Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Directed by Jaromil Jires
Czechoslovakia; 1970

Jaroslava Schallerová was born April 25, 1956. VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS, in which Jaroslava played the title role, was filmed in 1970. So Jaroslava was 14 or 15 years of age at the time of filming. This would explain the uneasy feeling I got while watching Valerie, that at any moment my front door would burst open and Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC would bum rush me with a camera crew.

VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS has no story, which makes it a hard one to review. In the opening credits it states that the film was funded by The State Fund of the Czech Republic for the Support & Development of Czech Cinematography. (That's not a cleaver Borat related reference either, that long ass thing is really the name of the fund.) This speaks volumes as to how this picture should be viewed. Full of scenes of both beautiful landscapes and psychedelic close ups of faces & body parts, VALERIE - if viewed as an exercise in cinematography - is an interesting work. If however your looking for an easily accessible plot, keep looking.

Do a little research on VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS and you'll see most reviews compare it to Alice in Wonderland. Or at least make strong comparisons to fairy tales in general. I can see how many elements compare closely to those of classic fables and fairy tales. Valerie - much like Alice or Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz - is a young woman who encounters several unusual characters, each of which advise & coax her further toward her destiny for better or for worse. But does any of it make any sense? Not really.

I also frequently came across the idea that Valerie, was a story of one woman's journey into womanhood as she experiences puberty and her first period. I didn't get a very strong Are You There God? It's Me, Valerie vibe while watching, but again I can see where you could read that from the film. But that's the thing about this film, you can read damn near anything you want into it.

If I had to narrow the film down to an easy to describe genre, I'd have to say it's a vampire film. Valerie's blood is being sought by The Weasel, who looks like Max Schreck's stand in for Nosferatu, because it will sustain him eternal life. The local village chickens are being found dead & drained of blood. Valerie's grandmother trades her soul or allegiance or something, it was never really explained, to the Weasel for a more youthful look and the chance to remain forever young. Sounds like a vampire film to me.

Maybe it is unfair to tack a label to a film that contains not just elements of a traditional vampire tale but also includes incestuous relationships, panicked villagers, perverted priests & lesbian rendezvous'. On second thought, maybe not.

DVD available here!

Review by The Undead Film Critic!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More Mexi-Madness and New Naschy covers!!!

Some DVD news:

First off, here's another announced title in CasaNegra's amazing Mexican Horror line - THE LIVING COFFIN! For you, dear readers, I give the details:

In this eerie atmospheric reinvention of a timeless Mexican legend and Edgar Allen Poe's classic The Premature Burial, a Cowboy (Gastón Santos) and his sidekick, Crazy Wolf (Pedro de Aguillón), stop at an eerie ranch to learn more of about a stone figure they've unearthed that depicts a crying woman.

The ranch's odd, off-kilter residents tell them that the statue, and another just like it, was created by the now-dead Clotilde (Carolina Barrett), whose ghost has been sighted by local villagers … crying.

Cowboy and Crazy Wolf are then pulled into an action-packed, spine-tingling web of supernatural spookery and desperados out to unearth a secret vein of gold. Along the way, the cross Skeleton Swamp and bodies pile up while, somehow, coffins keep disappearing.

CasaNegra is proud to present this Mexican horror classic uncut and in never-before-available pristine quality. So crack open the lid to The Living Coffin and settle back for a blast of vintage thrills!

Special Features:

* Original Uncut Version
* Completely Re-Mastered Picture & Sound from Newly Restored Vault Elements
* Bilingual Menus in English & Spanish
* Cast Biographies
* Original Theatrical Release Radio Spot
* Poster and Stills Gallery

FIlm Info

85 Mins.
Not Rated
1:33 Aspect Ratio

Technical Info
Region 1-NTSC
Spanish Dolby Digital Mono 1.0
Optional English Subtitles

Release Info
Item #CN0109
MSRP: $19.95


cast Gastón Santos • María Duval • Quintín Bulnes • Pedro de Aguillón • Carlos Ancira • Carolina Barret • Antonio Raxel • Hortensia Santoveña
screenplay by Ramón Obón
directed by Fernando Méndez
produced by Alfredo Ripstein

Looks rad. And speaking of rad, here's the totally bitchin' new covers for the delayed Naschy flicks NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF and VENGENCE OF THE ZOMBIES! Not sure when these are being released from the dungeon, but we can't wait. View on these works, ye Mighty, and Despair!!:

We like. We like a lot.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Movie Review: VASNA KI AAG

Directed by Madan Sinha
India; 198?

This is a wild one. A Hindi rape-revenge number gussied up with cut-rate psychedelia and red stuff by the bucket. A pretty young thing gets hooked on drugs as an attempt by her mother to get her to stop dating a young, handsome doctor. I know, I don’t understand either (full disclosure: my print sported no subtitles of any sort). A sleaze-guru with a sleaze-goatee introduces her to the “stuff”, whatever it is (heroin, maybe? Again, no subtitles) and upon each hit she has blissful visions of butterflies, time-lapse photography flower blossoms, fireworks and other related psych-effects. Groovy! But soon enough she’s suffering from brutal hallucinations featuring wild snarling beasts, striking cobras and footage stolen from cheesy monster flicks. Not-so-Groovy. After this it’s but a hop, skip and a jump to the local brothel where she ends up being abused by the local vice-lords.

Not all that original, no. But it’s got enough freakishness and foreign oddity about it that works pretty damned well. By the end our violated heroine seeks her body-fluid gushing vengeance on all those what done her wrong and the film really launches into awesome ridiculousness. She uses her seductive charm (the actress here is quite the looker I must admit) to woo her tormenters and then plugs ‘em using axes, guns, horses – whatever happens to be available. And you know she’s serious when she comes out sporting pants (gasp!) and a headband and riding her dead doctor lover’s blood spattered motorbike. VASNA KI AAG is lively, pulpy fun. Mindless, exciting and kinda silly. The drug visions are a hoot and the rape scene, while hardly a blood-curdling disturb-a-thon, is rendered in enough perspective distortion to make it seem heady and bold, even if you don’t really buy the gravity of the events being depicted. And of course it really splatters things up, for a South Asian film anyway. In the end, our heroine, her bloody vendetta complete, throws herself upon the mercy of the gods, and, having accomplished all she can with her shit-smeared life, tragically expires, vengeance spent. All in all, a worthwhile riot of Bollysploitation and thick with the kind of weirdo details we just can’t get enough of ‘round here.

Print provided by Electric Larvae.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Our 100th Post!!!!!!!

Thanks to all who've checked us out and said nice things!
Thanks to all who've checked us out and not said anything at all!
To celebrate here's a wacky and wild clip from the Indonesian fantasy freakout THE SNAKE QUEEN!!

We promise the next 100 will be even better!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Latest from Onar Films!!

Bill marches on! More delays for his Turkish Horror Double Feature, but some good news as well!
Read on!

In case there are still people who care, here are the latest developments, or rather DEVILopments!

1- About 1 month ago, my good friend Ali Murat (my saviour) found the best subtitling studio in Istanbul and he was ready to give them the 2 films for subs.
2- At the same time, another guy was ready to give him the interviews so that they would go for subs at once.
3- And the betamasters would arrive here 5 days after that, that is 25 days ago, ok?


1- That subs studio asked for an astronomical amount, 3 times higher than what I used to pay!
2- The guy with the intervies vanished into thin air!!
3- The betas were sent not 5 days after that but 15. And the day they were to be delievered to me, the courier vehicle broke down and they were delivered 1 day later!


1- I managed to find another translator, with reasonable prices... AND she started working for me...AND she sent the subs for the 1st film....
2- I insisted and finally the interviews guy was found and promised he would hand them 10 days ago...
3- I gave the betas to the studio here for some restoration...


1- The subs proved to have major technical errors making it impossible to use.
2- The 10 days passed and he disappeared again...
3- The studio's beta video machine broke down "beyond local repair"!


1- I managed to correct the subs and the guy here working on them told me that we can work on them without a problem.
2- The interview SOUL-TAKING guy promised he will hand the F@#*ing interviews later this week.
3- We are looking for another studio to work on the betas and this week the problem will be solved no matter what.

Well, as you can guess my plan for a late November release went to hell.
I want to hope that middle December will be more like it.
Meanwhile, I'm simultaneously working on my next double-bill, with SUPERMEN DONUYOR & DEMIR YUMRUK DEVLER GELIYOR. I want to release this right after the horror double-bill, during the Christmas Holidays.

BUT, this time I will be wiser than before and press NOT 1200 pieces but 800 the most! I will never sell out 1200 pcs even if I live for ever. So, from now on, 800 pcs will be enough, maybe less. SADLY, the price will HAVE to be raised a bit because my costs will be exactly the same. This means, that the final retail price is going to be about 5-6$ higher. But given that these releases will be super-duper limited, the REAL FANS should not complain...

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Directed by José Mojica Marins
Brazil; 1971

We love the ‘Zé do Caixão’ films around here, especially the first two, AT MIDNIGHT I’LL TAKE YOUR SOUL and THIS NIGHT I’LL POSSESS YOUR CORPSE, which I would personally regard as two of my all-time faves. These films grip you with a wild and manic cinematic primitivist aesthetic, and darken your head-space with an existential mean streak that’s utterly unique in all moviedom. But FINIS HOMINIS is a bit different. While it too is a unique beast, with its own odd rhythms and perspectives, it doesn’t really work as something to be viewed and enjoyed. It is really weird, and worthwhile to see for this weirdness, but it’s a weirdness that just eats itself, the oblique mise-en-scene disappearing up its own proverbial ass. Director and star José Mojica Marins seems to be offering us an apocalyptic inverse of the Zé do Caixão films, as the title character reveals the weakness and hypocrisy of humans and their feeble institutions by basking in Christ-like beatitude and working miracles of everyday kindness, instead of ‘Coffin Joe’s threats to the same by his megalomaniacal and homicidal existentialism. Although, strangely you end up more sympathetic to Ze than to Finis, who despite a sort of gypsyesque saintliness comes off rather aloof and maybe even a little sinister. FINIS HOMINIS is interesting for these reasons and there’s enough off-the-cuff surrealism and Z-grade ambiance that it almost works. The cast would seem to be entirely composed of non-actors which, along with the static cinematography, gives the movie a rough and tumble kitsch value that’s reminiscent of an H.G. Lewis production. But it’s an H.G. Lewis production with the ambition of an Alejandro Jodorowsky. And ultimately it doesn’t fit together in any sort of satisfying way. It can’t quite muster enough low-budget charm or weird mystical bent to make it a film you’d want to revisit very often. That said, I’m glad I watched FINIS and would recommend it to all José Mojica Marins fans who feel the need to venture further into his idiosyncratic oeuvre. I was fairly entertained and a little bit bewildered by its meandering episodic structure and cheap-o religious pretensions, but in the end it’s more a curiosity piece than an awesome cult film in it own right.

Print provided by an import DVD I rented at Scarecrow Video.
DVD availabe to purchase at Xploited Cinema.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Assorted DVD News!!!

OK here's a clutch of DVD announcements to lay on ya, from various sources. All are Worldweird approved foreign-made exploitation/cult fab-ness.
First off, Blue Underground has announced that they will release a slew of Itlalian horror titles which had previously been issued by Anchor Bay. Argento's INFERNO and DEEP RED, Fulci's CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD and DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING, Mario Bava's SHOCK and Armando Crispino's AUTOPSY. Basically they are the same releases as the old ones but with the BU logo smacked on 'em and at reduced prices. Available on Feb. 27, 2007, priced at 14.99 and only out for a limited time.

Thanks to the Undead Film Critic for the info!

Also coming soon, but from young upstarts Severin Films is a couple of arty Eurotica flixx from famed director Walerian Borowczyk. They arrive on January 30th of next year and here's the low-down, my brothers:


Uncut And Uncensored For The First Time Ever In America!

For legendary producer Pierre Braunberger (SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER), it was the most enticing of challenges: Invite the three most controversial directors in modern erotic cinema to indulge their fantasies in one daring film. The result remains one of the most uniquely sensual motion pictures of our time.

In the first story from director Just Jaeckin (EMMANUELLE, GWENDOLINE), a castaway sailor is rescued by a tribe of succulent native women led by the stunning Laura Gemser of BLACK EMANUELLE fame who soon reveal their most unusual appetites. Then director Shuji Terayama (FRUITS OF PASSION) explores the haunting tale of a Japanese boy seduced by the riddle song of a village madwoman. And in the bold adaptation of a short story by De Maupassant, director Walerian Borowczyk (IMMORAL WOMEN, THE BEAST) reveals the torrid liaison between a Parisian gentleman, a Follie Bergere prostitute and an unexpected surprise that hides in the night.

Color / 1.66:1 / 16x9 / 103 mins / Not Rated / $29.95 / Reg 0 (NTSC) / DVD 5
English / Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0
UPC 891635001117 / Item SEV1107

Director: Walerian Borowczyk, Just Jaeckin & Shuji Terayama

Starring: Roland Blanche, Laura Gemser, Marie Catherine Conti, Hiromi Kawai.

Aka: Un collections privées

* Island of Just - Interview with Director Just Jaeckin
* Theatrical Trailer
* Talent Bios


Now Uncut And Uncensored For The First Time Ever In America

Some have hailed him as a genius of joyous erotica, while others have condemned him as a monster of pornographic depravity. But in this controversial three-part feature by writer/director Walerian Borowczyk, women are mysterious and degenerate creatures who hunger for both extremes. In the first tale, Marina Pierro (of BEHIND CONVENT WALLS) stars as the muse whose rampant lusts enflamed the artists and clergy of ancient Rome. Then Gaëlle Legrand is a blossoming teen in 18th century France whose unnatural desire for her pet bunny leads to an act of depraved passion. Finally, a luscious young wife (former Disney child star Pascale Christophe) is abducted and raped before finding the ultimate ecstasy with her four-legged savior.

Severin Films is proud to present this notorious erotic epic - also known as THREE IMMORAL WOMEN and HEROINES OF EVIL - transferred from its original European negative materials with all of its scenes of daring sexuality now fully restored.

Color / 1.66:1 / 16x9 / 115 mins / Not Rated / $29.95 / Reg 0 (NTSC) / DVD 5
English / French Dolby Digital 2.0
UPC 891635001124 / Item SEV1108

Director: Walerian Borowczyk

Starring: Marina Pierro, Gaëlle Legrand, Pascale Christophe, François Guetary, Jean-Claude Dreyfus.

Aka: Les heroïnes du mal / Three Immoral Women / Unmoralische Engel

* Theatrical Trailer
* Walerian Borowczyk Bio

And finally, we have CasaNegra's announcement of the next in their stellar line of Mexi-Horror classics, THE MAN AND THE MONSTER!

Gothic horror, fun special effects and an inventive re-thinking of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story converge in THE MAN AND THE MONSTER, one of the most chilling and exciting classics in the annals of Mexico’s supernatural thrillers. Enrique Rambal portrays Samuel, a pianist so ambitious that he sells his soul to Satan in exchange for musical greatness. Every time Samuel plays the composition that wins him fame, fortune and adulation, he turns into a hideous beast with a lust for murder. To avoid transforming into a ferocious killer, all Samuel need do is refuse to play his signature song. But is he willing to sacrifice his own status as the world’s most acclaimed pianist?

THE MAN AND THE MONSTER is a one-of-a-kind blend of mature psychological terror and typical ‘50s creature-feature trappings. CasaNegra is proud to present this film in the finest form ever available anywhere.

Special Features:

* Original Uncut Version
* Completely Re-Mastered Picture & Sound from Newly Restored Vault Elements
* Bilingual Menus in English & Spanish
* Essay:
* Cast Biographies
* Original Theatrical Release Radio Spot
* Poster and Stills Gallery

FIlm Info
85 Mins.
Not Rated
1:33 Aspect Ratio

Technical Info
Region 1-NTSC
Spanish Dolby Digital Mono 1.0
Optional English Subtitles

Release Info
Item #CN0099
MSRP: $19.95

cast Enrique Rambal • Abel Salazar • Marta Roth • Deelia Guilmáin • Laura Baledón • José Chávez • Maricarmen Vela • Carlos Suárez
screenplay by Raúl Centeno
directed by Rafael Baledón

Out on April 24th, 2007. Which seems like a really long time from now. Can't wait.

Monday, November 13, 2006

SHOCKING VIDEOS is having a Sale!!

One of our fave sources for obscure trash cinema on DVDr, Shocking Videos, is having a holiday "blowout sale" that you'd be a fool to pass up. If you can't find like, 30 things to buy from this guy, then you should probably just go back to watching ALF reruns. From the horse's mouth:

Okay, I know you're busy so I'm going to spare you all the cheesy yuletide cliches and marketing hoopla and cut right to the chase: Holidays mean sales and this one's a doozy. From now until December 1st I'm setting aside my already generous "Buy 3 get 1 Free" bonus offer and replacing it with an EVEN MORE generous BUY 2 GET 1 FREE offer! That's right, order any two videos or DVDs and take a third of your choice ABSOLUTELY FREE (normal shipping charges apply)! This is a NO LIMIT offer so the more you buy the more you save: Buy 4 get 2 more free, Buy 6 get 3 more free, Buy 8 get for more free, buy 10 get 5 more free, etc. I won't be repeating this offer anytime soon (if ever) so this is a GREAT opportunity to stock up on those rare titles for your library. Hurry though, the offer ends December 1st.


Spend $50 or more and I'll also throw in a FREE DVD of the extremely rare holiday anti-classic, THE JUNKY'S CHRISTMAS the heartwarming tale of a skid row hype who learns the true meaning of Christmas while trying to cop a fix on Baby Jesus' B-Day. Written and narrated by William S. Burroughs and done entirely in Claymation it's wonderfully warped and surprisingly touching, but still guaranteed to have Aunt Erma ralphing up her Sweet Potato Surprise! I have a limited supply of these and you can only get one when you order $50 or more worth of stuff so don't miss out because when they're gone they're gone!

Awesome. AND our pals (or pal, it's just one guy named Mark) at SV have also updated their webstite with over 60 new mouth-watering movies. Especially of interest to us Worldweird Cinema types is JAMES BATMAN: a filipino Batman/Bond rip from the 60s, REVENGE OF NINJA: a Barry Prima Indonesian fantasy extravaganza which features "kung fu fighting, disco dancing, barroom brawls, witches, demons, wizards, demon possession and exorcism, people and cars that blow up for no earthly reason and even a zombie army (that) puts in a last-minute appearance", and the Danish sex-freak classick THE SINFUL DWARF drawn from what is promised to be the nicest looking print extant! Yowza! How can you resist?

Click here for movies!

great source for underground videos and dvds!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Poptique Broadcasts Bollywood 'Bondalike'!!!

Our dear friend and ally Poptique has posted up a tribute to AGENT VINOD!, a wild-looking Bollywood Bond-rip both on his blog and his YouTube page.
I proudly point you in it's direction and offer you a couple of juicy samples of the clips therein:

Viva La Poptique! Viva La Bollywood!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The latest on Jodorowsky!!

We're always on the lookout for news concerning our favorite film-maker Alejandro Jodorowsky, and while this isn't exactly earth-shattering, this recent post on a Yahoo Jodo-fan-forum made after recent screenings of EL TOPO and HOLY MOUNTAIN is heartening nonetheless. Take a gander:

Alejandro Jodorowsky, the greatest living filmmaker, graced New York City for the first screenings of his masterpieces “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain” since the 1970’s. Neither film has achieved distribution in America due to a longstanding feud between Jodo and rights-holder Allen Klein, but that is due to end soon, as ABCKO Films has been restoring the legendary pictures for a proper DVD release. While there is regret that neither screening offered a fresh print of the films, we were getting a peek at the new ABCKO transfers, and boy, are they gorgeous. There were still discoloration issues and a few overtly digital enhancements, though all parties claimed the transfers were still a work in progress. Whatever the case, the American cinematic public will be truly blessed the day both films attain distribution.

Widely regarded as the first ever midnight movie, “El Topo”, Jodorowsky’s second recorded film (before “Fando Y Lis”, Jodorowsky claims he directed a mime film called “The Transposed Heads” that was lost forever) is perhaps the strangest, most unforgettable western of all time. Jodo stars as an invincible gunfighter who travels the west on horseback with his unclothed, primitive son. When he comes across a dilapidated monastery, he decides to leave the son behind in favor of a shapely female companion, who in turn demands he become the greatest gunfighter in the desert. In order to achieve this, he finds himself coming after the four contenders to that throne. However, he loses his humanity in the process, and when his companion falls for another woman, he is killed in an act of selfish sexual rebellion.

Underground, he is reborn, cared for by a collection of the physically disabled and disregarded. They have been shut out of a lawless western town because of their deformities, though El Topo’s newfound pacifism helps bridge a gap between the two worlds as a vaudevillian performer. But what of this young, black-clad stranger who has arrived at this godless town of prostitution and slavery at the same time?

To boil “El Topo” down to a mere description, synopsis or review is folly, but if this reminds any of you of the trials of Jesus, you’re on the right track. Like most Hispanic filmmakers, Jodorowsky is particularly fascinated with Christianity, though his target seems to frequently be the malleability and hypocrisy of its practitioners. El Topo is incensed that the villagers worship false gods, equating belief to a strong hand in Russian Roulette, while black slaves are treated like sexual conquests before hangings.

One of the items forgotten from the first time I saw “El Topo”, on a beaten down VHS dubbed in English but with Korean subtitles, was how strong the music was, and here, that comes through in full detail. The colors are vibrant, too- Jodorowsky’s imagery is second to none, and the beauty in violence is explored through his work through the most gorgeous colors one can imagine. However, certainly, Jodo is not PETA’s favorite filmmaker- after the fifth or sixth simulated rabbit death, a man behind me complained loudly and stormed off in a huff.

After the screening, the sprightly, joyous seventy-eight year old Jodo did a lengthy Q&A. Highlights:

-He absolutely LOVES Guillermo Del Toro, because he is fat, and also because of his movies. He also considers himself a Paul Verhoven lover, and he adores “Starship Troopers”.

-He doubts his ability today to film his script for “Son Of El Topo” because there are no investors eager to work with him, though he admitted the rapturous response during the Q&A had him excited. Actors willing to be in the film include Santiago Seguro, Nick Nolte, Alfonso Arau and Marilyn Manson.

-He marveled about the ability for older men of every type to find love and lamented the end of his previous relationship with a woman who wanted a child. He is currently dating a Vietnamese girl thirty-seven years younger than him.

-Marilyn Manson became a huge fan of his overnight, suddenly recommending “The Holy Mountain” to everyone, particularly fans through his websites, giving Jodo a new fanbase. Manson also wanted to be married off by Jodo, but only if he had the white jumpsuit he wore in “The Holy Mountain”. He didn’t, but a tailor made a remarkable replica.

-He has since made peace with Allen Klein, as they both remarked about how old and beautiful they both were. Jodo also made sure to go into detail on how Klein’s client at the time, John Lennon, was instrumental towards bringing “El Topo” to the masses. In the audience, Sean Lennon nodded approvingly.

-Both “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain” will be getting brief theatrical runs before showing up on DVD, possibly in NYC at the IFC Center.

-Jodorowsky didn’t do a Q&A for “The Holy Mountain” as it was a Saturday midnight screening, though he did openly admit he never tried drugs before or during “El Topo” but was introduced to LSD through initiation for “The Holy Mountain”. He spoke about his desire to work with a guru for the film, and then spent a week sleepless, enduring the effects of the drugs.

And it shows. “The Holy Mountain” is a fever dream, more elaborate, terrifying, funny and expansive than “El Topo” in every way. Much like Jodo’s previous films, “The Holy Mountain” isn’t at all married to narrative, beginning with the persecution and mistreatment of a would-be savior, crucified with flowers before eventually being used for a mold of his body and being forced to carry a cross with his armless, legless friend. This Jesus-figure yearns for something else, in the form of the Alchemist, a white-suited guru who recruits him with champions from each planet in order to participate in a soul-cleansing pilgrimage to the summit of the Holy Mountain, where enlightenment lies.

There are sights in “The Holy Mountain” that you can’t un-see. Jodorowsky creates intricate set-pieces the way fat people stack pancakes- each scene can be taken on its own as the most audacious moment in the entirety of seventies cinema. Revolutions spawn blood made of bluebirds, men bathe in the mist of their melted feces and in the end man must face the ultimate illusion of the film form. It’s heady stuff, enhanced by Jodorowsky’s calming, mesmerizing performance as the Alchemist, a role originally intended for John Lennon.

From L to R: Donald Cammell, Dennis Hopper, Jodorowsky, Kenneth Anger. London, 1971.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Movie Review: CIRKIN DUNYA

Directed by Osman F. Sedan
Turkey; 1974

is a sleaze-trip bum-rap of a film that’ll curdle your milk and wither your delicate sensibilities. It slithers into your visual cortex and fangs your idle brain with awkward violence and weirdo lusts. It’s a mostly by-the-numbers home invasion variant (think DESPERATE HOURS, FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE, DEATH WEEKEND, etc) only this one was made in Turkey. So it has that steaming Mediterranean bluster about it, and of course a very, very, very low budget. Grifting Italian soundtrack music to great effect, this nasty little flick also boasts some rather inventive directing and camera work and some very effective acting hysteria as a cheerful well-to-do family of three comes under the unhinged oppression of three rather nutty criminals on the run. Mind games, beatings, child endangerment and kinky undertones rule the screen until it all comes to an incredibly tragic climax.

Along the way you get the oddly homoerotic interplay between the screw-loose gangsters who pet each other like ponies and enjoy giving each other piggy back rides in women’s clothes after skinny dipping in a pool. Yikes. And yet all the while they glare at the pretty wife-captive with barely contained animal lust, though, perhaps surprisingly the prerequisite rape scene doesn’t go down until the end of the film. It would also seem that, giving the rough going over one thug gives to the young kid (dunking him repeatedly in the aforementioned pool), child labor laws in the Turkish film industry were surely nonexistent. But that just makes it all the more weird and well, fun. I know, I’m a cruel bastard who is probably going to hell, but I bet you’ll enjoy the scene too, ya damned hypocrites.

This movie has got all of the oddness, grime and on-the-cheap shocks that we’ve come to love from Turkish exploitation, but it pounds home a bummer of an ending with a downbeat coda that should send at least a sliver of sadness down the middle of even the most cold and hard-bitten of cult film fans. It’s truly unexpected and is almost effective. Overall it’s a great if rather minor film well worth seeking out. It gets a little talky at times (thank Allah my copy had English subs, even if they were barely readable), but it has enough moments of sheer wacko bewilderment to have you howling in morally ambiguous joy.

Print provided by Electric Larvae.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

CineHound's Greek VHS Museum!!!

Old Greek VHS tapes have long been known to astute collectors and fans of international exploitation cinema as being fantastic sources of some of the murkier, more rare obscurities in the cult pantheon. Greece imported movies from the US, Italy, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Japan, etc. during the seemingly extensive video boom of the 1980s; these treasures often blasted staggering levels of home-grown weirdness and sometimesthey were just full of sex and/or violence.
Our Hellenic pal Miltos aka CINEHOUND has graciously and in service to international pop culture awareness posted up a fab gallery of VHS cover art from this Lost Video Golden Age over at his public cult film forum, and I present here a smattering of the jewels contained therein.

THE EXECUTIONER Italy 1974 Hrisma Video

MANIAC KILLER France 1987 Mr. Video



SEDICIANNI Italy 1974 PM Video Galaxy

OPEN SEASON Spain/UK 1974 Precision Video

SNAKE QUEEN Indonesia 1982 Joconda Video

Check out the full plate HERE!