Tuesday, September 24, 2019

mental maggots.

Awoke this morning to the news that cult legend Sid Haig had died so in way of a tribute I thought I'd revisit this classic.

Because he's in it obviously not just for shits and giggles.

Galaxy of Terror (AKA Mindwarp: An Infinity of Terrors, Planet of Horrors. 1981)
Dir: Bruce D. Clark.
Cast: Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Taaffe O'Connell, Robert Englund, Ray Walston, Bernard Behrens, Zalman King, Grace Zabriskie and the late, great Sid Haig.

"I live and die by the crystals".

Across the vastness of deep space lies the desolate, storm-lashed (and somewhat soundstage like) planet Morganthus, where the sole survivor of an off screen (and therefore cheap) spaceship crash is fighting a losing battle against an unseen (and therefore very cheap) alien force.

As well as battling the worst home haircut this side of Dario Argento.

And I know which is scarier.

No surprises when I tell you that it's the haircut that wins.

Back at space headquarters (alright then, the portacabin round the back of the studios that Roger Corman uses to store his porn) the jolly crew of the good ship Quest are ordered to mount a rescue mission at the behest of the mysterious 'Planet Master', a strange old man in a second hand suit with a red lightbulb for a head who appears to spend his day playing a table-top version of Pong.

Welcome to the future, eighties style.

Leading the mission is the Planet Master's bezzie mate, the piss-stained and gin soaked soon to be retired Bobby Ilvar (Behrens, the voice of Obi Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars radio series) who, alongside his mismatched team that includes bewigged mentalist Captain Trantor (Twin Peaks hottie Zabriskie), the scarred lone survivor of a previous secret mission; the Tom Selleck alike Cabren (Albert from Power Rangers: Time Force) and the bottle rocket, wooden legged second-in-command Billy Baelon (soft core porn master and former Jesus, King), are charged with locating any survivors as well as looking for some vague and secret stuff whilst they're at it.

I tried not to think too much about the plot seeing as no-one involved seemed to be bothered.

"I can see your house from here Peter".

Also aboard is Cabren's ex squeeze, the harsh-faced psi-sensitive (whatever that means) Alluma (Happy Days' Joanie Cunningham, Moran, who's frankly seen better days - and much better gear before now), chief cook and bottle washer Melvin Kore (My Favourite Martian Walston), and the pube bearded, mightily manbreasted hardman Hilary Quuhod (genre stalwart Haig and the reason we are here), master of the deadly Perspex boomerangs.

There are a few other folk aboard too but frankly it'd be easier all round if you just imagine a couple of pieces of hardboard decked out in sub standard bri-nylon (and nipple revealing) Battlestar Galactica uniforms.

Oh, and Freddy Krueger in a ginger Abraham Lincoln beard.

Engaging warp drive (which is just off Stella Street) The Quest soon arrives at it's destination and the crew begin their search for any survivors.

And the ships supply of chocolate biscuits.

And quite possibly any evidence of an original idea.

Unfortunately they find nothing but a load of leftover sets from Battle Beyond The Stars strewn with litter and a few shop window dummies smeared with jam and hanging from the roof.

Baelon, angered by such a waste of yummy toast topping goodness decides to set fire to everything around him whilst the rest of the crew (including the jittery Johnny Deadsoon) split up and have a wee scout around.

But obviously not in a John Wayne Gacy way.

Tho' that would probably make the whole thing that wee bit more entertaining.

Bored with burning stuff and annoyed by Alluma's constant whining about 'dark energies' Baelon orders everyone back to The Quest for tea and toast, a decision that cheers everyone up except poor Deadsoon, who has to stay behind to find his hat that he's dropped.

Suffice to say that within seconds of the others leaving he's killed by what looks like a big rubber testicle that jumps on his back and squeezes his head till it pops.

"And when I'm anally violated I pull THIS face!"

Realizing one of their number is missing the crew head back across the studio rubbish tip (sorry, alien landscape) to look for him, giving the frighteningly pneumatic Dameia (O'Connell from Caged Fury) an excuse to tell everyone how much she hates maggots and how she'd be loathed to have one swim up her (ample) arse.

Reader take note, this may be important later.

Back on board The Quest everyone sits down for a quick Pot Noodle whilst Dameia and general dogsbody Powell Ranger (Englund with shit facial hair and some ginger pubes glued to his head) perform a fairly shoddy autopsy on their fallen comrade and the body of some bloke they found in a cupboard.

Their findings?

Both men were killed by terror.

A probable galaxy full of it.
A Galaxy (minus the terror) yesterday.

After pudding and a glass of milk our motley band decide to have a better look around the planet, starting with a huge pyramid-like structure they singularly failed to notice earlier (well it was a wee bit foggy) and Ilvar feeling a bit left out splits everyone (with the exception of Trantor who's frankly barking and chef who's busy cooking brine for supper) into two teams.

Their mission: discover stuff.

To make it more exciting Ilvar offers first group to reach the summit the chance of winning a teddy bear.

Buffeted by the harsh winds and spooked by the scary synth sounds Ilvar, Dameia and Cabren are first to clamber up the structure (the others have stopped for a picnic at the bottom), discovering a series of slightly sexual looking holes jutting from the pyramids sides, poor Ilvar, stuck between a moustachioed stud and a strip queen, decides to exert his manliness by abseiling down one of these mysterious openings for a quick poke around.

Unfortunately it's him that gets a poking from a gaggle of rubbery (why thank you!) blood sucking tentacles.

"Laugh now!"

Shrugging their shoulders in a fairly apathetic manner before moving on, Dameia and Cabren have soon met up with a still angry Baelon, a still whiny Alluma and always manboobed Quuhod at the pyramids summit where they find a set of giant plasticine doors that lead deep into the structures bowels.

Leaving Quuhod on guard at the entrance (frankly the stench of all that testosterone and sour man milk must be getting to them by now) the rest of the gang head down toward their destiny.

Which in Erin Moran's case is a lifetime of appearances at a number of supermarket openings, conventions and rehab centres.

Your mums cum face. Trust me, I know.

Back aboard the Quest, Ranger is having a severe case of the sweats and Kore skulks around the kitchen in a mysterious manner whilst Captain Trantor sits in the ships gun turret, dribbling down her jumper and playing space invaders whilst swearing like a pikey on heat.

No change there then.

Bored shitless to a point where he's cleaning his nails with the sacred boomerangs, Quuhod is surprised by a scary "BOO!" noise behind him, causing the poor sod to accidentally chop off his arm.

If that wasn't enough the severed arm takes on a life of its own and proceeds to stab it's previous owner to death with his own weapon.

Which is nice.

Hearing the commotion and upset that her breasts are too large to enable her to squeeze any further into the pyramid, Dameia rushes to Quuhod's aid only to stumble over his by now maggot riddle corpse lying in a pool of blood and piss.

Hang on, did someone say maggots?

"Put it in me!"

As Dameia tiptoes around her dead comrades corpse she (remarkably) fails to notice that one of the maggots has started growing to giant size behind her, only realizing that something's wrong when the beast flops down on top of her like a big inflatable penis and begins to tear her clothes off whilst thrusting and grunting the way that normal maggots don't.

What your girlfriend was up to on
that girls night out last week.

Vainly trying to escape by wriggling her slimy arse and rubbing her gloop covered breasts, Dameia is soon overpowered by the horny horror, breathing her last as the beast pumps her full of it's manky maggot muck.

At this point I have to say that as a twelve year old I was under the impression that this was quite possibly the greatest scene ever committed to celluloid but as I got older and more aware of political correctness and the evils of sexism I began to realize that this wasn't the case.

It's far too short for one thing.

And it's way too dark.

(stringy) shite in mah mooth!

This sex based slaying is only the beginning of the horror tho', as within minutes Trantor has accidentally set fire to her face, the cook has gone AWOL, bow-legged Baelon has been bummed by the bin men and poor old Alluma has been squeezed to death by some rampant, slime covered Hoover attachments leaving a by now shot to fuck Ranger and a fairly concerned Cabren the only survivors.

As the perky pair approach the pyramids inner sanctum, they begin to realize that their might be more to the mysterious planet Morganthus than meets the eye and leaves them wondering....

Where the fuck is the chef?

From the minds of writer/director Bruce Clark, little known designer James Cameron and the genius that is Lord Roger of Corman, Galaxy Of Terror maybe a cheap and nasty knock off with more aliases than a serial adulterer and be more likely to give you crabs than a sleepless night but it's still capable of entertaining you along the way.

Just like your mum in fact.

You can imagine the whole thing being greenlit on the strength of the poster alone and when Clark turned round to Corman and said "Then this huge maggot shags a naked bird to death" you just know it was a done deal.

But then any movie that features aliens, sex, gore and a former member of the Happy Days cast being squeezed to death by household appliances painted green should automatically be pushed thru' for immediate production, imagine how much better the world would be if this were the case.

As an added bonus it's great to sit back and enjoy self proclaimed "King of The World" James Cameron doing what he does best, that is operating a giant rape maggot as opposed to forcing badly plotted overlong remakes of Ferngully on us.

The scenes final moments when the huge quivering beast grunts and thrust one final time over O'Connell's prone form is at once incredibly arousing and mildly disturbing, you can imagine Cameron, teeth gritted and with a semi in his shorts sweating and cursing as he becomes one with the monster costume, imagining himself fucking every last dollar out of the worldwide cinema audience.

Or is that just me?

O'Connell: you would.

As you can probably tell, I secretly love Galaxy Of Terror in the same way as you always have a soft spot for that plump, middle aged housewife you got in touch with via those sleazy 'contact' magazines you purchased as a bet when you were fourteen.

You remember, the one from Edgebaston that made you a man then gave you tea,d biscuits and a cuddle whilst telling you about her disabled husband?

Galaxy Of Terror, scarier than your dad, sleazier than your little sister and a damn sight more fun drunk than both of them.

You need this.

And the cult movie genre needs more guys like Sid.


1939 - 2019

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 87).

English journalist, television presenter and BoJo baiter
Steph McGovern.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

pish dish.

Watched this last night to take my mind off the shitstorm that is Project: Yellowhammer and Brexit.

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Empire of The Sharks (2017).
Dir: Mark Atkins.
Cast: John Savage,, Jack Amstrong, Ashley de Lange, Jonathan Pienaar, Thandi Sebe, Camilla Waldman, Leandie du Randt, Tapiwa Musvosvi, Tauriq Jenkins, Joe Vaz, Tshamano Sebe, Sandi Schultz, Royston Stoffels, Mélodie Abad and Philip Tan.

The power resides within you, the amulet resonated with your power, it was never the source! You are the shark caller!

The time - the near future, the place - a world where PS 2 era cut scenes have become a reality and where 98% of the planet is underwater leaving the remains of society to fight for survival on a collection of shopping trolleys and discarded garden decking shoddily tied together and set adrift in the disused reservoir behind the directors South African holiday home.

Ruling over this sea-based band of unwashed pikeys is the evil warlord Ian Fien (Savage, the ex-man of bronze best known The Deer Hunter, The Onion Field and Salvador as well as Lucio Fulci's final film Door to Silence before bad investments and an expensive divorce caused him to be a wee bit less choosy in his roles - probably) who with the help of the greasy barnetted and stringy lipped Mason Scrim (actor and part-time artists model Pienaar coming across as the unholy lovechild of Iggy Pop and Albert Steptoe) and an army of mind-controlled sharks (no, really) spends his days collecting various 'tributes' from the populace in exchange for clean water.

Sounds legit.

"Do you need any scissors sharpening?"

As we join the story one such group of pikeys are even now being hassled by Scrimm who grumpily informs their leader Tustin Gee (Sebe) that they must double their tributes in future if they wish to get clean water, much to the chagrin of the boyish faced and big-eared Timor (council eastate Orlando Bloom Armstrong) who will be our hero for the next 90 odd minutes.

Which seeing as he has all the talent and charisma of a baby changing table is gonna make for interesting viewing.

Tired of Tustin's excuses - and no doubt his fishy breath -  Scrim orders his men to select 6 women to take in lieu of payment, one of which happens to be Timor's wannabe love interest Willow (de Lange from Blood Drive), a button-nosed blonde with a mysterious secret and a huge poundshop medallion that she keeps furtively glancing at every few minutes.

Maybe she has her lines written on it?

Anyway with Timor standing around looking lost it's up to Tustin to step in and attempt to save the ladies - and by the look of his ample girth attempt to save even more of the tribute for himself.

Unfortunately Scrim is in no mood for chat and punches him in the head before dangling him off the side of his boat then tossing a child's flask filled with electronics into the ocean.

Bizarrely enough these two things are actually related.

You see, the elctro-flask enables Scrim to control - via what looks like a pair of Nintendo power gloves with Christmas tree lights sellotaped to them - all the nearby sharks (who’ve been fitted , you'll be pleased to know, with disco lights on the sides of their heads) and order them to bite folk.

Because as you know, a shark wouldn't bite folk normally.

And with that poor Tustin is devoured in a shower of CG blood fakery as the hostages are loaded onboard and shipped off to Fien's floating fortress leaving Tustin to sob into the ample bosom of his big haired bestie Sion (Sebe, who's probably been in other stuff but I really can't be arsed checking).

Some old rope yesterday.

Being the only member of the cast with any discernible talent Sion is given a fair bit of exposition at this point - not only to fill us in on the background of the characters (Tustin hasn't got any parents, Willow is an orphan, hair straighteners are hard to come by, you know the kinda thing) but to move the plot forward and so to this end she reminds Tustin that he has a submarine stashed behind the bins so he could if he wanted head out to save Willow.

Or even better they could head to the local pub and hire a ragtag team to rescue Willow for them.

And with that they head off.

Destination: adventure - via some FX that would make the cast of Stingray balk at their shoddiness obviously.

Especially the bit where a poorly rendered CG shark gently rubs against the eggbox submarine causing it to leak, an effect that appears to have been achieved by getting a stagehand to piss in Amstrong's mouth whilst he frowns.

Tho' if I'm honest this is probably the most exciting bit of the film, well it's certainly the most erotic.

Taxi for Schubert!

Meanwhile Fien has tied the hostages to a makeshift maypole and is forcing them to walk around in circles whilst a lady explains the importance of Willow's necklace to us - and her.

Yup it seems that Willow's dad was a fabled 'shark caller' who - after the floods had the power to control the creatures thru' the medium of the hand jive.

Unfortunately Fien killed him and now uses the power - alongside Scrim - for evil.


Anyway, Timor and Sion soon arrive at the local pub where they come across (not in that way obviously but you can tell he was tempted) a Lego-haired woman called Nimue (du Randt) who is currently spending her time fleecing the locals of all their cash by challenging them to see who can sit with their head in bucket of water the longest.

No really.

Obviously this is a skill that's needed for a rescue mission so Timor eagerly asks her to help whilst Sion saunters over to speak to the enigmatic Toby (high Scrabble scoring Musvosvi), an explosives expert who also happens to own a scuba diving suit.

Tho' you think under the circumstances there'd be quite a few of those about wouldn't you?

Well fuck you film logic.

Not being one to turn down the chance to blow some shit up he excitedly agrees to join the team.

As everyone stands around uncomfortably trying to look natural Timor notices an Asian guy at the bar fleecing folk in a game of 'find the pea under the cup' and deduces that he must be using a miniature sonar device to rig the game.

Because, um, obviously that would be it.

Anyway he approaches the guy - whose name is Edgar and is played by the pube 'tached Jenkins - and introduces himself before offering him a place on the team.

And guess what? he says yes.

With this cut-price Avengers assemble all they need now is a boat.

And maybe better agents.

Enter (roughly and from behind by the cut of her jib) the dread pirate queen and pleasure cruise captain Ann Aldrin (dead eyed South African soap star and sexy grannie Waldman) who, having a window in her schedule offers to take them to Fien's fortress.

With everything in place Timor outlines his cunning plan.

And by cunning I mean utter shit.

"Oh no....I have my women's period!"

Here goes - Edgar will use his sexy sonar set to scan the fortress and find the hostages and Toby will use his scuba suit and plant explosives to blow open a way in whilst Nimue will hold her breath and swim very fast to lure the sharks away.

Meanwhile Timor will sneak aboard and rescue everyone.

Sion is there no doubt to hold the coats.

Everyone nods in agreement before retiring to bed to get some rest ready for the next days adventure.

Well I say everyone but Toby and Nimue have other ideas and decide to steal the Pot Noodle cargo stored in one of Lord Fien's boats causing all manner of upset and confusion that culminates in Timor radioing Scrim to apologize (whilst using the phrase 'fubar snafu' I kid you not - and Scrim retaliating by threatening to feed an extra to a shark if they don't put everything back exactly as it was.

High stakes indeed.

Obviously being a total walkover Timor does exactly that but as Fien's men are boiling the kettle Toby thinks fuck it and blows the boat up leaving everyone no option but to move ahead with their plan.

A plan that Fien now knows about.

I mean why they just didn't steal the Pot Noodle cargo boat and sneak aboard the fortress I'll never know.

Actually I do know why, that would involve an adult having to write the script.

"Can you smell petrol?"

The thought of a month without any tearful wank-based noodle snacks is the least of Fien's worries tho' as it appears that the sharks will no longer do his bidding, at least when Willow is around that is.

Could this be related?

Well Fien thinks so and chucks Willow into the water to see if the sharks will eat her, which they don't - obviously and with that he helps her back onboard, hands her a towel and orders his men to scan her brain activity so they can copy her powers or something.

Tho' why they need to seeing as they have an electronic device that does the job as well as she can is never explained.

I mean if they just killed her then they wouldn't have to worry about her powers being stronger at all.

And we wouldn't be subjected to her harsh-faced 'acting' every few minutes.

You see?

Everyone would be a winner.

And with that plot point totally ignored we head back over to our merry band who are all ready to set sail for Castle Fien.

But the bad men are prepared and attempt to sink the boat with a shite-firing catapult as Edgar attempts to map the layout on his laptop.

Well it's either that or he's online trying to convince folk he's from the Apple IT department so he can access their bank details.

As Captain Aldrin dodges more and more missiles it's time to put part 2 of the plan into operation, so Nimue greases herself up and jumps into the water to lure the sharks away whilst Timor sneaks up to the underwater door in the hope that Fien has left a spare key under the mat.

Unfortunately in the confusion Toby mistakes a shark for a sausage roll and is inadvertently pulled under the water to his doom.

As the sharks give chase Timor quickly makes it to the fortress and makes his way inside/aboard whilst Nimue - knowing her job is done and she's now surplus to requirements - wiggles about a bit safe in the knowledge that the FX team will do their best to make her death scene look epic and not, I repeat, not like she's getting molested by a pack of poorly rendered Minecraft-esque goldfish.

Laugh and indeed now.

As Timor sneaks about the potting sheds looking for Willow it's revealed that Fein has a secret weapon to thwart our heroes - a kamikaze shark capable of taking out a boat.

As in blow it up, not wine and dine it before making smooth and beautiful love to it in an upmarket hotel.

But you probably guessed that.

And with a girly giggle he orders the shark to attack our brave band in all it's shoddily CG-ed goblin glory.

Seriously it's worth the rental fee just for this sequence.

Tho' not the shame of admitting to watching it obviously.

But Aldrin isn't going down without a fight (unlike your mum) and starts firing a harpoon gun randomly into the waves before thinking "fuck it" and abandoning ship closely followed by Edgar and Sion.

As they swim for the -relative - safety of the fortress Scrim orders the sharks to attack Edgar who is unconvincingly dragged under the waves by a huge bit of curved cardboard whilst Aldrin and Sion are taken to Fien and used as shark bait to lure Willow and Timor out of hiding.

It never rains.

Richard Ayoade, up the casino, Bradford, 2016.....YESCH.

Will Timor and his rapidly diminishing team defeat Fien and restore order this post apocalyptic world?

Will Willow ever master not only her shark powers but the ability to walk and talk at the same time?

Will anyone actually care enough to find out?

'Director' Mark Atkins sequel to his 2016 'classic' Planet of The Sharks features more of what you'd expect from an Asylum/SyFy channel co-production - threadbare plotting, sub-community centre panto performances, sets hastily constructed from whatever was lying around and a load of CG shark stuff that cost a few quid when the original Sharknado came out so the company feel they have to get their monies worth from, hence the never ending cycle of Shark-this and Shark-that titles they seem to release with truly terrifying frequency.

"Shark power activated!" (But it's opposite day!)

That's not to say that the film is without its merits tho' - yes the writing veers wildly between awful and just plain appalling with no rhyme  or reason for anything to happen other that 'just because' and the acting - what there is of it - is either non-existent or trying too hard depending on who's onscreen at any given moment but what they hell most of the cast seem to be enjoying themselves and it'd be churlish not to join in.

Saying that tho' Thandi Sebe is genuinely great, it's almost as if she's stumbled off the set of a better movie and knows it, pissed off and prissy in equal measures she dominates every scene and even manages to convince you at one point that the upturned bath she's sitting in is really a hi-tech minisub being attacked by sharks and not being gently rocked by a stagehand as he spurts water into her face.

Plus she must really like sharks - or director Atkins has some dead dodgy pics of her - seeing as she went straight from this to his magnum opus 6 Headed Shark Attack.

Nuff said.

Para Thandi.

Let's be honest tho', you don't fire up an Asylum shark movie expecting Jaws (or even Shark Attack III), no you pop it on your player, pop out your brain and let the sheer shadiness of it spurt over you like the cheap and cheerful sinematic slut that it is.

Just don't tell your friends about it later.

Or blog about it obviously.* 
*I'm OK seeing as no fucker ever reads this.

Monday, September 2, 2019

terrance dicks

“For an adventure that was to be one of the most astonishing of the Doctor’s very long life, it all began very quietly.” 

A sad day for Doctor Who - Terrance Dicks RIP.