The Ghost And Mr Chicken (1966)

It’s the mid-sixties, so whilst New Hollywood is being forged, Rock-&-Roll is tuning on to acid, and Vietnam is still considered winnable, there were kids’ movies to be made! In this case, with one of the stars and a number of the behind-the-scenes team from the outrageously popular Andy Griffiths show. It made crazy bank then, and secured a four-movie deal for those involved, but do the ghostly hijinks and gurning promised in the trailer hold up to today’s cynical psychotronic audience? Well…
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Day Of The Triffids (1962)

Because “Why not?”, and as it makes picking viewing easier, Trash Or Treasure is going through every movie in “Science Fiction – Double Feature”, the opening song for that trash culture classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This week

And I really got hot
When I saw Janette Scott
Fight a Triffid that spits poison and kills

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The Batwoman (1968) is far more feminist that you would expect from the poster

If you look at the cover for this and go “why, it’s just a luchador-themed excuse for Maura Monti to run around in a Batman-themed bikini” then the art department has clearly done their job, Written (probably, it’s hard to say when the translation undoubtedly cost a tenner) by Alfredo Salazar and directed by René Cardona, this is a one hundred percent unofficial cash in on the success of Adam West’s take on DC Comics’ caped crusader. That includes being campy and nonsensical fun.
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The Haunted House Of Horror (1969)

I wasn’t sure how to write this review, but after I did a bit of reading I found out that the producers had no idea about how to make this film. Half of it is an interesting proto-slasher, directed by Michael Haworth and stating a giggle of up-and-coming stars of British Cinema (and Frankie Avalon on his way down). The other half is an interesting drama, using the backdrop of swinging London and mostly the same cast. Sadly, you can see the welds. Continue reading

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I finally got around to watching this “must see classic” of trash/psychotronic culture. Obviously, having read about it in a thousand cult movie guides, I was expecting the constant presence of sex and violence that is Tura Satana and the satirical sleaze of Russ Meyer’s oeuvre, of which this film delivers in spades. But I wasn’t prepared for what else was lurking under the tight top of this juggernaut of a cinematic experience. Continue reading

The Creation Of The Humanoids (1962)

Roll up, for an amazing example of what a psychotronic masterpiece of B-Movie filmmaking can be. Because I can’t remember the last time such a godawful film held my attention so utterly. This 1962, Wesley Barry directed, lump of sci-fi cheese swings between the profound and the pathetic faster than the Theremin vibrates in the soundtrack, and is worth every rotten minute of its nippy 75 minutes run time.
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The Beach Girls and The Monster (1965)

There are some films where you just know the producer hammered two random things together in the hopes that the result would be entertaining. Snakes and planes, sharks and tornadoes, Nazis and any excuse to see them brutalised. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it doesn’t work on a level that just fills you with awe at the majestic beauty of how misshapen and proud the final creation is. There is no way you can convince me that the people behind “Beach Girls And The Monster” knew what they were doing, on any level, as no one could ever intentionally put together such an epic piece of ridiculousness. They just went “people like Beach Girls and Monsters… now go and write that script”.
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Astro Zombies (1968)

Of the many paths that got me into watching way more dodgy old sci-fi films than is necessarily good for you, a big one was the punk rock band The Misfits. Founded in the late ’70s, and brought up on a steady diet of cheap and cheery shlock from the US TV deregulation and localisations of the late 60’s onward, they were pioneers of the Horror Punk genre. They sang a lot of very fast, very hostile songs that were often odes to the kind of grotty horror their parents had warned them would rot their brains. One of the best tunes (for my money) they ever bashed out was the delightfully nihilistic, anti-social sci-fi murder-cant of “Astro Zombies”. An epic of bile and belligerence, with a singalong section of “Prime directive, exterminate the whole human race”, I had assumed that 1968 film that had inspired it would have been either a marvel of lost outsider art or a delight of bull-dada excess.
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