A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.

24 January 2007

Bodyslam, 1987

STARRING: Dirk Benedict (Harry Simlac)

Star of television classics Battlestar Gallactica and The A-Team. In 2007 Benedict appeared on the popular UK reality series Celebrity Big Brother 5.

Tanya Roberts (Candace)

Roberts starred in the final season of Charlie’s Angels as replacement Angel, Julie Rogers. In 1982 she landed a role in the sword and sorcery themed movie The Beastmaster which was a minor hit, she went on to star in the jungle based flop Sheena in 1984. The revealing role was enough to get her noticed and cast in the James Bond movie View To A Kill. Since then Roberts has mainly been in b-movies and done TV work. In the late 90’s she landed a role on That 70’s show and can be seen in almost 70 episodes right up until the 2006 finale.

‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper (Quick Rick Roberts)

Piper enjoyed a great deal of success as a WWF wrestlerin the mid-80’s. He decided to leave to spend time with his new family in 1986, but soon after got the acting bug and made this movie. He went on to better starring roles in Hell Comes To Frogtown and most famously They Live. He has re-appeared at various WWF events and continued to make b-movies ever since. He recently had a book written about him.

and Lou Albano (Captain Lou)

Apart from being a famous wrestler and manager, Albano will be remembered by pop music fans for making appearances in Cyndi Lauper videos in the 80’s, most famously playing her dad in the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun music video. Lauper was also his WWF manager!

PLOT: A sleazy music manager (Benedict) combines rock music and wrestling and creates a new kind of entertainment to solve his various financial problems. Unfortunately his ideas are not taken too kindly by the other managers in the business.

No sex, some violence, no bad language.

THOUGHTS: Ouch! This movie is terrible! Having a brother who has liked wrestling since birth I am used to the amateurish approach to acting in the world of wrestling. Dirk Benedict does his best in this and to be fair to him I can’t see even a multi-Oscar winner doing any better and Roddy Piper is very toned down in his first movie role. The other wrestlers in this ham it up no end, but unfortunately to little effect other than to make you cringe for 90 mins. Poor Tanya Roberts is completely wasted in a very lame role, worlds away from her memorable roles in Sheena and The Beastmaster.

For a movie that claims to be distributed (in the UK at least) by CBS Records the soundtrack simply reeks! The title track which we hear late on in the movie sounds like its being sung by Stacey Q on a downer. Low budget tat for people who can’t get enough 80’s wrestling nostalgia.

CAN I BUY IT? Used on VHS only.

Red Sonja, 1984

STARRING: Brigitte Nielsen (Red Sonja)

Nielsen made her debut in this sword and sorcery adventure. She had previously worked as a top model in Europe. Nielsen went on to bigger things when she moved to Hollywood and married Sylvester Stallone with whom she co-starred in Rocky IV and Cobra. However, she is perhaps best known for her role in Beverley Hills Cop 2. Her career dwindled after these roles and she starred in lesser and lesser movies until she rejuvenated her career by starring in a whole host of reality TV series’. In 2004 she came third in Celebrity Big Brother 3 in the UK. She has also recorded several albums and some dance singles.

Sandahl Bergman (Queen Gedren)

Bergman is best known for her role in Conan The Barbarian. Originally a dancer, she continued to work in b-movies until the late 1990’s.

And Arnold Schwarzenegger (Kalidor)

Arnie made this movie as part of an agreement he had two the producers to make this and Conan The Destroyer. He is apparently thoroughly ashamed of it and considers it the worst of all of his movies.

With Paul L. Smith (Falkon) and Ernie Reyes Jr. (Prince Tarn).

PLOT: Red Sonja’s village is burned to the ground by the evil Queen Gedren who wants to take the young woman as a sex slave. Sonja is horrified and fights back and manages to escape. Sometime later Gedren steals an all powerful talisman from a convent of nuns one of which is Sonja’s sister who is murdered. Sonja vows to take revenge and stop the evil queen and put and end to her plans for world domination.

Violence, no sex, some minor nudity, no language.

THOUGHTS: Panned upon its release, Red Sonja has developed a following having been a staple on television for many years. It is fair to say that Nielsen and Arnie make a double act from hell, their thick European accents and obvious lack of acting ability make this a riot! Nielsen’s idea of putting passion into her performance is to squint her eyes and deliver her lines with more bombast and clumsiness than usual. Arnie thankfully has very few lines in his supporting role.

Apparently Sandahl Bergman was offered the title role but she chose to take the role of Gedren instead. I think she does a great job and the fight scene between her and Nielsen is great. I think the locations look very effective too. I can’t end this review without mentioning the annoying little Prince Tarn! Red Sonja should’ve left him on that log! I also have to air my disgust at the proposed remake that is mentioned on IMDB. What an awful idea! I think the movie is a real gem and has tremendous re-watch potential. Who can resist lines like "I know my future, you have none!", which Sonja quips in one scene when she is confronted by a sleazy gatekeeper! Say no to remakes!!!

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, on DVD.

Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold, 1975

STARRING: Tamara Dobson (Cleopatra Jones)

Dobson was a popular model before she became the tallest leading lady ever to hit movie screens as Cleopatra Jones in 1973. She can also be seen in the movie Chained Heat in which she co-stars with Linda Blair. She died in 2006 from pneumonia, she had been suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Stella Stevens (The Dragon Lady)

Stevens has made over 140 movie and television appearances over the past 50 years including such classics as The Poseidon Adventure and The Nutty Professor, as well as TV series like General Hospital and the 80’s prime time soap Flamingo Road.

With Norman Fell (Stanley) & Tanny (Mi Tin).

: Cleopatra Jones must save two fellow agents from the clutches of the biggest drug-lord in the world, the elusive Dragon Lady. Cleo travels to the Dragon Lady’s headquarters at her casino in Hong Kong and enlists the help of the locals to get back her two friends.

THOUGHTS: I think this is infinitely better than the first Cleopatra Jones movie. I think it has a lot to do with Dobson being more comfortable in the role and the movie also adopts a lot of the style of a 70’s Hong Kong action flick, which is no bad thing, especially with an American budget behind it. There’s certainly more humour and Cleo’s costumes are even more outrageous in this outing.

My personal favourite scene involves Cleo jumping over a 6ft gate with 6 inch heels and a flowing gown. She did her action sequences with style! I also like the way that yet again the baddie is a lesbian! From watching this movie you’d think that all lesbians did for fun was massage each other in sleazily lit bedrooms. Stella Stevens puts in an excellent performance and the sword fighting scene at the end is impressive. Unfortunately the movie wasn’t a hit and we never got to see Cleo in action again. If you must watch one female-led Blaxploitation movie make it this one.

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, on DVD.

23 January 2007

Cannibal Women In The Avacado Jungle Of Death, 1989

STARRING: Shannon Tweed (Dr Margo Hunt)

Tweed has been a popular leading b-movie actress since the mid-80’s. She started her career playing Diana Hunter on the popular night time soap opera Falcon Crest in 1982 where she stayed for one season after becoming Playboy’s Playmate of the Year. She currently lives with her partner of more than 20 years, Kiss singer Gene Simmons and has recently appeared in his reality series ‘Family Jewels’.

Bill Maher (Jim)

Maher is a popular actor/comedian who is perhaps more famous for his political/current debate TV shows such as Politically Incorrect and Real Time with Bill Maher than his acting. His Politically Incorrect show was cancelled after he was critical of the US government after September 11th 2001.

and Adrienne Barbeau (Dr Kurtz)

Barbeau is best known for her roles in The Fog and Swap Thing, directed by her then husband John Carpenter. She is also a veteran of the small screen appearing in the popular 70’s sitcom Maude for 6 seasons as well as the recent HBO series Carnivale. She gave birth to twins when she was in her early 50’s.

With Karen Mistal (Bunny)

PLOT: Dr Hunt (Tweed) is a lecturer in feminism at a top university. She is sent by the government to persuade a cannibalistic matriarchal tribe, the Piranha Women, who live in the jungle to relocate to Malibu in order to protect a rare variety of avocados that grow in their habitat. She enlists the help of her most eager student, Bunny (Mistal) and a chauvinistic guide (Maher) to help her on her journey to find the Piranha women.

No sex, not much violence, some language.

THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed this low budget but nicely shot satirical take on Indiana Jones type movies. Tweed is excellent, whoever thought of casting her as a ardent feminist is a genius! Adrienne Barbeau is equally as enjoyable in a smaller role as the leader of the Piranha Women. If you like silly movies that are well done you’ll enjoy this no end! Easily one of the best in its genre without a doubt.

CAN I BUY IT? DVD, region 1.

19 January 2007

Slaves Of New York, 1989

CAST: Bernadette Peters (Eleanor)

Golden Globe and Emmy winning actress best known for her work on Broadway.

with Adam Coleman Howard (Stash), Jsu Garcia (Marley), Madelaine Potter (Daria) & Steve Buschemi (Wilfredo)

PLOT: A young New York hat designer (Peters) is frustrated with her superficial life and her controlling artist boyfriend (Howard).

No sex, some nudity, no violence, some bad language, 15/R.

THOUGHTS: While it's pretty muddled and a bit overlong I found Slaves of New York to be a fun tribute to the New York art/club scene of the late 80's. Peters is excellent as the troubled but never down Eleanor and there is a great soundtrack to enjoy, not to mention some very interesting clothing on display courtesy of the late designer Stephen Sprouse. Eleanor's hats are quite something!

It was unfairly savaged by critics at the time and I think writer and co-star Tama Janowitz sums it up nicely in the featurette on the DVD when she says it's a period piece. Maybe the period was superficial and vacuous but I don't think anyone can doubt the historical accuracy of the movie. One thing I didn't like was the overlapping scenes and dialogue, that was certainly off-putting. It's one to rent.

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, on DVD.

18 January 2007

Supergirl, 1984

STARRING: Faye Dunaway (Selina)

Oscar winning Faye was really down on her luck when she made this. In 1976 she won and Oscar for her role in Network after making a whole host of well received movies such as Bonnie and Clyde, The Thomas Crown Affair and Chinatown. Sadly the Oscar didn’t help her career and she subsequently starred in such crap-classics and The Eyes Of Laura Mars and Mommie Dearest which rather than shock audiences saw them rolling around the aisles with laughter at such classic lines as “No wire hangers, EVER!” and “Don’t f**k with me fellas, this ain’t my first time at the rodeo”. Her career never quite recovered from the critical response to Mommie Dearest and Faye moved to England where she made the appalling remake of The Wicked Lady directed by Michael Winner, and of course this movie, Supergirl! She redeemed herself by going on to win two Emmies for Ellis Island and a very special episode of Columbo as well as rave reviews for her sober performance in Barfly, but personally I like her portrayal of clinically insane characters like Mommie!

Helen Slater (Linda Lee, Supergirl)

This was Slater’s first movie she followed it up with the excellent The Legend of Billie Jean and a supporting role in Ruthless People among other roles. In recent years her appearances have become more and more infrequent. I don’t know about you but I think it’s time for Supergirl 2!

Peter Cook (Nigel)

Popular British actor and comedian, he died in 1995.

Brenda Vaccaro (Bianca)

Vaccaro is a popular supporting actress and can be seen in movies such as The Mirror Has Two Faces and Cookie, she has a very distinctive voice. After Supergirl she appeared in the short-lived TV series Paper Dolls.

With Mia Farrow, Peter O’Toole and Maureen Teefy.

PLOT: Supergirl (Slater) travels to earth to recover the Omegahedron, the power source that keeps her home planet alive. Unfortunately it has fallen into the hands of a wannabe witch, the thoroughly evil Selina (Dunaway), who will stop at nothing short of world domination.

No sex, some violence, no language, PG/PG.

THOUGHTS: This was a childhood favourite of mine so I am a little biased. While it is incredibly camp and very silly, there are some great moments in Supergirl. Visually the flying scenes are still impressive, especially the ones in which Supergirl learns to use her powers to fly when she first lands on Earth. The over the top dialogue between Selina and whoever she happens to strike up a conversation with are also highly amusing. Supergirl has always gotten bad press, but it is a great adventure movie with something to please anyone with a taste for cheesy entertainment. From reading Faye Dunaway’s book it’s clear that it was a great deal of fun to make and I think it shows.

QUOTE: Selina: "I have been chosen. I think the powers of darkness may have at long last, come to their senses. The world is at last, my oyster..."

CAN I BUY IT? There is a deleted individually numbered two-disc DVD (Region 1) which includes both the theatrical and directors cut, both were also issued separately but are also now deleted. Currently the theatrical version is available worldwide on DVD.

Dead Man's Island, 1996

STARRING: Barbara Eden (Henrie O)

Eden is of course the ever popular star of the I Dream Of Jeanie TV series.

William Shatner (Chase Prescott)

It's Captain Kirk, enough said. I heard Shatner speak once when I was in Las Vegas. He is currently starring in the top rated series Boston Legal.

Morgan Fairchild (Valerie St. Vincent)

In addition to her roles in the likes of Flamingo Road and Falcon Crest, Morgan has enjoyed many guest appearances in recent years including playing Chandler’s mother on Friends and Andrea Thorpe, Doctor Dick’s second wife, on Cybil.

Roddy McDowall (Trevor Dunnaway)

McDowall starred in all 5 of the original Planet Of The Apes Movies and the short-lived TV series. He passed away in 1998.

Traci Lords (Miranda Prescott)

Lords biggest TV role to date was playing Jill on the hit TV series Profiler during its second season. Her acting career took off in 1988 after starring in a remake of the 50's b-movie 'Not Of This Earth'.

With David Faustino (yes, Bud Bundy) and Christopher Atkins.

PLOT: Henrie O. (Eden) is a journalist who is called to a mysterious island by her old flame, Chase (Shatner). Someone is trying to kill him and he suspects it could be any one of his friends and family who are currently on the island with him. He wants Henrie O. to use her investigative skills find out who it is before it’s too late.

No sex, very mild violence, no language, TV-PG/PG.

THOUGHTS: This was a pilot for a potential series along the lines of Murder, She Wrote. In fact it’s from the same writer and producer. The all-star cast do a good job and the story is quite engaging and exciting, though I could do without the scenes of Shatner in his bathing suit! Somehow I just can’t see him and Traci Lords as a married couple either. I think perhaps she should've swapped characters with Morgan Fairchild, but who needs realism! It's a TV movie!

It plays much like an episode of the aforementioned murder mystery series which kind of begs the question, what’s the point? Eden is certainly no Angela Lansbury. The bad Southern accents she and Lords put on could've used a little more practice too. Although it's likable enough I’m not surprised the show didn’t get past this stage.

CAN I BUY IT? Used on ex-rental VHS in the UK.

17 January 2007

A Dirty Shame, 2004

CREW: John Waters (Director)

STARRING: Tracey Ullman (Sylvia Stickles)

Popular comedienne and actress, perhaps best known for her impersonations and sketch shows on TV.

Johnny Knoxville (Ray Ray)

Knoxville is the star of MTV’s Jackass.

Selma Blair (Caprice Stickles aka Ursula Udders)

Blair became a popular leading actress after starring in 1998’s Cruel Intentions. Since then she has made several hit movies including The Sweetest Thing and Hellboy.

With Chris Isaak, Suzanne Shepherd, Mink Stole, Patricia Hearst, Jackie Hoffman and cameos by David Hasselhoff & Ricki Lake.

PLOT: Sylvia Stickles (Ullman) is a conservative suburban housewife who works in the family store. One day on her way to work she suffers a head injury that ignites her desires for wild oral sex. She meets Ray Ray (Knoxville) a sexual healer who introduces her to other sex addicts just like her.

Sex, nudity, bad language, 18/NC-17

THOUGHTS: I saw this in the cinema when it was released in America in 2004. It’s crazy and well worth seeing. It’s crude, disgusting and a bit one-joke, but there are some really great scenes. My favourite being the one where Sylvia and her husband go and visit his mother in the old peoples home and joins in the hokey pokey only to get so aroused and frustrated she breaks the circle to pick up a bottle of water, only she doesn’t use her hands. Selma Blair is also great as the overblessed Ursulla Udders. In fact the whole cast does a great job and there are some fn references to Waters' earlier films including Pink Flamingos and Polyester.

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, on DVD.

Visit the official site .

Body Rock, 1984

STARRING: Lorenzo Lamas (Chilly D.)

Lamas had a starring role in the hit TV series Falcon Crest which was a Top 5 show in America when this movie was made. He went on to make a series of martial arts movies and the popular TV series Renegade and the short lived Air America, both of which are now on DVD fans! Most recently he’s had a recurring role on The Bold & The Beautiful.

and Cameron Dye & Vicki Frederick

with Grace Zabriskie (Chilly’s Mother)

Zabriskie has been a popular supporting actress since the early 80’s appearing in over 120 movies and TV series’.

PLOT: Chilly D. is the leader of the Body Rock crew, a rap and break dancing group. He is spotted by a ‘talent’ scout and soon has to choose between his friends and a life of fame and fortune which comes at a big price.

No sex, no violence, some language, 15/PG-13.

THOUGHTS: Words rarely fail me, but this movie is amongst the most terrible I’ve seen. That’s not to say it doesn’t have

its enjoyable moments. The theme tune by Maria Vidal, which became a big hit, is a classic and one of my favourite singles ever. Lamas was always one of the least obviously talented members of the Falcon Crest cast, so I can only think it was his looks and popularity that got him this role. Nobody in this movie can dance, nobody can rap, freestyle or do any other kind of street derived entertainment whatsoever. It is pretty funny though and Lamas’ self conscious attempts at being cool are cringe inducing in the extreme. Sadly he lost out to Sylvester Stallone at the 1985 Razzie Awards.

My favourite scene is the one where Lamas gets dressed up in some kind of glow in the dark outfit and does this horrible song and routine on a ‘high-tech’ set with neon lights. Scary stuff! The obligatory scene where Chilly has to take stock of his life accompanied by a truly horrendous ballad performed by Laura Branigan is another particularly funny one. I would watch all of the other 80’s dancing movies before this one. That said it’s pretty rare so if you find it on VHS you might make a few quid and you’ll get a few laughs if you show it to your friends and family.

CAN I BUY IT? Used on VHS.

VIDEO: Chilly decides to leave home to be an artist -- watch it here
VIDEO: Maria Vidal - Body Rock (music video) -- watch it here

There's more on Body Rock at Bad Movie Planet with some pictures and a more indepth review.

16 January 2007

They Shoot Divas, Don't They? (2001)

STARRING: Jennifer Beals (Sloane McBride)

Beals is best known for her role in the hit 80’s movie Flashdance, most recently she has had a starring role in the TV series The L Word

Kerri Lynn Pratt (Jenny)

Pratt can be seen in the TV series Jack & Bobby, she has also had roles in the movies Cruel Intentions 2 and Fat Albert.

And Traci Lords (as Mira Long)

B-movie ventran and techno queen!

PLOT: Demanding washed up pop diva Sloan McBride (Beals) hires a new assistant who turns out to be more than she bargained for.

No sex, no language, some moderate violence, PG/TV-13.

THOUGHTS: An extremely well made movie considering it was made for VH1 on a very tiny budget. There are lots of nice locations and some great songs performed by Beals herself! The story is pretty straight forward - Jenny is a psycho with a grudge. I really like this movie and have watched it a couple of times now. It airs infrequently on the Hallmark channel in the UK.


15 January 2007

Not Of This Earth, 1988

CREW: Jim Wynorski (Director)

Wynorski has made hundreds of low budget films like this.

STARRING: Traci Lords (Nadine)

Traci was America’s #1 porn star until she got busted by the FBI in 1986 for being under age. Shortly afterward she went to acting school and began forging a professional mainstream career. Since this movie Traci’s career has progressed nicely with major roles in TV series’ like Melrose Place, Profiler and the Sci-Fi Channel’s First Wave. In 1995 she recorded her first CD 1,000 Fires which included the #2 Billboard Club hit Control. In 2003 Traci’s autobiography became a best seller and she appeared on Larry King Live to discuss her life. Since then she has appeared in the TNT prime time series Wanted and Will & Grace.

Arthur Roberts (Mr. Johnson)

Arthur Roberts has appeared in countless b-movies since the mid-70’s and shows no signs of stopping with two new movies on the cards for 2007. Roberts had already worked with Wynorski on Chopping Mall and Big Bad Mama II, they continue to work together to this day.

Lenny Juliano (Jeremey)

Juliano has gone on to work with Jim Wynorski on over 20 other b-movies and soft-core flicks including Chopping Mall, The Sorceress and The Bare Wench Project and its sequels.

Also starring Ace Mask and Roger Lodge.

STORY: An alien (Roberts) lands on Earth to find a supply of fresh food for his dying planet. Unfortunately for us the food they need is human blood! Only his human nurse (Lords) and her boyfriend (Lodge) can stop him before its too late!

Sex, nudity, a little violence and bad language, 18/R.

THOUGHTS: This movie saw the theatrical debut of Traci Lords outside of seedy porno theatres, and while it was far from a commercial success at the box office, it’s pretty fun. As this movie was made for Roger Corman’s Concorde company you know it’s going to be cheap! In fact this movie goes so far as to use footage from other Concorde productions to make up it’s title sequence! None of the vast array of spaceships, monsters, aliens etc. we see have anything to do with this movie. It also features the final nude scene ever by Traci. She discusses the making of the movie in her book Underneath It All.

Not Of This Earth was originally a 50’s b-movie, it was remade for a third time in the 90’s. There’s a nice promotional standee which was sent out to video stores in 1989 to promote the video release of the movie which you can occasionally see on eBay. It features Traci Lords shielding herself, from the ‘killer eyes’ of Mr Johnson presumably.

CAN I BUY IT? Yes, it’s on DVD! It’s just the standard version of the movie with a commentary by Wynorski and Juliano.

Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000, 1994

aka Virgin Hunters

Fairchild (Camella Swales)

Morgan has become a household favourite since landing her first TV role on Search for Tomorrow in 1973, after only 6 weeks in Hollywood . She made her motion picture debut in The Seduction in 1982 and according to many critics has never made a decent movie in her life, all lies!

Also starring Brian Bremner, Christopher Wolf, & Ian Abercrombie as the Professor.

PLOT: Two horny teenage boys go back in time to stop the evil Camella Swales, a spinster from the 20th Century from banning all forms of sex in the future! They disguise themselves as female students in her all girls’ boarding school for the sake of all mankind!

Lots of gratuitous sex scenes, but topless stuff only. Virtually no bad language or violence, 18/R.

THOUGHTS: This pretty decent low budget comedy mixes in soft core sex scenes to make this movie a curious find, to say the least. If anything the sex scenes let the movie down, they’re pretty boring to be honest, hardly exciting to me anyway. In fact I think this film is rated a bit high, I wouldn’t watch it with Granny or anything, but the content is pretty tame. Let’s just say its more American Pie crossed with an erotic thriller, than Star Trek meets hardcore porn. Morgan Fairchild as a repressed spinster is a stroke of casting genius though. I think it could be a future cult classic if it ever sees a DVD release. The movie doesn’t outstay its welcome; it’s cheap, cheerful, and very short at 77mins. I recommend it!

CAN I BUY IT? Used on VHS, released in the UK as Virgin Hunters - it looks like a porn.

I've been robbing pictures again, this time from Cold Fusion Video Reviews - take a look at their review of Test Tube Teens From The Year 2000

Evil Aliens, 2006

CAST: Emily Booth (Michelle Fox)

Samuel Butler (as Ricky)

Peter McNeil O'Connor (as Jack)

Jamie Honeybourne (as Gavin)

Jodie Shaw (as Candy Vixen)

Nick Smithers (as Bruce Burton)

And Norman Lovett as Howard Marsden

PLOT: The presenter of a UFO TV show is given an ultimatum, either she boosts her ratings or she's fired. She travels with her crew to a remote Welsh island where a woman has claimed she was raped by an alien.

Sex, nudity, graphic violence, gore, frequent drug use, very bad language.

THOUGHTS: For a British movie this is excellent. There are plenty of playful references to classic horror movies like Alien, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn Of The Dead and Braindead, not to mention TV series such as V and Star Trek. There's a lot here to please gore fans as it's set on a farm. We see a buxom blonde attacking the evil aliens with a strimmer, and my particular favourite scene where one of the crew butchers the aliens with a combine harvester - I think you can guess the 'inspirational music' he plays to accompany the slaying. While this is no means a film for everyone, and it does drag a little in places, it's very enjoyable and sure to become a cult favourite.


Hairspray, 1988

CREW: John Waters (Director)

Waters has consistently directed some of the greatest trash masterpieces ever committed to celluloid. His most popular movies include Pink Flamingos, Cry Baby, and of course Hairspray!

STARRING: Ricki Lake (Tracy Turnblad)

Ricki lost over 100lbs and scored her own talkshow in 1993.

Divine (Edna Turnblad)

Star of many of John Waters’ movies, most famously Divine ate dog faeces at the end of 1972’s Pink Flamingos. In 1984 Divine had a big hit in the UK with the single You Think You’re A Man, he was a popular dance diva throughout the 1980’s in Europe until his death in 1988.

Debbie Harry (Velma Von Tussle)

Debbie fronted punk/pop band Blondie before going solo in 1981. She made her major motion picture debut in David Cronenberg’s Videodrome in 1983, which went on to become a cult classic. In 2006 Debbie was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with her Blondie band mates.

Colleen Fitzpatrick (Amber Von Tussle)

Colleen reignited her career when she took the name Vitamin C and scored a platinum album.

With Jerry Stiller, Sonny Bono, Mink Stole, Ruth Brown, Michael St. Gerrard and Pia Zadora.

PLOT: Chunky teen Tracy Turnblad longs to be a dancer on the popular Corny Collins TV show. She comes home from school every day and watches it with her friend Penny. The show hosts a dance competition and Tracy wins, soon she is the most popular dancer on the show, much to the dismay of her nearest rival, Amber. But things are not all that they seem behind the scenes of the squeaky clean show. The management won’t allow any black kids on the show. Tracy and friends try and put things right.

No sex, no violence, no language, some minor drug references, PG/PG.

THOUGHS: This is my favourite movie ever. The whole movie is just so perfect and I enjoy it more every time I watch it. The dancing, the performances, the music is all perfect! It’s very kitsch and campy, but it’s suitable to show anyone! My favourite scene is the one where Penny’s mother visits downtown to rescue her from Motormouth Mabel’s store. It’s amazing! Hairspray was turned into a Broadway musical a few years ago and won a whole host of awards. They are currently filming a movie version of the musical with John Travolta as Edna and Queen Latifah as Motormouth Mabel. I know they’re much bigger names, but somehow now matter how good it is, the original will always be my movie.


Assassination, 1987

STARRING: Charles Bronson (Killion)

Popular leading man of the 80’s action genre.

Jill Ireland (One Mama)

Bronson’s real life wife, co-starred with him in many of his movies including Death Wish 2.

PLOT: There’s a new first lady in the White House and our hero, Killian, is assigned to protect her. It’s clear from the get-go that the pair love to hate each other but Killian vows to protect her. Of course someone is out to kill the first lady, who is it and why are they after the first lady? Only Bronson is smart enough to work out why with the help of a small artillery and the kind of experience that only starring in 10 other movies just like this one can give you.

No sex, violence, some language, 15/R

THOUGHTS: Now I like my Bronson movies. As a very undemanding viewer with a taste for cheap thrills and a very short attention span Bronson provides only the very best in tacky action entertainment. This, however, is the poorest of his 80’s movies for Cannon. The script is even worse than usual and Jill Ireland is absolutely wretched as One Mama!

There were two great scenes though. The first is when we see Killian’s thoroughly westernised Chinese female partner at home, naturally sporting full on oriental dress! She did all but bow to him, I swear! The second worthwhile scene involved Killian (65 year old Bronson) suddenly boarding a motorcycle complete with rocket launcher and all manner of other no doubt illegally obtained accessories! There are explosions and everything. It’s obvious that the entire budget went on that one scene and the one where they blow up a yacht. For Bronson fanatics only.


Since I stole a picture from the Imperial Club, visit their Assassination page and download lots of videos featuring the Chrysler car used in the movie.

Anguish, 1987

STARRING: Zelda Rubinstein (Mother)

Rubinstein is best known for her role as the diminutive exorcist Tangina in the Poltergeist movies. She has been a popular character actress ever since.

Michael Lerner (John)

Lerner has appeared in many movies and series’ in supporting roles such as The Postman Always Rings Twice and Godzilla, as well as the short-lived Clueless TV series.

PLOT: John is under the control of his mother and kills at her beck and call. Soon we realise that this is just a movie being watched by an audience. A psycho who believes he is John kills off audience members one by one.

Violence, gore, some language, 18/R

THOUGHTS: Apalling! Like most sane people I liked the old lady from Poltergeist so I picked up this obscure title for 50p out of curiosity. This movie is so bad! It’s one of those movies that thinks its clever and really isn’t. I was bored out of my mind and the constant going back and forth from the movie to the 'real' world did me some minor brain damage, I’m sure. In the end we realise it’s just another movie making this an oh-so-clever movie within a movie, within a movie! Genius, I don’t think. The effects are terrible, so is the acting and the storytelling. I was shocked to discover how well liked this is in certain circles.

CAN I BUY IT? Region 1 DVD.

Hell Comes To Frogtown, 1987

STARRING: 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper (Sam Hell)

Popular WWF wrestler turned actor. Piper went on to star in the excellent John Carpenter movie They Live and an assortment of b-movies.

Sandahl Bergman (Spangle)

Best known as Conan's girlfriend in Conan The Barbarian, and evil queen Gedren in Red Sonja. Bergman went on to be a popular b-movie actress throughout the 80's and 90's appearing in movies such as The Sorceress 2, but sadly seems to have retired.

PLOT: Criminal Sam Hell (Piper) has a rare gift, he is one of the only men left in the world who can still reproduce. In exchange for a pardon he must help Sergeant Spangle rescue and impregnate a group of young women who are being held prisoner by an evil mutant, the frog-like Toty.

Some mild sex scenes, not much violence, some language. 15/R.

THOUGHTS: One of New World's best pictures IMO. Great re-watch potential. Piper and Bergman make a great duo and it's a shame they didn't return for the sequel. The mutants looks great and it has an entertaining script with lots of funny and memorable scenes.

CAN I BUY IT?: DVD (Region 1).

Never Too Young To Die, 1986

CREW: Gil Bettman (Director)

Had previously directed episodes of Knight Rider!

STARRING: John Stamos (Lance Stargrove)

Stamos went on to star in the popular series Full House.

Vanity (Danja Deering)

After scoring a few R&B and Pop hits as part of Vanity 6 and as a solo artist, Vanity went on to forge a movie career. 52 Pick-Up with Ann Margret and Roy Schieder followed. She has since become an Evangelical minister.

Gene Simmons (Velvet Von Ragnar)

The Kiss singer went on to star in Wanted: Dead Or Alive after Never Too Young Too Die. Most recentley he has had his own reality series on VH1 with his wife and b-movie icon Shannon Tweed.

George Lazenby (Drew Stargrove)

The former James Bond star went on to star in some 90's Emmanuelle films, I don't know if that's a step up, or down from the likes of Never Too Young To Die...

PLOT: Lance Stargrove (Stamos) goes to boarding school while his father (Lazenby) works as a secret agent. His father is killed and he visits his fathers partner Danja (Vanity) to find out what happened. All leads point to twisted hermaphrodite ("Yes, half man, half woman!" as Danja's associate eagerly points out in the movie) Velvet Von Ragnar (Simmons) and his/her gang of criminals being behind it.

No sex, nudity, violence, bad language.

THOUGHTS: Twisted trashy fun is the best was to describe this piece of movie magic! Simmons steals every scene he's in as the villainous Velvet and his show at the club is hysterical! He looks like Cher on crack with the wardrobe to match. There's explosions, a few sexy scenes, and plenty of action to keep you entertained. Vanity even manages to avoid slurring her lines in this one too.

CAN I BUY IT? It was barely released on video in the UK so its hard to find, the US VHS is more readily available used. I think a full screen version is available on DVD in Germany (Region 2).