Sunday, October 3, 2010

our cousin vinny.

Been an eventful few days here, what with not being able to see in 3-D and all.

The docs reckon it's a corneal abrasion, me I just think my eyes have started bleeding from watching too much shite.

Speaking of which...

The Last Horror Film (AKA Fanatic. 1982).
Dir: David Winters.
Caroline Munro, Joe Spinell, Judd Hamilton, Devin Goldenberg, David Winter, Susan Benton, Glenn Jacobson and Sean Casey.

"I've seen enough fake blood to 
know the real thing when I see it!"


Sweat covered NYC taxi driver and part time pock-marked testicle Vinny Durand (cult God Spinell) is scarily obsessed with the fantastically sweet smelling cult scream queen Jana Bates (the very first Barclay's of any self respecting child of the seventies and first lady of fantasy, the yumsome Munro), spending all his spare cash on every piece of Bates merchandise available.

Oh and tissues obviously.

But Vinny isn't planning being a taxi driver (or chronic masturbator) forever because he has a dream.

A dream of making the ultimate (and by default last) horror film with his heroine.

And when he yells cut he really means it.

As in "I'll cut you up!" not "finish filming that scene" obviously.

That all sorted? Great now I can get back to the plot.

Returning home to the cramped, shame tinged apartment he shares with his mum Vinny announces that he's off to the world famous Cannes Film Festival (that's in Paris, France near London, Europe for our American readers) in the hope of meeting Ms. Bates in the flesh and hopefully persuade her to appear in his aforementioned dream project, the aptly titled 'Death Wears a Second Hand Thong'.

After listening to her son's heartfelt dreams and plans, and being a normal mum she slaps him around the head and calls him a mentalist layabout with personal hygiene issues before making him a meatball sandwich and helping him to pack his case.

Matt Smith: The Pikey years.

Arriving in Cannes Vinny tries in vain to get a meeting with Jana but only meets with failure and general snobbery at every attempt, knocked back by everyone from her manager and ex-husband Master Bret Bates (Jacobson from Operation: Petticoat) as well as Jana's boyfriend, the famous film producer Alan Cunningham (Munro's ginger 'tached ex hubbie Hamilton).

On a plus side he does meet up with a bona fide 'American cowboy' and gets to stroll along the streets looking at film posters whilst the cameraman does his best to try and film someone (more) famous leaving a hotel.

It's like watching Friday 13Th intercut with your mums old holiday snaps.

But minus the nudity and body modification obviously.

The final straw tho' is when a stringy French bouncer knocks him back from a happening disco-party being held in Jana's honour, finally breaking Vinny's tenuous link to reality and destroying his beliefs regarding acceptable party fashions.

Angrily phoning Bret to complain about his treatment and to pitch his thong thriller, Vinny gets even more annoyed when the miserly manager hangs up on him, preferring to spend his time snorting cocaine from between the buttocks of a smooth skinned Albania boy child than talk 'the horror'.

Or was that me whilst I was watching this?

Attending an afternoon press conference to promote her new movie 'Scream' (not that one)  Jana is fairly perturbed to receive a bunch of garage forecourt flowers and a hand scrawled note that reads, "You've made your last horror film." 

Spooky eh?

Hopefully whilst all this flower based creepiness is going on no-one has murdered the ferret-like Bret in his bathrobe cos that'd be really embarrassing for the poor guy.


Too late! Arriving at his hotel room Jana comes across Bret's bloodied remains, his little thin legs sticking out over the bath like a couple of discarded twigs.

Like any modern, strong willed woman in the same situation she runs away screaming.

But on returning with Alan and the local police, the body has vanished.

Who saw that coming?

"That reminds me...I must order a turkey for Christmas."


Luckily this lurch forward in the plot doesn't stop the fun to be hand as the endless footage of Jana wandering in and out of hotels intercut with crash zooms into movie posters takes centre stage.

Again.

We're soon back to the action tho' as Vinny (resplendent in a top hat and cloak) continues stalking Jana, sneakily filming her at every given opportunity before retiring to his hotel room to sweat.

After indulging in a tearful Pot Noodle obviously.

Realising quite late on that he's in a film about movie making but he hasn't met a single clich├ęd Jew yet, Vinny calls Marty Bernestein (Hollywood Blue writer Goldenberg) to ask if he'd be willing promote 'Death Wears a Second Hand Thong'.

Maybe by wearing a second hand thong.

Or a t-shirt bearing the title.

With a raise of his hands and an "Oy vey!" Marty declines before heading off to an important meeting with Scream director Stanley Kline (the films real-life director and former West Side Story gang banger A-Rab, Winters, honestly you couldn't make this shite up or make it any more confusing) and his 'personal assistant' Susan Archer (the covergirl of the May 1970 issue of Playboy - Vol. 17, Issue 5, pg. 137-141 for anyone interested - and star of the fantastic Boy and His Dog Benson).

It appears that all three of them have received the same note as Jana and Bret.

But more upsetting that the note is the fact that they didn't receive any nice flowers with it.

In my eyes the only thing worse than a murdering psychotic bastard is a tight  murdering psychotic bastard.

Phew, I'm glad to get that off my chest finally.


The reason I know so much about that issue? I own it. 




With all the threatening notes, murders and obscene amounts of unnecessary   footage of topless starlets going about Marty decides to head down to the local police station and ask for some help.

Unfortunately all the police in France are foreign and show no interest in doing an honest days detecting, preferring to blame Marty for Bret's disappearance, accusing it of being a cheap publicity before snubbing their noses and such unworthy cinema as the horror genre then going home to burn British beef, watch Jerry Lewis 'comedies' and await the next chance to surrender to someone.

Some French police yesterday deciding who should surrender to the wee boy first.


Heading pack to his hotel to count his money and train a group of Victorian pick-pockets, Marty is (fairly) surprised to find a letter from Bret on his doormat.

It seems the alleged dead man wants to meet him at a local screening room to watch a film.

Bizarre.

When Marty shows up tho' it's all revealed to be a crazy misunderstanding as instead of Bret being there to meet him, he's greeted by a hooded figure wielding an axe.

Nice firm tummy, stunning breasts, fanny made from bananas.


With Vinny getting angrier by the minute and shouting at strippers whilst more and more of Jana's companions are being threatened in a variety of bizarre and brutal (well, just brutal really) ways, nervous (but still bouncy) Susan begs Stanley to leave Cannes with her that very night but Stan (being either immune to her charms or gay) convinces her that it'll be safer to stay a while longer.

Or at least until they've attended the premiere of For Your Eyes Only, as Stan has heard that it's a throwback to the old style of Bond movies before the gadgets took precidence over plot.

Bond: Back to basics.


Neither of them have the chance to find out tho' as that evening Stanley is stabbed to death by the hooded figure (well technically he's stabbed to death by a knife but you know what I mean) whilst a fleeing (and very bouncy) Susan falls off a hotel roof after being shot in the arse by a pellet gun.

Every death twitch and scream filmed by the killers hidden camera.

Meanwhile across town, Vinny has stopped sweating for just long enough to buy a bottle of cheap plonk and break into Jana's hotel room, hoping this surprise gesture will win her over to appearing in his movie.

Stepping out of the shower (her golden thighs glistening in the harsh light of the uncovered 70 watt bulb), Jana is (not too surprisingly, a phrase that's been banded about a lot during this review, unlike the phrase 'utter fucking shite' which I'll no doubt get to later) none to impressed to find a pencil moustached pock faced perv sitting on the edge of her bed vigorously rubbing a champagne bottle and politely asks him to leave.

"Put it in me!"
This brush off, whilst fairly acceptable to us normal folk annoys the buggery out of the by now quite understandably fractious Vinny who, in retaliation smashes the bottle and threatens poor Jana with the jagged edge.

Is this really how Hollywood contracts are made?

luckily the doorbell rings and scares Vinny momentarily (he obviously only has a knocker at home), giving Jana enough time to kick Vinny in the happy sacks and leg it down the hotel corridor clad only in a towel.

Let's take a moment to imagine this enduring image.

I'll admit I didn't give her that pearl necklace but if I'm honest I still would cum on her neck.

Vinny, not content with taking "Fuck off you mentalist!" as an answer gives chase and is only stopped from catching the wet one when a group of photographers get him to pose for some photographs.

By this time Jana has come across (easy tiger!) Alan and, after explaining the situation our ginger prince offers to take Jana to a remote castle owned by her musician friend Jonathan (Casey, the films associate producer) where she'll be safe from any mentalists lurking around.

Sorted.

But the next day, as Alan drives Jana to the castle of relative safety in the French countryside who should be following them but dear old Vinny.

You know that someone is going to 'accidentally' cop it in the next ten minutes when Vinny (who's gone from scary stalker to real-life Mr. Bump) breaks in hoping to get five minutes with Jana don't you?

Yup, alas poor Jonathan we hardly knew you.

Or cared if I'm honest.

Realising that the movie is nearing it's climax and that they've been nominated for the coveted 'Scariest Picture of The Year' award our debonair duo return to Cannes for the ceremony, putting their lives on the line in the hope of winning the gold (plated) statuette, £75 spending money and two nights in Saltcoats.

On the way into the hastily decorated bingo hall being used to host the ceremony however they fail to notice the pock faced, sweaty policeman standing at the front door.

"You'll never shite in mah mooth ya bastard!"


Waiting outside the gents whilst Alan has a particularly painful bowel movement, Vinny manages to chloroform Jana before bundling her into the back of a car and driving all the way back to the castle.

It seems he has a final scene to film for his ultimate horror movie....

But from the shadows a mysterious hooded, camera carrying figure is watching quietly as the events unfold...



Multi-faceted Director/writer/producer/dancer David Winters (alongside co-writers Judd Hamilton and Tom Klassen) took Cannes by storm way back in 1981when they made the (fairly) bold and undeniably cheap decision to film The Last Horror Film without permits and guerrilla style on the towns streets actually during the festival.

And hats off to them for it because despite the low budget, pants dubbing and community halls posing as top range screening rooms they managed to produce quite a nifty little thriller with enough twists to keep you watching even when your brain is yelling turn it off.

Re-teaming the munchy cult starlet Munro and the criminally underrated Spinell from the murkily mucky William Lustig murder frenzy Maniac whilst populating the rest of the movie with various real life members of the crew adds a an almost surrealist quality to the film, aided as it is by the snatched footage of 'real life' stars arriving at screenings and on red carpets.

This blurring of reality and fiction is nowhere near as obvious as in the movies opening scenes where Spinell is seen reading an issue of Starburst Magazine that has a cover feature about the film he's actually acting in at that very moment.

It's like a lo-fi Charlie Kaufman slasher that seems to have popped thru' a crack in space/time from that weird alternate universe where Doctor Who was never cancelled, someone with a smidgen of talent illustrates the Arrow covers and where Splice wasn't shit.

Yes, it's that strange an experience.

But one I urge you to search out if you haven't already.


I'll be the first to admit that yes, it might be cheaper than your mum and tackier than your bed sheets but The Last Horror Film has a special kind of eighties charm that perfectly encapsulates the time and place wherein it was made.

Plus you get to see Caroline Munro in a towel.

And that's gotta be worth a quid of anyone's money.

1 comment:

Rabbi Monty Fukkman said...

False advertising! Clearly this is not the last horror film!