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Still living in London, loving my life and the life's of my friends
I was recognised in the other day from a TV show I forgot I was in, damn those crappy syndicated repeats. It wouldnt have been so bad but they shouted it out across the street
Cobra nero (1987)
"Just Shut Up"
Recently the uncut version (Australian VHS, the British is cut by 1 min 20 odd) of this very odd Italian Fred "The Hammer" Williamson film
Fred stars as the repellent Malone, a tough talking cop.
He say's to a girl he is protecting when she begins to speak "shut up, if you need to move your mouth put some food in it" (I would have thought of a coarser line)
He is on the hunt for some camp looking "bad guys" who replete with Bouffant hair and studded jackets look like prime "batchelor's for life" but seem to like killing, shooting and de-fouling who ever they can find.
Quite a good laugh with some grim scenes but at the end of the day in this one Fred has a butt bigger than a bus, his gut is held in by his belt, and when he runs he wobbles. He still kicks them all into the next century though
The Takers (1971)
"I've Been Screwed better by Salesmen!"
Another smutty blend of insanity from Harry Novak and directed by Carl Monson (under the alias Carlos Monsoya!).
This is a blend of biker and skin that has all the elements you would expect from the talents of Monson and Novak. E.J and Will are the lead Bikers, two scum-bags who mean to do what they want and when they want it, whose penchant for L.S.D, Sex and Shooting is only matched by their thirst for more degenerate and inspired acts of violence. They break into houses and accost the lady's inside at this point Will has the "I've been" line thrown at him, which does not go down well. From here on in the action gets even more off kilter, I won't go on to ruin a good tale just see this classic for yourself.
Imagine seeing this one in the cinema at the time, I would have loved to see the audience reaction.
Sweet Georgia (1972)
Any Man Could Have Her..But Only The Hardest Was A Match For...Sweet Georgia
Smut in the wild west (in the same vein as "Ramrodder" and "Brand of Shame") released by one of the masters of the age Harry Novak.
Georgia is a nymphomaniac and nothing can sate her need for lust and carnal passions, and she is not to choosy on who she couples with, be it a big lunk head ranch hand, her step-daughter or anyone she can get her paws on.
But of course her lusty ways get her into trouble, deep dark trouble and soon enough her words "Shut up and Lay me" come back to haunt her.
A "Boxoffice International" release that is well worth the trouble of tracking down
Suburban Pagans (1968)
"Try to imagine that these Barbarians may live next door!"
William Rotsler under the moniker "Shannon Carse" directed, wrote and produced this faux documentary detailing the steamier side of the sixties swinging revolution.
Our action begins at a T.V Studio, where host George Ferris (Brand) interviews a cop for his show. The cop in question has busted many of these "depraved" parties and takes no time in revealing in what fornication and wanton abandon goes on behind door's and in private.
At this point we see a party in progress the obligatory keys in the pot scene and various hairy hulks mauling girls and coming out with some hilarious dialogue "Anybody got change for a D-Cup?"
Nearly 35 years on this Rotsler gem has dated a little, the dialogue is pretty poor but has some great elements, not as bad as you may think, give it a go
Signal 30 (1959)
Get Off the Road!
What can I say, "Signal 30" is the benchmark of what was over the next 25 odd years to follow in the course of the life of "Drivers Ed" films.
Designed to shock teenagers and adults alike into being better and more competent drivers, by showing them death after death after death, and narrated with sarcastic quips about the burned and crushed bodies "This is the final exit for all concerned" etc they do not make for easy viewing and they are not meant to be.
Clinical and precise this is what happens when you are involved in a fatal crash, those are the sounds of people in their death throws, screaming and begging for help, it is as brutal as it gets and total unapologetic, every learner driver should see this film. Followed by "Mechanized Death" "The Last Prom" and numerous others
The Sadistic Hypnotist (1969)
Wanda, L.S.D and a hell of a good time
This has to be one of the most off the wall offering's of smut sadism and L.S.D popping party heaven.
Wanda the sadistic Hypnotist is a confusing film but that is half the fun. And its produced and distributed by the Meister of filth Harry Novak himself.
Wanda finds an accident victim and basically has some nasty ole punishments up her sleeve for the unfortunate victim, she's a Olga and Ilsa rolled together on a bad day, and thats saying something.
Wanda loves her chains and L.S.D, and what can make a better party than a sadistic swinging set up!
A little known "counter culture classic" replete with "L.S.D Freak-out" scenes with the Obligatory laughing faces and body paints, a classic
The Junky's Christmas (1993)
Danny The Car Wiper was on the Nod
Based on the short story by Burroughs or the same name this is a short clay-mation released by Francis Ford Copolla.
Narrated by Burroughs, we follow Danny a junk sick and broke bum on his aimless wanderings to find that christmas fix, his eyes are sting and all he can feel is the raw ache in his bones, only the warming rush of Junk will make his at ease. Severed leg's, drunk Doctors and and a 1/4 grain all go into making this a superb little tale that every family should gather round come christmas morning.
With a small scene during Thanksgiving at Burrough's house tagged on the end (he slices the Turkey with a switchblade) it's a worthy way of spending 22 mins over and over again.
The film looks superb......(Spoiler)
But sadly thats about as far as it went for me. The use of new techniques for post production are well exercised and considering the budget of the film they have done a damn fine job.
For me it was a shame thou that the plot and surprise ending was as obvious and blatant as "Sleepaway Camp", thou the two films only have that one shared thing in common.
I knew little about the film before watching it and it has to be said that I wanted more than I was offered, so I felt let down. With a tighter and more original script this film would be a modern classic rather than an mediocre experiment with new equipment.
And who said school was boring?
The action takes places at boarding school, where in the summer the teenagers who have no parents or family to go home to stay and idle around waiting for the start of term.
Soon enough, one by one they start to disappear under bizarre circumstances which leads everyone to belive that they committed suicide.
But the student's left know that something un-natural is happening, and where-ever they go no-one seems to want to help them, so they are going to have to join together and help themselves.
The live in teacher seems to be losing the plot as well, she cooks up a small poodle for the students tea and wanders around seeing spirits.
Throw into this a new girl that they are suspicious of and you got yourself one hell of a strange HK film. One that you will have to see a couple of times before you truly "get" what was going on, but well worth a look
Lugosi: The Forgotten King (1985)
Interesting if flawed
This made for cable television documentary is by no means complete but it is a rare chance to see archive footage of interviews and various clips from his films but it is somewhat spoilt by the endless showing of the "Bela" ident which goes to show how many ad breaks there are in America.
Presented by Forrest J Ackerman (Famous Monsters of Filmland) it gives an honest portrait of a young man with dreams of coming to America to become an actor , his subsequent rise to fame and his tragic end as a Heroin addict.
Featuring interviews with co-stars, mostly form his later films with Ed Wood this documentary is a must for anyone interested in a man who changed the face of horror.
Bud" and "Lou" are back in another tragic effort at comedy and a greater tragic waste of the talent of Boris Karloff.
Boris play Dr Hyde (but not Jekyll) to Eddie Parker's Hyde. The other two Slim and Tubby (which they are refered to in the film) pratt fall around yet again mugging and apeing at the camera in the worst possible way. If you are reading this review you are either a fan of "Bud" and "Lou", so there is no help for you or your intrested in the work of Karloff or just browzing.
If you belong in the last two camps there are much better films for you to investigate with Karloff and much better things to do than watch this rubbish. Mabey go boil your head or try to get injured in a bizarre gardening accident.Anything is preferable than willingly sitting through this.
Time to go to Sleep
A truly diabolical "caper" with Abbott and Costello who have to be the two unfunniest men who have walked the face of the earth.
Karloff plays a "swami" type and is subjected to all the obvious "are you" and "dosent he look like" jokes from the fat one.
No further explanation is needed and if you are into these two outdated borish men then there is no help for you ...if you are interested in Karloff go and find a better film with him in...there are much better things to do in life than subject yourself to this claptrap like having your eyes removed with a wooden spoon and drinking sand.
The Body Snatcher (1945)
Karloff and Lugosi back again
This 1945 pairing of Karloff and Lugosi in the adaptation of the short story by Robert Lewis Stevenson is on an equal par with their earlier roles together in "The Black Cat","The Raven" and "The Invisible Ray"
Karloff is the horse drawn cab driver (based in Edinburgh) who has a extra curricular activity supplying the respected Dr. Macfarlane (who has to put up with Karloff's lewd sexual innuendo and coarse remarks) with very fresh corpses for his experiments , but of course he cannot see that he is the instigator in this bizarre relationship and without his need for corpses Gray (Karloff) would not be in the picture. However when he tries to stop he finds that you dont get rid of ole' Gray that quickly.
Bela's role is quite small considering that they shared equal dramatic tension only 10 years previously, and if this had been the case Karloff may have taken the role as the good doctor and Lugosi as the evil blackmailer.
This though is a fine film, the photography and direction is fantastic and shows how a film should be made.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
A true classic
A better film by far than the directors original "Frankenstein" James Whale returned with a more accomplished and less staid example of the genre.
It is obvious that Whale had a reasonably free hand with this production and was not thwarted at every turn by the studios "guardians of taste", in the original Whale had to cut scenes and lines of dialogue, after the Dr said "its alive" he originally went on to say "now I know what it feels like to be god", this was swifty cut by the studio and to date has not been returned to its rightful place, the original was also toned green in scenes to give "the monster" a more cadaverous look. It seems that everybody had much more fun making this sequal, Whale himself plays with camera techniques and fly away scenery, the story is even further from the original novel, but at the end of the day who cares, you dont watch any of the cycle of 1930's studio horrors to get an accurate adaptation of the original.
Karloff is back in the role of the monster and the voluptious Elsa Lancaster as "the Bride", other Whale regulars turn up and you will be sure to know many but put a name to the few.
Sadly Universal have just re-released old prints in new boxes, they proudly state that they are "digitally restored" this only means that the 1 inch masters have just been copied to a digital format, they have not gone back to the original negatives and done a proper job. That said thou this is still a fine film and one day it may get the restoration work that it deserves.
The Black Cat (1934)
Karloff and Lugosi go head to head
Made in 1934 by the then 30 year old Director Edgar Ulmer and with the stunning set design by Charles D. Hall the film paired Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi for the first time together on the screen. This was to cement the two icons together in a screen partnership that would last for several years.
Set in the modern house of Hjalmar Poelzig (no creepy old castle's here) whose home is one of the most stunning modern houses of our time this is a dark story about Devil worship. Poelzig has a room set aside for his evil black masses and has a penchant for the ladies, but only when they are being put to the devil's business. Into this walks a young couple who due to circumstances out of their control end up having to stay the night at his home. They arrive with Dr.Verdegast (Lugosi) who is returning after a absence of many years to settle some unfinished business with his old friend. This is the set up for an explosive encounter between the two into which the young honeymooning couple are thrown.
Truly a masterpiece it should be viewed over and over again.
Watch out for the finale Black Mass in which Karloff spout's authentic sounding incantation's to raise the Devil, he says Latin phrases "Cave Canium" (Beware of the Dog), "In Vito Veritas" (In Wine there if truth) and Cum Grano Salis (with a grain of salt). I could'nt put it better myself.
Yi boh lai beng duk (1996)
Dont Eat the "African" Burgers!
What can I say about this wonderfully demented Category III classic, it goes beyond the boundaries of most Cat III films (which involve usually uninspired sex and violence) and goes for the jugular without flinching once.
Anthony Wong plays our demented anti-hero, even thou our introduction to him is himself getting a blow job off his boss's prostitute wife, while the kid waits outside. The boss returns and is unimpressed to say the least and after beating up our hero has the tables turned on him and is killed along with his wife and lackey.
10 years on and were in South Africa, our hero works in a filthy restaurant, gets bullied all day and resents everything living. Soon enough he is back to his own ways and after raping a unconscious woman, who spews a frothy broth of Ebola into his face he becomes infected with this nasty little disease, and the story has not even got up to speed yet.
A darkly comic tale that does not mind pushing the barriers of what is deemed acceptable, I loved it. Every home should have a corner for Ebola.
Animated Motion #1 (1976)
Considering the work of McLaren its hard to believe that the same man made this set of short "educational" films about the process of animation.
The subject would have been interesting if it did not have the look of a public service announcement gone wrong, a painfully slow 10 minutes and a wasted opportunity. I first saw these in about 1982, and they looked from another era, a bad one to be more precise.
The Diane Linkletter Story (1970)
The disgusting SLUT!
Scream's a teased haired David Lochary upstairs to Divine in the role of Diane Linkletter.
The parents are at home, and waiting for the return of their errant daughter, she turns up "tripping" and high on everything, and she announces her love for all things carnal.
Like most teenagers she gets sent to her room while Art and his wife try to sort the problem, we hear a crash, a scream and then see the mushed up Diane on the pavement "call collect" goes the soundtrack.
A superb short by John Waters, Divine's first screen role and David Lochary and Mary Vivian Pearce are on top form as well.
Some say its "bad" taste, nothing compares with the LP Art Linkletter released of his daughters suicide.
Find a copy now!
Viva El Santo!
This time round Santo has to battle with Peace loving Aliens, who descend onto the earth which a monstrous plan...world peace thru force(how sickening is that!).
Their objective is to make the planet speak under one tongue and destroy all national boarders and traditions, and if the earth does not succumb, then it will be destroyed. Charming. First thou they must chose a nation to make an example of, so they chose Mexico, which is a bad move on their part as they have never heard of Santo, the silver masked Hero of the Mexican Nation.
Santo has his first encounter with Argos (the lead alien) at a Baseball Park, where the evil Argos vaporizes stands of people and some children, he and Santo do battle , but he cheats our silver masked hero and vanishes into thin air.
The aliens are stunned by Santos strength and decide that the only way to kill him, is to cheat. After using some mind control techniques on two of Santos peers at the training gym they realise that getting rid of the masked Hero is not as cut and dried and they first believed.
Santo knows that these evil aliens must be stopped for the fabric of Mexico and indeed the world now sits on his shoulders to defend, but can he save the day?
The Sound of Music (1965)
A word of warning to those with weak stomachs
For the most part this film has ranked as one of the most notoriously offensive pieces of rubbish that I ever have had the displeasure of watching, the strained voices and sugar coated "cuteness" are enough to make a grown man lose his lunch, or kill his family. Horrendous does not do it justice
Another classic short
This time round Norman McLaren literally does what the title says, to a fast paced boogie woogie tune he intertwines the movement on screen and the rhythm of the soundtrack, giving us a Boogie Doodle. Similar in its concept to "Lines Horizontal" and "Lines Vertical", it may be short but you won't want to blink
"Angels on the Run"
This film is a superb oddity released by the master of the Exploitation genre Harry Novak.
God needs new help, and the small ad's dont yield up many takers, so he sends down a group to his best to kill and return with fresh Angels and to do it by any means at hand. They use cars, guns and all manner of gadgets to up the roll call "upstairs"
"People Die to become Angels" God says (and god is Black) and he is just helping them along, God in this case is a well dressed and well mannered young man, with a slight sadistic bent. But hey he is God and he can do what he likes, cant he?
A great role by Vincent Schavelli tops of this superb oddity that should not be missed, a highly neglected 70's classic
Trade Tattoo (1937)
Len Lye's Masterwork
Commissioned by the Post Office to make a film Len Lye gave them something that must have blown them out of the water at the time.
He made a film that expressed the pace and rhythm of the working environment of the General Post Office at the time. With the daily delivery, steam trains leaving stations for destinations up and down the country, the movement and frenetic pace
With his use of hand toned scenes, etched film, jump cuts, colours etc he make a film that mesmerises us on the level of "Cheloveks kinoapparatom" and "Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt".
A film that still seems fresh and vibrant, that contains images that will stay with you for a long time after. I cannot understand why this great mans work does not get the kudos it so richly deserves.
Love Letter to Edie (1975)
Every Moment Is Priceless
My all time favorite screen actress and star of early 'Dreamland' Production's Edith Massey had this short documentary filmed about her at the time "Female Trouble" was being shot (circa '74)
For those who don't know Edith Massey she was the larger than life lady who brought us The Egg Lady (Pink Flamingos), Ida Nelson (Female Trouble), Queen Carlotta of Mortville (Desperate Living), Cuddles (Polyester) these were her largest screen roles and in every inch of film her loveable personality and enjoyment of what she was doing shines through.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing her speak will never forget that wonderful voice, her delivery of lines from "Egg's Egg's Egg's" (Pink Flamingos), "You stole my Gator Away" (Female Trouble), "Seize her and f**k her!" (Desperate Living) to "At first I thought he was walking his dog, then I realised it was his date" (Polyester) have such charector that she is hard to forget. Fools and simpletons have in the past poured scorn over Edith and her performances, we should feel sorry for those gimps that have closed minds.
She is obviously a wonderful person, with a great circle of friends and an often harrowing life. Edith tells us of her days as a V Girl, A madam, A matchbox seller and a Hobo .
Friends of mine who didn't even know who she was, watched the film and said it was one of the most entertaining documentary's ever made, and I have to agree. Even though it is only 15 or so minutes long, every moment is gold.
Go on revel in Edith, you won't be let down
Slut's, Sleaze and Booze, all in the windy city
John Alderman stars as Steve Desmond, the gad about town who has a series of mobsters on his back.
As with any production that has Dave Friedman involved there is a huge amount of T and A and even Gherkin sex!(now I havent seen that one before)
A heady mix of roughie explotation and a nudie, all in the mix with a Bonnie and Clyde inspired duo (Steve and Nancy) that forge a bond in filth and shared resentment for "Fats" the guy that has paid to have Steve and Nancy killed.
Highly enjoyable, from an age when smut was good and healthy