Saturday, February 25, 2012

La Muerte Incierta (Jose Ramon Larraz ,1973) - trailer

Another movie that was believed to be lost but isn't. However, as of now it makes no difference as it's still unreleased. Boo-hoo! Would love to see it.

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

I watched Joe D'Amato's DURI A MORIRE (aka Tough to Kill/Dødspatruljen) last night on a wobbly Greek VHS. Great stuff indeed! Why isn't this out on a proper DVD!?!? There is a reg. 1 DVD out but it's got fake lbx. The trailer I'm posting here is a rare one from a Danish VHS. It's a really cool trailer that I must have watched 10 times. Thanks to Diabolik for the upload.

The confusing Turkish / Italian SUPERGUYS series

There's THE FLYING SUPERBOY film, and there's the SUPERGUYS series, and then there's the 3 FANTASTIC SUPERMEN films ... have you ever tossed and turned because you couldn't quite make the connection between the dots? No need to worry any longer! My friend Henrik Larsen, supreme editor of OBSKURIØST magazine, spent some time sorting out these films a while back and this is the info he came up with:

Henrik reckons THE FLYING SUPERBOY isn't a stand alone film but is related to the THREE SUPERGUYS series as Robert Widmark plays the same kind of character as in that series:

There are three official SUPERGUYS films + two unofficial entries. The first unofficial film precedes the series (and do notice that via the German title the film is actually related to the series on the German market! "Teufelskerle" = Superguys)

-No Turkish involvement but Ernst Hofbauer who co-directed the film also co-directed the three official films. And "Robert Widmark" and Wolf Goldan play almost the same characters as they do in the first Superguys film. Widmark is in ALL the films so there's a connection.

-German-Turkish production. Hofbauer is co-director and Widmark & Goldan play the main-characters.

-Turkish production. Widmark plays the same kind of character again.

-Cuneyt Arkin is in this one.


- Arkin was also in one of the THREE FANTASTIC SUPERMEN films (SUPERMENLER/3 SUPERMEN AGAINST GODFATHER) but other than that there's no connection between the two series.

aka Three Superguys in the Snow


Thanks to Henrik Larsen for the info and to the nice members of Cinehound forum whose cover scans I used.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Darkness befell the land

...or at least my computer!

I've been off line for two days... and I'm STILL off line... as my computer has decided to switch off and now all I can get is a dark screen with a line that says the computer is missing some abbreviation which I don't know what is and that I need to re-boot with my cd boot disc. My computer is a laptop ... one of those that come WITHOUT a bloody cd boot disc!!! I'm on someone else's computer and won't be online until I figure out what the hell is wrong with it and what to do about it. I've got 2 billion tons of stuff on that computer I SOOO do not wanna lose. Later (maybe!!!)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Knife (featuring Jenny Wilson) - "You Take my Breath Away"

This is the fabulous Swedish indie band THE KNIFE. On this track they're joined by guest vocalist Jenny Wilson (on the right). I quite like this. :D

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Love can be weird"

I was transferring an old video tape to dvd-r the other night, it was an episode of Jonathan Ross' "For One Week Only" show that I taped from Channel 4 (England) a long time ago. At one point in the programme Nicolas Cages says, "You heard it here, Nicolas Cage said it: love can be weird!" Yeah, how true. Tonight during my travels thru Cyberspace I stumbled over the above video clip. Somewhere in some lurid back corner of the world wide web there's this guy who digs up women on skid row and asks them about their situation. It's not an honourable documentary show made to draw everyone's attention to poor women in order to help them mind you. I believe the camera guy is as far down in the sewage as they are. He's probably just not fucked up on drugs. So why watch it? It's a (brief) journey into a world some of us are far from. Is it psychotronic trash? I guess, yes. Is it entertainment? No, but interesting none the less. The moment where the camera pans over the empty book shelves and the camera guy laconic comments, "Your invisible dolls, huh" puts it all in perspective. And if it doesn't wait till he comments on the sheets.

PS: Don't watch if you're prudish.

NB: the site where the video is stored is a commercial one so there may be a spam page popping up when you click "play". Just close it like any regular page.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New German BIONIC BOY dvd is a bootleg

A little while ago I posted about what I called a new official DVD release of BIONIC BOY & DYNAMITE JOHNSON from Germany. Unfortunately, Bobby A. Suarez' son, Roberto S. Suarez II, informed me that the DVD is a bootleg!

Roberto S. Suarez II:
Dear Jack,

Thank you for your continued interest on my late father's movies. I have read in some thread about your fascination for his films. However, I believe that the DVD release of the two Bionic Boy movie is coming from an illegal source. Sad to say but as far as we are concerned the only territory that there is a legal right to sell Dynamite Johnson is MPI/Dark Sky Films who currently owns the North American territory for the said movie. Bionic Boy part 1 is owned by Intercontinental films.


That's too bad. Fred Anderson of Ninja Dixon blog has bought the DVD and he tells me the films look like they've come from a Beta-master and are presented in non anamorphic widescreen.

Too bad the company were too greedy to pay the copyright fee (probably not very much) to issue a legit release.

Thanks to Roberto for the info.

The Velvet Underground - Under Review

Aka The Velvet Underground - Vanishing Point
Dir: Tom Barber

I watched the documentary film THE VELVET UNDERGROUND - UNDER REVIEW (oddly enough retitled The Velvet Underground - Vanishing Point) tonight. I knew nothing about the film other that it existed and actually I only discovered it by chance on Amazon UK the other day. When someone in the comments' section said something along the lines of it being "The VU film to end all VU films" I felt it was of the utmost importance that I order it right away! ^_^

The film runs 85 and I must admit it is pretty good! It goes in deep and covers in detail the band's very early period around the "Banana Record" and in fact covers their entire life span - except for the period around the last record which is a bummer is you ask me. I know close to nothing about that part and to me stuff like that would have been interesting to dig into; it's an obscure period (both John Cale and Lou Reed had gone by that time) as it's basically uncharted waters. Everyone just wanna talk about the Reed/Cale/Nico period. Oh well, some other time, some other documentary film I guess (if I were a docu film maker I would make a film ONLY about that last record. LOL).

Cale and Reed are nowhere to be seen but Maureen Tucker is here and that's good enough. Doug Yule who replaced John Cale and later took up singing on the last record (after Lou Reed left) is also interviewed in great detail. One aspect of the film that I really like (as in REALLY REALLY like!!) is that the director avoided having other contemporary big-shots blabber about how "awesome" the VU were. Most rock documentary directors usually make sure to include at least a handful of comments from "celebs". I'm sure Tom Barber could have had the singer from Pearl Jam or Kid Rock tell us how much the VU means to them. Thank gawd he stirred away from that.

Both versions are available from Amazon UK and according to customer comments the two DVDs carry the exact same contents including extras. The Vanishing Point version is the cheaper one and it has a better cover (if you ask me). Go here: Vanishing Point and Under Review.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CritCon's FRED ADELMAN dies (updated!)

EDIT (September 22, 2012)
I'm not really sure what to say - but I guess I'll have to say SOMETHING.

Uhh, it seems FRED ADELMAN... isn't dead after all.

I've known about it for quite some time but didn't know what the fuck to say about it all. It's thee most bizarre situation ever. A couple of years back, Fred sent me a PM on facebook, or rather I wrote to him first and asked how he was. He had made a comment in a FB thread about how he didn't need his huge VHS collection "where he was going". I wrote and asked him about it and he said he was ill and didn't have all that much time left. So when he disappeared from FB for a couple of months at the end of last year (2011) I expected the worst.

And then someone logged into Fred's profile and introduced himself as an old childhood friend of Fred. And he said Fred had passed away. Given Fred's illness I wasn't surprised. Saddened, but not surprised. I wrote the obituary and posted it here and on my other blog. A few months passed and then... someone over on DVDMANIACS film message board (where Fred used to hang out in the old days) posted something that was quite a shock to everyone: Someone was posting on Fred's film site, CRITICAL CONDITION, and ... apparently, it was Fred!! You can read Fred's story about what happened on page 3 of the Letters' page section (I can't link directly to it so you'll just have to find it. Search "Facebook" on the page).

Apparently, that person who posted about Fred's passing was a hacker. I'm not at all sure what he wanted. To mess up Fred's life because he had a grudge against him? Or maybe to get money out of it? Or another reason maybe? But in any case, Fred is "again" among the living and hurrah for that. He's no longer on FB or anywhere else in Cyberspace except on his website. I must admit I was quite confused by it all when it went on. There was a long thread about it all on DVDMANIACS and a lot of crappy stuff was said (by others). Again, I admit I expressed bewilderment over the whole situation but I never spoke badly of Fred nor would I want to. I'm happy he's still among the living and happy that he's well enough to write again. Check his updates in the BIASED MUSINGS OF ANYTHING ON MY MIND section (direct link). Fred is usually an interesting read when he writes about films and stuff (he also talks about the recent situation in that section). I wish him well and all the best.

Hmmm, and I'm not quite sure if I ought to remove the obituary or not - but I think I'll leave it - otherwise this new edit would seem rather strange for new readers. Argh!


[the original obituary from 14 Febuary 2012]

A number of the reviews I've used on my other site "When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines" were written by FRED ADELMAN. Originally Fred wrote them for his long-running on-line zine/review site CRITICAL CONDITION but Fred always said I could pick and choose whatever reviews I wanted from his site and use them there. Fred said that the more people who discovered these films the better. And I couldn't agree more.

Unfortunately, there won't be any new reviews. Yesterday, I learnt that Fred passed away last month. I knew Fred was ill, in fact almost two years ago he told me he suffered from a terminal illness. And yet you still don't expect these things to happen. People you know aren't supposed to die. This is sad beyond belief.

Fred watched many action and horror moves but in contradiction to so many other genre film fans Fred also seeked out his thrills in "unusual" territories. He had discovered the Filipino films long before I did. I mean a loooong time before I did! On his site he made a special section dedicated to Cirio H. Santiago film. Fred's reviews have always been thoroughly written and full of detailed info.

Yes, this site is all about violent movies but it still doesn't prepare you for the harsh realities. Before he got ill Fred was in law enforcement; he was a crime scene investigator and a few years ago I asked him about his thoughts on these violent Filipino war movies; He said there was no connection. These films aren't real, he said. I remember he said that if the smell of blood would be something you could actually smell when you watch a gory film then most people would stop watching them because it's simply a disgusting smell. But, anyhow, that was then. This is now, and now Fred isn't here any more.

I never met Fred in person as I live across a big ocean from where he was but I knew him for a long time thru Dvdmaniacs film forum and later via Facebook. Anybody who got into a verbal fight with Fred soon discovered he was a hard-ass. He took no prisoners. But if you were his buddy he was the nicest guy around. One time he sent me a pile of rare Filipino and Indo films on DVD-R and asked nothing in return. Fred's zine Critical Condition (CritCon for short) ran from the early 80s and all the way until he passed away (originally as a real print zine and later as an on-line review site). It's highly recommended. But, of course, looking at it now is sad. It's all Fred. And Fred isn't here anymore.

Rest in piece, my friend.

Also check Andy Copp's good post about Fred here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Black Cat is a many spendoured thing in many different shapes and forms

I've just won two different versions of Stephen Shin's cool Hong Kong film BLACK CAT from 1991. The very first time I watched the movie was at a Chinetown cinema in Melbourne in the early to mid 1990s. Needless to say, I loved it right away and still do.

As I'm sure you know it's a remake of Luc Besson's French movie NIKITA. It was also remade in the US as an okay film and then later also as an awful TV series and I believe they've even made yet a new (different) TV series, also in the US. I love the French movie but I actually think the HK remake is the better film!

In contradiction to the original film the HK movie spawned no less than three sequels. When I initially got the film on home cinema format it was a 3rd or 4th generation VHS dupe off a Mandarin dubbed print. It was problematic as some of the scenes in the original Cantonese print are spoken in English (these scenes don't have English subs); In the Mandarin dub they dubbed both the Cantonese and English scenes into Mandarin but obviously didn't provide English subs for the now non English spoken scenes (since it was for the Chinese Mandarin market).

Later I got hold of a VHS dupe off the Dutch video tape (dubbed entirely into English) and it's this tape that I've now won an original copy of. Winning bid: 99 pence!! (i.e. one dollar and 53 cents!!). The second version that I won is the HK laserdisc. xD

The first time I actually bought an original release was in the early 2000s when I bought a VCD from a second-hand video store in Copenhagen; Someone has handed in a box of HK films on VCD. They weren't HK VCDs mind you and to this day I still have no idea as to where they were released. China or Taiwan probably. There's no English text or titles on the cases and some of them had crappy quality. I remember showing the BLACK CAT VCD to a couple of friends at a video night shortly after and towards the end of the film the bloody VCD just froze and despite several attempts it wouldn't finish. Terrible! Haha.

Obviously BLACK CAT is easy to get on DVD nowadays but it's fun to collect these different releases.

PS: I linked to the HKMDB in the above but it's merely so you can check the film's info, who's in it, etc. I'll advise you not to wast time reading their reviews, unless you want a good laugh. I love the HKMDB for their film info but it seems to me most of them don't actually like HK movies at all. Very strange when you consider it's a HK film data base!! 99% of the reviews of BLACK CAT are 100% negative. I mean... they're so negative it's to the point of being ridiculously funny. Why do they even bother to watch HK films when they obviously don't like them. This isn't a response spurred by this one movie, it's something I've notice for quite some time.

Probably the funniest of these almost aggressively negative reviews:

Embarrassing to watch. This movie doesn't seem like much more than an opportunity for the camera to drool over Jade Leung. We get lots of running shots for maximum jiggle, there's a wet t-shirt scene when she's inexplicably sprayed down by a fire hose even though she's changed to the wall, there's the full backal nudity, and of course the whole thing is shot through with her being sadistically beaten. It's like some thirteen year old boy's wet dream.

And for what? A boring movie that leaves logic on the cutting room floor. I watched this for the first time several years ago and thought it was bad. I decided to give it a second chance last night. My mistake. They should bury this in a cave in one of those mountains next to Manhattan.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Oh Pam

Here's an unlisted YouTube clip from Shout! Factory from their new DVD release of THE ARENA which stars Pam Grier! Niiice!! The film is part of Shout's LETHAL LADIES Vol. 2 set, the other two films are Cirio H. Santiago's rarely seen COVER GIRL MODELS and FLY ME. I cry every morning when I discover I still haven't received the box from Amazon. :(