Tuesday, July 31, 2007

july stiffs.

It's that time of the month when we mourn those Unwell-ites we've lost in the last month.

First up, no more runaround fun for former East Ender, Doctor Who guest star, top comic and Roger Moore stand-in Mike Reid who died of a heart attack in his Spanish home aged 67.
Farewell Treacle!

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"Pat! Pat! Pat!"

The man whom without we wouldn't have Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey, Ingmar Bergman finally lost his chess game against Death at the age of 89. Oh yeah, he directed some stuff of his own too; like The Seventh Seal, Shame and Fanny and Alexander.

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Bergman: playing twister with death.


Shambo, the bovine tuberculosis ridden sacred Hindu bull was finally put down by lethal injection in July, a moo-ving story I think you'll agree.

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Killer cow: it's a sham (bo).

Another of the Liberator crew from cult classic Blake's 7 finally succumbed to the evil federation as the voice of Zen and Orac, Peter Tuddenham died aged 88.

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Zen and the art of Jedi cooking.


Jack B Sowards, screenwriter extraordinare best known for the relaunch of the Trek franchise with The Wrath of Khan died aged 78.


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We all love this scene.

Fabulously funk-some jazz fop George Melly passed on to the smokey club in the sky aged 80.

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Melly: nice!


The definitive Sinbad, Jack the Giant Killer and Gulliver; Kerwin Matthews passed away aged 81.

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"Fuck me! a wasp!"


Groovy Michelangelo Antonioni, director of Blow up has gone to the far out reaches of heaven (hopefully to make a belated sequel with David Hemmings) aged 94.

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jumper.


Doctor Who, Blake's 7 and Torchwood guest actor John Normington met a fate worse than Sharaz Jek at the age of 70.

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Clever Trevor (Sigma).

And finally British engineer and more importantly the co-founder of Matchbox Toys, Jack Odell died aged 87.

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Giant men crush
Tokyo traffic!

Monday, July 30, 2007

holy merchandise!

Strange but true, the other day we were discussing the lack of Bible-based merchandise, it seems that you could only really buy a Noah's Ark toy whilst we really wanted Tower of Babel Jenga or a Sodom and Gomorrah interactive playset. Well it appears those true believers at One2believe toys have answered our prayers!

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"Put it in me!"

These world famous designers of Bible-based toys have a new series coming soon called Tales of Glory; available at select Wal-Mart stores and other retailers across the good ol' US of A.

The first wave consists of:

Samson: one of the strongest men who ever lived. He was used by God to destroy his enemies and do some other pretty amazing things! He caught over three hundred foxes by himself; he killed a lion with his bare-hands; he killed 30 men in one night without any weapons; and he even used the jawbone of a donkey to single-handedly defeat one thousand men!

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"Beware Barry Gibb's fist of wrath!"

The secret to Samson’s strength was his hair! God had blessed him with this incredible gift, but it was all based on one condition: he could not cut his hair. So, Samson did all that he could to protect his secret.

One day, Samson’s enemies discovered his secret and they cut his hair. Samson’s strength left and his enemies captured him. But Samson prayed that God would let him use his strength one last time. God answered his prayer and Samson performed one of the greatest feats of strength ever! (Judges 13-16).
Children can make this story come to life with one of our amazing Spirit Warriors, Samson! This action figure comes with everything you need to help your child learn about this fascinating Tale of Glory. Item includes a colorful “Samson, The Strongest Man to Ever Live” mini-storybook and a 13” Samson action-figure (with outfit).

Esther: A Jewish orphan raised by her older cousin. He loved her and cared for her until she was all grown up. Then, the King of the land began to look for a beautiful Queen. He looked far and wide, but he could not find anyone who made him happy. Then, he saw Esther. As soon as he met her, the search was over! He had found his beautiful Queen at last. But the story does not end there. Someone came up with an evil plan to destroy all of the Jewish people. But Esther decided to be brave and try to save the Jewish people from destruction. (Esther 1-9).

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Meow.


Now children can learn more about Esther’s incredible Tale of Glory while they play! Esther narrates her own biography, and also quotes key memory verses from the Bible, including Esther 4:11a and Esther 7:3. Our unique start/stop function allows children to pause and restart the story at any point.


Daniel: He loved to pray to God and loved him so much that he would not let anything keep him from praying, not even the great threat of the lions’ den! (Daniel 6)

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"Fuck me! it's George Lucas!"

Children can make this story come to life with our interactive “Daniel” play set, featuring everything you need to help your child learn about this fascinating Tale of Glory. Set includes a “Daniel and the Lions’ Den” mini-storybook and 3 PVC figurines (Daniel, a lion and a stone wall).


All toys are aged 3+ .

the best book ever written?

I think it might be.

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cinema's forgotten legends (part ten)

Soledad Miranda has become something of a legend since her untimely death in 1971. The cult Spanish actress, most well known for making even the most turgid Jess Franco movie watchable is best remembered for her performances in Franco's Count Dracula (co-starring Christopher Lee) and more famously the camp classic Vampyros Lesbos.

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This film more than any other keeps Miranda in the public eye and her performance as a fe
male Dracula whether slithering around in wild outfits, creating groovy interpretive dance routines to a Europorn soundtrack in a tacky nightclub or lounging naked in the sun Miranda never looks anything less than absolutely stunning. It's as if Franco's almost unhealthy obsession with the actress is seeping thru the very pores of the movie, infecting it's unsuspecting audience.

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Soledad Miranda, a half gypsy half, Andalucian girl with, as she put it 'no culture to call her own' was born in Seville in 1943, a student of flamenco dancing and acting, her first role with Franco came in La reina del Tabarin, followed by the aforementioned Count Dracula.

Franco quickly became enamored by her and was quoted as saying: "
It was as if she had no intellect but a primitive instinct. A very clear and clever mind. She was just letting herself float through life. She was very sentimental and very carnal at the same time," The fantastic Vampyros Lesbos, She Killed in Ecstasy and Eugenie soon followed in rapid succession bringing Miranda greater and greater acclaim.

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Tragidy struck tho' a few weeks after completing work on The Devil Came From Akasava, Soledad and her husband were out driving on the highway between Estoril and Lisbon when they were involved in a collision with a truck. Soledad suffered serious fractures to her skull and her spine dying a few hours after the accident on August 18, 1971 at the age of 27.

A month later,Vampyros Lesbos opened in West Berlin to great success and it was revealed that shortly before her death Miranda had been offered a two-year contract with German Film Company CCC, assuring her of at least two starring roles per year in a number of upcoming big-budget European movies.

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The weirdness surrounding Soledad's death is the stuff of legend. Rumours ranging from the accident actually being a murder plot against her to tales of Miranda haunting Franco's wife Lina Romay; Franco freely admits to being visited by Soledad in his dreams and acting upon whatever she tells him. Which kinda explains Bloody Moon.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

cinema's forgotten legends (part nine)

He's the little man (with the old lady paunch) of Italian cinema, well regarded for such roles as 'Boy Scout in Train' in the classic Via Alle Grande (1983), the 'whistling guy' in 1979's Liquirizia and most famously as the freakish Michael in Andrea Bianchi's zombie opus Burial Ground: Nights of Terror. We can only be celebrating the life and times of...


PETER BARK

Little is know of the 56 year old Bark's early life and career except that his real name is Pietro Barcella and that he is a native of Rome. Originally he wanted to become a shopkeeper, but his lack of height made it impossible for him to see over the counter without the use of a box but the incident that made him turn his back on a life of retail was when a group of school children stole the Curly Wurly he was using as a ladder to reach the pornographic magazines on the top shelf leaving him stranded for 6 days with only a glossy picture of Anna Kanakis' breasts for company. It was seeing the beautiful star of The New Barbarians watching over him at night that convinced Bark to pursue his acting dream.

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Dario Argento: The Grange Hill years.

But first he needed an English sounding stage name, he chose Peter (after his favourite musician Peter Tork of The Monkees) and Bark after the noise he would make as the other children beat him on the way to school (up to the age of 14, he was only an astounding 16" tall).
Noticed walking past a casting call for the movi
e Liquirizia by famed director Salvatore Samperi, the director was amazed by Bark's incredible whistling skills, writing the character of 'whistling boy' specifically for Bark.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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"Aye son!"

Although his filmography consists of only four movies, Bark earned a place in horror history with his unique performance as Michael, the little boy with the bad hair in Burial Ground and, although sharing top billing with up and coming starlet Karin Well it was Bark who won the critics (and fans) appreciation for scarily accurate take on puberty, Oedipus complexes and high waist trousers.

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"It's John Leslie!"

The character of Michael as originally written was a 12-year old boy, however Italy's ultra-strict child labour laws forbid the participation of children in any film featuring sex, gore and incestuous overtones (especially if the child character was indulging in both). Bianchi hatched the audacious plan of casting the then 25-year old Bark as Michael, who his make-up artists promised, could believably be transformed into a 12 year old boy.

Unfortunately this completely failed to happen.

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"Touch mah titties".

Bark made one more film after Burial Ground, using the money he'd made to open a specialist 'short people friendly' hardware store in Rome which he runs to this day.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

jumping the shark.

"Why do I let you convince me to do these things?"

"Cause you're my bitch."


Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)
Dir: David Worth.
Cast: John Barrowman, Jenny McShane, Ryan Cutrona, a bloody big shark.

In the trendy summer vacation resort of Playa Del Rey in Mexico, a group of scally lobster potters discover an unusually large shark tooth stuck into a fibre optic cable. Slightly disturbed by their find they decide to come clean about their illegal lobster potting to the uber-hunk local beach patrol guy Ben (Barrowman) and seek his fish style expertise to identify the tooth.

After much frowing and gritting of (his perfect) teeth Ben admits defeat, posting a picture of the tooth on a marine biologist dating/message board and is almost immediately PM-ed by sexy blonde Paleontologist Cataline 'Cat' Stone. She's sure the tooth belongs to a long thought extinct species of shark, the Carcharodon Megalodon, a prehistoric beast thought to grow up to 60 ft. in length. Luckily Cat discovers that it's the tooth of a baby Megalodon (luckily? it's still gonna be bloody huge!) so the dynamic duo decide to go look for it before it can ruin the resorts big opening celebrations.

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"Look at the size of that thing!"
"Why thank you ma'am!"

It's a race against time as the shark has decided it's quite peckish, bikini clad, topless, bottomless; all teens are the same to this bad boy as it decides to eat it's way thru' most of the movies (Bulgarian) cast members, but all seems well when Ben (kinda accidentally) kills little Meg and calm and serenity return to the beaches (as do many bikini clad Bulgarian babes).

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"GGRRRRAAAAARRRRR!"

Everything seems back to normal, Ben's back to looking sexy in Speedo's, the local corrupt businessman, Hector is back to being corrupt and business-like and Apex Communications are happy that their cable is no longer getting chewed. But the death of the baby Megalodon hasn't gone unnoticed, it would seem that big momma Meg wants revenge on Ben and his buds.

Cat warns our hero that the mother is "larger than a greyhound bus" so it's up to Ben and his friend Chuck (plus Chuck's handy mini submarine and heat-seeking torpedoes) to save the day. Apex and Hector are moving to stop them tho', they have a sea-based boat bash to organise and no prehistoric mutha is going to spoil their fun.


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Fuck the shark, check the shoes!


David Worth, director of such highly regarded classics as Shark Attack 2, Kickboxer and three episodes of the Air America TeeVee series probably had no idea of what a cult classic he'd create when he signed to make this movie (if he had he'd have probably put a wee bit more effort into it). After years of obscurity (known only to those of us who enjoy big shark movies) the film finally found the audience it deserved after it's star, the fantastically fruity John Barrowman went stellar as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who.

Barrowman gives his all to the movie, totally eclipsing his (US and Bulgarian) co-stars, even ad-libbing the movie's best line:



As for the rest of the cast; Jenny McShane is blonde, buxom and doesn't mind getting her kit off (all the qualities of a Marine Paleontologist methinks), Ryan Cutrona is grey and grumpy as Ben's best pal chuck whose total cliche-ness can be summed up by this exchange with the sinister Mr. Tolley:

Chuck: You knew something dangerous was going on down there and you let them dive anyway!

Mr. Tolley: Calm down Chuck... I don't know what your talking about.

Chuck: Bull-fucking-shit!

See what I mean?.....sheer shorthands-ville (Which, coincidently isn't a real place, I made it up for this review) coupled with sloppy writing, can you believe it took two people to write that dialogue?

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This really is the quality of the effects.

Saying that tho' it's easy to slag of the movies low budget and indifferent performances (and if truth be told it is kinda fun to do that) but where else would you find a big CGI shark eating a tuxedo-ed man on a jet ski in one gulp? or the Barrowman naked 'n' straight for pay?

Go on.....you know you want to.....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

child or monster?

As requested by the lovely Ms. Linda Jones of the 'you've got your hands full' blog, more info on Tamil's favourite actor/dancer and all rounder entertainer Thavakalai.


Often cast as the cute kiddie sidekick, Thavakalai is in fact a fully grown adult (think a Tamil Peter Bark) and made his acting debut in the 1983 Tamil movie K. Bhagyaraj's"Mundhanai Mudichu". weighing in at 82 lbs and measuring just 4' 1" high, what he lacks in stature he more than makes up for in charisma!




Wednesday, July 18, 2007

la cabina

This surreal and scary Spanish short from director Antonio Mercero is the stuff of legend. Winner of the 1972 Emmy International Award for Fiction, it was originally shown in the UK during the early months of Channel 4, burning itself onto the retinas of those young impressionable children luckily enough to have sneaked downstairs to watch it.

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The plot is diabolical in it's simplicity. An average joe (Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez) gets trapped in a phonebox after walking his son to school....Onlookers tried to free him but to no avail as his embarrassment slowly turns to frustration and fear...

Then the men from the telephone company arrive, but his relief turn to horror as he realises what they have in store for him....

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Friday, July 13, 2007

hi-de-height!

News story of the week (maybe even the year)...not film/TeeVee/tat based but made my day!

The world's tallest man, Bao Xishun meets and shakes hands with He Pingping (possibly) the world's shortest!

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"Awight wee man!"

Mr Xishun, 56, towers above everyone at an astonishing 7.9ft, 19-year-old Mr Pingping is a mere 2.4ft high.

Bao Xishun, a herdsman from Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, was recently married in a traditional ceremony to a 28-year-old saleswoman from his hometown. At 5ft 6" Xia Shujian only comes up to his elbow and is half his age. Sly dog.

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"Awight big man?"


He claims he was of normal height until he was 16 when he experienced a growth spurt (probably due to Gamma Rays or suchlike) and reached his present height seven years later.

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"I fell aff mah rice stalk!"

Mr Pingping was born nearby in Wulanchabu city, Inner Mongolia. His father claims he was only the size of an adult's palm at birth at was (probably) left by pixies on his doorstep.

Strange but true.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

my favourite crossdressers.

Ten of the best cross dressing celebs just for you.....Enjoy!

10. David Duchovny

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9. Edward Davis Wood Jr.

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8. Crispin Glover

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7. Eddie Izzard

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6. Sean Penn

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5. Danny LaRue

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4. Ru Paul

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3. Ed Gein

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2. Candy Darling

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1. Harris Glenn Milstead

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What can we say about Baltimore's finest and self proclaimed 'filthiest person alive' that hasn't already been said before? the glorious Divine was the mainstay of many of John Waters greatest flicks.

From eating dog shit to performing pounding pop hits and flirting with Tab Hunter, there was nothing Divine couldn't or wouldn't do.

Not To Be Confused With:

The Divine Comedy

Divine Brown

Rik Waller

Diana Dors

Sonia Jackson

simple simon (and stanley).

Simon Says (2006)
Director: William Dear
Starring: Crispin Glover, Margo Harshman, Greg Cipes, Carrie Finklea, Kelly Vitz, Artie Baxter.

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Deciding it would be cool to spend their summer vacation panning for gold (no, really), five high school 'buds', comprising of the annoying, pointed faced Kate (Harshman), annoying pug-nosed 'jock' Zack (Cipes), annoying blonde slut Vickie (Finklea), annoying 'stoner' Riff (Baxter) and annoying rich chick Ashley (Vitz) decide to head out to the woods for a camping holiday.

Taking a wrong turn they stop at a nearby cemetery to ask directions from the local (twin bother) gravediggers and end up getting told the tale of (another set of) scary twins Stanley and Simon, one of which murdered his brother, family and 'a person for every year he was alive'.

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Know your cast: (l-r) Annoying, annoying,
annoying, annoying and annoying.

'Hmmm'....the audience may be thinking, 'twin brothers...could they be the killers?'. Well you the director might want you to think that if only he hadn't show pics of the real 'killer twins' in the opening credits leaving us with no doubt that it's the magnificent Mr. Glover playing the mentalist. Anyway, after a comment about 'filling holes' they brothers send the group on their way reminding them to stop in at the local shop (for local people) for supplies first. Which is thoughtful.

Arriving at the run down miner's tool shop cum garage cum convenience store they're startled by Crispin Glover in an overall and hat popping up from behind the counter shouting "Don't steal mah beer it's bad!". Turns out that this is Simon (who by this point we know is dead so I reckon it's safe to say that this is really Stanley in 'disguise'). Bad boy Riff scares Simon away by shouting "Retard!" at him and the teens go about their business. Whilst trying to find the toilet Riff bumps into the suave and sophisticated Stanley who promptly apologies for his brother, refuses to sell them fags and drools over Kate's hand whilst calling her 'dream girl'......creepy (and possibly unintentionally funny). Being a friendly sort tho' Stanley points them in the direction of the most secluded part of the woods.

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I dream of pointy.

It's not long before the friends have set up camp, changed into skimpy bikini's and bright shorts and gotten down to the business of 'partying on' as the youngsters say. But there tensions are in the air, slutster Vickie wants hunky Zack for herself, harsh Kate wants a cleaner barbecue, Riff wants to get 'stoned' and squeaky Ashley wants to go jogging. So our merry band split up.

Bad idea.

Vickie offers to go help Zac 'get wood' for the fire whilst Ashley runs off listening to shitey MOR soft rock on her stereo (she deserves to die for her music taste alone) leaving Riff and Kate to chat about drug misuse and hygiene whilst cooking. He finally drives off to buy cleaning products (and booze).

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Insert penis here.

After all this talk of choppers and wood, Vickie and Zack indulge in some 'film sex' (you know fully clothed and pulling faces) only to be interrupted by athletic (but still annoying) Ashley jogging by. She stops at camp only to shout "Zack was shagging Vickie!" to Kate before dissapearing behind a bush.

Now this is where the fun starts, you see unbeknown to them, the group of friends are being watched....by a man dressed as a tree and it can only be a matter of time before they're forced to play a deadly game of 'chase me now!' with the slightly schizo Stanley involving giant mechanical pick axe launchers, cannons that fire spiked logs and worst of all, moldy sandwiches.


When you hear that William Dear, acclaimed director of Bigfoot and The Hendersons and Teen Agent is making his first foray into horror you can help but get excited, especially when you know The Glover-man himself is involved (and signed up for two sequels!). You just knew this was going to be a classic.

Then I watched it.

Lurching from a Friday The 13th homage (with a huge dash of the Chuck Connor's 1979 'classic' Tourist Trap thrown in) to moments of uneasy comedy and genuinely ingenious death scenes (including death by joint, death by hanging/swung at a WV camper van, death by spiky log etc.), Simon Says is as schizophrenic as it's main character. The movies tone veers wildly from funny to creepy to cringe worthy and back from one scene to another (and sometimes in the middle of scenes) and the director appears to be working from an idea's list rather than a completed script.

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Crispin's farted...
and it's an eggy one.

Take for example the 'deserted' forest the teens are camping in, after stressing the point of how isolated it is ad infinitum, whilst stalking Ashley Stanley suddenly happens across a team of paint ballers and a group of combat clad kick boxers and their dog. As a plus point it does mean we get to see Mr. Glover kill a few more folk in a variety of interesting ways plus squash a Terrier with his combat boots, but you do wonder if it's such a popular place why no-one has notices the countless families, hitch hikers and pets that have gone missing over the years since Stanley was let out of jail for murdering his family.
Then there's Stanley's weapon of choice, a large pick axe cannon. All well and good but at one point it appears to be firing over a hundred axes per second in all it's CGI glory.....it's a wonder there's any trees left! Plus wouldn't he have to wander the forest picking them all up again? that'd take forever.

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Poster art!

Worth watching in a 'so bad it's almost but not quite good' way and for seeing Crispin Glover wearing a large pair of trousers made from the contents of a lawn mower bucket and squashing a dog, Simon Says ultimately disappoints. The 'shock' ending is quite nice tho' even if it is signposted within the first 3 minutes of the film.

One for fans of twin based, grass trousered Crispin Glover horror movies only.

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Beware the stare that will
destroy the world!