Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Another collection of classy covers from the Unwell paperback collection.


"Hey! Watch where you're putting your hands!"

Bites?....sucks more like.

Next up, Ms. Marple takes on Josef Fritzl.

Well that's one way of separating conjoined twins.

I really don't have the words
(but possibly the cash to buy the film rights).

What's more terrifying, a spooky skeleton spinning
a giant match or that pube like perm?

Beware the shoddily drawn beast in the garage!

"Laugh now!"

Water shit down.

Now this is just wrong (and coming from
me that must tell you something).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

from me to you.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

milly crestmouth!

Presenting my top five favourite Christmas albums.






Monday, October 13, 2008

meat feast.

The Midnight Meat Train (2008).
Dir: Ryuhei Kitamura.
Star: Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields, Nora, Roger Bart, Barbara Eve Harris, Peter Jacobson and Ted Raimi.

Horse faced New York-based photographer, Leon Kaufman (Cooper), who wants more from his career than chasing ambulances a shooting shoppers falling thru' shop windows in a kinda You've Been Framed manner. This wouldn't be so bad if he actually did anything about it apart from whine continuously at his waitress girlfriend Maya (the frighteningly banana chinned Bibb). Obviously sick to the back teeth of his moaning face she takes matters into her own hands and gets their arty pal Jurgis (Bart, not Simpson) to arrange a meeting with the pole-arsed art gallery owner, Susan (wasn't she in the Bangles?) Hoff (long necked star of loads of things and distant relative of my wife's boss, Shields).

"I'm sorry I can't return any of your drawings".

After viewing his portfolio of drunk jakeys and stressed commuters she announces that his stuff is shite and that he needs to find his own 'voice' (which is strange cos he doesn't sound dubbed).

Hoff reckons that Leon needs to capture the 'right moment' if he is to truly document the heart of the city and the only way he can do this is to wander around in the dead of night hoping to get shots of tramps pissing in alleys etc.

Don't you just love modern art?

"Shoots you sir!"

Still whiny but somewhat inspired (you can tell because he raises both eyebrows like a tiny mouse getting orally pleasured by Stevie Nicks), Leon grabs his duffel coat and bobble hat before heading off into the night and within a few minutes is following a trio of bad boys as they head down into the subway.

Catching up with the gang just as they're starting to hassle a sexy lady on the stairs (the exotically named Nora) for a wee bit of knife point lovin' Leon silently snaps away as tho' detached from the horror unfolding in front of him.

He snaps back to reality when the gang leader approaches him menacingly (I say menacingly but he's only about five foot two) muttering "Wassup mutha fuckah?" under his breath. Leon keeps shooting before pointing out that the nasty lad is standing directly in the line of the stations CCTV camera so, should he try any badness it'll be capture on film.

Tutting loudly the gang walk away leaving Leon to get a big snog off Nora before she races to her train.

Vinnie parting your mum's beef curtains.

Feeling kinda wired, as John Barrowman would put it, Leon returns home and develops his pics, which garner what looks like an oh so slightly troubled frown from his girlfriend (tho' it may be something else, I was too busy looking at her big, curved face).

Hoff agrees (about the pics, not Maya's face) and tells him that if he can get just two more photo's of the same quality she'll include his work in an upcoming exhibition (of what? women almost getting raped on the subway?).

This bit of good luck is somewhat spoiled by the fact that the woman he rescued has now gone missing.

"Come lick my art-hole".

Leon becomes (very quickly it seems) obsessed with solving the mystery. Could it have been the bad boys circling round and extracting revenge Or could the smartly dressed ex-Chelsea footie hard man now working as a butcher who spends his evenings riding the night trains be to blame?

Well seeing as we saw him off a guy in the pre-credits sequence it does seem the most likely.

Will Leon solve the mystery of the disappearances?

Will Vinnie speak?

Will a bunch of erect nippled demons turn up at the end for no reason other than Clive Barker likes that kinda shit?

Kitamura points out the guy who sold Clive those trousers.

Midnight Meat Train, the American debut from the maverick genius behind Versus, Azumi and the bloody fantastic Godzilla: Final War, the happily hair helmeted Ryuhei Kitamura has been lying gathering dust on the shelves of Lion's Gate for nearly a year now before being unceremoniously dumped into a few really tiny cinema's in the States and, quite frankly it's hard to see why.

It's true that after an incredibly dark first half the movie does become derailed around the 'Leon goes nuts' part as we're then asked to sympathize with the more and more annoying Bibb and one dimensional best buddy Bart that culminates in a ludicrous “Let’s go break into the Killer’s Apartment!" scene that only exists to set in motion the films climax but you can forgive (well almost) this because of Kitamura's frankly stunning direction (aided and abetted by his cinematographer Johannes Kobilke) and starkly brutal murder set pieces.

Like a 21st century redux of the themes and images of the classic Death Line, Kitamura's juxtapositioning of the meat we eat and the meat we are first repulses then numbs the senses to the slaughter we are experiencing on screen. We see the murders as Leon does choosing to observe rather than interviene.

To Mahogany (Jones) the slaughtering of humans is a job.

To us it's entertainment, making us question who the real monster actually is (well obviously it's those pesky demons that appear at the movies end but you know what I mean).

Vinnie farted...and it's an eggy one.

On a performance front, the cast do not too badly with the small collection of cliched roles on offer. Teevee star Cooper is OK as (if a little mouse like) as the lead, all sweat and furrowed brow whilst Sir Vinnie of Jones gets to stand around and look hard (no change there) whilst bashing folk on the head with a hammer, which is nice.

Leslie Bibb, on the other hand keeps your eyes fixed on the screen for totally the wrong reasons, with her bright yellow hair and skin coupled with her creepily curved face I half imagined a large angry monkey to appear halfway thru' and try to peel her.

Supporting role wise, Brooke Shields is angular of features and bitchy of tongue (works for me) and Roger Bart kept reminding me of a camper, bewigged Nathan Lane (again, a good thing).

There are a few other folk but frankly they're only in it to make up the numbers.

Chinny chin chin.

The scariest thing tho' is why Lion's Gate decided to treat the film like they did. I mean Clive Barker must still have a few fans who'd buy tickets and Ryuhei Kitamura is well known enough around horror circles to guarentee a couple of bums on seats.

Whatever they did to piss off the head honcho's it musta been bad, remember these are the folk that bankroll the bloody absymal Saw movies.

Did Clive force the studio heads to wear his trousers?

Stop! Hammer time!

The saddest thing is that after this experience there's no doubt that Kitamura will be on the first plane back home, leaving Hollywood free to tear thru' another top directors back catalogue and remake his greatest hits without interference.


Clive on the other hand will probably console himself by having a big bald black guy bite his nipples.

Monday, October 6, 2008

price line.

Seeing as it's nearly Halloween here's horror icon (and my fave actor) Vincent Price in a few of the rare occasions that he sold out for the corporate dollar to advertise some quality products.











Thursday, October 2, 2008

(half) wit and wisdom (teeth).

When I was a small boy most of my weekends were spent sleeping over at my grandparents with Saturday nights consisting of sitting up late with my granddad on the sofa watching the black and white Universal horror double bill on BBC 2 whilst sipping hot chocolate. Ahhhh those days were fab! It was one of those weekend afternoons that I first came across this movie, my nan, being a Norman Wisdom fan had decided to watch it (believe it or not she's on first name terms with Brucie and, gulp, Max Bygraves-perhaps that's where my comedy genes come from-who knows). Sitting there playing with my Mego Star Trek figures behind the sofa I was dragged kicking and screaming into a world of swinging, drugs and a comedy legends saggy arse. So, when I stumbled across this gem on DVD I knew I had to face my fears.... This is my survivors story.

What's Good for the Goose (AKA Girl Trouble, What's Good for the Gander, 1969)
Dir: Menahem Golan
Cast: Norman Wisdom, Sally Geeson, Sarah Atkinson, Sally Bazely and Terence Alexander.

Short arsed, slack haired merchant banker Timothy Bartlett (Wisdom) finds his life in a deep dark rut, he hates his job, his busy (and busty) wife Margaret (Sally Bazely) ignores him and he feels his life has passed him by.

All that changes tho' when his boss is taken ill leaving Timothy as the only person that can take his place at a high powered seaside conference for important banking types.

Driving down to Southport (or is it up?), Timbo gives a lift to a couple of girlie hitch-hikers, the raven haired, button nosed Nikki (top 60's strumpet Geeson) and her best friend Meg (the not as strumpety, more mumsy Atkinson).

The girls take pity on Tim, seeing him as a wild spirit that needs set free, so decide to introduce him to the way out 1960's psychedelic world of groovy discotheques, dodgy drugs, free love, top pop combo The Pretty Things (man) and (for the love of God no) skinny dipping.

Geeson: You would, twice. Even tho' you may be thinking of her sister in Inseminoid.

Timothy finds his true self and experiences joys and passions he'd never imagined before...but everything starts to go wrong when he finds himself falling in love with Nikki.

Thigh son!

I always reckon that if it's your dream to make a serious film about human relationships, mid-life fears and one mans breakdown you could do worse than watch this movie for inspiration.

I mean, when you think of films like Love Story, Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie Choice you have to admit that the one thing they all lack (and it's one thing that makes them lesser movies) is a barrage of jokes so awful even Talbot Rothwell would balk at the thought of using them and a sweaty comedy star mugging their way thru' the lead role.

Wisdom: Nipples like bullets.

If there's ever a point in time where the British film industry began to collapse in on itself it's with the release of this movie.

From here on in Holiday on the Buses, Carry On Emanuelle and Cannon and Ball's The Boys in Blue beckon...

Wisdom must take the majority of the blame tho' seeing as not only does he headline but he co-wrote and produced what appears to be nothing more than an excuse for him to get his kit off, smoke crack and fondle young ladies breasts for our viewing pleasures.

It's like an ITV sitcom version of The Bad Lieutenant but one where it's the audience violated rather than a nun.

Beware the judder man.

The weirdest thing about the film tho' must be seeing Menahem Golan actually directing a movie rather than producing cut price shite and using the majority of the investors cash to run guns into world trouble spots (strange but true).

Golan who later went on to form Cannon Films, makers of such classics as Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and Tobe Hooper's Invaders from Mars remake (plus bankrolling most of his 80's output-says a lot really) has the directing style of a low rent Richard (Hard Days Night, the other Superman II) Lester but without any of that that directors deft comedy touch, relying on hand cranked comedy chases, Sally Geeson's (undoubtedly nice I'll grant you) breasts and groovy (if it were 1966) crash zoom cum lava lamp effects.

"Are we there yet?"

Even by the worst 60's 'yoof' film standards the characters are mere ciphers - Nikki and Meg are feeble cardboard cut out wank fantasies for podgy, middle age men everywhere (I'm just surprised that they don't shag each other during the film seeing as that's the only free love cliche missing) and their characterizations consist of thus: Nikki: cute, dark hair, sometimes pigtailed, smokes pot, sleeps under piers, shags men. Meg: Blonde, leggy, smokes pot, sleeps under piers, shags men.


Geeson: Shoes.

Sally Bazely as Norman's wife fairs no better, veering wildly from frigid ice queen to overly affectionate MILF without rhyme nor reason.

Her character is just there and never changes throughout the entire movie; after all the drugs and shagging she turns up for the films final third when the 'plot' takes on a bizarre twist revolving around Timothy's attempts to persuade his wife to stop wearing curlers and flouncy 'baby doll' nighties to bed and maybe dress a wee bit more like a tart and never even finds out about his affair.

 Just when you think the film is going to say something deep or reflect on Wisdom's characters predicament someone drops their trousers or falls over.

It's bizarre to think that after the burlesque joy of The Night They Raided Minsky's that Sir Norm decided to make a lowbrow poverty row sex comedy for no reason it seems other than to take advantage of the UK's newly-relaxed cinema censorship laws and to give himself a chance to ogle some young, firm tottie.

Nice work if you can get it tho'.

Luckily (for him) Wisdom's Dementia means he's now likely to have forgotten ever making this debacle tho' for us it will remain burned onto our memories forever.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

start the month...

...as you mean to go on.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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

The fantastically footweared Kirstie Allsopp.

Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

eye fidelity.

Marebito (AKA The Stranger from Afar. 2004)
Dir: Takashi Shimizu
Cast: Shinya Tsukamoto, Kazuhiro Nakahara, Tomomi Miyashita and Shun Sugata.


"Can I face the terror to which the only escape is to kill myself?"

Welcome to the Prozac fueled world of Takuyoshi Masuoka (Tsukamoto), freelance cameraman, manic depressive and pervy voyeur who rates recording the private lives of his unsuspecting neighbours and then sweatily watching them back whilst wearing only his pants and socks as his favourite hobby.

Whilst out picking up his (very) dirty laundry one day he is lucky enough to capture some footage of a poor guy committing suicide on the subway platform then (and how's this for a result?) even manages to sell the resulting film to a local teevee station (whilst keeping the full uncut version for his own personal use).

Well, it beats filming talking dogs for That's Life I guess.

With a beer in one hand and his cock in the other, Takuyoshi settles down to watch the final moments of (the by now identified) Arei Kuroki (Nakahara) as he takes his own life in a particularly unique way.

You see (no pun intended) Kuroki died by repeatedly stabbing himself in the eyeball with a pen.


Letting his voyeuristic tendencies take over, Takuyoshi quickly becomes obsessed with Kuroki's demise and, more importantly, the look of absolute terror on his face in those final moments.

What was he looking at? and did it cause him to take his life?

Takuyoshi has to know the answer.

Spending his every waking moment watching and re-watching the footage he suddenly notices that Kuroki is starting to stare at him from the screen (gah) and - if that wasn't freaky enough - new high speed images of bald bug eyed women (writhing in and out of big steel doors) begin appear on the video tape leading Takuyoshi to consider that whatever led Kuroki to take his own life must be living somewhere in the station.

Watch out watch out
there's a binman about!

Now to you or I this may seem like a bizarre jump of logic but to Takuyoshi this makes perfect sense (which is possibly a good thing as far as movie plots go, I mean imagine it if he spent the rest of the film going "Fuck me....it's almost like this video is moving! I really should get out more..maybe even get a girlfriend").

Returning to the station and armed only with his trusty camera, a Derek Acorah mug and a warm hat, Takuyoshi carefully makes his way down to the basement (who knew that underground stations have basements?....I thought that, by default it would all be basement) in search of a wee bit of suicide-based spooky shenanigans.

Much to his (but obviously not our) amazement, Takuyoshi comes across the exact same steel door from his dream (but alas no saucy bald girls....yet) which when opened reveals a staircase that seems to go down into the very bowels of the earth itself...

Exploring deeper and deeper into the tunnels Takuyoshi is fairly surprised (but incredibly calm) when Kurokito turns up to inform him that he has, in fact, entered the land of the dead.

The real one that is, not the George A. Romero film.

Light your way with a Ronco Nipple Lite!

As the mismatched (and odd numbered eyed) pair travel deeper into the tunnels Kurokito treats the audience at home to what seems like days of subtitled chat regarding everything from the Hollow Earth theory to Illuminati conspiracies, as well as giving Takuyoshi some advice on how to dodge a Deros if he should bump into one on his travels.

In case you're wondering the Deros are a species of short sighted blood drinking beasts that inhabit the caves that may, at some point look like sexy laydees (it's worth making a mental note of that as it may become important later).

Is this all making sense?

None of this weirdness even remotely freaks out old Takuyoshi tho' as he continues stomping ever downwards eventually reaching a huge cavern overlooking a dark abyss (but then again, what other kind of abyss is there?). The cavern, amusingly named the Mountains of Madness (twinned with Basall Heath no doubt) is completely empty apart from a quite foxy young lady (Miyashita) chained to a wall by her (very slender) ankle.

Obviously forgetting the conversation he had with Kurokito only moments earlier (and not even taking a moment to wonder why she's chained up) Takuyoshi frees the young woman and takes her home for a Cuppa Soup and a bag of cheese and onion Ringos.

Aw.....what a sweetie.

it's Ron Resrie!

Forgetting his pervy peeping tom past (well kinda) he begins to teach the strange woman what it is to be human (but luckily not in a cheesy Star Trek stylee) and even goes as far as to give her a name.

Well he calls her F.

No one said he was in any way imaginative did they?

Beware the love cats!

It's then that stuff starts going completely hatstand.

Whenever he checks up on her using his camera phone (well old habits die hard) Takuyoshi is certain that he can see her talking to someone in the background and not only that but he's absolutely positive that he's being followed by a spooky pale man in aviators.

Any of this would be enough to frighten even Yvette Fielding but Takuyoshi is made of sterner stuff, until that is, he's confronted by a strange (is there anyone who isn't in this movie?) woman on the stairs of his apartment block.

It appears that the other underworld residents are a wee bit pissed off that he's taken one of their own to the surface and, if he doesn't return her soon she will die.


Needing a stiff drink after all this major plot development he returns home to find his lady friend sprawled across the carpet in a death-like trance.

Rewinding thru' the footage from his in-house surveillance cameras he finds that both have stopped recording before anything remotely interesting happened (not even a hint of white pants, damn them) but before he can do anything else his phone starts ringing.

Never having any phone calls Takuyoshi excitedly answers only to have a deep voiced (and maybe deep throated...who knows?) man ordering him to return the woman to her rightful home.

Or else.

You can't give booze to the baby!

What on earth will Takuyoshi do?

Will he return the woman and quietly go back to his world of perving or will he ignore all the warning signs and continue to sit and gaze lustfully at his new roomie?

And will the fact that Takuyoshi has discovered that his new pal needs fresh blood to survive affect his decision in any way (remembering what he was told earlier)?

Or is there something way more sinister afoot?

Gums in mah mooth!

Takashi Shimizu redeems himself after the fucking awful US Ju-on remake with this spooky lil' adaptation of Chiaki (super screenwriter of The Sleeping Bride, Digimon and Ultraman Tiga among other cool stuff) Konaka's first novel.

Throwing common sense out of the window and concentrating on stylish visuals and creepy sounds Shimizu delivers a fantastically satisfying mix of Argento cool and Lovecraftian horror topped off with a smattering of early Roman Polanski whilst taking its backstory and premise from real world myths and legends means that although at times the movie seems to slow down to an incredibly meandering pace you know this means that something even stranger and more disturbing is about to happen.

Usually involving alternate realities and parrallel dimensions (which makes a change from long haired ghost girls I guess).

(dead) eye son.

Forgoing cheap frights and gore for a more cerebral approach to it's scares, Marebito delivers a fair few uncomfortable moments and disturbing images that will stay with you long after the movie has ended (well at least that night depending how drunk you are) and although never scaling the dizzyingly shite-scary heights of the original Ju-On: The Grudge is still worth a couple of quids rental in anybodies book (except maybe Rob Zombie who would no doubt want to remake it with his missis and a cast of midgets).