Scottish Hooker vs Ken Russell

ken_russell2It seems that famous film auteur Ken Russell may have gone mad. That’s not news as many would argue that he’s always been completely bonkers. His films — including classics such as  The Devils (1971), Tommy (1975), Altered States (1980), the decadently bizarre Gothic (1986), The Lair of the White Worm (1988) and many others — have a tendency to provoke either passionate enthusiasm or equally passionate disdain. I’m on the enthusiastic side myself, generally speaking. Now it appears he’s been making bizarre short films, such as “Hotpants” (a collection of “erotic shorts”) and  “The Girl With the Golden Breasts” — part of Trapped Ashes (2006), an anthology film that featured work by Sean S. Cunningham, Joe Dante, John Gaeta, Monte Hellman and, of course, Russell himself).

His latest stars wife Elise, who apparently shares his particular brand of cinematic lunacy.

In the London Times of 23 December 2008 he says the he will be celebrating Christmas by beginning filming on “another mini-masterpiece”, a biographical romp called Bravetart vs the Loch Ness Monster.

Of the title characters, he says:

Bravetart is a sassy Scottish prostitute who is played by my (Jill-of-all-trades) wife Elise and is pure invention, with a nod to Mel Gibson. The monsters — both the man (played by myself) and his amphibious ally or “familiar” — are based on real-life characters. The world-famous denizen of the deep is in actuality Nessie, that serpentine creature of myth and legend come to life. For the extravagant claim that she actually exists, I have the word of my one-time cameraman Dick Bush, who saw the monster from a hilltop overlooking the famous loch. Before he had time to reload his camera, the enormous beast had dived beneath the billows. Still, I believe him — Bush was, as they say, a “God-fearing man”.

So there are two Loch Ness monsters, one of them is the well-known lake monster, but the other is somewhat less expected (though equally well-known):

I’m sure some of you have already guessed that I’m referring to that evil master of black magic, Aleister Crowley — who at one time lived in a sinister castle on the very shores of Loch Ness itself (before Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin bought it in a moment of rock-star hubris, only to sell it after it proved to be haunted).

bravetart

He points out that the filming didn’t take place at Loch Ness itself:

Gorsewood Films (my answer to Hollywood) won’t be going to Scotland; no need to when we have Hatchet Pond in the New Forest as a credible stand-in. That plus a dozen kilts and a visit to the Just for Fun joke shop in Southampton should see us through our tale of Highland murder, mists, magic, mischief, mentalism and the martial arts. And as a bonus, the medieval walls of Southampton will adequately provide a replica of Edinburgh Castle.

On the plot he says:

Bravetart MacDonald, our matter-of-fact hooker with a heart of gold and a brogue as thick as her boot soles, comes from a family of entrepreneurs — all in the flesh trade. Brother and sister arrive as paying guests at Crowley’s castle to participate in a wild haggis hunt, sponsored by Crowley and his trusty henchman MacHaddock (played by Barry Lowe). How the MacDonald siblings end up in a coffin floating down Loch Ness, and Bravetart challenges the magician Crowley to a battle of wits and swordplay — with a bewitched, man-eating haggis joining the fun — are just more thrilling episodes in this bizarre and touching tale.

What is MacHaddock hiding under his kilt? Is Bravetart a common whore or a real-life Highland heroine? Is Crowley pure evil or do his feelings for Nessie and MacHaddock imply a tender side? Will the auld MacDonalds be restored to their clan glory, or will the family end up as fast food for a sea serpent’s snack?

It sounds … um, interesting… to say the least. Bewitched, man-eating haggis? Excellent!

Russell describes his own films rather succinctly when he says: “I like to stretch the parameters of expectations — and flirt a little with the edges of bad taste. All in all, I aim for ‘dangerous beauty’, and I know it when I see it.”

Bravetart vs the Loch Ness Monster is apparently debuting on the internet, for he adds: “And some good news: the mini-epic will be available by Easter 2009 on a website near you.”

  • Source: The Times 23 December 2008 via a nice transcription on iconocast.com via Avery. Go to iconocast.com to read the full article.
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3 Responses to Scottish Hooker vs Ken Russell

  1. Avery says:

    Nice. I’m looking forward to this ‘different’ take on the Loch Ness monster. Although very weird it sounds like it could still be a lot of fun. Count me in.

  2. Backbrain says:

    Russell is very “love him or hate him”, Avery. I love him. “Gothic” is a big favourite — and “The Devils” is a historical horror classic.

  3. Erotic Films says:

    Alda also directed the show’ 2 hour finale Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen which still remains the most watched episode of a TV series.

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