Tuesday, October 23, 2018

plug!

For anyone interested I'm at Glasgow Horror Fest this weekend punting my wares like a Parisian whore so come along and buy something....I need new shoes.


nuns on the rum.

 31 Days of Horror part 23 and this review is dedicated to regular reader Mr DissolvedPaul seeing as he loves this film.

And we love him.

Just not in that way obviously.

OK maybe a wee bit.

For those of you who've never seen it I'll try to be kind and not give too much away.

And for those of you who have, just skip the review and see how many different words you can make up out of the casts almost Scrabble-like names.

Dark Waters (AKA Dead Waters. 1993)
Dir: Mariano Baino.
Cast: Louise Salter, Venera Simmons, Mariya Kapnist, Valeriy Bassel, Anna Rose Phipps and Alvina Skarga (yes, THE Alvina Skarga).



"Don't mind him, he keeps the other freaks away!"



Somewhere on a cold, rocky coastline (must be the isle of Lewis by the look of the people living there) lies an imposing looking convent high on a cliff top overlooking the sea.

And by the state of the curtains overlooking the rent too.

Inside a young(ish) nun is happily going about her daily nun type business (prayers and such like - I'm not a bride of Christ so I've no idea, sorry) when a young urchin bursts in and hands her a huge cardboard medallion with a picture of a scary monster carved on the front.

Suddenly a raging storm starts to brew and the local vicar notices his roof is leaking.

Grabbing the strange object from the child's filthy mitts the nun bounds out of the convent and heads towards the nearest cliff as the angry sea swells around her like a big swelling wet thing, first engulfing the rocks below then completely flooding the church causing an unfortunate vicar/neck/big crucifix interface.

The storm subsiding, the nun is left perched above the island like a big black crow gazing wistfully toward the dawn as she clutches the medallion to her (probably) ample bosom.

Suddenly she finds herself under attack from a rampaging camera POV sending both her and the stone thing crashing onto the rocks below.

The remaining nuns (who were obviously hiding in a secret underground lair as nuns do) hurry out to the rocks in a bid to collect the lumps of broken badge before hiding them in tiny boxes in a cave.


"Look at me! I'm from Dudley!"




We (I saw 'we' but I mean the movie, it's not like I suddenly found myself waking up an old man or anything) suddenly flash forward twenty years to find posh British tottie Elizabeth (Salter from Our Friends in The North) is planning a return to this strange island to discover why her late (as in dead, not lousy at time keeping) dad had been making monthly payments to the convent for the last decade or so.

Luckily for her (and the plot) her best friend Teresa (Phipps, never to be heard of again) is actually a real life nun living on the island so has been writing to Elizabeth to give her all the Godly gossip regarding her dads cash and the like.

Teresa, we discover enjoys nothing better than a good nosy around on her days off and one day, whilst exploring the spooky catacombs below the convent stumbles upon part of the monster-headed medallion.

Unfortunately before she can tell anyone she's stabbed to death in a frenzied attack by another nun.

Isn't that just typical?

Meanwhile Elizabeth is amusing herself by staring at the locals who, it must be said make Glasgow on a methadone day look normal by comparison - there's a man breasted freak trying to get a light from her on the bus (whose best pal is a buck toothed, giggling midget), an old lady with wooden teeth and a half naked fisherman who enjoys nothing better than scoffing live cod he finds washed up on the beach.

And that's just the posh folk.

Innsmouth? Shite mooth more like.




Chartering a boat from the mainland (whilst dodging the sick in the streets and the track suited neds wandering about - probably) from a big bearded man who smells of peat, Elizabeth is informed that the ferry service only runs once a week, so she'll have to speak nicely to the nuns if she hopes to have a roof over her head seeing as the only other option is a damp cave on the seafront surrounded by seagull shit.

Sounds more and more like the west of Scotland by the minute.

Luckily the Mother Superior is actually quite friendly (which makes up for her lack of teeth and scary, parchment like skin), not only offering Elizabeth a room but also assigning a fresh faced (and curvaceously arsed) novice named Sarah (Simmons) to be her guide during her stay.

No sooner has she unpacked that she starts questioning her new pal, hoping to learn more about her mother, a native of the island who died giving birth to both Elizabeth and her twin sister Sarah (obviously) before heading to the library in order to see what else she can find out.

We'll have nun of that....




Surprisingly there's sod all about Elizabeth's mum there but loads about a scarily multi-breasted she-demon (know as She who was, and is not, and yet is, or Margaret to her friends) who allegedly inhabited the island centuries past.

It's like a drugged fueled episode of Who Do You Think You Are but with less poverty porn.

But what has this - the monster that is not the hit BBC show I just mentioned - got to do with Elizabeth's birth and her fathers links to the convent?

Why is a hefty, sightless old woman following our heroine around?

And why (no really, why) do the nuns keep a blind skinny monk (who appears to paint using a spooky sixth sense) locked in a pit?

Some - if not all - of these questions will probably be answered by the films climax.

But to be honest it's more about the ride than the final destination.

A bit like an overnight coach trip to Birmingham.

Which, in this case isn't a bad thing.



Laugh Now!





Director Mariano Baino's one and only (so far) full length feature is a lushly shot and absolutely mesmerizing love letter to the dream-scapes and writings of HP Lovecraft, taking the symbolism and images from the masters work and molding them into a surreal, almost fairytale like scenario where logic plays second fiddle to feelings of other worldliness and nightmare inducing visuals.

Everyone (and everything) can be perceived as a threat to Elizabeth, whose rain jacket makes her appear as some kind of Red Riding Hood figure (hmmmm...I see what they did there), only this time surrounded by an entire island of wolves,

And there's even an appearance of sorts by Grandma, bringing further comparisons between the two characters.

And like that particular story there are the running motifs of huge eyes and mouths.

Unfortunately none are shite filled tho'.

From the gaping maw and wild eyed gaze of the carved demon to the films unusually large amount of blind characters (the aforementioned old woman, the artistically minded mental monk in the cellar and the Mother Superior are all sightless) via the toothy grins of the local inhabitants, misheard dialogue and impenetrable accents adding to Elizabeth's (and our) sense of being lost and alone.

Ripe with dark and dream-like imagery ranging from scenes of silhouetted nuns, crosses burning in the sunset marching purposely across the landscape to dreams of small girls leading an undead, crucified Nun thru' candle filled catacombs, Dark Waters is one of those rare movies that linger in the mind long after you've finished watching.

We just need everyone who's seen it to bombard Baino with emails now demanding he direct something else.

Let's see how many we can send before Christmas.

dead in japan.

Counting down to Weekend of The Dead with a handful of the undead, Japanese style.








Monday, October 22, 2018

having a butchers.


For day 22 of the fairly tiresome 31 Days of Horror let's travel back in time and revisit a  classic of the cannibal/zombie/mentalist medic genre.

Or I could just review this instead.

Enjoy.

Zombi Holocaust (AKA: Doctor Butcher M.D: Medical Deviate, Island of the Last Zombies, Queen of the Cannibals, La Regina dei cannibali, Zombie Holocaust, 1979).
Director: Marino Girolami (or if you prefer, Frank Martin).
Cast: Ian (the kids school fees are how much?!!?) McCulloch, Sherry Buchanan, Alexandra Delli Colli, Peter O'Neil and Donald O'Brian.


"You nearly succeeded in ruining my life's work! I could easily kill you now. But I'm determined to have your brain!"





In a rain sodden (and badly lit) teaching hospital deep in the heart of New York City (the home from home for 80's lo-fi Italian movie makers, well at least for their films openings in order to convince folk that they're watching an American production) someone has been helping themselves to various body parts belonging to the cadavers marked for use in the daily anatomy class, much to the chagrin of the grumpy surgeon who uses the incidents as an excuse to shout "You've all failed!" at his students and fuck off down the pub.

Possibly.

"Fuck me! A wasp!"




The gorgeously glamorous (in an Kay's catalogue way) Lori Ridgway (the frighteningly fish lipped Delli Colli) and her colleagues are baffled by this spate of icky thefts and reckon that the answer must be prank playing students.

But lo, the truth is far more sinister - and it has to be said, oh so slightly racist - when they discover the token, bowl haired Asian doctor (who looks disturbingly like a porn movie version of Erik Estrada) is caught sitting in the dark eating a corpses heart.

Spooky.

Erik decides the best course of action is to evade capture by throwing himself out of a window then cunningly turning into a shop window mannequin before he hits the ground (with a satisfying plastic echo it has to be said).

Noel Edmonds discovers his hand twin.





After a leisurely trip to street level in the lift Ridgway bags the body and returns to work to start her examination.

Of the corpse that is, she's not taking her driving test or anything.

It's whilst examining the aforementioned corpse, that Ridgway — who also happens to be a student of anthropology, lucky that - recognizes a strange (for strange re: shite) tattoo on the dead man's chest—a tattoo that just happens to be (are you paying attention?) exactly the same as a symbol found on a ceremonial dagger she was given on her sixth birthday by the family housemaid when she lived on the tropical island of Kitkatoo.

Which by a strange coincidence is where the heart eating doc was from too.

Phew!

And if that wasn't plot contrivance enough it turns out that the dagger has recently been stolen!

I mean what are the chances of that?




"This outbreak of cannibalism could
be related to the killing moon".






Feeling there's more to this than just an isolated incident, Lori decides to ask famous scientific 'investigator' and generally suave stud muffin Dr. Peter Chandler (genre god and owner of the worlds best ginger comb-over McCulloch) for help in solving the macabre mystery.

After much ooing and aahing, Chandler reckons the best way to get to the bottom of things is to organize an all expenses paid holiday - sorry expedition - to the island alongside a crack team of experts (well alongside Lori, her assistant George (the credits say Peter O'Neal but I swear it's a pre Dead Ringers Jon Culshaw) and tough tomboy reporter Susan (the lank haired, boy trousered but infinitely bonkable Buchanan from Starcrash II and
Tentacoli).
  

Non-entities one and all but infinitely more charismatic than anyone featured on I'm A Celebrity.

 
Mooooosssshhhhiiiiiiiii!!!!





Deciding to visit the big island next to Kitkatoo (Dogpoochone?) first our fantastic foursome spend a few days staying with the trampish Dr. Jeff Obrero (screen legend O'Brian, looking like Wilfrid Brambell's buffer brother), a piss stained and poo breathed gone to seed medical researcher with a great line in open neck shirts who's been living among the natives for years.

Well in their bins by the look of him.


"Aye son!"




Although stinky as hell, Obero still has some manners and after tea, cakes and a severed head (tho' it may have been a mouldy potato) in Laura's bed he offers not only the use of his boat but a trio of Beatle haired native bearers and his big cravated 'man friend' Moloto (Barrera, essaying his role in Zombie Flesh Eaters but in a cheaper outfit), as their guide.

As is the way in such movies, nothing goes according to plan. The boats engine overheats stranding the group not on the isle of Kitkatoo but on the smaller, slightly less dangerous and more like a playpark behind the director's house island of Kitkatoow...or so Moloto claims.



"Look at the dog!"





Chandler however is beginning to suspect that Moloto isn't being entirely honest about the situation but as he goes to confront the guide a loin-clothed band of scary cannibals jump out of the bushes and attack our heroes.

The native bearers are the first to fall (but isn't that always the way?) giving Chandler and co. time to leg it into the trees.

Contacting Dr. Obrero, the survivors are told to make their way to a handy abandoned church further inland and to lock themselves in whilst awaiting rescue.

Bunnet.





As Chandler and his merry (if slightly smaller than earlier) band make their way through the jungle - well, the producers garden - they seem surprised to find that the cannibals have been following them so react the way anyone would in that situation by standing around screaming as they wait for them to attack again.

After a particularly threadbare and school playground like struggle George ends up eyeless whilst slinky Susan (being the most attractive woman in the movie) is carried away by the arse bearing natives.

Suddenly (almost as if the director has remembered the films title) a gaggle of shuffling zombies turn up and scare the natives to buggery (not literally mind) and the survivors make it to the church - on time - to find Obrero waiting for them.




"Put it in me!"





Convincing the survivors that Susan is probably actually enjoying the attentions of the sausage fingered cannibals and that they should just forget about her, he hands Lori and Chandler a map showing the quickest way to New York and points them in the direction of a handy rubber dingy left on the beach and even tho' Chandler's suspicions of foul play are getting stronger by the second he decides that it probably would be safer to just head home and forget about everything.

Plus he realizes that it'll just be him and Lori in the dingy for weeks...the dirty wee dog.

His sinful thoughts of hot sea-based sex are interrupted tho when a zombie attacks them on the beach, leaving an angry (and no doubt sexually frustrated) Chandler to dispatch it with a handy outboard motor.

With a look of grim determination usually only seen in Sheepdogs our hero slowly realises that the only way he's ever gonna pull Lori is to solve the island mystery so with a heavy heart – and a raging horn - Chandler heads back to the church to confront the mad doctor......











With more cuts available than Richie Manic, Marino Girolami's cult classic is probably the only Italian gore-arama to feature not only cannibals but also zombies and a mad as a lorry doctor too, so you effectively get three movies for the price of one.

It's just a pity that none of them are any good.

On the plus side, Ian McCulloch is in it and as we all know he would never appear in anything too shady, standing around in a selection of Primark suits looking worriedly ginger (or is that gingerly worried) and let's be honest, he could stand around in his undies painting a wall and he'd still be infinitely watchable.


McCulloch: Ginger.




Donald O'Brian on the other hand is the complete antitheses of McCulloch's subtle acting style, a perfect example of an eye rolling, scenery chewing and wee stained madman. His fantastically realized Dr. Obrero is an utter joy, so convincing is his performance that you can almost taste his fishy breath.


Tho' luckily not his cheesy Doritos.


Of the other cast members, the plump mouthed star of Fulci's New York Ripper Alexandra Delli Colli is only there to look good in her cream suspenders whilst pouting, her most difficult acting scene being when she's required to look vaguely scared whilst a group of Filipino tramps smear her naked body in face paint and strap her to a big paper mache wheel.


Luckily she manages this with great aplomb I'm glad to say, whilst Sherry Buchanan comes across as a dirtier (but less mental and with more teeth) Margot Kidder.

Wearing her dads clothes and with hair that hasn't seen shampoo for about six months she still manages to exude an air of clumsy back alley sexual hi-jinks.

Even - well especially if I'm honest - when strapped to a table after being scalped which would be a tall order for most actresses. 

 
The rest of the cast are kinda just there really, which is enough I guess.



Buchanan: Just wait till the shampooing starts.





As for the cannibal tribe, well it's the first time I've ever seen scary natives dressed only in thongs fashioned from rashers of bacon and mop top wigs but who's to say this isn't a realistic depiction of an ancient civilization?

Not me that's for sure.

Now to the zombies hordes (well I say hordes but there are only five of them, one of which is the directors mum) who, with make up that is a triumph for the seven year old hired to produce it using only the contents of the class arts and craft cupboard and accompanied at all times by a synth score that consists mainly of samples of a small boy farting whilst a dog with throat cancer barks backwards these undead terrors are guaranteed to strike mild apathy into the hearts of even the most hardened viewers.

Essential viewing.



Sunday, October 21, 2018

forced entry.

Someone asked me yesterday if I knew what Rey's Midichlorian count was compared to other Force sensitive characters in Star Wars.

I had to admit that off the top of my head I didn't.


The Force, which is now female allegedly.



As you can imagine this left me feeling a wee bit foolish and slightly embarrassed so I've been up all night figuring it out.

Enjoy.

Rey - 27, 000 (or there abouts).

And the rest?

Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader = 27,700
Darth Sidious/Palpatine = 20,500
Yoda = 17,700
Luke Skywalker = 14,500
Leia Organa Solo = 14,500
Aenon Jurtis (Most powerful Jedi Master prior to Yoda) = 14,200
Shintor Beerus (Ancient Jedi Master) = 13,900
Ce Ce Denowai (The Most Powerful Female Jedi) = 13,700
Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus = 13,500
Obi-Wan Kenobi = 13,400
Kaja Sinis (The First Jedi) = 13,250
Mace Windu = 12,000
Darth Maul = 12,000
General Grievous = 11,900
Kit Fisto = 11,800
Exar Kun (Dark Lord of the Sith during the Sith War) = 11,700
Yaddle = 11,300
Xanatos' (Qui-Gon Jinn's former apprentice) = 11,300
Darth Seer (Founder of the modern Sith Order) = 11,200
Plo Koon = 11,100
Ki Adi Mundu = 10,600
Shaak Ti = 10,300
Qui-Gon Jinn = 10,000
Assajj Ventress = 9,600
Naga Sadow = 9,400
Jedi Master Adeus Hust = 9,300
You = 5
Your mom = -64

pact man fever.

Day 21 of the fabled 31 Days of Horror and another oldie that I ended up rewatching recently off the back of the brilliant Haunting of Hill House on Netflix and it's actually stood up quite well.

Enjoy.

The Pact (2012).
Dir: Nicholas McCarthy.
Cast: Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien, Agnes Bruckner, Haley Hudson, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Samuel Ball and Mark Steger.




Kissy lipped, square jawed MiLF Nicole (Bruckner from the Bruce Campbell classic The Woods) has recently returned to her childhood home to finalize the preparations for her late mother's funeral.

Obviously she's overjoyed by this, especially as she's had to leave her daughter Eva with cousin Liz (Perkins from Episodes and American Horror Story) whilst her wayward biker sister Annie (Mad Men's Lotz, looking for all the world like a dirtier Melissa George) huffily refuses to return home due to childhood 'issues'.

Apart from the sub-soap opera histrionics however, everything else seems to be going to plan, mum's not risen from the grave or anything and there's plenty of soup in the cupboards.

Which is all well and good until during an online call to Eva, Nicole begins to hear strange noises around the house, Eva freaks her mum out even more by saying there's a scary man standing behind her and she soon discovers a broken jar of gherkins in the kitchen.

If that wasn't enough to have you shouting "It's Pipes!" then the mysteriously opened cupboard door should at least hint at getting the hell out of Dodge.

But alas this is a horror movie so it's integral to the plot that Nicole goes and investigates.

Not to surprisingly when Annie arrives the next morning it turns out that Nicole has vanished.

Mysteriously tho' she's left her laptop connected and her phone and clean undies on the bed.

Hmmm.


Despite what the packaging said Annie's market stall lightsaber  did not fill her with the powers of a Jedi.                            
                    

Deciding to take advantage of the free food, WI-fi etc. Annie decides to stay over at her mothers house for the night, only to be kept awake by a mix of bad dreams, hideous wallpaper and a series of sinister low angle tracking shots.

Waking with a start the next morning our biker babe is surprised to find a picture frame has spookily fallen to the floor revealing a photo of two pregnant women.

One is obviously (well to Annie it is) her dear departed mum but the other somewhat foxier babe?

Who knows.

Anyway, there's no time to discuss such trivia as it's funeral day, meaning Annie has to wear an uncomfortable dress whilst meeting up with various characters who may become important later.

Namely aforementioned cousin Liz and little Eva.

"Is that you Mr. Kavanaugh?"


The three return to Annie's mother's house to discuss important pieces of character history and story background in order to make it easier for the audience to feel sympathy for Annie's predicament whilst later, just in case you forgot that this was a spooky movie, Annie dreams of a shirtless man crying on a bed as her phone starts beeping whilst pinpointing an address on Google maps.

Lucky it's not an Fisher Price wheel along phone or she'd be fucked.

Farting herself awake Annie is shocked to see a skinny legged figure disappearing into the shadows so decides to go and wake up Liz, who it turns out, has vanished.

Which is spookier still.

Attempting to grab little Eva and leave the house our harsh faced heroine is attacked by forces unseen that throw her from wall to wall like a spring-loaded stunt woman but these mental manifestations aren't enough to stop Annie rescuing her niece and heading to the local police station.

Adam West, up the casino, 1972, Baltimore.....YESCH!


Unfortunately when she gets there not one of the boys in blue believes her story culminating with the officer in charge, the big collared Bill Creek (Van Dien, looking more and more like a homeless Adam West everyday) even going as far as suggesting that Annie herself may have played a part in both her sister's and cousin's disappearances.

 Bastard.

Retiring to a local motel, Annie (sans Eva who she's conveniently dumped at the police station) finally notices the bizarre directions cum spooksome message on her phone and, after typing the address into her handy laptop discovers what appears to be a photo of a blurred figure in a floral dress standing by a tree.

Which is nice if not a little tiresome for poor Annie seeing as without warning she drops off to sleep giving her plenty of time to have even more macabre visions of the crying shirtless man, as well as of the woman in a floral dress.

Only this time she's headless.

What does it all mean?

Sorting thru' her mother's papers over breakfast Annie discovers a hidden room on the blueprints of the house and after a quick call to Bill the bill (armed with a handy torch and a fine line in helpful, old school advice) arranges to meet him there.

Within seconds of entering the house (it is a short film after all) Bill has broken down a fake cardboard wall and uncovered the aforementioned hidden room, resplendent in 1970's curry house flock wallpaper and a variety of unusual stains on the floor.

Oh yes, and a spooky woman with removable legs. 

Tracking's dodgy mate.


Deciding that there's definitely something spooky going on, Anne calls her old schoolfriend, the incredibly sexy, and scarily psychic Stevie (ickle doll faced Hudson from Weeds) and invites her to the house to see if she can help contact any rogue spirits wandering about.

What do you mean 'far fetched'?

Didn't your school have a token psychic student?

 Just mine and Annie's then.

Shake well before use.

Stumbling thru' the house and trying to avoid the furniture (she's blind too by the way - obviously being skinny, greasy haired and psychic just wasn't realistic enough) Stevie finally enters the by now not really hidden room.

Almost immediately she drops to the floor shaking and sweating whilst hysterically shouting the name "Judas" at anyone who'll listen.

This scene is, by far the most erotic thing I have seen on the big screen ever.

And just when you think it can't get any sexier a headless corpse of a woman in a floral dress appears floating above them.

It's at this point that Annie realizes it's not actually her mother's spirit that is haunting the house and that we realize that it may not be advisable to get your cock out in the cinema.

Even if it is due to Haley Hudson's tiny red shorts.

"Put it in me!"

Searching for the word "Judas" online, Anne discovers loads of interesting stuff about some bloke called Jesus who, it appears was the son of God.

This Jesus fella had a group of pals including one particular bloke named Judas Iscariot who, fairly infamously kissed and betrayed Jesus to the behatted Sanhedrin priests in exchange for a payment of 30 pieces of silver, after which he hanged himself after a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle.

Judas: beardie bastard.

 Could this Judas be the mysterious figure seen wandering the house?

Or could it be a completely different Judas?

Searching again Annie discovers that the town was once home to a serial killer of the same name (tho' I'm assuming it was an alias, I mean who'd name their kid Judas?) who skulked around the local neighbourhood beheading women.

His  last known victim was a Jennifer Glick, after which he disappeared from view, never to return.

Annie soon realizes that Glick is, in fact the woman in the floral dress with her mother in the photo and, after coming across a crime photo of Jennifer's murder, recognizes her as the woman from her dream.

Meanwhile in Brett Kavanaugh's mancave...



Deciding that all this weird shit must be in some way related, Annie heads to the address that keeps appearing on her phone and - after amusingly stumbling around in the bushes for a bit - discovers a church where it appears her mother and Jennifer attended.

Alongside an until now unknown sibling of her mothers.

Back at the house detective Creek is having another look around, it seems that when he was developing the crime scene photo's he noticed a ghostly hand pointing to the shoe cupboard, where he discovers a secret door leading into the hidden room.

Unfortunately Creek is murdered to death by an unknown assailant before he can tell anyone.

"Did Freddie Starr do it?"



Contacting Stevie with the new information, our blind babe suggests that Annie should conduct a seance to rid the house of spirits and discover her sisters whereabouts.

Annie excitedly buys some candles and chalk before heading to the house, not realizing that the mysterious presence haunting the halls is much more than just a ghost...

Well by more than just a ghost I really mean her mad serial killing uncle whom her mum boarded up in the hidden room after he killed her pal but you get the idea.


The Pact: Ghosts, girls and jazz hands.



Expanding on his little seen Jewel Staite starring short of the same name, Nicholas McCarthy's first feature is a surprisingly old fashioned ghost story, well told and well played, only marred by a few silly plot holes and a final shot that should have been left on the cutting room floor.

Confidently and solidly directed by McCarthy with a nice central performance from Lotz ably supported by a surprisingly watchable  - as opposed to punchable - Van Dien.

Actually the movie has a lot going for it, it's only as it races towards it's climax that the obligatory coincidences kick in and the cliche counter begins working overtime.

Which is forgivable as the whole thing has been fairly entertaining until then.

True that sometimes McCarthy labours under the misapprehension that the whole plot is much cleverer than it actually is when on close inspection the whole premise falls apart in a puff of logic even if you only slightly peer at it wrong i t may add nothing new to the genre or have the panache of something like The Innkeepers but it is a competent piece of film making.

Which is better than nothing I guess.

Plus unlike the director of the aforementioned Haunting of Hill House Nicholas McCarthy has never sent me an abusive email.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

the ellen degenerazione show.

Bit of a rush job today seeing as I was out watching John Carpenter last night (as in I was at his concert, I wasn't stalking him or anything) and been out for lunch today in a kinda socialising/grown up way.

Plus not too in-depth a review I'm afraid cos frankly most of the stories only last a few seconds, all are bonkers and most are really not that good.

On a plus side Asia (the first person to wish me happy birthday on Facebook two years ago don't you know) Argento is in it smoking a fag whilst wearing fishnets so it's not all bad.
Enjoy!

Degenerazione (1994).
Dir: Antonio Antonelli, Asia Argento, Pier Giorgio Bellocchio, Eleonora Fiorini, Alex Infascelli, Antonio Manetti, Marco Manetti, Andrea Maula, Andrea Prandstraller, Alberto Taraglio and Alessandro Valori.
Cast: Pierpaolo Trezzini, Asia Argento, Giorgio Tirabassi, Alberto Rossi and Patrizia Sacchi.




Our (well their - as in the directors - story, it's not really ours that's just a figure of speech) story opens in the movie memorabilia festooned office of a sweating bald man in an ill fitting suit anxiously chatting to someone (his agent? Your mum?) on the phone about various important film type stuff whilst he furtively looks around for any signs of oncoming badness.

So far so intriguing.

Suddenly the aforementioned oncoming badness bursts in to the room in the form of three pikeys clad in ill-fitting Halloween masks and a nice selection of Degenerazione t-shirts as some kick-ass 'rawk' music plays on the soundtrack.

Yup, definitely an Italian horror movie then.

Jumping from his window to save himself from whatever these masked mentalists have in store for him, Mr. Sweaty's ample arse gives him a soft landing plus the extra bounce needed to send him running merrily down the high street.

But those pesky psycho pikeys are in hot pursuit.

Bob Hoskins, up the casino, Tamworth, 1987.....YESCH!

Unfortunately our chubby heroes brain-based escape route radar is only attuned to cakes and after much frenzied wobbling he finds himself trapped in a back alley behind a bakers with the rubber-faced rotters slowly closing in...

Closing his eyes and hoping for a quick death (or a not too sore arse pummeling), he is fairly surprised that after a few seconds preparing for a beating that his assailants have suddenly disappeared.

"My word they've disappeared!" He exclaims (it's fansubbed, I'm sorry).

"No we haven't" says a mysterious masked man armed with a big gun next to him.

The Degenerazione boys (after magically re-appearing) look on menacingly as the poor guys screams...

"Laugh now!"


...before jarringly cutting to an antique shop where the middle-aged owner is getting phone hassle from a customer who wants an Ottoman delivered.

Convinced that this story is related to the fat bloke I begin to take notes.

Paying far too much attention I find myself being unwittingly dragged into the ensuing argument where it seems that young and hip honey June (some photo-fit blonde in a flimsy blouse) wants her new piece of furniture delivered earlier that agreed.

You see, it's her boyfriend Terry's birthday and she thinks he'd be well pleased with a huge piece of antique furniture for a gift.

My word she knows men so well.

Anyway, after much to-ing and fro-ing between shopkeep and lady the item is arranged to be delivered at 6 o'clock that evening.

But June has to promise that she'll be at home because the delivery man (who looks like the illegitimate child of a mouldy potato and an angry bassoon) is very grumpy and determined to get back as soon as possible as to not miss the new episode of Loose Women on teevee.

Shite in his mooth, blood on the thistle.


June gives her word but as soon as she puts the phone down her best friend Margot calls in a state of distress meaning that June, like a typical woman, forgets everything she's just said and heads straight out to go comfort her.

Returning home from work, birthday boy Terry (played by a pube headed lollipop in spectacles) begins to prepare a scrumptious meal whilst dancing like a tit to clichéd eighties soft rock when he's suddenly disturbed by the doorbell.

I mean it rings, not that it jumps on his and tries to fuck him with it's cold hard doorbell cock.

Tho' that would be fairly exciting.

Nope it's just our delivery spud growling menacingly and saying stuff like "I'm here to get you....let me in so I can stuff my box in your lounge!" and the like meaning that, quite understandably Terry gets the wrong end of the stick and thinks a mad killer has come to get him.

If only June had left a note.

But it's too late for that now so let's sit back and enjoy 20 minutes of Sam Raimi inspired violent lunacy coupled with a smidgen of breast grabbing across the Ottoman....

Jess Glynne: Harsh.


...Which leads us nicely to the home of Mr. Dirk Handsomestranger, a hunky lunk who, being in need of a drink and a wee bit of buggery, decides to visit Waxy O'Shinty's sailor themed gothic gay bar just along the beach from his house.

Well, he is European.

Ordering a Campari and soda, our studly pal can't help but notice a flamboyantly dressed older gentleman (who has a frightening resemblance to everyone's favourite Irishman Louise Walsh) sitting in the corner of the room nursing a tomato juice so, fancying a bit of old man cock, Dirk saunters over to join him.

Overpowered by the smell of sweaty leather and cheap aftershave (and not to mention being a bit tired of having to shout over the X Factor style Bauhaus tribute band) the pair decide to retire to Dirk's palatial love pad for more drink, less music and maybe, just maybe a saucy sex session of the rudest order.

With the booze and chatting flowing like so much horse semen into an aged prostitutes swollen stomach  our frill fronted fop admits that he's no normal man and that he has a dark secret.

And it's not that he dyes his hair or has his habit of furiously masturbating into children's teacups whilst listening to Jess Glynne.

Probably.

"Aye (s) Son!"


Nope, it turns out that his is, in fact a lonely old vampire, eager to impress with his tales of bloodlust, sodomy and working with Sharon Osbourne.

But as Dirk listens intently to his guest it becomes apparent that he may have a dark secret too...

...Meanwhile back in the big city, Mr. and Mrs. Middleincome are off out for a night of food, wine and depressingly middle class chat, leaving their cutesy-pie daughter home alone with only her homework and the brand new Teevee for company.

Unfortunately when they went to the shop to buy it they mistook 'includes evil child killing demon type' for '44" plasma screen plus Teletext'.

We've all been there.

Prepare for a night of child based terror as the killer telly (complete with the worlds longest extension cable) trundles loudly around the (stairless, that was lucky) house attempting to murder a small girl before zooming forward in time to experience a Blade Runner-esque future world where a massive lottery win can make you lose your head (literally) and women keep their hubbies on dog chains for some reason.

Oh yes, it's a subtle role reversal take on sexism.

Clever that.

Louise Walsh: He's got something to put in you (allegedly).


Some other stuff happened but needing a drink top up, a wee and a fag (but not all at once) I had to quickly leave the room but upon returning - I'd forgotten to press pause sorry - I was fairly surprised to see a naked (apart from a bus conductors hat) man persuading a young woman to hold his big umbrella before the wind took her (and it) flying across the fields before landing (with a psycho-sexual) bump in the city of Milan, where Terry the taxi driver is all set to go home after a hard days, um, taxi-ing.

Tho' I may have fallen asleep and imagined the last bit.

Anyway, after phoning his missis to see if she needs anything from the all night garage, Terry returns to his cab only to hear a voice from the back seat telling him not to turn around and just drive to a given destination.
Feeling oh so slightly uneasy about being mysteriously ordered about, Terry can't help but look round only to find that the back seat is empty, save a small briefcase.


Asia: She once wished me happy birthday...have you?


Is Terry going mad or is he just over tired?

Jumping out of the cab to clear his head, El Tel is forced to confront the bizarre truth of the situation when the disembodied voice angrily shouts at him to get back in the car.

It seems the mysterious presence has a job to do and time is running out...

Portmanteau part-work plots don't get much better than this story, which is a shame really as we've it doesn't end there, yup we've still to make the acquaintance of a sickeningly loved up couple who - between renovating their new home and having the sex - experience violence filled nightmares where they try to kill each other.

And the cat.

Hat.


Which brings us kicking, screaming (and sobbing) to our final tale.

A story of a normal man being stalk by a punk-tastic group of film makers intent on making him the star of their new snuff movie.

Yikes.

Ignored by the police and left to fend for himself, it's not long before our hapless hero has been beaten with a shovel and tied to a chair ready for his big close-up.

Luckily for him the designated sound guy is incapable of keeping the boom out of shot and this coupled with an impromptu shoot out and an unscheduled appearance by a nunchaku-wielding ninja may just be the the thing he needs to plan his escape.

And even maybe get the girl.

Who in this case is a leather skirted, fish-netted Asia.

Bastard.

No caption required.


With plots, acting and direction this diverse, you can't accuse Degenerazione of being boring and with it's frenetic mix of straight forward shocks, twisty-turny endings and highly eclectic story telling techniques you at least know that if you're not enjoying the current tale there'll be another one (or even two) along in a few minutes.

Shot for free by everyone involved, Degenerazione is an incredibly enjoyable mess of creativity over cash, putting to shame most no budget horrors of the last decade or so thru' sheer cheekiness alone.

Oh and did I mention Asia Argento is in it in fishnets?

Worth tracking down for the taxi segment (titled India 21) alone, Degenerazione played the film festival circuit before disappearing into oblivion alongside Tom Savini's Vampyrates and the third series of The Tripods, never to be seen again.

Until now obviously.

Unless it was all a dream that is.

Friday, October 19, 2018

chuckle vision*

After a week of dead hard drives, exploding arse and various things going wrong I've finally made it to the most exciting day of the year.

Yup, the great god John Carpenter is playing in Glasgow tonight!

Anyway as a tribute I thought that today's 31 Days of Horror should pay homage to the slasher genre re-invigorated by Carpenter's 78 classic Halloween.

Then I realised that I'd have to actually sit and plan watching some decent movies and crafting a well written critique so I thought 'fuck it' and just grabbed this of the twins shelf....



As regular readers will remember I've already covered Mask Maker so how could Bunnyman be anything other than great?




Bunnyman (AKA The Bunnyman Massacre, 2009).
Dir: Carl Lindberg
Cast: Scott Kuza, David Scott, Alaina Gianci, Lucia Sullivan, Cheryl Texiera, Matthew Stiller, Veronica Wylie and Matthew Phillips.

"Shit, alright, we've learned our lesson!"


Welcome to the arse end of Backwoodsville USA, where a bunch of college buddies are enjoying the long ride to Vegas.

Well that's what it says on the back of the box.

Lazily taking in the scenery our fairly fucked six-some are surprised when a big truck - first seen in a ropy pre-credits sequence being driven by a man with furry feet - appears from nowhere and tries to ram them off the road before revving up and driving away.

This road based rage game of cat and mouse (OK rabbit and mouse....or is that rabbit and teen?) continues just long enough to pad the films running time to feature length meaning the director - and I use that term loosely - can now continue with the plot good and proper.

And with that in mind the Duel copying truck driver finally succeeds in forcing the car off the road and into a convenient tree.

Ouch.

Beware: This van is not full of sweets.




Luckily one of the group, Jack (Kuza, like it matters) is a mechanic and is soon on his back fiddling underneath the car.

Which would probably be OK if the terrifying trucker hadn't decided a short while later to ram them again, squashing Jack flat.

A lucky escape for him methinks.

Deciding the best way to escape from the devilish driver is to run away our surviving pals leg it into the bushes where they soon come across an inbred mentalist (whose house is surrounded by inverted crosses and bags of bones) with a gun fetish and an untempered erection who shouts a lot.

Just like your dad.

"Gerroff mah lahnd an' gerrin mah mooth ya bashtad!"


With forced buggery nowhere near top of their agenda the remaining five make their excuses and leave, deciding that if they walk in a perfectly straight line till nightfall not only will they find help but will ultimately forget all about their dead pal.

Which they indeed do within about 5 minutes.

Bastards.

Luckily (for us and them) night soon falls meaning that:

A. We don't have to look at their punchable faces as much

and

B. Everyone knows scary shit happens at night.

Unfortunately in this case it's just two folk, a pube-haired hillbilly and a sexy (in a pram-faced council estate kinda way) woman sitting in a car.

I bet Tobe Hooper is shitting himself right now.

Not due to him being a more talented film-maker more to do with decomposition obviously.


You know a film's low budget when they can't even afford to give one actress an arse.

Unable to give them a ride to town due to pubey having a really contagious case of rickets, the lady (Brian I think her name was but I can't be sure, look if the director can't be arsed why should I?) suggests that they go and rest overnight in the blood spattered and seemingly abandoned cabin a few miles back and that she'll come pick them up the next morning.

Sounds legit.

Everyone reckons this is a great idea but being American aren't too used to walking so within five minutes the entire mob of them have fallen asleep under a tree.

Which does give us the opportunity to gaze at the strangely attractive Veronica Wylie as she snoozes.

Wylie: Muck shot violently over jubblies. More at ten.


Next morning everyone wakes refreshed and ready to go except the aforementioned Wylie that is, who keeps complaining that she was kept up all night by the sound of someone chomping loudly on carrots behind a nearby bush.

With her friends openly mocking her excuse for wanting an extra ten minutes kip (which if I'm honest probably makes a change from mocking her knobbly knees) Veronica heads over to the bush to investigate.

Popping her head around the exotic fauna she's (fairly) surprised to see a man in a sub-standard market stall rabbit suit wielding a chainsaw above his head.

This surprise however is cut short when he violently sticks it in her.
 

"What the fuck's up doc?"


Realizing that the rabbit is out for blood (and that there is only about 20 minutes left on the running time) our fearful foursome leg it toward the cabin only to discover that it's a trap.

Yup the cabin belongs to Mr. Bunnyman and his family which includes the harsh faced bird, that pubey bloke and a hunchback in a pair of welding goggles.

Tho' I doubt he's qualified. 

Outnumbered, out acted and scarily out witted, our surviving saps are pitted in a battle to the death against the loopiest Leporis since Rabbit Rampage was released on the SNES back in 1994.

Who will survive?

And what will be left of their careers?



Who'd have thought that after spewing forth the atrocious Shadow of The Dead over an unsuspecting world way back in 2004 that Danish boxer (he competed in the 1924 Summer Olympics) cum writer / director / producer and editor Carl Lindberg would create a horror character to rival Leatherface in the inbred badman stakes?

Not the person that hired that bunny suit that's for sure.

But scarily enough it works.

Which is a pity seeing as the rest of the movie is just a ragbag of ideas, scenes and situations stolen from a variety of  decidedly better sources.

Oh and Wrong Turn.

Tho' it is quite pretty to look at.

And I did sit thru' the whole thing without once wanting to stab myself in the eyes.

Which is more than can be said for Johnny English.

But is that really a good enough reason to buy this?

Answers on a postcard please.























































*As an aside, the reviews title was due to an amazing amount of hilariously conceived similarities 'tween the Bunnyman and The Chuckle Brothers fantastic Chucklehounds.

I was going to do the whole review as a comical exchange between the pair but to be honest I couldn't be bothered seeing as only about 3 folk read this.

What I can say is that'd have been bloody funny.

Probably.

If you don't know who The Chuckle Brothers are/were you can find out here.