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Essex Spacebin (2016) | Is this British indie sci-fi inspired lunacy or what?



Honestly, I really cannot begin the describe how ‘bad’ Essex Spacebin is – and I use those commas because I think that’s the point – or so it seems.

Essex Spacebin

Meet Lorraine Willy (Lorraine Malby), a middle-aged woman with mental health issues who believes she and some intergalactic Rasta dude called Hogan have a psychic link with beings from another dimension. Armed with a PDF of Amen-Ra’s specs for an Essex-built pyramid, Lorraine sets out to locate a star key, which will gain her access to the parallel world…

Essex Spacebin

Written and directed by David Hollinshead and Philip Thompson (who don’t appear to have done anything else according to the IMDB), Essex Spacebin is a low-rent sci-fi take on the Wizard of Oz with production values akin to the VHS shorts that I used to make on a lark with my university friends back in the 1980s. But it’s shot in glimmering 35mm film stock, which leads me to suspect that the whole thing is a joke on us viewers, and that its ‘badness’ is intentional.

Essex Spacebin

So, are the film-makers hoping to pay homage to the likes of John Waters (Multiple Maniacs is back in UK cinemas in a restored version – yeah!!!) and the warped comedy of Troma’s 1980s output (in London, it was paired with Tromeo & Juliet, alongside a personal appearance of Lloyd Kaufman), and that their intentionally ‘bad’ film will take its place in the Midnight Movie pantheon alongside Rocky Horror, Birdemic: Shock and Terror and Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, or is it really just a waste of everyone’s time and effort? I’ve sat through it twice now and I really can’t make up my mind. So, if you have seen it, please do leave a comment below, and let me know if I have missed something?

Kudos, however, do go to crazy collection of characters that populate this mad, bad, non-star trek, and to the evocative techno soundtrack (from Ceephax Acid Crew aka Andy Jenkinson).

Essex Spacebin is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Volume 2 | Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman Wants You!

Return to Nuke ‘Em High – Volume 2

Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Volume 2 is the finale of Lloyd Kaufman’s two-part Troma schlockfest and he’s set up a Kickstarter campaign to get it finished. The project will only be funded if at least US$50,000 is pledged by Wednesday, June 24 and so far US$43,803 has been raised. If you fancy becoming a part of Kaufman’s Troma universe, then follow the link:

For a review of Return to Nuke ‘Em High: Volume 1 check out my review: HERE

Return to Nuke ‘Em High – Volume One (2013) | This schlocky gloopy gorefest tips the scale in OTT tastelessness

Return to Nuke Em High Volume 1

From Troma mogul Lloyd Kaufman, comes a trashy new term for the Class of Nuke ‘Em High. The schlockmeister’s original 1986 film and its two sequels found the Tromaville High kids battling subhumanoid creatures spawned from radioactive waste seeping out of a nuclear power plant. In this long digested follow-up, the first in a two-part adventure (a la Kill Bill), more toxic shocks await the students and faculty, this time from mutant-morphing school dinners created by the Tromorganic Foodstuffs company, who have built their processing facility on the site of the old power plant.

Return to Nuke Em High Volume 1

When the Tromapoof’s Glee Club are transformed into the sociopathic Cretins gang after devouring glowing green tacos, eco-blogger Chrissy (Asta Paredes) and duck-loving rich girl Lauren (Catherine Corcoran) are forced together to deal with the monstrous mayhem. But while trying to take down the evil food giant, Chrissy and Lauren discover something stirring between them – could it be their twitching furry tacos?

Return to Nuke Em High Volume 1

If you’re easily offended, then look away now because Return to Nuke ‘Em High – Volume One is 85-minutes of OTT tastelessness, where boobs, bad acting, bodily fluids and lots of fluorescent gore are the order of the day. But this is Troma for Christ’s sake, so what did you think you were going to get?

Filled with unapologetic, non-PC humour, and peppered with references to Troma’s back catalogue, as well Glee, Carrie and Rock n Roll High School, this cheesy horror romp’s outrageousness will delight Troma fans, while newbies will be left in a state of deep shock by the puerile slapstick comedy – care for a giant penis, anyone?

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The legendary Stan Lee makes a cameo in the pre-credit sequence which features a cool retro theme tune (I can’t get it out of my head), while Motörhead’s Lemmy delivers an unintelligible turn as the US President (he desperately needs subtitles). But the strangest thing here is the inclusion of 18 tracks by the cult British punk cabaret act The Tiger Lillies, whose fabulously freaky dark circus sideshow tunes get swallowed up by the frenetic visuals (they belong in a different kind of film altogether).

If you do manage to stay until the end, you’ll discover the film stops abruptly; that’s because you have to wait until Volume Two (currently being filmed now) to find out what happens next (I can’t wait). A schlocky gloopy gorefest that’s a must-see for horror comedy fans.

Return to Nuke ‘Em High – Volume One is out on DVD in the UK from Anchor Bay Entertainment


Check out the 3min trailer…

A triple dose of VHS Troma terror get remastered for a new era

Back in the late 1980s, the bargain-bin schlock of US indie movie outfit Troma was a staple of my VHS viewing pleasure. Boasting lurid titles like The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ‘Em High and Surf Nazis Must Die, and seasoned with copious amounts of cartoon violence, naff sex scenes, terrible acting and cheap special effects, Troma’s new wave of exploitation had a look and feel that was all its own.

While they make not look as slick as today’s modern-day equivalents (especially Asylum’s knock-off sci-fi adventures and budget creature features), these low rent capers certainly knew how put a new spin on tried old genres, and that uniqueness has kept them from disappearing forever.

Heading into a home cinema near you come a trio of Troma treasures that have been dusted down, spruced up and served with a smorgasbord of extras that will be a trip down memory lane for those who rented them first time round and, for newbies, a real insight into one of cinema’s true mavericks.

Class of Nuke ‘Em High – Troma’s highest-selling VHS release – puts an atomic spin on The Class of 1984 as a gang of school kids turn into rampaging freaks after smoking irradiated marijuana. The extras in this release include a not-to-be missed public service announcement featuring Motörhead’s Lemmy and South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Watch it here, below.

The gritty masterpiece Combat Shock – which shares the same DNA as Taxi Driver and the 1980 actioner The Exterminator – follows the downward spiral of an Agent Orange exposed Vietnam vet living on the means streets of Staten Island, and features two versions of director Buddy Giovinazzo’s film, plus a great documentary about the film’s lasting impact.

Finally, Troma’s homage to blaxploitation, Surf Nazis Must Die, follows the mother of a murdered black teenager as she takes her revenge against the lawless gangs who have invaded the Californian coastline. The best part about this release isn’t the hilarious fashions (straight out of Elton John’s I’m Still Standing music video), but the fab soundtrack, and the six lost scenes on the extras.

So who’s ready for this must-see Troma-fest?

Class of Nuke ‘Em High (Dual Format), Combat Shock (DVD) and Surf Nazis Must Die (DVD) are released in the UK through Arrow Films

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