Wednesday, January 7, 2009

super gran.


Watching Bloody Beast recently reminded me of a strange fact regarding my dear old Gran.

You see, she has this quirk when it comes to watching films. She's quite happy to sit thru' any number of rapes, tortures and mutilations but gets really upset if (and I quote) 'a wee boy dies'.

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A Gran watching Sadomaster yesterday
(not mine tho', she was at Bingo).




I remember the day when her and my Gramps had hired House By The Cemetery and Cannibal Ferox from the local 'Washvac' video shop (no longer with us I'm afraid) and settled down for a quiet Saturday afternoons film viewing.

Umberto Lenzi's trash extravaganza of breast skewering, eyeball popping, cock cutting and skull crushing went by without a hitch but as soon as mulleted moppet Giovanni Frezza appeared onscreen chatting to that scary ginger child in that Fulci masterpiece of the macabreHouse By The Cemetery, my Gran turned it off, commenting on how sick the director must be to cast a child in a horror film.

Do my formative years make more sense now?


Anyway, enough inane chat, time for some killings.


Cannibal Ferox (AKA Make Them Die Slowly, Woman from Deep River, 1981).
Dir: Umberto Lenzi.
Cast: Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Lorraine De Selle, Danilo Mattei, Zora Kerova, Walter Lucchini, Fiamma Maglione, Robert Kerman, John Bartha and Venantino Venantini.

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Banned in 31 countries, and that's
just for using that godawful font.



Opening with the obligatory New York skyline shots (to convince the viewer that they're watching an American movie), the action soon moves to the shoddily decorated (I'm a furnishing snob, so sue me) flat of sleazy doper Mike Logan (thin haired, Italian exploitation god Radice) where his rat-like buddy, hankering for a score (as they say) has inadvertantly disturbed a couple of mob heavies trashing the place looking for the hundred grand our dealer pal has stolen from them.

When Johnny junkie can’t tell them where Mike (or their cash) is, they be-suited brutes toss him out of a window.

Ouch.

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He's got something to put in you.



Meanwhile in the Amazon, 'pretty' grad student Gloria Davis (raven haired French star of Woman's Prison Massacre, S.S. Extermination Love Camp and Return of the Saint, De Selle), her brother Rudy (the weasel faced, Milo Ventimiglia-alike Mattei) and their token blonde slut pal Pat (the petite and pert breasted yet harsh faced, almost milk bar Kerova) are driving around aimlessly (in a Jeep if details like that are important) hoping to find evidence to support Gloria’s idea that cannibalism is, in reality just a myth perpetrated to justify the exploitation of primitive cultures.

She's studying anthropology by the way and this is for her graduation thesis, it's not like she's just decided to do this for a drunken bet ALA Dave Gorman.

Tho' come to think of it that would make a great Edinburgh Fringe show if you're reading Dave.

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Some emoting from the cast yesterday.




Our studious pals decide to take a break from all this anthropological jazz at the Turamazonas resort, partly to find directions to the hidden village of Manioca but mainly because Gloria is sick of shitting in a bucket.

Classy burd that she is, Pat has nasty sex with a fat, sweaty policeman in order to use his shower (from the state of her she really should be bathing in bleach tho'. Or piss) before all three head off to catch a barge so as to reach their destination.

Which in Pats case should be the nearest VD clinic.


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Pat: licking piss of John Nettles.



To make the journey go a bit quicker Gloria harps on at great length about the theory behind her PHD dissertation to anyone who'll listen, but luckily doesn't stray to far from being a typical girl by screaming at insects vomiting when a local eats a butterfly for good luck.

Upon reaching shore it's not long before the heroic trio are first, run off the road by a pissed up iguana before driving into a big puddle and blowing up the jeep's engine.

Rudy reckons it's time to break out the whiskey and get pissed but Gloria, being the sensible (shoed) one bullies her brother into carrying all their luggage in the direction of the nearest village.

Pat decides to stand around trying to look sultry but unfortunately just looks like a Bulldog licking piss off a nettle.

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"Wanna buy a timepiece brother?"


Making their way thru' undergrowth our merry band begin to notice the lush trees around them are filled with half naked natives, silently watching their every move.

Making camp for the night their restless sleep is disturbed by an anaconda snacking on their pet tapir and, reckoning that's as good a sign as any to make a move they continue into the jungle.

It's not long before they stumble across a pair of (very) dead natives pinned to a tree via a crazy death trap.

This sight is even enough to cool even Pat's horny mood.

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Tupac Tapir: victim of a long running feud
with The Notorious Mr. Big (snake).


As the pals stand around emoting two sweaty white guys stumble out of the undergrowth and fall at Rudy's feet (you can tell this pisses Pat off). The less sweaty one explains that they've just escaped from some hungry cannibals and that they should all run away as quickly as possible.

stopping in a clearing by a river’s edge (a real one, not the movie) one of the men introduces himself as Mike Logan (see how it's all tying together?...it's good that) who alongside his buddy Joe (Lucchini) have been out looking for cocaine and stuff.

No doubt all the shops in New York were shut so they've had to get a bus out to the Amazon....ain't that always the way?

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Heath Ledger: the post Oscar years.


According to Mike's story, they were wandering about minding their own business when a bunch of naked, blue skinned men jumped out, ate their guide (as in tour guide, not the small girl type, tho' that would be worth seeing) and chased them off into the trees.

Pat, obviously upset by poor Mike's tale decides it'd help if she has 'the sex' with him (and if he gives her some cocaine as a thank you then even better) whilst the others cover their heads with pillows to block out the noise.

Next morning everyone awakes to discover that Gloria has wandered off (probably sick of spending every night gazing at Pat's lilly white arse bouncing up and down on a variety of rancid cocks) so they split up (great idea) to look for her.

Mike and Pat stroll off hand in hand together whilst a concerned (or is it bored? I really can't tell) Rudy and limping Joe head off further into the jungle.

It's not long before the brave boys enter the village of Manioca (you remember? the place they were going to visit....that it appears they didn't have an address for. Students eh?), deserted save for a few old geezers, a couple of corpses and, nailed to a tree, what remains of Mike and Joe's guide.

Despite Joe begging Rudy to leave, Gloria's bowl headed bro' is intent on having a wee look around, hoping to find a souvenir shop that sells sticks of rock and the like.

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Wait for it............






"Eye son!"
(You're welcome).




Mike and Pat on the other hand are busy enjoying stock footage of a leopard killing a monkey before coming across Gloria alive and well but stuck at the bottom of a muddy hole with just a piglet for company.

Mike pulls Gloria out of the hole but reckoning that this good deed goes against his anti-establishment image almost immediately jumps in himself and tortures the poor wee pig to death.

Bastard.

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Rudy boy: A mooth made for shite-in in.



This act of wanton cruelty is the final straw for poor Gloria who starts stomping her feet and shouting that they should all go home before they get eaten.

Unfortunately tho', by the time she's managed to convince everyone that this would be for the best, Joe starts to feel really poorly, looking at everyone with his big puppy dog eyes he pleads with the group to stay till he's better.

Much to Gloria's chagrin they all agree.

At least Mike and Pat are happy about the whole situation, seeing as this gives them even more time to get stoned, get naked and get dirty (as you youngsters say) in the bushes as well as indulging in a bit of post shagging torture of a local native girl who happens upon then during one particularly nasty sex session.

Unluckily (for them) Her brother sees everything and heads off to tell his dad.

You can tell the tribe are angry by this news (or that the director wanted to spice up the film a bit) because that night they butcher and eat a giant tortoise (in full technicolor and loving close up).

Yup, I reckon what this film needs at this point is a few more senseless animal killings.

cheers Mr. Lenzi.

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"Didn't you kill my brother?"




Back at the village (the Indios one, not the one in The Prisoner) Joe wakes from his jungle illness just long enough to tell Rudy and Gloria the shocking truth about him and Mike.

And it's not that they're lovers.

It seems the pair fled to South America with the cash they'd nicked in the movies opening, hoping to set themselves up as emerald prospectors (as you would).

But standing around up to your arse in cold water waggling a tea strainer for hours on end and only finding bits of beak and stone begins to take it's strain on their relationship so the duo decide it'd be easier to just torture the whereabouts of the emeralds out of the local villagers instead.

Realizing that the reason the village is so quiet is that anybody that can carry a spear is out searching for this evil pair gives Gloria the impetus she needs to start running as quick as her little chicken legs will let her back to the boat drop off.

Pat and Mike are already one step ahead tho', having already legged it into the bushes taking all the cash, equipment and crisps with them.

After first having sex of course.

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A non cursed (and non rotten)
papaya yesterday.




At this point (and because he no longer serves any purpose to the 'plot') Joe dies, leaving Rudy and Gloria to watch in horror as the returning tribes people tear him limb from limb and eat him for lunch before (wait for it) placing the curse of the rotting papaya onto the siblings.

Is there no end to this movies brutality?

At least now she doesn't have to
watch the end of this sick filth.



Tripping over a twig whilst trying to escape, Pat is pounced on by a gang of natives and dragged back to the village alongside a slightly peeved Mike.

The tribe sing and dance (badly) as Rudy, Pat and Gloria are popped into an Ikea style bamboo cage and lowered into a leech infested pond while Mike is tied to a big tree.

Not being one to stand on ceremony, big chief Indios yanks down Mike’s high fashion denim flares and cuts his cock off with a bit of jagged stone before waving it about for all to see then eating it.

Ouch.

Obviously not wanting to be accused of being savages the witch doctor cauterizes Mikes wound and then the entire group is led away further up river.


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Mike checks out the Ryan Seacrest skullfuck hat.



Rudy, suddenly deciding he's an action hero, tries to escape but only manages to fall into a pool of piranhas before being shot with a poison dart.

Really, I don't know why he even bothered.

The surviving trio are dropped into a stinky pit whilst the natives once again eat a live animal for our viewing (dis) pleasure, this time at least it's not as cute as a tortoise. Whilst all this scoffing of caiman (not Nick I hasten to add) and dancing is going on Mike (always the optimist) manages to claw his way out of the hole.

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At least he died in the name of high art, unlike Vic Morrow,
but at least John Landis didn't try
to hide his corpse by eating it.





Killing a couple of natives for good measure, Mike heads for freedom, leaving Pat and Gloria at the of tribe but he’s quickly recaptured (well we are nearing the films climax) and tortured for his all round badness and crimes against piglets.

Firstly they lop off his (by now redundant) wanking hand before shoving him under a table with the top of his shiny balding bonce sticking thru' a hole in the top.

You can see where we're heading can't you?

Gloria and Pat can only look on in horror (well to be honest they could look away or cry but they choose to watch) as the main fella cuts off the top of Mikes head and scoops out his brain with a big wooden spoon for his pals to eat.

Talk about a head fuck.

For desert the tribe decide to pull Pat from the pit, tear her top off (and let's be honest it probably stinks of shite, blood, semen and egg by this point) and stick a pair of huge hooks thru' her breasts before leaving her hanging like a big bed sheet to die in the centre of the village.

Whilst all this is going on a plane is flying overhead, it seems that Mike's girlfriend from back home has been worried about him and has launched a rescue mission.

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Your mum cutting the Sunday roast.



Later that night whilst the tribe are sleeping off their big feast, a young Indio boy takes pity on Gloria (either that or he fancies a bit of rough), cuts her free and leads her out into the jungle. You know her escape couldn't be that easy tho' as some time later he too is killed and Gloria is left abandoned and alone in this green inferno.


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Ms. Govan, 1974.



Time passes (and the viewer starts looking at his watch hoping the film's nearly finished because he needs a wee) and the camera pans to a couple of American trappers enjoying a leisurely sail down the river.

Suddenly they hear what sounds like a woman screaming in the trees so decide to disembark and investigate.

Following the noise they find a slightly mad Gloria, crawling around half-naked in the grass, her hair greasier than normal and covered in angry boils.

Returning to civilization and spending months recovering in hospital, Gloria finally gets a bit of good news when she receives her doctorate for the (finally completed) thesis Cannibalism: End of a Myth.

See? it at least had a happy ending.

Don't be fooled by this poster,
Zora Kerova's breasts are not this pert.



Oh dear oh dear, we're back in animal cruelty territory. That bizarre and utterly tasteless fad that blighted many a low budget Italian movie in the late sixties, early seventies rears it's ugly head in this infamous Umbert Lenzi 'classic'.

We know it's wrong so let's not dwell on it.

Cannibal Ferox (or Cannibal Xerox as it was amusingly called during the British video nasty era) is another in a long line of Lenzi's midly entertaining rip-offs of (then) current movie fads and whilst never as enjoyable as the utterly fantastic Nightmare City, as downright shite as Black Demons or as arse numbingly earnest as Man from Deep River, there are still a few (soiled) goodies on offer to enjoy if you look hard enough.

Famous for two things (surprisingly not the acting or direction), eighties Italian horror whipping boy Radice's castration scene and the bit with the breast hooks, Lenzi uses the cod civilisation vs. stone age argument as an excuse for wall to wall violence and general nastiness, somehow believing himself that's he's producing some great work of art, anyone who's viewed the interview with the great man on the aforementioned Nightmare City disc will have to agree that he's completely off his rocker.

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Lenzi: Fruit loops.




Good or bad?

Sleazy or super?

Who can really say?

All I know is it has pride of place on my shelf, right inbetween Anthropopagous: The Beast and Land of Death.

Which I think says it all really.


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