Friday, March 31, 2017

who knew.


BBC: "Doctor Who gets first openly gay companion in Bill Potts".  

Ahem.....Isabelle "Izzy" Sinclair.

Just saying.

 

bolly good show.


Before I continue tho' can I just point out that my copy of this fine film is (unfortunately) not subtitled but, for the sake of expanding my cinematic horizons (and because the kids are off for the Easter holibags so no mindless gore or violence in this house for a fortnight) I decided to stick with it.
The fact that it features two attractive ladies in a bath together (wearing magnificent swimsuits I must add) had nothing to do with my decision.

Cassidy can take the blame for it.

Look he's 10 and old enough to make decisions on what gets reviewed here.

To be honest he'd probably make a better job of it.

A wee bit of a short one too cos frankly it's Friday night and I really should have something better to do.

Men Not Allowed (2006).
Dir: Shrey Srivastava.
Cast: Payal Rohatgi, Tina Majumdar, Aryan Vaid and Tarun Arora (plus some other folk too).

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Poor little rich girl Tanya (the funktastically Big faced Bollywood babe Rohatgi star of India's first film about wife swapping Fun - Can Be Dangerous Sometimes) has grown up in the lap of luxury.

Her father, the multi-millionaire business tycoon (and serial womanizer) Brian Sharma with whom she runs an exclusive advertising agency has always made sure that she wants for nowt, especially after her mothers untimely death.

But not by Mau-Mau.


"Oh Vic.....I've fallen".




Living the high life from an early age she has everything she could ever want, including a hunky fiance named Jeff Shekhar (spongy faced, manbreasted superstar Vaid, looking like Sylvester Stallone's cheese constructed younger brother) and a great line in primary coloured eighties fashions.

She wants for nothing.

Except her fathers love and attention that is.

Sniff.

But Tanya's complacent existence is shattered when she comes home to find sleazy Shekhar in bed with another lady.

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"Is it in yet?"


Dumping the nasty rotter, Tanya vows never to marry and throws herself into her advertising work.

During auditions for a particularly day-glo fashion shoot, Tanya meets the erotically eyebrowed, obscenely long legged wannabe model Urmila (Majumdar, star of the fantastic Haseena and regular interloper in my dreams) who, despite her stunning good looks and tasteful line in Ra-Ra skirts hides a dark secret.

A secret that could wreck her dreams of catwalk stardom forever.

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"French polishers? you may just be able to save my life!"



You see, even tho' Urmila is a natural at wearing clothes, whenever she's asked to walk down a runway or pose seductively she goes all limp and falls over.

Which is a wee bit of a pain for the photographer really.

Yet incredibly arousing for the viewer.

Tanya, concerned for Urmila's welfare (and obviously fancying a bit of lipstick lesbianism later) probes the model about her past.

Get the tissues ready because her family make Shannon Matthews mob seem positively normal.

You see, it seems that Urmila's deadbeat dad was a sleazy drug dealer who died alone (and stinking of piss) in prison whilst her mum was filthy drug addled whore that died in a mental asylum.

And if this wasn't enough she was sent to live with her pedo uncle who tried to molest her on a daily basis till he got bored and packed Urmila off to an orphanage where he hatred for men festered and grew.

Which is nice.

Your mum and your girlfriend at the bingo last night.



Tanya, being a good egg (and frankly gagging for a bit of hot model chick) decides to help Urmila overcome her fears and emotional problems by lending her a shoulder to cry on.

And a bath to share.

Phew!

What a scorcher!

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"Where's the soap?"
"Yes it does, but not as quickly
as when I masturbate with it".



After a fantastically soft focused Sapphic inspired montage of knowing looks, licking of lips and friendly cuddles (which is the equivalent of x rated porn in Bollywoodland) Tanya and Urmila admit to wanting more than just, ahem, 'friendship' as a love that dare not be mentioned grows between them.

Awww, sweet.

If not a little too subtley done for this blog.


Not for sale in the UK? Fuck you Brexit.




Enter (oh go on then) the vile Benny Vikram (Arora, looking like a swarthy boss eyed Corey Feldman), studly celebrity and a top model.

His ambition?

To marry Tanya, cure her of her lesbian tendencies and take over her business.

Bastard.

Who - alongside Tanya's bad dad - he hatches an evil plan to break the girls bond of friendship for ever and maybe even get rich along the way....

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Eyes son.


Riding on the coat tails of director Karan Razdan's movie Girlfriend (famous for being the first
commercial Hindi film to tackle head on the subject of lesbianism), Shrey Srivastava (director of the toptastic Sanjay Suri actioner Insaaf) joined forces with India's answer to Sharon Stone - Payal Rohtagi - to produce this primary coloured kaleidoscope of high drama, market stall fashion and top tunes that (unsurprisingly) bombed at the box office yet still cemented Payal Rohatgi's reputation as the (never naked but usually very wet) sleaze queen of Bollywood.

Which is fair enough really.

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Dirty pillows.


If you're a fan of Bollywood (or just from the Midlands - that's in the UK for our overseas readers) then you'll know what to expect, songs, singing and pound shop slingbacks only this time with added wet lady lesbianism.

Which is nice.

But whilst Men Not Allowed never scales the dizzying heights of such classics as Disco Dancer or even Raja Nawathe's Gumnaam and is (albeit only slightly) more frightening than Bandh Darwaza (but for different reasons) it's still worth a looksie, if only for the sight of that saucy minx Rohatgi in a variety of eyeball searing outfits as she totters about on big heels to Sanjay Srivastav's groovy disco score.

Quite possibly THE best luscious lipped lesbian movie I've seen this week. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

lake flaccid.

Way back in 2010 I actually got asked to write something for a proper blog (I've never been asked since, go figure) about that genius of horror cinema the late great Paul Naschy.

You can read it here if you're interested, it's actually quite good for me.

Anyway it was during this fine piece of cinema scribbling that I mentioned how as a 7 year old The Crater Lake Monster looked like it could quite possibly be THE greatest monster movie ever.

Well scarily 40 years on and finally someone took the hint and sent me a copy.

So, was it worth the wait?

Go on, guess.

The Crater Lake Monster (1977).
Dir: William R. Stromberg.
Cast: Richard Cardella, Glenn Roberts, Mark Siegel, Bob Hyman, Richard Garrison, Kacey Cobb, Michael Hoover, Sonny Shepard, Suzanne Lewis, Marv Eliot, Garry Johnston, Susy Claycomb, Joe Sasway and Jim Goeppinger.


I've been stuffin' my shoes with newspaper for so long, my feet know more about what's goin' on than my head.




In the small town of Crater Lake, Northern California (twinned with West Bromwich), local science guy - the Lego-haired Dr. Richard Calkins (the sniggeringly named Hyman best known as the Desk Sergeant in the hit TeeVee show Insight) is annoyed to find his nightly tearful wank and Pot Noodle rudely interrupted by his over-excited colleague Desperate Dan Turner (Garrison who you might recall from his top turn as a Doctor in A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master).

It appears that he and his girlfriend Susan (Cobb who went on to be a technical advisor on A Bunny's Tale fact fans) have come across (look there's not much else to do around there) some remarkable cave drawings in the local woods (well in a cave in the local woods but I thought that would be obvious) that appear to depict a group of cavemen types fighting a Plesiosaurus, thus proving that dinosaurs existed at the same time as man.

Probably.

Look I went to art school I've fuck all idea how 'the science' works...I mean why would they lie?

Plesiosaurus in mah hand!




Their excitement is short lived however when a hastily scribbled cartoon light - sorry I mean a flaming meteorite - appears from nowhere and crashes into the lake causing the cave system to collapse.

Coughing and spluttering in the darkness after barely escaping with their lives (their dignity however is totally destroyed) the trio are greeted by the porn 'tached local sheriff "Stubbly" Steve Hanson (Cardella who also wrote the screenplay) who offers them a lift back to town.

Several weeks pass before the Sheriff suddenly remembers the meteorite (he must have been busy) so he arranges to meet with the three scientists to go look for it.

Diving down to the bottom of the lake Susan and Dan discover it still smoldering away inbetween the usual shopping trolleys and dead gypsies resulting in the temperature of the water rising to approximately 90 degrees and all the fish dying.

To get a feeling of how fucking inane the whole thing feels so far just imagine a really bad episode of the X-Files genetically spliced with the much missed cult TeeVee show Rentaghost and you'd be halfway there.

Meanwhile in an attempt to add some excitement to the proceedings a local birdwatcher (sound man Scharn) is busy setting up his equipment.

In arse numbing detail.

For 15 minutes.

Luckily a monster suddenly rises out of the lake and eats him.

Well I say rises, it actually just appears to float shamefully against the background but they meant well.


Michael Jackson Vs Gojira.....FIGHT!


Obviously fearing for the viewers health (and sanity) after such a shit-scary scene the director wisely decides now is the time to introduce the movie's comic relief in the form of the bush bearded Arnie (Roberts not Eric) and the baw-headed Mitch (Siegel not George or Steven) a pair of denim clad stoners who've decided to start a boat rental service in order to make a fast buck and meet girls.

No, seriously.

It's not too long before they get their first customer - famed U.S. senator Jack Fuller (Eliot but not the small boy from ET) who, wanting a break from doing political type stuff (and your mum) decides to rent a boat for a quick fishing trip.

Luckily for viewer sanity he is soon killed by the monster. leaving only a blood stained (well paint stained if I'm honest) boat and a crusty old sports sock to show he was ever there.

Arnie and Mitch bring the boat back to shore and quickly call the Sheriff before trying to figure out how they'll explain it to their nan.


Shite in mah bearded hipster fuck mooth ya gentrified bastard!



Obviously the fact that anyone hiring a boat off them ends up getting eaten by a huge beast doesn't seem to bother the pair as in no time at all they're renting another boat (and one with an engine and everything this time) to top light entertainment couple Ross and Paula Conway (Hoover and Lewis - look is it really worth listing them as no-one in this movie went on to do anything of worth - except Lewis but more on him later....I need a reason to keep you reading) who,  on their way to a perform at a children's party have a wee bit of car trouble and need to get to the other side of the lake ASAP.

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

Yup, whilst puttering across the lake the polyester clad pair are viciously attacked by the monster and in the film's most terrifying and nail biting scene* attempt to outrun the beast as it chases them to shore.

The monster has flippers tho' so continues to pursue them even on land and is only stopped when Ross empties a handy can of petrol into the boat and sets light to it scaring the beast away.

Phew.

With neither of their boats being returned to them within the alloted time and understandably annoyed by the fact that their business seems to be failing,  Arnie and Mitch have a massive fight on the waterfront only to stumble across the severed head of Fuller before things get too exciting.

Luckily the sheriff shows up and takes it away as 'evidence', ordering the pair to stay out of the lake and to stop their frankly homo-erotic wrestling escapades before they scare any children.

Kylie and Jason: The Pikey Years.

The pair hung uncomfortably and agree to pull together for the sake of the business before realizing that Ross and Paula are still out there somewhere.

Which means that they may just be able to charge them overdue boating fees.

Result.

Searching the shoreline - and being careful not to put their feet in the water - they eventually discover the burnt-out and battered remains of the motorboat along with the distraught couple who are sitting shaking on a nearby rock covered in shit and piss.

Which scarily manages to make them the most attractive members of the cast.

Meanwhile in a totally unrelated incident in a nearby town pube-haired bad boy Harris Tweed (Shepard) is busy robbing the local Aldi, shooting Clark the clerk in the face before violently bumming a customer to death.

OK I lied, he actually shoots her too but I just wanted to add some much needed excitement to the movie.

Plus she did have a great arse.


A typical 1970s lady of the type not bummed in this film.


Driving off into the sunset he soon stops at the Crater Lake diner for a donut, coffee and a big poo.

Unfortunately - for him - sheriff Hanson is also there enjoy a bagel and quickly recognizes the vile villain from the description given over the radio.

Tweed sensing trouble legs it into the woods pursued by Hanson and a gunfight ensues.

Being a crack shot (he was in Vietnam probably) the Sheriff shoots Tweed in the bum before dipping behind a tree to reload.

It's during this brief pause in the action that the director remembers that it's meant to be a monster movie so the creature appears and eats Harris whole.

Yeah I'd have thought it'd spit that bit out too.

Jumping out from behind the tree the Sheriff is surprised to see Tweed has vanished, all that remains is a big red jam like smear snaking into the water.

Shrugging his shoulders Hanson heads back to town where he's accosted by  Doctor Calkins (you forgotten about him hadn't you?) who has just completed the autopsy report on Fuller's head.

It appears that the wounds were caused by a giant animal that lives in the lake.

But we kinda knew that.

I wouldn't want one of them swimming up my arse....then again...



Going back to investigate the scene Hanson soon discovers several massive footprints in the dirt (and no doubt in the butter) but as he takes out his tape measure he's surprised by the beast itself bursting forth from the lake.

Hanson isn't so easily spooked tho' and fires his revolver at it before jumping in his car and quickly driving back to the doctor's house where he excitedly tells Calkins and his pals about the incident.

Obviously excited at the idea of having a living dinosaur in the lake, the trio are quite disappointed when the Sheriff informs them that he's going to kill it.

But first they decide to call a town meeting.

There's teasing us with promises of monster mayhem then there's pulling down our undergarments, rubbing us up till we're about to explode with pleasure then fucking off to make a cup of tea.

Can you guess which this film is more  like?

With the sheriff slowly going kill crazy and the townsfolk insistent on keeping the beast alive Calkins suggests that it goes to a vote but just as it looks like the townsfolk will win the local dentist Craig Ferguson (Sasway - like it fucking matters) bursts into the diner having just narrowly avoided a buggery from the beast.

This act of attempted arse banditary is enough to turn the tide against the creature and the townsfolk head out to build a makeshift barricade to protect themselves as the Sheriff commandeers the town bulldozer.

Luckily the town bike was too busy making coffee or things may have turned out a wee bit differently.

"Put it in me!"



 Will bulldozing might beat prehistoric power?

Will Arnie and Mitch ever make any money?

Will anything exciting - or just anything at all - actually happen?



Funded off the back of a pile of cash (just under $100,000 or so I'm told) he received as part of an inheritance - he also got a collection of nodding dogs and a caravan - William R. Stromberg's sole directorial effort is a mighty mish-mash of half-baked ideas, dead eyed performances and misjudged comedy hi-jinks topped off with a scratchy library score saved from obscurity solely thanks to the stunning stop motion work of David W. Allen - aided here by Star Wars alumni Phil Tippett on his days off.

Tho' according to star/co-writer and producer Richard Cardella the blame for the movie's (many) failures can be laid at the feet of the film's distributors Crown International.

In an interview given to my gran back in 1979 he had this to say:

"Crown International was part of the financing and they just screwed up everything!"

Key scenes were - allegedly - either cut or never filmed (including one where the beast ripped the roof off a topless dance club and gobbled up the performers - why are things like this always the first casualties?), the cheap library score was added to save cash and the finished product was given over to a one-eyed alcoholic with hooks for hands to edit.

"The asshole didn't even use a fade or dissolve in the whole fuckin' picture!"
complained Cardella before spiking her drink and slowly undressing her, pawing at her clothes with his big sweaty sausage fingers.

Probably.

It can't all be the fault of some nameless hack editor tho' as I'm sure it wasn't him that decided - in their infinite wisdom - to give over a larger proportion of the films running time to the frankly wank misadventures of comedy tinkers Arnie and Mitch, I mean surely as co-writer Cardella has to take some responsibility for this.

"Are you looking at my bra?"



As a scary aside, Mark Siegel that 'played' Mitch actually went on to have a pretty good motion picture career - as a special FX technician, cutting his teeth  on John Carpenter films (as in he worked on them, he didn't bite chunks out of Escape From New York in a fit of pique) before moving on to Star Trek and Pirates of The Caribbean.



It says a lot for Crater Lake that the director chose to put him in front of the camera then.

See? It must be real...the 'news' papers say so.


Mercifully running at a scant 85 minutes - which unfortunately includes at least 60 odd minutes of arse destroying padding - Crater Lake is one of those movies (alongside The Incredible Melting Man) that signaled the death knell of the drive-in, Star Wars and Close Encounters were just around the corner and the face of low budget cinema was about to change forever with the release of Halloween.


Lo-fi sci-fi shlock was a dying art and if Crater Lake was it's swansong then it was a mercy killing.

Scarily tho' despite being complete and utter shite from start to finish the film went on to make over $3 million at the box office which just goes to show that the American public are in general are quite, quite mad.

And probably goes a long way to explain the popularity of Donald Trump.

But don't worry American cousins, we still love you.































*This is what we Brits call being ironic.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

the sting.

Saw this Brian (Society, Bride of Re-Animator and The Dentist) Yuzna classic about 5 years ago and had totally forgotten about it till I came across it in the pound shop earlier today.

Never turning down a bargain (ask your mum) I excitedly paid my cash and hurried home.

Returning home I noticed that the original review had only been read by about 5 people so as a public service I decided to rewatch it and see if it had gotten any better.

And had it?

Go on.....guess.

Amphibious 3D (2010 or is it 2012?....from the look of the whole thing I'll go for 1978).
Dir: Brian Yuzna.
Cast: Michael Paré, Janna Fassaert, Francis ("You're not taking Claire, Liam!") Magee, Monica Sayangbati, Francis Bosco, Verdi Solaiman, Timo Ottevanger and Elke Salverda in an ill fitting bikini.


If indeed you are what you eat then this poor fucker must of gorged itself on clichés and cardboard.

 

  


The oddly shaped - and even odder named - marine biologist Skylar Shane (Fassaert, an unholy hybrid of Uma Thurman and Noomi Rapace in a candyfloss wig) after drunkenly filling in her grant application realizes that if she hasn't proven the existence of giant shite encrusted sea scorpions by the end of the summer holidays she'll be sacked by the university and have to go back to tossing burgers (and old men off for coppers) in McDonalds.

Probably.

I mean I really wasn't paying too much attention as I was still recovering from the sight of Elke (part-time actress cum traveler cum freelance writer and owner of Wander-Lust.nl and Green Up Your Life Events) Salverda and her comedy breasts being spiked by a computer generated winged dog turd in the opening scenes.


"Put it in me!"



Anyway, Skylar decides to hire salty sea man "handsome" Jack Bowman (an upsettingly bloated Paré, channeling Han Solo via a Fulham taxi cab driver) to aid her quest to find fossil samples and the like in the depths of the north Sumatran Sea.

Or the local public baths as we like to call it.

Bowman isn't all that he seems tho' and during the trip has to go visit a group of his fish smuggling, child kidnapping friends led by ex-Eastenders badboy Magee to whom he owes money.

Operating from a ramshackle wooden  platform in the middle of the sea, Magee and co. spend their days drinking, smoking, beating children and disguising fish as tourists in order to get them past Indonesia's notoriously strict passport control.

I.E. They are very bad men.

On arrival at the fishing platform, Skylar is approach by a pretty lipped young orphan named Tamal (Scrabble scoring Sayangbati from Ghost Island, Obama anak menteng and the fantastic The Beetle Soldiers), who was sold to the smugglers by a mad uncle cum wizard.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

"Laugh now!"


It appears that due to a lack of facial hair, aforementioned kissy lips and obvious child bearing hips, Tamal is constantly picked on by the other crew members for being a bit gay, and upon meeting our heroine, begs Skylar to take him away.

Being an empathic kinda woman and still suffering nightmares due to the death of her daughter (I forgot to mention it earlier, sorry), Skylar is determined to help Tamal with or without Bowman's help.

Just not right now obviously as there's a gunfight and a bit of will they/wont they? romance to deal with first.

"Shite in mah mooth!"

Leaving the platform in a hail of gunfire, Bowman and Skylar head towards the local tourist island in order to experience the local sea scorpion festival and in Skylar's case to also have a few incense induced child death flashbacks before booking into a hotel for the night.

Padding anyone?

Maybe, but it does give us time to return to the smuggler's den where Magee has drunkenly beaten Tamal's pal to death causing our tiny chum to mutter curses whilst holding a special scorpion shaped pendant donated by that mad uncle I mentioned earlier.

Could this be related to the inky black blob spotted jerkily moving under the water earlier?

We soon find out as without warning (well except for the ominous soundtrack and change in picture quality) a giant plasticine poo with legs emerges from the water to snatch one of the pirates from his perch and into a watery grave as Tamal watches silently from behind the chemical toilet.

David Yip, up the casino, Margate, 1981...YESCH!


It's the next day and our heroes are out searching for stuff when they come across the putrefying corpse (or a passable facsimile of) Magee's henchman bobbing alongside the boat like so much discarded (Natalie) Wood.

Bringing it aboard for Skylar to have a fiddle with (well it's either this or Bowman's salty man tits...which would you choose?) she soon deduces that his body is full of a nasty venom that turns human flesh into latex.

Sorry, I mean into mush.

Worried for Tamal's life (or fancying a bit of rough, you decide) Skylar persuades Bowman to head over to the platform to check everything is OK and excited at the thought of some exotic foreign arse (or at the very least a wee boy's embrace), he agrees to her request. 

On arrival Skylar sneaks aboard the platform whilst Bowman drags that dead blokes body around whilst shouting "I never done it! T'was a big boy what done it and ran away!"

Unfortunately no-one gives a fuck, so it's not long before the shooting contest starts up again giving the heroic Bowman no other choice than to leg it back to his boat and sail away.

Leaving poor Skylar at the mercy of a cut-throat band of horny smugglers and, most disturbingly in a scene that would probably give Kenneth Clarke nightmares, a filthy twelve year old Indonesian boy who keeps rubbing his crotch and winking.


Janna Fassaert: Dirtier than your mum.


With Magee drunkenly preparing to kiss Skylar on the lips against her will his fat pal Bruno attempts to pull Tamal from the relative safety of the mumsy marine biologists arms but only manages to tear Tamal's shirt revealing that him is really a her.

No way.

And that's not all.

It seems that the creepy scorpion pendant given to her by the mad wizard bloke seems to control the mysterious creature, killing anyone who even thinks about harming Tamal.

Oh and that unrelated couple from the start obviously.

I wouldn't want one of them swimming up my arse.



And when the beast finally makes an appearance it's heralds an even stranger connection between itself and Tamal.

Alongside a sense of crushing disappointment obviously.

Will our erstwhile heroine and pudgy hero be able to unravel the mystery and kill the best?

Or will everything ended with a ludicrously illogical ending with no other reason than to set up a sequel?

 



Fucking hell Brian that was rough.

Not content with giving us a plot so rehashed and recycled that it could barely stand unaided, the once cult favourite heartlessly throws in the largest group of wooden actors this side of builders yard stranding them on a flimsy water-based shed and leaving them to the mercy of criminally cack handed editing and a CGI beast that appears to be rendered in shite.

Apart from that tho' it's not too bad.

By that I mean it's a damn sight better than his previous two efforts; the Paul Naschy starrer Rottweiler back in 2004 and the waterlogged - in more ways than one - Beneath Still Waters in 2005.


Inside Jimmy Savile's mind.



And when the only good thing you can say about a movie is that it stars the fish-lipped star of Dagon, the charisma free yet smooth of thighed Raquel Meroño  then you know you're onto plumbs.

But as much as I'd like to see every copy of this abomination burned every time I go to slag it off I just see poor Brian's face pleading to me.

A conscience can be a bad thing in this line of work.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

snow joke.


Picked this up for a pound in a charity shop last week (alongside a working Big Trak for £1.75) and thought to myself it's got Laurence Fishburne and the late great Bill Paxton in it, how bad can it be?







The Colony (2013).
Dir:  Jeff Renfroe.
Cast:  Kevin Zegers, Bill Paxton, Charlotte Sullivan, Dru Viergever, Atticus Mitchell, John Trench, Lisa Berry, Julian Richings and Sir Laurence of Fishburne.

"You know you're screwed when even the rabbits won't fuck."


 It's the year 2045 and - thanks to climate change and global warming - the Earth's climate is controlled by giant painted machines haphazardly matted onto CGI-ed cityscapes.

As is the way with such technology one day this fantastic technology breaks down causing it to snow.

A lot.

Humanity, bored with constant snowball fights and building snowmen, retreats underground to live in giant bunkers where life becomes a constant struggle against, lack of food, disease and trying to fight against an ever more clichéd dystopian SF background.

Albeit one that looks like it's been painted by a hook handed child.

"Try shite-in in mah mooth now ya frosty bastard!"



Leading this motley band of survivors are two ex-soldiers, Johnny Briggs (Fishburne) and Perry Mason (Paxton) - former colleges who now clash over the smallest things.

Tho' their arguments probably aren't as bad as the ones that they're having with their agents over why they're appearing in such shite.

The colonies days of cataloging seeds, shooting flu sufferers and trying to make bobble hats look fashionable are rudely interrupted however when the nearby Colony 5 transmits a distress call.

Being a nice caring guy Briggs - along with the handsome hero Sam (Josh Framm from the Air Bud film series himself Zegers) and the marked for death chubster Larry Graydon (My Babysitter's a Vampire star Mitchell) decides to head over to see what's occurring.

Leaving Sam's mop haired girlfriend Kai (Sullivan but not the one from the New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team) in charge whilst they're away the heroic trio head off into the snow.

Or in this case a computer generated approximation of it.

After what seems like a decade of heart-rending background chat and clumsy attempts at character development our merry band arrive at Colony 5 only to find the place deserted and the walls covered in blood and shit.

Which given the Aliens vibe so far isn't that surprising if I'm honest.

Deciding that a grue covered base isn't a sign to just fuck off home they decide to explore further, eventually coming across (you take your pleasure when you can) a locked door from behind which they can faintly hear sobbing and shuffling - noises usually associated with extreme stress or tearful Pot Noodle-based masturbation.

Sam manages to pick the lock (tho' not alas a ring) and find the mad as a bag of spanners Leland Palmer cowering in a corner whilst blabbing about transmissions and terrifying things.


A realistic post apocalyptic background yesterday.


Giving him a hug and a Cuppasoup the rescue party listen as Leland regails them (and us) with his tale of woe.

It appears that the colony received a transmission from a nearby group who'd managed to get the weather machines working causing the snow to thaw, unfortunately in their haste to set up a survival camp they'd forgotten to pack any seeds so are desperate to offer aid and shelter to anyone who has some spare.

Leland excitedly shows them where the signal came from but puts a fairly large damper on the situation by adding that when a Colony 5 expedition attempted to find the source of the transmission they attracted the attentions of a marauding band of crazy cannibals who followed them back and killed everyone.

Deciding that things are maybe a wee bit too scary to stay Briggs, Sam, and Graydon offer to take Leland back with them to Colony 7 but he violently pushes them out of his cupboard and locks himself back in.

As they head toward the exit Graydon notices the smell of freshly cooked bacon in the distance and - being a greedy fuck - runs off to investigate only to find a group of gypsy-types cutting up members of the colony whilst messily feasting on human remains.

Is your hair the only thing you let down at the weekend?


Being a portly fucker Grayden is quickly dispatched leaving Briggs and Sam plenty of time to make it to the exit ladder and out of the colony before destroying the shaft with a handy stick of dynamite they found earlier.

Phew.

And with that the pair begin the long(ish) walk home unaware that the cannibal clan have survived and are even now tracking their footprints.

Which strangely enough haven't been covered by the constant snowfall.

Weird that.

Briggs realizing that the movie is in dire need of an action sequence save it falling into an unrecoverable coma suggests that they blow up the bridge they're crossing with dynamite (after the pair have crossed it obviously) but due to high winds and a need for tension the dynamite fuse blows out  giving Briggs a chance to run back and relight it - sacrificing himself in the process.

Obviously he was needed back on the Hannibal set the next day.

Cold, grumpy and shocked at the fact that given the choice 'tween Fishburne and Paxton the director appears to have chosen a large piece of (albeit pretty) wood to act as the films emotional centre Sam slowly limps back to Colony 7.

"Laugh now!"


Luckily the film has a fairly short running time so it's not long before Sam has reached his destination stumbling drunkenly into an argument between Kai and Mason.

Mason it seems wants to shoot everyone who has a cold whilst Kai wants to let them wander off into the snow and into the arms of a slow agonizing death due hypothermia because she thinks this is more humane.

Fair enough.

Sam's stumbling puts an end to the chat as Kai runs over to help him giving Mason the opportunity to knock the pair out with his rifle butt and lock them up.

Which is a blessed relief if I'm honest as the coast is now clear for Paxton to do his Hudson shtick as the base is overrun by cannibals.

Hopefully.

But alas there's a wee bit more talking to do before this will happen.

As the clock to the films climax counts down and the fearsome flesheaters draw ever closer (probably) will Sam be able to convince Mason to take a chance at finding the sunny settlement over the hill or will Mason poo-poo the idea as even more unbelievable that the base will soon be under attack by savages obsessed with eating him?

Go on.....guess.






Competently made, nicely acted (from Paxton and Fishburne at least) and fairly pretty to look at The Colony is so professionally produced and safe as to make it instantly forgettable.

Devoid of originality, charm or even any notable novelty value it's a movie you've seen a hundred (or maybe a hundred and three) times before tho' usually not played this earnestly.

Scarily it took four writers - including director Jeff Renfroe - to come up with this, riffing everything from The Hills Have Eyes (for the lead cannibals look), The Thing, Alien 3 and even the Doctor Who story Utopia along the way - maybe they each took it in turns to strangle the joy out of everything they paid homage to or maybe it takes a special kind of talent to produce a script so lacking in character?

Saying that tho' some of the shots looked quite pretty and it's pretty obvious that most of the imagination and skill onboard where used for the end credits which are pretty cool.

Just a pity no-one told them that it's the 90 odd minutes that proceed them that are important.

The cinematic equivalent of watching badly xeroxed paint dry whilst drinking warm (but not too warm mind - you might burn your lip) milk.



Friday, March 3, 2017

people you fancy but shouldn't (frightfest special).

Noticed a distinct lack of cardigan wearing librarian types onscreen this year (unlike last time round where you couldn't move for sensible shoes) seeing as every female character seemed to be a bleach-haired bombshell with a gun.

Or a kidnapped schoolgirl drugged and chained to a bed obviously.

But fear not, in this celluloid sea of sassiness one woman bravely took a stand for A-line skirts and buffed up brogues.

And she fought a giant radioactive monster too.

It can only be Shin Godzilla's Mikako Ichikawa.













the morning after the fright before (part 2).

Saturday's Full day of frights kicked off with a movie that promised to do for sharks what Jimmy Savile did for children's dreams....

Cage Dive (Australia 2017)
Director: Gerald Rascionato.
Cast: Joel Hogan, Josh Potthoff, Megan Peta Hill, Suzanne Dervish-Ali and some sharks.....hang on, how can it have a cast list if it's meant to be real? THEY LIED TO US!



Deciding to film an audition tape for submission to an extreme reality game show three really fucking annoying Californians - Jeff (Wannabe real life He-Man toy Hogan), his brother Josh (Potthoff) and Jeff’s girlfriend Megan (the rabbit-like Peta Hill) travel to Australia in order to document themselves taking part in a wee bout of shark cage diving.


As well as film themselves getting pissed, having parties etc because we all know how enjoyable that is to watch.

But while on the dive, a catastrophic turn of events leaves them in baited water full of hungry Great White Sharks and turns there audition tape into a snotty nosed survival cum bitching diary.


Shite in mah mooth....if only to brighten up this movie.


Obviously the chance of being eaten by sharks at any moment isn't exciting enough so director Gerald Rascionato adds a heart condition and a two-timing fiancée to the mix.

As well as an incredibly hilarious scene where Megan attempts to warm up a fellow survivor with a rescue flare.

Because as we know girls are rubbish in stressful situations.

Frankly I feel sorry for the sharks that have to eat these narcissistic no marks.

Avoid.

But if you really must see Americans getting stuck in a cage whilst fighting sharks check out Johannes Roberts frankly fantastic In The Deep (AKA 47 Meters Down) instead.

If they ever decide to release it that is.

From found footage shocks to pretty frocks now with.....

Fashionista (USA 2016)
Dir: Simon Rumley.
Cast: Amanda Fuller, Ethan Embry, Alex Essoe and Eric Balfour.

"I can see your house from here Peter!"



After Red, White and Blue and Johnny Garrett’s Last Word comes mighty bearded director Simon Rumley’s third Austin, Texas based shocker.

A hypnotic and bracing exploration of identity, body image and transformation via the wacky world of vintage clothing where hipster shop owners April and Eric (Fuller and Embry) find their marriage on rocky ground when she begins to suspect her husband of having an affair.

When her suspicions are confirmed, April seeks sexual validation with the mysterious and kinky Randall setting off a chain reaction of stylish fever dream madness, fantasy role-playing and chic ultra-shriek that's less Blue Velvet more Blue Broderie Anglaise.

See what I did there?

Unfolding like a particularly complex origami ostrich, Rumley's most accomplished movie to date is a harrowing and heartbreaking homage to the genius of Nicholas Roeg, wearing it's obviously proud influences on its finely tailored sleeve.

See it.

Now.

Bloodlands (Australia/Albania 2016)
Dir: Steven Kastrissios.
Cast: Gëzim Rudi, Emiljano Palali, Alesia Xhemalaj and Suela Bako.

The community centre stage version of Die Hard went down a storm with the under 12's.

The first ever collaboration between Australia and Albania (if you don't count the sordid back alley sex session my Uncle Brian from Queensland had with an exchange student in the 80s) comes a bizarre Balkan-based kitchen sink drama cum ancient blood feud frightener written and directed by Steven Kastrissios, the man who gave us the genuinely disturbing The Horseman.

Shot on location in Abania - and in Albanian - and rooted in the very real phenomenon of blood feuds ( or ‘Kanun Lek’ laws) still plaguing the country (think Govan but with fewer pikeys), Bloodlands tells the tale of a struggling Albanian family led by local butcher Skender (Rudi), who struggling to to maintain order amongst his children - his daughter Iliriana (Xhemalaj) is planning to leave home for the bright lights of Italy and his son Artan (Emiljano Palali) is more interested in becoming a photographer than taking over his father’s shop - is thrust into a war with a family of forest-dwelling beggars , rumoured to be led by a vampiric witch.

Which is nice.

Did a search for the Bloodlands cast on Google to illustrate the review and this came up. According to the caption it's actress Alesia Xhemalaj in a pretty frock. Fair enough then.


Unfolding at a pace that could best be described as (very) leisurely Bloodlands blends domestic drama and supernatural scares in such a matter-of-fact way as to make it difficult to decipher to a viewer not totally au fait with Albanian culture, tho' that's not to say it isn't an enjoyable journey - just at times wee bit too meandering and alien to truly be affecting.

Tho' that probably says more about me than the film.

Still it's as intriguing as it is frustrating - fantastically played and utterly believable which bodes well for Kastrissios' next movie.

Plus Alesia Xhemalaj is very cute in a kinda homely way.



Detour (UK 2016)
Dir: Christopher Smith.
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Emory Cohen, Bel Powley and Stephen Moyer.

From Christopher (Creep, Severance, Black Death and Triangle) Smith, Detour finds law student Harper (Sheridan) suspecting his stepdad Vincent (Moyer) of causing the car crash that landed his mother in a coma so when a chance meeting with tough, tattooed redneck Johnny Ray and his girlfriend Cherry (pitch perfect performances from Cohen and Powley) gives him an opportunity to discover the truth our student pal begins a terrifying road trip of revenge and random violence.

Playing out like the evil sibling of 1998s Sliding Doors, Detour takes the basic premise of the classic  Patricia Highsmith novel Strangers On A Train (I'm sure that would make a great film) Smith's perfectly plotted, sexily shot and smartly edited little thriller is a joy from start to finish.

Next up was Raw - the film that'd had everyone ranting, raving and salivating in anticipation, Julia Ducournau's coming of age tale of vets, vegetarianism and cute cannibals that - according to its PR people - had made folk faint in the aisles at Cannes.

Tho' that may have been the smell of all that garlic and onion.

I must admit I was intrigued and not just because the lead actress looked uncannily like Cécile Fournier*.

Raw (France/Belgium 2016)
Dir: Julia Ducournau.
Cast: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf and Rabah Nait Oufella.



Lest we (well I) forget.


So, what's it all about then?

Justine (Marillier) a strict vegetarian, applies to vet school (which surprisingly isn't a brand new Channel 4 reality show) following on the family tradition started by her parents and her big (chinned) sister Alexia (Rumpf)  but after being forced to eat a rabbit’s liver as part of a bizarre - yet very continental - initiation ceremony begins to develop a hunger for (human) flesh.

Merde dans ma bouche française parfaitement formée

Mixing the usual French cinema tropes of open mouthed eating, ill fitting undies and bedsocks with endless scenes of sweaty, partying teens and a muddle message about teenage experimentation and innocence lost, Raw unashamedly plays to the arthouse crowd first and foremost concentrating more on dream-like images and hastily drawn stereotypes than gounding the fantastical tale in a semblance of reality that unfortunately dulls its impact somewhat.

Enjoyable enough but ultimately hollow and vacuous.

Unlike the aforementioned Ms Fournier obviously.


With a sad feeling of disappointment in my stomach (I'd only packed one packet of Quorn Cocktail Sausages for the whole day) I quickly headed outside for a sly fag in order to prepare myself for what promised to be the other killer movie of the weekend - Ben Young's pervy pedophile potboiler Hounds Of Love.

Excitement factor was high due to Australia presenting us with a couple of top quality frighteners over the last few years like the fantastic Wolf Creek, Rogue and The Loved One.

Saying that they foister the utter shite-cake that was The Babadook on us too so you can never too careful.

Hounds of Love (Australia 2016)
Dir: Ben Young.
Cast: Emma Booth, Ashleigh Cummings, Stephen Curry and Susie Porter.

"When I was a child
Running in the night
Afraid of what might be
Hiding in the dark
Hiding in the street
And of what was following me
Now get in the back of the fucking car so I can take you home, chain you to a bed and violate you with a table leg you whorish little cunt!"



"Troubled" teen (aren't they all?) Vicki (Home and Away's Cummings) after an argument with her recently divorced mum Maggie (Star Wars babe Hermione Bagwa herself Porter) sneaks out to attend a pals party one night when she's accosted on the way by the creepy John and Evelyn (Currie and Booth).

The pervy pair persuade Vicki to go home with them in order to buy some of 'the hash' but they have something else in mind, drugging the screwed-up schoolie  before tying her to a bed and using her as their own personal fuck-monkey.

Which isn't that unexpected really given the films synopsis.


We're Cortina trap.


Cue 90 minutes of screaming, dodgy mustaches, dog kicking and long, pleading looks as Vicki goes from victim to victor as she attempts to expose the cracks in the couple’s relationship.

Neither as nasty or blackly comic as The Loved Ones or Wolf Creek, Hounds of Love comes across as a great idea marred by so-so execution and a simplistic script that has 'mah weak wimmin' under the thumb of an (even weaker) man.

Performances are OK but the under-developed almost panto style, one dimensional characterizations and lack of development hamper what should be an uncomfortable and grueling watch and when the most cringe-inducing scene is the totally inappropriately and irony free use of Joy Division's Atmosphere over the closing scenes then you know you have problems.

The cast do their best but bless 'em it's an uphill struggle.

Which is all the more disappointing when you realize that the film is based on a truly harrowing real-life case ( that of David and Catherine Birnie) that's ripe for a full 'In Cold Blood' style psychological retelling. 

Plus it's difficult enough to lure young girls into cars without films like this getting made.

Probably.

And how do you follow that? I hear you cry.

Well with a wee bit more forced sex and violent violation.

But it's OK as this time it's strictly for laughs.

Night of the Virgin (Spain 2016)
Dir: Roberto San Sebastián.
Cast: Javier Bódalo, Miriam Martín and Víctor Amilibia.








It's New Years Eve and the nerdy and naïve Nico (Bódalo) is out on the town and determined to lose his virginity.

He should have just hung about suburban Perth and looked out for John and Evelyn for tips seeing as his attempts at seduction ultimately end with him getting vomit covered shoes.

Bless.

Despondent and desperate for a diddling he finally comes across (not in that way, well not yet) uber MiLF Medea (Martín) and before he knows what’s happening he’s back at her filthy flat surrounded by sinister Asian artifacts and crawling cockroaches as an ancient prophecy prepares to rear its ugly head.

And if that wasn't enough there's a rowdy party of homosexualists upstairs and a very jealous ex-boyfriend waiting in the wings.




Roberto San Sebastián’s feature debut is a slick, sick semen drenched, shit stained comedy of (t)errors that proudly vies for the title of most digustingly disturbing movie ever.

And there's something to be admired about a film that's so honest.

At 2 hours the film is oh-so slightly overlong, leaving the viewer as exhausted as poor Nico after his arse destroying birthing of a blackened beast of Hell but it's heart is in the right place and I'd rather a movie deliver too much that not enough.

Especially when the director is in attendance showering the screen with abuse and comedy asides.

To be honest every film could probably be improved by this.

In parts massively enjoyable and slightly frustrating Night of The Virgin bodes well for the teams next foray into body (fluid) horror and I for one will be at the front of the queue.

A perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

Same time next year guys?































 *If you don't know this story already you can find out more here. I'll warn you tho' I'll probably keep on about this till she gets in touch.