Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I just wanna say one thing and keep it short: this is the most happy documentary I've never seen. It's so filled with love for movies, people, culture, stunts, violence, sex, boobs, explosions and more people. From the first second to the last we're bombarded by anecdotes, movie clips, cool people and so much fun information that I just wished it would never end. We're getting an exposive look through the exploitation-ages of Australia, first with sex-movies and stupid comedys, to horror and the action. Everyone is here talking, and most of them seem very proud of all the wacky movies they've been involved with. From directors, producer, marketing-guys, actresses and actors, stuntmen and fans.
There's nothing bad to say about, except it could have gone on for a couple of hours more. And it's bad because now I have to find every single movie mentioned! And I've missed so much... and I need it all. This is a dvd you have to buy!
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
My dear bf is on his way home with a Playstation 3 (slim version), which is very new technology for us. It's his first console EVER and the last one I had was a Nintendo 8-bit! :) He's probably gonna use it most for gaming, but for me it's movies of course.
So what blu-rays should I get now? Which is important to buy and to own? Help me!
I don't remember how I got in contact with the director of Thriller, en grym film (aka They Call Her One-Eye), but it ended sadly and I guess that was my only chance to really know the secrets of Bo-Arne Vibenius. Anyway, we had contact a lot through email, though he really didn't tell me much. He was mostly writing about how he got fucked by the movie industry.
By chance Mr Z (I think, it could have been his friend which I forgotten the name of) contacted me, probably through some forum. They wanted to start a DVD company (called Chrome by the way) and somehow maybe they knew that I was in contact with Mr Vibenius. One thing led to another and soon Mr Z and his business partner was in Sweden, and we was meeting the director or Thriller.
You heard many stories about Vibenius, but I can tell you (and I think Z would agree), that he was a very pleasent guy to meet and spend some time with. A true classic swedish gentleman. We went to his apartment where he served some salmon and other swedish delicatessen, and they signed the contract. The americans had smuggled a large amount of money (six figures) through the swedish customs, and Vibenius counted them carefully. Then he said there was money missing. The americans went pale and a silence fell over the room. Then Vibenius laughed and said he was only joking.
After this he took out a fantastic carton box with photos from his career and from the making of Thriller. There was a great photo of him and Ingmar Bergman, there was amazing stills of Christina Lindberg from behind the scenes of Thriller. He showed us a gorgeous poster of Breaking Point (I could kill for that poster) and then he also produced the only master he had of Thriller. It wasn't in good shape at all, and I could see that the americans where a bit worried about that.
Vibenius left the room when we was watching Thriller. He didn't like it, and probably felt tired just thinking about it. But he came back later and talked a little about the movie. To us he said that he intended the graphic sex to be there all the time. It was a good way to sell the movie. He confirmed that he used a real corpse for the eye-scenes. He knew a doctor at Karolinska, how let them used a body for this. The doctor later got fired, or was forced to retired, because of mental problems. He also mentioned that one of the stuntmen later made a sex-change. Not Lars Lundgren though, who is one of the stuntmen in the warehouse-fight. I had a pleasure of working with him in one of my earlier movies, a really bad one by the way) For the slow-motion scenes he used a military camera, used for weapon experiments, something he managed to do through his contacts in the military. He claimed to have worked for military intelligence and had good connections with CIA. We where skeptical about this though, but after a while he showed us something else... More to that later.
He asked us if we wanted to see Breaking Point, and of course: who could say no to that? This time he stayed with us, and I had a strong feeling that he was very closely connected to this movie. The reason they made the movie was that another project (some art-movie financed by Roger Corman, with music by Ralph Lundsten) crashed, and he hade some money to spend (from the success of Thriller) and a crew to make a movie quickly. They wrote the script on one-two days and the director of cinematography, Andreas Bellis, took the lead. Like in Thriller, Ralph Lundsten, created the soundscape, but as we all know, there a very famous tune in it to: Anton Karas theme from The Third Man. Vibenius actually took Anton Karas to Stockholm, put him in a studio where they recorded the theme once again for Breaking Point. Anton Karas, according to Vibenius, never enjoyed this job - but took the ten thousand swedish kronor he was offered and did his job one more time.
Breaking Point got interested from an american businessman who bough the US rights and all the material involving the movie, even the original negatives. He never released it, at least never properly, and Vibenius never saw any money. He later tried to located the material, but it was lost and rumour said it was destroyed in warehouse-fire - either by accident, or by the businessman (mafia, said Vibenius) to hide something else.
Breaking Point is obviously a very personal project for it's director, and it's a shame that the destiny of that movie was to be a lost movie.
The next day we followed Vibenius to the home of the very nice and original Ralph Lundsten, a pioneer of electronic music. His house is absurd. And it's surreal. He showed us his studio, his sexual art, told stories about the wild seventies. A great man. We had wine in his garden, it was an experience I never forgot. I was in contact with Vibenius and Ralph a long time after this. For a couple of weeks Ralph actually worked on the music for a movie I produced, but the contract that his lawyer (aka Vibenius) offered us was so absurd and impossible to agree to, that we made the music ourselves instead. And by the help of some other groups around Scandinavia. Vibenius himself stopped communicating with me personally, instead his assistant "Otto" wrote the emails. It was obviously Vibenius himself, a man fond of pseudonyms and wordplay.
You all probably heard of the huge fight that Vibenius started regarding the DVD release of Thriller. Chrome never came to exist, what I know, and they sold the rights to Synapse that released a very nice dvd of it. I never got any credits for my involvment in this, which (to be honest) I feel a bit bitter about even today. It's a movie I cared for, and I spent some personal money on traveling and stuff to make it happen. But shit happens. But I'm glad to have spent some time with the highly original Bo-Arne Vibenius (or Fridolinski that he calls himself when it comes to everything regarding Thriller) and that I helped (a little) Thriller to be widely available.
Ah, you wonder about the connection with military intelligence? Well, after showing us some photos and chatting nice about his movies and mentioned his intelligence work and connections with The CIA. Then he showed us an official letter. It was a "thank you" for long and honorable service. Signed by... George H. W. Bush, former president of the United States and former Director of Central Intelligence...
Over and out,
One day they find a girl, she and her boyfriend has been attacked by a vicious gang of... cannibals! And soon they've tracked her to the hospital and starts to kill our heroes off, one after one!
I like the idea. It's like a Doomsday without any budget. And action. And charismatic actors. But it's still okey. Most of the story is set in the hospital, and there's very few shots outside this boring building. The directing is competent but maybe to laidback, like the director thought the story was cool enough and didn't bother to do something fun with the visuals. Acting is ok, but it's really only Robert Carradine and Michael Kelly that makes something interesting with their characters. The money seem to have to been spent on two VERY pointless cameos but two uninspired actors: Michael Madsen (he just can't act any more) and Vinnie Jones. The characters is nothing special and could have been played by my grandmother or anyone walking down the street close to the location. God knows who they ended up in this movie!
But it's not without merit. The gore is very nice and graphic and in the end there's some inspiration going on, but little is made of the idea.
I can't really recommend it to anyone, except us suckers that just can't get enough of post-apocalyptic movies.
Monday, September 28, 2009
That, together with the tagline to The Mutilator, is one of the best taglines I've ever seen. It also sets the standard for Dead Snow, the new norwegian nazi-zombie-epic from director Tommy Wirkola. Not that he has made any other in the genre, but I really hope there will be a sequel to this one. If he dosen't choose the road like all other splatter-directors out there: becomes serious and making family comedies for a quick buck.
A couple of med students are going for vaction up in the beautiful (in a distance, I've been up in the fucking mountains here in Scandinavia and I hated every second of it) norwegian mountains. What they don't know is that the area is cursed! A troup of nazis got lost in the mountains and has now become bloodthirsty zombies willing to kill everything in their way to protect and find their hidden nazi-treasures. Our group of heros defend themselves, first barricading themselves in a cabin and then out in the white, cold open!
As with the boring and traditional Rovdyr this movie don't offer anything new. It's a combination between every zombie-movie you can think and even John Carpenters The Fog. But here we have a talented director and bunch of fun actor and bucket after bucket of gore and blood. And it's looks great to! There's more gore than foreign counterparts and limbs and brains a splashing over the screen. As with a lot of movies with younger characters, they are not especially interesting. Not even here. We have the stiff guy that's afraid of blood, the fat film nerd, some sexy girls and so on. We even have an "old man of warning", who really get's what he deserves.
The locations are great and is a nice wallpaper to all the blood and gore. Have I mentioned that this movie has blood and gore? I'm not sure. There's decaptions, head-rippings... yes, every kinda way to destroy a head. And now I haven't mentioned the rest of the body! The bad thing is, as usual, that the filmmakers are very aware of what they're doing and trying to make fun of the idea of nazi-zombies. They have the boring film references that we've seen to death and it lacks the seriousness that I think would have made this movie a small masterpiece. Now it's "just" a great and fun splatter-flick that fit's perfect with a beer and some friends.
It's nice to see that Norway is helping Scandinavia to get some respect in the horror community now. Sweden is, as usual, the worst film country in the world and should be ashamed of all the lousy crap-movies that we producing. Denmark is still good, thank Buddha for that, but Norway has a special place in my heart from now one - as a relative of the great Roald Amundsen and a non-patriot of Sweden.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
"This is quite simply the most terrible film I have ever seen in my life"
"This movie has opened my eyes to how horrible a movie can be"
"Good Heavens...this is one truly abysmal film"
"So bad it's just bad"
I know you should respect other people opinions, but fuck it. These people are nazi-pedophiles! Or at least stupid, stupid, stupid morons ;) A boring film is a bad film, and Winterbeast is never boring. It might have one of the most incoherent scripts I've seen, some fantastic overacting, cramped sets, extremly uneven cinematography and sound... but it also have cool stop-motion, a good pace, actors that are clearly having really fun.
The story, yes... I'm not sure. But the weird guy owning The Wild Goose Lodge is clearly involved somehow, maybe he started a monster/demon-invasion with some black indian magic, or maybe he's a serial killer. He listens to strange childrens song's and wears clown-masks to. Our hero, the mustasche-fanatic Sergeant Bill Whitman (played by the likable Tim R. Morgan), is trying to find out why people are dying in his town. Most of them are getting killed by various cool stop-motion monsters, often quite bloody. Something like that. The story. But see the movie yourself and you will probably understand.
First of all, there's no winter in Winterbeast. But that's not really important. This is looooooooow budget film-making, shot with whatever actors showed up at the casting-session and on sparetime between "real" jobs and on weekends. All this during a couple of years. So that means peoples looks are changing from scene to scene, sometime from cut to cut! Tim R. Morgan's mustasche is a film of it's own, and we see at least four different styles of mustasches (one of them is very fake... and red!). Charles Majka's haircut is also a living history of hair-fashion during these years.
Director Christopher Thies claims he tried to strangle a member of the crew, but this is a movie full of love for film-making, cheesy gore and wild monsters! I mean, they actually completed the movie! My first "big" movie was never completed because we got tired of it - just like these guys, but they probably was stonger mentally then us swedish suckers! The monsters wasn't in the script from the beginning, so they feel a bit inserted here and there when the movie needs some action. But they are cool. We have a dragon, a gigant chicken, a tree-monster, a bigfoot/ape-monster that lives underground, something that looks like an alien and some more surprises. It's quite good stop-motion and the monsters has personality.
At www.winterbeast.com you can buy the very entertaining special edition. There's an eighteen minute long making of with the director and producer, really funny. There's deleted scenes, a shot-on-video version of some of the scenes that where (wisely) cut from the movie, still photos and a commentary that I haven't listen to yet - but if they guys are as funny and informative in their documentary, it's probably a blast.
Winterbeast is a proud member of those cool backwoods indie-flicks that where shot during the seventies and eighties for no money at all and this dvd is a must!
I have to quote my boyfriend: "A perfect movie when smoking weed". I don't know anything about that though. But he's probably correct.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I didn't order so much today, just one movie from Play.com, but bought more dvds in the city after work:
- Hate this title, and the working title (Man with a Movie Camera) was much better. It's an indie-production shot by Bernard Rose which seems interesting.
The Fox Family
- South Korean musical (!) it seems about a group of fox-people! I'm not sure what it is, but it was cheap and the cover was nice.
The Greatest American Hero Season One
- The only reason why I bought this is because of nostalgia. And it was fucking cheap.
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
- The ABUS-version for 50 kr. Long time since I saw the movie, so it will be fun to revisit.
- Some british crime-drama. Nice 2-disc edition.
The Chain Reaction
- Ozploitation from the eighties in a nice special edition from Umbrella. Found this by chance in a second hand shop.
Tears of Kali
- Another blind buy. Have no idea if it's worth 69 kr.
Tooth and Nail
- Post-apocalyptic movie from the After Dark-project. Heard it's crap, but it could be interesting to.
Fear Dot Com
- Yes, I really dig this movie.
- Haven't seen it, so it was time.
Millennium Season Two
- I have nothing bad to say about this show and I need to start on season two now.
That's it folk!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The story in short: A huge "ship" is found in the tail of Halleys Comet. A group of astronauts enters the mysterious object and found the remains of a bat-like species and three human bodies. And then shit hits the fan and somehow these human bodies comes back to earth and starts to infect people to vampire-like monsters that suck the lifeforce from their victims!
Dosen't it sound cool? And yes, it's cool. This is also a movie where they spent a fuckload of money, around 25 million dollars - and in 1985, that was a lot! Every penny is visible on the screen to, from John Dykstra's amazing visual effects to a lof of cool physical stuff with animatronics, some minor gore, miniatures and huge sets. But the coolest thing is that it's so british. There's no clue that it's been directed by a guy from Texas or produced by a couple of crazy israelis. This is UK all over it, from the actors and slightly melodramatic dialogue, the visual style with restrained camera movements and colors. Maybe that was a reason for it's fiasco? It didn't want to become another overblown american action-spectacular, but rather a tasteful british overblown mega-spectacular?
The finale is one of the best every filmed. The huge spaceship (or whatever) is hanging in space over London and attracts the souls of all people that are infected thru a huge blue beam. At the same time the infection is spreading like a joint among friends at George Michaels apartment and turns every single soul in London to a zombie-like vampire-monster! Watch out for mass-scenes of crazy people destroying London, landmarks being blown to pieces, zombie-attacks and in the middle of this a trippy sex-scene in a church! Wow, this is great.
It's just a pity that the dvds that are out is so crappy. They are the longer cut, which is the best, and in widescreen, but that's the only good things. The picture looks like shit and no extras. It deserves a special edition, a release taken from a new and fresh print and high resolution. Maybe one day...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Steve Miner, genre-veteran, is handling the movie well - except for a few bad editing choices that feels more like they're trying to hide the fact that they don't have enough footage or that it's just not interesting enought. It's obviously just a job for Steve, and there's no heart or soul in his work, but he's one of the more competent gun for hire's out there and fills the movie with stuff that the want: gore and zombies. It's actually quite juicy, with tons of crushed and cut-off heads, some nice body-chewing and squibs. It's often filled with shaky-cam, but you see what happens at least. The best zombie-scene is at the hospital and when the zombies jump out thru the windows and starting to chase our heroes in the parking lot.
Actors? Yes, there are, and their doing their job and nothing more. The worst part the casting is Ving Rhames, in a totally worthless, underwritten and pointless part as Captain Rhodes. They could have casted a bulgarian whore instead of him, and you wouldn't have noticed the difference. Ian McNeice shows up as a fat (of course) DJ, and is a fun character actor with the worlds biggest double chin. It's so big that Romero probably was hiding in there complaining about that the zombies is running, jumping and crawling like spiders on the walls. I love Romero. I could marry him, but I don't give a fuck how the zombies move. As long as they're eating people and getting shoot and hacked to pieces.
I think Day of the Dead deserves more cred for being such a rollercoaster-dtv-ride. They are far to few nowdays, especially the really over-the-top gory ones that has a budget over one dollar.
This is just one of those movies that you'll have turn off your brain before you watch it.
This title gave me some headache for a while, but after a lot of research I found that it's a Yugoslavian movie called Izbavitelj. It's a about a secret society of rat-people! (yes, just like the famous Monty Python-sketch). Anyway, it seems like something I would like to see and is one of the biggest reasons I want to find a good beta-player.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
A recommendation for a new blog that you should start checking now and then. Jocke had a swedish blog for a while, but will take a rest and write in english - which is a damn fine idea, because he has a perfect taste in movies, is a talented writer with good reviews to offer. And he met Luigi Cozzi to this summer (just check the photo above), which make's him a bit closer to God in my opinion.
So check it out and link it: Rubbermonsterfetishism!
Oh yes. This is fun. When it comes to martial arts-movies from the US the best one's are often the DTV-productions. U.S Seals II, Special Forces, Drive, Cold Harvest etc etc. They build their stories around wild fights and just fuck any deeper meanings. Here we have a movie directed by a chinese and produced by a couple of thai's and one vietnamese - and it's starring the who's who of lowbudget action-cinema. Gary is the best, as usual, and it strikes me everytime that he's a very charming actor - not the best though - with some amazing fighting-skills.
Here we have tons and tons of crazy fight-scenes, Hong Kong-style stunts and more violence than in a lot of newer action movies. It's lowbudget and the visual feeling is more of a cheap tv-drama. But they've spent all the money on building sets that is literally being ripped to pieces by our heroes and baddies. Yeah yeah, it's silly lousy-written crap, but I'm very impressed by it. The only goal is to show how people kicking each others ass.
From now on this will be up there together with the productions of Isaac Florentine and... yes, even Jalal Merhi!
Monday, September 21, 2009
Three astronauts survives a crash on the dark side of the moon. The discover a big sea, forests and endless deserts. They can breath and slowly manages to survive, stranded in this strange place. Together they create a new, inbreed, society on the moon. They created new gods and demons and starts to worship them. Many years later one of them sends out a small rocket back to earth with years of footage, and earth sends an astronaut to examine what really happen. When he arrives he soon becomes a human god, a christ-figure, who leads a rebellion against the other occupants of the moon: the Sherns, a winged race of bird-like creates that only communicates telepathically...
This is a small fraction about the movie. It dosen't do it justice really. Almost the first hour of the movie is a classic found footage-movie (much like Cannibal Holocaust or Blair Witch), but spanning over at least fifty years. It looks fantastic, and the locations are huge. Deserts, sea, mountains - it feels dreamy and almost unrealistic, though it's there for everyone to see. We're watching this new society getting more and more advanced in their new religion, weird rituals and also getting more bloodthirsty. One the astronauts he moving back and forth between this new way of life and the realistic way of seeing it. And it's also him that finally sends the footage back to earth.
Because the movie never was finished, Zulawski himself narrates unrelated footage of "todays" Poland, explaining whats happening. He tells fantastic things and it's a pity it was never filmed. But somehow it works to, especially in the end which get's very powerful only listening to Zulawskis final instructions and seeing his reflection in a window.
Yes, it's arty. But it's never boring, though it can be very dialogue-heavy and... may I saw pretentious? But I like that, and as long they have something interesting to say that's fine with me. The visuals is never boring, and they use some amazing places. The last part of the movie is shot in the Salt Mine Wieliczka, something that looks like a big deserted polish old city and in some cool post-apocalyptic ruins. Zulawski is Zulawski and spreads a nice layer of very bizarre images all over the movie to. From big orgy-scenes (it's a lot of nudity in this movie), people impaled in the ass with huge poles and a lot of beautiful surreal images of rituals, life, death, nature, "Sherns" and everything else inbetween.
I watched over the course of two days, because it's a lot to analyze. I won't go into symbolism and the religious and political themes, because a lot of other people have done that. But I tell ya: watch it and see for yourself...
Sunday, September 20, 2009
It could have worked, but here's the problem: personality. The kids are just a bunch of faces, you never get to know them and the dialogues is just words to fill out empty spaces. But I can live with that. Sometimes at least. The BIG problem comes when you're making a horror movie and just ignores to give the monsters/killers/whatever some personality. Even if you don't see them, they should have characters of their own. What we have here is just a gang of dudes with beards. Nothing else. I had problem keeping them apart anyway. And I didn't care when some of them got killed because it was pointless. If you don't know who they are, there's nothing to kill. Just wasted celluloid.Another negative thing is that it's a movie totally without nationality. Could be a good thing sometimes, but except the language this could be english, french, american, swedish, spanish... yes, even norwegian. There's no way to tell, and it's another proof that it lacks personality. It would be more interesting if norwegian culture where in the mix somehow. The killers eating kneipp or something ;)
On the plus-side: the directing is competent and it looks good and professional. Not talentless mega-shit like swedish slashers High School Massacre or Blödaren.The actors do a good work with a boring script and the gore is plenty and very graphic. I'm sure director Patrik Syversen will make a better movie next time, and if he makes Rovdyr 2 - I will buy it, because it can't get worse.
Okey, next review will be my ordinary positive self. I'm sorry.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
I went to town to buy new shoes (I went to Stadium, walked right in and took the cheapest pair of black shoes there was) and then I bought some dvds to:
Der Bader-Meinhof Komplex
- Sure, it's probably a fantastic drama there. But I just want to get that seventies feeling and some squibs.
- Haven't seen it yet, so it's probably time.
- Some overhyped norwegian backwoods-slasher I guess.
- I bought it mostly because Jocke mentions it everyday at msn. So this is an effective way to keep him quiet ;)
Bridge to Hell
- A cheap crappy collection that I felt belonged in my collection.
The Last days of Pompeii
- The team from the original King Kong makes a disaster-movie! Count me in!
- Fun action that I haven't seen for ages.
- Martial arts with Gary Daniels.
I also got two bootlegs as a gift from my favorite shop:
- French crime.
- Have no idea what this is, but Donald Sutherland is in it. So that makes it interesting.
The poster looks great, the early previews are very positive and the titles is 100 % klockren as we say in Sweden. I think this one and Paranormal Activity could be the finest independent-horrors to to watch in couple of months.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The story is... thin. It begins with a drug/money exhange at the Ayers Rock, it's Sammo Hung in a black polo who get's to fight on top of the rock, which of course is spectular. He's arrested and inspector Fang Sing Leng (Wang Yu) is coming from Hong Kong to bring him home again... but they don't get far until Sammo is killed! Everything leads to the wealthy businessman Jack Wilton (George "The Man" Lazenby) and his army of Kung Fu-thugs! And they all want inspector Fang Sing Leng!
Yes, I know. It dosen't sound like much. But wait... let's see here. During this movie you will see: a helicopter/car-chase, a fight on top of Ayers Rock, a big fight on a cocktail-party, a city-chase that ends in a total demolition (by hand) of a chinese restaurant, a huge fight where Wang Yu takes on ten guys, a skyscraper-climbing, some brutal beatings, a fantastic car-chase (with three cars and one motorcross), two scenes of fight training where Lazenby and Wang Yu shows who the boss to their men... and a lot more! Trenchard-Smith surely knows how to make great action, and this is an excellent example where classic Hong Kong-action is melted together with western action. Did I mention it's quite bloody to? And it even has a Happiness-montage! Something for everyone!
Jimmy Wang Yu is a weird hero. He's perfect in the role, but he always look like an angry twelve year old boy. And that's creepy when he's making sweet sweaty (very sweaty, just check his skin!) love to a couple of busty blondes! He fights well for not having any (or at least very little) eduction in martial arts. It looks good anyway! George Lazenby is wonderful as his small role has the main bad guy. He has three fight scenes and really shows that he could fight and does it brutal and well. In the end fight (which is marvelous, but to short) he seem to make his own stunts - including something that looks like a dangerous fire-stunt! It looks impressive.
I'm so impressed by this slice of Ozploitation. It's looks like a million bucks, and have more violence that money can buy. It even has a catchy theme song, "Sky High" performed by Jigsaw. The only bad thing is that it ends... and a couple of minutes of a very unnecessary love story. The german dvd is easy to get, is uncut and looks okey. Not a fantastic transfer, but enough for me.
There's no excuse really. You NEED to own this movie.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
It's nothing more than that. But somehow Mr Fred manages to create and interesting tension, a dreamy atmosphere out of very little. The movie is seldom quite, an abstract ambient landscape of music is filling almost every second out in the desert and makes uninteresting views of rocks way better than it probably was meant to. The actors is okey, but has nothing to work with.
The main thing is of course the gore, and that's graphic and sadistic. A realistic cut throat, a graphic scalping, something getting hit very hard in the back of the head, arrow-hits... it's not as much as it seems, but gory and well made. The demon itself is quite... cheap, and looks more like a bit more advanced Halloweek-mask. But I'll buy that, seen worse.
A nice piece in my collection of eighties-horrors, but I guess it's only for the hardcore fans. Ah, Forrest J. Ackerman makes a cameo to. I've met him, ate lunch with him and had a great time - so that's probably the best thing with this movie.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
With these confident words Peter Graves opens The Mysterious Monsters, a very typical seventies documentary in the wake of Chariot of the Gods, the Erich Von Däniken-documentary who was a great success a couple of years earlier. Though it focuses on Bigfoot, and all the other reincarnations of apemen in the US, it also takes us to a journey around the world for a quick look at other famous monsters. The Loch Ness-monster is presented as a fact, not speculation, and in the end Peter Graves says something about that Bigfoot soon will be as accepted as Nessie and the Gorilla.
The critical view of the phenomena is more or less non-existant, but a few voices have the opportunity to say a few words to shoot down the Bigfoot-legend - but these voices are quickly shot down by other people, without any discussions. I love that. That's how an exploitation-documentary should be. It has a lot of eyewitness-interviews, some photos and movie footage I've never seen before (among them a longer version of the infamous Patterson-Gimlin film from 1967) and two-three clips of Nessie swimming around.
But the highlights are the numerous reenactments with the original witnesses and couple of quite good ape-suits! Some of these are creepy, and looks great - and I'm surprised that these costumes haven't been seen in fake Bigfoot-footage after this movie! There's an army of suits to, most of them looks good and even has some kinda of facial movements. A nice thing for us monster-loves out there.
The best thing is Peter Hurkos, psychic detective, that Peter Graves brings a closed briefcase and Hurkos identifies what's in it - and of course he's starting to talk about something half-man, half-beast, very hairy, lives in cave! Peter Hurkos was a famous psychic who claimed himself to have helped the police with the Boston Strangler-case and a lot of other famous crimes. But most of this where hoaxes to make PR for himself.
A fun, silly, well-made "documentary" with a Peter Graves so serious that he probably got a very big paycheck to do this work of art. Recommended. And I noticed that it's soon out on official dvd. Get it!
Without a doubt one of the most underrated films in Fulcis career. Sure, it's a bit silly, but The New Gladiators is a stylish, violent and fun sci-fi movie. The swedish release is great and uncut, but I wished there could come a good dvd-release.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Yeah, it's me in the front as a road worker! A terrible rain stopped me from having a bigger part, but I was a good guy and stayed all day to shoot this miniature-role ;) But I still got the money in my contracts! Thank Mothrzokk for that!
And here it is on Youtube:
The film starts with a surreal and powerful visual moving painting (I can't explain it some other way) and Marins holding a speach over it. Cut to a group of serious men wandering through a rundown mental hospital, to Coffin Joe's cell... where we only see his long nails playing in the small opening. There's nothing they can do. He has to be relased, he's officially cured from his hallucinations and needs to go out in life again...
Outside he's hooking up with his old friend Bruno, a weird hunchback who have prepared everything. Coffin Joe now has a couple of followers who are willing to die for him in the hunt for the perfect woman to give him his even more perfect son. But nothing everything is like it was outside. Military dictatorship is eating up the country, children are sleeping on the streets and the christianity and other superstitions are controlling the society... for a moment Joe feels scared, worried, but then he realises that he must fulfill his destiny... and sets out on gory trippy hunt for the woman of his dreams!
Fuck Wow Yeah. This is one impressive movie. Marins is a fat, hairy dude nowdays, 73 years old and still getting it one with really young and beautiful women. He also overacts. But ya know, it dosen't matter. He did that in the old movies to, but this time it's the grand finale and he sure still have that weird charisma! Visually it's a the tour de Force of his career. The budget is bigger, and it's much more violent and cynical than his earlier works, but it still very old-school. The cape and hat is there, the grand speaches, the goth-style that he more or less invented. The dialogue is a bit uneven, but it all comes with the surreal feeling. I'm not kidding you that there's scenes in this movie that actually touches you, it feels like Marins have a goal, a message. I'm not always sure what that message is, but it's there.
The really cool thing is who he connects this new movie with the first two movies. We see flashbacks to the old scenes, integrated with the plot of Coffin Joe today. Victims, lovers and friends of the past are visiting in hellish black and white nightmares - actors painted so they look black and white for example, which works fantastic! The effects are most of the time excellent, with some very graphic gore (cannibalism, penis-eating, skinning and a lot more), but it's al so surreal and fits so good in the movie. Did I mention the graphic nudity to? There's a lot of it! The hell-scene is one of the highlights by the way, and it oozes of Jodorowsky and Arrabal.
This is radical film-making at it's best. Not for everyone, but everyone should see it.
I've always had a soft spot for Demi Moores debut, Parasite, another flick in the 3D-craze of the eighties. Sorry to say I don't own it on dvd, but only on this vhs. Mac Ahlberg did the cinematography as usual, and he was probably the man responsible for the graffiti "Jävla Arsle" in the background. Gonna try to get a screenshot sometime.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Ah, and then I have Taras Bulba (I'm a big Yul Brynner-fan of course), the new Coffin Joe-movie Embodiment of Evil - José Mojica Marins is genius (seriously!), and around 100 (probably more) unwatched movies laying piles around my tv-set. Not counting all the unwatched movies I still have in cardboard-boxes all over the apartment.
Yeah, your blogoholic Freddy could have watched all this and more. But what did I do?
I bought and watched all the 21 (twentyone) episodes of the first season of 30 Rock instead! Oh, it's a great show and now I must get all the other seasons. But it's not like me to watch a whole season in one day. Just a break for toilet, food, food, and a walk to the store to by some candy. It takes me years and years to finish a tv-show. One season of course. Is it more it will take me a lifetime. I will dream about the comedy genius of Alec Baldwin tonite.
On the other hand, Don Scardino (actor in Jeff Liebermans Squirm and William Friedkins Cruising) directed a bunch of the episodes. SO indirectly I got some classic cult movies in my brain anyway. Somehow. I don't know.
Äsch. Nu är jag bara trött och orkar inte skriva på engelska. Hej då.
Friday, September 11, 2009
"Beverly Hills, CA (September 10, 2009) — The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted tonight to present the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producer-executive John Calley, and Honorary Awards to actress Lauren Bacall, producer-director Roger Corman, and cinematographer Gordon Willis. All four awards will be presented at the Academy’s inaugural Governors Awards event on Saturday, November 14, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center."
Best news today! Roger Corman will get an Oscar, The Honorary Award! There's no man who deserves it better than Mr Corman, and I can honestly say that no other filmmaker has meant so much for as as this guy. He was a brilliant director, a marvelous producer and a PR-genius not of this world.
I took a quick look on IMDB to see what movies that I consider personal favorites in his production as director and/or producer, and... yes... it was a lot and here's a couple of my favorites:
It Conquered the World
House of Usher
Pit and the Pendulum
The Masque of the Red Death
The Wild Angels
The Secret Invasion
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre
Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It.
The Dunwich Horror
Death Race 2000
Grand Theft Auto
Humanoids of the Deep
Galaxy of Terror
The Terror Within
Corman always made smart exploitation, at least until the beginning of the eighties. There was an edge to his work, and was in a totally different league than many of his exploitation-colleagues.
Get his biography "How I Made A Hundred Movies In Hollywood And Never Lost A Dime" and read more about this fantastic filmmaker.
And congratulerations, Roger... if you read this ;)
He travels to the south of Thailand and sets up an office in a town where a lot of black magic is going on, and soon he's getting closer to the magician. But at the same time he get's himself more and more involved with black magic and slowly looses his sense of respect towards other people. To catch this magician... he needs to be a master of black magic himself!
The story dosen't seem to be that much, but the actors are very strong and makes very good performances, among the best I've seen in a thai movie! As a horror movie it works ok, but it's like a cop-movie it turns really good. Of course we're treated to some nasty black magic to, and the best one is when one of the characters sends his young son after the magician and it turns very macabre and quite bloody. We also have a skinning and a very gory cut throat. The visual effects are most of the times good, except the computer animated bull (and a dog to!) that's terrible. But on the other hand, it's supposed to be a spirit-animal anyway.
This was just something short about a movie I really think is worth getting. Excellent acting and a few nasty surprises makes this a very solid thriller from Thailand.
This is a story about a woman who's married to a famous actor. She's arrested, by mistake, for being involved in some illegal jewel-activies. She's free again and now the police are after the real bad guys. But those want her dead and tries to assassinate her, but she survives. When she's at the hospital her boyfriend is getting killed in car-accident (of course an assassionation to!) and now the hunt for her begins again!
But the thing is: the bad guys are really zombies! They are resurrected by an evil black magic priest and sends them out one after another to kill, steal and destroy! He's also resurrecting the dead boyfriend and sending him out to kill his girlfriend! Lucky she's protected by Bangkoks finest!
Oh, the story and twists are so stupid. Stupid stupid stupid. The girlfriend dosen't know that her boyfriend has died in car-crash for example, a fact hidden by friends and family so she won't die of the shock or something stupid like that. I guess he has to be really surprised in the end of the movie when she sees who the killer is! The cops are acing mega-stupid, there's silly we're-so-happy-flashbacks complete with soft thai-pop and... did I mention that everything is stupid? Hmm, maybe there's a reason that this is a quite unknown movie?
But wait! If everything is stupid, the action delivers! Thank Buddha for that! It's probably not the highest budgeted-movie I've seen, and it looks quite cheap sometime. The director handles his duties quite well, but the confusing editing and very, very thin script probably makes it worse. But at least they spent some blood and money on the action. It's gory and bloody, hundreds of squibs, brutal knife-stabbings (graphic stuff I must say), explosions, motorcross-chases and wild stunts, a very fake car-chase that ends in a couple of very fake crashes, walls and windows shot to pieces. This is John Woo thai-style with black magic and "funny" supporting actors.
If I can recall correct I didn't like this when I saw it the first time. I probably expected something else after watching Tony Jaa ruling the action-scene in Thailand. This is far from that quality, but just watch it and have a lot of fun. Bring out the popcorn. Bring out the beer!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
It's Margheriti-movie, so the action is still great, even if the low budget shines through. The miniatures are as usual a lot of fun and the explosions are bigger than life itself. There's a fun fistfight á la traditional Terence Hill and and some smaller highlights here and there. The problem is of course that Marvelous Marvin Hagler is a crappy actor (he was okey in the Indio-movies I must say), crappy because he obviously can't act comedy. Terence Hill is somewhere else, but not in character. He smiles, makes jokes and tries to act funny, but his heart is far, far away from this movie. A pity. Okey, a quite boring script dosen't help, and the dialogue sucks.
But still, it's a Margheriti-movie and he's a stylish and competent director who has that kinda naive fascination for action like I have. It's all fun and fire between the boring comedy-scenes, and even if the finale is very weak... it still wasn't such a bad experience.
Yeah, there's one weird twist in this movie. You have the usual stuff: terrorists, car-chase, stiff FBI-agents, a romance, a cute kid - but not every movie has, totally unexpected, a hologram-ghost! Yes. Hill turns into a digital ghost and spends the last half hour walking through walls, playing jokes on both his cop-friends and the bad guys, being in a computer-game where he fights a dinosaur and being a transformer-robot! No, it's not a fun idea and it really slows down the movie.
It's out on a very cheap swedish dvd, slightly letteboxed, and it's a must for collectors of italo-trash.
After getting the Toho Collection today I realised that Inoshiro Honda probably is the director I have most movie of. I love the man. He's probably my absolute favorite director, even in competition with all the crazy italians.
He directed over fifty movies, and I have twentytwo of them - which is quite good. I only have his monster- and sci-fi movies, and most of them are brilliant works. I wished I could get my hands on his other movies, dramas and comedies - because could handle that as well to. For example, just cut all the silly Godzilla-stockfootage from All Monsters Attack and you have an excellent childrens movie.
My collection, a couple of them on vhs though:
Varan the Unbelievable
Battle in Outer Space
King Kong vs. Godzilla
Mothra vs. Godzilla
Dagora, the Space Monster
Ghidora, the Three-Headed Monste
Frankenstein Conquers the World
Invasion of the Astro-Monsters
War of the Gargantuas
King Kong Escapes
Destroy All Monsters
All Monsters Attack
Yog: The Space Amoeba
Terror of Mechagodzilla
Michael Brandon plays a musician, Roberto, who are framed into kill a mysterious man in a black coat. Someone else is starting to terrorize him and his girlfriend (a magnificent Mimsy Farmer) and soon more and more people are getting killed around them. Roberto goes to his old friend, the hippie "God" (Bud Spencer) for advice and hires The Professor (Oreste Lionello) to check his house. When nothing comes out of that, he hires the very gay detective Gianni Arrosio (Jean-Pierre Marielle) who quickly finds some clues... something that the killer dosen't appreciate!
Oh, this is so good. I ranks this the second (maybe third) best movie that Argento has directed. He obviously got tired with the traditional giallo and spiced it up with more bizarre character, some comedy that actually works and some of the finest murder-set-pieces of his career. The murder in the park - only thing missing is blood, and if you dosen't count stuff that you have something fantastic. The killing in the villa - with the flashing knife, the head that bounces down the stairs. The chase in the subway that ends with a murder and some touches of black comedy. All this with Morricones sound-landscapes and music in the background.
As with Deep Red and Tenebrae this is also filled with complex sexuality, personality and some really interesting gender bender-attitudes. From the beginning Argento wanted Roberto to be gay, and could have been the first (and only, so far) gay-hero in a giallo. That never happen, but Argento toyed with gay-giallo even after that. I hope he makes it happen sometime. Instead with get the campy detective, which could be seen as a stereotype - and he his - but for once we have smart, funny and interesting gay-stereotype. Another character is this guy, and I can confess know that if I was a young hot italian in the seventies, I would have choosed looked like this:
Okey boys and girls. That's all. Take it easy now and remeber that Argento want's you to feel good, be good and act slightly perverted.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
This wasn't Luigi Cozzis first directing-job (it was the obscure Tunnel under the World in 1969), but it didn't start good. The fifteen minutes are really painful to watch, with a lot of pacing-problems. It didn't help that the style was uneven, the visuals very cheap and the script didn't seem to have been so carefully constructed. But when finally something happen, a discovery of a murder, it didn't stop. It's basically a version of Rear Window, with Mimmo Palmara as an excellent substitute to Raymond Burr. But it's still the weakest episode, but a competent official debute of our dear Mr Cozzi.
Argento is back behind the camera in this episode, one many considers is is best. A girl is discovered stabbed to death in a tram and Inspector Giordani (a great Enzo Cerusico - why haven't I noticed this actor before?) tries to figure out who a girl could have been killed in front of six-seven people without anyone noticing it. It's not a spectacular story, but it's a solid proof that Argento is a genius (yeah, he still is). The acting is the best in the series, and the mystery is not fantastic but has some wonderful and simple ideas that belongs to the best in giallo-tradition.
It's said to have been directed by Roberto Pariante, but rumour says both Cozzi and Argento did extensive reshoots for this very effective thriller. A woman, Roberta (Marilù Tolo), almost hits a woman with her car during a dark night on a distant forest-road. The woman is shot and dies in front of her, and at the same time the killer (dressed in a black coat and hat) comes out from the darkness and want's to kill her. When the police comes, there's no proof of a murder and Roberta think's she's going insane. Classic story with a lot of tension, but maybe a bit predictable. The ending wasn't a surprise, but still... not a bad episode.
The last episode is directed by Mario Foglietti is a very uneven project which suffer most from being a bit drawn out. The story is good, but it's not enough for one hour storytelling. A patient is escaping from a psychiatric clinic, shown thru nice and eerie POV-shots. A man is coming to a city and starting to following a red-head girl, she get's killed and he's starting to follow another red-head, saves her from a shoplifting accident and forces himself into her apartment... of course there's a mystery with everything, and once again: you can sense it, but still works.
So, it was worth the wait to finally watch Door into Darkness. The first and last episode is the weakest, but still good. Argentos episode is of high class, an original idea and has touches of what the audience later saw in Deep Red. The Mya release has their masters taken from the Rai tv-masters, which is mediocre, but of okey quality. The original negatives are long since gone, and this is the only way to see this nice entry in italian television.
Probably the movie I'm looking forward to the most, Serge Gainsbourg, vie héroïque. Eric Elmosnino as Gainsbourg is almost scary. Just check his face here in the teaser, he gets every nervous tick correct.
Serge also starred in Antonio Margheritis Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye together with his girlfriend Jane Birkin. Shame on me, but I haven't seen it - but I still hope they will mention it in the movie about his life.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
But I won't bore you with stuff like that. Instead I let these screenshots speak for themselves. Enjoy.