Friday, January 31, 2020


Originally released way back in 1994 on the ragged coattails of Jurassic Park, Tammy and the T-Rex is a bit of a guilty pleasure at Arena Towers - epitomizing as it does everything that was/is utter shit about mid 90s movies.

When I reviewed this originally way back in 2007 I remember saying (well typing but you get the idea) that it would probably fare a wee bit better - and receive a bit more love - if the director had just gone "fuck it!" and made it a gore soaked T-Rex 'n' sex based movie to begin with rather than a poverty row screwball comedy filled with cock jokes and hellish homosexual stereotypes.

So you can imagine my surprise - I'm easily pleased - when it was announced that an unrated “Gore Cut” had been discovered and is finally getting a Glasgow airing next month.*

Hopefully someone will read this and be so impressed they'll invite me along to do a 'proper' review.
If not you'll just have to put up with the very old - and very creaky one from way back.

For those of you reading it for the first time - enjoy, and for those of you re-reading it - I've added a few more "Shite in mah mooth!" captions for you so everyone's a winner.
Except Paul Walker obviously.

And not just because he had to spend the entire shoot encased in a dinosaur suit that the Pertwee era production team would think twice at putting on screen.

Tammy And The T-Rex (1994)
Dir: Stuart Raffil.
Cast: Denise Richards, Paul Walker, George Pilgrim, Ellen Dubin, Sean Whalen, Theo Forsett, Terry Kiser and a big dinosaur.

Fish lipped and shiny haired high school cheerleader Tammy (a pre-Bond - and pre-Botox - Richards) has fallen madly in love with the sensitive yet still manly football jock Michael (a pre-death Walker) and spend her school days gazing adoringly at him from afar.

Unfortunately tho' her mad as a bag of spanners, ex-beau Billy (Pilgrim, best known as the original AJ Chamberlain on CBS's longest running Soap Opera of all time, Guiding Light) is making her life a living hell, stalking her, phoning her and generally being a bad lad who takes particular offense to Michael's apparent interest in Tammy which culminates in a playground scrap where the pair roughly grab each others genitalia to see who will let go first much to the eye-popping amusement of Tammy's black and gay (wasn't it always the way in the 90s?) best friend Byron (Forsett, best known for Street Knight and Street Hawk - poor fucker).

Luckily this only brings the pair together and Michael finally asks her out for a picnic.

As in for sandwiches, crisps and pop 'n' stuff, not just to share a chocolate bar.

Glad that's sorted.

But Billy is lying in wait and upon discovering Michael in Tammy’s room later that evening explodes in a fit of jealous rage and chases poor Michael across town before beating the crap out of him and throwing his unconscious body into the lion enclosure at the local zoo.

Which seems a wee bit over the score if I'm honest.

Fast, furious and fish lipped.

As luck - and plotting - would have it Michael is only slightly (but not quite fatally) mauled and is rushed to hospital under the care of medical mentalist Dr. Wachenstein (TeeVee stalwart and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood star Kiser giving it 110%) and his 'busty' German assistant Helga (Dubin from Napoleon Dynamite and your dad's bed).

Hearing the terrible news Tammy hurriedly squeezes into her best slut chic outfit and rushes to be at Michael's bedside only to find that Wachenstein - after having a wee fiddle with his bits because he's a bad man - has transplanted Michael's brain into the body of a ferocious T-Rex.

As you would.

Tammy does what any strong independent woman would do in this situation and faints.

As does Byron because he's gay obviously.

But what of poor Michael?

Waking up in his new (tiny handed) body he, quite understandably, goes on a mad killing rampage attacking Billy and his gang at a pool party before squashing the bully underfoot.

Luckily for the crew the 'delicate' animatronics didn't fuse in the water, tho' the fact that the dinosaur can only move it's head ala the Clooney Batman probably means it was a clockwork one.

Either that or a really awful Halloween costume.

There's no time to spend admiring the dino-suit tho' as we're about to strike comedy gold when Helga arrives at the scene and upon surveying the carnage decides to roll the squashed body of Billy up like a carpet.




"Fiona! Where's mah lunch?"

Realising that most of the subsequent dino attacks are probably going to end up on the cutting room floor director Raffil plows straight into the romance subplot so has Michael kidnap Tammy and take her to a secluded hayloft just out of town.

Tho' how he can pick her up in those itsy bitsy stick thin arms is never revealed.

It doesn't take Tammy long to figure out that the horny lizard rubbing against her leg is her beau and so begins a race against time (and good taste) to find Michael a more 'acceptable' body and one better suited to giving Tammy the love she needs whilst dodging the local sheriff and the mad doctor intent on reclaiming his latest creation.

Seriously you get the idea, can I stop now?

Laugh now!

From the director who gave us Mannequin: On the Move, The Ice Pirates and Mac And Me comes a movie that does for the dinosaur what Cruising did for random night club pick-ups.

Tho' to be fair at least after Cruising your dad decided to stay home a wee bit more at the weekend which probably helped save yer folks marriage.

At least till you left home and he moved out to share a flat with his pal Brian from work.

You remember, the flat you couldn't visit because it only had one bedroom so your dad slept on the couch.

Just me then?

No caption needed.

Anyway back to Tammy and the T-Rex - if I must - which is just like your dad's life choices is a cliche-filled, ultra-shite crapfest of equally baffling and oddly schizophrenic proportions that's neither funny enough or blackly comic enough to be any way successful tho' to it's - very mild - credit it does have some scenes that raise if not a wee chuckle then a little bit of bile at the back of your throat.

Yes, I'm talking about the bit where Tammy sexily strips to her 80s style white Madonna basque and suspenders - complete with white fluffy boa in front of a brain in a jar.

A brain she has just poured a glass of champagne over to 'get it in the mood'.




Oh, and maybe, just maybe I'd have to mention the scene with the T-rex watching a funeral from behind a bush and maybe even the 'tender' love moments between Tammy and a large rubber dinosaur which were both vaguely amusing but that's about it seeing as most of the alleged comedy comes from some Chuckle Brothers style pratfalls and the fact that Tammy might be sleeping with a dinosaur, I mean just imagine the films standing if the director had show the balls to give us some foxy Denise on dino' soft focus, MOR scored loving.

Or is that just me that gets excited by that thought?

"Shite in mah huge Jurassic mooth you ape descended bastards!"

Worth it only if you're a crap dinosaur fan or get off at the thought of Denise Richards dressed up like your uncles new mail-order 'girlfriend' at Christmas whilst flirting outrageously with a rubber T-Rex.

Or if you have shit for eyes.

*Tho' if you lived in Italy on it's original release you've probably seen most of the cut stuff seeing as the deleted scenes were reinstated there.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

parsons knows....

RiP national treasure Nicholas Parsons - from trailblazing Tex Tucker to taking on terrifyingly toothsome Who monsters via Sale of The Century and Just A Minute.

Friday, January 17, 2020

boom boom.

RiP Mr Derek.

Monday, January 13, 2020

let's be frank....

For your viewing pleasure here's a video featuring every guest star ever to appear on top teevee tec show Cannon.


Saturday, January 11, 2020

double trouble.

Even tho' it's been a couple of weeks since the audience splitting BBC adaptation of Dracula (which I must admit to thoroughly enjoying) was shown we're still on a wee bit of a vampire fix here in Unwell Towers, gorging ourselves on the very best (or is that very beast?) bloodsucking blockbusters.

Oh yes and this.

All I can say is shite movie, vaguely amusing back story.

So prepare yourself dear reader for the truth behind... 

Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971).
Dir: Al Adamson.
Cast: Anthony Eisley, Regina Carrol, Russ Tamblyn, Jim Davis, Angelo Rossitto, Greydon Clark, Anne Morrell, Forrest J Ackerman, John Bloom, Lon Chaney, Jnr, J. Carrol Naish and Zandor Vorkov.

“She used to have fantasies about being a freak…
Two heads, an eye missing, elongated spine.
Anything that was grotesque turned her on.”

Somewhere in California - the Oakmoor Cemetery to be precise - world famous lord of the undead Count Dracula (disguised by the look of things as an almost AIDS thin pedo with pubes for hair and played to almost cardboard perfection by 'Zandor Vorkov' AKA Roger Engel) is busy unearthing the remains of Doctor Frankenstein's monster.

What? You mean to tell me you skipped the part of the book where the creatures remains are secreted to the US to be experimented on?

Surprised to see a black satin clad sex offender digging around in the middle of the night the cemeteries lone security guard (the directors dad) comes to investigate, getting his neck nibbled for his trouble.

Pay attention at this part, as it's the only vaguely vampiric thing Dracula will partake in during the whole movie.

Meanwhile under Brighton pier a fairly foxy girl is nervously feeling her way thru' a fog of what can only be cigarette smoke before being suddenly - and unconvincingly -  attacked by an axe-wielding, alcoholic Lon Chaney, Jr. (who distressingly looks close to death).

The axe cuts short her scream.

And cuts off her head.

We cut too but fear not, for it's only a cinematic phrase meaning the action (well, I say action) is moving to somewhere else.

And that somewhere else is glorious Las Vegas, where glamorous grannie Judith Fontain (director Adamson's wife, the late Carrol, star of Satan's Sadists and official pin-up girl of raunchy rockers The Sleepfarmers) is performing her groovy nite-club act to a packed audience via the wonders of stock footage (well, takes up a couple of minutes running time) before retiring to her dressing room to let the air out of her breasts and check her fan mail.

Alongside the final demands, STD test results and court summonses is a letter from one Sergeant Martin Martin (Dallas star Davis) of the Californian Police Missings Persons Bureau (yup, that's the name on the envelope), informing Judith that her wee sister Jodie has gone missing.

Dracula, up the casino, 1973.....Yesch!

Judith, being a concerned sister and desperate to get the plot moving rushes to California (I'm assuming it's just down the road) in order to help with the police investigation much to the chagrin of the permanently scowling Sgt. Martin.

"Hey lady, the world is a dark place," Martin informs her as he switches off his desk lamp in order to batter the point home "If you have any wool I suggest you get knitting!" he suggests usefully before heading off to beat up some students.

Left to her own devices, our heroine wanders innocently into the dangerous hippie neighbourhood where her sister was last seen.

Entering the famous Hippie Hilton (500 McLaughlin Dr. Santa Cruz, CA 95064-1084, families welcome) Judith tries to ingratiate herself into the whole hippie thing by asking for a coffee whilst showing pictures of her sis to all and sundry but this only succeeds in getting her mistaken for a cop, leaving the owner no alternative but to spike her drink with LSD.


Cue much hair tugging, indiscriminate crash zooms and Judith writhing on a platform whilst wearing a white fishnet body stocking to a frantic bongo beat.

Far out.

Luckily she's rescued by nice guy hipster Clive Strange (hard working Clark, best known - to me anyway - for Without Warning) and his mousy girlfriend Samantha (Morrell, you may remember her as the floating harem girl in John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! or maybe not).

Lon Fancies a wee mooth shite-in....are you man enough for the challenge?

Meanwhile at the local chamber of horrors conveniently located on the end of the pier next to the bingo hall, the wheelchair-bound scientist and former member of NWA Dr. Drea (Naish, desperate to pay his medical bills) is busy attempting to perfect a special formula that will enable mankind to live forever and have perfectly coiffured  hair even after a heavy night out.

Unfortunately he can only make this formula by beheading people then bringing them back to life before finally lobotomizing them.

But if it means I only ever have to style my quiff once a month then I'm game.

Aided by urine stained imbecile Groton (that'll be Lon then, poor sod) and professional little person Grazbo (Rossitto famous for everything from Freaks to Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome via Galaxina), who've been promised physical and mental superiority once the formula is perfected, this dynamic duo find suitable candidates for experimentation via Grazbo's job at the box office, leaving Groton to chop them up.

"Laugh now!"

After one particularly heavy night of lobotomy-based fun, Dr. Drea is surprised when a strange man steps out of the shadows and demands to talk to him.

Examining the strangers ring (snigger) Drea identifies the visitor as Count Dracula, and Dracula not to be outdone, identifies Drea as the last of the Frankenstein family.

With Drea realizing that his Colonel Sanders disguise is fooling no-one and Drac just relieved that he's finally met someone who doesn't piss themselves laughing whilst looking at him they pair settle down for an excruciatingly bad chat that although meant to fill in an important bit of back story just careers off on bizarre tangents.

None of this is helped by the fact that Dracula appears to have been dubbed by someone standing in a well.

"Ahm sorry hen....ave pished mahsel again!"

Anyway, from what I can gather (after rewatching the movie a few times) is that  Drea was adopted (which is why he's not known as Frankenstein and more importantly why he's considerably less hip than other Def Jam stalwarts) and that his work in monster construction was discredited by three evil doctors, one of which caused the accident that crippled him.

This man whom we shall call simply Dr. Bill Beaumont (because that's his name) added insult to injury by stealing the Frankenstein monster and burying it in the graveyard from the films opening.

Luckily for all concerned the infamous Zornov Comet is rapidly approaching the Earth, heralding the beginning of the monster's second life cycle.

Look I'm just typing what was said.

Meanwhile junked up Judith suddenly wakes up in the bed of aged hippie Mike Howard (Eisely from Knots Landing), a local middle-aged guy who looks after the disenfranchised yoof in the area whilst dressed like a teenage rent boy.

Nope, nothing sinister about that at all.

Taking a shine to Judith (he's obviously bored with failing to score at the school gates so he's decided on someone nearer his own - old - age) the pair begin to discuss Jodie's disappearance, eventually coming to the conclusion that, being disabled Dr. Drea is behind it.

Cue hours of wandering around aimlessly back and forth to the house of horrors exhibit intercut with dozens of unnecessary appearances  by a chubby, pube bearded Russ Tamblyn playing an evil rapist biker named Rico.

Truly the man has no shame.

Or a fucking huge rehab bill.

Heath Ledger farted....and it was an eggy one.

Skipping forward a few chapters (look I'm only human) and finally Judith and Mike (after admitting their love for each other and having a wee kiss and cuddle) have decided to take one last look at Drea's horror show.

Only to make it more interesting they've turned up in the middle of the night.

Wandering around in the 'dark', they pair of wannabe investigators completely fail to see or hear Rico and his pals trying to rape Samantha and also miss Groton's subsequent slaughter of the bad boy bikers but, and give credit where it's due, Mike does manage to hear Groton quietly pull a chain that opens a trapdoor to Drea's lab.

Trying to find the source of the noise, the pair also manage to miss the three hacked to pieces bodies at their feet but do spot a teeny tiny locket belonging to Samantha buried in the sand.

I'll be honest, even I've stopped caring at this point.

"Fiona! Where's mah lunch?"

Drea, lying in wait behind a shady model of a giant monkey catches the pair as they sneak around the exhibits and manages to lure our loved up losers into the dank, dark basement below his lair.

If you could take a minute now to consider the layout of Drea's Chamber of Horrors.

If you've been paying attention you'll remember that it's built on a pier over the beach to give Groton easy access to the sands to kill women.

So how (and more importantly where) does the stone clad gothic basement fit in?

I have to be honest and say that at the time I totally accepted this without question showing the true extent of the films almost supernatural mind numbing powers.

It was only the following day that I realized that the whole thing was complete and utter shame trousered shite from start to finish.

Anyway, Drea explains the plot, Judith finds her naked sister in a big jam jar and Mike, being an all American hero type picks a fight with the dwarf, causing Groton's pet cat to fall down the trapdoor.

I kid you not, cinema hardly ever gets as exciting as this baby.


Much infant school slapping and grimacing ensues culminating with wee Grazbo falling onto an axe giving Judith time to escape to the roof.

Of a factory.

Not a pier.

Mike however is trapped behind some boxes as an ever more excited Drea take potshots at his arse with an air pistol before giving chase in what must be modern cinemas slowest wheelchair versus middle aged man race ever.

All looks lost until Mike in a rare flash of intelligence, hides behind the monkey exhibit and shouts "BOO!" as Drea wheels by causing the scientist to shit himself, the runny consistency of which makes Drea slide off his seat and onto a prop  guillotine exhibit, which decapitates him.

Back on the roof Groton, pulling his best sex face, is closing in on Judith but just as all seems lost who should turn up but Sgt. Martin and Clive Strange back from discovering the three bodies under the pier.

Strange spots Judith running across the roof and Martin, desperate to shoot someone, opens fire on Groton.

"Put it in me!"

Running to the roof to comfort Judith, Mark seems to have forgotten one tiny thing.

The title of the film.

For waiting in the shadows Dracula is plotting a terrible revenge on those who have thwarted his plans.

A revenge that will at some point involve him bitch slapping a potato-faced monster whilst Judith's breasts look on in terror....

"I fang you!"

Where to start when it comes to the late king of exploitation Al Adamson and his work?

Director, producer, actor and writer Adamson directed an impressive (in quantity if not quality) thirty movies between 1961 and 1983 before retiring from films and getting involved in real estate.

Tho' probably not beach-front piers with stone basements.

Back to his movies tho' and whilst Dracula vs. Frankenstein is nowhere near one of his better efforts it does have the most comically convoluted stories behind it's journey to the big screen.

Beginning production in 1968 as The Blood Seekers with much the same plot and cast Adamson was reported as being unhappy with the finished product, feeling it lack a certain something and consequently shelved the entire movie, putting all his efforts into the other seven (!) he had in production at the same time.

Jump forward a few years and Al's producer pal Sam Sherman, is panicking into a bottle of Rum.

It appears that he foolishly signed a contract to deliver a brand new full colour Frankenstein film to the drive-in theatre crowd and, after spending the cash on crisps and fizzy pop has only days in which to find one before he gets his legs broken.

In an attempt to cheer his pal up, Adamson took Sherman to the cinema where the pair found themselves watching Paul Naschy's debut film La Marca del Hombre Lobo (AKA The Mark of The Wolfman) alongside Holiday on The Buses.

It was at this point Sherman hatched a cunning plan.

He would buy the rights to the movie and change the title to The Something of Frankenstein therefore filling his obligation and make a few bob on the side.

Unfortunately tho' Holiday on The Buses was too expensive (Hammer wanted £18.60 for the worldwide rights) to purchase so instead he ended up with Naschy's movie which he quickly retitled Frankenstein's Bloody Terror (despite it not featuring Frankenstein) before releasing it onto an unsuspecting audience.

The plan worked and to celebrate Sherman took Adamson out for a baked potato and a pint of cider and it was during this meal, as Adamson looked down on the cheese melting across his lumpy spud that the director realised what was missing from the Blood Seekers footage.

A monster with a potato for a face.

With a cry of "Eureka!" Adamson jumped from his seat causing the man sitting behind to accidentally spray tomato sauce of his wife's heaving bosom.

Noticing the red liquid dripping seductively down her swan-like (if a little too hairy) neck the film making duo looked at each other before both shouting:


And thus a legend was born.

"Wahey Blakey! I'm spunking tenners!"

But who had the gravitas to play such an iconic roll?

And who was brave enough to bring the Count kicking and screaming into the 1970's?

Sherman wanted genre veteran John Carradine, thinking that the actor would bring a noble gravitas to a portrayal of an older, more desperate Dracula, out of time and thrust into the modern world for one last attempt at immortality.

But Adamson had other ideas, he wanted someone young and sexy but more importantly he wanted someone with a beard.

A beard fashioned from pubic hair.

With this in mind he called upon his stockbroker Robert 'pubey' Engel who accepted the part on the spot.

Funnel or tunnel?

Renamed Zandor Vorkov (a partial anagram of Talentless tosser), his voicebox replaced with that of a bass-heavy transistor radio slightly off-tuned to medium wave and his skin bleached with ammonia, Engel's was ready to begin shooting.

All that was left to do now was to find and purchase a really big potato and find someone willing to put it on their head.

This job fell to the massive, slack jawed 7 foot, 4 inch bulkily hulky John Bloom. Known as Johnny 'Horsecock' Bloom to his friends, the actor had already appeared in such greats as The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant and Up Your Alley before Adamson came a calling and he too had unique ideas as to how the infamous monster should be portrayed.

As a club-footed tramp obviously.

And how did it all turn out?

Well I would usually say see for yourselves but frankly I'm not that much of an unfeeling bastard.

If you have already seen it there are groups out there to help you adjust back into normal life life.

And if not?

Just memorize this review and kid on that you saw it.

It's for the best.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

it's raining men.

People say that I cover way too much horror and sleaze on this blog and not enough films featuring large white pants.

Well it's the new year so I thought I'd change all that.

And luckily in this age of comic adaptations it just happens to be one of those too, so hopefully this'll get some kids reading in a mistaken view that this is the one-stop shop for all things Marvel/DC related.


Otenki-oneesan (AKA Weather Woman 1996).
Dir: Tomoaki Hosoyama.
Cast: Kei Mizutani, Takashi Sumida, Yasuyo Shiroshima, Kunihiko Ida, Ren Osugi, Saori Taira.

Given the films title you may not be too shocked when I tell you that it is indeed the story of a female weather broadcaster, in this case it's stand in teevee weather girl Kieko Nakadai (she-ferret Kei Mizutani) who, during her first forecast, accidentally flashes her pants to the nation.
I often wished Carol Kirkwood would do the same.

You could house an entire refugee family quite comfortably in those.

Not too surprisingly ratings soar and Kieko becomes a media darling, not just in Japan but worldwide and instead of replacing regular weather girl Michiko (Teevee starlet Saori Taira) for one night, Keiko is given a permanent slot in which to flash her pants, forecast snow and the like to an adoring nation.

Why can't all films have plots this simple?

Or pant-centric?


Poor Michiko is relegated to hosting the hit reality TV show ‘Hentai-san, hajimemashite’ (Hello, Mr Pervert!).

Obviously angry and annoyed (tho' it's hard to tell from her acting plus I kept getting distracted by her shoulder pads) at losing the best job on teevee Michiko plots her revenge.

In between presenting stories about old men fondling strangers arses and guys in love with horses that is.

Just imagine This Morning but with smoother thighs.

Luckily for her the studio owners daughter, a French educated weather expert named Shimamori (Yasuyo Shiroshima, ultra-cute star of the fantastic BeeBop High School) also has plans to oust our heroine (who is in fact her old school rival) and, after humiliating Kieko during a live broadcast, takes over the weather slot hoping to be crowned national 'Weather Woman'.

Just. Too. Cute.

Deciding to fight back Kieko enlists the help of fellow employee and professional stalker Yamagushi (none trick pony Takashi Sumida) a creepy geek with a crush on Kieko.

Why? You may ask.

As in why does she need his help not as to why he fancies her obviously.

Well, it appears that Yamagushi owns the fabled 'Heavenly Whip' which, when used on Kieko, will grant her the power to control the worlds weather (no, I'm not making this up) enabling her to defeat Shimamori.

"Gordon's alive!"

After an extremely long (and slightly uncomfortable) scene of Kieko bound and whipped by her sweaty stalker she finally gains control over the elements and is reborn as the all powerful Weather Witch, heading over to the studio to battle Shimamori for the ultimate prize.....

Who will triumph?

And more importantly what will they be wearing?

Fair enough.

Director Tomoaki Hosoyama's first (and last) stab at mainstream success, after his 'Pinku' classic (and plea for sexual tolerance) Lesbian Colony (1987) certainly knows how to grab the audiences attention, opening the film, as he does, with Kei Mizutani masturbating furiously atop a building, which kinda gives it the edge over Suicide Squad in the comics to film stakes.

Never one to miss a trick he shows her at it again about twenty minutes in (tho' he does change the scenery by setting this saucy scene in the station toilets) and intercuts all this fiddling with an almost obscene amount of pantie flashing (I lost count after thirty), which I'll be the first to admit does detract from Kei Mizutani's nightmarish incisors and ghoulishly grotesque  pin-head.

Kirkwood, you would, I would. Twice.

What makes this movie truly bizarre tho' (as if the 'plot' wasn't enough) is that alongside the copious amounts of sexiness and fetish fantasies are serious commentaries on Japanese business culture and interpersonal relationships (no really) coupled with off the wall moments of untranslatable 'comedy' and satirical jibes at the state of television, making it slightly more schizophrenic than Norman Bates but better looking in a dress, obviously.

Comic lady.

Real lady.

Vibrant, colourful, vaguely amusing, slightly smutty yet never boring, Weather Woman is the perfect movie to entertain grannie with (or anyone with a thing for rat faced, grumpy women, uncle Jeff perhaps?) on those rainy afternoons and sits proudly at the top spot of the weather-based, underwear obsessed witchcraft movie genre.

Check the shoes.

It's just a pity that Tomoaki Hosoyama went and ruined it all with the totally unnecessary sex based (and shoulder showing) low in laughs sequel Weather Woman Returns but hey ho at least it's not New Female Teacher - Leotards of Temptation - now that is shite.

Don't worry the usual films about bad murders and the like will be back soon.

Friday, January 3, 2020


Happy 2020 all - well as a happy as a new year can be when the President of the United States is threatening war in the Middle East and Doctor Who is hemorrhaging fans quicker than a really quick thing.

Doctor Who yesterday....or is that tomorrow?

At least the Mark Gatiss/Steven Moffatt re-imagining of Dracula (you know the one with the cleaning product in it) has been pretty good so far.

And not just because of Molly Wells frankly fantastic turn as Agatha Van Helsing.

So in tribute let's start 2020 as we mean to go on, with a wee bit of the vampirism and a whole lot of the lesbianism.

Oh yeah and that woman out of The Champions naked save for a scuba mask.

Ladies and gentlemen I give you.....

The Blood Spattered Bride (AKA The Bloody Bride. 1972).
Dir: Vicente Aranda.
Cast: Simón Andreu, Maribel Martín, Alexandra Bastedo, Dean Selmier, Rosa Rodriguez, Montserrat Julio and Angel Lombarte.

"They'll come back. They cannot die!"

The lovely librarian-like Susan (La cera virgen star Martin) and her unnamed (onscreen) husband - who for the duration of this review we will call Bob (Andreu from Amando de Ossorio's classic Night of the Sorcerers which I really should review at some point) are speeding thru' the Spanish countryside en route to the honeymoon hotel after just getting married where they'll spend a few days holed up for some rumpy pumpy before heading to Bob’s family estate, a massive castle which he's not visited for many a year.

Which is always the way in these films.
Arriving at the hotel Bob tells Susan to head straight up to the room while he 'puts the car in the garage' - which isn't a euphemism I'm afraid - and Susan, being a wee bit wet, nods her head and does as she's told.

Ah it was a more innocent time.

And by innocent I mean slightly sexist obviously.

Hanging her clothes up in the wardrobe she's surprised when a man with a stocking on his head jumps out and after smothering her with her veil, tears off her clothes and begins to ravish her.

Which I must admit was fairly unexpected.

Suddenly Bob enters the room to Susan sitting on the bed in an undamaged dress, looking as though she's just farted and followed thru'.

“I don’t want to stay here, I don’t like this hotel.” She says.

Phew, it was all in her head.

As opposed to all in the wardrobe obviously.


Anyway 10 minutes in and we've had the first breast reveal - to prove this is an artsy vampire film obviously - so with that out of the way we can get on with the pesky plot as Bob packs up and takes Susan to his castle where she meets his - again nameless - servants/housekeepers (Lombarte from The Killer with a Thousand Eyes, and Horror Rises from the Tomb's Julio) as well as their 12-year-old daughter Carol (Rodriguez), who all take to her straight away.

Possibly because they were worried that being a castle owning rich bloke he was more interested in deflowering Carol than meeting someone his own age.

Just me then?

Fair enough.

This is probably really symbolic of something or other but I'm too thick to know. Sorry.

Retiring to the bedroom that evening Bob is surprised to find that Susan wants him to undress her (lazy cow) but when he happily obliges by tearing at her flimsy lace gown with his sweaty sausage fingers (tho' leaving her massive granny pants intact) she lies there in shock as visions of the  masturbatory hallucinatory fantasy she had in the hotel fill her mind.

Guilty pleasures or an ominous sense of things to come?

Who can say cos by this point Susan's slight mentalism is showing in other ways as she begins to see a beautiful, blonde girl in a lavender dress roaming the estate.

And she's sure she's seen this woman before.


Possibly the most erotically librarian based outfit I have seen for quite some time. That is all.

Bored and wandering the house to look for things to dust (as women do) Susan soon notices that every one of the family portraits adorning the walls of the castle are of men and inquisitively asks Carol the reason why.

Because it's easier to ask a small child about your husbands family history than your actual hubbie obviously.

As it turns out it's quite an interesting story - well more interesting than the main plot anyway - you see all the portraits of the ladies were stashed in the cellar by order of her husband’s granddad after he caught his wife having sex with the postman.

Which is fair enough I guess.

One portrait in particular intrigues Susan tho and that's the one of a blonde woman in a lavender dress, caressing an ornate dagger in one hand whilst wearing four massive inverted rings on the other.

It'd destroy you just thinking about a hand job.

The strangest thing about the painting tho' is the fact that the face has been cut out just like one of those novelty 'Kiss Me Quick' stand-ups you used to get at the seaside.

This it transpires is Bob's totally bonkers great aunt Mircalla Karstein who a century back, killed her husband on their wedding night as he attempted to do something very naughty to her.

Tho' they don't tell us what.

Anyway it was said that Mircalla was discovered the next morning sprawled across the bed with her nightie up around her neck next to her husband’s mutilated corpse in a deathly trance-like state but as it was a Sunday and the local doctor was out fishing the family decided to have bury her next to her hubbie to save time and any uncomfortable chat when she awoke.

And on that note Bob takes Susan to the tomb where she's buried in order to crack open the coffin and show her the bones.

What a romantic devil.

"Laugh now!"

And with that Susan's dreams about the mysterious blonde become much more vivid.

Like you're surprised?

From imagining Mircalla giving her the dagger from the painting to dreaming about touching Mircalla's breasts (well it is European), Susan becomes more and more distraught as the nightmarish visions continue and the situation isn't helped when she discovers the dagger under her pillow one morning.

As is the way everyone is quick to blame Carol who unfortunately doesn't get spanked with a slipper, instead she's tutted at and sent to her room whilst Bob goes off to bury the blade in the garden.

It's like a particularly drugged up episode of Neighbours if I'm honest.

But the dreams don't stop and the next night Susan imagines Mircalla leading her to the grandfather clock in the hall, opening it to reveal the dagger before taking Susan back to the bedroom  where the pair stab Bob to death with it before removing his heart.

And his pants.

"Put it in me!"

In order to prove that the dreams are nothing but the result of a fragile female imagination Bob takes Susan to the clock to prove it but is fairly surprised to see that the dagger is in fact inside and with this he storms of to see the family doctor (Selmier) for some advice.

After listening to Bob whiter on for hours the doctor decides that Susan is suffering from a malaise often found in recently deflowered women and prescribes bubble baths and snuggles before warning Bob that if the treatment doesn't work they will have to lock her up.

That's the 70s for you.

As Susan gets more and more grumpy, rejecting not only her husbands advances but also his offers of warm, milky tea leaving Bob no alternative but to head off to the local secluded beach for a tearful wank and a ham sandwich.

Oh and to rebury the dagger obviously.

And it's there that things begin to get really odd.

Or ludicrous, take your pick.

You see, as Bob finishes burying the blade (ooeerr) he notices not only the top of a snorkel protruding from the sand a few feet away from him but also a human hand.

Quickly heading over he starts to frantically dig away around the snorkel soon uncovering a buxom blonde (Bastedo, from The Champions), totally naked save for the diving mask and a set of huge poundshop rings which she wears palm side in on her left hand.

Thanking Bob for digging her up she introduces herself as Carmilla (only one name a bit like Shakira or Billie) and explains that she'd fallen asleep sunbathing after a wee bit of scuba-diving and must have been buried when the tide came in.

Totally accepting this explanation Bob offers the nude woman a lift to the castle where she can borrow some clothes and maybe get a bite to eat.

Sounds legit.

You're welcome.

Unable to remember anything but her own name, Susan and Bob have no choice but to look after Carmilla till she regains her memory - which she appears to be trying to get back by sleeping in a makeshift coffin all day then parading around the house after dark in low cut dresses whilst licking her lips everytime Susan walks by.

Which is fairly enjoyable to watch but probably not to live with.

As you can imagine all this bouncy breast activity has a bit of a negative effect  on Susan, who gradually falls under Carmilla's spell and begins to partake in late night trysts with the mysterious stranger in the woods much to Bob's chagrin.

Standing up for himself he insists that their new houseguest gets a job to help with the bills and Carmilla (surprisingly) agrees applying for - and getting - a post at the local school teaching biology to Carol and her classmates.

Especially the bits about blood.

Between teaching teens and teasing troubled tottie Carmilla feeds Susan’s barely suppressed hatred for her husband whilst feeding on Susan's blood late at night in the old church where Mircalla is buried.

It's all go isn't it?

Worried for his wife's sanity - and frustrated that Carmilla is getting more action than he is - he calls on the doctor (not that one) to investigate and after a few evenings following the pair around he comes across the pair in a saucy sapphic situation, curled up naked in a Habitat sofa coffin in the church.

The office Secret Santa got stranger every year.

With her lesbian lusts discovered Carmilla decides the time is right to rid herself of the meddling menfolk around her so that she can have Susan all to herself....

From Spanish arthouse auteur, director, screenwriter and producer Vicente Aranda comes this slow burning take on J. Sheridan Le Fanu's 1872 Gothic novella of Carmilla that owes more to Jean Rollin's Shiver of the Vampires (released the previous year) than it does Hammer's kinky Karnstein trilogy.

Which is kinda disappointing but heyho.

I mean The Vampire Lovers has Madeline Smith in it so wins just for that fact alone. 

But whereas Rollin rebelled against such outdated notions as coherent plotting, casting actual actors  and Hammer concentrated solely on Ingrid Pitts admittedly stunning cleavage, Aranda - due in part to the draconian censorship laws regarding nudity on film during the Franco era - seems more interested in exploring Catholic guilt and sexual repression mixed in with a wee bit of social commentary regarding the treatment of women in 70s Spain.

Which is a worthy cause if not a wholly satisfying one when the poster promises blood, boobs and that woman from The Champions seducing a petite brunette.

Plus it's pretty difficult to criticize something when you're bound by its rules.

And even he admitted that the countries censorship issues  caused problems for him, especially when shooting Carmilla's demise.

But at least he tried, his earlier works Fata Morgana and The Exquisite Cadaver go someway to proving that.

"I can see your house from here Peter".

Luckily he has a cast that can carry the movie - even at it's most bizarre/ludicrous - delete as applicable - moments, from Maribel Martín's neurotically nervous young bride to Simón Andreu's condescendingly creepy hubby, every member of the films small cast gives it their all but most surprising of all is Alexandra Bastedo's seriously underplayed Carmilla.

For those of us used to the voluptuous vamps of Hammer or the council estate, dirt footed Rollin rascals Bastedo is a revelation, coldly calculating with a performance that is perfectly pitched 'tween boredom and bonkers.

Definitely leaning more toward classy vamp than saucy tramp she even manages to look otherworldly and aloof when clad only in a pair of goggles and buried in a kids sandpit.

I see your dad's taking the divorce well.

Go in expecting a feast of blood soaked girl on girl titillation and you'll be heartily disappointed but if you switch off your sleaze-radar and settle back for something a wee bit more refined you'll discover a wee gem of a movie that whilst nowhere near as great as Daughters of Darkness is an entertaining enough way to spend an evening.

Bizarrely enough tho' if you take this, The Vampire Lovers and Shiver of The Vampire and stick them in a blender you'd probably get the perfect Carmilla adaptation.

Maybe one day.