DAUGHTERS OF SATAN. (1972) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

daughters of satanDAUGHTERS OF SATAN. (1972) DIRECTED BY HOLLINGSWORTH MORSE. MUSIC BY RICHARD LASALLE. CINEMATOGRAPHY BY NONONG RASCA.

STARRING TOM SELLECK, BARRA GRANT, TANI GUTHRIE, PARALUMAN AND VIC SILAYAN. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Any film that begins with naked whipping is usually fine by me, and this brilliant old ‘Seventies erotic horror movie is no exception. It has the added bonus of starring Tom ‘MAGNUM P.I.’ Selleck, whose thick luxuriant moustache and hairy-chested manliness has provided fantasy fodder for many a horny housewife over the decades.

My favourite role of his wasn’t, in fact, the Hawaiian-shirted detective but the time when he played Monica Geller’s much older boyfriend Richard in ‘Nineties sitcom FRIENDS. It was so sad when they split up because Monica wanted babies and Richard didn’t, as he’d already been there and done that with his first wife. All together now: ‘Awwwww…!’

Anyway, I loved the scene after they’d split up and Monica was curled up on the couch miserably smoking one of Richard’s yucky cigars with one of his old beloved American Civil War tapes in the VCR, just to feel close to him. Well, we can all relate to that, I guess.

She’s asleep by the time her Dad, played by the wonderful Elliott Gould, comes over to see how she is. The look of pure bliss on Dad’s face once he’s commandeered the smouldering cigar and the Civil War documentary for himself is just priceless.

Tom Selleck is terrific in DAUGHTERS OF SATAN too. He plays a moustached, hairy-chested handsome man (no change there, so!) called Jim Robertson who lives in a gorgeous house in the Philippines with his beautiful wife Christina.

She’s an empty-headed harmless little thing who looks fabulous in an array of typically early ‘Seventies dresses, but she’s seeing a psychiatrist and one suspects that the lift, in her case, doesn’t quite reach all the way to the top, haha. I’m not saying she’s wacko or anything, but she’s definitely impressionable and easily influenced and that’s what makes her perfect for the horror that unfolds.

Any-hoo, one day art buff Jim buys a rather macabre painting of three witches being burned at the stake (with a big black dog being burned with them) because the middle witch is a dead ringer for the lovely Chris.

Chris is understandably baffled as to why he’d bring such a hideous and upsetting thing home with him. I mean, a picture of her being burned at the stake, for crying out loud…! Some husbands have no common sense at all.

The advent of the painting brings some strange changes into the Robertson household. A big black devil-dog appears out of nowhere, who’s devoted to Chris but tries to take off one of Jim’s legs every time they cross paths.

A surly disobliging maid called Juana (a bit like Consuela from FAMILY GUY!) joins the household too. Again, she’s all up in Chris’s business but she’s nothing short of downright rude to Jim.

The arrival of the strange close-mouthed domestic servant at the same time as the devil-dog reminded me strongly of one of the most famous Satanic movies of all time, DAMIEN: THE OMEN, which came along just a few short years later. The indomitable Billie Whitelaw played the sinister Mrs. Baylock to perfection. I don’t know who played the mutt. I really must watch that film again later.

Gradually, anyway, Jim realises that weird stuff is happening to his painting that appears to be mirroring real life. The third witch in the picture bears a strong resemblance to Juana the maid, for example, and the painting of the dog keeps fading in and out to beat the band. Weird…!

When he discovers another painting in the series in which he himself features as the man who’s condemned the three witches to death, it becomes clear that his own life might be in danger as the three reincarnated witches, his own innocent wife included, seek revenge for their grisly ends all the way back in 1592… Eeep!

Barra Grant, a real looker, is excellent as the dreamy, dopey Christina. Tani Guthrie plays a blinder too as the sex-mad head witch who really enjoys whipping half-naked females. You do see tits in this, by the way, and jolly nice tits they are too. And not surgically-enhanced, either, unless I miss my mark.

You’ll also hear some great early ‘Seventies horror movie music and you’ll discover a novel use for ice in both the killing of a husband and also the establishing of an alibi so you don’t get done for the aforementioned. Nice…!

You’ll see some gorgeous cinematography and ‘Seventies costumes and interiors and whatnot too. This is a really enjoyable film, with tits and whipping and even some titty-whipping into the bargain. Seriously, what more could anyone possibly want from a horror movie…?

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

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WALKABOUT. (1971) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

walkabout 2WALKABOUT. (1971) BASED ON THE NOVEL BY JAMES VANCE MARSHALL. DIRECTED BY/CINEMATOGRAPHY BY NICOLAS ROEG. MUSIC BY JOHN BARRY.

STARRING JENNY AGUTTER, LUC ROEG AND DAVID GULPILIL.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is an extraordinary film. I recently watched it on DVD on a Sunday lunchtime after waiting in vain for BBC2 to put on Rita Hayworth in PAL JOEY (1957) as promised. Damn you, Rio Olympics 2016…!

Televised sporting events have a lot to answer for, haha. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve sat down, cup of tea and a biscuit beside me, all ready to watch a film only to hear the dreaded words:

‘Unfortunately, due to extended coverage of golf/horse-racing/the World Snooker Championships, the advertised movie will not now be shown…’ GRRRRR…!

Anyway, I had WALKABOUT out on loan from the library so I thought I’d give it a whirl, as it had recently been recommended to me by a Facebook friend as an example of British film-maker Nicolas Roeg’s early work. It was every bit as good as I’d been led to believe, and then some.

The film tells the incredible story of an English schoolgirl and her cute little golden-haired brother who find themselves stranded in the Australian Outback after a family picnic goes horribly wrong. They are saved from an agonising death from thirst and starvation (but mainly thirst!) by the timely appearance of a teenage Aboriginal boy.

The boy, fortuitously for the girl and her brother, is out in the Bush on his own doing his ‘walkabout.’ This refers to the several weeks the young Aboriginal boy must spend in the Outback alone, learning about basic survival among other things, before he can officially become a man.

This boy is definitely going to earn his stripes. It seems like there’s nothing he doesn’t know about surviving alone in the Bush. He knows how to suck water up out of the ground after the children’s water pool dries up mysteriously overnight. He knows how to kill various Bush animals, big and small, and cook their meat over a fire. The kids sure are lucky they ran into this guy…!

The girl, played by Jenny Agutter of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN fame (she was only seventeen at the time this was made) is undeniably beautiful and extremely camera-friendly. The camera, in fact, takes every opportunity to linger on her long, lissom legs and small firm breasts. Her school uniform skirt is more than a little north of the knee and every few minutes she’s whipping off her blouse and bra to have a wash or go for a swim.

She appears fully-frontally naked in several of the scenes and, while I acknowledge that it might not be practical to wear layers of heavy town clothing in the blazing Bush, it’s pretty obvious that Ms. Agutter’s constant nudity was always going to be an important selling factor for the film, which did in fact have some censorship issues when it was released.

The Aboriginal boy and the beautiful girl are intensely sexually aware of each other. Curious eyes caress naked breasts, buttocks and thighs every chance they get and there’s a palpable sexual tension between the pair. It’s not done in a lewd or nasty way, however, despite what I said about all the deliberate nudity earlier…!

Young men and women do think of each other in mostly sexual terms when they’re going through puberty, and there’s nothing going on between the boy and girl in the film that’s not all perfectly natural and inevitable. There are quite a few stark-naked Aborigines featured in the film as well, by the way. Just to let you know, like…!

Even though the film’s rated ’12s,’ I personally would have slapped a ’15s’ certificate on it. Not because there’s anything at all wrong with the naked human body, especially in situations in which clothes are not normally worn anyway, but mainly because kids watching the film may find all the coming-of-age hoo-ha and sexual awareness stuff a bit confusing and hard to handle.

The other star of this fabulously-photographed film would have to be the Australian Bush itself. What a hauntingly beautiful but terrifying place it is, just like in PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK from the exact same era. I know I wouldn’t last five minutes out there alone, not being a naturally outdoorsy kind of gal. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The knowledge you’d need to possess to be able to survive in a harsh place like that would just boggle the mind. Fair play to anyone who’s ever managed it. It would be beyond most people nowadays, myself included.

We’re mostly all much too spoilt with phones and gadgets and microwave ovens and whatnot to be able to even imagine a life without our many comforts and safeguards. Could we, for example, even last a day without social media? Unlikely. Try it and see…!

The Bush animals in their natural habitat are themselves extraordinary. Your eyes will bug out of your head when you see some of them.  They’re out of this world. Miracles of nature, all of ’em! The scenes with the hunters are deeply distressing, though. There are real scenes of animal deaths in the film that will upset any animal-lovers out there so be warned.

I loved the imagery of the sexy trees (these have to be seen to be believed!) and also the fact that Rod Stewart’s GASOLINE ALLEY, one of his earliest hits if not the very first, is playing on the girl’s tinny little transistor radio near the start of the film. I literally hadn’t heard that song played anywhere in years. It’s a great song and it was quite a surprise to hear it here.

The golden-haired little boy, whom I think is Nicolas Roeg’s own son, is a great little actor. Nicolas Roeg, by the way, is the director of one of the best and most haunting horror films ever made, namely DON’T LOOK NOW (1973), based on the short story by Daphne Du Maurier. She also wrote the novel REBECCA and the short story THE BIRDS, both of which were turned into superb films by movie maestro Alfred Hitchcock. The lucky cow…!

The courtship/mating ritual scene towards the end of the film is amazing and its outcome brutally harsh. I really disliked the girl afterwards, even though technically she did nothing wrong. You’ll see what I mean if you watch WALKABOUT for yourself.

There are probably two ways of looking at it. Just because the boy wants something and offers something to her doesn’t at all mean that the girl has to feel the same or reciprocate. Just because he’s saved her life doesn’t mean she has to repay him in that way, does it?

On the other hand, she does come across as a real cold fish, self-possessed and self-absorbed, and it’s not really her whom we feel sorry for. That’s just my opinion, though. You guys can make up your own minds as to whose side you’re on, if anyone’s. For all we know, it could just be some shit that happens, as we know that shit undoubtedly does at times.

Anyway, you should definitely watch this excellent film if you ever get the chance. It’s absolutely unforgettable. You’ll have to be okay with all the nudieness, though. If you’ve already watched bare titties and butts jiggling about in constant motion in other films in the past and come through unscathed, then you’ll probably be okay this time around too. Just in case, though, I’ll certainly pray for you, dearest readers…!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor

THE THIRD MAN. (1949) REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Orson-Welles-shadows-xlargeTHE THIRD MAN. (1949) DIRECTED BY CAROL REED. PRODUCED BY DAVID O. SELZNICK AND ALEXANDER KORDA FOR LONDON FILMS. ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: CAROL REED. WRITTEN BY GRAHAM GREENE. PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROBERT KRASKER. MUSIC SCORE BY ANTON KARAS.

STARRING JOSEPH COTTEN, ALIDA VALLI, TREVOR HOWARD, BERNARD LEE, ERNST DEUTSCH, WILFRID HYDE WHITE AND ORSON WELLES.

REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

This is the kind of film that routinely makes it into those brilliant 100 BEST MOVIES EVER MADE list shows that used to be everywhere on television in the ‘Nineties and the ‘Noughties. Now, not so much, sadly. I miss them. The film is along the same lines as CASABLANCA and THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS and easily as good, if not better. Yes, it’s actually that good! Let’s take a squint at the plot.

Joseph Cotten is fantastic as Holly Martins. He’s the writer of lurid paperback Western novels who turns up in post-war Vienna at the invitation of his old mucker Harry Lime. Harry’s offered him some kind of a job as well as, presumably, a doss-down in his gaff. Joseph Cotten is handsome in a rugged kind of way. I could certainly go for him myself, the way he looks all manly and sort of overcoat-y in this film.

The one problem with Harry’s kind invitation is that Harry has had the unforgivably bad manners to go and get himself killed a couple of days before Holly rocks up in Vienna, all excited about meeting his old pal.

That’s right, Harry was run over by a truck and carried across the road to his home by, seemingly, three men, only two of whom can be satisfactorily identified. The mystery of ‘the third man’s’ identity is how the film gets its name. It’s obvious, innit…?

The more Holly hears about his chum’s sudden death, the more he becomes convinced that Harry’s demise was no accident. Harry was a racketeer, see? He was heavily involved in the black market, as indeed a lot of folks in post-war Europe seem to have been, so surely there might be any number of people who’d have had reason to wish him ill. Holly resolves to stick around in Vienna until he solves the mystery of why Harry was killed.

His decision to stay on in the beautiful, slightly decaying-looking post-war Vienna brings him into contact with a number of interesting people. There’s theatre actress and illegal immigrant Anna Schmidt for one, Harry’s former girlfriend who feels like her life is over and she’s got nothing to live for now that Harry’s dead. I find her a bit too miserable and mopey, a bit too much of an ungrateful sourpuss, for my liking.

Come on, love, we’ve all been there. Snap out of it. Life goes on, tomorrow is another day, plenty more fish in the sea and all that jazz. Also- and this maxim certainly applies in this case- I’m a firm believer in ‘if you can’t be with the one you love, then love the one you’re with.’ I know it’s easier said than done but trust me, love, you’ll get over him. Some day. And not without considerable pain and suffering to your good self…

Holly’s search for the ‘truth’ about Harry’s death causes him to lock horns with Trevor Howard, who does a wonderful job of playing the trimly-moustached and oh-so-terribly-English Major Calloway, who’s poking his aristocratic nose into all kinds of things to do with the late Harry Lime.

The cynical Intelligence Major, who looks absolutely darling in his duffel-coat and little beret, has one or two home truths for Holly about his dear old friend Harry Lime, deeply unpalatable truths which, if a shocked Holly chooses to believe them, may change his mind about Harry forever.

And if it takes a discarded teddy bear to help Holly come to a painful decision and bring the search to an electrifying conclusion in the very bowels of the city, then so be it.

Sergeant Paine, the Major’s subordinate and constant companion, is a thoroughly decent character too. He’s an avid reader of Holly’s books, a fact which naturally Holly finds immensely gratifying, and he’s just a jolly decent English chap who only wants to do his job and bring the bad guys to book for their misdeeds. We’re just not entirely sure who exactly these are, unfortunately…

The setting of the film in post-war Vienna is a marvellous choice. We’ve got atmosphere and fantastic cinematography by the bucket-load as the cameras take us along pitch-black little cobbled streets and up chipped decaying staircases into magnificent old apartments which look like they used to be the family home of posho aristocrats before the war, and before they got divided up into flats for the common people of Vienna. No offence intended to any commoners there, haha. Sure, we’re all commoners nowadays.

We’re taken into little European cafés and up on a Ferris wheel in a slummy old fairground, and we’re even lured down, down, deeper and down into the sewers that criss-cross Vienna’s underbelly and which can be used, if necessary, as a personal escape route for a ghost. The ghost of a man who was supposed to be… Well, I can’t tell you, but the settings are absolute perfection itself. What a wonderful film!

The zither music that runs all through the film is part of what makes it so famous, as you probably know. Even if you’re reading this and you don’t think you know the particular piece of music, you’d know it straightaway if it were played for you right now.

It was composed by a chap called Anton Karas, who was accidentally discovered playing at a Vienna café during production of the film. The score became an international bestseller. I just think that that’s one of the best movie stories I’ve ever heard. It all just worked out so neatly for everyone involved.

A word now about Citizen Kane or Orson Welles himself. I admit, I find his fleshy good looks extremely appealing, not to mention the aura of mischief and sheer physical presence that he exudes whenever he’s on screen.

He makes a huge impact in this film, in which an adorable puppy dog, a clever kitty-kat who likes to nibble on shoelaces and a precious little pudding of a small boy (played by Herbert Halbik), who might conceivably still be alive today, also make memorable appearances.

Mr. Welles is not necessarily the only star of this show, however. There are three stars of THE THIRD MAN, all male, and all equally worthy of praise and admiration. Orson Welles is, of course, one of these. When you watch this film, you won’t have any difficulty whatsoever in pinpointing the other two. Happy watching…!

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens’ fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

You can contact Sandra at:

https://www.facebook.com/SandraHarrisPureFilthPoetry

https://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com

http://sexysandieblog.wordpress.com

http://serenaharker.wordpress.com

sandrasandraharris@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/SandraAuthor