Tuesday, March 31, 2020

never ending story.

In order to break the monotony of the Coronavirus lockdown the Twin Things decided to  rewatch the frankly fantastic George Pal version of War of The Worlds* t'other day which they swiftly followed up with another viewing of the great mans take on The Time Machine which inadvertently re-awakened Twin 2's Rod Taylor crush.

"And this is all you could get from the shops?"

Hence we spent last night watching this.

World Without End (1956).
Dir: Edward Bernds.
Cast: Nelson Leigh, Christopher Dark, Rod Taylor, Hugh Marlowe, Everett Glass, Shirley Patterson, Lisa Montell, William Vedder, Nancy Gates, Booth Colman and Mickey Simpson.

Our women seem to have lagged behind in their evolution into reasonable creatures. They actually admire these reckless and brutal men.

It's March 1957 (probably a Tuesday) and top space science types Dr. Eldon Galbraithe (The Adventures of Sir Galahad star Leigh), bequiffed navigator Henry Jaffe (Dark who was once in The Time Tunnel), radio operator and all round sexyman Herbert Ellis (Taylor, our reason for watching) alongside team leader and professional action hero John Borden (The Day The Earth Stood Still and Earth Vs The Flying Saucers star Marlowe) are returning to Earth after a successful reconnaissance trip to Mars.

Bloody hell you couldn't move for spaceships parked around the red planet in the 50s could you?

What appears to be a routine flight full of fun and banter turns scary when the rocket suddenly accelerates to an incredible speed, rendering the crew unconscious and sending their ship hurtling - well wobbling - thru' space before crashing on a snow-covered mountain.

Coming to and deciding to make the best of the situation the gang go for a walk down the mountain and soon coming across some ancient gravestones leaving Galbraithe to surmise that the rocket was subjected to a wee bit of 'time dilation' (isn't that the way?) and that they're now stranded on a future Earth, the heightened radiation that the ship has registered outside being from a devastating atomic war that occurred at some point in the past.

Which seems legit.

This news is taken particularly hard by Jaffe tho', as he soon realizes that his wife and children must be dead.

Well either dead or they moved to Birmingham.

"Does my skin look buttery?"

Deciding that Jaffe needs something to take his mind of his families demise the rest of the team send him off to explore a nearby cave, hinting that it may be full of Leprechaun treasure and with that he merrily jogs along to take a look, unfortunately it's not full of treasure but is, in fact, chock full of giant rubber spiders intent on scoffing poor Jaffe.

Well I say chock full but I mean there are two of them.

Or maybe just one and it's edited to look like two.

Either way it looks utter shite, meaning there's more chance of Jaffe dying of embarrassment than getting bit.

Anyway before it can get too exciting Ellis fires his load(ed gun) into the beasts eyes and the group run away only to be almost immediately attacked by one eyed, furry nappy wearing mutant survivors of the war - or 'Mutates' as they call them.

It never rains.

"Hello we're from Cradley Heath!"

Seeking shelter in another (less cobwebby) cave our hunky bunch are surprised (there's a fair bit of that in this movie) when a gleaming, totally not incongruous, metal door slides open revealing the entrance to an underground city populated by the - non mutated - descendants of those who survived the atomic war.

Descendants who are now spending their days clad in shower caps, ballet tights and massive gold chains in an attempt to look all clever and utopian.

In charge of this motley crew is the thin legged Bob Timmek (Invasion Of The Body Snatcher's Glass who spends the whole movie looking fairly embarrassed at the tightness of his - well - tights as they not only reveal what side he dresses to but also what he had for lunch, poor sod), who is aided and abetted by the oh-so slightly fey James (Pearl Jam's Vedder - thankfully uncredited) and the harsh faced Tober Mories (father of Doctor Who stars Olivia and  Jenna as well as TV Planet of The Apes monkey, Coleman) who, feeling threatened by the sheer amount of manliness on show decides to plot against our time-traveling team.

Well that and the fact that his betrothed, Timmek's daughter, the mini-skirted minx Garnet (cheeky chinned TV stalwart Gates) has the hots for Borden.

John that is not Stan.

Oh hang on that's Boardman isn't it?


Beware this room is not full of candy.


You see, it seems that life underground has caused the men to become less virile and manly whilst in contrast, the women have all de-evolved to look like 50s starlets complete with incredibly pointed bras and tiny shiny skirts and they appear to be constantly gagging for it with a couple of them - the council estate Rita Hayworth Elain (Patterson) and serving girl Deena (Montell, be still my beating heart), both fighting for the attentions of Ellis who at this point is topless for some reason.

Anyway, our heroes decide that the only way humanity will survive (apart from them having sex with all the ladies which may be a wee bit tiring - especially for Galbraithe) is if everyone heads to the surface, kills the 'mutates' and soak up some vitamin C so to this end they attempt to persuade the underground community to arm themselves and help them to reclaim the surface.

But alas they can't be arsed.

Tunnel or funnel?

From that point in the film descends into chatsville - via discussion town - intercut with scenes of Garnet gazing lustfully at Borden whilst begging him to make love to her in the rugged style of the men in her old romance novels.

Which is nice.

"Hey honey....you fancy a wee bit o' mooth shite-in?"

Tired of all this testosterone fueled tomfoolery, Mories hatches a plan to discredit the time travelers by stealing their weapons from James' bedroom and planting them in their quarters.

How fiendish.

Unfortunately as he's grabbing the guns James appears from the bathroom and has no sooner pulled up his tights as Mories beats him to death.


He then sneaks into our heroes room and hides the guns in Borden's sock drawer.

Framing the foursome for the foul murder of poor James, Timmek has no choice but to have them expelled but luckily - for them - Deena was in their room having a wee fiddle whilst sniffing Ellis' underwear and swa the whole thing.

Much shoving and pushing ensues as Mories flees to the surface only to be bummed to death by mutants.


With Mories out of the picture, Timmek decides to throw away his pacifist ideals and help our heroes manufacture a bazooka with which to kill the mutates but Deena - having been rescued from the outside as a child - informs everyone that the mutates are actually quite small in number and that they used (non-mutated) slaves to do all the heavy work for them.

With this knowledge Borden offers to fight their chief, the hairy back and arsed Naga (yellow skinned cartoon star Simpson) in single combat for leadership of the group and the lives of the slaves.

Obviously they blow some shit up first just to show they mean business.

Will Borden beat Naga or will evil triumph over good old fashioned American strength?

Will our heroes return to the past or choose to build a new world surrounded by dozens of adoring ladies?

Go on, guess.

Lisa Montell: Foil wrapped for freshness.

With a plot so good it was later ripped off for The Mole People (which like this owes a huge debt to The Time Machine), World Without End was originally envisaged as a cheap way to make some extra cash for filmmakers Allied Artists by reusing footage, sets and costumes from their earlier movie Flight to Mars and because of this World Without End balances uncomfortably 'tween being a silver age SciFi classic and cheap seat-filler - for every highbrow question on humanities quest for survival and pacifism vs aggression there's a rubber arachnid or boss-eyed beast in a furry nappy waiting around the corner.

Luckily it's saved from obscurity - and dragged from the gutter by not only its fantastic cast - especially Hugh Marlowe, Lisa Montell and Rod Taylor - but also by the frankly bizarre mix of folk who worked behind the scenes, including the legendary Sam Peckinpah (who worked as its dialgoue director) and strangest of all, probably the worlds most famous/greatest pin-up artist Alberto Vargas as concept/costume artist.

Which explains a lot if I'm honest.

Especially that tingly feeling I got whenever any of the space ladies turn up onscreen.

Vargas: Sauce pot.

And let's not forget director Edward Bernds who, although not the greatest director who ever lived makes sure the film is never dull - which frankly is a godsend after watching some of it's contemporaries.

Yes I'm looking at you The Mole People.


With a career that spans everything from directing The Three Stooges to writing the Elvis movie masterpiece Tickle Me via The Queen of Outer Space and nearly (accidentally) winning an Oscar Bernds makes sure that the film never gets too talky and throws enough action, sexy ladies and silly hats at the screen to make it an enjoyable if fairly forgettable filmic experience.

Go on, you know you want to.

If only for Lisa Montel's midriff. 

*Much as they love it they've both pointed out how far fetched the idea of a technically advance civilization being brought down by a virus is.....it's just silly.

Monday, March 30, 2020

planet suitcase.

A collection of hi-fi sci-fi sounds for high flying space cadets.

it's not just the water that's dirty....

OK I admit it, there is absolutely no way this review ties into the Coronavirus theme going down here at the moment but I thought what the Hell, if I have a captive audience - as opposed to a captive teen chained to my radiator like usual - I might as well get a few more folk to finally watch what is possibly the greatest pond-based undead Nazi movie of all time.

Don't expect me to be too critical of this unsung masterpiece of the macabre tho' cos it's abso-fucking-lutely brilliant.

If you don't believe me then you're a fool.

And that's a fact.

Now that's out of the way let's start as we mean to go on.....with a wee bit of gratuitous nudity.

 Beware! Zombie Lake!

Are you sitting comfortably?

So let us begin...

Zombie(s) Lake (AKA Le Lac Des Morts Vivants, 1981)
Dir: Jean Rollin and/or Jess Franco (as J.A. Lazer)
Cast: Howard Vernon, Annouchka, Rene Douglas, Youri Rad, Nadine Pascal, Gilda Arancio, Pierre-Marie Escourrou, Alain Petit, Pascale Vital, Jean Rollin, some zombies and a lake.

Welcome to 1970's exploitation Europe and an oh-so-slightly scummy lake somewhere in France, the sun is glistening over the discarded condoms, fag boxes and pop cans as an incredibly buxom beauty (Vital from Come Play With Me 2 - like it matters) is frolicking thru' the trees and gaily throwing her clothes behind her.

Stripped naked and enjoying the sun (unless you're watching the 80's UK 'Modern Films' Betamax edition where she's sporting big grey granny pants) she suddenly notices a 'danger' sign near the waters edge.

Tossing it aside she dives into the welcoming waters of the lake.

Little does she realize that it is, in fact, a lake of death.

Or more correctly a lake of zombies.

A 'zombie lake' if you will.

Swimming fun - death (or at the
very least a huge dose of the shits) to follow.

Sexily splashing away to a frankly fantastic Europorn organ soundtrack and making sure to keep her ample breasts in shot at all times, our wet 'n' wild wench doesn't notice the shadowy figures lurking just below the surface.

Well she wouldn't would she, seeing as all those shadowy figure bits have been filmed miles away and weeks later at a disused public swimming baths.

Anyway, back to the action where without warning - unless you count the sudden burst of 'spooky' organ music that is - a green hand grabs for the girls leg and pulls her below the surface to her doom.

Which is quite scary if I'm honest, tho' not as scary as the loud pops and scratches that constitute a smooth transition to the next scene which appears to be made up of someone's holiday Super 8's of a quaint (if not a little seedy) public house somewhere in Normandy.

Most probably the town of Domfront* if I'm not mistaken.

Inside this marvelous example of early 19th century Orne architecture another, totally different buxom lady (she's blonde for one thing) is serving huge jugs (snigger) of beer to the locals who are busy eating snails and gossiping about the sheer amount of young girls who go missing near the local lake.

"She probably met some young stud eh?" remarks Claude (Rad - best known for his fantastic portrayal of 'the barman' in The Panther Squad), the big burly Brian Blessed alike as his drips piss weak French lager down his plaid shirt.

His rat-like companions twirl their mustaches in agreement before deciding to go see the Mayor if she hasn't shown up by closing time.

I mean come on, those tables aren't going to clean themselves.

Domfront: Local.

Morning dawns and the Mayor (who it appears is played by Ren Hoek from The Ren and Stimpy Show....no it's genre god Vernon working to pay off his parking fines) is rudely awakened from his garlic-fueled fantasies by Claude and his chums loudly banging on his door.

It seems that after much frantic searching there's been no sign of the girl except her discarded clothes, so Mayor Ren decides to call in the police from the next village - his town being so small that they don't have any of their own.

Meanwhile, out near the (zombie) lake another busty young woman is busily spending her day pushing a milk churn in a wheelbarrow across a bridge whilst wearing orthopedic shoes.

Which if I'm honest was reason enough to vote remain when we had the chance.

Unfortunately she is so deeply involved in her obviously important job that she totally fails to notice the fact that a shadowy green figure is watching her from the lakeside.

A shadowy figure which is revealed to be a one-eyed zombie in a Nazi uniform.

Well I say Nazi uniform but it's really a pair of moldy Quick-Fit overalls with Swastikas painted on them topped off with a pair of Wellington boots but at least the thought was there.

If not the budget.

The hideous Hun quickly grabs the woman and grapples her to the ground before clumsily exposing her hideous brown bra to the world and finally messily nuzzling her neck.

She screams kicking off her horrendous clogs in the struggle as the zombie dribbles poster paint over her throat in a cacophony of hisses, scratches and pops that suddenly cut to her prone body being laid (but not in that way, tho' I wouldn't put it past the French) on the Mayor's patio by an ever sweatier than earlier Claude.

Check the shoes (and the milk
churn in a wheelbarrow).

"I know how you feel about your daughter," Mayor Ren tells her distraught dad as he shuffles about his daughters corpse desperately trying to cover her big white pants.

Which is nice.

"No son, I ordered semi-skimmed."

As the fumbling father heads off into the bushes for a tearful wank and a garlic frogs leg flavoured Pot Noodle the gathered crowd (all six of them) stand motionless gazing longingly at the Mayor for what seems like an eternity.

Before it gets too uncomfortable tho' there's another cack-handed cut and we're suddenly watching Ren sitting on a bridge, his sinewy wrinkled arms wrapped around two obviously terrified young boys as he slowly drags them ever closer to his quivering, sweat covered lips.

"Is it in yet?"

It turns out that the boys have witnessed something strange near the lake and the Mayor wants all to know all the facts straight from their pretty mouths.

And probably a 'special ' cuddle too.

"Fuck me! It's Jon Pertwee!"

Meanwhile back at the pub ace reporter Janet Ellis (Arancio from Pourvu qu'on ait l'ivresse and your granddad's bed) has arrived in town determined to uncover the mystery of the 'ghostly lake' and heads over to Claude's table to pump him for information.

"You call it the Lake of Ghosts." Announces Janet.

Claude grunts, strokes his droopy mustache and lets loose a very eggy fart before realizing that this would probably make a better title for the film.

So impressed by Janet's use of words - and her hairy back and arse - he quickly offers to take her up the Mayors house.

Which is sadly not a euphemism for field based bare-backing tho' it really should be. 

Once there, Janet wastes no time (OK maybe a minute or so) introducing herself before explaining that she's working on a story regarding the legends of the lake and surrounding area for a local TV show called Zombing About.


Ren tells her she's talking bollocks, which she counters by whipping out a huge book detailing the legends of the lake (and other stuff) from her tiny handbag.

"Now I'm intrigued!" a visibly aroused Ren exclaims, rubbing his boney hands together with glee.

His pleasure is soon curtailed when he begins reading thru' the tome tho' deciding that it's too vague to be of any use.

"The book is too out of date to be useful" he cries.

You heard it here first kids, any books not written within the last forty minutes must be obsolete and should therefore be burned. 

Janet, not being an inbred hick, argues that legends and folktales like these are usually based on fact.

"But they are the very stuff of books." Ren cryptically (and nonsensically) replies, before launching into a tale from the heady days of the second world war.....

What your granddad really did during the war.

Thru' the magic of the 'wobbly dissolve' (that's the actual technical term for it, go on check) we're quickly transported back to the 1940's where a crack squad of German soldiers are battling an (unseen) airplane with pellet guns whilst yet another busty blonde (Pascale, who it turns out actually worked again appearing in everything from Ópalo de fuego: Mercaderes del sexo with Lina Romay to Sechs Schwedinnen im Pensionat with professional sauce-pot Brigitte Lahaie) stands screaming at the chaos and bloodshed going on just out of shot.

Noticing how the sunlight glistens on her ample breasts, Klaus, the sexy blond Nazi-boy (is there any other kind?) in charge (Escourrou - bless you) runs thru' the ensuing explosions to save her, grappling her to the ground as a 'huge' (ahem) bomb goes off.

Later that evening she shows her gratitude by having sex with him in a barn to the strains of romantic choral music.

As morning breaks the lovers prepare to go their separate ways - her to explain to her dad why she's having sex with a Nazi, him to slaughter some more Jews, the disabled etc. - she gives him a huge pendant to remember her by.

Which begs the question who knew they had pound shops in 1940's France?

Anyway, after what seems about 3 days worth of footage of the Nazi's fighting in the snow against (invisible) Russians and driving around aimlessly in a badly painted milk float, Aryan boy returns to the village to find that his 'lady friend' is heavily pregnant.

On discovering this fact - and being a blackclad badboy - he kisses her goodbye and leaves almost immediately to rejoin his jackbooted buddies for a bit more killing.

Cue even more shooting at imaginary foes and driving down deserted country lanes to a slightly sinister soundtrack.

Fear not tho' because before too long - probably due to the rocking motion in the back of the van - the crack troops are all desperate for a toilet break and a quick ciggie.

Just like the audience.

But, unlike the said viewer the soldiers joy is cut short by Claude and his buddies who leap out of the trees and shoot them all dead before dumping their bodies in the local lake.

See? it's all coming together now.

"Not the face luv!"

In a case of spooky coincidence - or plot contrivance take your pick - blond boy's squeeze dies at exactly the same moment.

Tho' this may have more to do with the fact that she's giving birth to a ball headed baby than some supernatural quirk of fate.

Janet, unable to hide her disappointment at such a shite story makes her farewells and heads back to the pub with only an evening of cheap drink and the chance of Claude pawing at her underwear with his sweaty sausage fingers for comfort.

Which, if I'm honest sounds a pretty good night.

Meanwhile back at the lake a local all-girl volleyball team have decided to stop for a picnic followed by some nude cavorting to a jaunty Hammond organ score.

As groups of women together are known to do.

Giggling, combing each others hair and throwing a ball around (in glorious boob bouncing close-up) they're all blissfully unaware of the evil lurking nearby.

And I'm not talking about Claude.

A nude volleyball team frolicking in a lake earlier today.

As is always the way in these situations there's usually one person for whom jiggling about in the nude is never enough, so a cry of "Let's all go for a swim in this inviting and zombie-free lake!" is soon heard and the ladies cheerfully dive in for more ball based, giggly fun.

But down below the zombies are on the move.

Not too quickly tho' as they appear to be enjoying the underwater shots of the girls swimming, doing star jumps and kicking their legs wide open as much as we are.

I don't have the words.

The zombies soon remember that this is meant to be a horror film tho' and soon enough decide to attack, fondling the ladies soft thighs as they drag them to their doom at the bottom of the lake.

Luckily one of the team has been sitting on the banks painting her nails so manages to run screaming and wobbling towards the village clad only in a big (and I mean BIG) pair of blue pants.

Claude and his posse are enjoying a quiet beer or three (now there's a surprise) when she bursts into the pub screaming before promptly collapses on their table.

Obviously impressed by the service and totally enamored by her choice of underwear Claude orders his pals to take her 'up the stairs' (I don't know if this is a particularly French sexual activity but we never see her again) whilst at the same time top 'tecs Spitz and Moran arrive on the scene, stopping by the pub to ask directions to Mayor Ren's residence.

It's all go in this town isn't it?

"Waitress! this gammons off!"

Mayor Ren cracks under the good hair/bad hair double act and reveals the full sordid history of the 'Lake of the Damned' and how it's evil has stretched back as far as the middle ages and maybe even earlier.

Tho' probably not as far back as lunchtime tho' because that would be silly.

Spitz and Moran unfortunately think he's talking complete shite and decides to go back to the pub to, um, 'interview' people.

As all this is going down (as the yoof say) our favourite Aryan zombie has taken a break from all the killing and decided to go and visit his now grown up (well 12 year old) daughter Helena (Anouchka - star of White Cannibal Queen and daughter of producer Daniel Lesoeur, which if nothing else meant she knew exactly who to fuck to get out of the movie).

Surprisingly she takes his re-appearance quite well, seeing as he's now a green skinned, undead beast in a (possibly very damp smelling) German uniform.

The lack of surprise is only equaled by the films lack of logic, I mean it's now the 'modern' (well the 1980's) day, so how come she's not in her early 40's?

Ignoring this vexing plot point they exchange knowing glances and he heads back to the lake.

But what of Europe's greatest detective duo?

"Where's mah hoosekeepin'?"

Well Spitz and Moran, now bored with getting pissed and annoying the locals elect to go and investigate the disappearance of the basketball team everyone's talking about, especially upon hearing that they were nude.

Heading out to the lake the dynamic duo soon come across an abandoned camper van and piles of ladies clothes.

"Do you think it's foul play?" asks Moran as he wipes his now flaccid member on a discarded t-shirt.

"It beats me," Spitz replies, "There's no clue to what happened." 

Save the bloodstained shoes and claw marks on the benches obviously.

Shrugging at each other in a manner usually reserved for impatient waiters the pair proceed to rifle thru' the team's discarded handbags no doubt in order to pocket lipsticks, blusher etc. to give to their wives.

But as this blatant abuse of police power continues the zombies are slowly rising from their watery graves and preparing to attack killing the detectives.

But this is only the beginning of their lust for vengeance (and lust for blood and possibly big pants too) as the unstoppable zombie horde starts to shuffle towards the village.....

Your can't imagine the sheer ecstatic pleasure I feel every time a young film fan inadvertently discovers the joy of Jean Rollin/Jess Franco's infamous no-budget zombie 'epic', directed under the frankly fantastic pseudonym 'J.A. Lazer' and starring Rollin regular, the frighteningly ferret like Howard Vernon - what Zombie Lake lacks in budget, plot, effects, editing, coherent storytelling etc. it more than makes up for with lots of long, lingering nude scenes (not found in the original bulky boxed betamax UK Modern Films release) alongside scenes of such mind numbing bizarreness that you'll be flicking back to make sure you really did see them.

And then just flicking away in general.

Seriously it's that good.

Experience the crew forgetting to turn the lights on till halfway through a scene!

Recoil in horror as Nazi zombies in green emulsion stomp about in a swimming pool!

Swoon as grannie-haired Gilda Arancio sits in the pub with a sweating mustached man!

Go open another bag of crisps as the unnecessary love story subplot (complete with soft focus ‘lurve’ scenes) unfolds in bum numbing detail!

Strain your ears trying to decipher the almost Lynchian dialogue and get a headache attempting to figure out how it relates to the action on screen!

Get slightly uncomfortable as you watch the antics of the nude female basketball team unfold to a cheesy 'europorn' score and much more besides!

Your mum and dad drunk at Christmas.

You know you’re onto a winner when you realize that Rollin was in fact using a completely different script to the one his actors had (he admitted as much in a 1981 interview in Starburst Magazine number 48…go find it out, it’s the special Zombie issue fact fans) meaning that for the majority of the films shoot people were just looking at him blankly as he barked out directions at them.

If only  Jennifer Kent had have had the same problem during The Babadook we might have had a halfway decent movie.

Plus when Jess Franco has dropped out of a project due to it being utter shit you know you're in trouble.

That's not me on the cover BTW....Everyone knows that I was the small boy in Suspiria.

 Usually at this point I spend ages ripping a film apart and making purile jokes at the crews expense but in all honesty I can't do it with Zombie(s) Lake because it's so damn wonderful.

No, really.

If it wasn't then why did Jess Franco remake it a few years later as Oasis of The Zombies?

Seriously, same plot, villains and structure.

Oh yes, and the same script.

Essential lockdown viewing for fans of Eurotrash horror, anyone who thinks they've already seen the worst movie ever or those who really enjoyed 'Bloody Moon'.

Sheer genius.

* Domfront is a very pretty hilltown in the south of Normandy full of ancient ramparts and a quaint old town centre with half timbered houses, an historic church and a breathtaking castle.

There is also a popular - and cheap - market on Friday mornings.

More importantly I was once taken advantage of by an older girl from there named Cécile Fournier in the ZigZag toilets in Birmingham back in 1986 who I then proceeded to follow around for 6 months like a lost puppy.

She eventually gave in and asked me to move to France with her to live on her family farm but being really young and nervous I declined, tho' I've no idea if that's a reason to love Zombie(s) Lake or not.

Answers to the usual email address.

Nuff said.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

yor blimey!

Going all post-Coronavirus crisis today with a quick glimpse at what the world may look like come Christmas.

Except for readers in the West Midlands obviously as this is exactly what it's like right now.

Shittest band name ever.

Yor - The Hunter Of The Future (AKA Yor, The World of Yor, 1983)
Dir: Antonio Margheriti (As Anthony M. Dawson).
Cast: Reb Brown, Corinne Clery, Luciano Pigozzi, Carole André, John Steiner, Marina Rocchi, Sergio Nicolai Ayshe Gul and the legendary Aytekin Akkaya.

Kalaa: Why is Yor different from other men?

In a post-apocalyptic world where dinosaurs rule and bit part Italian actors roam the woods behind the local primary school clad in nothing but flea bitten loincloths comes the mighty warrior Yor (ex pro-footballer, Captain America and deputy sheriff Brown) - oiled, toned and muscled yet with the running prowess of a small girl.

He looks good in furry pants tho'.

Somewhere in the bushes Kalaa and Pag (ex Bond babe Clery and the tramp like Pigozzi) are busy hunting a vaguely embarrassed piglet with wooden horns stuck to its head.

Kinda like a normal day in hunting for loo roll in the supermarket at the moment really.

Except for the bit where a giant Cardboardasaurus crashes thru' the trees and tries to bite them that is.

Kalaa is frozen with fear and Pag can only scream and wobble his manbreasts as the beast lurches towards them.

Luckily Yor - on the way back from stocking up on bread and multipacks of pasta - comes bounding to the rescue, beating the dinosaur around the head with a big stone axe till it falls over.


"Yor going home in a St. Johns ambulance!"

As a way of saying thank you - and desperate for company after years of self-isolation - the dull duo invite Yor back to their village for a big party and not having anything else planned he accepts.

Enjoying an evening of mead and bacon (and with the chance of a shag from Kalaa who appears to be the only non-bearded woman there) Yor is understandably upset when a gang of face painted ape men gatecrash the party and set fire to the village hall before tossing Yor off a nearby cliff and kidnapping Kalaa.

The Little Mix tribute band
was a wee bit disappointing.

In a bit of useful exposition it turns out that there are no ape women in the invaders tribe so every couple of weeks the scruffy monkey men attack the friendly village looking for posh totty to use as 'love slaves'.

As I said, exactly like the West Midlands.

Yor (who has climbed all the way back up the cliff) is adamant that if anyone is going to have their wicked way with Kalaa it's going to be him and to this end heads off towards the ape lair with Pag in tow.

Obviously he's hoping that if the worst comes to the worst Yor might at least be tempted by a wee suckle on his massive man tits.

I know I'd given it some serious thought.

Deciding to spend the night in the relative safety of a tree the duo are rudely awakened the next morning by a strange grunting noise coming from a nearby bush which the pair decide to investigate.

Popping their heads thru' a tired looking conifer the dynamic duo are met by the - somewhat arousing - sight of dozens of bikini clad ladies being oogled by the noisy band of cheeky (not to mention horny) monkeys.

"Laugh now!"

If that wasn't enough the evil leader of the apes, notorious decorative gardener and general bad boy Jeff Ukraan, is rubbing his hairy palms together and licking his lips whilst advancing on a cornered Kalaa.

There's only one course of action open to our hero - obviously - so after randomly killing a nearby giant bat then using the animals carcass to glide into the ape den Yor quickly releases Kalaa before smashing a nearby dike and flooding the camp.

Please note that he makes no attempt to rescue the other captives who obviously are either drowned or left to spend the rest of their lives having every one of their orifices violated by bananas.

What a guy.

Leaving the scene of carnage behind them Yor explains that he is trying to discover 'the secrets of his past' (and find out why all the other men look like lank haired bearded pikeys whilst he's tanned and blond) so must brave the dangerous desert to find the answers.

Kalaa decides to tag along (well, it's either that or sit on her own waiting for the dirty monkeys to turn up) and before long the stumble across a tribe sacrificing a nubile, pointy headed blonde on a bonfire.

Yor kills them all (it's kinda his M.O.) and rescues the lady who introduces herself as Roa (Gul), owner of a pound shop pendant not dissimilar to Yor's.

The main character, not yours obviously.

Unless you actually own one when it may well do.

Obviously not being able to see you I can't say.*

"Do the monkey with me!"

Kala, unhappy with another female joining the group decides to kill her love rival but her plan is interrupted when a rather wet Ukraan turns up looking for revenge.

A fight ensues (again) but Roa is struck down - tho' not with gout - before Yor can save her.

Which is good news for Kalaa.

"Hullo I'm superfluous, come sleep in mah bed".

Our terrific trio tut and shrug shoulders before continuing their journey into the desert and before long come across some folk being attacked by what looks like a large chicken with an umbrella stuck to its back.

Not having been involved in a fight for around ten minutes Yor kills the beast and gets invited to another party where yet another bikini clad lady fawns over him and wiggles her ample hips.

Understandably Kalaa is fairly pissed off at the fact that every woman on the planet wants a piece of Yor's prime ass but before she can attempt to kill this one the tribal chief arrives with information about Yor's origins.

It seems that every so often blond 'gods' wearing big medallions come to visit the villagers in flying boxes from a mysterious island hidden by a spooky dark fog.

Yor is convinced that the island holds the key to his identity so he steals a fishing boat to continue his quest, leaving the friendly visitors to be wiped out by the aforementioned flying boxes.

"Thanks for the pearl necklace!"  "Yor welcome!"

With Pag and Kalaa as his loyal crew, Yor quickly makes his way to the island only to lose control of the boat when a violent storm whips up from nowhere.

Yor is tossed overboard and washed up on a beach where he is almost immediately zapped by a guy in a leather jumpsuit and a gimp mask.


Don't fret tho', Kalaa and Pag are safe too.

They've been cast ashore further up the beach where they're accosted by a small group of cave dwelling tramps.

Put it in me!

Yor meanwhile has been grabbed by the Overlord (sounds painful) as is looking on in mild apathy as the movies plot is explained to him.

It turns out that the film is set on a future Earth (never) devastated by nuclear war where the majority of survivors have regressed to little more than savages.

A small group of scientists however tried to hold back the oncoming violent times by using space age technology and appointing an absolute leader (the aforementioned Overlord - the plywood like Steiner) who  - and with a name like that you can't be too surprised - built an army of gimp suited androids and kick out anyone who disagreed with him.

Yor's parents were among those yellow bellied cowards that ran away, preferring to take their chances with the papier mache dinosaurs on the mainland, which was a bad idea seeing as they were almost instantly eaten leaving our hero an orphan.

Before they died however they gave baby Yor a present, the big gold medallion he wears which in reality is a high tech recording device.

What for I don't know, why they never left him a note of how to work it.

Laughing (looking and possibly smelling) like an off season seaside town crossdresser on crack, Overlord announces that he has plans for Yor.....

"Juliet Bravo!"

Kalaa and Pag meanwhile are swapping niceties with the resistance movement who have told then much the same story, but adding the (fairly important) bit about Overlord planning to kill everyone else on the planet within the next hour or so.

They decide to attack Overlord's complex.

Whilst all this is going on. Overlord and his foxy assistant Ena (André) have strapped Yor to a dining table and started flashing really hot disco lights at him in an attempt to steal his DNA which, when mixed with Kalaa's will become the genetic building blocks for Overlords new android army.

Just as it appears that Yor can't possibly sweat any more the stinky tramps burst in and free our hero as a battle of epic proportions ensues.

Well I say epic.

"Are you looking at my bra?"

One particularly stinking tramp manages to reach Overlords control centre and de-active his leathery android hordes whilst Yor plants a bomb inside the bases nuclear reactor.

With only minutes to spare before detonation Yor stabs overlord with a huge barbers poll and hounds the heroic rebel band into a conveniently parked spaceship, escaping the island with seconds to spare as it explodes no doubt showering a still recovering planet and population in all manner of dangerous radiation.

As our merry band fly off to an uncertain future, spooky voice over guy tells us of how Yor will "use his new found knowledge of mankind's past to protect the future".

Which is nice.

"Yor the one that I want".

Originally made as a three hour SciFi epic for Italian Teevee, Antonio (I got to say I directed Andy Warhol's Dracula and Frankenstein but only for tax purposes) Margheriti’s fantasy classic is better known to fans of the fantastic in it's truncated movie form.

Luckily for connoisseurs of cinematic sewage even after losing almost two hours of it's original running time the films sheer awfulness shines thru'.

From it's ludicrous premise by way of the abysmal acting via trite dialogue, a distinct lack of a workable script and overall general shoddiness it's still top quality entertainment.

For proof look - and listen - no further  than Maurizio and Guido De Angelis's reused score - you may remember it from such blockbusters as 2019: After the Fall of New York, Raiders of Atlantis and Lightblast, the clever use of costumes left over from that other Corinne Clery SciFi masterwork The Humanoid - tho' it's more likely that she came free with the suits - plus not forgetting the star turn by the ultimate forgotten macho man that is Mr. Reb Brown.

Brown: Tight, athletic buttocks.

From his early work alongside soon to be Starbuck Dirk Benedict in the 1973 shocker Ssssss to his appearances as Captain America in two ill advised 1979 Teevee movies you can always count on Brown's frankly terrifyingly muscled arse to take your attentions away from any mistakes on screen.

And here he's ably (and amply) supported by Euro art/sleaze star Corinne Clery doing her best as the vacant eyed bubble permed heroine with the hots for Yor and Italian 'B' stalwart (and owner of the droopiest man breasts ever) Luciano Pigozzi (star of such top quality hits as Alien from the Deep and Double Target) who brings a Wilfrid Bramble like quality (and smell probably) to his role as cuddly uncle Pag.

Funnier than Margheriti's Cannibal Apocalypse - and with better special effects - plus a fluid style of its own that features nods to the 60's Batman series with it's high angle camera work, good old over choreographed 'slow fighting' Yor has an endearing kind of thrift shop feel that makes it a pain free enjoyable 90 minutes of cheesy entertainment if nothing else.

True it makes absolutely no sense at all but at least it's not too painful to watch.

Especially if like me you enjoy tight buttocks.

As a strange but true aside I'd just like to add that about eighteen years ago I came across a Dutch version of Yor in a local charity shop for a pound and eagerly snatched it up.

What can I say? I liked the cover illustration.

Rushing home to see how it held up dubbed I was surprised to find that someone had recorded over the last ten minutes with what looked like home video footage of a deserted public pool where a scantily clad, blindfolded woman sat strapped into a chair.

After viewing this strange (yet somewhat disturbing) scene for a few minutes a man appeared from stage left wearing nothing but a clown mask and holding a kitchen knife.

I'll be honest and say I didn't notice the knife to begin with because I was way to frightened by his massive, erect circumcised penis. 

I watch in horror (and mild jealousy) as he then proceeded to pinch the woman's nipples and play with her hair for a few minutes before moving slowly and menacingly toward her.

Then the screen cut to static.

I've always wondered if someone had accidentally recorded one of their home sex tapes at the end or if I'd stumbled across a scary snuff film, the killer desperate to recover the tape before his identity could be found.....

If you know (or are the person) that made this then feel free to get in touch.

Unless you are a mad mentalist murder obviously.

And if you are the mad murderer featured can I just point out that the VHS in question is now in the hands of Mr DissolvedPaul in Canada so hunt him down not me.


*Actually that whole joke only works if you say it out loud. Sorry.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

rainy wine house.

A week into the Corona lockdown here and the podlings are all knackered after constant tidying, lying in wait to pounce on unsuspecting shoppers and, ulp, 'educational activities'.

Whilst the twin terrors are quite happy amusing themselves making Nendoroid/Littlest Pet Shop snuff vids, Cassatron has decided that re-arranging the shelves would be a good idea and after an hour of sorting all the Joe D'Amato stuff by bush size he dragged this out from behind a pile of Shaw Brothers VCD's with a huge cheesy grin on his face.

Of course we had to watch it straight away.

It's a perfect lockdown movie, especially if you have kids as it's kinda like a virus ridden Thomas the Tank Engine but with tits.

Tho' no-one in this film has lips as kissable as Emily.

Emily: Really knows her stuff, allegedly.

Les Raisins de la mort (AKA Pesticide, The Grapes of Death, The Raisins of Death. 1978).
Dir: Jean Rollin.
Cast: Marie George Pascal, Felix Marten, Serge Marquand, Mirella Rancelot, Patrice Valota, Patricia Cartier, Brigitte Lahaie, Olivier Rollin and Noel Fielding.

Button nosed elfin-esque cutie Elizabeth (the late, great Pascal, previously seen as Carla in the fantastic I Am Frigid... Why?) is enjoying a well deserved rail holiday with her blonde haired buck toothed pal thru' the quaint French countryside before Brexit kicks in good and proper and they aren't allowed abroad anymore.

Taking in the scenery and giggling like a pair of schoolies, the couple are having a wonderful time until, that is, a strange French bloke (is there any other type?) with a half chewed caramel for a face bursts into their compartment and kills Elizabeth's plain friend.

Which is weird seeing as they've just won the World Football Cup or whatever it's called.

As a plus point it did mean that Cassidy didn't have to look at such a freakish woman for ninety minutes, I mean he's only 13 after all.

In an action sequence that would make Bond proud Elizabeth quickly jumps off the (slow moving) train and runs like buggery along the train tracks toward a small village she noticed a few miles back.

Will she be safe?

Well it wont spoil anything to say that upon arrival she finds herself surrounded by a whole community of chewed faced Frenchies brandishing pitchforks in one hand and bottles of cheap wine in the other so I guess the answer is no.

But thinking about it it would have made for a really short movie had she turned up, told the local copper and had Mr. Melty arrested, which is probably why my scripts end up unsold.

"Can you smell petrol?"

Deciding the best thing to do is hide till everyone in the village is too drunk to walk, Elizabeth dunks into a ramshackle cottage only to be accosted by another melted faced mentalist who, without even a hello (or a sleazy chat up line) tries to kill her.

So that's the secret of a Frenchman's success with women.

Running away (again - it's a good job she's a fit lass) Elizabeth ends up hiding out in a deserted hilltop ruin where she comes across a strangely attractive, ginger-haired blind girl (
the fluffily pillow breasted Rancelot, obviously auditioning for a part in a The Beyond tribute act) who, it turns out used to live in the village before all the crazy stuff started.

"Eye hen".

After swapping make up tips (as women do) the pair decided to head back to the village for a nosy about.

Which is when things start to get really freaky.

And I don't just mean the distinct lack of nudity - or the presence of an actual plot  - which are normally concepts quite alien to Jean Rollin.

Or the fact that seemingly out of the blue former porn star
Brigitte Lahaie turns up, all tight shirted and bouncy haired for the only reason than to crucify, then behead poor Rancelot leaving Elizabeth no choice but to - you guessed it - run away.


You see, it turns out that someone has been spraying an experimental pesticide on the grapes used to make the local wine, turning most of the French populace into scab faced, violent tempered loons.

Please note how I resisted adding a witty comment here.

Wandering around the barren hilltops looking for help, Elizabeth discovers the most disturbing thing all all regarding the infection when it appears that not everyone contaminated is affected in the same way. 

Yes there are those odd few that stumble around, arms outstretched as the lurch toward their victims but then there are others that are still able to think rationally about their condition, even going as far as feeling remorseful at what the infection is forcing them to do.

Elizabeth however has no time for touchy feely French types and just runs away screaming before they start crying on her.

Or try to run her thru' with a pitchfork obviously.

"Le cheap French Vino in mah mooth monsieur!"

Fearing accusations of being an anti-monster bigot, Elizabeth takes to also screaming at any uninfected folk that she meets too, which always seems to alert any passing madmen to their presence, meaning that these unfortunates usually end up on the wrong end of some pointy farm tool wielded by a dribbling sponge-faced foreigner.

Tho' luckily not the band.

After what seems like days of (non nude, non lesbian vampire filled) meanderings, she eventually meets up with a couple of high waisted, wellie wearing farmers who've amazingly managed to avoid the infection because, gulp, they hate the taste of wine, preferring beer instead.

Hmmm....they must be German.

But just as it seems Elizabeth’s luck is about to change and she's excitedly looking forward to a hot, dribbly sausage or two inside her, a bizarre series of coincidences and obvious plot twists happen, bringing her into contact with her (until now) unseen boyfriend.

Will he save not only the day but our oh so cute heroine too?

Look to all intents and purposes this is a zombie movie, so what do you think?

Fuck me! It's Noel Fielding!

No matter how threadbare or cheese ridden his movies are, you can't help but love Jean Rollin. 

He's like the curmudgeonly old uncle you only saw at Christmas, you know the one that always gave you Victorian Erotic postcards instead of birthday cards and, after he'd got you to admit how attractive you found the breasts on show would laughingly inform you that it's a picture of your Great Granny.

Second only to the incredible Zombie Lake,
Les Raisins de la Mort is Rollin at his most accessible and audience friendly, owing more than a nod to Jorge Grau's fantastic Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue and Romero's The Crazies rather than his Night of The Living Dead.

When it does feel the need to steal from Romero's classic however it uniquely does so in reverse, whereas Night's cast are trapped inside a farmhouse fighting for survival, Raisins Elizabeth is stranded on the windswept hilltops of rural France, the long lingering shots of Elizabeth alone and frightened make a startling counterpoint to the claustrophobic close-ups of the infected shuffling slowly from various dilapidated houses as the sun sets.

Some grapes (of death) earlier today.

Above all else tho', the film
is not only classic Rollin but classic Eurohorror to boot, pre-dating (and pissing on from a great height) modern virus based shockers like 28 Days Later by almost 30 years and finally proving that Rollin was capable of making a damn fine horror movie without having to resort to scantily clad, small chested lesbian vampires with dirty feet.

Tho' I'll be the first to admit, there is something warm and tingly about seeing them occasionally.

Especially if it's this pair:

Be seeing you.