Friday, November 30, 2007

No one can hear you scream... in Cyberspace

Gee, sometimes when I visit my fave message-boards they're so void of activity that I'm wondering if I'm the only one left in Cyberspace. Has everyone else left? And if so where did they go?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More better tomorrow

If were a woman I'd marry her right away. Hell, I may go to Hong Kong and marry Yesasia anyway! I've just received my long and very impatiently awaited 145 minutes version of A BETTER TOMORROW III. Yes, I said one hundred and forty-five minutes!! No, I'm not drunk or doing hard drugs. 1-4-5 m-i-n-u-t-e-s!!! The original theatrical print ran 111 minutes. Then there are DVD versions that run 119 minutes. The long Taiwan VHS runs 130 minutes and the mainland Chines print on WA DVD also runs 130 minutes but has a few different scenes. This Taiwan VCD has an additional 15 minutes and thus runs an astounding 145 minutes!!! And yes, I did say VCD (i.e. Video-cd). There's a DVD version of it but for some obscure reason it doesn't contain this longer print (credits were credits are due: I got some of this info from Asian Dvd Guide). I think I'm gonna write a day off and just start off with the cinema print, then continue with the 119 minutes version which I have on Zoke DVD from China, and then finish off with this new VCD, and then do comparisons. It'll probably take up an entire issue of my fanzine. Hmm, should I buy the 130 minute version as well?? Hmm, what to do, what to do, ha ha (and if you, dear reader, isn't a fanatical film freak you're probably going: 'What???', LOL). In the same pack from Yesasia I also got the Filipino film DARNA ANG PAGBABALIK which is the Filipino version of (the DC Comics superhero) Wonder Woman!! Yes, just like they had Superman in Turkey they had Wonder Woman in The Philippines!! Apparently there was a whole series of films. The one I got is the only one (I think) that has been released on DVD in Hong Kong (and thus has English subs). I also got a couple of Cheung Ling (aka Pearl Cheung) flicks. She also starred in the amazing WOLF DEVIL WOMAN and if you haven't seen that... do so as if your life depended on it!. Btw, did you watch my YouTube link from yesterday? If not do so! (yes, I'm being bossy today). It's Nina Hagen's version of Rammstein's 'Seemann' and it rules!

Der beste Seemann war doch ich

It's weird how different versions of a product can turn out so differently! MTV Denmark is just sooo boring but MTV Germany (+ Austria) is actually alright. Unfortunately, Danish MTV is as predictably mainstream as every fucking local radio station in Denmark. For instance, take an overly cool band such as Rammstein; This week German MTV is playing specials and live broadcasts three days in a row! I have never even seen o-n-e Rammstein video on MTV Denmark. And don't give me this: 'But they're German so obviously they're on German tv'. They are fucking famous everywhere! I'm sorry if you're a 13 y.o. Danish MTV viewer who thinks MTV DK is rad, cos I don't! I think it sucks. When Rammstein was playing tonight I switched over and Headbanger's Ball was on MTV DK with some heavy metal ZZ Top lookalike band that had a bunch of prostitutes on stage. Mein Gott, how come so many people think that is cool? Me, I'm sick to death with hores in music videos and this whole notion that paid sex is somehow 'cool'. No, it fucking ain't, asswhipe. And is it really that difficult to make music videos that are slightly more sophisticated, aye? I guess it takes more brains than your usual Headbanger's Ball band has (yes, I'm exaggerating so fucking sue me). It doesn't seem to be a problem to Rammstein though, nor whoever they hire to do their videos, I still have to see a bad Rammstein video! Yes, I know, a grumpy post, ha ha. My leg's getting better so everything is dandy. Oh except I got laid off today which is kinda interesting as that's never happened to me before. Oh well. It's not like I give a rat's ass, it was a crappy job anyway. Crappy pay, crappy work hours, crappy transportation back and forth, and crappy food. In total: Crappy! LOL. And then I haven't even mentioned all the times they tried to get away with not paying me what they owed me. Oh, well. What else is new in the world of Jack J?? Oh, yeah, I'm also so annoyed that I haven't got my stuff from DDDhouse yet. The good people, Johnny and Zse (I'm sure I misspelt that) sent if off three weeks ago but I still haven't received it which is a bummer!! I'm dead certain it's those fuck-faces at customs that are sitting on it. Or are spending time fondling each other's bottoms. Or something.

Monday, November 26, 2007

W (aka W is War)

At first they made MAD MAX II down under. Then the Italians ripped off Max by the bucket load. And then the Filipinos followed. What am I talking about? Post-apocalyptic films of course!! LOL. Sometime in the future - after WW III. Ha ha. W (aka W is War) is from the Philippines and it's very entertaining! Gangs of futuristic bikers are controlling the land. Well, sort of. And the Filipino version of Max has to stop them. Firstly, obviously, he has to build a Mad Max wannabe car, ha ha. Very cool indeed. And the chicks look better in this one. The funny thing with W is that in contradiction to the original Aussie film and all the Italo rip-offs director Willie Milan didn't actually bother trying to make the landscape and the cities look very futuristic when he made this back in '83. However, it's totally cool anyway and as I said it's very entertaining + violent, and some of the plot-line is just... unexpected (I'll do a proper review at some later stage in my mag). There's also a sequel entitled MAD WARRIOR (aka CLASH OF THE WARLORDS) which I simply have to find now. Of course none of them are out on DVD so you'll have to see you can can find an old video release somewhere (my version of W is from Japan). Very recommended!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Metin Demirhan

I mentioned Metin Demirhan a couple of days ago and I'd just like to draw your attention to Bill of Onar Film's obituary.

Life worth living again

Ahh, tonight on eBay I won a much wanted Japanese VHS release of Godfrey Ho's fantastic cut n' paste flick SCORPION THUNDERBOLT Starring Richard Harrison! Back in the 80s Godfrey Ho invited American actor Richard Harrison to Hong Kong to appear in a movie. Ho shot a bunch of scenes and in later interviews Harrison has mentioned that he DID think they were all so very different that he thought it would probably become a very confusing film. What he didn't know is that Ho and his producer were screwing him over! They weren't making ONE film but several films! In fact A WHOLE BUNCH of films!! Most of them starring ninjas and many of them with 'thunderbolt' in the title. Ho & Co. (LOL) would take like 15-20 minutes of the footage with Harrison and splice it with either footage from an unreleased film, or from a film that did get a release but maybe had bombed. And so, viola, you have a whole pile of films you can sell for distribution! Among trash film freaks these films are known as 'cut n' paste' films. Obviously it's not hard to imagine that quite a few of these are ridiculously bad because... how could they not be! However, as with everything here in life whenever you take something and put it together at random, even though most of the result comes out crappy, you DO get that rare occasion when things not only fit - but fit tremendously well. And one such occasion is SCORPION THUNDERBOLT! It's such an entertaining piece of cut n' paste that it's almost like an unholy bastard spawned between a nun and the Devil that isn't supposed to be able to live in the mortal world... but it does. Ho spliced some of the craziest Harrison footage with footage from some old Hong Kong monster movie and... it just fits! I won't try and convince you this is high art or anything because... it isn't. BUT it is very, very entertaining. And now I've got this baby on (much) deleted Japanese video. It's never had an official DVD release anywhere in the world (there's a bootleg in the US that you can get thru Amazon with a so-so picture quality) and nothing could make me happier (well, actually lots could but you know wha'ah mean).

Friday, November 23, 2007

Surreal relations

Human relations are weird. I have this friend 20,000 K away. I haven't seen her for 6 years but she's my best friend in the world. She understands me completely despite the distance in both kilometres and time apart. Then I have this friend who utterly and completely disregards the existence of the Internet (no, I'm not making this up). We use to talk a lot over the phone but since he got a cell phone (instead of a house phone) that went down the toilet due to his being a cheap bastard. So now we almost only communicate thru text messages (and the occasional meeting every 5-6 weeks). Weird indeed. I know him and his habits well. And the same goes for my friend in that far away place on the other side of the world. But then on the other hand, I've come to know this other guy thru a horror movie message board with whom I have spoken to extensively about, ahm, love (yes, he's a guy and I'm a guy and yes we can talk about... that. And we're not gay). In contradiction to my other two aforementioned friends I have never met him, nor spoken to him, or know what he looks like. Or anything. Sometimes you think about whether a friendship would last if you stopped talking to each other and only wrote emails or letters. But then on the other hand, what if an email friendship were to end simply because you met and found out you didn't like you saw? Didn't like their looks. Or you found out the mano a mano chemistry just wasn't right? Or you discovered they had a bad body odour. Weird stuff to think about indeed. Or maybe you DID like them but never heard from them again because for some reason THEY didn't like you (obviously the aforementioned reasons wouldn't apply since yours truly has the looks of a Greek god and the smell of the most beautiful rose you could ever find in the garden of Eden). But weird stuff indeed. As I wrote in my post yesterday I spoke extensively with Diabolik of Cinehound Forum. Actually I met him years ago, only once and only for about ten minutes. We then 'met' at Cinehound... which is kind of odd seeing that Cinehound is located in Athens, Greece, which is a 1000 K away and we live within a hour's distance from one another. Anyway, we met and have spoken thru the Internet quite a bit but when we met in person recently at a film (geek) fan fair we hardly spoke. It felt kind of weird. But then, as I described in yesterday's post, we spoke at great length over the phone. Weirdness galore. And now we're going to meet again. Wonder how that'll turn out. I'm always hesitant towards people who talk extensively about boozing cos, well, I drink moderately not least due to fucked up health (check the 'about me' section for more info on that). I remember Mark Savage (of Melbourne fanzine 'Fatal Visions' fame) who spoke about Australians and alcohol during some interview in Fangoria (he's also a film maker) and he talked about how Aussies are such heavy drinkers that if you don't drink you are being looked upon with suspicion - which labeled him as suspicious since he doesn't drink at all. I know this other bloke, he's got tons of mates (and I'm one) but I recon he doesn't really have any true friends simply because he's always out and about doing something different, different to what he did just 5 minutes ago. He never stops and allows himself to get to know people, or let them get to know him. A pity really. Or is it? Am I in the wrong here, is it better to have heaps of mates instead of a few good friends. If your few good friends leave you or croak or something, then what's left. Wouldn't it have been better to have another handful of mates to replace the ones that left. No? All weird indeed. Oh, and my leg still hurts. I thought I'd be going back to work tomorrow but... I'm not. No way I'm gonna risk rupturing my poor thigh once again. Hmm, we were talking about friends weren't we! When I was a kid, in fact all thru my childhood, I had this friend, Ingmar, who would live with us thru out the entire summer. From I was 6 y.o. and for almost a decade. At some stage all that stopped and I haven't seen him for many years. Then 6 months ago I'm visiting my folks, the phone rings and my dad says: 'Hey, it's Ingmar!' I answered the phone and sure enough it was him at the other end. It was the weirdest thing ever. I mean, this wasn't a question of meeting or talking to an old adult friend that you haven't seen for a few years. This was talking to a man, an adult, that I had never spoken to before... as an adult. When we last spoke we were kids (or just on the brink of teenage-hood anyway). It was nothing less of surreal. And no less surreal due to the fact that the lingo of the old country was almost lost and... all very David Lynch'ian. But as I said before, starting off this post, different relationships are... uh, I don't know. I'm rambling. Maybe I should just cook some dinner. Be seeing you, mate. Or whatever.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Not one, not two, not even three... but FOUR hours!!!

Holy fuck! Diabolik from Cinehound forum rang me and we spoke for four hours!!! Oh man, than guy surely can talk. Han kan virkelig snakke Fanden et øre af! We got thru everything from ex-rental tapes to, well, everything conserning the VHS collector scene really. And everyone connected with that scene, LOL. End-result: we're hooking up next Sunday at his pad. Apparently (according to my mate Nils Markvardsen) he's got thee biggest mouthwatering ex-rental collection ever. Oh well, as Diabolik said, that doesn't really matter, what matters is talking to nice collectors. I can subscribe to that.


As I mentioned in an earlier post I'm staying home from work due to a ruptured muscle in my right thigh. It's getting better but it still hurts like hell, however, the worst part (no, not really) is not knowing why at all it began. I just have no idea! Anyway, my G.P. told me it would take at least a fortnight before I'd recover. Two bloody weeks! That may sound like heaven and all. You'd think it would be psychotronic movie overkill on my part but actually it isn't. Altho the pain is in my thigh it's almost as if I have the flu! I'm just not comfortable watching movies while being in so much pain. Yes, terrible!! As I've mentioned the last couple of days, I have watched a couple of movies but those did take twice as long to get thru due to my having to get up and stretch out due to the pain, or to go to the loo (due to having been in front of the tv set for so long) or whatever. Hopefully I'll be ready to go back to work on Saturday. Anyway, not all's totally horrible. I've got the fridge stocked up on lollies and I have enough coffee to survive any Italian post-apocalypse type third world war holocaust that may erupt!! Also, since there's only really two positions I can take without being in complete pain, one is lying down, it means I have to write this while being on my back (sure glad there's no web cams in the house). This is kinda okay... until you wanna I take a sip of your coffee and then spill it all over yourself! So what else happened today? Absolutely nothing. I exchanged a few text messages with my friend Heine and my almost-girlfriend Charlotte, I made a few posts at some film message boards, and my Dad rang but that was about it. No, wait, I also went out with the garbage and emptied the letter box. Exciting life when you're sick! To make myself feel a bit better I ordered the legendary Italo horror flick BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (by Mario Bava) from Amazon, altho my bank account is in the red. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Karanlik Sular

Yesterday afternoon I also watched a pretty good Turkish horror film from Onar Films entitled Karanlik Sular aka The Serpent's Tale. I must admit quite a bit of it was so weird it bordered on being right our surreal, however, in my book that's nothing to frown at. I liked it quite a bit. An American in Istanbul meets a guy who apparently, in reality, is dead. And he meets the guy's mum, and there's a vampire girl, and stuff. Yes, I'm rambling but it was pretty good never the less. The DVD release from Onar was of Onar's usual good quality in the extra material department, however, unfortunately, the print wasn't as good as one could have expected from a pretty recent movie like this. And it had burnt-in English subs which I'd be pretty annoyed about if I were Greek (cos the DVD has optional Greek subs which means you have two on-screen sets of subs if you go for the Greek option). Otherwise a good release and, oh yeah, there's also an interview with the director (who says he's tired of the film, ha ha). Only, it's a little sad to see the interview now as it was conducted by Metin Demirhan who died recently way too young. My mate Ayman Kole (in Sydney and of Cinehound) was friends with him and from what I can gather he was the biggest expert on Turkish fantastic cinema. and he co-wrote the book 'Fantastik Turk Sinemasý' [Turkish Fantastic Cinema]. He was only 42.

Gong Tau

This afternoon I watched Herman Yau's latest film, GONG TAU - An Oriental Black Magic, which is sort of an updated take on Shaw Brother's BLACK MAGIC series (Black Magic 1+2, and the third entry Seeding of a Ghost). A policeman's wife is possessed by black magic, gong tau, and there's all kindsa stuff. Pretty gory, dark, and definitely one of the best Hong Kong horror flicks in a long time. Some Herman Yau fans have complained about it not being as extreme as EBOLA SYNDROME but fuck that I say! Not everything has to be EBOLA SYNDROME!! It's a different film ffs! Out on a pretty good HK DVD with decent subs.

No Time To Die

Alright, I was gonna write some more intro stuff about glorious meee but, ush, I couldn't be arsed tonight (no, not a very good start, ha ha). Anyway, I watched an entertaining (although not that good) Indo flick (i.e. Indonesian film) called NO TIME TO DIE. Actually it's a German Indonesian co-production filmed in Indonesia. It stars Barry Prima and Chris Mitchum. Advent Bangun (also an Indo film regular) was also in it. As I said, it was okay without being neither as wild nor crazy as the other Indo movies I've seen. It's very rare these days but I got hold of a Japanese VHS from a seller in Sweden who advertised for it at the Cinehound forum. Hmm, I guess I should tell you about Cinehound shouldn't I. But not tonight, baby, I'm tired!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Does the world really need another blog!!!

Hello unknown reader out there in Cyberspace,
So'eh... this is my first entry, on my first blog. Spiiiffyy! I could've sworn I'd never do a blog. Actually I've never wanted to do a blog! And seeing all those lame people with lame blogs that pop up like mushrooms everywhere always made me want to avoid becoming a blogger even more so!

So why a blog now you ask. Hmm, ehh, lemme just think about that for a while, LOL.

No, well, actually it makes me think of an old The Pretenders track where Chrissie Hynde sings: 'Circumstance beyond our control' - and I guess that's sort of what happened. Thing is I met this woman a little while back and, uh, fell in love but there was all this stuff about her that I wanted to ask my good friend Michelle in Melbourne about but I couldn't get hold of her, so I thought: 'Sod it, I'll just ask my mates at this horror movie forum I hang out at (yes, I know; ridiculous if not right out daft to ask members of a gore movie forum about relationships! Feel free to mock me, ha ha).

Anyway, to cut a long and excruciating story short; I wrote this forum piece about how much of a price you should pay (i.e. give up and stuff) for true love (she's a fantastic woman but also... problematic) and I got all these replies (both as forum posts and PMs). It was a total surprise. I had figured that if I got two answers I'd be happy. But I got a whole bunch of answers and pieces of good advise from these gore hounds (all male). So I guess never underestimate gore hounds' ability to think of romantic entanglements, ha ha. Actually they were all very good and thoughtful (well, except one from some 19 y.o. kid, LOL).

Anyway, apart from the replies on my love life, a few also commented on my writing skills (in a pleasant way I mean) and so... after a while I began to consider the possibility to do a blog. And, well, here it be! If you check the 'about me' thingy you'll see stuff about what I like and what not. In contradiction to many other blogs this one isn't going to be about just one subject like a special type of films or music or a diary or what have you. It'll just be about just anything I feel like writing about. It was kinda the same when I started to publish my first fanzine, Banned in Britain, back in '94. My initial idea was to do a full-on splatter movie mag but soon I got interested in other entertaining film genres than just gory horror movies. Not least cool movies from Hong Kong (or Hongkong if you will) and so eventually I began to include all kinds of weird and strange movies.

And so that's what this here blog's going to revolve around as well. All kindsa stuff. Whatever I think fit to include here. Anyway, it's late and I'll finish off here. It's been a long day, I'm tired, I still wanna watch another film (I'm staying home from work cos I've got a pulled muscle in my leg (veery painful) and altho I've already watched one movie tonight it was a crap one so I wanna end the day with a (hopefully) better one! Bye for now. Oh, and welcome y'all to this my new blog. Feel free to comment on whatever. Or to send me free money or lollies. Or something. Your friend, Jack J.