Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Tectonic plates
'petty gossip'? I wonder how many priests, from their pulpits at services this Easter, and as representatives of the world's biggest child sex ring (second only to the UN and other international relief agencies), will be quoting from Matthew 18:6: "But whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

it was very nice of someone to think to include me at nndb.com, even though I'm not entirely grateful about being openly described as being 'straight', and even less an 'atheist' (on the latter point, sadly also labelled thus in the otherwise excellent Micro-bionic)

Play park
while a visit to the Hunterian in Glasgow last Saturday was thwarted by their being closed at weekends for roof repairs, the best cultural alternative seemed to be Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum - epic mistake, full gory report to follow in EXPOSITION 3

Great White Death
the new vinyls should be delivered any day now from Germany, which is most exciting - the cut sounded absolutely delicious

Monday, March 29, 2010


This is becoming a bit of an obsession, isn't it? Quite right. Anyway, you'd think Chinese restaurants would be immune to the lazy sterility of Helvetica Culture. Oh no. Not even an super extra helping of monosodium glutamate in your mixed veg fried rice will arouse your tragically numbed apathetic tastebuds.


Friday, March 26, 2010


Death Laid An Egg, 1968 (*****)
a wonderfully deranged giallo hybrid that achieves the usually impossible task of bridging a powerful experimental aesthetic with intense entertainment - the result is a timeless classic of modern cinema; the similarly left-field soundtrack perfectly complements the sleaze and bizarre goings-on at the hi-tech chicken facility

Perversion Story, 1969 (***)
Fulci tries his hand at Hitchcock's Vertigo this time around and delivers an uneven, albeit enjoyable mystery that culminates in what seems to be a simple condemnation of the US legal system

Short Night Of The Glass Dolls, 1971 (****)
before arriving at its horrific finale, the movie's slow-pace is capably offset by the creepy premise of a comatose, but conscious, American journalist stuck in the mortuary; Communist Prague's interiors and exteriors provide the suitably atmospheric backdrop

Quelle Che Contano, 1974 (**)
unremarkable low-budget gangster movie that is most notable for a shockingly savage belt-beating inflicted upon Margie, the American gangster's masochistic prostitute mistress (played by Barbara Bouchet)

Macchie Solari, 1975 (***)
insane, extraordinarily chaotic banquet of simulated autopsy scenes amidst the usual heaps of italosleaze featuring the delightful Mimsy Farmer as the pathology student investigating a wave of suicides blamed on sunspots; afterwards, you will want to visit Rome's infamous Criminal Museum

The Witch Who Came From The Sea, 1976 (*****)
a highly recommended forgotten classic from the golden age of US independent cinema: Millie Perkins delivers an amazing disturbed performance as Mollie, a young mother psychologically damaged by the abusive childhood relationship she suffered at the hands of her father

Hitch-Hike, 1977 (***)
the ebullient energy of the script and the main protagonists' performances (played by David Hess, Franco Nero, and Corinne Clery) defiantly compensate for the seeming total lack of a budget

Patrick Still Lives, 1980 (***)
batshit crazy eurosleaze, maximum nudity, and an incomprehensible narrative all feature in a fun film whose final act boasts some truly jolting, gruesome violence

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Human Guinea Pigs - M.H. Pappworth
The Annotated Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Forensic Medicine - Douglas Kerr

La Ragazza Dal Pigiama Giallo (LP) - Riz Ortolani
The Story Of O (CD) - Pierre Bachelet
Great White Death (LP) - Whitehouse

Francisco Barilli (interview)
I'm Alan Partridge (series 1/2)
IMAX - The Alps


Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Girly, 1970 (*****)
forgotten UK classic in the shape of a highly twisted black comedy based on Maisie Mosco's stage play Happy Family, a sleazy Pinteresque orgy of moral relativism - if you, like me, are a fan of The Baby then you urgently need to see this

Short Night Of The Glass Dolls, 1971 (*****)
intelligent and disturbing mystery drama set in Communist Prague: the atmospheric exteriors and interiors of the city are a marvellous backdrop for the search for an American journalist's missing Czech girlfriend, one which leads to a breathtakingly horrific finale

Let's Scare Jessica To Death, 1971 (***)
off-kilter and effectively creepy US film notable for Zohra Lampert's haunting performance as Jessica, a young woman recovering from her recent spell in a mental institution

Night Train Murders, 1975 (*****)
incredibly powerful remake of The Virgin Spring set on an Italy-bound train from Munich; director Aldo Lado delivers a far more satisfying, artful, coherent, plausible, darker, faster-paced experience than Wes Craven's inferior Last House On The Left

Bestialità, 1976 (****)
shocking cocktail of swingers and zoophilia and philosophy and Leonora Fani on a remote Mediterranean holiday island

Rabid Dogs (*****)
the genius that is Mario Bava, with this superb charismatic quasi-Brechtian abduction drama (and almost no budget to work with), puts the clumsy cartoonish gangster hero-worship pretensions of Scorsese and Tarantino, amongst others, to shame - a true classic

La Orca, 1976 (*****)
compelling and shocking kidnap drama: the evolving relationship that develops between captors and their captive Alice - affected as it is by her sexuality, social class, and the remote context - is brilliantly portrayed

Oedipus Orca, 1977 (***)
intriguing sequel to La Orca which explores the aftermath of Alice's kidnapping whilst filling us in on much of her family's darker secrets

Maladolescenza, 1977 (**)
highly dishonest exploration of pre/adolescent sexuality, albeit surprisingly explicit

Pensione Paura, 1977 (*****)
Leonora Fani is extraordinary as the young put-upon daughter who's left alone after her mother's death to look after a hotel full of deeply unpleasant guests; Francesco Barilli's Pensione Paura is an astounding work: a classic by any standard, let alone amongst gialli - it also features the most breathtakingly urgent and passionate kiss I have ever witnessed on celluloid

Nenè, 1977 (****)
the incredibly talented Leonora Fani stars in Samperi's superior coming-of-age sexual drama set in post-WW2 Italy while the CIA steals the election from the Italian Communist Party

To Be Twenty, 1978 (*****)
yet another incredible Italian masterpiece from the 70s, this time in the form of a sexy satirical comedy which explodes with arguably the darkest, most downbeat ending you will ever see

Vacation Massacre, 1980 (**)
this otherwise promising italosleaze is fatally undermined by the hopelessly miscast Dallesandro's laughable ineptitude, and not only at acting - he barely demonstrates the kissing skills of a nervous 11-year old, let alone a dangerous sex-starved escaped criminal

Monday, March 15, 2010


Horror Celebrities Night
never having been to a meet 'n' greet Q&A evening of this type, it was fun to be at the Jeckyll And Hyde pub to see David Hess, Catriona MacColl, and Giovanni Lombardo Radice
- they were all most articulate and likeable, Hess being especially entertaining with his anecdotal swipes at Dennis Hopper; shame he was so short-changed by the thoughtless structuring of the event, which otherwise was so much fun

Let The Right One On
some call it pedantry, some call it rigour, but I feel compelled to draw attention to the unbelievably retarded set of rules for the application of capital letters in song, book, and movie titles; seriously, who came up with this utter fucking nonsense? it all depends on coordinating conjunctions, phrasal verbs, prepositions of three letters or 'less' (sic), position of word in title, special notes for this and that, added to what your starsign is and whether you were born in a leap year or the seventh offspring of a black cat: for god's sake, just capitalise every word and be done with it (anybody anywhere who already does receives the dubious privilege of my unconditional admiration and respect)

Cut Hands
there's a Cut Hands concert this Saturday (20th March) at Roxy Art House, Edinburgh with the great Zbigniew Karkowski plus support from Aliased Neuron, demand for tickets may be quite fierce as the venue is said to be pretty small - more information

Thermal compounds update
sad to report that the flatlined patient could not be reanimated; a replacement was immediately procured in the form of a shiny new Slim

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Shop Window Reflection

A crucial part of the sexual allure of clothes is often the obstruction placed on what we would want to see, added to markers or gateways pointing us in the direction of said focus. Yummy. As I irreverently discussed in MUSTN'T HAVES 1 and MUSTN'T HAVES 2, there may also be misdirection applied to move our attention away from the less attractive, something possibly even fully visible; yet the obscured object of desire is that which we notice. It's a cognitive process based upon our own shifting perceptual, experiential, and cultural assumptions, one that encourages response potential via our tastes.

Have you ever thought about the differences between seeing, looking, and noticing?

Even though we may not see something, we are acutely aware of its probable existence. And likewise, that which we do see and even look at directly, is very often not noticed. You may have a watch that you have looked at hundreds of times to check the time, and yet (without cheating!) how sure are you of the design of its numerals? How many are there? Are they Roman, Arabic, or just lines or dots?

We could sum it up thus:
- that which we are least aware of may be visible
- that which we are most aware of may be obscured

But see, here's the big thing: that which is obscured may not even exist in the way that we imagined it to exist, or indeed at all! And such is the power of these cognitive beliefs, that it functions even when we know that is indeed the case. Hence, the universal need for mirrors is, perversely, to reinforce illusion and to mask reality.

Dietrological analysis involves awareness of the behind acting as a blindfold to what is in front.


Friday, March 05, 2010


Syntagma Of The Evidences Of The Christian Religion - Rev. Robert Taylor
Counting Sheep - Paul Martin
The Secret Of Scent - Luca Turin

Yesterday You Said Tomorrow - Christian Scott
Perche quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer? - Bruno Nicolai
Il profumo della signora en nero - Nicola Povani

The Divine Horsemen
Swansea Love Story
The Spirit Of Haiti


Thursday, March 04, 2010


Giallo A Venezia (*****)
this amazingly explicit giallo is also one of the very best: its drawn-out depictions of sexual perversion and shocking violence have an authentic resonance that's extremely rare in cinema; Leonora Fani is sensational as the young wife induced by her architect husband into acts of increasingly kinky sex

What Are Those Strange Drops Of Blood Doing On Jennifer's Body? (***)
even by giallic standards, the plot is absolute nonsense (not to mention the film's promising but irrelevant title), yet it's hard not to like for its imaginative camera angles, for its marvellous set pieces, and for the always captivating presence of Edwige Fenech

The Fifth Cord (**)
style wins out over substance in this decidedly pedestrian giallo; Bazzoni's admittedly sumptuous photography doesn't, unfortunately, compensate for the dreary uninspiring plot

The Killer Is Still Among Us (*****)
powerful, creepy, and deeply affecting movie based on the still-unsolved Monster Of Florence case: the murder sequences have a shocking authenticity, often with no accompanying soundtrack, and the narrative, experienced through the backstory of a female criminology student, allows for a heavily nuanced cognitive appreciation of the general paranoia the case elicited

The Pyjama Girl Case (*****)
ignore the haters, this is a masterpiece: stunning original giallo which, stylistically, is decades ahead of its time predating the clearly derivative styles later employed by Rob Zombie, Tarantino, and others; a geriatric Ray Milland slurs his way through his lines whilst Dalila Di Lazzaro provides classy female glamour to the sleazy proceedings set in beautiful Sydney - as if that wasn't enough we get a phenomenal soundtrack from disco queen Amanda Lear and composer Riz Ortolani (including the staggering Moroder-on-acid electronic maelstrom Il Corpo Di Linda)

The New York Ripper (****)
Fulci's cash-in of Friedkin's Cruising similarly explores the sleazy underbelly of New York in an unashamedly gruesome (and highly enjoyable) style all mixed in with your typical giallic red herrings and plot twists - the maniac's Donald Duck impersonations are notably creepy