Friday, December 6, 2019

venus of delta.

Persis Khambatta.












*Happy 40th birthday ST: TMP!

she-it.

Still counting down to The Rise of Skywalker (well it is Disney's last chance to completely destroy my childhood - and around my birthday again too, joy) and with so much emphasis place on 'stronk wimmen' in the new movies I reckoned it was time to feature a film that firmly places the fairer sex at its centre.


The Force, being female yesterday.




Sorry, just wanted to see if I could actually type that shite without slightly dying inside.*



She (1982)
Dir: Avi Nesher.
Cast: Sandahl Bergman, David Goss, Elena Wiedermann, Gregory Snegoff, David Traylor, Gordon Mitchell, Quin Kessler, David Brandon, Andrew McLeay, Harrison Muller Jr and some camp tramps.

"What's a bomb?"

It is the 23rd year after 'the cancellation', of what I'm not too sure but most likely of the cheaper than your mum animated TV show that opens the movie with it's crayon and crepe paper history of the apocalypse.

Probably.

But nuclear annihilation isn't the scariest thing on screen, oh no. 

That'll be the fact that it's only taken 23 years for the sad remnants of humanity to return to dressing up like pound shop new romantics, fighting with swords, flamethrowers and chainsaws instead of guns and riding around on ponies like a collection of underfed rag and bone men.

The only thing that hasn't change is the bizarre obsession with minor celebrities.

In this case it's Arnie's ferret faced Conan sidekick, dancer cum actress Sandahl (daughter of famed Space:1999 scientist Victor) Bergman who, until someone more famous comes along is currently worshiped as a living God.

Which is nice.

Meanwhile the common folk spend their days wandering around the local market in the hope of picking up cheap meat off-cuts, dodgy phonecards and pirate DVD's.

Not really so different there then.

It's in one such market that we meet the duo who will act as our heroes for the next 90 minutes (tho' it will seem much, much longer), a Chuckle Brothers for the 21st century, blond bombshell Tom (Goss, last seen working as a production assistant on that hit show The Bachelorette) and his pube haired (almost) comedy sidekick Dick (Muller Jr. from The Final Executioner) who, within minutes of arriving on the scene are viciously assaulted by a small group of hooligans clad in the contents of a child’s dressing up box.

Albeit a child with a swastika obsession. 

That'll be me aged 6 then.


"To me!" "To you!"

Within a matter of minutes they've beaten our dynamic dunces senseless, stolen all the Yorkies from the sweet shop and kidnapped Tom’s sister - wait for it - Hari (Wiedermann, Wiedermann does whatever a Wieder can).

Anyone else would probably be distraught but good old Tom is frankly unaffected by the whole thing and decides, along with Dick to go and pick up a prostitute to drown his sorrows.

By drown his sorrows I obviously mean to have the sex with.

Unfortunately being an evil whore she drugs the duo, chaining Dick up in the shed before delivering Tom to the immortal 'She' (that'll be Bergman then) to use him as she sees fit.

"Are you looking at mah bra?"


Because of (or despite his) lack of manbreast, She dispenses with her usual shag and stab routine deciding instead to submit Tom to the ominously named Path of Blood, a tiny obstacle course built in a child’s sandpit that consists of a series of sharp wooden stakes thru which Tom will be led blindfolded whilst being kicked and fondled by a dozen Granny panted Suzi Quatro lookalikes before being abandoned to die in the wasteland.

Which seems a little extreme but what do I know?

Luckily, for the movie if not for us, the next morning he’s rescued by a token British homosexualist and part time science man named Stony Tark (McLeay) who whisks Tom away to his secret laboratory where he can be told various plot points that may, or may not come in useful later.

You know, important stuff like the fact that his sisters has been grabbed by the Norks (no sniggering) and that the only person that knows the how to get their hands on those pesky Norks (no seriously) is She herself.

And with this Tark promptly disappears from the film, never to be seen again and leaving Tom with no alternative than to rescue his buddy Dick from the hands of the evil hooker and kidnap She in the hope that she'll show them where those infamous Norks hang out.

Seriously you couldn't make this shit up.

Tho' scarily somebody (I'm looking at you Avi Nesher) did just that.

Anyway, making his way back to the village - and wearing a child's army helmet as a disguise - Tom punches out the prostitute (isn’t that extra?) and rescues Dick from a life of pig based humiliation before settling down to plan their next move over a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.


You know the convention was going downhill when drunken ex-weathergirl Ulrika jonsson tried to violate Clash of the Titans star Bubo with a chocolate dildo.


Meanwhile it's the time of the month where She has to endures the gruesome sounding Trial of Blood This involves She dressing up in her best bed-sheet and fighting a variety of wind up robots, Roman Centurions and a Frankenstein monster secreted in huge wooden crates in a cave haphazardly filled with barrels, televisions and old washing machines.

Or as we call it in the UK, West Bromwich.

After a slight and uninspired slow fight the bloodied and battered She ventures deeper underground where she meets an old lady who urges our heroine to strip naked and enjoy a long hot bath in the healing waters of a conveniently placed spring.

As She gently caresses her breasts and ample thighs the old woman mysteriously intones...

“You have passed through the cycle again, Goddess. But the prophecy still stands. A man will come to claim your heart. For him you will break your vow. Through him, you will be destroyed.” 

At this point I really think I should point out that although this scene sounds as tho' it could be really important at some point further in the movie it is, bizarrely never referred to again.

Yup that's right.

At no point does She fall in love or end up destroyed. A wee bit muddy yes but that's about it.

Got that?

Great, now let's move on and catch up with Tom and Dick who succeed in kidnapping She from her bedchamber before riding off into the local play park with a bunch of butch Amazonian warriors, led by She's best pal Shanda (the mighty Kessler, in truth the only real reason for watching) in hot-tish pursuit.


...Inside Dave Lee Travis' mind...


After what seems like hours of galloping and lame wise-cracks inter-cut with random shots of muscly thighed women on horseback our trippy trio come across (you know the drill) a band of mutants wrapped in dirty bandages and all clad in big nappies called the Nukes who, after a wee bit of polite conversation decide to execute the threesome in a handy trash compactor.

Luckily Shanda soon turns up and using a mix of pantomime swordplay and unbridled sex appeal defeats the Nukes before any harm can befall Tom, She or Dick (which in his case in a crying shame).

With She untied and looking as leathery as ever and Tom and Dick surrounded by angry Amazons you'd be forgiven for thinking the quest to save Hari (remember her?) would be over but, oh no, She takes pity on Tom and Dick and helpfully points them in the general direction of Nork Valley before letting them on their way.

Unbeknownst to our plucky pals She has decided - along with sexy Shanda - to follow the  follow the pair from a distant so as to see what wild and wacky adventures they may have.

Shanda: Five fingers, never touched the sides.


Wandering deep into the woodland that conveniently sits opposite the park Tom and Dick discover an idyllic country house occupied by a group of handsome (in an 80's Italian way) young men and big haired women draped around a swimming pool in togas and reciting bad poetry to each other.

Their leader (Italian genre stalwart and ex-Caligula Brandon) upon noticing the newcomers charmingly invites them to join the group for dinner.

And maybe a side order of the sex.

Our heroes, obviously forgetting what happened last time someone offered them a shag excitedly accept the offer and spend the evening stuffing their grubby faces with turkey sandwiches and crisps, dancing badly to cheesy 50's ballads whilst wearing ill fitting tuxedo's.

Just a normal night in Blackpool really.

Your mum and sister at my house last week.

Drunk on Happy Shopper Vino and stuffed full of cake Tom and Dick collapse in a stupor hoping to sleep off the nights excesses but wouldn't you know it, the party revelers are really a tribe of flesh eating werewolves intent on scoffing ours heroes whole.

Although I've heard that they spit that bit out.

Just as all seems lost who should turn up but She and Shanda, annoyed at missing a free meal and ready to kick some hairy arse meaning our fantastic foursome live to ride another day.

Or at the very least get captured by someone else about 10 minutes later.

Probably.

With thank you's (and a few lustful glances 'tween Dick and Shanda) exchanged they soon arrive at a quaint old town, seemingly untouched for years save for all the walls, doors, windows and very slow dogs being covered in some fairly well designed (for a child) retro-communist style posters emblazoned with the word Godan and what looks like a picture of a young Eli Roth complete with glowing green eyes.

"£6.50??!!?? I can almost hire a whore for that much!"


They don't have much time to discuss the merits of feltpen vs. crayon tho' (or even Roth's more recent acting roles) as She and her pals are suddenly captured (surprise!) by a group of elderly monks who take them before the great god Godan (Robotech voice artist Snegoff) himself.

Realizing that Godan is a wee bit of a mentalist, used to getting his own way, full of self importance and with little respect for anything other than his own needs (hang on...are you sure that this isn't Eli Roth?) Tom and Dick quickly pretend to be disciples and are soon re-enacting the rape scene from Aftershock whilst setting fire to each others trousers, totally ignoring the fact that She and Shanda have been dragged off to the dungeon in order to have their sweaty, leather-clad bodies whipped and poked for Godan's amusement.


"Put it in me!"


After enduring, oooh minutes of torture (and chaffing) Godan decides that the best way to interrogate She would be to have her taken to his room and sex the information out of her (what this information is I've still no idea).

Unfortunately (for him) this is the last straw as far as his dedicated priestess Sylvia is concerned, seeing as she's been waiting on him hand and foot for years without even a hint of a penis going her way and she reacts in the way that most women would when spurned by someone who has absolutely no interest in them.

Yup, she buries a large axe into his chest.

Obviously poor Godan wasn't expecting this but manages to summon the last of his supernatural eye powers to strangle Sylvia with a handy curtain cord.

And what pray tell do She, Tom and Dick do during all this?

That's right, they just stand around ineffectually whilst trying to remember if they had anyone else with them.

Or in Bergman's case desperately trying to remember Arnies phone number in the hope that he can pay for her ticket back to the U.S.

Finally remembering that Shanda is still tied up downstairs (as in to a rack in the dungeon, not having trouble with her ovaries), our motley crew quickly untie her and head of deeper into the woods leaving a small group of old men with nothing else to do but stare at each other and wonder where their next meal is coming from now that their leader is dead.

Well, it's good to know that American foreign policy survived the apocalypse even if fashion sense and basic storytelling didn't.

Sandahl farted in the Jacuzzi and it was an eggy one.


With She and Tom enjoying the countryside and Shanda and Dick involved in some playful flirting no-one notices the slightly foul smelling gas emanating from a nearby bush until it's too late. Our heroes are soon overcome by the smell of egg, gravy and shame as a gas mask-clad hulking figure gleefully watches the scene unfold from a safe distance.

Waking with a terrible headache and his trousers on backwards Tom frantically searches for the others soon finding Shanda unconscious on a nearby rock, beads of sweat collecting in her mighty cleavage and glistening like tiny diamonds.

Possibly.

Aroused and ready for action the pair call on their comrades but to no avail.

It's as tho' they've vanished into thin (but still stinky) air.

But we know the truth don't we?

Yes, they've been kidnapped (I know who'd believe it?) again but this time it's by a bearded transvestite giant and a pale-faced old man on his way to a Scarlet Pimpernel party who've decided to put She and Dick in huge plastic bags in order to experiment on them in their greenhouse cum private love nest.

I think.

Not that Tom is too bothered tho' seeing as he's decided to head along to Norksville on his own.

Selfish sod.
On further examination, the Amanda Knox bedspread that Noel Edmond’s purchased from Ebay turned out to be a fake.

Not wanting to dwell on it for too long suffice to say that yet another oh so daring and improbable escape (this time involving a gas fire and a rope) ensues that reunites our remaining heroes outside a burning shed.

But not for long because although the land of the Norks is within sight Shanda, obviously bored of the by now frankly ludicrous script and missing the feeling of a big powerful animal between her thighs volunteers to head back home (alongside the trannie for reasons best known to herself) to get reinforcements or something leaving She and Dick to go it alone.


The Jimmy Savile/Kurt Russell cloning experiment was more successful than even William Roache could imagine.

 By this time Tom has reached the Nork fortress, all he has to do now is cross the bridge that leads over a dangerous minefield and knock on the front door.

Easy eh?

Well it would be if the bridge weren't guarded by the mighty Xenon (America's top comic Traylor), a frighteningly jumpsuited genetic mix of Michael Barrymore, Snake Plissken, Des Lynam and a caffeine addicted paedophile. 

And that's before he opens his mouth.

His secret weapon?

Following whoever attempts to cross the bridge whilst doing bad impressions of  Groucho Marx, the Cowardly Lion and James Cagney.

Despicable.

Tom being a man of few words and even less patience reacts in the only way he knows, yes attacks him with a sword, chopping off his arms and legs.

Which would be fine if the severed parts didn't grow into more versions of Xenon.

Before long there's a whole army of irritating impressions following the poor sod to Norksville.

"Hey big fella how'd you fancy a wee bit of mooth shite-in?"


 Scratching his head with the swords blunt end Tom has no idea what to do next, so it's lucky for him that She and Dick soon arrive, cutting thru' the creepy comedians and tossing them into the minefield before they can regenerate.

And with that problem out of the way all that's left to do is sneak into the Nork city, win Lord Norks trust and rescue Hari.

But how are they supposed to enter the city unmolested?

Just then She notices a poster flapping in the wind.

It appears that Lord Nork is having a competition to find the best fighter in the world and the winner gets to meet him and his new priestess Hari.

And guess what?

The competition starts today!


Ladies and gentlemen....Destiny's Child!
 
It's three against an army as Tom, Dick and She prepare to battle the odds and rescue Hari from a fate worse than death.

Or at the very least from having to marry a man who insists on dressing in tinfoil with a lampshade for a hat to stop him getting infected by radiation.

Tho' compared to actually sitting thru' this shite that seems like a more humane option.




From the undoubtedly twisted (re: drug addled possibly) mind of "one of Israel's all-time greatest filmmakers" (he's won awards and everything) via the pen of  H. Rider Haggard (creator of Allan Quatermain and arguably the whole 'lost world' genre), She is a 90 minute threadbare freak show of half arsed awfulness that plays out like a series of rambling comedy sketches written for a rejected  Benny Hill Mad Max parody by Barry Cryer after being forced to ingest meth and children's tears whilst listening To Rick Wakeman's The Burning score on a warped cassette.

And that's just the pre-credit sequence.

With it's swastika clad villains, sexy Jewish girls kicking arse and it's lead characters habit of just strolling in and taking land that doesn't belong to her the movie is obviously some kind of Mossad sponsored mind control project aimed at doing something to somebody (I'm sorry but conspiracy type stuff just isn't my strong point) add to this the fact that America co-funded the movie only adds to the theory.

I mean come on, if any other country had produced a toxic shite of this magnitude Uncle Sam would have declared war on them within minutes.

 Sandahl Bergman: Cheaper than your mum, dirtier than your gran and considerably older than both of them.


After completing the movie, director Avi Nesher was flown out of Italy under cover of night back to Israel to continue his career as a 'serious' film maker, a career that bizarrely continues today, his last film The Wonders, his third with actor Adir Miller opened to critical and financial success becoming one of the biggest hits of 2013.

True it was shot entirely in Hebrew and only shown in Israel but it still made more money than the last movie I worked on so who am I to judge?

Director Nesher is sneaked out of Italy after death threats from livid Ursula Andress fans.


Of the rest of the cast only a few survived a massive cull by secret service agents in the months after the film was released. It appeared that someone didn't want the movies secrets made public.

Luckily Bergman used the influence of her friend the former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (with whom she shared the actors first ever love scene) to defy the many attempts on her life whilst co-star David Traylor wasn't so lucky.

Nice flat tummy, face of fuckness.

After a booby trapped canned laughter machine exploded during a sold out show at the Detroit comedy store showering the actor with sharpened giggles Traylor was left paralyzed.

It was only thanks to a mysterious benefactor (said to be one of the films composers Justin Hayward) that Traylor was inducted into the top secret and highly experimental Robo-comic programme, emerging some years later as Mr. ZED the Robot Comedian whose first appearance in the UK was strangely enough alongside Jim Davidson, who it was once rumoured had once worked undercover in Palestine for MI6.

A rarely seen pic of a post movie, pre surgery Traylor, here being looked after by comedian cum scientist Kelly Monteith.

But all that is for the history books and whilst today we may have peace in the middle east unrest and terrorism have raised the ugly heads elsewhere in the world. So who knows? perhaps it's time for the erstwhile Mr. Nesher to revisit 'She Who Must Be Obeyed' to give hope to a new generation.

Plus I'm sure Allison Mack would be grateful of the work right now.

















































*I couldn't/didn't.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

never ending story.

After the crushing disappointment of the BBC adaptation of War of The Worlds the Twin Things decided to cleanse their palates with a rewatch of the frankly fantastic George Pal version t'other day which they swiftly followed up with another viewing of the great mans take on The Time Machine which inadvertently re-awakened Twin 2's Rod Taylor crush.

Hence we spent last night watching this.

World Without End (1956).
Dir: Edward Bernds.
Cast: Nelson Leigh, Christopher Dark, Rod Taylor, Hugh Marlowe, Everett Glass, Shirley Patterson, Lisa Montell, William Vedder, Nancy Gates, Booth Colman and Mickey Simpson.

Our women seem to have lagged behind in their evolution into reasonable creatures. They actually admire these reckless and brutal men.



It's March 1957 (probably a Tuesday) and top space science types Dr. Eldon Galbraithe (The Adventures of Sir Galahad star Leigh), bequiffed navigator Henry Jaffe (Dark who was once in The Time Tunnel), radio operator and all round sexyman Herbert Ellis (Taylor, our reason for watching) alongside team leader and professional action hero John Borden (The Day The Earth Stood Still and Earth Vs The Flying Saucers star Marlowe) are returning to Earth after a successful reconnaissance trip to Mars.

Bloody hell you couldn't move for spaceships parked around the red planet in the 50s could you?

What appears to be a routine flight full of fun and banter turns scary when the rocket suddenly accelerates to an incredible speed, rendering the crew unconscious and sending their ship hurtling - well wobbling - thru' space before crashing on a snow-covered mountain.

Coming to and deciding to make the best of the situation the gang go for a walk down the mountain and soon coming across some ancient gravestones leaving Galbraithe to surmise that the rocket was subjected to a wee bit of 'time dilation' (isn't that the way?) and that they're now stranded on a future Earth, the heightened radiation that the ship has registered outside being from a devastating atomic war that occurred at some point in the past.

Which seems legit.

This news is taken particularly hard by Jaffe tho', as he soon realizes that his wife and children must be dead.


Well either dead or they moved to Birmingham.



"Does my skin look buttery?"



Deciding that Jaffe needs something to take his mind of his families demise the rest of the team send him off to explore a nearby cave, hinting that it may be full of Leprechaun treasure and with that he merrily jogs along to take a look, unfortunately it's not full of treasure but is, in fact, chock full of giant rubber spiders intent on scoffing poor Jaffe.

Well I say chock full but I mean there are two of them.

Or maybe just one and it's edited to look like two.

Either way it looks utter shite, meaning there's more chance of Jaffe dying of embarrassment than getting bit.

Anyway before it can get too exciting Ellis fires his load(ed gun) into the beasts eyes and the group run away only to be almost immediately attacked by one eyed, furry nappy wearing mutant survivors of the war - or 'Mutates' as they call them.

It never rains.

"Hello we're from Cradley Heath!"


Seeking shelter in another (less cobwebby) cave our hunky bunch are surprised (there's a fair bit of that in this movie) when a gleaming, totally not incongruous, metal door slides open revealing the entrance to an underground city populated by the - non mutated - descendants of those who survived the atomic war.

Descendants who are now spending their days clad in shower caps, ballet tights and massive gold chains in an attempt to look all clever and utopian.

In charge of this motley crew is the thin legged Bob Timmek (Invasion Of The Body Snatcher's Glass who spends the whole movie looking fairly embarrassed at the tightness of his - well - tights as they not only reveal what side he dresses to but also what he had for lunch, poor sod), who is aided and abetted by the oh-so slightly fey James (Pearl Jam's Vedder - thankfully uncredited) and the harsh faced Tober Mories (father of Doctor Who stars Olivia and  Jenna as well as TV Planet of The Apes monkey Coleman) who, feeling threatened by the sheer amount of manliness on show decides to plot against our time-traveling team.

Well that and the fact that his betrothed, Timmek's daughter, the mini-skirted minx Garnet (cheeky chinned TV stalwart Gates) has the hots for Borden.

John that is not Stan.

Oh hang on that's Boardman isn't it?

Sorry. 


Beware this room is not full of candy.

 

You see, it seems that life underground has caused the men to become less virile and manly whilst in contrast, the women have all de-evolved to look like 50s starlets complete with incredibly pointed bras and tiny shiny skirts and they appear to be constantly gagging for it with a couple of them - the council estate Rita Hayworth Elain (Patterson) and serving girl Deena (Montell, be still my beating heart), both fighting for the attentions of Ellis who at this point is topless for some reason.

Anyway, our heroes decide that the only way humanity will survive (apart from them having sex with all the ladies which may be a wee bit tiring - especially for Galbraithe) is if everyone heads to the surface, kills the 'mutates' and soak up some vitamin C so to this end they attempt to persuade the underground communtiy to arm themselves and help them to reclaim the surface.

But alas they can't be arsed.


Tunnel or funnel?


From that point in the film descends into chatsville - via discussion town - intercut with scenes of Garnet gazing lustfully at Borden whilst begging him to make love to her in the rugged style of the men in her old romance novels.

Which is nice.

"Hey honey....you fancy a wee bit o' mooth shite-in?"



Tired of all this testosterone fueled tomfoolery, Mories hatches a plan to discredit the time travelers by stealing their weapons from James' bedroom and planting them in their quarters.

How fiendish.

Unfortunately as he's grabbing the guns James appears from the bathroom and has no sooner pulled up his tights as Mories beats him to death.

Ouch.

He then sneaks into our heroes room and hides the guns in Borden's sock drawer.

Framing the foursome for the foul murder of poor James, Timmek has no choice but to have them expelled but luckily - for them - Deena was in their room having a wee fiddle whilst sniffing Ellis' underwear and swa the whole thing.

Much shoving and pushing ensues as Mories flees to the surface only to be bummed to death by mutants.

Helmet.


With Mories out of the picture, Timmek decides to throw away his pacifist ideals and help our heroes manufacture a bazooka with which to kill the mutates but Deena - having been rescued from the outside as a child - informs everyone that the mutates are actually quite small in number and that they used (non-mutated) slaves to do all the heavy work for them.

With this knowledge Borden offers to fight their chief, the hairy back and arsed Naga (yellow skinned cartoon star Simpson) in single combat for leadership of the group and the lives of the slaves.

Obviously they blow some shit up first just to show they mean business.

Will Borden beat Naga or will evil triumph over good old fashioned American strength?

Will our heroes return to the past or choose to build a new world surrounded by dozens of adoring ladies?

Go on, guess.


Lisa Montell: Foil wrapped for freshness.



With a plot so good it was later ripped off for The Mole People (which like this owes a huge debt to The Time Machine), World Without End was originally envisaged as a cheap way to make some extra cash for filmmakers Allied Artists by reusing footage, sets and costumes from their earlier movie Flight to Mars and because of this World Without End balances uncomfortably 'tween being a silver age SciFi classic and cheap seat-filler - for every highbrow question on humanities quest for survival and pacifism vs aggression there's a rubber arachnid or boss-eyed beast in a furry nappy waiting around the corner.


Luckily it's saved from obscurity - and dragged from the gutter by not only its fantastic cast - especially Hugh Marlowe, Lisa Montell and Rod Taylor - but also by the frankly bizarre mix of folk who worked behind the scenes, including the legendary Sam Peckinpah (who worked as its dialgoue director) and strangest of all, probably the worlds most famous/greatest pin-up artist Alberto Vargas as concept/costume artist.

Which explains a lot if I'm honest.

Especially that tingly feeling I got whenever any of the space ladies turn up onscreen.


Vargas: Sauce pot.




And let's not forget director Edward Bernds who, although not the greatest director who ever lived makes sure the film is never dull - which frankly is a godsend after watching some of it's contemporaries.

Yes I'm looking at you The Mole People.

Again.

With a career that spans everything from directing The Three Stooges to writing the Elvis movie masterpiece Tickle Me via The Queen of Outer Space and nearly (accidentally) winning an Oscar Bernds makes sure that the film never gets too talky and throws enough action, sexy ladies and silly hats at the screen to make it an enjoyable if fairly forgettable filmic experience.

Go on, you know you want to.

If only for Lisa Montel's midriff.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

jefferson starshit.

Still trawling thru' my quality SciFi collection to prepare myself for The Rise of Skywalker but mixing it up a wee bit today with a slice of hard hitting truth teasing space-based shocks.

Plus this was released the same year as the original Star Wars so there's a kinda symmetry.

Enjoy.

Starship Invasions (AKA Alien Encounter, Project Genocide, and War of the Aliens. 1977).
Dir: Ed Hunt.
Cast:  Robert Vaughn, Christopher Lee, Daniel Pilon, Tiiu Leek, Helen Shaver, Henry Ramer, Victoria Johnson, Doreen Lipson, Kate Parr, Sherri Ross, Linda Rennhofer, Richard Fitzpatrick, Ted Turner, Sean McCann, Bob Warner and Kurt Schiegl.




Precariously perched atop his toy town tractor like a giant, plaid blancmange made flesh, the multi-chinned and five bellied farmer Rudy (Schiegl from Quest for Fire and the local cake shop) seems oblivious to the large inflatable flying saucer landing in his potato field.

Remarkably for a man of his stature he remains totally unfazed (and frighteningly non sweaty) as two black leotard clad male dancers mince from the craft and shuffle him aboard.

Is he dead?

Or just drunk?

I wish I were.

Sitting patiently like some stoned walrus, Rudy is prodded and probe by his captors only really getting interested when a curved hipped, Vegas style showgirl slowly strips in front of him before beginning what can only be a complex Martian seduction dance.

Crikey.

Ronnie Corbett gingerly ran thru' the giants fingers.



The next day Rudy can't wait to tell the locals about his escapades both inside a genuine UFO as well as inside a genuine space whore but unfortunately everyone reckons he's a drunken, inbred freak.

Which if I'm honest he is.

One person who does believe him tho' is sexily slick haired UFO specialist Professor Allan Duncan (Vaughn whose alimony must have been crippling that month) who makes a trip to visit our portly pal.

Examining both the landing site and Rudy's ample arse, Duncan reveals that both have recently been dowsed with radiation (tho' only one has been dowsed with Martian muck) and that incredibly aliens have been visiting the Earth for years.

My word!

Vaughn: skint.


Meanwhile, aboard the UFO, the evil plant pot wearing alien commander Ted Rameses (a seriously fucking unhappy Christopher Lee) and his motley band of space dancers are busy planning their next diabolical kidnap caper.

Lee: no shame.


It transpires that poor Rudy was not the first to be abducted (tho' he was by far the largest breasted) nor will he be the last for no sooner has Rameses explained the plot that the crew go searching for an Earth female to fiddle with too.

An preferably one in ill fitting flesh coloured pants just like your mums.

But for the love of God why? I hear you cry.

Well, it seems that Rameses and his racy chums are not, in fact, an intergalatic dance troupe but an invasion party from the distant planet Alpha.

A distant planet that's sun is about to go supernova.

So understandably our Alphanian chums are looking for a new planet (albeit one with a burgeoning spandex business) to colonise.

Simple when you think about it.

If you think she looks uncomfortable now just wait till the Martian mooth shite-in starts.



Unluckily for us it appears that Earth fits the bill nicely giving Rameses an excuse to unleash his massive weapon in order to kill all humanity before signalling the Alpha colony ships that are currently in hiding behind the dark side of the moon.

Tho' how an entire invasion fleet can keep itself hidden behind a Pink Floyd album is never explained.

I'm assuming that it's the vinyl version seeing as it would be considerably bigger than trying to conceal yourself behind a cassette or CD.

But I digress.

Humanity has one last line of defence tho', as the justice (and lard by the size of their waistlines) loving intergalactic council, the fantastically - and not at all cliché named  The League of Races have a secret base on Earth; a giant pyramid cunningly hidden under what seems to be the directors duck pond.


Christopher Lee, up the casino, Anchorhead, 1977....Yesch!

Knowing that he must destroy the base if his plan is to succeed, Rameses lands at the base and pretends that he needs the toilet.

The League, being either really nice or really dim send a giant silver sex toy named Deirdre to escort the rotten Rameses to the little boys room, giving his crew ample time to sabotage the cloaking device of a League UFO that's been busy taking photos of popular tourist attractions.

When the aforementioned flying saucer suddenly becomes visible to the local populace whilst hovering over the local Aldi the army have no choice but to blow it up.

The swines!

With all the good guys running about trying to figure out what caused the force field failure (try typing that when you're drunk, tho' thinking about it, it mustn't be too difficult as the writer managed to) Rameses and his crew have time to put bizarre laser firing matchbox and string contraptions on their fingers and take over the pyramid, murdering a room of space whores and seriously injuring Deirdre in the process.

Behold the future of pleasure! the android Jade Goody sex doll with hyper speed tit wanking action!


It's now time for our hideously hatted intergalactic bastard to contact his fellow Alphans and order them to aim their patented mentalist beam at Earth, turning hitherto normal folk into crazed murderers.

Rameses however hasn't realised that a small band of Leaguers, led by grand admiral Hilary Zoonie have managed to slip away in a UFO and are racing to contact the only humans who are gullible enough to help them in their fight.

Oh, and repair their space ship.

Yup that'll be Professor Duncan and his man-breasted computer expert brother Malcom (Ramer, from the TV movie Sodbusters and also your grannies bed).

Christopher Lee was startled by the space parrot that suddenly perched itself on his shoulder.


With Malcom's help (and his extra large underpants to cover a hole in the hull), Hilary can modify the UFO's communications system and send an S.O.S. to the main League headquarters - you'd think it'd be a wee bit more complicated than that wouldn't you? - but don't worry because whilst all this action-packed repair work is going on we can sit back and enjoy an arse numbing lecture on alien culture and technology as Duncan quizzes the crew about building the ancient pyramids and why the only woman on board has such wobbly thighs and a head so large that it has it's own gravitational field.

But saying that tho' she is the most attractive member of the cast.

Sorry Mr. Vaughn.

All I can say is how fucking stunning is this?

Finally, with humanity under attack by the aforementioned death ray and Duncan's wee girl slowly going mad and attacking tomatoes in the local Asda, the Alphan invasion fleet and the League saucers face-off in the inky blackness of outer space to start a war in the stars.

Obviously this would be way too expensive to show so it's back to Earth where rotten Rameses is using the superior calculators found aboard the League base to tip the scales in his favour, whilst Duncan's frighteningly plain (and bra-less) wife has picked up a kitchen knife and begun to slash at her wrists....

Will Hilary, Professor Duncan, that bald bird and Malcolm be able to defeat Rameses and stop the mad gun before Earth is destroyed?

Christopher Lee contemplates becoming the filling in a particularly crabs ridden sex sandwich.


Starting his career with the soft core porn classics Pleasure Palace and Diary Of A Sinner, it wasn't long before writer/director/producer and rhyming slang named UFO nut Ed Hunt - who by this point was obviously tired of exposed arses - decided instead to expose the truth behind UFO's, firstly with the little seen Nicky Fylan starrer Point of No Return and then with this universally acclaimed science factual epic.

Starship Invasions is quite possibly the greatest science fiction movie of that name ever to come out of Canada in 1977 and probably the only one to feature Christopher Lee painfully forced into a childs jumpsuit whilst wearing a pizza box on his head.

Blatantly ripped off by non-trick pony M Night Shyamalan in the hideous The Happening (tho' without the spaceships and the man from UNCLE obviously) Starship Invasions storyline was based in part on factual accounts of real UFO abductions with costumes and saucer designs taken from true life testimonies, in fact the terrifying 'probing of Rudy' scene was an exact duplicate of a situation the director found himself in as a teenager.

Imagine a Canadian Star Trek The Motion Picture, only shit(ter).

With a budget over almost £38 (the biggest amount ever invested in a Canadian film up to this point) Starship Invasions unfortunately sank into obscurity, beaten at the box office by a rival film that was hastily put into production to capitalise on the excitement caused by the announcement of Starship Invasions.

This immature imitator was Close Encounters of The Third Kind directed by Steven Spielberg (and whatever happened to him?) proving once and for all that when the audience has the choice between terrifying fact or whimsical fiction that they'll choose the latter every time.

Another reason for the films lack of financial success can possibly be attributed to the hyper real and almost documentary style in which it was shot.

Like all great auteurs Hunt litters his film with purposely mismatched military stock footage and endless, repeated shots of Rameses saucer in flight, imbuing the film with a nightmare quality associated with UFO encounters but wrongly attributed to cost cutting and incompetence by many ill educated 'critics' of the time.

But the directors greatest achievement in extra-terrestrial accuracy is in scenes featuring the aliens 'communicating'.

It's widely reported in the scientific world that many alien races communicate telepathically, a fact that many lesser research movies fail to adhere to due to the complex effects work that this would involve.

Hunt however embraced the challenge in both his sweaty, sausage like hands, hiring a massive team to actually teach the actors telepathy and mind controlling powers, his crew working alongside them to develop the worlds only pyschic camera to enable them to record the scenes.

Again naysayers and critics, their minds obviously blown by such a concept accused Hunt of cost cutting by filming many scenes without sound, recording and inserting the dialogue later.

This left Hunt a broken man and it was a long two years before he returned to directing.

And what a return it was, helming as he did probably the best episode of the epic teevee series Greatest Heroes of the Bible, the producers realising that only a genius of Hunt's talents would be worthy of re-imagining the classic tale of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar and brave enough to cast ex-Happy Days star Donnie (Ralph Malph) Most as Daniel.

(Pie) Tin Machine.


But by this time a new younger breed of directors had come forward, spurned on by the aforementioned Spielberg and Star Wars creator George Lucas' kid friendly and non threatening science fiction style leaving Hunt's hyper-realistic visions to wallow unloved in the cinematic backwaters of celluloid obscurity, unknown but to only a few film historians and those fans lucky (and clever) enough to truly appreciate his genius.

bond age.

With the trailer to the new the James Bond film 'No Time To Die' debuting today I thought It'd be a good time to share an overview I wrote of my favourite Bond movie from way back in 2015.

Partly because it's not too badly written (for me) but mainly in the hope of attracting some (any?) new readers.

Originally published in the late lamented Multitude of Movies Magazine - hence the distinct lack of 'mooth shite' and 'laugh now' gags - sit back and enjoy (again if you read it first time around) some classic bondage as we revisit....


Licence To Kill (1989).
Dir: John Glen.
Cast: Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Anthony Zerbe, David Hedison, Benicio del Toro, Everett McGill, Desmond Llewellyn, Robert Brown and Wayne Newton.

“loyalty is more important than money”



It’s 1989 and the world of cinematic heroism is in a state of flux… as Indiana Jones rides off into the sunset in the company of his dad and Captain Kirk has a cut-price family-friendly face-off with God, a hero from our childhood is about to emerge onto the big screen darker, dourer and much, much more leathery than ever before…

Indeed, 1989 was the year of the Bat.

But Bob Kane’s eponymous Dark Knight detective wasn’t the only character of old being dragged kicking-and-screaming into the modern age.

Another 60’s pop culture icon was about to receive a much needed make-over.

Bond was back.

And, after the frankly schizophrenically scripted The Living Daylights tried somewhat unsuccessfully to mix Moore-style quips with Connery era arse-kicking, 007’s new adventure Licence Revoked looked to return to a Bond with a more realistic edge (but with a dreamy Welsh accent), the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the franchise’s very beginning.

But evil machinations of which Blofeld himself would be proud were about to scupper the super spy in his attempts to regain his action crown.

The least of which was the worry from Eon that no-one in America would know what ‘revoked’ meant.

And, if they did, would they assume that the title referred to Bond’s driving licence?

There is no such thing as a totally straight man, just a man who's never experienced Timothy Dalton as James Bond.


A dozen meetings and one swift title change later – well, I say swift… but not swift enough to save Eon from having to dump Robert Peak’s darkly daring promotional artwork and quickly replace it with what looked like a hastily Pritt-sticked community centre panto poster – and Licence To Kill was born.

And with it a grittier and, let’s be honest, a damn sight sexier Bond for a new and more dangerous age.

A Bond out for revenge and out for justice.

A Bond that bled, cried and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

And, unfortunately, a Bond that no-one save the die-hard fan seemed to have had any interest in seeing.

Which is a pity really because those of us who did see it at the time realised that we were witnessing probably the greatest Bond movie ever.

And if you don’t believe me, then I’d happily listen to you explain why they’ve been remaking it every few years under a variety of titles only this time with Daniel Craig in the lead role.

Welcome to the weird, wonderful and high-wired world of Licence To Kill.
And by its end the Bond franchise will never be the same again.

But first, for those few who’ve still not seen it, I think a wee recap is in order.

Helping his best bud Felix Leiter (David Hedison, the only other actor save Jeffrey Wright to play the role twice) prepare for his wedding, suave super spy James Bond (Mr. Vegas himself Wayne Newton – nah, only joking, Timothy ‘Bloody’ Dalton obviously) finds himself and Leiter sidelined by the DEA to help in the capture of the evil drug kingpin Franz Sanchez (the great beast himself and star of Maniac Cop II and III, Robert Davi).

In a feat of airborne daring so great that Christopher Nolan would later rip it off for The Dark Knight Rises, Bond and Leiter – using only a big hook and a few metres of old rope – capture Sanchez by literally ‘fishing’ his plane out of the sky before parachuting into the wedding ceremony to a sexy Gladys Knight theme.

Phwoar indeed.

Unfortunately (for Felix, that is… I mean for us it’s a godsend, otherwise the movie would be over), Sanchez bribes slimy DEA agent Ed Killifer (Twin Peaks‘ Big Ed himself, Everett McGill) and escapes, but not before setting in motion a raging rampage of revenge that begins with feeding Felix to a shark before murdering his wife.

Bond, upon discovering this, is understandably a wee bit upset.

His temper isn't helped by the fact that the DEA refuse to assist our hero in bringing Sanchez to justice, due to him being out of his jurisdiction, leaving Bond – alongside his buddy Sharkey (Frank McRae) – to start their own investigation.

The dashing duo soon discover that not only is the nearby marine research centre run by a henchman of Sanchez, the twitchy, bitchy Milton Krest (the always fantastic Anthony Zerbe), but it’s also in reality a cover for Sanchez’ cocaine smuggling operation. As it happens, Killifer is there to pick up his cash.

What are the chances?

Bond, by this point not only annoyed about bits of his best friend becoming fish food but visibly angry at spending a whole 30 minutes without chinning someone, angrily feeds Killifer to the same shark (c’mon, they’re expensive to hire) that maimed Leiter.

Which is nice.

Imagine being the filling in this sandwich.




Concerned by Bond’s mood swings, M (Robert Brown) meets up with our hero and orders him to travel to Istanbul for a new assignment which frankly is the last thing Bond needs to hear, causing him to resign from the secret service before headbutting M’s bodyguards and legging it into the bushes.

Bond is now a rogue agent, bereft of official backing and on the run from both the US and UK secret services (and quite possibly Rumbelows), with only his trusty PPK and a suave line in blouson leather jackets and boating shoes for company.

Is there anyone Bond can turn to in his hour of need?

As luck would have it Major Boothroyd – or as we know him ‘Q’ (Desmond Llewellyn) – just happens to be taking a well earned holiday in exactly the same hotel that Bond is staying in; not only that, he’s come equipped with everything Bond could need to complete his mission.

All quite by chance, you understand.

The reunion has to wait though, as Bond has a drug shipment to foil.

Boarding Milton Krest’s ship, the none too originally monikered Wavekrest, Bond does indeed foil the shipment and also steals five million dollars of Sanchez’ cash in the process.

It’s not all joy and happiness though, as Sharkey ends up dead at the hands of the evil Dario (a frighteningly baby-faced Benicio Del Toro, sporting a fantastic quiff).

All this wanton violence is all well and good (and a little refreshing if I’m honest) but 007 soon realises that the film is missing one vital ingredient.

Yup it can’t be a proper Bond film without some top totty, so to that end James teams up with the tomboyish ex-CIA agent and bush pilot (ooeerr) Pam Bouvier (second best Bond girl Carey Lowell) who, alongside Bond and Q, head to the Republic of Isthmus where Sanchez holds court.

By that I mean he runs the joint, he doesn’t wander around in a powdered wig hitting a hammer on an old table whilst shouting “Order!” and the like.

Though he may have done in a deleted scene.

Who knows?

But I digress.

Posing as an unemployed hitman (his undercover binman disguise must have been in the wash), Bond manages to get a job working for the evil Sanchez but an attempt to ‘take out’ (in a non Paddy McGuinness way, obviously) the deranged drug dealer is thwarted by two jobs-worth Hong Kong narcotics agents who unceremoniously bundle our hero into the back of a van before taking him along to a deserted warehouse (is there any other kind?) where an MI6 operative named Fallon (Hammer stalwart Christopher Neame) is waiting to take Bond back to London.

Dead or alive.

Crikey.

Injected with a potent sleeping drug, wrapped in bubble wrap and bunged in a box, all looks lost for Bond… until that is a couple of Sanchez’s goons turn up, machine gun the three agents, and rescue our hero.

It appears that they thought that the secret service types were the actual assassins and that Bond was trying to stop them.

How more twisty turny can this plot get?


Sanchez handling his massive chopper.




Now well placed (on the right, just behind the drinks cabinet) in Sanchez’s inner circle, Bond decides to have some fun. Firstly, with the aide of Sanchez’s exotic girlfriend Lupe Lamora (Vampirella herself, the slinkily sexy Talisa Soto), he frames Krest by hiding the $5 million he stole earlier in one of the Wavekrest‘s hyperbaric (bless you) chambers, before dropping hints to Sanchez that it was Krest who nicked it.

Ever the reasonable employer Sanchez responds by locking Krest in the very same chamber, before smashing it with an axe causing the poor guy to explode.
Wondering how they’ll ever explain that to his Gran, Sanchez invites Bond along to his secret lair (cunningly hidden beneath a new-age meditation centre) to explain his plan to him – and us.

And what a plan it is.

Like a particularly over-excited child with a new toy, Sanchez explains how his scientists have discovered a way to dissolve cocaine in petrol, which they can them just roll out across the world in big trucks disguised as common or garden fuel and then sell it to evil Asian drug dealers.

Which is a pretty specific market if you ask me, but hey-ho what do I know about international drugs trafficking?

The best bit of the plan though is the fact that all of the dodgy drug transactions are conducted via the broadcasts of the centre’s leader, the porn ‘tashed televangelist Professor Joe Butcher (the afore-mentioned Mr. Las Vegas Wayne Newton), who just repeats whatever Sanchez’s ‘business manager’ Truman-Lodge (Iron Man himself, Starke) tells him to.

Obviously adding a “Praise The Lord!” or “Hallelujah!” occasionally, just to make sure no-one suspects anything.

Preparing to end Sanchez’s plan (and let’s be honest his life), Bond is surprised when Dario arrives unannounced and reveals 007’s true identity.

As a British agent, that is: he doesn’t turn up and shout “Bugger me, it’s Timothy Dalton star of Flash Gordon and Sextette!” because that would be silly.

Though probably perfectly acceptable in one of the latter Moore movies.

His cover blown, Bond does what any self respecting Welshman would do in that situation and sets fire to some stuff before attempting to flee.

But Dario has other plans and ties our hero up before dangling him feet first over a giant shredding machine.

Just as Bond is about to be sliced like so much bacon, Pam turns up and shoots Dario, allowing Bond, in one of the franchise’s most unpleasant deaths, to kick him into the shredder instead.

Which is as painful as it sounds.

Fleeing his burning base, Sanchez commandeers four tankers full of the cocaine and petrol mix and attempts to drive to freedom (or at least somewhere the Feds wont get him – Coventry, perhaps?) but Bond is in hot pursuit.

Well, actually he’s in a plane piloted by Pam, but let’s not be too anal about it.
Careering to an explosive climax, it’s soon one on one as Bond faces off with Sanchez…







Released on 13th June 1989, Licence To Kill, the 16th official James Bond, has a number of (fairly) interesting firsts and lasts attached to it.

It was last to be directed by long time Bond director John Glen (his fifth movie in succession) and the last to be produced by Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli who had handed the production reigns over to his stepson Michael G Wilson due to ill health, and last to make direct use of any of Ian Fleming’s story concepts and characters until Die Another Day in 2002, taking as it does elements from the novel Live and Let Die (the Leiter/shark scenes and the tactics employed by Sanchez to smuggle drugs) as well as from the short story The Hildebrand Rarity.

Though it’s been years since I read that so, to be honest, I really can’t remember which bits.

Probably the bit where Bond seduces a lady or something.


Pam Bouvier: Crick neck and side arm.

Staying true to Fleming didn’t go as far as the title though, it being the first not taken from a Fleming story (though A View To A Kill does cheat slightly by removing the ‘From’ from the short story title, allegedly to make it easier for Duran Duran to write the song).

Staying with songs, the film’s frankly fantastic title theme – as sung by Gladys Knight – was actually written as an homage to the classic Goldfinger*, meaning that composer John Barry – alongside lyricists Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley- received royalty payments from it, which is nice.

But the more things stayed the same,the more things changed: the main thing being that, due to budgetary concerns (which for a Bond movie is bizarre), the film was the first in the franchise to be shot totally outside the UK, though with locations in such glorious climes as Florida and Mexico I doubt the cast and crew complained.

I mean it’s not like they had a two week shoot in Bognor or something, was it?

And what of that sun-kissed cast I hear you cry?

Well, frankly, there’s never been a Bond film before this with such a top rate (or let’s be honest as sexy) cast than this.

Eon must have agreed as it took 17 years before they even attempted to up the sheer sexual magnetism and raw talent of the movies again when they gave us the frankly magnificent duo of Eva Green and Mads Mikklesen in Casino Royale.

And even then they had to balance out the sexiness and cast a big potato as Bond, for fear of a thousand spontaneous pregnancies during the card playing finale.

But let’s ignore Mr Craig and wax lyrical on the actor who, in my humble opinion, gave us the definitive portrayal of 007, Timothy Dalton.


The dark and gritty Man About The House remake looks good.




It’s reported that on securing the role Dalton admitted to never having seen a Bond movie so decided to head back to the books for his inspiration and here it shows.

Dalton gives us a Bond that we can believe in, a cold-blooded killer for Queen and country but with a softer edge around those who know him, a flawed hero who will risk everything for a friend, and, in a lovely throwback to his ill-fated marriage to Tracey, a man haunted by his past.

If anything, Licence To Kill can actually be seen as a sequel of sorts to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service as it’s the murder of his best (only?) friend’s wife that sends Bond over the edge and on the path to revenge and ultimately redemption.

Imagine this movie following OHMSS, with Blofeld replacing Sanchez and a rogue Bond out for his blood to avenge Tracey’s death, no that would have been a swansong for Connery plus with the added bonus of the franchise being still (relatively) new enough to actually make the audience doubt that Bond would return to the fold by the movie’s end.

And, whilst you sit back and imagine that scenario, let’s look at the supporting cast.

Like all good leads Dalton isn’t afraid to let his co-stars shine, especially franchise stalwart Desmond Llewelyn as ‘Q’ who, in a role far expanded on any other movie, positively revels in the genuinely warm father/son relationship the pair share. I anything it’s only beaten by Llewelyn’s final words to Bond in The World Is Not Enough which act as a fitting tribute to a much missed actor.

And it’s worth the price of admission for these scenes alone if I’m honest.

As for the villains, the casting director really struck gold with the amount of up and coming – and firmly established – talent on show, from a pitch-perfect Robert Davi, channeling real-life former dictator of Panama and all round bad boy Manuel Noriega, to Benicio Del Toro’s loon-tastically lecherous Dario, via Anthony Zerbe’s twitchy Krest.

The cast of villains are at the top of their game with every single one of them bringing something unique to their roles.

Not one main star or bit-part actor is out of place and all add to something, however small, to the film.

And in the much coveted ‘Bond Girl’ roles Talisa Soto is all exotically charged and smouldering beauty as bad-girl-with-a-heart Lupe Lamora, whilst Carey Lowell plays Pam with an energetic mix of wholesome cookie-cutting boy scout, wide-eyed sweetness and thighs you could happily ski down, ever so slightly reminiscent of Peanut‘s Lucy armed with a big gun.

Which says more about me than her, if I’m honest.




Any excuse.



If the film has any fault it’s that, with hindsight it was just too much of a departure too soon for those used to the Roger Moore style of Bond…but bravo to Eon for not taking the safe route and attempting something different when staying safe would have been the easier option.

At the film’s end we find Bond slightly shaken, with his loins stirred by the pouting Pam as the pair flirt in a swimming pool to the dulcet tones of Patti LaBelle warbling If You Asked Me To. Who would have guessed that it would be 6 years before Bond returned, refreshed and re-imagined again, but this time as a post Cold War warrior with a scary bouffant, a smart line in Moore-style quips and taking orders from the woman from A Fine Romance?

No sane person that’s for sure.

But that change resonated with a by-now more cinema-savvy audience, and once again cemented Bond as the world’s foremost action hero and, seemingly cemented Dalton as the true forgotten Bond, left awash in an uncertain point in the franchise’s history.

Which is why I feel it’s my duty to champion this, if not ‘unloved’ then ‘criminally neglected’ classic, because although I was brought up on a steady cinematic diet of Moore’s mischievous mayhem whilst encountering Connery on TV, Licence To Kill will always be ‘my’ Bond.

It’s genuine wit, style and grit (plus an over-reliance on 80’s hair products), perfectly summing up Bond in all its forms.

Plus, as an aside in these more enlightened days it’s the only action film I can think of that relies on the lead character being a smoker to defeat the villain.





































































































*It’s the sexy trumpet bit if you’re still wondering.