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Master of Mischief: The brutal horror and cheesy sexploitation movies of Pete Walker
03.17.2017
12:40 pm

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Amusing
Heroes
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“For Men Only” (1968) and “School for Sex” (1969).
 
Let’s talk about Pete Walker—the sexploitation and horror movie director whose grand body of work includes such cult classics as House of Whipcord, Frightmare and The House of Mortal Sin.

Walker had a highly successful and equally controversial twenty-year film career as producer and director with his company Peter Walker (Heritage) Ltd. He started out in the early sixties making 8mm stag loops of busty models and finished his career on a high in the early eighties when he directed his last movie the big-budget all-star cast horror film House of Long Shadows (1983).

Walker describes his film career as “making mischief.” His movies (in particular those written by David McGillivray) take a well-aimed boot to the flabby rump of the British establishment. Walker has said he was interested in exposing the established order’s hypocrisy and “abuse of authority.” This he highlighted in films like House of Whipcord which exposed the depraved brutality at a correctional facility and House of Mortal Sin where a psychotic priest carries out his kind of final judgment on a few parishioners. Walker was inspired by what he saw going on all around him as he said in an interview from 2005:

“At any given time at my school, 50% of the masters had their hands down boys’ trousers,” he claims. “Prison wardens must have an in-built sadism, otherwise why would they do that job? Judges do a holier-than-thou act every day. How dare these people pontificate to the rest of us? They’re getting off on it!”

Walker made films quickly and cheaply. The son of the actor and music hall performer Syd Walker, the young Pete Walker raised enough cash from making stag loops to help finance his first feature I Like Birds in 1968. Shot over eight days on a tiny budget, I Like Birds was a minor hit and made a profit. It set the template for all of Walker’s future films—the “kick, bollock and scramble” school of filmmaking.

At a time when the British film industry was on life support, Walker was single-handedly making independent movies in guerilla fashion. He eschewed traditional narratives with their preachy moral undertones, instead opting for evil characters defeating the heroes and heroines or debauched couples have their “degenerate” behavior bring them happiness and reward—as can be seen in Cool It Carol!. Walker had a “fuck it” attitude and was shooting British cinema the bird.

He could have continued making soft core movies, but Walker decided in the early seventies to move into horror films with his first low-budget thriller Die Screaming, Marianne (1971). This starred Susan George, Barry Evans, and veteran actor Leo Genn. It’s an okay movie but doesn’t hint at what was to come.

The Flesh and Blood Show (1972) was his first proper horror movie in which a brutal psychopath terrorizes a group of young actors in an old abandoned seaside pier. It’s a thrilling tale well constructed and the kind of story writers like Richard Laymon would make a career out of penning in the 1990s.

Ignoring the rather poor comic strip sex romp Tiffany Jones (1973), it is the next three horror films that are his best work and define Walker’s career.

First up was House of Whipcord (1974) which was written by McGillivray and starred the greatest British horror actress ever Sheila Keith as an evil and sadistic prison governess. This was devilishly good entertainment that subverted the genre’s expectations. The film was heavily criticized and damned by many who saw it as some kind of far-right moral finger wagging. This was mainly because of Walker’s ironically subversive opening dedication “to those who are disturbed by today’s lax moral codes and who eagerly await the return of corporal and capital punishment.”

Then came Walker’s greatest film Frightmare (1974) which once again starred Sheila Keith this time as a seemingly ordinary neighborhood cannibal. Famed for its brutal splatter scenes—in particular one with an electric drill—long before Abel Ferrara made The Driller Killer—has led Frightmare to be described as:

A depraved, shameless and morally bankrupt depiction of the modern British family….

Frightmare is one enjoyable hell of a ride which benefits from Keith’s stunning performance and some well-judged acting from the supporting cast which included veteran actor Rupert Davies—who was best known as TV’s Maigret.

The final of this grand mid-seventies triumvirate was House of Mortal Sin (aka The Confessional) which starred Susan Penhaligon, Dynasty‘s Stephanie Beacham, Sheila Keith and Anthony Sharp as seriously deranged priest Father Xavier Meldrum.

Walker was raised a Catholic and gleefully uses the church’s sacraments in blasphemous fashion to kill people. The film was reviled by critics, though proved to be another box-office hit. However, Walker wasn’t completely pleased with the response:

“I was really hoping to get into trouble on that one. I mean, he kills people with a communion wafer, which is meant to be the body of Christ in Catholicism. I made that film because I went to a Catholic school where hellfire and damnation were rammed down my throat. I was waiting for a blasphemy charge from the Vatican. But it never came.”

Walker continued to make movies but the returns weren’t so good. Apart from House of Long Shadows, the best of his later work was slasher movie The Comeback (1978) starring singer Jack Jones. Walker retired from movies in his early forties and moved into the construction industry.

You’d think after making some of the best British horror films ever made, Pete Walker might have received a few prizes or honors or maybe a couple of initials after his name. But all the dear man ever got from working in movies was hemorrhoids.

Now having had the intro, here’s a quick taste of the posters (and some movie stills) from Pete Walker’s movie career.
 
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“School for Sex” (1969).
 
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Italian poster for “School for Sex” (1969).
 
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Combo poster for “Cool It Carol!” (1970) and “Man of Violence” (1969).
 
More posters from Pete Walker’s back catalog, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
There’s a Misfits dress for $38
03.17.2017
11:42 am

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Amusing
Fashion
Music

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Green
 
Why in the world this Misfits dress doesn’t come in black and white is beyond me. But it doesn’t. You have a choice of hot pink, green or purple. According to the description it’s officially licensed featuring the skull on front of the dress and the word “Misfits” on the back of the dress.

Now I can’t vouch for the quality as I do not own one. There is one review with five stars that says, “Fat [sic] shipping. Best friend loves it!”

It’s 95% cotton and 5% spandex. You can get it here.


Pink
 

Purple
 
via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Follies on Ice: Showgirls, men in drag, an ice-skating chimpanzee, a robot, and Elvis
03.16.2017
12:51 pm

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Pop Culture
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A vintage photo of skater Hans Leiter in drag performing in the Ice Capades in 1960.
 
Over the last few weeks for reasons I can’t quite attribute to any one event or reason whatsoever, I’ve been obsessively seeking out photos from vintage ice skating shows such as Holiday on Ice, the Ice Follies, and the Ice Capades. And like pretty much all of the Internet rabbit holes I dig for myself, it produced some pretty great results when it came to the old-school images I found of ice show stars in all kinds of crazy situations over the last sixty or so years.

Despite the fact that I’m from Boston, a true hockey town and lived only a couple of blocks from an ice skating rink, Cherrybomb can’t skate. And I’ve always been envious of people who can. Ice shows were very popular when I was growing up and I attended my fair share as a youth, but they were always of the kiddie variety and while there were ice skating clowns, I do not recall seeing full-on showgirls with feather headdresses or ice-skating jugglers tossing lit torches around on the rink. Perhaps if I had I would have run away with the cool kids in the Ice Capades because both of the previous scenarios still seem way more appealing than an office job.

Ice skating shows date all the way back to the 1930s and the Ice Follies’ performances began in 1936. The Ice Capades made its debut in 1940, and Holiday on Ice got its start a few years later in 1943. The Holiday on Ice show would travel around the world and after getting its start in Ohio, they took the show to Mexico City, South America, Asia, Africa and even Moscow while the Cold War was still in play making the show the very first U.S. entertainment/attraction to perform in the Soviet Union while Nikita Khrushchev looked on.

There was almost nothing these ice shows didn’t do including showcasing male comedians dressed in drag performing skits, and the inclusion of ice skating chimpanzees that performed with the Ice Capades—specifically a little chimp named “Jonny” who was a particular crowd favorite known for not only his ability to skate but for his ice skating stunts like doing cartwheels and jumping over obstacles like Evel Knievel. And if that’s not weird enough for you, at one time the Ice Follies featured a seven-foot, four-inch aluminum and plexiglass ice skating robot named “Commander Robot” in the 1969 version of the show.

Below you’ll find some shots of all three shows, as well as a short video of “Jonny” the chimp and Las Vegas-worthy footage of Holiday on Ice from 1977. Who needs drugs when you have these wild, contact-high inducing photos to look at?
 

Holiday on Ice 1974.
 

Paul Castle the “Mighty Mite” performing in the Ice Capades in 1959.
 

“Jonny” the ice skating monkey and a Holiday on Ice performer taken on the show’s 25th anniversary, 1968.
 
More mirth and mayhem on the ice after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
McDonald’s Twitter account attacks Donald Trump in one hilarious tweet
03.16.2017
10:32 am

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Amusing
Food

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I’m almost 99.9% certain someone at McDonald’s is getting fired today. At exactly 9:15 a.m. this morning, an unnamed hero at McDonald’s headquarters tweeted via their official Twitter account to Donald Trump, “You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.”

The glorious tweet was pinned to the top of their Twitter page for over 20 minutes until it was deleted.

Was their account hacked? Who knows?


 
UPDATE:

 
via Gizmodo

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Killer clowns: Kooky pulp novels & magazines featuring gun-toting, knife-wielding circus clowns
03.16.2017
10:26 am

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Amusing
Literature

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The cover of ‘Uncensored Detective’ 1946.
 
Oddball vintage publications are one of my favorite things to write about here on Dangerous Minds—and like many of you just when I think I’ve seen it ALL (whether I wanted to or not), some “new” vintage weirdness comes across my radar. People often ask me how we find all the high octane, low brow goodness that we feature here on the blog every day. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is also the same as the answer to the first and second rules of Fight Club. Besides, you should consider yourself lucky as these eyes have seen some really, really weird things. (Things no one should see!) Which is a perfect introduction to the subject of this post—bizarre vintage pulp novels and magazines that feature circus clowns gone bad on their covers. And when I say bizarre I mean gorilla-shooting, sneaky, knife-throwing, clowns.

Though most of the fictional clowns on the covers of the various pulp novels and magazines posted below are up to no good, there is at least one that preferred to behave like a Robin Hood of sorts known as “The Crimson Clown.” Created by playwright, novelist and screenwriter Johnston McCulley—the man behind masked swashbuckler Zorro—the Crimson Clown stories were really popular with the detective lit-lovers set since his first appearance in Detective Story Magazine back in 1926. The Crimson Clown would steal from people he deemed “too rich” giving half of his booty to charity and keeping the rest for himself. He was also known to carry a syringe full of some sort of drug that would render his victims unconscious. But just because he was vigilante who liked to help out the needy doesn’t necessarily make the idea of a clown with a syringe full of cuckoo-juice running amok any less terrifying. Nope. Nothing creepy about that at all. I’ve posted the covers of all the clown-oriented vintage pulp I could dig up and man, there was a lot. Of course, if you are at all coulrophobic, you might want to look at the images below in your “safe place.” See you under the bed!
 

‘Detective Magazine’ 1948.
 

‘Detective Novels Magazine’ February 1944.
 
More killer clowns after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Love’s iconic ‘Forever Changes’ album art as a duvet cover
03.15.2017
02:43 pm

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Amusing
Music

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This is one of those things I found by accident looking for something else. I don’t exactly know how or why it came into my view. But here it is.

If you’re a superfan of Love’s iconic Forever Changes album, might I tempt you with this awesome duvet cover? I know it’s kind of strange to see it as a duvet cover, but I totally dig it.

The duvet is available through Rebubble. It comes in three different sizes ranging from twin to king. Depending on what size you choose, the price does change.

The material is a brushed polyester printed topside with a soft cotton/polyester off-white underside. Instead of buttons on the duvet cover, it has a concealed zipper. It’s also machine washable.

It’s definitely a conversation piece and as The Dude would say, “That duvet really tied the room together, did it not?”


 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The disturbing and creepy portrait collages of Phillip Kremer
03.15.2017
01:19 pm

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Amusing
Art

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Your worst fears have a face. And it looks like this.

Texas-based artist Phillip Kremer creates weird, funny, and seriously grotesque collages of celebrities, politicians, musicians and movie stars. Kremer’s headshots are created with an app on his i-Phone. He finds images online and then manipulates them into obscene portraits. He pulls their skin, enlarges their mouths to gargantuan proportions and inserts eyeballs, food or bulging muscles where he thinks they will work best. Though the results can often be shocking, Kremer’s finished collages are funny and still recognizably human—often capturing some intrinsic characteristic of the featured celebrity subject.

Kremer’s collages have garnered him a big following on Instagram and Tumblr where you can find more of his work
 
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More of Kremer’s surreal collages, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Horror movie-themed piñatas based on ‘The Evil Dead,’ ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Halloween’ & more
03.15.2017
10:05 am

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Art
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A piñata of Regan Teresa MacNeil (played by actress Linda Blair) from the 1973 film ‘The Exorcist.’
 
According to the ghouls behind the appropriately titled Etsy page Hang Me, in addition to their various horror-themed piñatas, you can also have one custom made to your specifications. So if you’d really like to bash a piñata version of your boss’s head in until he/she bleeds delicious candy all over you, today is your lucky day pal. 

Of the many piñatas in Hang Me’s shop, which is run by Sam and Tiny Kaleal, I’m particularly impressed with the one made in the image of Regan from The Exorcist in all her possessed-by-a-demon glory clutching a giant cross. The only thing that could possibly make it any cooler than it already is if it could somehow release a bunch of gross day-glow green ooze after being busted open. Hey, a girl can dream. In addition to the piñatas, the shop has a bunch of other cool stuff including fully functional, custom-designed Jiffy Pop popcorn containers that have been reimagined with horror film movie posters. I’ve posted images of my favorites below. 
 

A piñata in the likeness of James “Ash” Williams (played by Bruce Campbell) from the ‘The Evil Dead’ film franchise .
 

A very slashy-looking Michael Myers (from the ‘Halloween’ films) piñata.
 
More horrific piñatas after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
For when YOU OWN EVERYTHING, here’s the official RuPaul candle!
03.14.2017
02:02 pm

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Amusing

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This is one of those random things that I simply must have. I don’t necessarily need a RuPaul candle, I just want one. Why? Because as the description says it’s supposed to smell just like Mama Ru! That’s enough for me.

The candle is called “RuPaul Essential.” It’s sold through Sweet! Hollywood and each one goes for $30.

According to Sweet! Hollywood, the candle has a “nice floral scent.” Get a big whiff of RuPaul here.


 
An early RuPaul video after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Curse of the Masturbator: The painful battle against self-abuse
03.14.2017
09:30 am

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Amusing
History
Hysteria
Sex

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Street scene. New York. Time—the past. Man on a sidewalk named James McC., aged fortyish. He has a regular job, a regular life. He is nondescript, commonplace—just like any one of the other men walking up and down the sidewalks of this city. But today death has come for James McC. He has been infected by plague—the worst plague of all. A plague that will eventually rob him of his senses, his sanity, and his very life.

James McC.‘s mind is filled with the most “sickening pictures of lust, disease, melancholy, and insanity.” When the police arrest him on the corner of 6th Avenue, James McC.was literally trying to obliterate these images from his mind by smashing his head on the sidewalk. It was already too late to save him. The duty sergeant at the 29th Precinct Station House recognized James McC. He had been arrested twice before that same week. The sergeant knew it was too late. His only recourse was to send him to Bellevue where he’d be put in a straitjacket and locked in a padded cell—another victim of the curse of masturbation.

James McC. lasted almost a week before he succumbed to a painful wasting away from his obsessive self-abuse. According to his doctors at Bellevue:

Upon examination he is found to be suffering from acute mania, alternating with periods of intense melancholia in which he invariably attempts to take his own life. His language when excited exceeds in obscenity anything ever heard. During the intervals of quiet he is constantly practicing the vile habit which has undoubtedly been the cause of his insanity. He has lost all sense of shame and continues to practice before visitors, attendants and physicians. He makes no effort to go to the water-closet, and his clothes and cell are in a filthy and disgusting state. Ever since admission he has refused all food, and it has been necessary to feed him with a stomach pump. He is losing flesh and strength every day, and is fast wasting away.

From his relatives who have twice called to see him it was learned that his mental trouble came on very suddenly, although his memory and faculties have been failing for some time past. They say that he complained of sleeplessness, numbness and tingling sensations in the arms and legs, headache, and a peculiar itching of the skin, for months before any distinct symptoms of insanity appeared. They attribute it all to self-abuse, which he has admitted practicing from an early age.

August 28th.—Is now paralyzed in both lower limbs. Still violent.

Sept. 3d.—Died this morning about 1 A.M. Is so emaciated that he is little more than skin and bones. Rigor mortis entirely absent. Shortly after death the skin of the whole body changed to a dark chocolate hue.

 
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A portrait of James McC. attempting to masturbate to the very end…
 
This story about James McC. is actually true. And his fate was the kind of “possible” scenario presented to hundreds of thousands of young men living in America and Europe during the 1800s. Scientists and medical practitioners declared there was a plague destroying the lives of young men which once contracted was nearly always fatal. These men were victims of a disease called Spermatorrhœa—an excessive and debilitating loss of sperm either involuntarily or through continuous “self-pollution” or over-indulgence of masturbation.

The best cure offered by the chief medical doctors was either circumcision or castration. Not exactly the kind of options most young men wanted. Therefore a whole new medical industry was created offering dubious cures for the curse of Spermatorrhœa.
 
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Another poor man has wanked himself to death….
 
This may seem farcical today but it was a genuine fear backed up by the authority of doctors, scientists, politicians and OF COURSE religious leaders. We may laugh now but so too will future generations laugh at some of our own current SJW panic attacks.

Masturbation was described in the 1860s as a hideous “vile demon” which “like the vampire” will:

...suck his very life-blood, steal away his strength and life and vivacity, besmirch and weaken his mind, take the strength from his muscles, the courage from his heart, sap the very foundation of his existence, unsex and unnerve him, render him feeble, wavering and imbecile, dog his footsteps to the very steps of the altar, to curse and blacken and disappoint those joys of parentage and marital right that should be his. The shadow deepens with him as life advances, and follows him, bringing shame and misery and despair at every step, until the poor victim, driven too far, sinks into an early grave by disease or suicide, or is lost to the world and to all joys and friends behind the doors of an insane asylum.

Who knew…?

Among the many “cures” for this dreaded Spermatorrhœa and/or compulsive masturbation was the Jugum penis.

This was a steel clip or ring with an inner ring of serrated teeth. The teeth would literally bite into the penis when it became engorged. The searing pain inflicted on the encircled member by this nasty cock ring would stop any erection or possible episode of “self-pollution.”

Medical doctors believed that when men lost sperm through a wet dream or masturbation they were literally losing their life force. Therefore it was advisable for all teenage boys and young men to wear a Jugum penis at night to prevent any “nocturnal emissions.”
 
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Advert for the anti-pollution ring.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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