In June, on the day the UK EU referendum result was announced, I decided to cheer myself up with a quick review of a terrible film, Dickshark. This is how it all started.
Nine months later, and we’re only days away from the PM invoking article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which will formally begin the process of us exiting the EU and, for neatness, I want the Dickshark review to end on the same day.
Hence only a day after the last instalment we’re pushing on to finish off the review, so that I can do my final thoughts (part II of this blog) on the day itself.
I have to start by confessing that I’ve made a terrible mistake. At the end of the last review, when we cut to this image…
…I thought the scene had ended.
But it hadn’t!
We are going to see Bill’s “special” way of lighting a candle!!
Where is your god now?
Fortunately it just involves staring at it and using the power of his mind to achieve the impossible…prevent us from noticing this is a just a reversed clip of him blowing the candle out.
Bill’s dad makes another of his RSC audition speeches Bill collapses to the floor. His dad calmly picks up a katana and cuts Bill’s head off. Well, we’re assuming that’s what he does – actually showing a decapitation would be way too much like a real special effect for this film. So instead he draws the sword, goes over to where Bill is and then fucks around with candles for a couple of minutes…because of art.
Then we go to a shot of the moon, that’s quickly replaced to Jill (who wasn’t eaten, thereby ruling that out as one of the possibilities for the last scene she was in) tied – still naked, natch – to a stake.
Bill’s dad approaches, as does the Dickshark (cunningly shot in near darkness, in a valiant yet futile attempt to hide that somebody is carrying it). Knocking Bill Snr to the floor, with the lightest touch of its fin, it makes a bee-line for Jill, but gets so distracted on the job that the young old man has time to get to his feet and give it a fairly mild sushi experience.
He barely has time to revel in his victory before Jill stabs him with his own sword. You might ask how she got untied, how she got the sword and why the old Bill didn’t notice either – and, if you do ask those things, you’re entirely the wrong sort of person to be watching a naked-woman-with-a-sword-film, I guess.
The wounded dickshark, in its most pathetic form yet, tries to make it back to the water, with Jill’s spotlit (and little spotted) bum pursuing it.
And then…something. I really don’t know what. The shark is being crap, then Jill turns her back and seems to walk away and Bill’s dad closes his eyes and his hand, still holding a candle, falls into some water and the candle goes out. Then…
Not only is that the ending – where I can’t work out what the fuck happened, but THEN you choose to reveal that I’ve spent 9 months of my life desecrating the graves of these five people. I don’t just hate you for your film now, Bill, I hate you for what you’ve made me become.
Fortunately there’s a full 5 minutes of credits for me to hate you during.
And the credits are all about the music. There hasn’t been a single song in this film that I ever want to hear again, but the credits give snippets of each song and detail the band who performed it, which album it’s from and adds in a load of miscellaneous typos to keep you interested.
Eventually even this passes, and with it any hope that Nick Fury was going to appear and recruit Dickshark for the Avengers.
It’s over. Dickshark is finished. All that remains are my final thoughts.
I’d like to congratulate you on winning the EU referendum. Yes, even though I am pretty passionate about staying in the EU I feel it’s time to openly accept that you won. You are, without any doubt, the champions of the campaign. Us remoaners (and as the victors you surely have the right to name us, your defeated foes, as you see fit) are beaten at the ballot box, viciously pummelled by the vox populi, vanquished by the voters, ejected by the electorate, sent packing by the populace and left lagging by the leavers.
You’ve done well. All glory is yours, and accolades are due…to all seventeen million, four hundred and ten thousand, seven hundred and forty-two of you.
Well, except those who voted for that silly £350m/week to the NHS. We now know that the NHS is going to struggle with both cuts and migrant staff leaving the UK. But there probably weren’t many people who voted just on the basis of the NHS “promise’, and it does mean that the rest of you are the recipients of more glory per person.
But…on the subject of migrants, it is rather looking that immigration into the UK isn’t going to lessen. That was pretty much always the case, because we need economically active migrants joining us to pay taxes and support our own, ageing, population. As the Leave campaign was, we were told, not about racism, xenophobia or immigration then, again, that won’t exclude many of your voters, so let’s just forget about them.
I believe some of you, a handful, were keen to leave so that we could leave behind EU rules and red-tape. It’s good that they were so few in number, because if we want to keep selling into the EU (our single biggest export market) then we’ll still have to obey all of those pesky rules and regulations. That’s not your fault, of course, it’s just how trade works – you can only sell what the buyers are willing to buy. We are giving up our say in the creation of those regulations, but with freer trade with the rest of the world on the horizon maybe we won’t need to keep obeying the hated EU for much longer.
Except, of course, that Germany (to pick an example) already trades much more, per capita, with the rest of the world than we do. It’s therefore possible – just possible, mind – that the EU hasn’t been the barrier between us and those eager overseas markets. Frankly though, if you vote in a referendum based on something as nebulous as freer trade then you’re a bit of an anorak, and nobody wants to share glory with that sort of person, am I right?
That reminds me, what about human rights? I think a few people, probably Express readers, voted to leave the EU so that we could finally free ourselves of the ridiculous human rights laws that bully Christians, but let Muslim terrorists get off scot-free. Not that the European Union is anything to do with the European Court of Human Rights, of course, and I doubt many people confused them just because they both contain the word ‘European’.
And don’t even get me started on that guff about making our parliament sovereign. As you all know our parliament has always been sovereign, so that ‘take back control’ bit was just high-spirited nonsense.
I suppose a few other things won’t change either; bananas will continue to come in a range of shapes and sizes, the Express will still whinge that everybody gets a fairer deal than the white British-born Christian, the Daily Mail will still whinge about…well, about everything, there’ll still be no logical reason to move back to pounds and ounces, terrorists will still terrorise, cyclists will still jump red lights, the BBC won’t bring back Clarkson, it’ll still rain all weekend and be glorious sunshine when you’re in the office, the British Empire won’t resurface from under the waves, inflation won’t stop, house prices won’t become reasonable, there’ll still never be anything good on telly on a Saturday night.
I don’t say this to diminish your victory. As many of you are keen to point out, you won, the referendum is over and it’s time to move on. There should still be a trophy for your winning, even if it’s a hollow one.
I’d like to propose a no-expense-spared prize for you all. The government should put its hand in its pocket and put a pint behind the bar for every Leave voter. There should be a public holiday. The Red Arrows should fly the length of the country. Every city in the UK should have a Brexit parade. Fleet upon fleet of open-topped busses driving those of you who voted Leave through the streets, through a pea-souper of ticker-tape. Every TV station showing a Best of British day, every radio station blasting out the best of British music.
It will be the single greatest day the United Kingdom has ever know. It will be our Brexit day. You will be hailed as the victors that you are, and we Leavers should be left pulling the pints, driving the busses, sweeping up the ticker-tape…even if we miss the Red Arrows and everything. It’s not our day to enjoy – we lost.
That will be your day. You won it, it’s your prize to claim. It will never be forgotten. You will be the eternal champions.
But, afterwards, we can forget about the other little bit, right? The bit that isn’t going to fix the NHS, or halt immigration, or cut red-tape, or revitalise trade, or scrap human rights, or make us sovereign, straighten bananas, etc. etc. That stupid little bit, that doesn’t deliver anything useful but will cost us hundreds of billions of pounds. We don’t need that bit, so long as we remember that you won, right?
After what feels like a lifetime we’ve reached part 10 of the Dickshark review. I’m happy to say that I’m desperately hoping this is going to the penultimate episode.
If you haven’t read the previous instalments then they start here. May god have mercy upon your soul.
Before we pick up where left off – with Colin’s tragic evening of dry-humping cemetery statuary before drowning himself, and his video last will & testament, where he lamented his tiny, impotent genitalia (more of a last won’t) – let’s talk about expectations.
If you pay £70 to go to a stadium and see a big-name band then your expectations are high. If you pay £5 to see a local band in a pub then your expectations are low. These mismatched expectation levels are why you can often have a better night at the latter gig than the former. If the band are half good, full of enthusiasm and delighted to have an audience then you feel involved, have a great time and overlook their lack of hit singles, smoke machine and laser light show.
It’s the same with films. Take Man bites dog – when you set out to watch a subtitled, black & white film, made for zero budget by three Belgian film students, who cast their friends and family in the leads, your expectations are pretty low. Then, 95 minutes later, when you’ve watched a film that is funny and tragic, thoughtful and depraved, compelling and terrifying, you don’t give a fig about the lack of CGI or A-list actors.
Dickshark is an exercise in squandering the good will that your low expectations grant it.
I could forgive it everything – the terrible special effects, the barely-deserves-to-be-called-such acting, the lack of character development, the plot-holes – if there was just a sense that there was a fun film in there somewhere. Nobody other than Bill, the groping, gurning director, seems to be having any fun with this film. It hangs on a ridiculous monster, yet doesn’t even have the wit to keep the dialogue sharp and snappy, with tongue in cheek. It can’t even recognise that a one joke film needs, by its nature, to be edited to perfection and leave before the joke has worn too thin.
And, on that thought, let’s resume where we left off…at the two hour mark, where somebody has inserted several minutes of footage of a waterfall.
This scene – which I’m assuming was intended as a toilet break for those who can’t work a pause button – eventually gives way to Bill, back with Jill.
The one piece of information that this scene has to give us, namely that Bill found nothing incriminating at Colin’s house (this relies on a very specific definition of ‘incriminating’…if somebody had found my video confessing to tiny genitalia, impotence and mutant penis/shark eating I’d consider myself well and truly criminated) is dispensed with in seconds. Leaving the rest of the scene free for Bill to tongue-wrestle, maul and disrobe Jill.
As Bill settles into providing Jill with some cunnilingus (which given that it ties up Bill’s mouth, stops her seeing his face and keeps his personal hygiene as far from her nose as possible would surely be any woman’s preferred form of sexual encounter with Bill) his phone rings and Bill comes off that job and…
And I’m not really sure what. There are 4 options:
Bill is happy to provide Jill with oral relief during off-games-week, and he’d been at it for 12 hours or so, or
Bill is literally eating Jill, or
There’s a cut scene where Bill eats a bucket of spicy wings, or a hog-dog smothered in ketchup, or
It was decided that, so far, this had been a completely bloodless affair, so Bill smeared fake blood all over his face to compensate.
I honestly wouldn’t like to speculate which of these is more likely. Fortunately, Dickshark doesn’t seem to care either, as it’s not even mentioned. What is mentioned is that the call is from Bill’s dad, who he hasn’t seen for 20 years.
Bill ends up having a beer with someone who I guess is supposed to be his dad, despite looking a good 10 years younger than Bill himself.
Obviously after a 20 year separation a father will have many things to say to his son, so Bill’s dad tells him that he’s now brewing his own beer – using methane instead of carbon dioxide – and then accuses Bill of secretly mutating the dickshark. Not even a “your mum sends her love” or “are you sure you can’t remember where you left my precision screwdriver set?”
Bill denies the charge, um operatically. Literally singing, “No! No! No!”
I don’t know what the symptoms of methane-beer overdose are, but this seems to be one of them.
When Bill’s drunken ramblings lead him to mention his interest in the metaphysical his dad snaps, “Of course you’re interested in the metaphysical, your mother was a succubus!”
If anything that makes it doubly puzzling that she didn’t send her love.
Anyway, it turns out that Bill’s dad looks younger than Bill because he drank one of Bill’s potions (that had been left in a beer bottle) and it froze him at the age he was then. Now, obviously, this is just a throw-away line to size-step that Bill didn’t have any friends who looked older/more haggard than himself to play the role of his father, but it would have been a better film. The inventor of age halting potion would hold in his hands the key to immortality, untold riches and accolades galore, but would he worry about the effects it might have on population, on economics, on the whole dynamic of society? Would he wrestle over drinking it himself? Would the thought of the world he might birth with his discovery claw at his very soul? Perhaps he’d seen an old man, suffering from Alzheimer’s and know that he could end that pain forever, but then see a group of neo-Nazi youths beating somebody up and come to believe that the pains of old age are a price worth paying to avoid eternal foolishness of youth?
But, also, what kind of fucking moron finds and open beer bottle, filled with an unidentified liquid, and thinks, “I’m going to drink that”?
On an unrelated note, Bill’s dad’s obviously hopeful that somebody from the RSC is watching Dickshark and will mark him as a great undiscovered Shakespearean actor. So he’s written a couple of his own soliloquies, which come across exactly as well as finding a past its sell-by date oyster in your Big Mac.
“Hear my sorrows, before you subject others to the conditions of your making. I appear young, but I am old. It is difficult for me to hold discourse with people who are seemingly my own age. Years of propaganda in schools have made it pointless to have conversations with the young.”
That’s champion, Mr Bill, but doesn’t really provide an adequate reply to your son’s revelation that his ultimate goal is to create a fire-breathing land-shark.
Once again, a reminder that I’m not making this shit up.
Apparently having run out of RSC audition cue-cards Old Bill then goes on to lament modern educational culture and its reluctance to fail anyone. He talks passionately about the accuracy of standardised testing in predicting ability and success, which are being changed to accommodate less able students.
See, even if you mention fire-breathing fucking sharks conversations with your dad always end up the same way.
Having put the educational world to rights he fishes a candle out of his pocket and hands it to his son, instructing him, “Light this, in your special way!”
Oh thank god we’ve cut. To this…
I know how you feel, little fella, I too know fear. We’ve only 15 minutes of run-time left. Please, god, don’t let it include Bill’s special way of lighting candles.
We’ll find out in part 11 (the final instalment, part I)
I’m not an economist…well, I say that, but I did do an ‘A’ level in economics when I was 18. I got an unclassified grade, but that’s mainly because on the date of a crucial exam my girlfriend’s parents weren’t at home. We don’t need to go into the details. I made my choice and I stand by it.
Not being an economist nobody was more surprised than me when, out of the blue, I was struck by a brilliant idea to transform employment in the UK. My inspiration was none other than our last chancellor of the exchequer, Mr George Osborne.
You may have missed it, but today there was a low-key piece of news that, alongside his four other jobs and his MPing, Mr Osborne is to become the editor of one of those free papers that’s given out on local transport systems.
It struck me that MPs never seem to have a problem walking into highly paid jobs, no matter how comically inept they’ve proved to be during their time in office. It’s a tried and tested system; become and MP, ker-ching, six figure salary for life – often for just part-time work. The only real downside to it is that it’s so slow.
This is the heart of my new proposal, which I’m calling MP for a day.
Every day a new batch of MPs, chosen randomly from those who haven’t previously served, turn up, do a day governing the country and then walk into a cushy senior management job, making way for the next lot of MPs the next day.
The House of Commons sits for around 160 days per year and there are 650 MPs so, just like that, we can put over 100,000 people a year into solid top-tier jobs. We can start with the long-term unemployed, then move on to the low-waged and so on. Pretty damn soon everyone in the country will be rich, without any of the down-sides of capitalism or, god forbid, any socialism.
I think my system would still give us a functioning government as well. We could get rid of political parties, elections, manifestos and all that tedious crap. Every day the country would be governed by a random sample of its population. We’d have true proportional representation. A few people could be picked each day to introduce a new bill or scheme; more money for the NHS, invade Iceland, make chalk illegal, whatever, and then they could all debate it and vote on it. There’d be no conflict of interests, because by the time they’d been head-hunted they’d be virtually out the door anyway.
I used to think that this scheme was unworkable, because more strategy and long-term planning was involved in governing the country, but Brexit has shown me that it’s clearly not, so that’s alright.
We could even – and this is a big plus – we could even get rid of the tedious twats who write things about how maybe we could afford to fund the NHS properly if MPs didn’t have pay-rises and expenses, as if there weren’t orders of magnitude between these costs. In the MP for a day scheme the position will be unpaid (but as they’ll be stepping into £100,000+ jobs that hardly seems a hardship), and expenses will be a 1st class train ticket or economy air-fare from wherever they live to London and back, plus £18 to buy a sandwich and a can of Fanta from Pret A Manger.
Wrapped up in one simple scheme then we have a means to end poverty, end divisive partisan politics, end a whole sub-genre of Facebook comments and bring about a golden age of job opportunity and equality. And it’s all thanks to George Osborne.
New here? This is blog number 9 in a series reviewing the no-budget, no talent, no clue film, Dickshark.
You need to start at the beginning to find out what’s happened so far. Although, in fairness, the first sentence of this post tells you 98% of what you need to know.
We left part 8 with Colin dragging a length of chain through the woods, while tragically-raped-to-death-by-a-giant-mutant/stuffed-spider Vanna danced in her underwear.
Colin thrashes at the ground with a chain, then claws at it with his bare hands, before some graveyard shots and then, finally, Colin getting into a lake with one end of the chain draped over his shoulder and the other end fixed to a breeze-block.
As we see his hand slide beneath the surface we realise this was Colin suicide, unable as he was to cope with the loss of Vanna, the love of his life.
Amazingly this is probably the best scene of the film. Sure, Colin overacts it a bit, but at least he was acting – an entirely new tack for Dickshark.
If I was being picky – like really picky – I’d only offer two minor changes:
While the song, Death is so Final, may seem appropriate, thematically, having it sung by someone who’d just bet you a pint he could sing a heavy metal song whilst gargling mouth-wash was distracting.
Don’t have Colin hump the statues in the graveyard.
Having lost Colin (and his presumably red-raw knob) we return to Bill, who’s with his ex-girlfriend, Jill, who we saw briefly way back in part 7. Jill has lost, in no particular order:
Any doubts she had about getting physical with Bill again
Her bikini top
Bill and Jill break off their embrace – which causes the music to suddenly, and I mean really suddenly, stop – and have a conversation about Colin.
I’m well passed sick of Bill’s nonsense, so it’s good that Jill does most of the talking. Jill is worried that something in Colin’s files will incriminate Bill and urges him to break into Colin’s apartment and look for incriminating evidence.
Bill says he’s determined to “succeed on the side of caution”, because “too many people err on the side of caution, and it teaches people to be careless”, then falls over. I have no idea why. I don’t think Jill knows why either, because it prompts a laugh – the only genuine piece of emotion we’ve seen from her. In fact the only point in this scene where it didn’t come across that she was reading from a hastily written cue-card, being held 3 inches in front of her.
Unexpectedly Bill seems to have succeeded on the side of caution, and has found Colin’s video will.
With video recording and viewing technology now being so ubiquitous I can understand the desire to make your will not just the divvying up of your worldly goods, but also a keepsake for your family, a memento of the person you were in a life, a window into your soul into which they can look for the rest of their lives, seeking a connection with you.
Those are all good reasons to make your opening line, “Would it be too much to ask to have a bigger dick?”
Colin, we learn, was blighted not only with a small dick, but with one that worked intermittently or not at all.
Having hooked his nearest and dearest he goes on to lament the killing of sharks to manufacture bogus anti-cancer medication.
“Sharks don’t have bone structure. Humans have bone structure!” he earnestly tells what he must have assumed would be a room of black-robed mourners, who came to find out who gets his bike, but are now avoiding eye-contact like their own lives depended on it.
Colin then confesses that he ate parts of the dickshark, because he believed that it would make his own organ larger. Again, not sure I’d want that to become the immortalised memory of me that I leave for my children.
“Eat, sleep, piss, shit,” he says, describing the emptiness of his life, as kids, dog-walkers and random people walk by in the background of the park bench he’s sitting on (and where, judging by the light, he’s been sat for at least 48 hours).
He ends – without having said even a word about who gets his CD collection – with a declaration that he’s decided to commit suicide and we cut to a waterfall.
Which is where Dickshark 10 will commence, 1 hour and 57 minutes into this film.
As an aside, if you’ve fallen in love with Dickshark then official t-shirts are now available. The director, Bill Zebub, has followed Lucas’ example and kept the merchandising rights to himself, so if you want a shirt you have to e-mail him directly…just like Lucas.
In this interactive blog YOU are the hero(?), Jeremy Corbyn. Can you make the right decisions to steer the beleaguered Labour party to glorious electoral victory?
You’ve been having a little run of bad luck lately, involving fluffed tax returns, lost by-elections, ill-advised whips, deserting MPs, a half-empty shadow cabinet, resignations, sackings, and so on and so on, all the way back to winning that damn leadership contest in the first place.
This afternoon’s problems start when Seumas Milne informs you that the media have spotted that you used a budget response speech that you’d carefully prepared, in November, rather than addressing the actual budget.
Once again the public’s confidence in you to win a general election has been diminished, but how do you react?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 2
You and John McDonnell stay up all night, formulating an alternative budget and, at 11am sharp, you send it to The Morning Star and get the computer whizzes to social media it all up.
It’s 11:45 before word gets back to you that, owing to decaffeinated tea, you and John may have got a little sleepy half way through and gone from working in millions to writing the figures out in full. Because of this it looks like either you’re only planning to invest £20,000 in the NHS, or that your total spending is in the region of £5 trillion (which John tells you might be a problem).
This is another simple error, which once again takes the news away from the government and costs Labour a point in the polls, but how will you rectify it?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 3
The Gorton by-election is getting closer, but in another bit of bad luck you accidentally forward an e-mail from John, saying, “If we win Gorton then the message is that Labour are still a credible party. If we lose it then the candidate was anti-Corbyn”, to a bunch of right-wing journalists from The Guardian.
It’s quickly picked up by other news sources as well, with many of them pointing out that most of the e-mail thread is John repeatedly having to drag you back to the subject of politics, after your extended and disjointed rambles about gardening and jam-making.
The whole story makes it look like you’re just a puppet leader, with John pulling the strings. On the plus side, hardly anyone knows who John is, so it doesn’t really seem to matter that much.
How do you reassert your authority?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 4
The Manchester Gorton by-election went well, you thought, with you managing to retain a solid majority of 6 votes, only slightly down from the 24,079 majority in the 2015 general election.
The general consensus is that if the Conservatives had selected any candidate other the one they did, the opera singer from the Go Compare ads, then they might have won.
Seumas is slightly grumpy that you didn’t stay “on message” during the campaign, twice saying how saddened you were by the death of Andy Kaufman (which was true, but not “timely”, apparently) and consistently forgetting the name of the Labour party candidate. He’s also complained that talking to the press about your love of the Madchester scene came across as insincere, and keeps asking you what your favourite “Inspirational Carpets” song is.
Coming so close to defeat in a seat that Labour has held for over 100 years has, again, led to the Blairite members of the party to call for your resignation. How do you handle this tricky situation?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 5
Another day, another coup. More members of your shadow cabinet have resigned, led by arch-Blairite Diane Abbott.
John says that it’s not a problem; it makes the ‘coup’ story easier to sell and that you, him and Andy Burnham can split all of the shadow cabinet jobs between the three of you.
“Won’t that make a lot of work for each of us?” you ask him.
“Don’t worry,” he replies, “none of them were doing anything useful anyway…we lost all of the competent ones with your first shadow cabinet.”
Some days you wonder if it’s all worth it, but what do you decide to do?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 6
At last, a bit of good news! The Tory’s terrible mismanagement of Brexit has seen the economy tank and unemployment and social deprivation soar to levels not seen since the great depression. That has translated to a 4 (FOUR!) point bump in your polls, putting Labour back into double figures for the first time in 18 months.
You’re still 40-points behind the Tories, but John says that’s a strong position to be in this far out from a general election (3 weeks).
It almost makes up for that scathing article about you by Paul Mason in The Sun, and the turd in a shoebox that Liam Young sent you.
So, what’s your plan for the up coming general election?
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party go to page 7
Well, people said you couldn’t win a general election…and so far they’ve been right, but Labour kept hold of 23 seats, so you certainly beat the pollsters on that one.
You miss John and Andy now, and you’re not really sure you can run this party all by yourself. All of your fellow Labour MPs are Blairites, and the SNP won’t let you sit with them.
This isn’t just a low point for Labour, it’s a new low for you. Still, there’s only one thing you can do, really…
To ignore it and carry on as leader of the Labour party