Saturday, August 25, 2018

hied the ball.

Been a hectic week of real-life stuff here so decided to settle down and relax with a wee bit of Paul Naschy.

Scarily even after the amount of (fairly) well written reviews I've posted recently (I've even been spell-checking them) no-one has commented/read or offered me any free stuff.

The nearest I got was an email from Carolina Grigorov, star of
Robin Hood: Ghosts Of Sherwood.

Well I say it was from her but it was from her management threatening to sue me because "I didn't have permission to review her performance." and to tell me to remove all photographs of her from my review.

I bet Mark Kermode doesn't have to put up with this shite.

Anyway from now on I'm just gonna review films where the cast is already dead.

Or should be.

The Man With The Severed Head (AKA Crimson, 1973).
Dir: Juan Fortuny.
Cast: : Paul Naschy, Carlos Otero, Yul Sanders, Claude Boisson, Ricardo Palmerola, Evelyne Scott, Gilda Arancio, Olivier Mathot, Richard Kolin, Roberto Mauri, Silvia Solar, Antonia Lotito and Víctor Israel.

The top tier criminal gang (and Bad Seeds tribute act by the look of them) of 'Monsieur' Jack "The Lad" Surnett (Naschy - say no more) are busying themselves stealing loads of cut price tat from Argos in order to fund a place in the upcoming Battle of The Cover Bands competition being held at the local Pontins.

Or should that be Le Pontins seeing as we're in France?

But the days of planning goes to pot when the greedy, bucked toothed Karl (Israel looking for all the world like the results of an unholy union 'tween Tracey Pugh and The Gonch from Big Babies) decides that he wants to give his wife a pearl necklace so excitedly smashes a display case causing all the alarms to go off.

And this, my friend is why the UK voted leave.

Terrified of being grabbed by the gendarmerie our motley crew jumped into the back of their rust covered 2CV and make a break for the countryside with the police in hot pursuit.

Unfortunately the local law enforcement officers seem to have previous when dealing with filthy, fame hungry crims and set up not only a sneaky roadblock but a couple of hidden snipers armed with machine guns.

With appears a tad excessive and just goes to show that you can never trust the French.

As their getaway car trundles forth the police open fire and in a scene that would make the creators of Casualty go green with envy poor old Surnett gets shot in the head.

Which is nice.

Seeing as Surnett is the one who owns all the equipment (plus his uncle is the entertainment officer at the holiday camp) the gang have no choice but to attempt to save his life and to this end drive over to the house of alcoholic and the recently widowed Nick Cave alike - I'm assuming he's the bands singer -Dr John Ritter (Otero) who, after taking a look at Surnett and gently poking the bullet hole ,with his red right hand informs the others that without urgent medical help that their friend will die.

Being a band on the run visiting a hospital is out of the question, so Ritter suggests that a visit to his old friend Professor Neville Teets (the bewigged and big-binned Palmerola) is in order.

It seems that Teets is a world expert on bullet-based brain injuries and has been waiting for the chance to try it on a human patient so with this in mind Ritter, Karl, Barry Adamson (Devil Hunter's Sanders) alongside second in command Henry Kelly (Mathot) rock up at his house in the middle of the night (tho' it may be daytime with a shit filter) and demand his help.

And some booze obviously.

"Well at least we have something to shite in now!"

Things go a wee bit awry tho' when upon arriving at the house Ritter realises that poor Teets accidentally shut both of his hands in a fridge door a few months back and can no longer operate but in a fantastic twist of fate it turns out that prior to this he'd been instructing his boyish wife Ana (Cannibal Terror's Solar)in the ways of brain surgery just in case something like that ever happened.

Lucky eh?

Examinig Surnett's head (whilst ignoring his massive manbreasts and dinnerplate sized nipples) Teets surmises that the only way to save the patient it to remove the damaged part of the brain and replace that with a similar one from a compatible donor.

Sounds legit.

Unfortunately (for the donor that is, for the plot it makes perfect sense) the only person with a similar brain is Surnett's arch enemy, the evil gangster and popular keyboard wizz Ronald 'The Sadist' Mael (writer and director Mauri, best known for King of Kong Island and The Porno Killers), a man feared as much for his mighty mustache as his mentalist manner.

Taking the Professor's daughter hostage Karl and Barry head into town to acquire the much needed brain.

When he knocked on my door and entered the room
My trembling subsided in his sure embrace
He would be my first man, and with a careful hand
He wiped the tears that ran down my face and placed a brain on the table for us to pop in Paul Naschy's head.

With the help of a local flower seller (a blink and you'll miss it cameo from top Scots singing star Lulu) and Surnett's girlfriend - who happened to be shagging Mael before that, seriously this is getting to be like an episode of EastEnders just with less forced bumming - Ingrid (Arancio from the classic Zombie Lake plus the jailbait lez-fest that is Schoolgirl Hitchhikers) and her breasts,  Karl and Barry track down The Sadist and gun him down before placing his dead body on a railway track to sever the head.

Hmmm....seems a wee bit convoluted but hey ho.

Within the hour the operation is complete and appears to be a great success, the only downside it seems is that upon waking Surnett now finds that he's experiencing violent (and sometimes sexual) urges, tho' I'm not sure if that's due to him now sharing The Sadist's brain or the fact that the bandages around his baw-like bonce appear to be so tight as to make his face turn purple.

With The Sadist's pals all running about trying to find their boss, Henry decides it'd be a bit of a giggle to have The Sadist's head nicely gift wrapped and delivered to Mael's harsh faced girlfriend Barbara Dixon (Scott, best known as Lisa the secretary in Swedish Sex Games) as a present.

As you can imagine this goes down as well as your Nan after a glass of cooking sherry so Barbara orders The Sadist's best buddy Willy (Kolin from Eyeball) to find those responsible and kill them.

To death.

Taking the movies meager running time into account it's not long before Barbara and Willy have captured both Ritter and Ingrid, beating the poor doctor to a fleshy pulp (no change there) whilst they torture Ingrid with fag ends in the spare room.

A wee bit like Boxing Day at your house when you were a kid.

Is it in yet?

 Dumping Ritter in the street, the dying doctor valiantly returns to Teets' house to warn the others that Willy and his gang are coming - and gunning - for revenge and that it'd be best for everyone if they stop all this nonsense and apologise.

Henry agrees and alongside Ana attempt to persuade Teets to stop his experiment.

Teets however disagrees and vows to continue working on/with Surnett to complete the operation and cure him of his newly acquired psycho-sexual tendencies before he ends up sticking it in the local paper girl whom he's been lusting after from the bedroom window.

Beware the binmen.

As the bad guys close in tensions fray as Henry discovers that it was Karl that bungled the robbery and Teets and his wife argue over the fate of Surnett's ever expanding bonce.....

From Juan Fortuny, the director of such classic fayre as the Joe Rígoli vampire comedy El pobrecito Draculín (he also wrote Orloff And The Invisible Man but don't hold that against him - oh go on then do) and Marius Lesoeur, the producer of Zombie Lake and Oasis of The Zombies comes a film that's sole purpose appears to be that star Paul Naschy fancied a dirty weekend in France.

True it features enough plot points for about six different movies - everything from wildly implausible brain transplants, gangland murders and crime caper fun all set to a backdrop of gaudy fashions and a fantastically inappropriate 'bing bong' score from the legendary Daniel White but none of it actually makes any sense in relation to the plot.

Even the slightly more 'erotic' version (released under the catchy title Le Viol et L'Enfer des X) lacks any kind of excitement or ability to thrill, tho' that may just be the fact that the cast are so uniformly unattractive that any temperature rises are more likely to be the result of having to sit thru' such a tardy mess than anything of a sexual nature.

Tho' I must admit to experiencing some small stirring when Antonia Lotito cycled into view clad in white knee-length socks and an underpant revealing skirt to deliver the papers.

That may have been because of the vintage Yamaha FS1E she was riding.

Sexiest thing in the movie if I'm honest.

What the whole thing lacks in convincing performances, realistic plotting and anything remotely resembling talent it more than makes up for in sheer entertainment value when you realise that every single cast member looks like a famous musician.

From then on in you can re-interpret the plot as some massive Smash Hits Poll Winners Party style gang war where goth-rock god Nick Cave battles fearlessly against an evil teaming of Sparks and Danni Minogue as Smokey watch on from the sidelines.

There's even a dance sequence about a third of the way in featuring a pert arsed redhead (is there any other kind?) and a couple of camp blokes dressed as Klingons.

I shit you not.

This all comes to a head tho' when Paul Naschy escapes from Teets' house and instead of some mad, mental sadistic Frankenstein style beast we're confronted with what looks like a cut price cosplay of The Aquabats MC Bat Commander.


Let's go!

So is The Man With The Severed Head a fantastically self-aware piece of modern cinematic art or a huge pile of massive wobbly arse?

Honestly I'm fucked if I know.

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