Spookers | The story behind the scares

The documentary, Spookers, directed by Florian Habicht, has recently hit cinemas as of the 14th of September and Mata and I were lucky enough to be invited to a preview screening.

Now, before going into the cinema, I had watched the trailer and from the get-go, I was stoked. We get to see behind the scenes, we get to see what sort of people worked in this sort of environment and why. My curiosity about this place sky rocketed because last year in early December, the 11th of December to be exact, I had gone to Spookers with Mata and some other family members. It had been one of the most frightening experiences of my life. Idfw clowns… or loud, inhuman screeching.

Fast forward to the preview screening, we were lucky enough to have one of the Spookers actors there, IN FULL MAKEUP AND COSTUME. Juneen (I think that’s her name) walked out and I sacked my metaphorical nuts. She walked towards me and I swear, I thought she was that demon Valak from The Conjuring 2. I wasn’t even in front of the screen and I was already scared.

Walking into the cinema 11 or whatever, it was hard to ignore the looks the rest of the audience cast our way because I may have freaked out louder than I had originally thought (lol). But once the film had started playing, I couldn’t stop thinking Juneen was going to pop out at me. So throughout the first 20 minutes, I was sitting there tense af and hella jumpy.

Now, Spookers, the documentary was everything I thought it would be and more. It was scary (for me) but it was so unbelievably funny. It almost had a ‘Shaun of the Dead’ feel, and I couldn’t understand how I could be scared and laughing at the same time. One of the greatest things about Spookers is they let you into their world and where that might sound incredibly unappealing, it’s heartwarming watching the way the actors and the family who runs the place interact. They really are a close-knit unit that not only supports each other in the workplace, but also through personal hardships.

This documentary was insightful and we were able to look at the history of Spookers, or more the history of the former psychiatric ward, Kingseat Hospital. Founded in 1932 and closed in 1999, the hospital held over 800 patients for various reasons. And it was good to see the different perspectives on the infamous haunted attraction, Spookers.

Please, anyone who has gone to Spookers or wants to go should definitely watch this. Anyone who enjoys watching people get the crap (code brown) scared out of them should watch this. Tbh I reckon everyone should watch this, it’s just great.

Special Mentions:

  • Shout out to the amazing cast, y’all are epic and the dramatisations on the rugby field are A++
  • How’s about The Sausage Song had me crying. SAUSAGES. Really??!?

  • Peep our cute ass family photo at Spookers loooooolScreen Shot 2017-09-18 at 8.50.03 pm
  • When ‘Ia Lava Lava’ started playing at the end, and Mata and I couldn’t help but hum/sing along because wow what a bangaaaa. Ad libs, trills and everythaaang.
  • We didn’t see our friend Two Chainz (although he only had one chain) in the doco. We met him at Spookers and he haaaaaaaated us, especially Leilani (the one in the stripped top). I swear he wanted to drop kick her hahahahaha!!!
  • I think everyone should enjoy our photos, ay.
  • This has nothing to do with the film, but like, there was this super cute priest when we went last year????? Um???? Hook us up please???? Hahahahahaha just joking. Or am I?

Mata’s Mentions:

  • Hi guys, miss me? A few things from me- I thought the dramatisations were a bit dramaatz- but I suppose you can’t have a dramatisation without the drama.
  • I do appreciate that the documentary had input from a former Kingseat nurse and patient, it gave the doco a somewhat balanced approach.
  • I’d give the doco FOUR JAWKWARDLOLS out of FIVE- because the slowmo scares and the sausage song had me in stitches.

 

 

THE END.

….

 

 

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He’s the priest hahahahaha 😉

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle | Trailers

Out in NZ theatres September 21st, we cannot wait! So we’ve watched and rewatched the trailers and put them in one place for you to watch (or rewatch) too!

So the Kingsman headquarters gets destroyed and the world is held hostage and of course, OF COURSE, there’s an allied spy organization in the US.  It’ll be interesting to watch the brits and the yanks work together to save the world, always good for a laugh.

Ze cast: Taron Egerton, Channing Tatum, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Mark Strong, Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore

It’s a star studded cast but I’m mainly glad to see that Roxy aka LANCELOT (Sophie Cookson) is still in the picture. Because idc… issa ship.

Black Butler: Book of The Atlantic | Film Review [#OTAKU LIFE]

The latest animated rendition of the Black Butler [黒執事; Kuroshitsuji] manga by Yana Toboso grabs the story of the sixth arc, Luxury Liner, and gives us an action-packed film rendition of an already amazing manga series. ‘Kuroshitsuji: Book of the Atlantic’ is brought to us by A-1 Pictures, directed by Noriyuki Abe and written by Hiroyuki Yoshino. The film follows our ever-so-dark yet cute main boy Ciel Phantomhive and his butler Sebastian Michaelis as they embark on a luxury cruise full of nobles to hunt down the source of a rumour revolving around human experimentation.

If you’ve been following the manga, GREAT. If you’ve watched the anime versions (sans the latter part of the second season which is hypothetical) and managed to watch up to the ‘Book of Murder’ movie/2 long episode special, then some characters may seem familiar (one in particular who makes an appearance in the ‘Book of Circus’ series/arc). If not, THEN YOU MUST! I won’t spoil any of this film, apart from the plot which I’ve mentioned and I guess you don’t necessarily HAVE to watch the preceding seasons/films because, like most anime, when a character appears, the main character, usually in a shocked state, reveals their whole name. That being said, a lot of the story would make MORE sense if you watched the series or read the manga before this arc (The film covers volumes 12, 13 and 14 of the manga if that’s useful information) and characters you once knew from the stuff before this film might help to add shock value to some of the revelations in this film.

The film retains the Black Butler series’ dark and sombre aura, with that hint of comedy, flying cutlery ass-kickery and the characterization ranging from the composed cool main cast to the over-flamboyant and narcissistic characters that our main men Ciel and Sebastian seem to always ‘coincidentally’ run into. The art and character design is the same between the manga and seasons before this film, music is grand and dramatic and the story is plot-twist GALORE.

As a long-time fan of the series, I highly recommend the film – the reasons why though, I can’t give because spoilers level: MAX. SO WATCH IT PLEASE! If you’re looking for a ‘if the Titanic was the meeting ground for a secret society of nobles and the passengers included a revengeful earl and his demon butler’ kind of story (and it’s not even a joke at the fact that it’s a luxury liner, THE SHIP LITERALLY FACES (almost) THE SAME DEMISE)  then give the film a try. Like I said before, even if you’ve read the manga, seen the animations before this one or haven’t seen it at all, give it a try because “You see, its one hell of a movie.”

Take a look at screenings here in New Zealand for the film which premiered yesterday at EVENTS Cinema and goes on until next Wednesday (21st of June) and you can also catch it today at 4:30pm and at 12pm noon on Saturday and Sunday at Academy Cinemas.

Li’i Alaimoana – Minority Report

When you are a Pacific Islander and you read a Pacific Island name on a big sign outside a building you feel almost compelled to go and cheer them on. I was lucky enough to be able to go and cheer on a fellow P.I. and Billy T Award Nominee for 2017 at his comedy show at Vault at the Q Theatre and what an experience it was!

We were greeted with a keyboard, guitar and microphone. Vault is such an intimate atmosphere so it felt like we were all mates hanging out in front of a stage. Li’i began the show with some ambient music via his keyboard. This was mixed with a whole lot of giggles about various day to day activities such as bringing in the washing and doing dishes whilst dealing with emotional blackmail from your wife. Very very very VERY relatable (or so my husband says). Li’i then introduces his show with a kind of trigger warning. It is based on some very personal experiences. The type that your every day Pacific Islander is no stranger to and this sort of brings the mood of the room to a different level. It is very sobering to see a male bare a part of himself like that and it was appreciated.

The show continues on with lots of jokes that had me in complete fits. Discussions about growing up and watching your parents and their dance moves had me back in the garage watching my family members drinking and dancing. The sprinkler one of my all time favs was performed and this had me in stitches. The atmosphere was lifted when Li’i played a game with one yawning audience member who happened to be front and centre in the seating. Li’i has quick humour and drew on the audience for a few unplanned but very effective laughs. The use of music was impressive and fun. His whole demeanour is so relatable and he truly is hilarious!

His timing and presentation isn’t that of your everyday comedian. He almost seemed like the funny uncle whose jokes you can always rely on to get the party started and keep the party going. In fact he seemed like the uncle who would be the last man standing at a party! Li’i gives you a show that you can relate to as a parent, a single person, a Pacific Islander, a Palagi and even as a kid I am pretty sure you could relate to and laugh at some of his outrageous island humour. There was a lot to love about seeing a fellow brown person on stage commanding and demanding the respect he deserves. Li’i shows us that we can follow our dreams and be something great whilst also being our loud brown and proud selves. What a show!

You can watch some of his more casual funny stuff right here.

Paul Williams | Summertime Love REVIEW

Paul Williams, 2017 Billy T Award nominee, really finds his groove on stage at his show “Summertime Love.”

Literally.

I have never been to a comedy gig with so many different types of funny! There is a lot going on, but it works in with Paul’s weird/cool/awkward style of comedy.

Things I learnt about Paul Williams:

1.Paul has many talents. We already knew about his mad skills on the mini keyboard from his appearances on The Guy Williams Show, but his musical genius doesn’t stop there. In fact, it doesn’t stop at music either – I’ll leave it for Paul to tell you about his one great talent, but let’s just say, the single people in the audience won’t be single for long.

1

2. Paul gets distracted easily. Which I found hard to discern whether that was actually part of the gig, or whether he really does just sometimes, mid sentence, wonder about the audience’s daily intake of water.

3. Paul loves a bit of banter with the audience, and slammed out some solid impromptu one-liners that had me in stitches.

4. Paul genuinely seems like a nice guy. This added to his hilarity in an honest, down-to-earth, “kiwi” way.

5. Paul Williams has been to New York.

Things to look forward to when you go see Paul Williams:  

1.Some kick-ass yoyo skills

2. Weird-and-probably-irrelevant flirting tips

3. Nostalgic stories of a NZ childhood

4. A seminar

5. Sick dance moves.

 

Just a special mention to Paul’s audience – they really created an atmosphere of comedy, they were hanging out for Paul’s for the next joke. SHOUT OUT to the couple who sat in front of me, with the loudest and greatest laughs of all times – the world needs more people like you!

Make sure to catch Paul this week in Auckland while you can! Ticket info here

Frickin Dangerous Bro | Money in the Bank Review

I generally don’t like to gas people up, however to say Frickin Dangerous Bro, comprised of Jamaine Ross (Jono and Ben, Funny Girls), James Roque (Jono and Ben, Funny Girls) and Pax Assadi (George FM), are a top act to catch this NZ Comedy Festival isn’t much of a stretch.

Yes, that’s based on seeing them for the second time but hey- I’m allowed.

So they’re back this year, with an appropriately (because apparently they received some pretty hefty funding) titled show Money in the Bank (MITB). 

The premise is they’ve got some money in the bank however they balled too hard and well you know what happens when you give young bucks too much money.

Comedy gold.

I must admit, for me, MITB didn’t have as solid a start as last year’s G.O.A.T however the rest of the show was still every bit as punchy, witty and hilarious.

As to be expected their sketches ranged from highly inappropriate out-of-it situations to everyday slice-of-life (sorta) ones we could see happening in our own lives.

And in between it all were their interactions both with each other and the audience which gave the show that relaxed, inclusive, feel which carried through into each skit.

In terms of organisation it was a bit of a shambles, and they admit they’re still not the greatest with endings, but that’s all part of the charm innit?

I think they’ll forever be working out kinks, crazy amount of money or not, because of the type of guys they seem to be. However, like I’ve said, it works.

The best bit is, I highly doubt each night will be quite the same, for example maybe they’ll find the second dice they lost the first night- for the third/fourth show?

Maybe.

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Honourable mentions:

  • Bruh, there was this couple sat just in front of us who felt the need to repeat everything FBD said, or make a remark at every joke, whoop at the most annoying times. Hands were ITCHING to be thrown, istg.
  • If my research is correct these boys had $35,000 or so to irresponsibly spend, in order to create “the most baller show”  we’d ever see.
  • OMG ISSA GUN SAAAAS

James Nokise | Talk a Big Game

Samoan-Welsh James Nokise talks a big game in his Auckland show, Talk a Big Game, this comedy fest.

I couldn’t help myself.

In his 15 years of comedy, he’s spent the last 10 years focused on biting political commentary.

However when political commentary (internationally as well as locally) needed him the most- in the wake of 2016’s NZ Flag referendum, America’s Trumpocalypse, Brexit in Europe and Jexit (John Key’s exit) in NZ- Nokise vanished.

Or rather decided he’d had enough of the hoopla and was going to throw in the political commentary towel and spend an hour talking sports like a good kiwi bloke.

Or did he? Nokise lulls us into a false sense of sport security before actually hitting us with his on point political and social commentary the entire time.

The poster issa ruse, however don’t complain, because much like the promo pic for his show you’ve GOT to know that it’s not what you’re going to get.

And if you didn’t click second or third joke in, mate, c’mon.

In amongst all the laughter Nokise seamlessly unpacks a myriad of issues- disguised as a Sky-sport post match package- holding a mirror up to our society and telling us to flex.

It’s great, it’s good banter ranging from his Samoan father’s favourite sport, to theories on why Steven Adams- who I swear looks more Mexican than Tongan- signals the end of the All Blacks as he makes his way through a list of sports.

He trusts his audience’s intelligence levels, comfortably discussing sports and complex issues in a way that’s not an hour of calling out racists, or of impersonations of minorities- though you do get a bit of both.

With the finesse of a performer completely at ease on stage his style of structured- but loaded with tangents- set keeps the audience not only entertained and in stitches, but has them thinking ‘well goddamn’.

We highly recommend you grab yourselves tickets to his remaining shows- you can do so here.

The LOL is silent.

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