Saturday, January 1, 2011

the ellen degenerazione show.

As is tradition, Mrs.Lamont and myself always spend the evenings running up to Christmas indulging ourselves with a variety of portmanteau horror classics of varying quality.

Everything from Dr. Terrors House of Horror to The Monster Club gets a rewatch, dragged and dusted from the cellar.

So you can imagine our delight when we stumble across this rarity on New Years Eve.

Not too in-depth a review I'm afraid cos frankly most of the stories only last a few seconds, all are bonkers and most are really not that good.

Oh, and I was very, very drunk.

On a plus side Asia (the first person to wish me happy birthday this year don't you know) Argento is in it smoking a fag whilst wearing fishnets so it's not all bad.

Enjoy!

Degenerazione (1994).
Dir: Antonio Antonelli, Asia Argento, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Eleonora Fiorini, Alex Infascelli, Antonio Manetti, Marco Manetti, Andrea Maula, Andrea Prandstraller, Alberto Taraglio and Alessandro Valori.
Cast: Pierpaolo Trezzini, Asia Argento, Giorgio Tirabassi, Alberto Rossi and Patrizia Sacchi.

It was either this or Jools Holland.



Our movie opens in the movie memorabilia festooned office of a sweating bald man in an ill fitting suit anxiously chatting to someone (his agent? Your mum?) on the phone about various important film type stuff whilst he furtively looks around for any signs of oncoming badness.

So far so intriguing.

Suddenly the oncoming badness bursts in to the room in the form of three pikeys clad in ill-fitting Halloween masks and a nice selection of Degenerazione t-shirts as some kick-ass 'rawk' music plays on the soundtrack.

Yup, definitely an Italian horror movie then.

Jumping from his window to save himself from whatever these masked mentalists have in store for him, Mr. Sweaty's ample arse gives him a soft landing plus the extra bounce needed to send him running merrily down the high street.

But those pesky psycho pikeys are in hot pursuit.

Bob Hoskins, up the casino, Tamworth, 1987.....YESCH!

Unfortunately our chubby heroes escape route radar is only attuned to cakes and after much frenzied wobbling he finds himself trapped in a back alley behind a bakers with the rubber-faced rotters slowly closing in...

Closing his eyes and hoping for a quick death (or a not too sore arse pummelling), chubs is fairly surprised to see his assailants have disappeared.

"My word they've disappeared!" He exclaims (it's fansubbed, I'm sorry).

"No we haven't" says a mysterious masked man armed with a big gun next to him.

The Degenerazione boys (after magically re-appearing) look on menacingly as the poor guys screams...

"Laugh now!"


...before jarringly cutting to an antique shop where the middle-aged owner is getting phone hassle from a customer who wants an Ottoman delivered.

Convinced that this story is related to the fat bloke I begin to take notes.

Paying far too much attention I find myself being unwittingly dragged into the ensuing argument where it seems that young and hip honey June (some photo-fit blonde in a flimsy blouse) wants her new piece of furniture delivered earlier that agreed.

You see, it's her boyfriend Terry's birthday and she thinks he'd be well pleased with a huge piece of antique furniture for a gift.

My word she knows men so well.

Anyway, after much to-ing and fro-ing between shopkeep and lady the item is arranged to be delivered at 6 o'clock that evening.

But June has to promise that she'll be at home because the delivery man (who looks like the illegitimate child of a mouldy potato and an angry bassoon) is very grumpy and determined to get back as soon as possible as to not miss the new episode of Loose Women on teevee.

Shite in his mooth, blood on the thistle.


June gives her word but as soon as she puts the phone down her best friend Margot calls in a state of distress meaning that June, like a typical woman, forgets everything she's just said and heads straight out to go comfort her.

Returning home from work, birthday boy Terry (played by a pube headed lollipop in spectacles) begins to prepare a scrumptious meal whilst dancing like a tit to clich├ęd eighties soft rock when he's suddenly disturbed by the doorbell.

I mean it rings, not that it jumps on his and tries to fuck him with it's cold hard doorbell cock.

Tho' that would be fairly exciting.

Nope it's just our delivery spud growling menacingly and saying stuff like "I'm here to get you....let me in so I can stuff my box in your lounge!" and the like meaning that, quite understandably Terry gets the wrong end of the stick and thinks a mad killer has come to get him.

If only June had left a note.

But it's too late for that now so let's sit back and enjoy 20 minutes of Sam Raimi inspired violent lunacy coupled with a smidgen of breast grabbing across the Ottoman....

"I'll get you Tiger Ninestein!"


...Which leads us nicely to the home of Mr. Dirk Handsomestranger, a hunky lunk who, being in need of a drink and a wee bit of buggery, decides to visit Waxy O'Shinty's sailor themed gothic gay bar just along the beach from his house.

Well, he is European.

Ordering a Campari and soda, our studly pal can't help but notice a flamboyantly dressed older gentleman (who has a frightening resemblance to everyone's favourite Irishman Louise Walsh) sitting in the corner of the room nursing a tomato juice and fancying a bit of old man cock saunters over to join him.

Overpowered by the smell of sweaty leather and cheap aftershave (and not to mention being a bit tired of having to shout over the X Factor style Bauhaus tribute band) the pair decide to retire to Dirk's palatial love pad for more drink, less music and maybe, just maybe a sausage shafting session of the highest order.

With the booze and chatting flowing like so much horse semen into an aged prostitutes swollen stomach  our frill fronted fop admits that he's no normal man and that he has a dark secret.

And it's not that he dyes his hair or has his habit of furiously masturbating whilst listening to One Direction.

Probably.

"Aye (s) Son!"


Nope, it turns out that his is, in fact a lonely old vampire, eager to impress with his tales of bloodlust, sodomy and working with Sharon Osbourne.

But as Dirk listens intently to his guest it becomes apparent that he may have a dark secret too...

...Meanwhile back in the big city, Mr. and Mrs. Middleincome are off out for a night of food, wine and depressingly middle class chat, leaving their cutesy-pie daughter home alone with only her homework and the brand new Teevee for company.

Unfortunately when they went to the shop to buy it they mistook 'includes evil child killing demon type' for '44" plasma screen and Teletext'.

We've all been there.

Prepare for a night of child based terror as the killer telly (complete with the worlds longest extension cable) trundles loudly around the (stairless, that was lucky) house attempting to murder a small girl before zooming forward in time to experience a Blade Runner-esque future world where a massive lottery win can make you lose your head (literally) and women keep their hubbies on dog chains for some reason.

Oh yes, it's a subtle role reversal take on sexism.

Clever that.

Louise Walsh: He's got something to put in you (allegedly).


Needing a drink top up, a wee and a fag (but not all at once) I returned to see a naked (apart from a bus conductors hat) man persuading a young woman to hold his big umbrella before the wind took her (and it) flying across the fields before landing (with a psycho-sexual) bump in the city of Milan, where Terry the taxi driver is all set to go home after a hard days, um, taxi-ing.

Did I imagine the last bit or really see it?

Answers on a postcard please.

Anyway, after phoning his missis to see if she needs anything from the all night garage, Terry returns to his cab only to hear a voice from the back seat telling him not to turn around and just drive to a given destination.

Feeling oh so slightly uneasy about being mysteriously ordered about, Terry can't help but look round only to find that the back seat is empty, save a small briefcase.

Asia: She wished me happy birthday...Did you?

Is Terry going mad or is he just over tired?

Jumping out of the cab to clear his head, El Tel is forced to confront the bizarre truth of the situation when the disembodied voice angrily shouts at him to get back in the car.

It seems the mysterious presence has a job to do and time is running out...

Portmanteau part-work plots don't get much better than this story, which is a shame really as we've still to to make the acquaintance of a sickeningly loved up couple who between renovating their new home and uncomfortably suggesting that they have sex, experience violence filled nightmares where they try to kill each other.

And the cat.

Hat.


Which brings us kicking, screaming (and sobbing) to our final tale.

A story of a normal man being stalk by a punk-tastic group of film makers intent on making him the star of their new snuff movie.

Yikes.

Ignored by the police and left to fend for himself, it's not long before our hapless hero has been beaten with a shovel and tied to a chair ready for his big close-up.

Luckily for him the designated sound guy is incapable of keeping the boom out of shot and this coupled with an impromptu shoot out and an unscheduled appearance by a nunchaku-wielding ninja may just be the the thing he needs to plan his escape.

And even maybe get the girl.

Who in this case is a leather skirted, fish-netted Asia.

Bastard.

No caption required.


With plots, acting and direction this diverse, you can't accuse Degenerazione of being boring and with it's frenetic mix of straight forward shocks, twisty-turny endings and highly eclectic story telling techniques you at least know that if you're not enjoying the current tale there'll be another one (or even two) along in a few minutes.

Shot for free by everyone involved, Degenerazione is an incredibly enjoyable mess of creativity over cash, putting to shame most no budget horrors of the last decade or so thru' sheer cheekiness alone.

Oh and did I mention Asia Argento is in it in fishnets?

Worth tracking down for the taxi segment (titled India 21) alone, Degenerazione played the film festival circuit before disappearing into oblivion alongside Tom Savini's Vampyrates and the third series of The Tripods, never to be seen again.

Until now obviously.

Unless I dreamt it that is.

If you have seen it give us a shout so I know I'm not going mad.

Cheers.

1 comment:

marto said...

Yes, I did wish you happy birthday, both on the day and a week before the event.