Thursday, December 31, 2020

happy new year.

 


Sunday, December 27, 2020

toy story.

Anyone else got these badboys for Christmas?
















Thursday, December 24, 2020

merry christmas one and all.

 Hopefully next year wont be quite as shite but I doubt it.




Tuesday, December 22, 2020

angry birds.

Well after a year of creepy covid, lockdowns, home haircuts and now even more lockdowns I can safely say that I feel like absolute bollocks, so what better way to replenish my energy than with a good movie?

Or failing that a really shite one.

Merry Christmas.

The Angry Red Planet (AKA Invasion of Mars, Journey to Planet Four 1960).
Dir: Ib Melchior.
Cast: Gerald Mohr, Naura Hayden, Jack Kruschen, Les Tremayne and a hamster on stilts.



"You know, I can't say that I recommend spacesuits for beautiful young dolls. What happened to all your lovely curves?"




It's the brightly coloured (very) early 60s and the great men - and women who make the coffee - at space mission control are busy monitoring Mars Rocket 1 as it returns to Earth following the first manned expedition around Uranus.

Only joking, it's really been to Mars.

Obviously, I mean the clue is in the name.

It appears that everyone thought the rocket had been destroyed or lost (probably down the back of a huge Martian sofa) so is pretty surprised when it turns up on the monitors heading back to Earth so, although the highly qualified and slick haired technicians are unable to make contact with anyone onboard, they decide to fly the rocket by remote control back to base.

So far so talky with a chance of military stock footage.

When the rocket finally lands everyone is shocked to discover that of the four person crew only two have survived and one of them - the hunkyily horse-toothed Col. Tom O'Bannion (the voice of not only Reed Richards in the 1967 Fantastic Four cartoon series but also Green Lantern in the 1968 Aquaman show,  Mohr) - has a massive green bogie stuck to his arm.

Luckily for those viewers not turned on by snot the other survivor is the chisel-chinned, shapely redhead Dr. Iris Ryan (Hayden, author of the best selling How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time) who, as is the way in 60s sci-fi, stumbles out of the rocket before screaming and then collapsing into someone's arms.

After a sweet cup of tea and a gently slap she regains her composure enough to report the full terrifying story of what happened on Mars.

As well as (in arse numbing in detail) the banal and slightly sexist - thanks lug-headed Chief Warrant Officer Jacobs with your sweaty sausage fingers constantly grabbing for poor Iris - trip to the planet that will make up a large part of the film's running time.

But for the sake of brevity (and sanity) let's skip that bit and head straight to the aforementioned angry red planet.

You're welcome.


Fake news.




You see it appears that Mars’ atmosphere contains a strongly ionized layer (or is it treacle?) that's impenetrable to radio waves which means that the crew have no way of contacting Earth, luckily they have loads of old tape reels lying about so they can at least record the audio of everything that's going on ("Oh look! it's a red rock! - Oh look it's another red rock!" etc.) and with that  decide to go out and explore anyway.

I mean what could go wrong?

Well almost everything.

For a start Mars' atmospheric density is so low that it muffles every sound and making it impossible to hear unless everyone is really shouty (it'd suit your dad then) and the atmosphere is so ionized as to make everything look like it's been coloured in with felt pens.

Tho' that may just be a useful film-making gimmick to hide the fact that most of the backgrounds, plants, building etc. are actually crude child's drawings.

Add to that, the Martian 'jungle' (OK 3 pot plants and a bush) is teeming with giant, tentacled, man eating (well Iris grabbing) plants that look like fannies.

Actually the last bit doesn't sound too bad if I'm honest.

Unfortunately (for the viewer) Jacobs (Kruschen from shed loads of stuff) has a special 'freeze ray' rifle that disables the killer plant before it can tear any of Iris' clothes off.

And with that they all head back to the rocket for tea and biscuits and a lecture on space stuff from resident egg-head Professor Theodore Gettell (Tremayne, the voice of God in the 1985 series Greatest Adventure Stories from Bible).

But Gettell's lecture is interrupted by Iris' screams (again) when she notices a three-eyed ball-head beast looking in thru a porthole.

Putting it down to female hysteria the crew call it a night and go to bed.

Your mum yesterday.



Up bright and early for a second day of exciting space exploration, O'Bannion is caught short whilst digging up weeds and sneaks off for a sly piss against a nearby tree which, it turns out, isn't a tree at all but the - by now soaking wet - leg of a 40 foot tall hamster/bat/spider thing.

Which is unexpected.

As the beast tries to crush Gattell who's conveniently placed himself between 2 rocks, Jacobs fires his freeze ray at the beast but to no avail until that is he aims at its face and turns its eyes to ice.

Or something.

Suffice to say it totters away screaming never to be seen again.

Unless you're a fan of top pop shockers Misfits obviously as the beast surprisingly turned up on the cover of their 1982 debut full-length album (Misfits) Walk Among Us alongside some shoddily photocopied flying saucers.


They can walk where they want, it's the constant mooth shite-in that bothers me.


 After wiping himself down and zipping back up O'Bannion decides that what they all need is a seaside picnic to cheer themselves up so to this end the group head over to the sandy shores of a nearby lake filled with what seems to be vinegar and piss.

A wee bit like Saltcoats then.

Unfortunately O'Bannion realises that he's left the rubber dinghy in his other jacket so promises that they can come back for a paddle the next day.

So the crew excitedly head back for an early night in preparation for some holiday style fun.

Naura Hayden: Tunnel or funnel?


Unfortunately Dr. Gattell has other ideas, you see he's convinced that, with all the killer fanny plants, pissy lakes and giant rodents, it's way too dangerous to stay on Mars for the full five day mission and that they should all go home and O'Bannion realising that he'll have more chance scoring with Iris if he plies her with cheap booze agrees so everyone straps themselves in and prepares for take-off.

After a splutter and a wobble reminiscent of your Mum on Christmas Eve the rocket just sits there as the crew look at each other in a confused manner.

Or it may be constipation.

Who knows?

Pulling a set square from his pocket, Gattell oohs and aahs over the control panel before informing the crew that they are being held in place by some kind of force field and that the ships engines would need to be more than 100 - maybe 102 - times more powerful to escape.

And on that bombshell they all decide to head back to the beach in the vain hope that Iris has packed a space bikini.

"Ooh Vic....I've fallen".




The next morning our merry band head off to the shore, unpack the dinghy and set off across the lake where - after what seems like hours of inane chat and paddling - spot an island in the distance with a huge skyscraper (or at least a fairly well sketched picture of one -  at its centre.

Excited at the prospect of finding intelligent life on Mars (obviously the crew don't count) our heroes begin paddling ever faster but their journey is interrupted when a giant boggle-eyed cabbage bursts out of the water and blocks their path.

With the stench of rotting foot and PVA glue filling the air - and with the film fast approaching its climax - the astronauts have no choice but to paddle back to shore for  if not their very lives then at least to save their careers.

But the creature has other ideas as it follows them ashore with a massive plop  first eating the raft and then scoffing poor Jacobs whole.

And you'd think it'd spit that bit out.

Things go from bad to worse tho' as O'Bannion is infected by the creatures spores as he attempts to grab the fiver he's owed from Jacob's dead body, leaving Gattell and Iris to hot-wire the spaceships hull in the hope of electrifying the massive cabbage to death.


"Is it in yet?"


 With O'Bannion confined to his bunk - his wanking hand rendered useless and poor Gattell mid heart attack it's left to Iris to save the day but just as she's about to take off a booming voice is heard over the rocket's intercom.

It seems that three-eyed thing that Iris saw earlier was - in fact - the official spokesman for the Martian hive-mind and he has an important message for all humanity.

And with that Iris promptly faints.


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



A slow dissolve takes us back to a tea drinking Iris as she finishes her fantastic tale and a gaggle of science types look wistfully at each other has they decide what to do next and figure out what the message from Mars actually was.

Women eh?

Luckily the whole thing about electrocuting the cabbage was useful in treating O'Bannion's infected arm and when he regains consciousness he remembers that he'd left the tapes recording in the hope of catching Iris having a fiddle whilst the others were sleeping so the whole Martian message should be there.

Result.

Excitedly the team head over to the rocket, press play on the tape machine and await the aliens words of wisdom......

Or is it a dire warning?







From director Ib Melchior (who, as a writer, gave us the classic story that inspired Death Race 2000 as well as being the true creator of Lost in Space and providing the English language script for Mario Bava's Planet of the Vampires) and from a story outlined on a napkin by producer Sidney Pink comes this wacky and (sometimes) wild Mars based masterpiece that's featured special effects and cinematography are quite possibly more recognisable than the film itself, thanks in part to the utterly bizarre - and often hallucinatory camerawork of the great Stanley Cortez  - probably better known for his work on The Magnificent Ambersons, Night of the Hunter, The Naked Kiss and Shock Corridor who decide - after a few ales probably - to film the Martian exteriors using an experimental process called Cinemagic - a technique where black and white film is hand tinted giving the film a strange almost  3-D quality.

Luckily it also covers up cardboard sets and hand drawn monsters so everyone's a winner really.

Except when you're watching in high definition obviously when those cost-cutting techniques look oh so painfully obvious:



My advice is get screamingly drunk first.

Talking of being half-cut the cast are fairly enjoyable and do not bad with what they're given, which in the cases of  Gerald Mohr and Jack Kruschen appears to be lessons in seduction from Harvey Weinstein seeing as they spend most of the journey to Mars either pawing at poor Naura Hayden or commenting on her 'terrific pins and curves' whilst - in the case of Mohr - showing off way too much old man chest resplendent with greying tufts of hair.

Well it'll keep your Gran happy if nothing else.



Naura Hayden: pins and curves.


And whilst the film's direction might be flatter than a pancake and the script dull as dishwater it does have a saving grace in the aforementioned giant hamster beast which is as terrifying today as it was to a 6 year old boy furtively gazing at it in an old copy of Famous Monsters magazine.

Which probably says more about me than the movie.

Recommended.

Sort of.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

as an aside....

 I'd watch the absolute shit out of a 60s set spy series starring these four....

Just saying.




 


Thursday, December 10, 2020

night of a thousand corbens.

 

Richard Corben

(1 October 1940 - 2 December 2020)



















 

Monday, December 7, 2020

junior kickstart.

Picked up the soundtrack from this movie for 50p on the frankly fantastic Trunk Records website t'other week and soon realised that Mrs Lamont had never seen it.

 


 

The film that is not the album.

Which she still hasn't because I bought it as a download.*

Anyway we had to sort that out. 

Just a quick review because all this COVID/lockdown shite has left me feeling a bit down and frankly I can't be arsed.

Sorry.



Psychomania (AKA The Death Wheelers -1973).

Dir: Don Sharp.

Cast: George Sanders, Beryl Reid, Nicky Henson, Mary Larkin, Roy Holder, Robert Hardy, Ann Michelle, Denis Gilmore, Miles Greenwood, Peter Whitting, Rocky Taylor, Patrick Holt, Alan Bennion, John Levene, Roy Evans, Bill Pertwee, Denis Carey, June Brown, Martin Boddey and Heather (Inseminoid) Wright as The Girl with Parcels.

 
"You can only die once, after that nothing and nobody can harm you!"
 
 
 
Floppy fringed, leather clad, posh-boy leader of the home counties hardest biker gang The Living Dead, Tom Latham (film and TV stalwart Henson) is bored with his carefree life of chugging around on a motorbike, causing havoc at the local shopping arcade and occasionally scaring cows whilst racing along the A344 outside Walton-on-Thames, Surrey so decides, with the - begrudging - help of his mum (the legendary Reid) and her suavely sinister (or should that be sinisterly suave?) butler, Shadwell (cinema stalwart and chicken chef Sanders) to become immortal. 

Luckily Tom’s dad was a wizard or something and had already discovered this secret but died (for good) whilst attempting it due to being allergic to frogs, which was unfortunate as a frog is essential to the ritual.

But now it's Tom's turn so armed with a magical frog-shaped amulet he enters the mysterious room of death to confront the terrifying full-length mirror of fear.

No, really.

Turns out that the secret is that you really, really, REALLY have to want to come back from the dead for it to work.

Oh yes and not be scared of frogs obviously.

Tom being incredibly macho completes the ritual with ease and the next day rides his bike into the oncoming traffic to prove it, instantly killing him.

To death.

As requested Tom is buried - sitting atop his bike - in the middle of a stone circle up the road from his house and from where, later that eve, he bursts forth and rides off into the night to terrorize a group of darts players at a nearby pub before kissing - then killing - a lady.

What a rotter.


 

Sandwich in mah mooth!

 

As you can imagine the rest of his gang are pretty excited to see him alive and well and - after a wee bit of supernatural chat - all agree to kill themselves in order to live forever, free from pain, fashion and consequences.

A wee bit like Donald Trump and his family.

One by one, the Living Dead finally get to live up to their gang name as, in a series of cunning stunts that would make Michael Crawford green with envy, Tom's pals start jumping from tower blocks (much to Mary, Mungo and Midge's disgust), throwing themselves out of planes without parachutes, driving off bridges and drowning themselves in ponds weighed down with comedy chains and wearing tiny pants.

Which is all well and good but makes you realize just how bloody lucky they all are to come back in one piece and not hideously burned or mangled. 

Knowing my luck I'd rise from the dead with my feet on backwards or something.

 

"French polishers? You may have just saved my life!"


Not everyone is happy with the situation tho', Tom's mum is worried about the satanic repercussions of having an undead son and his fairly forgettable - and frightfully posh - girlfriend Abby (Ex Darling Bud and future romantic author Larkin) is having second thoughts about killing herself as she reckons it may ruin her chances of becoming a nursery nurse.

So with this in mind she contacts the gruff but fair Chief Inspector Hesseltine (Hardy, nuff said) who has been busy trying to catch the corpsey crims.

 

"Boiled onions!"

 

Luckily for Tom tho', his saucy second-in-command, Jane (horror stalwart and sister of Vicki, Michelle), is well up for some undead fun - whether it be by hanging herself from a tree to scare Abby, running over a baby in the local Safeway or murdering Doctor Who’s Sgt Benton in a police station lobby, Michelle might not steal the film but she at least gives it a good goosing when no-one is looking.

But as all this motorbike-based mayhem continues Tom's mum is starting to get a wee bit worried about what her local neighbourhood seance club might think about his satanic shenanigans as the police - alongside Abby formulate a trap to catch terrible Tom....
 

 

 
 
 
From Don Sharp, the man behind the Hammer non-Dracula vampire flick The Kiss of the Vampire (which I can be ever thankful to for introducing a teen me to the wonderfully exotic - as in Scottish - Isobel Black) as well as the first two Christopher Lee Fu Manchu movies (as well as tonnes of other stuff that I can't be arsed listing, I mean come on it's not a shopping list), comes Britain's answer to Easy Rider only this time with added satanism, massive comedy helmets, copious amounts of club sandwiches and the biggest cast of 70s TeeVee celebs this side of a Christmas Woolworths ad.

I mean where else would you find Roy (Sorry!) Holder, Robert (All Creatures Great and Small) Hardy, Ann (Come Back Mrs. Noah) Michelle, Denis (Crossroads) Gilmore, Patrick (Emmerdale) Holt, Alan (Doctor Who's Ice Warrior supreme) Bennion, Roy (Eastenders) Evans, Bill (Dad's Army) Pertwee, Denis (I Claudius) Carey alongside Dot Cotton herself,  June Brown and the aforementioned John Levene?
 
 


Isobel Black - Scotch Miss.



 
Add to that a groovy folk song by based Brummie singer-songwriter and poet Harvey Andrews (who was cruelly cut from the film for having a face like a potato, his song mimed to by Martin Boddey), stunts from the legendary Rocky Taylor and a score by the fantastic John Cameron (who, in case you didn't know arranged and recorded the instrumental version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" that for centuries was used as the theme music for the BBC TV show, Top of the Pops) and you - should - have a recipe for success.
 
It's a pity then that the whole thing comes across more Victoria Wood than Pete Walker with it's frightfully posh - as opposed to just frightening - biker gang (who all appear to be just the wrong side of 25) who never seem to go any further than the local shops to cause trouble and with a bad boy lead who lives at home with his mum in a mansion and phones her if he's gonna be late home.

The gangs air of menace isn't helped by their names either - there's Gash, Hinkey, Chopped Meat (?), Bertram and bad girl Jane Pettibone, I mean seriously in a street fight between them and the Jets from West Side Story I know who my money would be on.

Sod that I reckon The Tweenies could probably take them given a few ales.

Plus I imagine Fizz would look really hot in skin-tight red bikers leathers.

But I digress.


Five fingers, never touched the sides.
 
 
 
 
 
It's not all bad tho' and to be fair when he's allowed Sharp pulls off some pretty cool scenes including a fantastic  360 degree pan around a morgue which begins with Abby pretending to be dead and surrounded by Police as Chief Inspector Hesseltine outlines his plan to capture Tom and Abby gone and the previously empty morgue bays filled with the bodies of the now dead officers. 

Add to that the gangs suicide scenes have an air of macabre glee about them, it's just a pity that the film doesn't know if it wants to be seriously scary or darkly comedic so ends up being neither.

Even the implications of the gangs suicide/resurrection pact is never fully explored and as mentioned earlier, none of them return looking anything other than perfect, imagine them coming back battered, burnt and broken then realising this is how it'd be from then on in, as it stands in the movie a group of bored, posho types pretend play working class rebels by scaring postmen, come back from the dead as immortals and still just scare postmen.
 


Hel-Met.
 
 
 
Saying that tho' it's actually (surprisingly?) a pretty entertaining watch if you're in the right frame of mind, which obviously George Sanders wasn't when he first viewed it in a small cinema whilst on holiday in Madrid seeing as after it'd finished he went straight back to his hotel and killed himself, leaving a note pronouncing "God I'm bored".

Shit this has ended on a wee bit of a downer hasn't it?
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*She has heard it tho.