Monday, December 31, 2018

happy hogmany!

See you all in 2019.

Friday, December 28, 2018

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

The podlings have had total control over the TeeVee remote over the festive period so forgive me for this double bill of fur-based fun....

Zootropia's Judy Hopps and Madagascar 3's Gia the jaguar.

I'm sorry.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

angry birds.

Been a busy few weeks getting ready for Christmas but with all that all over with what better way to relax than with a good movie?

Or failing that a really shite one.

Merry Christmas.

The Angry Red Planet (AKA Invasion of Mars, Journey to Planet Four 1960).
Dir: Ib Melchior.
Cast: Gerald Mohr, Naura Hayden, Jack Kruschen, Les Tremayne and a hamster on stilts.

"You know, I can't say that I recommend spacesuits for beautiful young dolls. What happened to all your lovely curves?"

It's the brightly coloured (very) early 60s and the great men - and women who make the coffee - at space mission control are busy monitoring Mars Rocket 1 as it returns to Earth following the first manned expedition around Uranus.

Only joking, it's really been to Mars.

Obviously, I mean the clue is in the name.

It appears that everyone thought the rocket had been destroyed or lost (probably down the back of a huge Martian sofa) so is pretty surprised when it turns up on the monitors heading back to Earth so, although the highly qualified and slick haired technicians are unable to make contact with anyone onboard, they decide to fly the rocket by remote control back to base.

So far so talky with a chance of military stock footage.

When the rocket finally lands everyone is shocked to discover that of the four person crew only two have survived and one of them - the hunkyily horse-toothed Col. Tom O'Bannion (the voice of not only Reed Richards in the 1967 Fantastic Four cartoon series but also Green Lantern in the 1968 Aquaman show,  Mohr) - has a massive green bogie stuck to his arm.

Luckily for those viewers not turned on by snot the other survivor is the chisel-chinned, shapely redhead Dr. Iris Ryan (Hayden, author of the best selling How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time) who, as is the way in 60s sci-fi, stumbles out of the rocket before screaming and then collapsing into someone's arms.

After a sweet cup of tea and a gently slap she regains her composure enough to report the full terrifying story of what happened on Mars.

As well as (in arse numbing in detail) the banal and slightly sexist - thanks lug-headed Chief Warrant Officer Jacobs with your sweaty sausage fingers constantly grabbing for poor Iris - trip to the planet that will make up a large part of the film's running time.

But for the sake of brevity (and sanity) let's skip that bit and head straight to the aforementioned angry red planet.

You're welcome.

Fake news.

You see it appears that Mars’ atmosphere contains a strongly ionized layer (or is it treacle?) that's impenetrable to radio waves which means that the crew have no way of contacting Earth, luckily they have loads of old tape reels lying about so they can at least record the audio of everything that's going on ("Oh look! it's a red rock! - Oh look it's another red rock!" etc.) and with that  decide to go out and explore anyway.

I mean what could go wrong?

Well almost everything.

For a start Mars' atmospheric density is so low that it muffles every sound and making it impossible to hear unless everyone is really shouty (it'd suit your dad then) and the atmosphere is so ionized as to make everything look like it's been coloured in with felt pens.

Tho' that may just be a useful film-making gimmick to hide the fact that most of the backgrounds, plants, building etc. are actually crude child's drawings.

Add to that, the Martian 'jungle' (OK 3 pot plants and a bush) is teeming with giant, tentacled, man eating (well Iris grabbing) plants that look like fannies.

Actually the last bit doesn't sound too bad if I'm honest.

Unfortunately (for the viewer) Jacobs (Kruschen from shed loads of stuff) has a special 'freeze ray' rifle that disables the killer plant before it can tear any of Iris' clothes off.

And with that they all head back to the rocket for tea and biscuits and a lecture on space stuff from resident egg-head Professor Theodore Gettell (Tremayne, the voice of God in the 1985 series Greatest Adventure Stories from Bible).

But Gettell's lecture is interrupted by Iris' screams (again) when she notices a three-eyed ball-head beast looking in thru a porthole.

Putting it down to female hysteria the crew call it a night and go to bed.

Your mum yesterday.

Up bright and early for a second day of exciting space exploration, O'Bannion is caught short whilst digging up weeds and sneaks off for a sly piss against a nearby tree which, it turns out, isn't a tree at all but the - by now soaking wet - leg of a 40 foot tall hamster/bat/spider thing.

Which is unexpected.

As the beast tries to crush Gattell who's conveniently placed himself between 2 rocks, Jacobs fires his freeze ray at the beast but to no avail until that is he aims at its face and turns its eyes to ice.

Or something.

Suffice to say it totters away screaming never to be seen again.

Unless you're a fan of top pop shockers Misfits obviously as the beast surprisingly turned up on the cover of their 1982 debut full-length album (Misfits) Walk Among Us alongside some shoddily photocopied flying saucers.

They can walk where they want, it's the constant mooth shite-in that bothers me.

 After wiping himself down and zipping back up O'Bannion decides that what they all need is a seaside picnic to cheer themselves up so to this end the group head over to the sandy shores of a nearby lake filled with what seems to be vinegar and piss.

A wee bit like Saltcoats then.

Unfortunately O'Bannion realises that he's left the rubber dinghy in his other jacket so promises that they can come back for a paddle the next day.

So the crew excitedly head back for an early night in preparation for some holiday style fun.

Naura Hayden: Tunnel or funnel?

Unfortunately Dr. Gattell has other ideas, you see he's convinced that, with all the killer fanny plants, pissy lakes and giant rodents, it's way too dangerous to stay on Mars for the full five day mission and that they should all go home and O'Bannion realising that he'll have more chance scoring with Iris if he plies her with cheap booze agrees so everyone straps themselves in and prepares for take-off.

After a splutter and a wobble reminiscent of your Mum on Christmas Eve the rocket just sits there as the crew look at each other in a confused manner.

Or it may be constipation.

Who knows?

Pulling a set square from his pocket, Gattell oohs and aahs over the control panel before informing the crew that they are being held in place by some kind of force field and that the ships engines would need to be more than 100 - maybe 102 - times more powerful to escape.

And on that bombshell they all decide to head back to the beach in the vain hope that Iris has packed a space bikini.

"Ooh Vic....I've fallen".

The next morning our merry band head off to the shore, unpack the dinghy and set off across the lake where - after what seems like hours of inane chat and paddling - spot an island in the distance with a huge skyscraper (or at least a fairly well sketched picture of one -  at its centre.

Excited at the prospect of finding intelligent life on Mars (obviously the crew don't count) our heroes begin paddling ever faster but their journey is interrupted when a giant boggle-eyed cabbage bursts out of the water and blocks their path.

With the stench of rotting foot and PVA glue filling the air - and with the film fast approaching its climax - the astronauts have no choice but to paddle back to shore for  if not their very lives then at least to save their careers.

But the creature has other ideas as it follows them ashore with a massive plop  first eating the raft and then scoffing poor Jacobs whole.

And you'd think it'd spit that bit out.

Things go from bad to worse tho' as O'Bannion is infected by the creatures spores as he attempts to grab the fiver he's owed from Jacob's dead body, leaving Gattell and Iris to hot-wire the spaceships hull in the hope of electrifying the massive cabbage to death.

"Is it in yet?"

 With O'Bannion confined to his bunk - his wanking hand rendered useless and poor Gattell mid heart attack it's left to Iris to save the day but just as she's about to take off a booming voice is heard over the rocket's intercom.

It seems that three-eyed thing that Iris saw earlier was - in fact - the official spokesman for the Martian hive-mind and he has an important message for all humanity.

And with that Iris promptly faints.

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

A slow dissolve takes us back to a tea drinking Iris as she finishes her fantastic tale and a gaggle of science types look wistfully at each other has they decide what to do next and figure out what the message from Mars actually was.

Women eh?

Luckily the whole thing about electrocuting the cabbage was useful in treating O'Bannion's infected arm and when he regains consciousness he remembers that he'd left the tapes recording in the hope of catching Iris having a fiddle whilst the others were sleeping so the whole Martian message should be there.


Excitedly the team head over to the rocket, press play on the tape machine and await the aliens words of wisdom......

Or is it a dire warning?

From director Ib Melchior (who, as a writer, gave us the classic story that inspired Death Race 2000 as well as being the true creator of Lost in Space and providing the English language script for Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires) and from a story outlined on a napkin by producer Sidney Pink comes this wacky and (sometimes) wild Mars based masterpiece that's featured special effects and cinematography are quite possibly more recognisable than the film itself, thanks in part to the utterly bizarre - and often hallucinatory camerawork of the great Stanley Cortez  - probably better known for his work on The Magnificent Ambersons, Night of the Hunter, The Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor who decide - after a few ales probably - to film the Martian exteriors using an experimental process called Cinemagic - a technique where black and white film is hand tinted giving the film a strange almost  3-D quality.

Luckily it also covers up cardboard sets and hand drawn monsters so everyone's a winner really.

Except when you're watching in high definition obviously when those cost-cutting techniques look oh so painfully obvious:

My advice is get screamingly drunk first.

Talking of being half-cut the cast are fairly enjoyable and do not bad with what they're given, which in the cases of  Gerald Mohr and Jack Kruschen appears to be lessons in seduction from Harvey Weinstein seeing as they spend most of the journey to Mars either pawing at poor Naura Hayden or commenting on her 'terrific pins and curves' whilst - in the case of Mohr - showing off way too much old man chest resplendent with greying tufts of hair.

Well it'll keep your Gran happy if nothing else.

Naura Hayden: pins and curves.

And whilst the film's direction might be flatter than a pancake and the script dull as dishwater it does have a saving grace in the aforementioned giant hamster beast which is as terrifying today as it was to a 6 year old boy furtively gazing at it in an old copy of Famous Monsters magazine.

Which probably says more about me than the movie.


Sort of.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

mad about apples.

Just heard the sad news that  Jorge Grau, director of the utterly fantastic The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, has died so as a tribute here's my take on that very film.

Not only is it frankly fantastic but in a bizarre turn it was originally meant to be filmed in my adopted home of Glasgow.

Enjoy and RiP sir.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A wee bit like Brexit.

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

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

Mental and a redhead?

What's not to love?

Bad science at work
outside Manchester earlier today.

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

Obviously he just doesn't like ginger birds.


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

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

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

Boiled onions!

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

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

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

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

What a guy.

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

Well beggars can't be choosers.

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

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

So not at all like the real police then.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He really should audition for Britain's Got Talent.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes he's that super cool.

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

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

What a guy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The same hospital where Edna is being taken.

Will George escape from police custody and save Edna?

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

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

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

Is it wrong to find this poster sexy?

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

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

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

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

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

....but it does have a Liverpool!

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


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

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

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

Movie dates a good 'un then.

Thank me later.

Or at least invite me to the wedding.

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

and a merry christmas.... all you readers at home!

Friday, December 7, 2018

and the answer is.....


slay ride.

A festive film favourite with the kids for you now.....

Black Christmas (AKA Silent Night, Evil Night, Stranger in the House 1974).
Dir: Bob Clark.
Cast: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Michael Rapport, Lynne Griffin, Marian Waldman and Andrea Martin.

If this movie doesn't make your skin crawl... It's On Too Tight! (is that even physically possible?)

Tis the season to be jolly, there's snow on the ground, love in the air, the smell of chestnuts roasting and in a sorority house at the world famous Baldpate University of Clever Clogs, many of the female students - including badgirl Barb and the virginal Jess - (a pre-mentalism Kidder and the pony faced Hussey) have been receiving a series of obscene phone calls from a strange perv nicknamed The Moaner.

You'll probably remember that's why your dad got sacked from The Samaritans.

Being a horror movie tho' no one takes his calls seriously, with a few of the saucier students (hands up Barb - tho' not literally, a couple of fingers would suffice) - actually looking forward to his nightly messages, that is until the night when Jess hears the screams and gasps of a woman in the background.

Calling her friends to listen in it's not long before Barb is threatening The Moaner with a severe buggering only to have him reply that he's going to kill her to death and with that he hangs up and the girls go about their business.

Which in this case is packing for the Christmas holidays.

Which as slasher fans will know is as good a cue as any for the bad murders to start.

"Try and shite in mah mooth now you bastard!"

And start they do when cutesy Co-ed Clare Harrison (Griffin from the brilliant Curtains which I'm sure I'd reviewed once but it seems to have been deleted which is a pity as I remember it being a lot better written than this) becomes moaners first victim, a plastic bag wrapped around her head as shes dragged to the attic and sat in a rocking chair.

Obviously the killer knows a cool poster image when he sees one.

The following morning, Clare's dad George arrives to pick up his daughter but she doesn't show up he quickly heads over to the sorority house to, if not find her then at least get a glimpse of Lois Lane's stocking tops.

Well it is Christmas.

Unfortunately the only thrill he gets is a peek at housekeeper Mrs. MacHenry's (world's shittest superhero Waldman) infeasibley large hat.

And that is worth the R rating alone if I'm honest.

Meanwhile Jess is meeting up with her neurotic musician boyfriend, Peter (2001's Dullea saddled with really crap hair) to tell him that she's pregnant and thinking about having an abortion.

Which is nice and festive.

Peter, being a 70s type of guy gets a wee bit angry and shouts at poor Jess before stomping off in a huff giving us an excuse to see what good old Mr. Harrison is up to in the search for his daughter.

Well him, Barb and Phyllis (Kim Possible voice-over actress Martin, who also appeared in the remake too don't you know) are busy at the police station try to get tough as nails cop Lieutenant Kenneth 'Horse Cock' Fuller (Saxon - nuff said) to form a search party and look for the missing girl.

John Saxon receives a call from his agent

offering him the lead in Cannibal Apocalypse.

Unfortunately he's a wee bit busy as another girl, Janis, has also vanished while walking home from school and seeing as she's much younger (and cuter) the police would rather look for her.

Which is fair enough I guess.

Barb, overly upset by her friends disappearance, gets drunk leaving Mr. Harrison, Jess,and Phyllis free to visit the local park where Janis was last seen.

Adding even more stress to the situation is the fact that Mrs. MacHenry can't seem to place her pussy and between that and packing to go to her sister's for Christmas is causing all manner of problems for the housemates.

It's great to get your priorities right isn't it?

Luckily after following a faint 'meowing' noise she finds her precious moggy in the attic, unfortunately she also finds the killer, who promptly wedges a hook in the face.

Which is nice.

Obviously on a gore-filled frenzy after seeing how great the face stabbing effect looked, it's only a matter of time before Janis' mutilated body is found, upsetting Jess to a point where she has to go home to bed.

Poor lamb.

"Hallo? French Polishers?

you might just save my life!"

As the others continue their search continues for Clare, Jess receives yet another obscene phone call and this time decides to report it to the police but as she does Peter turns up to beg her to marry him.

Jess refuses and Peter storms off in a huff just as Lieutenant Fuller arrives to bug the telephone.

As in put a recording device on it, not hassle it over unpaid bills etc.

With the movie rushing (albeit leisurely) toward its climax, Fuller pools all his resources in an attempt to stop the moaners reign of, er..moaning, unfortunately this appears to involve standing around in the street looking tough whilst holding a megaphone whilst eyeing up carol singers.

"Boiled onions!"

And it's the dulcet tones of these carol singers - who just happen to be visiting Jess' house at the time) that the mysterious killer decides to use as cover as he continues his reign of terror, firstly stabbing Barb to death with a handy statue before murdering Phyllis too.

But Fuller is hot on his trail and has managed to trace the moaners calls.

And they're coming from inside the house.

It seems that Fuller had totally forgotten that there was an extension built onto the sorority house and that the killer could happily hide there, listening to peoples conversations and phone calls.

It's like a nightmare version of Homes Under The Hammer.

Ringing the house Fuller warns Jessica to leave immediately and wait for him outside but, being a girl she gets lost on the way from the living room to the front door and heads upstairs (armed with a poker at least) instead where - surprise - she is jumped on by the killer.

Managing to escape she runs back downstairs completely missing the front door (again) and heads into the basement where she bumps into her grumpy boyfriend Peter, whom she is convinced is the killer for no other reason than he wants to marry her.

What a bastard.

And as he approaches her to talk Jessica bludgeons him to death with the poker.


The lights are on.

The police arrive to find her hunched over Peters body and decide that the case is closed - It's possibly their Christmas night out so understandably they want to get everything down as soon as - so you can imagine the conversation between Fuller and his men; "Aye, that Peter was a wee bit angry with his girlfriend not wanting to marry him so he must be the killer and the fact that we've found his aforementioned estranged girlfriend leaning over him holding a bloody poker means it must have been him! Right! mines a Babycham!".


They pack up the bodies, clean up the blood and bid their farewells to Jess, leaving her alone (in a major crime scene) to sleep off the excitement of her friends being murdered and killing her boyfriend.

But as we cut to the attic one last time we discover that there are two dead bodies that have yet to be found and as a man's voice whispers out thru' the darkness the phone begins to ring.....

Possibly the first of the modern 'slasher' cycle made famous by Halloween and Friday The 13th, the late, great Bob Clark's genre defining Black Christmas is unfortunately overlooked by all but the most rabid horror fans and Clark himself is better known for his seminal holiday classic A Christmas Story and Porky's than for this and the fantastic Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.

Which is a shame as Black Christmas has much to offer, not just of historical interest but as a darn good frightener in its own right.

Featuring a decidedly eclectic cast—from Superman's Margot Kidder to cult stalwart John Saxon via the Star Child himself Keir Dullea as well as many shots and set ups that would become genre mainstays, Clark's movie deserves to be sought out by any self respecting film fan if only to see where the stalk and slash genre started.

As well as to have a bloody good laugh at the haircuts and trousers obviously.

It's not too late to rush out and buy it to watch on Christmas Eve, tho' make sure you don't pick up the shite 2006 remake by mistake.