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  • 07/23/14--06:00: REVIEW: Unbelievably Bad #13

  • Unbelievably Bad#13: I’m glad I read this comprehensive Hard-Ons tribute after seeing the Aussie legends' two most recent gigs, as they gave me a much greater appreciation of the band and where they’re coming from. This high-quality mag is packed with interviews with all current band members (and ex-member Keish), along with collaborators like Neil Hamburger and Jerry A. Plus there are oodles of flyers, record covers and photos, supplied by fans of the band from all over the place. And then there’s the flexi-disc: a new track called Darth Vader Pretends. Wow! This labour of love by Matt, Glenno and friends is a must-buy for any fans of the Hard-Ons or Aussie underground music in general. It’s that fucking good. And yeah, waaaaaay better than UB #12. Good to see Reekie back in top form.

    Unbelievably Bad, c/- Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA;; [AUD$13 or e-mail for details if from overseas, 68 x A4, 60+ minutes]

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    OR IS it You, Baby by Reiko Ike? Either way, this is one of the strangest, most embarrassing, yet compelling CDs I’ve ever heard. And I can ONLY ever listen to it at work or on my iPod while wearing headphones – it’s about as pornographic as music gets (so eat shit you wannabe gangsta rappers – you ain’t got nothing on Ms Ike) and should NEVER be played in polite company (or in public at all).

    I’ve never watched “pink films” – the action pornos produced in Japan during the 1970s – but Reiko was apparently a huge star in them. She was only 17 – and already the lead actor in flicks with titles such as The Insatiable andQueen Bee Strikes Again– when she recorded this album in 1971.

    All I can say after hearing this highly charged mix of Japanese lounge, cool jazz-rock and orgasmic groaning is that I really, really, really would have liked to have met Reiko, possibly had a few drinks with her, then taken her back to my lava-lamplit groovy pad for some solid bonking.

    Come to think of it, this a near-perfect album for lovemaking, although Reiki’s vocal antics can be so off-putting that maintaining an erection would probably be difficult. At times her sexual growls sound more like a baby badger crying or possibly a whale calling to the rest of its pod.

    The rest of her orgasmic squeals and moans make Jane Birkin’s antics with Serge Gainsbourg on 1969’s Je t' nonplusseem positively church hymn-like in comparison.

    To fully appreciate the insane greatness of Reiko, check out the first track on the album on YouTube. Type in “Ike Reiko - Kokotsu No Sekai 1971“.


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  • 11/14/14--18:12: MOVIE REVIEW: Up! (1976)

  •  Raven de la Croix
    I’VE seen a few Russ Meyer films and while I liked the maverick director’s 60s style - the over-the-top macho-sexist bullshit of MOTOR PSYCHO and the tough-gal violence in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! – I think he’d lost the plot by the 70s. His final REAL film, 1979’s Beneath The Valley Of The Supervixens, is confusing but at least it’s funny. The same can’t be said for 1976’s Up!
    It’s a total mess, held tentatively together by the “narration” by a naked Kitten Natividad (the clear highlight of the movie), but it’s the rampant misogyny that bothers me. I know the film is set in some fantasy macho version of rural America that only existed in Meyer’s head, but the way every woman is depicted as a slut and every man an animal driven solely by his dick gets real old, real soon.
    Russ’s dismissive attitude to rape was reveal as far back as 1965's Motor Psycho. But in Up!there are THREE rapes and they’re all treated like nothing out of the ordinary. Margot (Raven de la Croix) is raped twice, the second time by a hulking lumberjack in a crowded bar and it’s treated as comedy. Both times, it’s understood in the narrative that Margot led the man on and it’s HER FAULT. Hell, during the second assault, the other bar patrons hold her down. Meyer himself makes a cameo appearance, slapping the attacker on the bum as he urges him on, then apologising to the lumberjack when he accidentally knocks him off the table mid-thrust.
    Maybe this is what passed for humour in sexploitation back in the 70s. Or maybe Meyer was a woman-hating fuckwit. Either way, it doesn’t make for pleasant viewing.
    But Up! is unpleasant on all sorts of levels. It’s BAAAAD – badly written, badly acted, badly filmed, badly edited. And because Meyer was losing the war against hard-core porn, he compensates by…ahem, upping the perversion stakes. The opening scenes feature an old guy, who we’re supposed to think is Adolf Hitler, as he’s whipped and humiliated by several women, then butt-fucked by a guy before sucking him off. It’s not really played for comedy. I can only imagine how uncomfortable hetero wankers felt watching these scenes in the cinema.
    Meyer’s movies were always much more than just soft-core titty films. There are deeper sub-texts going on.
    That said, I don’t think they’re particularly profound, underground, radical or maverick as some fans believe them to be.
    And in the case of Up!, it’s just a load of shit.
    Janet Wood

    If these big boozzies can’t get you up,
    then you may already be dead!

    YOU could never accuse legendary soft-core porno writer/producer/director Russ Meyer of being a big plot man. He was more what you’d call a BIG TIT MAN.

    The ex-WW2 GI made a fortune in the 60s and 70s making dumb-as-fuck sex comedies that lacked coherent storylines but made up for it in giant-hootered babes.

    While Meyer fans tend to focus on his better efforts like Supervixen (1975) and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), we’re gonna direct our goggle-eyed attention on the brain-meltingly stupid Up!

    Basically, it’s a murder mystery surrounding the bizarre death of an Adolf Hitler look-alike in a Californian castle.

    But it’s really just an excuse for top-heavy strippers like Raven De La Croix, Candy Samples and Foxy Lae to run around in public with their bosoms bouncing majestically in the breeze.

    Confused viewers have to rely on Russ’s girlfriend, Kitten Natividad, who appears every few minutes as a naked narrator to explain what the hell is going on.

    It’s as if good ol’ Russ is giving a wink to the audience as if to say, “Yeah, I know this is a load of crap. But check out the massive boobs on these dames!”

    Up! (1976)
    Starring: Kitten Natividad, Raven De La Croix

    Directed by: Russ Meyer

    Country: USA

    What’s the guts? Nazi fugitives, murder, bare bosoms and…um, we’re not really sure. It’s pretty bloody confusing, to be honest. But hey! TITS!

    Kitten Natividad

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    An open love letter to Roctober editor Jake Austen:


    Hi Jake.

    Y’know, it’s too easy for me to say what I’ve been saying for more than 20 years – that Roctober is possibly the best zine ever published – so I won’t this time. Rather, I’ll say that Roctoberis an institution and essential for the preservation of “outsider”/obscure art, not just in America but around the world.

    On a personal level, the zine – and, really, it’s a MAGAZINE, not a zine – has been a spirit guide for me during the past two decades, exposing me to the bizarre greatness of a wide range of performers including Sammy Davis Jr, Nardwuar the Human Serviette, Jobriath, Andre Williams, The Monks, Ernie Kovacs, Atom & His Package, Neil Hamburger and so many more.

    If you want to sum up what Roctober is about, then #50 does it with both Jonathan Poletti’s very personal, slightly off-key investigative piece on the rise and fall of glam rocker Jobriath, followed by a feature on only-in-the-80s creation New Monkees and an interview with its drummer Dino Kovas. Considering I didn’t even know there WAS a New Monkees, this article was nothing short of a revelation.

    As for #51, it’s the “Comedy and novelty records issue”, which again demonstrates what Roctober does best. While Tom Lehrer is a glaring omission, it’s still an extensive look at this oddball sub-genre of records.

    Who knew I’d be sucked into reading features on obscure performers like “The Funky Tramp” Jimmy Lynch, a comedian who gained some notoriety for being the first artist to use “motherfucker” on a recording. Plus dancer Mr Lee and James Wesley Jackson. Country singer and rassler Sweet Daddy Siki, plus a review of Jimmy Walker’s autobiography, Dyn-O-Mite! Ood Times, Bad Times, which almost made me want to buy it.

    And then Poletti resurfaces with a deeply subjective, extensively researched, ultimately flawed bio on the first sex-change patient Christine Jorgensen

    Speaking of Poletti, his review on the new doco, Jobriath A.D., is deliciously bitchy. It’s as if he’s saying, “How dare someone produce a documentary on MY Jobriath – and come to a completely different conclusion than I did?” Hysterical. Jake, you summed up Mr Poletti perfectly when you wrote that he tells us more about himself than his subjects in his novella-length articles.

    But I think what I love most about Roctober– beyond its quirky subject matter and sheer enthusiasm for those oft-overlooked, hidden gems in the world of entertainment – is that each issue leads me to expand my musical horizons.

    My kids love wild music – eefing, punk, Wall of Voodoo – and I can’t wait to show them copies of Roctober when they’re older to fill their heads with more wonderful musical craziness and inspire them to explore their musical boundaries.

    For all this I say, THANKS, JAKE. May Roctober continue to fascinate, educate and inspire me for another 50 issues.



    Roctober #50, #51 (2012-13)

    Roctober, 1507 E. 53rd St #617, Chicago, IL, 60615, USA; [US$5, 148-152 x A4 pages, reading time: 2+ hours each]

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    Unbelievably Bad#14: There’s a lot going on in this big issue of steaming goodness behind a very Chthulu-like cover by Rev. Kris Hades of Sadistik Execution infamy. There’s also a dopy  interview with the dude, which even Von Helle admits would’ve been better if he hadn’t let Hades see the damn thing first and “edit” the article. My favourite piece was the entertaining interview with punk legend James Baker (The Victims, The Scientists, Beasts Of Bourbon, etc). He even politely touches on Ross Buncle’s bitter article denouncing Baker from three issues earlier. Other highlights include Von Helle’s never-ending interview with HG Lewis (this instalment – about three recently rediscovered sexploitation flicks he made in the 60s – was actually interesting to me); a feature on forgotten punkers King Snake Roost, Acker Bilk’s hidden history with Black Flag, interviews with Pete Shelley and Gary Numan, and a look at the stunning rock photography of Rod Hunt.
    Unbelievably Bad, c/- Von Helle, 9 Ross Street, Dulwich Hill, NSW, 2203, AUSTRALIA [AUD$8 or e-mail for details if from overseas, 68 x A4, 45 minutes]

    Reiko Ike
    Pink Factory: This Crime Factory special edition PDF zine took me months to read, which is never a good thing. A really great zine gets read in one sitting, but not this baby. Not to say there were highlights, including John Harrison’s feature on Rene Bond, a piece on 70s Japanese sexploitation star Reiko Ike’s singing career (which convinced me to buy her album…and it’s pretty cool) and some cool erotic fiction by Criseyda Lake and Louis Bravos. But the lowlights were pretty low including the rest of the erotic fiction, and several articles so poorly written that I couldn’t bring myself to keep turning the pages. And when a zine dedicated to erotica can’t engage my brain (or my loins0, then it’s doing something seriously wrong.

    Pink Factory, [e-mail for details, 66 x A4 PDF, 60+ minutes]

    Sprak!Vol. 2 No. 9: Review after review of shitty films (and a few good ones). Thank God Kami is watching this stuff, so we don’t have to. This issue sees the veteran zinester take a celluloid bullet for us while watching the likes of Bath Salt Zombies, Sexsquatch, Andy Warhol’s Bad, two Ilsa films (!), Robot Monsterand more! Mind-bending madness – you have been warned.
    Kami, PO Box 278, Edwardstown, SA, 5039, AUSTRALIA [trade! 24 x A5, 25 minutes]


    Grunted Warning#22: More demented news clippings compiled from MX, regional newspapers and Japan! My copy came with a mini-zine, which was a nice bonus.
    Stratu, PO Box 35, Marrickville, NSW, 2204, AUSTRALIA [trade! 12 x A5, 25 minutes]


    The Menkas

    From What I’ve Read So Far Of Yours, It Sounds Like Every Man In Macedonia Hit On You


    I’ve said before that I think Tamara Lazaroff is one of the great unheralded Australian writers of the 21stt century. Her work is whimsical, powerful when it needs to be and always painfully, exquisitely written. Lezbiankais a childhood reminiscence about meeting a friend’s older sister, freshly returned from rehab. From What I’ve Read…could be true or it could be fiction. I hope it’s mostly real, because I like the idea of poets being treated like rock stars in Macedonia and huge poetry festivals being attended by thousands of adoring fans. The Menkas is a modern fairy tale about a man, his wife and a pet bear. And how one should not confuse the other two, especially in bed at night.
    If there is any justice in this world, Tamara will one day be feted in newspaper columns, attend writers’ festivals and win awards. If I can do anything to facilitate this, I will. She is simply too good to be unnoticed any longer.[email for details]


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    SOMEWHERE...probably in suburban Adelaide...the members of early 80s punk band Jackson Zumdish are smiling at this cover version. :)
    Listen to it HERE.

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  • 01/04/15--05:16: Some late-night zine reviews

    Biblio-Curiosa #5: This time round, Chris tackles children’s books – but being Biblio-Curiosa you just know they’re gonna be oddball. I’m familiar with the iconic Cole’s Funny Picture Book (it scared the hell out of me as a kid), but it’s the obscure stuff that particularly caught my attention. Like the UFO-themed Susie Saucer And Ronnie Rocketand the horrific The Black Dwarf Of Mongolia. Also, Helen and I both agree that GE Farrow’s turn-of-the-20th-century homages to Lewis Carroll about the Wallypug and the Dodo should be re-released. Another fabulous look at the wondrously weird by an expert in the field. Chris Mikul, PO Box K546, Haymarket, NSW, 1240, AUSTRALIA, [AUD$5/email for overseas prices, 56S, :60]

    Sprak! Vol. 2 #10 (Dec. 2014): It’s a best-of special with schmick colour covers to boot. Kami reviews some classic clunkers (and a few B-grade gems) in his inimitable style, some old and some new. The Sinful Dwarf, Jamie Gillis and Serena’s weird porno Hot Love (which I remember seeing as a young man), Octaman, Deranged and not one but TWO Anna Nicole Smith epics. Plus a review of The Vee Bees’ latest album. It’s a steal at twice the price. Kami, PO Box 278, Edwardstown, SA, 5039. AUSTRALIA, [email for price, 24S, :30] – Dann Lennard

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    NICE vagina, shame about the show.

    I suspect people who've raved about this show overseas (male critics, I presume) are doing so only because they don't want to offend their left-wing friends by criticising a feminist comedienne who's condemning rape culture.
    Good for them. Right on, maaaaaaaaaan!
    As for me...I'm a male. I'm a pornographer. And I thought the show was mediocre.
    Still, Adrienne has a lovely fanny.....and at $38 she was cheaper than a night out at a strip club.

    * Tickets are available at

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    Nature Boy Ric Flair
    is neither natural nor
    that much of a boy

    I’M USUALLY a linear, singled-minded guy when it comes to reading matter. Start a book (or a comic or a zine), finish it, then start reading something else.

    But by accident rather than by design, I’m currently reading four things at once, which is a tricky proposition for a person who has trouble talking and walking at the same time (ask my wife about my issues with multi-tasking).

    Apart from Amanda Palmer’s part-autobiography/part-manifesto The Art Of Asking and DC’s Showcase Presents: All-Star Comics Vol. 1 (featuring the 70s incarnation of the Justice Society of America as drawn by the immortal Wally Wood), I’m also perusing the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Raven Mack’s new zine, Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts 1. Of the four, it’s the latter publication that has most caught my attention.

    Replacing his One Thousand Feathers project, RWFA finds our man discussing a range of topics from the quality of the graffiti on the Berlin Wall to stealing a school bus while naked and high on acid to the horseshoes vs cornhole debate to smacking readers between the eyes with the first chapter detailing a surreal battle royal among the 50 states, Raven is a great wordsmith.

    Now, I know “great” is a word that gets thrown around far too easily for many things (“Great burger!” “Great tits!”), but in Raven’s case it’s completely appropriate.

    I read his work like it’s free-form jazz or, better still, freestyle rap – lyrical words come tumbling out from his West Virginian brain onto the printed page in an almost stream-of-consciousness style. He is a redneck hippie (and I loathe myself even as I write that term, but it’s as accurate a description as I can come up with) with a spiritual soul but a world-weary acknowledgement of the realities of this shithole we call life. Even when I don’t fully comprehend (or agree with) his philosophies or beliefs, I am moved by how he’s conveying his innermost thoughts.

    It’s been more than 12 years since my only one-on-one meeting with Raven, sitting in a darkened bar (courtesy of a dude who stole the fuse box just before I arrived) in West Virginia. He doesn’t drink beer these days, but I look forward to the time that we meet again – maybe over a cup of tea – and I can tell him in person how much his work means to me.

    Whether he’s writing about pro wrestling (which is what first caught my attention at the turn of the century and which, sadly, he does far less of nowadays) or his personal experiences living in the American South or short fiction based on those experiences or his general thoughts on life or music reviews or haikus or sonnets or existential previews of the FIFA World Cup, Raven writes in a way that makes me feel both extraordinarily inadequate as a writer but also inspires me to become a better one.

    Read this zine and maybe it’ll inspire you, too.

    Now, excuse me while I try to finish off the rest of my publications-in-progress, so my linear brain can return to normal. 

    Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts 1: Raven Mack, PO Box 270, Scottsville, VA, 24590, USA. [email for prices, 40S, :90+]

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    ON THE road to South Australia last Christmas, Helen and I got thinking about the worst motels we've ever stayed in. Here's the resulting podcast. Twenty minutes of 110km/h goodness can be found HERE.

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    NOW that both my kids are going to primary school, I've set a goal in 2015 of watching a movie a week on my day off work. I have quite a backlog of films I've put on hold for the past seven years, so I'm excited to start checking them out at my leisure.
    First up is a film I *DIDN'T* see on a Monday, it was actually on Tuesday, February 3.
    But I changed my rostered day off to Monday after this, so I'm decided to call the column Movie Monday Review (besides I couldn't think of an alliterative title using Tuesday). But I digress...onto the review.

    DESPITE my deep love for Johnny Cash there are quite a few gaps in my knowledge of his career. Sure, I knew plenty about his kick-ass rock'n'roll start in the 1950s...his tortured, drug-fuelled, prison concert-holding Man In Black days in the 60s...and, of course, his revitalised final years in the 90s and early 2000s courtesy of The Highwaymen and producer Rick Rubin.
    But I know very little of his unspectacular run in the 70s and 80s, when his record label, Nashville and country music fans all turned their backs on him. (Johnny described himself as "invisible" during this period.)
    So I was surprised when I stumbled across The Baron And The Kid, a 1984 telemovie I'd never heard of till the day I walked into a supermarket in Peterborough and saw it in a pile of cheap DVDs. Well, I was willing to take a gamble for $5, so I grabbed it.
    And what a curious oddity it is - and not very good either. It's based on his 1981 hit song The Baron (which sounds like a cheap rip-off of Kenny Rogers' The Gambler).
    Johnny stars as The Baron, a legendary pool player who found God, reformed his wild ways and now performs pool tricks at charity events. This isn't lean, speed-wizened Cash or frail-yet-stoic later Cash - this is mid-80s comfortably pudgy Cash. He might have been professionally frustrated, but he was clearly enjoying three square meals a day (and plenty of between-meal snacks). And he has a rather florid taste in suits and ruffled shirts.
    Johnny is no great shakes at acting, but he cleverly surrounds himself with a helluva supporting cast including Darren McGavin as crooked manager Jack Beamer, Richard Roundtree as a gun-toting pool player named Frosty and veteran character actor Claude Akins.
    The film begins at a charity exhibition where The Baron is challenged by a young hustler called The Cajun Kid (Greg Webb). The Baron accepts the $250 bet and whips him handily. The Kid demands one more match, betting his mother's wedding ring on the outcome, The Baron looks at the ring, turns white and leaves without another word.
    Later that day he tracks down his ex-wife Dee Dee (Johnny's real wife June Carter Cash), who he hasn't seen since they split up nearly 20 years earlier, and tells her what happened. She reveals she gave the ring to her son Billy Joe - aka "The Kid" - a son The Baron didn't know he had.
    We also learn that The Baron used to be an abusive, alcoholic, pill-popping bastard, which is why he and Dee Dee parted ways.
    "Do you know you broke this eardrum with that last slap you gave me? It left me with a continual ringing in this ear for two years to remind me of all the benders, wrecked cars and the calls from the deputies!"
    Charming. So our "hero" is a wife-beater. Clearly, it was a helluva lot easier 30 years ago to make a dude like this a movie good guy.
    With a new goal in life, The Baron sets out to reestablish a relationship with his son, which is a rocky path at first considering The Kid thought his dad was dead. But once he gets over the shock and anger stuff, The Kid starts to warm to his father. The Baron even takes him under his wing to teach him how to become a professional pool player, and not just a punk hustler.
    The funny thing is that The Kid doesn't win a single game in this movie. Seriously. Not one. He must show a lot of "potential", but he never shows it to the viewers. He pretty much sucks at pool.
    Yet The Kid's clearly doing okay for himself with his manager Beamer, who throughout the movie is setting him up for private  mixed doubles matches - partnered with hard-nosed chick hustler Mary Beth (Tracy Pollan) - with $25,000 and $100,000 side bets. Sounds like a better career than getting whupped in pro tourneys.
    Beamer and The Baron have a heated argument when he brings up The Baron's seamy past, including the time he deliberately drugged an opponent to win a big match.
    Despite this unpleasant revelation, The Kid parts ways with Beamer and sides with The Baron, who finds his competitive spirit rekindled, so the duo start entering events together. The Baron also begins cosying back up with Dee Dee, who's (conveniently) a widow and itching to let someone plant their cue stick in her corner pocket.
    The Baron and The Kid enter a huge nine ball championship in Atlanta with the extra incentive that if they win the event, they can use the prize money to buy a billiard hall in their home town and go into business together. They need to win, too, otherwise someone else will buy the hall, injecting a sense of urgency into proceedings.
    But when The Baron makes the final, he cracks under the pressure and goes on a bender. When The Kid finds him in a seedy bar, they argue and the nasty drunk king-hits his son and flees.
    Like I said, this is our "hero" of the story.
    The Baron passes out and wakes up the next day having had another change of heart. He goes into the final against some dude who drinks Bloody Marys in between shots (Is that professional? It doesn't seem that way to me.). Anyhow, a vengeful Beamer turns up, slips a Mickey Finn into the dude's Bloody Mary and The Baron wins the final easily.
    Beamer tips off a few people that The Baron drugged his opponent and they try to break his thumbs. The Kid saves his dad, but then deserts him when he thinks The Baron has returned to his dirty, cheating ways.
    He rejoins Beamer and Mary Beth on the open road, but while Beamer is busy at a gas station, she reveals the truth that it was Beamer who spiked the Bloody Mary.
    They rush back to Atlanta in time for father and son to make up, The Baron refuses to accept his tainted win (giving up the big cash prize and any chance of owning a billiard hall), then sorta/kinda proposes to Dee Dee.
    The movie ends with The Baron and The Kid lining up some balls to play another game. As per the words of the song, now swelling in the background, The Baron passes his special cue to his son.

    Hmmm, I don't know what to make of this movie. It's not terrible, but it's certainly not great. Cash is merely adequate as an actor, but there's no denying he's a helluva pool player (no trick photography or stunt doubles here). The dude can play. 
    And his chemistry with June Carter Cash is off the charts, even though she's no great shakes as an actress either. But the pair really bounce well off each other in their scenes.

    The Baron And The Kid can be found on YouTube. If you like Johnny Cash and pool, it's worth checking out (especially as it's free).
    Keep an eye out for one unintentionally hilarious scene where The Kid, Beamer and Mary Beth get cornered by Frosty and his goons, but are rescued by The Baron who's dressed up like a cut-rate Che Guevara (fake moustache and all), pretending to be an undercover cop. It's a very goofy scene.

    FINAL COMMENTS: Not so much The Color Of Money as the colour of Cash. (5/10)

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    I'VE heard much about this TV special that the Beatles put together themselves soon after manager Brian Epstein's death. I'd read that it wasn't very good, self-indulgent and lacking Epstein's critical eye to pull it into some kinda watchable shape. But all I've seen is a clip from the film of the band singing I Am The Walrus, so I'd never really got a full gauge on its merits, good or bad.
    Well, now I've finally seen Magical Mystery Tour and I can wholeheartedly tell you...
    It is SHIT.

    Imagine the worst home movies your dad ever filmed, add a healthy dose of psychedelic drugs and too-cool-for-school, ego-driven pop star vanity (decades before Kanye West was a sperm in his daddy's ballsack) and you'll get an idea of what this flick is like.
    It's not that the film makes no sense - or even that it has no middle or ending - it's just that the whole project is...WORTHLESS.
    And the Beatles aren't endearing, likable, reasonably talented actors like they were in A Hard Day's Night, which was heavily scripted, I'm sure. Instead, we get dreary ad-libbing by drug-fucked hairy muppets who can't act and think they're funny (but aren't).
    Even the soundtrack can't save this mess.
    Of the six Beatles songs,the title track and I Am The Walrus are fantastic. Your Mother Should Know is kinda music hall, but fine. The Fool On The Hill is pretentious twaddle. Flying is an instrumental consisting of forgettable psychedelic noodling, while Blue Jay Way is quite possibly the worst George Harrison sitar-saturated tune ever committed to record.

    The "storyline" sees Ringo and his rotund Aunt Jessie get on a bus filled with eccentric passengers, including the other three Beatles.
    The film's supposedly a comedy but the bus is run by vaguely sinister people and their adventures - as confusing as they are - get increasingly unpleasant.
    In one scene, Aunt Jessie dreams she's in a restaurant where John Lennon plays a waiter who's repeatedly shovelling huge amounts of spaghetti onto her plate. As she throws it onto the ground and weeps uncontrollably, he keeps a shit-eating grin on his face, shovels the muck off the floor and throws it back on the plate. Apparently, this scene was included because it was a dream Lennon had had and when he told Paul McCartney about it, Paul suggested they put it in the film.
    I wouldn't be surprised if this gross scene inspired Mr Creosote in Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life in 1983.
    Elsewhere, Aunt Jessie falls in love with a nutty passenger called Buster Bloodvessel and they have a long dream sequence where they frolic on a beach. It goes on for way too long and is ultimately pointless.
    Much of the film is filled with similarly unrelated, dull scenes. At one point, everyone enjoys a huge pub-style sing-along on the bus, accompanied by an accordion player. This would be okay except it goes on for ages and they're singing shit like Roll Out The Barrel.
    The final scene takes place in a strip club and sees The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band accompany noted English stripper Jan Carson on stage while singing Death Cab For Cutie. It's perversely surreal but goes on for ages. Punters watching it on TV would have been wondering why they were being forced to watch a semi-pornographic striptease accompanied by a band doing deliberately bad cabaret.
    Afterwards, the Beatles don swanky suits, hop on stage and sing Your Mother Should Know. Roll end credits.
    Honestly, if my description has made this special all sound half-interesting, then I apologise. It's actually very boring, confusing and downright awful.
    Even if you're a Beatles fan like myself, avoid Magical Mystery Tour and catch the next bus instead.

    FINAL COMMENTS: I want a refund on my bus ticket(2/10 - for two good songs)

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  • 03/21/15--02:38: I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

  • AFTER three years......the new issue of BP is out now. Email me (or comment below) if you're interested in buying a copy. It's 24 A4 pages of adults only ziney goodness. :)

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    A SHORT podcast by me and Helen while on the road in central Victoria. We discuss the perils of night-time driving, particularly the risk of colliding with kangaroos, emus, goats and - as we discovered on our latest holiday - wombats and flocks of sheep.

    Find the podcast HERE.

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    FEMINIST PORN – these two words conjure up some mixed emotions in me.
    As a guy (and a pornographer by trade), I’m mentally and culturally hot-wired into the male-centric mainstream, whether I’m watching or reviewing the latest efforts of Digital Playground, Hustler Video, DDF Prod, Private, Adam & Eve and the other large companies that dominate the marketplace.

    The stars of these movies are physically superior specimens – the X-rated ideal: muscular and well-hung (if male); large-bosomed and slim (if female).

    Even as I approach my 50s and lean towards material featuring older women, the actresses involved in the MILF/cougar sub-genre are still doll-like caricatures of the feminine form. Thank God for plastic surgeons, eh?

    And the scenarios are always geared towards men’s pleasure, leading up to the culmination of just about every sex scene, the external male ejaculation.

    It’s all about the pop shot, folks.

    Amateur filth isn’t much better, even if it offers more “reality” when it comes to body types and “real” sex. However, it can still fall into the same trap of the film-makers (mainly guys) aping the more professional pornos they’re used to seeing. They still lean towards focussing on what pleases male viewers and leaving female viewers out on a limb.

    Sadly, the few X-rated features I’ve watched with feminist sensibilities have failed to stimulate me either. For example, Candida Royalle’s attempts to inject storylines and “love” into her 80s and 90s videos always left me cold (and soft). Maybe they appealed to chicks, but not me.

    So it was gratifying when I recently came across an AUSTRALIAN production, Permission 4 Pleasure, that that not only waves its feminist banner high, but is also genuinely AROUSING.

    And while there are a few “typical” XXX bodies on show, most of the actors are just regular folk of all ages and sizes. It’s refreshing…and stimulating…and Aussie!

    The force behind P4P is Melbourne-based Morgana Muses, who’s referred to on the DVD box cover as “the Hitchcunt of cinema”. That made me smile.

    The award-winning multi-tasker doesn’t just write, direct and produce, she’s also an enthusiastic participant in the four films, which were made from 2012-14.

    “I want my films to act as a reminder to myself and others that there is no expiration date on our sexual pleasure and journey,” she states on her web site. “I hope to provide a voice and encouragement, to give ourselves permission to pursue and explore pleasure, that we are all deserving and entitled to…without shame, guilt, ridicule and judgement attached.”

    P4P is an anthology consisting of four short films. First off the shelf is the humorous A Call For Help. We’re introduced to Rebecca, who’s having a frustrating time trying to get herself off. Fingers, a vibrator, a washing machine…hell, even vegies can’t help the poor gal reach that elusive climax.
    In desperation, she calls a friend, but accidentally messages everyone in her book club.

    Luckily, they’re so preoccupied with their own erotic encounters that they don’t give poor Bec a second thought.

    This segues into several vignettes covering everything from massages and straight sex to bondage and spanking. Morgana’s vigorous escapade with a hairy mechanic is the highlight here.

    These scenes lead to the film’s satisfying, hilarious conclusion, which reveals why Rebecca “accidentally” called so many people and showcases yet another handy use for the iPhone. A fap app, so to speak. Of the four, this was my favourite short, story-wise.

    Duty Bound is Morgana’s personal story of her triumphant escape from the restrictions of marriage and motherhood and her rebirth, Phoenix-like, into a sexual and sensual explorer.

    New Tricks is my personal favourite on the DVD. It has several scorching scenes tied together by almost-comical quotes from a 1950s “advice to wives and mothers” book. For me, the most powerful, arousing scene features four women who clearly enjoy each other’s company. There are orgasms aplenty, toe-fucking and passionate kissing. Great stuff.

    Also, nice to see Morgana give a tip of the hat to the Golden Age of Porn in her solo scene when she puts on Autobiography Of A Fleaon her PC before getting busy with her fingers.

    Finally, Music Box is a powerful tale about a woman (Morgana again) contemplating her former staid lifestyle while looking at an old music box. The tiny ballerina in the box morphs into well-known Aussie adult performer Zahra Stardust, who spins around a stripper’s pole, then dons a bondage mask and frigs herself to a powerful orgasm. The squirting sequence blew my mind. I mean, WOW.

    I hope plenty of people get the chance to see P4P(which can be bought from Perhaps it will inspire more women to make their own erotica, which satisfies the needs of both genders.

    Meanwhile, I eagerly look forward to seeing more of Morgana’s films. I suspect they will be provocative, sexy and, most importantly, fun.

    Isn’t that what all pornos should aspire to be?


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    Stratu’s Diary Comix #1, #2: I’ve known Stratu for nearly 20 years, but I didn’t KNOW him till I read the first two issues of this fascinating comic/zine. Through words and pictures, Stratu gives readers a daily look at his life: the frustrations, fears, wonders and simple pleasures. It’s a great concept – the first two issues cover January and February of this year and I can’t wait to read March (partly ’cos I should be in it!).

    Oh wait…I already CAN, because Stratu also posts full-colour diary strips every day at

    Stratu, PO Box 35, Marrickville, NSW, 2204, AUSTRALIA;; [email for price, 8 x A4 pages, reading time: 15 minutes]

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  • 05/24/15--05:30: Four-book review #1

  • LAST Christmas, me and the family made our semi-annual pilgrimage to the dry, dusty mid-north of South Australia to visit Peterborough – a once-majestic railway town, now slowly dying in this post-railways era. Frankly, if my elderly parents didn’t live there we would have had no reason to come.

    There’s not much in Peterborough. Hasn’t been for decades, since the days I first lived in the town in the late 70s and early 80s.

    But we made a welcome discovery during our visit when we stumbled across a hidden gem: 229 On Main Cafe (housed in the old Capitol Theatre).

    The kids loved exploring the spacious, renovated movie theatre: looking at the quirky bric-a-brac, old movie posters and rows of lollies in glass jars. Or playing on the vintage jeep and 1940s taxi while staring at the life-sized fibreglass statues of Marilyn Monroe and the Blues Brothers.

    I contented myself to drink good coffee, wondering how I’d missed this place on previous visits (it had been open for several years) and trying to not think about my parents and their increasingly frail state.

    The cinema was once a junk shop/second-hand store owned by Mrs White (as I knew her) – I remember as a 10-year-old buying “old” Marvel comics (c. late 60s) from there.

    Now, it was cleaned up and converted into a hip cafe by her son and his wife. Despite Peterborough’s economic woes and the general oddness of such a cool joint existing in the town, it survives and seemingly thrives from the passing tourist trade going to and coming from the Flinders Ranges.

    As for the junk once housed in the theatre, it had moved into a vacant shop next door. Me and the family took the opportunity to peruse it after a long, relaxed stay in the cafe.

    The kids found a few games and toys and I was happy to find four interesting-looking books, which the owner wanted to sell to me for the grand total of two bux. I managed to beat him up to $5, but it was still a sweet deal...and an interesting experiment. Would they all be duds or would there be a few gems among the lot?

    Skinhead Escapesby Richard Allen (New English Library, 1972)

    I’VE heard much about this notorious series chronicling the misadventures of sociopathic East End criminal Joe Hawkins, but this – the third entry in the series – is the first one I’ve actually read. I certainly won’t be seeking out any more of them.

    When the book opens, Joe is doing hard time in jail, but within the first four pages he’s made his escape and hatches a plan to make some quick cash. Along the way, he rapes a girl, steals a gun to aid him in a big robbery, shoots two cops, betrays numerous accomplices, avoids the incompetent police and a vengeful underworld who are chasing him, before finally being captured with pathetic ease. Which is a helluva lot of plot to pack into 125 pages.

    In the foreword, Allen – in reality, a Canadian-born hack writer called James Moffat, who churned out a ton of pulp novels in the 70s – admits he only brought back Hawkins for a third instalment due to public demand. Which probably explains the rushed, perfunctory, “let’s get this shit on the bookshelves ASAP” writing style. It probably took Moffat a weekend to knock it together on his typewriter.

    I read elsewhere that Moffat was a right-wing cunt and it’s obvious in Skinhead Escapes. He buries unions, working-class people, the Irish, Catholics, young people and youth culture in general. He has particular disdain for women, who are either whores or sluts who deserve to be raped. The most jaw-dropping moment comes when Joe’s victim finds out she’s pregnant and Moffat offers this little-known scientific “fact”:

    “She thought hard about her torment. Pregnancy resulted not from the man’s ejaculation but a mutually responsive female orgasm. Had she actually spasmed when he reached his climax? She didn’t think so but...”


    Throughout the book, Moffat has Joe espouse various fascist views and I think the reader is supposed to laugh at the scumbag’s ignorance. But as they’re actually Moffat’s views, then I’m not sure what we’re supposed to think.

    For an idiot, Joe has almost mythical qualities that make him virtually untouchable while on the lam – until his final arrest during an anti-climactic ending, which seems to come from left field for no other reason than Moffat didn’t want to miss Monday’s last mail to post his manuscript to the NEL editors.

    No character comes out of this book looking good. The author clearly despises Joe, but he has no respect for anyone else...except a couple of senior cop figures who are painted in a reasonable light.

    Moffat’s writing style also leaves a lot to be desired. Everything is rushed, particularly the ending. Worse still, there are several supporting characters who are featured –seemingly to play a bigger part later in the book – only to vanish, never to be heard from again.

    The most notable is fellow prison escapee and hardened gangster McVey, who seeks revenge on Joe. Several chapters are devoted to McVey chatting to his wife about his plans, yet nothing eventuates. Why did Moffat even bother writing about the guy if he wasn’t going to figure in the climax? To up the word count, I suspect.

    Or maybe he popped up in a later book in this odious series.

    I can see why people read Moffat’s books nowadays – hey, we all like a post-ironic guffaw, I suppose. But it’s hard to know who was the original audience for this nasty tripe. Joe repeatedly assaults, rapes or insults innocents – rarely confronting villains worse than him – making him a coward and utterly repugnant. The political views are abhorrent and the “social commentary” is appallingly inaccurate.

    I assume it was marketed towards semi-literate skinheads who just liked reading about skinheads thumping people.

    FUCKWITS, in other words.

    Halloween III: Season Of The Witch by Jack Martin (Star, 1983)

    THE book adaptation of the disastrous movie is kinda naff, but still a fun read with a delightfully nihilistic ending.

    Dr Dan Challis is an overworked LA hospital medico with a vindictive ex-wife, two spoilt kids and a drinking problem. Around him, people gear up for Halloween, with the hottest item around being the garish masks made by the Silver Shamrock company.

    Life changes for Challis when an hysterical old man clutching one of the masks is brought to the hospital. He keeps proclaiming that “They’re...going to...kill us! All of us!

    After he’s given a sedative to help him sleep, Challis staggers off to get some sleep himself but is awakened by screaming. He runs out to find the old man has been murdered – his face pulled from his skull – and the killer making a quick exit to the car park. Chasing after him, Challis sees the killer drench himself and the car with petrol, then set both alight.

    Soon afterwards, Challis meets the old man’s daughter Ellie and learns he was a toy shop owner, who’d last been seen driving to Silver Shamrock’s factory in nearby Santa Mira.

    The two join forces to investigate the factory and, suffice to say, things go from bad to worse. They’re soon knee-deep in a monstrous mystery involving a demented novelty toy maker, an ancient large gemstone imbued with demonic power, dozens of super-strong plastic robots and a monstrous plan to get 50 million unsuspecting children to don killer masks and plunge America into a nightmarish new world.

    Challis and Ellie seemingly stop the mask-making madman and his minions, but there’s one final twist that undoes all of Challis’s heroic efforts.

    As a tip of the hat to the first two Halloweenmovies, Martin throws in some red herrings early in the novel to give readers the impression that Michael Myers is lurking near the action. But he later makes it clear that they’re fictional in his world, with the first Halloween even being advertised as a part of a TV movie marathon.

    Overall, I enjoyed this adaptation – I don’t know whether it makes me want to watch this much-maligned flick, but at least I now know it isn’t utter shit.

    Disco by Chelsea Farrady (Horwitz, 1977)

    CASHING in on the music fad at the peak of its popularity is this sexy potboiler published by my wife’s former employer, Horwitz, which went on to be fine porno publishers of AustralianPenthouse and Australian Women’s Forum.

    Michelle is the queen of the New York disco scene, a middled-aged man-eater who runs the hottest club in town. But her past is humble – born and raised in poverty in New Orleans – and her love-life is scandalous, mainly involving her mother’s boyfriend, gangsters and deranged southern playboys. When an investigative journalist comes to interview her, will Michelle’s carefully created kingdom come crashing down around her ears.

    Disco is topical, never dull and Michelle is a surprisingly sympathetic heroine (at least her younger incarnation is – she turns into quite the shallow bitch by book’s end). Still, a fun train read.

    Creatures Of The Mistby Vern Hansen (Digit, 1963)

    I PICKED up this oddball sci-fi book for the cover (a fanged chimpanzee leering ominously over a rocket leaving a planet’s orbit). I thought it was just artistic licence from a drunk cover artist, but it’s actually surprisingly accurate: the main villains in the book are a bunch of savage ape-like creatures.

    This book is odd as the “hero”, Bruin, is actually an escaped convict, who’s kidnapped by a dying alien race (along with a stripper and a vacuous politician) to help repopulate the planet Sooloolia.

    The three victims’ brains are placed in new alien bodies, but they quickly assume positions of power on Sooloolia due to their superior Earth cunning and strength.

    But Bruin – now an emperor – soon his newfound power challenged by disaffected Sooloolians and the more savage Doonamian apes from the planet’s badlands.

    There’s a climactic battle, which ends with Bruin taking on the Doonamian overlord one-on-one to decide the victors. There’s a surprisingly downbeat ending to Creatures Of The Mist, which shows that there was a time when sci-fi – no matter how lowbrow and hackneyed its origins – could afford to be weird and break stereotypes.

    It was certainly a worthy novel to end this four-book experiment.

    - Dann Lennard

    COMING SOON: The Four-Book Sequel

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  • 05/26/15--23:35: Farewell to a briefcase

  • THE briefcase is battered and beaten. It has been smashed over large men's heads at wrestling events, splashed with beer and spirits during drunken benders in seedy pubs, and been carted over much of Sydney when I've attended functions, screenings and parties straight after work.
    The briefcase witnessed bar fights, naked ladies and more stupid horseplay than I ever thought possible. Yet, somehow, it remained sturdy and reliable for 18 years as I carried it to and from work.
    The briefcase was presented to me as a farewell gift when I left my old newspaper in 1997. It's been an extension of me ever since. I've carried everything in that briefcase, sometimes till it was bulging at the seam: numerous books and magazines I read on the bus or train commute to work...bulky headphones...junk toys (don't ask)...groceries...changes of clothing...contraband (again, don't ask)...
    But it's finally time to put the old girl down.

    The hinges are busted, the woodwork is split in several places (being used as a weapon on a sweaty wrestler's noggin in 1999 didn't help the cause), the latches have started springing open at awkward times and, the final straw, a hole has appeared in the bottom of the briefcase rendering it non-waterproof. And in Sydney, you need your briefcase to be waterproof.
    Yes, it's going into the rubbish bin tonight. By tomorrow, it'll be buried under a ton of garbage at some local tip.
    I may sound a bit melodramatic, but I'm gonna miss the damn thing. It's been a huge part of my Sydney life for nearly two decades.
    I bought a new satchel at lunch. The salesman at Myers was very friendly and got me a great deal on it. In passing, I asked if he had any briefcases for sale.
    "What? You mean the old square ones? There's hardly any of those made anymore. They haven't been popular for 20 years."

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    THE last time we went to Peterborough was this past April to visit my dad in a nursing home in a nearby town and visit my mum as she prepared to leave the house they’d lived in for 25 years and move into a nursing home, too.

    Everything was pretty hectic during the few days we stayed at the old house, and it was probably for the best as I didn’t have a chance to get too sentimental and maudlin.

    I didn’t even have the opportunity to visit all my old haunts one last time...but I did find time to make one last trip to 229 On Main Cafe.

    Once more, I browsed the dusty bookshelves next door to it and retrieved another four cheap books from oblivion for nix ($2 the lot). Here’s what I found.

    The Evil Firmby Brian McConnell (Mayflower, 1969)


    THIS is an extraordinary true crime book, considering it was seemingly written (and probably released) mere weeks after the sensational trial that put London master criminals Reggie and Ronnie Kray behind bars for murder and other gangland-related crimes.

    The facts of the crimes and case have been meticulously gathered by journalists from The Daily Mirror, before being knocked together by the author.

    McConnell’s writing style is straightforward and brutal. He’s a man who calls a spade a Cockney cunt. Yes, Brian makes it pretty clear from the outset that he hates pretty much anyone who lives in the East End of London. If you replace the word “Cockney” with “Pakistani” and you could have the author up on charges of inciting racism. The disdain he has for these people is palpable.

    The crimes committed by the Kray twins during the 1950s and 60s were many and varied, yet deep down they come across as insecure working class yobbos, desperate to better themselves by owning West End nightclubs and hobnobbing with celebrities and the upper class. It’s endearingly pathetic...almost.

    Apart from detailing the Krays’ horrific rise to power, McConnell describes the modern history of London’s gangland going back to the 1920s and goes into great detail about not just the Krays’ activities, but also their rival gangs.

    To be honest, the twins were by no means the most vicious mob plying their trade back in those days. Brutal beatings and torture – even of their own gang members –was par for the course for these guys. You seemed to be worse off if you WERE a criminal than if you weren’t.

    The one thing I found most curious was how McConnell steers clear of mentioning Ronnie Kray’s homosexuality. There’s just one glaring line about Ronnie being arrested by police who found him “sharing his bed with a young boy”. Nothing is said again about it.

    The Krays spent pretty much the rest of their lives in prison. Ronnie died in 1995, while Reggie was released a few weeks before his death in 2000.

    The book is a fascinating read, despite McConnell’s curious prejudices. I like to think he was an ex-Cockney himself, filled with self-loathing.

    NOTE: I was inspired to buy this book after again seeing Monty Python’s classic skit, The Piranha Brothers, which also came out soon after the trial concluded. While spoofing the Kray twins, the long sketch – arguably the finest work the Python boys did in their TV series – is remarkably accurate in describing the sadism, violence and perversion that surrounded the Krays and their rivals.

    The Boysby John Burke (Pan Books, 1962)

    THIS is an adaptation of a British telemovie that purports to expose the dark underbelly of teen rebellion and the Teddy-boy lifestyle. It’s actually an intriguing courtroom drama with a fun mid-book twist, but suffers a flat ending due to a curious case of middle-class morality.

    Four male teens go on a rampage through London one evening, ending with an attempted break-and-enter that goes wrong and leads to the death of a nightwatchman.

    Everyone – including the prosecutor (who’s suffering marital issues in an unnecessary sub-plot) – thinks the case is cut and dried, especially as one witness after another is trotted out to relate the boys’ antisocial behaviour that evening.

    However, at this point, Burke turns things on its head. The defence attorney Montgomery (played in the movie by Robert Morley) begins to chip away at the testimony of the various witnesses, giving a plausible explanation for every action of the Teds that evening and how much of their behaviour can be explained away by youthful high spirits, misunderstandings and resentment towards people who judge books by their covers. These aren’t violent criminals, says their lawyer, they’re just lads having a night out, but being picked on for their raucous behaviour, long hair and loud clothes.

    At this point, I thought The Boys was a bloody good read.

    Sadly, there’s one final twist in the tale that undoes everything that’s come beforehand, making Montgomery look like a fool and reaffirming the readers’ prejudice about those “bloody Teds”. Disappointing really.

    The Ms. Squad #1: Lucky Pierre by Mercedes Endfield (Bantam Books, 1975)

    FEMINISM clearly terrified this author (not actually a woman or his real name, I suspect) when he wrote this sexy-but-misogynistic novel, which appears to have been some inspiration for Charlie’s Angels (which hit TV screens a year later). If it didn’t, then I find the coincidences astounding.

    Even the cover blurb states, “These three angels rush in where male fools have tried – and failed!”

    Three beautiful women – who consider themselves smarter and more talented than the men who surround, employ and exploit them – meet by chance and realise they have a lot in common. They join forces and decide to recreate famous botched robberies, only this time they’ll succeed, thereby proving women’s superiority over men.

    Sounds a lot like Charlie’s Angels to me...except these gals are crims, not cops.

    Along the way, they fall foul of a male suave super-spy and some nasty Mafia types before triumphing and setting things up for the next novel. Who knows if that ever came out?

    It’s a dumb, trashy read that relies on too much male stupidity and the main characters’ dumb luck to push the story along.

    The Invaders: Dam Of Death by Jack Pearl (Whitman, 1967)

    COMPANIES like QM put out a ton of these licensed novels for children based on various popular 60s TV series (I have similar hardbacks for Combat and Lassie). I grabbed this one because I’ve never seen The Invaders, but I’ve heard good things about this sci-fi TV series.

    David Vincent is fighting a one-man war against alien invaders, but no-one believes him when he says Earth is threatened, so he must fight on alone, unable to trust anyone, against a hidden foe who can assume the shape of any human, including David’s closest friends and family. The series sounds like a mix of The Prisoner, The Fugitive and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

    In this book, the invaders take over a small Caribbean island containing a large dam that can create enough hydro-electricity to transport thousands of aliens to Earth. It’s up to David and some new-found allies to stop them. Unfortunately for them, one of his friends is a traitor, and David finds himself a prisoner of the evil aliens.

    These books are a breeze to read with obvious plot twists and endings that are never in doubt, but I still kinda enjoyed the paranoid element to Dam Of Death, not to mention the seedy violence, which was probably a big attraction to kids who read it.

    - Dann Lennard

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    BACK when I was a teenager - in the mid-80s - Knave was the bee's knees when it came to grumble mags. The English publication had hot pictorials, a sharp sense of humour, literate reviews of interesting books and movies and....although I didn't appreciate it at the time...fantastic interviews and fiction by staffer Neil Gaiman. Yes, THAT Neil Gaiman.
    Many years later, I read a biography on Gaiman and he explained that the editor at the time, Ian Pemble, was trying to do something different with Knave, producing a smarter-than-average wank mag. Obviously, that changed when he left the helm, because Knave eventually degenerated into the bog-standard type of periodical that most porn critics would expect: all cunt and no cleverness.
    But Knave really was a cut above back the pack in 1984.
    I found this particular issue cheap at a second-hand bookshop in the seaside village of Victor Harbor, South Australia, while on holidays in April.
    Everything else in the shop was woefully overpriced, but this gem was being sold cheap for some reason. A wave of nostalgia splashed over me, so I bought it.
    Little did I know itwas a classic issue in a classic run of issues.
    It's cool enough that the Christmas 1984 edition features a Neil Gaiman interview with Bill Oddie (back when he was still fresh in the British public's minds after a long stint on TV's The Goodies. Who knew he'd swiftly become all-but-forgotten in his homeland, loosely remembered for being an eccentric birdwatcher and the oddball friend of fictional clown Alan Partridge, yet revered in Australia as a comedy genius for the next 30+ years?).
    However, making things even sweeter is the inclusion of an original short story by Alan Moore (yes, THE Alan Moore).

    It's not a particularly good story. But it IS Alan Moore, and that's something to celebrate.
    Throw in a review of Vanessa Del Rio's new stick-flick Viva Vanessa! - including two pics of the X-rated legend that I've never seen before (and I'm a Vanessa aficionado) - and you have what I consider to be the PERFECT top-shelf mag.

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