Tuesday, October 24, 2017

the twilight zone.

It's day 24 of the whole (by this time frankly boring) 31 days of horror thing so as a treat for anyone(?) still reading I present THE greatest horror movie ever made.

Well, the greatest horror movie ever made featuring Pam Grier as a panther at least.

The Twilight People (1971).
Dir: Eddie Romero.
Cast: John Ashley, Pat Woodell, Pam Grier, Jan Merlin, Eddie Garcia, Charles Macaulay, Ken Metcalfe, Tony Gosalvez and Mona Morena.

Animal desires, human lust, furry rugs.

Hunky adventurer and general stud muffin Matt Farrell (Romero regular Ashley) is enjoying a well deserved scuba holiday somewhere off the Blackpool coast when he's unexpectedly man-napped by a couple of greasy foreign types eager to get a glimpse of his muscular tanned frame.

Trussed up like a (well fit) turkey and dripping with a mix of sea water and manliness our hero is taken aboard what looks like a disused (or stolen) car-ferry belonging to the blond haired, bad man Simon Steinman (Merlin, formerly of King Arthur's court), a man obviously obsessed (in more ways than I feel comfortable with) with Farrell, his arch enemy in the sexy stakes.

John Ashley: He's got something to put in you.

Steinman is in the employ of one Doctor Gordon Gordon (the potato-like co-star of Blacula, MacCaulay), eminent genetic crackpot, father to the gap-toothed vixen Neva (the curvy hipped and bomb breasted Woodell, former pop princess, star of The Big Doll House and the original Bobbie Jo Bradley on teevee's Petticoat Junction) and often described (by whom I've no idea) as the most brilliant scientist alive.

Stripped to his pants and junked up to his eyeballs on sherbet, Farrell is told that Gordon has been searching the world for a man both physically and mentally perfect and that Matt fits the bill.

Poor Gordon couldn't risk Farrell knocking him back so he hired Steinman, knowing of his love for Matt, to come up with an incredibly convoluted plan to capture our hero and bring him to the Doc's island home.

With nothing to do on the journey except get lusted over by both Steinman and Neva whilst wearing a natty collection of handmade shirts, Mike passes the time by quizzing everyone about Gordon's work, soon discovering that the mad medical man believes that the human race is destined for extinction and the only way of stopping this is to splice the human race together with various animals.

But obviously only the ones that live locally.

Or more realistically the ones that the pound shop had masks of.

You Woodell, twice.

Farrell’s first glimpse of Gordon's self proclaimed 'homo superior' is when saucy Steinman invites our hero to join in the pursuit of one of the escaped experimental subjects.

Partly to convince Farrell that escape is impossible but mainly to show off his chest and to impress Farrell with how well he handles his weapon.

Standing about in an uncomfortable silence waiting for something to happen, Steinman is just about to give Matt a reachround when a swarthy pikey with a boar's head appears out of the bushes, screeching like your mum during a particularly heavy anal session and wearing a tramps suit.

Seeing a fantastic chance to prove his manliness Steinman shoots the poor fucker in the face.

Ashley: John.

Looking down at the prone figure Matt has an inkling of what may be in store for him and fellow captive  Juan Pereira (Garcia from Beyond Atlantis, Beast of Blood and The Grateful Dead) but is frankly unconcerned, seeing as both he and Steinman know that he already has a horses cock.

But it's upon chatting about his ordeal with Dr. Gordon that things start to get confusing, seeing as everyone concerned seems to want to do something different to our heroic chum.

Nothing like a well thought out plan eh?

One one hand (tho' not Jeremy Beadle's) Dr. Gordon plans to remove Matt's brain and plonk it in a machine that will allow his consciousness to control all of the beast hybrids, Neva (understandably) has fallen for his rugged charms and wants to have babies with him whilst Steinman just wants to take Matt up the casino.

"Is it in yet?"

Much preferring to be a stone rather than a sponge, Matt decides to choose Neva as his escape ticket and after a quick fumble on the kitchen floor the buxom bombshell decides to help him escape.

But only if they can take all the manimals with them.

Farrell, thinking ahead to a career in the circus (OK then, running a freakshow) agrees but not before heading back to the house to abduct Dr. Gordon.

Luckily he manages this without a hitch seeing as Steinman and the boys have gone out for tapas, leaving Gordon alone and the door unlocked. 

So as Matt drags a tied up Gordon up the high road to freedom, Neva takes the low road (it's more scenic) to the beach alongside the most terrifying beasts ever committed to celluloid.

Yes, even more terrifying than a sweaty John Leslie serenading you from the foot of your bed.

Leslie: Sweat.

Ladies and gentlemen quake in fear as you are introduced to Ayesa the she-panther (the legendary Grier, in tiny black undies, facepaint and a comedy Jew beard), Lupa the wolf (smooth thighed Moreno in mini skirt and Chuckle Hounds mask), the pant wettingly bizarre Darmo the bat (a chest rug wearing, orange peel toothed and cardboard winged Gosalvez of I remember Bataan
fame), the stunning Kuzma the mantelope (a horned and bowl haired Metcalfe from TNT Jackson, looking all the world like Ed Begley Jnr.) and last but by no means least, Primo the horny ape (not credited so I'm assuming it's a real ape man).

Darmo: half man, half bat, all shite.

With Steinman, aided and abetted by a motley group of uninterested local extras in hot pursuit of Matt's much envied manass it's down to Neva and her amazing animal band to cause enough distractions to allow Farrell time to catch up.

Unfortunately the manimals, being out of their cages for the first time ever, all seem to have one thing on their mind.

Yup, it's rutting season on the farm.

Which is OK for Luma and Kuzma who seem to be a match made in (furry) heaven and Darmo who is busy rubbing himself inappropriately against a tree.

Ayesa on the other hand is too busy trying to bite everyone to care about sex which just leaves poor old Primo who, in his best drunken uncle way tries in vain to stick his simian sausage in Neva.

Suffice to say she's not impressed leaving Primo all flustered and a nasty sticky stain down the back of Neva's trousers.

Kate and William: He so horny.

But there's no time for Kleenex as Steinman is quickly catching up on Matt whilst Ayesa the she-panther is getting stroppy because no-one will let her bite Kuzma.

Will Neva be able to rally the beasts into some kind of competent fighting force before Sexy Steinman finds Matt?

Will Luma and Kuzma finally consummate their relationship?

And will Matt's ass escape unharmed?

"Teeth in mah mooth!"

From the legendary Eddie Romero, the hardest working director in the Philippines (47 plus films in a career spanning over a thousand years) and creator of the famous 'Blood' saga comes this frankly mental hybrid of The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Most Dangerous Game really has to be seen to be believed.

Like a throwback to an earlier, more innocent age of mad doctors and wacky science The Twilight People is played straight by the cast (well if you can call anything Jan Merlin does straight), especially Romero regular Ashley and surprisingly Pam Grier, given that she spends the entire movie in a shammy leather mini dress, false nose and comedy teeth whilst miming to a dubbed on cat screech whilst the movies bonkers idea's regarding human evolution coupled with it's threadbare budget give the film an almost feckless charm that wins the viewer over in much the same way as you warm to a drunken, piss-stained tramp dancing in a street on Christmas Eve.

And that's even before I've mentioned the maminal make-up.

"You chase me now!"

In a triumph of vision over practicalities, it veers wildly from the subtly  restrained like Kuzma whose body language and basic nose/antler prosthetic make him a fairly convincing human/antelope hybrid to the comedic genius that is Darmo the bat-man.

Worth the purchase cost alone, you'll find it almost impossible to believe that when the director was confronted with such a monstrosity as an actor who'd been blacked up, dipped in tea and rolled around on a barbers floor before having a couple of hastily cut out bin bags stapled to his arms he didn't have a screaming fit or top himself but decided to give this creation centre stage.

Romero I salute you sir.

And to those of you who have never experienced the absolute joy of The Twilight People I can only say you're in for a treat.

Drop what/who you're doing and go get it now.

Unless you're driving or performing surgery obviously.

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