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Morbid fascination is an intrinsic part of the human condition. It could be argued that it is this curiosity that heightens our sense of suspicion and prudence, and serves to make us more vigilant in dubious situations. As a result of this proclivity, vicious evil doers, like Ted Bundy and Charles Manson, have found their way into the collective psyche, and everybody knows their names, and are familiar with their crimes. A 2014 study estimated that, at any given time, there are between 25 and 50 active serial killers in operation in the United States. Serial killers seem to be as much a part of our society as the law makers, and the peace keepers are. With this in mind, who, aside from the Bundys’ and Mansons’ are you aware of? If you are interested in whetting your macabre appetite, read on. We have compiled a list of some of the most barbarous, perverse and brutal serial killers ever caught, but who failed to achieve the infamy of the aforementioned psychos and sociopaths. Be warned, what you are about to read is both 100% true and 100% unsettling. Readers should continue on with caution, this is not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for younger readers. Robert ‘Willy’ Pickton Canadian serial killer Robert Pickton is described as being one of the worst serial killers in the world. He was a pig farmer based in Port Coquitlam, in British Columbia, and his crimes are known as The Pig Farm Murders. Outwardly quiet and introverted, Pickton was harborouing a terrible and savage secret. By the time of his arrest in 2002 he had viciously butchered 49 women on his farm, before grounding their remains into mince, at a meat rendering plant. Most of it was fed to his pigs, however, he sold some of it for human consumption. The depraved killer was arrested in 2002, after items belonging to a number of missing women were found on his farm. Officers made the discovery after a chance visit to the farm, in search of illegal firearms. Following his arrest, DNA of at least 26 women who had been reported missing were found at the property. Many of these women were thought to be prostitutes who Pickton had picked up in Vancouver’s Red Light District. It is alleged that he brought them back to his farm to have sex, before brutally murdering them. He unintentionally confessed to the murders after he was put in a cell with an undercover police officer. Irritated at being caught, he complained to his cellmate: “I made my own grave by being sloppy. Doesn’t that just kick you in the ass now. I was just gonna [expletive] do one more, make it even, I wanted one more to make the big 5-0.” Alexander Pichushkin Alexander Pichushkin is a Russian serial killer nicknamed The Chessboard Killer. He was caught in 2007, in Moscow, and convicted of killing 48 people. During the investigation, detectives found a chessboard with dates on all but two of the squares. These dates were connected to the murders Pichushkin had already committed. Pichushkin said he wanted to kill one person for each of the 64 squares on a chessboard, and crossed out a square for every kill, earning him his nickname. At the time, Russian authorities considered reinstating the death penalty, due to the gruesomeness and number of murders. Pichushkin targeted the weak, elderly and hopeless. He would lure his victims to a local park, to reportedly drink with him at his dead dog’s grave. He would then wait until his intended victim was drunk, then he would begin his attack. He would hit them repeatedly with a blunt object until they were dead or lost consciousness.  He would then, often, throw his victims into a sewer pit. On occasion, some of his tragic victims were alive when thrown in, and died from drowning, rather than from blunt force trauma. Over time, Pichushkin’s attacks grew even more savage. He began leaving a broken vodka bottle, protruding from the skulls of some of his victims. He also became more lackadaisical when it came to disposing of the bodies. He left many of them out in the open, without bothering to try to conceal them. Authorities finally caught up with Pichushkin in June 2006, after he murdered a female colleague from his job at a supermarket. She had left a note for her son to tell him that she was taking a walk with Pichushkin. Chillingly, Pichushkin’s confession was aired on Russian television. In it, he went into great detail about his need to kill, he said: “For me, a life without murder is like a life without food for you.” He also later claimed that there were in fact more than 48 murders. He said that he had in fact killed 61 or 63 people, (his story varied), On this he said: “I thought it would be unfair to forget about the other 11 people.” Donald Henry ‘Pee-Wee’ Gaskins Donald Henry Gaskins, known as Pee Wee Gaskins, has gone down in the annals of serial killer history as the most prolific killer South Carolina has ever known. He was executed in 1991 by electric chair, after being convicted of 9 murders, however it is thought that he murdered far more people than that. His own claims bring his death toll to over 100 people, and a litany of other vile and depraved crimes can also be attributed to this seemingly unassuming man. Up until 1968, Gaskins spent most of his life in and out of prison for various crimes, from theft to gang rape. In 1969 he moved to the town of Sumter in South Carolina, and it is here that he would begin his true reign of terror. His first murder in Sumter was a hitchhiker that he picked up, tortured, and murdered, then sunk her body in a local swamp.  In the book he wrote in prison, detailing his life and crimes, he wrote: “All I could think about is how I could do anything I wanted to her.” This woman was the first of many in what Gaskins referred to as his ‘coastal kills’. He would  torture and mutilate his victims, while attempting to keep them alive for as long as possible. He confessed to killing these victims using a variety of methods including stabbing, suffocation, mutilation, and even claimed to have cannibalized some of them. He would go on to confess to over 80 of these types of murders, although none of these claims have ever been corroborated.  Then, in 1970, Gaskins committed the first of his so-called ‘serious murders,  which were people  he knew and killed for personal reasons. Some of these victims included his own niece, Janice Kirby, aged 15, and her friend Patricia Ann Alsbrook, aged 17. He beat both of the girls to death, after attempting to sexually assault them. One of his most shocking murders was that of two of his neighbours, Doreen Dempsey, who was 23 and pregnant, and her two year old daughter. He drove Doreen and her little girl out to a secluded, wooded area, and violently raped, sodomized, and killed both her and her little girl. Gaskins was eventually arrested in 1975, and was found guilty in 1976, and sentenced to death. However, this was later commuted to life in prison when the South Carolina General Assembly’s 1974 ruling on capital punishment was changed to conform to the U.S. Supreme Court guidelines for the death penalty in other states. On September 2, 1982, Gaskins committed another murder. While incarcerated in the high security block at the South Carolina Correctional Institution, Gaskins killed a death row inmate named Rudolph Tyner, he was tried for the Tyner’s murder and sentenced to death. While on death row, Gaskins told his life story to a journalist named Wilton Earle. He claimed to have committed between 100 and 110 murders, however, law enforcement sources found his claims impossible to verify. Patrick Kearney, ‘The Trashbag Killer’ In Los Angeles, in the mid 70’s, Homosexual men were being murdered and dumped in trashbags along the highways between LA and the Mexican border. The investigation centered around Patrick Wayne Kearney, an electronics engineer from LA. Kearney would eventually end his murder spree, when he walked into the Redondo Beach police station, and gave himself up. He plead guilty to killing three men, and was sentenced to life in prison, however, police knew there was much more to Kearney’s story than met the eye. They offered him a no death penalty deal, in exchange for a complete list of victims. Shockingly, it was worse than they had imagined, and Kearney initially confessed to eighteen more killings. He would later admit to a further eleven murders, which would bring his total to 32 killings. Kearney’s first known murder victim was an unidentified 19-year-old man, in 1962. Kearney claimed that he took the young man to a secluded area on his motorcycle, shot him in the head, and proceeded to engage in acts of necrophilia with the man’s corpse. Kearney would mostly pick up male hitchhikers, or homosexual men from gay bars. He would almost always shoot them in the temple, above the ear, with a .22-caliber derringer.  After murdering them, he would take the bodies to a secluded place, and engage in acts of necrophilia, then take them home, where they would be sodomized with X-Acto knives. They were then mutilated, and dismembered with hacksaws. He would dispose of the bodies in various ways, including, dumping them in trash bags, earning him his nick name. He would also leave them out for wild animals to eat, throw them off cliffs into local creeks and would even drain some of the bodies of all their blood, to eliminate odors. Kearney, now 79, continues to serve his life sentence at Mule Creek State Prison, California. Danny Rolling, ‘The Gainesville Ripper’ Known as the Gainesville Ripper, Danny Rolling murdered four University of Florida students and a Santa Fe Community College student in their apartments in 1990. He is known to have decapitated one victim, posed with the bodies, and removed skin and body parts and arranged the murder scenes using props that included broken mirrors. Rolling’s reign of terror began when he broke into the apartment of 17-year-old university freshmen Sonja Larson and Christina Powell. They were found mutilated and stabbed to death. He had raped both women, one after she was dead. The next day, Rolling killed Christa Hoyt, 18. Her body was found propped up, sitting on her bed bent over at the waist. Rolling had sliced off her nipples and left them on the bed next to her, and police discovered that her torso was sliced open, from her chest to her pubic bone. Her severed head perched on a shelf across the room. Two days later, Rolling killed roommates Tracy Paules and Manuel Taboada, both 23. Rolling remained at large until September 8, when he was arrested after a botched robbery in the central Florida town of Ocala. He was later linked by DNA to three more killings in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1989. He was not charged in the Gainesville slayings until 1992, while serving a life sentence for armed robbery and other crimes. He pleaded guilty to all five murders as the jury was being selected for trial in 1994. He attributed his behavior to abuse by his father, a police officer, and to an evil alter ego. In prison, he drew disturbing pictures and wrote a graphic book, ‘The Making of a Serial Killer’, with a woman who was his fiancée for a time. Rolling was executed by lethal injection at Florida State Prison on October 25, 2006 Arthur John Shawcross Arthur John Shawcross was an American serial killer who was in operation  between 1972 and 1990 around Rochester, New York. Shawcross is known to have killed at least 14 people, as well as being a known cannibal and mutilator. He was also known as, ‘The Genesee River Killer’  and ‘The Rochester Strangler’, all due to how he would carry out his murders and where he would frequently dump the bodies of his victims. In 1967 he was drafted by the US Army at age 21. He served one tour in Vietnam, and loved to brag about the  violent, gruesome atrocities he committed, like raping and cannibalizing children and, according to a police interview: “beheading mama-sans and nailing their heads to trees as a warning to the Vietcong.” After his release and discharge from the army, Shawcross and his second wife would move to Clayton, New York, where Shawcross would terrorize the surrounding counties, until his final arrest. In the Spring of 1972, 10-year-old Jack Owen Blake disappeared after going out to play near the Cloverdale apartments, where Shawcross lived. Shawcross had gone fishing with the boy a few days earlier, but denied knowing where he was. When Jack’s body was eventually found (after Shawcross’s arrest) months later, he had been suffocated, mutilated, and molested. Shawcross would later admit to luring the boy into the woods, forcing him to strip naked and run, before murdering him, and consuming his heart and genitals. Months after Jack’s murder, 8-year-old Karen Ann Hill disappeared, while on a Labor Day vacation with her mother. Her body was found under a bridge near the Black River, and she had been raped, mutilated and strangled. After reports surfaced detailing that Shawcross had been seen with Karen before she disappeared, and he was later seen eating ice cream cones, on the bridge where the body was found, Shawcross was brought in for questioning. After being arrested for both children’s murder, Shawcross confessed, and agreed to reveal the location of Jack’s body, in order to have his charges dropped from homicide to manslaughter. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but would only serve 12. Unfortunately, staff and social workers made the call to grant him parole, stating he was: “no longer dangerous”, despite numerous psychiatrists warning that he was a schizoid psychopath. His parole officer would later be quoted as saying: “At the risk of being melodramatic, the writer considers this mant to be possibly the most dangerous individual to be released to this community for many years.” These words would ring tragically true when in 1988, Shawcross began a bloody, depraved murder campaign, that would claim 11 victims. Most were prostitutes and all were strangled and battered to death. They were also posthumously mutilated, and sexually assaulted.  After the last victim’s body was found in January 1990, the police decided not to remove it and instead keep surveillance on the area. Based on a psychological profile that suggested the killer would return to the scene of the crime, police figured this would be the best way to catch their killer. Sure enough, Shawcross was spotted masturbating as he sat in his car, on a bridge over the creek in which the body of his final victim was floating. He was arrested and eventually confessed in custody. In November 1990, Shawcross was tried for 10 murders in Monroe County. He was found guilty and sentenced to 250 years imprisonment. On November 10th, 2008 Shawcross complained to officers about a pain in his leg. He was taken to the Albany Medical Center where he went into cardiac arrest and died that night. Louis Garavito In 1999, Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos was arrested in Colombia and he confessed to murdering 140 children. He was charged with killing 172 altogether, but some of the cases are still ongoing. It’s thought he could have been responsible for hundreds more deaths, with the number potentially estimated as being higher than 400.  Better known as “La Bestia” or “The Beast”, Luis Alfredo Garavito Cubillos was one of the most ruthless serial killers of all time. Garavito’s victims were poor children, peasant children, or street children, between the ages of 6 and 16. He would  approach them on the street or countryside and offer them gifts or small amounts of money.  Once he had gained their trust, he would take them for a walk, and as soon as they began to get tired, he would pounce. He would rape them, slit their throats and dismember the corpses. As if this wasn’t bad enough, he would often mutilate the corpses, and many of the bodies found showed signs of prolonged torture and abuse.  In 1997, police uncovered a mass grave. Suddenly, a widespread investigation into the missing children began. In February 1998, the bodies of 2 naked children were discovered lying next to each other on a hill in Genoa, Colombia. The next day, another child’s naked body was found, just a few meters away. Garavito was captured on 22 April 1999. He confessed to murdering 140 children. However, he is still under investigation for the murder of 172 children in more than 59 towns in Colombia. During his imprisonment, Garavito helped police to find the bodies of his victims. This, along with his confessions, allowed him to win a reduction in sentence by 8 years, thereby making the effective sentence 22 years. Colombian law does not have life imprisonment or death penalty options, and the possibility of serial killings was completely ignored in Colombian law. However, with increased public unrest, the law was revisited, and the maximum sentence for murder was increased to 60 years of imprisonment. Joseph James DeAngelo, ‘The Golden State Killer’, and ‘The East Area Rapist’ The Golden State Killer is a serial killer, rapist, and burglar who committed at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California from 1974 to 1986. What was initially a search for the East Area Rapist, ended up being a 40-year manhunt for a killer, rapist and home invader. The reawakening of this cold case decades later led to the April 2018 arrest of suspect Joseph James DeAngelo, now dubbed as the Golden State Killer. DeAngelo was born in New York but went to Folsom High School, in suburban Sacramento, and was a former California Police Officer.  In 2016, around the 40th anniversary of the first known attack, the search for the culprit of a suspected 12 homicides and about 50 rapes was renewed. Thanks to the advancement of DNA techniques and databases, DNA from a discarded item, and genetic information on a consumer genealogy website, guided police to the missing piece with DeAngelo as the suspect. DNA evidence linked the Golden State Killer to eight murders in Goleta, Ventura, Dana Point and Irvine; two other murders in Goleta, were lacking DNA evidence, but were linked by the killers usual modus operandi. His initial modus operandi was to stalk middle-class neighborhoods at night, in search of women who were alone in one-storey homes, usually near a school, creek, trail or other open space, that would provide a quick escape. He was seen a number of times, but always successfully fled; on one occasion, he shot and seriously wounded a young pursuer. Although he originally targeted women alone in their homes or with children, he eventually evolved to attacking couples. He would break in through a window or sliding glass door and awaken the sleeping occupants with a flashlight He would then begin threatening them with a handgun. Victims were bound with ligatures, and gagged. The male victim was beaten and left in a different room, while the female victim would be raped repeatedly for hours. In 1979, he moved on from rape, and began to murder his victims by gunshot or bludgeoning. After 1986 the case would go cold, until April 24, 2018, when the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo in connection with the crimes. DeAngelo, was charged with eight counts of first-degree murder. On May 10, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office charged DeAngelo with four additional counts of first-degree murder. Unfortunately, DeAngelo cannot be charged with rapes due to the statute of limitations expiring for those offenses. Identification of DeAngelo had begun four months earlier when officials uploaded the killer’s DNA profile from a Ventura County rape kit to a personal genomics website. The website identified 10 to 20 distant relatives of the Golden State Killer, from whom a team of five investigators working with genealogist Barbara Rae-Venter, constructed a large family tree. They identified two suspects in the case (one of whom was ruled out by a relative’s DNA test), leaving DeAngelo the main suspect.  
Located about 140 miles east of San Diego, in the Imperial Valley desert, there is a place that is known as the last free place in America. There, you will find no mayor, no zoning laws, no sewer system, no police force. It’s known as Slab City. It was built on an abandoned military base and offers its residents something much more valuable than modern amenities, it offers them freedom. Slab City was created when U.S. Marine Corps abandoned a military installation near the town of Niland. Though they dismantled the buildings, they left behind the concrete slabs that served as their foundations. Hence the name Slab City. When workers from the local town found the slabs they built a temporary settlement out of them close to their job site. This initial build and the trailers they had brought with them became the beginnings of the new community.  Over time, people from all over the state were drawn to the area. Its isolation being a huge attraction for people who were looking for a way to live off the grid. In this forgotten place, there are no property taxes or utility bills, which makes it ideal for people trying to stretch their pensions or Social Security checks. Even today, Slab City’s population swells to over 4,000 during the cooler winter months. There is no formal initiation process to becoming a full time resident of Slab City. All that is required is that you simply show up. Once you have found a patch of land that no one else has a claim to, it’s yours. But to live there requires a certain degree of self-reliance. The nearest public amenities are in Niland which is a few miles away. There is just a single communal shower that is fed by a nearby hot spring.   You must be entirely self reliant, electricity will come from a collection of solar panels, generators, and batteries that you will have to set up and provide yourself. Or you can hire “Solar Mike,” a long time Slabber who has been selling and installing solar panels out of his trailer since the 1980s. Though police from Niland occasionally patrol the area and will respond to emergency calls, the community largely polices itself. Slab city is completely uncontrolled and isolated from government concern. All parking is free and unregulated. Yet, despite the drugs, freedom, isolation and heavy south-California sun, the residents reject seniority and avoid shrewdness, remaining polite and open-armed to newcomers. Hippies, free-spirits, eccentrics and adventurers, people have been living for free in Slab City since the late ’40s. What do you think? Could you live off the grid in a self made community? We think it could be an awesome experience, but maybe not forever.  
We all love a blockbuster. We have all queued up for the cinema to see the latest big budget fantasy epic, or the newest addition to a super popular franchise. But what about those movies that fly under the radar for seemingly no reason? Many of them have big stars, or were directed by acclaimed directors, some have a cast of unknowns and are directed by new comers, but the one thing that every film on this list has in common is that they are all good. But not just good, really good, and they each deserve much more attention than they currently get. So have a look at our list of totally underrated movies, they will really knock your socks off, and provide you with a wonderful viewing experience. All Over Me This is a 90’s coming of age lesbian drama that boasts an impressive sound track, and embodies 90’s teen angst perfectly. It was released in 1997 and written and directed by sisters, Alex and Sylvia Sichel. The movie follows Claude (Alison Folland), a disenfranchised young girl about to graduate from high school. She is besotted by her beautiful friend Ellen (Tara Subkoff). Ellen has a troubled new boyfriend, and has less time for their previous intimacy. Claude has a part-time job at a pizza joint in her multiracial neighborhood in New York City, and makes lots of new friends there. Due to meeting a wide range of people from across the spectrum of society, Claude slowly comes to the realisation that her feelings for Ellen are lesbian in nature. Realising that Ellen does not share her affections, Claude, along with her new gay friend Luke, go to a lesbian bar. Here, she meets Lucy (Leisha Hailey), an older woman who opens her mind and her heart and completely rocks Claude’s world. The movie perfectly encapsulates the raw, emotion fueled landscape, that each young girl must traverse on the way to her burgeoning womanhood. It is far more than just a typical coming of age movie though, and is laced with a grit and realism that transcends typical ‘teen movie’ fare. Sublimely portrayed by a cast of immensely talented actors, this movie is one of the most personally affecting films anyone who has ever been a teenage girl will ever see. Ken Park As with all of Larry Clark’s movies, Ken Park is seriously good, seriously intense and seriously bleak for the most part. It was released in 2002 and was written by Harmony Korine, who based it on Larry Clark’s personal journals and stories. For starters, this movie is raw, disturbing and honestly not one for the younger members of the audience. Strictly over 18’s and with good reason. There are many depictions of graphic sex, graphic violence and even touches on the unsavoury area of incest. The sex that is featured in the movie is real and not simulated, so this is definitely one for the adults. Now, once you get past the gratuitous sex and the shocking violence, what you are left with is a bleak and unrelenting look at modern day youth culture. It follows the lives of a group of Californian teens, skaters, stoners, rockers and misfits. The title character, Ken Park, is a ginger, freckled kid, who performs an act of violence, right after the opening credits. We don’t really hear about him again until the end, when we find out what drove him to it. The rest of the movie is concerned with the kids who knew Ken: Shawn (James Bullard), who’s sleeping with his girlfriend’s mother; Peaches (Tiffany Limos), who lives with her devoutly Christian dad, a widower worshiping at the altar of his dead wife; Claude (Stephen Jasso), whose macho dad despises him; and Tate (James Ransone), a weirdo who lives with his grandparents and loudly berates them.  At it’s core, Ken Park is about people lost in a haze of contempt and despair, trying to wrest some love or relief out of their own desperate situations. Gummo Another movie written and, this time directed, by Harmony Korine, Gummo was his directorial debut and was released in 1997. It follows the lives of teen friends Tummler (Nick Sutton) and Solomon (Jacob Reynolds) as they navigate the ruins of a tiny, tornado-ravaged town in Ohio, that is populated by the deformed, disturbed and perverted. Gummo is an impressionistic portrait of a half-imaginary Midwestern suburb, and confirms Harmony Korine as a creative force to be reckoned with. The movie is often times a hugely unpleasant experience, though, but then, isn’t that just art doing it’s job? When the two teenage protagonists aren’t killing stray cats, they’re sniffing glue, paying for sex or messing with life support machines. Aside from its adolescent preoccupation with depravity, the movie is saved from freak show voyeurism by its unerring starkness in the portrayal of its characters. The movie intertwines scripted dialogue with improvisation, often within the same scene. Gummo is  breathtakingly original, and absolutely true to its time. Lilya 4-Ever Lilya 4-Ever is a 2002 Lukas Moodysson movie, and has been lauded as the bleakest, most depressing movie ever made. It depicts the harrowing tale of a young teenage girl,  abandoned by her family and left to her own devices. She slips into a downward spiral of sex and degradation.  Lilya (Oksana Akinshina) is a 16-year-old girl, coming of age in the poverty stricken streets of the former Soviet Union. Lilya’s mother (Lyubov Agapova) has told Lilya that she is to move with her to the United States with the mother’s new boyfriend. Lilya becomes obsessed with this idea, however at the last minute, she is told that she will in fact be staying behind with her aunt Anna (Liliya Shinkaryova), and she’ll be joining her mother later on.  Lilya’s aunt soon takes control of the apartment and places her in a much smaller apartment a few blocks away. Lilya is now left to her own devices, and spends most of her time with her best friend, and a 14 year old boy,  Volodya (Artiom Bogucharski), who is suicidal because of being thrown out of his home, and has a serious problem with alcohol and drugs. When Lilya’s friend meets a man in a nightclub who pays her for sex, the two friends embark on a downward spiral that culminates in a dark and tragic end. It is a stark and unyielding movie that will draw you in, and leave you devastated. A movie that will haunt you for days afterwards in a truly brilliant piece of cinema. The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things This movie was based on the book of the same name by JT Leroy, the controversial pen-name of Sarah Albert. It follows the life of a young boy called Jeremiah, (played by Jimmy Bennett, Cole Sprouse, and Dylan Sprouse), being brought up by a loving foster family. One day all of his safety and stability are ripped away from him, when his tear away, alcoholic, drug addled teenage mother, Sarah (Asia Argento), shows up, and whisks him away. The child is forced into a life of crime and debauchery, and subjected to a litany of abuse, at the hands of the string of men his mother invariably brings home. One such man is played by a hugely creepy Marilyn Manson, and another played by Jeremy Renner. Salvation comes in the form of the boy’s ultra-religious grandparents, but soon Jeremiah’s mother returns. Maternal love binds the pair together on the road, until Sarah’s desperate and depraved lifestyle finally consumes her, and threatens to do the same to the boy. There is no happy ending here, no feel good factor to ultimately take away with you at the movie’s end. It is a cheerless and despondent look at the harsh realities of the hell some children have to live, when their parents are slaves to one vice or another. The Cement Garden In this chilling adaptation of an Ian McEwan novel of the same name, director Andrew Birkin brings us on a depressing, creepy journey through the devastating ramifications of familial abandonment. The film takes place in a dreary grey house, located on the fringes of an English town. The father (Hanns Zischer) is a degenerate pervert, while the mother (Sinead Cusack), is the epitome of the angelic matriarch. After his garden is paved over with cement, the father has a heart attack and dies. Soon after, the mother wastes away and also dies. This leaves the four children to fend for themselves. The eldest sister and brother, Julie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and Jack (Andrew Robertson), take over the responsibility of caring for the two younger children, Sue (Alice Coultard), and Tom (Ned Birkin). Without the supervision and guidance of a parental role model, each of the children gives themselves over to their secret desires and longings. Jack hides in corners, and becomes a chronic masturbater, while Julie uses her blossoming sexuality to lure Jack into an incestuous relationship. Even the younger children begin to behave in unusual ways. Sue barely speaks, and obsessively journals everything that happens to her, and Tom feels that deep inside himself, he is a girl trapped in a boy’s body. The children hide the mother’s remains in the basement, and live off her bank account. No one suspects a thing, until local sleaze ball Derek (Jochen Horst), shows up and tries to court Julie, which threatens to blow all of their secrets wide open. A darkly disturbing look at what unbridled eroticism, and unchecked sexual boundaries, can do to developing youth. It is also, at its heart, a tale of a family at odds with the world around them, and struggling to stay together as a unit. I Shot Andy Warhol Source: vintagemovieposters.com On June 3, 1968, radical feminist Valerie Solanas shot pop culture artist Andy Warhol in his Manhattan studio.This movie tells that story, but not through Andy Warhol’s version of events. Instead, the movie focuses on the extraordinarily skewed perspective of the deeply troubled Solanas. Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor) is an aspiring young writer, in love with her craft. She moves to New York City and supports herself by entering into a life of prostitution. In her search for acceptance amoungst the New York elite,  Valerie encounters controversial artist Andy Warhol (Jared Harris), and various other colourful eccentrics of the New York art scene. Valerie becomes obsessed with the idea that Warhol should produce her play, ‘Up Your Ass’.  But when she realises she is, in fact, the butt of everyone’s joke, Valerie becomes enraged, and starts a violent feminist movement, and pens the ‘S.C.U.M Manifesto’, (S.C.U.M stands for the Society for Cutting Up Men).  Eventually, her rage reaches fever pitch. and Valerie shoots Andy Warhol. In this powerful portrayal of a snapshot of pop culture history, filmmaker/screenwriter Mary Harron attempts to shed some light on the troubled Solanas’ motivations. On record, it has been recorded that Solanas acted in retaliation, after Warhol banned her from his inner sanctum, however the real reasons for her bottomless rage soon become apparent. Solanas was sexually abused as a young girl, and turned to prostitution in  high school. She also struggled with her  sexuality as it became clear to her that she was a lesbian. By the time college rolled around, Solanas was an established man-hater. It was her dream that her Society for Cutting Up Men would become a major movement, but in the end, Solanas was the only member. An intense look at an equally intense woman, I Shot Andy Warhol is a cadenced gaze at a turbulent and chaotic crime. The Doom Generation We literally could have included all of Gregg Araki’s movies on this list, and it would have been full of just as many amazing and unknown, or underrated movies. The Doom Generation is one of our particular faves of his, though. It was originally billed as: “a heterosexual movie by Gregg Araki,” but The Doom Generation is much more than that. It is his eponymous teen movie, brought to us seeped in the stylistic bad taste that only Gregg Araki can pull off.  Amy Blue (Rose McGowan) and her boyfriend Jordan White (James Duval) are disenfranchised teens. Amy is a mean-girl, speed freak, while Jordan is a soft spoken, scene kid. Both of them claim to be virgins, however Jordan is still terrified of contracting AIDS. On a road trip, the pair happens upon the alluring Xavier Red (Johnathon Schaech). Xavier is a charming, enigmatic drifter with a penchant for murder. The three form an unlikely alliance and bond, as they embark on an endless road trip across middle America. Xavier’s worldly influence on the young couple raises issues of loyalty and sexual identity. It builds to a violent and devastating climax, and is filled with cutting, scintillating wit, and scathing cynicism. The movie is also speckled with a host of eccentric cameo appearances, including comic Margaret Cho, actress Parker Posey, musician Perry Farrell, ‘Hollywood Madame’ Heidi Fleiss, and onetime Brady Bunch star Christopher Knight. This is the middle installment in Araki’s ‘teen apocalypse trilogy’, which also includes 1993’s Totally F***ed Up and 1997’s Nowhere, and offers a bleak and nihilistic look at the disaffected youth of America. Threesome Andrew Fleming’s 1994 movie, Threesome, is a little less involved than most of the films on this list but no less enjoyable. The movie follows the story of three unlikely college roommates at a sizable public college. Eddy (Josh Charles), Stuart (Stephen Baldwin), and attractive co-ed Alex (Lara Flynn Boyle), are thrown together by happenstance. It is a modernist spin on the traditional love triangle story. Girl falls for guy, guy falls for other guy, wrong guy falls for girl. The complex situation leads to sexual experimentation and strained relationships. It is a well-constructed, hilarious, touching, and thought provoking ‘bizarre love triangle’. Each of the characters are instantly likeable and relatable, and the story is intelligently woven, and laced with idiosyncrasies, sewn together with a raw, emotional undercurrent. Eddy’s struggle with his own latent homosexuality is both edifyinga and heartwarming, but Lara Flynn Boyle steals the show as the blossoming ingenue. It’s a sweet story of love, friendship, and the struggle to find yourself in those formative college years. The Woodsman We are right back in with the heavy hitters with this one. This is a movie that should be on everyone’s ‘to watch’ list. It is an unbelievably good movie, and is honestly, one of Kevin Bacon’s absolute best performances. It follows the story of Walter (Kevin Bacon), who, after 12 years in prison for pedophilia, returns home. Very few people are aware of his conviction, and he is determined for it to stay that way. He finds an apartment where he’s regularly visited by his parole officer (Mos Def), and gets a job at a lumber mill. He meets, and starts a relationship with a coworker (Kyra Sedgwick) and forms the kind of human bond that he has been yearning for in order to normalise his existence. This relationship becomes too much for him to manage, though, and his new world begins to dissolve.  Slowly but surely, rumours begin to spread about Walter, and as his past crimes become common knowledge, he embarks on a reckless, high-risk friendship with a young girl. Also during this time, he notices a man loitering near a schoolyard, and recognises the grooming practices he himself once employed. He realises this man is a child molester, prowling for his next victim. Rather than approach the police about this, Walter decides to take matters into his own hands, and goes full vigilante on this insidious stranger. His life begins to steadily unravel, and we are led to an inevitable climax, that is brimming with poignancy and sadness. This is a lean and unapologetic tale about a particular faction of society, all too often rendered in simplistic, monochromatic, ‘right versus wrong’ colors. As you watch this movie, you will find yourself being dragged into an intense whirlwind of conflicting emotions. In equal parts disturbing, creepy, and moving, Bacon’s performance manages to pull sympathy from its reluctant viewers.  A bold and poignantly told tale, nestling into its characters to draw out raw and candidly revealing performances. The Woodsman is an amazing piece of cinema, both difficult and compelling to watch.   You could make a list of 100 underrated cinematic gems and not even scratch the surface of the library of glorious movies out there. These are just a few examples, but the next time you sit down to watch a movie, instead of going with the tried and true big blockbusters, why not take a moment and search for something  a little different? You might find something much more rewarding for your viewing pleasure.  
The 90’s gave us some of the best movies and TV shows of all time. It also gave us some of the greatest teen shows ever made. Shows that were funny and addressed the issues of the 90’s teen in a way not seen in previous decades. They also often tackled hard hitting issues such as suicide, drugs and teen pregnancy in a pragmatic, realistic way, that simply hadn’t been done before. Here, we take a look at some of the greatest teen TV shows of the 90’s. My So Called Life My So Called Life only lasted for one season but it had a huge impact. It gave us Jared Leto and Clare Danes, and dealt with some serious issues such as drug abuse, depression and struggles with coming to terms with your sexual orientation. It followed Angela, (Clare Danes), as she traversed the muddy waters of a 90’s American high school, and dealt with the dichotomy between yearning to be accepted, and wanting to be your own person and make your mark on the world. Ready Or Not Ready Or Not was a Canadian show that followed the lives of two young girls, entering into the treacherous world of puberty. Set in the suburbs of Toronto, it focused on Amanda Zimm (Laura Bertram) and Elizabeth “Busy” Ramone (Lani Billard), as they dealt with life’s struggles as well as showcasing  each girls different backgrounds.  Amanda was an only child raised by liberal former hippie parents while Busy was from a more conservative and traditional Italian Canadian Catholic household with three older brothers. Dawson’s Creek Dawson’s Creek Followed the lives of four best friends in the small coastal, Massachusetts town of Capeside. Best friends since childhood, they are about to enter that confusing time in life where nothing is the way it was and nothing is as it seems. This was everyone’s favourite obsession in the 90’s, especially the will they, won’t they romance storyline of the title character Dawson and his female best friend Joey. California Dreams California Dreams centered on the lives of the California Dreams, a teen music group trying to make the big time.  The show was part comedy, part drama, and often focused on serious social issues such as drug abuse, racism and dealing with parents after divorce. Buffy The Vampire Slayer Into every generation, a slayer is born. Every teen loved Buffy in the 90’s. It followed the story of Buffy Summers, (Sarah Michelle Gellar), as she becomes a vampire slayer, or rather the vampire slayer, since there can only be one. Buffy and her friends, her ‘scooby gang’, go week to week fighting bad guys and killing demons. But it was more than just pulpy horror TV fare. It dealt with difficult issues at the same time, and invested heavily in its characters, so we all really cared about what happened to each member of the Buffy cast. Popular This teen high school comedy drama centered around two high school girls on the opposite ends of the school hierarchy, who are forced to make nice when Brooke’s father meets Sam’s mother on a cruise and become engaged. The girls now live together and their individual peer groups are forced to co-mingle in and out of school with interesting repercussions. This was an awesome show, despite being short lived, because it had the message that not everyone is what they seem, and tackled the elitism that exists within the high school system of hierarchy. Most of its young cast also went on to become fairly big stars, including: Leslie Bibb, Carly Pope, Leslie Grossman, Tammy Lynn Michaels, Sarah Rue and Christpopher Gorham. Roswell The town of Roswell, New Mexico, is the site of a supposed crash landing by an alien space craft in 1947. This show follows the lives of the people of that town in 1999, when bizarre things start happening. We soon learn that three of the local teenage high school kids are in fact alien/human hybrids, on Earth with one mission: to follow the destiny given to them by the members of their dying race, a race that they are someday destined to save. The three teens, Max Evans (Jason Behr), Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl), and Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr), are endowed with extraordinary, superhuman powers. So far, they have kept their gifts and their mission a secret, until one faithful day when Max’s friend, Liz (Shiri Appleby), is shot at her workplace, and Max heals her with his alien powers. From there on, the show centres around their relationship, and trying to stay hidden from the American Government and other outside forces. Sweet Valley High This was based on the books of the same name by Fancine Pascal. The series revolveas around the lives of Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, beautiful blonde twins who live in the fictitious Sweet Valley, California, and their gang of friends. Elizabeth is warm, friendly and sincere, while her twin sister Jessica is flirty, mischievous, and irresponsible. This was another one that often dealt with some more hard hitting issues, especially as the girls got older. It also had one of the most iconic theme tunes that we are sure lot’s of 90’s kids still remember the lyrics to. Party Of Five Party Of Five was a show that had very adult themes but was presented in very teenage accessible ways. It was intelligent and engaging and had some truly brilliant storylines over the course of its 6 seasons run. The show follows the Salinger family, in the aftermath of their parents death in a car crash. The five Salinger siblings are now forced to live on their own, and the oldest son, Charlie, is appointed as their legal guardian. Their new situation means putting aside personal goals to help make ends meet and keep the family together. The show starred Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, Matthew Fox and Jennifer Love–Hewitt. 7th Heaven 7th Heaven focused on the life of Eric Camden, a reverend, his wife Annie, and their five children, Matt, Mary, Lucy, Simon and Ruthie. Over the course of the show, five becomes seven when Annie becomes pregnant with twins, David and Sam.  The show follows the challenges of raising a family during permissive times.  Legendary producer Aaron Spelling served as an executive producer on the show. It ran for 11 seasons and saw all of the children grow up and become adults with some of them starting their own family. It dealt with hard hitting issues and often touched on some very touchy subject matters, like rape and domestic abuse. The show also gave Jessica Biel her big break as she played the oldest sister, Mary Camden. Some of the shows on this list probably wouldn’t get made today, at least not in the same way. The type of quality programming that existed for teens in the 90’s simply doesn’t exist anymore, which really just goes to prove that they don’t make ’em like they used to!  
Mankind has always pushed itself forward into realms of discovery. Our curious nature is what first separated us from beasts. Over the last two decades, there have been a number of scientific discoveries that have propelled our scientific understanding and technological advancement further than ever before. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest scientific discoveries that have happened over the last 20 years.   The Detection Of Gravitational Waves Gravitational waves were predicted over 100 years ago by Albert Einstein, when he predicted that mass had the ability to curve space-time.  It wasn’t until 2016 that scientists at LIGO, (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), managed to detect and record them. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time, that travel at the speed of light.  All major cosmic events and collisions send out gravitational waves. For example, around 3 billion years ago, a black hole 32 times the mass of our sun, collided with a black hole approximately 19 times the mass of our sun. This resulted in a cataclysmic event that created a brand new monster black hole. All time and space were warped because of this event. This is something that we can now measure and quantify thanks to LIGO. The scientists at LIGO managed to detect the ripple in space time that this caused on January 4th 2017. This was the third time that scientists at LIGO detected the collision of two black holes. This is hugely important, as not only does it prove that the 100 year old theory of Einstein’s was right, but, it allows us to detect large-scale cosmic events in a manner we never have been able to before. This lends itself to the further understanding of the nature of the universe, and the very fabric of existence. This breakthrough has enabled us to not only theorize about it, but actually visualise gravity. The Higgs Boson, Or, The God Particle The Higgs Boson is an elementary particle that had been theorized since the 60’s, but was only detected in 2012, when scientists at CERN, in Switzerland, discovered it using a Large Hadron Collider. This was a hugely important discovery, as it essentially filled in the gaps of the modern ‘Standard Model’ in physics.  This model, prior to the discovery of the Higgs Boson, had no explanation as to why some particles are massless, (ie. the photon), while others have varying degrees of mass. In theory, without the existence of the Higgs Boson, all particles should be without mass. The Higgs mechanism creates a field that interacts with particles, and basically, gives them mass. The Higgs Boson is the particle that is associated with that field, in the same way that protons are the particles associated with the electromagnetic field. Scientists had always assumed the existence of the Higgs field, but had found no experimental evidence for it, until 2012. In order to detect the Higgs Boson, they required a super-powerful particle smasher such as the Large Hadron Collider, to produce energies high enough to knock a Higgs Boson into existence, under controlled conditions.  Here’s how it worked: protons are present in the nuclei of atoms, the most basic units of matter. Protons are composed of even smaller particles, three quarks held together by gluons. In the Large Hadron Collider, protons were accelerated at 99.9999991% of the speed of light. Quarks and gluons inside the protons collided and exploded with enough energy to create the Higgs particle. The Higgs particle has 100 to 200 times the mass of a proton and will last less than a millionth of a billionth of a second before decaying into a spray of other particles. Evidence for the Higgs particle was found in the telltale spirals and streaks left in the Large Hadron Colliders detectors by the particles it created as it disintegrated. This discovery was hugely important to the scientific community, as it solved a long standing problem in the basic understanding of the quantum mechanics of atoms, and helps us better understand the nature of particle physics. The Discovery Of Water On Mars In 2015, NASA released images showing long, dark streaks on the surface of the red planet that appear and disappear throughout the seasons. This was taken to mean that liquid water exists on Mars today. It had long been hypothesized that water had existed on the planets surface in the past, however, there had never been any evidence to suggest that any remained to this day. What we see in the pictures as dark, narrow, 100 meter-long streaks are known as, ‘recurring slope lineae’, and they appear to be flowing downhill. Scientists have suggested that these may have been formed by contemporary flowing water. Recently, planetary scientists detected hydrated salts on these slopes at Hale crater, which would go towards corroborating this hypothesis.  The blueish color observed upslope of the dark streaks are thought to indicate the presence of the mineral pyroxene. Obviously, this is of great significance, as the presence of water could potentially mean the sustainability of life. Observations suggest that this water appears seasonally on the slopes of the martian surface. However, scientists have been unable to figure out where the source of the water could be, or if the chemistry of it would be right for supporting life, or at least, life as we understand it. T-Rex Tissue In 2005, T-Rex bones were discovered in a sandstone formation in Montana. Preserved within the thigh bone was actual soft tissue. It was the source of much controversy at the time, however, recent analysis of the tissue has gone a way to explaining how soft tissue could have been preserved for almost 70 million years. Initially, it was thought that the proteins that make up soft tissue should degrade in less than 1 million years in the best of conditions. It was assumed that the tissue had to be something else, perhaps the product of a later bacterial invasion, critics argued. But then, in 2007, scientists analyzed the chemistry of the T-Rex proteins. They found the proteins really did come from dinosaur soft tissue. The tissue that they found was collagen, and it shared similarities with bird collagen, which makes sense, as modern birds evolved from ‘theropod’ dinosaurs such as the T-Rex. The researchers then decided to analyse other fossils for the presence of similar soft tissue, and found that it was in fact present in about half of their samples. Some of which dated all the way back to the Jurassic Period, which lasted from 145.5 million to 199.6 million years ago.The reasoning put forward for the preservation of this soft tissue was the high levels of iron present in all of the samples. Iron forms iron nanoparticles after death, and generates free radicals. These free radicals cause proteins and cell membranes to tie in knot and basically act like formaldehyde. Formaldehyde, as many know, preserves soft tissues. This was an outstanding discovery, not just in the understandings of how bio-organics behave after a certain amount of time has passed, but also in the understanding of how Dinosaurs lived and how their bodies worked. The Existence Of Dark Matter Dark matter is an elusive and fascinating form of matter that goes toward explaining a lot of strange astronomical scenarios. It is basically the strange scaffolding that dictates how matter acts. It is thought to account for approximately 85% of all matter in the universe, and about a quarter of its total energy density. The majority of dark matter is thought to be non-baryonic in nature, possibly being composed of some as-yet undiscovered subatomic particles. Scientists began to wonder why certain things didn’t behave the way they should when adhering to the laws of physics as we understand them. For example, if you take a galaxy that contains about 1,000 planets, and you add up the mass of all of those planets, these planets should all move in a very particular way. However, this is not the case, and the way in which the planets move individually, and the galaxy moves as a whole system are different, and it doesn’t add up. The planets are moving in a manner that suggests that there is more matter contained   within the galaxy that we cannot see and cannot observe. This matter, scientists hypothesized, must be both abundant and non light reflective, hence our inability to observe it. It was called Dark Matter, and has been the basis of much scientific research for many years.  To date, all attempts to successfully or definitively record the existence of dark matter have failed, however this does not disprove it’s existence. If anything it further proves the nature of it, that it does not behave in the same way as any matter that we are familiar with. It passes through normal matter on a constant basis without ever colliding with it and it doesn’t collide or interact with itself either. It is all a part of that extremely complicated branch of science known as theoretical physics, which has been the starting point of some of the greatest scientific discoveries of mankind to date. Face Transplants  A face transplant is a medical procedure to replace all or part of a person’s face using donor tissue from a cadaver. The world’s first partial face transplant happened in 2005, in France. The first full facial transplant was completed in Spain in 2010. To date, a total of 40 facial transplants have been carried our globally.  The process of a Facial transplantation is a complex and burgeoning surgical field. Up until 2005, we simply did not have the technology available to us to carry out such a procedure, despite having the scientific medical know how, the practicality and equipment simply did not exist.  It is categorized as a subset within vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA), which is defined as the transplantation of multiple tissue types often including bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and skin. To date, facial transplantation has been reserved for patients that have suffered devastating facial deformity, which is unable to be adequately reconstructed using traditional techniques.  There have been no elective transplants carried out. The emergence of face transplantation in the last 10 years is largely attributable to advances in reconstructive microsurgery, pharmacological advances in solid organ transplantation, and pioneering surgeons dedicated to improving their patients’ quality of life, autonomy, and ability to socially integrate back into society.  Water As Fuel German cleantech company Sunfire GmbH has unveiled a machine that converts water and carbon dioxide into synthetic petroleum-based fuels. They do this by utilising  Power-to-Liquid Technology. They convert water and carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons which then take the form of synthetic diesel, petrol, and kerosene. This technology was based on Fischer-Tropsch process, and solid oxide electrolyser cells (SOECs) which convert electricity to steam. While still in its early research stages, this has massive implication for the future of the planet. Scientists all around the globe are desperately trying to come up with sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. The ability to successfully turn water into a fuel would mean a viable source of power that we would never run out of. After all, 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. TRAPPIST-1 In February 2016, NASA announced the discovery of a previously unknown solar system with the potential to harbour life. The name of this system is TRAPPIST-1, and it is located approximately 39 light-years away from our solar system.  It was named after its main star, which is 12 times less massive than our sun, and witch has at least seven planets orbiting around it. Three of those planets lie within what is known has the ‘habitable zone’, and it is on these planets that the potential for life exists. The star TRAPPIST-1 is about the size of Jupiter, and its closest planet, TRAPPIST-1b, completes one solar orbit (what we would refer to as a year) in just 1.51 Earth days. What is particularly curious about this is that out of all the stars known to us, Trappist-1 is considered to be a small star. This means that finding not one or two, but seven planets orbiting around it, was highly unusual. Trappist-1 is only 8% the size of our Sun, so, it is not understood at this time, how a small star like that managed to form so many planets. The Trappist-1 system is a groundbreaking discovery. Never before have scientists found as many earth-like planets orbiting around a single star, in what could be referred to as a mini version of our own solar system. In terms of intergalactic travel, 39 light-years is relatively close, and the existence of three Earth-sized planets within the habitable zone is the best chance we’ve ever had for discovering life beyond Earth. It seems that each of the seven planets discovered so far have liquid-water, so potentially, all seven could contain the building blocks for life. With new advancements in exploratory science, it is conceivably possible, and even likely,  for us to be able to detect life and confirm its existence, from right here on Earth! Now that would be cool!
Bojack Horseman first emerged on Netflix in 2014 and, five seasons later, it has built up an incredible cult following. Essentially a tale about an alcoholic horse, who is a former 90’s TV star, the show is surprisingly touching, full of depth and insight, and, often times entirely heart wrenching in its existential realness. Seriously, a show about an alcoholic horse is the realest thing out there at the moment. Its no holes barred style, and unapologetic rawness, is something that has seriously touched a nerve in today’s overly saccharine society. Here we present you with some examples of that rawness, and if you aren’t already a fan of the show, these might give you a taste of exactly what you’re missing.   The Realness Of The Opening Credits   When Cuddly Whiskers Explained What It Meant To Be Responsible For Your Own Happiness   When Princess Carolyn Gave Herself A Motivational Speech   When Bojack Reflected On Being An Only Child   When All Bojack Wanted To Know Was That He Was Still A Good Person   When Bojack Remembered The Traumatising Reason His Mother Was Often So Cruel To Him   When Holly Hock Needs To Know If Her Feelings Of Not Being Good Enough Would Ever Go Away   This Crippling Break Up   When Bojack Took Sarah Lynn To The Planetarium   When Todd Comes Out As Asexual   When Todd Lays Down The Truth For Bojack, That He Just Needs To Be A Better Person   Every Single Moment Of Bojack’s Mom’s Funeral Episode   When Bojack’s Mom Levels Him With This Devastating Blow   When Bojack Indulged In Some Serious Self Deprication   When Mr. Peanutbutter And Diane Began Realising Their Relationship Issues   When Bojack Made This Stark Realisation About Himself   The Time When Bojack Helped Diane Get Through A Depressive Episode   When Diane Had To Be At A Party With Mr. Peanutbutter And His New Girlfriend   The Realisation That It Will Get Easier The Poignant Lyrics Of The End Theme Song   So, if you want to watch a subversive and emotionally intelligent cartoon show, Bojack Horseman is the one for you. It is one of the most intelligent shows out there at the moment, and will really punch you right in the feels more times than once each episode. You will also find yourself entirely relating to at least one, maybe more of the characters in a really big way. We personally can entirely get on board with Diane and everything and how she moves through the world.
There were lots of times that we went into our local video store, as kids, and marvelled at the impressive array of cover art on display. From the sublime to the ridiculous,  some were incredible works of art, some insane, some perfectly encapsulated the tone of the films, some captured that tone even better than the films themselves, and some had the most tenuous link imaginable! Here, we take a look at some of the coolest, grossest, cutest examples of VHS cover art from the 80’s and 90’s. The Mutant Kid A Nightmare On Elm Street Conan The Barbarian Neon Maniacs Silk The Wraith Star Wars The Toxic Avenger Monster Squad Tron Over The Top Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Jumanji Muppets Treasure Island The Pagemaster The Dark Crystal The Goonies The Never Ending Story An American Tail The Land Before Time Innerspace E.T Flight Of The Navigator Big Trouble In Little China   Most of these were amazing and inspiring works of art, which even today, will captivate the imagination, along with the feelings of excitement and wonder of stepping back into your local video store once again.
Hammer Films is a British film production company founded in 1934 by William Hinds and James Carreras. It was made famous in the 1950’s for reimagining the gothic horror for a modern audience. It was one of the most prolific movie production companies right up until the 1970’s, and produced some of the most famous, classic horror movies of all time. It also dabbled in psychological horror and thrillers, and to this day, many of its movies are considered to be some of the best examples of classic cinema out there. They utilised big names, plenty of gore and and top directors, to bring tired old horror tropes, such as the mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein, into the brave new world of cinema. In this article, we will take a look at just some of the greatest Hammer Horror movies ever made. The Horror Of Dracula This was the first in a series of movies produced by Hammer and focusing on the the story of Dracula. It was released in 1958 and was originally just titled ‘Dracula’, but was later changed to ‘The Horror Of Dracula’ so as not to be confused with the 1931 Universal Studios movie starring Bela Lugosi. The film stars Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Chusing as Van Helsing. Both Cushing and Lee were two of Hammer Horror’s major stars and would both go on to star in a huge number of their movies throughout the next few decades. The Hammer Studios version of the story is far closer to the original source material, the novel, Dracula, by Bram Stoker. The story follows the infamous count as he journeys from Transylvania to England. There, he ensconces himself entirely into the London night scene, and he begins to rack up victim after victim. During this time, Dracula runs afoul of his arch-nemesis, Van Helsing. This signals the beginning of a battle of wills between the two. The movie was heavily censored in Britain when it was first released, with all of the goriest moments cut out. However, in 2012, there was a definitive version of the movie released, which had all of the chopped scenes reestablished and remastered. The movie really put Lee and Cushing on the map, and paved the way for many sequels starring the two, and for many non-Dracula follow-ups with these actors as well. The Plague Of Zombies Released two years before Night Of The Living Dead, would revolutionise the Zombie genre, this 1966 offering is widely accepted as being the precursor to the the George A. Romero classic. The movie is chillingly atmospheric, and shies away from the camper element, that became the archetypal fare of the Hammer movie, in later  years. This was also the studio’s only foray into the world of zombies. The plot follows the tale of an eccentric Cornish squire, who enslaves local villagers, using voodoo curses, and using them to work in his tin mines. A doctor and his daughter soon discover the unpleasant nocturnal habits of the shambling undead slaves, and they call upon a detective to investigate. The script is a subversive commentary on the rift between the British aristocracy and the exploited working class, but despite this, the film is less a political allegory than a spooky chiller. It surmounts to a well crafted, atmospheric horror opus, that ranks among Hammer Films’ finest. One Million Years B.C One Million Years B.C was Hammer’s biggest box office hit. Released in 1967, it starred the hugely famous Raquel Welch as the main female character with special effects by Ray Harryhausen, (of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon fame). The movie is essentially a tale of a prehistoric man, banished from his home, only to find love and comfort in the arms of a different, much gentler tribe. Despite the many glaring historical inaccuracies, this movie is still one of Hammer’s greatest achievements. The movie depicts many battles between man and dinosaur, which, despite the fact that approximately 64 million years separated dinosaur kind and man, still make for thrilling action sequences. If we remove our logic hats, and watch this movie as a fantasy film, we are guaranteed to have a great time. Ray Harryhausen truly outdoes himself, with brilliant stop motion dinosaurs. With the scene depicting a battling Triceratops and Ceratosaur being a particular stand out moment. The movie also features the more standard film of a real live iguana, dressed up and made to look huge, however even this scene looks better than most of its ilk. While there is no broader social commentary in this one, it makes for a hugely entertaining fantasy epic, and the outstanding special effects cement its place as one of Hammer’s most impressive cinematic spectacles. The Devil Rides Out The Devil Rides Out was released in 1968 and stars Christopher Lee as the aristocrat Duc de Richlea. This was one of the few roles where we get to see Christoper Lee play the good guy for Hammer, and it really pays off.  We are treated to a masterful performance by Lee that could be argued as his best.  The movie was directed by one of Hammer’s greatest, Terence Fisher, and it is an adaptation of the popular 1934 eponymous novel by Dennis Wheatley.  The story is concerned with not just a brief encounter with evil, but a full-fledged campaign against it. The audience is treated to depictions of séances, satanic orgies, summonings, and even car chases. A twisting, high octane tale of high-society satanism, this movie has secured itself deep within the hearts of many horror movie fans, and has proven to be a hugely popular cult classic. To The Devil A Daughter To The Devil A Daughter is another adaptation of a Dennis Wheatley novel. This time set in modern times however, and released 8 years after The Devil Rides Out. Not as critically acclaimed as the aforementioned cult classic, To The Devil A Daughter is still one of Hammer’s great satanic tales. It is also notable for being the second last movie the studio would make for over 30 years, and was the third adaptation of a Dennis Wheatley novel. The film tells the story of American expatriate, occult writer, John Verney (Richard Widmark), who is approached by Henry Beddows (Denholm Elliott), to try and rescue his teenage daughter Catherine (Nastassja Kinski). Catherine is a practicing nun from a mysterious group called the Children Of The Lord, which is presided over by Father Michael Rayner (Christopher Lee), a priest who has fallen from the true faith. Verney succeeds in intercepting Catherine at the airport, and takes her to his flat near Tower Bridge. However, Rayner has the advantage of black magic, and the ability to use it from afar on Catherine, in an effort to regain her for his own dastardly ends. The movie was a fitting end to the impressive reign of the ‘Hammer Horror‘ behemoth, and certain scenes of the movie were so shocking that Dennis Wheatley refused to allow the production company to buy the rights to any more of his novels. Not that it mattered too much to the studio. One year after filming To The Devil A Daughter, they closed down until 2007 when they reignited their creative fires to bring us Beyond The Rave which was released in 2008. The Nanny This was one of Hammer’s rare attempts at Hitchcockian suspense, and it works surprisingly well. Mostly because of the stand out performance by Bette Davis as the titular ‘Nanny’. Wendy Craig also gives a stellar performance as the mother. It follows a London family as they collect their son from a psychiatric unit he has been staying at for the last two years. In the car, with the mother and father, is Bette Davis’ Nanny.  The young son, Joey, wants nothing to do with the Nanny, and when he arrives home, he wants to do everything for himself, and seems to have a deep hatred for the seemingly caring, sweet and quaint childhood Nanny. We soon learn that the family has a tragic past, namely, the death of their young daughter a couple of years previous, for which young Joey was blamed. We also learn that Bette Davis‘ character has been the family Nanny for two generations now, and is much beloved by everyone in the household. In a creeping tour de force of psychological terror, the movie draws slowly and menacingly to its horrifying climax. It is a lesson in fear of the ordinary. Helped along massively by one of Davis’ most nuanced performances, this movie really showed that Hammer was not just a playground for schlock horror and campy monster movies. It could also house some outstanding thrills and terrifying suspense movies. Straight On Till Morning This 1972 suspense thriller follows a young girl, Brenda, as she moves to London in search of a man to father a child for her. She immerses herself in London life, getting a job at a boutique and attending parties with her co-workers. Upon fleeing one of these parties, she encounters a dog off his leash. A man is shouting for the dog, however Brenda steals it in a clever ploy to meet the man. When she eventually returns the dog, Brenda is faced with a beautiful but troubled young man named Peter, who suggests she moves in with him. What Brenda doesn’t know, however, is that Peter is, in fact, a psychotic serial killer with a deep loathing for beauty and all of its trappings. He is completely controlling of her, and the movie closely follows her descent into a torrid and disturbing love affair, and Peter’s further decline into madness. Director Peter Collinson shows these characters’ fragmented grip on reality by having his editor, Alan Pattillo, slice up the film with syncopated shots, jump cuts and pronounced discontinuities of both space and time. The result is a heady incline towards Brenda and Peter’s individual and collective derangement. The film has less of a connection to Hammer’s characteristic ‘Castle Horror’ and more to the modern suspenseful, psychotic thrills, of a Dario Argento ‘Giallo movie’. Straight On Till Morning forgoes the usual Hammer gothic motifs, and sets itself up as a contemporary classic. Fear In The Night This 1972 offering from Hammer studios is one that leans quite heavily on ‘Gialloesque’ themes, and combines them with the drab insipidness of 70’s rural Britain, and the effect is really quite chilling. The story is that of Peggy, (Judy Geeson) a young woman who,  6 months earlier, suffered a breakdown and spent some time in hospital. Now that she is healthy and out of the hospital, she is set to move with her husband to the countryside, to the boarding school he works at. Before leaving, however, Peggy is attacked in her home by a black glove wearing assailant,  (queue Giallo influence). Despite her sincerity, the people around her are more inclined to believe she’s imagining things, based on her recent brush with mental instability.  They leave for the school however, and the young couple meet with the headmaster Michael (Peter Cushing),a cold and detached character. They also meet Michael’s wife, played by none other than Joan Collins.  Things continue to go wrong, more perceived attacks on Peggy’s life leave her husband believing that she is suffering from another breakdown.  Fear in the Night does not centre around the question of Peggy’s sanity, since we are led, from the offset, to believe her, and be resolutely on her side. What it does is paint a chilling tale of intrigue, begging the questions; who is attacking Peggy, why are they doing it, and what is up with the boarding school and its very creepy headmaster? It is a subtle and measured tale of deception, and the end still delivers, despite its predictability.   As previously stated, the company stopped producing movies in 1979, after a remake of Hitchcock’s 1938 thriller The Lady Vanishes, starring Elliott Gould and Cybill Shepherd. The company went into hibernation until 2007 when they made Beyond The Rave, a contemporary vampire story which premiered for free online via MySpace. Hammer would go on to begin shooting a new horror movie in Donegal in 2008, backed by the Irish Film Board. The film is titled Wake Wood  and stars Aiden Gillen and Eva Birthhistle, and was scheduled for release in the United Kingdom in the Autumn of 2009. However, the release date was delayed, and the movie wasn’t given a theatrical release in the UK until 2011. Despite the slightly rocky start of a long awaited revival, Hammer Horror movies are now back in production, with seven movies having been made in the last 10 years, and their latest offering, The Lodge, set to premier at the Sundance Film Festival, 2019.
We all love a good photo opportunity. We have all lined up that perfect shot with our phones or with our cameras, waited for the light to hit just right, and then snap that perfect idyllic moment. But what if that perfect moment is spoiled by one of our furry little friends ruining the shot? Hilarious photobombs, that’s what! Here are some of the funniest, and best timed photobombs by our cheeky critter buddies, that we have ever seen. Source: buzz.ie I Hippose I Will Tastes Like… I Found A Nut In My Mouth, Wonder What He’ll Find In Hers? I Always Cry At Weddings, I Simply Can’t Bear Them I’d Smile Ore, But I’m Feeling A Little Horse Seal Of Disapproval Day 66, The Humans Have Accepted Me As One Of Their Own… What’s The Problem Ladies? I Thought I Was A Ray Of Sunshine! Did Someone Say This Was A Winter Wedding? Quick…Fly! Psst…Dude…Are Those Humans Still Behind Me? It’s The No Drama Wedding Llama! I don’t Know Bro, What If I Never Find Out Who The Good Boy Is? Oh Lord, I Think Rex Got Into My Catnip Again… Ever Wonder Why I Always Look Guilty When I Poop And Nothing Happens? I’m Waiting For The Rainbow!   We wonder if these guys knew what they were doing, or are they all just happy little accidents? Whatever you think, there is no denying, animals really are the best little guys.  
Everyone is familiar with Drag Queens and what they do. Cultural phenomenons like RuPaul’s Drag Race have seen Drag Queens go from being the side show entertainment at the local, seedy, gay dive bar, to being super stars in their own right. But what about the Drag Kings? Those androgynous beauties that butch it up with exaggerated masculinity for pomp and spectacle? Drag as a performance art form dates back as far as the 1800’s, where women dressed as men, would swagger across the boards of the London halls, performing songs and comedy routines. But it was their Drag Queen counterparts that became the more culturally acceptable norm. Maybe it was because the imitation of maleness is just not considered as entertaining as affected femininity, or because masculinity is a currency that women are typically not welcome to trade in. Whatever the reason, despite some amazing talent existing out there on the fringes of the scene, Drag Kings are not as widely known, seen, or showcased as Drag Queens. So, with that in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the most talented and noteworthy Drag Kings in operation at the moment. Be they performance artists or social media stars, all have something unique to offer and all deserve their moment in the spotlight. Ivory Onyx Ivory Onyx is an American King who performs in bars and clubs around the world. He even won Mister USofA MI in 2013 and 2017. Murray Hill Murray Hill is a well-known New York City  drag king and entertainer. He is the entertainer persona of Busby Murray Gallagher, he maintains this persona even in his private life. Jean Genie Jean Genie is a Californian drag king who specialises in David Bowie impersonation. He even has the naturally different coloured eyes. Rain Dove Rain Dove Dubilewski  is an American model, actor, and activist. They prefer gender neutral pronouns and are best known for their subversive fashion work, by posing as both male and female models.They are also currently dating Rose McGowan. Landon Cider Landon Cider is the Drag King persona of LA based artist Kristine Carr. Landon also performs on stage worldwide. Miles Long Miles Long is an up and coming drag star from America. Currently working the scene in the Southern California area, he is really one to watch out for. Buck Wylde Buck Wylde is a performance Drag King who does the burlesque club circuit. Known for his rockabilly aesthetic and swingin’ 60’s performances. Gage Gatlyn Gage has been performing since 2003, so is quite the seasoned king. Gage came out publicly as a Transman in 2003 and is an Activist/Advocate in the Transgender Community. He has co-founded The Gatlyn Dame Group, Inc. Gunner Gatlyn Gunner Gatlyn is an entertainer from Phoenix, Arizona who has been performing since June of 2006. Former Drag King turned Male Illusionist, he is an FTM entertainer with an extreme passion for the art of drag. Spikey Van Dykey Spikey Van Dykey has been a leading Male Illusionist & Drag King entertainer for 10 years. He first hit the stage making his debut in Birmingham Alabama at The Quest Club in October of 2000.   So, if these gender bending male illusionists have whet your appetite for some gender-role defying entertainment, check your local gay bars, burlesque bars, and scene venues, Go and support your local drag kings!!