Day 4 of 31 days of horror....It would have been MetalStorm but after viewing it last night (I know I really should have seen it before, sorry) I realized that:
A. It's not horror.
B. It's shite.
Unlike this classic which is a wee bit like Alien.
La Bestia nello spazio (AKA Beast in Space, The Beast of Space 1978)
Dir: Alfonso Brescia (AKA Al Bradly....like that makes any difference)
Cast: Sirpa Lane (as Shirpa Lane), Vassili Karis, Lucio Rosato, Venantino Venantini, Marina Hedman and Maria D'Alessandro.
|Please note: the costume is not this convincing (and Shirpa's arse isn't that big).|
Sometime in the far, far future and somewhere in the inky blackness of space in a place where swimming caps are de rigeur and droopy facial hair is the law what appears to be a Petits Filous pot with a few bendy straws attached gracefully drifts thru' the heavens towards Space Station Gerard.
Well, that's what it sound like on my scratchy 5th generation VHS copy.
Aboard is the Tefal headed, pube haired John Holmes alike Captain Larry Madison (Karis, wearing Gianni Garko's hand-me-downs from the directors other SciFi opus Sette uomini d'oro nello spazio), ready for some much needed rest and recreation.
Slinking into the station bar like a tiger in heat he zero's in on a bubble permed space babe with an out of this world plunging neckline propping up the corner of the bar, with teeth like tombstones he smiles sexily before ordering "A bottle of Uranus".
The plot (?) screeches to a standstill allowing us to marvel at Madison's chat up techniques and gaze in awe at the spacey costumes on show but luckily - after what seems like 17 hours - a bar room brawl breaks out (which I guess gives it the edge on The Next Generation), giving Captain Studly the excuse he needs to drag the space babe off for some interstellar lovin'.
|"Is it in yet?"|
Or it may be a horse seeing as they only show its hooves.
By that I mean the creature, the woman most definitely has feet.
Tho' if any women are reading this that are afflicted with a condition that gives them hoof-like feet please don't worry, I'm sure you're very attractive.
But I digress.
It's not too surprising that she awakes screaming with terror and leaps straight into the arms of Madison for comfort who, after a wee bit of concerned face acting and a few back pats, makes his excuses and jogs away to 'space captain headquarters' to report for his next exciting mission.
|Inside Theresa May's mind.|
Admit it, you never saw that coming.
It appears that this ultra-rare element is crucial to the construction of the space fleets weapons or something, so Madison is ordered to retrieve more from a mysterious planet ASAP as the safety of the universe relies on the missions success.
Tho' surely it'd be easier just to ask the crewman he stole it off if he has any more?
Nah that'd be silly plus we still have 60 odd minutes of sexy space adventure to fill.
Madison accepts the challenge but explains that he's got to return to the bar first to shag, sorry recruit Lt. Sondra Richardson (harsh faced Euro soft core babe Sirpa Lane) an expert in Entalium extraction before raiding the dressing up box in the hope of finding enough bri-nylon romper suits for everyone and blasting off into the unknown.
|"Are you looking at my bra?"|
Could it be linked to the spooky glowing Entalium?
To be honest no one seems to care, so they continue on towards the planet where, upon landing the crew are confronted by its enigmatic alien leader - possibly named Geoff or something, I too was past caring by this point - and his followers.
|Ask your mum.|
It seems that he's been telepathically sending saucy messages to Sondra in the hope that she'll shag him.
He must be a fan of her early work.
But hopefully not Papaya Of The Caribbean tho' seeing as it really is utter shite.
Understandably curious as to how Geoff would think that transmitting beast-based bonking across time and space would in any way be helpful in attracting the attentions of a passing spacecraft our brave crew members are surprised to find Geoff not guilty.
Being both beffcake-like and brainy, Madison - alongside Geoff and his horny horde - soon realize that someone or something else on the planet is responsible for the spate of phantom fanny fiddling currently affecting the ships female crewmembers.
But to what ends?
Will Sondra end up shagging both the centaur and the alien leader?
Will the alien leader then be revealed as a shite cardboard robot who has taken human form in order to truly understand the human condition of love?
Will any of the shoddily inserted sex scenes actually feature the pervily puffy-lipped MiLF Marina Frajese - the star of Play Hotel - seeing as this is one of the reasons I purchased this.
Look I've been a huge fan of hers since she absolutely nailed the role of the first girl at the audition in the 1978 classic How to Lose a Wife and Find a Lover, so sue me.
But more importantly will there be a pound shop light saber fight?
The answer to the last one is yes by the way.
|I wouldn't want one of them swimming up my arse.|
Part Italian Star Wars rip-off, part re-make of Walerian Borowczk's erotic masterpiece La Bete, part unedited glimpses into the mind of a madman - La Bestia nello spazio transcends not only genre pigeonholing but all boundaries of good taste and coherent storytelling in one fell swoop.
Which is pretty good going seeing as up until this point director Alfonso Brescia was best known (feared?) for such threadbare fantasy epics as The Terror of Rome Against the Son of Hercules and The Magnificent Gladiator.
Like most folk at the time tho' he decided to make a - drunken and clumsy sausage fingered - move into the space opera genre after seeing Star Wars (tho' from his work I'd be more inclined to believe it was after seeing Bleep and Booster) bringing us the classics Battaglie negli spazi stellari (Cosmos: War of the Planets) and the cleverly titled sequel War of the Robots as well as giving us the robot invasion movie Star Odyssey.
Always one to save a bit of cash (usually by employing non-actors and getting his kids to write the scripts) Brescia often utilized the same sets and costumes in every one of his space epics, giving an (unintentional) uniformity to his visions of the future that lesser films such as the Star Trek franchise failed to deliver.
Saying that they also failed to deliver scenes of Lt. Uhura rubbing one off whilst watching a couple of horses copulate in a field but heyho.
But whilst his earlier works are (kinda) kid friendly action packed - well I say packed - romps, La Bestia nello spazio plays out like a kinda cheap (and much dirtier) Italian version of Torchwood.
Albeit a version that's been totally lobotomized rather than just beaten around the head a few times.
Tho' the fucking abysmal Cyberwoman episode comes close.
|"...And if you pop this jar of liver in the microwave for a few minutes it'll feel just like fanny!"|
Saying that tho' if Torchwood had attempted a Gwen Cooper/alien donkey sex episode (rumour has it that it would have been the opening episode of series 4 before they canned it for Children of Earth) you know for a fact the beast would have been slightly more convincing than the one on show here.
Plus let's be honest, Eve Myles has a much nicer arse than Sirpa Lane.
And not just because Lane's been dead for 17 years.
|Shite in mah....oh that's not shite is it?|
Talking of Sirpa Lane (which I must admit is quite often) how does La Bestia nello spazio compare to Walerian Borowczk's aforementioned (and better known) Euro-tic shagfest and is it worthy of comparison?
For those of you who've never experienced the joy of Borowczk's take on Beauty and The Beast (as in the film, your dad drunkenly coming into your room and fondling you under the covers doesn't count) here's a wee bit of background.
Filmed in 1975 it tells the story of the nutty Esperance family, whose financial stability depends on a marriage between their nuckle dragging son, Mathurin and young English girl Lucy Broadhurst.
|Here come the Belgians!|
When she arrives arrives at the family home she becomes obsessed with their most (in)famous ancestor, Romilda (Lane in a huge powdered wig and a lacy undies), whose torn corset - bizarrely enough - has pride of place in the family living room.
This is after all European so we should embrace such things.
With nothing to fill her time (her betrothed is poorly) Lucy comes across - not in that way, at least not yet - Romilda's diary and soon begins to experience feverishly erotic dreams about her sexual encounters with a huge hairy beast in the woods.
Cue much Chuckle Hounds-based buggery and the like.
Now as great as La Bete is (especially if you like seeing ladies in 18th century garb being chased thru' woods by men in crap bear suits with big black rubber cocks attached and let's be frank about this - who doesn't?) not even I would think it'd translate into a great (or not even a fair to middling) Science Fiction movie no matter how drunk I was, but it seems that director Brescia wanted to prove us all wrong showing that you can mix soft core porn and Sci-Fi for a family audience.
Which if nothing else you should at least admire the balls of the guy.
If not the hastily painted paper-mache ones on the space beast.
|What your girlfriend really gets up to on her girls nights out.|
Worth a look if you're an Italian Sci-Fi completist, Shirpa Lane fan or if you have an appreciation of pantomime animal costume sex romps.
And if you tick all three boxes tho' this'll be your favourite movie of all time.
Scarily there will be someone out there that this'll apply to.
God help them.
Tomorrow some actual, proper 'horror'.