Sunday, January 25, 2009

CALIBER 357



I watched Eddie Nicart's Filipino film CALIBER 357 (aka Magnum 357) last weekend and... whoah... whadda film!
I though it was going to be an "ordinary" revenge film about some guy who comes into town to kill one other guy who killed his brother or something. Oh boy, it is indeed a revenge film but it was nothing like an ordinary half decent film. It's totally over the top amazing!!! Very entertaining to say the least!! Why the fuck isn't this out on Reg.1 dvd!! Or any dvd for that matter (other than my dvd-r now, LOL)!!!

The main character arrives on the plane but it only takes about 5 minutes before the local gangsters are trying to bump him off simply because they don't know him! Haha. And that's all it takes for you to realise this is an INSANE revenge flick with a lone wolf that just kills people left and right, and everyone is trying to kill him too.

I made a few quick screen grabs (no, they're not from the best or most intense scenes as I just spent 3 min. on it). CALIBER 357 was an unexpected nice surprise I got last year when I bought three boxes of old kung fu ex-rental video tapes. I didn't even know the film had been released in Denmark.

[you can click the individual scans for twice the size]









In this segment the lone wolf revenge guy waits in the loo for three guys and just kills 'em one by one.

A chick pulls out a bag of drugs from "up there".

Obviously, our hero can do nothing but smell it (and obviously NOT because of what's inside, LOL).

EDIT (Dec. 25, 2009): To confuse things another Filipino action flick, MUSLIM MAGNUM, has also been released (on DVD) using the same alternative title as for CALIBER 357: Magnum 357.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

More Mattei!

I just won this on eBay and I want YOU to enjoy this SPIFFY cover!!! :-) :-) :-)
DOUBLE TARGET directed by Bruno Mattei and starring Bo Svenson!
Probably a big masterpiece film wise and the reason it hasn't been released on dvd is most likely cos video companies are stuck in a vicious dog fight on who gets to put it out (i.e. get the GLORY). Haha.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

RAMBU vhs covers galore

VHS/Sweden/fullscreen/English dub/Swedish subs.
[Click scan for bigger size]

One more alternative Swedish cover! Thanks to Gourmetsentai of Cinehound forum.

Monday, January 19, 2009

GHOST OF GUTS EATER (Thailand, 1973)

[click scan for a bigger size]

Original Thai title: KRASUE SAO
produced by Banlue Utsahajit
directed by S. NAOWARATCH
starring Sombat Metanee, Pitsamai Wilaisak.



I finally got around to watching this VERY obscure and VERY rare film via a dvd-r off a VERY rare Swedish video release (thanks to Lars Jacobsson).

I'll try and do a proper review in the not too distant future but just quickly: GHOST OF GUTS EATER is one of the many "flying head with intestines dangling underneath" films that have come out from Thailand (and they continue to make these films!). Ironically, the by far most well known flying head movie is MYSTICS IN BALI which isn't a Thailand movie at all but from Indonesia (and released on a spiffy dvd from Mondo Macabro). Also, and again ironically, the Indo movie is head and shoulders better than any of the Thai movies I've seen not least due to the fact that it keeps the slapstick humour out. Some of the Thai horror movies are excruciatingly painful to sit thru due to their lame (very lame!) humour.

However, just like with MYSTICS IN BALI the people who made GHOST OF GUTS EATER left out the humour and thank you for that! What we're left with is a straight played horror movie about a young girl whose grandmother dealt with dark forces and became a flying head vampire(they are referred to in the film as "vampires")!! When the grandmother dies at the beginning of the film she makes her niece promise always to wear the ring. The crooked grandma just leaves out that she will live on thru the ring and make the niece do stuff at night as a flying head.

GHOST OF GUTS EATER is fairly long and doesn't clock in till the 100 minute mark but that's okay as it's pretty good, well played, and has a few twists and turns you don't expect. Like towards the end where...

*spoiler*

...her little son is just gunned down by some crooks but the film still manages to have a good ending where the husband forgives her and they kinda just forget about their little son's dead body lying around somewhere in the bushes.

*end of spoiler*

Now, being a collector of world-weird horror movies it means I've bought my fare share of Thai horror and unfortunately most of the time the ONLY way of watching these movies is via video-cd's from Thailand. This means terrible fullscreen formats, pixelation galore, no subtitles, and if that wasn't enough the prints are often taken from old video tapes with tape rolls and all.

And with that in mind the Swedish video tape is a revelation!!!

The picture is crisp clear and fully letterboxed!!! And the credits are "translated" to western characters as well as written in Thai. The film is presented in its original Thai language and being a Swedish video release it has Swedish subtitles and, whoah!! This is the first time I've had the chance of watching one of these old Thai horror movies and actually be able to fully understand what the hell is going on.

One weird thing tho is that the print has TWO sets of Swedish subtitles! One set is burnt-in on the print (so I assume the film ran at some stage in the Swedish cinemas. What a treat to have seen this at the cinema!). The second set is ordinary video subtitles. As if all this wasn't weird enough there is even differences between the two sets. Sometimes alternative words are used and in a few places different spellings are used. In one place I noticed the Swedish word for "you" was spelt "dej" in the cinema print subs and "dig" in the video subs! (???). I have no idea as to why (and although I read Swedish I don't have enough knowledge about the damn language to tell if both spellings are valid or not).

One more thing is there is a very good chance this Swedish tape is the ONLY time the film has been released anywhere other than on Thai vcd! Obviously I don't know for sure (and it seems I can't ask the one person who might know about it; Jean-Claude from this forum, as he seems to have disappeared). The only person I'm aware of who has this tape is Lars so this is truly a collectors item!

All in all a fairly good horror movie. By no means nail-bitingly scary or on par with MYSTICS IN BALI but as I said: pretty good and the good print is a joy to watch.

If you wanna read a bit more about FLYING HEAD WITH INTESTINES DANGELING UNDERNEATH movies then go to this thread where Jean-Claude posted a list of no less than 25 movies in the genre!


Big thank yous go out to Lars Jacobsson for the copy and scan.

Lars making sure no one gets the tape! (LOL)

Island of the crappy living dead Bruno Mattei zombie movies, part 2

I watched ZOMBIES THE BEGINNING, the sequel to ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD which I wrote about yesterday. I must say it's quite a bit better than the other one. The first one is from 2006 and this one from 2007 but whether they went back home to Italy and then returned to the Philippines the year after to make the sequel or they made them back to back I don't know. But the second one is certainly better than the first one! When I say better I hope you understand that what I'm really saying is "the better one out of two crappy ones", haha.

Anyway, I was quite entertained and had a pleasant hour and a half. As Jocke mentioned in a comment to my first post BEGINNING is almost a zombie remake of ALIENS!! Just much cheaper and crappier and the actors have about as little acting skills as the ones in the first one. The gore scenes and zombies are quite alright though. I mentioned yesterday that it's not dubbed but shot in English. That's not quite right, it was shot in English alright, but it's still dubbed (just in the same language as they spoke during filming!).

Anyway, if you like trashy horror flicks then you can certainly find much worse films than these two. No, waitasecond... actually you can't, haha. But watch them anyway, they're fun, crappy entertainment and Bruno Mattei's swansong. There's a dedication to him at the end by the way; a brief segment where he says "Not until the end" (or something like that, I'm so much not gonna go and check!). Well, this became the end for him. Thanks for all the crap you gave us, Bruno.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

RIKER, too violent for Danish tv!

Back in the early 80s there was an American cop series on TV called RIKER. It was kind of a TV version of Dirty Harry and I remember it was so violent that there was talk about it being too violent for local television here. Obviously, I loved it!! :lol:

Did anyone else here watch it? I haven't watched it since it was shown here back then which makes it something like 25-26 yrs ago. :o



I've tried to track it down but to no avail. It seems like it's never been released on dvd or vhs. But then again, maybe there was a vhs release in the US that I don't know about. Or somewhere else. If anybody knows anything please let me know, I'd looove to track down this show and watch again. I think there were only 5 episodes. Cheers.

Here's some site I found that has it listed.

Island of the crappy living dead Bruno Mattei zombie movies

I watched Bruno Mattei's ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD (aka L'isola dei morti viventi) tonight. The film is from 2006 and along with its sequel ZOMBIES THE BEGINNING (made a year later) this is Mattei's goodbye to the world of crappy Italo horror movies (not that all Italo horror movies are crappy, mostly just Bruno Mattei's, haha). Both films were shot in the Philippines (and if you're someone who's into Filipino trash films it'll interest you to know that Mike Monty worked on the film. He has since then passed away and there's a dedication to him at the end).

A group of people discover a deserted island by chance, there's a bunch of big old ruins, catacombs, a graveyard, and, obviously... zombies! The worst zombies in Italian horror movies I might ad. The zombies in ISLAND make the ones in Claudio Fragasso's AFTER DEATH look like DAWN OF THE DEAD or ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS!! They're crappy, crappy, crappy. Hahaha. They walk like the actors have been told to look funny-drunk in a kids movie. They flab their arms. They growl (!!!). They fall asleep (dead people need their beauty sleep too, don't you know! LOL). I swear some of them wear masks that Bruno Mattei most likely bought in a Filipino toy store!!

When I watched Mattei's two farewell cannibal movies (which he made just prior to these two zombie movies) I thought the actors looked like they were on level with porn actors. The "actors" (and I use the term loosely) in ISLAND are WORSE!!! The two chicks... well, they look awesome but I wish they had been in porn movies INSTEAD cos they can't bloody act. And bare in mind I'm used to the (low) level that so many actors in Italian movies have reached thru out the years so it's not like I'm not used to crappy acting. These actors reach new heights (well, lows!!!). Haha. The gore and special effects are pretty decent. The film is shot in English but if you think that means lesser thick accents you're in for a surprise. Oh man, I so wish they HAD dubbed this film! Most of the cast can hardly speak English.

Now, if this were a site for good films and good film-making by a serious film critic then, needless to say, all of the above would have resulted in a writing off of the film. Well, not so with this reviewer. Sure the film is an abomination if I ever saw one but I was pretty entertained. Okay, I know, I know, I'm easily entertained but still. A new Italian zombie/splatter/horror movie, how could you not be entertained? I certainly was!

On the DVD there is a trailer for one of the "classic" Italian zombie movies; ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS (Zombi 2) which makes the difference between the two films very obvious! ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS is a masterpiece that uses all its elements in a skillful way; the horror, gore, music, atmosphere, etc. ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD is a fun & entertaining piece of crap.

Oh, and talking of which; the "12 inch splinter in the eye" scene from ZOMBIE FLESH is actually copied in ISLAND. Is it a homage to Fulci? Well, knowing Mattei it's probably just a matter of theft, LOL. He most likely thought "This'll look great and no one remembers that old film anyway!", hahaha.

Watch ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD by all means but if you're new to Italian zombie movies please don't base your opinion on Italo zombie flicks on this one. Go get ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS (and Zombi Holocaust) first.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

ID this man-with-deadly-iron-hand movie

I remember something Damon Foster once said in an issue of Oriental Cinema: 'I'm so old dust comes up when I cough'. That's how I feel too. Well, at least now that I'm going to explain all this about some mysterious film I watched in my childhood:

In 1971 I was in my first grade (yes, nineteen seventy fucking one!!). My mum thought it would be a grand idea to sign me up for the film club at my school (thanks mum!) and a couple of the films had a lasting impact on me. One was about some cool supermen and the other... I'll get back to that one.

Of course being 7 yrs old I didn't bite into film titles or which country they came from so it took quite a while to find out about any of the films. A couple of yrs ago a friend of mine got hold of a video tape and his description over the phone sorta rang a bell: a flick with three cool supermen: and yes, there it was: THE THREE FANTASTIC SUPERMEN (I Fantastici tre supermen, Italy, 1967)!!! It was a bit of a let-down though. I had enjoyed it tremendously as a seven year old but in adult life it just seemed too silly.

However, the other film is still a big mystery to me. I remember it as being a kind of a crime movie. There was this evil dude who had an electric iron hand and when he wanted to hurt someone he'd just grab their face and just burn their puss to a crisp. The images of their burnt faces was pretty scary. At the end of the film the hero fought the evil dude and knocked him over so his hand touched a train track (I think) and electrocuted himself. Phew! Scary stuff when you're a first-grader

Anyway, obviously I'm still anxious as to find out which film this is. Does any of you know? Does it ring a bell? Since I was so young I didn't notice finer details such as which language they spoke. I think it would've been a western flick but I guess it could've been Asian. Any help is appreciated.
[originally written as a post over at Dvdmaniacs]

Monday, January 12, 2009

crappy zombies. killer fish. ordering chinese. BADA BING!!!

Ahh, not too shabby a weekend film wise! :-) On Friday I received a parcel from a very nice store in China and ALSO a parcel from some friendly folks in the Czech Republic! How did we ever survive without online shopping!?



I FINALLY got the two new Bruno Mattei zombie films that he made just before he passed away; ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD and ZOMBIES: THE BEGINNING (in accordance with all good Mattei logic BEGINNING is of course the sequel to ISLAND! LOL X 10). I also bought Joe D'Amato's killer-fish movie DEEP BLOOD (which doesn't exist on dvd anywhere else). I'm told they also have a rare Italian killer-bear film on DVD in the Czech Republic but the title escapes me now and it's only got French dubbing anyway.



And finally... da da daahhh... I ordered, paid for, waited for, and have now received the amazing... the deadly... the complete... box release of every motherfucken episode of "The Sopranos"!!! Bada bing, bada bum!! Capisce, paesano?



I ordered the box from a SPIFFY store in downtown China. They have quite a good selection of complete box sets (all original releases of course) at prices where you think "Hmm, should I buy a kebab and a lemonade or should I order a complete box set from China", LOL.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines



One genre that is totally neglected by almost ALL genre film collectors is trashy Vietnam War movies from the Philippines...

...let me just repeat that: Trashy Vietnam War movies from the Philippines!! No mistake there! I'm talking about war movies... that take place during the Vietnam conflict... and are shot in the Philippines! And you don't need to mentioned it; I'm fully aware The Philippines never took part in the Vietnam War, haha.

The thing is, much like Indonesia and Hong Kong the Philippines had a thriving film industry during the 80s. Heaps of films were being made and, well, I don't really have anything to back this up but my gut feeling is that while the other prolific film territories in Asia did try and make money on export to foreign markets The Philippines did it much more gung ho. Most of these films were filmed or dubbed in English. In Hong Kong they didn't even bother to make proper subtitles. And maybe one of the reasons why the Philippines churned out so many Vietnam War movies was the international appeal; Firstly (I'm guessing here) they thought the American market would be interested in these movies because of the US involvement in the war, and secondly they would have appeal to a Western audience because the main characters would have to be Americans - or at least white actors playing Americans (or semi-white actors who sometimes had dreadful accents and/or spoke totally broken English, haha).

Anyway, I'm not going to talk too much about all this here now. The reason I'm mentioning this at all is because, da-da-daaaa, I have a new site! Yep, a site completely and only devoted to these trashy Filipino war flicks! It's totally... obskuriøst! Haha. To the best of my knowledge I think it's safe to say there are no other sites of that kind anywhere in Cyberspace. As I said to begin with this is a completely overlooked genre... and if you were to say "and for a reason" I wouldn't disagree with you! Most genre film fans don't like war movies cos they're boring (I find ordinary war movies boring!) but do yourself a favour and check out my site anyway. The thing with Filipino war flicks is they AREN'T boring at all because they're so full of trashy action it's unbelievable. As Fred Adelman mentioned over at Dvdmaniacs in a response to one of my posts; 95% of these movies are entertaining!! I couldn't agree more. How many genres can take credit for the same!

The site is still in its infantry, ehh, infancy so there's only a handful of reviews but there's quite a few scans and stuff and there'll be more soon. Check it out.

Finally, do check out this great trailer for the VERY cool Teddy Page directed movie PHANTOM SOLDIERS (which is almost a Filipino HORROR war movie!!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"For Your Height Only 2"

aka THE IMPOSSIBLE KID
Very cool trailer! And yes; it's custom made, LOL.

Friday, January 2, 2009

RAMBU vhs covers galore

I found an alternative Swedish RAMBU vhs cover scan to the one I've already shown from Sweden.
Swedish vhs/English dub/fullscreen.
Thanks to Miltos from Cinehound in Greece. Incidentally, someone at Cinehound mentioned he'd seen a THE SNAKE QUEEN release also in this yellow series from Sweden! That's very interesting as so far the only release that was believed to exist is the Greek tape.
[Click scan for bigger size]

More Mexican horror movie lobby card madness

Hey it's been a while. A busy Christmas and stuff ya know. Anyhoo, here's a couple of veeery cool Mexican lobbycards for old Mexican horror movies I bought last night (the cards that is, I already had the films, obviously, LOL):

MAN AND THE MONSTER (available on subtitled dvd from CasaNegra)


RIDERS OF THE SKULLS aka EL CHARRO DE LAS CALAVERAS (only out on non-subbed bootleg dvd)


THE VAMPIRE (on subtitled dvd from both CasaNegra and Mondo Macabro)