Sunday, January 22, 2023

lest we forget.

 


Friday, January 20, 2023

eggs and baker.


Scarily both Dame David Lynch and Sir Tom of Baker have their birthdays today so what better way to celebrate than with a film where the aforementioned ex-Time Lord plays a character called Mr Lynch?


The Mutations (AKA Doctor of Evil, The Freakmaker, The Mutation. 1974).
Dir: Jack Cardiff.
Donald Pleasence, Tom Baker, Brad Harris, Julie Ege, Michael Dunn, Scott Antony, Jill Haworth, Olga Anthony, Esther Blackmon, Hugh Bailey, Felix Duarte and Willie Ingram the pop eyed man.




Professor Nick Nolter (Pleasence, looking not unlike a egg dipped in treacle) is just your average everyday science lecturer at some nameless English polytechnic splitting his time between teaching over forties who want to get better qualifications to get back into work (well from the look of the cast this seems to be the case) and conducting frankly bonkers experiments in an attempt to create a human/plant hybrid.

As you do.

But the professor needs a fresh supply of people to work on, so to this end he employs the fucked of face, scraggy haired Mr. Lynch (A pre-Doctor Who Dame Tom of Baker), a stinky ne'er do well who just happens to co-own the local carnival, to help him out.

Lynch happily obtains young men and women for Nolter's mad experiments on the understanding that one day the professor will fix his face for him.

Sounds legit.

Anyway with the basic plot out of the way it's back to the Restart classes where three trendy 'young' students; blonde buxom Hedi (Ege from shitloads of stuff including your granddads bed), luscious Lauren (the bobble headed beauty Haworth star of Tower of Evil) and Tony (Antony, from Ken Russell's Savage Messiah) have decided to have a word with the visiting scholar - and token American hunk - Dr. Brian Redford (B movie lunk Harris from The Mad Butcher amongst other classics) regarding the rumours they've heard about Nolter’s research.

Being a nosy bugger Redford agrees to look into it.




"Shite in mah....oh, someone already has".




Meanwhile back at the carnival the employees are a wee bit unhappy.

And not just because they all smell of cabbage.

Nope, it seems that they're getting a tad suspicious at the amount of new freaks suddenly appearing.

Lynch's partner, a pre-Simpsons Mr. Burns (Dunn, who sadly died at the age of 38 during production not long after completing all his scenes. As a plus point it did mean that he didn't have to sit thru' it) tries to calm his regular workers by saying he put an ad in the paper and an entire family from Cradley Heath turned up for the job.

Could he be lying?

All this talk of bearded ladies and tiny men in hats is beginning to annoy Lynch tho' who vents his frustration on the tent pole before stomping off in a club-footed rage.

A wee bit like your Auntie Jean used to after a few sherries at Christmas.

Deciding that what Lynch needs is a surprise party to show how well liked he is his co-workers throw up some tinsel (not literally mind tho' with hindsight that would be worth seeing), organize a kiddy friendly - as opposed to kiddy fiddling - DeeJay and bake him a cake.

Unfortunately this act of kindness sends him into a violent (and dribbly) rage that can only be sated by a visit to a dirty, baby doll nightie clad lady of the night who lives by the fish market.

What your dad gets up to at camera club.


Meanwhile back at the main plot our trendy tecs have decided to take a break from their investigations to spend an evening at the local fairground.

As over 30's often do.

After a few rides on the waltzers and eating their own body weight in candyfloss the groovy group spy the freak show tent huddled in a dark corner of the park so decide that half an hour taking the absolute cunt out of those less fortunate than themselves would be the perfect way to end the night.

And before you go all PC and huffy on me remember this, dear reader, is the reason we're watching.

Well it's the reason I'm watching, I mean you're not actually watching it are you?

You're reading this.

Tho' to be honest you could be doing both - how would I know?

I'm not your mum.

For one thing I've never caught chlamydia off your uncle Paul.

And you wonder why her and your dad have separate rooms.

But I digress.

See her? That's your mum that is.


Upon entering the tent our merry band - and the viewer - are confronted by some of the strangest sights known to man.

There's an old lady with a hairy face, a woman with really bad exzema dubbed The Lizard Woman (Blackmon), a boy with no bones in his legs (no, really) non-sensationally named Terry the Frog Boy (Duarte), the bendy backed Human Pretzel (Bailey), a scarily sexy Monkey Woman and everyone's favourite, the fantastic Popeyed Jeff (Willie Ingram - but probably not this one) a man who can make his eyeballs pop out from their sockets.



"Eye son".




Now part of me wants to say that exploiting those born differently for cheap entertainment is distasteful and somewhat sickening in this more aware climate.*

But screw that, this guy can actually make his eyeballs bulge out of his skull!

How fucking cool is that?


Tunnel or funnel?


Anyway, as you can probably guess Nolter's experiments get more and more freaky climaxing with poor Tony getting turned into a hideous Venus flytrap/human/vagina hybrid with a taste for tramps and blondes (and trampy blondes) whilst the Professor makes a speech arguing the case for the creation of a race of super-humans and poor old Lynch is hunted down by a gang of dwarves using attack dogs.

Oh yeah and Ege gets her kit off and is touched up by a tree-type thing**.



There's no denying that The Mutations is a bona fide classic of British exploitation cinema, what should be a crass and tasteless excuse to show differently-abled folk for cheap enjoyment is surprisingly entertaining and almost apologetic when it comes to it's subject matter.

It's almost as if it wants to channel the sympathetic edge of the Tod Browning classic Freaks with it's "Who are the real monsters?" message but kinda drops the ball as soon as Scott Antony stumbles into shot dressed as a giant fanny tho'.

But fair play for trying.

"Look dad! I'm from Sedgley!"
 

Saying that tho' the films mad mix of gore, girls, gritty social commentary and gro-bag induced terrors adds a totally schizophrenic feel to the whole thing that kinda works in it's favour tho' at times the heavy-handed plotline plight of the carnival folk and their abuse at the hands of the loutish Lynch does feel a wee bit  at odds in a story about man eating plants and a saliva slopping bloke with a potato stuck to his face.

But despite (or because) of all this The Mutations is both utterly brilliant and totally crap in equal measures.



Jeremy Corbyn, up the casino, Blackpool, 1978.



Scarily tho' the movie was directed by an honest to goodness Oscar winner, Jack Cardiff (who won best cinematographer for 1948 movie Black Narcissus), showing that he had either a secret love of shlock horror or the onset of Alzheimer's - it's your choice, and it's this unsure style, coupled with his almost erotic obsession with time-lapse footage of plants growing, topless dolly birds and the real life freak show performances at the movies half way point that makes this the cinematic equivalent of drunkenly shagging your best mates mum.

It might be great at the time but with hindsight you end up feeling slightly guilty and even a wee bit itchy from enjoying it so much.


Worth watching, but only if you're alone.

Or just very lonely.

Hopefully I'll pick something a wee bit less controversial next time.

If I can be arsed that is.











































*Let's be honest here, I'm just pissed off that I'm the only Autistic person in the world who can't count cards, is rubbish at maths and never wins owt in the casino.....Imagine how shit it is to not even do Autism properly.





**Which seems to be a running theme in films of this era.....look here if you don't believe me.

Monday, January 16, 2023

carpenter cuts/

Celebrate John Carpenter's 75th birthday with 3 volumes of classic Carpenter inspired cuts, Jack Burton beats and taxicab tunes.....
"It's all in the reflexes..."
 

 








Friday, January 13, 2023

friday i'm in love.

For you eyeball pleasure, an (almost) complete collection of Friday 13th fan films...

Enjoy.



 

 Never Hike Alone
  

Never Hike in the Snow
 

F13 - A New Wake
  

F13 - The Storm


F13 - Extraction
 

Jason Rising -

Uncut version
 

Censored  version
 

Friday the 13th: Hike to Higgins Haven


Vengeance


Voorhees

F13 - The Fall of Camp Blood
 

Here comes the Night
 

The Cabin he calls home



Wednesday, January 4, 2023

children in need.

“If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens.” 

Just heard that the legendary Fay Weldon has died so in way of tribute.....



Killer's Moon (1978).
Dir: Alan Birkinshaw.
Cast:  Anthony Forrest, David Jackson, Tom Marshall, Georgina Kean, Chubby Oates, Peter Spraggon, Paul Rattee, Nigel Gregory, Jean Reeve, Elizabeth Counsell, Charles Stewart, Hilda Braid, Jane Hayden, Alison Elliott, Jo-Anne Good, Jayne Lester and Lisa Vanderpump


"Of course it's a dream! And stuffed full of jailbait!"


Welcome to the Lake District in what must be - judging by the grey skies and even greyer fashions - the late seventies, where uptight spinster Mrs. Hargreaves (Reeve from the Molly Sudgen hit That's My Boy) and the bewigged Ms. Lilac (Counsell, the original teevee posh totty) are busy escorting a group of scarily ample breasted and peachy arsed school girls (resplendent in mini-kilts, thigh high white socks complete with blouses two sizes too small and expertly portrayed by the likes of Georgina Kean, Alison Elliott, the still very yummy Jo-Anne Good, Jayne "Mine's a short" Lester and bizarrely Baywatch Nights star Lisa Vanderpump who manages to make even a cardigan look sexy) to a choral concert in darkest Edinburgh.

As is always the way in these movies it's not long before the school bus breaks down leaving our barely legal babes with the prospect of having to stumble thru' the woods at night looking for a convenient hotel or cottage to stay in.

Don't worry too much tho' as they soon come across Bert the local gamekeeper (expertly portrayed by Stewart who, according to the internet is better known as King Charles I of England. Who'd have thunk it?) who grumpily leads them to the local hotel run by the kindly Mrs May (Braid best known as Nana Moon from Eastenders).

"Oooh Alfie the though of you in that leather jacket makes me so moist".


Offering them food, shelter and inane (possibly drunken ad-libbed) chat for the night there's nothing else for the portly driver to do than to go back and spend the night in his bus, free from the incessant chatter of a dozen school girls constantly interrupting him as he settles down to a quick (hand) shandy over the latest copy of Razzle followed by tears and a Pot Noodle.

This proves to be a big mistake tho' as no sooner has he stepped out of the hotel and into the bushes that he's beaten to death by an axe wielding mentalist who, alongside his three equally mad pals have escaped from a local hospital.

Which, it seems, is par for the course in such films.

It appears that these mentalist mates have been undergoing an experimental treatment for lunacy that involves sending the patients to sleep before doping them up to the eyeballs with large doses of LSD.

This has the effect of letting them live out their evil side whilst dreaming thus causing them to use up all their mentalism and wake up cured.

Or something.

Look it made sense at the time.

A Clockwork Orange: The Oxfam Years.


Meanwhile in a nearby field, city whizz kids Pete and Mike (Forrest and Marshall from fuck knows what else, the bin round probably) are taking a well deserved break in the country shagging birds and jogging whilst wearing tramps tracksuits.

Robin Askwith was obviously busy.

It's not all fun and games tho' as no sooner has Pete pulled up his trousers and sent the huge pants wearing local barmaid Julie (Somebody's Daughter star Hayden) on her way when a blood encrusted, three legged dog turns up just as the boys axe disappears.

Could these things be related?

Anyway back to the plot where our frightening foursome - Mr. Jones (Spraggon), Mr. Muldoon (Rattee), Mr. Smith (K-9 and Company's Gregory), and Mr. Trubshaw (Blake's Seven star Jackson) - decked out in a collection of hand-me-down white boiler suits and in Trubshaw's case a bowler hat are slowly making their way toward the hotel, stopping only to invade the gamekeepers cottage and Julie's underwear, all the time encouraging each other to act out their most violent psycho-sexual fantasies.

It's all becoming a wee bit like a Derby and Joan version of A Clockwork Orange.

But with added bush.

Which is nice.

Possibly.

"Is it in yet?"



Arriving at the hotel it's not long before our psychotic stooges have broken in, killed Mrs. Hargreaves and begun molesting as many of the school girls as they can get their sweaty sausages fingers on.

When they're not ringing bells and - gasp - throwing sultanas at each other obviously.

Luckily the dynamic duo of Pete and Mike are on the case and armed only with a shotgun, some big sideburns and one of Ms. Lilac's wigs vow to save the remaining schoolies and their collective virginity’s from the raping rabble currently tainting the good name of the Lake District tourist board.

"Now I'm gonna show you how Pudsey Bear really lost that eye!"



Wobbling precariously on a tightrope straddling good clean fun and crass exploitation, Alan (Invaders of The Lost Gold, Space Precinct, Die Unbestechliche) Birkinshaw's loon filled Killer's Moon could possibly be seen as one of the most offensive and sexist British movies ever made, with it's totally unnecessary scenes of schoolgirl bush, mindless violence and raisin-based rape as well as giving us such breathtaking dialogue (from acclaimed novelist Fay Weldon no less) as:

 "Look, you were only raped. As long as you don't tell anyone about it, you'll be alright. You pretend it never happened, I'll pretend I never saw it, and if we ever get out of this alive… well, maybe we'll both grow up to be wives and mothers…"

Which is delivered with nary a hint of irony from one female character to another, minutes before they're attacked by a pitch-fork wielding nutter with half a face.

I said possibly because on viewing the things mentioned above become irrelevant because the movie is so bloody odd.

Yes it's true that most of the 'characters' (if you can go as far as to call them that) have to spout some of the most inane dialogue ever written and most of the actors seem to visibly have trouble walking and talking at the same time but somehow it all works, as if we've traveled into a bizarre alternate reality where Pete Walker made Carry On Camping from a script by Robert Bloch.

Yes the movie is really that good.

In a very guilty way obviously.

And the thing that makes the film so enjoyable must be the totally camptastic performances from Messers Spraggon, Rattee, Gregory and Jackson, hamming it up like there's no tomorrow and giving probably the sweatiest portrayal of mental illness ever captured on film.

Jackson's Mr. Trubshaw even gets to make a few jokes about the NHS before he's finally dispatched.

Now you wont find any of that in Darren Aronofsky's Mother! will you?

Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston decide whether it'll be tunnel or funnel onstage tonight.

Rescued from obscurity a few years back, Killer's Moon has quite rightly gained something of a cult status over the last couple of years and frankly it's well deserved, all we need now is some enterprising cinema owner to show this and Horror Hospital as a Saturday night double bill, dress the ushers (male and female) in thin white nightshirts and the projectionist in an old pair of decorators overalls and you'd make a fortune.

Tho' it'd probably cost you a bomb to clean up afterwards.

So, who's game?

I am and I'll even supply the three legged dog.

Recommended.

Sort of.




Thursday, December 29, 2022

cut it out.

Woke up this morning to the sad news that director Ruggero Deodato had died.

Remember meeting him way back in 2009 at a rare big screen showing of his classic drug-fueled actioner Cut And Run so reckoned I'd revisit that (very old) review today.

Godspeed sir!


 

 

Cut And Run (Inferno in Diretta, 1985).
Dir: Ruggero Deodato.
Cast: Lisa Blount, Leonard Mann, Carlos de Carvalho, Willie Aames, Richard Lynch, Richard Bright, Michael Berryman, Eriq La Salle, Karen Black, John Steiner, Valentina Forte and Gabriele Tinti.





Our story opens with a group of sweaty drug runners (or it could be rogue cake makers?) doing interesting things with loads of white powder (flour?) on a makeshift pier whilst a fantastically 'wah-wah' Simonetti synth score frugs away on the soundtrack.

The pound shop Miami Vice vibe is soon shattered tho' when this fantastic free market commune comes under attack from genre god Michael Berryman (clad in tiny green pants), what looks like Moby in a sarong and a squad of Beatle wigged natives who within minutes have violently murdered all the drug types and nailed all the ladies present to the floor.

Oh but not before fiddling with and then beheading them obviously.


"Need any scissors sharpening?"


Meanwhile in sunny Miami, a harsh faced South American woman cradling a crack filled doll has arrived at the airport to be met by two shady foreign types (are there any other sort?) who drive her to a rundown apartment.


Unbeknown to these hoodlums, ace cable news hound Fran (the late, great Lisa Blount who was in everything from Dead And Buried to Prince Of Darkness via An Officer And A Gentleman) and her tight trousered, tussle haired cameraman Mark (The Humanoid's Leonard Mann who, no doubt does whatever a Leonard can) are hot on their trail, looking for a scoop on the rising drug problem facing America.

Keeping tabs on the building from afar, our heroic duo soon get bored waiting for the police to arrive and decide it'd be a good idea to just wander in and ask the drug dealers for an interview.

Sneaking inside, Fran is just about to knock the door and shout "Oi! drug dealers NO!" whilst Mark waves his camera at them menacingly when she notices a pool of blood on the lino.

Nervously pushing the door open they find the apartment has been ripped apart, the bodies of the swarthy men are lying in piles of their own intestines, whilst the stony faced woman is stripped naked, her throat slit and her frighteningly unkempt bush on show for all to see.

Seriously it's so overgrown it'd cause heart palpitations in the public gallery at Holyrood.

Not wanting to waste the opportunity tho', they record a hard hitting (for Newsround) report amidst the carnage before Fran rifles thru' the dead woman's purse and legs it back to the studio.


"It's CCCCHHHRRRIIISSSTTTMMMAAASSSS!"




Intrigued by a photo that the dead, nude woman had on her, Fran heads over to her informant - the groovy strip club owner and part time pimp Barry Fargas (future star of ER LaSalle, wearing one of Jon Pertwee's old suits and by the look of it the one he was buried in) to let him have a wee gander at it.

Being a man with his ear to the ground (and from the way he walks a pole up his arse) he recognizes not only her bosses missing son Tommy (Aames, creator of Bibleman) in the pic but also one Colonel Brian Horne (insectoid like genre stalwart Lynch), Vietnam War veteran, and former right-hand man to the notorious cultist and fizzy drinks magnate Jim Jones.

Obviously Tommy's parents (doe eyed genre goddess Black and the permanently tearful Bright, he of all three Godfather movies and The Sopranos fame) are delighted to know their son is still alive (seeing as he told them he was only popping out to buy some sweets) and eagerly send Fran and Mark off to the Amazon to find their son and interview the illusive Horne.




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




Whilst all this is happening Tommy is having a fairly bad time of it in the jungle. 

Forced to wear a kiddies Mickey Mouse t-shirt and dodging getting shot (for being white apparently, which is a surprised cos I thought it'd be for having ginger pubes for hair), he spends most of his days getting kicked and pissed on, unlike his only friend Ana (Blastfighter's Forte) who spends all her time being bullied into having 'the sex' with various pock marked Italians.

Just like your Nan during the war.

Being a strong feminist type Ana soon gets bored with all the forced sex, public showering and wipingTommy's tears and figures out a way for them both to escape (and no, it doesn't involve her hiding Tommy up her ample arse). 

You see she plans to sneak aboard a plane that's due to land shortly.

And can you guess whose plane it is?


This is how I felt watching this movie.



But best laid plans and all that because as soon as Ana and Tommy start to light the runway fires guess who comes a calling? 

Yup it's Berryman and his pants revealing posse out for justice.

From here on in it's action all the way (well, kinda) as Ana and Tommy are separated in the attack (by separated I mean Tommy runs away crying) and Fran and Mark's pilot is killed by a pygmy cosplaying as one of The Beatles.

Phew.

Hiding in a bush for most of the night, Fran and Mark relay a live report to the news station before exploring the makeshift camp and finding Ana jammed sideways in a cupboard begging to be taken home. 

The duo agree to help her and after collecting a bag of tinned peaches and Vimto for the journey head out into the jungle in the hope of finding a taxi or something.

Tommy, meanwhile, is wandering through the bushes crying and snottering everywhere until he stumbles across his nasty, pube bearded boss (Sole Nudo's de Carvalho), tied to a couple of trees and being slowly pulled apart whilst begging Tommy to kill him.

It's obvious that he is not a happy chap.

Instead of helping the poor sod on his way, Tommy stands about with his face screwed up and watches as his boss is ripped to pieces.

Then he shoots him.

Tommy, as you can tell, is a complete arse.

Don't be like Tommy.


"Aya mah BCG!"


Back with the cool posse and Mark, Fran and Ana are busy traipsing down river and getting ready to send another report home to Tommy's anxious parents along the lines of "It's dead hot in the jungle and we think your son went this way due to the trail of empty Pot Noodle cartons and discarded stiff tissues". 

Frustrated at the lack of progress, Tommy's dad (also crying, you can see who he gets it off) decides to go visit Fargas himself, partly for more info on that Horne fellow but mostly to get a lapdance off the fairly hot barmaid.

Which is fair enough I guess.

Nearing the local boating lake (next to the shop selling 'kiss me quick' hats) Mark and Fran take a well deserved rest whilst Ana wanders off for a tinkle in the bushes.

Her wee is cut short by Berryman tho' who stabs her violently up the arse and ties the poor girl to a tree before giving chase to our heroes.

Faining mild concern for Ana when she doesn't return the pair just shrug their shoulders before carrying on towards the boats where they find Tommy hiding under a dirty sheet (yup, you got it) crying.

Dodging balsa wood crocodiles and Tommy's never ending streams of snot the trio make it onto a boat and head in the direction of a nearby friendly tribe only to be captured in big butterfly nets by Horne and his team....


"Put it in me!"




But help is coming in the corduroy clad form of Tommy's dad and a helicopter full of gun toting soldier types, the question is will they arrive in time?

 


 


They always say start as you mean to go on, and Ruggero Deodato's fantastically violent exploiter does just that.

Drug dealers, sexy sweaty ladies, topless poison dart firing natives and bad toothed cokernee's getting torn in half, this film has it all, plus about seven opening sequences and a rocktastic Claudio Simonetti score.

Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Playing out like an ultra-violent episode of Miami Vice (on budget that wouldn't pay for one pair of Don Johnson's deck shoes) drunkenly gene spliced with liberal helpings of Heart of Darkness and the directors own Cannibal Holocaust, Cut And Run so wants to be a serious adult crime drama Ala The French Connection but comes across more like a secondary school video club version of Apocalypse Now with added breasts.

And frankly it's much better for it.

"Put it in me!"


From the 'hard bitten' female reporter to the purple hatted pimp via the Nam vet gone native, every single character is a comic book cliche made flesh, the ramshackle plot stopping only for even more bloodshed or needless nudity. 

The plot (what there is of it) moves so quickly (only stopping for a beheading or a quick glimpse of lady parts) that you happily forget that none of it makes sense and just sit back, switch off and enjoy.

And the reason it works so well is all down to Deodato's direction, his jovial personality and sheer entertainer-like persona seeps into every scene and every performance be it good or bad.

Except, of course where Willie Aames is concerned that is.

Which in it's own perverse way is one of the most enjoyable things about it.

Cinematic gold from a cinematic genius like whom we'll never see the likes of again.

RIP.


Saturday, December 24, 2022

merry christmas....

 ...to all you readers at home!