Twincestuous desires

10 Sep

Hello chums.

I’ve been both busy and a bit poorly lately so haven’t been as productive as I would have liked.  However, my review of Goodbye Gemini, a swinging slice of psycho-loopiness that offers an unexpected glimpse at London’s gay scene of the late 60s, is now up on the Classic Horror Campaign website, so you can read my thoughts about it there:  http://www.classichorrorcampaign.com/2012/09/08/goodbye-gemini-1970/

Oh, are you still here? Well, here’s a photo of two of the film’s glamorous stars, Judy Geeson and Alexis Kanner (who manages to be remarkably sexy despite sporting possibly the most absurd sideburns in cinema history):

 

I am a Litter Basket (1959)

28 Aug

The BFI’s DVD releases of British Transport Films are things of wonder.  There’s the odd dry technical film that won’t really appeal to anyone who’s not obsessed with trains (I’m not), but even these usually have a great deal of period charm to recommend.  At their best the films are riveting time capsules that are sheer joy to watch.  One of the most entertaining (and strangest) is the six-minute I am a Litter Basket, directed by James Ritchie.  As the title suggests it’s told from the perspective of a station litter basket: a deeply depressed litter basket who bemoans (in dour Scots accent) his frust,ration at having to go hungry as inconsiderate travellers strew their rubbish everywhere over the station but in him.  The most amazing part of the film occurs when it suddenly transforms into the weirdest Doctor Who episode ever: the bin and his friends, unable to take the situation any longer, go on the rampage, gliding about like rudimentary Daleks and accosting people at the station in an attempt to get at their litter. The sight of people reacting with mild annoyance (or clear amusement, in one woman’s case) as someone out of shot waves a bin at them, accompanied by weird BBC Radiophonic-style electronic noises, makes for the most entertaining inanimate-objects-go-bonkers action this side of the Tomorrow People episode “The Living Skins” with its infamous balloon attacks.

 



Revolting Black Comedy for Masochists

27 Aug

Hello.  I’ve written another review for the Classic Horror Campaign blog.  This time I get a bit over-excited about Freddie Francis’ Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly.  You can read me doing so here: http://www.classichorrorcampaign.com/2012/08/26/mumsy-nanny-sonny-and-girly-1970/

Here’s a picture of the novelisation of the film, which I don’t own a copy of but would desperately love to:

Image

Another musical interlude

23 Aug

This is the music that plays at the end of the remarkable final episode of one of the most remarkable television programmes ever, The Prisoner.  It’s actually called Rag March and was composed by Jack Arel.  It’s one of the happiest, most  triumphant things I’ve ever heard and I’d be more than happy were it to be played everywhere I go.

Gough-ic horror

20 Aug

I’m rather chuffed to have been asked to contribute some film reviews to the Classic Horror Campaign website.  I’ve started off with the Michael Gough-starring domestic nightmare Crucible of Horror (originally known as The Corpse).  You can find my musings here, but the whole site’s more than worth your time: http://www.classichorrorcampaign.com/2012/08/20/crucible-of-horror-1970/.  If anyone wants to market this Michael Gough mask, seen briefly in the film, you’re guaranteed at least one buyer:

Musical Interlude

20 Aug

This is quite possibly my favourite piece of music ever.  Composed by Reg Wale and used as the theme tune to Farmhouse Kitchen, its original title, marvellously, was Fruity Flutes.

Road to Saint Tropez (1966)

18 Aug

Wendy Richard and Raquel Welch are maybe not names that you’d normally put together, but they’re the two women with whom Mike Sarne will always be linked.  In 1962 he and the future Pauline Fowler reached number one with ‘Come Outside’, which I’m sure you know.  If not, I’m flabbergasted, but here it is.  Please listen to it – it is, in its own special way, a thing of wonder.

A change of career later Sarne directed Raquel Welch in the film adaptation of Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckinridge, which ever since its release has been recognised near-universally as one of the worst films ever made. This enjoyable bit of fluff was the first thing Sarne directed (he also wrote and sang the theme tune – although Wendy Richard’s distinctive vocals are sadly absent).  It’s a curious blend of travel documentary, comedy and drama: Fenella Fielding reads us a cheerily ironic commentary over images of the sights of the French Riviera that should delight any fans of Stella Artois adverts, interwoven with a perfunctory and mainly silent romantic drama.  The commentary subtly mocks a very chic Melissa Stribling (Mina in Hammer’s Dracula), a lonely traveller who picks up a beautiful couple of drifters (Gabriela Licudi and an especially gorgeous young Udo Kier) and embarks on a naive but temporarily blissful holiday romance with gigolo Udo after Gabriela’s packed off on a plane.  It’s basic, but charming and very lovely to look at.  Here are some Riviera postcards for you to enjoy:

 

Tip: anything you read on this blog will probably be more enjoyable if you imagine it being read by Fenella Fielding.  But then, let’s face it, that’s true of anything you’ll ever read.