Tuesday, August 5, 2008

mattel guru.

Killer Barbys (AKA Vampire Killer Barbys, 1996).
Dir: Jesus Franco.
Cast: Silvia Superstar, Enrique Sarasola, Aldo Sanbrell, Bela B. Felsenheimer, Billy King, Mariangela Giordano, Carlos Subterfuge, Pepa López, Alberto Martínez and Charlie S. Chaplin.


Somewhere around a (cheap) holiday resort in Europe a mysterious (and scared) young man is involved in what looks like a sinister (and oh so slighty homo-erotic) game of hide and seek with the sexily stylish Mr. Arkan (Sanbrell) and his stoopy squire, Baltasar (Segura).

The game comes to an abrupt end tho' when Arkan finally catches up with the young fella and swiftly cuts his throat before heading home to his dilapidated castle to chat excitedly with a woman's corspe.

John Leslie gets a taste of his own medicine.

Meanwhile across town at the local Haven holiday park, top post punk pop puppets the Killer Barbys are wowing the (bingo) crowd with a rousing rendition of their hit waxing 'Killer Love' before getting ripped off by the evil gig promoter and, as scary punks are known to do, going all tutty and huffy as they sulk off to their tour bus.

Realising that their next concert is at the fantastic Butlins in Skegness the band put the peddle to the metal and (whilst singing along to their own songs) begin the 500 mile drive (in what seems to be real time), taking in every badly lit road sign and tree along the way.

Luckily for us, the arse numbing monotony is broken when the bus is run off the motorway whilst attempting to dodge a (parked) steam roller(?) left in the middle of the road causing the band to end up stuck in a muddy ditch that just happens to be right next to Arkan's castle.

How's that for luck?

"Hallo Minehead!"

Appearing from behind a tree he informs our merry band that it wont be possible to get the AA (or anyone with a tow truck, not even Mater from the Pixar classic Cars) out till the next morning, but kindly offers the Killer Barbys a bed for the night, with or without the added company of his best buddy the Countess von Fledermaus (Giordano, Peter Bark's mum from the classic Burial Ground).

Lead singer and busty blonde sex poppet Flavia (Superstar AKA Silvia Pintos), bassist (and ex plumber) Mario (Chaplin) plus her boyfriend (and top rock guitarist) Rafa (Subterfuge) take a minute to think Arkan's offer over before deciding that being stuck in a spooky old castle with a fey German and his practically mummified, pneumatically breasted friend is preferable to sitting cramped in the corner of a leaky van whilst the bands two other members, Billy and Sharon continue their world record breaking shagathon on a pile of sleeping bags in the back.

You would, but Richard Jobson's brother
on the left would insist on watching...

On arrival at the castle Flavia is shocked to discover that the Countess is really the former silent movie star Olga Luchan, who gave up her promising career to wed the last of the von Fledermaus clan way back in the 1920's.

You see it appears that her hubbie was well versed in the black arts who gave his wife the secret of eternal life....drinking the blood of the young enables you to cheat death!

As with all these things there's a wee drawback in that if you don't keep up your blood intake you'll begin to to decompose.

Which is a bit of a bummer really.

The Countess has managed to keep the grim reaper at bay all these years by employing Arkan, his sidekick Baltasar (remember him?) and their scary midget pals (the short López and very short Martínez) to entice young folk into the castle by planting heavy farm machinery on the road and it looks like the Killer Barbys are next on the list.

No real loss to popular music (or mullets) as we know it then.

Of course the utterly disposable Billy and Sharon are the first to die in order to feed the Countesses blood lust and yes, they're still shagging when it happens, giving Olga the excuse to come over all saucy (well if you think your Grannie in sexy black undies is a turn on) and attempt to seduce Rafa.

Deciding the best way to win him back is to have an almighty strop, Flavia skulks off into her bedroom to bitch with the by now bored Mario until that is, she has a scary dream about her beau shagging an old woman and dying.

Flavia has a strange feeling that things are amiss in castle von Fledermaus and reckons the Killer Barbys are the band to solve the mystery....

Armed only with her ample charms, a plumber and the keys to the steamroller our heroine decides it's time to rock.....

Cheese and onion flavia.

If there’s one thing you can rely on in life it's Jess Franco’s amazing ability to cobble together such a shambolic mix of half arsed ideas and (alleged) sexy imagery (no doubt over a single weekend) and still have the majority of punters mistake it for artistic genius.

The film has a sloppy and rushed air about it that perminates thru' every socket hole and frame, from the choppy lazy editing to the off-synch dubbing and endless arse numbingly bad shots of corridors and fog that appear to have been dropped into the film at random intervals for no other reason than to beef up the running time.


Plus points (yup there are a few) include the 65 year old Mariangela Giordano pretending to be 26 whilst seducing someone young enough to be her grandson and the (possibly) pre-op transexual charm of Silvia Superstar.

She walks like a man, she talks like a man but admit it....you would.

But only if Giordano was busy of course.

If you're a regular reader of this blog you probably know all this already and scarily still love good old Franco (mostly for those very same reasons) no matter what shite he pumps out pretending it's high culture.

And long may he continue to do so.

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