Sunday, December 29, 2019

dave alien at large.

Getting set for not only a drunken new years eve (or 'The Hogmanay' as they cry it up here) but also the return of Doctor Who to our screens (hence the alcohol) so thought I'd prepare myself with some top quality sci-fi.

Unfortunately it appears that it's in my other jacket so had to make do with this. 

Shocking Dark (AKA Terminator II, Aliens 2, Aliennators, Contaminator. 1989).
Dir: Bruno Mattei.
Cast: Cristopher Ahrens, Al McFarland, Haven Tyler, Geretta Giancarlo Field, Tony Lombardi, Mark Steinborn, Dominica Coulson, Clive Ricke, Paul Norman Allen, Cortland Reilly, Richard Ross, Bruce McFarland and
Al McFarland.

"It's not alive until it finds something to live in... something to reprogram on the basis of its own genetic program — a chromosome databank."

The place: The late 70s clad fashion hell that can only be someone's scratchy home movies from a family holiday to Venice, hastily edited and with a morose voice-over quickly added in order to make the film that is to follow look at least a little bit expensive than it really is.

Or that a bit of thought went into it.

As a variety of overweight plaid-clad tourist feed the pigeons the aforementioned voice-over informs us that due to it's polluted algae filled waters and toxic badness polluting the air that the city is doomed.

And as if to prove this the image cuts to a group of men in bootleg Power Rangers suits, BMX helmets and gas masks guarding a homemade sign that reads:


Hastily drawn in Sharpie and placed on the edge of the duck pond in the directors local park.

Job done.

As the credits play out over even more stock footage - this time of bombed out and derelict buildings, well it's either that or footage of the poshest housing estate in West Bromwich - we're suddenly transported to the local electricity board power station where the stoic Colonel Barry Exposition (McFarland in his only screen appearance) is busy watching an important video transmission from the deserted (sort of) city featuring three blokes in muck encrusted Kwik-Fit overalls running down a corridor and screaming.

Which is nice.

To add to this already exciting scene the group split up with two of them being overcome by a vaguely threatening shadow obscured by some smoke whilst the other - a man named Towers (like that's important. I really only mentioned it to prove I was paying attention)  shits himself when yet another guy pops out from behind a pipe and gently taps him on the shoulder.

Luckily he recognises the newcomer as assistant researcher Charlie Drake (actor and composer Ricke, best known for Rome - as in the TV show not shagging your mum when she was on holiday there) whom it seems is an old friend.

Unfortunately Drake appears to be completely insane  and suddenly strangles poor Towers whilst guffawing like a mentalist of the kind only found in - badly - dubbed Eurohorror.

You know the drill.

Shocked by the appalling lack of any discernible talent on show Colonel Exposition calls a staff meeting in what looks like the local school IT room to discuss the situation with the hunky military type - wait for it - Captain Dalton Bond (Steinborn) and a slightly less hunky science type named Sara (ex-Aerosmith frontman Tyler probably) in the hope of finding out what the fuck is going on.

Shifting uncomfortably on the child-sized seats our amazing trio sit in stunned silence as the tape plays out.

It seems that one Professor Ralph Raphelson (another McFarland, probably the dad of the other guy) whilst working on a top secret project to restore Venice to its former glory has inadvertently created a device that can turn people into monsters.

Monsters with massive paper mache heads.

As you do.

His assistant, the aforementioned Drake, upon discovering this went mad and decided that he alone could communicate with the creatures.

And on that bombshell the tape ends.

"Sorry Miss, the dog ate my homework!"

After sharing a few knowing - and vaguely erotic - looks with each other Colonel Exposition orders Bond and Sara to head to Venice to rescue any survivors and to retrieve Raphelson's diary - as opposed to his lab notes, am I being picky?), to this end they'll be accompanied on their mission by the mysterious Samuel Fuller (not the director unfortunately but some guy called Ahrens) from the rather quite radical sounding Tubular Corporation who I assume from the name - and from Fuller's Sun-In style locks are a surfing company.

So far so Aliens.

All we need now is a squad of gung-ho hard-bitten marines.

Unfortunately the budget can't spread to this so instead we get a handful of non-actors in market stall shellsuits.

And a few kiddies skateboarding helmets with masking tape stuck on them.

Oh yes and the fabulous friend of The Arena Geretta Giancarlo Field (AKA Geretta Geretta) carrying a big gun so it's not all bad.

Koster (for that is she) is joined in this elite fighting team - dubbed 'The Megaforce' (tho' not this one) - by the cleanliness obsessed Kowalsky (Allen from What Would Jesus Buy?), ponytailed pretty boy Caine (Reilly - Ace of Spies) and the slick-quiffed Franzini (Lombardi who actually went on to have a career appearing in such quality fayre as Heaven - but not the gay nitespot - Blue Tornado and Vita di Antonio Gramsci) as well as a few other folk I can't be arsed listing who all excitedly polish their weapons whilst chatting about the mysterious 'Operation Delta Venice'* that they're about to embark on.

So without further ado it's off into the tunnels below Venice (played here by an underground car park just outside Rome) where literally within seconds everything goes to pot.

You see deranged Drake has found a machine gun and is currently firing it in the general direction of our crack squad of soldiers whilst shouting random shite like "I CAN SEE YOU......I KILL YOU NOW!" at whoever is listening.

Which unfortunately is the viewer.

Luckily Bond stays cool under pressure - well it's either that or he just can't act - and orders Kowalsky and some other guy (look if the director can't be arsed why should I?) to "Take him from behind!" which obviously leads to a bumsex joke and a classic bit of playground rolling before Drake is apprehended but as the team attempt to question him he starts to laugh maniacally before letting out a high pitched scream that leaves the squad holding their heads in agony and Drake enough time to escape with Private Stevie Soontodie as a hostage.

"He did WHAT in his cup?"

 Slowly recovering from the ear onslaught Bond counts the number of soldiers (twice) before realising that they're a man down so quickly sends everyone off to look for him giving the film a chance to copy the spooky motion tracker scene from Aliens only this time using a desk calculator and a pinging egg timer.

Being the only two cast members with any ounce of acting ability (well one of them does) it's Caine and Koster who finally find Stevie, who by this time is covered in what looks like dried whale spunk and glued to a wall alongside the remains of the base scientists.

Begging for death (most likely as he knows the film is utter guff rather than for any other reason) Koster can only look on in horror - well I say horror but it's actually mild indifference and slight annoyance - as a shoddily painted glove puppet bursts forth from Stevie's chest just like the one in Alien.

If Alien had been directed by a blind, hook-handed child that is.

To say the effect is underwhelming is an understatement.

It's just shit.

Luckily the film cuts to Koster and Caine reacting giving the crew just enough time to replace this affront to visual effects with something slightly less crap to wrap itself around Koster's neck.

Unfortunately it's still not good enough to look like anything except a stringy green scarf.

A stringy green scarf constructed from condoms.

Never mind tho' as Caine quickly shoots it and the pair run away.

 quick reaction-shot cutaway, a slightly more dignified prop wraps around Coster's neck, until Kane fires a few rounds into what was once his fellow-Marine.

Meanwhile the movies answer to The Chuckle Brothers, Franzini and Kowalsky have problems of their own seeing as they've rounded a corner and literally bumped into the shadowy monster from the films opening.

Being proper tough guys the pair start screaming and run  back to where Bond and Sarah are currently busying themselves hypnotically staring at the flashing light on their motion scanner.

It's almost as if they're standing about doing fuck all just waiting on their cue to start recycling even more of the dialogue from Aliens and this time it's the whole "The tracker's off scale, man. They're all around us, man. Jesus!" bit delivered so fantastically by the late great Bill Paxton only here it's spoken in the manner of a recently woken child who's only just discovered the power of speech.

As tensions rise - well as everyone stands around looking bored if I'm honest - Fuller suggests that they all beat a hasty retreat to the relative safety of Zone 14.

It's all just words isn't it?

Let's be honest, it's not even worth typing 'Laugh Now' on something this shit.

Arriving in/at Zone 14, Sara's calculator prop is soon pinging again and the group this time decide to follow the ping rather than running away which is quite lucky as it's not a big slimy monster they come across but a small disheveled girl named Newt.

Sorry I mean Samantha (Coulson in - again - her only film role tho' I think she didn't suffer too many after effects of being in this movie and now lives in Maine and enjoys drinking coffee if the interweb is correct**).

Five fingers - never touched the sides.

As you've guessed the entire Newt plot from Aliens will now play out in it's entirety.

Just with worse costumes.

Well worse everything if I'm honest.

Luckily for Fuller It just so happens that Zone 14 is actually where Raphelson's lab is located so he gets to work looking into kids microscopes and flicking thru flipcharts whilst Caine and Koster sneak off for a crafty fag.

It's almost as if he knows more than he's letting on.

Wanking himself silly at his discovery he announces that Raphelson had created an enzyme that has similar properties to DNA and the ability to reprogram on the basis of its own genetic level.

Or something.

As all this high-tech nonsense is going down, Caine and Koster are also getting a violent tossing - off a walkway by a beast that is.

Samantha - being about 12 - is old enough to realize that the whole thing is utter bollocks and is desperate to get the whole thing over and done with announces that her dad, Raphelson if you hadn't guessed - it's easy to tell as they both have odd shaped ears and a limp, suspected that the Tubular Corporation was experimenting with enzyme-DNA type stuff in order to take over the world or something which annoys Fuller no end.

Which makes me think who Raphelson (you know head of a project funded by Tubular) actually thought he was working for in the first place.

We have no time to think about that tho' as  the power suddenly goes out.

"They cut the power!" exclaims Sara.

"What do you mean, they cut the power? They're animals!" Answers Bond.

And that whirring noise in the background?

That's James Cameron spinning in his grave.

Yes I know he's not dead*** but he got so angry he actually dug one just to spin in.

And with that the group hurriedly make their way toward the Tubular Corporation headquarters in the building because as Samantha puts it "It is very safe".

Well I'm sold.

This gives us time to sit back and enjoy 10 minutes of various cast members shouting loudly whilst pretending to shoot homemade  fireworks at some poor sod in a big green rubber gimp suit growling as he waves his little thin arms around trying to pretend that there's more than one monster suit.

Tragic doesn't begin to cover it.


Saying that something exciting (sort of) does occur when one of the beasts attacks Fuller and slightly scratches his arm revealing not blood and bone but printed circuits and tin foil....Yup Fuller is a robot!

But there's no time to waste on that plot revelation as Sara is getting confused as to how doors work.


I'll admit now that by this point any goodwill I had for the film had evaporated so I sneaked off to get some crisps and by the time I returned Sara and Samantha seemed to be sitting in a leisure centre office watching a badly dubbed public information film with no signs of any monsters or any other members of the cast.

Checking it was still the same movie I sat down, began to weep and carried on in the hope that it had nearly finished.

Instead of an exciting pulse pounding climax tho' I re-entered the film to see a bleach-blonde Barbie doll in a hideous 80s power suit attempting to explain the films plot via a bunch of cue cards.

Unfortunately they appear to have been written in a language she couldn't understand seeing as what should have been a 3 minute scene descended into 9 minutes of uncomfortable pauses and mispronunciation where we discover that Tubular, although originally contracted to clean up the toxic environment in and around Venice actually planned to release the mutating virus thing into the city in order to turn everyone into monsters so that they could loot all its famous art and antiques.

No me neither.

Noticing that everyone now knows the companies evil plan Fuller goes into full Terminator mode (if the Terminator was a slightly fey guy with a home hi-lighting job) and proceeds to kill the remaining soldiers before activating the big 'DESTROY VENICE' device and shouting "You have 30 minutes to escape....if escape were possible! Ha! ha! ha!" before watching Sara and Sam run leisurely  up some stairs.

It's then he remembers that Samantha has the diary he was sent to retrieve so gives chase.

"Shoot me now!"

As the evil robot bloke gets ever nearer all looks lost until that is Sara rounds a corner and finds a time machine parked in a corridor.

A time machine with what looks like an old Major Morgan toy as a controller.

No, really.

Pressing all the buttons randomly the pair travel back in time as the whole of Venice explodes.

Surely this must be the end? both Samantha and Sara must be thinking as they stumble into a children's playpark.

I know I was.

But alas no, you see there was a second time machine hidden just behind the first one and it was set for the same point in time and space.

And Fuller found it.

Stepping out of his time machine he advances menacingly on our terrific - and toothsome - twosome, stopping only to throw a tramp off a bridge which gives Sara time to reprogramme the Major Morgan toy and toss it to him sending it and Fuller back from whence he came.

Which I assume is an exploding future Venice and not his mother's womb.

Regular readers will already know how much I love dear old (and dead) Bruno Mattei as well as writer Claudio Fragasso - I mean come on, between them they gave us the fantastic Zombie Creeping Flesh as well as the fur-tastic Rats so you can kinda forgive them most things.

Except this film that is.

For Shocking Dark is bad.

And not just bad, I mean arse-clenchingly, shite-curdlingly bad.

It's almost bad beyond words, taking everything you love about not just the film it copies but everything wonderful about 80s Italian cinema then proceeds to piss on it before sticking a rusty knife in its heart and finally setting fire to it creating a celluloid inferno from which no-one will survive unscathed.

Especially not the viewer.

Insert amusing caption here.

Unlike most (all?) Italian - and sometimes Spanish - 'homages' - OK rip-offs - of major Hollywood films and themes that were commonplace during the 80s Shocking Dark lacks that sense of fun that everything else from the aforementioned Zombie Creeping Flesh to Panic via the Alien-baiting Contamination with the entire film played so straight as to become deadly dull, you can't even snigger at the lo-fi effects because you know that no-one save the director is ever going to get paid and that everyone else is going home each night full of broken dreams and with an empty stomach.

Tho' in Cristopher Ahrens case that's probably not a bad thing.

Smug git.

And why should I put the effort in if the folk behind the camera aren't?

Not wanting to end on a downer it seemed at least Mattei realised the error of his ways and attempted to make amends later on in his career with his - actually brilliant - second attempt at ripping-off Aliens, Zombies: the Beginning, a film that has everything Shocking Dark lacks from naked Filipino children covered from head to (tiny) toes in green house paint wearing  joke shop Austin Powers-esque teeth and a paper mache headpieces pretending to be the undead to a sexy, charismatic lead in local swimwear model cum 'Hotgirl of The Week' and former electrical company receptionist Yvette Yzon.

Bizarrely Yzon after becoming something of a muse for Mattei in his later life she retired from acting upon his death, becoming an accountant and working on Argento's Dracula 3D.

Now that is scary.

*Which is not to be confused with Delta of Venus, the saucy short story collection by Anaïs Nin published posthumously in 1977.

The short stories that make up this anthology were written during the 1940s for a private client known simply as "Collector".

This "Collector" commissioned Nin, along with other now well-known writers (including Henry Miller and former Doctor Who editor Terrance Dicks) to produce erotic fiction for his private consumption.

Which in layman's terms means wank fodder.

A bit like how people see this blog.

His identity has since been revealed as your mum's cousin Jim, remember the guy that always used to hug you too tightly at Christmas whose keys always dug into you back?

**I say that because from what I can gather she attended the Maine Restaurant Week event that was hosted by Coffee By Design last year where guests tried coffee in many forms paired with sweet and savory treats created by local bakers and pastry chefs.

"They mostly come in cups....mostly!"

The lineup included: Baristas & Bites; Cakes by Babbs; C-Salt; Dean’s Sweets, Foley’s Cakes; Frisky Whisk; Landry’s Confections; Stones Cafe & Bakery; Tin Pan Bakery; TIQA Pan Mediterranean and Walter’s.

Tho' Walter's what we shall never know.

***Unless you're reading this in the far future when he is.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

krampus kapers.

"He knows when you are sleeping...." 
it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Stay safe and have a good one!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 90).

Seeing as it's Star Wars week let's take time out to raise a glass of blue milk to the really rather wonderful Lt. Kaydel Ko Connix.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

lego lass.

Our youngest has just gotten back into Lego in a big way and - after hours of building, bashing, rebuilding and general tinkering it got me thinking.

Why are so many lady Lego characters so damned attractive?

Just me then?

Monday, December 16, 2019

amoeba joe.

OK I survived turning 50 and seeing as the majority of my gifts were either Ultraman* or Kaiju based I thought I'd wind down after a hard days work yesterday with this classic.....

Space Amoeba (AKA ゲゾラ・ガニメ・カメーバ 決戦!南海の大怪獣, Gezora Ganime Kamēba Kessen!, Giant Monsters of the South Seas - 1970).
Dir: Ishiro Honda.
Cast: Akira Kubo, Atsuko Takahashi, Yukiko Kobayashi, Kenji Sahara, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Tetsu Nakamura, Yu Fujiki, Noritake Saito, Yuko Sugihara, Sachio Sakai Chotaro Togin, Wataru Omae, Ichiro Murakoshi, Haruo Nakajima and
Haruyoshi Nakamura.

Twice the monsters! Twice the terror!!!!

In a futuristic utopia where Lego has replaced concrete when it comes to construction work and a surplus of giant washing-up liquid bottles have been bought by NASA the unmanned space-probe Helios 7 has been dispatched to Jupiter for reasons best known to the scriptwriter and no-one else.

But let's be honest who needs a half decent plot when you can spend time wondering why an unmanned probe has windows and a cockpit?

Oh yes and a really large silver bell-end attached to the front.

Anyway a few months into the mission (which takes up literally ooh minutes of screen time, I mean come on there are monsters to meet) a glitter-based alien entity possesses the spacecraft and turns it back toward the earth.

A short while later we're introduced to our hero for the next 90 minutes, the exotically behatted and frightfully drunk photojournalist for hire Taro Kudo (Kubo from Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero and Urutora Q amongst others) who, drowning his sorrows after an unsuccessful fashion shoot in Brighton, spots the returning spacecraft crash-landing into the ocean from the window of the plane he's traveling on.

Apologies  for the clunkiness of that last sentence but it doesn't matter how hard I try it still comes across really weirdly stilted.

A wee bit like the movie.

It's like 2001 never happened.

Desperate for a story, Kudo excitedly tells his editor what he saw only to be told he's talking utter bollocks before being sent off to cover the local dog show but luckily on the way he's accosted by the button-nosed , big bonnet-ed beauty Ayako Hoshino (Takahashi - Destroy All Monsters), tourism troubleshooter for the real sounding yet entirely fictional Asia Development Company.

It appears that the company are planning to build a luxury hotel complex on the idyllic Sergio Island and want to hire Kudo to take some photos of the local fauna and flora for the brochure.

Obviously being a man of action the thought of photographing trees doesn't really excite him until that he realises that the island in question is not only rumoured to be the home of a giant monster but also exactly where he saw the Helios 7 crashland.

So, along with Ayako and the equally behatted biologistic Dr. Kyoichi Miya (Tsuchiya best known for Bara No Soretsu, Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and yes, Destroy All Monsters as well as for his research into UFOs), Kudo packs his bags and gets set to travel to Sergio Island safe in the knowledge that being the most attractive guy in the movie he'll have no trouble charming his way into Ayako's kick-flared jumpsuit.


Unfortunately his flirty deck-based chat is interrupted by the arrival of the mysterious - and mysteriously bearded - 'social anthropologist Makoto Obata (cult Kaiju star and part-time desert Sahara, who not only appeared in more Gojira movies than anyone else but was also a regular in Ultraman, which makes him a god in this house), who for all the world comes across as a slightly more sinister Japanese Rolf Harris which adds a totally new layer to the film and one I doubt the makers intended.

And so the trio sit and chat uncomfortably waiting for Dr. Miya to turn up, partly to order dinner but mainly to move the plot on a wee bit.

Meanwhile on Sergio island, Gavin the project manager (Fujiki from The Hidden Fortress and King Kong vs. Godzilla) and his portly pal Yokoyama (Togin from you guessed it Destroy All Monsters) have decided to sneak off to a hidden cove to go fishing and maybe, just maybe have a wee kiss and cuddle but unfortunately before any of this can happen a huge octopus named Gezora and with a head shaped like a freshly circumcised penis with two googly eyes attached - appears from the sea and eats Gavin whilst Yokoyama looks on in terror.

Well I say terror but it's more  akin to mild apathy.

Luckily before he can get scoffed too he's saved by an appearance by the local tribal elder - and council estate Brian Blessed - Onbo (Nakamura from The Manster) and his trusty sidekick Rico (Godzilla vs. Gigan's boss-eyed beefcake Saito) who after giving him a stern telling off head back to the village for tea and crumpets.

"Eye son!"

As a new day dawns our fantastic foursome arrive on the island to be greeted by a very grumpy - or is that stilted? - Rico and a jumpy and jittery Yokoyama who, after begrudgingly popping their luggage in a jeep take the group to a nearby cave to begin surveying stuff.

Or something.

But there's no time to worry about that tho' because as soon as Ayako gets out of the jeep she's fainting at the sight of a turtle, sprayed grey and with bits of eggbox shoddily stuck to him, crawling thru' the grass.

This creature may become important later.

Luckily these fairly tedious cave-based musings are cut short when a bright blue light in a rockpool freaks the shit out of Yokoyama who runs away before driving into the jungle with Rico in tow and hiding out in a nearby potting shed.

But his post traumatic tearful wank is disturbed by good old Gezora appearing from behind an albeit rather large tree and smashing everything, leaving poor Yokoyama crushed under a pile of old Razzle mags and Rico spread-eagled behind a bush.

"Is it in yet?"

Being a fairly short film it's not long before the rest of the group discover not only the devastation but also a by now conscious Rico, soaked in his own piss, shivering in a state of shock and suffering from bizarre patches of frostbite caused by Gezora's nippy tentacles.

This is because Gezora is a cold water creature and because he's so big he's colder than normal or something.

Being a girl Ayako starts to cry, worried that the beast will return and eat her whole - tho' as regular readers know it will most likely spit that bit out.

Dr. Miya on the other - less withered - hand, has no time for such girlie reactions and sternly accuses Ayako of being horribly monsterphobic.

Because being terrified that a fucking huge octopus is going to tear you limb from limb is in no way a normal reaction obviously.

Anyway this conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Rico's dusky lover (their description) Saki (Kobayashi - who once had her photo taken with Gojira and, would it surprise you to know, was also in Destroy All Monsters?) who kindly offers to let everyone stay in the village rather than sleep in the wreckage of the shed.

Which is nice.

But whilst all this native-based niceness is going on, Obata sneakily steals the company's hotel development plans from the wrecked shed.

Yup, he's an evil spy working for a rival holiday firm.

No, really.

Luckily for the team he's actually a really shit spy and Kudo spots his attempts to hide the documents up his arse and challenges him to a naked bunfight, Obata knowing that he'd be beaten proposes instead that they work together to find a way to beat the beast and get off the island so with a handshake the pair settle their differences and everyone heads off to bed.

Except Rico that is, he's in the corner dribbling and playing with his own shit, poor guy.

"Oh's the Ninky Nonk!"

The next morning, Kudo and Miya decide to go scuba-diving in order to find the Helios 7 capsule but are almost immediately (again) attacked by Gezora but are able to escape when a school of porpoises come to their rescue.

But as they reach the shore they realise that Gezora is in hot pursuit.

Luckily the villagers are on the beach having a barbecue and Kudo notices that The angry beast recoils from the flames due to its aforementioned low body temperature so to this end our heroes decide to torch the fucker using some handy petrol canisters that Onbo keeps under his bed for emergencies.

Stomping the village and tossing its inhabitants around like the rag dolls they obviously are all seems lost until a well place torch singes Gezora's arse and the creature retreats to the ocean to die.

As everyone celebrates the creatures demise they are unaware that below the surface the glittery space amoeba that had possessed Gezora is already on the hunt for a new body.

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

As the partying continues Kudo goes on the hunt for extra boozer and soon stumbles across a WWII Japanese army weapons cache in an old shed.

Which is kinda lucky seeing as the space amoeba has possessed a crab - named Ganimes - which, unusually for crustaceans, is the size of a house.

And is also currently heading their way.

Kudo, being used to fighting giant monsters by this point leads Ganimes into a nearby pit before shooting it in the eyes and blowing it up with a pile of dynamite that just happened to be lying about in an old bin bag.


As everyone starts to celebrate again poor Obata, realising that he has no chance of pulling Ayako - especially after Koda has killed to big beasts decides to leave everyone to it, stealing a boat and attempting to row back to Japan.

Unfortunately as he's busy blowing up the rubber dingy the amoeba crawls up his leg and possesses him before informing him - and us -  that it plans to conquer the Earth and that his body will make it easier to infiltrate human society.

Albeit only the parts that involve looking like a pedo painter obviously.

"Can you tell me what it is yet?"

Back at what's left of the village Dr Miya is busying himself examing Ganimes' remains and determines that the creature grew to its monstrous size due to the aliens influence, tho' this doesn't explain how Gezora came to be so huge to begin with seeing as the islanders have worship him for years and that the alien has just turned up but let's not worry about such trivial plot points as Rico has just regained his senses and is eager to inform everyone that the amoebas control of the creatures can be thwarted by the ultrasonic sounds made by the islands bat population.

Oh and by the porpoises too.

And with that he gets down on one knee and proposes to Saki.

Which is kinda sweet but fairly unexpected if I'm honest.

But what the hell let's go with it.

"Wrong hole!"

Now having an excuse to spend quality time alone, Kudo and Ayako head off to search for the bats lair unaware that yet another monster - this time a giant turtle (told you it'd be important) called Kamoebas - is sneakily stalking them.

As the creature draws ever nearer the pair finally come across the bats cave only to discover that Obata has beaten them to it and stands ready to burn the bats (to death) with a handy box of matches he found in Yokoyama's pocket earlier.....

Will our heroes defeat the space amoeba or be torn limb from limb by the giant turtle?

Will that crab re-animate for no reason other than to allow it and the turtle to start kicking the shit out of each other?

Will the crab at one point drop kick the turtle and start pretending to play the drums on his tummy?

Will the until now not mentioned island volcano erupt?

Will any of this actually make sense?

With an opening stolen from - sorry 'inspired' by -  Nigel Kneale's The Quatermass Experiment you might be confused into thinking that you're about to view a high-brow sci-fi epic but the cinematic genius that was Ishiro Honda, (director of the original Gojira and father - alongside SFX wizard Eiji Tsuburaya - of the Kaiju genre) has other ideas - albeit ones that are solely based on toy sales - so instead creates this whack 'em bash 'em bit of brilliantly bonkers bollocks that encapsulates everything we hold dear regarding the Japanese giant monster genre.

And whilst it'll probably never make anyone's Kaiju top ten it's mad enough - and short enough - to be a pain-free way to waste 90 odd minutes.

Plus it finally answers the age old question, what would an octopus looked like if it walked on two of its legs.

And if that isn't enough, name another monster movie that has the balls to stop halfway thru' for a wedding scene just so one of the characters can be happy enough to explain the plot.



Everything you'd expect from a Kaiju caper - the ubiquitous tropical island setting, the mixed bag of bizarrely jobbed characters thrown together (in this case a fashion photographer, the obligatory science type and a spy) alongside a screaming girl whose only job is to flutter her eyelashes at the hero, face-painted 'natives', alien invaders and a collection of ever more ludicrously explained beasts alongside some vague ecological themes - are present and correct whilst the score from the legendary Akira (Gojira) Ifukube is never anything other than epic.

Yes it's (fairly) cheap looking by today's standards and the dubbing - at least on this version which sounds at times like the cast of a community centre panto who've just learned how to speak - is absolutely atrocious but look passed the obvious shortcomings and you're in for a treat.

Or at least a very guilty pleasure.

ABBA - The Brexit years.

As ever, Ishirô Honda's direction is fantastic, the cast are, well just there really whilst the special effects are exactly how you remember/imagine them with colorful matte work and a myriad of miniatures just begging to be stomped intercut with a trade-mark studio bound feel that is at once homely and strangely high-concept, almost as if the makers wanted to make everything deliberately unreal and comic book-like.

Or is that just me reading too much into a genre I've unapologetically loved since boyhood.

You decide.

Not as famous or as well loved as its Kaiju companions, Space Amoeba is well deserving of a re-evaluation.

As is Kenji Sahara's fashion choices.

Go on, I mean what have you to lose?

Not your dignity obviously, I mean you read this blog.

Go on, stop what you're doing and watch it now.

You can thank me later.

*Including probably THE coolest lamp ever.....Check it out:


Thursday, December 12, 2019

people you fancy but shouldn't (election special).

The suffering smirking, cash grabbing, poor hating harridan of British politics and our very own General Kala to Michael Gove's Klytus, Priti Patel.

You can read all about her finest moments here.

But the real question is why oh why does my heart flutter whenever I see her?

Friday, December 6, 2019

venus of delta.

Persis Khambatta.

*Happy 40th birthday ST: TMP!