Saturday, December 27, 2014

Cigarette Burns revisited

I've just rewatched John Carpenter's CIGARETTE BURNS that he made for the first season of the "Masters of Horror" series. I'd totally forgotten how good it is!! The story perfectly fits the 60 minute running time. I think I'll start rewatching all three seasons again ("Fear Itself" being "season 3").
Here's a link to my five year old review.



Last on the bill at last night's screening...


I finished off last night with a couple of episodes from the highly entertaining US TV series KOLCHAK: The Night Stalker from the mid-seventies. It only ran for one season which is a bit odd as I reckon it was pretty great. But then again, good doesn't necessarily equal commercial. Maybe nobody cared about it in 1974/75.

It was remade a few years back but I've never seen the remake. Much like COLUMBO, KOLCHAK basically has the same plot in each episode, Kolchak is sent to investigate an ordinary story for his newspaper and along the way he runs into something obscure like a vampire, a zombie, or as in last nights episodes a guy who sold his soul to the Devil so he can turn himself into a hound from Hell and thus win the election. And in the second episode, an evil red indian who can turn himself into a coyote and kill people in order to steal their jewels. Both episodes were highly entertaining.

The Satanic demon dog from Hell guy was played by Tom Skerritt who many yrs later played the main character in the TV series PICKET FENCES which was a weirdo kinda show basically created to take over when TWIN PEAKS ended (and it was pretty good actually. I remember taping episodes but I mucked up, missed episodes, and eventually gave up. That was definitely a mistake as the series has drifted into obscurity and apart from season one hasn't been released to home-video in any format. EDIT: I just checked and apparently season two has JUST been released in OZ at the beginning of December!!). The indian was played by none other than Richard Kiel aka "Jaws"!

The DVD set that I have contains the complete series. My release is the UK set which basically is identical to the US set - EXCEPT it's the one you need if you're a purist! The first few episodes had a slightly different title when they ran on US TV originally (it was just called "The Night Stalker") but the series was retitled from episode 5 ("Kolchak: The Night Stalker"). During reruns the new title was used for all episodes in the US and the reg. 1 set carries the rerun title whereas the UK set uses the original title-card for episode 1-4. Also, the reg. 1 set uses flipper discs while the UK set does not. If you need English or Spanish subs the US set is the one to get, tho. No subs on the UK set. The two telly films (THE NIGHT STALKER and THE NIGHT STRANGLER) aren't part of the set.

My friend, the sensational Steven Smith with Richard Kiel in Australia, 2012!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Second film on tonight's programme at Cinema J

THE HAUNTED SEA (1997) from Corman's New Horizons company. According to the DVD cover it was directed by Daniel Patrick but IMDb also lists Dan Golden as co-director. According to IMDb, this is Daniel Patrick's only film!

Anyhoo, we're in true Corman territory as the budget could hardly have been more than a couple hundred dollars. A ship crew runs into a big ship floating adrift and needless to say they board it to see if there's any goodies on board. It turns out there's heaps of gold and shit but also... an angry Aztec monster/demon! However, I swear the "Aztec" monster/demon looks like fucking Minya, hahaha (you know, from SON OF GODZILLA). :P

But don't let the budget or Minya fool you, the film is totally entertaining and great fun. Yes, we're in clichéd territory; yes the character development was probably written on the back of a matchbox, yes there's even stock footage from some other movie, yes the black guy dies, but as they say in dubbed kung fu films, "but still!"... I had great fun with THE HAUNTED SEA.

Fans of old genre cinema will recognise Don Stroud who's been in tons of psychotronic films and TV series going back to the 60s. He was in COOGAN'S BLUFF and the nasty DEATH WEEKEND, and heaps more. Why some unknown chicks are mentioned on the cover while Stroud is ignored is a mystery to me.

There's some gore here and there but don't expect a full-blown splatterfilm. The leading lady shows us her boobs about 10 times (the film kicks off with a shower scene). James Brolin is in there, too (i.e. the film, not the shower scene).

I bought the reg. 1 release from New Horizon directly from Corman's eBay store ($13 + postage). Apart from the film's trailer the disc is completely barebone and to mock us even further it's presented fullscreen.

The Ripper is dead. Long live the Ripper.

Old Danish sell-thru VHS (Film-Lab)

First off this afternoon: Hammer's HANDS OF THE RIPPER from 1971, directed by Peter Sasdy. I thought it was quite good. The urge to kill lives on in Jack the Ripper's daughter. Quite gory for its time. Phil Hardy's "The Encyclopaedia of Horror Movies" calls it "arguably the last masterpiece produced by Hammer". I quite liked the fact that it doesn't have a good guy character.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

BLOOD THIRST (USA/Philippines 1971)

aka BLOOD SEEKERS / THE HORROR FROM BEYOND




Director Newt Arnold
Producer Newt Arnold
Executive Producer Michael “Dupont”/Du Pont
Writer N.I.P. Dennis
Director of Photography Hermo Santos
Post-Production Supervisor Lee Osborne
Editing Supervisor “Tony”/Anthony DiMarco

Cast
Robert Winston (Adam Rourke), Katherine Henryk, Yvonne Nielson, Vic Diaz (Captain Miguel), Vic Silayan, Eddie Infante, Bruno Punzalan, Judy Dennis, Max “Rojo”/Roio, Ching Tello, Minda Morena, Isidro Francisco, Felix Marfil



by JACK J

Young, beautiful women are being bumped off by a mysterious killer in the vicinity of a nightclub in downtown Manilla. The head of police (played by a young and less plumb Vic Diaz) runs to the phone and calls an American detective friend (played by Robert Wilson Mercy) who has specialised in mysterious killers who bump off beautiful, young women. The American friend arrives and soon after goes under cover as a writer with an interest in bumped off beaut... well, you get the point.

He also runs into the police chief's sister (unavoidable romance ensues), local goons, scantly clad nightclub dames (relatively scantly clad anyway. The film was probably made in the 60s altho not released until '71), and eventually a monster so diabolical your blood will freeze and you'll be tossing and turning because of the nightmares you'll be getting (I'm exaggerating by a million). Half of the film is set in the nightclub, the dialogue is aplenty, and the action and horror scenes kept to a minimum.



BLOOD THIRST is by no means a great film. Not even if we only compared it to other Filipino horror films. But I liked it and thought it had its charm.

The film has a laid back obscureness to it that I though was cool. Also, the film being so old, made way before the American-Filipino coproductions we're so familiar with from Roger Corman (i.e. mostly made in the 70s), makes for an interesting watch.

The fact that the actors are unfamiliar faces (except Vic Diaz who was probably in every Filipino film made in the 60s and 70s!!!) makes it almost seem like it's from another Philippines. Bizarro Philippines. And just who was Scandinavian sounding Yvonne Nielson??

I liked the crisp black & white look as well - and not least the cool jazz score thru out the film. And with a running time of just over 70 minutes it doesn't overstay its welcome.



THE DVD:

I watched Vinegar Syndrome's release from their "Drive-In Collection" series. The film is backed with another US-Filipino film called THE THIRSTY DEAD. Both films have also been released by Something Weird Video. VS's print is from a 35mm print presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it looks fantastic!

There's a wee bit of noise and worn print around reel ends but that's alright and if nothing else means the film wasn't shot on fucking video. The SWV dvd is presented fullscreen and it's definitely not the way you wanna watch the film once you've seen the print from VS! Neither release carries any extras related to the film.



Andrew Leavold also reviewed the film on his blog and had this piece of interesting titbit to say:

"Robert Wilson Mercy, the smug big-chinned former stuntman and bit player who plays our Ugly American hero, has made his presence felt on the net recently, leaving some outrageous claims in unsuspecting chatrooms: that he made more lost films in the Philippines with director Newt Arnold, who he describes as one-eyed and with a malformed hand; that he was offered the role of James Bond in a serious version of Casino Royale – but he was making a B-film in Manila at the time and couldn’t get out of the contract; and that he’s stalking the producers of the next Bond film offering his services as Daniel Craig’s nemesis. I say to Robert Wilson Mercy: the world may have gotten Woody Allen as James Bond instead, but we still have your career’s crowning glory, the 1971 Blood Thirst."

I'd love to find out what other films Newt Arnold directed in the Philippines and where they are now. Are they lost? Did they get finished? Have they been screened anywhere?



You'll find a better and more incisive review here.



The credits list is borrowed from Andrew Leavold's blog.

Monday, December 22, 2014

"There’s a killer on the loose… a homicidal maniac with delusions of ancient history. Now, can I use your phone?"


I received my pile of new reg. 1 dvd releases of US-Filipino coproductions a couple of days ago and I just watched one of them, the black & white monster killer film BLOOD THIRST (1971). Vinegar Syndrome have put it out on a double (single dvd) bill paring it with THE THIRSTY DEAD (1974). Both films are also out from Something Weird Video, I've got both those dvd's as well, and I just did a two minute comparison between the two versions of BLOOD THIRST. It's easy to see which one comes out on top, the sheer fact that Vinegar Syndrome's release is the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and SWV's is fullscreen makes all the difference. The latter print doesn't look bad, by no means, but still, the new release blows it out of the water.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN dvd from Scorpion Records

When I posted about new DVD releases of American-Filipino coproductions the other day I forgot this one, NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN, - maybe because it's not released from Vinegar Syndrome (like the other five) but instead it's out on Scorpion Records (run by Code Red's Bill Olson's brother).


NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN (1972) is yet another Roger Corman produced flick shot in the 'Pines. Until this release the film had only been released on VHS. I haven't got the new DVD yet but according to one online source the DVD is pretty good, and it's got a few great extras on it; There are new interviews with Marlene Clark, who plays the main character, and Roger Corman. The trailer is also included and the film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

"Queen of Black Magic" director passes away

According to Ekky Imanjaya over at Finding Jaka Sembung blog, Lilik Sudjio, the director of the cool Indonesian horror film QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC (starring Suzzanna) has passed away. This is sad news indeed. To read his post go here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Bava double bill to remember - a quarter of a century ago!


I used to live in the UK in the late 80s/early 90s. Actually, my love of horror films began in the UK, and in early 1990 I went to visit a friend in London. I'm not sure if I already knew about what was going to be screened on TV that night or if I found out during the visit. I probably knew already, but then again maybe I just brought a blank tape by chance. Or maybe my friend Suzanne had one that she gave it to me. Who knows. And it's not all that important - what is of much, much, much greater importance is what was on BBC2 that night! A double bill of Mario Bava's THE MASK OF SATAN and LISA AND THE DEVIL! It was introduced by Kim Newman and yours truly was ready at my friend's VCR and said blank tape. And... I just found my old tape!

Needless to say, better versions of the two films are available on DVD and blu-ray now but that broadcast was historical as it was: 1) the very first time THE MASK OF SATAN was screened in its uncut original version in the UK (i.e. not neither the re-edited and re-dubbed American fiasco, nor the British censored version of the American edit). And 2) it was the first time the director's cut of LISA was shown in the UK. The screen grab is not from my tape but one I found online.

Tonight I've uploaded Kim Newman's intros to the two films, and I've watched them a handful of times now. So weird, it's so fresh in my memory and yet... that double bill was 24 years ago!




PS: the title-card screen-grab from THE MASK OF SATAN isn't from my tape but one I found online.

Monday, December 1, 2014

THE MUTHERS from Vinegar Syndrome!

A few minutes after I had just posted the previous post about the five Filipino movies from Vinegar Syndrome I check their facebook page and, lo and behold, someone just posted the news that they'll be releasing yet another American-Filipino coproduction soon!!

The film is Cirio H. Santiago's THE MUTHERS from 1976.

The film has already been released on DVD in Australia a couple of years back. It was included as a bonus on the 2-disc release of MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED doc on US-Filipino coproductions (check my old post about it here). According to the post on fb the DVD is slated for March, 2015.



I would have posted the trailer here but I can't find a copy anywhere! So instead here's the way cool Japanese VHS cover! (which I found at Video Culture. Thanks, mates!).

5 Filipino cult movies from Vinegar Syndrome...

...and one of them is a blu-ray/dvd combo release of RAW FORCE!!!


The new(ish) American video label Vinegar Syndrome has put out no less than five cool American-Filipino coproductions in the last few months!!!

The first four films came out as two double DVD releases and the last one, RAW FORCE, has been granted a blu-ray/DVD combo release! (Yay!! Spiffy!!!) Needless to say, this is pretty fucken awesome.

Only two of the films have had official DVD releases in the past (BLOOD THIRST and THE THIRSTY DEAD came out from Something Weird Video), the latter three have so far been VHS releases only (yes, you'll find DVDs if you look for 'em but they are ALL bootlegs taken from old video releases!). 


THE FILMS:
(I haven't got hold of any of these releases yet and all info is from the Vinegar Syndrome website)

DEATH FORCE
- aka Vengeance is Mine
(directed by Cirio H. Santiago, 1978)

Presented uncut and under its original title, VENGEANCE IS MINE!
110 minutes / Color / AR: 1.85:1



VAMPIRE HOOKERS
(Cirio H. Santiago, 1978)

79 minutes / Color / AR: 1.85:1
+ Dual Layer DVD-9 | Region Free | 16:9 Anamorphic | 1.85:1 AR | MONO
+ 2k scan from 35mm IPs
+ Original trailer VAMPIRE HOOKERS



BLOOD THIRST
(Newt Arnold, 1971)

74 minutes / B&W / AR: 1.85:1


THE THIRSTY DEAD
(Terry Becker, 1974)

88 minutes / Color / AR: 1.85:1
+ Dual Layer DVD-9 | Region Free | 16:9 Anamorphic | 1.85:1 AR | MONO
+ 2k scan from 35mm archival elements



RAW FORCE
(Ed Murphy, 1981)

86 minutes / 1981 / Color / 1.85:1
Newly restored from the original camera negative and on blu-ray for the first time.
+ Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack | Region Free | DTS-HD Master Audio
+ Restored from 35mm camera negative
+ “Destination: Warriors Island” (The Making of RAW FORCE) w/ Director Ed Murphy and Cinematographer Frank Johnson
+ Audio interview w/ Finishing Editor Jim Wynorski
+ Original theatrical trailer


You'll find Andrew Leavold's review of RAW FORCE here.


DEATH FORCE 
- German Vinegar Syndrome licenced blu-ray

In addition to Vinegar Syndrome's own DVD release of DEATH FORCE the German label Subkultur Entertainment has licenced the VS print and released it as a blu-ray/DVD combo! As a bonus feature the full MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED (2010) documentary film has been included!!

Unfortunately, the German release omits VAMPIRE HOOKERS so you'll still need the Vinegar Syndrome DVD for that. Also, it's limited to a 1000 copies! The VS site quotes the German info from Amazon.de so check there if you want this release.

Specs for the German DEATH FORCE release:

Both German and English tracks
German subtitles
Bonus feature length doc: MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED (2010)
Grindhouse Trailershow
Filipino Exploitation Trailer Reel
Gallery
Trailer for DEATH FORCE
Booklet
Behind the Scenes Gallery



BLOOD THIRST + THE THIRSTY DEAD [VINEGAR SYNDROME DRIVE-IN COLLECTION TEASER]




DEATH FORCE (aka VENGEANCE IS MINE) + VAMPIRE HOOKERS [VINEGAR SYNDROME DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE]




RAW FORCE - Destination: Warrior's Island [VINEGAR SYNDROME TEASER TRAILER]



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mattei's FILIPINO CANNIBALS come to reg. 1 dvd

Ahh, we are squatting in exciting times - at least in regards to new releases of foreign films shot in the Philippines!

There's no less than five cool Filipino films on dvd (and one blu-ray) from Vinegar Syndrome, and Severin/Intervision has just released Bruno Mattei's two post 2000 cannibal movies, LAND OF DEATH and CANNIBAL WORLD, on reg. 1 DVD in the US.

The new DVDs are retitled In The Land of the Cannibals and Mondo Cannibal. They've previously been out on DVD and VHS in Japan (check my old post and see way cooler Japanese covers here).

Check Steven Ruskin's review and DVD info on AVMANIACS here. And yeah, I'll agree with Steve on the films. They're not great by anybody's standards but if you like your entertainment trashy you know what you'll get with these two films, entertaining trash. I do however think Bruno's two post 2000 zombie films and THE JAIL: A WOMAN'S PRISON are way better (they were shot in the 'Pines as well).


Friday, November 28, 2014

Tonight at Cinema J: HELL UP IN HARLEM

 Tonight, I watched HELL UP IN HARLEM. It's the sequel to Larry Cohen's excellent blaxploitation classic BLACK CAESAR from 1973. For some reason I've never watched the sequel before and that's clearly a mistake as it turned out to be pretty entertaining but then again... how could it not be, it stars FRED WILLIAMSON for crying out loud! Of the male blaxploitation main leads Fred was always the one a tad (a lot!) more unpleasant then the rest of the bunch; He always played the hero but there was always something that made him a mean bastard despite being the hero. Richard Roundtree (Shaft) is tough and cool but he's also a flødebolle. HELL UP IN HARLEM isn't as good as BLACK CAESAR but even so it's more entertaining that most stuff today. Anyhoo, up next is dinner and then GET CHRISTIE LOVE!


TRAILER:

Monday, November 3, 2014

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

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014

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

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




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

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

Sunday, June 15, 2014

20 years "Banned in Britain" zine!!!


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, June 1, 2014

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


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

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


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

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

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





Thursday, May 29, 2014

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

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

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

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

THE CONJURING (2013, USA) dir: James Wan




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

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

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

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

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





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

Monday, May 19, 2014

Arizal - RIP


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


ORIGINAL VERSION OF THE ARTICLE IN INDONESIAN:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 4, 2014

BAD LIEUTENANT - Werner Herzog kraziness


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

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

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

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

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

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


trailer



Sunday, April 27, 2014

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

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



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

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

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

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

VHS ex-rental from Holland


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


Overnight sensation by mysterious comic book artist

"The Fabulous Adventures of Angry Stick-man"

How often do we see new artwork on par with the legends of the comic book/graphic novel world? Where is the new Will Eisner, Hergé or Jean Giraud you may ask. Recently a previously unknown acteur has sprung onto the comic book scene.

Experts from both sides of the Atlantic are ecstatic. "I never thought I should say this but this is the new Moebius", as one art expert from the New York Post said on Friday.

But just who is this new wunderkind? Nobody seems to know. And it is likely nobody is going to know. As quickly as he arrived on the scene as quickly has he left it again. I'm going to post all of this mysterious artist's work in all its grandeur. Will we get more wonderful work from this young sparkling, upcoming star? Only time will tell.

It was rumoured a fourth entry entitled "Death of a Stick-Man" was in the works but so far nothing has seen the light of day. 

"Angry Stick-Man - At Work"


"Angry Stick-Man - Date"


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

TOME on psychotronic FANZINES arrives at Casa J


Marone!! Check this out, paesano!! I finally received the new HUGE book XEROX FEROX on old-skool horror/exploitation film fanzines!!! It's written by John Szpunar and it's 800 pages!! Mudda fucka!!! And printed in the old true A5 size format. The book is published by Headpress in the UK.

It's got interviews with heaps of zine editors from back in the day (a few notable ones missing: Michael Weldon and Rick Sullivan). I got the paperback version from Bookdepo in the UK at a cheap price. There's a hardcover edition but iirc it was three times the price of the one I got.


Tim Paxton is in it (NEEDLESS TO SAY). This is one of my fave issues ever (the Asianspecial on the right). I bought it at Minotaur in Melbourne 20 yrs ago.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

CODE RED to launch CORMAN post-apocalypse line


Bill Olsen has just announced Code Red is going to release two of Roger Corman's post-apocalypse films. Great news indeed!!!

The first title has already been revealed and it's Cirio H. Santiago's WHEELS OF FIRE (USA/Philippines, 1984) No info on the second film yet. Could we perhaps hope for a fully uncut version of EQUALIZER 2000 (also directed by Santiago).

There is no release date yet, nor any info on whether the films will be DVD only. Blu-ray was mentioned on Code Red's facebook page but nothing in cement.

Bill Olsen shaking hands with Roger Corman (December 7, 2013)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

LIVID (France, 2011)

Original title: LIVIDE
dir: Alexandre Bustillo & Julien Maury



I watched the French horror movie LIVID tonight and once again I could kick myself in the head for paying too much attention to retarded comments on dvd sites, and thus postponing getting hold of the film for too long, comments that claim this is a so-so film. Argh!!! When I saw that the film won the prestigious HORROR'S BALL award for best film in 2012 I knew I had to watch it, and mein gott this is so good it's better than sex!! (with a flat inflatable rubber doll anyway).

The convoluted plot is as follows: Three juvenile delinquents break into an old house and shit starts to happen. Scenes of blood and yukky stuff ensue.

You really ought to watch this flick. It's pretty fucken rad! And just the fact that it's directed by the director couple who also did the equally awesome INSIDE (aka À l'intérieur) from 2007. The very sexy Béatrice Dalle is also in this one (albeit only as a dead woman - but still sexy, I'd deffo do her anyhow. No, wait, that probably sounded wrong. Oh screw it, I don't care! I'd go nekro for Béatrice Dalle!).

I bought the UK dvd and it looks great. I haven't checked the extras yet and I can't check what they are as the cover is over by the telly and I couldn't be arsed to get up.

Highly recommended!

"A veteran of genre cinema"

Yeah-yeah, it's probably the vanity in me that makes me post this link here but what did you expect! It's what we vain'ies do!! ^_^

Thursday, January 16, 2014

SWV founder MIKE WRANEY has passed away


Unfortunately, Mike Wraney, founder of Something Weird Video, one of the coolest video labels ever, has passed away due to lung cancer. Wraney was only 56. A memoriam notice has been posted on Something Weird Video's website. I hope they don't mind I repost it here. R.I.P.


From SWV's website:
"We regret to inform you that Something Weird's founder, Mike Vraney, passed away on January 2nd 2014 after a long heroic battle with lung cancer. He was 56 years old, way too young to leave this planet. There was still so much Mike wanted to do in his life, so many films to be found, and adventures to be embarked upon.
This sad news may come as a shock to most of you. Mike was a very private person and didn't want anyone, except his closest friends, family and colleagues, to know about his illness. He went through aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments for over a year, but sadly the cancer spread and cruelly took him from us.
Mike had a larger-than-life personality and a genuine enthusiasm for movies. Something Weird was his heart and soul, he was obsessive in his pursuit of tracking down the weirdest, wildest movies out there. And it wasn't enough to find a few forgotten films, he was always in search of the movie motherload. (Making 370 two-hour volumes of Nudie Cuties loops is a good example of this. Who does that?! Mike Vraney!) Even as a child, Mike loved movies. During his teenage years, he worked at the Bel-Kirk Drive-In, and then later as a projectionist at the Green Parrot and Apple Theaters in Seattle. Then around 1990, Mike went in search of as many old, unusual, obscure, and lost low budget exploitation movies as he could, and preserved them for prosperity. Mike amassed thousands of these rare movies and had them transferred to video so that people could relive the good old days of going to the drive-in or grindhouse theater, in their very own home. We have him to thank for introducing fandom to the wonderful world of sexploitation sinema, rescuing it from the dark recesses of forgotten film vaults and defunct movie theatres.
Some of you may know that prior to Something Weird, Mike was involved in the early Seattle punk rock music scene. He was a partner in Modern Productions, the group who started Seattle's seminal rock venue, The Showbox, in 1979. Mike then went on to manage such well-known bands as The Dead Kennedys, TSOL, and Seattle's own The Accused. Mike always seemed to be at the forefront of whatever was happening and cool.
Mike's second greatest passion in life was collecting old comics, vintage toys, movie memorabilia, and pop cultural ephemera. He enjoyed going to the swap meet and always had a magical ability for finding great stuff. But when he wasn't working, collecting, or telling great stories, Mike spent quality time with his beloved family. Mike adored his wife and business partner, Lisa, and two (now young adult) children, Mark and Danielle. These three were the center of his universe, and his reason for getting up each and every morning.
The folks at Something Weird fully intend to keep Mike's incredible legacy intact. Mike may be gone, but his remarkable achievements will live on. One of the happiest days of Mike's life was when legendary David F. Friedman and Dan Sonney called him "the forty-first thief," which to him was the ultimate compliment and recognition for his work. We'd like to think that Mike's now hanging out with his old pals Dave and Dan, reminiscing and talking shop with Dwain Esper, Kroger Babb, Barry Mahon, Joe Sarno, Doris Wishman, Bob Cresse, Dale Berry, Michael Findlay and all the other exploiteers and smut peddlers who've gone to the great grindhouse in the sky.
We will miss Mike with all our hearts. Goodbye dear friend, husband, father, and fearless leader…
-- Lisa Petrucci, Tim Lewis, Kendall Bechtel, Mark Vraney, Danielle Vraney of Something Weird Video

Mike Vraney Memorial Tribute Page on Facebook www.facebook.com/mikevraneymemorial Feel free to write your condolences and let us know how much Mike and Something Weird have meant to you. Or share a memory, picture or story about Mike!

In lieu of flowers, we ask that memorial donations be made in Mike's name to the Lung Cancer Alliance"

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

JACK J's diabolic grip of the world you live in

...all I have to do is squeeze my hand and you'll suffer, muhahahahaha*
 
Alright, I've got a few ideas for new posts but while I get cracking on those I thought I might just post a list of where you can find me in Cyberspace apart from here on ye olde Lejemorder blog:

Backyard Asia
- the Lejemorder blog is not a film blog as such as many seem to believe but basically a blog about, uh, me, myself and I. However, since my life has always orbited around film and pop culture that's what I write about to a certain degree. On the Backyard Asia blog I "reprint" my posts from here that deal with the more obscure Asian cinema. Backyard Asia is basically for people who don't wanna read me rave about me (do such people really exist?). If you follow the Lejemorder blog you don't really need to check Backyard Asia as well.
 
When the Vietnam War Raged... in the Philippines
- this is my blog dedicated to cheap B movies from the Philippines set in the Vietnam War! It's also the only blog of mine that anybody in the film industry has discovered! Every year I get invites from the Stockholm Film Festival because of this blog, and thru out the years a bunch of old ex-pat actors from the Filipino film industry have gotten in touch with me because I cared about their old films. Some of the films I post about are 100% Filipino productions, while others are co-productions with other countries (often Italy), and finally some are basically foreign films (again, often Italian) shot in the Philippines. I do also write about other crazy Asian war flicks (like for instance the wild Thai film CANNIBAL MERCENARY) but I try and sell off the blog as only dealing with Filipino films. All blog posts on the Vietnam War blog are original posts written for the blog, i.e. not reposts from the Lejemorder blog.

When the Vietnam War Raged... in the Philippines - on facebook (imaginary link)

Komix
- like with Backyard Asia this is a repost blog; I use it to reprint my stuff about comics, both from my English and Danish blog posts here on the Lejemorder.

Psychotronic Broadcasting
- this is the blog companion to my YouTube channel. I figured that whoever follows my YT channel would also want to read a blog about the same stuff but ... nope! It seems youtubers don't read blogs, lol. And so while the channel itself does alright the blog hardly got any traffic. As it is now it just floats aimlessly in Cyberspace like an old abandoned Mir space station. I'm not going to update it but, needless to say, you can still read the old posts.

Psychotronic Broadcasting - on Youtube.

Hmm, I think that's about it. I also co-moderate Cinehound forum and Uncut.dk forum (which now lives its own life separated from Uncut.dk).


You'll find links to my various blogs by clicking the "about me" link on top of the bar on the right.



* NOTE TO SELF: Jack, remember to delete your megalomaniac crap before you post this. People might not be fooled into believing you're not being dead serious!!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

update

I'm in the process of changing the look of the blog but the layout over in the Danish section is giving me a fucking headache so it'll remain closed for a bit. Don't fret, it's only for the time being. :P
Also, so far this is only a crude version of how it's gonna look, there's gonna be some more changes to the main section (i.e. this page).