Meat Loaf Aday stars as Jake Feldman, a short-tempered furrier struggling to build a small-time business while being tormented by his obsession for a sexy stripper. But when a sadistic backwoods trapper (John Saxon of “Nightmare on Elm Street” and Argento’s “Tenebre”) kills a strange group of pet raccoons, Jake knows their luxurious hides could make a coat that will change his fortunes forever. Only these are no ordinary pelts. Everyone who comes in contact with the cursed furs is soon driven to unspeakable acts of self-mutilation and extreme violence. Even if Jake can now possess the flesh he desperately covets, what horrific final price will he pay for the skin he’s in?
2006 – Certificate: Not Rated – American TV – 6.5 out of 10
I virtually never watch TV. I’ve access to hundreds of channels and a hard disk recorder, plus more catch-up and subscription services than I can pronounce, but I can count on one, typical, human hand, how often I use any of these. It’s not that I’m a TV snob either, as amongst all the dross are some really great programmes. However, once in a while I take an arbitrary liking to something and will collect it on DVD or Blu-ray. Whilst I like to watch films and write garbage about them here, I have a dirty, embarrassing, hidden secret that I rarely talk about to anyone; that is to say I also have one or two TV programmes I’m watching at the same time too. (Although not literally.) I don’t really binge-watch, so it takes me a long time to work my way through one with a lot of episodes. Over the past few years I’ve done “Dad’s Army” (so part of my childhood), “Andromeda”, (massively underrated), “The Likely Lads” / “Whatever Became of the Likely Lads” (TV that reminds me of my father), and Red Dwarf (you can’t be a student without watching it and learning the silly Rimmer salute). At present I’m slowly working my way through “South Park” and “Pretty Little Liars”. Sadly, embarrassed by my indiscretions with the ‘small screen’, I rarely write much about them here. This is strange in a way, because however good a film is you only get to spend a few hours with most of the characters, (even with a long franchise). However, with TV you can spend weeks or months with them, years even, investing a huge amount of emotional capital in their lives. This is something even the best film can never hope to match. But no more… From now on I’m going to attempt, in my usual inept way, to make more of a song and dance about them, right here. Well don’t get too excited…
By pure coincidence, Pelts is actually a TV programme, although just to be confusing I’m treating it as a film. Staring Meat Loaf (yes, that Meat Loaf), who spends most of the movie looking like a very disreputable version of Liam Neeson’s father and wanting to get his hands on a local stripper, when he’s not stripping the skin of the local wildlife to make coats out of. Even without his less than vegan lifestyle his character is entirely without a redeeming feature; indeed, he really doesn’t have any positive characteristics at all. This is not a film for which the plot is worth analysing; it’s really just there to provide an excuse for (the admittedly beautiful) Ellen Ewusie to get her top off (and scream a lot and yes, fall-over when she’s running away) and some excellent special effects. (Except when Meat Loaf pulls most of his skin off and runs about a bit with it; not sure that worked well for me, but I guess he was just trying to out-strip his female co-star. The face sowing is excellent though!) However, it was good to see the purveyors of a fur coat get their come-uppance. The wearers of real fur really are the embodiment of all that’s fucked-up in fashion.
There’s a soundtrack. Its plays.
The trailer is what it is. It reminded me a bit of magnolias paint.
Movie Weather Forecast: Eh… it’s overcast; and dark a lot.
Recommended for furriers, poachers, strippers and the fashion industry in general.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations. (Unless you count all the poor racoons that get killed and skinned; I imagine that involved all their heads being removed at some point.)
Top badass moment? There really isn’t a single nice or worthy person or act in this film. There’s not even evil masterminds either, just a load of shallow, mostly worthless individuals. However, I don’t like to admit defeat and there is a brief shot of a snail (and sorry I don’t know what species it is) crawling along. In comparison with all the humans, that’s just totally, totally, hardcore badass.
From director Jean-Claude Brisseau (“Noce Blanche”) comes an immoral tale of two women who use their sexuality and beauty to climb through the dizzy heights of office politics. When the beautiful but naïve Sandrine meets the worldly stripper Nathalie they conspire to better themselves. Both gaining jobs in a Parisian bank, they set about using their wiles to gain promotion. Before long Sandrine has seduced her employer – the powerful owner of the bank, but it is his son who has his own secret agenda as both women fall hopelessly for him. Handsomely shot, this is one drama that positively relishes the sadistic pleasures of office politics.
2003 – Certificate: 18 – French
Rating Details: Strong sex and nudity
7 out of 10
For the past few months I’ve become increasingly convinced that as a species, humans are basically doomed; and doomed sooner rather than later, probably within my lifetime. Climate change; the ‘too big to fail’ power of large corporations; terrorism and the response to it; the pending failure of antibiotics; corrupt and inadequate politicians; greedy and inadequate big-business CEOs; the general failure of the global economy and the inaction of those that could do something about the system that led to it; the overuse of finite resources that are fast running out; an increasingly ineffective United Nations; too many old people who the rest of society can’t provide for; the power of the press; the dreadful behaviour of many banks; the exploitation of people in the developing world by western companies; national heroes turning out to be paedophiles; the police routinely bending the rules when it suits them; I’m sure there’s more. I just thought I’d share that. All those angry punk songs were right after all. Meanwhile, this movie provides an additional explanation for the collapse of the French economy.
“Lesbian sex, public masturbation, orgies and worse”, so said The Guardian about this film. Fortunately it’s French, so that’s okay then. A stripper and a bartender working in a seedy Parisian club, fed up with the world when they get the sack for refusing to have sex with some guy for their boss, decide to sleep their way to the top of a big bank instead. When they get there they find it’s run by a guy who’s irresistible to woman and holds orgies in his mansion; and is having a sexual relationship with his sister too. Where’s the News of the World when you actually need it? (Actually no, I’m glad it’s gone.) Now, I’d be the first to admit that I’m not that familiar with the workings of French banks so maybe they’re a bit different to here, but I can’t imagine a stripper and a barmaid, in a matter of months, working their way up from being new employees at RBS to becoming lovers to the two most senior staff in the organisation. And despite all the criticism of RBS, I have difficulty accepting Stephen Hester as being so irresistible to women that when he dumps his lovers, (of which there’d have been many), they’d have a habit of setting fire to themselves and this wouldn’t result in some sort of media ‘interest’. I’m pretty sure ‘Liverpool’s favourite newspaper’ would think that to be a story ‘in the public interest’, never mind the bank’s shareholders. So now I’ve established just how preposterous the plot of this film is, I can add that it’s actually a pretty good movie. The two lead actresses are excellent and the story, provided you can suspend your belief enough, (well I’d give it the rest of the day off to be on the safe side), flows really well. It gets going straight away with some ‘erotic dancing’ and doesn’t let up until the final showdown at Christophe’s mansion. (He’s the irresistible one by the way, even though his head is shaped exactly like an Action Man, with a personality to match.) All in all though, it’s a pretty depressing film, despite the lesbian sex; all played out on top of an overwrought classical soundtrack by Antonio Vivaldi and his mates. Office politics where I work isn’t nearly as exciting!
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.
Recommended for people who can deal with the plot, the ‘explicit bits’ and the vibe. So basically that’s the French I guess. It’s no good for uptight Brits I’m afraid, there’s just too much to get outraged about. (As a little side note, I deplore the use of generalisations in this way; 130 million people aren’t really going to fall into one of two groups, based on their nationality. But hell, it’s a cheap, clichéd comment based on nothing but prejudice and media spin, so what does it matter? When it comes down to it I’m as rubbish as the next guy.)
Top badass moment? When Nathalie takes Sandrine back to her flat for the first time, they decide to open a bottle of wine. Champagne of course. If that happened in the UK it would be a bottle of Tesco own label plonk with a screw lid; or a few tins of lager. It’s hard to argue that a touch of class isn’t badass.
Yesterday I drove for two and a half hours, then spent three hours teaching three people how to drive a minibus, then spent another two and a half hours sitting in a minibus watching them drive it, then drove for another two and a half hours home. Yesterday the world seemed to be full of idiots driving cars, and I’m not referring to the learners who I was with either. At one point on the way home I was driving along a bit of dual carriageway and slowly catching a yellow car up. I don’t generally drive that fast, rarely more than 60 m.p.h., as I want to give myself the illusion that somehow I’m doing my bit to save the planet whilst simultaneously driving nearly 1,000 miles a month. Anyway, I pulled out to overtake the yellow car. As I passed it and looked in my mirror to see if I could go back into the inside lane, I noticed it had speeded up. I ended up doing over 80 with this fucking asshole still playing stupid buggers next to me. After having had to put up with so many other cretins on the roads yesterday, something snapped inside. I jerked the steering wheel to the left and hit the yellow car, forcing it off the road and down an embankment into a field, where I think it hit a tree or something and burst into flames. I’m not sure what happened to the driver and I don’t care as long as it hurt; I didn’t bother to stop and check what had happened to him. What a selfish bastard he was too, as I’ve now I’ve got a dent in my car to explain away and get fixed. It’s a jungle out there on the roads. (Just like Dennis Weaver in Steven Spielberg’s classic “Dual”, I never really got a good look at my protagonist.) Well, okay that only happened in my mind, but the intent (if not the guts) was there. In fact what did happen is that I gave up trying to overtake the yellow car and humiliatingly went back to 60 m.p.h. behind it. However, as cars, driving and men are inextricably linked to the latter’s sexual prowess and I failed to overtake the yellow car, I think I’m probably impotent now. He, on the other hand, is probably making his first porn movie even as I type this. Great! In a similar way, this film is about a young woman with intimacy issues.
2003 – Certificate: 18 – United Kingdom
I think the makers of this film started off wanting to make a serious torture porn movie but then got fed up with the idea and decided a comedy slasher/thriller would be a much better idea. Otherwise why suddenly introduce a bizarre sub-plot involving Siamese twins and then another one about a bank robbing stripper? It’s original, I’ll give it that. It suffers from some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen, yet at other times it’s really okay. Fiona Horsey (the lead character) is a bit of a babe; (am I still allowed to say stuff like that)? All the men in the film are portrayed as perverts, deviants, weirdos, rapists, sociopaths and murderers; the woman don’t do a lot better either, but the guys really do get a bit of a hammering. Ultimately it’s an entertaining movie, simply because it’s so ridiculous. I did feel a bit sorry for Helen, no one is that unlucky with men. Most of it was filmed on the Isle of Wight too.
Recommended for someone; not sure who, but someone.
No cats, chainsaws or decapitations. However, plenty of men do, em, ‘disappear’ inside Helen, totally.
Top badass moment? In a film filled with characters that are simultaneously both pathetic and horrible, there’s not a terribly large choice. So I guess it has to be Helen, for simply putting up with so much shit. They say dealing with it well makes you a stronger person.