THE MEN WHO WERE
By Shaer Duita Phish Reaz
There are “men” and there are men. The definition of “manly” can cover many things, but I think for now we can limit it to a love for speed, beautiful women, tobacco smoke, and the smell of gasoline in the morning.
For most teenage boys from any generation, an infatuation with motor racing and race drivers is common. Stay with me as I attempt to define manliness with a select few examples in the form of racing drivers from the past. These manliest of all men brought hero worship to a new high for me, and I hope the readers will be inspired to look them up too.
JIM CLARK - He was epic. All that needs to be said to describe a man who can easily pass off as a modern day Spartan - he went into every race determined to win everything or give up everything, including his life. Off the track, he was an irritable playboy, having a way with any woman, and if he wanted anything, he made sure he damn well got it. On the track, he drove smooth and fast, taming any car he drove, be it a Lotus open wheel or a tarmac rally car in the harshest of conditions. Jim met his end racing a Lotus Formula Two car at a minor race in Germany - his Lotus team members, muscled moustached men, wept openly in front of his mangled remains.
AYRTON SENNA da SILVA - Often hailed as the greatest racing driver of all time; he was not always successful, at least like Michael Schumacher. He was hailed as a god of suspension tuning - he understood any car he drove, like it was an extension of his limbs. Primarily driving for McLaren and Honda, he dominated modern Formula 1 and made friends and enemies of equal stature. When Senna joined McLaren from Lotus, he formed a bitter rivalry with teammate Alain Prost, something which shook the very core of F1: from 1988 to 1993, every single race between Prost and Senna had friction in one form or another. Senna was obsessed with Prost, studying his tactics, trying to be better. It could be said Senna would be nothing without Prost, and vice versa. It could easily be described as what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable wall, sometimes quite literally. In a race involving the death of a fellow driver, the presence of Schumacher, several injured spectators, Senna's fast and furious lifestyle finally caught up with him when he crashed and suffered severe head injuries. The cause of the crash was attributed to a steering column failure in his Williams, prompting the imposition of strict safety regulations in F1 afterwards.
COLIN McRAE - The most successful rally driver in the history of the sport. The Scott came from a family of legendary rally drivers, and only at the age of sixteen, he was well on his way to surpassing everyone in his family. With 25 rally wins and countless number of stage wins, he was a versatile driver at the peak of motorsport - he even drove in the daddy of all motor racing - Le Mans. Colin single handedly made Subaru and rallying synonymous around the world and gave his name to some of the best rally games around. While competing in the X-Games 2005, he purposefully crashed his car into the ground to give rookie Travis Pastrana his first win, later; he said he only did it to give the crowd a good show. Compared to the other men in this list, McRae was a very soft-spoken, calm and calculating person, but that doesn't make him any less of a man. He died in a tragic helicopter crash in 2007 which also claimed the lives of two friends and his five year old son, Johnny.
BRUCE McLAREN - A British legend and the founder of McLaren, the arch nemesis of Ferrari Scuderia, Bruce was better known as a brilliant engineer rather than a race driver. He was still deadly at the track, winning most races he entered, and the ones he didn't win, he usually came in at a close second. People who watched him race commented that he used his engineer's head to race instead of just limbs like mere mortals. He was also adept at mastering brutish racecars like the fearsome, goose bump inducing McLaren M8 Can Am racecar. Ironically, it was a McLaren M8D that took his life during testing. He left a legacy that rubbed off on cars produced by McLaren, like the legendary F1.
JUAN MANUEL FANGIO - Another early legend in motor racing, Fangio was the Maradona to Ayrton Senna's Pele (Fangio was Argentinian, Senna was a Brazilian). However, unlike Maradona, Fangio wasn't much inclined on taking risks. He was a safe driver at a time when safety equipment in racing was limited to a leather cap. If Fangio wanted to win, he would devise a brilliant strategy and stick to it throughout the race, no matter what happened. He died a natural death in 1995 in his Buenos Aires residence.
SIR STIRLING MOSS - The only surviving driver in this list, Stirling Moss had Fangio as his mentor and later, his rival. Along with Fangio, Moss dominated the racing world in the late '40s till the early '60s. Even though he won countless number of races, he somehow never got around to winning a championship in a major event. He is often referred to as “the greatest racing driver to never win a championship”. Being knighted and featured in an innumerable number of publications, Moss was the poster boy for a whole generation of racing drivers following him.
There are so many drivers left to mention, but due to a lack of space we are unable to give details. Special mention should be given to the fastest smoker in the world Keke Rosberg, the legends of Nigel Mansell and Dan Gurney, Colin Chapman, and even the late Enzo Ferrari. These were men who carried the thunder, fought epic battles in rain and sleet, all for glory. They will not be forgotten, and they will never die in our hearts.
House of the Dead: Overkill
By Musarrat Rahman
Isn't it just the most annoying thing when everyone starts coupling up and you are the last person left single? Don't you just feel like strangling your overly-affectionate lovey-dovey couple friends for ditching you again this Halloween? That could land you in trouble with the law, not to mention your stupid conscience might feel bad, but shooting zombies won't! So grab your Wii, House of the Dead: Overkill and get to work on taking your aggression out on the zombies by blowing their heads clean off. It's fun, and hey, you're not breaking any laws.
House of the Dead is a totally old school game we remember from way back when we only had our humble PC's to keep us entertained. It had horrible graphics, a single-player shooter, lots of zombies and plenty of gore - but we loved every minute of it. Then gaming consoles happened and HOTD was something that the little brats only played at arcades.
Sigh, children nowadays are so deprived.
HOTD: Overkill's story continues from when Agent G and Isaac Washington go on the hunt for Papa Caesar, a deranged mad scientist behind the “mutant” (zombie) outbreak. Joining them in their undertaking is barely-clothed Varla Guns who also wants some Caesar salad as revenge for him ruining her crippled brother's life.
It's a classic HOTD rail shooter game with a nonsensical, trying-too-hard-to-be-funny (but still awesome) storyline that's jam-packed with shooting zombies/mutants. If you're sensitive to foul language then this game will make your ears bleed. The game guides you where to go - through each room, road, and staircase your movements are pre-determined. Like previous HOTD's all you have to worry about is shooting the zombies that jump out at you from nowhere. Points scored will earn you cash, which you can use to purchase new artillery or upgrade the ones you already have. At the end of each section you are graded on your performance in areas such as staying alive and your level of accuracy. Unfortunately, you will lose points when you accidentally shoot the idiot civilians the zombies hold hostage. When you complete the story mode you unlock a Director's Cut which is the same experience but with a higher level of difficulty.
If you're an adult, own a Nintendo Wii, enjoyed Grindhouse, a fan of the original over-the-top exploitation films, then this is without doubt the game for you. This game will also appeal to fans of shooting games and Zombie films. If you think you don't fall into any of the above categories - then you might seriously have a personality problem. It's a game with guns, zombies, a scantily clad woman riding an awesome bike and an exaggerated amount of profanity. For those of you who, like moi, love shooting 'mutant' zombies and shooting games in general, you need to check it out.
It'll be the awesomest Halloween ever!
Horror Through The Ages
We Bangladeshis have somewhat an upper hand in the whole Halloween thing. What we all go through on a daily basis is far worse than the west's worst Halloween nightmares. The last thing we need to do is dress up silly and pretend that there are monsters around us, although our monsters will, without any doubt, kick their monsters' butts. So, yeah, dressing up and being scared is not going to work for us. Things might have been different if there were candies involved, but let's face it, strangers are not going to give you chocolates/candies. Even if they do, remember what mommy told you? NEVER take candies from a stranger. Mugging is always involved, somehow.
Getting out dressed up as something is not the best of ideas either, since there is a pretty big chance of an angry or very amused crowd following you to your destination. And most of us probably won't even be invited anywhere.
Does that mean you can't have fun (read scares)? You surely can, and this Halloween will turn into the scariest of your life when you have Hitchcock in your living room.
Here we have the scariest of the scary-horror movies. Most of them are not the gore-comic versions of horror that we have today, these are the real deals.
1. Psycho (1960): Why? Because it is one of the best movies ever made in this genre and because this is from Alfred Hitchcock. Based on Robert Bloch's novel, this film shows the encounter between a Marion Crane (played by Janet Leigh), who checks in a motel after stealing money from her employer and the motel's owner, the lonely Norman Bates is played by Anthony Perkins. The shower scene is still one of the most iconic horror scenes in cinema, and if you haven't seen this Oscar-winning masterpiece already, please do. People have not been calling it the 'best horror movie' for 50 years for no reason.
2. The Night Of The Living Dead (1968): What is scary in a horror film? The fear of impending doom? Hopelessness? The feeling of claustrophobia after seeing it? This classic has got them all. Done on a shoestring budget with some no-name actors, this is the simple story of seven strangers who board themselves up in a farmhouse from the ravenous hoards of flesh eating zombies that are rising.
The blood and gore gets a whole new meaning in black and white and there are some remakes in the 80's which are not exactly up to the mark, but you can only judge them after you have seen the original.
3. The Exorcist (1973): There can be many things said about this movie, but it would not describe it properly. This is a true horror story that you have to see to understand cinema properly. This might feel a bit on the slow side for average movie-watchers, but it still is very frightening. This is a horror film with a spirit, targeting the deeply rooted religious fears. The writer of the book, William Peter Blatty insists that the story is based on a real case, as if things weren't scary before.
4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974): This movie might seem a bit tame to today's horror jaded movie watchers, but back in the 70's, this was far from it. This is what made chainsaws so scary. A group of cannibalistic cowboy cretins use sledgehammers, meat hooks, and chainsaws to kill and dismember every lost soul foolhardy enough to mosey on by asking for directions. There have been remakes, which are satisfactory, but those lack the raw energy of the original one.
5. Shaun of the dead (2004): This is an unusual choice here. This is not the creepiest movie in the list, nor does it try to be. This is one of the good zombie movies that are out there. Some might call it the spoof of 'Dawn of the Dead' from 1978, but this clearly is more than that. This movie looks great, has its moments of hilarity (why wouldn't it have? It's got Simon Pegg!) in telling the story of Shaun, a guy who was not having a particularly good day. A brilliant choice for a funny zombie horror movie.
There are definitely tons of other horror movies these days, but just their blunt use of blood and gore has got a lot of movie fans exhausted, this writer included. The movies that are featured here are the true classics and are sure to rekindle any kind of emotion that you might have for scary movies. There are also some other great choices, like: The Shining, The Ring and one very unusual choice, American Psycho.
Then there are oldies like Dracula(1931), but that might seem a bit comical compared to movies in recent times. If you are into oldies, be sure to check them out as well.
But if you are too scared to try out any horror stuff mentioned here, be sure to book your ticket to the next train to Twilight-town. Sparkly vampires will look welcoming and not weird at all.