Saturday, January 31, 2015

bad book covers to brighten up your day part 1.

Thanks to Dossolvedpaul for these gems.

I would say enjoy but no doubt an irate group of bad illustrators family members will be in touch to tell me off for gently having fun at their expense.

Never mind.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

having a butchers.

Just in time for it's UK Bluray debut let's travel back in time and revisit a lost classic of the cannibal/zombie/mentalist medic genre.

Or I could just review this instead.


Zombi Holocaust (AKA: Doctor Butcher M.D: Medical Deviate, Island of the Last Zombies, Queen of the Cannibals, La Regina dei cannibali, Zombie Holocaust, 1979).
Director: Marino Girolami (or if you prefer, Frank Martin).
Cast: Ian (the kids school fees are how much?!!?) McCulloch, Sherry Buchanan, Alexandra Delli Colli, Peter O'Neil and Donald O'Brian.


"You nearly succeeded in ruining my life's work! I could easily kill you now. But I'm determined to have your brain!"

In a rain sodden (and badly lit) teaching hospital deep in the heart of New York City (the home from home for 80's lo-fi Italian movie makers) someone has been helping themselves to various body parts belonging to the cadavers marked for use in the daily anatomy class, much to the chagrin of the grumpy surgeon who uses the incidents as an excuse to shout "You've all failed!" at his students and fuck off down the pub (possibly).

"Fuck me! A wasp!"

The gorgeously glamorous (in an Kay's catalogue way) Lori Ridgway (the frighteningly fish lipped Delli Colli) and her colleagues are baffled by this spate of icky thefts and reckon that the answer must be prank playing students.

But lo, the truth is far more sinister (and oh so slightly racist) when they discover the token, bowl haired Asian doctor (who looks disturbingly like a porn movie version of Erik Estrada) is caught sitting in the dark eating a corpses heart.


Erik decides the best course of action is to evade capture by throwing himself out of a window then cunningly turning into a shop window mannequin before he hits the ground (with a satisfying plastic echo it has to be said).

Noel Edmonds discovers his hand twin.

After a leisurely trip to street level in the lift Ridgway bags the body and returns to work to start her examination.

Of the corpse that is, she's not taking her driving test or anything.

It's whilst examining the aforementioned corpse, that Ridgway — who also happens to be a student of anthropology, lucky that — recognizes a strange (for strange re: shite) tattoo on the dead man's chest—a tattoo that just happens to be (are you paying attention?) exactly the same as a symbol found on a ceremonial dagger given to Ridgway for her sixth birthday by the housemaid that looked after her when she lived on the tropical island of Kitkatoo.

Which by a strange coincidence is where the heart eating doc was from too.


And if that wasn't plot contrivance enough it turns out that the dagger has recently been stolen!

I mean what are the chances of that?

"This outbreak of cannibalism could
be related to the killing moon".

Feeling there's more to this than just an isolated incident, Lori decides to ask famous scientific 'investigator' and generally suave stud muffin Dr. Peter Chandler (genre god and owner of the worlds best ginger comb-over McCulloch) for help in solving the macabre mystery.

After much ooing and aahing, Chandler reckons the best way to get to the bottom of things is to organize an all expenses paid holiday, sorry expedition to the island alongside a crack team of experts (well alongside Lori, her assistant George (the credits say Peter O'Neal but I swear it's a pre Dead Ringers Jon Culshaw) and tough tomboy reporter Susan (the lank haired, boy trousered but infinitely bonkable Buchanan).

 Non-entities one and all but infinitely more charismatic than anyone featured on I'm A Celebrity.

Admit least once.

Deciding to visit the big island next to Kitkatoo (Dogpoochone?) first our fantastic foursome spend a few days staying with the trampish Dr. Jeff Obrero (screen legend O'Brian, looking like Wilfrid Brambell's buffer brother), a piss stained and pooh breathed gone to seed medical researcher with a great line in open neck shirts who's been living among the natives for years.

Well in their bins by the look of him.

"Aye son!"

Although stinky as hell he Obero still has some manners and, after tea, cakes and a severed head (tho' it may have been a mouldy potato) in Laura's bed he offers not only the use of his boat but a trio of Beatle haired native bearers and his big cravated 'man friend' Moloto (Barrera, essaying his role in Zombie Flesh Eaters but in a cheaper outfit), as their guide.

As is the way in such movies, nothing goes according to plan. The boats engine overheats stranding the group not on the isle of Kitkatoo but on the smaller (and slightly less dangerous) Kitkatoow...or so Moloto claims.

"Look at the dog!"

Chandler however is beginning to suspect that Moloto isn't being entirely honest about the situation but as he goes to confront the guide a loin-clothed band of scary cannibals jump out of the bushes and attack our heroes.

The native bearers are the first to fall (but isn't that always the way?) giving Chandler and co. time to leg it into the trees.

Contacting Dr. Obrero, the survivors are told to make their way to a handy abandoned church further inland and to lock themselves in whilst awaiting rescue.

Jon Culshaw up the casino.

As Chandler and his merry (if slightly smaller than earlier) band make their way through the jungle (well, producers garden) they seem surprised to find that the cannibals have been following them and stand around screaming when they attack again and after a particularly threadbare struggle
George ends up eyeless whilst slinky Susan (being the most attractive woman in the movie) is carried away by the arse bearing natives.

Suddenly (almost as if the director has remembered the films title) a gaggle of shuffling zombies turn up and scare the natives to buggery (not literally mind) and the survivors make it to the church on time to find Obrero waiting for them.


Convincing them that Susan is probably enjoying the attentions of the sausage fingered cannibals, he hands Lori and Chandler a map showing the quickest way to New York and points them in the direction of a handy rubber dingy left on the beach.

Even though Chandler's suspicions of foul play are getting stronger by the second he decides that it probably would be safer to just head home and forget about everything.

Plus he realizes that it'll just be him and Lori in the dingy for weeks...the dirty wee dog.

His sinful thoughts of hot sea-based sex are interrupted though when a zombies attacks them on the beach, leaving an angry (and no doubt sexually frustrated) Chandler to dispatch it with a handy outboard motor.

With a look of grim determination usually only seen in Sheepdogs our hero slowly realises that the only way he's ever gonna pull Lori is to solve the island mystery so with a heavy heart – and a raging horn - Chandler heads back to the church to confront the mad doctor......


With more cuts available than Richie Manic, Marino Girolami's cult classic is probably the only Italian gore-arama to feature not only cannibals but also zombies and a mad as a lorry doctor too, so you effectively get three movies for the price of one.

It's just a pity that none of them are any good.

On the plus side, Ian McCulloch is in it and as we all know he would never appear in anything too shady, standing around in a selection of Primark suits looking worriedly ginger (or is that gingerly worried) and let's be honest, he could stand around in his undies painting a wall and he'd still be infinitely watchable.

McCulloch: painting in his pants.

Donald O'Brian on the other hand is the complete antitheses of McCulloch's subtle acting style, a perfect example of an eye rolling, scenery chewing and wee stained madman. His fantastically realized Dr. Obrero is an utter joy, so convincing is his performance that you can almost taste his fishy breath.

Of the other cast members, the plump mouthed star of Fulci's New York Ripper Alexandra Delli Colli is only there to look good in her cream suspenders whilst pouting, her most difficult acting scene is where she's required to look vaguely scared whilst a group of Filipino tramps smear her naked body in face paint and strap her to a big paper mache wheel.

Inside John Leslie's Mind.

This she manages with great aplomb I'm glad to say, whilst Sherry Buchanan comes across as a dirtier (but less mental and with more teeth) Margot Kidder.

Wearing her dads clothes and with hair that hasn't seen shampoo for about six months she still manages to exude an air of clumsy back alley sexual hi-jinks (even when strapped to a table after being scalped which would be a tall order for most actresses). 

The rest of the cast are kinda just there really, which is enough I guess.

Buchanan: Just wait till the fucking starts.

As for the cannibal tribe, well it's the first time I've ever seen scary natives dressed only in thongs fashioned from rashers of bacon and mop top wigs but who's to say this isn't a realistic depiction of an ancient civilization?

Not me that's for sure.

Now to the zombies hordes (well I say hordes but there are only five of them, one of which is the directors mum) who, with make up that is a triumph for the seven year old hired to produce it using only the contents of the class arts and craft cupboard and accompanied at all times by a synth score that consists mainly of samples of a small boy farting whilst a dog with throat cancer barks backwards these undead terrors are guaranteed to strike mild apathy into the hearts of even the most hardened viewers.

Essential viewing.

And if that doesn't get me a complimentary disc from 88 Films nothing will.

Friday, January 23, 2015

thought of the day.

For those of you that missed it.


Can we carry on now?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015



It's that time of year again when hundreds of horror geeks plus half dozen sweaty, high waisted folk who live at home with their disabled mums (who will never die!) descend on my fair city ready to soak the streets (and seats) with the unmistakable smell of sweat, shame, semen and tears.

Which can only mean that our lovely pals at Frightfest have announced the line-up for sunny Glasgow.

And it looks a good un!

So without further ado, here's the list:


Director: Chris Sparling. Screenwriter: Chris Sparling. Cast: William Mapother, Rya Kihlstedt, Rob Kerkovich. 92 mins, USA 2015.

"Shite in mah mooth!" - Sorry couldn't resist.

Back in the early 70's brainy clever clogs Dr. Henry (no relation to Herbert or Fred) West set up The Atticus Institute in order to study telekinesis, clairvoyance, E.S.P., the books of Colin Martin and other unexplained psi-related phenomena.

But not the film Phenomena obviously because that wasn't released till 1985.

Literally thousands of folk were tested using a variety of seriously scientific with some of them actually showing spooky abilities that defied any rational explanations. 

Except probably that wolves did it.

Unfortunately just after West published the promising results of his research work, the small facility was mysteriously shut down in November 1976 by a concerned US Government. 

The reason? 

A woman named Judith Winstead whose supernatural abilities tested far beyond anything ever before witnessed. 

We're promised that won’t believe your eyes whilst watching the shockumentary of the year from director Chris Sparling, writer of BURIED.

The film script that is, not the word.

Director: Matt Winn. Screenwriters: James Handel, Matt Winn, Chris Denne. Cast: Mischa Barton, Robert Knepper, Charlotte Salt. 84 mins. UK 2015.

"Mischa Barton? I'm sure she's around here somewhere!"

When Ella (Mischa Barton) discovers that her Wall Street banker (in more ways than one) boyfriend is renting a secret storage unit, she suspects he’s using it to hide an affair.

But seeing as this is Frightfest she's probably wrong.

Anyway enlisting the help of her best friend Molly (High headed star of The Inbetweeners Emily-Mars-Atack....yes I've just realised that it lack an S to work) she breaks into the facility only to discover something more terrifying instead. 


Director Matt Winn isn't telling.

Now trapped in a darkened building with a group of neurotic strangers who start disappearing one by one, Ella soon uncovers even worse horror in the dank depths. 

A dozen wolves?

Who knows? But her life or death battle to escape eternal enslavement (possibly by animals like wolves) is about to begin…

Director: Kiah Roache-Turner. Screenwriters: Kiah Roache-Turner, Tristan Roache-Turner. Cast: Jay Gallagher, Bianca Bradey, Leon Burchill, 98 mins, Australia 2014.

"Laugh now!"

In the midst of a post-apocalyptic zombie invasion - caused this time by a wayward comet - an Oz (as in Australian, he's not a Munchkin or anything) mechanic must attempt to rescue his dusky eyed sister from a group of sinister gas-masked soldiers who are scouring the land for fresh victims to participate in the bizarre flesh-eating experiments being conducted by a fairly mad scientist. 

Mixing Mad Max style designs, an absurd sense of humour, new and outrageous zombie lore and KC and the Sunshine Band, this new spin on an old favourite promises black comedy galore, catastrophic carnage, over-the-top splatter and probably a few mullets.

Director: April Mullen. Screenwriters: Tom Doiron, April Mullen. Cast: Katharine Isabelle, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Ironside, 88 mins, Canada 2015.

88: Two fat ladies not shown.

From the team behind DEAD BEFORE DAWN 3D, and starring friend of The Arena Katharine Isabelle, comes a glorious, gory and fast-paced homage to cult exploitation revenge thrillers. 

Gwen arrives dishevelled at a mysterious roadside diner with no idea where she is or how she got there in such an anguished state. 

Split between two time lines, Gwen gets taken on a violence-fuelled journey into death and destruction and becomes the most wanted woman in Tennessee seeking out the person responsible for her lover's murder.

Raucous redhead action with American Mary herself. 

Honestly what more could you ask for?

Except wolves maybe?

Director: Marcus Nispel. Screenwriters, Marcus Nispel, Kirsten Elms. Cast: Stephen Lang, Brett Dier, Brittany Curran, 90 mins, USA 2015.

Holly Valance, up the casino, Wigan, 1998.....YESCH.

From Marcus Nispel, 'director' of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW and FRIDAY THE 13TH re-imaginings (but let's not hold that against him) comes a curious case of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll possession. 

Which is nice.

Six teens throw a party in a rundown building and find an old record (ask your mum) and decide to play it backwards for a giggle.

As you do.

But the vintage vinyl holds a subliminal message and soon a seemingly malevolent entity has infiltrated the group, wreaking havoc and eggy farts. 

However the spirit is actually trying to convey a message and the real source of horror is something - or someone - much closer to home.

Your dad perhaps?

Come on, you've seen the way he looks at me.

Director: John Watts. Screenwriters: Christopher D. Ford, John Watts. Cast: Peter Stormare, Eli Roth, Laura Allen, 102 mins, USA/Canada 2014.
"Those badges on your jacket smell....they must be onion bhajis!" - Seriuosly a clown I was working with once made this joke.

FrightFest Glasgow’s special 2013 guest Eli Roth sends in the clowns but forgets the money he owes me with this terrifying tale of an unreliable childrens entertainer.

 When the balloon twisting funny fella hired for his son’s sixth birthday party is a no-show, doting father Kent dons a clown outfit himself but after the festivities, he finds he can’t take it off – the bulbous nose is stuck to his face, the frizzy wig glued to his hair and the make-up permanently etched on his features. 

Too late he learns the costume is the skin of an ancient demon and his family must race to break the curse before the transformation into a homicidal killer with outsize shoes and the mysterious stench of warm milk is complete. 
Director: Mario Bava. Screenwriters: Mario Bava, Giuseppe Barilla, Marcello Fondato. Cast: Cameron Mitchell, Eva Bartok, Lea Lander, 88 mins, Italy 1964.

A Bava classic....blood or black lace not soon.

Mario Bava’s visually stunning, elegantly mounted and erotically charged proto- giallo presented in all its restored glory.

Nuff said.

Director: Russell Gomm. Screenwriter: Russell Gomm. Cast: Edward Sanchez, Daniel Myrick, Gregg Hale. 84 mins. UK 2015.

In October 1997, a group of filmmakers ventured into the Maryhill woods to produce a low budget independent horror movie. 
That disappeared without a trace but across the pond a different lo-fi shocker,  
THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT would become a global phenomenon and began the ‘found footage’ genre that remains a potent, if sometimes stinky  force today. 
Now for the first time you can see how that record-breaking groundbreaker came into being. 
From never-before-seen recordings of pre-production meetings, audition tapes and test footage to the actual shooting, first preview screenings and marketing at the Sundance Film Festival, all the key personnel guide you through the discussions and decisions that minted a shock sensation classic.  
Director: Hans Herbots. Screenwriters: Mo Hayder, Carl Joos. Cast: Geert Van Rampelberg, Ina Geerts, Johan van Assche. 125 mins, Belgium, 2014.

"I can see you house from here Peter".

Nordic Noir turns frighteningly Flemish (yesch!) in Belgium’s top-grossing film of 2014.

Based on the chiller by acclaimed British author Mo Hayder and gut-wrenchingly harrowing to an unprecedented degree, nerves of steel are required to watch this truly shocking, emotionally jarring, viciously gritty, serial killer thriller. 

Inspector Nick Cafmeyer is haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his younger brother. 

A known sex offender (based, I'm told partly on your Uncle John) was questioned but quickly released and now takes fiendish pleasure in tormenting Nick by sending him unmarked postcards featuring wolves dressed as famous sportsmen. 

Now another spookily similar case comes to light involving a missing juvenile and Nick’s real nightmare begins.

Director: Jaume Balagueró. Screenwriters: Jaume Balagueró and Manu Diez. Cast: Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzenado, Héctor Colomé, 96 mins,.

Manuela Velasco: I love her AND she follows me on life is complete.

After unleashing the original [REC] onto unsuspecting audiences, Frightfest Glasgow is hosting the UK premiere of the shattering visceral conclusion to the global horror phenomenon.
Picking up the intense action immediately after [REC] 2 - expanding on the mythos from all three predecessors, plus referencing cult genre classics - TV reporter Ángela Vidal is extracted from the cursed apartment building and taken to a high-security quarantine facility aboard an oil tanker. 
There, in the bowels of the dark and desolate ship, Dr. Ricarte is experimenting with the infectious virus to find a cure before another living dead outbreak occurs.  
And finally we have....
Director: Jay Dahl. Screenwriter: Jay Dahl. Cast: Matthew Amyotte, Jason Daley, Michael Ray Fox, 96 mins, Canada 2014.
"Aye hen!"

Monsters are taking over the world, slowly, quietly and efficiently, but you won’t see them coming until it’s far too late! 
Four film students embark on a road trip to obtain promotional interviews for their college, however en route they witness a series of odd events, strange behaviour, shocking actions and what seems to be surplus of twins (not mine). 
Their well-ordered universe literally changes before their camera lenses uncovering a terrifying secret lurking just under the seemingly calm urban landscape.  
With a promise to scare us out of our wits right from the start, there'll be slashed seats if this isn't the case.

And if that wasn't enough to get you moist don't forget there's still time to place a bet on which movie will make the wheelchair bound man walk out in disgust this year.
See you then!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

just imagine....

...if Saoirse Ronan was half kitten.

Makes you think doesn't it?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

savage garden.

And if all that pasty flesh wasn't enough to start your year with a yawn here's a quick review for you.

Saw this way back in February but couldn't bring myself to revisit it until now.

Only actually remembered about it cos it's nearly Frightfest time and a group of us had been discussing what movies we hated last year...

Apologies if I appear a wee bit more vitriolic than usual, I've just spent a week writing an article about Labyrinth for Multitude of Movies so the lack of chances to mention mooth shite and the like has gotten to me.

Are you ready?

Then let's begin.

Savaged (2013)
Dir: Michael S. Ojeda.
Cast:  Amanda Adrienne, Tom Ardavany, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Rodney Rowland, Ernie Charles and your dad and his friend from football.


Horse faced deaf chick Zoe (Adrienne) has decided to drive cross country in order to go live with her instantly forgettable boyfriend.

Which would be nice if this were a romantic comedy starring Tom Hanks but unfortunately it isn't, in fact it's more like the results of an unholy back alley bumfest between The Crow and I Spit On Your Grave that's been delivered by an alcoholic, hook handed doctor.

And not in a good way.

Anyway back to 'the plot' where her journey is rudely interrupted by a family of laughably cliched inbred bad boy brothers, led by the laughably fey Trey (Grange Hills Rowland) who decide to kidnap and brutally (is there any other way?) rape our equestrian heroine.

Mr. A. Badboy threatens to shoot an entirely different kind of load to the one your mum is used to over a woman's face yesterday.

Once they're finished with her (but not before wiping their rancid cocks on the curtains and by that I mean had a sandwich), the randy rednecks shoot her in the head, bury her in a field and leave her for dead.

Something we can all identify with doing I'm sure.

Luckily a passing Native American graveyard attendant cum witch doctor named Fred West (Ardavany, the bloke that animates Wallace and Gromit I think) digs her up and re-animates her with his mystical powers.

As you would in this situation.

Wouldn't you know it tho', the resurrection ceremony goes a wee bit wrong and the vengeful spirit of an Apache Chief  (who just happens to have been killed by an ancestor of one of the rascally rapists) hitches a ride back with Zoe in a makeshift attempt to extract his revenge and reclaim his skull, which the boys are currently using as a novelty ashtray.

"Shite in mah previously violently violated mooth ya inbred bastards!"

Realising his mistake, West explains the whole dead/not dead/possessed/revenge situation to a surprisingly understanding Zoe (either that or she can't make out what he's saying) going on to explain that although she looks alive that her flesh is actually decaying at a normal rate so any revenge taking had better be quick.

Which begs the question why bother resurrecting her in the first place?

Apart from for a laugh obviously.

Cue forty odd minutes of disembowelment, sundry stabbings and a scalping as the gang scratch their heads and try to figure out what's going on.

Unlike the poor audience who are busy scratching their arses and wondering what they've done to deserve such shite.

As the film lips bow-leggedly toward its climax the remaining gang members decide to kidnap Zoe's boyfriend, who spent the last few days (and most of his savings) on photocopying loads of 'have you seen me?' pictures and pinning them up around town.

Which would have been a good idea had he not mistakenly been sticking up pictures of Mr. Ed instead.

They might be smiling now but just wait till the mooth shite-in starts.

Barricaded inside a deserted shed and armed to the teeth with all manner of (non sexual) assault weapons our bad band sit in and wait for Zoe to return.

And return she does Zoe carrying with her the Chief's favourite (and fairly impressive it has to be said) tomahawk as well as his not as impressive knife as unintentional laughs and gratuitous shots of Adrienne's painfully skinny knees abound as she/he seeks attempts to finish her mentalist maiden massacre whilst hiding from her concerned boyfriend and before one or both of her legs drop off.

No, really.

Seriously I'm not making this shite up.

"Aye hen!"

Imagine a feminist version of the crow written by an overly serious 14 year old boy who'd never seen a film before and you're halfway there, tedious, hilarious and arse numbingly bad in equal measures and with a star so thin that when she turns sideways she appears to drop thru' the sprocket holes in the film.

Savaged is either so cleverly post modern, featuring as it does the juxtaposition of the defiling of the Native American with that of the modern woman as to make it way too intelligent for the likes of me or just utter unadulterated shite with more unintentional laughs than a Comic Relief report on starving kids.

Either way it's entertaining enough and has a climax that'll haunt you forever.

Just not in the way the director was intending.

Or was he?

Perhaps we'll never know.

And frankly I for one don't care.

The end.