Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Goodbye

Hello and good bye! I don't think I'll be putting stuff up here again or for a very long time. I can't put images up and life's too short now that we have moved into our smashing new home...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

We've exchanged!

Well, we've exchanged and get the keys to our new home this Friday (at long last). Moving day is Monday when we'll be running around like blue-arsed flies.

Had a nice weekend just gone, had fish and chips somewhere east, Wanstead I think. Then looked around Curry's deciding what fridges and washing machines we want. On Saturday night we met up with Jess and David and went on a mini pub-crawl. Awoke in the living room at 4am then went to bed with the annoying dawn chorus. Spent Sunday tidying the flat more and boxing more junk.

Almost finished reading 'My Way of Life' by Joan Crawford. I'm almost complete in the knowledge of how to dress and behave in front of my husband and society people.

Watched possibly the campiest episode of 'Wonder Woman' ever, with John Carradine voicing his amputated brain (with one eye) in an story titled 'Gault's Brain'. He needs a new body to live in so his much younger wife goes in search of a hunky muscle boy to fit the bill. Diana Prince gets put into a barrel and thrown into a little river (which has a depth of about 50 metres!) before miraculously turning into Wonder Woman, in my favourite outfit too, the blue swimming one. Daft and hilarious yes but brilliant too.

As for films we've been viewing:

'Killer Vs. Killers' ('Killer Contro Killers') Directed by Fernando Di Leo 1985
I actually quite enjoyed this, especially seeing Dalila Di Lazzaro ('The Pyjama Girl Case') cut off a security guards hand using some wire cutters (no matter how unconvincing). Henry Silva plays another stoney faced character who owns a personal zoo (probably because no one could get to know him). The film itself looks like a TV movie and the music was quite dreadful. Hilarious bits include nude women dancing for the old professional safe cracker and when Dalila sings in a club.

'Der Hexer' ('The Mysterious Magician') Directed by Alfred Vohrer 1964
Found this rather dull, in fact it put me to sleep about three times. The ending is cool however in that the bad guys get away.

'Crucible Of Horror' ('The Corpse') Directed by Viktors Ritelis 1970
How I managed to stay awake through this snooze-fest is nothing short of a miracle. Michael Gough plays a sadistic head of a family who regularly beats his daughter (when he's not fantasising about her) and bosses his meek wife (Yvonne Mitchell, star of 'Demons of the Mind') around. They decide it's time for Daddy to go and plan and execute his murder but he won't stay dead, sadly, as this would have been the end of the film. As a rule I almost always love British horror and mystery films of the seventies but this was just SO dull and don't get me started on the dvd (released by Trinity Home Entertainment) - it was like watching a film wearing thick tan tights over my eyes, and muddy ones at that.

'The Abominable Snowman' Directed by Val Guest 1957
Fantastic and genuinely creepy early Hammer film about an expedition to find the Yeti of the Himalayas. Cushing is fantastic as always and I fell in love with Michael Brill (McNee), who carries an air of melancholy since he saw the Yeti on a previous expedition. The Americans are portrayed as brash heartless hunters and the English as gentlemen who care! The German DVD (Anolis Entertainment) was superb - gorgeous picture quality and sound with trailers, a gallery and audio commentary by Val Guest himself, which I shall save for a rainy day.

'Humoresque' Directed by Jean Negulesco 1946
Yay! A Joan Crawford film. I always feel guilty making Matt watch some old (camp) movie but Joan's got quite a few noir-esque titles out on DVD now and he enjoyed 'Sudden Fear' and 'Possessed' so there! Joan plays Helen Wright a neurotic society woman married to a man she no longer loves and surrounds herself with eager young males and has a taste for alcohol (that's an understatement, she's got a glass in her hand in almost every scene). Anyway one evening she meets an up and coming violinist Paul Boray (played brilliantly by John Garfield) and falls for him. That's it really, their on-off relationship - her wanting more from him and him being more into his damn violin (which you hear an awful lot). Joan doesn't show up for about forty minutes, the beginning of the film is about Paul's upbringing in a poor-ish neighbourhood by his humble parents. The film is quite unique in that the music is the main component. God, am I sounding like a jerk? Anyway. it was a cool film, Joan was great and gets to say "I'd love to slap you" before hurling her martini glass at the wall.

'The Heat's On' Directed by Gregory Ratoff 1943
It was good to see Mae West again but this film was a bit rubbish and Mae isn't in half of it and when she is she's given little to do. I'm hoping that 'Every Day's a Holiday' will get a DVD release soon, I need to see Peaches!

Christ, that's way too much typing for one day. See you...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

'My Way Of Life'

Sunday today and it's raining. Matt has gone to a christening and Max is out looking at possible rooms to rent. I think I have tonsillitis as I can't swallow very easily - that said, I've just downed two huge espresso's. Yesterday we went to the model shop in Clapham to look at Ultraman, Gamera and Godzilla toys, but I couldn't find anything I wanted. That shop is so dusty and there's no room to move. I did buy a hat and three saucepans in tkmaxx though. We didn't go out last night, which was unusual - too knackered I think, still, I did finish off my bottle of Gin and put too many bids on ebay. We also watched...

'The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave' ('La Notte che Evelyn uscì dalla tomba' Directed by Emilio Miraglia 1971)
Having previously sat through the grotty Sinema Diablo release, this glorious print (NoShame's Killer Queen edition) was fantastic. I'd forgotten Erika Blanc's coffin strip (watching her interview I find that actress scary!). Marina Malfatti is in it too, I always get her confused with the fun Nieves Navarro. Oh and those identical maids, hilarious. Great soundtrack from Bruno Nicolai which I've got on CD (along with the other 'Nicolai in Giallo' releases.).

And we've seen:

Ang Lee's 'Hulk' (2003)
I (surprisingly) really enjoyed this. I've never seen anything with Eric Bana or Jennifer Connelly in it. Sam Elliott was in 'The Legacy' ('78) which I love and 'Frogs' ('72) so I reckon he's pretty cool. Anyway the Hulk is SO cute, he's kind of like a green King Kong - I so hope a follow up gets made. Nice to see Stan Lee and Lou Ferrigno make cameo's - though it was way too short.

'Il Boss' ('The Boss' Directed by Fernando Di Leo 1973)
Great mafia story starring a stony faced and emotionless Henry Silva, Euro 'hard-man' regular Richard Conte and a whole host of recognisable faces from Italian crime and giallo films. The film gets off to a great start with Silva's character (Lanzetta) firing some kind of flame bombs through a cinema screen at guys watching a porno movie! Chunky Howard Ross is in it too as a bad guy. Brilliant score from Luis Enriquez Bacalov that doesn't get on your nerves like some can. Oh and a nice interview with the director and cast.

I've also listened to the audio commentary on 'Doctor Who - The Ark In Space' with Tom Baker, Elizabeth Sladen and Philip Hinchcliffe which was great and at times hilarious. I've really got into Doctor Who again and have just ordered two DVD's, though these are with Jon Pertwee ('Claws Of Axos' and 'Spearhead From Space').

Oh and I'm currently reading 'My Way Of Life' by Joan Crawford, which is the campiest thing ever; "never put a red vegetable next to a yellow one"...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Voodoo Island

Goodness me! It seems like ages again since I was here last. Nothing much to tell...

Our house move to Mitcham is taking longer than we had imagined, we've been given a date for the end of the month for completion. Fingers crossed. I'm getting desperate to leave as it's horrible living here amongst boxes. I'm still buying far too much stuff for the new place, spending hours browsing ebay in the hope of finding something weird. I've been very lucky though and have amassed quite a lot of vintage items. Yesterday I won a hideously kitch lamp full of crabs and shells...

Last Friday I was at the tattooists for four hours, getting my 'voodoo island' theme shaded. It's bloody huge! I'm booked in again for another four hours next month. This tattoo is going to cost me a fortune. Have also seen a ring that I must possess, it's a silver and black ace of spades - going to save up for that.

I've been doing a database for all my DVD's as I'm starting to loose track on what I've got. Last count I had 655 films on DVD. Bloody hell (!) I dread to think how much I've spent. From now on I'm just going to concentrate on getting Italian crime thrillers and giallo's (yeah, right).

Last night we watched the Japanese preview DVD of the new Gamera film ('Gamera: Chiisaki yusha-tachi' Directed by Ryuta Tazaki 2006). It looks really cool but very cute and seems to feature more about the story of a young (orphan?) boy who finds an egg that hatches into a tortoise ('Toto') then grows rapidly into Gamera. There is a new monster however that looks brilliant and certainly kicks Gamera's ass (boo). Can't wait to see the film but it will probably be months (even years) before an English subtitled edition comes out. Actually, that said all the Daiei Gamera DVD releases have them. On the disc there's also a ten minute long trailer for the very expensive box set, comprising all of the giant turtle's films - they do know how to tease!

Anyway here's some we watched earlier:

'Cry-Baby' (Directed by John Waters 1990)
Watched or rather listened to the feature-commentary by John Waters as he's always hilarious. Only saw this at the Prince Charles cinema in Leicester Square last year, so didn't really need to watch it again so soon. Really loved the deleted scenes especially the sleazy photographer (Waters regular Alan Wendl) who kidnaps Wanda Woodward (Traci Lords) and forces her to model in a giant champagne glass in a dingy studio. DVD also has a great featurette "It Came from Baltimore" that includes interviews with cast and crew.

'The Big Racket' ('Il Grande racket' Directed by Enzo G. Castellari 1976)
This was bloody excellent, one of my favourite Fabio Testi films ('Revolver' being my number one). He stars as Inspector Nico Palmieri hell bent on delivering justice to a nasty protection racket terrorising Rome. The gang are disgusting in their cruelty and some of the scenes are really disturbing but you need to see them in order for you to want to see them all dead! The unobtrusive soundtrack from the De Angelis brothers is cool too. No special features on the DVD except a trailer.

'Street Law' ('Il Cittadino si ribella' Directed by Enzo G. Castellari 1974)
Starring Franco Nero as an ordinary guy who gets a vicious beating from some thugs during a bank robbery. He decides to take the law into his own hands when the (rather rubbish) Police drop the case. Barbara Bach stars as his girlfriend but her role is totally wasted. The score, again by the De Angelis brothers is brilliant. DVD has a featurette with Director and Nero.

'Scars Of Dracula' ('Directed by Roy Ward Baker 1970)
Hmm, seen this a few times but never on DVD. It's not one of my favourite Hammer's as it's really missing Peter Cushing, but it does have it's moments and does star Christopher Lee, Patrick Troughton (in a Joan Crawford frightwig) and the gorgeously named Anouska Hempel. Dennis Waterman (who goes in search of his brother, trapped in the Count's castle) looks really out of place and his acting abilities are dubious. That said it was fun to view a Hammer film again as it's been a while...

'Das Indische Tuch' ('The Indian Scarf' Directed by Alfred Vohrer 1963)
Another Edgar Wallace film! Enjoyed this one a lot, it's the familiar story of the death of the head of a rich family and after the reading of the will family members are forced to stay at the ancestral mansion for six days, if they leave they'll forfeit their inheritance. Of course, one by one they are murdered by a killer wearing black gloves and using an Indian scarf (touches of giallo?!). Along the way we're treated to Klaus Kinski as a diabetic artist, a stuffed horse, a killer tarantula and a fabulous if shocking death of the mother (aged but glamorous Elisabeth Flickenschildt). The film has strange comedic touches like Eddi Arent's (the butler) magic hostess trolley that follows him around and a daft conclusion, but that didn't put me off.

'Hercules' ('Le Fatiche di Ercole' Directed by Pietro Francisci 1958)
Seen this a few times before too, but not on DVD. I won a great double feature from Germany (coupled with 'Hercules Unchained') and the picture quality was far superior than I was expecting. The film was a lot more exciting than I remembered too. Is this the film that started the whole 'Sword & Sandal' genre? I think so. Steve Reeves is our hero this time and plays it with 'no nonsense' gusto - going in search of the golden fleece with Jason and the Argonauts while putting right a corrupt Kingdom and falling in love with Princess Iole (Sylva Koscina with lots of red lippy). The hairy ape men are fun, as is the fight Hercules has with a rampaging bull and an angry lion.

Well that's far too much typing for one day. See ya

Monday, May 01, 2006

Grape Hyacynth

Here I am again! Matt's gone in to work, even though it is Bank Holiday Monday so I've got some time to get down what we've been doing:

Went to Salisbury to stay with my Grandparents (cleaned their windows, Gran thrashed us playing Newmarket), had coffee with my mother, lunch with our friend Fay and her cute little baby 'Archie', went to loads of charity shops (bought some 'Poole' pottery for £10).

Went out on Saturday night to Will's 30th Birthday piss up. Ended up at some sad late night cocktail bar - woke up with bad head and spasms.

Saw 'An evening with Joan Collins' at the Fairfield Halls in sophisticated Croydon with Matt, Peter and Jess. What a night that was (!) sat in the bar while the support (4 Poof and a piano) was on, had 4 gins before entering. I love JC but this really was quite appalling for all the wrong reasons, we were just dying to explode with laughter all the way through (which is what we did when we left). I wish she would talk about her work in horror during the seventies, I know she was only doing it for the paycheque but she must have some happy memories.

...and what we've watched:

'Son Of Samson' ('Maciste nella valle dei re' Directed by Carlo Campogalliani 1960)
Mark Forest (as Maciste) and Chelo Alonso (as evil Queen Smedes). Pit of crocodiles, exotic belly dancing, Egyptian style sets and costumes. Possibly the goriest sword and sandal film ever - almost every scene has someone getting speared! Passable picture quality from Retromedia (why does Amazon always list DVD's under the wrong company of release?) - DVD also features 'Son Of Cleopatra', which I've yet to watch.

'Atlas In The Land Of The Cyclops' ('Maciste nella terra dei ciclopi' Directed by Antonio Leonviola 1961)
Superior peplum film with Gordon Mitchell as Maciste and Chelo Alonso back again playing an evil queen (though this time under duress thanks to an old curse). Appalling picture quality (el cheapo 'Alpha Video' release), virtually no colour (sepia) and hilarious dubbing but a good film.

'Strip Nude For Your Killer' ('Nude per l'assassino' Directed by Andrea Bianchi 1975)
Second viewing of this (initially watched the X-Rated Kult edition, this time it's the Blue Underground one). Stars Edwige Fenech, Femi Benussi and Nino Castelnuovo. A great lurid giallo. Almost everyone gets nekkid at some point. Great apartments too oh and the bisexual owner of fashion studio wears ahead-of -its-time stick on gem beauty spot. Superb score from Berto Pisano, who I'm not familiar with. DVD has a trailer and an interview with actress Solvi Stubing and co-writer Massimo Felisatti.

'Appleseed' ('Appurushîdo' Directed by Shinji Aramaki 2004)
Cool Sci-Fi / Action / Animation which I can't remember much about!

'The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse' ('Die Tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse' Directed by Fritz Lang 1960)
Similar in a way to the German Edgar Wallace films and although directed by Lang, I found this quite dull. Stars Dawn Addams, Peter van Eyck, Gert Fröbe and Wolfgang Preiss as the criminal mastermind Mabuse. DVD has some great features including trailers for other Mabuse films (although these are the American dubbed versions and not great quality) and a 35 minute featurette "The Eyes of Fritz Lang".

'The Testament of Dr. Mabuse' ('Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse' Directed by Werner Klingler 1962)
This action packed film (a remake of Lang's '32 original) was way better than the previous film (for me anyway). Cool DVD again with similar features plus 'The Crimes of Dr. Mabuse," the 90 minute English-dubbed alternate version of Fritz Lang's 1932 original.

'Divine Trash' Directed by Steve Yeager 1998
Oh my god! This was just brilliant! My 'sister in crime' friend Pete gave me this (amongst 'Dirty Shame' and 'Cry Baby") as a Birthday gift. It's basically a documentary about the Dreamland cast and crew, with interviews from around the time of 'Pink Flamingos' until now. Cookie Mueller seemed to be absent though, yes I know she passed away in '89 but there must be more material out there on her contribution...

Anyway I'm off, need a cup of tea. Lucky me, I made a flask earlier.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

DVD update...

I haven't been here a while, busy doing nothing much. Have either won or bought loads of DVD's recently, must have about 20 to sit through. Anyway, here are some we've watched:

'Die Bande des Schreckens' ('The Terrible People' Directed by Harald Reinl 1960)
Ok Edgar Wallace story, but sadly quite forgettable. Well, except for Karin Dor. Superb DVD from Germany (Tobis), although the subtitles occasionally don't make sense.

'Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion' ('Le Foto proibite di una signora per bene' Directed by Luciano Ercoli 1970)
Ercoli is becoming one of my favourite giallo directors. This was great! Fantastic score from Ennio Morricone and starring Susan Scott and Dagmar Lassander. DVD features a trailer.

'Django Kill - If You Live, Shoot!' ('Se sei vivo spara' Directed by Giulio Questi 1967)
Don't know why this movie gets such bad reviews, we really enjoyed it. After all there is Tomas Milian, cute Ray Lovelock and gay cowboys dressed in black. DVD has a wonderful print as usual from Blue Underground and an interview with director/co-writer Giulio Questi, Tomas Milian and Ray Lovelock.

'La Morte ha fatto l'uovo' ('Death Laid an Egg' Directed by Giulio Questi 1968)
Decided to view this giallo again after watching Questi's 'If You Live, Shoot!'. Cool, but weird and has mutant chicken monsters, Ewa Aulin, Gina Lollobrigida in a flame red wig, oh and a great opening. Lovely Japanese DVD. I expect this will get an American release soon.

'Totò contro Maciste' ('Toto vs. Maciste' Directed by Fernando Cerchio 1962)
Sort of carry on Hercules. Samson Burke as Maciste the blockhead and Totò in his usual role. Italian Language only DVD, but nice print and also the first time I've watched Samson Burke in a peplum, next stop 'The Three Stooges Meet Hercules'.

'Ursus nella valle dei leoni' ('Ursus in the Valley of the Lions' Directed by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia 1961)
Ed fury is Ursus, brought up by lions after his family are murdered (lucky). Fantastic and garish Moira Orfei stars as a bad girl turns good. DVD has a featurette about peplum films including Brad Harris, Gordon Mitchell and Moira Orfei (who looks bizarre but excellent!) sadly this is only in German language, as was the movie, but I managed to watch it all.

'A Dirty Shame' (Directed by John Waters 2004)
The latest movie from constant funny man Waters. Mink Stole has some great lines, as usual, Jean Hill is in it (don't blink!) and Mary Vivian Pearce (momentarily) looking very ill.
DVD features an excellent (and funny) featurette that is only four minutes shorter than the film itself.

'Dogora' ('Uchu daikaijû Dogora' Directed by Ishirô Honda 1964)
Yet another great Toho 'alien monster attacks Japan' film, though sadly too much of the film is about the diamond thieves and not enough about said giant flying jellyfish (Dogora only comes in about 50 minutes into the film). Loved the sound effects when he does, it's like an amplified heart beating. Spooky. Wish to god my 'Yog: Monster from Space' would hurry up and get despatched.

Phew! Too much typing and not enough watching of DVD's. I'm off...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Brad Harris double-bill part 2

'Zambo' ('Zambo, il dominatore della foresta' Directed by Bitto Albertini 1972)
I won this video on ebay from Germany, so it is difficult for me to rate as I don't understand German too well, that said - it does star Brad Harris (yay!) and is an exciting (if slightly campy) jungle adventure. Brad plays a prisoner, wrongly convicted (if my translation is correct) who escapes along with another convict into the African jungle. The two of them battle the elements until the other guy dies, Brad (Zambo) luckily adjusts himself to life in the danger-filled jungle, taming the wildlife, making friends with local tribes and in particular a small boy. An expedition of evil baddies go in search of Zambo for reasons I'm not too sure and along with them is blonde Gisela Hahn, who plays the love interest of Zambo. Brad gets to show off his stuntman fighting skills here and there and looks rather fetching in his Tarzan-like costume, though I can't picture him running that up on a sewing machine in the jungle (or anywhere else for that matter). The film ends on a kind of sad note as he waves goodbye to his love interest on board a ship, preferring to stay in the wilds.

Bitto Albertini directed '6000 km di paura' ('Safari Rally'), with Joe Dallesandro which I really want to get my hands on. Oh and 'Il Ritorno del gladiatore più forte del mondo' - again with Brad Harris. In fact he's behind loads of films I love or want...

'Challenge of the Tiger' ('Gymkata Killer' Directed by Bruce Le 1980)
This was the second billing on Mondo Macabro's DVD 'For Your Height Only' and sadly I wasn't impressed at all. It's a martial arts action drama. Playing a bad guy this time, Brad doesn't get to do much except look scary in a pair of black sunglasses and black leather gloves. The main actor is handsome Richard Harrison who runs around with lots of topless women and fights men wearing only a ridiculous beach thong! Won't be watching this again anytime soon, though I'm looking forward to seeing tiny Weng Weng in 'For Your Height Only'. I'd love to know how Brad and Richard got on together and if they talked about their time making sword and sandal films.

Seeya.