Wednesday, July 10, 2024

new york stories.

The John Carpenter classic - and my favourite of his movies - Escape From New York was released 42 years ago today so what better way to celebrate than with not only a collection of classic Carpenter inspired cuts, Jack Burton beats and taxicab tunes (available to download here) but with a film that is a wee bit like it.

I mean it's set in New York and one of the alternate titles has the word 'escape' in it so what more do you want?

Look all the kids are off school/college so I've precious little time for anything let alone blogging coherently.

Anyway enjoy.

1990: The Bronx Warriors (AKA Escape From The Bronx, Bronx Warriors. 1982)
Dir: Enzo G. Castellari
Cast: Mark Gregory, Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson, Vic Morrow, Christopher 'Brian' Connelly, Stefania Girolami, George 'The Beast' Eastman and Ennio 'The Jackal' Girolami.

"It might be a pile of shit out of somebody's asshole!"



The year is 1990 (not too surprising given the title but hey I'm trying to set the scene) and the crime rate in the run down Bronx bit of New York has sky-rocketed to such a high that the government has declared the entire place a no go area.

A wee bit like Dudley or West Bromwich.
 
Just with a bit less of a gammony smell.
 
The police no longer enter it (phnarrr) and vicious - well, vicious compared to the Jets from West Side Story or Murphy's Mob - gangs roam the streets enforcing their own brand of law.

And yes it does involve buggery.

It's to this lawless hell-hole that vacuous, bubble permed Ann (Girolami, the directors daughter, better known for her 1st AD work on Dawson's Creek and her wonderful singing voice) has run away to in the hope of escaping from her family, owners of the world's biggest arms conglomerate and controllers of the nice bits of New York City, reckoning that upon taking control of the company she'll become a mere puppet for the mysterious suits on the board.

Suits being worn by bad people.

And not just suits idly scattered on chairs.

That would be silly. 

Thinking about it tho' it's a wee bit of a selfish reason, it's not as if she's run away for ethical or anti-violence reasons the self centred, spoiled cow.

Kids eh?


No need.



Anyway, it's not too long before our heroine is attacked by a frighteningly camp bunch of guys bedecked in white Nazi helmets and huge cardboard shoulder-pads, carrying hockey sticks and whizzing round the place on roller skates.

ladies and gentlemen I give you the evil cut throat street gang know as The Zombies!

No, really I'm giving them to you....fucking take them.

Luckily for the fugitive heiress (and for the viewer who by this point is probably giving themselves a hernia laughing) her capture (and almost certain inappropriate touching) is thwarted by a gang of nipple revealing, denim clad bike boys named (quite creatively) The Riders led by the lady hipped pouting pretty boy, Trash (motorcycle enthusiast and expertly trained Greco-Roman style wrestler last seen on-screen in the fantastically shite Afghanistan Connection: The Last War Bus, Gregory).

Seeing as she's the only woman in the Bronx with all her own teeth (and without syphilis) Trash takes an instant shine to Ann, inviting her back to his day-glo love nest so she can stare lustfully at his sweat covered man breasts and share a can of Coke.

Aah, ain't love grand?

Quilt.


Meanwhile back at the plot, the aforementioned evil (person filled) suits decide to send bastard freelance law enforcer and part-time postie, the pube haired hard man Hammer (professional angry man, the late great Morrow) to bring Ann back safely and kill lots of people whilst doing it.

Nice work if you can get it.

Disguised as Postman Pat and carrying a poster tube with a candle stuck to the end Hammer heads into the Bronx to meet his contact, a traitor from within Trash's ranks.

Whilst all this mail-based excitement is going on, Ann is busy teaching Trash the meaning of trust and friendship (as well as how to apply blusher correctly), suggesting that it might be nice if he made the effort to make some new friends and get out more, rather than spend all his days stuck indoors playing Nintendo and hanging about with barely dressed bad boys.

So this is who really started The Great Fire of Pontypandy.






Trash reluctantly agrees and picks up his Power Rangers football before heading out to find some new pals to have a kick about with.

No sooner has he put his jacket down to use as a goalpost when who should turn up but rival gang boss, professional black man and self style King of New York, Mr. Tony Ogre (Blaxploitation legend and tight buttocked sex god, Williamson).

After a few goes at keepy uppy and penalties the pair become firm friends and Ogre offers to help Trash get his true love to safety thru' the dangerous underbelly of The Bronx.

But Hammer is in hot pursuit and the cities other gangs, from subterranean mutant tramps to evil tap dancers, aren't as accommodating as The Ogre, especially when it comes to fresh peachy ass slinking thru' their turf....









Dragged kicking and screaming from the mind of exploitation master Enzo G. Castellari (The Inglorious Bastards, The House by the Edge of the Lake with the scrumptious Leonora Fani, Go Kill Everybody and Come Back Alone and the soon to be completed Caribbean Bastards), this superbly silly riff on Escape From New York is at once gloriously entertaining nonsense yet at the same time as slow and painful as passing a huge kidney stone.

The 'plot' (as it is) is thinner than Mackenzie Crook on a starvation diet, leaving characters to wander aimlessly from scene to scene whilst Vic Morrow, wearing the look of a constipated bulldog licking piss off John Nettles single handily keeps the viewer interested (and ups the body-count) by dispatching anyone he comes across.

Leonora Fani: Ask your granddad.



Unexplained radiation scarred mutants attack our heroes during their journey thru' the subway for no other reason than there were obviously some zombie outfits left in the stock room but the greatest WTF moment must be when Trash and co. are accosted by the (previously mentioned) gang of bejewelled and make-up caked killer tap dancers all dressed up like rejects from Mamma Mia! who break into a fantastically camply choreographed fight cum dance number.

I kid you not, it's worth the price just for this scene alone.

Well, that and the fact that D'Amato regular and my real dad, the great George Eastman turns up halfway thru' dressed as a character from a junior school stage version of Mortal Kombat for no other reason than to fight Fred Williamson.

Oh, and get the ladies pulses racing obviously.

But despite (or maybe because) of all that, the movie is an unmissable slice of gritty urban genius, years before such gang based dramas became the vogue.

 To those unable to appreciate the slow burning powerful anti-fascist/anti-globalisation message of the movie, 1990: The Bronx Warriors may look like a film with little or no merit but to those of us that can appreciate true celluloid art the film is as powerful and thought provoking as Schindler's List or that Disney one with John Hurt about the family that escape from East Germany in a home-made balloon

Friday, July 5, 2024

stryke it lucky.

Noticed that the pound shop Toad of Toad Hall, squashy-faced fan of classic Doctor Who and part-time hand model that is Nigel Farage has just been elected MP for Clacton and that the flag shagging, chop and change charisma black hole that is 30p Lee Anderson surprisingly managed to keep his seat in Ashfield.

The scariest thing tho' was at no point during the in-depth political conversation on election night was it mentioned that Lee and Nige actually have more in common that just lining their own pockets no matter what the cost to anyone else because you see they also scarily enough both have the same favourite film.

No seriously.

I once phoned in Farage's radio show to ask him about it.*






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 Kirsten about that.

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 not Rishi Sunak obviously.

Or immigrants.

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.



"Put it in me!"


 
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.


Not photoshopped.




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.




































































*And bizarre as it seems it was also Catherine Blaiklock's favourite film too.

You see it was actually her love of this movie that got her to team up with Farage to form the Brexit Party in the first place.











**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.

Friday, June 21, 2024

spazio oddity.

A few months ago when deciding what film to watch I came across what looked like a nth generation VHS copy of Alfonso (The Beast in Space, War of the Robots) Brescia's little seen Italian Sci-Fi masterpiece 'Battaglie Negli Spazi Stellari' (AKA War of The Planets) on Rai TV which bizarrely enough I can get thru' my media player thanks to being an Ubuntu kid.

Logo.


If you've never seen it (the film that is, not the channel) it's a lo-fi sci-fi blockbuster starring the fabulous John Richardson as the cream jump-suited womanly hipped Captain Alex Hamilton.

Hamilton is a kinda rougher (and considerably swarthier) penis nosed version of Jim Kirk, shouting at his computer, disagreeing with his superiors and leaving it till the last possible minute to save battery acid scarred crew members from certain death.

Unfortunately the picture quality is so washed out as to make it almost unwatchable so I only made it as far as Commander Armstrong (the wonderfully drunk Romeo Costantini) giving our hero a bollocking for refusing to investigate a scary alien signal that's interrupting Earth's entire communication network before having to switch off.

"Look it's probably just static or the gypsies" replies our hero to his superior, "Plus we're all a bit tired and want to come home for a holiday!"

Genius.



And why am I mentioning this dear reader?

No idea because we actually watched this instead last night....


Sette uomini d'oro nello spazio (AKA Captive Planet, Metallica (no, really), Space Odyssey, Star Odyssey. 1979).
Dir: Alfonso Brescia.
Star: Yanti (meow) Sommer, Gianni Garko, Malisa Longo, Cristea Avram, Ennio Balbo, Aldo Amoroso Pioso, Pino Ferrara, Roberto Dell'Acqua, Fred West's dad and Filippo Perrone.




"Man meets an alien race at last, 
and greets them by disintegrating our vessel"


Somewhere in the inky blackness of space on a mysterious planet, a gathering of powerful aliens, known locally as the Lords of the Galaxy is busily bidding on various planets and suchlike to buy their wives as novelty Crimbo pressies.



Pat Mountain's mum tries to remember which
one of her brothers is her childs father.

The biggest offer of the day is a very familiar small blue/green planet named Sol 3, a planet in which the spiky headed, lank haired Lord Kev Korda is very interested in.

You see, if his bid is successful (it's kinda like an intergalactic Ebay but with fewer overpriced original Star Wars toys) he plans to use the natives of this world as cheap labour throughout the galaxy.

Confident as he is of getting the winning bid he's already set up a number of  window cleaning businesses and off-licenses in readiness of his takeover.

Which is nice.

But just to make sure he's definitely gonna win, our pen faced pal is not above using his almost Derren Brown like mind powers (well, a torch in front of his eyes) to scare his main rival away from the bidding table.

100 million credits poorer (but a whole lotta planet richer) Kev boards his spaceship and relaxes with his battered vhs copy of Cosmos: War of the Planets as he travels to view his newly acquired prize.

Hang on, I'm mistaken, it's not actually some clever self referential nonsense regarding a character in one movie watching the directors earlier work, it's just  Brescia being cheap and using old footage save him shooting any new effects stuff.

Silly me.


"I wanted to be a tiger!"


Scanning his new toy to find out what he's actually purchased (yes, I know it's a wee bit like not looking at a new house till you've paid for it but who are we to judge these aliens?), Kev discovers that not only has the planet 'widespread traces of pollution due to chemical combustion and nuclear waste' but that most of humanity live either underground or in sea cities due to the surface being used for growing food and feeding livestock.

Yup, the Just Stop Oil mob have inherited the Earth.

And down at Earth's fantastically minimalist (or just cheap) space command centre, Admiral Steve (probably, the subtitles are atrocious), being understandably shocked by the huge spaceship approaching, launch a fantastic interceptor craft to say hello to the visitor.

But Lord Kev, being a 100% patent bastard, responds by blasting it out of the sky.


"Shite in mah big tin mooth ya bastard!"


Mightily pissed off by this frankly outrageous act of aggression humanity decides to throw everything they've got at Kev's ship but even the combined fire-power of the entire planet is useless against him and serves only to make Kev a wee bit annoyed.

Yikes.

There's only one thing for it, Kev unleashes a terrifying barrage of grainy, black and white stock footage of exploding buildings, erupting volcanoes, cats looking nervous and archive newsreel shots of the battle of Britain in order to convince the human race that he is, in fact 'the daddy'.

London is totally destroyed, as is most of Australia (no loss there then) and (bizarrely) the Okinawa stadium, leaving the Admiral no choice but to call upon the maverick (not to mention "independent, stubborn and undisciplined") scientist Professor Barry Morey, a forest dwelling genius whose "intelligence puts him about two centuries above anyone else" and whose collars would enable him to fly at least two hundred miles above them too.

Desperate doesn't even touch it.


Fuck me! it's Fred West's dad!


Anyway, Admiral Steve begrudgingly phones the Professor, polishing his ego by telling him that he's Earth's last hope and it's greatest ever scientist/lover/kazoo player etc. before asking him if he can suggest anything to stop the terror from space.

Seeing as Earth is so desperate as to ask a balding, piss stained hippy type for help it comes as a wee bit of a surprise to hear that the planets government and military have refused to give him any cash, support or even a shiny new commode for his troubles if he agrees to help.

I even watched this bit twice to see exactly how this magnificent piece of reverse psychology works but I'm fucked if I could figure it out if I'm honest, so I'll put it down to being an Italian thing.



"Sod saving humanity there be tasty
lady arse a-going spare!"


Luckily the Professors hearing is going, meaning he misses everything except the "you're great please help us" bit and decides to give it a go.

Analyzing the alien ship he quickly discovers that it's hull is constructed from a strange substance called iridium, which, it turns out is virtually indestructible.

As is the way in such movies, the Professor has the only other example of this rare metal locked in his garage, a keepsake from his research days when (and this is a scary coincidence so sit down now) him and his team of geeks were working on a way of breaking down iridium to its base molecular structure.

For what purpose I've no idea.



"Shymoo!" - Mickey Mouse's fetish parties were
always a big hit amongst his cartoon buddies.



Earths only hope is that the Professor can round up his old workmates (who all fucked off around the globe after the Professor was discredited for pissing himself in a funding review) and pick up the research where they left off.

If only he had access to a spaceship and daredevil pilot, it'd certainly be better (and more exciting) than catching the bus looking for his ex colleges.

Enter (OK if I must) the Professors beautifully bouncy - and scarily bouffanted - niece Irene (Sommer - in the city probably), whose boyfriend, Jeff, happens to be a hunky space pilot.

Even better is the fact that he spent the night at the house and his spaceship is parked outside!

But how can the kindly scientist convince him to help in his quest?

Would you believe that the Professor has the same spooky mind powers as Kev?!?

Within minutes Jeff is eating an onion as if it were an apple and flying off to round up this sci-fi A-Team whilst the Professor gets down to some serious 'work' in his lab.

First on the list is the roguish mercenary cum chemist (and first love of Irene...yes it really is that convoluted so i'd suggest that you begin taking notes, I know I did) Dirk Laramie (Dell'Acqua), who now spends his days fleecing alcoholics out of their dole money in seedy backstreet bars.

Yup, you guessed it, Dirk too has the very same scary mind powers as Barrie and Kev and has been using them to cheat at cards.

Obviously when the local council estate scum whose Giro's he's been taking find out about this they decide to administer a darn good kicking, which gives our man a chance to show off his sexy street fighting skills to impress his buxom ex, tho' if I'm honest Jeff seems much more impressed.


Sommer lovin': tell me more!

Meanwhile back in the main plot Lord Kev has unleashed an army of face stomping alien Nazi's across the planet to collect 'worker units' and, in a scene of ball aching badness, attack the planets sub-tropical continent, capturing 2000 'dark-skinned human units' to use as slaves.

Hmmm, see what they did there?

Whilst all this political musing is going on, Irene is off enjoying herself at a community centre boxing match where ex-scientist cum pugilist Bill Norman (The late, great Garko, looking for all the world like a pervier, gone to seed Sporticus from Lazy Town) is having a girly slapping match with the frighteningly realised warrior robot Hercules (some poor guy in a Mickey Mouse gimp suit).

Being surprisingly fit for someone so close to deaths door Norman beats the crap outta poor Hercules before donning a silk disco jacket and joining our merry band.

"Yesch...gobble my spurtsh
candy wee man!"



Deciding to bring a few friends along for the ride, Norman leads the gang to a deserted junkyard (the producers garden) where they meet up with a couple of dwarfs dressed in silver painted bins decorated with the contents of their mums kitchen drawers and topped off with Orville The Duck sex masks.

Norman, keen to justify why the films overworked - and underpaid - designers would foist such monstrosities on an already threadbare production is quick (maybe too quick if you ask me) to point out that not only do our plastic pals have a full range of human emotions but they're also fitted with some kinda energy conversion bollocks that allows them to phase out of real space so that laser fire passes right through them (a wee bit like chocolate does with me).

Oh, and I forgot to add that due to their emotional chip the pair are in love.


"Duck off".



Meanwhile, back at the space command centre, it appears that Kev's spaceship (despite being big enough to comfortably hold the entire population of Earth plus a shed load of stormtroopers) is actually impossible to track via radar, showing up only when it lands to grab some slaves.

Have they tried turning the monitors on?

No-one dares make this suggestion tho' for fear of interrupting Admiral Steve's Oscar worthy performance as he grimly reads the list of humans already captured by Kev as his stunned comrades look on in mild apathy.

Hiroshima (how's your luck?), Russia, the Arabs and rather oddly "those farmers in the United States of Africa" have all been captured, leaving only the good ol' US of A, half of Govan and the West Midlands left to battle against this thoroughly bad man.


Always believe in your soul.


Whilst all this shit - as you youngsters say - is going down, our heroes (in case you thought I'd forgotten about them) are heading towards the notorious 'Moonspace', a space age Alcatraz orbiting the moon (obviously) in order to break out two other members of the aged professor's science club, some middle-aged bloke named Sean and a sexily square faced lady going by the name of Bridget ('played' by the infamous - well, around here she is - Malisa Longo, AKA Malisa Lang, one of Italy's greatest and most moon headed, exploitation stars and one of the few reasons to sit thru' this film).


Malisa: moooooooooooooooonhead.



The pair are being held in a 'suspension ray machine' designed to keep them awake but unable to move (why? you may ask), giving the lone guard a great excuse to quietly perv over her prostrate form whilst rubbing his leather clad thighs.

Ah, so that's why.

Unable to control his sexual desires any longer the guard turns off her suspension machine and gazes lustfully as she emerges from within, stretching and cooing like your mum after a particularly hard bingo session whilst complaining about how long it's been since she had a real man (hang on, that's exactly like your mum the morning after bingo) before slinking up to him and giving him a big girly kiss.

With tongues and everything.

Well not everything but you get the gist.

Of course, this is all just a ruse so she can release all the prisoners and escape herself in the ensuing sexual confusion.

Freed from their frozen confines the thawed out felons vent their frustrations by instigating a bitch-slapping fest of epic proportions as perky prisoners and leathery guards alike slowly kick and punch each other before taking it in turns to roll around the floor gurning and dribbling.


Don't fret tho' because the break-out is eventually subdued before it gets too embarrassing and/or homo-erotic and everyone involved is given a slap on the wrist before being put back in their cells.

Luckily for us (and the plot), our merry band have been penciled in for a meeting with the prisons governor about releasing Sean and Bridget.

A pity then that he refuses to let them go free.

What a jobsworth bastard.

Remember tho', Dirk has those scary mind powers so it's only a matter of time before he's persuaded the guv to let them go (and convinced him that he's a dog) meaning that finally (thank fuck) that the science squad is fully assembled and that they can head on back to the Professor's house and prepare to kick some alien arse.

Which in Bridget's case involves getting trussed up in a skin tight leather dominatrix outfit



Will our heroes defeat the evil Kev?

Will there be anyone left on Earth to save?

Will our robot pals ever consummate their relationship?

And, most importantly, will Kev be able to sell on Earth at the next space auction?






Alfonso Brescia's space epic with it's powerful social message regarding Colonialism and the ethno-centric belief that the morals and values of the colonising power are superior to those of the peoples being colonised is a little seen gem of the Italian Sci-fi genre.

 
Forget 2001, Interstellar or even the latest season of Doctor Who because if it's high concept/budget busting intergalactic adventure you're after then this is the movie for you.

If you don't mind having to piece the plot together yourself tho' seeing as every single fucking version of this film seems to have the reels in the wrong order.

Seriously, characters appear and the plot starts to move on only to jump back to introductory scenes and bits of action and dialogue from earlier in the film.

Luckily it has a very serious social commentary for the more intelligent viewer.

So it's unfortunate then that it's buried alive beneath a slurry pile of skid row acting, cheap robot suits, borrowed effects and scratchy old stock footage of second world war battles.

Was this a clever way of comparing Lord Kev's jackbooted minions to the Nazi Stormtroopers of yesteryear or just a lack of anything remotely resembling a budget?

You decide.

Tho' if you need a clue it's the latter by the way.

If, like me tho' you get bored with trying to justify a love of shite cinema by over intellectualizing every single thing about it then there's always the sight of Malisa Longo dressed up like a particularly saucy turkey as well as the Amazonian delights of Yanti Sommer's cleavage to keep you occupied.

And just in case you think I'm being sexist then don't forget that all you female viewers can gaze lustfully at the professors yellowing bald pate and wibbly wobbly manbreasts.

For everyone else there's a pulse pounding fart-tastic synth score and the chance to see some once great (OK, once so-so) actors such as Gianni Garko and Chris Avram, reduced to playing second fiddle to a couple of dwarfs in dustbins.

And be honest now, what more could you want from an evenings entertainment?











Monday, June 17, 2024

cliffhanger!

 

HARRIET: He has hidden in the howling void. He has hidden within the tempest.
 
KATE: What?
 
HARRIET: He has braved the storm and the darkness and the pain. And he whispered to the vessel.
 
MORRIS: Who has? What do you mean?
 
HARRIET: All this time, he whispered and delighted and seduced, and the vessel did obey, for none should be more mighty and none should be more wise than the King himself.
 
KATE: Harriet, what are you doing?
 
HARRIET: And the Lord of Time was blind and vain, and knew nothing. There is the Toymaker, the god of games. There is Trickster, the god of traps. There is Maestro, the god of music. There is Reprobate, the god of spite.
 
DOCTOR: No, no, no!
 
HARRIET: There is the Mara, the god of beasts.
 
KATE: Whatever it is, here it comes.
 
HARRIET: For the god of all gods has returned, and his names are many...
 
RUBY: What is it?!
 
[THE WORDS REARRANGE THEMSELVES ON THE SCREEN]
 
YARDLEY TECHNOLOGY
YARD TECH
YAR TECH
 
THE DOCTOR: It's the wrong anagram...
 

 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

mental maggots.

Awoke this morning to the news that The Pope of Pop Cinema himself, Lord Roger of Corman had died so in way of a tribute I thought I'd revisit this classic.

Because he produced it obviously not just for shits and giggles.




Galaxy of Terror (AKA Mindwarp: An Infinity of Terrors, Planet of Horrors. 1981)
Dir: Bruce D. Clark.
Cast: Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Taaffe O'Connell, Robert Englund, Ray Walston, Bernard Behrens, Zalman King, Grace Zabriskie and Sid Haig.

"I live and die by the crystals".


Across the vastness of deep space lies the desolate, storm-lashed (and somewhat soundstage like) planet Morganthus, where the sole survivor of an off screen (and therefore cheap) spaceship crash is fighting a losing battle against an unseen (and therefore very cheap) alien force.

As well as battling the worst home haircut this side of Dario Argento.

And I know which is scarier.

No surprises when I tell you that it's the haircut that wins.

Back at space headquarters (alright then, the portacabin round the back of the studios that Roger Corman uses to store his porn) the jolly crew of the good ship Quest are ordered to mount a rescue mission at the behest of the mysterious 'Planet Master', a strange old man in a second hand suit with a red lightbulb for a head who appears to spend his day playing a table-top version of Pong.

Welcome to the future, eighties style.

Leading the mission is the Planet Master's bezzie mate, the piss-stained and gin soaked soon to be retired Bobby Ilvar (Behrens, the voice of Obi Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars radio series) who, alongside his mismatched team that includes bewigged mentalist Captain Trantor (Twin Peaks hottie Zabriskie), the scarred lone survivor of a previous secret mission; the Tom Selleck alike Cabren (Albert from Power Rangers: Time Force) and the bottle rocket, wooden legged second-in-command Billy Baelon (soft core porn master and former Jesus, King), are charged with locating any survivors as well as looking for some vague and secret stuff whilst they're at it.

I tried not to think too much about the plot seeing as no-one involved seemed to be bothered.

"I can see your house from here Peter".


Also aboard is Cabren's ex squeeze, the harsh-faced psi-sensitive (whatever that means) Alluma (Happy Days' Joanie Cunningham, Moran, who's frankly seen better days - and much better gear before now), chief cook and bottle washer Melvin Kore (My Favourite Martian Walston), and the pube bearded, mightily manbreasted hardman Hilary Quuhod (genre stalwart Haig) - master of the deadly Perspex boomerangs.

There are a few other folk aboard too but frankly it'd be easier all round if you just imagine a couple of pieces of hardboard decked out in sub standard bri-nylon (and nipple revealing) Battlestar Galactica uniforms.

Oh, and Freddy Krueger in an Abraham Lincoln beard.

Engaging warp drive (which is just off Stella Street) The Quest soon arrives at it's destination and the crew begin their search for any survivors.

And the ships supply of chocolate biscuits.

And quite possibly any evidence of an original idea.

Unfortunately they find nothing but a load of leftover sets from Battle Beyond The Stars strewn with litter and a few shop window dummies smeared with jam and hanging from the roof.

Baelon, angered by such a waste of yummy toast topping goodness decides to set fire to everything around him whilst the rest of the crew (including the jittery Johnny Deadsoon) split up and have a wee scout around.

But obviously not in a John Wayne Gacy way.

Tho' that would probably make the whole thing that wee bit more entertaining.

Bored with burning stuff and annoyed by Alluma's constant whining about 'dark energies' Baelon orders everyone back to The Quest for tea and toast, a decision that cheers everyone up except poor Deadsoon, who has to stay behind to find his hat that he's dropped.

Suffice to say that within seconds of the others leaving he's killed by what looks like a big rubber testicle that jumps on his back and squeezes his head till it pops.

"And when I'm anally violated I pull THIS face!"


Realizing one of their number is missing the crew head back across the studio rubbish tip (sorry, alien landscape) to look for him, giving the frighteningly pneumatic Dameia (O'Connell from Caged Fury) an excuse to tell everyone how much she hates maggots and how she'd be loathed to have one swim up her (ample) arse.

Reader take note, this may be important later.

Back on board The Quest everyone sits down for a quick Pot Noodle whilst Dameia and general dogsbody Powell Ranger (Englund with shit facial hair and some ginger pubes glued to his head) perform a fairly shoddy autopsy on their fallen comrade and the body of some bloke they found in a cupboard.

Their findings?

Both men were killed by terror.

A probable galaxy full of it.
A Galaxy (minus the terror) yesterday.


After pudding and a glass of milk our motley band decide to have a better look around the planet, starting with a huge pyramid-like structure they singularly failed to notice earlier (well it was a wee bit foggy) and Ilvar feeling a bit left out splits everyone (with the exception of Trantor who's frankly barking and chef who's busy cooking brine for supper) into two teams.

Their mission: discover stuff.

To make it more exciting Ilvar offers first group to reach the summit the chance of winning a teddy bear.

Buffeted by the harsh winds and spooked by the scary synth sounds Ilvar, Dameia and Cabren are first to clamber up the structure (the others have stopped for a picnic at the bottom), discovering a series of slightly sexual looking holes jutting from the pyramids sides, poor Ilvar, stuck between a moustachioed stud and a strip queen, decides to exert his manliness by abseiling down one of these mysterious openings for a quick poke around.

Unfortunately it's him that gets a poking from a gaggle of rubbery (why thank you!) blood sucking tentacles.

"Laugh now!"

Shrugging their shoulders in a fairly apathetic manner before moving on, Dameia and Cabren have soon met up with a still angry Baelon, a still whiny Alluma and always manboobed Quuhod at the pyramids summit where they find a set of giant plasticine doors that lead deep into the structures bowels.

Leaving Quuhod on guard at the entrance (frankly the stench of all that testosterone and sour man milk must be getting to them by now) the rest of the gang head down toward their destiny.

Which in Erin Moran's case is a lifetime of appearances at a number of supermarket openings, conventions and rehab centres.

Your mums cum face. Trust me, I know.


Back aboard the Quest, Ranger is having a severe case of the sweats and Kore skulks around the kitchen in a mysterious manner whilst Captain Trantor sits in the ships gun turret, dribbling down her jumper and playing space invaders whilst swearing like a pikey on heat.

No change there then.

Bored shitless to a point where he's cleaning his nails with the sacred boomerangs, Quuhod is surprised by a scary "BOO!" noise behind him, causing the poor sod to accidentally chop off his arm.

If that wasn't enough the severed arm takes on a life of its own and proceeds to stab it's previous owner to death with his own weapon.

Which is nice.

Hearing the commotion and upset that her breasts are too large to enable her to squeeze any further into the pyramid, Dameia rushes to Quuhod's aid only to stumble over his by now maggot riddle corpse lying in a pool of blood and piss.

Hang on, did someone say maggots?

"Put it in me!"


As Dameia tiptoes around her dead comrades corpse she (remarkably) fails to notice that one of the maggots has started growing to giant size behind her, only realizing that something's wrong when the beast flops down on top of her like a big inflatable penis and begins to tear her clothes off whilst thrusting and grunting the way that normal maggots don't.

What your girlfriend was up to on
that girls night out last week.


Vainly trying to escape by wriggling her slimy arse and rubbing her gloop covered breasts, Dameia is soon overpowered by the horny horror, breathing her last as the beast pumps her full of it's manky maggot muck.

At this point I have to say that as a twelve year old I was under the impression that this was quite possibly the greatest scene ever committed to celluloid but as I got older and more aware of political correctness and the evils of sexism I began to realize that this wasn't the case.

It's far too short for one thing.

And it's way too dark.

(stringy) shite in mah mooth!


This sex based slaying is only the beginning of the horror tho', as within minutes Trantor has accidentally set fire to her face, the cook has gone AWOL, bow-legged Baelon has been bummed by the bin men and poor old Alluma has been squeezed to death by some rampant, slime covered Hoover attachments leaving a by now shot to fuck Ranger and a fairly concerned Cabren the only survivors.

As the perky pair approach the pyramids inner sanctum, they begin to realize that their might be more to the mysterious planet Morganthus than meets the eye and leaves them wondering....

Where the fuck is the chef?


From the minds of writer/director Bruce Clark, little known designer James Cameron and the genius that was Roger Corman, Galaxy Of Terror maybe a cheap and nasty knock off with more aliases than a serial adulterer and be more likely to give you crabs than a sleepless night but it's still capable of entertaining you along the way.

Just like your mum in fact.

You can imagine the whole thing being greenlit on the strength of the poster alone and when Clark turned round to Corman and said "Then this huge maggot shags a naked bird to death" you just know it was a done deal.

But then any movie that features aliens, sex, gore and a former member of the Happy Days cast being squeezed to death by household appliances painted green should automatically be pushed thru' for immediate production, imagine how much better the world would be if this were the case.

As an added bonus it's great to sit back and enjoy self proclaimed "King of The World" James Cameron doing what he does best, that is operating a giant rape maggot as opposed to forcing badly plotted overlong remakes of Ferngully on us.

The scenes final moments when the huge quivering beast grunts and thrust one final time over O'Connell's prone form is at once incredibly arousing and mildly disturbing, you can imagine Cameron, teeth gritted and with a semi in his shorts sweating and cursing as he becomes one with the monster costume, imagining himself fucking every last dollar out of the worldwide cinema audience.

Or is that just me?

O'Connell: you would.


As you can probably tell, I secretly love Galaxy Of Terror in the same way as you always have a soft spot for that plump, middle aged housewife you got in touch with via those sleazy 'contact' magazines you purchased as a bet when you were fourteen.

You remember, the one from Edgebaston that made you a man then gave you tea,d biscuits and a cuddle whilst telling you about her disabled husband?

Galaxy Of Terror, scarier than your dad, sleazier than your little sister and a damn sight more fun drunk than both of them.

You need this.

And the cult movie genre needs more guys like Roger Corman.







Saturday, April 27, 2024

fog on the rhine.

Just discovered that 'director' Leigh Scott - the man behind such top quality fare as Transmorphers, Flu Bird Horror and The 9/11 Commission Report has made a horror version of The Little Mermaid starring hunky, spunky Mike Markoff  as a dreamy archaeologist named Eric Prince (see what they did there?) and ginger princess Lydia Helen as the evil mermaid Aurora Bey.

Which is nice.

 

"Chase me now!"

Tis a pity then that no-one told them that they were beaten to the mark 50 years ago by Blind Dead creator Amando de Ossorio with his classic take on the legend of Lorelei, the frankly fantastic....

 

 

Las garras de Lorelei (AKA L'abbraccio mortale di Lorele, The Loreley's Grasp, The Night the Screaming Stopped. 1974). 

Dir: Amando de Ossorio.
 

Cast: Tony Kendall, Helga Liné, Silvia Tortosa, Ángel Menéndez, Josefina Jartin, Loreta Tovar, José Thelman, Luis Induni, Betsabé Ruiz and Francisco Nieto.

“Send her back into the legendary night from which she has come.”



Welcome to the small town of Cleftplate nestling on the banks of the river Rhine, a town where nylon action slacks and porn mustaches rule supreme and where a green-gilled beast is doing it's best to eat thru' the entire neighbourhood in it's search for fresh hearts, somewhat destroying the fairly easy going nature of the movie with scenes of pretty violent - and somewhat unnecessary - breast tearing.

Which to be honest gives it the edge over Emmerdale.

But not The Archers obviously.

Every night dozens of angry, polyester-clad villagers gather at the local pub to debate who or what is terrorizing the town.

Luckily there's an expert in their midst, the local doctor, one Terry Von Lander (Der Todesrächer von Soho star Menéndez) and according to him the town is being stalked by a mythical beast.

Sounds plausible.

The Cleftplate men's club annual game of spin the bottle was always popular with the Colonel.


It transpires (I love that word it's second only to ottoman) that many years ago a beautiful lady, named Lorelei who spurned by her lover after he tricked her into a bout of the bum sex, tossed herself off the cliffs and into the murky waters of the Rhine.

As you would.

Well ever since then it is said that she returns every number of years (he's not that specific) in order to feast on human flesh for some convoluted reason.

I must have missed that bit.

Anyway fearing for the safety of the pupils at the local all girls boarding school, the sternly saucy headmistress Elke Ackerman (top tottie Tortosa from Horror Express) hires local he-man and open shirted sex god Sigurd (Italy's very own John Barrowman, Kendall, most famous for his role as PI Jo Louis Walker in the Kommissar X movies) to patrol the grounds in the hope of keeping the pupils safe.

Frankly if I had to choose between a fishy monster or Sigurd's obscenely large bulge I know which I'd probably need more protection from, it's almost as if he has a babies arm down there.

A baby bodybuilders arm.

A baby bodybuilders arm holding an apple.

A really, really big apple.

With one huge weeping eye.

Arriving the following day astride a huge motorbike, Sigurd and his trousers cause quite a stir (and a hell of a lot of dampness) amongst the students as well as a feeling of complete loathing from Elke.

I doth think she protests too much but let's wait and see.

You would, he would, your mum did. Twice.


Patrolling the grounds every night with his massive weapon cocked and ready to fire, our he-man hero alleviates the boredom by leering and winking at the girls whilst they get ready for bed.

And being dolly burds they fahkin' love it.

Obviously.

Unfortunately (or fortunately if you prefer stalking barely legal girls to killing monsters) the beast appears to be more interested in killing the townsfolk.

Which, if I'm honest doesn't seem to bother anyone until the creature murders the local homeless musician cum rent boy Tobias that is.

With no-one left to cuddle up to on those cold winters nights when their wives have locked them out, a mob of the towns most mustachioed men march on the mayor's cottage and demand action.

Back at the school shifty Sigurd is having some trouble of his own after being caught masturbating in the pupil's private pool.

Ms. Elke, still not swayed by his manliness, sends our hero off into the countryside for a swim in a nearby lake in the vain hope of cooling his ardor.

"Ere! Can you smell Mackerel?"

Wandering around like a lost child (albeit a lost child with a massive hard-on), Sigurd comes across (I'm not even going to type it) a ravishing redhead in a green fringed bikini lounging nonchalantly on a rock trying her best not to appear too cold.

Having not seen a female for nearly fifteen minutes Sigurd gives chase but the mysterious woman gracefully glides thru' the rocks, her ample arse gently bouncing hypnotically as she goes before disappearing from sight. 

Bewitched by this ginger siren Sigurd begins to hang around the lake on a daily basis in the hope of seeing her again and luckily (with the movie only being ninety odd minutes) this happens fairly quickly.

But not as quickly as Sigurd's smooth moves seeing as within minutes he manages to get his mysterious Ms. into a saucy clinch on a dirty mattress in a broken down fisherman’s hut.

The romantic devil.

Unfortunately (for him and us tho' I reckon the lady had a narrow escape) just at the point of entry a big bearded man appears and reprimands Sigurd for keeping Lorelei out for so long.

But wait, isn't Lorelei the name of the flesh-feasting beast?

Sigurd thinks for a moment before remembering that one Lorelei is a big green monster whilst the other is a curvaceous sex kitten played by Berlin born Liné, from the equally fantastic La orgía nocturna de los vampiros.

Without another word beardy scoops her up into his muscled, well oiled arms and proceeds to walk straight into the lake.

Sigurd is intrigued to say the least.

"Hey Senorita! How'd you fancy coming in the back o' me car and letting me shite in your mooth?"

Dazed, confused and still aroused Sigurd is wandering aimlessly thru the woods when he discovers a shifty Von Lander skulking in the bushes during what appears to be an impromptu dogging session.

The doctor, however, obviously horrified at the thought of being outed as a sex fiend begins to confuse Sigurd with his utter bollocks theories.

You know the type of thing; much mention of the moons rays, waffle regarding photo-chemical stuff and theories on the molecular structure of things.

And to prove all these theories and how on earth they relate to the monster he invites Sigurd back to his Victorian style knocking shop cum laboratory where he makes a severed human hand grow green and scaly.

He's even created a radioactive steak knife in case he gets close enough to stab the creature.

Or for if he ever has a radioactive steak obviously.

Sigurd is impressed.

Unfortunately before a town meeting can be called Von Lander is violently murdered (is there any other kind?) by Lorelei and his lab burnt to the ground.

Every cloud has a silver lining however (except mushroom clouds, their linings are Strontium 90 based) as this only increases Sigurd's acceptance of the idea that his new squeeze Lorelei could in fact be the same Lorelei that's killing everyone.

Thinking the whole situation over for several seconds he decides that even tho' she can be a wee bit grumpy, Elke is probably better sex material and so heads off to the beach wearing his tiniest shorts and carrying a big bomb.

Ickle finn leg not shown.



Persuading a local fisherman to take him out onto the lake, our horny hero plunges into the waters just below the infamous rocks from where Lorelei originally jumped and soon discovers an ancient underwater cavern festooned with jewels, gold and bikini clad ladies.

Which is nice.

But for once Sigurd is not to be distracted by such things, he's here on a mission, not only to blow the place to Govan and back but to also inform Lorelei that he's breaking up with her due in part to her habit of eating people but mainly cos she stinks of herring.

What a guy.

Jeremy Beadle: The Revenge.



After a few minutes of inconsequential dialogue and slow fighting Sigurd manages to fight off the bikini girls advances and set the charges before swimming to safety and leaving poor Lorelei to die under a collapsing hill.

Or did she?

Back on the mainland Elke is enjoying a midnight walk around the grounds when she hears a rustling in the bushes followed by the faint aroma of fish...

Lorelei is alive and well and out for revenge on Sigurd's 'other woman', jumping out from behind a tree and indulging in a spot of girl on fish wrestling.

Which frankly isn't as exciting as it sounds.

Luckily Sigurd arrives in the nick of time and plunges his radioactive blade into Lorlelei who then, not too surprisingly dies as the lovers gaze into each others eyes.

Aww, how sweet.

Yup, someone was paid for designing this.




Not only taking liberties with the Lorelei myth but kinda taking the piss a wee bit too, Blind Dead creator Amando de Ossorio takes the traditional tale of a beautiful siren who lures sailors to their deaths by enticing them into the rocky cliffs of the River Rhine and crafts it into one of the most terrifying monster movies ever made.

By that I mean one of the most terrifying monster movies ever made by someone named deOssorio and titled Las garras de Lorelei obviously.

Glad that's out of the way.

The real Lorelei yesterday. Well a dramatic (and incredibly hot) statue of her anyway. Here's hoping it's wipe clean.


Although never hitting the heights of The Blind Dead, Las garras de Loreleiis a near perfect blend of tight storytelling, great locations, seventies breasted woman, shoddy (and sometimes overtly misogynistic, unfortunately) gore and frankly bonkers characterization all mixed in with some fantastic Carry On style sauciness and topped off with a career best performance from Tony Kendall's trousers.


A must see for any self respecting fan of fish-based romantic horror or just those who enjoy staring at a (very) well endowed man for an hour and a half.

Perfection.