Monday, November 29, 2010

video naschy.

The strangely hypnotic Vicar of VHS and his evil cohort in cinematic sin The Duke of DVD have graciously asked me to take part in the first ever Paul Naschy Blogathon that they've unleashed (from beyond the grave obviously) over at their frankly magnificent MMMMMovies blog.

And not only did they ask very politely but they said that if I agreed they would burn both the set of photo's and the negatives.

So dear reader how could I refuse?

But which film to pick?

Well, after a random, blindfolded grab at the shelf (which first brought forth Banda Darwaza, different country completely but still subtitled) I reckoned it was probably easier to put all the Naschy stuff together before picking (otherwise I'd be here all night).

With that done my sticky little paws found themselves drawn to...

Curse of the Devil (AKA Return of the Werewolf, El Retorno de Walpurgis. 1973).
Dir: Carlos Aured.
Cast: Paul Naschy, Fabiola Falcón, Maria Silva, Ana Farra, Fernando Sánchez Polack, Maritza Olivares, José Manuel Martín, Ines Morales and Eduardo Calvo.

Damn the Exorcist! The Devil won't let go!

Returning home after a busy night working as a Sir Lancelotagram, Irenius Daninsky (the late, great Naschy AKA Jacinto Molina Álvarez and the reason we are here) is surprised to come upon his evil rival in the kissing knight business,  Baron Barry Bathory riding toward him across a deserted field.

Furious at the thought of such a second rate snogger (and crap dancer) stealing his work Irenius has no alternative but to challenge the beastly Baron to a full on Knight Fight.

With the sound a cheap tin on plastic filling the early morning air it's not too long before our hero has bested (tho' thankfully not beasted) the vile Baron, taking his large comedy proportioned head as a souvenir.

But the smell of blood, sweat and shame has driven Irenius into a righteous fury that the life of one bad Bathory isn't enough to quell.

Raising (and rousing) his most trusted men he decides to march on Bathory Towers, where he is certain that the Baron's wife, the professional vixen and part-time bad girl Elizabeth Bathory (a behatted and narrow of hips yet still quite fit for an old bird Silva) is holding a Black Mass.


Just in case you forget what we're talking about.

Entering the castle just in time to catch mad Lizzie cutting an oil-covered naked gypsy girl's throat cut, our Christian crusaders waste no time in taking the whole coven into custody and, after the shortest (and by the looks of it the most legally dubious) trial in the history of Witch-Finding hanging them from the bridge at Daninsky's castle.

Which, admittedly is a good use of space which really adds contrast to the stark brickwork.

All that is except Elizabeth who, being the leader of the coven (and more importantly the only real actress in the scene) is tied to a stake and set alight.

Which (unfortunately for Irenius and his kin) give her just enough time to curse his family with what must be the most convoluted threat ever made by a burning witch.

With her dying breath she explains that one of his descendants will, at some point accidentally kill one of her descendants, thus setting the (most probably) vile curse in motion.

And you wonder why you're girlfriend wont invite you home to meet her folks?

Now the back story is done and dusted we can all flash forward a few years and meet the mournful and slightly melancholic Waldemar Daninsky (It's Naschy! Again!), the last of the Daninsky's, his roly-poly housemaid Malitza (Ana Farra but not the one from Scary Movie) and 'man-servant' Maurice (Cannibal Man's Polack).

Imagine Bruce Wayne with a third of the cash but twice the charisma, topped off with William Shatner's hair and you're halfway there.

Naschy: Dreamy.
Being a closeted, rich type, Waldemar spends his days moping around reading poetry and taking long walks in the woods While his servants try (in vain) to get him to take up a hobby or talk to girls.

Things seem to be turning round for our troubled hero tho' when one day, completely out of the blue he asks if he can join Maurice on a hunting trip.

You see, it appears that a wolf is loose around the forest scaring the local farmers chickens and it's Maurice's job (seeing as he's the only person with a gun license) to kill it.

Armed with a swanky new Chinese fowling piece (made in Birmingham, England naturally) and bedecked in his best tweed jodhpurs, Waldemar throws himself whole heartedly into tracking a wolf, letting out a loud "Woohoo!" when he finally bags the beast.

Imagine then his surprise when on closer inspection of the body he discovers that it wasn't a wolf at all but a man!

And he wasn't even that hairy.

He couldn't have been a Werewolf could he?

Well if he was his gypsy brethren (who aren't at all named Bathory oh no) aren't saying, seeing as they're too busy being huffy and refusing money from Waldemar whilst trying to sell pegs to all and sundry.

Whilst all this soap-like drama is going on the gypsy elders, hidden deep within a nearby cave, are busy summoning the Devil himself in order to set the second part of the Bathory curse, which seems to involve a spandex clad mime taking various busty gypsy wenches up the arse to see who has the sexiest cum face, into motion.

Which is nice work if you can get it.

Ines Morales, up the casino, Benidorm, 1973....Yesch!

Thru' all the grunting, groaning and cross-eyed lip biting it's Ilona (scrumptious Necrophagus star and another survivor of Cannibal Man, Morales) that comes out on top (albeit with slightly scuffed knees) and, posing as a helpless lady with a low cut dress, manages to worm her way into Waldemar's home.

And his king sized bed.

After on particularly heavy night of love making, Ilona, clad only in an old ladies chiffon nightie sneaks back into our unlucky chums room clutching a wolf skull and a pen knife.

Unluckily for Waldemar this isn't some kind of proto-Basic Instinct shagathon but the final rites in the dreaded Bathory curse.


Slitting her wrist and wiping the fresh blood over the skull Ilona plunges the little wolf teeth into Waldemar's ample manbreast before disappearing into the night.

But just to show that bad things do happen to bad people she's soon hacked to death by a passing axe wielding mentalist.

So that's ok then.

Waking up on the bedroom floor with a terribly itchy tit, Waldemar is helped back to bed by Maurice and an overly concerned Malitza.

It seems that last night was the eve of Walpurgis and being of good old fashion pikey folk, Malitza has an inkling of what may have been done to poor Waldemar.

There's no time for Malitza to voice her fears tho' as no sooner has Waldemar got up and gotten dressed than the local police type bloke turns up to inform him that the axe murderer that killed Ilona appears to have set up home in the woods and is intent on annoying the neighbours.

A prayer before mooth shite-in.

If all that wasn't enough to keep everyone interested then the fact that a famous Belgian industrialist, his blind wife and beautiful young(ish) daughters have moved into the house a the edge of the woods (tho' not at the edge of the park unfortunately) it at least cheers Waldemar up and he decides to go for a walk in the hope of coming across them.

The daughters that is, I mean if he came across the mum she'd probably think it's was just raining or something.

Tiptoeing thru' the tulips Waldemar hears a cry from in the distance and runs toward the noise only to find older sister Kinga (the permanently middle aged star of National Mechanics, Falcon) teetering precariously on a ledge after attempting to pick some flowers.

As our hunky hero helps the poor maiden down their eyes meet and it's love at first sight, much to the annoyance of the rabbit toothed yet incredibly bouncy breasted younger sister Maria (the pixie-like Olivares) who, quite understandably, fancies a wee bit of Naschy nookie for herself.

"Awight hen....who's first for a suckle?"

As the romance blossoms and the full moon rises so does the body count, the locals (and police) blaming these lunar head loppings on the murderer still at large in the woods.

So why is it that Waldemar keeps waking up with dirty feet?

Whatever Malitza knows she isn't telling.

Smiling for the first time since the film began and preparing to announce their engagement Waldemar receives a letter from his bride to be asking to meet at their secret love nest (a cottage at the edge of the woods) and hoping for a bit of pre-nup rumpy Waldemar quickly washes himself.

But he's in for a shock on his arrival seeing as that's where the axe man is hanging out.

And the note was sent by Maria, not Kinga.

It's like a less fantastical Eastenders isn't it?

Arriving just in time to see the killer attempting to stick his chopper in Maria Waldemar jumps into the fray, beating the badman within an inch of his acting ability before stabbing him with a letter opener and throwing him out of an open window.

Turning to Maria for an explanation he notices two quite important things.

1. she's naked.


2. Her breasts are indeed much perkier than her sisters.

Five fingers, never touched the sides.

It seems that far from being the flirty little whore we mistook her for (which is a shame) Maria just wants to be loved and is sick and tired of being treated like a child.


After pouring out her heart she turns to Waldemar and confesses "I came her a virgin and don't intend to leave one".

Waldemar, being a strong upstanding guy does the right thing and sticks it in her.

And before any of you start tutting we've all done it at some point or another if we're honest about it.

What we haven't done tho' (probably) is transformed into a Werewolf during intercourse and bitten the throat out of our partner.

Which is unfortunately, what occurs here.


With the room (and Maria) awash with blood, hair and semen Waldemar leaps from the window ready for the hunt, leaving Malitza to come out of hiding and tidy up the mess.

Bless her, I mean who wouldn't like a granny that did that for you?

The locals (being country bumpkins and therefore thick as pig shit) are still intent on blaming the escaped axe man for the crimes, until that is they find his corpse rotting away in a barn with a letter opener bearing the initials WD sticking out his chest.

This (fairly circumstantial) evidence couple with the man sized paw prints and hairballs scattered about immediately points to a Werewolf wandering around the place and by a using a complex method of elimination it's decided the real killer is none other than Waldemar Daninsky himself.

To prove this the villagers indiscriminately murder Maurice before heading into the woods with pitchforks aloft and shouting loudly.

As the rampant mob gather numbers, smashing letterboxes and upturning flower pots as they go Kinga realises that there is only one thing she can do to save Waldemar's eternal soul...

But does she have the courage and love to see it thru?

"Blood in mah big hairy mooth!"

Back in the days before t'internet (and, gulp even video) the only way you could find out about new (ok let's be honest here, any) horror movies was from local library books (usually written by Leslie Halliwell, a writer whose own ideas of good horror once noted that Night of The Living Dead had killed the genre and nothing of any worth had been made since) or one of the very few genre magazines available (stand up and be counted House of Hammer and on the rare occasions it got imported to a wee newsagent nearby Famous Monsters).

As a precocious seven year old force fed a Saturday night teevee double bill of Universal and RKO classics these greats of film literature were a godsend to me and I would spent all my spare time pouring over grainy black and white shots of  Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. as the tragic Lawrence Talbot.

Bejesus and Mary Chaney.

I'll never forget tho' (I have a good memory) that one particular issue had a photo of the Wolfman I'd never seen before, true it was labelled 'the Werewolf' and although the accompanying picture of a fraught young man had a hint of Chaney about him his name wasn't Talbot.

It was Daninsky.

Like any curious kid of that age I examined the picture for a few minutes before completely forgetting about it and turning the page to reread an article on what looked like the greatest monster movie ever.

Ah Crater Lake Monster where are you now?

The love of horror stayed with me (as did the love of Universal) and thanks to magazines like Starburst information became easier to find, the Saturday night double bills sometimes featured the films of Eddie Romero alongside the old faithfuls and movies like Dawn of The Dead and Phantasm had fuelled my geek gene, forcing me to learn more about the directors and their influences.

As a teenager you can probably tell I was never asked out on dates.

The strange sad faced man with the foreign name seemed to have disappeared without a trace tho' and whilst Coffin Joe was being photographed with Christopher Lee at swanky Parisian horror conventions it would take a controversial censorship bill of epic proportions to bring the legendary Paul Naschy to the attentions of young horror fans in dear old blighty.

Yup, I hate to admit it but it's thanks to the 1984 'video nasty' furore and the inadvertent banning of Naschy's 1975 monster mash The Werewolf and The Yeti that finally introduced me to the great man's work.

And oh boy did I hate it.

Bizarrely enough, of all the films I devoured at the time this is one of those that I have only the vaguest recollections of; something about the infamous Abominable Snowman playing the bagpipes during a fight scene and being sent out of the room to get biscuits when Naschy got involved in a wee bit of threeway action comes to mind.

But the most upsetting thing about it, and I'll admit this stayed with me for years, wasn't the gore or the sex (or even the lack of decent biscuits at my nan's).

It was because this young upstart seemed to be taking all the ideas, the drama and heartache (plus the dissolve effects) of my beloved Universal movies and trying to make them his own.

How very dare he.

The second most terrifying VHS case of all time.

So being the sensible and knowledgeable film connoisseur that I was (you know, the way you can only be when you're 14) there was only one thing I could do.

Laugh loudly at the screen and flounce back to my 'serious' horror movies, tutting audibly at anyone who even mentioned that film.

Looking back I find myself dying a wee bit inside at the thought of being such a know all little brat, so caught up in my own (movie-based) importance that I totally failed to see the irony in the situation.

The whole fact that they reminded me of the Universal series was that Naschy was a fan too.

It's just that he knew how to have fun with his 'fannishness'.

And there's no better example of that than Curse of The Devil, taking as it does it's basic storyline from the Universal Wolfman (well it was written by Curt Siodmak so you might as well steal from the best), the mad witches and mysterious castles from Poe era Corman and it's copious amounts of tit and fanny shots from early seventies Hammer before mixing the whole thing together with a continental flair usually kept for high quality Euro-porn to make something so comfortable yet so unique that you can't help but fall for it's charms.

A wee bit like the ladies round the great man himself.

And talking of the great man, it's true that it looks like most of the scant budget went on styling his hair (both as Daninsky and the Werewolf) but the lack of polish and (sometimes inappropriate) use of library music only adds to the enjoyment factor.

Yes you may have seen it all before but never quite like this.

If you've never experienced the joys and heartache of  Waldemar Daninsky them I suggest you use the Christmas holidays to catch up and to Mr. Naschy a (slightly late) but heartfelt apology.

Sorry I never got the joke sir, I was too busy trying to get my head round the exploding doorknob in Suspiria at the time.

And at least I grew out of that serious geek phase.

I hope.

Monday, November 22, 2010

the twilight zone.

Prepare yourself for the greatest movie ever made.

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

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 attempt 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 whilst Neva (understandably) has fallen for his rugged charms and wants to have babies with him and 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 and 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 films and still going) 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 ave 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.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

a nightmare on pigeon street.

Finally got a subtitled copy of this after having a Japanese language version sitting on my shelf for years.

Can't give too much away for fear of spoiling one of the best little chillers of recent years.

But let's not beat around the bush here, on the surface Noroi may have all the hallmarks (and warning signs) of a formulaic Ringu/Blair Witch/Last Broadcast rip-off; the found footage, mysterious video tapes et al but fear not, because director Koji Shiraishi (of Grotesque fame) has taken a pinch of each of these influences and fashioned them into a movie that is frankly far more effective (and creepy) than any one of them.


Noroi: The Curse (2005).
Dir: Koji Shiraishi.
Cast: Jin Muraki, Rio Kanno, Maria Takagi, Marika Matsumoto, Tomomi Eguchi, Hiroshi Aramata, Tomono Kuga and Satoru Jitsunashi.

"I want the truth. No matter how terrifying, I want the truth."

Well known celebrity paranormal investigator, the cheerfully chubby, cake shop loving Masafumi Kobayashi (Nightmare Detective's Muraki) host a weekly show called "Wahey it's a ghost!" on Tokyo's top teevee channel garnering sky high ratings every week.

Just imagine a slightly less ginger Yvette Fielding with bigger (and better) tits, a bowl haircut and less bullshit.

He has a loyal following, a lovely wife and a fine line in waterproof jackets but all this will be put to the test (especially the jackets) as he and his loyal cameraman Jeff start an investigation into a mysterious phenomenon known simply as 'Noroi'.

Or as we English speakers would say 'The Curse'.

You see, not long after completing the project, Kobayashi's house burns to the ground killing his wife and our intrepid reporter disappears off the face of the earth.

All that remains are the tapes he made during the course of the investigation and, as the voiceover informs us, we are about to see them for the first time.

"Welcome to fright night!" as Craig Charles would say just before he ripped your clothes off and attempted to stick it in you.


Yvette Fielding: Crap tits.

Anyway I digress so let's head back, way back to the halcyon days of November 2002, when Kobayashi was busy interviewing a fairly hot single mum and her small daughter about the spooky goings on next door.

It seems that the pair have been hearing what sounds like scary crying babies coming from the house next door.

Popping round for a quick nosey around Kobayashi is greeted by the house's occupants, a raggedy haired, mental woman (the usually foxy Kuga from Invisible Waves) shouting utter bollocks at anyone who'll listen and a small pig nosed boy named Trevor who spends his days staring out of the window into next doors kitchen.

Sounds a wee bit like my neighbours.

Before getting chased away with a broom, Kobayashi's camera guy manages to pick up a strange noise on tape and our hero excitedly takes it to be analysed by a clever science of sound man.

After much technical jiggery and a wee bit of scientific pokery the sound guy manages to identify the noises coming from the house.

It turns out to be the sound of five babies crying in unison.


Heading back to follow up this disturbing development, Kobayashi finds that the gruesome twosome have moved out and have appeared to have taken the noises with them.

Unfortunately for the local bin men they've left all their rubbish - and a pile of dead pigeons behind in the garden.

Rifling thru' the aforementioned trash (and obviously avoiding the huge piles of bird shit), Kobayashi discovers that the batty bird is one Junko Ishii and files away this information in case it proves useful later.

You think?

On a sadder note he also discovers that the nice next-door neighbour and her little poppet of a daughter ended up killed (to death) in a car crash less than a week after five days after Kobayashi's visit.

Hmmm, could this be related?

Kobayashi spots a giant marzipan house.

We've no time to ask as the documentary jumps back to show clips from an episode of  Kobayashi's show that focused on children with ESP.

Which is a much more entertaining prospect than Junior Masterchef if I'm honest.

Out of the ten kids being tested, it's pigtailed princess Kana Yano (Kanno, the wee girl from Dark Water) who comes out on top, scoring the highest marks on the first four shape-drawing tests, on the fifth however instead of drawing a carrot she sketches what looks like a gimp mask with huge black eyesockets and a puckered anus for a mouth.

And if that wasn't weird enough (which to my mind it is), when she's requested to materialise some water into a sealed bottle - only using the power of the mind obviously - Kana manages this task without even breaking a sweat.

And conjures up some newborn baby hair in the jar at no extra cost.

"This is what I shite-ed in Ms!"

The next clip is from an earlier episode concentrating on celebrity ghost sightings, where a geeky ghost hunting duo (a kind of Japanese equivalent of Ant and Dec) and teevee/anime actress Marika Matsumoto are heading to Tokyo's most haunted shrine in the hope of seeing a spirit.

Or at the very least a chance of touching up Matsumoto behind the bins.

Matsumoto, all giggles, fluffy collars and big socks, confesses to being a bit of a psychic herself and having seen literally hundreds of ghosts before and being no stranger to having the willies put up her jumped at the chance to take part.

Within minutes of arriving at the shrine things take a turn for the worst as Matsumoto gets spooked by an eerie voice before falling to the ground and wriggling about like your nan having a stroke.

Matsumoto: Insert cock here.

Later at an after show party for the cast and crew, Kobayashi interviews Matsumoto about the evenings events but she has absolutely no recollection of the incident save for hearing a man's voice whispering the word Kagutaba to her.

Luckily Kobayashi has invited the famous tinfoil-clad Autistic psychic and self proclaimed protector of humanity from ecto-plasmic worms Mitsuo Hori (Jitsunashi from Ju-on: The Grudge 2) to come and explain everything.

This doesn't really go to plan tho' as Hori runs on stage and attempts to strangle Matsumoto (whilst shouting shouting "Watch out for the pigeons!") as opposed to helping her.

An easy mistake to make I'm sure you'll agree.

Kobayashi, being a clever bloke - or having read the script - makes the bird based connection between the dead pigeons and Hori's warning and decides to dig a little deeper, going back to check out the shrine tapes.

Lo and behold on further viewing keen eyed Kobayashi spots a ghostly figure standing in the distant behind Matsumoto, a figure whose face bears a striking resemblance to the picture drawn by Kana the psychic girl.

Heading out to see her Kobayashi is shocked to find that the poor lamb has gone missing.

And that the last person to see her was behatted mentalist Mitsuo Hori.

"You raff.....YOU RUSE!"

With a more and more shot to fuck Matsumoto in tow, Kobayashi rushes to Hori's apartment in the hope of garnering any information on the small girls whereabouts and to see if the psychic has any knowledge of the mysterious Kagutaba.

And from his reaction to being asked what it means I reckon he does, seeing as he literally poohs himself and hides in a giant toilet roll tube before falling into a trace and sketching a map showing Kana's location.

Kobayashi has no choice but to follow Hori's map if he's to have any chance of finding the missing girl and discovering the connection between the mysterious Kagutaba and the frankly pant filling events occurring around him.

"Hand in mah mooth!"

But he's gonna haveta get a move on, seeing as everyone and anyone, no matter how tenuously linked to the investigation is either disappearing without a trace or dying in a variety of bizarre ways.

Will Kobayashi discover the truth before he himself becomes a victim of the curse?

Frankly no, seeing as the film established that fact in it's opening minutes.

But don't let that put you off.

Playing out like a Japanese Ghostwatch with it's mix of fictitious characters and 'celebrity' cameos - everyone from anime voice-over queen Marika Matsumo to former AV girl and star of the classic Illegal Tits Violation 15, Maria Takagi via J-Pop gods Gokyu - Noroi doesn't try to be big, clever or re-invent the mockumentary genre, it's whole reason for being is just to deliver some scares.

Which it indeed does in bucket loads.

Jin Muraki is an instantly likeable lead and Satoru Jitsunash takes the tic-ridden   Mitsuo Hori, a role that could have been (over) played for laughs and makes him incredibly sympathetic.

With well over twenty five speaking characters and a running time of over two hours, Noroi has an unusually leisurely pace that builds the tension little by little, slowly unravelling the meaning of Kagutaba in such a way that you become totally (and unexpectedly) drawn into mystery, not realising how far it's burrowed under your skin before it's too late.

"Do you require any scissors sharpening?"

Noroi is quite simply put a good old fashioned scary film, perfectly made with just one thought in mind; to make the viewer fill their trousers.

And you can't ask for more from a horror movie can you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 23).

Kimmy Robertson as Lucy Moran from Twin Peaks (currently being reshown nightly on the Horror Channel).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

snatch of the day.

Il Bosco 1 (AKA Evil Clutch. 1989).
Dir: Andreas Marfori.
Cast: The yumsome Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, Diego Ribon, Luciano Crovato, Elena Cantarone and Stefano Molinari.

The nightmare that grabs you where you least expect it...Ipswich (possibly).

somewhere in a field in Europe (it's a small place) young master Terry Soontodie (what looks like a junked up Mark Hamill) is walking home from his job at Kwik Fit (he's still in his overalls bless).

Hearing a noise from the local church Terry decides to investigate and is surprised to find a young(er) Maureen Lipman sitting open legged next to a fountain.


Being a hot blooded male (and obviously a fan of those old BT ads) Terry does what we'd all do and dives in for a wee bit of the sex.

And all this within the first seven minutes.


Unfortunately (for him and us) at the moment of climax young(ish) Maureen transforms into a pale faced, pointy toothed pikey and slaughters poor Terry.


Meanwhile back at the plot good and proper where pube haired Italian stud muffin Tony (Ribon best known for his performance as Bartolotto in De Gasperi, l'uomo della speranza) and his incredibly sexy (in a kinda eighties way) girlfriend Cindy (the second hottest actress in Italian cinema Coralina Tassoni) are enjoying a romantic city break in Venice, or they would be if they both didn't have an unnatural fear of water.

And Cornetto's.

Reckoning a wee change of scenery might just save the holiday from disaster the couple decide to pack up their stuff and go camping in the Alps instead but as is always the way with these things (holidays and Italian horror movies) the lovers leisurely drive into the mountains is rudely interrupted by the appearance of a frighteningly harsh faced woman named Arva (Year of The Gun's Cantarone) running along the roadside.

Cataldi-Tassoni: truly scrumptious.

Being a gentleman (well, smooth creep) Tony pulls over to offer assistance (and an excuse to pose with his hairy arm out of the window) to Arva, who claims she was almost bummed by a bin man in a nearby cemetery.

Feeling all manly Tony offers to check out the graveyard but can find no sign of any bin men or signs of bumming, tho' the place does give him a distinctly strange sensation in his pants.

Trying not to think about it too much Tony heads back to the car and offers to drop Arva off at the nearest (bin free) village, the mysteriously named Spent, a quiet local place know for it's luxurious bowling greens, traditional ice cream shop and friendly neighbourhood nutter; the amusingly monikered Algernoon (House of Pleasure for Women's Crovato) a retired, cancer riddled horror writer with a really high pitched electronic voice box.

Obviously the wooden handed dwarf leper was busy that day.

Clad only in a soiled raincoat and Panzer commander goggles, Algernoon spends his days riding around the town on a moped scaring the children.

And Arva by the looks of things seeing as soon as she sets sight on him she visibly shites herself and legs it into the bushes.

"Is it in yet?"

For some inexplicable reason best known to the script writers, Tony and Cindy decide it'd be really cool to hang out with him during their stay in the village and Algernoon, happy to finally have some company other than his pubic lice gives the lovers his fairly famous (and patented) guided tour of the town cum spooky ghost walk.

Kinda like a cut rate Derek Acorah crossed with a market stall speaking clock.

But less piss and shame stained obviously.

You see according to legend the outlying woods are said to be haunted by a scary sex demon who threatens to shag to death anyone foolish enough to venture outside the relative safety of the town.

Which is nice.

Derek Acorah after offering to be my 'custard cousin' not long after seducing recently widowed grandmother who'd seen his show at the SECC  Glasgow.

Understandably freaked out by such a terrifying tale (but more likely by Algernoon's voice) our delectable duo make their farewells and leave, hoping to save at least a smidgen of the romantic holiday they've waited all year for.

Driving out of town the pair notice how inviting the aforementioned woods look and soon pull over, quickly unloading their tent and stuff before heading into the trees to search for the local camp site.

But guess who's waiting for them at the picnic bench?

"Laugh now!"

Yup it's Algernoon, standing around in his pants and muttering something about dead sheep and filthy anuses.

At least I think that's what he was saying.

Cindy seems to be taking less notice of him than me tho' because no sooner has the mouldy mentalist opened his mouth than Cindy starts to angrily shout at him to sod right off and leave them alone, which he politely does leaving the pair to trot off into the undergrowth.

After wandering aimlessly for what seems like hours the couple then bump into Arva again (are she and Algernoon the only people that live in the town? Answers on a postcard please) but luckily tho' this time there are no randy rubbish collectors in sight.

Which is a blessing frankly.

Anyway, as a thank you for helping her out earlier that day Arva offers to show Tony and Cindy an abandoned church nearby that'd be a perfect pplace to spend the night.

Uh oh...sounds familiar.

After dumping their load on the steps and unrolling the extra large sleeping bag (specially made for Tony's ego), Cindy decides to step outside and watch the sunset to get herself in a romantic frame of mind in preparation for the damn good rogering she's expecting later.

Arva tho' has other idea's, hinting to Tony that she quite fancies snorting cocaine from between Cindy's butticks whilst Tony does them both.

Up the arse obviously.

"Where's me washboard?"

Tony, being a red blooded Italian male is more than up for a wee bit of group sex but he knows that Cindy may take a little convincing.

Especially when she discovers that Arva is, in fact, the infamous sex demon mentioned earlier.

An infamous sex demon with a hairy, three-fingered claw growing out of her vagina.

And a zombie helper out for blood...

"Shite in mah mooth!"

From the international man of mystery that is Andreas Marfori, the genius who would later think the unthinkable and team Traci Lords, Denise Crosby and the former Mr. Olympia winner Franco Columbo in the erotic thriller Il ritmo del silenzio comes this blatant plundering (OK, I'll be kind, loving homage) to Sam Raimi's classic The Evil Dead that manages to be not only cheaper than the original but also a lot less sexy.

Which is fairly difficult for a film with a horny succubus for a villain.

All the hallmarks of Raimi's movie; from a deserted house to a barrage of off-kilter 'shakycam' shots are present and correct, all that's missing is a halfway decent plot and any noticeable talent from anyone involved.

Even the usually fantastic Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni looks bored as she's made to wander around the directors garden in clothes that would make Cyndi Lauper puke.

There should really be a law against that.


The most unforgivable crime the film commits tho' is the serious lack of potential victims on screen, meaning that Marfori has to pad out the majority of the movie's scant running time with endless scenes of people wandering around aimlessly looking for something interesting to do.

Luckily the film ups it's pace (and gore content) in the last thirty minutes with a mix of exploding heads, deadly fanny based shenanigans and in one particularly memorable scene has dear Coralina being chased by a zombie wielding a fishing rod.

Which must count for something.

Mustn't it?

model behaviour.

As someone who still owns a set of vintage Aurora horror kits (albeit in pieces in the spooky cupboard) these ads have a special place in my heart (well, the swinging brick I have in its place).


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


A wee bit of culture for you now, Japanese artist Tatsuya Morino's unique spin on some of the great monsters of literature.


The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells, 1898

Moby Dick - Herman Melville, 1851

The Murders in the Rue Morgue - Edgar Allan Poe, 1841

Dracula - Bram Stoker, 1897

Morlock (from The Time Machine) - H.G. Wells, 1895

The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1901

The Fly - George Langelaan, 1957

Frankenstein - Mary Shelley, 1818

 More of Morino's macabre masterpieces can be found here.