Category: reviews

App Review: Zombie Roadkill is the best game app for Android – Combines both racing and first-person shooter

I have been playing this game for three years now and I still have not completed it yet. The app has alternating racing and FPS games in a total of 80. Each type of the game is top of the class, at least from what I have played. I still have 20 more games to finish in it.

Zombie Roadkill game app for Android

The best racing and first-person shooter games in one game app – Zombie Roadkill

Bike trip to Chennai from Palakkad? Not worth it! Learn from my experience

Three national highways with numerous tollgates and concrete jungle on either side makes it a boring tiresome 540-km journey.

I started at 6 am at Palakkad and ended the journey at my home in Chennai at 7 pm. For the way back, one day later, I started at 12 noon and ended the journey at 1 am next day. It was 13 hours on the bike, each time.

Route Highway Distance Time (onward/return) Speed (onward/return)
Palakkad-Salem NH544 (Salem-Kochi Highway – NH47) 211 (from my place) NA/4.5 hours 50/50-30
Salem-Ulundurpettai NH79 (Salem-Ulundurpet Bypass) 140 (to NH544 headend) NA/3.5 hours 60/40-70
Ulundurpettai-Chennai NH38 (Vellore-Tuticorin Highway – NH45), NH132, NH32 and NH48 (Delhi-Chennai Highway or Chennai Bypass) 191 (to my suburban hometown) NA/5 hours 70-30/50-30

Original Route
Using PC at home, I decided that the shortest route would be to first go to Salem on NH544, then via Thiruvanamalai (via Kalvarayan Hills), Sriperumbadur and Poondamallee (Poonamallee/Poovirundamallee) to my suburban hometown in Chennai. I printed these maps on paper but they eventually became useless. I forgot to carry my data SIM and I could not use mapping apps on the go. There was no need for them, as I rarely had to leave the highway. My only worry was missing some road sign and overshooting an important turn. I got reassurances from people/police to be sure that I was on the right way.

Onward Journey
From Palakkad to Salem, I rode at 50 kmph on the NH544, as that was the highest fuel-economy speed on my city commuter bike. After leaving the national highway at Salem, I had trouble finding the scenic route to Thiruvannamalai. People I asked on the road told me to proceed on NH79 and then take a diversion to Thiruvannamalai after a few kilometers. I did that but my speed was hampered by mofussil traffic. I then decided to return to the highway again. This was an empty highway (although with numerous tolls) and I increased my speed to 60 and soon became comfortable with it. This highway ended in NH38 and I increased the speed to 70. (The bike’s engine vibrations becomes noticeable at 60 and become annoying at 80.) I saw two accidents involving motorcyclists on NH38. I tried not to assimilate the visual details but became unnerved nevertheless. I reduced my speed to 50 again. At Chengalpattu (Chingleput), Chennai city traffic began piling up and speed was 30 at most. Before entering the city, I found NH48, which bypassed the city and took me to my hometown. They were still constructing NH48 during my earlier visits. By this time, though, it was dark and the traffic was slow at many signals. I can drive only at 30 in city traffic at night.

Return journey
It was raining when I started back. There was no rain from Tambaram onwards. Because of the accidents I saw earlier, I decided not to go beyond 50 on this leg of the journey. I reached the Ulundurpettai junction after 5 hours.

From the NH junction to Salem starting point for Salem-Kochi highway (NH544), it took 3.5 hours. For the first one to one-and-a-half, I decided to do 60 to 70 because daylight wouldn’t last until Salem. When it became dark, the speed dropped to 40 for 2.5 hours.

I reached the NH544 at 8.30 pm. NH544 and NH79 are not connected. I had to go through some Salem city traffic to reach NH544. Just follow the directions towards Coimbatore. From there to my home, it took 4.5 hours to cover 200 km highway and 13 kms of mofussil route.

The highways

  • NH 544 – Salem-Kochi National Highway (still marked as NH47): This highway starts from Salem, goes through Erode, Avinashi, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Thrissur, and ends in Kochi (Cochin).
  • NH 79 – Salem-Ulundurpettai National Highway. It ends in NH38, which connects to Vizhuparam.
  • NH 38 – Velore-Tuticorin National Highway. It passes through Ulundurpettai before branching off to Thiruvannamalai/Vellore at Vizhuparam.
  • NH 132 – Vizhuparam-Tindivanam National Highway. It connects Vizhuparam from NH38 to Chingleput.
  • NH 32 – Chingleput-Nagapattinam National Highway. It connects Chingleput with Chennai.
  • NH 48 – Chennai Bypass Road. This highway bypasses Chennai city and connects to NH16, which goes to Andhra, Orissa and West Bengal. Bangalore visitors also take this route before branching off. NH48 passes through Chennai northern suburbs such as Porur, Anna Nagar & Puzhal and is the easiest route from Tambaram, Vandalur, etc.

NH38, NH132 and NH32 were still marked as NH45.

Map of NH544 highway - from Palakkad to Salem

From Palakkad to Salem, take the Salem-Kochi National Highway.

Map of Salem city with locations of NH544 and NH79

You need to travel across Salem city to reach the other highway.

Map of NH79

Salem-Ulundurpettai HIghway takes you to NH38

Maps of NH38, NH32, NH132 and NH48

Three highways (NH38,NH32,NH132) take you to Chennai. They are still marked as NH45. The fourth highway NH48 is Chennai bypass.

The good

  • The only good thing about these highways was the fact that there were no potholes.
  • There were many eateries and fuel pumps all along the way and finding one was not a problem. In the onward journey, I had dosa and pongal. I like pongal. I should remember to take more of it. On the way back, I saw two billboards at an eatery that caught my attention. One said “steam cooking.” The other said, no artificial flavors, preservatives, ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate) or colors. It was a vegetarian restaurant called and run by Only Coffee India Pvt. Ltd. Every dish in the meal tasted very good. Even the bitterguard (which I never eat) was good. Unlike in many restaurants, the rasam had real whole black pepper. The place was clean. Their specialty seems to be coffee but I did not order. It was lunchtime and I don’t take coffee more than once per day anyway. On the way from there, I saw a few more Only Cofee stalls but they don’t seem to be related.

The bad
Some stretches of the highways have medians, which block the light glare from oncoming traffic. This makes driving easier. Speeds at night on these stretches can be as good as in the day. The problem is that they are not everywhere. So, driving at night is difficult.

The ugly

  • Unlike toll collection areas, there is no lighting on many stretches with heavy traffic.
  • The lanes are not marked in many stretches. If you have to ride on the fast lane, you end up exhausting the fuel quicker.
  • On bridges, the third lane disappears to an abrupt stop or goes to an elevated footpath. Both are dangerous at night.
  • Bright decorative lighting used by some buildings on the sides of the highway are distracting. Two-wheeler headlights cannot compete with such lighting. Car headlights are brighter.
  • People living alongside the highways are considerably inconvenienced by them. I found people wearing dark clothes and riding bicycles at night without no backlight bulbs or reflectors. They may get easily knocked down by motorists. Car drivers just blare their horns and speed through unattended crossings
  • At night, I found some trucks cutting into the highway from service lanes without any horn warning or backlight bulbs or reflectors. They were so covered in dirt that I couldn’t see them until the last moment. They moved in mysteriously like dark apparitions. I wondered if they were assassination attempts. Compared to bus drivers, highway truck drivers are more safety-conscious. So, these unusual incidents were perturbing.

Toll roads are stolen property – stolen public property
The main excuse for having a centralized government is that citizen or local governments or even state governments cannot create nation-wide infrastructure. People expect the government to efficiently run the post office, construct and maintain roads/bridges, and provide a cheap/reliable supply of water and electricity. No Indian government is able to do any of this efficiently. Instead, they don’t just tax us but they lecture us and order us around. Our sellout netas are not only taxing us to benefit private parties but are also bequeathing those tax revenues to foreign lenders. Already state governments have been increasing property taxes because they are unable to pay foreign loan installments.

Previous prime ministers from Nehru to Rajiv Gandhi diverted a lot of tax money to start government-owned companies (PSUs) and give our country a strong industrial base. For prime ministers from Manmohan Singh onwards to Narendra Modi, who owe their post to foreign intrigue, the mandate from their foreign controllers is to sell those same PSU assets. Indian prime ministers have been given disinvestment targets and their finance ministers assiduously tried to meet them against all public opinion. The financial papers are full of “inspired” op-eds reprimanding the government for not meeting the disinvestment target set for the year. The asset sales are anti-national in more than one way. Government’s own expenditure (on itself) is very high. A good amount of plan expenditure is swallowed up by debt repayment (foreign and domestic), opaque and over-priced government contracts, evergreening of bad debts on the balance sheets government-owned banks (NPAs are almost always loans given to chamchas of politicians) and useless mindless and counter-productive schemes like MNREGA.

There are numerous tollgates on these highways. Government has surreptitiously privatized these roads. The roads were earlier public property. Now, a private “company” with a minority stake with the government owns the road. I think even government transport corporation buses are also paying the toll. The toll is highest for goods-carrying trucks. Even for small stretches, they are being made to pay nearly 600 rupees. What they get in return is just a pothole-free but poorly lit two-lane highway.

These tolls are inflationary if you consider the tens of thousands of rupees a truck driver has to pay over a long trip, say, from Delhi to Tamil Nadu. The amount of unnecessary waiting at these toll gates are a drain on national productivity.

Some day in future, when India is unable to pay its debts, IMF/World Bank will order the Indian government to sell its remaining stakes in these “public-private partnership” toll companies to foreign bond holders and lenders. Indian currency would have depreciated a lot and these stake sales would not even cover one interest payment. In the past, IMF/World Bank had used the same trick on countries like Columbia, Chile, Costa Rica, Brazil, Greece and Argentina. Ultimately, the owners of these highways will be foreigners. If India is unable to pay its debt, foreign lenders will ask the toll rates to be increased. Just as PSUs built in the Nehru era at great cost are the targets of “disinvestment” today, the toll roads will one day hawked by the government to pay back its debts. A future finance minister will earn his stripes by “boldly” selling these toll roads to foreign buyers.

In 2011, Greek government officials tried to sell of public assets on the cheap for private equity outfits at a London hotel. Greece was suckered into incurring unmanageable loans by European banks and Wall Street firms such as Goldman Sachs.

All foreign loans and all the “reforms” are packaged with the intention of Western interests picking up Third-World public assets at a low price. Even Chennai Metrowater was transferred out of government control because it obtained a small World Bank loan. Now, it works at cross-purposes with Chennai Corporation. One of the conditions placed on Indian state electricity boards wanting remain in the national power grid is that they cede government control. The power regulatory authorities, “power genco” and “power transco” utilities that have been formed in various states are the result of World Bank/IMF instructions, even though neither national power grid corporation nor the state electricity boards are borrowing any money from them. The “independent” power regulators and generation/transmission utilities have been formed so that one day a future government will be able to sell them to a foreign lender. Won’t these “independent bodies” eliminate political interference? Only juvenile thinking would indicate that. There are no limits to private greed. When Tamil Nadu decided to build its own solar farm, a private power seller sued the government citing the new “reformed” electricity laws. The government decided to build its own solar power generation utility because the price offered by private producers was too high. The power seller claimed in court that government has no right to generate power on its own but instead should buy it from private producers. This is how traitors in the power ministry framed the laws and sabotaged the nation’s future. In 2013, Cyprus grabbed money from savings account holders to prevent banks from going bust. This executive loot was later called bail-in and several countries quickly pass bail-in regulations so that banks can continue to lend to dubious politicians and their chamchas, foreign and domestic. In India, Modi and Jaitley tried to pass a bail-in law and disguised it as the “Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance” or FRDI. Modi government withdrew the attempt for now. Oh, please, it is a reform! World Bank will probably punish him.

And, how was my trip?

After three hours on the bike, a$$ hurts. Back of the neck hurts after four. Holding the throttle for 13 hours cannot be good for the wrist. Although a night’s sleep is enough to feel normal again, the mental toll is too much. Riding at night is just nerve-wracking. Riding for the first time on an unknown route is annoying, particularly if you don’t have good maps. I don’t know how Motorcycle Adventures or Rosie Gabrielle does it. Rosie is even more crazy because she uses a big bike on which she cannot sit with both feet on the ground. There are many Indian bikers who have posted online about their been to trips north and south and east and west. How is riding India, with its toll gates and drudgery, a pleasure? You may ride your bike to get a lot likes, but I am afraid it might give you just piles. Many of these bikers wear expensive and tight-fitting protecting gear. I wore the standard Indian shirt-and-pant. On the way back, I wore bathroom slippers instead of shoes because of the rain. I noticed that rushing wind had dried the skin on the back of my palms and that it had become white in some places. It is an acceptable case for gloves. At night, it was slightly chilly on the Coimbatore route. Otherwise, my clothing had no problem. My luggage consisted of clothes, toothbrush n tongue cleaner, and extra footwear. Ear plugs were very useful. On the way back, I forgot where they were. They were in my shirt pocket! Some bikers carry their whole wardrobe, the kitchen fridge, and enough camping gear to furnish a model outhouse. They are overdoing it a bit I think.

From now on, the max I will do one way on any journey will be 100 kms. That too only if the route has good scenic views. No long tar road trips and concrete jungle views for me.

Movie Review: Beware of the Sumatran Rat Monkey! ‘BrainDead’ or ‘Dead Alive’ is the goriest bloodiest zombie movie ever

This movie is not kid-friendly, family-friendly or adult-friendly.

This movie from the early 1990s begins rather slowly. I thought that as it was a British movie, it was going to be a slow boring horror movie. No. This movie is from a New Zealand director. The horror fest picks up pace like no tomorrow. While watching the movie, you hope the director would slow down at some point. Nope, the dismembered zombie parts transmogrify and become fresh (if you can call it that) creatures that simply defy description. The movie becomes extremely funny once the zombies start acting up.

Movie Review: Top 20 or 30 alien-zombie-ghost-slasher horror or horror-comedy movies from the Eighties

The reptilians have destroyed my Dish TV STB and I am unable to watch news or films. I am now forced to use YouTube as an alternative TV.

The 80s were a dark period in human history because there were no mobile phones! A ghost could simply cut the phone cord and have you totally at its mercy, just like Joan Hackett found out in Dead of Night.

In moviemaking, the 80s were a turning point because you had most of the comforts of modern life and yet landlines were still the primary means of communication; computer graphics were not sufficiently developed and special effects continued to rely on special props and makeup; and public tolerance of gratuitous nudity had reached a comfortable high. Teenagers (the main target audience) were immature enough to ignore the bloopers but mature enough to be attracted by the scope for heavy petting.

  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948):
    This horror-comedy should be the first movie for anyone diving into the alien-ghost-zombie-slasher genre. The duo are totally unlike their staccato gag delivery on their eponymous vintage radio show. They are funny nevertheless. This movie has the original Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Frankenstein, Werewolf and a last-minute cameo by Vincent Price as the Invisible Man.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbott_and_Costello_Meet_Frankenstein
  • Zombies on Broadway (1945):
    This kid-friendly RKO production stars a different duo in competition with the above and is just as funny. Bela Lugosi stars as a professor involved in raising zombies.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombies_on_Broadway
  • The Boogie Man Will Get You:
    This 1942 movie with Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre is a horror comedy where Karloff plays a mad scientist who has managed to preserve dead bodies and is on course to revive them as superhumans. Town sherriff Lorre tries to cash in on the discovery and he dishes out most of the gags (with Latin translation) in the movie. “Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom also appears as one of the scientist’s unfortunate martyrs to science.
  • Invaders from Mars (1953):
    Invaders is another kid-friendly but thrilling film involving aliens – the first one dealing with Martians. This movie was not copyrighted and is in public domain. It is available somewhere on Archive.org.
  • Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors:
    I saw this movie on Turner Classic Movies when it was shown on Cartoon Network channel. It was I think one of the first horror movies I saw. Four men board a train and are joined by a tarot card reader who tells them how they are going to die in future. One of the deaths involves carnivorous plants as seen in the movie Invasion of the Triffids, which is based on the novel Day of the Triffids.
  • Transylvania Twist:
    This is a delightful little movie that makes fun of all other horror movies. You will particularly like the beautiful actress Teri Copley after this song sequence. This movie was panned by some critics but is just the opposite. It is a fun movie that anybody will like, except perhaps for those losers.

    Note: You will see the director and the lead actress from Chopping Mall at the end of this video.
  • Spaced Invaders:
    I saw a review of this movie at GoodBadFlicks and decided to see it. I think it is kid-friendly but I am not sure.

CAUTION: Not likely family-friendly horror

  • Carnival of Souls:
    This 1962 movie was made within a low budget of $30,000. Unlike most low-budget horror films, this is near-art-house variety. It is about a woman who survives an automobile accident (drag race) and is then tormented by fate which wants her to die. She goes into a trance while awake and people don’t seem to recognize her as if she were a ghost. A pale-faced man (played by the director) scares her several times by appearing out of nowhere. The ending has a neat twist.
  • Comedy of Terrors:
    Vincent Price and Peter Lorre (the bug-eyed guy from Casablanca) are undertakers. When customers do not come in search of them, they go in search of them.
  • D.A.R.Y.L.:
    Daryl seems like any other kid but he is a man-computer military research project that failed in its objective of creating mindless killing machine. Because Daryl developed human emotions of fear, love, hate, etc., the military wants to terminate the project, i.e., they want to kill the kid.
  • City of the dead or Horror Hotel:
    This British movie is set in America with the cast affecting an American accent. The begins with burning of a witch in the town of Whitewood, Connecticut. The witch curses the town’s inhabitants and descendants as she burns and dies. One of them is a professor at a city college and his lecture on witchcraft interests one of his students to visit the town. The witch is now running a motel where the student will stay.
  • Night of the living dead (1968):
    I got this movie on a Digit magazine cover disc. A low-budget and slow horror film, which I never finished initially. Got too scared, probably. It is supposed to have inspired all subsequent zombie dead movies probably because they tried to feast on living human flesh. Earlier, zombies were fresh corpses that were reanimated by Voodoo or unexplained medical discovery/research. There is a colorized version of the movie on YouTube. It or my download did not have the ending. So, I never finished it. It is not very entertaining.
  • Black Sunday (1960):
    A witch who was burnt at the stake in the 18th century returns to haunt a lookalike two hundred years later. I forgotten all details of the movie. Barbara Steele looks good. A mask with nails is put on her face before she is burned.
  • Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1974):
    This low-budget movie starts as a comedy and ends as a horror movie. A young theatre troupe visit a haunted island during the night at the behest of its insufferable director who uses the troupe members to dig up a grave. The director uses a chant from a book of sorcery to raise the dead but nothing happens. Everyone has a laugh and retire to the abandoned mansion but some things are stirring in the graves.
  • Return of the living dead (1985):
    This movie was on TV several years ago. It is about an experimental military chemical leak which reanimates corpses and even dismembered body parts. Some people exposed to the chemical fail to realize they have died and become zombies. Lack of pulse or body temperature confirms this. An attempt to burn zombified bodies backfires as the chemical mixes with rain, falls on a graveyard and the dead crawl out. This movie has Linnea Quigley and plenty of nudity. It is funny and gruesome. Part 2 of this movie is a safe children’s movie and more funny. Part 3 is scary, has gruesome nudity and not funny at all.
  • Dawn of the dead (1978):
    I saw the extra long version of this movie and did not finish it. The beginning is not understandable and I ended up fast-forwarding most sequences. The fun begins when the main characters get holed up in a shopping mall. One of the main characters gets bitten and is shot by his pal on becoming a zombie. I ended it there.
  • Killer clowns from outer space:
    A low-budget but extremely funny movie I saw on TV several years ago.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_Klowns_from_Outer_Space
  • The thing:
    This John Carpenter movie was on television I think some years ago. I’ve forgotten much of the plot and I remember that it was very interesting.
  • They live:
    This is one of my favourite movies. It by John Carpenter. It stars wrestler Roddy Rowdy Piper and has already been reviewed here on Moral Volcano (https://moralvolcano.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/we-are-all-zombies-now/).
  • Fright Night 1, 2:
    The cross, holy water, holy shroud and interestingly garlic are toxic/allergic to vampires.
  • CHUD:
    Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. Radioactive material secretly stored and forgotten by the US government in an underground railway tunnel have turns some people into zombies. They first kill the homeless underground dwellers and then turn on those above.
  • Night of the comet:
    A comet hits the earth, envelops everything in a red haze, kills most people, turns survivors into zombies. The few who were protected under layers of steel and other material survive. Among them two plunky sisters with whom you will instantly fall in love…
  • Demons 1 & 2:
    Part 1 has the demons unleashed at a cinema. They attack members of the audience who become zombies. The audience is trapped as exits are closed. Only two escape without being bitten. However, the world outside has also been affected by the zombies that have already escaped. Part 2 has the demons moving to the VHS or TV side of the business for some reason. More entertaining.
  • Spookies:
    A Dracula movie with huge variety of monsters and ghouls. Good scares but tiresome. Special FX advanced for its time supposedly.
  • Devil Doll:
    This 1964 British movie was reviewed in the bad-movie-mocking TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) but it is not a bad movie at all. (MST3K’s atrocious comments on the skimpy costume of the ventriloquist’s assistant are simply over the top.) Sure, it is low budget but the possessed ventriloquist dummy story and ending twist are original. Very few low-budget movies can pull that off easily.
  • Dead Heat:
    Zombies meet Lethal Weapon. A scientist/corporation revives dead criminals using a newly invented medical procedure. However, the drug or treatment is not permanent and the zombies should do his bidding to say alive or rather undead. Zombies here are fully functional except that they have a limited shelf life.

WARNING: Confirmed not family-friendly horror

  • Don’t look in the basement:
    Made in the 70s. The movie is set in a mental asylum, where the heroine turns up to start work as a nurse. This movie is one of those suspense thrillers that will leave you kicking yourself for not guessing the plot. Brilliant acting and directing for such a limited budget.
  • Vamp:
    A stylish horror comedy. Three teenagers find themselves trapped in a strip club where the employees are vampires. The stripper vampires are really terrifying. I have seen one of them in the movie A View To Kill decades ago.
  • Chopping mall:
    This movie features one of the sisters from the Comet film. A shopping mall acquires some security robot prototypes and a lightning strike (the original ‘glitch’, the word now used for everything that goes wrong i.e., in the stupefying millennial parlance) causes a malfunction in them. Unlike my electrical circuits, which get fried, the robots act like they have acquired a psychopathic malware and they start sneaking up on stowaways in the mall and kills them one by one.
  • Sole Survivor:
    This 1984 movie is like Carnival of Souls and is about how fate finally gets its quarry – a woman who is the sole survivor of a plane crash.
  • Blob:
    This movie features a primordial ooze as the villain, which stowawys on a meteorite. It gets into the sewage system and increases its bulk by dissolving people. The movie is famous or notorious for its car scene nudity and it was I think the first movie in which I saw frontal nudity. My friends rented a VHS casette and they were laughing nervously when the nudity appeared. I did not quite understand it. The scene of the man disappearing into a washbasin is another special effects scene that should not missed. Several years ago, I read a Russian report of a similar blob in an underground railway station. I wonder what happened.
  • Doom Asylum:
    A guy and his gal are driving down the road and meet with an accident. The girl dies and the guy wakes up in mortuary. He is totally disfigured from the accident and the pre-mature autopsy. He is for some mysterious reason impervious to pain and organ damage. He kills the medics in the mortuary. The hospital is abandoned but the guy is supposed to be haunting its ruins. Some teenagers take a picnic in the lawns of the hospital and become target of the disfigure maniac. An all-female gothic rock band is also practicing inside the hospital and is pursued by the killer. The movie is a horror-comedy – both parts over-the-top. There are some body mutilations that I could not watch. Unlike most slasher movies, this killings all take place in broad daylight. The movie was supposedly made on a budget but did not appear so. The special effects are so natural and hospital environs so scary, this should have been a big studio production. Most online reviews, even by ordinary users, are negative. I give it 10/10. It delivers on the scares and splatter. There is some deliberately mocking comedy routines, particularly with the black couple that was very enjoyable. Unfortunately, they were both offed pretty early in the film, as per the 80s horror code of killing blacks first.
  • Evil Dead 1, 2, 3:
    Evil Dead (1) was a low-budget horror that was extremely successful when it came out. It was about a bunch of friends spending time at a cabin and then becoming victims to an ancient demons they mistakenly awaken. Evil Dead 2 was I think a remake of the original with better production values. I don’t know which one I saw. When this movie was released in the Eighties, people said that there was a prize for anyone who would dare to watch it alone in a theater. They said someone in the West tried it and died of heart attack. Evil Dead 3 is another low-budget but more high-tech horror comedy. Extremely funny and thrilling.
  • Meet the Applegates:
    A bunch of highly advanced shape-shifting bugs from South America set up shop in an American town disguised as a regular American family. Their mission? To infiltrate a nuclear plant and blow it up so that humans will die and insects can rule again. (Their original habitat in the Amazon has been destroyed by the muricans.)  In the process, the Applegates go through all the highs and lows of what a regular American family goes through, much like the aliens on 3rd Rock From the Sun would do much later in the 90s.
  • Night of the creeps:
    I saw this movie on TV and it was quite funny then. Forgotten much of it now.
  • Slumber Party Massacre 1, 2, 3:
    I have seen one of these movies. In most slasher movies, the killer gets off easily without feeling much pain. In the one that I saw, he not only gets mutilated but one of his intended victims comes with a knife digs into him like there was no tomorrow. It was very gratifying to see that after so many girls were killed. The killer should always died in the most gruesome manner possible. Otherwise, it is not a good slasher movie.
  • Sleepaway Camp 2, 3:
    A horror-comedy. More horror and sufficient comedy. The sister of singer Bruce Springsteen is the killer. She was born a boy but after a sex-change operation and escape from an asylum(?) she is now a team leader at a summer camp. A prude, she doesn’t like what she finds at the camp after hours. She is also easily annoyed.
  • Sorority House Massacre I, II, III:
    Some college students try to clean up a sorority house, take nude showers and get offed by a killer but with an overall comic touch. Part 3 has zombies shoooting each other with assault rifles. Very good fun.
  • Evil Toons:
    Much like the Sorority House Massacres except that the killer is a re-animated (no pun intended) cartoon monster.
  • The Video Dead:
    The undead trapped in a video are unleashed back in to the world by a television. Very good scares.
  • Slugs:
    I saw this movie when we first got cable. It was horrible then and horrible now. You are better off not watching it.
  • Night of the demons (1988):
    This movie is about a bunch of teenagers spending a night at an abandoned mortuary as a dare on Halloween night. One black guy surprisingly doesn’t die first and is in fact is one of two…
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Demons_(1988_film)
  • April Fool Day:
    A girl invites several friends to stay at her family cottage. One-by-one, the invitees get killed. A surprising twist in the end.
  • Basket Case:
    This is an unusual horror movie, as the source of the horror is a separated deformed twin. This movies has 2 sequels, each more scarier and funnier than the predecessor.
  • Return to horror high:
    This movie takes the end twist to the most unbelievable extent.
  • Delusion:
    This 1980 movie tricked me with its ending. I thought no movie twist would ever surprise me.
  • Slaughter High:
    The socially inept nerd gets scalded in acid in a prank gone wrong. He escapes the asylum and wrecks revenge on his classmates having a reunion at their defunct school.
  • I, Madman: This movie has an unusual premise and a believable ending – the only believable ending for a ghost movie. A woman working in an old book store finds a novel called “I, Madman”. Its story is enacted around her as she reads it. A mad surgeon, who had lost his face, kills people to graft parts of their face on to his face. The woman reads about the murder and encounters the dead people as well. She tries to stop them but is foiled.
  • Grave Misdemeanors:
    A high-school kid who works part-time at a mortuary finds that some of the bullies who torment him at school have died and then turned undead. He also finds that zombies are now more upset with him than ever before. The film does show some gruesome embalming techniques but the movie has good action. There is no overacting or ploys with flight-handicapped characters.
  • Vampyres (1974):
    Two lesbian vampyres lure unsuspecting motorists to an isolated castle where they drink their blood and kill them. This movie was made with a budget of £ 80,000 but looks nothing like it. The two vampires are very beautiful and but don’t talk among themselves very much – adding to the mystery. The castle is richly set. The vampyre concept is extremely well-executed for modern times. The women become near-catatonic during daytime and stay in the cellar rather sleep in a coffin. No garlic or holy water stuff. The murders are really terrifying.
  • Nosferatu the vampyre:
    Nosferatu was an imposter of Count Dracula and the book was subject to a lawsuit from the estate of Bram Stoker. Anyway, it exists in films and books. This one has Klaus Kinski as the Count and Isabelle Adjani as the lawyers wife. The film is like a documentary because of the attention to historical detail. Klaus Kinski is scary as ever. The movie Crawlspace is good Kinski primer. I did not last more than two movies of him. He is the scariest slasher ever. The slashers from Nightmare from Elm Street movies are just jokers compared to him. Isabelle Adjani is beauty and pureness personified. She is nothing like in what you see in One Deadly Summer.
  • Bodysnatchers:
    A reptile-like aliens hit ground zero at a military base. They then slowly try to attach themselves to a human and generate a duplicate with body of the human and the mind of the alien and memory of the human. Once the transformation is complete the old alien and human forms are discarded, completing the body-snatching. The mutants slowly take over all humans in the base and plan to spread all over the USA.
  • Let’s Scare Jennifer To Death:
    This low-budget vampire movie is unlike all others. The vampires are not traditional vampires; they don’t have fangs or are afraid of the cross or garlic. They are just regular blood suckers. The blood-sucking aspect is understated, as much of the violent aspects of traditional horror movies. The movie manages to make you feel scared without resorting to shock or violence. This movie, like the next one, will take you down several cliched paths and surprise you with a twist. For example, there is a girl who appears and disappears like a ghost at a graveyard. Traditionally, this ghost would be impossible to catch up but in this movie some of the cast run up to her and try to interrogate her. The title also adds to the mystery. Who is trying to kill Jennifer? The story is of a woman who is trying to get back to her life after a stay at a mental facility. She desperately tries to be overcome by the strange incidents but a voice inside her head constantly tries to make trip her up. This lady’s role is played by a now unknown actress Zorah Lambert. She should have received many awards for this movie. Sadly, she is forgotten today. This is definitely one of the best horror movies from the 80s.
  • Society:
    This 1989 movie is like the previous two but the plot is very novel. You will never guess it. Truly horrifying.
  • Phantasm:
    There are several movies in this franchise. The villain, known as the Tall Man, is from another universe. He steals dead bodies, compresses them into midgets, bottles them and transports them to his old place. Two people try to stop the Tall Man and fail in all of the movies. Very entertaining.
  • Monster in the closet:
    This is the movie that you should see last or after you have sufficiently covered all aspects of the genre. Every hackneyed routine used in the above movies (which continue to be used even today, such as in Zombie Cheerleader Camp) is parodied in this movie albeit with a twist. This movie is full of such surprises. For example, the monster is defeated using a totally impossible-to-guess tactic in this movie. There is one nude bathing scene which parodies all such gratuitous nudity scenes in these movies. If you delete this one scene, the rest of the movie is fun for the whole family. This is probably the best Troma Entertainment (https://www.youtube.com/user/Tromamovies) movie ever.

  • BrainDead or Dead Alive:
    If you are watching movies from the 80s, then you might watch this 1990 movie as well. This is the most extreme of horror movies that I have seen. This movie is what is known as a splatter fest. The extremes it goes on this plane is unbelievable. Read more about it in my post titled Beware of the Sumatran Rat Monkey! BrainDead is the goriest bloodiest zombie movie ever!

About critics and their stupid opinions

There are some websites that have LISTS of horror and horror comedies. I found the above movie titles through these lists. After reading these sites, I would go to Wikipedia and IMDB to read about audience reactions to the movie. Besides being frank and funny, the comments by ordinary users are more informative than those of the critics. Critics’ opinion are mostly useless and sometimes misleading. Some months ago, I saw a movie called Apartment 1303. It was universally panned by critics but I found it quite scary. The fools who call themselves critics seem to have destroyed many good movies in this way. Ordinary people rely on movie critics for a honest opinion and the latter deliberately mislead their audience. Like globalists, the critics praise anything foreign even if it is bad. An example is the movie Vengeance of the Zombies. The male lead is the famous Spanish horror master Paul Naschy. He was handicapped by the fact that it was an English (dubbing?) movie and he was playing an ethnic Indian. Whatever the case, it was extremely awkward movie to watch. Except for the female lead Romy, the movie was downed by all-round failures in acting, editing and direction. But, the critics uniformly liked it and praised it to high heavens because it was a foreign production. Worst among critics is Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t know why the opinion of fools from this website should be listed on Wikipedia. Almost every movie page on Wikipedia has their rating under the heading of “public reception”. Rotten Tomotoes references in Wikipedia should be removed, particularly in light of reports that they are openly and deliberately trying to steer the reviews. So, learn to ignore the critics.

My own appreciation of horror is pretty basic. Once you start watching a movie, your instinct is not to to abandon it midway because you have already spent valuable time on it. You don’t want it to be a complete loss. That is why I stop watching a movie or fast-forward it if there is a lack of thrills. I found the Matrix movie simply unwatchable. I attempted to watch it several times when it was on TV but it was unbelievably fake and incredibly awkward to watch. Ditto for the Alien series. The actors act like they are scared but there are no scares for the audience. The film storytelling tactic of saving the best for the last is just not good. It is a recipe for an incredibly disappointing movie, particularly when the climax fails to click. (I did finish the Alien movies till the end. Matrix no.) A movie needs to be entertaining the from the get-go. Most of the 80s horror movies listed here know how to entertain – right from the beginning. Their intended audience knew what to expect and the makers knew what to give and usually they did a good job of it.

Lingering Questions

Women in the 80s, at least teenagers, seem to have been pretty inept. Or, that is what these stories would like you to believe. There are a few exceptions, like the girls in the Comet, but most of them don’t know how to bolt a door when a killer/monster/alien is chasing them or show the slightest knowledge of self defence. Screaming were what they did mostly. If they did fight, of course, no movie. The horror genre has a name for these women – scream queens – I learned this recently. Black guys are mostly the first ones to be sacrificed. People feel hypnotically drawn into dark passageways and dungeons without ever needing a light or a weapon. Any kind of moral lapse means assured death. After an encounter with a ghost or a corpse at a haunted house, the usual dialog is “I’ve got an idea. Why don’t we split up and go in different rooms?” And, who pays for the electricity bills for these haunted and abandoned mansions. You may be a vampire, ghost or whatever but the power utility company will not cut you any slack.

Bad movies

Before I finish, I would like to mention the genre of “bad movies” (check BadMovies.org). In quotation marks because the movies are entertaining mostly for the bloopers and low-production values. Many horror and horror comedies movies fall in this category.

My definition of a bad movie is where they begin great and then lose the plot. Examples are:

  • The Creature Wasn’t Nice:
    This movie was super annoying. The cast included Leslie Nielsen but there was no plot for most of the movie. You might however want to watch it if you relish the way the scientist chief gets eaten by the monster alien creature he adopted from an adverse environment in the name of SCIENCE. All those morons who create/support harmful/destructive commercial food and drug products and justify it in the name of SCIENCE should go down like that. The “Monster in the closet” movie also has a scientist who ends up in a similar way.
  • Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama:
    A few teenagers unwittingly unleash a demon from a container at a bowling arena. The demon in this movie suffered from an extreme case of sedentary ailments. It never moved much. It however turned a few other teenagers into demons and made them attack the original group.
  • Creepozoids:
    The monster is from the Alien movie and it gives birth to Chucky-like goblin offspring. Survivors from a nuclear apocalypse in 1998 encounter these monsters in a secret government lab. This movie is proof that you can make a movie with no budget if it is set in a dark warehouse. Linnea Quigley, a scream queen, was the only reason I watched the movie. In the Bowl-o-Rama movie, there was just not enough of her punk attitude.
  • Class of Nukem High:
    It started off interesting but took forever to end. A well-known bad movie from House of Troma. But a good critique of how private nuclear power companies behave.

I wish horror films were less than an hour. Otherwise, they should be horror comedies. Else, they are tiresome. Some movies like the “Incredible Melting Man” have no scares and take forever to end. That is a really bad bad-movie.

Movie database

Finally, there is an abandoned software from the defunct video rental chain BlockBuster. It provides a good database of movies (including non-English titles) up to the mid 90s. It can be run using Wine in Linux and in newer Windows using Windows compatibility mode.

References

Tamil election-eve comedy shows for 2016

Wish they did not end with the elections.

Election comedy shows have livened up TN polls on TV.

Election comedy shows have livened up TN polls on TV.

  • News 7 TV – ஊருக்குள்ள பேசிக்கராங்க
    This program was seriously produced. Sadly, it aired the last episode before election day.
  • Jaya TV – நல்லா சொல்லராருங்க டீட்டெய்லு
    Singamuthu’s impressions of Vijayakanth and Karunanidhi are the best on TV. His trenchant criticism of other politicians and parties were not to be missed. The program stopped airing after Singamuthu joined the campaign on the ground.
    ANIMATION-Nalla-Sollarangaiya-detailu
  • Makkal TV – மு க கா க
    This oddly named program was also oddly scheduled, late into the night. Most of the intended audience would have missed it. The Sun TV-style jyothidam prescriptions for politicians and parties were great, as were the Pulikesi sketche(s?).
    PMK's election comedy uses a Sun TV (pagutharivu medhavigal)-style Jyothidan.

    PMK’s election comedy uses a Sun TV (pagutharivu medhavigal)-style Jyothidan.

  • Thanthi TV – இது எப்படி இருக்கு
    This show featured clips from election events that are not usually seen in the usual news broadcasts – such as the sad spectacle of poor people doing dabangkuthu, empty chairs in the audience, and people holding chairs above their heads during rain (one guy starts it and then everyone imitates). Excellent musical accompaniment was quite thoughtfully provided.
  • Sun News – தேர்தல் மேடை
    This program at least tried to maintain some vague objectivity. They threw some soft balls at DMK candidates and star campaigners, which was on expected lines. But, they also feature speeches by DMK opponents taking down other DMK opponents. For some reason, Sun News stopped making the program much before the rest of the channels.

India’s Broken Tryst Review – Tavleen Singh takes the hide off Karan Thapar’s back

There is no doubt that Karan Thapar is a koolaid addict of the worsk kind. Tavleen Singh says that Karan Thapar told her that her last book would have been good except for the pages about Sonia Gandhi.

Tavleen Singh tells Karan Thapar to read the book again and then do an interview.

Tavleen Singh tells Karan Thapar to read the book again and then do an interview.

Throughout the interview Karan Thapar tried to get her to apologize for being harsh on Vajpayee or Sonia Gandhi but Tavleen Singh ignored it and went on eloquently about her complaints against them.

Giving up, Thapar resorted to bad-mouthing her book and misquoting her. In her previous book,Tavleen Singh seems to have mentioned that Sonia brought new clothes from Italy for her son. Karan Thapar misquotes her by saying that Sonia brought Rahul’s old clothes for her son. What shameless attempt to put her in her place! For whom is he doing this? Somebody ought to break his butting chin with a hammer. Singh simply said he has not understood the subject and asked him to read the book again before doing an interview.

The book is titled India’s Broken Tryst. Thapar tried saying the title had no bearing on the book and it was just another of her pet collection of anecdotes and no analysis. Without losing a beat, Singh said the title was about promise made at the time of independence and every anecdote was about how various leaders have broken that promise. See this interview and you will agree that this prick should be dispatched to hell like the atheist bloggers in Bangladesh.

REVIEW: Karbonn Dazzle 3 Titanium S204 mobile phone with Android Lollipop 5

A fast phone that is available at a low price, subsidized by on-the-sly installs of unwanted apps by Karbonn system apps.

 

I now have 3 tablets, all of which have been made useless because the batteries are dead and can’t be replaced. So, I was in the market for a big-screen phone with removable battery. I got the Karbonn Dazzle 3, which the manufacturer has not yet listed on their website.

It cost only 5,300 but had an 8MP back camera & a 2MP front. It has an extremely fast quad-core processor. Battery life is good for 3 or 4 hours if you play games but otherwise the device might last a day or more.

I don’t know what the more expensive phones, many of them costing more than a motorcycle, offer.

OEM apps can be easily removed. Karbonn has wisely not made them system apps. Google apps cannot be removed. I disabled them. This also removes the annoying Google Search toolbar.

I use the Startup Manager app to prevent annoying apps from starting automatically. After installing some of good games, there was no need for Google Play.

SCREENSHOT-Zombie-Killer

F-Droid provides all the free apps I need such as this QR code app.
QR code app from F-Droid

The facia provides backlit buttons including the important Menu key which some phones replace with the Recent Apps button.

There are two SIM slots, one regular and other micro. SD card support is up to 32 GB.

It has a removable battery but the back cover doesn’t come off easily.

Altogether, a good phone and great value for the money. Is it a good tablet replacement? I am not sure. A tablet is a tablet. No “phablet” can beat them. They have bigger screens and better heat dissipation. However, I am not disappointed as I got a fast gaming device that is as good as any other phone in the market!

UPDATE: The problem with Google lizards was eliminated but the scourge of unwanted apps continued. Even when the phone is on mobile data connection, some Karbonn system app persistently downloads and installs unwanted apps such as NBT, Quikr and GameHub. I don’t know what these apps do. The NBT app got installed once. I did not start it. I thwarted subsequent installs. For a small duration, there is a Cancel button in the notification. If you don’t click it, the app gets installed. If you uninstall the app, the Karbonn system app will re-download these apps. It also sets the Developer Mode on. You cannot turn it off. I will write an app that automatically and regularly uninstalls these apps. If I am able to find which app is performing the downloads, my app will automatically kill it. The bastards who are sponsoring and facilitating these types of installations should be shot!

 

UPDATE 2: I created fake apps with names NBT, Quikr, GoIbibo, OLX, and Saavn. After installing them, the downloader did not try to install but offerred to “upgrade” my installations. HILARIOUS! I later found that an app created by an Indian company Cube26 was downloaidng these apps incessantly from cube26karbonn-analytics.in. I disabled this app and the unauthorized app installs stopped after that.

screenshot-karbonn-smartphones-download-unwanted-apps-nbt-gamehub-and-quikr
decline-google-scrub

disable-google-spyware

image

UPDATE (after three years): Karbonn phones seem to have the worst build quality. It is put together with parts from China, saliva and heart-felt prayers. Within a year, the back cover started breaking of in various places. Because there is no easy way for removing the back cover the strain is taken by the screen. The screen has come off loose and is hanging on to dear life.