Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Crazies remake



I went to a big indoor second hand market in Melbourne around... well, early 1990s anyway, and some guy was selling all his video tapes. I had a look and picked one; Romero's original THE CRAZIES (aka Code Name Trixie). I asked the guy why he was selling his cool tapes to which he replied that he and his brother had way too many tapes, they simply haaad to get rid of some of them. "We have a big bookshelf with tapes like that one at home " he said and pointed to a bookshelf that was about half the size of any of my bookshelves, haha. Oh well, I got THE CRAZIES and I still have that ol'e Aussie tape in perfect condition. I always liked the film, it's not Romero's best but I definitely like it more than what many other fans do. So is this remake gonna be a bastard from Hell? No idea but in contradiction to quite a few of my fellow posters on Dvdmaniacs I quite like the trailer. So should you. xD


The Bionic Boy + Cleopatra Wong DVDs (Starlite Video)

I re-watched Bobby A. Suarez's Filipino movie DYNAMITE JOHNSON: Bionic Boy part 2 on DVD last night. The film is out from from Starlite Video (aka Global Video) in South Africa which also put out the first BIONIC BOY film and the related THEY CALL HER CLEOPATRA WONG.

All three films are quite enjoyable and all are unfortunately quite difficult to get hold of. CLEOPATRA WONG plus yet another Suarez film, ONE-ARMED EXECUTIONER, are going to get a reg. 1 release (probably) at the end of the year so that's pretty good. Brilliant actually. But it still leaves the two BIONIC BOY films hanging somewhere in the void, unfortunately.

Anyway, what I really wanted to address is some complete nonsense which is mentioned in regards to all three films on the German film data base OFDb, where it says:

Bemerkungen:
Hier diente wohl ein VHS als Vorlage, dementsprechend dürftig sind Bild und Ton.


What they're basically saying is that all three DVDs were sourced from video tapes and that the picture and sound is crap! Well, it appears that whoever wrote the comments (someone calling himself "Zeiram") obviously couldn't distinguish between a less than perfect transfer from film print to DVD, and a worn video tape!! And that's exactly what this is; The three DVDs are so not sourced from VHS but from real film elements! I have no idea of whether they're from 35mm or from 16mm but all three films are presented in the fullscreen format which could indicate they're from 16mm (but don't run with that as solid proof as I really have no idea!!).

The reason the picture is less than perfect in parts (only in parts! Most of the films look fine!!) is that these DVDs weren't released by some big-ass company who had enough money for proper transfers and restoration. Starlite Video is actually just one guy who's sitting on a bunch of rare film prints which he inherited years ago from a family member who owned an old cinema.


In my opinion the prints are alright. No, they're not perfect and if you need everything to be HD then I'd advise you stay clear of these DVDs. But if you're into worldweird films and excitement found outside of Blockbuster then I would suggest you pick up these releases when you find them. Or rather... "would have picked them up" as they're actually out of print and are already rare. According to the guy behind Starlite/Global they only sold around 300 copies each so there won't be a any reprints and the handful of other Filipino films he has in his possession and which were planned for release won't be released now. Boo-hoo. One of them was even COSA NOSTRA ASIA which has never been released anywhere to the home cinema market in English! :o(

First Vampire in China (1986)

aka FIRST VAMPIRE OF CHINA



I just won this poster on eBay. It wasn't that expensive and no you're right the poster isn't all that good either, HOWEVER it is for the extremely rare HK horror movie FIRST VAMPIRE IN CHINA from 1986. I have the movie on a fullscreen Japanese tape (Cantonese dialogue, Japanese subs). There's also a letterboxed and English subtitled laserdisc somewhere but it's very rare and I've never even seen it once. FIRST VAMPIRE IN CHINA isn't in the same style as the dark & nasty 1980s HK horror flicks I usually write about. This is more in the same vein as the MR VAMPIRE films, i.e. whacked out no-holds-barred craziness galore!!!



Here's a review Knetan (aka Kenneth Brorssan) posted on his Soo Good... review site:

Return Of The Demon director Wong Ying dabbles in vampire territory, with an amusing opening talking of indeed the first vampire in China. Threatening to take over the country along with his hordes of other vampires, luckily there was an earthquake to bury them all. Cut to the early 20th century and the new mayor Alexander Tso (Charlie Cho) arrives with his dopey assistant played by To Siu-Ming to inspect the town, the countryside and to generally wreak havoc with their greed and ignorance. Trying to extract what they think is a jade treasure (but is in fact the jade clothed first vampire), they blow up the burial site where other vampires are laid to rest and it's chaos from there. Master Kent (Sek Kin in the Lam Ching-Ying role) may be able up this mess. By no means a yet to be discovered classic, Wong Ying provides energetic pace throughout, with Charlie Cho and To Siu-Ming being cocks and literally being transformed into ones after being attacked by an re-animated one! Further energy comes via a scene where Shing Fui-On as a hopping vampire is caught in a skipping rope contraption while Hwang Jang-Lee turns up and threatens to marry off the daughter of Kent, in the afterlife. Also with Anthony Tang, Robert Mak, Chor Yuen and Sai Gwa-Paau.


VHS/Japan/fullscreen/in Cantonese/Japanese subs

And here's another (way cooler) poster I also just bought; MAGIC COP (1989) starring Mr. Vampire himself, Lam Ching-Ying (this on is easy to get on HK DVD).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Eternal Evil of Asia



I belive this is the only time every cought on film that a dickhead, i.e. an asshole, actually turns into... a dickhead. xD

When grown men weep like little Japanese school girls



Until yesterday I was certain of two things in life.

If I didn't know anything else at least I knew these two very important facts:

1) The wild Indonesian film 5 DEADLY ANGELS was released long ago on VHS in Holland.

And: 2) There was a rumour 5 DEADLY ANGELS might have had a VHS release in the US long ago.

Needless to say the Dutch tape is more rare than getting laid at a dike slumber party. I have never found a copy! Never! Ever! (but thanks to a nice Cinehound member I have a multo wonderfullo DVD-R copy!).

Yesterday, I found an eBay seller in jolly ol'e Canaduh who had a copy of the legendary American NTSC tape!!! And it came with a mint cover!!! And a "buy now" price!!!

Obviously, after having picked my shocked body up from the floor I clicked the "buy now" button right away. And then I waited for an invoice.

Today I got an eMail from the seller saying he... accidentally... dropped... a... hand-weight... on... the... tape...!!!

(insert shocked smiley here)

Let me just repeat that: the seller dropped a weight on the tape and it smashed!!!

I must admit I was kinda hoping his line would end with something like "but don't worry the hand-weight bounced off the tape and nothing happened. I just thought I'd tell you to better the relationships between our two almost identical countries" but, well, he didn't. :-(




I spent two years looking for this tape and then the only copy I've ever come across gets smashed by a fooking hand-weight!!!!!! Check the headline again for my state of mind.

Arrr, this is so truly, insanely, bizarrely, surreal'y, terrible I keep expecting a log lady to offer me some coffee. Haha. Oh well, C'est la vie as they say in some parts of Canada. If nothing else I asked the seller if I could get the cover and so at least I'll have that to look at while I cry into my cold coffee ("cold" cos I'll be too depressed to make a fresh pot).

Below is the cover scan (courtesy of Peter from Cinehound) from the Dutch VHS.

ANGEL 2 lobbies. xD



One of my ALL TIME FAVOURITE Hong Kong films is ANGEL 2 which I believe is also one of the very best in the Girls with guns genre. You could also call the genre Girls who kick ass and look cute (coined in an old issue of Asian Trash Cinema). But regardless of terminology... I just bought this uber spiffy lobby card set from Thailand! Arrr... (this is where you imagine yours truly doing a Homer Simpson drool, LOL).

I haven't actually bought any lobby cards before (except big Mexican ones but I'd say they're more like posters) but when I stumbled over this set I just knew I had to have it. And yes, it was... pricey. I really need to get myself a new job soon!!!



Anyway, I've written about the ANGEL series before in regards to my having bought the Japanese video versions. The films star Moon Lee, Yukari Oshima, Elaine Lui, and Alex Fong. There are three entries and #1 and 2 are awesome! No. 3 is more of a spy film and fails in the "shoot 'em up" dep. but is otherwise alright. The series became so uber popular that tons of films were released in Hong Kong in the years that followed, films that all had female heroes and had "Angel" in the title. If you're looking for someone to criticise this blatant ripoff mentality you'll have to look elsewhere as you won't find it here. I love all those films! Unfortunately, many of them are very difficult to find nowadays. A lot of them never came out on DVD and the old video tapes and VCDs are rare by now.

Btw, instead of ANGEL 3 you might wanna try and track down KILLER ANGELS instead as it's a much better film (and tons more violent!!). It also stars Moon Lee and is another fave in this house!!! For years I kept watching an unsubbed VCD from HK until I got hold of an English dubbed boot from the UK.



One of the films that fortunately WAS granted a release on a shiny li'l disc is the first ANGEL which (oddly enough) was released on HK DVD under its international title of Iron Angels. Fortunately, the disc doesn't contain the international, English dubbed version but the original Cantonese film. Unfortunately, ANGEL 2 and 3 are only out on crappy DVDs; #2 in Germany (dubbed and cut to shreds) and #3 on an OOP English dubbed, fullscreen DVD in the US.

The best way to watch ANGEL 2 is on VHS from the UK; MIA put it out on an English dubbed tape fully uncut and fully letterboxed! They also put out a fully lbx'ed tape in Cantonese with new English subs which would have been the ultimate release if it weren't for the fact that the bloody BBFC cut out 18 seconds of fun! Boo-hoo. My Japanese tape is also in Cantonese and fortunately fully uncut but sans the subs. You just can't win can you. :-(

Anyway, here's the trailer for ANGEL 2, do check it out!




[ANGEL aka Iron Angels/Angels/Midnight Angels/Midnite Angels/Fighting Madam/Ultra Force, VHS/Japan/letterbox/English dub/Japanese subs]

[ANGEL 2 aka Iron Angels 2/Angels 2/Ultra Force 2, VHS/Japan/letterbox/Cantonese audio/Japanese subs]

[ANGEL 3 aka Iron Angels 3/Iron Angel 3/Fighting Madam 3/Hong Kong Police Madam 3/Return of Iron Angels/Midnite Angels 3/Ultra Force 3, VHS/Japan/fullscreen/English dub]

What bloody sister!?

[click scan for bigger size]

I bought this film on a whim but I can't for the life of me figure out which film it is. Do any of you know?

The English cover title is BLOOD SISTER but I can't find a film that seems to fit the seller's description. There are several films called BLOOD SISTER and BLOOD SISTERS.

At first I thought something along the lines of the Taiwan films GOLDEN QUEEN'S COMMANDO, PINK FORCE COMMANDO or FANTASY MISSION FORCE but it doesn't seem to be any of those.

Seller's description:
This very rare - NO DVD release - 70s women of vengeance movie stars Chinese hottie Lin Ling who is oout for revenge after her boyfriend is gunned down by some syndicate. Lin Ling is joined by four hell bent for revenge girls (one in knee high cowhide boots!!) In the course of the action you get: female kung fu fighting, stick fighting, gun play, soft core sex, and lotsa bare bottoms and tops. At one point two women are gagged, bound and... you know. But they get revenge on their attackers - one knife into a bloody mess, the other groin stomped and left crippled on the floor.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sorry, I can't think of a headline.



Someone over on Dvdmaniacs posted this enlightening clip from "CNN Denmark". I was born here but I had an Aussie gf for 10 yrs and spent a lot of time in OZ in the '90s so I kinda feel like 10% Aussie & 90% Danish and those 10% Aussie are cringing their toes right now. Oh man!!! Haha (and don't tell me, I realise it's a joke but still. As Homer Simpson would say it's funny because it's true).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dark & nasty Hong Kong: BLOOD RITUAL (1989)


[click both scans for bigger size]

Check out this awesome laserdisc cover for Lee Yuen-Ching's dark and nasty Hong Kong horror movie BLOOD RITUAL from 1989. Or at least I think it dark and nasty. Unfortunately, I haven't watched the movie and (again: unfortunately) that isn't my laserdisc. :-(
There is no DVD release, only old and very rare video tapes and this laserdisc. You can get it on bootleg from Trash Palace tho.

EDIT A FEW HOURS LATER: That laserdisc is NOW MINE!! I won it from a Chinese eBay seller in the UK!! Yay!! SPIIIFY!!!


VHS from France

Last of the Matteis

Here's a handful of trailers for Bruno Mattei's last four cannibal and zombie films (plus THE TOMB). He did 2 of each and they are equally crappy and/or enjoyable, depending on how low your tolerance level is. Mine is pretty low so obviously I enjoy them heaps, haha, but I'm not gonna try and convince anybody that these films are in any way, shape or form good or even semi good cos, well, they're not. But like I said, enjoyable and entertaining. And a pleasure so guilty that you probably wanna keep the films out of sight if you're having any friends/relatives/anybody come over for a visit, that is if you value your reputation in any way!! xD

I don't have the last movie, THE TOMB. I'm aware there's a reportedly crappy US bootleg DVD out but I'm holding back getting it as I've just discovered there's a VCD release of it in Thailand and I'm trying to find out if there's a DVD as well (the VCD only has Thai audio). If any of you know about this please let me know. Cheers.

LAND OF DEATH aka Cannibal Holocaust: Cannibal Vs Commando


CANNIBAL WORLD aka Cannibal Holocaust: The Beginning


ZOMBIES, THE BEGINNING


ZOMBIES, THE BEGINNING (different trailer)


ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD


ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD (long German trailer)


THE TOMB



- And lastly, here's a Mattei tribute by the guy who is usually The Cinema Snob but this video is actually done out of character (if case you hadn't realised TCS is a character he does, lol). Check it out it's pretty good.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bruno Mattei is back from the dead!!!

Alright, no he hasn't returned as one of his crappy zombies from ZOMBI 3 or HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD (now THAT would have been quite something!!) but his JAIL: A WOMAN'S HELL (2006) has finally been released on DVD!!! Oh sing thee joyous wee ones oh sing thy hymens of praise. A couple of years back we waited patiently for the release of this last two cannibal movies, LAND OF DEATH + CANNIBAL WORLD, and then we waited patiently for his last two zombie films, ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD and ZOMBIES: THE BEGINNING ...when they finally came out on DVD it was in obscure places like Russia, Japan and the Czech Republic... and now, finally, JAIL has been granted a DVD release in the same obscure place that first released his last zombie flicks, i.e. jolly Republic of all things Czech!!! Yay! Spiffy!! Check out this trailer for the DVD:

video
[PS: yes, the DVD has English dub!]

And go HERE for the real trailer (unfortunately I can't embed it here!). Now the question is just where to get it from! I did manage to order ISLAND OF DEATH, ZOMBIES: THE BEGINNING and Joe D'amato's DEEP BLOOD (not on DVD anywhere else) from a Czech store but, mein gott, it takes time!!!

PS: I wasn't quite sure where to post this as JAIL (like Mattei's other last films) was indeed filmed in the Philippines and I might as well have posted this on my Filipino blog (and YES that is Mike Monty in the trailer) but since this is more trash than trashy Filipino war I put it here, haha.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Unknown blog writer scarred for life in beetle attack



So I'm watching a couple of episodes of COPS on the telly. Nice and cozy, ay. I've got my coffee and while four or five of LA's finest are sitting on some Mexican guy's head I'm working my way thru a box of dates I've saved from Christmas. Actually, that's not completely true as they wouldn't have lasted until now if they were from Xmas as I have a sweet tooth for dates. Ever since I was a kid. Every year I stock up on dates. Anyway, this year's supply was already gone when I found the last remaining stock at a local Aldi market. Why did they still have some when every other store doesn't you ask? Beats me. Maybe they'd fallen behind some boxes or the nice Turkish Aldi chicks had used them for door stops. Who knows. Anyhoo, so I'm sitting there going thru the box. The cops are having fun. "Are you using the stun-gun on him? Is he getting it?". "Yeah he is cos I'm holding him and I'm getting it too!" And, well, I think we've established by now that I'm working my way thru the box, ay. And then I look down... and stare into wild and crazy eyes of an unknown but probably very nasty and definitely UUUGLY muther of a beetle! Yes, that's what I said: A BEETLE!!! A live one. A very highly alive and moving one!!! Probably full of nasty contagious diseases too. Do beetles carry the Ebola virus? PROBABLY!!! Do beetles from date packages crawl into people's ears when they're asleep and eat chunks off their brains little by little? MOST LIKELY!!! Jesus Christ, I'm never gonna look at a pack of dates in the same casually relaxed I'm-just-gonna-stuff-mah-face-with-dis-yummy-stuff-without-looking-at-it way anymore, that's for sure. Brrrr. Nasty.

The photo may or may not be an actual photo from the scene that occurred.

You win some you lose some.

VHS/Japan/fullscreen/English dub/Japanese subs

I've been on the hunt for ANGEL 3 (aka Iron Angels 3 / Midnite Angel) on Japanese VHS for quite a while. The film is part of a cool "Girls kick ass and look cute" Hong Kong series that star cute Moon Lee and equally cute femmes Yukari Oshima (in #1) (altho she's a bad guy in this one, LOL) and Elaine Lui (#1 & 2). I've been looking for a copy ever since one seller in Japan listed it as being letterboxed and with English dub. I went so far as to bug two sellers repeatedly to find it for me and finally I got it this week! The thing is, I already had a fullscreen & English dubbed DVD from the US and a letterboxed, German dubbed VHS dupe but the thought of getting a print that was both letterboxed and English dubbed made me search high and low for the tape. And why wouldn't it be letterboxed. The seller listed it as being lbx, and besides that, both ANGEL and ANGEL 2 (which I both have) are letterboxed. So why wouldn't it be! Well, it wasn't!!! The first seller's info was incorrect: the tape is sadly ugly fullscreen!! Boo-hoo!!!

Oh well, at least I've got a complete set of ANGEL tapes now and I only paid $20, not $76 which was the selling price the first time. I'm sure whoever won it back then was real "happy" when he discovered it was foulscreen! :/

PS: This is not a scan of the tape I got but from an earlier auction.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

That's poetry!

He used to ride around town on an old V-twin.
He was rough around the edges. He just didn't fit in.
And every now and then he'd run a red light.
And every now and then he get into a fight.
The people in the town came up with a plan.
All just afraid of what they didn't understand.

Well across the road.
They strung up a wire.
Knocked him off his bike.
And then they set him on fire.
Layed him down in a shallow grave.
They all just spit. And no one prayed.
They heard him say with his dying breath.
I'll be back for you and all of the rest.

You better look out all of you saints and sinners.
For the Return of the One Percenter.
The One Percenter's come back from the dead.
The One Percenter come back for your head.

The air got cold and the ground began to shake.
They found the mayor's head was sitting on a stake.
They heard the rumble of that old V-twin.
And everyone knew that he'd be back again.
For three days straight he terrorized the town.
Nothing that they did could bring him down.
Come out, come out all of you losers and winners.
For the Return of the One Percenter.

Ain't no difference between the saints and sinners.
For the Return of the One Percenter.
The One Percenter's come back from the dead.
The One Percenter come back for your head.
[Psychocharger: "Return of the One percenter"]

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Eternal Evil of Asia (HK, 1995)

DVD/Taiwan/letterbox/audio? haven't checked yet/English subs

Ahh, happy days!! Today, I received the ultra rare DVD release of THE ETERNAL EVIL OF ASIA, released on the Ritek label over in Taiwan!

THE ETERNAL EVIL OF ASIA is an entertaining Category III horror movie from Hong Kong, 1995. Altho maybe a notch or two less intense than the "classics" in what I personally like to call the Dark and nasty HK horror movie genre I still consider it part of the genre. And it certainly doesn't deliver less stuff to fully make it a deservant of its Category III rating. If you've seen the end scene you'll agree with me. xD. Oh, and it certainly gives new meaning to the term "a dickhead"! You'll just have to watch it.

There are three different releases of the film on DVD, the HK release, the US release from Tai Seng which is just a port of the HK disc, and then finally there's this Taiwan DVD. The latter is interesting as it has alternative footage in some of the scenes (the scenes that granted the Cat. III rating actually, LOL). Since so few people have seen the Ritek DVD it's rumoured it has more gore in it. Unfortunately, this isn't the case! The HK/US DVD is actually the most revealing of the two. I'll post something about it later. Maybe. Haha.

Oh, and if my new DVD wasn't enough, check this poster out which I received about a week ago; it's the original poster from the film's initial Hong Kong cinema run. And it's BIIIG too. Hmm, now where have I got some wall space?? Hmmm.

GOLDEN BOY out now from ONAR Films!

Last month our good friend down south, Bill Barounis, released yet another psychotronic cult movie from yesteryear's Turkey. The film is GOLDEN BOY (aka Altin Cocuk), a spiffy James Bond clone if there ever was one. I've got a copy of it but until I get off my ass and do a proper review you can do much worse than read Jared's brand new review on his Worldweird Cinema blog here. And do be a hipster and scoop it up right away from Onar's eBay store. Turkish psychotronica is awesome and more people (i.e. YOU!) need to know about it!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Killers on Wheels trailer (HK, 1976)



KILLER ON WHEELS is finally available to the home market uncut and with its original audio for the first time ever!!! The bitch in Hell is it's only available as a video on demand release in France. To French people with French credit cards ONLY. :o(

The film is direced by Kuei Chi Hung who also did some of the most entertaining and truly awesome HK films such as BAMBOO HOUSE OF DOLLS, BOXER'S OMEN, HEX, CORPSE MANIA, BEWITCHED, CRIMINALS 3 (the "Arson" episode), THE KILLER SNAKES, etc. And in the words of Cinehound member Spannick (who also made and uploaded the trailer) the film is "one sleazy, violent Biker Movie from HK, where Danny Lee and his Friends are terrorized and forced to fight back - the hard way!"

Why can't they just release it on DVD!! Boo-hoo!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

El Monstro Del Mar (OZ, 2010)



Bloody hell! LOL. I just discovered this trailer for EL MONSTRO DEL MAR (thanks to Brian of Worldside Cinema for posting). Don't get fooled by the title, this isn't old Mexican (not that there's anything wrong with that as I'm sure you've realised if you've followed me a while!) but a new gory horror flick from Australia. It hasn't premiered yet but will do so in Melbourne on the 9th of April (so if you're close to the Astor in St Kilda you now know what to do on the 9th. xD). It looks like good fun.

The Hunted (Philippines, 1970)


I won this Filipino movie on eBay today. As with so many of these films info, any kind of info, is scarce. The director is Cesar Amigo who also wrote the screenplay for THE BLOOD DRINKERS (1964) which is one of my favourite Filipino films. Charito Solis, Mario Monte and Fred Galang are all in the movie and according to the Greek seller (Onar-Bill) it is a:

[...] nasty exploitation revenge colossus, with tons of gratuitious violence plus some trashy fulci-ish gore, like acid on face that melts like a pizza!!!

I certainly hope he's right. xD


Here the original Filipino poster. Thanks to Andrew for making me aware of it. It comes courtesy of the amazing Video48 blog in the Philippines.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hantu Puncak Datang Bulan [The Menstruating Ghost of Puncak]

A 2 sec. intro to Indo flicks: The wild film industry in the 80s died around 1990 due to a change in government towards a more strict religious tone (according to Pete Tomb's Mondo Macabro book it was LADY TERMINATOR which did it! :D ). Well, in the last couple of yrs the atmosphere has kinda loosened up a bit and they're making horror movies again, however this new one, THE MENSTRUATING GHOST OF PUNCAK (original title: Hantu puncak datang bulan), is apparently too much for Muslim sensitivity in that country:





Horror Society wrote:

JAKARTA – A NEW Indonesian horror movie about a menstruating ghost ran foul of the country’s highest Islamic body on Thursday.

‘Hantu Puncak Datang Bulan’ (The Menstruating Ghost of Puncak) made its debut in Jakarta on Thursday and was quickly condemned by senior clerics in the mainly Muslim country.

‘I watched that horror movie… it contains sex scenes, violence and decapitation. I call on the film censorship board not to approve its screening,’ Indonesian Ulema Council official Amirsyah Tambunan told AFP. ‘Muslims have the right to watch the film but I suggest they don’t because it contains scenes that are against Islamic principles,’ he added.

But Tambunan said the council, which is the highest Islamic body in the land, had no plans to pass a fatwa or religious edict forbidding Muslims from watching the film. ‘Hantu Puncak Datang Bulan’ contains graphic gore scenes and erotica involving scantily clad actress Andi Soraya.

Muslim leaders in September condemned plans for 23-year-old Japanese porn star Maria Ozawa, popularly known as Miyabi, to visit the country to play herself in a comedy movie called ‘Menculik Miyabi’ (Kidnapping Miyabi). The actress consequently ‘postponed’ her trip.

In December, Australian movie ‘Balibo’ was banned because it depicts the alleged murder of five Australian-based journalists by invading Indonesian forces in East Timor in 1975. Indonesia claims the men died in crossfire. — AFP

- it certainly makes me want to see it!! :D

Thanks to El Schnaflos who posted about this on Uncut.dk forum.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MEET THE FEEBLES - trailer (NZ, 1989)



I bought MEET THE FEEBLES on ex-rental video in OZ sometime in the 90s and it's one of Peter Jackson's first three low-budget gore flicks that I love regardless of the many viewings and no matter how many yrs have passed thru the time glass! xD
I guess I ought to get hold of this on a little shiny disc. :D


My poster can kick your poster's ass!

[click scan for bigger size]

I received this awesome poster in the mail today! It's from Tsui Hark's A BETTER TOMORROW 3 and it's the original cinema poster from the Hong Kong release in 1989, and it's Chow Yun Fat and Anita Mui on the front (sorry, the last guy's name escapes me). I already knew the image from various VCD and DVD releases and for quite a while I've been thinking it would be cool if the picture had actually been used for a poster. Well, lo and behold, a couple weeks back I discovered an eBay seller in Hong Kong who had a poster with that exact image. Yay! Spiffy!

The film itself is really good. Quite a few fans think it's a lesser film than John Woo's first two entries to the series but I beg to differ; I think it's just as good a film but OBVIOUSLY it's a DIFFERENT film. It's a film about people set in a difficult (i.e. war torn) political environment. It's not a heroic bloodshed film along the lines of A BETTER TOMORROW 1 & 2 (although it does get violent aplenty!).

There is a lot of confusion of which version is the uncut one and how long the longest version runs. It is rumoured that a 145-minute version exists and someone even stated this as a fact on the film's Wiki page but I highly doubt this is correct!! I have yet to find just one person on a message board, or in the real world, who has actually watched this legendary 145-minute version. Apparently, a Taiwan VCD is supposed to contain this version but I own a Taiwan VCD and although it says 145 on the back it only runs 130 minutes! I guess there could be another Taiwan VCD release but if that's the case I wonder why no one on the well known Asian boards have it! I think this mystical 145-minute version is an urban legend! The Hong Kong cinema print runs 111 minutes and there are other DVD and VCD versions that run for much longer but none of them surpass the 130-minute mark! You can read about the various versions on Asian Dvd Guide here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bobby A. Suarez RIP

Andrew (left) with Bobby A. Suarez, 2008


By Andrew Leavold (posted today on DVDmaniacs)

The Philippines has lost another of its B movie legends.

Bobby A. Suarez, the director of the Cleopatra Wong series, The One-Armed Executioner, Searchers Of The Voodoo Mountain and American Commandos, passed away in Manila at 2.00am this morning (Monday 8th February).

Bobby was in hospital recovering from a series of heart attacks and a kidney operation.

I was privileged to call Bobby a brother, to be taken into his home, his family and his confidence. His story (including a lengthy interview) is at bamboogodsandbionicboys.blog.

Rest in peace, my brown monkey-faced brother.


[From Leavold's post #2]
Hey all,
It probably won't make it on the news, as Bobby's been out of the local filmmaking scene for almost twenty years, and may only get a passing mention in the newspapers. Which is a shame, because along with Eddie Romero and the late Cirio H. Santiago, he was a tireless pioneer of peddling Philippines-lensed genre films to the international market. Cirio received the column space because he was still a visible and active member of the film industry, within which he had a extensive network of family and friends, and because of the legacy of his family's Premiere Productions dating back to the 1940s.

Bobby, on the other hand, had a very closed circle of family and confidantes, had little interest in the local film industry other than its export market potential, and was virtually a recluse since his health problems dating back to the late Eighties.

I really do hope [he] gets the recognition from his peers, who have all but forgotten his contributions to Filipino cinema.

I rang Bobby's wife Gene this afternoon to check on Bobby's health and received the terrible news. She was in shock and had not made plans for the wake or funeral. Nick, as soon as I hear details I'll pass them onto you. Most of the BAS Film family have been notified of Bobby's passing.

If anyone wishes to leave a tribute, I'll make sure Gene and the Suarez family read them. My deepest condolences go out to Gene, Richard, Roma and the entire Suarez family at this saddest of times.



Oh no!!! This is terrible news!!! I was in contact with him last year and was planning to write him again. Those emails I got from him were the nicest. So sad. Goodbye Bobby. :-(

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Eyetalians coming this way

I'll be getting a coupla Italian Indiana Jones clones (or something similar) soon; RATHER KISS A COBRA (Meglio baciare un cobra, 1986) and THE SECRET OF THE INCAS' EMPIRE (Alla ricerca dell'impero sepolto, 1987, Filipino co-production), the first one is directed by Massimo Pirri who only did a handful of films (of which I haven't seen any) and the latter one by Gianfranco Parolini (aka Frank Kramer) who also did the SABATA films. I don't think they're on DVD but then again my search for DVD versions lasted about 2 minutes so I guess there could be some somewhere. LOL. The overall judgement about the two films by IMDb "reviewers" (and I use the term losely) is they're so-so films - but if there's one thing IMDb has taught me it's not to trust reviewers (and yes I'm a reviewer, haha). I'm sure they are both uber fantastic and awesome. Or something.


Friday, February 5, 2010

"Made in Hong Kong" label mess!!!



Arr, for fuck's sake!

If you've been with me for a while you'll know that I'm trying to make a complete list of releases from the old UK video label MADE IN HONG KONG, complete with index numbers, language info, cut versions, etc (otherwise read about it here). However, it just got more complicated!!

I've just got hold of this UK VHS release of the excellent (and sad) film ROUGE. The reason I bought it was to get the film in its original format; the new(ish) DVD from IVL has had its top and bottom cut off for some reason. I guess to make it look even more "letterboxed" than its original widescreen format. Go figure.

The old DVD releases are presented in the film's original format (at least that's what I've read) but unfortunately I haven't been able to find any of those anywhere. So I settled for a VHS which was released by a company called BlueLight but to my big surprise it turns out this video release is exactly identical to any of the Made in Hong Kong tapes!!

Everything down to type of font, the way to write index number and all. And also the inside of the cover has info by Bey Logan and there's a list of the tapes that were currently available from MIHK at the time. Also, ROUGE is listed as being a MIHK release. But it wasn't! So I guess the people behind the MIHK company set up another line as well and for some reason included ROUGE in this and not in the Hong Kong series which is odd to say the least!

On the tape there are trailers for some of the other BlueLight releases and they're non-Asian films. So it seems the MIHK guys wanted a kind of "world film" series as well. Cool enough but this just means there's gonna be more titles to track down and I have no idea where to begin. Try looking for "Blue Light" via Google search!

I've been trying to get help from members of Cinehound and Asian Dvd Guide but not a whole lot of people have been able to help as they either don't collect sell-thru crap (haha) or don't collect video tapes at all. So obviously I'm not too hopeful in regards to someone turning up with a complete list or anything but if any of you have any tapes from this line and can provide title(s) + index number then that would be just smashing! Cheers.

Btw, the index # for the ROUGE tape is BL15.

SUMMERTIME KILLER (1972)


I've just finished watching SUMMERTIME KILLER (aka Un verano para matar) which stars Chris Mitchum, Olivia Hussey and Karl Malden. It was made in Spain in '72 and is directed by Antonio Isasi which I'm afraid is a director that I'm not too familiar with.

EDIT: What I didn't realise at first is I actually watched (and liked very much) another film that he directed called THE DOG (aka A Dog Called Vengeance/El Perro) about this guy who is ... being hunted by this ... dog. Haha. It's actually a very good and creepy film (and if you wanna watch it I suggest you find a video tape and forget about the truly awful American bootleg DVD from VideoAsia!!).


As you might remember I reviewed the Thai film THE H-BOMB last year which also teamed up Mitchum and Hussey and which was an alright and fun flick but I must admit it's taken me a while to put SUMMERTIME KILLER on the player (I bought the DVD a year and a half ago!) cos I kinda expected it to be on the same level as H-BOMB but, whoah, it's in no way "just" a fun (but forgettable) flick like H-BOMB, this is a great movie indeed and I definitely wanna watch it again already and so should you!

Chris Mitchum plays a hitman who bumps off a coupla goons and is on the hunt for a third one. He misses his target and has to reconsider how to finish the job; This is where Olivia Hussey's character unwillingly enters the stage. And then on top of it all there's Karl Malden who a crooked cop who's on holiday from the force in order to earn a bit of money on the side by getting the hitman for some yet some other crooks.

Antonio Isasi direction is great. Thru out the first part of the film we learn about the characters but we don't really get to know them too well, and I was kinda afraid Isasi would leave it that way. Films like that can be all right as they'll offer a more cynical approach to film-making and a opposite way than the often overly sentimental ordinary films that need a happy ending. The problem is those films tend to become too cynical and leave the viewer indifferent to the characters. Well, not so Antonio Isasi's film; Two thirds into the film he makes a change. But I'm not gonna tell you any more about that you need to watch this for yourself! Hah!

Everyone in SUMMERTIME KILLER is great acting wise. Mitchum is a hitman but he doesn't come across as a psychotic manias as those killers often do on film. And Malden's portrait of a bent cop isn't what we're used to either; there's no one way or the other here. Everyone in SUMMERTIME KILLER is bad except for nice Olivia Hussey and yet they're still somewhat likeable characters. And even nice Loivia isn't as polished as one might think; she fucks her school professor altho she no longer loves him. How radical! (well, if one expects a polished do-gooder anyway). And Olivia Hussey, what can I say but ohhh...
You wonder why Chris Mitchum didn't leave his wife and kids and stick with Olivia. xD

For a long time SUMMERTIME KILLER was difficult to find as the old video versions came out long ago and there was not DVD release, however a couple of years back Triple X Film over in Thailand put it out as part of their "World Movie Legends" series (which also includes spaghetti westerns, Euro crime, and Bollywood classics!). The print is fairly good altho not perfect. It's obvious it's a print which has been shown more than once at cinema screenings but personally I kind of like that you can see it's a print with some history. Shock! Horror!! A film fan who isn't a FORMAT fan before he's a film fan and who doesn't go overboard with critical adjectives if a print isn't 300% more perfect than when it was made back in the day!?!?!? How obscure! How bizarre!! How anti-establishment!!! What a wildman. Hahaha.
The print is also widescreen and carries the original English audio track (plus a Thai dub and Thai subs if for some reason you would like an surreal dimension to your viewing!). The film was also released on a reg. 1 DVD recently but I have no info on format or quality of that DVD. It's released as a double bill with another film. Do your own homework, LOL. You can get the Thai disc from TK WORLDWIDE which is an eBay store in Thailand run by an American who lives there. It's only 12 dollars including postage. Go here.



If you're a follower of my other blog (the one where I cover all things trashy Filipino 'Nam war style) you'll have seen my mention of Andrew Leavold's brand new Chris Mitchum interview. If you haven't go here.

It's a very long interview and I cut out some of what Mitchum said about SUMMERTIME KILLER (there's more in the interview tho, you'll have to find that yourself):


Chris Mitchum:
So they flew me up from Houston to New York to have lunch, they gave me the script, told me about the project - it was called Un Verano Para Matar - Summertime Killer - and they flew me back down and offered me five times what Duke was paying me. And I said yes before I read the script. And it was a great script, we had Karl Malden, Olivia Hussey, Claudine Auger, Gerard Barry, Raf Vallone, a great cast. And yeah, in L.A. I went to a cast interview, and the casting director looked at me and said, "Oh, you're THAT Chris Mitchum." I said, "What do you mean?" And she said "I can't cast you because you starred with John Wayne."

Andrew Leavold:
And that's how you found out!

Chris Mitchum:
Yeah. So I went off and did this film in Spain, and I came back, and again I couldn't get an interview. The guy who did the stills photography on the film called me up and said "I would like to send you a script. The producer contacted me and wants me to get a script to you. Would you be interested in coming back to Spain?" I said "Yeah, sure." So I went back and I found out that Summertime Killer was the biggest-grossing film in Spain's history. It won something like seven Spanish awards, and I was a major star in Spain. My second day there I got offered another film in Spain, so I think, "Screw this," I go back after the first film, rent out my house, pack up my family and move to Spain for three years. And everything I did there, when Franco was alive, I mean Rosso [?] was living north of Barcelona, Eastwood was shooting all of his Spaghetti Westerns down at Almaria, it was a happening place. All the stuff I did there was being exported to Asia, and it turned out I was a big star in Asia. There was Eastwood, Bronson, Alain Delon and myself. I mean, Alain Delon was always number one. And the other three of us were two, three and four depending on who had the latest release. So I started getting job offers over there, and that's when I moved back to the United States, because I figured, what the hell am I doing living in Spain and working in Asia. And I wanted a hamburger and a milkshake.
So I went back there and I started doing stuff, the first one being the one in Thailand, so I started working there a lot. And the one in Thailand, it was the first… actually, I think Summertime Killer was the first film Olivia Hussey did after Romeo and Juliet. Because that was so successful over there, they brought her over to star in H-Bomb.

Andrew Leavold:
So the producer said, "Let's, get lightning to strike twice. Let's get Olivia Hussey in here."

Mitchum:
I guess so, yeah.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A never ending trek.

This year my love affair with Hong Kong cinema (or "Hongkong" as they used to spell it in the 70s and still do at Hongkong Post, LOL) reaches its 20 year anniversary. I believe it all began with an early issue of IN THE FLESH that reviewed a handful of early John Woo and Tsui Hark films, and Jonathan Ross' Hong Kong episode of his The Incredibly Strange Film Show on Channel 4. My first HK film at the cinema was A BETTER TOMORROW at the 40th Melbourne Film Festival and it's been a never ending journey every since. When everyone else got into Japanese horror movies, Korea's new cinema output, and the genre films of Thailand, I kept going back to Hong Kong. There simply wasn't any comparison. Even when I forgot about it. An invisible force that kept pulling at my arm. The ghost of HK cinema!

This week I received these films on DVD:


Johnnie To's new film VENGEANCE


Ann Hui's HK new wave film BOAT PEOPLE from 1982 which I've never watched. Actually, embarrassingly enough, I've never watched any of Ann Hui's films so I thought it was about bloody time! She won Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Art Direction, and New Performer at the 2nd Hong Kong Film Awards for it. It's a follow up to her STORY OF WOO VIET which unfortunately isn't available in an English friendly version.


Ann Hui's latest; NIGHT AND FOG (2009) which stars Simon Yam. I watched him this morning in VENGEANCE but I bet his character is quite a bit different here. Or... maybe not! (I watched the trailer!).


- and yet again, here's a title that has kept creeping up on me for yrs without my paying enough attention to it; Johnnie To's ALL ABOUT AH-LONG! LoveHKfilm.com wrote: "Subject matter-wise, you’d have to be dead not be be touched by what goes on, and Chow is incredibly charismatic and likable even when he plays a heel with bad hair." By the way this is the mainland China DVD release from Zoke but there's also HK, Thai, Japanese releases out there.


TO ERR IS HUMANE. Sammo Hung and Joey Wong! On DVD from the mainland. Is it good? Who can tell (well, The Shadow can but that's beyond the point here, LOL).


NEW MR VAMPIRE on DVD from Taiseng and unfortunately only in its English dubbed version. Boo-hoo!! But I've been trying to find it for aons and this is all I could get hold of so it'll have to do for now.


And lastly... an old-skool video tape from Made In Hong Kong (UK): MR VAMPIRE 2. xD!!! And even though it's a VHS this is most likely the best version there is as it has new proper English subtitles instead of the wonky ones on the HK disc (which I've also got) [EDIT: unfortunately I've just leant it's censored by 17 seconds so you can hardly call it the "best version there is". Oh bummer!!]. It stars a young Moon Lee and albeit all the silliness it's also a roller-coaster ride. Well, I have a weak spot for these silly HK horror flicks anyway. xD

Unknown Kino

My mate Matt over in Korea has begun doing a blog called Unknown Kino. It doesn't have that many entries yet but the ones he's already done are pretty interesting. You might wanna keep an eye on it. As I mentioned Matt is located in Korea but he's actually a French Canadian who has moved there. Whadda combination, ay. LOL. For Unknown Kino go here.

Bearded blog no more?

I have this long list of blogs that I check on a regular basis, and some of them (fewer) I check every day. One of the latter ones is Tales of a Bearded Movie Aficionado. If you've followed this here blog or Fred Anderson's ditto you'll be familiar with Patrick who's behind the bearded blog. You'll also be aware that he hasn't updated since Halloweeen (Oct. 31). I've written to that crappy Norwegian a couple of times without getting any reply but then a little while back I wrote him again and said Hey drittsekk, hvor er de 1000 kr du skylder meg [hey dickface where's the 1000 bucks you owe me] and this time 'round I got an answer, haha. Anyhoo, to make a short story excruciatingly and painfully long Patrick isn't coming back any day soon. Unfortunately (as I'm sure you're aware) he's an alcoholic bum (like most Norwegians) and proud of it too, and with an added coke problem it has all become too heavy a burden to keep the blog going. Well, what can I say. Call me boring if you will but I never understood the appeal of hard drugs or excessive drinking. Is that not being cool? Well, quite frankly I don't give a fuck what anybody thinks, I don't see the point in fucking up your life in order to be cool. "He overdosed? Arr man that's awesome!!"

Patrick, I'm only gonna say this once but quit that shit and come back to being a film fan. You don't need that drek.
End of rant.

PS: Oh, and that photo cracks me up every time. LOL.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Evil Dead, an all-nighter 22 years ago, and wanting Steve C. to come back

The very first time I watched THE EVIL DEAD was in 1988 (or possibly 1989 or around that time anyway) at an all-nighter at the Scala Cinema Club, located in the King's Cross in London. The all-nighter consisted of THE EVIL DEAD, THE EVIL DEAD II, HELLRAISER, and HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER 2.
Ahh, what a night. Apart from my (then) girlfriend being annoyed (you could actually feel the temperature going down in the cinema) about my bringing her to see a film with "that" scene in it (the tree rape scene, you know) it was a night to remember. And FILMS to remember. Three of them were BIG classics to remember (and Hellraiser 2 is a guilty pleasure, lol).

I was living in London at the time and my entire film foundation was laid by going to all those all-nighters during those years in the late 80s/early 90s. As I'm sure you're aware, no matter where on the globe you're located, that the UK had very strict censorship regulations in those days (or "censorshit" as IN THE FLESH would refer to it). They've loosened up quite a bit although the BBFC still ban a movie once in a while.
The good thing about going to the old Scala Cinema Club was exactly that: It was a cinema club! There was a loophole in the censorship regulations that allowed clubs with members to show films that were otherwise cut on video tape or had to be shown cut in ordinary cinemas (all you had to do to become a member was buy a member's card that cost ya 50p and which was valid for a whole year and you were even allowed to bring a friend, LOL).
THE EVIL DEAD had been cut (about a minute) when it came out on rental tape (even though it was a pre-certification tape, i.e. before the British Board of Classification [BBFC] was introduced). So in other words, the version I got to watch on that cold and rainy dark night was a fully uncut version. Of course nowadays nobody cares about these old stories as you can buy your fully uncut EVIL DEAD DVDs in every video store on the corner in every city no matter where you are.

A couple of years later I discovered a Bristol based fanzine called IN THE FLESH run by a guy called Steve C. (who still owes me for an entire year of subscription!!!) and in their 7th issue Steve C. reviewed the film in their "A-Z OF NASTIES" and amongst other things he wrote: "Gore-wise the original Palace version was missing approximately 1 minutes worth of pencil twisting, eye gouging fun and frolics [...] I strongly advise you to look out for this everywhere. Even though there is now a version on sell-thru the original Palace release is head, shoulders and a few minutes gore above that!"
... and now, about 20 yrs after I read that piece I'm finally gonna get a copy of that legendary tape! Woo-hoo!! I won it on eBay last night and I must admit I can't wait. I know I know, don't tell me, it's not as good as a DVD or a blueinyourface-ray or whatever you kids buy nowadays but none of that new fancy stuff is gonna have the history this one has (or the damp smell of having been sitting in someone's basement for 20 odd yrs, probably). Sure it's cut but... HISTORY, man, HISTORY!!!

And if nothing else... it IS presented in its original format WHEREAS almost all of the DVD versions are presented in the wrong format as Sam Raimi caved in to the DVD companies and re-cut the film's format so now the top and bottom are missing from the film!! I'm not even fucking kidding! Did you really think a film shot on 16mm would be letterboxed? Well, it's not. It's fullscreen and that's the only way to watch THE EVIL DEAD. LOL (don't worry, if you've got the wrong version you can still get a proper one without having to find an old video tape as there's a release that contains both the original fullscreen and the crappy lbx version. Go check Dvdcompare.net).

But having said all of this I must admit I somehow miss the old days of trying to hunt down banned video nasties and reading splatter-movie fanzines. No, my friend, reading someones blog that has the same bloody layout as 17 trillion other blogs just isn't as fun, boo-hoo. Steve C. where are you now? We need you to put out one more issue. :-(

Monday, February 1, 2010

THE STICK (South Africa/Suid-Afrika, 1987)

Woo-hoo! Will be getting this soon. xD

VHS/Japan/fullscreen/English dub/Japanese subs

From IMDb:
The Stick is not only the best South African film I have seen, its definitely in my top 10 list of movies of any genre I have ever seen.

The direction is engaging and the photography top class. The script is solid and very good in that its believable if you familiar with eerie world of witch doctor medicine, which makes it very scary. Underlying the story; the senseless killing and confusion of the South African apartheid state of mind is portrayed in a controversial way, which I thought added an interesting tension to the script. Most of which caused it to be heavily banned. So I don't think there are many people on the planet who have seen it. Lucky for those who have. The landscape and content make this film uniquely South African, but its one any horror fan would enjoy.

Truly a great and very different horror film.


BANNED FOR FOUR YEARS

More from IMDb:
A masterpiece of anti-war psychological horror which was banned for four years in the country of its' origin. It has been described as an African version of PLATOON: well, no disrespect to Oliver Stone, but this gut wrenching tale is not a version of anything other than a brutal indictment of the terror that was the Angolan war, where men were sent off to die for something that not all of them believed in. Not all of them believed in the righteous crusade that the John Vorster and P W Botha governments launched against the so called "terrorists" who appear from nowhere, kill and vanish once more.
THE STICK is a brutal film with scarcely any humour in it (except for Gys de Villiers' startled reaction to the quick decaying witchdoctor). It has brilliant photography by the late Paul Witte, wonderful acting and a taut script. It is not available for sale on VHS and DVD, but really should be, as,along with films like THE WINNERS and KATRINA, it is one of the very few South African made films that people like myself do not have to wince at and apologize most humbly for.
To quote Don Coscarelli's PHANTASM selling line: "If this one doesn't scare you, you're already dead!"


Trivia:
When submitted for approval by the South African government they requested 48 cuts to be made. The director refused and the film remained banned until the 1990s.



More on these movies here.

This is history, man!



Metallica in 1983 doing The Mechanics (from the legendary No Life 'til Leather tape) i.e. the original version of The Four Horsemen with Dave Mustaine on guitar. I'm sure you're all familiar with how Dave got booted out of band soon after and later recorded The Mechanics with his new band Megadeth.

It's awesome to see this old video tape!!! (and if you've never been into this you're just gonna think it's shit, haha).