No. 198 – Downlode To Go

Downlode[1] “gun sharks” (hitmen) Finnigan “Finny” Sinister (left panel, left) and Ramone “Ray” Dexter (left panel, right), together known as Sinister Dexter, created by Dan Abnett and David Millgate, here drawn by Simon Davis for the cover of prog 1061 (1997) v hitmen Vincent Vega (John Travolta, right panel, left) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson, right panel, right) from Quentin Tarantino’s classic Pulp Fiction (1994)

The fictional chain of Hawaiian-themed fast food restaurants, Big Kahuna Burger, is a running gag of sorts in Tarantino’s films, and has also cropped up in Reservoir Dogs (Miramax Films, 1992), Four Rooms [Tarantino’s segment, Penthouse – The Man from Hollywood] (Miramax Films, 1995), From Dusk Till Dawn (Miramax Films, 1996) and Death Proof (Dimension Films, 2007).

Similarly, Sinister Dexter stories enjoy satirising the fast food industry with restaurant chains named Pitta Party, Jacket And Thai, Pad Thai [pun slightly undermined by the current spelling of “phad thai” ผัดไทย], Meat Lolly, Tofu To U, Get Freaky Tzatziki, Steak Out, Dutch Oven, Harissa Explains It All [harissa: north African hot chilli pepper paste], Deli Belly, Bite Sighs, I Love Sushi, Chow Bella, Gobchutes [gob: Irish slang for “mouth”], Munchbox, The Snackers Yard, What Sup, Get Stuffed, The Gastronomicon, The Cake Hole[2], Grill Power [presumably a pun on “thrill-power“], The Good Burgers of Calais, Intant Korma, the “Tec-Mex” chain Chicken Itza, and our personal favourite, Burger Me Senseless.[3]


  1. Fictional mega-city engulfing most of Europe; essentially a European Mega-City One, ranging at the very least – although the boundaries are never clearly delineated – from Spain to eastern Europe
  2. There are in fact two food industry-related Cake Holes in the UK: here and here
  3. It’s not so much that we didn’t get all of the slang terms or double entendres, it’s that we’re just not touching some of them

No. 71 – Heat

Prog 1055’s Sinister Dexter cover by Simon Davis (written by Dan Abnett) vs. theatrical poster for Michael Mann’s Heat (1995)

Television producer, screenwriter, actor, former Chicago policeman and personal friend of director Michael Mann, Charles Fredrick “Chuck” Adamson (1936–2008) was the inspiration for Al Pacino’s character Lt. Vincent Hanna, and the officer who tracked down the real-life Neil McCauley (portrayed in the film by Robert De Niro), a calculating criminal and former Alcatraz inmate, with whom – as reflected in the film – Adamson did in fact have a civil cup of coffee after a chance meeting, and eventually killed in a shoot-out in 1964.

No. 69 – Lake Placid

Simon Davis’ Sinister Dexter (written by Dan Abnett) cover for prog 1026 vs. theatrical poster for Lake Placid (1999)

There are in fact five Lake Placids in the United States – three in Florida alone, one in New York and one in Texas – and none in Maine, where the film is set, and where none of it was actually shot.

The tag line, “Death Fish!” is likely a nod to Michael Winner’s Death Wish (Paramount Pictures/Columbia Pictures, 1974) series of films, starring Charles Bronson (1921–2003).


No. 68 – Murder on the Suleiman Express

Prog 1443’s Sinister Dexter cover by Simon Davis vs. Richard Amsel’s (1947–1985) theatrical poster for Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

An elegant example of satisfying the “Likeness Clause” in the contracts of film many stars whereby the size of a given actor’s likeness must be equal to all other actors featured in the advertising campaign


No. 62 – Go Ape!

Simon Davis’ B.L.A.I.R.1 cover for prog 1073 vs. King Kong (1933)

King Kong is especially noted for its stop-motion animation by Willis O’Brien (1886–1962). Although special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen (1920–2013), who was at one time O’Brien’s protegé, is often associated with the special effects in King Kong, he is not credited with having been involved in the film’s production


No. 61 – B.L.A.I.R. Force 1

Prog 1071’s B.L.A.I.R.1 cover by Simon Davis vs. Tony Blair

Anthony Charles Lynton “Tony” Blair served as the Prime Minister of the UK from 1997 to 2007 and as the Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. Along with US President George W. Bush in 2003, he initiated the Iraq War with the invasion of Iraq, an act which remains highly controversial