Thursday, September 16, 2010

out on a limb.

Been a strange month here at Arena Towers with a mix of waiting for pay cheques, having commissions rejected, general work type stuff and my plea last month for someone (anyone) to find me something halfway decent to watch before I end up stabbing the sofa.

Again.

Luckily longtime Unwell urchin Dissolvedpaul was kind enough to recommend this movie to me, saying it was the finest film he'd ever seen.

And he never lies.

Saying that tho' can you really trust a man who released a four CD boxset musical tribute to Peter Bark?

The Last House in the Woods (AKA Il Bosco Fuori. 2006).
Dir: Gabriele Albanesi.
Cast: Daniela Virgilio, Daniele Grasseti, Gennaro Diana, Santa De Santis and a few other folk who should really know better.

There are some lines that must never be crossed...
beyond them all...
is The Last House in the Woods.



Driving along a deserted country round after attending a waiters lookalike party Geoff Soontodie, his fish-lipped wife Brenda and his ball headed boy child Crispin, confused by the eye searing inconsistencies between the day and night shots on-screen manage to make their rented hatchback screech uncontrollably off the road and career headlong down a muddy bank.

Luckily a handy tree helps stop the car before it gets too damaged.

Which is more than can be said for Geoff's face.

Escaping from the car in an amusing wobbly manner, Brenda and son head back to the road to hopefully flag down a passing motorist.

It doesn't take long before help seems to be at hand when a nice sturdy family style saloon comes a trundling down the road towards the pair.

Thinking that a huge faced, bow tie wearing dwarf may put the driver off helping Brenda pushes Crispin to the side of the road (and into daylight bizarrely enough) just as the car slams into her, spraying her pretty dress with mud and ruining her lipstick.

Obviously trying to help the driver steps out of the car and tries to wipe it up by repeatedly hitting her in the face with a large brick.

Crispin, fearful for his life (and possibly of losing his bum virginity) runs into the woods....

"Paging Mr. Herman!"


Meanwhile back at the plot good and proper the chisel of chin and lank of hair Aurora (Italian teevee queen Virgilio) is busy drawing funny faces in crayon whilst her on/off (and constantly hen-pecked boyfriend) Rino (Grasseti from Nature: Consuelo...no me neither) takes her up the arse.

And the reason?

He (allegedly) wants to see what great masterpiece she can create in the throes of ecstasy.

Either that or he's banned from working as a classroom assistant.

Rino and his novelty bike stand yesterday.


Within what seems like minutes the pair have messily split up and Rino has taken to driving around in his Fiat Uno hoping for a glimpse of Aurora's bouncy breasts as she stomps passed him.

Makes a change from sitting at home indulging in a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle I suppose.

But why did these young lovers part I hear you ask?

Seems that Aurora can't decide if she loves him or not, playing the 'I'm really confused' card whilst still expecting him to drive her around and give her sweaty car seat shagging on demand.

Typical woman then.

"Blood in mah big fishy mooth ya bastard!"


Meeting up one day the pair decide to head off up the road from the movies beginning for a bit of 'the sex' and a chat about why she's such an evil cow and wont have him back.

But as the sweaty ex-sweethearts discuss their future (or lack of it) they're interrupted by the arrival of three Hush Puppy wearing, nipple revealing t shirt clad bad boys driving around in a bright pink Fiat hatchback (does the directors dad own a dealership?) looking to partake in a wee bit of fighting and raping.

But not necessarily in that order.

Nicola Bryant, up the casino, 1984.....Yesch!


Beating Rino to a pulp (which to be honest is no show of manliness seeing as a gentle breeze would probably send him flying he's so wet) before locking him in the boot of his car, the three stooges decide to turn their lascivious gaze toward Aurora, pinning her down in the dirt and taking it in turns to gyrate against her thighs and threatening to show her their cocks.

Luckily a nice middle aged (and armed) couple (the facially challenged Diana and the sleazily seductive De Santis) drive up and scare the bad lads away, saving us from having to see their (possibly scabby) penises and Aurora from having to touch them.

A win/win situation as far as I'm concerned then.

"Is it a book, film or song?"


As our would-be beast pals run off into the slowly fading light, the man (Antonio) and his wife (Clara) invite Aurora and the by now free but still-unconscious Rino (I for one couldn't tell the difference between him awake or asleep) back to their house for a cup of tea, a quick clean up and a digestive biscuit.

Aurora, being a greedy bitch agrees and they all drive off down a quiet country lane.

Well I say all drive off but it's really only Antonio doing the driving, the others are passengers.

Obviously.

Arriving at the couples secluded mansion things begin to take a sinister turn for the strange, Rino is huddled off into a room by the sexily pneumatic Clara whilst Aurora is sent to sit in the dining room with the smooth talking (if pube haired) Antonio and his clumsy attempts at seduction.

He does manage a quick snog tho' so he can't be all that bad.

Either that or Aurora's a manipulative whore.

But alas, we'll never know as the creepy couple are thankfully interrupted when, in one of modern cinemas finest 'Laugh Now' moments Antonio's rat-toothed, bowl headed and jam covered seven year old son enters the room asking for a pair of fresh beef curtains to munch on.

Laugh when?


Being thick as mince Aurora doesn't notice anything peculiar about this at all and only begins to worry (and then only slightly) when Antonio comes at her with a hypodermic needle shouting "I kill you now!"

Trying to escape from her slightly strange host, our heroine runs upstairs where she finds a by now conscious Rino strapped to a chair and being forced to watch Cbeebies with toothy boy and his mum.

Fearing an appearance by Big Cook, Little Cook Aurora jumps out of the window and disappears into the night.

Followed by some slow motion flashbacks of ball-boy from the films opening.

This man loves Peter Bark...in EVERY way.

Spooked by the recordings of owl songs and frightened by the distant sounds of growling, Aurora hides under a tree till the cameraman's night filter falls off before heading to a burnt out caravan parked by a nearby bush, surely she'll find help there, I mean it's not like you get inbred cannibal type hicks in the backwoods of Italy is it?

Well, yes you do actually.

I know, I was vaguely surprised by this turn of events too.

not as surprised as Aurora tho' who not only gets her cheeks stroked but gets hit on the head for good measure.

Christmas at Heather Mills house.


Waking back at the house, our lippy loser soon finds that she's strapped to a cheap wicker chair next to an unconscious (yes again) Rino.

Who appears to have lost a few limbs along the way.

Continuity error or food for the spiky toothed cannibal child?

Go on...guess.

Screaming and shouting (oh and getting really angry because she's just decided that she loves Rino after all) Aurora is told the terrible tale of Ratty's birth.

Seems the poor boy was born with a perfect set of gnashers and and overwhelming love of man-meat.

Obviously the only solution to the problem was to fortify the house and begin kidnapping anyone who drives down their street.

As a parent I can totally see the logic behind that.

Whilst all this back story is being filled in toothy Tom is bust salivating at the thought of munching out on Aurora's ample thighs and eating her whole.

Tho' I've heard cannibals usually spit that bit out.

I'm sorry but that's not a skirt it's a belt.


Meanwhile our terrible threesome are driving back from a night of booze, big bands and blow-jobs when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. With none of their phones working the boys decide to walk thru' the woods, occasionally stopping to pull action poses and look for a house where they can get help and/or some more sex.

Oh and as the none too bright Ginger adds "We can steal a DVD player too!"

It's not long (or big, or clever) before they begin to hear screams in the distance which Biffa, the lead thug mistakes for the sound of shagging, reckoning if they can follow the sound they can all have sex too.

And they say romance is dead.

"Sorry hen but you've got the wrong last house!"


Still tied to a chair and being forced to watch a fat man with a scabby lip chainsaw her beau's arm off it actually comes as a blessed relief to Aurora when she see's her would-be molesters face peering thru' the window.

To Antonio's family tho' this is one meal-time interruption too far and, after packing little toothy ratkin off to bed the entire clan arm themselves with whatever comes to hand and head out to catch the interlopers and protect the family secret locked away in the cellar....

Will Aurora survive with all her limbs still attached?

Will Robbie Rapist turn good guy or attempt to stick it in her again?

Will we ever find out what the significance of bow tie boy is?

And will Rino manage to get trousers to fit him now?


Same shit, different smell.



Writer, director and non trick pony Gabriele Albanesi after force feeding himself a diet of classic seventies shlockers and classic eighties splatter has manage to vomit up a mish mash of influences and ideas so bizarre and unrelated as to make a film that's beyond parody, redemption and possibly criticism.

How else can you explain how arse numbingly bad yet at the same time head fuckingly brilliant
The Last House in the Woods is?

It's quite honestly the film your twelve year old self never made, a junior school version of Phenomena via The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with an added cameo from Last House On The Left villain Krug's slightly stupider younger brother, slightly less soiled linen and considerably more arse shots.

Is this a good thing? I can't possibly say.

But what I can tell you is that if Amer is the ultimate tribute to the Eurohorror genre then this is the hook handed idiot sibling, cowering and dribbling in the basement whilst constantly masturbating over faded, soiled pictures of Marilyn Burns.

And Pete too probably.

"Sorry, I have my woman's period".



Chock full of bizarrely inappropriate dialogue, full frontal amputations, shocking denim fashions, kiddie friendly cannibalism, chainsaw-wielding inbred hicks and a flagrant disregard for the laws of editing not seen since the heady days of Plan 9, the acting veers wildly between the stiffly Formica (Grasseti I'm looking at you) to ear bleedingly shrilly (Virgilio) with a supporting cast that seems hell bent on hitting every emotional point in between whether we like it or not.

Except for the wee toothy boy that is, who seems to spend the entire film in a dribbly, Prozac fuelled daze.

And who says child abuse can't be entertaining?

But fear not for there is one saving grace in this sea of mediocrity and that's the gorgeously ghoulish Santa De Santis.

Coming over like Daria Nicolodi's slinkier, sleazier little sister with a penchant for sensible A-line skirts, De Santis knows exactly how to play it, giving (the fairly sketchy) role just enough 'arch' as to make it the most memorable performance on show.

And in a film packed to the brim with lump-headed freaks, mutant kids and various ginger folk that's no easy task.

And that's why we love her.

De Santis: Twice.


The Last House in the Woods elicits the same feelings of wrongful passion that you get when gazing at your neighbours daughter or your younger cousin in her Girl Guides uniform, you know it's wrong but you just can't help yourself, sneaking a peek from the corner of your eye whilst adjusting you trousers.

Damning with faint praise or too much information regarding my social life?

You decide, I'm off to dress the Cassman in a waiters outfit.

4 comments:

Andrew Green said...

You've got me intrigued....
I think I'll be tracking this film down.

warmcanofcoke said...

What movie is that with Nicola Bryant? I tried looking for "Up the Casino" but no luck. IMDB only has her for Doctor Who in 1984

Anonymous said...

Fun review! But what is that with Nicola Bryant? Can't find anything from her in the 80's except Dr. Who.

Ashton Lamont said...

it was straight to tv so that's why it's not listed. Probably.