Wednesday, July 22, 2009

bongo in the congo.

I've been putting it off for years but due to a few begging emails I've decided to rewatch and review this infamous shocked up exploitation crassic.

And please, no death threats this time, remember I only watch this shite so that you don't have to.

Addio zio Tom (AKA Goodbye Uncle Tom. 1971)
Dir: Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi.
Cast: Some fat, bad toothed Italians, some thin, bad toothed Italians, some black folk and a butchers dog.


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We're gonna go back, way back in time to the groove-tastic year of 1971 and whilst we're enjoying Slade and Love Thy Neighbour our America cousins are caught up in a terrifying race war.

African Americans, tired of the evil white man and empowered by the words of Malcolm X (tho' luckily not Jason X) and LeRoi Jones, are rising up to make one final bloody stand for justice.

Or something like that, I'm assuming the film isn't entirely truthful.

Deciding to explore the origins of all this race fueled badness (and having nothing to do till the pubs open) a group of brave documentary filmmakers decide to travel back in time for a close-up look at the slave trade, its bosses and the slaves themselves.

In an totally non exploitative way of course.

Next stop....nineteenth century New Orleans!

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Less Doctor Who, more
Doctor whatya talkin' about Willis?

Arriving at a convenient plantation and at a time when the place wasn't full of tragic Anne Rice fans, the crack camera crew happen across a huge dinner party hosted by none other than (the neither fat nor Italian) Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin (which scarily had a pub in my home town of Sedgley named after it, fact fans).

Sitting around a table eating veal and drinking cheap port, her guests enthusiastically defend the slave trade whilst tossing food scraps to a group of wee black boys hiding under the table.

After stuffing their faces with food (well this time travel lark is hungry work) and obviously bored with the after dinner entertainment (which involves watching one of the boys reading from the Bible whilst wearing a tie) our merry band decide to visit a slave ship fresh from the dark continent (Africa not Birmingham) and stuffed full of malnourished and abused soon to be slaves.

Hmmm....could this slavery thing be bad?

The crew still need convincing.

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"Laugh now!"

Wandering around the docks and killing a few minutes shooting footage of big fat greasy Italian men licking their lips whilst eying up young boys as a lady in boots whips a black man with a riding group they soon come across (not literally but you never know, I mean she looks up for it) the local House Momma (not top comedy star Martin Laurence but a humongously breasted big black woman whose job it is to 'supervise' the slaves).

Genuinely intrigued as to what this entails (other than standing on a chair shouting 'Thomas!' by the look of her) she happily lets them follow her about for the afternoon as she physically and mentally abuses both her black and white charges (not to mention the viewer with her hellish voice) before sending off a group of bounty hunters to catch a few runaway slaves.

Still not entirely convinced they head off to visit the local doctor for a dose of much needed 'science'.

Using only a chalkboard, an eggcup and a handkerchief he explains (in simple terms) how black people don’t have any feelings and therefore it’s okay to make slaves out of them.

Phew, glad that's all sorted.

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"Shite in mah big racist mooth!" and
yes that is the horse from Emanuelle in America.

Needing a break to get their heads round all the scientific 'facts' flying about our heroic news hounds head over to the local whorehouse just in time to see a gaggle of young black women dressed up in a variety of starched undies and bonnets being paraded around for the enjoyment of a group of overweight horny extras waving their (somewhat surprisingly) flaccid cocks around whilst leering in much the same way as your dad does when the papergirl arrives on Saturday morning.

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The angle you always saw your local priest from.


And the film carries on in this vein for what seems like days, only stopping for the occasional quick glimpse of bush or copious amounts of close-ups of fat men eating with their mouths open.

Luckily, it has an ace up it's sleeve (and a neck of pure brass) when at the films climax we're 'treated' (if that's the right word) to a gore-rious modern day re-enactment of the story of Nat Turner.

For those of you not up to speed on your American history (tho' if you find books without pictures a challenge - which if you're here probably isn't surprising - there is a comic adaptation of the story by Kyle Baker available), Turner (no relation to Truck or Ted) infamously led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia that resulted in the slaughter of fifty five white people.

This is shown in the movie by having Turner sitting on a beach watching a nice, middle class family at play before he violently bursts the sons beach ball and slaughters the family in their kitchen whilst loud Wah Wah guitar music plays on the soundtrack.

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"Leathery balls.........yesch!"


Art or complete and utter arse?

YOU decide!

Actually don't bother because if I'm honest it's complete and utter arse.

Goodbye Uncle Tom is the defining moment in the sleazy and sordid careers of those idiotic Italian ignoramuses of the mondo movie scene, Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi.
The universally derided duo that single (or is that double?) handedly kick started the cycle of 'mondo' shockumentaries of the sixties with the joyless (or is that Godless?) Mondo Cane.

Don't all thank them at once will you?

Knowing a good thing (and a fast buck) when they saw it, the pair followed this up with the (oh so slightly) contraversial Africa Addio, an allegedly hard-hitting look at life in Africa that seemed to consist only of gratuitous scenes of animal cruelty and a bunch of people getting violently killed (onscreen of course) in a variety of painful ways.

Worried that they were begining to be seen as talentless hacks pandering to the voyueristic tendencies of humanities baser elements Jacopetti and Prosperi decided the time was right to bring a big budget adaptation of Voltaire's Candide to the screen.

Unfortunately they only had about twenty Lire to their name so had to make do with unleashing Mondo Candido, the clap riddled whore of exploitation cinema on an unsuspecting public instead.

Which was very nice of them.

As a plus point tho' the movie did give it's name to a rather fine compilation CD of hip n' happening lounge Nu-Jazz and electronica tracks (with a fairly attractive lady on the cover) a few years back so I guess we should be kinda grateful.

She may look happy now but just
you wait till the dirty Gypsy fisting starts.



But all this fades into oblivion when compared to Goodbye Uncle Tom. Although some people will try to convince you that it's an unflinching look at the real horror of slavery (you can tell these folk, they're the ones who've never had to sit thru' it) both you and I know that this is utter bollocks because it's really just an excuse to watch a load of corpulent red faced old men chasing young black girls around a variety of hastily constructed sets before dribbling all over them whilst squeezing their breasts.

I'm not saying this is a bad thing (well I guess I am, sort of) but it'd be nice if they'd be honest about it.

I feel all dirty now, gonna haveta cleanse my soul with Porno Holocaust before bed....damn you Gualtiero and Franco.

Monday, July 20, 2009

whacked.

Been away visiting the fatherland, hence no recent updates but whilst wallowing in the nectar-like taste of Banks' Bitter and dodging fried pork rinds I found this classic bio-pic on sale in the Aladdin's cave that is the Dudley branch of Cash Converters.

Under the circumstances it was a given that I had to purchase it...

And yes, it was complete shite from start to finish but I thought I'd better post something in case you all thought I'd died.

Man In The Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story (2004).
Dir: Allan Moyle.
Cast: Flex Alexander, Frederic Tucker, Krista Rae, William S. Taylor, Barbara Mamabolo, Samantha Kaine, Gerrick Winston, Eugene Clark, Lynne Cormack, Brennan Gademans, April Telek but surprisingly not Billy Dee Williams.

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"Why can't you share your bed with someone?
The most loving thing you can
do is share your bed with someone".



God bless VH1, for their first foray into movie making what else could they choose but the fantastically freaky and lusciously lurid tale of the self proclaimed King of Pop Michael Jackson?

Well, if I'd have been them I'd have picked a subject better suited to the poverty row budget this production obviously had.

Welcome to Gary, Indiana (which is in America, near Canada for our European readers) where fuzz haired wonderboy Michael (Gademans, from the - believe it or not - unofficial Diff'rent Strokes bio-pic) lives with his freakish family and overbearing dad Joe - not the guy who sang Is She Really Going Out With Him- (Tucker so memorable in Vampire Cop).

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Lenny Henry, up the casino
and covered in flour yesterday.



Luckily these 'poor but happy' shenanigans are glossed over fairly quickly, just giving us enough time to see Joe being strict, MJ's mum looking concerned and the production team to get their money's worth out of the pound shop afro's they've bought before jumping Back To The Future like to various points during the grown up Michael's (now played by Alexander, star of Snakes on a Plane and The Hills Have Eyes 2) life.

But obviously only the bits that can be filmed cheaply.

Cue ninety minutes of money, the price of fame (which by the budget of this movie is about eight quid) and sharing a bed with the wee boy from Home Alone.

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Hang it out a window, wipe it's arse or shag it...
what's a guy to do?



Yup, the movie (quite rightly) spends very little time on MJ's most musically productive period, not even trying to restage the Thriller video (I'm sure John Landis would have turned up - via a helicopter obviously - to play himself) so as to spend more time on the important stuff like his slumping record sales, getting married to Lisa Marie Presley (the man-chinned Rae from a load of Sci-Fi channel stuff like Andromeda, dragged up like your dad dressed as Madonna) and Debbie Rowe (Telek, another Sci-Fi channel veteran, all frightening breasts and bleached blonde hair completely unlike the bulldog browed real Rowe) and those aforementioned pesky accusations of buggering wee boys.

Obviously there aren't any such sexual shennanigans on show but you can imagine them if you're so inclined.

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She's all smiles now,
but just wait till the fucking starts.


Racing (well, hobbling) towards it's exciting climax we can all experience the pain of Michael's descent into freak-dom, culminating in his interview with Martin Bashir (not played by Dr. Bashir from Deep Space Nine but a guy from the new Stargate series) and his decision to face the music (as it were) and go to court to defend himself against the beasting charges.

And it's scenes like this that magically transform what could be a trite and cheap bio-pic designed to cash in on some poor sods troubles into a work of Pinter-esque genius and all thanks to such stunning dialogue as in the scene where his family are helping choose a good lawyer:

"Michael, Johnny Cochran is the best criminal defense atourney in the country"
"But I'm not a criminal!"
"That's just what they call it Michael"
"Well change it! It sounds ugly!"

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"I'm shagging your weans!"


Yes indeedy readers, it's dialogue like this that raises The Man In The Mirror: The Michael Jackson Story above such lesser films like A Beautiful Mind and Walk The Line and although it's easy to slag off the producers for refusing to spend any cash on it (as I did earlier) you have to admire their gall.

Or blatant disrespect for the viewing public.

The casting is so random and out there that I'm surprised that they didn't bump into the Jupiter 2 at some point, Flex Alexanders portrayal of Jackson, decked out in a sailor suit and white face paint is either comedy gold or really offensive, I just can't decide whilst Frederic Tucker spends most of the film polishing an Uzi whilst shouting "This is mah house Michael!" at every given opportunity.

Of the other 'stars' Mamabolo as Janet Jackson and Cormack as Elizabeth Taylor appear to have been cast because they just happened to be passing by the studio on the day of shooting seeing as neither of them look or act anything like their real life counterparts, tho' to be fair, Krista Rae has Lisa Marie Presley's doe eyed look to a tee.

It's a pity then that it's staring out from such a big face.

Can I stop now?

Monday, July 13, 2009

franken....what?!!?

I really don't have the words.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

eye hen.

In a change from drawing stuff for commissions and the like I thought I'd do a wee doodle of Christina Lindberg just for myself.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

freakenders.

Just back from a weekend of pure unadulterated pleasure dear reader, rare big screen showings of House By The Cemetery, Cut And Run and the fantastic Macabre.


In attendance, Lamberto Bava and Ruggero Deodato, two of the funniest, wittiest and accommodating folk I have ever met.


Oh, and a group of three, fat bearded 'horror enthusiasts', stinking of sweat and with their trousers pulled up to their necks shouting things like "CGI is shit!" and "Romero rocks!" at any given opportunity.

But I will admit that I'd have been disappointed if they hadn't been there too.

Kudos to the GFT, Arrow Films and emcee Callum Waddell for everything.

Anyway, for those of you who haven't seen the movies in question.....

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The House By The Cemetery (1981)
Dir: Lucio Fulci
Cast: Paolo Malco, Giovanni Frezza, Catriona MacColl, Ania Pieroni, Silvia Collatina, Dagmar Lassander and Gianpaolo Saccarola.

Geek beard academic plaid boy Norman Boyle (Malco from Demons III: The Ogre and The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine) has been given the opportunity to complete a fantastic research project on, um, clever things left unfinished when his slightly bonkers college went mental and killed not only himself but his bit on the side too.

Being a feisty New York gal (with an English accent) his wife Lucy (genre goddess and singer of the ultimate Christmas hit Fairytale of New York, MacColl) isn't well pleased with the idea of spending the summer in the middle of nowhere lodging in an old dilapidated house (by a cemetery) and to top it all their young son, Bob (former cult idol, Cassidy lookalike and Facebook friend Frezzi) is having crazy dreams about a freaky ginger girl named Mae (Collatina) telling him to stay away.

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Inside Gary Glitter's mind.


This I can identify with seeing as I often dream about Silvia Collatina too.

But then again, who doesn't?

Alarm bells should start ringing when it turns out that groovily big haired giallo Grannie Dagmar (Hatchet For A Honeymoon) Lassander runs the local estate agent, coupled with the fact that she wont mention the house's previous owner by name and that wee Bob is experiencing visions of shop window dummies getting decapitated and has taken to playing with crusty old Victorian dolls whilst sitting in the gutter.

Thinking nothing of the cellar door being boarded up and the bloody great tombstone in the living room, Norman gets down to work, hiring freakily eyebrowed, babysitter cum home help Ann (Pieroni, the original Mother of Tears) to give the already shot to fuck Lucy a hand with the dishes.

It appears that Ann has misread the job description however, as she appears to have misinterpreted her various household chores with standing around in silence and staring at Lucy with the intense look of a constipated bulldog whenever she's asked a question.

Unless she's wiping pools of blood off the floor when she then silently stares at Lucy whilst wiggly her arse on all fours.

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"Compare me to Wendy fucking Richard
again and I'll fucking kill you".



Whilst all this creepy shit is going on, Bob idles away the days by playing various chase-based games with the ghostly Mae in the cemetery (which is by the house in case you'd forgotten).

Every so often tho' she stops playing and just stands there all googly eyed whilst shouting "Get away from the house Bob!"

Which spoils the fun of hide and seek somewhat.

Norman however, hasn't noticed any of this, seeing as he's spending more and more time in the local library leafing thru' his predecessors notes, trying to figure out why he abandoned the really interesting research paper to write about death, immortality and a local Doctor called Jacob Freudstein who used to own the house that Norman's family are now staying in.

How much of a coincidence is that?

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"Put it in me!"


Turns out that Freudstein was a wee bit of a nutter, firstly for being obsessed with cheating death by murdering people and using their organs to prolong his life and then by cruelly butchering his (somewhat stern) wife Mary and their daughter Mae.

Hang on......no....it couldn't be Bob's spooky pal?

Could it?

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Separated at birth: Giovanni Frezza...

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...and Cassidy the boy wonder.


We'll soon find out, because Norm has unblocked the cellar door leaving the faint odour of cabbage in the house and a bloody great crack in the tombstone.

Oh and he's inadvertently unleashed a seven foot tall undead doctor with a face like half chewed caramel on his unsuspecting family....

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"Knife in mah mooth!"


Building on the surrealism of City of The Living Dead and the spookiness of The Beyond, The House By The Cemetery is undoubtedly Fulci's last great film with every element coming together to create a unique almost fairytale-esque take on the fears of childhood and growing up.

It plays out like a bitter and twisted version of Peter Pan, with Mae in the Pan Role, Bob as Wendy and Ann the babysitter as some kind of weird, lonely Tinkerbell figure, tired of walking thru' eternity and praying for sleep, slowly grooming Bob as her replacement, silently encouraging him to become further and further attached to Mae as she calmly tidies the chaos around her, knowing that her time is nearly up.

And what about Bob?

From the very beginning of the movie he seems not to want to be with his family, happier with the image of Mae in the old photograph hanging on his parents wall. He seems a child out of time, his hair and face give him an almost angelic look and the odd choice of voice actor only adds to his uniqueness.

This is a child unable (or unwilling) to live in the dark and dangerous world of adults and, at the movies climax when we see Bob crawling thru' the vagina like crack in the tombstone towards an unearthly bright light it's as if he is reborn at that moment, freed from the shackles of his parents mundane world of work, arguments and monotony and forever young within Mae's perfect childhood, watched over from afar by the kindly Mrs. Freudstein.

That's why the young girl in the films opening scene has to die, she's given up on childhood and embraced adulthood via a sexy liaison with her fella.

And come on, I mean Freudstein? That must be a big hint to the underlying metaphors of the movie.

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Norman: a tearful wank and a Pot Noodle.


Well, either that or I've got way too much free time in which to over analyze Eurosplatter movies.

You decide.



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“Thank God you’re white”



Cut And Run (Inferno in Diretta, 1985).
Dir: Ruggero Deodato
Cast: Lisa Blount, Leonard Mann, Willie Aames, Richard Lynch, Richard Bright, Michael Berryman, Eriq La Salle, Karen Black, John Steiner, Valentina Forte and Gabriele Tinti.

They always say start as you mean to go on, and Ruggero Deodato's fantastically violent exploiter does just that.

Drug dealers, sexy sweaty ladies, topless poison dart firing natives and bad toothed cokernee's getting torn in half, this film has it all, plus about seven opening sequences and a rocktastic Claudio Simonetti score.

Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Opening with a group of sweaty drug runners (or bakers) doing interesting things with white powder (flour?) on a makeshift pier, this fantastic free market commune soon comes under attack from Michael Berryman in tiny green pants, what looks like Moby in a sarong and a squad of Beatle wigged natives.

Within minutes all the drug types have been killed by fast acting poison whilst the ladies present have been nailed to the floor, fiddled with and then beheaded.

Gratuitous sexism in a Deodato movie?

Never.

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"Need any scissors sharpening?"


Meanwhile in sunny Miami, a harsh faced South American woman cradling a crack filled doll has arrived at the airport to be met by two shady foreign types (are there any other sort?) who drive her to a rundown apartment.

Unbeknown to these hoodlums, ace cable news hound Fran (Lisa "I won an Oscar!"Blount) and her tight trousered, tussle haired cameraman Mark (Leonard Mann who, no doubt does whatever a Leonard can) are on their trail, looking for a scoop on the rising drug problem facing America.

Keeping tabs on the building from afar, our heroic duo soon get bored waiting for the police to arrive and decide it'd be a good idea to just wander in and ask the drug dealers for an interview.

Sneaking inside, Fran is just about to knock the door and shout "Oi! drug dealers NO!" whilst Mark waves his camera at then menacingly when she notices the pool of blood on the lino.

Nervously pushing the door open they find the apartment has been ripped apart, the bodies of the swarthy men are lying in pools of blood, whilst the stony faced woman is stripped naked, her throat slit and her frighteningly unkempt bush on show for all to see.

Not wanting to waste the opportunity, they record a hard hitting (for Newsround) report admist the carnage before Fran rifles thru' the dead womans purse and legs it back to the studio.

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"Just say no".


Intrigued by a photo that the dead, nude woman had on her, Fran heads over to her informant the groovy strip club owner and part time pimp Fargas (future star of ER LaSalle, wearing one of Jon Pertwee's old suits) to let him have a wee gander at it.

Being a man with his ear to the ground (and from the way he walks a pole up his arse) he recognizes not only her bosses missing son Tommy (Aames, star of Bibleman) in the pic but one Colonel Brian Horne (insectoid like genre stalwart Lynch), Vietnam War veteran, and former right-hand man to Jim Jones.

Obviously Tommy's parents (doe eyed Black and the permanently tearful Bright) are delighted to know their son is still alive (seeing as he'd only popped out to buy some sweets) and eagerly send Fran and Mark off to the Amazon to find their son and interview the illusive Horne.

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Relax girls, he's Christian.


Whilst all this is happening Tommy is having a bad time of it in the jungle. Forced to wear a kiddies Mickey Mouse t-shirt and not get shot (for being white apparently), he's kicked a lot and spends his time off watching his only friend Ana (the sweatily breasted and remarkably arsed Forte) being forced to have sex with various pock marked Italians.

Bored with all the forced sex, showering and Tommy's tears, Ana has figured out a way for them both to escape (and no, it doesn't involve her hiding Tommy up her ample arse). You see she plans to sneak aboard the plane that's due to land shortly.

Can you guess whose plane it is?


This is how I felt watching this movie.


But best laid plans and all that because as soon as Ana and Tommy start to light the runway fires guess who comes a calling? Yup it's Berryman and his pants revealing posse out for justice.

From here on in it's action all the way (well, kinda) as Ana and Tommy are separated in the attack (by separated I mean Tommy runs away crying) and Fran and Mark's pilot is killed by one of the pygmy Beatles.

Phew.

After hiding in a bush for most of the night, Fran and Mark relay a live report to the news station before finding Ana jammed sideways in a cupboard. Collecting a bag of tinned peaches and Vimto for the journey the trio then head out into the jungle.

Tommy, meanwhile, is wandering through the bushes crying like a wee lassie until he (literally) stumbles across his nasty, pube bearded boss, tied to a couple of trees and being slowly pulled apart whilst begging Tommy to kill him.

It's obvious that he is not a happy chap.

Instead of helping the poor sod on his way, Tommy stands about with his face screwed up and watches as his boss is ripped to pieces.

Then he shoots him.

Tommy, as you can tell, is a complete arse.

Back with the cool posse and Mark, Fran and Ana are busy traipsing down river and getting ready to send another report.

after viewing another broadcast along the lines of "It's dead hot in the jungle and we think your son went this way due to the trail of empty Pot Noodle cartons and discarded stiff tissues". Tommy's dad (also crying like a small girl) decides to go visit Fargas himself. Partly for more info on that Horne fellow but mostly to get a lapdance off the fairly hot barmaid.

Nearing the local boating lake (next to the shop selling 'kiss me quick' hats) Mark and Fran take a well deserved rest whilst Ana wanders off for a tinkle in the bushes. This tinkle is cut short by Berryman who ties the poor girls body to a tree and drops in on our intrepid news crew.

Faining mild concern the pair carry on towards the boats where they find Tommy hiding under a dirty sheet and (yup, you got it) crying.

Dodging crocodiles and Tommy's never ending streams of snot the trio make it onto a boat and head in the direction of a nearby friendly tribe only to be capture in big butterfly nets by Horne and his team....

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Round the Horne.


But help is coming in the corduroy clad form of Tommy's dad and a helicopter full of gun toting soldier types, the question is will they arrive in time?

Playing out like an ultra-violent episode of Miami Vice (on budget that wouldn't pay for one pair of Don Johnson's deck shoes) drunkenly gene spliced with liberal helpings of Heart of Darkness and the directors own Cannibal Holocaust, Cut And Run so wants to be a serious adult crime drama ala The French Connection but comes across more like a secondary school video club version of Apocalypse Now with added breasts.

And frankly it's much better for it.

From the 'hard bitten' female reporter to the purple hatted pimp via the Nam vet gone native, every single character is a comic book cliche made flesh, the ramshackle plot stopping only for even more bloodshed or needless nudity. The plot (what there is of it) moves so quickly (only stopping for a beheading or a quick glimpse of lady parts) that you happily forget that none of it makes sense and just sit back, switch off and enjoy.

And the reason it works so well is all down to Deodato's direction, his jovial personality and sheer entertainer-like persona seeps into every scene and every performance be it good or bad.

Except, of course where Willie Aames is concerned that is.

Which in it's own perverse way is one of the most enjoyable things about it.


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Your dad's cum face.... he must have been watching...

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Macabre (AKA Macabro, Frozen Terror. 1980).
Dir: Lamberto Bava.
Cast: Bernice Stegers, Stanko Molnar, Veronica Zinny, Roberto Posse, Fernando Pannullo and Ferdinando Orlandi.

Square faced temptress Jane Baker (uber-milf Stegers from Xtro) is trapped in an unhappy marriage to a camp bald man with a bad taste in ties (Pannullo, most famous for playing Count Pepoli in the fantastic Le strelle nel fosso) who, when not having to spend time with her ungodly children, is involved in a sordid affair with groovy hipster Fred (Posse, from the classic Nazi Love Camp 27 and the not so classic L'Isola Degli Uomini Pesce).

The pair meet up at any oppurtunity at an apartment Jane rents from the kindly old dear Mrs. Duval and her blind son Robert (Molnar, not playing the actor from Apocalypse Now) for sweaty (and very noisy) bouts of 'the sex'.

Your mum, in my bedroom yesterday.


Mightly pissed off with being left to babysit her wee brother all the time, Jane's mono-browed daughter Lucy (Zinny) decides to drown the poor sod in the bath before calling her mum to say there's been an accident at home.

Rushing home, she and Fred are involved in a huge crash resulting in Fred getting decapitated and Jane getting her nice new dress ruined.

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"Steven!"


Jumping forward a year and Jane is released from the local asylum and heads back to her rooms at the boarding house (now run by Robert) to rebuild her life.

It's not long however before we realize that this 'rebuilding' consists mainly of rubbing up against Robert and having loud orgasms every night with a mysterious stranger.

If that wasn't enough she's also fitted a huge padlock to her freezer and refuses to let anyone into her room, not even her daughter who seems determined to see her parents back together at any cost.

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Yes, I did give her that pearl necklace.


Becoming more and more intrigued by the identity of the mysterious lover and how he manages to enter and leave the house even thru' locked doors, Robert is soon to uncover a secret so bizarre that he begins to question his own sanity, turning to little Lucy for help.

But he soon discovers that she has an agenda all of her own...

With this, his directorial debut (co-written by Pupi Avati director of the fantastic Zeder and inspired by a true story), Lamberto Bava seems to have taken his father Mario's famous quote about only needing "a girl, a room and some lights to make a great horror film" and made a conscious decision to use this as a template on which to structure Macabre.

And it's this choice that makes the film such a joy to watch. Bava's direction has never been better, carefully balancing the films more amusing moments with scenes of bizarre unease that leave the viewer with a vague uncomfortable feeling of where the plot may be heading. Even today, when viewing it with an audience nearly 30 years after it's original release Macabre still has the poower to shock and horrify it's audience.

Which is no mean feat.

The performances are perfect from Stegers almost panto like villainy to Molnar's twitchy and lovelorn Robert, Bava makes sure that everyone, even the most minor character is just the right side of 'arch', producing nervous laughter from the audience but never at the expense of the film.

It seems such a pity that Lamberto Bava would never reach such dizzying heights again.

But rewatching Macabre with a modern audience and experiencing their delight and terror at such a classic piece of film making is it really so surprising?

Macabre is an honest to goodness classic that demands to be seen on the big screen, so forget your shiny new (or in my case battered and scratched) DVD release and take to the streets demanding a proper cinema release.

The campaign starts now!