Probably the most wonderful thing I have ever seen.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Probably the most wonderful thing I have ever seen.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Regular blog reader Mr. DissolvedPaul of Smethwick emailed me regarding this classic and as to why I'd never reviewed it.
I must admit that I was surprised that I hadn't seeing as it's quite smashing.
Plus I also have a rather snazzy t-shirt for sale here.
I shall remedy this lack of write-up right now.
Then you can go buy a shirt.
The Burning (1981).
Dir: Tony Maylam.
Cast: Brian Matthews, Lou David, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Larry Joshua, Jason Alexander, Ned Eisenberg, Carrick Glenn, Carolyn Houlihan, Fisher Stevens, Shelley Bruce, Sarah Chodoff, Bonnie Deroski, Holly Hunter and
|Don't worry. Tonight's the night that we scare the shit out of Cropsy. Because when he wakes up, when he see it, he's gonna have a heart attack.|
It's a normal sunny day at the amusingly monikered Camp Blackfoot (named no doubt in honour of one of top 70's TV comedian Dick Emery's most popular characters); the jocks are baiting the nerds, the camp counsellors are busying themselves having the sex and the kids are getting ready for a jolly old sing-song and a Weiner roast round the fire.
Unfortunately the Weiner that ends up getting roasted belongs to the camps resident caretaker Terry "Cropsy" Cropston as during the night a group of mischievous bad boys sneak into his cabin and place a worm covered skull - wearing candles for eyes - next to his bed with the sole intention of getting the poor bloke to wet himself.
As is the way in '80's horror movies tho' everything goes tits up and Cropsy gets so frightened that he knocks the skull onto his bed setting his eggy bedsheets and - 100 % polyester - Farrah Fawcett nightshirt aflame.
Leaping from his bed the unfortunate fella accidentally knocks over a nearby gas cannister causing the whole cabin to be engulfed by a raging fireball and leaving Cropsy with no alternative but to stumble out of his by now charred abode - in glorious slo-mo obviously I mean that asbestos suit isn't going to pay for itself - and crash headlong into a river.
|I don't know who was the more burned, Crospy wearing it or the guy that paid 250 quid for it on Ebay.|
Jump forward five years and Cropsy - or Crispy as he should probably be now known - is released from hospital, decked out in a rather fetching flasher mac, big ass sunglasses and fedora to hide his melted visage the first thing he does, which is what anyone in his circumstances would do if I'm honest, is head out to murder a prostitute.
Albiet one that almost chocked at the sight (but not on) his well cooked spring roll looking penis.
So I suppose that that's OK then.
|No caption necessary.|
Realising that he's found his true vocation in life our burned-up buddy decides to head off to the nearest summer camp (in this case the far less amusing Camp Stonewater) and armed with a nifty new pair of garden shears extract revenge on any teenagers that cross his path.
Hiding behind a convenient bush it's not long before he comes across the tomboyish Tiger (ex-Annie star Bruce) who is busy searching for a lost baseball in the undergrowth.
Luckily for Tiger her androgynous nature confuses Cropsy and unsure whether to stab or shag her (as if the two were mutually exclusive) hesitates long enough for her to escape.
|Tunnel or funnel?|
Sally's screams - alongside the light glistening on her ample breasts - bring Michelle (St. Elsewhere's Ayres), Karen (former Miss Ohio, Houlihan), Todd (Matthews AKA David Laurent from Santa Barbara, the TV show where all ex-horror stars go to die) and Eddy (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit's Eisenberg) running to the rescue and slap bang into poor Alfred.
Todd, being a nice guy, feeling sorry for Alfred takes the lonely teen in hand (but not alas in the mouth) and has a brotherly chat with him regarding the rights and wrongs of spying on naked teens, even going so far as stopping Sally's boyfriend Paul Michael Glazer (jobbing thesp Joshua) from giving him a kicking.
If only someone had done this for me as a teen things would have turned out so much different.
And probably less messy.
|They might look happy now but just wait till the stabbing starts.|
Later that night, whilst attempting to get to sleep after a visit from the mysterious Mother Fist and her five alluring daughters, Alfred spots Cropsy crouching in the bushes outside his window, obviously enjoying a post show fag but with Alfred being a pervy loner freak and everything, no-one believes him.
Well would you?
A new day dawns and the kids are all excited by the prospect of a canoe trip 'up river', especially Karen who's decided that a boat ride is just the excuse she needs to finally have some of the sex with Eddy.
Cue 10 minutes of soft focus paddling and holiday report style shots of the sun shimmering on the water as a groovy Rick Wakeman score plays in the background.
Which is quite relaxing if I'm honest.
The director obviously realises tho' that all this well directed caring about the characters stuff is getting in the way of why we're all here so as soon as the merry band settle down for snacks, Karen and Eddy head to the rivers edge for a wee bout of skinny dipping.
Unfortunately - it's probably something to do with the temperature of the water - Karen changes her mind after seeing Eddy's wrinkly and somewhat shrivelled penis and quickly heads back to shore where she discovers that all of her clothes have been strewn about in the woods.
I say all of her clothes but I actually mean just the ones she was wearing, obviously whoever did it hadn't gone to her house, raided her wardrobe then driven/hitch-hiked back and just thrown them everywhere, that would be silly.
But all this chat is immaterial frankly for as Karen bends down to retrieve her undies Cropsy appears from nowhere and slits her throat.
|Paddle in mah pond!|
Things go from bad to very annoying via slight inconvenience the next morning when Michelle discovers that not only is Karen missing but that the canoes have been cut adrift and have floated off up the lake.
Luckily Todd, being the handy sensible type organises the group into two parties; one group, including Eddy and Woodstock (Short Circuit star Stevens) who alongside the bespectacled Marnie and the instantly forgettable Barbara will build a makeshift (tho' not Makepeace and no sign of Dempsey) raft and to go and retrieve the canoes whilst the others stay behind and gather wood.
For what reason is never explained tho' building a Wicker Man probably isn't it.
Alfred meanwhile decides to go exploring.
It's not too long before Eddy and co. spot one of the missing canoes and quickly paddle toward it only to have Cropsy jump out from under a dog blanket and kill them all to death with his shiny shears.
Which was a wee bit unexpected if I'm honest, I mean how lucky was it that they came across that canoe first?
What would have happened if they'd found the others and decided that that was enough?
Or just walked back to camp?
He could've ended up lying there all summer.
He'd probably still be there now.
Back at base camp Michelle is still worrying about Karen.
|"Excuse me, I have my womans period".|
As night approaches Glazer decides to make his move on Sally but in the ensuing excitement and at the first hint of nipple he cums in his shorts before storming off in a huff under the pretence of 'starting a fire'.
Been there, done that, still own the (eggy) t-shirt.
Whilst he's away concentrating on a totally different kind of wood Cropsy steps out from behind a tree and sticks his shears into Sally instead.
Weighed down with kindling and all set for a second attempt Glazer returns to the scene and immediately makes amorous advances on his by now stone cold and uncomfortably stiff missis only to find - in a joke that would make Jeremy Beadle - proud that Cropsy is hiding underneath her corpse.
Fearing getting covered in juicy jock jism, Cropsy jumps up and pins Glazer to a tree.
And can you guess who was watching the whole sordid scene unfold from the bushes in the hope of seeing a hint of snatch?
Yup, it's Alfred.
Running back to camp he quickly rouses Todd (but not in that way) and tells him what just happened.
Minus the bit where Glazer came in his pants obviously, I mean the guys a freak but he's not heartless.
Todd, upset at being woken from a particularly sexy dream thinks Alfred is lying and sternly tells his to fuck off but our geeky pal is so convincing that Todd eventually offers to go with him and take a look, thinking if nothing else he too might get a glimpse or two of fanny before the night's out.
The only gash that Todd gets to see tho' is the one in Glazer's throat and that's only for a second before Cropsy bonks him on the head and gives chase to Alfred in a scene of Benny Hill proportions as our crispy killer desperately attempts to catch Alfred and Todd (now armed with a handy axe) tries in vain to just catch up.
|"Blood in mah mooth!"|
Back at camp the rest of the teens are excited to see the raft heading back towards them.
So excited in fact that they mistake the pile of bodies scattered clumsily aboard it as their buddies sleeping.
So you can imagine Michelle's surprise as she approaches it only to discover that it is, in fact full of dead bodies.
And a few of them are still intact.
Amidst the panic and out of the trees appears Todd who, obviously bored with trying to save Alfred has decided to go save the cool kids instead.
Rounding everyone up he gets Michelle to head back to the camp and contact the authorities before realising that the film is nearly over and that, if he save Alfred, he'll be the hero.
Thinking this over for a few seconds he heads back into the woods.
Meanwhile, Cropsy is busying himself pinning Alfred to the wall with his shears in the hope of getting picked to decorate the Chelsea Flower Show entrance hall later in the year.
Coming across a deserted mine opening and noticing the faint odour of frightened virgin (which next to tears and petrol must be the sexiest smell imaginable) Todd sneaks in only to get hit by a rusty mine car which, as luck would have it sends him crashing thru' a convenient cardboard wall and straight into Cropsy's lair where the scene is set for a battle to the death.
|Cropsy had won the pools but suddenly realised that he'd burnt his coupon.|
Had an email asking if I'd ever reviewed The Burning so thought I'd take a look thru' the archives - tho' why they couldn't search for it I've no idea....what is this a library?
So did a quick search and bizarrely this popped up instead.
Checking it seems that only 3 folk have ever read it which is sad really.
Or a sign of good taste.
Anyway, it's coming out on shiny Bluray soon so thought I'd re-review it.
Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)
Dir: Harold P. Warren.
Cast: Tom Neyman, John Reynolds, Diane Mahree, Harold P. Warren, Stephanie Nielson, Sherry Proctor, Robin Redd, Jackey Neyman, Bernie Rosenblum, Joyce Molleur and William Bryan Jennings.
|"Manos, God of primal darkness. As thou has decreed so have I done. The hands of fate have doomed this man. Thy will is done".|
The somewhat sickening Felcher family; dad Michael (writer, director, actor, spy, salesman and inventor Warren), mum Margaret (Mahree - bless you), Hellish girl child Debbie (Curse of Bigfoot star and only person to be paid for the movie, Neyman) and the family dog, Peppy are heading for a well deserved (if arse-numbingly dubbed) holiday at Butlins in Skegness.
So far so so.
Luck (and let's be honest looks) obviously aren't on their side tho', as not only are they stopped by the police due to a cracked tail-light but also get lost somewhere near the A1 turn off to Smethwick.
|Smethwick, twinned with your gran.|
But being Smethwick, there aren't any houses as we know them, just a few broken down sheds and a burnt out Burger king.
Oh and a car on bricks with the words 'GRASS' sprayed down the side in excrement.
Finally, just as their hope of finding any signs of civilization is fading the family reach a rickety old house looked after by a big hatted, bow legged backward arsed butler named Torgo (Reynolds, allegedly wearing a home-made bondage suit to aid his performance), who, as it happens is house-sitting for "The Master" (no not that one) whilst he's away on business.
|Togo: He's got something to put in you.|
Repulsed yet oh so slightly aroused by the smell of boiled onions permeating thru' Togo's beard, Michael and Margaret ask him for directions to Butlins; Torgo simply (and stiffly) replies that "There's no way out of here....It'll be dark soon...."
Michael, totally nonplussed by the terrifying Torgo and his trampy beard demands that he and his family be allowed to stay the night and orders Torgo to fetch their belongings from the car.
Being a woman Margaret's concerns go unheard by her husband who's too busy booting Torgo up the arse as he attempts to balance a variety of cases on his hips.
Once inside, the family are disturbed to see that there are not only a distinct lack of carpets but that the walls are crammed full of pound shop voodoo shite with a child’s finger painting of a dark eyed, grey skinned moustachioed man and his anorexic greyhound as a stunning centrepiece.
The man it depicts is The Master.
The dog, well that's just a dog.
|I've spunked prettier things.|
When an amusingly scratched sound effect of a wolf howling puts the willies up poor Margaret and sends lil' Peppy running outside, macho Michael decides to investigate.
Grabbing a flashlight - tho' a fleshlight would probably be more appropriate for a pile of wank this big - and revolver from his car he wanders around in the dark (making sure not to step off the set obviously) before finding Peppy, by now cunningly played by an old coat lying dead in the desert dust.
Back at the house Torgo is busying (and arousing) himself by rubbing his legs and attempting to stroke Margaret's hair as he admits undying love for her, warning our moaning faced MiLF that she is doomed to become a bride of The Master, tho' Torgo wants her for himself.
Obviously offended at only being able to pull square faced bores and bandy legged bums Margaret threatens to tell Michael about Torgo's frankly ludicrous seduction attempts but our bearded buddy convinces her to stay quiet by promising to protect her from stuff.
Look the script isn't that specific so why should I be?
Luckily for all concerned Michael re-enters the scene at this point with some bad news.
And it's not that the film is almost over.
It seems that on his travels he's discovered that not only is the dog dead but the car has broken down and little Debbie has wandered off.
Good news tho' is that the local Tapas bar still has tables available.
Unfortunately there isn't a phone in the house to ring for a reservation so with great reluctance the family decide to stay the night, if only to find out where Debbie has gone.
Which is nice.
|Tunnel or funnel?|
Let's be honest tho' it's not like anyone would've abducted her anyway seeing as she has a face that would make a horse sick, I mean any pervy pedo that could maintain anything remotely like an erection around her would deserve a medal.
But I digress.
Unlike the director obviously who seems to be under the impression that the film doesn't have enough stilted, dialogue free scenes of badly made up (and in some cases just plain ugly) actors staring at each other for no reason than to highlight the many continuity mistakes on show.
Make it stop.
Or at least get a wee bit interesting.
|Debbie: Not even With Jonathan King's.|
Which after what seems like an eternity it actually does with the arrival of The Master himself (Neyman, unfortunate father of the fearful she-child Jackey, actual owner of the featured greyhound and the man who painted the portrait mentioned earlier...so many jobs so little talent) who is first seen sleeping in a barn surrounded by several ex-strippers clad in translucent dresses and oversized girdles.
Without warning Torgo ties Michael to a handy pole as The Master and his many 'wives' suddenly spring to life before indulging in a short (yet downright bizarre) argument over what to do with the Felcher family.
Is it just me or would you assume that a secret polygamous devil cult would already have contingency plans in place for such an event?
|Batman: the mooth shite-in years.|
With this decision The Master makes his farewells and heads off for a power shower and a poo, leaving his wives to engage in some impromptu wrestling.
|Phwoar! Wahey! etc.|
Upon his return and using a potent post poo hypnotic spell The Master stops the fight before ordering his minions (not those ones) to tie Mavis to the pole in order to be sacrificed whilst Torgo awaits his fate from a handy stone bed.
And what a fate it is, as the remaining wives jump on the poor sod and pretend to eat him before The Master, using his mysterious hairy lipped powers severs Torgo's hand before setting fire to it.
Or at least to a crudely made wax replica.
Torgo, hoping to still be around for the planned sequel (seriously) escapes into the darkness, waving his burning stump as he goes whilst The Master laughs uncomfortably as he sinisterly approaches his first wife.
Whilst all this burning, blundering and back stabbing is going down, Michael and family have managed to barricade themselves into the pantry in the hope of either hiding till morning or that The Master might get bored.
But alas, The Master is a, um, past master at hide and seek (and from what I've heard the double entry) and he's soon looming over the family, a tin of peaches in one hand and a corncob in the other confronting Michael.
Being a true American tho' Michael has no time (or concept of) conversation and promptly empties his weapon into The Master's face at point-blank range but alas to no avail.
The screen fades to black.
The viewer loses the will to live.
And bladder control.
|Jamiroquai, up the casino, Tenby, 1997....Yesch!|
Time passes and much, much later two more travellers arrive at the house to be greeted by Michael, clad in Torgo's shit stained suit and 'kiss me quick' hat.
Her turns to camera and says - well someone does and from the dubbing it ain't him - "I take care of the place while the Master is away."
And so it goes.
Let us, dear reader, travel back in time to the mid 60's and to El Paso, Texas, where Hal Warren, manager of the American Founder's Life Insurance Co. came across (tho' not in a sexual way) famed screenwriter Stirling (In the Heat of the Night, The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure, Shaft in Africa and The Swarm amongst others) Silliphant, who was visiting the town to scout out film locations.
After several meetings (and even more booze), Warren decided that this movie making lark seemed a piece of piss and after a few more drinks reckoned he could do as good a job himself.
Within a week he had a script (The Lodge of Sins), a few boyscouts to be his crew and the local theatre group, alongside and a few 'hand' models to be his cast.
Armed with a third hand 16mm Bell and Howell silent camera, a garden shed, some Hula Hoops and 60 Woodbines a legend was born.
|The 16mm Bell & Howell silent camera: Witness to more porn and real life atrocities than your granddad during the war.|
A chilling footnote to this is that the cleaning woman who's job it was to bin the Coke cups and burito packets after the show discovered that the audience had laughed so much that over 13000 gallons of piss had been unwittingly released into the main auditorium causing the cinema to collapse killing 47 people and spraying urine into the local fields, killing farmer Morton J Blithe's prized heard of bullocks as well as his lame son, 12 year old Morton Jnr, who was found drowned in a gully 2 weeks later.
|Lying on it's back stinking of piss....and no it's not your mum surprisingly.|
I mean you have to admit that certain aspects of the film invoke both intertextuality and Bertolt Brecht's theories of estrangement to explore the metafictional or parodic aspects of the idea of polygamy (or polygyny as is truer the case here).
|Diane Mahree: Barthesian semiotics or terrifying tit wank?|
And to all those naysayers, yes the editing is abysmal, the myriad of continuity flaws are an abomination to modern cinema and yes the soundtrack and visuals are so out of synchronization as to lead us to believe that they are being beamed from different parts of the world.
But surely, a friend of mine once asked of Manos; if viewing the film thru' the lens of intertextuality, taking onboard Freud's idea that the repression of fear and desire is the main cause of 'dream work' then the film's seriously tedious pacing, frankly terrifying non acting and inexplicable inclusion of scenes and characters either disconnected or totally redundant from the actual plot begins to make sense.
Or does it?
Manos: The Hands of Fate: good shit or bad shit?
Who really cares tho' because when you get around to it a shit is still a shit and either way it's still gonna stink your house out.
Which, if I'm honest is fairly profound for this blog.
Be seeing you.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Preparing for Ash Vs. Evil Dead let's head back to how it all really started....
Dir: Jack Woods and Dennis Muren.
Cast: Edward Connell, Frank Boers Jr, Barbara Hewitt, Robin Christopher, Jack Woods, Fritz Leiber and James Phillips.
|"If you knew what was in that book, you'd turn to jelly! It's not meant for worms like you! What did you think you were gonna do with it - sell it to a museum?"|
Yup, it's gonna be one of those days.
Suddenly we flash-forward a year and a day to find poor Davey boy confined to what looks like the janitors office of a school - no, hang on it's a special ward for mentalists in the local hospital - where ace reporter Sid Sloane (Bienvenido Hermano Andes star Phillips) is preparing to interview Dave for the local papers 'where are they now?' section.
David tho' isn't too keen on talking to anyone, especially when Sloane starts to ask questions about our mental mates rather lady-like crucifix that he refuses to let go of.
The constant badgering culminates in Dave trying to beat the rascally reporter with a baguette so Sloane, obviously not really being arsed with hearing the story first hand, does what any journalist worth their salt would do and retires to the doctor's office to listen instead to a recording made by Dave soon after being admitted.
Anything else he reckons, he can make up.
Anyway, are you sitting comfortably?
Then we'll begin.
|"I can see Megan's house from here!"|
It transpires that Dave, his pug nosed and square of face buddy Jim (the original Bruce Campbell and later star of WKRP In Cincinnati Boers,Jr.) and their 'hot' dates; the curvy yet bird mouthed Susan (Hewitt, younger sister of Jennifer and now a Reverend) and bewigged Russian shot-putter Vicki (Christopher possessing the most terrifying arse ever seen on film) have decided to mix business with pleasure by planning to enjoy a mouth watering KFC picnic whilst Dave is away visiting his old college lecturer Dr. Dennis Waterman (believe it or not it is indeed that Fritz Leiber) who is busy conducting some secretive research on an ancient Sumerian book whilst living in a secluded cabin in the woods.
Hang on, this sounds familiar.
Followed from afar by the mightily mono-browed forest ranger, Terry Asmodeus (director Woods, who later was in charge of the sound department for Xanadu) our freaky foursome soon find Waterman's cabin destroyed before being accosted by an old piss stained tramp living in a cave who hands them a foul smelling ancient book before skipping away giggling like a loon.
A loon, it has to be said wearing the highest waist trousers I have ever seen.
It seems that Waterman, not content with writing the theme tune and singing the theme tune, has started reciting spells and incantations from the ancient book, first conjuring a huge octopus that went on to destroy his house before accidentally causing a rip in the very fabric of space/time.
As one would.
Deciding it would be a waste of food if they didn't finish the picnic before leaving our heroes pop down a blanket and begin scoffing only to be rudely interrupted by Waterman himself, who grabs the book from their chicken greased fingers before running off into the trees.
Giving chase Dave clumsily cracks the poor doctor's head open on a rock but luckily his body vanishes just as Asmodeus appears from nowhere astride a huge horse.
Luckily he's only turned up to ask the boys to pack up their rubbish after the picnic and is soon on his way, riding off in the direction of the laydees who, even with all this bizarre shite going on, have decided to split up to look for 'something'.
Trip trapping along and using his eyebrows as a girl radar, Asmodeus soon comes across Susan (not literally, well not yet) and after dismounting whips out his magical ring and points it suggestively in her general direction.
Susan suddenly faints, giving Asmodeus ample opportunity to climb on top of her and fondle her peachy arse whilst pulling what can only be described as a stroke victims cum face.
|"And when I feel frisky I pull THIS face!"|
It's not long before the rest of the gang find a slightly dishevelled Susan, all grass stains and grope marks sitting against a tree but with the boys being boys and Vicki being more interested in her next meal they totally ignore their pals plight and get straight down to trying to explain the plot to each other.
Dave, being the brainy one has figured that some of the drawings in the book (which I must admit are really good for a five year old) can be used as protection from arcane forces and after fashioning a few out of twigs for everyone (except Susan who's got her cross) head off to confront Asmodeus and hopefully find the doctor (or his still warm corpse) along the way.
|Yabba dabba don't.|
Which I'll admit was fairly unexpected.
Quickly catching up with the old man, the beast tosses him about like a tiny plasticine model before turning his attentions to our heroes who quickly hide behind a convenient rock.
But its corpse, much like Doctor Waterman's, vanishes before their very eyes (son).
Discovering an invisible inter-dimensional door in a clearing (did I not mention it earlier? Sorry) Dave and Jim decide to investigate further only to have their path blocked by a big green acne covered caveman sporting a handlebar moustache.
The dynamic duo have no choice but to fight.
Or in Jim's case get accidentally pulled thru' the space door by it.
|"Dave I love you....could it be magic?"|
Not only does he seem totally unphased by all these supernatural shenanigans but he also appears to have lost his memory, seeing as he's full of questions regarding the book, Susan's favourite pop group and how Vicki manages to walk with an arse that size etc.
This alerts Dave to the fact that this might not be his pal at all.
And by Jove he's right, it's really Asmodeus - or as we know him, The Devil - in disguise.
The Prince of Darkness politely asks Dave for the book one last time.
Dave, being a hero refuses giving the big D no choice but to transform into his true form; a cycling shorts wearing, hideous rubbery red demon with massive chicken feet and tissue paper wings before vowing to kill the girls, bugger Dave and take the book by force.
Or was that bugger the book, kill Dave and take the girls up the casino?
Either way it's not going to be pleasant.
True to his word, Asmodeus flies away and promptly kills Vicki before turning his attentions to Susan.
But Dave, feeling kinda wired and armed with a crucifix and neat hair arrives in time to challenge Old Nick to one final battle.
Which seems to consist of Asmodeus shouting a lot and setting fire to stuff whilst Dave and Susan run away.
Until Susan is blasted into oblivion by a well aimed thunderbolt at least.
Dave, having the choice between checking his girlfriend is really dead or legging it to the highway chooses the latter whilst a very angry Asmodeus shouts a warning to our hero that he will die in exactly a year and a day from this point.
Which is spookily where we came in.
Back at the hospital neither the Sloane nor any of the doctors believe any of Dave's story, preferring to imagine that he bludgeoned everyone to death with the KFC bucket before attempting to run himself over, even going as far as laughing amongst themselves when our reporter chum realises that he's 'accidentally' taken Dave's crucifix.
Making his farewells a smug as fuck Sloane is about to leave the hospital when he bumps into a fairly attractive young blonde in an old ladies suit.
Unknown to him the blonde is an undead Susan preparing to fulfil Asmodeus' prophecy of death.
Originally produced in 1967 by the special FX equivalent of Me Me Me; Dennis Muren, Dave Allen and Jim Danforth, Equinox: A Journey into The Supernatural (as it was then) was a lovingly made home movie love letter to stop motion and scary movies, an amateurish yet amiable enough way to spend seventy odd minutes.
But little did they know that sound editor extraordinare (and writer of Son Of The Blob) Jack Woods, having a few quid spare, would pick up the movie to allow it the cinema release it so richly deserved.
|"Scarper! It's the parkie!"|
As is the way with these things, Woods ordered some reshoots, chopped and changed the order of certain scenes and, feeling that what was missing from the film was a central villain so created the role of Asmodeus for the movie.
The self casting was probably due to the director being unable to find anyone convincing enough to play The Devil himself.
Either that or he just fancied thrusting his middle-aged semi against a couple of writhing young girls.
Take your pick.
Filling out this already mixed bag of professional actors (OK one professional actor), sixties style hotties and rubbery (thank you) monsters is the unlikely casting of horror writer Fritz Leiber as Waterman and, as the mysterious voice on the tape, sci-fi/horror God Forrest J. Ackerman meaning that not one performance on show is pitched the same way twice.
Other, less educated film types would say that this amateur hour mix of non-acting and vertigo inducing over the top-ness kills the film stone dead before it's even given a chance to begin but I like to think that it adds an almost guerilla style rawness to the proceedings, the performances enhancing the films nightmarish qualities to a point that transcends mere cinema and almost convinces you that what you are watching is somehow real.
Worth a looksie if you've ever wondered what The Evil Dead would look Like if it had a budget of twelve quid and access to a rubber octopus, you owe it to yourselves and your family to see this masterpiece.
Look it's out on Criterion so it must be good.
Halfway thru' the summer holidays here and the podlings are trapped inside by a hellish mix of wind and rain.
Typical Scottish summer then.
Whilst the twin terrors are quite happy amusing themselves making Monster High snuff vids, Cassatron has decided that re-arranging the shelves would be a good idea and after an hour of arranging all the Joe D'Amato stuff by breast size he dragged this out from behind a pile of Shaw Brothers VCD's with a huge cheesy grin on his face.
Of course we had to watch it straight away.
It's a perfect kids holiday movie, kinda like Thomas the Tank Engine with tits.
Tho' no-one in this film has lips as kissable as Emily.
Dir: Jean Rollin.
Cast: Marie George Pascal, Felix Marten, Serge Marquand, Mirella Rancelot, Patrice Valota, Patricia Cartier, Brigitte Lahaie, Olivier Rollin and Noel Fielding.
Button nosed elfin-esque cutie Elizabeth (Pascal, previously seen as Carla in the fantastic I Am Frigid... Why?) is enjoying a well deserved rail holiday with her blonde haired buck toothed pal thru' the quaint French countryside.
Taking in the scenery and giggling like a pair of schoolies, the couple are having a wonderful time until, that is, a strange French bloke (is there any other type?) with a half chewed caramel for a face bursts into their compartment and kills Elizabeth's plain friend.
Which is lucky seeing as I don't think Cassidy could've bared to look at such a freakish woman for ninety minutes, I mean he's only little.
In an action sequence that would make Bond proud Elizabeth quickly jumps off the (slow moving) train and runs like buggery along the train tracks toward a small village she noticed a few miles back.
Will she be safe?
Well it wont spoil anything to say that upon arrival she finds herself surrounded by a whole community of chewed faced Frenchies brandishing pitchforks in one hand and bottles of cheap wine in the other so I guess the answer is no.
But thinking about it it would have made for a really short movie had she turned up, told the local copper and had Mr. Melty arrested, which is probably why my scripts end up unsold.
Deciding the best thing to do is hide till everyone in the village is too drunk to walk, Elizabeth dunks into a ramshackle cottage only to be accosted by another melted faced mentalist who, without even a hello (or a sleazy chat up line) tries to kill her.
So that's the secret of a Frenchman's success with women.
Running away (again - it's a good job she's a fit lass) Elizabeth ends up hiding out in a deserted hilltop ruin where she comes across a strangely attractive, ginger-haired blind girl (the fluffily pillow breasted Rancelot, obviously auditioning for a part in a The Beyond tribute act) who, it turns out used to live in the village before all the crazy stuff started.
After swapping make up tips (as women do) the pair decided to head back to the village for a nosy about.
Which is when things start to get really freaky.
And I don't just mean the distinct lack of nudity - or the presence of an actual plot - which are normally concepts quite alien to Jean Rollin.
Or the fact that seemingly out of the blue former porn star Brigitte Lahaie turns up, all tight shirted and bouncy haired for the only reason than to crucify, then behead poor Rancelot leaving Elizabeth no choice but to (you guessed it) run away.
You see, it turns out that someone has been spraying an experimental pesticide on the grapes used to make the local wine, turning most of the French populace into scab faced, violent tempered loons.
Please note how I resisted adding a witty comment here.
Wandering around the barren hilltops looking for help, Elizabeth discovers the most disturbing thing all all regarding the infection when it appears that not everyone contaminated is affected in the same way.
Yes there are those odd few that stumble around, arms outstrecthed as the lurch toward their victims but then there are others that are still able to think rationally about their condition, even going as far as feeling remorseful at what the infection is forcing them to do.
Elizabeth however has no time for touchy feely French types and usually just runs away screaming before they start crying on her.
Or try to run her thru' with a pitchfork obviously.
Fearing accusations of being an anti-monster bigot, Elizabeth takes to also screaming at any uninfected folk that she meets too, which always seems to alert any passing madmen to their presence, meaning that these unfortunates usually end up on the wrong end of some pointy farm tool wielded by a dribbling sponge-faced foreigner.
Tho' luckily not the band.
After what seems like days of (non nude, non lesbian vampire filled) meanderings, she eventually meets up with a couple of high waisted, wellie wearing farmers who've amazingly managed to avoid the infection because, gulp, they hate the taste of wine, preferring beer instead.
How's that for luck?
But just as it seems Elizabeth’s luck is about to change and she's excitedly looking forward to a hot, dribbly sausage or two inside her, a bizarre series of coincidences and obvious plot twists happen, bringing her into contact with her (until now) unseen boyfriend.
Will he save not only the day but our oh so cute heroine too?
Look to all intents and purposes this is a zombie movie, so what do you think?
No matter how threadbare or cheese ridden his movies are, you can't help but love Jean Rollin.
He's like the curmudgeonly old uncle you only saw at Christmas, you know the one that always gave you Victorian Erotic postcards instead of birthday cards and, after he'd got you to admit how attractive you found the breasts on show would laughingly inform you that it's a picture of your Great Granny.
Second only to the incredible Zombie Lake, Les Raisins de la Mort is Rollin at his most accessible and audience friendly, owing more than a nod to Jorge Grau's fantastic Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue and Romero's The Crazies rather than his Night of The Living Dead.
When it does feel the need to steal from Romero's classic however it uniquely does so in reverse, whereas Night's cast are trapped inside a farmhouse fighting for survival, Raisins Elizabeth is stranded on the windswept hilltops of rural France, the long lingering shots of Elizabeth alone and frightened make a startling counterpoint to the claustrophobic close-ups of the infected shuffling slowly from various dilapidated houses as the sun sets.
Above all else tho', the film is not only classic Rollin but classic Eurohorror to boot, pre-dating (and pissing on from a great height) modern virus based shockers like 28 Days Later by almost 30 years and finally proving that Rollin was capable of making a damn fine horror movie without having to resort to scantily clad, small chested lesbo vampires with dirty feet.
Tho' I'll be the first to admit, there is something warm and tingly about seeing them occasionally.
Especially if it's this pair:
Be seeing you.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Found this languishing in a draft file whilst clearing out the smut.
No idea why.
Perhaps I felt it too good a movie to subject to the usual mooth shite-in shenanigans.
But then again....
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (AKA The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, Don't Open the Window, Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue, No profanar el sueño de los muertos 1974).
Dir: Jorge Grau.
Cast: Christina Galbo, Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy, Jeannine Mestre, Jóse Lifante, Fernando Hilbeck, Giorgio Trestini and Isabel Mestres in a pair of sexy spectacles.
|"You're all the same the lot of you with you cheap clothes and faggot hair and you hate the police....You make it easy."|
Meanwhile in a nearby field, well meaning - and jaunty hatted - scientists are busy testing a brand new patented radiation emitting device intended to destroy the nervous systems of insects and therefore revolutionise farming.
Unfortunately it also has the fairly surprising effect of bringing the recently dead back to life.
The first being local celebrity tramp and former Big Brother and Benefits Street star Guthrie (the sinister beard wearing Hilbeck) who attacks Edna in her car whilst George is away asking directions.
Fortunately Edna manages to scare him away by brandishing a bar of soap at him before George returns tho' this has the effect of making our hero think that Edna is a wee bit mental.
Mental and a redhead?
What's not to love?
outside Manchester earlier today.
Anyway, over at their remote cottage crack fiend Katie is in the middle of a particularly drug-fuelled row with her frighteningly ferret faced photographer husband Martin (To Love is Forever's Lifante) regarding Edna's impending arrival.
Obviously he just doesn't like ginger birds.
Storming off to a nearby waterfall in order to take some 'pictures moaning Martin leaves Katie wallowing in a pool of tears and snot on the kitchen floor.
Luckily (for us that is) this scene of domestic drama is rudely interrupted by Guthrie who bursts into the house and tries to bite Katie on the arse.
Which kinda proves that if a dead man can't bear to look at your face you must be in trouble.
Which at least means she'll have sweated all the shite out of her system by the time her sister turns up which can't be a bad thing really.
Falling into her sisters arms Katie tells the newly arrived pair the whole sorry story.
George, being a fairly imagination free type of guy is unimpressed but heads off to check out Katie's story anyway, reasoning that if nothing else he can probably get a few quid for Martin's camera in his shop.
What a guy.
Unfortunately it's a pretty cheap model so instead George pockets the film, probably in the hope of it containing some nude 'readers wives' style shots of Katie.
Well beggars can't be choosers.
Edna meanwhile has phoned the police, which would usually be a sensible thing to do but unfortunately the local law enforcement team is led by the booze soaked bigot Inspector Barry B'stard (Kennedy, giving a scarily accurate portrayal - in hindsight - of self proclaimed 'God's cop' James Anderton follow the link for more info about this frankly terrifying man fact fans) who immediately accuses Katie of murdering her hubbie before criticising the length of Edna's skirt and calling George a girlie barnetted faggot.
And for these reasons alone B'Stard orders an understandably annoyed George and a teary eyed (yet still hot as fuck) Edna to book into the local hotel whilst he investigates the murder and find/fake evidence of their involvement.
So not at all like the real police then.
Meanwhile in the middle of all this shouting Katie finally has a total meltdown and is sent to the nearest hospital where, it turns out that all the newborn babies have started biting (well gumming) the nurses.
Could this be in any way related to all this science that's going on?
Arriving in town George, in full James Bond mode, secretly takes the roll of film from Martin's camera to a local chemist to have it developed.
Look, who knows how long he's going to be stuck in his room so he might have well have some fun, I mean given the circumstances it's not like Edna's going to be giving out any time soon.
touched up dem burds to be sure you did" - Dave Lee Travis is questioned by Eamon Andrews regarding Operation Yewtree.
Rising early next morn to collect the photos, George is upset to find that not only are there no - tasteful - nudes of Katie but also no sign of the man who allegedly killed Martin so George, not one to get turned on by random pics of trees hands them over to B'stard.
Annoyed with the police's patent bastardness and bored with staring at the local duck pond, our hero decides to take matters into his own hands (but not his sexy bearded mouth unfortunately) and persuades Edna to join him on a search for the elusive Guthrie.
Unbeknown to the pair, B'stard has sent one of his officers, PC Craig (Four of the Apocalypse and The Beast star Trestini) Fairbrass, to trail them.
Following a mysterious fishy smell that's been perminating in the air of late, the pair find themselves in the local graveyard where following a noise - and their noses - coming from crypt they discover Guthrie lunching out on the vicars ample thighs.
If that wasn't scary - and disturbing - enough it seems that the terrifying tramp has acquired the power to reanimate the dead by simply stroking their eyeballs.
He really should audition for Britain's Got Talent.
Trapped by an even increasing undead army (OK, there are three of them but hey, who's counting) George and Edna desperately try to climb out of a convenient hole in the wall as Guthrie and co. slowly (and stinkingly) advance.
|You would, I would, your dad probably did. Twice.|
The pair finally manage to scrabble thru' the hole and into a freshly dug grave where luckily PC Craig just happens to be standing having a sly fag.
Helping them out of the grave the trio quickly flee, locking themselves in a nearby storeroom but are soon surrounded by Guthrie and his ever growing entourage of recently revived pensioners.
Realising that he's dropped his radio outside - and knowing that a film of this ilk only has room for one facially haired hero, Craig makes a dash to retrieve it but is soon caught by the unwashed undead who make quick work of tearing his chest open and eating his kidneys.
Wiping his chin on Craig's flapping chest Guthrie soon turns his attention back to George and Edna (will he eat her whole or spit that bit out?) but George is now prepared to fight back and launches an oil lamp at him.
Luckily he was sensible enough to light it first and the zombies quickly burst into flames - tho' not, alas song - giving the pair enough time to escape.
Edna, still being the sensible type, heads off to inform the police of all this undead activity whilst George uses Craig's car to head off to the farm to inform the science folk of their machines unfortunate side effects.
It says a lot for George as a stand up heroic type that we're all inclined to believe his leap of logic regarding the cause of the zombie outbreak without even the merest hint of evidence.
Yes he's that super cool.
|There is no such thing as a straight man, just guys who've never seen Ray Lovelock.|
Arriving at the farm it'll come as no surprise to find that dear old Barley Moe (for it is he) and the two scientists think he's talking bollocks leaving George no alternative but to smash the machinery before quickly driving away whilst giving the chasing trio the vickies out the back window.
What a guy!
Meanwhile back at the main plot B'stard has found (what's left of) Craig alongside a pile of burnt bodies and using his fantastic detective powers deduces that George and Edna are, in fact, devil worshippers before issuing a 'shoot to kill' order on the pair.
The news that George has deliberately wrecked a piece of government property only adds to his annoyance.
Whilst all this slightly fascistic posturing is going on Edna has decided to head back to Katie's house first in order to reapply her make-up or something (look she's a girl and therefore impossible to understand) but her preening is cut short by the surprise arrival of her undead brother-in-law.
Luckily he's as useless in death as he is in life and is soon dispatched by Edna who nonchalantly runs him over.
It's almost as if she hasn't realised that it's her bad driving that started this whole mess.
Reunited with George (who manages to persuade her to let him drive) the pair go to the local garage with the sole intention of staring at the spooky disabled child that works there.
Oh yes and to buy a huge can of petrol so that George, confused as to what else he can do, can set fire to some stuff.
Magnificent as this plan is, it's cut short when George is caught by the police who were on their way back from picking up Martin's body.
Inspector B'stard standing proud as a freshly sucked cock watches with almost unbridled glee as George is bundled into the back of a van and Edna is whisked away to hospital.
Whilst all this Sweeney-esque behaviour is going on Tony and Dean Scientist are busying themselves repairing their machine in order to kill even more bugs.
Oh yes and reanimate even more corpses, the majority of which are stored in the (non Manchester based) morgue at the nearby hospital.
The same hospital where Edna is being taken.
Will George escape from police custody and save Edna?
Will Inspector B'stard get bored hounding our hero and turn his attentions to immigrants and Gypsies?
Will Euro-hottie Isabel Mestres turn up in an ill fitting pair of bottle-top NHS specs before getting her ample breasts eaten?
And more importantly how will they explain all this to my nan?
|Is it wrong to find this poster sexy?|
Fright permed Spanish shock-meister Jorge Grau's magnificent take on the zombie genre is frankly a delight to behold and those expecting a trashy exploitative Eurohorror will be in for a surprise as Corpses is a well crafted, well acted and at times well terrifying shocker.
From it's wildly experimental synth score (courtesy of Giuliano Sorgini - who also scored The Beast In Heat showing that no-one's perfect) and pitch-perfect performances via Grau's skewered outsiders view of 70's Britain; scenes of George leaving a grey and grimy rain swept Manchester - encountering traffic jams, bored commuters and an unattractive streaker on the way - thru' to the eerie desolate Lake district shot woodland scenes, give the film an almost dreamlike - nay nightmarish - quality and an overriding sense of foreboding and doom that seeps thru' every shot.
UK doesn't have any blood banks....
Grau isn't afraid to give the film a slow, almost leisurely build up either, taking time to introduce us to the characters whilst his fluid direction keeps your attention on the unfolding story, even if it at times falters as far as logic is concerned.
A prime example of this is the nature of the zombies which can't be photographed giving them an almost supernatural, not man made presence during the films first half as does the almost magical way that Guthrie can transform other corpses just by touch which is at odds with the 'scientific' reason given for the outbreak later.
None of that matters tho' as the films second half picks up a frantic pace, the undead vs. the living plot line revs up a notch and the movies horror factor intensifies as first the recently deceased then new born babies become affected by the radiation.
Released in 1972 and featuring the to die for Lucia Bosé as the infamous Countess, Bloody Castle is well worth searching out if you fancy an evening of blood, sex and scares that doesn't involve your mum.
Plus it makes a great double bill with Mark of The Devil which features a nice bit of Udo Kier for the ladies.
Movie dates a good 'un then.
Thank me later.
Or at least invite me to the wedding.
|Lucia Bosé: No amusing captions just sheer lust (for a vampire obviously).|
You have to wonder tho' what other horrific delights Grau could have brought to the screen had his career taken a different path.
An essential for any self respecting film fan or anyone with eyes.