MICF 2021 Revolutionary recommendations – Catching Jack

Let’s face it, 2020 was awful. For many Melburnians, the last-minute cancellation of Melbourne International Comedy Festival was the first sign of just how bad things would get.

It’s a new year now. Yay! And with that dumpster fire behind us, MICF rises like a phoenix once more. You heard right, live comedy is back in town—and this time around it’s more homegrown than ever!

The coming of a new festival season will always warm my little heart as I see collaborators both old and new with their very own festival shows.

Here is my first Revolutionary Recommendation for 2021:

Big Big Big – Catching Jack

25 Mar – 4 Apr

Three detectives and one rat will stop at nothing to take down Jack the Ripper. Separated in the darkness, they’ll need the help of new characters and old friends along the way.

Millie Holten is one-third of Big Big Big (with Ella Lawry and Madi Savage). This trio did not let lockdown get in the way of productivity. As well as preparing for this show Big Big Big released The Candyman, a thrilling comedy podcast series that investigates the harrowing events of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Millie appeared in three #QuestInnPodcast episodes as Dt. Susan Sarandon way back in 2018.

Catching Jack is playing now.

Get your tickets and show details at: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2021/shows/catching-jack

My top 5 Halloween family favourites

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Happy Halloween!

Once upon a time I was a video store guy that wrote reviews (they’re all here)!

To celebrate the festivities, I’ve sifted out my top five reviews for spooky films to enjoy with the whole family.

Ready to trick or treat? Let’s go!

5. Godzilla (1954)

The review.

The original and the best. Need an in to introduce Kaiju to the kids? There have been many fine entries in recent years including Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Shin Godzilla (2016), but the original is still the best.

The destruction effects are top notch and the story is surprisingly engaging.

A solid classic.

Note: There is an English dub for the little ones not quite ready for subtitles.

4. Hotel Transylvania

The review.

With three to choose from (and a fourth on the way), if you are going to start somewhere – this is your ideal entry point. Adam Sandler is no stranger to spooky performances from the son of the devil in Little Nicky (2000) to the bumbling title character of Hubie Halloween (2020). His best, in my humble opinion, is his Dracula; a protective father afraid of being left in the past.

With all your favourite monsters, this one is guaranteed to get some giggles.

3. Metallica Through the Never

The review.

Okay bear with me, I know this is a stretch. Heavy metal and horror go hand in hand and Metallica are no exception. Their sound and lyrics draw from a rich history of horror influences from Universal Monsters to HP Lovecraft, the bible to Vietnam.

Metallica are all about horror, and the surreal trip of a movie that surrounds this live concert draws heavily on the tropes we’ve come to know and love.

And besides, is it ever too early to introduce your kids to some of the finest music of the 20th century? I think not.

2. Frankenweenie

The review.

Tim Burton’s career is tent-poled by Halloween classics. Edward Scissorhands (1990), Sleepy Hollow (1999), and Corpse Bride (2005) just to name a few.

Frankenweenie began life as a live-action short film in 1984. It was Burton’s love letter to his spooky and sci-fi cinematic influences. This stop-motion remake expands on that idea with more mayhem and higher stakes to deliver a rollercoaster of fun that stays true to the monochrome aesthetic of the original.

1. ParaNorman

The review.

The best zombie movie you will ever watch with your kids. Part ghost story, part coming of age drama, this is storytelling at its finest. The stop-motion animation is second to none with tons of fun, scares, and genuinely touching moments by the spoonful.

A genuine classic that will not disappoint.

What are your Halloween favourites? Share your memories and recommendations in the comments!

Featured Podcast: The Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe

Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

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The Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe is a new comedy podcast series produced by the team here at Potato Revolution. How did it come to be? Well, that’s the interesting bit.

It all started way back in the middle of last year (2017) when Andy and I (Mog) brought Randy Adeva and Beau Windon onto The Spudcast to teach us all about improv comedy. Before then, I didn’t know too much about this well-established performance technique.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Ugh. Improv… that’s like the word “moist”. And for a while there, that’s how I felt too. But don’t think that, the thing about improv is that when it’s done well, you don’t even know it’s improv. Hell, some of the best movie moments of all time are the result of improv.

Improv done right is wonderful, and with recommendations from Randy and Beau, I discovered some live shows that allowed me to rethink the whole improv=moist comparison. Like sex, improv is best when everyone involved is communicating and working to a common goal (I’m aware that sex is also moist and may confuse this metaphor. Like sex, don’t overthink it).

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Adric the Helien

So, somewhere between then and now, Beau had this idea that maybe he wanted to record an improv podcast. Something comedy-driven with an ongoing story like Hello from the magic Tavern or Welcome to Night Vale. And like all good improv performers, he followed up this idea with “yes, and…”

Before I knew it, he had assembled around him some friends from the Improv Conspiracy (Indiana Kiely and Tom Fahey), and together they came up with a premise, along with their own characters to bring to the show as well.

The only thing missing was a producer, and when Beau asked if I’d like to do it, I jumped at the chance.

Over the Christmas break, we got to putting together ideas and co-ordinating how we were going to do this thing. We put some time aside, spent some money and followed up on a few connections. Pretty soon, our release date arrived and on the 18/02/18, we delivered the first three episodes to the world.

The story follows Chase Quarterly (Beau Windon), Katherine Wilder (Indiana Kiely), and Bocky the idea rooster (Tom Fahey) as, together, they commence work as new employees for the Quest Inn at the Centre of the Universe. Quest Inns can be found in the furthest and most remote reaches of the universe, away from the prying eyes of any kind of governed law where they provide budget accommodation as well as functioning as transaction points for those that wish to pick up a quest or two for some easy cash. What’s odd about this one, however, is the circumstances that have led to needing new staff. It seems that the last employees moved on rather suddenly, leaving the new team to pick up the mess.

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Mickle Mantel

Chase is a time-traveller who’s lost his time machine, Katherine is a shentaur (that’s a female centaur) and the last of her species, while Bocky is genetically-engineered poultry with the mind of a scientific genius. Each has started this job to escape their past, but with each new and unexpected guest that arrives at the Quest Inn, they find that sometimes, the past has a habit of catching up.

So far we’ve met a variety of intriguing characters including: Cecily (Caitlyn Staples), a jewel thief on the run from pretty much everything; Mickle Mantel (Tom Burton), the tricky fox of dubious intent, and;  Adric the Helien (Lukas Quinn), who has been sent by management to keep tabs on the team.

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Cecily

Producing this series has been a so much fun and I hope that, as a listener, you get to experience a bit of that energy. With a new guest (almost) every episode, and a few favourites returning, it’s an absolute joy to be a part of bringing this creature to life.

From plugging stuff in, to recording, editing, and getting the world excited through little promos like this, we’re all really proud of how it’s all coming together.

As for future plans, we have ideas for the coming season and are even thinking about live shows (which are going to be next-level awesome) so keep an eye out for those.


With a new episode released every Sunday, follow the adventures of Chase, Katherine and Bocky at:

http://www.thequestinn.com/

You can also find us on iTunes and Spotify.

Iggy Pop and David Bowie – two decades of uneasy collaboration Part 2: the ‘80s

Music review / Article – by Morgan Thistlethwaite

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In this two-part series, I look at every album that, for better or worse, rock icons David Bowie and Iggy Pop share credits.

Find Part 1: the ‘70s here.

Tonight from 1984 is Bowie’s follow-up to the commercial success of Let’s Dance (1983).

David Bowie – Tonight (1984)

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Iggy’s presence on this record is not comparable to that of Bowie on the Iggy Pop records. However, including Tonight, Iggy is credited on five of the nine tracks with this mess of an album.

Don’t get me wrong, Blue Jean (with its mini-film Jazzin’ For Blue Jean by Julien Temple) is a classic pop song and Loving the Alien Doesn’t fair too badly either, but these two tracks show little to no evidence of input from Iggy.

For the title track, Bowie brought in Tina Tuner to duet with on this neutered (drug references removed) reggae version of Iggy’s song, and it sounds as bad as it looks on paper, believe me.

Neighborhood Threat, also from Lust For Life, makes the cut as well. Iggy’s 1977 version sounds very much like a precursor to what Bowie ends up doing on Scary Monsters and Super Creeps (1980). Perhaps if Bowie had delivered his version a few years earlier, it could have sounded better than it does here.

The third Iggy Pop cover present is Don’t Look Down from New Values (1979), his first solo record without Bowie. The original is a decent soul-influenced track that wouldn’t feel too out of place on Bowie’s Young Americans (1975). For some reason, Bowie gives this a reggae twist as well.

Two original tracks are credited to the pair: Tumble and Twirl and Dancing with the Big Boys. The former rolls along just like its namesake. With a heavy horn rhythm section, this track feels very of its time but solid, nonetheless. The latter includes Iggy on vocals and is very much a signal of what Bowie’s next studio album will sound like.

An album with less than fifty percent new material, Bowie said of Tonight:

…I thought it a kind of violent effort at a kind of Pin Ups.

Pin Ups was a collection of covers from 1973 released to cash in on the success of Aladdin Sane.

Blah-Blah-Blah (1986)

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Iggy says this is not his album. The most well-known song on here is the re-worked Johnny O’Keefe track Real Wild Child (Wild One). Half of the album is written with or by Bowie. It’s sound is a pop album with some kind of punk rock edge. It’s even got Steve Jones on it, how punk is that? Mind you, the tracks written with Jones don’t sound anything like the Sex Pistols.

Still, the tracks credited with Bowie sound like what he will do in future with Tin Machine (1988-1992). For those that don’t know, Tin Machine was Bowie’s attempt to shed his popstar skin to become one of the boys. Those boys included, not coincidentally, the Sales brothers—rhythm section from the Lust for Life (1977) album.

However Iggy feels about it, Blah-Blah-Blah is a solid album and his most commercially successful. Also, Cry for Love (one of the three songs co-written with Jones), is a killer track.

This is the last album that Iggy and Bowie will make together.


Never-Let-Me-Down

Bowie’s following studio album Never Let Me Down (1987) features a cover of Bang Bang from Iggy’s Party (1981). It pales in comparison to the original but it’s better than anything that features Mickey Rourke rapping on it.