Tuesday, June 29, 2010

happy birthday ray.

Ray Harryhausen is 90 today.

A true pioneer and an inspiration to us all. Happy birthday sir!

Monday, June 28, 2010

moro comico el filtho.






Sunday, June 20, 2010

return of the living ned.




Always willing to give a helping hand to the little people (plus almost as many non-Lilliputians) and to give a push to projects that tickle my fancy (or pay me to do so), I recently came across this little gem online that I thought I'd share with you all.

Well share with the odd few that can actually read here and don't just pop by to see if there are any dirty pictures.


Starting life as a series of sketches based upon the notion of the sunny city of Glasgow (that's Scotchland, Europe near London for our overseas readers) being overrun by the undead, StoneDEAD has taken of an (after) life of it's own as a (soon to be completed) six episode web series accompanied by a handful of one-off 'minutesodes', a real sounding yet totally fictitious way of saying 'sixty second vignettes'.

Crikey.

Cheesy, cheerful and cheaper than your mum, creators Zan Phee, Allan Groves and Jamie Lamarra have crafted, well throw together really (which they freely admit so no slagging me off for being bitchy) an almost Beckett style tale of hope, loss and friendship (with assorted gore gags and sweary words) that brings to mind not only the bleak, avant-garde writings of the aforementioned writer but also share a pedigree of relationship based comedy that stretches back as far as Steptoe and Son and up to the underrated Nightingales.

"Shite in mah Beckettesque
mooth you undead bastards!"



Co-writer Phee (an interview with whom shall appear on these very pages soon), taking a break from slaughtering puppies to use as shoes for the zombie extras told us that "StoneDEAD started as a few sketch ideas based in zombie Glasgow. As the idea spread (in our heads) it become a 6 episode season about finding humour in this made-up Glasgow based zombie tragedy."

Which sums it up rather nicely methinks.

Interested?

If so check out the official webshite here and the groovy Facebook fanpage here.

And don't forget to mention who sent you.

No other reason than I like to see my name in print.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

connecticut four.

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009).
Dir: Peter Cornwell.
Cast: Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, Ty Wood, Martin Donovan, Sophi Knight and Amanda Crew.

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"It's okay, ma'am, I'm a Reverend!"


Homely Catholic mum of three Sara Campbell (the frankly amazing breasted star of 80's computer based rom-Tron Electric Dreams and cult criminal caper Reservoir Dogs Madsen) spends her days caring for (and listening to the constant nasally whining of) her cancer-riddled (yet still buff and fairly handsome, must be cancer of the acting gene) teenage son Matt (Gallner from Jennifer's Body).

Living in another state whilst having to commute back and forth for Matt’s treatment is taking its toll on the family tho' so they (Sara, ex alcoholic dad Peter, buck toothed ball headed son Billy, messy haired moppet Mary and cousin or something Wendy) decide to relocate closer to the hospital so that he can participate in some special cancer trials.

Well I say it's the stress of her child being ill that's causing all the trouble but I'm putting the strain down to the fact that Matt spends most of the time sprawled across the back seat of the family car in a pool of his on vomit whilst coming out with lines like "The cancer's not your fault mom!" and looking teary eyed into the middle distance.

I mean it's enough to wear down the best of us, self obsessed arse.

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Virginia Madsen sweeps up the
remains of her once proud career.



While searching for a new home (and I mean that quite literally seeing as the film features loads of shots of her driving about and squinting at streets intercut with footage of a topless Matt having injections as bland music plays. Endlessly), Sara stumbles across a huge, olde worldy house that seems way too good to be true.

Especially when the owner only asks for five pounds for the whole thing.

Being notoriously tight (as well as careful with money, phnarr) Sara signs on the dotted line and excitedly tells the rest of the family the news.

Arriving at their new home and weighed down with those tea chests you only see in films, Matt freakily claims the basement as his bedroom and, surprise surprise, within minutes of dumping his load in the corner of the room he starts seeing dead people.

Sara, being a good Catholic mum, fondles her crucifix and blames his visions on his current treatments.

But Matt, in his own dreamy way, isn't too sure.

What he (and his more and more shot to fuck mum) is sure of tho' is the fact that if he reports it to the hospital he'll get kicked off the drugs programme and surely die.

No great loss then.

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"What have I told you about
wanking over the sideboard?"




Between smashing plates, vomiting and seeing all manner of spooky stuff in and around the house Matt is surprised to discover that there's a fully working embalming room behind a stiff door in the corner of the basement.

This unusual (well unless you live in the Gorbals area of Glasgow) discovery is the final straw for poor Matt (and it has to be said most of the audience) and the annoying little shite begins his dark descent into cancer drug fuelled madness.

Sweet.

Too afraid to reveal his visions to his family and far too stupid to realise that the house is haunted Matt wanders around the house with a look of mild concern on his smug, square face until one day whilst undergoing some more 'treatment' (which seems to involve him sitting sweatily in a chair whilst watching teevee) he's befriended by a Catholic priest named Jeff Popescu (professional bridesmaid Koteas).

More interested in Matt's problems than in his peachy, tight arse, Popescu explains that it's the teens proximity to death that makes him more receptive to supernatural occurrences.

Well that's that sorted then.

Before Matt leaves the priest offers him his card in case he feels like discussing his ghostly problems.

Or fancies a wee bit of religious themed sodomy obviously.

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"Watch as I lift the table
without using my hands!"



As his visions become more and more terrifying, Matt must discover (with the help of Wendy and the local library-yup, it's that easy) the origins of the horrific happenings in the house if he hopes to save not only his soul but the souls of his family before it is too late....

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"Psychic shite in mah mooth!"


Allegedly based on true events (insofar as someone once purchased a house in Connecticut), director Peter Cornwell takes every well worn cliche of the haunted house genre and drags them naked, kicking and screaming in front of the cameras before throwing buckets of warm shite and them, dowsing them in petrol and finally lighting a match.

All in serious teevee movie of the week earth tones and that horrible speeded-up David Fincher directing Sesame Street style that had become boring as far back as 1997.

The script throws originality, common sense and any semblance of suspense to the wind in an attempt to out bore (and out po-face) even the original and abysmally earnest Amityville Horror and viciously drag the genre back to it's darkest pre-Ghostwatch days whilst stealing (then badly botching) dozens of the most memorable scenes from the horror classics back catalogue.

From The Exorcist to The Sixth Sense via Kubrick's The Shining, nothing and no-one is safe from the mucky paws of Cornwell and his 'writer' chums Adam Simon and Tim Metcalfe, who between them have already spoiled us with such classics as Revenge of the Nerds IV: Nerds in Love and Carnosaur.

Need I go on?

Head: Wood.


Credit where credits due tho' there is something genuinely terrifying in the movie that gave me sleepless nights for days afterwards.

Unfortunately it's the balloon faced, tombstone toothed visage of young Ty Wood that caused my sleeping troubles, I mean forget concentrating on the plot just gaze in wonder at how such a tiny frame can support such a huge head without snapping.

The things they can do with special effects these days eh?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

childhood memories.

Reminds me of my fifth birthday party.

No idea why.



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

flaming alf.

I've been away visiting my old school chum Lord Jamie D'Bridle in the small town of Littlewick back in the good old England for a weekend of cheap sleaze, beating the houseboy and Giallos of varying quality, hence the lack of substantial updates of late.

Whilst there I was introduced to a nice little zombie movie from a few years back that seemed to have skipped my radar.

More surprisingly tho' is that it's Australian.

And not crap.

Will wonders never cease?

Undead (2003).
Dir: Michael and Peter Spierig.
Cast: Felicity Mason, Mungo McKay, Rob Jenkins, Lisa Cunningham, Dirk Hunter and Emma Randall.

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"When I was a kid, we fuckin' respected
our parents, we didn't fuckin' eat 'em!"


Welcome to the sleep fishing town of Berkeley in Western Australia, to the local population it's home but to everyone else it's the arse end of dullsville, the only great thing about it being the road out.

One of these non-believers is the towns former Miss Catch of the Day pin-up Rene (the Tefal browed Mason, best known as the voice of Audrey the Activist in the 'hit' online series Team Trashe), struggling to keep up payments on her late parents farm and dreaming of a new life in the big city.

Things aren't going well with beefy balding Mr. Chip Loan, who sits sweatily eyeing up our heroine as she begs for an extension on her payments (ooeerr) but after exhausting her patented female mix of giving huge puppy dog eyes and wistful sighs she storms out to her friend Johnny Deadsoons car determined to leave her troubles behind.

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(Poppy) eyes hen.


Driving along the main road and out of town Rene begins to notice the sky getting darker and darker (and more blatantly CGI-ed) as suddenly storms of burning meteorites descend from the heavens disrupting the local cricket match, destroying shops, frying children and turning the locals into flesh starved undead things.

So far so good.

Coming across (insert 'not literally' joke here) a nasty pile-up in the middle of the road Johnny pulls over and gets out the car to investigate and it's not long before the poor sod has been nibbled to death by a shite moothed, blank eyed, shambling pre-teen zombie.

With really bad hair.

Some folk have all the luck.

Beating the child to death with a steering wheel lock Rene heads off towards a nearby (and very run-down) farmhouse quick style.

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"Shite in mah mooth ya bastard!"


Far from being deserted tho' the farmhouse belongs to the local monosyllabic mentalist Marion (McKay, ball faced star of Malibu Shark Attack), owner of Marions World of Weapons and winner of the fishy beard of the year award three years running.

Luckily for Rene, Marion recognises these bizarre events as a sign of alien invasion as it appears that years ago, whilst fishing for carp the poor sod was abducted by a group of extraterrestrials under similar circumstances and since then he's been training and preparing for their return.

There's no time for introductions tho' (or any more character development than is absolutely necessary) because no sooner has Marion pulled a gun on Rene whilst muttering something slight yet meaningful in a rather gruff manner that ever more cliche riddled survivors turn up.

Enter (oh gone on then if I must) pregnant beauty queen Sallyanne (Cunningham from Daybreakers), her hick helicopter pilot Wayne (hat wearing Jenkins), foul mouthed, bad ass, big shorted copper Harrison (The New Adventures of Flipper's Hunter) and fragile flower rookie police officer (plus token cutsie red head) Molly (ex set decorator and all round art queen Randall).

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"He did WHAT in his cup?"


If the fact that the sky wasn't full of flaming meteors and the town full of zombies wasn't enough to upset everyone then the sudden heavy rainfall is.

But this is no ordinary rain, no sir.

I mean it's computer generated for a start.

Not only that tho' as it soon becomes apparent that this downpour not only burns skin but picks up people and animals at random in a kinda squishy shower like tractor beam.

Could things get any worse?

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"Rrrrrrooooon Rrrreeessssrrriiieeeee"


Deciding the best course of action is to make a Vegemite sandwich (or whatever it is these Aussie types eat) the groups attempts at making lunch are foiled when a team of scruffy undead tramps burst into the house looking for fresh meat to chow down on.

With Harrison shouting "Fuck!" at every given opportunity whilst flashing his knobbly knees to all and sundry Marion (quietly) takes command and leads everyone into his cellar cum lead lined bunker to formulate an action plan.

Think The Apprentice only with stinky beards, over the knee socks and a distinct lack of tottie and you're halfway there but probably only a quarter as entertaining.

Tho' to be honest I'd pay good money (at least £15) to see Junior Apprentice Goddess Zoe Plummer oiled up in a vest cradling a machine gun as she fought her way thru' a heaving throng of the undead.

But perhaps that's just me.

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Zombie zapping
Zoe Plummer: Tottie.



With the majority of the group agreeing that staying put is probably the best option it's down to Sallyanne and her rather inconvenient (under the circumstances) pregnancy to get in the way.

You see she reckons that she's about to pop a sprog at any second which may hamper any long term ideas about hiding out till it's all over.

There's only one clean towel for a start and the nearest they have to clean water is the sweat that they can mop from between Molly's ample (and sexily freckled) cleavage.

After a quick think (and helped along by Harrison waving his weapon about) everyone decides to make a break for Marion's van and attempt to drive out of town.

Again.

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Nigel Mansell farted....and it was an eggy one.


Upon arrival at the town border it's fair to say that the group are fairly surprised to find that a mile high metal barrier lined with razor sharp spikes has been built surrounding the whole of Berkeley.

Marion blames the aliens that allegedly abducted him whilst Harrison is quick to point the finger at the bin men.

Sallyanne just sits cradling her stomach gurning like a loon.

Women eh?

As the acid rain continues to drench the town and members of the group begin to fall foul of the heavenly tractor beams it's left to Rene and Marion to discover a cure to the undead terror destroying Berkeley and uncover the secret behind the mysterious glowing monks hiding in the shadows....

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Fish lips, bacony beard, hat of shame.


As cheap as chips and as tasteful as a Dingo's dinner, the Spierig brothers second feature (before hitting the big time with the Ethan Hawke starrer Daybreakers) is a delightful mix of 1950's alien paranoia and 1980's pre-cert horror with an added dash of Evil Dead style black comedy lovingly wrapped in an old pair of Paul Hogan's pants.

Yes it's slight and indeed it's throwaway but if it's ninety minutes of no brainer, laugh now giggles you're after then you could do worse than rent this.

Plus it's a damn sight more entertaining than the prospect of Resident Evil 3-D.

Not sold?

Well tough, because I'm not going to give away too about the numerous golden moments in the movie by mentioning the scenes of exploding old ladies, groan inducing shopfronts with names like Elvis Parsley’s Grapeland, Felicity Mason in soaking undies, streets awash with gore and the best (if only) tramp bearded John Woo tribute I've ever seen on celluloid.

Go on, hire it out today.

It wont change your life but it may make a little bit of wee squirt out at certain points.

And if you're honest, what more can you ask for from your cinematic experience?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

....and remember....



Stay off the moors....


A (very) quick An American Werewolf in London tribute.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

poles apart.



Following on from the highly educational history of Ghana poster art, here are some more groove-some movie posters from across the world.

This time, Poland.

Enjoy!










Can you name them all?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

toy story.

I once wore my Star Blazer Space Warrior Headset to a school disco thinking I'd look like Buck Rogers and impress the laydees..

Nuff said.

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