Monday, April 29, 2019

bridezilla.

Been busy drawing gangsters 'n' guns for a top secret project so felt like a wee change of pace.

The Blood Spattered Bride (AKA The Bloody Bride. 1972).
Dir: Vicente Aranda.
Cast: Simón Andreu, Maribel Martín, Alexandra Bastedo, Dean Selmier, Rosa Rodriguez, Montserrat Julio and Angel Lombarte.


"They'll come back. They cannot die!"




The lovely librarian-like Susan (La cera virgen star Martin) and her unnamed (onscreen) husband - who for the duration of this review we will call Bob (Andreu from Amando de Ossorio's classic Night of the Sorcerers which I really should review at some point) are speeding thru' the Spanish countryside en route to the honeymoon hotel after just getting married where they'll spend a few days holed up for some rumpy pumpy before heading to Bob’s family estate, a massive castle which he's not visited for many a year.

Which is always the way in these films.
Arriving at the hotel Bob tells Susan to head straight up to the room while he 'puts the car in the garage' - which isn't a euphemism I'm afraid - and Susan, being a wee bit wet, nods her head and does as she's told.

Ah it was a more innocent time.

And by innocent I mean slightly sexist obviously.

Hanging her clothes up in the wardrobe she's surprised when a man with a stocking on his head jumps out and after smothering her with her veil, tears off her clothes and begins to ravish her.

Which I must admit was fairly unexpected.

Suddenly Bob enters the room to Susan sitting on the bed in an undamaged dress, looking as though she's just farted and followed thru'.

“I don’t want to stay here, I don’t like this hotel.” She says.

Phew, it was all in her head.

As opposed to all in the wardrobe obviously.

Paddington.

Anyway 10 minutes in and we've had the first breast reveal - to prove this is an artsy vampire film obviously - so with that out of the way we can get on with the pesky plot as Bob packs up and takes Susan to his castle where she meets his - again nameless - servants/housekeepers (Lombarte from The Killer with a Thousand Eyes, and Horror Rises from the Tomb's Julio) as well as their 12-year-old daughter Carol (Rodriguez), who all take to her straight away.

Possibly because they were worried that being a castle owning rich bloke he was more interested in deflowering Carol than meeting someone his own age.

Just me then?

Fair enough.


This is probably really symbolic of something or other but I'm too thick to know. Sorry.



Retiring to the bedroom that evening Bob is surprised to find that Susan wants him to undress her (lazy cow) but when he happily obliges by tearing at her flimsy lace gown with his sweaty sausage fingers (tho' leaving her massive granny pants intact) she lies there in shock as visions of the  masturbatory hallucinatory fantasy she had in the hotel fill her mind.

Guilty pleasures or an ominous sense of things to come?

Who can say cos by this point Susan's slight mentalism is showing in other ways as she begins to see a beautiful, blonde girl in a lavender dress roaming the estate.

And she's sure she's seen this woman before.

Spooky.

Possibly the most erotically librarian based outfit I have seen for quite some time. That is all.



Bored and wandering the house to look for things to dust (as women do) Susan soon notices that every one of the family portraits adorning the walls of the castle are of men and inquisitively asks Carol the reason why.

Because it's easier to ask a small child about your husbands family history than your actual hubbie obviously.

As it turns out it's quite an interesting story - well more interesting than the main plot anyway - you see all the portraits of the ladies were stashed in the cellar by order of her husband’s granddad after he caught his wife having sex with the postman.

Which is fair enough I guess.

One portrait in particular intrigues Susan tho and that's the one of a blonde woman in a lavender dress, caressing an ornate dagger in one hand whilst wearing four massive inverted rings on the other.

It'd destroy you just thinking about a hand job.

The strangest thing about the painting tho' is the fact that the face has been cut out just like one of those novelty 'Kiss Me Quick' stand-ups you used to get at the seaside.

This it transpires is Bob's totally bonkers great aunt Mircalla Karstein who a century back, killed her husband on their wedding night as he attempted to do something very naughty to her.

Tho' they don't tell us what.

Anyway it was said that Mircalla was discovered the next morning sprawled across the bed with her nightie up around her neck next to her husband’s mutilated corpse in a deathly trance-like state but as it was a Sunday and the local doctor was out fishing the family decided to have bury her next to her hubbie to save time and any uncomfortable chat when she awoke.

And on that note Bob takes Susan to the tomb where she's buried in order to crack open the coffin and show her the bones.

What a romantic devil.

"Laugh now!"


And with that Susan's dreams about the mysterious blonde become much more vivid.

Like you're surprised?

From imagining Mircalla giving her the dagger from the painting to dreaming about touching Mircalla's breasts (well it is European), Susan becomes more and more distraught as the nightmarish visions continue and the situation isn't helped when she discovers the dagger under her pillow one morning.

As is the way everyone is quick to blame Carol who unfortunately doesn't get spanked with a slipper, instead she's tutted at and sent to her room whilst Bob goes off to bury the blade in the garden.

It's like a particularly drugged up episode of Neighbours if I'm honest.

But the dreams don't stop and the next night Susan imagines Mircalla leading her to the grandfather clock in the hall, opening it to reveal the dagger before taking Susan back to the bedroom  where the pair stab Bob to death with it before removing his heart.

And his pants.


"Put it in me!"



In order to prove that the dreams are nothing but the result of a fragile female imagination Bob takes Susan to the clock to prove it but is fairly surprised to see that the dagger is in fact inside and with this he storms of to see the family doctor (Selmier) for some advice.

After listening to Bob whiter on for hours the doctor decides that Susan is suffering from a malaise often found in recently deflowered women and prescribes bubble baths and snuggles before warning Bob that if the treatment doesn't work they will have to lock her up.

That's the 70s for you.

As Susan gets more and more grumpy, rejecting not only her husbands advances but also his offers of warm, milky tea leaving Bob no alternative but to head off to the local secluded beach for a tearful wank and a ham sandwich.

Oh and to rebury the dagger obviously.

And it's there that things begin to get really odd.

Or ludicrous, take your pick.

You see, as Bob finishes burying the blade (ooeerr) he notices not only the top of a snorkel protruding from the sand a few feet away from him but also a human hand.

Quickly heading over he starts to frantically dig away around the snorkel soon uncovering a buxom blonde (Bastedo, from The Champions), totally naked save for the diving mask and a set of huge poundshop rings which she wears palm side in on her left hand.

Thanking Bob for digging her up she introduces herself as Carmilla (only one name a bit like Shakira or Billie) and explains that she'd fallen asleep sunbathing after a wee bit of scuba-diving and must have been buried when the tide came in.

Totally accepting this explanation Bob offers the nude woman a lift to the castle where she can borrow some clothes and maybe get a bite to eat.

Sounds legit.

You're welcome.


Unable to remember anything but her own name, Susan and Bob have no choice but to look after Carmilla till she regains her memory - which she appears to be trying to get back by sleeping in a makeshift coffin all day then parading around the house after dark in low cut dresses whilst licking her lips everytime Susan walks by.

Which is fairly enjoyable to watch but probably not to live with.

As you can imagine all this bouncy breast activity has a bit of a negative effect  on Susan, who gradually falls under Carmilla's spell and begins to partake in late night trysts with the mysterious stranger in the woods much to Bob's chagrin.

Standing up for himself he insists that their new houseguest gets a job to help with the bills and Carmilla (surprisingly) agrees applying for - and getting - a post at the local school teaching biology to Carol and her classmates.

Especially the bits about blood.

Between teaching teens and teasing troubled tottie Carmilla feeds Susan’s barely suppressed hatred for her husband whilst feeding on Susan's blood late at night in the old church where Mircalla is buried.

It's all go isn't it?

Worried for his wife's sanity - and frustrated that Carmilla is getting more action than he is - he calls on the doctor (not that one) to investigate and after a few evenings following the pair around he comes across the pair in a saucy sapphic situation, curled up naked in a Habitat sofa coffin in the church.


The office Secret Santa got stranger every year.


With her lesbian lusts discovered Carmilla decides the time is right to rid herself of the meddling menfolk around her so that she can have Susan all to herself....






From Spanish arthouse auteur, director, screenwriter and producer Vicente Aranda comes this slow burning take on J. Sheridan Le Fanu's 1872 Gothic novella of Carmilla that owes more to Jean Rollin's Shiver of the Vampires (released the previous year) than it does Hammer's kinky Karnstein trilogy.

Which is kinda disappointing but heyho.

I mean The Vampire Lovers has Madeline Smith in it so wins just for that fact alone. 

But whereas Rollin rebelled against such outdated notions as coherent plotting, casting actual actors  and Hammer concentrated solely on Ingrid Pitts admittedly stunning cleavage, Aranda - due in part to the draconian censorship laws regarding nudity on film during the Franco era - seems more interested in exploring Catholic guilt and sexual repression mixed in with a wee bit of social commentary regarding the treatment of women in 70s Spain.

Which is a worthy cause if not a wholly satisfying one when the poster promises blood, boobs and that woman from The Champions seducing a petite brunette.

Plus it's pretty difficult to criticize something when you're bound by its rules.

And even he admitted that the countries censorship issues  caused problems for him, especially when shooting Carmilla's demise.

But at least he tried, his earlier works Fata Morgana and The Exquisite Cadaver go someway to proving that.


"I can see your house from here Peter".
 

Luckily he has a cast that can carry the movie - even at it's most bizarre/ludicrous - delete as applicable - moments, from Maribel Martín's neurotically nervous young bride to Simón Andreu's condescendingly creepy hubby, every member of the films small cast gives it their all but most surprising of all is Alexandra Bastedo's seriously underplayed Carmilla.

For those of us used to the voluptuous vamps of Hammer or the council estate, dirt footed Rollin rascals Bastedo is a revelation, coldly calculating with a performance that is perfectly pitched 'tween boredom and bonkers.

Definitely leaning more toward classy vamp than saucy tramp she even manages to look otherworldly and aloof when clad only in a pair of goggles and buried in a kids sandpit.


I see your dad's taking the divorce well.

Go in expecting a feast of blood soaked girl on girl titillation and you'll be heartily disappointed but if you switch off your sleaze-radar and settle back for something a wee bit more refined you'll discover a wee gem of a movie that whilst nowhere near as great as Daughters of Darkness is an entertaining enough way to spend an evening.

Bizarrely enough tho' if you take this, The Vampire Lovers and Shiver of The Vampire and stick them in a blender you'd probably get the perfect Carmilla adaptation.

Maybe one day.





Sunday, April 28, 2019

dance macabre.



My top internet buddie and head of the Get Your Genki music label - Giornata Nera - posted earlier that he'd just purchased a brand new Blu-Ray copy of this and was going to give it a rewatch seeing as he couldn't remember a thing about it.

And even more bizarrely the twins were away at - gulp - dance class today.

No murders tho'.

So it's almost fated that myself and the Cassman would spend our afternoon watching this.



Murder Rock: Death Dancing (AKA Giallo a disco, Murder Rock - Dancing Death, Slashdance, 1984).
Dir: Lucio Fulci.
Cast: Olga Karlatos, Berna Maria do Carmo, Cosimo Cinieri, Claudio Cassinelli, Ray Lovelock, Geretta Geretta, Al Cliver, Silvia Collatina, Giovanni de Nava, aria Vittoria Tolazzi, Carla Buzzanca, Angela Lemerman, Christian Borromeo and Belinda Busato.

Save the last dance . . . for hell!



The co-ed dance students at the very real sounding yet entirely fictional Arts for Living Center in New York City are being worked into a disco frenzy every hour of the day as their graduation performance fast approaches.

Not only that but it seems that a prestigious New York stage show is about to open and the producers want the three best female dancers from the class for the lead roles.

And their fearsome tutor Candice Norman (Zombie Flesh Eaters harsh hottie herself - Karlatos) who had her own dancing career cut tragically short by a hit and run accident years ago knows how hard she must push her students if they're to succeed even if it means shattered dreams for all except the chosen few.

Hopefully tho' she wont be pushing them under any motorbikes and giving them shattered pelvises instead.

Just saying.

It's not all studio based gyrating tho' as after a particularly sweaty diisco inferno-esque dance routine, saucy, local nosed student Joan (the hamster like  Carmo, providing I've got the right actress it's all a bit of a haze) and her boyfriend Willy (Mark Hamill alike Borromeo from Tenebrae) decide meet up in the ladies locker room for some bumping and grinding of a different kind.


And by that I mean they're going to be having some of 'the sex'.


So after some hot n' heavy 'making out' (as the kids call it) and being aware that the automated security system is about to lock the school, Willy heads off to wash his bits in preparation for some proper poking whilst Joan has a shower to 'cool down'.

Fuck me having sex was really complicated in the 80s, no wonder I stuck to books.


Quite literally in some cases.*

"Tissues in mah mooth!"



Unfortunately for her - but bloody lucky for us after the flurry of crotch obsessed musical numbers -there's a black clad killer on the loose who sneaks into the shower cubicle and chloroforms the nubile dancer before stabbing her in the heart with an ornate hat pin.

As you do.

As dawn breaks it'll come as no surprise when I say that the rest of the dance class is shocked (or is that totally apathetic? it's hard to tell) as accusations begin to fly and gossip starts to spread like warm runny butter down a small childs thigh.

Surely it wasn't one of the other students that committed this foul (if not oh so slightly erotically charged) murder to better their chances of an audition?

Hard nosed, brick chinned chubster Lieutenant Borges (Cinieri from The New York Ripper looking for the world like a less gin - and piss - soaked Hugo Stiglitz) has absolutely no idea, but you can be pretty sure he's going to use the murder as an excuse to slap the kids around a bit, stuff his face with nuts and swear a lot till he finally solves the case.

What a guy.


 
Hands up if you think this blog is shite.



Remembering that even tho' the film is attempting to look - and feel - like a big budget American thriller it is in fact an Italian giallo so at some point one of the characters must experience a bizzaro dream sequence and in this case it's Candice who suddenly starts sweatily dreaming about a hunky blond guy chasing her around a kids play park and trying to stab her with a hat pin.

Seems legit.

Anyway as the plot gets more and more obtuse and more and more girls are murdered - alongside a wee chaffinch in a cage, the bastard - Borges deduces that each one is being killed in order of class merit.

If that at happened when I attended art school I'd have been royally screwed.

And not just by the sleazy librarian Mr Chisholm.

But I digress.

To take her mind off such matters Candice decides a day in the country would be nice so persuades her school girl chasing, bespectacled college Dick Gibson (Mountain of The Cannibal God's Cassinelli - seriously this movie is a veritable who's who of Euro Horror) to accompany her and with picnic packed and a clean pair of pants in her pocket the duo head out onto the road but almost immediately come across (not in that way) a billboard ad for hemorrhoid cream that features the same mysterious man as is in her dreams.

After a wee bit of rudimentary detective work on her part (which let's be honest is much more than Borges has done) Candice discovers that the mystery man is one George Webb (Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue's Lovelock), an alcohol actor cum model with a thing for pre-teen girls and a dark secret.

Because being a pedo isn't dark enough obviously.

"You may feel a tiny prick."



Obviously the best way for Candice to prove he did/didn't do the bad murders is to almost immediately jump into bed with him in and have loads of sex, oblivious to the fact  that all around her chaos is reigning supreme and everyone and their dog becomes a suspect or at the very least has a bizarre secret to hide.

For starters it turns out that Dick had been trying to bed the dead girls, one of the male students is a nutter who actually confesses to the crimes (he did it because he hates 'Spics' apparently), George once had an affair with a 15 year old who mysteriously died and Fame-like fellow dance tutor Margie (friend of this blog Geretta) hates Candice so much that she goes as far as dressing up as the Killer, chloroforming her and attempting to stick her with a pin.

Phew!

As even more girls turn up on the slab and with fewer and fewer suspects left standing, will Lieutenant Borges be able to pin the crime on the killer before it's too late?







It was the early 80's and the Giallo genre was fading out of fashion in Italy, replaced by futuristic action flicks, slasher movies and an invasion of big budget American fare such as Flashdance and the like.

Silk stockings and blood red shoes were out and leather shoulder pads, crotch cutting leotards and amusing hairstyles were most definitely in.

It would take a man of unhinged genius to try and revive Giallo's fortunes and save this fantastic sub genre; and Lucio Fulci happily took the challenge.

The result was Murder Rock, a schizophrenic mishmash of murder, mystery, body popping and cheesy disco hits straight out of Fame.

From the opening scenes of a demanding female instructor putting her students thru' their paces to close ups of the shaggy haired keyboard jiving student miming to a poptastic Kieth Emerson score you know you're in for something special as Fulci treats us to consistent (and totally unnecessary) close-ups of spandex clad bouncy arses, sweaty heaving breasts and a plethora of thrusting hips.

One sequence is actually taken shot for shot from the aforementioned Flashdance, when one of the students (female thankfully) auditions for a nightclub boss.

Chair dancing and drenched in water with her backside fighting to escape the tiniest thong in living memory, Fulci's only addition to the scene is a frightening number of crash zooms into the dancers crotch at every opportunity.

And for that we must thank him.

Forever.

Five fingers, never touched the side.



As for the cast well, as mentioned earlier it's a fanboy's dream come true, featuring as it does nearly ever major player from the heyday of Italian horror.

As well as those already mentioned - Olga (Zombie Flesh Eaters and later Prince's mum in Purple Rain) Karlatos, Cosimo (Manhattan Baby) Cinieri, the late great Claudio (Island of The Fishmen) Cassinelli, Geretta (Rats) Geretta, Al Cliver (and beard) in an uncredited cameo and Ray Lovelock - there are also top turns from such Euro superstars as Giovanni (The Beyond) de Nava and the scarily sexy red head Silvia (House By The Cemetery) Collatina of whom I still crush over to this day.

Tho' I'm friends with her on Facebook so I should really keep that quiet.

Don't tell anyone will you?

With fantastic cinematography from the god like Giuseppe Pinori, top gore effects and more sweaty and naked ladies than you can stick a hat pin in, Murder Rock is well worth the couple of quid it'll cost you at Cash Converters so jump in and boogie on down to one of Fulci’s greatest movies.

No seriously.
























*Case in point:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

asking for a friend....

A castle under siege from an army of the undead.....
 
Scared peasants training to fight....
 
A man with one hand arrives to help them...
 

Game Of Thrones or Army Of Darkness?


Sunday, April 21, 2019

baked being.

It's Easter Sunday.

This film is set on Easter Sunday.

Result.

The Being (1983).
Dir: Jackie Kong.
Cast: Martin Landau, José Ferrer, Dorothy Malone, Ellen Blake, Kinky Friedman, Kent Perkins, Ruth Buzzi, Marianne Gordon, Bill Osco (as Rexx Coltrane), Roxanne Cybelle Osco and Jerry Marin.


Laurie: "But if this thing is actually killing people, then why is the mayor trying to keep it quiet? "
Detective Lutz: "Potatoes."



Welcome to Pottsville, the potato capital of the good ol' US of A where our story (well it's more of a sketch really) begins with a disheveled teen is busying running thru' a high-tech nuclear waste facility (impressively played by the old scrapyard behind the directors house) as he attempts to escape from an as yet unseen assailant.

The chase appears to go on for hours - seeing as it starts in broad daylight yet continues into night time -  but luckily it's not in real-time meaning it's only a few (on screen) minutes before  we can breathe a sigh of relief as the troubled teen finally finds an abandoned car (not too sure if that's nuclear too) and drives off into the night.

Unfortunately as he's tuning the radio for the local traffic news a huge claw rips thru' the roof and proceeds to tear the poor kids head off causing the car to crash into a nearby potato warehouse.

Obviously the police rush to investigate this spud-based bust up but can find no sign of the driver or his head.

What they do discover however is that the entire interior of the car is covered in blood and green slime.

The towns top tec - and our hero for the evening - Detective Mortimer Lutz (producer and husband of director Kong - Osco, which if nothing else goes to show exactly who he had to fuck to get in the picture) is baffled by the lack of evidence so heads off to the toilet leaving local mechanic Steve Soontodie to carry on examining the wreck.

Unfortunately he neglects to check in the boot which unsurprisingly is where a big monster (or 'The Being' as he's known to his pals) is hiding.

Ain't that always the way?

As you can guess he pops out and eats the mechanic whole.

And I've just realised that I can't do the 'they usually spit that bit out' shtick seeing as I worded the last sentence wrong.

Arse.

"Are you looking at my bra?"



After a few minutes (it obviously wasn't a poo) Lutz returns to find the boot open, a huge pile of slime on the floor and the mechanic nowhere to be seen save his tool belt lying discarded on the floor..

Being a great detective Lutz reckons Steve just got bored and went home and with a shrug of his shoulders decides to do the same.

Taggart this ain't.

Whom I kidding it's not even Scots Squad.

Anyway there's a murderous monster based mayhem to be getting on with so to this end we're quickly introduced to local lass Brenda Slagg who is all dolled up and waith for her boyfriend Jeff Studley to arrive so they can head to the local drive-in and rut like bunnies on the front seat of her car.

Who says romance is dead?

As the pair are getting down and getting it on as the kids say they singularly fail to notice the green slime oozing thru' the dashboard until it's too late and the gunk has manifested as a scaly clawed arm that tears the pair limb from limb, their screams drowned out by the screams on the big screen.

Within minutes the beast - sorry The Being - has ripped the head off a stoner, shouted out the ending of the film and shit in the popcorn before disappearing into the night leaving poor Lutz with yet another unexplained killing or three to investigate.

Sitting in the couples car to look for clues our hero ends up with his arse covered in slime yet none the wiser as to what is going on so with that he heads home for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle in the hope of figuring out not only what or who is killing folk but how he ended up as sheriff of a town built on spuds and how he'll managed to get his jeans clean for the next day.

But he's not alone as something - or some being - is watching him from the shadows.

Hearing a strange noise as he slowly slips his tight bums out of his shrink to fit jeans Lutz heads outside to investigate only to be pounced on - OK pounced at - by the creature but Lutz is too quick the beast and manages to run away, jumping across a railroad track in front of an oncoming train to lose the beast.

Again I've no idea how long he was running as the scene begins in the dead of night yet ends in broad daylight.

The fucker must be really fit.

Or Pottsville has really short days.

Either works for me.

Martin Landau tries to count the cost of his divorce.



Now totally convinced that something bad is afoot Lutz heads to the local diner where his college sweetheart Laurie (ex Missis Kenny Rogers, Gordon from Rosemary's Baby) works alongside the toothsome yet scarily pillowed Jenny (Glasgow's own Blake from The Last Starfighter and Hill Street Blues who really should have way much more to do here as she's fab) in order to convince her to let him walk her home as he reckons that some crazy shit is going down.

She smiles at him with the smile of a mother to an idiot child and agrees, with a happy face and a skip in his step Lutz heads off to meet with Mayor Gordon Lane (Ferrer - paying for a new pool) to discuss how to deal with the killings.

Oh and to ask for a mop and bucket to clean up the slime.

Talking of cleaning up the slime he also has to contend with the mayor's wife Virginia (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In legend Buzzi) and her "Clean up the town of pornography" campaign that she's started due to the fact that a massage parlour may be opening on the high street.

On arriving at the mayor's office Lutz is surprised to find him in the company of the famed toxic waste specialist and advisor to the state of Idaho on regional and environmental safety Dr. Garson Jones (Space: 1999’s Commander John Koenig himself, Landau, still paying a shit load of alimony to ex-wife Barbara Bain - hence his appearances in stuff like this and The Dark) who is currently explaining that the toxic gunk being empty into the local water supply is in no way harmful to the townsfolk or their potatoes.

Hmmm....I'm not too sure.

"Can I have a cup of coffee please?" "Neigh bother!"


Obviously writer/director Kong felt that there wasn't enough strange shit going on so later Lutz retires to bed early to catch a few ZZZZs before meeting up with Laurie only to experience a lucid dream of Pee Wee's Playhouse proportions as he imagines sharing a romantic plane journey with Dr Jones that's cut short not just by the mayor's wife flying by on a broomstick shouting "Arse!" but also by the beast/being dragging Jones out of the plane to his death.

Waking in a cold sweat and with a noticeable erection, Lutz realises he's overslept and quickly heads out to meet Laurie who by this time has decided to walk home alone, stopping only to stare at local crazy lady Marge Smith (Oscar winning star of Peyton Place Malone) who has taken to wandering the streets in a onesie since her son Michael has disappeared

Interestingly her son vanished just before the spate of killings started.

Could this be related?

Frankly by this point I don't care.

And to be honest I don't think the writer does either.

Back to the plot (and I use that term loosely) and Lutz has caught up with Laurie just as she reaches her car but as she's about to get in a large spunky cushion is thrown at her from off set, causing the pair to scream and run back to the diner.

No hang on I think that was meant to be the monster.

Never mind.

After a game of cat and mouse so tense it puts the bit in Alien with Dallas in the air vent to shame the pair finally trap the creature in the freezer next to the waffles before ringing the mayor to come and take a look but who'd have guessed it the beast liquefies and escapes down the drain before he arrives leaving him little choice but to berate Lutz for being a bit shit then returning home to the dinner party cum music recital organised by his wife.

Meanwhile the beast is busying itself eating three local men who've sneaked into the building earmarked for the massage parlour in order to torch it.

Which is nice.

If totally irrelevant to the plot.

"Put it in me!"



Anyway, arriving home the Mayor is shocked to find that the creature has hitched a ride on the roof of the car so as anyone would do in that situation he accelerates out of the garage (and thru' the doors) leaving his poor wife standing on the lawn looking bewildered as he drives away.

Bewilderment soon turns to horror tho' - or it may be ecstasy or trapped wind, I can't really tell - when the beast wraps its forked tongue around her skinny
bird-like neck and kills her.

To death.

Obviously bored with being sidetracked from the action Laurie decides to go have a chat with the aforementioned Marge at her house but is shocked to find the toilet seat covered in the same slime the creature leaves everywhere.

Marge however is unconcerned saying that it's just Michael making a mess around the house as kids do.

Could Michael be the beast after ingesting radioactive goo?

Was he mutated in the womb due to contaminated water?

Was he the creatures first victim?

Frankly we'll never know as this plot thread is quickly dropped in favour of Lutz, Garson and Laurie heading off to the dump to hunt the creature down before getting a wee bit scared and heading back to town for a quick snack and a chat.

Crisps eaten and fizzy pop drunk Lutz heroically locks Laurie in a jail cell before heading back out with Garson to hunt down the creature again, this time armed with guns.

Guns to kill a creature that can turn into liquid.

Go figure.

"Laugh now!"
 

After a bit more chasing around and shooting - and a moving speech about radioactive waste - the pair decide that they've definitely killed the creature so head off to a local warehouse to celebrate but, surprise surprise, the beast isn't dead and quickly kills Garson before biting Lutz's ankle.

Limping and alone our heroic cop must face down the beast armed only with some huge containers of sulphuric acid and a massive axe.....



Same shit, different smell.


The first movie from director/producer/screenwriter Jackie Kong The Being is a trashy, lo-fi throwback to the atomic monster movies of the 50s - with added gore and breasts - that makes up for its lack of logic and plot by just being great fun to watch.

I must be getting soft in my old age.

From Martin Landau's OTT scientist to Ruth Buzzi's uptight comedy conservative via Ferrer's drunken, potato obsessed mayor everyone plays it perfectly - true they may all appear to be in different movies but it actually works even Osco's charisma free  and obvious uncomfortable lead performance feels right, even down to the way he clumsily walks in his slightly too tight jeans.

But to be honest I think his character choices may have been intentional when you look closely at his career.

Originally a producer/director whose 1970 film Mona the Virgin Nymph was one of the first 'erotic art films' to receive a national theatrical release in the United States, he went on to produce Flesh Gordon (1974) as well as the comedy porn musical Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Comedy (1976) as well as a stage version of the very same film in 2007.

In addition to his porn output he also produced Kong's output during the 1980s - and between this and the rather splendid Blood Diner is where his surreal - and sometimes downright silly - sensibilities totally compliment Kong's lo-fi John Waters-esque directing choices perfectly.

Tunnel or funnel?



To be honest the only thing that could make this any more enjoyable was if the kills were intercut with musical numbers but you can't have everything.

Plus any movie where the director casts her daughter as a toddler who may or may not get eaten by a slime encrusted monster during a cheerily scored Easter Egg hunt gets top marks as far as I'm concerned.

Sub-atomic bare arsed genius.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

nemod syad.


Mausoleum (1983).
Dir: Michael Dugan.
Cast: Marjoe Gortner, Bobbie Bresee, Norman Burton, Maurice Sherbanee, LaWanda Page, Laura Hippe, Sheri Mann, Julie Christy Murray, Chu Chu Malave and Gene Edwards.

 
There's some strange shit goin' on in this house!


Like any good horror film worth its salt we open on a windswept graveyard where the young - and frighteningly dog faced - Susan (bony kneed Murray in her only film role outside those shorts she did to pay her way thru' college) is mourning her recently deceased mother as her posh tottie-like aunt Cora (Logan's Run and Swinging Barmaids star Hippe who killed herself shortly after making this movie - take from that what you will) pats her on the shoulder uncomfortably whilst offering to buy her ice cream and a pony to replace her dearly departed parent.

Why do I never get offered ponies?

Oblivious to all the bribery being offered (and wanting a unicorn probably - girls are never happy) Susan legs it and soon takes refuge in an old superimposed rainswept and spookily lit mausoleum (bearing her family name - Nemod - I'm sure her family must originally be from the village Nilbog featured in Troll2.) that is in no way at all scary or foreboding.

No seriously it's not, it actually looks for all the world like it's been outlined in Sharpie the matte work is so shit.

As a spooky fog rolls from its gates Susan pricks her finger on a crown of thorns hanging outside before entering the tomb to be confronted by a shadowy figure with unkempt nails who offers her blessed relief whilst making a passing pedophiles head explode.

Which seems legit.



I can see your house from here Peter.



 
Thru' the power of editing and rudimentary dissolves we're suddenly in the present day (which is the past now....scary eh?) where we find a now adult Susan (ex Playboy bunny Bresee in a performance that's all tits and teeth but not much else which at least means she fits in right at home here) living in a massive house albeit one filled with way too many windows and staircases than is needed and happily married to the ferret-like business bloke Oliver (Starcrash 'star', B'-movie god and once the world's youngest ordained preacher, Gortner) and obsessed with the colour brown for some reason.


Seriously, the house, her clothes, the plants - everything in this movie has the colour palette of dried cack.

Except when a demon appears then the fucker is lit up like a disco.

But I digress.

All seems normal (if you ignore everyone's stilted body language and speech patterns obviously) until that is Susan starts to act a wee bit strangely - or is that just begins to act?

Answers to the usual address.

Oliver thinks he has the perfect answer to Susan's woes so decides to take her disco dancing at the local nite spot where they enjoy (well I say enjoy but to be honest they just look dead inside tho' at least Bresee tries her hardest to look hip n' happening as she pulls a classic 'Le disco duck face') frugging away to some turgid instrumental disco track that even Mike Read would balk at for being too shit.

And he wrote the UKIP Calypso.

Luckily (for us) the whole ordeal is cut short when a drunken beardy man (who I was convinced was original Grizzly Adams star Dan Haggerty but was in fact Gene Edwards who played him in the 1990 remake/sequel) tries to molest Susan on the dance floor whilst Oliver is on the phone causing the couple to call it a night and head home.

Unfortunately the drunk bloke follows them but after a wee bit of shoving he wanders off to his car in order to drunkenly drive home, probably killing a few kids on the way.

But hey it's the 80s and no-one cared back then.

Suddenly and without warning - if you don't count the spooky score - Susan's eyes begin to glow green as she stares at the car for what seems like an eternity (thanks in part to the eye effect being animated over a still) before causing it to burst into flames, trapping and burning weirdy beardy to death inside.

"Eye hen!"
 

And from then on things go from bad to worse as poor Susan experiences angry mood swings and night sweats before turning into a full-blown psycho when she starts offering Ben the sleazy gardener (council estate David Hess, Sherbanee, who's probably been in other stuff but I can't be bothered checking) fresh cups of coffee whilst stroking her breasts then having sex with him in the garage and finally murdering the poor sod (to death) with a garden fork.

Aunt Cora is next on the death wish list, slashed to death whilst being levitated over the staircase after popping round with a cake.

Luckily no-one seems to notice until Oliver wakes up one night to find Susan sitting in a chair spouting gibberish and sporting a pair of comedy horns on her now donkey like head.

Terrified he runs down stairs and quickly calls their old friend and family psychiatrist Dr. Simon Andrews (Burton from Simon, King of the Witches which scarily is actually sitting on my desk as I type this) to ask for help.

It seems that Susan had a few mental health issues as a child due to her dad dying whilst trying to exorcise the demon that had possessed her mother.

Turns out that according to family legend a demonic curse has been passed down the female line of the Nomed family ever since some bizarre incident involving a crown of thorns (what? another one? - maybe this is important) and a sausage roll way back in 1692.

Anyway with all this demonic possession shite going around and with the movie hitting the halfway point it's time for a wee bit of comic relief so enter (roughly behind the bins) the Farrell's cleaner cum housemaid Elsie (Sanford and Son's Page who bizarrely enough at the start of her career, while performing as a burlesque style stripper in Missouri, was billed as "The Bronze Goddess of Fire" because she could light cigarettes with her fingertips*) who - in either a piece of post-modern comedy genius or ill advised racial stereotyping spends her time rolling her eyes whilst shouting out stuff like:

"There's some strange shit goin' on in this house!"
 
"No more grievin'. I'm leavin'!"

And the classic

"Great googily moogily!"

Whilst running about in high-speed effects whilst comedy 'wah wah' music plays in the background.

I'll not comment.
 

Skulk.

With time - and anything remotely resembling logic - running out, Andrews contacts an old friend and colleague of his, the boyishly barnetted Dr. Roni Logan (Mann) for help.

Which is lucky cos she knows loads about demons and the like.

Bizarrely all she does is rereads the family diary as it turns out that the way to kill the demon and Save Susan is actually written in it.

In English and everything.

Yup it appears that the pesky crown of thorns from earlier is important to the plot and all Adams has to do is place it on Susan's head whilst she's not looking.

This will in turn force the demon back to it's tomb giving our heroes time to then place it on the tomb itself locking the creature inside.

Sorted.

Andrews probably skipped that bit but makes amends by phoning Oliver to warn him that when he returns home from work not under any circumstances to have sex with his wife in the bathroom as her breasts may grow teeth and bite him to death.

Which is fair enough.

"Are you the farmer?"

Meanwhile back at the house an Hispanic bloke (Malave who scarily actually had an acting career of sorts, appearing in everything from A Force of One alongside Chuck Norris to multiple roles in the Barney Miller TV show and starring alongside the 'statuesque' Dona Speir in Fit To Kill) is delivering plants and the like to Susan.

But that's not the only thing he wants to fertilize and he's soon in the kitchen phoning his boss to say he'll be late back to the garden centre as Susan seductively flashes her ample breasts at him.

Don't worry tho' as there's no time for any more uncomfortable sex scenes as Susan has t go shopping for some shit occult based art before the movies climax so she quickly makes the guys head melt before going heading to the mall.

No really.

She actually goes shopping and steals some sub Boris Vallejo fantasy art** - she also kills a bald man by dropping him on a spiky sculpture that just happens to be sitting conveniently  on a picnic table before heading home for a well deserved bubble bath.

It's interesting to note that the mentalism and murders isn't the thing that sends Oliver over the edge but the crap art scattered around the house so to prove his manliness he storms into the bathroom to confront his wife.

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


His anger soon subsides tho' as Susan steps out of the bath and into his arms but as the pair embrace Susan begins to change.

It seems that the demon is aware that Andrews is attempting to steal the crown of thorns from the mausoleum at end its reign of terror.

 Will Andrews succeed?

Will Oliver get eaten by the terrifying tittie teeth?

Will Susan actually put some proper clothes on?





At the height of the 80s low budget horror resurgence film maker Michael Dugan (director of the classic Raging Hormones and currently making Youtube shorts and something called Chubby Chasers - go figure) decided what the world needed was a new scream queen to rival the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Adrienne King and Linnea Quigley so to that end decided to unleash the 'buxom and beautiful blonde actress' (according to IMDB) Bobbie Bresee upon the world in his second feature - after the 1976 family comedy Super Seal - Mausoleum.

Now don't all thank him at once.

A living embodiment of everything terrifying about the 80s - big boobs an even bigger blonde barnet and teeth so white they could blind you, Bresee is the main focus of the movie and Dugan structures the whole endeavor to showcase her talents as she runs the emotional gamut from happy to sad to sexy via sleepy and maybe bashful and it's her powerhouse performance that makes the movie so compelling.

Only joking.

He cast her cos she didn't mind getting her kit off.

But she's not the only one.

If there's a chance that a character can appear topless Dugan grabs it - from 'star' Marjoe Gortner pulling angry cum faces on a faux fur rug to the mightily manbreasted Norman Burton seductively taking a phone call in his bed, we're not even spared the sight of Maurice Sherbanee's sweaty pot belly being on show as he wanders around with the bottom of his shirt unbuttoned rubbing it seductively as he lusts after Bresee.

None of this nudity would be that bad tho' if any of the cast actually looked happy doing it but as it stands they all just appear nervous and wishing they were anywhere else but there.

I just sat watching hoping and praying that the director would realise that if the actors look uncomfortable pretending to have sex or being naked then maybe he'd see that we the viewer will feel uncomfortable watching.

Poor sods.

Except Sherbanee obviously - he seemed to be reveling in his new found freedom.

Creepy bastard.

"Shite in mah mooth!"


This isn't helped by the cast actually coming across as quite likeable - Gortner is his usual inoffensive self whilst Burton and the rest appear to be enjoying themselves (mostly) and Bresee comes across as a likeable enough person out of her depth both onscreen and off which means at time rather than reeling in terror at the horrors onscreen you're cringing like a parent watching your offspring mess up their lines in the school nativity.

Hopefully not whilst naked tho.

Its saving grace tho' is the fantastic make-up FX work from the late great  John Carl Buechler whose career spanned Friday 13th Part VII to Hatchet and everything in between - the gore effects (especially the head explosion and melting man) are top notch and it still gives me a warm feeling to see a full prosthetic bodysuit on screen even if at times it looks more Space Precinct than Pazuzu.

Fairly mad, sometimes bad - frustratingly so at times - Mausoleum is a harmless and fairly pain free way to spend an evening provided you have enough beer and crisps at hand plus for anyone who's ever wonder what a school disco would look like if lit by Mario Bava then the possession scenes will answer that question for you.

And there isn't much higher recommendation than that.












































* She also swallowed fire and touched flaming torches to her naked body during her act as well as appearing on Rupaul's Supermodel Of The World Album and playing Rupaul.s mum in the Back To My Roots video.



**Tho' let's be honest he did produce some utter wank himself....like this Star Wars inspired piece for example:


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 84).

Jan Smithers AKA Bailey Quarters in WKRP in Cincinnati.

Ask your dad.









plug.

As regular reader(s) will know, in real life I draw stuff for a living and sometimes it's even good.
Recently I've completed the artwork for a new cassette compilation of J-Pop, J-Rock, J-Psych, J-Folk (and much more).
And volume 2 has just been released. 



It's now on sale and available from Bandcamp and here's the link.
End of plug.

Monday, April 15, 2019

snake eyes.

Ended up watching this whilst trying to finish up some work t'other night.

It was late, I was tired and just couldn't be arsed turning it off.

So it's my own fault obviously.


Brennan: Not you.




Tho' as a plus point it does feature a stand out performance from Joy Bang who looks a wee bit like top teen crush Peggy Lee Brennan from Message from Space.

In a certain light.

And if you squint.

Night of The Cobra Woman (1972).
Dir: Andrew Meyer.
Cast: Joy Bang, Marlene Clark, Roger Garrett, Vic Diaz, Rosemarie Gil, Vic Silayan and Slash Marks.

“I don’t know about you chicks running around cockfights but take off your dress.”



Welcome to a World War II torn Philippines (where life is cheap but film stock - and people willing to get their tits out for coppers - is cheaper) where army nurse Lena Aruza (Ex missis Billy Dee Williams Clark) and her equally nursey pal Francisca (Gil, currently starring as Doña Carmen Cortes in the hit teevee show Ngayon at Kailanman) have decided to take a break from saving soldiers to explore the local caves.

As you do.

Well Lena is exploring the caves as poor Francisca is scared of the dark so decides to sit on a rock and watch out for any evil Japanese types who may be skulking about.

Unfortunately as she's sitting adjusting her hat who should sneak out of the shadows but cult Filipino film star and professional bad guy Vic Diaz who grabs the poor girl before roughly putting it in her before shooting her in the tummy.

Ouch.

The gunshot startles a sleeping cobra in the cave who in turn bites Lena's (ample) arse but rather than kill her the venom imbues her with magical powers which she then uses to save her pal.

Sounds legit.

"I can see your house from here Peter!"

There's no time to think about any of that tho' as we're suddenly transported thru' time (via the medium of fim, not in reality obviously) to the 'modern day' where the toothsome student and UNICEF researcher Joanna (Bang - the reason we are here) is busy helping her kindly college professor Jeff Tezon (Silayan, creator of those little toy animal families that cost a fortune to collect) create (non-Autism causing) vaccines for snakebites.

Anyway it seems that during the course of her studies she'd heard about a reclusive old woman who owns an ultra-rare kind of snake (you can spot it by the shoddily marker penned diamond on its neck) that may have a venom that can cure stuff - or something - so decides to go visit her.

Arriving at the old ladies house she's greeted by an aged - well dipped in PVA glue) Francisca and told that as Lena (for the old snake lady is she) is meditating she can’t be disturbed so she should come back later.

Undeterred she decides to have a nosy around the garden where she's startled by a fat man in a set of comedy teeth and a too tight T-shirt dribbling and gurning from in a tree.

Turns out that this is Francisca's son Lope (Diaz again), who unlike his dad is only interested in the flower on her hat.

Terrified at the thought of his sweaty sausage fingers anywhere near her Joanna beats a hasty retreat back to the car and heads home to prepare to meet her boyfriend, the scarily skinny Stan Duff (One time Laverne & Shirley guest star Garrett) who is flying in from America to visit her that very evening.

And by prepare I mean have a crafty wank whilst gazing at his photograph obviously.

You have to admit that if nothing else she has a packed day.

It's just a pity that none of it is very exciting to watch.

Not even the furtive fiddling.


Bunnet.


Anyway, arriving at the airport just as Duff is picking up his luggage the pair have a girly hug n' kiss before firstly kidnapping an eagle that's sitting on a wall minding its own business and then offering a fellow American - Sergeant Angelus Merkle (Marks in his only film role outside the CCTV ones of him exposing himself in a kiddies playpark) - a lift into town seeing as his GI pals haven't turned up to get him.

Obviously worn out with all this action (and bird stealing) the pair head back to Joanna's room for some cuddling and stuff. and all whilst she wears really ill-fitting - yet oddly arousing - underwear.

The next day after Joanna has headed off to work Duff finds himself at a loose end so to amuse himself and maybe help his girlfriend out he decides to visit Lena himself in the hope of getting the information/venom/whatever the fuck it is/ that Joanna seeks so to this end puts on his best denim shirt and drives off to the village.

"Are you the farmer?"



As he's about to ring the doorbell tho' poor Duff is bitten by a deadly cobra and falls unconscious to the floor, luckily Lena appears just back from the local Aldi and sucks the venom out of him before putting him to bed to recover.

Worried about where her man has gotten to Joanna heads up to Lena's house and soon bumps into Francisca who, quite nonchalantly goes on to explain that Lena is an evil cobra woman cum deity whose psycho-sexual powers drain any man who sleeps with her and that Duff may be next on the list after Lope who is in fact Francisca's son.

Surprisingly Joanna takes all this information on face value and offers to steal some of the snake venom Lena's keeps in her drinks cabinet so that they can do something with it.

Maybe.

I honestly don't know.

She returns the next day with the eagle in tow (because eagles are the only creatures that can kill a cobra) and rings the bell only to be told - by Lena - that Duff's very tired after the biting and is still asleep but she should come back later.

Somehow (I wasn't paying attention) Joanna manages to steal the venom and leg it out of the house eager to meet up with Francisca but as the pair chat the evil cobra (who may or may not be a supernatural being) leaps on the poor woman and bites her.

To death.

Cue an exciting - if not entirely ethical real-life snake on bird fight as the eagle kills the cobra whilst Joanna heads off to work to study the vial of venom.

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


With her pet cobra killed Lena has no choice but to seduce Duff and make him her sex slave and draining his life force, you see it turns out that fucking random blokes till they whither and die is the only thing that stops her turning into a snake herself.

I think.

Unfortunately she needs to get the venom back from Joanna as that's the only thing that will restore Duff and make him fanciable again.

Probably.

Honestly I really don't know as I was more interested in catching a glimpse of Joy Bang in her pants again.

Look I'm only flesh and blood.

So to this end Lena hatches a plan where Duff will head over to the lab to steal back the venom whilst she wanders around the local market picking up random guys to have sex with, peeling her ever growing snakeskin off as she goes.

Just like you'd peel glue off your fingers in school.

"Raff row!"

And so begins a race against time - and tedium - as Lena's psychopathic sexcapades continue and more and more local studs (as well as Sergeant Merkle, who it turns out is a wee bit rapey so no loss) fall prey to the evil cobra woman.....

Will Joanna find a cure?

Will Dr Tezon ever get to smoke a full fag?

Will anything remotely interesting actually happen?

Only one way to find out cos I'm not telling.





From the late, great (well OK late) actor/writer/producer/director Andrew Meyer comes a film hat's probably most famous for being the first Roger Corman produced Filipino fright flick.

And even he's uncredited.

Let that sink in for a second.

Tho' it's not all bad.
Doubled up for its US release with the Mel Welles’ classic Lady Frankenstein, Night of The Cobra Woman feels like a strange hybrid of 30s monster movie and 50s sci-fi with added breasts and big pants hastily bunged together with a plot that's as nonsensical as it is convoluted.
And all that with a running time that's under 90 minutes.

I fang you.
It's not all bad tho' - only mostly - Marlene Clark gives it her all as the lizardy Lena whilst Joy Bang is her usual infinitely watchable self, Roger Garrett's performance on the other hand is so inconsequential and forgettable that they may have well as cast a scarecrow and had done with it.
His screen presence or lack of it may be due to the fact that he contracted a bizarre poultry infection whilst filming so I'll try not to be too harsh.

Nah fuck it he's shit.
But for every shite scene or eggbox effect there's a moment of true genius, like when Lena kills a topless farmer as a local guitarist jams in the background - nodding to the director as he waits for his cue to leave or when Lena upon attempting to seduce a street trader seductively lips her lips at his exposed arse crack.
Actually that's about it really.

But to be honest I can slag it off too much seeing as Andrew Meyer's first film - at the age of 23 - 'Match Girl' featured Andy Warhol in a starring role which is a fuck of a lot more than I achieved at that age.
Plus it does have a rather bookish heroine in glasses and big granny pants which is always a selling point.
Just me then?