Sunday, December 13, 2015

AMERICAN MARY (Can, 2012) Dir: ze Soska twinz



"Ich fühle mich wie doktor Mengele heute"*

 I watched the Soska sisters' second film the other day, AMERICAN MARY. Their first is DEAD HOOKER IN A TRUNK but I haven't seen that one. But THIS one I've seen and I loved it! A young female student is on her way to become a surgeon but she's raped by one of her professors and she decides to leave her course and take revenge. What kind of revenge? I hear you ask. Well, not telling you, you'll have to get the film. Basically this is a revenge flick.And what a revenge flick!

The way the Soska twins directed the film, and Katharine Isabelle in the lead role (she was also in the GINGER SNAPS movies) makes for exciting viewing. I wasn't bored for one second of the film. At all.

I watched the UK DVD. There's no subs but at least it carries the German dub next to the original English audio (!!!). There are two short docs but no trailer. I got the DVD for peanuts from Amazon.

Highly recommended.


*Line in the movie from a German assistant the main character hires. It translates: "Today, I feel like doctor Mengele". The main character replies: "Ay?" and the assistant says: "Zhey are twinz". Yeah, Third Reich humour there.
 

Poem #357: Nordic Bliss Without Penguins


- I travelled many miles on dreaded public transport from a much loved s.o.

- My journey lasted for too many hours
(I'm exaggerating for poetic purposes here as 'tis was an hour only, but hey, sixty minutes is sixty minutes and you could easily find yourself having a bitch of a time if members of the last forgotten SS commando troop were pulling your fingernails off or you were trapped under smelly bottoms of Norwegian trolls for sixty minutes).

- And a mere three minute walk away from my fake work I get a text from supervisor guy (who isn't fake at all) "Dead quiet here, take day off why don't you".

- So here I am with a couple of thebirkes and a frøsnapper, 70's blaxploitation from Marvel and sweeet toones on the stereo (Kaizer's Orchestra).

Hey, Nordic bliss (without penguins).



I first posted the above on Facie the other day but I thought you should have a chance to read it as well, oh you, my trusted and faithful blog reader.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Where to go for your best insomnia

The other day I was finally able to watch the original Norwegian version of INSOMNIA. Last year I scooped up the American remake at a one of my very last attacking the local Blockbuster (the Danish leg of the branch was bough up by another chain called Blue City but, sadly, they've closed my local store now. I never rented anything there but their second-hand dvd bins were pretty cool).

The remake from 2002 was directed by none other than Christoper Nolan and stars Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank in the lead roles. Both films carry the same title. I gotta tell you, the remake is great! It's one of thee best remakes I've seen in a very long time. But then again, Hollywood does spew out a lot of awful remakes so I guess it's not that hard to create a pretty decent remake.

Anyhoo, as I said I've finally gotten hold of the original Norwegian film from 1997. It's directed by Erik Skjoldbjærg and I have no idea of what he's done before or since. The film stars Stellan Skarsgård, Maria Bonnevie and a bunch of people I've never even heard of.

Both films follow the same plot line; Two cops go to an outskirt cold and snow-ridden place. A killer has off'ed a young girl but that's not all. The cops have problems back home and this leads to one of them, the main character, getting into more shitty quicksand than he can escape from. Or can he?

I was surprised to see the remake actually has a more convoluted plot than its predecessor. Also, the remake runs almost half an hour longer than the Norwegian film and lets itself sink way more into its insane insomniac nightmare.

I liked both films and both Al Pacino and Stellan Skarsgård are excellent in their leads ... but it's Al Pacino and the remake than keeps sitting at the back of my mind even now many months after having sat thru it. I need to rewatch both versions, though, and altho I liked the remake better I highly recommend than you watch both versions and make up your own mind. I checked the user comments under the Norwegian version's trailer on YouTube and it seems more people like the original film better.

I watched the 1997 film on dvd from the UK and the remake on a local release. Both films are on dvd in the UK and Scandinavia.





Update - Scandie readers

I have a feeling some, if not most, of my Scandinavians readers who subscribe to this blog have missed the wee detail that they need to subscribe to my Danish posts in order to receive notifications of them!

The thing is, I regard this blog as just the one blog but with an English language section and a Danish ditto. However, in reality they're two different blogs. Just same title and layout. In any case, if you wish to receive notifications of my Scandinavian posts you need to subscribe to the Danish section as well. Go here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Zombies in the land of Oz

Check out this trailer! It's a new zombie film from Australia called WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD (dir: Kiah Roache-Turner) and it looks awesome. It's out on DVD and blu-ray in the UK (and most likely on DVD in Oz as well) but not yet in the US. I ordered the UK DVD over the weekend and can't wait to get it. Everyone I've spoken to says it's pretty cool (well, except for one Aussie collector on fb, haha) so I'm certainly looking forward to this flick which, judging by the trailer, looks like MAD MAX with zombies!

Five bucks from Amazon UK.

Last MAD MAX 2 clone from Santiago now on DVD

I posted about WATER WARS, Cirio H. Santiago's last film, way back in 2011. The film is yet another MAD MAX 2 post-apocalypse rip-off (and yay to that!) from the Philippines. The initial title was Road Raiders but it was later retitled WATER WARS.

Unfortunately, Santiago passed away during production and apparently Jim Wynorski had to finish the film. It dawned on me a couple of days ago that WATER WARS is now on DVD in Thailand!! (I'm told it actually came out last year!). As far as I know, the Thai DVD is the only release worldwide. I placed my order last week but haven't received the film yet. According to the webstore in Thailand the DVD carries the English dubbing.

A few people have pointed out that WATER WARS uses quite a bit of footage from WHEELS OF FIRE, another of Santiago's post-apocalypse films that he shot in the Philippines. And that the film isn't all that great. Oh well, on this blog we (royal "we") often find great entertainment in pop-culture that the squares and mainstreamers discard as trash. Maybe it is trash but I've seen quite a few flicks in my time that delivered heaps of entertainment despite (or because of) their being trash. Let's wait and see. I knew I had to, simply haaaad to, order a copy when I found out the film had been released.

More info on the disc as I receive it. The DVD is available from eThaiCD. I've never had any problems with them and they've got free postage worldwide!

Trailer:

Saturday, August 1, 2015

BRUNO MATTEI's best post 2000 film finally getting a release Stateside

Cover for the upcoming reg. 1 DVD
Bruno Mattei's THE JAIL: A WOMAN'S HELL is finally getting a DVD release in the US. Needless to say, regular readers of this blog know the film was released on a spiffy English friendly DVD in the Czech Republic quite a few years ago (and it was a pain to order thru a Czech language website lemme tell you!! Haha). There's a Japanese release as well. But in any case, I'm certainly happy Mattei's cool film is finally getting released to a wider audience. The label is Intervision Picture Corp which also released Mattei's two post 2000 cannibal films and his two post 2000 zombie films.

Cover for the old Czech DVD
In my opinion THE JAIL is the best film of the lot! In fact it has everything, torture, gore, nudity, girls. It is everything, WIP film, jungle film, cannibal film, gore movie. It's an Italian film but mind you it's a Filipino exploitationer as well (it was filmed entirely in the Philippines)!

By this stage Yvette Yzon had become somewhat of a Bruno Mattei regular in lead roles and she's in this one as well. Also Filipino film regulars Mike Monty and Jim Gaines are in this as well (Monty in a blink-and-you'll-miss him role. He looked ill and passed away shortly after the film was made). According to Intervision's facebook page they've done a brand new interview with Yvette Yzon for the DVD.

I uploaded this old Yvette Yzon interview five years ago but it's still pretty cool. My old channel also has a Bruno Mattei interview from the same set but it's in Italian only.



Trailer:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Update

Filipino John Woo remake is back up.


The YouTube channel that originally uploaded DALAWA MAN ANG BUHAY MO, PAGSASABAYIN KO, i.e. the Filipino remake of John Woo's Hong Kong masterpiece A BETTER TOMORROW, was closed down by Youtube but fortunately several other channels have uploaded the film, and I have updated the embedded link in my post. Go here

PS: unfortunately one of the YouTube channels got the film confused with another movie called BARIL KO... ANG UUSIG! I've watched the beginning of the "wrong" movie and it looks alright - but you'll be disappointed if you expect a BETTER TOMORROW remake!

In any case, the correct film is (again) embedded on this blog.

W (Philippines 1983)



One of my very first blog posts was a review of the Filipino MAD MAX 2 clone W (aka W is War on US VHS) seven years ago. And it just dawned on me that I forgot to post the trailer, hahaha. No, seriously, I spent all night last night going thru Filipino films and trailers uploaded by good people - who may or may not live in the 'Pines - and one of the cool findings was this trailer for W. I'm not sure if I've posted it here before but anyway here it is. I'm afraid it's not an original Filipino trailer but, judging by the subs, comes from a video tape from Finland.

The lead was played by Anthony Alonzo, who, according to Nick Nicholson, was a "top gay" (and later died from AIDS, also according to Nicholson). Nick talked about it in an e-mail to Andrew Leavold (about another movie called TRIDENT FORCE. Go here).

W was directed by Willie/Wilfredo Milan and three years later Milan made a sort of sequel entitled MAD WARRIOR (aka Clash of the Warlords). There's no official DVD release for W (which is insane) but there are several VHS releases. My own tape is from Japan.

Check my original, seven year old W review here.

BLIND RAGE (Philippines 1978) - trailer



Starring Tony Ferrer, Charlie Davao, Leila Hermosa, Carlos Padilla Jr., Max Alvarado, Subas Herrero, Jose Garcia, Val Iglesia, Rocco Montalban, Ben Dato, Romy Nario, Telly Babasa, Carlos Diaz, Belo Borja, Rey Sagum, Golay, Mande Bustamante, Fred Param, Eddie Miriaflor, Leo Fong, SOS Daredevils and Fred Williamson / Directed by Efren C. Piñon

[Credits for the cast credits go to the Filipino Youtube channel. Highly appreciated, thanks.]

Sunday, June 14, 2015

This content has been removed due to suspected copyright infringement

"Banned" is just part of the title - you don't actually have to ban it! I just discovered that the upload of my fanzine Banned in Britain #2 has been removed from Scribd due to... "suspected copyright infringement". Hilarious since I'm the copyright owner and I gave permission to the uploader (Brian Harris) to upload it. Oh well, I'm sure their intentions were good.

James Ellroy on 60 minutes



James Ellroy was on 60 minutes 10 years ago (approximately, I forgot to write down when I actually taped this) and it's a really good interview. It seems no one else has uploaded it to the olde tube so I thought I'd corrected that! The interview runs for about 10 minutes.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

DEADLINE (den/swe 1971)

Last night I watched a Danish/Swedish disaster movie called DEADLINE. Yes, I said *Danish/Swedish disaster movie*!!! No, I didn't know they made any of those in Scandinavia either but apparently they did!

DEADLINE is from 1971 and directed by Stellan Olsson. My buddy Nils Markvardsen told me it was screened at the Cinemateque in Copenhagen last year but the print was cut! There's an upload of the film on YouTube and the uploader states the film is complete but my VHS runs almost 10 minutes longer (approx 104 minutes, not 97 as mentioned on the cover!). I would assume my tape is u/c but who knows. The Danish tape has the Swedish dialogue subbed. The upload on YT is off a Swedish tape and has no subs.

The film is a slowburn if I ever saw one but it grabs you all the way through and never gets dull. The Danish video cover promises a nuclear disaster movie but it's nothing of that sort. The liner-note author obviously wanted to spur interest by referring to a fictional nuclear plant disaster (as it was a hot topic in Denmark in the 70s and 80s because Sweden placed a nuclear plant 20 k's from the Danish capital).

The film is about a plane that crashes in the ocean close to Sweden and a toxic agent poisons a close-by village. The government seals off the town; calls in the army to shoot people who try and leave, and puts a cover on the whole bloody mess.
I have no idea if DEADLINE ever played outside of Scandinavia or if there were other VHS releases. I can't find any info of a DVD release. The music throughout the film is by a band called Pan.

Recommended for at least the one viewing.




Sunday, April 19, 2015

BAD LIEUTENTANT (1992) Abel Ferrara, USA


Yesterday, I watched FARGO which I hadn't seen since sometime in the '90s, and I've just finished watching Abel Ferrara's amazing BAD LIEUTENANT which I hadn't seen since the '90s either. I like Werner Herzog's remake but this is head and shoulders better. The two films are light-years apart.

BAD LIEUTENANT is all about Harvey Keitel's character's deroute. There are no sub-plots. There are no other characters of any significance. There's no nothing else. There's just the cop. The lieutenant. Ferrara's directing is better than anything else. If you haven't seen BAD LIEUTENANT I highly recommend that you do.

I watched the film on uncut Danish ex-rental VHS (all dvd versions have the soundtrack censored).

FARGO (1996) Coen Bros, USA


I re-watched FARGO last night. Gosh, it must be something like 16-17 yrs since I last watched it. I found it on a cheap ass (crappy and barebone) Danish dvd on Monday and paid about 2 dollars for it at one of the local op-shops. I haven't watched any films by the Coen bros for a very long time and I was worried it might not have kept up well. Well, it did. Still as good as I remembered it to be.