Sunday, 31 May 2015

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: SECRET CULT


Inspired by the last episode of 'Mad Men' and a recent near near death experience, I have decided to form a cult. Ultimately, it will be an apocalyptic suicide cult, of course, but I'm keeping that on the down low at the moment: it's terribly difficult to get people to join otherwise. It will coalesce around a revolutionary new analytical method of mental science we (okay, I) call 'Reducer'. More details on a how to become a better and more powerful person soon. 

Friday, 29 May 2015

TIMES ARE CHANGING FAST






















I have just had the great pleasure of seeing one of my favourite ever bands, The Human League (Mk 1), opening a 1980 episode of 'Top Of the Pops' with an energetic and energising performance of Gary Glitter's 'Rock & Roll, Part One'. Much air was punched (then and now) and, as if it were thirty five years ago, I even took some photos off the telly - although, this time they didn't have to go to Boots to be developed, so maybe living in the future isn't all bad, which it isn't, but it mainly is. 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

POINT BLANK



LEE FUCKING MARVIN I (2015)

This guy. I love this guy. Thanatos in a sharp suit, a silver tipped bullet.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

I JUST WANT OUR SOULS TO BE ALIGNED



Friends update the classic girl group sound with added bass and 21st century sensibilities. After all, 'if you love someone, it should feel good to let them breathe'.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

H.K D.I.S.C.O




















THE SUPER INFRAMAN, d. Shan Hua (1975)


Legendary Hong Kong producers the Shaw Brothers present the first Chinese superhero in a film full of flash and colour and monsters, robots, skeletons, kung fu and special powers including Flashing Thunder Fists and Capacity Quantity Emit Direct. Brilliant.  

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Saturday, 16 May 2015

COME BACK AS A FLOWER













































THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS, d. Walon Green (1979)


A well-meaning semi-documentary, ‘The Secret Life of Plants’ provides a successful and often startling mix of time lapse photography, travelogue and montage to support the concept of plants as living, thinking, feeling entities, and to help us understand their pain and consternation at being treated like rubbish. Ironically, a mild criticism would be that there are just too many people in the film, although the presence of Stevie Wonder (responsible for the somewhat hit and miss soundtrack) is very welcome.

The lovely closing scenes, in which Stevie wanders barefoot (and without his dark glasses) around a number of attractive botanical landscapes, ending up in an enormous field of sunflowers, remind you that it’s a transcendently beautiful world, and we should really stop trying to kill it, right now.
   

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

AS MUTE AND PALE AS DEATH ITSELF


























THE OUTER LIMITS: THE BELLERO SHIELD, d. John Brahm (1964)

The best episodes of ‘The Outer Limits’ always have a baleful, ominous atmosphere, as if madness and death and isolation are in the air waiting to manifest themselves. It’s a deeply strange programme, too, often unnervingly so, and 'The Bellero Shield' is a particularly odd one, 'Macbeth' with science and a luminous alien.
A laser scientist accidentally catches an extraterrestrial in a beam of light, and brings him, somewhat unwillingly, to Earth. The alien, a shimmering, indistinct thing from a dimension just above our realm, initially protects himself using an impenetrable and all-encompassing shield, technology coveted by the scientists ambitious and slightly unhinged wife. When the alien tries to go home, she shoots him in the head and steals the shield technology, intending to pass off the invention as her husband’s in order to make his reputation. 

Pressing a button to activate something is one thing, of course; switching it off is entirely another…

Saturday, 9 May 2015

LUMINOUS BUTTONS

























NATAL, 1972

It was the sight of the creature's head that most disturbed Mrs. Hansen: 'There was fire coming out of its eyes, and the head was square like a machine'

Friday, 8 May 2015

SUOMI, 2034 AD





















NIGHTSATAN AND THE LOOPS OF DOOM, d. Christer Lindstrom (2013)


It’s 2034, and the world as we know it has been destroyed by a nuclear war. In the barren wastes of Eastern Finland, a synth trio called Nightsatan play impromptu concerts and look for women and food. The film, which is both a parody of 80s Italian post-apocalyptic trash and an occasionally quite original piece of sci fi, includes strong (subtitled) language, violent death, full frontal nudity, child cyborgs, hermaphrodites, cannibalism and magic ritual.

At no point in the 24 minute running time are we shown where Nightsatan plug their synths in, but it's a small detail, and should not in any way impair your enjoyment of this preposterous but extremely entertaining film.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

THE PRESENCE OF PLEASENCE


'Warrior of The Lost World' isn't much  of a film, and Donald Pleasence, as evil overlord Prossor, doesn't give much of a performance. He seems very tired, and his characterisation mainly consists of him wearing a light blue Blofeld type suit and having an artificial hand. 

Towards the end, he gets shot repeatedly, including twice in the head. Curiously, his eyes won't stop moving about, as if nobody has told him that head shots like that are usually fatal. Later on, it is revealed that the rebels actually killed a cyborg, so the extraneous eye rolling makes perfect sense. That's Donald, always at least one step ahead.    

THE POST-APOCALYPTIC TRIBES OF NEW EARTH























OPEN WARFARE





























WARRIOR OF THE LOST WORLD, d. David Worth (1983)


aka Mad Rider aka Vigilante of the Lost Earth aka Raiders of the Omega Year


This Italian production takes elements of Mad Max and The Warriors and supplements them with a wisecracking supersonic motorcycle and a rebellion against an Orwellian police state over seen by Donald Pleasence. It is not entirely successful in it goals, and limitations of both budget and artistry are evident. It ends in a singalong, and there are many small explosions.

I have a fondness for these cheap post-apocalyptic movies - or is it a weakness?