Monday, August 26, 2019

hairy nips and side sheds.

Just been chatting online about classic werewolf movies.

Obviously An American Werewolf In London, The Howling and The Beast Must Die! came up meaning that all this talk about hairy scares made me want to go back and revisit one of my personal faves.

So ladies and gentlemen let me present probably THE best werewolf movie ever made featuring not only the wonderful Dagmar Lassander but a star turn from that blonde woman who you might remember from bit parts in Truck Turner and Blood Orgy of The She Devils.



La Lupa Mannara (AKA Daughter of a Werewolf, Naked Werewolf Woman, She-Wolf , Werewolf Woman, 1976).
Dir: Rino Di Silvestro.
Cast: Annik Borel, Howard Ross, Dagmar Lassander, Tino Carraro and lots of other folk that I can't be arsed listing, except for the amusingly monikered Felicita Fanny for obvious reasons.




The place: a cow-pat covered field somewhere in Europe.

The time: Ye olden days - probably the early 70s by the state of the bush on show.

And I don't just mean the overgrow fauna circling the flaming pentagram that's been hastily drawn on the damp, muddy grass.

Obviously if you're a regular reader of this fine blog you'll know I'm making a childish reference to lady gardens.

In particular the one belonging to the top-lining (and topless) Annik Borel, who's currently dancing about in the all together and jiggling her lady parts like her life (or at very least her next mortgage payment) is counting on it.

But she is not alone.

Watching from the woods is a bunch of evermore nervous tinker types armed with flaming torches and pitchforks gazing in a mix of awe, terror and mild apathy as our buxom babe slowly transforms from a totally naked blonde 70s sexbomb into a blonde 70s sexbomb who appears to be wearing bits of carpet stuck to her body.

And black olives on her nipples.

Obviously.

The group surge forward, their weapons held tightly as Borel attempts to growl menacingly at the moon whilst dribbling thru' a set of comedy pound shop dentures.

In case you hadn't guessed this is indeed the naked werewolf woman of the title.

And unfortunately the only time we get to see her in all her hirsute glory, which by the state of the make-up isn't such a bad thing if I'm honest.

Obviously not wanting us to get too excited at the thought of a hairy woman eating a group of tramps (or spend any more money than he can get away with)  we abruptly jump forward 200 years (as in the movie does, it's not like some bizarre interactive Back To The Future style performance piece) to find a very sweaty (but thankfully clothed) Borel (as the very rich but oh so slightly mad Daniela Neseri) suddenly jump up in bed with a squeak.

You see, the poor girl suffers from a recurring nightmare caused by the fact that she believes she's the reincarnation of her ancestor who was burned at the stake for being a werewolf.

Which sounds a pretty legit if not really badly constructed bit of background story.

Not all of her family agree tho' especially her dad Count Tony Neseri (Carraro from Argento's The Cat o' Nine Tails) and sister Elena (Raven-haired Giallo goddess Lassander, obviously she had a new swimming pool to pay for) who think that the whole mentalist thing could be caused by her memories of being diddled by a dustbin man as a child.

Being a wee bit stubborn Daniela refuses their offers of help preferring to 'self-medicate' her violent desires by hiding in a wardrobe and fiddling with herself whilst watching her sister and hubbie having 'the sex'.

Tho' lets be honest, do you really need a reason (medical or other) to want to watch Dagmar Lassander getting naked?

"Laugh nowwwwwooooooooohhhhhh!"


Being the cuddly and caring types her family are all very supportive, occasionally nodding in a concerned manner whilst muttering that everything will be OK whilst scrubbing the stains off the woodchip wallpaper.

And to be honest everything's actually fine, until that is Daniela decides to lure her brother-in-law into the woods, start humping his leg then tear his throat out before tossing him off a cliff.

Oops.

With the Jeremy Kyle show cancelled due to the death of a guest, the family decide that it'd probably be for the best if they had Daniela committed to the local hospital, where seeing as she spends her days stripped naked and strapped to a bed, I'm assuming isn't BUPA affiliated.

It's not all nude bondage and bed-baths tho' as Daniela often passes the time shouting "whore" at her still mourning sister and hiding scissors under her pillow in case the mad lesbian patient from two doors up tries to sneak into her room for cuddles.



Sounds a brilliant place for a break if I'm honest.

I don't know what that is in her mooth but it's definitely not shite.


Daniela obviously doesn't think so because after a week she decides that she's cured and proves this by plotting a totally non-mental escape plan that involves hiding in a doctor's car, waiting for him to leave the hospital then smashing his face repeatedly against the steering wheel before driving off into the countryside to start a new life.



Which is nice.


Unless you're that poor doctors wife and kids obviously.

It's at this point that the movie bizarrely turns into a sleazy version of the old Michael Landon TeeVee show Highway To Heaven, only this time featuring a mad woman coming across (quite literally in some cases) the damaged dregs of society and killing them in a rage of sweat, screams and howls rather than that guy from Little House On The Prairie helping club-footed kids and single mums with shingles.

Tho' I can't imagine that it would have run for 12 seasons had it followed Rino Di Silvestro's storyline can you?

But our writer/director has another twist for us because just when you think the whole film has descended into poorly made - albeit fairly unique - (moderately) hairy woman kills tramps flick our heroine bumps into a hunky stunt-man (Howard Ross AKA Renato Rossini) named Luca and everything changes again.

Except her underwear obviously which by this point I could actually smell thru' the screen.

God may want you for a sunbeam but I just want to use your mouth as a toilet.


Picking up a hitch-hiking Daniela in his patented stunt-mobile, lovely Luca wins her over with his sensitivity, charm and respect for women, hairy or not.

Oh and with his ability to fall off tall burning buildings whilst dressed as a chicken obviously.

Prepare for a romance montage like no other as we see our beautiful couple frolicking on the beach, running thru' parks and gazing into each others eyes intercut with scenes of our stuntman hero crashing thru' windows, getting bottles broken on his head and the like before setting up home together on the actual movie set.

Which I'm sure is against union rules.


Anyone?

Somewhere to park your bike (and reuse old captions obviously).






Our lovers soon realize tho'  that a fake western town isn't the best place to raise a family so Luca pops down on one knee and asks Daniela if she would mind if he took her up the village.

To live that is.

She smiles (which frankly is much more terrifying without her false choppers in) and cries "Yes!" before falling into Luca's massively muscled arms for another wee bout of the love-making.

You see it appears that it only takes the love of a rugged, sensitive stunt-man to cure any woman of her latent lycanthropy.


Which kind of explains where I've been going wrong the last few years.

Doggy style.






At long last it looks like things could finally work out quite nicely for Daniela but you forget that this is a cheaply made Italian exploitation movie (albeit one with delusions of high art) so it wont come as too much of a surprise when I tell you that one day, whilst Luca is out buying a pint of milk and various Veet hair removal products from Superdrug a gang of very bad lads turn up at the studios looking for cheap booze and evil sex.

Will the Luca return in time or will Daniela - after getting roughly bummed by the bad men - become a werewolf and hunt down her three attackers like a (hairier) Charles Bronson?

Or will true love prevail?

Dagmar Lassander: Ask your granddad.

Thank you Rino Di Silvestro (AKA Axel Berger, Cesar Todd, R.D. Silver and your 'Uncle' Pete) for not only giving us such classic calls for tolerance and love as Deported Women of the SS Special Section, Women in Cell Block 7 and The Erotic Dreams of Cleopatra but for following your dream and bringing this unique (yet oh so tedious) tale of love, sex, mental illness and furry nipples to the big screen.

A film that even after more than 30 years since my first viewing still holds a place in my heart as well as teaching me a valuable lesson in life.

When I was 12 years old I naively swapped a copy of the Video Network big box Betamax edition of Harry Novack's Axe for a dodgy VHS copy of La Lupa Mannara after being told that not only was it utterly terrifying but that it featured some top nude lady werewolf action as well as a scene where two girls stroked each others hair in a barn.

And I fell for it, hurriedly handing over Axe and excitedly running home, stopping only to buy crisps and Vimto ready for an evening of sheer terror.

And maybe, just maybe a glimpse of lady front bum, something at that point I'd only heard whispered about.

My friend Jamie had yet to obtain a copy of The Mad Foxes so the idea of men and women being different down below was pure hearsay.



But how was I managed to be duped so badly I hear you cry.

Well it's all down to the title the movie was released under in the UK.

You see over here it was called Naked Werewolf Woman.

Says it all really.

Bizarrely enough tho' the title change actually upset Di Silvestro more than the movies scathing (and in most cases hostile) reviews ever did seeing as he favoured the title The Lycanthrope, feeling that this was more in keeping with the movies serious arthouse aspirations.

No. really.

So imagine my disappointment, dear reader when what I ended up with wasn't actually the greatest, sexiest and hairiest movie ever made but a naked werewolf flick that singularly failed to deliver much in the way of either nakedness or werewolfism.

Ok I'll admit that it has an abundance of everything else you can think of; discussions on reincarnation, pseudo-scientific psycho-bollocks regarding lycanthropy as a side effect of sexual molestation, horny 70s Italian guys, revenge, tragedy and of course a stuntman years before Colt Seavers made it cool.

But that wasn't the point.

I don't think my 12 year old self ever recovered.



Come to think of it I'm still quite upset now.

I hope you're happy Rino.


Bastard.

Monday, August 19, 2019

family ties.


Greetings readers!

In between work at the moment so keeping out of trouble by randomly picking films off the shelves and watching them whilst getting slowly drunk.

Quite a short one for a change with a distinct lack of 'laugh nows' mainly due to the fact that the kids are due home soon and I've still to sort their snacks.

Luckily I'm not feeling totally dejected as I've had a few review requests (well one) so I shall get to that ASAP.

But first.....

La notte dei diavoli (AKA Night of the Devils, 1972)
Dir: Giorgio Ferroni.
Cast: Gianni Garko, Agostina Belli, Roberto Maldera, Bill Vanders, Cinzia De Carolis, Maria Monti, Teresa Gimpera and Umberto Raho.




Well we're back in Europe and back in the woods (probably just around the corner from where Annik Borel is writhing around naked) where we're introduced to the tragic traveling wood salesman, Lesley Manhorn (played by the mightily mustached Maldera) who is passing his time wandering thru' the undergrowth clad only in a dirty sweater and torn Action Slacks.

Discovered by a concerned shepherd our poorly pal is quickly carted off to the local mental hospital, tho' probably not to be stripped naked and tied to a bed.

Instead he's viciously prodded and poked by the concerned (or constipated, I couldn't tell) Dr. Tosi (Enter The Devil's Raho) as his terrifying tale unfolds through the medium of dance (oh go on then, flashbacks), leaving him - and us - horrified to discover that he's become embroiled in yet another remake of the (one halfway decent) Leo Tolstoy novel, The Family of the Vourdalak.

But this time not one directed by Mario Bava or starring Boris Karloff.

Which is a shame but lets not be too hasty.

"You ain't seen me, right?"


It transpires that during his trip home from a particularly successful building conference Lesley, after drinking far to much of the local brew and taking a wrong turn managed to wrap his car around a tree leaving him stranded in the Yugoslavian countryside.

The whole situation is a wee bit like being stuck in Dudley in the West Midlands but with less chance of getting your arse felt by a tramp.
Or catching crabs from a beer glass.

Luckily (for the viewer obviously otherwise it'd be a really crap horror movie) he finds shelter for the night in the home of the Ciuvelak family, headed by grumpy patriarch Gary (Vanders).

All seems well, until day turns to night that is, when our hero (if you can class someone who self MDF and hardboard for a living a hero) is kept awake by strange noises emanating from the woods.

Questioning his host the next morning he's told not to worry as it's just a bloodthirsty witch that lives in the trees.

Which is nice if a little unexpected.

I was expecting rats.

After running out of strawberry jam, Madeline McCann made a stunning reappearance.


It seems that the witch killed Gary's brother a while back before deciding that it'd be a wee bit more fun for everyone to resurrect him as an exotically monikered Vourdalak, a mythological Russian vampire with a penchant for time keeping, fact fans.

Anyway back to the plot where Les seems to be taking all this gypsy gossip in his stride, which might be because he's fallen head over heels in love with Gary's busty redheaded daughter Sdenka (button nosed beauty Belli), either that or the constant bowls of oxtail soup and bread are beyond compare.


Agostina Belli: Your grandad did. Twice.

Either way he doesn't even bat an eyelid when Gary decides to don a big furry hat and heads out into the woods to confront the witch once and for all.

Number one son Terry (Garko) tho' is prepared for the worst, fearing that his poor dad will get vamped and return home the next day at precisely 6 o'clock and wreak havoc on the household.

See?

Told you there was time keeping involved, I don't make this shit up you know.

Well, not all of it.

Beware! He's going to put his big chopper in you!

Suffice to say that Gary does indeed return at the allotted time the next day looking a wee bit greener than normal (which he blames on trapped wind) but insisting that he has in fact killed the witch and isn't a vampire.

The family (being a bit fick) believe him.

It won't come as too much of a surprise when I say that he's lying thru' his pointy teeth, leading to 60 minutes of death, depravity and dodgy trousers.

"I'm sorry, I have my woman's period."


Criminally under-rated and hardly seen by anyone outside the directors immediate family, Giorgio (AKA Calvin Jackson Padget) Ferroni's penultimate picture is a slow burning supernatural shocker that's a joy to watch from it's starch slacked start to it's devilish denouement. 

Whilst it never reaches the giddy heights of the directors earlier Mill of the Stone Women it's well worth the effort to track down, if only to compare how two totally different film makers (t'other being Mario Bava with his classic Black Sabbath) approach the same source material.

"Shite in my gorgeous Italian mooth you wood loving bastard!"


Whereas Bava's vision is all clinging atmospherics, subtle lighting and and knowing nods from Karloff, Ferroni decides to go straight for the jugular from the start, the film’s opening minutes featuring as they do a barrage of blood and boobs before quickly settling down into a more sombre state as the story begins good and proper.

With a pitch perfect cast playing the whole scenario as straight as Chuck Norris,
Ferroni is free to let his camera camp up the proceedings as it treats both gore and nudity with glee abandon.

And it's this freewheeling style, aided by Giorgio Gaslini's sinister score that enables the film to flip from gothic chiller to frantic chase movie almost without warning as it builds to it's climax.

Plus Agostina Belli really pulls off those early 70s fashions.


"Is it in yet?"


T'is a pity then that such a great movie is lumbered with such a generically piss-poor title, which probably hasn't helped it's availability* (or reputation) over the years, which is almost as much a shame as the fact that Ferroni made so few horror movies.

That and the fact that his best known work, Le baccanti (AKA Bondage Gladiator Sexy) is rubbish.



Well that's a bit of a downer to end on isn't it?
































*Tho' saying that I've a feeling it's just been released on Blu-Ray in 'The States' - which would be good if I could actually play US Blu's.....oh well maybe a fan will buy me a new player.

Or not.





Wednesday, August 14, 2019

root it oot.

Just back from my yearly trip to the motherland which you'll be interested to know has trees in it.

Hence I viewed this upon my return as it too has trees in it.


The Forest (1982).
Dir: Donald M. Jones.
Cast: Dean Russell, Gary Kent, Tomi Barrett, John Batis, Ann Wilkinson, Jeanette Kelly, Corky Pigeon, Becki Burke, Tony Gee, Stafford Morgan, Marilyn Anderson Jean Clark and Donald M. Jones.

'If you go down to the woods today... You might never get out alive.'


Somewhere in the American great outdoors an unnamed couple of the type you only get in early 80s horror movies that have only relatives and neighbours to cast from - you know the types, long, horse like faced women with Farrah flicks and middle-aged guys with stud beards grey chest hair poking thru' an open necked stonewashed shirt a size too small for him - are having fun hiking thru' the woods whilst attempting to chat in a non-stilted manner as an instantly forgettable MoR rock track plays in the background.

Everything is going smoothly, well as smoothly as two non-actors trying to recite dialogue whilst not slipping down muddy banks can go, until that is the lady (Anderson whose post Forest career peaked with an appearance as a Receptionist in a 1983 episode of Dynasty*) gets a feeling of impending dread and a notion of them being watched from the trees.

Her husband (Morgan, best known for his spot on portrayal as an engineer in Die Hard 2: Die Harder), being that kind of guy, poo-poos the idea but in order to placate his missis (in the hope of some tent based todger tickling later) allows her to walk ahead of him so she'll feel less threatened.

No me neither.

"I'm sorry, I have my woman's period."

We don't have to much time to worry about such trivialities tho' as the pair have soon been dispatched by an unseen assailant with a big knife as an even more forgettable MoR track with lyrics about spooky forests blurts out over the credits.

Which I have to admit feature one of THE best home made fonts of all time.

And here it is:



Genius.


Anyway we're soon with the plot good and proper where best buds - handsome hunk Steve (mustached macho man and council estate Tom Selleck, Russell) and the ferret like Charlie (Batis who I think went into Christian-based arts as far as I remember, I'd check but to be honest I can't be arsed) are busy planning a boys weekend away camping in the woods much to their girlfriends - Teddi (Poundshop Cheryl Ladd, Wilkinson - and the thin lipped Sharon (Ex stunt person Barrett) - chagrin.

It seems that the laydees are a wee bit pissed off at the fellas constant digs at women's lib and the like so the pair decide to play them at their own game and go camping by themselves.

Or is it with the guys?

It's kinda confusing if I'm honest.

Anyway the next morn the girls drive off toward the forest but as they chat it becomes increasingly apparent that neither of them have any idea about camping and were only saying they did in order to come across as equal to the men.

Because feminism.

Or a glib generalization of what feminism is according to the (male) director obviously.

Meanwhile the boys are running late due in part to the car breaking down but mainly because it took Steve and hour and a half to fit into his crotch revealing denims so by the time they arrive at the campsite the girls have already set off into the woods, failed to put up a tent, broken a nail and been visited by two mysterious kids and a woman.

Oh and been attacked by a portly tramp named John (Kent, stuntperson and hubbie of Barrett) who murders Teddi before carrying her off to his cave to eat.

Which is nice.

Sharon, in case you're interested escaped by jumping off a (small) cliff into a lake by the way.

Which is probably why they cast a stunt type person.

"To me!" "To you!"

Anyway as night (and the rain) continues to fall Steve and Charlie are still frantically searching for their lady friends but decide that because it's so wet to hide out in a cave till morning and it's here that they too come across (but not in a sexual way, well not yet) the weirdy beardy John who's just finished cooking Teddi and offers the pair a nibble, proclaiming that it's actually a deer.

As the trio tuck in, John begins to tell his tragic tale of woe and how he came to be living in a cave in the woods stinking of piss, you see it seems that a few years back when he worked as a traveling rubber nipples salesman, his - nameless because this film has a really healthy view of women - dear wife (Kelly in her only film role - surprise) spent her days shagging anyone who passed by the house.

Repair men, post men, the paperboy - you name it she let them put it in her which wasn't until one day John came home early to find her in bed with the refrigerator repairman who, bizarrely enough and after an uncomfortable scene reminisce of when my mum got caught with the Jehovah's Witness in the conservatory by my uncle Peter actually pulls on his trousers and does indeed proceed to fix the fridge.


That's your mum that is.
This wanton display of multitasking masculinity sends John over the edge and after beating his wife to death with a table lamp chases the fridge guy around the garden brandishing a variety of sharp edged gardening tools (and a bicycle) before gutting him on a lathe as his children - John Jr. (Pigeon who scarily went on to have a huge career and is best known for playing Freddy Lippincottleman in the hit teevee sitcom Silver Spoons as well as drumming with top pop combos MXPX and Reel Big Fish) and Jennifer (Burke, who may now be working as a customer Account Manager at Aaron’s Sales and Lease Corporation in Texas) look on in apathy.

From there on in he's been holed up in a cave with only his baseball cap and by now very stiff pants to his name.

Bless.

And on that note the boys unpack their sleeping bags and quickly fall asleep.

Which is what I wanted to do at this point thanks to the films 'leisurely' pace.

Less Grizzly Adams more slightly peeved Pete.
 

As morning dawns the pair wake to the sight of John standing over then licking his lips as he gently cradles his man package so making their excuses Steve and Charlie quickly pack up and head of to find the ladies soon finding their destroyed campsite and discarded belongings.

Because lets be honest, it's quite a short film.

"Oh Vic...I've fallen!"


Deciding that something terrible must have happened to cause the girls to leave their make up bags behind the pair split up to continue their search.

Meanwhile down on the riverbank Sharon is busy finding out more about the plot from the pair of spooky kids she met earlier, who it transpires are ghosts.

Fair enough.

It seems that getting bored with living in a cave with their deranged dad and living solely on wild berries and hikers  the pair killed themselves but are now trapped in limbo being chased by the ghost of their mother.

And this, coupled with marrying a whore caused John to turn cannibal.

No, really.

Man murders folk?

Blame a woman.

Or if that doesn't work blame his kids.

"Is it giro day?"



Realizing that the film is almost over the director decides to add a wee bit of excitement so to this end Steve falls down a hill and hurts his leg whilst Charlie stumbles around getting steadily sweatier and more simpering as he goes.

Just when all thought of absolutely anything entertaining happening is forever destroyed who should pop out from behind a tree but the ghost of the dead wife   who - quite politely for a dead slapper I reckon - asks him where her children are.

But as he goes to answer John too jumps out the bushes and attempts to stick his chopper in Charlie, causing ghost mum to vanish and our hero to experience a wee bit of chafing round the thigh area.

As the pair (slow) fight to the death John explains that he's not really a mentalist and only kills campers during the winter when it's too difficult to get to Asda to buy pork, which is OK then I guess.

And with that he drowns poor Charlie in the river.

Which given the state of the film so far is a mercy killing.


Dollar - The Pikey Years.

As John attempts to carry Charlie's body back to his man cave who should arrive but Sharon who, being a girl is quickly is overpowered by John (tho' it may have more to do with his onion breath than his strength) but just as he lunges in for the kill his ghostly weans turn up and beg him to let Sharon live.

And with that he lets her escape.

Will Sharon find Steve or will John go a bit mad again at the thought of lunching out on her tender thighs?

Will anything happen in the scant running time remaining to make watching this anything other than an utter waste of time?

Who knows/cares.

Not director/writer/tea boy Don Jones that's for sure.





From the man behind The Love Butcher, Sweater Girls and Schoolgirls In Chains (oh and who also did the sound on Switchblade Sisters and The Swinging Cheerleaders) comes probably one of THE most incoherently plotted, woodenly acted and crappily directed movies if not ever then definitely of the 80s.

But saying that at least it's in focus and does feature David Somerville 'singing' the fantastically cringe inducing "The Dark Side of The Forest" (with lyrics by Stan Fidel who wrote "Best of Friends" for Disney's The Fox And The Hound fact fans) over the credits so you win some, you lose some I guess.

But if you fancy 80 odd minutes of barely bargain basement gore effects, ghostly kids with haircuts that'd make even Jimmy Savile think twice, bizarro voice overs, a woman who looks like your auntie whoring it up on a camp bed and what seems like hours of footage of two guys arguing in/about traffic then The Woods may just be the film for you.

But I doubt it somehow.

Flick.


It's almost like Jones is purposely trying to scupper any chance the film has to shine, whether it be the almost DOA pacing, aimless wide shots of trees or just the entire nonsensical nature of the plot, at every turn just when you think something interesting might happen the film, like some drunken bloke stumbling home from the pub with a greasy kebab in hand,  just fumbles and staggers across the road before dropping meat onto its shoes and collapsing in an alley.

Probably to get bummed by a tramp in the early hours of the morning.

Only Jones wouldn't show that bit, he'd cut to an empty taxi rank round the corner.

Tho' he'd probably dub the sound of foxes playing in a garden over the footage just to stop you falling into a coma.

Scarily according to the cast he actually remortgaged his house to pay for this so either he was really fucking delusional or he really hated the wallpaper and reckoned that losing his home to the bank was a better option than just burning it down.



Put it in me!


But who knows perhaps the film is actually really meta and is in fact just playing with our preconceptions of what makes a good slasher - I mean we all accept Jason wearing a hockey mask or Leatherface wearing your mums mug so why not a terrifying mountain-based cannibal in a child's baseball cap and a mantit hugging T-shirt?

And sure after The Evil Dead we were spoiled with Raimi's patented 'shaky-cam' and wall to wall grue but who's to say that overexposed static shots of random trees and stock footage of traffic jams isn't the next leap forward in tree-based terror?

Plus after axes, chainsaws and fingerblades what's stopping a jam covered pen knife being a terrifying weapon of death?

Indeed maybe this film is actually cinematic genius and it's me who's wrong.


What the truth is we'll never know for sure cos I'm fucked if I'm going to lose any more sleep thinking about it.



Good day.


























*And I only know this as I own the entire run on DVD.....sad but true.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 86).

Maybe it's that pesky midlife crisis looming but I've been reminiscing over the halcyon days of Channel 4's Brookside and how, as a spotty Smiths loving youth I would watch avidly in the hope of a glimpse of Karen Grant's scuffed Doc Martens.
 
Ah....young love.
 



 

stryke it lucky.

Noticed that the human haunted cave that is Catherine Blaiklock has been tweeting about all the stuff she's not allowed to talk about today when it struck me that not once have I heard her mention her love of Claudio Fragasso's seminal shocker Zombie 4*.

Y'know the thing about Catherine Blaiklock, she's got... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes. When she comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'... until she bites ya. And those black eyes roll over white, and then... oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin', the country turns red, white and blue and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin', her an' Nigel come in and they... rip you to pieces.




Bizarre as it seems it was her love of this movie that got her to team up with ferret-faced uber-racist and part-time hand model Nigel Farage to form the Brexit Party as it's his favourite movie too.

Obviously this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when you realise that Zombie 4 is actually about immigration and foreign types and the like but under the guise of being an Italian zombie film.

Clever eh?

Oh plus it features Jeff Stryker and as we all know Nigel never says no to a wee bit of man-cock.

You can ask Catherine Blaiklock about that too.

Anyway on with the review.

Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 (AKA Zombie 4: After Death. 1988)
Dir: Claudio Fragasso.
Cast: Jeff Stryker, Candice Daly, Don Wilson, Massimo Vanni, Nick Nicholson, Adrienne Joseph, Jim Gaines, your mom and some tramps.

But no immigrants obviously.

Touchin' our bane will feel our rain on the gain. It's a nightlife, whoa! Runnin' hard if you want it or not! It's a wild life, whoa! You can't stop. You must go on! I'm living after death! Living after death! I'm living after death! Living... Living... LIVING AFTER DEATH!




Somewhere on a remote South Pacific island (or more likely in the kiddies play park behind the directors house), a scientific research team have been working on a cellular regenerative thingy in the hope of finding a cure for ingrowing toenails and bad breath.

In an attempt to get the local (glam rock frocked) natives onside, top science bloke Dr. Godfrey Soontodie has offered to use this frankly bollocks scientific discovery to help cure the voodoo witch doctor's daughter of her terrifying bunions.

As is always the case in these situations the wee girl unfortunately dies.

It's off screen tho' so it's not that upsetting.

"Get your clothes off and your lips puckered....these babies aren't gonna suckle themselves!"


Not too surprisingly the witch doctor takes offense to this news and decides to put the famous 'curse of the dead' on the island, its visitors and inhabitants.

Which is understandable if not a wee bit annoying for the rest of the tribe.

With a wave of his mighty (and very beefy) arms and a flash of homemade fireworks (but not alas a flash of old man thigh) literally all hell breaks loose.

Well it would if hell consisted of an old lady in an ill fitting Halloween mask and a pair of Austin Powers teeth seemingly faking an orgasm whilst dancing like Ian Curtis (post suicide) on crack.

It's your nan at Christmas basically.

Laugh and indeed now!





It's not too much of a spoiler to say that the dead rise and kill everyone.

Well everyone that is except the lead scientists blonde moppet daughter, Jenny who survives the carnage thanks to a magic amulet given to her by her mother.

Well it's either actually magic or so cheap and nasty as to repel any self respecting zombie that sees it.

You can decide.

Flash forward 15 years later and a rescue team, led by the hunky Chuck (porn idol Stryker in a rare 'straight' role - ask your dad) is finally dispatched to discover why no-one has been returning their calls.

Well they took their time didn't they?

Also on the island (by some strange quirk of fate) is a by now all grown up Jenny (the late, great Daly from The Young and the Restless and Hell Hunters) accompanied by the slightly less attractive Louise (Joseph, mother of Birds of a Feather's Leslie), rentalunk Rod (Nicholson) and a couple of dirty mouthed gypsies.

Our Nige seen here reenacting his favourite scene from the movie. No, I didn't realize that it featured a bit where a bigoted halfwit almost gets garotted by a biplane either. Must have been cut in the UK.


Sod all this character stuff tho' we want to know what Team Chuck is up to.

Well, whilst wandering around in a polystyrene cave left over from Michele Soavi's 'The Sect' (no really) our hero comes across the mysterious Book of the Dead.

Which is a change from my boyhood years watching him coming across a variety of buff arses whilst pulling a face not too dissimilar to the one your grandad pulled when he had that stroke.

But enough of the homemade erotica you want to know how Chuck knows that it's the real Book of the Dead and not a shoddy knock-off one from down the market.

Well it does have the words BOOK OF THE DEAD printed on the cover in big bold letters so I guess that clinches it.

You can see why Mrs Unwell doesn't trust me to buy stuff off Ebay can't you?

"Shite in mah tramp bearded mooth!"


Anyway back to the plot (for want of a better word) where Chuck, in a vain attempt to prove he can read unaided - but alas proving that he's never seen a horror movie - begins to shout random passages from the book (intercut with him shouting "Yeah baby! You're so fuckin' tight!" and pulling his cum face - well in my dreams it is) not realizing that the words, when read aloud are capable of bringing the dead back to life.

This'll be the same living dead that have actually been wandering around aimlessly for the past decade and a half from when that witch doctor read the same book, remember?

The writer obviously doesn't.


Some immigrants stealing our jobs and benefits yesterday.



Within minutes our heroes (well the folk on screen) are running for their very lives as hordes (I say hordes but I mean dozens) of foul looking refugees and illegal Eastern European immigrants (possibly) begin to rise slowly from their shallow graves intent on tasting the legendary Jeff Stryker's ample meat.

Or something.

Meanwhile in the grassy bit behind the bike sheds, jumpy Jenny and co. have problems of their own (discounting the obvious ones like lack of acting ability and bad breath) when a lone, maggot covered tramp (obviously symbolizing Remainers) falls on them from behind a tree covering a hapless member of her party in sick.

Running away screaming they soon stumble across the deserted medical research facility (in reality the directors local scout hut) once run by Jenny's folks where they're soon joined (c'mon, the running times not that long) by Chuck who has managed to escape the scary flesh eaters by leaving his team to die whilst he sneaked away sobbing like a baby.

What a guy.


Bobby Davro, up the casino, Penrith 1985.....YESCH!



Luckily for the survivors this peaceful medical centre is chock full of weapons  giving the male cast members ample opportunity to pose in a topless sweaty manner whilst firing a variety of semi-automatic weaponry indiscriminately at various unpaid extras who are then expected to fall off roofs and be set on fire in the vain hope of securing a work permit or at least a new pair of shoes for their kids.

Ain't capitalism grand?

But the humans are fighting a losing battle as one by one they are overcome by the advancing dead.

Deciding the blow up the centre in an attempt to convince the zombies it's Bonfire night and thus giving the humans a chance to escape (plus they reckon it might add a wee bit of much needed excitement to the movie), sole survivors Jenny and Chuck make a break for the woods only to find themselves back in the very cave where the spooky witch doctor started the undead plague to begin with.

With the zombie army closing in and Chuck down to firing blanks, Jenny clutches the magic amulet, praying for a miracle.

Well it's either that or she's cursing her agent.**


Casual.

Will our toothsome twosome escape?

Will the UK rise up and actually take back control?

Will the zombie hordes attack Jenny and eat her whole?

Or will they spit that bit out?

Or will Chuck die whilst something slight and fairly incomprehensible happens to Jenny?

Go on, guess.






Best known for it's frightening amount of alternate titles (After Death being the most common and Zombi 4 being the easiest to spell) as well as being shot on sets constructed for Michael Soavi's 'The Sect' and filmed entirely using camera's and equipment 'borrowed' from the set of Bruno Mattei's 'Strike Commando 2' (which was filming nearby), Claudio Fagrasso's -AKA Clyde Anderson - Zombie Flesh-Eaters 3/4 is the near pinnacle of bad movie making made flesh, a cinematic black hole so dire that not even light can escape from it's spiny celluloid fingers.

Imagine the most dangerous and sordid unsafe sex act you could ever indulge in with the most foul, STD ridden, crab-panted person - or animal - you can, then imagine that as you're about to cum (against your better judgement) you look down and realize that this pock marked, toothless crone you've payed £5 to probably catch sex death from is, in fact, your Gran.

You know...the dead one.

This is the effect After Death can have on a normal cinema goer.

But saying that, imagine how amusing it would be if you saw this happen to a friend.

And you just happened to have a camera handy.

So I guess you pays your money you takes your chance.


Funnel or tunnel?




Wise men say that you can't choose who (or what) you fall in love with tho' and like the three legged dog you should put down but decide to nail to a skateboard, After Death stays with you long after the DVD has been ejected, just like Hepatitis C or the feeling of shame you get after watching your parents home made porn.

Obviously just before realizing halfway thru' that you're actually the star, propped up on top of the wardrobe, drugged up to the eyeballs and wearing a dress.

But if like me you're one of the special few that actually enjoys Fragrasso's work - especially his top notch collaborations with Bruno ('Zombie Creeping Flesh' and 'Rats : Night of Terror') Mattei  - then jump in and enjoy.

I know I did.

But to be honest I really think that I should get out more.

And by that I mean out of the house not out of Europe obviously.

We wouldn't have stuff like this film if that were the case.




































































*If I'd actually asked her that is but if she's reading this then get in touch and I'll review the real one.


**Tho' obviously not as much as she was after she left The Young and the Restless, when after being unable to find work ended up OD-ing in a rundown Los Angeles apartment on December 14, 2004, which kinda put the dampers on my 35th birthday I can tell you.

Monday, August 12, 2019

it's alive!

The James Whale memorial in Dudley....Just because.