Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Saturday, June 6, 2020
DAUGHTERS OF SATAN
Director: Hollingsworth Morse
I've seen a lot of Filipino flicks but I must admit never to have come across DAUGHTERS OF SATAN before. Made as a US/Filipino coproduction in 1972 and directed by some guy called Hollingsworth Morse. The name did not ring a bell with this reviewer! A quick gander at IMDb makes me think this is probably his most interesting work. He made episodes in various TV series but nothing that stands out I'm sorry to say. I reckon this is his only horror film.
An American businessman (played by Tom Selleck!) living with his American wife in the Philippines buys a painting from a mysterious antique dealer (played by Vic Diaz of course). The painting is 300 years old and shows three witches being burned alive. Charming picture to hang next to the dinner table! One of the witches looks exactly like his wife. The wife isn't too pleased with the purchase. She suffers from mental problems so having to look at herself being torched at the stake every day probably isn't her idea of cool interior decoration.
At some point while the husband is at work she encounters an evil dog, and an evil housekeeper turns up at her doorstep. Later there's another witch, more evil evildoers engaging in evil practices, and women getting flogged and hung over deadly iron spikes.
DAUGHERS OF SATAN is odd and maybe it doesn't make too much sense but, hey, when was that a problem in horror movies!? I think the film is wonderfully odd and I much disagree with Ian Jane's 17 year old review from DVDManiacs (also copied by Andrew Leavold on his blog). He didn't think it was all that entertaining. Personally, I didn't look at the clock one single time throughout the film.
Ian Jane reviewed a UK DVD release in 2003 but I got the new (from 2018) blu-ray released by SHOUT! FACTORY. It doesn't mention if this release is sourced from a film negative or a 35mm print but it looks fabulous in any case. In contradiction to the DVD this release is in 1.85:1 widescreen. There's hardly any extras, a trailer and some still photos. The disc is subtitled in English.
Final word: Highly recommended! (and I'd advise you get it sooner rather than later. These things have a tendency to go out of print fairly quickly these days).
Apparently, the film played at US cinemas on a double bill with another US/Filipino production, SUPERBEAST. The trailer is for this double bill and SHOUT! have released both films on blu-ray (I own a terrible shit looking, censored bootleg DVD from ZDD. Needless to say, I have ordered the new blu-ray of SUPERBEAST but I reckon it's most likely stuck somewhere in traffic as so much stuff seems to be during these weird times we live in).
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
ABEL FERRARA - podcast (Filmwax Radio episode #453, 29:30 min, 21. May 2018)
Abel Ferrara is the guest on this episode of the Filmwax Radio podcast. It was uploaded two years ago and only has 22 hits! I don't know if this means that people don't listen to podcasts, or if they don't care about Abel Ferrara, or they just haven't discovered this episode yet. Give it a spin if you like Abel. I think it's a cool episode. They talk about his interest in documentary films and living in Italy.
Friday, May 29, 2020
Monday, May 25, 2020
Check this out! BEHIND ENEMY LINES (Gideon Amir, 1986) (retitled P.O.W. THE ESCAPE and also aka ATTACK FORCE 'NAM) is coming out on bluray from Scorpion Releasing.
No release date yet nor any info about the release.
David Carradine is in it and so are a bunch of stalwart Filipino ex-pat actors: Ken Metcalfe, Jim Gaines, Eric Hahn, Henry Strzalkowski are in it. xD
PS: Not to be confused by the film KILLER INSTINCT that Cirio H. Santiago also made in the Philippines around the same time (1987). Roger Corman retitled it BEHIND ENEMY LINES for its US release.
Trailer (widescreen + 1080p!)
Saturday, May 23, 2020
LAST BREATH (Lee Ho/Jobic Wong, Taiwan, 1985) aka JUNGLE HEAT
There are four different edits of LAST BREATH:
1. The original Taiwan version (also released in HK - released on HK VHS and US Chinatown VHS)
2. The international version entitled JUNGLE HEAT (alternative footage - released on various uncut VHS tapes, the best one being the Japanese VHS: uncut + letterboxed. The German and UK dvd's are cut!!!)
3. A censored version for Mainland China (cut for violence but includes some alternative footage - released on VCD)
4. A version made for Thailand - which has extra footage with Thai actor Sorapong Chatree (I'm going by the trailer and the Thai film poster here as the film itself hasn't been released to home video afaik).
I'm told a 16mm copy of the Thai version is stored in the Thai film archive. Hopefully, somebody will release it to blu-ray or streaming at some point.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
|HK blu-ray (comes with slipcase)|
I love British crown colony era HK cinema, but I must admit I don't know anything about HK cinema post the Chinese takeover. I've just watched this new (2018) HK flick, HUSBAND KILLERS (directed by Fire Lee Ka-Wing), and, well, it was kinda like a burger to a meal. Tastes good, but not much substance. It was like a fun cartoon, but no depth what so ever. But, hey, I love a good burger! Just don't eat them all the time. lol. The film was fun, violent (think cartoon violence), sexy and entertaining. And towards the end it did play around with film conventions in an unusual way so that was cool.
Released on HK blu-ray (the film is subbed in English, the bonus features are also subbed – in Chinese!). Available at HK$ 65 from dddhouse.
|Flipside of blu-ray slipcase|
Saturday, May 16, 2020
I recently posted about a Greta Thyssen interview that never took place (see post here). And I quoted from an interview that did take place. Unfortunately, the interview didn't talk much about Greta's role in Filipino films (hence her being of interest to this blog dedicated to obscure cinema). The bit about her role in TERROR IS A MAN was all I quoted. I did post a link to the full interview, but come to think of it, everything has a tendency of disappearing from Cyberspace, and I might as well copy-paste the full interview to this ol'd blog. So here you go, Greta Thyssen talking to Mark Voger/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com in 2010.
Three Stooges' final leading lady, Greta Thyssen
(Updated April 1, 2019. Posted June 18, 2010)
by Mark Voger/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
In "Sappy Bullfighters" (1959), Thyssen performs classic bedroom farce with the boys. The blond beauty also tried to murder the Stooges in "Quiz Whizz" and teach them manners in "Pies and Guys" (both 1958).
At the time of posting this, the original interview is still online here /Jack
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
I finally received the blu-ray release of Roman Polanski's BASED ON A TRUE STORY that I had ordered from dddhouse in Hong Kong more than a month ago. I watched it right away. I didn't know what to expect as the most recent Polanski film that I've seen is his THE NINTH GATE from 1999. I was wondering how "good" he is these days – I mean, films like ROSEMARY'S BABY, REPULSION, CHINATOWN and BITTER MOON are all masterpieces in my view.
I quite liked the film but I must admit it's what I'd call "Polanski lite". It's not up there with his big ones of yesteryear (or rather "yester-decade"). But even so it was a good little thriller. And of course Polanski is Polanski so even "Polanski lite" is good Polanski if you ask me.
I certainly have little understanding for Peter Bradshaw's stance when he basically writes off the film as being nothing but "flat" in The Guardian (link to review). He compares it to the Polanski masterpiece ROSEMARY'S BABY. Dude, everything comes off flat when you compare it to a masterpiece like ROSEMARY'S BABY! It's not a fair comparison. Besides, Polanski is in his mid-80s now and the film is made on a small budget in Europe. Context, please.
The plot deals with a successful female author – played by Polanski regular Emmanuelle Seigner (an actress that he doesn't have to pay as he's married to her, haha) – and a very persistent female fan (played by Eva Green). Dominique Pinon (from DELICATESSEN) has a small part. I'm not gonna waste any further time going into incisive plot details as nobody reads blogs anymore anyway.
Unfortunately, it seems Roman Polanski's newer films are getting hard to find in the English speaking territories because of the witch-hunt against the director due to things that happened in the 70s. I find it ridiculous that film fans have to pay for something that a film maker did (and should be punished for). BASED ON A TRUE STORY hasn't been released on dvd or blu-ray in any country that has English as its official language. Well, unless English is still considered an official language in Hong Kong. As I mentioned earlier the film was released on blu-ray in the old British crown colony. As I write this you can still get it from dddhouse. Direct link here. Several of Polanski's films are out on blu-ray (and some of them also on dvd) in HK.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Abel Ferrara's FEAR CITY (1984)
When I lived in Melbourne it kinda made an impression on me that Fatal Visions zine interviewed Ferrara and the interviewer (Michael Helms) told him a part of Melbourne was referred to as "Fear City".
The blu-ray contains two versions of the film, the shorter theatrical edit and the fully uncut version. The uncut version, however, is actually a hybrid version of the film, it contains the uncut scenes but uses the last alternative scene from the theatrical print. Very odd (info from dvdcompare). The print looks like it's from the original negative except for the previously cut scenes that look like they are sourced from some kind of video tape. It makes the scenes very obvious.