Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
And a few (well one of them) was quite modern!
Will these wonders never cease?
Laid To Rest (2009).
Dir: Robert Hall.
Cast: Bobbi Sue Luther, Kevin Gage, Sean Whalen, Lena Headey, Johnathon Schaech, Nick Principe and Thomas Dekker.
It's dark, it's dusty and the sound of heavy breathing fills the air, shafts of light cut swathes thru' the darkness revealing a pair of terrified eyes darting left to right as the breathing gets louder and louder.
It appears that some joker has locked a pneumatic brunette in a coffin (Luther, last seen strutting her stuff as a buxom Orion slave girl in Star Trek: Enterprise and soon to appear in the remake of Night of The Demons) and left her in the chapel of rest of an unnamed funeral home.
Ain't that always the way?
Well just wait till the mooth shite-in starts.
Managing to break free (and scare the arse off 'B' movie stalwart Richard Lynch in the process) the poor lamb is horrified to discover that the impromptu Boxing Helena impression is the least of her worries seeing as she can hardly walk, has the vocabulary of a child, memory loss and a huge sticky hole in the back of her head.
Oh and she's found herself in the preparation room surrounded by scary looking jars, many sharp things and with only the naked corpse of an old lady for company.
Could her day get any worse?
Gazing out of the window in the hope of finding someone who can help her she notices a shadowy figure in the distance.
Could this be her knight in shining armour?
Well only if chivalrous movie good guys have now taken to wandering around clad totally in black apart from a chrome-plated skull mask with a handy video camera attached to their shoulders and carrying knives so sharp that they seem to cut thru' the very air around them.
Hmmm....I think we can hazard a guess as to who locked her in the coffin.
Managing to avoid a stabbing off her new slash happy pal our heroine escapes into the woods and onto a deserted road where she's picked up by gamy legged nice guy Tucker (Gage from Ricky 6) and his wife Cindy (Teevee's Sarah Connor, Heady) who are convinced they can help her regain her memories and discover who she is.
But outside in the dark Mr. Chromeskull is on the move and we're about to discover if you can ever truly escape your past.
Or more importantly escape from the fright masked nutter who's chasing you.
Video piracy is a crime.
It seems that there isn't a week that passes without some new low budget horror movie being unleashed with it's director being hailed as the Saviour of horror as critics and fansites alike eagerly swallow the studio hype only to be disappointed (again) when the curtains rise and they're greeted by another lackluster and oh so clever (yet ultimately toothless and imagination free) post modern slasher movie.
I blame Wes Craven myself, but then again I blame Wes Craven for most things, including the death of my beloved pooch when I was 12. But that's another story.
Maybe it's old age or maybe I'm just jaded, but it's rare to find a movie these days that gives you the same buzz you got when seeing Dawn of The Dead (on Video 2000 no less) as a 9 year old or queuing to see your first 'X' rated feature (Nightmare on Elm Street, Dudley Plaza, October 31st, 1985).
In fact I can probably count them on one hand.
Soft for Digging, The Descent, Diary of The Dead and [Rec] are probably the only genre films of recent years that have actually treated their subject matter with anything remotely resembling a straight face, placing their horrors in a real world setting and with believable characters and situations.
And now Laid to Rest has done the same thing for the much maligned slasher genre.
Director Robert Hall has delivered a back to basics no frills slasher movie that's as black and bloody as it's protagonists suit with a plot that's stripped to the bone (like a certain persons shiny skull head).
And I for one an grateful for that.
There's no annoying attempts a justification for the villains behaviour or reasons for his mentalist ways (ala the absymal TCM prequel or Rob Zombie's Halloween rehash) as the audience, alongside Luthor's character are thrown headlong into the scenario with no idea as to why (or where) things are happening
"Laugh Now you bastards!"
And with Chromeskull Hall has created a villain that, like the original Michael Myers before him most resembles a land based Great White Shark, striking violently and indiscriminately without warning and whose only agenda is to kill, maim and then maybe kill a wee bit more.
Every one of the small cast is just fleshed out to just the right amount and well played enough to make the viewer genuinely care as to who will make it to the final reel, from Gage and Headey's loving husband and wife team to Sean (Tammy and the T-Rex, People Under The Stairs) Whalen's lovable geek Steven via the creepy Lynch the performances are pitched perfect and the characters just the right side of cliche.
Couple this with a crisp and uncluttered directing style that subtly pays homage to such varying sources as The Beyond and Phantasm amongst others and you have a fantastically crafted love letter to the slasher genre from a director who obviously loves and understands it's rules and conventions enough to realize why they were successful enough in the first place.
There is hope for the future of good, old fashioned horror after all.
Buy, beg or steal a copy now, then go ring up that Zombie bloke and shout "shite in ya mooth!" at him down the phone.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
More youthful shenanigans courtesy of my local charity shop.
Carry On Emmannuelle (1978).
Dir: Gerald Thomas.
Cast: Kenneth Williams, Suzanne Danielle, Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims, Howard Nelson, Dino Shafeek, Jack Douglas, Peter Butterworth, Larry Dann, Beryl Reid and Henry McGee.
High in the skies aboard (a children's toy) Concorde, Emmannuelle (Danielle, or missis diversity as I know her after appearing in everything from Flash Gordon, Doctor Who, Cannon and Ball's comedy classic The Boys in Blue and even, ulp, The Jim Davidson Show) is on her way home to London (England, that's in Europe near France for our American readers) to be reunited with her husband; the French Ambassador to the UK, Emile Prevert (Williams obviously suffering with severe depression - or piles).
Bored and frisky (no doubt brought on by the Funky Kenny Lynch disco tune playing over the titles) she inadvertently gives the co-pilot a hard on before dragging bespectacled wimp Theodore Valentine (The Bill's Sgt. Peters) of to the toilets for a quick shag.
Landing at Heathrow and, after some oh so amusing banter with an Indian customs man (the late, great Dino Shafeek from such comedy greats as It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Mind Your Language) she's driven to the Ambassadorial Residence by crusty old Leyland the Chauffeur (Carry On stalwart and contributor to the hit LP Parade of Disney Hits Connor) where she's greeted by the surviving members of the Carry On team that were too skint to turn the movie down; Lyons the Butler (Douglas), Mrs Dangle the Housekeeper (Sims, another Doctor Who guest) and Richmond (The Meddling Monk himself, Peter Butterworth).
Do you think we can get on with the plot now? Seeing as most of the cast look like they might keel over dead at any minute?
Well, it seems that Emmannuelle and her hubbie haven't been able to have 'the sex' since he landed on a church spire whilst out parachuting, which begs the question what were they getting up to? Surely it wasn't solely a bit of rough anal?
Anyway, whilst we ponder that question Theodore has arrived back at the home he shares with his overbearing mother (Reid - how many ex Who actors are in this?).
Deciding that he's in love with Emmannuelle he vows to win her heart.
Bored with sitting in a room of walking corpses, Emmannuelle gets Leyland to take her on a riotous comedy tour of famous London landmarks (via the magic of back screen projection) where she hilariously fails to arouse a guard at St James' Palace. Not because of his harsh millitary training tho' but because he's a gay!
Har de fucking har.
Can the comedy get any better?
Well, funny you should ask that because later that evening at the Ambassador's reception an amusing misunderstanding occurs when Emmannuelle, after having a serious chat about a possible assassination attempt on her husband's life with the local Police Chief, decides to search everyone in attendance for concealed weapons.
By that I mean she starts touching the male guests genitalia under the tables.
Hilarity does indeed ensue.
She's awoken the next morning by a delivery of flowers from the lovestruck Theodore (and a really aching hand probably), whom she has completely forgotten.
Heading downstairs she decides to have breakfast with the servants whom she persuades to talk about their sexy secrets whilst scoffing crumpets and lukewarm tea.
Yup, it's a chance to see the by now decrepit Carry On team indulging is sexual shenanigans involving everything from second world war action (and nuns), a seedy bedsit (and a fat lady), a visit to the Zoo (with a randy monkey rapist - not as good as it sounds) and a laundrette.
On the big screen.
You lucky people.
Emmannuelle, enjoying the thought of Joan Simms being fisted by a tramp (and who wouldn't?) shares the sad tale of her husbands ruptured arse with the staff to much merriment and forced laughter.
Theodore in the meantime has decided to visit Emmannuelle at home to declare his love to her, but Emmannuelle, being a typical woman admits that he was just a shag and has no interest in seeing him again.
Theodore leaves in tears whilst our slutty heroine heads upstairs to watch her hubbie working out with teevee muscle man Harry Hernia (ex-champion bodybuilder turned skin flick actor Nelson).
Impressed by the size of his breasts, she decides to go and visit Harry at home for some more sex, but unknown to Emmannuelle, Theodore is now stalking her, camera in hand and Pot Noodle and tissues in pocket.
Could the movie suddenly turn into a British sex comedy version of Black Christmas?
Tho' by this point I'd quite happily stab some fucker in the face.
bristols and Suzanne Danielle.
Anyway, it's time for Emile and Emmannuelle to attend a premiere league football match where the Ambassador is due to present a cup to the winning team (you can tell I know about the football can't you?).
Surprisingly, Emmannuelle gets bored watching the match and decides to go the changing rooms to have sex with any footballers (or pets) present.
More comedy gold unfolds as each and every one of the teams pretends to be injured or starting fights in order to get sent off so that they too can get a wee bit of (leathery) ball action.
Theodore, hiding in a shower cubicle, is disgusted (yet possibly aroused who knows?) by what he sees so reckons that the best thing to do is to kidnap Emmannuelle.
Obviously this plan fails.
And without bloodshed unfortunately.
Theodore, at the end of his tether and running low on hankies, realizes there's only one course of action left to him so he sells the incriminating photo's to the Sunday papers.
come back positive!"
In order to put an end to the gossip, Emmanuelle decides to appear on top teevee interviewer Harold Hump's (Benny Hill Show legend and star of Superman 2 McGee) show to defend her actions.
Outraged by he lack of shame, Hump gets more and more hot under the collar till Emmannuelle gives him a darn good gobble live on air.
Sitting at home in a state of shock, Theodore puts a gun to his head to blow his brains out.
Meanwhile back at the Embassy, Emile has invite his doctor over to discuss his steeple/arse problems and his lack of shagging.
Luckily the doctor explains that the erectile dysfunction that he's suffering from is all in his mind, even going as far as to get his exotic nurse to strip down to her tiny undies and jiggle her ample breasts in Emile's face to prove it.
Standing tall and proud (meaning he has an erection) Emile rushes home and jumps on his missis, sticking it in her.
But thankfully off screen.
Some other stuff happens but I don't want to give it all away or you'll have no reason to watch it will you?
After moving the usual saucy postcard humour of the original movies into a more lewd and upfront vein (ooeer missis) with the 1976 release Carry On England to something more akin to the Robin Askwith starring Confessions films, it was only a matter of time before the series ramped up the sexual content even further than Timmy Lea ever did.
The resulting car crash of a movie is at once painful yet strangely enjoyable to watch.
Learning from the mistaken of jettisoning most of the original Carry On team from England (which sounds like a sinister BNP plot) Emmannuelle brings back a few surviving members and tries to be radical by forcing them to swear and show their arses.
Which is a wee bit like watching someone abusing your Grannie.
Suzanne Danielle is an OK female lead but any attempts at humour are prematurely butchered by her appalling French accent, whereas everyone else invovled is obviously doing it for the cash.
Except for Howard Nelson that is who, from viewing his other work, just seems to enjoy flaunting his manbreasts and tiny trunks.
Oh and for a comedy there's a distinct lack of anything remotely funny in the script, save the fantastic sight of Concorde's nose standing up when Theodore and Emmannuelle are having sex in the plane's toilet.
But I love it anyway.
And so should you.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
More spooky old Italian horror comics for your reading pleasure.
This time it's the adventures of
Zora the Vampire!
Realizing that lesbian vampirism and motherhood
don't mix, Zora goes to see her local GP for advice.
He prescribes (on the NHS no less) a pair of funky contact
lenses that blank out crosses
and all kinds of Christian stuff.
Deciding to start a new life as a chimney sweep
in good old London town Zora boards the Love Boat.
But Brenda, the pug faced evil vampire is also
aboard and throws baby Shazza out of a convenient porthole!
Never fear baby S!
Mummy is swimming to the rescue!
Unfortunately a shark gets there first and eats her whole.
Or does it spit that bit out?
Meryl Streep in Mama Mia. Never ever until that movie (not even in A Cry in The Dark).....
and now all I hear is "meow" when she speaks.
Please don't let me be alone on this one.