Sunday

CLICK ON ME TO GO TO MY NEW SITE.......




Well it's been a long time coming but after a period in one's own personal wilderness I have the pleasure of bringing you my new 2009 website..

Due to the amount of personal things I have not been able to supply the quality and frequency as I should do but I am hoping this will change.

Enjoy more treats from the darkest realm of cinematic wonder and retro revelry we all love and enjoy.

Love,

Laurence Niblick xx



CLICK HERE TO GO THERE !!!!!!!!

The End of this and the Beginning of That ......

Apologies for the delay in updates etc, I will update shortly with a new blog still reviewing some of the best in cult, retro and jaded entertainment for you.

The nasties will be incorporated in the new.

Watch this space !!!!

THE NASTIES : TERROR EYES (1981)


After opening on a brilliant bit of nastiness involving a machete wielding maniac and an ‘innocent’ co-ed on a child’s roundabout; Terror Eyes fades off somewhat. It lacks fizz but can be a decent bit of stalk and slash when it tries hard enough.

Kenneth Hughes’ (director of Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang) stab at teens in jeopardy concentrates on a college in Boston where the females are being despatched by a nutcase clad in black motorbike leathers and helmet, which is quite a chilling presence and suitably menacing.

Eventually the slayings are revealed to be in the style of a decapitation ritual only found in remote New Guinea.

Suspicion naturally falls on a Professor of anthropology who’s been merrily shafting half of the female campus however, and predictably so, the Prof being prime suspect is far from the truth. The revelation at the movies climax is a bit of a no brainer unfortunately but the red herrings strewn throughout the movie are potentially misleading as to who the identity of the murderer really is and, fools us on random occasion.

The gore stakes are quite tame (well what do you expect from a kiddies movie director and a distributor that brought Knots Landing to the U.K!) with only one scene that is quite graphic it reminded me of the hand chop scene in Argentos’ Tenebrae, but in Terror Eyes all the ‘slash’ sequences prove to be stylish and macabre indicating visually that Hughes is a cut above your ordinary pot-boiler entrepreneur.

Despite the apparent hold backs there are a few things in Terror Eyes that are worthy of ‘nasty’ as bonces turn up in pots of stew and an aquarium tank and the most decent slice of gruel involving the machete and a fishing net, can also be seen adorning the front of the pre-VRA video cover. I would imagine it was the video cover that also contributed to ‘Terror Eyes’ seizure when our censorship was at it’s strictest and most ludicrous.

Now in more enlightened times this would obtain an 18 with the greatest of ease, if not a 15 certificate at a push.

I enjoyed this little movie very much no matter how far fetched and ‘hokey’ it did seem at times. The acting is also pretty decent and quite convincing with Rachel Ward being a suitable heroine, though on occasion it seems that someone may have needed to prod her into ‘life’.

Terror Eyes is currently unavailable on DVD at the moment of writing this, whether in this version or under the movies other title ‘Night School’ but when it is I will definitely purchase. One thing I would like to see on the DVD would be a director’s commentary, if the chaps still alive, especially on the subject of how ‘family film orientated’ personnel got involved with stalk and slash and why? Although tepid, Terror Eyes shows promise and given to the right director with the right talent could be a suitable candidate for a re-make.

Director: Ken Hughes

The Players:

Leonard Mann (Lieutenant Judd Austin)

Rachel Ward (Eleanor Adjai)

Drew Snyder (Professor Vincent Millett)

Joseph R Sicari (Taj)

Nicholas Cairis (Gus)

Karen MacDonald (Carol Mann)

Annette Miller (Helene Griffin)

Also Known As:

Night School (USA)

Kauhun varjo (Finland)

Killer della notte, Il (Italy)

Psicosis II (Spain)

Terror Eyes - Der Frauenköpfer (Austria)

Yeux de la terreur, Les (France)

Both the cinema and 1987 Guild Home Video releases were cut by 1 minute 16 secs by the BBFC to edit blood spurts during the changing room murder and some shots from the paint daubing in the shower scene.

Gallery 'Terror Eyes':

l-r : Cheek of It / Motorcycle Madness / Trash-Can Find


l-r : Something Sinister in the Stew / Scream n' Slice / The New Guinea Excursion

l-r : Run Down / The Final Blow

THE NASTIES : THE GHASTLY ONES (1968)






After reading the damning reviews about this nasty by the majority of nearly all who have bothered to sit through it; I was expecting something totally shambolic.

Andy Milligans’ ‘Blood Rites’ or ‘The Ghastly Ones’ as it is known here, is bargain basement entertainment but I have seen worse and would rather watch this than something truly dire for e.g. ‘Snakes on a Plane’ or one of the contemporary shite re-makes e.g. ‘I am Legend’, deluging the cinemas currently.

The Ghastly Ones sees three couples arriving at a deserted house on a remote island (Staten Island to be precise where most of Milligan’s movies were shot). They all arrive for a will reading, but as they wait around for the verdict; one by one the protagonists are picked off by a shadowy menace.

Amongst the doses of slaughter we are also privy to the characters ‘shady’ past affairs and misdemeanours, which just about keeps your interest- though the main fascination for keeping you watching lies purely in how bad this movie could become as it progresses.

Milligan opted to use period costume in order for a timeless feel but unfortunately what he failed to realise is that at the turn of the 20th century women didn’t wear fabric drenched in psychedelic swirls and L.S.D vibrancy nor false eyelashes and bouffant. Such blatant errors are bewildering as you know what Milligan is trying to do but unfortunately takes on much more than the budget and skill will allow.

The direction is appalling and is just a notch up from home movie/film student standard. In some sequences you can hear the director giving cues to the actors and sometimes inaudible chit-chat between the cast members can be heard on the soundtrack when it’s obvious it shouldn’t be there – at times I felt as though I was watching the rushes rather than the completed offering.

The actors, not a pretty one among them, can kind of act lifting their performances just above ‘wooden’ and this provides unintentional hilarity; some dialogue too is also worth comedy value for its banality.

I felt that the gore wasn’t too bad at all in some of the sequences and definitely owes gratitude to Herschell Gordon Lewis and ‘Grand Guignol’. It also infamously features the islands retard, Colin, scoffing cute fluffy bunnies – fur and all, plus a gruesome and surprisingly well executed pitchfork sequence. Another surprisingly half decent bit of special effects is the sawing in half of one of the possible inheritors; and is viscerally relished by Milligan’s’ lens. Despite the mentioned negatives I still found it quite watchable and there is also sense of ‘spirit’ amongst the dodgy production values. You can tell that a group of mates got together with their cinematic aspirations and had a go and it’s this I admired the most in ‘The Ghastly Ones’.

With a meagre budget and zero production values it is crappy exploitation but no one could dispute that it isn’t a labour of love for all involved and it really doesn’t want to be anything else. Unfortunately in modern times we have films with big budgets that are huge extravaganzas that still are utter bollocks despite the hyperbole and to me that’s a hell of a lot worse.

As ‘Mardi Gras Massacre’ I feel that this wasn’t as justifiably awful as some have made it out to be and would recommend you making up your own mind but just remember to accept this for what it is and I don’t think you’ll be that disappointed.

Initially released in the early 80’s on VHS, pre-VRA as Blood Rites, this soon fell foul of the ridiculous obscenity laws in the U.K and was banned and has never been picked up for distribution over here since.

Fortunately on region 1 Something Weird DVD has released it as part of a double bill. The 35 mm print has seen a few projectors in it’s time but this adds to the sleazy ‘grindhouse’ feel and enhances the viewing experience some what. Still better than ‘Frozen Scream’ in my opinion!

The Players:

Veronica Radburn (Martha)

MaggieRogers (Hattie)

Hal Borske (Colin Trask)

Fib LaBlaque (Rich)


Directed by

Andy Milligan


Also Known As:

Blood Rites (U.K)


Gallery 'Ghastly Ones':

l-r : Pitchfork Peril /Reading of the Will / Colin & his 'Wabbit'

l-r : Conspiracy / Wig of Woe / Saw Gore

l-r : Gagged and Stabbed / Bashed !

Monday

THE NASTIES : THE DEVIL HUNTER (1980)

Two of Jess Francos movies fell foul of the official DPP list and neither of them are terribly good , the other naff-naff is Women behind Bars which we will touch upon soon.

Devil Hunter is an extraordinary lacklustre attempt to cash in on the legacy of visceral ‘Cannibal’ movies that were still flooding the b-movie Euro circuit in the ‘80’s.

In this cheapie we have Al Cliver playing the Quatermaine –esque Peter Weston; an ex vietnam vet. Who is hired to venture into the dense jungle and free a beautiful (debatable!) model that has been kidnapped and is being held to ransom.

Dominating over the green infernos’ natives is a naked black demon with gobstopper eyes who has an unsavory penchant for biting off the pubic regions (terribly achieved) from his female sacrifices and hiding in the bushes, breathing heavily.

After a bit of abuse from her captors Laura, the stereotyped model bimbo, ends up in the hands of the Devil and it is up to Al to save the day and rescue her before she’s mingeless.

That really is the weak plot; with the acting dull and the characters two-dimensional this is evidently one of Francos’ misses rather than hits.

A complete mystery as to why this ended up on the nasty list as the film has very little going for it apart from it’s obscurity. The most contentious pieces could be an ugly rape scene which could be discomforting for some but isn’t all that explicit as its’ filmed from a distance, and too cumbersomely executed to be remotely pornographic.

The other obnoxious bit of sequencing are the oral mutilations but these can’t be seen in detail as the effects budget does not stretch that far so what we are presented with is a nasty concept but with amateurish ketchup and chewing gum visuals- amusingly lacklustre and O.T.T

Other gems feature Al Cliver climbing a rock face in the style and technique used in the original Batman television series . In an odd way it was such instances that kept me watching this enigma from start to finish- so there was an intrigue, be it ever so slight.

Also Francos’ trademark ‘zoom/close-up’ techniques crop up sporadically, but are used inappropriately, and at times makes one giddy .

His lens go demented especially in the creature scenes, as the creature gurns with a mouthful of (fake) blood - and at one stage we virtually penetrate the Devils’ nostrils with unecessary over zealousness and incoherence. There are several dire sequences of this similar ilk that makes a pantomime out of the whole affair.

Franco crams in a fair amount of bare flesh but its’ a sloppy bit of crudity and tepidly tame stuff on the whole.

Some familiar Euro-horror faces are on show as we see Werner Pochath (Mosquito Der Schander) as one of the bad guys Chris and Gisela Hahn (Contamination) .

The soundtrack usually considered a salvation for such genre movies is another let down as guttural trible mumblings intermingle with crap synth making it sound like a soundtrack for a jungle ‘cartoon’ than for a cannibal / adventure yarn.

Despite a gamut of Franco movies being unleashed upon the public in the U.K, U.S.A and Europe (in various cuts!!); The Devil Hunter has been swept aside and awaits release. Available on DVD-R . Still better than ‘Frozen Scream’!

Gallery Devil Hunter:

l-r: Mosquito Machete /Cliver strikes a Deal /The Model and the Devil

l-r: A Smidgeon of Jungle Gruel/ The 'Realistic' Tribe / Ping-Pong Beast !

The Players:

Ursula Buchfellner (Laura Crawford)

Al Cliver (Peter Weston)

Antonio MayansJack (Robert Foster)

Antonio de Cabo (Thomas)

Burt Altman (The Devil)

Gisela Hahn (Jane)

Muriel Montossé (Girl on Yacht)

Werner Pochath (Chris)

Melo Costa ( Pablito)

Aline Mess (Cannibal Priestess)

Claude Boisson (Cannibal Chief)

Directed by

Jesus Franco (as Clifford Brown)


Names & Alias:


Cacciatore di uomini, Il

Chasseur de l'enfer

Chasseurs d'hommes

Jungfrau unter Kannibalen

Mandingo Manhunter

Manhunter - O Seqüestro

The Man Hunter

Sexo Canibal (Original Title)


THE NASTIES : ABSURD (1981)



This movie has a special place for me as it was one of the very first ones I viewed when the material was considered ‘obscene’. Being 15 at the time it was auspicious as it was not only one of the firsts but it delivered the goods and after reviewing it again after such a long time I am pleased to confirm it remains just as gruelling but on the down side more plodding than I remember.

In ‘Absurd’ Montefiori reprises a similar role to the Beast in the first ‘Anthropophagous’. In this film he is in the the guise of Nikos; who is being pursued by a priest who knows about the creatures superhuman capabilities

In the movies opening we see the priest hotly pursuing Nikos and in an attempt to dodge his captor Nikos ascends an iron spiked gate. Predictably his intestines end up hanging out after his stomach is ripped open. Thus the tone is set as much of the same crimson haemorrhaged thrills are daubed throughout the films running time.

This maniac has an ability to ‘repair’ himself and his blood to rapidly coagulate due to some early medical tampering with his genetics. One of the side effects of this ability is the domination of madness which sends the creature on a carnage spree beginning in a hospital and culminating in the attempted slaughter of a rich doctor and his family.

Eventually the Doctors daughter Katia, who is suffering from a back injury, loses her traction, weights and straps and fights the monster. First she blinds him with a metal compass, then whacks away merrily at his neck with an ornate axe in vain to save her little brother form the ‘Boogeyman’.

The film is littered with such gruelling scenes of guignol violence.

A dowdified Annie Belle gets gassed and burned in a fiery oven, a nurse has her head bored from side to side with a surgical screwdriver and the ultimate has a bald orderly getting a centre parting with a circular saw.

The only let down is the padding which seems to revolve around prattle describing scenes we have already witnessed. Absurd does suffer from being a little stifling on occasion but it is quite a claustrophobic little movie, there's definately atmosphere there, that doesn’t shy from the gore when it happens between lengthy chit-chat sequences and corridor padding.

D’Amatos direction is adequate in holding the milieu in place creating some tension but it does go on a bit and loses the impact intended. The superb scoring courtesy of Cordio also gives the movie an edge, for me, over the first Anthro outing.

Another face to keep a look for is Michele Soavi who plays a biker who thinks Nikos is injured and soon wishes he hadn’t played the good Samaritan.

Oddly this only exists on DVD in Germany with no audio options for English language. I believe there are many rights over the movie too proving it to be too expensive to release and very pricey to acquire the rights.

I believe you can pick up a bootleg of this film online on DVD-R that has been sourced from the medusa home video release in the pre-VRA days before it’s banning.

As the violence is non-sexual and just ‘spiteful’ I would imagine an 18 uncut would be permissible in the U.K when and if someone pays enough for distribution. Region 1 will probably be our best bet, as U.K Region 2 still remains the poor relation with variety of film choice available to the public.

Gallery Absurd:


l-r : A Trademark 'Nasty' Moment /Tantrum / Compass and the Beast



l-r : Hacked off / Death a la Carte / Lobotomy

The Players:

George Eastman (rn: Luigi Montefiore) [Nikos Thanopolous]

Annie Belle [Emily]

Charles Borromel (rn: Christian Borromeo) [Sergeant Ben Engleman]

Katya Berger [Katia (Katja) Bennett]

Edmund Purdom [priest]

Hanja Kochansky [Anja]

Ian Danby [Ian Bennett]

Freddy Unger (real name: Goffredo Unger) [man killed with circular saw]

Michele Soavi [biker]


Also Known As:

Absurd

Absurd - Antropophagous 2

Ausgeburt der Holle

Grim Reaper II

Horrible

The Monster Hunter

Terror sin limite

Zombie 6: Monster Hunter

Rosso Sangue

Director: Peter Newton (real name: Aristide Massaccesi)
Assistant Director: Michele Soavi

Music: Carlo Maria Cordio

Music Published By: CAM Edizioni Musicali, Roma

Sunday

THE NASTIES: REVENGE OF THE BOGEYMAN (1983)



Since his minor success with 'The Bogeyman' Ulli Lommel brings back his celluloid ‘Michael Myers’ as the shard of glass from the possessed mirror arrives in Hollywood along with the heroine from the first movie, resulting in the usual gory mayhem.

Suzanna Love reprises her role as Lacey, who swaps her dungarees and manure for ritz and showbiz when she visits a friend in the city with ‘movie connections’.

There she is wooed by a director to film the events that occurred six months previously.

A creepy butler rifles through Lacey’s’ personal effects and finds the shard and predictably all hell breaks loose at a wanky party.

The revellers, suitable cannon fodder, are picked off in some amusing ways such as death by shaving foam and electric toothbrush and the most novel way of being fellated to death via exhaust pipe (your Freudian parallels are correct dear reader). There are also supernatural slayings via corkscrew and even a pair of ice tongs.

Lommel is clearly disinterested in the whole affair and decides to save on the dollars by including nearly half an hour’s inclusion of the best bits from the first ‘Bogeyman’ film.

The picture strictly follows its’ ‘in it for the money’ lacklustre rule so doesn’t impress too much, but its’ strength seemed to lay in the visual simplicity on display.

Although the director does attempt ‘flashes of inspiration’ on rare occasion these are too few and far between during the movies scant running time.

I believe this ones banning was due to it’s inclusion of ‘controversial’ segments from the first but I would be sure the exhaust pipe sequence would have sent the puritans into a lather on it’s own merit. When viewed now it merely makes you titter at its smut and crude attempt to shock.

Released now in the U.K this could easily obtain an 18 certificate uncut and if it does let’s hope they keep the cool artwork featured on the original nideo pre-VRA edition.

Lommel also spewed forth the abhorrent ‘Bogeyman 2 (redux)’ quite recently, where we get the first film, inter-cut with The Bogeyman Returns (sped up???!!!) and padded with contemporary segments of Lommel himself playing a fucked up director. This ‘mislead’ of a follow up should be avoided as it is unfortunately a total waste of running time and is a mess.

It would be excellent to see ‘Revenge of the Bogeyman’ in a box set with the original, as this version of ‘The Bogeyman Returns/Bogeyman 2 (as the title card states)’ has been absent from legitimate DVD media in years.

Despite major flaws I accepted the film for what it is and quite enjoyed it I also have to add that I admire Lommels’ cheek in making it in the first place. Even at the end of this sequel it hints at yet another follow up ………

Gallery 'Revenge of the Bogeyman' :

(l-r: Tong Terror / Shaving Foam Murder / Death by Toothbrush)

(l-r: The Shard / Scissor Sister / Trussed and Terrorized)



(l-r : Smoking is Bad for You! / The Cursed Mirror / Repelling the Evil)

The Players:

Suzanna Love (Lacey)

Ulli Lommel (Mickey Lombard)

Shannah Hall (Bonnie Lombard)

Shoto von Douglas (Joseph)

Bob Rosenfarb (Bernie)

Rhonda Aldrich (Cynthia)

Sarah Jean Watkins (Kathy)

Rock Mackenzie (Jim)

Raf Nazario (Harvey)

Leslie Smith (Sally, Miss Arizona 1979)

Mina Kolb (Agent Constance)

Ann Wilkinson (Priscilla)

Directed by:

Bruce Starr

Ulli Lommel

Also Known As:

Revenge of the Boogeyman

The Boogeyman 2

Boogeyman II



THE NASTIES : DELIRIUM (1979)


Another seldom hyped title for our nasties review, Peter Maris’ ‘Delirium’ is a cheap but competent movie dealing with the old chestnut of lunatic Vietnam vets.

Handsome Nick Panouzis plays the sympathetic but psychotic, Charlie, hired by an underground, rogue organisation brandishing out death to criminals who they feel have escaped justice rightly deserved.

Due to sexual inferiority and (surprisingly decent but visibly cheap) nightmarish Nam flashbacks Charlie decides to diverse from his vigilante antics and offers the same merciless behaviour to various innocent (?) women along the way.

He visits one girl and she ends up speared for her troubles. Her flatmate, Susan, stumbles upon the corpse and eventually joins forces with the incompetent cops to try and hunt the murderer; resulting in her using herself as bait to nail Charlie.

A whole can of worms is opened as not only Charlie is exposed; the ringleaders of the kangaroo court for crims are also revealed causing further danger for the law and an excuse to show some mediocre car chases and some half decent pyrotechnics.

A surprise for was one of the main protagonists to be despatched over 50 minutes into the movie and for the rest of the duration the movie maintaining ones’ interest despite the women in jeopardy element grinding to a halt .

The movie finishes with a predictable ending of bullets and goodies beating baddies. Shot initially on 16mm and blew up for it’s theatrical to 35mm, the ‘grain’ adds to the tension of the films framework offering that smashing ‘grindhouse’ quality – most apt.

The cast are competent in the roles they play with Panouzis’ portrayal of the tortured mercenary a cut above the rest and the story is quite engrossing as it mixes misogyny, murder, corruption and bouts of prime fury.

The soundtrack is predominantly stock music that I have heard in cult shows like ‘Prisoner Cell Block H’ and other low-budget examples of television and film. One of the highlights occurs during a torture sequence and at the end credits as they feature ‘The Mastermind Theme’ (or ‘Approaching Menace’ by composer Neil Richardson to be precise) adding unintentional hilarity as it juxtaposes an official ‘Nasty’ alongside a U.K seminal quiz show. The other sounds on offer are similar to the sort of prog-rock ‘The Goblin’ may have composed if they decided to do things on the uber-cheap.

The tone is ‘grimy’, the murders relatively graphic including a women drowned after taunting Charlie about impotency- silly bitch teamed with a pitchfork murder and the obligatory meat cleaver despatch – so it is little surprising as to why this title was prosecuted.

The cover on the old VTC tape features some scenes that may have raised the eyebrow also.

The movie was re-released post VRA in 1987 under the lamentable ‘Psycho Puppet’ title and, mother of all surprises, bereaved of 16 seconds.

It has not been available, legitimately, now for over 10 years and would be a welcome release for any ‘fringe’ distributor. A commentary would be most welcome too and could be accompanied by the other underrated oddity ‘The Mardi Gras Massacre’.

Avoid the reviews which slate it and make up your own mind, if you are privileged to get your grubby mits on a copy as I found ‘Delirium’ to be an enjoyable viewing experience and a supreme example of it’s genre.


Gallery Delirium:

(l-r : Charlie Contemplates his Next Victim/ Pronged /Charlies' Response to a Piss-Take)

(l-r: Speared / Kanagroo Court / Susan in Strife!)

(l-r: Charlie rests after pursuit / Cleavered / Delirium Flashback)

The Players:

Turk Cekovsky (Paul Dollinger)

Nick Panouzis (Charlie Gunther)

Terry TenBroek (Larry Mead)

Debi Chaney (Susan Norcross)

Barron Winchester (Eric Stem)

Director:

Peter Maris

Also Known As:

Psycho Puppet