Monday, March 19, 2018

hang the deejay.

Sorry for the lack of updates (this is becoming a habit) but I've been dead ill so haven't been around much.....I even managed to miss a whole day of Frightfest hence the lack of reviews.

Luckily I have an understanding doctor who recommended a diet of David Warbeck (and daily masturbation) to aid my recovery.

Panic (AKA Bakterion, Zombi 4. 1982).
Dir: Tonino Ricci (as Anthony Richmond tho' to be honest I'd change my name if I directed this).
Cast: David Warbeck, Janet Agren, Roberto Ricci, José Lifante, Miguel Herrera Eugenio Benito, Ovidio Taito, José María Labernié, Ilaria Maria Bianchi
Fabián Conde, Vittorio Calò and Franco Ressel.

Something has gone terribly wrong at the local chemical factory -  eminent science Professor Gerry Adams (Ricci, son of Christina) has accidentally infected himself with something or other which has turned him bright green and lumpy with a thirst for human blood.

Oh and more importantly (and amusingly) it's also turned his teeth into Pez.

Escaping from the building and into the sewers it's left to the company president  Mr. Milton Bradley (Ressel) to come up with a cover story whilst attempting to discover the whereabouts of the missing scientist before the press find out.

Calling on Adams' associates - Dr. Jane Blake (Eurotrash stalwart Agren) and Dr. Vince Clarke (Miguel Herrera) for help he's shocked to discover that Adams, instead of testing shampoo on horses and making beagles smoke like he was hired to do had been secretly working on a vaccine for gout (or was it bunions?) and had kept all the data pertaining to his work hidden.

Tho' beware as the reason for his actual research may change later if and when the plot requires it.

Don't engage in phone sex with strange may get hearing aids.

As the trio umm and aah over what to do the by now muchly mutated mental medicine man is busying himself tearing various extras limb from limb, starting with a young couple having uncomfortable fake sex in a Morris Minor.

Quickly arriving at the crime scene local policeman Sergeant Richard O'Brien (little mouthed Lifante from Let Sleeping Corpses Lie) soon realizes that he's out of his depth so calls on MI6's top agent Captain Kirk - yes really - to help.

Kirk (Warbeck....hide yourself) enlists Jane to not only help him find Adams but more importantly so he has someone to fire flirty banter at and the pair head over to the scientists house to look for him.

No idea why no-one else had thought to do that but there you go.

There's no sign of the scientist but it's not a total wash out as they do find his man 'friend' strung up in the fireplace covered in blood and green goo, which is nice tho' to be honest I did originally think it was just facepaint that had accidentally wiped off the monster during a cut fight scene.

And I'm pretty sure Warbeck thought that too.

Body on mah bonnet!

Performing an autopsy on the body (as opposed to fellatio obviously) Jane discovers something unusual is happening to its cellular structure but  to explain this would take up precious time where the mental mutant could be pawing at naked women so instead we quickly cut to a suburban house where a particularly harsh faced and hairy armpitted cockernee woman is about to have a shower.

The mutant - attracted by the overpowering smell of boiled onions -  sneaks in and kills her.

But not before we've had ample opportunity to stare at her breasts and lady garden obviously.

Examining the body our heroes realize that each of the victims are covered in radiation burns and green paint with nearly all the blood drained from their bodies.

Which is probably important tho' by the way it's glossed over you wouldn't think so.

is it in yet?

Bored with all this skulking around in shite and killing random women Adams decides to spend the evening watching a movie and so to this end turns up at the local cinema.

Via the sewers obviously.

Unfortunately having a face like a half-chewed caramel causes panic amongst the cinema-goers, especially busty bombshell - or is that busted bombsite? - Agnes (who it must be said looks uncannily like a young Helen Mirren, albeit one that looks like she's been taking crack daily for about 5 years but hey beggars can't be choosers), who after letting her boyfriend Clive have a wee fanny fiddle is feeling a little peckish.

Not feeling a little pecker which after this sparkling exchange I assume she'll be doing later:

Agnes: "That's just to begin with....If you want the rest you'll have to earn it."

Clive: "Now what do you want?"

Agnes: "One of those huge ice-cream cones from the jumbo bar."

Clive: "But it's too far away. It'll take me ages."

Agnes: "Don't be silly, it's just down the street and it's worth it because I'm going to thank you in a special way."

Clive: "You promise?"

Seriously, this actually happens.

Take a few minutes to let it sink in.

Anyway Adams goes straight after Agnes and strangles her before popping her over his shoulder and taking her backstage for a wee nibble on her neck.

Please note he may be a mental mutant but he's not mad enough to go anywhere near her pock-ridden fanny.

It's a wonder Clive has any fingers left.

And that he never found the car keys.

"I can see your house from here Peter!"

Still feeling peckish but with the police in hot pursuit Adams heads off to the local church where the priest is busy dishing out sweets to the young boys in the choir.

Talking of buggery it's not long before Adams is banging on the doors trying to get in forcing the petrified priest to force the boys into a hole (which makes a change from his usual pastime of forcing himself into their holes) as he vainly beats off the beast with a standing lamp.

You'll not be too surprised to find out that he dies.

Tho' luckily we're spared the sight of his (man) breasts as it appears only ladies get naked in this film.

As a trade-off tho' in the next scene Warbeck is wearing a pair of trousers so obscenely tight that you can see what he had for dinner.

I think him and Jane were having a serious conversation about Adams' work and how he was creating some new germ warfare shite but I'll be honest and admit that the trousers were so form-fitting that I couldn't concentrate on anything except the fact that he appeared to have a baby secreted in his left hand trouser pocket.

A baby with a massive head.

And a spine.

I need a shower now.

Anyway back in London the (obviously Tory) government have decided to send the army (all wearing berets with bobbles on top for some obscure reason) to quarantine the town, setting up roadblocks and disabling all the phones and TVs.

This scene is made all the more surreal by the fact that although the film is set in the UK the footage of the army driving down the street is obviously filmed in a Spanish seaside resort full as it is with palm trees and mountainous backgrounds.

Every so often tho' it cuts to a council estate wifey kicking a phonebox of a garden shed in the hope of convincing us that we're watching a small English town being overrun by soldiers.

Well at least they tried.

Just not very fucking hard obviously.

"Don't tell him Pike!"

The lack of TV coupled with the green shite covering everything begins to rile the locals who decide to storm the barricades and start rioting but this is soon brought under control when the army shoot up a Fiat 500 whilst shouting "Go home" thru' a megaphone.

If only real-life were this simple.

Milton (remember him?) worried about his family being stranded alongside the plebs phones his friend in Westminster only to discover the real reason for the quarantine.

It appears that Whitehall aren't convinced that the army will find Adams before he infects the whole town so have decided to authorize "Plan Q," which involves dropping a bomb on the town.

It's a good job the film isn't set in the West Midlands then because if you bombed that place no-one would notice.

Especially Tipton, a town so grim even the seagulls refuse to shit on it.

Tipton: Utter wank.

As the clock counts down to zero hour Jane and Vince (yup he's still here) attempt to find an antidote, O'Brien and Kirk take to the sewers in the hope of finding (and killing) Adams before it's too late...

Fuck, marry, kill?

Playing out like a (care in the) community version of Romero's The Crazies - or in this case The Crazy - crossed with Frankenstein (albeit one with featuring a monster with a potato for a head) via the genius of Nightmare City, Tonino Ricci's Panic is a threadbare, poundshop production marred by a lack of logic, budget or common sense that's held together purely by the presence of the late great David Warbeck and his spray on trousers ably aided by Janet Agren with a home perm and sensible slacks alongside the frighteningly ferrety José Lifante dressed for all the world like Prince Charming in a particularly shoddy school panto.

And whilst they leads may have gotten the short straw costume wise at least they get to wear clothes unlike the poor sods playing the beasts victims expected as they are to strip nude at a moments notice to allow the camera to linger over their harshly lit tits before being dispatched by a spud-faced freak dribbling poster paint everywhere. 

The things your mum had to do to pay the bills when you were growing up eh?

Laugh now!

Directed (if you can call it that) in a workman-like (as in he spent all day leaning on a spade wolf-whistling ladies) way by Tonino Ricci, the name behind the arse-numbing Thor the Conqueror amongst other classics - probably - Panic scarily enough was scripted by Victor Andres Catena alongside Jaime Comas Gil (who believe it or not wrote A Fistful Of Dollars) which makes me think that they were either having a bad day or someone did a wee bit of script editing before shooting seeing as entire plot points are left unresolved or ignored - the escaped guinea pig that may grow to the size of a dog, the fact that Adam's is contagious - as Ricci races thru' the threadbare story in order to maximize the amount of nudity on screen as he valiantly attempts to convince us that the entire thing (and not just the second unit stuff) has been shot in dear old blighty by getting Blur and Dick Van Dyke to dub the actors.

It's a pity then that the only Englishman in the cast is dubbed by an American.

Tho' it can't have been too much of a chore for Warbeck seeing as he appears to have gone on holiday for a fortnight halfway thru' turning up as he does around the 50 minute mark with sunburn and a new coat.

Which let's be honest is a fuck load more than we get for sitting thru' it. 

Still it's worth a watch for Warbeck tho.

And for this closing caption obviously:

Utter shit but in a good way and you can't say fairer than that.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

big in japan.

Stunning artwork from the Japanese editions of the Doctor Who Target novelisations.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 77).

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Britain's favourite school Grange Hill opening its gates let us celebrate everyone's (well my) fave 80s classroom crush - Georgina Hayes (as played by Samantha Lewis).

You can read about my futile attempt to write for the show here if you like.

But you most likely wont.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

video naschy.

I love Paul Naschy.

I love Maria Kosti.

I love corpses.

But scarily I'd never seen this till Wednesday.

I wont say too much about it because:

A. I don't want to give too much away.

B. I'll make it sound shit.

but more importantly

C. I really can't be arsed.


A Dragonfly For Each Corpse (AKA Una libélula para cada muerto, Red Killer, 1974).
Dir: León Klimovsky.
Cast: Paul Naschy, Erika Blanc, Eduardo Calvo, Ángel Aranda, Antonio Mayans, Maria Kosti, Ricardo Merino, José Canalejas, Rafael Albaicín, Susana Mayo and Maria Vidal (not the one that sang Body Rock).

Welcome to the  fashion capital of the world, - tho' you wouldn't guess that from the state of the ties and collars -  the groovy city of Milan where a mentalist murderer clad in a ladies raincoat and massive red flares that are oh so slightly too short is busy ridding the city of what they term as 'undesirables'.

You know the types, monkey-faced junkies, various dirty ladies and skinny bearded men in big white pants who are dispatched using a variety of implements ranging from ceremonial swords to umbrellas with sharpened tips.

Which is nice.

But with this being a Giallo (as opposed to a common or garden slasher) the killer - by law - must leave a bizarre clue cum calling card which in this case is a shoddy dragonfly broach which appears to have been made by the producers hook handed blind child.


Leading the investigation is girdle-wearing, bewigged bad boy of the old bill Inspector Paolo Scaporella (the legend that is Paul Naschy) - mustached machoman who loves nothing better than slapping perverts whilst chewing on a big cigar.

Oh yes, and cooking spaghetti whilst wearing a pink apron.

As the corpses pile up (tho' not literally mind) Paolo soon realises - with the help of his gorgeously ginger missis Silvana (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave's Blanc) and their group of high society dinner party pals (which appears to include Jess Franco's evil twin) that all the victims aremembers of the cities criminal underworld and that the dragonfly is an ancient symbol used to denote bad people.

And whores obviously.

Blood on mah thigh!

As is the way with these films tho' it appears that many of their 'friends' have their own dark secrets which means that any one of them could be the next victim.

Or even the killer.

With a head full of conjecture and half-arsed theories, Paolo finally discovers a clue, it seems that one of the victims put up a wee bit of a struggle tearing a massive 'fashion' button from the killers coat so our hero enlists the help of his Kaftan-clad, haute couture homosexualist designer friend, Vittorio to try and track down the button's owner.

No, really.

But with the killer aware of Paolo's plan and Silvana taking to studying crime scene photos in the nude it's a race against time and good taste (plus a gang of biker neo-Nazis) to find the killer before there's no-one in the cast left to kill.

Or any viewers left to care.


Obviously bored with being stuck inside a furry suit 24 hours a day when making Waldemar Daninsky werewolf movies Paul Naschy decided to try a different tact  with A Dragonfly For Each Corpse and emulate the erotically charged Giallo's spewing forth from Italy at that time.

Well it was either that or he fancied a free holiday to Milan.

The result is, shall we say interesting.

George and Mildred: The Yewtree years.

Tho' nowhere near as polished or as accomplished as it's Italian counterparts Dragonfly is still a load of fun, partly due to the always watchable Naschy (and his mighty man breasts) alongside genre stalwarts Erika Blanc and Maria Kosti (or Kosty as she's credited here) but mainly because of the sheer amount of early seventies fashions on show.

Especially the ties.

No, really there are kipper ties, crotch covering paisley ties, ones with squared off edges and some so thin you'd mistake them for a hunger striker.

It's like a down at heel charity shop made flesh.

Add to that an arse end sixties style score, a stripper clad only in a crotched doily lounging in a coffin, Erika Blanc's tan lines, a group of geriatric Nazi boot boys and a climax featuring Naschy chasing a bandy legged transvestite thru' a kiddies playpark and you have all the elements needed for a top night in.


Thursday, February 1, 2018

evelyn whoaaar!

With preparing for Frightfest, launching The Three Mothers and finishing up illustration duties on Dead Funny (available here and here) I've had precious little time to watch any movies of late.

Except the Paul Naschy classic A Dragonfly for Each Corpse (which scarily I'd never seen before) and this, which I had.

Hmmmm....I think I may be becoming a wee bit obsessed with Erika Blanc.


La Notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba (AKA The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, The Night She Arose from the Tomb, The Night That Evelyn Left the Tomb. 1971).
Dir: Emilio Miraglia.
Cast: Anthony Steffen, Marina Malfatti, Erika Blanc, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Enzo Tarascio, Umberto Raho, Roberto Maldera and Joan C. Davis.

Welcome to the world of the filthy rich yet nutty as squirrel shit Sir Alan Cunningham (Steffen, AKA Antonio De Steffe, B-movie beefcake for hire) who, when not escaping from the local lunatic asylum on a monthly basis is hiring seedy down-at-heel hookers from down at the local docks for tuppence a time.

And the fact that Sir Alan uses fake number plates when picking up these sensuous ladies of the night really doesn't help the feeling that he may be after more than a wee bit of slap and tickle.

Arriving at his ramshackle stately home one night with a particularly rouge faced, ginger haired old slapper named Terri (no doubt played by your mum) Sir Alan leads her to a sumptuously seventies (in a kinda Roger Moore way) living room where he prepares a few glasses of J&B Whiskey (the Eurohorror drink of choice) while she slowly undresses in an incredibly bored manner.

Yup, definitely your mum.

Leslie Judd, up the casino, Wigan, 1974.....YESCH.

Stripped down to her market stall suspenders and big black Grannie pants she seductively follows Big Al into what she thinks is the bedroom.

So imagine her surprise when she discovers she's actually been led into a medieval torture chamber.

Before you can say bloodied breasts, Terri Whore finds herself strapped to a block of wood whilst Alan whips her before branding her soft white skin and finally stabbing her to death in a mentalist frenzy whilst screaming something about some woman named Evelyn.

Which is nice.

Early next morning Albert the grounds-keeper (Maldera, in a performance worthy of his own spin-off series), is angrily accosting Alan on the front lawn.

It appears that all the stabbings and torture kept poor Albert awake the night before and now he's too knackered to even consider mowing the grass.

Alan, being a considerate sort of chap gives Albert £30 in the hopes of winning him over (which indeed it does) so the crafty gardener heads into town to stock up on tissues and Pot Noodles, but not before a huge explanatory scene that serves to reveal that Evelyn was not only Sir Al’s (red haired) wife but also Albert's wee sister.

Stranger things are to come tho' as we discover that she died under 'mysterious circumstances' shortly after her husband became aware of the fact that she was having an affair.

Could this be related to the huge number of dead ginger whores in the cellar?

Eye hen.

That night, craving a wee bit more of the old sex and violence (well, it keeps him off the streets I guess....oh right), Alan phones his equally hatstand relative, George (the late, great Murdock star of The Etruscan Kills Again) to see if he fancies a night on the town.

George, next in line to the Cunningham fortune is the brains behind the operation, being the one that picks the 'nite spots' and back alley's that the duo frequent as well as deciding which red heads Alan should murder.

Which is more than any cousin of mine has done for me, except for that one time with the head in the fridge but that wasn't my fault.

All dressed up in the latest high fashions, the kinky pair head into town to the famous Barnsley Strip Emporium and Bingo Club where the harsh faced yet appealingly carrot topped stripper Susie (Blanc, the breast revealing star of A Dragonfly for Each Corpse and Will Our Heroes Be Able to Find Their Friend Who Has Mysteriously Disappeared in Africa?) is about to strut her stuff.

Oh, and get her tits out obviously.

Alan and George attempt to cover their tracks.

By the end of the evening, Sir Alan has hooked up with Susie, offering her a massive £1000 (in old money) to come back to his house for a stabbing.

I mean a shag.

Returning to Sir Al's pad, it's not long before Susie finds herself bra-less (tho' suitably huge panted), bound and standing in the middle of the torture chamber with Alan sweatily rubbing his hands together with glee as he approaches her menacingly.

A swift knee to the happy sacks gives Susie enough time to leg it into the garden, vault the fence and take refuge in a deserted chapel.

Within minutes the sinister sir has found the poor maiden, sneakily approaching her, his arms outstretched and his feeble erection rubbing against the thin polyester of his loon-pants, for the kill.

Luckily for Susie he's overcome mid throttle by vivid visions of his dead ex missis.

Next morning Sir A goes about his business as normal with no mention or sign of Susie, which is a good job really seeing as he has an appointment with the head psychiatrist from the asylum he used to regularly escape from (Rossi-Stuart from Gate of Hell, War of the Robots, The Last Man on Earth and Kill, Baby... Kill! playing the Doc not the asylum, obviously).

It's a pity then that Doctor Timberlake, sorry Timberlane (for that is he) appears to be as nutty as he is.

Not only is he confused as to whether his former patient should really be going out butchering sleazy burds but he reckons that holding a séance to get in touch with Al's dead wife to let her tell her hubbie to move on would be a good idea.

This has come about due to Doc Timberlane discovering that Alan’s Aunt Agatha (Davis, looking more like Al's younger sister) is a bona fide psychic medium.


The séance (rather unexpectedly to them but obviously not to us) is a huge success with Evelyn hovering above the dining table, but as she goes to speak Alan has another seizure, making the idea of having another ghostly chat experience a wee bit of an embarrassing idea for all involved.

So it’s back murdering gin soaked whores for Sir Alan.

And where better place to start than a cheap and tacky high society 'do' organised by the always helpful George?

Everything seems to be going to hell in a handbag until George introduces Al to an incredibly beautiful yet frighteningly big chinned girl with the amusingly unsexy name of Gladys (Malfatti from All the Colors of the Dark).

Enjoying her excited chat and horse-like laugh it's obvious that Sir Alan is besotted, so much so that it comes as a shock to all involved when he gets down on one knee and proposes to Gladys there and then.

Gladys all over.

With a swing in his step and a song in his heart Alan begins to restore the family mansion and put his past life of whore slashing behind him, gathering his entire family (well, his aunt and cousin plus Albert) alongside a bevvy of saucy blonde maids to begin preparations for what could be a wedding to rival the late, great Jordan's for out and out freak value.

not too surprisingly it's not long before things start to go wrong (and no, I don't mean that Al's fiancee is shite at cage fighting and wears a dress) when the theft of an an antique dinner service by a mysterious redhead dressed in a French maid outfit (wahey!) causes Alan’s Evelyn fixated hallucinations to begin again.

Putting two and two together to make 'random horror logic jump', Gladys begins to think that Evelyn might not be dead at all.

"Curses He-Man!"

Sod stolen tea sets and wedding bollocks tho' because after the spate of prostitute murders in the films first half the audience is now gagging for some more killings (preferably by a black gloved mentalist).

Well don't worry we won't have long to wait.

First up poor Albert is attack with a big snake and buried alive after being rendered unconscious by the reptiles vile venom then Aunt Agatha has a housebrick dropped on her (bulbous) head before being fed to Alan's pet foxes.


How the story may have been reported by
the press if it were real.(and yes I know he's a Lord but it wouldn't work if i put that).

And if that wasn't enough to keep the film lurching excitedly towards it's climax then the fact that glamorous Gladys has started seeing Evelyn floating outside her window at night  should make even the most jaded horror fan shriek with, oh I don't know...mild apathy I guess?

But what's this? Alan himself finally saw her too this time, so off he goes to the deserted chapel where her coffin lies.

Once inside, Alan is relieved to find not only the stolen dinner set (they're not cheap you know) but also Evelyn, who frighteningly still has a full curvy figure and ample breasts but alas also a face of utter skull fuckness.

Like Skeletor's head stuck on Lorraine Kelly's body.

Feeling a tad better for seeing his dead wife's breasts again, Sir Al is just about to seal her coffin when Evelyn suddenly opens her eyes and sits bolt upright!

A by now even more unhinged Alan starts to dribble before dropping to his knees and pissing himself (with fright, not laughter), his mind totally broken by this supernatural act.

Stepping out of her coffin and wandering off into the night, Evelyn waits till she's out of her husband's field of vision before pulling off the shoddy skull mask to reveal......


It appears that everything has been a big elaborate (some may say over elaborate) plot by George to get his hands on Alan’s title and fortune.

The dirty sod.

Celebrating his new found wealth George takes Gladys to his secluded love nest just outside Bridgenorth to celebrate, but once a sly bastard always a sly bastard and he turns on the big chinned chick too, poisoning her Champagne.

As Gladys lies on the sofa, foaming at the mouth and pulling a scarily accurate Bruce Forsyth cum face (I know what that looks like, my nan told me), who should walk in but Susie!

Yup, she was working for George too.

For fuck sake this is convoluted.

Gladys, half dead yet still bouncy, picks up a handy bread knife and lunges at Susie, sticking it into her shoulder-blade, Susie retaliates with a broken bottle.

Soon both ladies are cutting chunks out of each other with various handy household items as George looks on with a kinda manic glee usually seen on your mum's face when your best mate visits after swimming.

It's not long before the pair of them are lying dead in a huge pool of their own blood, leaving George with no witnesses or loose ends, just a huge pile of cash.

Leaving his house to begin his newly acquired playboy lifestyle, George is shocked to find Alan standing in his flower patch cradling a huge bag of nitric acid fertilizer to his bosom.

It seems the madness (well some of it) was just a ruse to out George for the bad man that he is and now Sir Alan wants revenge...

"Look at the dog!"

My God, Miraglia what the hell had you (and not to mention co-writers Fabio Pittorru and Massimo Felisatti) been drinking when you concocted this massively brilliant mess of a movie?

I mean, it took longer to explain the plot than it did to watch the film.

What director today would have the audacity to have a lunatic, whore slashing inbred English aristocrat as the put upon hero?

Then cast a swarthy Italian to play him?

But as it stands the whole film is just an excuse for a variety of deliciously red-headed Eurotrash babes to get their kit off at every given opportunity whilst the rest of the cast wander around gaudy as fuck sets in outfits that dear old Peter Wyngarde wouldn't be seen dead in spouting inane dialogue with all the emotion and feeling of a bag of clothes pegs.

And really, you can't argue with that can you?

If that's not enough to convince you tho' there are some fantastically shot scenes of undisputed genius in the film as well.

OK, there are two but who's counting?

Oh yeah, me.

Alan’s maddening pursuit of Susie from the torture chamber to the chapel alongside Evelyn's resurrection from the dead are heart stopping moments of sheer terror that really need to be seen to be believed and the films dementedly mad plot and choppy editing actually add to the overall joy to be had from Evelyn (both before and after her rise).

Essential family viewing.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

seventy not out.

 John Carpenter turning 70  seems as good an excuse as any to re-share the patented Carpenter mega-mixes.

Get ready for over 3 hours of classic Carpenter inspired cuts, Jack Burton beats and taxicab tunes.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

it'll be all fright on the night (and the following two days obviously).

Yup it's that time of year when Team Frightfest make their way oop nerth to 'sunny' Glasgow for their annual weekend of blood, sweat and fears and I recycle the last god knows how many previews so I don't have to come up with any new patter.

It's not like anyone reads this so frankly I can't see the point.

Anyway on with the show.

And by show I mean looking forward to what films are on obviously.

This year’s line-up of 13 films spanning 10 countries, four continents and 12 different hairstyles kicks off on the now traditional Thursday evening slot in a scare-tastic style with the big screen adaptation of Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson's Ghost Stories.

Adapted from the stage show of the same name it stars Martin (the man in the romantic phone ads) Freeman alongside Paul ('Brilliant!') Whitehouse and tells the sinister story of Professor Philip Goodman (Nyman), a renowned sceptic of the supernatural who is given the opportunity to investigate three case histories of baffling paranormal activity, uncovering mysteries beyond his own imagination that lead to a shockingly personal nightmare style conclusion.

Or so the official blurb says.

Expect scares, chairs and quality facial hair from Mr Nyman.

"I am not a number!"

There's just enough time for a change of underwear before we meet The Lodgers (not literally tho' it's just the films title) in this gothic tale we're introduced to (again not literally, only on screen) orphaned twins Rachel (Charlotte - American Assassin - Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner - young Magneto in X-Men: First Class) who live alone in their crumbling family estate, except that is at night when the house becomes the domain of a sinister presence that enforces three rules upon them.

Bed by midnight, no outsiders past the threshold and any solo escape attempt will put the other twin in jeopardy.

Which bizarrely is near enough the same rules I had as a kid except we had a fourth one about not wanking in the butter but I digress.

But a troubled war veteran (is there any other kind?) who is mysteriously drawn to Rachel is about to test the rules to the limit.

And hopefully get a glimpse of ankle for his trouble.


Friday brings us (the audience) the UK premiere of Dragos Buliga’s The Wanderers: Quest of the Demon Hunter that features Judge Dredd's evil twin Armand Assante as Louis, the most famous ghost and demon hunter in the world who, as we meet him, is traveling to the infamous Zalesky Castle in Romania alongside an Israeli journalist, a Romanian guide and a Korean television reality show team in to untangle the evil secrets lurking at the dark heart of this frightened community.

Think Dudley but with better teeth.


Next up is Kelly Greene’s pastiche of 50's monster movies and all things Corman Attack of the Bat Monsters, where we join schlock impresario Francis Gordon as his intrepid crew as they attempt to shoot an impromptu monster movie in the three days left over from the film they’ve just wrapped.

From the Saul Bass opening title homage to its highly authentic, comic evocation of 1950s’ grade-Z grindhouse, the movie ended up lost behind the directors sofa shortly after it was made in 1999.

But ace restorer and armchair collector Mark Rance (who brought Tobe Hooper’s Eggshells to FrightFest 2010 and once bought me a pickled egg in a train station) found it when shopping for a new footstool and has lovingly refurbished it under writer/director Kelly Greene’s supervision and steely gaze.


It's time for a quick wee and maybe a smoke before Robin Aubert’s The Ravenous (or Les Affamés as the French speakers amongst us call it) is let loose on an unsuspecting audience.

Unless that is they've read a programme and know what films are coming up.

Tho' someone may change the order for a laugh.

Who knows?

As a pesky zombie apocalypse ravages Canada (the thought of anything at all happening in Canada is scary enough) the surviving residents of rural Quebec wait patiently for any assistance from the government but as it becomes more and more likely that no-one is coming (to help that is, I'm sure a couple of the townsfolk are actually quite aroused by an undead invasion) the survivors must figure things out for themselves, even if it means risking a hideous death.

Saying that I'd risk certain death if it meant I could even lightly touch the skirt hem of the librarian-like star of the film, the pixie-like Monia Chokri so this maybe my fave movie of the whole weekend.

Monia Chokri: Smooth, milky thigh.

And how do you follow a French speaking zombie shocker I hear you cry, well with  Xavier (Frontier(s) and The Divide) Gens  love letter to HP Lovecraft and amphibious fondling Cold Skin.

Phew, glad that's sorted.

At the dawn of the First World War a young man named Friend (David Oakes who'll always be there for you) arrives at a desolate Antarctic Circle lighthouse to take up the post of weather observer but soon discovers that a race of amphibious humanoids live nearby, rising from the sea every night to attack him and his grumpy lighthouse keeper companion, Gruner (the always watchable Ray Stevenson).

I'm expecting The Shape of Water but with added gore and fish fanny if I'm honest.
And that's not a bad thing.

"She-Fish in mah mooth!"

Friday closes with the European premiere of Primal Rage.

No not the one based on the video game starring The Rock and a big monkey but a scary Sasquatch shocker from special effects icon and former Hulk hunter Patrick (Jurassic Park III, Evolution, Spider-Man) McGee.

Lost deep in the forest of the Pacific Northwest, Ashley (Casey Cagliardi) and her ex-convict husband Max (Andrew Joseph Montgomery) find themselves being stalked by a terrifying creature the locals call Oh-Mah.

Tho' not by The O Men from BBC TV's Jigsaw which is probably for the best.

Soon they find themselves forced to face not only nature’s harshness but a band of unsavory hunters (who will most likely try to touch Ashley's bum whilst leering a lot) as they become embroiled in a life and death battle against a Native American legend made flesh.

And fur obviously.

Pure ragin'.

Time for bed now as we steal 40 winks (and the shoes of the person asleep two rows in front) to prepare us for a scary Saturday starting with Paul Urkijo’s Basque fantasy fairytale The Blacksmith and the Devil.

Ten years after Spanish Civil War (well one of them), orphan Usue (Uma Bracaglia) seeks to escape from her abusive guardians and the general shittiness of the local villagers.

When her beloved doll is stolen, it ends up at the property of Patxi (Kandido Uranga) a lonely and feared blacksmith who is the keeper of a terrifying secret.

A horrible truth that Usue innocently reveals.

Which sounds good.

Laugh now.

After all that darkly disturbing subtitle reading it's back to basics with the origin story of Gillian Holroyd's cat and familiar in the film Bell, Book and Candle = Pyewacket.

Or the title may just be a reference to one of the familiar spirits of a witch detected by the Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins.

Either way Adam MacDonald's tale of angst-ridden teenage girl (is there any other type?) Leah (Nicole Muñoz, last seen taking a bath with some aliens in Defiance) upset after the death of her dad (or is it the dad of her death?) performs a blood incantation calling on the devil to kill her mother.

As you do.

Changing her mind almost immediately she soon realizes she can’t reverse the curse and an unholy presence now stalks them both.


Nicole Muñoz in a bath yesterday.

 After all the demon-based badness it's time for some good old fashioned human hatred with Gabriela Amaral Almeida’s Friendly Beast, which is surprisingly neither friendly or beast based.

It's nearly closing time at a struggling restaurant and all the staff want is to go home.

As they tidy up and grab their coats the restaurant owner sits alone in the back office struggling with money troubles and a desire for more control in his life.

Enter two robbers, the catalyst for a violent situation, which the boss is initially able to contain and even gain the upper hand, unfortunately tho' the already dangerous and explosive situation takes a turn for the worse and as sides are taken all those involved begin to engage in the most abhorrent behaviour imaginable.

Which probably means lots of mooth shite-in.

I hope.

Tie me up, tie me down.

If that puts you off dining out the Adam Marcus' Christmas kill-fest Secret Santa may put you off turkey and stuffing for life, telling as it does the sorry story of  
the Pope family’s Christmas Eve dinner where everything goes horribly (and hilariously) wrong when someone puts something in the party punch causing everyone to tell the unvarnished truth at the already dysfunctional holiday reunion.

When the head of the household turns psycho, the scene is set for murderous mayhem and raw revenge as the family reveal their long-buried hatreds and festering loathings.

Just like my Christmases as a child.

Blood on mah face.

Mexican writer/director Issa Lopez brings us her magical (and disturbing) story of five young urchins making the best of their daily struggle to survive on the streets as they are caught in the unceasing cartel crossfire of the ongoing violent drug war in Mexico in her third feature Tigers Are Not Afraid next, which if I'm honest seems way too serious for me to take the piss out of with childish captions so I'll move straight on to Neil Mackay’s home-based Turkey Shoot/Running Man homage bloody Sixty Minutes to Midnight.

Tigers may not be afraid but she looks like she's about to shit herself.

It’s New Years Eve 1999 and former soldier Jack Darcy (Robert Nolan minus his singing sisters) wakes to find himself mysteriously entered into a murderous new TV game show.

He has sixty minutes to kill or be killed by a group of strange armed men who’ve surrounded his house but what his would-be assassins haven’t realised is that Jack has learnt a few tricks from his military days.

He has a hidden bunker full of weapons and he isn’t going down without a vicious fight.

Or at the very least a violent bumming.


See you all on Thursday 1st March in Nice N Sleazy for pre-movie drinks then?

But until then here are some more pics of Nicole Muñoz in the bath.