Monday, February 10, 2014

she-it.

She (1982)
Dir: Avi Nesher.
Cast: Sandahl Bergman, David Goss, Elena Wiedermann, Gregory Snegoff, David Traylor, Gordon Mitchell, Quin Kessler, David Brandon, Andrew McLeay, Harrison Muller Jr and some camp tramps.

"What's a bomb?"

It is the 23rd year after 'the cancellation', of what I'm not too sure but most likely of the cheaper than your mum animated TV show that opens the movie with it's crayon and crepe paper history of the apocalypse.

Hopefully.

But nuclear annihilation isn't the scariest thing on screen, oh no. 

That'll be the fact that it's only taken 23 years for the sad remnants of humanity to return to dressing up like pound shop new romantics, fighting with swords, flamethrowers and chainsaws instead of guns and riding around on ponies like a collection of underfed rag and bone men.

The only thing that hasn't change is the bizarre obsession with minor celebrities.

In this case it's Arnie's ferret faced Conan sidekick, dancer cum actress Sandahl (daughter of famed Space:1999 scientist Victor) Bergman who, until someone more famous comes along is currently worshipped as a living God.

Which is nice.

Meanwhile the common folk spend their days wandering around the local market in the hope of picking up cheap meat offcuts, dodgy phonecards and pirate DVD's.

Not really so different there then.

It's in one such market that we meet the duo who will act as our heroes for the next 90 minutes (tho' it will seem much, much longer), a Chuckle Brothers for the 21st century, blond bombshell Tom (Goss, currently working as a production assistant on that hit show The Bachelorette) and his pube haired (almost) comedy sidekick Dick (Muller Jr. from The Final Executioner) who, within minutes of arriving on the scene are viciously assaulted by a small group of hooligans clad in the contents of a child’s dressing up box.

Albiet a child with a swastika obsession. 

That'll be me aged 6 then.


"To me!" "To you!"

Within a matter of minutes they've beaten our dynamic dunces senseless, stolen all the Yorkies from the sweet shop and kidnapped Tom’s sister - wait for it - Hari (Wiedermann, Wiedermann does whatever a Wieder can).

Anyone else would probably be distraught but good old Tom is frankly unaffected by the whole thing and decides, along with Dick to go and pick up a prostitute to drown his sorrows.

By drown his sorrows I obviously mean to have the sex with.

Unfortunately being an evil whore she drugs the duo, chaining Dick up in the shed before delivering Tom to the immortal 'She' (that'll be Bergman then) to use him as she sees fit.

"Are you looking at mah bra?"


Because of (or despite his) lack of manbreast, She dispenses with her usual shag and stab routine deciding instead to submit Tom to the ominously named Path of Blood, a tiny obstacle course built in a child’s sandpit that consists of a series of sharp wooden stakes thru which Tom will be led blindfolded whilst being kicked and fondled by a dozen Granny panted Suzi Quatro lookalikes before being abandoned to die in the wasteland.

Which seems a little extreme but what do I know?

Luckily, for the movie if not for us, the next morning he’s rescued by a token British homosexualist and part time science man named Stony Tark (McLeay) who whisks Tom away to his secret laboratory where he can be told various plot points that may, or may not come in useful later.

You know, important stuff like the fact that his sisters has been grabbed by the Norks (no sniggering) and that the only person that knows the how to get their hands on those pesky Norks (no seriously) is She herself.

And with this Tark promptly disappears from the film, never to be seen again and leaving Tom with no alternative than to rescue his buddy Dick from the hands of the evil hooker and kidnap She in the hope that she'll show them where those infamous Norks hang out.

Seriously you couldn't make this shit up.

Tho' scarily somebody (I'm looking at you Avi Nesher) did just that.

Anyway, making his way back to the village - and wearing a child's army helmet as a disguise - Tom punches out the prostitute (isn’t that extra?) and rescues Dick from a life of pig based humiliation before settling down to plan their next move over a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.


You know the convention was going downhill when drunken ex-weathergirl Ulrika jonsson tried to violate Clash of the Titans star Bubo with a chocolate dildo.


Meanwhile it's the time of the month where She has to endures the gruesome sounding Trial of Blood This involves She dressing up in her best bed-sheet and fighting a variety of wind up robots, Roman Centurions and a Frankenstein monster secreted in huge wooden crates in a cave haphazardly filled with barrels, televisions and old washing machines.

Or as we call it in the UK Birmingham.

After a slight and uninspired slow fight the bloodied and battered She ventures deeper underground where she meets an old lady who urges our heroine to strip naked and enjoy a long hot bath in the healing waters of a conveniently placed spring.

As She gently caresses her breasts and ample thighs the old woman mysteriously intones...

“You have passed through the cycle again, Goddess. But the prophecy still stands. A man will come to claim your heart. For him you will break your vow. Through him, you will be destroyed.” 

At this point I really think I should point out that although this scene sounds as tho' it could be really important at some point further in the movie it is, bizarrely never referred to again.

Yup that's right.

At no point does She fall in love or end up destroyed. A wee bit muddy yes but that's about it.

Got that?

Great, now let's move on and catch up with Tom and Dick who succeed in kidnapping She from her bedchamber before riding off into the local playpark with a bunch of butch Amazonian warriors, led by She's best pal Shanda (the mighty Kessler, in truth the only real reason for watching) in hot(tish) pursuit.


...Inside Dave Lee Travis' mind...


After what seems like hours of galloping and lame wise-cracks inter-cut with random shots of muscly thighed women on horseback our trippy trio come across (you know the drill) a band of mutants wrapped in dirty bandages and all clad in big nappies called the Nukes who, after a wee bit of polite conversation decide to execute the threesome in a handy trash compactor.

Luckily Shanda soon turns up and using a mix of pantomime swordplay and unbridled sex appeal defeats the Nukes before any harm can befall Tom, She or Dick (which in his case in a crying shame).

With She untied and looking as leathery as ever and Tom and Dick surrounded by angry Amazons you'd be forgiven for thinking the quest to save Hari (remember her?) would be over but, oh no, She takes pity on Tom and Dick and helpfully points them in the general direction of Nork Valley before letting them on their way.

Unbeknownst to our plucky pals She has decided - along with sexy Shanda - to follow the  follow the pair from a distant so as to see what wild and wacky adventures they may have.

Shanda: Five fingers, never touched the sides.


Wandering deep into the woodland that conveniently sits opposite the park Tom and Dick discover an idyllic country house occupied by a group of handsome (in an 80's Italian way) young men and big haired women draped around a swimming pool in togas and reciting bad poetry to each other.

Their leader (Italian genre stalwart and ex-Caligula Brandon) upon noticing the newcomers charmingly invites them to join the group for dinner.

And maybe a side order of the sex.

Our heroes, obviously forgetting what happened last time someone offered them a shag excitedly accept the offer and spend the evening stuffing their grubby faces with turkey sandwiches and crisps, dancing badly to cheesy 50's ballads whilst wearing ill fitting tuxedo's.

Just a normal night in Blackpool really.

Your mum and sister at my house last week.

Drunk on Happy Shopper Vino and stuffed full of cake Tom and Dick collapse in a stupor hoping to sleep off the nights excesses but wouldn't you know it, the party revellers are really a tribe of flesh eating werewolves intent on scoffing ours heroes whole.

Although I've heard that they spit that bit out.

Just as all seems lost who should turn up but She and Shanda, annoyed at missing a free meal and ready to kick some hairy arse meaning our fantastic foursome live to ride another day.

Or at the very least get captured by someone else about 10 minutes later.

Probably.

With thank you's (and a few lustful glances 'tween Dick and Shanda) exchanged they soon arrive at a quaint old town, seemingly untouched for years save for all the walls, doors, windows and very slow dogs being covered in some fairly well designed (for a child) retro-communist style posters emblazoned with the word Godan and what looks like a picture of a young Eli Roth complete with glowing green eyes.

"£6.50??!!?? I can almost hire a whore for that much!"


They don't have much time to discuss the merits of feltpen vs. crayon tho' (or even Roth's more recent acting roles) as She and her pals are suddenly captured (surprise!) by a group of elderly monks who take them before the great god Godan (Robotech voice artist Snegoff) himself.

Realizing that Godan is a wee bit of a mentalist, used to getting his own way, full of self importance and with little respect for anything other than his own needs (hang on...are you sure that this isn't Eli Roth?) Tom and Dick quickly pretend to be disciples and are soon re-enacting the rape scene from Aftershock whilst setting fire to each others trousers, totally ignoring the fact that She and Shanda have been dragged off to the dungeon in order to have their sweaty, leather-clad bodies whipped and poked for Godan's amusement.


"Put it in me!"


After enduring, oooh minutes of torture (and chaffing) Godan decides that the best way to interrogate She would be to have her taken to his room and sex the information out of her (what this information is I've still no idea).

Unfortunately (for him) this is the last straw as far as his dedicated priestess Sylvia is concerned, seeing as she's been waiting on him hand and foot for years without even a hint of a penis going her way and she reacts in the way that most women would when spurned by someone who has absolutely no interest in them.

Yup, she buries a large axe into his chest.

Obviously poor Godan wasn't expecting this but manages to summon the last of his supernatural eye powers to strangle Sylvia with a handy curtain cord.

And what pray tell do She, Tom and Dick do during all this?

That's right, they just stand around ineffectually whilst trying to remember if they had anyone else with them.

Or in Bergman's case desperately trying to remember Arnies phone number in the hope that he can pay for her ticket back to the U.S.

Finally remembering that Shanda is still tied up downstairs (as in to a rack in the dungeon, not having trouble with her ovaries), our motley crew quickly untie her and head of deeper into the woods leaving a small group of old men with nothing else to do but stare at each other and wonder where their next meal is coming from now that their leader is dead.

Well, it's good to know that American foreign policy survived the apocalypse even if fashion sense and basic storytelling didn't.

Sandahl farted in the Jacuzzi and it was an eggy one.


With She and Tom enjoying the countryside and Shanda and Dick involved in some playful flirting no-one notices the slightly foul smelling gas emanating from a nearby bush until it's too late. Our heroes are soon overcome by the smell of egg, gravy and shame as a gas mask-clad hulking figure gleefully watches the scene unfold from a safe distance.

Waking with a terrible headache and his trousers on backwards Tom frantically searches for the others soon finding Shanda unconscious on a nearby rock, beads of sweat collecting in her mighty cleavage and glistening like tiny diamonds.

Possibly.

Aroused and ready for action the pair call on their comrades but to no avail.

It's as tho' they've vanished into thin (but still stinky) air.

But we know the truth don't we?

Yes, they've been kidnapped (I know who'd believe it?) again but this time it's by a bearded transvestite giant and a pale-faced old man on his way to a Scarlet Pimpernel party who've decided to put She and Dick in huge plastic bags in order to experiment on them in their greenhouse cum private love nest.

I think.

Not that Tom is too bothered tho' seeing as he's decided to head along to Norksville on his own.

Selfish sod.
On further examination, the Amanda Knox bedspread that Noel Edmond’s purchased from Ebay turned out to be a fake.

Not wanting to dwell on it for too long suffice to say that yet another oh so daring and improbable escape (this time involving a gas fire and a rope) ensues that reunites our remaining heroes outside a burning shed.

But not for long because although the land of the Norks is within sight Shanda, obviously bored of the by now frankly ludicrous script and missing the feeling of a big powerful animal between her thighs volunteers to head back home (alongside the trannie for reasons best known to herself) to get reinforcements or something leaving She and Dick to go it alone.


The Jimmy Savile/Kurt Russell cloning experiment was more successful than even William Roache could imagine.

 By this time Tom has reached the Nork fortress, all he has to do now is cross the bridge that leads over a dangerous minefield and knock on the front door.

Easy eh?

Well it would be if the bridge weren't guarded by the mighty Xenon (America's top comic Traylor), a frighteningly jumpsuited genetic mix of Michael Barrymore, Snake Plissken, Des Lynam and a caffeine addicted paedophile. 

And that's before he opens his mouth.

His secret weapon?

Following whoever attempts to cross the bridge whilst doing bad impressions of  Groucho Marx, the Cowardly Lion and James Cagney.

Despicable.

Tom being a man of few words and even less patience reacts in the only way he knows, yes attacks him with a sword, chopping off his arms and legs.

Which would be fine if the severed parts didn't grow into more versions of Xenon.

Before long there's a whole army of irritating impressions following the poor sod to Norksville.

"Hey big fella how'd you fancy a wee bit of mooth shite-in?"


 Scratching his head with the swords blunt end Tom has no idea what to do next, so it's lucky for him that She and Dick soon arrive, cutting thru' the creepy comedians and tossing them into the minefield before they can regenerate.

And with that problem out of the way all that's left to do is sneak into the Nork city, win Lord Norks trust and rescue Hari.

But how are they supposed to enter the city unmolested?

Just then She notices a poster flapping in the wind.

It appears that Lord Nork is having a competition to find the best fighter in the world and the winner gets to meet him and his new priestess Hari.

And guess what?

The competition starts today!


Ladies and gentlemen....Destiny's Child!
 
It's three against an army as Tom, Dick and She prepare to battle the odds and rescue Hari from a fate worse than death.

Or at the very least from having to marry a man who insists on dressing in tinfoil with a lampshade for a hat to stop him getting infected by radiation.

Tho' compared to actually sitting thru' this shite that seems like a more humane option.




From the undoubtedly twisted (re: drug addled possibly) mind of "one of Israel's all-time greatest filmmakers" (he's won awards and everything) via the pen of  H. Rider Haggard (creator of Allan Quatermain and arguably the whole 'lost world' genre), She is a 90 minute threadbare freak show of half arsed awfulness that plays out like a series of rambling comedy sketches written for a rejected  Benny Hill Mad Max parody by Barry Cryer after being forced to ingest meth and children's tears whilst listening To Rick Wakeman's The Burning score on a warped cassette.

And that's just the pre-credit sequence.

With it's swastika clad villains, sexy Jewish girls kicking arse and it's lead characters habit of just strolling in and taking land that doesn't belong to her the movie is obviously some kind of Mossad sponsored mind control project aimed at doing something to somebody (I'm sorry but conspiracy type stuff just isn't my strong point) add to this the fact that America co-funded the movie only adds to the theory.

I mean come on, if any other country had produced a toxic shite of this magnitude Uncle Sam would have declared war on them within minutes.

 Sandahl Bergman: Cheaper than your mum, dirtier than your gran and considerably older than both of them.


After completing the movie, director Avi Nesher was flown out of Italy under cover of night back to Israel to continue his career as a 'serious' film maker, a career that bizarrely continues today, his last film The Wonders, his third with actor Adir Miller opened to critical and financial success becoming one of the biggest hits of 2013.

True it was shot entirely in Hebrew and only shown in Israel but it still made more money than the last movie I worked on so who am I to judge?

Director Nesher is sneaked out of Italy after death threats from livid Ursula Andress fans.


Of the rest of the cast only a few survived a massive cull by secret service agents in the months after the film was released. It appeared that someone didn't want the movies secrets made public.

Luckily Bergman used the influence of her friend the former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (with whom she shared the actors first ever love scene) to defy the many attempts on her life whilst co-star David Traylor wasn't so lucky.

Nice flat tummy, face of fuckness.

After a booby trapped canned laughter machine exploded during a sold out show at the Detroit comedy store showering the actor with sharpened giggles Traylor was left paralysed.

It was only thanks to a mysterious benefactor (said to be one of the films composers Justin Hayward) that Traylor was inducted into the top secret and highly experimental Robo-comic programme, emerging some years later as Mr. ZED the Robot Comedian whose first appearance in the UK was strangely enough alongside Jim Davidson, who it was once rumoured had once worked undercover in Palestine for MI6.

A rarely seen pic of a post movie, pre surgery Traylor, here being looked after by comedian cum scientist Kelly Monteith.

But all that is for the history books and whilst today we may have peace in the middle east unrest and terrorism have raised the ugly heads elsewhere in the world. So who knows? perhaps it's time for the erstwhile Mr. Nesher to revisit 'She Who Must Be Obeyed' to give hope to a new generation.

Plus I'm sure Winona Ryder is short of a few bob right now.

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