Monday, January 22, 2024

flyboy...over and out.

 In tribute to David Emge - Stephen "Flyboy" Andrews in George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead.


Saturday, January 20, 2024




Pour yourself a coffee, cut a slice of cherry pie and celebrate David Lynch's birthday with 90 minutes of Badalamenti beats, sinister soundbites and toe tapping tunes....



eggs and baker.

Scarily both Dame David Lynch and Sir Tom of Baker have their birthdays today so what better way to celebrate than with a film where the aforementioned ex-Time Lord plays a character called Mr Lynch?

The Mutations (AKA Doctor of Evil, The Freakmaker, The Mutation. 1974).
Dir: Jack Cardiff.
Donald Pleasence, Tom Baker, Brad Harris, Julie Ege, Michael Dunn, Scott Antony, Jill Haworth, Olga Anthony, Esther Blackmon, Hugh Bailey, Felix Duarte and Willie Ingram the pop eyed man.

Professor Nick Nolter (Pleasence, looking not unlike a egg dipped in treacle) is just your average everyday science lecturer at some nameless English polytechnic splitting his time between teaching over forties who want to get better qualifications to get back into work (well from the look of the cast this seems to be the case) and conducting frankly bonkers experiments in an attempt to create a human/plant hybrid.

As you do.

But the professor needs a fresh supply of people to work on, so to this end he employs the fucked of face, scraggy haired Mr. Lynch (A pre-Doctor Who Dame Tom of Baker), a stinky ne'er do well who just happens to co-own the local carnival, to help him out.

Lynch happily obtains young men and women for Nolter's mad experiments on the understanding that one day the professor will fix his face for him.

Sounds legit.

Anyway with the basic plot out of the way it's back to the Restart classes where three trendy 'young' students; blonde buxom Hedi (Ege from shitloads of stuff including your granddads bed), luscious Lauren (the bobble headed beauty Haworth star of Tower of Evil) and Tony (Antony, from Ken Russell's Savage Messiah) have decided to have a word with the visiting scholar - and token American hunk - Dr. Brian Redford (B movie lunk Harris from The Mad Butcher amongst other classics) regarding the rumours they've heard about Nolter’s research.

Being a nosy bugger Redford agrees to look into it.

"Shite in mah....oh, someone already has".

Meanwhile back at the carnival the employees are a wee bit unhappy.

And not just because they all smell of cabbage.

Nope, it seems that they're getting a tad suspicious at the amount of new freaks suddenly appearing.

Lynch's partner, a pre-Simpsons Mr. Burns (Dunn, who sadly died at the age of 38 during production not long after completing all his scenes. As a plus point it did mean that he didn't have to sit thru' it) tries to calm his regular workers by saying he put an ad in the paper and an entire family from Cradley Heath turned up for the job.

Could he be lying?

All this talk of bearded ladies and tiny men in hats is beginning to annoy Lynch tho' who vents his frustration on the tent pole before stomping off in a club-footed rage.

A wee bit like your Auntie Jean used to after a few sherries at Christmas.

Deciding that what Lynch needs is a surprise party to show how well liked he is his co-workers throw up some tinsel (not literally mind tho' with hindsight that would be worth seeing), organize a kiddy friendly - as opposed to kiddy fiddling - DeeJay and bake him a cake.

Unfortunately this act of kindness sends him into a violent (and dribbly) rage that can only be sated by a visit to a dirty, baby doll nightie clad lady of the night who lives by the fish market.

What your dad gets up to at camera club.

Meanwhile back at the main plot our trendy tecs have decided to take a break from their investigations to spend an evening at the local fairground.

As over 30's often do.

After a few rides on the waltzers and eating their own body weight in candyfloss the groovy group spy the freak show tent huddled in a dark corner of the park so decide that half an hour taking the absolute cunt out of those less fortunate than themselves would be the perfect way to end the night.

And before you go all PC and huffy on me remember this, dear reader, is the reason we're watching.

Well it's the reason I'm watching, I mean you're not actually watching it are you?

You're reading this.

Tho' to be honest you could be doing both - how would I know?

I'm not your mum.

For one thing I've never caught chlamydia off your uncle Paul.

And you wonder why her and your dad have separate rooms.

But I digress.

See her? That's your mum that is.

Upon entering the tent our merry band - and the viewer - are confronted by some of the strangest sights known to man.

There's an old lady with a hairy face, a woman with really bad exzema dubbed The Lizard Woman (Blackmon), a boy with no bones in his legs (no, really) non-sensationally named Terry the Frog Boy (Duarte), the bendy backed Human Pretzel (Bailey), a scarily sexy Monkey Woman and everyone's favourite, the fantastic Popeyed Jeff (Willie Ingram - but probably not this one) a man who can make his eyeballs pop out from their sockets.

"Eye son".

Now part of me wants to say that exploiting those born differently for cheap entertainment is distasteful and somewhat sickening in this more aware climate.*

But screw that, this guy can actually make his eyeballs bulge out of his skull!

How fucking cool is that?

Tunnel or funnel?

Anyway, as you can probably guess Nolter's experiments get more and more freaky climaxing with poor Tony getting turned into a hideous Venus flytrap/human/vagina hybrid with a taste for tramps and blondes (and trampy blondes) whilst the Professor makes a speech arguing the case for the creation of a race of super-humans and poor old Lynch is hunted down by a gang of dwarves using attack dogs.

Oh yeah and Ege gets her kit off and is touched up by a tree-type thing**.

There's no denying that The Mutations is a bona fide classic of British exploitation cinema, what should be a crass and tasteless excuse to show differently-abled folk for cheap enjoyment is surprisingly entertaining and almost apologetic when it comes to it's subject matter.

It's almost as if it wants to channel the sympathetic edge of the Tod Browning classic Freaks with it's "Who are the real monsters?" message but kinda drops the ball as soon as Scott Antony stumbles into shot dressed as a giant fanny tho'.

But fair play for trying.

"Look dad! I'm from Sedgley!"

Saying that tho' the films mad mix of gore, girls, gritty social commentary and gro-bag induced terrors adds a totally schizophrenic feel to the whole thing that kinda works in it's favour tho' at times the heavy-handed plotline plight of the carnival folk and their abuse at the hands of the loutish Lynch does feel a wee bit  at odds in a story about man eating plants and a saliva slopping bloke with a potato stuck to his face.

But despite (or because) of all this The Mutations is both utterly brilliant and totally crap in equal measures.

Jeremy Corbyn, up the casino, Blackpool, 1978.

Scarily tho' the movie was directed by an honest to goodness Oscar winner, Jack Cardiff (who won best cinematographer for 1948 movie Black Narcissus), showing that he had either a secret love of shlock horror or the onset of Alzheimer's - it's your choice, and it's this unsure style, coupled with his almost erotic obsession with time-lapse footage of plants growing, topless dolly birds and the real life freak show performances at the movies half way point that makes this the cinematic equivalent of drunkenly shagging your best mates mum.

It might be great at the time but with hindsight you end up feeling slightly guilty and even a wee bit itchy from enjoying it so much.

Worth watching, but only if you're alone.

Or just very lonely.

Hopefully I'll pick something a wee bit less controversial next time.

If I can be arsed that is.

*Let's be honest here, I'm just pissed off that I'm the only Autistic person in the world who can't count cards, is rubbish at maths and never wins owt in the casino.....Imagine how shit it is to not even do Autism properly.

**Which seems to be a running theme in films of this era.....look here if you don't believe me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

carpenter cuts (birthday edition).


Celebrate John Carpenter's birthday with 3 volumes of classic Carpenter inspired cuts, Jack Burton beats and taxicab tunes available to download here.
"It's all in the reflexes..."


Thursday, January 11, 2024

snack attack.

Just found out that the fantastic Tisa Farrow has died so in way of a tribute here's a reposting of my review of one of her best known (and greatest) movies.

Apologies  for the distinct lack of 'laugh now' and 'mooth shite' references ahead but this was from a time when I thought folk were actually interested in what I wrote so I tried to be quite serious.

That didn't last long.

Anyway, enjoy.

Zombi 2 (AKA Zombie Flesh Eaters, Island of the Flesh-Eaters, Island of the Living Dead Gli Ultimi zombi 1979).
Dir: Lucio Fulci.
Cast: Ian McCulloch, Tisa Farrow, Al Cliver, Auretta Gay, Richard Johnson, Olga Karlatos, a shark and some zombies.

What is all this about the dead coming back to life again and... having to be killed a second time? I mean, what the hell's going on here?

Welcome to New York - thanks to some rather wonderful Cinéma vérité  style of the cuff (and off the radar) footage - where a seemingly abandoned ship drifts spookily thru' the harbor, out of control and unstoppable.

Luckily the local harbor patrols two best men are sent to investigate.

Well second best.

The two best are out investigating another mysterious ghost ship filled with huge Kinder Eggs further up the river.

Arriving on board in a flurry of Action Slacks and sideburns the brave officers find that the ship is deserted, or so it seems until the fattest bastard zombie you will ever see shambles out of the hold, moaning and dribbling as he goes.

Tho' how the fuck he managed to hide aboard such a little boat is never explained, I mean even if you discount his size he still must stink worse than your gran after the retirement home Xmas party.

Anyways back to the action.

Refusing to show his ID (tho' not ashamed to flaunt his terrifying man-tits) our rotund rotter kills one of the patrolmen with a nasty bite to the throat and a quick stroke of the balls before the other, less dead cop shoots him in the face causing him to flop overboard faster than Natalie Wood before sinking straight to the bottom.

"Fiona! Where's mah lunch?"

Seeing as stuff like this doesn't usually happen in the Big Apple, NYPD's finest decide to get in touch with the boat owner's daughter, the delectable Ms. Ann Bowles (genre superstar, sister of Mia and the reason we are here - the late, great Tisa Farrow) in order to question her regarding the scary fat cannibal bloke, find out who styles her hair and ask the whereabouts of her missing dad.

Pleased that someone appreciates the effort she puts into looking so good but surprised to hear her dad is missing (close family eh?) Ann, concerned not only about his welfare but her huge inheritance too, returns to the ship that very night to search for clues and stuff but what she finds on board is far more exciting.

And considerably sexier than anything we've seen so far.

Please welcome ace reporter and all round studly Italian horror movie hero, the scarily comb-overed yet still cool as fuck Peter West (the man, the myth, the legend that is Glasgow's finest, Sir Ian of McCulloch).

West has found a letter written to Ann from her father (told you he was a good reporter, well it's either that or he's broken into her mail box, which frankly is the last box of Farrow's I'd want to break), which tells of a mysterious disease that is ravaging his home on the mysterious island of Matool and that he may never leave alive.

Ann, now very worried about her inheritance (you can tell by her quivering lip), and Peter, interested in the story (and in Ann), decide to travel together to the island to discover the truth.

McCulloch: He's got something to put in you.

Being too tight to get their own boat, the dynamic duo hitch a ride with a couple of hip American tourists, the swoonsome beefcake Bryan (the fantastically furry chinned Cliver) and his shapely wife Susan (Auretta 'Brillantina Rock' Gay- can this cast get any better?), who are enjoying a pleasant sailing holiday.

By sailing holiday I mean Cliver stands around looking rugged in a shirt that's about three sizes too small whilst Gay spends her days busying herself scuba diving in nothing but a pair of flimsy, fanny revealing pants and a pink flowery swimming cap.

We are indeed in cinematic heaven.

Gay: areola's like dinner plates.

It's during one such dive that possibly the greatest scene ever committed to celluloid occurs when the positively pneumatic Susan is attacked by a terrifying Tiger Shark.

As she wiggles her huge arse and sticks her breasts out towards the camera in fright to a terrifying Fabio Frizzi score, the fairly ferocious fish swims around menacingly thinking check the hat whilst licking it's shark lips.

But that's not the best bit, you see just when it looks like it's going to eat her whole (you know the punchline) a zombie pops up from behind a clump of undersea fauna and tries to bite the beast on the arse.

The shark that is not Susan.

The ensuing spectacle of watching a stuntman attempt to punch out a shark will stay with you forever, pant wettingly exciting and probably the reason that cinema exists in the first place.


"Slate and Vera Lynne?"

Eventually the intrepid party arrive on the shores of Matool and are approached by what looks like a gang of drunken tramps.

On closer inspection tho' they discover that they are, in fact an ARMY OF ZOMBIES who are also FLESH EATERS.

Tho' in retrospect the title does kinda give it away.

Unsurprisingly our heroes leg it up the beach (to be honest it's more a leisurely jog up the beach seeing as zombies aren't that quick) and, after stopping for a rest, being chased again, stopping for another rest and being chased again, a pal of Anne's dad, the enigmatic Dr Menard (a very angry Johnson) turns up in a jeep and offers them all safe haven at his house for tea and crumpets.

Some zombie flesh eaters yesterday.

Menard is convinced that the mysterious plague ravaging the island is also responsible for the dead rising from their graves.

Peter West nods sagely and adjusts his hair whilst the others look on - Susan in a particularly toothish manner usually seen only on rabbits.

Now it's a race against time as Menard struggles to find a cure, Peter and Bryan struggle over who's the more alpha male, Ann struggles to find her fathers whereabouts, Susan struggles to keep her kit on and Menard's sexily stern wife Paola struggles to finish her shower before a zombie pierces her eye on a large shard of splintered wood....

Will they survive the terrifying attack of the zombie flesh eaters and will horror cinema ever be the same again?

"Eye hen!"

What can you possibly say about the late, great Lucio Fulci's magnum opus that hasn't been said a hundred times before and by better folk than me?

I mean come on, everything about it is just brilliant, from the opening shots in New York to the exotic locations in Haiti which add a stark otherworldly air to the proceedings making the island of Matool a nightmare of dust storms and barren decayed buildings which cleverly mirror the colour palate used in the zombie make-up.
The dead being as much a part of the island as the beach and sands; a stark contrast to the vivid greens of the jungle scenes.

Also on show is Fulci's predilection for using the "crash zoom" as a shorthand way to heighten the audiences reaction to scenes of horror and gore.

Sometimes overused in his later movies, this (his) signature effect serves him well when it comes to the sheer horror of the decaying army slowly lumbering towards our heroes; never have zombies looked so hideous or repellent, bloated and muck encrusted with gaping wounds, tore flesh and dead eye sockets writhing with maggots.

Something that living in Glasgow I'm used to, having had to navigate Sauchiehall Street every weekend.


"...bloated and muck encrusted with gaping wounds, tore flesh and dead eye sockets writhing with maggots..." Yup gotta love a Glasgow gal.

The cast is, quite frankly magnificent, featuring the ultimate team of the grumpy Scotsman McCulloch, whining waif Farrow (who will always be the horror film definition of the final-ish girl) and the manly Cliver, all mainstays of the Italian horror genre and all never better than onscreen here.

Plus when you add the Ruebenesqe form of one (oh go on then two) hit wooden wonder Auretta Gay and her much needed gratuitous nudity to the mix, wobbling about in a pair of her mums pants as she desperately trying not to chafe her nipples on her oxygen tanks you know you're in the presence of genius.

Auretta Gay, or as she'd be these days Auretta Non-Binary.

Behind the cameras Fulci is served well by his crew, from husband and wife team Elisa Briganti and Dardano Sacchetti's cut to the bone script to the unforgettable make up effects from Giovanni Corridori and his team via Sergio Salvati's stunning cinematography, the whole film is a lean, mean experiment in sheer horror that still stands up as a masterpiece of the genre today.

Seriously, everything in the movie just falls perfectly into place but I have to say that the icing on the (very gory) cake is the stark synth' score from Fulci regular, the wonderful Fabio Frizzi.

Cinematic gold from the grand master of grand guignol.

Fulci, we salute you.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

farewell program.

 RIP Cindy Morgan - Lora/Yori in Tron.



Wednesday, January 3, 2024

(bloody) moonhead.

As you may of heard/read the 1928 version of Mickey Mouse entered the public domain on Monday, and just like what happened with Winnie The Pooh shitloads of indie 'horror producers' have started work on their own versions.

What they all seem to forget is that it's already been done.
Yup, dear old uncle Jess beat them to it way back in 1981.

So what better excuse to revisit the horror genius that is....
Bloody Moon (1981).
Dir: Jesus Franco.
Star: Olivia Pascal, Christop Moosbrugger, Nadja Gerganoff and some other folk with made up names.

It's almost the witching hour, the moon is full and the night is as quiet as the grave.

Suddenly the deathly silence is broken by the squeak of a wheelchair trundling thru' the dark shadows and a woman's angry voice: "Miguel!... I'm your sister, don't look at me that way!"

The pudding bowl haircutted and facially fucked Miguel (Moosbrugger wearing what looks like a bucket of dried horse cum on his cheeks) stands in the moonlight dribbling as his sexy (in a 70's breasted way) sister Manuela (the local nosed Olivia Pascal) continues to berate him before ordering him back to the local dance club in the hope that all that jiving will make him far too tired to start wanking in her underpant drawer later.

Wandering among the hip 'n' happening party goers he picks up not only a pound shop, copyright taunting Mickey Mouse mask but a sexy disco diva to boot and the pair soon head back to her chalet for some steamy and sweaty sex.

Well it is a short film.

Unfortunately at the moment of climax she pulls off his mask to reveal the aforementioned heavily scarred (and atrociously haircutted) Miguel leering over her like Jimmy Savile in a creche.

Annoyed at the fact that she finds his face scary (especially after the intimate moments they've just shared) he decides that rather than sort the misunderstanding out over a nice cup of tea it'd be easier to stab her to death with a pair of scissors.

As one would.

Hilarity unfortunately does not ensue.

Years later he is released from 'hospital' into his sister's care, allegedly cured and ready to return to society.

Just one thing the doctor's warn her, "...avoid references to that unfortunate night. He might not be that cured."

Which is nice.

Obviously the best thing to do is to take Miguel back to the scene of the murder, (now open as The International Youth-Club Boarding School of Languages, run by Miguel's wheelchair bound mum).

So dear viewer let's sit back and see what happens.

Luckily for those of us who like to take the piss out of those less fortunate than ourselves the school is populated by the biggest collection of freaks this side of a Todd Browning convention.

Or Govan on Giro day.

Well on any day really.

Admit it, Glasgow girls are best.

There's the grunting handyman, Paco, a beast of a bloke obsessed with hitting sign posts randomly with hammers whilst rubbing his crotch; a slug murdering gardener; a twitchy, ferret like head professor and a South American studly tennis tutor with a permanent hard on and a never ending line of ladies willing to sit on it.

Good job then that all the students are female and decked out in crotch splitting hot pants, Farrah flicks and skin tight tee's, coming out with such quality lines as: "The best way to learn a language is in bed!"

There are actually a few more quality lines but to be honest my computer was sick as I typed them.

"Put it in me!"

Miguel meanwhile, has become obsessed by the raven haired (yet shark toothed) Angela (Gerganoff), a girl he sat opposite on the train journey to the school and begins to follow her around like a lovesick (and bowl-head) puppy.


Feeling sexually renewed (alright just downright horny) by these pangs of young love and realising that it will come to nothing, our scarred sibling decides to ask Manuela if they can continue their incestuous relationship (as you would), even going as far as to attempt a sexy seduction by licking the grit from between her toes.

Pascal: Pig in a market.

After taking a minute to think about it (and no doubt about what happened last time) she refuses.

Miguel is heartbroken (and maybe, just maybe a teensy bit mad): "Only if we could get rid of everyone, then things could go back to the way they were." He cries.

Then the fun really begins as Angela's friends are dispatched one by one.....oh and someone cuts a grass snake in half.

Unfortunately for our heroine, nobody believes her story of a killer on campus.

But we know better obviously.

Don't leave me hanging!

The killer even goes so far as to hang one of Angela's pals in her cupboard but spitefully removes it before she can get help.

Confused and scared, Angela finally looks to Miguel's mum and sister for support - well, obviously not the mum, she can't support herself without sticks let alone Angela.

Will the killer be caught before it's too late?

Laugh now!

Bloody Moon is the mad, bad and dangerous to know idiot offspring of a sleazy late night kebab fueled shag between your average American slasher movie and a lonely homesick Italian giallo it's met in a dive bar and took back to a dirty hotel after first spiking it's drink.

A totally screwy mix of sex, violence and cack handed dubbing from Spain's busiest exploitation maestro, the great Jesus Franco, a man who would've filmed his elderly mother suffering a stroke if he thought there was a market for it.

"Blood in mah mooth!"

Franco spent his career churning out everything from sordid women in prison flicks to sordid lesbian vampire ones and who holds the record of being the 'director' with the most movies on the DPP ‘video-nasties’ list in the UK during the 80's.

The confused tone inherent in the film isn't helped by the fact that most of it is German financed but with a bizarro mix of (horrendously dubbed) Italian and Spanish actors whilst Franco appears to be nonchalantly working to his own agenda.

The money men obviously wanted a cheap and cheerful disco dancing, gory, mentalist murders teens flick whilst Franco has decided this was to be his homage to John Carpenter and (ye gads) Brian DePalma.

Everyone (except Jess, God love him) appears to be embarrassed by the whole thing, especially Olivia Pascal who doesn't even mention it on her resume (it's becoming a habit on here, dredging up serious actors shameful pasts).

The fact that she's done more dodgy porn than Robert Kurman and puts that on her CV says a lot about her experiences here.

Olivia Pascal:
we know where you live.

But saying that, any movie that's paid homage to by Pedro Almodovar (the death by circular saw scene is "quoted" in his laugh a minute Matador) is OK by me.

Trust StevieDee collection is complete without this movie.