The Enfield Haunting Poltergeist Review

What a load of rubbish!

What a load of rubbish!

Ted Pemberton reviews The Enfield Haunting off the telly in his own unique style.

I didn’t want to watch this at all, because I didn’t believe in ghosts and poltergeists or any of that gubbins, but it was in my contract or something so I had no choice in the matter. Now I’m glad that I did, and I’ve become a firm believer.

The Enfield Haunting is the absolutely true story of a malevolent entity which manifested itself in the manner of a poltergeist in an ordinary house in an ordinary street in Enfield back in the 1970s when people wore baggy pants and drove around in Ford Capris with Marc Bolan blasting out of the 8 track stereo. Anyway, back in the old days the story was in all the papers and even on the telly quite a bit, probably because there were only three channels back then and they were usually all shite with fuck all on, a bit like today really, except now we have hundreds of channels with bugger all on.

On a positive note, The Enfield Haunting has Barry the dopey Brummie out of Auf Wiedersehen Pet in it, although sadly not Oz or Wayne who couldn’t really have been in it anyway because he’s dead in real life. Not Oz – Wayne. Oz is alive and probably dancing around the toon of a freyder neet in his crocodile shoes. Unless he’s gone to Memphis again to meet up with the ghost of Elvis at Graceland like the bloke in that song who walked about in Memphis for a bit. But not Wayne because like I said, in real life he’s dead. And he couldn’t have been the poltergeist because he didn’t die until afterwards. In real life.

Anyway, to cut a long story short – these two young girls get poltergismed by this evil spirit thing and it’s doing their mum and dad’s heads in, so Barry turns up in an E Type Jag to sort things out because he’s in some sort of psychical research society. (Not Barry, the bloke in real life who he’s playing, who is also dead in real life like Wayne, but not like Oz who isn’t dead at all in real life. At least not that we’re aware of.)

When Barry can’t cope he gets some bloke called Giles in to help him out. Giles knows lots about hauntings and stuff because he wrote a book about it, but in this case he’s not much cop at all really so they call a psychic medium in and she talks in somebody else’s voice and some stuff moves about the room a bit and it’s absolutely terrifying. When this doesn’t work, one of the girls starts talking in a croaky voice which freaks everybody out, so they put her in hospital where she falls out of bed at least once.

In the end it turns out that the ghost thing is the spirit of an old bloke who popped his clogs in the house in the armchair and he’s a bit pissed off about stuff in general. This is confirmed when Barry goes to see the bloke’s son, who’s played by Spider out of Coronation Street and who confirms that the old man was a grumpy old git who didn’t particularly get along with people.

And then it all ends and everybody gets back to normal, or something like it. I’d have liked to have done a better, more detailed review of this, but it’s almost three hours long and I’d drank nearly a full bottle of whisky so my memory is a little bit fuzzy, but as I was stumbling up the stairs to bed, having switched the telly off and the lights out, some poltergeist presence tripped me up on the stairs and I crashed down face first and really hurt my hooter. Put the willies right up me did that.

So now I’m a believer, like the Monkees.


Ted Pemberton


Shocking Doggy Murder At Crufts

Wrong Dog Breed You Idiot!

Wrong Dog Breed You Idiot!

Shocking news coming into the office today regarding a doggy murder at Crufts, the world famous dog show. It seems that an Irish Setter from Belgium named Jagger, who came second in his class on Thursday collapsed and died shortly after returning to Belgium. According to sources an autopsy revealed the presence of poisoned beef cubes in the dog’s digestive tract.

Has the world gone stark raving bonkers? Our resident literary critic Ted Pemberton certainly thinks so.

“It’s bad enough with ISIS running amok in the middle east and that lot in Africa doing their best to emulate them without some silly sod poisoning a dog. What’s the point? We’ve got people relying on food banks, we’ve got people sleeping in the streets, we’ve got people starving all over the world and somebody poisons a dog? That’s just mental. I thought the kind of people who went to Crufts were dog lovers, not dog poisoners. I’m genuinely surprised they’ve got nothing better to do. If you ask me the person responsible for this should be strung up by the ankles and battered to death with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire. And I’d be quite happy to do it, I can tell you that for nothing. I’m just wondering if UKIP will put a stop to all this nonsense. Killing cute doggies – it’s disgusting.”


More as we get it.

Reporter – Paddy Berzinski


Book Review – Erskine Quint Intrepid Explorer Extraordinaire by LR Johnson

We Nicked This Off Les's Facebook Page. Let's Hope He Doesn't Mind

We Nicked This Off Les’s Facebook Page. Let’s Hope He Doesn’t Mind

Brought to you by Café Spike’s resident book reviewer, Ted Pemberton. This edition of ‘Erskine Quint intrepid explorer extraordinaire’ reviewed on Thursday 05/02/15 and brought exclusively to our readers in 3D, smellovision, and with subtitles for the visually impaired.

Hi, I’m Ted Pemberton, Café Spike’s resident book reviewer, and as most of you will already be aware, I hardly ever actually read the books which land on my desk because I’m usually too drunk to be able to focus on the print. However, in the case of LR Johnson’s fantasmagorical literary debut I’m really glad that I made an exception.

According to the office rumour mill there’s been a past history of animosity between our Editor in Chief and LR Johnson, but in fairness to Martin Shuttlecock he told me to forget all about that and look forward to a new dawn. He described ‘Erskine’ as a veritable tour de force and a work of utter genius which ought to be incorporated into the national curriculum.

So I actually read it – and it’s the work of a twisted and tortured genius.

Erskine travels through time, dispensing his unique philosophy to all who he comes across, uttering words of wisdom as he embarks upon his timeless quest to bring enlightenment to the world. This is a visceral page turner of the highest calibre, penned by the sharpest mind in generations.

Erskine is a lavish, eccentric, inspired examination of the spiritual possibilities of humanity, an unrivalled tour de force which can only possibly be improved upon by the subsequent sequels. The novel racks the tension (and the utter madness!) up by notch after notch as it leaves its unforgettable message scorched into the reader’s brain.

I can only recommend that everybody on Earth purchase a copy of this roller-coaster ride of sheer philosophical insanity and madness. The climax had my heart pounding fit to burst as my trembling fingers thumbed inexorably towards the climactic denouement.

I won’t spoil things, but I would strongly urge everybody to read this book as if your life depends on it, and I can safely say that upon finishing it, with adrenalin pulsing through your veins and hysterical laughter backing up in your throat, you’ll thank me for this recommendation, and you’ll thank LR Johnson for sharing the edge of the seat thrills in his own inimicable style.

Rumour has it – although as yet unconfirmed – that a major multi-million dollar summer blockbuster is in the offing. Surely a job for Steven Spielberg, or at the very least Michael Bay (of Transformers fame) or even the legendary Terry Gilliam.

*Erskine Quint Adventurer Extraordinaire is available from that website named after a big South American river and is a bargain at twice the recommended retail price.

**Café Spike supports independent authors who might occasionally see fit to slip us a back-hander in order to maintain our humble operation.

Reporter: Ted Pemberton.


Mr Mercedes by Stephen King – Reviewed By Ted Pemberton

A picture of a picture of a proper book

A picture of a picture of a proper book

It’s amazing what a man can achieve without really putting any effort into it. After all, I got this job as a book and film reviewer here on Café Spike and I hardly ever read books, or watch films. When I was asked to review Mr Mercedes I just responded in the usual manner. With a shrug and a chuckle, but the boss man insisted that on this occasion I was going to have to bite the bullet and read the damned book in order to earn my corn.

But I argued, as one does. I pointed out that Stephen King has a net worth of a squillion dollars or more and that he hardly needs an endorsement from a two-bob rag like Café Spike in order to up his media profile, or increase his book sales. In any case, I sincerely doubt that our dozen or so hard core readers would have any noticeable effect on the Maine man’s bank balance even if they all rushed out and bought ten copies each of the hardback version.

“Listen to me, you drunken old fool,” my Editor snarled as he took me by the throat in an almost vice-like grip. “Café Spike is down on the bones of its arse. It’s failing spectacularly. And you aren’t helping at all. You WILL read this sodding book and you WILL write a review or I WILL KILL YOU.”

Which quite frankly I thought was a bit strong, and I would have said so in no uncertain terms had the Editor not virtually crushed my trachea.

“We can get ourselves out of this mess in several ways,” the swine said, once he’d stopped manhandling my throat. “We can rip-off other humour sites, we can cop other people’s original styles and churn out reams of crap, or we can revert to click-bait.”

“Click-bait?” I croaked.

“It means using trending key words or famous names in deliberately misleading headlines, hoping people click on our rubbish and hang around for longer than three seconds before hitting the back-button. It’s old school internet cajolery. Read the book and write the review. Now. I want your copy on my desk by Monday morning.”

The Trouble With Books

Without being disrespectful to Mr King or his legions of fans I just don’t like books. Paper brings me out in a rash, so I make a point of reading as little as is humanly possible. Which can be a tad problematic for a literary reviewer. But I had my orders. I also had a problem. How does one write a book review without actually shelling out cash for a copy and reading the damned thing from cover to cover?

GIYF – Google is your friend.

A quick internet search turned up an audio version of Mr Mercedes – perfect! Just like listening to the radio! So I retired to my bedroom with the laptop and laid down, making myself comfortable and closing my eyes as the narrator started to tell his tale.

It didn’t work.

I got to the part at the beginning where people were lining up overnight in the cold and damp waiting for a job fair to open the following morning – and then I dozed off.

I tried several times but the result was always the same. About three minutes in I dozed off. This tactic obviously wasn’t going to work. The narrator’s voice was way too soothing. I kept waking up to bits of the story where I had no idea whatsoever about what was going on.

Luckily, a lady acquaintance down the pub had the ideal solution…

This Kindle’s On Fire

It's exactly what it says on the tin, but not really in flames

It’s exactly what it says on the tin, but not really in flames

So I took myself off down the local leccy appliance shop and bought a Kindle Fire. Then I set up an Amazon account and bought Mr Mercedes online. It was amazing! To this day I have no idea how Stephen King manages to type out a whole novel and send it out in a minute or so, ready to read. It takes me three days to write a ten line email.

And guess what? I loved the Kindle Fire, and I actually read the entire book in double-quick time.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable read too – told in the usual amicable camp fire style of a master storyteller who knows his audience intimately, and who understands exactly what that audience expects.

Mr Mercedes – The Review

Mr Mercedes is an extremely enjoyable book which I romped through at breakneck speed, but I don’t want to spoil it for anybody who may be considering reading it.

Suffice to say, it’s about a nasty piece of work who does something horrible with a Mercedes and a retired detective and his chums who set out to nail Mr Mercedes.

There’s even a bit of romance in it and lots of carefully crafted suspense leading up to a thrilling climax.

I’d highly recommend it.

The only problem I had was that the tight fisted bastard at Café Spike refused to reimburse me for the Kindle Fire HD.

Ted Pemberton reporting for Café Spike


Sharknado 2: The Second One – A Cafe Spike Review by Ted Pemberton


How The News Appeared On Café Spike's Big Telly

How The News Appeared On Café Spike’s Big Telly

*Warning: This review might contain spoilers, but then again it might not. You never quite know what you’re going to get with a Ted Pemberton review. It really all depends on whether he’s sober or not, and whether he’s actually bothered to have a look at whatever it is he’s reviewing because most times he just makes stuff up as he goes along. Whether the review is good or bad is usually more indicative of his mood at the time of writing and not usually related in any way to the qualities of the subject in question. Here’s Ted’s review of Sharknado 2: The Second One.*

Right then. For a kick off, ignore that twaddle written about me above. Martin Shuttlecock probably wrote that and everybody knows that he’s a blithering, long-winded idiot who hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about.

Because I did watch Sharknado 2 – all the way through, from start to finish, although I was probably a few days later than most other reviewers because I recorded it on Sky+ and didn’t get round to watching it until last night. After I’d had a nap following a heavy session in the early evening after finding a bottle of absinthe in the cupboard I’d forgotten I had. Strong stuff that is, that absinthe – still a bit woozy, even now. Anyway – Sharknado 2…

The Syfy Channel On Our Telly

The Syfy Channel On Our Telly

If you’ve seen the original Sharknado movie you’ll know it’s about a tornado, with voracious sharks in it, and how it terrorises Los Angeles and kills a pile of people. Until our hero – Fin – sorts it all out. The movie was an off the scale success when it aired on the Syfy Channel a year or so ago, so somebody had the bright idea of making a sequel; this time with the sharks taking a bite out of the Big Apple.

The film opens with our hero, Fin (You couldn’t make this up.) on a flight to New York with his wife April. I should explain here that there are a lot of cameo appearances in this film, although I only recognised three of them. So…the pilot of Fin’s flight is none other than Robert Hays, who played Ted Striker in the 1980 comedy movie Airplane! (I think. Not that it matters much because he gets sucked off anyway, leaving a good excuse for Fin to crash land the plane at JFK.)

What did I say? What?

It just gets madder as it goes on.

In a bit of a Twilight Zone moment a shark gets sucked through one of the plane’s engines and April ends up on the outside of the plane holding on to a bit of string or something with one hand as she shoots the marauding sharks with a pistol. Until a shark bites her hand off.

It’s all very confusing.

Fin then goes to CitiField in Queens to meet up with his old buddy – now his sister’s partner – who is watching a Mets baseball game, although why anyone would want to do that in the first instance is anybody’s guess. Then the sharks show up, and our merry band take to the subway armed with baseball bats.

Then it just gets crazier. Perez Hilton makes a cameo appearance as an annoyed subway rider and Jud Hirsch does likewise, playing a taxi driver because he was once in a TV sitcom called Taxi – so that’s all right then. Personally I thought that having the name ‘Bickle’ on the side of the taxi was a bit too much of an in-joke, but maybe the time of night had some bearing on this.

I’m getting bored now.

So There Was Fin On Our Big Telly Fighting A Shark With A Baseball Bat On The New York Subway

So There Was Fin On Our Big Telly Fighting A Shark With A Baseball Bat On The New York Subway

So, following the customary decapitation of the Statue of Liberty it all ends up at the Empire State Building, pretty much like every other disaster movie set in New York, and Fin, April and some feisty lady who provides some sort of romantic diversion from his wife for no apparent reason make one last heroic attempt to put a stop to the sharknado.

Erm…having not had a great deal of success firing old calor gas cannisters at it with a catapult.

And that’s about it really. It’s a comedy/horror film which isn’t really funny or horrific, the acting isn’t all that and the CGI isn’t very impressive but on a positive note it’s a lot less depressing than watching the news and there’s a chainsaw in it.

Overall, I’d give it 5/10

Reporter – Ted Pemberton.


Bruno Mars Voted ‘World’s Most Influential Man – Ever’

We Googled Bruno Mars And This Came Up On Our Screen

We Googled Bruno Mars And This Came Up On Our Screen

The surprising result was unveiled when users of a social networking site overwhelmingly plumped for the 5′ 5″ Hawaiian born musician as the ‘World’s Most Influential Man – Ever’ successfully beating off serious contenders such as Jesus, Michelangelo and Beethoven in the online poll. [Read more…]