Wednesday, April 26, 2017

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 71).

Regular Show's uber BiLF Margaret Smith.


Friday, April 21, 2017


If, like me you're one of those people that whilst watching that 'classic' anthology movie VHS (and it's sequel) thought to themselves "This would be so much better if it was even cheaper made." then your luck is in.

The Dark Tapes (2017).
Dir: Vincent J. Gustini and Michael McQuown.
Cast: Emilia Ares Zoryan, Shawn Lockie, Danielle Baez, Brittany Underwood, Anna Rose Moore, Cortney Palm, Stephen Zimpel, David Hull, Matt Magnusson, Jake O’Connor, Katherine Shaw, Shane Hartline, Katelyn Bailey, Dave Rountree and David Banks (but not that one).

“Humanity is getting closer to the truth, … to us. We won’t let that happen.”

Welcome to the wacky world - AKA Dark Tape 1 To Catch a Demon - of Martin Callahan (Blur drummer Rountree possibly), a physics professor researching trans-dimensional entities out of a scout hut near the directors house.

These entities have been around for donkey's years and - according to his work - are usually explained away as night terrors.

Or cheeky wolves.


Alongside his tiny-faced assistant Nicole (Palm from Zombeavers) and hunky cameraman  Jason (Magnusson, son of Mastermind host Magnus), Martin is about to prove the creatures existence via the use of a collection of disco lights, an old washing machine, his mum's colander and Jason’s high speed, super slow motion video camera.

Plus a shedload of natty pseudoscience obviously.

Pseudoscience it has to be said that scarily makes sense.

Sort of.

Your dad filming you as you sleep earlier this month....this is how he pays for all those golfing trips.

You see Martin reckons that these entities exist within their own time stream which runs considerably slower than our own meaning that they would have to stand still for up to 3 hours for us to notice them.

And then only for a second or so.

Being a clever bastard, Martin has built a contraption that brings the two time streams into synchronization which will allow Jason to film them.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well we'll have to wait and see because in a flurry of static we're dropped into the ominously monikered Dark Tape 2 – The Hunters and the Hunted where we're introduced to the frighteningly square jawed David (Zimpel) who is busy filming his lovely wife Karen’s (Lockie) reactions to their newly acquired dream house.


The post-Brexit Kraftwerk lightshow left a lot to be desired.

Being a horror movie - and an anthology one at that - things soon go awry.

There are strange bangings and groanings coming from the pantry and eggy smells in the bathroom, luckily the pair manage to capture this spookily supernatural stuff on video, calling in a team of paranormal investigators to investigate.

With terrifying results....

Next up is Dark Tape 3 – Cam Girls” which tells the spooky (and mildly sexy - if you like that kind of thing) story of Caitlin (Zoryan), the ex-Christian cum chick kissing saucepot who has recently moving in with her lover Sindy (Moore), a harsh faced cam-whore with eyebrows so arched you could actually swing from them.

Which would probably be a darn sight more entertaining than this segment if I'm honest.

Slightly cruel yes but true.

Megan Fox licking piss off John Nettles yesterday.

In between performing sex acts for paying punters whilst experiencing the love that dare not mention its name, Caitlin has also been experiencing periodic blackouts, often waking to find that she's been captured on video doing things she can’t remember.

Nor, in fact,  imagine herself doing.

Acting in a natural manner for one thing.

Calling her old friend, the medical student Eric (Hartline) for his perspective - and it has to be said to have someone onscreen with even less charisma than the two leads (which is a tall order), she's disappointed when he blames her problems on too much booze and bad drugs.

Which seems fair enough.

Making her excuses ("I better head now cos I'm a mad lesbian!") Caitlin and Sindy get set for their next sex show but Sindy has a favour to ask.

She wants Caitlin to get one lucky punter to self harm on camera.

Fair enough.

"Laugh now!"

“Dark Tape 4 – Amanda’s Revenge” tells the tale of student Amanda (Underwood) who after having a few drinks at an end of term party is drugged up and dragged off by some bad boys who want to see her underwear.

Rescued by her three best pals before things get R rated, the trio – lovelorn Ryan
(O’Connor), Ashley (Katherine Shaw not to be confused with Shaw Catherine, the jewelers located at 31 Argyll Arcade, City Centre, Glasgow G2 8BA) and Josh (Hull, son of Rod) – decide that it'd be wise to record her when she wakes up in case they can use it as evidence when they call the police.

Or at the very least get £250 from You've Been Framed.

Either way they're onto a winner.

Unlike Amanda who upon waking starts talking rubbish in a deep booming voice whilst making the house (OK the camera) shake violently.

Her friends help her back to bed but when she finally returns, she has no recollection of what happened the night before or even of the shaky camera stuff.

Bizarre and chilling too.

Over the next few months our heroine begins to confess to Ryan that strange things have been happening to her as she sleeps and she may be being abducted - and fiddled with - by strange creatures from beyond our dimension.

Well it's either that or she's been eating cheese before bed.

Or in bed.

She looks the type.

Insert cock here.

Then it's back to Martin and co. who are currently trapped in an episode of Sapphire and Steel whilst being menaced by what sounds like a computerized Barry White wearing a pound shop skeleton mask and a nappy.

It never rains eh?

From director Michael McQuown and make-up wizard Vincent J. Guastini (who did sterling work on Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream by the way as well as directing the wraparound) comes another lo-fi sci-fi tinged found footage flick thrown mercilessly into a fairly over-saturated market.

So does it sink or swim?

Well it just kinda bobs along and waves its arms around randomly if I'm honest.

I mean there are some pretty nice ideas on show (especially during the To Catch a Demon section) but unfortunately they're held back and almost drowned out by the utter awfulness of stuff like the Cam-Girls segment and a frightening amount of OpenShot video editor 'special' effects.

Which is kinda expected in these situations.

"Did you get me a Drifter?"

But back to the positives of which one is the aforementioned wraparound  - reminding me as it did of the utterly sublime Ink from a few years back (which if you haven't seen it go and do so now - it's pretty bloody amazing) which, if I'm honest could be a feature in itself.

Running thru' the entire movie To Catch a Demon has a nice set up and pay off (if a wee bit of an obvious one) with more than a hint of Lovecraft and Doctor Who thrown into the mix yet is ultimately frustrating as the mid-sections seem to consist more of people shouting at jump cuts than expanding the story tho' there's a pretty nifty kill that'll raise a smile at the cleverness of it.

I for one wanted more mythos and less loudness.

Plus Cortney Palm looked lovely in her baggy jumper, a fashion item that - alongside woolly tights and sensible cardigans aren't featured enough in mainstream horror.

But I digress.

A sensible cardie wearing lady of the type not often featured in genre movies.

The same can be said of “The Hunters and The Hunted”which plays the Paranormal Activity tropes for all that they're worth before beautifully pulling the rug from underneath the audience with a lovely twist.

The cast are great and it's self aware enough to give sly winks at the audience throughout it's short runtime.

Reminiscent in many ways of Patrick Brice's brilliant Creep this could easily be expanded upon.

Or at the very least it'd make a fucking brilliant BBC 1 prime time sitcom.


Cam Girls on the other (free) hand is probably one of the most arse destroying things I've ever had the misfortune to sit thru'.

Which is a shame as Emilia Ares Zoryan (who looks for all the world like a young Phoebe Cates - ask your dad) does her best but is sabotaged at every opportunity by inane dialogue, suspense free plotting and being surrounded by the most wooden cast this side of Four Feather Falls.

Plus if you're promising a wee bit of gratuitous girl on girl action at least deliver some.

Even a knowing look or two will do.

I mean when Katherine Shaw 'seductively' looks at Zoryan I'm sure I could see her mentally going thru' her shopping list, her mysterious frown looking more like chronic constipation than carnal desires.

Trust me I know.

Emilia Ares Zoryan: pants on fire....or backwards.

Another great cast can't save “Amanda’s Revenge” from the curse of patchy pacing as this mix of Carrie and Mars Attacks! via the climax of A Nightmare On Elm Street has an interestingly bonkers premise mired by time constraints (again) and an overly earnest tone that seems at odds with the fantastical nature of the plot, which is a shame as Brittany Underwood is genuinely fantastic as the titular heroine of the piece ably aided by Jake O’Connor who gives a natural warmth to a role that could be cloying and a wee bit wet in less capable hands.

Much like David Rountree in the “Demon” segments the pair have a knack for delivering the at times overly explanatory dialogue with a natural flair that is at once convincing, plausible and interesting.

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

Neither as brain-searingly brilliant as the reviews say nor as arse-numbingly bad as I feared, The Dark Tapes (aptly) lies in that middle ground between genius of The Last Broadcast and the cinematic cesspit of Tape 407: The Mesa Experiment, ending up with more hits than misses - yet is ultimately frustrating as to what it could have been given more time and a bigger budget.

Or even any budget at all.

If you've lost your love for found footage then The Dark Tapes will do nothing to win you back but if you don't mind genuine frights, some clever ideas and filmic frustration in equal measures then give it a whirl, as whilst in no way a classic there's enough going on to make me intrigued as to what Gustini and McQuown attempt next.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

whooar! hide yourself.

With Trump and co. constantly telling us how horrible the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is I thought it was time to redress the balance with a pictorial guide to that countries fantastic female fighting forces.

And why not?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

h.p. source.

So I decided to watch one of those modern films that the cool kids keep talking about and not just that, I watched one that has been hailed as the future of horror.

In the small midwestern - possibly in Pennsylvania - jumbo-eyed junkie James (Stern - not the radio shock jock) frighteningly flees from a farmhouse and into the woods as a couple of check-shirted shotgun toting townies - a never named father and son who for the sake of this review we will call Dick and Dom.

This will be less confusing later seeing as the father is actually played by someone called Fathers who strangely enough looks bizarrely like a younger, fitter Richard Liberty - whilst the son is played by a council estate Matt Damon.

Under the pseudonym Mik Byskov.

As you can see he doesn't have his character name in his actual name.

But he does have the word 'boy' in it tho' which you might call your son.

Anyway I digress.

It seems this pair have been busying themselves madly shooting shit and dosing women in petrol before setting light to them.

So far so The Crazies.

But it's not 1973 and this isn't one of Romero's finest (after Bruiser obviously) - we're actually in 2017 and experiencing the neon nightmare that is.....

The Void (2016).
Dir: Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie.
Cast: Ellen Wong, Aaron Poole, Evan Stern, Kathleen Munroe, Art Hindle, Daniel Fathers, Mik Byskov, Gracie Munro, James Millington, Stephanie Belding and Kenneth Walsh.

This is hell!

Meanwhile a wee bit further down the road, lank-haired deputy sheriff Daniel Carter (Poole - a near perfect amalgamation of Nic Cage, Daniel Roebuck and David Arquette but wearing his dads shirt) is enjoying a nice nap in his warm police car.

His dreams of trains and tunnels are rudely interrupted not by the dustman but by James tumbling out of the bushes and into the road.

Being a nice guy - and wanting to move the plot forward Carter bundles him into the car and takes him to the local hospital where by some strange quirk of fate and convenient storytelling his estranged wife Alison (the scarily long-faced Munroe) works as a nurse.

Well I'm assuming she's a nurse, I mean she's dressed like one but then again so is the feisty intern Kim (Wong from Scott Pilgrim but don't hold that against her) and she seems to know fuck all about medicine and seems much more interested in paying homage to the bit in Nightmare City when the lovely Mrs. Miller chats to Phil about his ailment.

Thinking about it I should have heard the alarm bells as soon as it started riffing Umberto Lenzi really.

But it's OK as before you have time to consider the ramifications of this frankly freaky homage we've moved into Assault On Precinct 13 territory, you see the hospital was gutted by a fire recently so it's officially closed with only a handful of staff on call and two patients - the pregnant Maggie (Munro looking for all the world like Lynn Lowry circa I Drink Your Blood) who's accompanied by her grampa Ben (Darkman II's Millington) and some bloke called Cliff Killedsoon who is so instantly forgettable as to not being listed on IMDB.

Travesty of justice or lucky escape?

You decide.

Tinky Winky's let himself go.

Arriving at the hospital Carter is met by the enigmatic Dr. Peter Powell (Twin Peaks Windom Earle himself Walsh - so he'll be the baddie then), nurse Beverly (Belding - wife of Saved By The Bell's Richard), the aforementioned Kim and Alison giving the pair a chance to exchange longing glances across a gurney.

After a few minutes of backstory chat (they split up due to their son dying during childbirth - selfish sod) and mugs of coffee Carter makes his excuses and sneaks off for a wee only to come across (not in that way) Beverly sticking a pair of scissors into Cliff's eye (son) before attempting to remove her face.

Carter does what any self respecting policeman would do in that situation and shoots her dead before collapsing due to a seizure.

Cue a couple of trippy hippy visions cut to the ominous sound of a cow mooing.

Same scene, different shit.

As the entire cast run around trying to figure out what just happened the gruff state trooper Cameron Mitchell (Hindle from The Brood) turns up demanding that James be handed over to him immediately.

If not sooner.

It seems that the farmhouse slayings haven't gone unnoticed and that Mitchell (having a nicer hat) is now in charge.

Carter heads out to his car to radio the station regarding the situation only to be confronted by a gaggle of robed cultists who attack him without warning before he manages to crawl back inside the hospital only to find a terrified James being attack by the corpse of Beverly which has transformed into a slimy multi-tentacle beast.

Which is nice.

As Carter and Mitchell attempt to rescue James from a fate usually reserved for cartoon Japanese schoolgirls Dick and Dom burst into the hospital and angrily hold everyone at gunpoint.

It appears they have unfinished business with James.

"Aye son!"

James - being a bad druggie type - takes Maggie hostage and in the ensuing confusion stabs Dr. Powell in the neck.

There's no time for recriminations tho' (well not yet) as no sooner has he fallen to the floor when the Beverly beast reappears dragging Mitchell of to his doom.

Being experienced monster botherers (kinda) Dick and Dom easily kill the creature before returning the others in order to shout angrily about things.

Because there's nothing like a wee bit of tension to up the stakes.

Stopping the manly pissing/dick measuring competition long enough to formulate  a plan of attack/escape/something to pass the time Dick and Dom agree to accompany Carter to retrieve his shotgun from a patrol car but just as they're about to venture outside Maggie begins to fart loudly which as everyone reading knows means she's about to give birth.

Alison volunteers to go into the basement (alone) to collect medical supplies for delivering the baby  little realizing that Powell has risen from the dead and is hiding in the morgue waiting to pounce.

"Shite in mah mooth!"

Concerned for Alison's safety Carter goes to look for her only to receive a phone call from Powell in order to explain bits of the plot whilst taunting him with regards to the vision he experienced earlier.

Just in case we hadn't realized that Powell is involved Dick comes across a box of Polaroids featuring pictures of dead bodies and the good doctor in a white robe holding a hood exactly like the cultists wear.

Yup, think we got it thanks.

With Kim - and Ben - looking after Maggie Carter, Dick and Dom - convinced that James knows more than he's letting on - decide to torture the poor fella for a bit in the hope of discovering useful stuff.

Under threat of a particularly nasty Chinese Burn,  James breathlessly explains how Powell has the power to transform people into monsters and runs a sex cult to those ends.

Which makes about as much sense as anything else happening I guess.

Convinced by all this meta-psychical sub Lovecraftian nonsense (and hoping to get invited to one of Powell's parties)  the three men drag James with them as they head into the basement to find Alison and confront the doctor.

"Is it in yet?"

Meanwhile Alison awakes to find herself strapped naked to an operating table whilst Powell explains how he has discovered a way to hold back death.

Think that scene in Re-Animator but without the joy of Barbara Crampton's frankly magnificent breasts.

Approaching the Alison in a manner usually reserved for Disney villains and slightly drunk old men Powell pulls back her bedding to reveal that her tummy has been replaced with a hastily painted plastic bag attached to a hair dryer to make it move about in a comedy manner.

No hang on I think it means that something is growing in her belly.

My bad.

Fantastic breasts and where to find them (it's 1hr and 5 mins in if you're interested).

As all this pervy pregnancy stuff is going down Carter, Dick, Dom and James are having a few troubles of their own seeing as the hospitals dimensions appear to be shifting and changing leaving them stuck in a room full of horribly mutated corpses brought back to life by Powell during his initial experiments.

almost instantly James - now being superfluous to the plot is killed whilst the three amigos are separated as they run for cover.

Meanwhile back upstairs Maggie is either going into labour (Corbin will be pleased) or having a massive poo - either way she begs Kim to perform a C-section.

Or a mildly erotic dance, take your pick.

But on accounts of being the worse medic this side of Harold Shipman Kim just stands about screaming only stopping when Maggie - desperate for something interesting to happen - cuts her granddads throat.

Turns out that Maggie is in fact carrying Dr. Powell’s child.

As in that's the baby in her tummy, she's not got it in a rucksack.

As the creepy cutists enter the building Kim decides to hide in a cupboard.

Maggie may.....or may not.

Back in the basement and Carter has so far been unsuccessful in finding anything of consequence to move the plot forward but has found his ex-wife.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you feel about Japanese porn) she's been transformed into a multi-tentacled baby machine by the evil Powell.

Realizing that he'll never find a dress to fit her Carter kills her with an axe before being suddenly transported onto the set of The Neon Demon where Powell proceeds to tell our hero that he has found the ability to conquer life and death.

He promises to give Carter the secret but only if he embraces death first.

Sounds legit.

Told you.

Before he can answer tho' Maggie appears and stabs him in the back.

As Carter crawls toward the massive florescent triangle on the wall Powell finally reveals what he's been up to in the basement - constructing an almost perfect Uncle Frank from Hellraiser suit in order to knock 'em dead at the next horror con.


I mean there's no other reason to have him in a skin (free) latex suit other than in tribute to that Clive Barker classic.

Tho' if they were real horror fans they'd have dressed him as Rawhead Rex and have done with it.

Cop a load of this!

As Maggie kneels before him,  Powell begins to recite a spooky incantation that causes the pregnant girls stomach to explode as she gives birth to the biggest and unintentionally (I hope) funny monster this side of Alien Resurrection's Newborn which then proceeds to stomp on the cultists heads whilst dragging its mum around by the umbilical cord.

Which is kinda worth the price of admission alone if I'm honest.

It's a pity then that Dick and Dom arrive almost immediately and set fire to it.

As the dynamic duo battle the beast baby Carter can only watch in mid apathy as Powell - in a scene reminiscent of an even more 80s version of Stars In Their Eyes but with dodgier wigs - begins his final transformation.

Powell informs Carter that he can still be with Alison.

But only if he gives himself to the abyss.

Which isn't too bad a deal if you think about it, I mean it's much better than having to swear allegiance to Titanic or Avatar.

At least you'd get to rewatch Ed Harris occasionally.

Playschool's windows have gone to the dogs a wee bit since Brexit.

Will Carter choose his wife over his humanity?

Will Dick and Dom survive their encounter with the baby from Hell?

Will Kim make it out of the cupboard alive?

Or will the directors go from playful homage to straight up imagination free rip-off for the climax, leaving the audience feeling slightly cheated?

Go on guess.

From Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski - members of the 80's-centric, independent Winnipeg-based film production initiative Astron 6 - The Void created a massive buzz late last year with it's decidedly old-school, John Carpenter style vibe and practical effects promising a glorious return to the heady days of pre-cert potboilers and unabashed body horror.

And in some ways the film delivers.

The first 45 minutes is a perfect blend of everything from Assault on Precinct 13 to Prince of Darkness via From Beyond and Shivers and with a smidgen of Silent Hill and even Lordi's Dark Floors for good measure (amongst others) tautly plotted and perfectly cast with just enough of a mix of mystery and homage to keep the viewer intrigued but all that changes as soon as the characters venture forth into the bowels of the hospital and the film doesn't as much run out of steam as grind to a spluttering halt as the cast wonder aimlessly from one movie reference to another desperately searching for a satisfying climax.

Frustrating doesn't cover it as I went from edge of my seat terror to tapping my watch to see if it had stopped, getting more and more fidgety as time passed, desperately wishing that the film would recover and make a last grasp at gory glory.

Unfortunately it doesn't, preferring instead to throw it's hands in the air and shout  "Fuck it" before just copying the ending of The Beyond shot for shot in the hope that no-one has ever seen it.

Or by this point cares. 

As an aside (which may be useful to any aspiring film makers reading) if a viewers only thought coming away from a horror movie is "That's not how placental abruption works" you kinda know you've arsed up the whole new dimension in terror thing.

just saying.

Have you seen this?
So have they.....Twice.

I may sound overly harsh but I'd rather the whole thing been shite than see something so brilliant degenerate so quickly.

A bit like your mum with a drink in her.

Whilst never reaching the dizzying heights of Astron 6's previous feature The Editor it's probably still worth a look - just don't believe the hype and fast forward thru' the last half and despite the faults I'm actually fairly excited to see what the pair do next.

Unless it's sending me hate filled emails.

It's happened before.