Monday, October 31, 2016

for the love of loomis.

In honour of All Hallow's Eve a quick tribute to the ultimate scream queen and first cinematic crush for those of us of a certain age, the very lovely Nancy Loomis.













Soul Bossa Nova.



We're finally here at the end of 31 days of horror so thought I'd finish up with this little seen cult classic from 1978.


It was fantastically remade a few years back which you can check out here (don't forget to stay around for the frankly heartwarming comments) but surprisingly I've never reviewed this before.

Hopefully this will persuade a few more people to search this lost gem out as it deserves much more love and acknowledgement than it currently gets.

So without further ado I present....

Halloween (1978).
Dir: John Carpenter.
Cast: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Castle, Will Sandin, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Loomis, P. J. Soles, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham and Sandy Johnson.

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

It's Halloween night 1963 in smalltown Haddonfield, Illinois where Mr and Mrs Myers have left their pretty-lipped 6-year-old son Michael in the care of his older sister Judith whilst they hit the town for an exciting night of apple dunking and bad dancing.

Bored with spending the evening gazing lovingly at himself in the mirror whilst decked in his patented creepy clown costume little Michael decides to go look for his sister in order to have a quick game of Connect 4 before bed but is shocked to find her lying underneath a hunky football stud in the process of putting something in her.

Obviously confused - and a wee bit aroused by all this sweaty thrusting (and who can blame his? As a 10 year old watching this I was bewitched by the button-nosed charms of Sandy Johnson myself) Michael decides that he too would like to stick something in his big sis.

Unfortunately he chooses to use a kitchen knife much to his parents dismay upon their return home.

I mean do you know how much it costs to get cream carpets dry cleaned?

"I've got something to put in you!"


 It's not too surprising then to find that Michael is grounded for a week and loses his TeeVee privileges before being locked up in the world famous (probably) Smith's Grove Sanitarium for mini-mentalists.

Jumping forward 15 years (look it's not One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, no-one is really interested in all that boring psychoanalyst shite and life in a loony bin bollocks - unless you're Rob Zombie that is) and famed head-shrinker, the vaguely Crippin-esque - yet disturbingly cuddly -  Dr Sam Loomis (Pleasence) is heading to the hospital in order to take Michael to a court hearing where he'll be sentenced to life imprisonment on the grounds of being the maddest madman who ever lived.


Seeing as Loomis is a proper psychiatrist with a degree and everything we can't really dispute his findings.


Tho' we can debate whether the skinny fit, beige turtleneck sweater he wears in the TeeVee cut of the movie was really a good look for a man with such pronounced manbreasts for years.

In fact, some of us have already.

Upon arrival at Smith's Grove Loomis is sightly perplexed to see the inmates wandering around the grounds with their arses hanging out and leaps (as much as a portly Englishman can leap) from his car to investigate, discovering too late that the whole thing is a massive ruse perpetrated by Myers in order to affect an escape.

It looks like the by now not so little Michael is heading home to Haddonfield for a wee bit more of that violent stabbing stuff he enjoys so much.


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


Realizing that wandering around town in a polyester gown that ties up the back might not be the best thing for instilling fear in the town's populace (and knowing how cold October gets) Michael - in a blatant attack on the price of car MOT's - kills a local Quick-Fit employee and steals his uniform before driving home to Haddonfield and breaking into one of those pop up Halloween in stores you get in town that sells overpriced rip-off 'Waking Ded' costumes for under a tenner in order to top off his costume with a terrifying mask.

Unfortunately they're all out of horror themed headwear and, with this being 1978 there are no official 'Halloween' movie masks available so Michael must fashion his own from what's available which in this case is a Don Post Bill Shatner mask, probably due to Shatner (or at least Captain Kirk) also being notorious for sticking it in things.

Which to be honest is a pretty scary thing.

Tho' not as scary as the court case between Don Post Studios and Cinema Secrets regarding the aforementioned mask back in 2000.

But I digress.

Inside, well William Shatner's mind obviously.



As October 31st dawns and deciding he's got time to kill (as opposed to teenagers) before the evenings fun begins Micheal decides to spend his time stalking the woolly tight wearing, bush haired babe that is Laurie Strode (Curtis) who has - in a bizarre twist of fate only seen in movies - just dropped off a key the Myers house for her estate agent dad.

Laurie is soon spooked by a shadowy figure and sure that she's being followed by the (future) star of TJ Hooker but her friends Annie (female perfection made flesh Loomis) and Lynda (Soles) reckon that a lack of boyfriend action has affected her brain causing her to fantasize about America's sexiest TeeVee hunk.

Meanwhile Dr. Loomis, being a clever bloke and having read the script, has anticipated that Michael is heading to Haddonfield and arranges to meet with Annie's dad, who just happens to be the Sheriff (Cyphers), in order to get a surveillance watch put on Michael's old home.


Sheriff Brackett thinks that Loomis is talking out of his arse but promises to keep an eye open for any strange folk hanging about the bins looking suspicious.


Which if nothing else means that the director of the fucking awful Halloween 2, Rick Rosenthal, wont be able to cause any mischief.

As night falls the teens - well all except good girl Laurie - are busy trying to re-arrange their babysitting plans in order to have some of 'the sex'.

Annie, being frankly magnificent has already organized dropping off her charge Lindsey Wallace with Laurie - who is spending the night babysitting a large-headed ginger boy in a spacesuit named Tommy (a character who may or may not be important in the sequels, I really can't remember) - before heading over to pick up her boyfriend Paul for a wee bit of fondling and biting on the sofa.

Unfortunately not long  after dropping Lindsey off poor Annie is strangled before getting her throat cut by Michael who's been hiding in the back of her car.

Bastard.

"French Polishers? You may just be able to save my life!"


While playing - a really boring - game of hide-and-seek with Lindsey, Tommy catches a glimpse of Michael carrying Annie's prone yet still really sexy body into the Wallace house, and, being a bit of a freak himself is convinced that he's just seen "The boogeyman".

Laurie tho' is unconvinced.

Having arranged to meet Annie at the Wallace house (they must have a huge sofa) Lynda and her boyfriend, the big binned Bob arrive to find it empty so - as you would - decide to have a shag in Lindsey's parents bed.

It's Ok, it's not like they're in it at the time.

After a few minutes of self conscious thrusting Bob heads downstairs to get some drinks but Michael has been watching and  impales Bob on the wall with what must be the longest kitchen knife known to man.

Go on, rewatch the scene and tell me that's not a wee bit excessive in length for something primarily used to chop carrots.

Anyway, showing that his years institutionalized haven't damped his sense of humour, Michael dons a bedsheet and Bob's glasses in order to give Lynda a good giggle before killing her too which he does by strangling her with a telephone cord (remember then?) whilst she's chatting to Laurie.

Meanwhile back in the cat and mouse bit of the plot, Loomis has come across (well it's a slow night) the car Michael had stolen, confirming his suspicions that his former patient has indeed returned to Haddonfield.






"Hello life savers? You may just be able to polish the French!"
Unsure whether the noises on the phone she heard was Lynda having an orgasm or being murdered (she's had a sheltered life), Laurie heads over to the Wallace house to find out only to find her friends dead. 
Which is nice.
Suddenly dear old Michael pops out from behind the fridge and slashes at our heroine who understandably legs it back to the Doyle house screaming something about the star of The Devil's Rain trying to kill her.
Luckily the door is almost immediately opened by Tommy who, after sitting thru' the Howard Hawks/Christian Nymby version of The Thing From Another World on TeeVee has decided to go talk to this films director about staging a remake.
There's no time for that chat now tho' (or to think what might have happened to Carpenter's career had Manos: The Hand of Fate been on instead) as upon entering the house Laurie picks up both Tommy and Lindsey before running upstairs and hiding in a cupboard. 
With Michael approaching the house and Loomis in hot pursuit the scene is set for a Samhain showdown like no other.
A showdown that will change the course of horror cinema and launch the slasher genre on the world good and proper.



What can you say about Halloween that hasn't been said a thousand times before by proper film types who don't rely on cheap laughs like "Shite In Mah Mooth!" to brighten up their reviews?

Shot for a meager $300,000 over a period of four weeks, the original 'psycho stalks a babysitter' idea came from producer Irwin Yablans and financier Moustapha Akkad who, after viewing Assault on Precinct 13 sought out Carpenter to see if he fancied giving it a shot.

Carpenter, having a wee bit of free time jumped at the chance to not only direct but also to write the script (alongside Debra Hill) as well as compose the music, sowing together the majority of the casts costumes, painting and cutting out the autumn leaves (it was shot in spring) and lending Donald Pleasence his dad's coat.

And all for a pay packet of £18.60.

"Do I make you horny?"



Released on October 25, 1978 (probably I need to check) Halloween went on to make over $70 million worldwide and opened the bloodied floodgates for a slew of imitators and launching the careers of not only Carpenter but Jamie Lee Curtis too as well as giving a career renaissance to dear old Donald Pleasence, who on the back of his work with the director went on to become elected the first non-US born President of The United States in 1981.

But that's another story.

Lean, mean and peachy keen Halloween is still the come to film for anyone wanting to see how to make the ultimate suspense movie, from its pitch perfect performances to it's minimalist soundtrack and unflashy yet stylish direction, Carpenter's first foray into horror has never been matched or equaled and for many of us is why we are horror fans today.

Oh yes and have a thing for spiral permed brunettes in men's shirts.

And for that we salute you sir.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

g.i. nooooo!

Day 30 of the by now tiresome 31 days of horror and it's time for a wee bit of slasher action.

Someone was wearing a T-shirt of this movie at the John Carpenter gig t'other week and I'm easily swayed so there you go.

Plus I know at least one person who enjoyed this film so they might leave a comment.

I can but wish.

Rosemary's Killer (AKA The Prowler, 1981).
Dir: Joseph Zito.
Cast: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Cindy Weintraub, Farley Granger, Lisa Dunsheath, David Sederholm, Diane Rode, Bryan Englund, Donna Davis, Joy Glaccum, Timothy Wahrer and Lawrence Tierney.

"Come on, kid, don't play hard to get. What about New Year's Eve?"   "Well, that was different. I couldn't help myself".



It's the end of World War II and the screen is full of newsreel footage showing hundreds of cheering GI's celebrating having singlehandedly saved the world from the evils of illegal invasions, torturing civilians, abusing minorities and all manner of fascistic behaviour.

My how times have changed.

Unfortunately one poor soldier wont be getting the celebratory leg over he deserves as his lady love, a woman named Rosemary (Glaccum, from The Children. No not the shite one, the other one.) has decided to dump him in favour of shagging a skinny bloke called Roy (Wahrer in his only screen role outside his family home movies).

That's not all tho' because the pair have decided to officially  announce their relationship  at the town graduation cum welcome home brave soldiers dance.

Fucking hell the sign must have been massive.

Bored with frugging to Glenn Miller, the loved up duo head off to the duck pond to spend some quality time together.

Oh and maybe a quick breast/ball fondle session.

As is the way with slasher movies tho', an ominous figure clad in full combat fatigues and carrying a pitchfork is watching them from behind a bush.

18 flowery pages to tell you she's fucking your dad. Bloody typical.


Although the power is suddenly cut off our amorous couple carry on snogging, until the aforementioned prowler sneaks up behind them and stabs the pair with the pitchfork creating a massive blood and spunk stained human kebab.

Gazing at his handiwork the crazed killer gently pops a long-stemmed red rose in the dead woman's hand.

Spooky.

Fast forward thirty five years and the town is preparing for it's first graduation dance since that terrible night.

Enter (oh go on then, I have a few minutes free) the man-chinned little miss sensible Pam (As the World Turns Dawson) who is busy helping to decorate a bandstand whilst swooning over her true love, the Lego haired deputy sheriff Mark (latter day teevee exec' and cut price Dirk Benedict-alike Goutman) whilst trying to keep her cliched group of college chums from removing their clothes and shagging in the car park.

Teenagers eh?

Pam desperately tries to ignore Mark's giant pink nipple.

But not everyone is happy about the return of the graduation party, well I say not everyone but I really mean long dead Rosemary's wheelchair bound dad Major Chatham (Big Joe himself, Tierney), a poor old soul who's spent every waking minute since his daughters untimely death sitting in his window watching co-ed's get undressed.

Which is as good a way as any when dealing with grief I guess.

Anyway, back at the sheriff's office and Pam is discussing her news article on Rosemary's killer (the case not the film obviously) with local lawman George Fraser (Farley "My mortgage is how much?!!?" Granger) when the radio squawks to life with a report that an unknown assailant has robbed a nearby pound shop,  slashed up the manager and taken his car.

But that's not all for it seems that the authorities are concerned that the killer is headed towards the town.

Yikes.

A killer, heading toward a town on the very night that 35 years ago someone was murdered?

What are the chances eh readers?

Despite (or because of) this news, sheriff Fraser refuses to cancel his fishing trip, putting London (the deputy not the city) in charge for the evening.

Pam: She'll have someone's eye out with that chin.



Being the concerned type (and with Jamie Lee Curtis unavailable) Pam airs her fears regarding the chance of a killing spree taking place on graduation night with her roommates; the pixie haired, peachy arsed  Sherry (ex psychiatric nurse, model and Playboy Bunny Dunsheath) and permanently pouting Lisa (Weintraub, later to be seen being chased by horny fish-men in the Corman classic Humanoids from the Deep).

Sherry however is more concerned with getting everyone out of the dorm before her buff beau Carl (Ryan's Hope star Sederholm) turns up whilst Lisa is busy flashing her 70's style breasts at Major Chatham across the street.

Realizing that no-one really gives two fucks about what she thinks Pam sighs wistfully and continues putting the  finishing touches to her outfit.

But elsewhere a shadowy figure is also preparing for the graduation dance, tho' there are no dresses or clumpy shoes for this person,  just a second world war combat uniform, complemented with a shiny bayonet, ultra sharp hunting knife and a handy sawn-off shotgun.

Which is nice, if a little over the top for a night of drink and jiving if I'm honest.

As Lisa and Pam leave for the dance Sherry decides to kill the time waiting for Carl by getting totally naked and incredibly foamy in the shower, proving once and for all that dreams do come true.

All I can say is that towel is horrible.



As expected Carl turns up right on cue and after a quick hello and some over rehearsed saucy banter goes into the shared bedroom to undress.

Just as he's pulling down his big daddy Y-fronts a combat clad intruder takes him violently from behind and plunges a bayonet straight into the top of his head and out thru' his neck, forcing his eyes to roll back in their sockets as if in the middle of a particularly memorable masturbation session.

Sherry, oblivious to all this knifing, is still gently soaping up her perky young breasts when the killer enters the room and, mistaking him for her boyfriend suggestively asks if he has anything to put in her.

As luck would have it the killer does indeed have something hard and pointed to enter Sherry with.

Unfortunately it's a pitchfork which he wastes no time in plunging deep into her stomach, giving us ample opportunity to be at once repulsed by the murder yet strangely turned on as her bloodied boobs bounce about like playful puppies in a bag.

And they say horror films affect the mind.

"Put it in me!"



Back at the party, Pam is busying herself serving drinks and looking concerned when she notices Mark arrive but her true love is soon dragged onto the dance floor by slutty causing our heroine to pull a face not too dissimilar to a bulldog licking piss of John Nettles.

Which is unusual to say the least.

Unsure how to react Pam starts fiddling with the cocktails in the manner of a Prozac dependant housewife, only stopping to smile when Mark, barely hiding the semi caused by Lisa's grinding comes over to the table.

Things go from bad to worse tho' when a tipsy Lisa accidentally  thrust her fanny at Mark's arse causing him to bang his erection on the table covering Pam's dress with sticky liquids.

Fairly furious and extremely damp she heads back to the dorm to change her outfit.

She's dreaming of a large mooth shite....




And what an outfit she chooses, throwing caution (and all signs of good taste) to the wind she changes into the kind of powder blue affair usually associated with Parkinson's riddled old ladies topped off with a matching chiffon top.

Nice.

Obviously looking good for Mark is a complicated task seeing as she not only fails to notice that the bed is covered in blood but also totally misses the two corpses (and the killer) in the bathroom.

As she leaves the apartment and heads down the stairs she notices the faint smell of egg, gravy, dried blood and shame wafting down the corridor and, looking up to see where it could be coming from notices what looks like a G.I. standing outside her room door.

understandably she runs away.

But the killer gives chase.

Pam is too quick for the killer tho' (well to be honest he is getting on a bit and is carrying a full army kit around with him) and easily outruns him, pausing only to bump into Major Chatham - who appears to be out for a midnight roll - and drop her handbag before coming across a concerned (or is that constipated?) Mark.

After persuading Pam to sit in his car (no doubt to prepare for a wee bit of biting later) Mark proceeds to go all Nancy Drew on us (well he has the hair) and investigate the dorm.

Is it too much to believe that he too misses the bodies in the bathroom?

John Leslie: The Return.



Deciding the most likely culprit is the grumpy old cripple, Pam and Mark head over to Major Chatham's house only to find that he's not home.

He must still be trying to get his wheelchair - and ample arse - up the porch stairs the poor sod.

As a plus point it does give our dynamic duo a chance to fiddle about in his drawers and search for his pension book.

Erm...I mean look for clues.

And pictures of your gran naked.

Little do they realize that the killer is watching them from within the shoe cupboard.


Your gran naked.


After finding a photo album that reminds the viewers about the opening sequence the pair then drive back to the dance to tell everyone's favourite Home Economics teacher, the strangely alluring Miss Allison (Davis, last seen signing on) about the life size Action Man prowling around the town.

Being the sensible type she quickly tells her students that they should stay inside until the combat-clad mentalist has been apprehended and - surprisingly for an 80s slasher movie - everyone worryingly agrees.

All except Lisa that is who, pissed off at her boyfriend Paul for being way too drunk to perform (either on the dance floor or elsewhere) has gone to the swimming pool for a late night dip.

In her pants the dirty girl.

Insert cock here.


After a few laps and dives in the obviously freezing water (you can tell because you can see her breath, how else?), Lisa decides to head back to the party but as she climbs the steps out of the pool the cruel killer kicks her in the face before bayoneting her in the throat leaving her still wriggling underwear clad body to sink to the bottom. 

Back at the dance Paul has noticed that Lisa is missing but is so drunk and abusive that the poor sod gets arrested by Mark and thrown in jail, giving Mark and Pam time to look longingly at each other over coffee, discuss the original murder and attempt to contact Sheriff Fraser.

Who, it transpires is out night fishing and wont be back till morning.

Luckily just as the conversation is about to grind to an uncomfortable halt, the creepily bearded Pat from the local newsagent turns up drunk complaining that the local cemetery has been desecrated by teenagers before turning tail and going home.

Nothing like moving forward the plot in a totally natural way is there?

Anyway, Pam and Mark decide to check it out.

Back at the party a concerned (and fairly attractive for an older woman) Miss Allison has gone outside in the hope of finding Lisa.

Noticing the pool is full of blood she panics, flaps her arms like a chicken and letting out high pitched bleating noises before attempting to get help only to be brutally murdered by the killer using his handy bayonet.

Pam Ayres...Shitey mooth, bayonetty neck , legs akimbo, Bradford, 1974....Yesch!



Meanwhile at the cemetery our law abiding love birds have discovered that Rosemary Chatham's grave has been dug up and her putrid corpse replaced with the frankly much more attractive body of Lisa, still all wet and glistening after the pool incident.

Mark must be made of stronger stuff than me tho' seeing as he's not even tempted to have a wee fiddle with her, preferring to head back over to the Major's house for one last nosy around.

Beware the Binmen!

Deciding that the best course of action would be to split up and stumble around in the dark it's not long before Mark is beaten unconscious by the killer.

Pam, on the other hand has busied herself pulling Rosemary's rotted corpse (still in her graduation dress) from the chimney plume.

This at least shows that the killer has a good sense of humour, seeing as the only reason for putting it there in the first place is to give some unsuspecting passer by a bloody good fright.

Shouting for Mark, Pam turns around to find herself face to balaclava with the murderer, luckily she experienced this earlier and runs away again, firstly hiding under a bed (with a rat. Gah!) before finally getting herself trapped in the downstairs utility room with our pitchfork wielding pal.

Don't worry too much tho', it's a walk in one, not one of those tiny things you get in modern houses.

Will Pam survive long enough to finally kiss Mark?

Will Marks hair have saved him from permanent brain damage?

Who is the killer?

And will local mentalist Otto from the shop turn up at any point carrying a shotgun for no reason?



Joseph Zito's 1981 movie is an oft forgotten gem from the slasher era, similar in style and plot to George Mihalka's My Bloody Valentine released earlier that year Rosemary's Killer is often seen as the less effective of the two.

Which is a wee bit bizarre seeing as Rosemary's Killer boasts a halfway decent cast, is well directed with finesse and style by Zito and features some of Tom Savini's best work.

Plus Farley Granger is in it, making a change from seeing a drunken Cameron Mitchell stumble his way thru a slasher film which seemed to be the done thing at the time.

And lest we forget a soaking and soapy Lisa Dunsheath in all her cutesy glory.

Surely reason enough to adore this movie?

The connoisseurs choice when it comes to little seen crazed killer flicks, Rosemary's Killer is a lean, mean little movie that builds on the directors earlier Bloodrage (naive country boy kills hookers) and nicely sets him up for the directors gig on Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.

Where as you may be aware he made the frankly fantastic decision to cast Crispin Glover AND let him dance to the hit Love Is A Lie by top rockers Lion.

And for that we salute him.

Bizarrely he left horror behind after his visit to Crystal Lake and is probably better known these days for introducing the world to the delights of the Chuck Norris starring Missing in Action series.

Now that is scary.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

how green is my valley?

Day 29 of 31 days of horror and (again) realized that I'd not featured an anthology (or portmanteau as we call them here) 'orror yet.

Seeing as that was the case I reckon I should pick if not the best then probably the sexiest.

Plus It was a fairly recent purchase so needed an excuse to watch it that didn't centre on Joan Collins frankly magnificent nightie.

Or Michael Jayston's almost obscenely tight track suit trousers.

As is the way with these twisty tales I wont give too much away for fear of spoiling the terrific twists.

Plus I'm writing this on Friday night which is tragic enough without wasting the whole evening writing a blog no-one reads about films no-one watches.

I know my place.

Tales That Witness Madness (1973).
Dir: Freddie Francis.
Cast: Donald Pleasence, Jack Hawkins, Russell Lewis, Donald Houston, Georgia Brown, Peter McEnery, Frank Forsyth, Suzy Kendall, Michael Jayston, Joan Collins, Kim Novak, David Wood, Michael Petrovich, Mary Tamm, Leon Lissek and Zohra Sehgal.





It happens beyond madness - where your mind won't believe what your eyes see.



Welcome one and all to HMP Shadynook where posh car driving Dr. Paul Nicholas (Hawkins - dubbed by Charles Gray - in his last film role) is about to have a very pressing meeting with his erstwhile college Dr. Jeff Tremayne (Pleasence, I'm assuming you know who he is), the psychiatrist in charge of the high tech (for 1973) facilities.

It seems that Tremayne may have discovered the cause of madness or, at the very least the reasons as to why his four favourite patients are locked up in the first place.

I mean it's late at night so it must be important or it could wait till morning.

Either that or Tremayne is a wee bit theatrical and feels that portmanteau horror works best in the dark.

Let's not waste time on semantics tho' as we've got a frightening foursome of fearsome tales to tell.

The first focusing on a tiny baw-headed boy named Paul (Lewis who bizarrely enough went on to create as well as write the Inspector Morse spin-off Endeavor) who spends his days sitting at a tiny piano asking for plates of meat and/or bones.

Must be from the West Midlands.


Inside Elton John's mind....


As it happens poor Paul is a sensitive wee boy who in an attempt to shield himself from his parents - the terrifyingly angry and scarily ginger Sam
(Brit TeeVee stalwart Houston) and drunken uber-MiLF Fay (British cabaret cum jazz songstress Brown in a fantastic collection of hip-hugging outfits) - befriends an imaginary tiger that lives under his bed.


Whilst his slightly pervy home tutor Phillipe (Wood from shit-loads of stuff, go on check) feels that it's normal for a boy his age to have an imaginary friend, his sozzled mum thinks he's a bit of a mentalist which is as good an excuse as any to have her hit the bottle for breakfast.



Shouty Sam doesn't care one way or the other tho' seeing as he's far too busy attending meetings and standing in the hall complaining about things.

Nothing specific mind, just things in general.

It's only when Paul begins to leave plates of chicken bones on his bedroom floor and stealing the Sunday joint from the fridge that his parents decide to finally have a word with him about 'Mr Tiger'.

Who, as mentioned earlier doesn't really exist.

No not at all.

That bike I'm always on about parking.


Next up is the sorry tale of groovy antique store owner Timothy Poshman (Mr Soane himself and star of the fantastic Le Orme McEnery) - alongside his girlfriend Ann (Kendall from Torso and Bird With A Crystal Plumage) - is busy sorting thru' the boxes of tat left to him by his old Aunt Sally in her will which alongside the usual cabinets, cups and crappy knitted toilet roll holders also includes a poppy-eyed portrait of a distant relative called Uncle Albert (Forsyth who, according to IMDB has been in more dodgy stuff than your dad) as well as his beloved penny farthing bicycle.

Tidying up for the evening in preparation for a well deserved Pot Noodle Timothy is shocked to find himself being inextricably compelled to mount his uncles bicycle and start pedaling.

No really.

But that's not the strangest part.

It seems that - in a kinda proto-Back To The Future/Quantum Leap way - Timothy's frantic pedal power actually causes the bike to not only travel back in time to the 1800's but for Timothy to enter Albert's body.

Not in a sexual way tho'.

Taking it all in his stride (and quite a lot of it up his arse judging by the bike seat) Timothy enjoys a quite ride around the park before coming across (phnar) the beautiful Beatrice (Kendall again but this time she's wearing a large hat), who it turns out was/is Albert's true love.

Beatrice tho' is worried, she's been having dreams that a terrible fate will befall her love and is sure that her premonition will come true.

Has Timothy time traveled to steer the couple to togetherness or is something more sinister (and slightly incomprehensible) afoot?

Who knows because to be honest we really don't have the time to dwell on such minutiae seeing as we've another two tales to get thru' so it's confused time travel shenanigans and exploding plates galore as the story lurches toward it's confused and nonsensical climax.

At least Suzy Kendall looks pretty.

Michael Jayston attempts to prevent the catharsis of spurious morality yesterday.

And taking of pretty we're suddenly transported by the power of wibbly-wobbly flashback to the English countryside (probably the big field behind the studio) where tight-trackied and bouncy bummed Brian Thompson (The Valeyard himself, Jayston) is jogging thru' the bushes on his way home from the shops or something.

Tho' he may be just jogging for fun.

Who knows?

None of that is important tho' as it's really just an excuse for him to come across (not in that way, well not yet) a bizarre shaped dead tree he finds propped up against a fence.

Exactly like your mom on a Saturday night.

Brian, taken aback by it's 'natural beauty' (IE it looks like it has breasts and a face-mounted vagina....no seriously, just look at the pic) carries it home and mounts it (again, not in that way just now) in the living room much to the chagrin of his beautiful (in a non- wooden way - never thought I'd say that about Joan Collins) wife Bella.

Admit it, you would.

 As her hubbie begins to spend very waking moment preening and polishing the tree - which he's named Mel due to it having, well the word MEL carved into it - trimming its bush, sanding its curves etc. Bella becomes evermore jealous, first hitting the bottle and then hitting the bed in quite possibly the sexiest babydoll nightie ever (complete with a yummy pink hair-bow....meow) in the hope of winning back her husbands heart.

I would, you would, your granddad did. Twice.

 Realizing that if it's good enough for Shatner it's bloody well good enough for him Brian heads off to the bedroom to treat Bella to an altogether different type of wood leaving Mel weeping green puss onto the living room carpet.

Later that night Bella is tormented by vivid dreams of tree-based violation culminating in her nightie getting ripped by twigs and her breasts popping out.

It's not too surprising then that upon awakening she storms into the living room with an axe intent on proving she's the lady of the house once and for all.....

Lady Gaga's cucumber suit cheered up a slightly depressed Phil Collins no end.

Back at the asylum Tremayne is excitedly introducing Nicholas to his most interesting - and complicated - case.

Tho' what can be more interesting than an ex-Doctor Who villain fucking a tree is beyond me.

Anyway whilst you think about that we're off to Polynesia where the bequiffed and man-boobed best-selling author Dave Kimo (Petrovich who you may remember as Tito in Turkey Shoot) is listening intently as his dying mum explains the secrets of eternal life to him whilst overdubbed bongo drums are played in the background by a variety of facepainted extras.

So fair so racist.

Having spent a life free of women, wine and low-waist trousers (and mirrors by the look of his barnet) Kimo has one thing left to do if he wishes to not only attain enlightenment but also guarantee his dear old mum a safe passage to the afterlife.

And that involves appeasing the Polynesian god of sideburns by performing the mysterious 'Luau' ceremony.

But for this Kimo needs a virgin.

Mary Tamm: Fancy trainers not shown.

Meanwhile back in dear old blighty the frightening frocked literary agent, Auriol - bless you - Pageant (an off her tits on prescription meds Novak), is excitedly preparing for Kimo's promotional book tour.

Having already booked him to do Loose Women and Summertime Special she's decided that what the tour really needs is a massive Hawaiian themed party to show her appreciation of his talent.

And if that results in her getting him pissed and touching his flaccid (I imagine) member then so be it.

Unfortunately on arriving in the UK Kimo seems much more interested in Auriol's beautiful young - as in school age....t'was a different time - daughter Ginny (Time Lady in waiting Tamm).

Tho' to be honest who can really blame him?

Things go from uncomfortable to slightly annoying tho' when it transpires that the local butcher can't get enough pigs meat for the party (really), luckily Kimo's servant Barry Keoki (hardworking Lissek who's been in everything from Shogun to Time Bandits via EastEnders...busy bloke) just happens to have a suitcase full of butchers knifes with him and excitedly offers to take over the party planning and source some 'special meat' for the celebration himself.

You can see where this is going can't you?

Put it in me!

Will Keoki cook poor Ginny and serve her up to the guests?

Will they eat her whole?

Or spit that bit out?

Will Dr Tremayne convince Nicholas that his experiments are a success or will the poor guy be himself declared insane before being dragged off to a padded cell setting up a bizarro ending featuring grainy stock footage of a tiger menacing an obviously unwell Jack Hawkins?

And will the image of Michael Jayston outrageously flirting with a polystyrene tree ever stop haunting my dreams?



Taking in a multitude of influences ranging from EC Comics to Robert Bloch via Gardeners Question Time, veteran Hammer and Amicus director Freddie Francis hits all the right notes - and the bottle by the look of things - with this frankly bonkers tale of tigers, trees and teen-based tea time terror.

 
Jennifer Jayne: Any excuse.

With a script from Dr Terror’s House of Horrors babe Jennifer Jayne (using the name Jay Fairbank due to women not being allowed to write spooky stuff in the 70s....go on check, it was the law), TTWM is at once as brilliantly bizarre as it is frustrating - and whilst not every story works there is at least something to enjoy in each.

Whether it be the fantastic fashions of Collins and Brown, Mary Tamm's ample arse or even Kim Novak attempting to subtly emote whilst dosed up on Ketamine and dressed as a comedy vegetable, there's something here for everyone.

Yes even fans of Victorian bicycles.

And I've not even mentioned the fantastic sight of Michael Jayston attempting to seduce a tree that just happens to be lying in his bed.

Well not for a few paragraphs anyway.

Plus any film that features a proto-Evil Dead style tree violation shot in the style (and colours) of a Debenhams Christmas ad is at least worth a few minutes of your time.


"Leaf me alone you beast!" Seriously this is quite possibly THE most erotic thing I have ever seen.


Criminally underrated and almost as hard to find as Lord Lucan, TTWM is well worth a watch, especially if you have a bottle - or two - of gin handy.

Oh and probably a box of tissues too.

Bloody bonkersly brilliant.

Friday, October 28, 2016

radio daze.

Day 28 of 31 days of horror and in tribute to the podlings school Halloween party I reckoned it was time to feature some creepy kids.

OK, just one creepy kid.

And she's really not that creepy.

And only in it for about 10 minutes max.

To be honest I've not really thought this thru', I might have well said todays film features a house cos I live in one.

Ghost House (AKA La Cassa 3. 1988).
Dir: Umberto Lenzi.
Cast: Lara Wendel, Greg Scott, Mary Sellers, Ron Houck, Martin Jay, Kate Silver, Alain Smith, Kristen Fougerousse, Susan Muller and Donald O'Brian.

Who are you? What do you want? For God's sake... somebody help me... help... aarghh!

Somewhere just outside sunny Boston the pigtailed, pug nosed and prepubescent princess Henrietta Baker (Fougerousse, bless you) is celebrating her birthday by pounding her pussy to death in the cellar.

Which got my attention and, it seems the attention of her God fearing father Sam (former Interzone dwarf Smith) who fires off a few Jesus based insults at her before turning off the lights and locking her down there.

Luckily she has a (quite possibly demoniacally possessed) clown puppet for company.

Back upstairs Sam continues to rant religiously whilst his hard done to (and harsh faced) wife (Muller whom you may recall as the voice of Muriel in Cenerentola '80) just nods her head and frowns.

Michaela Strachan realizes too late that Jimmy Savile's van is not full of sweets.


Suddenly things take a change for the bizarre, firstly the dining room light bulb starts to warp before exploding, poor old Sam has an axe put thru' his skull whilst the mirror explodes leaving Mum (who if I'm honest was no great looker to begin with) with her face full of broken glass.

Don't worry tho' as help is on hand to ease her pain when an unseen assailant kindly cuts her throat.

Meanwhile in the cellar Henrietta sits hugging her clown.

"Aye hen!"


Jumping forward in time (with a wheezing, groaning sound) 20 years and the frighteningly plainly dressed Martha (Wendel best known as the sexy teen in the tiny skirt from Tenebrae and who scarily seems to turn up quite a lot on this blog) is on the phone to her boyfriend Paul (Star Wars video game voice Scott), a ham radio enthusiast cum computer programmer desperately trying to organize what time she should head round for dinner.

Exciting stuff I'm sure you'll agree.

But Paul has other things on his mind as it appears that the previous night he picked up a strange message on his radio, a mysterious voice shouting 

"Who are you? What do you want? For God's sake somebody help me!....."

followed by an ear piercing scream.

Luckily the same message is broadcast again that night allowing Paul to record it, giving him ample opportunity to discover where the broadcast came from, which by some strange quirk of fate (or storytelling) is the old Baker house from the films opening.

How weird is that?

William Roach's fancy dress outfit was a big hit at the local school Christmas party.


After picking up (and dropping off) a jive talking, satin jacketed hitch-hiker our daring duo arrive at the house to find not only a bow-legged loon named Valkos (Doctor Butcher himself, O'Brien) tending to the weeds (in between threatening folk with a spade obviously) but a radio set up in the attic.

Spooky.

It appears that this radio belongs to fellow broadcaster Jim (singer cum producer Jay, who's worked with everyone from Take That to Cockney Rebel) who along with his pals, the brassy biker chick Susan (Stage Fright and Eleven Days, Eleven Nights vixen Sellers), ginger prince Mark (Ex-cartoon chihuahua Houck from the Christopher Cazenove sitcom Ticket To Ride) and his troubled teen sister Tina (Silver, a kinda sexier, sleazier Hilary Swank with a fine line in stone wash denim) are enjoying a weekend camping out the grounds of the house.

I say camping but they're all living in a van about the size of my house parked on the front lawn, kids eh?



Kate Silver, a chin made for chiseling and a mooth made for shite-in. In.



 After explaining the whole situation Paul is confused to discover that although it sounds like Jim on the message he couldn't have sent it, seeing as he hasn't as yet set up the antennae.

 Oeerr missis.

After a few minutes collectively rubbing their chins the group comes up with a plan to try to figure out the strange radio message and, no doubt seal their fate.

Is it just me who thinks that things are going to go very bad?

Well let's see what Paul's plan involves shall we?

He decides that himself,  Susan and Martha should drive a couple of miles up the road (?) and listen for the signal from there whilst Jim, Mark and Tina split up and wander around the house in the dark.


"Guess what? I'm 15 and love Linkin Park too...now get your webcam on and your top off!"


It doesn't come as too much of a surprise when the message turns out to be some scary premonition from the future, a future where poor old Jim is downed by a ghostly fan blade, Mark is menaced by a horny looking Doberman and an already shot to fuck Tina is chased by an axe wielding Valkos.

Luckily the dog (being short sighted) mistakes a table leg for Mark giving him time to escape thru' an upstairs window and chase Valkos into the bushes just as Paul and company return.

Phew.

After following Valkos to his shed, the mental muckraker manages to overpower Mark and pin him to the wall with a pitchfork but as he goes in for the kill (or a sneaky kiss...who knows?) Paul bursts in and renders Valkos unconscious with one well placed punch to the kidneys.

And with this everyone heads back to the house to find out where Jim has gotten to, giving the gruesome gardener ample time to escape into the trees.

"Put it in me!"


Searching the house Martha finds herself in Henrietta's bedroom where after rummaging thru' an old toy box she comes across (not in that way, tho' it'd be worth a shot) the creepy clown doll from the movie's opening.

As if by magic (or wires) the room bursts into life as the clown attempts to strangle our heroine and various toys buzz around the room in a fairly slipshod manner reminiscent of a school production of Poltergeist.

Or what the actual film would have been like if Tobe Hooper had really directed it.

Paul - being the films hero - hears his girlfriends screams and arrives in time to save her from a deadly death by clown whilst the others are lucky enough to be the ones to find Jim's still warm (and oozing) corpse.

With all this death and the like going on it's not long before our motley crew decide to call the police, who turn up and tell the kids off for trespassing before blaming Jim's death on poor old Valkos who it transpires is a former mentalist who was given the groundskeeper job upon leaving the local asylum.

Well, if you skip the opening sequence and forget about the haunted radio signal and demonic clown it kind of makes sense in a Scooby Doo way I suppose.


Emu's revenge on Rod Hull was not a pleasant sight.

Bidding their farewells and heading back to Boston, Paul remains unconvinced with the police's explanation of events so sets out (much to Martha's chagrin) to discover the house's horrible history  and the relevance of the creepy clown whilst back at the house Mark, Susan and Tina are having troubles of their own.

Nightfall is approaching, the van wont start and Tina needs a poo.

Unfortunately the only working toilet is in the (ghost) house.

As Paul and Martha race back to the house with vital information regarding the haunting, Mark and his buddies find themselves trapped whilst somewhere in the bushes a vicious Valkos is determined to kill anyone who has appeared on screen for no other reason that it'd be a laugh.

Expect bloodshed and bad hair.






Released in Italy as La Casa 3 to cash in on the success of the first two Evil Dead movies (La Casa and La Casa 2 respectively), exploitation god Joe D'Amato (uncredited as producer) and director Umberto Lenzi's threadbare classic Ghost House is one of those rare movies that is as incredibly creepy as it is
entirely terrible at the same time.

Which is an amazing feat.

Coming across like a Spielberg-less Poltergeist, rewritten for a teevee budget by the producers of Scooby Doo, the movie has everything you'd expect from the lower end of late 80's Italian horror cinema; wobbly lightbulbs, ghostly girls, hideous wallpaper and seas of man-melting yogurt violently juxtaposed with a fantastically frenetic synth score, an overuse of stone wash denim and acting that veers wildly between awake (Kate Silver) and the front window of a taxidermist shop (Lara Wendel and the rest) via booze sodden madness (Donald O’Brien and his haunted leg).

A special mention must go to  Willy M. Moon whose performance as the practical joke playing backpacker Pepe is a joy to behold and worthy of his own movie.

But what makes this performance really stand out is the fact that his character has no reason to be there at all, he adds nothing to the plot apart from a fine taste in red shiny jackets and joke skeleton arms.

It's like Fat Albert turning up halfway thru' The Exorcist to perform a 10 minute stand up routine.

Actually come to think of it that would make it a much better movie.


"And I'm spent!"


Worth a look to see the house from Fulci's classic The House by the Cemetery lit badly if nothing else, Ghost House wears it's heart and it's influences proudly on it's sleeve, pity then that it's a huge pink floppy wizards sleeve belonging to that 60 something prostitute that lives on the estate you keep hearing about.

And like her it's well worth a quick visit.