Wednesday, April 26, 2017

people you fancy but shouldn't (part 71).


Regular Show's uber BiLF Margaret Smith.

Sorry.









Friday, April 21, 2017

tapehead.

If, like me you're one of those people that whilst watching that 'classic' anthology movie VHS (and it's sequel) thought to themselves "This would be so much better if it was even cheaper made." then your luck is in.

The Dark Tapes (2017).
Dir: Vincent J. Gustini and Michael McQuown.
Cast: Emilia Ares Zoryan, Shawn Lockie, Danielle Baez, Brittany Underwood, Anna Rose Moore, Cortney Palm, Stephen Zimpel, David Hull, Matt Magnusson, Jake O’Connor, Katherine Shaw, Shane Hartline, Katelyn Bailey, Dave Rountree and David Banks (but not that one).


“Humanity is getting closer to the truth, … to us. We won’t let that happen.”



Welcome to the wacky world - AKA Dark Tape 1 To Catch a Demon - of Martin Callahan (Blur drummer Rountree possibly), a physics professor researching trans-dimensional entities out of a scout hut near the directors house.

These entities have been around for donkey's years and - according to his work - are usually explained away as night terrors.

Or cheeky wolves.

Possibly.

Alongside his tiny-faced assistant Nicole (Palm from Zombeavers) and hunky cameraman  Jason (Magnusson, son of Mastermind host Magnus), Martin is about to prove the creatures existence via the use of a collection of disco lights, an old washing machine, his mum's colander and Jason’s high speed, super slow motion video camera.

Plus a shedload of natty pseudoscience obviously.

Pseudoscience it has to be said that scarily makes sense.

Sort of.

Your dad filming you as you sleep earlier this month....this is how he pays for all those golfing trips.


You see Martin reckons that these entities exist within their own time stream which runs considerably slower than our own meaning that they would have to stand still for up to 3 hours for us to notice them.

And then only for a second or so.

Being a clever bastard, Martin has built a contraption that brings the two time streams into synchronization which will allow Jason to film them.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well we'll have to wait and see because in a flurry of static we're dropped into the ominously monikered Dark Tape 2 – The Hunters and the Hunted where we're introduced to the frighteningly square jawed David (Zimpel) who is busy filming his lovely wife Karen’s (Lockie) reactions to their newly acquired dream house.

Bless.

The post-Brexit Kraftwerk lightshow left a lot to be desired.


Being a horror movie - and an anthology one at that - things soon go awry.

There are strange bangings and groanings coming from the pantry and eggy smells in the bathroom, luckily the pair manage to capture this spookily supernatural stuff on video, calling in a team of paranormal investigators to investigate.

With terrifying results....

Next up is Dark Tape 3 – Cam Girls” which tells the spooky (and mildly sexy - if you like that kind of thing) story of Caitlin (Zoryan), the ex-Christian cum chick kissing saucepot who has recently moving in with her lover Sindy (Moore), a harsh faced cam-whore with eyebrows so arched you could actually swing from them.

Which would probably be a darn sight more entertaining than this segment if I'm honest.

Slightly cruel yes but true.

Megan Fox licking piss off John Nettles yesterday.

In between performing sex acts for paying punters whilst experiencing the love that dare not mention its name, Caitlin has also been experiencing periodic blackouts, often waking to find that she's been captured on video doing things she can’t remember.

Nor, in fact,  imagine herself doing.

Acting in a natural manner for one thing.

Calling her old friend, the medical student Eric (Hartline) for his perspective - and it has to be said to have someone onscreen with even less charisma than the two leads (which is a tall order), she's disappointed when he blames her problems on too much booze and bad drugs.

Which seems fair enough.

Making her excuses ("I better head now cos I'm a mad lesbian!") Caitlin and Sindy get set for their next sex show but Sindy has a favour to ask.

She wants Caitlin to get one lucky punter to self harm on camera.

Fair enough.

"Laugh now!"



“Dark Tape 4 – Amanda’s Revenge” tells the tale of student Amanda (Underwood) who after having a few drinks at an end of term party is drugged up and dragged off by some bad boys who want to see her underwear.

Rescued by her three best pals before things get R rated, the trio – lovelorn Ryan
(O’Connor), Ashley (Katherine Shaw not to be confused with Shaw Catherine, the jewelers located at 31 Argyll Arcade, City Centre, Glasgow G2 8BA) and Josh (Hull, son of Rod) – decide that it'd be wise to record her when she wakes up in case they can use it as evidence when they call the police.

Or at the very least get £250 from You've Been Framed.

Either way they're onto a winner.

Unlike Amanda who upon waking starts talking rubbish in a deep booming voice whilst making the house (OK the camera) shake violently.

Her friends help her back to bed but when she finally returns, she has no recollection of what happened the night before or even of the shaky camera stuff.

Bizarre and chilling too.

Over the next few months our heroine begins to confess to Ryan that strange things have been happening to her as she sleeps and she may be being abducted - and fiddled with - by strange creatures from beyond our dimension.

Well it's either that or she's been eating cheese before bed.

Or in bed.

She looks the type.

Insert cock here.


Then it's back to Martin and co. who are currently trapped in an episode of Sapphire and Steel whilst being menaced by what sounds like a computerized Barry White wearing a pound shop skeleton mask and a nappy.

It never rains eh?




From director Michael McQuown and make-up wizard Vincent J. Guastini (who did sterling work on Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream by the way as well as directing the wraparound) comes another lo-fi sci-fi tinged found footage flick thrown mercilessly into a fairly over-saturated market.

So does it sink or swim?

Well it just kinda bobs along and waves its arms around randomly if I'm honest.

I mean there are some pretty nice ideas on show (especially during the To Catch a Demon section) but unfortunately they're held back and almost drowned out by the utter awfulness of stuff like the Cam-Girls segment and a frightening amount of OpenShot video editor 'special' effects.

Which is kinda expected in these situations.

"Did you get me a Drifter?"


But back to the positives of which one is the aforementioned wraparound  - reminding me as it did of the utterly sublime Ink from a few years back (which if you haven't seen it go and do so now - it's pretty bloody amazing) which, if I'm honest could be a feature in itself.

Running thru' the entire movie To Catch a Demon has a nice set up and pay off (if a wee bit of an obvious one) with more than a hint of Lovecraft and Doctor Who thrown into the mix yet is ultimately frustrating as the mid-sections seem to consist more of people shouting at jump cuts than expanding the story tho' there's a pretty nifty kill that'll raise a smile at the cleverness of it.

I for one wanted more mythos and less loudness.

Plus Cortney Palm looked lovely in her baggy jumper, a fashion item that - alongside woolly tights and sensible cardigans aren't featured enough in mainstream horror.

But I digress.

A sensible cardie wearing lady of the type not often featured in genre movies.


The same can be said of “The Hunters and The Hunted”which plays the Paranormal Activity tropes for all that they're worth before beautifully pulling the rug from underneath the audience with a lovely twist.

The cast are great and it's self aware enough to give sly winks at the audience throughout it's short runtime.

Reminiscent in many ways of Patrick Brice's brilliant Creep this could easily be expanded upon.

Or at the very least it'd make a fucking brilliant BBC 1 prime time sitcom.

Socks.


Cam Girls on the other (free) hand is probably one of the most arse destroying things I've ever had the misfortune to sit thru'.

Which is a shame as Emilia Ares Zoryan (who looks for all the world like a young Phoebe Cates - ask your dad) does her best but is sabotaged at every opportunity by inane dialogue, suspense free plotting and being surrounded by the most wooden cast this side of Four Feather Falls.

Plus if you're promising a wee bit of gratuitous girl on girl action at least deliver some.

Even a knowing look or two will do.

I mean when Katherine Shaw 'seductively' looks at Zoryan I'm sure I could see her mentally going thru' her shopping list, her mysterious frown looking more like chronic constipation than carnal desires.

Trust me I know.


Emilia Ares Zoryan: pants on fire....or backwards.



Another great cast can't save “Amanda’s Revenge” from the curse of patchy pacing as this mix of Carrie and Mars Attacks! via the climax of A Nightmare On Elm Street has an interestingly bonkers premise mired by time constraints (again) and an overly earnest tone that seems at odds with the fantastical nature of the plot, which is a shame as Brittany Underwood is genuinely fantastic as the titular heroine of the piece ably aided by Jake O’Connor who gives a natural warmth to a role that could be cloying and a wee bit wet in less capable hands.

Much like David Rountree in the “Demon” segments the pair have a knack for delivering the at times overly explanatory dialogue with a natural flair that is at once convincing, plausible and interesting.

"Spice Girls number one for Christmas.....MONSTA!"


Neither as brain-searingly brilliant as the reviews say nor as arse-numbingly bad as I feared, The Dark Tapes (aptly) lies in that middle ground between genius of The Last Broadcast and the cinematic cesspit of Tape 407: The Mesa Experiment, ending up with more hits than misses - yet is ultimately frustrating as to what it could have been given more time and a bigger budget.

Or even any budget at all.

If you've lost your love for found footage then The Dark Tapes will do nothing to win you back but if you don't mind genuine frights, some clever ideas and filmic frustration in equal measures then give it a whirl, as whilst in no way a classic there's enough going on to make me intrigued as to what Gustini and McQuown attempt next.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

whooar! hide yourself.


With Trump and co. constantly telling us how horrible the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is I thought it was time to redress the balance with a pictorial guide to that countries fantastic female fighting forces.

And why not?

















dead sexy.


Readers with long memories (and short fuses) may remember that way back in January I finally got round to watching the rather splendid (if not a wee bit kinky) Nightmare Castle - a gloriously gory tale of sex, blood and Barbara Steele featuring Paul Müller as a dodgy doctor doing weird things with his new wife whilst his dead former spouse wanders around breaking stuff.

Imagine my surprise then when a few months later I came across another Barbara Steele shocker with as near as dammit the very same plot made a scant two years earlier.

Only this time it's in colour and with the added bonus of a wee bout of necrophilia.

What's not to love?

The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1963).
Dir: Riccardo Freda.
Cast: Barbara Steele, Robert Flemyng, Silvano Tranquilli, Maria Teresa Vianello, Harriet Medin and Al Christianson.


His secret was a coffin named DESIRE!





Ginger prince and owner of the biggest sideburns this side of Noddy Holder, Bernard Hichcock (Flemyng, best known for The Blood Beast Terror and dating your nan) is a successful Victorian doctor and pioneer of an experimental new anesthetic for use during surgeries.

The new technique is a roaring success and the doctor alongside his swarthy assistant Dr. Kurt Lowe (Tranquilli from The Legend of Blood Castle) quickly celebrate their medical breakthru' before Hichcock heads home to his spooky mansion, where his wife Margaret (Vianello from The Giants of Thessaly and not much else) is throwing a piano party that very evening.

Paddington.


Arriving home to the dulcet sounds of Margaret’s piano plinking, Hichcock spies a quick glance at his wife's admittedly breathtaking cleavage and almost immediately sneaks off to his bedroom where he instructs their maid Martha (Blood and Black Lace's Medin) to send the guests home and to inform his wife that he's "off to bed".

Heading into the drawing room, Martha gives Margaret the kind of saucily knowing look only found in 1960's European cinema causing her to immediately stop playing and send her guests home.

Margaret then excitedly makes her way to sumptuously silk lined chamber and lays down on an exotic canopied bed, awaiting her husband who soon turns up waving a massive syringe about.

Filling it with a special potion he injects Margaret, waiting until she falls unconscious before jumping onto the bed and giving her an injection of a totally different kind.

And by that I mean he pops his erect penis into her smooth vagina.

Blimey.

"You may feel a little prick".

This seems to be a regular occurrence in the Hichcock household as the following night they're at it again, only this time - for some unknown reason - Hichcock decides to up anesthetic dosage causing Margaret to start convulsing (which in itself is fairly sexy reminding me as it did of Helen Daniels stroke in Neighbours) before dropping dead.

Sinking deep into depression - and wracked with sexual frustration probably - Hichcock orders Margaret to be laid to rest in his laboratory (which he's conveniently converted into a tomb - thank fuck for Habitat) before leaving his mansion in order to 'find himself'.

Twelve years pass before Hichcock returns to his old homestead, bringing with him his exotic new wife Cynthia (Steele), a onetime patient of his that he met whilst moonlighting at a sanitarium just outside West Bromwich.

Cynthia's nervous demeanor and latent mentalism isn't helped by the decrepit state they find the mansion in upon their arrival  (the spooky storm blowing outside doesn't help much either) add to this Martha's thinly veiled hostility and the revelation that the maid’s psychotic sister is living in the house too and it's no surprise that poor Cynthia ends up all a jitter.

Bizarrely enough tho', the thing that tips Hichcock's new bride over the edge and into shaky hand land is the full-size portrait of Margaret (and her cat Jezebel)  that still hangs over the fireplace.

 Deciding it best not to make a fuss tho' Cynthia tries to ignore it and instead concentrate on a spot of redecorating whilst her hubbie goes back to work at the hospital much to the joy of young Dr. Lowe, who was sure he'd be relegated to walk on status and therefore not get to share any screentime with Ms. Steele.


A mooth you'd never tire of shite-in in.


Surprisingly everything seems to be going swimmingly until that is Cynthia begins to have the uncomfortable feeling that someone is creeping around the mansion at night.

Asking Martha if she's allowed her scary sibling to roam around after dark Cynthia is unnerved to discover that she has been sent to an asylum - meaning that either our heroine is going loopy or that someone is indeed stalking her.

Her husband thinks it’s just her mentalism returning but Lowe (having a wee soft spot for the precious porcelain doll that is Barbara Steele but then again, who doesn't?) thinks she's telling the truth.

With the movie at the halfway point at not much having happened (save some nice shots of ghostly boots tiptoeing around the staircase) Cynthia decides to do some investigating of her own.

Her hubbie doesn't really notice - or care - tho' seeing as he's way to busy trying not to shag any corpses of freshly deceased young girls in the hospital morgue.

Yup seems the lack of necrophiliac-based nookie is driving him to distraction.

No childish captions just feminine perfection.

It's not long before Cynthia discovers comes across Martha looking after what she assumes is her sister in an annex just of the old laboratory and confronts her husband with the news.

Imagine her surprise then (but not ours as it's kinda obvious) when he reveals that Martha doesn't have a sister.

Yup, the woman that she’s been caring for is none other than Margaret herself, dazed, confused but very much alive.

You see the overdose that Hichcock administered wasn’t lethal, merely putting her into a deep coma for a few weeks and Martha, whilst hoovering one afternoon whilst the doctor was away discovered her clawing at her coffin lid covered in shite and egg.

Which is nice.

Strangely enough Martha has decided to keep this a secret a secret from the doctor, only confessing the truth when he happens across her one night whilst skulking around the garden one night whilst looking for badgers.

Aroused by Margaret's new corpse-like look, Hichcock follows the only sensible course of action open to him so decides to trap Cynthia in an airtight coffin before draining her blood and injecting it into Margaret.

No, me neither.

Will his vile plan succeed?

Or will Dr. Lowe arrive just in time to save the day?

And will we come across yet another movie in the next few months with this very same plot?



From director Riccardo Freda (the man behind the 1948 version of Les Misérables fact fans) comes a deliciously deadly drama of dodgy deviants, dastardly doctors and damsels in distress which mixes nightmarish gothica, necrophilia and natty lighting with the ultimate scream queen in the perfect form of Barbara Steele.

With a script by Eurohorror stalwart Ernesto Gastaldi - who wrote everything from The Long Hair Of Death to Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion via Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key and 2019: After the Fall of New York, see how many you've seen - the film attempts to marry Mario  Bava inspired visuals with the "explained supernatural" storytelling style of the 18th century author Ann Radcliffe in a highly enjoyable -  if a rather silly - way.

This is due in part to the myriad of production problems that beset the film, giving director Freda no choice but to cut many of the scenes that offered any explanation (or logic) to the doctors actions leaving us with visually stylish movie with fag packet motivation and nonsensical reasons for what we see on screen.

Which frankly adds to the general bizarreness of the proceedings no end.

Harsh.

With a top notch cast (is Barbara Steele ever anything other than perfect?) and a vivid over the top style and delivery usually reserved for Christmas pantomimes The Horrible Dr. Hichcock is a gem of a movie that not only deserves to be seen but demands a big budget remake with Eva Green and Richard E Grant.

The campaign to make it happen begins here.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

pakula lives!


With the upcoming relaunch of the Universal Monsterverse with Tom Cruise in The Mummy (tho' not in my mummy which would be worth seeing if I'm honest cos she's fairly fit for an old bird) I thought it was about time I had a rewatch of one of THE greatest monster movies of all time.

"PUT IT IN MEEEEEEEE!"



Zinda Laash (AKA, The Living Corpse 1967).
Dir: Khwaja Sarfraz.
Cast: Rehan, Ala-Ud-In, Asad Bukhari, Nasreen, Latif Charlie and Deeba Begum.






The kindly, yet oh so slightly hatstand Professor Jimmy Tabini (60s superstar Rehan who most of you may know from Hell's Ground) has spent his whole life (so far) trying to create a magical medicine that will quite literally hold back death.

And get rid of those eggy stains you get on the underside of your pants.

Unfortunately for him - but not for the movie obviously -  things go a wee bit awry when takes a swig from the bottle to test it and suddenly drops down dead.

As luck - and plotting - would have it his cutesy cardie-wearing assistant Gayle (Nasreen best known as Girdhari's Mom in Tel Malish Boot Polish) is on hand to quickly carry him to the cellar and pop his body in a handy coffin.

Which is nice, if a little abrupt.

But almost immediately after nailing the coffin shut Gayle notices a spooky scratching noise coming from within.

Putting it down to wolves she retires to her bed for the evening little realizing that the home-made medicine has had a bizarre effect on the good doctor.

Well more bizarre than appearing to kill him stone dead obviously.

It seems that the powerful potion has turned Tabini into one of the undead causing him to rise from his grave whilst dressing in Bela Lugosi's hand me downs.

Well I hope they're his hand me downs seeing as Lugosi was buried in his cape and suit - I'd hate to add grave robbing to Tabini growing list of misdemeanors.

So imagine Gayle's surprise that night when she comes across the resurrected Tabini on her way to the toilet.

The surprise soon turns to terror tho' as he greets her by chomping down on her neck.

Something tells me he's become a vampire.

Oh yeah - the movies title.

Sean Connery farted....and it smelled of haggis. And shame.


Being based on Bram Stoker's book it's not long before someone called Harker turns up - in this case the handsome Dr. Aqil Harker (Bukhari) tired and hungry after a trip to the local Londis (probably to see if they still have Orloff And The Invisible Man in stock) who arrives at the Professor’s humble abode looking for food and lodgings.

But not, i hasten to add a vampiric encounter.

Tabini resplendent in all his dinner suited glory creepily greets Aqil and quickly takes him upstairs to 'show him to his bedroom'.

I don't know about anyone else, but when men of a certain age have rushed me upstairs we've at least discussed payment first.

But just as the movie is seeming to head into the territory of 'the homolust' much feared by Pakistani cinema a photo of  Aqil's fiancée falls from his overnight bag not only to prove that the doctor is as straight as they come but to give Tabini a chance to show us his pervingly lustful look.

So we're all winners really.

Portishead: The pikey years.



Maybe Aqil could have avoided trouble when sleeping in strange old men's houses by wearing a picture of his missis in a heart shaped badge on his lapel but then maybe he fancies a wee bit of camp count action for a change.

And with that thought he makes his excuses and goes to bed only to be woken  from a restless sleep some time later by the spooky sound of singing emanating from the cellar.

As is the way in horror movies (yup even those with sporadic musical numbers) Aqil grabs his dressing gown and heads off to investigate soon coming across (and who would blame him?) the professors assistant - clad only in a sheer, granny style nightgown - sexily undulating and generally being a saucy minx in an attempt to seduce him.

I say.


Your mum yesterday.


Unable to resist the sight of a full hipped dusky beauty in a flowing nightie Aqil is soon not only under Gayle's hypnotic spell but a servant of the undead Professor Tabini.

A man of science now possessed by an evil supernatural force.

"I fang you!"

Will Aqil's family notice he's missing and mount a search party?

Will his Fiancée Janet - overcome with grief for her missing man - begin singing in the street for absolutely no reason? 

And how will she manage to free him from Tabini's - and more importantly the foxy vamp vixens - power?






Unashamedly borrowing wholesale from (and in the case of James Bernard's score for Horror of Dracula - blatantly stealing, alongside an incredibly strange version of La Cucaracha.) the Hammer and Universal Dracula cycles by way of a Bollywood style make over - the wonderfully weird Zinda Laash is exactly what you'd expect from a film entitled 'Dracula in Pakistan'.

Switching seamlessly from classic Gothic terror to song and dance scenes at the drop of a cape, the movie also adds some unique touches to vampire lore.

Whereas the 'western' Dracula has the ability to shape change (mostly into a bat in screen versions) Tabini is more likely to hop into his car for a quick getaway.

Same goes for Dracula's use of his 'persuasive' mind powers, whereas we're used to the Count's hypnovision, Tabini is more likely to just beat the shit out of people in order to get his own way.

And it's these scenes of wanton violence alongside dance routines dubbed "Too sexually provocative" by the censors that led to the film's almost banning only getting a release after the sexier scenes were cut and then with an 'X' rating,  the first ever in Pakistan.

No mooth shite-in allowed!


And it's this mix of the familiar and downright bizarre that make this movie such a joy to watch, plus Nasreen is probably THE most exotic - and not to mention sexily swivel hipped - vampire babe to ever grace the silver screen.


Genius from start to finish.

And Rehan gives the greatest ever performance as Count Dracula in any movie ever.

Fact.