Monday, October 06, 2008

Honourable Mentions – Pandemonium


This is an Australian flick, directed by Hayden Keenan and released 1988, and… well it is just difficult to know where to start. This is absolutely surreal, an antipodean dreamscape with lashings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show – at least in the campy atmosphere/performances.

David Argue as Kales LeadinghamThe film begins with the escape of Kales Leadingham (David Argue) from a lunatic asylum. He evades the warders, scales a wall and sits by a girl at a bus stop – at which point he commences to tell his tale. A tale of his younger days when, to make ends meet, he was a surveyor. His job took him to a ‘disused’ movie lot, where he was supposedly surveying the property for owners EB (Esben Storm) and PB De Woolf (Arna-Maria Winchester).

Amanda Dole as Dingo GirlAround this time the Dingo Girl (Amanda Dole) came back to civilisation – via Bondai Beach it seemed – and headed to the studio. Being a Dingo Girl she spent much of the film in various states of undress. The de Woolfs were her parents – though EB mistakes her as an aspiring actress and tries to have his way with her. PB recognises her as the girl she abandoned in the desert (at God’s urging).

wedding for a Hitler cloneThe studio is home to many a strange creature/character including a pair of incestuous Nazi lesbian twins (played by Rainee Skinner and Kerry Mack), whose reason for being there is to look after a Hitler clone named Little Adolph (Ashley Grenville). Most of the occupants find a reason to need Dingo Girl and in this case, as she is virginal, the twins want to breed her and Little Adolph.

oots man there's a moose loose...Of course Kales falls in love with her and also realises that the studio is at an aboriginal dreaming spot. In the meantime the viewer is left wondering just what is happening. We get a wide range of weird characters thrown at us from the moose, which is EB with a moose head stuck on his head for a large chunk of the film, to the vampire cited below.

the count drinks by strawSo... the vampire character... This is the Count (Henk Johannes) and, when we first see him – for about five seconds, he is sucking blood through a straw. We do get references to vampires later, including a line that suggests that “Behind each door (of the lot) lurked blood sucking fiends”. If the film had kept his appearances at this I think we might have had too little even for a honourable mention.

the count with Dingo GirlHowever, he makes another appearance later, for a minute or so when he decides she (Dingo Girl) has the ‘secret of sacrifice’ (no, I didn't get that either) and fights accountant turned ape man Kong (Pete Smith) for her as a bride. The fight uses guitars as a weapon of choice (as clubs and not instruments) and we do not see the conclusion, as such – just the aftermath of Dingo Girl in bed with Kong.

Mercia Deane-Johns as MorticiaAs a side entry to this we should mention Morticia (Mercia Deane-Johns) a witch, it would seem, who is trying to create a formula to remain young and has discovered that she needs to use a foetus not born of man – there was a degree of the Erzsébet Báthory to the character, at least a smidgeon.

Really odd stuff and, trust me, what I have mentioned doesn't even touch the weirdness of the finale. The imdb page is here.


Anonymous said...

This makes me think Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have seen this film.

I don't know if you saw the Grindhouse double feature they did, but inbetween, there were fake movie trailers made. One has some lesbian nazi twins, a werewolf, and Udo Kier (I love him) in it...seems similar! I can't remember the fake movie name...

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Hiyah S, good to hear from you. I have seen Grindhouse but, in the UK, we were overlooked for a proper theatrical release and thus I have seen the movies on DVD and only one of the trailes appears in that format.

However, I did see the others on YouTube (sneaky) and recall the one. It certainly was the Rob Zombie directed one and it might have been called Werewolf Women of the SS (or something like that at least)

Alex Cutler said...

I'm one of the producers of "Pandemonium" and just stumbled on to your blog. Appreciate the Honourable Mention! I'm dying to know how you discovered the film, given that it's been out of circulation for so many years. Feel free to email me at if you have a moment to elaborate. Thanks again!