Pulp’s “David’s Last Summer”

It’s the last day of August.

Now I know summer in terms of its weather and whatnot isn’t going to change overnight, but as far as I’m concerned autumn starts tomorrow. I love the month of September nowadays, but when I was a child, it meant going back to school; it meant the end of six weeks of freedom, it meant starting all over again. I hated it. I’d enjoy autumn more as it progressed, when the nights drew in and the likes of Halloween, Fireworks Night and of course Christmas grew nearer. I remember staring outside the living room window to watch the skies turn dark blue and the lamppost lights outside turning red before they settled into their more familiar yellow. By then, my memories of summer would have faded away to a blur, but by the time it came around again the next year and the peaks of July and August would once more drift away as quickly as they arrived, that painful tingle of knowing my favourite extended time of year was slipping from my sights hit me once more. I was born in August, so that month in particular has always felt extra special to me, with my own special day somewhere in the middle of it, usually celebrated around the time with a trip to the seaside. School seemed so very far away at this time – it was the closest I felt to feeling totally free from the things that would bring me down. Did I mention I hated school? Well I did. Fucking HATED it.

Anyway, those days are long gone, but the pain of summer ending is still rooted in me, as it is for many people, even though late July and August are no longer synonymous with freedom and are now just another month and a bit spent at work, when the grown-up realities and awareness of inconsistent British weather makes me realise that my memories of nothing but endless sunny days where it always shone beautifully on my birthday in particular (how could it not; it was my day!) were more likely than not my nostalgia playing with my head. Many a song has been written about the last days of summer, songs that were happy but also sad, wracked with the awareness that nothing lasts forever. Take The Beach Boys’ beautiful ‘All Summer Long’, which played out over the ending of American Graffiti (following that gut-punch of learning what happened to its teenage characters once they’d grown up), or the closing credits of The Simpsons‘ ‘Summer of 4ft 2’, where Homer beckons his kids to ‘get a last look at the beautiful ocean scenery’ before they drive off back home. It’s a song full of the happiness and warmth of the surf-and-cars period of that band, but the ‘won’t be long before summertime is through’ refrain never fails to bring impending shade over the perfect present moment. ‘Summer’s Gone’ by Placebo, from their great 1998 album Without You I’m Nothing, may not specifically reference summer in its lyric, but it nevertheless has the windswept ambience of a beach town already shut down for the rest of the year. It’s a sad song, but utterly beautiful and musically romantic with it.

Then there’s Pulp’s ‘David’s Last Summer’, the magnificent closing song from their 1994 masterpiece His ‘n’ Hers. That album has always been my favourite of theirs; the follow-up, 1995’s Different Class, had the bigger, more monumental singles, but my heart will always belong to the one before it, where the band were on the cusp of success, where for the first time (they’d formed in 1978 and had been releasing albums and singles since 1983) they’d made a consistently amazing LP that finally played to all of writer/singer Jarvis Cocker’s strengths, with eleven songs full of love, heartbreak, sex, social awkwardness, harsh realities and wry humour, all to the sound of colourful, bright, catchy and sleek pop melodies, and boasting the fantastic line-up of Cocker, Russell Senior, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey and Nick Banks. This was the album with tremendous singles like ‘Do You Remember the First Time?’, ‘Babies’ and ‘Lipgloss’, as well as weapons-grade heartbreakers like ‘Have You Seen Her Lately?’, ‘Happy Endings’ and ‘Someone Like the Moon’. The first ten songs on the album are all great-to-amazing, but ‘David’s Last Summer’ is a mini-masterpiece all of its own, a spoken-word tale concerning the last moments and memories of a particular summer, with initially upbeat fun giving way to chilly, chilling, thunderous darkness. The way it moves through moods, moments and tones is remarkable and utterly seamless – by the end you can’t quite believe it’s the same song you started listening to seven minutes earlier.

Cocker sings the words in the first-person (at least to begin and end with), so he might be the ‘David’ of the song’s title – the ‘last summer’ has an air of sinister forebodingness to it – whether it means the last one until the next one or the last one full stop isn’t elaborated on. By the end it sounds and feels like the hurricane of music that takes over everything has come to sweep our narrator off into oblivion forever. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; at first, this all starts off as amusing and innocuous as the lightest Pulp songs, with the music cute, jaunty and happy, full of shuffling synths and dreamy violins swaying in the summer haze; Cocker/David and his girlfriend are walking down alongside the local stream in the heat of summer; ‘drunk on the sun’, tempted by the shade of the trees, cider cooling in the river, and eventually ‘walking to parties whilst it’s still light outside’ – there’s that sense here of the daytime stretching way past 9pm, which for me was and is that watershed moment, when as a child I’d have to go to bed, when TV programming got away with being more adult… essentially, grown-up time. And here in the summer, the night and the dark are still yet to come – there’s that tangible excitement of summer evenings being a time where as children we could stay up a little later than we would before or after, where we were permitted to play out even after we’d had our dinner. As a teen or an adult, going to these parties whilst it was still light outside is like a continuation of that same buzz one would have as a child, of a blissful, suspended moment in time, and where it could still stay as hot as the daytime once the sun had gone down.

Once we arrive at the party, we get the brief social observation of some guy there called Peter who’s managed to get over his initial bad mood and is now ‘talking to somebody Polish’ – Peter is never seen or heard of again in the song, by the way. No idea who he is. It’s a cute touch. Later, Cocker/David suggests putting up a tent for he and his girlfriend to spend the night in, where they can ‘pretend we’re somewhere foreign’ – there’s a sense of reliving the days of play-acting, of sleepovers, of using your imagination like you did as a child, of indulging in pretend-escape. But as we’re told, there’s always the reassurance of knowing that there’s a fridge nearby ‘if we get hungry…or too hot’ – escape with creature comforts, with the playful tease of sex added to the mix. It’s a cosy, joyous feeling. The bliss of this moment is perfectly encapsulated in the following lines, backed by the loveliest music:

“This is where you want to be
There’s nothing else but you and her
And how you use your time”

Weirdly, Cocker now starts to direct the lyrics at us, singing in the second-person as if we the listener are now David. It’s a great touch, as it brings us closer into the intimacy of the present moment, and we can all relate to words like that if we’ve ever been in love and been loved, sharing the excitement, the right there-right now immediacy of exciting romance. After a little interlude where Cocker goes back to the first person (‘we went driving’) and a sprightly, almost goofy instrumental section, after a repeat of the ‘this is where you want to be’ lyric, we take flight with a blissful, motorised stretch of pulsing music that glides down the road, up the path, over desire lines and past rivers, before slowing down and focusing the lyric back to the second-person with a beautiful set of lines that conjure up sights, sounds and smells such as suntan lotion on skin, the ambient hum of children playing nearby and the magical banality of specks of dust floating in the window light, the speed of which mirror that suspended sense of time when you share intimate moments with a loved one, and where all sense of reality gets lost in the sweet silence between you and your lover. By now the music has shifted gears to a blurred, late-evening slow-walk – quieter, less busy, gentler, fluttering like the spokes on a bicycle or the breeze blowing through the leaves on trees, the synths humming with the glow of nearby streetlites. Speaking of trees; they form part of a supremely evocative refrain that we only hear once but I always feel like it’s spoken more when I think back on the song, so effective and almost chant-like in its execution.

“Summer leaves fall from summer trees
Summer grazes fade on summer knees
Summer nights are slowly getting long
Summer’s going, hurry or it’ll soon be gone”

Another instrumental section follows; the breeze now blows a little colder, the mood chills a tad, and the sense of something drawing in difficult to deny – darkness. Indeed, we appear to be living out the last night of summer, acknowledged here with one last trip to the local park. The vocals are more hushed now than they were before, as though Cocker/David and his girlfriend are sneaking their way around, wary of being caught – abandoned glasshouses and the bandstand are rushed past on the way to the boating lake, where one last swim ‘for what seemed like hours’ occurs, tempered with the realisation that this could be the couple’s last dalliance together – indeed, after they emerge from the lake, both parties feel a shiver from ‘a certain movement in the air’, and almost like in a horror movie, the season starts to change before their very eyes and ears, with the leaves ‘curling and turning brown on the trees’ and the birds ‘deciding where to go for the winter’ – the music has shifted from quietly sensual and intimate to something scary and deeply unsettling. The bass and drums creep incessantly, the guitars circle over our heads like birds of prey, the synths conjure visions of darkened skies, the kind brought about from apocalyptic spells. Before they know it, our couple are on their way home, having put their clothes back on and with the environment around them offering up the ‘sound of summer packing its bags…and preparing to leave town’.

After this, the music unleashes a whirlwind of frightening, miasmic guitar, full of doom and terror, with Cocker/David screaming into the night, pleading with summer to stay, if only for a while. Or maybe it’s his girlfriend he’s singing to – maybe this relationship was only destined to last those summer months. But it’s no use – the music overwhelms him, there’s an intense, hypnotic crescendo, building and building more and more with inescapable intensity before crashing into an aftermath of summer debris, fallen leaves and dying memories. That the song closes the album itself only compounds this feeling – there’s no way ‘David’s Last Summer’ could have been anything but a final track. After this there’s nothing but silence, but also a kind of relief, of maybe having just woken up from a nightmare. The song leaves me breathless, every time – Cocker is a master of the extended narrative in pop-song format – ‘Wickerman’ from We Love Life is an absolutely incredible example of this – his way with a lyric, an allusion, an image, is unparalleled, and given that he’s blessed here with an extraordinary musical rush to complement some of the best words he’s ever written, ‘David’s Last Summer’ is, hands down, my favourite Pulp song.

40 Years of For Your Eyes Only

We had gone as far as we could into space. We needed a change of some sort, back to the grass roots of Bond. We wanted to make the new film more of a thriller than a romp, without losing sight of what made Bond famous – its humour” John Glen

For Your Eyes Only was the last of the Roger Moore Bond films that I got round to seeing, which is appropriate as it’s always been a somewhat overlooked entry in the series. I remember when Empire magazine, in the middle of an article about what might have been the greatest films ever, or maybe even the worst films ever, ran a tiny list of the most ‘good’ or ‘average’ films ever. There was a professionally shot, uninvolving concert film of one of The Cure’s gigs in there, and there was also For Your Eyes Only. They were essentially saying that it was the Bond film that nobody remembers. Harsh, but there is some truth to that statement. Given that Roger Moore’s tenure as 007 was for the most part about flair, humour, camp, excess (he DID go into outer space, after all), a higher ratio of insane baddies than was norm for the series and fun, fun, fun, For Your Eyes Only feels strangely low-key at times. Not ALL times, mind – we’ll observe those moments in due course – but the relatively straightforward plot, the totally normal, incognito villain, the heroine who for the most part has a chaste, professional relationship with Bond, the lack of gadgets, the absence of OTT henchmen, an explosion-free ending…even the theme song, despite being an Oscar-winner, has a kind of bombast-free smoothness to it. Okay, so did Shirley Bassey’s ‘Moonraker’, but that was an exception in a film that, as I have already said, SENT JAMES BOND INTO OUTER SPACE.

The reasons for me watching FYEO last are pretty mundane – it seemed like most of the other Moore-Bond films were on the telly all the time, except for this one. And The Man with the Golden Gun, strangely. Okay, I’m sure that all of these movies were shown with equal regularity, but I didn’t get the memo. In fact, so desperate was I to see both of these movies that I had to resort to buying them, at a nice price, from a record shop that also sold films on VHS somewhere in the glumly lit, stony Brutalist interiors of Edmonton Green Shopping Centre. At this point I had a copy of Raymond Benson’s superb The James Bond Bedside Companion, a great tome that delved into all things 007 up until The Living Daylights. Benson didn’t have a great deal of positive things to say about TMWTGG, whereas he praised FYEO to the skies. So why the hell did I opt for the former on VHS before FYEO? I think it was because it just looked more reassuringly Bond? The title was such a tantalising prospect too. And Christopher Lee was the villain. And I really, really loved that Lulu song! I don’t regret my choice, as I loved the film at the time (and still find much to love about it now, even though it’s clearly one of the weaker entries in the series), and besides it was only a few months later that I was able to persuade my mum to treat me to FYEO on VHS.

And that’s where any references to being overlooked re: FYEO end, because GODDAMN I loved this one right from the off – nearly all the Bond films from what I call the vintage era (1962-1989) are cosy to me, but there’s always been something extra comfortable and engrossing about this one. I think it’s something to do with how smaller this one felt – the stakes just felt narrower and less global in scale. The locations are lovely. There’s something about Bond films that have major chunks set at sea that just give it that old, Cold War, espionage, Bank Holiday Monday feel. And there’s also that cosy sensation that comes about when Bond and snow is combined. This would have only been the second time Roger Moore would have got his feet cold, following the pre-credits of The Spy Who Loved Me. Saying that, did Connery ever see any snow as Bond? I think it’s ol’ George we need to thank for bringing that tradition to the series. Anyway….back to the cosiness of FYEO – the photography has an occasionally, curiously soft feel to it – all I can say is that this film looks just like how Sheena Easton’s title song sounds.

And yet for all of that softness, FYEO definitely brought back something to the series that hadn’t been around for a while – edge. The violence has a tougher, more realistic feel than in any other Moore film – if we forget the insane pre-credits scene, we have cold-blooded (and bloody) shootings, knifings and one really mean hit-and-run. Even the more exotic likes of the crossbow as weapon is deployed in no-nonsense, brutal fashion. There’s also Moore’s unforgettable killing of the film’s most loathsome henchman. Mo(o)re on that later. First of all, let’s deal with the weirdly incongruous bookending scenes of the film. All I’ll say about the final scene was that I’m sure it brought the house down at the time. Now let’s move on. As for the pre-credits scene, well most of it is as white-knuckle and tense as anything else in the movie. It also starts with a surprisingly sombre moment – after the more-urgent-than-usual gunbarrel theme (courtesy of Bill Conti, and with some added disco licks that will become more prominent later), we open at a cemetery, where Bond is seen laying flowers at the grave of his wife Tracy (well, Teresa) – aside from a quick, effectively curtailed nod to her death in TSWLM, this is the first time the films really acknowledged the tragic ending to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – even the vengeful pre-credits to Diamonds are Forever didn’t bother to explain just why Bond was on such a mission to get Blofeld. If the mission statement of FYEO was to bring us back down to Earth after the antics of Moonraker, then this opening more than gets the job done. It’s a really effective start to the film – Conti’s downbeat (but still kinda funky – it’s all about that wah-wah) music is great, the grey afternoon ambience spot-on, and there’s even a sense of Bond feeling particularly weary and resigned to his job (‘it usually is’ is his response to there being an ’emergency’ from HQ).

Then Blofeld appears. Well, I say Blofeld. Officially he isn’t Blofeld, but it’s obviously Blofeld. Look, there’s Blofeld’s cat! Anyway, ‘Blofeld’ has managed to commandeer the controls to the helicopter Bond’s in, sending the thing flying wildly dangerously. Pretty wild stuff, but still – we’re not in outer space. But then there’s ‘Blofeld’ and his maniacal cackling – it’s almost a parody of what a Bond villain is meant to be like. Whatever the intention, I find this guy far funnier than Dr. Evil. After some hair-raising stuntwork where Bond breaks out of the passenger side and works his way to the front of the helicopter, he gains control of the transportation and, er….scoops up ‘Blofeld’ and his wheelchair, takes him round the block a few times just to shit him up and then drops him down a smoke stack. All of a sudden, whatever moroseness the film started with has now erupted into a hilariously silly, cavalier bit of comedy where Bond, having finally caught up with his nemesis, is doing things like patting his bald head and saying ‘keep your hair on!’, all backed to Conti’s outrageous disco-funk. There’s bizarre references to ‘delicatessens in stainless steel’, and a highly amusing bit when ‘Blofeld’, upon realising his remote controls no longer work, bashes down on them with both fists, which is something nobody in real life has ever done. In one sense, this is the Bond series saying ‘we don’t need Blofeld anymore, so you can keep him’, but crikey, talk about doing it in an insane way! Still, I’ve loved this pre-credits scene – always have, always will. It’s just that it does feel somewhat remote from the rest of the film, and not just in a literal way (it has nothing do with the film’s plot) – after the credits, we are on much more serious ground, with the all-important ATAC device (used to communicate with the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet, including ordering weapon strikes) left to rest on the bed of the ocean floor after a spy ship accidentally strikes a mine. It’s a grim scene, with lots of death and screaming and a desperate reach for a self-destruct switch that I still, even after 375 watches, hope the guy can operate in time. Although if he did, there’d be no film.

Bond’s mission is simply to get to the ATAC before the KGB can – no world-conquering plots to defoil, just a simple race against time. It works splendidly, although this is all only simple, pared-down and free of bombast in comparison to its most recent instalments. In regards to action, it’s as spectacular and exhilarating as before – the big difference is the decision to hold back on the gadgets and the fancy cars (indeed, Bond’s vehicle of choice is blown to bits before he gets to do anything with it) and to emphasise the stunts and a more grounded sense of daring. There are two chase scenes in this film that are just wonderful – the first given more of a comic edge because of the car selected (the decidedly unglamorous Citroen 2CV), the almost parodic, decidedly groovy choice of music and the often chaotic carnage that ensues. Oh, and this – the best of all Bond double-takes, my favourite moment of Moore comic timing and the greatest GIF of all time.

The other big chase is the film’s most thrilling highlight – Bond is in Cortina, having joined forces with Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet), whose parents were hired by the British to find the ATAC but were swiftly assassinated by mercenaries hired by the KGB. Having established an alliance with fellow spy Ferrara and the well-connected Greek businessman Kristatos (Julian Glover), Bond has found himself escorting the latter’s ice skating protégé Bibi (Lynn-Holly Johnson) to the local biathlon – Bibi has to make a move elsewhere (after already trying to make a move in Bond’s hotel room, but he suggests buying her ice cream instead – maaaaasive age difference, you see), so Bond is left at the mercy of KGB baddies and other mercenaries, including silent but deadly killer Locque and biathlete/assassin Kriegler (a great day for him, he gets to take part in the contest and try to kill Bond) – Kriegler attempts to shoot Bond in the woods but misses, so the next attempt is made when Bond tries to escape by mingling with the crowds, leading him to a big ol’ ski-jump – he can’t go back down to the entrance because Locque and Charles Dance will kill him, he can’t go forward because…well, fuck it – why not? He does the jump (almost getting bumped off by rival baddie skiers) and then is pursued for five or so glorious minutes by Kriegler and his motorcycle goons – this is Bond action at its absolute best. The scenery is gorgeous, the music is total heaven (Conti’s super-exciting ‘Runaway’ is deliriously enjoyable) and the stunts are totally amazing – the best bit is when Bond is chased down a goddamn bobsled course – yes the shots of Moore are obviously back-projection stuff, but the rest isn’t, and it looks as dangerous as the series’ last detour into bobsleigh action in OHMSS. Bond of course escapes, but not before Kriegler tries to kill him with a motorcycle, which was never going to work given that he was picking it up and throwing it at him to do so. Honestly, I used to watch, rewind and watch this scene over and over as a kid, which meant that regular viewings of For Your Eyes Only lasted around three hours instead of the usual two.

There are other great, smaller pieces of action – Bond saving Melina from hitmen at a town square, the toughest round of ice hockey in town, and a shootout at a drug den in Albania – but it isn’t until the last stretch of the movie that things really get going action-wise again. There’s a tense fight between Bond and a goon in a JIM suit (used for deep, deep, deep diving or something like that) that takes place in the wreck of the ship where the ATAC is and even better, – in fact, as good as Bond films get – a superb scene where Bond and Melina are ‘keel-hauled’ through the waves of the sea – essentially they’re tied with a long coil of rope attached to the end of a boat, which then sails ahead at top speed, dragging them through the water and at the mercy of the predatory sea life. This scene was originally in the novel of Live and Let Die, but it was removed for the film. Here it’s just magnificent – Bond has always been put in ridiculously harmful situations, but of course, you rarely fear for him – he’s Bond after all. Here, things look decidedly hairy – Melina’s definitely freaked, but a quietly calm ‘we’re not dead yet’ from Bond gives us some reassurance. Then there’s the final showdown, which is just totally bang-on. Instead of massive shootouts (we’ve already covered that territory earlier on in the film) we get a quietly, but unbearably thrilling ascent to the top of a mountain where the villains, plus the ATAC, lie in waiting at a monastery. Bond makes good progress, only for him to be surprised by a goon at the top, who kicks him in the face and leaves us gasping at the extremely dangerous stunt where Bond/stuntman Rick Sylvester is left to fall before being held back by the rope tied around him. Honestly, Sylvester could have broken his fucking back during that bit – it’s really scary.

So far it’s all been about the action in this piece, but what For Your Eyes Only brings to the table is a gripping thriller that’s full of excellent little touches, dramatic moments and notable diversions from the Bond formula. The big one is obviously Moore as Bond – so far his tenure had taken in a cavalier sense of disregard for good manners and morals (he’s a bit of a shameless rogue in Live and Let Die), a surprisingly brutal touch (smacking Maud Adams in The Man with the Golden Gun, for instance) and of course, shag-em-then-leave-them-at-the-mercy-of-the-villain carelessness. For Your Eyes Only sees Moore come across as thoughtful, caring and sensible at times – there’s more of a guardian relationship going on with the vengeful Melina than anything sexual or romantic. He’s definitely more concerned for her well-being than he has been with any woman in his films before this – of course, they do end up having sex at the end, for some Bond traditions weren’t ready to be abandoned entirely. There’s also the matter, and this is played far more for laughs, of Bibi, who I guess is supposed to be in her mid-teens and – thank GOD – is wisely rejected by a freaked-out Bond when she tries to seduce him. Again, we have a Bond who’s less keen to jump into bed than he was before. He does have time for some romance with the Countess Lisl von Schlaf (Cassandra Harris), but that’s it until the end. Moore seems more concentrated and on-the-job as Bond here – he has his witticisms and his funny moments, but he looks like he means business. He also gets to make friends too – Milos Columbo (Topol) is one of the few Moore-era sidekicks that ends up being genuinely matey with 007. For the first time, Bond actually suggests not killing the main villain, knowing all too well the hollowness of revenge, although he seems to have forgotten what a giggle he was having during the pre-credits scene, not to mention the bit everybody raves about when it comes to discussing this movie – the killing of Locque.

Now Locque is an irredeemably awful villain – well played by Michael Gothard, he just oozes no-nonsense malevolence and even a touch of sadism. That grin of his before he runs over the Countess on the beach is chillingly evil. Now Bond has where he wants him – teetering over the edge of a cliff in a car that’s definitely going over if the guy makes just one move. Bond stands over the car, wherein Locque – for the first time – looks genuinely worried. Bond shows Locque the ‘Dove’ emblem, a red herring that Kristatos had spread rumours around to pin the film’s villainy on Columbo, and which was left on the body of poor murdered Ferrara earlier on – a little ‘you left this with Ferrara here’, an increasingly unstable cliff edge rumble there, and with no witticisms to send him on his way (although there is a post-mortem one), Bond kicks the car off the edge and it falls down to the bottom, with a dead Locque having come out of the window in the meantime. It’s a totally thrilling moment for many ways – yes, it’s great to see that bastard Locque get what he deserved, but the fact that it’s our Rog doing the killing makes it feel extra special. Moore wasn’t keen on doing the scene at the time, but it’s moments like that that give FYEO an extra edge. Besides, Locque had no head for heights.

Elsewhere, Bouquet is a fine, headstrong heroine – she has an agenda, she’s part of the action, she’s given a real dramatic backstory and she fires a crossbow with class. Yet she’s also kinda forgotten in more casual Bond circles – it’s easy to see why. She’s not got a silly character name, she’s not a sexpot (although Bouquet is very, very beautiful, I must add) and she’s mostly only in peril when Bond is as well, making her an equal in regards to the stakes. She also gets one of the absolute best visual moments of any Bond film when, after seeing that her parents have been murdered, stares into the distance, and into the camera as we move in closer and closer until we just see her eyes which are full of hurt, pain and yet….there’s a desire for revenge there too. It’s an incredibly dramatic moment, given awesome strength by Conti’s score. Recently, ITV have fucked the impact of this scene badly by cutting to the ad breaks at the end of this shot, which has the unfortunate effect of rudely silencing Conti’s score, which originally goes on into the next scene. Sacrilege.

Topol’s Columbo is another very welcome element – the former Fiddler on the Roof gives this charming pistachio nut smuggler a real warmth, sly humour and heroic friendliness. He even gets to kill the villain. He reminds me of Kerim Bey from From Russia with Love a fair bit, although thankfully we are spared his death this time. Johnson is spirited and very funny as Bibi – her delivery of ‘I could eat you ALIVE’ to Bond is quite splendid. Glover is by far the most down-to-earth and low-key of all of Roger Moore’s nemeses – given that we’re not made clear of his real intentions for the first half of the movie, it’s understandable that Kristatos isn’t overtly evil for that stretch of the movie, though he gets to have lots of fun during the keel-hauling scene, be it grinning with joy over the thought of ramming a boat into Bond and Melina’s faces, or a textbook example of ‘fuck it’ when he sees that one of his own men is being eaten by a shark. He’s a good, solid villain. Not the best. Not the worst. Just fine for this kind of Bond film. Without Bernard Lee around to reappear as M (he was too ill to continue the role, and would pass away before For Your Eyes Only’s release date), we only have the Minister of Defence and Chief of Staff to send Bond on this particular mission, although Desmond Llewellyn does get to have fun in Q Branch with the film’s only real gadget, the Identigraph, which is used to identify Locque with frightening accuracy, but not before he turns his nose into a banana. The henchmen – Locque, Kriegler and (if only briefly) hitman Gonzalez – are free of the defining elements that the last few years of goons had – no voodoo, no dwarfism, no metal teeth – these are just bad guys. I guess that makes them potentially less interesting than the more spectacular goons of yore, but again – that’s what this particular film’s all about. We’d return to the likes of identical twin villains and towering, dice-crushing henchmen for the next one.

As referred to earlier, the music is very notable – Bill Conti, still flying high from the huge success of his Rocky score, was a much more contemporary choice of composer as the always-wonderful John Barry. The thing is with Bond films from the vintage era – Barry was and always will be the best, so you’d think that he’d be sorely missed whenever he’s not used. But the composers they did get to fill in for him – George Martin, Marvin Hamlisch, Michael Kamen – work so, so well in their respective films that I feel they just wouldn’t work with Barry. These guys definitely stamped their own identity. Conti’s score is pretty maximised – the disco beats, thunderous strings and ear-catching electronics are most definitely of their time, and this is not a bad thing. Just because something is dated doesn’t mean it’s dated. I love the almost ABBA ambience of some of this stuff, or the funky-as-hell, slap-bass loaded rhythms or the great suspense cues. It’s terrific stuff, and explosively enjoyable on headphones too. Plus there’s the afore-mentioned ‘Runaway’, which is to this film what Hamlisch’s awesome ‘Bond 77’ was to TSWLM. Just pure joy. Then there’s Sheena Easton’s title song – again, like some of the supporting elements in this film – it’s quite restrained, even during its big chorus. There are no operatics or crescendos, just a bloody damned good Bond theme that fits the mood of the film very nicely.

When I ranked the Bond films last year, For Your Eyes Only came in at #6- it just gives me a great feeling, every time. It’s a cracking thriller, a breathless action adventure, it’s funny, dramatic, suspenseful and it’s still spectacular, because essentially, special effects might date but stunts won’t – this stuff still looks dangerous. It was the first of five Bond films to be directed by John Glen, who had previously worked as an editor and second-unit director on earlier 007 instalments. Glen’s tenure (or GLENURE) marks the era of Bond films that I will always have the most affection for – they are 1980s Bond, and this is the period that was the newest and most contemporary for me as a child discovering this series, they were fresh, fantastic and eventually, daring and vividly violent. For Your Eyes Only is where this classic era began, and I still love it. Plus, it has some of THE best cat-acting in the movies.

Also, three cheers for the return of this guy:

31 Days of Horror in 2020

Ah, ‘tis the season! Yes, I’m talking October, I’m talking Halloween, and I’m talking A horror-movie-a-day. I’ve been aware that this sort of month-long marathon has been going on for years thanks to following like-minded horror fans on Twitter, but it wasn’t until this year that I felt the desire to really commit to it. One reason may be that in these pandemic times, my work pattern has altered to the level that I’m free every evening to actually watch a film when I get home. A lot of participants in the challenge have worked to a fun pattern, which assigns certain sub-genres or themes or character-type to a particular day (slashers, witches, animation, etc), but I decided to just simply go with what I fancied watching right there and then. Also, it was a great opportunity to finally sit down and watch some of the many films I own but still haven’t watched, or maybe not revisited in a long time…I logged my progress on Twitter, and it’s the screengrabs of those original tweets that I’ve collected and shared below. Enjoy!

As watched on the delightful Talking Pictures channel.
A surprisingly swift television screening for a film only made last year – this was screened on the Horror Channel. Thought I’d test myself after the more comforting animal terrors of the night before. I love cats. I’m scared of spiders.
A very welcome re-watch – hadn’t seen this one in a long time. As seen on the Eureka Blu-ray.
Watched on DVD. Heard about this one for a long time, but only just got round to watching it!
Another DVD watch, and another film I’ve been meaning to watch for the first time for a long time!
Director Michele Soavi is a Dario Argento protégé, and this is meant to be his most insane film, so I was very keen to see this. Watched on Amazon Prime.
Lost count of how many times I’ve seen this one. Never gets old. Watched on DVD.
Another first-time watch, this was seen on the Masters of Cinema Blu-ray range.
First-time watch. Arrow Blu-ray.
Watched at the Rio Cinema. First cinema visit since Tenet a few months back!
First-time watch. Arrow Blu-ray.
Viewed as part of the Watch Carpenter tweet-a-long party on Twitter on the deluxe Arrow Blu-ray set.
First-time watch, recorded from the telly, a BBC2 screening.
Watched on Blu-ray from 88 Films, borrowed from a friend!
First-time watch. Constantly referenced in the excellent Filmageddon film quiz, so I thought I’d better get my act together and watch it! Arrow Blu-ray. Blimey, I do have a lot of discs from this distributor!
Hadn’t seen this in a long time. Used to be a late-night television mainstay, then it became very obscure and unavailable. Now thankfully available on BFI Blu-ray.
The biggest let-down on the month, so much that I gave away my Blu-ray copy!
101 Films Blu-ray. Borrowed from a friend, but I’ll definitely be getting my own copy!
Indicator Blu-ray, watched as part of the Watch Carpenter season.
Wonderful to revisit this, this time on 88 Films’ Blu-ray edition.
First-time watch, long overdue. DVD version.
Optimum DVD version. Delayed watching this for far too long!
Another very overdue first-time watch. DVD version.
Streamed via YouTube. The only documentary in this marathon!
Ever since I was freaked out by the above poster when I saw it on the London Underground back when I was 9 years old, I’ve been aware of this film, and I finally got to thanks to YouTube!
Watched as part of the Watch Carpenter season, streamed via YouTube.
Just read John Updike’s novel, so it was a perfect time to revisit the film. Watched it on DVD, I really need to get the Blu-ray so that the film’s spectacular look can be best appreciated.
Fire it up! Always worth a rewatch, this. Watched on DVD.
Recently restored for a Blu-ray release by Network – before that this was a tough find, having only been screened on TV twice (I think?) and with hard-to-find home video versions. The only made-for-television feature on this list.
Here’s the link to the referred review (https://fletchtalks.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/suspiria-1977/) Watched this on Synapse’s incredible Blu-ray, which is the best edition I’ve ever seen of this film. Looked incredible, sounded terrifying, felt amazing.
35th anniversary Anchor Bay Blu-ray. Probably my 20th or so viewing of this film! Still the best!

So there you have it! 31 days of horror, with some old favourites revisited, some new favourites discovered and only one real disappointment to speak of. I watch horror films all year round of course, but this was a wonderful opportunity to really get to grips with the tiniest fraction of the genre. It’s been a fantastic ride!

The Real Ghostbusters Episode 41: The Collect Call of Cathulu

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BOOM! The Ghostbusters are back on absolute top form with this terrific episode, which often ranks, deservedly, very high on fans lists of best ever adventures. It’s got the lot – it’s exciting, it’s funny, it’s scary, it’s beautifully animated – what more do you want? Okay, so maybe the final confrontation could have been a bit more intense, but whatever, this is still great.

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For many young viewers, this was probably (in fact, there’s no doubt about it) their first exposure to the works of H.P Lovecraft, unless those same viewers had parents liberal enough to let them stay up and watch the likes of Stuart Gordon’s excellent Re-Animator or From Beyond, which would have been popular rentals at video stores around the same time. Lovecraft wrote a substantial run of ‘cosmic horror’ fiction that would reverberate in cult quarters immensely through the latter-half of the 20th century. His biggest contribution was definitely the whole ‘Cthulu’ myth, which began with his chilling short story The Call of Cthulu and then branched out into other Lovecraft stories which then influenced countless others, and cult fascination and adoration followed. So who is Cthulu? Or what is it? Essentially it’s an ancient god/demon who slumbers far beneath the waves, awaiting the call of its disciples to bring it back to the surface in order to rule/devastate the world once more. In the original short story, Cthulu’s temporary emergence in the modern world sends shock waves through out the dreams of many disparate people all over the world, which inspires an investigator to put all the pieces together and work out why the image of a tentacled, dragon-like, miles-tall monster keeps recurring in people’s imagination, seemingly out of nowhere. Lovecraft’s tale is scary because it’s one of those extremely-close-call narratives, where it’s mostly about what might have happened, and we the reader are witness to potential apocalypse which is averted (or at least calmed down) for a while. But for how long?

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Well in the case of ‘The Collect Call of Cathulu’ (a meaningless, but funny spin on the original title), not that long, for here we have a cult of worshippers who wish bring their god back – if only they’d chose somewhere, anywhere else aside from New York City. The episode is not a retelling of Lovecraft’s story, but is obviously indebted immensely to his universe, including having some of its one-off characters named after figures in the Lovecraft literary circle. Now you may notice that the show has changed the spelling of ‘Cthulu’ in the title to add a helpful extra vowel, probably to spare the children all the confusion of wondering what that jumble of letters all means, although they could have spared a moment to have Egon explain the spelling/pronunciation. Or maybe they couldn’t have. Seriously, this is one super-packed episode with no time to stand still and that, in the best way possible, always feels a lot longer than it actually is. It’s like a mini-movie. The plot ricochets characters across the country and back in a matter of hours, and so much incident takes place that it makes the majority of episodes feel pretty sedate and leisurely.

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So, let’s start at the start, where the New York Public Library (nice nod to the film – we even begin with the a shot of the same lion statue) has, rather foolishly, acquired the spell book to end all spell books: the Necronomicon (THE BOOK OF THE DEAD!) and wants to put it out on public display! This opening is brilliantly ominous, with the library nearly entirely empty at night – spooky, moonlit corridors and so on, with great eerie music. The sleazy Clark Ashton is the totally suspicious acquirer of the book and curator of the exhibit (I don’t trust him for a second), but his co-worker Professor Klein thinks it’s a bad idea to put this thing out for the public to see.  There’s a great shot where we see the book in its display cabinet, the reflection of Ashton and Klein in the same shot. There are a lot of great shots in this episode.

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Outside, something is lurking. In a neat series of jump-cuts, we crash into the display cabinet, shattering the glass and alerting the doomed security guard who sees that the book’s been taken, but as soon as he tries to turn on the light, a slippery tentacle grips his arm! Flashing the light in its direction, the security is horrified to see THIS!

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Resembling Cthulu (but a smaller, 12-foot version), this thing scares the security guard so much he faints. Or dies of fright. Either way, we never see him again. The next day, the guys are summoned to the library to get the facts, and Peter’s date with ‘Candy’, who we never see again, is unfortunately curtailed. As Janine puts it, don’t fall for Ghostbusters, they’ll only break your heart. Remember, Janine still loves Egon, so she knows all too well about this whole king thing. Plus, unrequited love is not the only dissatisfaction in her life: the book she’s reading this scene is Changing Your Job.

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Anyway, their latest case doesn’t quite derail the guys’ plan for the day, as Ray was already very keen to go to the exhibit anyway, and for those of us not in the know, he gives us a quick rundown of the mysterious allure of the book, namechecking Lovecraft in the process. There’s a funny bit when he reckons the book’s copyright page scores a 9.9 on the PKE meter! Winston, quite amusingly, assumed the ‘Necronomicon’ was a rock concert. When they arrive, Peter shrugs off the importance of the Necronomicon with ‘it’s just a book’. Ray’s comeback? ‘And an atomic bomb is just two rocks slammed together’. Klein is terrified that the world is in grave, grave danger. After all, the Necronomicon has the power to open portals between worlds, and to awaken the all-powerful ‘The Old Ones’, such as Cthulu (bless you), a figure so immense and powerful ‘he makes Gozer look like Little Mary Sunshine’ – nice, another nod to the film!

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Using the PKE meter, Egon leads the guys down into the sewer, where, after a nice shot of a rat observing them, are ambushed by a half-dozen or so of the ghastly octopus-creatures, aka THE SPAWN OF CTHULU. Blasting only temporarily dismembers them, as in seconds their body parts grow back! Using the proton beam to boil the sewer water, the guys are able to get away from them long enough to escape above ground, but not before one of them wraps its tentacle around Peter’s foot, who looks understandably horrified. Barely escaping (although Peter’s shoe doesn’t make it), the guys reconvene back at HQ. Maybe it’s PTSD, but Peter seems remarkably cool with everything, wondering if all of this is even worth getting into a rush over. Of course, it very much is worth rushing about, especially since the Spawn were most likely brought about by an existing cult, who are certain to attempt to awaken Cthulu itself, especially that it can only be done once every sixty years, when the stars are aligned in a particular way. As Peter wearily, but all too accurately figures, that alignment just happens to be tonight.

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No time to lose! Given that the plot of this episode takes place over a mere 24 hours, we still have time for Egon and Peter to take a flight to Arkham, Massachusetts and back to call on the help of Alice Derleth, a Cthulu expert whom Peter, rather appallingly assumes will be ugly because she’s er…intelligent. Turns out she’s a beauty (well, in animated, Real Ghostbusters-terms) and, in probably THE worst opening line to a conversation EVER, Peter openly admits ‘boy, you sure don’t look smart’ – it’s a testament to Lorenzo Music’s delivery that this line is a lot funnier than it really should have been. The understandably appalled Derleth begs Peter’s pardon. Honestly, I’m surprised she didn’t sock him on the jaw. Peter weakly retorts with ‘can we talk?’, which was comedian Joan Rivers’ regular catchphrase. She even said it when she played the robot in Spaceballs.

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Derleth, once briefed on the situation, insists they get back to New York straight away. Now this is something that might have been settled over a phone call, and could have saved an extra journey on Egon and Peter’s part, but whatever, I like the fast-paced craziness of this episode. Back in the Big Apple, the guys and Derleth arrive at the suspected base of the Cthulu cult. There’s a terrific shot of Egon approaching a crystal ball, with his warped reflection staring back at us. In the basement, the Cthulu cult, who are sizeable in number, are worshipping the stolen Necronomicon, so our heroes do the stealthy thing and barge in on the ceremony. This bold approach severely backfires however, when the cult leader summons a Spawn of Cthulu, and a big, terrifyingly fanged one at that, to smash through the brick wall, trap the guys and Derleth in its tentacle and move in for the kill. Fade to black. Wait, we’re only at the halfway point? So much has already happened!

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Luckily, act two sees this substantial threat swiftly dealt with, as Derleth turns the Spawn into crumbling stone with a spell. The cult meanwhile do a runner, so Ray suggests going to his pulp fiction book store to check out an old issue of Weird Tales to maybe find out a way to defeat Cthulu, as they were written by authors like Lovecraft who had in-depth knowledge of this sort of thing. Honestly, this episode’s moving at a rocket’s pace. The store is owned by a hilariously oddball man named Mr, Howard with a creepy voice – the kind that says ‘yeesssss?’ when he opens the door, and then says, no less eerily, ‘bring your frehends….’ when welcoming Ray.

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The rest of the day is spent perusing the books, much to Winston’s chagrin, who thinks they should just blast their enemy, despite events earlier in the sewer confirming that this will not work. Derleth finds the story Ray’s after – The Horror from the Depth – and so we’re off to Coney Island, the most likely worshipping spot for the cult to bring about Cthulu. Unfortunately Ecto-1 gives in so it’s time to get on the train, where they encounter a jackass with a ghetto blaster, who Winston acts very aggressively towards. I don’t think I’ve seen Winston more annoyed than in this episode.

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Coney Island indeed turns out to be the right spot, as the cult are already chanting by the stormy sea, with the leader using the Necronomicon to raise the absolute BEHEMOTH that is Cthulu from the waves. He turns out to be a total monster, probably the biggest monster the guys have ever faced, and in true ‘I don’t care about my minions’ cruelty, it crushes the pier where his disciples were standing. Talk about ungrateful. Derleth tries to destroy Cthulu with a spell, but it’s not enough. The proton beams barely make a scratch either, so it’s time to run, run, run. Egon admits defeat, and all seems lost.

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Luckily, they suddenly remember about the book they just went out of their way to get. That’s some serious collective memory loss on their behalf. Ray even had the book wedged in his belt – he must have been feeling that thing all the time. The way to kill Cthulu, according to the book, was to fry him with a massive electrical charge. Unfortunately, the last page has been (in)conveniently ripped out, so the hows and whys of electrocuting Cthulu are a mystery. Egon thinks that if they can electrify the metal track of the nearby rollercoaster and attract Cthulu to it, then they might be able to wipe him out if they can time its contact with a lightning bolt. In an incredibly ballsy move, Peter gets on the ride (without being secured in – don’t try this at theme parks, kids) and blasts the enemy, annoying him enough so that he gets near enough the ride to be in contact with it. Then the others blast the ride, lightning strikes, and Cthulu spectacularly melts and is then vaporised. Sorted! Okay, so in the end Cthulu wasn’t quite a be-all/end-all nemesis on the level of say, What/Watt or the Toy Ghost, but he put up a good fight, and besides, it’s not over yet, as there’s still the cult to deal with, and they don’t look happy.

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However, the police show up immediately (er, who rang them?) and in true Scooby-Doo fashion, the mask of the cult leader is removed to reveal….Clark Ashton!!! Who’da thunk it? Hilariously, after dispensing major threats and the promising the imminent return of Cthulu, Peter dismisses him with a ‘yeah, yeah, yeah’ and the sap and his cronies are escorted away. Besides, Cthulu can’t return for another 60 years, so let’s relax for a while. Actually, Peter’s got something else on his mind. Love. He manages to get Derleth to delay her return home and spend the day with him, but she takes charge and insists they go to a museum, followed by a lecture. The perfect revenge for his earlier comments.

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Whoosh. That was a fun 22 minutes. Next up, it’s time for a holiday.

 

The Real Ghostbusters Episode 40: The Man Who Never Reached Home

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Somewhat appropriately, given that this is an episode all about a man who is locked in an eternal journey, doomed to never reach home, this piece closes the longest gap between episode reviews of my very, very drawn-out retrospective. I started this whole thing in 2013! I hope this look at Episode 40 was worth the wait.

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After an heartbreaking tale where the Ghostbusters were uncharacteristically, quite obnoxious (poor, poor Drool), all the twattishness in this story gets more comfortably, reassuringly transposed to the one-off dickhead that is Mr. Simon Quegg, who back in 1887, on a stormy night, left an inn in a fury, the staff baffled as to how they offended him, but all Quegg does is promise that the hotel will be shut down, most likely ruining the staff in the process. Even promises of free lodgings won’t assuage him. What happened – why ? It might have been the food, given he refers at one point to ‘slop’, but all this obnoxiousness, plus the fact that he shoves some poor bloke on his way to his horse and carriage, makes me think he’s a bit of a prat, the kind who thinks he’s above customer service workers. Git.

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Swearing that he’ll reach home in Providence in Rhode Island before dawn (the Devil himself couldn’t stop him, apparently), despite the tempestuous weather, Fate (or the Devil, or whoever) obviously overhears this and, liking a challenge, appears in the form of a mysterious horse rider, who proceeds to follow Quegg into the night. You’ve heard of that ‘dark night of the soul’ thing? Well, how about if that night lasted a century?

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Cut to 100 years later – 1987 – which is now thirty three years ago. Ah, remember when 1987 was the new thing? When new episodes of The Real Ghostbusters were screened every week? Good times. It’s another stormy night, and the guys are in Ecto-1, hungry as hell. They stop off at a diner to feed themselves and Slimer (two dozen hamburgers for him – greedy git). Note that Peter doesn’t hold the door open for Ray, who’s lagging behind. In fact, it looks an awful lot like Peter deliberately closes the door on him.

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Afterwards, when Ray goes outside to feed Slimer, a panicked Quegg and his mysteriously red-eyed horse, neither of whom hasn’t aged a day, arrives, still in his horse and carriage, and stops to ask Ray how many miles left to Providence – aghast that it’s still eighty miles left, and lamenting that he’s been ‘travelling all night’, he rushes off so that he’s not caught by his mystery pursuer, who Ray and Slimer both see.

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While the diner owner frantically tries to kill Slimer with a saucepan, Ray tells the guys what he’d just seen – Egon confirms that something spectral is in the air, and the owner reveals that Quegg’s become quite the local legend and loads of people around have seen him over the years (only on stormy nights though) – however, not many people have actually seen the mystery rider, so when the diner owner realises that Ray is one of the few people to have done so (and disaster apparently follows this rare occurence), he shoos everyone out for fear that he will succumb to some kind of curse. He even closes the shop.

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Ray wants to help Quegg (he might have thought twice had he got to know the sourpuss a bit more), and Egon’s curious about the whole thing, so they decide to find him. When they do catch up on a bridge, he’s coming towards them, in the opposite direction he was sent off in, which suggests he’s been going around in circles forever. Quegg’s annoyed that Ray gave him false directions and is desperate to keep moving, but it turns out that since he and the horse are separate spectral entities, it might be possible to trap the horse and release Quegg from the carriage, from which he seems physically unable to do. Ray attempts to blast the horse, but Egon realises just a little bit too late that this is A VERY BAD IDEA.

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Indeed, blasting it only serves to switch Quegg and Ray’s places, so that’s Ray who’strapped in the carriage, which then hurtles off, the rider in hot pursuit. I think more could have been done with this predicament – Ray is potentially locked in an eternal ride, a terrifying concept – but the episode doesn’t seem interested in instilling any kind of tension. It’s more of an inconvenience really, and one that’s swiftly resolved, but not before Quegg, still being a textbook prat, refuses to help the guys to save Ray. To be fair, it seems like every re-appearance has fogged Quegg’s memory (he doesn’t immediately recognise the Ghostbusters despite having met them already) so his attitude is partly down to discombobulation. He insists he has to focus on returning home, but given he doesn’t know how to get there, he’s pretty much coerced into helping out. They drive him back to HQ to try and get some info out of him, but he’s obnoxiously useless, spending most of his time freaking out over Slimer. You’d think Peter and Quegg would strike up a friendship over their mutual hatred of the green spud, but this isn’t developed. Incidentally, this episode’s missing the one person who would have put Quegg in his place – Janine. Imagine how flustered the old grump would have been when he first saw sight of her amazing hairdo? And imagine how she would have taken none of his shit?

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There’s no guarantee of bad weather the next night, but Egon has miraculously created a fancy weather manipulator (filled with silver iodine, which when sprinkled on clouds, can make it rain) – these things had the potential to become all the rage in the mid-eighties, as fans of Kate Bush’s marvellous ‘Cloudbusting’ video will attest, but they never caught on. Bizarrely, Egon relies on the notoriously clumsy and danger-prone Slimer to assist in Ecto-2 with the spraying of the iodine, and to be fair, he does get the job done, but only after killing almost everybody in a farcical set-piece. Blimey, all he had to do was push a button, but as Peter wisely points out, that’s also what it takes to start World War III.

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The rain arrives on cue and so does Ray  –  he tries to get out of the carriage but he literally can’t. it’s like an invisible wall is stopping him from doing so. Egon thinks that if three proton beams are levelled at the carriage, it might remove Ray from the carriage without switching him with the others. Unfortunately, a bolt of lightning overloads the proton packs and renders them useless. So I guess it’s time for Quegg to face the rider, a rider he’s absolutely terrified of, even if he doesn’t know why he’s following him. Plucking up the courage to confront him, Quegg gets in the carriage with Ray and when they approach the rider, it turns out that he’s an exact copy of Quegg – Quegg’s been running away from himself this whole time! You know, literally and metaphorically! It’s a good twist, to be honest, and this guy needs to learn a lesson. Interestingly, Quegg is able to kick Ray out of the carriage before this confrontation, which suggests that maybe anyone can get in, and then you’re able to kick people out (but not yourself) – I don’t know the specifics. It’s not important, I suppose.

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Obnoxious Quegg and Evil Quegg then storm towards each other, only for them to both disappear in spectacular fashion. It’s alright though, as Quegg has now reappeared, with no rider in sight, to thank Ray for helping him what a complete tool he’s been all this time, before heading off, jubilant at his imminent return home. What’s weird is that, yes, Quegg can now go home, but what is home now? His family, if he had any, will have died, and other people will have moved in, and I’m almost 100% certain he won’t get on with them. It’s the kind of happy ending that really isn’t that happy at all when you think about it. I’d have loved there to be a post-credits scene where Quegg shows up at his estate and it’s now a McDonald’s drive-thru. He would definitely refer to a McChicken Sandwich as slop, no doubt. Anyway, this isn’t a favourite episode of mine – it’s alright I suppose, and the first half is pretty intriguing, but Quegg’s not really an interesting personality, the stakes (weird given we’re talking a tale that spans a century) end up feeling oddly low and nothing really outstanding of note occurs. Oh, well. Maybe that’s one of the reasons it took me so long to write about it. The next episode however, sees The Real Ghostbusters back with an absolute vengeance, in one of the best adventures of the series.

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