Thursday, June 18, 2020

holy she-it.

It's about this time of year that I'm busy planning my yearly jaunt to the motherland so seeing as that's not going to happen any time soon I decided to watch a film about holidays to cheer me up.

The She Beast (AKA Il Lago di Satana, Revenge of the Blood Beast, Satan's Sister. 1966).
Dir: Michael Reeves.
Cast: Barbara Steele, John Karlsen, Ian Oglivy, Mel Welles, Jay Riley, Richard Watson, Edward B. Randolph, Tony Antonelli, Peter Grippe, Lucretia Love, Kevin Welles and Woody Welles.

"What's troubling you? For running over a chicken
you won't get more than two years."

It's sunny Transylvania in the year of our Lord 1765 (probably around teatime) where the Secretary of State for Health of the United Kingdom Matt Hancock (or at the very least a passable lookalike, poor sod) is stumbling thru' the bushes towards the local church.

It appears a wicked witch (with eyebrows that even angel voiced mentalist Susan Boyle would die for) has kidnapped his sister.

Goaded on by a pervy priest and a dwarf in what looks like a pound shop Santa suit, a squad of gypsies decide to confront the aforementioned witchy woman at her house.

By house I mean cave obviously.

No idea why I'm typing all of this, I could have just go back and deleted 'house' and replaced it with 'cave' and you'd be none the wiser of my mistake would you?

Anyway, Vardella (for it is she), is - quite rightly - bloody furious at having the Government Covid updates interrupted by a bunch of pikeys so decides to teach them a lesson by attempting to bite their faces off with her scabby, shite filled mouth.

But one - albeit crap-encrusted woman can only do so much.

Fighting a losing battle, our hairy eyed chum is dragged kicking and screaming to the local lake where she's tied to the unholy Seat of Chastisement (Ikea, $649) before having red hot nails hammered into her hands and finally being dunked repeatedly into the dark, icy water until she drowns.

A wee bit like Noel's House Party but funny.

But before she breaths her last, Vardella curses the villagers.

And their descendants.


And quite possibly fairly important later.

Oh go on then...."Shite in mah mooth!"

Jumping forward two hundred years (it's cheaper for the costume department) we join the newlywed groovers Veronica (Steele - meow) and Philip (Ogilvy - easy tiger) who are enjoying a honeymoon driving holiday in the by now evil Communist-controlled Transylvania.

A little bit of politics...right on!

A country if Veronica is to be believed is "full of weirdies and werewolves." tho' from the evidence on show it appears to be chock-a-block with old men riding bicycles.


Studly Philip, feeling a steamer coming on decides that they should rest up at the local hotel - Veronica insists on this at least, she still has grass burns on her knees from the last lustful pit stop - and soon arrive at the world renowned - it says here -  Kereszteződésénél Motel.

Whilst Veronica carries the luggage to their room Philip gets chatting to the incredibly lecherous and slightly alcoholic motel owner, Mr. Ladislav Mortimer (Welles of The original Little Shop Of Horrors and Lady Frankenstein), asking those obvious holiday questions like what are the best local places to sight see, which of the town teens are the easiest to get drunk and molest plus what the motels dish of the day is.

Which any sane - or slightly sexist - reader will know is obviously Barbara Steele.

Suddenly the bar door bursts open and the whole place is overcome by the stale smell of egg, sweat and failure as the famed demon hunter and faded aristocrat Count Von Helsing (a pissed Karlsen) makes his grand entrance.

Taking a break from hanging around the local kiddies play park he spotted the car outside and decided to introduce himself to the holiday makers in order to regale them with tales of vampires and the like.

Well it's a living I guess.

Insert cock here.

All this talk of sex and violence (but mainly violence) is fairly entertaining but only goes to make Philip realize how long it's been since he experienced the real thing (3 hours but who's counting?) and, making his excuses drags his wife back to their room for a wee bit of the old in/out.

The romantic dog.

Cue dozens of luscious close-ups of Barbara's milky white and incredibly smooth topside of breast as he jiggles on the corner of the bed.

Unfortunately Philip and Veronica's sexy shenanigans (and ours) are rudely interrupted by Mortimer sweatily - and noisily - wanking outside their window.

Barbara Steele, up the casino, Wigan, 1967......YESCH!

Furious, Philip asserts his manliness by kicking the shite out of the hotel owner and leaving first thing the next day without paying the bill.

Driving along the deserted country roads and enjoying a giggle after seeing the funny side of someone sneakily cracking one off over a half dressed Barbara Steele (look we're all guilty of it) the couples Volkswagen inexplicably goes out of control, weaving from side to side before narrowly missing a lorry full of chickens and ending up in a lake.

The very lake that the angry villagers drowned Vardella centuries before.

Double spooky.

Steele: Your granddad did. Twice.

Philip, with the help of the lorry driver, manages to make it to shore, but Veronica is nowhere to be seen (hint: try the passenger seat or behind the sofa, that's where I usually find stuff) leaving Philip to pass out whilst sobbing like a wee lassie.

Aw bless.

Taken back to Mortimer's and put to bed, Philip is unaware that a second body has been dragged from the lake and is currently dripping all over the sprouts in the kitchen.

And it isn't Veronica.

Can you hazard a guess as to who it is?

Yup, it’s Vardella, back from her watery grave and all set for her revenge.

And a fair amount of mooth shite-in.

I can dream can't I?

Luckily schoolyard stalker and ghost buster Von Helsing (remember him?) is quick on the scene to fill Philip (phnarrr) in on the back story and point out to anyone who'll listen (which is no one frankly) that "Vardella has returned and she's chosen to possess Veronica's spirit".


"Put it in me!"

If this wasn't drama enough, back at the hotel Mortimer is drunkly attempting to molest his niece (Love, from the Pam Grier classic Naked Warriors in a blink and miss it cameo) whilst Fred the chicken van owner is worried the police will arrest him for causing the accident with the car in the first place.

Remembering that this is, in fact a horror movie and not the Archers the Count has a plan that will not only restore Veronica’s identity (and shapely figure) but also lift the witch’s curse once and for all.

All he has to do to accomplish this is stick his pinky finger in her eye which will  release the maggots trapped in her skull and therefore bring Veronica back to life.

Or something.

Honestly I couldn't really follow the plan partly because I was still recovering from the sight of a dripping wet Babs.

Anyway if the Count can manage this feat it means he can then chase her around town and hopefully persuade her to sit back on the big chair to get redunked in the lake.

Look I didn't write this shite so don't email me that it doesn't seem to make any sense whatsoever.

Savile: The return.

But with the local fascist (OK Communist) boot boys on their tail and Mortimer hungry for ass (man or otherwise) will our heroes be able to destroy the witch and repair the trusty VW before before Vardella does any bad stuff?

Some really shite artwork yesterday.

The first movie from boy genius director Michael (Witchfinder General, The Sorcerers) Reeves, The She Beast may look like a slipshod low budget shlocker but peel back the thin net curtain of shoddiness and there's a real gem underneath.

Unfairly dismissed by arsey Reeves fans and the type of folk that talk loudly about film in cinema foyers, it's true that the film is crudely made and cursed with a (occasionally misjudged) vein of comedy that is in danger of capsizing the whole proceedings at any moment, but as far as debuts go, it's gloriously watchable and hideously silly at the same time.

Steele: No excuse needed.

Shot on the cheap - and on the sly - in Italy after the wily producers had managed to convince the local authorities that they were making a documentary (therefore enabling them to apply for the lowest location rates) and with a screenplay (of sorts) written by Reeves but under the alias of Michael Byron (to make the crew look larger) the director cast his best mate in the lead role and shot all of Steele's footage in a single 22-hour-long period as to reduce the actress's cost, you must admit that it takes a director of rare talent to produce something as enjoyable as it is under those conditions.

And enjoyable it is, from it's camp as pants cast to it's moments of sly humour and gore that culminates in a 15 minute (!) car chase tribute to the Keystone Cops The She Beast never outstays it's welcome and, like the awkward best friend you only used for sex when you were younger or the local Tesco home shopping van, never fails to deliver.

Plus it's fairly short which is always a bonus.

Unlike lockdown.

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