Friday, June 17, 2016

the undeck rises.....

Nothing like a good plug first thing on a Thursday morning so here goes....

Finally launching this frankly fantastic deck of playing cards that I've been beavering away at for the last few months, a real labour of love, the set harks back to the glory days of VHS, video nasties and classic Zombie films.

C'mon what's not to love? 

The cards are in manufacturing at the moment, so as a special pre-sale offer, save yourself £1.50 of the normal price AND get a signed A3 poster, using the art from any card (the poster won’t have the suit or numbers on, just the art). 
Follow this link for order details.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as..... 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

walk like an egyptian.

Sorry (again) for the lack of updates, been busy beavering away on the frankly fantastic UnDeck card set (available to buy the end of the month).

Luckily I have had a wee bit of time to view some of 'the films' including this gem.

A word of warning tho' the film (and by default this review) features quite a lot of 'the words'.

Gods Of Egypt (2016).

Dir: Alex Proyas.
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gerard Butler, Chadwick Boseman, Élodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell, Geoffrey Rush, Bryan Brown, Rachael Blake, Emma Booth, Goran D. Kleut and Kenneth Ransom.

I tore the wings off my wife. Imagine what I'll do to YOU...

Welcome to the wild and wacky world of the ancient Egypt, where men are men and the ruling gods are inconsistently sized, sun-tanned panto-stars who bleed golden blood and can transform into animal-headed action figures at will.

It is here that we meet part-time popster and full time thief Jeff Bek (Home and Away's Thwaites channelling Sesame Street's Grover in an ill fitting wig) who, alongside his Giraffe necked true love Zaya (Fury Road's Eaton) are excitedly preparing for the coronation of the lord of the air himself Terry Horus (Game of Thrones sister shagging superstud Coster-Waldau) and the abdication of his dad Osiris (Brown, no introduction necessary).

Preparing for the ceremony by having a bath whilst being massaged by tiny handed CGI ladies, Horus is visited by the saucy Goddess of Love Linda Hathor (council estate Monica Bellucci and Netflix Electra Yung) for a quick chat not only about marriage but also (and this may be important later) the shiny bracelet - made I kid you not - of the stars which Horus gave her to protect and save her from demons and the like in her previous job as a guide for the dead travelling thru' the underworld.

So far so plot info-dump.

Butler: Beard of evil, breath of Buckfast.

As is the way in these stories something has to go wrong and in this case it's the appearance of Horus' jealous uncle Barry Set (Butler essaying a drunk Glaswegian fish-wife licking piss of John Nettles), who annoyed at having to spend his life in a desert wearing a skirt and sandles has decided to seize the throne and declare himself king.

And just to prove what a bastard he is he's passed a new law where the dead have to pay to pass into the afterlife.

Expect this to become Tory policy very soon.

Removing Horus' eyes (son) he exiles our grumpy god to a nearby pyramid whilst claiming Hathor 'as his own'.

As his own what tho' is never explained.

Fast forward twelve months and the whole city has been overrun by hastily CG-ied statues of Butler (partly built by Bek thanks to a new government employment initiative) whilst poor Zaya is now in the employ of the pube-bearded architect Colin Urshu (a Cripinesque Sewell wearing a comedy nose, well at least I hope he is) spending her days cataloguing various bits of brown tracing paper filled with children's drawings whilst attempting to stop her breasts escaping from her dress.

Which is fair enough.

Being a religious type tho' Zaya still believes that Horus is the only one who can defeat Set and to this end gives Bek the plans to Set's treasure vault where he keeps Horus' eyes.

Look, I didn't write this.

"Oi! Baby! Get in mah belly!"

In a scene that almost reaches the heady heights of mild indifference Bek does indeed manage to break into the vault and succeeds in stealing one of Horus' eyes, unfortunately Urshu finds out about their plan to overthrow Set and kills Zaya as the couple flee on a badly animated chariot.

Still wanting to lose his virginity to a lady (you know what these Egyptians are like) but shy about the thought of doing it with an albeit fairly attractive and possibly still quite warm corpse, Bek takes her body to a by now gin and piss soaked Horus and attempts to bargain with the fallen god:

Bring Zaya back from the dead in exchange for his eye and Bek's thievery skills.

Agreeing to the mortals plan Horus sets off to visit his curmudgeonly granddad Ra (an obviously in debt Rush) who spends his days high above the earth flying around in what looks like a wedding cake defending the mortal realm from a massive toothed cloud.

Honestly this seemed perfectly normal when I was watching it.

Unfortunately Ra is a wee bit grumpy and - after a speech about free will and responsibility - decides it's nothing to do with him and goes back to poking the aforementioned cloud with a glowstick.

It's not all in vain tho' as on the way back to earth Horus manages to fill an old milk bottle with the 'divine waters' from Ra's space-boat, which he plans to use  dry up the desert and therefore cause Set to lose his powers.

Or something.

Hathor of hollow.

Meanwhile back at the main plot Set is busy trying to persuade Hathor (in between shagging her) to take him to the underworld (which surprisingly isn't a euphemism for anal) so he can conquer there too, luckily she still loves Horus (and cock in general judging by the way she so quickly jumped into bed with Set....I'm surprised she didn't try and shag Bryan Brown whilst he was bleeding out at the start - god knows I would) and - using her magic bracelet - escapes into the desert where she soon comes across (not in that way) Bek and Horus who are resting up after an exciting battle against some oiled muscle men with massive computer generated beetle heads.

Trust me it's brilliant.

Seeing as she's shagging his uncle and quite happily stood back whilst he had his eyes plucked out, Horus understandably doesn't trust Hathor but like all women she soon has him eating out of the palm of her hand (and any other crevices you can think off) with little more than a flutter of her eyelashes and a jiggle of her (admittedly impressive) breasts.

With the unnecessary flirting out of the way it's time to get back to the action so our dynamic duo tell Hathor of their plan to break into Set's pyramid.

Being blokes tho' they haven't really thought the plan thru' so it's up to Hathor to remind them that they'll need to answer the tricky riddle set by the sphinx if they wish to survive the quest.

To this end the group heads off to the library of the god of wisdom Tim Thoth (The Black Panther himself - the Marvel one that is not notorious kidnapper and murderer Donald Neilson, Boseman) in order to recruit him to solve not only solve the riddle but to up the minority quota so the film doesn't suffer at the hands of the PC press or overweight online crusaders.

Oh right.

Insert amusing caption here....but not your cock obviously, he'd probably tear it off.

Quickly arriving at Set's shrine (it's almost like the whole thing is set in a large cupboard), they quickly bamboozle the sphinx and effortlessly reach the source of Set's power but realising that there's still over an hour left to fill Set turns up and confuses Bek with logic before destroying the flask of divine water and stealing Thoth's brain.

Luckily he leaves his annoying lisp and ludicrous glittery dress to rot in the desert.

Just as it appears that all is lost Horus surprisingly manages to save Hathor and Bek giving our motley crew time to learn a lesson in humility whilst Hathor energetically jiggles the sand from between her breasts.

With Horus sorry for saying he'd raise Zaya from the dead and suddenly admitting his feelings for Hathor there's just enough time for a wee bit of selfless sacrifice before the story can start rushing toward a climax and this sacrifice comes in the form of Hathor giving Bek her protective bracelet before calling Anubis to take him to Zaya.

Cue a gaggle of boob-goosing CGI spooks that appear from the sands to drag Hathor to the underworld as Horus, realizing too late that he still loves her, stand stoically as a single tear runs down his cheek from his one good eye.

Drama doesn't get any more affecting than this.

Meanwhile back at BadMan HQ Set, now in possession of Thoth's brain, Osiris's heart, one of Horus' eyes and the wings from Irene the Goddess of protection uses a massive (in general terms) Meccano tower to attach these parts to his body like some giant, knock-off (and slightly gay - Transformer before heading off to see his dad to ask him if he loves him or not.

If he's anything like mine he'd be better of waiting at home for an abusive email or two, it's much easier on the legs and takes much less effort.

Families eh? Gotta love 'em!

Anyway back to Egypt (in a non-EDL way obviously) where Ra, upon hearing his sons frankly embarrassing whining claims that all of Set's prior mistreatments/suffering and lack of any charisma whatsoever were actually tests preparing him for his true role in life.

Which is I hear you ask?

Why to take Ra's place as the defender of the earth (defenders!) aboard the massive floating cake and spend eternity fighting against the huge cloud thing.

Come to think of it I'd prefer the massive fuck off I got if I'm honest so I'm siding with Set on this one.

Tho' setting fire to his dad and destroying the afterlife so he can be immortal is probably taking it a wee bit too far.

I don't know tho'....

Forcibly taking his dad's huge and fiery spear of power Set heads back to his favourite armchair to watch with glee as the cloud monster begins to consume both the mortal and underword realms.

Which is nice.

Let's be honest...what's more far fetched? Giant flying Bird Gods buzzing around shooting fire bolts at each other or the fact that they'd let a woman wander the streets like this in Egypt?

Back in the underworld Bek finds Zaya who, being a typical woman has now changed her mind about going to the afterlife unless her boyfriend goes with her (yes she is in fact wanting him to die with her rather than cry for a bit then get on with life) but luckily everything goes to pot before Bek can totally comprehend what she's saying due to a massive cloud smashing everything to pieces in a way that massive clouds normally don't.

Bek returns to the mortal world and has a wee chat with Horus about responsibility and the like and how Zaya - even tho' she's dead thinks it'd be a good idea if Horus quit moping about and just got on with killing his uncle.

Horus after much chin-stroking agrees setting the scene for a slightly meaningless and computer rendered fight to the death.....

From Alex Proyas, the director of The Crow, Dark City and, um, I Robot comes quite possibly the greatest giant flying Egyptian Gods movie since 2004's Immortel and a film that proudly wears it's Harryhausen-inspired heart on it's sleeve.

Unfortunately it left it's brain somewhere down the back of Michael Bay's couch.

But heyho you can't have everything.

Saying that tho' when a film features over-sized shape-shifting deities and a guest appearance by Dune's sandworms (being ridden I kid you not by bikini clad Amazonian babes) and a giant shit-encrusted cat setting riddles for no reason other than they can  alongside Gerard Butler channelling Groundskeeper Willie and probably the greatest and smoothest cleavages ever brought to the big screen (in 3-D Imax no less) then you at least have to admire Proyas' conviction to the project.

If not questioning his sanity at the same time.

Played out with the type of conviction usually reserved for Tony Blair at an arms fair and with ne'er  a hint of irony or camp Gods of Egypt is in tandem both a work of utter mind-bending genius and total ball-crushing madness that deserves to be seen, rewatched and worshipped as the pinnacle of so bad yet brilliantly bonkers movie-making.
"I've got something to put in you!"  
And don't let the internet haters put you's not whitewashing when your actors are playing imaginary 8 foot high flying demigods from space and anyone who says otherwise is either very silly or very lonely.

Either way they need our pity.

What next?

Superhero movie posters being pulled for offending one of the stars of the Conan remake?

Oh right.

Cinematic gold.

(egg) box frenzy

Just picked up a dead cheap Bluray copy of this to replace my well worn DVD (what can I say? it was only 6 quid) so thought I'd give it a re-review cos let's be honest it doesn't ever get the love it deserves.

A wee bit like your mum.

But where do you start with such a classic?

With a brief resume of the directors career methinks.

(I'm actually getting paid by the word for this one).

From writing for the famous Italian movie magazine Galaxy and co-authoring Four Flies on Grey Velvet to directing such classics as Lou Ferrigno's big screen debut Hercules, Argento contemporary cum shopkeeper Cozzi's career trajectory has been nothing if not interesting.

Obviously you'll have to check out a film book/blog that cares about annoying things like facts and interesting content if you want to know more.

But for those readers with ADHD or busy lives there are three films in particular stand out from his resume, the frankly indescribable Caroline Munro starring Argento/Three Mothers sequel/tribute The Black Cat, the Caroline Munro (again, does he have dodgy pics of her stashed away?)/David Hasslehoff space fantasy Starcrash and the frankly magnificent...

Contamination (AKA Alien Contamination, Contamination: Alien on Earth, Toxic Spawn. 1980)
Dir: Luigi Cozzi (AKA Lewis Coates)
Cast: Ian McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Marino Mase, Carlo De Mejo, your mum  and a big green jelly.

Opening as most 80's Italian horror movies do - with grainy aerial shots of New York cut to a totally inappropriate synth score (this time supplied by Italy's finest prog rock legends Goblin) - Contamination begins with a mysterious 'ghost ship' approaching the harbour.

Not the one from Zombie Flesh Eaters tho', that was last weekend.

New York's finest, Lieutenant Tony Aris (played by the fantastically tanned Marino Mase) calls on the bizarrely out of (lip) synch Dr. Turner to explore the ship with him and a group of faceless (literally, they're all wearing bio-hazard masks) cops, who after wandering around in the dark for ten minutes come across the bloodied remains of the crew.

Turner is shocked, it appears that everyone on board either:

A. was replaced by shoddily cut up shop window dummies covered in cow intestines and jam.
B. exploded.

"Shite in mah....oh."

After depositing their lunch over one of the corpses (as you do) our intrepid band carefully creep into the ships hold, only to discover boxes upon boxes marked 'café' and a big green glowing egg under a pipe.

If that wasn't enough to make even the bravest man fill his trousers a strange and otherworldly noise, akin to a rusty tuba being played by an asthmatic beagle is spookily echoing around the hold.

Poking the egg with a pencil, Turner is shocked to see it burst open, showering him and all the team (save Lieutenant Aris) with what looks like a mix of PVA glue, green poster paint and KY jelly that has the fairly unusual effect of making all the non speaking extras stomachs explode leaving Aris looking slightly bewildered and the audience ready for 90 minutes of pure terror.


"How'd you like your eggs love?"

Aris is whisked away to a top secret military base run by the, um, 'lovely' Colonel Stella Holmes (Marleau), who after stripping him naked, giving him an old blanket and locking him in a big fish tank explains that she runs a special operations unit (Section 5) specifically set up to combat the menace of scary eggs and would he like to join?

You would....and your Granddad probably did. Twice.

Aris jumps at the chance and, clad in a pair of Quick Fit overalls, accompanies Colonel Holmes and co. to a warehouse 'downtown' where they find what looks like a cut-price version of jive talking Italian 'B' god Bobby Rhodes guarding hundreds of the so-called killer eggs.

As the soldiers advance replica-Rhodes bursts one of the eggs causing him and his buddies stomachs to explode leaving the surviving eggs free to be destroyed by flame thrower equipped soldiers.

I have to be honest and admit that I'm really at a loss to explain the logic behind his plan.

"He did WHAT in his cup?"

If nothing else tho' it does allow Holmes to take a couple of them away to examine giving her time to deduce that these eggs could only have come from Mars and that they were brought back by astronauts on the last mission there.

You see, it appears that one of the crew, 'Mutha' Hubbard (played to angry ginger haired Scottish perfection by Italian horror veteran McCulloch) had been ranting about finding a cavern full of big green tuba playing eggs on the red planet but his usually jolly and humorous co-pilot cun UKIP councillor Neil Hamilton, had calmly (some would say too calmly - as if possessed) told everyone Hubbard was a mentalist.

Rather than find a way of checking his story Colonel Holmes had him locked up.

Now there's only one thing she can do.

Yup, go round to his house, slag off his sexual prowess, apologize for calling him mad and ask him to join a secret mission to South America to investigate the company exporting the eggs.

McCulloch sighs, swigs some more Heineken and slaps the colonel round the head before agreeing to join her.

Well, he is out of booze and it's carnival season down there.

Cue stock footage of a radio-controlled plane, mixed with shots of holiday makers, children in big hats smoking cigars, Aris in a pair of obscenely tight trousers and white socks and we're off to the hotel.

But our heroes are being watched.

Hamilton didn't die in a mysterious plane crash (I forgot to mention that sorry) but is in fact running the alien egg export company and his got something big, throbbing and slimy just for Colonel Holmes.....

Your Gran's cum face. Possibly.

It's a race against time to rescue the by now showering Stella - c'mon she's fairly fit for an old bird - and save the world.

Will they discover the secret of Hamilton's link to the eggs?

Will Aris get his leg over with Holmes or will his quickfire one liners fail to ignite her passions?

Why has Hubbard stolen a plane without telling anyone (to find more Heineken apparently)?

And will they survive an audience with the pant wetting terror that is 'the alien cyclops'?

With his career catapulted into the stratosphere (sort of) with the success of Starcrash, director Luigi Cozzi decided that his follow up would also be a sci-fi epic and turned his dreamy eyes to Ridley Scott's film Alien for inspiration.

Luckily for him (and us) his producers agreed.

But how could anyone attempt to match the cinematic perfection that was - and still is - the Scott classic?

It's with this solution that Cozzi cemented himself as a true genius of modern cinema.

Forgoing the tight editing, oppressive cinematography and top-notch casting of his inspiration Cozzi decided to take the opposite route and with it's Shoddily shot, inanely plotted action scenes and a cast that appears to be sleep walking (yes my friends even Ian McCulloch), Contamination not so much pays homage to Alien than breaks into its house, strips Ridley's classic naked, bundles it in a cupboard and sticks its toothbrush up its arse before getting it's dog pissed and putting lipstick on it.

Under blue moon I saw you
So soon you'll take me
Up in your arms
Too late to beg you or cancel it
Though I know it must be the killing time
Unwillingly mine...Fuck me it's a massive egg!

Unfortunately audiences mistook this brave almost Cinéma vérité style for genuine cackhandedness and stayed away in droves whereas in the UK the films stark realism was mistaken for a documentary leading the film to end up banned as one of the notorious 'video nasties' that your granddad keeps harping on about.

That's right, you could be prosecuted for owning this back in the day.

But luckily not for making it.

Eventually the truth was discovered during the infamous Wikileaks saga and the film was rushed onto DVD to terrify a new generation.

And talking to that generation directly I'd just like to say can YOU find a more enjoyable egg based, exploding chest filled Eurohorror than this one?

I think not.

Go out and buy it now!