Wednesday, April 29, 2020

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 92).

First Deputy Director and de facto leader of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party of Korea, the wonderfully evil librarian-like Kim Yo-jong.









Thursday, April 16, 2020

apocalypse sow.

With the Resident Evil 2 Remake released to critical acclaim - well my mate Paul was excited* - across PS4, Xbox One and PC in January 2019 and Resident Evil 8 coming soon(ish) I reckoned it'd be a good time to re-review some of the top quality motion pictures based on that illustrious video game saga.

Plus they've got viruses and stuff in them so they kinda suit the mood.






Have to admit tho' I did pull this one randomly from the boxset (it was a gift honest) so no idea which one this is but I think it's the second - slightly less shitey one.



Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
Dir: Alexander Witt
Cast: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Iain Glenn, Sandrine Holt, Thomas Kretschmann, Sophie Vavasseur, Razaaq Adoti, Jared Harris, and Mike Epps.

L.J.: [a Zombie walks in front of his car] GTA, Motherfucker!
[he runs over the Zombie, which flips over his car]
L.J.: Yeah! Ten points!





Welcome to Raccoon City, a normal American suburban paradise indistinguishable from any other but for the large amounts of piss stained tramps wandering about trying to bite folk.

Oh yes, and the fact that it looks a wee bit like Canada and also that the bird from The Fifth Element has taken to wandering about the streets wearing a tea-towel as a dress.

So actually nothing like a normal American suburban paradise then?

Well apart from the tramps obviously.

Anyway, while the stinky hobo's are quickly taking over and the towns residents (who surprisingly aren't evil) are desperately trying to leave - or at the very least are desperate to appear in a better film - the local law enforcement (and part time jazz dance crew by the looks of them) are fighting a losing battle to maintain order - and interest - against an overwhelming number of undead gypsies and the directors almost obscene obsession with crash zooming in on ladies underwear as they climb stairs to avoid a nibbling.

If this wasn't enough to put a downer on everyone's week, the evil multinational in charge of the town, the Umbrella corporation has decided to erect large gates at every exit and has taken to machine gunning anyone who gets too close.

Which is a mercy killing really.


Valentine: She loves you not.



The local (and I do mean local) news anchor Terri Morales (turnip nosed, topless star of Rapa Nui and latter day Mr Robot cast member Holt) is bravely (and sweatily) reporting from the front lines.

What she doesn't realize is that Umbrella are blocking the broadcast, effectively cutting Raccoon City off from the outside world.

The swines.

You see, it seems that not only do they own the local secret labs, the pound shop and the bakery but also the news channels too.

Imagine an even more patently bastard Trump empire but with sexier suits and less grating accents.

Oh yes and an ability to say 'China' properly.

Tho' you think she'd have noticed the big, fuck off Umbrella logo on the side of the cameras before now.

Back in town at the local police station, a squad of Raccoon Cities finest are doing their best not to get bitten by stinky zombie prostitutes whilst not spilling their coffees and filing traffic reports but to no avail.

Enter (oh go on, if I must) barely dressed, gun toting tottie Jill Valentine (Guillory from Love Actually and Fortitude), a no nonsense cop, kicked off the force for doing things her way.

Is there any cliche this film wont dig up and parade kicking and screaming in front of us like so gin soaked arthritic relative?




Taking time out from telling everyone to leave whilst walking around with her arse wiggling in the style of a ten year old cross-dressing Chinese boy, Jill shoots an undead hooker in the face and grabs a Snickers bar before heading off to meet up with her better looking (and far better dressed) cop buddy Carlos (the chip pan haired Fehr from, ahem, The Mummy Returns).

Which begs the question as to why she didn't just go and meet up with him in the first place rather than going to the station just to walk straight thru' and leave.

Oh yes, it was so we could all enjoy the long tracking shot of her backside.


My bloody Valentine.



Anyway some more (inconsequential but very loud) shit happens and the pair end up hiding out in a church alongside Terri the reporter and rent an ethnic sidekick Wells (Adoti from Doom - the guy must like his video games, well it's either that or he's got a huge drugs habit to fund) where our fearsome foursome come across a fat vicar and his zombie sister before being attacked by some inconsequential CGI turd-monsters with big tongues.

Slobbering slimy mouth monsters and skimpily dressed heroines?

This is where the movie could get interesting.

But no, given the choice between some girl on monster tentacle sex or having the writers wife smash thru' the window on a motorbike the director goes for the latter.

Yup, it's genetically engineered skinny bird Alice (the monkey faced, boy hipped and high Scrabble scoring Jovovich), fresh from lying strapped to a bed and flashing her smooth milky white thighs and a wee bit of bush (just enough to give the small boys watching something to do with their free hand) at the end of the first movie and ready to kick zombie bum.

Oh, and show her pants a lot.

Jovovich: Water sports.


Meanwhile back at the plot, the evil (yet sexily uniformed) Major Jeff Cain (Kretschmann, that nasty rapist from The Stendhal Syndrome) is busy arguing with the crippled (both physically - I mean he is ginger - and emotionally) genius behind Umbrella's slightly dodgy bio-weapons experiments Dr. Ashford (Harris, who is obviously getting ready to appear in Chernobyl - the miniseries not the actual place that is).

It seems that in the confusion they forgot to evacuate the good doctor's daughter before shutting down the city, mistakenly crashing the car she was in into a wall instead.

Arse.

Well Milla knew exactly who to fuck to get into the picture but who does she have to fuck to get out of it?



Wheeling off in a strop (well in a wheelchair but you know what I mean), Ashford (but alas not Simpson) secretly contacts our merry band of zombie hunters - who've now picked up a wise cracking pimp named LJ ('played' if that's the right word by a shameless Epps) and offers them a safe route out of the city.

But only if they rescue his daughter first....



Seriously, this doesn't deserve art this good.





Jumping the directors ship for the abominable sequel to the lackluster (nah, I'm being polite - that should read utterly shite) Resident Evil, baby faced movie mangler Paul W.S. Anderson handed over the reigns to Alexander Witt.

Lucky fella.

As you may remember, Anderson is the 'genius' behind the brash and ballsy violent violation of Forbidden Planet that was Event Horizon, the fist fuck of a film called Alien Vs. Predator as well as the not too bad (if I'm honest) Mortal Kombat and the Kurt Russell straight to video Blade Runner-baiting abortion Soldier.**

Sorry if I'm bringing back bad memories here but people need reminding of these facts.

"Laugh now!"


So you can only imagine how much of an utter shite-fest this movie is seeing as Anderson quickly booted Witt from the director's chair for the next installment.

Tho' let's be honest, how do you make a totally unwanted and unnecessary sequel to a film that couldn't even be arsed being anything like the video game it was based on in any way halfway decent or indeed watchable?

Give credit where it's due tho', I mean Witt's DP CV is/was certainly impressive (in a mainstream kinda way) and for years previous to this travesty he'd been working alongside Sir Ridley of Scott which you'd think would be pretty good on the job training.

At the very least the film should look nice, not like it was shot thru' a gauze of watered down shite.

Saying that it was 16 years and about 400 sequals ago so some fucker must have liked it.

Which is even scarier a thought when you realise that the next one - the beige hell that was Resident Evil: Extinction - was directed by the uber-permed one-hit wonder Russell (Razorback) Mulcahy.
For those lucky enough to never have seen it, it's less a horror thrill-ride and more a virtual reality trip thru' Simon LeBon's 80s boil wash.

On a brighter note, Alexander Witt's career now seems to consist of making short films for Land Rover which must pay quite well seeing as his last major movie - the Nic Cage starer Red Squad - seems to have vanished into the ether.

Imagine that, a Nic Cage movie too shit to release?

Now if only RE:A was as scary.


"You ain't seen me....right?"




Who stole Milla's leg?


Complete and utter tosh, which has scarily given me a real urge to revisit the rest now.

Is there any hope for me?


















































*So excited in fact that he did a 'mod' of main character Claire Redfield so you can play the entire game with her just wearing her underwear.

Look:













**Scary but true - Soldier which was written by David Peoples, who co-wrote the script for Blade Runner is considered to be an unofficial sequel/prequel to it,

Not only does the film subtlety reference the stories of Philip K. Dick but it also features a Spinner from Blade Runner amongst the background wreckage on the planet.

And if that wasn't enough, Kurt Russell’s character is shown to have fought in the battles referenced in Roy Batty’s (Rutger Hauer) famous monologue - the Shoulder of Orion and Tannhäuser Gate - leading to some film fans to assume that they are, in fact, one in the same character.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

flaming alf.

The Coronavirus cine capers continue.....

Well that was short and to the point.

Just like yer maw.

Actually this is an oldie but a bloody goodie that I'm surprised more folk don't rave about.

I'm less worried about her getting the virus and more worried that she'll get a chill in her tummy (or a bad reputation) wearing that top.




Undead (2003).
Dir: Michael and Peter Spierig.
Cast: Felicity Mason, Mungo McKay, Rob Jenkins, Lisa Cunningham, Dirk Hunter and Emma Randall.


"When I was a kid, we fuckin' respected
our parents, we didn't fuckin' eat 'em!"






Welcome to the sleep fishing town of Berkeley in Western Australia, to the local population it's home but to everyone else it's the arse end of dullsville, the only great thing about it being the road out.

Think Dudley but with better (any?) teeth.

One of these non-believers is the towns former Miss Catch of the Day pin-up Rene (the Tefal browed Mason, best known as the voice of Audrey the Activist in the 'hit' online series Team Trashe), struggling to keep up payments on her late parents farm and dreaming of a new life in the big city.

Things aren't going well for our soon to be heroine at the moment tho' seeing as she's stuck in a horrendous meeting with the beefy and balding Mr. Chip Loan at the local bank, who  sits sweatily eyeing up poor Rene as she begs for an extension on her payments and,  after exhausting her patented female mix of giving huge puppy dog eyes and wistful sighs she ends up storming out to her friend Johnny Deadsoon's car determined to leave her troubles behind.

And with that bit of backstory out of the way we can begin.


(Poppy) eyes son.





Driving along the main road and out of town Rene soon begins to notice the sky getting darker and darker (and more blatantly CGI-ed) as the sound of thunder rumbles in the distance.

But that's not the only bizarre weather-based thing occurring as suddenly storms of burning meteorites descend from the heavens disrupting the local cricket match, destroying shops, frying children and turning the locals into flesh starved undead things.

So far so good.

Coming across (insert 'not literally' joke here) a nasty pile-up in the middle of the road Johnny pulls over and gets out the car to investigate and it's not long before the poor sod has been nibbled to death by a shite moothed, blank eyed, shambling pre-teen zombie.

With really bad hair.

Some folk have all the luck.

Beating the child to death with a steering wheel lock Rene heads off towards a nearby (and very run-down) farmhouse quick style.



"Shite in mah undead, pre-teen mooth ya bastard!"




Far from being deserted tho' the farmhouse belongs to the local monosyllabic mentalist Marion (McKay, ball faced star of Malibu Shark Attack), owner of Marion's World of Weapons and winner of the fishy beard of the year award three years running.

Luckily for Rene, Marion recognises these bizarre events as a sign of alien invasion as it appears that years ago, whilst fishing for carp the poor sod was abducted by a group of extraterrestrials under similar circumstances and since then he's been training and preparing for their return.

There's no time for introductions tho' (or any more character development than is absolutely necessary) because no sooner has Marion pulled a gun on Rene whilst muttering something slight yet meaningful in a rather gruff manner that ever more cliche riddled survivors turn up.

Enter pregnant beauty queen Sallyanne (Cunningham from Daybreakers), her hick helicopter pilot Wayne (hat wearing Jenkins), foul mouthed, bad ass, big shorted copper Harrison (The New Adventures of Flipper's Hunter) and fragile flower rookie police officer (plus token cutsie red head) Molly (ex set decorator, stop motion goddess and all round art queen Randall).


"He did WHAT in his cup?"




If the fact that the sky wasn't full of flaming meteors and the town full of zombies wasn't enough to upset everyone then the sudden heavy rainfall is.

But this is no ordinary rain, no sir.

I mean it's computer generated for a start.

You see it soon becomes apparent that this downpour not only burns skin but picks up people and animals at random in a kinda squishy shower like tractor beam.

Could things get any worse?


Bardot are looking a wee bit rough.




Deciding the best course of action is to make a Vegemite sandwich (or whatever it is these Aussie types eat) the groups attempts at making lunch are foiled when a team of scruffy undead tramps burst into the house looking for fresh meat to chow down on.

With Harrison shouting "Fuck!" at every given opportunity whilst flashing his knobbly knees to all and sundry Marion (quietly) takes command and leads everyone into his cellar cum lead lined bunker to formulate an action plan.

Think The Apprentice only with stinky beards, over the knee socks and a distinct lack of tottie and you're halfway there but probably only a quarter as entertaining*.

With the majority of the group agreeing that staying put is probably the best option it's down to Sallyanne and her rather inconvenient (under the circumstances) pregnancy to get in the way.

You see she reckons that she's about to pop a sprog at any second which may hamper any long term ideas about hiding out till it's all over.

There's only one clean towel for a start and the nearest they have to clean water is the sweat that they can mop from between Molly's ample (and sexily freckled) cleavage.

After a quick think (and helped along by Harrison waving his weapon about) everyone decides to make a break for Marion's van and attempt to drive out of town.

Again.


Nigel Mansell farted....and it was an eggy one.




Upon arrival at the town border it's fair to say that the group are fairly surprised to find that a mile high metal barrier lined with razor sharp spikes has been built surrounding the whole of Berkeley.

Marion blames the aliens that allegedly abducted him whilst Harrison is quick to point the finger at the bin men.

Sallyanne just sits cradling her stomach gurning like a loon.

Typical.

As the acid rain continues to drench the town and members of the group begin to fall foul of the heavenly tractor beams it's left to Rene and Marion to discover a cure to the undead terror destroying Berkeley and uncover the secret behind the mysterious glowing monks hiding in the shadows....







As cheap as chips and as tasteful as a Dingo's dinner, the Spierig brothers second feature (before hitting the big time with the Ethan Hawke starrers Daybreakers and Predestination**) is a delightful mix of 1950's alien paranoia and 1980's pre-cert horror with an added dash of Evil Dead style black comedy lovingly wrapped in an old pair of Paul Hogan's pants.

Yes it's slight and indeed it's throwaway but if it's ninety minutes of no brainer, laugh now giggles you're after then you could do worse than watch this.

Plus it's a damn sight more entertaining than the prospect of another seaon of The Walking Dead.

Or even Waking The Dead.

Not sold?

Well tough, because I'm not going to give away too about the numerous golden moments in the movie by mentioning the scenes of exploding old ladies, groan inducing shopfronts with names like Elvis Parsley’s Grapeland, Felicity Mason in soaking undies, streets awash with gore and the best (if only) tramp bearded John Woo tribute I've ever seen on celluloid.

Go on, watch it now.

It wont change your life but it may make a little bit of wee squirt out at certain points.

And if you're honest, what more can you ask for from a cinematic experience during a global pandemic?


































































*Must admit I've not watched the show for years but if I'm honest I'd pay good money (at least £15) to see former Junior Apprentice Goddess Zoe Plummer oiled up in a vest cradling a machine gun lead a group of contestants thru' a heaving throng of the undead as Lord Sugar barks insults at them from the boardroom.

But perhaps that's just me.


Zombie zapping
Zoe Plummer: sorted.














**Before pissing any good will well and truly up the wall with the utterly pointless SAW sequel Jigsaw.


Sunday, April 12, 2020

hop to it.

It's Easter Sunday so it has to be.....

Night of The Lepus (AKA Rabbits. 1972).
Dir: William F Claxton.
Cast: Stuart Whitman, DeForest Kelley, Janet Leigh, Melanie Fullerton, Chris Morrell, some rabbits (obviously)  and Rory Calhoun.



Attention! Attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way and we desperately need your help!


Can I just say that on those rare occasions when a movie opens with grainy, documentary footage of big hunky men armed with large pointy sticks slowly advancing on some fluffy bunnies whilst an oh so serious voice over tells of the famine and disasters caused by 'rabbit plagues' over the years you know you're about to experience something special.

And no I don't mean Mr Tumble stumbling about shit-faced in a car park whilst signing 'cheap booze' at an anorak-clad moppet.

Tho' admittedly that would be worth seeing.

And who knows, the great man himself may even turn up in this film at some point.

I mean stranger things have happened.

But I digress.

A wee bit like the film actually as the almost Blair Witch/Alternative 3 style shockumentary footage is quickly replaced by a grainy shot of a field somewhere in the American mid-west where a group of disinterested extras are rounding up a group of painfully bored rabbits.

Indeed cinema doesn't get any more exciting - or Leporidae obsessed - than this.

But is there a reason for all this bunny bothering?

Well yes there is as it soon transpires that the local rabbit farm has been destroyed by fire meaning that the rascally rabbits are all making a bid for the prairie and freedom.

This in turn is upsetting the local cow poke because their horses keep falling down the rabbit holes and breaking their legs.

Luckily the local ranch owner Cole Hillman (Calhoun - don't judge) owns a big gun and is quite happy to go around shooting any fallen foles in the face.

Well until he realizes that if it continues the whole town will be skipping about banging coconuts together if a better remedy isn't found soon.


The real McCoy? (sorry).


Luckily a local pair of entomologists, Lenny Bennett and his wife Elizabeth (an unusually sober Whitman and an obviously slumming it Leigh) alongside their pal Eglin Clark (Kelley) offer their expertise in order to solve the rabbit problem.

But which course of action will they follow?

A. Hire the Elmer Fudd like, gun crazed Cole to go out and shoot them all.

B. Rabbit poison.

C. Use a never before tested experimental DNA-altering serum that could cause hideous mutations.

Reckoning that blindly tampering with nature on a genetic scale is more environmentally sound than poison they plum for the serum, which the Bennett's decide to test on their young daughter Amanda's pet rabbit first.

What caring parents.
The company that make these refused to put "Shite in mah mooth!" on it. Killjoys.



Amanda, as you can probably guess, is slightly upset by the thought of her dad sticking something in her pet so to this end sneaks into her parents lab and kidnaps the rabbit under cover of darkness.

As in at night obviously, not whilst disguised as Justin Hawkins but to be honest that may have brightened up the movie a wee bit.

Heading over to the Hillman ranch she soon comes across Cole's permanently scowling son Jackie (current resident of Chesapeake, VA and father of 3 Morrell in his only film role) who wrestles the rabbit from the poor girls grasp before popping it down a nearby rabbit hole unknowingly setting in motion a deadly series of events the likes of which the world has never seen.

And probably never wanted to anyway.

It's only a matter of time (well it is a short movie) before the local towns folk discover that their carrot patches have all been dug up and that a number of locals start turning up dead with huge incisor marks over their bodies.

Could these things be related?

Well most of the locals are so it wouldn't surprise me.

After a quick scientific natter our heroes decide that the serum must have mutated the rabbits to giant size.

Oh and turned them into ferocious meat eaters.

Which is nice.

Surprisingly everyone completely accepts this explanation without question.

They don't even get angry, just shrug their - collective - shoulders and begin to plan a counter-attack.

You've gotta love those plucky Americans.


"Fuck me! It's George Galloway!"



Meanwhile the rampant rabbits are on the move - in slow motion to add to the menace obviously -  first eating a not only a truck driver but the entire contents of his truck before chowing down on an unfortunate group of campers and finally setting up home in an abandoned lemonade mine.

Following the trail of corpses and carrot tops our heroes soon find the loopy Leporid's lair and quickly agree that the best course of action would be to blow the furry fuckers sky high with dynamite.

But as is always the way in movies like this they decide to go and explore the mine first in the vain hope of finding some vintage lemonade bottles and therefore make a few quid on the side.


Makes sense I guess.


"Lick yer lips luv!"


Stumbling about in the dark for what seems like days whilst the crew scrape enough cash together for a halfway decent matte shot Lennie and Cole do eventually come across the rabbits and stop to take a few selfies with them.

No, really.

Not too surprisingly the camera flash coupled with incredulous cries of "Fuck me! look at the size of the ears on that!" wake the brutish bunnies who then give chase - well give hop - after our heroes.

Scrambling out of the mine in the nick of time the pair detonate the explosives burying the rabbits under tonnes of rock and Cadbury's Caramel Wrappers.

Admit it....



With a spring in their step and a song in their hearts everyone returns to the ranch for a celebratory evening of cake eating, cousin kissing and moonshine moothing safe in the knowledge that the rabbit threat is no more.

The party is interrupted by a knock at the door and Cole, expecting a delivery from the Davenports man goes to answer it.

But it's not a delivery of booze but the rabbits, returned and ready for revenge.
  
Scarily it turns out that in all the excitement of explosions, cakes and whatnot everyone appears to have forgotten the fact that rabbits are actually quite well known for digging.

We've all done it.

Running to the barn to find his remaining horses eaten, Cole decides to leg it to the nearest town for help but on arrival finds it spookily deserted save the big brooding shadows of giant bunnies staring at him from the darkened windows of the local pub.

"Did you spill my pint?"


Brave Cole slowly tiptoes to a pay phone and calls the National Guard whispering the immortal lines "There's a herd of killer rabbits in town and we desperately need your help!"

Will the combined strength of the US military and the surviving townsfolk be enough to repel the might of the Lepus or will they eventually defeat humanity, hopping across the entire Earth like furry, big eared stormtroopers.

But let's be honest do you really care?





From writer/producer/director William F. Claxton (best known for his work on Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza and The High Chaparral amongst other TeeVee hits) Night of the Lepus is one of those rare movies that needs to be seen - with witnesses obviously - to be believed.

Terrifyingly neither tongue in cheek or camply humorous, the movie was made as if everyone involved actually thought that the scariest thing in the world would be if giant killer rabbits existed.

And I for one raise my glass to them.

If not question their sanity.

"Laugh now!"

There's really nothing you can add to the above description as any criticism seems redundant in the face of what's on screen so I'll leave the last word to
Lee Sollenberger, one of the films FX crew who was once interviewed (by trading standards no doubt) about the films grueling shoot and enduring legacy.

"Anyone who has ever worked with animals knows how difficult it can be. "Lepus" was a very difficult film to do. We worked in tremendous heat conditions and had hundreds of rabbits to deal with. It was a fun film for the trainers I think because no one had done a horror film with rabbits before".Or it turns out, since.

A misjudged gem of a movie.

And by that I mean utterly shite in every way.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

the/freaked/zone.

For these unsure times, a lovingly crafted collection of all things freakish in tribute to Stuart Maconie's 6Music masterclass.....








And for those interested: 

1 Dear Mary/Negativland
2 Great Train Robbery/Funki Porcini
3 March/David Cain
4 Sinfonia To Cantata/Wendy Carlos
5 Manhattan Research Inc./Raymond Scott
6 Lullaby/Krzysztof Komeda
7 Chelsea Girls/Warhola
8 Konkubination/Manfred Hubler & Siegfried Schwab
9 Μάγισσες/Lena Platonos
11 Nursery Chymes/Homosexuals
12 Cannibal Holocaust CostCutters Mix/Dissolved
13 Beth yw-r haf i mi/Llio Rhydderch
14 White Horses/Jackie Lee
15 How Do/The Sneaker Pimps
16 Stridulum (The Visitor)/Franco Micalizzi
17 La Polizia Sta A Guardare/Stelvio Cipriani
18 Maneche/Jacques Lasry
19 Hausu Theme/Godiego
20 Russian Lullaby/Unknown
21 Phone Girl/Unknown
22ビラゴンデブラヘラヘララ/菊池俊輔
23 Midnight Sleighride (from The Lieutenant Kije Suite)/Sergei Prokofiev
24 The Lightning Tree/The Settlers
25 Kachakuchane (Edit)/Ryuichi Sakamoto
26 Light Flight/Pentangle
27 The Astronauts/Peter Howell
28 The Tomorrow People/Dudley Simpson
29 The Book Tower/Andrew Lloyd Webber
30 Beautiful Cosmos/Ivor Cutler


Friday, April 10, 2020

house rules.

RIP Nobuhiko Obayashi


Thursday, April 9, 2020

axe the family.

Not sure if this movie can be classed as part of the whole Coronovirus blogging thing I'm doing at the moment but I did watch it during lockdown last night and it did give me a headache.

The shitting blood may just be normal for a man of my age tho'.


A lady shopping in Glasgow yesterday.




Edge of the Axe (1988).
Dir: José Ramón Larraz (as Joseph Braunstein, go figure).
Cast: Barton Faulks, Christina Marie Lane, Page Moseley, Christina Lane, Fred Holliday, May Heatherly, Patty Shepard, Elmer Modlin, Joy Blackburn and Jack Taylor.



Insert memorable quote here....oh hang on there aren't any.




Welcome to the tiny Northern Californian community of Big Bear Lake - famous for its big bears, its, um lake and the world renowned Sparkle Car Wash.

And it's at the aforementioned Sparkle Car Wash where our story begins with the harsh yet strangely attractive nurse Mirna Dobson (Lane - but not the one who wrote Comfort and Joy: Cooking for Two and blogs about food obviously) who, after a hard day wiping old peoples arse and cleaning sick off walls has decided that her grimy but reliable Lincoln Mark VII LSC needs a good clean, so to this end pays the $3.60 for a drive thru (car) shampoo.

Unfortunately she never lives to see the sparkle of the by now spotless bonnet as halfway thru' the wash cycle a masked mentalist brandishing an axe appears from behind the giant brushes and hacks her to death.

"I'm sorry I have my woman's period."


After that wee bit of bloodshed it's time to start up the plot good and proper so we're quickly introduced to the human pipe-cleaner Gerald RR Martin (Oscar winning Coen Brothers film and star of Freeze and Future-Kill Barton Faulks, looking for all the world like Mark Hamill drawn from memory) - a geeky obsessed with computers who has recently moved to town and who lives in a huge potting shed owned by a beardy old bloke named Brock (Modlin, from loads of stuff including The Story of O 2 and Rosemary's Baby).

Reading this back I've realised that I'm giving these characters way more background than writers Joaquín Amichatis, Javier Elorrieta, José Frade and Pablo de Aldebaránever (yes, it took fucking four of them to write this) did but that's lock-down for you.



Anyway when not spending his time 'online surfing the interwebs' Gerald works alongside professional stud-muffin Richard Simmons (Mosely from such varied fayre as Quantum Leap, The Jigsaw Murders, What's Love Got to Do with It and Melrose Place as well as your Auntie Jean's bed) in his extermination business.




And it's whilst on the way to an extermination job at a local tavern (which it must be said appears to be made of matchsticks) that we find out a wee bit more in regards to everyone's character and motivation as well as discover the huge swathe of latent misogyny running thru' the script like Jimmy Savile running thru' a school shower block.
You see it appears that Richard is unhappily married to local businesswoman Laura (US born Eurotrash star Shepard who appeared in everything from Hannah, Queen of the Vampires to Slugs via the Terence Hill/Bud Spencer classic Watch Out We're Mad) who he admits to only marrying for her money because "She's way too old for anything else!" (the actress was 43 at the time) and whom he hates because she has male friends she does business with. Obviously - he surmises that because of this his habit of sticking his cock into anything female that moves - or doesn't move fast enough - is also her fault.

Because women.

"Is it in yet?"


And with that the pair arrive at the tavern where the owner has reported a bad smell (that surprisingly isn't related to Richard's attitude) in the basement.

A basement that scarily for viewers in The Scotland has a Tennent's Lager poster on the wall.

Can I can't?

 

Poking about in the dark our delightful duo soon come across (not in that way tho' with Richard's attitude to women I wouldn't be surprised) the rotting corpse of a missing barmaid named Mary West, whose body has been jammed into a cupboard alongside an old copy of Razzle and some old crisp packets.

Obviously the barman phones the local police who decide it'd be easier to say she killed herself before hiding in the cupboard and leave it at that.

She is only a girl after all.

Deciding that a beer or two is in order to calm their nerves after such a gruesome discovery, Richard and Gerald head over to the local lakefront bar where not only is Laura out fishing with her business buddy Christopher (genre God Taylor - seriously his CV is cinematic gold - Exorcismo, The Ghost Galleon, Dr. Jekyll vs. The Werewolf, Female Vampire, Marquis de Sade's 'Philosophy in the Boudoir' and the all time classic The Vampires Night Orgy among others) but Susan (Blackburn, best known for her stand out role as the Concession Girl in Anguish), the only barmaid in town that Richard hasn't fucked yet, is starting her afternoon shift.

Leaving Richard to rub his knees violently as Susan bends into the car to hand him his drink Gerald decides to head to the lounge for a few shots on the bars video game machine because if you remember he's a geek and this was the fashion.

Well, it was about 5 years previously but there you go.

That's not a joystick and she's not a real welder.

His high scoring prowess is soon spotted by the bars owner, the button-nosed Lillian (Lane in her only film role) and the pair soon bond over their mutual love of all things computer-based culminating in Gerald offering Lillian his old computer so that they can 'connect' online too.

Which is nice but let's be honest we're here for the killings and we don't have to wait long as, later that night after a few drinks and lewd suggestions in (another) local bar the town beautician cum prostitute Rita Miller Exterminators of The Year 3000 'star' Moro) is brutally murdered while walking along the railroad tracks.

This time the police are actually slightly concerned (well concerned enough to involve folk dressed like extras from a Thomas The Tank Engine fan film) but only because it means that their wives will start being suspicious that all the men are now staying in, even when they interview one of her main clients - the hammer carrying handyman Beardy Pete he's painted as the true victim and Rita as the evil seductress extorting money from the weak willed menfolk.

Seriously the film is less of a throwback to a bygone, more sexist era and more of a manifesto of mad misogyny that would do Trump proud.

And no-one, I mean no-one wears a bra.

It's like they were banned on set.


"Oh no!" said Thomas, "Sir Topham Hat's wife is a dirty whore!"



As all these bad murders continue so does Gerald and Lillian's burgeoning, stone wash clad romance, tho' Lillian is a wee bit concerned that Gerald's computer contains a list of the women killed so far but luckily he explains that he just likes collecting data for a laugh.

So that's OK then.

With a fairly short running time and more murders to fit in we've soon jumped forward to night-time where during a terrible storm another woman is attacked and killed by the mysterious mentalist.

Luckily tho' to differentiate this one from all the others it features some pigs in a barn.

And with that out of the way we can get back to the more important plotline regarding Richard's attempts to shag Susan on a boat.

Well we never know if he does or not as just as the pair start getting frisky the severed head of another victim bobs up in the water next to them resulting inscreams from Susan and many manly stares from Richard.

Well either that or he's holding in a really big shit.


Your mum looks nice tonight.


Realizing that they've killed a woman off-screen (which frankly just isn't on) it's full scream ahead for the next murder, which this time is of the - sensible shoed - leader of Lillian's church choir, Anna Bixby (Heatherly from Cannibal Apocalypse, where she was treated way better it must be said) who after returning home to find her dog bludgeoned to death is stalked around her house for a bit in the hope of creating some (any?) tension before having her fingers cut off and finally being hit repeatedly with a foam axe.

And if that wasn't enough the killer also trashes her fishtank.

Bastard.

All this murder isn't getting in the way of Lillian and Gerald's ever growing romance tho' (I mean it's only women getting killed, not real people after all) and the couple are wiling away the afternoon playing on a kids swing.

As grown adults are known to do obviously.

The to and fro motion has a strange effect on Lillian tho' who suddenly starts screaming "Charlie! Charlie!" before storming off in a huff.

Giving chase Gerald soon catches up with her and begs her to explain what's going on, turns out that she's just discovered that her cousin - the aforementioned - well screamed Charlie - has been recently released from a mental hospital following a head injury he received as a child when Lillian violently pushed him off a swing.

No, really.

Bobbins.



But that's not all, as Lillian suspects that it is in fact Charlie who is responsible for the killings.

Because reasons.

With the girlie hysterics over and done with the pair head back to Gerald's shed for a Cuppasoup and some crisps.

And maybe even a scotch egg if there are any in the fridge.

As the pair sit scoffing Lillian asks Gerald if she can use his computer to look up plastering course at the University of Portland as she's decided she no longer wants to be a pipe fitter, Gerald reckons being married to a plasterer would be pretty cool and leaves her to it as he goes to make some coffee.

Little does he realize tho' Lillian is actually looking up the names of local psychiatrists dealing with swing-based head trauma.

To be honest, reading this back it makes even less sense than when I watched it, which is pretty worrying.

Boris Johnson farted....and it smelled of egg. And shame.



With the climax lurching drunkenly into view it's time to go back to Laura and her 'friend' Christopher - partly because that subplot seems to have been forgotten about in the middle of all this woman hating but mostly because they're paying Jack Taylor as shed-load of cash for doing absolutely fuck all.

He is a legitimate actor you know.

Except get more and more drunk that is as poor Laura complains that her investments have gone wrong and she's now bankrupt.

Morally and monetarily if this film is anything to go by.

The pair leave the bar and Laura offers Christopher a run home but just as you think he's going to pull some smooth, sexy moves he actually pulls a dog blanket up from the floor and falls asleep before letting out a fart so noxious  that she crashes into a tree.

Stumbling into the woods to look for help she soon gets bored and returns to the car only to find Christopher's body gone and the mad axe murderer sitting in his place, she runs screaming, the killer runs after her, the cameraman tries to track them both in the dark and eventually the killer catches up with her and she dies.

Don't get too upset tho' remember she was old and her hubby only married her for her money so now she's skint it's probably for the best.

Or so the film would have us think.

I mean the next morning, Richard angrily turns up at Gerald's complaining not that Laura is missing but that the money out of their bank account is missing and when her body is found you can tell that all he wants is to search it for loose change.

And you're sure that in this script the police would let him.

Interestingly as soon as Christopher's body is discovered everything changes and the local police suddenly decide that there's a killer on the loose that must be found.

Hang on, I know I said that there was a (very) thinly veiled streak of misogyny  running thru' the movie but I may be mistaken, maybe they're just all gagging for a prime piece of man-ass and the ladies were in the way?

Whichever it is the police find a badge from the Lillian's dads bar on Christopher's lapel so decide to head over there as soon as enough time has passed for Lillian to hear noises in the bar as she's home alone.




Taxi for Castlemilk.


Upon investigating the aforementioned noise, she is surprised to find - a really sweaty - Gerald skulking about behind the bins.

Terrified for her life - and no doubt for her career -  Lillian angrily accuses him of actually being her cousin Charlie, who has return to extract his revenge for the terrible swinging incident.

Moving slowly toward her Gerald begins to explain that after researching her background on his computer (as you do) he has discovered that Charlie is actually a figment of Lillian's imagination - it was actually her that fell off the swing and banged her head causing a spate of mentalism that required her to be hospitalized.

No really.

But if that wasn't enough it turns out that each of the victims were either hospital employees involved with Lillian's recovery or women who had attempted to shag her dad.

The new Erasure video looks a bit shit.



Being female and mental (or is it just female?) Lillian attempts to kill Gerald with a handy axe before running into the carpark with Gerald in hot pursuit shouting "I love you Lillian!" just as the police turn up.

Seeing Lillian jiggling and crying and Gerald not jiggling and sweating they decide to shoot him dead.

Just because that's how apprehending folk works in America obviously.

As the police secure the crime scene, the sheriff consoles Lillian with a big hug not noticing her "I'm a bit mad me!" smile to camera....






It has to be said that by far the most terrifying and disturbing thing about Edge of the Axe is that it was directed by José Ramón Larraz, the masterful Spanish film maker behind such classics as the fang-tastically erotic lesbian vampire cum National Trust camping advertisement that is Vampyres thru' to the equestrian-bothering The Coming of Sin (which still has one of the scariest film posters of all time) and the pyscho-sexual scare-fest Symptoms - all of which  tended to feature acts of startling - and disturbing - sexuality and wanton acts of violence set against an idyllic backdrop of everyday British (or in the case of The Coming of Sin) or Spanish life.

So fuck knows what he was thinking when he decided to direct this.

His usual interesting take on the power of female sexuality is replaced by basic unreserved misogyny, the flirty and confident (and sometimes uncomfortably damaged) females of his previous films are replaced with denim clad, bra-less stereotypes of whores, harridans and faceless bimbos whereas the men strut around with permanent erections and too tight jeans and are shown to be straight up bullies and sex beasts unlike the pitiful testosterone-fueled caricatures of his other work - spending the whole film as they do fucking, flirting and complaining their way thru' a plot so threadbare as to almost disappear in a puff of in-consequence long before the frankly ludicrous reveal.

And it's the cheap laziness of everything on show that, if anything, is what saves it from being just downright offensive.

I mean it took hours to even remember anything of consequence that happened in it - and I'd taken notes. 

Anulka Dziubinska and Marianne Morris - not in this film.


Put it this way, when the most memorable bit of a slasher movie is the use of a wide-angled fish-eye lens during a funeral service (for no other reason it seems than to show up the pores on Jack Taylor's nose) then you know you're in trouble.

It's almost like he sobered up at this point just long enough to remember what he was doing then quickly fell back into a coma whilst leaning on the camera enough to point it vaguely in the direction of the actors.

And I use the term 'actors' loosely.

I mean come on they even pronounce Icarus incorrectly.

Grimmer than your dad's post-divorce dating history and flimsier than your aunties baby-doll nightie she wears when you visit Edge of The Axe is at least fairly short which is a blessing.

Unlike this lockdown which means that there'll be more like this to come.

Joy.