Thursday, October 30, 2008

CELLAT is in the house!

There's really no reason for my posting this but I've been looking forward to the release of CELLAT for so lang that I thought I'd let you in on this as well. LOL. Oh, and also to promote Bill Baronis and his Onar Films company a bit. God knows he could use some publicity! It's not like these films sell by the bucket load. Unfortunately.

CELLAT (also known as "Turkish Death Wish") is a Turkish version of DEATH WISH (hence the aka title, haha). I've just received my copy today and as I haven't watched it yet I don't really know how close it is to the original. But word is it's very enjoyable! Maybe you should buy a copy?? ;-)

Ahh, another poster I'd truly love to have!!! From "Seytan", the Turkish remake of "The Exorcist", also known on bootleg as "The Turkish Exorcist".

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The coolest poster I DON'T have!

Fred Adelman showed this very cool poster for I DRINK YOU BLOOD / I EAT YOUR SKIN over at Dvdmaniacs and I simply gotta "reprint" it here.

Arrrgh... me... find... have... own... now... arrr...
(+ imaginary drool, LOL)

[Click scan for bigger size]

Very cool! And of course I DRINK YOUR BLOOD is totally gory and very cool!! (I reviewed it in Banned in Britain #2). Gotta get I EAT YOUR SKIN too!

Ahh, this is the stuff gore flicks are made of!!
Hmm, how do you describe I Drink Your Blood? Well, imagine a mix between a zombie movie, a 60's drug movie and some Charles Manson movie with crazy Satan worship hippie killers - and then throw in a bucketful of gore and you have I Drink Your Blood!! This is such an amazing gore feast that it's unbelievable it hasn't been released uncut anywhere until now, more than 30 yrs after it initially came out.
A group of Satanic hippies arrive to a small town (Pop.: 40'!) in the middle of nowhere. A local girl gawks at 'em from behind a tree while they engage in a Satanic mass. They discover and attack her. It's unclear whether she's 'just' beaten up or raped. Their van brakes down and they decide to stay in an old abandoned hotel. The girl's granddad gets his gun out and goes over to kick them out of town but they force-feed him LSD. So now his 10-12 yr old grandson decides to take revenge so he kills a rapid dog, detracts blood from it with an injection needle and injects it into meat pies at the local bakery - meat pies that the hippies are going to eat. Second half of the flick is one long orgy of the now rapid hippies who, much like Manson and his 'family', slaughter the locals.
So what can you say about a film like I Drink Your Blood? Well, except that it's totally great of course!! It's directed by David Durston, it's low budget, all the actors were unknowns, and it's got that special 'something' feeling to it that a whole bunch of innovative horror movies from that late 60's/early 70's era have. It's quite gory and you can understand why it would've been censored in some areas (like the UK). However, I must admit it's pretty weird that it's never been granted an uncut release [in the US] until this new DVD was put out by Grindhouse recently. It's gory yes, but not any more than say Dawn Of The Dead, The Gore Gore Girls or Last House On The Left. By the way, if you get hold of the DVD now it'll most likely be the Fangoria distributed version. For some reason - and I have no clue as to why - it seems the folks at Grindhouse are a buncha deadbeats who decided to put the DVD out only as a limited edition and then let it go out of circulation [edit: it's been re-released and is easy to get now]. I must admit I hate and loathe (two words that basically mean the same) those trendy limited editions. I mean what's the fucken point!! Fortunately Fangoria obtained the rights and are selling it now through their magazine. But of course, as you know, nothing is safe in this world so I urge you to get hold of it before it disappears again. It's a very entertaining movie and the DVD's got heaps of extras. By the way, one of the 'unknown' actors was Lynn Lowry who later appeared in Romero's The Crazies and Cronenberg's The Parasite Murders. Among the many extra features the DVD also features a new interview with Lowry in which she mentions that the film introduced her to 'sex, drugs and rock'n'roll' - and director Durston sings a song about how to make an independent movie!!!
[originally printed in Banned in Britain #2 from 2004]

"The Search For Weng Weng" is finally here!! (well, the T-shirt anyway)

YAY! SPIFFY!! My new Tee from Andrew Leavold's upcoming documentary film "The Search for Weng Weng" (about Weng Weng, the little big star from "For Y'ur Height Only" and a couple of other Filipino movies) arrived today! Niiice.
Cheers Andrew.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More exorcism stuff

Recently I've found two more L'OSSESSA posters on eBay. The first one is from Uruguay and I actually had that one bookmarked for a couple of months but didn't buy it as it was slightly pricey ($50). I suppose everyone else thought the same - or maybe it just flew under the radar and no one discovered it. Eventually I wrote to the seller and offered him $30 to which he agreed. Yay! The other one (which I must admit I think is by far the better one) I didn't get (sob-sob). But at least I have the scan. I made a $50 bid and it went for $68. What a bummer! Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

NB: Click the scans for bigger sizes.

Addendum: I wrote to the seller of the Thai poster and asked if he might think he'd be getting another copy in later but he didn't even bother to send me a reply. I waited a few days and then wrote and asked again but he STILL ignores my emails. What an arsehole! I've bought from him in the past and every time I've poured tons of money down his plughole he's always been willing to make a reply. I guess he recons he won't be getting another poster so why bother! In the words of Anita Lane from that record she did with Nick Cave: "You make me sick!".

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I suddenly wish I were a froggie

The good, brilliant, fantastic bit of news is there is going to be a (probably) well written, incisive book on Hong Kong's Category III films out soon entitled "Category III, Sex, Blood and Politics in Hong Kong"!!! The fucked up piece of news is that although author Julien Seveon wrote it in English... it will only be published in bloody French!!! Satan og helvede!!! I see very well why this is (because there's a huge interest for HK films in France, they get tons of cool dvd releases all the time)... but it's still annoying as hell. Auv!!!

Read more about it here.

Anyway, if nothing else here's the cover:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

70 years on... and still burning

I know I know, I've been posting "nicked" articles lately but I think they've all had their worth, and here's another one. This one is just so fucked up you're pinching yourself if you're awake or having a nightmare that you're back in nazi Germany.

Burning away evils of the past
Church takes over old drive-in theater.
By Paul Pinkham, The Times-Union
Originally created 102008

Until Sunday, the Rev. Mark Eldredge joked that his Westside church had one of the largest pornography collections in Jacksonville.

Members of Christ Church Anglican discovered reel upon reel of '70s- and '80s-vintage X-rated movies recently when they took over the old Playtime Drive-In on Blanding Boulevard a few weeks ago. The Playtime showed X-rated movies in the '70s and early '80s, prompting police raids and protests, before switching to more traditional fare.

But for Eldredge and the 300-member congregation, ridding their property of the film was no joking matter. It was so serious, they built an entire service around it Sunday afternoon, complete with a ceremonial burning and a "holy hose-down" with water from a Jacksonville Fire and Rescue truck blessed by the priest.

"You guys can be a part of making this land holy," Eldredge told his flock before he used a brass candlelighter to ignite a bonfire containing unrolled reels of film. "To have a piece of property and take it from unholy to holy is awesome."

As the film burned, three Jacksonville firefighters stood by. Then Eldredge blessed the water in their truck, and they cleansed the property by hosing it down.

Christ Church purchased the 13-acre drive-in for $1.4 million after the 60-year-old theater closed in May. The church, which currently meets at Bishop John J. Snyder High School, closed on the deal a few weeks ago and discovered the porn stash when they showed up to begin cleaning up the property, Eldredge said.

Dozens of rusty film cases were stashed above the concession stand, some hidden in the walls. Eldredge and his staff didn't need to watch any of the film to know what it was; names like Kinky Business and Private Teacher gave the contents away.

Jim Evans, a church member who has run traditional movie theaters in Jacksonville and Gainesville, estimated at least 100 titles were found.

"I can't imagine why they're still here," Evans said. "Usually, you didn't buy these movies, you rented them. Really it doesn't pay to purchase them because they're going to have a limited run."

Eldredge's immediate dream for the property, after Sunday's consecration and some needed repairs, is to begin showing family-friendly movies to the public.

He said he hopes people passing by on busy Blanding Boulevard will stop in and see that Christians are fun.

"God has given us this property ... in order to help thousands of people become new creations in Christ," Eldredge said.

Eventually, the church plans to build a more traditional worship center on the property while still showing movies.

Originally printed online here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cellat aka Turkish Death Wish

Onar Film's release of CELLAT aka Turkish Death Wish has finally been released!! Can't wait!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Snake Queen trailer (starring Suzzanna)

Resurrecting Fear

When I found the articles about Suzzanna in "The Jakarta Post" I also made an all-round search for articles about her and found this article that isn't so much about her as it is an Indo look at the state of horror movies there today. Interestingly enough, the writer states the old movies were much better than what is being produced today. "Interesting" cos usually I get the impression people in Indonesia quite look down upon the old movies nowadays.

Resurrecting Fear
The Jakarta Post | Wed, 01/23/2008 3:38 PM | Center Piece

A new breed of ghost ‘n’ gore horror films is packing them in at local movie theaters. But a common complaint is that they don’t make horror flicks like they used to. Rizal Iwan reports.
It’s no shocker that horror movies are the champions of local cinema today. Ever since Jelangkung’s huge box office success in 2001 resurrected Indonesia’s then moribund film fortunes, the horror genre has become the designated money-machine to keep the industry’s head well above water.

In September, two local horror films were released almost simultaneously. By the end of October, no less than four local horror films were in theaters, with several more waiting for release.

However, when you’re walking out of the theater trying to shake off the lingering fright – either from real terror, or the horror of poor production values, campy acting or a horridly written screenplay (or lack of story altogether) – the complaints start coming. The most frequently heard gripe is that today’s horror films are nothing compared to their forerunners of the 1970s and ‘80s, and, more often than not, the name of Indonesia’s legendary horror movie queen Suzanna is uttered in the same breath.

Horror films cut a wide swathe through the Indonesian cinema landscape 30 years ago. There were varied themes – from the very traditional black magic, such as Guna-Guna Istri Muda (Second Wife’s Sorcery, 1977) to the very much universal pack of terrifying zombies, to be found in Pengabdi Setan (known as Satan’s Slave in English-speaking markets, 1980) among others. Still, there were common threads that distinguished them as truly Indonesian creations, unlike today’s standard teens-in-trouble flicks.

First, a lot of films were about murdered women who come back from the dead for vengeance, including Sundel Bolong (1981), Beranak Dalam Kubur (Giving Birth in the Grave, 1971) and Cincin Berdarah (The Bleeding Ring, 1973). Suzanna in particular, along with several other actresses such as Ruth Pelupessy, Farida Pasha and Conny Sutedja, achieved iconic status in such movies.

Second, the evil supernatural forces were always ultimately vanquished by the power of religion. Cue the climactic scene of a Muslim cleric banishing ghosts while muttering holy scriptures.

“I guess what makes the era’s horror films so appealing is that they were so specific. Back then, filmmakers were not really exposed to foreign influences. So their works were very unique and atmospheric, as reflected in their camera work, angles, locations and acting,” says filmmaker Joko Anwar, a horror movie aficionado who grew up watching Indonesian shlock-horror movies.

“And there’s always a good story to it; it’s not only about a bunch of teenagers getting spooked like in today’s horror flicks,” adds Rusli Eddy, the director of SCREAMFEST INDO, the first ever horror film festival in Indonesia, slated to be held in Jakarta on November 28-December 2.

Rusli and Joko acknowledge that some of the movies borrowed liberally from foreign films. Scenes in Ranjang Setan (Satan’s Bed, 1986), Joko contends, appear to be variations on A Nightmare on Elm Street. Pengabdi Setan, which both Joko and Rusli hail as one of their all-time favorite local horror movies, bears some resemblance to 1979’s Phantasm.

“But the stories are wrapped in a very Indonesian package,” Rusli says. “It’s not necessarily original, but it’s relatable.”

Interestingly, despite their distinctive Indonesian qualities or because of them, the films also have a cult following overseas. Films like Pengabdi Setan, Golok Setan (The Devil’s Sword, 1983), Mistik (Mystic in Bali, 1981) and the controversial Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan (a.k.a. Lady Terminator, 1988) are reportedly among the best-selling titles in the collection of Mundo Macabro, a UK-based film distributor which imports lesser-known horror films from around the world.

“Production-wise, [the old films] were really creative. Despite the limitations in make-up and special effects, they managed to come up with something that can’t be found in other films,” muses Joko.

That uniqueness has been lost in the post-Jelangkung era due to new realities. The face of the filmgoer has changed as older consumers prefer to stay home and watch TV, and there is a dwindling number of theaters in rural areas.

The target audience has become the niche but still large segment of hip, urban youngsters.

The setting of mist-shrouded village fields has moved to modern city scapes, such as an office building in Lantai 13, an apartment in Pocong 2 or even a discotheque in its sequel, Pocong 3. The characters are mostly groups of teenagers thrown into harm’s way (Tusuk Jelangkung, Malam Jumat Kliwon, Lawang Sewu).

Religion no longer serves as salvation, but urban legends have become an enticing theme (Hantu Jeruk Purut, Terowongan Casablanca, Rumah Pondok Indah). The scare tactics often rely on stylized editing; the filmmakers seem to spend all their time trying to make the films look good with overdramatic lighting and camera techniques, rather than creating some genuinely spooky moments.

Some of the films are shameless rip-offs of Hollywood or Asian horror hits. “A lot of today’s horror films are trying to be Scream, Final Destination or some other slick Hollywood horror film,” observes Joko.

For Rusli, there is a fundamental problem with the new movies: they don’t scare audiences.

“They’ve become too Americanized and far-fetched. And most of the time they don’t scare us at all, because they are not the ghosts that we know.

“That’s why I quite like the [recently released] Legenda Sundel Bolong, because the film returns to the traditional roots.”

Joko faults the overriding profit-orientation behind the making of the movies.

“In Indonesia nowadays, everybody is making horror films because it’s about business,” says the director of 2007’s suspense thriller Kala. “So a director can easily switch from drama to horror in a snap, perhaps due to a producer’s demands.

“It’s important to have filmmakers that have a genuine passion for horror movies, so they’ll know which schemes can still be used, and which are worn out already.”

Probably the biggest problem with contemporary Indonesian horror films lies in the story department. For most filmmakers the storyline is an after-thought.

This lack of attention is especially obvious when it comes to exploring urban legends. Filmmakers simply borrow the evocative setting – a haunted deserted home in an elite suburb or strange goings-on at a downtown underpass, for example – for a commercially attractive title, and then concoct a story that has nothing to do with the urban legend at all.

“A horror film is still a film, and a film is built on a story,” says Joko. “You can put in as many scares as you want, but it still won’t scare you if you can’t relate to the characters. You won’t care whether the characters are going to be killed by the ghosts or not.

“A character in a horror movie is a character that represents our fear. When we don’t believe or don’t like the character, then what’s the point?”

This perennial flaw could reinforce the perception that the genre, especially in Indonesia, is not a serious branch of film. It’s a perception that Rusli would like to change with his festival showcasing quality horror movies.

“We want to show that it still takes effort, passion and talent to make horror films. It takes the same skills and crafting that it takes to make an Academy Award-winning picture.”

Hopefully it will be the inspiration needed by Indonesian filmmakers to try something new, especially amid the glut of horror film releases. When all the traditional ghosts have been laid to rest, the urban legends bled dry and sequels done to death, what will be the future of Indonesian horror movies?

“I would love to see our horror industry venture into the area of psychological thrillers, not necessarily supernatural, but more about evil in the works,” says Rusli.

Joko, on the other hand, is a bit cryptic about the films’ future.

“Filmmakers will be forced to be creative and come up with something new. No one can really tell where the genre is going, but it’s heading to a very interesting place.”

Perhaps then our long-dormant celluloid fears will rise again.

Suzzanna R.I.P.

Unfortunately, less than a day after I won the SNAKE QUEEN vhs, I learn that Suzzanna, the queen of Indonesian horror movies, has died. :(

RIP Suzzanna.

Here's two news bits from "The Jakarta Post":

Horror film queen dies aged 66
The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Thu, 10/16/2008 4:12 PM | National

Legendary actress Suzanna, famous for her roles in horror and mystery films, died of complications from diabetes in a hospital in Magelang, Central Java, on Wednesday. She was 66.

The actress, best known for her role as the Queen of the South Sea, had been receiving treatment at the Harapan Hospital for five days. She died two days after her birthday on Oct. 14.

She is to be buried at Girimulyo Cemetary in Magelang.

Suzanna, whose real name was Suzanna Martha Frederika van Osch, became a household name thanks to her roles in 1970s and 1980s supernatural movies such as Beranak Dalam Kubur (Giving Birth in the Grave) in 1971, Pulau Cinta (Love Island) in 1978 and Ratu Ilmu Hitam (Queen of Black Magic) in 1981.

Her characters Nyi Blorong and Nyi Roro Kidul, both strong women with supernatural superpowers, led her to be known as the era's queen of the horror film. All the films in which she starred as such women were box-office hits. (dre)

Horror artist Suzanna dies
Fri, 10/17/2008 10:21 AM | People

Horror actress Suzana, who was crowned the Queen of Indonesian Horror, passed away at her home in Magelang, Central Java, on Wednesday. She was 66.

Suzana had suffered from diabetes over the last five years and was being treated at Harapan Hospital. She was buried on Thursday at Giriloyo cemetery.

"According to her will, she did not want a big funeral in which many people could watch," her lawyer, Bambang Tjatur Iswanto, was quoted as saying by Antara.

Born Suzanna Martha Frederika van Osch in Bogor, West Java, on Oct. 14, 1942, Suzana began her career in acting when she was a teenager in the film Asmara Dara (1958). She won the Best Child Actress award at the 1960 Asian Film Festival for her performance.

She enjoyed a stellar career in the 1970s and 80s through her roles in horror films, most of which are now considered classics, including Bernapas dalam Lumpur (Breathing in the Mud), Beranak dalam Kubur (Delivering a Baby in Grave) and Sundel Bolong.

At the 1972 Asia-Pacific Film Festival in Seoul, South Korea, she was crowned Asia's Most Popular Actress.

After a long hiatus from 1991, she returned to the acting world when she starred in a sinetron (TV soap) called Selma and Ular Siluman (Selma and the Snake Ghost) in 2003.

Earlier this year, she returned to the big screen in Hantu Ambulans (The Ambulance Ghost). She starred in 42 movies from 1950 to 2008. -- JP/Ary Hermawan

Monday, October 20, 2008

Snake Queen

Tonight I won this Greek video release of SNAKE QUEEN (or as it's known in Indonesian: Nyi Blorong) on ebay!! Woo-hoo!!! For a couple of years I've had a bootleg from Shocking Videos (taken from the Greek tape) and I never thought I'd get hold of the original tape! Well, sometimes you're just plain lucky. And even more so as almost no one (I guess) discovered the auction. Woo-hoo (again)!! SNAKE QUEEN is from 1982 and is directed by Sisworo Gautama Putra who also did two more films in the series; PERKAWINAN NYI BLORONG (1983) and PETUALANGAN CINTA NYI BLORONG (1986). They all star Suzzanna (sometimes spelt Suzanna). There were also later Snake Queen films but with different actresses. The tape is letterboxed and has English dub. Actually it's the only English dubbed version in the world! A truly great find (and win).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rambu - the vcd!!!

Just a quick up-date on the local Indonesian cut of RAMBU (aka PEMBALASAN RAMBU); By chance/accident/luck it seems I'll be getting a copy off the Malay VCD soon. Yay!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Film-aarbogen overload

Ahh, the dreaded flu is over! A whole week of drifting in and out of comatose and nasty headaches. I'm back baby! And yesterday I picked up 16 (!!!) volumes of the "Film-aarbogen" books from the post-office. Yay!! ("Film-aarbogen" are annual film books that list/review most of the films which premiered in the Danish cinemas throughout the year covered). The volumes I got yesterday cover 1953 thru to '68. It's quite amazing to see how many now classic movies that played here back in the day.

I don't have any scans of the new ones but here's one I bought a little while ago, the 1970 edition (featuring Birthe Tove of BAMBOOHOUSE OF DOLLS fame on the cover)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Don't expect anything on thsi blog or from me fro awhile I'm down with the flu!!! For fuscks sake!!

At leaast i have new nice stuff to plya with sicne it was my birthdya the otehr day (and niche lollies from melbourne to stuff into my sikc head! :-) thansk M!!!). Now, 3-2-1: off to being sick aagain. blah!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Rambu in Double Crosser!!

I watched Arizal's DOUBLE CROSSER starring Peter O'Brian tonight and... oh man, the more you watch these movies the more you shake your head in disbelief that no one puts them out on dvd! This film is just soo over the top it's unreal! There's a car chase scene where O'Brian is after some bad guys in a car (they're trying to rape some poor woman and they don't even stop even though they're being followed at break neck speed!). A big truck pulls out from nowhere blocking the street and in most films the chaser would give up. Well, not so in an Arizal movie; O'Brian's character just smashes his car through the lorry!! The entire movie has no-holds-barred scenes like that!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rambu Vs. Cynthia Rothrock

Rats!! It's past five in the morning and I can't sleep cos of my stoopid cold! So I might as well tell you about my latest aquired Peter O'Brian films, haha. Well, actually "they" are the same film! Yesterday, I received the Indonesian Cynthia Rothrock film TRIPLE CROSS on both UK and US vhs. In this film Peter O'Brian plays (apparently) the bad guy and (obviously) Cynthia Rothrock the good guy. The UK tape contains the original edit of the film, however, the US tape is a re-edited, re-dubbed, and re-titled version called ANGEL OF FURY! Yes, weird indeed. So far I've only watched (and compared) about five minutes of the two versions but it's very obvious the US edit is quite different. Quite a bit of the dialogue scenes have been shortened and the credit sequence is completely altered.

More Rambu later...

Turkey Shoot

I finally received the new dvd release of TURKEY SHOOT from AWE a couple of days ago. It's a very enjoyable Aussie exploitation flick and you should definitely watch it. Well, actually screw the film, just read the booklet! (hint, hint) LOL x 10.

I'm joking, of course. It's a very entertaining and gory exploitation movie set somewhere in the future and if you get hold of it do watch it. Quite different from the MAD MAX movies as it's not about a society gone askew but very much like the future of A CLOCKWORK ORANGE a very controlled one. And if I'm rambling it's due to my having a baaad cold. My head is twice as big as normal (which means BIIG). I've been sneezing at least 200 times today and everything else is yukky. Where the bloody hell's my coffee!!!