Monday, January 25, 2010

playaway.

It's been a helluvah week here what with all three of the unholy tiny trio housebound suffering from some particularly virulent version of the Umbrella virus, Mrs. Lamont coughing and shaking in the corner and myself, whilst seemingly immune to the scabby plague sits feverishly and scared, attempting to find a cure as the undead hordes of Partick (that's in Scotland by the way) slowly lumber toward our crumbling castle home whilst bravely trying (and failing) to watch a few films from the ever increasing pile of shiny shite on the table.

Poor Cassidy was so feverish he attempted even to eat a Jess Franco box set mistaking it for a block of Galaxy chocolate.

Tho' he may have just fancied seeing some busty women being whipped whilst they lie bound in chains in a damp dungeon.

I mean, he is nearly four after all.


"He's no Jean Rollin Dad!"


Anyway, as I was about to consigned myself to a life free from celluloid stinkers I was surprised to find my doctor prescribing a course of early seventies Euro-porn vampire flicks as the only thing that would cure my malaise.

No matter how uncomfortable this treatment would be it was my last hope and if it did fail at least me and the little fella will get to enjoy some father and son time, bonding over a few 'arthouse' classics.

I mean you can't start a love of cult cinema early enough these days.

The Devil's Plaything (AKA Veil of Blood, Das Schloss der schwarzen Hexen, Den pornografiske jungfrun, Plaything of the Devil, The Curse of the Black Sisters, Vampire Ecstasy and probably dozens more. 1973)
Dir: Joseph W. Sarno.
Cast: Marie Forså, Nadia Henkowa, Anke Syring, Ulrike Butz, Nico Wolf, Flavia Keyt, Irina Kant and a few other folk with even higher Scrabble scoring names.



“The hour of the wampire draws closer.”


Opening with shots of a dark foreboding castle somewhere in deepest darkest Europe (I'm thinking Germany by the size of the lady gardens on show) and to the trippy sounds of a conga beat, we find ourselves privy to a groovy girls night-in being held in a cosy dungeon where a busty bevy of wobbly arsed women are undulating sexily (well kind of) to the tribal rhythms.

Leading the festivities is a big of hip, poppy of eyes and scarily simian faced woman named Wanda (Henkowa from the classic Bibi: Confessions of Sweet Sixteen and the not so classic Baby Tramp) whose idea of a good time seems to involve aggressively touching up women and shoving her ample arse into the camera at any given opportunity.

No complaints from the Cassman so far then.

The party reaches it's climax with the announcement of the evenings raffle draw and after yanking the winning ticket from between a black lasses buttocks, Wanda fetches the winner (a lovely dirty - in both senses of the word - blonde named Brenda) and lays her on the dining table before getting Brenda to masturbate herself silly with a big black dildo.

And all this before the opening titles.

I've no idea how they're going to top that but with the introduction of the blonde bucktoothed bimbette Helga (Forså, whose performance as Lajla the girl in aquarium in the smash hit Sex in Sweden is still talked about in hushed tones on the internet to this day) and the council estate Marlene Dietrich-alike Monika (Butz, star of Love in 3D and What Schoolgirls Don't Tell) you can kinda guess where they're heading.

How your Mum could afford your Christmas
presents when you were younger.
Happy now?



Turns out that this gorgeous (well, I say gorgeous...) pair are descendants of a lusty lesbian vampire cum posh bird Danielle Varga and our sexy strumpets are in line to inherit all her wealth.

Kerching.

But in order to collect their inheritance Helga and Monika must live in Varga’s spooky castle for a year, thus giving wicked Wanda plenty of time to seduce Monika and complete her plan of placing the revived spirit of Danielle Vaga inside the poor girls body.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well apart from Monika being completely straight and there being absolutely no hot girl on girl action in the next ninety minutes?

"Don't look down hen but wee
Jimmy Krankie is trying to shag your leg".



Before we get a chance to let the horror of that situation sink in, a battered old jalopy breaks down right outside the castles gates, I mean come on what are the chances of that?

Turns out that the car belongs to the local doctor (and expert in supernatural activities) Julia Malenkow (big haired Syring from Sexy Susan Sins Again) and her hunkily funky sideburned brother Peter (Confessions of a Sexy Photographer star and ex-Gladiator - possibly - Wolf) who decide, after a wee bit of uncomfortable flirting, to see if the castle has a phone that they can use.

Upon opening the door Wanda, now wearing a harsh school ma'am bun and a centre parting that looks like it's been burnt into her skull thereby revealing even more of her frightening monkey mouth introduces herself as the castles 'housekeeper' and invites the siblings inside to meet the house-mates and enjoy a nice bit of tea and toast.

Yum.

However, behind the smile (well grimace) Wanda is worried as to the real reason that a doctor of spookiness has turned up at the castle at the moment she's about to put her lesbian resurrection plan into operation and during supper she subtly asks Julia if she's just on holiday or if she's visiting because she think there's a bit of kinky vampirism afoot?

Julia, scoffing another Mini-Roll responds (rather enigmatically) by saying “I'm here to study the superstitious beliefs of the villagers.”

Wanda raises an eyebrow before deciding that Julia actually isn't too bad looking and she might enjoy a wee bit of the Sapphic action too.

A sly wink from Wanda is all that's needed for the local lesbian vampire coven (remember the pre-credits?) to begin seducing the house guests via the medium of modern dance and vaguely rude sounding German phrases.

The competition for Ms. Pikey 1977 was hotting up.


As the disco seduction continues the guests all become much sweatier and much more husky which, in turn means Wanda's powers of persuasion become stronger.

But not strong enough to seduce Julia.

Tho' she has started to rub her brothers inner thigh whilst licking her lips, which is nice.

By this time our heroine has begun to notice something is amiss (the fact that everyone else has begun mounting candlesticks and anything remotely cock shaped has probably given her cause for concern too) and takes the precaution of hanging a huge necklace of garlic around her brothers big thick neck before taking to stalking the castle grounds waving a crucifix around like some harsh faced middle-aged Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

On crack.

"It doesn't matter how hard I turn
the dial I can't get Radio One!"




So will Julia be able to resist her brother's yummy manliness?

Will Wanda's plan succeed?

Will the all girl vampire dance troupe decide to enter Britain's Got Talent?

And most importantly will Monika fix her make-up?




From the mind of 60's sex-ploitation legend Joseph Sarno, The Devil's Plaything takes the vampire genre by the scruff of it's neck whilst tugging hard on it's genitalia to produce a warm and sticky mix of sex, horror, more sex and dancing.

The more appropriate title of Vampire Ecstasy suits the movie's tone better tho' given the distinct lack of neck biting on show, replacing as it does the usual vampire bloodlust with an ability to control their victims minds via the power of pure sexual arousal.

Which shouldn't come as any real surprise seeing as the movie is really just one big lesbian porn film masquerading as a horror flick so as to not embarrass the producers parents.

This doesn't mean that the film isn't enjoyable (and sometimes even for the reasons the makers intended), it's heady mix of (hopefully intentional) stilted dialogue, none too subtle phallic imagery and desperate attempt to appeal to both the art and porn crowd raising more giggles than erections.

Tho' scarily there are a group of chin stroking movie critiquing no-hopers that harp on about how similar (and in some ways much more successful) Joseph W. Sarno's masterpiece is when compared to the works of Ingmar Bergman.

It's true, I've met some of them.

And yes before you ask, none of them have girlfriends.

"Ooh Vic! I've fallen".


Sweaty, sleazy and a wee bit queasy, The Devil's Plaything comes across as a better made, (slightly) bigger budgeted version of any Jean Rollin movie you care to choose but populated by far less attractive actresses wearing the type of nightmarish Bri-Nylon fashions that even your Gran wouldn't be seen dead in.

Damning with faint praise?

Well it is what I do best.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

skid row.

Check me reviewing the 'modern' films and trying to be down with 'ver kids'.

Yup, must be that midlife crisis rearing it's ugly head.

That and the fact that Caroline D'Amore's frighteningly poppy eyes are spookily hypnotic in their intensity, almost as if she could see me undressing thru' the screen.

Sorority Row (2009).
Dir: Stewart Hendler.
Cast: Briana Evigan, Leah Pipes, Rumer Willis, Jamie Chung, Margo Harshman, Audrina Patridge, Caroline D'Amore and Dame Carrie of Fisher.


"Ellie, I love you because you're always
there to help with homework.
You're like a spellcheck with a nice rack".



Welcome to the Theta Pi sorority house where a group of twenty something pneumatic actresses desperately trying to pretend that they're teenagers are enjoying one of those big parties that only American kids seem to hold.

I mean we were lucky if we were able to sneak out for a crafty fag after lights out without Matron catching us.

This is a great excuse to not only meet our main cast (and get a glimpse at their 'characters') but to see some pert bummed young actresses bouncing around on trampolines in their pants whilst listening to Get U Home by top pop combo Shwayze.

Ah bliss.

Between the amusing drinking japes and topless dancing we're introduced to our six sexy sorority sluts; the soon to be dead Megan (The Hill's Partride), the Acromegaly headed Ellie (the chisel chinned yet curvy of breast Willis), caster legged loose lass Chugs (Run of The House's Harshman - who is neither harsh nor a man), token Asian babe Claire (Chung from Dragonball: Evolution), queen bitch, group leader and possessor of a strange old/young face Jessica (Pipes, daughter of the Ghostwatch baddie and star of far too many American shit-coms to mention) and nice girl (with a boys name) Cassidy (Evigan, daughter of the great god Greg Evigan and star of the Linkin Park video for their single Numb).

So, can we get back to the plot now?



Thank God they've got legs, I mean imagine
the mess they'd make if they were snails.



Well it seems that Megan's beau the rat-like Garrett (who is also Chug's brother) has been having it away with another girl and our cheeky chicks are planning the revenge to end all revenge.

This involves pretending to drug Megan so she falls 'unconscious' then have her vomit up chicken soup halfway thru' foreplay.

If that wasn't complicated enough the girls have rigged up a camera so they can record the whole thing for posterity.

Everything is going according to plan and, on cue Megan sits up, barfs and the collapses as her friends run in screaming as Garrett wets himself in the corner before stomping off to the toilet for a cry (and no doubt finish himself off).


"I don't mind touching his corns but hairy or not
there's no way I'm shite-in' in his mooth".


Reckoning that they could take this fabulous joke even further, Jessica persuades Megan to start dribbling in an attempt to convince poor Garrett that he has, in fact killed her.

And you wonder why I think all blondes are evil.

Driving to a deserted old mine in the middle of nowhere the girls pop Megan on the floor as they discuss who's going to cut the body up, where they should hide it etc., occasionally looking over at Garrett and sneering as he gets more and more hysterical and pissed stained.

They can't have been paying to much attention to him tho' as the next thing you know he's buried a tire iron into Megan's chest in an attempt to clear her lungs of air so she'll sink quicker when throw into the nearby lake.

Quite understandably the poor guy is fairly surprised when, at the point of impact Megan sits up screaming as torrents of blood shoot from her chest cavity.

Jessica decides that now would be the best time to tell Garrett that it was all a practical joke and that Megan wasn't really dead.

As you can probably guess, Garrett fails to see the funny side of the whole thing and continues to cry whilst the girls argue amongst themselves as to what to do.

Luckily good old (yet young faced, remember?) Jessica has a plan and using her amazing powers of persuasion (and bitchy bullying tactics) convinces everyone that they should dump their pals body down a mineshaft and continue their lives as normal.

Cassidy, being a good egg with a cool name disagrees, trying to get everyone to go to the police and explain what happened.

Jessica takes a moment to think it over before threatening Cass with a bloody good hiding and, to keep her quiet, gets Chugs and Claire to wrap Megan's body in Cassidy's coat so as to keep her quiet.


Admit it, you would,
if only to get to meet her dad.



Jump forward eight months and it's time for our girls to get ready to bid farewell to college life. Cassidy is no longer part of the cool gang, devoting her spare time to charity and voluntary work (seriously they even make a point of mentioning it about three times) and hanging about with her gorgeous (and not mental, oh no) boyfriend whilst the bitchiness goes on as normal for the other Theta Pi gals.

Everything is going swimmingly until half way thru' the ceremony Megan's spooky eyed, square faced sister, Maggie (Pizza Connection heiress D'Amore) appears in a slo-mo windswept haze that freaks out the already jittery Ellie and sends Chugs off to find solace between the legs of a hunky jock.

I think this is what they call foreshadowing or something.


"Shhhiiiiiiimmmmooooooooooo!!!!!"


Understandably freaked out by Maggie turning up out of the blue (and the fact that when she speaks to them her eyes seem to pop out her skull and wander around on their own) the girls call a conference in the kitchen, partly to remind those watching (you know the ones with low attention spans) that they killed her sister but mainly to showcase Rumor Willis' fantastic ability to cry on cue whilst still pointing her milky white breasts at the camera.

Which turns out to be a good thing because then you don't have to look at her face.

Deciding that the excitement of the day is causing them to be over-sensitive, the girls vow to kick back and enjoy themselves but at that very moment everyone's mobile phone begins to ring.

Well, everyone in the room I mean, not worldwide that would be too spooky.

Tho' at that point I did get a text message from a friend wanting to borrow Sadomaster. Not related but considerably more interesting than the movie so far.

Answering their phones our teen temptresses are shocked to see that someone (or something....nah, scratch that, it's someone) has sent them a picture of the tire iron used to kill Megan.

Someone knows what they did last, um, semester and is planning revenge.

But who?

Could it be the by now loony tunes Garrett?

Is Megan still alive?

Or has someone else found out the girls secret?

Well, at least we know that Cassidy's normal and not mental Beau will have nothing to do with it.

But the girls are living on borrowed time because within minutes of the texts someone has taken to running around in long black college robes, shoving wine bottles down folks throats and throwing modified tire irons at various cast members with unnerving accuracy.


"Eyes hen!"


The original 1983 version of House on Sorority Row is a nice little revenge thriller with a neat(ish) twist that's by no means the worst slasher ever made but as far as re-imaginings go Hollywood must be scraping at the bottom of the horror barrel with it's broken, dirtied fingernails if it thinks that what the world needed was a big budget remake of it.

But remake they did and surprisingly it's not that bad.

Well, apart from the final twenty minutes where the whole damn thing falls apart and melts into a cheaply made porridge of over-acting and wild eyed lunacy.

Short film director (and director of short films) and ex member of Blue by the look of him Stewart Hendler builds on the atmospherics and (unintentional) hysterics that he began in his first major feature, 2007's Josh (Lost) Holloway starring heist/kidnap/devil child hybrid Whisper and certainly has an eye for murder set pieces with the black gloved, Giallo inspired killer using everyday items like wine bottles, Jacuzzi's as well as a custom made, multi-bladed tire iron to dispatch members of the teen cast.

Which frankly is why you're watching in the first place.



Duncan from Blue,
up the casino, 1989....yesch!



A huge surprise tho' are the amount of references to the 1983 version to be found within the script (I'll give you "I'm a sea pig!" but you can find the rest yourself) which frighteningly for a slasher remake kinda hints that the writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger must be fans of the original.

Or at least seen it once whilst scribbling away in a kiddies notebook.

Sexy, bitchy and stylishly shot, in the end Sorority Row is ultimately as vapid and transparent as it's lead characters, so like poor old Chugs in the movie worth fiddling about with for an hour or so on a drunken Saturday night but there's no way I'd take it home to meet my folks.



something for a weak end?

Dodgy VHS find of the week.



How could it fail to deliver?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

hess is more.



Good news for fans of 'the films' north of the border as the spooky and ooky Jekyll & Hyde bar (112 Hanover St Edinburgh) along with Cult Fiction Movies have announced an evening in the company of the legendary horror badman and guitar twirling recording star Sir David of Hess, star of Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left and the magnificent Swamp Thing.




Taking place on Sunday 14th March (from now on known as David Day) from 6pm onwards this is your chance to eat, drink and share a chat or two with the Hess-master himself (tho' the chances of him taking you out into the streets to kidnap and murder a couple of teens is pretty low) so get your tickets NOW.

Well I say now but read the rest of the blog first obviously, I've just added some new stuff.

If that wasn't enough to stir your loins then the fact that badboy Johnny himself, the legend that is Giovanni Lombardo Radice (Cannibal Ferox, House By The Edge Of The Park, City of The Living Dead and Cannibal Apocalypse) will also be in attendance should send you into urine soaked fits of schoolgirl like excitement.




And breath.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 16).

From beast-based kiddie flick G-Force, sexy martial artist Juarez.


It's kinda unfortunate for Penelope Cruz that this is the sexiest she's ever looked.

war is hell.

Just got emailed the first promo image for what looks like the comic event of 2010 (if it can live up to the premise).

No more info available just now but thought I'd share.


Not to be confused with the oh so slightly camp transsexual musical, the accompanying synopsis (more of which later) looks great, tho' I'm unsure how the battalion of genetically engineered Auroch's fighting a bloody trench-war against the French resistance atop giant armoured snails is going to look.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

stab, cackle and pop (music).

Sometimes a film comes along that is so unique that it is only whispered about when in polite company.

A film so utterly wrong yet so utterly right that you glue the disc into your DVD player so you can never watch anything else.

A film so brain leakingly bizarre in it's genius that I passed out during the last twenty minutes.

Winner of the 14th Fantafestival Fulci Award (and who knew that a fizzy drink sponsored horror festivals?), ladies and gentlemen I give you:

Fatal Frames (AKA Fotogrammi mortali. 1996).
Dir: Al Festa
Cast: Stefania Stella, Rick Gianasi, David Warbeck, Donald Pleasence, Leo Daniel, Alida Valli, Geoffrey Copleston, Linnea Quigley, Ugo Pagliai, Nina Soldano, Rossano Brazzi and Angus Scrimm.

"It's pure Madonna!"



It's after midnight in the blandly shot black and white house.

Somewhere on the second floor an unseen musician is riffing Danny Elfman's Batman score on a Bontempi organ whilst the Werthers Original Granddad, clad in a pair of huge tartan slippers and a silk dressing gown sits cracking off a quick one to big breasted snuff porn.

From a gap in the doorway a wee boy sits and watches the unfolding carnage before him.

Suddenly Granddad turns to face the child but rather than be angry he picks up the boy and sits him on his (damp and sticky) lap to enjoy the entertainment from the comfort of the armchair.

Cut to a gaudily lit street somewhere in Joel Schumacher's mind, where an 80's catalogue model is tastefully hacked to death by a black gloved, flasher jacketed killer.

Phew! and that's all in the pre-credits sequence.

Back to the plot and pumped up, lion maned 'pop music' video director Alex Ritt (Sgt.Kabukiman himself Gianasi) is reeling from the murder of his young wife (that'll be the bird we've just seen chopped up then), moping around on rooftops looking windswept and interesting whilst a nondescript Europop score chunders in the background.

Hoping to cheer him up, horse-maned and buff chested music producer Dan Antonucci (Daniel, last seen propping up the bar in Gypsy Angel) invites him to Rome to direct the video for the Italian equivalent of Pete Burns, the frankly fantastic Stefania Stella.

Relax guys (and gals) she's single.

I. Don't. Have. The. Words.


Arriving in Rome he's almost instantly abused (but not in that way unfortunately) by a tramp before being taken to meet a bequiffed, power suited man in a foggy warehouse to talk about Madonna's Like A Virgin video and meet Amy Whorehouse herself in all her augmented glory.

Looking for the world like the result of a hideous teleport accident between Sylvester Stallone and a cheap handbag, Stefania spends the whole scene squinting at a convenient autocue reading the phonetic English subtitles like a child just discovering the power of speech.

Wandering around the warehouse in all his preening glory Alex bumps into the bendy and boy haired Rebecca an American ballerina hired to work on the video.

His best chat up lines failing, it's not until she realises that Alex is the director that she agrees to go out on a date with him that very evening.

Ding dong.

"Grrrraaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr!"


Unfortunately the evenings entertainment is cut short when, after an excruciating ten minutes when Rebecca runs around a fog enshrouded castle re-enacting the Total Eclipse of The Heart video whilst shouting "Alex! Follow me!" she's cut up with a machete whilst director boy looks on in mild apathy.

Looking constipated whilst rubbing his hands thru' his thick luxurious hair Alex calls the police.

Sting however is busy (as is Stuart Copeland, no idea about the other bloke tho' - is he dead?) so he settles on Dishy David Warbeck (playing Commissioner Bonelli with a sarf London accent) instead.

The temperature is fairly hot, must be in the 80's.


When diddy David arrives however, there's no sign of either the killer or the victim and Alex, being brash, big boned and with hair like a Girls World is treated with the contempt he deserves as the Italian police point and laugh at him.

The laughing soon stops however when a video of the murder arrives on Warbeck's doorstep (that'd be a great name for a band) leaving David no alternative but to call Donald Pleasence (as top crafty killer catcher Professor Robinson) on the phone as it seems the video tape has triggered a memory in the depths of Warbeck's mind.

And no, it's not of him chaining a young boy to the radiator whilst sending electric shocks thru' his erect nipples.

Pulling a dusty file from behind the filing cabinet Commissioner Bonelli begins to explain how an evil American serial killer, nicknamed the video tape recording murderer who sends cassettes of his victims to the police to taunt them had exactly the same M.O. but mysteriously disappeared before he could be caught.

The most interesting fact tho' is that Alex's wife was the last victim.

Warbeck's cum face
(as your Dad is all too aware).


Wanting to cheer poor Alex up Stefania and Dan reckon a visit to the local psychic's house where he can, if he's lucky talk to the dead girl should do the trick and the trio head out to the creepy mansion belonging to the creepy (and blind, you can tell by her outfit) Countess Alessandra Mirafiori (Suspiria's Valli obviously needing money for booze) where a rather pretentious dinner party cum New Romantic tribute night is taking place.

After enduring a nonsensical conversation about how the blind can truly see everything (alright then, if there are any blind readers here how many fingers am I holding up?), Stefania takes Alex to meet the mysterious medium Tamara (the bullet nippled, beauteous bummed star of Tinto Brass's Paprika, Soldano) who without warning manifests the ghost of Rebecca who starts screaming "You did it you lank haired bastard!" (or something like that) at Alex.

"I'm sorry, I have my woman's period".


Storming out of the house in a huff (stopping only to watch what looks like an AIDS ridden Timothy Dalton burning a child's painting of a house) Alex ends up wandering the (blue light lit, smoke filled) streets with the pained expression of a kicked puppy (or someone desperately trying to remember his lines), his contemplation broken only by the pounding bassline of his mobile phone ringtone.

It's the lovely Tamara calling and she wants Alex to meet her at a(nother) castle, she has important information for our director pal.

And hopefully the name of a good barber.

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

Even a titwank would kill you.


On arriving at the castle Alex can only stand and look on in abject terror (well, he tries bless him) as the only attractive member of the cast is cut to pieces in front of him.

Running to find a policeman it's no surprise to find the body gone when they return to the alleged scene of the crime.

But that's not the only freaky disappearance.

It seems that poor old Donald Pleasence has died in the extended break between acquiring extra funding and the actual filming but not to worry as we're treated to an unknown actor in a phonebox wearing a cut out Donald mask telling Commissioner Bonelli that he'd love to help with the inquiry but he has to go home for his tea.

Bonelli has no option but to call on bad bastard copper Valenti (The Red Queen Kills 7 Times star Pagliai) whose interview techniques seem to be turning up whenever there's a video shoot cum song from Ms. Stefania (which is averaging about every ten minutes) and shouting at Alex whilst reminding him that is wife is dead.

Insert cock here. No really please do it,
it'll save us from her ungodly singing.


Alex, beginning to feel his grasp on reality drifting away does what anyone in that situation would.

That's right, he goes out and gets rip-roaringly drunk.

Fantastic.

And it's whilst he's propping up the bar (with Dan and Stefania looking on like concerned parents) that he accidentally pours a pint of warm, watered down lager over eminent parapsychologist Wendy Williams (original gore whore Quigley playing a scientist, yes that's right, a scientist!) who tells our staggering hero that it is, in fact, scientifically possible to contact the dead and find out who killed them.

With a burp and a shuffle Alex passes out.

Will he discover the identity of the murderer?

Will Stefania put on any clothes?

Can you ever have enough  sub-Sabrina Salerno Eurotrash tunes in one movie?

And, most importantly how does all this link to a mysterious painting and the artist (Scrimm) who refuses to stay dead?

Well unfortunately I've no idea cos I fell asleep just after this scene, tho' I woke up about five minutes from the end so I have a pretty good idea of who the killer is.

Or here if you prefer.



It's been over a week now and I've still not recovered from the experience of viewing Fatal Frames and hopefully never will.

It can only be described as the real reason for the invention of cinema in the first place, one of those movies that totally destroys what we describe as good cinema, brutally buggering our expectations of the Giallo genre before coldly slicing those same expectations and conventions up before hastily stitching them back together and wiring them to the front of a junior school.

Director Festa (best known for composing the song 'Living After Death' for the Zombie 4: After Death soundtrack) has managed the impossible with Fatal Frames; he's created something so crass, so ludicrous and so obviously unwatchable yet managed to make it totally unmissable.

This is celluloid equivalent of turning lead into gold and no-one before or since has come close to re-creating this magic.

"Which of you guys is up for
a wee bit o' mooth shite-in?"


There's precious little else I can say, I mean the cast is full of the type of A-list talent you just couldn't afford today (tho' the fact that quite a few of them are dead might make it difficult too), with everyone from Almost Bond David Warbeck and elder statesmen of cult Donald Pleasence and Rossano Brazzi, who knowing that this was the greatest films of their careers died soon after rather than appear in anything less perfect again.

Now that's the kind of dedication you wont get from Matt Damon.

And talking of dedication, look at Stefania Stella (tho' not for too long obviously for fear of covering the house in joy jism) who not only co-wrote and produced the film but also volunteered to play the lead character and perform all the songs on the soundtrack.

Whilst soaking wet in her undies.

Who else can you name that could do all that?

My friends there is a god.

And his name is Al Festa.

Worship him.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the late late deadfast show.

Been a wee bit of a Fred Williamson week round our way seeing as he seems to be in every movie we've watched recently.

It's enough to turn the most heterosexual man gay.

Warriors of The Year 2072 (AKA Fighting Centurions, Rome, 2072 A.D., The New Gladiators. 1984).
Dir: Lucio Fulci.
Cast: Jared Martin, Fred Williamson, Howard Ross, Eleonora Brigliadori, Cosimo Cinieri, Claudio Cassinelli, Al Cliver, Haruiko Yamanouchi, Penny Brown, Valerie Jones and Donal O'Brien.


"It was maths that saved us!"



It's the near future (2072 to be precise but I guess you knew that) and (after a nuclear war probably) all of planet Earth's major cities have been rebuilt using Lego, egg boxes and toilet rolls, topped off with Christmas tree lights.

The only outlet for the citizens of this new square world order are violent teevee shows (well two of them) broadcast daily to keep the populace subdued and entertained.

Purves: Purveyor of teevee violence
and fan of Steven's tailor.


The biggest of these is 'Death Bike', a cross between Junior Kick Start (albeit without Peter Purves) and a Friday night out in the centre of Birmingham where a bunch of mad men on motorcycles kick seven shades of shite out of each other until only one is left standing.

Well, sitting actually.

On a bike obviously.

Undefeated world champion of Death Bike is the enigmatically pube haired Drake (Martin, pigeon chested star of teevee's Dallas, War of the Worlds and Fantastic Journey).

The other show is called 'Pretend Scares' or something similar and features (from what I can gather from the little amount of it shown) a large headed, sweaty Italian woman with hi-tech wires attached to her head watching clips of old Fulci movies and having to pretend that:

A. It's real.

and

B. She's not really scared.

It'll come as no surprise to find that ratings for this have been slipping more than Michael J Fox on an icy path, so the makers of 'Pretend Scares' (after failing to get 'Bastards Hole' past the pilot stage) decided to resurrect the age old idea of the gladiatorial arena.


Huge cotton bud or tiny lady?


This ultra-violent battle of the damned will see twelve convicted killers (but not Dave Vanian) slug it out in a modern day Roman Coliseum until only one survives.

To make certain it'll be a sure fire ratings winner, the slimy teevee executive in charge, Bob Cortez (an unusually clean shaven Cassinelli) decides to firstly employ Russell T Davies as show runner before hiring what looks like Spandau Ballet to murder Drake's hot young wife and then framing him for their subsequent murder.

Yes the plot is that convoluted.


"I raff I ruse?"

Taken in chains to the training area before being given a sexy bracelet (tho' no pearl necklace) that can administer pain, Drake is introduced to his fellow combatants including genre king Al Cliver as the hunky Kirk, The Last Hunter's Yamanouchi and Fred Williamson as the super suave Tommy Abdul.

There are a few other folk but frankly none of them are that memorable.

Under the auspice of evil trainer Frank Raven (Ross from such classics as The New York Ripper, Naked Werewolf Woman and Poppea: A Prostitute in Service of the Emperor) Drake endures, oh, minutes of torture and bench presses before our hero begins to break the corporations programming.

It seems that he's beginning to realise that he didn't kill Tony Hadley and co. after all.

Luckily the janitor of the faculty is an old friend of Drakes, an ex-racer named Monk (Doctor Butcher himself, O'Brien), who had to leave the business after hitting a wall and melting his face like a half chewed caramel who, alongside the sexy computer boffin Sarah (the fantastically fringed ultra-MILF Brigliadori from Beyond Kilimanjaro, Across the River of Blood and, um, my dreams) believe his story and begin to investigate further, uncovering a plot by Junior, the sentient computer that runs the station to do some bad stuff to folk.


"I never done it!"

Whilst Sarah goes to visit Junior's creator, Monk makes our hero swallow a magic silver Lego brick that enables him to open doors and turn off force-fields by simply pulling his cum face and with this special gift our hero plans his escape.

Whilst all this sex face fun is going on, Sarah has gone to visit Professor Towman (Murder Rock's Cinieri, tastefully blacked up with a red spot daubed on his forehead), the inventor of Junior to see if the computer could really be mental.

He reckons not but gives Sarah a special key to his control room and a box of plans to turn him off just in case.

Which is a wee bit of luck seeing as the next instant he's shot and killed alongside the not as attractive Sybil (Brown, the costume designer on Fatal Frames) a bad lady that was sent to follow Sarah (to pick up fashion tips I reckon).

Monk was also following her (in a good way) and manages to sneak her out of the building and back to the studio in time to see Drake and his merry band recaptured and made to do press-ups over an electric floor as punishment.


"OK muthafuckas! Who's
ready for a mooth shite-in?"




As the clock counts down and the contestants are prepared for battle, Sarah races to find the key to stopping Junior and save humanity from something slight and inconsequential....


Claudio Cassinelli checks out the
official Fred Williamson night light.



His misogynistic horror tendencies exhausted (for a short while at least) after the sleazy hate-fest that was The New York Ripper, Lucio Fulci decided to take time out from spooky scares and throat cutting (well, maybe not from throat cutting) to bring us this fantastically accurate prediction of the rise of reality teevee and corporate whoredom, never realising how prophetic the films concepts were to become.

His trademark visual style, surreal plotting and (sometimes over) use of extreme close-ups (usually of actors pulling what appear to be officially termed their 'sex faces') are all present and correct, adding a sense of the comfortable to the otherwise alienating futuristic feel of the film and Fulci's predilection for copious amounts of blood and violence firmly place the characters in the here and now for it seems that no matter how shiny and silver the future will become blood will always be deep red.

The cast with it's familiar Fulci regular faces and smooth, mini-skirted thighs (yes, that's you
Eleonora Brigliadori) play their roles with a stoic, earnest conviction rarely seen outside the Hallmark Channels true life drama output whilst Fred Williamson, so obviously on autopilot whilst awaiting his delivery of malt beer and cigars, is still better than any number of similarly disinterested actors not named Fred Williamson tho' if I'm honest it's scary to see chisel jawed sex pest Al Cliver slowly morph into a puffy cheeked hamster during the duration of a movie.


Eleonora Brigliadori today,
just because I can.

Three years before Arnie became The Running Man, Jared Martin was The Biking Bully and Fulci was showing the world the future as would be.

Genius? Prophet? Mad man or just lucky?

You decide!

Monday, January 4, 2010

let's talk about sex.

The greatest thing about cable teevee (apart from the almost constant repeats of Doctor Who, The Champions and The Saint) is the oft derided Movies 24 channel.

For those who've never seen it, it's a channel dedicated to true life dramas (usually about alcoholic cheerleaders or abused step kids with titles like Pretty Girls in Boxes or The Silent Shame), bio-pics starring Patsy Kensit or Sherilyn Fenn and (after 11 PM) erotic thrillers usually starring Shannon Tweed and Eric Roberts.

Tweed: dirty cow.


As you can tell, it's the UK's greatest channel.

Bored one night over Christmas, Rollie happened across this gem and although drunk thru' most of it I felt that I had to share it with you.

Who knows?, it may save a life.

Or help you when trying to seduce that 14 year old who lives next door.

Or at the very least amaze you with it's casts (and directors) other work, it's like an Arena convention.



'It used to be when a girl refused sex, she had
society on her side, now culture screams "just do it.'


She's Too Young (AKA Teen Sex Can Kill. 2004)
Dir: Tom McLoughlin.
Cast: Marcia Gay Harden, Alexis Dziena, Mike Erwin, Miriam McDonald, Megan Park and Rowan McInnes.


14 year old buck toothed, pug nosed Hannah (Mimic 3's Dziena) is one of those annoying good girls that you always wanted to give a good kicking to in school, she plays cello in the school band, wears sensible cardigans and is proud of being a virgin.

Her bezzie buddies, the slutty Becca (Diary of The Dead's Park) and metal mouthed slightly sluttier Dawn (McDonald from the classic The Sea Beast and Poison Ivy IV) have different ideas tho', having discovered that the easiest way to be popular at school is to shag around like Matt Damon let loose in a barnyard.

This is because they are blondes and therefore evil.

But the friendship is at breaking point due to the blonde bimbettes spending every evening partying in sleazy hotel rooms and shagging (tastefully) on the bonnets of cars, leaving poor Hannah home alone with only her geeksome yet cute photography obsessed friend (one of the Jonas Brothers I think) for company.

Oh and her cello of course.


"Shmile!"


But an older boy on campus, the 17 year old mole chested stud muffin Nick (Erwin, the teen Bruce Banner in Ang Lee's Hulk and the voice of Speedy in Teen Titans) has taken a liking to Hannah and is determined to be the one to take her virginity.

What a bad lad.

Inviting her over to his house whilst his parents are out of town (using the excuse that he loves cello music) he manages to get her (but not the cello obviously) into his hot tub.


Surprisingly he doesn't make a move on Hannah, preferring to charm her with his amusing jock stories whilst wiggling his leathery nipples at her. It seems to do the job tho' as she ends up giving him a blow job during a scary Spanish werewolf movie later that evening.

Is it just me, or would you get fucking annoyed if a girl, no matter how hot tried to give you a blow job during a Paul Naschy film?

It's just not right.


Nick Nips: who wants the first suckle?


Meanwhile back at school it seems that Becca has been suffering from a sore throat for weeks and has recently discovered some evil looking red spots in her mouth. Deciding to visit the school nurse she's shocked (and ashamed) to find that she's contracted syphilis.

But before you can spray dirty cow on her locker (or scratch it onto her forehead) it seems that almost the entire school is infected, due in part to all those sexy motel parties and hot tub sessions.

Hannah after a wee bit of high horse acting, comes a cropper when she too finds she has syphilis thanks to Nick and his filthy penis.

Doing what any of us would in this situation she goes out and gets rat arsed, returning home only to tell her overprotective (yet really hot in a frumpy kinda way) mum Trish (the poor man's Jeanne Tripplehorn, Harden from The Mist and Flubber) the good news.

After a fair bit of Emmy worthy shouting and blubbing Trish decides that the only way to deal with this outbreak of promiscuity amongst 'ver kids' is to form a 'sex in hot tubs and outside marriage is evil' committee, dedicated to wiping out syphilis, teen pregnancy, to raise motel room prices and to sew every single teen girls vagina (and possibly anus) shut.

Announcing her masterplan during the next PTA, Trish is upset to find that some of the parents think she may be going a wee bit too far.


"Hannah checks for mooth shite.


How could Hannah's life get any worse?

Well, because of her shag Nazi mum, no-one at school is talking to her (or asking for blow jobs, which is a pity because she has really nice full lips, a wee bit like your brother) anymore except for gangly geek-boy who she whines at on instant messenger at every given opportunity.

Being a nice, sensitive guy (and possibly gay by the state of his hair) he invites Hannah over to cry on his shoulder (but not i hasten to add, shite in his mooth).

When she arrives tho' Hannah is surprisingly calm about the fact that her pals bedroom walls are covered in hundreds of candid photographs he's taken of her.

Tho' none of them show her giving head.

Unfortunately.


You know it would so be worth the jail term.


Snuggled up close on Jonas bed, his GI Joe bedspread wrapped are her shoulders it's not long before the pair are gazing into each others (dead, cold) eyes. Hannah leans over and kisses him.

Whore.

Soon the horny teens are ripping at each others clothes, Hannah straddling Jonas like a big, lanky geek pony, her tiny trembling hands reaching for his bulging undies.

But geekboy has second thoughts and starts spurting not semen but horrible preachy bollocks like 'We have the rest of our lives to do this.....I respect you too much.'

Hannah, rather than be touched (phnarrr) by Noah's genuine love for her shows her true slut colours by jumping off him, grabbing her jacket and stomping off to the nearest sex party.

But not before uttering possibly the greatest line in teevee movie history.

"You don't want me because I have syphilis!"

Hmmmm, it might actually be because you're a spoilt, harsh faced whore, hen.


Hannah attempts to make steam
appear from my magic pipe.


Arriving at the party she immediately begins to look for Becca and Dawn (probably in the hope of at least getting a threesome in the pool) but they're nowhere to be seen.

Luckily, Harry Potter (I kid you not) is in attendance and points Hannah in the direction of the basement where he says she'll find Becca 'talking' to her new beau.

Slowly creeping downstairs she's shocked (if not a wee bit aroused by the look of her) to see some random creepy jock dude attempting to stick it in Becca without her consent.

As her friends lies crying with her jeans round her ankles and her soft cotton panties at her knees Jeff Badman turns to Hannah and whispers "You're next".

Who can save our whorish heroine?

Well wouldn't you know it, geek freak arrives just in time (I'm assuming her asked the host for directions to the rape cellar) and brandishing his camera phone offers the wanna-be rapist with this chilling (and hilarious) ultimatum:

'stop attempting to rape a wee lassie or I'll send this picture straight to 9-1-1!'

Yup, he'd obviously been there for a while taking photo's of the whole thing.

Dirty sod.

Jeff complies, leaving Hannah and Jonas to finally embrace whilst Becca wipes away the snot and tears before pulling her undies back up.

We never find out what Jonas does with the photo's but there's a good chance he wont have to sneakily steal any of his dads copies of Razzle for a while.


"He did what in his cup?"



Who'd have thought that dear old Tom McLoughlin, the writer and director of Mausoleum and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (plus being Jason's hand double in that very film) would end up becoming the king of the teevee movie true life drama?

So far he's given us everything from the Molly Ringwald AIDS weepie Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story to the high school student addicted to Internet porn shocker Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life via the controversy courting D.C. Sniper: 23 Days of Fear and much more besides. It seems that if it's got teen sex, shootings or drug abuse and it's vaguely based on a true story then McLoughlin's your man.

But out of everything he's made, She's Too Young is probably his best and most accomplished work so far, if not the sexiest.

Coming on like the bastard offspring of one of those 1950's public information films that warned of evil crazed homosexuals hunting young boys and sailors with VD but cranked up to 11.

The girls are younger, the guys are hornier and the mums much hotter than their 50's counterparts but the scare tactics remain the same, even to the point of showing, in graphic David Cronenberg-esque body horror style, the effects of syphilis in full livid colour when Hannah goes online to research the condition.

Truly true life drama doesn't get much better than this.

Except of course the classic It's My Party when an HIV infected Eric Roberts kisses a pony.

Based (possibly) on the true story of an outbreak of syphilis amongst children in the well-off Atlanta suburb of Rockdale County in 1996 but with added shock value to scare teens into abstinence and force parents to chain their offspring to radiators till they're old enough to marry, the movie has too many great scenes to mention but top marks to the fantastic bit when Becca, Hannah and Dawn arrange a sleepover so that they can coach each other to improve their oral skills and the final scenes at the sex party, which come across as a high school version of Blue Velvet mixed with snippets from inside Gary Glitters mind.

Utter pants yet total genius.

Sir Tom of McLoughlin, I salute you.

But I wont be forcing your daughter to give me head anytime soon thanks very much.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

new york stories.

Got the fantastic limited edition Shameless 3 disc tin of Castellari's futurist fightfests for my birthday (thankies Steven and Gillian) to replace my long worn out VHS copies so reckoned it was time to re-watch and review these classics.

Enjoy.

1990: The Bronx Warriors (AKA Escape From The Bronx, Bronx Warriors. 1982)

Dir: Enzo G. Castellari

Cast: Mark Gregory, Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson, Vic Morrow, Christopher 'Brian' Connelly, Stefania Girolami, George 'The Beast' Eastman and
Ennio Girolami.




"It might be a pile of shit out of somebody's asshole!"


The year is 1990 (not too surprising given the title but hey I'm trying to set the scene) and the crime rate in the run down Bronx bit of New York has sky-rocketed to such a high that the government has declared the entire place a no go area.

A wee bit like Govan or West Bromwich.

The police no longer enter it (phnarrr) and vicious (well, vicious compared to the Jets from West Side Story....probably) gangs roam the streets enforcing their own brand of law.

And yes it does involve buggery.

It's to this lawless hell-hole that vacuous, bubble permed Ann (Girolami, the directors daughter, better known for her 1st AD work on Dawson's Creek) has run away to in the hope of escaping from her family, owners of the world's biggest arms conglomerate and controllers of the nice bits of New York City,
reckoning that upon taking control of the company she'll become a mere puppet for the mysterious suits on the board.


Pretty vacant.

Which is a wee bit selfish if you think about it, it's not as if she's run away for ethical or anti-violence reasons the self centred, spoilt cow.

It's not too long before our heroine
is attacked by a frighteningly camp bunch of guys bedecked in white Nazi helmets and huge cardboard shoulder-pads, carrying hockey sticks and whizzing round the place on roller skates.

ladies and gentlemen I give you the evil cut throat street gang know as The Zombies!

Luckily for the fugitive heiress (and for the viewer who by this point is probably giving themselves a hernia laughing) her capture (and almost certainly sodomising) is thwarted by a gang of nipple revealing, denim clad bike boys named (quite creatively) The Riders led by the lady hipped pouting pretty boy, Trash
(motorcycle enthusiast and expertly trained Greco-Roman style wrestler last seen on-screen in the fantastically shite Afghanistan Connection: The Last War Bus, Gregory).


"Fuck you Spielberg!"


Seeing as she's the only woman in the Bronx with all her own teeth (and without syphilis) Trash takes an instant shine to Ann, inviting her back to his day-glo love nest so she can stare lustfully at his sweat covered man breasts and share a can of Coke.

Aah, ain't love grand?

Meanwhile back at the plot, the aforementioned evil suits decide to send bastard freelance law enforcer and part-time postie, the pube haired hard man Hammer (professional angry man Morrow) to bring Ann back safely and kill lots of people whilst doing it.

Nice work if you can get it.

Disguised as Postman Pat and carrying a poster tube Hammer heads into the Bronx to meet his contact, a traitor from within Trash's ranks.

Whilst all this mail-based excitement is going on, Ann is busy teaching Trash the meaning of trust and friendship (as well as how to apply blusher correctly), suggesting that it might be nice if he made the effort to make some new friends and get out more, rather than spend all his days stuck indoors playing Nintendo and hanging about with barely dressed bad boys.

Trash reluctantly agrees and picks up his Power Rangers football before heading out to find some new pals to have a kick about with.


"I'm a tiger! Grrraarrr!"


No sooner has he put his jacket down to use as a goalpost when who should turn up but rival gang boss, professional black man and self style King of New York, Mr. Tony Ogre (Blaxploitation legend and tight buttocked sex god, Williamson)
.

After a few goes at keepy uppy and penalties the pair become firm friends and Ogre offers to help Trash get his true love to safety thru' the dangerous underbelly of The Bronx.

But Hammer is in hot pursuit and the cities other gangs, from subterranean mutant tramps to evil tap dancers, aren't as accommodating as The Ogre, especially when it comes to fresh peachy ass slinking thru' their turf....


Strictly Come in Mah Mooth.


Dragged kicking and screaming from the mind of exploitation master Enzo G. Castellari (
The Inglorious Bastards, The House by the Edge of the Lake, Go Kill Everybody and Come Back Alone and the soon to be completed Caribbean Bastards), this superbly silly riff on Escape From New York is at once gloriously entertaining nonsense yet at the same time as slow and painful as passing a huge kidney stone.

The 'plot' (as it is) is thinner than Ashley Olsen with AIDS, leaving characters to wander aimlessly from scene to scene whilst Vic Morrow, wearing the look of a constipated bulldog single handily keeps the viewer interested (and ups the body-count) by dispatching anyone he comes across.

Unexplained radiation scarred mutants attack our heroes during their journey thru' the subway for no other reason than there were obviously some zombie outfits left in the stock room but the greatest WTF moment must be when Trash and co. are accosted by the (previously mentioned) gang of bejewelled and make-up caked killer tap dancers all dressed up like rejects from Mamma Mia! who break into a fantastically camply choreographed fight cum dance number.

I kid you not, it's worth the price just for this scene alone.

Well, that and the fact that D'Amato regular and my real dad, the great George Eastman turns up
halfway thru' dressed as a character from a junior school stage version of Mortal Kombat for no other reason than to fight Fred Williamson (oh, and get the ladies pulses racing obviously).

But despite (or maybe because) of all that, the movie is an unmissable slice of gritty urban genius, years before such gang based dramas became the vogue.


George Eastman, up the casino, 1974....yesch!


To those unable to appreciate the slow burning powerful anti-fascist/anti-globalisation message of the movie, 1990: The Bronx Warriors may look like a film with little or no merit but to those of us that can appreciate true celluloid art the film is as powerful and thought provoking as Schindler's List or that Disney one with John Hurt about the family that escape from East Germany in a home-made balloon.