Saturday, May 16, 2015

the worriers.



Madder than Max and slipperier than Snake, there's a new lion haired action hero in town.

Well there would be if it were 1983.

2019: After The Fall of New York (AKA 2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York 1983)
Dir: Sergio Martino.
Cast: Michael Sopkiv, Anna Kanakis, George Eastman, Roman Geer, Vincent Scalondro, Edmond Purdom, Valentine Monnier and Louis Ecclesia.






Sometime in the near future (probably a wee bit before 2019, maybe around lunchtime) the Scrabble worrying Eurac alliance, a new power bloc consisting of top mock rock bands Europe, Asia and Africa but scarily not Toto or Foreigner, having finally had its fill of endless Friends reruns, Taylor Swift and Honey Boo Boo has decided to teach the good ol' US of A a lesson in humility by nuking the fuck out of the entire country and setting up a new government in the ruins of New York City.
And all before the opening titles.

The remaining New Yorkers, after being banned from wearing plaid shirts and shouting 'Bagels!' at passersby now spend their days being used and abused as part of a diabolically inhumane programme of, um, diabolical and (yup) inhumane experiments to solve the problem of sterility among the surviving females.
Every evil empire has to have a hobby tho', so in their spare time the Eurac soldiers gallop around on horseback bedecked in Disney Land style armour killing the piss reeking, mutant squatters who still run free in the city.

Which is nice.

And also where we join the movies plot good and proper as a gaggle of these mucky mutants, armed with the kind of 'high tech' weaponry you always get in these movies (sticks, clubs, maces, golf clubs) are facing off with a squad of the aforementioned black clad Eurac cavalry.

The cavalry orders are simple; make these stinky so and so's have a shower or kill them all.

The honking hordes answer is simple.

Fight for your right to be dirty!

Obviously chaos and property damage ensues.

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Four men with big shiny helmets yesterday.



Meanwhile in sunny Nevada, our hero, the greasy locked layabout Arthur Parsifal (80's action god Sopkiv) is enjoying a nice, relaxing cross country death race.

The prize?

A foxy female sex slave (pneumatic 80's 'pop' star Sabrina).

Obviously Parsifal wins the race but to show what a nice man he is (well it's either that or he's particularly concerned about his sexual hygiene) decides to let Sabrina go.

Little does our hero know that he's being secretly spied on by a couple of Confederate soldiers (they're the good guys by the way) from way up in the hills.

Well I say hills but it's really a middle sized pile of sand used by the quarry workers to hide behind when they sneak off for a fag.

It appears that the soldier boys have been hanging about in the vane hope that the former popstrel poppet will give an impromptu performance of her hit 'Boys Boys Boys' whilst jiggling about like an epileptic trifle in an ill fitting bikini because frankly I can't think of any other reason to spend your days knee deep in soggy mud wearing an outfit that Jimmy Savile would knock back for being too perv-like.

So it comes as a wee bit of a surprise when they suddenly stun the poor bloke before manhandling him onto a jet and flying to Alaska.



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"Can you smell petrol?"

 

It seems that some non-gypsy inbreds also survived the attack on America and are in dire need of a man of Parsifal's talents to undertake a most special mission.

The last fertile woman in the country has been located in New York and it's his job to rescue her.

If Parsifal succeeds the surviving members of America's (flea) free government intend to pop her aboard a spaceship bound for Alpha Centauri, alongside a carefully selected crew of stud muffins, where on arrival they'll proceed to fuck like bunnies in an attempt to repopulate the human race.

Which is nice work if you can get it.



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"Mah wee boy painted this".


Seeing as it's such a dangerous mission and more importantly that Parsifal will need folk to talk to in order to keep the viewers interested, the limp fringed one is to be accompanied on his journey by top childrens entertainers Goeff Ratchet and Lesley Bronx (Geer and Scalondro who've probably been in loads of stuff and are dead famous but frankly I can't be arsed checking).

Our heroic band gain entry into the city with little trouble (and very quickly seeing as they started the morning in Alaska) but as usually happens in these films quickly get into a painfully slow paced fight.

The bad men are no match for our heroes tho', especially after Ratchet unleashes his deadly metal balls (he's really an android.....yesch!) and bonks the baddies into submission.

Retreating to the sewers the trio soon encounter a crazy mob of filthy rat hating folk led by the madly monikered Rat Eating King (The Wolverine's Yamanouchi) and accompanied by the sultry Giara (Monnier from Devil Fish) who looks the filthiest of them all but in a totally different way.

Not used to having guests and wanting to show our heroes a good time the merry band decided to engage in the age old tradition of poking rats with sticks whilst a groovy samba beat plays in the background whilst a community centre modern dance group throw shapes in the corner.

So far so dick shrinkingly awful but don't despair because just when you're about to end it all (or at the very least turn this shite off) the rat people pull a dwarf (Ecclesia in his only screen role outside your mum's secret video tapes) out from behind some rocks and start poking him instead.

Britain's Got Talent hang your head in shame.


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"Stop trying to climb mah beanstalk!"

 



Just as they're about to administer the infamous death poke tho' good guy Parsifal steps in (by steps in I mean he starts fighting them) because if anyone is going to stick something in a little person it should be him frankly.

Unfortunately, our heroic trio are overwhelmed by the rat tribe and taken prisoner.

Waking up in a cupboard Parsifal learns that the rat baiting is less a search for food but more the prelude to some sexy shenanigans.

You see, whoever pokes the most rodents gets to have sex with the lady of their choice and seeing as all the women (and all the men) - except Giara - are covered in weeping sores it's a safe bet to say she gets picked all the time.

Lucky girl.

Parsifal, upset at not automatically getting the girl and obviously upset at missing his chance with Sabrina earlier, just sits and sulks as Giara is taken into a side room for some hot rat based bum bothering but as luck (and decency) would have it the evil Euracs pick that very moment to attack the rodent hunting tribe.

Ratchet legs it up a tunnel, but Bronx and Parsifal grabbed by the gendarmes and taken before the slinkily sinister Eurac leader Ms. Ania (former Ms. Italy Anna Kanakis looking for all the world like a sexier, council estate version of Danni Minogue) who instantly knows that there's something amiss with Parsifal and his bud.

The fact that they both look like they work out, don't stink of piss and aren't covered in vile weeping sores alone is enough to arouse Ania's suspicions, add to this her reaction to a glimpse of Parsifal's tight buns when he swaggers into her office and it comes as no surprise that she quickly orders him to be stripped to the waist for a thorough 'interrogation'.

Lucky sod.


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The old guy from The Full Monty, Ms. Italia
1977 and a young Rutger Hauer yesterday.



Luckily Parsifal's quick thinking convinces Ania that Giara is the real threat and that the should really capture her instead.

Being female and obviously threatened by the thought of a rival to Parsifal's affections she completely falls for his ruse.

The angry Eurac commander given the job of interrogating Bronx fairs a little worse, forgetting as he does to disable Bronx's claw (you know, wrapping it in parcel tape or tying a big elastic band around it, basic common sense really).

The poor bloke gets no further than asking his favourite ice cream flavour before Bronx has gouged the commander's eyes out in painfully fake close-up.

Don't worry tho' they get replaced by robot ones in the following scene.



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(Here it comes)...."Aye son!"

 

Luckily Ratchet and Shorty (that's the dwarf if you didn't guess) jump out from behind a filing cabinet in order to rescue our heroes and an exciting (well I say exciting) chase ensues thru' the crumbling tunnels beneath the city.

Losing their pursuers our merry band arrive at Shorty's home; a large cave beneath the old UN building where an entire army of dwarves  lie in wait for a hero to lead them.

Can this movie get any better?

Unfortunately, before you can get too excited imgining a sweaty dwarf Vs. leather clad horseman battle, the Eurac stormtroopers turn up and kill them all with a 'sonic cannon' meaning it's back to the slightly less exciting pastime of aimless tunnel wandering for our clueless chums.



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"Stroke my bearded mooth".


Don't worry tho' because a film with such a short running time wont spend too long dwelling on inconsequential padding plus the opening credits promised an appearance from the mightily man-breasted 'B' movie behemoth that is George Eastman, so it comes as no surprise when he turns up leading a posse of mutant monkey men.

What is a surprise tho' is their choice of attire, clad as they are in brightly coloured silk and gaudy, pound shop  jewellery, which for an alleged race of hard as nails simian soldiers is a brave choice.

Eastman especially looks camper than John Barrowman in a pink bunny suit sunbathing on a beach of cock.

Not to worry tho' as they know where the fertile woman is hidden and are willing to take Parsifal to her.

It appears that she's kept in a secret cavern (well, obviously secret to everyone but the dwarves and monkeys) just around the corner from where the apemen live and that they've always been willing to hand her over to whoever asked but no-one ever did.

Thinking about it, this entire plot could possibly been sorted so much quicker by a well timed phone call and some flowers.

Entering the cavern (which is much less effort than doing the same to your sister) Parsifal finds not only Lil Ms. Fertile - suspended from the roof in a glass case -  but also the corpse of her kindly scientist dad and a fully restored 1972 Station Wagon.



Something for everyone really.

It appears that Mr. Scientist had spend loads of time thinking about his daughters future as a baby machine (which is nice if a little creepy) and had formulated a plan to get her out of the city via the Lincoln Tunnel using the station Wagon supplied.

He'd even left maps and drawings to aid whoever turned up, which is lucky for our heroes seeing as they look the type that would lose a game of noughts and crosses with a potato.

Depending if they could figure out how to use a pencil first that is.

Unfortunately the Lincoln Tunnel is heavily defended by crack Eurac troops armed with special Station Wagon busting cannons so Parsifal's only chance of success rests on being able to armoured plate the car using whatever comes to hand.

Discarded loo rolls, pizza boxes etc. You know the drill.

Only then will they have any chance of making it out alive and with their precious cargo intact.

I'd jump to her beat but not before I'd done a shite in her mooth.



Leaving Big Ape and Giara to guard the girl Parsifal, Ratchet, and Shorty go searching for junk to stick to the car.


As opposed to sticking their junk in it obviously.

Their run of bad luck (and half-arsed plotting) seems to come to an end when they come across what appears to be a totally undamaged Aldi full to the brim of all our car armouring needs but it doesn't last as no sooner have they found a pound coin for the trolley when a pesky Eurac patrol attacks our heroes.

Just as all seems lost the plucky Shorty leads the bad boys away giving our Parsifal and Ratchet time to drag a couple of trolleys full of tin plate and toffee back to the cavern but at the cost of Shorty's life.

No real loss then.



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"I love you....could it be magic?"

Whilst all this is 'going down' as the youngsters say, Big Ape has come across all amorous, he's fully loaded so to speak and is feeling the urge to procreate.

Knocking Giara out cold he slips first into Ms. Fertile's display cabinet and then into s. Fertile herself.

Saucy.

When Giara awakes Big Ape is sitting with his pipe and slippers singing to himself and explaining how she must have fainted due to his aftershave or something.

Nothing suspicious there then.

Returning with the tin and stuff, our heroes quickly begin the task of armouring the car for the journey from New York.

But will it be enough?

Will they reach Alaska with the fertile lady intact?

Will Big Ape get it on again?

And will Parsifal realise that Giara is only hanging around because he's the only person in the film who's not had sex with her yet?




Channelling everything from Escape from New York and Mad Max via Fanny Craddock's wardrobe and Simon LeBn's hair, director Sergio Martino's lo-fi sci-fi epic is a rip roaring rollercoaster ride of action, adventure and excitement with the added bonus of dwarf power.
Its special effects put its contemporaries to shame (but only if the contemporaries are Blake's 7 and late 70's Doctor Who obviously), its costumes are enough to make 'Wild Boys' era Duran Duran green with envy (or giddy from laughing take your pick) and the hair bleach budget alone must have been enough to cripple a small country.
But if that wasn't enough to recommend this masterpiece then don't forget that it features the frankly magnificent George Eastman playing a cheeky (and very horny) monkey. 
To be honest it's exactly what you'd expect from the man behind the classic Mountain of The Cannibal God.


Sopkiw: camel.
Michael Sopkiw's short (but sweet) movie career was kick-started with this movie, unfortunately for him (and us) he failed to make such an impact again and after Monster Shark (1984, where he re-teamed with Monnier) and Cannibal Ferox 2 (1985) he retired from acting, going on to study medicinal plant science and eventually launched Miron Violet Glass, a California-based company which makes special glass bottles that protect plants from the sun. 
Not funny but true, sorry.
His portrayal as the oddly monikered Parsifal is a joy to watch coming over like a junior Kurt Russell doing a community centre pantomime version of Beyond Thunderdome with a script by someone to whom English is a third language.

Which, if he's reading is meant as a compliment by the way (he still looks quite handy and could probably give me a bloody good kicking if angered).

Other cast members fared a wee bit better in the acting field; foxy Anna Kanakis became a mainstay of Italian TeeVee and is still working today (not literally mind you, you may be reading this on a bank holiday or late at night) and the late great Edmund Purdom, whose career took him from stage to screen via the dizzying highs and lows of European exploitation hell before finally carving a career as a dubbing/voice artiste in the Italian film industry appears to be still going strong despite dying in 2009.

Of the others I'll be honest, I didn't bother checking, except for Valentine Monnier whom I quickly looked for on Facebook and found this:



Tho' I'm assuming it's not her.

Anyway, I digress.
As is the usual with a Martino movie, the whole thing is less about unimportant factors like budget (or lack of) and (often threadbare) scripts and more about the movie's pacing and offering a variety of set pieces (of varying quality and levels of excitement) to keep the viewer entertained enough to not realise - or care - that the whole thing is actually complete and utter bollocks.
Obviously if anyone can prove that radioactive fallout can turn people into  monkey-men I'll take it all back.
And I can't say much fairer than that.

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