Thursday, May 31, 2018

drac attack.

Just back from a week in Spain with my youngest and his class where - as well as taking in the local scenery, delicacies and practicing our Spanish - I managed to get everyone to visit the castle where they filmed Return of The Blind Dead.

Where I stole some rocks to bring home.



I'm now worried that I'm gonna get knocked up in the middle of the night by a team of undead Templars ready for revenge.

Anyway, what better way to take my mind of that - and celebrate the trip - than with a wee bit of Paul Naschy.

 
Count Dracula's Great Love (AKA El gran amor del Conde Dracula, 1973).
Dir: Javier Aguirre.
Cast: Paul Naschy, Rosanna Yanni, Haydée Politoff, Mirta Miller, Ingrid Garbo and Víc Winner.



"The only thing you can think of is men. You'd sleep with a broom if it had pants!"




It's a cold dark night (is there any other kind?) in the backwoods of Transylvania (beautifully portrayed by the forests between the towns of Dénia and Xàbia in the eastern Spanish province of Alicante) Where comedy tramps and general ne'er-do-wells Geoff and Brian are busy delivering a huge wooden crate (that is to be fair not as wooden as either of them) to the local abandoned sanatorium cum creepy castle.

Reckoning that they're not getting paid enough to drag crates around assorted shrubbery at night the pair decide instead to open the crate and steal whatever trinkets are stored inside, unfortunately all it contains is the skeletal remains of a lady in a bad pound shop wig so - being a wee bit depressed at this - the pair excitedly explore the castle in the hope of finding something of value to steal.

Unfortunately for the dodgy duo they're being stalked by an unseen assailant who, after suddenly jumping out of a wardrobe bites Brian (to death) before planting an axe in Geoff's skull.

Which is nice.

Thanks to the wacky world of the shoddy dissolve and even shoddier titles we're quickly off to meet the studly Imre (Winner from Vengeance of the Zombies) who alongside a quintet of lovelies including the cute as a button Karen (the practically perfect Politoff), blonde bombshell (well more like a bombsite really), the seriously severe Senta (Fangs of The Living Dead's Yanni), pouty Elke (Naschy regular Miller) and his secret sexy squeeze Marlene (the terrifyingly chinned Garbo - no not that one - the one that was in that 'saucy' football comedy Las Ibericas FC) is traveling via coach to the nearby town of Cleftplate to take up residency as a professional bassoon player.


Admit it, even a sly tit wank would kill you.

Whilst regaling the laydees with daring tales of pub gigs and life on the festival circuit he realizes that they are about to pass thru' the exact spot in which  Jonathan Harker and Doctor Van Helsing killed Count Dracula and not one to miss a trick - or the chance of a quick glance at a heaving bosom - excitedly tells his companions the areas full gory story.

You see it wasn't only Dracula who caused terror in these parts as a few years after his (un)death a Doctor Terry Kargos bought the sanatorium and opened a men only gym cum sauna which it turns out seemed to be a cover for something a wee bit more sinister.

It appeared that many of the folk there died due to anemia and the doctor was suspected of harvesting their blood and using it in bizarre experiments.

Obviously he was hounded out of town by the locals and the place left abandoned.

Until recently that is when a Doctor Philip Marlow (Naschy channeling Liberace and The Count from Sesame Street via a drunken old uncle) paid a princely sum of £28 for it in order to open a drive-thru' garden centre.

Sounds legit.


"I fang you!"



All this talk of blood and gore spooks the horses causing the coach to lose a wheel and the driver getting kick in the face by a pony, killing him (the driver that is not the horse) instantly, leaving Imre and co. little choice but go to the castle and see if Doctor Marlow is at home.

Luckily he is (it would be a short film if he weren't) and graciously offers the group a cup of tea and a biscuit as well as a bed - or five - for the night.

After a quick snack and a plot-filling chat the group retire to bed (as opposed to retiring to the Costa Del Sol like your granddad) where sometime after midnight - probably - Karen is woken by a spooky noise and goes to investigate where she comes face to face with a now undead Brian who is now a vision of comedy fangs and ketchup.

As he moves in to bite her smooth, swan-like neck (as in it's long not covered in feathers) he is quickly chased away by a camply cape clad figure who then carries her back to bed.

"Put it in me!"



As our merry band head down for breakfast the next morn they are surprised to discover that their generous host is nowhere to be found, instead he's left a note explaining that he's off checking his traps* in the woods and to help themselves to Rice Crispies.

Hmmmm.....do you think he may actually be sleeping cos he's really Dracula?

Whilst Imre and Marlene head off into the woods to 'look for help', Karen, Elke and Senta decide to entertain themselves by having a poke around the castle's nooks and crannies which is kinda disappointing as I was hoping that they'd indulge in some nude volleyball but dem the breaks I guess, so the audience has to make do with them happening across Marlow's library where the find
- alongside a complete collection of Razzle and a dog-eared copy of The Book of Sex – the fabled diary of Van Helsing.

Senta, being the least thick begins to read aloud from the diary much to the chagrin of Elke who find it a wee bit too scary (no really) and begs her to stop.

Something I guess she doesn't often do seeing as how unconvincing she sounds.

Karen however seems fascinated by the tale of Dracula and his dead daughter and steals the book away for later.

...And they still can't get it tuned to 6 Music.


With not much else to fill the running time with we jump forward to lights out where after tuck  (sorry my public schoolness is showing) Karen curls up in bed to continue the terrifying tale, which is presented to us in groovy negative - presumably to hide the identity of the actor playing Dracula, which is a wee bit odd seeing as we can all guess that it's Naschy.

It does look nice tho'.

Pity the diary is utter drivel then, seeing as it appears to say that Dracula, although resurrected on an almost monthly after being slain is never 100% complete and can only regain his full unearthly powers by having sex with a virgin that has fallen in love with him for his personality as opposed to falling for him via the power  of spooky supernatural seduction.

Give that a try next time you're out on the pull lads and see how far that gets you.

Not only that but if this ever happens then Dracula can use his new found loves blood to then resurrect his daughter Sharon.

You remember, the skeleton from earlier.

See? They're not just making this shite up, there's a purpose for everything.

Insert cock here.


Whilst all this psychedelic flash-backery is going down Imre is wandering the hallways looking for the toilet when he's viscously attacked by Brian and given a bloody good biting, turning him into a vampire who then, in turn, messily attacks poor Marlene turning her too.

Phew, it's all go.

Marlow, tho' is too busy to notice as he's taken to following an oblivious Karen around like a lost puppy.

Albeit one with a huge nob and a really hairy back and arse.

Senta meanwhile has decided that she fancies a wee bit of naked Naschy herself so plans to seduce the doctor by falling into a bear trap, have him carry her to her room then expose her ample breasts and jump on him.

Who says romance is dead?

Unable to resist Senta's charms (OK tits) Marlow indulges in a wee bit of 'the sex' with her only to discover (disappointingly) that not only wasn't she a virgin but that he'd been thinking of Karen all the time.

Obviously the only course of action is to turn Senta into a vampire and go try his luck with Karen.

However as he's wiping his cock on his cape and scrubbing the blood from his mouth who should turn up but Imre hungry for blood.

And the only person with any left in the castle is Karen.

Much slow-style stage fighting ensues as Marlow tosses Imre out of the window and onto a handy spiked gate.

As he turns to dust Karen comes to realize that vampires are in fact real and that the king of them is standing infront of her professing undying love.

Will Karen and Draculabegin a romance to rival Harry and Meghan?

Will there be a wee bit more uncalled for - yet very welcome - nudity?

Will Paul Naschy ever shave his back?

It takes a special talent to get a still from a totally different movie on the poster. Fair play to him whoever it was.


From the fevered mind of Paul Naschy and the 70s busiest director (and official wrath of God) Javier Aquirre comes (quite literally) this supernatural tale of femmes, fangs and fancy  shirts all wrapped up in a blood red bow of sex and violence of the kind only found in Eurocinema of a certain age.

True the dubbing is ludicrously done, the effects are of a quality usually reserved for Christmas panto's and none of the lead actresses dresses fit but that just adds to its charm.

And talking of dubbing, if you think Naschy sounds familiar that's because he's using the voice of cult Eurohorror actor Jack Taylor whose CV reads like a must watch of quality cinema taking in everything from The Ghost Galleon to Pieces via The Vampire's Night Orgy (perhaps that's where the poster mix up came from) and Conan The Barbarian.

And he's still working.

And you think your mum is at bingo.


 Anyway back to the film at hand (before you start thinking this is a proper film blog) and while the obvious Spanish settings are in no way convincing as Transylvania the movie is so endearing as to make such trifling details irrelevant - we're here to see blood, babes, boobs and the big man himself take on the role of Dracula and whilst he may not hit the dizzy heights of Udo Kier (or Jack Palance) Naschy's vaguely puppy-like love lorn count is a fair extension of his more famous portrayal of the melancholic Waldemar Daninsky and is all the better for it.

It's just a pity he never donned the cape and fangs again.


Rum, sodomy and the lash.


But what of the rest of the cast I hear you cry.

Well whilst Víc Winner is all bushy sideburns and chiseled good looks his 'acting' style veers wildly from flat-packed shelf to homemade drinks cabinet the ladies do their best to walk and talk at the same time as they vainly attempt to stay inside their dresses that whilst looking very pretty appear to have been handed out at random.

Rosanna Yanni seems to spend the entire film hunched over in an attempt to get the obviously child sized communion dress to cover her breasts.

Poor lamb.

But at least Haydée Politoff looks yumsome.

As always.
   
But none of this matters as what we have here is a piece of pure Paul (Naschy) perfection that promises a veritable volcano of violence, sex and death which it delivers it in buckets and with a sneaky side helping of too-tight corsets and odd accents to boot.

If not cinematic gold it's at least a nice bit of terrifying tin.

























*As in things to catch animals in, not young guys dressed as sexy anime-style laydees for the sexual gratification of others - thought I'd clear that up.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

oh bee-have.

'Logged on' to the interweb this morning and noticed this:





World Bee Day eh?

Well I have just the thing for that.

Excuse the brevity of the review as frankly it's a Sunday morning and I have a shocking hangover and really can't be arsed.

But then again no fucker ever reads this blog anyway.

 
Invasion of The Bee Girls (AKA Graveyard Tramps, 1973)
Dir: Denis Sanders.
Cast: William (wicki wah wah) Smith, Anitra Ford, Victoria Vetri, Cliff Osmond, Wright King, Ben Hammer, Stan Williams and Sid Kaiser.


They'll Love The Very Life Out Of Your Body! - Just like a normal girl then?



When a government research scientist is found naked (apart from his socks) and dead in a roadside motel just outside Peckham (a different Peckham, so don't worry that Nicholas Lyndhurst's gonna turn up) the US State Department sends tough guy special agent Neil Agar (William Smith, not the one from Bad Boys and Men in Black, but the one from Chrome and Hot Leather and The Swinging Barmaids) to investigate.

Agar’s first stop is at the home of the the sultry head of the dead scientist’s research department Julie Zorn (the always fabulous Vetri, fresh from messing up pavements in Rosemary's Baby and playing Gary Seven's sexy humanoid cat in Star Trek), who was, in fact the last person to see the scientist alive.

Nowt suspicious there then.

"Aye hen!"


At first evasive and blunt with Agar about what she was doing in the scientist's company that night, Agar eventually - and quite literally, well it is the 70s - shakes the information out of her as she delivers the Oscar worthy dialogue:

“Alright! We balled! And we balled and we balled and we balled some more, until finally he dropped dead!”

Investigating further (and with Zorn in tow) Agar makes a horrific discovery, an epidemic of fatal heart attacks linked only by the fact that the men involved all popped their clogs while engaged in the 'sex' act.


The other Prince of Bel-Air.


As is always the way, misinformed Joe Q. Public start blaming the local science lab whilst erstwhile local 'sex researcher' (and closet S and M fan) Henry Murger (King) reckons it's a new disease so begins to try and convince folk to stop shagging for a bit till it's sorted.

Unfortunately there appears to be nowt else to do in the town except have sex, so the death toll continues to grow.

If only that would happen in America in real life.


"It doesn't matter how hard I twist I just can't seen to find 6 Music!"

As the stiffs get stiffer and the beds remain unmade the real cause of the sex deaths is gradually revealed.

Tho' not too gradually as it's a fairly short film.

But not as short as your mum obviously.

It appears that a group of shapely, sexy and sunglasses clad ladies are behind (and on top of obviously) the mounting pile of corpses.

Which is actually quite an erotic image.

The big question now is.....how?

And why obviously but that would be two questions.



What your mum really gets up to on bingo night.



Enter (roughly from behind whilst wearing a horse mask - just me then?) nutty as squirrel shit entomologist Susan Harris (Original Price Is Right girl Ford) who, whilst studying bees and stuff has discovered that it's possible to merge bee DNA with that of a lady.

For what purpose I have no idea.

Anyway, Harris has a secret lab in the basement of the research centre as well as an army of semi-nude, bisexual, female helpers all decked out in groovy Jackie O sunglasses that answer to her every whim.

And luckily for the viewer her main whim appears to be getting her posse to smother captive naked women in custard, subject them to bursts of radiation then locking them in a cupboard full of bees, transforming them into sex crazed 'Bee Girls'.

Again, I have no idea why.


But let's be honest do you really care?


Spunky Brewster.


So it's left to an angry Agar and gruff police captain 'big' Jim Peters (Osmond from the fantastic Hangar 18) with the help of 'scientists' Stanley Williams (Kaiser) and Herb Klein (Ben 'Beast Master' Hammer) to discover the truth behind the epidemic.

But they better hurry, as Harris has kidnapped Zorn and she's next for a wee bout of oily bee-based nakedness....

Some real life farm-type ladies yesterday who may - or may not be genetically spliced with bees.



From the obviously bad break up fueled minds of Denis Sanders, the writer of the fantastic Creature from the Black Lagoon and Nicholas Meyer, later to co-write and direct Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as well as the HG Wells/Jack The Ripper mash-up Time After Time, comes this bizarre tale of sexy girls, fist-fights, pervy sex, violence, hairy backed old men getting naked and erotically charged nude motorbiking.

Oh, and bees.


Lots of bees.




But what's copious amounts of sex and violence without a good cast?

Possibly fairly entertaining but not as entertaining as seeing 'B' movie hardnut William Smith punching insect infected laydees that's for sure.

And if that's not enough our resident stud muffin is ably abetted by pouty ex-Playmate Victoria Vetri in her last film role before she retired to raise chickens in Idaho and the spellcheck defying Anitra Ford who at that point was on the cusp of becoming a permanent 70s exploitation fixture with roles in everything from The Big Birdcage to Messiah Of Evil via the first Cathie Cosby starring version of Wonder Woman.

Which is a good thing.

No, really.



Any excuse for a Victoria Vetri pic.




But it's not all sexy females on show oh no as for the ladies watching there are top notch appearances from mustachioed lard lord Cliff Osmond, Black Belt Jones' Sid Kaiser and Halloween II's Cliff Emmich.

Hmmm....now you think about it it basically is just sexy women on show.

Tho' there is a wee bit of girl on girl action too so that's OK.


As an interesting aside it does feature the only on screen role of Mary Sweeney - David Lynch's ex-wife and one time editor which gives you an excuse to watch it from a purely film connoisseur I guess and not just look like a sad lonely man who gets turned on by wanton nudity, lipstick lesbianism and mindless violence.

You're welcome.

Forgetting all that tho' the big question we have to ask is Invasion of The Bee Girls a satire of 70's sexual attitudes or an incredibly sexist exploitationer relying on copious amounts of T and A to film it's meager running time?

Who cares?

it's got nude ladies being smeared in honey by other nude ladies to a wonderful 'Ooooow wooooo woooo' spooky scifi soundtrack.


What more do you want?










Friday, May 18, 2018

mr. blobby.

Picked this lil' gem up in Fopp for a meager 6 quid t'other day (I was meant to be buying stuff for my school trip but heyho) cos I'd never seen it before.

Shocking I know.

Caltiki the Immortal Monster (1959).
Dir: Riccardo Freda (and some bloke named Mario Bava, yeah me neither).
Cast: John Merivale, Didi Sullivan, Gerard Herter, Daniela Rocca, Daniele Vargas, Vittorio André, Giacomo Rossi Stuart and Arturo Dominici.

The garden is filled with monsters!




Somewhere in the jungles/deserts of Mexico (or at least a pretty good studio approximation of them) a crack team of archaeologists are busy trying to find out why the local people up and left all those centuries ago.

Obviously the active volcano in the background has nowt to do with it.

All this hard work is disturbed when one of the team -  Dr Barry Nieto (Dominici from Black Sunday) stumbles sweatily into the basecamp dribbling and ranting about something called 'Caltiki'.

Enter (not literally mind, tho' he does have the air of a bonier David Tennant about him so I'd be tempted) Professor John Fielding (Circus of Horrors Merivale) who alongside his grumpy colleague Dr Max Gunther (Herter...yes he probably did) vainly attempt to find out just what the fuck Nieto is rambling about.

Sick of having his spittle sprayed over them and almost vomiting from the smell of boiled onions permeating from his unwashed manbreasts the pair leave Nieto in the care of Fielding's wife Ellen (the big-haired Perego) and Max's squeeze - the 'half-breed', pigtailed ex-prostitue Linda (Rocca, covered in gravy browning).

No idea why they're there - perhaps it was a 'bring your spouse to work' week, whatever the reason is tho' Ellen is not too happy about it and isn't afraid to tell her hubbie this.

Almost constantly.

Max - having no social skills as well as a head shaped like a pencil - mistakes all this complainy chat for a come on and seductively offers to put it in Ellen who politely rebukes his advances leaving him to start bitching at poor Linda.

Being the 50s she just stands there meekly and takes it.

The verbal abuse that is not his warty cock.

Glad that's sorted.

Harsh.

Meanwhile chubby man-boob Bob (Vargas from Spirits of the Dead not the one that draws the saucy lady pics) is busying himself filming the local girl(s) taking part in a seductive ceremonial dance that they hope will placate the aforementioned Caltiki, as is they way with men he's far too busy drooling over the dancers smooth thighs (and massive grey pants)  to think about asking them what the fuck Caltiki actually is.

The locals soon spot his massive girth hiding behind a bush tho' and angrily warn him that filming such things will bring the wrath of Caltiki down upon them all so a crestfallen Bob heads back to his tent for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle.

The next morn John, Max, and Bob set out toward the cave that Nieto was exploring in the hope of finding out not only what sent him mental but also their still missing pal Brian - who it turns out took the rucksack with all the sweets in when the pair went exploring.

Unfortunately all they find tho' is Brian's camera, lying on the bank of an underground river watched over by an ancient statue which John cleverly identifies as the fable Caltiki.

Shit...Gene Wilder has let himself go.


 Heading back to the camp the trio quickly develop the film and settle down, popcorn in hand, to watch because if nothing else there may be a few lighthearted comedy pratfalls captured which means at least 50 quid from You've Been Framed which will pay for half the drinks budget.

Well beggars can't be choosers*.

It turns out that whilst jumping about and posing on the statue the pair were attacked by an unseen assailant so armed with this information the three brave archaeologists head back to the cave for another look and a better examination of the lake.

OK it's a pond.

Well more like a kids paddling pool stuck in the middle of the set and hastily decorated.

Luckily for them Bob is a qualified diver (tho' not I'm afraid a real welder) and he's soon squeezed himself into his wet-suit in order to take the plunge into an underground lake cleverly played - thanks to some smart editing - by the local swimming pool where he discovers a veritable underwater graveyard.

John informs the others - and us -  that the locals used to offer human sacrifices to Caltiki by throwing them into the water alongside all their jewelry, which means that there's loads of ancient treasure for the taking.

Imagining how many whores (and pies) he could buy with all that loot, Bob quickly starts to gather it up in his Aldi carrier bag but is soon attacked by an unseen assailant.

Noticing that something is wrong Max and Paul haul him to the surface only to find their portly pal dead, his flesh somehow removed totally from his bones.

You'd assume that after eating Bob whatever did it must be stuffed but no the mysterious creature - which has the appearance of a huge binbag filled with shite - emerges from the lake and attacks John and Max.


Jimmy Savile: The return.



The pair run for cover only for Max to turn back in order to grab the treasure from Bob's corpse which as far as plans go is a wee bit of a silly one seeing as the beast lunges at him with a big soggy cock-like appendage and envelopes his arm.

Luckily John has a handy axe and succeeds in cutting the creepy cock enough to free his pal but not save the arm.

As the pair head toward the camp John notices the terrifying testicle beast lumbering (can testicles lumber?) toward them but thanks to some quick thinking he drives the expedition’s truck into the entrance of the cave where it explodes destroying the monster.

Phew.

We're only 20 minutes in tho' so either this is a really short film or the bits of beast still stuck to Max's rotten arm are going to be re-animated at some point.

Can you guess which it is?

Arriving back home John tasks himself - alongside famed Professor of otherworldy bollocks Rod Rodriguez (André, star of Riusciranno i nostri eroi a ritrovare l'amico misteriosamente scomparso in Africa?) and his assistant Beaker (Last Man on Earth's Rossi Stuart) - with finding a way to counteract the poisons the creature injected into Max while it was digesting his arm.

Which kinda makes a change from growing mold in petri dishes and inhaling helium for a laugh I guess.


Daphne and Celeste: Sausage up a close.


After much study - and even more chin stroking they soon discover that not only is the creature, despite it's size a single cell organism but that it is, in fact, at least twenty million years old.

An immortal monster if you will.

An immortal monster that thrives on radiation.

Well I'm impressed.

Unfortunately they seem to have become so preoccupied with studying Caltiki that they've completely forgotten about curing poor Max who is - even as we speak - slowly going mad (and very scabby) due to the monster muck coursing thru' his veins.

Friends eh?

Spice Girls number one for Christmas.....MONSTA!




Anyway it's immaterial as Max - bored with bedbaths and doctors sticking things in him - breaks out of the hospital and heads to John's house in the hope of persuading Ellen to let him put it in her.

To confuse things even further it appears that Linda is staying with the family and comes across Max skulking in the basement, seeing as she loves him she offers to help him in his quest and sneaks him bottles of milk and egg and cress sandwiches whilst no-one is looking.

It isn't going to go well for her is it?

If that wasn't enough drama for one movie it appears that Professor Rodriguez has discovered that according to legends pertaining to Caltiki,there's a spooky prophecy that tells of a 'mate' for the goddess that supposedly came  from the sky.

Research shows that this refers to a passing comet whose radiation awoke the beast.

And wouldn't you know it that same comet is even now rapidly approaching Earth causing the remaining bits of Caltiki to begin stirring....







Coming across as the unholy lovechild of Quatermass and The Thing From Another World, director Ricardo Freda's Caltiki The Immortal Monster is a satisfying slice of sci-fi shock mixed with a smidgen of the kind of gothic horror in which Mario Bava excelled.

Often ignored when it comes to the history of Italian horror, the movie is finally getting the love it deserves and not just because of the involvement of the legendary director.

Re-teaming with Freda two years after they collaborated on I Vampiri - the first Italian horror film with sound fact fans - Bava was the films second unit director and lighting technician as well as creating the special effects on show and his trademark style is evident from the get go, from his signature cut and paste matte style to some quite graphic (for the time) make-up effects via long lingering shadows and pin-sharp compositions the film screams Bava from every sprocket hole.

But whilst we go all fanboy over Bava let's not forget Freda, who it was alleged purposely walked off the production in order to give Bava his directing break.

If this is true then that's something for which we should be eternally grateful.

And the fact that it's scary comet scenes obviously influenced LifeForce is another reason to love it.

What was it called again?



Gorgeously shot and with believable - if not too flashy - performances and some fantastic effects Caltiki is a gruesomely grand little movie that simply wants to thrill - and frighten - it's audience, a job which it does brilliantly.

Recommended and far too great a film to be sullied by being featured on this blog.

Probably.






















































*Except the one outside Central Station that is who, when I went to give him a pound the other day asked if I could just hand over the fiver from my wallet instead.

Cheeky bastard.

Aye Son.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

misterio!

Welcome to the world of sexy Spanish language photostories!

Jacinda the lad need not apply.











At least I know what my Euro's are getting spent on next week.

lady gah gah!

A wee break from all that Spanish stuff I've been posting - what can I say? I get easily distracted.

Purchased this yonks ago as part of a 4 film DVD release alongside Grotesque, The Velvet Vampire and Time Walker.

That'll teach me to shop whilst drunk.

Anyway the lovely folk at Nucleus Films are releasing a fully restored, cleaned up and uncut version of it this year so thought I'd give the old one a final watch before I bin it in favour of theirs*.

Fickle? Me?



Lady Frankenstein (AKA Madame Frankenstein / Daughter of Frankenstein / La Figlia di Frankenstein. 1971).
Dir: Mel Welles.
Cast: Rosalba Neri, Joseph Cotten, Paul Müller, Peter Whiteman, Herbert Fux, Mickey Hargitay, Marino Masé AND Renate Kasché.

"I've been up all night with my husband. He's resting now."


Somewhere in deepest, darkest Europe sometime in the 1870s (or it could be the 1970s by the look of the sideburns) a terrifying trio of ghoulish grave robbers led by the evil Kenny Lynch (the brilliantly monikered Herbert Fux) are busy delivering a dead body (obviously) to Baron Brian Frankenstein (a scarily pissed up Cotten wearing so much foundation that he's beginning to resemble an Issac Asimov trilogy) and his camply pube haired assistant Dr. Marshall Cavendish (Famed rice maker, star of Nightmare Castle and father of Robert, Müller) for the purpose of their nefarious experiments.

So far so clichéd.

Yet still very, very comfy.


Does he now?


But it's not all re-animated corpses and pulsating pop bottle tho' as it seems that the good doctors daughter Tania (council estate Rachel Weiss, Neri) is coming to stay after recently graduating from scientist school.

Greeted upon her arrival by the visually stunning yet mentally impaired handyman cum Poundshop Udo Kier Thomas (Contamination's Lt. Tony Aris himself Masé) whose job it is to look after the ickle aminals that the Baron uses for his transplant experiments, Tania heads to her room to get changed into a new more exotic outfit.

Something she will do between every scene.

Seriously hair continuity alone must have been a nightmare.

Anyway, it transpires that all this animal husbandry is, in fact, a cover for the real experiments and Tania soon reveals to her dad that she has always know about his plan to create a creature entirely from dead bodies and is eager to help.

The Baron begrudgingly agrees before heading off to a hanging to celebrate.

It seems a sexy man is to be executed for crimes against fashion and Frankenstein can't wait to get his hands on his body.

Meanwhile local police Captain, Harris Tweed (Jayne Mansfield's ex and father of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star Mariska, Hargitay - see? who says this blog isn't in depth?), is paying a visit to Lynch's house in order to warn him that he knows he's a bad man and just in case we hadn't realised this ourselves the director helpfully shows him drunkenly pawing a prostitute as he defiantly tells Harris to sod off.


The overwhelming smell of chives was just too much for Leslie Dixon.



Back at the main plot and the locals are busy cheering and jeering as the prisoner is transported to the gallows and not wanting to be accused of being lax at his job Harris arrives in order to hassle Lynch (again) about the amount of empty graves in the cemetery as well as to ogle Tania whilst imagining ski-ing down her milky white cleavage.

Or was it the other way round?

As night draws in Lynch and co. successfully steal the bad mans body and sneak it over to the Baron who alongside Marshall  manages to pop its brain into an already constructed body - and thanks to a handy electrical storm - re-animate it.

Unfortunately the lightning causes the bandages to catch fire leaving the poor sod with boss-eyes and a head that looks like a half-chewed caramel penis (Whiteman in what was unfortunately his only film role outside those super 8's he made with your gran).

"Shite in mah mooth ya undead bastard!"


As Marshall heads off to the cellar to fetch some booze to celebrate the creature stiffly rises from the operating table and grabs the Baron and hugs him to death (no really) before stomping off into the woods as Tania watches in horror from behind the laundry basket.

The next day Tania and Marshall decide - for some reason that escapes me -  to contact Captain Harris to say that a robber broke into the house and killed the Baron before stealing his prize pottery pig collection.

Maybe they're gonna put an insurance claim in?

Using his detective powers Harris deduces that from Marshall's description the police should be looking for a seven foot giant in a ladies blouse and with a head like a novelty condom.

Which say what you like about this movie that at least gives it the edge over The Bill.

As this is a classic of European cinema it's not too long before the screen is filled with a wee bit of tasteful (female) nudity as the creature comes across (not in a gooey off-white mess way obviously) a fairly unattractive couple having sex by a river.

Squashing the mans head the beast nimbly picks up the lady before tossing her into the water only to be found later by two fishermen who the creature then proceeds to kill.

Which is nice.


Remember when your girlfriend said she was going camping with her pals?


As the bodies keep piling up Harris is left no alternative but to shout at everyone whilst angrily stomping about in a nice cape as all the characters we've come to know and love (Lynch and his grave robbing pals) and some we've never met before (a farmer and his - way too young - wife) are all butchered by the bald-headed beast.

Back at the castle there's something else stirring as Tania goads Marshall into admitting that he loves her and would like to have some of 'the sex' with her.

Being a typical attractive lady she responds by saying that she'd allow him to put it in her if he had better hair and was about 20 years younger (tell me about it, it's almost like the director was copying parts of my life) but not to worry as she's found a solution.

You see it seems that Tania thinks Thomas is a bit of alright so persuades Marshall to help her kill the handyman so she can them place his brain in the Thomas' young studly body.

Sounds legit.

Marshall agrees so Tania seduces Thomas before suffocating him at the moment of climax.

Which if I'm honest isn't that bad a way to go.

Everything is going swimmingly until Thomas' sister Julia (Kasché whom you may remember as Zenzi in Kurt Nachmann's 1970 classic Naughty Knickers) arrives looking for him.

Tania says that he's gone on holiday to recover from the Barons death but Julia doesn't trust her so heads over to see Harris and after a good bitching session both decide that Tania is guilty.

Of what tho' neither are sure but it looks like Harris may be in with the chance of a shag so to hell with evidence.
 

Your mums cum face....trust me I know and so does your uncle peter.


Working from her fathers research and some hastily scribble lipstick notes written on the back of an old tampon packet and with time against her, Tania somehow manages to successfully transplants Marshall's brain into Thomas' body with little or no trouble at all and as a bonus Marshall now possesses super strength and the ability to speak with both his own and Thomas' voice, which will probably come in handy when Harris turns up in a minute to ask him about the robbery and if in fact it was committed by a monster him and the Baron had made in the basement.


Your mum and dads wedding photo.


Meanwhile (it's always meanwhile) the creature/beast/oh go on then Frankenstein's monster has finally arrived in town and is busying himself smashing everyones plant pots much to the towns-folks chagrin leaving them with only one option....

Torch Frankenstein's castle!

Which seeing as they have absolutely fuck all evidence that anything has happened there.

If anything the whole (over) reaction is based on nothing more than Julia saying she doesn't like Tania because she wears too much make-up.

Chasing the creature to the castle it is confronted by an axe-wielding  Marshall/Thomas/Thomshall and the pair engage in an almost homoerotically charged fight that culminates with the creature getting its arm chopped off and Tania stabbing the pair of them with a sword.


Dollar have let themselves go....



Marshall/Thomas/Thomshall although seeming a wee bit peeved at this decides to forgive Tania for sticking something in him and the pair strip naked and indulge in a sweaty bout of sexy stuff as the castle burns around them.

As Harris vainly tries to get the villagers to leave the burning castle Julia notices the glistening spunk encrusted form of her brother entwined around Tania like a bright pink fleshy snake violently thrusting his manroot into her freshly trimmed lady garden as an inferno rages around them, shouting his name she watches in horror (and it must be said slight arousal - or was that me?) as Marshall/Thomas/Thomshall slowly and methodically chokes Tania as the pair are engulfed by the flames.....




Although released in 1971, clinical psychologist, radio DJ, actor, writer and film director Mel Welles' Lady Frankenstein harks back to a simpler age coming across as a throwback to Roger Corman's 60s Poe output gleefully mixed with all the nudity and horror you'd expect from a Hammer film via the look of the best (and sometimes worst) Eurotrash classics of the time.

And that's no bad thing.

Whilst the plot - save for the slightly ahead of its time theme of female empowerment that was most likely accidental - is no great shakes and the make-up and effects border on the poundshop side of Halloween it's the performances that make the movie with Rosalba Neri** (credited here as Sara Bay) epitomizing everything we've come to know and love with regards to EuroHorror starlets.

Dusky, raven haired and with a touch of saucy sadomasochistic menace she dominates every scene (and every wardrobe change) in the movie and is worth the price of admission alone, the only person that comes close to matching her is the great Paul Müller, all crap-hair and poppy eyes coming across for all the world like a slightly fey, crack addled ferret/man hybrid made flesh.

Rosalba Neri- You would, I would, your granddad did. Twice.
  
 To be honest tho' it's a good job that the pair are so good as everyone else involved appears to be either drunk or sleeping - or in Joseph Cotten's case both - whilst rent-a-lunk Mickey Hargitay bravely stumbles about as if he's in a community centre production of Columbo where the entire cast has been dressed in market stall Elvis hand-me-downs whilst the sensational Herbert Fux makes us wonder why he didn't become a movie mega star or at the very least got to appear in panto, it takes a brave man to pull of skin-tight beige leggings and still look tough.

And if all that's not enough to convince you name another film where the supporting cast are so flimsy that you begin to notice the actors headwear?

Seriously at about the 30 minutes mark I realised that quite a few of the cast were sharing a green trilby, go watch it - it's true.

We then played a game of counting how many times and on how many different heads it appeared.

You try it too and write in with your results, there's a prize for the winner.

"I can see your house from here Peter!"

Despite - or because - of all that Lady Frankenstein is still a fantastically entertaining movie, at once a work of erotic genius with an added taste of nightmarish medical drama draped in comfy gothic trappings that are juxtaposed by an air of overall shoddiness that somehow adds to its charm and went some way to explaining why it became the biggest money-making female-based Frankenstein movie released in 1971.

Pre-order that BluRay now.





















*Plus I'm hoping they used my artwork for it, cos it's rather good even if I say so myself.






**If you're interested in seeing more of her work may I recommend Ottavio Alessi's 1969 erotic thriller Top Sensation that not only features Ms Neri playing a bikini-clad nympho but also stars Edwige Fenech as a pervy prostitute.

You can thank me later.


mad about apples.

Counting down to mine and Cassidy's 'Spain Adventure' with a few top quality Spain-based shockers.

As you can probably gather tho' this one isn't actually set in Spain.

But it has a Spanish director.

And as a bizarre turn was originally meant to be filmed in Glasgow.

So it kinda ties in.

Oh yes and it's utter genius.

Plus I re-review it once a year to save me writing anything new.

Enjoy.

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (AKA The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, Don't Open the Window, Breakfast at the Manchester Morgue, No profanar el sueño de los muertos 1974).
Dir: Jorge Grau.
Cast: Christina Galbo, Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy, Jeannine Mestre, Jóse Lifante, Fernando Hilbeck, Giorgio Trestini and Isabel Mestres in a pair of sexy spectacles.

"You're all the same the lot of you with you cheap clothes and faggot hair and you hate the police....You make it easy."



Hip 'n' happening antique shop owner cum mustachioed mum magnet George (the always fantastic Lovelock), needing a break from the cut-throat world of cleaning dead mens clocks has planned a well deserved weekend away at a cottage with friends.

Quickly leaving a rainy - and scary stripping housewife filled - Manchester astride his funky moped he soon hits the quiet country lanes of Mummerset where he comes across (you know the drill) the ravishing readhead Edna (dream queen Galbo) when she accidentally runs over his bike at a petrol station.

An (overly if I'm honest) angry George demands a lift to his destination and Edna, being one of those simpering types only found in Eurohorror of a certain age agrees but only if they can go visit her poppy eyed, junkie sister Katie (Mestre latterly starring in the hit TV epic Tornarem) first.

As far as first dates go I've been on worse.

Meanwhile in a nearby field, well meaning - and jaunty hatted - scientists are busy testing a brand new patented radiation emitting device intended to destroy the nervous systems of insects and therefore revolutionize farming.

Unfortunately it also has the fairly surprising effect of bringing the recently dead back to life.

A wee bit like Brexit.

The first to re-animate is local celebrity tramp and former Big Brother and Benefits Street star Guthrie (the sinister beard wearing Hilbeck) who attacks Edna in her car whilst George is away asking directions.

Fortunately Edna manages to scare him away by brandishing a bar of soap at him before George returns, tho' this has the effect of making our hero think that Edna is a wee bit mental.

Mental and a redhead?

What's not to love?


Bad science at work
outside Manchester earlier today.


Anyway, over at their remote cottage crack fiend Katie is in the middle of a particularly drug-fueled row with her frighteningly ferret faced  photographer husband Martin (Panic star Lifante) regarding Edna's impending arrival.

Obviously he just doesn't like ginger birds.

Fool.

Storming off to a nearby waterfall in order to take some 'pictures' moaning Martin leaves Katie wallowing in a pool of tears and snot on the kitchen floor.

Luckily (for us that is) this scene of domestic drama is rudely interrupted by Guthrie who bursts into the house and tries to bite Katie on the arse.

Which kinda proves that if a dead man can't bear to look at your face you must be in trouble.

Boiled onions!

Running screaming to the waterfall to find her husband, things go from bad to very bad when ghoulish Guthrie kills poor Martin, leaving Katie no alternative but to run all the way back to the house.

Which at least means she'll have sweated all the shite out of her system by the time her sister turns up which can't be a bad thing really.

Falling into her sisters arms Katie tells the newly arrived pair the whole sorry story.

George, being a fairly imagination free type of guy is unimpressed but heads off to check out Katie's story anyway, reasoning that if nothing else he can probably get a few quid for Martin's camera in his shop.

What a guy.

Unfortunately it's a pretty cheap model so instead George pockets the film, probably in the hope of it containing some nude 'readers wives' style shots of Katie.

Well beggars can't be choosers.

Edna meanwhile has phoned the police, which would usually be a sensible thing to do but unfortunately the local law enforcement team is led by the booze soaked bigot Inspector Barry B'stard (Kennedy, giving a scarily accurate portrayal - in hindsight - of self proclaimed 'God's cop' James Anderton follow the link for more info about this frankly terrifying man fact fans) who immediately accuses Katie of murdering her hubbie before criticising the length of Edna's skirt and calling George a girlie barnetted faggot.

And for these reasons alone B'Stard orders an understandably annoyed George and a teary eyed (yet still hot as fuck) Edna to book into the local hotel whilst he investigates the murder and find/fake evidence of their involvement.

So not at all like the real police then.

Meanwhile in the middle of all this shouting Katie finally has a total meltdown and is sent to the nearest hospital where, it turns out that all the newborn babies have started biting (well gumming) the nurses.

Could this be in any way related to all this science that's going on?

Arriving in town George, in full James Bond mode, secretly takes the roll of film from Martin's camera to a local chemist to have it developed.

Look, who knows how long he's going to be stuck in his room so he might have well have some fun, I mean given the circumstances it's not like Edna's going to be giving out any time soon.



"Oh beggorah! ya wee tinka! you
touched up dem burds to be sure you did" - Dave Lee Travis is questioned by Eamon Andrews regarding Operation Yewtree.



Rising early next morn to collect the photos, George is upset to find that not only are there no - tasteful - nudes of Katie but also no sign of the man who allegedly killed Martin so George, not one to get turned on by random pics of trees hands them over to B'stard.

Annoyed with the police's patent bastardness and bored with staring at the local duck pond, our hero decides to take matters into his own hands (but not his sexy bearded mouth unfortunately) and persuades Edna to join him on a search for the elusive Guthrie.

Unbeknown to the pair, B'stard has sent one of his officers, PC Craig (Four of the Apocalypse and The Beast star Trestini) Fairbrass, to trail them.

Following a mysterious fishy smell that's been permeating in the air of late, the pair find themselves in the local graveyard where following a noise - and their noses - coming from crypt  they discover Guthrie lunching out on the vicars ample thighs.

If that wasn't scary - and disturbing - enough it seems that the terrifying tramp has acquired the power to reanimate the dead by simply stroking their eyeballs.


He really should audition for Britain's Got Talent.

Trapped by an even increasing undead army (OK, there are three of them but hey, who's counting) George and Edna desperately try to climb out of a convenient hole in the wall as Guthrie and co. slowly (and stinkingly) advance.





You would, I would, your dad probably did. Twice.

The pair finally manage to scrabble thru' it and into a freshly dug grave where luckily PC Craig just happens to be standing having a sly fag.

Helping them out of the grave the trio quickly flee, locking themselves in a nearby storeroom but are soon surrounded by Guthrie and his ever growing entourage of recently revived pensioners.

Realising that he's dropped his radio outside - and knowing that a film of this ilk only has room for one facially haired hero, Craig makes a dash to retrieve it but is soon caught by the unwashed undead who make quick work of tearing his chest open and eating his kidneys.

Wiping his chin on Craig's flapping chest Guthrie soon turns his attention back to George and Edna (will he eat her whole or spit that bit out?) but George is now prepared to fight back and launches an oil lamp at him.

Luckily he was sensible enough to light it first and the zombies quickly burst into flames - tho' not, alas song - giving the pair enough time to escape.

Edna, still being the sensible type, heads off to inform the police of all this undead activity whilst George uses Craig's car to head off to the farm to inform the science folk of their machines unfortunate side effects.

It says a lot for George as a stand up heroic type that we're all inclined to believe his leap of logic regarding the cause of the zombie outbreak without even the merest hint of evidence.

Yes he's that super cool.

There is no such thing as a straight man, just guys who've never seen Ray Lovelock.


Arriving at the farm it'll come as no surprise to find that dear old Barley Moe (for it is he) and the two scientists think he's talking bollocks leaving George no alternative but to smash the machinery before quickly driving away whilst giving the chasing trio the vickies out the back window.

What a guy!

Meanwhile back at the main plot B'stard has found (what's left of) Craig alongside a pile of burnt bodies and using his fantastic detective powers deduces that George and Edna are, in fact, devil worshippers before issuing a 'shoot to kill' order on the pair.

The news that George has deliberately wrecked a piece of government property only adds to his annoyance.

Whilst all this slightly fascistic posturing is going on Edna has decided to head back to Katie's house first in order to reapply her make-up or something (look she's a girl and therefore impossible to understand) but her preening is cut short by the surprise arrival of her undead brother-in-law.

Luckily he's as useless in death as he is in life and is soon dispatched by Edna who nonchalantly runs him over.

It's almost as if she hasn't realised that it's her bad driving that started this whole mess.

Reunited with George (who manages to persuade her to let him drive) the pair go to the local garage with the sole intention of staring at the spooky disabled child that works there.

Oh yes and to buy a huge can of petrol so that George, confused as to what else he can do, can set fire to some stuff.

Magnificent as this plan is, it's cut short when George is caught by the police who were on their way back from picking up Martin's body.


Inspector B'stard standing proud as a freshly sucked cock watches with almost unbridled glee as George is bundled into the back of a van and Edna is whisked away to hospital.

Whilst all this Sweeney-esque behaviour is going on Tony and Dean Scientist are busying themselves repairing their machine in order to kill even more bugs.

Oh yes and reanimate even more corpses, the majority of which are stored in the (non Manchester based) morgue at the nearby hospital.

The same hospital where Edna is being taken.

Will George escape from police custody and save Edna?

Will Inspector B'stard get bored hounding our hero and turn his attentions to immigrants and Gypsies?

Will Euro-hottie Isabel Mestres turn up in an ill fitting pair of bottle-top NHS specs before getting her ample breasts eaten?

And more importantly how will they explain all this to my nan?



Is it wrong to find this poster sexy?



Fright permed Spanish shock-meister Jorge Grau's magnificent take on the zombie genre is frankly a delight to behold and those expecting a trashy exploitative Eurohorror will be in for a surprise as Corpses is a well crafted, well acted and at times well terrifying shocker.

From it's wildly experimental synth score (courtesy of Giuliano Sorgini - who also scored The Beast In Heat showing that no-one's perfect) and pitch-perfect performances via Grau's skewered outsiders view of 70's Britain; scenes of George leaving a grey and grimy rain swept Manchester - encountering traffic jams, bored commuters and an unattractive streaker on the way - thru' to the eerie desolate Lake district shot woodland scenes, give the film an almost dreamlike - nay nightmarish - quality and an overriding sense of foreboding and doom that seeps thru' every shot.





Gory Guthrie discovers that the
UK doesn't have any blood banks....



Grau isn't afraid to give the film a slow, almost leisurely build up either, taking time to introduce us to the characters whilst his fluid direction keeps your attention on the unfolding story, even if it at times falters as far as logic is concerned.

A prime example of this is the nature of the zombies which can't be photographed giving them an almost supernatural, not man made presence during the films first half as does the almost magical way that Guthrie can transform other corpses just by touch which is at odds with the 'scientific' reason given for the outbreak later.




....but it does have a Liverpool!


None of that matters tho' as the films second half picks up a frantic pace, the undead vs. the living plot line revs up a notch and the movies horror factor intensifies as first the recently deceased then new born babies become affected by the radiation. 
Corpses builds to a surprising climax and suitably downbeat ending and all praise to Grau for taking this route.

It's CCCHHHHRRRIIISSSTTTMMMAAASSSS!


It's sad that in his 40 plus years as a film-maker, Jorge Grau only ever directed two films in the horror genre but luckily the other is the quite fantastic Elizabeth Bathory based Legend of Blood Castle (available from Mya Communications - or it was - if anyone's interested).

Released in 1972 and featuring the to die for Lucia Bosé as the infamous Countess, Bloody Castle is well worth searching out if you fancy an evening of blood, sex and scares that doesn't involve your mum.

Plus it makes a great double bill with Mark of The Devil which features a nice bit of Udo Kier for the ladies.

Movie dates a good 'un then.

Thank me later.

Or at least invite me to the wedding.


Lucia Bosé: No amusing captions just sheer lust (for a vampire obviously).



You have to wonder tho' what other horrific delights Grau could have brought to the screen had his career taken a different path.

An essential for any self respecting film fan or anyone with eyes.