While the hordes gather to snipe at Bleasdale‘s drama (up to episode three and still damn fine) BBC2

; offered us GBH ofa rather more explicit nature in From Wimps To Warriors: Bermondsey Boys. We were

introduced to ‘Dodgy Dave‘. sometime nightclub bouncer. repo man and debt collector. up in court for ‘grievous‘. but still keeping up the day job. paying squatters a visit with a cosh in his back pocket. playing it decent but firm with an old codger who owed £200. and generally giving us a lesson in the art ofbeing ‘hard‘.

It was a beautifully shot film. intercut with close-ups of Dave‘s bullish neck being shaved. Dave‘s chunky jewellery bouncing offhis chest hair. and Dave in the bath proudly displaying his insignificant genitalia. Dave was either very confident indeed or was being stitched up shamelessly by the film crew. The highlight (or low point. depending on your perspective) was his conversation with his small son. ‘Remember when we went into the health club. and the bloke was lying there on the sunbed. and I beat the crap out of him. and you were going “Hit him Daddy. hit him!"Or when I thumped the big black bloke outside the Queen‘s and he rolled down the hill.‘ Well. fair enough. kids need role models.

Dave was a victim of his own mythology. He‘d told so many tough tales down the pub that he had to become the part. all ludicrous knuckle-dusters and leather gloves. He offered us. po-faced. a lecture on ‘hardness‘. ‘It‘s not enough just to be violent. you‘ve got to be mentally hard as well. You‘ve got to have the courage of your convictions.‘ You got the feeling there would be plenty ofthose. although this time he escaped. attributing this to the fact ; that ‘the jury loved me‘. ‘Not fuckin‘ guilty’ he crowed. ‘Did you do it‘?‘

asked a courageous producer off-camera. ‘What clump ‘im one?

No comment. no fuckin‘ comment. Yeh.Idid.ha ha . . .‘

It‘s been a time of farewells recently. Saying goodbye to Manhattan Cable (Channel 4) proved a wrench. especially as it means no more Laurie Pike. Over the last few weeks, MC has convinced us that

76 The List 28June— 11 July 1991

New York‘s population breaks down roughly into 55 per cent drag queens, 25 per cent religious freaks, spiritualists. mediums and New Agers, 15 per cent fat young blokes making rather offensive jokes. 4 per cent the irredeemably disturbed. and 1 per cent the immortal Filthy the Dog. Filthy is one character who could sustain a show of his own. but in the meantime. why is there no equivalent over here? Surely Glasgow or Edinburgh could provide a suitably unhealthy cast of wackos‘.’

Agent Cooper came face to face with Bob in the bathroom mirror in the final ('3) episode ofTWln Peaks (BBC2). which for a clean-cut guy like Coop must have been the ultimate comedown. It was a peculiarly unsatisfying conclusion. although anyone like me who‘d slogged through the whole series had presumably given up any hopes ofa nice simple explanatory ending. In fact we gave up on the plot round about episode three or four. and concentrated in deriving as much enjoyment as possible out of the little things: Windom Earle‘s grin. Lucy‘s voice. Dick Tremaine‘s outfits. that bit with the antlers. the lingering close-ups ofdisgusting slices ofopen-wound style cherry pie. the wit and wisdom of Leo Johnson. Leland belting out ‘Mairsy dotes and doesy dotes‘. Nadine committing GBH on Hank Jennings. Peter Lorre reincarnated as Jacques Renault. . . we loved them all and will love them again one day. Mind you. if Lynch ever does return to Twin Peaks. he’ll probably populate it entirely with doddery old geriatrics. for which he seems to have developed a dangerous obsession.

Mind you, if Lynch ever does return to Twin Peaks, he’ll probably populate it entirely

: with doddery old geriatrics, for 3 which he seems to have

developed a dangerous obsession.

While we‘re on the subject of confusion. I would be eternally grateful ifsomeone could attempt to deconstruct the latest McDonalds ad for me. You know the one: it‘s the final shot, the gormless bloke and his tolerant girlfriend are sitting munching their chicken Mcburgers or whatever and arguing over what film to go and see. ‘That‘s a good

one.‘ he suggests. ‘Seen it.‘ she

replies. His aghast ‘when‘?‘ is greeted with an enigmatic smile. I‘ve come

i up with three alternative

explanations for this but none of

i them is entirely satisfying. 1) She‘s seen the film with him and he‘s too

braindead to remember. 2) She‘s seen the film with her secret lover who presumably took her

somewhere more swish than McDonalds beforehand. 3) The film

is Silence Of The Lambs and their McChicken crunchies are in fact minced-up human flesh. Ifany reader has a more plausible explanation. answers on a postcard please. (Tom Lappin)


The List guide to what’s on release at your rental store and on the sell-through shelves this fortnight. Rental

I Arachnophobia (PG) Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the bathtub. . . Some of the nastiest spiders since Little Miss Muffet had to change her underwear crop up in this ‘thrillomedy‘ produced by Steven Spielberg and gleefully directed by Frank Marshall. A particularly venomous breed of spiders terrorise the rural Californian village ofCanaima. and provide plenty of opportunities for sick humour. Look out forthc godlike John Goodman (Roseanne. King Ralph) as the exterminator. (Buena Vista)

I The Field (15) Afterthe acclaimed My Left Foot. producer Noel Pearson and directorJim Sheridan‘s second film is another ostensibly simple tale of Irish folk that has distinctly wider resonances. Richard Harris plays the Bull. a traditional farmer faced with a challenge to his land presented by an American (Tom Berenger). The ensuing struggle uncovers dark secrets about the Bull‘s past. andevents move to a tragic climax. The film has the same mystical qualities ofits predecessor. and there are excellent performances from Harris and Brenda Fricker (who won an Oscar for her role in My Left foot) as his wife Maggie. who has not spoken to her husband in

18 years. (High Fliers)

I Almost An Angel (PG) (C1C)The tale ofan amiable wisecracking Aussie (Paul Hogan) doing the decent thingin America. hold on. haven't we seen all this before in Crocodile Dundees 1 and 11? Well yes. but it‘s still fun somehow. Hogan plays habitual criminal Terry Dean who decides to go straight after a routine visit from God. who convinces him that he has died and become an angel of mercy. destined to perform good deeds. Handily. there happens to be a centre for latchkey kids where his talents come in useful. and after adventures and mishaps aplenty (seasoned with some smart and funny lines) happy endings all round are the order ofthe day. Pacey and entertaining. it‘s a shame that the sloppy sentimentality takes centre-stage towards the end. (CIC)

IThe Hot Spot ( 18) Smoulder. smoulder.

sweat. sweat. yawn. yawn. Dennis Hopper attempts to direct afilm noir and it emerges more of a muddy brown. Don Johnson plays a rough-side-of— the-tracks drifter who gets a job as a car salesman in a small town and soon finds himselfcmbroiled in an eternal triangle situation. Things are complicated by the fact that one ofthe women happens to be his employer's wife. There‘s a nicely-judged air of

suspense and

claustrophobia. but ultimately the characters are too slight and two- dimensional to retain interest. (RCA/Columbia)

I The Neverending Story ll: The Next Chapter An entertaining and original follow-up to the 1984 original. returning to the mysterious land of Fantasia via the magic bookshop (shades of Mr Ben. nostalgia fans). Our hero Bastian Balthazar Bux (Jonathan Brandis) once again joins the struggle against evil. An admirably intricate plot and plenty ofimpressive special effects place this a cut above the mass ofkids' fantasy films. (Warner) I Step At Nothing (15) (First Independent)

I Fast Getaway (15) (First Independent)

I Love at Large(15) (MCEG Virgin)

I Women and Men (15) (Warner)

I Frankenstein Unbound (18) (Warner)

I Fatal Sky(15) (RCA/Columbia)

I Somebody Has To Shoot The Picture (18) (GO

I Matters Of The Heart (PG) (C 1C )

I Nightmare On The 13th Floor (15) (CIC)

I The Comfort 0f Strangers (C 1C)

I Vampire’s Kiss (CIC)

Bestofsen through

I Blake's Seven- Horizon/Pressure Point The first release of this series on VHS did the video equivalent of huge box-office. Why people would want this preposterous mish-mash of ludicrous plots. shoddy sets and over-acting escapes me. but the BBC seem to have hit a lucrative seam. (BBC from £9.99)

I Blake’s Seven- Trial/Killer (BBC from £9.99)

I Till Death Us Do Part Latest in the classic comedy releases harks back to the golden days when bigotry was fun and nobody liked ‘lazy Scouse gits'. Much sharper than later attempts to revive the character ofAlf Garnett. (BBC from £9.99)

I BBC Pregnancy 5. Post Natal Exercise Video With Rosemary Conley 5. Jane Ashton (BBC from £9.99) I Charlie Chalk- Mildred’s Day Off (BBC£7.99)

I SuperTed 3 (BBC £7.99)

I Star Cops: An Instinct For Murder (BBC from £9.99) I Star Cops: A Double Life (BBC from £9.99)

I Charles And Diana—The First Decade (BBC from £9.99)

I Wildlife Special-The Great Kama (BBC from £9.99)

I Wildlife Special -Tiger On The Tiles/Beasts Of The Field (BBC from £9.99) I Duck Tales: The Movie— Treasure Of The Lost Lamp (U) (Buena Vista£12.99)

. _ w I Moon Over Parador(15) (CIC£9.99)

I Dad (PG) (C1C£9.99) I Star Trek: The Next Generation 16 (U) (CIC £9.99)

I StarTrek: The Next Generation 17 (PG) (CIC £9.99)

IArnerican Graffiti (PG) (C1C£9.99)