Monday, 30 May 2011

RAW FORCE (USA/Philippines, 1982) [review]


VHS / Denmark / fullscreen / English audio / Danish subs / uncut


Tonight I watched the highly entertaining RAW FORCE for the second time. The first time was a couple of years back on Danish VHS and tonight it was on a dvd-r off the Japanese VHS. While the Japanese print couldn't look any better it is unfortunately a censored print. Not censored in that there has been made censorship cuts but that all the "underhair" (as the Japanese term is) have been digitally fogged away. Rather annoying in a film that has as much nudity as RAW FORCE (i.e. A LOT!). But otherwise the print looks great. I thought about writing a review but then I discovered Andrew has written a really good one so I'll simply re-post that one here. :D
The screen grabs are all from the Japanese VHS version. The cover scan is of the Danish ex-rental tape.
/Jack



1982 – Raw Force (Ansor International Pictures)

[also released as “Kung Fu Cannibals” and “Shogun Island”]

Director/Screenplay Edward D. Murphy [Captain in Mad Doctor of Blood Island] Producer Frank E. Johnson Executive Producers Rebecca Bella, Lawrence Woolner Music Walter Murphy Director of Photography Frank E. Johnson Editor Eric Lindemann Fight Co-Ordinator Mike Stone

Cast Cameron Mitchell (Captain Harry Dodds), Geoffrey Binney (Mike O'Malley), Hope Holiday (Hazel Buck), Jillian “Kessner”/Kesner (Cookie Winchell), John Dresden (John Taylor), Jennifer Holmes (Ann Davis), Rey King [Rey Malonzo?] (Go Chin), Carla Reynolds (Eilleen Fox), Carl Anthony (Lloyd Davis), John Locke (Gary Schwartz), Mark Tanous (Cooper), Ralph Lombardi (Thomas Speer), Chanda Romero (Mayloo), Camille Keaton (Girl In Toilet), Maggie Lee (Gun Moll), Garry McClintic (Steve), John Rosselli (Male Stripper), Joe Pagliuso (Milt ), “Robert Dennis”/Dennis Edwards (Man In Toilet), Janelle Pransky (Girl With Balloons), Tony Oliver (Bill), Robert MacKenzie (Clyde), Steve Elmer (Religious Freak), Jewel Shepard (Drunk Sexpot), Michael P. Stone (Bartender), Judi Brooks (Girl With Tattoo), Edward Talbot 'Chip' Matthews (Passenger), Kurek Ashley (Drunk With Cake), Brad Barnes (Passenger), Gerry Bailey (Hood), Don Gordon (Hood), Chip Westley (Hood), Bob Campbell (Hood), Willy Schober (Hood), Maurizio Murano (Hood), Roger Capilitan (Hood), Phil Guerrero (Hood), Vic Diaz (Monk), Mike Cohen (Monk), Binney Villanueva (Monk), Bayani Balingit (Monk), Louie Florentino (Monk), Frank Aguila (Monk) Corpses Geoff Wood, Tony Beso, Frank Belgica, Jimmy Navarro, Ely Refuerzo, Nilo Fortez, Jess Bonzo, Rolly Tan Hookers Anna Torino, Evelyn Beso, Violeta Beso, Evelyn Yap, Vicky Abad, Baby Serrano, Zenaida Luciano, Nannette Caragay, May Bacosa, Sonia Cervantes Crewmen Fred Strong, George Gyenes, Jay Bumpus, Peter Schultz, Roger Searcy Girls In Cabin Mary Miller, Britt Helfer

Review by Andrew Leavold:

When your writer AND director is the old boy who played the Captain in Mad Doctor of Blood Island, you may take this as an SOS call.

But fear not – Raw Force is out of its mind. In a good way, of course, but is also foaming at the mouth and howling at the moon. Imagine a film shot by Americans in the Philippines exploiting every possible angle: cannibals, zombies, samurais, white kung fu (this WAS 1982, and Chuck Norris reigned supreme!), gumby comedy, and more flesh on display than a Friday night karaoke crawl in Manila.




Executive Producer Larry Woolner used to be a mover and shaker at Dimension Pictures, who handled a few Filipino features for the Seventies drive-in circuit; Raw Force was his last hurrah, and has that weird tension between old-fashioned entertainment and what he believes the kids want to see. As such, there’s old has-beens hobbling next to young never-wills. It’s Porky’s with Sidney Greenstreet and David Carradine, and none of it meshes. But with a mess this entertaining, thank god for senile dementia.

Aging name actor Cameron Mitchell stars as the skipper of a rusty tub bound for the South China Sea and Hope Holliday is Hazel Buck, the boat’s New York jewish owner. On board are the Burbank Karate Club (actually a few no-name TV actors), plus blonde black belt champion Jillian Kessner, who had already played the lead in Cirio H. Santiago’s Firecracker (1981). It’s a motley crew on a crusty Love Boat stocked with degenerates, schmiels, and the brown end of California’s swingers circles.


A stripper at a bar who keeps dancing even when everyone else is engaged in a big barroom brawl




Onto the ship comes Speer, a nasty German with a Hitler mustache looking for white women to steal, and his karate-kicking cronies. The ship goes up in flames, and the remaining cast and crew are adrift in a life boat before washing up on Warrior’s Island. There they discover Speer has been trading jade for his plane load of tasty-looking nubiles - Warriors Island happens to be the home of a renegade group of grinning, clapping cannibal monks who can reanimate the corpses of disgraced martial artists to do their bidding. The girls… well, they happen to be the monks’ main course.


Nasty Japanese censorship




And that’s the set up for one of the strangest kung fu horror sex comedies you will ever witness. Keen-eyed Schlock viewers will recognize the chubby features of the ubiquitous Vic Diaz as one of the head monks, alongside Mike Cohen who Weng Weng fans will recognize as Dr Kohler in For Your Height Only. All I can say right now is slip the brain into neutral and enjoy, and if you ever needed proof that the Philippines exists in a parallel universe in which our laws of taste, logic and sanity are turned on their heads, it’s this: the 1982 Raw Force.







The man who was in litereally 1000s of Filipino films, Vic Diaz



Zombies!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Trouble with Blogger (again!)

I've been having troube logging into my Blogger account (that hosts these blogs) the last few days and if any of you are having the same problem, and if you're using Firefox, you might wanna try and switch to Explorer. I did it and it works charm! I have no log in or layout problems anylonger. I still can't log in with FF tho. Very annoying. >_<

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

THE GUNFIGHTER AND THE KID (Philippines, 1983)



Extremely rare Danish ex-rental VHS release of the Filipino film THE GUNFIGHTER AND THE KID (aka The Gunfighter / The Kid and the Gunfighter).

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1983 - The Gunfighter (Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions)

[An entirely Filipino production filmed in the United States, Philippines release date 26th December 1983; distributed internationally by Saga Film International in 1985, released on Greek VHS as "The Gunfighter And The Kid" (on-screen title), and on the cover as “The Kid And The Gunfighter” ]


Director Romy Suzara Story/Screenplay Tony Calvento Producer [uncredited] Espiridon Laxa Music Jun Latonio Production Manager Cayetano B. Lalic Sound Engineer Vic Macamay Editor Augusto Salvador Cinematography Rey Lapid, Bhal Dauz Post-Production Coordinator Leonides Laya Assistant Cameraman Efren Lapid Assistant Director Mike Mariano Special Effects/Routine Instructor Eddie Nicart Sound Effects Jun Martinez Assistant Editors Toto Natividad, Efren Salvador, Boy Gloria Dubbing Director Jess Ramos Opticals Amano Buencamino Unit Manager Murray Ord


Cast
Lito Lapid (Tejan), Connie Angeles (Wawona), Chuck Biller (Frank Smith), Cole McKay (JJ), Paul Jones (Lex Jake), Marlene Chavez (Mother of Tejan), Rey Lapid (Father of Tejan), Vernell Dizon Arquero (Lito The Kid), Brad Fletcher (Desperado), Bret Davidson (Desperado), Kurt Campau (Desperado), Rooster Cortez (JJ’s Henchman), Terry Reynolds (JJ’s Henchman), Don Moody (JJ’s Henchman), Greg Willowman (JJ’s Henchman), Jerry Hall (Sheriff), Emil Varga (Judge), Linda King (Saloon Keeper), Rod Casteel (Store Keeper), Ken Wilson (JJ’s Man), Warren Simons (JJ’s Man), Mike Valentine (JJ’s Man), Mark Janco (JJ’s Man), Eddie Nicart (Chief Aide) Indian Village People Bonnie Delgado, Mary Patino, Mary Melina, Rory Delgado, “Baby” Casey Delgado, Anita Cruz, Armin “Chico” Sanchez, Frank “Don” Hogya Indian Warriors Bill Porter, Larry Bruce, Chico Sánchez, Don Hougie Stagecoach Passengers Joe Anderson, Frank Blakeney Indian Girls Cassandra Delgado, Mary Petino Wife Of The Judge Soakie Chacolla, Vicky Varga

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The cover for SHOUT! Factory's FIRECRACKER / TNT JACKSON / TOO HOT TO HANDLE dvd is here! Yay!! Spiffy!!!



Arrghh, the times we're squattin' in right now aren't too shabby in regards to cool DVD releases I'd say!! Yesterday, I received the new Australian release of MACHETE MAIDENS UNLEASED which has an additional disc with THE MUTHERS (and heaps of extras including an hour of cool Filipino trailers!) and this afternoon I see this (via Dvdmaniacs): The cover for the upcoming DVD release of FIRECRACKER (aka Naked Fist, 1981), TNT JACKSON (1974) and TOO HOT TO HANDLE (1977)!

It goes without saying that I'm looking forward to this release A LOT as FIRECRACKER and TNT JACKSON are highly entertaining and FIRECRACKER has never been released on DVD before (TNT has an awful public domain DVD which comes out short when you compare it to my old Danish VHS!!). I've got them all on VHS but needless to say (and with Shout! Factory's rep. for using fabulous prints) this release is bound to smoke my old tapes!

FIRECRACKER is Cirio H. Santiago's remake of his own TNT JACKSON, and he even remade the damn film AGAIN in 1992 as ANGELFIST. It would have been fun if SHOUT! Factory had chosen to include all three versions and put TOO HOT TO HANDLE on another release (ANGELFIST, however, is available on a fairly good DVD from New Horizons so who's complaining). Two more US-Filipino films are slated for release from SHOUT!: SAVAGE! (1973) and FLY ME (1973)



Thanks to Simon of EXPLOSIVE ACTION blog for sending me the MACHETE release!!

Monday, 23 May 2011

LOS DEMONIOS DEL DESIERTO (Mexico, 1990)

DEMONS OF THE DESERT (fan title)
Dir: Luis Quintanilla Rico



Most of my Mexican cinematic intake has consisted of equal parts 1960's horror flicks like the DR SATAN movies, equal parts EL SANTO movies plus BCI's "South of the Border" DVD volumes! However, this is something quite different (to say the least!). Take a pinch of MAD MAX 2, add Roger Corman's 1970s biker movies, and move the setting to Mexico. Oh, and by the way, did I forget to say "...and ad Jim Jones' Mexican cousin too!", haha. That's exactly what LOS DEMONIOS DEL DESIERTO is!



Somewhere in the deserts of Mexico live an outlaw biker cult who, dressed like the worst Hollywood attempt at punk, follow an insane *diabolical* leader whose goal is to kill all ordinary people and make their sons his brainwashed followers. They kill travellers and steal their belongings. When the movie begins, they kidnap two beautiful young girls while they're getting ready for the one girl's wedding.

The two main characters are two cops (the girls' boyfriends) and when they learn about the girls abduction they grab their machine guns ("ordinary guns won't do") and set out to find and rescue the girls, and kill the cult members and their leader. Mayhem and violent insanity pursue.

After having killed a coupla goons you need a coupla beers!

LOS DEMONIOS DEL DESIERTO is great fun. I mean how could a movie about two elderly renegade cops (they're about twice as old as the girls who play their girlfriends!) who fight Jim Jones punk cult members not be a lotta fun!?!? And it certainly is!!! And it's pretty gory too. And the ending is, well, lemme just say I didn't quite see THAT *ONE* coming.



LOS DEMONIOS DEL DESIERTO is unfortunately not easy to find. I believe it's only ever been released on VHS in Mexico. The print I got hold of is an English subtitled (fan translated) version. The print looks pretty good. Find it if you can, wild entertainment guaranteed.

Suck my thigh before I kill ya!





Thanks to the friend who sent me The Demons and a handful of other cool & rare flicks!!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

BRUKA QUEEN OF EVIL (HK/Philippines, 1975)

THE LOST FILM HAS FINALLY BEEN FOUND!!!

I wrote about BRUKA QUEEN OF EVIL here and posted the trailer. Andrew Leavold and I have been talking about this film for the past couple of years and now Andrew has finally got hold of a copy! It is with delirious and over-joyous delight that I re-post Andrew's review from his blog BAMBOO GODS AND BIONIC BOYS.

EDIT:
I have got a copy of the film now and I'd just like to make it clear that the film is dubbed in Mandarin (and has English and Chinese subtitles). So, please, no more bootleggers state either "in Tagalog" or "dubbed in English". Enough with the crappy info!!

/Jack J




1975 – Bruka (Emperor Films International)

[Philippines release date 18th July 1975; a Hong Kong-Filipino co-production, export title “Bruka Queen Of Evil”]

Director Albert Yu Producer Jimmy L. Pascual [other sources credit Jimmy with Screenplay] Dialogue Yuen Shiao Po Cameraman Leung Kwok Kuen Music Chow Fu Liang Editor Lee Yam Hai In Charge of Production Fely Pascual Production Manager Vic Kwong Assistant Director David Yau Interpretor Teddy Chiu [as Tedmund Chiu] Special Effects Michael Fung Lights Chui Kwok Kuen Makeup Soledad Mauricio Wardrobe Romana Tablate Stills Wong Tit Huang Setting Maurio Carmona Props Ng Chau Electrician Tiburcio Pacia

Cast Alex Lung, Rosemarie Gil, Etang “Ditched”/Discher (Bruka), Sandra de Veyra, Yukio Someno, Anthony Lee, Michael Kwan, Charlie Davao, Connie Angeles, Darius Razon, Tintoy, Matimtiman Cruz, Roldan Rodrigo, Bruno Punzalan, Greg Lozano, Ramon D’Salva, Pedro Faustino, Alfonso Carvajal, Eileen Montinola, Ben Manalo, Michael de Mesa, Rocco Montalban, Kristina Kasten, Sancho Tesalona, Eddie Nicart, Jimmy Cruz, Gigi Vellasenor



Review by Andrew Leavold

Back in 1974, a Filipino producer named Jimmy L. Pascual ended his two year run of Hong Kong-based kung fu productions and brought his film outfit to the Philippines to make a film called Devil Woman. Essentially a chop sockey cashing in on the kung fu craze like Pascual’s previous films (The Bloody Fists [1972], The Awaken Punch [1973] amongst others), Devil Woman is a rudimentary revenge saga with fantastic elements and snake motif, a familiar ingredient in Asian horror. Despite the regulation atrocious dubbing and wooden dialogue, Rosemarie Gil is positively regal as the snake-haired queen seeking revenge on the townsfolk for burning her parents alive, and the film was a minor hit, even receiving a theatrical run in the US, and has retained a small fanatical cult following thanks to Quentin Tarantino’s regular screenings.

For years, fans of Devil Woman saw posters for a film called Bruka Queen Of Evil featuring Rosemarie Gil’s distinctive coiffure, and assumed it was one of Devil Woman’s numerous export titles. When a trailer finally appeared, the Devil Woman herself, Manda the Snakewoman, was indeed in the film – but with entirely different footage of bats, walking trees, and an army of little people. Was this the Filipino cut of Devil Woman for the local market merely redubbed and resold, or an entirely different film? Alas, no version of Bruka could be found, even amongst the most intrepid of Asian collectors.





Imagine my surprise, then, to discover a copy of Bruka Queen Of Evil last month in my post box. Ten minutes later, I can confirm Bruka is no Devil Woman. Although made by the same production team and with many of the original’s cast, its immediate sequel Bruka is an entirely different creature. A quantum improvement on Devil Woman, the film throws open Manda’s own personal narrative, giving her both a legacy and a destiny, and adds a new protagonist’s magical quest against a seemingly improbable array of oddities.



Bruka begins as Devil Woman ends, with Manda engulfed in flames as she falls over a cliff. Miraculously she survives, and wakes in a cave next to a white-haired hag and a cadre of dwarves. “I’m your grandmother,” the hag Bruka declares, and to prove the point, unfurls her fifteen-foot snake body. She then shows Manda flashbacks to her birth in a crystal ball, revealing Manda’s mother to have chosen a mortal husband over her reptilian heritage. Manda’s so happy at the family reunion, she literally dances for joy! Surrounding her is a brand new arsenal for her protection: bats, rock creatures, tree-men, and shape-shifting dwarves into snakes. Veteran contrabida Charlie Davao is the test case, a poor villager who sees a figure under a sheet in his yard. It turns out to be a wooden cross covered in reptiles who almost drown him in venom. And with that, the Devil Woman sequel has already shape-shifted itself to the next level of weirdness.



Grandma Bruka now gives her granddaughter a special gift – a black stone which turns her head full of angry snakes into human hair for as long as she keeps the stone in her mouth. To test the theory, she goes for a jungle stroll and kisses the first unfortunate hippie with a guitar who stumbles upon her. Spitting out the stone, the snakes pounce. Exssssscelent! In Bruka, Manda is no longed killing simply for revenge, and is instead awakening her true inner evil, and exploiting her outward normalcy to indulge her more primal, destructive instincts.





In Bruka, Manda faces a new antagonist in the shape of poor and angry Chinese Hong Pin (Pascual’s kung fu kicking regular Alex Lung). He takes on the job of finding rich Mr Tony’s daughter Louisa to buy food for his ailing family. In an eerily effective sequence he walks into a village obliterated by Manda’s snake scourge, bodies strewn everywhere covered in flies and bite marks, and he helps bury the bodies alongside a priest (Ramon D’Salva) and his hunchbacked assistant. The forest is full of peril, warns the hunchback, and Hong Pin must seek a hermit’s help. And as if on cue, Bruka’s dwarves burst into the church, dissolve into snakes and cover the priest and cripple. With the hermit’s rope-belt-turned-into-a-pole, Hong Pin makes his way through hostile territory, through all manner of creatures, to the cave containing Louisa and her virginal companions, all ready to be sacrificed to the Snake Queens’ insidious blood cult.





Pascual’s Philippines output for his Emperor Films International included another starring role for Lung, Dragons Never Die (1974), released in the US on a double bill with Devil Woman, and three Tagalog horror films released in 1975 alone for the local market (Isinumpa, Pagsapit Ng Dilim and Pandemonium: Lupa, Langit At Impiyerno). But if there was ever destined to be Filipino Lords Of The Rings with evil, fondling, Riverdancing hobbits and bleeding trees, this is the one film to rule them all. Those with a snake phobia, BEWARE; those with eyebrows ready to be raised and a keenly-honed appreciation of the absurd, enjoy, and I’ll see you at Ermita’s all-dwarf bar Hobbit House for after-movie rum cocktails.













Wednesday, 18 May 2011

THE KILLER ELEPHANTS and THUNDER OF GIGANTIC SERPENT - on DVD from ATTACKAFANT in 2011

Fred Anderson of Ninja Dixon blog has just uploaded the trailer for his upcoming DVD release of THE KILLER ELEPHANTS (Thailand, 1976). Fred has recently launched a one-man company entitled ATTACKAFANT ENTERTAINMENT and besides THE KILLER ELEPHANTS Fred has also bought the rights for THUNDER OF GIGANTIC SERPENT (1988). These DVDs are not bootlegs or public domain crap but official DVDs. ATTACKFANT is based in Sweden and the two DVDs will carry English dubs. You'll find their Facebook page here.




And here's an old upload (from someone else) of THUNDER OF GIGANTIC SERPENT. Obviously, the uploader copied it off the IFD homepage and the picture quality ain't too happening but you'll get an impression of this crazy movie. The bad quality is of course not representative of how the new DVD is gonna look.

FIREFIST OF INCREDIBLE DRAGON - update

Korean poster


I wrote about the wild and crazy movie FIREFIST OF INCREDIBLE DRAGON the other day and here's a bit of new info from two nice gents; Knudsford of ASIAN CULT CINEMA SHOWCASE blog in Japan has provided highly interesting info on the film's origin and Peter "Kothar" from Cinehound has sent me cover scans for the French VHS and DVD releases.

The different releases:

Peter, along with my buddy David Z in the US, confirms that the French print is a good-looking letterboxed print and that it runs a whooping 11 minutes longer than the UK DVD!!!

Unfortunately, the French DVD isn't English friendly. :o(

Whether the French VHS and DVD contain the original uncut Korean print instead of the Tomas Tang version remains to be seen. One rather unfortunate piece of info I learnt via the British Board of Film Classification's (BBFC) homepage is that they cut out no less than 51 seconds of the UK DVD!!! As I wrote in my first post the film is also out on VHS in the US and I would assume that version is the uncut print (of the shorter Tomas Tang version).

About the film:

Firstly, FIREFIST OF INCREDIBLE DRAGON isn't a Hong Kong movie at all as it says on the IMDb!

Whaaat? Surely you jest, Jack!?!? O_O
Incorrect info on the highly trustworthy IMDb??? Nooo!!! @_@

Obviously, I'm laughing my ass off here. xD
As soon as I saw that Tomas Tang moniker I suspected foul play but with info as difficult to come by in regards to an ultra obscure and rare movie like FIREFIST you sometimes got to run with what you're being given. Even shitty info provided by drunken IMDb monkeys.

However, here's the correct info which Tommy translated from Korean:

소림사 주천귀동 Juchon-Gwidong in Shaolin Temple (1982)
Chinese title: 少林寺酒天鬼童
Production Company Shin Han Art Films Co., Ltd
Producer Kim Gi-Yeong
Release Day 1982-06-19
Running Time 82 min.
Director Kim Jong-Seong
Cast: Lee Jae-Yeong, Im Poong, Han Hee, Joo Yong-Jong

I'm a bit curious as to the 82 minute running time info. Peter tells me the French tape runs 88 minutes!!! Did the Koreans have a censored print or is it simply a misprint?




None of these two French covers are particularly good I'm afraid! Actually they're terrible at conveying what kind of film is inside the box! You would think this is an ordinary - and kinda boring looking - martial arts movie. Well, like I said (i.e. rambled about frantically) in my first post this isn't an ordinary kung fu film by anybody's standards! I would loooove to see this being given a proper release by Mondo Macabro!! Are you listening Peter Tombs!!!



UPDATE: Fred Anderson has just reviewed the film on Ninja Dixon.


Big thank-you's fly out to Knudsford, Peter, and David!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

THE FANTASTIC SWORD - update

I've just added Peter "Petcor80"'s review from Cinehound (including 11 scans) to the THE FANTASTIC SWORD post. Go here.

By the way, I believe I may very well own the only existing original copy of this Hong Kong video-cd. At least among collectors. None of the scenesters (LOL) I'm in touch with have come across another copy or heard of one. And this HK vcd is most likely the only release there is. I bought it off eBay in early 2010 and the seller had it listed at 80 dollars!!! You can buy a new car in the Czech Republic for that kind of money! I knew the seller from a message board so I wrote to him and said I really wanted the vcd but didn't have $80. I think I either asked if he would sell me a dvdr dupe or I offered him very little for the original. Well, in any case fortunately he was (probably) having a good day so he said: "Pay me 20 bucks and it's yours" [i.e. for the original, not a dvdr!]. Including postage it came to $28. xD xD xD

Biggest trashy non-Filipino war flick dilemma for tonight


I am in seven minds as we say on these shores! [which doesn't mean we all suffer from multiple personality disorder but to be confused as what to chose in regards to something that has several alternative options!]

I do two blogs on Asian worldweird cinema; this one and a site for trashy Vietnam war movies filmed in the Philippines WHEN THE VIETNAM WAR RAGED... IN THE PHILIPPINES (which may sound like an odd set-up if you're not familiar with these particular movies, how can the Philippines be made to look like the jungles of Vietnam, not to mention how can Filipino actors be made to look like the Vietcong, but trust me, once you figure out how to overlook these anomalies you're in for a fun ride!).

The thing is, where do I index a film like DARK DAY EXPRESS? Here or there? It's a crazy and wild movie from the Asian backyard so it's right up our alley here at BACKYARD ASIA - but on the other hand: there IS an awful lot of machine gun fighting, EXPLODING HUTS (lots of those in Filipino war flicks... just the concept: huts... that... explode... when you shoot at them!!!), and general mayhem... so that way it ought to fit in on the trashy war site.

However... altho the film DOES feature expat gwilo actors it's NOT from the Philippines but from Thailand! So you see: a major dilemma if I ever saw one (yes, there is starvation and unemployment en masse in this world but this is my own personal - less important but still irritating - dilemma for tonight! Argh! Haha).



Anyway, if nothing else I'll post this uber-rare trailer here while I think about where to post these entries. And like the trailer the film itself is also uber-uber-rare! I'm aware of only two VHS releases; one in Spain (dubbed into Spanish) and the other in Greece (dubbed into English) but both of those releases are extremely rare. A nice fellow on Cinehound forum provided me with a dvdr dupe off a screener from the distribution company in Hong Kong who took care of the distribution for the world market (and bloody obviously didn't do a very good job of it as it seems only those two aforementioned countries bought it for video release!).

The trailer upload comes curtsey of Knetan (Kenneth Brorsson) of the cool and highly recommended HK review site Oh so good Hong Kong reviews and obviously he got a copy from the same friend as it has the same annoying Filmark logo plastered all over the right top cover (and it continues thru out the whole damn movie but I'm happy to at least be able to watch this fun movie).

A BRIEF WORD ON THE MOVIE

DARK DAY EXPRESS is about a mysterious guy who hires a bunch of mercenaries for a trip to the nearest dangerous jungle to find *something* for him. They're not being told what it is but the two million dollars he waves in front of each of their noses is enough to convince them it's a really, really good idea to go into an unknown jungle describe by the locals as "Don't go in, you're not coming back".

It would be the biggest cinematic surprise if they didn't encounter danger and wild stuff once they get to the jungle so that's exactly what happens. There's also a silly chick who keeps wanting to take a dump and her *shirtlifter* friend. For some reason these older Thai action movies always found room for the compulsory gay guy, and by gay I mean overly gay. Gay as in so gay it's CARTOON GAY! If you buy the notion that films are a representation of real life you would think there are no ordinary gay men in Thailand.

One of the main characters is played by the German actor Christoph Klueppel who went to Thailand and starred in a bunch of wild films many years ago. Some of his other movies include IN GOLD WE TRUST, THE LOST IDOL, MISSION HUNTER 1 & 2, and SATANIC CRYSTALS. Fred Anderson of Ninja Dixon blog has just made what he describes as a "massive" interview with Klueppel (who still lives in Thailand by the way) and will post it on his blog sometime in the near future. I really wish someone would release more of these films on DVD (or SOME of them at least!!).

SILUMAN CLURIT PERAK (Indonesia, 1988)

review by PETER "KOTHAR"




Director: Dasri Yacob

Cast: Yurike Prastica, Yan Bastian, Herby Latuperisa, Essy Lousiana, Jamal Jentak, Ruslan Basrie, Djoni Abdullah

Genre: Horror, Action

An evil witch kidnapped people and turns them into zombies. Two young warriors, a pretty girl and an old master fight against the witch and her helpers and monsters.

This is another ultra weird, crazy trash-megabomb from Indonesia. We have an evil witch who likes to bite off penis, one eye is gouged with a branch, flying skulls, zombies, vampire bats, funny transformations, intestines, bloody kung fu fights, flying coffins attack villagers !!!, the old master strangled his opponents with a giant tongue !!, exploding bodies, bizarre black magic rituals, worms eating and many more.
It is actually not to put into words, therefore, the pictures speak for themselves.


Click the scans to see their full size:






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I've tried to make the scans a bit bigger on the page so if the framing looks weird that's the reason!
/Jack

Crazy Indonesia!!!

It must be around 10 since years since I discovered the crazy films of Indonesia. I'm not even sure where I learnt about them but it was way before the Mondo Macabro book came out. Maybe I first found out about these wonders thru Günter Müller's WEIRD ASIA site, I definitely discovered that one long ago. Anyhoo, I'll try and do an incisive piece on Indonesian cinema at some stage (or maybe I'll just rip off Güter's old German article, LOL) but until then here's something else along the same lines: Another student from the "school of Günter Müller" (besides me and kitty kat Nekoneko) is Kothar (aka Peter) from Cinehound forum. He's based in Germany and used to follow WEIRD ASIA too and is a big collector of Hong Kong, Filipino, and not least Indonesian films. Lately he's posted some short reviews on Cinehound and altho they're not all that long I'm going to post at least one of them here simply because the images from this Indo flick are just... for the lack of a better word... awesome!!!

Thanks for letting me post this, Peter (I'm sure you would have said yes if I'd asked you, haha).

Monday, 16 May 2011

DEADLY TARGET (Philippines, 1986)

Original title: LABAN KUNG LABAN

VHS / Holland / fullscreen / English dub / Dutch subtitles
[click scan to see full cover]

Tacky cover tagline: *This man is unstoppable*


1986 - Deadly Target (Viking Films)

[Philippines release date 4th June 1986, original title “Laban Kung Laban”]

Director Romy Suzara Screenplay Jose Carreon Cinematography Ernie dela Paz Music Jaime Fabregas Editor Augusto Salvador Sound Rolly Ruta Art Director Bobby Bautista

Cast Rudy Fernandez, Beth Bautista, Ronaldo Valdez, Liz Alindogan, Johnny Delgado, Mario C. Montenegro, Delia Razon, Melissa Mendez, Zandro Zamora, Bomber Moran, Roberto Talabis.

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

Ahh, joy, bliss, heaven! I received this awesome ex-rental tape from Holland yesterday. It's a VERY rare release of a VERY rare Rudy Fernandez revenge flick from the Philippines. I was told there was only a censored German dubbed VHS release of this but fortunately that turned out to be incorrect. A reader left a message over on my When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines blog and mentioned there's also a VHS release in Greece!

So far I've only skimmed thru the film but it looks highly entertaining! The film runs a whooping 1h50m!! Thanks to Petcor80 from Cinehound for the awesome trade!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

FIREFIST OF INCREDIBLE DRAGON (South Korea, 1982)

Tomas Tang's English dubbed version: Hong Kong, 1983



BLOW YOUR MIND FOR A PENNY!!!

Unless television has ruined your short term memory completely you'll remember I bought a DVD from Amazon UK for 1 pence a fortnight ago. I remember Fred "Ninjadixon" Anderson asked me if it were a good movie. I suspect he thought it would probably be the worst crap ever. I mean how can you get a good or even decent movie for one lousy stinking penny!?!? I must admit I kinda had the same worry, I mean, come on, ONE PENNY for crying out loud! Well, the movie is FIREFIST OF INCREDIBLE DRAGON (South Korea, 1982/Hong Kong, 1983), I watched it last night and... let me try and put this into perspective... one of the wildest and most insane films I usually bring up when the debate is on, well, wild and insane movies, is WOLF DEVIL WOMAN. Most fans of worldweird cinema will tell you that film is a bat-shit crazy movie. Try and listen carefully to what I'm going to say now, I'll try and write it as slowly and carefully pronounced as I can... "FIREFIST" IS "WOLF DEVIL WOMAN"... AND THEN DOUBLE UP!!!!!! ARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!




This is without a doubt the most wild, insane, crazy, fucked up, messed up, mindblowing piece of worldweird cinema I've eve seen!!! This film has EVERYTHING!!! Dead corpses, ghosts, flying ghosts, nudity, zombies, bad kung fu, a zombie doing bad kung fu, sleaze, gore, people pissing their pants, the window scene from SUSPERIA totally ripped off!!!, music from spaghetti westerns, bloody bath water, and tons more! The only thing you won't find is a flying head... BUT IT HAS A FLYING HEART THAT KILLS PEOPLE!!!!!







That one penny is the best penny I've ever spent!!! My good buddy Ingolf (who once was part of the Copenhagen gang but now resides in the fjells of Norway) tells me this version is even only a short version and there is a longer French print (only on VHS I think/EDIT: there's also a French DVD). Needless to say I tried to located that version immediately after finishing the mindblowing experience but alas to no avail. Apparently the French version is even letterboxed. The print states Jimmy Tseng is the director but I haven't been able to find any info on the film and I don't trust the fucken IMDb at all as most of that info is written by drunken Mongolian monkeys - on medication. The UK disc is serviceable but not great: fullscreen, English dub, and the picture looks like ass! (kinda like if it were taped off an outskirt TV signal). And there are scenes covered in a weird blue light, I couldn't even tell if it were MEANT to be that way or if the print just went from crappy to even more crappy - BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER!!! Somehow the rough picture made it all the more fun.

The DVD cover says 2002 but even so you can still easily get it from Amazon UK and eBay. My copy was a second hand copy but I bet it was only watched once (or not at all) as it looks like new. I checked eBay and it turns out the film was also released on VHS in the US but apparently it's never made it to DVD statesside. One seller stated the US tape runs 90 minutes which is quite a bit longer than the UK DVD but I have my doubts about that. I've seen one too many eBay page with info taken right off video cases because the sellers couldn't be arsed to check the tape or DVD (but if you have the tape please let me know. Cheers). If you can't play PAL DVDs I suggest you get the boot they're selling from FarEastFlix; their version is fullscreen + English dub but whether it's off the US VHS or the UK DVD I have no idea. I'm certainly gonna watch this again, I suggest you do the same if you're into worldweird films. xD


EDIT: I've now got the French DVD (from Amazon.fr) and it is indeed quite a bit longer and letterboxed. Unfortunately, the print is a tad too dark in night scenes. I sure wish someone will rerelease a proper version at some stage.






The deadly flying heart taking a rest in a tree.