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A mad journey into the mind of the depraved!

A mad journey into the mind of the depraved!
Recommended for devolved primates only!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME IN SHANGHAI (2014)



This modern kung fu flick is a remake of 1972's Shaw Brothers classic BOXER FROM SHANTUNG which I sadly still need to see. I hope in that one everything is not colored different tones of grey and looks so drab that suicide seems like a better option than existing in the world these characters occupy. Since it wasn't shot digitally, like this, but on actual film I'm probably pretty safe. Besides this terrible trait though the action scenes here are decent enough even though they all rely heavily on looking like something from THE MATRIX(thanks to stunt coordinator Yeun Wo-Ping who did the stunts for THE MATRIX) like a lot of modern films do and remind me more of a cartoon than anything I'm supposed to take seriously. Sammo Hung does a good job in what little he gets to do. Main star Philip Ng has a sort of Bruce Lee look(he would go on to play Bruce in the bio-pic BIRTH OF THE DRAGON in 2016) so that helps. The best thing I can say about this is that it has inspired me to go back and catch up on some 70's fu flicks that I've missed.

Even the trailer looks washed-out as hell and practically black & white!:

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

NEW WORLD (2013)



 Modern Korean movies are all way too long and here's another example of that. There's a lot of talky talk parts that could probably be cut down quite a bit to help this. Saying that though I did find this one to be a pretty engaging epic of Korean mafia action. There are some pretty brutal scenes including a guy who gets his head sawed off by a large knife(offscreen) and a poor undercover lady cop who ends up in a barrel. One scene in particular, which takes place in an elevator with one quite tough guy vs. a whole bunch of knife-wielding fellows determined to finish him, is reminiscent of the hammer fight bit in OLDBOY. Of course also reminiscent of OLDBOY is it's star(Choi Min-sik) who has a pretty big role here and is great as an aging policeman. All the acting in this thing is topnotch and the mobsters vs. undercover cops story is done very well so I'll let it's lengthiness slide. There is a weird ending involving a flashback which does feel sorta unnecessary though and seems added on just to test my endurance. For a modern film though this beats pretty much anything made recently in the cesspool of Hollywood. 



Monday, December 9, 2019

BRUTE CORPS (1971)



 Character actor Alex Rocca really stands out here in this tale of a group of badass mercenaries who don't mind getting a little rapey and a little murdery when the opportunity arises. Some bikers show up briefly but don't fare much better than a couple of hippies that bear the brunt of our unruly gang of murderous hooligan's wrath throughout most of the film. A Mexican town is also the setting of some hi-jinks including trying to buy a bartenders daughter. Pretty obscure title that's worth seeking out for 70's exploitation thrills after you're done with all the more well-known rape/revenge titles.

 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

GOTHIC (1986)



 Remember that opening scene from THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN? Well Ken Russell made a whole movie out of that same evening. This time around though there's way more drug use, homosexuality and general craziness because it's now 1986 and you can film that kinda stuff if you're Ken Russell. The FRANKENSTEIN story doesn't really get brought up until the end and the whole film is more about spoiled rich people getting wacky. I've watched this one a few times over the years but I'm still not sure if I would recommend it to anyone. It is an interesting concept to explore and the visuals are exciting to watch but the whole thing seems like it could have been wrapped up in about 15 minutes. Still if you're a classic horror fan it's probably worth at least one viewing.


  

Friday, November 29, 2019

THE HAND THAT FEEDS THE DEAD (1974)


 The main reason I took a chance on this Italian horror flick is because it stars the great Klaus Kinski in the lead role of a mad scientist. I guess technically he's the mad-scientist's assistant, but since the original mad-scientist(named Ivan Rssimov in some kinda weird tribute to the Italian actor with that same name) is dead before the film even begins he gets promoted and gets himself a new assistant in the form of a demented, rape-happy hunchbacked fellow(Erol Tas, who mostly appeared in Turkish cinema). Things pretty much follow the EYES WITHOUT A FACE path with some fairly gory operation scenes of skin transplants and a body with it's face peeled completely off. Kinski, for his part, is fairly restrained here which is unfortunate and drags the movie down a bit. There is some lesbianism thrown in which is nice. Worth at least one watch for Eurotrash-cinema people but probably not something I will ever revisit.
 Also in 1974 director Sergio Garrone made another movie with pretty much the same cast as this, very similar character names and reused some of the same footage called LOVER OF THE MONSTER. I might need to see if Klaus is any more lively in that one.
 Released on DVD as EVIL FACE(which I guess is a good description of Mr. Kinski)


                                                           Knee gore!:

Thursday, November 28, 2019

ALIAS THE CHAMP (1949)



 The only movie starring legendary pro-wrestler Gorgeous George. It's mostly just a story about mobsters trying to infiltrate the wrasslin' business though and focuses on a detective(Robert Rockwell) trying to stop this and solve a wrassler's murder. This might have been due to George not being the greatest actor in the world(outside of the ring anyway). A few other real life wrestler's show up including Sammy Menacker and the great Tor Johnson, under his Super Swedish Angel moniker. Sadly Tor is only in one big brawling scene but he would go on to meet Ed Wood and the rest is crap-movie history. The film overall is pretty simple but it breezes by in just 1 hour so check it out for some old-timey grapplin' action.
 I can't help but believe that this was an influence on those later Mexican Santo films since it basically follows the same blueprint without the comic-book super-heroics and monsters that they would throw in to help spice things up.

                With bonus pro wrestling short SCRAMBLED LEGS!:

Monday, November 25, 2019

DEMONS 2 (1986)



 Like many sequels this one, by the same director(Lamberto Bava), is just a crappier version of the first movie. It replaces the cool theatrical setting with an apartment building that our demons get to run amuck in. Asia Argento makes her film debut at 11 years old, a monster from GHOULIES shows up at one point for no reason and not much of what happens makes  a whole lot of sense. It's still the best of the DEMONS sequels and that's mostly due to the great Bobby Rhodes returning, except instead of playing a pimp this time he's a personal trainer which is not quite as cool. The blood and gore is present but not in as copious amounts as DEMONS. If you're really into the original though I'm sure you've at least seen this one and it's a good place to stop with the sequels.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

GATOR BAIT (1973)



 Got a chance to check this one out at a recent theatrical showing. Having never seen it before, but having viewed directors Beverly and Ferd Sebastian's earlier THE HITCHHIKERS just a few days before, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Luckily this one was way better than their previous film. It had a real I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE feeling to it all in that special way only very rapey 70's cinema can. Of course it never gets quite as lurid as I SPIT... but there's still s shotgun to a vagina, lots of swampy gun-fu and tons of revenge. So if sister-humping Cajun rednecks are you're thing give this a look.
 Star Claudia Jennings, who is amazing in this, her greatest role, went on to be in a  bunch of 70's exploitation films and various T.V. series, apparently even coming close to being in CHARLIE'S ANGELS, before being tragically killed in a car crash.
 There is a sequel that didn't come out, on video, until way later in 1988. I hear good things about that one though shot-on-video is not a tempting phrase at all.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

PREMUTOS: THE FALLEN ANGEL (1997)



 One of the goriest things you will see outside of one of those early Peter Jackson films. This is a German gorefest zombie flick directed by Olaf Ittenbach, a fellow who's made a career at creating disturbing imagery on film. I've only seen 3 of his films so far, THE BURNING MOON and DARD DIVORCE, and this one is definitely the goofiest of that trio. It's the story of some time-traveling demon who's brought back once again thanks to some corpse-reviving elixir. The plot is not all that important though because the spectacle of exploding heads, chainsawed limbs, crushed testicles and tons of other monstrous acts of violence are the main draws here. The hilariously awful dubbing is also a plus. A convenient body count tally at the end puts the kills at 117 and that's good enough for me. The onyl downside might be the burnout you will feel around the 80 minute mark from all the zombie killing. This could have been edited down a bit from it's girthy 106-minute running time and it would probably leave you feeling more satisfied. Still a good watch with some friends and some booze. AKA PREMUTOS: LORD OF THE LIVING DEAD


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

SLAYGROUND (1983)



 This is one of those VHS boxes I recall seeing a bunch in the video store as a kid but never felt the need to actually watch it until just recently. It's definitely not a necessity but has a few interesting twists to it.  It starts out pretty straight-forward with some criminal-types who mistakenly kill a little girl making their getaway from an armored car robbery. It then becomes revenge city but not in the way you would expect. Our sympathies throughout the film are with the head criminal, played by Peter Coyote(who I'm not too familiar with but I love his name), because the assassin that is hired to track him down seems like a way worse person. The film ultimately seems a bit far-fetched in spots but there are a few cool set-pieces here and there. Fairly middle-of-the-road stuff.



Monday, November 18, 2019

THE HITCHHIKERS (1972)



 Not much of a plot to this one. It tells the story of this stupid hippie chick who gets pregnant and then runs away from home and then runs into a group of criminal hitchhikers. The group seems to be vaguely influenced by The Manson family though there's no murder or Helter Skelter going on and it's all pretty lighthearted outside of numerous armed robberies. There is one rape scene but it's over pretty quickly and not particularly gratuitous. It's all very leisurely paced and the editing lingers in a lot of weird places. Probably only worth a look for hardcore 70's aficionados that just wanna watch some hippie frolicking. Maybe the weirdest thing about this one is the songs which are basically just a folk singer narrating what we are seeing on the screen while playing his guitar.


 

Friday, November 15, 2019

THE PHANTOM KUNG FU (1979)



 This Taiwanese kung fu flick starts out playing it straight with the Mings vs. the Qings in a rebellion situation. Then they introduce the goofy-ass bumbling comedic character and then to top that we get a guy who looks like a monkey and does monkey-style kung fu who's named, naturally, Drunken Monkey. This one had potential with it's mixing of horror elements(a ghost keeps showing up, but is it really a ghost or is our main bad guy just going bonkers?) and martial arts but it's never really all that exciting. Too much exposition early on and the goofy second half make for a pretty disjointed viewing experience. Also the ending, involving quadruplets is really absurd. The bad guy has a cool moustache though. AKA THESE HANDS DESTROY (this is in reference to the bad guys "death palm" technique where his hands smoke before he gives you the deadly "palm strike of death"!) and MANTIS IN THE MONKEY'S SHADOW



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

CRACZY HORSE & INTELLIGENT MONKEY (1981)

         

                            "You get your ass out of here or we'll beat the shit out of you!"

 No, that's not a typo up there in the heading, that's the actual onscreen title of this kung fu flick. How they managed to spell the word 'intelligent' correctly but not 'crazy" I'm not sure. I guess proofreading was not big in Hong Kong at the time.
 So there's these two nitwits and one of them is good at kung fu. The other one, Kwok Choi Hon, is a skinny little weirdo that sorta looks like an anorexic Popeye with a very new wave haircut. I recognize this fellow from a bunch of small roles in various kung fu movies as he has a rather large filmography.  This is one of the few ones were he's one of the main characters though as far as I can recall. They go on various adventures and end up learning horse and monkey-style kung fu respectively in order to get revenge for a murder mom. There's not much that stands out about this one besides our little monkey dude flopping around and some weird dubbing full of saucy language.