Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Urge to Kill, The (1989)

... aka: Attack of the Killer Computer
... aka: Computer Strikes Back, The

Directed by:
Derek Ford


Director / writer Derek Ford and producer Dick Randall were both mainstays of the Euro exploitation industry of the 60s, 70s and 80s. Ford began - in collaboration with his brother Donald - as a writer (amongst his earlier credits are 1964's THE BLACK TORMENT and 1965's A STUDY IN TERROR), but would became best known for writing and directing British sex films, including the hits THE WIFE SWAPPERS and I AM A GROUPIE (both 1970). He also made the seldom-seen witchcraft documentary SECRET RITES (1972) and wrote the genre films THE LEGEND OF SPIDER FOREST (1971) and THE HOUSE THAT VANISHED (1974). Randall (born Irving Reuben) began his career as a TV writer, moved up to film distribution and then started producing his own films; nudie cutie and mondo films to start. By the end of his career, he'd amassed quite a resume of trash flicks (some of which went on to become cult classics); KING OF KONG ISLAND (1968), THE WILD, WILD WORLD OF JAYNE MANSFIELD (1968), THE MAD BUTCHER (1971), THE FRENCH SEX MURDERS (1972), ESCAPE FROM WOMEN'S PRISON (1978), CROCODILE (1979), SUPERSONIC MAN (1980), THE CLONES OF BRUCE LEE (1981), PIECES (1981), THE POD PEOPLE (1983) and many more. He even made time to direct his own feature; the trashy (and not very good) FRANKENSTEIN'S CASTLE OF FREAKS (1973).



By this point in the late 80s, Ford (who passed away in 1995) and Randall (who passed away a year later) were both reaching the end of their respective careers. The two had already collaborated at least once before, on the sleazy slasher DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS (1983), which featured a serial killer going around murdering (and in one case, castrating) men dressed up as Santa Claus, and they didn't stop there. The duo also teamed up to create this ridiculous sleazy delight involving a killer computer, which was filmed in Randall's London flat and was never officially released to the masses. Some sources claim the original title was Attack of the Killer Computer, but the bootleg copy I was able to acquire was titled The Urge to Kill; also the name as the theme song that opens the film. The copy had a time-code in the top left hand corner the entire time, and something was blurred out on the bottom right hand corner (probably either a logo or something saying "Screener Copy").



Our "hero" is a repellent, sleazy, middle-aged, womanizing creep named Bono Zorro (Peter Gordeno), who uses his wealth and prominent position as a top music producer to get in the pants of nubile young blondes. A large-breasted airhead named Melanie shows up at his studio wanting him to listen to her demo tape. He makes her dance, completely ignores her while he makes a phone call and then invites her back to his place. His place turns out to be an ultra-modern apartment run by a sophisticated computer system called S.E.X.Y., which he claims stands for Central Environment Control System... and yet it doesn't begin with an "s" and is distinctly lacking an "x" and thus makes absolutely no damn sense. S.E.X.Y is able to open doors, run bathwater, turn on romantic music, operates his personal answering service and even keeps a video library of Bono's sexual trysts so he can have his own private homemade porno collection. It has also developed a mind of its own... and turns out to be one jealous bitch!




So anyway, Bono nails Melanie and takes off the next day, leaving her there alone. Melanie invites her friend Julie, also a well-endowed bisexual blonde gold digger, over for lunch. S.E.X.Y. overhears Melanie tell her girlfriend that she's just using Bono to produce her album and kills the ladies off by shooting one's nipple off with a laser while she's in the tanning bed and turning Melanie's relaxing shower into an acid meltdown (a death that had previously been used in SLAUGHTER HIGH, another Randall production). Bono arranges for his female friend / lover Jane (Sarah Hope Walker), who I think is a high-priced hooker and sounds like she was dubbed by a 60-year-old woman, to come over for a three-way. When they arrive back and find Melanie missing, Jane arranges for some other girls to come over.




Leatherclad dominatrix Tiga and her subservient "toy" Susan arrive next. Tiga makes Susan lick all of Bono's fingers. Susan then joins Bono and Jane in the bubble bath. Tiga decides to hit the sauna and take a shower, then starts using an electric toothbrush that explodes in her mouth. S.E.X.Y. then possesses Bono and makes him drown Susan in the tub. Jane also passes out after discovering some dismembered arms in the tub. The computer then keeps Bono and Jane prisoner inside the apartment by electifying the front door knob and blocking incoming or outgoing phone calls. It also tries to turn them against each other by creating fake videos of Jane killing the women, as well as causing hallucinations. The program has somehow been able to manifest itself in human form; a green and silver painted nude woman who can do things like push people down and driving a car.



The big finale finds two women from the escort agency 'Cat Calls' showing up dressed in mesh body stockings. They pop in a mud wrestling video and then start having a cat fight, while Jane grabs a butcher knife and heads for the computer. Someone is stranged with animated electric cords and a head is pushed through a television. Will our over-the-hill gigolo, armed with such classy feminist catch phrases as "One night and O.U.T.!," "Kleenex, right? Use 'em and throw 'em away!" and "What's one bimbo? More or less." manage to survive the wrath of the creature he created?


Like many other Randall productions, this has major potential as a cult bad movie if someone would just get it out onto DVD. It's colorfully lit, the acting is abysmal, it's extremely trashy, there are loads of unintentional laughs and it's just weird (and bad) enough to be really, really entertaining.

SBIG

8 comments:

gavcrimson said...

someone really should give this an official DVD release. A very bizarre but fittingly sleazy end to Derek Ford’s career, and everything I’d hoped it would be (it took me years to track this film down!!)

The logo that is blurred out of your copy actually says ‘RTV video’, RTV were a short lived video company of the early 1990s who, as far as I can tell, only released one video- a tinted and re-edited version of Lon Chaney The Phantom of the Opera that Dick Randall had put together. Possibly RTV planned to put Urge to Kill out on video as they’re next release after Phantom, but for some reason it never happened and the film has been sitting on the shelf ever since.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Thanks for the info on the blur! I wondered what was behind that.

And yes, a DVD would be great. My copy was a bad dupe (as you can probably tell from looking at the screenies).

Anonymous said...

I was a production assistant on this film. Great fun to work on, and nice people too. I have plenty of stills, and would love to see the finished product. Sarah Hope-Walker was a gem to work with, whatever happened to her? Derek Ford was always up for a laugh; sorry he's gone.
G.C.

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I bet it was fun to work on! The stills would be great to see. I can find no information about any of the cast members aside from the lead actor, though it appears Hope Walker was also in a French WIP film called Jailhouse Sex from the early 80s. Unless she's also the writer of the same name...

mondo pete said...

can the "Anonymous" who worked on this film and has the stills please get in touch with me? I'm involved in a DVD reissue of this film. We have a great HD master taken off a 35mm print... but no stills! I'd also like to talk to you about a possible interview if you're up for it. email me: petetombs@googlemail.com

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

DVD reissue? Great news on that! I think a lot of people will enjoy this one. I often get emails from people who work on the films I cover here, so if anything rolls in about this one, I'll make sure to point them in your direction. Can't wait for the DVD!

Anonymous said...

hiya guys glad you like the movie i was one of the cast named susan who got drowned in the bath, all i remember about making the movie was that it was a laugh right through, all the cast members where very friendly, there was stills taken but i never got them myself, great to see myself from years ago, joanne x

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Thanks for stopping by Joanne. Seems like you may be seen by a wider audience here soon! (And if you happen to stop by, I'm sure mondo pete above would like to hear from you).

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