Friday, 24 July 2015

Update #2

Whoever uploaded the way cool RAW FORCE trailer decided to delete it again. Fortunately I copied it and have just uploaded it for your enjoyment! :P

Awesomeness right here.

Update

Filipino John Woo remake is back up.


The YouTube channel that originally uploaded DALAWA MAN ANG BUHAY MO, PAGSASABAYIN KO, i.e. the Filipino remake of John Woo's Hong Kong masterpiece A BETTER TOMORROW, was closed down by Youtube but fortunately several other channels have uploaded the film, and I have updated the embedded link in my post. Go here

PS: unfortunately one of the YouTube channels got the film confused with another movie called BARIL KO... ANG UUSIG! I've watched the beginning of the "wrong" movie and it looks alright - but you'll be disappointed if you expect a BETTER TOMORROW remake!

In any case, the correct film is (again) embedded on this site.

W (Philippines 1978)



One of my very first blog posts was a review of the Filipino MAD MAX 2 clone W (aka W is War on US VHS) seven years ago. And it just dawned on me that I forgot to post the trailer, hahaha. No, seriously, I spent all night last night going thru Filipino films and trailers uploaded by good people - who may or may not live in the 'Pines - and one of the cool findings was this trailer for W. I'm not sure if I've posted it here before but anyway here it is. I'm afraid it's not an original Filipino trailer but, judging by the subs, comes from a video tape from Finland.

The lead was played by Anthony Alonzo, who, according to Nick Nicholson, was a "top gay" (and later died from AIDS, also according to Nicholson). Nick talked about it in an e-mail to Andrew Leavold (about another movie called TRIDENT FORCE. Go here).

W was directed by Willie/Wilfredo Milan and three years later Milan made a sort of sequel entitled MAD WARRIOR (aka Clash of the Warlords). There's no official DVD release for W (which is insane) but there are several VHS releases. My own tape is from Japan.


My original, seven year old review:

W (aka W is War)
At first they made MAD MAX II down under. Then the Italians ripped off Max by the bucket load. And then the Filipinos followed. What am I talking about? Post-apocalyptic films of course!! LOL. Sometime in the future - after WW III. Ha ha. W (aka W is War) is from the Philippines and it's very entertaining! Gangs of futuristic bikers are controlling the land. Well, sort of. And the Filipino version of Max has to stop them. Firstly, obviously, he has to build a Mad Max wannabe car, ha ha. Very cool indeed. And the chicks look better in this one. The funny thing with W is that in contradiction to the original Aussie film and all the Italo rip-offs director Willie Milan didn't actually bother trying to make the landscape and the cities look very futuristic when he made this back in '83. However, it's totally cool anyway and as I said it's very entertaining + violent, and some of the plot-line is just... unexpected (I'll do a proper review at some later stage in my mag). There's also a sequel entitled MAD WARRIOR (aka CLASH OF THE WARLORDS) which I simply have to find now. Of course none of them are out on DVD so you'll have to see you can can find an old video release somewhere (my version of W is from Japan). Very recommended!

BLIND RAGE (Philippines, 1978) - trailer



Starring Tony Ferrer, Charlie Davao, Leila Hermosa, Carlos Padilla Jr., Max Alvarado, Subas Herrero, Jose Garcia, Val Iglesia, Rocco Montalban, Ben Dato, Romy Nario, Telly Babasa, Carlos Diaz, Belo Borja, Rey Sagum, Golay, Mande Bustamante, Fred Param, Eddie Miriaflor, Leo Fong, SOS Daredevils and Fred Williamson / Directed by Efren C. Piñon

[Credits for the cast credits go to the Filipino Youtube channel. Highly appreciated, thanks.]

Saturday, 21 February 2015

NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN - trailer



Directed by: Andrew Meyer (USA/Philippines, 1972)
On reg. 1 DVD from Scorpion Records.

Fully uncut CHINATOWN KID found on Danish VHS


Although I usually don't post about kung-fu films this is pretty exciting. A fully uncut version of Shaw Brothers CHINATOWN KID has turned up on ex-rental VHS in Denmark.

The tape runs just under 110 minutes (PAL) while the DVD from Celestial runs a mere 86 minutes and to add insult to injury the DVD uses an alternative "happy ending". The Danish VHS is fully uncut and uses the original ending.

Big thanks to Diabolik for this info (and cover scan).

Update

I've just updated the old "Alternative Versions of Hong Kong Movies" post. The old list was from 2008 but I've found a newer version of the list from 2015. You'll find it here.

Monday, 22 December 2014

BLOOD THIRST (USA/Philippines 1971) [REVIEW]

aka BLOOD SEEKERS / THE HORROR FROM BEYOND




Director Newt Arnold
Producer Newt Arnold
Executive Producer Michael “Dupont”/Du Pont
Writer N.I.P. Dennis
Director of Photography Hermo Santos
Post-Production Supervisor Lee Osborne
Editing Supervisor “Tony”/Anthony DiMarco

Cast
Robert Winston (Adam Rourke), Katherine Henryk, Yvonne Nielson, Vic Diaz (Captain Miguel), Vic Silayan, Eddie Infante, Bruno Punzalan, Judy Dennis, Max “Rojo”/Roio, Ching Tello, Minda Morena, Isidro Francisco, Felix Marfil



by JACK J

Young, beautiful women are being bumped off by a mysterious killer in the vicinity of a nightclub in downtown Manilla. The head of police (played by a young and less plumb Vic Diaz) runs to the phone and calls an American detective friend (played by Robert Wilson Mercy) who has specialised in mysterious killers who bump off beautiful, young women. The American friend arrives and soon after goes under cover as a writer with an interest in bumped off beaut... well, you get the point.

He also runs into the police chief's sister (unavoidable romance ensues), local goons, scantly clad nightclub dames (relatively scantly clad anyway. The film was probably made in the 60s altho not released until '71), and eventually a monster so diabolical your blood will freeze and you'll be tossing and turning because of the nightmares you'll be getting (I'm exaggerating by a million). Half of the film is set in the nightclub, the dialogue is aplenty, and the action and horror scenes kept to a minimum.



BLOOD THIRST is by no means a great film. Not even if we only compared it to other Filipino horror films. But I liked it and thought it had its charm.

The film has a laid back obscureness to it that I though was cool. Also, the film being so old, made way before the American-Filipino coproductions we're so familiar with from Roger Corman (i.e. mostly made in the 70s), makes for an interesting watch.

The fact that the actors are unfamiliar faces (except Vic Diaz who was probably in every Filipino film made in the 60s and 70s!!!) makes it almost seem like it's from another Philippines. Bizarro Philippines. And just who was Scandinavian sounding Yvonne Nielson??

I liked the crisp black & white look as well - and not least the cool jazz score thru out the film. And with a running time of just over 70 minutes it doesn't overstay its welcome.



THE DVD:

I watched Vinegar Syndrome's release from their "Drive-In Collection" series. The film is backed with another US-Filipino film called THE THIRSTY DEAD. Both films have also been released by Something Weird Video. VS's print is from a 35mm print presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it looks fantastic!

There's a wee bit of noise and worn print around reel ends but that's alright and if nothing else means the film wasn't shot on fucking video. The SWV dvd is presented fullscreen and it's definitely not the way you wanna watch the film once you've seen the print from VS! Neither release carries any extras related to the film.



Andrew Leavold also reviewed the film on his blog and had this piece of interesting titbit to say:

"Robert Wilson Mercy, the smug big-chinned former stuntman and bit player who plays our Ugly American hero, has made his presence felt on the net recently, leaving some outrageous claims in unsuspecting chatrooms: that he made more lost films in the Philippines with director Newt Arnold, who he describes as one-eyed and with a malformed hand; that he was offered the role of James Bond in a serious version of Casino Royale – but he was making a B-film in Manila at the time and couldn’t get out of the contract; and that he’s stalking the producers of the next Bond film offering his services as Daniel Craig’s nemesis. I say to Robert Wilson Mercy: the world may have gotten Woody Allen as James Bond instead, but we still have your career’s crowning glory, the 1971 Blood Thirst."

I'd love to find out what other films Newt Arnold directed in the Philippines and where they are now. Are they lost? Did they get finished? Have they been screened anywhere?



You'll find a better and more incisive review here.



The credits list is borrowed from Andrew Leavold's blog.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN dvd from Scorpion Records

When I posted about new DVD releases of American-Filipino coproductions the other day I forgot this one, NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN, - maybe because it's not released from Vinegar Syndrome (like the other five) but instead it's out on Scorpion Records (run by Code Red's Bill Olson's brother).


NIGHT OF THE COBRA WOMAN (1972) is yet another Roger Corman produced flick shot in the 'Pines. Until this release the film had only been released on VHS. I haven't got the new DVD yet but according to one online source the DVD is pretty good, and it's got a few great extras on it; There are new interviews with Marlene Clark, who plays the main character, and Roger Corman. The trailer is also included and the film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1.


"Queen of Black Magic" director dies

According to Ekky Imanjaya over at Finding Jaka Sembung blog, Lilik Sudjio, the director of the cool Indonesian horror film QUEEN OF BLACK MAGIC (starring Suzzanna) has passed away. This is sad news indeed. To read his post go here.