Monday, December 31, 2012

howl bennett.

Another day, another part of my birthday boxset...

Monsterwolf (2010).

Dir: Todor Chapkanov.
Cast: Leonor Varela, Robert Picardo, Marc Macaulay, Steve Reevis, Jason London, Jon Eyez, Griff Furst, Ricky Wayne, Nicole Barré, Amber Bartlett, Grant James, Dominick LaBanca, Chris J. Fanguy, Antonino Paone and Ritchie Montgomery.

"Jury duty is a civic duty".

Evil multinational oil company Badman Co. are busy digging huge random holes somewhere in the American backwoods - as oil companies do - when, after attempting to move an abandoned outside toilet with about 40 sticks of dynamite uncover what can only be described as a Stargate for dwarfs with a spooky blue flame hovering above it.

Ignoring the well known fact that such a phenomena could indicate the presence of natural gas and potentially blow everyone to fuck our fearless band of roughnecks continue blowing stuff up causing the flame to snuff it and a huge CGI wolf to appear in it's place and eat all the oil workers.


"Teeth in mah mooth!"

Meanwhile back in town the nasty, balding executive in charge of Badman Oil Ned Stark (Star Trek: Voyager and Gremlins 2's Picardo) is busy going door-to-door in an effort to convince the local townsfolk to sell him their houses so that he can dig them up too.

Whilst a few citizens are concerned most our won over by Stark's secret weapon. No, not a gold and red armoured suit but his newly acquired lawyer Maria (Varela from Blade 2 and Dallas sporting some very nice tattoos), a local gal turned big city hotshot.

You see in an act of cunning the likes of which the world hasn't seen since Blackadder's Baldrick breathed his last, Stark reckons that the locals are more likely to listen to 'one of their own' - and the sheriffs daughter to boot - when it comes to his business proposition.

Unfortunately for him, Maria begins to get more and more disillusioned with her boss' evil ways (you know the type of stuff, shouting at the local shopkeepers, calling everyone 'hicks', wearing brown shoes with a black suit etc.) and ever closer to her jury duty dodging ex-boyfriend Yale Locke (Jason London), especially when anybody who actually sells out to Stark is almost immediately eaten by a big hairy wild dog.

Or could it be a supernatural type monster wolf?

Or even a, gulp, Monsterwolf (one word)?

Well the police, led by the roguishly moustached Sheriff Lennie Bennett (Feast 2's Macaulay) reckon it has to be a wild animal of some kind but after it attempts to eat Maria, gets squashed by a truck and then scoffs the drunken driver locked in a prison cell the authorities aren't too sure, leading our heroes (alongside comedy sidekick Cannock Chase played by actor/director Furst) to visit the local native American cum cliche ridden mystic Chief Turner (full time rent an ethnic Reevis).

Guns don't kill people, skin tight nipple revealing vest tops do. Possibly.

With Turner waxing lyrical about loopy lupine legends, native American history and his plans to defiantly oppose Stark, our oil intoxicated bad man has only one course of action left him.

Yup you guessed it, he hires a band of professional mercenaries led by part-time Idris Elba alike and full time sex beast Coughlin (Eyez) to kill everyone who opposes Stark's plans.

Starting with Chief Turner.

And the difference between this and a fox?....about 6 pints.

As the mean arsed mercenaries draw ever closer, Turner explains to our heroes (via a fantastic animated flashback sequence worthy of Yo Gabba Gabba) that killing the wolf requires a tribal sacrifice.

A life for a life if you will.

And with Maria being the only other member of the tribe left (turns out she's adopted, I mean what are the chances?) her chances of making it thru' to the final reel alive is beginning to look about as slim as the movies characterizations.

Will eco-bollocks flower power save the day?

Will the mercenaries shoot everyone before returning to Manilla for some undisclosed reason?

Will Maria and Locke get to enjoy an 'R' rated sex scene where they at least get to remove their trousers?

Will Stark win the hearts and minds of the locals and eventually revenge the sacking of Winterfell?

And will Maria survive her fight to the death with our furry fanged fiend?

Or will the big bad wolf eat her whole?

I'm just asking because they usually spit that bit out.

From jobbing music vid' guy to straight to DVD hack for hire (in the nicest way of course) Todor Chapkanov - he who gave us Thor: Hammer of the Gods, Miami Magma and the snakes vs. cowboy classic Copperhead - comes probably the best Robert Picardo starring monster Wolf vs. oil exec' movies ever made.

True the plot's so old it's positively creaking and the movies cliché count goes so far off the scale it begins to bleep like the Chernobyl reactor about the 20 minute mark but it's at least watchable and, more importantly enjoyable too.

Unlike a lot of high budget fayre we've been subjected to recently.

Sinister anyone?

The pace is bright and breezy, the main characters likeable, the black-hatted villain hissable and while some of the CGI appears to have been rendered on an Amiga this only adds to the movies retro charm.

That and it's abject silliness.

Plus you name another movie where a cartoon wolf mysteriously (and without reason) turns into a giant lightning bolt in order to blow up the bad guys helicopter whilst a former Star Trek regular (and by all accounts the directors niece if her acting is anything to go by) look on in terror.

Buy it now, or at least tune into the Horror Channel until it turns up.

I mean they only have about 6 movies so it wont be too long a wait.


Monday, December 10, 2012

comics greatest dilemmas.

songs of praise.

Just so you don't all forget the true meaning of Christmas, here is a selection of our favourite Christian albums for your viewing (and hopefully listening) pleasure.

Don't worry if you don't celebrate Christmas tho' because according to those pesky Mayans the world's about to end so this may be your last chance to embrace your maker before the end.

Who says this blog isn't helpful and caring?


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

dogs that resemble film directors (part one).

Martin Scorsese.

never forget.

Belinda Maine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

turning japanese.

As a change from the usual Fumetti filth I normally share around the arena, here's some tasteful Japanese Gekiga for your enjoyment.

For those of you not au fait with the history of Japanese comics, Gekiga literally means dramatic pictures  and was originally coined by artist Yoshihiro Tatsumi to differentiate his more adult work from the more widely read manga.

And who said this blog isn't educational?

Really glad I scanned these now seeing as they appear to have gotten very sticky.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 46).

It's that time of the year when we pick our favourite business babe from this years Young Apprentice and this time round there can be only one, apprentice letting agent with Martin & Co (Rotherham), the bootilicious  Ms. Ashleigh Porter-Exley.



Friday, November 16, 2012

it's a knockout.

It's a little known fact outside Take A Break Magazine that every seven years, thirty of the world’s best (and sexiest) assassins all descend upon an unsuspecting town somewhere to spend twenty-four hours drinking, smoking and trying to kill each other.

To death.

And the point of it all is?

Well The last contestant standing receives a whooping $10 million cash prize, a fridge freezer, a lifetimes supply of Cheese Strings and the title of Top Assassin ever.

Well until the next meeting obviously.

Betting on the outcome is a group of mysterious billionaires (with wobbly man tits as big as their wallets) who watch the entire proceedings on a wall of shiny widescreen teevee's in a smoke and whore filled room whilst professional Oirishman and sexy bugger Liam Cunningham keeps everyone up to date with the scores, the weather reports and impromptu impressions of 1970's celebrities.

Welcome my friends to...

The Tournament (2009).
Dir: Scott Mann.
Cast: Robert Carlyle, Kelly Hu, Ian Somerhalder, Liam Cunningham, Ving Rhames, Sébastien Foucan and Scott Adkins.

"What's the matter, Mr. Harlow? Are you out of bullets? Why, here, have some of mine!"

...Which this time around is being brought to you live from the glamourous northern town of Middlesbrough, the birthplace of such fantastic celebrities as Chris Rea, Journey South, magician Paul Daniels and Over the Rainbow quarter-finalist Jessica Robinson.

Tho' the thing that sums up the town best is that it's twinned with Dunkirk.

Which means that any mayhem and destruction that's caused during the competition will almost certainly go unnoticed.

Journey South: That'll be up the shitter then.

Just to make absolutely sure tho' the town’s phone lines have been re-routed to prevent calls to the emergency services and just to make sure that the investors get their moneys worth (and experience all the action) every CCTV camera has been hi-jacked for use by the tournament.

If that wasn't enough, every contestant has had a pesky flashing tracker device surgically implanted under their skin so that not only can the tournament’s organizers follow their every move but so can their opponents.

It's a wee bit like that old ITV show gameshow Interceptor but without former tennis goddess Annabel Croft's fantastic arse or an annoying fucker from Bellshill running around brandishing a toy gun and acting the hard man.

Robert Carlyle, as we all know, is from Maryhill.

Tho' he does at one point brandish a gun.

Any other similarities are up to you.


I quite like the bloke, plus he occasionally shops in my local Sainsbury and looks like he can handle himself.

I'm not stupid.

Carlyle: Handy.

But I digress.

Anyway, a tournament of such ferocity is nothing without the right contestants and the latest seems to be the best mix yet.

There's the cutesy Chinese killing machine with a mysterious past, Lai Lai Zhen  (Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan's Hu); badass mofo Joshua Harlow (Rhames, taking a break from murdering Romero remakes) the games previous champion on a mission to discover who killed his wife, Anton Bogart (stuntman turned actor Foucan) the parkour obsessed Frenchman and the dog murdering Texan Miles Slade (Somerhalder from teevee's Lost) as well as a motley assortment of bearded Russian's, tubby Chinamen and a variety of Etchasketch villains in market stall hoodies.

Oh yes, and a drunken Catholic priest Father MacAvoy (Carlyle playing, well Robert Carlyle but that's no bad thing), suffering from a crisis of faith who accidentally digests one of the trackers whilst trying to sober up after a particularly heavy night on the slash.

Hu: Would.

Cue 90 minutes of shootouts, hotel room finger removals, a fist fight in a church that culminates in a grenade throwing match, a gunfight in a stripclub and a ludicrously enjoyable climax which pits Carlyle's bus stealing vicar and Hu's sweaty cleavage against an indestructible Ving Rhames on a glamourous sliproad just off the M28.

And all this whilst a skinny French bloke bounces his way around a drizzly Middlesbrough like a crack fuelled Tigga and the predominantly Brit cast chew gum and pretend to be American.

Yes I'm looking at you Andy Nyman.

C'mon, what's not to love?

"Shite in mah mooth or pish in mah bottle?"

True the whole thing is utterly ridiculous from beginning to end with plot holes big enough to drive the aforementioned bus thru' but when a movie is this much fun does it really matter?

And who'd have thought that after some of the abysmal shite that's come out of the UK in the last few years (Kill List, Little Deaths, The Children and the rest) that it'd be an ex-director of teevee's Stars in Their Eyes that would end up the saviour of British cinema?

Scott Mann, we salute you.

Cunningham: Happy days.

Yes, I know The Tournament might not be the most original movie ever made (and I reckon the cast and crew are aware of this too) but if you crack open a beer or two and let yourself go with the flow you'll be rewarded with an hour and a half of nicely choreographed ultra-violence, some strong all round performances, some great stunt work and the added thrill of gazing whistfully at Kelly Hu's luxurious hair.

What more could you ask for?

On second thoughts don't answer that.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

what if...

Nicolas Cage had played E.T?

Monday, October 29, 2012

(more) box art (frenzy).

More fantastic artwork from the heady days of VHS.