Monday, November 30, 2020

console me.

A belated sequel to the Moscow Museum of Arcade games post, here's a collection of cult consoles that'd be perfect for Christmas.





















people you fancy but shouldn't (part 96).

 Sanna Mirella Marin - Prime Minister of Finland. 

A member of the Social Democratic Party, she has been a member of the Parliament of Finland since 2015, and served as the Minister of Transport and Communications from 6 June to 10 December 2019.

Who says this blog isn't educational?







 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

the freaked zone II.

 Another lovingly curated collection of all things freakish in tribute to Stuart Maconie's 6Music masterclass.....

 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

dear, deadly daria.

 


Farewell to a brilliant actress and a great friend - dearest, dark and dangerous Daria Nicolodi - THE one true mistress of the Macabre. xx
 

 

Monday, November 23, 2020

time and relative dimensions in sound.

 

Celebrate 57 years of the children's hero that adults adore with these heady mixes of Mondasian music, Cyber sounds, Bok beats and all things Doctor Who.


Monday, November 16, 2020

mummy dearest.

So, who had mummies on their 2020 bingo card?




Dawn of The Mummy (1981)
Dir: Frank Agrama.
Cast: Brenda King, Barry Sattels, George Peck, John Salvo, Ibrahim Khan, Joan Levy, Ellen Faison, Diane Beatty with the 'lovely' Laila Nasr and her dancing teeth.


It lives! It kills!
And it smells of old man wee!

or

“If ever this tomb is disturbed, Safiraman will rise and kill. His armies will rise and kill.”

Take yer pick.


Welcome everyone to sunny and sandy Egypt in the year 3000 B.C. (Before Continuity), it's a Tuesday afternoon just after 3.20 and the evil Pharaoh Safiraman (who does whatever a Safira can allegedly) is up to his normal weekday tricks raiding local villages for hunky teen boys to abduct, shave and used as 'slaves'.

Which is nice work if you can get it.

But unfortunately for those who enjoy a wee bit of sticky teen action - Dad, social work said to stop coming round the house by the way) - all this oiled boy kinkiness is skipped over in favour of jumping forward in time a few years to Safiraman's funeral.

Well it is an actual horror movie we're watching as opposed to say, a sweaty gay porn film pretending to be one.

Which is nice for a change.

Anyway, we join this obviously sad day just as his mysterious, tombstone toothed high priestess (one hit wonder Nasr) is ranting and raving about Osiris (the Egyptian one, not the shop that does cheap nose piercings in Glasgow city centre) and how fantastic and bloody a tyrant Safiraman was to crowds of nearly a dozen of his followers.

Yup, the budget could stretch to that many.

Knowing that it's best to stop on a high she finishes her speech with a saucy wiggle of her ample old lady arse before muttering an obligatory curse over the mummified body and locking six leather pant clad slaves into his burial chamber to keep him company.

Oh yes, then she fills the whole place with toxic gas.

But not from her bottom obviously because she's a nice lady.


Beware! This van is NOT full of sweeties.


 

Cut to the 'modern' day where a trio of sexy grave robbers led by the hunky blond bad boy Rick Cannon (the easy going co-star of Zoolander and Starsky and Hutch, Owen 'Lightning McQueen' Wilson acting here under the pseudonym Salvo) have just uncovered Safiraman’s still sealed back passage and, after a quick chat and chin stroke decide to blow the bugger open with handy dynamite sticks.

You never get that on Time Team.

Noticing the noxious stench of sweat, spunk and gravy emanating from Safiraman’s cracked entrance, Rick reckons that the burial chamber may have been booby trapped to prevent anyone doing what he's attempting to do, therefore it'd probably be safer to wait for the poisoned gas to dissipate before stealing all of the Pharaohs trinkets.

Brains, beauty and man-boobs, this guy has it all.

Telling the hired help Iain and Jeanette to stay on guard, Rick jumps into his jeep and prepares to head back to town to buy some crisps and pop for everyone.

Or something.

But as our hero guns his throttle (as I assume you drivers say) he's accosted by a dog blanketed old harridan stinking of piss shouting obscenities at him from the depths of her tar covered toothless mouth.

That'll be Laila Nasr back then, only this time caked in shit and wearing a comedy Cher wig.


Zena (for it is she) angrily spouts and spits at poor Rick, telling him and his team that they're about to desecrate a holy site, and if they're not careful, the mighty Safiraman an his (six man) army of the dead will be forced to “rise from the tomb and kill the infidels!”

Which is nice.


Rick tho', being a rascally type of guy just shrugs his manly shoulders and laughs the threat off before driving to the local shops, leaving his buddies tanking crates of Carling at the tombs entrance.

"Hows this for a Pharaohs entrance Gary?"


Pissed up and passed out on the sands Iain and Jeanette fail to notice the couple of boorish Bedouin neighbourhood watch members skulking behind a nearby cactus and licking their lips at the sight of Jeanette's ample thigh.

It appears that Zena has paid the pair (not in kisses I hope) to keep an eye on the grave robbers but, being foreign and therefore untrustworthy, the bearded bozo's  have decided to steal the treasure for themselves.

Bad, bad Bedouins.

"Nick it!"


Unfortunately the sinister smell of Zena must have affected their noses (and memories) as the pair walk straight into the still gas filled chamber and after a wee bit of dribbling and coughing drop down dead.

Which is actually quite lucky because it leaves the tomb fresh and smelling of daises the next morning just in time for Rick and co. to enjoy a death  trap free day of looting.

Result.

Meanwhile over in New York (well that's what it says on the grainy footage), that top selling women's mag Fashion Monthly has decided that the time is right to send a team, consisting of (camp as pants) photographer Bill (Peck, not Bob), makeup lady Jenny (Levy, tho' not Jane) and sexy 'models' Lisa (King not Steven), Melinda (Faison, Bless you), Joan (Diane Beatty not Ned) plus not forgetting gorgeous Gary (Sattels) over to Egypt for a sexy new fashion shoot.

You can see where this is going can't you?

What all the two-bit whore's will be wearing next summer, go on ask your mum.


The magazines Egyptian correspondent, Norman has decided that the little town of Barqa would make a suitable backdrop for a few days of clothes based shenanigans, especially the sand dunes overlooking the tomb of some guy named Safiraman.

Who'd have guessed?

Fairly unsurprisingly (it's that kinda movie) the fashion glitterati almost immediately bump into Rick and his band, seemingly hitting it off (as opposed to having it off) with our hero right away.

Tho' that could have something to do with the fact that they're all clean(ish) and good-looking - well I say good looking - laydees from the good old US of A, unlike the buck-toothed local women that keep trying to get to grips with his newly recovered Pharaoh staff.

By which I probably mean his penis.

They get on so well that, after a little persuasion Rick even agrees to let them use the tombs interior for the fashion shoot.

As you can probably imagine, this is possibly going to be a very, very bad idea.

"Fuck me! It's Robin Thicke!"


OK so you're thinking to yourself 'so far so horribly clichéd' but surprisingly for a film so threadbare it does have the distinction of adding a new piece of lore to the mummy genre.

And that's a brilliantly unique reason for the mummies resurrection that I'm amazed no other movie since has stolen.

Can you guess, dear reader what actually causes Safiraman to finally rise from his sandy grave?

Is it the messily dynamiting of his sacred burial chamber?

Is it when one of Rick's buddies (not Ben Stiller or even Mater) steals his golden walking stick before snipping away at his bandages?

Or is it the fact that the heat from Bills arc light is a wee bit too warm for him?

Go on, guess.

"Sand in mah mooth!"



Yup that's right, Safiraman gets all hot and bothered by the lights, waking up in a  strop of Tyra Banks proportions and ready to kick some model arse.

Imagine classic era America's Next Top Model but with more eating disorders but without the hunksome Nigel Barker.

Summoning his zombie slaves, who, in the intervening years appear to have moved out of the tomb and set up home amongst the dunes, Safiraman prepares for his revenge.

Only not right away.

"You wore hotpants in my tomb!!??!!"

After what seems like months of planning (look there are only so many times I can watch underfed wannabe models pose in hideous chiffon dresses before I want to force a pie into the screen - or up someone's arse) Safiraman finally gets up and decides on a plan of action.

Firstly he makes a surprise visit to Jeanette's butcher shop and sticks a meat cleaver in his head before sneaking up on the lovely Melinda whilst she's swimming at the local oasis (but not the one of the zombies) and kills her too.

Luckily for the viewer - if not the poor cast, once Safiraman and his zombie minions get a taste for blood there's no stopping them as they chow down on Gary, enjoy a main course of beefy Bill in a basket before quickly following that with a juicy  Jenny dessert.

Yum.

Dominic Cummings...The Return.


All this blood-letting, burping and general badness seems to be just what our undead chums have been missing all these years and, not wanting to be seen as lightweights they decide to vote on who or what to do next.

Democracy in Egypt?

Who'd have thunk it?

Noticing the sound of riotous laughter and rocking good music in the distance,  Safiraman and his horde reckon it'd be a bit of a laugh to head right into Barqa town centre and crash local drug dealer Steve Hamid's wedding party for a wee dance and some good natured banter.

Oh and to eat the guests whole of course.

Tho' they may spit that bit out.

Dave's Dalek impression was always a hit at kids parties.


It's not too long (or too well shot) before Safiraman and co. have managed to eat their way thru' the aunts, uncles and cousins until only Lisa, Joan, Rick plus a few other folk I've already forgotten are left.

With the undead slowly closing in on them our heroes become embroiled in a battle for survival.

And more importantly against crushing tedium.

Will our heroes escape?

Will Safiraman and his greedy pals ever be full?

And will Rick possibly use the handy stash of dynamite sitting nearby to blow Safiraman up?

Patrick Stewart: the Covid years.



The worlds first (and only) joint Egyptian/Italian/American production to feature both flesh eating mummies and high fashion, Frank Agrama's Dawn of The Mummy is a laugh a minute, schizophrenic thrill ride of cack handed dubbing, bad teeth, Lego hair and a cast so unclean you'd swear you could smell the stale urine oozing thru' your Teevee screen.

I had to mop up after sitting thru' it but then again that may have been my excitement showing.

Owen Wilson, up the casino, Cairo, 1982...YESCH!


A big name in the Egyptian film industry (yes it has one) Agrama - the man who brought Super Dimension Fortress Macross to the English-speaking world, a thing that we are eternally grateful for - had already produced and directed over 40 movies before deciding to turn his hand to the horror genre.

Looking to Italy for his inspiration, he (unfortunately) skipped the films of Agento, Fulci and (Mario) Bava and went straight to the shelf containing the complete works of Bruno (Zombie Creeping Flesh) Mattei and Andrea (Burial Ground) Bianchi, delivering a movie of such appalling tardiness that’s only claim to fame is its frightening ability to appear to last even longer than its relatively short 97 minute running time.

It's as if you enter a spooky slow dimension that quietly eats away at your soul whilst watching it.

As this is coming from a man who once sat thru' the entire celluloid abortions that are Cradle of Fear, Lords of Salem and Little Deaths in one sitting.

But, if self harm appeals to you and you still feel compelled to view this movie you can at least look forward to the amusing (and possibly arousing) delights of sweaty Egyptians whipping small boys, John Salvo's hair and Laila Nasr's teeth, not to mention the cheap market stall fashions and the gore-tastic climax.

Which beats a good plot any day really.

Doesn't it?

Plus it gives you a warm glow inside knowing that the director was cleared of all charges of alleged tax fraud after a nine year case and is sitting happily by his pool in LA counting his cash as you watch, not being bummed by a bin man in prison whilst counting his teeth.

Which I guess is an enduring an image as anything on screen here.


Monday, November 9, 2020

the freaked zone.

 

 

Remember that lovingly crafted collection of all things freakish I did in tribute to Stuart Maconie's 6Music masterclass The Freak Zone a while back?

Well here's a version you can watch as well as listen to.

You're Welcome.

Saturday, November 7, 2020

beyond the pale.

Found this on DVD in the back of a wardrobe whilst decorating yesterday and remembered how surprised I was when I first reviewed it back in 2010 when one of the cast actually complimented me on the review, which makes a change from the usual death threats and general abuse I get these days.





Anyway checking back it appeared that only 4 people (him included) had ever read it so here, for your enjoyment I present - again....

 

HG Wells' The Shape of Things To Come (1979)
Dir: George McCowan
Cast: Jack Palance, Carol Lynley, Barry Morse, John Ireland, Nicholas Campbell, Mark Parr and Eddie Benton.


Beyond the earth...
Beyond the moon...
Beyond your wildest imagination!
and quite possibly beyond the pale.
But not The Beyond.

Unfortunately.





The time is the tomorrow after tomorrow (which makes it a Wednesday) and planet Earth is a devastated no-man's land, left irradiated after the infamous 'Robot Wars' .

Craig Charles has a lot to answer for.

Luckily for the future of mankind the survivors have all buggered off to the moon and set up what looks like a giant supermarket cum roller disco named New Washington.

Named after America's last president, the actor turned politician Denzel, whose quick thinking allowed humanity to flee the Earth to begin with, the city is run by an elite selection of tight jump-suited old men in thin socks and led by the doddery (yet still pert arsed) Senator Jeff Smedley (acting warhorse Ireland from everything you can think of from Salon Kitty to Waxwork II, obviously his ex-wife was being really demanding at this time) and the candyflosh haired Dr. John Caball (Morse....no introduction necessary).



Washington: post.


Not everything is all rosy in New Washington tho', the general populace are required to wear hellish 'high fashion' outfits that even the producers of Logan's Run turned down for being too seventies and the after effects of the cyborg conflict means that the survivors need to take a regular dose of the miracle drug Radish-Q-2 just to stop their sideburns dropping out.


This miracle drug is only produced on one planet in the galaxy, the barren(ish) Delta Three but unfortunately for cuddly Caball and co., the planets self proclaimed robot master, the mad as a lorry scientist named Edward James Omus (Palance, nuff said), has deposed Nikki Six (Lynley from The Poseidon Adventure and, um, loads of other stuff), the legitimate governor of Delta Three and taken over with the help of his terrifying army of moving compost bins.

Oh sorry, I mean hi-tech robots.

Obviously disguised as compost bins.



Beware! The bin men!


To prove that he means business, Omus crashes a robot controlled cargo ship into the New Washington branch of Aldi before announcing that forthwith all shipments of Radish-Q-2 will be suspended until he is proclaimed emperor of everything and given a big crown made of chocolate.

And the moon on a stick.


"Are you looking at my bra?"


In response these outrageous demands and acts of aggression Smedley decides the best course of action would be to do nothing and just hope that Omus gets bored or just changes his mind but massively manbreasted Dr. Caball demands an immediate (if not sooner) response.

You see, he's spent the last few years building a super sleek space attack ship (out of bits of left over model parts by the look of it) called The Star Streak and reckons this is just the right opportunity to blast off into space and get rid of some of his old man aggression by way of kicking Omus' arse.

After consulting the giant talking disco ball in his office however, Smedley (and the computer) says no.


How the Enterprise would look if constructed
by the guy that used to do Arrow's horror covers.

Without access to paint.


Being a grumpy old man slowly eaten away by sexual frustration and the fact that he now has to wear a bra, Caball ignores everyone and decides to go anyway, taking his drippy son Jason (latter day writer/director and son of Bruce, Campbell), Smedley's harsh faced daughter Kim (Benton AKA Anne-Marie Martin from teevee's Sledge Hammer and star of your Granddad's most erotic fantasies) and a upturned water cooler on castors and decked out in Christmas tree lights named Sparks (full time little person Parr).

Stealing Star Streak and blasting off for Delta Three our heroes remember that they've forgotten to fill her up with petrol so, slightly embarrassed they turn around and head back toward Earth in order to refuel at the planets last garage which is luckily run by an old drinking chum of Caball Snr.

I would say you couldn't make this shit up but obviously someone did.


No matter what I write I couldn't make
this look any shitter than it already does.

I hope the designer is proud of himself.


Landing in someone's garden Jason soon discovers that the garage is shut (due to the owner being dead in a cupboard) and that the local woods are over-run by irradiated children in ill fitting white wigs, left behind after the war.

Being a nice man tho' Jason tells all the kids to sit in a field and that he'll be back for them in a bit.

Phew! Glad the plot made that detour.

Meanwhile back on Delta Three Nikki and her band of, oh at least seven followers, obviously bored sitting about in the dirt like a bunch of late sixties counter-culture junkies, are planning to attack Omus and seize back control of the base and stuff.

So, armed with dustbin lids and washing poles the heady band take a secret route thru' a massive maze of underground caverns only to find the evil robot bins lying (well swaying) in wait and ready to strike out clumsily with their big plastic hands.

Niki being very little sneaks between the robots chunky rubber thighs and makes it inside Omus' fortress, sending a message to the moon for help.

A message that is intercepted by old man Caball and co. as they (very slowly) approach Delta Three.

Demanding they move up to 'faster than faster than light' speed before retiring to his room for a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle, John misses the after effects of travelling at such high speeds which include flashing disco lights, poverty row matte work and a variety of disturbing cum faces from the rest of the cast as they cartwheel round the set desperately trying to avoid knocking Sparks the robot over.

Even having to write about that scene has made a little piece of me die inside.



"I wonder what'll happen if I tug this knob?"


Finally arriving in one piece (but sweating more than Jeffrey Epstein on an oil rig) our heroes come across a couple of robot controlled freighters heading toward the moon, but having failed to fit The Star Streak with weaponry of any kind in which to blow them up, John decides that they should land and have a stern chat with Omus instead.

Cut to someone dropping a paper plate into a garden and it's away we go.

Trudging thru' the sandpit behind the directors house our merry band soon find Nikki and her followers hiding up a tree and, after a bit of uncomfortable hugging between the Baby Jane like Nikki and the saggy arsed John, the baddie robots turn up and escort the old fella to his audience with Omus.

Clambering back up the tree till they've gone, Jason formulates a cunning rescue plan involving going back thru' the same caves as before, knocking on Omus' door then running away giggling.


A rare behind the scenes shot of the
movies special effects team at work.


Whilst all this potty plotting is going on, Caball and Omus finally meet face to face (again).

Yup it turns out that John was once Omus' geography teacher, keeping him behind in detention for wrongly identifying France as Belgium and therefore starting him off on his road to dictatorship.

But Omus has his revenge planned to the tiniest detail.

A revenge that involves the man we've come to hate donning au upturned water cooler on his head whilst playing white noise loudly thru' his stereo radiogram causing poor old Barry Morse to feign a stroke.

Or is it his sex face?



Hel-met.


Arriving just in time to find his fathers prone body covered in jam and slumped in a Lazy Boy chair, Jason vows violent revenge on Omus but way below in the caverns his evil army of robotic bins is on the move, determined to smash Nikki's mini rebellion whilst far away in space the bomb laden freighters edge ever closer to the moon.....


Kim prepares to try out the new
Anne Summers Golden Nobbler for size.


Like the idiot child you keep locked in the attic or the piss stained and bearded old Aunt you only see at Christmas, you can't help but admire the late, (wannabe) great George McCowan's lo-fi, sci-fi shlockfest for it's blatant brass necked, steel balled arrogance.

Taking it's title from the classic HG Wells novel, it's plot from the back of a fag packet and it's effects from the local thrift store, McCowan has fashioned what should be a ratty, tatty fag end of a movie into a highly entertaining (but still ratty, tatty and fag ended) piece of cinematic cheese worthy of a wider fan following than it currently has.




Chock full of badly fitted polyester jumpsuits, the largest bunch of non acting, non entities this side of River City and an army of killer robots obviously fashioned by a wooden handed blind child from the contents of his Dads shed, The Shape Of Things To Come positively revels in it's tawdriness, almost as if the people involved haven't realised how arse numbingly bad the entire production is.

Yes, it's like they honestly believe that they're making something that will rival 2001 in the intellectual stakes.

And for that you really have to admire their commitment.

If not worry about their collective sanity.

Frankly you can't call yourself a true film fan unless you own this.

Especially if it's on VHS.