Friday, August 31, 2018

scared stiff.

Settling down to get some work done today (a surprise I know) I decided that I'd finally get around to rewatching the classic Buster Crabbe starrer The Alien Dead, partly because I'm a sucker for Fred Olen Ray but mostly because I've always loved the cover still from The Evil Dead publicity shoot and try to watch all the films that have ever used it.*



Unfortunately I didn't have my glasses on so I accidentally picked this up instead and by the time I'd popped the cassette in (yup, I can be old school as the kids say sometimes) and sat down I really couldn't be arsed getting up and going thru' the whole thing again.

That'll teach me.

Alien Zone (AKA House of The Dead, Zone of the Dead, Last Stop on 13th St. 1978).
Dir: Sharron Miller.
Cast: John Ericson, Ivor Francis, Judith Novgrod, Bernard Fox, Charles Aidman, Burr DeBenning and Richard Gates.


“After they’re dead, I get them. That’s my work.”


Welcome to Stillwater Minnesota on a wet Wednesday night where successful plumber Jeff Talmudge (Ex-Playgirl Man of the Month and creator of the Sony mobile phone, Ericson) is busy laying pipe of a totally different kind before attending the plumbers convention held in the local town hall.

No really.

Finishing up his romantic liaison with a quick wipe of his cock on the curtains he hails a cab back to his hotel only to be dropped off on the wrong street leaving him lost, confused and soaking wet.


Wandering around in the rain he soon comes across the white haired weirdo Mr Vic Sinister (Francis, who just happens to be - or was - Jonathan 'Star Trek' Frakes' father-in-law) who invites him into his house to dry off.


As they sit chatting about plumbing and stuff Mr Sinister informs Talmudge that he's the local mortician and - if he fancies it - is willing to show him a couple of dead bodies and tell him how they died.


Which I'm sure is a wee bit unethical.


Tho' I'm not a mortician so wouldn't really know for sure so if any are reading please write in a tell me.

Anyway it turns out that he's not just any old mortician but the mortician who gets to hand pick the most interesting cases so each one of the four deaths he's about to talk about are sure to be belters.




With nothing better to do Talmudge follows Mr Sinister to the morgue.....

Your mum's cum face.....trust me I know, your uncle Peter told me.



Opening the casket closest to hand Vic begins his macabre tales with the life (but mainly death) of the harsh-faced harridan Miss Sibiler (Bare Knuckles star Novgrod) an angry, control freak type teacher with a risk assessment obsession (probably) who harbors a deep hatred for children.**

You can tell this because as she's heading to her car after doing a wee bit of shopping she stops to shout "I hate you children!" at some kids in the street before driving away.

Arriving home she resigns herself to a frozen meal for one and some copyright free music on the radio but as she busies herself preparing for an evening alone with a half-frozen chicken and a bottle of cheap Aldi gin she begins to hear noises around her apartment.

It soon becomes clear that someone or something is attempting to mess with her little pin-like head so she decides - as you do -  to take a shower giving the director ample opportunity to do something a wee bit creepy Ala Psycho but alas all we get is a creep cardboard cut out shadow and a close-up of hideous shower cap.

Realising that this is an anthology (or portmanteau if you prefer) film poor Sibiler screams like a girl (obviously) and runs downstairs to find her house full of children clad  in hellish 70s bri-nylon fashions and a collection of poundshop Halloween masks.

For those of you about to say that this all sounds a bit shit hold on, because the director has an ace up their sleeve for as the children slowly remove their masks it's revealed that they're all wearing fake teeth.

And dribbling.



"come in the back of me car and let me bite you!" - The fucking state of this, honestly.

Cue 5 minutes of bizarro disco lighting and Top of The Pops style FX as Sibiler retreats into a corner looking slightly worried before we're back with Vic and Jeff, the mortician explaining that no-one really knows who bit the poor woman to death.

So he's actually just making this shit up then?

Before Talmudge can comment we're onto corpse number 2 which belongs to (as in it's actually his body, he hasn't bought it on Ebay or something) the infamous murderer Alan Growski (70s TV stalwart and star of The Incredible Melting Man DeBenning).

"Is it in yet?"


Played for sinister (PG friendly) laughs the murders are intercut with footage of Growski being lead away by the police whilst being asked if he really did kill them, which is kinda redundant if you think about it.

Realising that this tale is utter toffee we're soon back with Mr Vic who says that they refuse film him in the electric chair.

So I guess that's the twist then.

Marvelous.

Shuffling uncomfortably and checking his watch Talmudge looks on as the morose mortician approaches (yet another) coffin whilst beginning the story of top 'tec Malcolm Toliver (Aidman who was once nominated for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics, fact fans) who has recently been voted America's Best Criminologist (Ever!) by - um - American Criminologist Magazine.

Or was it Titbits?

Anyway whilst solving a gay love tryst hanging (as you do) who should turn up but the famed Inspector Andy McDowell (Dr. Bombay from Bewitched and Colonel Crittendon in Hogan's Heroes himself, Fox) who just happens to have been voted Britain's Best Criminologist (Ever!) thanks to Simon Cowell, David Walliams and the lovely Alesha Dixon, beating a tap-dancing dog and a comedy dwarf with rickets who used to shout "Moldy bread!" when arresting criminals.

Their rivalry is well known and the pair enjoy (well someone has to) a few moments verbal sparring - as opposed to a sword fight in a ladies mouth - as they give the reasons as to why they will end up crowned The World's Greatest Detective.

I always assumed that was The Batman but heyho.

Dixon: So far out of my league there's no point even thinking about it (or so my other half says).

Whilst out for a meal one night to celebrate the solving of the hanging case (it was a Mexican what done it....bad people, knife, knife, knife  etc.) the pair are intrigued when a note arrives for the Toliver saying (well obviously it doesn't really 'say' it as letters can't speak, this is just a turn of phrase) that someone he knows well will be murdered in three days so with McDowell in tow it's a race against time - and tedium - to solve the case.

Well I say solve the case but let's be honest it's pretty obvious who's behind it isn't it?

Lucky for us then that the performances on show are so good.***

Hannibal: The Pikey Years.


As the evening continues and the audience begins to slip into a coma we're introduced Mr Vic approaches the penultimate casket and begins to recount the tale of hard-nosed businessman Dirk Cantwell (Gates who according to a quick look at Wikipedia is either an American former Olympic sailor in the Star class who competed in the 1972 Summer Olympics together with Alan Holt or an American former political consultant and lobbyist who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and making false statements - he may be someone else entirely but I really can't be arsed checking****) who lives for prifit and hates everything else.

After being rude to his secretary and knocking back the chance of a night out with his workmates at the famous Nobby's Burger Joint (They serve 23 kinds of burgers) he heads out to lunch (alone) and after slagging off a shopkeeper for not selling chewing gum he proves his 100% patent bastardness by telling a homeless man to "Get a job!"

What a rotter.

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


As he walks down the street he notices that the local Primark is having a sale so pops in on the off chance that he can buy some cheap shorts for his holidays but imagine his surprise when upon entering he finds the place deserted.

And the doors locked preventing him from leaving.

Exploring the shop in the hope of at least finding a pair of Jesus sandels going cheap Cantwell stumbles on a discarded coathanger and falls down a liftshaft where he's attacked by a wall of nails.

As is the way of these things.

Trapped in the rubbish filled hole and fed nothing but booze by an unseen assailant hours seem to turn to days and days into weeks (or that maybe just how I felt watching) when, out of the blue, he’s finally released.

Stumbling into the sunlight he grabs a passerby for help but the guy just yells at him to "Get a job!"

See what they did there?

Hmmmmm.....donuts.


Obviously bored to tears by all this sub-Twilight Zone bollocks Talmudge makes his excuses to leave but not before Mr Vic points mysteriously to an empty coffin and announces that this one is waiting for an adulterer.

As you do.

Running from the mortuary Talmudge looks up to see that it is - in fact - the hotel (whit?) and scared shitless he legs it into an alley only to bump into the husband of the woman he was having 'the sex' with at the films beginning who shoots him dead.

And would you believe that when the ambulance turns up it's driven by Mr Vic himself?

Scary biscuits.


Just not that one.




Dubbed "Stillwater's own monster hit!" by someone who didn't get out much, writer David (Dark Honeymoon, Fatal Instinct, The Boogens - yup everyone a winner) O'Malley's horror opus began it's life as a TV script entitled "Five Faces" and then to "Five Faces of Terror" before producers realised that the film actually feature more than five faces.

I counted at least 18. 

Upon release it was entitled "Alien Zone" by the distributor to cash in on the scifi trend of the time before ultimately changing again to "House of the Dead." for it's VHS debut.

And why am I telling you this?

Because the whole title thing is by far the most interesting - and exciting - thing about the whole sorry affair.

Director Sharron (Cagney & Lacey, Homefront, The Trials of Rosie O'Neill) Miller may have gone on to carve out a prolific directing career on TV - being as she was the first woman to win the Directors Guild Award for directing a dramatic (non-documentary) film for the Afterschool Special, "The Woman Who Willed a Miracle" in 1983 fact fans - but there's none of that skill on show here as the camera just points at the actors as the slowly go thru their paces.

I'm not saying the film is slow but a 3 hour video tape actually ran out before even 10 minutes of the film had played out.

And my children who are 14 and 12 respectively had all gotten married and had kids by the time it had finished.

No, really.

"Mask on mah face!"


It's not all mind numbing tedium tho' as the clothes are quite funny and the Burr DeBenning segment is kinda kooky enough to hold your interest.

Plus the first lady he kills is doing enough 'acting' for the rest of the cast.

Trust me, she deserves if not a film of her own then at least the bumps in the playground.

Harmless enough I guess but then again you can say that about anything till someone loses an eye.





















































*Which to be honest is two.



 **I think I know who this may be based on but for legal reasons I really can't say.


***For any Americans reading (Americans? reading? ha!) this is what we 'Britfags' call sarcasm.



****I've just found out that he's actually neither of those people and was in fact once married to Veronica Cartwright.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

foot and mooth.


Found this in the back of a cupboard yesterday whilst looking for a packet of Sharpies so I could actually do some work.

I love it when that happens plus between this, Big Legend and the frankly magnificent - in an utter pants way - Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot (1976 - review to follow) we've been on a wee bit of a Bigfoot bender here at the moment which has made a nice change from all those sharks.

Abominable (2006).
Dir: Ryan Schifrin
Cast: Matt McCoy, Jeffrey Combs, Haley Joel, Christien Tinsley, Natalie Compagno, Ashley Hartman, Tiffany Shepis, Dee Wallace-Stone, Karin Anna Cheung, Lance Henriksen, Jeffrey Combs, Paul Gleason and Michael Deak.


“Hey ass monkey!  Eat this!”




It's close to midnight and on the outskirts of Ruralville USA, something evil is lurking in the dark.

Well I say evil but actually mean really hairy.

Hairier even than your nan's chin.

Enter (roughly from behind - natch) freaked out farmer Billy Goatsgruff (Linn best known as Frank Tripp from CSI: Miami and son of ELO founder Jeff) who alongside his wife Ethel (genre goddess Wallace-Stone) who have been rudely awakened not by the dustman but by strange noises emanating from the trees.

With their faithful hound Sparky (played with conviction by Ruby who actually has her own IMDB page) in tow they head outside to investigate, soon coming across (not in that way - I thank you) a gutted horse.

Which was nice.

Sparky - being a good boy and, more importantly dispensable - runs off into the woods only to be killed by a huge shadowy figure, the merest glimpse of which causes Billy and Ethel to leg it back to their house and hide behind the sofa as the mysterious figure shambles about outside and raids their bins.

Waiting till the beast has left before venturing outside the pair are (fairly) surprised to find not only all their rubbish scattered around the garden but also a set of big footprints on the ground.

Literally.


"Hello? Who do I haveta fuck to get off this movie?"



With the basic backstory out of the way it's time to meet our players who hope to if not entertain us with their thespian skills for the next 90 minutes at least give us a good laugh during their death scenes and first up is the fella who will be our hero for the films proceedings - the wheelchair using Mr Nice Guy Preston Rogers (The Hand that Rocks the Cradle and Police Academy 5 star McCoy), a man recovering from the death of his wife in a climbing accident (that left him paralyzed, it's not like he's lazy) 6 months earlier.

As part of his recovery Preston has been ordered to spend the weekend at the house in the woods that the couple were staying at pre-accident alongside the frighteningly ginger nurse Otis Wilhelm (FX man Tinsley in his bigscreen debut) who veers wildly from nurse Ratched style nastiness to doe-eyed caring depending on what the story needs.

And what it really needs now is a cult cameo to tell us that there's something scary in the woods.

Luckily  Jeffrey Combs is on hand (and wearing your dad's best clothes) to fill this role.

Almost immediately upon arriving at the house things start to go awry tho' beginning with Preston realizing that they've run out of Soy milk (he has allergies) so a grumpy Otis has to head back to town leaving our wheelie-hero to amuse himself with an impromptu game of dodge-em's with the shelves whilst gazing wistfully at photos of his dead missis.

His melancholic mood is soon broken with the noisy arrival of a group of sexy city girls - Karen (Hartman, best known as Holly Fischer in The OC ), Michelle (Compagno owner of Traveler's Bookcase, a renowned travel bookstore in Los Angeles), the midriff sharing C.J. (Maneater's Hot girl #3 Cheung), Tracy (Shepis - no introduction necessary) and Amanda (Haley Joel - who I'm sure isn't the wee boy from The Sixth Sense but you can't tell these days) - all set for a riotous hen weekend in the house next door.

Binoculars held in his free hand Preston watches the girls unpack in a totally non-pervy (or Rear Window) way before noticing something skulking about in the trees behind the houses.

Sounds legit.

Realizing that none of them are going to get naked and rubber peanut butter over each others lithe, toned tummies and thighs Preston is about to call it a day when Karen pops outside to call her boyfriend only to be snatched away by a big hairy beast leaving her phone lying in the mud.

Preston does what any self-respecting peeping tom would do in the situation and starts waving his arms around like an epileptic windmill as an ominous Lalo Schifrin score builds up in the background which just goes to show that sometimes you can be overly supportive of your kids.*

Unfortunately Otis had been longer than expected fetching milk so misses the excitement but when Preston tells him what's happened he puts it all down to the poor guy being hungry so heads into the kitchen to rustle up a nice meal for two.

Oh and to sneakily swig on a bottle of vodka.

I really know how he feels.



"You ain't seen me right?"

Night falls and realizing that Jeffrey Combs is still on set we cut to the man himself sitting around a campfire alongside some bloke who appears to be director Ryan Schifrin in a wig and local hunter named Ziegler Dane (Henriksen decked out like a gay 80s cowboy whilst visibly working out his alimony payments in his head) who are all searching for the mysterious beast in the woods.

After Combs claims to have heard noises in the distance Dane goes to investigate finding a half-chewed (yet still living) Karen in a cave begging for help.

As Dane reaches out for her the poor girl is dragged away screaming into the darkness and Dane - doing what we'd all do in that situation - runs away to warn his pals who immediately start shooting randomly into the trees.

Well one of them does, Jeffrey just stands there looking shifty as the beast picks them off one by one.

Preston meanwhile is busying himself contacting the local sheriff's office about the big monster stalking the area as the remaining ladies wander around shouting 'Karen!' in a way usually associated with (very) amateur dramatics before tutting loudly and phoning the police.

Obviously a text and a phonecall regarding a missing person at the same place must be a usual occurrence seeing as the police basically tell them to get to fuck. 

Giving up the search they head back inside, promising to search for Karen again after a few drinks and a game of  Twister, the thought of which makes Tracy come over all clammy so she decides to go for a shower.

As you do.

I mean look, if you have an actress who doesn't mind nudity you'd be a fol not to feature some.

Or a 12 year old boy obviously.



"Hello....Are you the blind man?"





Cue an incredibly unwarranted 5 minutes of Ms Shepis lathering herself up as Preston watches that's luckily cut short by a hungry Bigfoot pulling her thru' a window as he snaps her in half.

I don't think her ate her whole tho' as I assume he spat that bit out.**

Preston desperately tries to get Otis over to the window but by the time he's drunkenly waddled over the beast has gone.

Being a sensible type who never overreacts to pressure Otis reckons the best course of action is to sedate Preston but our hero grabs the syringe and  tranquilizes Otis instead.

As the naughty nurse drops to the floor shaking Preston has a clear choice, sit idly and watch Otis' mighty manboobs as the undulate beneath his cheap nylon smock or wheel himself back over to the window in the hope of seeing if the creature has left any bits of Tracy lying around that'd be worth wanking over.

But as he peers closer to the window the creature appears, roaring loudly at him causing Preston to faint, banging his head on the way down.

Well actually on a table but you get the drift.

Laugh when?


Preston quickly comes to (it's only the audience who are comatose) to hear the girls screaming about the mess Tracy has left in the bathroom, shouting to them that she was attacked by a monster the surviving ladies poo-poo this idea and assume she had her woman's period and has gone to look for chocolate.

With the beast approaching from the bushes Preston excitedly tries to get their attention but they ignore him (so what else is new?) but in a burst of intelligent thinking not usually seen in straight to DVD shlockers decides to call Karen's mobile and inform them as to what is occurring.***

After telling them about Tracy and Karen getting eaten he urges them to lock themselves in the cabin and to stay away from the windows.

Not because they're unattractive and will scare the locals but because Bigfoot may try to grab them obviously.

Right on cue the beast bursts in and the ladies hide -  Michelle in the upstairs bathroom and C.J. in a wardrobe whilst Amanda pops a lampshade on her head and pretends to be a light.

Blood in mah mooth!


Unfortunately Michelle lets rip a massive fart and the Bigfoot drags her thru' the ceiling before hugging her to death.

Stomping off to the living room, he totally fails to see Amanda but as he's about to leave the beast bumps into C.J. who - being a girl - starts screaming, scaring the poor creature who in retaliation grabs the nearest thing to him and lobs it out of the window.

Unfortunately the nearest thing to him was Amanda.

Dusting herself off she grabs C.J. and the pair run for their car where a by now  hysterical (but still tummy flaunting) breaks a nail trying to open the door.

Bigfoot seizes this opportunity to stomp on her whilst Amanda makes a break for Preston's cabin leaping thru' the front door just as Bigfoot finishes squashing C.J.

"Do you require any scissors sharpening?"


Comforting a by now (understandably) traumatized Amanda, Preston being a nice guy promises to protect her as he strokes her luxurious hair which no doubts helps him formulate a plan to rig a shit-load of booby traps around the cabin.

But alas we're running out of time (and patience and money) so all this comes to naught as Bigfoot bursts in and slowly approaches the pair leaving our dynamic duo no alternative than to abseil down the side of the house in the hope of making it to the car.

Dropping Preston off the balcony first to secure the ropes (it's not like the drop will fuck him up even more than he is already) Amanda quickly follows but the beast grabs the ropes and attempts to pull her back up.

Just as it appears that she's gonna get eaten the director remembers that Otis is still around so has him suddenly wake up and plant an axe in the beasts back before getting his head bitten off.

Fair enough.

With the beast in hot (and hairy) pursuit Amanda drags Preston toward the car in a desperate attempt to escape - and build some tension obviously - and the pair quickly scramble inside but as Amanda attempts to drive away Bigfoot grabs the vehicle and attempts to have sex with the exhaust pipe.

Possibly.

"I can see your house from here Peter!"



 Burning his massive uncut member of the pipe Bigfoot quickly lets go of the car and it crashes into a tree sending Amanda flying thru' the windscreen landing in a crumpled (yet still lovely haired) heap in the grass.

Luckily being constructed from high quality plastic she's OK.

As it moves in for the kill Preston - in a move that would make Edie MacReadie proud - starts to honk his car horn which disorientates the creature.

No really.

As it stumbles laughably behind the car Preston releases the brake sending the car - and poor Bigfoot -  careering into a tree and causing the still embedded axe to pop out thru his chest.

As the beast slowly dies (well I'm assuming it's dying but to me it looks like it's pulling my uncle Jim's sex face) Preston drags himself from the car and over to Amanda to check that she's at least still warm.

Look you take those chances whilst you can.

As the police - and ambulances - finally arrive, Preston and Amanda are carted off to hospital whilst the local sheriff, Barry Halderman (The Breakfast Club's Gleason) and his deputies head out into the forest to search for the creature whose body, in that good old fashion horror cliche, has vanished but as they're about to give up and go home for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle a strange noise alerts them to the fact that they are not alone.

Looking up at the trees the men soon realise that they're surrounded by Bigfoots.

Or at least one Bigfoot added to the picture via a Top of The Pops effects filter numerous times.



Do you ever wonder if, when Alfred Hitchcock finished making Rear Window, he sat in the screening room and thought to himself "You know, this movies no bad an' all that but what it's really missing is a big fuck off monster eating people."?

Well director Ryan (my dad's considerably more famous than your dad) Schifrin obviously did and not just on a drunken night out with his pals cos he actually went out and made it.

And I've gotta be honest it's not half as bad as you think it's going to be.

True the score belongs in a much better - and much more frightening - production and the majority of its cult cast are pissed away on cameos but on the whole Abominable is surprisingly a fairly entertaining movie.

Well actually it's two separate movies - one the aforementioned Rear Window remake, t'other a standard monster flick - each vying for the viewers attention which is the real problem as one their own they'd probably be great little flicks but as it stands you end up wanting more of the psychological stuff regarding Preston trapped in the cabin as chaos and death occurs around him with only the bullish Otis for company but instead end up having to sit thru' loads of scenes of a big hairy man biting various cast members that always cut away as things getting interesting.

And by interesting I mean gory.

It doesn't help that when you see the beast in all its glory you realize that the fucker is the spit of the late, great character actor Jack Elam which kinda puts a damper on the whole 'scary' thing.


Go on, tell me it's not true.


Outside the crowd pleasing cameos the cast are actually not too bad - Matt McCoy and Christien Tinsley in particular are great together, yes they may be cliches but they're good cliches that work well within the movie, unfortunately everyone else on screen are really underdeveloped so you really don't care when they start getting offed.

Plus what kind of madman kills off the wonderful Tiffany Shepis rather than makes her the final girl?

It is possible to have her naked and survive in a movie you know.****

Probably.



"Sorry I have my women's period!"


Abominable may be total pants from start to finish but at least it's a fairly inoffensive and pain-free kind of pants.

But saying that so is getting felt up by your drunken uncle at Christmas so it's all a matter of taste I guess.





































































































*Tho' let's be honest anything except trying to sell them to a baby farmer for booze money when they were toddlers is pretty good going in my book.

Right mum?


**Can we have a quick 'cheers!' to this 'joke as it's now officially been used  2000 times on this blog.


***There's a huge thing earlier with him overhearing Karen's surname and him sending texts which I forgot about till this point and really couldn't be arsed rewriting it - Plus I couldn't find a way to add any childish banter - sorry.


****I think she actually reads this blog so hopefully she'll leave a comment.

hooray for hollywood.


“Mum, Dad! I’ve just been cast in a film with Emma Stone!”

“Paul, that’s great! What’s the part?”



Thanks to Murray Lothian.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

that thing you do.

36 years ago today THE greatest monster movie of all time was released. 

But as much as I love it I've just realised that the title is nonsensical.

John Carpenter's The Thing?

No he's not.

Think about it, there are no characters in the movie by this name plus audiences were probably put off by thinking that the title gave away who the monster was then got confused looking for this mysterious John Carpenter character during the movie.

Perhaps a better title would have been 'Director John Carpenter wants to remake the title sequence from the Howard Hawks/Christian Nymby original film but has taken his inspiration from the original short story about a shape-shifting alien'.

Tho' that would have left less space for the artwork.










Sorry I haven't slept well.

just because....

Jill Bryson from Strawberry Switchblade.













Saturday, August 25, 2018

the wild rover revisited......again.

Was going thru' the Unwell archives as I'm thinking of doing a print version of it (just in time for Christmas possibly) and found this languishing unloved back in early 2011.

I personally think it's the best thing I've ever written - and from the comments I received so did many (well 2) readers - plus the fact that it's transport based makes it all the more topical at the moment*.



 
So without further ado here it is again for those of you that missed it.

Or just fancy feasting your eyeballs on it again.

Enjoy.

Rover 6 - The Movie (2005)
Dir: Unknown (a Lookinghouse/MTRU Production).
Cast: The people of Westham and Pevensy.






Filmed on location in and around the beautiful countryside (and B roads) of Westham and Pevensy and featuring Dogma-esque performances from local residents, Rover 6 - The Movie is a piece of pure guerrilla film-making gold.

Purporting as it does to showcase the late, lamented Rover 6 community bus scheme this short infomercial manages to uncover the almost Lynchian depths of perversity and secrets hidden behind the net curtains of this small British Parish.


A local route for local people.






From the pearl necklaced grandmother mysteriously wanting to visit the local council offices on a Saturday (whilst trying to convince the transport booker that she's really going to Waitros) to the un-named 'limping fat man' via the almost Crippenesque 'Chairman of Local Transport Group' the unsettling footage of the local residents is intercut with scenes of the sinister dark blue Rover itself smoothly stalking the backroads to a creepy country soundtrack.



Your grannies cum face.



Like a giant metal angel of death the Rover at one point narrowly misses a cycling child before stopping to allow a family to sacrifice a wheelchair bound elderly relative to the maw of the wheeled beast, it's cold, emotionless handler (or 'driver') always hidden in shadow save his dead cold eyes inadvertently turn the unwary passengers to stone.

The Pevensy death machine senses another victim.



The narration, by a faceless old lady in a curt, emotionless style reminiscent of Sheila Keith in House of Whipcord takes on a sickeningly voyeuristic edge when married to footage of innocent school girls enjoying ice cream on the promenade or shots of the unsettlingly plain women reading a timetable as two badly behaved puppies fight inside her blouse.

It's almost as if the unseen narrator has been following their every moment, knowing when their lives will be cruelly cut short and is preparing to relish the moment before devouring their souls.

Forever.



Dirty pillows.





As the twangy guitars build to a crescendo the movie takes an unexpected turn, leaving the multitude of shots from the drivers eye view of the road and unending footage of strange shaped families waiting at makeshift bus stops in deserted country lanes and council estates to showcasing the town centre and beach front even going as far as to show a man serving muffins and a lonely housewife aimlessly wandering around a deserted supermarket.

Special mention is made of the monthly 'farmers market' where specialty meats can be found.

And if that's not an admission of cannibalism I don't know what is.



She looks like she enjoys
specialty meat inside her.


The voice also informs us that seeing as Rover runs till 11.30 PM on Saturdays that we have no excuse for not visiting the local theatre or for not enjoying a 'slap up' meal with friends. A special mention is made of those that enjoy 'a few drinks' when out, whilst the camera lingers on the oppressive exterior of the health centre.



The bearded woman and her friend may look
happy now but just wait till the fucking starts.



The story has an extremely sad and unexpected climax tho' as in early 2008 East Sussex County Council and the Westham/Pevensey Local Transport Partnership -  working closely with the sinister 'Cuckmere Community Bus Group' - decided (for reasons unknown) to replace the Rover with a volunteer run community bus link.




Lambert: Naked and piss stained.


The missing persons files on those poor souls who simply vanished after boarding the Rover disappeared and Marjorie Lambert (of the local transport group that created the Rover programme) was found dead six weeks later in a local brothel alongside her Filipino houseboy Ramon.

Both were naked.

The last day of the Rover 6 service was on Saturday 9 February 2008.

The Rover may be no more but it's legacy of sorrow will continue for years to come.




























































*For anyone who cares you'll have to read my real life blog for that story and frankly it's much scarier than anything you'll read here.

hied the ball.

Been a hectic week of real-life stuff here so decided to settle down and relax with a wee bit of Paul Naschy.



Scarily even after the amount of (fairly) well written reviews I've posted recently (I've even been spell-checking them) no-one has commented/read or offered me any free stuff.


The nearest I got was an email from Carolina Grigorov, star of
Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood.

Well I say it was from her but it was from her management threatening to sue me because "I didn't have permission to review her performance." and to tell me to remove all photographs of her from my review.

I bet Mark Kermode doesn't have to put up with this shite.

Anyway from now on I'm just gonna review films where the cast is already dead.

Or should be.

The Man With The Severed Head (AKA Crimson, 1973).
Dir: Juan Fortuny.
Cast: : Paul Naschy, Carlos Otero, Yul Sanders, Claude Boisson, Ricardo Palmerola, Evelyne Scott, Gilda Arancio, Olivier Mathot, Richard Kolin, Roberto Mauri, Silvia Solar, Antonia Lotito and Víctor Israel.





The top tier criminal gang (and Bad Seeds tribute act by the look of them) of 'Monsieur' Jack "The Lad" Surnett (Naschy - say no more) are busying themselves stealing loads of cut price tat from Argos in order to fund a place in the upcoming Battle of The Cover Bands competition being held at the local Pontins.

Or should that be Le Pontins seeing as we're in France?

But the days of planning goes to pot when the greedy, bucked toothed Karl (Israel looking for all the world like the results of an unholy union 'tween Tracey Pugh and The Gonch from Big Babies) decides that he wants to give his wife a pearl necklace so excitedly smashes a display case causing all the alarms to go off.

And this, my friend is why the UK voted leave.

Terrified of being grabbed by the gendarmerie our motley crew jumped into the back of their rust covered 2CV and make a break for the countryside with the police in hot pursuit.

Unfortunately the local law enforcement officers seem to have previous when dealing with filthy, fame hungry crims and set up not only a sneaky roadblock but a couple of hidden snipers armed with machine guns.

With appears a tad excessive and just goes to show that you can never trust the French.

As their getaway car trundles forth the police open fire and in a scene that would make the creators of Casualty go green with envy poor old Surnett gets shot in the head.

Which is nice.

Seeing as Surnett is the one who owns all the equipment (plus his uncle is the entertainment officer at the holiday camp) the gang have no choice but to attempt to save his life and to this end drive over to the house of alcoholic and the recently widowed Nick Cave alike - I'm assuming he's the bands singer -Dr John Ritter (Otero) who, after taking a look at Surnett and gently poking the bullet hole ,with his red right hand informs the others that without urgent medical help that their friend will die.

Being a band on the run visiting a hospital is out of the question, so Ritter suggests that a visit to his old friend Professor Neville Teets (the bewigged and big-binned Palmerola) is in order.

It seems that Teets is a world expert on bullet-based brain injuries and has been waiting for the chance to try it on a human patient so with this in mind Ritter, Karl, Barry Adamson (Devil Hunter's Sanders) alongside second in command Henry Kelly (Mathot) rock up at his house in the middle of the night (tho' it may be daytime with a shit filter) and demand his help.

And some booze obviously.

"Well at least we have something to shite in now!"


Things go a wee bit awry tho' when upon arriving at the house Ritter realises that poor Teets accidentally shut both of his hands in a fridge door a few months back and can no longer operate but in a fantastic twist of fate it turns out that prior to this he'd been instructing his boyish wife Ana (Cannibal Terror's Solar)in the ways of brain surgery just in case something like that ever happened.

Lucky eh?

Examinig Surnett's head (whilst ignoring his massive manbreasts and dinnerplate sized nipples) Teets surmises that the only way to save the patient it to remove the damaged part of the brain and replace that with a similar one from a compatible donor.

Sounds legit.

Unfortunately (for the donor that is, for the plot it makes perfect sense) the only person with a similar brain is Surnett's arch enemy, the evil gangster and popular keyboard wizz Ronald 'The Sadist' Mael (writer and director Mauri, best known for King of Kong Island and The Porno Killers), a man feared as much for his mighty mustache as his mentalist manner.

Taking the Professor's daughter hostage Karl and Barry head into town to acquire the much needed brain.

When he knocked on my door and entered the room
My trembling subsided in his sure embrace
He would be my first man, and with a careful hand
He wiped the tears that ran down my face and placed a brain on the table for us to pop in Paul Naschy's head.



With the help of a local flower seller (a blink and you'll miss it cameo from top Scots singing star Lulu) and Surnett's girlfriend - who happened to be shagging Mael before that, seriously this is getting to be like an episode of EastEnders just with less forced bumming - Ingrid (Arancio from the classic Zombie Lake plus the jailbait lez-fest that is Schoolgirl Hitchhikers) and her breasts,  Karl and Barry track down The Sadist and gun him down before placing his dead body on a railway track to sever the head.

Hmmm....seems a wee bit convoluted but hey ho.

Within the hour the operation is complete and appears to be a great success, the only downside it seems is that upon waking Surnett now finds that he's experiencing violent (and sometimes sexual) urges, tho' I'm not sure if that's due to him now sharing The Sadist's brain or the fact that the bandages around his baw-like bonce appear to be so tight as to make his face turn purple.

With The Sadist's pals all running about trying to find their boss, Henry decides it'd be a bit of a giggle to have The Sadist's head nicely gift wrapped and delivered to Mael's harsh faced girlfriend Barbara Dixon (Scott, best known as Lisa the secretary in Swedish Sex Games) as a present.

As you can imagine this goes down as well as your Nan after a glass of cooking sherry so Barbara orders The Sadist's best buddy Willy (Kolin from Eyeball) to find those responsible and kill them.

To death.

Taking the movies meager running time into account it's not long before Barbara and Willy have captured both Ritter and Ingrid, beating the poor doctor to a fleshy pulp (no change there) whilst they torture Ingrid with fag ends in the spare room.

A wee bit like Boxing Day at your house when you were a kid.

Is it in yet?

 Dumping Ritter in the street, the dying doctor valiantly returns to Teets' house to warn the others that Willy and his gang are coming - and gunning - for revenge and that it'd be best for everyone if they stop all this nonsense and apologise.

Henry agrees and alongside Ana attempt to persuade Teets to stop his experiment.

Teets however disagrees and vows to continue working on/with Surnett to complete the operation and cure him of his newly acquired psycho-sexual tendencies before he ends up sticking it in the local paper girl whom he's been lusting after from the bedroom window.

Beware the binmen.


As the bad guys close in tensions fray as Henry discovers that it was Karl that bungled the robbery and Teets and his wife argue over the fate of Surnett's ever expanding bonce.....



From Juan Fortuny, the director of such classic fayre as the Joe Rígoli vampire comedy El pobrecito Draculín (he also wrote Orloff And The Invisible Man but don't hold that against him - oh go on then do) and Marius Lesoeur, the producer of Zombie Lake and Oasis of The Zombies comes a film that's sole purpose appears to be that star Paul Naschy fancied a dirty weekend in France.

True it features enough plot points for about six different movies - everything from wildly implausible brain transplants, gangland murders and crime caper fun all set to a backdrop of gaudy fashions and a fantastically inappropriate 'bing bong' score from the legendary Daniel White but none of it actually makes any sense in relation to the plot.

Even the slightly more 'erotic' version (released under the catchy title Le Viol et L'Enfer des X) lacks any kind of excitement or ability to thrill, tho' that may just be the fact that the cast are so uniformly unattractive that any temperature rises are more likely to be the result of having to sit thru' such a tardy mess than anything of a sexual nature.

Tho' I must admit to experiencing some small stirring when Antonia Lotito cycled into view clad in white knee-length socks and an underpant revealing skirt to deliver the papers.

That may have been because of the vintage Yamaha FS1E she was riding.

Sexiest thing in the movie if I'm honest.


What the whole thing lacks in convincing performances, realistic plotting and anything remotely resembling talent it more than makes up for in sheer entertainment value when you realise that every single cast member looks like a famous musician.

From then on in you can re-interpret the plot as some massive Smash Hits Poll Winners Party style gang war where goth-rock god Nick Cave battles fearlessly against an evil teaming of Sparks and Danni Minogue as Smokey watch on from the sidelines.

There's even a dance sequence about a third of the way in featuring a pert arsed redhead (is there any other kind?) and a couple of camp blokes dressed as Klingons.

I shit you not.

This all comes to a head tho' when Paul Naschy escapes from Teets' house and instead of some mad, mental sadistic Frankenstein style beast we're confronted with what looks like a cut price cosplay of The Aquabats MC Bat Commander.



Aquabats....


Let's go!




So is The Man With The Severed Head a fantastically self-aware piece of modern cinematic art or a huge pile of massive wobbly arse?

Honestly I'm fucked if I know.