From acclaimed master of erotica Just Jaeckin (“Emmanuelle” “Story of O” “Lady Chatterley’s Lover) comes “Gwendoline”, one of the most sought-after ‘guilty pleasure’ movies of all time! Filled to the brim with enough female flesh and fetishistic imagery to satisfy the most demanding of voyeurs, this is one cult fantasy film you definitely won’t want to miss! Follow the adventures of the sweet and innocent Gwendoline (Tawny Kitaen of “Bachelor Party” and those legendary Whitesnake videos) in which she travels as a stowaway to the Far East with her sexy friend Beth (played by French actress and model Zabou) on a mission to track down her father, who has mysteriously disappeared whilst on a mission to find a mythical butterfly. Rescued from a group of lecherous seamen by the hunky adventurer Willard (actor and male model Brent Huff), Gwendoline persuades him to make up their trio and embark on a daring journey to the land of the Yek Yeik, a country ruled by a diabolical dominant Amazon queen and an army of female fetish-clad Amazonian warriors! There, Gwendoline must defeat the evil queen and prevent Willard from being forced to spawn a new race of female warriors – or face certain death. Gwendoline is a bizarre adventure like no other, freely adapted from John Willie’s acclaimed erotic comic strip, which fans will be talking about for years to come.
1984 – Certificate: 18 – French Film
Rating Details: Strong violence
7.5 out of 10
Right now I’m sitting here drinking a bottle of Batemans Victory Ale; (6% and Vegan Society approved), thinking how great the summer is. I know, every year the weather’s a bit of a disappointment, but somehow it’s still loads better than the winter. However crappy the weather is, it’s still always a lot lighter in the summer than the rest of the year. In the summer, the sun goes down to the right of that tree over ‘here’. In the winter, it goes down behind the tree over there; (trying to hide its embarrassment, no doubt). It’s 8:42 pm right now, warm and light enough to sit and read in my lounge without a light or coat on. In the winter at this time it would be freezing cold, dark and depressing dank outside. If I ever own a time machine, I’m going to go way, way back, to the point where humans (or whatever we were then), evolved away from hibernating during the winter. Out will come a very sharp pair of secateurs and whatever genetically mutated freak of nature caused us to stay awake all year, is going to find itself well and truly snipped away from the evolutionary tree. Bastard! This film is about natural history too.
I thought this was one of those nature documentaries, where we’d follow an intrepid explorer searching for new species of something, in this case a butterfly. So you can imagine my surprise when I was confronted with a chisel-jawed anti-hero, two beautiful woman who’s tops fell off slightly more often than was strictly necessary, a lot of bald chicks in leather bikinis, a lost tribe of women and a quite imaginative torture chamber. Then again, I’ve never been on as expedition to search for anything, so perhaps Sir David Attenborough runs into things like this all the time. I guess that would explain why nature documentaries are so popular. Nevertheless, it is a film all about a hunt for a butterfly and without wanting to spoil the ending, it looks a lot like a blacker and larger version of a Swallowtail. Normally I’m not exactly inspired by trashy films like this. It’s certainly another of those vegan-unfriendly, birds-in-leather with whips films. However, this one’s funny enough (both intentionally and unintentionally), well-made enough, epic enough and silly enough, to provide a highly entertaining and fun watch. It looks really good and the acting is pretty spirited too. Brent Huff at the hero Willard is a hoot and Tawny Kitaen, (who goes from innocent convent-educated girl to kick-ass, gladiatorial warrior in less than 100 minutes), looks… good. The movie starts with an establishing shot in a busy, crowded, claustrophobic market near a harbour; I think it’s meant to be in China. In the first three minutes we see someone nearly get run down and his cart of fruit tipped over, a fight break out, a theft of goods from the quayside with some associated shooting as the crew attempt to stop the getaway lorry, a group breaking into storage boxes, someone stealing food and someone else having a trolley taken from him; whilst two mounted police look on magnanimously, clearly on the lookout for some real crime under their noses. That pretty well sums this movie up, as does the “Barbarella meets Indiana Jones” line on the DVD’s cover art. It’s interesting that the BBFC’s “insight” (that’s what we call the rating details), now just says “strong violence”. When it was first released it had 194 seconds cut out of it to enable it to get a cinema release in the UK; whilst America suffered from a version 16 minutes shorter. Clearly, chariots pulled by semi-naked woman have lost their impact in the 21st Century.
In a B movie kind of way, this film has quite a decent soundtrack. There’s not a lot else I can say about it really.
Recommended for naturalists, lepidopterists, heroes and anyone with a convent-based education.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? Willard first appears in the film by crashing through a window. He then takes a few moments to adjust his hat and smile, before dispatching all the bad guys with a display of high quality, hand-to-hand combat and rescuing two women from human traffickers. That’s badass. I’ll never be that cool. :-(
It’s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival! Everyone, that is, except for Regina Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her younger sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney), two valley gals who care more about meteoric fashion trends than celestial phenomena. But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn’t either disintegrated or turned into a zombie, they… well, they go shopping! But when their day of malling threatens to become a day of the mauling, these two val gals flee with both killer zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit!
1984 – Certificate: PG-13 – American Film
6.5 out of 10
Over the past year or so, I’ve become somewhat lazy in terms of travelling to and from work. Using the excuse that “I’m really busy” to justify turning into a fat, sickly, exploitative capitalist, I’ve got into the habit of driving most days. Fortunately, realising my impending metamorphosis into a fat, middle-aged asshole, along with the fact that at work we’re even more penniless than usual at the moment (it’s a company car), I’ve resolved to do things differently. Remember kids, ‘smashing the system’ starts at home! If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem. In an effort to save the planet even more than I normally do and increase the likelihood of my still being around to enjoy the fruits of my labour, I’ve started walking into work and home again. It’s 2.4 miles each way, so when I add a bit extra on for all the staggering I do that results from the exhaustion walking this far causes me, that almost 5 miles a day. After a week or so I have to report that the main effect has been to make my left knee really sore, although I’m sure the reduction in the amount of driving I’m doing has probably resulted in the reversal of Climate Change and consequentially the crappy, cold weather we’ve been having recently. I’m really sorry if I’ve spoilt anyone’s holiday. This film is also about something that has global consequences.
This is a cult movie. That means a lot of people have convinced themselves that it’s good, whereas in fact it’s pants. Two young sisters, the tall, attractive but slightly geeky Regina and the out-and-out bimbo Samantha, manage to survive a phenomenon that turns most people turn into a brown dust or a zombie. (I hate days like that.) They manage this as one of them had sex with her boyfriend in a cinema, whilst the other had an argument with her mother about something ‘teenage’ that I don’t understand and then spent the night sulking in a garden shed. Fortunately for them, they then manage to meet up with Lieutenant Commander Chakotay from “Star Trek Voyager”, although he’s a lot younger in it, nearly 400 years or so younger, given the date he was first aboard Voyager. But it’s definitely Chakotay and not some actor playing his part; the way he reacts to the zombie boy in his parents’ house is just so Star Fleet. Anyway, the sisters talk bollocks a lot, go shopping and foil a sinister plot of sorts by a group of Government scientists. With hindsight, I guess it was lucky that their absent father was in the military and taught them how to use a range of guns. Don’t mess with an armed cheerleader, good advice at any time. In its defence, this is a fun, über 80s film, which manages to lampoon many others without ever turning into a parody of them. I guess that makes it a bit of a geeks’ film too. The fact that one of its two main characters has the top ten scores on a Tempest arcade game, just goes to reinforce my point. (Tempest was crap; Asteroids was loads better.) Less impressive is the random survivor that turns up near the end. He’s driving a Mercedes sports car. He’s in Los Angeles, almost everyone else is dead and he’s probably got the pick of just about every sports car ever made within a mile of the city centre; and he’s picked a Merc. That’s so unrealistic, it totally undermines the believability of the whole film…
I like to moan about how rubbish most music is these days is, but in the 80s it was even worse. This movie features a lot of music from that time period and it’s dire. Trying to consider that it’s some sort of important cultural landmark and should be preserved, is rather like arguing we should keep a 60’s concrete tower block in place, simply because it’s an example of a certain type of architecture. No, no, no. The clothes women wore at the time were awful too.
Recommended for airheads, scientists, geeks, bimbos and Star Trek Fans.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Top badass moment? When the whole burden of civilisation has fallen upon you, it’s good to see that the Green Cross Code Man’s word still counts for something. After all, remember what he turned into. How the once mighty can fall… Even more badass is the fact that the traffic lights are still working so long after 99.9% of the world’s population has died.
Listen up, this is important. I believe the Earth is about to be invaded and taken over by an evil alien, whose sole purpose is to enslave the entire human race and laugh in a really, really annoying way at our suffering. Proof? For a start, this film. The main male character in it is called Zorg. Is Zorg a common name in France? I doubt it. This film is clearly a message from the future sent back into the past, to warn us of the impending doom to come. No one really calls their son Zorg, do they? I hope not, because it’s the sort of name only megalomaniacs in 50’s pulp sci-fi and B-movies should have. Emperor Zorg; Zorg the Mighty; Lord Zorg, Ruler of the Flatulent Empire and 10,000 Worlds; that sort of thing. We never get to meet Zorg’s parents in this film, but honestly, what were they thinking? They must have been smoking something when they came up with that name. Then this evening I had my shopping delivered by someone called Zoltan. Again, another clear example of a Flash Gordon era baddie, who was obviously casing the joint and looking for weaknesses in the Earth’s defences. You shouldn’t allow the fact that he came not in a gigantic spaceship, but in the “cabbage van” (so the text from Ocado said), to deflect your attention. He even had a bit of an accent, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t of this Earth. These aliens, clever people, that’s why they’re ‘here’ and we’re not ‘there’.
1986 – Certificate: 18 – France
Rating Details: Strong scenes of sex and nudity and some strong violence
Clocking in at almost three hours (it was the Director’s Cut), this is a loooong, French, romantic movie that takes us on a trip with young couple Zorg and Betty. From painting beach houses, through to working in a pizza restaurant, writing books and selling pianos, it chronicles their relationship and the effect Betty’s (undefined) mental illness has on it. Having a friend with the latter, I found it intensely saddening at times. But I also enjoyed it in a rather Thomas Hardyish way, in the sense that I knew the relationship was probably doomed from the start and I was just waiting for it to crash and burn. Now having just compared it to a quintessentially English author, it’s actually a very French film. There’re plenty of examples of tasteful love-making (because the French are supposed to be good at that), as well as lots of ‘unconcerned nudity’ in it, most of it of the male variety it has to be said. It also had several somewhat bizarre and funny scenes of what you might consider to be almost slapstick comedy too. The ending is somewhat inexplicable as well, which seems to happen a lot in French films. Ultimately though, it’s a downer of a movie and after spending three hours with the characters, sharing virtually every aspect of their relationship with them, it’s hard not to be affected. I really felt sorry for them both. It’s a nice looking film too (and I’m not just talking about the main characters) and the mono soundtrack is actually pretty decent.
Recommended for those who are willing to invest an evening in lusting after Betty or Zorg.
1 cat, no decapitations or chainsaws. The cat, a lovely white one, appears in three scenes and has a pivotal role right at the end, including a bit of (dubbed) dialogue.
Top badass moment? Betty throwing a bucket of pink paint all over Zorg’s boss’s car. He was a serious asshole and quite frankly a load of paint on his car was the least he deserved. When you’re boyfriend’s being a wimp and not sticking up for himself, someone has to be badass about it. And let’s face it, who hasn’t thought of doing something like that to a crappy manager at one time or another?
On the way back from a meeting today I had to drive across the Vale of Oxford, a rolling landscape of large fields and not a lot of trees or hedges. It does however, provide some quite panoramic views of the sky. Today I was accompanied on my journey by one of the scariest clouds I’ve ever seen. An enormous line of meteorological anger, brightly illuminated by the sun, pushing huge, white fists of fury high up into sky above. It was like the very Gates of Hell had opened across the Berkshire Downs and pure evil was boiling up from the ground below and into the heavens. No really, it was that awe-inspiring! A true litany of terror* stretched out before my eyes; Mother Nature telling us not to fuck with her any more. I was put in mind of the clouds in “Independence Day” that the spaceships then appear out of, before the alien scum inside them start to trash the Earth. (I’ve always liked the expression “alien scum”; I got it from Activision’s BattleZone 2 Combat Commander that was released in 1999, which is still my favourite all-time computer game.) I was expecting Reading to be wiped off the map this afternoon by a deluge so awesome that Noah would have wimped out. However, in the end it rained for about five minutes. I wish I’d taken a photo, but my camera is totally broken now so I need to buy a new one. This film is about aliens that seem to want to destroy the Earth and is also awesome, but not in quite the same way. *A quote from this film.
2003 – Certificate: PG-13 – USA
Rating Details: Crude and sexual humor including dialogue
This movie is dumb. This movie is stupid. This movie isn’t really very funny. Having said all that, it is actually quite entertaining. It also contains plenty of quotable lines too, which you’ll be able to have hours of fun using should you be lucky enough to find another human being somewhere who’s seen it too. “Not a problem” I felt was particularly helpful and would have a number of ‘real-world’ applications. “Enthuse for Rabirr” probably has a more limited range of specialist uses. Anyway, it’s got a 100’ tall giant called Croker (who’s probably the funniest thing in it), one of the most ineffective ray guns in any sci-fi film ever and some less than subtle product placement. Another plus is the version of the theme tune played at the end. This is by Nerf Herder, which was also responsible for the theme to TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and is the 2nd best band on the planet. A high-quality B-movie; if there is such a thing.
Recommend for anyone who secretly likes to watch a totally dumb film once in a while.
No cats and 2 decapitations. (There’re also two heads that sort of get vaporised). I have to say that the decapitation count is a little disappointing, considering that at one stage during the film we’re promised around 5.8 billion of them; which is probably the most in any film ever.
Top badass moment? However stupid those threatening to use them were, the cow’s determination not to give in to chainsaw and machete wielding aliens, was badass; its badass enough to make Ronald McDonald join the Vegetarian Society. (I probably should have rewritten that sentence, it’s a bit of a mess syntaxically. Oh, and now it contains a made-up word too. I’m just digging the hole deeper and deeper…)
I got my car serviced today. I had it done at Halfords. After six years of shoddy, sub-standard work and customer service from those fuck-wits at the local Ford dealership, I’d had enough of them. I must say, I did enjoy Ford ringing me up a few weeks ago to remind me that the service was due and to be able to thank them and say I was taking it to Halfords from now on and why. Ford, I bet it’s one, scared multinational that’s probably in the market for some new underwear, now it’s attracted my wrath! Halfords were much nicer, it actually felt as if they wanted me as a customer. And I don’t know what they did to my car, but it feels so much nicer to drive now; they even gave it a good clean inside and out. I realise that all this has absolutely no connection whatsoever to this movie, but sometimes these things have to be said.
2011 – Certificate: Not Rated – USA
Even been dropped in the shit by someone and then had a really crap day as a result? Ever had one of those days where absolutely everything you try goes wrong? Well, welcome to “Ferocious Planet”, a Syfy Original Movie. (I love how there’s a big sticker on the cover stating the latter, as if it’s actually going to encourage anyone to buy to it. Using the same logic, I think I’ll get a massive, “stupid, fat, old bloke” sticker for myself and see if that attracts anyone to me.) This movie has a great concept. But OMG, its characters were straight out of rent a cliché. In fact they were so bad, you wouldn’t even be able to dispose of them via Freecycle. In fact they’d probably be labelled as Special Waste and you’d need a licence even to dump them somewhere legally. It’s a shame the Olympics don’t include an event for “people that can act the most illogically in a dire situation”. In a film dealing with the existence of “billions of parallel universes”, it’s ironic that the paper-thin characters could barely manage a single dimension between them. A sociopathic disinterest in the fate of the other members of their group who were slowly being killed off and the ‘magic’ of a severe injury that five minutes later seem to have no effect on its sufferer, just added to the realism. You may wish to consider how big a space 50 gallons of water needs too. Now at this point I have to fess up that I’ve never actually been transported to a parallel dimension, accidentally or otherwise; I’ve had a few bad hangovers and felt like I’d been to one, but I guess that’s not quite the same thing. Having said that, I think if I was I’d be mainly concerned with trying to get the machine that bought me there fixed, so I could get back home before the short window of opportunity to do so closed; especially if I’d already seen the very scary and deadly monster outside the room and what it could do. I’d not think it was sensible to go ‘exploring’ if I was meant to be a highly intelligent person and I’d seen the monster outside with the huge teeth that had already ripped one of my colleagues in two right outside the door, (however annoying and unhelpful that person might have been). The fact that the place looked exactly like a forestry plantation in Ireland would also probably put me off doing this a bit too; but that’s not a co-incidence, because that’s exactly what it was and probably explains why one of the characters got a stronger and stronger Irish accent as the film progressed. It may have meant to have been an alien planet in a parallel universe, but it sure had some nice ivy, ferns and brambles growing on it. But it’s not all bad. If you watch it expecting to see a modern-day B-movie, then you’ll probably enjoy it. And if you get a kick out of watching other people have a ‘really bad day’ then you’ll love it. And as I said, the concept is great and it was strangely compelling viewing, waiting for them to do the next stupid thing and suffer the consequences. A special “Tell It Like It Is Award” ought to go to Colonel Sam Synn’s too, for his wonderfully understated “Crap” as he faced the millionth problem of the afternoon; he really wasn’t having a good day.
Recommended for viewing when you’ve had a bad day, but you want to see just how much worse it could have been.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? In a film filled with idiots, genuine badass moments were hard to come by. However, Dr Karen Fast gets to deliver the best line, “Don’t, poke, the alien.” This is good advice at any time and good advice is often badass.