Thursday, March 28, 2019

birthday boy!

Happy 40th birthday to Don Coscarelli's Phantasm.


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

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.