Saturday, February 22, 2020

just because....

Jill Bryson from Strawberry Switchblade.













Friday, February 21, 2020

romay holiday.

Finished up all the FrightFest art for this year so decided to fill my empty, meaningless life by tidying the house.

Yes I know.

Anyway just picked this up (the way one would a particularly vile STD) from behind Cassidy's bed and felt I had to share (ditto).


Les Amazones du Temple D'or (AKA Golden Temple Amazons, Amazons in the Temple of Gold, 1986).
Dir: Alain Payet (AKA James Gartner - yet credited to good old Jess Franco overseas).
Cast: J. R. Gossart, Analía Ivars, William Berger, Antonio Mayans, Stanley Kapoul, Olivier Mathot, Eva León* and Lina Romay.





I'm Rena and I will enjoy playing with you!”


Somewhere in the steaming hot jungles of the Amazon (or more likely the park behind the directors house) the sweaty, mouse like missionary Tom Godly (Bra maker Gossart) is surprised one morning whilst on his way to convert the natives when he comes across - stop it - a secret cave hidden in the mysterious Blue Mountains (no, not the ones from that Laurel and Hardy film) that is filled to bursting with large quantities of gold.

Returning to his jungle pad as fast as his skinny Christian legs can carry him and with his pockets bulging with a dozen or so Ferrero Rocher sized nuggets he excitedly tells his fright haired, tombstone toothed wife Greta (Franco's missis Romay in a scarily non-naked film role) that because they are now rich enough that they can give up this Holy lark and retire to Ibiza.


Cagney And Lacey: The Pikey Years.


What he hasn't realized, however is that the cave is in fact a holy golden temple belonging to the local tribe of topless, gold pants wearing Amazon warriors, feared amongst the locals and ruled with a rod of iron by their scary leader Stan Uruk (Berger from The Winds of War).

Well, it's an easy mistake to make.

These bewigged and busty warrior women, discovering that they've been robbed, follow Tom back home, demanding that he give them back the booty or else.

Tom chooses 'or else' much to the chagrin of their evil leader who being one of those guys that justifies every single one of his frankly bonkers - and often violent -  actions with some kinda religion reason (as is the way of these types), not too surprising kills poor old Tom and Greta in a hail of poison arrows and slow motion yelling, leaving their young daughter Liana (fish lipped Franco regular Ivars) to fend for herself in this hostile tropical hell.

Or Govan as we call it up here.

Luckily a friendly monkey and a local tribe take pity on her and help her out which is sweet in a kinda Disney way.


"Fiona! where's mah lunch?"


Jump forward a few years and the church have finally decided to send a new missionary (who scarily is the spitting image of Father Ted, not now obviously seeing as he's been dead about 20 years but you know what I mean) to discover what happened to Tom and Linda.

Better late than never I suppose.

Arriving at their dilapidated cabin he's surprised (there's a lot of it in this movie) to find Liana still living there in all her grown up glory, complete with a faintly embarrassing bubble perm and dressed in skimpy animal skins but luckily still resembling a startled haddock.

Despite being nubile and (half) naked, the missionary has no interest in Liana (well, she's not a wee boy) so he decides instead to read her fathers diary aloud, which as luck (or really atrocious plotting) would have it, conveniently explains all about the gold and her parents subsequent murder.

Which really begs the question as to why, after being run thru' with loads of arrows, he decided to write about it rather than raid the medicine drawer for aspirin or at very least a plaster.

"My dad told me about those cults.
People dressing up in black
and saying Our Lord's going to
come back and save us all".
"No, Liana, that's us. That's Catholicism".
"Oh right".


Upon hearing of her parents fate - she must have been busy when it happened, either that or she has the memory, as well as the looks, of a fish - Liana vows to have her revenge upon the evil Amazon women (and scary Stan) and immediately sets off towards the Blue Mountains, accompanied by her faithful pet chimp Rocky (himself) and a funny tribesman named Koukou
(Kapoul from the Andrea - Nights of Terror - Bianchi classic Maniac Killer).

It's going to be a long film.

Cue an endless nightmare of stock footage animals, Liana's breasts bouncing in slow motion and random shots of a monkey grinning like a loon for what seems like days.

Which is all well and good if you like that sort of thing but not too exciting if you enjoy interesting characters exchanging meaningful dialogue.

All that may be about to change tho' as our terrific trio come across (not literally, tho' in this case it might have been fun to see) a group of explorers out searching for the Golden Temple.

And one of them is played by Emilio Linder!

Now that makes all the difference.


"Laugh Now!"


Anyway back to the plot where I can safely say without fear of spoiling it for those who've yet to see it but they all get to the cave unharmed (and with nay hair out of place or slips of nipple) and with no sense of jeopardy or danger whatsoever.

Tho' this may be to lull us into a false sense of security (or a coma) seeing as soon as they set foot in the cave our motley band are almost instantly rendered unconscious by Stan's eggy fart gas and imprisoned by the Amazon women ready to be used as slave labour in Uruk's secret gold mines.

Or was that The Chuckle Brothers secret lemonade factory?

Little Mix number one for Christmas....MONSTA!


None of these questions will be answered however as there are  more important things afoot, like overly long and totally random scenes of topless ladies in tiny gold pants sword fighting under the watchful (and lustful) gaze of the bequiffed and eyepatched Rina (the frankly magnificent León, best known around here for her top rendition of the top pop tune Una Mujer on the TeeVee show El Hotel de las Mil y Una Estrellas and a woman whose performance alone raises this film to genius level if I'm honest.).

It seems that Rina is a tad upset at Liana turning up and wants her out of the way just in case there's any chance of Uruk choosing our haddock-faced chum as his successor instead.

Luckily Rina has a cunning plan to rid herself of Liana that involves smearing blood on her (stunning) breasts in extreme close up whilst licking soot off various stoned wannabe starlets.

Which is nice work if you can get it.

Or just deeply tragic when you realise that this is the high point of the film.

Anyway, will our heroes escape?

And does anyone (except the investors) really care?

I love you.....could it be magic?

Aaah, you can't beat a wee bit of Jess Franco, the late great pensioner perv of quality Eurotrash, unfortunately tho' in this case he only seemed to be on hand to film the fleeting nude scenes (oh and his missis) which means that the usual Franco trademarks - sexy European girls with massive bushes writhing around on knock-off Ikea sofa beds whilst his other half licks tomato sauce of their thighs are all missing, replaced with director Payet's trademark 'point the camera randomly and hope something interesting happens' technique that he honed on such classics as Hitler's Last Train, Captive Women 5: Mistresses of the 3rd Reich, Confessions très intimes d'une petite fille and French Erection.

Eva León: Ask your granddad.

Luckily for us tho' he left his infamous Nazi porn chic obsessions at home this time, which would be OK if he'd at least attempted to add something (anything) else to the film other than a deep depressing hole that radiates out from the screen and into the pit of your stomach.

But why was Franco involved I hear you cry.

Rumor has it that he was just passing by the studio with his shopping one day and popped his head around the door to say hi.

But I like to think that maybe he was on holiday near the location and just stumbled across them filming.

Which would explain a lot.

Except that is why the whole thing look like a nursery school version of Raiders of The Lost Ark, albeit one with loads of wobbly breasts and some sporadic scenes of mindless violence.

Mumbled dubbing, a tinny synth score, a human/cod hybrid in a fur bikini and overlong slo-mo shots of topless women on horseback all add up to the celluloid equivalent of anal warts, just slightly more embarrassing to admit to having let alone enjoying.

I should start a support group.
































*Not this one:



Thursday, February 20, 2020

beard of evil.

Just awoke to the news that José Mojica Marins AKA  Coffin Joe has died.

Which has kinda put the dampers on Mrs Unwell's birthday seeing as he's her real dad.

No seriously.

You should check her nails.

So anyway in tribute - and because loads of folk (well one) emailed to find out what happened to him post À Meia-Noite Levarei Sua Alma I thought it was time to review the fantastically monikered:

Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver (AKA This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse, Tonight I Will Make Your Corpse Turn Red, Tonight I Will Paint in Flesh Colour. 1967).
Dir: Jose Mojica-Marins.
Cast: Jose Mojica-Marins, Tina Wohlers, Nadia Freitas, Antonio Fracari, Jose Lobo, Esmeralda Ruchel, Paula Ramos and Tania Mendonça.




Mad as a bag of spanners undertaker Zé Do Caixão (AKA the late great but still warm seeing as he only died yesterday Coffin Joe) having pissed off everyone is his home town with his constant raping, killings and eating meat on holy days has run away to the local cemetery scarily pursued by ghosts (are you getting all this?) and, after hiding in the crypt of his murdered (by Zé obviously) best friend ends up scared shitless by the spirits of his victims.

The pursuing townsfolk arrive to find him lying in a pool of his own urine, all googly eyed and dribbling like a wean.

But, incredibly, still alive.

But still having to answer for all those killings (and rapes and mutilations) Zé is placed under arrest to await his trial.

Luckily for him (but of no surprise to anyone who's seen the first movie), the authorities have no hard evidence and have to let Zé go free.

Heading back to his (newly acquired) castle with his (recently hired) hunchback assistant Bruno Marrs (Lobo, not the DC Comics character) our undertaker pal quickly resumes his mission to find the perfect woman to give him a child.

But being the wacky outgoing guy that we all know and love, Zé forgoes the normal dating channels (such as the internet, Guardian Soulmates and the like) and decides that it'd be easier to just send Bruno out to kidnap the five best looking ladies in town.

Well, the four best looking and their lopsided mouthed pal.

OK if I'm honest he kidnaps the five actresses least likely to complain about having to show their nipples whilst wearing huge black pants.


"Fuck me it's Fred Titmus!"




Always the gentleman, Zé, taking a leaf from late but not lamented TeeVee show Big Brother waits till they've all calmed down and settled in before explaining his plans - which involves torturing them with big hairy spiders, threatening to let Bruno shag them and finally dropping the ladies into a pit filled with large, possibly phallic snakes.

I say possibly because I'm never too sure about that kind of thing, which is why I stick to films with killings in them.

At the end of all this general badness only one woman is left standing, a wealthy, blonde and scarily buxom widow named Marcia (Freitas) who is more than happy to oblige our hero in his quest for an heir.

Which begs the question why he didn't just ask the ladies politely to begin with?


"We've got some great photo's of you without the
hump showing but the bad news
is
that we can't get the album shut".


Everything is going swimmingly for Zé and his new squeeze until one day, when our hatted hero is out picking flowers and stuff he bumps into the dark eyed and bullet breasted Laura (Wolhers, star of the underrated Amantes, Amanhã Se Houver Sol) who not only happens to be the daughter of a prominent town dignitary but is as completely fruit loops as Zé is.

Love is indeed in the air.

And from the look of the fog surrounding Zé's home so are a number of eggy farts.

Not too surprisingly her dad and family are furious (tho' not as furious as that fast film with Vin Diesel) so decide to take matters into their own hands hiring some bad men to 'duff Zé up'.

Don't worry tho' because as we all know by this point Zé's nothing if hard as nails and ends up killing them instead.


"Don't forget Zé, Graham and his
team are waiting backstage to help
you with your anger issues should the DNA results
reveal that the beard isn't yours!"




It's only a matter of time before Laura falls pregnant giving Zé an excuse to go into town, get pissed and hand out exploding cigars to everyone but whilst enjoying his new found status as daddy but whilst out enjoying himself he inadvertently discovers that one of the women he's offed earlier was pregnant and not just portly as he'd mistakenly believed.

The thought of killing a child sends Zé into a fit of guilt and rage that not even a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle can cure culminating in dreams of being dragged to Hell by a big, naked black man to witness the horrors that befall cursed souls.

Oh, and a load of buff, thong wearing muscle men with their arses painted red.


 
Inside Michael Gove's mind.





It's at this point that things start to go from bad to very bad for our coffin carrying chum as Laura loses the baby, causing Zé's somewhat tenuous grip on reality to slip even more whilst the local law enforcement folk start to put two and two together (finally) with regards to all the killings and general badness that's been occurring in the local area since Zé moved in.

There's only one course of action left to the top hatted terror and that's to scarper into the swamp....

But has Zé's luck finally run out?



"Tonight I will make your corpse turn red, but
not before I've turned your
mooth a shitey brown colour!"





The second part of Jose Mojica Marins 'Coffin Joe' trilogy offers more of the same mix of violence, philosophy, nudity and murder but on a much more polished scale.

Like a Marvel Comics re-imagining of the character of Joe, the movie adds a hunchback butler and spooky castle to the mix giving our anti-hero an almost Doctor Doom feel and the plot, whilst an almost carbon copy of the first movie, seems bigger and brasher expanding to a point where the character of Joe moves from being 'just' an evil bogeyman figure to become the whole reason for the films existence.

And the horror genre is all the better for it.

Everything about Esta Noite Encarnarei no Teu Cadáver is so unique and different from anything else being produced at the time, from the juxtaposition of the hand scrawled animated credits flashed over a frantic display of images against the classic gothic look of Coffin Joe himself, it becomes obvious that you're experiencing a film created by a true visionary and a master of storytelling.

And if any director deserved recognition outside his chosen genre then it's Jose Mojica-Marins, that brilliant yet utterly bonkers Brazilian eccentric, loved and hated in equal measures in his homeland where he's viewed as either a god or an living breathing incarnation of his on-screen persona.

The church to this day still vigorously attack his anti-religion stance and his ongoing theme of ethical beliefs and religious principles, and at the centre of this we have Coffin Joe and his quest to cement his ideal of man's place in the hierarchy of heaven and hell, violently confronting and challenging blind conformity and ultimately to prove man's superiority over God himself.



Pants.


Tho' Marins would quite possibly say I was talking utter bollocks and that he just makes the wee horror films to scare the weans shitless.

If this is the case then fair play to him, but I really do believe that we need directors like Marins working in our beloved genre.

And that the world in general deserves a character such as Coffin Joe, today more than ever.

God bless you sir, you will be missed.

13 March 1936 -
19 February 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

in living colour*.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Super 8 and Spanish style!














*That's 'color' for any American 'readers'.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

video naschy.

I love Paul Naschy.

I love Maria Kosti.

I love corpses.

But scarily I've never had an opinion on dragonflies.

Rewatched this gem last night and realised that the review of it from years back has only been looked at twice so I'm reposting it in the hope that someone might actually read it.

I wont say too much about it tho' because:

A. I don't want to give too much away.

B. I'll make it sound shit.

but more importantly

C. I really can't be arsed.

Enjoy.

A Dragonfly For Each Corpse (AKA Una libélula para cada muerto, Red Killer, 1974).
Dir: León Klimovsky.
Cast: Paul Naschy, Erika Blanc, Eduardo Calvo, Ángel Aranda, Antonio Mayans, Maria Kosti, Ricardo Merino, José Canalejas, Rafael Albaicín, Susana Mayo and Maria Vidal (not the one that sang Body Rock).




Welcome to the  fashion capital of the world, - tho' you wouldn't guess that from the state of the ties and collars -  the groovy city of Milan where a mentalist murderer clad in a ladies raincoat and massive red flares that are oh so slightly too short is busy ridding the city of what they term as 'undesirables'.

You know the types, monkey-faced junkies, various dirty ladies and skinny bearded men in big white pants who are dispatched using a variety of implements ranging from ceremonial swords to umbrellas with sharpened tips.

Which is nice.

But with this being a Giallo (as opposed to a common or garden slasher) the killer - by law - must leave a bizarre clue cum calling card which in this case is a shoddy dragonfly broach which appears to have been made by the producers hook handed blind child.

BBBBZZZZZ!!!!


Leading the investigation is girdle-wearing, bewigged bad boy of the old bill Inspector Paolo Scaporella (the legend that is Paul Naschy) - mustached machoman who loves nothing better than slapping perverts whilst chewing on a big cigar.

Oh yes, and cooking spaghetti whilst wearing a pink apron.

As the corpses pile up (tho' not literally mind) Paolo soon realises - with the help of his gorgeously ginger missis Silvana (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave's Blanc) and their group of high society dinner party pals (which appears to include Jess Franco's evil twin) that all the victims are members of the cities criminal underworld and that the dragonfly is an ancient symbol used to denote bad people.

And whores obviously.

Blood on mah thigh!



As is the way with these films tho' it appears that many of their 'friends' have their own dark secrets which means that any one of them could be the next victim.

Or even the killer.

With a head full of conjecture and half-arsed theories, Paolo finally discovers a clue, it seems that one of the victims put up a wee bit of a struggle tearing a massive 'fashion' button from the killers coat so our hero enlists the help of his Kaftan-clad, haute couture homosexualist designer friend, Vittorio to try and track down the button's owner.

No, really.

But with the killer aware of Paolo's plan and Silvana taking to studying crime scene photos in the nude it's a race against time and good taste (plus a gang of biker neo-Nazis) to find the killer before there's no-one in the cast left to kill.

Or any viewers left to care.

Title.




Obviously bored with being stuck inside a furry suit 24 hours a day when making Waldemar Daninsky werewolf movies Paul Naschy decided to try a different tact  with A Dragonfly For Each Corpse and emulate the erotically charged Giallo's spewing forth from Italy at that time.

Well it was either that or he fancied a free holiday to Milan.

The result is, shall we say interesting.

George and Mildred: The Yewtree years.


Tho' nowhere near as polished or as accomplished as it's Italian counterparts Dragonfly is still a load of fun, partly due to the always watchable Naschy (and his mighty man breasts) alongside genre stalwarts Erika Blanc and Maria Kosti (or Kosty as she's credited here) but mainly because of the sheer amount of early seventies fashions on show.

Especially the ties.

No, really there are kipper ties, crotch covering paisley ties, ones with squared off edges and some so thin you'd mistake them for a hunger striker.

It's like a down at heel charity shop made flesh.

Add to that an arse end sixties style score, a stripper clad only in a crotched doily lounging in a coffin, Erika Blanc's tan lines, a group of geriatric Nazi boot boys and a climax featuring Naschy chasing a bandy legged transvestite thru' a kiddies playpark and you have all the elements needed for a top night in.

Recommended.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

childcare for beginners (part one).


Nuff said really.

Friday, January 31, 2020

t-rextacy.


Originally released way back in 1994 on the ragged coattails of Jurassic Park, Tammy and the T-Rex is a bit of a guilty pleasure at Arena Towers - epitomizing as it does everything that was/is utter shit about mid 90s movies.

When I reviewed this originally way back in 2007 I remember saying (well typing but you get the idea) that it would probably fare a wee bit better - and receive a bit more love - if the director had just gone "fuck it!" and made it a gore soaked T-Rex 'n' sex based movie to begin with rather than a poverty row screwball comedy filled with cock jokes and hellish homosexual stereotypes.

So you can imagine my surprise - I'm easily pleased - when it was announced that an unrated “Gore Cut” had been discovered and is finally getting a Glasgow airing next month.*

Hopefully someone will read this and be so impressed they'll invite me along to do a 'proper' review.
If not you'll just have to put up with the very old - and very creaky one from way back.

For those of you reading it for the first time - enjoy, and for those of you re-reading it - I've added a few more "Shite in mah mooth!" captions for you so everyone's a winner.
Except Paul Walker obviously.

And not just because he had to spend the entire shoot encased in a dinosaur suit that the Pertwee era production team would think twice at putting on screen.

Tammy And The T-Rex (1994)
Dir: Stuart Raffil.
Cast: Denise Richards, Paul Walker, George Pilgrim, Ellen Dubin, Sean Whalen, Theo Forsett, Terry Kiser and a big dinosaur.








Fish lipped and shiny haired high school cheerleader Tammy (a pre-Bond - and pre-Botox - Richards) has fallen madly in love with the sensitive yet still manly football jock Michael (a pre-death Walker) and spend her school days gazing adoringly at him from afar.

Unfortunately tho' her mad as a bag of spanners, ex-beau Billy (Pilgrim, best known as the original AJ Chamberlain on CBS's longest running Soap Opera of all time, Guiding Light) is making her life a living hell, stalking her, phoning her and generally being a bad lad who takes particular offense to Michael's apparent interest in Tammy which culminates in a playground scrap where the pair roughly grab each others genitalia to see who will let go first much to the eye-popping amusement of Tammy's black and gay (wasn't it always the way in the 90s?) best friend Byron (Forsett, best known for Street Knight and Street Hawk - poor fucker).

Luckily this only brings the pair together and Michael finally asks her out for a picnic.


As in for sandwiches, crisps and pop 'n' stuff, not just to share a chocolate bar.

Glad that's sorted.

But Billy is lying in wait and upon discovering Michael in Tammy’s room later that evening explodes in a fit of jealous rage and chases poor Michael across town before beating the crap out of him and throwing his unconscious body into the lion enclosure at the local zoo.

Which seems a wee bit over the score if I'm honest.

Fast, furious and fish lipped.


As luck - and plotting - would have it Michael is only slightly (but not quite fatally) mauled and is rushed to hospital under the care of medical mentalist Dr. Wachenstein (TeeVee stalwart and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood star Kiser giving it 110%) and his 'busty' German assistant Helga (Dubin from Napoleon Dynamite and your dad's bed).

Hearing the terrible news Tammy hurriedly squeezes into her best slut chic outfit and rushes to be at Michael's bedside only to find that Wachenstein - after having a wee fiddle with his bits because he's a bad man - has transplanted Michael's brain into the body of a ferocious T-Rex.

As you would.

Tammy does what any strong independent woman would do in this situation and faints.

As does Byron because he's gay obviously.


But what of poor Michael?

Waking up in his new (tiny handed) body he, quite understandably, goes on a mad killing rampage attacking Billy and his gang at a pool party before squashing the bully underfoot.

Luckily for the crew the 'delicate' animatronics didn't fuse in the water, tho' the fact that the dinosaur can only move it's head ala the Clooney Batman probably means it was a clockwork one.

Either that or a really awful Halloween costume.

There's no time to spend admiring the dino-suit tho' as we're about to strike comedy gold when Helga arrives at the scene and upon surveying the carnage decides to roll the squashed body of Billy up like a carpet.

Oh.

My.

Sides.



"Fiona! Where's mah lunch?"



Realising that most of the subsequent dino attacks are probably going to end up on the cutting room floor director Raffil plows straight into the romance subplot so has Michael kidnap Tammy and take her to a secluded hayloft just out of town.

Tho' how he can pick her up in those itsy bitsy stick thin arms is never revealed.

It doesn't take Tammy long to figure out that the horny lizard rubbing against her leg is her beau and so begins a race against time (and good taste) to find Michael a more 'acceptable' body and one better suited to giving Tammy the love she needs whilst dodging the local sheriff and the mad doctor intent on reclaiming his latest creation.

Seriously you get the idea, can I stop now?


Laugh now!


From the director who gave us Mannequin: On the Move, The Ice Pirates and Mac And Me comes a movie that does for the dinosaur what Cruising did for random night club pick-ups.

Tho' to be fair at least after Cruising your dad decided to stay home a wee bit more at the weekend which probably helped save yer folks marriage.

At least till you left home and he moved out to share a flat with his pal Brian from work.

You remember, the flat you couldn't visit because it only had one bedroom so your dad slept on the couch.

Just me then?

No caption needed.






Anyway back to Tammy and the T-Rex - if I must - which is just like your dad's life choices is a cliche-filled, ultra-shite crapfest of equally baffling and oddly schizophrenic proportions that's neither funny enough or blackly comic enough to be any way successful tho' to it's - very mild - credit it does have some scenes that raise if not a wee chuckle then a little bit of bile at the back of your throat.

Yes, I'm talking about the bit where Tammy sexily strips to her 80s style white Madonna basque and suspenders - complete with white fluffy boa in front of a brain in a jar.

A brain she has just poured a glass of champagne over to 'get it in the mood'.

Oh.

My.

Sides.

Oh, and maybe, just maybe I'd have to mention the scene with the T-rex watching a funeral from behind a bush and maybe even the 'tender' love moments between Tammy and a large rubber dinosaur which were both vaguely amusing but that's about it seeing as most of the alleged comedy comes from some Chuckle Brothers style pratfalls and the fact that Tammy might be sleeping with a dinosaur, I mean just imagine the films standing if the director had show the balls to give us some foxy Denise on dino' soft focus, MOR scored loving.

Or is that just me that gets excited by that thought?


"Shite in mah huge Jurassic mooth you ape descended bastards!"




Worth it only if you're a crap dinosaur fan or get off at the thought of Denise Richards dressed up like your uncles new mail-order 'girlfriend' at Christmas whilst flirting outrageously with a rubber T-Rex.


Or if you have shit for eyes.










































*Tho' if you lived in Italy on it's original release you've probably seen most of the cut stuff seeing as the deleted scenes were reinstated there.