Thursday, March 28, 2019

birthday boy!

Happy 40th birthday to Don Coscarelli's Phantasm.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

peking duck.

Came across this on Amazon Prime t'other night and realised that although I have a copy sitting on the shelf I'd never actually watched it.

Well I have now.

Interesting eh?



The Mighty Peking Man (AKA 猩猩王, Gorilla King, Goliathon. 1977).
Dir: Ho Meng Hua.
Cast: Danny Lee, Evelyne Kraft, Feng Ku, Chen Ping, a big monkey and some other folk that I can't be arsed listing.


Action...Excitement...Spectacle beyond your wildest dreams and maybe a hint of lady breast!



After the always impressive Shaw Brother’s shower screen-based logo and the promise of some patented Shaw-Scope action our story opens at the famous Hong Kong Library of Things where besuited business bloke Lu Tien (Ku from Inframan) has gathered a group of his pals together in order to look at a newspaper featuring a photo of a footprint pertaining to belong to the prehistoric Peking Man who lives somewhere in the Himalayas.

It seems (well according to the wobbly dissolve flashback it does) that this big brute has recently destroyed a model village and a polystyrene mountain much to the chagrin of a group of black-faced extras who look equally bemused and confused as a moth-eaten ape that varies in size between shots grumpily growls whilst squashing them.

After this frighteningly realistic foray into the fury of nature we're back at the library where Lu Tien proposes that they mount an expedition (as opposed  to a wee boy) to capture the giant then get rich by giving him his own daytime TV show.

But who will lead this expedition?

Enter (roughly from behind) the greatest explorer in all Hong Kong, the Elvis haired  Johnny 'Fimbles' Feng (HK action god Lee) who as luck would have it has just fallen out with his girlfriend and is looking for something to take his mind of it.


Your dad's taking the divorce well.



Cue scratchy holiday film intercut with stock footage of animals and various beggars as by the beauty of time-lapse we can witness the entire (almost) journey to their first base camp in a matter of minutes as a fleet of ox-drawn wagons wobble and  trundle along dirt roads to an adventurous type score swells in the back and our heroes spend the time smoking fags and pointing at stuff.

On arrival our intrepid heroes discover that the village is deserted save for a huge blanket with rampaging elephants projected onto it, oh hang on I think those are actually meant to be real elephants.

It convinces the explorers tho' as they all run around shooting at random stuff whilst trying not to get squashed.

The director, quickly growing tired of all this excitement, shoos the elephants away enabling the expedition - and the film - to continue.

But not until Johnny has poured his heart out with regards to the girl he was set to marry shagging his TV director sibling Charlie which sent him careering into drink and depravity that culminated in him leading the expedition.

“You’ve got it made Johnny.” says his sexy mustached unnamed colleague, “Just grab the monster, take it back to Hong Kong and then you’ll be able to get any woman you want!”

Which is fair enough I guess.

With a knowing smile Johnny heartily agrees before telling the group it's bedtime.

What a guy.

Jackie Chan, up the casino, Wigan, 1977.....Yesch!


No sooner have the motley band of explorers had a shave 'n' shite the next morning when they're attacked by a tiger and chased into quicksand (it never rains) luckily Johnny chases the beast away but not before it's eaten one of the native bearers (rubber) legs.

Just to remind everyone that he's a wee bit of a patented bastard Lu Tien shoots the poor bloke in the face - his excuse? Well his cries of pain may attract predators.

Or maybe rats.

No time to mourn tho' as the expedition has reached the Himalayas and there's climbing to be done.

And more nameless extras to die in the name of adventure obviously.

As they - finally - reach the summit, Lu Tien, being a coward as well as being a trigger-happy bastard decides that he's bored and wants to go home.

Or at least back to his nice hotel in order to have some of 'the sex' with the local ladies.

Which is fair enough I guess.

Johnny tho' has other ideas (he's read the script) and excitedly rallies the remaining explorers who head further into the jungle where they catch glimpse of a semi-nude blonde cavorting thru the trees.

Giving chase the merry band soon come across a giant footprint that they assume belongs to the fabled (mighty) Peking Man so decide to set up camp for the night right next to it in the hope that he may return.

Unfortunately that evening Lu Tien bribes the surviving party members with a secret stash of Opal Fruits and persuades them to return to the hotel with him leaving poor Johnny alone without food or water.

Awaking suddenly the next morn to find himself totally alone with only an empty Pot Noodle container and a crumpled pile of stiff tissues for company, Johnny decides to cheer himself up by going for a walk across the studio backlot - sorry thru the jungle where suddenly, out of the blue a giant gorilla arm appears and picks him up before depositing him at the feet of  a smooth, milky thighed blonde (Kraft) clad only in a tiny leather bikini.

Kraft: Cheese.



Speaking in a strange jungle tongue (which sounds a wee bit like she's from Lower Gornal if I'm honest) our (shammy) leather clad lovely persuades the big monkey not to squash (or fuck) Johnny but instead to carry him to her bachelorette love cave where after some sexy fruit eating a whirlwind romance (featuring scenes of Kraft spinning cheetahs around her head till they're sick alongside shots of her amusingly getting elephants to give Johnny a trunk job and the like all cut to a bright and breezy 70s J-Pop ditty) begins 'tween the pair.

But it's not all fun and games (seriously I don't think it'll ever get that far) as we're soon into tragic backstory territory as one sunny afternoon the pair come across the wreckage of an airplane in a clearing in the trees - behind the bins obviously - and the merest sight of this (and the two papermache skeletons in the cockpit) causes our blonde beauty to start sobbing and wailing whilst randomly pointing at the bony pair screaming "PAPA! MAMA! BURNY! BURNY! BANG! BANG! WEEEEEEEEE!"

Scrabbling thru the corpses pockets for loose change Johnny finds a crumpled photograph of what he assumes to be the jungle girl as a child alongside her parents which prompts her to start dribbling into her cleavage and waving her arms about as she attempts to convey the sorry tale of how she arrived in the jungle.

It appears that when her family were flying back from the local Asda one weekend that a terrible (as in badly matted) storm caused their plane to crash.

She was thrown clear - as opposed to tossed off obviously) before it was engulfed by flames and the next morn discovered by the Mighty Peking Man who adopted her.

Seems legit.

Having one last rummage thru' the wreckage for any unopened beers or bags of  crisps Johnny finds a diary that reveals the fact that her name is actually Samantha.

And on that bombshell the pair return to frolicking thru' the trees to a sexy samba beat.


"Oh look....somewhere to park my bike!"


The fun and happiness doesn't last long tho' as when Samantha (as we'll now call her as it's much quicker to type than 'flaxen haired jungle Jane' or 'milky thighed bombshell') sits down on a convenient rock to have a quick snack a deadly Cobra slithers up her leg and bites her inner thigh leaving Johnny no other option than to bury his head 'tween her legs and start sucking.

Which lets be honest is nice work if you can get it.

Luckily a nearby elephant picks up Samantha and carries her off to her cave where Johnny can continue his fantastic first aid technique in more comfortable surroundings.

Meanwhile back in civilization Lu Tien is busying himself touching up local prostitutes in the hotel swimming pool just to remind us that he's a bad 'un whilst at the cave Samantha is quickly recovering and as a thank you to Johnny for saving her life she stumbles into his arms for a wee kiss followed by a bit of bedroom action as the big monkey watches from outside living up to his name of the mighty peeking man.

Sorry.

Fancy trainers not shown.




All these jungle hi-jinks (and long lingering slo-mo shots of Samantha's smooth undulating breasts) can't carry on forever tho' and soon Johnny is yearning for the bright lights of the big city and scarily manages to persuade saucy Sam that they should head back to Hong Kong and take the (Mighty) Peking Man with them.

With Samantha now utterly enslaved by Johnny's cock (well she's only flesh and blood) she excitedly agrees and the trio head off to India where they can hitch a ride to Hong Kong thanks to Lu Tien and his huge freighter.

And yes they do all do appear to have forgotten that he's a bad man.

Thanks to some stunning model work (and someones bathtub) we're off on the high seas where the Mighty Peking Man is having a wet old time being chained to the deck of a freighter during a storm as a soggy Samantha looks on.

And if that wasn't a metaphor for BREXIT I don't know what is.

Luckily Johnny has bought her a (very) little present to cheer her up and fit in when they arrive in Hong Kong, unfortunately it appears that he wants her to fit in to the red light district seeing as the gift consists of a teeny tiny pair of leather hot pants and a basque.

Classy.

Being a modern free-thinking woman tho' Samantha throws the outfit away before falling back onto her bunk in all her naked glory to drift into sleep thinking about big hairy hands and bananas.


Class.


With the movie almost over we're soon in Hong Kong where crowds of (fairly) excited extras are randomly pointing at where the FX team will hopefully superimpose the Mighty Peking Man and his model boat at some point but whilst we're waiting for that  there's just enough time for Johnny to check in on his brother Charlie at the TV station.

After a quick chat Johnny realises that his brother wasn't to blame for the previous infidelity and that it was all the fault of his whorish girlfriend and with that Johnny and Samantha settle down to watch the recording of the Honk Kong equivalent of The Mini-Pops.

Phew glad that's sorted.

Whilst they're enjoying the sight of a pre-pubescent girl miming to The Spice Girls hit Wannabe who should enter the studio but Johnny’s ex-fiancé Lucy (Ping from Da lao qian, Big Bad Sis and Feng kuang da ben zei) who sneakily passes him a note to meet her in her dressing room.

Johnny leaps up and goes to see her where she begs him to take her back and Johnny -being stupid - passionately kisses her just as Samantha walks in.

Heartbroken Samantha runs off into the city (a veritable concrete jungle if you will) and Johnny gives chase.

Unfortunately he keeps tripping over his erection and soon loses sight of her.


"Look at me! I'm from Cradley Heath!"



Meanwhile the poor Peking Man is having a pretty shite time of it himself, chained as he is to a huge pole whilst overweight Chinese folk throw fruit at him as he attempts to juggle a couple of Tonka toys.

Catching a glimpse of these woeful shenanigans on a shop front TV, Samantha bursts into tears before persuading a couple of British tourists to drive her to the stadium where her monkey mate is performing.

She arrives just in time to catch his keepers amusing themselves by trying to push their brooms up his arse so desperately looks for anyone who can help.

Unfortunately for her the person in charge is Lu Tien and never one to not take advantage of a situation invites Samantha back to his office to 'discuss' the matter.

Taking a fairly sinister and totally unnecessary turn, Lu Tien is soon forcing alcohol into Samantha's mouth whilst pawing at her breasts with his chubby sausage fingers as she struggles to break free, finally pulling back the (non beef) curtains allowing the Peking Man to see her plight.

Understandably enraged he breaks free and heads over to the office as a terrified Lu Tien bundles Samantha into the back of his car in the hope of finding a nearby hotel where he can continue his monstrous molestation.


Ping Chen: Hairy back and arse.


Cue ten minutes of cut-price Kaiju style action as the Peking Man stomps on cars and pisses up a couple of cardboard buildings as he attempts to save Samantha from Lu Tien's rancid uncut cock.

Whilst all this pound shop destruction is going down the local (British natch) military have launched a counter-attack and ordered their entire (toy) tank squad to hunt down the beast and destroy him but luckily Johnny nd points out that Samantha can control the Peking Man and probably get him to stop smashing stuff so an APB is sent out to find Samantha who as we know is currently pinned face down on a bed as Lu Tien clumsily fiddles with his flies as he attempts to not prematurely fire his man muck over her peachy arse.

Luckily for Samantha (and her virgin ring) just as leery Lu Tien is about to unleash his engorged member the Peking Man pops his hand thru' the window and grabs him, waving him about before dropping the pervy ponce on the concrete and finally stepping on him.

Result.

Peow!


As Johnny desperately searches for Samantha and Samantha runs around the city in her pants the Peking Man amuses himself by stepping on, well everything really before climbing to the top of a skyscraper and baring his arse at the army helicopters.

Reckoning that a poorly aimed monkey fart could send him toppling down the army decide to fill the roof with petrol and set light to it so to this end send a crack squad to the roof.

Down below Samantha and Johnny are finally reunited and race to the frontline in the hope of convincing the head army man to order a cease-fire so they can head to the roof themselves and calm the Peking Man down.

Army man agrees but as our terrific twosome journey upwards the military are already planning to kill the Peking man.

And anyone who gets in their way..... 

Words!




From the prolific Shaw Brothers directorial mainstay Ho Meng Hua comes this Hong Kong/King Kong mash-up that was all set to rival not only the original King Kong but Dino De Laurentiis' Kong remake at the box office.

Until that is they discovered that it takes more than a couple of tin tanks, an old fur coat and a Swiss bombshell not afraid to furtively flash her nipples to make a classic monster movie.

And no, basing the female leads outfit on the one Marion Michael (barely) wore in Liane, das Mädchen aus dem Urwald doesn't count either.

And if I'm honest it only makes you feel guilty for remembering how obsessed you were with her as a teen.



Michael: Barry more.



It's not all bad tho'

I mean any movie that features HK action icon Danny Lee fighting stuffed leopards and shooting elephants can't be all that bad plus Evelyne Kraft manages to pull of the whole jungle virgin shtick with aplomb whilst wearing what looks like a leather duster on her arse whilst Feng Ku makes a great panto style villain - until the unnecessary attempted rape that is, a scene that's as unwanted as it is uncomfortable in what until this point has been a pretty straightforward boys own adventure.

Albeit one with a veritable feast of nipple slips.

Meng Hua Ho's direction is pretty solid - if a little point and shoot - whilst the score (credited to Yung-Yu Chen) is mainly made up of classic De Wolfe library tracks alongside copious amounts of Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich which give it an air of - threadbare - elegance.

Or laziness when it comes to the soundtrack, you decide.


Kraft: Slices.


Easily as entertaining as it's stablemates - the South Korean-American co-production A.P.E. (1976) and the Italian monster mash-up Yeti: Giant Of The 20th Century (1977) and scarily slightly better budgeted, The Mighty Peking Man is a perfect Friday night cheese feast of a film for anyone who enjoys a good monster movie or just enjoys seeing hunky Chinese guys topless.

Recommended,

Monday, March 25, 2019

farewll to the king.

Whatever is behind the door There is nothing much to do Angel or devil I don't care For in front of that door There is you....  

Scott Walker.







Sunday, March 10, 2019

nasty!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls we present a maniacal mix of terrifying tunes, sinister samples and blood curdling beats in an 80 plus minute mix designed to take you back to the heady days of the video recordings act.
A wee bit like Sunshine Over Leith but with more buggery.



Saturday, March 9, 2019

dog day afternoon.

Still recovering from the dreaded Frightfest lurgy so spent this week recuperating with a rewatch of the Jess Franco classic Devil Hunter in the hope of scoring some free stuff from 88 Films thanks to the frankly brilliant review what I wrote about it.

Anyways, the laydees were out shopping today leaving myself and Mr Cassidy home alone so I decided in a kinda sweet father/son bonding exercise to let him pick today's entertainment.*

Well he must have really enjoyed the aforementioned classic as he dove straight into the Franco-pile and chose this.

That's my boy.

Sadomania (AKA Holle der Lust, Hellhole Women. 1981)
Dir: Jess Franco.
Cast: Uta Koepke, Ursula Buchfellner, Ajita Wilson, Antonio Mayans (AKA 'Robert Foster', nope still not that one), Gina Janssen, Jess Franco, Angel Caballero and a huge, horny dog.

"Look at the dog! Look at the dog!"


Young(ish) and fairly groovy (for the west midlands circa 1974) newlyweds, Olga (pert of breast and flaxen of haired Koepke, best known for her performance as Kirstin in the classic Drei Schwedinnen auf der Reeperbahn) and Michael (Caballero from the brothel based drama L'oasis des filles perdues) are happily enjoying their South America honeymoon cum golfing holiday, which is always how these things start if I'm honest.

It's been sun, sand, huge amounts of cocaine, a wee bit of poverty and holes in one all the way so far and with a return home looming our loving couple decide to finish their vacation with an idyllic picnic.

After packing the Tizer and egg and cress sandwiches they're soon on their way, taking a short cut to the beach thru' the grounds of the ominous Hacienda Blanco, a notorious women's prison and general den of kinkiness.

As you can imagine this doesn't go down too well with the Hacienda's evil warden Magda (transsexual mega-star and Euro porn queen, the late great Ajita Wilson) who comes across the pair gobbling on some fruit.

Which reminds me of the reason I got expelled from school years ago.

Wilson: Like you'd have a choice.
After a quick telling off and a slapped wrist Michael is sent on his merry way but Olga on the other (slightly smaller) hand is charged with trespassing on private property and detained at (and for) the wardens pleasure.

Matron!

Surprisingly Michael sheepishly bids farewell and saunters off without even a hint of annoyance at the thought of having to spend the final nights of his honeymoon in the company of mother fist and her five beautiful daughters, leaving poor Olga to be (roughly) taken up the prison to be 'processed'.

Which is nice.

Arriving at the gates and with her only experience of incarceration being endless reruns of Prisoner: Cell Block H and Bad Girls, Olga is surprised to find that this alleged top security complex looks more like an end of days Butlins as imagined by a crack-fueled Robin Askwith, housing as it does around 40 women - of various degrees of attractiveness -  who spend their days sweatily toiling in fields clad only in Daisy Duke style hot-pants whilst (topless) female guards with machine guns watch them from either horseback or home made chariots.

A wee bit like your mums old school.

"Are you looking at my bra?"

Lucky for Olga tho' who to be honest isn't the sharpest tool in the tin,  the prison rules are  simple enough for even her to understand.

And they go something like this:

 If a prisoner is caught trying to escape they are given a 60 second head start and then chased and shot (unless the inflatable Crocodiles don't get them first that is).

See?

I told you they were easy to remember.

Don't worry if shooting or being eaten alive aren't your thing as there is an alternative.

For example if the local politicians wife, the luscious Loba (swallowing superstar Janssen from the Story of Q) is in a good mood, hand-picked prisoners are taken to her villa for a wee kiss and cuddle with her impotent husband Jeff Mendoza (Foster from Oasis of the Zombies and Zombie(s) Lake sporting the worlds greatest comedy moustache).

Or if they're really lucky a wee bit of sapphic sauciness Loba herself.
Now which UK political party would be brave enough to bring this bill in?

I for one would commit a dozen acts of wanton burglary if I was in with a chance of an evening alone with Scottish Conservative bawheid and original Tank Girl  Ruth Davidson.

Well I'm only flesh and blood.

"Now ladies....who fancies a wee bit o' mooth shite-in?"
It's not all fun and frolics tho' as wicked warden Magda has a strict zero tolerance approach to fighting among the inmates and anyone who breaks this rule is punished by both parties being bundled into a ramshackle cage and forced to fight to the death.

Whilst topless obviously.

And what of the winner?

Well they get the special treat of spending the night with Mendoza's (over) friendly Alsatian, Butch and a once in a lifetime chance to enjoy his own special brand of 'meat treat'.

If, for some strange reason, none of this works to break the prisoners spirits, the worst offenders (or those with the perkiest breasts) are sold to the ferret-like Mr. Jorge Lucas (director Franco himself with trademark pube beard in tow) and put to work in his brothel in order to bring pleasure to the local mine workers and various salty sailor folk that pass thru town.

Exactly like your mums old school then.

Who's best...Theresa May or Nicola Sturgeon?.....There's only one way to find out! FIGHT!

Anyway, back to the non lesbian/torture/dog sex plot of the movie (yes there is one) and poor Michael, outwardly beginning to show the faintest signs of guilt in regards to leaving his missis in such a god forsaken hellhole - but more likely just jealous of missing out on all this girl on girl action - decides it's time to mount a rescue mission (as opposed to mounting a rescue dog or your gran) and free Olga.

Yup, I know he's taken his time about it but they've got to stretch the movie out somehow.

But if he's ever to be re-united with his true love he must first face not only the wrath of Luba and her psycho-sexual perversions but the cunning wiles of the horny she-male Magda who, sick of sticking it in girls is searching for some fresh, virginal manass to corrupt.

Oh and don't forget Mendoza's dog.

Which would be quite difficult seeing as he's quite ruggedly handsome if I'm honest.

Well for a dog anyway.





Good old Jess Franco, director of such classics as Vampyros Lesbos and, well anything you can think of with the words virgin, perversion or women in the title really - oh and that cannibal one where Al Cliver loses his arm - brings this shockingly brutal and realistic tale of loose women, perverted prisons and militant feminism to the screen in a blaze of cheaply made, stiltedly acted, S/M fueled trash-o-rama Euro-sleaze in the way that only he can.

Which is for under 20 quid.

Franco-philes, as some enthusiasts like to be called - probably - claim that the great mans movies have a genuine and legitimate artistry to them as well as a strong moral message lurking behind the sleaze and violence but to be honest it's pretty well hidden here as to be invisible.

Maybe I should take a closer look as no doubt it's carefully hidden somewhere between the frankly bizarre cutaways to close-ups of a selection of wind-up tin toys when Mendoza's pup ravishes the foxy cage fighter and the bits prisoners get eaten by crocodiles.

Or maybe I'm just too thick to see past the exploitation excesses.

Most likely tho' is the fact that I really don't feel the need to over intellectualize my genuine love of saucy Euro-Trash and am quite happy to share it with anyone who'll listen.
Because let's be honest here, if I've got the choice of spending a Friday night watching Chiwetel Ejiofor being whipped by a bad man or a flee bitten Alsatian desperately trying to mount a visibly nervous Angel Caballero I know which one I’d go for.

And I don't care how hot Ejiofor looks topless and drenched in sweat.

Plus he's no Idris Elba is he?

Well, neither of them are really but that's a different topic altogether.



"Oh no! I have my woman's period".


Whilst obviously never reaching the dizzy heights of Franco's all time classic Bloody Moon (but then again, what does?), it still has much to offer the serious film connoisseur, from glimpses of how unattractive the majority of people in the 70's were when naked to a rare mainstream (sort of) performance by cult goddess Ajita Wilson, later to become Europe's highest paid transsexual porn star as well as my godmother.

Add to this the copious amounts of mindless violence coupled with the most stunning and overgrown seventies bush ever committed to celluloid and the oh so saucy hints of bestiality and you know you've got a winner on your hands.

Or at least a pitiful semi between your chubby little fingers.

You dirty, dirty boy.

What your girlfriend really gets up to on bingo night.












*By the way, before you complain to social services I was only joking about letting the wee fella watch Jess Franco movies, that would be just plain wrong (plus he's only half way thru' the Joe D'Amato back catalogue and I wouldn't want to confuse him).

Friday, March 8, 2019

get to truck.

Just found out that Mr Airwolf himself - Jan-Michael Vincent - has died so in way of a tribute (and in no way an attempt to rustle up some new readers) I present a look back at....

Damnation Alley (1977)
Dir: Jack Smight.
Cast:  Jan-Michael Vincent, George Peppard, Dominique Sanda, Paul Winfield, Kip Niven and Jackie Earle Haley.

"Bomb or no bomb, the lights never go out in Vegas!"



Welcome to the US Airforce's best kept secret, an ICBM base cunningly disguised as a collection of garden sheds some place in the sunny Mojave Desert where mustachioed military Major Eugene Denton (pity poor Peppard having to slum it to pay his wife's alimony) and his rebellious rookie sidekick Dan 'Elsie' Tanner (grizzled Airwolf star Michael Vincent) spend their days marching up and down corridors and looking intently at a series of randomly flashing lights whilst wearing fancy white cravats and Kwik-Fit overalls.

Paul and Barry Chuckle: The Nuremberg Years.


It's not all hard work tho' as they do get to occasionally hang out with Kev Keegan (Star Trek II's Winfield), the bases security chief cum artist whose obsession with painting Denton's wife (or is it Denton?) naked borders on the obscene.

But just when you think the movies going to take a turn into paint covered multiracial tit wanking territory Russia decides to start World War III and nuke America.

Arse.

Not wanting to spoil the habit of a lifetime when it comes to world wars our Yankee cousins wait a little bit (well until Albuquerque has been nuked) before joining in the fight and it's not long before the Earth dies screaming in a searing haze of disco lights, atomic test film and stock footage from The Guns of Navarone, all played out to an eerie electronic proto-jazz score courtesy of Jerry Goldsmith.

On crack.

Cue your friendly neighbourhood title cars to explain that as well as mutating scorpions and turning the sky into a giant laser light show, the combined nuclear explosions have also tilted the Earth off its axis.

Which is nice.

Luckily for the plot our heroes base is safe, enabling the few bold survivors to carry on doing all that military stuff for no apparent reason other than an almost psychotic obsession with finally making all the lights on the control panels flash in unison.

Except that is for Denton who spends his time tinkering away in the garage, assisted by the only slightly moustached Lt. KT Perry (teevee stalwart Niven) and the by now air force drop-outs Keegan, who's taken to shoddily painting tropical landscapes on the outside of his shed and Tanner who fills his day by wildly driving around the desert annoying the local giant scorpions.

It's a living I guess.

If not very exciting to watch.

"Fuck me! It's Fred Titmuss!"

It's a good job then that one of the airman, enjoying a post wank fag accidentally sets light to a jazz-mag which just happens to be resting against a pipe that says  "WARNING:FLAMMABLE GAS" in big letters down the side.

Massive explosions and more stock footage ensues leaving only our feebly fleshed out foursome standing.

Or in Jan Michael Vincent's case leaning drunkenly against a wall.

But fear ye not, for Denton and Perry have been building two pimped to fuck silver (I.E. futuristic) highly armed transit vans, christened Landmasters with the intention of driving to Albany where Denton is sure a group of survivors live.

This is probably more likely than it seems, I've been to Albany and I can assure you it's not even worth shitting on let alone wasting an atomic bomb on, even the birds fly past upside down.

So our heroes, like a gaggle of sci-fi pikeys set out across the radioactive desert in the vain hope of finding the last remnants of humanity.

Or at the very least a field to park in.

"Wanna buy some pegs Dave?"


Almost immediately (it's as if the director is scared we'll get bored if there are more than five minutes of dialogue on screen between the action) our motley band drive headlong into a terrifying tornado-style storm.

Yikes.

Tanner, being a wee bit of a rebel decides to carry on regardless whilst the more by the book Perry pulls over to the side of the desert to consult the Landmaster manual.

This turns out to be a fairly bad decision as poor Perry has only gotten as far as how to set the dashboard clock before the storm has picked up the Landmaster and deposited it upside down halfway up a hill.

And unfortunately on Perry's head.

As a plus point this does mean that for the first time in cinematic history it's not the token black guy that died first.

Tho' an actor of Paul Winfield's caliber was probably hoping to get out sooner rather than later.

"You mean this van isn't full of sweets?"

There's no time for tears tho' as the next stop is fabulous Las Vegas, where quite surprisingly (and to Hunter S Thompson's utter joy I imagine) the Circus Circus is still all lit up and pumping Tom Jones thru' the tannoy system.

I would expect nothing less from the hotel I got married from.

Keegan and Tanner, relieved at finally getting some fresh air after days of wallowing in each others farts (and trust Me Jan Michael Vincent's taste of egg) race thru' the casino with gay abandon pausing only to chance their luck on the puggy machines whilst dashing Denton stand atop the stairs, hands on hips and with a clearly visible erection, gazing down on his boys with all the decorum of former Labour MP Lord Janner at an orphanage.

"Merde
  dans les cuisses de grenouilles mah bouche gourmands!
"


Suddenly as if from nowhere a curtain wearing, long of face yet smooth of thighed French woman appears and introduces herself as club singer cum exotic bird (and last non mouldy woman in Vegas) Ms. Janice (Sanda from, um some French stuff).

Which is a bit of a shock for our heroes as they were expecting Cher.

Or at the very least Lance Burton.

She soon explains that she managed to survive the war because she was giving the manager a private performance in his handy fallout shelter when the bombs went off.

Typical fucking blonde.

Being real gentlemen our tricky trio offer to take Janice all the way (to Albany, not up the arse obviously) but first have to stop in Salt Lake City to get some petrol.

Oh and crisps.

Arriving at their destination (in what seems like a matter of minutes) Tanner and Janice head into town of his motorbike to look for 'women's stuff' whilst Keegan checks the abandoned cars for any discarded chocolate or cans of Tizer leaving Denton to stand about looking manly whilst sucking on a cigar.

It's whilst on this snack hunt that Keegan notices how strangely clean the human bones are within the abandoned vehicles.

It's almost as if the set has been littered with bits of cheap Halloween skeleton toys.

Well either that or the place is full of fist sized flesh eating cockroaches but really what are the chances of that?

We'll soon find out cos no sooner has Keegan open the petrol hatch when hundreds of the black shelled buggers start swarming (do cockroaches swarm?) toward him, biting and barking wildly as they go.

Keegan finding himself pursued by what looks like loads of raisins stuck to a bit of lino jumps inside one of the cars and attempts to hide under a skeleton.

Big hunky black man, skinny white skeleton, you do the math.

Beware the Cornetto man!


Noticing his pal's dilemma (tho' why he's admiring the make of car he's hiding in under the circumstances is anyone's guess) Denton hops into the Landmaster and pulls out that most useful of sci-fi movie weapons; a fire extinguisher.

Great, because we all know that mutant insects are allergic to foam.

That'll be why you never see them taking bubble baths then.

Unfortunately for Keegan this has absolutely no effect on the bugs, so Denton shuts the car door to muffle the screams before radioing Tanner to announce, in all seriousness:

"This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches, repeat, killer cockroaches!"

Utter fucking genius.

Relieved that they're not actually being chased by giant liquorice balls Tanner and Janice do their best to lose the bugs in the local Woolworths, taking the stairs (on a motorbike mind) in an attempt to outrun the lazier cockroaches who'll no doubt be waiting on the lift before stunt biking it thru' a first floor window in glorious seventies slo-mo action.

Ker-chow!

Waiting for them downstairs, after first blowing up a wall with a handy grenade launcher is good old Denton smoking a big cigar and standing manfully atop a pile of foam sodden bugs.

Phew.

Tonka.


Patting each other on the back as they drive no-one seems to give a fuck that Keegan is dead, more likely Tanner realises that he's now the only hetro' guy onboard, bringing him closer to having a wee French fancy.

Dirty sod.

Denton, obviously upset by the lack of firm man-meat in the Landmaster decides that they should stop at the next town they find in the hope of coming across a young boy.

You can take that any way you like because I'm pretty sure Denton will.

Coming to a sudden halt outside a rundown shack in the middle of nowhere, Denton sniffs the air before changing into his best uniform and heading outside where, not too surprisingly, he finds a young, baw headed and buck toothed boy named Billy (Future Fred Krueger and author of Roots Haley), who's busy throwing rocks at bad men.

Result.

"That's amazing! I'm 15 and like The Saturdays too! Now get your webcam on and your clothes off!"


Adventure seems to be coming at them by the bucket load now (well at least that's all that's coming) because after the first thirty five minutes where sod all happened they appear to be finding fairly attractive survivors every couple of seconds now.

Except for this time obviously where our heroes run foul to a group of real-life, rape obsessed gypsies hiding out in a petrol station just waiting for a nice bit of prime ass to travel by.

Oh and to sell them some pegs as well.

It's only thanks to big browed Billy's amazing rock-throwing skills coupled with Janice's almost impregnable bra (oh and Tanner's ability to shoot someone in the face at point blank range obviously) that our merry band escape without so much as a violated mouth or loss of bladder control.

Denton, feeling a bit left out of all this manly fighting decides to show everyone who's boss tho' by firing a couple of rockets from the Landmaster's missile tubes at the outside toilet in which two of the gypsies were hiding.

Which I'll admit does seem a wee bit excessive even by the future A-Team leaders standards.

"Four fingers and George Peppard...never touched the sides!"


After all this rough terrain, rough justice and even rougher toilet paper it's not too surprising to find that the faithful old Landmaster has begun to make loud clanking noises and belch plumes of oily black smoke.

Looking under the hood Denton deduces that the crank-shaft and armature quim have broken and need replacing ASAP.

If not sooner.

Luckily for all concern Denton designed and built the Landmaster to use common or garden truck parts so it's a quick detour to the wrecking yards of Detroit then all the way to Albany.

Huzzah!

Pulling into the nearest scrap palace Denton gets hard at work straight away vigorously screwing his nuts whilst Billy goes out exploring and Janice and Tanner stare into the middle distance, totally unaware that the sky has gone all red and the wind is whipping up.

Cue a low rent version of the last twenty five minutes of 2001 projected onto the clouds as Tanner, astride his beloved bike tries desperately to find little Billy whilst dodging large chunks of painted cardboard.

"Hmmmm....tastes like chicken!"


Spotting Billy having a piss behind an old corvette Tanner grabs the boy and rides back to the Landmaster just in time to see a giant tsunami engulf Detroit.

Luckily, Denton also designed the Landmaster to float, giving us ample opportunity to experience the sheer joy of watching a shoddily painted cardboard box with cut-out wheels bobbing in a bath.

Noticing the huge wet patch on the seat (no it's not Janice) Denton and Tanner manfully force open the Landmasters top hatch to discover that not only has the sky has gone back to it's pre-nuke normality but from the look of things Detroit is now a lake.

Yup, the huge and impressive special effects sequence we've just experienced was, in fact the Earth tilting back to its normal axis.

Three cheers for science!

Feeling fairly elated by this turn of events Denton sets the Landmaster into 'chug' mode and heads for dry land.

I wouldn't want that swimming up my arse.

Coming ashore in what looks like a kiddies playpark and knowing the movie only has about ten minutes left, Tanner and Denton get to work on setting up a radio transmitter in the hope of contacting Albany, which luckily they do within a matter of seconds.

And guess what?

It's only a few miles down the road.

With an excited glee not seen since The Pope visited a Glasgow orphanage Tanner and Billy jump on the motorbike and head off to meet these newly christened 'Albanians' and hopefully get first dibs on any Mars bars left uncontaminated.

Gazing ruefully into the distance as they drive into the sunset, Denton uncomfortably hugs Janice who, in turn just stands there looking French.

Chinny rackon.



Meanwhile, further down the road, Tanner and Billy are amazed to pass fields of non-mutant sheep and cows, small clean faced children playing in the bushes and about thirty well dressed and healthy people ready to welcome them to their new home.

Awe.



From the director of that other classic book balls up The Illustrated Man comes this cack handed post apocalyptic action based on a novel by Roger Zelazny, which itself is loosely based on the story of Balto, a Siberian Husky sled dog who led the team on the 1925 emergency run, transporting diphtheria antitoxin from Nenana, Alaska to Nome.

Not funny but absolutely true.

In the novel, tough as nails Hells Angel Tanner is hired to deliver a load of cod liver oil tablets to somewhere inconsequential.

Due to his unbearable BO Tanner is forced into piloting the Landmaster alone; the situations and survivors he comes across during the course of the novel work to reawaken his humanity, until by the stories end and with the Landmaster totally fucked, Tanner walks the rest of the way with the serum in a backpack.

A bit like Judge Dredd did in The Cursed Earth saga remember?




With such a great (and highly pilfered) concept and top pedigree it's genuinely frightening to see how much the movie plays out like a Children's BBC version of Mad Max.

How could director Smight and scriptwriter Alan Sharp go so wrong?

Well adding an array colourful cardboard cliché characters doesn't help

or a Frenchwoman.

And utilizing tinfoil, tea bag boxes and giving your huge survival tank a ruddy great canvas midrift is probably not the best way of going about it if I'm honest.

Oh, and getting your six year old nephew on board as scientific adviser is probably not the greatest of ideas.

"Come get in the back of me Cortina and let me bite ya!"



But to be fair there are a few enjoyable things on show.

I mean the cast are good (to a point), the deserts look nice and there's gangly love god Jan Michel Vincent  for the ladies.  

And lets be honest, what more do you want on a Sunday night?

A pity then that I watched it on a Friday.                                                                                          

general franco.


Do you remember the other month when 88 Films released a lovely spruced up copy of Cannibal Terror on shiny Blu Ray and I desperately tried to blag a free copy with this hastily scribbled review?

Well this is their next release so I'm going to try again.

Wish me luck.

Devil Hunter (AKA Il Cacciatore di Uomini, Sexo Cannibal, Man Hunter, Mandingo Man Hunter. 1980).Dir: Jess Franco.
Cast: Al Cliver, Burt Altman, Aline Mess, Ursula Buchfellner, Yul Sanders, Gisela Hahn, Werner Pochath, Antonio de Cabo, Melo Costa, Robert (not the one from The Black Hole) Foster and Muriel Montossé.



Primark's most popular leggings model, the Lego haired temptress Laura Crawford (ball faced former Playboy bunny and Sadomania star Buchfellner) has everything - the prettiest frocks to the hunkiest boyfriend and the largest collection of slingback court shoes known to man.

The only thing she doesn't have (apart from any discernible acting talent obviously) is the respect of her long suffering assistant - the brunette bombshell Jane (the terrifyingly tight arsed Hahn).

Suffice to say that Jane hates Laura's guts.

Not content with venting her frustrations the normal way (you know, like poohing in her bed or putting itching powder in her vest) the jealous witch hatches a frankly bonkers plan that involves getting Crawford abducted then legging it to Rio (or Saltcoats, whichever's cheaper) with the ransom money as soon as the world's fashion photographers/film producers pay up.

Or something.

Enlisting the help of her bad boy buddies - led by the Skeletor like Vietnam vet Thomas (actor and art director, Cabo from the classic Aberraciones sexuales de una mujer casada - no me neither), they decide to forgo the usual kidnapping conventions of hiding the victim in a convenient bed and breakfast (or even a car boot) and take her to a region of uncharted cannibal infested jungle and lock her in an old shed instead.

They've obviously not seen the aforementioned Cannibal Terror or they'd have some idea - however vague - of how this might pan out.

It's not long tho' before everyone involved is bored senseless with playing Twister and charades  - and scuffing their elbows on the walls - so reckon it'd be much more fun to tie Laura to a tree and touch her up a wee bit.

Could her day get any worse?

Umm.....maybe, because it appears that there's an honest to goodness scary monster living in the jungle.

And by scary monster I actually mean a big black man, stark bollock naked apart from a pair of pound shop googly eyed glasses.

No, really.

The Devil (Altman, who does whatever an Altman can allegedly) as he is known by the locals, spends his days wandering around the jungle shagging then eating - or is it the other way round? - any women he comes across.

And I mean that quite literally.


"Are you the farmer?"



The scarily sexy cannibal high priestess (Mess from Diamonds of Kilimandjaro where she appears alongside the yumsome Katja Bienert) keeps the horny devil's libido at bay by sacrificing various buxom ladies to him on a weekly basis in a ceremony that is as intricate and breast obsessed as it is unnecessarily long winded.

Firstly she hypnotizes the unwilling victims with a sweaty lap dance before dragging them naked to a secluded lagoon where even more naked ladies scrub them clean and tie them to a tree ready to be diddled with  - in glorious technicolour - by Altman.

Which is nice work if you can get it.

Laura’s producer pal Brian has no option but to mount a rescue attempt and to this end hires hunky mercenary (and all round love god) Peter Weston (the legend that is Cliver) and his big hipped, manbreasted Vietnam flashback obsessed sidekick Jack (Foster) to fly in and seal the deal.

As opposed to clubbing it to death obviously.

Having a limited running time tho' it's not long before the dynamic duo are facing off against the crazy kidnappers in a pitched gun battle, unaware that the horny Altman is slowly moving in for the kill.

Or at least a swift handjob off Cliver - I mean, which hot blooded male wouldn't?

After an indeterminable amount of shootings, chasing and gratuitous arse shots our heroes end up lost in the jungle (or the local garden centre, take your pick) but luckily find a mysterious - and topless - 'girl on a yacht' (bird-faced beauty, singing sensation and regular Franco femme Montossé) who, after bouncing about on deck (and on Cliver) for a bit offers to help our heroes in their quest.

Hugh Quarshie was suitably impressed with the brand new Ronco Holly Willoughby doorbell.



Unfortunately for all concerned time is running out.

It appears that Altman has become bewitched by the blonde Laura and will stop at nothing in his quest to vigorously plant his rotten zombie seed inside her mysterious - and scarily overgrown - lady garden.

What follows promises to be an apocalyptic assault on the senses that will shred your nerves and possibly more than a few boxes of tissues.

Packaging.



After a girlie tiff with top producer Erwin Dietrich, Franco fucked off to the jungle in a strop and decided to film this masterpiece alongside the classic Mondo Cannibale, hence the appearance of the same cast, locations, shirts and obviously Caucasian actors blacked up pretending to be cannibals etc.

But whereas that movie has at least some redeeming qualities in it's (unintentionally) funny performances, Devil Hunter is played dead straight (tho' I use the word 'played' loosely, most of the cast look too drunk to do anything other than hopefully hit there mark and mumble banal dialogue that'll be overdubbed at a later date).

Even the usually fantastic Cliver can't save this one, reduced as he is to sitting topless on a boat, his hairy nipples erect and his luxurious mustache swaying in the cool breeze as he tosses bottles into the dirty water surrounding him, all the time looking like a condemned man praying for salvation.

Which, if I'm honest even he manages to make look sexy.

What a guy.


Always the auteur, Franco - in his infinite wisdom - decided to waylay the horror and violence and instead fill the movie with spasmodic zooms towards Buchfellner and Mess's front bums, hoping that these would stun the viewers into submission and detract from the frightening amount of scenes showing an Altman's eye view of a myriad of naked women of varied degrees of attractiveness running thru' trees whilst screaming badly.

Which is a brave move by anyone's standards and whilst the thought of Franco following a variety of European non-actresses around, concentrating on their ample arses bouncing about as they go may sound appealing after a while it only achieves the effect of making the viewer feel slightly nauseous.

And filled with the urge to tuck into a massive sausage filled burger bun.



Erotic? racist? or just erotically racist?


Saying that, if you enjoy Franco's work (which frankly we all do) then you'll at least find something to enjoy.

If only Cliver's comedy 'tache and Buchfellner's fright fringe.

Which is two more recommendations than you'd get for Sadomaster.

And if you still need convincing that you just have to have this in your collection then just look at the myriad of extras on the disc.

As in read about them obviously as to actually 'look' at them you would have already purchased it which would make reading this redundant.

There's Franco-Philes - a feature length documentary examining the career of big Jess as we call him, featuring contributions from film journalist John Martin; author and critic Rachael Nisbet; author and publisher Andy Black; Sitges Film Festival organiser Mike Hostench; Fangoria editor and writer Tony Timpone;
assistant editor of Starburst Magazine Martin Unsworth; Brunel University
scholar Julian Petley; actress Dyanne Thorne; actor Howard Maurer and
actor Antonio Mayans.

And for those of you who enjoy the technical stuff....


• HD transfer in original 1.66:1 aspect ratio (which is good).

• Extensive re-grading carried out in the UK (ditto).

• Uncompressed LPCM English audio (excellent).

• Optional English SDH subtitles (always useful).

• Region free Blu-ray

Tempted?

Well it's released on 8th April and you can purchase it here.