Cleansing the doors of cinematic perception since 2006, or earlater

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Angels of Death V: Girl Mummies

Sitting here in the tomb that is my office building on the day before Thanksgiving (luckily we're getting out early), I'm reminded of mummy bitches... in tombs... and how excited I was to see the new MUMMY was going to be a girl, i.e. maybe another semi-adaptation of Bram Stoker's 1903 novella JEWEL OF THE SEVEN STARS. Adapted several times to less or more effect by everyone from Hammer to downtown NYC hipster Michael Almereyda, it's a ripping, cozy little Victorian bit of proto-feminist spiritualism, postulating an ancient evil priestess whose soul travels the cosmos and is planning to return in a new body when the 'seven stars' of the Big Dipper align in accordance with a mystic jewel on a ring on her severed mummified yet perfectly preserved hand. Though the new movie isn't really based on it, there's some carryover in the crypto-Egyptian spiritualist reincarnation/speculation, and of course the idea of a girl mummy high priestess coming back from her astral travels to destroy the world in her own immortal, ancient-but-forever young-looking image. 

Too bad they had to shoehorn in a certain aging male.

A major flop, this MUMMY will surely cast the blame for its failure on the idea of a girl mummy villain, rather than on its rightful target, Tom Cruise's wearying vanity, but I hope not. And I hope in general for more badass ancient sexy goddesses who are beyond good and evil due to their vast expanse travels and epoch-spanning existence, who view mortal life the way we might view dandelions or insects. They may fall into 'villain' categories, but you can't call them evil. They're just themselves. They're of their time. Their life force, being eternal, transcends our ordinary concepts of time, space, and duality. We cannot judge them anymore than a turkey can judge us for not honoring its sacrifice as we sit down to devour it on Thanksgiving; or anymore than the ghosts of the long-slain Native Americans who once kept our ancestors from winter starvation by bringing them corn judge us in our blind adherence to our 'family' tradition. Soon we'll all be in the same place anyway, we'll all return to ashes and become as the stardust in the wind, but these mummy broads will still be around, a coherence of energy no epoch's tedium can diminish. 

 Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet
(2017) Dir Alex Kurtzman
**  / **1/2

If you look past the rubble of collective abuse heaped on this year's MUMMY and see it with your expectations lowered and your buzz nice, therein you may find a true treasure in the form of lithe Algerian dancer/actress Sofia Boutella. As the title role, Ahmanet, she's a warrior mummy priestess assassin who (in the prologue), kills the pharaoh's wife's baby (as was the style of the time), and is mummified alive in an unmarked tomb for daring to love too much. Thousands of odd years later, Ahmanet's still far from down and out, tracing the seams in the fabric of time and space she's got just the right sky cult-brainwashed figurehead A-lister to exhume her and see her safely ferried across the channel to jolly England. Along the way all sorts of 3-D ready excitement materializes, the best of which are a vast murder of CGI crow ripping through the plane windshield and a great sandstorm made of crushed London window glass whooshing down the city streets, bouncing off the buildings like the sides of a giant whooshing bong. Required to convey great reams of unholy ancient power with little more than an arched back and determined half-smile, Boutella's Ahmanet is so cool even Russell Crowe as a burly Jekyll-Hyde-cum-Allan Quatermass seems rawther anemic and tediously patriarchal by contrast. 
There's never a doubt in our minds who amongst the whole dreary lot is the most sympathetic, no matter how many innocent people she kills. 

And if Crowe's coming off bad, you can only imagine how Cruise--ever determined to appear waggish--fares. Endangering his friends via unsanctioned tomb plundering while essentially working for the US Army (or Halliburton, or whatever), there's a certain amount of heroism inherent in plundering ancient sites for posterity and sales to museums minutes ahead of idol-smashing ISIS, or that strange and all-powerful conglomerate Russell is heading. 

Yeah, Russell is the head of an MI6 archeologist division who keeps all the fun stuff from the public, and as a result there's a lot of serious overestimating audience patience with being insulted: are we really supposed to root for an organization who keeps the truth about monsters from the monster-starved public? At a certain point avoiding panic becomes choking off the true wonder of the world at its root --keeping us in a monsterless dark ages. With a decent rewrite, this aspect could be explored in counterweight to the ISIS relic smashing frenzy --each determined to prune off any evidence of a world outside their own narrow definition of reality--and maybe it was there once, but it's long subsumed under the massive weight of Cruise's white dwarf-dense ego. His clear uneasiness in playing 'light' action comedy makes it all kind of seasick in its moral swaying. Tom's overwhelming narcissism tempered to the right role (as in MAGNOLIA, TROPIC THUNDER) can be magnificent but how often are his diamond characters flawed to the point of cracking apart rather than merely bedecked with some slight scratch of 'cockiness' some poorly-written female is sure she can buff to a like-new sparkle?  

I'm no fan of the 90s MUMMY films (the 1999 'remake' and its sequels), but I respect their good-natured goofiness, their complicated, romantically-bereft villain, and that Rock Hudson-meets-Jim Belushi of the Middle East, Brendan Frazier. A big lovable slobbery sheep dog, Frazier doesn't need to be adored in the compulsive insecure perennially self-flagellating way of Napoleonic terriers. Cruise needs to see women wanting him more than he wants women themselves, and we can sense that shit a mile off by now. 

In this MUMMY there's actually two women hungering for Tom, one (Annabelle Wallis) is the requisite Michael Bay-style 'cool' working woman, an archeologist in tight fetishized 'safari gear' who wishes he'd take things seriously (Wally Ford in THE MUMMMY'S HAND seem stoic in contrast to Cruise's stilted ambivalence), and the other is Boutella's Ahmanet, who has can create sandstorms out of broken glass and murders of crows to fly into plane windshields from the safety of her sarcophagus. Also, uh, she can re-animate the dead and keep Tom young for all eternity--if he's not already--and what's more she's well acted--not hammily--by the Algerian-born dancer/actress Sofia Boutella.

There's no comparison, Boutella wins every contest except for the the 'swallowing colonialist patriarchal morality dogma' challenge, but from a mile off it's easy to guess who Tom ends up with. Since chunks in the middle were good enough that it wouldn't receive such a razzing if not for leaving audiences really irritated by a protracted stilted awful final act, I knew to stop watching right after the part of the climax wherein it looks like Tom's going to willingly die on the altar of his beloved's ceremonial dagger and then reincarnate as his ageless, deathless, immortal self in order to 'live' cosmically ever after. The scene where he's trying to decide which girl to go with takes forever, so there's plenty of time to get up and press stop or to FF and scroll up to the credits and pretend it ends with the destruction of the world. Do that and it's **1/2 rather than **. And really, two stars are only because of the way Boutella arches her back and works that Mona Lisa smile while she generates her plagues and murderous magic.

One day, please lord, let a lady mummy win a hand!

And lastly, Tom, if you're so desperate to appear an 'ageless male' that you need to be seen saying no to immortal beings who want to grant you eternal youth, and who control the weather, may I suggest you say it to your 'handler' next time? I'm sure the ghost of Captain Ron will be most amused at your independence, considering how you're so stuck on the hamster wheel of male vanity. Can't you hear the cruel echo of Satanic laughter accompanying the film's 'bomb' stature?

But I didn't write all this to bash Tom. I wrote it to praise Boutella, who wins our loyalty almost as fervently as when she played Jaylah in STAR TREK BEYOND (left). An alien with white skin and black tribal cat markings, scrabbling for survival in a world occupied by the ISIS-ishmaniac Krall (Idris Elba) and his vast marauding army, she's made a home in an invisibility shield-protected ancient starship, into which she welcomes the hearty Enterprise crew, forming a nicely platonic bond with Mr. Scott, and proudly blasting her "loud beats and screaming" from an old boom box. The imperious way she kicks back in the captain's chair, and doesn't surrender it to Kirk until she has some other mission to perform gives us a chance to see the way a real man handles a potentially emasculating moment (Cruise would have demanded such a moment be edited out). That this is all kept in BEYOND makes Jaylah, in my book, the saving grace of the film, which suffers from a number of bad cosmetic choices, such as Spock's terrible Beatles' wig, the CGI-bearing make-up washed-out HD video look, the tacky pink alien heads, and an overt similarity in villain and in 'good' city to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

Boutella is a dancer who doesn't move like most dancers who act in movies --she's weaned herself off that exaggerated way some dancers move, with their head moving first and the rest of their body following in a kind of exaggerated serpentine sway, ending with pendulum hips the bob up and down to some unseen sound wave. She moves instead with an extraordinary blend of carnal rock swagger, gravitational grace, and disarming earnestness. She acts not just with her whole body  (over overact, as most dancers do) but with everything else as well --she's fully present. There's no impression of her attempting to move how dancers are supposed to (in the way there's an impression of a 'leading man' from Tom -a sign of sociopathy that made him perfect in MISSION IMPOSSIBLE series) and as such makes an ideal incarnate of ultimate evil or scraapy good. The MUMMY people call her ultimate evil but I prefer what Corbeck (James Villers) says of the Ahmanet-like Tara in Hammer's BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB: Tera is far beyond the laws and dogma of her time -- and of ours!”  In the words of the brazen Mr. Subtlety,
Writer Christopher Wicking somewhat craftily universalizes the lingering doubts Stoker’s characters had in the absolute correctness of their beliefs, to go beyond the cultural into the philosophical. “ the villainous Corbeck says. “Beyond good and evil?” asks Margaret. “Love, hate. She’s a law beyond good and evil, and if we could find out how far beyond… how much we can learn.” There’s a certain moral horror there, a sudden, gut-wrenching shift that occurs when the stable ground suddenly and jarringly moves beneath you, destroying your illusions of a constant, comforting reality. The characters can hardly deny that maybe this five-thousand-year-old magical spirit might know better than they do. Who are they to call her “evil” when her understanding of the universe is clearly so much more profound than theirs? 

Valerie Leon as Margaret/Tera
(1971) ***1/2

The first time I saw this I fell madly in love with Valerie Leon. It also helped that I'd just read Bram Stoker's novella--The Jewel of the Seven Stars-- not knowing the film was actually based on said novella until about half-way through, and since the story is all deja vu and murderous spirits embodying beautiful women rising from the ashes to kill those who dared desecrate her tomb, et al, it was a perfect meta moment for me - what are the odds after all, that I'd read a super obscure Stoker story right before seeing this relatively obscure Hammer film? Just as it appears that Queen Tera 'chose' archeologist Andrew Keir to discover her tomb since his then-unborn daughter Leon is her reincarnated self, thus ensuring her tomb accoutrements be at hand when the 'seven stars' are aligned as depicted in her magic ring, so I was predestined to read Stoker's Jewel and then turn on TCM and there's some mummy movie with a story that seems awfully familiar. What are the odds, especially when the story itself is about such carefully wrought cosmic coincidences?  Just as Margaret happens to  have been given the Jewel of the Seven Stars on the proper birthday for her to be inhabited by the ancient mummy who just happens to look identical to her, so too do I just to see bask in her rock and roll-meets-Emma Peel swagger, the way her presence so intimidates and terrorizes a legion of British character actors fumbling through old age. "It was her--as large as life," with the ring "she who has no name." And that she has a cool gay evil bestie in the form of James Villers, a swaggering aesthete who'd be right at home blackmailing Oscar Wilde after hooking him up with fancy boys at tea parties where the porcelain cups are just right.

If all that 'you have to die to live forever' jazz seems confusing it's likely the result of the Egyptology's widespread study in Victorian England, a craze climaxing with the King Tut's tomb discovery in 1922.

In ancient Egyptian belief, according to the Smithsonian:
The idea of "spirit" was complex involving really three spirits: the ka, ba, and akh. The ka, a "double" of the person, would remain in the tomb and needed the offerings and objects there. The ba, or "soul", was free to fly out of the tomb and return to it. And it was the akh, perhaps translated as "spirit", which had to travel through the Underworld to the Final Judgment and entrance to the Afterlife. To the Egyptian, all three were essential
So in this case, Tera wants to clear out the previous ba (Margaret's body) and akh of their new ka and move their own akh, and ba into it. Margaret would simply disappear, kicked to the ka curb. To achieve this goal, Tera needs her tomb objects (which Keir deliberately gave to various expedition members to keep separate, much like Set hiding the body parts of Osiris from Isis). The possessed Leon visits each expedition member and kills them in a flurry of close-ups and wind effects to gradually get it all together. It's pretty grand watching Tera/Margaret sweep through the Hammer sets, her long fashionable nightgown or purple overcoat billowing out of the broken windows with the curtains and glass shards, her black choker over alabaster neck, and gorgeous un-augmented, womanly body (the type of sex symbol all but gone from today's marquee). Her assured gutsy diction and voice (1) and the sly way she underplays recklessly in a double role, with that sexy imperiousness when she pretends to be or is Queen Tera, and those sleepy, drowsy bedroom eyes. Just look at that awesomely haughty ambivalence in her eyes above! She could be watching us slowly drown, disrobe, or plead for mercy, it's all the same. As Margaret later notes, to Tera they're all just dust in the wind.

It all fits, like Leon's insanely perfect black nightgown (and a later pink one); it fits that hers is the only woman role in the cast (aside from a museum assistant and an older woman psychic) and the rest are all terrified middle aged British actors of no small talent or stature, ripping into the material that's still as ageless and only slightly moldy as it was a century ago, all cowed by this young beauty and the ancient beautiful 'beyond good and evil' force swelling within her. Only Villers' swaggering Corbeck, Tera/Margert's gay best friend right hand aesthete (of the Rupert Everett in MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING variety). As important in the badass femme posse as a cat, he
'gets' her needs, and the way she oscillates between Tera and Margaret which is far more complexly cross-hatched than merely an either/or - it's gradual, sometimes she can't tell which is which, as when she plays at being Tera to get the snake statue in the asylum, but is she just playing or not? We can never tell, until the moment when Tera leaves her as she is about to reincarnate and Corbeck is reading the scroll of the dead and suddenly Margaret realizes she and her father are destined for the dust bin and then it becomes a battle between the Leons, what was a strong guiding force in Margaret is now leaving to inhabit Tera, whose ba and ka are sucking the akh (previously belonging to Tera) out of Margaret and leaving her, in a sense, akhless.

Allison Elliott as Nora/Niamh
(1998) Dir. Michael Amereyda
Blood from the Mummy's Tomb offers a more faithful interpretation to Stoker's novel, i.e. the Egyptian version of the ancient magical super woman who looks just like some innocent young daughter of the man who discovered her tomb (and surely was 'guided' from beyond by her spirit). Super sexy in pale skin and black velvet choker, Valerie Leon remains the primary reason to see it (I've seen it at least ten times). Visiting all the exhuming archeologists one-by-one to kill them for their pieces of the reincarnate puzzle, Leon gets to play three types: archeologist's timid daughter, homicidal swinging mod with telekinetic skills, and ruthless Egyptian queen. But in all other points, The Eternal is the Stoker mummy movie to beat and sadly Almereyda's last horror feature, so far.

The 1990s had already seen one trippy European bog mummy film, this with a male shaman with some still active 'flybane' mushrooms in his pocket reincarnated as a rabid nymphomaniacal Communist with one spoon in her lover's brain (See The Ancient She-Shaman and her Shrooming Exhumer). But the frothing at the mouth stylizations of Zulawski are hard to sink into as a genre horror film and the rote 'innocent girl possessed by an executed, entombed or defiled soul for its methodic revenge' thing of Hammer a hard rut to get out of. Almereyda mixes the two just right: there's enough druggie downtown acumen to make it decent company next to Jarmusch and Abel Ferrara, and enough wry nods to the classics to fit next to Freund, Hammer, and Lewton. I don't have to read a Wiki to know Almereyda is a true blue classic horror film lover, for The Eternal pulses with the found value rhythms of Ulmer, the town-and-country seethings of Hammer, and the murk of the moody Browning. Even the deadpan macabre wit of Whale flows through in a steady bucket trickle. If you know these names, Almeyreda's Eternal is the film for you, Johnny-O. Ignore the bad RT and imdb scores. What do they know about the ancient gems, severed hands, or Iron Age moral compromises? 

In my old review, looking it over (here), I realize how off-track I got bemoaning its lack of exposure/distribution due to, in my opinion, a terribly bland overused title and shabby cover art that makes it look like a washed-out softcore J-horror SOV waste of time. I only found it through researching Almereyda's imdb page  after basking in the glory of Nadja, rather belatedly. But after another recent viewing I feel ready to get into the amazing qualities of Alison Elliot's low-key double performance - coming out of the long sleep as as Niamh the bog mummy she's both cruelly homicidal and sexually starved. She stabs Walken while making out with him, eyeing his death throes with the dispassion of someone watching TV. Clad in a beguiling dark red robe, her hair flowing wet and wild, she's quite a vision and her carnal open-mouthed wordless needy eyes towards her counterpart's husband Jim (Jared Harris), who bounces around the place like a cool hipster. Even realizing his son might not be his can't keep the bounce out of his step (we learn too he has no job, living off Nora's inheritance, so of course he's fancy free, but at any rate seems a good father and the new of the son not being his doesn't translate to less affection to the owlish ginger he calls sonny boy. It's natural then that the climax involves Niamh grabbing the son and holding him hostage in the basement. How does Jared try to free him, of course by being friendly and offering her the whiskey bottle. Soon they're dancing together and we start to like her more than we like either Nora nor Jim, so that his betrayal really stings. 

After all, it's not her fault - except for that Uncle Billl (Walken) found her body down in the basement, and Nora's increasing headaches are the cause of Niamh either becoming her or sucking up her akh. We don't blame Niamh though. When discussing--as Corbeck and Margaret did in Blood from the Mummy's Tomb--whether Niamh was good or evil, Bill notes:  "She was uncontrollably herself."It was the Iron Age -- you had to a do lot of nasty things to get by." Even after all the death and chaos she wreaks we realize this is excusable because of this 'beyond good and evil' truth. Though as a druid her ways and traditions are far less chronicled (2), the power is undeniable and though we may fall under the bedroom eyed sway of dreamy Niamh, we have to ultimately side with the generic composition of the nuclear family. Right or wrong, it's modern linear time, and whoever its real father might be, we're stuck in it.  (full review here)

Meredith Baxter as Rena / Bast
(1974-TVM) Dir. Curtis Harington 
Similar in some respects, CAT CREATURE divides the line between Lewton and Stoker's source text in telling the tale of a mummy chick brought to life when an imprisoning amulet is removed. Classic horror godsend Curtis Harington populates the cast with enough familiar faces that you know he's referencing this stuff deliberately. Though just a short, cheap little shocker it flows with a special Lewton-esque sensitivity, especially when dealing with Baxter as the 'new girl' at the spooky Satanic bookshop. The film picks up on her subdued low-key vibe, the innocent girl at her small time job not knowing anyone in the city, making her first friend in an archeologist helping the cops, she makes you want to put a shawl over her and take her walking in the park as the magic hour fades to night. Like all the mummy women, she's beyond good and evil, but like them as well, it's inevitable that her love cannot stand in a  world void of tolerance for senseless killing (full review: here)

1. Virginia Christine - as Ananka / Amina
(1944) ***
Accessing some pulpy core of dream poetry almost like striking a secret pocket of oil, the film manages to evoke nocturnal contrasts between cheery warmth (the opening scene in Tante Berthe's homey little tavern) and darkness (the ruined abbey climax), not unlike the mix of Dante's, the Italian restaurant vs. the chilly Satanist salon in Val Lewton's Seventh Victim. The acting isn't great, except by a weird few, again almost by accident: as Kharis, Lon Chaney, who gives a small master class in how to act a role with just your eyes and one bandaged arm; Peter Coe's weirdly silken vacuousness as the requisite fez wearing high priest would be bad in a normal film but here serves the hypnotic spells fairly well (all great hypnotists must be able to be very, very, boring); and best of all, Virginia Christine in a dual role/kinda of mummified Princess Ananka and her own (later?) reincarnation, Amina. I love her. Rise, Amina, I mean Ananka, rise!

Her acting is understandably uneven as the role is impossible --a hybrid of so many script glitches there's no way to play it except as hot amnesiac. For you following along at home: Amina was a current time period archeological assistant from the previous film in the series, The Mummy's Ghost. In that film's climax, Kharis carried Amina into the swamp as he recognized her as the reincarnation of his lost Ananka, but rather than be rescued last minute (and staying young and mortal) she's 'turned' somehow by his touch and begins to age into a mummy herself, all without explanation, which seems rather unfair. Why reincarnate at all if an old flame can just yank you back into your old mummy form the minute he decides to shamble into town?

The last in the series, CURSE is different. This is her story more than Kharis's. We see her first as a figure emerging from the dried mud at the bottom of a claw loader scoop hole during a swamp drainage project: it's as if she's coming out of a claay mould, her face almost like a half-formed clay sculpture come to life. She arises, caked in dirt but clearly loving feel the touch of the sun, like a flower rising from the soil. The sun high in the sky beams down at her, Ra-like and she staggers along looking for some water to wash the crap off. We've been there, we city-folk, pulling ourselves off the floor after what seems like a 25 year black-out, weaving home from the party of the night before, warmed by the afternoon sun, still in our filth-encrusted party clothes, walking through the morning commuters like a phantom. And wait, weren't we in the New England bog last night? How did we wake up down in Louisiana, 25 years later? And why are the workmen saying it's time to quit for the day and go home when the blazing sun is still high in the noonday sky? No wonder the foreman is stressed.

Then begins Amina/Ananka's odyssey of somnambulistic drifting. Cajun Joe, who just left his bulldozer back where she came out of the mud, now spots her while walking home (he must have got lost - again it makes no sense as he should be home by now, considering how clean she's made herself via a small puddle) and takes her to Tante Berthe's cafe as she will know what to do (she's probably a midwife as well as saloonkeeper). Sweet Berthe puts this amnesiac hottie (with very modern Bettie Page bangs) to bed but almost immediately the mummy bursts in and kills poor Berthe like some slow-mo one-armed strangler ex-husband, jealous even of the older woman caregiver. Terrified. Ananka runs off into the swamps again, and the killing and stalking goes on. In the best section she's rescued by the archeologists in the area and we see her basking in the sun doing research via microscope looking at old recovered artifacts from her previous epoch, her first hand memories wowing the men in her group. She could find a nice niche (even though the men would probably get all the credit for her finds) but the mummy always shows up like that abusive stalker ex, killing anyone who tries to protect her or impede his progress. It's sad but one can hardly feel too sorry for a person who can't escape a one-armed shambling strangler. It's just Darwin at work, baby.

On the surface, there doesn't seem to be much thought put into Curse at all, yet it manages to use its limitations and stupidity to craft uncanny dream-logic that puts it in the same twilight realms occupied by Carnival of Souls and Dementia. It's unusual to see people basically killed for being good samaritans, something that makes us feel the murders more than usual for these sorts of films (ala Lewton's Leopard Man from the previous year). The first female victim, Berthe, is loved by everyone in her corner of the bayou, so when she's killed for trying to protect Ananka, that really kicks in a sense of tragedy to this saga, with the foreigner Egyptian conspirators giving off an air of domestic terrorism. Why command Kharis to kill indiscriminately if not for some ancient cult zealotry and impersonal hatred against first world capitalism and Christian decency?

What gives the film it its real alchemical magic are the weirdly modern bangs, posh accent, confidence and cat woman litheness of Virginia Christine as Ananka. A colorful Italian local in the bayou notes "it's been-a 25 years since a mummy drag a girl in the swamp." But what girl? The last film was only made the year before where she was just an archeologist named Amina and played by a different actress. This time we're compelled to gaze deep onto those modern bangs and wonder: is Amina the reincarnated mummy expert or a mummy herself? Or can she be both?

There is no real answer so we're better off trusting that it 'feels right' and that's what dream logic is all about. And Christine is great at splitting the difference ("its like I was two different people... two different worlds.").

Bearing out the split/subject aspect is the similarly coiffed and tempered Kay Linaker as the drainage project foreman's understanding assistant. 100% 20th century, she's the 'lucky' girl who winds up with the leaden lead, Dennis Moore. Amina meanwhile reverts to the bandaged dead Ananka as soon as her head hits the sarcophagus pillow. Why she rapidly ages back into mummy bandages at the end (just as she did in the previous film) is never explained, but by then, like a psychoanalyst session, the hour is up.

The brief tragedy of her plight luckily is offset by her fashion-forward bangs and use of a night dress as evening swamp-wear. I don't generally like those Betty Page bangs --you have to be damn hot, willowy and with the right mix of bad girl, demure kitten, and assertive intellect to pull them off.  You also need the right dress. Since her character is neither here nor there as far as soul-body-mind-incarnation-century cohesion, her dress is neither nightgown nor formal evening dress but a sublime hybrid. She could either be lost on her way home after an all-night party or sleepwalking. Christine pulls both options off at once, and looks damned great being carried around by Lon. I love her, so leggy. When Kharis is carrying her uphill, her feet almost touch the ground.

Naturally the more I see this film the more I forget its weaknesses, but amnesia has always been the B-movie lovers' friend. Is that why 'forgettable' and 'dreamlike' go so hand in hand? I forget, but it seems like I wrote this all before... 


1. Knowing Hammer, she's maybe dubbed - but don't spoil it for me by confirming

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