Thursday, December 20, 2007
Directed by Willie Milan
W is a blast of sleaze and wackiness. It's extremely violent although never really gory or anything. But it piles on the gratuitous action to the point of absurdity. Basically a haphazardly assembled MAD MAX rip, this Filipino production is pretty damned amazing. It's no masterpiece, but what do you want, another CRIES AND WHISPERS? Look elsewhere bub. This is all about vengeance, blood vendettas, pure hate transferred into a pop orgy of mindless fun. I know nothing about the film-makers but this broadcasts the best aspects of z-grade Asian cinema, so I have to assume, as I am wont to do, that they are in-fact unheralded geniuses whose work has been unfairly passed over in favor of stuffy, boring neorealist claptrap that will "uplift your soul" or something. Me, I like to wallow in the celluloid gutter thank you very much. Please, join me ...
Like I said, it's all about revenge. Is there any better subject for a low-budget genre film from the fringes of the "civilized" world? In this blood-thirsty case, the vengeance comes from a cop whose been castrated. Yes, you read that correctly, a castrated cop. How did he come to this emasculated state? Well, he had the gall to take on a particularly nasty drug-ring crime-syndicate/leather-bound skin-head post-apocalyptic death-cult. During one attempted bust, our hero (know only as "W2", why he names himself after a tax form I have no idea) shoots and kills one of the bald baddies in self-defense, incurring the ire of cult's leader. First W2 gets suspended by the those bastard do-nothing police bureaucrats who of course "don't get it" - then, after marrying his hot-tart sweetheart he and his new wifey are kidnapped and horrendously abused by the evil throng. Wifey watches in horror as W2 is stripped and then ripped. Thankfully the act is mostly left to our imagination. It's fairly horrifying nonetheless. Our hero is understandably morose about this plot-twist and finds himself in a crisis of machismo as Wifey continues to squeal and writhe about him in full heat. He can't satisfy her so of course his only course of action is ... Oh yeah, you know it - vengeance!
Lots of fights, both gun and fist, ensue. There's some plot stuff involving a drug bust and the cult/gang's retaliation by kidnapping a group of little kids from a Catholic school. Adds some to the sleaze but not much really to the story. There's a fun bit at the end where Our Hero leads a group of rogue coppers in an assault on Leather Death Cult HQ - they rescue the kiddies but for some reason lead them right into the middle of the battle where they have to dodge bullets, bombs and flying corpses. How incredibly stupid but yet, entertaining. That pretty much sums up the film, which is full of zip and zest despite the bummer details of the plot. OK it's more like "because of" instead of "despite", but you know you like the depravities of humanity spat out in hyper-weird cinematic style, admit it. This is first class, no-budget swill all the way. W plods down only in a few of its expositionary details here and there but otherwise keeps the crazy coming fast and furious. I liked it and so will you. Or maybe you won't, what do I care.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Another LOST Turkish Superhero gem! Our Super-hero Korsan Adam (The Pirate), takes on a legendary villain named... Fantomas! Years before his Cuneyt Arkin epics like Man Who Saves the World, the explosive Cetin Inanc had made this hyper-active and sleazy Mask-Fest.... Featuring massive shoot-out mayhem, bondage, torturing, half-naked babes, cold-blooded executions via strangulation and ritual stabbing, fist 'n kick pandaemonium etc etc! Unseen for decades, it ended up in ONAR's arms that managed to enhance even more the already decent print.
NOW, ON 500 COPIES ONLY!
Director: Cetin Inanc
Actors: Demir Karahan, Yildirim Gencer , Feri Cansel, Huseyin Zan
ULTRA LTD EDITON OF 500 numbered copies
Turkish audio with English & Greek subs
Dolby Digital 2.0
Documentary on Cetin Inanc
Thursday, November 15, 2007
FACE TO FACE
DJANGO, THE LAST KILLER
DJANGO, KILL ... IF YOU LIVE - SHOOT!
Friday, November 09, 2007
Directed by Orhan Atadeniz
I'm not the biggest Tarzan fan, I must admit. And if it wasn't Turkish I probably wouldn't care one bit about this latest release from Onar Films. But it is Turkish, and so of course I'm curious to check it out. TARZAN ISTANDBULDA is a historic landmark in Turkish popular cinema, for several reasons. It is one of the earliest examples of cinema fantastique to be produced in that country (along with DRACULA INSTANBULDA) and director Orhan Atadeniz was a industry pioneer as well as older brother and seminal influence on Yilmaz Atadeniz, who went on to become one of Turkey's most productive and innovative film-makers. What makes the older Atadeniz so important (according to the priceless bio notes penned by Turkish cinema historian Ayman Kole) was his contributions to the craft of making narrative films, it seems as though he was sort of the 'D.W. Griffith' of Turkey with his innovations cracking the Anatolian film industry into areas before unknown to the burgeoning film-scene. But what about the movie itself? It's pretty fun; silly and inconsequential on its own, interesting mostly due to its utterly primitive cinematic techniques and the facts of its nationality. But without it historical importance, I'm not sure Onar would've released it and therefore we probably wouldn't be reviewing it. But that's OK there's room enough on your shelf for this mid-century cinematic oddity.
There is actually not much Tarzan action going on in this movie. He only really enters the plot it what amounts to the third act of the film. Until then it's a standard jungle adventure story, with a quest for a lost treasure, double crosses, racist depictions of African tribes and stock footage galore. But these elements will keep you happy until the yelping white king of the jungle throws things in third (well, maybe just second) gear for the last half hour.
A journalist is on Safari when he discovers the corpse of a western explorer. He nosily reads with doomed man's journal (which - luck of luck - just happens to be in Turkish!) revealing the details of his gruesome fate at the hands of bloodthirsty tribesman (a flashback shows his son [a young Kunt Tulgar in his first role!] escaping into the wild, soon to become ...) and the whereabouts of a lost treasure. Our hero takes the journal back to Istanbul and gives it to his brother, who seems un-phased by news of his brother's passing. They hatch a plot to grab the treasure, enlisting three pilots (a dude, a chick and a retarded coward who provides the typical Mediterranean cinema comic relief) to fly them to Africa, which only takes only a few minutes seemingly as they soar past stock footage of the pyramids. Their safari continues to grow with a group of trackers and some unfortunate African guys to haul all their stuff. Sure enough, with a treasure up for grabs, the trackers hatch a double cross and the action is on. There are animals from scratchy newsreel footage and from scenes shot in a Turkish zoo where some of the animals actually fight each other! I guess there was no Istanbul branch of PETA in those days. Anyway, Tarzan comes in a while into the movie, impresses the girl pilot and saves (some) of the hapless treasure hunters from the bloodthirsty Africans. There's a bit of tragedy but everything more or less ends up well as Tarzan ends up returning to Istanbul in the end. Yay! Not much plot and really not many of the wacky details that usually make Turkish movies so much fun. But it is diverting enough to keep entertained for an hour and a half, and what more can you ask for than that?
For what was once considered a lost film, TARZAN ISTANBULDA looks fairly good. So many films from this era of Turkish film-making are now gone forever, their negatives sold off for the silver contained therein, so that this one survives is a minor miracle in and of itself. It does look pretty ragged as you might expect, but is never anything less than perfectly watchable. Just be happy it exists, OK? Onar once again piles on the extras for this historic release with the most important being an interview with Kunt Tulgar whose father was a producer for the movie and who even appeared as a young Tarzan early on. While it covers more or less the same ground as the interview featured in the TURKISH SUPERMAN DVD released earlier this year, it is still a highly fascinating and comprehensive look at the history of Turkish fantastic cinema. Onar have also unearthed a brief but interesting little bit of film, a camera “check sequence” featuring some of the actors (including a little Kunt) in more candid poses. Only a few seconds long but a pretty neat extra nonetheless. The aforementioned Ayman Kole’s wonderful and informative bios (for Ohran Atadeniz and Kunt Tulgur) are a standouts as well; someone really needs to get this man a book deal! The usual batch of awesome Onar trailers completes the lineup of features and you should check em all out, especially the one for CASUS KIRAN which is what comes next from our generous friends from Athens.
All in all, TARZAN ISTANBULDA is not nearly as fun or essential as most of their previous DVDs but is certainly a must own for anyone even remotely interested in Turkish cinema. The movie itself is great escapist fun and you will marvel at its primitive hand-made aesthetics. The design for the covers and the menus are just flat out fantastic; slick, humorous and user-friendly. Onar is a top-notch operation and while the movie itself is no great shakes the DVD is totally freakin’ cool. It is a piece of cinematic history and its very existence is reason enough to track it down and lay down your hard earned cash. Soon enough: CASUS KIRAN! We can’t wait!!
Available from Onar Films!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
aka THUNDER (I-III)
Directed by Fabrizio De Angelis
The THUNDER series of loopy 80s Italian action films represent the initial directorial work of long-time exploito producer Fabrizio De Angelis (he begat Lucio Fulci’s string of classic 80s horror flicks) and are utterly half-baked and dangerously close to being bafflingly inept. But then why are they so damned fun? Well, they posses that wacky and wonderful ineptitude that permeates most of the genre output of Italy's failing 1980s film industry, a creaky, barely-held-together accidental aesthetic that time has proven to be overwhelmingly entertaining. There are few examples from this decade and this country that do not entertain so it should come as no surprise that these obscure titles fit that bill to a tee, despite their seeming cinematic retardation. The first, and to varying degrees it's sequels, is total blatant rip on the then recent action hit FIRST BLOOD but also looks back to such 70s revenge thrillers as BILLY JACK and WALKING TALL. That the hero is a Native American also suggests comparisons to legendary exploitation producer Dave Friedman's wonderful JOHNNY FIRECLOUD, but it would seem if anything that that fly-by-night production had a much greater budget and overall better acting talent to drive it onto Drive-In screens than this series, which is plagued by a "one take and go" mise-en-scene approach and horrendously bland acting from basically the entire cast. But as noted above these limitations bloom into something rather exiting if one is willing to let go of Hollywood and Arthouse born artistic expectations. But then if you are reading this, chances are you aren't that engaged by these particular aesthetic prejudices. So let's get it on, Thunder is waiting!
The opening film in this loose trilogy is entirely structured to match the narratives of the previously mentioned movies. Thunder is a wandering Native American tough guy, a warrior like his esteemed ancestors, who returns to his Arizonian homeland in order to marry his childhood sweetheart. Unfortunately he finds the situation there brimming with racial and cultural conflicts as a development project dooms his ancestral burial grounds. His defense of this territory leads him into open violent conflict with the developers as well as the local police force, all of whom are of course rabid racists intent on keeping the "redskin" in his place. Basically they "push him too far" and his reaction is devastating. This is the most successful aspect of all these movies, the protracted and fairly elaborate action scenes which boil over with sensational (if not entirely realistic looking, not a problem for me) violence. The bad guys are really, really bad. I mean cartoonishly bad. Only sheriff Bo Svenson shows any aptitude for honor, and even he gets in on the race-hate action here and there as Thunder keeps getting the best of his overmatched, buffoonish deputies. Loose narrative threads and willfully illogical situations abound as the movie steams ahead. The climax is particularly daffy as Thunder steals and drives a bulldozer from the desert and into the town at a snails pace. And yet somehow the impotent coppers never seem to be able to catch up with him. By the time they do reach him he's already destroyed both the bank that funded the blasphemous construction project as well as police HQ. Meanwhile Thunder escapes easily unscathed to fight another day. Wow. By no means a "good" movie this first entry is nonetheless an entirely satisfactory trash cinema experience and I was never less than entertained throughout. On the other hand there's the second film ...
In this brainscramblingly goofy sequel Thunder returns to the town he nearly destroyed and joins the very police force he fought tooth and nail in the first movie! What the ... ? Did I miss something? How did this happen? We'll never know. Like the first movie we aren't privilege to the backstory details as to how Thunder comes to return to this dusty, intolerant scrap of earth. But does it even matter? Not really, if you just laugh along and look to have a good, albeit stupid, time. Sadly, this one falters a bit with the slam-bang action stuff, bogging down with a silly plot about drug dealing punks and the corrupt cops they have underhanded dealings with. One of the cops, a particularly nasty number named Rusty (one of the few actors reprising a role from the first film) has really got it out for our hero and so frames him for his own crimes. Before we can even process this plot twist Thunder is rotting away in a harsh isolated desert prison and giving the diamond-tough prison guards none too easy a time dealing with his innocent ass. But the movie doesn’t really capitalize on these potentially juicy machinations, and again before we know it Thunder has broken out and is out looking for town-wide vengeance. The destruction he inflicts isn’t nearly as fantastic as in the first film and unfortunately the climax just kind of peters out without giving us enough of the mayhem we are jonesin’ for . But needless to say, Thunder comes out on top, with even Sheriff Bo Svenson offering a sympathetic viewpoint as the movie draws to a close. But then … there is a little insignificant and totally confusing twist at the end that had me howling with laughter as well as scratching my balding head. What exactly was going on there?
Apparently the first two were big enough hits that Director De Angelis and star Marc Gregory were able to squeeze out a third film. And Odin bless ‘em that they did, cause in many ways III is the best of all three, topping the others with more over the top, implausible and completely insane action and drama to drive you to dizzy distraction. Again, as with the initial entries, we are forced to suffer with Thunder as both he and his people have to contend with brutal and unchecked redneck oppression and uncooperative and unsympathetic police. The opening scene is completely insane. A self regulating paramilitary militia out on pointless maneuvers in the desert decides for no good reason to chase after two wild horses and gun them down in cold blood. Why they would do this is utterly mysterious, but as you might expect, protector of the downtrodden Thunder takes exception to the heartless abuse and confronts these drunk gun-toting morons. Sadly Thunder is outnumbered and gets himself a thorough ass-whooping. But things go a little too far when the militia decides to go after Thunder’s young hunting apprentice, who scampers frightened back to the shanty village where he lives with the rest of the local “Indians”. The militia then go all My Lai on the joint, firing indiscriminately and causing widespread damage and destruction. Not good. Thunder demands reparations, Sheriff John Phillip Law refuses, setting up the carnage to follow. Although the follow-through doesn’t quite manage the exhilaration of the first it is swathed in acceptable amounts of bad-ass-ness. It was a lot of fun, I must say. If only they had made more, I would have watched. Alas, this is Thunder’s last crusade. Enjoy it while it lasts, folks.
None of these movies are particularly well made, stylish or innovative in any way. They get by on sheer cheesy chutzpah and the undeniable charm that girds most 80s Italian exploitation cinema. As noted above Director De Angelis was a veteran producer and had his hand in many of the most extreme horror films that lurked out of the country in the late 70s/early 80s and this experience certainly serves him well. Action was, however, was the genre he most enjoyed making and it shows here. The movies, while consistent in violence and haphazard insanity, are fall less consistent in narrative and in acting performance. The most obvious casting inconsistency is the role of Sheena – Thunder’s loyal love interest, played non-effectively by different actresses in each movie. But at least it’s funny. As are the contrived and seemingly willfully implausible and contradictory story threads. But ultimately you can’t consider these films successful in any meaningful critically accepted way. But that’s OK. Sometimes you want crazed cheesiness. THUNDER WARRIOR I-III certainly does deliver that, so dig in!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Here's a selection of some awesome ones we found on the YouTube.
STRIKE COMMANDO 2!
HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD!
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
All the info you need to know:
A never-seen-before Turkish Superhero LOST gem. Another ONAR worldwide premiere! Freely based on the "Spy Smasher" classic comic, it's an altogether Turkish achievement. From the miraculous team that offered us KILINK, this movie guarantees endless masked action, kicks, stunts and nostalgic mayhem. The only surviving elements were surely rotten but ONAR's magic touch made the final result watchable enough.
Director: Yilmaz Atadeniz
Actors: Irfan Atasoy, Yildirim Gencer , Suzan Avci , Sevda Ferdag , Hüseyin Zan
1200 numbered copies
Turkish audio with English & Greek subs
Dolby Digital 2.0
Interview with Yilmaz Atadeniz
Friday, October 05, 2007
Here's a back log of astonishing digital disc news that we've scoured the internets for as to pass along to you who is too busy to track it all down for yourselves.
Read On, Brother and Sister Weirdos!!
Firstly, more Jean Rollin unleashed in Special Edition DVD format from the Netherlands' Encore Films! This time it's LE VIOL DU VAMPIRE getting the deluxe treatment.
It will encompass:
A two disc digipack with slipcase. Special edition limited to 2000 pcs., Feature film and audio commentary by Jean Rollin; (all extra's/interviews with English subtitles: l'Histore de la nuit des Horloges, Original trailer, Picture gallery, Interview Jaqueline Sieger, Interview Alain-Yves Beaujour, Interview François Tusques, Censored scenes, Book (English text inside), Essay on 'Le Viol du Vampire' by Jean Rollin, Lots of rare photos.
Not our favorite Rollin by a longshot but this is a must own nonetheless. Can't wait!
Soon! From Dark Sky Films! Curtis Harrington's masterful slow-burn disturb-a-thon THE KILLING KIND!
Paroled from prison, sex offender Terry (John Savage of THE DEER HUNTER) returns to the Hollywood boarding house of his mother Thelma (screen legend Ann Sothern), a former dancer with unwholesome ideas about tender loving care.
Escaping Thelma’s suffocating attentions by peeping on pretty tenant Lori (future LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY star Cindy Williams), Terry is unaware that he is being spied on by a neighbor (DEMENTIA 13’s Luana Anders) who keeps a place in her own fantasies for someone of Terry’s special talents.
Meanwhile, terrible things are happening to anyone who has ever done Terry wrong, from the judge (Ruth Roman, from STRANGERS ON A TRAIN) who sentenced him to the girl (Sue Bernard, of FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL!) who testimony put him behind bars.
Interview with Curtis Harrington (His last ever!)
And soon enough (next year, 1/29/08 to be precise) from Dark Sky, we finally get the long delayed Italian genre thrills of RICCO THE MEAN MACHINE and TRAGIC CEROMONY! Save your pennies!
Spaghetti Western specialists Wild East also have a heavy dose of Italian genre thrills coming down the pike and not all of it of the Western variety! Freak out on the covers of these forthcoming DVD releases!
Discotek Films have another HK sickie chomping at the bit with A CHINESE TORTURE CHAMBER STORY, out on November 13th of this very year!
Lookee! Cover, synopsis, specs, and a sultry screen shot!
A man is discovered dead after he was given an aphrodisiac so strong that it causes his penis to explode! His wife Little Cabbage and her lover are dragged before a judge, both protesting their innocence, and charged with adultery and conspiring to kill. In court, they must tell their story of how they became lovers. Little do they know that the real killers are the judge's son and his lover. In order to keep his son free, the judge tries to frame Little Cabbage into a false confession.
Chinese Torture Chamber is a bizarre fantasy mixed with hilarious comedy, sex, and absurd torture. It features the classic sequence where the scholar goes on a journey through the forest, only to run into a man and his extremely horny wife who engage in a long bout of flying sex, complete with appropriately named martial arts moves such as ‘invincible tongue’ and ‘wonder screw’. This scene is packed with wirework, slow motion shots, several gallons of ejaculate, and of course Elvis Tsui, who has the market pretty much covered in this kind of role.
Also starring Yvonne Yung and directed by Bosco Lam. Chinese Torture was produced by Wong Jing the mastermind behind Ebola Syndrome and The Untold Story. This film covers everything from Chinese martial arts movies to even a parody of the American film Ghost!
- NTSC Region 1
- Chinese with English Subtitles
- Anamorphic Widescreen
And according to various posts on the DVD Maniacs Forum in the pipline from Discotek we have Ringo Lam's BURNING PARADISE, Norifumi Suzuki's incredibly sleazy STAR OF DAVID: BEAUTIFUL GIRL HUNTER and Teruo Ishii's PORNO JIDAI GEKI - BOHACHI CODE OF HONOR! What a line-up!
And to wrap things up for this edition we just wanted to point out that our good pal Onar Films is having a sale on his outrageously great Turkish pop cinema DVDs for the entire month of October! Clip on the link to your right under 'DVD Squads' for the full lowdown. If you haven't yet checked any of these out yet or need to fill holes in your collection (and life) then NOW is your golden opportunity! And in further exciting Onar news dig this crazy tease posted a little while back on their website:
I thought that some people might care to know that I'm about to lay my hands on some "lost" turkish old films.
I had been looking for them and asking for them for 3 years now.
Everybody around the world, everybody in Turkey insisted that I should give up on them.
I had unleashed the best hounds after those titles.
I had made the best connections in the turkish cinema industry.
I had offered enormous rewards for the finders.
BUT, even before me, all the strongest collectors had spent a lifetime searching for them.
The actors AND directors of those films had been looking for them too!
I, too, had pronounced them "officially lost".
BUT, my greek village is known for its crazy people.
And like a crazy man, I never ceased the quest.
And NOW, I received official confirmation that many of those titles were discovered in 16mm prints!
The guys are ready to make contracts with me, BUT if I don't see screeners of the films I can NOT believe the story.
BUT, to get screeners I must pay loads of cash.
AND even if the films ARE there, I must pay to acquire them.
Plus, the license fees are enormous.
And since my sales are going from bad to worse I feel totally frustrated.
As for the titles, I just can't announce them before I actually see the screeners and this will obviously take some time.
Besides, right now, I feel as anxious and nervous and frustrated as ever, so here's a nice chance for you to share some of my anticipation and curiosity...
What can they be? We're just in the dark as you and going crazy with anticipation to find out what they are! So buy lots of crap from them so this will happen! Do you hear me? DO IT NOW!!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Check out the clips below for a preview of the freakery:
Be sure and also get the 2nd volume of the essential FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER series out from Fantoma Films on the same day. That's October 2, Y'all!!
Check back soon for new content, we're taking a couple weeks off for some rest and relaxation!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
aka TOKAIDO YOTSUYA KAIDEN
Directed by Nobuo Nakagawa
Nobuo Nakagawa's 1959 gothic classic GHOST STORY OF YOTSUYA was the apex of a series of groundbreaking horror films he made for doomed studio Shintoho during the 1950s. Although he would accomplish his ultimate masterpiece a year later with the delirious JIGOKU, GHOST STORY was at the time regarded as the finest work of the 'Japanese Hitchcock' and for damned good reasons. The movie is based on a 19th century piece of Kabuki theater and had already been filmed many times since the silent era but Nakagawa takes this deeply Japanese ghost story and crafts something truly hallucinatory and unsettling, even for those of us unfamiliar with its traditional origins.
A samurai of no social position, egged on by an unscrupulous pal, murders the father of the woman he longs to marry and so begins to weave an insidious web of deceit which ends up trapping him in a loveless marriage with a sick wife and a child he cares nothing for. An accomplished warrior, he impresses a high standing official and his beautiful daughter and so begins to contrive of ways to rid himself of his current missus and latch on to this new, and rich, honey. Or course, more murder is the only answer. Nakagawa stages this drama, at least initially not unlike a theater piece, with the action mostly set on a sound stage and recoding the events with long, almost static takes with few if any close-ups. He builds a tightening grip of karmic retribution with this method and releases the eventual supernatural vengeance in a flood of bewildering phantasmagorical imagery.
The astonishing conclusion generates some genuine shudders as the ghostly apparitions of the doomed samurai’s victims haunt him into a fit of murderous madness. The ghosts are creepy, blood-drenched and horrific, though are essentially passive, different from the aggressive specters of western gothics, but a common trait in Japanese yarns. Trust me, you won’t be unmoved by the uncanny site of the deformed spirit of the samurai’s wife arising out of bubbling blood pool in the middle of a otherwise peaceful pond. GHOST STORY is bizarre and baroque in technique, leaving any vestiges of realism far behind. It creates its own unique version of the universe, hemmed in only by the grotesque fates of the characters depicted. All in all, a marvelous and strange movie that has held up remarkably well over the last nearly 50 years, and is worthy of Criterion-like care for a domestic DVD release. It’s a true classic of world cinema in overdue need of wider recognition.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Director: Orhan Atadeniz
Actors: Tamer Balci, Hayri Esen, Necla Aygul, Cemil Demirel, Kunt Tulgar
Label: ONAR FILMS (Greece) - http://www.onarfilms.com
Coming Early October !!
SYNOPSIS: The first TURKISH TARZAN used to be a legend among collectors of the obscure. For the others, it simply did not exist or sounded like a joke. Now, time for the legend to turn into vivid reality. Gathering dust since 1952, this classic Turkish Cinema pioneer ended up in Onar's gentle hands. The only surviving elements were in relic-like condition but with a decent remastering the result is not bad anymore!
1200 numbered copies
Turkish audio with English & Greek subs
Dolby Digital 2.0
Interview with Kunt Tulgar
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
MASSACRE TIME (1966)
ONE ON TOP OF THE OTHER/PERVERSION STORY (1969)
BEATRICE CENCI (1969)
LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN (1971)
FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE (1975)
Friday, August 31, 2007
Directed by David Engelbach
So, did you hear the one about the Macho Toy who scanned a hot plastic Frau in season and ready for action? He got cold pissed when he found she was an effin Plugot!!! That’s waggos, yo!
Um...well, anyways... I guess you had to be there.
“900 years after the Great Nuke.
The world Man created, he destroyed.
Out of the darkness and ignorance of the radioactive rubble emerges a new order...”
In yet another post-post-apocalyptic wasteland film from the Reagan Age, the world as we knew it is now divided– Plugots (male): inferior, homeless savages made up of Machos (hard laborers), Toys (castrated, mute man-pets), & Seeders (baby-makers), and Fraus (female): the dominant side of the desert bed who have the tools and the talent to kick ass and call names. And when they’re not busy enslaving Plugots for fun and target practice or heading out to a former gas station turned love shack to get ritually restrained and begrudgingly fucked by a hooded Seeder in hopes of popping out a baby girl or two, the Fraus spend time training the younger warrior princesses by throwing them into a cage with Aargh the Awful, a seven foot tall mutant wendigo-type with a $2 smile who manhandles skulls like ossified basketballs!
Two boy slaves, Gruss and Korvis (Chuck Wagner, TV’s AUTOMAN), escape the sadistic Fraus, and after finding a “Learn to Read” book of ABCs in an antique suitcase they decide that being somebody else’s bitch may have been cool for their parents, but not for them. Years later, they’ve started their own tribe of like-minded brothers from other mothers safe within the confines of a forbidden Radioactive Zone. Led by the motivated Korvis, their one desire is gender liberation; to be simply FREE MEN.
After an initial scrimmage against the Fraus, a left-for-dead Korvis stumbles upon a US underground nuclear war bunker just as it was 900 years ago...except for the rotten corpses. Touring the facility, he’s more impressed with the laser guns, grenades, and GIGANTIC BOOMBOX (with batteries that still work), than with the infinitely more awesome President’s quarters completely tricked out with a Galaga arcade unit and a Medusa pinball machine. Korvis studies the accompanying pamphlet on how to use a laser gun (!), gears up with one of the gold lame' radiation suits (!!) and heads out on horseback with his new boombox at full volume (!!!).
Soon enough, he’s mistaken for the mythological “Prezzi-dent”, who (it is written) will come and issue a new world order of peace and understanding, and manages to get a special conference with Vena, the leader of the local Fraus. They make sweet post-apocalyptic love back in the Prez’s bunker bed, and Vena agrees to a truce.
Meanwhile, there’s been a mutiny in the Frau camp, and they’ve gone ahead and attacked the Plugots, resulting in an all-out massacre of explosions, crossbows, and spinning roundhouses.
Can Vena and Korvis band-aid the situation for a better tomorrow? Can both sides lay down their arms and come to terms? Will the movie end with a freeze-framed shot of Aargh jumping in mid-air clutching that coveted vintage boombox?
Yes, my friends. YES.
Brought to colorful life by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the same production team responsible for such marginal cinema classics as MISSING IN ACTION, COBRA, DEATH WISH II, BREAKIN’, ROBOTECH, and MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, this film is curiously labeled as an action comedy, but everything is played too straight and without a sense of irony to be truly comical. However, the action sequences were so much better than I was expecting, especially the martial arts action, which was coordinated by Ernie Reyes who also choreographed the wonderfully cultish THE LAST DRAGON and SURF NINJAS. Plus, the fact that one of the bitchin’ amazon babes is played by a former Grand Champion of the US Open Karate Championship and Blackbelt Hall of Famer Karen Lee Sheperd didn’t hurt, either.
Overall, in this pleasing WWIII fantasy piece loaded with insanely ludicrous futuristic lingo seasoned in a simmering “I Love the 80s” broth, I’d say AMERICA 3000 is technically competent MST3K fodder in the grand tradition of YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE.
Review by Scott "Jealous Pervert" Wallis!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
And here are the gory details, A WORLDWEIRD CINEMA EXCLUSIVE!!!!!
"If there were a prize for wildest film of all time,
I'm pretty sure this one would win"
In the tradition of Japanese "Pink" cinema comes this shocking, violent and sex filled movie that caused an outrage when it was screened at the Chicago Film Festival. The film stars former Miss Philippines, the stunning Maria Isabel Lopez, in her most revealing role ever. It's an eye-opening example of raw and savage film making from one of its country's most innovative directors. Set in the beautiful and remote countryside of Ilongo, the story tells of three young women and their struggle to come to terms with their own sexuality against a background of religious repression and male brutality.
Disc1: Silip-movie: Brand new HD anamorphic transfer from the neg - Including a world premier of the original Tagalog soundtrack with original musical score - we've also included the dubbed version for the sake of completeness - BUT - its truly awful! bad dubbing, bad music - anyone who has seen this needs to see it again with the correct audio!
Disc2: Extras: Brand new filmed interview with director Elwood Perez, brand new filmed interview with star Isabel Maria Lopez, brand new filmed interview with movies art director, large amount of text pages on cast and crew, brand new essay by Pete Tombs on Fillipino "Bold" Cinema
Here are some more quotes about the film we've dug up. Looks like we got a real winner on our hands folks!
"DAUGHTER OF EVE is one of my all-time favorites, an incredible weirdo. Highly recommended"
- Miltos Kordas, CINEHOUND
"features an onslaught of sex scenes (both titillating and absurd) and long stretches of time wherein all we see are naked bodies prancing around the village. Yet there seems to be something else brewing beneath the film's flesh-colored celluloid other than mere titillation. Silip is actually very rebellious in its themes and even in its production."
- Oggs Cruz, Oggs' Movie Thoughts
"one of the most extreme movies we at Mondo HQ have ever seen ... Very intense and extreme stuff but a brilliant film!"
- Andy Starke, Mondo Macabro DVD
"(an) astounding, near-hardcore sexploitation monstrosity ... From the opening water buffalo slaughter to the final double gang rape / straw hut immolation this black hearted beauty will have you spellbound and slack-jawed with amazement!"
- Mark from Shocking Videos
"Insane, outrageous Filipino sex-and-violence masterpiece that's trying to say something about human nature, but I have no idea what."
- David Huber, DVD Maniacs
"lesbian incest, a beheading, burning at the stake and the inevitable gang rape"
- Pete Tombs, from the book Mondo Macabro
Greek VHS cover art for SILIP, courtesy THE CINEHOUND!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
aka THE SERPENT'S TALE
Directed by Kutlug Ataman
Starring Gonen Bozbey and Daniel Chace
Available from Onar Films!
Now this one was a little different. Not the sort of Turkish delight we usually expect from the ever-dependable Onar Films, but it's a highly interesting and yes, weird little film worth taking a peek at. You’ll just have to realize that it’s extremely far from the sort of interesting and weird Turkish films we normally cover here at this site. KARANLIK SULAR is a heady, twisting art-horror hybrid that takes as its theme nothing less than the meaning of life and death. You won't get that from a Cetin Inanc movie! However, while lovingly assembled, this disc falls a bit short of the glorious highs that Onar have provided us with over the last couple of years, with both the movie and its presentation faltering somewhat. But then again, you won't likely see anything like it again any time soon, so let's jump in ...
KARANLIK moves at an odd elliptical pace. It never settles into anything like a routine linear narrative and keeps you constantly guessing at both its plot and meaning. Unfortunately perhaps the movie remains a bit too mysterious and eventually comes across as somewhat unfocused. The plot unravels a tale involving an ancient and powerful manuscript that, when properly translated, reveals the secrets of obtaining eternal life. But of course this knowledge comes at a terrible cost. Not too surprisingly many parties are interested in the script from an 800 year old Byzantine princess to (in the movies most interesting aspect) a multinational corporation. The manuscript is in the possession of a young Turkish man who appears actually to have died either two years before or maybe twenty years earlier in one of the film's many confusing plot twists. Numerous subplots converge around this young man, including his grieving mother, her greedy gentleman caller, an American who is both an "economic hit man" and an actual hit man, a mad bearded prophet dude who wants to use the forbidden knowledge to conquer the world with a new religion and the aforementioned Byzantine princess who has the appearance of an 8-year old girl and is a vampire. The strands, while fascinating for the most part, never satisfactorily coalesce into a fully intriguing film experience. Eventually it curves back into itself, like an Orobouros, revealing a meta-textual structure that does very little to resolve the story in your mind. But it's a unique trip nonetheless.
The film does boast many haunting visuals, in particular making great use of Istanbul's ancient architecture which also ties in with the film's many themes. This includes the history and identity of Turkey itself, where it’s going and where it’s been, with various ethnic, religious and political streams weaving into one another. Making sense of this jumble is one of the major points of this film and maybe its refusal to bring all the elements together is structurally inherent. Certainly there are many themes and ideas which fly straight over my head, and probably the head of anyone not extremely well versed in Turkish history. The occultic elements are also strong though somewhat intentionally obscure and scattershot. Overall one is reminded of other early 90s art-horror experiments such as Michelle Soavi's DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE, Alejandro Jodorowsky's SANTE SANGRE and Richard Stanley's DUST DEVIL but KARANLIK SULAR never gets quite up to the heights achieved by those late masterpieces.
While the movie is at least an imaginative curiosity, Onar presentation of it is somewhat lacking. One would have to assume that they simply made use of what they were given, as it seems the DVD was sourced from a video betamaster and not actual filmic elements. There are a few instances even of tape damage but these are quick and fleeting and don’t interfere too much with the viewing enjoyment. A greater problem is the burned in English subtitles, which are on occasion rather hard to read, especially if there is even the slightest hint of white on the screen anywhere near them. Overall the colors seem a bit drab and it seems a little too dark for most of the running time. While this is expected with most Turkish films up through the 1980s, one would think that this film would have better preserved elements, if not a negative then perhaps at least a theatrical print with which to work. But giving Onar the benefit of the doubt, we must presume that this is all there is at this time and so be thankful that it exists at all. Like I said, although of negligible entertainment value KARANLIK SULAR is a highly odd and unique movie and worthwhile in any condition for that reason.
Onar have provided a host of fine extras to complete the package, the most substantial of them being a long video interview with director Kutlug Ataman who discusses at length his influences both from Turkish history and European art cinema. He also claims not to care much for Turkish Fantastic Cinema but does like Troma films! Weird dude. But it’s informative and helps to shed light on the purpose of the movie itself. Other features include still galleries, brief cast and crew bios and filmographies, exerts from critical notices of the film and the usual bunch of Onar trailers. The packaging and menu designs are top notch and with each release Onar seems to jump light years ahead in terms of the aesthetics and slickness of these important features. While I was not bowled over by the movie, this release is of value for those seeking oddities of world art and/or horror cinema. It hard to imagine anyone else giving this kind of TLC to such and obscure and complex film, so Onar must be commended for that. But personally I can’t wait for them to get back to the purer thrills of the incredible pop cinema treasure from the great land of Turkey. There should be more very soon! Watch this space for more info!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
For further info, check out this fab article from the amazing Bleeding Skull website!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
aka HOT AFTERNOON
Directed by Joe D'Amato
Or well, weird stuff, anyway.
There are some pretty fine lookin' mammas, but there is a decided lack of the sensuousness that saturates the best of Joe D'amato's 70s work. But this 'in-name-only' sequel to D'amato's mid-80s international softcore hit is nonetheless a kinky and awesomely silly treat.
A lunkhead reporter goes to New Orleans to do an investigative article on voodoo, taking his girlfriend with him. They play public sex games wherein she flashes here panty-less beaver to strange men, while the lunkhead (His name is Courtney. No, really.) pants and sweats to the unsavory, uncomfortable action. But some of the old magic is gone, and so they hope a stay in the 'Big Easy' will re-ignite the heat that's been missing lately. Courtney interviews some chick who can show them a real live voodoo ritual; she's white, kinda sexy and a little off. At the ritual Laura Gemser dances all wild and voodooish, but has no lines of dialog nor appears in the film any further than this scene. A swarthy Cajun lunkhead catches the eye of Courtney's girl and the sex games take on a added dangerous dimension as he roughly seduces her and quickly steals her away from our lunkhead hero reporter (who by the way, does no work at all during the course of his stay in N.O.), leaving him reeling, strangely turned on and changed forever.
The last third of this oddball softcore thriller takes a strangely fantastique turn as Courtney races to save the girl from the clutches of the now murderous voodoo cult. 11 DAYS 11 NIGHTS 3 is languid and laborious, steamy, supple but also a little bit stupid . It radiates an uncanny, almost nightmarish atmosphere as it goes along, but the ridiculous dialog and dated hairstyles and clothes keep things from getting too arty or serious. The main girl is a hot little number, with sexy wide child bearing hips and a generous hinder. It all adds up to a solid little winner of cheap sex flick.
Find it, check it out. It's good for a giggle at least.
DVD provided by Miltos Kordas and his CINEHOUND FORUM! (See link at right)