Monday, October 31, 2022

death by stereo.

 All your Halloween party hit needs in one handy place!

You're welcome!

welcome to fright night!


Can it really be 30 years since spookmiester supreme Stephen Volk invited us to spend Halloween night alongside the Early family and the pesky poltergeist Mr Pipes in their house on Foxhill Drive?....It's just that it seems that Ghostwatch has always been a part of our Halloween celebrations - not so much speaking to the nations psyche and its love of the supernatural as sneakily creeping up behind it and shouting "BOO!" as loud as it could before kidnapping its kids and locking itself in the cupboard under the stairs (or in our case in the hall).

My biggest regret was that I never actually saw it on transmission being as I was out at a Halloween party (bizarrely actually dressed as Craig Charles – spooky eh?) so didn’t get to see it till early the next morning, soberingly strong coffee in hand and clutching a bowl of popcorn I sat transfixed – little knowing of the mayhem it caused (and the damp trousers) across Britain just a few hours earlier. From there on in every Halloween was Ghostwatch night culminating on the 5th anniversary of the shows original broadcast when, to celebrate, the Ghostwatch boardgame was born.
No, really.
Whilst others celebrate the ultimate in sinister spooktaculars with documentaries, tattoos and serious social discourse we celebrate by mocking up a mangy cat bitten beast in our cupboard and roll a dice in order to collect paranormal evidence whilst dodging the glory hole and Suzy’s sweary schoolbook and donning laminated Parky masks.
And for that Mr Volk we salute you.
Just don’t let that image give you nightmares.

And whilst I'm waxing lyrical about Ghostwatch here's Ghostwatch - Welcome to fright night! - the terrifying tribute lovingly (and drunkenly) put together by myself and Mr Dissolved Paul way back in '97 for its 5th birthday that was recently - and spookily - resurrected for the 30th anniversary showings.

So for your ear entertainment here's the full audio experience...Enjoy (and don't have nightmares).


bad dad gas.

It's the last day of 31 Days of Horror and I'm feeling very refreshed.

Not only because the final movie is a corker but because someone said something nice about the blog on Twitter t'other week:

This must be what being popular feels like.

Anyway on with the movie.

Well on with the review, I mean I watched the movie years ago.

And again last night.

Tho' I could probably put it on right now.

Yes it's that good.

Demon Wind (1990).
Dir: Charles Philip Moore.
Cast:: Eric Larsonn, Francine Lapensee, Bobby Johnston, Lynn Clark, Mark David Fritsche, Sherry Bendorf, Jack Vogel, Stephen Quadros, Richard Gabai, Mia Ruiz, C.D.J. Koko, Rufus Norris and Sandra Margot.

“And now my pig, you die!”

Welcome to 1930s backwoods, USA, where burned and crucified bodies and market stall prints of Jesus (or is it Ewan McGregor?) litter the grounds - and walls - of the tiny farmhouse home of the God-fearing (and ferret toothed) Regina Carter who, alongside her long-suffering husband George is busy lighting candles in an attempt to stop evil demons entering her house.

Tho' probably not her lady garden as from the look of her that's already been the site of a good few hauntings.

As the camera pans across old family photographs and more cheap religious tat the sounds of spooky voices fill the air as Regina stands steadfast against the front door as if trying to stop some unknown - and unseen - force from entering.

George on the other hand is just standing in the background like a huge cardboard cock.

Albeit one that's dribbling vegetable soup whilst growling.

Turning to face her by now soup covered and Chip-Stick fanged hubbie Regina quickly grabs a poundshop snowglobe and threatens to break it, announcing that if she does it will be the end of them both.

As you do.

Unconcerned by the threat of ornament breakage George lunges at his wife and she drops the globe which shatters into a pool of blood and causes the house to explode.

Which was a wee bit unexpected I'll admit.

That ain't no's Jesus!

With a quick cut and a title card that says 'PRESENT' (which I am) we're in the modern day times where the tiny-eyed teen - yeah right - Cory (Larson whom you may remember from his top turn as the Internal Affairs Guy from the episode of Angel 'Reprise') and his girlfriend Elaine (Producer/Director/Actor Lapensee) are uncomfortably driving along a very empty dirt track on their way to visit his grandparents' farm.

It seems that poor Cory had a strange childhood, estranged from his father his only link to the past is the aforementioned farmhouse and the tales of the strange goings on that happened there.

As if some strange foreboding of things to come an inbred, snub-nosed ginger child stands silently on a hill pointing a stick at them.

I bet his girlfriend is so looking forward to this weekend trip, I mean I'm depressed just writing about it.


With the conversation as stilted as the pairs acting ability there's blessed relief when they stop at 'crazy' Barry Harcourt's (Olivier winning theatre director Norris - no really) gas station and cafe for directions, a quick snack and an excuse for Elaine to flash her love heart pants at Cory, much to the chagrin of the owner who berates them before giving an airing to the age old "Keep away from the farm or you'll be doomed!" speech so well loved in 80s horror epics.

Cory, ignoring the warnings, tells Elaine that he's adamant that he's been here before in a strange dream where he's naked apart from a thermos flask to cover his dignity and just to prove it's so the director lovingly shows us this very dream.

Which if nothing else goes to show how pert Cory's arse is.

Honestly he could crack walnuts between those buttocks.

Unfortunately we don't get to see them in action as the dream suddenly ends with the appearance of Cory's blood soaked (as opposed to gin soaked) grannie.

All this bizarro shite is soon is cut short tho' when more of Cory's entourage arrive at the gas station, there's the buff stud muffin and wannabe wife beater Dell (Erotic Confessions star Johnston), his yumsome, red-tighted girlfriend Terri (Santa Barbara's Clark) and the frighteningly horse faced Bonnie (Hollywood stunt royalty Bendorf) alongside the bespectacled Jack (Fritsche) as well as the council estate Michael Biehn Stacy (Vogel) alongside amateur magician cum fulltime spunkbucket Chuck (ex drummer with rock gods Snow and almost KISS percussionist Quadros) who - in one of the greatest moments in cinema - arrives on the scene decked in a cape and bowtie whilst performing magic tricks from the front seat of a convertible as The Ride of the Valkyries blares over the car stereo before getting down to threatening Dell with his sexy Kung Fu moves.

No really.

Kick, punch it's all in the mind.

As the group grab a drink Cory decides to get everyone (including us) up to speed with regards to his dear old dad who, it turns out was born a mere four days before the farm house exploded  and how, shortly after Cory was born, he returned there and was never heard from again until that is Cory caught up with him a few weeks back.

Oh yes and it turns out that within hours of catching up with his son that the poor old sod slashed his wrists and died.

Which is a bit excessive really, I mean mine just ignores me.

Surprisingly the entire group react not with fear or concern but mild disinterest and with that they all head to their cars eager to get to the farm house and the promise of a feast of egg sandwiches and cans of pop.

When the gang finally arrive at the farm you can see that they're oh so slightly disappointed by what they find as it consists of a smashed wall, some bricks piled in a corner and a three walled barn.

Yup, it's gonna be a cold night.

As a plus point tho' there is the burnt remains of the skeleton crucified to a tree by the gate which probably counts as a selling feature.

Trying to make the best of a bad - alright utterly shite - situation the group start to unload their cars but in the excitement Bonnie manages to trip over her massive chin and lands face to, um, skull with a skeleton poking out of the grass and as Cory goes to help her up our hero accidentally touches it causing a threadbare explosion of felt pen-based rotoscoping of the kind not since you used to add laser effects to your super 8 movies with a pin.

But if that wasn't enough to caused you to fill your trousers with fright then the fact that this causes Cory to experience hallucinatory images of his dad/uncle/cousin (I don't care) getting attacked by a loud noise should make you at least check for leakage.

Dollar have let themselves go.

Dell searching around in the bushes for something to abuse comes across - not in that way tho' I'd not be surprised if he did seeing as his entire character is a literal #metoo meme -  a rusty old lantern and quickly surmises that a bad man started a fire and killed everyone tho' Cory isn't convinced and proceeds to walk around the desolated ruin for no reason other than to freak out the audience when he stands in the doorway facing his pals who it turns out can't see him.

Scarily all they see is a rustically furnished and non-trashed farmhouse.

Yet no-one and I do mean no-one thinks this is at all odd.

Cory walks all the way back to his friends and they all head inside.

Yup, into a farm house which they have just seen exists in two separate dimensions.

A farm house that exists in two separate dimensions and has glowing, laser firing skulls buried outside.

And a crucified corpse as a garden ornament.

And not one of them thinks this is in any way odd.

There's even scary Sumerian style text scrawled on the walls Ala Evil Dead.

Seriously I've never wished death on anyone as much as I have on Cory and his pals.

Yes they're that stupid.

But kinda lovable too.

Weird science!

Bonnie, having the biggest face and therefore being the most able to read the mystic runes from a distance begins to recite the words out loud causing the fireplace to burst into flames (well it is a fireplace I guess) and the entire contents of the house to start flying around as crockery and the like usually don't.

As the stench of an entire group of teens shitting themselves fills the air everyone legs it out of the Farmhouse before Chuck and Stacy head back in after retrieving guns from their car.

No doubt Chuck turned a couple of rabbits into the firearms as magicians usually do in times of stress.

This guy puts Paul Daniels to shame.

Voting to turn around and go home (a wise idea if not a very cinematic one) Cory desperately tries to persuade them to stay saying that it was just the (demon) wind when suddenly, as if right on cue, the crucified skeletons falls to the ground.

With this the entire group hurry back to their cars but - surprise surprise - none of them will start.

Bonnie, hungry for sugar lumps, begins to panic and grabs her (saddle) bags before quickly walking in the direction of the gas station.

As her friends begin to follow a mysterious howling wind picks up and a spooky fog appears from nowhere.

I say nowhere but I'm assuming it's from a smoke machine placed just out of shot.

As the fog disappears the group realise that they've been transported right back to outside the house.

But this time they're not alone as three creepy wee girls cosplaying Laura Ingalls have appeared from nowhere to hurl abuse at our freaked out friends.

Dell, being a caring guy almost immediately tries to punch one of them but is cast aside like a rag doll which causes poor Bonnie to get even more upset and attempt to gallop away.

One of the girls makes a grab for Bonnie and in a flash of felt pen animation turns her into a doll.

Not a doll that looks anything like her obviously just a common or garden cheap toy shop doll that has a vague approximation of her outfit on.

As in it's the same colour.

Sort of.

No idea why they didn't just use a Barbie horse tho' as that'd been a perfect match.

"Me? stay in a haunted house? Neigh chance!"

The director has one more cruel twist of fate for Bonnie tho' as after it utters a few scary words it bursts into flames.

The friends just look at each other and shrug before heading back into the house to bed down for the night because, as Cory so eloquently puts it, it'll probably be safer than sleeping in their cars.

Yup if I have the choice between sleeping in a locked car or in a haunted house that phases between two different dimensions I know which I'd choose.

Occupying themselves by cleaning the place up before teatime the group of friends are understandably upset when just as Stacy places the last doily on the sofa arm another demon wind blows thru' the house and messes it up again.

Cory however doesn't seem to notice as he's way too busy following a ghostly vision of his grandmother down into the basement where she leads him to her handy spellbook and a couple of demon killing daggers.

Which is nice seeing as all my gran ever gave me was a feeling of shame and the fact that I was considered an abomination and a mistake by everyone.

Including the local vicar and most of the nearby women's institute.

Anyway, enough of my dark secrets as there are plenty on screen to go around as Cory is keen to share as he reads from his Nan's book.

It seems that years back his family chased a preacher named Barry 'Beast' Enders out of the area after he began worshiping Satan and converting a load of local farmers.

And with this stunning revelation the group settle for bed leaving the gun-toting
magicians Chuck and Stacy on guard.

Well they do have magical powers.

And guns obviously.

As the night (and the movie) drags on the pair notice a voice calling to them from the fog and as they peer ever closer to the window a ghostly blonde bird (former 'adult' movie star and current reality TV starring bail-bonds woman Margot) appears, wearing what looks like your Mum's best underwear and calling their names as she pens her -smashing - blouse revealing her breasts.

Which is a blessed relief as it takes your attention away from her harsh face.

As she fades back into the fog I'm surprised to say that the pair actually realise it's a trick but decide to go out anyway and shoot some stuff.

"Boiled onions!"

As they search thru' the fog for the floaty old lady a shambling group of zombie demons appear on the horizon and our trick-performing twosome start blasting away in between Chuck karate kicking the undead horde in the face.

The tide of battle soon turns against the two friends tho' and Chuck can only look on in mild apathy as Stacy is cut down by the demons leaving Chuck no choice but to run back to the house and - rather than just quickly go inside and shut the door - hang around till the topless woman kills him.

As his dying screams - and not I repeat not the sound of multiple gunshots - finally wake everyone up
he surviving group rush to the windows to take a peek outside and see their friends dead bodies, giving Terri the chance to deliver the greatest onscreen NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! since James Earl Jones in Revenge of The Sith.

As the sun rises our merry band are excited to hear a car in the distance, it seems that Cory's pals, the dangly earinged Willy (Assault of the Party Nerds 2: The Heavy Petting Detective star cum latter day producer and director Gaba)
and his girlfriend Reena (Ruiz whom you may remember as Mr. Reindeer's Resident Valet #1 in Wild At Heart and as the saucy Michelle in Witchcraft II: The Temptress - no? Suit yourselves) have turned up to join in the fun.

As the group run towards the car Cory frantically yells for them to keep the engine running in the hope that they can all pile in and escape but Willy unable to hear them over not just the noise of the engine but also over his awesomeness turns it off and shouts "What?" really loudly.

The Take That reunion tour got off to a shaky start...

Realising that they're all basically fucked the pals head back to the farm and begin boarding up the windows - which if you remember don't exist from the outside - and fashioning weapons to defend themselves using leftover pots and pans.

Well it keeps them busy.

Dell and Terri on the other hand have decided to make a run for it and grabbing a blanket for the journey head out into the unknown where they soon die.

No loss there then.

As the friends beaver away at the windows Jack notices that the barn has mysteriously rebuilt itself and in a bizarre leap of logic decides that the evil must be hiding in there so they all head over to investigate.

Disappointingly as barns go this one seems pretty ordinary - except for the runes daubed in blood on the walls and the crucified human skeleton with a bulls skull for a head obviously - so the friends continue to poke around.

All except Reena that is who slowly approaches the skeleton, transfixed by its strange beauty.

Well that's what she says.

Personally I reckon she just wants to know if he's in proportion.

As she gets nearer a massive tongue lashes out of the skull and wraps itself around her neck, dragging her ever nearer before biting her head off.

Which is nice.

"Is it in yet?"

Cory and co. turn to leave but find their exit blocked by their magician mates who are now possessed by demons, Jack, coming over all Rowdy Roddy Piper (not literally mind) threatens to shoot the pair but is politely informed that guns wont work in the house of the Devil.

Or even his barn possibly.

After punching Willy in the face the pair attempt to attack Elaine, which is when Cory remembers that he has a couple of demon destroying daggers. He waves them at his former friends till they run away giving everyone a chance to return to the farmhouse.

Except Willie that is, they left him lying unconscious in the barn.

Friends eh?

As they turn back and get him, Reena appears carrying his severed head like a novelty handbag and Cory realising that the films running time is rapidly coming to an end decides to get all proactive, stabbing her with a dagger and causing her - and it - to explode in a shower of cartoon light.

Everyone - well everyone who's left - piles into the farmhouse as the demon hordes stumble out of the barn toward them.

But as the undead army gets closer a strange ray of light emanates from the farmhouse causing them to burst into flames.

Yup it appears dear old grannie installed a demon repellent ray in the roof.

Pity she never felt need to mention it earlier.

Or at all.

As the mysterious magical forcefield begins to fade the demons roughly enter the house and as an undead Terri bites Jack and Bonnie gallops over a hill to beg for death all seems lost but as the Devil himself prepares to make an entrance it appears that there's more to Cory than first appears.

Could he really be some superhero-style Satan smasher in disguise?

Most famous for being one of the first movies released on VHS to have a lenticular cover - glad to see they spent the money in the right place - Demon Wind is what would happen if you showed The Evil Dead to a sugared-up 12 year old with ADHD then got him to rewrite the script from memory.

Yes it's that good.

Writer/director Charles Philip Moore (he who gave us the classic 1994 'erotic' thriller Angel of Destruction as well as the Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson hit Blackbelt) throws caution - and budgetary constraints - to the (demon) wind to bring us a tale that's as mesmerizing as it is ludicrous - mad, at times painfully bad and - if not dangerous - then at least slightly dippy to know.

From it's bizarro nude dream sequences to it's Rentaghost style (not so) special effects and vegetable soup spewing demons via fright masked fight scenes and random scary children pointing sticks at nothing in particular, Demon Wind at once encapsulates both the very best and the arse clenching worst of late 80s American horror cinema.

Oh and did I mention it features magic tricks?

Soup in mah mooth.

Those less forgiving may accuse the whole sorry affair of being a wee bit shite, well if that's at all true then at least it's bloody enjoyable shite, cramming more into its running time than most other movies of its ilk combined and if that means there's less time to worry about little things like logic and basic storytelling tropes then who am I to argue?

Really, there's not much you can say about Demon Wind other than you need to experience it for yourself.

Sheer lo-fi horror genius.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

gored and mildred.

As this years 31 Days of Horror lurches toward it's climax here's a (fairly) new film all about 'the interweb streaming' in the hope of getting the cool kids to follow me.*

Excuse the brevity of the review but the film is quite short (and I don't want to give too much away) plus it's Sunday and I'm recovering from a Halloween party.



Deadstream (2022).

Dir: Joseph Winter, Vanessa Winter.

Cast: Joseph Winter, Melanie Stone.



Ginger bearded 'influencer' Shawn Ruddy (writer, director, producer, teaboy Winter) is a formally beloved YouTube star who, 6 months previously,was cancelled by the masses for performing an online stunt deemed 'triggering' (no idea what he did at this point but it probably involved putting Ms. instead of Mx. on a letter, pretty sure that's punishable by death these days) and is now trying to win back his viewers - and more importantly his sponsors and therefore his income - by spending the night in America's most haunted house (dubbed 'Death Manor') and livestreaming the entire event.

To make sure he follows thru' with the whole thing he sabotages his car and puts a tiny stone in his shoe so he can't run away before locking himself in the building and throwing the keys away.

He's nothing if not dedicated.

Or very stupid.

Or actual really aware of how found footage films work.

Either way I'm up for it.

Beard of Evil.


Setting up a selection of cool mini-cams as he lovingly explains the horrible history of the house - which it seems is haunted by the ghost of the daughter of a wealthy Mormon family, the failed poet and eternal spinster Mildred Pratt.

Unlucky in the worlds of publishing and love (she committed suicide after her fiance's unexpected death) she's said to haunt the house, killing any new occupants in order to build herself the family she was cruelly denied in life.

And on that note he retires to the bedroom base where he can monitor any happenings (of a ghostly kind, not 60s drug fueled ones). 

Welcome to fright night.


Here come the Belgians!

Checking the wardrobe for ghosts/talking lions Shawn discovers a strange symbol hanging there and, on the suggestion of his viewers tears it up before holding a (small, one man) séance in the hope of contacting Mildred.

Or even Elon Musk so he can ask him for his blue tick back. 

As Shawn ominously asks "Is anyone there?" his viewers start messaging him with reports of ghostly apparition sighting throughout the house as ever louder bangs are heard approaching Shawn's location.

Visibly shitting himself our hairy hero pops his head round the door to investigate, coming face to face with manic fangirl Chrissy (the brilliant Stone - currently being utterly fruit loops in VHS/99) who using her powers of detection and Google maps, has turned up to meet her hero and 'help' with the investigation.

Sounds legit.

Seeing as she's

A. Really hot


B. Really knowledgeable about the house and the supernatural in general

(But mainly because she's super hot)

Shawn agrees to let her stay and help so it's not too long (well it's a short movie) before the pair are settled down in the downstairs bedroom reciting  - at Chrissy's suggestion - a spell that will enable Shawn to safely contact the dead.

Within minutes of the ritual being completed the paranormal activity (and the amount of pound shop masks on show) in the house goes off the scale and Shawn begins to realise that there may be more to the house's reputation than meets the eye....

Meanwhile the viewers are bombarding Shawn's feed not only with ghost sightings but with information regarding the symbol from earlier and the true meaning of the ritual he's just performed....

...and one viewer has discovered that there may be more to Chrissy than meets the eye....

I'm sorry but I still would.

From first-time filmmakers Joseph and Vanessa Winter comes a genuinely funny (and at times actually - jump - scary) modern take on the whole roller-coaster horror genre perfected by Sam Raimi with Evil Dead 2 but with a modern spin thanks to its on the nose commentary re: social media and the current obsession with fame over consequence.

Cheap as chips and running at a perfect 87 minutes the film exists just to give the audience a fun-filled screamfest and is all the better for it - a noisy, laugh inducing frightmare that's perfect with friends and a pint.**

I for one look forward to what the dynamic Winter duo do next.


*Or more likely get me cancelled.



**If you have friends that is.

Saturday, October 29, 2022


 Just in time for Halloween, 60 (very) odd minutes of musical mentalism celebrating the heady days of the video nasty!


face off.

Day 29 of this whole 31 Days of Horror nonsense and I'm a bit busy today preparing for the twin engines of destruction's Halloween party so back to Cassidy's boxset for today's movie....

Excuse the shortness of the review as I've got gingerbread zombies to bake....



Mask Maker (AKA Masakerade, 2010).
Dir: Griff Furst.
Cast: Nikki Deloach, Stephen Colletti, Terry Kiser, Anabella Casanova, Michael Berryman, Treat Williams and Ross Britz.

The sickeningly loved up Jennifer (Days of Our Lives toothsome Deloach) and Evan (One Tree Hill's Colletti) have recently become the proud owners of a massive farmhouse somewhere in the sunny south.

And by that I mean Texas way not Dumfries & Galloway.

And even better (if anything can be even better than not living anywhere near
the St Medan Golf Club Monreith with it's comedy clown trousered old men fumbling with their balls in bushes) is the fact that it only cost them 68 quid.

This is probably due to the fact that the last owner was an evil witch with a predilection for murdering newborns and her ball headed son.

Could have been worse I suppose, it could've belonged to Jimmy Savile*. 

Anyway, with Jennifer's birthday fast approaching Evan decides to plan a weekend of partying and decorating, inviting their four best buddies along to help.

Just get Fred West in to tidy the place up and it'll be good as new.

Being the conscientious type who reads the script before shooting, Jennifer is intrigued by the amount of shite left by around the house by the previous owners - you know the type of stuff, crying boy pictures, ceramic rabbits and Charles and Diana plates - becoming more and more curious about their lives.

Nosy cow.

"Well who's for a wee shite cap?"

Luckily the local shop keeper's pal was featured in the creepy pre-credits sequence which means that he can happily fill Jennifer in (phnarr) on the pesky back story.

Or he would if he wasn't pissed.

So it's a good job then that good old Michael (The Hills Have Eyes) Berryman is on hand to warn our heroine of an evil presence that lingers around the house.

But not alas about the smell.

Everything should be OK tho' as long as no-one pulls the big stick out of the garden in the back of the house, therefore releasing the fearful 'Mask Maker'.

Or Leonard as he's known to his friends.

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

Yup, because meanwhile back at the house Evan and his buddies are busy tidying the garden, starting with pulling up all the messy twigs and sticks spoiling the lawn, especially the really big one with the skull on top.

Not too surprisingly bloodshed and hilarity ensues as our undead arts and crafts expert hunts the teens down one by one before messily bludgeoning them to death with an axe and finally wearing their faces like some nightmarish Avid Merrion tribute act.

Bo Selecta indeed.

"Put it in me!"

From the stud-tastic Griff Furst, director of Arachnoquake (another classic that sits happily in Cassidy's secret cupboard, next to Megan obviously) comes this fairly inoffensive (if totally and utterly predictable) hodge-podge of every other slasher movie ever made.

Which would be brilliant providing you've never ever seen one before obviously.

Every genre cliche is dragged drunkenly kicking and dribbling across the screen thru' the films 90 minute running time in an attempt to entertain the no doubt mindless masses the movie is aimed at.

Which is lucky for me seeing as despite everything I found it a mostly pain free way of spending an evening.

Tho' to be fair I had just attempted to sit thru' Jay Woelfel's cinematic crapfest Carnival of Fear (AKA Closed For The Season), so even a warm Guinness enema would seem appealing after that.

In it's favour tho' it may be cliche-sodden nonsense but it's definitely much more enjoyable than bigger budgeted bollocks like Texas Chainsaw 3D.

And the cast are, by and large considerably more attractive.

And that includes the big ball headed bad man himself.

Breasts + bubbles x pretty lips - visible nipples = violent mooth shite-in madness. Possibly.

Plus to make the movie a more interactive and therefore more entertaining experience than usual (and it'll give the hand that's not ready with the remote pause button a break) why not make a Top Trump style list of all the scenes you've seen before?

Award yourself a point for every one you spot and see who wins among your friends.

I would suggest you take a drink for every one but seriously you'd die of liver failure before the 20 minute mark.

Red Berryman joy town .

Here's a few to get you started:

Deformed killer with mommy issues?


Killer who makes masks from the faces of his victims?


Heroine dresses as killers mum to confuse him?


Least attractive cast member gets naked.


I'll leave that one up to you.

"Touch my meat".

Mask Maker may not set the horror genre on fire (but then again neither will you once your uncle's finished with you) but like the relative in question it's a fairly fun way to pass an hour or two without too much effort on your part.

Just remember to hide your wallet afterwards.

*Which scarily enough is also in Scotland, Glencoe to be precise.

Friday, October 28, 2022

operazione paura: halloween hits.

 For your listening pleasure, 3 volumes of Horror hits from my superstar DJ days as heard at the almost legendary (probably) Man With Not Suitcase Halloween club nights.

Enjoy...and don't have nightmares.

pact man fever.

Day 28 of the fabled 31 Days of Horror and another oldie that I ended up rewatching recently and it's actually stood up quite well.


The Pact (2012).
Dir: Nicholas McCarthy.
Cast: Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien, Agnes Bruckner, Haley Hudson, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Samuel Ball and Mark Steger.

Kissy lipped, square jawed MiLF Nicole (Bruckner from the Bruce Campbell classic The Woods) has recently returned to her childhood home to finalize the preparations for her late mother's funeral.

Obviously she's overjoyed by this, especially as she's had to leave her daughter Eva with cousin Liz (Perkins from Episodes and American Horror Story) whilst her wayward biker sister Annie (Mad Men's Lotz, looking for all the world like a dirtier Melissa George) huffily refuses to return home due to childhood 'issues'.

Apart from the sub-soap opera histrionics however, everything else seems to be going to plan, mum's not risen from the grave or anything and there's plenty of soup in the cupboards.

Which is all well and good until during an online call to Eva, Nicole begins to hear strange noises around the house, Eva freaks her mum out even more by saying there's a scary man standing behind her and she soon discovers a broken jar of gherkins in the kitchen.

If that wasn't enough to have you shouting "It's Pipes!" then the mysteriously opened cupboard door should at least hint at getting the hell out of Dodge.

But alas this is a horror movie so it's integral to the plot that Nicole goes and investigates.

Not to surprisingly when Annie arrives the next morning it turns out that Nicole has vanished.

Mysteriously tho' she's left her laptop connected and her phone and clean undies on the bed.


Despite what the packaging said Annie's market stall lightsaber  did not fill her with the powers of a Jedi.                            

Deciding to take advantage of the free food, WI-fi etc. Annie decides to stay over at her mothers house for the night, only to be kept awake by a mix of bad dreams, hideous wallpaper and a series of sinister low angle tracking shots.

Waking with a start the next morning our biker babe is surprised to find a picture frame has spookily fallen to the floor revealing a photo of two pregnant women.

One is obviously (well to Annie it is) her dear departed mum but the other somewhat foxier babe?

Who knows.

Anyway, there's no time to discuss such trivia as it's funeral day, meaning Annie has to wear an uncomfortable dress whilst meeting up with various characters who may become important later.

Namely aforementioned cousin Liz and little Eva.

"Is that you Patrick Harvie?"

The three return to Annie's mother's house to discuss important pieces of character history and story background in order to make it easier for the audience to feel sympathy for Annie's predicament whilst later, just in case you forgot that this was a spooky movie, Annie dreams of a shirtless man crying on a bed as her phone starts beeping whilst pinpointing an address on Google maps.

Lucky it's not an Fisher Price wheel along phone or she'd be fucked.

Farting herself awake Annie is shocked to see a skinny legged figure disappearing into the shadows so decides to go and wake up Liz, who it turns out, has vanished.

Which is spookier still.

Attempting to grab little Eva and leave the house our harsh faced heroine is attacked by forces unseen that throw her from wall to wall like a spring-loaded stunt woman but these mental manifestations aren't enough to stop Annie rescuing her niece and heading to the local police station.

Adam West, up the casino, 1972, Baltimore.....YESCH!

Unfortunately when she gets there not one of the boys in blue believes her story culminating with the officer in charge, the big collared Bill Creek (Van Dien, looking more and more like a homeless Adam West everyday) even going as far as suggesting that Annie herself may have played a part in both her sister's and cousin's disappearances.


Retiring to a local motel, Annie (sans Eva who she's conveniently dumped at the police station) finally notices the bizarre directions cum spooksome message on her phone and, after typing the address into her handy laptop discovers what appears to be a photo of a blurred figure in a floral dress standing by a tree.

Which is nice if not a little tiresome for poor Annie seeing as without warning she drops off to sleep giving her plenty of time to have even more macabre visions of the crying shirtless man, as well as of the woman in a floral dress.

Only this time she's headless.

What does it all mean?

Sorting thru' her mother's papers over breakfast Annie discovers a hidden room on the blueprints of the house and after a quick call to Bill the bill (armed with a handy torch and a fine line in helpful, old school advice) arranges to meet him there.

Within seconds of entering the house (it is a short film after all) Bill has broken down a fake cardboard wall and uncovered the aforementioned hidden room, resplendent in 1970's curry house flock wallpaper and a variety of unusual stains on the floor.

Oh yes, and a spooky woman with removable legs. 

Tracking's dodgy mate.

Deciding that there's definitely something spooky going on, Anne calls her old schoolfriend, the incredibly sexy, and scarily psychic Stevie (ickle doll faced Hudson from Weeds) and invites her to the house to see if she can help contact any rogue spirits wandering about.

What do you mean 'far fetched'?

Didn't your school have a token psychic student?

 Just mine and Annie's then.

Shake well before use.

Stumbling thru' the house and trying to avoid the furniture (she's blind too by the way - obviously being skinny, greasy haired and psychic just wasn't realistic enough) Stevie finally enters the by now not really hidden room.

Almost immediately she drops to the floor shaking and sweating whilst hysterically shouting the name "Judas" at anyone who'll listen.

This scene is, by far the most erotic thing I have seen on the big screen ever.

And just when you think it can't get any sexier a headless corpse of a woman in a floral dress appears floating above them.

It's at this point that Annie realizes it's not actually her mother's spirit that is haunting the house and that we realize that it may not be advisable to get your cock out in the cinema.

Even if it is due to Haley Hudson's tiny red shorts.

"Put it in me!"

Searching for the word "Judas" online, Anne discovers loads of interesting stuff about some bloke called Jesus who, it appears was the son of God.

This Jesus fella had a group of pals including one particular bloke named Judas Iscariot who, fairly infamously kissed and betrayed Jesus to the behatted Sanhedrin priests in exchange for a payment of 30 pieces of silver, after which he hanged himself after a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle.

Judas: beardie bastard.

 Could this Judas be the mysterious figure seen wandering the house?

Or could it be a completely different Judas?

Searching again Annie discovers that the town was once home to a serial killer of the same name (tho' I'm assuming it was an alias, I mean who'd name their kid Judas?) who skulked around the local neighbourhood beheading women.

His  last known victim was a Jennifer Glick, after which he disappeared from view, never to return.

Annie soon realizes that Glick is, in fact the woman in the floral dress with her mother in the photo and, after coming across a crime photo of Jennifer's murder, recognizes her as the woman from her dream.

Meanwhile in Patrick Harvie's mancave...

Deciding that all this weird shit must be in some way related, Annie heads to the address that keeps appearing on her phone and - after amusingly stumbling around in the bushes for a bit - discovers a church where it appears her mother and Jennifer attended.

Alongside an until now unknown sibling of her mothers.

Back at the house detective Creek is having another look around, it seems that when he was developing the crime scene photo's he noticed a ghostly hand pointing to the shoe cupboard, where he discovers a secret door leading into the hidden room.

Unfortunately Creek is murdered to death by an unknown assailant before he can tell anyone.

"Did Freddie Starr do it?"

Contacting Stevie with the new information, our blind babe suggests that Annie should conduct a seance to rid the house of spirits and discover her sisters whereabouts.

Annie excitedly buys some candles and chalk before heading to the house, not realizing that the mysterious presence haunting the halls is much more than just a ghost...

Well by more than just a ghost I really mean her mad serial killing uncle whom her mum boarded up in the hidden room after he killed her pal but you get the idea.

The Pact: Ghosts, girls and jazz hands.

Expanding on his little seen Jewel Staite starring short of the same name, Nicholas McCarthy's first feature is a surprisingly old fashioned ghost story, well told and well played, only marred by a few silly plot holes and a final shot that should have been left on the cutting room floor.

Confidently and solidly directed by McCarthy with a nice central performance from Lotz ably supported by a surprisingly watchable  - as opposed to punchable - Van Dien.

Actually the movie has a lot going for it, it's only as it races towards it's climax that the obligatory coincidences kick in and the cliche counter begins working overtime.

Which is forgivable as the whole thing has been fairly entertaining until then.

True that sometimes McCarthy labours under the misapprehension that the whole plot is much cleverer than it actually is when on close inspection the whole premise falls apart in a puff of logic even if you only slightly peer at it wrong i t may add nothing new to the genre or have the panache of something like The Innkeepers but it is a competent piece of film making.

Which is better than nothing I guess.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

water sports for all.

31 Days of Horror and absolutely no quality Japanese films?

Let's see about that.

The Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers (AKA: Joshikyôei hanrangu, Nihombie 2, Nihonbi 2, Undead Pool, Inglorious Zombie Hunters. 2006)
Dir: Kôji Kawano.
Cast: Mizuka Arai (AKA Chieri Haruyama), Sasa Handa, Yuria Hidaka, Hiromitsu Kiba, Ayumu Tokitô and Hidetomo Nishida (There are many more folk too but I just can't be arsed listing them).

Aki (Handa, the button nosed 'star' of a number of Juicy Honey collectable card sets - well it's a living I guess) a former 'aqua terrorist' (Wait....what? You mean they go around committing atrocities to the strains of Barbie Girl?) has decided to turn over a new leaf and give up her exciting international jet-set life of crime to enjoy a normal, everyday one as a schoolgirl at a top Japanese school.

Unfortunately Aki's first day is anything but normal.

Well I'm assuming it's not normal but seeing as I went to a comprehensive in the Midlands and not one in downtown Tokyo I can only guess.

You see not only do her new classmates decide that her welcome party should involve our cutie honey heroine being pushed into the swimming pool whilst still fully clothed (teasing bastards) but just as she's climbed out and dried off there's a sudden and inexplicable outbreak of a particularly virulent virus on campus that makes all those infected start to spew strawberry sauce from every orifice and begin to smell like a zoo.

OK the last bit seemed pretty normal as far as my school days went.

"Has anybody got any cans of orange juice?"

Anyway with one of those strange quirks of fate - and convenient scripting -  that only ever happen in 'the movies' an emergency medical team, consisting of a scarily familiar (to Aki at least) doctor and stern yet shapely thighed nurse, suddenly appear from nowhere to assist the pupils and administer a vaccine.

Which would be good thing really if it didn't appear to make everyone's symptoms oh so slightly worse.

And by slightly worse I mean that the vaccine turns everyone into scabby, short skirted flesh eating zombies.

Luckily it doesn't give them 'The Autism' tho'.

Yeah fuck you Andrew Wakefield.*

As luck (and pervy plotting) would have it, Aki soon discovers that the chlorine in the school swimming pool counteracts the effects of the virus, meaning that as long as adorable Aki remains in her tight fitting swimsuit (and stays soaking wet obviously) she's safe from infection.

Sounds legit.

Doing what anyone would do in this situation, Aki persuades the (mostly attractive) school swim team to suit up and hose down ready for battle against not only the every increasing army of the undead but also her musically minded former boss and mentor who has cunningly disguised himself (well, he's wearing a lab coat) as the 'friendly' doctor helping the infected.

You see, it turns out that the virus is all his doing but is only part of his sick scheme.

A sick scheme that also involves touching the smooth and milky white secret lady gardens of as many young girls as possible.

Whilst playing a flute.

You know, this is actually becoming more and more like my school days by the minute.

"Fiona! Where's mah lunch?"

Rushing headlong into battle against the evil doctor, Aki and her soggy sisters - surprisingly - get a damn good beating, leaving our heroine lying vacant eyed in a pool of blood ready to be munched on by any passing zombie.

Fear not tho' dear readers, as luckily she's rescued by her shy (well up till this point) new best friend Sayaka (former Bukkake star Yuria Hidaka - I can't believe I'm actually typing that) and, in an act of kindness that will bring tears to the eyes of viewers everywhere, nursed back to health with a mixture of noodle soup and having her breasts gently rubbed by her pal.

How sweet is that?

No need.

Scoff all you want at this fairly unrealistic and decidedly non-medical approach to healing because it seems to do the trick as in no time at all Aki is sitting up in bed and sharing her sad tale of life as a killer for hire whilst fastening the buttons on her flimsy white school shirt, the material straining to contain her honey dew breasts.

Look, I don't even know what that means if I'm honest.

What follows is quite possibly the greatest fusion of dodgily translated subtitles, inappropriate incidental music and meaningful flashback sequences ever committed to celluloid, featuring as it does slo-mo shots of Aki firing a machine gun whilst wearing a bikini, popping a butterfly knife into her pants, doing sweaty push ups with what looks like an orange in her mouth and sitting around topless looking bored.

Sheer genius.

Or totally unnecessary pseudo-pornographic pants. 

Because by this point I honestly don't know.

"I've found the cars keys!"

The whole sorry tale is too much for the sensitive Sayaka who, with tears in her eyes reacts the only way she can.

And that's by stripping herself and Aki naked save their tiny pleated kilts before indulging in a totally realistic and completely essential to the plot lesbian sexy scene whilst moaning loudly.

And biting her lip at the point of - badly faked - orgasm obviously.

"All this fiddling and I still can't find 6 Music!"

Ready for battle (and probably another lie down) Aki is set to face her nemesis one final time.

Will she emerge triumphant?

And will she be naked?

Kôji Kawano, director of the classic teen lesbian drama Love My Life and the soya-based shocker Cruel Restaurant appears to have knocked out this lo-fi sleaze epic in a few hours between bouts of online gaming and frantic masturbation sessions, seeing as it consists solely of cheap gore and violence, random bouts of nudity and an abundance of soft core lesbianism aimed fairly and squarely at the 'I've never seen a lady naked except my mum' demograph.

Which frankly is a public service that must be applauded.

I mean it'll keep them off the streets at least.

Seen as part of a - very - loose undead vs schoolies trilogy that includes Zombie Self-Defense Force and Zombie Hunter Rika, The Girls Rebel Force of Competitive Swimmers is by no means perfect, it would be churlish (and a wee bit geeky) to point out this movies flaws and weaknesses when your average viewer is only watching for a glimpse of the square faced, hamster cheeked dream girl Sasa Handa's breasts.

And let's be honest if you're planning to watch this in anything but a kinda post-ironic way you won't really care.

So I wont.

Handa: Chinny Rackon.

Running at a pain free eighty minutes tho' it never outstays it's welcome (unlike me at family social gatherings) and the budget, although lower than Sir Peter Hayman at Crufts is enough to make sure that things never looks too cheap and director Kawano spends most of it's scant run time wildly throwing ever more bizarre characters and situations at the screen hoping at least a few will stick and cover the cracks.

When he's not filling the screen - at times in a painfully  misogynistic way - with his cast of cookie cutter cute wannabe AV Idols in various states of undress that is.

Ayumu Tokitô: she'll even turn the milk chocolaty.


But it's not all sex and violence tho' because it also has some juggling, alongside fire breathing zombies and a flute playing pervert in a lab coat.

Still not sold?

Well give me another film that features all this plus a heroine with a deadly laser beam built into her vagina.

I'll wait.

Go on, you know you want to.

Even tho' you really shouldn't.

 *And an even bigger FUCK YOU to anyone sad enough to think they cause it in the first place....rant over.