Monday, August 22, 2016
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Been searching thru' the Arena archive for reviews of zombie movies featured in The UnDeck playing card set in order to have a handy mini-review of each of the films therein for folk who care about such stuff.
I'm not sure which is harder tho', trawling thru' pages of my barely literate ramblings or having to cut out all the mooth shite-in/laugh now comments to make them readable.
So taking a break from such endeavors last weekend I took a trip into old Glasgae toon (that's Scotland, in England near to Buckingham Palace and Europe for our American readers) to take a look around a place called 'The Barras'.
For those of you who aren't local, try to imagine a market stall version of Mos Eisley selling everything from knocked off pork to car doors and you're a third of the way there.
Whilst there I came across (not literally mind) a bearded old woman selling clothes pegs, country and western CD's and old VHS tapes.
Not being able to resist varicose veined vixens I just had to take a quick peek at her ample wares, so imagine my surprise when I found this:
Yup, a copy of tit-tastic La Revanche Des Mortes Vivantes on dusty old VHS and for only £1.
It was then that I realised that it wasn't featured in the UnDeck on account of being far too shite.
Needless to say I had to buy it, unfortunately it also means I have to rewatch it and share my thoughts with you.
And possibly show my distinct lack of French language skills.
Apologies in advance.
Revenge of The Living Dead Girls (AKA La Revanche Des Mortes Vivantes. 1986)
Dir: Pierre B. Reinhard.
Cast: Véronique Catanzaro, Kathryn Charly, Sylvie Novak, Anthea Wyler, Laurence Mercier, Patrick Guillemin, Gábor Rassov and Christina Schmidt (not Christian Schmidt from Neighbours).
The time: the late seventies by the look of things, the place: a rainy, overcast road somewhere in the arse end of France, a blonde bimbette hitchhiker (wearing the cross country regulation outfit of stiletto heels, fishnets, suspenders and fur coat) is picked up by a pube haired man in a big jumper driving a milk van.
So far, so foreign porn like.
Pretending that she's sprained her stick-like ankle getting into his cab she persuades the driver to carry her to a deserted barn where our hitch hiking whore slowly lifts her skirt to see if driver Dan can see any bruises.
Whilst all this is going on a mysterious biker arrives and pours a bottle of Fairy Liquid into the milk.
Tho' God only knows why.
Fearing the audience may blow their load too early, the director sensibly cuts to a hideously decorated kitchen where an old lady is chatting to a transparent lingeried young girl who's busily glugging milk from a bottle like a bairn clamped onto it's mothers breast.
Within seconds of finishing the bottle she keels over.
This mysterious death is swiftly followed by a shockingly bespectacled, larged hipped bird in a pub and another girl who is so plain as to make her instantly forgettable.
It seems that a trio of bad men (and a bad lady) were blackmailing somebody rich (I don't know/care who) regarding the toxic waste that their evil lemonade mines were producing.
Unfortunately the cash-grabbing plan started to unravel and given the choice of dumping the waste in a bin or pouring into the local milk supply, one of them bizarrely chose the latter.
If that wasn't enough excitement for you it now seems the very same chemical waste that killed the girls has somehow turned them into spud faced, massive bushed (yet completely normal bodied) zombies out for revenge (hence the title) and maybe, just maybe a wee bit of four way zombie girl on girl action along the way.
We can but hope.
I'm assuming the plot makes a bit more sense if you speak French, but frankly I'm too embarrassed to give it to any of my French friends to find out.
But as we all know, it takes more than gratuitous sex and mindless violence to make a great movie (well, most of the time) and frankly no number of lesbian zombies, penis munching, vagina/sword interfaces (at the moment of orgasm no less, well it is French) and scary plasticine undead babies can save this film from being complete and utter tedium from start to finish.
Yup, 'director' (and I use this term under duress) Reinhard (the man behind such classics as 'Outrages transsexuels des petites filles violées et sodomisées', 'Fantaisies anales' and 'La perverse châtelaine dans l'écurie du sexe' amongst others....ask your dad) manages the impossible by taking a plot involving nude zombie girls shagging people to death and turning it into one of the most boring film ever made.
holidays she took you on as a kid.
It even makes the directors cut of Oliver Stone's Alexander seem a good proposition for a Friday night.
OK, well maybe not that bad.
Featuring as it does, the most unattractive bunch of freaks and misfits since Joe D'Amato stopped making horror porn hybrids, piss poor effects, a camera and lighting crew that appear to have been blinded with sharp sticks minutes before production began and the clumsiest editing ever committed to celluloid and all of this still can't elevate Revenge of The Living Dead Girls to anything other than the motion picture equivalent of weeping arse sores.
And you can trust me when I say I know a thing or two about those.
Heath strip for your pleasure!
But is there anything about this film to recommend to fans of zombie nonsense (or even fans of Unshaved European girls?), well the aforementioned undead lesbian orgy between a prostitute (don't be too harsh, that's someones mum and she had bills to pay) and the three female zombies is unique enough to have you reaching for the remote with your free hand to rewatch it at least once and the fact that the zombies have a habit of ringing folks doorbells to gain entrance into their houses rather than just sneak in does have a certain polite charm to it but other than that it's to be avoided at all costs.
No doubt tho' that there'll be some pasty skinned, expensive shirted and novelty bearded behemian type sitting in a cinema bar somewhere loudly pointing out that La Revanche Des Mortes Vivantes is a serious study of perversion and the breakdown of common values in society, it's refusal to adhere to the shackles of linear storytelling prefering to confront the audience head on with visualisations of mankinds darkest thoughts puts it on par with Lars Von Treer's Antichrist and how the uneducated movie goer will miss these subtleties, concentrating on the sex and breasts instead.
No idea where I was going with that but it's late here and I felt like I should get it off my chest.
But in a totally non nude lesbian zombie way of course.
Saturday, August 6, 2016
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Torture Garden (1967).
Director: Freddie Francis.
Cast: Burgess Meredith, Michael Bryant, Maurice Denham, Beverly Adams, Barbara Ewing, John Standing, Jack Palance, David Bauer, Robert Hutton, John Phillips, Clytie Jessop and Peter Cushing.
Cabbage reeking carnie 'Doctor' Dave Diablo (Meredith, dressed in his - unwashed - Penguin hand me downs) has a frightening exhibit to share with the few lucky punters that can fit inside his frankly embarrassingly studio bound tent, an exhibit that fully exposes the depths of man's inherent inhumanity and badness and is guaranteed to make even the bravest soul fill his trousers.
But all of this fades into insignificance when compared the terrifyingly piss poor waxworks that anyone unlucky enough to enter his tent has to endure first.
Five brave B-list celebs are persuaded to enter his den of delights of which the centrepiece is, disappointingly a dining chair with some wires attached to the base upon which sits a scabby shop window dummy in polyester flares.
Luckily for Diablo either they're all easily amused or there must have been nowt on the telly that night because the crowd are utterly captivated by his over the top musings, marvellous hat and homemade 'electric chair' and are more than happy to part with a fiver each for the once in a lifetime chance to travel up his dingy back passage and experience (as Dr. D puts it) the most horrific thing they will ever see.
Which it turns out is a rather harsh faced, pendulous breasted wax gypsy wielding a pair of gardening shears (the fantastically named Clytie Jessop who also features in The Innocents and Hammers 1964 snoozefest Nightmare alongside big screen Doctor Who tottie Jennie Linden).
Each to there own I guess.
But, the Doc explains, this is no ordinary waxwork pikey oh no, because it can in fact predict the future.
But who will be brave enough to face it's blades?
Leather jacketed beige bad boy about town Colin (Brit Teevee stalwart Bryant) is the first to volunteer, and after a mysterious dose of sweaty sex face and crash zooms finds himself outside the cottage of his ailing, wheelchair bound and urine stained Uncle Roger (alcoholic Time Lord Azmael himself, Denham).
It appears that Colin is your typical ne'er do well; jobless, skint and obsessed with pub lunches, fondue parties and tottie whose only interest in his uncle is to get his smooth, almost ladylike hands on the old man's inheritance.
Uncle Roger has other ideas tho' and is insistent that money isn't everything and all Colin needs to do to be happy is to live his life more considerately and maybe even get a job.
Tho' being a rich old sod he would say that wouldn't he?
Desperate for the cash, our Colin starts to stamp his feet and shout a bit, causing poor Roger to clutch his chest whilst making vaguely erotic (for an old man that is) 'love you long time five dollar' sucky mouth movements.
Seems poor Rog has a weak heart (but fantastic rectal muscles) and is trying to get his nephew to give him his medicine but Colin, either thru' badness or thru' being hypnotised by the sight of an elderly cripples blow job face just stands there and watches him die.
(possibly named Roger) yesterday.
Even more angry than normal plus now sexually frustrated after his uncle's impromptu sex show and still desperate for the money, Colin starts to ransack the house looking for the hidden loot.
After what seems like an eternity of watching his smash china tea sets, rummage thru' hundreds of pairs of skid marked big pants and empty old copies of Razzle onto the floor Colin comes across a hidden cellar entrance under his uncle's bed.
Descending into the darkness he finds a dirty spade lying across a fresh mound of earth taking this as a sign of where the cash is hidden Colin begins to dig, soon finding a battered old coffin.
With pound signs ker-chinging in his eyes and thoughts of silk cravats filling his head Colin excitedly pries open the lid expecting to find a massive wad of money inside. Imagine his surprise then when out pops a boss eyed black cat called Raymond (or something).
But this is no ordinary cat, turns out this moggy has devilish mind powers (no, really) and has a proposition to make to Colin.
It seems that Uncle Roger was employed by the cat to do certain tasks for him in return for money (it's not what you think, unfortunately) and offers Colin the same deal.
All Colin has to do is murder a few passing punters to keep the cat supplied with his food of choice....
And no, I am not making any of this up.
Intrigued by what Colin has experienced, bullet breasted wannabe actress Carla (one time arse revealing Dean Martin co-star Adams) stands before the dirty Gypo to see her future....
Cue that crash bang cum face effect.
Carla it seems will do anything to achieve fame and fortune in Hollywood, even if it means destroying her bubbly blonde flatmates party dress minutes before she's due to meet slick haired yet flaccid manbreasted director Mike Charles, and them going on the date herself.
He's about seventy so a lucky escape for her mate me thinks.
Arriving at the restaurant they immediately (well it is an anthology movie, time is of the essence) bump into movie God Bruce Benton (pencil 'tached cousin of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton and star of Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? Robert Hutton) and his producer pal Eddie Storm (Phillips from The Onedin Line) and, seeing as it's Hollywood a big bitching session ensues between Storm and Charles over a few glasses of Babycham, leaving Bruce and Carla to get better acquainted.
Charles wants a new picture deal but Storm thinks he's past it (which is a wee bit rich seeing as he's about seventy three himself) but Charlie boy has an ace up his sleeve, you see he knows the secret of Bruce's success in the movies and he's threatening to tell anyone who'll listen.
With that he flounces off to a seedy bar to get drunk.
Predictably Charles is soon 'silenced' by a rat faced barman on orders from Eddie whilst Carla's luck seems to just get better and better seeing as she get's cast as the female lead in leathery Bruce's new movie without having to let an old man stick it in her.
Finding herself falling for the old fashioned charms (and wobbly turkey neck) of Bruce she becomes suspicious when he seems to cold shoulder her every attempt at seduction with a reply of "I'm not like other men....it's how I stay on top" before sneaking off for meetings with Eddie.
Now you or I might take that as a subtle way of him saying he's gay, but remember that this is the sixties, long before homosexuality was invented leaving Carla no alternative but to follow him home one night.
She only makes it as far as the car park tho' before some butch looking bruisers bundle Benton into the back of a car and drive off, stopping only to shoot him in the head and dump his body on a grass verge.
Eddie persuades Carla to help him get Bruce to a special hospital where he can get the best treatment but Carla isn't too sure that'll help. Maybe it's the huge fuck off hole in his temple or the fact that he's not breathing that has convinced her that he's actually dead.
Imagine her surprise the next morning when he turns up to work on time and with no visible signs of injury.
Carla is determined to discover the bizarre truth at any cost....*
Excited by her friend Carla's sweaty face, doe eyed, chisel chinned yet strangely attractive Dorothy (posh totty Ewing) is next to stare into the shears of fate.
A plummy journalist for a high brow music Dorothy finds herself interviewing famous concert pianist and professional fop Leo Winston (Standing last seen in The Shadow in The North alongside Jared Harris and Phil Cornwell of all people).
Falling for his fey charms and smooth, ladylike hands, she soon has Leo tickling more than just the ivories, much to his butch managers chagrin.
Oh, and then his piano starts to get jealous culminating in possibly the most bizarre stalk and slash scene ever committed to celluloid when it leaps out on poor Dorothy after hiding behind a door then pushes her out of the window.
Whilst playing Chopins Funeral March.
mooth shite-in she'll never forget!"
Lastly professional sexy bitch and rabid Edgar Allen Poe fan Ronald Wyatt (the mighty Sir Jack of Palance) approaches the stand (where the gypsy is situated, not the Stephen King book obviously).
Finding himself at a special viewing of rival Poe nut Lancelot Canning's (Cushing) private collection, all he can do is sweat over the books and fawn at Canning's feet (or is it the other way around?) whilst managing to wrangle an invite to Lance's house to get pissed and maybe if he's lucky, steal some stuff.
What follows is an incestuous tale of two middle aged men sitting in big comfy leather armchairs knocking back Sherry like there's no tomorrow, with each hoping the other gets sweaty and naked first.
After some top quality drunk acting from Cushing (who manages to make even a cravat and cable knit jumper sexy) Wyatt, high on love and cheap booze can't believe his luck when Canning allows him access to his secret chamber and thrusts something long and leathery into his sweaty sausages hands, an unpublished manuscript written by Poe.
On modern writing paper.
Confused, yet strangely aroused, Wyatt is determined to find the source of the text.
Could Poe still be alive, locked in a secret room just out of shot?
Master of the threadbare anthology Freddie Francis brings his usual deft touch to this, the second (and little seen) of the Amicus horror cycle which, tho' lacking the flair (and budget) of the later Dr. Terrors House of Horrors or Tales From The Crypt is still an enjoyable way to waste an evening.
Which is nice for those of you who are easily pleased or enjoy the sight of an actor like Jack Palance sweatily leering over Peter Cushing's arse everytime he bends down, buxom posh birds being attacked by string instruments or tramps being run thru' with pitchforks for a laugh.
The script, knocked together in a few drunken hours by horror hack Robert Bloch skips along at such a pace, cramming in enough totally bonkers idea's into it's two hour running time that you can forgive the odd lapse in acting, effects or storytelling (of which there are many) and just go with the flow whilst the poverty row studio bound feel of the production actually add to it's dreamlike quality.
Except the Hollywood segment which frankly is just bollocks no matter how drunk you are.
Admit it tho', if you're reading this then you already own it don't you?
*They're all robots if you're wondering.
Monday, July 4, 2016
Was expecting it to be shite.
But guess what?
The ReZort (AKA Generation Z, 2015).
Dir: Steve Barker.
Cast: Dougray Scott, Jessica De Gouw, Martin McCann, Richard Laing, Jassa Ahluwalia, Sam Douglas, Bentley Kalu, Claire Goose, Shane Zaza, Elen Rhys, Robert Firth, Sean Power, Rebecca James, Jamie Ward and Catarina Mira.
|“Every apocalypse deserves an after party!”|
Welcome to the world of post zombie apocalypse Britain, were every street looks like Glasgow on a wet Wednesday afternoon (albeit with the addition of some CGI big wheels) where a pesky virus has killed a third of the human race before bringing them back as piss-stained flesh-tearing zombies.
Just like Glasgow then.
Luckily for us (and the film's budget) the war 'tween the living and the dead has been fought and won, the virus controlled and the remaining dead contained.
Tho' it has left Europe with a massive refugee problem.
A zombie outbreak yup but Europe getting upset by refugees? Now the plot has got a wee bit far-fetched.
Anyway a pretty canny entrepreneur called Penelope Wilton (Brit TeeVee stalwart Goose) has taken advantage of the situation transforming a zombie-ridden island in the Mediterranean into a high-class holiday resort catering for people wanting to unleash their aggression by hunting the undead.
Sun, sea, sand, sex and wholesale slaughter.
Which if I'm honest sounds pretty bloody perfect.
Except for the sun bit.
and the sea.
But I digress.
|Thoughts of a zombie apocalypse and friends long gone or just realised that she's left the gas on....you decide.|
Arriving at the resort (which resembles Jurassic Park if built by Butlins)our merry band start having fun, jigging away to a sub-techno-school disco DJ (what no Agadoo?) whilst a (power) suited and booted Wilton gives then the lowdown on the (undead) showdown as a manacled mop-haired monster snarls and snaps at her from the stage for maximum effect.
The crowd (as they say) goes wild.
Except for Mel who, if at all possible gazes at the slowly setting sun in a more wistful fashion than ever before.
|"Yall nevah git ye honds ahn mah tattie scones!"|
But as the holidaymakers party into the wee small no one notices save Archer (he's most definitely a canny Scotsman) when Sadie sneaks away from group and heads into the bowels of the resort and begins tampering with the islands computers before returning to her room with a hard drive full of who knows what.
Up bright and early the next morn to begin a day of shooting zombie the happy holiday folk are blissfully unaware of the panic and confusion raging below as the resorts computer systems slowly splutter and grind to a halt.
And it's as everyone is enjoying a cosy night under the stars that the inevitable finally happens.
Yup, all the security protocols, electric fences and other assorted safety measures turn themselves off.
Shit even the hot water stops working.
Awoken by the low moans (and putrid smell) of the undead as they shuffle - fairly quickly it must be said - toward the camp the gang, Archer reveals himself to be a hard as fuck killing machine to whom the zombie war never ended, standing purposely astride a Jeep as his clinically despatches the approaching hordes in a style reminiscent of sex god Paul Darrow* during a particularly kinky Blakes 7 episode as the others run around shouting "We're doomed!" whilst dropping guns on the floor.
|"Shite in mah undead mooth!"|
|Elen Rhys - milky thighs not shown.|
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Especially seeing as work-wise I've drawn everything humanly possible to draw so am at a loose end.
But where to start?
Resurrection of The Mummy (2014).
Dir: Patrick McManus.
Cast: Stuart Rigby, Lauren Bronleewe, Bailey Gaddis, Sarah Schreiber, Alena Savostikova, Elizabeth Friedman and Jessie Paddock.
Somewhere in a disused quarry quite near to director Patrick (birthday parties a speciality) McManus' house gangle-limbed amateur tomb raider cum part-time arse bandit Professor Terry Tralane (Rigby from Meet the Spartans) is taking time out of his busy schedule to admire a plastic scarab brooch he's just gotten out of one of those lucky dip machines you find in supermarkets.
It seems that due to a general air of badness at the dig site he's decided to revoke the parties work permit (but not alas their Equity cards) and refuse to take them anywhere.
Not even up the casino.
Which by the look on Tralane's face is the most upsetting part of the story.
Luckily tho' our creepy archaeologist has other ideas and just before settling down for a night of tearful masturbation and copious Pot Noodles he mutters a few bizarre incantations which cause poor Mr. Madu to stab himself to death with his car keys.
So the next day and with a group of swarthy Arab types in tow (well in nightshirts and their mum's tea towels on their heads but you get the idea) Tralane and the girls - armed only with some cut off shorts and a couple of flasks, no spades or shovels for them! - head off to find the infamous tomb.
Seeing as the films running time is just shy of 75 minutes they do this fairly quickly which means we get a wee bit of extra time to not only learn more about the characters, who are in case you're interested:
Kelly - horse faced, nice ponytail, Ronnie - human/chipmunk hybrid, Sara - hieroglyphics expert and council estate Jane March and Grant - distinguishing characteristics include a big face and a pink t-shirt that reads, “I run like a girl – try to keep up” in big shiny letters.
But also wonder what excuse Russian 'super' model Alena Savostikova - as pot-headed pixie Daw - had for being so late for shooting that up until this point she hasn't appeared in any single scene or even had anyone speak to her out of shot.
Yup, she just appears from nowhere and starts handing out drugs whilst complaining about Croatian death squads.
Looking back in the cold harsh light of day there may in fact be one more but I'm fucked if I know for sure.
If I've missed anyone out I'm sorry.
But thinking about it you've probably had a lucky escape.
|Savostikova: Somewhere to park your bike.|
Anyway back to the plot where Maggie, using her incredible deductive powers has figured out that the incredibly complex and confusing locking system sealing the tomb door can be bypassed by sticking your fingers gingerly into a paper-mache beetle, which would be cause for celebration if a group of evil Libyan soldiers hadn't just turned up and shot the guides leaving our merry band no alternative but to hide inside the tomb, shutting the door behind them.
Can you see the major flaw in this plan?
Trapped inside an ancient Egyptian cupboard (well it's either that or this Anankotep bloke really tiny) and with no hope of rescue - for them or us - Tralane decides to have a little look around and almost instantly comes across a small passageway (which lets be honest, is much more preferable to firing your muck over any of the cast - except maybe Elizabeth Friedman but only if she kept the hat on) which he heads off to investigate.
Sara, either bored with the constant complaining or just fancying a wee bit of rough goes with him and the pair soon uncover the fabled sarcophagus of Anankotep and excitedly open it.
I foresee bad things happening.
|"Tonight Matthew I'm going to be hung from my testicles and beaten like a dog...."|
Suffice to say there won't be any acting plaudits heading Alena Savostikova's way any time soon.
Tho' judging by the pic below there might be some casting calls for dog food ads.
|"Look at the dog!"|
Which if I'm honest is much better than enduring Nigel Wingrove's nun-centric Visions of Ecstasy.
But not much.
Frightened by such a chillingly realistic representation of the Egyptian God of The Underworld Kelly runs screaming into the tunnels where she's promptly squashed by some bits of polystyrene.
Heading back to Tralane and Sara, the delectable duo discover that the passageway has been mysteriously sealed so attempt to break it down with a toffee hammer one of them had in their bag whilst unbeknownst to them the Professor begins mumbling something slight and incomprehensible under his breath whilst Sara looks on in the manner of a pound shop nodding dog.
Albiet one with frankly stunning thighs.
|"Here....I found your talent down the back of the sofa..."|
I wont slag it off too much but let's just say I'm glad it was raining as otherwise nothing would have cooled my ardour.
With only Maggie, Grant and Daw left alive (well they're opening and closing their mouths whilst moving about) our terrific trio have soon found an escape route and stumble out into the sunlight only for Maggie and Grant to decide to head back inside to rescue the Professor.
|"I am not a number I am a Friedman!"|
Probably on a box to keep her in shot with her dad.
Will our chubby cheeked heroine save her dad and beat the undead despots curse?
Will previously dead cast members re-appear at some point to get stabbed in the face?
Will anyone outside the directors close family care?
|"Cotton wool in mah mooth!"|
From the diseased mind of writer/director/icon defiler Patrick McManus, the man who gave us 2012's Dracula Reborn comes this second chapter in his magnificent cinematic assault on the Universal Monsters back catalogue.
|"You ain't seen me right?"|
With a poster stolen from Brendan Fraser, a cast kidnapped from the checkouts at Aldi, a plot stolen from The Pyramid and special effects supplied by a hook-handed child on a ZX Spectrum, Resurrection of The Mummy is less a triumph of ideas over budget but more like a thinly veiled attempt to introduce a new form of torture on the world.
Pixelated grey squares stand in for empty casing ejecting from machine guns as a variety of animated flame GiFs are substituted for the gunshots, hastily painted woodchip wallpaper stands in for the walls of a centuries old tomb and characters change height and positioning depending on how the director was feeling that day.
For all it's faults (and they were legion) at least Dracula Reborn had Victoria Summer in it.
And for that I can forgive it most of its sins.
True, it's great to see folk producing a feature on such a slight budget but not when they show so much contempt for those watching.
A wee bit like your mum.