle, delicate and somehow warmer.

Absolutely fantastic, this still really gets me out there with no more than the addition of perhaps an incense stick or a cup of Earl Grey! The hairs are raised on the back of my neck as ever.

I never did find that perfect concept album and like Rudy and Spider Dijon from the Mighty Boosh searching for the new sound, I could have been destined to look forever. I have now come to realise that Return to Forever and perhaps Stomu Yamasta's Go album are as close as I'm ever going to get but thats no bad thing.

And what of the lyrics? Radio DJs and many music fans just don't get it if they haven't got some lyrics to sing along with. I'm not adverse to the lyrics in a song as long as they have something constructive or interesting to say. In this case it really is like Seth MacFarlane says "music is better than words."

If you like fine musicianship with well crafted tunes expertly executed and something to take your mind on an adventure then look no further you have found the holy Grail, the mother load and of course the Mothership.

If that isn't a pretentious enough review for you I don't know what is but I stand by all I've said.

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