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Teenage Memories

Person list created by Defenestrated Jack Avatar

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Average listal rating (1351 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8

Akira, Ghost In The Shell and Ninja Scrolls were the holy trinity of Anime during my teens

I got into Anime during the period of the big "fifteening" VHS craze of the nineties. Due to the cult popularity of Akira video companies were cashing in, most prominently were Manga Entertainment, thus a lot of kids of the time mistakenly referred to Anime as "Manga", myself included. My perception of Anime was basically dark, violent and expletive-ridden, mostly sci-fi and cyberpunk themed. As a thirteen year old boy I was the key demographic and was only too happy to conform to that. Memorable favourites from those days included the aforementioned Akira plus Ghost In The Shell, Ninja Scroll, Cyber City Oedo 808 and The Guyver.

Anyone who was a UK Anime fan back in the nineties is sure to remember the Manga Entertainment intro with the rocking Celtic Frost track

Manga Mania was a nineties British magazine that compiled Manga strips and Anime news
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (103 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0

I was a big fan of Barker's throughout my teen years. Hellraiser and its underrated sequel Hellbound were some of my first horror movie experiences and it was a heck of a learning curve; sadomasochistic demonic entities, psychotic stepmothers and plenty in the way of evisceration and gore, reminded me somewhat of the fun family time of Christmas dinners when I was young, all jolly good fun. Still have a crush on Ashley Laurence to this day, gorgeous lady, and an awesome artist too. My next taste of Barker would be his BBC documentary series A-Z of Horror back in '97, the tie in book especially provided an incredible insight for me into the macabre genre. Finally around the age of seventeen I read a number of the great man's books, the likes of Damnation Game and Hellbound Heart. The Books Of Blood short stories collections in particular are some of the most mesmerizingly imaginative works I've ever read and stand alongside Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest as all time favourites.

The Discworld novels were hugely popular in the UK throughout the nineties, all bestsellers. Those early works really are terrific, sharply satirical and heck of a lot of fun, providing a humorous alternative to the serious fantasy I'd enjoyed up to that point. I think that kind of wit was very important for me to pick up on as a youngster, as I was so often (and indeed still am) drawn to the darker side of things it's very easy to disappear up ones own backside, the books of Pratchett and a bunch of British comedy shows gave me an important antidote to all that. Favourite Discworld novel? Back then I really liked Lords and Ladies, probably because it was the longest book I'd read up to that point (which was a huge feat for a kid prone to ADD) I loved the violent climax as the evil elves took on the might of Granny Weatherwax, Greebo and the gang. But nowadays I'm going to say my favourite is Small Gods.

A lot of my friends had been watching horror and action movies on VHS for years but I always kept away from it, sticking for the most part to age appropriate stuff. Then around twelve and thirteen all that crumbled away as I basically lived on a diet of violent sci-fi and horror. Oh and a whole lot of Arnie moves of course. I recall the hype around the release of T2, I guess I would have been nine or ten and it was a huge deal that had impact on the culture of the time, including inspiring an extremely dodgy British novelty music single ('I'll Be Back' by Arnee and The Terminaters, it's on Youtube if you feel the need to have your ears violated). I didn't see T2 until a couple of years later and I wouldn't go as far as to say I took it for granted but for ages I thought of it as just another decent dark sci-fi flick amongst the many others I consumed during that period. Then I rewatched a few years back, now in my thirties and it hit me how much I loved it. Not sure whether it was the novelty of seeing it all this time later but I consider it an absolute classic that I adore for its atmosphere, its incredible action, its apocalyptic themes, its music, its characters and its heart. Now if only they hadn't followed it up with increasingly diabolical sequels.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (2447 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 8.4

I caught the Aliens films just before the release of the fourth entry Alien: Resurrection which I never warmed up to and in my minds eye it will always be a trilogy. I was pretty obsessed with those movies around that time, and the first two in particular remain firm favourites, Sci-fi horror classics that they are. Alien 3 is pretty divisive and while its undoubtedly inferior to the previous two it's still interesting and frankly I liked the atmospheric sense of doom on that prison planet. Fincher may have disowned the project but I still prefer it to everything he made after Fight Club. While Ripley's death was seen as controversial it seemed to me a believable ending to the series and certainly a lot less silly than resurrecting her as a Alien hybrid clone in the goofy fourth film. I was an avid reader of Steve Perry's novels set in the Aliens universe around that time too, Earth Hive, Nightmare Asylum and The Female War.

Played the heck of the 2000 Aliens Versus Predator PC game in my late teens
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (17 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0

..And my interest in the Alien movies inevitably lead me to an appreciation for the art of the man who designed the Xenomorph. I had posters of Gigers plastered on my walls throughout my teens, postcards, books, anything I could get my mitts on basically...

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (109 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0

I became a serious White Zombie fanatic back in '95, a fully fledged card carrying member of the Psychoholics Anonymous in fact. Around that time my favourite band Iron Maiden released the disappointing, overly dour 'X-Factor' and White Zombie provided a more uplifting, fun and contemporary take on heavy metal that was perfect for me at thirteen years old. Sadly 'Astro Creep 2000' was the bands final release and by the time Rob Zombie went solo a few years later my musical interests were diverted elsewhere...

WZ CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (1971 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.6
The X Files (1993)

I was still glued to the TV throughout my teens, I didn't have internet access throughout the entire decade of the nineties, so y'know what else was I gonna do? The X-files was one of those shows that really captured the public imagination and nerdy kids like me were addicted to the spooky adventures of Mulder and Scully. Star Trek had enormous popularity throughout the decade too, though the original's cheesiness was always a bit too unintentionally mirth inducing for my teen tastes I did enjoy Next Generation and Deep Space Nine.

On the comedy front The Fast Show was a TV favourite around that time, rapid paced British sketch show full of memorable catchphrases that was well regarded in the nineties, beloved of Johnny Depp who made a special guest appearance. Father Ted was another show that was quite brilliant and if I was pushed to name an all time favourite comedy it may just be that. In my late teens Spaced was perfect after pub Friday night viewing, basically the team who would go on to make the likes of Shawn Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, but in my opinion, much better. Then of course there was the Simpsons, I watched all the classic episodes on BBC 2 back in the day, and those late eighties and nineties seasons really were as good as anything else on TV, then and now. Shame they've milked it to obliteration since.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (14 ratings) 9.3 IMDB Rating 0
The Crow - James O'Barr,J. O'Barr

The Crow became another cult phenomenon in the nineties, the 1995 movie struck a chord with teenagers the world over, especially those kids who were generally taken with alternative, Goth, and rock culture. Of course I was one of those kids, and I liked the film quite a bit, though I still don't think it was anywhere near as good as the original comic book by J.O Barr. I LOVE that book, sure the Hollywood movie captured quite a bit of it, but it always felt a little contrived and plastic compared to the organic grittiness of the source. Take the film's climax with the big fight between the good guy and bad guy on top of the church, yawn, so Hollywood...the comic book ending is so bad-ass that it doesn't need to over the top conflict to depict its violence. I know I'm probably being a snob here, the film is cool, I'm not denying it but I'm just a huge fan of its source material, as a young artist I found that book and O'Barr's personal story behind it hugely inspiring.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Radio Kerrang! Vol.4 - Various Artists

I collected Kerrang! magazine on a weekly basis from around the summer of 96' to sometime in the year 2000. If you were a British kid even remotely interested in rock and metal music this was the mag for you, they'd cancelled Headbangers Ball on MTV, they'd cancelled the Radio 1 rock show, but there was still Kerrang! To read up on your favourite bands, album reviews, listen to new music on the free covermount CD's or to search the gig listings to see whether you're favourite bands were touring locally. As I grew older I tended to think of the magazine in a rather condescending light, ones tastes evolve after all and as I reached my late teens I found the Kerrang! style of writing and a lot of the bands they covered increasingly infantile. Having said that I will always have a place in my heart for the mag for introducing me to a bunch of music in those early teen years when rock/metal began to eclipse pretty much everything else in terms of my interests.
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 3 IMDB Rating 0
Hammered Volume 5 - Various Artists

Metal Hammer was basically a glossier monthly variation on the Kerrang! format and throughout the mid to late nineties I would buy it on a regular basis. While it was slightly more geared towards metal than Kerrang! that time period was a very odd one for the genre. Alternative rock bands were featured fairly prominently and underground extreme metal from Europe was generally ignored in favour of the more fashionable groove metal and American trends. Which was fine for me at the time, as groove metal bands like Pantera, Machine Head and Fear Factory would become some of my favourites as a fourteen and fifteen year old and provides an important gateway into heavier music.
Average listal rating (65 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 0

MH CD's in my collection as a teenager:

MH CD's added to my collection since:

Throughout the summer of '96 my passion for music started to eclipse all my other dorky interests. I would buy magazines like Kerrang! and Metal Hammer on a regular basis and what was going on with rock and metal became increasingly essential to my identity. By the winter of that year I was full on nineties metal kid mode and Machine Head were right at the top of that obsession. Around the age of 14 and 15 they had dethroned Iron Maiden and White Zombie as my favourite band, I wore the merch, listened to the albums obsessively, caught the band on the 'More Things Change...' tour the following year. 'Burn My Eyes' will always be my favourite MH album but the sophomore release was the one I have the most memories of, what with going to the record store on the day it was released and seeing them on tour in late '97. By the time 'The Burning Red' came around I'd lost interest, the change of direction towards the en vogue Nu-Metal was a real bummer and it didn't pick up for me again until around the release of 2007's 'The Blackening'.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (49 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0

FF CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Along with 'Burn My Eyes', Fear Factory's 'Demanufacture' was one of the most important albums in defining my music tastes as a teenager. Much like Machine Head FF were a band I was obsessed with around that time, wearing the shirts, the shorts and the pendant too. Their futuristic dystopian vibe was very much appealing to my imagination. I saw the band live on a couple of occasions, first in the summer of '98 at the Ozzfest, then in December of that same year at the London Astoria. My attention had waned by the time the new millennium hit and unlike Machine Head they haven't done anything creatively interesting enough to grab my attention me since, though 'Demanufacture' will forever remain a nineties metal classic in my eyes.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (230 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0

Pantera CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Pantera CD's added to my collection since:

Ah Pantera, the one metal band of the nineties who shared both significant commercial success and musical integrity (shots fired Metallica). I actually think the album that had the biggest impact on me at the time was 'The Great Southern Trendkill' an underrated pitch black opus that switches from brooding acoustic balladry to almost grindcore infused extremity. In retrospect the best album has to be 'Vulgar Display Of Power' and greatest overall track 'Cemetery Gates' but pretty much the entirety of their nineties catalogue is worthy of praise. Got to see the band in '98 too, which given the fact that the possibility of the band reforming vanished with the tragic murder of Dimebag Darrell, was a real honour.

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MLC CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Barely anybody seems to know of Swedish Industrial metal band Misery Loves Co. but for me they were up there with Iron Maiden, White Zombie and Machine Head as one of the important bands of my youth. Like so many metal kids I was an angry guy and home life was becoming increasingly unstable, seeking solace in music Misery Loves Co were for me more legitimate than the already cliched melodramatic angst of Nu-Metal, Patrick Wiren's lyrics depicting bleak relationship breakdowns and raging against hopelessness. Seeing the band on tour along with two of my other favourite bands at the time Machine Head and Entombed was one of the highlights of my teenage years. I was the kid wearing the MLC shirt!

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (18 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0

Entombed CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Entombed CD's added to my collection since:

As a teenager I was into the Death n' Roll 'Wolverine Blues'/'To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak The Truth' era of the Swedish death metal legends. Though viewed by the retrospective metal snobs as being not nearly as good as their early releases but for me provided another avenue into heavier music that would eventually lead back to the early nineties death metal everyone jizzes over. Saw the band a bunch of times around the time of 'To Ride Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth' and I can say with all confidence that they fucking rocked (mandatory devil-horns). I was 16 when 'Same Difference' hit and I remember how incredibly disappointing it was and I lost interest for years until I went back to their death metal material in the early 2010's. RIP LG Petrov.

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PL CD's in my collection as a teenager:

PL CD's added to my collection since:

Paradise Lost were basically the great white hope of British heavy metal during the 1990's. Going back to the early part of that decade there was a lot of good stuff coming out of the UK, mostly derived from the late eighties extreme metal scene, but few of them really had commercial appeal. PL progressed with each album from Death-Doom to Gothic metal to Gothic Rock. Sadly they never quite broke through to the mainstream, while they're established amongst metal fans most of widespread public still have no idea who they are. From a personal perspective I came to the band just as they were about to divert into Gothic/electronic rock territory with 'One Second' and I still think it's an incredible album and opened my mind to musical genres outside the metal spectrum, this was still dark, atmospheric, interesting music. Fast forward twenty years and PL are releasing material every bit as good as they did back then.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:

I'd been fascinated in horror for years, as a ten year old I'd visit the video rental store and pour over the VHS tapes boxes in the forbidden horror section, with their incredible ornate designs and titles that sparked my imagination. I would imagine the films in my head, asking friends who were allowed to view such exquisitely mature art about plotlines and scenes. So imagine my surprise when a few years later watching a bunch of these movies and finding out how dull and poorly made they were, they certainly didn't meet my expectations that's to be sure. I wanted my horror to be realistic, I wanted solid acting and articulate imaginative storylines, not countless unoriginal slasher movies with dodgy acting. There were a number of horror movies that did evade my critical ire however, and one name that kept popping was David Cronenberg. The Fly, Videodrome, Scanners, Naked Lunch, Rabid, Shivers, all films I enjoyed throughout my teens. To be honest I wish he'd return to the body horror films of his past, at least for a one off, as Existenz was the last one I was really taken with, his later films have been okay, but I miss classic Cronenberg. Heck, I miss good horror, the form took a notable dip around the same time Cronenberg decided to exit the genre.

Average listal rating (58 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Preacher: Vol. 1 - Gone to Texas - Garth Ennis,Steve Dillon

My interest in the X-Men and superhero comics started to wane around the age 14 and I was looking for something else. Vertigo comics were absolutely on fire in the nineties, knocking it out of the ballpark with one creative hit after another. I'd been familiar with Garth Ennis via his work on Judge Dredd but with Preacher he took things to a whole other level. I can't think of many other comics that really tapped into the expletive riddled violent coolness of nineties films by the likes of Tarantino up to that point, Preacher soaked up that influence but there so was much more going on too; westerns, religion, serial killers, conspiracies, Bill Hicks, vampires, dark humour, romance, friendship, betrayal...did I mention all the violence, swearing and fucking? Couldn't warm up to the AMC adaptation at all though. Sorry kids, not my Preacher, just a poor impersonation.

Some folk retrospectively view nineties comics in poor light, sure there were plenty of donkeys in the form of early Image titles and Marvel were going through a creatively stultified period, but there was a heck of a lot of cool stuff going on elsewhere. Most of it from DC in the form of their Vertigo imprint. Read Preacher, The Invisbles, Transmetropolitan, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Shade: The Changing Man, Sandman: Mystery Theatre, House Of Secrets, The Books Of Magic, Death, Black Orchid, Doom Patrol, The Dreaming, Enigma and Millennium Fever and tell me nineties comics still suck. Sure the majority of those aren't superhero titles, and all the better for it, moving away from the tired cliché's of capes and spandex was the most creatively exciting thing comics could do back then, but I guess that's been retrospectively forgotten as we're back in dull superhero purgatory thanks to the Mickey Mao corporation. Anyways enough ranting, back in the nineties I'd be hard pressed not to say Sandman was the best of the lot, its popularity was the very reason Vertigo was formed in the first place. My tastes have changed as the years have gone by, but I'll never forget how magical those books were to me as a teenager, I was in love with Gaiman's collision of the mythological with modern life and I still regard it as one of the best comics of all time.

Average listal rating (3191 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.2

Taxi Driver was one of those milestone films for me that really made me look at film and art in general in a very different way. Before then it was horror and science fiction flicks all the way, but here was a film set in nineteen seventies New York about this troubled guy and his war with urban decay and alienation...and I absolutely loved it. I first watched it when I was fifteen and it immediately became my favourite film, I even bought it on VHS which was pretty rare back then as all my hard earned paper round money went on CD's or band merch (I used to skip school lunches and save up that money too). I've probably watched Taxi Driver at least a hundred times, I could quote the whole damn movie back to you -"that's a little honey isn't it?" I always found that scene with the gun dealer strangely ASMRish. The appeal has diminished a little for me throughout the years but it's still up there among my favourites because of the impact it had on me at the time. Despite it probably being a controversial point; there was something about Travis Bickle, if you're an angry young guy who has experienced a little bit of detachment from society you're going to empathise with that character. Doesn't mean you're going to turn into a John Hinckley Jr, but still even if Travis is a psychopath or a patriarchal cowboy trying to save the chicks there's still going to be a part of you that understand where the dudes coming from. A masterpiece, even if I need not watch it ever again.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (7 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0

Neurosis CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Neurosis CD's added to my collection since:

Neursois were a band that really changed the way I thought about music, introducing a whole new level of extremity and experimentation. It took me a while to really get into them, having first heard 'Locust Star' on the compilation Live CD of the very first Ozzfest, they were just fucking out there. 'Post-metal' wasn't a thing, nobody else sounded like them. It wasn't until I listened to 'Through Silver And Blood' a number of times for it to really click, experiencing it on headphones and letting those layers soak into the temporal lobe. The then recently re-released 'Souls At Zero' and 'Enemy Of The Sun' double CD digipack is what really solidified my zeal. Similar to the way films like Taxi Driver were reshaping the way I saw the world, Neurosis represented a different kind of heaviness, an apocalyptic vision of the approaching millennium.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:

Devin Townsend CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Devin Townsend CD's added to my collection since:

In hindsight the late nineties was a wasteland for truly great heavy metal albums, Nu-Metal was cannibalising the form, leaving a legacy of forgettable teen tantrums transferred to CD format. SYL's 'City' was one of the few great releases, that's appeal has transcended that creativity barren period. That was my introduction to the crazy world of Devin Townsend. Then a few months later around the age of 16 'Ocean Machine' was one of the greatest albums I'd heard up to that point, it really was a revelation and probably my first foray into modern progressive music. I was fascinated with how different it was to Strapping Young Lad's City and how the two albums represented two sides of Townsend's bi-polar condition. This was music that seemed like fully realised worlds, one post apocalyptic industrialised metropolis, the other vast oceans, reflective and melancholic. It's taken years for Devin to really get his dues but even back then I knew he was one of the most talented musician's in rock music and that dude deserves every bit of success that comes his way.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 5 IMDB Rating 0
Fear Candy 13 - Various Artists

I started collecting Terrorizer in late '97. Of all the music magazines I read throughout my teens (Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Rock Sound, even NME occasionally ) this was the one that stuck with me the longest as I continued to read it well into my twenties and ultimately it would have the biggest impact on my taste in the long run. Not that I completely embraced all forms of extreme metal so readily, it took me years to get into death metal for instance. Buried beneath a slew of mediocre clones with names like Intestinal Fart Choir and Chainsaw Titty-fuck Extravaganza and featuring a shit load of gory artwork the form had become a bit stale in the late nineties. I was more interested in Black Metal, Industrial Metal, the early proponents of Post-Metal like Neurosis and Today Is The Day and Nineties Metalcore (Vision Of Disorder, Will Haven, Breach, Shai Hulud, a very different animal to the watered down gunk it would later become). Terrorizer's writing is what really won me over, Kerrang! and Metal Hammer seemed juvenile by comparison, stories about groupies and get shitfaced are only so interesting. Terrorizer showed greater depth and interest in art over rock star shenanigans. The open minded approach was also appealing, covering not only metal bands but acts as diverse as Swans, Throbbing Gristle, Whitehouse, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds and Merzbow.
Average listal rating (6203 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.9
Pulp Fiction (1994)

The popularity and notoriety of Pulp Fiction hadn't escaped my attention, this was the nineties after all and it was arguably the most influential film of that decade. Entirely worthy of the hype of too, films that capture the zeitgeist so utterly are often disappointing to me but not Pulp Fiction. It was smart, witty, imaginative, cool, violent as fuck and surreal, a fan of comedy could love it but so could a fan of horror. But then you don't need me to tell you that, you've almost certainly seen it already. As for Tarantino, my appreciation for his films basically began and ended with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, everything after that I'm kind of "meh" about.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:

Anne Rice's homo-erotic vampire thrillers were really popular at the time so being a contrarian asshole I read Poppy Z. Brite instead because her name sounded cooler and she was more obscure. While Brite's first novel was focussed on vampires the others tended to be supernaturally tinged psycho sexual ruminations on underground culture of the nineties and serial killers. There was a transgressive quality to Brite's work and throughout my late teens I thought they were as cool as shit. My favourite was probably Wormwood, published over here in Britain as Swamp Foetus at the time, which was up there with Barker's Books Of Blood as "best damn books I've read...ever" in the late nineties.

The nineties was a great time for cinema, Growing up during that decade was a pretty awesome time, all this stuff was being shown on British TV for the first time and I immersed myself in it all. I remember movie critic Mark Kermode or Mark Cousins would put out mini-documentaries before the films started, giving you an insight into what you were about to see, there was a serious approach to cinema you rarely see nowadays in mainstream British culture. Léon was no exception and I remember falling in love with it all those years ago, its a hard film to dislike and in hindsight really is one of the decades best.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (4580 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.6
Seven (1995)

Generally speaking the nineties was a low period for the horror genre. "Ironic" slasher flicks like Scream bored me to shit and crappy CGI monster movies didn't do much for me either. As the Cold war came to an end and with it the trend of dark sci-fi/horror visions in horror, America seemingly stopped looking to outside forces for its source of fear and looked at its own reflection instead. The rise of the serial killer in nineties cinema was due to the success of Silence Of The Lambs but it was Seven that really kicked off that trend, a slew of mundane copies came afterwards but none compared to the original. I remember watching it around the age of sixteen and being complexly blown away, body-horror may have died in the nineties but this noir rain drenched apocalyptic vision was just as compelling.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (439 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.2
Manhunter (1986)

...And arguably the template of the neo-noir serial killer flick started here, except for some inexplicable reason 'Manhunter' was neither commercially or critically successful, thank fuck for hindsight. Another awesome film I caught on TV back in the nineties, I think a part of a crime/cop season of films on channel 4 or BBC 2 that featured classics like Serpico and The French Connection. Unbelievably Mann's stylisation was panned back in the day for being too overt, but that's what makes it so damn cool in my eyes, quintessentially eighties but with none of that decade's garishness...well maybe except for 'Strong As I Am', which is pretty cheesy. In Brian Cox you have the best Lector, a cold, calculating man that towers over Hopkins pantomime villain.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (1337 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.7
ER (1994)

It has been forgotten somewhat in recent years how great ER was (I mean a Listal score of 6.8 out of 10, what are you fucking kidding me!? Did y'all start watching on Season 13 or something!?), Sure I've heard criticisms about the authenticity of its depictions of various medical procedure's, and no it wasn't a medical documentary, it was a medical DRAMA, and ER delivered that drama in spades.

Perhaps you had to be around in the nineties to understand its full impact. In recent years we've been spoiled by countless quality dramas with exceptional storytelling and acting (the "New Golden Era" as its been dubbed) but back in the nineties things were a bit different, most TV lacked the budget of movies and that was often very evident. ER was one of the first shows to truly transcend that barrier, after all the pilot episode written by its creator Michael Crichton was initially intended to be a movie and that was the way it came across.

Personally I came to the show fairly late, my parents had been watching since the beginning but I didn't start until sometime around season five or six. Around the ages of fifteen and sixteen my tastes were maturing quite a bit, whereas in years prior I wouldn't have been interested in that kind of drama unless it happened to involve xenomorophs or demonic creatures. I really appreciated the quality of storytelling and the performances of the cast, but most of all I loved the shows heart, it really was a show about humanity, in many ways at its best. Idealistic? Sure in some ways but as a fully fledged cynic there was enough dark and gritty elements to keep it from being far from a schmaltzy soap opera. I continued to watch the show into my early twenties, it wasn't until I think season 11 or 12 that I lost interest, as so many members of the core cast moved on my emotional investment in the show evaporated.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (161 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.5
NYPD Blue (1993)

Another amazing nineties show that seems to be underappreciated in the modern day. We're all so damn spoilt for choice but I still say those first five or six seasons of NYPD Blue were as good as anything we see on our screens today, that is if you have an appreciation for gritty crime drama, great acting and incredible storytelling that is. If you're familiar with Deadwood you'll know how brilliant David Milch is at writing characters and dialogue, dude is a genius.

I watch these modern day Network crime shows and everything's squeaky clean, nothing looks like its ever actually been lived in or worked in, all so antiseptic and virginal. The 15th Squad headquarters is not pretty, you can hear the sound of New York traffic and the hustle and bustle from the windows, there was an effort to capture actual reality there, with all its blemishes. Aforementioned dialogue is whip-smart and hardboiled, delivered by extremely talented actors. Top of the bill was Andy Sipowicz portrayed by the brilliant Dennis Franz. Wait now I know why I understand why this show is so underappreciated, a character like that would never pass the Woke thought police, would it? Characters are flawed, three dimensional, souls fractured by broken relationships and alcoholism. Sure there's that element of idealism there, ultimately the characters for all their flaws have good hearts, but then why else would we love them so much?

Diane Lane played by Kim Delaney, in my opinion the most beautiful woman on nineties TV.

Had a crush on Kim Delaney back in the day, in fact I'm going to go as far as to say she was the most beautiful woman on nineties television and you can quote me on it. I have to admit my interest in the show definitely waned as the new millennium came around, the death of Bobby Simone was what did it, just couldn't warm up to the new guy. I think maybe it had its time, it was one of the best shows of the nineties but police shows like The Shield and The Wire overshadowed it in the new millennium, especially after Milch left the creative team. Those first five or six seasons though-some of the best television ever.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:

NIN CD's in my collection as a teenager:

NIN Cd's added to my collection since:

Difficult to remember exactly when Nine Inch Nails clicked with me, I remember listening to them throughout '97, one of my best friends was a big fan and he'd play the likes of 'Further The Down The Spiral' and 'The Perfect Drug' EP, and I honestly think at the time I dismissed it because to me it sounded too much like dance music! I made a more conscious effort to get into them in '98, borrowing a few tapes he'd made, and that's when my appreciation started to grow, Reznors layered technique that he mastered in the mid to late nineties really struck a chord with me. By the time I was seventeen and '99, rolled around for the release of The Fragile they were probably my favourite band, I was pretty obsessed for a couple of years there into my early twenties. Seeing NIN on the Fragility tour was another highlight of my teen years, Brixton Academy '99.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (394 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0

Tool CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Tool CD's I added to my collection since:

Similar to NIN my interest in Tool was a slow build. The moment I was initially intrigued was when I saw the Stinkfist video on MTV's Superock sometime in '97. Naturally the bizarre visuals and Eraserhead/Brothers Quay vibe had an impact on my imagination, as did the music, which was quite unlike anything I'd heard up to that point. However I didn't suddenly become a full on obsessive, but by the time Lateralus was released (which seemed to take forever, cough, cough) they were solidified as one of my favourite bands. Indeed I'd regard both Ænima and Lateralus in the upper echelons of my all time favourite albums to this day.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (3101 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
Blade Runner (1982)

A youth counsellor leant me a VHS copy of both the original and the directors cut when I was sixteen, which was pretty cool. I admit it didn't have an instant effect on me though, I thought it was a good movie but not one in the upper echelons of my all time favourites. Took time for that atmospheric, dystopian vibe to percolate I guess because by my mid-twenties my affection grew to the extent it knocked Taxi Driver off the top spot. I mean c'mon it's the perfect sci-fi flick, shame about its desperately mediocre 2010's sequel with the personality vacuum that is the Gosling droid. I'm just going to pretend it doesn't exist while all you Villeneuve fanboys pretend it's a "modern day masterpiece", okay?
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:

Joy Division CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Delving into music outside of the nineties rock/metal bubble started becoming more prominent around the age of 16, Radiohead's 'Ok Computer' and Nick Cave's 'Murder Ballads' were some early examples of this, but the band who I initially became obsessed with were probably Joy Division. In my late teens I picked up anything I could find by those guys. I'd been aware of them a few years prior to that, of course they were a huge influence on J.O Barr's 'The Crow' as well as being covered by Nine Inch Nails on that film's soundtrack.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (330 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0

PJ Harvey CD's in my collection as a teenager:

PJ Harvey CD's added to my collection since:

Another detour away from my metal music safe haven. Polly Jean was a massively influential artist throughout the nineties who I knew next to nothing about, other than she guested on 'Murder Ballads'. I still think 'Rid Of Me' is one of the absolute classic alternative rock albums of the nineties. I really appreciated the intensity and rawness of that album, the talent of Polly Jean resonated with me big time and when I was seventeen she quickly became one of my favourite artists at the time.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (2711 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 8.1

When I first watched The Exorcist it was still banned in the UK, the dodgy pirate VHS tape that was somehow even creepier with its random moments of fuzzy inference and sudden sound squawks, ironically the eleven year ban was dropped later that year and I purchased its official release. Was it the scariest film I'd ever seen? I'm not sure when I reached a certain age I really looked at horror movies that way, I definitely found it creepy, but not necessarily from the more obvious blatantly shocking moments, Damien Karras's dream sequence I always found very haunting for instance. It was definitely the best I'd seen that's to be sure. It's basically everything I've wanted of a film in a genre so utterly littered with trash, a serious, realistic, well written, well acted horror film with great use of cinematography and an atmospheric soundtrack. That is why it had such an impact back in 1973 and still stands up to this day and why no supernatural horror since has come close to surpassing its greatness.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Stainless - Todd Grimson

I confess I'm not the most prolific of readers nowadays, I look on in envy at some of the book diary's on Listal and wish I was more like that but sadly I'm a lazy bastard who averages two to six books a year. When I was younger I read a lot more, less distractions I guess in my teens and early twenties (or perhaps my ADD has evolved into a carnivorous tumour that is slowly consuming my brain). Two more favourites of my teen years that spring to mind are Todd Grimson's sexy neo-noir vampire thriller 'Stainless', that I believe I bought from the bookstore on the basis that the cover looked cool. And Jeff Noon's trippy sci-fi 'Vurt', that I received from as a Christmas present from young lady who had read it when she homeless on the streets of London.
Average listal rating (689 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 7.5

Clearly I've never particularly warmed up to romantic films up this point, I mean Hellraiser had its moments and Travis Bickle took Betsy on that lovey-dovey date at the porno theatre, but beside those...I think its fair to say Mike Figgis's tragic drama is a men's fantasy in a lot of ways, but I think that okay I mean aren't most romantic films usually female fantasies? Its good to see one from a man's perspective for a change, that isn't porn I mean. A pre-Wicker Man Nicholas Cage is in top form here as an alcoholic screenwriter on a mission to drink himself into the grave, and Elizibeth Shue is absolute perfection as the gorgeous "whore with a heart" Sera. I first saw it back in the late nineties and fell in love, with both Sera and the movie in general.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (68 ratings) 6.6 IMDB Rating 0

Ministry CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Ministry CD's added to my collection since:

Ministry were one of those bands I'd heard a lot about but had never got around to exploring until up to that point and what with the release of 'Dark Side Of The Spoon' around that time I took the dive. I became pretty obsessed with that album, in retrospect it's not nearly as good as 'Psalm 69' and 'The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste' but back then its brooding experimental atmosphere really appealed to me. Though the band were facing a low-point in overall popularity they were a shit-ton more preferable to the rise of the increasingly asinine Nu-metal. Being contrarian as I was the godfathers of industrial metal provided a substantial part of the soundtrack of my life as the new millennium drew near.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (65 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0

I was getting into Tool more and more around the age of seventeen and an obsession with Hicks inevitably grew from that, what with the influence he had on frontman Maynard James Keenan as evident on tracks like 'Third Eye'. I had a bunch of VHS tapes and CD's around that time; Relentless, Totally Bill Hicks, Rant In E Minor. Dude was hilarious and intense, not sure I ever entirely agreed with everything he would say but he delivered it with such dark wit you couldn't help but be compelled. Wonder how he'd feel about the modern day Woke stasi cracking down on what comedians can and can't say?
Average listal rating (1370 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 7.9
Brazil (1985)

I watched Gilliam's '12 Monkeys' a few years prior and it's one of my favourites too but I think it's fair to say 'Brazil' is his masterpiece. It's basically 1984 for a cinema audience isn't it? Michael Radford's adaptation of Orwell's dystopian vision came out the year prior and was pretty good, but Brazil with its colourful, energetic satirical wit and absurdisms made that film look utterly dour and dreary in comparison. While it satirizes the bureaucratic middle-class, I could easily empathize with Sam Lowry's quixotic reveries against the overcrowded asphalt hellhole of reality and authoritarian rule.
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (2441 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 8.4

War films had never particularly appealed to me, British favourites 'Zulu' 'The Great Escape' and 'Bridge Of The River Kwai' were on television every Christmas and purgatorial bank holiday and as heretical as it is to say they always bored the crap of me. All that changed when I watched the classic Vietnam flicks of the seventies and eighties, that is 'The Deer Hunter', 'Full Metal Jacket', 'Platoon' and of course the best of them all 'Apocalypse Now'. Those films drew me in because they exposed war for it what was and continues to be, minus all the bravado, hypocrisy and propaganda, the blood, grime and ugliness of man. "I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor...."
Defenestrated Jack 's rating:

Type O CD's in my collection as a teenager:

Type O CD's I added to my collection since:

I'd been familar with Type O for years through interviews with Pete Steele and his trademark dry wit in Kerrang and Metal Hammer, as well as tracks like 'Black No 1' and 'Wolf Moon' on covermount CD's. But it wasn't until I was seventeen that I bought October Rust with money from my first summer job, slaving away in the hellishly hot kitchens of a purgatorial holiday resort, okay it wasn't quite slavery, but it was pretty hot. Which isn't a particularly exciting or sexy detail, but there we go, that's become somewhat of a theme. Type O have stayed with me through the years, because quite simply the drab four were one of the best rock bands of the nineties and aughts. 'October Rust' was my first album and still the best, drenched in a melancholic autumnal atmosphere that makes it one of the classic albums of that decade.

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I was intrigued by the whole beat generation thing; Burroughs's, Kerouac, Ginsberg but reading that stuff I found to a lot of it to be so very middle-class and pretentious. Bukowski can be accused of many things but definitely not pretentious that's to be sure. That's what I liked about the guy, he wrote from the perspective of a working-class America so rarely glimpsed in that countries culture, though of course too white to be accused of as marginalised by the academics, elites and their mobs of useful idiots. Bukowski wrote hardened, straight talking, stripped down prose, then he'll hit you with a hint of soulful tenderness, but never enough that he could be accused of sentimentality. My favourite will always be 'Ham On Rye', the story Bukowski's or should I say Chinaski's childhood.

I remember the advertising around the Fight Club movie, the trailer basically sold it as meathead action flick about um, fighting and stuff. imagine my surprise when I rented the video from Blockbusters* and realised how utterly wrong I was. Palahniuk's pitch black humour satirising the ludicrousness of modern life seemed the perfect subject matter for an eighteen year old to read just as the new millennium hit. So I did.

*I just love saying that, given how antiquated it must sound to Gen Z brats.

Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 0
The Nomad Soul - PC Games

The only times I had anything to do with games throughout much of my teens was playing them at my friends house, I still retained an interest in them but for the most part I was happy with listening to music, watching films and reading. When I was eighteen all that changed because I got my first PC, of course it was meant to be for my college work but inevitably I ended up playing games on it. The Nomad Soul, otherwise known as Omikron was one of the first, I had an interest in David Bowie because of his influence on Nine Inch Nails and the fact that he not only provided the soundtrack but also starred in a video game intrigued me. I had no idea the game was quite so interesting otherwise, with its demonic creatures ruling a futuristic city conspiracy storyline and combination of fighting, FPS and RPG gameplay. The tank controls probably make it dated as all heck nowadays but back in early 2000's I absolutely adored this game.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (3 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
Shadow Man - PC Games

Shadowman was the other PC game that I spent too much time playing in my late teens. I was vaguely familiar with the Valiant comics character but this seemed a darker version, with elements of Seven, Jacob's Ladder and Angel Heart mixed with comic book fantasy elements and as some very creepy and vivid depictions of the after life. Definitely one of the most atmospheric games I've played to this day, with great voice acting, soundtrack and solid gameplay. An underrated game, probably not helped by a vastly inferior port to the PS1.

Defenestrated Jack 's rating:
Average listal rating (16 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
New X-Men, Vol. 1 - Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Ethan Van Sciver, Igor Kordey

When I face a rough period in my life, after a bad break-up or some such I tend to go through a phase of nerdy nostalgia for things that interested me when I was younger in order to heal my wounds. In my late twenties it was rekindling my WWE obsession, back in 2001 it was comic books. I went through a crazy period of collecting Vertigo, Image, DC and Marvel titles. Long before Mickey Mao got its inane "Social Justice" claws into that company it went through a resurgence in creativity thanks in no small part to Joe Quesada being made editor in chief. Given how much I'd loved X-Men I was very interested in Grant Morrison's take on Marvel's merry mutant and holy shit was I not disappointed. Whedon's follow up may have been more popular but for me it doesn't even compare, Morrisons brought incredible scale of imagination and anarchic humour to that book and it hasn't reached that peak since. Such a fun time to collect comics, sadly my local comic store closed down in 2005 and I've relied on trade paper backs ever since.

A sequel to my nostalgia infused 'Childhood Memories' list, this time a similarly nostalgic compilation reflecting upon the cultural interests that enriched the mostly otherwise major drag that were my teenage years in the 90's and early 2000's

Also See: www.listal.com/list/childhood-memories-defenestratedj

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