Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Corpse of Anna Fritz

Spain (2015)
Spanish title: El Cadáver de Anna Fritz
Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens
Reviewed release: blu-ray, Njuta Films (Sweden) Spanish audio w/subs in DK/S/N/FI (no Eng. subs)

I've got the flu and I'm sick as a dog. But I still managed to watch THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ and what a great little horror flick it turned out to be. A dead (hot and female) movie celeb begins her last journey to the local morgue. Unfortunately for her the morgue assistant and his two friends have the hots for this particular celeb, and while they're messed up on booze and drugs it becomes less apparent to them that she's, well, dead. They reckon she's nude and willing. The night doesn't quite turn out the way they expected in their messed up stupor. 
Unfortunately, I missed the film when it screened at the local horror film festival, "Bloody Weekend", in 2015 but the good people at Njuta Films have put it out on a spiffy blu-ray. Incidentally, the 2015 Bloody Weekend festival screened not one but two dead woman in the morgue flicks; The other one being THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE*. If I had to choose between the two I'm afraid AUTOPSY comes up tops, however, as I said CORPSE is still a highly enjoyable ride. Recommended.

*Edit: it may have been the flu talking! The Autopsy of Jane Doe was screened at the 2017 festival, not in 2015. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Last Hunter

Italy/Philippines (1980)
Italian title: L'Ultimo Cacciatore
Director: Antonio Margheriti (as Anthony M. Dawson)
Reviewed release: Code Red blu-ray (2016)
Cast: David Warbeck, Tisa Farrow, Tony King, John Steiner, Bobby Rhodes, Margi Eveline Newton, Massimo Vanni, Alan Collins, Dino Conti, Gianfranco Moroni, Edourado Margheriti, Jim Gaines, Ron/Romano Kristoff

Antonio Margheriti's THE LAST HUNTER is without a doubt one of my favourite Vietnam War flicks from the Philippines. Well, from any country actually. I rewatched the film recently on the cool reg. 1 DVD from Dark Sky that I bought a couple of years back. The presentation was as awesome as I remembered it. Cool picture quality, anamorphic letterbox and cool extras. Well, I've just got hold of Code Red's blu-ray (that came out in 2016) and it basically blows the DVD out of the water! The picture quality is that good!

THE PLOT. David Warbeck's character is an ex-draft card burner who's now fighting the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War. He gets assigned to go deep into territory behind enemy lines to blow up a radio transmitter. To help him on the journey he hooks up with a group of badass tough guys, Tony King, Bobby Rhodes, Edourado Margheriti (Antonio's son)  - and a female reporter that they're assigned to escort thru the jungle. She's played by Tisa Farrow. And yeah she's Mia Farrow's lesser known sister. She was also in a few other legendary Italian genre films among others ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS (Zombi 2) and BLAZING MAGNUM (Una magnum special per Tony Saitta). According to Wiki THE LAST HUNTER was her last film. She's dubbed in the film for some reason.

Anhoo, the road thru the Viet Cong jungle is paved with death and gore (old-skool practical effects fortunately!). At some point they make it to an American division located in a cave in a mountain. The commander is John Steiner who is always great fun to watch in Italian genre films (the blu-ray has a new interview with him and Tony King). At some point the cave is attacked by the evil VC but Warbeck's character makes an escape. He thinks his friends are all dead but, well, that would be a spoiler if I told you. Enough plot details. THE LAST HUNTER is full of shootings, violence, gore, and action.

Margheriti made two Vietnam War movies that star Warbeck (he made more than two Vietnam War flicks but, alas, the rest sans Warbeck). The other one is TIGER JOE which, unfortunately, hasn't been released on neither DVD nor blu-ray (the fully letterboxed Japanese VHS is currently the best release anywhere). THE LAST HUNTER is the better of the two films, though.

I highly recommend the new Code Red blu-ray but if you either stumble over the Dark Sky DVD on the cheap - or you just have money to burn I highly recommend you get hold of the DVD as well as it has a pretty good doc presented by Antonio Margheriti's son Edourado Marghetti. Filipino film regulars Jim Gaines and Ron Kristoff are also in the film but uncredited.

PS: John Steiner is now a real estate agent in California. Check out his website here.

Danish trailer:

Danish ad-mat:

THE LAST HUNTER played in Denmark as "Junglebrigaden".

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Field of Fire

Philippines/USA (1990)
Direted by: Cirio H. Santiago
Cast: DAvid Carradine, Eb Lottimer, Henry Strzalkowski, Jim Moss, Ken Metcalfe, Steve Rogers
Version reviewed: PAL VHS (CIC Video, Denmark), fullscreen, English audio, Danish subs

Two days ago I watched Santiago's BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY (check my review) and afterwards I checked the film's trailer on YouTube. The trailer's uploader commented that BEYOND uses leftover footage from another Cirio H. Santiago directed movie called FIELD OF FIRE. Later that day I mentioned this on the When the Vietnam War Raged... facebook page and Eric Spudic commented: "FOF is personally my favorite Cirio Santiago film. I've seen it probably 20 times." Woah! I knew I had to try and get hold of the film after this recommendation! ... And then it dawned on me that I had the very same film sitting on one of the shelves at my private grindhouse video cinema ("grindhouse" cos some of those video tapes sure are worn!). And I checked if I'd posted about the film on this blog before and discovered that I posted about having bought the tape ... bloody eight years ago!!!

Vietnam. A new type of military fighter plane is shot down over enemy lines. One pilot dies, the other gets away but is shot in the leg. At the US military base head honcho David Carradine rounds up his most hardcore badass men and informs them they have to go and get the pilot out as "he's a walking encyclopedia" in regards to the new type of plane. The Viet Cong simply aren't allowed to get him first.

The lead from BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY, Eb Lottimer, and his right hand from that film, top notch Filipino actor Henry Strzalkowsk, and a bunch of other guys, pack their gear and set off for the jungle once again (without Carradine. David is in the film for about 10 minutes or so even tho it's his mug plastered all over the front cover, and his name - the only actor's name - is written in huge capital letters. He sure was a selling point!). Little do they know that the evil Viet Cong are aware of every step they take as the VC's got a man on the inside of the US camp. From here on and for the remaining duration of the film it's one long and highly entertaining tour de force thru the jungle to find and get the wounded pilot out of there.

Will they succeed? Will they survive? And is David Carradine gonna do any of his "slowmotion kung-fu"? I urge you to track down FIELD OF FIRE and find out!

Lemme say it right off the bat, I fully agree with Eric Spudic! This is one muther of an entertaining flick!! And after BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY I kinda needed that. I must admit I thought BEYOND was kinda lame (except for the last 20 minutes. See review from two days ago).

I haven't been able to find a DVD or a blu-ray so I reckon there probably aren't any. Boo-hoo! This needs a proper release on a shiny coaster. I highly recommend you find a VHS or a download of this and watch it right away.

For more company and cast info: Check Andrew Leavold's blog
For more detailed review: Check CritCon

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Beyond the Call of Duty

Philippines/USA (1991)
Dir: Cirio H. Santiago
Cast: Jan-Michael Vincent, Eb Lottimer, Jillian McWhirter, Vic Trevino, Henry Strzalkowski, Nick Nicholson, Steve Rogers, Mike Monty, Vic Diaz
Version reviewed: Reg. 1 DVD (New Concorde) fullscreen, English audio, no subs. 
Extras: three trailers

It seems the pile of Cirio H. Santiago films is a treasure trove that just keeps giving. You close your eyes, reach out and grab something. You hope for a beer, a peach or a boob but most of the time what you get is yet another Santiago flick that you haven't seen, hahaha.

Vietnam 1975. The war is coming to an end. When our film begins the Americans are pulling out. We get about 25 minutes of fighting, shooting, and then some more fighting. Scenes that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Towards the end of the 25 minutes of people jumping, falling, shooting, etc. I kept thinking this was probably the most disjointed film I'd seen. But then ... the plot actually began! The first 25 minutes were just, kinda, the intro.

An American patrol boat and its crew has just left the shore. They are on their way home when they get a radio call to come back to pick up an ex military guy who happens to be a war hero. At the same time a female journalist is trying to find said war hero but is chased thru the streets by angry Vietnamese men. They're not Viet Cong or anything they're just angry (it's one of those things. It just does not make sense).

She comes across a church and decides to hide in there. Incidentally, a nun is holing up in there with a bunch of American bastards, haha. I'm not being derogatory here, they really are bastards as they're the outcome of American soldiers having had fun with Vietnamese women. And now the nun tries to hide these half-breeds cos the Vietnamese don't take kindly to these kids of half American origin. To cut to the chase; the journalist and the war hero both get on the patrol boat and from then on the film is one lone ride to get thru dangerous Viet Cong controlled waters. Lots of shootings. Lots of ducking. Lots of sailing, and more shootings and ducking. And at some point they get to a heavily guarded bridge. Oh, what to do now?

BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY is by no means a great film. If Cirio H. Santiago had cut out the first 25 minutes it could have become a decent film. Now it's an okay...ish film. The final 20 minutes are what saves the film but it's still no masterpiece by anybody's standards.

There's quite a few familiar faces throughout the film; Nick Nicholson  is there, he even has a bit of dialogue this time around, and so is Steve Rogers, Mike Monty and Vic Diaz. The latter two are in the movie for 1-2 minutes each. What a waste. Henry Strzalkowski has lots of scenes and dialogue. There's probably some more I didn't recognise.

One of the main characters is played by Jan-Michael Vincent. Unfortunately, he's not too well these days. The hero is played by Eb Lottimer and the female journo by Jillian McWhirter. She has the screen personality of a fruit basket I'm sorry to say. She was in (at least) three Santiago films; this one, DUNE WARRIOR and STRANGEHOLD. Later she was in the truly unpleasant American horror movie THE DENTIST 2 (1998) (I'm not saying that in a bad way. I quite like horror flicks but I hate going to the dentist's and I find the two THE DENTIST movies some of thee most unpleasant horror films out there to sit thru!). She's dropped completely off the radar by now.

I found a trailer for the film on YouTube (unfortunately in the wrong aspect ratio, someone had changed the correct fullscreen picture to 16:9 widescreen, so I'm not gonna bother linking to it here) and the uploader pointed out that many of the scenes in BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY are from another film (also by Santiago and from the same year) entitled FIELD OF FIRE (1991). I think I might have FIELD on VHS somewhere but I haven't actually watched it. It stars David Carradine and Eb Lottimer (check credits on Andrew Leavold's blog).

The DVD from New Concorde is serviceable - at least it looks slightly better than video. Part of the "American Valor" (sigh) DVD series.

The IMDb states the film is from 1992 but the print clearly says 1991.

PS: sorry about the glare from the window in my house. The DVD picture looks better than the pix in this post. 


Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cyberspace graveyard

I complain about a lack of hits on this ol'e blog but I'm no better myself. A minute ago I wanted to check something on Jayson Kennedy's awesome blog, Basement of Ghoulish Decadence, and not only do I discover the blog is now gone ... but that it went into the abyss almost two years ago! And I didn't even notice!! Argh!!!

In fact, every time I check out old blogs on my blog-roll I discover a bunch of them have died. Some of them are gone and a lot of them are floating aimlessly in Cyberspace like old dead Russian Mir space stations. Cyberspace has become a blog graveyard.

The truth of the matter is I hardly check blogs myself these days. I keep thinking I ought to get back into blogging, reading and writing. But then again, I often tend to think, "what's the purpose, nobody's reading this shit anyway - blogs are dead".

It was fun as long as it lasted. To me the world of cool film blogs probably had a 7-8 year lifespan and then went the same way as message boards; Into the fucking abyss. But even if I'm not here all that much I still do write; I'm working on a new issue of my old zine, STAY SICK! but most of you won't care as it's all in Greek (or Dutch or whatever the hell they speak on these shores that I'm squatting on). Anyhoo, I hope Jayson Kennedy is well and doing fantastic in whatever he's doing out there now.

I'll try and update here once in a while just for old times' sake. I'd hate to kill this place or even take it down. Man, En Lejemorder Ser Tilbage has been running since 2007!

You can still read the old posts on Basement of Ghoulish Decadence via Waybackmachine. Here's a direct link to the very last saved date (June 8. 2016).  

Friday, June 29, 2018

Klaus Lemke NIGHT on Tele5

Tele 5 is screening a night of KLAUS LEMKE films on Monday (including MAKING JUDITH which isn't available anywhere else).

Lemke has been making guerrilla style movies outside the ordinary film industry in Germany for the past 50 years. He's 77 years old and still more modern and fresh than any other contemporary German film director. He doesn't make action films, just films about young people that aren't set in their ways (young as old farts bore him). He's completely unknown outside the German speaking area. I'll be having my dvd recorder ready on Monday - that you can bite into your own nose at (see, you even learn Danish 1970s slang gobbling up my prose, dig).

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Filipino remake of John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW on the olde tube again!

EDIT: (9.5.21)
And... it's gone again. Some CUNT in Italy with a BOGUS one man company made a claim on the film on YouTube and the equally cunty cunts at YT removed the film. I complained to the YouTube monkeys and I wrote to the Italian dickhead but was altogether ignored by the bastards. This was a couple months back and last night I tried to upload the film again but it was removed right away. At some point I'll probably try and upload it somewhere else.

It's annoyed me for ages that the Filipino remake of A BETTER TOMORROW (HK, 1986) got deleted from YouTube so now I've uploaded the fucker myself! Hardly anybody knows about this entertaining remake, and Wiki completely ignores the film even though they have a section of ABT remakes! And no, I'm not gonna try and update their page. The people who run Wiki are weird and odd creatures. Years ago I tried to add Turkish remakes but they kept deleting my info. Oh well, fuck 'em! Here's a link to my old info filled post about FILIPINO A BETTER TOMORROW.

Monday, March 19, 2018

ASIAN CINEMA TAKEOUT fanzine No. 1 out now!

My buddy David K and Jessie Midnitecrawlr have just published the first issue of a new review fanzine on Asian cinema entitled ASIAN CINEMA TAKEOUT! I'm on board as a writer and there's a bunch of other spiffy folks there as well. The zine is 20pp and it's scheduled to get released every two months.

Apart from a limited print edition exclusively for the fanzine's writers, the mag is going to be purely a gratis print-on-demand zine; In other words you print your own edition. For free. Either that or download and read it as a PDF file.

To download/print go here.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

WASHING MACHINE aka Vortice Mortale (Ruggero Daodato, Italy-France-Hungary, 1993)

"It's a unique packaging, coupled with the fact that the film is not officially available anywhere else in the world..."
[Shameless lies, I mean Films]

Funny how I've just been able to watch this film on official DVD from Thailand. Released in 2003.

Here's a link to Jason Meredith's incisive review (funnily enough he also posted about the official Thai DVD that Shameless claims doesn't exist!).

PS: no, the film isn't blue. Apparently, my cheap-ass camera is only able the zoom in on one object and get its colours right!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Ho Meng-Hua's BLACK MAGIC 2 coming to blu-ray soon

Woah!!! Ho Meng-Hua's BLACK MAGIC, PART 2 is being released on blu-ray! This is one of my all time fave HK horror flicks. Dark and wild. DARK AND WILD!!! Part one is good but this is way better! It took years and years of waiting to get to see this. It never received a release in any format in HK. There was ONE vhs release in the USA - cut beyond belief (missing ten minutes). Eventually they put out a reg. 1 dvd.

Film credits on HKMDB

From 88 Films in the UK.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

MÄDCHEN MIT GEWALT (Roger Fritz, West Germany, 1970)

A great night in front of German television for sure! Tonight, a local German tv station (WDR) screened Roger Fritz' MÄDCHEN MIT GEWALT for the first time ever. Made in 1970 but considered so crass it's NEVER been screened on tv before. Tonight was its tv debut. 48 years after its cinematic premiere. WDR is screening two new (from 2016 and '17) cinema docs about West German genre films from the 70s ("Verfluchte Liebe Deutscher Film" and "Offene Wunde Deutsche Filme") and some of the genre films mentioned in the docs are screened as well during the next two weeks. Last night they ran Klaus Lemke's "Brandstifter" (1969) and next week they're showing stuff like Wolfgang Petersen's "Smog" (1973). 

 It was mentioned in one of the docs that Sam Peckinpah ordered a screening of "Mädchen mit Gewalt" before he made "Straw Dogs". "Mädchen mit Gewalt" is a rape drama that takes place in the duration of just one day. Sometimes these films are mere wank fantasises but this one was great. Great acting, great dialogue, crude, violent, and yet no cartoon characters. And the ending is nowhere to be found in a Hollywood film. 

Subkulture Entertainment in Germany has put it out on an English subbed dvd (no idea how good the subs are though, I hear their "Blutiger Freitag" aka "Bloody Friday" subs sucked ass).

EDIT: Jared Auner of Mondo Macabro and Worldweird blog just told me he's going to do the English subs for upcoming releases from Subkulture Entertainment. Very cool news indeed!

Subkultur on facebook

Subkultur's website

Friday, February 16, 2018

Richard Kern, Lung Leg, Dave K, zines from last year and yesteryear

Recently, I received David K's (sometimes Dave K) oneshot fanzine from last year, Fiendish. Thanks, David (and thanks for the mention). David does the A Fiend on Film channel on YouTube. Cool stuff, check it out, paesano! Last night I read his article on the complete blu-ray release of Richard Kern's 1980s underground films from New York entitled "Hardcore". Good stuff.

I watched some of Kern's stuff via 4th or 5th generation VHS dupes back in the 90s and always dreamed of having lived in NY in the 80s - and to have hung out with the likes of Lydia Lunch, haha. (don't mention it, no, I'm sure it wasn't as cool to actually have been there as it is to watch the flicks). Funnily enough, David mentions that if he'd seen Lung Leg (from Kern's films) back then he would probably have fallen in love. I can understand why. Fucked up and yet so attractive. The irony is whereas I wished I'd been in NY in the dark and gloomy 1980s David K was actually there ... and missed the whole thing. Well, the Richard Kern underground thing that is. Oh well, that's how life goes sometimes. In regards to Lung Leg here's something I don't think I've ever mentioned on this blog or elsewhere;

I published my first fanzine in 1994, Banned in Britain #1.  Then at some stage in the latter part of said decade I received an e-mail from someone in the States. I forget his name. My zine was distributed by people in the UK, Norway (Thomas Eikrem's Rage distro), and Denmark. But never in the US. But even so by the end of the 90s he'd gotten hold of a copy of that long gone debut issue, and he sent me an article about Lung Leg. By that time she had completely disappeared off the face of the Earth. Or at least disappeared from the New York underground scene and the people who monitored it.

It was a well written article. And that was about it. I never heard from him again. I was slow at getting my arse in gear and putting out the next issue of Banned in Britain. Didn't happen till 2004 and by then I'd completely forgotten about the article. A couple of years back I remembered it and did a Google search and found out that not only had Lung Leg returned from whatever dark, damp, dank hideout she'd been holed up in, but she'd even been in some new horor flick. Well, as The Cramps might or might not have said; that's the way the flop mops sometimes. 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Scala Cinema Club - THE BOOK!!!

Yours truly with one of my original
programmes from the Scala Cinema Club
The legendary SCALA CINEMA CLUB in London existed for 15 years (1978-93). Out of those 15 I was a regular for three years (1988-90) and what can I say. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I had wonderful all-nighters at the Scala but I also had crappy work at bloody 8 in the morning on Sunday mornings for a full year, haha. I miss the Scala. I'm sure other regulars do too.
My entire collection of original Scala Cinema programme posters - zept for one!
The good people at Fab Press (genre book publishing house run by the old fanzine editor Harvey Fenton) are gonna publish the most fab book in the history of publishing. This is what Gutenberg invented the book format for. Well, that is... if enough people wish to support the book! It's a crowd funding project. 

Check out the video (at the bottom of this post) and their funding page (here) that has more info that I could be arsed to repeat here. I'm gonna be in on this. I couldn't care less for tote bags or badges etc etc so I'll go for the cheap edition.
The back of the posters have info and brief plot descriptions of the films
But still. 400 pages and reprints of ALL programme posters. Wauw! (I've still got 10 of the from back then). Long live the Scala Cinema Club (even if they've been gone for 25 yrs by now!).

FAB Scala Crowdfunding Video from NucleusFilms on Vimeo.

Today's writing tip

If you wish to write successfully it's a brill idea to be in the vicinity of:

 1) Strong coffee
 2) A guy called James.

 In fact, get two James while you're at it!