Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.


I have to pick and choose what days/times I cycle to feel safe. Motorists can drive whenever they want. That’s the kind of inequitableness that those with the power to change things don’t want to acknowledge #aside

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I don’t cycle as much at the moment, mostly because of situations like this. Even in a town like Dundalk, a fraction of the size of Dublin, the behaviour of motorists has nose-dived in recent years. I’d rather not dice with death just to go to the shops, like > @Ronnierobins #aside

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Ran out of usable daylight today by half past three. How feckin’ miserable is that? #aside

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Got a Qi charger for my phone (and headphones) and it’s like I’ve zoomed into the future #aside

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Installed SimCity 4 on my MacBook this weekend and found a whole city I’d completely forgotten I’d built. Thank goodness for Steam cloud saves! #aside

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Tickets booked for the new Godzilla, which will be only the second movie I’ll have seen in a cinema since the pandemic #aside

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Film review — Robot Holocaust

A cheapo mash-up of sword-and-sandal derring-do and post-apocalyptic nonsense, helmed with blatant lack of interest by a jobbing porn director and presumably left on a shelf to collect dust for a few years until Charles Band needed output for his video rental supply deals (lifting his brother’s theme for Laserblast appears to be his only input here, as it’s fairly inept even by Empire Pictures’ standards). More…

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Film review — Mitchell

I watched the MST3K piss-take of the TV edit, which only made me want to see the original more. Not that it’s brilliant or anything, but I feel cheated out of the dune buggy chase. More…

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RIP Killing Joke guitarist Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker, whose style and tone may be imitated but never duplicated. Everyone will have different recommendations but mine is the mid-’80s run: the incendiary Fire Dances, the epic Night Time, even the divisive Brighter Than a Thousand Suns #music #aside

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Film review — The Creator

Hard to watch this in November 2023 and not see parallels between its blatant orientalism and the othering that’s driven the Palestinian genocide. Though I admit I smirked at the bit when the evil empire rolls in with super-tanks replete with US Army logo in lowercase, because they’re nice and friendly guys, really, honest, just ignore the communities being crushed under the tank treads and the AI suicide bombers they use a few minutes later, nothing to see here, nosiree. More…

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Heavy #music alert: Cloud Rat are one of the best grindcore bands going, and their digital discography is free this weekend on Bandcamp > cloudrat.bandcamp.com #aside

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This is all on the Garda and the Government for not nipping this fascist bullshit in the bud years ago #aside

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Just catching up on the news from Dublin tonight. We were literally there not even three hours ago and now it’s all on fire with riot police on the streets. Fucking hell... #aside

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Got a three-pack of 32GB SD cards for my ‘good’ camera (old tech for old tech). Popped one in, and the screen shows it can hold more than 5,000 shots. That’s just wild to me! #aside

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I remember when Sunbather came out, I looked for the CD at Rough Trade East in London but they hadn’t got it in yet (big omission on their part, missing the blackgaze zeitgeist like that). I never did get around to buying that CD, but now I have the 10th anniversary vinyl #music #aside

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Got a basic telephoto lens for my ‘good’ camera; second-hand on eBay for less than half the going rate for a new one. Nice start to the weekend! #aside

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Oh my god I can’t with Irish Rail’s website. Last year I had no problem booking but tonight it just wouldn’t do seat selection on my Mac and I had to use my SO’s PC instead (and even then it was a chore, and took multiple attempts). Such unnecessary stress! #aside

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Am I imagining things or did Irish Rail have a news item on Friday regarding the new timetables with booking from today (which was incorrect, as the new times can’t be found in the journey planner) and since then quietly removed it? #aside

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In case you were looking at the vinyl reissue of NoMeansNo’s Wrong and balked at Alternative Tentacles’ shipping charges to Europe, HHV in Germany is now taking preorders with postage at a far more reasonable €12 #aside

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They’re discontinuing Caramacs? SAAAAAKE #aside

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Hey, companies! You know those Terms and Conditions for services you’ve got there? You’re actually supposed to put ALL of them there, especially the ones that cost your customers money for nothing #aside

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#NowPlaying Earth - Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version (best cranked loud, in the dark) #aside

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Went crate digging at the record fair around the corner. Didn’t find that Elliott Sharp LP I skipped last time, alas, but I did leave with a couple of Rush albums #aside

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Was going to watch #AEWDynamite live since it’s on an hour earlier but yet again the Fite app won’t cast to the Xbox so that’s a subscription I’ll be dropping tomorrow #aside

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Someone remind me to pay and file my income tax tomorrow, please and thank you #aside

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Film review — When Evil Lurks

Set in an alternative Argentina where religious faith has been rendered futile by a plague of literal demonic possession, a pair of brothers have to fight the evil of the demons themselves and the banal evil of a society that’s refused to accept responsibility for the crisis, with the most grim results imaginable. A true modern feel-bad classic that works both without and because of its allegories to the contemporary world’s ills, and a film I will never watch again so help me god. More…

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Film review — The Hidden

Jack Sholder’s follow-up to Freddy’s Revenge is another possession story but one that’s mis-sold as a horror movie when it’s really 90% squib-heavy shoot-’em-up action thriller, with some breathtaking stunt work to boot. Kyle MacLachlan’s also great as the oddball sidekick to Michael Nouri’s gruff detective in an alien-human buddy-cop pairing that beat Alien Nation to cinemas by about a year. More…

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Film review — Dark Harvest

The hunter-becomes-the-hunted angle is a novelty, but there’s too much about this retro-styled teen horror (you know it’s for teens as its subtext is rendered as explicit text with all the subtlety of an axe to the face) that makes zero sense, so much it distracts from any tension it tries to build or any shocks it elicits from its CGI bodily violence. More…

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Anyone I know have a hook-up for late ’80s horror flick Cameron’s Closet? It’s not available to watch where I live #aside

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Film review — Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

Watched Arrow’s commentary version with Kim Newman and the film’s publicist Stephen Jones, which is mostly “ah so-and-so, what a lovely person” ad infinitum but I don’t mean that in a bad way. The film itself, well… It’s certainly a tour de force for Doug Bradley. The less said about the Cenobites 2.0 and the horribly dated budget morphing effects, the better. More…

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It’s been more than a year and a half since digital mobile ticketing was launched with the TFI Go app and Bus Éireann drivers still look at me like I’ve just arrived from outer space #aside

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Sometimes the world is an awful place, and sometimes a dude in Romania sends you a 40-year-old record by a forgotten but brilliant band on the Minutemen’s label #aside

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Forgot to put the bins out last night so got up early to do it this morning. Just before the heavy rain, too. Adulting… #aside

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Film review — Night of the Living Dead

Dumped on by reviewers of its time who had no idea what would come in the remake-mania of the 2000s and beyond, and unfairly so. Taken in the broader context, Tom Savini makes a decent stab of it, changing just enough to make the enterprise worthwhile (the racial politics are dialled down somewhat for a Ripley-inspired feminist angle). But that horrid synth-preset soundtrack is inexcusable. More…

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Film review — Dr. Giggles

Larry Drake isn’t bad as the villainous fake physician, but his copious one-liners don’t land like they should; the tone isn’t quite right. It also takes far too long to get going with the kills and spills, and when it does most of the protagonists suffer from a severe case of the stupids. More…

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Film review — Gegege no Kitaro Yokai Kiden Mateki Elohim Essaim

There’s a moment in the middle of this children’s (?) movie when it turns into a sex comedy and then I was really like ‘What the hell am I watching?!’ Still, I do also have to acknowledge the detailed production design which would look so much more impressive if it hadn’t been shot on video. More…

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Film review — Spooky Kitaro: The Great Yokai War

A little boy with one of the Residents in his hair teams up with his friends and a bunch of fellow monsters from Japanese folklore to fend off an invading force of “Western yokai” comprising a Dracula, a Frankenstein, a Wolf Man, a witch and a random floating eye thing. It’s classed as a feature but it’s only 40 minutes long so I have no idea how or when this would have been shown. More…

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Film review — Love God

Essentially a ’90s Troma flick with a veneer of respectability (it was produced and released on the same slate as Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm by the company that would become Focus Features). Would be easily mistaken for Henenlotter’s New York scuzz if not for the frantic quick-cut editing and constant era-specific alt-rock soundtrack, replete with some recognisable bands (though ironically enough not the Butthole Surfers, even though more than one reviewer has suggested this looks like how a Butthole Surfers album sounds). Would I prefer to hear Blind Idiot God’s “747” in a better film? Yes, yes I would. More…

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Film review — Freak Out

Not good. While I’ll give this made-by-gorehounds horror “comedy” is produced with some technical and compositional flair despite its pocket-money budget, the leads are written like children less out of the potential for comedic incongruity than as a way to disavow the constant casual homophobia and misogyny. More…

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Film review — Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh

This is when I dropped out of the 24-Hour Horror Movie Mind Melter for the evening; like Bee says, it’s not Phantasmagoria without Roberta Williams, and this sequel in name only (or rather the cut scenes thereof) swaps much of the gory horror for softcore titillation that makes the terrible acting even harder to look past. More…

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Film review — M

A hyper-stylised Hitchcockian psychodrama that apparently killed its director’s career in his native South Korea because, well, it’s a bit too self-indulgent, innit? A writer lamenting how hard it is to be a writer is never that interesting. It also came out a solid decade before Korean cinema became de rigueur in the West (Oldboy notwithstanding) so one can imagine what might have been. More…

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Film review — Hell Has No Boundary

A Hong Kong vice cop on a camping trip gets possessed by a demon and all hell breaks loose as she Freddy Kruegers everyone who stands in her way. It’s got the expected Category 3 grossness and much of it looks like it was shot on video (albeit really high quality video for 1982). But it’s also got some remarkably stylish shots and inventive set pieces (the swinging, flaming spike balls are an especially nice touch). More…

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Film review — Monster Heaven

Look, just don’t mess with monsters, OK? Moreover, if you murder your adulterous wife and bestie, definitely don’t let your sun-dried kappa get wet. Because then a cosmonaut will kill his colleague on the moon with a possessed sword. More…

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Film review — The Ghostly Rental

This 1965 French adaptation of the Henry James ghost story was apparently made for TV but looks about as good as anything cinematic of its era. It’s slow but steadily builds a mood until its mysteries are revealed. (And no, the sudden appearance of a black-and-white minstrel is not one of them. Though that might be the most disturbing thing I’ll see tonight.) More…

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Film review — Battle Royale High School

A short and wild anime feature to start the Important Cinema Club 24-Hour Horror Movie Mind Melter, with fighting and demons and a time-police astronaut and oodles of gore. And I’ll tell you one thing Japanese appropriation of Irish folklore gets very right: fairies are assholes. More…

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Fellow movie weirdos: it’s less than 24 hours till Important Cinema Club’s 24-Hour Horror Movie Mind Melter! Tune in tomorrow from 3pm UTC at twitch.tv/importantcinemaclub #aside

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