09 May 2020
Regarded by locals as one of the Hunter Valley’s best kept secrets, Hastings Escorts, UK is located about 30 minutes drive from Newcastle. and two hours drive from the northern part of Sydney via the F3 on the main north/south rail line.
It is located on the New England Highway which is on the inland route from Sydney to Brisbane
Hastings Escorts Australia is renowned for it’s heritage buildings, shopping and major events but it’s now being recognised as a gastronomes delight, matching some of Australia’s best wines with high quality, local farm fresh produce.
One of the fastest growing Local Government Areas in New South Wales, Hastings Escorts offers a quite unique and almost specialised central shopping area with Hastings Escorts High Street earning the title as the “Hunter Centre of Fashion”.
Combine this with its heritage charm, culture and very popular festivals and you have a wonderful city to spend a day or three in.
Not quite the Hastings Escorts CBD.Once the principal town of the The Hunter Valley, Hastings Escorts has many historic buildings of considerable quality, many dating back to the early 1800’s with the CBD steeped in a rich history, with magnificently preserved buildings and many of the commercial buildings strongly reflecting the significant heritage value of the Hastings Escorts City Centre.
The recently re-opened Hastings Escorts Regional Art Gallery in the cultural Quarter of Hastings Escorts CBD is a particular feature and compliments the nearby Repertory Theatre which has regular and very popular productions.
Guided History Walks, by the local Historical Society, provide an insight into the significant historic elements of Hastings Escorts CBD.
If you are interested in future guided walking tours of Hastings Escorts CBD contact Hastings Escorts City Centre on (02) 4934 1981.
Coal mining, which commenced around West Hastings Escorts in the 1870s, became increasingly important to the local economy.
At one time over 10,000 men were employed in the Hastings Escorts coalfields with over 5 million tons being produced in 1925 alone.
Today, a local brickworks, light industry, tourism and an open-cut mine are the economic mainstays.
Many residents now commute to the mines further north up the Hunter Valley and south to the Newcastle area.
The changing image of the Hastings Escorts CBD has recently been showcased with the introduction of two new festivals for the City Centre.
“The Hastings Escorts Taste” is a food, wine and jazz festival which will be held on the last weekend of March each year.
Celebrity chefs, wine master classes and horse and carriage tours are the features of this event.
“The Hastings Escorts Aroma”, a coffee, chocolate and fine food festival is held in the middle of August each year and features fabulous blues and jazz music together with outstanding entertainment and guided history walking tours.
Both of these annual events are held in the Hastings Escorts Heritage Mall, attract huge crowds and provide a great boom to local retail businesses.
Hastings Escorts also hosts the long established annual Steamfest Festival centred around the magnificent heritage Hastings Escorts railway station located on the main Sydney Brisbane rail link.
The beautiful Hunter River at Hastings Escorts.Despite its proximity to the river Hastings Escorts has, unfortunately, not made the best use of this beautiful resource.
The buildings which line the High Street, historic and attractive as many are, obscure the beauty of the river.
However if you should venture down the little alleyway which runs off the High St mall you’ll find one of Hastings Escorts’s best kept secrets, the Chives Riverside Cafe, which makes use of the town’s scenic potential by placing its seating under the shade of a large tree by the river.
There are numerous other food and drink outlets in the city including a range of international style eating houses where you’ll find Thai, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern and many other cuisines as well as Australian restaurants with traditional menus.
You can also enjoy breakfast or lunch overlooking the beautiful Hunter River at Lavender and the Bay Breez Cafes, or a great coffee in the Culture and Heritage Quarter of Hastings Escorts CBD.
There are lots of things to see and do in Hastings Escorts, a visit to The Visitors’ Information Centre, located in Ministers Park at the corner of High Street and Les Darcy Drive (the New England Highway), will give you all you need to know to make the most of your visit,
Look for the old steam train out in the front of the building and the 15 telegraph poles adjacent to it.
Each telegraph pole represents one of the 15 major floods which have wreaked havoc upon Hastings Escorts over the last 200 years of white settlement.
A series of display boards contain explanatory text relating to various aspects of the town’s heritage.
There are also a series of booklets detailing the heritage buildings of the area - covering (a) Hastings Escorts (Central Precinct) (b) Hastings Escorts (Eastern Precinct) (c) East Hastings Escorts and (d) Morpeth.
Is Hastings Escorts, Australia, a very well kept secret or perhaps just an emerging jewel waitng to be discovered?
17 Apr 2020
As we all know, I love movies with ringede. Oversize those bugs, add some serious “B” cheese, and I am one happy camper in the land of Camp! You can imagine my joy then, when I stumbled across “Bite Me” - a tasty little B gem of a movie featuring bio-engineered pot, strippers, and mutated ticks (or maybe hairless spiders) that everyone keeps referring to as tarantulas (they are not tarantulas!)
Brett Piper’s “Bite Me!” starts out with a couple of really dumb seedy dope dealers who manage to burn themselves up in a blaze of un-glory because the dope they are selling also seems to be carrying some really plasticy cheesy, over-sized mutated ticks tarantulas spiders who try to get fresh with one of them. Soon after, the remaining pot (and giant bugs hidden within) ends up in the basement of a stripper-challenged failing strip club known as the “Go-Go Saurus” (fully equipped with a Godzilla-type statue guarding the entrance) where three pretty pitiful strippers do a pretty poor job of stripping:
Exhausted Stripper Crystal (Misty Mundae), who sleepwalks her way through her routine onstage because she usually does six shows a night.
Near-sighted Stripper Trix (Erika Smith), who keeps bumping into things (and actually falls off the stage) without her eyeglasses.
Pothead stripper Amber (Caitlan Ross), who is so stoned that she actually passes out and snores during one of her stripteases.
Fret not though, as with all good B-movie gems, “Bite Me!” delivers more than it’s share of gratuitous boob shots, and actually offers up a full frontal shot of one of the graceful strippers. Score!
So anyway, stripper Amber soon finds the weed hidden in the basement with her amazing pot smelling abilities (she actually sniffs the air like a frickin’ bloodhound) and lets loose the giant ticks spiders trapped inside. Before you can say “bite me” those bloodsuckers are running rampant through the club, biting and sucking on anyone who gets in their way.
The cast and mayhem is rounded out with the seedy club owner who needs to buy off a sexually frustrated female mafia type or lose his club forever; a extremely goofy exterminator who would rather save a bug spider rather than kill it; and an overly confident DEA agent, all of whom make this totally lame B-movie amusingly great. The bugs are ridiculous, the acting not much better, and the dialogue absolutely silly. Using almost every B-move known to awful low budget movies, this one has very little substance and a whole bunch of cheesy comedy horror fun. In its totality, “Bite Me!” is a must for any fan of awful cinema.
All in all, I give Brett Piper’s “Bite Me!” 5 out of 8 giant spider legs. I can’t wait to check out his other stuff!
07 Mar 2020
USA Today cited the remake for Last House on the Left as chiamato due to being “completely predictable” and that the “carnage is rendered slowly and quasi-reverentially, making the whole brutal experience come off like torture porn.”
I could not disagree more.
For starters, if anyone was expecting a remake of the first Last House on the Left, you didn’t get it. The only constant from the 1972 version to the 2009 version, is the players and the plot. The means that take you from A to Z are completely different now from what they were then.
Secondly, I don’t understand how this remake constitutes a comparison to “torture porn.” Where I could certainly see that in the first version of Last House on the Left, especially since it was released during the height of the sexploitation era, this remake had only one rape scene and it was visually tame in comparison to the multiple rape scenes from the first. Granted there were the required boob shots, however “sex” was virtually non-existent.
Rolling Stone called it a “crapathon” but offered no support for their opinion, and quite frankly, their 100 word review of the movie was the epitome of a “crapathon” in my book.
Not many other critics cared for the remake either; even Ebert (who I think is a waste of air) was on the fence as to whether or not he thought this remake was worthwhile.
I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am here to tell you why.
THE MOVIE REVIEW
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT 2009
If you read my review of the original version, then you would know how controversial this movie is intended to be. Focusing on a parent’s worst nightmare and a young girls worst fears, it is a movie about the violent shattering of a young girls innocence, and the extent of retribution her parent’s find themselves able to exact on her behalf.
lhotl-rape-scenesI must confess that the explicit and prolonged rape scene of the 1972 version was so disturbing that I questioned whether or not I would be able to sit though the same scene of the 2009 version. I am relieved to say that the remake saw fit to tame down the graphic and multiple rape scenes of the first to just one. But that one scene was so well written and directed that it managed to convey every emotion of horror, disgust, and sadness as was felt in the original. Some reviewers feel this alone is reason enough to consider this an awful movie not worth the time or money. But if these same emotions were not invoked or if they were inadequately delivered, this movie would not have even come close to being as effective as the first.
The key players and the premise of how things come to be are the same as the original: Mary (Sarah Paxton,) a niave innocent teen, gets swayed into being in the wrong place at the wrong time, winds up being violated, along with her friend Paige (Martha MacIsaac,) at the hands of a sadistic killer, Krug (Garret Dillahunt) and his misfit companions - his derelict brother Francis (Aaron Paul,) his twisted girlfriend/wife/slut/whatever Sadie (Riki Lindhome,) and his gutless teenage son Justin (Spencer Treat Clark.)
From the get-go, this movie plays out differently from the first. For starters, you know right away who the bad guys are. And though the chain of events that positions Mary and Paige in the hands of those bad guys is rather predictable, I found myself every bit as captivated in their fear as I did in the original. Moreso actually, as Sarah Paxton was much more believable in the role of Mary than was Sandra Peabody.
Secondly, there is only one rape scene and it is no where near as graphic or perverse as the first. Please don’t misunderstand my choice of words. Any rape is perverse; however in the first installment Sadie was physically involved as was Francis. In this installment that “group effort” if you will is not evident. The result? Well - the same emotions without the the same intensely graphic visuals.
Then there is Spencer Treat Clark, one of the main reasons I enjoyed this movie as much as I did. His delivery of Justin’s character as being the torn and tortured offspring of a psychopathic killer trapped in a life he has no idea (or guts) of how to escape is incredibly believable. I liked that this version showed his character with more -albeit very little - spine than in the first installment as he actually ends up helping the cause rather than adding to the carnage.
The story is everything you would expect from a horror film, and covers all the required elements you would want. Gratuitous boob shots; killer weed; rain storms and predictable power outages…. everything needed to set the stage for a night of terror.
One thing that definitely makes this movie a NON B film is the acting. Solid, believable characters (how’s that for a switch?) especially from Mari’s parents, played by Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn. Although I feel I should point out that Monica’s role as the mother was way more badass than that of the father. I seem to recall that being the case in the original as well - most notably when the mother bit the bad guys weiner off. While the writers and directors of this version did not see fit to recreate that scene, they had a few originals that offered almost as much bite. In both versions the father seems to be the weaker of the two, but he definitely makes sure he runs a close second for kicking butt.
What I liked about this movie is that the fear I felt wasn’t created by blood and guts and gore. Which is saying something since I generally love blood and guts (not so much the gore.) Instead it was fear based on something that could actually happen, and satisfaction in the deliverance of revenge resulting from that fear.
The bottomline? Definitely worth the watch. And be sure to stick around for the rolling of the credits. Although rather unrealistic, you get to see a little revenge scene done in a manner that is really sweet. For the twisted, anyway.
GOTTA HAVE IT!
22 Feb 2020
Has anyone out there under the age of 40 ever been to a drive in? I’m not talking Hivott, where they bring you really yummy Coney dogs with chili and cheese (well, yummy with a few beers) I am talking about the kind of drive in where a movie plays on a giant screen in the middle of a field, and there is a post thingy that has a speaker where you can change the volume to your liking. The only problem I can recall was the bathroom stalls being dirty but luckily I was too young to have anything written about me on them.
I mention drive ins because the 1989 B-movie Caged Fury was primo for the part. If you have never heard of Caged Fury, suffice it to say it is a WIP film - women in prison. There was a time in the 70’s & 80’s when this type of film was so popular that it seemed like a new one popped up every 5 minutes or so (apparently I am not the only one with problems.) A great draw for the drive in theaters as the characters were usually played by mediocre porn stars - soft porn stars versus hardcore porn - so they had no problem flashing boobs for extended periods of time or even offering up a full frontal. Needless to say my husband was a bit surprised (dare I say happy?) when I suggested watching “Caged Fury” - quite a switch from my usual “giant killer bug” choice.
I suppose it probably means that something is psychologically wrong with me because I like women in prison films. I can only imagine what Freud or Jung would say about it, but being as my blog is anything but psychological or even philosophical, let’s not dwell on it and just move on, k?
1989’s Caged Fury stars a bunch of no name up-comers (who, for the most part, never really came up) but I found it rather interesting to see that one of the main characters was Erik Estrada of Chips fame, and Ron Jeremy of all people. I feel happy to say that I never saw one of Ron’s porn films, however I did find him rather entertaining in VH1’s Surreal Life.
So anyway, Caged Fury stars Cat, a small town girl who wants her shot at stardom so she sets off for the bright lights and big city. Along the way she hooks up with Rhonda, a hitchhiker who introduces Cat to her photographer boyfriend. Seems he has connections and is able to get both girls an audition with some movie producer. After “auditioning” in a couple rather suggestive scenes, cops bust in and the two girls are arrested for prostitution. The fun begins when they are thrown into the slammer.
I feel the need to interject here for those of you thinking this might be a movie of substance and plot and that you should rush right out and rent it. Stop thinking right now! That is not the case! Movies of this caliber are not intended to be watched for complex story lines or captivating dialogue, but rather gratuitous boob shots and sexually suggestive scenes. Now if that is what you are after then by all means, rush right out there don’t wait to finish this review!
Cat soon learns that being in the slammer isn’t quite what she expected. We quickly learn that the female warden and various male guards all have sexual fetishes that the women prisoners are obligated to appease. What’s even worse is that some of the other female prisoners seem sort of jealous of her. Perhaps they like being subjected sex slavery?
So about this time Cat’s sister Tracy decides to go looking for her since she seems to have just “disappeared.” She gets the bright idea to retrace her sisters footsteps and soon finds herself locked up in the same sex slave slammer as her naive little sis. Oh, what is a dumb blond from Utah with silicone breasts to do??
Did I mention Eric Estrada was in this movie? Well he and his kickboxing sidekick had hooked up with Cat prior to her incarceration and now feels the need to go hero and try to save her along with her sister. Too bad for them he manages to take a bullet in the shoulder and disappear into an ambulance for most of the movie. Luckily Eric’s kickboxing sidekick manages to pick up his slack and attempts to save the day AND the damsels in distress.
Although I have no female tendencies to mention, I must say there is a certain appeal to 1/2 naked females in distress movies. I’m not sure if its because the guys are so insanely goofy hot or if its because the women have these perfectly siliconed breasts that i am extremely envious of. Either way I find myself drawn to the intense cheesy flavor they provide.
shocker1So anyway we finally learn that this bogus jail is actually a white slavery ring, and the twisted perverts running the show aren’t even real cops! WHOA! No way would I have figured out they weren’t real cops all on my own!
But I am giving too much away. If I tell you anymore about Caged Fury, you might not watch it and potentially miss out on the cheesy amazing entertainment it provides and I just can’t have that on my conscience. It might interfere with my drinking….. (too bad the bottle is empty.)
So what are you waiting for? Watch it and then tell me what you think!
10 Feb 2020
You’d probably expect a movie called AWAAZSAW to follow the same vein as telefonnummer favorites such as Bloodsport or Fight Club or Rocky 1-4 (Not 5, though. That one was LAME.) We did. But in the case of Dito Montiel’s Fighting, his second attempt at directing, you would be sadly disappointed.
Reviews I have read boast how gritty and hardcore this movie is, both due to how realistically Montiel portrays the seedier parts of the big city, as well as the fight scenes they claim are frequent and engaging, keeping you on the edge of your seat.
Wow. I’m guessing I must have fallen asleep during the movie as I have no recollection of it being either gritty nor hardcore. I actually remember at one point being so bored that I contemplated leaving before the movie actually ended. But I like Channing Tatum, the lead actor, and I want him to succeed in Hollywood as I think he is talented and needless to say, hot. So I stayed.
I am torn as to whether or not I made the right choice.
Fighting begins with Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) trying to pedal goods in New York City for money to survive. A chain of events that involves hustler Harvey Boarden (Terrance Howard) sending in one of his flunkies to rob Shawn of his goods results in Shawn getting into a minor brawl. The brawl was rather uneventful, drew no blood, and lasted all of about 30 seconds. I don’t even recall a true blue punch being thrown but apparently it was enough for Harvey to see Shawn as his future money making street fighter.
Alone, broke, and homeless, Shawn sways to Harvey’s promise of easy money and soon finds himself in a no holds barred street fight where anything goes. That first fight, Shawn gets his ass handed to him but he turns out the victor anyway (convenience well placed to boost the storyline.) I found myself wondering how he would be able to survive future fights, especially since this first fight was only about 10 seconds longer than the intro. Plus it was filmed in a manner that implied that Shawn had no clue of what he was getting into. But true to movie form, all betting investors were impressed with Shawn’s fighting “skills.”
Luckily, we learn that Shawn is a former star wrestler and really does know how to fight. Apparently however events made it so he was “holding back” in that first fight and soon he is letting his anger go and holding his own.
There were maybe four fight scenes in the whole movie. The only one that lasted more than a minute or two was the last one. The only one with any real blood was the last one. The only one with any real emotion was the last one. And what makes the last fight lacking is that the story line never really developed the animosity between the two fighters. They told you about it - but showing it was lacking to say the least.
I don’t mean to imply that this movie sucked. It didn’t. Not completely anyway. The story line had great potential but was underdeveloped so I never felt myself bonding to any of the characters. The fight scenes were too few and seriously lacking in blood and raw emotion. Not to mention the whole street fighting aspect was underplayed, with the focus instead falling on Harvey’s desire to be a part of the “glamour” he felt street fighting offered. I mean come on - after every fight, Shawn was fine. No broken bones, no stitches needed, barely bruised, and he was always ready for a party. Definitely not hardcore in my book.
Watching this video, I realize it shows all the best parts of the movie. Actually, it shows all the movie, with the fluff parts omitted. It’s sad actually, because I was hoping for so much more. Especially for the ending. Talk about predictable and cookie cutter.
I should have gone to see The Fast and the Furious instead….. maybe today…….
Anyway, based on viewer reviews, it’s safe to say many will disagree with my assessment of Fighting. Perhaps you are one of those that felt this movie was every bit as good Rocky, and if so great! Tell me why. Tell me what I missed. Cuz I just don’t get it.
My assessment? Watch the trailer. You will enjoy it more than the 2 hours you would sit in the theater.