Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Sir Stanley's Syrups

'The Changeling' is a 1974 BBC adaptation of Thomas Middleton and William Rowley's Jacobean tragedy. Stanley Baker snags the plum role as the scarred servant De Flores, a man so much in love with his Mistress that he will kill for her.

Baker is very impressive, seething with repressed anger at his lowly station in life and the things it denies to him. He will eventually get all he desires, but it will mean his destruction. Sir Stan's hairpiece turns in a subtle, unobtrusive performance which supports its owner brilliantly without ever taking centre stage. If you could take your eyes off Baker, you can be sure they won't be wandering up to his toupee. A good, solid and suitably respectful syrup.

Monday, 28 May 2012

The Nine Ages Of Nakedness

Apart from presenting an endless cavalcade of mottled tits and bums, I believe this regular feature provides another important public service, particularly when it comes to daft fluff like ‘The Nine Ages Of Nakedness’: I watch it so you don’t have to.

George Harrison-Marks is a justly legendary figure in the field of British smut. Apparently the first person to ever use the word ‘glamour’ to describe porn, he had a prolific forty year career as a photographer and film maker which was dogged by controversy and legal tussles because of his insistence on pushing the boundaries of what was allowed.

Blatant advertising. How big is that packet?
‘The Nine Ages of Nakedness’ is not a boundary pushing film, although it does nudge thresholds of boredom. George specialised in short, no nonsense nudie films and, over the longer form, tended to pad out the flesh shots and simulated sex with very broad and unfunny comedy, and this film is a good example of just how tiresome and occasionally surreal a film can be when the film makers sense of humour is completely at odds with his audience.

Stone AgeTV.

Secrets of the Pyramids.

Grecian Bust.

Not sure what era this is.

Sue Bond's arse.

Max Wall's face.
George plays a man whose life is blighted by his apparently irresistible appeal to women. With anyone else this funny looking this would clearly be wish fulfilment, but, as he went out with the stupendous Pamela Green for many years, we can give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s not just him, though, he explains to a psychiatrist, it happens to all the men in his family, prompting a series of ridiculous tableaux in which George plays his ancestors across the millennia, reminiscing about  the Stone Age, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient China, the English Civil War, the 18th century, the Victorian era and, in an interesting twist, the Future. Perceptive readers will have noticed that’s only eight ages, as my copy was without a haunted house spoof which is missing from some releases, hence the lack of a title card. Super perceptive viewers will point out that they're forgetting the 1969 bits, so that’s ten ages in total. I think. It's a bit of a muddle, really. 

Cardew Robinson gets excited.

Britannia waives the rules.

Cardew Robinson makes my flesh creep.
The ages themselves follow exactly the same formula: topless women walk around in animal furs or kimonos or crinolines and are occasionally groped by blokes in the corresponding period costume. There is often an orgy scene, where groins are seemingly rubbed together, but there is no penetration or explicit sexual activity, although one of the ladies gets quite near a knob. Simulation is the name of the game, and a very tedious game it is. Into this basic format George turns up in a wig or a beard or both and proceeds to get into some sort of stupid panto type trouble with one or more of the semi-naked women. There is no penetration or explicit sexual activity, although all the ladies get quite near a knob. For long periods it seems as if the cast have forgotten they are making a film and are just lounging around after a bath. It's a tired non-event and the overall effect is of an endless sub-‘Crackerjack’ sketch with a nipple count and all the energy and fun extracted by force.

The Future.

Silver Lady.

The Special Effect.
On the plus side, some of the sets are quite good, especially the future one which inexplicably pairs banks of analogue computers with oversized facsimiles of the Lewis Chessmen (as in the past, the future fashion is for exposed chests at all times). Another positive is the appearance of Sue Bond as a comely, buxom wench who moons Max Wall. A short sequence set in the 18th century is perhaps the best bit, dispensing with the hilarious fannying about and just focusing on the female form. The rest is all pretty poor, although at least it’s not pretentious. I do wonder what the audience were anticipating, however, and how satisfied they would have been by what they saw: not interesting enough to entertain; not funny enough for a laugh; not sexy enough for a wank. I hope they  enjoyed their ice creams. Cor, the things I do for you...

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Newman's Groan (Extra Cheese)

Vote For Love
Compiled by Nanette Newman
Glasgow, 1976

Friday, 25 May 2012

Bee and Tee

Hello, Friday Night Film lovers.
Dolly here.

U-W has decided to take tonight off for the second week running and left me in charge, the mad fool. After last weeks BFI cut and paste in a hurry job (sorry about that - here at M&C we pride ourselves on our original work. I won't do it again), we come to a very interesting film indeed. In fact it's only just a film. It was a play and it was made for telly but banned by the nervous BBC in 1976 (though it was eventually shown in 1987).

It's Dennis Potter's Brimstone and Treacle

Bee and Tee (as I have never called it before) has a truly horrible story. Really horrible. It has the rape of a severely disabled girl in, hints of abuse by her father and in the film version bloody Sting. That's right, Sting: Tantric sex loving ex-teacher, ex-Police lead singer, rain forest holidayer and lute botherer. In the mid-70s Sting could pretty much pick and choose to do what ever he wanted. He was mad famous and that.  Being the pseudo twonk that he is, he got wind of the fact that Bee and Tee was being remade for the cinema and thought to himself 'I'm Sting. I can do anything. Even act' 

Never has a human being been more self deluded. The difference between Sting's own opinions and understanding of his acting talent and his actual acting talent are so far apart as to be not only in different continents as to be in different solar systems. He makes Madonna look like Meryl Streep
"Bang Bang - You're dead"

She's just listened to Sting's 'Songs from the Labyrinth' album. It's enough to put anyone in a coma. Ho ho.

Denholm and Joan acting. Sting standing whilst being filmed.

Sting at that point in his life seems to have had good taste, Mervyn Peake (Gormenghast - yes, he's even shit on the radio), David Lynch (Dune), David Rudkin (Artemis 81) to name but a few artists he has associated himself with. So I can sort of see why he put himself up for these things (well - I say 'put himself up' what I actually mean is 'decided to become a thespian laughing stock'). He looks good I'll give him that. He has cheekbones to die for (second only to Northampton's Pete Murphy on my list of top face boned men) and I can see why Swamp Thing's Alan Moore and Steve Bissette 'cast' him as John Contantine. As a comic character Sting is a very good actor, sadly for us as real person Sting is a very bad actor. Of course making fun of Sting is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, so enough of that. You want to know about the film don't you?

This is from a rude bit in the middle of the film.

I KNEW was Sting was a knicker sniffer. I fucking KNEW it.

It's about a middle aged couple who's daughter is in a coma because she caught her father having an affair, ran from the scene and got hit by a truck. Their lives are inexorably changed by the arrival of a stranger called Martin (in the Beeb's 70's Play For Today version Martin is played by the ever excellent Michael Kitchen). The stranger integrates himself into the (literal - in the daughter's case) bosom of the family by appealing to the fathers fascism and the mother's good nature. Once he has their trust Martin sets about sexually abusing the catatonic daughter and eventually raping her. The rape wakes her, she remembers her fathers adultery and Martin flees.

See her? You get to see her in suspenders.


All versions of the play play like a waking nightmare. Is Martin real? Has he been conjured by the family to expose their own secrets and lies? Is Martin the Devil? Was he ever there at all? Is it all the dream of the daughter? I like to think that rather than some supernatural force Martin is just some grubby opportunist little cunt. It becomes more terrifying the more realistic your take on it.

It's distasteful and hard to watch sometimes but the script really is Potter at the very top of his game. And even in spite of Sting it still holds a huge emotional punch.

Plus the fact it has Denhom Elliott in it and Denhom Elliott is ace in everything.

I'll hand you back to the ever capable (if slightly soiled) hands of Mr Unmann-Wittering now.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Eye on Butterflies (Slight Return)

From the fourth and final series of Butterflies. Please endure the unpleasant 80s title sequence revamp for the bizarre shopping reverie sequence that follows, featuring a great Ronnie Hazlehurst workout (finishes 01:45). Here is a man who really knew his light entertainment chops.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Monday, 21 May 2012

Bond Girl


Busty Sue Bond cuts up rough in 'Bizarre' aka 'Secrets of Sex' (1970), the greatest smutter of all time. So great, in fact, that I fear to write about it, so go on, M & C imitators, why not have a pop at it while I build up to it?

Gauntlet thrown down, here's some more Sue for you all.