Monday, November 3, 2014

Abel Ferrara's black & white weirdo vampire film about low life drug addicts

I've finally watched Abel Ferrara's vampire film THE ADDICTION which I had held off watching for years on end due to some bad reviews. Guess what, I fucken loved the movie (and could kick myself in the head for having listened to daft reviewers). However, I could imagine a lot of horror fans wouldn't like it as it's probably too "weird" and outside the box for them but I loved it for those very same reasons. It's like if ERASERHEAD had been a vampire film directed by Frank Booth. lol. (unfortunately the only lbx dvd is the German one).

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A superior EVIL DEAD remake to the official EVIL DEAD remake!

WITHER aka Vittra
- dir by Sonny Laguna & Tommy Wiklund
Sweden, 2012

Two nights ago I watched the Swedish VITTRA (aka Wither) from 2012 and it's a better remake of THE EVIL DEAD than the EVIL DEAD remake if you ask me! I bought the UK dvd from Amazon but if you're a sucker for extras I'll suggest you go for the reg. 1 DVD! There is nothing on the UK DVD! Needless to say, there's also a Swedish DVD but it's not English friendly.

Gory, good story, and the FX are great. Recommended.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

20 years "Banned in Britain" zine!!!

I published the first issue of my first fanzine 20 years ago! Wauw. Think about that for a second. 20 years ago. T-w-e-n-t-y  y-e-a-r-s!!! 

A4 reprint of "Banned in Britain" No. 1 from 1994

As I'm sure a few of you know the zine was Banned in Britain.
It was photocopied.
Black & white.
Typed on a typewriter (I didn't own a computer till sometime in the late '90s).
Cut and pasted.
And the pictures were pulled from other magazines and books.
The layout was your typical chaotic punk zine look.
32 pages in A5 format.

A film friend of mine offered to xerox the mag at her work. We had to be careful that no-one would find out, so we did it late one night after midnight. We printed 150 copies. 100 with black & white covers. 50 with red covers. I've later printed up another approximately 50 copies. A total print run of 200 copies. Now, that's underground!

Apart from the copies I shipped out myself I had three - maybe four - zine distributors, Rage Distribution in Norway and two distros in the UK. I forget the names of the UK distros. And I even forgot to get payment from one of them. Haha. Now that I think about it one of them actually ripped me off of the shipment payment. He asked me to pay for shipment to the UK and then refused to pay for the return shipment (my payment was magazines from his catalogue). Arsehole! I should find him and demand a refund!
I'm not sure if Simon Nielsen in Denmark also distributed Banned in Britain via his "Full Family Entertainment" distro (or whatever it was called). He might have.

Rage in Norway was run by Thomas Eikrem who did a zine called Rage. Rage is actually still around now in its second volume, altho now as a book edition (a very expensive book edition I might add!). Thomas was the first distro guy I got in touch with. He asked if I wanted to be paid in cash or choose stuff from his distro. I picked Michael Weldon's original Psychotronic book and a handful issues of the Psychotronic Video magazine.

Putting out Banned in Britain #1 in 1994 was a blast. It felt good. I had wanted to be a zine editor for a long time. I think the urge was already spawn when I bought two issues of a Danish thrash metal fanzine called Metallic Beast in (I thiink) 1986. And in 1987 Lars Krogh sent me the first issue of his punk zine Moshable. Lars later launched his Bad Afro record label (which is still running) and his co-editor, Simon Nielsen, wrote a handful of reviews for Banned in Britain #1.My friend who printed the first batch of issue one was a horror film friend that I'd hook up with for late night video nights two or three times a year. My way of saying thanks was to list her as the co-editor but in reality she didn't have anything to do with the contents other than to xerox the pages as I mentioned. She lived in a different part of the country and it was somewhat of a travel to meet. We lost touch in the mid '90s. Then around 6 months ago she suddenly pops up again out of nowhere. We spent an evening chatting online about the old days and then... poof! She was gone again.

Even though it was awesome to publish a fanzine it kind of didn't last. On one hand there was too much trouble putting the stuff together and getting it printed. I had no money to do a new issue and besides I was basically just too bloody lazy. And also, if you ever hear a fanzine editor talk about how cool it was to type stuff on typewriters instead of a computer they're either full of shit, have drowned one too many pint to actually remember the old days, or maybe they weren't there in the first place. Doing a fanzine on a bloody typewriter was a fucking pain in the ass! Trust me, it was. I didn't get another issue off the ground until a full decade later. Issue No. 2 came out in 2004, same size, same original print run, same page count and format.

And now it's 2014 and yet another decade has slipped thru the cracks of time. Down the drains? Well, zine wise yes cos I still haven't gotten better at putting out new issues. And to tell you the truth, I hadn't actually thought about the fact that it's been 10 years until Nigel of Aenigma! zine asked me if I was going to put out a new one since it's 2014. And my buddy over in the UK (and sometimes Germany) Pete Davies (of Mondo Squallido and Mattei of the Dead fame) had been bugging me to do reprints of my old zines so he could get them. I tried to reprint a pile BiB #1 in A4 size last week at work but messed up the setting on the Xerox machine and ended up with only ONE copy in A4 and a handful in the original A5 size. I sent the A4 copy to Pete a few days ago (along with a copy of the Bloody Weekend horror film festival booklet). It's Pete's facebook picture you seen in the above. I wanted to do A4 copies as the print is way too tiny in the original A5 edition (and with my now less than perfect vision I have trouble reading the A5 copy even with my reading glasses on!). Maybe I'll get another chance - or maybe Pete's copy is gonna be the only one in existence forever and ever.

And what about future issues? I can't tell you, I simply don't know if there'll be another issue of BiB. But if there is it'll be this year in order to keep the 10 year distance between each issue. I've decided that if I don't put out BiB #3 this year I won't do it at all. It's either this year or not at all. BiB #2 from 2004 could very well be the final issue. Let's wait and see. But still, 20 years of Banned in Britain and people still ask me about reprints, that's pretty rad!!!

Oh, and yesterday I spoke to a horror film fan in the UK about the old In the Flesh zine that we both used to buy around 1990. She's got a ton of the old zines, and she's kept them all, and when I mentioned I had published BiB she said, "I've got that zine!!!" Now, THAT is also pretty cool!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968, Pittsburg) dir: George A. Romero

Last night was dark, cold and lonely so I decided to end the day with Romero's zombie classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. As I'm sure you already know, the film is in black & white and the image that a 16mm filmed zombie film gives you seemed appropriate to fit the mood of the night.

But which version to watch!? I knew I had a Danish dvd box set with all three films in it (NIGHT + the two sequels DAWN OF THE DEAD and DAY OF THE DEAD). But needless to say I couldn't find the box. Maybe the dwarf people that I'm sure inhabit the dark hallways of my big old house (two room apartment) have nicked it to sleep on. So I pulled out a steelbook release from the UK. I bought it years ago and vaguely remembered someone online mentioning that the UK edition is cut. A quick check with and sure enough the UK dvd is bloody cut! Who wants to watch that shit!

So instead I ended up pulling out my old reliable VHS that I bought at the Melbourne Video Warehouse in, well, Melbourne, OZ. The tape is a sell-thru and has Francis Ford Copolla's DEMENTIA 13 as an extra feature on it. The film is - as if I need to tell you - the zombie film that started a 1000 mile zombie walk. The film is one of my favourites and I'm not sure which one I hold in the highest regard, this one or its sequel, DAWN OF THE DEAD. They are both great and they're very different films so a comparison is unfair.

The very first time I watched NOTLD was at the old Scala Cinema Club in London in October 1988. The film kicked off a "Dead all night" all-nighter and the place was PACKED! The second time I watched the film was a few years later when Sky 1 (also in the UK) broadcast the colourised version of the film. I think I might still have my longplay recording of that broadcast somewhere! Anyway, what else is there to say other than you need to watch this film if you haven't already. And if you have already... then watch it again!

I'm posting both the original b&w trailer and a colourised version here. Although I usually despise and loathe colourised versions I actually think the kitsch colours add a surreal quality to this particular film! 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

FRIGHT NIGHT 2: NEW BLOOD (2013, USA) dir: Eduardo Rodriguez

I watched the new FRIGHT NIGHT 2: NEW BLOOD last week. It's a sequel to the 2011 remake of FRIGHT NIGHT from 1985 but it's not a remake of the original sequel from 1988. Confused? ("You won't be after this episode of... 'Soap'", haha). I haven't watched the remake nor the original sequel. I miigh have watched the original film back in the day - but I don't actually remember anything from it! However, according to online sources the new sequel isn't a remake of the original sequel, it's a remake of the remake of the original film (!!!) o_O

Anyhoo, I thought the film was fun while I watched it. To the vampire film purist there's heaps to criticise; Garlic doesn't work on vampires but holy water does. And although vampires are usually fairly strong compared to humans this female vampire is almost a full-on Superman and can stop a speeding car by letting it ram into her. But, hey, this is not the kind of film for the ardent vampire mythology cult member. This is a horror-comedy after all (but still, I'm too much of a purist to not be annoyed by shit like that, pmsl).

As I said, the film is fun for the one viewing but now a week later I really don't have much recollection of the film nor the plot. It didn't leave much of an impression. I bought the DVD second hand from Blockbuster's. If you've got time on your hands (and could be arsed) there's a commentary track on the disc by the director and a couple of the producers.

THE CONJURING (2013, USA) dir: James Wan

I watched THE CONJURING the other night. It's yet another horror movie about demon possession but since I rarely watch new stuff when it comes out I still haven't become bored with the demon/devil possession flicks; I think this is only the second of the new wave of possession films I've actually watched. LOL. And besides, I think this film is really good. It's well played and it's based on a real story (which always adds tension to these films, something that goes back all the way to THE EXORCIST).

When the film ran in Danish cinemas it was retitled "Nattens Dæmoner" (i.e. Demons of the Night) which may be a generic title but I wish more distributors would use Danish titles. 99% of the Danes wouldn't know what conjuring means. Needless to say, the dvd label reverted the title back to English when they put out the DVD. :/

Since everyone else and his ugly cousin in the blog world has pissed off to God knows where...

...I might as well start blogging again. Always go against the stream.

I watched the new horror movie THE CONJURING last night ("new" on this here blog anyway cos most of the shit I watch is arse old) and it was a blast! Loved it! Here's a totally cool track that was played in the middle of the film. I didn't think it fitted the film, actually I felt it totally ruined the stimmung but the track on its own is wonderful! The song is called "In the Room Where You Sleep" and it's by a band called Dead Man's Bones - and get this, the singer is Ryan Gosling. o_O
Not fucking kidding!!

PS: no, I'm not being literal but it's a good headline. :P

Monday, May 19, 2014

Arizal - RIP

Unfortunately, I've learnt today that Indonesian film director extraordinaire ARIZAL passed away this morning. He was 71.

Arizal was an important film director to anybody who loves wild no-holds-barred world-weird action films.

He made tons of films that never made it to international shores but some of his well known films ("well known" to fans like us anyway) that were released on VHS in English dubbed form are: SPECIAL SILENCERS, FINAL SCORE, THE INTRUDER (aka Rambu), STABILIZER, and LETHAL HUNTER.

Here's an article by EVIETA FADJAR about his passing from the Indonesian online newspaper I translated it with Google so don't expect a proper translation nor proper grammar. My Indonesian readers (yes, I have some) can check the original version at the bottom of the page, or you can check the original newspaper post here.

TEMPO.CO , Jakarta - Directed by Arizal , 71 years , died on May 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm . Men born Indragiri Hulu Indonesia is known as a director who is able to make films and soap operas from a variety of genres .

He has been the director of high school and Gita Love Puspa Indah Taman Hati starring Rano Karno and Yessy Gusman . Arizal also made films starring Warkop humor and became the best-selling films in the 1980s and 1990s .

After graduating from high school in New Week , Arizal continuing higher education at the University of Indonesia and then West Coast Institute of Management & Technology , Perth , Australia .

Arizal also known as a journalist . He began his career as a caricaturist in magazines Selecta . He later he joined the editorial staff at the magazine Mayapada and Panorama .

Film career began when he became assistant artistic Walt Disney cartoon at Universal Studios , Los Angeles , United States . After that in 1971 he became an assistant director on the film Hell to the chase .

In 1974 he was appointed as director of children's film Smiles and Tears . This film won the Citra award as best children's film . In the late 1970s , he made many dramatic movies .

The film Arizal , Gita Love from high school and Puspa Indah Taman Hati be one much-loved film community . In the 1980s , Arizal also working on comedies . Together Warkop group , Arizal successfully made films humor when it has not been appearing .

Some films such as smart - smart comedy Dumb and Forward Backward Kena Kena become the best-selling movie in Indonesia . Thanks to his success in comedy , director Arizal be one of the most expensive in Indonesia . His ability to make films in various genres , such as drama , comedy , and action , the lifting popularity.

In soap operas or glass screen , working Arizal Because of PT Multivision Plus in 1992-1993 with Lydia Kandouw player , Jimmy Gideon , Gideon Zion , Pitrajaya Burnama and Nani Wijaya . Then , the soap opera nonsense of PT Multivision Plus in 1993-1995 with players Nurul Arifin , Rudy Regards , Kiki Fatmala and Fuad Alkhar .

He also directed soap operas and Jun Jin from PT Multivision in 1996-2001 with players Syahrul Gunawan , Mira Asmara , Misye Arsita , Baraja and M. Fuad Amin . There are also soap operas and Miss Yul Toyol in 1997-2002 with 270 episodes Onny players all, being Slamet Joyo and Dominiq Sanda .

He also made a television commercial for Unilever soap Lux 1978 Citra Jakarta Traffic with Widyawati models . In addition, the Arizal also known as the author of the song . His work is Unread You Goda - Ernie Djohan , 1967, Why - Alfian in 1967 , the song Smiles and Tears , starring Rano Karno , 1974, the song in the movie as sincere Heart , starring Elly Tanty Yosepha & S in 1975 and the song Main Movie , starring Benjamin S in 1975.


TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Sutradara Arizal, 71 tahun, meninggal pada 18 Mei 2014 pukul 11.00 Wib. Pria kelahiran Indragiri Hulu ini dikenal sebagai sutradara Indonesia yang mampu membuat film dan sinetron dari berbagai genre.

Ia pernah menjadi sutradara Gita Cinta dari SMA dan Puspa Indah Taman Hati yang dibintangi Rano Karno dan Yessy Gusman. Arizal juga membuat film-film humor yang dibintangi oleh Warkop dan menjadi film-film laris di tahun 1980-an dan 1990-an.

Setelah menamatkan SMA di Pekan Baru, Arizal melanjutkan pendidikan tingginya di Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Indonesia dan kemudian West Coast Institute of Management & Technology, Perth, Australia.

Arizal juga dikenal sebagai wartawan. Ia memulai kariernya sebagai karikaturis di majalah Selecta. Ia kemudian ia bergabung menjadi staf redaksi di majalah Mayapada dan Panorama.

Kariernya di dunia film dimulai ketika ia menjadi asisten artistik kartun Walt Disney di Universal Studio, Los Angeles, Amerika Serikat. Setelah itu pada 1971 ia menjadi asisten sutradara pada film Pengejaran ke Neraka.

Pada 1974 ia dipercaya menjadi sutradara film anak-anak Senyum dan Tangis. Film ini meraih penghargaan Piala Citra sebagai film anak-anak terbaik. Di akhir dekade 1970, ia banyak membuat film-film drama.

Film garapan Arizal, Gita Cinta dari SMA dan Puspa Indah Taman Hati menjadi salah satu film yang banyak digemari masyarakat. Pada tahun 1980-an, Arizal juga menggarap film-film komedi. Bersama kelompok Warkop, Arizal sukses membuat film-film humor yang ketika itu belum banyak muncul.

Beberapa film komedinya seperti Pintar-pintar Bodoh dan Maju Kena Mundur Kena menjadi film terlaris di Indonesia. Berkat kesuksesannya dalam film komedi, Arizal menjadi salah satu sutradara termahal di Indonesia. Kemampuannya membuat film dalam berbagai genre, seperti drama, komedi, dan laga, semakin mengangkat popularitasnya.

Di sinetron atau layar Kaca, Arizal menggarap Gara-gara dari PT Multivision Plus pada 1992-1993 dengan pemain Lydia Kandouw, Jimmy Gideon, Sion Gideon, Pitrajaya Burnama dan Nani Wijaya. Lalu, sinetron Ada-ada Saja dari PT Multivision Plus pada 1993-1995 dengan pemain Nurul Arifin, Rudy Salam, Kiki Fatmala dan Fuad Alkhar.

Dia juga menyutradarai sinetron Jin dan Jun dari PT Multivision pada 1996-2001 dengan pemain Syahrul Gunawan, Mira Asmara, Misye Arsita, Fuad Baraja dan M. Amin. Ada juga sinetron Tuyul dan Mbak Yul pada 1997-2002 sebanyak 270 episode dengan pemain Onny Syahrial, Slamet Joyo dan Dominiq Sanda.

Ia juga membuat iklan televisi sabun Lux untuk PT Unilever 1978 Jakarta Citra Lintas dengan model Widyawati. Selain itu, Arizal juga dikenal sebagai pengarang lagu. Karyanya adalah Usah Kau Goda-Emie Djohan 1967, Mengapa-Alfian 1967, lagu Senyum dan Tangis, dibintangi Rano Karno 1974, lagu di film Setulus Hatimu yang dibintangi Tanty Yosepha & Elly S pada 1975 dan lagu Main Film, dibintangi Benyamin S pada 1975

Almarhum disemayamkan di Perum Kranggan Permai, Jalan Borobudur, Jati Sampurna, Bekasi.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

BAD LIEUTENANT - Werner Herzog kraziness

I watched Werner Herzog's 2009 remake of Abel Ferrera's BAD LIEUTENANT from 1992 last night. The full title of the remake is THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL - NEW ORLEANS (but often just listed as Bad Lieutenant).

When I originally heard about how Herzog was going to remake Ferrera's masterpiece, and that Nicolas Cage had been chosen to redo Harvey Keitel's superb performance, I basically thought Hollywood had finally gone completely bonkers. I mean what the fuck, right? And for the very same reason I've kept off watching the bloody movie for years on end. Until last night that is.

The reason for my finally giving the movie a chance came after having read a review from a reviewer whose film opinion I hold in the highest regard. The review calls Nicolas Cage's performance the best since LEAVING LAS VEGAS. I don't usually watch Cage's films so I wouldn't know about that but suffice to say that Herzog's remake is bloody marvellous! I liked it a lot. Not one boring or slow moment. I already wanna watch it again.

It's been quite a few years since I watched the original film - and I've only watched it that one time - so I'm not even able to compare the two films. Incidentally, I rebought the original film the other day when I found a spiffy steelbook edition of it at the local Blockbuster's (yes, we still have those here!).

It was a deliberate choice on my part to watch the remake before I rewatch the original. I wanted to give it a chance on its own without having vivid images of the Abel Ferrera movie playing simultaneously in the back of my mind. The remake clocks in at the two hour mark almost but like I said it never overstays its welcome. Highly recommended!

I watched the Danish DVD which includes a long Werner Herzog interview and the trailer.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Code Red's second post-apocalypse film is... EQUALIZER 2000!!!

...and Bill says it's the fully uncut print!!!

A couple of weeks back I posted the news about Bill Olsen and Code Red's deal with Roger Corman to release two or Corman's post-apocalypse films that were shot in the Philippines in the mid-1980s.

At the time Olsen only released info on the first film, WHEELS OF FIRE, but not the second film. I'm not the only one who's basically creaming himself over this latest announcement. In my previous post I speculated in whether or not the second film might be EQUALIZER 2000 and indeed it is that film. Also directed by Cirio H. Santiago. Wauw. Just fucken w-a-u-w!!!

There's been a bit of worry among fans about which print Code Red are going to release, as there are cut versions out there, but Bill Olsen has stated on the CR facebook page that it is indeed the fully uncut print we'll be getting. Yay!!!

And also good to see the upcoming cover for this film is (like with WHEELS) basically the old poster art. Good on ya, Bill'o!!!

VHS ex-rental from Holland

I found a UK site dedicated post-apocalypse films that you might wanna check out. In good style with the subject the site is pretty... dead. But the old info on the films is there so give it a gander. Post-apocalypse