Thursday, February 14, 2019

loveless.


 "Chief, listen to me. You have to go to the mine! We were having a party and Harry Warden started killing everybody!"


Happy Valentines Day everyone!

My Bloody Valentine (1981).
Dir: George Mihalka.
Cast: Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, Neil Affleck, Keith Knight, Larry Reynolds, Patricia Hamilton, Alf Humphreys, Cynthia Dale, Helene Udy, Rob Stein, Tom Kovacs, Don Francks and Peter Cowper.

My Bloody Valentine - fucking awful Photoshop.






It's February the 14th, 1960 and the small mining town of Valentine Bluffs (twinned with the village of Spent fact fans)  is having its annual (obviously) Valentine's Day dance; a tradition that the townsfolk have followed for the past century.

Hopefully they wash their pants in between tho'.

But whilst the assorted townsfolk are happiily frugging away to hit pop tunes and tanking the local home brew, five poor miners are stuck digging away at the coalface having drawn the short straw and being forced to miss the party.

Well those secret Lemonade mines aren't going to dig themselves.

Their shifty supervisors tho', feeling particularly frisky and feeling slightly foolish decked out in dinner jackets whilst in a coal mine, decide to sneak away to join the celebrations leaving their colleges underground.

I mean it's not like anything could go wrong is it?

Well, nothing except a huge explosion caused by a build up of methane gas - see? who says films aren't educational? - leaving the five miners buried alive.

And more importantly, late for their dates.

After hours of digging (thru' rock, not the 1960's fashions) the towns rescue workers finally reach the trapped men.

Unfortunately all except Harry Warden (the films stunt coordinator Cowper) are dead.

And poor old Harry has gone a wee bit mental because of the ordeal, so the local townsfolk cart him off to the Shady Nook rest home for a while.

You can see why tho', you really don't want some dirt covered, piss stained fella crying about his dead buddies when you're trying to get into the vicars daughters undies do you?


Up the casino. Yesch.


Anyway after spending a year sitting in a pair of toweling pajamas and staring into space whilst dribbling, Harry is deemed fit for release and is sent home on the eve of the accident that sent him mental in the first place.

Which is nice of the doctors to take this into consideration when thinking about discharging him.

It should come as no surprise then to find out that the first thing he does on arrival is butcher the two supervisors who left their post early to go dancing and leave a chilling warning for the townsfolk that if they even think about having another Valentine's Day dance, he'll return once again to take bloody revenge on the town.

Which is a little extreme don't you think?

Jump forward to 1980 and, whilst the mine is still the town's main place of employment, there hasn't been a single dance or party held in town since that terrible night in 1960.

Until now that is.

You see, lovely old lady Mabel Osborne (Hamilton, star of The Fenn Street Gang and Upstairs, Downstairs - no, really) has decided that the town needs something to look forward and to forget about the mine disaster and wacky Warden.

To this end she spends her every waking hour decorating the town with Valentine's Day decorations whilst the younger residents begin to get all excited at the prospect of a night of dancing, drinking and shagging in bushes.

Bless.

As Valentine's Day draws ever nearer the town's Mayor, Jeff Hanniger (Reynolds, better known as Judge Burton from the hit teevee show Street Legal) wakes to find a fresh human heart wrapped in a lovely Valentine's Day packaging has been popped thru' his letter box.

Which at least shows that the town has a damn good postal service, I mean I'm still waiting on a box of blank DVD's after three weeks.

Attached to the box is a warning to expect a few more killings if the town decides to go ahead and celebrate.


Heart in mah box!



If this wasn't enough of a warning the mysterious messenger has murdered poor Mabel as well, just to show he means business.

Hanniger calls off the dance, getting local police chief Jake Newby (Francks, the voice of Sabretooth in the X-Men vs. Street Fighter video game no less) to tell everyone that Mabel fell down the stairs and that it's being cancelled as a sign of respect.

But the hotheaded - yet deep and caring - miner (and son of the town's mayor) Jessie 'TJ' Hanniger (Ryan O'Neill alike, bollock squashing jeans wearing Kelman), who has recently returned home after failing to make it as an exotic dancer in the big city and is desperate for a drink as well as gagging for some of the sex with his ex-girlfriend Sarah (blond, sensible underwired bra wearing teevee stalwart Hallier) decides to throw his own special Valentine's party down in the mine itself.

You can tell that beneath his rough exterior that he's a nice guy tho' because along with Sarah and all the other hip young miners he's also invited Sarah's current beau, the uber-cool Axel (Affleck, better known these days as an animation timer on The Simpsons but not as Batman obviously).

Well, it's either that or he fancies a Sarah Spit roast.


All set for a wee bit o' mooth shite-in.




But can you guess who's already down the mine waiting for the young uns to turn up?

Yup it's horrid Harry Warden, all decked up in Kwik Fit garage overalls and a handy gas mask ready to slice n' dice his way thru' anyone who even remotely looks like they may start jiving or cutting a rug as the young folk say.

Unfortunately a couple of the miners and their girlfriends have decided to start the party early and head down into the mine for a little tour (and some kissing and stuff), giving Harry a head start to his killing spree and the chance to stick something unexpected into the ladies.

When Jessie and co. finally arrive to discover a pile of corpses they begin to realize that Warden is indeed back for vengeance.

Trapped in the mine with only a six pack of Bud and the homicidal Harry chasing them with a rusty pick axe, the remaining party goers must try and escape before they too end up having a very bloody Valentine....


"Are you my Mummy?"




George Mihalka's My Bloody Valentine is probably more famous for what it was missing rather than what appeared on screen, as nervous Paramount execs decided to gut the film of any and every gore scene before it's release way back in 1981.

They scarily left all the 70s style trousers in tho'.

Despite this the movie still stands up as a competent (if slightly pedestrian) little shocker with an interestingly dressed villain and slightly more rounded than usual characters, taking an essentially cheesy premise yet playing it totally straight.



Chin.




Luckily back in 2009 some smart Alec decided to remake My Bloody Valentine as a high concept 3-D shocker (the rights must have been cheap) so, suddenly all that missing footage turned up and was quickly re-instated allowing for the directors original vision to finally be seen as intended.

Or to make a few extra bob of those punters too young to remember the original.

Take your pick.

Either way it made one helluva difference to the film, adding an extra dimension to the manic miners reign of bloody terror, the scratchy footage (it's been stuck in the directors loft for 28 years so what do you expect?) gave a much missed air of evil nastiness to Wardens revenge, making you wonder why this gas masked gimp was never taken to the audiences hearts as so many other slasher stars of the era were.

He's got something to put in you.




Competently acted, nicely shot and directed with a steady, workman-like hand (obviously the rest of George's body was OK too), My Bloody Valentine deserved a wider appeal than it ever got on release.

Plus the band are no bad too..

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

mickey love.

88 Films are releasing this on shiny Bluray soon (alongside this).

Do you think my hasty review will get me a free copy?*

Cannibal Terror (1981).
Dir: Alain Deruelle.
Cast: Silvia Solar, Gérard Lemaire, Pamela Stanford, Olivier Mathot, Antoine Fontaine, Antonio Mayans, Mariam Camacho, Antonio Jover, Amparo Marsilla, Montserrat Salvador, Sabrina Siani, Bernard Thébault, Chris Yebenes, Alain Deruelle and le petite Annabelle (no, really).






As a (moldy) cheesy listening cover version cum tuneless abomination of La Bamba plays loudly in the background we're introduced to our brilliantly portrayed and well written cast of characters** whose lives we'll be following for the next 90 odd minutes - human rodent Roberto (Tony Fontaine), greasy mopped Mario (Antonio Oasis of the Zombies Mayans ) and the scarily pneumatic Belinda (Mariam Camacho....bless you), a trio of shady crims running scams in some unnamed South American dive (played here by an off season Alicante).

Unfortunately they are all utter shite at being criminals as we see during the films opening when the bashful boys are seen attempting to rob a boat only to be foiled when Mario gets confused as to how to open a door.

Oh.

My.

Sides.

Their luck is about to change tho' because as Belinda is out shopping she happens across a wee girl named Florence Dauville (listed as - I kid you not -  le petite Annabelle in the credits) playing with a gaudy doll outside the beauty salon where her mum (Silvia Solar) is getting her nails done.

Tho' I'm surprised she's ignoring the mustache she has.

Or is that just shit on her top lip?

Anyway turns out that the little lass is actually the heiress of  the Dauville automobile fortune, so as anyone in that position would do, Belinda decides it'd be a good idea to kidnap her.


Your auntie at Christmas....you know which one.



Surprisingly this goes without a hitch and the girl is quickly snatched as the parents enjoy a nice tapas meal only going to pot when Mario's pal Ricardo (no idea who plays him, sorry) decides to visit them and gets run over by a drunk driver.

In no time at all (it is a short movie), the whole place is chocablock with the police and both Ricardo and the tipsy driver have been arrested.

I can see why the driver was but unless wearing your dad's golfing trousers out on a Friday night is a crime I'd have thought it'd be better to take Ricardo to hospital myself but heyho.

Convinced that Ricardo may mention the kidnapping to the police (even tho' he knows fuck all about it) Roberto calls his mafia boss-like buddy, Pepe (who is neither a skunk or owner of a 70s/80s jeans company) in order to get safe passage out of the country.

Pepe, being well connected arranges a flight to the border so they can meet up with famed tracker Mickey Morris (played by a chipmunk with a crap perm), who guide them around the checkpoint whilst keeping the guards busy by flashing her ample cleavage and smooth, milky white thighs before taking them up the safe house owned by the high waisted Antonio (playing himself probably) and his (much) younger wife Manuela (Pamela Stanford from your dads bed).

The only thing our intrepid group have to worry about is not to stray too far off the path as they may end up in cannibal territory.

Sounds legit.


Harsh.


Everything goes swimmingly (even Mickey's thigh tease is actually fairly arousing but then again I am ill) until that is the Jeep's radiator runs out of water or something (I don't know I'm not a driver) and Mickey has to go to the nearby stream to get a refill.

No sooner is she out of sight tho' (which must be quite far as her arse is massive) than the cannibals turn up and eat her whole.

Wait for it.....

Which is surprising seeing as I'd heard that they spit that bit out.

Thank you.

Hearing Mickey's screams as she's attacked the trio do what we all would in that situation and drive off in the Jeep which without warning is suddenly working again.

Quickly arriving at Antonio's house the group try to explain away Mickey's absence by saying she had her woman's period and after much 'oohing' and 'aaahing' Antonio relents and invites them in for tea.

But the only thing Mario wants into is Manuela's lacy undies.

That reminds me....I better check if the gammon in my fridge has gone off.


During the getting to know you tea party the phone rings and Antonio is called back into the office as it seems he's the only person who can change the toner in the photocopier and after kissing his wife goodbye bids everyone a fond farewell and instructs them to treat the place as their own.

Unfortunately Mario misinterprets this as "Feel free to wank in the bushes whilst watching my wife shower then chase her up thru' the bushes, tie her to a tree then forcibly penetrate her lush lady garden with your swollen uncircumcised member before firing your white hot joy juice all over her thighs." which lets be honest is an easy mistake to make.

For anyone thinking that this is just a crash exploitative sex scene thrown in to placate the (mostly) male audience you'd be dead wrong as this it's artistically offset with some soft-focus scenes of Belinda seducing a guy in a sombrero playing the guitar.

So there.


Your mum and dad at Christmas after you've gone to bed.



Upon his return Antonio is obviously a wee bit upset to find his wife semi-conscious and tied to a tree so decides to plan his revenge, firstly by getting everyone drunk then inviting Mario on a hunting trip where he ties him to the same tree before calling on his cannibal pals to eat him.

Meanwhile back at the house Manuela is busy with her own plan, informing the local handyman Brian that the houseguests are in fact the pesky (and pikey) kidnappers that have been all over the news and that there's a huge reward for their capture.

Meanwhile Florence’s parents have discovered where their daughter is being held so round up a posse to go rescue her.

The stage is set for an explosive climax as the kidnappers have the choice of facing justice or facing a hungry cannibal tribe....

Tho' to be honest it's not that exciting.

Hanson have let themselves go.


Reeling from the accusation of producing the shoddiest movie ever made with Zombie(s) Lake, producer Daniel Lesoeur obviously decided to show the world the true meaning of cheap and to that end hired professional pervert Jess Franco to flesh out his tale of kinky kidnapping and cannibal corpse crunching with the remit of keeping the entire budget under £12.50.

But who could be trusted to stay on/under budget but still deliver the gory goods?

Enter (roughly and from behind) Alain Deruelle, director of the fantastic Orgies pour nymphomanes, who keeps the budget low by using the play park behind his house a the jungle, his Pyrenees hiking holiday footage as establishing shots of the Amazon and in a stroke of either utter genius or blatant racism blacks up the local youth football team to play the cannibals.

And still manages to keep a few quid back to buy some wine for the wrap party.

Shite in mah mooth.



Luckily the director had photo's of composer Jean-Jaques Lemêtre fucking a pig so got the score for free, tho' to be honest he couldn't have been that bothered about the pics getting out if his music here is anything to go by seeing as it sounds like the type of thing your granddad would play to try and (unsuccessfully) seduce the papergirl.

You know the one with the club foot that your mum made you dance with at the church Christmas party.

The one with seriously sore acne that smelled of banana Nesquik?

Just me then.

The only downside scarily enough is Jess Franco's script (tho' it did have two obviously less able writers attached to it as well) tho' film historians agree that Franco purposely made it nonsensical as to not steal the thunder (or shoes) from his own Cannibal epic(s) Devil Hunter and Mondo Cannibale which were both shooting around the same time, tho' it may have been that he was just too drunk to give a fuck.

Which perfectly sums up the state you'd have to be in to even contemplate watching this movie.

Unless you're a connoisseur of 'cult' cinema when you'll have to buy it anyway.

Just like I did.

Which is fair enough.
















































 *No.



**This for all American readers is what we Brits call 'sarcasm'.

Monday, February 11, 2019

new york stories.

Was tempted to go back to the whole films set in 2019 thing but really wanted to rewatch this.

The title has a couple of 9s in it so it kinda counts.

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 - of the film obviously and mentioned previously - 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....

But not TERF obviously.

This blog isn't that political.







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 Ashley Olsen with AIDS, 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

Saturday, February 9, 2019

snail of the century.

So I've obviously given up on that whole let's review every film set in 2019 thing for now (tho' it's not like anyone was reading it) and decided to just (re) watch whatever random movie I find when tidying the boys bedroom.

Enjoy.

Aenigma (AKA Daemonia, Internado diabolico, L’enigme. 1987).
Dir: Lucio Fulci.
Cast: Jared Martin, Lara Naszinski, Ulli Reinthaler, Sophie d'Aulan, Jennifer Naud, Milijana Zirojevic, Ricardo Acerbi and Lijlijana Blagojevic.

"I may have a fat ass, but if you slap it one more time, I’ll slap your face!"



Pug eyed Cherie Blair alike Kathy (Zirojevic - bless you) is the friendless class freak at the bizarrely European Saint Mary’s College in Boston.

With her scary Lego hair, permanently surprised expression and ickle thin legs Kathy spends her days dreaming about the studly gym teacher Fred Vernon (slick quiffed sex god Acerbi) who -surprisingly - one day actually asks lil ms. mousy out on a date.

A date to the 'dancing' no less.

Stunned by this turn of events - and forgetting that she's in a horror movie - Kathy excitedly gets ready for the night of her life with the knight of her dreams (to the funky sound of the Euro-pop hit 'Head over Heels' by top popster Douglas Meakin no less) unaware of what is about to occur.


"(Pop) eyed son!"


After a night of funky frugging Fred offers to take Kathy home but on the way
pulls his Jeep over on a secluded wooded path, where he almost immediately - well it is a short film -  starts to work his manly magic on Kathy, whispering sweet nothings and working the poor lass into a wild unbridled frenzy of naughty thoughts and sweaty thighs.

Unbeknown to Kathy tho' the couple are surrounded by her evil classmates, their cars parked just out of sight and all tuned into the secret two way radio in Fred's car.

What a rotter.

Giggling happily to themselves as Kathy's breathing gets deeper and Fred's dialogue gets far cheesier than you would think possible, the band of baddies flash their headlights with a whoop just as Kathy thinks she's about to do the dirty with the vile Vernon.

Understandably humiliated (and a wee bit affronted by the turn of events) she leaps from the car and legs it back to the college with her cruel classmates in hot pursuit.

Chased onto a main road unlucky Kathy is hit by an oncoming motorist, bouncing across the bonnet and ending up comatose and in intensive care.

Ouch.

"Tubes in mah mooth!"




Confusingly cutting back to the school for no other reason than to introduce us to our lead actress for the evening, new girl Eva Gordon (Naszinsky; star of A Blade in the Dark and cousin of Nastassja Kinski no less) a button nosed blonde who has just arrived at Saint Mary's and is ready to settle in for a hard term of studying.

Or as she puts it "...a successful year means making out with as many boys as possible”.

Saucy minx.

But there's something very strange about Eva and not just the fact that the film keeps abruptly cutting to shots of Kathy as the new girl does something really normal like walking up some stairs but bizarre stuff like her not knowing where she was born, being unable to convincingly walk and talk at the same time and finding random lighters hidden in her underwear drawer.

Spooky biscuits.

Luckily for Eva her roommate Jenny (lantern jawed Reinthaler from Zombi 3 or is that Zombi 4?) thinks nothing of it and welcomes the new girl into the local bitch squad whilst Eva sets her lustful sights on Fred and his kick flared, stay-press jeans.


"Then I saw her face...now I'm a mad Eva!"






Being a Fulci film tho' it's not long before some totally bizarre (but gorgeously shot) shit starts 'going down' as the youngsters say - Fred is the first to fall foul to the strangeness when, after an argument about buckets with hairy Mary the college janitor (and mother of Kathy) he's choked to death by his own reflection.

And that's even before he's had a chance to even think about touching Eva's hemline, poor sod.

Him that is, not her.

The local police led by what looks like a council estate Zane Lowe (alongside director Fulci in a cameo) decide that he died of a heart attack and leave it at that.


"Can you show me where he touched you on this picture son?"





Bizarrely, everything on campus continues as normal, the girls bitch, smoke and wear frighteningly short hotpants whilst the Super Nanny like headmistress Ms. Jones (Scrabble triple word scoring Blagojevic) wanders around the corridors in a disappointingly non-lesbian like manner unaware that there's a pretty good chance that Kathy's spirit has returned for revenge.

Could she be controlling Eva?

Maybe.

And thusly the weirdness continues, only coming to a head when Eva viciously beats Jenny with a stuffed Giraffe before collapsing onto her bed in a sweatily unconscious state whilst pulling what can only be termed her best cum face.

Which is nice.

Enter (roughly and from behind whilst engaged in a crafty reacharound) the sexy neurologist cum crime fighter and ex Blow Monkeys frontman Doctor Robert (pubed headed US teevee heart throb and star of Fantastic Journey and that 80's War of The Worlds series Martin) who appears to be the only character in the movie with any idea that something maybe, oh so slightly amiss.

You see he's noticed that there are rather alarming changes in Kathy's brainwaves during (and after) each mysterious death.

Mysterious brainwaves aren't the only thing of interest to the Lothario Doc tho' as he also seems keen on sampling a wee bit of underage totty, Eva being a case in point.

Dr. Robert: diggin' your scene.



No surprises then that before long Dr. Robert has entered (shit, I've already done that joke, just imagine it again but without the reachround bit) a full blow affair with Eva with tasteful sexy scenes intercut with Kathy making the hospital machines bleep loudly as her old classmates start dying in even more bizarre ways – including naked sex-based suffocation by snails and being hugged to death by a paper mache statue of Brian Blessed.

Obviously Eva is the main suspect.


Snails in mah...well snails everywhere really.



Whilst all this deadly death is occurring, Dr. Robert begins to suffer from nightmarish dreams where the glisteningly ample arsed Eva and himself indulge in sweaty sex that culminate in her biting off his nipples and tongue to a sub Goblin rock soundtrack courtesy of Carlo Maria Cordio, the man behind the soundtracks of Troll 2 and Shocking Dark.

But nobodies perfect.

Suffice to say that Rob is fairly relieved when Eva's folk decide to take her out of school and lock her up in a mental asylum, for one thing it means he can now starting shagging the class whore Grace (the slightly stocky Naud) without fear of losing his nips, bladder control etc and for another it means he can spend much more valuable screen time wandering aimlessly in and out of Kathy's room whilst tutting at the monitors.

Everyone's a winner then.

Tunnel or funnel?



Until that is late one night when Eva escapes from Shady Nook with the idea of being re-united with her true love.

Oh and to maybe commit some more murders.....





Fulci's little seen - and scarily little loved - psycho-babbling B-movie opus Aenigma, whilst not being his best works is at once totally bonkers and infinitely watchable; from the aforementioned slug scene (featuring as it does some fantastically kinky shots of said shelled beasties sliming across an erect nipple) to the scary Tom Cruise poster adorning the wall of Grace's room via the bizarre (and budget helping) use of the same beheading scene to show the whole college campus being murdered to quite possibly cinema's sweatiest and most unnecessary greased arse sex ever filmed there's so much here to enjoy.

The cast - in the main a mix of Italian and Yugoslavian actors - play everything straight and to the point, not only playing the whole thing deadly serious but also managing to convince us that they're actually in the good old US of A and not the city of Pristina in Yugoslavia where it was (probably) shot*.

I mean almost everyone on screen sports a St. Mary’s Boston T-shirt at some point whilst the girls’ dormitory rooms are choc full of posters featuring everything from an American flag (with a bald eagle on it obviously), Snoopy, Yoda and even Tom Cruise.

This poster seems to be a favourite of everyone involved tho' as it appears on screen almost as often as Jared Martin's arse.

Tom Cruise, the most effectual
Tom Cruise, whose intellectual
Close friends get to call him T.C.
Providing they don't mention Scientology!



Obviously influenced by Carrie and (at least visually) by Argento's Inferno, Fulci delivers his trademark oppressive atmosphere, over the top gore and saucy sleaze which makes up for the inane dialogue and muddy plotting that plagues the production at times but let's be honest as none of the negatives really matter seeing as Aenigma is - like the great man himself - a joy from start to finish.

And if that's not enough to convince you then just imagine - like I do - that the opening lyrics were actually written in tribute to Fulci himself:

“Put on your make-up, your eyes are blue enough, tonight is special for you... You’re true...” .

















































*I'm taking a wild geographical stab here seeing as Yugoslavia doesn't actually exist anymore** and more importantly I can't be arsed looking it up.

**A wee bit like your parents love for you doesn't.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019

tokyo a go-go.

Busy beavering away on the artwork for Get Your Genki volume 2 so as a wee treat - and for no other reason than they're fab - here's some pics of Tokyo in the 1950s.

Enjoy.











Monday, February 4, 2019

surfin bird.

Now this has been sitting gathering dust on my shelf for about two years so decided to finally take the plunge.

The Visitor (1979).
Dir: Giulio Paradisi (As Michael J. Paradise).
Mel Ferrer, Glenn Ford, Lance Henriksen, John Huston, Joanne Nail, Paige Conner, Sam Peckinpah, Shelley Winters, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Franco Nero.


Once, far away... light years... distances beyond thought, a great slender ship with a tail of fire slid through the black reaches of space. On that ship was Sateen. Words cannot describe his evil, his criminality. He had been captured by Commander Yahweh after decades of search and evasion, in a blood-drenched battle that claimed hundreds of lives. But shortly thereafter, Sateen escaped in a tiny scout craft, a fantastic escape from that spaceship. And soon, he found a hiding place on the planet Earth....



Somewhere in the vastness of space - which luckily for us looks like a sandpit, albeit one in quite a warm place, maybe somewhere near Rome? - the enigmatic and stringly bearded almost Young Ones character Jerzy Colsowicz (Huston, well that swimming pool isn't going to pay for itself) is busy experiencing strange vision of spooky snowstorms brought about a young girl with a cotton wool face.

And all to a porn-tastic disco variation of Also sprach Zarathustra as re-imagined by Geoff Love's brother.

Nice.

As all this sub Dune-based oddness is going down an enigmatic (oh go on the drunk) and patchily hi-lighted space Jesus (Nero - uncredited but still guilty as sin) sits crossed legged clad in a fluffy dressing gown as he recounts the story of  a millennium-long cosmic conflict between an evil inter-spatial wizard of immense magnitude and psychic abilities named Barry Zatteen and his benevolent rival Terry Yahweh to a group of pajama wearing bald children.

Seems legit and in no way dodgy.

It appears that centuries past Zatteen escaped to Earth centuries ago, and although he was eventually killed by Yahweh but not before he'd shagged loads of human women meaning his descendants now populate the planet, keeping his spirit alive in the minds of mankind waiting for an opportunity to re-emerge and do bad shit.

And turn into birds or something.

Fair enough.

Fuck me, Noel Edmonds has let himself go.



But enough of this quasi-religious bollocks as we've got a basketball game to watch alongside team owner Raymond Armstead (Henriksen who bizarrely still has old man hair), his girlfriend Barbara Collins (daughter of singing actor Jimmy, Joanne Nail) and her scarily big-headed daughter Katy (former child star, Atlanta Falcons cheerleader and current owner of the Luxury Lash Lounge, an eyelash extension business in Atlanta, Conner).

As the game gets more and more fraught (probably) Armstead announces to an interviewer that the team will win at all costs as now he's in charge money will be no object when buying the best players.

Obviously all this cash doesn't stretch to buying a decent fitting shirt tho'.

When pressed  on the source of his wealth tho', Armstead answers with an enigmatic "from God".

And as if to push home all this spacey-religious stuff the basket explodes as a player scores the winning points.


Meanwhile in the movies most exciting sequence, Colsowicz is navigating his way thru' US customs whilst wearing a safari suit.


"Rice in mah mooth!"



But what of Raymond's wealth? I hear you ask.

Well, surprise surprise it appears that he's in league with the aforementioned secret cabal of Zatteen worshippers led by the sinister Dr. Roy Walker (Ferrer, busy paying for Audrey Hepburn's new swimming pool), you see his girlfriend daughter (remember her?) has already begun to display psychokinetic abilities due to her mother being a descendant of Zatteen, so they reckon that if he impregnates Barbara with a male child, that child can then shag his half-sister and - hopefully - produce the physical embodiment of Zatteen.

Don't think about it too much.

Obviously the writer hasn't.

Or maybe he has.

A wee bit too much.

Anyway, it seems that whilst Katy is only partially aware of her special powers, she's totally aware of how much of an arsehole she is, whether it's making baskets explode or killing innocent ice skating kids she struts about the place in way too tight silk trousers and bunches looking for all the world like a bowling ball with a face painted on it as she creepily insults everyone around her and attempts to get her mum to let Armstead stick it in her before 'accidentally' shooting her in the spine at her birthday party confining her to a wheelchair.

Oh yes and she has a pet bird that attacks anyone who gets too close to the truth about whatever the fuck is going on.

Which is the reason why Colsowicz - who also possess powers similar to Katy - has spent the last hour trying to find his luggage and is currently holed up in a deserted building as he and his followers watch Katy from afar.


Cherry cheeks.

Just to make sure he knows what she's up to at every given opportunity tho' he's also arranged for one of his followers  Jane Phillips (Winters minus Schnorbitz) to act as Barbara's new housekeeper.

It's at this point that police detective, Jake Durham (Ford) begins to investigate Barbara's shooting and to do this he decides to stalk Katy at every opportunity whilst breaking into her house to look for clues.

Luckily for us - and his career - he's soon pecked to death in a car which begs the question as to why an actor of Ford's caliber even bothered to turn up.

Apart from for the huge wad of cash and welcoming young boy arse supplied by the producers obviously.

Things are going too well for poor Raymond either as he's failed spectacularly  to seduce Barbara leaving the Zatteen cult no alternative than to - tastefully -  impregnate Barbara in the back of a hi-tech rape van.

Because lets be honest that's what it is.

Your ex-missis would be so proud of you Mel.

The lights are on....


 Cue what seems like hours of poor Barbara pulling wheelies around the living room looking more and more shot to fuck with each passing moment as Jane hides behind a pot plant singing songs about candy.


Coming to her senses - and realising that we're heading toward the climax, Barbara heads off to see her ex - and Katy's biological father - Dr. Sam Collins (a bizarrely dubbed Peckinpah) in order to get an abortion but on returning home she's set upon by Raymond and Katy who - in a scene of comedy gold - attempt to kill her by tying a wire around her neck and sending her down the stairs in her stairllift.

Will they succeed?

Will dear old Colsowicz intervene at the last minute and summons an army of (badly animated) birds that thwart their evil plan?

Will any of this ever make any sense?

Only one way to find out.....




Playing out like an - unintentionally - comedic version of The Omen that's been roughly buggered by Alejandro Jodorowsky whilst a grainy pirate VHS of 2001: A Space Odyssey plays in the background, The Visitor is the kind of film that could only conceivably be made in the late 70s and then only by people to whom English was a second language.

Yes it's that good.

"Directed" (if that's even an appropriate description) by ex- Federico Fellini collaborator Giulio Paradisi from a series of notes he made on the back of numerous off-license receipts and produced by professional geezer Ovidio G. Assonitis  - the man who gave us Tentacles which bizarrely also starred John Huston and Shelley Winters which makes you wander what kinda shit he had on them - the most surprising thing is that the film is as entertaining and enjoyable as it actually is.

Yes it's true that The Visitor is complete and utter pants but you can’t help but fall for it's bizarre charms, I mean what other film can you name where the climax features a battle between an evil football manager, an alien pre-teen with a foul mouth and a swarm of cartoon space-pigeons with concealed within their beaks?

Obviously it's batshit crazy and makes absolutely no sense, possibly due to the fact that Paradisi was fired halfway through the shoot on account of being a mentalist, only to turn up at the producers home accompanied by a couple of Mafiosi hitmen in order to not only get his job back but to make sure he could bin Luciano Comici's script and just film whatever the fuck he fancied instead.

No doubt he used the same method to get such a top notch cast.

Oh and Mel Ferrer obviously.

"Aye hen!"



But of all the cast tho' special praise (but not special hugs) has to go to Paige Connor who plays the pesky alien hybrid brat Katy to perfection coming across like a velveteen, foul mouthed version of Patty McCormack in The Bad Seed - from ice skating teen boys to death to shouting “you’re a child molester” at Superman's dad via creepily suggesting that Lance Henriksen fuck her mum she's a revelation to behold and it's a crime she never went on to do more movies.

Or at least a collection of sweary answerphone messages you could buy.

But the icing on this toothpaste covered cake is the score, a funkadelic mix of Hooked on Classics cheese and Isaac Hayes style wah-wah guitars all mixed loving with a sexy orchestral vibe.

Franco Micalizzi we salute you.

And forgive you for the soundtrack to Black Demons.

Cinematic gold.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

ziggy gorefest.

Just found out from a Twitter friend that this is getting a rare airing on Italian channel Iris tonight so thought I'd give it a quick rewatch.

Enjoy.

The Spider Labyrinth (AKA Il nido del ragno, The Spider's Nest. 1988).
Dir: Gianfranco Giagni.
Cast: Roland Wybenga, Paola Rinaldi, Margareta von Krauss, Claudia Muzi, William Berger and Stéphane Audran.



The studly and incredibly tidy bearded Professor Alan Whitmore (Wybenga, the poor man's Jason Patric) is rudely awakened - but not by the dustmen - from a terrifying dream where his younger (tho' no less attractive) self is trapped in a cupboard with a huge rubber spider by the tweet tweet of his fairly groove-some trim-phone.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Bizarre dreams are the least of Alan's worries tho' seeing as his superiors - and a priest - from the local community college where he works teaching illiterate no-hopes painting and decorating have summoned him to an important meeting.

Hopefully he's not been touching up the sixth formers (again) or this could be a completely different kinda movie.

Luckily for Whitmore the meeting is less about his touchy-feely way with the students and more to do with his college, the mysterious Doctor Ray Kuhn.

It appears that Doctor Kuhn, who is currently working of something very clever yet strangely mysterious in Budapest, has failed to respond to anyone's phone calls and more importantly when anyone writes to him asking for an update on his work he sharply replies that the dog has eaten his notes.

Curious.

Geoff Priest and his pals want Whitmore to investigate.


Specs appeal.



Stopping only to grab a change of underwear and his pyjamas, Whitmore books himself onto the first available flight to the fun filled city of Budapest (Often described as the 'Little Paris of Middle Europe' fact fans) where, on arrival  he's met at the airport (yes it does have one, I checked) by the Doctor's sexy librarian styled, pixie-like assistant (and resident square jawed saucy strumpet) Genevieve Weiss (the star of pop wank U2's "All I want is you" video, Rinaldi).

Unfortunately for Whitmore (and us) there's no time for any of that sexy stuff because he has an urgent date with the dotty Doctor Kuhn at his spooky tenement flat as soon as touches down.

But luckily not cloth.

Grabbing his luggage our hero jumps into Genevieve's car and the pair zoom off toward the unknown.

Well I say unknown but it's actually a house mere minutes away.

I just wanted to make it sound more exciting.

Sorry.



Well, the lights are on.




Arriving at the Doctor's house (and left in the lurch by Genevieve who's gone home to style her eyebrows or something) Whitmore is greeted by Kuhn's manly wife Helga (Audran, best remembered as Pauline de la Rochelle in Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story) who takes him to the Doctors study.

Tho' not in her full lipped German mouth.

Well not yet.

Anyway, back at the plot where it seems that Kuhn has gone a wee bit mental, seeing as he's taken to standing half dressed (and half cut) in his study spouting on about alternative gods and webs of deceit to anyone who's unlucky enough to be in earshot.

Which in this case is a very confused Alan, who really just wants the Docs notes so he can fuck off back to the States and his own bed.



"Ahm sorry hen, ah pished masel'!"



Anyway, after what seems like hours of meaningless chat the Doc reaches into his pants and whips out of small diary which he excitedly thrusts into Alan's hands whilst whispering "don't tell the missis!" but before Alan can question this bizarre turn of events a black tennis ball smashes thru the window causing Kuhn to wet himself before scuttling off to cry in the corner.

Slightly perturbed and maybe a little aroused, Alan decides to clear his head by returning to his hotel for a slap up meal and a quick game of footsie under the table with Genevieve before retiring for the night.

Unfortunately his plans are foiled by the appearance - from behind a desk - of the harsh faced old ginger woman (whose chat is as inappropriate as her skirt length) that runs the hotel.

Oh yes, that and the fact that halfway thru' dinner news reaches Alan that Kuhn has hung himself.

Worse of all tho' is the fact that he doesn't even get dessert.


"I can see your house from here Peter!"


Upon hearing the terrible news (about the hanging, not that the cheesecake is off) Alan rushes back to the Docs house only to be accosted by a fish breathed tramp (Berger from War and Remembrance) who drunkenly warns him to leave Budapest before it's too late and he too becomes embroiled in the local web of badness.

Hmmmm....I wonder if all these mentions of webs mean anything?

From this point in things go from bad to very bad via a whole myriad of badness for poor Alan, who is first questioned (rudely) by a fat policeman, his stories of spooky tennis balls mocked before his passport is confiscated 'for safe keeping'.

Or so the local coppers can have a laugh at his photo, one or the other.

Humiliated - and still dreaming of pudding - Alan sulkily returns to his hotel to sit in the dark and smoke fags in a brooding in a manner usually reserved for angsty teens.

All this sulkiness is soon forgotten tho' when he notices Genevieve in all her square shouldered glory dancing naked in her apartment, which just happens to be directly opposite his room.

Alan quickly rings room service for some tissues and a Pot Noodle.


How do you solve a problem like Maria?
Stab her in the face obviously.

Wiping the single tear from his milky eye Alan crawls sheepishly into bed only to have his rest disturbed by a soft knocking at the door.

No it's not the dessert trolley but the hotel maid Maria (Muzi, whose IMDB entry features the keywords adultery, dancing, aerial-bombing and teenage boy for all you fact fans out there) who has come - but not literally - to warn Alan to go home now before he becomes trapped like a fly on a spiders web.

The chat (and anything else that may or may not happen when hotel maids turn up at your room at three in the morning) is cut short by Madam Ginger, who shoos Maria away before bidding Alan good night.
Surprisingly tho' she doesn't warn him about the screams he'll hear later as poor Maria is stabbed to death by what looks like Bonnie Langford - with pegs for teeth - on PCP.

If she had it would have saved him the uncomfortable chat he ends up having with her later about dead babies as he's searching the hotel for the source of the aforementioned screams.

Don't worry, it all makes sense (kinda) when you watch it.


Well On The Buses took a turn for the sinister...




Hounded by the police, hassled by a tramp and with only the nude dance fixated Genevieve to help, Alan begins to investigate the mystery surrounding the strange town and the locals obsession with all things arachnid.

Oh and to discover why there seems to be a bizarre amount of sticky tennis balls flying about the place.

But as is always the way in these movies, time is running out for our hero.

Probably.




"Laugh now!"



It's difficult to review Gianfranco Giagni's one and only foray into horror cinema without giving too much away because quite frankly Spider's Labyrinth is one of the most bonkers films to come out of Italy in the last thirty years, partly due to the fact that it appears to be written in a kinda free form style usually reserved for ear-splitting modern jazz but mainly because everything in the movie is played absolutely and earnestly straight.

Which was probably really difficult for the camp as pants Roland Wybenga so fair play to him.

Childish innuendo aside, who exactly is this wunderkind Gianfranco Giagni and where did him come from?

Born in 1952, this former music critic began his cinematic journey as an assistant to Mauro Bolognini's on set of his 1976 hit L'Héritage (AKA L'eredità Ferramonti),the film even won some awards and stuff but seeing as it doesn't feature Paola Rinaldi dancing naked I haven't seen it.

Jumping forward to 1981 (if you want a full resume you should really try a site that gives a fuck) Giagni created the frankly fantastically monikered music showcase Mr. Fantasy - hosted by magnificent Carlo Massarini - for RAI television, breaking into directing good and proper producing music vid's for the likes of saucy singing strumpet Loredana Berté and overseeing episodes of the erotically charged series based on the Guido Crepax comic masterpiece Valentina before moving onto music videos and finally giving us the magnificent Spider's Labyrinth.


I own this and I'm not ashamed to admit it.




Which makes it all the more upsetting when you realise he dropped from view just as quickly as he appeared, resurfacing in 1993 with a documentary about Orson Welles love affair (not in a biblical sense) with Italy entitled Rosabella: Orson Welles in Italy.
That must have taken weeks to come up with.




Paola Rinaldi today:
You still would.
Twice.


Back to the film at hand tho' where Giagni, not afraid to pilfer from the best, takes a plot that is pure Lovecraft and filters it thru the classic Giallo template created by Mario Bava before adding a dash of Argento styling to create a movie that in many ways surpasses the sum of it's parts to become a classic in it's own right.

Plus it's got a big stop motion monster in it.

What's not to love?

It does beg the question tho', why has hardly anyone been able to see it?

If I was Giagni I'd be traveling around the world banging on folks doors demanding that watch it.

Or at least asking someone very nicely to give it a proper DVD release, the only way of currently viewing the movie is as a DVD rip of the ancient Japanese VHS edition complete with hard-coded subtitles.

Which I guess makes it educational as well as entertaining.


Your hair's not the only thing you let down...



And just think, if enough of us demand to see it Giagni might make a sequel which at the very least means that we can finally rid ourselves of the crushing disappointment we felt on viewing his dull as dishwater adaptation of Nino Filasto's novel Three days in the life of Councillor Scalzi.

Filmed as the much snappier Nella terra di nessuno (Nobody's Heart/In No-Man's Land take your pick), its only real claim to fame is a scene where Italy's very own Kate Winslet, the horse-like Maya Sansa breast feeds a doll.

It did occur to me after emailing him a copy of this review and a letter begging for a Bluray release of The Spider Labyrinth and receiving no reply that maybe he's trying to distance himself from his horror past.

Which would be a shame if true.

All I can say is get emailing Giagni as soon as you've finished here, his rehabilitation into the hallowed hall of horror highs begins NOW!