Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pointless post about some new stuff

I received a couple of multo spiffy flicks today! From Roger Corman's eBay store I got THE HAUNTING OF MORELLA (directed by Jim Wynorski which guarantees a high quality film. Or at least boobs) and THE NEST. The latter has a cool booklet/catalogue in the case. I got them cheap from Corman's own shop. HAUNTING OF MORELLA was only $14. On it's listed at 50 dollars! The cheapest second-hand copy is $27!! I also got CUT-THROATS NINE from Code Red. The DVD has a bonus film, JOSHUA, which I've been wanting to see ever since Swedish television had a season of blaxploitation films on back in the 90s. They included a docu on Fred Williamson in which he talked about JOSHUA.

And finally, I ordered two rare HK VCDs! CAGEMAN and MARIANNA. The first won a pile of Golden Horses at the HK "Oscars" a few years back (I couldn't find a DVD release) and the latter is a HK-Filipino co-production filmed in the Philippines. Also pretty rare (and with no DVD release afaik). Read more about it here.

Oh, and last night (actually sometime during the night, haha) I emptied the mailbox and discovered that I'd recived SHOUT! Factory's awesome releases of HUMANOIDS FROMTHE DEEP (aka Monster), PIRANHA, DEATHSPORT, and BATTLETRUCK! (which I reviewed many years ago in "Bloody Darlings" zine!). Oh happy days!

Big in Thailand

He may not be big in Japan yet but Fred and his ATTACKAFANT ENTERTAINMENT is making it big in the homeland of the debut film (i.e. Killer Elephants) from his company! When you're the head-story of Asia's biggest movie magazine it's clear you're certainly going places. Awesome, Fred!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

THE LOSERS (USA/Philippines, 1970)


Directed by: Jack Starrett
Produced by: Joe Solomon

Cast: William Smith, Bernie Hamilton, Adam Roarke, Houston Savage, Gene Cornelius, Paul Koslo, John Garwood, Ana Korita, Lillian Margareio, Paraluman, Vic Diaz

Video release: Europa Film (Sweden), fullscreen, English audio, Swedish subtitles

To most fans of exploitation films THE LOSERS is probably seen as an American film. However, to me it's valid to list it as a Filipino film as it was filmed in the Philippines - and it has the one Filipino actor who was in about EVERY Filipino film in it. Yes, Vic Diaz is here! So obviously it's counts as a Filipino film in my book!

The Vietnam War rages. A CIA guy (played by the film's director) has been kidnapped by the red Chinese. The problem to the American army is that the Chinese are cooped up across the boarder in neutral Cambodia. What to do, oh what to do?? The American army could send in some commandos in the night to get him out. Or they could ask their well trained friends in the Mossad. Or they could suggest to the CIA that they get their own man out. Well, I'm sure you've already figured out they ain't gonna do any of that. No sirree, instead they call in a group of Hell's Angels bikers!!!

The Angels arrive and it soon becomes obvious that the army can't control them. As soon as they've got their bikes (sissy ass bikes, not their usual choppers) they start causing havoc in the local villages they ride thru, getting into fights, shooting guns, getting thrown in jail, get romantic and helpful with nice girls... no, wait... hmm, we're obviously dealing with a special branch of cinematic Hell's Angels here, hahaha. In fact they're not actually called "Hell's Angels" in the film but "Devils Advocates"!

I assume the film company didn't want to get into trouble with the real Hell's Angels (I'm sure Roger Corman spewed out a, "Fuck, why didn't I think of that!" after the Hell's Angels sued his company when he distributed Cirio H. Santiago's 1989 film NAM ANGELS!!). And you should think Corman had learnt his lesson; According to Michael Weldon's first Psychotronic book from 1983 Corman's company was sued already by the Angels when they made THE WILD ANGELS in 1966!!

Anyhoo, they plot and they plan how to get into the camp where the CIA guy is held captive. And they customise their bikes into MAD MAX style combat bikes (11 years before that kind of bikes were actually seen in MAD MAX 2!). The local Vietnamese mechanic is played by a young looking Vic Diaz. Gee, I wonder how many films he was in. It seems like he was in about EVERY American-Filipino co-production ever made! I'm not even kidding!!

The last half an hour of the film is all about the drive into Cambodia and the attack on the camp. If you've watched the Australian documentary film MACHETE MAIDENS about American-Filipino co-productions you might remember there's some scenes from THE LOSERS of the bikers attacking the camp and shooting off their machine guns and throwing hand-grenades and stuff.

THE LOSERS is great fun! Michael Weldon mentioned in his Psychotronic review that some people regard the film as the best biker movie there is. I don't know about that though; I mean it sure is a fun movie but that may be stretching it a tad too much. They don't actually ride around that much on their bikes and there's only five bikers in the film. But like I said it sure as hell is a cool flick. There's also a fair bit of gore (mostly from gun shuts) and some nudity as well. The almost pink blood looks silly but, oh well, it's not like you would think it were real blood even if it looked any better now would you. Although I argued for it being a Filipino film it doesn't really belong with the other Filipino Vietnam War movies from the 80s and early 90s. The main character is played by William Smith (who was Falconetti in RICH MAN POOR MAN aka To Brødre). Oh, and there's exploding huts too!

The version I watched is an old ex-rental VHS from Sweden. The tape is presented in fullscreen but it's not pan & scan and it looks alright. The print carries the original title, THE LOOSERS. At some stage the film was re-released in the US re-titled NAM ANGELS.

There's a fairly new DVD from Dark Sky and according to some message board and Amazon comments it seems it's a good release presented in the correct format and with some cool extras. But as I don't have this release obviously I can't judge how good it is. However, the film as such is highly recommended!

"The last group in England to be still angry?"

I've just discovered this fantastic Australian interview of THE FALL from 1982 (it contains a happy Mark E Smith!). I'm sure you know they're still around. Oh, and check the comments section for the usual Commonwealth love ("you Pommie bastard" was mentioned at least once, haha).

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I was living in room 5A when I first discovered the joys of THE RAMONES playing live. A big Aussie guy, who had been kicked out of Spain and had died three times, was also living in the room. One Saturday afternoon he came back from Camden Market and showed me a bootleg cassette tape. The tape contained a live broadcast from a radio station in New York and it had been (if I remember correctly) broadcast on the 1'st of January 1979, the day after it had been recorded (on New Year's Eve). The tape was just pure ace. It contained the DJ's comments after the last track. He laughed and said something like, "32 songs in 30 minutes!! How do you follow that up!!!" Haha.

I wonder if that recording is out on bootleg CD now, or LP even? I've got a cassette tape copy off that ol'e boot tape. Anyhoo, I'm listening to my new RAMONES live CD, "Live, January 7, 1978 at the Palladium, NYC". The gig was recorded just a week after the one on the legendary "It's Alive" album. There are basically four differences between the two albums: Both set-lists are exactly the same except "Judy is a Punk" isn't on the "January 7" record. The sound is more rough on the "January 7" CD. "It's Alive" war recorded in London while "January 7" was recorded in New York. And finally, I would say "It's Alive" is a "real" RAMONES album whereas "January 7" was a recording made for the "King Biscuit Flower Hour" radio programme.

So do you need "January 7" if you've already got "It's Alive"? Well, if you're a true RAMONES fan of course you do! But do they sound more or less the same? Sure. Some of the short comments between songs are different but basically they're the same. But like I said, if you're a fan you need both records. What if you're not a fan? Why wouldn't you be a fan, what's wrong with you!! >_<

Oh, did I mention that "January 7" is also on vinly with a different cover and that the exact same recording was also released on a different CD called "NYC 1978". Man, I need those too!^_^

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Creepy Bernie Wrightson

Dark Horse (2011), 144 pp, £10.84 (incl p&p/Amazon UK).

Yesterday, I ordered this tome of work that legendary Bernie Wrightson did for CREEPY and EERIE horror comic book magazines in the 1970s and early 80s. It's a hardcover deluxe edition and on Amazon it says it's Wrighton's complete work for those two magazines. Very cool! Someone in the Amazon comments section complained about the release being unnecessary as the same stories are (probably) also going to get released down the line when all issues eventually are reprinted in Dark Horse's big reprint series of CREEPY and EERIE.

Well, I beg to differ: It's a VERY welcome release! Firstly, it's most likely that not everybody can afford all the reprints! (they're pretty expensive). And secondly, this book means Wrightson fans get his stories NOW instead of having to wait fuck knows how many years before they're all back in print! And thirdly, it's just great to have them all in one collected volume. So up yours to the complainers! Hahaha. I'm getting the book from Bookdepository via Amazon UK, it was just under £7 (+ £4 postage).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stone Boy (Philippines, 1982)

Sometimes you keep looking for old tapes for yrs and yrs and never find them, and sometimes you get an automatic email from eBay that says, "Buddy, we found yr tape for ya!" One such tape is the Filipino weirdo movie STONE BOY (aka Boy God/Rocco, Ang Batang Bato). The only two releases I'm aware of are on VHS in the US and in Australia. Yesterday I received the Aussie tape. xD xD xD. So far I've only checked the first 10 min and they look goood! Check Andrew Leavold and Todd Stadtman's reviews here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

...but they were cheap!

I bought a couple of DVDs! Yeah yeah I know! But they were on offer! I couldn't live without them! xD

FRI OS FRA DET ONDE (Ole Bornedal, it stars Lene from Aqua!) ^_^
MÅNGUDEN - "lost" Swedish TV horror movie from 1988. Never released on VHS.
BULLET IN THE HEAD - Fortune Star's new(ish) DVD
A BETTER TOMORROW 3 - new remastered VCD from FS. Still not on DVD (this new version that is).
NOTHING UNDERNEATH (AWE) - Italian giallo that stars Rene!

I ordered them all from CDON except for the two HK films which are from DDDHOUSE.

Edit: A couple of extra titles:
Cut-Throats Nine/Joshua (Code Red reg. 1 dvd)
Ghostwatch (reg. 2/UK dvd)
Creepy Presents: Bernie Wrightson (a big, fat hardcover comic book reprint)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The original BULLET IN THE HEAD ending

If you're not familiar with video-cd's you're bound to get confused by the double audio: Most HK VCDs have two audio tracks, Cantonese and Mandarin. You'll need to switch off the right loudspeaker so you only hear the sound from the left one (which contains the Cantonese dialect, i.e. the HK dialect).

I was talking to Brian of Wildside Cinema about the original ending of John Woo's BULLET IN THE HEAD today. As I'm sure you know the original ending isn't the one that you'll find on the 100s of DVD, VHS and laserdisc releases. The only version that contains the original ending and the original music is the old Mai Ah video-cd from Hong Kong.

To cut a long story short, when John Woo first screened the film at festivals before the ordinary cinema release the film used the ending used on the VCD. It's a shorter, more abrupt and cynical ending. I have no idea as to why John Woo changed the ending before the film was release to a wider audience. I've heard all the speculations, sure, but you can't use fanboy speculations for shit if you ask me.

Maybe Woo got criticised for the ending being too cynical, maybe he wanted a more action movie style ending, or maybe he just wasn't happy with the original ending. Who knows. And why did he (or someone) change the music? Who knows. If you want a 1000 speculative reasons go ask some fanboys.

For the longest time I tried to track down the VCD and I succeed in doing so a while back. It's pretty rare but I'm sure the print is available on YouTube or elsewhere in Cyberspace. For more info on the VCD check this Mark's post here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

In transit over New Zealand or some such place

I hadn't bought anything for a while but during the last couple weeks I've tried to rectify that! So if the mailmen of this world could please hurry up (and spend less time having fun trying to trash my stuff) I'd be happy!

REDEEMER - Son of Satan (reg. 1 dvd)
MIDNIGHT (the John Russo movie) (reg. 2/UK dvd)
GHOSTWATCH (the BBC tv thingy) (reg. 2/UK dvd)
BLACK SCORPION (the Roger Corman superhero movie) (reg. 1 dvd)
NAM ANGELS (the Cirio H. Santoago film, not aka The Losers) (reg. 1 dvd)
RIGHTING WRONGS (aka Above the Law, the Cynthia Rothrock film!) (reg. 1 dvd)
NIGHTMARE: 30th Anniversary Edition (aka Nightmare in a Damaged Brain) (reg. 1 dvd)
EL MONSTRO DEL MAR (Aussie dvd) - whoo-hoo!! Looking forward to this.
THE NEST (reg. 1 dvd)
BLOOD - THE LAST VAMPIRE (reg. 2/UK dvd) - paid £0,01 for this one!!!
THE ADDAMS FAMILY - complete season 1-3 series set (reg. 2/UK dvd) - supposedly uncut in contradiction to the reg. 1 set (of season 1). Have already received this on and it looks just beaut!
GIRL NEXT DOOR (reg. 1 dvd) - have received this one as well. :D

Anna Calvi (digipack cd)
The Ramones: Live January 7, 1978 At The Palladium, NYC (cd)
C.W. Stoneking: "Jungle Blues" cd + 180g LP!

HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP (reg. 1 dvd from Shout! Factory)
PIRANHA (reg. 1 dvd from Shout! Factory)
DEATHSPORT/BATTLE TRUCK (reg. 1 dvd from Shout! Factory)
- Those 3 Shout! DVDs have reportedly already gone out of print!

TWIN PEAKS Gold Box (reg. 2/Denmark) - contains the complete series plus lots of extras including both versions of the pilot. Some of the other versions only omits the international cinema version of the pilot but have commentary tracks instead. I went for the Danish box as I'd rather have the international pilot on DVD than the commentary tracks (none of them are by David Lynch anyway). According to the international pilot is only available on stand-alone DVD somewhere in Asia (I forget where exactly). I've already got the old version on that obsolete format we used to call "video" back in the day. LOL.

Second-hand from Blockbuster's:
TESIS (aka Snuff) (reg. 2 DVD/Denmark)
BAD GUY (aka Nabbeun Namja) (reg. 2 DVD/Denmark)
KOLLEGIET (aka Room 205, the original Danish film, not the remake) (reg. 2 DVD/Denmark)

reg. 2 DVD releases from AWE:
LA SANGUISUGA CONDUCE LA DANZA (The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance)

Second-hand from Amazon UK:
Marilyn Monroe: "Gold Collection - Classic Performances" (cd) + "The Essential Recordings" (cd)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Oh Marilyn!

Gee whiz! I've never seen this clip in its entirety before. Awesome!

You seem to mind you own business - but you don't miss a thing

Check out this cool trailer for Joe D'Amato's TOUGH TO KILL (aka Duri a Morire). Paul Cooke and David Z later used the title for their equally cool book "Tough to Kill". The trailer is culled from a Danish VHS.

Thanks to Hans-Jørn for the upload.

Friday, December 9, 2011

"I love it how if you didn't know him...'d think he were 75 years old, Black, and from the Deep South of America. Instead, he's 25, White and fucking Australian!!"

I was watching "Tracks" on Arte TV a few days ago and they had a feature on this guy. His name's C.W. Stoneking and his music is like as if he'd just stepped out of a timemachine from 1920-something! The above quotation is from the comments section under the YouTube video (it's not quite true that he's 25, actually he's 37 y.o.). There's a link to his webpage and I knew I had to order one of his albums right away! He's got them on both vinyl and CD. I ordered his latest album (in both formats). I can't say I know much about this old music (cos I don't!) but the Arte feature was enough to make me interested.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Blonde Fury (HK, 1989)

I watched THE BLONDE FURY (aka Lady Reporter) last night. I've only watched it once before (some twenty years back on German television!). This is Cynthia Rothrock's film and it's such an fun flick overall.

The plot is confused, her hairstyle changes from scene to scene (because there was a long gab in shooting the film) but, uh, it's not like we're not used to confused plots in HK films. Haha. The good, good man John Charles* starts off his review in the HK filography book this way: "Awful comedy relief and insipid dialogue detract severely from..." and gives it 4 stars out of 10 (which in regards to his star system renders the film worthwhile only to fans of the director/actors with low expectations!).

The US distributed version from Tai Seng; same cover but with an added sticker.

I don't agree in reg. to THE BLONDE FURY, like I said it's such a fun movie. It's got violence, the usual kind of batshit crazy insanity we're used to with these films, and it's got Cynthia Rothrock in the middle of her best period film wise. And the film is funny too. Highly recommended (in my book anyway!).

Unfortunately BLONDE FURY is hard to find on DVD. The version I got hold of is the old Deltamac DVD from HK. Tai Seng distributed it in the US (reportedly under the alternative title. Interestingly enough, altho the print used for the HK DVD uses the BLONDE FURY title the alternative title is also added in a subtitle under the real title!?). However, despair not, you can get it on VCD from dddhouse and hopefully Fortune Star will rerelease it on DVD at some stage as well.

*John Charles is a "good, good man" cos he wrote "The Hong Kong Filmography 1977-1997". It's thee best HK film book ever. Even if he doesn't enjoy many of the "batshit crazy" films that I do. xD

The Cinema Snob on Video Violence

Here's an old episode of The Cinema Snob. He was pretty funny back in the day but I think he blew it when he started to post out of character. It was more fun when you thought he actually was like in those videos. Oh well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Three days of silence...

...well if you don't count the screaming psychos on the stereo or the blasting TV set that is! But anyhow, I've been off-line for three days and it's been a bliss! I'm sure my inbox is full and I've got 3000 PMs on various message boards and FB. It's 7 in the morning and I haven't even been to bed yet so I'm not gonna check anything until tonight. HEY JON!! I GOT A NICE PARCEL IN THE MAIL!!! THANKS!!!!!

And I watched the tough French crime flick 36 Quai des Orfèvres (Olivier Marchal, 2004) on TV last night. Argh, awesome! It was everything new American crime films just aren't! I highly recommend it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Best rendition of a Ramones track, like, ever!

Check out this cover version of The Ramones' old classic "Judy is a Punk". It's pretty cool!! It's listed as being by the The Sullivan School kindergarten classes and if I may take a wild guess here I'd say they're somewhere in Korea. Thanks to Richard Doyle for posting it on Facebook.

Jackie is a punk
Judy is a runt
They both went down to Berlin, joined the Ice Capades
And oh, I don't know why
Oh, I don't know why
Perhaps they'll die, oh yeah [x4]

Second verse, same as the first
[Repeat first verse]

[Third verse, different from the first]
Jackie is a punk
Judy is a runt
They both went down to Frisco, joined the SLA
And oh, I don't know why
Oh, I don't know why
Perhaps they'll die, oh yeah [x4]

It seems they shortened the "Berlin" line and left out the third verse but, hey, they're in kindergarten. I guess it would have been demanding too much. Maybe they'll learn that one once they reach first grade. LOL.