Thursday, January 31, 2019

dick miller.

25 December 1928 - 30 January 2019.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

If ray harryhausen designed playgrounds....

Thursday, January 17, 2019

forget me not.

Had shedloads of 'proper' work on recently (shocking I know) and usually when beavering away I like to have a movie on in the background to drown out the voices.

Unfortunately my oh-so slight (yeah right)  ASD tendencies mean that it usually has to be something I've already seen otherwise I end up getting way too interested in the movie and get fuck all done.

It's a hard life.

Anyway as rewatching that seminal shocker Burial Ground again this week and remembered that years ago I'd written probably THE most comprehensive account of the lead actors career ever, which would have been great had anyone ever read it.

So again for your enjoyment I give you - oiled up and naked - the story of the legend that is Peter Bark.

You may know him as as the freakish Michael in Andrea Bianchi's zombie opus Burial Ground: Nights of Terror but the greatest little man (with the old lady paunch) of Italian cinema has featured in a myriad of well regarded roles such as 'Boy Scout in Train' in the classic Via Alle Grande (1983) and the 'whistling guy' in 1979's Liquirizia.

Superb cinema each and every one of them.

Unfortunately due to the secrecy of the Vatican occult archives very little is known of the 64 year old Bark's early life and career except that his real name is Pietro Barzocchini, he is a native of Rome and that he originally he wanted to become a shopkeeper.

Unfortunately his lack of height made it impossible for him to see over the counter without the use of a box but the incident that made him turn his back on a life of retail was when a group of school children stole the Curly Wurly he was using as a ladder to reach the pornographic magazines on the top shelf leaving him stranded for 6 days with only a glossy picture of Anna Kanakis' breasts for company.

And it was seeing the beautiful star of The New Barbarians watching over him at night that convinced Bark to pursue his acting dream.

Dario Argento: The Grange Hill years.

But first he needed an English sounding stage name.

Choosing the first name - and the hairstyle - of his favourite musician Peter Tork (of The Monkees) and Bark after the noise he would make as the other children beat him on the way to school - scarily up until the age of 14, he was only an astounding 16" tall - he began to apply for auditions but to no avail.

You see he was unable to reach the letter box to post the letters

As he was walking home dejected and dragging an envelope behind him he was accosted by the famed director Salvatore Samperi, it seems that Bark's incredible whistling talents had entranced the film maker who swiftly rewrote the script of Liquirizia adding the character the of 'whistling boy' specifically for Bark.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Or his story if you prefer.

Tho' seeing as his entire filmography consists of only four movies, maybe the phrase 'and the rest is a small pamphlet' may be more precise.

"Aye son!"

But does quantity really matter when you've earned your place in horror history with your first foray into the genre?

I think not, as anyone who's seen Bark's unique performance as Michael, the little boy with the bad hair in Burial Ground will agree.

Especially when you realise that he wasn't even the top billing, that honour was reserved for the up and coming - usually quite loudly - starlet Karin Well.

But even when faced with such career defining performances from the likes of such cinema legends as Mariangela Giordano, Anna Valente, Simone Mattioli and Raimondo Barbieri, it was Bark who won the critics (and fans) appreciation for his scarily accurate take on puberty, Oedipus complexes and high waist trousers

"Hey there I'm a primate!"

The character of Michael was originally written for an actual 12-year old actor, however Italy's ultra-strict child labour laws forbid the participation of children in any film featuring sex, gore or hints of incestuous overtones (especially if the child character was indulging in both) except in cases of the films being funded by the Catholic church so Bianchi hatched the audacious plan of casting the then 25-year old Bark as Michael, who his make-up artists promised, could believably be transformed into a 12 year old boy.

And as viewers will attest, the effect is uncanny and so realistic that when the film was put forward for a special 'make an adult look like a wean' award, the judges threw out the nomination ad sentenced Bianchi to 15 years hard labour for flouting the law whilst Bark - forever typecast went on to be the original face - and wobbly tummy - of Kinder chocolate.

Bark today: still tiny.

Bark made one more film after Burial Ground, but found that he missed his old life so, using the money he'd made punting sugary snacks to kids opened a specialist 'short people friendly' hardware store in Rome which he runs to this day.

"Put it in me!"

As a bizarre aside, whilst I was on the phone to Mr Bark researching this piece he informed me that he'd have to cut our conversation short (snigger) as one of his regular customers had just arrived to buy a tiny tin of emulsion to paint their dollhouse with.

Cheekily asking if she wouldn't mind answering a few questions about the shop* I soon discovered that the customer in question was none other than the vacant eyed, button nosed, 80's breasted blonde star of many a lo-fi Euro epic ranging from Jess (the sandwiches cost how much?) Franco's classic Cannibals to the Fulci masterpiece Conquest via the sauciness of Blue Island.

Yes ladies and gentlemen (but mainly gentlemen) I was indeed chatting to Sabrina Siani.

What are the chances?

And for those of you unfamiliar with her work (there's a fair bit of it scattered around here if you can be arsed looking), she's usually to be found either naked or at the very least in a pair of tiny pants and was famously once referred to - by the aforementioned Franco no less - as "the stupidest person I've ever met".

And seeing as he had the pleasure of working with not only Manuel Gélin but also Bela B. Felsenheimer and Doris Regina that's something not to be taken lightly.

Anyway back to the potted history - I'm not getting paid by the word - and to the backstreets of Rome where Sabrina Seggiani - as she was originally known - was born - the first of 11 children - to a pair of performing circus midgets on a cold rainy night 13 August 1963.

After a freak big top accident involving a flare gun, an oiled seal and three primary school children Sabrina and her family were forced to flee the city for the nearby mountains where she spent her childhood attacking travelers for food and clothes in order to survive.

Things looked grim until, at the age of 16, she was caught rummaging thru' the bins of ace director Alfonso Brescia, who immediately he cast her as Maria in his Mafia vs. shopkeeper epic Napoli... la camorra sfida, la città risponde.

And no I have no idea what it means either.


It wasn't long before she was setting the screen alight (oh, hang on that was the audience) as the arse baring teen cannibal cutie in the fantastic  - well, I say fantastic but I really mean barely watchable = Mondo Cannibale and finding new ways to look slightly bored whilst stripping naked in a load of instantly forgettable Italian sex comedies.

Whilst other, lesser thesps would be happy to continue showing their breasts to wee bald Italian men for cash, Sabrina knew that there was more to her talents, if only a director would give her the chance to prove it.

That chance came sooner than she thought when professional liar and all round thin man Umberto Lenzi cast her as a scantily clad female Tarzan in his 1982 movie Incontro Nell'Ultimo Paradiso.

From that point there was no stopping Siani in her plan for cinematic domination as she wowed audiences with her chameleon like ability to play everything from a scantily clad sword-swinging siren in Joe D'Amato's Ator the Fighting Eagle to an even more scantily clad wicked witch in Fulci's sword and small pants epic Conquest.

How your Mum manages to pay for all those family holidays to Tenby.

Naked save for a market stall g-string and a drugged python and with her face hidden beneath a joke shop robot mask, Siani comes into her own - but not alas over the sofa - as the evil leader of a gang of marauding dog men with a penchant for snorting their vanquished victims brains thru' bendy straws and unconvincingly snapping nude women in half.

It says a lot for Siani's convincing portrayal of evil that at the films climax when her mask opens to reveal a rotting, putrid corpse face that the majority of the audience still would.

Twice if the truth be told.

But not me, oh no as I'm not remotely sexist.

Siani: sucking a lemon.

Siani's finest hour however was when she appeared as the Golden Goddess in Michele Massimo Taranti's arse numbing (and not in a good way) sub - Conan cash in Sword of the Barbarians.

Her entrance in the movie, emerging mysteriously from a fountain of party poppers and glitter whilst wearing only a plastic crown and bejeweled thong slowly making her way towards bearded beefcake Pietro Torrisi for a spot of hot barbarian bonking makes the proceeding car crash of badly staged swordplay and stilted dialogue all worthwhile.

After a couple of soft core/hard gore sleaze epics, Siani reunited with D'Amato (and her Mondo Cannibale dad Al Cliver) for the futuristic actioner 2020: Texas Gladiators before hitting the high brow groove as Berthilde in Dino Risi's medieval romp Le bon roi Dagobert, a surprisingly funny (and realistic) portrayal of the life of Good King Dagobert, the first French king to be buried in the royal tombs at Saint Denis Basilica.

See? this blog is educational too.

Then after appearing (nude of course) with Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson in the no-brainer Black Cobra she vanished leaving behind only a tiny diamante thong and a blink and miss it cameo in Fulci's Aenigma.

As well as about 600 saucy cover shoots for Skorpio magazine for us to enjoy obviously.

She'll catch her death in that outfit.

And then.....not a sausage.

But whatever she's up to now - apart from painting dolls houses obviously -  I hope that she's happy.

And not having to wear shite face paint like she did in Mondo Cannibales.

*She said that Mr Barzocchini is always very friendly and helpful, even allowing her to climb up to the high shelves herself whilst he holds the ladder.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

boxer beat.

You might remember (well I hope so as it was literally a few days ago) that I mentioned reviewing every film set in 2019 might be quite fun.

Obviously it was just a thought but a few folk seemed to think it was a good idea so I got a list together (well someone else got a list together) and decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it.

Then I realised I'd actually have to source some of the films so I did what any self-respecting cine-phile would do and headed straight over to Youtube to see which ones had been (il)legally uploaded.

That'll teach me.

Heatseeker (1995).
Dir: Albert Pyun.
Cast: Keith Cooke, Gary Daniels, Tina Cote, Tim Thomerson, Norbert Weisser and Thom Matthews.

“His style is a mutant version of outlaw shoot-fighting!” 

It is the year 2019 (obviously - I mean there's no fucking way I'd be watching this otherwise) and smooth-chested, square-jawed kickboxing king Chance O’Brien (Cooke, no me neither) is busy (literally)  kicking seven shades of shite out of his opponent Brian Xao (genuine kickboxer, part-time binman and magicians son Daniels) as his boy-haired girlfriend cum trainer Jo (Cote from, um stuff) watches from the sidelines.

It's at this point I realise that there's a good chance this film may be an excuse to feature endless scenes of kickboxing.

Filmed really badly.

Which is quite possibly my least favourite thing ever.

Well next to really badly scripted big, bad business deals obviously so let's hope that there aren't any of those.

Two men fighting or something, honestly I don't fucking care.

Meanwhile in Manila, the evil cyborg building Sianon Corporation are having a big bad business meeting regarding the fact that their patented cybernetic fighting implants are a bit shit when pitted against a real person, so to this end the companies head honcho, the evil Tsui Tung (Weisser - the voice of Farfegnuton in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and Hitler in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus), has decided that the best way to improve Sianon's standing is to organise a massive kickboxing tournament that will pit a new and improved cybernetic Xao against loads of other - less expensively cybernetic obviously - cyborgs from around the world.

Because reasons.

As good as this idea sounds tho', one of the board - and bored - members
(Trancer's Thomerson appearing for beer money) soon points out that cyborgs fighting each other is a bit shit plus no-one will watch unless they get Chance to join up.

Because he's the world champion.

And not a cyborg obviously.

Tho' from his acting ability it's hard to be sure.

However, it seems that  Jo and Chance have just gotten engaged and our hero has no interest in joining in the big fight leaving the evil Sianon no choice but to kidnap Jo in order to force him to compete.

The rotters.

Cote: Head like a table.

 No doubt some exciting stuff goes down - as the kids say - but I wouldn't know as frankly the whole thing was utter arse-numbing bollocks so I got bored and started to browse the interweb instead.

 But if you really want to see it just imagine a shoestring version of Enter The Dragon shot in 11 days and with all the joy sucked out of it and you're about half-way to discovering how bad Heatseeker is.

It's a coma-inducing nightmare on celluloid sparsely populated by pastel-hued trousered, charisma free nonentities that either shuffle uncomfortably or jiggle erotically between ever more craply edited fight scenes with only Gary Daniels' smooth hairless chest and Tina Cote's strangely square visage offering anything in the way of comfort.

"Pull my finger!"

 Which is a shame because director Pyun's first movie - The Sword And The Sorcerer - is bloody marvelous.

I mean it has everything -  Simon McCorkindale being posh (with a sword), rugged rascal Lee Horsley as the hero Talon getting topless a lot (and with a - three bladed - sword), TeeVee stalwart Richard Lynch camping it up like Christmas and the lovely Kathleen Beller getting baby oil rubbed into her ample arse by slave girls.*

What's not to love?

Plus the majority of the cast went on to do stuff other than serve folk at McDonald's unlike the folk in this monstrosity.

Somewhere to park your bike.

I'm probably being a wee bit mean tho' as scarily 'star' Keith Cooke actually did go on to have a career in movies, first as Reptile in Mortal Kombat and then jumping sides - and characters - to portray the definitive Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

Hmmm.....seems to be a pattern forming.

And a friend of mine who likes such films excitedly informed me that blonde bad boy Gary Daniels is almost as famous as Arnold Schwarzenegger in the world of straight to video, Friday night wank-fest films.

Which let's be honest is a fuck more successful than I am.

*Look I was 12 at the time so sue me.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

maiden manhattan.

One of my Twitter chums - @LastFilmSeen - has been putting a list together of movies set in 2019 after a wee chat about that very subject on t'internet.

So as I set about finding and viewing them all I came across this gem on my shelves and realized that it'd a while since I viewed any Fulci so reckoned it was time for a rewatch.

And yes I know it doesn't fit into the whole this year in film thing but I've got 52 weeks to do that.

Plus I didn't get home till 3:30 this morning and couldn't sleep so fancied something comfy.


Manhattan Baby (AKA L' Occhio del male, Eye of the Evil Dead, Evil Eye, The Possessed. 1982).
Dir: Lucio Fulci.
Cast: Christopher Connelly, Laura Lenzi, Brigitta Boccoli, Carlo De Mejo, Giovanni Frezza and Cinzia de Ponti.

"You can take my life with stuffed birds,
but you shall not take my immortal soul!"

Somewhere in the deserts of Egypt the dashing professor of old foreign stuff, George Hackett (son of Jennifer and star of Peyton Place, Connelly) is busy collecting deadly scorpion's to give to his daughter as a gift.

Is she that annoying?

His Egyptian helper Alan is a wee bit concerned by this, pointing out that in his culture the scorpion is a symbol of evil and the like.

Thinking this over George, deciding that the information is a bit scary for a nine year old, paints the poor thing yellow before sprinkling some glitter over it and telling her that it's a new kind of Pokemon instead.

Fathers eh?, you gotta love them.

But not in a sneaking into your room and taking photo's of you with an infra-red camera kinda way obviously.

Now there's a mooth made for a shite-in.

And who is this lucky child?

Well, it's the precocious, tomb toothed blonde poppet Susie (former child star turned topless circus entertainer Boccoli), who's spending her time clothes shopping with her tussle haired mum Emily (freckled beauty and Uber-MiLF Lenzi).

Unfortunately mum has mistaken an old dilapidated building for one of those modern supermarkets and the only other person around is a blind eyed old hag who smells of vinegar.

A bit like Anniesland shops on a Tuesday then.

Whilst Emily is off taking photo's of the locals holding slightly malnourished babies in an attempt to look caring (or at least give her something to chat about over lunch at the hotel), the old blind tramp approaches Susie before uttering the words “Tombs are for the dead” and handing her a huge gold amulet with a big (boss) eye in the middle of it.

Eye son.

Meanwhile Indiana Dad is busy excavating the lost tomb of King Habibabsomething but the locals have warned him, the tomb holds a terrible curse.

A curse.....OF DEATH!

Curious George doesn't care tho' and prepares to go down with (but not on I hasten to add) his assistant into the undisturbed resting place of a once glorious king.

Stumbling and fumbling around in the dark cavernous chamber Alan discovers a stone tablet placed in the far wall which, on further inspection fires deadly cobra's across the room like slinky green Arrows.

Luckily George is a professional sharp shooter and manages to kill the snakes (for real, I mean this is 1980's Italian cinema after all) before taking a well deserved rest and leaning against an innocuous leaver marked 'do not press'.


"Touch my ring".

A gaping hole appears in the dirt covered stone floor and our unlucky pair suddenly find themselves plummeting into a stinky cobweb covered pit of death.

Luckily Alan's fall is broken by some rather large pointy spikes, enabling George to bounce of his companions ample arse and onto the relative safety of the crypt floor.

But our intrepid archaeologist barely has time to dust himself off before two supernaturally spooky blue laser beams fire out of the crypt wall and hit him square in the eyes (son).

And all this before breakfast.

Pa pa papa pa pa pa.....X Men!

Back home in New York, George is told that the blindness caused by the mysterious rays should only last a year or so and in the meantime he should go about his daily business with two Kotex sanitary pads taped to his face and held in position by a pair of Su Pollard's glasses.

Tho' why he should need glasses when he can't see shit is never explained.

Anyway life goes on as normal for George  - well as normal as it can be seeing as he has to carefully totter around his house looking like a twat in glasses George A Romero would knock back for being too large - Emily is busy juggling her photojournalist career with typing up her hubbies notes whilst shapely child-minder Jamie Lee (the yumsome de Ponti from The New York Ripper) looks after the ungodly Susie and her little brother Tommy (the legendary Frezza).

I did a Google search for Cinzia de Ponti,
this is the only pic that came up.
Frankly I don't even think it's her
but the scenery looks nice.

Everything seems to be going fine, until one day when out in the park Susie gets a Polaroid picture taken and, rather than a cute looking girl appearing on the photograph the amulet appears in her place.

Thinking it's a faulty film Jamie Lee chucks it away and takes the kids home for a quick game of hide and seek before tea.

With the kids running around and jumping into cupboards Jamie Lee takes time out to relax with the latest Skorpio magazine but just as she gets to the article on the love woes of Antonello Fassari the whole house is suddenly engulfed in shit scary noises.

Which is unusual to say the least.

But obviously not as unusual as the fact that there are snakes emerging from the fridge whilst a spooky light and fog starts to emanate from the pantry.

Who ya gonna call?

The concierge (unfortunately not played by Bobby Rhodes or Fred Williamson) obviously.


No sooner has she hung up the intercom that the kids re-appear and everything returns to normal.

Bizarre and chilling too.

Pity then that she forgets to tell Jeff Security who, even as we speak (well even as I type and you read or something but you get the gist) is slowly waddling his portly arse into the lift.

Munching on a bagel and jabbing the buttons with his chubby sausage fingers, Jeff hasn't even time to swallow (unlike your mum) before the spooky noises start up and the floor gives way causing the poor sod to fall to his death.

He leaves no immediate family but does leave a cupboard full of crisps and cake.

Jeff, we'll miss you buddy.

Other publications are available.

Meanwhile back at the plot some unknown woman approaches Emily (the hot mum, remember?) and hands her the Polaroid of the amulet from earlier in the movie.

Examining it closely she notices the name Adrian Marcato (not this one) written on it.

Being a girl and only knowing about shoes and make-up she gives it to her husband to examine but then remembers that he's blind (but not as blind as he was - it's getting better) so he in turn gives it to his pal professor Wiler to take a look at.

After much humming and aahing the professor confirms that the symbol is the crest of the great god Habibabsomething.

Coincidence or creepy craftiness?

"Look at me....I'm from Partick!"

Back at home things are going from bad to very bad via Spooksville City Arizona as not only does wee Susie keeps going missing all the time but doors are mysteriously locking themselves and Tommy spends all day trying to convince anyone who'll listen that there's a time/space portal that leads to Egypt in his toy cupboard.

Scratch very bad and make that very, very bad.

Being a caring mum Emily decides to ring an expert in such matters for help.


The Pope?

Yvette Fielding?

Nope, she calls he children's entertainer cum magician friend Luke (City of The Living Dead star and professional sexy beard De Mejo) to pop over and try to look in the toy cupboard mystery.

Arriving in his best suit and top hat Luke entertains the little uns with a few card tricks before heading up to the bedroom, standing in front of the cupboard door and with a chant of "Izzy whizzy let's get busy!" opening it.

Only to be zapped by a huge blue fireball before disappearing.

"Tonight Matthew I'm going to be Chris De Burgh!"

Hearing the commotion (and recognizing the acrid stench of fried magician) Emily bounds upstairs and opens the bedroom door only to find that the room stinks of camel shit and is covered in sand.

This is the final straw for Poor old Jamie Lee who sits in the corner weeing herself as Tommy recounts another tale of his trips to Egypt whilst Susie and her mum desperately try to get the scorpions out of the sock drawer before dad gets home.

George, now with working eyes arrives back at the apartment with a plan.

Yup, it's time to go visit Adrian Marcato, professional antique dealer, collector of stuffed birds and part-time warlock.

Luckily Marcato is well versed in the dark arts and recognises straight away that the amulet is actually the fabled the eye of evil and is using Susie as it's portal to our dimension.

Thinking on this for a minute and taking all the facts into consideration, George decides that it's all bollocks and that Susie is just jealous because her lips aren't as pretty as her brothers but Marcato is adamant (it's the white stripe across his nose and bouts of depression that give him away) that he's correct and offers, free of charge to come over and fix everything.

Including hopefully the lift floor.

Agreeing to this our intrepid trio head back to the Hackett apartment, the race is on to save not only poor Susie's soul (tho' looking at her dead eyes I'm pretty sure she never had one) but the family a huge amount in dry cleaning bills.

Wired for sound.

Armed with only his wits and a sexy beard, Marcato begins his exorcism ceremony as the movie transforms into a blur of eyes and silence, broken only by close-ups of Tommy's pouting lips as he whispers "punish me!" to anyone who'll listen.

Scary as hell does not do this justice.

With a cry of "Birds of darkness! consume me!" Marcato suddenly rolls to the floor, sexily writhing and wriggling like your nan after a stroke and talking in Susie's voice whilst the missing Jamie Lee (well her corpse) bursts out of the wall.

With Marcato inside Susie's body (but obviously not in that way, that would just be wrong) the curse is broken and Susie returns to normal leaving our psychic pal to re-enter his hairy frame and inform George that he must take the amulet and put it in the bin as only then will the family be safe.

And with that Marcato heads home for a small Sherry, a tearful wank and a well deserved Pot Noodle.


Without further ado, George grabs the deadly piece of jewellery, legs it out of the house (being careful to use the stars) and throws it into a nearby reservoir leaving it to sink to the bottom.

Double phew.

Watch out, watch out...John Leslie's about.

With everything back to normal George can get back to digging up dead foreigners and the lovely Emily takes a break from her photography to interview a new nanny (but not before removing the last one from between the cavity insulation mind) whilst the heroic Mercato takes a well deserved break, tidying and dusting his collection of stuffed birds.

Stuffed that is until they all come alive and murder him!

Meanwhile back in Egypt, the boss eyed woman is handing the amulet to another small girl....

Unfortunately Susie doesn't sport
anything this sexy in the movie.

Mad, bad and dangerous to view (but only if you're sitting directly under the TV and it's on a rickety shelf obviously), Manhattan Baby is a loving homage by a master film-maker to movies as far afield as of The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Rosemary's Baby and the Charlton Heston snoozefest The Awakening, all mixed up with that patented Fulci edge we all know and love and with a cast that seem to totally get what's expected of them.

And if there are any accusations of plagiarism to be aimed at the movie, they can surely be blamed on the frankly bonkers script by regular collaborators Elisa Briganti and the legendary Dardano Sacchetti that takes in not only the movies mentioned above but also The Birds and The Omen for good measure.

So obviously when you put this in the hands of a director whose main concern is to make everything look nice rather than building a conventional narrative coherence you can see how some (less educated) viewers could mistake it for a rambling mess rather than for the terrifying vision of bodily possession that it really is.

Or even the "terrible movie" its director accused it of being.

Go on, you know you want to.

If you haven't already that is.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

the worriers.

Another day, another movie set in 2019.....

2019: After The Fall of New York (AKA 2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York 1983)
Dir: Sergio Martino.
Cast: Michael Sopkiv, Anna Kanakis, George Eastman, Roman Geer, Vincent Scalondro, Edmond Purdom, Valentine Monnier and Louis Ecclesia.

Sometime in the near future (probably a wee bit before 20:19, maybe around lunchtime) the Scrabble worrying Eurac alliance, a new power bloc consisting of top mock rock bands Europe, Asia and Africa but scarily not Toto or Foreigner, having finally had its fill of endless Friends reruns, Taylor Swift and Honey Boo Boo has decided to teach the good ol' US of A a lesson in humility by nuking the fuck out of the entire country and setting up a new government in the ruins of New York City.

And all before the opening titles.

The remaining New Yorkers, after being banned from wearing plaid shirts and shouting 'Bagels!' at passersby now spend their days being used and abused as part of a diabolically inhumane programme of, um, diabolical and (yup) inhumane experiments to solve the problem of sterility among the surviving females.

Every evil empire has to have a hobby tho', so in their spare time the Eurac soldiers gallop around on horseback bedecked in Disney Land style armour killing the piss reeking, mutant squatters who still run free in the city.

Which is nice.

And also where we join the movies plot good and proper as a gaggle of these mucky mutants, armed with the kind of 'high tech' weaponry you always get in these movies (sticks, clubs, maces, golf clubs) are facing off with a squad of the aforementioned black clad Eurac cavalry.

The cavalry orders are simple; make these stinky so and so's have a shower or kill them all.

The honking hordes answer is simple.

Fight for your right to be dirty!

Obviously chaos and property damage ensues.

Four men with big shiny helmets yesterday.

Meanwhile in sunny Nevada, our hero, the greasy locked layabout Arthur Parsifal (80's action god Sopkiv) is enjoying a nice, relaxing cross country death race.

The prize?

A foxy female sex slave (pneumatic 80's 'pop' star Sabrina).

Obviously Parsifal wins the race but to show what a nice man he is (well it's either that or he's particularly concerned about his sexual hygiene) decides to let Sabrina go.

Little does our hero know that he's being secretly spied on by a couple of Confederate soldiers (they're the good guys by the way) from way up in the hills.

Well I say hills but it's really a middle sized pile of sand used by the quarry workers to hide behind when they sneak off for a fag.

It appears that the soldier boys have been hanging about in the vain hope that the former popstrel poppet will give an impromptu performance of her hit 'Boys Boys Boys' whilst jiggling about like an epileptic trifle in an ill fitting bikini because frankly I can't think of any other reason to spend your days knee deep in soggy mud wearing an outfit that Jimmy Savile would knock back for being too perv-like.

So it comes as a wee bit of a surprise when they suddenly stun the poor bloke before manhandling him onto a jet and flying to Alaska.

"Can you smell petrol?"


It seems that some non-gypsy inbreds also survived the attack on America and are in dire need of a man of Parsifal's talents to undertake a most special mission.

The last fertile woman in the country has been located in New York and it's his job to rescue her.

If Parsifal succeeds the surviving members of America's (flea) free government intend to pop her aboard a spaceship bound for Alpha Centauri, alongside a carefully selected crew of stud muffins, where on arrival they'll proceed to fuck like bunnies in an attempt to repopulate the human race.

Which is nice work if you can get it.

"Mah wee boy painted this".

Seeing as it's such a dangerous mission and more importantly that Parsifal will need folk to talk to in order to keep the viewers interested, the limp fringed one is to be accompanied on his journey by top childrens entertainers Goeff Ratchet and Lesley Bronx (Geer and Scalondro who've probably been in loads of stuff and are dead famous but frankly I can't be arsed checking).

Our heroic band gain entry into the city with little trouble (and very quickly seeing as they started the morning in Alaska) but as usually happens in these films quickly get into a painfully slow paced fight.

The bad men are no match for our heroes tho', especially after Ratchet unleashes his deadly metal balls (he's really an android.....yesch!) and bonks the baddies into submission.

Retreating to the sewers the trio soon encounter a crazy mob of filthy rat hating folk led by the madly monikered Rat Eating King (The Wolverine's Yamanouchi) and accompanied by the sultry Giara (Monnier from Devil Fish) who looks the filthiest of them all but in a totally different way.

Not used to having guests and wanting to show our heroes a good time the merry band decided to engage in the age old tradition of poking rats with sticks whilst a groovy samba beat plays in the background whilst a community centre modern dance group throw shapes in the corner.

So far so dick shrinkingly awful but don't despair because just when you're about to end it all (or at the very least turn this shite off) the rat people pull a dwarf (Ecclesia in his only screen role outside your mum's secret video tapes) out from behind some rocks and start poking him instead.

Britain's Got Talent hang your head in shame.

"Stop trying to climb mah beanstalk!"

Just as they're about to administer the infamous death poke tho' good guy Parsifal steps in (by steps in I mean he starts fighting them) because if anyone is going to stick something in a little person it should be him frankly.

Unfortunately, our heroic trio are overwhelmed by the rat tribe and taken prisoner.

Waking up in a cupboard Parsifal learns that the rat baiting is less a search for food but more the prelude to some sexy shenanigans.

You see, whoever pokes the most rodents gets to have sex with the lady of their choice and seeing as all the women (and all the men) - except Giara - are covered in weeping sores it's a safe bet to say she gets picked all the time.

Lucky girl.

Parsifal, upset at not automatically getting the girl and obviously upset at missing his chance with Sabrina earlier, just sits and sulks as Giara is taken into a side room for some hot rat based bum bothering but as luck (and decency) would have it the evil Euracs pick that very moment to attack the rodent hunting tribe.

Ratchet legs it up a tunnel, but Bronx and Parsifal grabbed by the gendarmes and taken before the slinkily sinister Eurac leader Ms. Ania (former Ms. Italy Anna Kanakis looking for all the world like a sexier, council estate version of Danni Minogue) who instantly knows that there's something amiss with Parsifal and his bud.

The fact that they both look like they work out, don't stink of piss and aren't covered in vile weeping sores alone is enough to arouse Ania's suspicions, add to this her reaction to a glimpse of Parsifal's tight buns when he swaggers into her office and it comes as no surprise that she quickly orders him to be stripped to the waist for a thorough 'interrogation'.

Lucky sod.

The old guy from The Full Monty, Ms. Italia
1977, Fred West and a young Rutger Hauer yesterday.

Luckily Parsifal's quick thinking convinces Ania that Giara is the real threat and that the should really capture her instead.

Being female and obviously threatened by the thought of a rival to Parsifal's affections she completely falls for his ruse.

The angry Eurac commander given the job of interrogating Bronx fairs a little worse, forgetting as he does to disable Bronx's claw (you know, wrapping it in parcel tape or tying a big elastic band around it, basic common sense really).

The poor bloke gets no further than asking his favourite ice cream flavour before Bronx has gouged the commander's eyes out in painfully fake close-up.

Don't worry tho' they get replaced by robot ones in the following scene.

(Here it comes)...."Aye son!"


Luckily Ratchet and Shorty (that's the dwarf if you didn't guess) jump out from behind a filing cabinet in order to rescue our heroes and an exciting (well I say exciting) chase ensues thru' the crumbling tunnels beneath the city.

Losing their pursuers our merry band arrive at Shorty's home; a large cave beneath the old UN building where an entire army of dwarves  lie in wait for a hero to lead them.

Can this movie get any better?

Unfortunately, before you can get too excited imgining a sweaty dwarf Vs. leather clad horseman battle, the Eurac stormtroopers turn up and kill them all with a 'sonic cannon' meaning it's back to the slightly less exciting pastime of aimless tunnel wandering for our clueless chums.

Shit....Dollar have let themselves go.

Don't fret tho' because a film with such a short running time wont spend too long dwelling on inconsequential padding plus the opening credits promised an appearance from the mightily man-breasted 'B' movie behemoth that is George Eastman, so it comes as no surprise when he turns up leading a posse of mutant monkey men.

What is a surprise tho' is their choice of attire, clad as they are in brightly coloured silk and gaudy, pound shop  jewelery, which for an alleged race of hard as nails simian soldiers is a brave choice.

Eastman especially looks camper than John Barrowman in a pink bunny suit sunbathing on a beach of cock.

Not to worry tho' as they know where the fertile woman is hidden and are willing to take Parsifal to her.

It appears that she's kept in a secret cavern (well, obviously secret to everyone but the dwarves and monkeys) just around the corner from where the apemen live and that they've always been willing to hand her over to whoever asked but no-one ever did.

Thinking about it, this entire plot could possibly been sorted so much quicker by a well timed phone call and some flowers.

Entering the cavern (which is much less effort than doing the same to your sister) Parsifal finds not only Lil Ms. Fertile - suspended from the roof in a glass case -  but also the corpse of her kindly scientist dad and a fully restored 1972 Station Wagon.

Something for everyone really.

It appears that Mr. Scientist had spend loads of time thinking about his daughters future as a baby machine (which is nice if a little creepy) and had formulated a plan to get her out of the city via the Lincoln Tunnel using the station Wagon supplied.

He'd even left maps and drawings to aid whoever turned up, which is lucky for our heroes seeing as they look the type that would lose a game of noughts and crosses with a potato.

Depending if they could figure out how to use a pencil first that is.

Unfortunately the Lincoln Tunnel is heavily defended by crack Eurac troops armed with special Station Wagon busting cannons so Parsifal's only chance of success rests on being able to armoured plate the car using whatever comes to hand.

Discarded loo rolls, pizza boxes etc. You know the drill.

Only then will they have any chance of making it out alive and with their precious cargo intact.

I'd jump to her beat but not before I'd done a shite in her mooth.

Leaving Big Ape and Giara to guard the girl Parsifal, Ratchet, and Shorty go searching for junk to stick to the car.

As opposed to sticking their junk in it obviously.

Their run of bad luck (and half-arsed plotting) seems to come to an end when they come across what appears to be a totally undamaged Aldi full to the brim of all our car armouring needs but it doesn't last as no sooner have they found a pound coin for the trolley when a pesky Eurac patrol attacks our heroes.

Just as all seems lost the plucky Shorty leads the bad boys away giving our Parsifal and Ratchet time to drag a couple of trolleys full of tin plate and toffee back to the cavern but at the cost of Shorty's life.

No real loss then.

"I love you....could it be magic?"

Whilst all this is 'going down' as the youngsters say, Big Ape has come across all amorous, he's fully loaded so to speak and is feeling the urge to procreate.

Knocking Giara out cold he slips first into Ms. Fertile's display cabinet and then into s. Fertile herself.


When Giara awakes Big Ape is sitting with his pipe and slippers singing to himself and explaining how she must have fainted due to his aftershave or something.

Nothing suspicious there then.

Returning with the tin and stuff, our heroes quickly begin the task of armouring the car for the journey from New York.

But will it be enough?

Will they reach Alaska with the fertile lady intact?

Will Big Ape get it on again?

And will Parsifal realise that Giara is only hanging around because he's the only person in the film who's not had sex with her yet?

Channeling everything from Escape from New York and Mad Max via Fanny Craddock's wardrobe and Simon LeBon's hair, director Sergio Martino's lo-fi sci-fi epic is a rip roaring rollercoaster ride of action, adventure and excitement with the added bonus of dwarf power.
Its special effects put its contemporaries to shame (but only if the contemporaries are Blake's 7, Captain Zep and late 70's Doctor Who obviously), its costumes are enough to make 'Wild Boys' era Duran Duran green with envy (or giddy from laughing take your pick) and the hair bleach budget alone must have been enough to cripple a small country.
But if that wasn't enough to recommend this masterpiece then don't forget that it features the frankly magnificent George Eastman playing a cheeky (and very horny) monkey.
To be honest it's exactly what you'd expect from the man behind the classic Mountain of The Cannibal God.

Sopkiw: camel.

Michael Sopkiw's short (but sweet) movie career was kick-started with this movie, unfortunately for him (and us) he failed to make such an impact again and after Monster Shark (1984, where he re-teamed with Monnier) and Cannibal Ferox 2 (1985) he retired from acting, going on to study medicinal plant science and eventually launched Miron Violet Glass, a California-based company which makes special glass bottles that protect plants from the sun.
Not funny but true, sorry.
His portrayal as the oddly monikered Parsifal is a joy to watch coming over like a junior Kurt Russell doing a community centre pantomime version of Beyond Thunderdome with a script by someone to whom English is a third language.

Which, if he's reading is meant as a compliment by the way (he still looks quite handy and could probably give me a bloody good kicking if angered).

Other cast members fared a wee bit better in the acting field; foxy Anna Kanakis became a mainstay of Italian TeeVee and is still working today (not literally mind you, you may be reading this on a bank holiday or late at night) and the late great Edmund Purdom, whose career took him from stage to screen via the dizzying highs and lows of European exploitation hell before finally carving a career as a dubbing/voice artiste in the Italian film industry appears to be still going strong despite dying in 2009.

Of the others I'll be honest, I didn't bother checking, except for Valentine Monnier whom I quickly looked for on Facebook and found this:

Tho' I'm assuming it's not her.

Anyway, I digress.
As is the usual with a Martino movie, the whole thing is less about unimportant factors like budget (or lack of) and (often threadbare) scripts and more about the movie's pacing and offering a variety of set pieces (of varying quality and levels of excitement) to keep the viewer entertained enough to not realise - or care - that the whole thing is actually complete and utter bollocks.
Obviously if anyone can prove that radioactive fallout can turn people into  monkey-men I'll take it all back.
And I can't say much fairer than that.