Friday, August 31, 2007

Movie Review: AMERICA 3000

Directed by David Engelbach
USA; 1985

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.
Effin hot.

Review by Scott "Jealous Pervert" Wallis!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mondo Macabro rounds out 2007 with SILIP: DAUGHTERS OF EVE!!!*Updated!*

It's a Filipino erotic sense-smasher and it's coming out on Nov. 20th. A press release describes the release as being "remastered and released for the first time ever with its original score and soundtrack" and that it's - get this - a limited edition two disc set!!!! We can hardly believe it! Here's the totally rad cover!

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.

Specs are:

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


Directed by Kutlug Ataman
Starring Gonen Bozbey and Daniel Chace
Turkey; 1995
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


From the fantastic Something Weird Video YouTube page comes a five minute clip unearthing the once and sort of still lost early 60s US gore film LOVE GODDESS OF BLOOD ISLAND! And it is fookin' wild, man!

For further info, check out this fab article from the amazing Bleeding Skull website!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Movie Review: 11 DAYS 11 NIGHTS 3

Directed by Joe D'Amato
Italy; 1987

Hot stuff!
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)

Monday, August 20, 2007


Some details have emerged concerning the next batch of titles that originated with the now long-gone Panik House label's Pinky Violence Collection, but which are now being pushed across the finish line by the ever dependable Synapse Films. They are calling the them the LEGENDS OF POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS series and it promises to be a wild time, kids!
The info below was broadcasted from the Outcast Cinema(who are producing the special features for all the Toei films in the set including the upcoming HORRORS OF MALFORMED MEN and SNAKE WOMAN'S CURSE) blog:

I'm currently working on the next three titles to come out, a trio of female swordplay films produced by Toei in the late 60s, collectively called the Yoen dokufu-den series. In that first PH announcement, Matt called them the Sexy Deadly Legend films, but I bet that was just Toei's original export title for the films. It's literally a correct translation, but not very elegant and not even all that grammatical in English. As an alternative, we came up with a series title that captures both the Japanese meaning and something a little more understandable in English: Legends of the Poisonous Seductress. Although the films star the same lead actress (the beautiful Junko Miyazono), their stories are totally distinct and unrelated, so a series title that gave the impression that viewers will see a new "legend" in each film was something we wanted to capture.

And here's some news you're reading here first: the trio of Poisonous Seductress films will be coming out on November 13th of this year. Here's a peek at the cover of the first one, Female Demon Ohyaku. It was designed to fit in with Panik House's previous "Pinky Violence" line of DVDs, and, like Malformed Men and Snake Woman, will feature a reversible cover with the original Japanese poster on the reverse side. Extras on these three will be lighter than on the horror films, unfortunately - just trailers, commentaries on two of them from frequent Japanese film commentator Chris D., and some other minor goodies. But the movies speak for themselves - they're all really entertaining, fast-moving swordplay dramas, and the first one in particular is a real discovery. It's the only one of the three that's black-and-white, and mercifully so, since it's filled with a jaw-dropping catalog of cruelty that shocked me when I first watched it, particularly since I expected it to be the least of the trio, coming from a director who's better-known as an assistant to Nobuo Nakagawa than a filmmaker in his own right. Wait until you see the guillotine scene - or rather, scenes!

After the three Legends films, Synapse will take a break from classic Japanese cinema until next spring, when the final (so far!) Toei titles will come out, but it's a pair worth waiting for: Meiko Kaji's debut films for Toei Studios following her departure from the Stray Cat Rock series at Nikkatsu: the Wandering Ginza Butterfly films (Gincho wataridori and Gincho nagaremono). But more on those some other day...

Simply outstanding! Some of the world's greatest genre/exploito/pop cinema came out of Japan's Toei studios during the late 60s through the middle 70s and the more of it that finds its way on to DVD the fucking better!!!

And here, copped from are the full details of what's on discs!:


Connected only by their theme of a beautiful young swordswoman who’s wronged, then seeks bloody revenge on her oppressors, the LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS series was produced at Toei Studios in the late 1960s, only a few years before the studio revolutionized the Japanese film industry with their “true-life” yakuza films, girl-gang sagas and modern-day violent thrillers. Set during the samurai days, when Japan was isolated from the rest of the world, the POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS series stars the beautiful Junko Miyazono, first as Ohyaku, then as Okatsu, women who endured humiliation and injustice for as long as they could…until they had to strike back with violence!

Each episode forms its own individual story, and will only be available for sale separately.


A quiet actress named Ohyaku is wrongly sent to prison, then pushed by her tormentors to the point of no return. With a demon tattoo splayed across her back and a sword in her hand, she embarks on a crusade of vengeance against all those who have wronged her, laying waste to man and woman alike in her quest for bloody retribution. A gruesome Pinky Violence classic, the film’s merciless parade of action, beheadings, tattooing and torture proved highly influential on later series of sexy action films from Toei Studios in the 1970s.


The daughter of a swordplay instructor takes on a power-hungry magistrate in the second entry of the series, joined this time by Rui, a wild young swordswoman (Reiko Oshida). The two sexy avengers embark on a blood-soaked quest for revenge after Okatsu is raped and her father slaughtered by one of his assistants. From fencing schools to small-town brothels to the imperial city of Edo, Okatsu and Rui slash their way through dozens of evil men in order to settle the score with those who wronged them, in this swordplay classic which features some of the best fight scenes of the series.


In the final episode of the series, the legendary beautiful swordswoman Okatsu is on the hunt for Judayu, a corrupt merchant responsible for the death of her parents. Betrayed by her fiancé, she finds herself aided in her quest by a handsome stranger (longtime yakuza movie star Tatsuo Umemiya) – who happens to be as handy with a sword as she is! What is the reason for his kindness, and will Okatsu be able to prevail against her nemesis, now a powerful businessman with scores of allies in high places? Whatever the end may be, the restless spirits of her murdered parents drive Okatsu along her crimson-colored road of vengeance.

Episode 1 directed by Yoshihiro Ishikawa (GHOST CAT OF OTAMA POND).
Episodes 2 & 3 directed by legendary filmmaker Nobuo Nakagawa (SNAKE WOMAN’S CURSE, JIGOKU).

The series features an all-star cast of famous faces from the best of Japanese genre cinema, including lead actress Junko Miyazono (ELEVEN SAMURAI, SAMURAI WOLF 2), two-time series co-star Tomisaburo Wakayama (LONE WOLF & CUB, BLACK RAIN), Tatsuo Umemiya (GRAVEYARD OF HONOR,

Synapse Films’ LEGENDS OF THE POISONOUS SEDUCTRESS DVD Series Include the Following Special Features:

• New, fully restored anamorphic widescreen transfers mastered in high-definition from Toei’s original vault elements
• Japanese language audio with newly-translated, removable English subtitles
• Audio commentary on FEMALE DEMON OHYAKU and QUICK-DRAW OKATSU by Japanese film expert Chris D.
• Original Japanese theatrical trailers
• Poster galleries
• Liner notes and essays on the female swordplay genre
• Reversible covers with original Japanese poster artwork

Thanks to Arif Khan and for the cover art to Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, and for the further info!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Severin wants to sex you up!!*UPDATED!*

Severin Films have laid down their awesome schedule for the remainder of 2007, and God-damn if it ain't a scorcher!
You already know about MALABIMBA and SATAN'S BABY DOLL right? (If not scroll down a couple of weeks to check out the full story). Two sexy satanic shockers unleashed on September 25th. These are must buys, but it's only the tip of of the berg!
Dig this crazy news bulletin issued straight out of the gut of the Severin website a couple of days ago:

At last! Lucio Fulci's masterpiece The Psychic (aka Sette note in nero / Murder to the Tune of the Seven Black Notes) will hit DVD this fall. Along with a 16x9 transfer of the uncut version of this long out-of-print film, the DVD will include a never-before-published interview with Fulci as well as interviews with cast and crew. This seminal release will street on October 30th along with the official DVD premiere of the uncut version of Fulci's acclaimed sex comedy The Eroticist (which will also contain a Fulci interview and cast/crew featurette).

Covers unt Specs!(from the Fangoria website):

Special Features for THE PSYCHIC:

• Fulci Talks—The Movies, a never-before-released audio interview with the director accompanied by images from his films
• Voices from the Black, containing new interviews with screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti, costume designer Massimo Lentini and editor Bruno Micheli

Special Features for THE EROTICIST:

• Fulci Talks - The Man, a continuation of the director’s audio interview in which he discusses politics, religion and other directors
• A History of Censorship, containing new interviews with actor Lando Buzzanca, legendary makeup artist Giannetto De Rossi and cinematographer Sergio D'Offizi

Both DVDs will also include the theatrical trailers.

A-HA! More Fulci cinemadness! Just what the world needs now, I'd wager! Fulci is our fave Italian director and more of his 60s and 70s films on DVD is just what we wanted for Christmas (and it's arriving on Halloween!) But never ones to rest on their hard-earned laurels, Severin have also dished some info on the Vol. 2 of the BLACK EMANUELLE'S BOX series!
From the excellenct 10K Bullets website:


Director: Brunello Rondi
Stars: Laura Gemser, Annie Belle [Annie Brilland], Al Cliver [Pier Luigi Conti], Gabriele Tinti.


Director: Bitto Albertini
Stars: Shulamith Lasri [Sharon Lesley], Don Powell, Percy Hogan, Angelo Infanti


Director: Aristide Massaccesi (as Joe D’Amato)
Stars: Laura Gemser, Ely Galleani, Gabriele Tinti, Venantino Venantini.

Bonus CD: An all-new compilation of remastered Nico Fidenco music from Emanuelle in America, Emanuelle & the Last Cannibals and Emanuelle & the White Slave Trade.

All three films will be presented in their original aspect ratios and they are all anamorphic enhanced. Extras consist of revealing interviews and all three films are uncut. This release marks the first time all three of these films have been released in the U.S. on DVD. All three films will come with two audio options English and Italian and English subtitles have been included. This titles is scheduled for release on November 13th, 2007 at the suggested retail price of $69.95, this collection like volume one is limited to only 4,000 copies.

Good Goddess, you could hardly makes us happier than with this rapturous news! Huzzah! Viva La Severin!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Movie Review: RANI MERA NAAM

Directed by K. S. R. Doss
India; 1972

Tough, revenge-seeking chicks never seem to catch a break in South Asian and Muslim cinema. In most of the ones I've seen, our heroine kicks ass, takes names and gets screwed. Err, metaphorically that is. RANI MERA NAAM is no different. But along the way, before our tragic finale, there's a raucous good time to be had. It starts out with a motley crew of grotesque thugs who look like they just stepped out of the 16th century bursting onto a nice upper middle class rural family, killing, raping and thieving their way through the shocked household. The only survivor of this murderous rampage is the youngest child, a little girl, who witnesses the atrocities whilst hiding just out of site. She grows up, trains in bad-assery with a guru-lookin' dude and when she's ready, heads out with a car and a horse (?), a gun and an aim towards vengeance on the scum-fucks what did her wrong. Her course of revenge gets her embroiled in all sorts of adventures wherein she finds herself aiding the helpless and fighting off corrupt politicians and crooked business men, all of whom of course end up being those who once upon a time destroyed her family. Her wrath in turn then destroys them and so sets the countryside free from their oppression. She, however, is not so lucky...

If, from the description above, it seems as though this film is a dour, serious revenge drama, then forgive me, for I've given the wrong impression. RANI MERA NAAM is a colorful, cartoonish blast of old fashioned movie fun, with action, comedy, eccentric characters, action, pretty girls, weird camera angles, giddy song and dance numbers and yet still more action. It's wacky, delirious nonsense with only the barest minimum of social “message” tacked on at the end. But then again, my copy had no subtitles so I'm not sure that I caught all the subtleties of the narrative so caveat emptor, my dear readers.

Mostly the film seems greatly inspired by 60s European popular cinema particularly Spy films, superhero flicks and most importantly Spaghetti Westerns. The third act of the film in fact is at its core a western with Our Heroine riding around on her Faithful Horse through the dusty countryside doing gallant battle with cowboy outfitted baddies. There's even a scene where she races after a speeding train, jumps aboard and holds up the engineers (I'm not really sure what was going on there actually) while a distinctly Morricone-esque scores blares away in the background. The movie is rich with silly cinematic ambiance and it never seems to take itself too seriously. The fights seem to be the main reason for the existence of the movie, and they are nothing short of spectacular. The camera seems to hurl itself around furiously as Our Heroine grapples with a series of villainous buffoons in the main action set pieces of the film. They are extraordinary examples of crazed and enthusiastic cinema at its most weird and fun. Only during a few talky bits does the momentum let up but those scenes actually pass rather quickly before the dutch angles, the blue and red tinted cartoony lighting, the ridiculous costumes and the catchy songs get up and running again, tossing your senses around willy-nilly. I was entertained throughout and felt the deep sense of movie-love overcome me that only the most deranged and bewildering low-budget cinema can provide.

But all good things must come to an end. And for Our Heroine the end is rather sad. After her triumphant defeat of the Chief Evildoer she must face the music for her uppity vigilante activity. She is arrested and shackled, to be put away and forgotten. While we in the west can only see her actions as nothing but heroic, in traditional eastern societies, women must know their place. And while all can feel sympathy for her plight and admire her accomplishments in doling out justice, the traditional viewpoint can not endure such a reversal of the male-female dynamic. It's sad, and we might feel righteous in our disgust at such an attitude, but at the very least it makes for great drama. And in the end, for much of Asian Pop Cinema, a very important part of the message of even the innocuous of films is that the balance of society is restored. But for me the most important thing is the wild details, the crazed cinematic qualities which tickle the eyes and sizzles the soul. RANI MERA NAAM has got all that and some to spare.

Print provided by Electric Larvae.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Enter the World of ... LEPTIRICA!

This is a far-out looking 70s Yugoslavian Vampire epic which has shot to the top of my "must-see" list. Dig the crazy clip, brothers and sisters!:

Since we haven't seen it yet (though hopefully we'll have a copy on its way soon)we've decided to post up THE CINEHOUND's review from THE CINEHOUND FORUM here in order to pique your interest further. If you don't know, CINEHOUND is Miltos Kordas a longtime movie collector from Greece who is one of the world's foremost excavators in the field of obscure international exploito cinema. I listen to what he says and you should too. Here's his review, posted with his full permission:

Yugoslavian vampire horror film
Directed by Djordje Kadijevic in 1973
Cast: Mirjana Nikolic, Petar Bozovic , Slobodan Perovic, Vasja Stankovic

This is a Yugoslavian female vampire horror film of the early 70s shot in the Serbian countryside and based on a novel. The film starts in a mill. The old miller listens strange bird voices and while he's sleeping the millstone suddenly stops working and a strange creature with black hands, long nails, angry eyes and long teeth bites his neck and drinks his blood. You don't manage to see the whole creature but you understand it's a human, not animal...

After the shocking start the film turns to a talky romance between a young miller and a shepherd's daughter with an angelic face and long blonde hair. Also we watch the comic arguements between his friends from the village. They're always drunk and a funny priest is between them. The young guy talks to his lover's father but he doesn't want to hear a word about their marriage.

Later the vampiric creature attacks to the young miller in his mill. The same elements again, strange voices from the birds and the millstone stops. The creature attacks. Another scary scene but now ends a bit funny as our hero falls into flour and saves himself.

The company goes to an ugly old witch for her advise. She shows them the place where the vampire has been buried and they nail down a huge stake through the closed coffin (they affraid to open it). A butterfly comes out of the bloody coffin (I'm not sure but maybe "Leptirica" means "butterfly" in Serbian?)

The young miller -with a little help by his friends - takes away his lover from her house. They go to the village and prepare their marriage. The night before the marriage he sneaks into her room to make love with her while she's asleep. But below her breast he discovers...a huge bloody hole !!

Yes, she's actually the vampire. She opens her eyes and suddenly transforms to a disgusting bloodthirsty creature. She climbs over his neck from behind while he's running like hell into the woods. Great slow motion here. This is the most powerful scene of the movie and I can tell you that this female vampire is the most creepy and frightful one in the film history !!

She leads him back to her grave. There he manage to get the stake out of the coffin and nail her again.
In the morning his body lies fainted on the ground with a butterfly on his hair...
Incredible end !!

Highly recommended by Cinehound!

We will post our own review sometime after it reaches our grubby, greedy, grasping paws!

Check out further info on this oddity here!