Showing posts with label sandra harris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sandra harris. Show all posts

18 August 2018


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The Beast: 'You're stroking me as if I were an animal.'
Beauty: 'But you ARE an animal, my Beast.'

This French language drama is the most gorgeous of films. It's been likened to a magical, beautiful dream, a fabulous collection of unforgettable visual imagery in which Beauty's tears even turn to sparkly diamonds, like Lady Gaga's when she appears in an episode of THE SIMPSONS. Show-off, lol.

It's a re-telling of the old fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, in which a beautiful but impoverished young woman, who is also pure of heart, becomes the reluctant object of affection of the titular Beast. You guys probably know the story already, but we'll recap it briefly for the benefit of those who don't.

It was one of my favourite of all the fairy tales. I always particularly loved the ones with beautiful princesses in them, like CINDERELLA or RAPUNZEL, in which young women fair of face but short in spondoolicks were rescued from their shitty lives by handsome rich princes who owned castles and riches and shit.

Wishful thinking, much? You could keep your Little Red Riding Hoods and your Little Red Hens and even your Enormous Turnips, I was that princess with the ridiculously long hair trapped in the tower by the evil old witch, waiting for my knight in shining armour to come along on his snowy-white charger and take me away from it all.

It's hardly very pro-feminist, is it? Women should be encouraged to be their own knight in shining armour, to rescue themselves from the shit situations they find themselves in. Still, maybe we all need a little escapism in our dreary lives and that's where fairy tales come in.

Okay, so Beauty's father in the film- and in the fairy tale also, this is more or less a straightforward adaptation of the fairy tale- is a merchant who's gone from rich to poor, then back to rich again briefly and finally back to poor again. That'll teach him to dream big, snigger. Anyway, let's not trouble our romantic minds with piffling matters of economics and trade and such-like.

It's when he's coming home from a failed business trip that a storm compels the Dad to spend the night at what he thinks is an empty mansion. He's served delicious food and drink by invisible servants (spooky!) and is made comfortable for the night in front of a roaring fire.

It's the following morning that he falls afoul of the formidable owner of this mysterious mansion. He unleashes the wrath of the Beast (who looks like a cross between The Cowardly Lion in THE WIZARD OF OZ, Oddbod in CARRY ON SCREAMING and Puss-In-Boots) when he picks one of the Beast's roses in the garden for Beauty at home.

The Beast threatens to kill the merchant for the theft of the rose. The only way the merchant can get out of being killed is to send one of his daughters to the Beast's mansion in his place to live as the Beast's Queen. Beauty is the only one of his three daughters to actually give a shit about her old man, so she's the one who comes to live chez Beast, albeit with some trepidation.

She needn't have worried. The big hairy Beast treats her with the utmost respect. He's head-over-heels in love with Beauty, who wasn't called Beauty for being ugly. The ravishing young blonde woman is lavished with jewels and all sorts of finery by the Beast, who proposes marriage to her every night as well and gets refused each time because Beauty is still holding out hope that, one day, her Prince will come. Little does she know, heh-heh-heh.

Personally, I think she should accept one of the Beast's many proposals. Sure, he's a giant hairy man-beast with animalistic urges and a bloodlust he can't control but he's a total gimp for Beauty. He's very probably a sexual masochist as well, the kind who'd ask her if he can kiss her tootsies or have her walk on his back with her stiletto-heeled shoes. Eeuw, lol.

Beauty can have anything in the world she wants from the Beast in the way of material possessions and, I imagine, if she had a list of enemies she wanted offed as well, the Beast would oblige her. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

All your mean old exes boiled in oil, haha, and all you had to do was say the word. Hang on. Let me just fantasise about that for one blissful minute. Ah yes, that's the stuff. All right, I'm okay again. Let's press on.

The notion of a beautiful but loving woman being held captive by a hideous monster who worships her, or professes to, is not a new one. The Phantom of the Opera imprisons Christine in his underground cavern many fathoms beneath the Paris Opera House.

I don't think Christine ever loves the Phantom. Not unnaturally, she is repulsed by his physical appearance but, being a compassionate woman at heart, she feels terrible pity for this lonely outsider. I'm afraid that that's the best you can hope for if you're the dreaded 'opera ghost.' 

Yep, a wee bit of pity sex and she keeps her eyes tightly squeezed shut the whole way through the act. Charming. Still, pity sex is better than nothing, isn't it? Some of my exes would never have had any sex at all if it weren't for pity sex.

Likewise anyway, Lucy Harker gives herself to Nosferatu, who's not exactly a looker with his bald skull and sticky-out bat-ears, only to save the town from the evil doings of the Vampyre. She doesn't do it out of love or even a fondness for Nosferatu and surely he knows that, but as long as he's getting what he wants, he doesn't care. He just keeps on worshipping at the shrine of that long, swan-like white neck.

It's also not the first time in a fairy tale that a parent has to forfeit his daughter to a hideous creature with supernatural powers, just for committing some trifling offence. Rapunzel's Pops has to offer up his first-born child, which turns out to be Rapunzel, to a cruel old witch just because he nicks a few of her mouldy old lettuces for his preggers wife. Jeez. I wonder what she'd have demanded for a whole  bleedin' cabbage.

Anyway, do you wonder what happens to Beauty and the Beast at the end of their story? Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) doesn't deviate from the traditional ending of the fairy tale so the 'happy ever after' finale won't exactly come as a huge surprise to y'all.

It's still well worth watching the film to see how he does it, though. Diana's Pavilion is the setting for the final scenes of the movie and I defy you not to be moved by the grand climax. Rather perversely, we women always cry at happy endings. I love a good bawl followed by a really good blow. Into a tissue, that is. Blowing my schnozz. I blow my nose into a Kleenex. Don't be so mucky-minded, you lot...!

Again, I'm not entirely sure that the moral of the story is a good message to be imparting to the women of today. Put up with your ugly bloke and he'll turn into a handsome Prince and set you up for life in his castle? Whatever happened to independent women? And Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves? Don't you make a liar out of The Eurythmics, Jean Cocteau. Just don't you do it.

The film is seventy-two years young this year and it still has the power to leave you feeling like you've just woken up from a beautiful dream when the credits roll. Stupid alarm clock. Ruin my sleep, would you? Just give me five more minutes, I beg you. Just five more minutes...

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is available to buy now from the British Film Institute.

BFI releases are available from all good home entertainment retailers or by mail order from the BFI Shop Tel: 020 7815 1350 or online at


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

 You can contact Sandra at:

13 August 2018


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OMG, do you guys remember THE INCREDIBLE HULK, the television series from the 'Eighties? Sure ya do! Bill Bixby plays mild-mannered scientist David Banner who transforms into this gigantic and ferocious green creature every time he loses his temper, and it's all because a lousy scientific experiment he's doing goes tits-up in a bad way, lol.

I knew there was no point to my doing stupid Science in secondary school. I knew stupid Science would only lead to trouble for someone someday unless it was abolished, haha. And it leads to more than his fair share of trouble for poor old David Banner.

He might be minding his own business in a bar, drinking a beer while wearing a lovely mild-mannered sweater and tight beige or cream 'Eighties slacks, and some asshole would spill a drink over him and then start chatting up some broad who doesn't want to be chatted up.

Then the fun would start. A seriously pissed-off David Banner would start to change into the Hulk, magnificently played by the uber-muscly Lou Ferrigno. His eyes would change colour and start madly staring and then there'd be this mad intense music and suddenly David Banner's nice shirt or sweater and jeans would start bursting off of his now green skin. 'Cause the Hulk is green, see.

Then it'd be all 'Rarr! Rarr! Rarr!' as the Incredible Hulk, bare-chested and wearing the remnants of David Banner's tattered pants, would pick up the offending asshole and throw him across the bar and out into the car park where he'd shit himself copiously in fright, excuse my French, before scrambling away to some kind of safety.

The tattered pants are actually sentient, believe it or not, imbued with the power to always know where exactly to stop ripping. As in, the Hulk is never left with his crucial bits immodestly uncovered. The pants tear only so far and then they stop. What do you take them for, mere pants or something? These pants know when enough is enough, by Jove.

Anyone, the broad-slash-damsel-in-distress would stand there in the bar, wide-eyed in fear but also admiration for the giant green man with the fantastic big diddies on him that bounce up and down once the Hulk starts running, which he always does when he hears the inevitable police sirens. Away he runs, the Incredible Hulk, away from the scene of justice-having-been-done, so that the cops don't rumble his 'incredible' secret. See what I did there...?

Then you'd see a half-nekkid David Banner, back to himself once more, sneaking a checked shirt in his exact size off some lady's washing-line but, get this! He's an honest bloke, see, and he always pins a couple-a five-dollar bills on the clothes-line as payment so that Mary-Beth or whoever it is can buy a replacement shirt for Harvey or Harv Junior, who's getting to be near as big and ungrateful as his alcoholic Pa, the little cuss.

David Banner would always keep on the move, always travelling to a different town or different city in each episode in search of a cure for his terrible affliction. People think he's dead so he has to assume a new identity in every episode, while keeping the name David and a surname that starts with a 'B.' 

So, he might be David Bannion, see, or David Barrington or David Bellamy. Anything so long as it's a B. It's a wonder that they didn't run out of surnames beginning with B on the show. I do like the sound of that David Bellamy chap, he sounds lovely and cultured. I could go to an art exhibition at a fancy gallery with a guy like that. He might even call me after we had all the sex.

David has a wee romance in every episode with a new lady friend but, of course, to avoid putting this dame in danger or allowing her to discover his terrible secret, he has to high-tail it out of town at the end of every episode. 'Bye-'bye, pretty lady. If I've gotten you pregnant, it's your own problem, lol.

Shouldering his dreadful inner suffering along with his battered backpack, David Banner walks away sadly forever to the famous sad-walking-away-forever-music-from-THE INCREDIBLE HULK that's so special and iconic that it's been parodied numerous times by other shows, for example the utterly brilliant FAMILY GUY.

Of course, Michael Landon (Pa Ingalls from LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE) used to walk sadly away too in his bulky leather jacket at the end of each episode of his show HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN, but for sadly-walking-away-forever, I'm telling you, no-one does it like David Banner. 

He's got that market cornered so y'all might as well not even try it. If you want to do something different, you could try walking towards something in an upbeat manner at the beginning of a TV show. I don't know if that's ever been tried on a TV series.

Anyway, there's always this nosy detective in the show as well called Jack McGee who's always trying to uncover the truth about the Incredible Hulk. He thinks that this information will be the news story of the century and that he'll win a Pulitzer Prize for it and 'then he'll be successful in his mother's eyes,' a little joke from THE SIMPSONS there.

Of course, Snoopy Drawers always arrives at the scene of any Hulk-related carnage just in time to see the soles of the Hulk's feet as he runs away down the street, no doubt to find a quiet alley to change back into David Banner and pinch some strides off of the nearest clothes-line. That big news story will then just have to wait till the next episode.

The fantastic- or should I say fabulous- news is that FABULOUS FILMS are releasing a box-set of the three INCREDIBLE HULK feature-length made-for-TV films, made in 1988, 1989 and 1990 respectively. 

The films are entitled THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS, THE TRIAL OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK (featuring a cameo from the MARVEL-lous Stan Lee!) and THE DEATH OF THE INCREDIBLE HULK. They'd better be kidding us with that last one there...

THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS sees David Banner's alter-ego teaming up with none other than the mighty Thor, hammer and all, from Norse mythology, to fight a bunch of really mean bad guys. 

The baddies have kidnapped David's girlfriend-du-jour (she owns a big fancy beach house, he should keep this one for a bit!) and a giant Gamma Transponder (wasn't Chandler from FRIENDS in the transponding business?) that might have been the key to curing David of his affliction.

Did you notice that if you change the a in Gamma to an e, you have Gemma, the Gemma Transponder? If someone made a nice nifty range of mini-transponders, all called by girls' names, wouldn't they make the dinkiest little stocking-fillers for Christmas? Say, the Mona Transponder or the Betty Transponder or the Vonda-Sue Transponder. Don't they sound simply scrummy? Get the mini-transponder with your name on it and be the envy of all your snotty little chums this Christmas.

Anyway, together, the Incredible Hulk and the attractive blonde giant that is Thor are an unstoppable team. They kick major ass and the newspapers are having a field day as not one but two giants are being spotted around town now, tearing up the place, kicking baddies' asses and generally 'rarring' to beat the band while flexing colossal muscles for the camera.

All the stuff we love from the TV series are present and correct here in this film. 'Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.' Some asshole yanking David's chain. Funny stare-y eyes and mad intense 'changing into the Hulk' music then it's 'Rarr! Rarr!' and the Incredible Hulk tearing up the place and putting manners on the riff-raff while his pants remain impeccably in place, just like good pants should.

Then there's the change back into mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, sorry, I mean mild-mannered scientist David Banner, the clothesline substitution of two five-dollar bills for a pre-loved checked shirt (Mary-Beth just can't seem to shift the smell of Harv's sweat from his clothes, Harv Senior's gotta lotta quite serious dietary issues he refuses to discuss or even acknowledge, Mary-Beth's really quite worried) and then, the pièce de resistance, the sad-walking-away-forever-music we're all waiting to hear. There won't be a dry eye in the house by the time the credits finish rolling, especially if you're watching this for the first time since the 'Eighties.

A couple of excellent special features come with THE INCREDIBLE HULK RETURNS. One is a wonderful or, should I say, MARVEL-lous interview with comic-book-and-superhero-royalty Stan Lee, who was looking amazingly well when the footage was shot.

The other interview is with Lou Ferrigno, who plays the Hulk to Bill Bixby's David Banner. This one is so poignant it had me and my kids in floods of tears. Lou Ferrigno is a lovely, deeply genuine man who suffered a lot in his youth because of his partial hearing loss.

The story of how he overcame his own disability to become Mr. Universe and a champion weight-lifter, body-builder, actor and personal trainer is so inspiring. Be your own best friend, he urges the viewers, and there's not much you can't achieve.

I was bawling my eyes out by the end of this interview. The two interviews are just wonderful- no, sorry, I blew it again, MARVEL-lous, lol. Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno are two of the nicest guys you could ever meet. They really do deserve their good fortune.

Bill Bixby: 1934-1993.
Lou Ferrigno: 1951- Present Day.
Stan Lee: 1922- Present Day.

FABULOUS FILMS: For the first time ever, all 3 Incredible Hulk TV movies in one collector’s edition box set. See Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby back in action in The Incredible Hulk Returns, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk and The Death of the Incredible Hulk. Filmed in 1988,1989 and 1990, the films were directed by David Banner himself a.k.a Bill Bixby.

All three films are also being released individually.


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger, poet and book-and-movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

 You can contact Sandra at: