Never did me any harm

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Scarred For Life review

Rating –

Something that I am eternally grateful for is growing up in the 80s. We had the best music, the best kids movies and the best kids TV. We could spend all day out and… yes. Ok. I know. I’ll shut up. You get the idea though.

We were also the last generation where adults didn’t pussyfoot around us. We had films and TV shows that would never be shown to kids now, as well as some truly chilling public information films. As such we were well aware that motorists wouldn’t try to avoid us if we ran across the road, or that we’d get snagged on some underwater junk if we swam in the old flooded quarry. Oh yeah, and “Protect And Survive”.

So what’s it about?

Well, I mean, it’s about all the above really. This show is a homage to all the things that made us Gen Xers a hardy bunch, and the darker influences of the current Hauntological movement. The main focus is on TV, all of those square eyed kids (me included) grew up watching stuff they weren’t supposed to. Although the stuff we were supposed to watch was also pretty weird and scary. I can’t imagine a primary school nowadays showing a class of 8 year olds the film Watership Down for example, but I remember more than one child leaving the room in tears when it was played to us.

Each episode, the hosts Andy Bush, Stephen Brotherstone and Dave Lawrence interview a different celebrity. They are encouraged to bring in three “scars” and discuss just why these things were so scary. What I found surprising here was the number of title sequences to TV programs being mentioned. I can relate to that. One of the earliest things I remember scaring me was the intro to Tales Of The Unexpected.

Episode one (actually episode two. The first episode is the hosts discussing their “scars”) sees a great interview with Jamie Anderson, son of Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson, and a writer and director in his own right. Episode two sees the guys interview actor, writer, and filmmaker Andy Nyman. His film Ghost Story (based on a stage show fo the same name) definitely has the feel of a much older style, and is one of the scariest modern horror films (and one of Paul Whitehouse’s best acting roles).

Is it any good?

If you are of a certain age then you will no doubt grow all misty eyed (and slightly wary) at the discussions of Mr. Noseybonk, Candy and Andy et al. A few years ago I showed a picture of Mr. Noseybonk to my kids and he still has the power to terrify kids, even now.

If you were born after 1990 (or heaven forbid 2000) you will listen with equal parts horror and disbelief. But as a preemptive answer to you young pups, yes we did watch/listen to/read this stuff. Yes we did do this stuff, and yes, this is what passed for entertainment.

The interviews are funny and very entertaining, and also the reason for my current YouTube search history. Thanks to Mr. Nyman, I’m currently working my way through the Thriller TV series

Final thoughts

I’ve been a fan of the SFL Facebook page for a very long time now. When I heard they were releasing a podcast I eagerly awaited episode 1. You may think me somewhat premature by posting this review when there are only three episodes released, but then my review of The Estate only covered two episodes so it’s not entirely unheard of.

The guys at SFL have also released a series of books. I think I know what I’ll be asking Father Christmas for this year!

This review is also my 100th blog post! I didn’t think I’d get this far, and I can’t think of a more worthy review for my centenary. Here’s to another 100.

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