Monday, 10 October 2016

Alex Bakshaev is back! Review of S & M: Les Sadiques

S & M: Les Sadiques
Director: Alex Bakshaev

Marie (Nadine Pape), bored with life in her stifling suburb, leaves the shackles and restrictions of her father’s house for the bright lights of Berlin. With little money and possessions the young woman is hoping to rely on the goodwill of friends while she settles into city life. But those Marie think she can count on let her down, and after narrowly escaping being raped by an acquaintance she has no option but to sleep rough.

The beautiful Sandra (Sandra Bourdonnec) discovers Marie, dejected, alone and freezing cold, huddled in a stairwell in her apartment building like a frightened animal. Sandra takes the gracious Marie in. Marie is instantly attracted to her benefactor, and is intrigued and aroused by the various BDSM implements openly displayed around the apartment. Sandra, the master, quickly inducts Marie, the willing slave, into her heady world of whips, boots and corsets. Like modern-day vampires, the pair prowl the streets after dark in sunglasses and bondage-chic wear, seeking out handsome young male prey for them to “play” with. Marie may have broke free from her father’s grip, but now she’s under the lock and key of her mistress Sandra, with their sexual escapades gradually descending from lust and desire to murder and madness....

After being impressed by Alex Bakshaev’s excellent The Devil of Kruezberg, the recent release of the dynamic director’s  S & M: Les Sadiques  was a very welcome and pleasant surprise. S & M is both a stunning tribute to the cinema of Jess Franco and a tour-de-force opus of its own accord. Mesmerizingly shot, with both strong performances from leading ladies Nadine Pape and Sandra Bourdonnec and the supporting cast, with both heady and uber cool, sexually charged atmosphere to burn, Bakshaev’s output only gets better and better. A highlight is the dreamlike BDSM club stage shows, which would fit into any of Franco’s very best works seamlessly. This hypnotic essay into the pleasure and pain of sadomasochism is captivating from beginning to end; it doesn’t overstay its welcome and is contemporarily stylish without ever veering into irritating hipsterdom or pondering pretentiousness. A visual and aural treat not just for Jess Franco but for all lovers of top class independent cinema, Alex Bakshaev continues to prove that he is one of the most gifted young filmmakers of his generation with S & M: Les Sadiques.
Gorgeous promo image inspired by which Jess Franco film?

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Robert Monell's interview with yours at your peril

I was honoured to be recently interview by long-time genre scribe Robert Monell at his forum CINEMADROME, where I discuss everything from how I got into Eurohorror/trash, the VHS years, the hypocrisy of censorship in Australia, and much much more here:

"Australian writer Michelle Alexander is one of my favorite critic-journalists covering world genre/obscure/infamous/cult/exploitation cinema, the people who make and appear in it, along with the history of the distribution/exhibition/advertising of these films and with censorship issues they have encountered. Based in Melbourne, Australia she has a special expertise in how these types of films have been treated there in terms of import issues, local censorship and classification, exhibition and promotion. She also writes on the history of Australian cult cinema and has a special interest in Italian genre cinema of the 1950s through the 1990s."

One of the VHS covers that led me on my road to ruin.

My review of ex-pioneering Hollywood stuntwoman and singer/songwriter Marneen Lynne Fields' stunning new single, 'I've Never Stopped Loving You'

Former pioneering Hollywood stuntwoman, actress and now multi-talented singer-songwriter Marneen  Lynne Fields’ latest single, ‘I’ve Never Stopped Loving You’ is an immaculately produced and wonderfully addictive pop-rock track. Fields’ sultry, earthy vocals have a welcome touch of chanteuse Marcella Detroit, emoting her words in a heartfelt, passionate, at times playful way. The instrumental backup amalgamates perfectly with Fields’ distinct voice; soaring keyboards, poignant piano, punchy guitar. These, plus Fields’ lyrics all combine to create a wonderfully memorable, unique and touching single.  With an equally impressive body of musical work, here’s hoping that Marneen will soon release a much-anticipated album.

Listen to Mareen's new single HERE:

Sunday, 3 July 2016

1970s Melbourne Eurohorror/trash/cult cinema ads

After trawling through the cinema advertisement section of many of The Age newspapers throughout the entire 1970s (just about their entire archives are now scanned online from 1854 to 1989), I turned up some gold. Enjoy this selection of screening times for some of the trashiest, sleaziest films, buried deep in the bowels of the Melbourne movie going experience. Today the idea of strolling down the Bourke Street Mall and rocking up to the likes of Black Emanuelle Goes East or Dracula Prisoner of Frankenstein sound laughably absurd, but once upon a time the Melbourne CBD was dotted with theatres playing all amount of Eurotrash, smut and cult classics. And let's not forget what turned up at the suburban drive-ins. A double of The Horrible Sexy Vampire and Caged Virgins in genteel Sandringham? Yes, you read right. If you're still hungry for more movie ads, check out film historian Dean Brandum's essential Technicolour Yawn blog (  and Facebook page ( to whet your appetite!

15 Jan 1973
8 Feb 1973

6 April 1973
5 May 1973
14 Jun 1973

17 Sep 1973

8 Nov 1973

1 Feb 1974
15 Mar 1974
15 Apr 1974
22 May 1974 - interesting placement of these two ads...
5 Jul 1974. Note the M rating, surely there wouldn't have been much of a film left?
8 Aug 1974 

14 Aug 1974
13 Dec 1974
1 Jan 1975 
3 Feb 1975
15 Feb 1975
14 Mar 1975
15 Apr 1975
1 May 1975
1 May 1975
8 Oct 1975
1 Dec 1975
8 Dec 1975
1 Jan 1976
8 Mar 1976
1 Apr 1976
8 Jun 1976
6 Aug 1976
1 Sep 1976
7 Oct 1976 
22 Nov 1976
1 Dec 1976
3 Jan 1977
3 Mar 1977
22 Mar 1977
22 Apr 1977
4 Jul 1977
6 Sep 1977

1 Nov 1977
3 Nov 1977
7 Nov 1977
5 Dec 1977
16 Mar 1978
12 Apr 1978

22 Aug 1978
8 Dec 1978 - The Evolution of Snuff
13 Feb 1980
Jul 1982
Unknown dates - my apologies, I forgot to note the dates of the newspapers all of the below ads are from.