Helix’s topless heavy metal dance party
10:25 am

Do you remember Helix?

It’s okay if you don’t. They were Canada’s answer to…Dokken, I guess. The band actually started in the early 70s but didn’t really get cooking until 1983 when they ditched their denim-on-denim look for studs and leather and scored their first big hit with the kinda-great-but-mostly ridiculous guitar anthem “Heavy Metal Love.”  They hopped the money train from there and rode the glam metal wave for the next decade or so, touring with everyone from KISS to Aerosmith to Alice Cooper to Rush. But they were always considered tamer than a lot of their contemporaries, even with the requisite druggy bass player problems. So when the next album, 1984’s Walkin’ On the Razor’s Edge rolled around, they decided to go full-tilt porno. How’s that for edgy? Not even Mötley Crüe made videos with underage porn stars.

They were different times, man.
Around that time, Playboy’s cable channel was commissioning nudity-laced cuts of music videos to show between whatever softcore bullshit they were airing at night. Power-popper Dwight Twilley’s 1984 clip for “Girls” is probably Playboy’s most well-known music video, featuring a bunch of Playboy bunnies recreating the teen sex comedy classic Porky’s, but they also made a racy R-rated version of the already iffy video for Helix’s cover of Crazy Elephant’s “Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’.” Both the MTV and the Playboy cut of the video features a satire of the Miss America contest called “Miss Rock Fantasy” starring Slumber Party Massacre star Brinke Stevens and (ahem) a sixteen-year-old Traci Lords.  And yeah, she’s topless. Even by 80s hard rock standards, it’s pretty tasteless. Not surprisingly, even the PG version was banned from most cable channels. It ultimately found a home on the dayglo lycra-abusing porno Electric Blue 26.

Naturally, it’s a “big box” VHS.
Helix frontman Brian Vollmer was interviewed by cable TV culture vultures Night Flight about the video. He admitted it was probably too much.

“Uh, looking back on it, in hindsight, it probably was sexist and we’re tending to get away from that.”

And then he went right back to signing some groupies’ boobs.
More after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre
10:25 am
Traci Lords & Johnny Depp guest star on the ill-fated talk show pilot ‘A Drink with Shane MacGowan’

In the mid-1990s British television documentary producer Waldemar Januszczak nearly got a show to the approval stage at Channel 4 that sounds absolutely dynamite on paper: an inebriated rock and roll talk show with legendary Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan acting as host. Even more enticing, the pilot featured Johnny Depp and Traci Lords as guests, and Los Lobos even perform a ditty.

What could be better? The show was to be called A Drink with Shane MacGowan, also incidentally the title of his memoir.

Below you can watch the unaired pilot in full. This episode was filmed at Depp’s favored Sunset Strip hangout the Viper Room—he was part owner—where River Phoenix met his untimely demise in 1993. The show is highly reminiscent of Jon Favreau’s more successful IFC show Dinner for Five. The reasons that A Drink with Shane MacGowan was never picked up are achingly apparent. Without meaning any disrespect to the man, who is after all one of the most vital and authentic rockers of the 1970s and 1980s, but it would be difficult to imagine a person less suited to the art of TV interviewing than MacGowan.

Beyond that, how shall I say, the collective IQ in the room ain’t none too high, and the evident intake of alcohol doesn’t improve matters. The discussion of censorship and violence in movies is replete with cliché. Crime novelist Joe Gores, author of Hammett, is probably the most articulate person in the room.

Chris Penn doesn’t think much of John Woo, Traci Lords walked out of Natural Born Killers, and Shane MacGowan’s opinion of Sam Peckinpah is succinct (“He’s dead!”).

Here’s what The Star wrote about the show at the time. MacGowan’s given age in the article and a few other references from the program (Depp says he’s filming Nick of Time) situate this show at around 1995.

WILD MAN of rock, Shane MacGowan, is set to shock telly audiences with a boozy, X-rated chat show.

The former Pogues idol, who has been repeatedly hospitalised after wild drinking bouts, has recorded a pilot for the new Channel 4 series called “A Drink With Shane MacGowan”.

According to an insider: “Viewers can expect an orgy and bad taste gags, as the guests are let loose on the free-flowing alcohol.” Top stars, including actors Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage, plus pop figureheads Bono and Sinéad O’Connor have already been invited to appear.


On the show, Shane (37) encourages his guests to misbehave for the cameras as the drink flows. And there’s a flood of four-letter words. The insider adds: “Shane goes out of his way to cause an upset. Late night TV hasn’t seen anything quite like it. The stars are invited to drink as much as they like it as the conversation flows. We’re not sure whether the bad language will be bleeped out, but it’s certainly bound to cause raised eyebrow among concerned parents.”

Bono! Nicolas Cage! Sinéad O’Connor! Four-letter words! So enticing.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider
12:19 pm
Traci Lords’ new Women in Prison-cum-Sharksploitation flick: ‘Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre’


Former underage porn actress, Traci Lords, stars in the new Jim Wynorski blockbuster, Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre. Wynorski is responsible for the best ‘80s murderous shopping-mall robot movie, Chopping Mall, 1988’s Not of This Earth (also starring Lords), Pirañaconda, and more than 40 other “quality” titles. Judging solely by the trailer, Sharkansas Women’s Prison Massacre promises to deliver the same standard of excellence we’ve come to expect from the prolific director. The film also stars Dominique Swain (Fall Down Dead, Nazis at the Center of the Earth).

This is the synopsis we have:

When a fracking mishap accidentally rips apart the earth’s crust, the resulting hole opens up a gaping underground waterway to a vast and mysterious ocean somewhere deep below. Instantly, giant prehistoric sharks begin wending their way upward toward a murky bog in the heart of the Arkansas Bayou. Unfortunately for a group of female prisoners on a work detail in the swamp, the deadly sharks attack without warning – pinning a hapless group of intended victims in a small deserted cabin in the heart of the wetlands. Death may be the only means of escape!

These sharks don’t just swim through the bayous—they also burrow through the ground Bugs Bunny style! Landsharks with a craving for female convict blood! The back-end for CGI sharks must be really cheap these days, as the Sharksploitation genre is in its golden age with titles such as Sharknado, Sharktopus, Ghost Shark, Snow Shark, Psycho Shark, Sand Sharks, and Raiders Of The Lost Shark. Sure, we’ve seen sharks in the swamp before in 2011’s Swamp Shark, but Wynorski had the vision to add female prisoners and Traci Lords!


Just put the words “Traci Lords,” “women in prison,” “fracking mishap,” and “landsharks” together and I’m instantly asking “where do I send my money?” I asked Jim Wynorski himself and he is remaining tight-lipped for the time being, stating only that the film will be “ready for release in mid-May.” It seems the film is still looking for a home. Wynorski wouldn’t comment on a DVD release, but indicated that SyFy would be taking a look at the picture upon completion.

Here’s the trailer for what promises to be the most important film of 2015:


Posted by Christopher Bickel
09:02 am