Saturday, May 16, 2015

prey away.



Prey (AKA Alien Prey. 1977)
Dir: Norman J. Warren
Cast: Barry Stokes, Sally Faulkner and Gloria Annen.


"Do you take sugar?
I should think so, most men do!"




The day after a weird green light is seen in the English sky, luscious lesbians Jessica (cutesy Annen, best known for her spot on performance as 'Midvale Protestor' in Supergirl) and the bullish, lantern jawed Josephine (knicker flashing, boy haired, Cyberman stomping sixties strumpet Faulkner) are shocked to find not only three dead bunnies in the local woods but also a strange, polo necked young man with a gammy leg and a nice line in Burton's 'action slacks' hiding in the apple tree.

Being friendly, non men hating lesbians the pair decide to take him home.

Wahey.

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Some quality knitwear yesterday.


Oblivious to his fairly odd behaviour, his even odder name (Anders Anderson, short we find out later for Kator, go figure) and the fact that he appears to be the only Englishman in the world who doesn't drink tea, the ladies fawn over their new house guest as if he were a stray moggie they'd found in the rain.

Which, bizarrely enough is very close to the truth.

kind of.

The next morning whilst wandering around the scene of the mysterious rabbit massacre, Anders is accosted by two of the local constabulary who are busy investigating the crime.

It appears that one of the rabbits was seventies teevee star Hartley Hare's nephew and they desperately want to keep it out of the papers.

Panicking that he'll be uncovered as the phantom rabbit slasher, Anders morphs into his terrifying true form and kills the coppers dead.

Can I just take a moment to say that Anders' 'alien' make-up does, in fact border on pure genius.

Imagine if you will a kiddie forcibly face painted as Tigger by a tipsy Salvador Dali at a local funfair before having an Elvis wig plonked violently onto his tiny head and finally being made to wear a pair of pointy teeth cut from orange peel to complete the outfit.

The imagine this very same child - high as a kite on E numbers - launching himself out of a garden bush at a policeman accompanied by a terrifyingly tune defying synth score.

I really don't have the words it's that bloody scary.

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"Laugh now!"


Returning to the house for a light lunch (all that killing does take it out of a man/space-cat) Josephine suddenly announces that "Jessica and I are lovers," whilst Anders is tucking into a fondant surprise, causing him to vomit all over the cucumber sandwiches completely ruining the afternoon.

Far from being a scary lesbian hating bigot tho' it's due to the fact that he can only digest raw meat.

I guess that's alright then.

All this sick and sarnies seems to have a very strange effect on Jessica tho', who whilst licking her lips and stroking her neck admits to Josephine that "Anders is very attractive....for a man".

Crikey.

All this talk of man lust can only mean one thing, yup it's time for a wee bit of big bushed, seventies's style lesbo loving.

All shot in brightly lit blackhead (and black bush) revealing close-up, our only relief (apart from the obvious) is when it cuts to Anders watching silently thru' a crack in the door.

Reminds me of boarding school.

Josephine's public hare on
show for everyone to see.


Returning to his room Anders has a quick conversation with the alarm clock before bed.

"Have made contact with human life forms, new identity established." he intones menacingly.

Well as menacingly as he can for a man clad in a nipple revealing sports shirt and arse hugging polyester slacks.

Waking the next morning to the dulcet tones of Josephine screaming, Anders and Jessica quickly head downstairs to find that a crafty fox has eaten all the chickens.

Obviously shocked by the senseless chicken choking, Anders heads off into the woods whilst Josephine buries her disturbingly large head in Jessica's fluffy pillow-like cleavage.

Gloria: pillows.


Slightly annoyed at the chicken massacre, Josephine decides to spend the entire day busily (and huffily) setting all manner of traps for the fox (including heat seeking missiles and bear-pits) but to no avail, luckily tho' Anders has kindly gone out and slaughtered the wee fella for her and returns home proudly carrying it's furry body aloft.

He'll be a Tory then.

Overcome with joy, Josephine decides to celebrate with a dead fox party.

As you do.

This involves (as if readers of the Arena need telling) Anders getting dragged up like a butch(er) Liza Minelli with the sole purpose the evening gazing seductively at Jessica whilst tapping away to a Foreigner tribute band on the stereogram.

Which we've all done at some point if we're honest.

And if that wasn't enough excitement for one night the evening culminates in a marvellously mind-bending game of hide and seek in which Josephine inexplicably arms herself with a flick knife and hides in a wardrobe.

But not before attempting to beat the keyhole at a staring competition.

"Blood on mah chest".


Scarily things get stranger still when the next afternoon (fuck, how long did she spend in the cupboard?) Josephine finds the half eaten remains of Mr. Fox under Anders pillow (sounds like a song title).

Slightly concerned by this turn of events she runs out of the house before coming across Jessica (you can tell she's a squirter) and begins to rant wildly about how Anders is a mentalist and no better than an animal himself.

Typical man then really.

Jessica, God bless her just stares at her lover with a look of mild apathy and the vague hope of a quick knicker fiddle in her eyes.

As do I most afternoons.

There's - unfortunately - no time for any sapphic fumblings tho' as the sexual tension is cut short by the sound of Anders screaming.

It appears he's fallen into a muddy pond whilst stalking a duck.

At this point I must warn readers of a nervous disposition that the scene that follows is frankly unparalleled in the history of mental movie moments, featuring as it does Jessica, Josephine and Anders erotically rolling about in mud - in slow motion - to the accompaniment of a truly terrifying tonal track of the kind not usually heard outside Wendy Carlos' gin fuelled night terrors.

Probably.

Shite (quite literally) in her mooth.


The result of all this mentalist mayhem coupled with Jessica's hitherto hidden mud fetish and Anders' creepy conversation regarding needing a good duck has the effect of curing the by now jolly Jessica of her lesbian tendencies leaving her free to attempt to seduce Anders.....

Will Anders succumb to Jessica's ample charms and (quite literally) lunch out on her womanly thighs?

And whatever will Josephine do when she finds out?

What the French call 'Prey' yesterday.



When a film's credits include the names Norman J. Warren, Terry Marcel (director of the Legendary 'Hawk The Slayer'), Handyman hunk Barry Stokes, Confessions cutie Sally Faulkner and writer Max Cuff you know you're going to get something that's a wee bit different from the norm.

Obviously followed by a shameful wank and a hot 'n' spicy Pot Noodle.

The isolated locations (the splendidly imposing country house, the directors garden and a big muddy puddle) and the sparsely populated cast work to make this movie an uncomfortable powder keg of lustful emotions, strange undercurrents, market stall knitwear and disapproving looks ready to explode at any moment.

And that's before you add a talking parrot, Gloria Annen's incredibly sexy stretched polkadot knickers, a cake with a tiny iced fox on it and Sally Faulkner's vertigo inducing portrayal of a trackie sporting mad dyke with a flick knife to the mix.

Put it all together and you know you're in the presence of greatness.

It's like a post watershed version of the 70's sitcom Butterflies as reimagined by David Lynch with make-up effects by a group of particularly disturbed - yet scarily talented - hook-handed children and scored by Karlheinz Stockhausen.

And you can't get higher praise than that.

Well you probably can if you visit a proper film site but not here.


Sally Faulkner and your dad yesterday.


Like most of Warren's output, the movie's tone veers wildly from the just plain sinister to fairly bizarre to bizzarely sinister via the ever popular 'What did I just see?", lulling us into a false sense of security by appearing to peak early with Anders alien reveal but sneakily managing to keep getting better and better.

And madder and madder.

It's then, just when you think the surprises can't get any more freakish that muddy lake scene appears from nowhere.

Why Warren has never been knighted (or at least given the bumps in a playground) is a crime against cinema.

The fact that one of our greatest genre directors goes so unheralded should be made a crime.

Fuck Shakespeare (tho' not literally seeing as he's been dead for nearly 400 years) it should be Warren's back catalogue on the school curriculum.

If you don't already own this then there's really no hope for you.

the worriers.



Madder than Max and slipperier than Snake, there's a new lion haired action hero in town.

Well there would be if it were 1983.

2019: After The Fall of New York (AKA 2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York 1983)
Dir: Sergio Martino.
Cast: Michael Sopkiv, Anna Kanakis, George Eastman, Roman Geer, Vincent Scalondro, Edmond Purdom, Valentine Monnier and Louis Ecclesia.






Sometime in the near future (probably a wee bit before 2019, maybe around lunchtime) the Scrabble worrying Eurac alliance, a new power bloc consisting of top mock rock bands Europe, Asia and Africa but scarily not Toto or Foreigner, having finally had its fill of endless Friends reruns, Taylor Swift and Honey Boo Boo has decided to teach the good ol' US of A a lesson in humility by nuking the fuck out of the entire country and setting up a new government in the ruins of New York City.
And all before the opening titles.

The remaining New Yorkers, after being banned from wearing plaid shirts and shouting 'Bagels!' at passersby now spend their days being used and abused as part of a diabolically inhumane programme of, um, diabolical and (yup) inhumane experiments to solve the problem of sterility among the surviving females.
Every evil empire has to have a hobby tho', so in their spare time the Eurac soldiers gallop around on horseback bedecked in Disney Land style armour killing the piss reeking, mutant squatters who still run free in the city.

Which is nice.

And also where we join the movies plot good and proper as a gaggle of these mucky mutants, armed with the kind of 'high tech' weaponry you always get in these movies (sticks, clubs, maces, golf clubs) are facing off with a squad of the aforementioned black clad Eurac cavalry.

The cavalry orders are simple; make these stinky so and so's have a shower or kill them all.

The honking hordes answer is simple.

Fight for your right to be dirty!

Obviously chaos and property damage ensues.

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Four men with big shiny helmets yesterday.



Meanwhile in sunny Nevada, our hero, the greasy locked layabout Arthur Parsifal (80's action god Sopkiv) is enjoying a nice, relaxing cross country death race.

The prize?

A foxy female sex slave (pneumatic 80's 'pop' star Sabrina).

Obviously Parsifal wins the race but to show what a nice man he is (well it's either that or he's particularly concerned about his sexual hygiene) decides to let Sabrina go.

Little does our hero know that he's being secretly spied on by a couple of Confederate soldiers (they're the good guys by the way) from way up in the hills.

Well I say hills but it's really a middle sized pile of sand used by the quarry workers to hide behind when they sneak off for a fag.

It appears that the soldier boys have been hanging about in the vane hope that the former popstrel poppet will give an impromptu performance of her hit 'Boys Boys Boys' whilst jiggling about like an epileptic trifle in an ill fitting bikini because frankly I can't think of any other reason to spend your days knee deep in soggy mud wearing an outfit that Jimmy Savile would knock back for being too perv-like.

So it comes as a wee bit of a surprise when they suddenly stun the poor bloke before manhandling him onto a jet and flying to Alaska.



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"Can you smell petrol?"

 

It seems that some non-gypsy inbreds also survived the attack on America and are in dire need of a man of Parsifal's talents to undertake a most special mission.

The last fertile woman in the country has been located in New York and it's his job to rescue her.

If Parsifal succeeds the surviving members of America's (flea) free government intend to pop her aboard a spaceship bound for Alpha Centauri, alongside a carefully selected crew of stud muffins, where on arrival they'll proceed to fuck like bunnies in an attempt to repopulate the human race.

Which is nice work if you can get it.



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"Mah wee boy painted this".


Seeing as it's such a dangerous mission and more importantly that Parsifal will need folk to talk to in order to keep the viewers interested, the limp fringed one is to be accompanied on his journey by top childrens entertainers Goeff Ratchet and Lesley Bronx (Geer and Scalondro who've probably been in loads of stuff and are dead famous but frankly I can't be arsed checking).

Our heroic band gain entry into the city with little trouble (and very quickly seeing as they started the morning in Alaska) but as usually happens in these films quickly get into a painfully slow paced fight.

The bad men are no match for our heroes tho', especially after Ratchet unleashes his deadly metal balls (he's really an android.....yesch!) and bonks the baddies into submission.

Retreating to the sewers the trio soon encounter a crazy mob of filthy rat hating folk led by the madly monikered Rat Eating King (The Wolverine's Yamanouchi) and accompanied by the sultry Giara (Monnier from Devil Fish) who looks the filthiest of them all but in a totally different way.

Not used to having guests and wanting to show our heroes a good time the merry band decided to engage in the age old tradition of poking rats with sticks whilst a groovy samba beat plays in the background whilst a community centre modern dance group throw shapes in the corner.

So far so dick shrinkingly awful but don't despair because just when you're about to end it all (or at the very least turn this shite off) the rat people pull a dwarf (Ecclesia in his only screen role outside your mum's secret video tapes) out from behind some rocks and start poking him instead.

Britain's Got Talent hang your head in shame.


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"Stop trying to climb mah beanstalk!"

 



Just as they're about to administer the infamous death poke tho' good guy Parsifal steps in (by steps in I mean he starts fighting them) because if anyone is going to stick something in a little person it should be him frankly.

Unfortunately, our heroic trio are overwhelmed by the rat tribe and taken prisoner.

Waking up in a cupboard Parsifal learns that the rat baiting is less a search for food but more the prelude to some sexy shenanigans.

You see, whoever pokes the most rodents gets to have sex with the lady of their choice and seeing as all the women (and all the men) - except Giara - are covered in weeping sores it's a safe bet to say she gets picked all the time.

Lucky girl.

Parsifal, upset at not automatically getting the girl and obviously upset at missing his chance with Sabrina earlier, just sits and sulks as Giara is taken into a side room for some hot rat based bum bothering but as luck (and decency) would have it the evil Euracs pick that very moment to attack the rodent hunting tribe.

Ratchet legs it up a tunnel, but Bronx and Parsifal grabbed by the gendarmes and taken before the slinkily sinister Eurac leader Ms. Ania (former Ms. Italy Anna Kanakis looking for all the world like a sexier, council estate version of Danni Minogue) who instantly knows that there's something amiss with Parsifal and his bud.

The fact that they both look like they work out, don't stink of piss and aren't covered in vile weeping sores alone is enough to arouse Ania's suspicions, add to this her reaction to a glimpse of Parsifal's tight buns when he swaggers into her office and it comes as no surprise that she quickly orders him to be stripped to the waist for a thorough 'interrogation'.

Lucky sod.


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The old guy from The Full Monty, Ms. Italia
1977 and a young Rutger Hauer yesterday.



Luckily Parsifal's quick thinking convinces Ania that Giara is the real threat and that the should really capture her instead.

Being female and obviously threatened by the thought of a rival to Parsifal's affections she completely falls for his ruse.

The angry Eurac commander given the job of interrogating Bronx fairs a little worse, forgetting as he does to disable Bronx's claw (you know, wrapping it in parcel tape or tying a big elastic band around it, basic common sense really).

The poor bloke gets no further than asking his favourite ice cream flavour before Bronx has gouged the commander's eyes out in painfully fake close-up.

Don't worry tho' they get replaced by robot ones in the following scene.



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(Here it comes)...."Aye son!"

 

Luckily Ratchet and Shorty (that's the dwarf if you didn't guess) jump out from behind a filing cabinet in order to rescue our heroes and an exciting (well I say exciting) chase ensues thru' the crumbling tunnels beneath the city.

Losing their pursuers our merry band arrive at Shorty's home; a large cave beneath the old UN building where an entire army of dwarves  lie in wait for a hero to lead them.

Can this movie get any better?

Unfortunately, before you can get too excited imgining a sweaty dwarf Vs. leather clad horseman battle, the Eurac stormtroopers turn up and kill them all with a 'sonic cannon' meaning it's back to the slightly less exciting pastime of aimless tunnel wandering for our clueless chums.



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"Stroke my bearded mooth".


Don't worry tho' because a film with such a short running time wont spend too long dwelling on inconsequential padding plus the opening credits promised an appearance from the mightily man-breasted 'B' movie behemoth that is George Eastman, so it comes as no surprise when he turns up leading a posse of mutant monkey men.

What is a surprise tho' is their choice of attire, clad as they are in brightly coloured silk and gaudy, pound shop  jewellery, which for an alleged race of hard as nails simian soldiers is a brave choice.

Eastman especially looks camper than John Barrowman in a pink bunny suit sunbathing on a beach of cock.

Not to worry tho' as they know where the fertile woman is hidden and are willing to take Parsifal to her.

It appears that she's kept in a secret cavern (well, obviously secret to everyone but the dwarves and monkeys) just around the corner from where the apemen live and that they've always been willing to hand her over to whoever asked but no-one ever did.

Thinking about it, this entire plot could possibly been sorted so much quicker by a well timed phone call and some flowers.

Entering the cavern (which is much less effort than doing the same to your sister) Parsifal finds not only Lil Ms. Fertile - suspended from the roof in a glass case -  but also the corpse of her kindly scientist dad and a fully restored 1972 Station Wagon.



Something for everyone really.

It appears that Mr. Scientist had spend loads of time thinking about his daughters future as a baby machine (which is nice if a little creepy) and had formulated a plan to get her out of the city via the Lincoln Tunnel using the station Wagon supplied.

He'd even left maps and drawings to aid whoever turned up, which is lucky for our heroes seeing as they look the type that would lose a game of noughts and crosses with a potato.

Depending if they could figure out how to use a pencil first that is.

Unfortunately the Lincoln Tunnel is heavily defended by crack Eurac troops armed with special Station Wagon busting cannons so Parsifal's only chance of success rests on being able to armoured plate the car using whatever comes to hand.

Discarded loo rolls, pizza boxes etc. You know the drill.

Only then will they have any chance of making it out alive and with their precious cargo intact.

I'd jump to her beat but not before I'd done a shite in her mooth.



Leaving Big Ape and Giara to guard the girl Parsifal, Ratchet, and Shorty go searching for junk to stick to the car.


As opposed to sticking their junk in it obviously.

Their run of bad luck (and half-arsed plotting) seems to come to an end when they come across what appears to be a totally undamaged Aldi full to the brim of all our car armouring needs but it doesn't last as no sooner have they found a pound coin for the trolley when a pesky Eurac patrol attacks our heroes.

Just as all seems lost the plucky Shorty leads the bad boys away giving our Parsifal and Ratchet time to drag a couple of trolleys full of tin plate and toffee back to the cavern but at the cost of Shorty's life.

No real loss then.



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"I love you....could it be magic?"

Whilst all this is 'going down' as the youngsters say, Big Ape has come across all amorous, he's fully loaded so to speak and is feeling the urge to procreate.

Knocking Giara out cold he slips first into Ms. Fertile's display cabinet and then into s. Fertile herself.

Saucy.

When Giara awakes Big Ape is sitting with his pipe and slippers singing to himself and explaining how she must have fainted due to his aftershave or something.

Nothing suspicious there then.

Returning with the tin and stuff, our heroes quickly begin the task of armouring the car for the journey from New York.

But will it be enough?

Will they reach Alaska with the fertile lady intact?

Will Big Ape get it on again?

And will Parsifal realise that Giara is only hanging around because he's the only person in the film who's not had sex with her yet?




Channelling everything from Escape from New York and Mad Max via Fanny Craddock's wardrobe and Simon LeBn's hair, director Sergio Martino's lo-fi sci-fi epic is a rip roaring rollercoaster ride of action, adventure and excitement with the added bonus of dwarf power.
Its special effects put its contemporaries to shame (but only if the contemporaries are Blake's 7 and late 70's Doctor Who obviously), its costumes are enough to make 'Wild Boys' era Duran Duran green with envy (or giddy from laughing take your pick) and the hair bleach budget alone must have been enough to cripple a small country.
But if that wasn't enough to recommend this masterpiece then don't forget that it features the frankly magnificent George Eastman playing a cheeky (and very horny) monkey. 
To be honest it's exactly what you'd expect from the man behind the classic Mountain of The Cannibal God.


Sopkiw: camel.
Michael Sopkiw's short (but sweet) movie career was kick-started with this movie, unfortunately for him (and us) he failed to make such an impact again and after Monster Shark (1984, where he re-teamed with Monnier) and Cannibal Ferox 2 (1985) he retired from acting, going on to study medicinal plant science and eventually launched Miron Violet Glass, a California-based company which makes special glass bottles that protect plants from the sun. 
Not funny but true, sorry.
His portrayal as the oddly monikered Parsifal is a joy to watch coming over like a junior Kurt Russell doing a community centre pantomime version of Beyond Thunderdome with a script by someone to whom English is a third language.

Which, if he's reading is meant as a compliment by the way (he still looks quite handy and could probably give me a bloody good kicking if angered).

Other cast members fared a wee bit better in the acting field; foxy Anna Kanakis became a mainstay of Italian TeeVee and is still working today (not literally mind you, you may be reading this on a bank holiday or late at night) and the late great Edmund Purdom, whose career took him from stage to screen via the dizzying highs and lows of European exploitation hell before finally carving a career as a dubbing/voice artiste in the Italian film industry appears to be still going strong despite dying in 2009.

Of the others I'll be honest, I didn't bother checking, except for Valentine Monnier whom I quickly looked for on Facebook and found this:



Tho' I'm assuming it's not her.

Anyway, I digress.
As is the usual with a Martino movie, the whole thing is less about unimportant factors like budget (or lack of) and (often threadbare) scripts and more about the movie's pacing and offering a variety of set pieces (of varying quality and levels of excitement) to keep the viewer entertained enough to not realise - or care - that the whole thing is actually complete and utter bollocks.
Obviously if anyone can prove that radioactive fallout can turn people into  monkey-men I'll take it all back.
And I can't say much fairer than that.

Friday, May 15, 2015

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 53).


Munchier than Mel Gibson and bonnier than Bruce Spence, let's celebrate the much missed Arkie Whiteley, Mad Max 2 mega babe and star of the seminal killer pig movie Razorback.







sub atomic tight arsed blues.

The New Barbarians (AKA Warriors of The Wasteland, Metropolis 2000. 1982).
Dir: Enzo G. Castellari.
Cast: Timothy Brent (AKA Giancarlo Prete), Fred Williamson, George Eastman, Anna Kanakis, Thomas Moore (AKA Ennio Girolami), Giovanni Frezza, Massimo Vanni, Venantino Venantini, Iris Peynado, Andrea Coppola, Vito Fornari and Zora Kerova.


At the beginning of the 21st century, the nuclear
holocaust had come to pass and civilisation vanished.
It was a time of chaos and violence,
until one day there appeared…The New Barbarians!




Our film openings in what appears to be a child's bedroom, his scale model of New York (built entirely from discarded boxes and yoghurt pots) sits proudly on his shelf. Suddenly someone drops a discarded cigarette on the model and it bursts into flames.

Oh no, the school art project is due in tomorrow!

Hang on my mistake, I think it was meant to be the actual New York City being nuked.

Well it's an easy one to make.

As Claudio Simonetti channels Stewart Copeland's 'Equaliser' theme we jump forward nine years to what seems to be Italian scifi's favourite date: 2019 where the world has become one huge quarry and groups of gypsies wander around in charity shop cardigans and a variety of hats whilst supping soup from tiny metal take away dishes.

Indeed, I've seen the future and it's cheaper than your mum.

Littering the wasteland are rotten corpses in breast revealing anti-radiation suits, tatty bits of heating ducts and car doors to show viewers that civilization has indeed fallen.

Anyway enough pointless scene setting, we want action and action we get when a gang of scary haired road warrior types clad in white padded PVC and riding about on dirt bikes and customised kiddies dodgem cars attack the gypsy encampment killing everyone in sight.


Lion-O Blair.


Welcome The Templars dear viewer, a camp as pants gang of angry gays with jokeshop wigs led by the badger haired, bearded Bible tearing bad man named 'The One' (Eastman-if you don't know who he is then shame on you).

And the Templars mission?

Rough sodomy and maximum violence in retaliation for the nuclear war that ended civilisation.

Yup that makes perfect sense.

Gayest of these gay marauders is One's right (and probably his wanking) hand man Steve Mako (AKA Dick Shagnasty vividly portrayed by Massimo Vanni from Zombie 4: After Death and Strike Commando 2)' a peacock headed loon who drives around in a Bacofoil covered 2CV with a huge cannon sticking out of the front and a side mounted wall fan capable of cutting the heads off passers by.

All of course painted silver.

He's thinking of you naked
and trussed up like a turkey.


Into the devastation and fields of burning pikey corpses drives our hero, the perfectly permed Scorpion (the late great Brent, star of the classic Black Belly of the Tarantula as well as dross like Caligula II: Messalina Messalina, The Last Shark and Fashion Crimes), dressed head to toe in beige corduroy (with huge fur trimmed shoulder pads obviously) and his scrawny man chest on view for all the world to see cuts a mighty fine dash as he cruises the apocalypse in his jet black muscle car, complete with a silver painted skull on the radiator, huge silver tubes leading into the bonnet and what looks like a massive transparent plastic tit glued to the roof.

He must be hard as fuck (or have a neck of pure brass) to be see dead in such an automotive abomination.

Tongs ya bas? No it's a perm.


Realising that he's missed the battle, Scorpion relieves his pent up anger by viciously slaughtering a bunch of lisping mummies he finds aimlessly limping about like stroke sufferers before taking his car to be repaired by my wee boy, sorry I mean Giovanni Frezza.

No really, the Frezza-Meister turns up in a fantastic surprise cameo as a mechanic cum sling shot champion (remember this it may become important later) turning an already so-so movie into a not bad one.

I bet he can heal the sick and walk on water too the cool bastard.

"The Milky Bars are on me!"


"The Milky Bars are in me!"


With his tires changed and his furry dice cleaned Scorpion heads back onto the open road (in reality a deserted airstrip just outside Rome) where he catches the Templars (sounds painful) chasing a half naked, boss eyed young woman named Alma (former Ms. Italy and ex missis Claudio Simonetti Kanakis) after spearing her hubbie in the cock and blowing their transit van up.

Scorpion steps (well, drives) in to save this damsel in distress, much to the chagrin of Mako and his leather clad lover Brian (Coppola from Amazonia: The Catherine Miles Story) who vows revenge on the pube topped one for this and a variety of past misdemeanour's.

It turns out that Scorpion actually used to be an elder of the arse bothering Templars but left the order due to not having outrageous enough a barnet (oh and not liking cock obviously) and it's for this reason (and the fact that he hates Mako even more than he hates fanny) that the lion-maned, tidy bearded Barry Shadow (Girolami from Tenebrae, Bronx Warriors and Escape From The Bronx) feels obliged to let him go.

"Keep your eyes on the road hen,
well one of them at least".


Scorpion, being a perfect gentleman, offers the girl a ride in his car (with a promise of more later) she breathlessly accepts and the pair drive off into the sunset, unaware that they are being followed by a really annoyed Mako.

The Templar that is not the species of Shark tho' to be honest that would also be worth seeing.

After a romantic evening shagging in a giant, green Marks and Spencer's freezer bag, Scorpion spends what seems to be the next three days driving very slowly around the same bit of quarry whilst telling Alma the story of his life ("I used to be a bad buggerer of boys but now I prefer quim and helping people.") Scorpion notices the small group of kiddies electric cars blocking his way.

"Is it in yet?"


Mako and his bro's have decided (against the will of The One) to kick (then shag obviously) Scorpions firm, muscular arse and our hero soon finds himself in the middle of a firefight whilst dodging Mako's killer fan contraption.

Luckily for Scorpion (and for the viewer) his old buddie, the sexy black, bowman Nadir (the man, the legend that is and always will be Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson) has been watching from a distance and soon wades into battle armed with his high-tech exploding arrows, porn god moustache and almost supernatural ability to impregnate women thru' a teevee screen.

The pair make short work of mentalist Mako and his goons, with Mako himself ending up chewing on one of his own cars wheels whilst a distraught Brian looks on, tears, blood, egg yolk and semen stinging his eyes.

Scorpion sends him back to Templar HQ with a clip round the ear and his boyfriends mangled corpse in a binbag.

This isn't gonna end well is it?


The Noel Edmonds sex doll
now available from Ronco.


By this point, The One seems to having a really bad day, not only are his men going out to commit acts of bum violence behind his back but Shadow has been really stroppy since he found out that Scorpion was back on the scene so, to cheer himself up he sets fire to Mako's half naked corpse before stringing Brian up and shooting him.

By this point it's pretty obvious that only one thing can placate One's violent temper.

And that's the pert arse of the Scorpion.

Travelling thru' the (same bit of) deserted wasteland our heroic trio soon come across a band of raggedy survivors led by Father Moses (Venantini from City of the Living Dead) in search of the promised land and Alma, tired of shagging an old man in a kiddies play-tent and missing having access to make-up and hair straighteners decides she wants to join them.

Scorpion reacts with an air of faint indifference whilst Nadir kills time by shagging the pants off a foxy disco-garbed priestess named Vinya (the cute as a button Peynado from Ator the Iron Warrior and my dreams as a teen).

Twice.

"Five fingers straight up and
they never touched the sides!"


After telling Nadir that he's a wild eyed loner heading for the gates of oblivion, our heroes go their separate ways (Nadir into the sunset and Scorpion off to the gents) and leave the Christian folk eating soup and singing hymns unaware that The Templars have discovered this merry band too and are racing at top speed to tell The One.

And things go from bad to worse when One and his posse catch up with Scorpion and run him off the road, trashing his car, messing up his hair and leaving his corduroy jacket in tatters before dragging him back to their camp to string him up so that One can bugger him senseless.

Ouch.

Scorpion, up the casino, 2019.....yesch!


Spread-eagled and bent double, Scorpion braces himself for a severe forced entry when Shadow interrupts proceedings to tell One about the religious folk he's come across down the road and that it'd probably be best to attack them now before they drive off.

Given the choice between manass and murder One chooses the latter, leaving Scorpion strung up like a turkey whilst the Templar army heads off to battle.

Scorpion can only hang there, his bright red, raw buttocks swaying softly in the breeze as One disappears into the distance, not noticing the sexy hipped black dude crouching in the hills with a sleek steel bow pointed at his captives....

Will Nadir be able to rescue Scorpion in time to prevent the massacre?

Will One ever get his man sandwich?

And will the wee boy design some manbreast revealing see-thru armour for Scorpion to wear in the final battle?


Finally, I can bury my old Betamax copy.


Remastered for The Bronx Warriors boxset, Castellari's mad, mental (and oh so slightly homo-erotic) tribute, to Mad Max has to be seen in a totally sober state to be truly appreciated.

With it's Casio-tastic Claudio Simonetti score, costumes converted from leatherette sofas, sets built from the contents of the neighbourhood bins and a group of actors no doubt found hanging around those said bins dear old Enzo, obviously still drunk from the success of The Bronx Warriors (or the hotel mini-bar) threw caution, budgetary constraints and common sense to the wind giving us possibly the most realistic view of a post apocalypse world ever committed to celluloid.


Relax guys, it's your Gran.


And the glue that binds the movie together?

That'll be the total manliness that is Fred Williamson.

With a trademark sexy swagger and buns of pure diamond, The Hammer doesn't just steal every scene he's in but more likely wines and dines them before making love to them all night long.

And then making them breakfast.

So relax, remove your outer clothing and prepare to dive deep in to the warm, wacky and oh so wet world that only a mind like Enzo G. Castellari's can conjure.

get to truck.

To celebrate (OK cash in on and therefore hopefully get some new readers) the release of the bloke-baiting Mad Max: Fury Road let's take a look back at another road based, post-apocalyptic pot boiler featuring things with wheels.

Damnation Alley (1977)
Dir: Jack Smight.
Cast:  Jan-Michael Vincent, George Peppard, Dominique Sanda, Paul Winfield, Kip Niven and Jackie Earle Haley.

"Bomb or no bomb, the lights never go out in Vegas!"



Welcome to the US Airforce's best kept secret, an ICBM base cunningly disguised as a collection of garden sheds some place in the sunny Mojave Desert where moustachioed military Major Eugene Denton (pity poor Peppard having to slum it to pay his wife's alimony) and his rebellious rookie sidekick Tanner (grizzled Airwolf star Michael Vincent) spend their days marching up and down corridors and looking intently at a series of randomly flashing lights whilst wearing fancy white cravats and Kwik-Fit overalls.

Paul and Barry Chuckle: The Nuremberg Years.


It's not all hard work tho' as they do get to occasionally hang out with Kev Keegan (Star Trek II's Winfield), the bases security chief cum artist whose obsession with painting Denton's wife (or is it Denton?) naked borders on the obscene.

But just when you think the movies going to take a turn into paint covered multiracial tit wanking territory Russia decides to start World War III and nuke America.

Arse.

Not wanting to spoil the habit of a lifetime when it comes to world wars our Yankee cousins wait a little bit (well until Albuquerque has been nuked) before joining in the fight and it's not long before the Earth dies screaming in a searing haze of disco lights, atomic test film and stock footage from The Guns of Navarone, all played out to an eerie electronic proto-jazz score courtesy of Jerry Goldsmith.

On crack.

Cue your friendly neighbourhood title cars to explain that as well as mutating scorpions and turning the sky into a giant laser light show, the combined nuclear explosions have also tilted the Earth off its axis.

Which is nice.

Luckily for the plot our heroes base is safe, enabling the few bold survivors to carry on doing all that military stuff for no apparent reason other than an almost psychotic obsession with finally making all the lights on the control panels flash in unison.

Except that is for Denton who spends his time tinkering away in the garage, assisted by the only slightly moustached Lt. KT Perry (teevee stalwart Niven) and the by now air force drop-out Keegan, who's taken to shoddily painting tropical landscapes on the outside of his shed and Tanner who fills his day by wildly driving around the desert annoying the local giant scorpions.

It's a living I guess.

If not very exciting to watch.

"Fuck me! It's Fred Titmuss!"

It's a good job then that one of the airman, enjoying a post wank fag accidentally sets light to a jazz-mag which just happens to be resting against a pipe that says  "WARNING:FLAMMABLE GAS" in big letters down the side.

Massive explosions and more stock footage ensues leaving only our feebly fleshed out foursome standing.

Or in Jan Michael Vincent's case leaning drunkenly against a wall.

But fear ye not, for Denton and Perry have been building two pimped to fuck silver (I.E. futuristic) highly armed transit vans, christened Landmasters with the intention of driving to Albany where Denton is sure a group of survivors live.

This is probably more likely than it seems, I've been to Albany and I can assure you it's not even worth shitting on let alone wasting an atomic bomb on, even the birds fly past upside down.

So our heroes, like a gaggle of sci-fi pikeys set out across the radioactive desert in the vain hope of finding the last remnants of humanity.

Or at the very least a field to park in.

"Wanna buy some pegs Dave?"


Almost immediately (it's as if the director is scared we'll get bored if there are more than five minutes of dialogue on screen between the action) our motley band drive headlong into a terrifying tornado-style storm.

Yikes.

Tanner, being a wee bit of a rebel decides to carry on regardless whilst the more by the book Perry pulls over to the side of the desert to consult the Landmaster manual.

This turns out to be a fairly bad decision as poor Perry has only gotten as far as how to set the dashboard clock before the storm has picked up the Landmaster and deposited it upside down halfway up a hill.

And unfortunately on Perry's head.

As a plus point this does mean that for the first time in cinematic history it's not the token black guy that died first.

Tho' an actor of Paul Winfield's calibre was probably hoping to get out sooner rather than later.

"You mean this van isn't full of sweets?"

There's no time for tears tho' as the next stop is fabulous Las Vegas, where quite surprisingly (and to Hunter S Thompson's utter joy I imagine) the Circus Circus is still all lit up and pumping Tom Jones thru' the tannoy system.

I would expect nothing less from the hotel I got married from.

Keegan and Tanner, relieved at finally getting some fresh air after days of wallowing in each others farts (and trust Me Jan Michael Vincent's taste of egg) race thru' the casino with gay abandon pausing only to chance their luck on the puggy machines whilst dashing Denton stand atop the stairs, hands on hips and with a clearly visible erection, gazing down on his boys with all the decorum of former Labour MP Lord Janner at an orphanage.

"Merde
  dans les cuisses de grenouilles mah bouche gourmands!
"


Suddenly as if from nowhere a curtain wearing, long of face yet smooth of thighed French woman appears and introduces herself as club singer cum exotic bird (and last non mouldy woman in Vegas) Ms. Janice (Sanda from, um some French stuff).

Which is a bit of a shock for our heroes as they were expecting Cher.

Or at the very least Lance Burton.

She soon explains that she managed to survive the war because she was giving the manager a private performance in his handy fallout shelter when the bombs went off.

Typical fucking blonde.

Being real gentlemen our tricky trio offer to take Janice all the way (to Albany, not up the arse obviously) but first have to stop in Salt Lake City to get some petrol.

Oh and crisps.

Arriving at their destination (in what seems like a matter of minutes) Tanner and Janice head into town of his motorbike to look for 'women's stuff' whilst Keegan checks the abandoned cars for any discarded chocolate or cans of Tizer leaving Denton to stand about looking manly whilst sucking on a cigar.

It's whilst on this snack hunt that Keegan notices how strangely clean the human bones are within the cars.

It's almost as if the set has been littered with bits of cheap Halloween skeleton toys.

Well either that or the place is full of fist sized flesh eating cockroaches but really what are the chances of that?

We'll soon find out cos no sooner has Keegan open the petrol hatch when hundreds of the black shelled buggers start swarming (do cockroaches swarm?) toward him, biting and barking wildly as they go.

Keegan finding himself pursued by what looks like loads of raisins stuck to a bit of lino jumps inside one of the cars and attempts to hide under a skeleton.

Big hunky black man, skinny white skeleton, you do the maths.

Beware the Cornetto man!


Noticing his pal's dilemma (tho' why he's admiring the make of car he's hiding in under the circumstances is anyone's guess) Denton hops into the Landmaster and pulls out that most useful of sci-fi movie weapons; a fire extinguisher.

Great, because we all know that mutant insects are allergic to foam.

That'll be why you never see them taking bubble baths then.

Unfortunately for Keegan this has absolutely no effect on the bugs, so Denton shuts the car door to muffle the screams before radioing Tanner to announce, in all seriousness:

"This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches, repeat, killer cockroaches!"

Utter fucking genius.

Relieved that they're not actually being chased by giant liquorice balls Tanner and Janice do their best to lose the bugs in the local Woolworths, taking the stairs (on a motorbike mind) in an attempt to outrun the lazier cockroaches who'll no doubt be waiting on the lift before stunt biking it thru' a first floor window in glorious seventies slo-mo action.

Ker-chow!

Waiting for them downstairs, after first blowing up a wall with a handy grenade launcher is good old Denton smoking a big cigar and standing manfully atop a pile of foam sodden bugs.

Phew.

Tonka.


Patting each other on the back as they drive no-one seems to give a fuck that Keegan is dead, more likely Tanner realises that he's now the only hetro' guy onboard, bringing him closer to having a wee French fancy.

Dirty sod.

Denton, obviously upset by the lack of firm man-meat in the Landmaster decides that they should stop at the next town they find in the hope of coming across a young boy.

You can take that any way you like because I'm pretty sure Denton will.

Coming to a sudden halt outside a rundown shack in the middle of nowhere, Denton sniffs the air before changing into his best uniform and heading outside where, not too surprisingly, he finds a young, baw headed and buck toothed boy named Billy (Future Fred Krueger and author of Roots Haley), who's busy throwing rocks at bad men.

Result.

"That's amazing! I'm 15 and like The Saturdays too! Now get your webcam on and your clothes off!"


Adventure seems to be coming at them by the bucket load now (well at least that's all that's coming) because after the first thirty five minutes where sod all happened they appear to be finding fairly attractive survivors every couple of seconds now.

Except for this time obviously where our heroes run foul to a group of real-life, rape obsessed gypsies hiding out in a petrol station just waiting for a nice bit of prime ass to travel by.

Oh and to sell them some pegs as well.

It's only thanks to big browed Billy's amazing rock-throwing skills coupled with Janice's almost impregnable bra (oh and Tanner's ability to shoot someone in the face at point blank range obviously) that our merry band escape without so much as a violated mouth or loss of bladder control.

Denton, feeling a bit left out of all this manly fighting decides to show everyone who's boss tho' by firing a couple of rockets from the Landmaster's missile tubes at the outside toilet in which two of the gypsies were hiding.

Which I'll admit does seem a wee bit excessive even by the future A-Team leaders standards.

"Four fingers and George Peppard...never touched the sides!"


After all this rough terrain, rough justice and even rougher toilet paper it's not too surprising to find that the faithful old Landmaster has begun to make loud clanking noises and belch plumes of oily black smoke.

Looking under the hood Denton deduces that the crank-shaft and armature quimm have broken and need replacing ASAP.

If not sooner.

Luckily for all concern Denton designed and built the Landmaster to use common or garden truck parts so it's a quick detour to the wrecking yards of Detroit then all the way to Albany.

Huzzah!

Pulling into the nearest scrap palace Denton gets hard at work straight away vigorously screwing his nuts whilst Billy goes out exploring and Janice and Tanner stare into the middle distance, totally unaware that the sky has gone all red and the wind is whipping up.

Cue a low rent version of the last twenty five minutes of 2001 projected onto the clouds as Tanner, astride his beloved bike tries desperately to find little Billy whilst dodging large chunks of painted cardboard.

"Hmmmm....tastes like chicken!"


Spotting Billy having a piss behind an old corvette Tanner grabs the boy and rides back to the Landmaster just in time to see a giant tsunami engulf Detroit.

Luckily, Denton designed the Landmaster to float, giving us ample opportunity to experience the sheer joy of watching a shoddily painted cardboard box with cut-out wheels bobbing in a bath.

Noticing the huge wet patch on the seat (no it's not Janice) Denton and Tanner manfully force open the Landmasters top hatch to discover that not only has the sky has gone back to it's pre-nuke normality but from the look of things Detroit is now a lake.

Yup, the huge and impressive special effects sequence we've just experienced was, in fact the Earth tilting back to its normal axis.

Three cheers for science!

Feeling fairly elated by this turn of events Denton sets the Landmaster into 'chug' mode and heads for dry land.

I wouldn't want that swimming up my arse.

Coming ashore in what looks like a kiddies playpark and knowing the movie only has about ten minutes left, Tanner and Denton get to work on setting up a radio transmitter in the hope of contacting Albany, which luckily they do within a matter of seconds.

And guess what?

It's only a few miles down the road.

With an excited glee not seen since The Pope visited a Glasgow orphanage Tanner and Billy jump on the motorbike and head off to meet these newly christened 'Albanians' and hopefully get first dibs on any Mars bars left uncontaminated.

Gazing ruefully into the distance as they drive into the sunset, Denton uncomfortably hugs Janice who, in turn just stands there looking French.

Chinny rackon.



Meanwhile, further down the road, Tanner and Billy are amazed to pass fields of non-mutant sheep and cows, small clean faced children playing in the bushes and about thirty well dressed and healthy people ready to welcome them to their new home.

Awe.



From the director of that other classic book balls up The Illustrated Man comes this cack handed post apocalyptic action based on a novel by Roger Zelazny, which itself is loosely based on the story of Balto, a Siberian Husky sled dog who led the team on the 1925 emergency run, transporting diphtheria antitoxin from Nenana, Alaska to Nome.

Not funny but absolutely true.

In the novel, tough as nails Hells Angel Tanner is hired to deliver a load of cod liver oil tablets to somewhere inconsequential.

Due to his unbearable BO Tanner is forced into piloting the Landmaster alone; the situations and survivors he comes across during the course of the novel work to reawaken his humanity, until by the stories end and with the Landmaster totally fucked, Tanner walks the rest of the way with the serum in a backpack.

A bit like Judge Dredd did in The Cursed Earth saga remember?




With such a great (and highly pilfered) concept and top pedigree it's genuinely frightening to see how much the movie plays out like a Childrens BBC version of Mad Max.

How could director Smight and scriptwriter Alan Sharp go so wrong?

Well adding an array colourful cardboard cliché characters doesn't help

or a Frenchwoman.

And utilising tinfoil, tea bag boxes and giving your huge survival tank a ruddy great canvas midrift is probably not the best way of going about it if I'm honest.

Oh, and getting your six year old nephew on board as scientific adviser is probably not the greatest of ideas.

"Come get in the back of me Cortina and let me bite ya!"



But to be fair there are a few enjoyable things on show.

I mean the cast are good (to a point), the deserts look nice and there's gangly love god Jan Michel Vincent  for the ladies.  

And lets be honest, what more do you want on a Sunday night?

A pity then that I watched it on a Thursday.