So, it’s about time for another blog, or post, or whatever the hell they’re called. In the absence of anything else to write about – like a pandemic, or a new American president, say – I’m stuck with nothing better than a rather feeble stab at referencing a film I’ve never seen and write about my favourite transport-related films, or three of them at least….

First, a plane, and the awesome, under-seen and under-loved zombie flick Flight of The Living Dead, which, apart from having a great title and being very, very topical, given the current pandemic, is basically Snakes on a Plane, only with zombies instead of snakes. I don’t need to tell you anything else, really, do I? You’ve either turned your nose up at what you perceive as low-brow entertainment, or you’re thinking to yourself that is one cool-sounding movie which  you must see at all costs. Or you have already seen it. BUT, if you are the odd one out – if you are keeping an open mind, waiting to be persuaded and wondering if this is what passes for film criticism, or even cult film fandom, these days, I can assure you that it’s both very gory and very funny, which is all I ask of a film, really. Admittedly it’s not very scary, but what zombie movie is?

Next, a train, and the awesome, under-seen and under-loved Henry Jaglom picture Tracks, which sadly doesn’t feature any zombies but does star a zonked-out Dennis Hopper (is there any other kind pre1980s?) as a uniformed Vietnam vet escorting his dead buddy’s coffin to its final resting place, while having a lot of paranoid hallucinations and encountering a supporting cast of the usual Henry Jaglom eccentrics (Dean Stockwell, Michael Emil) among his fellow passengers. Jaglom’s characters can sometimes get kind of wearisome in their self-conscious kookiness, like an entire cast of Annie Halls, but Tracks is darker and more unsettling than that, and the fact that it is restricted to one setting (a train, Leave Voters and Rovers fans) just adds to the claustrophobia, although at least you can get up and walk around, unlike in a car or coach. It all steams full ahead to the unexpected ending, the twist to end all twists, and not the corny “I could see that coming a mile off” twist of The Sixth Sense or The Others. More of a Crying Game twist, if instead of playing a male transvestite, Jay Davidson wasa fucked-up Vietnam Vet on a mission to kill.

Finally, an automobile. This being a “Cult Movie and Music” site (inter alia) you’d no doubt expect me  to plump for something like Two Lane Blacktop, for there is surely no road movie more culty, what with Warren Oates, probably my favourite actor of all time, racing down deserted American roads against Dennis Wilson and James Taylor, one of whom at least is deserving of even greater cult status than he already has. Plus it was a big influence on Radio On, my favourite Bristol movie ever (not that I’m exactly spoilt for choice!) But no. Being the contrary bastard that I am – or so my friend and fellow Bristolian John Lough tells me – I’m going for the obvious, the car to end all cars, the musical to end all musicals, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Hard to believe this was written by Ian “James Bond” Fleming but written by Ian Fleming it was. Truth be told, the first time I saw it, as a kid, and the second time, and the third time, I only really dug the sinister Child Catcher, blissfully unaware that he is apparently an anti-Semitic stereotype. I could live without the whole Toot Sweets malarkey. But now I’m older, and I’m not so self-assured, and I have a daughter of my own, I’ve seen it at least another three times, and I dig everything about it, except for the anti-Semitism, obviously, if anti-Semitism is what it is. I dig that it is incredibly long (going on two and a half hours, long enough to try the patience of a seven-year-old) and is really two films in one, before Vulgaria and in Vulgaria, so you get double the entertainment; I dig the songs and the dance routines, especially The Old Bamboo, and the windmill and the fairy tale castle and all the amazing locations; I dig the fact that Caractacus Potts’ crazy Heath Robinson-type home is an obvious influence on Tim Burton and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure; that Truly Scrumptious/Sally Ann Howes is indeed truly scrumptious, and that the Child Catcher/Robert Helpmann is truly threatening (but then Helpmann WAS a ballet dancer and knew how to use his body). But above all, I dig this scene, which features not only the best song and most beautiful moment from the film, but one of the most beautiful moments in cinema history. I give you…. Dick Van Dyke and Hush-a-bye Mountain: