Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Comments section off for a few days...

I posted about an increasing amount of SPAM on this blog recently, and unfortunately it's getting
worse by the minute (almost).

The spammers are all posting the same text but from different blogger profiles. I've got the filter up and even the word recognition thingy now. And yet it doesn't seem to do much in reg. to preventing the SPAMMY SPAM. So I'm going to try and switch off the comments section for a few days and see if that has any effect. Who knows what'll work against these auto-spammer robots!? 

Needless to say, it means YOU (yes, you) can't post comments. Sorry about that. I'll open up for comments in a couple of days or so.

Edit: Comments section is open again...

Sunday, 7 June 2020

MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND - trailer

Philippines/USA (1968)
aka Tomb of the Living Dead (UK VHS)
aka Skrækkens blodige ø (Denmark VHS)
Directed by: Gerardo de Leon & Eddie Romero

Original trailer in its original aspect ratio (although there's been a LOT of debate over the aspect ratio of the three "Blood Island" films). (HD 1080p)


CURSE OF THE VAMPIRES - trailer

Philippines/USA (1966)
aka Blood of the vampires, 
aka Creatures of Evil (UK),
aka Vampyrernes forbandelse (Denmark) 
Directed by: Gerardo de Leon

Original trailer in it's original aspect ratio and pretty worn after having been played at hundreds of drive-ins (I assume). The video quality is top notch, though; HD (1080p)




CURSE OF THE VAMPIRES is great! I highly recommend you check out Andrew Leavold's reveiw here.

STRYKER - trailer

Philippines/USA (1983)
Directed by: Cirio H. Santago

Original trailer in original aspect ratio and HD (1080p)


BRAIN OF BLOOD - trailer

Philippines/USA (1971)
Directed by: Eddie Ro... no, wait... it's... Al Adamson! 

Original trailer in original aspect ratio and HD (1080p)



Hemisphere Pictures produced the original three Blood Island films (four, if you count TERROR IS A MAN), and they wanted to do one more film. However, for reasons that I'm not completely familiar with they had already left the Philippines and gone back to the States. So instead of Eddie Romero or Gerardo de Leon they hired Al Adamson to make a "Filipino" film with a monster and "blood" in the title!!

Did they fool anybody to think this really was a Filipino film? Not in a million years! But the film is still good fun and entertaining. But don't tell anybody I said that!

WHEELS OF FIRE - trailer

Philippines/USA (1985)
Directed by: Cirio H. Santiago

Original trailer in original aspect ratio and HD (1080p)


BLACK MAMA, WHITE MAMA - trailer

Philippines/USA (1973)
aka Flugten fra fangelejren (Denmark)
Directed by: Eddie Romero

Original trailer in HD (1080p)


TERROR IS A MAN - trailer

Philippines/USA (1959)
aka BLOOD CREATURE
Directed by: Gerardo de Leon
Danish babe: Greta Thyssen
More credits and info on Andrew Leavold's blog


Original trailer in original aspect ratio and HD (1080p)


THE SISTERHOOD - trailer

Philippines/USA (1988)
Directed by: Cirio H. Santiago


Original full length trailer in original aspect ratio and HD (1080p)




Old short trailer in fullscreen and CD (Crap Definition)

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Sperm spam cells?

The past two weeks this blog has received at least 50 spam mails that all sound the same – but sent from different email addresses.

Now, if these daft spammers saw that their spam actually went thru to my blog I would understand their enthusiasm. But as it is their spam mails don't make it thru to this spiffy blog.

I have a spam filter. Of course I do! When you fill out the comment's section it even tells you that there's a filter. And yet these retards still keep hoping one of their dead sperm spam cells are gonna make it thru the filter. They don't and they won't!

If I were a spammer I'd probably move on to blogs/websites that don't have spam filters – but I guess that's just funny ol'e me. ROTFL


DAUGHTERS OF SATAN (USA/Philippines, 1972)


DAUGHTERS OF SATAN 
(USA/Philippines, 1972)
Director: Hollingsworth Morse

I've seen a lot of Filipino flicks but I must admit never to have come across DAUGHTERS OF SATAN before. Made as a US/Filipino coproduction in 1972 and directed by some guy called Hollingsworth Morse. The name did not ring a bell with this reviewer! A quick gander at IMDb makes me think this is probably his most interesting work. He made episodes in various TV series but nothing that stands out I'm sorry to say. I reckon this is his only horror film. 

An American businessman (played by Tom Selleck!) living with his American wife in the Philippines buys a painting from a mysterious antique dealer (played by Vic Diaz of course). The painting is 300 years old and shows three witches being burned alive. Charming picture to hang next to the dinner table! One of the witches looks exactly like his wife. The wife isn't too pleased with the purchase. She suffers from mental problems so having to look at herself being torched at the stake every day probably isn't her idea of cool interior decoration.

At some point while the husband is at work she encounters an evil dog, and an evil housekeeper turns up at her doorstep. Later there's another witch, more evil evildoers engaging in evil practices, and women getting flogged and hung over deadly iron spikes. 

DAUGHERS OF SATAN is odd and maybe it doesn't make too much sense but, hey, when was that a problem in horror movies!? I think the film is wonderfully odd and I much disagree with Ian Jane's 17 year old review from DVDManiacs (also copied by Andrew Leavold on his blog). He didn't think it was all that entertaining. Personally, I didn't look at the clock one single time throughout the film.
   
Ian Jane reviewed a UK DVD release in 2003 but I got the new (from 2018) blu-ray released by SHOUT! FACTORY. It doesn't mention if this release is sourced from a film negative or a 35mm print but it looks fabulous in any case. In contradiction to the DVD this release is in 1.85:1 widescreen. There's hardly any extras, a trailer and some still photos. The disc is subtitled in English. 

Final word: Highly recommended! (and I'd advise you get it sooner rather than later. These things have a tendency to go out of print fairly quickly these days). 

Apparently, the film played at US cinemas on a double bill with another US/Filipino production, SUPERBEAST. The trailer is for this double bill and SHOUT! have released both films on blu-ray (I own a terrible shit looking, censored bootleg DVD from ZDD. Needless to say, I have ordered the new blu-ray of SUPERBEAST but I reckon it's most likely stuck somewhere in traffic as so much stuff seems to be during these weird times we live in).



Trailer:

 

Friday, 29 May 2020

RED SPELL SPELLS RED (HK 1983) - full film



Thanks to 劉天賦 for making me aware of the YouTube upload.

Check credits and info about the film in this post.


Poster (Thailand)


Full films?

I  didn't use to want to post full films on his blog, or any of my other blogs. But I've had a change of heart. Nowadays I don't mind posting full films on my blog when we're talking old RARE films that their copyright holders don't care enough about to keep available to the public (new films that are in print is a different matter!). Gone are the days when a film was gone because nobody wanted to re-release it. The internet is almost PUNK in that regard. "You're telling us we can't watch these old film? Wrong! Here it is, on YouTube, on blogs, in Cyberspace!"

Check the post after this one; It's the full upload of RED SPELL SPELLS RED. Wild HK cinema from the early 80s. Also, check the the bar to the right where you can find a list of the full films on this blog (I should point out they're not uploaded to this blog but on YouTube. And I'm not the uploader!).


Saturday, 23 May 2020

JUNGLE HEAT aka LAST BREATH - trailer for rare Thai version



LAST BREATH (Lee Ho/Jobic Wong, Taiwan, 1985) aka JUNGLE HEAT

There are four different edits of LAST BREATH: 

1. The original Taiwan version (also released in HK - released on HK VHS and US Chinatown VHS)
2. The international version entitled JUNGLE HEAT (alternative footage - released on various uncut VHS tapes, the best one being the Japanese VHS: uncut + letterboxed. The German and UK dvd's are cut!!!)
3. A censored version for Mainland China (cut for violence but includes some alternative footage - released on VCD)
4. A version made for Thailand - which has extra footage with Thai actor Sorapong Chatree (I'm going by the trailer and the Thai film poster here as the film itself hasn't been released to home video afaik).

I'm told a 16mm copy of the Thai version is stored in the Thai film archive. Hopefully, somebody will release it to blu-ray or streaming at some point.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Greta Thyssen interview (2010)


I recently posted about a Greta Thyssen interview that never took place (see post here) and quote from an interview that did take place. Unfortunately, they didn't talk much about Greta's role in Filipino film (hence her being of interest to this blog dedicated to obscure Asian cinema) in said interview (from 2010), and that short part was all I quoted. I suggested to the reader that he click a certain direct link if he wanted to read the interveiw in full. But come to think of it, everything has a tendency of disappearing from Cyberspace, so I might as well copy-paste the full interview to this ol'd blog. So here you go, Greta Thyssen talking to Mark Voger/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com in 2010.





Three Stooges' final leading lady, Greta Thyssen

(Updated April 1, 2019. Posted June 18, 2010)

by Mark Voger/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Many distinctions dot the career of actress Greta Thyssen, a former Miss Denmark who once doubled for Marilyn Monroe. But one in particular is doted on by fans of the slapstick trio the Three Stooges.
Thyssen is the leading lady in the 190th -- and final -- Stooges short ever released.
In "Sappy Bullfighters" (1959), Thyssen performs classic bedroom farce with the boys. The blond beauty also tried to murder the Stooges in "Quiz Whizz" and teach them manners in "Pies and Guys" (both 1958).

All three Stooges shorts with Thyssen can be seen on the new DVD set "The Three Stooges Collection Volume Eight: 1955-1959." Thyssen, who is at work on a forthcoming blog, was reached at her New York home on Saturday.
Q: When you first came to Hollywood from Denmark, did you have jobs lined up?
A: I got, I think it was, a six-month contract with MGM, even though it was the end of their big moviemaking days. So they didn't really do anything with me, and allowed me to work outside. I got offers for certain things, and I did them.
Q: How was your English when you first came over?
A: Oh, I had an accent, I guess, yeah. I still have an accent. Sure.
Q: But was it tough learning scripts in another language?
A: No, not at all. It has nothing to do with accents. It has to do with what kind of memory you have. When I began to do summer stock, often people would say, "You don't have an accent when you speak the lines." It would go away many times. But of course, I've never gotten rid of it. I never even tried to get rid of it, which I should have done.

Q: You made your film debut in "Bus Stop" (1956), and you doubled for Marilyn Monroe. Did you get to know Marilyn a little?
A: Yes, I did. And that was a time when they were really hard on her. I felt so upset for her, because everybody was speaking behind her back.
Q: In "Terror is a Man" (1959), a neat horror film, you played the wife of Francis Lederer. How do you recall that experience?
A: Well, I had to go all the way to the Philippines, so I flew there. At that time, I was married, so it was a little hard. But it was fine. He (Lederer) was nice and charming. I had a good time. It was very warm, I remember.
Q: A DVD set is out containing the three shorts you filmed with the Three Stooges. In "Pies and Guys," you received a pie in the face, which some would deem an honor. How did you respond?
A: Actually, I totally have forgotten it, so I can't tell you what it felt like. I really have forgotten it. I probably didn't like it at all, I would think.

Q: How did you keep a straight face when the boys were wearing those ridiculous "Little Lord Fauntleroy" costumes?
A: Well, first of all, when you're an actress, you're not supposed to laugh in the middle of it. So I kept my cool.
Q: You towered over those guys, which made it funny. They were not tall men, and you were, or should I say are, a tall woman.
A: No, I'm not so tall any more (laughs).
Q: What kind of working chemistry did you have with the Stooges? Were they generous to you?
A: Well, they were fine, yes. But I wasn't that interested in it. I didn't quite understand that those kind of shorts would later be so admired and loved. I didn't know that at the time. I didn't know anything about it, really, to tell you the truth. I just was offered the job, because they wanted to start, again, doing "Stooges." So there was a new producer and it was a new time. I think the original ones -- weren't they in the '30s?

Q: Yes, they were.
A: Yeah. So this was new.
Q: Could you talk about the art of comedic timing? You were working with three great screen comedians, and holding your own.
A: Well, as an actress, you know instinctively what to do. And so that's what I did.


At the time of posting this, the original interview is still online here /Jack

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Greta Thyssen in New York on 14. December 2012
(only public photo of her on her facebook profile)

Friday, 15 May 2020

MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED - trailer

Australia (2010)



Notice: This version of the trailer was uploaded to YouTube by Bert Spoor who was in a lot of Filipino movies.

This cool documentary film is available from several video labels. The ltd DVD from Australia has a bonus DVD with THE MUTHERS from a 35mm print. Subkultur in German has it as a bonus on their DEATH FORCE DVD/blu-ray. There are also blu-rays from Australia and the US as a double programme with ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON + there's probably more releases from other countries.

BEYOND ATLANTIS - trailer

Philippines/USA 1973
Dir: Eddie Romero


Trailer from VCI:



On DVD/BLU-RAY (combo) from VCI (USA)

BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT - trailer

Philippines/USA (1971)

Trailer from VCI:



Available on DVD/blu-ray (combo) from VCI (USA)

Thursday, 7 May 2020

BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT (PH/US, 1971)


I rewatched Eddie Romero's BEAST OF THE YELLOW NIGHT (PH/US 1971) last night. This time on blu-ray from VCI. I really like this film. Sure it's slow but so what. It's so weird and different. The main character is John Ashley but this time he's not a hero but a soulless human turned beast – spurred on by Satan himself. Vic Diaz is the devil!

 The release from VCI is a dvd/blu-ray combo pack and the transfer from a 35mm negative looks great (slightly worn but probably still heaps better than the print anybody would have seen at a drive-in back in the day).


Trailer from VCI:


GRETA THYSSEN a machete maiden – but not up for machete maiden interview

"Machete Maidens Unleashed" on
Aussie DVD. This release includes
"The Muthers" on a bonus disc
I spent the morning rewatching MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASHED. According to the commentary track they found Greta Thyssen in New York and tried to get an interview for the film. That would have been awesome. However, her agent refused to grant them one as he (and maybe Greta Thyssen as well – it's not quite clear from the commentary track) didn't like the film-makers calling TERROR IS A MAN a B-movie because **Greta wasn't a B-movie actress**. o_O
What a waste!!

I don't think she did all that many interviews. Maybe there's some in print but I've only been able to find one brief online (text) interview (see below). Having been part of this documentary film could have been her finally talking about her Filipino film making to a wide audience. 


GRETA THYSSEN INTERVIEW FROM NJ Com (2010)

Q: In "Terror is a Man" (1959), a neat horror film, you played the wife of Francis Lederer. How do you recall that experience?

Greta Thyssen: Well, I had to go all the way to the Philippines, so I flew there. At that time, I was married, so it was a little hard. But it was fine. He (Lederer) was nice and charming. I had a good time. It was very warm, I remember.

 Read the full interview here (the rest is non-TERROR IS A MAN related).  




Tuesday, 31 March 2020

The sequel to CANNIBAL MERCENARY now on YouTube

Original Thai English title: EMPLOY FOR DIE 2



I posted about CANNIBAL MERCENARY 2 years ago and eventually I got hold of the film on a video-cd from Thailand. Now somebody has actually uploaded the full film to YouTube. And they have even corrected the 4:3 fullscreen format from the VCD to letterbox. The picture looks alright.

Cannibal Mercenary 2 - video-cd (Thailand)
The film is in Thai with no subtitles. The running time is approx. 78 minutes. The first CANNIBAL MERCENARY is truly a wild and gory film and it's fun to finally be able to watch the sequel.

But let me say it right away: Don't expect the same level of insane and gory craziness! You'll be mighty disappointed. The first half of the film drags. The second half is somewhat better but it never touches the first film.

As far as I'm aware this version from Thai VCD is the only official release worldwide. Somebody put the film out as a bootleg in the USA but it's directly ported over from a VCD and they didn't bother to subtitle the film so you would be no better off getting the boot than downloading this upload.

The picture quality of the upload is only 360p but maybe that actually equals the quality of the VCD.

IMDb entry. 

Thai poster for Cannibal Mercenary 2



Friday, 27 March 2020

Severin to release the original PENGABDI SETAN (1980) on blu-ray!!!!!


On may 26 Severin are going to release Sisworo Gautama Putra's PENGABDI SETAN aka SATAN'S SLAVE on blu-ray in the USA. This is indeed fantastic news!!!

In English the film is known as SATAN'S SLAVE - not to be confused with a UK film by the same title. And not to be confused with the Indonesian remake of the same title from 2017 either! The original film is from 1980.

The ONLY English friendly release of the original 1980 film so far – worldwide – is the old long gone Brentwood bootleg DVD which was sourced from the old - also very rare – Japanese VHS tape. The tape is letterboxed and the bootleg DVD has English subtitles in the black bar.

But now... we get a blu-ray!!!!! (yes, an unheard-of number of exclamation marks – and it's indeed called for!) This is indeed great news (yes, I said that already and I'll say it sagain so you'll understand this is indeed a great piece of news!). You can preorder here.

Indonesian poster for SATAN'S SLAVE

I haven't watched the film for a long time but I remember it as being a cool watch. It's not a masterpiece by any means. However, it it's a cool worldweird horror film from a country that we don't see too many horror films from in the West.

It's a film that Jared Auner certainly would have written about on his old Worldweird Cinema blog a long time ago. Jared's last post on his blog was 9 years ago, it was partly about the (very cool) video label Mondo Macabro, and incidentally he is now with that very same label! A label that has given us quite a few cool films from worldweird territories. Hopefully, we'll see more films like that from MM and Severin.

I highly recommend you preorder/buy PENGABDI SETAN and convince the label to put more money into releases of this sort.

I'm not too fond of the cover for the upcoming release, the old Malaysian VCD cover (also used for the Japanese VHS) looks heaps better but, hey, it's just a cover. The most important thing is we get the film! xD

SPECS FOR THE UPCOMING BLU-RAY:


Disc Specs:
*Brand new scan from the original negative in Jarkarta
*Indonesian mono audio (with English subtitles)

  • Satan’s Box Office: Interview with Producer Gope T. Samtani
  • Indonesian Atmosphere: Interview with Screenwriter Imam Tantowi
  • Satan’s Slave Obsession: Audio Interview with Remake Director Joko Anwar

 
Video-cd from Malaysia (front)
VCD from Malaysia (back of cover)
VHS release from Japan (Indonesian language with Japanese subtitles in the black bar).
This version was used for Brentwood's bootleg DVD (they call
it public domain in the USA but we all know that's bullshit – it's a bootleg)

Thursday, 26 March 2020

SUPERBEAST & DAUGHTERS OF SATAN on blu-ray


Double bill trailer

I kinda forgot all about Scream Factory's DVD release of SUPERBEAST and it completely escaped my attention that they also released DAUGHTERS OF SATAN back in 2018. Both films are weird Filipino horror flicks and thus both belong on his site!

Well, actually, they are both US productions made in the Philippines but still! And also, I've just discovered that not only are have they been released on Scream Factory DVD but they're also on that thar shiny and spiffy cool format, blu-ray! Check the double bill trailer in the above.


I ordered the two films a couple of days ago but obviously I haven't got them just yet. I have an old shitty bootleg DVD of SUPERBEAST from ZDD (terrible picture quality and the print is cut, too!). I don't remember much of the film so it'll be nice to pay it a revisit. DAUGHTERS OF SATAN is new to me. Both films are from 1972.

Reviews over at DVDDRIVE-IN: SUPERBEAST and DAUGHTERS OF SATAN

For one week only: THE LAST PINOY ACTION KING



About a year ago I posted the trailer for Andrew Leavold's documentary film THE LAST PINOY ACTION KING. Now Andrew has uploaded the full doc to YouTube - for one week!

It's a quite different type documentary to his THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG in that Andrew Leavold takes a step back. Whereas he was a huge part of SEARCH on screen you don't see him at all in ACTION KING.

On the surface the film is about the Filipino action film star Rudy Fernandez but it's also about the Filipino film industry – and it's about the Philippines!

If you have an open mind for worldweird cinema (why wouldn't you!) I highly recommend this film. Go watch it before it's gone. Andrew tells me he has no idea if we'll ever see a DVD release of his film.


Andrew Leavold's intro from YouTube:

A PHILIPPINES LOCKDOWN SPECIAL PRESENTATION!
Directed by Andrew Leavold and Daniel Palisa (THE SEARCH FOR WENG WENG), this feature-length documentary - little seen since its QCinema premiere in 2015 - peeks behind the Philippines' showbiz curtain to reveal the vivid and often heartbreaking story of Junior Action King, Rudy 'Daboy' Fernandez. Executive-produced by Rap Fernandez, THE LAST PINOY ACTION KING features interviews with Gina Alajar, Nora Aunor, Amy Austria, Cecille Baun, Vicky Belo, Jose N. Carreon, Gabby Concepcion, Rez Cortez, Tirso Cruz III, Sharon Cuneta, Dingdong Dantes, Ricky Davao, Domy De Guzman, Christopher De Leon, Lav Diaz, Sunshine Dizon, Gabby Eigenmann, Jinggoy Estrada, Mark Anthony Fernandez, Merle Fernandez, Rap Fernandez, Renz Fernandez, Mario Hernando, Winnie Hollis-Reyes, Jose F. Lacaba, Ronnie Lazaro, Marichu Maceda, Edu Manzano, Baldo Marro, Leo Martinez, Robert Miller, Lily Y. Monteverde, Bibeth Orteza, Gene Padilla, Joey Padilla, Robin Padilla, George Paje, Conrado Peru, Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr, Efren Reyes Jr, Chanda Romero, Gloria Romero, Phillip Salvador, Lolit Solis, Ali Sotto, Henry Strzalkowski, Lorna Tolentino, and Edgardo Vinarao.

Friday, 17 January 2020

THE TATTOOIST (Michael Wong, China/Malaysia, 2018) Full short-film

I received this email from a young Malaysian filmmaker called Michael Wong in China in late 2018. I'm so slow at posting this he has probably already gone on to either direct feature films in China, or he's doing soap-operas in the US, or he's decided to become a plumber instead. In any case this short looks pretty great. It is, however, very... short.
/Jack J

Hello Jack,
Hope this message finds you well.
I'm a Malaysian film director currently residing in Beijing, China. I've got a directorial micro short (The Tattooist) which I would like to share with you. It's currently making its round at the horror film festival circuit and has been winning a number of accolades worldwide.
It features stellar performances from Troy's Team Action and amazing music by Found In The Attic.

[Michael Wong]




The Tattooist from Michael Wong on Vimeo.

A little slow there, eh

My apologies for being so slow at replying to comments!
For some reason I haven't received any notifications for months on end. And quite frankly I didn't check manually as I didn't think anybody commented on blog posts any more.
Thanks for your comments.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

BAMBOO GODS AND IRON MEN (Philippines, 1974)

aka BLACK KUNG FU
Alternative poster title: BAMBOO GODS & IRON MEN



Premiere Productions Inc/American International Pictures

Director Cesar Gallardo Producer Cirio H. Santiago Writers Ken Metcalfe, Joseph Zucchero Director of Photography Felipe J. Sacdalan Music Tito Sotto Editor Gervacio Santos Associate Director Jun Gallardo Art Director Ben Otico Production Manager A.R. Navarro Assistant Director Jun Amazan Aikido Intructor Omar Camar Kung Fu Instructor Jun Santos Field Soundman Willie Arce Sound Engineer Demetrio de Santos

Cast James Inglehart (Cal Jefferson), Shirley Washington (Mrs. Jefferson), Chiquito, Marissa Delgado, Eddie Garcia, Ken Metcalfe, “Joe”/Joseph M. Zucherro, Michael Boyet, Robert Rivera, "Zubas"/Subas Herrero, Leo Martinez, Benny Pestano, Steve Alcardo, Robert Picate, Boy Picate, Tony Uy*

*Cast and company credits are borrowed from Andrew Leavold's blog



BAMBOO GODS AND IRON MEN

I have a feeling everyone missed the DVD release of the Cirio H. Santiago produced BAMBOO GODS AND IRON MEN when it came out from Shout Factory (aka Scream Factory) seven years ago (2013). Hell, I missed the news about it too!!! I already had a dvd-r copy of the film (cheers, Andrew) but if memory serves me well it's a very rough fullscreen version off a print.

Maybe everyone overlooked the release as the film was hidden away in a four film movie pack with three "ordinary" American action films (I haven't watched the other three films yet). The DVD is part of Shout Factory's "4 Action-Packed Movie Marathon Volume Two". The film is presented fully letterboxed and anamorphic. The print is a bit worn during intro credits but other than that it looks fine for DVD; And mind you it certainly looks heaps better than old fullscreen copies off dubious prints or worn video tapes. I wish someone would release a blu-ray but I'm not holding my breath till that happens. This DVD is most likely as good as it's ever gonna get.

A boxer (James Iglehart) and his wife go to Hong Kong for their honeymoon. They buy an ugly Buddha statue in a gift shop and later James saves a Chinese mute (Chiquito) from drowing. Both the Buddha and the Chinese guy (who happens to be great at kung fu) become a royal pain in the newlywed's collective ass; A goon kingpin (played by good ol'e Ken Metcalfe) wants the Buddha as it apparently contains some power to control the world. And due to old Chinese belief the Chinese guy now belongs to James Iglehart because he saved his life. Later they go to the Philippines and more trouble ensues. Lots of action, kung fu, fights, humour that doesn't suck (humour in these films often makes me grind my teeth) and a fair bit of nudity. Eddie Garcia and a bunch of other well known Filipino actors are in this (look them up on Name that Filipino Actor!). 


BAMBOO GODS AND IRON MEN is a fun flick and what makes it twice as much fun are the bad guys. Bald-headed Ken Metcalfe and his goons and goonette (singular as there's only one, the lovely Marissa Delgado) certainly make up at least half the fun if you ask me. Too bad this film has been overlooked for such a long time - and too bad it's still overlooked!

By the way, the film was released in the Philippines under the title BLACK KUNG FU. Needless to say, the drunk monkeys that run the less than reliable IMDb have listed the film  under each title! They're not two films, just the one.

I found the trailer and re-uploaded it. The quality is terrible but it seems it's the only one out there in Cyberspace.





As I post this entry the Shout Factory DVD is still available from WOWHD (it's cheap!). Go here.
 

BAMBOO GODS AND IRON MEN - trailer

aka BLACK KUNG FU
aka BAMBOO GODS & IRON MEN

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

MONDO CANNIBALE (Bruno Mattei, Philippines/Italy 2004)

DVD / English dub / open matte fullscreen / uncut / no subs / USA


Director: Bruno Mattei (as Vincent Dawn)

English distribution title: Cannibal World
Japanese English title (vhs/dvd): Cannibal Holocaust The Beginning
USA title (dvd): Mondo Cannibal
Title on bootleg dvd from Thomas Weisser's webshop: Cannibal Holocaust 2

Bogus/incorrect info on IMDb: 
"Japan (English title) (DVD box title):  Cannibal Holocaust 2"

 – Obviously, someone couldn't tell the difference between Thomas Weisser's bootleg-dvd and the official Japanese dvd!!!
In fact IMDb lists TWO English titles for the Japanese dvd – needless to say the same dvd doesn't have two different English language titles. Doesn't anybody check their info at the IMDb!?!?!?)


MATTEI REMAKES DEODATO

In 2004 Bruno Mattei remade Ruggero Deodato's CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST from 1980 and called it MONDO CANNIBALE. He shot the film back to back with NELLA TERRA DEI CANNIBALI (aka Land of Death/In the Land of the Cannibals) in the Philippines with an internationally unknown cast (I haven't been able to find ANY info about the actors apart from the two American expats). The two American expat Filipino actors are Mike Monty and Jim Moss. For some reason they´re both uncredited. Both passed away a couple of years later. Andrew Leavold quoted Nick Nicholson's comments about Jim Moss' passing here.

The American DVD from Intervision is retitled Mondo Cannibal but I'll refer to the film under the film company's international title, CANNIBAL WORLD (why do American labels always have to retitle films to make everything more confusing???)

DVD / English dub / 16:9 widescreen / uncut / japanese subs / unknown origin
(Bootleg off official Japanese dvd)

As I said, CANNIBAL WORLD is a remake of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. I should point out this isn't just me going, "Hmm, I think that scenes resembles this other scene a bit". No, we're talking frame by frame remake here. Done exactly the same way. Just, uh, worse (haha). A film crew goes into the jungle to find natives to do a documentary film about them – exploitation style. After a while the crew goes into taking extreme measures to exploit the locals. If you've seen CH you know what I'm talking about; set village on fire, cut head off young man, rape his girlfriend, stage various scenes, etc.

If you didn't like the original film because there's a turtle being killed I would advise you to stay clear of this as well; there's no turtle killings but a big lizard is being gutted alive.

Mattei also finds time to, once again, reuse cannibal footage from Akira Ide's NUOVA GUINEA: L'ISOLA DEI CANNIBALI (1974). He also did this in his HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD in 1980. 

CANNIBAL WORLD is on a completely different level than CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. While CH is a masterpiece CW is a SOV crap-piece with "actors" who overact like 12 year old kids from theatre class. There are a couple of scenes of women being infuriated and I was cracking up laughing. One of them slapped a curtain out of anger. A curtain!

But apart from this the film also contains a ton of good splatter scenes. And nudity. And cannibals sporting spiffy modern haircuts. Actually, all the cannibals have modern haircuts.

VHS / English dub / uncut / Japanese burnt-in subs / Japan

Now, if you're thinking this is probably a crappy film I fully understand where you're coming from. But you'd be wrong. CANNIBAL WORLD is highly entertaining! No, it's not a "good" movie in the classical sense of the word, but to me a good movie is one that entertains me. A crappy movie is a movie that bores me. One that leaves me feeling I've wasted my time. I was fully entertained by CANNIBAL WORLD and I want to watch it again. Overacting, gore, nudity, Filipino cannibals, what more do you want! – that's a rhetorical question, you don't have to answer it (your answer would most likely be "a better movie").

Finally, a comment about the Intervision NTSC DVD that I've just bought; The picture quality is really good for a DVD (there are no blu-ray releases). However, the label decided to present the film open matte! The Japanese DVD is 16:9 widescreen and by (a quick) comparison I must admit the widescreen framing looks better. But it's a minor gripe and I'm just happy this film (and its companion, Land of Death) is available on DVD. The Intervision release has a trailer for the film in the extras – and that's it!


Japanese trailer (in the wrong format but still)




Saturday, 12 October 2019

Turkish 1974 remake of THE EXORCIST now restored and available for free in blu-ray quality



Now, THIS is something!!! A restored 1080p upload of the Turkish remake of THE EXORCIST!!! And it's for free!

The film is called SEYTAN (aka "Turkish Exorcist" among fans) and it was directed by Metin Erksan in 1974 - the year after the original film came out.

SEYTAN is an almost frame-by-frame remake of THE EXORCIST. However, one difference is that the priests are not Christian but Muslim. And, well, the Turkish film may not be quite as well made and scary as William Friedkin's original film. It's a lowbudget film (all genre films were lowbudget in Turkey in the 70s). But SEYTAN is both a fun flick to watch and it's an interesting watch not least because it's set in a different culture to the film it remakes.

The original version of THE EXORCIST hadn't even played in Turkish cinemas in 1974 so people didn't know what to expect.

No, there's no subs on this upload but as I said it is basically a frame-by-frame remake so you don't need them. I take it you've all seen the original film.

I should point out this is NOT an illegal upload! The film has been uploaded by the copyright holders. I'm told that home cinema formats are a thing of the past in Turkey now. Everything is streaming and download. The film company which owns the film has uploaded a ton of their films to YouTube - for free and all beautifully restored and in 1080p quality. I have no idea how they make money!

PS: forget the haters. This is a multo fun film!

EDIT: Someone is already working of a subtitle file!!!


The full film on YouTube:

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

South Park S23E02 - full episode


AT BACKYARD ASIA WE STAND WITH HONG KONG

Is a little film blog about weird Asian films supposed to be political? Usually, I don't go down that route but this is important. I hate censorship - or censorshit as we call it here. Usually, I deal with censorship in films but this is so much more; Censorship as a way to keep people down. To shut them up. No, just no! Apparently, some companies in the West cater to the Chinese government and their censorshit - but I don't. This blog doesn't. So here's the full episode of South Park that they didn't want.

Margaret Thatcher should never have given Hong Kong back to the Chinese but the cunt just wanted to get better trade deals with China. In 1996 I didn't for one minute believe the mainland would leave the old crown colony alone and, unfortunately, now we see they didn't intend to. 

PS: yeah, that's a royal we.


EDIT (10/10/2019): For some reason the original YouTube uploader *decided* to remove SP S23E02. I've now embedded another upload, this one has even optional subtitles in Chinese.

EDIT (11/10/2019: YOuTube deleted the second upload of the episode as well. Has YouTube been bought by the Chinese? Anyhoo, I'm uploading it myself via Blogger now. Let's see how long it gets to stay here. Blogger and YouTube are owned by the same people as far as I know (i.e. Google).

Monday, 2 September 2019

ORUMCEK (THE SPIDER) - trailer




Old trailer for ORUMCEK - THE SPIDER from Bill Barounis' ONAR FILMS YouTube channel. Some dildo made a claim and YouTube took it down. Here it is again!

Saturday, 16 February 2019

THE KILLER ELEPHANTS (Thailand 1976) - trailer





Great looking trailer in the original aspect ratio from IFD's official YouTube channel.

THE KILLER ELEPHANTS
aka Rumbling the Elephant 
Thailand 1976
Director: Som Kit

Credits on HKMDB go here.

GUNMAN FROM NOWHERE (Taiwan 1988) - trailer



GUNMAN FROM NOWHERE
Taiwan 1988
Director: Chang Chi-Yong

Awesome trailer. When it kicks off you'll think it's a comedy but soon turns into a mega violent crime flick.

For credits on HKMDB go here.

I'll make the argument that CATEGORY III films are from Britain

It's a valid argument at least when some Category III fans claim that Cat. III films are from China because Hong Kong is in China (sigh).

The Cat. III films that we all love and adore were made prior to the Chinese takeover in 1997 and thus were made when HK was a British colony.

According to some Cat. III fans, films originate from the country that owns the country where they were made. It is thus only a logical argument that pre-97 films must be regarded as being British.

So thank-you's go out to the UK for giving us EBOLA SYNDROME etc. You British film-makers are thee best!

But seriously ... HK isn't in China. It's a territory with its own flag, currency, language (Canto Chinese), government, laws, left side of the road driving (right side in China), film regulations, etc. that is governed by China.

China doesn't have a censorship board that classifies films into categories. Category 1-3 are strictly for Hong Kong. In fact China doesn't even HAVE a film classification system. They may ban films, cut films, "disappear" the director, but classify films, no.


Saturday, 2 February 2019

MORO WITCH DOCTOR (Philippines 1964) Dir: Eddie Romero

Original title: AMOK

Mexican lobby card
I bought this Mexican lobby card of Eddie Romero's MORO WITCH DOCTOR (1964) from a Mexican seller on eBay years ago. I still haven't got a copy of the film and it seems it's not released anywhere.

Film credits on Andrew Leavold's blog. Go here.


Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Searching for Weng Weng ... and every single actor who was ever in an old genre flick from the Philippines

Ken Metcalfe in his office circa mid 80s (Photo courtesy of Carl Kuntze)
Photo from Andrew Leavold's new Filipino blog.
PS: Do notice the posters!

Checking Andrew Leavold's facebook page is like flipping thru a "who's who" of Filipino genre film actors and actresses from the 1970s and '80s. If an actor or actress doesn't pop up there at some stage, next to a grinning Leavold, it may very well mean they've left this dimension. It seems he has a knack for tracking them down at one point or another.

Now, to even further catalogue these actors from Filipino cinema Andrew has recently begun work on a new blog entitled "Name That Filipino Actor!"

If you have any interest in old Filipino genre flicks, and if you often wonder who the hell some white "gwilo" dude (or dudette) in some semi lost Filipino-US production is then ... check out Andrew's blog! They're not all there (yet) but the number is growing and quite a few of his posts promise much more info to come.
Highly recommend for fans of Filipino genre cinema.

For "Name That Filipino Actor!" go here.

L-R: Andrew Leavold, Leo G. Martinez, Don Gordon Bell
(Photo courtesy of Leavold)
Here's a recent photo (19. January 2019) of Andrew and Don Gordon Bell who met up with Leo G. Martinez for an interveiw. Martinez was in and worked on many films by Cirio H. Santiago.


Tuesday, 29 January 2019

THE ENCHANTING GHOST (Hong Kong 1970) dir: Chou Hsu-Chiang

Original HK poster (from HKMDB)
I've just watched the Shaw Brothers horror film THE ENCHANTING GHOST from 1970. Today's Netflix audiences would probably moan and feel faint due to the lack of gore, torture, jump scares and special effects - but I loved it.
 
It's a Chinese costume drama about a young male scholar (played by Yang Li-Hua, incidentally a lovely young woman) who loses her home due to her wicked uncle and thus has to move into an abandoned, haunted ruin outside of town. The setting is very much like that of A CHINESE GHOST STORY (1987). 

The young scholar discovers that a young, beautiful woman (Chang Mei-Yao) has already moved into the haunted house with her dying mother. The scenes in and around the house all look to be made on a stage and they're very colourful. I love the fact that you can see it's a stage. I love the colours and the crisp dialogue. I love the Chinese music in the film and the superb acting. Was I scared? No, not at all. But then again what does scare a seasoned horror fan?

Celestial put out the film a decade ago but for some reason they decided to only include it in their video-cd line. However, it was later release on DVD by Zoke Culture over in mainland China. I've got both releases and they look wonderful. However, 88 Films in the UK have recently put out a spiffy blu-ray release of the film (which I haven't got).
HK video-cd (Celestial) Mandarin audio/English & Chinese subs

I tried to look up the film in my HK film books but none of them include the film. This - and the fact that I have never come across any other release in any format - makes me suspect Celestial's VCD is the very first home cinema release of the film. 

Before watching the THE ENCHANTING GHOST and before writing this review I hadn't read one single review of the film. I have absolutely no idea of what other fans or reviewers think about it. But then again, I couldn't care less. I loved the film and I highly recommend it to fans of world-weird cinema/horror and open minded film-goers in general.

Mainland China DVD (Zoke) Mandarin audio/English & Chinese subs

UK DVD & blu-ray (88 Films) Mandarin/English subs

THE ENCHANTING GHOST on HKMDB:


TRAILER:
 



Thursday, 24 January 2019

RED SPELL SPELLS RED (Hong Kong 1983)

Poster (Thailand)


Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 11/09/1983
Box Office: HK $4,106,595.00

Director: Titus Ho Wing-Lam
Script: Amy Chan Suet-Ming
Action Director: San Sin
Producer: Stephen Chan Chue-Kwong

Cast:
Kent Tong Chun-Yip          
Poon Lai-Yin (Stella Lok)
Ga Lun          
Wan Ting-Fong          
Hussein Hassan          
Stanley Tong Gwai-Lai (Film crew member)
Wong Tiong-Hock          
Leung Hoi-Tin          
San Sin (Taoist)
Choi Kam-Lung          
Mahyon Ismail          
Mun Yiu-Wah (Film crew member)
Yu Yiu-Leung          
Fong Yue (1) (Villager)
Wong Hung (1) (Villager)
Jackson Ng Yuk-Sue (Taoist's man)

Distributor: Yat Gwong (Hong Kong)
Production Manager: Chik Yiu-Cheong
Sound Recordist: Chang Hua
Script Supervisor: Amy Chan Suet-Ming
Planning: Stephen Chan Chue-Kwong
Lighting: Tse Ban
Makeup: Choi Siu-Jan
Story: Nikko Creative Department
Props: Hui Wan-Hoi
Cinematographers: Wong Wing-Lung, Chen Yung-Shang
Editor: Wu Kee-Charm
Presenter: Edward Hoh Yue-Yip
Assistant Directors: Stanley Tong Gwai-Lai, Yu Yiu-Leung
Composers: Shing Wai-Yip, So Chung-Shing (1)

Filming Location: Hong Kong

NB: Above credits info borrowed from HKMDB

Bootleg DVD available from Far East Flix.


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

STRYKER (Cirio H. Santiago, US/Philippines 1983) blu-ray/Kino Lorber

I'm just about to post about a new(ish) cool blu-ray release of one of Cirio H. Santiago's MAD MAX II clone flicks, and it occurs to me that it's been almost four years since I posted about Santiago's most recent post-apocalypse film, WATER WARS. A film which also, unfortunately, became Santiago's last film before he passed away. He didn't even finish the film shoot and Jim Wynorski had to take over directing the remaining part (go here for my old post).


During the three and a half years between then and now we have been blessed with a good number of blu-ray releases of cool Cirio H. Santiago US/Filipino coproductions filmed in the Philippines. Code Red have put out a handful of these films (cheers, Bill Olsen, you madman!) but the film I'm posting about here is from the good people at Kino Lorber (USA). STRYKER from 1983.

MAD MAX came out in 1979 but it's not really a post-apocalypse film, and it wasn't until 1981 that the genre took off as we know it thanks to MAD MAX II (which the American distributor retitled "The Road Warrior" to hide that it was a sequel to a film released by another label). When the Italians saw how popular MM II became they were quick to jump on the bandwagon and put out their own "MAD MAX" films (plural!) in 1982. And over in the Philippines Cirio H. Santiago thought, "Hey, I can do that!" and so in 1983 he made STRYKER! And just like the Italians made not just one clone but a whole series of MAD MAX clones, Santiago followed STRYKER with no less than six Filipino MAD MAX clones (knock-offs, rip-offs, call 'em what you want); RAIDERS OF THE SUN, DUNE WARRIORS, WHEELS OF FIRE, THE SISTERHOOD, EQUALIZER 2000 and WATER WARS (working title: "Road Raiders").

EDIT: I forgot one of Cirio H. Santiago's post-apocalypse films; He didn't do six other films but seven!! (eight in total). The last one is FUTURE HUNTERS. I urge you to read Andrew Leavold's incisive and info filled review here.


PLOT: We're in the wasteland. A narrator (in an Aussie accent, of course) informs us about the end of the world as we know it. Or rather knew it. It went into the toilet long ago and now the most precious thing is petrol, uh, I mean water!

When the film kicks off a gang of lowlifes are chasing after a young woman in the sand dunes - where she kinda lives (?). They want her ... water! She's then rescued by two good guys which both just happened to drive past. One of the guys is our main character and hero, Stryker, played by Steve Sandor. Sandor was once a bad guy in the cool exploitation flick BONNIE'S KIDS (1972) and he was also in heaps of psychotronic stuff on TV. Very odd to think of when you watch STRYKER; The thing is Sandor has the charisma and facial expressions of a tree log.

I'm not going to bother going into more detail of the plot line. Santiago wrote it on the back of a half burnt matchbox and I've already said more than what was on said box of matches. There are some bad guys, some good guys, there are some sexy amazons (their leader was a playboy centrefold), they drive around, they fight, they take revenge, and they all wear Mad Max style clothes. And  Stryker is a loner. If you're familiar with Filipino cinema it won't surprise you when you see scenes of 20-25 dwarfs popping up out of the dunes to attack people. Those dwarfs were in so many films I've lost count. According to Andrew Leavold a lot of them worked at the same "dwarf restaurant" between making films. I'm not kidding you!

The film is probably made on the same budget that MAD MAX II spent on catering. On one day's worth of catering mind you. But kudos to Cirio and his inventive crew who made the cars, motorbikes, and other futuristic vehicles look so bloody cool.

I quite like STRYKER. It's a fun film. Some of the dialogue is slow and there's a couple of romantic scenes that are so schmaltzy you feel like you're gonna lose your lunch. Hahaha. 

If there's one thing I wish they had done differently it's to find another actor for the lead part. I dare you to find another actor in the film that has as few facial expressions as Steve Sandor. Even the Playboy centrefold has more!


THE BLU-RAY
If I wanted to watch the film before I got this new spiffy blu-ray release from Kino Lorber I had to dig out my old VHS tape from Greece. Worn, fullscreen and big Greek subtitles that cover a third of the screen. This new blu-ray (from 2017) is certainly a most welcome release (they also put out a dvd release). Unfortunately, in contradiction to say Code Red, Kino Lorber didn't bother to mention what source was used for the blu-ray. Was it a film negative, a 35mm print, a betamaster, or what? But in any case the print looks good. Slightly worn and the colours are kind of faint. But that's alright, it suits the film. There are a handful of trailers (for Santiago's other post-apocalypse films) and a commentary track by Jim Wynorski. The film has optional English subs. That's it!

Go here for a smashing interview Andrew Leavold did with Cirio H. Santiago in 2007.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Filipino remake of A BETTER TOMORROW back on YouTube


FILIPINO A BETTER TOMORROW (Willie Milan, 1992) is back on YouTube. Several Filipino film channels have kept putting it up and taking it down again, and I got sick of that and uploaded the bloody thing myself. There's actually a current upload from yet another Filipino film channel but they fucked up the settings and the picture is about half the size of what it should have been! This entertaining remake is completely ignored by film sites and fans! I wish somebody would put the film out on English friendly DVD or blu-ray in good picture quality but unfortunately I have my doubts that'll ever happen. Go here for the new and better upload and to check my old info filled post about the film.

Monday, 19 March 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.