Monday, March 7, 2011

SHOUT! to release a bucketful of FILIPINO flicks in DELUX quality!!!

The buzz among fans of American psychotronic movies the past few months is that SHOUT! Factory in the US have scheduled to release about 16,000 tons of old Roger Corman movies! Needless to say this is a BIG deal! Many of these films have never been released on DVD before and the ones that have actually been granted a release on one of those shiny wee discs are often in less than brilliant quality - to say the least.

SHOUT! Factory are releasing these old trash favourites in spiffy awesome, restored, uncut, cleaned up, correct format, nicely perfumed, cool DVD-case-sleeve'ed, filled with extras editions!!!!! But, hey, this isn't a blog on psychotronic cinema but on WORLDWEIRD cinema so let's babble a bit about that shall we!!

The very reason I'm brining up these new SHOUT! releases is the simple reason that Roger Corman co-produced quite a few Filipino films ... and SHOUT! are releasing a handful of these! A BIG handful I might add!! In Double and triple sets!!!

Their first double set contains UP FROM THE DEPTHS (directed by Charles Griffith, produced by Cirio H. Santiago, 1979) and DEMON OF PARADISE (produced and directed by Santiago, 1987). Word on the street is they're crappy beyond belief but I don't give a fuck about what the grapevine says, I've already bought the DVD and I'll make up my own mind about them thank you very much (once a punk always a punk, ay).

I haven't watched either of the two films yet (I got the disc on Saturday) but I've checked the quality of the prints and the extras, and these restored prints look juust amazing! And also, and this is very exiting... the disc contains a rare trailer for the Santiago directed FIRECRACKER (aka Naked Fist) which I wrote a little bit about the other day in connection with ANGELFIST (also by Santiago, and both films are remakes of TNT JACKSON - which, incidentally, is also directed by Santiago and will ALSO get a release from SHOUT!). There's no official release date yet.

And further more... in June SHOUT! are releasing a "Women in Cages" triple bill containing THE BIG DOLL HOUSE (1971), THE BIG BIRD CAGE (1972) and WOMEN IN CAGES (1971) which all (and I'm sure it's pointless to mention this as I'm sure you all know this already) star the queen of the blaxploitation flicks, the BABETIOUS (which probably isn't even a real word but that's what she is!) Pam Grier!

I'm fully aware these films have been released on DVD before (I can't comment on their picture quality as I don't have any of them; I still watch them on video tape) but this release should blow them all outta the water!

On DVDmaniacs message board SHOUT! spokesman Cliff Mac said about the set in January: "WOMEN IN CAGES COLLECTION includes BIG DOLL HOUSE, BIG BIRD CAGE and, of course, WOMEN IN CAGES. All three films have been re-transferred and look amazing."

By the way, SHOUT! will also be releasing ARENA (also starring Pam Grier) at a later stage but I reckon it's not in this set as it's a co-production with Italy and not the Philppines.

As I mentioned earlier FIRECRACKER is also slated for release and so are SAVAGE! (1973), TNT JACKSON (1974), FLY ME (1973), and TOO HOT TO HANDLE (1977).

Cliff Mac said this about FIRECRACKER on Dvdmaniacs last month: "I just watched our new transfer of FIRECRACKER.... WOW... it looks beautiful....".

There's no release date set for the last four films either but I'm certainly looking forward to them in a BIIIG way! FIRECRACKER and TNT JACKSON on restored DVD!!! O_O
Almost too UNREAL to be true!!! I'm certainly crossing my fingers we don't run into another bloody recession until AFTER we've seen these cool flicks on the street.

Sort Sol/Sods live on Beatbox 1987

About a year ago, I posted a different recording of the Sort Sol/Sods live clip seen in the above YouTube video. The video I posted back then is off my own Betamax tape which I taped when the concert was broadcast back in '87. And I must have played that tape at least 300 times over the years - and unfortunately that shows!! My tape is WORN!!!!! However, I've just discovered that someone else taped the same live show and uploaded it about a month ago ... and the picture quality is heaps better!!!

My comments from the original posting:

Three tracks live (DR TV, Denmark, 1987)

1) Blood on the Saddle
2) Searching Down the Block
3) Pinocchio Loose (aka Pinocchio on the Loose)
[the track list in the headline to the new upload is incorrect! "Fire Engine" is not played!!]

This is SORT SOL at their best! In 1987 Danish state tv ran a series of music shows entitled "Musicbox" and to me this was definitely the highlight of the series.

SORT SOL started out in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1978 as a full-on punk band under the name of SODS. Their debut LP "Minutes to go" is a mile stone in Danish punk music but soon after the release they got bored with the three cord limitations that punk music offered and on their second LP "Under en sort sol" they had moved in a more avantgarde'ish direction.

Their third LP "Dagger & Guitar" is the first one where they use the name SORT SOL but what many new fans don't realise is the band actually used both names for years to come. And if you were a "real" fan you kept calling them SODS. "Sort Sol" was for wanna-be fans, haha. I don't think I started using the Sort Sol moniker till 1990 or something. LOL.

On "Dagger & Guitar" SORT SOL recorded two tracks with LYDIA LUNCH. If you do a YouTube search you'll find their "Boy/Girl" track that features miss Lunch. It's uploaded by someone else in Canada (G'day mate, whoever you are) but (via other traders) the clip comes from a recording I did in 1984 when television in Denmark broadcast a documentary about the band called "OMKRING EN SORT SOL - et portraet af SODS".

There was a pretty big gap between the third and fourth LP and when "Everything that rises must converge" finally came out in 1987 their sound had become the violent music you'll hear on this live recording. Like I said this is the band at their best in my opinion. Later records never quite reached the intensity and violent rawness as on "Everything".

The original title of the LP was actually going to be "The Violent Bear it Away" but they change it before it was released. The CD version of the album, which wasn't released till many years later, contains a bonus disc for which they used the title.

For the initial post go here.