The Halloween Horror Fest Don’t Die

The Dead Don’t Die (2019)

Wow – what a cast! Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Danny Glover, Iggy Pop, Tom Waits – amongst many others – star in this comedy horror from director Jim Jarmusch.

The Dead Don’t Die tells the story of a zombie apocalypse in a small US town, as we see events unfold from the point of view of two cops on patrol (Murray and Driver). Natural phenomena begins to go awry, and following the murder of two workers in the local diner, events escalate quickly. Soon enough, the police (together with Swinton’s samurai funeral director) scramble to retain control as hordes of zombies take over.

Although there are some wonderful performances in this film – Murray and Driver’s brilliantly understated cops being the best – this film doesn’t really succeed as a comedy or a horror film. The zombie arrival is very slow, and the conclusion seems rushed. The comedy is rarely laugh out loud hilarious, it’s mostly dry humour and deadpan delivery, and there’s a lot to enjoy in the approach that the movie takes.

The Dead Don’t Die follows it’s own path, avoiding the much more in-you-face approach of Zombieland. The film is an enjoyable and worthwhile watch, but it doesn’t quite achieve its potential. It’s more of an Indie arthouse spoof of the genre, but whilst it has it’s own peculiar charms, I was expecting much more. Maybe I should know more about Jim Jarmusch. Who is he, anyway?

7/10

The Mummy (1959)

Frankenstein? Check. Dracula? Check. Next on the horror hitlist for Hammer was The Mummy, and boy does it look great in splendid colour. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are, of course, on hand; as are Terence Fisher (director) and Jimmy Sangster (writer). You can’t go wrong.

It’s 1895, and an archaeological dig in Egypt finds the ancient tomb of of Princess Ananka. John Banning (Cushing) has a broken leg, and can’t enter the tomb, though it’s probably for the best. His dad Stephen does go in, despite the protestation of the Egyptian Mehemet Bey (George Pastell) and is driven mad by… something.

On returning home, Banning senior (Felix Aylmer) is in a nursing home, receiving care for the mentally disturbed. He becomes lucid enough to warn his son that he fears the mummy of Kharis, the high priest will destroy them all for entering the tomb.

Sure enough, the Mummy of Kharis (Lee) is awoken by Bey, and begins to take revenge for the disturbance. Will Banning be able to stop it’s rampage?

Predictably excellent work from Cushing here, as expected. And Lee is imposing as ever as Kharis, looking incredibly grim emerging from a swamp. The film does drag a little in the final third, but with the beautiful sets, a lush score and a decent story, The Mummy is unmissable for any Hammer fan.

8.5/10

Platinum Lounge Rocks!

On Friday 6th September 2013, I was at the Platinum Lounge as part of a leaving do for my great friend and colleague, Ben the Swede.  He was going off to be a hobo on the streets of London, begging for loose change off commuters.  No doubt he would hitch down there, then spend his nights sleeping in a cardboard box with only a stray dog for company.

To celebrate Ben’s move to pastures new, we were all out and about painting the town red as only us filthy tramps know how.  There was a rumour that the Platinum Lounge was having a rock weekend.  The rumours were true.

Rock night at the Platinum Lounge featured the best music I have ever heard in any establishment in Chester.  It left other venues in the dust as the Lounge dared to play the tunes that would rock other clubs to their foundations.

It was a truly legendary night.  Here’s the playlist – or at least, what my compadres and I remember.

  1. Run DMC & Aerosmith – “Walk This Way”
  2. Ugly Kid Joe – “I Hate Everything About You”
  3. Soundgarden – “Black Hole Sun”
  4. Fleetwood Mac – “Go Your Own Way”
  5. ZZ Top – “Legs”
  6. Def Leppard – “Pour Some Sugar On Me”
  7. Motley Crue – “Girls Girls Girls”
  8. Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
  9. Black Sabbath – “Paranoid”
  10. AC/DC – “Whole Lotta Rosie”
  11. Aerosmith – “Janie’s Got a Gun”
  12. The Cult – “She Sells Sanctuary”
  13. Rainbow – “Since You Been Gone”
  14. Alice Cooper – “Poison”
  15. Def Leppard – “Animal”
  16. Guns’n’Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
  17. AC/DC – “Back in Black”
  18. Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Foxy Lady”
  19. Fleetwood Mac – “The Chain”
  20. Bon Jovi – “Livin’ On a Prayer”
  21. Skid Row – “Youth Gone Wild”
  22. Dire Straits – “Money For Nothing”
  23. U2 – “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
  24. Bryan Adams – “Run to You”
  25. Billy Idol – “White Wedding”
  26. Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall”
  27. Rolling Stones – “Paint It Black”
  28. Santana – “Smooth”
  29. Whitesnake – “Here I Go Again”
  30. George Thorogood & the Destroyers – “Bad to the Bone”

OK, so I know the Ugly Kid Joe song sucks, but how many top tunes are there on that playlist?  I mean Soundgarden – you never hear Soundgarden played anywhere!  Especially not in Chester, where that sort of thing is punishable by whipping with a designer handbag.

Thanks to all at the Platinum Lounge for a great night.

Platinum Lounge Playlist

Excellent news – the legendary Platinum Lounge is open again this weekend.  This is whilst the recent licence issues are “pending”.  Hopefully we’ll see the Lounge resurrected to its former glory and status as a beacon of light in glum old Chester.

To celebrate, here’s a playlist I’ve collated on my visits to the establishment.  Obviously, this list isn’t exhaustive – I don’t know or own every song played in Platinum Lounge.  These are just the ones I have a copy of, and can remember.  After all, I usually have a couple of polite drinkies when I’m there.

This is a soundtrack for some great nights, great music and great company.  Maybe it will help convince people that Platinum Lounge is nothing to be afraid of.

  1. Kylie Minogue – “Confide in Me”
  2. Green Day – “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”
  3. Def Leppard – “Pour Some Sugar On Me”
  4. Amy Winehouse – “Rehab”
  5. AC/DC – “Girl’s Got Rhythm”
  6. Alex Gaudino – “Destination Calabria”
  7. Beyonce – “Irreplaceable”
  8. Rhianna – “Umbrella”
  9. Audio Bullys ft. Nancy Sinatra – “Shot You Down”
  10. Destiny’s Child – “Independent Women”
  11. Beyonce – “Crazy in Love”
  12. Beyonce – “Green Light”
  13. Christina Aguilera – “Dirrty”
  14. Massive Attack – “Teardrop”
  15. Nickleback – “Rockstar”
  16. Ida Corr vs. Fedde Le Grand – “Let Me Think About It”
  17. ZZ Top – “Gimme All Your Lovin'”
  18. Poison – “Unskinny Bop”
  19. Motley Crue – “Girls, Girls, Girls”
  20. T-Rex – “Get It On”
  21. AC/DC – “Rock’n’Roll Train”
  22. ZZ Top – “Legs”
  23. AC/DC – “Back in Black”
  24. Alice Cooper – “Poison”
  25. Starship – “We Built This City”
  26. Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
  27. The Cult – “She Sells Sanctuary”
  28. AC/DC – “Shoot to Thrill”
  29. Steppenwolf – “Born to be Wild”
  30. Metallica – “Nothing Else Matters”
  31. Bon Jovi – “Wanted Dead or Alive”
  32. Tenacious D – “Tribute”

Recently Platinum Lounge held a Rock Night.  It was one of the best collection of tunes I’ve ever heard on a night out in Chester.  The above list doesn’t include songs from that night, I’ll post that as a separate list another time!