Friday, July 3, 2015

toy stories.

Found in an old shoe box in the loft.....the Jurassic Park toy trading cards set.

Well, most of them.

Enjoy.


















thought of the day.



homes under the hammer.

Had this recommended to me as the 'surprise shocker of the year'.
Was a wee bit dubious after It Follows and The Babadook and was wary of being burned (well more like totally torched) again.
But my word was I in for a surprise.
And not just because I'd forgotten how hot Barbara Crampton looks when she's shot to fuck.

Crampton: Do you remember the first time?


So just a little review because:
A. I don't want to take the piss cos it's actually dead good.
and
B. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it.
The Arena in reviews good film shocker?
Wonders will never cease.
We Are Still Here (2015).
Dir: Ted Geoghegan.
Cast: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Larry Fessenden, Lisa Marie, Marvin Patterson, Susan Gibney and Monte Markham.

"It's been 30 years since we had fresh souls in the Dagmar house..."

After their son Bobby is killed in a car accident, grieving parents Paul (the fantastic Sensenig, coming across like the love child of David Morse and Michael Moriarty) and Anne (Re-Animator cutey Crampton) have decided to start a new life buying a ramshackle old house on the outskirts of a small town in New England. 
I say outskirts but it's so remote it practically has it's own atmosphere - one of dread obviously - nestled as it is in a wonderfully creepy snowy landscape not seen (or shot so beautifully) since the should be more famous shocker Donner Pass.
As is the way in such movies (especially ones with such a short running time) Anne almost immediately begins to feel her son's presence in the house.

And I don't mean the ones she purchased in the January sales and put away for Christmas.

"Now how am I gonna explain THIS to my gran?"

Settling down to a lazy night with the photo albums after a busy day unpacking our cried-out couples plans are soon interrupted by the arrival of next door neighbour Dave McCabe (the always watchable Markham) and his oh-so slightly fruit loops wife Maddie (Gibney) who appear to have only turned up to impart information regarding the house's horrible history to its new occupants.

Oh yes, and us too.
As the bumps and trumps continue, the majority emanating from the uncomfortably hot - and spookily lit - basement, Anne becomes even more convinced that her son is trying to communicate from the other side but Paul, being a realist is sure it's something to do with the boiler and quickly phones heating engineer extraordinaire Joe (or Joe the Electrician as he's known to his friends) to look into it.
Not literally mind as he would possibly fall in and drowned or burn his face if it had been left on.
At the very least the steam would fog up his glasses.
If he wore glasses that is, which I doubt seeing as Marvin Patterson (in his first screen role) who plays Joe doesn't appear to wear any in the movie.
Tho' I don't know about in real life.
But I digress.

Oohing and aahing about the work as he waits patiently for the first of many cups of tea Joe is intrigued by a huge hole in the wall that seems to belch out the smell (but not the smoke) usually found around the back of kebab shops but his investigation is cut short when the lights go out and a shadowy, blackened figure jumps on his from the dark and scarily burns his arm via the power of touch.

Which I can safely assume isn't covered by the insurance.

Or was even mentioned by the estate agent.

What would Martin and Lucy say?

"Bodies in the cellar?....Brick 'em up and turn it into a selling feature!"

Wanting answers to the supernatural shenanigans at work in the house Anne calls her hippy-dippy psychic pals - and parents of her son's best buddie -  
Jacob (producer/writer/director Fessenden channelling WKRP in Cincinnati's Johnny Fever) and May (Lisa Marie) and invites them along for a fun weekend of wine, waffles and maybe even a seance or two.
What could possibly go wrong? 

"Shite in mah....oh, it appears you already have."


From the shiny headed mind of the man who gave us The International Playboys' finest 33 minutes comes a loving tribute to 80's horror that actually works on more than just a basic 'Look! Carpenter was cool' homage level.

David Robert Mitchell please take note.
Cribbing (OK, paying homage to) everything from Fulci's House By The Cemetery and Carpenter's The Fog via producers Malik, Hamza and Badie Ali's previous home-based horror House of The Devil and just like that latter day classic all this familiarity doesn't breed contempt but instead breeds a hauntingly effective atmosphere topped of with some genuine jumps and a surprising amount of over the top gore.

And best of all We Are Still Here is one of the few new horrors that is properly - and unapologetically - old school scary.
 MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTH!

Performance wise the film can't be faulted (OK it can be....stand up Lisa Marie and a handful of townsfolk extras but I'm too nice to mention it) but frankly I'd forgive Geoghegan anything if he gives us another film even half as entertaining as this.
And for every unsure extra you have a top notch turn from the likes of  the truly terrific Monte Markham, the lovably loony Larry Fessenden and the true star of the piece Andrew Sensenig, an actor who takes a character that in the wrong hands could come across as an awful audience-cypher but in this case is imbued with such warmth and humanity that I found myself wanting the enter the movie and drive him to safety myself.
If there was an Oscar for nicest screen hubbie he'd win hands down.
Plus his choice in knitwear was top notch.

Andrew Sensenig: No crap captions just loadsa love.
Straight, sharp and to the point, We Are Still Here is a simple yet stylish reminder of what a real horror movie should be.

Recommended.

A lot.

Just please Ted, don't fuck up with your next movie or I'll look a right arse.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

it's not just the water that's dirty....

As readers with long memories - and short skirts - may realise I often like to come back to the Zombie Lake review and update it periodically as an excuse to rewatch what is possibly my all-time favourite water-based undead Nazi movie (even more so than Shock Waves) so don't expect me to be too critical of this unsung masterpiece of the macabre cos it's abso-fucking-lutely brilliant.

If you don't believe me then you're a fool.

And that's a fact.

Now that's out of the way let's start as we mean to go on.....with a wee bit of gratuitous nudity.

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 Beware! Zombie Lake!


With that out of the way let us begin...

Zombie(s) Lake (AKA Le Lac Des Morts Vivants, 1981)
Dir: Jean Rollin (as J.A. Lazer)
Cast: Howard Vernon, Annouchka, Rene Douglas, Alain Petit, some zombies and a lake.



Welcome to 1970's exploitation Europe and an oh-so-slightly scummy lake somewhere in France, the sun is glistening over the discarded condoms, fag boxes and pop cans as an incredibly buxom beauty is frolicking thru' the trees and gaily throwing her clothes behind her.

Stripped naked and enjoying the sun (unless you're watching the 80's UK 'Modern Films' Betamax edition where she's sporting big grey granny pants) she suddenly notices a 'danger' sign near the waters edge.

Tossing it aside she dives into the welcoming waters of the lake.

Little does she realise that it is, in fact, a lake of death.

Or more correctly a lake of zombies.

A 'zombie lake' if you will.


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Swimming fun - death (or at the
very least a huge dose of the shits) to follow.

Sexily splashing away to a frankly fantastic Europorn organ soundtrack and making sure to keep her ample breasts in shot at all times, our wet 'n' wild wench doesn't notice the shadowy figures lurking just below the surface.

Well she wouldn't would she, seeing as all those shadowy figure bits have been filmed miles away and weeks later at a disused public swimming baths.

Anyway, back to the action where without warning - unless you count the sudden burst of 'spooky' organ music that is - a green hand grabs for the girls leg and pulls her below the surface to her doom.

With is quite scary if I'm honest, tho' not as scary as the loud pops and scratches that constitute a smooth transition to the next scene which appears to be made up of someone's holiday Super 8's of a quaint (if not a little seedy) public house somewhere in Normandy.

Most probably the town of Domfront* if I'm not mistaken.

Inside this marvellous example of early 19th century Orne architecture another, totally different buxom lady (she's blonde for one thing) is serving huge jugs (snigger) of beer to the locals who are busy eating snails and gossiping about the sheer amount of young girls who go missing near the local lake.

"She probably met some young stud eh?" remarks Claude, the big burly Brian Blessed alike as his drips piss weak French lager down his plaid shirt.

His rat-like companions twirl their moustaches in agreement before deciding to go see the Mayor if she hasn't shown up by closing time.

I mean come on, those tables aren't going to clean themselves.

Domfront: Local.


Morning dawns and the Mayor (who it appears is played by Ren Hoek from The Ren and Stimpy Show) is rudely awakened from his garlic fuelled fantasies by Claude and his chums loudly banging on his door.

It seems that after much frantic searching there's been no sign of the girl except her discarded clothes, so Mayor Ren decides to call in the police from the next village - his town being so small that they don't have any of their own.

Meanwhile, out near the (zombie) lake another busty young woman is busily spending her day pushing a milk churn in a wheelbarrow across a bridge whilst wearing orthopaedic shoes.

Which if I'm honest is reason enough to stay in the EU alone.

Unfortunately she is so deeply involved in her obviously important job that she totally fails to notice the fact that a shadowy green figure is watching her from the lakeside.

A shadowy figure which is revealed to be a one-eyed zombie in a Nazi uniform.

Well I say Nazi uniform but it's really a pair of mouldy Quick-Fit overalls with Swastikas painted on them topped off with a pair of Wellington boots but at least the thought was there.

If not the budget.

The hideous Hun quickly grabs the woman and grapples her to the ground before clumsily exposing her hideous brown bra to the world and finally messily nuzzling her neck.

She screams kicking off her horrendous clogs in the struggle as the zombie dribbles poster paint over her throat in a cacophony of hisses, scratches and pops that suddenly cut to her prone body being laid (but not in that way, tho' I wouldn't put it past the French) on the Mayor's patio by an ever sweatier than earlier Claude.


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Check the shoes (and the milk
churn in a wheelbarrow).

"I know how you feel about your daughter," Mayor Ren tells her distraught dad as he shuffles about his daughters corpse desperately trying to cover her big white pants.

Which is nice.

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"No son, I ordered semi-skimmed."

As the fumbling father heads off into the bushes for a tearful wank and a garlic frogs leg flavoured Pot Noodle the gathered crowd (all six of them) stand motionless gazing longingly at the Mayor for what seems like an eternity.

Before it gets too uncomfortable tho' there's another cack-handed cut and we're suddenly watching Ren sitting on a bridge, his sinewy wrinkled arms wrapped around two obviously terrified young boys as he slowly drags them ever closer to his quivering, sweat covered lips.

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"Have you ever seen
Midnight Express boys?"

It turns out that the boys have witnessed something strange near the lake and the Mayor wants all to know all the facts straight from their pretty mouths.

And probably a 'special ' cuddle too.


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"Fuck me! It's Jon Pertwee!"


Meanwhile back at the pub ace reporter Janet Ellis (Annouchka) has arrived in town determined to uncover the mystery of the 'ghostly lake' and heads over to Claude's table to pump him for information.

"You call it the Lake of Ghosts." Announces Janet.

Claude grunts, strokes his droopy moustache and lets loose a very eggy fart before realising that this would probably make a better title for the film.

So impressed by Janet's use of words - and her hairy back and arse - he quickly offers to take her up the Mayors house.

Which is sadly not a euphemism for field based barebacking tho' it really should be. 

Once there, Janet wastes no time (OK maybe a minute or so) introducing herself before explaining that she's working on a story regarding the legends of the lake and surrounding area for a local TV show called Zombing About.

Probably.

Ren tells her she's talking bollocks, which she counters by whipping out a huge book detailing the legends of the lake (and other stuff) from her tiny handbag.

"Now I'm intrigued!" a visibly aroused Ren exclaims, rubbing his boney hands together with glee.

His pleasure is soon curtailed when he begins reading thru' the tome tho' deciding that it's too vague to be of any use.

"The book is too out of date to be useful" he cries.

You heard it here first kids, any books not written within the last forty minutes must be obsolete and should therefore be burned. 

Janet, not being an inbred hick, argues that legends and folktales like these are usually based on fact.

"But they are the very stuff of books." Ren cryptically (and nonsensically) replies, before launching into a tale from the heady days of the second world war.....

What your granddad really did during the war.


Thru' the magic of the 'wobbly dissolve' (that's the actual technical term for it, go on check) we're quickly transported back to the 1940's where a crack squad of German soldiers are battling an (unseen) airplane with pellet guns whilst yet another busty blonde stands screaming at the chaos and bloodshed going on just out of shot.

Noticing how the sunlight glistens on her ample breasts, the sexy blond Nazi-boy (is there any other kind?) in charge runs thru' the ensuing explosions to save her, grappling her to the ground as a 'huge' (ahem) bomb goes off.

Later that evening she shows her gratitude by having sex with him in a barn to the strains of romantic choral music.

As morning breaks the lovers prepare to go their separate ways - her to explain to her dad why she's having sex with a Nazi, him to slaughter some more Jews, the disabled etc. - she gives him a huge pendant to remember her by.

Which begs the question who knew they had pound shops in 1940's France?

Anyway, after what seems about 3 days worth of footage of the Nazi's fighting in the snow against (invisible) Russians and driving around aimlessly in a badly painted milk float, Aryan boy returns to the village to find that his 'lady friend' is heavily pregnant.

On discovering this fact - and being a blackclad badboy - he kisses her goodbye and leaves almost immediately to rejoin his jackbooted buddies for a bit more killing.

Cue even more shooting at imaginary foes and driving down deserted country lanes to a slightly sinister soundtrack.

Fear not tho' because before too long - probably due to the rocking motion in the back of the van - the crack troops are all desperate for a toilet break and a quick ciggie.

Just like the audience.

But, unlike the said viewer the soldiers joy is cut short by Claude and his buddies who leap out of the trees and shoot them all dead before dumping their bodies in the local lake.

See? it's all coming together now.

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"Not the face luv!"

In a case of spooky coincidence - or plot contrivance take your pick - blond boy's squeeze dies at exactly the same moment.

Tho' this may have more to do with the fact that she's giving birth to a ball headed baby than some supernatural quirk of fate.

Janet, unable to hide her disappointment at such a shite story makes her farewells and heads back to the pub with only an evening of cheap drink and the chance of Claude pawing at her underwear with his sweaty sausage fingers for comfort.

Which, if I'm honest sounds a pretty good night.

Meanwhile back at the lake a local all-girl volleyball team have decided to stop for a picnic followed by some nude cavorting to a jaunty Hammond organ score.

As groups of women together are known to do.

Giggling, combing each others hair and throwing a ball around (in glorious boob bouncing close-up) they're all blissfully unaware of the evil lurking nearby.

And I'm not talking about Claude.

A nude volleyball team yesterday frolicking in a lake earlier today.


As is always the way in these situations there's usually one person for whom jiggling about in the nude is never enough, so a cry of "Let's all go for a swim in this inviting and zombie-free lake!" is soon heard and the ladies cheerfully dive in for more ball based, giggly fun.

But down below the zombies are on the move.

Not too quickly tho' as they appear to be enjoying the underwater shots of the girls swimming, doing star jumps and kicking their legs wide open as much as we are.

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I don't have the words.


The zombies soon remember that this is meant to be a horror film tho' and soon enough decide to attack, fondling the ladies soft thighs as they drag them to their doom at the bottom of the lake.

Luckily one of the team has been sitting on the banks painting her nails so manages to run screaming and wobbling towards the village clad only in a big (and I mean BIG) pair of blue pants.

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Nope, here neither.

Claude and his posse are enjoying a quiet beer or three (now there's a surprise) when she bursts into the pub screaming before promptly collapses on their table.

Obviously impressed by the service and totally enamoured by her choice of underwear Claude orders his pals to take her 'up the stairs' (I don't know if this is a particularly French sexual activity but we never see her again) whilst at the same time top 'tecs Spitz and Moran arrive on the scene, stopping by the pub to ask directions to Mayor Ren's residence.

It's all go in this town isn't it?

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"Waitress! this gammons off!"

Mayor Ren cracks under the good hair/bad hair double act and reveals the full sordid history of the 'Lake of the Damned' and how it's evil has stretched back as far as the middle ages and maybe even earlier.

Tho' probably not as far back as lunchtime tho' because that would be silly.

Spitz and Moran unfortunately think he's talking complete shite and decides to go back to the pub to, um, 'interview' people.

As all this is going down (as the yoof say) our favourite Aryan zombie has taken a break from all the killing and decided to go and visit his now grown up (well 12 year old) daughter.

Surprisingly she takes his re-appearance quite well, seeing as he's now a green skinned, undead beast in a (possibly very damp smelling) German uniform.

The lack of surprise is only equalled by the films lack of logic, I mean it's now the 'modern' (well the 1980's) day, so how come she's not in her early 40's?

Ignoring this vexing plot point they exchange knowing glances and he heads back to the lake.

But what of Europe's greatest detective duo?

Well Spitz and Moran, now bored with getting pissed and annoying the locals elect to go and investigate the disappearance of the basketball team everyone's talking about, especially upon hearing that they were nude.

Heading out to the lake the dynamic duo soon come across an abandoned camper van and piles of ladies clothes.

"Do you think it's foul play?" asks Moran as he wipes his now flaccid member on a discarded t-shirt.

"It beats me," Spitz replies, "There's no clue to what happened." 

Save the bloodstained shoes and claw marks on the benches obviously.


Shrugging at each other in a manner usually reserved for impatient waiters the pair proceed to rifle thru' the team's discarded handbags no doubt in order to pocket lipsticks, blusher etc. to give to their wives.

But as this blatant abuse of police power continues the zombies are slowly rising from their watery graves and preparing to attack killing the detectives.

But this is only the beginning of their lust for vengeance (and lust for blood and possibly big pants too) as the unstoppable zombie horde starts to shuffle towards the village.....


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"Where's mah hoosekeepin'?"


Your can't imagine the sheer ecstatic pleasure I feel every time a young film fan inadvertently discovers the joy of Jean Rollin's infamous no-budget zombie 'epic', directed under the frankly fantastic pseudonym 'J.A. Lazer' and starring Rollin regular, the frighteningly ferret like Howard Vernon, what Zombie Lake lacks in budget, plot, effects, editing, coherent storytelling etc. it more than makes up for with lots of long, lingering nude scenes (not found in the original bulky boxed betamax UK Modern Films release) alongside scenes of such mind numbing bizarreness that you'll be flicking back to make sure you really did see them.

And then just flicking away in general.

Seriously it's that good.


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Annouchka, up the casino, France, 1973. Yesch!


Experience the crew forgetting to turn the lights on till halfway through a scene!

Recoil in horror as Nazi zombies in green emulsion stomp about in a swimming pool!

Swoon as grannie-haired Annouchka sits in the pub with a sweating moustached man!

Go open another bag of crisps as the unnecessary love story subplot (complete with soft focus ‘lurve’ scenes) unfolds in bum numbing detail!

Strain your ears trying to decipher the almost Lynchian dialogue and get a headache attempting to figure out how it relates to the action on screen!

Get slightly uncomfortable as you watch the antics of the nude female basketball team unfold to a cheesy 'europorn' score and much more besides!

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Your mum and dad drunk at Christmas.

You know you’re onto a winner when you realize that Rollin was in fact using a completed different script to the one his actors had (he admitted as much in a 1981 interview in Starburst Magazine number 48…go find it out, it’s the special Zombie issue fact fans) meaning that for the majority of the films shoot people were just looking at him blankly as he barked out directions at them.

If only  Jennifer Kent had have had the same problem during The Babadook we might have had a halfway decent movie.


That's not me on the cover BTW....Everyone knows that I was the small boy in Suspiria.

 Usually at this point I spend ages ripping a film apart and making purile jokes at the crews expense but in all honesty I can't do it with Zombie(s) Lake because it's so damn wonderful.

No, really.

Essential Friday night viewing for fans of Eurotrash horror, anyone who thinks they've already seen the worst movie ever or those who really enjoyed 'Bloody Moon'.

Sheer genius.




* Domfront is a very pretty hilltown in the south of Normandy full of ancient ramparts and a quaint old town centre with half timbered houses, an historic church and a breathtaking castle.

There is also a popular - and cheap - market on Friday mornings.

More importantly I once had sex with a girl from there named Cécile in the ZigZag toilets in Birmingham tho' I've no idea if that's a reason to love Zombie(s) Lake or not.

Answers to the usual email address.

Nuff said.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

bungle bonce.

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens only a mere six months away I thought it'd be a good time to revisit this classic homage to George Lucas' magical saga from way back in 1978.

Enjoy.

Os Trapalhões Na Guerra Dos Planetas (AKA The Bunglers In The War Of The Planets, Brazilian Star Wars 1978).
Dir: Adriano Stuart.
Cast: Pedro Aguinaga, Renato Aragão, Carlos (The Jackal) Bucka, Wilma Dias, Carlos (The Kettle) Kurt, Tereza Mascarenhas and some other folk I've never heard of.


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By being forced to watch this movie perhaps?



Opening with a huge car chase that would put the makers of Top Gear to shame, the 'heroes' of Os Trapalhões Na Guerra Dos Planetas (top urine-stained Brazilian comedy tramps 'the Bunglers') are on the run from what looks like a ton of disgruntled Pikies suffering from narcolepsy, seeing as a huge number of them appear to be driving their cars into rivers for no reason.

It seems that one of the bunglers (the oldest yet least stinky one that wears the piss yellow sports jacket and pervert hat) amusingly named Didi, has slept with the head pikies missis and his friends/family/cousins are in hot pursuit looking for revenge.

After about twenty minutes of 'wah wah' guitar and exploding dune buggies the bunglers hide behind a convenient rock and wait for the bad men to get bored and leave.

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"sniff mah coat hen".


That night, whilst the bunglers are sleeping, a turtle with a candle glued to its shell shuffles thru their camp and, in a stroke of comedy genius two of the bunglers think it's a ghost!

Oh how we laughed!

But just as you think it can't possibly get any funnier, the turtle manages to set light to the third, fattest bungler!

While he’s running around in circles going "Woo! woo!" whilst slowly (and probably very painfully) burning alive a passing spaceship touches down near their campsite.

Aboard is the handsome Prince Flik (no doubt referring to his almost Farrah like locks) who tells the four comedy legends (but not the turtle) that he needs their special 'talents' to retrieve a vital part of the fabled 'brain computer' and stop an evil space tyrant named Zuco from destroying his home world.

What? were Torchwood busy? I mean it's not like the plot was too far fetched for them.

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A spaceship yesterday.


Our heroes, given the choice between jail time for forcing themselves on old ladies or a trip into space quickly agree and jump aboard Flik's starship where they meet his Red Setter-like, new romantic styled co-pilot Chewbacca (or Dave, I'm not sure).

He (it?) and Flik have an in depth chat in reverse Portuguese before Dave blindly stabs at a few buttons and prepares for take off in a blaze of coloured lights and sweet wrappers not seen since the heady days of Crackerjack.


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"Hello Dave?"


Touching down on Flik's home planet, they immediately encounter what looks like an army of hooded midgets attacking a group of desert dwelling Arabs outside a series of stone portaloos.

It's like Disney does ISIS but with fewer beheadings.

Possibly.

Spoiling for a fight the comedy quads rush in and beat the shite out of anyone within punching distance in hyper-slow motion that makes The Matrix 'bullet time' look like the cheap trick it is.

Every time one of our heroes kicks, shoves or stumbles the same clip is shown again and again, accompanied by a hellish 'doo doo' disco score.

It's like mind melding with Jimmy Savile.


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Runner up of the Lindy England lookalike contest (ask your mum).


About three days into the slo-mo spectacular the villain of the piece, the evil Darth Zuco appears from nowhere and drags the beautifully big hipped blond bombshell Princess Myrna (who?) from out of one of the portaloos before legging it across the dunes to what looks like a waiting gold vibrator (with wings).

Whilst this is going down (phnar), the warring aliens get bored and leave but not before blowing up one of the toilets with a painted air freshener cum grenade (as in an air freshener disguised as an explosive, not a grenade filled with man yoghurt, tho' that would be interesting) possibly as a political act lost on British viewers.

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"Touch my big black helmet".

What isn't lost on viewers from dear old Blighty tho' is the effect that the explosion has, causing as it does four fairly attractive (in a cruise ship entertainer way) Lycra clad ladies to come running out of the smoke like a cheap(er) version of Benny Hill's Hill's Angels.

If that were at all possible*.

The bungling buddies start rubbing their filthy hands with delight but spoilsport Flik starts shouting about having to rescue the princess.


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Relax guys....they're single.
And old enough to be your gran.


Agreeing with Flik (and obviously fancying a wee bit of manass) Didi attempts to drag the others away from the babes with a promise of letting them borrow his hat.

Seriously, why would I make this shit up?

Things get very tense before a compromise is reached and the ladies offer to go with them to the local space disco to look for clues.

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Hair Flik.



Arriving at the local nite-spot (which looks to all intents and purposes like Barry Noble's in Dudley circa 1985) the bunglers manage to persuade the DJ to stop polluting the airwaves with farty sci-fi warblings and play some hi-energy disco instead but when the alien clientèle begin to 'get down' to the hot tunes the jolly jokers start beating them up.

Just like Dudley then.

For Didi this seems a step too far, he leaves the disco to buy a space laser gun, accidentally murdering five innocent bystanders in cold blood whilst 'testing' it and blowing up Flik’s landspeeder along the way.

If that wasn't enough, in a fabulously misplaced piece of slapstick he finds he has no money to buy the gun so he shoots the salesman dead and steals it.

Ha ha ha.

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A normal Saturday night in Dudley.


Now the film begins to unravel and self destruct into an almost unwatchable display of violent comedy, giant birds and poverty row effects as our merry band decide to hit the trail in search of the princess and the evil Zuco.

All manner of random threats are thrown at the group from invisible monsters to flying oranges (yep....killer fruit......oh my sides) via a badly matted 'giant' spider and the aforementioned bird beast.

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"Pluck off!"


Every time they encounter a new peril everyone throws their arms in the air, jogs on the spot whooping then runs away.

And I do mean every time.

Every.

Single.

Bloody.

Time.

For around half an hour.


Eventually (and obviously bored waiting for our heroes to discover his lair) Zuco sends them an open invitation to his house to exchange their half of the computer (admit it, you'd forgotten about that hadn't you?) for the captive Myrna.

What follows is a series of bluffs and double bluffs that would confuse even a very unbluffable (is that even a word? cos it should be) man.

The outcome is that Didi ends up in a box (not a coffin unfortunately) and Flik is left holding a green painted dwarf in a frighteningly lifelike Myrna mask.

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Flik eats his words.


Everything is now set for the final battle.

Thank fuck.

Didi scores first blood by freezing Zuco and then spending twenty five minutes dancing with his frozen body, popping a selection of funny hats on him, booting him up the arse etc. whilst his buddies fight for their lives against an elite squad of enemy shock troops.

Seriously tho' it's not as exciting as it sounds.

Just as the good guys break thru' the enemy ranks Zuco thaws out and tells everyone that Myrna is dead.

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The Adidas Dark Lord
trainers were not a big success.





It seems that whilst Zuco's scientist were making the mask for the dwarf to wear they accidentally disintegrated her.

No seriously.

Flik just shrugs his shoulders and sighs before pointing out that under his planets laws Didi’s squeeze, the seductive Loya must take Myrna’s place as Flik’s betrothed.

She leaves Didi’s side and gets straight down to business with Flik, leaving poor Didi to travel back to with nothing to look forward to but a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle.

Which is a wee bit depressing really.




What can one possibly say in regard to the almost perfect example of high brow Brazilian comedy that is Os Trapalhões na Guerra Dos Planetas?

As an introduction to the many fascinating aspects of Brazilian culture the film is a Godsend, featuring as it does the countries three major obsessions; dancing badly, awful polyester jackets and fighting.

Which is three more than Belgium is famous for.

And what of the comedy greats that are/were The Bunglers? 

Well believe it or not these comedy cnuts starred in over 15,000 films in the 1970s and 1980s, becoming Brazil's biggest export (outside STD's and child labour that is) before being hunted down by the UN war crimes committee in 1997 and sentenced to death by firing squad  in late 1995.

So if you enjoyed their hi-jinks in this, their biggest grossing (and most expensive) movie and don't mind laughing at dead folk, there should be enough online to keep you going for a few months at least.


The Bunglers: They've got something to put in you.



The rest of you can sleep soundly knowing I watched it for you.

You lucky people.







*Obviously I don't count the wonderful Nola Hayes in this blanket statement because as a 12 year old watching Benny Hill she was by far the least scary of the bunch and not at all cheap.