Movies I Miss

There are some films I've only seen once or twice, which I've never been able to get a hold of. Unfortunately as time rolls by, it's looking less and less likely that they'll ever get released in the US (and my Sony HDTV won't display PAL, which is Really Lame - hopefully my XBOX 360 will be able to play it and transcode it for me when I get it).

What are these movies? Well, they're kind of classics. You may have seen them - and you might not have. And some of them are just shorts. But anyway... the list:

The Quiet Earth

This is a classic apocalyptic Australian film from the 80s. A scientist on the team responsible for a Tesla-like Microwave Energy Transmission wakes up the day after the system is turned on to find himself to be the only man on Earth. The shots of empty towns, complete with the burning wreckage of 747s are haunting. The first half of the film is better than the second (a fate which also befell the - at first - similarly themed 28 Days Later - for some reason, protagonists wandering around deserted cities is always incredibly compelling).

12:01 PM (Short)

This short film starring Kurtwood Smith (That 70's Show and Robocop are his most famous appearances) won an Academy Award for Best Short Live Action Film in 1990. Following a similar line to Groundhog Day (which it predated by 3 years), and the remake (12:01am - which sadly does not hold a candle to its progenitor), the protagonist Myron Castleman is stuck in a repeating period of time. Unlike the other two films, which repeat a single day over and over, 12:01 is unique in that Myron is stuck in a single repeating hour. It's a beautiful film, which again you can buy on DVD in the UK (as part of a compilation). But not in the US.

Hopefully Showtime will show it again some time, or release it. (They produced the original as part of their 30 minute film series).

Miracle Mile

OK, so this one is out on DVD. It's yet another piece of beautiful 80's apocalypsia. Mare Winningham and Anthony Edwards paint a romantic love story against the backdrop of LA while the bomb is about to drop. With a soundtrack by Tangerine Dream that helps build the tension and despair as Edwards' character gets more and more desperate, a city under siege as riots and looting break out when everybody else finds out, and the fact that after the first 30 minutes, the movie runs in absolute real time, way before Timecode or 24 were even a twinkle in anyone's eye, it's just a beautifully put together film.

But the DVD you can buy on Amazon was released on the cheap, with no extras (which I can handle) and as Pan and Scan (which I can't). Of course, it could have just been filmed on Super 35, and they went full format for the release, but I have the horrible feeling that this film was meant to be widescreen. Thus, I'm still waiting for a transfer that will do it justice.


All I know about this film is that it's another 80s nuclear aftermath film, and that I shouldn't have been awake when I crawled downstairs and saw 15 minutes of it with my parents - before they shooed me off to bed. I still want to see the full version.

Max Headroom

The original film that was made to kickstart Channel 4 VJ Max Headroom's talking head career. The American TV show was much better than the Channel 4 music video chat show, but this is the film that started it all. Sure you could watch the TV pilot from the US show and get the same story, but somehow this was so much grittier and darker.

I'm sure there are more - I just can't remember them right now. If I do, I'll post 'em.



It's that time of year again. This year I decided to put together my own costume, based on the movie Reanimator. (Hey, it seemed like it'd be much cheaper than doing a really good Harry Potter one, or a Prisoner one, and a lot more fun).

[Reanimator Costume]

Of course, when I set out to do this, I didn't realize that the syringes I'd ordered from a small lab supply company wouldn't arrive on time because of a hurricane. Or that the labcoat I ordered wouldn't arrive in time either. Or that I'd then go out and spend $20 on a "flavor injector" at Williams Sonoma, which looks suitably evil. Or that glowstick fluid will eat through the seals in said syringe, and also remove the markings from it. Or that I'd end up with 20 glowsticks in my garage. One thing I did find out is that each glowstick doesn't hold much liquid. Also, this year's severed heads weren't all that cool, so I ended up having to buy one and sew a wig to it to give it a little... extra.

Still, people liked it - those who actually figured out what it was - and the big glowing syringe is certainly a good way to get people to stop and stare. Unfortunately, halfway through the party I had to put the syringe back in the car - it was leaking, and even though that stuff is "non-toxic", the fact that it can eat through rubber kind of worried me.

Next year? I'm thinking of doing a cast of my own head, and going around headless for the night. :)

This entry was posted under Me. Bookmark the permalink.


Just a quick note to say that I just moved sideways from being Lead Engineer on the Tools team at Surreal Software, to become Lead Gameplay Engineer on the As Yet Unannounced NextGen Game we're working on.


I think this calls for a drink. Or five!

This entry was posted under Me. Bookmark the permalink.

LOST - the ARG...

(If you're wondering what an ARG or "Alternative Reality Game" is, please check out

Looks like the TV show LOST is starting up an ARG. The trailhead is the site (referred to glancingly in the episode Orientation shown last week).

Entering https:// instead of http:// gives you the text "bigspaceship1". Typing this in takes you to ... well... kind of appropriately what appears to be a numbers site. ( if you need the link).

This site has been getting weirder and weirder. Latest pic is a mouse sitting on a piece of cheese with a numbers-site radio recording from way back being played behind it.

If you take that pic, and run it through Photoshop (Equalize, then clip the red channel), you get the message "attention all rodents meet at 22:00 local time", along with this map:

Looks like the game is afoot :)


subscribe via RSS