Wednesday, March 9, 2016

cock robin.

Occasionally a movie comes along that is so magnificent, so splendid that you experience an almost religious awakening whilst viewing.

A film that can truly claim the title of cinematic perfection.

Ladies and gentlemen celluloid alchemy does indeed exist and its name is....

Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood (2012).
Dir: Oliver Krekel.
Cast:  Martin Thon, Ramona Kuen, Martin Hentschel, Kai Borchardt, Anika Neubauer, Dennis Zachmann, Kane Hodder, Dave Kaufmann, Carolina Grigorov and Lord Tom Savini.

"And I kill you now!"

Our tale begins in the mystical woods of Sherwood Forest (magnificently played by a children's playground behind the directors house),where a bedraggled group of homeless men in makeshift medieval uniforms (the tea towel budget must have almost bankrupt the production) stumble about aimlessly before falling down (quite carefully I must add, you don't want to get a splinter) in a manner usually reserved for a child’s deflating bop-bag toy.

Meanwhile, just behind the swings and across from the sandpit, another group of totally dissimilar medieval men are wandering around in what looks like an alcohol fuelled haze whilst attempting to construct a tent out of a washing pole and an old bed sheet as two disembodied voices explain the films storyline in the manner of someone who has only just discovered the ability to read.

But sod the speech we're here for the fighting and as luck would have it a small group (Re: three) of the king’s men are engaged in an exciting and incredibly well choreographed* sword fight against a band of angry tinkers.

Thankfully the director, being aware of how overwhelming such an incredibly exciting fight scene can be has thoughtfully placed the actors in such a way that the camera can just sit peacefully and capture the whole thing without needing to move from the old apple box that it's perched on.

This not only makes the whole thing much more peaceful to watch but ensures that our excitement levels don't get too high, leading to fainting and/or panic attacks.

The action hots up during the 1979 Cradley Heath dogging finals. If you don't believe me ask your dad (he came second).

But who is that dodging and diving 'tween the arse-kicking kingsmen?

Why it must be Maid Marian! (played it seems by Helen Hunt's younger, plainer sister, the real Ramona Kuen).

C'mon it's a Robin Hood story, I mean what other female do you know hangs around the park looking for groups of men?

Apart from your mum.

Anyway whilst kicking arse in a rather fetching knock-off Frozen dress from the market our bubble-bonced babe is being watched from afar by that lank-haired, pube bearded, jug-eared rocker dude that we all know from our college days.


The one who was always trying to sneakily smoke hash at the back of the class and was forever doing the fish-lip face whenever Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen came on?

Oh no, hang's actually Robin Of Loxley, the hooded man himself, Robin Hood (Thon, check out his frankly stunning show reel here).

T'was the lack of hood that confused me obviously.

And the lack of height.

And charisma.

Leaping (over the camera in an obvious homage to The Red Hand Gang) to her rescue our hero half heartedly kicks a few bad men up the arse before attempting to shoot them with his bow and arrow.

But lo! He misses because in a fantastic twist on the legend he's actually really shit with a quiver.

But dead handy with a ballpoint pen and a packet of Quavers.

Or so I'm told.

Insert cock here.

With the fight finished it's on to the plot good and proper and in a scene of soft-porn style overdubbing not seen since the heady days of Zombie(s) Lake  Robin discovers that Marian is actually the Sheriff of Nottingham's niece and that she's spent the last five years back-packing around Europe in an attempt to forge alliances and stuff. Liking her style (if not her scary inability to even breathe convincingly) Robin invites her back to his camp to meet his so called “merry men” who, in a change from accepted facts are no longer a hundred strong band of rough 'n' ready bandits willing to do anything for a righteous cause but are in fact a small group of  knitted trouser wearing homeless people sitting about on logs with their teeth blacked out pretending to chat after being promised a pork pie and a glass of Tizer.

Having never encountered women with bad teeth and hairy legs - not to mention short, beardy men with greasy barnets before (what did she have her eyes shut when she travelled thru' France?), Marian is intrigued to learn more of their customs but is shocked to find that the group not only don't work for a living and just sit about drinking (no doubt paid for out of their benefits) but supplement this by stealing stuff from the rich.

And I bet a fair few of them are immigrants too.

Bloody lefties.

Angrily confronting Robin about his frankly Pikey-like ways our hero responds with an impassioned (for a plank of wood) speech about international Marxism, the joys of commune living and eating toadstools which utterly convinces Marion to give up her rich kid lifestyle for a place amongst the Proletariat.

Right on.

Not only that but in a fit of zealot rage agrees to help Robin - alongside Friar Tuck (a man with a sinister lack of leg hair) and Will (son of Captain) Scarlet - to rob her uncle and redistribute his wealth by disguising themselves (via a face-changing magical potion no less - methinks certain cast members were busy this day) as monks before climbing up the toilet pipe and pocketing his gold.

It's not like he has any dignity left to steal.

Talking of absolutely no dignity it's at this point that The Sheriff of Nottingham himself finally makes an appearance.

In the form of the moustachioed god of gore (not to mention magician, photographer, pilot, highwayman, dentist etc.) himself Lord Tom of Savini.

With a Pittsburgh drawl, leather trousers and a beanie hat.



Obviously tho' (because the plan was conceived by madmen) this whole operation fails resulting in not only the deaths of Will and Tuck (thank fuck) but Robin getting a kicking before being hung on a wall like a discarded condom.

Which gives us just enough time to wonder why Marian needed to take the face-changing potion at all, I mean surely she wont have changed that much in five years?

Oh hang on it's because wannabe pop star and runner up of Kiddy Contest 2005 Carolina Grigorov was free for a few hours wasn't it.

Well fair play to them because she is fairly lovely.

In that mid 80's East Berlin kinda way.

Look what can I say? I went to art school in's not my fault.

Can I also throw in at this point a totally random references to the town of Chestershire?

I don't see why not seeing as the cast seem to every five minutes.

Back to the action where, much to the guards confusion the face changing magic has worn off giving Robin a chance to escape  but not before being mortally wounded by some archers.

Of the bow carrying kind I mean he doesn't overdo the peach schnapps.

Tho' by this point I was on my third bottle.

Waking up in the lair of a sinister (is there any other kind?) witch (Marketing, Communications and Psychology graduate cum film producer Neubauer), Robin is mildly surprised to find that he's  been partially restored to life - which is twice as energetic as is usual and in order  to stay alive, he must relinquish his soul to the Devil.

But not for three years so that's OK then.

Robin, being a good guy is shocked by the thought of selling his soul to Satan (tho' obviously wouldn't think twice about selling his arse to sailors for loose change round the back of a supermarket) until that is the witch lets it slip that she has a potion for bringing the dead back to life.

But it will only work within the first 24 hours of death, otherwise the unfortunates will return as flesh eating zombies.

Remember this as it may be important later.


Swallowing his pride - which is much less salty that what he's usually guzzling - Robin takes the deal in order to save his friends and heads back to Nottingham to collect their corpses and bring them back to the witch where they are successfully restored to life.

"Shite in mah holy mooth!"

Back in Sherwood Forest life goes on as normal and Robin and Marian (now back to being played by Kuen), as is the way with the story, fall in love during a soft focus montage scored by the bastard child of Bryan Adam’s and Enya that was unfortunately dropped on it's head during its botched, backstreet birth.

Luckily all this mushy stuff (and ear rape) is interrupted when Robin casually lets slip about his deal with the Devil and Marian, none too happy with this turn of events storms off to the witches lair in order to bargain for Robin’s soul whilst our hero shuffles from foot to foot looking at the ground like a wee boy who's been caught with his hand in the biscuit tin.

Surprisingly enough Marian actually manages to make a deal with the witch which involves giving her a big bag of pennies in order to just buy replacement souls from greedy folk.


Marion should really be on Dragon's Den, she's wasted in this.

As are most of the cast if I'm honest.

Skipping hand in hand from the witch’s cave and with nary a care in the world, Robin and Marian's happiness is shattered when the discover that the Sheriff’s men (all six of them) have stumbled across Robin's base camp and killed everyone.

To death.

Angrily attacking the evil knights Robin is soon cut down by a swathe of arrows leaving Marian - who by this point is hiding behind a tree - alone and without hope of help.

Or is she?

For out of the woods strides an imposing figure of a man with an infeasibly square head.

It's Little John back from the social and clutching an emergency  Giro.

And not only that but he's being played by Jason Voorhees himself Kane Bloody Hodder!

Obviously Derek Mears was busy.

That's probably not the only thing she blew for this role.

Marian, relieved to finally be sharing a scene with someone who has more than two facial expressions fills John in on the story so far before casually mentioning the witches abundant supply of the resurrection potion and the pair hurriedly head back to the cave, giving Hodder an excuse to beheaded the old crone before stealing it.

Which is nice.

Marian and John return to the camp (it's a wonder there's any grass left seeing as everybody always seems to be walking thru' the same bit of forest) and begin dosing the bodies with the potion before siting down to await the results.

Unfortunately the camp have been dead for longer than a day (see? I told you that was important) and in a howl of almost orgasmic grunting not heard since your dad was caught with the bridesmaid at your uncles wedding the by now even dirtier than normal Merry Men rise again...

as flesh hungry zombies!

"Spice Girls number one for Christmas....MONSTA!"

Realizing - in a bizarrely nonchalant fashion - their mistake Marian and John quickly rifle thru' the stolen magic bag in the hope of finding a spell or potion to aid them in their fight against the undead, first giving themselves "skin of stone" (which wasn't the only think hard at this point) then fighting back by turning rocks into explosives and creating a “rain of rockets” ("You know like the Chinese have." helpfully explains Marian) before finally deciding to trap the zombies in Sherwood Forest by means of a mystic forcefield.

As you would.

With the undead hordes contained the only thing left for Marian to do is deal with the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

Oh yes and change back into Carolina Grigorov for no reason other than to placate my desires.

Thanks for that.

 As luck would have it he just happens to be passing by with several of his guards in search of his niece (which begs the question as to how long she's been's seems like months - no really - but must only be a few days which mean for all his faults Robin's a fucking quick worker).

She explains to her uncle that her and John had been verbally abused by some drunken football fans in the woods and that they should go and sort them out,  taunting Little John for being too much of a wuss for not dealing with it himself (and no doubt for appearing in Charlie's Farm) before heading into the woods to kick some arse.

Cue a sexily stifled moan followed by a scream and some top rock guitar (courtesy of Michael Donner) as the titles crash into view over a blurred still of a sunset thru some trees.

Fucking magic.

But no, there's more.

We cut back to Nottingham Castle where an scary witch with an even scarier accent is being questioned by Little John - who appears to have been elected the new Sheriff after Tom Savini went missing in the woods as the French knight from Monty Python And The Holy Grail skulks about in the background.

It appears that the potion supply is running low and he needs a witch to help make some more, agreeing to free her if she offers to help.

Although only being a YTS witch with only basic spell skills she readily agrees rightly thinking that anything is better than spending your days in stocks with your arse on view to all and sundry.

Tho' I'm not too sure

Anyway as John prepares to send a large group of of men bedecked in ill-fitting and mismatched armour into the forest (and possibly certain death) a forlorn  Marian gazes off into the middle distance, no doubt thinking about where it all went wrong after her talent show heyday.

And that's really the end


SAVINI! on a horse!

For the first time ever I'm at something of a loss to fully do justice to the experience of viewing this film. Every fibre of my being is screaming out "Burn it now!" yet there's something almost otherworldy about the delights and sheer entertainment value it holds

Like a lobotomised, Disney-fied version of Excalibur violently bumming the best bits of Hawk The Slayer drunkenly filtered thru' the design (and dubbing work) of Burial Ground, Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood runs the giddying gamut of total shite to utter genius and back again thru' every part of its almost 2 hour running time, everything about it seems to have been roughly plucked directly from the screaming brain of a madman and I for one am very grateful for it.

"Fiona! Where's mah lunch?"

Lazy camera work, inept dubbing, coma-inducing lift music, a cast with all the charisma of a bout of genital warts (with obvious exceptions) with a plot that doesn't as much meander as drag itself painfully across a glass strewn floor and a film so cheap that it manages to make the aforementioned Hawk The Slayer look like Kingdom of Heaven.

However none of this can dull the utter joy derived from the whole experience.

Oliver Krekel, I salute you.

Carolina Grigorov, I love you.

And Martin Thon?

Get a bloody haircut. 

As close to Godliness as cinema will ever get, this is the type of movie I dream of seeing.

And the fact that it was only a pound only adds to the joy.

Buy it now and demand a sequel.

The campaign begins HERE.
Thank you Poundland!

*For our American readers this is what we British call irony.

Friday, March 4, 2016

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 56).

The bespectacled bombshell of bespoke blouses herself, Lindsey Creel, Project Runway Season 14 designer.