Thursday 11 July 2013

99 shiny pennies...

I won another copy of Rick Baker and Toby Russell's book "The Essential Guide to Hong Kong Movie" yesterday. Winning bid: 99 pence!!!

The seller described the book as being in a good condition. I've already got another copy but half of the pages have come loose so this was an excellent chance to get another copy in a proper condition. This new one probably won't have been signed by one of the authors like my old one is but I'll just see if I can survive that bit of misfortune (if you think you might detect a level of sarcasm here you're in the right. I really don't give a rat's arse about anybody's hand-scribbled autograph, no matter who they are - unless it's on a cheque made out to yours truly, lmao).

Hmm, now that I think of it I also bought another 99p book a couple of months ago, a hardcover edition of a James Ellroy crime book, and it had been signed by Ellroy!! Like I said, I don't care much for autographs but that incident was kinda fun cos you kinda get the idea that the seller really didn't give a shit about James Ellroy, hahaha.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

When wonder women and the thirsty dead ones turn up at your doorstep

The Retromedia dvd of WONDER WOMEN has finally arrived at the Backyard Asia headquarters!!! If you've followed my posts about the release you'll know that the dvd has (most likely) been pulled back. At least it's gone from Amazon and taking Retromedia's dispute with Code Red into account I wasn't gonna postpone ordering the dvd any longer. I received it today and although I haven't watched the film in full yet the print does look heaps better than the old Something Weird Video dvd-r. And the extras look great.

A couple of days ago I posted about a new upcoming dvd release (from Vinegar Syndrome) of the Filipino film THE THIRSTY DEAD. However, the film is already out on dvd also from SWV and I wanted it for the collection (see picture #2). The second feature on the disc is the old Spanish horror film SWAMP OF THE RAVENS. A pretty good film but don't get the dvd for this film; The SWV print is cut! You're better off getting the fully uncut VCI dvd (which also contain a fully uncut and good looking print of I EAT YOUR SKIN - which SWV also released a crappy print of with noticeable missing footage).

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Four Filipino films from Vinegar Syndrome

While other labels have difficulties putting out one Filipino film John Lyons' new(ish) video label Vinegar Syndrome have announced the upcoming release of no less than four Filipino films!

The films are Cirio H. Santiago's two films VENGEANCE IS MINE (aka Death Force, 1978) and VAMPIRE HOOKERS (1978). The version of VENGEANCE is the rare uncut 110 minute edit!

The just announced last two films are BLOOD THIRST (aka Blood Seekers/The Horror from Beyond, Newt Arnold, 1965/71) and THIRSTY DEAD (aka Blood Hunt/The Blood Cult of Shangri-La, Terry Becker, 1974). The latter two have previously been released on dvd from Something Weird Video.

All four films are slated for release on September 10.

John Lyons of Vinegar Syndrome said this about VENGEANCE IS MINE and VAMPIRE HOOKERS on DVDManiacs forum:

"Since it was brought up on facebook, VENGEANCE IS MINE will not be going blu. We acquired rights + negs for both Santiago films made for Robert Waters, so VENGEANCE and VAMPIRE HOOKERS (Waters had originally released both through his own company but then licensed them to 21st Century, a license which expired in 1998, after which he sold them again).
So we're gonna recreate the double feature with new transfers from 35mm IPs for both. Unfortunately, Waters kept the OCN for VAMPIRE HOOKERS in poor storage conditions as he did with the VENGEANCE CRI so we went from the IP for HOOKERS, which looks amazing and from the moisture damaged CRI for VENGEANCE. There was also an interneg for the DEATH FORCE cut but it was missing a couple reels so we just decided to go with VENGEANCE as a whole rather than trying to assemble it from bits of DEATH FORCE.
We have over 100 rolled 1-sheets for each film as well, stored in giant tubes. We also found what appear to be trailer negs for both the HOOKERS and GRAVEYARD titles and the GRAVEYARD and DEATH FORCE insert title cards.
So, we're going to be doing this one as a drive-in double."

Specs from DVDManiacs:

Two blood soaked epics from the king of Filipino exploitation, Cirio H. Santiago!

Death Force (1978)
Presented uncut and under its original title, VENGEANCE IS MINE!
Director: Cirio H. Santiago
110 minutes / Color / AR: 1.85:1

Vampire Hookers (1978)
Director: Cirio H. Santiago
79 minutes / Color / AR: 1.85:1

Features Include:
+ Dual Layer DVD-9 | Region Free | 16:9 Anamorphic | 1.85:1 AR | MONO
+ 2k scan from 35mm IPs
+ Original trailer VAMPIRE HOOKERS


Monday 1 July 2013

The continued WONDER WOMEN case - close to SOAP proportions!

Do you remember the old American tv-series "SOAP"? If you do then... the following is basically on level with the insanity of that show.

A couple of years back I posted about how I'd bought Something Weird Video's dvd-r bootleg copy of the fun and wild Filipino film WONDER WOMEN (1973).

Then I posted about how Code Red was going to release the film.

This was followed by the news of Fred Olen Ray and his label Retromedia also having planned a release.

Bill Olsen of Code Red went out and said he was going to get his release out as quickly as possible [in order to beat Retromedia to it]. But he didn't (release it).

And THEN came the news of Bill Olsen and Fred Olen Ray getting into a legal dispute due to their both claiming to have the rights for releasing the film.

Then - after this looong wait - Retromedia finally released their dvd.

And now ... it's gone again (i.e. the Amazon page has been deleted).

Latest piece of news is that Bill Olsen has stated he isn't even interested in releasing the film any longer (I assume he figures so many people will have bought the Retromedia disc during its one month availability that nobody's gonna buy a Code Red release of the film).

However, Olsen also mentioned (on Latarnia forum) that he's obligated to release the film and that it's gonna come out as part of a double bill (no news on when this may happen but knowing the pace of CR this could very well take another long while).

PS: there are online stores that still stock copies of the Retromedia dvd so if you want a copy I would recommend you get your skates on. I've ordered a copy and am crossing my fingers it's gonna get here. Who knows how long stocks are gonna last. The dvd is loaded with extras that are surely NOT going to be included on the Code Red dvd!

Extras on the Retromedia release (info from Fred Olen Ray's Facebook page):

"Commentary Track with director Robert V. O'Neil
On set Super 8mm Home Movies
Radio Spots, TV Spots, Theatrical Trailers
Missing Scenes from European Version
Video Interview with 2nd Unit Director Erik Cord
Scenes from the uncompleted sequel, WARRIOR WOMEN (1983)
Still Gallery from the original color Slides and BW negatives
Media Gallery and maybe a few more surprises"