2008:2

August 2008

 

Friday 15th August 2008  - Newcastle-under-Lyme

pound08081 pound08082

Snoopy: The Musical DVD.

Supplies:

2 packs of seven blank cds.
2 packs of 4 Kodak C batteries.
1 pack of 12 Old Collin’s disposable lighters.
20 strong black bags (Mr Clean & Mrs Tidy brand).

 

Rejected item:

Leslie Bricusse’s autobiography, The Music Man. Leslie Bricusse was big mates with Anthony Newley (a bit of a genius who never seemed to fulfil his early promise - Gurney Slade was quite astonishing) so I was interested, but finally decided against it. Still it lingers in the mind and if the second rule doesn’t kick in I might give it a go next time.

I’ve split the 2008 page at this point because I used to use NetObjects Fusion 2 and it always broke when the page got too big. Now I’m using NetObjects Fusion 8 and I don’t know whether the same applies, but I thought I’d err on the side of caution, so, anticipating extra Poundland visits in the winter months, I’ve started a new page with August.

By the way, I use NetObjects Fusion because it comes free on comics.

Notes:

1. Slim Pickens this time (and Chill Wills for that matter) but it was a supply run so I didn’t mind that much. Nice to see Mr. Clean teaming up with Mrs. Tidy to make bin bags. Although I wonder what Mrs. Clean and Mr. Tidy think of the arrangement. I bought the Snoopy dvd to cheer up No. 2 son - whose guardian bastard seems to be working overtime lately - he’s probably already got it.

September 2008

 

Tuesday 16th September 2008  - Newcastle-under-Lyme

pound0908104 pound0908204

Jungle Panda

Signalex CD case (104 disc capacity)

Perfectshots Camera Case (with belt loop)

6 Mini Skull Candles

1 pack of 3 Padlocks

The Music Man by Leslie Bricusse

Adventures of a Suburban Boy by John Boorman

Supplies:

1 pack of seven blank cds.
2 packs of 8 Easylite disposable lighters.

 

Rejected item:

Too many to list since not only are Poundland starting the Halloween season early, they’ve also put some Advent calendars and Christmas cards on display. So, the first rule has to be suspended due to the coming recession. I did buy the mini skull candles as a sop to Satan, reckoning on having plenty of time to stock up with witches’ hats and other demonic paraphernalia next month. The Halloween DVD stand was in the doorway, which I felt was an error on the shopkeeper’s part since one gets in the way of the other customers, plus everyone in Newcastle can see you studying the covers of Last Cannibal World and similar fare. I’ve never actually seen one of those Italian cannibal movies, but I have seen trailers and they look a bit boring, much like all films about food (I offer Stanley Tucci’s Big Night as evidence).

There was also a book about the filming of a Sharpe episode, which I picked up and then realised it was about the filming of a Sharpe episode, rather than a book that would tell you about all the Sharpe episodes which would have been more interesting, so I put it back. But if I had to elect one rejected item I would plump for the Signalex ‘Make Your Own Speakers’ pack. This looked like a couple of collapsed cardboard boxes with black plastic circles like you get on the front of speakers. Whether there were any electrical components in the pack I couldn’t tell. We do need some new speakers for the telly since they’ve broke and the cheapest you can get are 80 quid from Argos which seems a bit much, but I doubt whether these ‘make your own’ versions will be an adequate
alternative.

I used a proper camera this time since I needed a good shot of Jungle Panda.

One interesting fact in the Leslie Bricusse book - presumably there will be more but this was on page xi - he lives (or at least did in 2006) in Saint-Paul de Vence in the South of France, which is also home to the Fondation Maeght, where Albert Ayler performed his final concerts in July 1970. The concerts were filmed and the resulting documentary is kept in the vaults of the Fondation Maeght. If there was any sense in the world then it would be available on dvd or up on youtube, but it isn’t because of the machinations of various individuals who obviously have as much interest in the music of Albert Ayler as Damien Hirst has in art.

Notes:

1. I like Halloween since I’m old enough to remember when it wasn’t. Here in England (I speak as if anyone not from England is reading this) it is a festival entirely begotten of  American films and TV shows and the nation is all the better for it. I remember when Halloween just meant you had to go to church and pray for the souls of the dead. You did get the next day off school though, but I think you had to go to church again. That was in the days when the Catholic Church still had some regard for the rules and you went to Hell if you ate meat on a Friday and then didn’t confess it before you dropped down dead. (I don’t know what the heathens did on Halloween, probably sat at home watching The Cisco Kid and Liberace.) You prayed for the dead on Halloween so that you got them time off their stay in Purgatory. Or if you didn’t know any dead people you could put your prayers in your own account for when you got there. A lot of Catholicism was just a matter of creative accounting - novenas and plenary indulgences. Personally I never had a problem with Purgatory since it had a good name and was just a place you waited around in until your soul was clean enough to go meet God in Heaven (bit like a washing machine without the circular motion). Hell was bad of course and that’s where the Church fathers put all their imaginative effort. Heaven was just somewhere you sat around adoring God since the greatest thing was to be in his presence (that never really appealed). If I had a choice (which, being Catholic, I didn’t) I would have opted for Limbo. Limbo was full of little babies and the lost tribes of the Amazon and anyone else who hadn’t been introduced to Jesus. God and Satan left you alone and there was no adoring to do or torment to suffer. A few years ago the Pope got rid of Limbo. Which made me wonder what happened to all the little babies and Amazonian tribesmen. Did they simply cease to exist or were they given an upgrade? In which case did this cause trouble in paradise with this sudden influx of immigrants vying for the best adoration spots. Also made me wonder about those poor fellows who choked on a piece of meat on a Friday before they changed that rule. Did St. Michael nip down to Hell with a list or what? Theology is a damned complicated business, it’s a good job there are all these clever people around to sort it out for us. And that’s just reminded me of another rejected item. It was a Golden Compass toy - quite smart, but we’d just seen the film and it was a bit not good - although Sam Elliott was, but that goes without saying. I don’t think the film would have been any better if they’d kept all the anti-Catholic stuff in there. I keep wanting to tell Philip Pullman to grow up - he always seems so smug about his anti-Catholic stance as though he was writing in the 15th. century.

2. I bought the Leslie Bricusse biography because I said I would if it was still there when I next went to Poundland and it was, so I did. And I also bought the John Boorman even though it’s probably boring because otherwise I’d have it as a rejected item and then say I’ll get it next visit and then I would, so I thought I might as well save time. I have a theory about film directors. If I was living in the fifties (which I was) in France (which I wasn’t) and writing for the Cahiers du Cinéma (ditto), I would have objected to the auteur theory and proposed le ‘directeurs fait deux ou trois grand filmes et la reste est un peu merde’ theory, except I’d put it in French. Then
Jean-Luc would have spat out his gauloise and told me that Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was just as good as Rio Bravo, and I would rejoinder that Quentin Tarantino has only made two good films, then François would spit out his gitane and say that was a specious argument because Tarantino hasn’t been born yet. And then I would have to concede defeat because I can’t think of the name of another French cigarette and we are doomed to put up with those idiots who claim that Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is the scariest movie ever made, even though it’s blindingly obvious that The Haunting made by that least auteurial director, Robert Wise, is way more scary. Anyway, John Boorman made three great films, Point Blank, Deliverance and Excalibur, so he fits the pattern. Ridley Scott made Alien and Blade Runner. Martin Scorsese only managed one, Taxi Driver. “Chaçun ŕ son gout,” yells Claude from the fifties, spitting out his

3. The set of three padlocks and the camera case are for No. 2 son who is off on his travels. I wouldn’t have bothered mentioning that but the foreign bloke who’s reading this might be wondering why I need three padlocks and a camera case. Maybe he thinks I’ve kidnapped somebody and locked them in the shed. As if the giant hedgehog would let me.

4. And so to the wonder that is Jungle Panda. It is beyond me why people spend millions of pounds on pickled sharks to sit on their coffee tables when they could buy a couple of Jungle Pandas to put on their mantelpieces. Have they learned nothing from Duchamp?

panda

October 2008

 

Thursday 16th October 2008 - Newcastle-under-Lyme

pound10081 pound10082

ProDriver Sat Nav Case

Rabid DVD

Hellinger DVD

Demon Fire DVD

Supplies:

3 packs of 7 blank cds.
Pack of 8 slimline CD cases
Pack of 5 CD jewel cases
10 disposable lighters.
Sanmex Fly & Wasp Killer (I am not a Buddhist)

 

Rejected item:

A wire to connect two PCs via their ethernet sockets, made by Belkin, so presumably a bargain. Unfortunately although I have two PCs only one has an ethernet socket so I rejected the item. However knowing how much computer wires cost in the real world I should have thought ahead and bought it since there will come a time when this PC dies and I’ll want such a wire to transfer stuff to the new PC. These thoughts occur when one is driving home and one says “bugger”.

While I was wandering round the shop there was one of those recorded announcements from the tannoy that said something along the lines of “Despite the Economic Recession prices won’t be going up in
Poundland”, which I thought was quite witty.

I also noticed that now you can buy mousetraps in packs of four (wooden) or three (plastic,
brain-scattering, bloody lethal type). Have mice now reached plague proportions? Should we be worried?

Notes:

1. The sat nav case is for the good lady wife who believes that thieves are still breaking into cars to steal sat navs, even though their price has plummeted and they’re much more likely to be after your Jungle Panda collection. Still, she removes it from the car when she parks and now she has a nifty little case in which to keep it. I don’t really know why she bothers since it’s not really that good. Whether it was because it was cheap, or maybe we got a faulty one, but the little woman who lives in it seems to get easily confused and has no conception of width, so she is always suggesting we take windey country lanes instead of sticking to the main roads. Maybe she’s bored and wants a run in the country. Who knows the workings of the mind of the tiny person? Speaking of which, who thought it was a good idea to employ gesticulating midgets on the deaf bastard programmes. (That might appear a tad non-PC but I only have one working ear and it’s on its way out so I reckon I’m entitled.) Can’t deaf people read? Or is the fear of subtitles so engrained in the British psyche that the clever people who work out what we want to watch have decreed that deaf bastards must be brought into the commonweal of England and not be confused into thinking that they’re watching some arty foreign film all the time about celebrities wandering around America or up and down this sceptred isle as if it’s interesting. It’s a bit like having radio for the blind but getting a bloke to shout over everything telling you what’s going on. And why do deaf people only watch telly in the wee small hours of the morning? Are they all insomniacs? That seems a cruel twist of fate. What really annoys me though is that they sometimes show films at three o’clock in the morning which look far more interesting than what’s on in the normal hours. Films in fact which haven’t been shown before and are not in the little box of films which each station seems to be provided with and which they recycle endlessly. So you shove in a tape and settle down in the afternoon with a cup of tea and a kit-kat and you light up your pipe and switch on the machine and there’s a midget in the corner waving his little hands about and making faces at the proper actors behind him who are trying to tell a story. Still, I suppose it keeps them off the streets.

2. Nice to see the manager of the Newcastle branch taking my advice and moving the Halloween DVD display away from the front door to the back of the shop. This did mean that I could take my time studying the boxes rather than just going off titles and cover pictures (note: avoid all horror films with clowns on the cover, for some reason they are all bad. I think clowns are so intrinsically evil that whatever villainy they get up to in the fantasy world of movies is all a bit redundant - same reason you can’t have Hitler as a villain in a horror film) which, perversely, did not turn out too well. Rabid’s all right since it’s a classic early David Cronenberg (before he went all po-faced). But Hellinger was chosen on the basis of a mistake by the man who writes the blurbs on the back of the box. He’d got Robert Cummings in the cast list, so being a bit of a Robert Cummings fan (particularly Saboteur, The Lost Moment, For Heaven’s Sake and Beach Party - and a film I haven’t seen for years, Heaven Only Knows - one of those post-war angel films but this one was a cowboy) I thought I’d give it a go. My reasoning (flawed as it turned out) was that this was an old Italian horror movie and Bob Cummings, down on his luck, had taken the same boat as Alan Ladd and many others and ended up in Italy. I also couldn’t remember if he was dead or not and since he had never seemed to age, I thought the picture in the attic could have still been working its magic for him. Anyway, I get it home, check imdb and find out the dvdboxwriter had put an extra ‘g’ in and this was Robert Cummins, another actor entirely. Plus the film sounds a bit not good (or “the most disgusting thing I have ever seen” according to one user comment) so a pox on the dvdboxwriter. Demon Fire was my mistake since the box said it was Witch House III and I thought that was a sequel to that film where Hell was in B & Q’s backyard and people got sucked into it through cupboards, but that was Witchcraft so I got my crafts and my houses mixed up and this looks rubbish.

3. Turns out the sat nav case is too small for our sat nav. Darn! I understand the basic principles of economics, so wagon wheels, which start out in the 1950s as big as what they’re named after, gradually decrease in size over the years so that now they’re the size of a smartie. The wagon wheel makers, sniggering up their sleeves, obviously believe that they’re fooling us, but we are quite aware what’s going on and just put up with it. However when it comes to a case to fit something it seems imperative that it needs to be big enough and if it isn’t then it is not fit for its purpose and we are well within our rights to take it back to Poundland and demand a refund. Which, of course, we will never do since it was only a pound. Hence a new addition to the list of ‘The Pitfalls of Poundland’:

No one will ever take anything back to Poundland because it only cost a pound and is therefore not worth the bother. So Poundland is thus empowered by its customers to sell them any old rubbish.

And while I’m in a complaining frame of mind, those bin bags I bought in August from Mr. Clean and Mrs. Tidy were right rubbish. Tiny little things only big enough to hold a sat nav case.

4. And speaking of Mr. Clean and Mrs. Tidy, I noticed that the blank CDs I bought are now made by Mr. CDR. I quite like that system of organising the workforce by the coincidence of appropriate names. I presume this is one of the benefits of Communism but it should be remembered that we had a similar system back in medieval days when the monks were in charge. I’m not advocating a complete return to this logical system of running the economy (there are way too many Fletchers around and now that we’re mates with the French we no longer have a need for arrows) but it’s worth setting up a working party to investigate the possibilities. It can’t be any worse than Maggie Thatcher’s idea of running the whole country on the proceeds of a betting shop.

5. The lighters are strange. I thought I was going to have to buy a couple of packs of five since that’s all they seemed to have then I found this solitary pack of ten. The motto at the top of the packet reads:

IT’s BETTER
IT’S BAIDE!

GOING THROUGH DREAM AND SUCCESS
WITNESSING FAITH AND PASSION

What’s that supposed to mean? I’m used to buying smoking related products which just tell me I’m going to die soon. Now we seem to have wandered from Kierkegaard into some New  Age tripe with a hint of the loony Christian. Am I now to view my smoking habit as a journey to a brighter tomorrow. What is Baide? And why is it
better?

baide

November 2008

 

Tuesday 4th November 2008  - Hanley

pound11081 pound11082

The Very Best of Charles Trenet CD

Dizzy Gillespie - Groovin’ High CD

The Demon Barber CD

Supplies:

JVC mini DV tape
14 metal scourers
10 disposable lighters

 

Rejected item:

There was a Chet Baker CD, a live recording from Denmark in 1955, which I considered then rejected and will probably end up buying if I see it again. Chet Baker was capable of producing wonderful stuff (his recording of You Don’t Know What Love Is is the epitome of cool) but, after reading a big book about him, I did come to the conclusion that he seemed far more interested in drugs than music. Tortured genius and all that, but a bit of a silly bugger. I also rejected a neat little box called ‘Create Your Own Sand Mandala’ on roughly the same grounds. The wise old spirit within me thought scattering sand about sounds a bit messy and the older I get the less credence I give to the spiritual doings of the shamans of the mystic east - silly buggers really.

Interesting Literary Fact about Stoke-on-Trent No. 17:

The original play on which Stephen Sondheim based his musical about the Demon Barber was Christopher Bond’s Sweeney Todd which was premiered at Stoke’s Victoria Theatre.

Interesting Literary Fact about Stoke-on-Trent No. 1:

Jorge Luis Borges’ grandmother came from Hanley.

Notes:

1. A new Poundland opened in Hanley on Saturday. I didn’t rush up for the grand opening, even though there was talk of free gifts, since I wanted the crowd to disperse a little. Of all the towns in Stoke-on-Trent I would have preferred it if Poundland had chosen Longton for their venture since an aura of Russia in the 1950s hangs over the place and I think the ‘neckenders’ (as they are yclept) would take a Poundland in their stride. But Hanley was chosen, and they also put it in the Potteries Shopping Centre alongside all the proper shops selling frocks, so it was a tad strange to see the sophisticates mingling with the regular Poundland tribe. There was a recent item on ‘Midlands Today’ about Poundland opening 300 new shops and attracting customers from the A and B social groups and although I did not see the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire up Hanley when I called in, I did spot one man picking up a big pack of batteries and gazing upon them in wonder. It is comforting for we members of the F group (the lumpenproletariat as Marx gaily called us) to witness the discomfiture of our betters as they struggle with the concept of the simple economic system of Poundland. Still, enough of politics. What is it like to walk into a brand new Poundland shop? Surprisingly enough very similar to walking into an old Poundland shop. There are differences of course. I noted the absence of the Linda Barker DVD. In fact the DVD section as a whole was rather sparse and neatly shelved. No chance here of finding a hidden gem which has sunk to the bottom of the pile over the years. The toy section was similarly understocked - surprising really given the upcoming celebration of the birth of Our Lord - although I did spot one Jungle Panda (the one where he’s au naturel and out of his pyjamas, which I will purchase eventually but I am waiting for the appearance of others in the set, particularly a vehicle one for I am desperate to find out what kind of car Jungle Panda uses to get around the jungle in his panda fashion). Other than that, everything was much the same, the staff seemed a little busier, the lady on the till was a little friendlier, but I put that down to the joy of work and the need to impress the new boss. I was also pleased to see that my theory about the effects of Poundland on three-dimensional space was confirmed yet again. The Poundland shop in Newcastle is about half the size of the new one up Hanley and yet I still came out with roughly the same amount of stuff I always do.

2. I did have a worrying moment when I thought there would be nothing of interest in the new Poundland shop and I would be forced to write about my pack of 14 metal scourers, and then I chanced upon the row of CDs above the disappointing DVD section. I’ve been meaning to buy a Charles Trenet CD for years now but I’ve always been put off by the fact that I only really want one track - La Mer - and I fear the rest will feature accordions, so I’ve never taken the plunge, but here it is in Poundland and the first rule applies. La Mer is one of those magical pieces of music, much like Bunny Berigan’s I Can’t Get Started, which transcends time and shifting musical styles and is pretty close to perfection. The Dizzy Gillespie was probably a mistake, but I’d already rejected the Chet Baker, and a Herbie Hancock (early period good, late bad - this one had a picture of him with his piano slung round his neck like a guitar and you just think silly bugger) so by this time I was in jazz mode and so plumped for the Dizzy Gillespie, without thinking that I’d probably already got all the tracks. Turns out there are a few on there I haven’t, so that’s o.k. and you can never have enough copies of Things To Come. There were also box sets of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald in the shop, neither of which chanteuses have ever really appealed, but I mention them to show the range of the Poundland jazz section which runs the one in HMV a close second. The final CD is the gem of the bunch though. The Demon Barber is actually an old American radio show featuring the bestest of all Sherlock Holmeses and Watsons - Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Now this would be enough to impress me but the people at Alten8 (how clever) who have produced this CD obviously thought they could capitalise on the recent film version of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and have put a fake picture of Johnny Depp on the cover. Surely such a deceptive ploy can only lead to a dual disappointment - those who would otherwise leap on such an interesting addition to the Rathbone and Bruce oeuvre, and those who will wonder what in god’s name this has to do with Mr. Depp.

3. The mini DV tape is for No. 2 son who knows what it is for. I may have to get one of these for myself sometime since I’m supposed to be making a film about Jorge Luis Borges. I started it last year but it has stalled somewhat, so a small outlay of cash on film stock might be enough to jolly the project along.

demonbarber

[Not Johnny Depp.]

 

Wednesday 26th November 2008 - Newcastle-under-Lyme

pound11083 pound1108402

Next by Michael Crichton

Super Dinosaur

8 Luxury Crackers

Supplies:

10 disposable lighters

I have discovered a major flaw in this site. How does one conceal one’s Poundland present purchases from the recipient if one is posting their pictures on the internet? In the case of No. 2 son’s birthday there was a simple solution - wait a day before revealing the intelligence enhancing paly abilities of Super Dinosaur. But with Christmas coming up I am in a quandary.

Another packing incident occurred similar to that in York with the Buddha head. This time the gentleman on the till asked if I wanted Michael Crichton’s Next in a separate bag. Although I felt this showed admirable respect for literature, I declined, thinking of the rainforest.

Notes:

1. Poundland is a harsh mistress. The rules are applied unsparingly. I had called in to buy the other Jungle Panda for No. 2 son’s birthday since he seems inordinately jealous of mine but the Newcastle branch was bereft of Jungle Pandas. This cast a pall over my visit and I was forced to buy a Super Dinosaur as a distinctly inferior alternative. The only saving grace of Super Dinosaur is the legend on the box: “Paly with Enhanced Intelligence”. I am not familiar with the word, ‘Paly’. Perhaps it is a misprint and should read ‘Play’. In which case why does Super Dinosaur have the ability to enhance intelligence? All I can think is that when a 3 year old (for it is unsuitable for those below that age) picks up his Super Dinosaur he may say to his mother:
     “Mater, I believe that fellow in China has misspelt the word ‘play’ on my Super Dinosaur box.”
     To which his mother would reply, “Why, Tarquin, you are so clever to have noticed that.” And she would then retire to the drawing-room in amazement at the educational properties of Super Dinosaur.
     Either that or it means that adding Super Dinosaur to your toy collection will make you the envy of all and you will end up with a better class of friends.

2. Michael Crichton sadly died at the beginning of this month so it was quite nice to find his last novel in the Poundland book section. I noticed in the obituaries that Crichton’s achievements as a film director tended to be overlooked, which I felt was rather unfair. He did make three great films, Westworld, Coma and Runaway, and The First Great Train Robbery was also pretty good. I’m not claiming that he was the greatest director in the world, but I would prefer to sit and watch any of those before letting anything by Antonioni or Fellini near my dvd player. His contribution to cinema didn’t end there of course - all the obits mentioned Jurassic Park - but he also wrote the novels on which The Andromeda Strain, Rising Sun and, of course, Congo were based. Even Timeline which was universally panned by the critics turned out to be quite good fun (which is more than can be said for any other Billy Connolly film). And then there’s The Thirteenth Warrior, which, despite its troubled history, is quite brilliant and knocks spots off all those Beowulf adaptations (even the Christopher Lambert one). When one considers all the brouhaha that accompanied Anthony Minghella’s passing (albeit there was a bit of the jingo in evidence there) it seems odd that Michael Crichton just gets a passing nod for writing Jurassic Park. I sometimes wonder about film critics. They seem mortally afeared of praising anything which doesn’t feature moany people or scenery. While we are all sitting in Hrothgar’s mead hall listening to Michael Crichton’s tales of heroic deeds, all the critics seem to be round the corner in Mike Leigh’s mead hall listening to a bard extol the virtues of soup.

3. I like the idea of luxury Poundland crackers. The only luxurious thing about them is the use of the word luxury on the box. There’s something poetic about that, in a vaguely William Carlos Williams way. Most people would just dismiss it as an oxymoron but I like the way the word ‘luxury’ moves beyond mere definition and becomes that which it defines. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” as St. John the Evangelist put it, as he pulled his Luxury Poundland Cracker. The other thing about Luxury Poundland Crackers is that they raise no false expectations as do those of Mr. Sainsbury or other high street retailers. You know where you are with a Luxury Poundland Cracker and you are never fooled into thinking you’ll find a Cartier watch or the keys to a Maserati therein - instead there will always be the red cellophane fish and the two twisted bits of metal ‘puzzle’. Thus the Luxury Poundland Cracker teaches us to accept the dull reality of our existence, shows us the futility of dreams, and gives us an excuse not to watch Dr. Who but to indulge in a festive, postprandial discussion of Wittgenstein instead.

paly

December 2008

 

Thursday 11th December 2008  - Hanley

pound12082 pound1208102

4 Collection - Drama DVD:
Hammers Over The Anvil
The Intruder
Callan
Marquis De Sade

4 Collection - Mortal Kombat DVD
Queen
Black Dragon
Kreeya
Quan Chi

Merry Christmas USB Tree (with auto colour change)

I had decided to take a chance on that Chet Baker CD, but, of course, it wasn’t there - damn the Rules of Poundland!

Notes:

1. I was in pensive mood when I called into Poundland. I was wandering the streets of Hanley whilst waiting for the nice gentlemen at Kwikfit to fix my car and I had already made a final pilgrimage to Woolworth’s. It was the day they announced their closing down sale and it looked like the locusts had descended. I met the local historian, Fred Hughes, paying similar respects and we stood awhile in an empty corner of the shop discussing the ways of the world and the future of the retail industry. Of all the shops in all the world I think Woolworth’s is the only one which has the power to rouse such feelings at its demise. So, when I called in at Poundland my mind was elsewhere and at one point I did think I might just walk out again without purchasing anything. And then I spotted The Intruder. Now this is a fascinating film. Roger Corman reckoned it was the only film he lost money on since it wasn’t his usual genre fare but dealt with the social problems of bigotry and racism. It also contains William Shatner’s greatest performance. It is really a little gem. Which can probably not be said of the other three films in the collection (who compiles these things? I should have his job). Hammers Over The Anvil sounds like one of those films they show on Channel 5 in the afternoon: “Following the hardships of one courageous 14-year old boy during the Australian summer of 1910”. It also stars Charlotte Rampling which is another treat. Callan is the feature film made from the TV series and dates from that period of the British film industry when all we were producing were sex comedies and cinema versions of ‘popular’ TV programmes. A very depressing era indeed and Callan fits the mood perfectly. I never watched Callan on TV, I didn’t understand what he was. Was he a spy, was he a retired spy, was he a detective, or was he just some miserable bloke that somebody decided to follow round with a camera? Anyway, now I’ve spent 25p on his film I suppose I should watch it and find out. And then there’s Marquis De Sade starring John Rhys Davies. Presumably he doesn’t play the Marquis. Maybe he plays his slightly comic sidekick who rides around revolutionary France with the Marquis saving aristocrats from Mrs. Guillotine and making up words or whatever he did.

2. Having put The Intruder in my basket I eased up on my critical faculties and dropped the Mortal Kombat DVD in there as well. Actually this is not bad for a pound. Four feature-length double episodes of the not very good TV series based upon the video game. That’s over 5 hours of people kicking each other. What more do you want? 5 hours of people kicking Charlotte Rampling, but that goes without saying.

3. And I bought a USB Christmas Tree because it’s festive.

Watch the auto colour change!

Wednesday 24th December 2008 - Newcastle-under-Lyme

pound12241 pound12245

4 Collection - Terror DVD:
Jericho Mansions
Leprechaun in the Hood
The Mind Snatchers
Servants of Twilight

?

Supplies:

2 packs of 10 disposable lighters
3 sponges
1 pack of 8 Sony AA batteries

Wednesday 24th December 2008 - Hanley

pound12243 pound1224602

?

?

?

 

Notes:

1. Two Poundlands in one day, and that day the most magical of the year. After Santa’s been I will reveal all.

2. I wanted to buy myself a Christmas gift and although I already have Leprechaun in the Hood and it is not good, I still plumped for the ‘4 Collection: Terror’ DVD. Jericho Mansions stars James Caan and the blurb runs thusly: “After his neighbour’s murder, agoraphobic Leonard unravels clues indicating that he himself is the killer” which seems to give the plot away. It also sounds like its a man in a shed film. The tagline for The Mind Snatchers with Christopher Walken reads: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets A Clockwork Orange” and since I’ve never particularly cared for either, if you put them together it may turn out to be o.k. And Dean R. Koontz’s Servants of Twilight is probably made for TV as is most of Mr. Koontz’s oeuvre. “To his mother, Joey is an ordinary boy, but to the Servants of Twilight he is the
anti-Christ”. This tells us that there is a kid in it (not good) but does not elaborate on the religious beliefs of the Servants of Twilight. Do they wish to welcome the anti-Christ or are they out to stop him? Either way one presumes they meet Joey and high jinks ensue.

 

Update: 27th December 2008.

pound1224202 pound1224402

All is revealed:

The Spy Academy Die Cast Cap Gun with Silencer

Growing Polar Bear

Amazing Growing Animal

Jungle Panda

 

panda2

I almost forgot. This is what you get in the Poundland Luxury Crackers: hats, jokes, a dish, a spoon, two spinners, a fish, a paperclip, a comb and an
F-111.

crackers

on to 2009

 

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