Doomsday Preppers [Season One]

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Doomsday Preppers is a reality TV series that takes a look at different doomsday scenarios that preppers/survivalists fear. There were a few that I had never heard of but it seems that the likelihood of them happening is very rare. Some of the scenarios people prep for in this series are: nuclear war, pandemics, EMPs (electro magnetic pulses), polar shifts, Chinese financial takeovers/economic collapse, electrical grid failures and more.

If you suffer from anxiety or have intrusive thoughts then this is one TV show you should NEVER watch. Although the show freaked me out and played on some anxieties (viruses, bleuggh!), I didn’t run out to the shops and start prepping… I did however start a first aid kit and buy another smoke alarm as those items are more likely to be of use to me. If there really is any chance of ANY of these nightmarish things happening I really don’t want to be living Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome every single day so maybe I should look into cyanide pills.

Each episode has two sets of preppers and they’re rated on how ready/self sufficient they are to deal with a catastrophic event. From banking seeds, making Faraday cages, hoarding food and guns it’s quite impressive the stockpiles these guys have but it’s scary when they’re told that they need to make improvements, if these guys aren’t prepared enough then the rest of really are screwed.

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Punk in Africa

Punk-in-AfricaTry naming a single punk band from Africa. Stumped? If you are then it makes the existence of this film all the more necessary.

Tracing the lineage of Southern African punk from the 1970s to the present, Punk in Africa helps to show viewers the ignored, but no less crucial global scenes which the punk rock explosion spawned. Already a cultural movement which openly flaunted its political subversion, punk in Africa picked up an even greater sense of urgency, taking place in the dark days of the Apartheid regime. While their American and British counterparts had to deal with bad press and hostile glares in public at most, the African punks had the very real threat of being silenced by their political opponents, or even more frightening, being ‘removed’ altogether. They ran high risks and put everything on the line in order to play their music and voice exactly what they thought about the state of things. This documentary stands testament to their struggle.

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Blackfish

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Blackfish is a documentary about killer whales in captivity at Sea World with particular focus on one male Orca, Tilikum, who has a history of aggressive behavior resulting in the deaths of two trainers and one trespasser.

Tilikum was caught off the coast of Iceland at a young age, taken from his mother and put in a concrete pool with dominant females who were aggressive towards him and often rammed and raked him. After an incident at the park Tilikum was sold and shipped off to Sea World where they bred him to the point that most of Sea World’s whales are descendents of Tilikum.

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Paura: Lucio Fulci Remembered Volume 1

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Lucio Fulci is a household name among horror fans thanks to a large body of work including classics of the genre such as The Beyond, New York Ripper, City Of The Living Dead and his biggest box office success Zombie. Fulci dabbled in several different genres including fantasy (Conquest) and comedy (Young Dracula) before finding his niche within the horror/thriller genre. Fulci received no love from the critics (the worth of his flicks often divides horror fans and is still debated to this day) and his work was often butchered by the censors. Lost in the shadows cast by Mario Bava and Dario Argento Fulci was relatively unknown in his home country but his films found great success with American audiences creating an army of die hard fans.

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Autoluminescent

AutoluminescentI’ve always found it a bit frustrating just how little attention a lot of pioneering musicians get from the music press. Every year the major music magazines and documentary channels wheel out stuff concerning the usual suspects like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Doors and Nirvana while other equally important bands and artists’ stories are lost in the annals of history. For me it’s always refreshing when something like Autoluminescent comes along and sheds some light on a often overlooked artist like Roland S Howard.

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Iggy Pop – Lust for Life

Lust-for-life A true rock n’ roll legend in every sense of the world Iggy Pop is one of the most charismatic performers every to set foot on the stage. The Godfather of Punk’s musical career has spanned over 30 years and has seen him experience many highs and lows none of which have deterred his determination to lay down some solid tunes that have been highly influential.

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Dee Dee Ramone – History On My Arms

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MVD Visual’s DVD & CD set compiles three short films about the self destructive punk rock icon Dee Dee Ramone. Dee Dee was mainly known for playing bass in the Ramones but also had a wide and varied solo career that included a hip hop album and a brief stint alongside musical terrorist GG Allin and his band the Murder Junkies. He also penned two autobiographies and the novel Chelsea Horror Hotel. Dee Dee’s life came to an end on June 5th 2002 from a heroin overdose.

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The Definitive Document of the Dead

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Before the event of DVDs there were very few documentaries of the making of films especially when it came to cult and horror cinema. Occasionally there would be a promotional behind-the-scenes look for the major studio blockbusters screened on TV but nothing compared to the insight and analysis we have come to expect now. Document Of The Dead and Fangoria’s feature on Tom Savini Scream Greats Vol 1 have always held a special place for me as they were my first glimpse into what went on behind the scenes of some of my favourite horror flicks. I’ve always liked how they were shot in the thick of it all and are a great document of the time without the benefit of hindsight.

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Heckler

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Reviewing films, as much fun as it can be, is a duel-edged sword. On the one hand I can sit down and watch a film that people have worked months, if not YEARS on, and dismiss it with a single paragraph. One side of me feels genuinely guilty about this..the other side thinks “fuck you..that’s an hour and a half of my life I’m NEVER getting back..and YOU are responsible!!!”.

These thoughts came to me as I viewed Jamie Kennedy’s Heckler, a great documentary that examines the phenomenon of unwanted audience participation, the very personal attacks of reviewers, and how the internet has given voice to bloggers who would otherwise be sitting at home with their cats and wanking over the latest issue of Empire magazine.

Using extensive archival footage of actual heckling this compelling piece of work raises many a valid and interesting point, usually from the point of view of those on the receiving end, but in a nice twist Kennedy also confronts his harshest critics and asks them why they need to be so vitriolic and personal in their attacks. This part of the film is a revelation and you can’t help but feel slightly uncomfortable and embarrassed by the unreserved hostility and arrogance of the reviewers. Continue reading

The Act of Killing

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In 1965, a failed coup d’état in Indonesia would lead to devastating repercussions. In a purge often described as the worst atrocity since the Holocaust, Government-approved death squads wiped out Communists and suspected sympathisers in a brutal six-month period. Exact numbers killed remain unverified, but estimates generally range between 500,000 and one million deaths.

The Government of the time remains in power in Indonesia today. The slaughter of 1965-1966 is considered an heroic and positive step in the country’s story. It is history as written by the victors.

The Act of Killing takes an unusual approach for a documentary. Instead of following the victims and survivors, it follows the perpetrators of the massacre. Given their status in Indonesia, these killers are not only happy to talk about their acts, they re-enact them for the cameras. Continue reading