Saturday, October 31, 2020

happy halloween!

 Stay scared!

Soul Bossa Nova.

We're finally here at the end of 31 days of horror so thought I'd finish up with this little seen cult classic from 1978.

It was fantastically remade 13 years ago and you can check out my thoughts here (don't forget to stay around for the frankly heartwarming comments) but surprisingly I've never reviewed this before.

Hopefully this will persuade a few more people to search this lost gem out as it deserves much more love and acknowledgement than it currently gets.

So without further ado I present....

Halloween (1978).
Dir: John Carpenter.
Cast: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Castle, Will Sandin, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Loomis, P. J. Soles, Kyle Richards, Brian Andrews, John Michael Graham and Sandy Johnson.

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

It's Halloween night 1963 in smalltown Haddonfield, Illinois where Mr and Mrs Myers have left their pretty-lipped 6-year-old son Michael in the care of his older sister Judith whilst they hit the town for an exciting night of apple dunking and bad dancing.

Bored with spending the evening gazing lovingly at himself in the mirror whilst decked in his patented creepy clown costume little Michael decides to go look for his sister in order to have a quick game of Connect 4 before bed but is shocked to find her lying underneath a hunky football stud in the process of putting something in her.

Obviously confused - and a wee bit aroused by all this sweaty thrusting (and who can blame his? As a 10 year old watching this I was bewitched by the button-nosed charms of Sandy Johnson myself) Michael decides that he too would like to stick something in his big sis.

Unfortunately he chooses to use a kitchen knife much to his parents dismay upon their return home.

I mean do you know how much it costs to get cream carpets dry cleaned?

"I've got something to put in you!"

 It's not too surprising then to find that Michael is grounded for a week and loses his TeeVee privileges before being locked up in the world famous (probably) Smith's Grove Sanitarium for mini-mentalists.

Jumping forward 15 years (look it's not One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, no-one is really interested in all that boring psychoanalyst shite and life in a loony bin bollocks - unless you're Rob Zombie that is) and famed head-shrinker, the vaguely Crippin-esque - yet disturbingly cuddly -  Dr Sam Loomis (Pleasence) is heading to the hospital in order to take Michael to a court hearing where he'll be sentenced to life imprisonment on the grounds of being the maddest madman who ever lived.

Seeing as Loomis is a proper psychiatrist with a degree and everything we can't really dispute his findings.

Tho' we can debate whether the skinny fit, beige turtleneck sweater he wears in the TeeVee cut of the movie was really a good look for a man with such pronounced manbreasts for years.

In fact, some of us have already.

Upon arrival at Smith's Grove Loomis is sightly perplexed to see the inmates wandering around the grounds with their arses hanging out and leaps (as much as a portly Englishman can leap) from his car to investigate, discovering too late that the whole thing is a massive ruse perpetrated by Myers in order to affect an escape.

It looks like the by now not so little Michael is heading home to Haddonfield for a wee bit more of that violent stabbing stuff he enjoys so much.

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

Realizing that wandering around town in a polyester gown that ties up the back might not be the best thing for instilling fear in the town's populace (and knowing how cold October gets) Michael - in a blatant attack on the price of car MOT's - kills a local Quick-Fit employee and steals his uniform before driving home to Haddonfield and breaking into one of those pop up Halloween in stores you get in town that sells overpriced rip-off 'Waking Ded' costumes for under a tenner in order to top off his costume with a terrifying mask.

Unfortunately they're all out of horror themed headwear and, with this being 1978 there are no official 'Halloween' movie masks available so Michael must fashion his own from what's available which in this case is a Don Post Bill Shatner mask, probably due to Shatner (or at least Captain Kirk) also being notorious for sticking it in things. 

Oh yes and hating autistic folk to the point of scarily stalking them online.

Which to be honest is a pretty scary thing in itself.

Tho' not as scary as the court case between Don Post Studios and Cinema Secrets regarding the aforementioned mask back in 2000.

But I digress.

Inside, well William Shatner's mind obviously.

As October 31st dawns and deciding he's got time to kill (as opposed to teenagers) before the evenings fun begins Micheal decides to spend his time stalking the woolly tight wearing, bush haired babe that is Laurie Strode (Curtis) who has - in a bizarre twist of fate only seen in movies - just dropped off a key the Myers house for her estate agent dad.

Laurie is soon spooked by a shadowy figure and sure that she's being followed by the (future) star of TJ Hooker but her friends Annie (female perfection made flesh Loomis) and Lynda (Soles) reckon that a lack of boyfriend action has affected her brain causing her to fantasize about America's sexiest TeeVee hunk.

Meanwhile Dr. Loomis, being a clever bloke and having read the script, has anticipated that Michael is heading to Haddonfield and arranges to meet with Annie's dad, who just happens to be the Sheriff (Cyphers), in order to get a surveillance watch put on Michael's old home.

Sheriff Brackett thinks that Loomis is talking out of his arse but promises to keep an eye open for any strange folk hanging about the bins looking suspicious.

Which if nothing else means that the director of the fucking awful Halloween 2, Rick Rosenthal, wont be able to cause any mischief.

As night falls the teens - well all except good girl Laurie - are busy trying to re-arrange their babysitting plans in order to have some of 'the sex'.

Annie, being frankly magnificent has already organized dropping off her charge Lindsey Wallace with Laurie - who is spending the night babysitting a large-headed ginger boy in a spacesuit named Tommy (a character who may or may not be important in the sequels, I really can't remember) - before heading over to pick up her boyfriend Paul for a wee bit of fondling and biting on the sofa.

Unfortunately not long  after dropping Lindsey off poor Annie is strangled before getting her throat cut by Michael who's been hiding in the back of her car.


"French Polishers? You may just be able to save my life!"

While playing - a really boring - game of hide-and-seek with Lindsey, Tommy catches a glimpse of Michael carrying Annie's prone yet still really sexy body into the Wallace house, and, being a bit of a freak himself is convinced that he's just seen "The boogeyman".

Laurie tho' is unconvinced.

Having arranged to meet Annie at the Wallace house (they must have a huge sofa) Lynda and her boyfriend, the big binned Bob arrive to find it empty so - as you would - decide to have a shag in Lindsey's parents bed.

It's Ok, it's not like they're in it at the time.

After a few minutes of self conscious thrusting Bob heads downstairs to get some drinks but Michael has been watching and  impales Bob on the wall with what must be the longest kitchen knife known to man.

Go on, rewatch the scene and tell me that's not a wee bit excessive in length for something primarily used to chop carrots.

Anyway, showing that his years institutionalized haven't damped his sense of humour, Michael dons a bedsheet and Bob's glasses in order to give Lynda a good giggle before killing her too which he does by strangling her with a telephone cord (remember then?) whilst she's chatting to Laurie.

Meanwhile back in the cat and mouse bit of the plot, Loomis has come across (well it's a slow night) the car Michael had stolen, confirming his suspicions that his former patient has indeed returned to Haddonfield.

"Hello life savers? You may just be able to polish the French!"  
Unsure whether the noises on the phone she heard was Lynda having an orgasm or being murdered (she's had a sheltered life), Laurie heads over to the Wallace house to find out only to find her friends dead. 
Which is nice.
Suddenly dear old Michael pops out from behind the fridge and slashes at our heroine who understandably legs it back to the Doyle house screaming something about the star of The Devil's Rain trying to kill her.
Luckily the door is almost immediately opened by Tommy who, after sitting thru' the Howard Hawks/Christian Nymby version of The Thing From Another World on TeeVee has decided to go talk to this films director about staging a remake.
There's no time for that chat now tho' (or to think what might have happened to Carpenter's career had Manos: The Hand of Fate been on instead) as upon entering the house Laurie picks up both Tommy and Lindsey before running upstairs and hiding in a cupboard. 
With Michael approaching the house and Loomis in hot pursuit the scene is set for a Samhain showdown like no other.
A showdown that will change the course of horror cinema and launch the slasher genre on the world good and proper.

What can you say about Halloween that hasn't been said a thousand times before by proper film types who don't rely on cheap laughs like "Shite In Mah Mooth!" to brighten up their reviews?

Shot for a meager $300,000 over a period of four weeks, the original 'psycho stalks a babysitter' idea came from producer Irwin Yablans and financier Moustapha Akkad who, after viewing Assault on Precinct 13 sought out Carpenter to see if he fancied giving it a shot.

Carpenter, having a wee bit of free time jumped at the chance to not only direct but also to write the script (alongside Debra Hill) as well as compose the music, sowing together the majority of the casts costumes, painting and cutting out the autumn leaves (it was shot in spring) and lending Donald Pleasence his dad's coat.

And all for a pay packet of £18.60.

"Do I make you horny?"

Released on October 25, 1978 (probably I need to check) Halloween went on to make over $70 million worldwide and opened the bloodied floodgates for a slew of imitators and launching the careers of not only Carpenter but Jamie Lee Curtis too as well as giving a career renaissance to dear old Donald Pleasence, who on the back of his work with the director went on to become elected the first non-US born President of The United States in 1981.

But that's another story.

Lean, mean and peachy keen Halloween is still the come to film for anyone wanting to see how to make the ultimate suspense movie, from its pitch perfect performances to it's minimalist soundtrack and unflashy yet stylish direction, Carpenter's first foray into horror has never been matched or equaled and for many of us is why we are horror fans today.

Oh yes and have a thing for spiral permed brunettes in men's shirts.

And for that we salute you sir.

Friday, October 30, 2020

chilly con carnies.


Remembering when this beauty came out on DVD from the Arrow films a few years back and my vain attempts to blag a copy for review purposes were all for nowt.

As was my attempt to get some new (any) readers.

Anyway, noticed that this review had been looked at a grand total of about 8 times in 5 years so thought I'd rejig and repost it seeing as it appears no-one is actually reading the whole 31 days of horror thing.


Malatesta's Carnival of Blood (1973).
Dir: Christopher Speeth
Cast: Herve Villechaize, Bill Preston, Daniel Dietrich, William Preston, Lenny Baker, Paul Hostetler, Betsy Henn, Jerome Dempsey, Chris Thomas, Karen Salmansohn and Janine Carazo.

You'll Shriek With Horror! ... As You Watch His Victims Take a Diabolical Roller-Coaster Ride to Bloody Death! - Brexit in a nutshell.

Somewhere and sometime in the evilly dressed early seventies, teen bombsite - sorry bombshell - Vena Norris (Carazo, looking like a chubby Suzi Quatro - which isn't necessarily a bad thing - in her only film role) is busy having her fortune told by the cross-dressing Jewish gypsy Sonia (1977 Tony Award winner Baker) at his stall in the famous Malatesta Carnival (of blood obviously)  whilst her parents, Frank (An Innocent Love's Hostetler, looking for all the world like an even more down at heel - but pre-death obviously - Tobe Hooper) and Noreen (Henn), are being shown around the site by the Mr Barry Blood (teevee stalwart and ex partner of Makepeace, Dempsey), sideshow owner and part-time recluse cum Malatesta’s enigmatic business manager.

"You're my wife now!"

It appears that the Norris family are opening a shooting gallery at the carnival and Vena is naughtily wasting time chatting to unconvincing transvestites rather than doing what she's been asked to, which is be set up the stall but when she finally decides to get to work wouldn't you know it she gets distracted again, this time by the guy who runs the tunnel of love, a studly young buck named Kit (writer of the fantastic P. Diddy Presents the Bad Boys of Comedy Thomas) who slinks over to 'get to know' our pretty heroine.

Easy tiger.

His smooth moves are rudely interrupted tho' when the Ferris Wheel running Davis clan, complete with harsh faced obnoxious daughter 'Toby' (Salmansohn, latter day Hollywood story consultant and best selling self-help book author) turn up to say hello.

In between Toby's ear piercing whining regarding rubber chickens that is.

Hoping to placate Toby and get rid of mom and dad for a few minutes Kit offers them a free ride on the tunnel of love.

A ride from which none of them return.

In fact all Kit finds are Pa Davis’ shattered and blood stained spectacles.

A lovely firm tummy and milky white thighs you could ski down...and that's just the fella.

That night in the Norris family trailer, Ma and Pa are busy entertaining Mr Blood, whom we discover, was once told by 'doctors' that due to his unusual metabolism he had less than six months to live but thanks to a special diet he's managed not only to defy the Doc's expectations but learn how to look good in a cape.

By good I mean really fucking sinister obviously.

Even later - it's all go isn't it? - Kit and Vena meet up near 'The Ghouls Eye' (which I'm assuming is a ride and not a reference to the carnival cleaners unfortunate ocular problem) for a chat and stuff whilst elsewhere in the deserted carnival two checked shirt wearing drunk types (let's call them Pete and Pete) are stumbling around the empty stalls looking for a ride on the roller-coaster.

Each to their own I guess.

Luckily the ride just happens to be open and Pete jumps at the chance for a shot, unfortunately half way round he's decapitated by some hidden cheese wire  causing the other Pete to start screaming like a baby.

Annoyed at all the noise Mr Blood orders the aforementioned bog eyed cleaner, Sticker (Oldie Olson from Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Preston) to stab him to death with his pointy rubbish collecting stick before carrying the body off to a secret blood siphoning facility hidden beneath the carnival where a number of ashen faced freaks gorge themselves on Pete's still warm flesh.

"Eye son!"

It's round about this point that Vena and Kit begin to suspect that there may be something slightly odd happening at the carnival.

Cue a heady mix of surreal dream sequences, top quality chases and extended scenes of a possibly bra-less Vena jogging thru' a park in slow motion.

Oh yes and a gun obsessed dwarf named Bobo (the late, great Villechaize) spouting all manner of sinister bollocks whilst the grey faced flesh eaters sit about enjoying grainy copies of the best of Universals silent back catalogue.

No, really.

John Carpenter, up the casino, New York, 1997.....YESCH!!

However just when you think you got your head round the whole reality/fantasy/drug induced dream stuff you realise that Vena has indeed been out running all night and yes, she actually isn't wearing a bra but don't worry because just as the movies already stretched view of realism looks like it's going to snap like so much cheap knicker elastic the grey faced flesh eating tramps suddenly attack the Norris' trailer leaving big panted dad to fight them off with a spud gun.

Two puppies fighting in a sack yesterday.

Returning to the carnival and oblivious to all that's going on around her Vena is fairly surprised to find poor Kit impaled on a large  paper mache clown causing her to scream apathetically and run off into the carnival catacombs with Sticker in wobbly pursuit.

Meanwhile back at the trailer, Pa Norris has not only vowed revenge on somebody but also decided that the best means of escape would be to blow up the trailer and run away in the confusion.

His wife however isn't convinced.

Cue offscreen explosion and a prolonged chase around the various stalls as more and more of the strange underground cannibal spew forth into the park....


Will the Norris family survive the oncoming cannibal apocalypse?

What hideous plans do Blood and Malatesta have for the perky Vena?

And where will her boyfriend Johnny stay when he arrives the next morning now that the Norris' camper van has burnt down?

Fantastically plotted, linear and expensive are just a few of the words you wouldn't use to describe Christopher Speeth's little seen horror oddity, lost in his spare room for decades and only recently let loose on an unsuspecting public decades later.

But then that might not be a bad thing when you realise that you'll end up describing it as one of the surrealist and most terrifying movies of all time.

And that's just Bill Preston.

Malatesta's Carnival of Blood is quite possibly one of (if not the) greatest horror movies to come out of the 70's, playing out like a big screen version of the worst acid trip you've ever experienced, it's dream logic and total lack of regard for the rules of cinema (and good taste) will leave you boggle eyed and shaking like a baby on a window ledge with it's heady mix of cannibals, vampires, inflatable sets and little people but the icing on an already sickly sweet cake are the performances from the leads.

Taking the concept of 'non-acting' to new heights, everyone on screen appears to be playing to an unseen audience, almost unaware of the other actors around them.

Genius Mr Speeth, true genius.

Groundbreaking and unique, this is the kind of film this blog lives for.

And so should you.

Beg, borrow, steal or even sell your entire dvd collection to pay* for a copy because you need this.


And I need a cold shower.


*Not brand new obviously just go to the big Cash Converters in Renfield Street, they have it in for 2 quid.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

burqa and hair (raising).

Day 29 of 31 days of horror and it's a look back at a classic.

Yes, occasionally I do watch good films.

It's a pity then that no fucker ever pays attention when I rave about them.

But not this time.

You've had 13 (!) years to catch up with this so if you haven't seen it already I'm giving you till then end of the week.

Go on, buy it now.

You'll thank me in the morning.

Zibahkhana (AKA Slaughterhouse, Hell's Ground. 2007)
Dir: Omar Ali Khan.
Cast: Kunwar Ali Roshan, Rooshanie Ejaz, Rubya Chaudhry, Haider Raza, Osman Khalid Butt, Najma Malik, Sultan Billa, Salim Meraj and Rehan.

You are on the road to Hell, my children.
On the road to Hell!


Pakistan's biggest dance festival is about to start and wouldn't you know it, it's gonna be taking place on a school night!

Isn't it always the way?

But if you think that's going to stop our motley band of Islamabad based teens having a wild night of music, mental dancing and muddy boots then you've got another thing coming.

Living, breathing Bratz doll Roxy (big haired bad girl Chaudhry) has it all planned, her buddies are going to sneak away in a colourful van and tell their respective parents that they're studying at each others houses.

What could possibly go wrong?

Accompanying her to the groove-some (as opposed to gruesome) fest are drugged up horror geek Vicky (Roshan), binman's son Simon (the Pakistani Daniel Radcliffe Raza) and the sweetly sexy to a point of almost being librarian-esque (as only good girls can be) Ayesha (Ejaz) alongside designated driver and token older guy OJ (Butt).

So, who's your cash on surviving to the final reel then?

Ejaz: scrumptious.

After a few coffees (and an encounter with some scarily saucy transvestite hookers) our merry band head off toward their dance-tastic destination, stopping only to visit Deewana's world famous tea shop.

What do you mean you've never heard of it?

A sign of spooky things to come occurs when Vicky is convinced that the Bruce Willis vested Deewana is actually the cult actor and star of the utterly fantastic The Living Corpse (AKA Dracula in Pakistan) Rehan, although the creepily hairy backed tea legend angrily denies this.

You see he's more interested in why such good Muslim kids aren't preparing for evening prayer.

Freaked out by all this talk of praying and curses our heroes grab some tea and buns before making their excuses and leaving.

"Spice Girls number one for Christmas? MONSTA!"

Could things get any worse?

Well after all that tea and cake poor Vicky seems to have developed a dodgy tummy and begs his buds to pull over so he can go vomit in a lake (as one would) but even before he's managed to wipe away the shame from the corners of his mouth he's attacked and bitten by a crazed, green skinned tramp.

Who also steals his stash.

Thieving undead bastard.

Simon, being the heroic type, offers to go search for the drugs (and the scary knee biting pikey) whilst Vicky sits huddled in a corner sweating and rubbing his leg in the hope of getting some female attention.


Who's sari now?

Don't get too concerned tho' because Simon soon returns with the drugs (and in one piece) and, after a wee bit of shall we shan't we? the gang decide it's probably for the best if they just carry on toward the festival and hope one of the first aiders has a plaster and a junior aspirin for Vicky victim when they get there.

This is actually surprisingly sensible and everything would have turned out fine if OJ hadn't taken a wrong turn when hurriedly leaving Deewana's tea shop.

Wouldn't you know it the gang end up lost.

In the woods.

Surrounded by the living dead.

There's only one course of action left to our heroes and that's to sit in the van and scream like wee girls as the zombies excitedly devour the contents of an abattoir bin next to the road.

Luckily OJ remembers that they're in a van not a shed, and drives away before the zombies can attack, or at the very least scratch the paintwork.

What a guy.

After driving what seems for hours and needing something to break the monotony of Vicky's vomiting and the girls screaming, the - by this point not so - merry band pull over at a big tent in the middle of nowhere in the hope of getting directions to the festival and maybe a few bottles of Lucozade to keep them going.

Have they never seen Bio-Zombie?

Obviously not, nor the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre by the looks of things seeing as they happily offer a lift to a mad as a bag of spanners bearded type named Bill Baley (Meraj, being scarily more like Bill Moseley than Moseley himself) who, after squatting on the floor of the van and demanding water starts shouting "I will drink the blood from your veins!" before pulling a severed head out of his man-bag.

Reacting with a mix of utter pant wetting terror and a wee bit of mild embarrassment the group scream at the horrible hobo for a while before kicking him out the van and running him down like a dog.

Which is a little extreme methinks.

"Laugh now!"

Waiting till the screaming has died down Ayesha suggests that maybe, just maybe they should give the festival a miss a head home.

Roxy (who it must be said has spent about three days troweling on her make-up in preparation for the event) is adamant that the show must go on, only changing her mind when she accidentally sits on the severed head left on the seat by the late lamented Baley.

It seems obvious to me that he only left it there because it too wanted to attend the music fest but had no body to go with.


Like a whippet up a particularly greasy drainpipe Roxy jumps out of the van and legs it into the woods whilst everyone else starts screaming again.

The screaming continues for about ten minutes, with everyone in the van desperately trying to be considerably louder than their pals.

Unfortunately when the screaming finally stops and the merry band almost collapse thru' lack of oxygen no-one has the faintest idea where Roxy has gone.

Ayesha and Simon, being the clean living heroic types give chase.

OJ volunteers to sit in the van with a considerably greener and more zombie-like by the minute Vicky in case they need to make a quick getaway.

What a guy!

"Oooh....who fancies a wee
bit a mooth shite-in?"

Stumbling blindly thru' the woods, our dynamic duo come across a ramshackle house and, hoping to get help bang on the doors whilst, yes, screaming.

After a few minutes of banging and screaming (and reckoning that their day can't get any worse) Simon and Ayesha slowly enter the house hoping to find a nice old lady with a phone that they can use.

It comes as no surprise to us (but a bloody big shock to the two friends) when stomping out of the kitchen comes a giant, burqa-wearing beast of a bloke brandishing a huge spiked ball on a chain.

A wee bit of a chase ensues culminating with poor Simon getting spiked in the face.

And yes, before you say anything I am aware (as is Ayesha, who seems to find this the most shocking thing so far) that men don't usually wear burqa's.

But I for one wouldn't say anything to him about it.

Meow. Twice.

Meanwhile Roxy, all messy hair, smudged make-up and tearful of cheek (but still nowhere near as hot as Ayesha - which I really shouldn't dwell on seeing as Ms. Ejaz reads this blog) has been found by a sweet old lady who lives in a tent just up the road from all the carnage.

And not only that but this old dear has tea and toast!

As a minus point tho' she does have her dead hubbies corpse in a cupboard and pictures of her two sons plastered around the walls.

One of whom seems to enjoy wearing a burqa....

No, it couldn't be...

Could it?

Taller than Freddie, sexier than Jason and
far easier to dress as than either one of them.
Raise your glass for the Burqa Baby!

From the deranged mind of Islamabad Ice cream shop magnate Omar Khan comes what is quite possibly the best lo-fi horror movie of the past 20 years if not the most fun ninety minutes I've spent with a teen killing mentalist for quite some time.

The surprising thing is that, on paper Hell's Ground should be little more than a run of the mill Texas Chainsaw rip off but it's kudos to Khan and his team that it's so much more than that, being at once an incredibly funny pastiche and an honest to goodness homage to the stalk and slash genre he obviously loves so much.

And just when you think it can't get any better cult movie king Rehan turns up.

From the pre-credit sequence onwards you know you're viewing something extra special and it's this love and understanding of the genres conventions that soaks (bloodily) thru' every single frame and every performance on show, the cast are uniformly fantastic, with special mention to the classically creepy Salim Meraj.

Honestly his performance is so convincing you can actually smell the urine and stale sweat thru' the teevee - God help you if you're watching in Blu-Ray.

And I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the elfin Rooshanie Ejaz could quite possibly have stolen Bruce Campbell's crown (and heart) as the ultimate horror hero had she not retired from movies and gone on to be a science type bigwig.

If nothing else she looks much sexier than the big chinned one when drenched in blood.

Sorry Bruce.

Frankly essential viewing and an essential costume come Halloween.

Still no word of a sequel mind, even tho' I sent the film makers a top notch script featuring Burqa Baby battling an army of ancient Jinns.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

fiddy pence.


Readers with long memories (and short tempers) may remember a few years ago that I tried to broaden the readership of the blog by expanding into more sensible stuff like - ahem -politics and the like, so to that end (exactly 4 years ago) I tweeted Mike Pence to ask what his favourite movie was in the hope of getting an exclusive interview or something from him pre-election night.

If you remember I did this with Nigel Farage to great effect.

Well I say great effect but actually mean that no fucker read it, so you can imagine my surprise when Pence actually replied*.

If only I'd used this information at the time I could have saved the world from 4 years of Trump and changed the course of American history as we know it.

Oh well.

Anyway seeing as it's election time (again) and because I'm running out of stuff for the 31 days of horror thing I thought I'd present his tweet in all its (totally real and in no way fake) glory alongside the review for those who hadn't seen it.

Dr. Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks (AKA Frankenstein's Castle, Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks, Monsters of Frankenstein, Terror Castle, The House of Freaks, 1974).
Dir: Robert H Oliver or Dick Randall take your pick I don't really care.
Cast: Rossano Brazzi, Loren Ewing, Edmund Purdom, Simonetta Vitelli and her playful puppies, Christiane Rucker, Eric Mann, Luciano Pigozzi, Michael Dunn and Mr. Boris Lugosi as Ook.

Terror stalks the castle when the secret of life falls into the wrong hands.

Somewhere in deepest, darkest Europe a bunch of inbred local yokel types in dirty vests and baseball hats (we call them Neds, you call them Republicans) have decided, with it being a Sunday and all, to spend the afternoon stoning a topless, manbreasted Neanderthal named Pedro (Ewing from Venus in Furs) to death.

No reason is given for this frankly loutish behavior other that they must be a wee bit bored.

Either that or the fact that his straggly beard makes him look a wee bit foreign.

Which is fair enough then.

Luckily for our hapless brute, who should come a-riding past but the one and only Count Steve Frankenstein (Brazzi from such classics as South Pacific and The Italian Job obviously getting stung by his ex wife for a new swimming pool) who has other plans for the big man.

Yup you guessed it, the 'mad' scientist reckons this towering titan would make a great starting point for his latest experiment.

An experiment into the world of urban dance beats.


"Mary Doll! whit's fae dinnah?"

However nothing ever goes smoothly for our favourite nutty professor as while he's performing (very complicated) surgery to transform his new plaything from a big beast into a fairly passable - and typical - Glaswegian (complete with 'heid' bandage) who should turn up out of the blue but his sensible shoed and bouncy breasted daughter Mary (Vitelli, ask your granddad), her hunky fiancé Eric (Mann the director of Manhunter and The Keep, possibly) and their dirty blonde and even dirtier pillowed anthropologist 'friend', Krista (Rucker best know by teevee fans for her long running role in Kottan Ermittelt) all intent on enjoying a holiday at Mary's old man's pad.

And his expense obviously.

"Now why don't you and your
little friend get wet n' naked for a wee bit o' mooth shite-in before dinner?"

Playing the good host, Frankenstein wines and dines his guests, regaling them with funny science stories whilst secretly sending out his freakish posse (including Genz the necrophiliac ginger porn dwarf fantastically played by Dunn) to steal more corpses for his experiment to recreate the entire rosta of BBC Scotlands' early 90's comedy talent in order to battle the evil independence movement.

And by the looks of it he already appears to have Rab C Nesbitt.


During one such midnight foray, the dim witted Hans (Pigozzi from Yor) forgets to clean away Genz' tiny footprints and, rather than admit his mistake, puts the blame on the little fella, causing the Count to banish him from his castle (of Freaks) until he finds out - and I quote - "What the Hell is going on with these short people!"

And all without even letting him have his supper first.

Genz, understandably annoyed by this (well, it was kippers on the menu) swears the wrath of the little people on the Count and begins to plot his revenge.

Sitting on a mushroom and seething away whilst planning more and more convoluted ways of gaining revenge our tiny pal is vaguely surprised (tho' he may just be squinting to read the cue-cards - when yet another Neanderthal, this one named Ook (Lugosi AKA The Beast in Heat himself, Sal Boris ) pops out from behind a hedge close to the European/Mexican border on the look out for some top tottie to fiddle with.

Or at the very least for a pretty mooth to shite in.

Obviously after selling her drugs and stealing her job that is.

C'mon we all know what these Neanderthals are like.

"It's awight wee Jimmy, ah
checked the beanstalk".

Anyway, whilst all this particularly un-PC stuff is going on, Krista and Mary have discovered a soothing hot spring in the caves below the castle and have decided the best thing to do would be to get naked and begin frolicking in a sexy manner at the first opportunity.

Obviously this adds nothing to the plot but it does mean you get quality dialogue like:

"This dress was designed to get out of quickly!"

and scenes like this:

and this:

Which is nice.

Tissues dispensed with it's back to the plot.

Genz sneaks back into the castle (disguised as a small doll, tiny second amender or a gnome no doubt) and frees a very angry Pedro who after sneaking a look in a mirror is devastated to find that he wasn't made to look like Wee Burnie.

To avoid confusion with our American readers I mean this guy, not this one.


Good, now we can continue.

Pedro then proceeds to smash the castle up and chase everyone whilst going "Gggrrraaaaahhhh" a lot.

We feel his pain.

Ook, meanwhile is slowly wandering through the dark tunnels below the castle looking for a quick shag, which is quite lucky then that he almost immediately comes across a naked, glistening (and very bouncy) Krista preparing for a soak.

Ook's leering grin, straining groin and outstretched hands say it all.

More tissues ahoy.

Just as you think that things couldn't get any worse the locals - who are still bored - have decided to organize another dads n' lads stoning and reckon that Frankenstein should be next on the list.

Wandering about the forest they soon come across poor Pedro (even tho' he looks completely different with his head bandaged and wearing a string vest) and give chase, following him into the caves where he hides behind a rock pretending to be a deplorable.

OK then a cat.

Surprisingly this ploy seems to work and the angry militia quickly head further into the caves giving Pedro the chance to make a break for freedom.

As he's about to head back to the border our brutish buddy spies poor Krista, covered in egg, sweat and semen (and on whom he has a wee bit of a schoolboy crush), being manhandled and arse whacked by the drooling Ook.

Will Pedro risk his own life to save this beautiful embodiment of liberty and chastity?

Will the mad locals ever tire of lynching random folk?

And does anyone reading really care?

Rucker: bacony passage.

From the legendary director/producer/dwarf fetishist Dick Randall (the man who brought us Weng Weng's For Y'ur Height Only, Supersonic Man and Don't Open Till Christmas amongst other classics), Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks' appears to be the bizarre lovechild of the no-budget, lo-fi drive-in movies of the mid 60's and the studio bound Euro-exploitationers of the the early 70's, lurching as it does between Hammeresque horror and bouncy boob fun.

This schizophrenic approach coupled with a general sense of unevenness and a totally threadbare plot is made even more enjoyable when the action and horror is repeatedly hijacked by scenes of Christiane Rucker's ample arse and Simonetta Vitelli's glorious breasts.

"Laugh now!"

Quite rightly most of the rude stuff is instigated by the movies true star, the pixie like perv that is Michael Dunn. Whether he's pinching a dead woman's nipples or giving Ook a quick lesson in seduction using a kidnapped farm girl as an unwilling volunteer, Dunn's portrayal of the pube bearded, tiny-handed hunchbacked mini-molester is a riot of over the top twitches and snarls coupled with an overpowering sense of sexual deviancy.

It's like a pocket sized Donald Trump is scooting around in your living room wearing your dad's pants.

Plus he has that wibbly wobbly run that's so endearing.

Frankly fantastic Friday night film fodder, plus as an added incentive to trawl thru' the bargain bins is that the UK DVD release on Something Weird Video was double boxed with the Victor Buono classic The Mad Butcher (AKA Meat is Meat).

But that was about 18 years ago so good luck finding it now.

Tho' if you ask him nicely Pence may get it re-released (this time on shiny BluRay) seeing as - hopefully - he'll be out of a job soon.

If you can call having to suck the arse-nuggets from a ginger, small-handed sociopath on a daily basis whilst he roughly fondles his daughter a job.

Oh well each to their own I guess.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

mum's the word.


It's day 27 of 31 days of horror and I've suddenly realized that I've not covered any babysitters in peril yet.

Actually I've not covered any babysitters in anything for years.

Tho' I've always said I'd make an exception for Nancy Loomis in Halloween.

Or just Nancy Loomis in general if I'm honest. reason other than she's absolutely lovely.

Babysitter Wanted (2008).

Dir: Jonas Barnes and Michael Manasseri.
Cast: Sarah Thompson, Matt Dallas, Bill Moseley, Bruce Thomas, Nana Visitor, Monty Bane and Kai Caster.


The sensibly shoed and incredibly cute Christian college newbie Angie Albright (Thompson from teevee's Angel) is leaving home - and her God bothering mum - for the first time ever in order to study art history at the community college in the next town.

Excitedly setting off on her long car journey to freedom she's soon hit by a wave of disappointment when upon arriving at her new digs she discovers that her roommate is a short-skirted stoner, the floor is covered in a scary mix of egg, sweat and semen stains and that someone has sold her bed.

Oh and less importantly local girls have been going missing.

But at least she still has the Lord.

And a really peachy bum if I'm totally honest so it's not all bad.

She might be sleeping now but just wait till the communion starts.

After a long hard chat to Jesus, our holy heroine decides to get a job to pay for a new bed and lo and behold there just happens to be a babysitting position advertised on the college notice board.

What are the chances eh?

Unfortunately tho' Angie can't get to excited seeing as it appears that she's being stalked around campus by a tall woolly hatted man in scruffy work boots with an uncanny (and frankly unnerving) ability to make art history slide show pictures appear on his face at random.

Which if nothing else should secure him a spot on the Britain's Got Talent finals.

Or at the very least in your mums bed.

Tho' just being male with a pulse should do that.

At least that's what your Uncle Ted said.

Laugh now!

Luckily she's got a new friend to chat to about it, the cool Catholic hunk Rick (Kyle XY star and former 80's super soap Dallas) whom she keeps bumping into around campus.

When he's not skulking around confessional boxes that is.

After a quick phone call and a couple of Hail Mary's Angie drives out to meet the couple in need of a sitter; the farm-working and plaid loving Stanton's (Birds of Prey's Batman himself Thomas and Dead Zone regular, one-time Ms. USA and former Bond Dalton) along with their girlie haired cowboy obsessed son, the monosyllabic Sam (pretty lipped Caster best known for Children of the Corn: Genesis, tho' that isn't really his fault).

Chatting to Mrs Stanton whilst enjoying a glass of homemade lemonade, Angie weighs up the pros and cons of the job (Pros: it pays well, cons: Sam's a freak and the house is in the middle of nowhere) before deciding to take it.

I mean what's the worse thing that could happen?

"You're my favourite Deputy....of love!"

On returning to her room Angie's mood is dampened a little when she finds someone has helpfully stuck pictures of the missing local girls to her dorm door leaving her no choice but to whine at Rick (who just happened to be passing) for a bit before heading to see the local sheriff (genre god Moseley in a scene stealing cameo) who assures her that everything is fine.

But if by some strange quirk of fate a mad mentalist does try to kill her he suggests that she should call him.

Which is nice.

The Amanda Knox bikestand was sure to be a big hit this coming Christmas.

The babysitting day soon comes around and wouldn't you know it Angie's car has broken down but never fear as Jack of all trades Rick is here to save the day, not only offering to spend his Saturday night fiddling with her tubes and pumping her engine but also promising to take her over to the Stanton's house too.

Obviously this does mean that if there is someone stalking our gospel lovin' gal and he does strike tonight that she's stuck in the middle of nowhere alone.

Well alone apart from sinister Sam who just happens to be the freakiest movie child this side of Tommy in Manhattan Baby.

I mean not content with wandering silently round the house like some mini Woody sex doll the little sod insists on eating only raw meat.

Without a fork.

How common.

"Hey kids! Let's round up a posse and have ourselves a spit roast!"

Everything is going smoothly (well for about 10 minutes, the movie's not that long, it only feels it) until Angie begins to hear noises from upstairs and banging at the front door.

Luckily the suspense is soon broken by Sam who wakes up mumbling "I'm hungry" before helping himself to some of the aforementioned meaty bits left in a bowl by the door before promptly running away leaving an oh so slightly panicking Angie torn between trying to find him, cleaning up the blood from the kitchen floor and avoiding the big bald fucker with the knife who's suddenly appeared from nowhere and is currently skulking about the porch.

Kids eh?

So who is the mysterious stalker?

Will Rick fix Angie's car?

And what has Sam been asked to "keep under his hat?"

From the former personal assistant to Neal H. Moritz on such hits as Fast & The Furious, SWAT and 2 Fast 2 Furious via a breakthru performance as the scary Irish Henchman in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, writer/director Jonas Barnes and fresh-faced actor turned director Michael Manasseri comes this charming if lightweight addition to the babysitter botherer genre.

And frankly it's not too shady at all.

Suffering somewhat from being released around the same time as Ti West's modern day classic The House of The Devil, Babysitter Wanted, after a fairly serious pre-credit murder plays out the rest of the plot with a slightly more tongue in cheek feel, more Tales of The Unexpected than Hammer House of Horror with it's heady mix of horror clichés and instantly recognizable ciphers, all lovingly crafted into an obvious homage to a genre the pair obviously love.

Either that or I'm getting to a point where I've watched so much shite this month that as soon as something non offensive and halfway decent comes along I'm that relieved that I try to marry it.

Only time, and my analyst truly knows the answer to that.

How I met your mother.

Yes I know bits of it made no sense and it's about 20 minutes too long but it's heart was in the right place.

Plus it boasts a really good cast, led by the yummily librarian-like Sarah Thompson; all big eyes and tight sweaters whilst both Bruce Thomas and Kristen Dalton are equally as lovable as the friendly farm folk in need of a sitter for scary Sam.

Thompson: luscious librarian love.

Which brings me to Kai Caster, who with the face of an angel, the lips of a Parisian whore and the haircut of '80's horror legend Giovanni Frezza was always destined to go far.

Tho' he'd have probably gone even further than American Horror Story, The Baxters and A Girl Named Jo if his folks had kept their food bins at the bottom of the yard locked.

It's inoffensive, it's harmless and it features Bill Moseley in a rare 'nice guy' role and a bowl haired wee boy chewing lumps of flesh like his life depended on it.

You could do worse.