Wednesday, June 26, 2019

portland bill.

Was chatting/tweeting about this yesterday and I have to admit it's one of my faves.

I like to view it as part of the 70s Robin Askwith Trilogy of Terror - alongside Horror Hospital and The Flesh and Blood Show - classics one and all.

Anyway this review was lying about unloved so thought I'd repost it for your enjoyment.

And hopefully to get some (any?) new readers.

Tower Of Evil (AKA Beyond the Fog, Horror of Snape Island 1972)
Dir: Jim O'Connolly
Cast: Bryant Haliday, Jill Haworth, George Coulouris, Dennis Price, Jack Watson, Candace Glendenning, Anthony Valentine, William Lucas, Anna Palk, Robin Askwith and (Mister) Derek Fowlds.

Wayne Hussey beware!

Sometime in the early seventies in a mist enshrouded studio somewhere near Shepperton, two gruff fisherman types, Hamp Gurney (Brit movie legend Watson) and his Steptoe like father, John (Coulouris), are 'sailing' - Well, swaying about whilst some poor sod throws buckets of water at them like a kids panto version of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds The Weeping Song -  towards the notorious Snape Island.

Mooring their boat on the craggy rocks, our duo begin a search of the islands nooks and crannies, soon coming across the naked (and very dead) body of a young man.

With incredibly tight buttocks.

"Put it in me!"

Venturing inside the island’s crumbling lighthouse, they discover another - naked - corpse, this time of a headless young woman.

Don't worry tho' as they soon find her blonde bobbed head lying at the bottom of the stairs.

Unfortunately she's lying on her front so we never know if her hair was dyed or not.

Look, some of us find these things important.

John reckons that all this is a wee bit odd, so decides to head off to explore the outside toilet, leaving Hamp to stand and stare uncomfortably at the nubile dead girl sprawled across the landing.

Opening the loo door he's very surprised to find 'Confessions' star and all round cheeky chappie Robin Askwith impaled on a big spear in the corner of the room next to the toilet rolls and copy of Razzle.

Looks like Bernie Winters finally caught up with him.

His shock is short lived tho' as he's almost immediately attacked by a shit covered - and naked - Candace Glendenning wielding a huge knife.

Which if I'm honest is a fantasy I've had since I was about 14, the lucky guy.

Jumping on John's back before biting his nose she manages to stab the poor sod to death before Hamp beats her into submission with a lead pipe.

Well, it was filmed before women's lib became a thing.

"Excuse me but I have a woman's period!"

Rushed (well I assume they rush her, not leave her lying about, occasionally bonking her on the head if she wakes up, but I digress) to the mainland hospital, the girl - whose name we discover is Penelope - falls almost immediately into a coma.

With the police desperate to pin all the murders (well, not every murder ever, just the ones on the island) on her so they can all go home for tea, eminent know all and specialist in mentalism induce catatonia, Doctor Simpson (Seventies sex God, ex Raffles and the spooky voice of Dr X on the Queensryche album Operation Mindcrime, Valentine) injects Penny with a strange drug whilst flashing disco lights at her in order to discover the truth.

Slowly but surely, she begins to recall (in groovy hypnovision) the terrible events that led up to the killings, screaming hysterically as giant images of her dead pals heads fill the screen.

Meanwhile in a plush swinging London (probably) office, professional rich man and part-time cake maker Laurence Bakewell (suave superstar Price) has become obsessed by the case.

Which is unusual for Price at this point in his career seeing as he's usually obsessing over young cock but hey-ho.

But why? I hear you ask.

Well it seems that the golden spear used to pin poor Robin Askwith to the toilet door shouldn't really be on the island at all (they do give a reason but frankly I couldn't be arsed paying attention) and this fact has attracted the attention of a group of groovy archaeologists.

Who, judging by their on-screen banter are actually more interested in shagging each other senseless than digging up old stuff.

But not being an archaeologist - or a welder - who am I to judge?

So who are this motley band that will be our heroes for the remainder of the movie?

Well it consists of Antiquities experts Ben and Nora - greatest line: "Masturbation’s so boring!" - Winthrop (Ex Basil Brush sidekick Fowlds and the frighteningly large breasted Palk), along with the bubbly Rose Mason (Haworth - The original stage Sally Bowles and star of the Tom Baker travesty The Mutations) and hunk o' burning lurve Adam Martin (Aussie beefcake and star of Wild Honey Edwards) are they've decided to take a wee break from wife-swapping to investigate the case.

And, in order to placate the US market they're taking a fast talking Yank private investigator (hired by Penelope's folks) named Brent (Halliday, star of such classics as Devil Doll, Curse of the Voodoo and The Projected Man) along for the ride alongside dear old Hamp and his horny young 'nephew' Brom (the big haired and seemingly horse cocked Hamilton).

Trinny and Susannah: The Pikey years.

To make the journey go quicker (and to prevent the film having too many scenes of folk staring uncomfortably at a badly projected seascape) Brent tries to get Hamp to talk about the dark history of the island but to no avail, so decides to try his American magic on Brom.

And by magic I mean seduction skills if what transpires as a conversation is anything to go by seeing as it consists of a dozen or so muttered 'Ooh Arrs' from Brom whilst he stands legs akimbo rubbing his trouser area.

Which if I'm honest was fairly relaxing.

Finally arriving at the island (portrayed by a fairly competently constructed Lego model), the party sets up camp in the outside loo before heading out to explore the lighthouse in particular the area in which the murders took place.

Brent steadfastly believes that poor ickle Penelope couldn’t possibly have pinned a star of Askwith's girth to a door, but Ben, always the pessimist reckons that madness may have given her super strength.

After a wee chat and some bitching the party come to the conclusion that there may be a mad man loose on the island but Hamp just shrugs his shoulders and mutters 'Dunno' before heading off for a sneaky fag.

He's saved from any more embarrassing questions tho' when his boat blows up.

Whilst most of the group run outside to see if anything can be salvaged, Brom and Nora are left alone in the lighthouse where they spend an uncomfortable couple of minutes making small talk before deciding to have 'the sex'.


And with a bit of biting.

Just like your dad and your sisters pal in the back of the car last week.

Returning to the lighthouse to find Nora all ruddy faced and a rotting corpse stuck in the rocking chair, Brent confronts Hamp with the fact that his brother was once the lighthouse keeper.

This in itself may seem inconsequential but Brent goes on to tell how Hamp's bro' went mad and killed his wife and child!

On the island!

And they never found his body!

Back at the hospital, Penelope is being given even more drugs and bigger flashing lights and as a result her shattered memory begins to piece itself back together, beginning with her recounting the horrible facts regarding the deaths of her friends....

And it's not pleasant.

Somewhere to hang your coat at least.

What can I possibly say about Tower Of Evil that hasn't been said a thousand times before on blogs that people actually read?

I mean, if there's a better example of such a way ahead of it's time horror flick then I'd like to see it because Tower Of Evil has everything you could want from a slasher movie, nearly ten years earlier than everybody else.

Coming at a time when censorship in Britain was becoming more lax (imagine that, the UK with lenient censors), writer/director Jim (Valley of Gwanji, Vendetta for The Saint) O’Connolly fills the screen with copious amounts of nudity, sex and violence filmed in an almost tabloid, in yer face manner almost unheard of at the time.

Scream from mah mooth!

And all the well worn rules of the genre are present and correct, anyone having sex is bound to die (the teens and adults), male characters show off their buff naked arses whilst the pretty female cast members are forever thrusting their breasts towards the camera and it's the virginal good girl Penelope (the only woman in Europe who doesn’t want to get laid comments her beau) that survives.

The archaeological experts fare no better, being as they are a bunch of bed hopping sex maniacs who count a bag of spliffs and a crate of cheap red wine amongst the essentials for their expedition, splitting up at the first sign of trouble to wander around the island dressed in mini skirts, breast revealing tops and sprayed on action-slacks.

"Aye son!"

Simply put, Tower of Evil is quite honestly a work of utter genius which needs, nay demands to be seen by as wide an audience as possible.

So there.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

sound house sunday.

Just chillin' with a couple of top pop compilations today....

Saturday, June 15, 2019

missing persson.

Seeing as the rather quite wonderful Mission Stardust didn't get picked as our Facebook Watchalong last night (Moon Zero Two did) I reckoned it only right to celebrate (in a kinda runner up style) the real star of Mission Stardust - and the only real reason to watch - and that is the shapely blonde bombshell Captain Thora played to slightly bemused perfection by actress cum visual artist cum haunter of my dreams Essy Persson.

Monday, June 10, 2019

cod only knows.

A few years back I came across (quite literally in this case) this little beauty looking all lost and forlorn on the shelf of my local charity shop and although I already own it (and let's be honest which self respecting film fan doesn't?) I couldn't just leave it sitting all alone so I just had to purchase it.

Plus I needed to break a tenner for my bus fare.

Anyway upon returning home I popped it on the shelf - in between Piranha 2 Flying Terror and Humanoids From The Deep if you must know - and promptly forgot about it.

Cut to today and I was at a loose end (due to no fucker wanting to hire me at the moment) so I decided to dust my shelves and voila!

Hope it's as good as I remember....

Creatures from the Abyss (Aka Plankton, 1994)
Dir: Al Passeri (AKA Massimiliano Cerchi)
Cast: Clay Rogers, Michael Bon, Sharon Twomey, Loren De Palma, Ann Wolf and the legend that is Deran Sarafian.

“Damn it! Who opened the radioactive container?”

Enjoying a quiet vacation (as our Yankee cousins say) in Florida, an infinitely punchable group of all American 'teens'; horrible haired geekboy Mike (Rogers looking for all the world like a genetic splicing of Simon LeBon and James Spader gone awry), mumsy Margareth (Twomey, she of All Creatures Great and Small, A Fish Called Wanda and the classic Spiando Marina fame), Shane Ritchie wannabe Bobby (council estate Zach Galligan, Bon), the peachy of arse yet scarily large of face Julie (Wolf) and her cutesy (in a human/My Little Pony hybrid way) Dorothy (DePalma - the director of Carrie dragged up for a rare acting role possibly) decide to hire a motorboat (well, a tiny dingy) and head out for a wee bit of salty sea based fun and frolics.

"Shite in mah....oh, right."

Running out of gas in the middle of the ocean things go from bad to very bad for our fabulously fashioned five as they're hit by a freak storm (well, buckets of cold water) then come across a floating plastic corpse that looks uncannily like Nigel Farage before almost crashing (if a dingy can crash) into a handy Oceanographic Research Vessel.

Which by the state of the decor is also used as a part time knocking shop.

Climbing aboard in the hope of getting dry, a free meal and, in Bobby's case, laid the teens discover that the entire ship is deserted save a pube bearded, meth-headed, fish fiddling tramp in a lab coat, a couple of dead scientists in a diving bell and a laboratory full of cheap neon tubing and shit loads of frozen, mutated cod.

And a haddock with a hard on.

No....seriously, but I'll get back to that later.

Not wanting to let such piffling details get in the way of a good time the girls decide to raid the kitchen and rustle up a tasty fish supper whilst the boys scout around the cabins looking for condoms, value label booze and crisps whilst posing in mirrors and flexing their muscles.

Laugh now.

Much later - and after gorging themselves on Aldi fishfingers, potato waffles and cheap gin our fabulous fivesome whilst having a(nother) nosy around discover the crews stash of shitey Euro-pop Cd's so decide to indulge (and debase) themselves further by having a makeshift disco, which if nothing else gives us a chance to admire Twomey's killer moves.

Oh and DePalma's fake tanned arse as it valiantly tries to break free of her tiny swimsuit.

Unfortunately the party is interrupted when the tramp (obviously sick of Margareth's appalling Wigfield impersonation) decides to violently (is there any other way?) bite her before legging it down a corridor whilst giggling like a loon.


"Fiona! Where's mah lunch?"

Having avidly viewed every episode of Love Boat and thinking that this is a rather strange way to behave at sea, Mike heads off to the lab in order to find some answers.

Luckily he's studying Ichthyology at college enabling him to figure out that the photo's of fish playing cards and wearing hats isn't normal.

Could someone have been tampering with nature?

Meanwhile Dorothy has come down with a really bad case of sickness and diarrhea, puking and shitting dayglo vomit and wriggly sea worms all over the ships spotless bathroom.

The friends decide that all she needs is a good lie down (well, it works wonders for me when I'm shitting haddock) and after tucking her up in bed the pals go their separate ways; Julie finally slips out of her horrendous pink, polka dotted Bratz style swimsuit and into a soapy shower as bad boy Bobby grumpily wanders around with a bulge in his pants whilst heroic (alright, just plain nosy) Mike and Magareth head back to the lab in order to find out more information on the strange fish and hopefully advance the plot

"Kayleigh is it too late to say I'm sorry?
And Kayleigh could we get it together again?
I just cant go on pretending that it came to a natural end".

After what seems like an eternity of Mike examining hundreds of frozen (re: model) fish inter-cut with flashes of Julie rubbing her soapy breasts, something finally happens.

But probably not what you (or I) was expecting.

Margareth, believe it or not, is attacked by a mutant fish that flies (using it's fins - and some industrial thickness wires) out of a cupboard and attempts to have sex with her.

No, really.

This is the final straw for Mike, who goes a wee bit mental and starts smashing everything with a handy big stick, covering first Margareth and then Bobby in a sea of gooey white yoghurt.

Calming down, Mike reckons that they could all do with a rest and sends everyone off to their cabins before heading back to continue his research into what the hell's going on.

No need.

Finding a computer file cunningly named "What the hell is going on" Mike discovers the horrifying truth behind the bases experiments.

Now pay attention, here comes the science part.

According to the professor, the local fish have been lunching on radioactive plankton causing severe mutation as well as giving them hyper-sexual genitalia and a taste for human flesh.

In layman's terms this basically means that the whole place (or plaice) is full of horny, cannibalistic flying fish hell bent on shagging the arse off you before lunching out on it.

And if that wasn't enough to scare the bejesus out of Mike then the fact that the professor and his cohorts, when given the choice between destroying the whole shoal of them or injecting the plankton into themselves before indulging in a wee bit of swinging with the fish decided to choose the latter.

Which makes then either sick or pretty damn forward thinking depending on how much you find the thought of cuddling with a carp a turn on.

"Is it in yet?"

Whilst all that sick filth is being uncovered, Julie has decided that a wee bit of 'the sex' would cheer everyone (well, her and Bobby) up, so doing her best slinky walk (you know, cartwheeling down the stairs and the like) enters Bobby's room to see if he's up for it.


Coming across like a sweatier, less punchable Jeremy Hunt he works his magic on Ms. Moonhead as she stands giggling, coyly stroking a gnome shaped table lamp with a huge gold painted cock sticking out of it.

Just as you thought the sexual tension couldn't get any more electric the pair pounce on each other with a loud grunt and an almost inaudible fart.

Tentacle rape: It's Japanese for Hello.

As the shagging gets noisier and squelchier and Julie's face goes from mild indifference to 'have I left the gas on' she begins to notice a rather rank and fishy smell in the room (judging from the look of her it'd make a change from stale piss and yeast) followed by loud plopping noises and throaty growls.

Looking up at Bobby she's fairly surprised to see that he's transformed from a jovial Alfie Moone-alike into a giant tentacled rape fish, dripping all manner of liquids as it thrusts stiffly at her naked and glistening spreadeagled form.

Luckily for Julie (not so for the Bob-beast tho') Mike and Margareth burst in at the moment of climax, scaring off the rape fish using a plate of chips and a salt shaker.

Mike, calm as ever announces that it would probably be in their best interests if they leave the ship quick-style, but as is the way in these situations, the fish have other plans.

And before you ask, yes I did feel strange typing that.

The storm outside is getting worse and, if that wasn't bad enough, it turns out that when poor Dorothy got bitten the fish passed on it's mutant cells to her via it's saliva.

Which begs the question, do fish actually salivate?

We may never know the answer to that age old question because Dorothy suddenly transforms into a freakishly horse-faced crab lady and tries to kill Mike.

It says a lot for De Palma (but more likely about me if I'm honest) when you realize that this is the most attractive she - or anyone else for that matter - has looked throughout the whole movie.

Julie, who's spent the last fifteen minutes searching for life jackets and tissues isn't doing too well either, noticing as she does that she's suffering from terrible wind and tummy ache, almost as if there was something growing inside her.


Sure as dammit it's not long till she starts firing forth hundreds of teeny tiny fish babies from her lady areas before collapsing in a sticky heap.

Now only Mike, armed with a few candles, some duct tape and a box of worms, remains alive to defeat the frisky fish menace....


I'd love to have been at the meeting when writer Richard Baumann pitched this idea to Massimiliano (director of such classics as Flight to Hell and, ahem, Satan Claus) Cerchi.

Imagine the scene; Baumann, his shirt undone to his navel revealing an undergrowth of dark, matted chest hair, his action slacks skin tight in all the right places stands with one leg raised on a chair, his musky man odour wafting thru' the room.

Cerchi, clad only in a pair of orange Speedo's, turns slowly in his chair, water glistening on his firm tanned chest.

"Hey baby" drawls Baumann, "do I have a great idea for you....We take the best aspects of The Thing plus Piranha 2: Flying Terror, add a dose of the sexy sexy stuff from Humanoids from The Deep but set it on a floating brothel".

Cerchi gently strokes his beard, beads of sweat collecting on his brow.

He leans forward, his mouth almost touching that of Baumann.

"It soundsa great Richie!" His hands reaches out to caress Baumann's smooth inner thigh "but instead of your normal monster can we have horny tentacled Cod that do the dirty, dirty with da laydees?"

Baumann shows him the story outline.

It's the very same idea.

Their lips touch and their tongues intertwine, rolling onto the heavy shag carpet of the office the taste of success mixed with saliva in each others mouths.

Or something.

"Howdya like dem apples?"
(by apples she means breasts obviously).

Shot like an early nineties soft core teevee movie and with acting to match, Creatures from the Abyss is a gaudy and tacky exercise in exploitation dressed in day-glo market stall clothes and poundshop Lolita-esque swimwear topped of with the finest collection of footballers perms this side of a Liverpudlian street market.

The uniformly harsh faced cast blindly stumble from one scene to another as if on a mixture of Prozac and crack, faces frozen in permanent surprised as they're asked to deliver reams of nonsensical dialogue covering everything from Porky Pig impressions to in-depth discussions on the sex drives of irradiated homosexual fish and all whilst attempting to look cool and sexy in a variety of outfits that would make a colourblind Barbie doll vomit.

Honestly the constant sex talk (which lurches drunkenly between person and fish based shagging) is about as erotic as the thought/memory of being roughly touched up by a drunken carpet fitter in a filthy, kebab strewn phone box.

By the end of the movie you're willing to sell your soul (and your arse...again) just to see these monsters that have cruelly violated your entertainment genes die slowly and painfully before your eyes.

The US DVD cover....
scarily managing to feature

someone even more unattractive
than the film's actual cast.

You have to give Cerchi and Baumann their dues tho' and not only because they had the balls to commit this to celluloid.

The aforementioned fish rape (a crime that in reality goes too often unreported)  for example is handled subtly and with a totally non-sensational approach whilst the bed wettingly realistic stop motion monster that menaces poor old Clay Rogers at the movies climax haunted my dreams for, oh, minutes afterwards.

Plus if the thought of a dumpy, moon-faced actress covered in KY jelly writhing under a huge foam latex Sea Bass with a cock the size of a small child thrusting erotically between her legs does anything for you - and who here hasn't imagined that at sometime? - then this may be your perfect film.

Buy it, watch it, enjoy it but don't tell your friends.

Hmm....I really should have thought of that before I wrote this shouldn't I?

Monday, June 3, 2019

avon's calling.

RiP Paul Darrow.