Saturday, 10 December 2011

Hugo Review

Mad Marty lays the pixie dust on with a trowel in a charm free, audience neutral, crassly indulgent PBS lecture on early cinema and - tee-hee, kiddies! - film preservation, in Hugo.

Click through for ERH's Little White Lies review of the film - a review that has already been compared to 'an oily dump in the swimming pool of cinematic perfection' by one eloquent colleague...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Muppet Marriage

Cute and fuzzy (felt) anthropomorphism or cruel and hideous perversion of nature? You decide...

ERH kicks on into the festive season with a bewildering still of Muppet matrimony that is only marginally less strange than this recent Muppetary-Industrial alliance...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

"Rutger Hauer Has Never Been To Texas!"

Eye-wateringly dull/stilted Rutger Hauer interview conducted by a flagrantly insular Texan dowager armed with a list of questions that could strip the paint off a Jackson Pollock.

Ostensibly there to promote Blade Runner, the somewhat 'bleary-eyed' Dutch acting titan spends an unusual amount of time defending an entire continent of self-defeating, spineless, syphilitic Europeans for not being born corn-fed, flag-waving Americans.

Odd in other ways, and no less a crime against fashion is this jaunty but slightly ill-tempered Letterman interview from 1990.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Trailer Time: Dr. Goldfoot & the Girl Bombs

Whilst trudging around Youtube looking for the definitive rushed, drunken, atonal fancy-dress rendition of the 'Afternoon Delight' scene from Anchorman, ERH stumbled upon this sumptuously odd trailer for Vincent Price's sexy '66 spy spoof Dr. Goldfoot & the Girl Bombs.

Released in its native Italy as The Spy Show Came In From The Custard (fact!), it recalls a bygone age when the viewing public was more inclined to tolerate 'tongue-in-cheek' terrorists like Dr. Goldfoot and his vast harem/army of gamine fembots who are armed to the teeth with go-go boots and - gulp! - 'thermo-nuclear navels'. It might never have reached the lunatic heights of '64's Dr. G & the Bikini Machine, but what could, dear reader? What could..?

And while you're still in the mood, check this chilling pearl of underwater puppet-mastery from an episode of sub-aquatic 'Star Trek' precursor 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' that has since come to be known simply as 'Vincent Price's Deadly Dolls'...

Monday, 1 August 2011

Photo Archive: Brewster McCloud (1970)

Sometimes you just can't beat the best, so with apologies to Wikipedia, we're just going to have to bow down and reprint this sublime synopsis for the delectation of those who have yet to have the pleasure of Robert Altman's 1970 fairy-dusted fantasy, Brewster McCloud...

"Brewster McCloud is a 1970 movie, directed by Robert Altman, about a young recluse who lives in a fallout shelter of the Houston Astrodome, where he is building a pair of wings so he can fly. He is helped in this by his Fairy Godmother played by Sally Kellerman."

Lovely stuff, no? And after having recently put the boot into Altman's Wild West folly, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, we thought we'd balance the books with a dizzying clutch of stills from Brewster - a film memorably described by critic Artie Stanshall of the Houston Proclaimer as something akin to "... being force-fed velvet chicken-wire."

Click on Brewster for more flighty frolics.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Production Notes: Condorman

At the risk of incurring the full-bore legal wrath Uncle Walt's litigious minions - ERH has seen 'The Simpsons' and knows how this shit goes down - we offer up this pristine set of production notes for 1981's Condorman that we found whilst rooting around the basement looking for misfiled bongo.

An ironic, plasticky, underfunded, Mittel-European superhero dud starring a gormless English sitcom star? What could go wrong...?

Friday, 1 July 2011

Caption Comp #4: Congo

In the wake of lunchbox-friendly monster mash Jurassic Park, polymath author Michael Crichton's novels were very much the hot Hollywood ticket. What it took the Burbank brain trust a good decade to realise, however, is that most of these thundering best sellers were no more than overly-contrived, underplotted airport novels with a few still-warm ideas ripped from the letters pages of Scientific American. Anyone who has had the piteous misfortune to sit through either Michael Douglas's skull-brained internet-based nork-fest Disclosure or the withering idiocy of Timeline can attest to as much.

Then there's Congo. Congo is 4/10 Crichton - not as good as Sphere, not as bad as Runaway - and tiffs along with a certain amiable idiocy until a goofy, unconvincing last reel queers the pitch. What it also has is this boffo production still, which is just begging for a a caption...

The usual prize to the winning entry.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Movietoons: Bacall to Arms (1946)

As cool as it is utterly incomprehensible, this Warner Brothers Merry Melodies Hemingway-noir mish-mash starring Laurie Be-Cool and Bogey Go-Kart (?) is a real curiosity. ERH can't decide whether it's won over by the jabbering zoot suited mayhem or put off by the aberrant sexuality, grating animation and dubious black-face finale (cf Aladdin), but either way we find ourselves stirred and confused in equal measure...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Caption Comp #3: The Serpent

"Ah. Now, I know how this looks..."

Dapper spymaster Dirk Bogarde's got his work cut out explaining away an al fresco dinner/mano-e-baldo swing session with foreign agent Yul Brynner in this charged, intimate still from 1973's stodgiest Euro-pudding The Serpent (co-starring Henry Fonda, Virna Lisi, and featuring sterling support from the likes of Igor De Savitch, Herbert Fux and ERH's new favourite, Ernst Fritz Furbringer).

The bloke in the bottom corner seems to be resolutely onside, but that ludicrous poppinjay in the centre of the frame doesn't look like he's having any of it, thank you very much.

Fruitiest caption wins a commemorative ERH mug...

Friday, 10 June 2011

Genre Specific: The Lives of Otters

To celebrate the release of Mel Gibson's sock-puppet meltdown The Beaver, Genre Specific - that one true magnetic North of cinematic certainty - looks into the small, soggy slew of films that make up the otter cycle - or, as we like to think of them, the otterdammerüng...

Thursday, 9 June 2011

RGB: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl

The ERH Shit You Could Of Found On Youtube By Yourself Desk just found itself shunted nearer to the fire escape after 'digging up' the intro to nobody's favourite camp kiddies super-romp/ambulance chasing dayglo fire-risk 'Electra Woman and Dyna Girl'.

Whereas these days the cool kids chow down on 'Rastamouse', IMAX crack and WKD McFlurries, their pops had to pick on the bones of Electra Girl, Pearl and Dean and Milky Lunches.

No wonder we're now all liver-damaged man-children chasing the ebayed arcadia of a misremembered American childhood we never actually experienced...

Roll on death.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Photo Archive: 'Mr Jolly Lives Next Door'

To celebrate our delight in discovering that Channel 4 have dumped a steaming load of prime Comic Strip material - Funseekers, Bad News Tour, the sublime Eddie Monsoon - A Life? - onto Youtube for free, ERH has hit the files and dug up this winsome still from what might well be the staggeringly hit-and-miss troupe's finest hour, Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door.

Directed by the terminally grumpy Stephen Frears in between the fruity chill of Prick Up Your Ears and the icy frippery of Dangerous Liaisons, Mr Jolly sees the director cut loose with an aberrant, sleazy, gin-soaked little film that takes in celebrity assassination, fluffy bunny rabbits, blue-collar transvestism, Tom Jones and Camden Lock genocide, whilst simultaneously delivering a searing indictment of 1980's UK licensing hours.

It's been quite some time since anyone has had any cause to say so, but Channel 4, we hereby salute you!

'I feel sick. I don't know where the fuck I am. I think I had too much to drink last night.
My life is like a Red Lion, full of drunken Irishmen and gaming machines.
Oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God, oh God!
... give me another scotch, you bastards.'
                                   Eddie Monsoon, The Vivisectionist (Unpublished Manuscript)

Monday, 6 June 2011

ERH Goes Bona Fide!

"Truly, this man was the son of God!"

Not since John Wayne affirmed the holiness of Jesus Christ - and played the joker in his pack of macho credentials - as an aw-shucks Roman centurion in The Greatest Story Ever Told have the great and the good bowed so low for simple, humble folk.

In a bid to right a couple of the many, many perceived wrongs that bedevil this august blog, the Big Nobs of UK film bible Sight&Sound have not only deigned to recognise the true power of the ERH juggernaut in ramming its cinematic peccadilloes down the throats of its blithe, uncaring readers, but also gives penitence to the film that has long held an unassailable claim to being our very favourite waste of time, Stephen J Tobolowsky's seminal slacker slap-fest Two Idiots in Hollywood. Scroll down to look upon these works, ye Mighty, and despair!

The next stage of our Project Mayhem is a bid to get Money Train preserved in the Smithsonian Library. Watch this space!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Firefox (1982)

... via special effects that borrow heavily from Namco arcade staple ‘Afterburner’, we sullenly learn that the approach vectors at six times the speed of sound make dogfights quite impossible...

Friday, 20 May 2011

Monday, 16 May 2011

Best Defence (1984)

... the result is like a hideous fever dream. Murphy delivers his dialogue through tears of confusion and bounces around ‘Kuwait’ with the military bearing of a black Bilko...

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Hanky Panky (1982)

Ninety minutes of utterly impenetrable Hitchcock-lite screwball Parallax View shenanigans on a brave new quest for that Higgs Boson of the mismatched caper-com – side-splitting suspense...

Friday, 6 May 2011

Loose Cannons (1989)

A dark meditation on such late-Eighties hot-button topics as post-traumatic stress disorder, the revival of fascism and the seedy underbelly of the LA porn network that one would normally expect to find within the covers of a particularly harrowing James Ellroy novel...

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Homeboy (1988)

... Mickey tacitly understands - with all the diamond-eyed acuity of a freebasing astronaut - exactly two things; salon-effect hair gel application and his undying love of thumping people...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

"Nobody fucks with the Fountain!"

We're sure you'll need no reminding that John Turturro was molesting the scenery well before his iconic turn as Jesus Quintana in 1998's enduring (Dutch) coffee-house fave The Big Lebowski, but whilst we were rooting through the files for random bongo on this torpid, back-to-work weekday we found this 8x10 hymn to King Tut's long-gone craziness.

Sprung from the production notes to painfully whimsical 1996 indiefest Box of Moonlight, this gonzoidal still of him as unglued salaryman Al Fountain recalls his boiling point psychotics of yore. We're thinking Herbie Stempel in Quiz Show, or Pino from Do the Right Thing, or, of course, Roland K. Flakfizer in Dennis Dugan's harrowing mental health allegory Brain Donors - co-starring Blighty's own Mel Smith as - oh, brother! - Rocco Melonchek.

Would you fuck with the Fountain?

Monday, 25 April 2011

Deal of the Century (1983)

A hand-to-mouth sleaze-go-round of sweaty handshakes in bare lightbulb Tex-Mex border cantinas and attaché cases left in the laundry rooms of Tijuana loveshacks...

Thursday, 21 April 2011

EasteRH: "Wholly Moses!" (1980)

The life and times of Herschel, a contemporary of Moses, and who was in fact the real mover and shaker of the Exodus - the Maurice Gibb to Moses’ barnstorming Barry; the Radar to his Hawkeye; the Starscream to his Optimus Prime...

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Photo Archive: B.S. I Love You (1971)

ERH has craved many things in its time - a definitive walk-through of the plot of Highlander II, to one day complete its Boondock Saints commemorative Mickey's Big Mouth beer-glass set, a harmonic cloud of well-being and understanding enveloping Mother Earth and all her offspring - but now all it wants is to be this guy!

It's a slice of double-breasted wonder that exists as a production still from 1971 advertising satire/ill-disguised softcore no-no B.S. I Love You, but all that really matters to us is if this guy can carry off that look, then ERH is going to bust out the brown leather three-quarter-length, owl-print silk neckerchief and Sta-Prest nut-smugglers stat!

Click through for a couple more crunky stills from the film, none of which, it must be said, approach the handlebarred majesty of the above, but what could? What could..?

Monday, 18 April 2011

High Risk (1981)

The cinematic equivalent of  a weekend strapped to a mechanical bull in the middle of a Managua rub’n’tug shop double booked by a Grateful Dead wig-out and a Wild Geese reunion...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Carbon Copy (1981)

“When you’re shoveling manure, you really find out which way the wind is blowing…"

Friday, 15 April 2011

Trailer Time: Timerider (1982)

Click above for trailer
ERH has of late - and whyfor we know not - become minorly obsessed with the output of forgotten '80s production-distribution outfit Jensen Farley Pictures. Flitting right around the dial from crunky smutfests like Private Lessons and Homework to the lunatic spoofery of The Return of Captain Invincible and Wacko to schlockers like Curtains and killer-turtle aria The Boogens, they were emblematic of the VHS decade's spirit of 'run it up the flagpole and see who salutes'.

Our investigation into the Reaganomic complexity and layered Cold War allegories smuggled within their outwardly retarded 1983 polemic Joysticks is on it's way, but in the meantime, click on the groovy logo above for a peek at another of JF's burnt offerings in Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann - a film that, if nothing else, possesses possibly the greatest film title ERH has come across since 1897's Children's Toilet.

'When I asked you to help me pull off my helmet, I didn't mean...!'
And a little factoid for all you pop-pickers out there - the script for this nutty concoction was written by none other than Mike Nesmith, bobble-hatted axe-man and full-time oddball with impossibly loveable tunesters, The Monkees!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Raise the Titanic (1980)

Milky tea, rhino pie and plenty of hot potatoes fill the groaning board of what must be - pound-for-pound - the dullest film ERH has ever seen...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Light Blast (1985)

Erik Estrada ditches Larry 'Cornfed' Wilcox long enough to star in Enzo G. 'Inglorious Bastards' Castellari's bizzaro clockpunk'd San-Fran policier that was described by never-mourned 80's London style-guide City Limits as "Metropolis for the digital slimline set'...

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Photo Archive: S*P*Y*S (1974)

We zip back to 1974 for a dip into the ERH picture archive that finds Donald Sutherland and Elliot Gould on fine photographic form in Irvin Kershner's S*P*Y*S...

Friday, 8 April 2011

The Best of Times (1986) deride The Best of Times as simply being to Wall Street what Slap Shot was to The Deer Hunter is to miss the point entirely...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Black Moon Rising (1986)

Back to the Future; 'Knight Rider'; Christine: In the Eighties, the Supercar! was king...

Friday, 25 March 2011

Hollywood Vice Squad (1986)

Traumatic acts of underage S&M sit uncomfortably next to scenes of googly-eyed prurience and slapstick violence in Penelope Spheeris's godless hymn to the LA porno scene...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Caption Comp #2: Escape to Victory

He might have donned the jackboot for '95's plasticky sci-fi no-no Judge Dredd, and the mandibles of CGI Marxism for drab insectoid Commie allegory Antz, but Sylvester Stallone has always otherwise displayed a contempt for any hint of totalitarian repression of the individual that borders on the fanatical - be it from the Evil Empire of the Great Bear in clangorous fistic flagwaver Rocky IV or the strike breaking, cigar-chompin', labour racketeering Cleveland tycoons of F.I.S.T.

This sublime still from soccer-centred boy's-own WWII drivel Escape to Victory witnesses a supremely relaxed Sly cocking a snook at what appears to be a Hitler Youth recruitment poster churned out by Herr Goebbels' Nazi propaganda machine, and is just begging for a juicy caption...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Easy Money (1983)

Rodney Dangerfield quits the smoking, drinking, gambling, and crap one-liners in a cromulant bid to win his mother in law's heart (read: cash) in a film that was memorably described by the Denver Examiner as being 'as much fun as pushing a donkey up a ladder'...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Survivors (1983)

...pretty soon Williams is sitting in a downtown saloon working through his paltry redundancy money by repeatedly firing Phil Collins’ ‘I Missed Again’ into the jukebox and depth-charging Boilermakers...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Production Notes: The Howling (1981)

'There is no escape from the nightmare vision that is - THE HOWLING!'


ERH is a bit of a shithouse when it comes to horror films, but once kept its shit together for just about long enough to actually enjoy Joe Dante's batshit werewolf aria - scripted by leftie indie laureate/moonlighting script-tinkerer John Sayles (alongside some poor bastard consigned to navigate the choppy waters of life under the name Terence H. Winkless). We were less keen on the indelicately monickered follow up Howling II: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch, and by the time rum Ocker Shocker Howling III: The Marsupials rolled round we'd lost all interest, but dig these grundy production notes for the original that we recently found stuffed inside a plastic bag while investigating a blocked cistern in the ERH lavvies...

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Homer & Eddie (1989)

As Andrey Konchalovskiy circles his wagons after yet another career's worst in The Nutcracker 3D, we look back at the mentally defective 1989 offering that makes Tango&Cash look like Gilbert&Sullivan...

Saturday, 12 March 2011

One Crazy Summer (1986)

John Cusack, Demi Moore and - perhaps inevitably - Bobcat Goldthwait are 'out of school, out on Nantucket and out of their minds!’ Nurse - the codeine!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Die Hard: Elegy To A Badman

"There is a difference between not liking one's brother, and not caring when some Irish flatfoot drops him out of a window..." ERH very rarely dares dip beneath the barnacled Plimsoll Line that is the YouTube comments box, but was much taken by this ribald summation of the Die Hard I/III split! The Gruber brothers have it all - suavity, sophistication, beaucoup weapons training, killer accents and an endless raft of disposable Eurotrash goons. Now they have their own motivationally-suspect music video too.

'Where are my detonators?'


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Dead Heat (1988)

... the plot involves Mortis getting turned into a zombie early doors and motoring around Santa Monica in a soft-top Caddy with Doug and some blonde doxy they’ve picked up til it’s time for a bonkers shoot out in a disused warehouse - we think you know the drill by now...

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Soul Man (1986)

It might have held a mournful beat on a rusty tin lid in pre-bellum Mississippi, but to politically correct mid-Eighties audiences Soul Man must have sounded more like the Banana Boat Song ...

Monday, 7 March 2011

Downtown (1990)

Anthony Edwards and  Forest Whittaker police a precinct of downtown Philadelphia that looks uniformly like Robocop has broken up the video shoot for Lionel Ritchie’s ill-advised rap foray, ‘Rock around the Glock’...

Friday, 4 March 2011

RGB: The Chevy Chase Show (1993)

Was there ever an episode of 'Larry Sanders' in which an unprepared Hank had to hastily fill in for the truant Larry? No? Well, ERH's much-abused Shit You Could Have Found On Youtube Quite Easily By Yourself Desk is back to bring you the next best thing with a tantalisingly bleak clip from VHS leviathan Chevy Chase's short-lived but legendarily sketchy chat show. Best buckle up, as it's a bumpy ride...

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Film File: Silkwood (1983)

The ERH Proper Film Desk breaks off it's eternal milky lunch long enough to dig up some archived bumf from 1983's Silkwood, including an article on the making of the film published in the Village Voice...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Photo Archive: The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

'Every normal person, in fact, is only normal on the average. His ego approximates to that of the Muppet in some part or other and to a greater or lesser extent. '
                                                                                                      Sigmund Freud

The Muppets' second big-screen blitz didn't have the cracked charm of 1979's The Muppet Movie or the staying power of their later literary adaptations, but it did have Kermit cycling through Regent's Park in a scene of towering somehow-wrongness that chills ERH's bones to this day, as well as the sensual delights of 'Miss Piggy's Fantasy' - a sequence that has led many men-of-a-certain-age to place La Porca alongside Julie Newmar's Catwoman, Betty Rubble and Wilma Deering off 'Buck Rogers' in the distant, hallowed halls of their sexual awakening.

Click through for more 'Muppet mayhem'...

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Genre Specific: 'Japanoia!'

Genre Specific - the wheel within the wheel that is cinematic convention - runs the rule over the tiny canon of films that tapped into the Eighties American nightmare of Japanese global domination. Read on...


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