Friday, November 20, 2009

bonnie.

Perusing my local charity shop again today and I came across (quite literally) this for one measly quid.

Bargain!






As an aside, who knew Bonnie Langford had such a great arse?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

hungary like the, um, snake?

From 1987, the first part of the Hungarian bootleg Cobra comic adaptation.

Enjoy!

Obviously it helps if you speak Hungarian.











Friday, November 13, 2009

yellow peril.

Another year, another Argento film released to mild audience apathy and a hostile reaction from the critics.

Unfortunately my 'press credentials' (a cut out Daily Bugle card stuck in the side of a trilby and a cardboard box painted up as a camera) weren't enough to get me in to see it at it's Edinburgh premiere earlier this year, so I've had to wait with baited breath for a screener to arrive.

Well, was it worth the wait?

Giallo (2009).
Dir: Dario Argento.
Cast: Adrien Brody, Emmanuelle Seigner, Elsa Pataky, Valentina Izumi, Linda Messerlinker, Taiyo Yamanouchi, Giuseppe Lo Console and Byron Deidra.




The cosmopolitan city of Turin, where two foxy girls about town, the teeny tiny Keiko and her man chinned pal Marjorie are enjoying a (fairly stilted) night at the opera.

Realising that this is an Argento movie and that watching a fat bird sing is, in this situation a fair way to get killed (or at the very least shat on by crows) they decide to bid their farewells and hit a local discotheque instead, hoping to find some hot tunes and even hotter men.

Fat chance of that seeing as the place is full of greasy haired, tight t-shirted 80's throwbacks dancing badly to cheesy Europop, including one poor sod wearing a t-shirt with a suit and bow tie printed on it.

If anyone in this movie deserves to die then it's him quite frankly.


Nice legs, shame about the imminent face cutting.


When Keiko manages to pull the only bloke in the place under fifty, Marjorie reckons she'd have better fun with the wobbly plastic pal she keeps under her pillow so decides to head back to the hotel.

With brightly lit rain pouring down in that heavy, Suspiria fashion and Marjorie having a high, hairsprayed bonce, she quickly flags a passing taxi and jumps into the comfy back seat, little realising that the cab driver is a notorious kidnapper and mutilator of fit young birds.

Arse.


"Teeth in mah mooth!"


It's not long before she's being taken down a deserted alley (which is, I must admit better than being taken up the casino) and jumped on by the driver.

Which is nice.

Tho' not as nice as the beautiful catwalk (as opposed to Airfix) model Celine (Beyond Re-Animator's Pataky), who is counting the hours (and pretty frocks) till she can head home to see her older, harsher sister Linda (Mrs. Roman Polanski, Seigner), recently arrived from America on a visit.

Wouldn't you know it tho' but on her way back to her apartment, Celine has the bizarre misfortune of hailing the same taxi as poor Marjorie, soon finding herself injected in the face with drugs, her expensive shoes stolen and a final indignity waking up in a dirty, egg stained, spunk encrusted basement owned by a Mister Tony Yellow.

A moon faced slobbering beast of a bloke so named because of his yellow jaundiced skin.

Before we move on I'd just like to point out that Mr. Yellow is portrayed by one 'Byron Deidra' (which could be an anagram of the lead actors name if I'm not mistaken) in a frankly magnificent tour de force performance the like of which hasn't been since Lord Udo of Kier fondled a sheep's innards during Flesh For Frankenstein.

Showing us all just why he won nine awards (including an Oscar) for his heartbreaking turn as Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist, Brody (wearing a fat suit, dirty vest and a Bo Selecta! Mel B. mask) brings a truly subtle sense of realism to Yellow. Whether he's mumbling profanities at various chained women or simply having a sly wank whilst staring at photographs of his victims, the performance is truly terrifying.

No, really.

It's as if that Brody, for a giggle during rehearsals decided to do a drunken Robert DeNiro impression to amuse the crew and, not wanting anyone to steal his crown as the giallo joker, Argento called his bluff and told him that it would be a perfect way to play the villain.

Obviously neither of them wanted to admit defeat so the performance stayed in.


"Laugh now!"


Anyway back to the plot.

When Celine fails to return home, a worried (I think she's worried, tho' she does spend a fair amount of the film frowning) Linda heads over to the local police station, where she ends up interrupting an important pizza delivery much to the annoyance of the desk sergeant who hurriedly sends her off to the cellar, hang out of the maverick no nonsense inspector Enzo Avolfi (Brody).

Moody, mysterious and armed with a sexy beard (and with a great line in 1980's blouson jackets), Avolfi is a cop on the edge, haunted by the death of his mother at the hands of the bald bloke from Do You Like Hitchcock? and obsessed with finding the maniac responsible for this recent spate of murders.


"Wahey! Stop starin' at me tits mon!"


"Kiss kiss no more... wakey wakey!"


But time is running out for Celine and as more and more bodies begin turning up in the city, the only clue to the killers identity is a word whispered by a dying Japanese victim....

"kiiroi".


"This is the most extreme case of
mooth shite-in I have ever seen!"



After the cinematic abortion that was the final ten minutes of The Third Mother and the pantomime villainy of The Card Player you'd be forgiven (by some people but not me) for thinking the the master of the home haircut, Mr. Dario Argento had lost his mojo.

I say lost but from the evidence it seems more likely that it was violently removed from his chest with the same rusty nail scissors he cuts his fringe with.

I'll be the first to admit that the performances veer wildly from the kite flying, crack fuelled excesses of Adrien Brody to the almost narcoleptic lows of Emmanuelle Seigner and yes, the labyrinthine Argento plots of old have been replaced by characters randomly shouting out facts for no other reason than to get the story done and dusted but what the Hell I loved every minute of it.

Coming across like a cut price, lobotomised version of Tenebrae, it's true that it lacks that certain 'something' that made Argento's earlier such a joy but how much of that is down to the director and how much is down to the well publicised studio interference?


"I can see your house from here Jesus!"


But come to the film with the right mindset (or a head full of red) and there's plenty to enjoy.

Including the earlier mentioned masturbation scene, which is well on the way to becoming the greatest cinematic wank since Harvey Keitel cracked off a Barclay's in The Bad Lieutenant and, on a more serious (if less sticky) note, Frederic Fasano's lush cinematography coupled with the Danny Elfman-esque score from Marco Werba.

Guilty pleasures don't come better than this.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

sports for all.

I've never been the sportiest of folk so I must admit I do love a chance to take the piss out of misguided attempts to make the idea of big muscled men kicking balls about and showering together cool......

Way back in 1992 there was a vaguely amusing Nike commercial featuring Godzilla and a giant-sized Sir Charles Barkley (or was it a normal sized Barkley, a man in a rubber suit and a miniature cityscape?) playing basketball in the streets of Tokyo.





As funny as it was (slightly at best) God only knows why Dark Horse decided to stretch it out to 48 arse numbing pages in this full colour one off.

Tho' as a plus point it did feature Godzilla wearing a pair of trainers 'slam dunking' (as those pesky Americans say) a ball.




Marvel obviously had to go one better.



Nuff said?

spider (non)sense.

No idea why but it made me chuckle.....

Monday, November 9, 2009

the parahandy experience.

Everyone and their dog seems to have an opinion on Paranormal Activity right now with camps split between 'it's class' or 'it's pants' - and with a tragic few more interested in the size/shape of the lead actresses arse.

Yes, I did say actress because, contrary to what some sad individuals on IMDB think, it's not real.

The film I mean, I'm assuming the arse is.

Reportedly made for just $11,000 over a period of seven days, does scarily monikered Oren Peli's debut feature live up to the horrible hype or is it just some kind of phantom menace?

Welcome to fright night!

Paranormal Activity (2007).
Dir: Oren Peli.
With Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Ashley Palmer and Amber Armstrong.



What happens when I sleep?
farting mainly.


Young, upwardly mobile (and sickeningly loved up) couple Katie (shelf shouldered, trailer park Katie Perry-alike Featherston) and Micah (rat toothed, bowl headed Sloat) have recently moved into a rather palatial house together after dating steadily for a few years.

Hang on, it's no' one o' them lassies films is it?

Luckily the paint isn't even dry on the walls before the couple begin to experience strange paranormal type bangs and crashes around the house, you know the score; lights blinking on and off, doors slamming, toilets flushing etc.

Micah, like any normal guy rushes out and buys a huge, fuck off camera in the hope of:

A. Getting some evidence of the spook on camera

and more importantly

B. Filming Katie with her kit off.


"I kissed a girl then was damned to Hell".


It turns out that poor Katie is no stranger to world of the strange, having had the willies put up her for the first time as an podgy ickle eight year old, when she had a shadowy night time visitor who enjoyed nothing more than scaring the shite out of her and her wee sister.

This came to an end tho' when the family home mysteriously burned to the ground.

Nice.

Ever since then, the mysterious 'presence' has followed chisel chinned Katie wherever she goes, making itself known by standing over her bed and breathing heavily.

A bit like your dad used to do to you when drunk.

Obviously Micah is oh so slightly annoyed that she never told him any of this before they moved in together but soon comes to see the possible haunting as a new hobby, taking over from his usual masturbation based, Pot Noodle sessions in front of his big teevee whilst watching Pimp My Mooth on MTV, which can only be a good thing really.


"I'm Katie, come sleep in mah bed".

Katie, getting slowly more shot to fuck as the film progresses (you can tell because her shorts keep getting tinier and tinier) persuades Micah to let her invite an eminent ghost-science type, Dr. Jeff Psychic (Bayouth from Wristcutters: A Love Story) around to check all this strange shit out.

Micah, busily nibbling on cheese and dodging next doors cat agrees to the visit but is understandingly shocked when the doctor decides that what they’re facing isn’t a ghost at all but a nasty demon, intent on dragging Katie to Hell.

Hang on, that's another movie sorry.

Recoiling in horror from the flock wallpaper (yet cunningly blaming on the evil energy in the house) Jeff makes his excuses and leaves but not before giving the hapless couple a few useful tips regarding demon possessions (as in if you're possessed by one, not how to take care of their pets, clean their shoes, water their plants etc).

And the phone number of his best mate, Professor Emilio M. Demonologist.

This tips, if you're interested include:

Don't run screaming from the house to a nearby hotel, if you do the spirit will just follow you and possibly shit in the Jacuzzi.

The Demon feeds off negative energy so under no circumstances start swearing at it whilst indulging in a spate of manly posturing.

And most importantly don’t even think about buying (or borrowing) a Ouija Board and trying to contact it, cos if you do, much badness will follow.

Seems easy enough to remember so it's just a pity that mousy Micah was too busy running around in a wheel to pay any attention then wasn't it?

By now Katie is shaking like a jelly and has given up on shorts completely, preferring a large pair of grey granny pants, whilst Mighty Micah, being manly and all, has decided to handle the demon in his own studly manner.

Yep, he's taken to wandering round the house in his boxers shouting "Is that all yo' got fucker?" whilst making fist gestures at the ceiling.

Hmmmm.....I have a feeling that this isn't going to end well at all.



"Fuck me! It's John Leslie!"



Made way back in 2007, Paranormal Activity seemed to appear from nowhere a few months back, hyped to buggery and with a poster quote from Steven Spielberg to boot.

The squinty eyed bearded one, (most famous for taking absolutely no responsibility for Vic Morrow's death at the hands - and rotor blades - of coke monster John Landis, even tho' he was the producer in charge of Twilight Zone The Movie, oh and directing some films as well), reckoned it was the most disturbing movie he'd ever seen (tho' I'd have thought this would come close), not only that but it was reported how his toilet door would mysteriously lock itself after he'd viewed it.

Fact?

Or Hollywood bullshit?

Well, whilst in no way 'one of the scariest films of all time', Paranormal Activity still manages to deliver some finely realised chills by cunningly exploiting the universal fears of the dark and of things unknown in the shadows, cleverly concentrating on the subtle and unseen, strange noises and sounds and the effects on the couples relationship rather than on cheap scares and chills.

And whilst I can appreciate how our American cousins have gone crazy for the film, being as it is an antidote to the seemingly endless glut of anaemic remakes and teen friendly horror fodder blocking up the cinema cistern at the moment, British fans may find the whole thing disturbingly familiar to the classic BBC Halloween spooktacular Ghostwatch broadcast way back in 1992.


Roland Rat and Kevin the Gerbil:
The mooth shite-in years.


from the stories structure and setting, thru to the way information is leaked to the viewers via the use of a 'spooky' area of the house where vital evidence is found (in this case the attic, replacing the Ghostwatch 'glory hole') both are frighteningly similar in both style and substance.

Tho' Ghostwatch, climaxing as it does with it's cross dressing pedo poltergeist molesting a pyjama clad pre-teen in a cellar has the edge over it's American counterpart.

Oh, and it's also got the chat-tastic Michael Parkinson in it too, possessed by the aforementioned spook and whispering nursery rhymes to the viewers.

No competition really.

If there's any criticism of Paranormal Activity it's that after such a slow, atmospheric build up, the shoddily added subplot regarding Micah finding a Youtube video of a previous possession by the same demon jars hideously with the realism of the rest of the film.

The 'secretly' shot film with it's hastily face-painted demon girl and fake severed limbs is laughable at best but at worse goes a long way to destroying the air of tense foreboding that the director had managed to build during the previous hour.

Then there's that ending.

Rumour has it that the film actually has three (the original, a test screening one and a cinema ending), the one that I viewed, with a possessed Katie killing Micah (offscreen) before returning to the bedroom to sit and silently rock herself is fine as it stands but the addition of a couple of gun-happy coppers bursting in and shooting the poor cow seems just too much.

Like the rest of the film, director Peli should've remembered that less is more.

The same goes for the hype and PR surrounding Paranormal Activity because, sadly this nice little scare movie that should have been a surprise Halloween treat has been blown out of all proportion and couldn't possibly live up to the publicity attached to it.

Which is a shame.

So forget the hype, leave it for a year or so then surprise yourself with it on DVD.

Just don't watch Ghostwatch first.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

super fly (poster) guy.

Found these on my (internet-based) travels and had to share (a wee bit like I would if I had crabs).

Pay attention, here's the history part.

In the dim and distant 1980's the uprise in video cassette technology gave birth (not literally in a kind of David Cronenberg way - that would be sick) to the mobile cinema phenomena in the West African country of Ghana.

These touring cinema's (
usually created by hooking up a TV and VCR to a portable generator) would travel from village to village using large barns or even tents as temporary venues.

In order to promote these showings, local artists were hired to create large advertising posters of the films. These were usually painted on used canvas flour sacks with the artists working from very little - and in some cases no - reference materials at all meaning that they often added elements of their own baring no relation to the actual movie.

The mobile cinema craze sadly began to decline in the mid-nineties with the greater availability of television and video to the countries populace and, as a result the groovy painted film posters were replaced with shoddily photocopied versions of the actual covers and advertising artwork.

So here, for your enjoyment are a few examples from that bygone age.

Enjoy!



















I shall stop now before anyone begins to mistake this for one of those 'proper' film blogs with well researched posts etc. I mean, I'd hate you to come away from here thinking you'd learned something.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

just a thought...

Is it just me or does Gaylen Ross get hotter the more shot to fuck her nerves get in Dawn of The Dead?

Just curious.