Tuesday, March 31, 2020

never ending story.

In order to break the monotony of the Coronavirus lockdown the Twin Things decided to  rewatch the frankly fantastic George Pal version of War of The Worlds* t'other day which they swiftly followed up with another viewing of the great mans take on The Time Machine which inadvertently re-awakened Twin 2's Rod Taylor crush.

"And this is all you could get from the shops?"

Hence we spent last night watching this.

World Without End (1956).
Dir: Edward Bernds.
Cast: Nelson Leigh, Christopher Dark, Rod Taylor, Hugh Marlowe, Everett Glass, Shirley Patterson, Lisa Montell, William Vedder, Nancy Gates, Booth Colman and Mickey Simpson.

Our women seem to have lagged behind in their evolution into reasonable creatures. They actually admire these reckless and brutal men.

It's March 1957 (probably a Tuesday) and top space science types Dr. Eldon Galbraithe (The Adventures of Sir Galahad star Leigh), bequiffed navigator Henry Jaffe (Dark who was once in The Time Tunnel), radio operator and all round sexyman Herbert Ellis (Taylor, our reason for watching) alongside team leader and professional action hero John Borden (The Day The Earth Stood Still and Earth Vs The Flying Saucers star Marlowe) are returning to Earth after a successful reconnaissance trip to Mars.

Bloody hell you couldn't move for spaceships parked around the red planet in the 50s could you?

What appears to be a routine flight full of fun and banter turns scary when the rocket suddenly accelerates to an incredible speed, rendering the crew unconscious and sending their ship hurtling - well wobbling - thru' space before crashing on a snow-covered mountain.

Coming to and deciding to make the best of the situation the gang go for a walk down the mountain and soon coming across some ancient gravestones leaving Galbraithe to surmise that the rocket was subjected to a wee bit of 'time dilation' (isn't that the way?) and that they're now stranded on a future Earth, the heightened radiation that the ship has registered outside being from a devastating atomic war that occurred at some point in the past.

Which seems legit.

This news is taken particularly hard by Jaffe tho', as he soon realizes that his wife and children must be dead.

Well either dead or they moved to Birmingham.

"Does my skin look buttery?"

Deciding that Jaffe needs something to take his mind of his families demise the rest of the team send him off to explore a nearby cave, hinting that it may be full of Leprechaun treasure and with that he merrily jogs along to take a look, unfortunately it's not full of treasure but is, in fact, chock full of giant rubber spiders intent on scoffing poor Jaffe.

Well I say chock full but I mean there are two of them.

Or maybe just one and it's edited to look like two.

Either way it looks utter shite, meaning there's more chance of Jaffe dying of embarrassment than getting bit.

Anyway before it can get too exciting Ellis fires his load(ed gun) into the beasts eyes and the group run away only to be almost immediately attacked by one eyed, furry nappy wearing mutant survivors of the war - or 'Mutates' as they call them.

It never rains.

"Hello we're from Cradley Heath!"

Seeking shelter in another (less cobwebby) cave our hunky bunch are surprised (there's a fair bit of that in this movie) when a gleaming, totally not incongruous, metal door slides open revealing the entrance to an underground city populated by the - non mutated - descendants of those who survived the atomic war.

Descendants who are now spending their days clad in shower caps, ballet tights and massive gold chains in an attempt to look all clever and utopian.

In charge of this motley crew is the thin legged Bob Timmek (Invasion Of The Body Snatcher's Glass who spends the whole movie looking fairly embarrassed at the tightness of his - well - tights as they not only reveal what side he dresses to but also what he had for lunch, poor sod), who is aided and abetted by the oh-so slightly fey James (Pearl Jam's Vedder - thankfully uncredited) and the harsh faced Tober Mories (father of Doctor Who stars Olivia and  Jenna as well as TV Planet of The Apes monkey, Coleman) who, feeling threatened by the sheer amount of manliness on show decides to plot against our time-traveling team.

Well that and the fact that his betrothed, Timmek's daughter, the mini-skirted minx Garnet (cheeky chinned TV stalwart Gates) has the hots for Borden.

John that is not Stan.

Oh hang on that's Boardman isn't it?


Beware this room is not full of candy.


You see, it seems that life underground has caused the men to become less virile and manly whilst in contrast, the women have all de-evolved to look like 50s starlets complete with incredibly pointed bras and tiny shiny skirts and they appear to be constantly gagging for it with a couple of them - the council estate Rita Hayworth Elain (Patterson) and serving girl Deena (Montell, be still my beating heart), both fighting for the attentions of Ellis who at this point is topless for some reason.

Anyway, our heroes decide that the only way humanity will survive (apart from them having sex with all the ladies which may be a wee bit tiring - especially for Galbraithe) is if everyone heads to the surface, kills the 'mutates' and soak up some vitamin C so to this end they attempt to persuade the underground community to arm themselves and help them to reclaim the surface.

But alas they can't be arsed.

Tunnel or funnel?

From that point in the film descends into chatsville - via discussion town - intercut with scenes of Garnet gazing lustfully at Borden whilst begging him to make love to her in the rugged style of the men in her old romance novels.

Which is nice.

"Hey honey....you fancy a wee bit o' mooth shite-in?"

Tired of all this testosterone fueled tomfoolery, Mories hatches a plan to discredit the time travelers by stealing their weapons from James' bedroom and planting them in their quarters.

How fiendish.

Unfortunately as he's grabbing the guns James appears from the bathroom and has no sooner pulled up his tights as Mories beats him to death.


He then sneaks into our heroes room and hides the guns in Borden's sock drawer.

Framing the foursome for the foul murder of poor James, Timmek has no choice but to have them expelled but luckily - for them - Deena was in their room having a wee fiddle whilst sniffing Ellis' underwear and swa the whole thing.

Much shoving and pushing ensues as Mories flees to the surface only to be bummed to death by mutants.


With Mories out of the picture, Timmek decides to throw away his pacifist ideals and help our heroes manufacture a bazooka with which to kill the mutates but Deena - having been rescued from the outside as a child - informs everyone that the mutates are actually quite small in number and that they used (non-mutated) slaves to do all the heavy work for them.

With this knowledge Borden offers to fight their chief, the hairy back and arsed Naga (yellow skinned cartoon star Simpson) in single combat for leadership of the group and the lives of the slaves.

Obviously they blow some shit up first just to show they mean business.

Will Borden beat Naga or will evil triumph over good old fashioned American strength?

Will our heroes return to the past or choose to build a new world surrounded by dozens of adoring ladies?

Go on, guess.

Lisa Montell: Foil wrapped for freshness.

With a plot so good it was later ripped off for The Mole People (which like this owes a huge debt to The Time Machine), World Without End was originally envisaged as a cheap way to make some extra cash for filmmakers Allied Artists by reusing footage, sets and costumes from their earlier movie Flight to Mars and because of this World Without End balances uncomfortably 'tween being a silver age SciFi classic and cheap seat-filler - for every highbrow question on humanities quest for survival and pacifism vs aggression there's a rubber arachnid or boss-eyed beast in a furry nappy waiting around the corner.

Luckily it's saved from obscurity - and dragged from the gutter by not only its fantastic cast - especially Hugh Marlowe, Lisa Montell and Rod Taylor - but also by the frankly bizarre mix of folk who worked behind the scenes, including the legendary Sam Peckinpah (who worked as its dialgoue director) and strangest of all, probably the worlds most famous/greatest pin-up artist Alberto Vargas as concept/costume artist.

Which explains a lot if I'm honest.

Especially that tingly feeling I got whenever any of the space ladies turn up onscreen.

Vargas: Sauce pot.

And let's not forget director Edward Bernds who, although not the greatest director who ever lived makes sure the film is never dull - which frankly is a godsend after watching some of it's contemporaries.

Yes I'm looking at you The Mole People.


With a career that spans everything from directing The Three Stooges to writing the Elvis movie masterpiece Tickle Me via The Queen of Outer Space and nearly (accidentally) winning an Oscar Bernds makes sure that the film never gets too talky and throws enough action, sexy ladies and silly hats at the screen to make it an enjoyable if fairly forgettable filmic experience.

Go on, you know you want to.

If only for Lisa Montel's midriff. 

*Much as they love it they've both pointed out how far fetched the idea of a technically advance civilization being brought down by a virus is.....it's just silly.

Monday, March 30, 2020

planet suitcase.

A collection of hi-fi sci-fi sounds for high flying space cadets.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

yor blimey!

Going all post-Coronavirus crisis today with a quick glimpse at what the world may look like come Christmas.

Except for readers in the West Midlands obviously as this is exactly what it's like right now.

Shittest band name ever.

Yor - The Hunter Of The Future (AKA Yor, The World of Yor, 1983)
Dir: Antonio Margheriti (As Anthony M. Dawson).
Cast: Reb Brown, Corinne Clery, Luciano Pigozzi, Carole André, John Steiner, Marina Rocchi, Sergio Nicolai Ayshe Gul and the legendary Aytekin Akkaya.

Kalaa: Why is Yor different from other men?

In a post-apocalyptic world where dinosaurs rule and bit part Italian actors roam the woods behind the local primary school clad in nothing but flea bitten loincloths comes the mighty warrior Yor (ex pro-footballer, Captain America and deputy sheriff Brown) - oiled, toned and muscled yet with the running prowess of a small girl.

He looks good in furry pants tho'.

Somewhere in the bushes Kalaa and Pag (ex Bond babe Clery and the tramp like Pigozzi) are busy hunting a vaguely embarrassed piglet with wooden horns stuck to its head.

Kinda like a normal day in hunting for loo roll in the supermarket at the moment really.

Except for the bit where a giant Cardboardasaurus crashes thru' the trees and tries to bite them that is.

Kalaa is frozen with fear and Pag can only scream and wobble his manbreasts as the beast lurches towards them.

Luckily Yor - on the way back from stocking up on bread and multipacks of pasta - comes bounding to the rescue, beating the dinosaur around the head with a big stone axe till it falls over.


"Yor going home in a St. Johns ambulance!"

As a way of saying thank you - and desperate for company after years of self-isolation - the dull duo invite Yor back to their village for a big party and not having anything else planned he accepts.

Enjoying an evening of mead and bacon (and with the chance of a shag from Kalaa who appears to be the only non-bearded woman there) Yor is understandably upset when a gang of face painted ape men gatecrash the party and set fire to the village hall before tossing Yor off a nearby cliff and kidnapping Kalaa.

The Little Mix tribute band
was a wee bit disappointing.

In a bit of useful exposition it turns out that there are no ape women in the invaders tribe so every couple of weeks the scruffy monkey men attack the friendly village looking for posh totty to use as 'love slaves'.

As I said, exactly like the West Midlands.

Yor (who has climbed all the way back up the cliff) is adamant that if anyone is going to have their wicked way with Kalaa it's going to be him and to this end heads off towards the ape lair with Pag in tow.

Obviously he's hoping that if the worst comes to the worst Yor might at least be tempted by a wee suckle on his massive man tits.

I know I'd given it some serious thought.

Deciding to spend the night in the relative safety of a tree the duo are rudely awakened the next morning by a strange grunting noise coming from a nearby bush which the pair decide to investigate.

Popping their heads thru' a tired looking conifer the dynamic duo are met by the - somewhat arousing - sight of dozens of bikini clad ladies being oogled by the noisy band of cheeky (not to mention horny) monkeys.

"Laugh now!"

If that wasn't enough the evil leader of the apes, notorious decorative gardener and general bad boy Jeff Ukraan, is rubbing his hairy palms together and licking his lips whilst advancing on a cornered Kalaa.

There's only one course of action open to our hero - obviously - so after randomly killing a nearby giant bat then using the animals carcass to glide into the ape den Yor quickly releases Kalaa before smashing a nearby dike and flooding the camp.

Please note that he makes no attempt to rescue the other captives who obviously are either drowned or left to spend the rest of their lives having every one of their orifices violated by bananas.

What a guy.

Leaving the scene of carnage behind them Yor explains that he is trying to discover 'the secrets of his past' (and find out why all the other men look like lank haired bearded pikeys whilst he's tanned and blond) so must brave the dangerous desert to find the answers.

Kalaa decides to tag along (well, it's either that or sit on her own waiting for the dirty monkeys to turn up) and before long the stumble across a tribe sacrificing a nubile, pointy headed blonde on a bonfire.

Yor kills them all (it's kinda his M.O.) and rescues the lady who introduces herself as Roa (Gul), owner of a pound shop pendant not dissimilar to Yor's.

The main character, not yours obviously.

Unless you actually own one when it may well do.

Obviously not being able to see you I can't say.*

"Do the monkey with me!"

Kala, unhappy with another female joining the group decides to kill her love rival but her plan is interrupted when a rather wet Ukraan turns up looking for revenge.

A fight ensues (again) but Roa is struck down - tho' not with gout - before Yor can save her.

Which is good news for Kalaa.

"Hullo I'm superfluous, come sleep in mah bed".

Our terrific trio tut and shrug shoulders before continuing their journey into the desert and before long come across some folk being attacked by what looks like a large chicken with an umbrella stuck to its back.

Not having been involved in a fight for around ten minutes Yor kills the beast and gets invited to another party where yet another bikini clad lady fawns over him and wiggles her ample hips.

Understandably Kalaa is fairly pissed off at the fact that every woman on the planet wants a piece of Yor's prime ass but before she can attempt to kill this one the tribal chief arrives with information about Yor's origins.

It seems that every so often blond 'gods' wearing big medallions come to visit the villagers in flying boxes from a mysterious island hidden by a spooky dark fog.

Yor is convinced that the island holds the key to his identity so he steals a fishing boat to continue his quest, leaving the friendly visitors to be wiped out by the aforementioned flying boxes.

"Thanks for the pearl necklace!"  "Yor welcome!"

With Pag and Kalaa as his loyal crew, Yor quickly makes his way to the island only to lose control of the boat when a violent storm whips up from nowhere.

Yor is tossed overboard and washed up on a beach where he is almost immediately zapped by a guy in a leather jumpsuit and a gimp mask.


Don't fret tho', Kalaa and Pag are safe too.

They've been cast ashore further up the beach where they're accosted by a small group of cave dwelling tramps.

Put it in me!

Yor meanwhile has been grabbed by the Overlord (sounds painful) as is looking on in mild apathy as the movies plot is explained to him.

It turns out that the film is set on a future Earth (never) devastated by nuclear war where the majority of survivors have regressed to little more than savages.

A small group of scientists however tried to hold back the oncoming violent times by using space age technology and appointing an absolute leader (the aforementioned Overlord - the plywood like Steiner) who  - and with a name like that you can't be too surprised - built an army of gimp suited androids and kick out anyone who disagreed with him.

Yor's parents were among those yellow bellied cowards that ran away, preferring to take their chances with the papier mache dinosaurs on the mainland, which was a bad idea seeing as they were almost instantly eaten leaving our hero an orphan.

Before they died however they gave baby Yor a present, the big gold medallion he wears which in reality is a high tech recording device.

What for I don't know, why they never left him a note of how to work it.

Laughing (looking and possibly smelling) like an off season seaside town crossdresser on crack, Overlord announces that he has plans for Yor.....

"Juliet Bravo!"

Kalaa and Pag meanwhile are swapping niceties with the resistance movement who have told then much the same story, but adding the (fairly important) bit about Overlord planning to kill everyone else on the planet within the next hour or so.

They decide to attack Overlord's complex.

Whilst all this is going on. Overlord and his foxy assistant Ena (André) have strapped Yor to a dining table and started flashing really hot disco lights at him in an attempt to steal his DNA which, when mixed with Kalaa's will become the genetic building blocks for Overlords new android army.

Just as it appears that Yor can't possibly sweat any more the stinky tramps burst in and free our hero as a battle of epic proportions ensues.

Well I say epic.

"Are you looking at my bra?"

One particularly stinking tramp manages to reach Overlords control centre and de-active his leathery android hordes whilst Yor plants a bomb inside the bases nuclear reactor.

With only minutes to spare before detonation Yor stabs overlord with a huge barbers poll and hounds the heroic rebel band into a conveniently parked spaceship, escaping the island with seconds to spare as it explodes no doubt showering a still recovering planet and population in all manner of dangerous radiation.

As our merry band fly off to an uncertain future, spooky voice over guy tells us of how Yor will "use his new found knowledge of mankind's past to protect the future".

Which is nice.

"Yor the one that I want".

Originally made as a three hour SciFi epic for Italian Teevee, Antonio (I got to say I directed Andy Warhol's Dracula and Frankenstein but only for tax purposes) Margheriti’s fantasy classic is better known to fans of the fantastic in it's truncated movie form.

Luckily for connoisseurs of cinematic sewage even after losing almost two hours of it's original running time the films sheer awfulness shines thru'.

From it's ludicrous premise by way of the abysmal acting via trite dialogue, a distinct lack of a workable script and overall general shoddiness it's still top quality entertainment.

For proof look - and listen - no further  than Maurizio and Guido De Angelis's reused score - you may remember it from such blockbusters as 2019: After the Fall of New York, Raiders of Atlantis and Lightblast, the clever use of costumes left over from that other Corinne Clery SciFi masterwork The Humanoid - tho' it's more likely that she came free with the suits - plus not forgetting the star turn by the ultimate forgotten macho man that is Mr. Reb Brown.

Brown: Tight, athletic buttocks.

From his early work alongside soon to be Starbuck Dirk Benedict in the 1973 shocker Ssssss to his appearances as Captain America in two ill advised 1979 Teevee movies you can always count on Brown's frankly terrifyingly muscled arse to take your attentions away from any mistakes on screen.

And here he's ably (and amply) supported by Euro art/sleaze star Corinne Clery doing her best as the vacant eyed bubble permed heroine with the hots for Yor and Italian 'B' stalwart (and owner of the droopiest man breasts ever) Luciano Pigozzi (star of such top quality hits as Alien from the Deep and Double Target) who brings a Wilfrid Bramble like quality (and smell probably) to his role as cuddly uncle Pag.

Funnier than Margheriti's Cannibal Apocalypse - and with better special effects - plus a fluid style of its own that features nods to the 60's Batman series with it's high angle camera work, good old over choreographed 'slow fighting' Yor has an endearing kind of thrift shop feel that makes it a pain free enjoyable 90 minutes of cheesy entertainment if nothing else.

True it makes absolutely no sense at all but at least it's not too painful to watch.

Especially if like me you enjoy tight buttocks.

As a strange but true aside I'd just like to add that about eighteen years ago I came across a Dutch version of Yor in a local charity shop for a pound and eagerly snatched it up.

What can I say? I liked the cover illustration.

Rushing home to see how it held up dubbed I was surprised to find that someone had recorded over the last ten minutes with what looked like home video footage of a deserted public pool where a scantily clad, blindfolded woman sat strapped into a chair.

After viewing this strange (yet somewhat disturbing) scene for a few minutes a man appeared from stage left wearing nothing but a clown mask and holding a kitchen knife.

I'll be honest and say I didn't notice the knife to begin with because I was way to frightened by his massive, erect circumcised penis. 

I watch in horror (and mild jealousy) as he then proceeded to pinch the woman's nipples and play with her hair for a few minutes before moving slowly and menacingly toward her.

Then the screen cut to static.

I've always wondered if someone had accidentally recorded one of their home sex tapes at the end or if I'd stumbled across a scary snuff film, the killer desperate to recover the tape before his identity could be found.....

If you know (or are the person) that made this then feel free to get in touch.

Unless you are a mad mentalist murder obviously.

And if you are the mad murderer featured can I just point out that the VHS in question is now in the hands of Mr DissolvedPaul in Canada so hunt him down not me.


*Actually that whole joke only works if you say it out loud. Sorry.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

you ain't seen me, right?

After Trump's quote about the Coronavirus being 'an invisible enemy' I reckoned this was appropriate.

Tho' to be honest at this point I've kinda stopped caring.

Invisible Invaders (1959).
Dir: Edward L. Cahn.
Cast: John Agar, Jean Byron, Philip Tonge, Robert Hutton, John Carradine, Hal Torey Paul Langton, Eden Hartford, Don Kennedy and Chuck Niles.

Dear Lord, I pray that I am insane, that all that happened is only in my mind. I pray that tomorrow the sun will shine again on living things, not on a world where only the dead walk the Earth.

Welcome to the awfully atomic-obsessed 1950s where we join eminent science type Dr. Karol Noymann* (Carradine, covered in talc and wearing a tramps suit) just as he's killed in a huge explosion whilst trying to weaponise his farts to use against 'the Red Menace'.


But the sudden death of this well respected and much-loved member of the science establishment shakes this close knit community to the core and prompts  his college Dr. Adam Penner (Tonge, father of Pete) to resign his position as chief weapons type bloke and call for changes to the governments atomic remit, hoping that the power will be used for good instead.

Obviously the military tell him to fuck off which he does, heading back home to ponder the fate of humanity whilst his scarily long-armed daughter Phyllis (TV stalwart Byron -  best known as Natalie Lane in The Patty Duke Show) gazes at him worriedly whilst making coffee.

The 2020 Corona epidemic in a nutshell.

Things soon take a change for the weird tho' when just after Noymann's funeral, an invisible alien takes over his dead body and - after digging its way out of the ground obviously -  visits Dr. Penner at home to inform him that humanity must surrender all its atomic weapons and prepare to be ruled by his fellow aliens, failure to comply will be met by an invading force that will possess the bodies of the dead, set fire to all the community centres, stockpile all the bog roll in Morrison's and kick the bins over.

As if to demonstrate their unearthly powers the alien makes what look like a jacketed spud wrapped in tinfoil appear from nowhere before vanishing into the night.

Obviously unnerved by this strange turn of events Penner nervously tells his daughter what happened before asking the eminent mustache expert Dr. John Lamont (balsa wood like B movie star Hutton, best known - God help him - for Torture Garden) to relay the alien's message to the US government.

It wont come as too much of a surprise when I say that the government ignores the warning whilst the fake news media accuse Penner of spreading some kind of anti-alien project fear.

Undeterred by this reaction Penner persuades Phyllis and Lamont to accompany him to Noymann's grave that very night in the hope of catching one of the aliens wandering about and bizarrely enough this actually works - the alien then helpfully explains everything again before shuffling off into the night.

Cue much stock footage of car and plane crashes as the aliens re-animated a variety of dead folk in order to infiltrate a couple of hockey games in order to announce their invasion plans to the world.

Oh and to also announce that they've just blown up Russia and Denmark.

Which is a unique way of doing it if nothing else.

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

With every major sporting event interrupted by the undead threatening violence,  the governments of the world have no choice but to listen and as these evil aliens possess more and more dead bodies and begin to blow up even more random stuff - depending on what disaster footage comes to hand - Drs Penner and Lamont alongside the ever more worried Phyllis are whisked away to a top secret bunker by the heroically handsome Major Jay 'Kay' (Agar from The Mole People) in order to find a way to stop the invasion.

Cue 30 minutes of sweaty lipped science based shenanigans alongside an ill-conceived love triangle 'tween Phyllis, the hunky Jay and cowardly Lamont as our heroes race against time - and acceptable skirt lengths - to find something to counter the alien attack with that doesn't involve a drunken - and naked - game of ping-pong.

The amount of fucks I give about this film.

Whilst in contact with Washington DC - in the form of Grouch Marx ex-missis Eden Hartford in a way too tight air force uniform and the stoic Lt. Gen. Stone (slick-haired Langton from Peyton Place) - Penner deduces that the aliens are highly radioactive and can be tracked using a Geiger counter but still has no idea how to capture one before it can jump out of the dead body it possesses.

Jay suggests that he could lie in wait till the corpse trundles by and furiously masturbate over it, causing the alien to become trapped by the quick drying semen but Phyllis - wanting to keep all that joy juice for herself - has another idea so to this end the fantastic foursome fashion a fast-setting paint gun from a fire extinguisher an old bicycle pump.

But who will test this devastating piece of technology?

Not Lamont that's for sure as he's too busy hiding behind a cupboard whilst lustfully gazing at Phyllis and Penner is way too old to be of any use to anyone which leaves  Major Jay the unenviable task so, suited up in his best bee keepers outfit he heads outside in order to capture one of the invaders.

As in one of the invisible aliens, not an episode of the Quinn Martin/Larry Cohen TV show.**

Hiding behind a convenient rock Jay waits patiently till an alien possessed cadaver stumbles by before jumping out with a "Gotcha!" and firing the sticky liquid all over the startled spaceman.

Unfortunately he's not quick enough and the alien gives him a swift kick to the nads before wandering off leaving Jay battered but ready to fight on.

"Fiona! I'm from Dudley!"

Back at the bunker and with an ice pack clutched to his privates, Jay soon realises that rather than chasing the aliens about in the hope of bagging one, the easiest and quickest way to capture one of the creatures is to dig a big hole, fill it with the acrylic liquid and hope it just falls in.


With the film lurching quickly toward it's climax this plan goes off without a hitch and soon our merry band have the alien confined to a handy pressure chamber ready to break it free from the rock solid acrylic in the hope of finding a weakness.

Alas nothing seems to work which frustrates an already edgy Dr. Lamont to a point where he breaks down in tears and tries to convince everyone to surrender to the alien oppressors but Jay in a rage filled Korean flashback slaps the sniveling scientist causing him to fall clumsily onto the bases radio set,  inadvertently damaging it to a point where the alarms go off.

It's at this point that they notice that the alien is rolling around on the floor clutching its ears and screaming.

No really.

"You'll never get your hands on me lucky charms!"

And with this new - and frankly unbelievable - information the gang frantically start to build a deadly sound gun in order to stop the invaders.

But the underground bunker has been discovered and an army of the undead are determined to break in....

Will Penner, Lamont, Phyllis and Jay complete the weapon in time?

Will Lamont start crying again?

Will we be subjected to any more real-life crash footage that although exciting at the time makes you feel a wee bit guilty when thinking about it later?

And will Eden Hartford ever face the camera?

From the pipe smoking former editor at large cum b-movie maestro Edward L Cahn comes this lo-fi sci-fi shocker that mixes the directors love of pulp science fiction thrills and undead menace - scarily 'tween 1955 and 1959 Cahn made  nine of these scifi shlockers - with a smidgen of atomic age action in a sweaty cauldron of cliched dialogue and ham acting that is as brainless as it is (fairly) entertaining.

Plus at 67 minutes it definitely doesn't outstay its welcome.

Unlike your Auntie Jean over Christmas.

Just because - Eden Hartford.

With its tiny cast of ne'er where's and almost rans, special effects that you'd be hard pushed to call effects let alone special and stoic sub-Plan 9 voice-over - that explains in painful detail almost everything occurring onscreen even as we see it - Invisible Invaders is at once an oddly charming yet instantly forgettable mash-up of the aforementioned Ed Wood classic and Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still as performed by a Methylphenidate soaked junior school drama class for an audience of gin-sodden scarecrows during a particularly offbeat care in the community awareness session that slowly drips into your very being with all the calming effects of a Pentobarbital shot to the eyes.

Seriously by the end of it I not only felt strangely calm and at peace but couldn't stand up and had shit myself.

Tho' that may just be my age.

God bless? - If there's any proof needed that he doesn't exist it's this movie.

Tho' as a plus point it's the only film I've ever seen where dialogue like this:

Phyllis: You killed a man in cold blood this morning, I keep seeing his face.

Jay: So do I, I fought all the way through Korea, probably killed a lot of men... but I never saw their faces. Dropping a bomb from a plane isn't quite so personal.

Penner: Can I make you some coffee?

is actually delivered convincingly.

Which probably says more about me than the movie.

And at the end of the day we can honestly say to all involved:***

Unlike Rian Johnson.

*Or as the end credits actually list him "Carl Noymann" no idea if it's a continuity mistake or twins.

**Because it wasn't broadcast till 1967.

***Not really seeing as they're all dead but you know what I mean.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

get to truck.

Just had a request to review this online which means that the whole Coronavirus thing has gotten so bad that people have started to actually read my blog.

I'll let that sink in for a minute.

Originally posted in tribute to Mr Airwolf himself - Jan-Michael Vincent - when he died (and in no way an attempt to rustle up some new readers) it seems from the blog stats that no fucker bothered to read it at the time so here we go again.

Damnation Alley (1977)
Dir: Jack Smight.
Cast:  Jan-Michael Vincent, George Peppard, Dominique Sanda, Paul Winfield, Kip Niven and Jackie Earle Haley.

"Bomb or no bomb, the lights never go out in Vegas!"

Welcome to the US Airforce's best kept secret, an ICBM base cunningly disguised as a collection of garden sheds some place in the sunny Mojave Desert where mustachioed military Major Eugene Denton (pity poor Peppard having to slum it to pay his wife's alimony) and his rebellious rookie sidekick Dan 'Elsie' Tanner (grizzled Airwolf star Michael Vincent) spend their days marching up and down corridors and looking intently at a series of randomly flashing lights whilst wearing fancy white cravats and Kwik-Fit overalls.

Paul and Barry Chuckle: The Nuremberg Years.

It's not all hard work tho' as they do get to occasionally hang out with Kev Keegan (Star Trek II's Winfield), the bases security chief cum artist whose obsession with painting Denton's wife (or is it Denton?) naked borders on the obscene.

But just when you think the movies going to take a turn into paint covered multiracial tit wanking territory Russia decides to start World War III and nuke America.


Not wanting to spoil the habit of a lifetime when it comes to world wars our Yankee cousins wait a little bit (well until Albuquerque has been nuked) before joining in the fight and it's not long before the Earth dies screaming in a searing haze of disco lights, atomic test film and stock footage from The Guns of Navarone, all played out to an eerie electronic proto-jazz score courtesy of Jerry Goldsmith.

On crack.

Cue your friendly neighbourhood title cars to explain that as well as mutating scorpions and turning the sky into a giant laser light show, the combined nuclear explosions have also tilted the Earth off its axis.

Which is nice.

Luckily for the plot our heroes base is safe, enabling the few bold survivors to carry on doing all that military stuff for no apparent reason other than an almost psychotic obsession with finally making all the lights on the control panels flash in unison.

Except that is for Denton who spends his time tinkering away in the garage, assisted by the only slightly moustached Lt. KT Perry (teevee stalwart Niven) and the by now air force drop-outs Keegan, who's taken to shoddily painting tropical landscapes on the outside of his shed and Tanner who fills his day by wildly driving around the desert annoying the local giant scorpions.

It's a living I guess.

If not very exciting to watch.

"Fuck me! It's Fred Titmuss!"

It's a good job then that one of the airman, enjoying a post wank fag accidentally sets light to a jazz-mag which just happens to be resting against a pipe that says  "WARNING:FLAMMABLE GAS" in big letters down the side.

Massive explosions and more stock footage ensues leaving only our feebly fleshed out foursome standing.

Or in Jan Michael Vincent's case leaning drunkenly against a wall.

But fear ye not, for Denton and Perry have been building two pimped to fuck silver (I.E. futuristic) highly armed transit vans, christened Landmasters with the intention of driving to Albany where Denton is sure a group of survivors live.

This is probably more likely than it seems, I've been to Albany and I can assure you it's not even worth shitting on let alone wasting an atomic bomb on, even the birds fly past upside down.

So our heroes, like a gaggle of sci-fi pikeys set out across the radioactive desert in the vain hope of finding the last remnants of humanity.

Or at the very least a field to park in.

"Wanna buy some pegs Dave?"

Almost immediately (it's as if the director is scared we'll get bored if there are more than five minutes of dialogue on screen between the action) our motley band drive headlong into a terrifying tornado-style storm.


Tanner, being a wee bit of a rebel decides to carry on regardless whilst the more by the book Perry pulls over to the side of the desert to consult the Landmaster manual.

This turns out to be a fairly bad decision as poor Perry has only gotten as far as how to set the dashboard clock before the storm has picked up the Landmaster and deposited it upside down halfway up a hill.

And unfortunately on Perry's head.

As a plus point this does mean that for the first time in cinematic history it's not the token black guy that died first.

Tho' an actor of Paul Winfield's caliber was probably hoping to get out sooner rather than later.

"You mean this van isn't full of sweets?"

There's no time for tears tho' as the next stop is fabulous Las Vegas, where quite surprisingly (and to Hunter S Thompson's utter joy I imagine) the Circus Circus is still all lit up and pumping Tom Jones thru' the tannoy system.

I would expect nothing less from the hotel I got married from.

Keegan and Tanner, relieved at finally getting some fresh air after days of wallowing in each others farts (and trust Me Jan Michael Vincent's taste of egg) race thru' the casino with gay abandon pausing only to chance their luck on the puggy machines whilst dashing Denton stand atop the stairs, hands on hips and with a clearly visible erection, gazing down on his boys with all the decorum of former Labour MP Lord Janner at an orphanage.

  dans les cuisses de grenouilles mah bouche gourmands!

Suddenly as if from nowhere a curtain wearing, long of face yet smooth of thighed French woman appears and introduces herself as club singer cum exotic bird (and last non mouldy woman in Vegas) Ms. Janice (Sanda from, um some French stuff).

Which is a bit of a shock for our heroes as they were expecting Cher.

Or at the very least Lance Burton.

She soon explains that she managed to survive the war because she was giving the manager a private performance in his handy fallout shelter when the bombs went off.

Typical fucking blonde.

Being real gentlemen our tricky trio offer to take Janice all the way (to Albany, not up the arse obviously) but first have to stop in Salt Lake City to get some petrol.

Oh and crisps.

Arriving at their destination (in what seems like a matter of minutes) Tanner and Janice head into town of his motorbike to look for 'women's stuff' whilst Keegan checks the abandoned cars for any discarded chocolate or cans of Tizer leaving Denton to stand about looking manly whilst sucking on a cigar.

It's whilst on this snack hunt that Keegan notices how strangely clean the human bones are within the abandoned vehicles.

It's almost as if the set has been littered with bits of cheap Halloween skeleton toys.

Well either that or the place is full of fist sized flesh eating cockroaches but really what are the chances of that?

We'll soon find out cos no sooner has Keegan open the petrol hatch when hundreds of the black shelled buggers start swarming (do cockroaches swarm?) toward him, biting and barking wildly as they go.

Keegan finding himself pursued by what looks like loads of raisins stuck to a bit of lino jumps inside one of the cars and attempts to hide under a skeleton.

Big hunky black man, skinny white skeleton, you do the math.

Beware the Cornetto man!

Noticing his pal's dilemma (tho' why he's admiring the make of car he's hiding in under the circumstances is anyone's guess) Denton hops into the Landmaster and pulls out that most useful of sci-fi movie weapons; a fire extinguisher.

Great, because we all know that mutant insects are allergic to foam.

That'll be why you never see them taking bubble baths then.

Unfortunately for Keegan this has absolutely no effect on the bugs, so Denton shuts the car door to muffle the screams before radioing Tanner to announce, in all seriousness:

"This whole town is infested with killer cockroaches, repeat, killer cockroaches!"

Utter fucking genius.

Relieved that they're not actually being chased by giant liquorice balls Tanner and Janice do their best to lose the bugs in the local Woolworths, taking the stairs (on a motorbike mind) in an attempt to outrun the lazier cockroaches who'll no doubt be waiting on the lift before stunt biking it thru' a first floor window in glorious seventies slo-mo action.


Waiting for them downstairs, after first blowing up a wall with a handy grenade launcher is good old Denton smoking a big cigar and standing manfully atop a pile of foam sodden bugs.



Patting each other on the back as they drive no-one seems to give a fuck that Keegan is dead, more likely Tanner realises that he's now the only hetro' guy onboard, bringing him closer to having a wee French fancy.

Dirty sod.

Denton, obviously upset by the lack of firm man-meat in the Landmaster decides that they should stop at the next town they find in the hope of coming across a young boy.

You can take that any way you like because I'm pretty sure Denton will.

Coming to a sudden halt outside a rundown shack in the middle of nowhere, Denton sniffs the air before changing into his best uniform and heading outside where, not too surprisingly, he finds a young, baw headed and buck toothed boy named Billy (Future Fred Krueger and author of Roots Haley), who's busy throwing rocks at bad men.


"That's amazing! I'm 15 and like The Saturdays too! Now get your webcam on and your clothes off!"

Adventure seems to be coming at them by the bucket load now (well at least that's all that's coming) because after the first thirty five minutes where sod all happened they appear to be finding fairly attractive survivors every couple of seconds now.

Except for this time obviously where our heroes run foul to a group of real-life, rape obsessed gypsies hiding out in a petrol station just waiting for a nice bit of prime ass to travel by.

Oh and to sell them some pegs as well.

It's only thanks to big browed Billy's amazing rock-throwing skills coupled with Janice's almost impregnable bra (oh and Tanner's ability to shoot someone in the face at point blank range obviously) that our merry band escape without so much as a violated mouth or loss of bladder control.

Denton, feeling a bit left out of all this manly fighting decides to show everyone who's boss tho' by firing a couple of rockets from the Landmaster's missile tubes at the outside toilet in which two of the gypsies were hiding.

Which I'll admit does seem a wee bit excessive even by the future A-Team leaders standards.

"Four fingers and George Peppard...never touched the sides!"

After all this rough terrain, rough justice and even rougher toilet paper it's not too surprising to find that the faithful old Landmaster has begun to make loud clanking noises and belch plumes of oily black smoke.

Looking under the hood Denton deduces that the crank-shaft and armature quim have broken and need replacing ASAP.

If not sooner.

Luckily for all concern Denton designed and built the Landmaster to use common or garden truck parts so it's a quick detour to the wrecking yards of Detroit then all the way to Albany.


Pulling into the nearest scrap palace Denton gets hard at work straight away vigorously screwing his nuts whilst Billy goes out exploring and Janice and Tanner stare into the middle distance, totally unaware that the sky has gone all red and the wind is whipping up.

Cue a low rent version of the last twenty five minutes of 2001 projected onto the clouds as Tanner, astride his beloved bike tries desperately to find little Billy whilst dodging large chunks of painted cardboard.

"Hmmmm....tastes like chicken!"

Spotting Billy having a piss behind an old corvette Tanner grabs the boy and rides back to the Landmaster just in time to see a giant tsunami engulf Detroit.

Luckily, Denton also designed the Landmaster to float, giving us ample opportunity to experience the sheer joy of watching a shoddily painted cardboard box with cut-out wheels bobbing in a bath.

Noticing the huge wet patch on the seat (no it's not Janice) Denton and Tanner manfully force open the Landmasters top hatch to discover that not only has the sky has gone back to it's pre-nuke normality but from the look of things Detroit is now a lake.

Yup, the huge and impressive special effects sequence we've just experienced was, in fact the Earth tilting back to its normal axis.

Three cheers for science!

Feeling fairly elated by this turn of events Denton sets the Landmaster into 'chug' mode and heads for dry land.

I wouldn't want that swimming up my arse.

Coming ashore in what looks like a kiddies playpark and knowing the movie only has about ten minutes left, Tanner and Denton get to work on setting up a radio transmitter in the hope of contacting Albany, which luckily they do within a matter of seconds.

And guess what?

It's only a few miles down the road.

With an excited glee not seen since The Pope visited a Glasgow orphanage Tanner and Billy jump on the motorbike and head off to meet these newly christened 'Albanians' and hopefully get first dibs on any Mars bars left uncontaminated.

Gazing ruefully into the distance as they drive into the sunset, Denton uncomfortably hugs Janice who, in turn just stands there looking French.

Chinny rackon.

Meanwhile, further down the road, Tanner and Billy are amazed to pass fields of non-mutant sheep and cows, small clean faced children playing in the bushes and about thirty well dressed and healthy people ready to welcome them to their new home.


From the director of that other classic book balls up The Illustrated Man comes this cack handed post apocalyptic action based on a novel by Roger Zelazny, which itself is loosely based on the story of Balto, a Siberian Husky sled dog who led the team on the 1925 emergency run, transporting diphtheria antitoxin from Nenana, Alaska to Nome.

Not funny but absolutely true.

In the novel, tough as nails Hells Angel Tanner is hired to deliver a load of cod liver oil tablets to somewhere inconsequential.

Due to his unbearable BO Tanner is forced into piloting the Landmaster alone; the situations and survivors he comes across during the course of the novel work to reawaken his humanity, until by the stories end and with the Landmaster totally fucked, Tanner walks the rest of the way with the serum in a backpack.

A bit like Judge Dredd did in The Cursed Earth saga remember?

With such a great (and highly pilfered) concept and top pedigree it's genuinely frightening to see how much the movie plays out like a Children's BBC version of Mad Max.

How could director Smight and scriptwriter Alan Sharp go so wrong?

Well adding an array colourful cardboard cliché characters doesn't help

or a Frenchwoman.

And utilizing tinfoil, tea bag boxes and giving your huge survival tank a ruddy great canvas midrift is probably not the best way of going about it if I'm honest.

Oh, and getting your six year old nephew on board as scientific adviser is probably not the greatest of ideas.

"Come get in the back of me Cortina and let me bite ya!"

But to be fair there are a few enjoyable things on show.

I mean the cast are good (to a point), the deserts look nice and there's gangly love god Jan Michel Vincent  for the ladies.  

And lets be honest, what more do you want on a Sunday night?

A pity then that I watched it on a Friday.