Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Corpse of Anna Fritz

Spain (2015)
Spanish title: El Cadáver de Anna Fritz
Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Reviewed release: blu-ray, Njuta Films (Sweden) Spanish audio w/subs in DK/S/N/FI (no Eng. subs)


I've got the flu and I'm sick as a dog. But I still managed to watch THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ and what a great little horror flick it turned out to be. A dead (hot and female) movie celeb begins her last journey to the local morgue. Unfortunately for her the morgue assistant and his two friends have the hots for this particular celeb, and while they're messed up on booze and drugs it becomes less apparent to them that she's, well, dead. They reckon she's nude and willing. The night doesn't quite turn out the way they expected in their messed up stupor. 
Unfortunately, I missed the film when it screened at the local horror film festival, "Bloody Weekend", in 2015 but the good people at Njuta Films have put it out on a spiffy blu-ray. Incidentally, the 2015 Bloody Weekend festival screened not one but two dead woman in the morgue flicks; The other one being THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE*. If I had to choose between the two I'm afraid AUTOPSY comes up tops, however, as I said CORPSE is still a highly enjoyable ride. Recommended.

*Edit: it may have been the flu talking! The Autopsy of Jane Doe was screened at the 2017 festival, not in 2015. 


Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Last Hunter

Italy/Philippines (1980)
Italian title: L'Ultimo Cacciatore
Director: Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)
Reviewed release: Code Red blu-ray (2016)
Cast: David Warbeck, Tisa Farrow, Tony King, John Steiner, Bobby Rhodes, Margi Eveline Newton, Massimo Vanni, Alan Collins, Dino Conti, Gianfranco Moroni, Edourado Margheriti, Jim Gaines, Ron/Romano Kristoff


Antonio Margheriti's THE LAST HUNTER is without a doubt one of my favourite Vietnam War flicks from the Philippines. Well, from any country actually. I rewatched the film recently on the cool reg. 1 DVD from Dark Sky that I bought a couple of years back. The presentation was as awesome as I remembered it. Cool picture quality, anamorphic letterbox and cool extras. Well, I've just got hold of Code Red's blu-ray (that came out in 2016) and it basically blows the DVD out of the water! The picture quality is that good!

THE PLOT. David Warbeck's character is an ex-draft card burner who's now fighting the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War. He gets assigned to go deep into territory behind enemy lines to blow up a radio transmitter. To help him on the journey he hooks up with a group of badass tough guys, Tony King, Bobby Rhodes, Edourado Margheriti (Antonio's son)  - and a female reporter that they're assigned to escort thru the jungle. She's played by Tisa Farrow. And yeah she's Mia Farrow's lesser known sister. She was also in a few other legendary Italian genre films among others ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS (Zombi 2) and BLAZING MAGNUM (Una magnum special per Tony Saitta). According to Wiki THE LAST HUNTER was her last film. She's dubbed in the film for some reason.

Anhoo, the road thru the Viet Cong jungle is paved with death and gore (old-skool practical effects fortunately!). At some point they make it to an American division located in a cave in a mountain. The commander is John Steiner who is always great fun to watch in Italian genre films (the blu-ray has a new interview with him and Tony King). At some point the cave is attacked by the evil VC but Warbeck's character makes an escape. He thinks his friends are all dead but, well, that would be a spoiler if I told you. Enough plot details. THE LAST HUNTER is full of shootings, violence, gore, and action.

Margheriti made two Vietnam War movies that star Warbeck (he made more than two Vietnam War flicks but, alas, the rest sans Warbeck). The other one is TIGER JOE which, unfortunately, hasn't been released on neither DVD nor blu-ray (the fully letterboxed Japanese VHS is currently the best release anywhere). THE LAST HUNTER is the better of the two films, though.


I highly recommend the new Code Red blu-ray but if you either stumble over the Dark Sky DVD on the cheap - or you just have money to burn I highly recommend you get hold of the DVD as well as it has a pretty good doc presented by Antonio Margheriti's son Edourado Marghetti. Filipino film regulars Jim Gaines and Ron Kristoff are also in the film but uncredited.

PS: John Steiner is now a real estate agent in California. Check out his website here.


Danish trailer:



Danish ad-mat:

THE LAST HUNTER played in Denmark as "Junglebrigaden".

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Field of Fire

Philippines/USA (1990)
Direted by: Cirio H. Santiago
Cast: DAvid Carradine, Eb Lottimer, Henry Strzalkowski, Jim Moss, Ken Metcalfe, Steve Rogers
Version reviewed: PAL VHS (CIC Video, Denmark), fullscreen, English audio, Danish subs



Two days ago I watched Santiago's BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY (check my review) and afterwards I checked the film's trailer on YouTube. The trailer's uploader commented that BEYOND uses leftover footage from another Cirio H. Santiago directed movie called FIELD OF FIRE. Later that day I mentioned this on the When the Vietnam War Raged... facebook page and Eric Spudic commented: "FOF is personally my favorite Cirio Santiago film. I've seen it probably 20 times." Woah! I knew I had to try and get hold of the film after this recommendation! ... And then it dawned on me that I had the very same film sitting on one of the shelves at my private grindhouse video cinema ("grindhouse" cos some of those video tapes sure are worn!). And I checked if I'd posted about the film on this blog before and discovered that I posted about having bought the tape ... bloody eight years ago!!!


THE PLOT
Vietnam. A new type of military fighter plane is shot down over enemy lines. One pilot dies, the other gets away but is shot in the leg. At the US military base head honcho David Carradine rounds up his most hardcore badass men and informs them they have to go and get the pilot out as "he's a walking encyclopedia" in regards to the new type of plane. The Viet Cong simply aren't allowed to get him first.

The lead from BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, Eb Lottimer, and his right hand from that film, top notch Filipino actor Henry Strzalkowsk, and a bunch of other guys, pack their gear and set off for the jungle once again (without Carradine. David is in the film for about 10 minutes or so even tho it's his mug plastered all over the front cover, and his name - the only actor's name - is written in huge capital letters. He sure was a selling point!). Little do they know that the evil Viet Cong are aware of every step they take as the VC's got a man on the inside of the US camp. From here on and for the remaining duration of the film it's one long and highly entertaining tour de force thru the jungle to find and get the wounded pilot out of there.

Will they succeed? Will they survive? And is David Carradine gonna do any of his "slowmotion kung-fu"? I urge you to track down FIELD OF FIRE and find out!

Lemme say it right off the bat, I fully agree with Eric Spudic! This is one muther of an entertaining flick!! And after BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY I kinda needed that. I must admit I thought BEYOND was kinda lame (except for the last 20 minutes. See review from two days ago).

I haven't been able to find a DVD or a blu-ray so I reckon there probably aren't any. Boo-hoo! This needs a proper release on a shiny coaster. I highly recommend you find a VHS or a download of this and watch it right away.


For more company and cast info: Check Andrew Leavold's blog
For more detailed review: Check CritCon


Saturday, September 1, 2018

Beyond the Call of Duty

Philippines/USA (1991)
Dir: Cirio H. Santiago
Cast: Jan-Michael Vincent, Eb Lottimer, Jillian McWhirter, Vic Trevino, Henry Strzalkowski, Nick Nicholson, Steve Rogers, Mike Monty, Vic Diaz
Version reviewed: Reg. 1 DVD (New Concorde) fullscreen, English audio, no subs. 
Extras: three trailers


It seems the pile of Cirio H. Santiago films is a treasure trove that just keeps giving. You close your eyes, reach out and grab something. You hope for a beer, a peach or a boob but most of the time what you get is yet another Santiago flick that you haven't seen, hahaha.

THE PLOT
Vietnam 1975. The war is coming to an end. When our film begins the Americans are pulling out. We get about 25 minutes of fighting, shooting, and then some more fighting. Scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Towards the end of the 25 minutes of people jumping, falling, shooting, etc. I kept thinking this was probably the most disjointed film I'd seen. But then ... the plot actually began! The first 25 minutes were just, kinda, the intro.

An American patrol boat and its crew has just left the shore. They are on their way home when they get a radio call to come back to pick up an ex military guy who happens to be a war hero. At the same time a female journalist is trying to find said war hero but is chased thru the streets by angry Vietnamese men. They're not Viet Cong or anything they're just angry (it's one of those things. It just does not make sense).


She comes across a church and decides to hide in there. Incidentally, a nun is holing up in there with a bunch of American bastards, haha. I'm not being derogatory here, they really are bastards as they're the outcome of American soldiers having had fun with Vietnamese women. And now the nun tries to hide these half-breeds cos the Vietnamese don't take kindly to these kids of half American origin. To cut to the chase; the journalist and the war hero both get on the patrol boat and from then on the film is one lone ride to get thru dangerous Viet Cong controlled waters. Lots of shootings. Lots of ducking. Lots of sailing, and more shootings and ducking. And at some point they get to a heavily guarded bridge. Oh, what to do now?


BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY is by no means a great film. If Cirio H. Santiago had cut out the first 25 minutes it could have become a decent film. Now it's an okay...ish film. The final 20 minutes are what saves the film but it's still no masterpiece by anybody's standards.

There's quite a few familiar faces throughout the film; Nick Nicholson  is there, he even has a bit of dialogue this time around, and so is Steve Rogers, Mike Monty and Vic Diaz. The latter two are in the movie for 1-2 minutes each. What a waste. Henry Strzalkowski has lots of scenes and dialogue. There's probably some more I didn't recognise.

One of the main characters is played by Jan-Michael Vincent. Unfortunately, he's not too well these days. The hero is played by Eb Lottimer and the female journo by Jillian McWhirter. She has the screen personality of a fruit basket I'm sorry to say. She was in (at least) three Santiago films; this one, DUNE WARRIOR and STRANGEHOLD. Later she was in the truly unpleasant American horror movie THE DENTIST 2 (1998) (I'm not saying that in a bad way. I quite like horror flicks but I hate going to the dentist's and I find the two THE DENTIST movies some of thee most unpleasant horror films out there to sit thru!). She's dropped completely off the radar by now.

I found a trailer for the film on YouTube (unfortunately in the wrong aspect ratio, someone had changed the correct fullscreen picture to 16:9 widescreen, so I'm not gonna bother linking to it here) and the uploader pointed out that many of the scenes in BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY are from another film (also by Santiago and from the same year) entitled FIELD OF FIRE (1991). I think I might have FIELD on VHS somewhere but I haven't actually watched it. It stars David Carradine and Eb Lottimer (check credits on Andrew Leavold's blog).


The DVD from New Concorde is serviceable - at least it looks slightly better than video. Part of the "American Valor" (sigh) DVD series.

The IMDb states the film is from 1992 but the print clearly says 1991.

PS: sorry about the glare from the window in my house. The DVD picture looks better than the pix in this post. 



 


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cyberspace graveyard



I complain about a lack of hits on this ol'e blog but I'm no better myself. A minute ago I wanted to check something on Jayson Kennedy's awesome blog, Basement of Ghoulish Decadence, and not only do I discover the blog is now gone ... but that it went into the abyss almost two years ago! And I didn't even notice!! Argh!!!

In fact, every time I check out old blogs on my blog-roll I discover a bunch of them have died. Some of them are gone and a lot of them are floating aimlessly in Cyberspace like old dead Russian Mir space stations. Cyberspace has become a blog graveyard.

The truth of the matter is I hardly check blogs myself these days. I keep thinking I ought to get back into blogging, reading and writing. But then again, I often tend to think, "what's the purpose, nobody's reading this shit anyway - blogs are dead".

It was fun as long as it lasted. To me the world of cool film blogs probably had a 7-8 year lifespan and then went the same way as message boards; Into the fucking abyss. But even if I'm not here all that much I still do write; I'm working on a new issue of my old zine, STAY SICK! but most of you won't care as it's all in Greek (or Dutch or whatever the hell they speak on these shores that I'm squatting on). Anyhoo, I hope Jayson Kennedy is well and doing fantastic in whatever he's doing out there now.

I'll try and update here once in a while just for old times' sake. I'd hate to kill this place or even take it down. Man, En Lejemorder Ser Tilbage has been running since 2007!

You can still read the old posts on Basement of Ghoulish Decadence via Waybackmachine. Here's a direct link to the very last saved date (June 8. 2016).  

Friday, June 29, 2018

Klaus Lemke NIGHT on Tele5


Tele 5 is screening a night of KLAUS LEMKE films on Monday (including MAKING JUDITH which isn't available anywhere else).

Lemke has been making guerrilla style movies outside the ordinary film industry in Germany for the past 50 years. He's 77 years old and still more modern and fresh than any other contemporary German film director. He doesn't make action films, just films about young people that aren't set in their ways (young as old farts bore him). He's completely unknown outside the German speaking area. I'll be having my dvd recorder ready on Monday - that you can bite into your own nose at (see, you even learn Danish 1970s slang gobbling up my prose, dig).

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Filipino remake of John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW on the olde tube again!



It's annoyed me for ages that the Filipino remake of A BETTER TOMORROW (HK, 1986) got deleted from YouTube so now I've uploaded the fucker myself! Hardly anybody knows about this entertaining remake, and Wiki completely ignores the film even though they have a section of ABT remakes! And no, I'm not gonna try and update their page. The people who run Wiki are weird and odd creatures. Years ago I tried to add Turkish remakes but they kept deleting my info. Oh well, fuck 'em! Here's a link to my old info filled post about FILIPINO A BETTER TOMORROW.

Monday, March 19, 2018

ASIAN CINEMA TAKEOUT fanzine No. 1 out now!

My buddy David K and Jessie Midnitecrawlr have just published the first issue of a new review fanzine on Asian cinema entitled ASIAN CINEMA TAKEOUT! I'm on board as a writer and there's a bunch of other spiffy folks there as well. The zine is 20pp and it's scheduled to get released every two months.

Apart from a limited print edition exclusively for the fanzine's writers, the mag is going to be purely a gratis print-on-demand zine; In other words you print your own edition. For free. Either that or download and read it as a PDF file.

To download/print go here.