Monday, August 31, 2015

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 3 (Vol. 3)

In amongst the list-making and obsessive weather forecast-checking for Electric Picnic this weekend, I've got the next volume ready to go, because I'm sound like that. However, the two weeks that I'm away on holidays for in September will be less conducive to blog posts, but I guess we'll deal with that when we come to it. For now, look! It's volume three!

(Catch up on Volumes 1 and 2 and sure come on over and like my Facebook page too while you're at it.)

Ana wakes up from her nightmare and panics because Christian isn't beside her. I swear, every time one of these assholes wakes up and the other one isn't right beside them, they freak the fuck out. I love the Bear, but if I wake up and he's not there, it's STARFISH TIME because he's probably just fallen asleep on the couch while watching a BBC4 documentary about space.

Anyway, Christian is sitting in a chair across the room, watching her sleep, like a serial killer. It's the last day of the honeymoon and Christian wants to go for a spin on the jetski with Ana driving before they leave. They climb on and put us through some of their usual fucking tedious banter. Lately they've been incessantly calling each other Mr. Grey and Mrs. Grey during said banter - "Is that so, Mr. Grey?" "It is indeed, Mrs. Grey" and so on. It's adorable and definitely doesn't make me want to fling every copy of this book into a tornado. They take off across the water, and Ana sees that the airport is nearby, so heads that way for a look, before being startled by a plane like the genius she is, and falling off the jetski, taking Christian with her. Ha ha ha these crazy kids.

Eventually they get back home (they fly home on a commercial airline, which makes no sense. Where's the private plane?) and Christian carries Ana from the car up to the penthouse like she's a fucking child. He tells her she's put on weight, which is a ridiculous thing to do, considering her weird food issues and his continued insistence that YOU MUST EAT, ANA over the last two books. There's actually been hardly any of that this time around though, so she must be packing on the pounds. Even though she just said earlier that she's leaner and fitter than ever before. HEY, LOOK OVER THERE, A DISTRACTION FROM THIS TERRIBLE WRITING! (Copyright Anastasia Grey)

The next morning, it's Ana's turn to be creepy, so she watches Christian sleep for a little while, before he wakes up. While watching him, she wants to kiss him, but decides not to disturb him.

My subconscious glares up at me over her half-moon spectacles, distracted from volume two of the Complete Works of Charles Dickens, and mentally chastises me. Leave the poor man alone, Ana.
Hey, volume two! Good for you, Subconscious, you're so lucky you don't have to read this exasperating pile of shite. Swapsies?

Ana's thoughts then turn to the fire at the office and the lurking threat that we all know is Jack Hyde after the last book's epilogue, who has been doing an exceedingly shoddy job of trying to kill Christian so far.
My blood chills. Who could want to harm Christian?
They go to lunch at Christian's parents house, and Ana is feeling out of sorts. She teases Christian about letting her drive his Audi R8 and gets all snappy when he teases her back. At lunch, he mentions that Gia the architect is calling over the following day, which riles Ana up as well, because Gia's a no-good big-boobed homewrecker. Probably. She tells herself that she has no reason to be jealous and wonders what's up with her mood.

Shit, I am up and down today. What’s wrong with me? 

You're pregnant. It's Twilight after all, so there's a demon baby to be had, and the whole weight thing earlier was a typically masterfully subtle and nuanced foreshadowing of this fact. Christian tells her that he's going to spank her unless she snaps out of her weird mood. After lunch, everyone is chatting and Christian starts singing softly to himself while playing the piano.

Suddenly, as one, all the Greys stop talking and gape at Christian.

It's some big moment because none of his family have ever heard him sing before, and Grace is all overwhelmed and cries a bit because it's apparently such a big breakthrough or whatever. Problem is:

When they leave the house to head home, Christian allows Ana to drive the Audi, but they get a call from Sawyer and Ryan who are behind them in an SUV, because UH OH they're being followed by a car with fake license plates. Although it's never actually explained how they know the plates aren't real. So instead of telling Ana to drive to the nearest police station, or whatever, Christian and his security detail tell her to drive like a fucking crazy person along the freeway. She weaves in and out of traffic at speed and this whole underwhelming car chase goes on for fucking everrrrrrr.

They eventually pull into a random car park and Sawyer informs them that the other car kept going and they managed to lose the tail. The guys in the SUV follow the mystery car and Ana and Christian fuck in the car park. Seriously. At first, Ana is shaken and starts crying, so Christian tries to console her.

He reaches over and, despite the limited space we have, pulls me over the handbrake console to cradle me in his lap.

I don't know how big the inside of an R8 is, but pulling a fully grown human off their seat and onto your lap would surely be a fiesta of elbows and knees and banging your head on the ceiling. Then again, Ana is so frail and tiny that it's probably more like picking up and moving a bundle of twigs. They bang in the seat (Ana takes care to mention "the sheer fine lace" of her "designer underwear" - but WILL SHE EVER GET USED TO BEING RICH?) and then head back to the apartment. It turns out that the driver of the car that was following them was a woman and Sawyer is waiting for them when they get home. However, they're both still horny even after having just had sex in the car, so Christian tells Sawyer he wants to be debriefed in an hour. Instead of right now, as there's badly described sex to be had!

Christian leads Ana to the playroom and she's all coy and embarrassed for some reason.

I blush, knowing that Mrs. Jones must have been in here cleaning while we were away on our honeymoon.

Poor Mrs. Jones. Nobody should have to clean up Christian Grey's spunk and sweaty ass-prints. Christian bends Ana over a table and puts a butt plug in her ass, with the usual vagueness.

His fingers are massaging me there again. Lubricating me...there!

Where? There? Oh the other there? Wuh?

Anyway, they have sex and lie there in the playroom for a bit.

“Who cleans these toys?” I ask as I follow him over to the chest. He frowns at me, as if not understanding the question. “Me. Mrs. Jones.”

DUDE. WHAT. Clean your own goddamn sex toys! JESUS. Mrs. Jones doesn't need this kind of shit. They go for a bath afterwards and Christian mentions that they should look over the plans for the house before Gia comes by the next day.

That woman is coming back again. My subconscious gazes up from volume 3 of The Complete Works of Charles Dickens and glowers.

Volume 3! She's flying through them! I am now officially more invested in her subconscious's reading list than the actual plot here.

Christian finally goes to talk to Sawyer, while Ana does Mrs Jones a favour and washes the butt plug herself. She then thinks about how she has to go back to the office the following day, how she doesn't plan on changing her name at work and that she knows Christian will be mad when she tells him. Oh god, we're going to have to endure that fucking fiasco at some point, please let's just get it over with. Instead, Ana uploads the photos from the Nikon she bought for Christian and finds PICTURE AFTER PICTURE of her asleep on it. She's sucking her thumb in some photos. Come on, Ana. Anyway, it's TERRIFYING. But as usual, me and Ana have the opposite reactions to these things, and she's overwhelmed with love and jumps up to find him.

She comes into his study while Christian is on the phone to someone and crawls onto his lap. The part of Ana in this book is being played by a tiny baby. She sees that he's looking at grainy CCTV footage of a man going into the server room at Grey House on his laptop, while the guy at the other end of the phone line enhances the picture. Suddenly Ana gasps, because ERMAHGERD it's Jack Hyde and we already knew that and it's no surprise whatsoever.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 3 (Vol. 2)

Alright, it's that time again. I forgot to mention last time that the plan is to post one of these a week, and hopefully I won't have lost the will to live by the end of it all. Also, I won't be recapping Grey, because the thoughts of having to relive the entire series and all the boring conversations they have over and over again but from a different point of view would be some next-level form of psychological torture.

So, onwards with volume two!

(Catch up on Vol. 1 here and the first two books are here. Also, giz an aul like on Facebook there, because I know you're sound.)

Ana is quite correctly furious about the marks all over her boobs and wonders how she didn't feel him doing it to her at the time. She was blindfolded while they were fucking and claims that the reason she didn't notice was because "Mr. Orgasmic was using his fine-motor sexing skills on me", which...what the fuck kind of sentence is that? Also, bullshit, I don't care how intense the whole thing was, you would definitely notice someone sucking on your skin to the point of bruising. Repeatedly. And in case you were wondering what her subconscious and inner goddess are up to, because I know you were:

My subconscious peers over her half-moon specs and tuts disapprovingly, while my inner goddess slumbers on her chaise longue, out for the count.

Ana then tells us how much sexier she's gotten, while considering her refection. "I’ve become leaner and fitter, and my hair is glossy and well cut. My nails are manicured, my feet pedicured, my eyebrows threaded and beautifully shaped" and then immediately says she doesn't want "to think about grooming at the moment", after detailing how very well-groomed she is now. But back to being mad. She picks up a hairbrush and when Christian asks if she's ok from the other room, her subconscious "folds her arms beneath her small bosom" and Ana comes out and flings the hairbrush at him, before storming out onto the deck. Now jump overboard and swim to freedom! Go! Before he goes all Billy Zane in Dead Calm on your ass!

Instead, she tells Christian that she's mad at him, that he made his point on the beach and he has to stop trying to bring her to heel.

“Well, you won’t take your top off again,” he murmurs petulantly.


I need this pointy fish to jump onboard and stab Christian through the heart. Any minute now.

Ana insists that it's a hard limit for her and pulls the neckline of her top down to show him what he's done. She wants to shout at him but stops herself.

I don’t want to push him too far. Heaven knows what he’d do.

HE WOULD MURDER YOU LIKE BILLY ZANE IN DEAD CALM, THAT'S WHAT. (I'm not even sure how well-known a reference Dead Calm is, it's just all I can think about for this whole bit.)

Christian apologises and Ana starts thinking about something that Christian's therapist Dr. Flynn said. Namely, that Christian is emotionally adolescent, as he bypassed that part of his life and focused on business instead. Which is no fucking excuse really, and if that is the case, then surely the absolute last thing he should be doing is getting married. Anyway, Ana seems to think this is reason enough to forgive him when he asks to be and then she asks if she's forgiven (UM, FOR WHAT, EXACTLY?) and they're all good again. Or you know, as good as this appalling relationship can be.

The next morning, Ana is watching Christian shave and it's time for another fucking pointless flashback, wherein Ana shaves her pussy while they're in London, because she thought Christian would like it, but she made a hames of it and missed a few bits. Christian suggests that he finishes off the job for her and Ana is horrified.

My subconscious slams down her Complete Works of Charles Dickens, leaps up from her armchair, and puts her hands on her hips.


Christian tells her he knows her body better than she does AND SHE FUCKING AGREES. AGAIN. So he gets a razor and finishes it off, followed by banging. Back to the present, and Ana decides "'s payback time" and gets Christian to sit so she'll finish shaving his face. Ana is up to her old "hmm" tricks again in this book. More often than not, she's thinking hmm instead of it being part of her dialogue and it always looks ridiculous.

Hmm...Christian speaking fluent French wakes me.

Will I ever understand this man? Hmm - this crème brulée is delicious. barefoot Christian.

The word "hmm" appears no less than 79 times in this book. 79. That's 24 times more than the last book, which clocked in at 55. SEVENTY FUCKING NINE!

So Ana finishes shaving Christian's face (instead of taking her chance, punching him in the throat and jumping overboard) and they go to a medieval hilltop village for the day, to look at galleries and buy some artwork.

Art...he wants to buy art. How can I buy art?

Try the massive amount of money you just married into. Christian says that they can pick out some pieces for their new house and mentions the architect that's doing some work on it for them.

He had to remind me of her...Gia Matteo, a friend of Elliot’s who worked on Christian’s place in Aspen. During our meetings, she’d been all over Christian like a rash.

Ah yes, and as a woman she of course wants to steal Ana's husband. They all do. Poor Ana. She's locked him down and these bitches still don't know their place. They go to the village and look at a display of photos of naked women, which makes Ana wonder whether she should let Christian take nude photos of her. They move on and Ana picks out three paintings of peppers to buy, as she is the most basic of all the bitches.

Ana has red marks on her wrists and ankles from the handcuffs, and more importantly, from Christian being a horrendously bad Dom and closing them so tightly. So they go to a fancy jewellery shop, where he buys her a €30,000 platinum cuff that hides the redness on her wrist. The other one is obscured by the "platinum Omega watch" he gave her on the first morning of the honeymoon. I can't even make fun of this part, because it just makes me so sad. He leaves visible marks on his wife and buys her expensive things that cover it. It's their abusive relationship in an epically bleak nutshell. The bleakest of nutshells. The most miserable squirrel in the world be like "Nope. That nutshell is too depressing, even for me."

On the way back in the car, he examines the marks on her ankles and feels all sad about it, but Ana insists that they don't hurt and it's just the love bites that she doesn't like. Things start to heat up in the backseat, Ana's inner goddess "looks up startled from her Jackie Collins" (there is NO NEED to drag Jackie Collins into this mess) but they get cut short when Christian gets a phonecall. There's been a fire in the server room at his office, but nobody was hurt and a fire suppression system put it out before too much damage was done. He tells the person at the other end of the line not to call the police or fire department, so clearly this is going to play out just like that last book, where a disturbed woman was roaming around with a gun, trying to kill Ana, but he didn't call the cops as that would have just solved things and removed all the needless suspense. Oh, and while he's on the phone, Ana starts to "fiddle nervously with the fifteen-thousand-euro bracelet" because EL James can't keep her story straight within three pages.

They're back on the boat and Christian has been in the study for ages, making calls to the office. Ana is bored, so she tells him she's going shopping. She has to take Taylor and one of the twins with her, and decides she wants to use the jetski to get to shore. Taylor shows her how to use it and she zips around on the water, doing two laps of the yacht.

This rocks! No wonder Christian never lets me drive.


Christian sees her on the jetski and is "gaping" at her, because she didn't tell him she was going on it and when she, Taylor and Gaston get to shore, Taylor tells her that Christian is "not entirely comfortable" with her being on the jetski, and he's clearly just gotten an angry phonecall from his dickhead boss about it. Ana gets into the waiting car and fires off an email to Christian. Even on their honeymoon they find a way to crowbar fucking emails into the story. I genuinely don't understand why they don't just text each other. She has said she'll get the boat back to the yacht so they're all cool there again. Ana goes to a small touristy shop and buys herself an ankle bracelet for a fiver, thinking how much more her it is than all the fancy stuff she's gotten lately and wonders again if she'll ever get used to all the sudden wealth. Which really starts to ring pretty hollow when she constantly goes out of her way to name-check all the expensive stuff she's surrounded by. It's always Bollinger champagne, a Mercedes car, her Omega watch and her "hideously expensive" bikinis.

Anyway, she wants to buy something for Christian and decides to buy him a camera. She's not sure what to get though, so she rings up José, waking him up in the middle of the night, to pester him for advice on cameras. And when he answers, understandably groggy and sleepy and is confused when she says they're staying on a boat, she sighs and thinks "I don’t need this right now" and is generally incredibly fucking inconsiderate. He helps her out anyway and she gets back on the boat, gives Christian the camera, saying it's for portraits "and the like", inferring that it's for taking naked photos of her.

However, the gift backfires and makes Christian all sad because we need some kind of drama at this point, I guess. He only ever used to take photos of the women he was with as his "insurance policy" i.e. the box of photos of his subs from the last book, and thinks he'll be objectifying Ana by taking photos of her. Even though she's asking him to. And really, NOW is the point where he starts thinking about feminism? It's all really stupid and goes on for ages and ends up with them fucking and then Ana reciting her marriage vows afterwards because something's up with Christian and he won't talk to her. He eventually tells her that the fire back in the office was arson, so between that and the helicopter sabotage from the last book, they know someone is after them and Christian is worried for Ana's safety. We know it's Jack Hyde, from the epilogue of the last book. Quick refresher: He was Ana's boss and tried to rape her. Taylor then beat the shit out of him and Christian fired him because he'd bought the company at that stage. Also, he's doing an exceedingly bad job of killing Christian thus far.

Suddenly, flashback time! I'm presuming this is the case anyway, as all of a shot, they're strolling through Versailles, which is nowhere near the south of France. The timeline in this book is incredibly exasperating. This series is annoying enough at it as, the last thing it needs is another fucking gimmick, particularly when each flashback scene could be summed up in one sentence. "We got married and banged on a plane", "We didn't sign a prenup", "Ana shaved her cooch and made a balls of it, so Christian finished it off" and in this case "We went to Versailles". THAT'S IT. All it does is provide a setting for a nightmare that Ana has in a bit.

Back on the boat, they've just had dinner and Christian has some work to do, so Ana checks her emails. Kate is online too, so Ana sends her a Skype message and they chat a bit. She didn't email! PROGRESS! I mean, anyone else would probably video chat, it being Skype and all, but look. Still progress. Kate asks about the fire, so Ana goes "I try my patented distract-tenacious-Kavanagh technique" and asks after Elliot and Ethan. Changing The Subject © Anastasia Grey.

That night, Ana has her aforementioned nightmare, in which she realises that her deepest, darkest fear would be losing Christian. That Versailles flashback definitely wasn't a massive waste of time, then.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fifty Shades of Tedious Fuckery 3 (Vol. 1)

*steady breathing* *warms up the Caps Lock key*

Ok let's do this. Like ripping off a plaster.

(Recaps for books 1 and 2 are here.)

We begin with a prologue from the perspective of baby Christian Grey, just like the last time around and it's just as immediately fucking annoying to read. In this pointless flashback that adds absolutely nothing to the story, Christian's mother is dead on the floor while baby Christian narrates such improbable lines as "I fetch my blankie", as if an American toddler has ever said the word fetch.

Cops arrive and baby Christian is shouting "Mommy!" (the word Mommy is used 20 times within this one relatively short paragraph and I already need a drink) and suddenly adult Christian wakes up, as again, just like last time, t'was all a dream. The point of view then clumsily switches to third person and describes Christian saying "let's not fight" to Ana.

"The vows. No obeying. I can do that. We'll find a way."

Sure, here's a way, just leave that bit out at the wedding. Done. Next.

CHAPTER ONE! Christian and Ana are on honeymoon in Monaco, the sky is blue, Christian is hot, they're sunbathing on the beach.

We are staying, of course, on board a luxury motor yacht.

Of course. Because hotels are for peasants. Christian pulls Ana's sun lounger into the shade, telling her she'll get sunburned and "If you burn, I won't be able to touch you" because remember, Christian's boner is more important than Ana's well-being. Ana floats the idea of her going topless on the beach, like all the other women there and in a move that will shock absolutely no one, Christian is having none of it.

"I'm not very happy about you wearing so little right now." He leans down and whispers in my ear. "Don't push your luck."


Ana seems to take this as a playful challenge, rather than the bone-chilling warning sign of an abusive relationship that it is, and while Christian goes for a swim, Ana whips off her bikini top, lies on her front and dozes off in the heat.

And just when we thought we'd get away with not having to endure their wedding, boom, flashback, right in the face. Christian has just kissed his bride and one of the first things he says to his new wife is...

"Don't let anyone take that dress off but me, understand?"

DUDE. The priest and all of your respective parents are RIGHT THERE. Christian Grey is so unbearably devoid of chill. Later on, when the party is in full swing, Christian tells Ana it's time to go, because they're going to do that thing where the couple leave their wedding halfway through the night, y'know that thing that no one has done since the mid-80s, because your wedding day is supposed to be a super fun party with all your favourite people. However, they get intercepted by Christian's grandparents.

I groan inwardly...Grace's mother has found us.

It's kind of hilarious how much Ana seems to hate this woman and for literally no reason, like she has been nothing but lovely to her and doesn't even want to bone Christian, like every other woman/threat in this series and every interaction they have is just Ana thinking "UGH, this old bitch again". Eventually they get going and head to the airport and onto Christian's Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. jet and laugh about misusing company property like the rich assholes they are. There are two other women on board though, First Officer Beighley and Natalia the flight attendant, so naturally, Ana hates them both. Christian has a quick conversation with the pilot (a dude called Stephan, so at least they're not at risk of Ana scratching his eyes out for looking at Christian) and I'm only including their interaction here, because Ana sounds like such a fucking halfwit during it.

"We have the all clear. Weather is good from here to Boston."
"Not before Boston. There's a weather front over Shannon that might give us a rough ride."
Shannon? Ireland?
"I see. Well, I hope to sleep through it all," says Christian matter-of-factly.

See, Ana doesn't know where they're going on their honeymoon (of course she wasn't allowed to make any decisions), but surely it's possible for a writer to convey their protagonist piecing together clues in a way that doesn't involve them dumbly repeating what their horrible fuckturnip of a husband has just said.

Anyway, it turns out that they're going to London, Paris and the south of France, and stopping to refuel in Shannon. Even though planes stop in Shannon to fly to the US. I mean, if you can get across the Atlantic but need to stop to refuel before a bunch of little flights that take no more than an hour each, then that's just bad planning. Makes as much sense as a billionaire in his twenties that's supposed to have built an entire empire out of nothing but doesn't appear to do any actual work.

They have dinner on board followed by some airborne banging, before which Ana treats us to such timeless newlywed bride quotes as "Jeez...a bedroom." and "...the mile high club. I’ve heard about this." Insightful as ever. Throughout the whole sex scene, Christian says "mine" eight times and it's WILD creepy, particularly because we know he feels like he actually owns Ana's body.

His hands travel around to my behind.
“Mine,” he breathes as his hands spread across my backside.

Although it also makes him sound like a seagull from Finding Nemo.

Talk dirty to me.
Ana is then woken up from her flashback/memory sequence with the record scratch of Christian shouting at her. Yep, shouting at his new wife because she fell asleep and rolled over, revealing her boobs to the topless beach in France, where no one cares, except Christian. Because they're really his boobs you see, and he never signed a permission slip for them get out in the open for a while. Bad boobs!

Christian continues to be furious and then shames Ana when she protests that no one is looking.

“Trust me. They’re looking. I’m sure Taylor and the security crew are enjoying the show!” he snarls.

For fuck's sake, you would think that he'd trust his security team enough to do their jobs and not be distracted by his wife's tits, but of course Ana is the most special lady with the most special boobs ever, and the entirety of Monaco probably ground to a halt so everyone could rush over for a look.

Apparently paparazzi are also a concern, because Christian is suddenly Kate Middleton and they were besieged when news of their engagement got out. Grumpy Christian packs everything up because they're heading back to the boat, now that Ana has ruined everything by thinking she had bodily autonomy. Also, he puts on his t-shirt and then a pair of shorts over his swimming trunks and it makes him sound like such a massive fucking nerd. I mean, men's swimming trunks are, by their very nature, shorts. Idiot.

"Hey baby. Wanna fuck?"
Making their way back to the boat, Christian signals to Taylor (TAYLOR! YAAAY!) and the extra security hired for the honeymoon. Guys. Meet the French dudes that got the job:

...he signals up to Taylor and his two sidekicks, the French security officers Philippe and Gaston. Weirdly, they are identical twins.

Ohmygod this is even better than Ryan and Reynolds from the second book! Sometimes EL James's complete lack of imagination can result in actual giddy delight. "I've totally researched France for this part of the book, I mean I watched Beauty and the Beast like SEVEN TIMES!" Christian takes Ana to the boat on a jetski and the spin across the water seems to snap him out of his bad mood. When they get back on board, they have a drink and he chastises her, saying that she wouldn't want her mother and Ray to see her boobs all over the tabloids. BECAUSE SHE'S THE ONLY WOMAN IN THE WORLD TO HAVE BOOBS, YOU KNOW. Ana tries her "patented distraction technique", (because she invented distractions) by asking about who owns the boat.

“A British knight. Sir Somebody-or-Other. His great-grandfather started a grocery store. His daughter’s married to one of the Crown Princes of Europe.”

So Christian can't remember the guy's name but knows his fucking family tree? Okay cool.

The conversation turns to the fact that Ana is now super rich as well and her insisting that she'll never get used to her sudden wealth, and there's a TOTALLY SEAMLESS transition to another fucking flashback. They're all done the exact same way, with Ana remembering something that previously happened and then < DREAMY HARP MUSIC > and we're back there!

This time, it's to an argument over getting a prenup. Ana was having breakfast with Christian and his family, when Mia read out a gossip item about their engagement that finished with "Bet she’s reading one helluva prenup!", kicking off a row because Carrick thinks Christian should get one, at which point Christian actually shouts "No prenup!" at his father, like a fucking teenager. Anyway, all we actually learn here is that they didn't get a prenup. So that was totally worth our time and energy.

Back to the boat, and Christian wants to bang. He tells Ana they're going to bed and tells her not to pee beforehand.

My subconscious looks up from her book - The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, Vol. 1 - with alarm.

Really? REALLY? The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, and not just any volume, but Vol. 1? Was that detail TOTALLY NECESSARY?

Anyway, Christian tells her it's not what she thinks, god forbid they engage in any actual kink or fetish, other than vanilla sex and being tied up the odd time. He removes his trunks and shorts "in one
graceful move"
which just doesn't sound possible and produces two pairs of handcuffs. He then cuffs each wrist to an ankle so she can't move and rides her while demanding to know why she defies him, even though he already told her she's not his sub anymore, so shut up Christian. Ana has the most intense orgasm is the history of orgasms (because of her full bladder, apparently), in fact she's left sobbing after it and describes it as being ripped apart, and really, you can keep it Ana.


Me and Christian, hangin' out.



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hawaii Five-No

This post originally appeared on a few years ago, but we recently rewatched Hard Ticket To Hawaii and it was exactly as much stupid fun as I remember, so I decided to dust off this post and stick it up here. The whole film is on YouTube, but make sure to skip past the intensely creepy introduction from director Andy Sidaris, because there's just no need for it and I wish he'd take his hand off that bikini lady's knee.

It’s so hard to decide where to begin with Hard Ticket To Hawaii. The frisbee death scene? The skateboarding assassin? The snake infected by deadly toxins from cancer-infested rats? (No, really. That description of the snake is actually a direct quote from the film.)

The credits kick things off in gleefully awful fashion, showing a bunch of moustachioed dudes moving crates around a warehouse, with the cast’s names printed out on brown paper and glued to the side of them. It’s kind of amazing. Next thing you know, an incompetent forklift driver has knocked the ominous “CONTAMINATED” sign off one crate in particular, which as it turns out, contains a GIANT MUTANT CANCER SNAKE.

The actual plot centres around two Government agents (although we don’t find out what actual agency they work for, it’s just referred to as ‘The Agency’) called Donna and Taryn, who are undercover as island-hopping pilots for a Hawaiian cargo company. I have to admit, I only got all that after reading up on it after actually seeing the film. While I was watching it, there was a fair amount of ‘Wait, are they cops or something? No, they’re pilots. Oh, hang on, what’s this agency they keep mentioning? WHO ARE THESE WOMEN AND WHY DO THEY KEEP TAKING THEIR CLOTHES OFF?’ Both actresses were 1980s Playmates, which might explain the second part of that last question, actually. The film doesn’t waste time explaining things like character background, instead it distracts you from niggly details like that with BOOBS. In one particular instance, by showing Taryn taking off her bikini top in order to take an outdoor shower under a tree, while talking to Donna. As one does.

Anyway, Donna and Taryn have to transport a newlywed couple and a regular, non-cancery snake to another island, so off they go, only UH OH THEY’VE GOT THE WRONG SNAKE! Once they’ve landed on the island and dropped off the tourist couple, they see a toy helicopter containing two small packages landing near the beach. But then two henchmen that the delivery was actually meant for suddenly appear so the girls have to fight them off. Luckily they came equipped with nunchucks and ninja stars hidden their tiny, sideboob-exposing uniforms so they make their escape with one of the packages. Once home, both Donna and Taryn strip off and get into the hot tub to have a think. They open the package to discover it contains diamonds, Donna decides to call Rowdy, a fellow agent, and they both climb back out of the hot tub. That is literally the whole scene. They get naked, sit in the hot tub, open the bag and get back out.

Also, I’d like to point out that there’s a scene where Taryn is showing Donna her new movie posters. She loves James Bond and spy movies, and there on the wall of their house, is a framed poster for Malibu Express, which she makes a particular point of. This film is the sequel to Malibu Express. Rowdy is meant to be the cousin of the main character IN Malibu Express. It’s so meta that if you think about it too much, your brain may be in danger of melting out of your ears.

After some more fights between henchmen and the girls (in which their clothes come off a bit), the snake escaping from its crate (which ended up in their garage for some reason I can’t remember) and some random scenes that are completely irrelevant to the plot, we eventually meet Rowdy and Jade, the two manly agents who are going to save the day. But as they’re on the way to meet Donna and Taryn, they are passed on the road by a man doing a handstand on a skateboard. They surmise that he’s been ‘smoking some heavy doobies’ and carry on as before. BUT then he comes after them, only this time he’s carrying a rifle and A BLOW UP SEX DOLL. FOR NO REASON.

He shoots the tyre of the jeep that the agents are driving, which inexplicably results in Jade getting a bullet in the chest. They then drive into the assassin, somehow sending him flying into the air AND BLOW HIM UP WITH A ROCKET LAUNCHER. For realz! It’s incredible! And just when you thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous, THEY EXPLODE THE SEX DOLL TOO! We actually had to rewind this scene to watch it again, just to make sure we weren’t tripping our collective balls off the first time around.

Other things of note include a restaurant called Edy’s that the characters frequent, which has a maître d’ whose sole purpose seems to be sleazing all over anyone with tits. Not to mention dialogue like ‘if brains were birdshit your cages would be empty’ and ‘one man’s dream is another man’s lunch’ and a villain called Mr. Chang, despite the fact that he’s a white dude who looks like a low-rent Malcolm McDowell.

Anyway, things start to come to a head as the agents plan to take down the criminal boss who’s involved in the whole diamonds and drugs thing. There’s a great bit where Taryn and Donna are gathering information on the boss’s compound with a bright yellow video camera. I love it because it reminded me of that trend in the 80s and 90s where gadget companies used to bring out a yellow and supposedly waterproof version of an existing product and called it the ‘Sports’ model. Anyway, all of this leads up to the one scene that convinced me that I absolutely HAD to see this film, in which Rowdy disposes of one of the compound’s henchmen. Who is called Shades, by the way. It’s the frisbee death scene, kids. Are you ready for this?

There are around three big finales to this film, involving someone stabbing a door down instead of just kicking it in and the snake making a spectacular return to the storyline, which I won’t spoil because you just have to see it for yourself. The snake is brilliant for many reasons, one of which being that it’s quite obviously someone’s arm encased in a slimy, elaborate sock puppet.

Hard Ticket To Hawaii is completely ridiculous. The women take their clothes off at the drop of a hat, there are scenes showing a henchwoman all oiled up and posing with nunchucks for about four minutes for absolutely no reason, the supposed heroes do racist Japanese accent impressions, the dialogue is hilariously bad and outrageously sexist, the sets are wobbly and the plot is unnecessarily convoluted. But in spite of all these completely dumb things, it is also a huge amount of fun. If you enjoy terrible films, then you really, REALLY have to watch this one.

And if you’re still not convinced, then just check out the badass trailer:

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Sweet Valley Guy

Over on my Facebook page recently, a reader (hi Chrissy!) posted a link to the website of James L. Mathewuse, the artist who created the gorgeous book covers for Sweet Valley High. I know I rip the piss out of the cover art in my recap posts, but it's done with affection, as I genuinely love these pictures. I'd frame every goddamn one of them if I could. Mathewuse created over 250 paintings for the Sweet Valley series, each one a pastel-coloured vignette of 80s teen hotness, emotion and questionable pants. His are the classic covers, and when the series started using photos of blonde models, or the Daniel twins from the TV show, they lost some of that original charm. His website is here, fyi, and it's a testament to his work that I can actually forgive the liberal use of Comic Sans all over it. Because he's the man responsible for doozies like this!


Also, there's this excellent photo of him at work, which I absolutely adore. GIANT WAKEFIELDS!

Also via
Anyway, while I was trying to find a bigger version of that great photo, something even better happened. I ended up on 80s book blog CliqueyPizza, and more specifically, on their post titled "I'VE FOUND THE REAL JESSICA AND ELIZABETH WAKEFIELD!" They had a tip-off from a commenter that an actress called Jonna Leigh Stack was the model for the pictures of the Wakefield twins and she was in some old soap series called Santa Barbara. There was a video clip of an episode showing her in action as her character Summer Blake, however the video clip in the post was no longer working. Boo. So I did a quick search for the actress in question...



I actually can't get over her face. She's Elizabeth! She's Jessica! She's blowing my fucking mind!

I couldn't find any quotes or interviews with her that actually confirmed that she was the model for the cover art, but there really isn't any denying that face, to be fair. Jonna's iMDB page is pretty sparse, the only credits on it are for her Santa Barbara episodes (in a most un-Wakefield turn of events, she was eventually killed off) and something called Paradise Motel. She ended up going to law school and nowadays she lives in Florida, providing legal services and mediation, dabbles in photography and runs an anti-aging and skincare company. (TOFU-GLO!)

Here's a working clip from Santa Barbara, so skip to 2.20, 6.20 and 10.50 to see a real life, three dimensional Wakefield twin, walking around and talking and generally being the face of my childhood reading obsession.

Also, here are two more recent photos of lovely Jonna and her lovely face, essentially showing us what Elizabeth and Jessica would look like now.

Still cute. Good job, ladies. I mean, lady.