CRRRRS 510 Make Ready the Calash

By Roy Mathur, on 2023-11-11, at 23:25:25--00:24:20 GMT, for Captain Roy's Rusty Rocket Radio Show

I Have Risen

I was genuinely very tired from the Halloween podcasting marathon (Hammer House of Horror) and still have not yet fully recuperated.

I wasn't expecting to be back so soon, but the mic beckoned and here I am, my friends, not so freshly risen from my sarcophagus. Fygor, make ready the calash!

Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula

A friend, knowing my predilections, lent me his hardback copy of Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula by Christopher Frayling (1992). It is a scholarly exploration of the vampire myth, including the ancient Roman monster and beyond.

I re-trod old ground reading of Doctor Polidori's The Vampyr, hatched during Lord Byron's Summer holiday at Villa Diodati, Lake Geneva. All this I already knew from Ken Russell's Gothic (1986), but the full extent of Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley's disgusting snobbery and misogyny I did not know until reading the opening chapters. It spelled the kiss of death of my enjoyment and I couldn't continue. What a couple of rotters.

Gretel and Hansel

In 504, I said about the 2020 UA The Brothers Grimm film adaptation:

Gretel is the older girl looking after her brother as they starve in the woods, until they come across a weird old lady...

The film is stylish. The pointy hat is beautifully sinister and symbolic. It's also strangely anachronistic looking, in a manner slightly reminiscent of Neil Jordan's excellent A Company of Wolves (1984), but not as compelling. In fact, the pace is so slow, I still haven't finished watching weeks later...

Even more weeks later, what more can I add after having watched it in it's entirety? In passing, I was also reminded of Ben Wheatley's psychedelic horror In The Earth's and Harry Potter. Alice Krige is great as the witch, but I had trouble hearing her voice, the faux olde worlde non-specific Euro dialect of the dialogue used by the cast grated, and the excessive voice over exposition was excruciating. In summary, it started promising, but became bogged down in the damp woods.

Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children

This is follow-up from 163 from 2017 about the 20th Century Fox 2016 film that I only half reviewed. Six years to review one film has to be a record. Paraphrasing to correct shownotes never intended to to be read by anyone except me, back then I said:

Miss Peregrine runs a school to protect children with strange powers, a bit like if you crossed Hogwarts with the X-Mansion and then filled it with a few goth-ish looking kids.

Better than the book, entertaining, but not very memorable, more rainy vid afternoon at home than big screen. But Eva Green's in it...

Rewatching from the beginning to remind myself about the film, and only having a vague recollection of skimming the book in Waterstones, I conclude that I can't critique this children's movie, other than to say it did not engage me. Though the theme; good freaks versus (eyeball chomping) bad freaks, Tim Burton-style artistic design, Mademoiselle Eva Green, Mister Samuel L. Jackson, and a lightning brief funny cameo from Tim Burton are Roy-bait, the mere fact it took me six years to watch proves how difficult it is to make a movie that people will enjoy. I am reminded of the equally gothy Wednesday (2022) that similarly failed to rouse me from my tomb in 501. However, I enjoyed the grotesquery and the unconventional ending.

Werewolf by Night in Color

A colour version of the originally BW comedy horror is available on Disney+ as of September.

In 459, I said it was a, "delightfully nasty, very gory, very funny, lovingly retro, and altogether a heartwarming feature that I heartily recommend."

Talk to Me

2023 Australian horror in which teenagers entertain themselves by communicating with the dead, until they leave the door to the other side open.

Great shocks, influenced by films like Ringu, but in an original way at least vaguely necromancy adjacent in its use of a hand of glory and a corpse candle.

The Flash

I'm not fan of the person, but the main character is great, as is Keaton's Batman, the FX, the dialogue, but the story is a forgettable time travel paradox that's been done to death, and done better in Loki.


I watched this Canadian movie about the rise and fall of the Canadian tech company sometime in October 2023 and enjoyed it. If you're a tech geek too, you'll enjoy it too.

Like many films about tech entrepreneurs, while the engineering bones of the story was plausible, the characters and dialogue played fast and loose with what these people were actually like and what they actually said. The bald, ferocious corporate bully, mild-mannered Mike Lazaridis (Jay Baruchel) hires to get things done, in particular, Jim Balsillie (Glenn Howerton), reminds me of Halt and Catch Fire's equally bald and terrifying John Bosworth (Toby Huss).


Goosebumps is a Sony 2023 horror TV series based on the Goosebumps series of YA books by R. L. Stine and released on Disney+ and Hulu.

The first episode features a fire monster occupying out-of-towner Justin Long's house and a group of kids trying to solve the mystery while not dying in the process.

It's a nice'n'nasty, diversely casted, and mildly amusing TV series for kids.

Cowboy Bebop

I couldn't finish this live action adaptation of Hajime Yatate's space bounty hunters series that I started watching in 2021 (417). John Cho looks fantastic, but I don't think the Manga/Anime translated well into live action.

I'm no longer disappointed the Alexandre Aja live action movie adaptation of the Space Adventure Cobra anime series never made it to the big screen.

I'm not saying live action adaptations never work, simply that they are very very hard.


Season 2 is finished.

It's not without it's merits. It's bookended by a great beginning and end, both titled Glorious Purpose and Tom Hiddleston is great at literally throwing himself into every scene. The rest of the season too slow, cerebral, and lacking in action.

By the end Loki is monkeypawed, when he finally discovers, and surrenders to, his glorius purpose.

I am Loki of Asgard, and I am burdened with glorious purpose.
Yes, you are, poor old stick.

Whoniverse on iPlayer

As reported in 488, 505, and 509, on the 1st November, the BBC uploaded the classic series of Doctor Who other Who-related material to iPlayer.

Here's what's available: Doctor Who (1963-1996), Doctor Who (2005–2022), Tales of the Tardis, Talking Doctor Who, Doctor Who at 60: A Musical Celebration, Doctor Who Confidential, K9 and Company: A Girl's Best Friend, Doctor Who: Dreamland, Doctor Who: The Infinite Quest, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood, Class, Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes, The Science of Doctor Who, Doctor Who at the Proms, Whose Doctor Who, and Paul McGann's underrated TV movie is also now included, so it's worth exploring. Notable exceptions are the first story, An Unearthly Child, due to ongoing rights issues and Peter Cushing's Amicus's movies, Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966), which I love.

Since the back catalogue is now accessible by most people in the UK, if you ever needed an excuse to jump into my classic Doctor Who revisit started in 2014, this is it. What are you waiting for? Subscribe!

Life Without a Car Is Hell

Why own a car at all? Constant bills, terrible drivers, potholes... Many forum experts (groan) tell you how it is easily possible to live without a car, but it isn't possible for me.

A bad back makes the local rattly buses unfeasible, when they come at all.

A whack on the head from an unfamiliar taxi door height and, though most are okay, a few spectacularly unhelpful taxi drivers tells me that taxis are not a longterm solution.

I considered bikes---pushbikes and small motorcycles---but you can't return a crappy microwave oven to Asda on anything other than a car-priced electric cargo bike, and forget about taking two elderly parents to their medical appointments or shopping. (My recent experience with Asda also addresses the question of why not have everything delivered). If you are lucky enough to be free of responsibilities, young, healthy, and have shops nearby, a bike might be possible, however it's not for me.

Life with a car is hell. Life without a car is hell. Even buying a car is hell. Let me tell you about buying a car. You need a car to drive to dealers to view and buy a car. Buy a car online? Don't make me laugh, didn't you hear the trouble I'm having returning a microwave? An ornate calash? I'm considering it.

Gin and Tonic, Chicken Tika Masala, Coronation Chicken

As a brown man of Indo-Mautitian origin (like one-half of Braverman, but sane), it's hilarious the extent to which I enjoy the above tasty fare; a distasteful legacy of the bad old British Empire. Thank the gods I'm not an India Pale Ale craft beer hipster too.

For an un-blinkered of the rose-tinted cloud cuckoo lies of the past that our current government in the UK favours, you might want to seek out the work of Afua Hirsch, Marc Fennell, William Dalrymple, and Anita Anand. They are involved in podcasting, but since I despise promoting other podcasts, that is as much free publicity as I'm willing to give.

Roy's Double Devil Dogs

Sticking with both the food and the post-Halloween theme, I enjoyed hot dogs yesterday; my famous Double Devil Dogs that perhaps you may one day sample.

I experimented with adding sauerkraut somewhat unsuccessfully, as combining it with vinegary American mustard made it too sour. It made me think of achar (Indian fermented vegetable pickles) we've been enjoying lately. Just the ticket to reboot my flagging gut biome.

A Goth Explanation for a Solo Podcast

I'm sorry for going over old ground, but I've having one of those existential creative crisises, but let me goth it up by wrapping it in comfortable crushed black velvet.

I'm too young, too old, too eclectic, too much of a non-joiner and, ironically, far too grim to be a goth, despite my pop cultural preferences. Insert here memories of poor horror-averse Dad taking his gleeful son to the London Dungeons at what age?! (Before uni I went punk and at uni I spent a delightful year looking like Siousxe Sioux. I wish I had photographs).

Which brings us onto the famously vehemently non-self-defining-as-such proto-goth Andrew Eldritch, both a fantastically talented and a fantastically disagreeable man (well, he was a drummer, though I've heard he's mellowed with age), of whom Redditor DeadDeadCool said two years ago, "He's definitely one of the only artists I've liked that I never had any desire to meet".

Combine my cellular level inability to be part of any fandom or to meet celebrities---placing myself in an uncomfortable hero worshipper-to-hero power dynamic---and extend that quote about Eldritch to every other star of stage, screen, and lit, and those are a couple of the reasons I no longer have the inclination to interview anyone for this podcast.

All this has already been said, but my unwillingness to assume the role of interviewer doesn't do the show any favours and that troubles me. Despite what you may think, it's not difficult to contact notable people once you are in the PR loop. But meeting them? Whenever I debate whether to start interviewing again, what I always come back to is that I'd rather explore what their output means to me, than them as a person.

As an avid podcast listener myself, those are the type of geek shows I gravitate towards. So, if you are a prospective podcaster, do that. What am I saying? Don't do that. I've already filled that niche. Think up your own damn ideas! Hello, other podcasters listening in. I know I wasn't the first, but I love getting your knickers in a twist. You thought Andrew William Harvey Taylor was disagreeable? You have no idea.

Hammer House of Horror

Catch up with my new revisit show, started over Halloween, in which I take you back to the wonderfully schlocky cheap thrills of 1980's Hammer House of Horror.

Catch you on the freak side, my friends.