Friday, December 7, 2018

and the answer is.....




No.

slay ride.

A festive film favourite with the kids for you now.....

Black Christmas (AKA Silent Night, Evil Night, Stranger in the House 1974).
Dir: Bob Clark.
Cast: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Michael Rapport, Lynne Griffin, Marian Waldman and Andrea Martin.


If this movie doesn't make your skin crawl... It's On Too Tight! (is that even physically possible?)




Tis the season to be jolly, there's snow on the ground, love in the air, the smell of chestnuts roasting and in a sorority house at the world famous Baldpate University of Clever Clogs, many of the female students - including badgirl Barb and the virginal Jess - (a pre-mentalism Kidder and the pony faced Hussey) have been receiving a series of obscene phone calls from a strange perv nicknamed The Moaner.

You'll probably remember that's why your dad got sacked from The Samaritans.

Being a horror movie tho' no one takes his calls seriously, with a few of the saucier students (hands up Barb - tho' not literally, a couple of fingers would suffice) - actually looking forward to his nightly messages, that is until the night when Jess hears the screams and gasps of a woman in the background.

Calling her friends to listen in it's not long before Barb is threatening The Moaner with a severe buggering only to have him reply that he's going to kill her to death and with that he hangs up and the girls go about their business.

Which in this case is packing for the Christmas holidays.


Which as slasher fans will know is as good a cue as any for the bad murders to start.

"Try and shite in mah mooth now you bastard!"




And start they do when cutesy Co-ed Clare Harrison (Griffin from the brilliant Curtains which I'm sure I'd reviewed once but it seems to have been deleted which is a pity as I remember it being a lot better written than this) becomes moaners first victim, a plastic bag wrapped around her head as shes dragged to the attic and sat in a rocking chair.

Obviously the killer knows a cool poster image when he sees one.

The following morning, Clare's dad George arrives to pick up his daughter but she doesn't show up he quickly heads over to the sorority house to, if not find her then at least get a glimpse of Lois Lane's stocking tops.

Well it is Christmas.

Unfortunately the only thrill he gets is a peek at housekeeper Mrs. MacHenry's (world's shittest superhero Waldman) infeasibley large hat.

And that is worth the R rating alone if I'm honest.

Meanwhile Jess is meeting up with her neurotic musician boyfriend, Peter (2001's Dullea saddled with really crap hair) to tell him that she's pregnant and thinking about having an abortion.

Which is nice and festive.

Peter, being a 70s type of guy gets a wee bit angry and shouts at poor Jess before stomping off in a huff giving us an excuse to see what good old Mr. Harrison is up to in the search for his daughter.

Well him, Barb and Phyllis (Kim Possible voice-over actress Martin, who also appeared in the remake too don't you know) are busy at the police station try to get tough as nails cop Lieutenant Kenneth 'Horse Cock' Fuller (Saxon - nuff said) to form a search party and look for the missing girl.

John Saxon receives a call from his agent

offering him the lead in Cannibal Apocalypse.


Unfortunately he's a wee bit busy as another girl, Janis, has also vanished while walking home from school and seeing as she's much younger (and cuter) the police would rather look for her.

Which is fair enough I guess.

Barb, overly upset by her friends disappearance, gets drunk leaving Mr. Harrison, Jess,and Phyllis free to visit the local park where Janis was last seen.

Adding even more stress to the situation is the fact that Mrs. MacHenry can't seem to place her pussy and between that and packing to go to her sister's for Christmas is causing all manner of problems for the housemates.

It's great to get your priorities right isn't it?

Luckily after following a faint 'meowing' noise she finds her precious moggy in the attic, unfortunately she also finds the killer, who promptly wedges a hook in the face.

Which is nice.

Obviously on a gore-filled frenzy after seeing how great the face stabbing effect looked, it's only a matter of time before Janis' mutilated body is found, upsetting Jess to a point where she has to go home to bed.

Poor lamb.

"Hallo? French Polishers?

you might just save my life!"


As the others continue their search continues for Clare, Jess receives yet another obscene phone call and this time decides to report it to the police but as she does Peter turns up to beg her to marry him.

Jess refuses and Peter storms off in a huff just as Lieutenant Fuller arrives to bug the telephone.

As in put a recording device on it, not hassle it over unpaid bills etc.

With the movie rushing (albeit leisurely) toward its climax, Fuller pools all his resources in an attempt to stop the moaners reign of, er..moaning, unfortunately this appears to involve standing around in the street looking tough whilst holding a megaphone whilst eyeing up carol singers.

"Boiled onions!"

And it's the dulcet tones of these carol singers - who just happen to be visiting Jess' house at the time) that the mysterious killer decides to use as cover as he continues his reign of terror, firstly stabbing Barb to death with a handy statue before murdering Phyllis too.

But Fuller is hot on his trail and has managed to trace the moaners calls.

And they're coming from inside the house.

It seems that Fuller had totally forgotten that there was an extension built onto the sorority house and that the killer could happily hide there, listening to peoples conversations and phone calls.

It's like a nightmare version of Homes Under The Hammer.

Ringing the house Fuller warns Jessica to leave immediately and wait for him outside but, being a girl she gets lost on the way from the living room to the front door and heads upstairs (armed with a poker at least) instead where - surprise - she is jumped on by the killer.

Managing to escape she runs back downstairs completely missing the front door (again) and heads into the basement where she bumps into her grumpy boyfriend Peter, whom she is convinced is the killer for no other reason than he wants to marry her.

What a bastard.

And as he approaches her to talk Jessica bludgeons him to death with the poker.

Ouch.

The lights are on.




The police arrive to find her hunched over Peters body and decide that the case is closed - It's possibly their Christmas night out so understandably they want to get everything down as soon as - so you can imagine the conversation between Fuller and his men; "Aye, that Peter was a wee bit angry with his girlfriend not wanting to marry him so he must be the killer and the fact that we've found his aforementioned estranged girlfriend leaning over him holding a bloody poker means it must have been him! Right! mines a Babycham!".

Sorted.

They pack up the bodies, clean up the blood and bid their farewells to Jess, leaving her alone (in a major crime scene) to sleep off the excitement of her friends being murdered and killing her boyfriend.

But as we cut to the attic one last time we discover that there are two dead bodies that have yet to be found and as a man's voice whispers out thru' the darkness the phone begins to ring.....




Possibly the first of the modern 'slasher' cycle made famous by Halloween and Friday The 13th, the late, great Bob Clark's genre defining Black Christmas is unfortunately overlooked by all but the most rabid horror fans and Clark himself is better known for his seminal holiday classic A Christmas Story and Porky's than for this and the fantastic Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.

Which is a shame as Black Christmas has much to offer, not just of historical interest but as a darn good frightener in its own right.

Featuring a decidedly eclectic cast—from Superman's Margot Kidder to cult stalwart John Saxon via the Star Child himself Keir Dullea as well as many shots and set ups that would become genre mainstays, Clark's movie deserves to be sought out by any self respecting film fan if only to see where the stalk and slash genre started.

As well as to have a bloody good laugh at the haircuts and trousers obviously.

It's not too late to rush out and buy it to watch on Christmas Eve, tho' make sure you don't pick up the shite 2006 remake by mistake.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

warlock homes.

Our story tonight opens in an - amateurishly lit - school corridor with sound recording that appears to have been done in - and on - an eggbox where an unnamed girl (Zerrienis...bless you) is wandering around in a tiny skirt whilst clutching the worlds brightest candle before being brutally slain by a weirdy beardy with an axe.


And cue spooky music cos it's time for.....


Warlock Moon (1973).
Dir: William Herbert.
Cast:  Laurie Walters, Joe Spano, Edna MacAfee, Harry Bauer, Joan Zerrien, Charles Raino, Ray K. Goman, Steve Solinsky and Richard Vielle.

"It's an old family recipe. I call it hunter's stew. It'd spoil all the fun if I told you how I made it."



Cutesy college student Jenny Macallister (The 'Slim, pretty, and appealing' Walters - well that's how IMDB describes her - who once appeared in a bathtub with Don Johnson in “The Harrad Experiment”, they were both naked fact fans) is wandering the campus minding her own business after spending a busy morning studying deviance's such as homosexuality and cannibalism when she's approached by an bowl-haircutted wannabe newshound wearing a creepy mask and a flasher mac named John (Spano from top TV tec trailblazer Hill Street Blues looking for all the world like John Amplas with a Greggs fetish).

By the way I mean he's named John, not the coat.

Following her around campus - in a totally non-freaky way obviously - whilst regaling her with amusing jokes in a variety of comedy accents is enough to wear her down enough to accept a picnic date with him and the pair are soon driving off thru' the countryside ready for a slap up feast of egg sandwiches, fizzy pop and pickled onion Monster Munch.

He's a smooth operator and no mistaking.

"Do you wanna come sit in me motor so I can bite you?"


After a lovely afternoon snacking n' chatting and being stuffed to the gills and drunk on fun the pair decide to call it a day and head home but a wrong turn leads them to an eerie old rundown spa.

As in a health club cum holiday camp, not the supermarket.

Which is actually spelled differently.

Anyway being a horror movie they decide to explore it.

As they wander thru' the dilapidated buildings they soon come across (in a non-sexual way obviously) an old woman by the name of Agnes Abercrombi (creator of that anti-virus software and star of Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, MacAfee) who still lives in the abandoned spa.

Sounds legit.

Not you.
 

Being a total and utter not at all sinister old lady, she invites the young couple to stay for tea and biscuits but as soon as Jenny takes a sip she begins to feel unwell and has to lie down, leaving John and Agnes to take the tour of the building alone whilst the poor girl lounges on the sofa, grabbing her tummy and farting.

Which if I'm honest sounds like a normal night in.

As the pair rummage around in the old ladies rooms Jenny amuses herself by cheekily rifling thru' Agnes' drawers where she discovers a shed load - well drawer load - of medical paraphernalia including syringes and vials of 'special' medicine.

Which is nice.

As she continues raking thru' a strangers possessions (and a stranger that's been dead nice to her seeing as she was caught wandering around her house, how's that for grateful?) Jenny is suddenly shocked - well as suddenly shocked as a very thin person can be -  to see the ghostly apparition of a woman in a wedding dress float passed the window below.



"Would you like to put it in me?"


Say what you want about the overall quality of this movie (yup, it's crap) but they're not skimping on the plot points.

Despite all the weirdness going down, John manages to persuade her to return the next week as his editor thinks an interview with dear old Agnes might be of some enjoyment to the readers.

Or at the very least some - tasteful - snatch shots.

Say what you want about John's fright-fright and piggy eyes, his persuasive pulling powers are second to none so I reckon he could convince her.
 
Arriving before him (hey he let the lady come first, what a guy) Jenny decides to go and find Agnes but is surprised that there's no sign old woman or of any of her belongings.

Even the faint smell of piss and gin has gone.

Suddenly an old man with a shotgun pops out from behind a tree and introduces himself, he's local postman cum part-time hunter Bernard Sexington (Bauer, I can't be arsed checking if he was in owt else sorry) who - in a stunning infodump -  informs Jenny that the resort was closed down in the 1930s in tragic circumstances.

It seems that the owners had decided to host a ball for their newly married daughter but she went missing just before the party.

Presuming that she was away having 'the sex; with her new hubbie the guests started the party without her and proceeded to enjoy the slap up nosh served by the (female) chef.

It was only much later (well around the cheese board) that everyone realised that the chef was in fact a mentalist who had killed the bride and used her body as part of the main course.

Obviously they didn't eat her whole as they spat that bit out.

I thank you.

Noticing how upset the story makes Jenny he decides to tell her it's all bollocks, bids his farewells and leaves.

Only to be killed by a mad axeman a few minutes later safe in the knowledge that his job of filling in the backstory of the spa is done.

"Blood in mah mooth!"


 Jenny misses all of this tho' as she's finally found John and Agnes who has reappeared alongside all her stuff.

 Confused by this and after John convinces her that she's imagining things Jenny meekly sits down for a cup of Mrs. Abercrombi's tea,  only to start feeling a wee bit woozy again almost immediately after.

Hmmmmm.

As John and Agnes retire to the garden to conduct the interview Jenny suddenly hears the spooky voice of the ghostly bride calling to her, she follows and is led  to a room with a creepy sacrificial altar laid out in its centre.

You know, just like the one in your Auntie Jean's basement.

That's not all tho' for as she's examining it closer who should appear but the scary bearded bloke form earlier, swinging his mighty chopper around with gay abandon as he tries to stick it in poor Jenny.

Much chasing ensues and what sounds like the noise of a tortured cat is played on the soundtrack before Jenny - being a mere girl - faints.


Inside Theresa May's mind.



 Mrs. Abercrombi and John soon find her tho' (well it is nearly the end of the film) and are shocked to hear that there's a mad bloke running around killing folk but when they go to investigate there's no sign of anyone else around.

Jenny tho' is convinced but both Agnes and John put it down to her feeling unwell, insisting that the best thing for her is to stay overnight in Mrs Abercrombi's house.

But first it's time for dinner.

And another cup of her sweet smelling tea......





From writer/director/producer William Herbert comes this little seen lo-fi classic of creepy cults and cannibalism that belays it's pound shop roots with some (slightly over the) toptastic performances and a general air of menace not usually found in what would normally be the bottom half of a drive-in double bill.

And whilst it is admittedly  a wee bit shaky at times with sound quality verging  on the indecipherable the performances from the leads pull it back from the brink and make it such a joy to watch with some great (semi) improvised stuff that's as hypnotic as it is bizarre.

Take for instance the scene where John - in an attempt to woo Jenny - performs a one-man horror movie of the mind where he plays both monster and hero, defeating himself before planting a kiss on Jenny's lips and then, without warning flips again as he menacingly stalks Jenny armed with nothing but a big stick and a scary stare.

On paper this sounds ludicrous whereas on screen it's electrifying.

Your Nan's cum face (trust me I know).


Also worth the admission price is Edna MacAfee's almost Warholian non-performance as Agnes Abercrombi.

All pursed lips and pinched cheeks it's almost as if they just plucked a mad bag lady off the streets and let her loose.

Similar in ideas - if not in execution - to it's - slightly - more famous contemporary 'Folks At Red Wolf Inn' (release a year earlier), Warlock Moon straddles that fine line 'tween B movie drive in fodder like Blood Feast and the oncoming storm of cinema-verite violence ushered in by the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and it's influence can be seen everywhere from the Ti West Classic House of The Devil to most of Rob Zombies output.

Which is a shame but there you go.

Well worth a looksie.






Tuesday, November 27, 2018

the carpeteria cult.

For your viewing pleasure, Dale Robertson (best known for his starring roles as the roving investigator Jim Hardie in Tales of Wells Fargo and Ben Calhoun, the owner of an incomplete railroad line in The Iron Horse, fact fans) as the raspy voiced, sharp-suited sex god that was 'Carpeteria Man' in a trio of ads from the late 70s.

Warning - may contain Bri-Nylon.

And Rohypnol. 





Saturday, November 24, 2018

right said fred.




Well I couldn't really watch one without the other, especially when I got a comment reminding me how bloody good this is....


Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD (1966).
Dir: Gordon Flemyng.
Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins, Ray Brooks, Andrew Keir, Roberta Tovey,  Jill Curzon, Godfrey Quigley, Philip Madoc, Sheila Steafel, Eileen Way and the Daleks.

"My planet's got no magnetic core!" "How do you pilot it around then?" "Bedfordshire!"


Beginning with a fabulous pre-credits teaser that would do Bond proud, the film introduces us to hapless copper Tom Campbell (the legendary Cribbins) who, whilst minding his own business patrolling the dark city streets is bonked on the head by a gang of ruthless clock thieves before stumbling into Tardis after mistaking it for a real police box.

But before you can say 'Right said Fred' he's been whizzed away into a future London by our old friends Doctor Who (Cushing) and Susan (Tovey), this time aided by sultry Louise (the raven haired Curzon from your Granddads dreams).

Obviously Barbara has been sent away to Shady Nook, her mind and body broken after their last terrifying adventure.

Well either that or Roy Castle got her up the duff.

Dirty boy.

The Doctor and co. visit sunny Govan.



Arriving in the year 2150, our heroes (and Louise) are shocked to discover that London is now a desolate wasteland of ruined buildings  with the bodies of the dead littering the streets and sinister flying saucers hovering overhead.

Who knew that Brexit would cause so much heartache?

Upon further inspection tho' Dr Who discovers that the trouble is less about gammon and more to do with his old enemies the Daleks, who have invaded Earth and ravaged the planet whilst enslaving its population.

The bastards.

In what has become a Doctor Who tradition the foursome soon split up with typically exciting results,  Susan - after a terrifying ankle sprain - and Louise quickly being abducted by a flat capped grumpy Scotsman named Wyler (the one true Quatermass, Keir) whilst Dr Who and Tom are accosted by a Dalek who appears to have been hiding in the Thames for no reason other than to scare anyone walking by.

Which is fair enough I guess.

Captured and taken aboard a Dalek spaceship situated just off Sloane Square (it seemed important at the time) the duo are locked in a cell awaiting questioning but being a clever clogs Dr. Who manages to bypass the lock and escape, unaware that the Daleks have engineered the situation to test their captives’ suitability for robotisation.

And what, pray is robotisation when it's at home?

Well it seems that the Daleks have been kidnapping the fittest men in the country and, after scary brainwashing techniques involving stand-up hairdryers, dressing them in tight PVC jumpsuits and leather boots to use as 'slaves'.

And now Dr Who is next on their list.


"I can see your house from here Peter!"


Meanwhile, Wyler has taken the girls to a secret resistance base in the London Underground, where they're introduced to the sexy, blade-wielding David (Brooks, better known as the voice of Mr Benn) and the wheelchair-bound head of resisting, Danny Dortmun (Quigley, best known as the prison chaplain in A Clockwork Orange) who as luck would have it is in the middle of planning an attack on the Dalek saucer.

Tho' why he's leaving them with the cups I've no idea.

Disguising some of the rebels as Robomen and armed with Dortun's special home-made bombs the group manage to get aboard the spaceship and soon come across Dr. Who and Tom running in the opposite direction but there's no time for 'hellos' as the Daleks mount a cunning counter-attack that sees Tom and Louise trapped in a cupboard as the spaceship lifts off and Wyler returning to the base alone much to the disappointment of Dortmun and Susan who were expecting celebratory cake.

Keeping Up with the Kardashians- The pikey years.




Leaving her grandfather a note the trio decide to head to sunny Bedfordshire where, it transpires the Daleks are digging a big hole with the idea of removing Earths magnetic core and piloting the planet around like a big spaceship.

Sounds legit.

Stealing an Asda delivery van the trio are all set for the long drive until they realise that poor Dortmun can't fit in the back because the shelves are full of frozen fish fingers but as they try to make room the Daleks appear and exterminate him (to death) leaving Wyler and Susan no choice but to drive off leaving his still warm body twitching in the street.

Just like your mom did with your dad on Christmas Day back in 1984.

But what of dear old Dr. Who? I hear you ask.

Well he and David fucked off into the sewers at the first sign of trouble and are currently making their way back to base in order to meet up with any survivors only to think "Fuck it, let's go to Bedfordshire and hang about outside the famous Bedford Girls' School or at the very least meet some of the sexy contestants up for the coveted title of Miss New Bedford!*"  instead.

So off they trot to investigate the Dalek mining operation and hopefully score some weed along the way.

Meanwhile aboard the Dalek saucer, Tom and Louise are busying themselves escaping down a toilet only to end up stranded slap bang in the middle of the mining complex (which is kinda lucky I guess) and decide - after being attacked by a roboman, to hide out in a shed and hope that everything blows over.

Who will win the 62nd Miss New Bedford pageant and will they be able to stop the evil Dalek plan!?



With all this excitement going on it's nice to catch up with Wyler and Susan, who are currently enjoying a slap up meal at a cottage belonging to a sultry young woman named Morag (TV stalwart Steafel) and her mother the pursed lipped Graham (Way, who also played an old mother in An Unearthly Child....spooky).

As they sit scoffing biscuits Susan excitedly informs Wyler about how her granddad is gonna kick the Daleks' arses as soon as he gets to the mine and desperately tries to convince him that they should head there right away in case they miss anything.

Morag, bored with Susan's nasally whining makes her excuses and leaves, saying she has her womans period only to return a few minutes later with a couple of Daleks who take Wyler and Susan off to the mine.

Sorted.

Dear old Dr. Who and David have also found their way into the mining complex thanks to a sinister black marketeer named Baz 'Nylons' Brockley (Brian Morbius' best pal  - Mandy Solon himself, Madoc) who smuggles then in under a dog blanket to be reunited with a slightly coy Tom and Louise.

Which begs the question as to what they were up to in that shed.


"Don't stick it in me....fuck Cribbins he's strawberry flavoured!"



 With the group (almost) all together again it's a race against time - and 60s fashions - to stop the Daleks before they can complete their evil, and oh so slightly bonkers, plan.....






The Daleks second foray onto the big screen 'Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD' has the kinda title that gives even the most casual viewer some idea of what to expect - although the Daleks vs. the grumpy tramps might be more appropriate, feature as it does the greatest collection of flea market suits this side of an Oxfam opening.

But a change of clothes from sexy sci-fi suits to stinky cheese trousers isn't the only thing different second time around as the bright colours, comic book thrills and fun feel of the first movie have given way to an altogether more gritty film, a sort of junior 'Escape from New York' with Bernard Cribbins in the Kurt Russell role and Peter Cushing essaying Lee Van Cleef.

Albeit at one point with them both wearing black, wet-look PVC.

Which is actually a lot sexier than it sounds.

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


And for what is essentially a kid-friendly excuse to sell Dalek toys the movie isn't half bad and looks gorgeous, boasting  some genuinely great effects including a fabulously designed Dalek Spaceship flying menacingly over a devastated London and some super forced perspective sets, especially those at the saucers landing area.

The battle scenes between the survivors and the Daleks are well choreographed and visually exciting and the whole movie has a kind of 'epic' quality to it, only marred by some misplaced hi-jinx forced on Cribbins because that's what Roy Castle did first time around.

And whilst the comedy in the first movie is quite sweetly done, here it seems to jar against the overall seriousness of the plot, especially the Roboman meal scene, which cheapens the otherwise genuinely chilling concept behind these Dalek slaves.

A scene late on in the film, where one of the workers tries to reason with his robotised brother before being cruelly murdered by him, has its impact slightly lessened by the earlier antics of Bernard Cribbins scoffing dolly mixtures with his funny robot pals to a samba beat.

But fuck it the rest of the movie is perfect so who cares?

Not the rest of the cast that's for sure, of which none of them are anything other than brilliant (yes even Bernard Spear's cameo as the gurning man who falls over before winking to camera is great) especially Andrew Keir's grumpy - and slightly scary - Scotsman Wyler, Ray Brook's 'boy with the knack' and Philip Madoc's badboy Brockley, who in one of the movies best scenes meets his grisly demise in a garden shed blown to pieces by around twenty Daleks.

Yes, the film could afford that many, not just the three (including the shite one with no-one in it) that the BBC could only ever afford.


Davros farted - and it was an eggy one.



Unfortunately although 'Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD' was by far the more accomplished film of the pair, it scarily made less money than its predecessor curtailed any plans Subotsky had for further big screen Doctor Who adventures, which is sad really, as judging by his efforts here, the results could have only got better and better.

And quite possibly sexier as they continued, Planet of The Vampires and Barbarella I'm looking at you.....I mean, imagine Mario Bave directing a big screen  adaptation of The Chase?

My I need a lie down now.

It's a pity then that 'serious' Doctor Who fans (sorry, enthusiasts) see these movies as either embarrassing relatives of the series, or seldom mentioned curio's, when in fact these two sixties feature films offer a wealth of enjoyment to be had that at times eclipse the series that spawned them.

And not just because I quite fancied Roberta Tovey when I was 9.


Jill Curzon - Dalektable (sorry).


Bloody hell I just realised I did two whole reviews in a semi-serious manner.

Gonna have to fix that.





































*Which if they'd bothered to check a map would have realised is actually held in New Bedford in Bristol County, Massachusetts, United States and not the other one.

As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 95,072, making it the sixth-largest city in Massachusetts.

New Bedford is nicknamed "The Whaling City" because during the 19th century, the city was one of the most important whaling ports in the world plus it has a lot of very fat residents.

The city, along with Fall River and Taunton, make up the three largest cities in the South Coast region of Massachusetts.

If you ever find yourself there and feel a wee bit peckish can I recommend  The Green Bean located on 740 Purchase St,which has a top selection of
Vegan donuts, vegetarian wraps & locally roasted coffee all served in a charming cafe with live music.

Friday, November 23, 2018

skaro a go-go!

It's Doctor Who's birthday today and what better way to celebrate than with this?*

Dr. Who And The Daleks (1965)
Dir: Gordon Flemyng.
Cast: Peter Cushing, Roy Castle, Jennie Linden, Roberta Tovey, Barrie Ingham and The Daleks.


"In electro-connective theory, space expands to accommodate the time necessary to incorporate its dimensions." - Brexit in a nutshell.


Dotty old eccentric inventor Dr. Terry Who (Genre God Cushing) along with his granddaughters - the precocious Susan (Tovey, daughter of Russell) and the fright-haired Barbara (the totally terrifying yet equally tempting Linden) are enjoying a quiet evening in whilst awaiting the arrival of Barbara's new boyfriend Ian (Castle - who needs no introduction) who has tickets for the theatre, a box of chocolates and the keys to his dads shed in the hope he may see some action this evening.

Tho' judging by the tightness of Barbara's Capri-pants there's enough action on show already.

Happy that Barbara is actually interested in men and not one of those Lesbosians he's read about in his medical journals Dr. Who, upon Ian's arrival  excitedly invites him into the garden to see his latest invention - a time and space machine called Tardis that he's build inside a police telephone box that he stole from the set of the 1962 Richard Lester directed Helen Shapiro starrer It's Trad, Dad!

Unable to resist a poke in a mysterious box Ian gingerly follows Dr. Who and his family into the garden and into (the) Tardis.

"And this Susan is all the fucks I give!"



With this being the pre-sexy, fairly staid bit of the 60s, Ian gets a wee bit overexcited with the amount of shiny knobs on show inside the machine and accidently tries to insert one of them up his arse causing Tardis to fly off to fuck knows where as the intrepid travelers are overcome by the smell of stale onions.

Slowly coming to Dr. Who is intrigued to see where they are, unlike Ian and Barbara who are nervously looking at their watches wondering if they'll have time for a quick drink before the show starts, so it's left to Susan to decide what to do.

Being one of those swatty types she elects to have a wee scout around before they head home.

Well you can't really blame her seeing as her sister has paired off and the smell of humbugs has probably put her off kissing her granddad.

Again.

So they all decide to leave the relative safety of the ship and furtively open the doors to see where they are.

Which - if I'm honest - is in a really quite impressive and moodily lit petrified alien jungle set complete with wacky TV-21 style mummified monsters and a mysterious (model) city way off in the distance.

Seriously the design puts Alien to shame.

Or at least Shocking Dark.

Plus it has something that neither of those classics have, namely Roy Castle at the height of his comedic powers falling over plastic dinosaurs whilst whistling.

Genius.

"We've come on holiday by mistake!"



And if that wasn't enough - and it is - someone - or something - has left a handy container of drugs outside Tardis door so they can chill out (or go 'mad for it' I'm never too sure what the kids say) and relax under the psychedelic sky whilst listening to Bob Marley like my neighbours are want to do during the summer.

Or something.

Unfortunately Dr. Who is a bit of a square and locks the drugs in the Tardis bathroom cabinet before anyone can try them.

Realising that his chances of getting a shag from Barbara (or even Susan) is diminishing by the minute Ian suggests that they all go home, much to Dr. Who's chagrin, so being a sneaky old bugger, old man Who pretends that the ship has a leaky fluid link that can only be fixed by injecting heroin into his eyeball.

Or is that with mercury?

You can see why I got kicked out of medical school can't you?

Anyway to this end Dr. Who suggests that they travel to the city to see if they can find any.

But as they begin the journey Susan has a feeling that they're being watched.

Well I should hope so or the box office will be awful.



Peter Cushing attempts to put 45 candles up Roy Castle's arse....is this a record?


Quickly arriving at the city (well it is a small set) and after a few more moments of comedy gold from Castle - this time involving an automatic door - the group are captured by the evil Daleks, strange outer space robot people from BBC TVs Doctor Who and the vastly superior TV 21 comic series who've been hiding behind the (glittery) curtains giggling to themselves as the y watch Who and co. stumble about.

Seizing - well suckering - the fluid link from Dr. Who's (big swapping) pocket the Daleks pop everyone in a prison cell and feed the Play-Doh thru' a gap under the door.

Evil bastards.

As they sit contemplating a way to escape our intrepid heroes (and Ian) begin to feel a wee bit unwell, soon realising that the entire planet is soaked in deadly radiation (and bean juice) and that the drugs they found outside Tardis must have been left by a nice person in order to stop them dying.

Maybe leaving a note alongside the box would have been a good idea then?

Just saying.


"Laugh now!"



It's not all fun and games for the poor Daleks tho' as it seems that the reason that they all trundle around in their groovy metal casings is due to the radiation outside too and that they're so scared of it causing their skirt-balls to fall off that they dare not go outside.

A bit like you Dad after your Mum left him.

Only replace fear of radiation with because he fucked the babysitter.

Twice.

And in your bed too.

Anyway whilst overhearing Dr Who and his chums (and Ian) discussing the drugs, the Daleks formulate a cunning plan to persuade folk to leave the European Union by blaming 'the foreigners' for everything, promising 60 sqillion pounds to the NHS and a free Union Jack for every pensioner but quickly realising that absolutely no-one with half a braincell would fall for this the formulate a second less whacked-out plan that involves sending Susan back thru' the pertrified jungle to fetch the drugs so they wont die.

Oh and the Daleks promise not to steal them for themselves.

Seeing no reason not to trust their captives Susan heads back out into the unknown.

Which if I'm honest is slightly less unknown than it was the first time around.


"I never done it!" - And neither did your dad.


Reaching Tardis without anything bad actually happening, Susan quickly collects the drugs but just as she's about to begin the journey back - which if I'm honest seems quicker than popping to the local shops so I've no idea what the problem was, girls eh? - out from behind a convenient tree (which actually sounds like a really shit sequel to that 2006 American documentary directed by Davis Guggenheim) pops Jeff Alydon - a scary alien resplendent in a blonde Beatles wig, Chelsea boots, a nipple revealing suede vest and blue eye shadow.

Which I have to say looks in no way at all camp.

Kudos to Barrie Ingham for actually pulling it off, I mean it's as if Ziggy Stardust and Quentin Crisp had been melded in a hideous genetic experiment run by the kids from Village of the Damned.

Think Ru-Paul cosplaying Mr Spock and you're about a third of the way there.

"Do you require any scissors sharpening?


Anyway it turns out that Alydon is the leader of the Thals, who are the other folk that live on the planet and it seems that they once engaged in a massive atomic war with the Daleks that resulted in the whole place becoming radioactive.

Which is nice.

Explaining the situation with her friends Alydon helpfully gives her a second box of drugs and sends her on her way.

Which is a wee bit far-fetched seeing as the last time I popped out from behind a tree dressed as a woman and gave a pre-teen girl drugs I got arrested.

Ah it was a much more innocent time back then.

Ask Mary Bell.

Susan returns to the Dalek city where the cunning creatures snatch the drugs to keep for themselves but decide to let Susan keep the second lot for her friends, partly because they appreciated a bit of cunning but mainly so they can watch how they affect the humans.

I reckon they just want to see if Barbara gets naked and dances.

Tho' they could save themselves the trouble and just watch Ken Russell's Women in Love if they want to see that.

But thinking about it that may be a bit difficult seeing as it hadn't been made yet.

As Dr. Who and his friends busy themselves getting shit-faced on alien amphetamines Susan helpfully fills in some much needed backstory by explaining that, according to Alydon, the Thal's crops have failed and they have journeyed to the Dalek city in the hope of trading the anti-radiation drug formula - or their pert arses - for food.

Still listening in on the conversation and realising that there probably isn't going to be any hot sex action from the cell, the Daleks decide that it'd be funny if they invited the Thals to dinner, killed them then just took the drugs from the Thals still warm corpses and to this end they get Susan to write a letter -  saying that they will leave a massive bag of egg and cress sandwiches and fizzy pop just by the garden shed - which they will Blu-Tak to the front door in the hope that the Thals will see it.

But when Susan finishes the letter, the Daleks reveal that tit's all a joke and that they're going to kill everyone.

To death.

Yazoo have let themselves go.


Being upstanding nice folk our heroes decide to escape and warn the Thals so after violently beating the Dalek that delivers their food before smothering him in a bin bag and leaving him lying bleeding in the corner (and these are meant to be the good guys) the group head towards the city entrance just in time to give the Thals the heads up and escape with them into the jungle.

 Meanwhile the Daleks are busy snorting away on the anti-radiation drug but are fairly upset to find that rather than help them chillax it actually causes their arses to implode so in an act of retaliation they decide to detonate yet another neutron bomb to increase the planet’s radiation and kill all the Thals.

Because reasons.

Back at the Thal camp, Dr. Who is all set to just fuck off and leave everyone to die but soon realises that he's left the fluid link in the Dalek city and will need the Thals help to recover it, but the Thals being boring pacifists refuse to fight.

To show them that violence is always better than peace Dr. Who tells Ian to touch Alydon's girlfriend's bottom, enraging the Thal who jumps on Ian and tries to punch him.

Realising that they can fight for things they care about, Alydon and Dr. Who  lead the Thals in an attack on the city, but unfortunately the Daleks repel the assault with almost no effort and Dr. Who and Susan are recaptured.

"Are you the farmer?"


Meanwhile Ian, Barbara and a small group of Thals manage to sneak into the Dalek city by smashing in their back door and, once inside they join the rest of the Thals, to mount a frontal assault (but not alas a small boy) on the Daleks and rescue Dr. Who and Susan but as the Thals and humans enter the control room, they discover that the Daleks have already begun the countdown to the bomb detonation....






For many of us of a certain - old - age, the 60s Dalek movies were our first encounter with Doctor Who's past outside our dog-eared Target novelisations and well thumbed Monster Book, hence this was how we imagined all sixties Doctor Who looked and sounded.

So you understand, then, why we were a wee bit disappointed when we finally got to see 'The Dead Planet' on it's original video release but why we all adore 'The Krotons'.

And re-watching them today it's hard not to be won over by their charm cos frankly they're brilliant.

Peter Cushing, as the eccentric old - human - Dr. Who plays the part as a mischievous schoolboy trapped in an old mans body (stop sniggering at the back) and from the opening shot of him enjoying Dan Dare's adventures in The Eagle to his genuine excitement at the thought of exploring the mysterious city, Cushing's Doctor Who is a joy to behold.

As for the rest of the human cast…Jennie Linden's Barbara is all scary hair, tight tops and pointed bra's, a kind of low rent Lulu either frowning sweatily at Peter Cushing or fawning sweatily over the bumbling comedy genius that is Roy Castle's Ian Chesterton but Roberta Tovey's Susie is just bloody scary, less an unearthly child more of an ungodly one.

Imagine Adric in a tartan pinny and ankle socks and you're half way there.

Tho' probably not half as aroused as I am by that thought.

"Put it in me!"


None of that is really important, tho', as we're really here to see the Daleks….bigger, better and considerably brighter than ever before (or since).

From their first appearance skulking in the corridors of their city, to their exciting demise, the metal meanies have never looked better, as if they'd stepped directly from the pages of the aforementioned TV21 comic.

The whole production screams 'BIG!, even the police box shell looks bigger than normal - it's a pity, tho' that they decided to film the TARDIS interiors inside Albert Steptoe's shed.

The Skaro sets have a genuine other-worldly feel and as for the city interiors, Jennie Linden recalls that this was 'the first and largest set completely built from plastic'… think about this, a giant primary coloured, transparent plastic Dalek city, complete with lava lamps and big black and white TV screens populated by giant primary coloured, shiny Daleks…genius does not begin to describe this artistic triumph.

The one big mistake by the Academy Award panel was that this film wasn't even nominated in 1965, if it had been it would have swept the board.

Damn you The Sound of Music, obviously the wrong Nazi-inspired movie won.


Jeremy Beadle: The Return.


But what of the plot?

Adapted from the Terry Nation original, but with all the boring bits cut out, by David Whitaker and the legendary Milton Subotsky, it hurtles along at a cracking pace, pausing only to showcase a few quality comedy turns from Mr. Castle. These include such delights as 'Ian sits on a box of chocolates', 'Ian can't get in a door' and mine (and many other fan's) favourite, 'Ian is attacked by giant projected Roman soldiers whilst whistling'.

Fans of Roy Castle's portrayal of Ian may also want to check out the Amicus classic 'Dr. Terror's House of Horrors', as well as also being produced by Subotsky, it re-teams him with Peter Cushing and also features star turns from Christopher Lee, Kenny Lynch, once mooted big screen Doctor Donald Sutherland and Alan 'Fluff' Freeman.

Looking back I'm surprised I've never reviewed it as it's fucking brilliant.

Cinematic gold.












































*Tho' let's be honest if you're reading this blog then maybe this would be better suited to your taste.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 82).

Janet - the source of all information and knowledge for humans within The Good Place as portrayed by D'Arcy Carden.