Tuesday, November 27, 2018

the carpeteria cult.

For your viewing pleasure, Dale Robertson (best known for his starring roles as the roving investigator Jim Hardie in Tales of Wells Fargo and Ben Calhoun, the owner of an incomplete railroad line in The Iron Horse, fact fans) as the raspy voiced, sharp-suited sex god that was 'Carpeteria Man' in a trio of ads from the late 70s.

Warning - may contain Bri-Nylon.

And Rohypnol. 





Saturday, November 24, 2018

right said fred.




Well I couldn't really watch one without the other, especially when I got a comment reminding me how bloody good this is....


Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD (1966).
Dir: Gordon Flemyng.
Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins, Ray Brooks, Andrew Keir, Roberta Tovey,  Jill Curzon, Godfrey Quigley, Philip Madoc, Sheila Steafel, Eileen Way and the Daleks.

"My planet's got no magnetic core!" "How do you pilot it around then?" "Bedfordshire!"


Beginning with a fabulous pre-credits teaser that would do Bond proud, the film introduces us to hapless copper Tom Campbell (the legendary Cribbins) who, whilst minding his own business patrolling the dark city streets is bonked on the head by a gang of ruthless clock thieves before stumbling into Tardis after mistaking it for a real police box.

But before you can say 'Right said Fred' he's been whizzed away into a future London by our old friends Doctor Who (Cushing) and Susan (Tovey), this time aided by sultry Louise (the raven haired Curzon from your Granddads dreams).

Obviously Barbara has been sent away to Shady Nook, her mind and body broken after their last terrifying adventure.

Well either that or Roy Castle got her up the duff.

Dirty boy.

The Doctor and co. visit sunny Govan.



Arriving in the year 2150, our heroes (and Louise) are shocked to discover that London is now a desolate wasteland of ruined buildings  with the bodies of the dead littering the streets and sinister flying saucers hovering overhead.

Who knew that Brexit would cause so much heartache?

Upon further inspection tho' Dr Who discovers that the trouble is less about gammon and more to do with his old enemies the Daleks, who have invaded Earth and ravaged the planet whilst enslaving its population.

The bastards.

In what has become a Doctor Who tradition the foursome soon split up with typically exciting results,  Susan - after a terrifying ankle sprain - and Louise quickly being abducted by a flat capped grumpy Scotsman named Wyler (the one true Quatermass, Keir) whilst Dr Who and Tom are accosted by a Dalek who appears to have been hiding in the Thames for no reason other than to scare anyone walking by.

Which is fair enough I guess.

Captured and taken aboard a Dalek spaceship situated just off Sloane Square (it seemed important at the time) the duo are locked in a cell awaiting questioning but being a clever clogs Dr. Who manages to bypass the lock and escape, unaware that the Daleks have engineered the situation to test their captives’ suitability for robotisation.

And what, pray is robotisation when it's at home?

Well it seems that the Daleks have been kidnapping the fittest men in the country and, after scary brainwashing techniques involving stand-up hairdryers, dressing them in tight PVC jumpsuits and leather boots to use as 'slaves'.

And now Dr Who is next on their list.


"I can see your house from here Peter!"


Meanwhile, Wyler has taken the girls to a secret resistance base in the London Underground, where they're introduced to the sexy, blade-wielding David (Brooks, better known as the voice of Mr Benn) and the wheelchair-bound head of resisting, Danny Dortmun (Quigley, best known as the prison chaplain in A Clockwork Orange) who as luck would have it is in the middle of planning an attack on the Dalek saucer.

Tho' why he's leaving them with the cups I've no idea.

Disguising some of the rebels as Robomen and armed with Dortun's special home-made bombs the group manage to get aboard the spaceship and soon come across Dr. Who and Tom running in the opposite direction but there's no time for 'hellos' as the Daleks mount a cunning counter-attack that sees Tom and Louise trapped in a cupboard as the spaceship lifts off and Wyler returning to the base alone much to the disappointment of Dortmun and Susan who were expecting celebratory cake.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians- The pikey years.




Leaving her grandfather a note the trio decide to head to sunny Bedfordshire where, it transpires the Daleks are digging a big hole with the idea of removing Earths magnetic core and piloting the planet around like a big spaceship.

Sounds legit.

Stealing an Asda delivery van the trio are all set for the long drive until they realise that poor Dortmun can't fit in the back because the shelves are full of frozen fish fingers but as they try to make room the Daleks appear and exterminate him (to death) leaving Wyler and Susan no choice but to drive off leaving his still warm body twitching in the street.

Just like your mom did with your dad on Christmas Day back in 1984.

But what of dear old Dr. Who? I hear you ask.

Well he and David fucked off into the sewers at the first sign of trouble and are currently making their way back to base in order to meet up with any survivors only to think "Fuck it, let's go to Bedfordshire and hang about outside the famous Bedford Girls' School or at the very least meet some of the sexy contestants up for the coveted title of Miss New Bedford!*"  instead.

So off they trot to investigate the Dalek mining operation and hopefully score some weed along the way.

Meanwhile aboard the Dalek saucer, Tom and Louise are busying themselves escaping down a toilet only to end up stranded slap bang in the middle of the mining complex (which is kinda lucky I guess) and decide - after being attacked by a roboman, to hide out in a shed and hope that everything blows over.

Who will win the 62nd Miss New Bedford pageant and will they be able to stop the evil Dalek plan!?



With all this excitement going on it's nice to catch up with Wyler and Susan, who are currently enjoying a slap up meal at a cottage belonging to a sultry young woman named Morag (TV stalwart Steafel) and her mother the pursed lipped Graham (Way, who also played an old mother in An Unearthly Child....spooky).

As they sit scoffing biscuits Susan excitedly informs Wyler about how her granddad is gonna kick the Daleks' arses as soon as he gets to the mine and desperately tries to convince him that they should head there right away in case they miss anything.

Morag, bored with Susan's nasally whining makes her excuses and leaves, saying she has her womans period only to return a few minutes later with a couple of Daleks who take Wyler and Susan off to the mine.

Sorted.

Dear old Dr. Who and David have also found their way into the mining complex thanks to a sinister black marketeer named Baz 'Nylons' Brockley (Brian Morbius' best pal  - Mandy Solon himself, Madoc) who smuggles then in under a dog blanket to be reunited with a slightly coy Tom and Louise.

Which begs the question as to what they were up to in that shed.


"Don't stick it in me....fuck Cribbins he's strawberry flavoured!"



 With the group (almost) all together again it's a race against time - and 60s fashions - to stop the Daleks before they can complete their evil, and oh so slightly bonkers, plan.....






The Daleks second foray onto the big screen 'Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD' has the kinda title that gives even the most casual viewer some idea of what to expect - although the Daleks vs. the grumpy tramps might be more appropriate, feature as it does the greatest collection of flea market suits this side of an Oxfam opening.

But a change of clothes from sexy sci-fi suits to stinky cheese trousers isn't the only thing different second time around as the bright colours, comic book thrills and fun feel of the first movie have given way to an altogether more gritty film, a sort of junior 'Escape from New York' with Bernard Cribbins in the Kurt Russell role and Peter Cushing essaying Lee Van Cleef.

Albeit at one point with them both wearing black, wet-look PVC.

Which is actually a lot sexier than it sounds.

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


And for what is essentially a kid-friendly excuse to sell Dalek toys the movie isn't half bad and looks gorgeous, boasting  some genuinely great effects including a fabulously designed Dalek Spaceship flying menacingly over a devastated London and some super forced perspective sets, especially those at the saucers landing area.

The battle scenes between the survivors and the Daleks are well choreographed and visually exciting and the whole movie has a kind of 'epic' quality to it, only marred by some misplaced hi-jinx forced on Cribbins because that's what Roy Castle did first time around.

And whilst the comedy in the first movie is quite sweetly done, here it seems to jar against the overall seriousness of the plot, especially the Roboman meal scene, which cheapens the otherwise genuinely chilling concept behind these Dalek slaves.

A scene late on in the film, where one of the workers tries to reason with his robotised brother before being cruelly murdered by him, has its impact slightly lessened by the earlier antics of Bernard Cribbins scoffing dolly mixtures with his funny robot pals to a samba beat.

But fuck it the rest of the movie is perfect so who cares?

Not the rest of the cast that's for sure, of which none of them are anything other than brilliant (yes even Bernard Spear's cameo as the gurning man who falls over before winking to camera is great) especially Andrew Keir's grumpy - and slightly scary - Scotsman Wyler, Ray Brook's 'boy with the knack' and Philip Madoc's badboy Brockley, who in one of the movies best scenes meets his grisly demise in a garden shed blown to pieces by around twenty Daleks.

Yes, the film could afford that many, not just the three (including the shite one with no-one in it) that the BBC could only ever afford.


Davros farted - and it was an eggy one.



Unfortunately although 'Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD' was by far the more accomplished film of the pair, it scarily made less money than its predecessor curtailed any plans Subotsky had for further big screen Doctor Who adventures, which is sad really, as judging by his efforts here, the results could have only got better and better.

And quite possibly sexier as they continued, Planet of The Vampires and Barbarella I'm looking at you.....I mean, imagine Mario Bave directing a big screen  adaptation of The Chase?

My I need a lie down now.

It's a pity then that 'serious' Doctor Who fans (sorry, enthusiasts) see these movies as either embarrassing relatives of the series, or seldom mentioned curio's, when in fact these two sixties feature films offer a wealth of enjoyment to be had that at times eclipse the series that spawned them.

And not just because I quite fancied Roberta Tovey when I was 9.


Jill Curzon - Dalektable (sorry).


Bloody hell I just realised I did two whole reviews in a semi-serious manner.

Gonna have to fix that.





































*Which if they'd bothered to check a map would have realised is actually held in New Bedford in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States and not the other one.

As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts.

New Bedford is nicknamed "The Whaling City" because during the 19th century, the city was one of the most important whaling ports in the world plus it has a lot of very fat residents.

The city, along with Fall River and Taunton, make up the three largest cities in the South Coast region of Massachusetts.

If you ever find yourself there and feel a wee bit peckish can I recommend  The Green Bean located on 740 Purchase St,which has a top selection of
Vegan donuts, vegetarian wraps & locally roasted coffee all served in a charming cafe with live music.

Friday, November 23, 2018

skaro a go-go!

It's Doctor Who's birthday today and what better way to celebrate than with this?*

Dr. Who And The Daleks (1965)
Dir: Gordon Flemyng.
Cast: Peter Cushing, Roy Castle, Jennie Linden, Roberta Tovey, Barrie Ingham and The Daleks.


"In electro-connective theory, space expands to accommodate the time necessary to incorporate its dimensions." - Brexit in a nutshell.


Dotty old eccentric inventor Dr. Terry Who (Genre God Cushing) along with his granddaughters - the precocious Susan (Tovey, daughter of Russell) and the fright-haired Barbara (the totally terrifying yet equally tempting Linden) are enjoying a quiet evening in whilst awaiting the arrival of Barbara's new boyfriend Ian (Castle - who needs no introduction) who has tickets for the theatre, a box of chocolates and the keys to his dads shed in the hope he may see some action this evening.

Tho' judging by the tightness of Barbara's Capri-pants there's enough action on show already.

Happy that Barbara is actually interested in men and not one of those Lesbosians he's read about in his medical journals Dr. Who, upon Ian's arrival  excitedly invites him into the garden to see his latest invention - a time and space machine called Tardis that he's build inside a police telephone box that he stole from the set of the 1962 Richard Lester directed Helen Shapiro starrer It's Trad, Dad!

Unable to resist a poke in a mysterious box Ian gingerly follows Dr. Who and his family into the garden and into (the) Tardis.

"And this Susan is all the fucks I give!"



With this being the pre-sexy, fairly staid bit of the 60s, Ian gets a wee bit overexcited with the amount of shiny knobs on show inside the machine and accidently tries to insert one of them up his arse causing Tardis to fly off to fuck knows where as the intrepid travelers are overcome by the smell of stale onions.

Slowly coming to Dr. Who is intrigued to see where they are, unlike Ian and Barbara who are nervously looking at their watches wondering if they'll have time for a quick drink before the show starts, so it's left to Susan to decide what to do.

Being one of those swatty types she elects to have a wee scout around before they head home.

Well you can't really blame her seeing as her sister has paired off and the smell of humbugs has probably put her off kissing her granddad.

Again.

So they all decide to leave the relative safety of the ship and furtively open the doors to see where they are.

Which - if I'm honest - is in a really quite impressive and moodily lit petrified alien jungle set complete with wacky TV-21 style mummified monsters and a mysterious (model) city way off in the distance.

Seriously the design puts Alien to shame.

Or at least Shocking Dark.

Plus it has something that neither of those classics have, namely Roy Castle at the height of his comedic powers falling over plastic dinosaurs whilst whistling.

Genius.

"We've come on holiday by mistake!"



And if that wasn't enough - and it is - someone - or something - has left a handy container of drugs outside Tardis door so they can chill out (or go 'mad for it' I'm never too sure what the kids say) and relax under the psychedelic sky whilst listening to Bob Marley like my neighbours are want to do during the summer.

Or something.

Unfortunately Dr. Who is a bit of a square and locks the drugs in the Tardis bathroom cabinet before anyone can try them.

Realising that his chances of getting a shag from Barbara (or even Susan) is diminishing by the minute Ian suggests that they all go home, much to Dr. Who's chagrin, so being a sneaky old bugger, old man Who pretends that the ship has a leaky fluid link that can only be fixed by injecting heroin into his eyeball.

Or is that with mercury?

You can see why I got kicked out of medical school can't you?

Anyway to this end Dr. Who suggests that they travel to the city to see if they can find any.

But as they begin the journey Susan has a feeling that they're being watched.

Well I should hope so or the box office will be awful.



Peter Cushing attempts to put 45 candles up Roy Castle's arse....is this a record?


Quickly arriving at the city (well it is a small set) and after a few more moments of comedy gold from Castle - this time involving an automatic door - the group are captured by the evil Daleks, strange outer space robot people from BBC TVs Doctor Who and the vastly superior TV 21 comic series who've been hiding behind the (glittery) curtains giggling to themselves as the y watch Who and co. stumble about.

Seizing - well suckering - the fluid link from Dr. Who's (big swapping) pocket the Daleks pop everyone in a prison cell and feed the Play-Doh thru' a gap under the door.

Evil bastards.

As they sit contemplating a way to escape our intrepid heroes (and Ian) begin to feel a wee bit unwell, soon realising that the entire planet is soaked in deadly radiation (and bean juice) and that the drugs they found outside Tardis must have been left by a nice person in order to stop them dying.

Maybe leaving a note alongside the box would have been a good idea then?

Just saying.


"Laugh now!"



It's not all fun and games for the poor Daleks tho' as it seems that the reason that they all trundle around in their groovy metal casings is due to the radiation outside too and that they're so scared of it causing their skirt-balls to fall off that they dare not go outside.

A bit like you Dad after your Mum left him.

Only replace fear of radiation with because he fucked the babysitter.

Twice.

And in your bed too.

Anyway whilst overhearing Dr Who and his chums (and Ian) discussing the drugs, the Daleks formulate a cunning plan to persuade folk to leave the European Union by blaming 'the foreigners' for everything, promising 60 sqillion pounds to the NHS and a free Union Jack for every pensioner but quickly realising that absolutely no-one with half a braincell would fall for this the formulate a second less whacked-out plan that involves sending Susan back thru' the pertrified jungle to fetch the drugs so they wont die.

Oh and the Daleks promise not to steal them for themselves.

Seeing no reason not to trust their captives Susan heads back out into the unknown.

Which if I'm honest is slightly less unknown than it was the first time around.


"I never done it!" - And neither did your dad.


Reaching Tardis without anything bad actually happening, Susan quickly collects the drugs but just as she's about to begin the journey back - which if I'm honest seems quicker than popping to the local shops so I've no idea what the problem was, girls eh? - out from behind a convenient tree (which actually sounds like a really shit sequel to that 2006 American documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim) pops Jeff Alydon - a scary alien resplendent in a blonde Beatles wig, Chelsea boots, a nipple revealing suede vest and blue eye shadow.

Which I have to say looks in no way at all camp.

Kudos to Barrie Ingham for actually pulling it off, I mean it's as if Ziggy Stardust and Quentin Crisp had been melded in a hideous genetic experiment run by the kids from Village of the Damned.

Think Ru-Paul cosplaying Mr Spock and you're about a third of the way there.

"Do you require any scissors sharpening?


Anyway it turns out that Alydon is the leader of the Thals, who are the other folk that live on the planet and it seems that they once engaged in a massive atomic war with the Daleks that resulted in the whole place becoming radioactive.

Which is nice.

Explaining the situation with her friends Alydon helpfully gives her a second box of drugs and sends her on her way.

Which is a wee bit far-fetched seeing as the last time I popped out from behind a tree dressed as a woman and gave a pre-teen girl drugs I got arrested.

Ah it was a much more innocent time back then.

Ask Mary Bell.

Susan returns to the Dalek city where the cunning creatures snatch the drugs to keep for themselves but decide to let Susan keep the second lot for her friends, partly because they appreciated a bit of cunning but mainly so they can watch how they affect the humans.

I reckon they just want to see if Barbara gets naked and dances.

Tho' they could save themselves the trouble and just watch Ken Russell's Women in Love if they want to see that.

But thinking about it that may be a bit difficult seeing as it hadn't been made yet.

As Dr. Who and his friends busy themselves getting shit-faced on alien amphetamines Susan helpfully fills in some much needed backstory by explaining that, according to Alydon, the Thal's crops have failed and they have journeyed to the Dalek city in the hope of trading the anti-radiation drug formula - or their pert arses - for food.

Still listening in on the conversation and realising that there probably isn't going to be any hot sex action from the cell, the Daleks decide that it'd be funny if they invited the Thals to dinner, killed them then just took the drugs from the Thals still warm corpses and to this end they get Susan to write a letter -  saying that they will leave a massive bag of egg and cress sandwiches and fizzy pop just by the garden shed - which they will Blu-Tak to the front door in the hope that the Thals will see it.

But when Susan finishes the letter, the Daleks reveal that tit's all a joke and that they're going to kill everyone.

To death.

Yazoo have let themselves go.


Being upstanding nice folk our heroes decide to escape and warn the Thals so after violently beating the Dalek that delivers their food before smothering him in a bin bag and leaving him lying bleeding in the corner (and these are meant to be the good guys) the group head towards the city entrance just in time to give the Thals the heads up and escape with them into the jungle.

 Meanwhile the Daleks are busy snorting away on the anti-radiation drug but are fairly upset to find that rather than help them chillax it actually causes their arses to implode so in an act of retaliation they decide to detonate yet another neutron bomb to increase the planet’s radiation and kill all the Thals.

Because reasons.

Back at the Thal camp, Dr. Who is all set to just fuck off and leave everyone to die but soon realises that he's left the fluid link in the Dalek city and will need the Thals help to recover it, but the Thals being boring pacifists refuse to fight.

To show them that violence is always better than peace Dr. Who tells Ian to touch Alydon's girlfriend's bottom, enraging the Thal who jumps on Ian and tries to punch him.

Realising that they can fight for things they care about, Alydon and Dr. Who  lead the Thals in an attack on the city, but unfortunately the Daleks repel the assault with almost no effort and Dr. Who and Susan are recaptured.

"Are you the farmer?"


Meanwhile Ian, Barbara and a small group of Thals manage to sneak into the Dalek city by smashing in their back door and, once inside they join the rest of the Thals, to mount a frontal assault (but not alas a small boy) on the Daleks and rescue Dr. Who and Susan but as the Thals and humans enter the control room, they discover that the Daleks have already begun the countdown to the bomb detonation....






For many of us of a certain - old - age, the 60s Dalek movies were our first encounter with Doctor Who's past outside our dog-eared Target novelisations and well thumbed Monster Book, hence this was how we imagined all sixties Doctor Who looked and sounded.

So you understand, then, why we were a wee bit disappointed when we finally got to see 'The Dead Planet' on it's original video release but why we all adore 'The Krotons'.

And re-watching them today it's hard not to be won over by their charm cos frankly they're brilliant.

Peter Cushing, as the eccentric old - human - Dr. Who plays the part as a mischievous schoolboy trapped in an old mans body (stop sniggering at the back) and from the opening shot of him enjoying Dan Dare's adventures in The Eagle to his genuine excitement at the thought of exploring the mysterious city, Cushing's Doctor Who is a joy to behold.

As for the rest of the human cast…Jennie Linden's Barbara is all scary hair, tight tops and pointed bra's, a kind of low rent Lulu either frowning sweatily at Peter Cushing or fawning sweatily over the bumbling comedy genius that is Roy Castle's Ian Chesterton but Roberta Tovey's Susie is just bloody scary, less an unearthly child more of an ungodly one.

Imagine Adric in a tartan pinny and ankle socks and you're half way there.

Tho' probably not half as aroused as I am by that thought.

"Put it in me!"


None of that is really important, tho', as we're really here to see the Daleks….bigger, better and considerably brighter than ever before (or since).

From their first appearance skulking in the corridors of their city, to their exciting demise, the metal meanies have never looked better, as if they'd stepped directly from the pages of the aforementioned TV21 comic.

The whole production screams 'BIG!, even the police box shell looks bigger than normal - it's a pity, tho' that they decided to film the TARDIS interiors inside Albert Steptoe's shed.

The Skaro sets have a genuine other-worldly feel and as for the city interiors, Jennie Linden recalls that this was 'the first and largest set completely built from plastic'… think about this, a giant primary coloured, transparent plastic Dalek city, complete with lava lamps and big black and white TV screens populated by giant primary coloured, shiny Daleks…genius does not begin to describe this artistic triumph.

The one big mistake by the Academy Award panel was that this film wasn't even nominated in 1965, if it had been it would have swept the board.

Damn you The Sound of Music, obviously the wrong Nazi-inspired movie won.


Jeremy Beadle: The Return.


But what of the plot?

Adapted from the Terry Nation original, but with all the boring bits cut out, by David Whitaker and the legendary Milton Subotsky, it hurtles along at a cracking pace, pausing only to showcase a few quality comedy turns from Mr. Castle. These include such delights as 'Ian sits on a box of chocolates', 'Ian can't get in a door' and mine (and many other fan's) favourite, 'Ian is attacked by giant projected Roman soldiers whilst whistling'.

Fans of Roy Castle's portrayal of Ian may also want to check out the Amicus classic 'Dr. Terror's House of Horrors', as well as also being produced by Subotsky, it re-teams him with Peter Cushing and also features star turns from Christopher Lee, Kenny Lynch, once mooted big screen Doctor Donald Sutherland and Alan 'Fluff' Freeman.

Looking back I'm surprised I've never reviewed it as it's fucking brilliant.

Cinematic gold.












































*Tho' let's be honest if you're reading this blog then maybe this would be better suited to your taste.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 82).

Janet - the source of all information and knowledge for humans within The Good Place as portrayed by D'Arcy Carden.








Wednesday, November 21, 2018

saxon violence.

Nightmare Beach (AKA Welcome To Spring Break, 1988).
Dir: Umberto Lenzi (or maybe Harry Kirkpatrick).
Cast: Nicolas de Toth, Sarah Buxton, Rawley Valverde, Lance Le Gault, Michael Parks, John Saxon, Ben Stotes, Kristy Lachance, Gregg Todd Davis, Yamilet Hidalgo, John Baldwin, Luis Valderrama, Fred Buck, Debra Gallagher, Turk Harley, Christina Kier and Tony Bolano.

"welcome to spring break, the annual migration of the idiot".




Welcome to the B-movie Blackpool that is Manatee Beach, Florida where badboy biker Roger 'Diablo' Whittaker (Bad Boys and 2 Fast 2 Furious 'star'  Bolano) is about to be electrocuted for the murder of the local teen Betty Tilsley.

In attendance are the towns patent bastard of a police chief Jeff Strycher (John 'my illustrious career' Saxon), town coroner and part-time alcoholic Dr. Willet (Twin Peaks Jean Renault himself Parks) and the - Very - Reverend Ralph Bates (TV stalwart Le Gault) alongside the murdered girl’s big sister, Gail (Buxton, best know as Slutty Kay in Little Children probably).

As he's dragged kicking and screaming toward 'Old Sparky' Diablo pleads that he didn’t commit the (bad) murder and that it was actually Strycher that did it and ran away but alas no-one seems to care and the switch is pulled as the greasy biker boy is executed.

But not before he promises to return from the grave and exact his revenge.


Yup, seems legit.


"Are you looking at my bra?"




But who really cares about such trivial matters when it's time for the town to transform into a hotbed of sex, booze and bubble perms for the annual Spring Break celebrations?

Not any sane scriptwriter that's for sure.

And it's at the local hotel where we first meet our hero for the next 90 minutes -  college football star Skip Tinkle (latter day film editor De Toth, who comes across like a slightly less charismatic Jai Courtney if that were possible) and his pal Ronnie Spector (Valverde, best known as Santa Barbara bad lad Amado Gonzalez) who are all set for a week of having the sex with a variety of ladies.

Unfortunately Skip is too upset to think about girls as he missed a penalty or something during his last football game meaning that everyone keeps telling him that he cost them money and that he's a bit shit.

Which if I'm honest is way more character background than we usually get so we should really be grateful.

So as Ronnie does his best (R rated) Slater from Saved By The Bell impression, Skip sits dejected in the local bar where he catches the eye of Gail, who's happy to finally meet someone who doesn't try to grab her (albeit peachy) arse whilst asking for booze.

Yup he's a proper gent.

Gail: Tuesday.


Feeling pretty pleased with himself for giving Skip such a great backstory, writer James Justice (or is it 'director' Harry Kirkpatrick under a different name?) throws caution - and logic - to the wind by introducing all manner of other backstories and sub plots including a rat-like pickpocket who’s fleecing all the students and a fright-permed practical joker who's attempts at humour involve everything from pretending to be dead in a pool to swimming around in a home-made shark suit (no, really) alongside the Reverend’s flat-faced daughter Rachael (Gallagher) who would rather get pissed and have 'the sex' with anyone who smiles in her general direction than go to church and don't forget the 'lovely' Kimberley (Kier in her only film role outside the ones her uncle made when she was a kid) who’s on a mission to find fat old (rich) men to fuck for money (this surprisingly seems to work really well) as well as the sleazy hotel clerk (resplendent with the cliched thinning hair, John Waters style mustache and loud, ill-fitting shirt, just in case you hadn't figured it out) who, when not mopping his sweaty brow spends his days spying on Kimberley and her conquests thru' a peephole in a cupboard wall.

Seriously it's like a crack-fueled episode of Crossroads just without the stench of cabbage.

Or if you prefer the reboot Freema Agyeman in a bath.

"I love jumping in muddy puddles!"


Anyway back at the actual plot, Diablo's old bike gang - the scarily monikered the Demons are pretty certain that Strycher was responsible for framing their leader and getting him executed so their new big boss man, the enigmatic Tony Dawg (Valderrama, who was actually in some other stuff but to be honest I can't be bothered typing what) decides to take revenge on not just the police but everyone in town beginning with Skip and Ronnie who they angrily accuse of parking in their spot.

No, really.

Luckily Strycher turns up saving us the embarrassment  of what would have been a really badly executed fight scene and everyone goes about their business.

Talking of executing and business, the Demons aren’t the only mad bastards on two wheels in town (and I'm not counting the pair of BMX experts that turn up and do a few stunts in the background at one point) as there's also a leather-clad mentalist on the loose whose motorcycle has a home-made electrocution device built into it and he's prowling the streets frying anyone he comes across much like they do with Mars Bars in Edinburgh.


No amusing caption, just total and utter devotion....she will be mine.


But enough random killings for now as we have to check in with Ronnie and Skip.

No change with our football fouling fella tho' as he's still sipping on a warm beer and making doe-eyes at Gail, which leaves Mr sex Machine Ronnie at a lose end.

Which I'm surprised he doesn't have already from the way his pal keeps looking at him.

Anyway deciding to go out on the ton alone, Ronnie soon comes across (not in that way tho' I'm sure she'd be used to it by now)  Diablo’s ex-girlfriend, Trina (Hidalgo, best known for playing a whore in the Eric Roberts actioner The Specialist) who invites him back to the gangs pad for a wee bit of raunchy rudeness.

Wouldn't you guess it tho' it's actually a trap and before he can even consider unsheathing his huge manhood  the rest of the gang beat the shit out of him before stealing his football medallion and leaving the poor guy battered and bleeding in a car park.

We've all been there.

But no sooner have the Demons up and left than the evil electricutor (yes I know that's not a real word but it should be) appears and kills our beaten up buddy.

To death.


Germs.




Waking up alone and with his trousers still on the right way Skip soon realises that Ronnie is missing and heads off to ask Gail if she’s seen him.

Well obviously she's seen him but I think he actually means recently.

As in the night before obviously as she's only just met them so technically she's only seen him recently.

Unless they were at school together or something and no-one has mentioned it.

But I digress.

Offering to help Skip locate his missing pal the pairs first stop is the local A and E ward where a very tipsy Dr. Willet tells them that he hasn't seen anyone of late before clumsily crashing into a cupboard and phoning Strycher to warn him that those meddling kids are investigating stuff.

Or something.

You see, unbeknown to our young friends, Mayor Loomis (Caddyshack's Buck) alongside Strycher and Willet have actually buried Ronnie’s body in the local builders yard in the hope that no-one discovers that there's a serial killer in town.


Jimbo the spawn of Beelzebub.


As he wanders the streets looking for his friend Skip bumps into Trina and quickly notices that she's wearing Ronnie’s medal and, when questioned admits that the gang beat him up a wee bit but that he was still alive when they left him.

Oh and that Diablo didn't kill Gail's sister and that someone else - maybe a town official - did it.

As Skip and Gayle investigate further even more crispy, battered bodies begin to turn up and it appears that no-one is safe from the bonkers biker.....


Poster.





When even Umberto (Nightmare City) Lenzi refuses to admit to directing a movie you just know you're in for a treat and Nightmare Beach definitely delivers something.

Just probably not what the producers were expecting.

Taking its killer biker cues from such classics as What Have They Done To Your Daughters? and Strip Nude For Your Killer, Nightmare Beach adds a smidgen of Jaws for good measure - as well as bizarrely a bit of Assault on Precinct 13 - before getting screamingly drunk and just throwing the results at the screen, sticking a Claudio Simonetti score on it (alongside some sub-Bangles shite pop obviously) and hoping something sticks.

True none of it makes any sense and the plot is even more schizophrenic than Peter Sutcliffe at Butlins but it's definitely enjoyable in it's own peculiar way.

And if only to watch the look of utter despair on John Saxon's - gravy-tanned - face as he spits reams of inane dialogue whilst thinking "Surely a new swimming pool can't cost this much?" before realising that this time round at least he hasn't had to perform cunnilingus on a hamster for spare change.

John we salute you.

And feel your pain.

Cinzia De Carolis: Less barely legal more barely human.




As for the rest of the cast, Michael Parks is all big bins and stutters as the doctor with a secret whilst Lance LeGault is so over the top as to become airbourne, ranting and raving about whores and sin whilst little bits of spit collect in the corner of his mouth.

Which is lucky as apart from Rawley Valverde - who let's be honest is actually letting his outfits act for him - the rest of the cast are stiffer than Jimmy Savile in an orphanage with Sarah Buxton's unblinking and flatly monotone portrayal of Gayle especially unnerving.

For fear of accusations of sexism I have to say that Nicolas De Toth fares no better, spending the entire film stumbling around open mouthed speaking his liners like a stroke victim who's only just rediscovered his voice.

But scariest of all is the frankly fantastic Yamilet Hidalgo, who appears to have drunkenly walked on set on the way home from a fairly debauched birthday party and just joined in after mistaking the whole thing as real.

Which is odd as not only does her voice seem to be badly dubbed but her whole body movement does too.

If you've ever had the urge to electrocute a baby dear but were too scared in case you got into trouble then fear not as watching her performance here amounts to the same thing.

Albeit just not quite as sexy.

Yamilet Hidalgo: Dirtier than your mum.


But what I hear you cry of these strange rumours regarding Umberto Lenzi not actually directing it?

Well according to the great man himself, he reckoned that he was originally hired to direct it but fell out with the producers over 'something'* but stayed on set as a courtesy in order to advice screenwriter James Justice who'd ended up with the job as everyone else had gone for a tea break.

I for one kinda believe him seeing as the finished product - which by no stretch of the imagination is in any way well made - is far from being as cack-handed as many other of Lenzi's efforts.

Plus the situation couldn't have been as bad as he made out seeing as the pair re-teamed the week after shooting was complete to make the 'classic' mutant monkey/slasher mash-up Primal Rage for the same producers.

They even invited Sarah Buxton back.

Poor cow.






























































*Lenzi's off-screen battles with various producers were as legendary as his latent misogyny and if you're in any doubt as to either just watch any documentaries regarding the making of Nightmare City where he rants uncontrollably about   his battles to complete his vision, from producer Luis Mendez refusing to let him cast a 'name' actor in the lead role of Dean Miller (Lenzi favoured either Franco Nero or Fabio Testi whereas Mendez insisted on a Mexican lead to appeal to the movies co-funders who eventually cast alleged lush and professional hairy woodsman Stiglitz) to what appears to be an imaginary 'female executive' forcing him to tone down the films many gore scenes and shadowy government types threatening violence as the script veered too close to the truth - honestly the stories are almost as entertaining as the movie.

 Almost.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

living doll.

Between Glasgow Horror Con, Weekend of The Dead and not being able to attend Cine-Excess due to actually having work to do I've had precious little time to watch any movies recently - outside taking Twin #1 to see Bohemian Rhapsody that is - so decided to take time out last night to give this a spin seeing as - shock horror - I realized that I'd never actually watched it till now.



Trilogy of Terror (1975).
Dir: Dan Curtis.
Cast: Karen Black, Robert Burton, James Storm, Gregory Harrison, John Karlen and George Gaynes.


'You've drugged me!'
 "No dear, I've killed you".





Welcome one and all to a pesky portmanteau horror consisting of three unconnected tales of terror from the pen (tho' it was most likely a typewriter) of horror-miester Richard Matheson and starring the late, great Karen Black, sit back and relax as we first meet the dowdy, bespectacled English teacher named....

'Julie'

Creepy college stud Chad Foster (As the World Turns, Vega$ and Lassie actor plus former Mr Karen Black, Burton), reckoning that all his female classmates are worthless whores and not worthy of his mighty man bulge (as you do) decides to instead stalk his librarian-like English teacher, Julie Eldridge (the aforementioned Black) in the hope of seeing what she looks like "underneath all those clothes".

Yup he really does say that to his catalogue model-type pal Eddie (Ex Fantastic Four member Storm) and even manages to keep a straight face as he does.

Eddie just tussles his luxurious hair whilst informing his friend that Julie is ugly before walking away to find a mirror to make love to.

Tho' by the look of him he'd probably just spunk over his (fantastically ironed) jeans before he'd even gotten his cock fully out.


Tights.


The next day during class, Chad is distracted by a flash of Julie's American Tan tighted thigh as she sits on her desk and begins daydreaming about her, promising himself there and then that he will have his wicked way with teacher.

Which isn't at all uncomfortable, honest.

Later that evening (well it is a short film) when Julie is undressing in her room, Chad watches her from behind a bush erotically fingering his massive collars as he does so.

Easy tiger.

Fired up - and still slightly sticky - our sinister student asks Julie out on a date to see a 'french vampire film'* at the local drive-in which she initially knocks back, until that is she discovers that they're showing Le Frisson Des Vampires and having a thing for Marie-Pierre Tricot (but then again who doesn't?) excitedly accepts.

But as we've gathered Chad is a bad man (or an 'un méchant homme' as the French say) as, during the movie, he spikes Julie's root beer and renders her unconscious before driving her to a motel and taking loads of photos of her in a variety of more and more sexually provocative poses.

Well it's a TV movie so basically he lifts her skirt to expose her thigh but you get the idea.

And to think that if he'd have taken Eddie's suggestion he'd have just popped his penis in the bottom of the popcorn box and waited for her to grab it.

Still can't believe how many times I fell for hat, my dad was such a joker.

Socks.


Julie awakes to find herself in Chad's car as he drives her home, explaining that she had fallen asleep during the film and he's been driving around in the hope that the fresh air would wake her up.

Seems legit.

After retreating to his darkroom to see what develops, creepy Chad smugly shows Julie the photographs and blackmails her into all manner of sexy stuff, threatening to call the police if she refuses, leaving the timid teacher no choice but to go along with his perverted plan.

Spooky dissolves and Julie looking more and more shot to fuck and we're several weeks into the sordid situation, Julie is shuffling around her abuser's pad in an oversized housecoat as Chad clicks his fingers and demands a drink.

As Julie hands over the glass she suddenly switches off the stereo/radiogram she mysteriously announces that "The game is over." and stares intently at a by now confused Chad.

As she sips her drink the tricky teacher admits that she was the one to manipulate the whole situation, planting the lustful seed in Chad's head.

"Did you really think that dull, little mind of yours could possibly have conceived any of the rather dramatic experiences we've shared? She asks.

And with that she begins to laugh as Chad slowly chokes on his poisoned beverage.

As he breathes his last,  Julie drags his body into the darkroom where she sets fire to both it and the saucy snaps.

Shirt.
 


As Julie's flatmate sits on the edge of her bed offering sympathy and support Julie holds back the tears as she leafs thru' the local paper reports on Chad's tragic demise but as her pal leaves for work Julie jumps up and cuts out the headline, adding it to a scrapbook of articles about students who all met similar fates.

As she pops the book in her drawer there's a knock at the door as yet another  student (Small screen Logan's Run star Harrison) in need of some extra-curriculum help introduces himself.....

'Bun'



And with that we're off to meet 'Millicent and Therese'.

Mousy Millicent is convinced that her sister Therese is evil.

And by evil she doesn't just mean in a steal her make-up/boyfriend/not do the washing up kind of way but actually evil.

As in she worships the Devil.

Oh yeah, and she forced herself on her boyfriend whilst wearing a huge studded leather strap-on.

And she fucked her dad.

The last one tho' is fairly understandable as he was quite handsome according to the family photo on the piano.

When Therese is out gallivanting one eve Millicent invites the aforementioned beau, local butcher and part-time hand model Thomas Amman (Karlen - Harvey from Cagney and Lacey as well as the brutish Stefan from Harry Kümel's classic Daughters Of Darkness) round for tea, biscuits and a plea to dump her sister.

Amman is dubious about Millicent's mad claims, until that is she asks him how his bum is feeling and with that he realises that everything he's been told about Therese is true and with a slamming of his cup he storms out of the house.

Collar and cuffs.


With her work done Millicent phones the family GP, the shock-haired Dr. Gordon Ramsey (Police Academy's Commandant Eric Lassard himself Gaynes) for her weekly bitchfest regarding her wayward sibling.

But this time it's different as she thinks she may have a way of dealing with Therese once and for all.

Millicent bids the doctor farewell before taking a tiny doll from a box, laying it next to a book that's entitled Voodoo Curses.

Or something.

Worried by this news Ramsey quickly drives to their house where he is greeted not by Millicent but by the vampish Terese - all bleached hair, pushed up boobs and clad in what looks like a tiny red belt.

As Ramsey attempts to show her the error of her ways the narrow hipped vixen just giggles and strokes her thigh provocatively.

Which if I'm honest works for me.

The doc is having none of it tho' and storms off to cries of "Don't you like girls?" as Therese throws herself onto the sofa and smokes a fag (well it is a very nice sofa) before heading off upstairs to bang on her sisters door whilst hurling abuse at her thru the keyhole.



Skirt.



Later that night Ramsey receives another call from Millicent, this time to inform him that she wont be needing his help in future as she knows what to do.

And again Ramsey runs out to his car and heads to the house only this time to find  Therese dead on her bedroom floor with the tiny doll next to her and Millicent nowhere to be found.

With a sigh Dr. Ramsey phones an ambulance.

Explaining the situation to the newly arrived ambulancemen Ramsey reveals that he is the family doctor and - in a twist so obvious it would be scarier if it were any other explanation - that Therese and Millicent are in fact the same person.

You see, the Therese personality did indeed sleep with her dad and quite possibly murdered her mum and the Millicent personality appeared in an attempt to repress the all the sexiness or something and that her sisters murder was actually a bizarre suicide.

Look I'm not a doctor but it seemed to make sense whilst I was watching.

Tho' I may have been distracted by George Gaynes' tie.

Cardigan.

We're onto the final stretch now where we're about to meet Amelia, a quiet, unassuming lady who lives alone in a swanky high-rise apartment building that she's house sitting for some unnamed couple.

Well obviously they have names it's just that the script doesn't give them.

Returning home after a busy day shopping for her 'man friends' birthday present she kicks off her shoes and excitedly opens a large box she's just taken out of her Asda bag for life. laying its contents on the table.

But not in that way obviously.

And what, pray, has she purchased for him?

Well it's a wooden fetish of a Zuni warrior and not a melted, bootleg Rick James action figure as I originally thought.

Equipped with razor sharp teeth and a dangerous looking spear, the statue comes with a scroll proclaiming that the doll contains the actual spirit of the infamous Zuni hunter Brian "He Who Kills" Waterhouse and that the gold chain fastened around its waist keeps the spirit trapped within and therefore stops it from going on a killing spree.

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

Housecoat.



As Amelia makes a phone call to her overbearing mother she struggles to cancel their weekly meet-up in order to meet her beau, becoming more and more nervous and frigidity as her mother's complaints intensify.

Fiddling with the doll as she becomes even more anxious she doesn't notice when the gold chain becomes lose and eventually falls off.

Ooops.

Later that evening, after phoning her friend to cancel then sucking up to her mum, Amelia decides to defrost a fantastic meal for one and prepare herself for a lonely night in front of the TV fiddling with herself whilst ogling Henry Clavill on Graham Norton but as she's checking the instructions on the Asda Meals for One chicken korma she notices a strange noise emanating from the living room so goes to investigate.

Entering the darkened living room she soon realizes that the Zuni doll has disappeared from the coffee table and, on returning to the kitchen that the knife is missing too.

Hmmm.....


Packaging.



As she frantically searches for the knife (it's called 'acting' darling) the Zuni doll suddenly appears from nowhere and attempts to bite her ankles sending poor Amelia into a screaming frenzy.

As she attempts to flee the doll gives chase in a scene that in no way influenced Sam Raimi when he made Evil Dead 2  which culminates in our heroine holed up in the bathroom whilst the Zuni doll tries to stab her under the door like dolls normally don't.

Hilarity and Looney Tunes style chase scenes ensue and after attempting to drown it in the bath and then lock it in a suitcase, Amelia finally manages to trap the doll in the oven where it catches fire, holding the door shut as its howls and screams fill the room as it burns.

Fringe.


Waiting till the screaming has stopped Amelia sheepishly opens the oven to make sure that the doll is dead only to be struck by a billowing black smoke that envelopes her as she herself let's out a blood-curdling scream....

Time passes and the next thing we see is Amelia calming calling her mother to apologise for cancelling their meet-up and inviting her to come for dinner.

But as the phone call ends Amelia crouches down and begins to stab  the floor with a carving knife, her scary grin revealing the pointy teeth of the Zuni doll whose spirit now lives within her.





After teaming up to give the world the hero it deserved in Carl Kolchak from The Night Stalker, the diabolical dream team of director Dan (Dark Shadows, The Norliss Tapes and Burnt Offerings) Curtis and writer Richard (The Incredible Shrinking Man, I Am Legend and all the really good The Twilight Zone episodes) Matheson decided to try their hand with the pesky anthology genre - basing each of the tales on one of Matheson's short story and casting a single actress to play all the lead roles.

Enter (not like that you sick puppy) the frankly fantastic Karen Black, famous for her stand out performances in the Jack Nicholson starrers Five Easy Pieces and Easy Rider as well as The Great Gatsby and disaster porn epic Airport ‘75 alongside Charlton Heston - who may or may not have had a vest on.

But is it any good?



In a word, yes.


And although "Amelia" is the story that everyone remembers (it was even remade by RuPaul back in the 80s**) it's actually "Julie" with it's plot about toxic masculinity that resonates the most to a modern viewer - watching it in a post #MeToo world the story takes on a more serious and disturbing tone that makes for incredibly uncomfortable viewing.

And remember that due to censorship constraints when it came to what could or couldn't be broadcast on TV this is in no small part down to the performances and really is a case of less being more.

Shirt.


 "Millicent and Therese" on the other hand couldn't be more obvious from the minute it starts tho' is worth it again just for Black's performance.

And her clumpy white shoes obviously.

But it's “Amelia” that everyone seems to remember.

With Matheson adapting his own stage play - which also starred Black - 'Prey' for the film (the first two segments were adapted by William F. Nolan) and Black herself rewriting some of the dialogue, the story is lean and mean with the Zuni doll coming across like the Tasmanian Devils smarter brother and inspiring everyone from the aforementioned Sam Raimi to Joe Dante along the way.

But it's the segments final shot that's the killer.

Well worth a rewatch or even just a watch if, like me you'd never gotten round to it.






















































* Which is, in fact, clips from Curtis and Matheson’s previous collaboration - the classic 1972 TV movie The Night Stalker.
















**Way back in 1984 and long before RuPaul became a household name, he appeared in Jon Witherspoon's 12-minute lo-fi remake/homage to “Amelia” that replaces the originals fear quota with various shots of the star taking a bath and lingering looks at his - albeit peachy - arse.

Which if I'm honest kinda works.

Wig.