V TV REVIEW
()nly the British music industry could
elevate somebody like Joe Cocker. a E pub blues singer with a penchant for rnutilating pop classics. into a revered
elder statesman of rock. He. along with every other tax—exiled. follically-
1 challenged ancient ever to hit a chord in
anger. assembled to collect their accolades at The Brits (Scottish). an event whose connections to anything
3 remotely interesting or innovative in
popular music were severed years ago. and has now become a kind of annual dishing-out of prizes for long and unstinting service to the mighty corporations. The regrettable difference is that the wrinkled old time-servers never have the decency to slump off into retirement and an early grave.
The Brits defected from the BBC this time alter several years of incompetence. embarrassment and strangely compelling entertainment. The Carlton TV version (unwisely retaining the services of the BBC's king of smarm Simon Beast for the voice- overs) by contrast was all a bit sarney. although Richard O'Brien did make a bold stab at earning himself a nomination for Most ()ut-Of-His-Depth Presenter (a category dominated by the Word team and my personal favourite. Tania (iuha of Moviewutch). but otherwise you had to grab your amusement where you could. Like speculating which particular bright spark thought a duet between kd lang and Andy Bell might create some sexual chemistry. Or watching lifetime achiever Rod Stewart attempting to mime his way through the Carter USM chestnut ‘Ruby Tuesday".
The old War Office codgers in Lipstick On Your Collar proved infinitely more adept at lip-synching to rock ‘n‘ roll classics than Rod. You do get the suspicion that Dennis Potter has rather cynically sifted through his back catalogue and picked sotne of his greatest hits for Lipstick. but it works.
1 so what the hell‘.’ We get plenty of the musical mime routines that
characterised The Singing Detective. a
device that effectively combines the
comic and the grotesque. Potter uses it
i regularly to debunk the shallow
pomposity of his on-their-way-out
establishment buffers and show us 1‘ where his sympathies lie.
g..- _ . - . 54 The List 26 February—1 1 March 1993
Nothing much happened in the way of
plot development in episode one. apart from establishing the basic premises that ‘shaggin" was the only adjective that existed in the 50s. and that. contrary to reports. Potter has not entirely surrendered his fondness for the voyeuristic. A Iissom and naked angel floated around in the imagination of central character Mick Hopper, proffering her fig—leaf. while back on earth a sadistic corporal was having it away in brutal fashion with a cinema usherette. Those rockin' tunes may well
‘ pull in the mass audience. but Lipstick
()n Your Collar is several cleavage and thigh shots away from being good clean shaggin' family fun.
‘A Iissom and naked angel floated around in the imagination of central
character Mick Hopper, proffering her tig-Ieat, while back on earth a sadistic corporal was having it away in brutal fashion with a cinema usherette.’
As a preamble to Lipstick. Channel 4
. gave Us Benny Hill: Hero Gt Comedy
(oxymoron of the fortnight). The fact that he‘s on the minority channel at all is a measure of the degree to which Michael Grade has dragged Channel 4 down a post-modernist. post-feminist. post-having-your-advertising-sold-for-
you route. An awful lot of nonsense has
been written about Hill‘s misogyny and sad sexism. to the neglect of a rather more basic truth: he was a very poor comic. The bulk of his shows consisted of a woefully overlong visual sequence (‘The Halitosis Kid‘ on this occasion — ho. ho) packed with every slapstick cliché and pratfall. padded out with a collection of creaking mother-in-law and seaside postcard gags. Sad old
pseuds like Anthony Burgess talk about !
the ‘universality' of his humour. It‘s called ‘lowest common denominator‘
Tone. and if all it means is that sexually
voracious fat women are funny in Lisbon and Lagos as well as Largs,
1 then it's hardly worthy of all the
posthumous adulation. Shaggin‘ poor. (Tom Lappin).
I I i
Our regular guide to the latest VHS releases
hitting your shop shelves round about now.
Rental I Betty The Vampire
1 Slayer (PG) Daft with a
capital childish. this tacky tale of a cheerleader turned vamp nemesis is strangely appealing. A dab of cheaply thrown- together historical background tells as early on that our Buffy is the latest in a long line of feisty females who know plenty of tricks with a stake. Rutger Hauer plays it strictly over the top as the lead fang. Plenty of comic touches and the neat trick of having Buffy double up with menstrual cramps every time a blood-sucker is in the vicinity. (Fox)
I 1492, Conquest 0t Paradise (15) Ridley Scott’s expensive epic shaded it for the best Columbus film of '92 but that wasn‘t saying much for the competition. Gerard Depardieu gazes out to sea quite effectively as Chris. playing him as an idealistic dreamer closing his eyes to the exploiters following in his wake. (Guild)
I Waterland ( 15) Graham Swift‘s story of an English schoolteacher confronting his troubled past is a little pacier on screen but otherwise remains true to the atmosphere of the novel. Jeremy Irons and Sinead Cusack star. Little- known fact: RIZM were originally commissioned to provide the soundtrack but their contributions never made the finished version. (Pol ygrarn)
I The Holler Blade Seven (18) Ho ho. it‘s a 'rollerblading. motorcycling. road warrior. car chase. action adventure and a surrealistic nightmare unlike anything you've ever seen before.‘ Tempted? Well it stars the inimitable Frank ‘don‘t mention my brother' Stallone and Karen Black in her first psychedelic adventure since liasv Rider. Merchant Ivory it ain't. (First Independent)
I A Passion For Innocence (PG) (Fox) I Ila Vinci’s War (18) (20:20 Vision)
I Mission Of Justice (18) (First Independent)
I Crazy In Love (PU) (First Independent) 1 I Poison Ivy ( 18) (Guild) I Angel Street ( )5) 1 (Warner) i I American Samurai 1 18) 3 (Warner) ' I Book 0! love ( IS) 7 (Columbia Tristar) I Bingo (P0) (20:20 Vision) I Molly And The Ghost (15) (20:20 Vision)
I Young Lady Chatterley
a new adult movie company targeted at women as much as men. Take that as you will. Harlee McBride plays Connie's nephew Cynthia who shares her aunt's predilection for having it away with the staff.
I (California £14.99)
I MY GITI (I’Ci) \Vall-to-
wall sickly brats with Macauley Culkin and Anna Chlurnsky in a moderately emetic comedy about kids
emulating their parents'
on-off romance. You’ve
f seen the Temptations on The Chart Show, why
I bother with the movie‘.’ (Columbia Tristar £12.99) I I The Adventures Of
; Dynamo [luck it') (Vision ; Video £8.99)
I Ultraman: The Alien
Invasion (PG) (L'ltra Video £12.99)
I Bonanza: The Underdog! The Bark Gate/T he Honour 0t Cochise/A Hose For lotta/T he Boss/To Own
The World/T he Truckee
( 18) The lirst release from
Strip/Hess And The Leprechauos (U) All together now: ‘we gotta right to pick a little light. Bo-naaann-zaaaal' Too young to remember the classic US Western series of the ()(is? Never fear. here are a whole batch of good ole episodes occupying that no-man’s land between The ll'ultnns and The Virginian. (Creation Iintertainments £9.99 each tape)
I A Brief History (it The Southern Railway Sad specialist interest video of the fortnight is this in- depth tribute to the men and machines who worked the Southern Railway and made sure the 7.15 from \Vttierloo to Portsmouth was running 17 minutes late and without a trolley service. (Odyssey £10.99)
I Soundgarden: Motorvision set-und— generation grunge merchants erring on the side of trad heavy metal. recorded in concert at the Paramount Theatre Seattle. (Poly gram £10.99)
I Separate But Equal (PU) Worthy if predictable tale of racial segregation day s in the Deep Sttlllli. (Odyssey £14.99)
I Get A Grip On Sex 1 18) .-\n absurdly poor extended version ol the spoof documentary recently shown on Channel 4. Presented by simpering bimbo .‘ylariella I‘rostrup. Neither informative nor witty. (I’olygram £7.99)
I Hay Harryhausen: 20 Million Miles To Earth/It
, Came From Beneath The
Sea (I') Cult classics from the sci-li matinee days
Will) extraordinary special
effects from ()scar w inner Ilarryhattscn. The plots are rather less impressive. (Columbia ’l‘ristar £10.99) I Hay Harryhausen: First Men In The Moon/Earth Vs The Flying Saucers r t ') (Columbia 'l‘ristar £10.99) I Oscar’s Greatest Moments ( I ') ('lips from bygone ()scar' ceremonies including sortie ol. the most nauseating acceptance speeches in history. (Columbia 'I'ristar £7.99)
I Karate Kid rt') (Columbia 'I‘ristar £7.99) I Karate Kid II it) (Columbia 'I‘ristar £7.99) I Another You i 15) (Columbia 'l'ristar £10.99)