Tuesday, December 8, 2009

animal tragic.

Rolled in around 2 AM last Saturday after spending the evening dressed as the 10th Doctor (photo's to follow if requested) to celebrate my rapidly approaching descent into middle age and being either:
A. too drunk

or

B. too tired

to turn over the teevee I was lucky enough to catch this gem on the Horror Channel.

Did I say lucky?

Dr. Moreau's House of Pain (2004).
Dir: Charles (mighty, fallen) Band.
Cast: John Patrick Jordan, Jessica Lancaster, Peter Donald Badalamenti II, Lorielle New, Ling Aum, B.J. Smith, Debra Mayer, Laura Ushijima and Jacob Witkin.


“My surgical skills might have been a bit sharper
if you hadn’t have cracked my skull open.”



Square faced second rate pugilist Eric (Jordan, soon to be seen in Porky's: The College Years) is sitting in an old convertible outside a sleazy nightclub, desperately trying to find his brother Roy, who's disappeared at some point.

The film isn't that specific as to say where or when, I have a feeling it might not be that important.

Along for the ride are the harsh faced ace girl reporter Mary Ann (the poor man's Debi Mazar, Mayer from that horror opus Decadent Evil Dead and Eric's girlfriend Judith (Lancaster, who's bound to have been in some other stuff, not counting that video she did for her 'uncle' to pay the rent back in her student days).

Or was it the other way around?

It seems that Roy spent most of his nights here watching one stripper in particular and Eric is determined to find out why.

Or at the very least get to crack one off in a private booth.

Entering the club and taking a stage-side seat, Eric uses his not inconsiderable charm in an attempt to pump the barkeep for information concerning his missing bro'. All he gets tho' is "Your bruvva pure fancies the next stripper by the way....she's dead young and shapely...oh and it's four quid for the Babycham".

So, who is this beauty that every man seems to fall madly in love with at first sight?

Enter the illustrious Alliana (and from the look of her resume you wont be the first), a skinnier scarier poor man's Faye Dunaway writhing around like an epileptic on crack whilst attempting to give a 'seductive' glance towards Eric but only succeeding in looking like she's mid stroke.

But not that kind.


An arse in parsley yesterday.


After sitting thru' the entire rosta of acts (including a magician and chicken shaver) Eric sneakily follows Alliana out to her car only to be accosted by an evil gangster type, Jeff Badman who also has a big girly crush on our stripping pal (must be slim pickings around there).

Feeling particularly manly and after delivering a swift kick to Eric's nuts Jeff attempts to force himself on Alliana only to have her snarl like a wolf and put her fist thru' his head.

Eric, shocked and maybe a wee bit aroused by this grabs the women folk and runs back to his car, following Alliana back to an old, crumbling asylum on the outskirts of town.

Unfortunately for the film makers the town is in Romania where this was shot not Hollywood as we're meant to believe.

Mary Ann kindly fills them (and us) in with the history of the place, from the mad mentalists that stayed there to the rumours of satanic parties held in the cellar.

Which is nice.

Having served her purpose as Ms. exposition, Mary Ann is promptly grabbed by a big hairy, cat faced man-beast before being dragged kicking and screaming into the darkness.


Rum, sodomy and the lash.

Meanwhile back at the plot Alliana has taken delivery of the gangsters body to one Dr. Moreau (the homeless yet still leathery of balls Sean Connery lookalike and recovering alcoholic Witkin from Showgirls), who ably assisted by his two favourite 'manimals' the aforementioned kitty masked Peewee (Smith) and a whiny voiced dwarf in a pig costume named Gallagher (Badalamenti II: Electric Boogaloo - but no Simon McCorkindale alas) are on the lookout for spare body parts to help accelerate the transition of his genetically altered manimals to full human status.

As one does.

Unfortunately for all involved, Jeff Badman had a shocking dose of the clap when he died rendering his organs useless so it's a good thing that Alliana's been followed by the hunky Eric and co. isn't it?

I mean, there's no way they'd have any STD's and the like.

Well, except Jessica Lancaster obviously, I felt unclean just looking at her if I'm honest.


Up the casino for coppers? Yesch!


In between all this furry back biting and faintly embarrassing animal acting it transpires that poor old Moreau’s not actually in charge of this so called house of pain and it's the manimals (all three of them) that are pulling the strings, each with their own convoluted agenda.

Firstly Alliana, who it turns out is actually a humanised leopard, wants a young studly mate, Peewee (half mountain lion, half carpet) wants to break stuff and cheeky little Gallagher is constantly horny and just wants somewhere to put his teeny tiny cock.

So who's got there eye on Eric and who's got there eye on Judith do you think?


Your mum, having a stroke.


If that wasn't enough to keep you interested there's also a shady Chinaman named Pak Mon (Aum) drunkenly stumbling around the asylum whilst carrying a big stick in one hand and a huge oven chip on his shoulder.

You see, he was once Moreau’s assistant back in the 'Island of' days when Moreau (for a laugh obviously) experimented on Pak's young daughter Gorgona (Ushijima, bless you), leaving her stuck with half a fish-face and a mouldy oven glove for a hand.

Back in the basement (and seemingly unconcerned by Mary Ann's disappearance) Eric and Judith continue to wander around aimlessly until they're captured by a still horny Gallagher and an incredibly frustrated Peewee; it seems he accidentally crushed Mary Ann's ribcage whilst trying to unbutton her blouse, meaning the poor lovelorn sod has taken to sulkily carrying her bloodied corpse around on his shoulder whimpering like a small girl.

Realising that there haven't been any gratuitous tit shots for about twenty minutes, Alliana takes Eric back to her boudoir for a bout of sweaty naked cat sex, which comes across about as erotically as watching your Gran shagging one of your school chums.

All I could think of was how much Alliana looked as if she could do with a pie.

Oh, and how I'd never tire of kicking Eric in the face.

I'm sorry, it was one of those days.


Jade Goody: From beyond the gravy.


Whilst Eric heads back to his cage and Alliana lies purring whilst wriggling around in the damp patch Pak and Moreau are enjoying their weekly debate about the ethics of biosynthesis (or some other bollocks leaving that wee tinker Gallagher attempting to woo Judith with a bowl of soup and an offer of an escape route.

All she has to do is stand in the corner and do a little striptease whilst the pig-faced one enjoys a crafty Barclays and she's home free.

Judith, after much deliberation accepts his offer and slowly shows her big black pants.

Admit it, you've done much worse when you've not had your taxi fair, I know I have.

Her leopard super sense tingling added to the noticeable waft of damp yeast eminating from Judith's cage sends Alliana into a shag frenzy (what? again?) and, stopping only to dress up as a whores Christmas tree she chases after Eric for (sloppy) seconds leaving poor Judith, stripped to her suspender belt and with her newly paid for breasts hanging limply like rocks in a rucksack at the mercy of Gallagher.

It seems that our porcine pal has changed the deal and is already tearing at his trousers with his stinky trotters in anticipation of this little piggy squealing all the way home....

And if this indignity wasn't enough for poor Judith, it appears that Pak has persuaded Moreau (by hitting him repeatedly over the head with a wine bottle) to use her body to repair the damage done to his daughter.

But alas not get rid of the smell of fishpaste that follows her around.

Will Eric have enough energy left to rescue Judith?

Will we actually get to see the oft promised girl on pig action rather than it keep cutting back to two old men arguing?

Will Alliana ever put some clothes on?

I'm not telling, I mean I sat thru' the whole fucking travesty so you can too.


"Shite in mah mooth now you porky bastard!"


Ah Charles Band, boyhood hero to any self respecting cult film fan growing up in the eighties. Amongst the many classics he brought us were lo-budget gems like Trancers, Robot Jocks and Laserblast (my first CB movie, show way back in '78 as a double bill with The Muppet Movie) and his production company gave us From Beyond and Re-Animator to name just a few.

Which makes it all the more tragic that he's been reduced to churning out hideously average shite like this.

An unofficial (you're kidding me) sequel to the HG Wells classic novel with a budget that can only stretch to three Halloween masks and one actual actor in the cast, House of Pain is hellishly performed by it's minuscule cast of never-beens and wannadies, horribly lit in bright primary colours (imagine a hyper-active child remaking Suspiria and you're a third of the way there) with actors so uniformly unattractive that you begin to start fancying the poor sod in the fish mask by the movies end, just because the quick glimpse you get of her right breast shows that it's the only non-augmented, natural thing in the film.

Fuck, even the brick lined cellar is plastic.


"Laugh now!"

But (and there's always a big but - just not on any of the emaciated female cast) it turns into a wee bit of a car crash, you just can't turn away or turn off.

Or maybe that was just the amount of cheap sherry I'd necked previously.

I'm just glad it's over if I'm honest.

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