Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
To celebrate the fiftieth birthday of Blue Peter, here's the Unwell guide to our top ten favourite presenters....EVER!
9. Peter Duncan (donuts).
8. Sarah Greene (gables).
7. Janet (Sophie) Ellis (Bexter's mum).
6. Simon Groom(ing kids on t'internet).
5. Yvette Fielding (supersonic).
4. Val (up the casino) Singleton.
3. John (The Beast) Noakes.
2. Konnie (meow meow meow) Huq.
1. John (I never done it) Leslie.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Dir: Ryuhei Kitamura.
Star: Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields, Nora, Roger Bart, Barbara Eve Harris, Peter Jacobson and Ted Raimi.
Horse faced New York-based photographer, Leon Kaufman (Cooper), who wants more from his career than chasing ambulances a shooting shoppers falling thru' shop windows in a kinda You've Been Framed manner. This wouldn't be so bad if he actually did anything about it apart from whine continuously at his waitress girlfriend Maya (the frighteningly banana chinned Bibb). Obviously sick to the back teeth of his moaning face she takes matters into her own hands and gets their arty pal Jurgis (Bart, not Simpson) to arrange a meeting with the pole-arsed art gallery owner, Susan (wasn't she in the Bangles?) Hoff (long necked star of loads of things and distant relative of my wife's boss, Shields).
After viewing his portfolio of drunk jakeys and stressed commuters she announces that his stuff is shite and that he needs to find his own 'voice' (which is strange cos he doesn't sound dubbed).
Hoff reckons that Leon needs to capture the 'right moment' if he is to truly document the heart of the city and the only way he can do this is to wander around in the dead of night hoping to get shots of tramps pissing in alleys etc.
Don't you just love modern art?
Still whiny but somewhat inspired (you can tell because he raises both eyebrows like a tiny mouse getting orally pleasured by Stevie Nicks), Leon grabs his duffel coat and bobble hat before heading off into the night and within a few minutes is following a trio of bad boys as they head down into the subway.
Catching up with the gang just as they're starting to hassle a sexy lady on the stairs (the exotically named Nora) for a wee bit of knife point lovin' Leon silently snaps away as tho' detached from the horror unfolding in front of him.
He snaps back to reality when the gang leader approaches him menacingly (I say menacingly but he's only about five foot two) muttering "Wassup mutha fuckah?" under his breath. Leon keeps shooting before pointing out that the nasty lad is standing directly in the line of the stations CCTV camera so, should he try any badness it'll be capture on film.
Tutting loudly the gang walk away leaving Leon to get a big snog off Nora before she races to her train.
Feeling kinda wired, as John Barrowman would put it, Leon returns home and develops his pics, which garner what looks like an oh so slightly troubled frown from his girlfriend (tho' it may be something else, I was too busy looking at her big, curved face).
Hoff agrees (about the pics, not Maya's face) and tells him that if he can get just two more photo's of the same quality she'll include his work in an upcoming exhibition (of what? women almost getting raped on the subway?).
This bit of good luck is somewhat spoiled by the fact that the woman he rescued has now gone missing.
Leon becomes (very quickly it seems) obsessed with solving the mystery. Could it have been the bad boys circling round and extracting revenge Or could the smartly dressed ex-Chelsea footie hard man now working as a butcher who spends his evenings riding the night trains be to blame?
Well seeing as we saw him off a guy in the pre-credits sequence it does seem the most likely.
Will Leon solve the mystery of the disappearances?
Will Vinnie speak?
Will a bunch of erect nippled demons turn up at the end for no reason other than Clive Barker likes that kinda shit?
Midnight Meat Train, the American debut from the maverick genius behind Versus, Azumi and the bloody fantastic Godzilla: Final War, the happily hair helmeted Ryuhei Kitamura has been lying gathering dust on the shelves of Lion's Gate for nearly a year now before being unceremoniously dumped into a few really tiny cinema's in the States and, quite frankly it's hard to see why.
It's true that after an incredibly dark first half the movie does become derailed around the 'Leon goes nuts' part as we're then asked to sympathize with the more and more annoying Bibb and one dimensional best buddy Bart that culminates in a ludicrous “Let’s go break into the Killer’s Apartment!" scene that only exists to set in motion the films climax but you can forgive (well almost) this because of Kitamura's frankly stunning direction (aided and abetted by his cinematographer Johannes Kobilke) and starkly brutal murder set pieces.
Like a 21st century redux of the themes and images of the classic Death Line, Kitamura's juxtapositioning of the meat we eat and the meat we are first repulses then numbs the senses to the slaughter we are experiencing on screen. We see the murders as Leon does choosing to observe rather than interviene.
To Mahogany (Jones) the slaughtering of humans is a job.
To us it's entertainment, making us question who the real monster actually is (well obviously it's those pesky demons that appear at the movies end but you know what I mean).
On a performance front, the cast do not too badly with the small collection of cliched roles on offer. Teevee star Cooper is OK as (if a little mouse like) as the lead, all sweat and furrowed brow whilst Sir Vinnie of Jones gets to stand around and look hard (no change there) whilst bashing folk on the head with a hammer, which is nice.
Leslie Bibb, on the other hand keeps your eyes fixed on the screen for totally the wrong reasons, with her bright yellow hair and skin coupled with her creepily curved face I half imagined a large angry monkey to appear halfway thru' and try to peel her.
Supporting role wise, Brooke Shields is angular of features and bitchy of tongue (works for me) and Roger Bart kept reminding me of a camper, bewigged Nathan Lane (again, a good thing).
There are a few other folk but frankly they're only in it to make up the numbers.
The scariest thing tho' is why Lion's Gate decided to treat the film like they did. I mean Clive Barker must still have a few fans who'd buy tickets and Ryuhei Kitamura is well known enough around horror circles to guarentee a couple of bums on seats.
Whatever they did to piss off the head honcho's it musta been bad, remember these are the folk that bankroll the bloody absymal Saw movies.
Did Clive force the studio heads to wear his trousers?
The saddest thing is that after this experience there's no doubt that Kitamura will be on the first plane back home, leaving Hollywood free to tear thru' another top directors back catalogue and remake his greatest hits without interference.
Clive on the other hand will probably console himself by having a big bald black guy bite his nipples.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Dir: Gordon Hessler.
Cast: Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley (AKA KISS), Anthony Zerbe, Deborah Ryan, Terry Lester, Carmine Caridi, John Dennis Johnsto, Lisa Jane Persky and John Lisbon Wood.
"Insufficient data at the moment, Star-Child!"
Welcome to Magic Mountain, the world's most unpopular and dare I say it, shittiest theme park where the frighteningly plain Melissa (Ryan) and her Lego-haired beau (and park employee) Sam (Lester) are enjoying a romantic date wandering around the empty stalls and rides.
The park's business manager Calvin Richards (Caridi) has begun to notice how much cash he's losing so decides (in a fit of pique) to book the world's (nay the universe's) biggest rock band, KISS to play three nights in the Magic Mountain car park.
This decision doesn't go down well with everyone tho', especially the park's head techie guy and all-around mad scientist, Dr. Abner Devereaux (the creepily craggy cult king Zerbe).
You see Abner is the creator of the parks frighteningly realistic animatronic exhibits (you remember, the ones that are losing them all the cash) and reckons that all the public really need for a good time is a quick look at his stiff, moth-bitten robot monkey jerkily rocking backwards and forwards like Norman Wisdom during his final days and not some spandex clad nonces letting it all hang out whilst wearing their mums shoes.
To prove he knows what he's doing, Abner plans to soup up a few of the parks rides (including the kiddies spinning teacups) with a kinda super-charged energy thing which would've been a great plan had a group of bad men not decided to sabotage the bumper cars that day almost killing a group of orphans and blaming the poor doc (saying that tho' he may have hired them to do it, I wasn't really concerntrating if I'm honest).
Not too surprisingly Calvin sacks him on the spot (but does let him keep the keys to his secret lab hidden below the waltzers, which is nice).
Stomping off like a stroppy teenager (or a substitute teacher discovering pics of themselves pissed on t'internet whilst looking up pictures of fluffy bunnies for her class) Devereaux promises himself revenge on the park and it's owners before locking himself away in his lair.
Whilst all this is going on, Mel and Sam are still wandering aimlessly around the park stuffing their faces full of candyfloss and firing airguns at ratty teddy bears.
Suddenly, as if he's just developed some kind of spider-sense, Sam announces that there's 'something wrong in the park.... something I don't understand' (could be anything, dating etiquette, personal grooming, hairstyles that suit a big square face...) and promptly leaves to check 'it' out.
Heading straight to the doc's underground lab Sam accidentally leans on a shelf revealing a secret door leading to an even more secret (and deeper underground) laboratory full of bits of old teevee's, glittery blouses, orthopedic shoes, wooden legs and the like.
What evil plan could Devereaux have up his sleeve?
By a strange (or convenient) stroke of luck, Melissa has been following Sam and she too happens upon the daffy doc's ultra-secret underground lab and is even greeted at the door by, Devereaux himself.
Making his excuses and muttering something about brainwashing her date and building evil robotic replicas of KISS the doc sends her on her way. Being a girl she thinks nothing of it and continues her walk no doubt daydreaming about make-up, chocolate and stuff.
Just when you'd given up hope of them ever arriving (or at least checked you were watching the right movie) KISS finally turn up at the park, flying in from the skies and firing lasers from every orifice opening their killer 'set' with the top pop number "Rock and Roll All Night."
Watching from afar is Melissa who, after spending a fruitless day looking for her man and forgetting to buy a ticket for the gig has decided that KISS may be able to help her find Sam (makes you wonder why the McCann's never thought of this). Unfortunately for her tho' the folk hired as secrurity refuse to let her in (they say it's because she doesn't have a backstage pass but I reckon it's cos her hair looks so shite), just then Gene Simmons raises his head and booms out the words "Star-Child!" in a weird, wibbly wobbly voice, causing Paul Stanley to shoot crimson lasers out of his eyes that penetrate Melissa's mind.
KISS, never ones to desert a damsel in distress take Melissa under their wing (well, glittery capes) and offer to show her their magical talismen (talismen? talismans?....is it really that important?).
As it happens the band have a magic talisman that give them 'special' powers and they reckon that this would be a good time to explain this to the audience.
Gene (AKA The Demon) has the aforementioned scary voice power and can shoot fire from his mouth. Paul (AKA Star-Child shoots lasers from his eyes that can read minds, eavesdrop on conversations and blow shit up whilst Ace (AKA Space Ace) can teleport, make bird noises and do handstands (do you have the feeling that they were running out of idea's at this point?) and Peter (AKA The Catman) has the ability to be redubbed and appear as a huge black guy daubed make-up and a leotard in longshot.
I'm assuming that these are his actual powers and not the effects of him being way to junked up to do anything other than dribble (and occasionally piss himself) during filming.
Gene explains to Melissa that without this collection of tacky trinkets that they'd become a group of powerless mere mortals with tiny cocks.
Leaving the talismen on a shelf near an open window our heroes retire to bed.
Later that evening Devereaux unleashes his secret weapon on the park, a giant robot Gene Simmons intent on smashing up the popcorn stand and abusing (but not in a Gary Glitter way thank heavens) the locals hired as security.
So it comes as no great surprise when the next morning Richards shows up at the bands hotel in a wee bit of a tizz.
Gene, who is busy sunning himself whilst wearing and a long, hooded, silver robe denies all knowledge of the attacks, telling Richards that he was in bed with a cup of cocoa by nine. The rest of the band agree leaving the bizarre question of who it was that really smashed up the park.
Leaving the band to prepare for that nights gig, Richards strikes a deal with the bruised and battered security guys, If they'll let KISS continue with the park shows, he'll let them get revenge on Gene during the after show party.
Could things get any worse for the band?
Later that night as KISS relax after the concert by entertaining Melissa (yup she's still there) with a fantastic acoustic version of "Beth", a brainwashed Sam has been programmed to break into their room and steal the talismen.
Little does he know that they're protected by a mystical force field, giving KISS enough time to finish the song before giving chase.
Breaking into the park (well, climbing over the fence) the band spend what seems like the next six hours battling a variety of robots in a shoddily unconvincing kung-fu style whilst a late seventies wah wah beat plays in the background.
With the good guys busy stomping on a robot monkey in a scene reminisant of a high camp version of A Clockwork Orange, Devereaux sends Sam (this time armed with a force field nullifying laser gun) back to attempt to steal the talismen again.
The plan works leaving KISS (slightly less) powerful (kinda....it doesn't really make sense) and before long they're captured by robots things and locked in a cage.
Rob Zombie haters.
And his parents who wouldn't
let him have his ear pierced.
A gloating Devereaux excitedly tells the captive KISS all about his plan which involves replacing the band with robots and giving them hypnotic powers which, when the crowd hears certain (added) lyrics will make everyone go mental and (wait for it) smash all the rides.
Is it really worth it?
Leaving the talismen on a table next to the cage that KISS are locked in the doc heads off to the concert to oversee his masterplan for world (well funfair) domination.
Evil robo-KISS head on stage to jeers and boos at the new lyrics but with Devereaux powering up his hypno-thing the crowd begin to get jittery and start slashing the seats.
The real KISS, meanwhile, remember the fact that they still have some power even without their gaudy trinkets and, using psychokinesis make the talismen spookily fly back in their possession ready to KISS some ass!
Not literally tho'.
KISS use the superpowers to fly to the concert arriving just in time to stop the riot and take down their wicked robot duplicates. The crowd, thinking it's all part of the show, cheer uncontrollably as eight tubby stuntmen in drag throw each other about by the hair.
Tearing the robots limb from limb before throwing them into the mosh pit, KISS encore with "Rock and Roll All Night" before tracking down Devereaux, who due to the radiation emitted by his hypno-ray has aged over a hundred years and is sitting helplessly in the corner of his lab covered in his own piss.
There was a time (before Bill and Ted revived their fortunes - ask your mum) when KISS were the biggest band in America (over here we had Slade who to be honest could've kicked their arses).
Replacing any determinable musical talent with glittery space persona's and fright make-up the band had already signed to Marvel comics so a movie couldn't be far behind.
Hiring genre veteran Gordon Hessler (director of such classics as Scream and Scream Again, The Oblong Box, Cry of the Banshee and the fantastic The Golden Voyage of Sinbad) may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but on viewing his limp and turgid excuse for 'direction' you can tell his glory days were behind him (either that or he just couldn't be arsed).
Co-produced by Hanna-Barbera (which is really all you need to know) and obviously seen as a way to showcase the band's love of scifi (good and bad) this is more panto than pathos with KISS doing little more than standing around whilst obviously ad-libbing most of their dialogue (at least I hope no-one got paid to write this tripe) before a team of crap (sorry I mean crack) circus performers take over for the slow fighting scenes and Peter Pan style flying stuff.
Scarily Gene Simmons actually did go on to have an acting career (playing opposite Tom Selleck in the robot riot that is Runaway and as an evil drag queen in Never Too Young to Die) and is now best know for appearing on 'top ten celebrity shaggers' shows sticking his tongue out whilst hinting that he's had your mum.
Which of course is a lie.
It was mine.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Why are so many spotty teen horror 'fans' getting so worked up about my review of Rob Zombie's cinematic abortion Halloween (from over a year ago too?)....
It'll be death threats from Al Cliver fans next.
I'm just glad I can make their lives so complete. So Mr. Crowly and Ms. Annie Nominus this still is just for you.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
It's time for our usual round up of last months dearly departed dead celebs....
First up is Australian actor Michael Pate best known for playing "Clarence Leiter" (as apposed to Felix), opposite Barry Nelson's "Jimmy Bond" in the 1953 Climax! live production of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale.
Bill Meléndez, the Mexican-born American animator famous for his work on (and for probably) Peanuts) will draw no more but he can enjoy a nice deadtime story alongside Gregory Mcdonald the author of the Fletch books.
(as does Chevy Chase...but for how long?)
Celia Gregory, the British actress best known for her role as Ruth Anderson in the Terry Nation classic Survivors (as well as for roles in The Professionals, Bergerac, Tales of the Unexpected, The Problem of Thor Bridge and Reilly, Ace of Spies) finally succumbed to that shows killer virus joining Joan Winston, American fan author and founder of Star Trek conventions in fighting off fanboys from beyond the grave.
Cinema god, seven time Academy Award nominated American actor, film director, entrepreneur, humanitarian, auto racing enthusiast and most importantly (to my kids anyway) the voice of Doc Hudson in Cars, Paul Newman finally drove off into the sunset, but I reckon he wont be making any Heaven based movies with porn director Henri Pachard (AKA Ron Sullivan) the man behind such classics as the sex-and-sadism exploitation epic The Bizarre Ones, The Devil in Miss Jones 2 and Blame it on Ginger, starring Ginger Lynn Allen (before she got dead old looking).