desert island

Tyson’s Friend Dan – Desert Island Films

Today’s castaway is a bit of a novelty one, as my real life friend and best man at my wedding Dan will be sharing his thoughts. He doesn’t run a blog, doesn’t watch any TV unless I make him and is not a film fan. However, he surprised me when he sent me an email with his Desert Island choices, it really did make me laugh and I was honoured he took the time to do this. Believe me, he can barely turn a computer on so this really is a remarkable achievement! So please, read on and I hope this entertains you as much as it did me. If enough people like and comment I can probably persuade him to leave some comments…….like trying to teach grandparents which way up a DVD goes but I will try my best!

Dan’s Desert Island Films.

Before I start my list I think its only fair to come clean and say that I don’t really like or watch many films of any genre. I can’t sit still for more than 30 minutes at a time, hence my film history and back catalogue is somewhat limited, and I dare say my reviews may be less articulate or as in depth as others. However Tyson ‘The Mekon’ Carter is one of my best friends and I’ve been so impressed with his site and achievements over the last few months that I wanted to make a small contribution. I think he would of preferred cold hard cash as a contribution, but my desert Island list will have to do.

(Editors Note: The Mekon nickname is the result of trying some hair clippers without a guard on. This left me with no hair. A lot of people thought I was seriously ill. One person said I looked like a Mekon from Dan Dare comics. Someone decided that was funnier and won’t stop using it. I really could have edtited it out, but then you took the effort to do this, so I’ll let you off! Paul O’Grady)

1) Trainspotting.

Pretty much the story of my life, without the heroin of course. It might seem a strange thing to admit but I really can relate to a lot of things that Mark Renton and his chums got up to in this film. No I’ve never climbed into a public toilet, no I’ve never shot a dog up the arse with an air rifle and no I’ve never stolen a homemade porn film from a friend. As for the rest I’m there or thereabouts.

2) Star Wars.

A true story set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… The first film I ever saw at the Cinema and still despite what Tyson says the best sci-fi ever made. Even now well over 30 years since its release it holds up against any of the CGI nonsense that we are made to sit through today. I have seen this film at least 3 times (which is unbelievable for me) and still regard the light sabre as the best prop ever to be seen in a movie.

(Editors Note: After I got the list, this text message conversation happened:

Tyson – Which Star Wars film, you have to specify and there are 6 of them I believe.

Dan – Star Wars is Star Wars. I don’t believe in adding a title years after the event. It was released as Star Wars in 1977 and will always be just Star Wars to me. So to answer the question, the first one!)

3) American Werewolf in London.

The first film I ever watched on VHS video. I did see Conan the Barbarian on Betamax first but the quality of picture was garbage. My mum and Dad were the first parents to have a video player when I was at primary school, when everyone found out my living room was full of about twenty 10 year olds. Next thing we know a werewolf is ripping the face off a guy out for a hike in the hills. One poor lad had to walk home over the fields in the dark. Never saw him again!!

4) The Usual Suspects.

One reason for picking this film, the line up scene when all the main characters have to repeat a sentence in a police line up (I won’t write it as its got a bit of filth in). Things set off steadily until McManus (One of the Baldwins) goes nuts and speaks like a crazed fruit loop, tongue flapping and everything. Then Fenster (Benicio Del Toro) speaks in his Puerto Rican twang and is asked “in English please“, he repeats the sentence and finishes off with a grade 1 profanity. The thing I like about this is that none of the scene was scripted and Del Toro was genuinely annoyed at what was said. All the actors just played it off the cuff and it makes me laugh every time I see it.

5) Anchorman.

I dedicate this choice to Tyson himself. I remember many years ago Tyson sitting in front of a computer and reading quotes from the film with tears rolling down his cheeks and having uncontrollable fits of laughter. He made me watch it and to be fair it’s the funniest film I’ve ever seen. Over the last few years I’ve used a few of the lines from the film with mixed results. I love Lamp, amazing!!!!!

6) Blair Witch.

I don’t think it was the first film to take a hand held camera and film an entire movie with it, but it was the first one I ever saw and it made a good impression. The thing I liked most was that even after the actors, producers and directors had been interviewed at a few of the screenings a poll showed that over 50% of Americans believed that the footage was still genuine. NB. Good film to watch with a girl (or guy if that’s your thing), good excuse to put your arm round her and give comfort at the scary bits.

7) Once Upon A Time In The West.

Firstly this gets in because of the soundtrack, Ennio Morricones haunting score is a master piece and stands alone without the film itself. On this occasion I have actually seen the film and it’s a belter. I do quite like westerns and could have gone for Pale Rider or Tombstone, I choose this for 2 reasons. Firstly the opening scene lasted far too long, but somehow worked and secondly Claudia Cardinale, just type the name in google and admire.

8) Saturday Night Fever.

Bit of a strange one for my last choice as I’ve never actually seen the film, crazy bastard I hear you say. It’s on the list as it produced the best soundtrack of all time, and an album that is in my music top 10 every time.

Book Choice.

I have phases when I read a lot and phases when I don’t, at the moment I’m not in a reading phase. At first I was going to take a lexicon of language book and relieve the boredom by teaching myself new words and phrases in all kinds of different languages. That ideas been knocked on the head though and even though it might not be 100% politically collect I want some sort of Playboy annual, the largest one on the market, I’m guessing it must exist. Yes there’s the obvious reasons, but believe or not the articles in Playboy can be fascinating and surprisingly well written tackling some subjects that mainstream journalists steer well clear of. OK the obvious reasons might be a bit more important!.

(Editors Note: Believe it not an annual does exist. It has 160 pages, with colour and b&w photos and illustrations, all encased with a leather cover and cloth spine. But that’s not as good to look up or research as the Kelly Brook Playboy cover) :)

Luxury Item.

It hurt my head thinking about this, at any one point I had my DJ decks, ipod, light sabre, laser pod, mountain bike, signed Andy Farrell poster, power kite or guitar. In the end I got fed up and couldn’t be bothered about all the implications of taking something like an ipod, once the batteries dead its useless. I therefore choose to take my favourite hat, not sure which one it will be, I have that many so will make my decision nearer the time of departure. Cheers Tyson.


Thanks again to Dan for taking the time to join the prestigious Head In A Vice ”castaway” list. If you would like to submit your choices and add your name to this list, please drop me an email to –



  1. Thanks again buddy, made up that you took the time to do this, and some great choices. I remember that day crying at Anchorman very well. The scene in question was a deleted one about eating cat poo……….simple things, but man I do love some Ron Burgundy.

    I felt you deserved large pictures, I hope it’s edited up to a standard you would be happy with. :)


  2. Love it! Great list! Agee Star Wars is amazing and difficult to pick one of the original three. Don’t know why Tyson doesn’t get it. Having said that I still don’t get anchorman no matter how many times you both tell me it great. I’ll have to remember not to watch Blair Witch with you in case you get any ideas! good job your luxury item is a hat, if they saw your hair you might not get rescued. :)


    1. Your quite right CJB (Yes!) Star Wars is amazing, but only Star Wars, The Empire Strikes is a good film, Return of the Jedi is a bit silly in places and the Ewoks remind me of an old girlfriend l had in uni!!. As for the prequels, just not Star Wars for me. I was counting on bringing Blair Witch round next week, TC said he didn’t mind. I’m ignoring the hair comment by the way. X


      1. This is good stuff! One of these days I am going to interview my oldest friend Chris (LIL PEE PEE) who can barely turn on his cell phone and we’ll see how that goes…!


    1. Thanks Mr Epic, just to let you know my phone is awesome, Tyson tried to Bluetooth me today and his fancy iphone thing wasn’t up to the task.


  3. Great list, and nice to see things being mixed up a little. I really, really need to see Once Upon a Time in the West and following Dan’s advice about Claudia Cardinale certainly hasn’t dissuaded me!


    1. Glad you liked the list Captain, Claudia is a stunner, if she had been born in the late 70’s or early 80’s she’d have tatoos and wear knee high boots all the time, and be my girlfriend.


  4. Actually managed to hit a couple of favorites of ours in there. An American Werewolf in London is a much underrated whatever you want to call it. Horror movie? Not really. Comedy? Sort of. Clever. The Usual Suspects is one of those movies that is almost great, or maybe it IS great, depending on my mood of the moment. Regardless, it’s brilliant. The first of the Star Wars movies is the only one I liked and Once Upon a Time in the West is a classic. Some of the others, I have to admit to not having seen, but I am much more a reader than a viewer, so when I need movie advice, I ask my husband. He ALWAYS knows. On the other hand, if he needs to figure out why his computer isn’t working, he asks me. Fair enough, right? Very interesting list … much more interesting than most!


    1. Thanks for commenting on my list, and you are 100% right on the Star Wars issue. When it comes to advice, I always ask Tyson about anything technical, and I always give him advice on why I’m so good looking. I’m more of a music fan than film buff, but Tyson has mentioned your husband and I look forward to hearing some more interesting encounters he has had with the movers and shakers in the industry.


  5. Great list – except for number 8. Just not a disco guy myself. Your friend may not be much of a movie guy, but he has chosen some great movies for his list.


    1. I tested the Desert Island idea out on him before I ever used it, and believe me he spent about 6 hours randomly coming up with films :) Then when I got the email I was amazed he remembered!


    2. I’m not a massive Disco fan mysely hence l haven’t seen the film. But theres something about the opening 30 seconds of Stayin Alive that makes me feel like a dancing God.


  6. Cool list Dan, you sound like a pretty hip guy. Love the Saturday Night Fever choice, if we end up on the Island together save the last dance for me.


  7. I love this one! Especially your intro to your best mate. And American Werewolf in London is a phenomenal choice. Although I don’t know if I would like to be watching it too much all alone on a desert island.


      1. No such thing as Werewolfs so don’t worry, its the spiders you need to watch out for, ask Tyson, he screams like a big girl everytime he sees one.


  8. Great list, I like the idea that a non film fan has done it and has a different perspective on which films to pick and reasons for choosing them. Not sure about the usual suspects, yes the scene Dan mentions is funny but for me the rest of the film is a bit long winded and slow, until the very end when things pick up again.


    1. I appreciate you taking the time to read my list, you might be right about the usual suspects, l tend to just rewind the line up scene over and over again.


  9. I figured it would be a good idea to visit the site of the first stranger (and second person overall) to become a follower on my own web site, so here I am…a very cool site indeed! This was the first post I read; Dan, that’s a pretty good list for someone who doesn’t watch movies much. I’ve seen them all but two (Trainspotting and Saturday Night Fever), so maybe I’ll give them both a look at some point. And Tyson, I’m a fan of these types of movies, too…I’ll be back!


  10. Great list Dan…. and funny, but knowing are a funny guy!! I also would put Saturday Night fever on the list, but have seen the film… years ago in my teenage years!! Did and do love the sound track, probably much more than the film! Like the rest of the Star Wars comments, the original is by far the BEST… not sure of some of your other choices but I may have to now do my own list. Very hard thing to do, and I dont like horror…so of not much interest to Tyson, as NO HORROR film would make my list, unless Twilght films count???


      1. Congrats on the 25,000 mark!!!!! great achievement in such a short time…… of course all Twilight films are watchable, some more than others, your wifey..of course is a big fan, but they would not reach my top 50…
        to my (< bestest son-in-law) x


  11. You had me at Trainspotting Dan. An absolutely superb movie. I also can relate to this film very much. For one, I’m also Scottish and although heroin wasn’t really my bag, I had other addictive natures. I indulged a little to much in the past and I also came across many people like Begbie and the others. Superb choice. I’m now wondering why I didn’t pick it. It’s in my personal top ten movies.


    1. Good to hear your thoughts Mark. If l could only take one film, it would probably be Trainspotting , or Starwars, depends on my mood at the time, (much rather take dark side of the moon by The Pink Floyd.) Trainspotting brings back a lot of good and bad memories from my past, like being chased across the roof tops of Amsterdam by a group of men carrying machine guns. Or turning up to the town hall in Volgograd looking for directions to our hotel only to be escorted off to a side room where they were filming some sort of gang bang sex film, crazy stuff. I guess everyone has had a Trainspotting incident at some point in their lives, my problem is I’m still having them now, and to be honest loving it.


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