Monday, August 31, 2009

Dirty Diaries: 12 shorts of feminist porn (2009)

I've always thought that hardcore belongs in "real" movies. In the realm of the senses, Caligula, Paprika, Antichrist, maybe Shortbus? (I haven't seen it), the work of Larry Clark and so on, all has smaller parts of hardcore sex. There's a few experimental collections to, as the uneven Destricted - which I like parts of. In Dirty Diaries Mia Engberg has collected 12 short movies, most of them shot with mobile cameras, with what she call feminist porn. I'm quite sure the word feminist will cause some rage among conservative viewers, especially because this could be called pornography.

There's to much to say about each individual movie, but the level of quality is high and most of them has very strong concepts. My favorite is also the first one, "Skin", directed by Elin Magnusson. It's a beautifully shot sex scene between a man and a woman all dressed in a skin-colored body stocking. Slowly they cut parts of their body skin open, and in the end there's nothing left of this shell. Only humans. It's sexy, erotic is probably the best in this collection of high quality shorts. "Body Contact" was almost scary to see, because it seems so real at first. It's about a girl who want's to make a porn movie and films the whole experience together with her friend. They find a man from the southern parts of Sweden and manipulates him to be in the movie. It's both funny, and even a bit unpleasent. "On Your Back Woman" is a cute wrestling-themed short with three lesbian couple. I think cute is a good word (maybe the director will disapprove there?), but it's also strong movie with strong love.

"Night Time" is almost a conservative movie in this collection because it just shows straight sex, straigh up. No flashy video effects or fancy editing. Just a couple fucking. I guess "Flasher Girl On Tour" will be a favorite, and it's a fantastic piece of reality-cinema. The titles says it all, flasher girls shows her private parts to people who dosen't expect it! But it's made with a sharp witty humour, and I wonder how people would have reacted if it was a man doing this? Great anyway. I would love to mention all the movies, but I'll stick to my personal favorites. But one thing's for sure, this collection has no movie who dosen't belong in there.

Except "Body Contact" and maybe even "Phonefuck", there's little of classical storytelling. You could see these works of art as performance, video art or as moving paintings in a digital frame. "Dildoman" is a mean (and I don't mean in a bad way) animation which ventures into the absurd, "For the liberation of men" is a dark but passionate journey and "Fruitcake" is almost disturbing in it's likness of certain bodyparts and fruits. I would have loved to see these projected on a screen, during a exhibition or an happening. Have them around me, have them right in front of my face without any protection.

So what is feminist porn? I wanted to know that when I started this dvd. But I understand now that's something that is highly subjective. All these talented artist and film-makers was asked to make a feminist porn movie and this is what they made. So what you see is what you get, and I'm impressed. Fucking as art, and art as fucking. This is exactly what the grey country of Sweden needs!

Njuta Films has released a splendid dvd with a stylish and simple design and it all includes a handsome booklet with texts and photos from and about the movies and the makers of them.

Visit Mia Engberg's homepage for more information or go directly to your favorite retailer, for example SubDVD, and buy it! And read more about it in swedish.

Any Gun Can Play (1967)

This, Any Gun Can Play, is the first official movie of action specialist Enzo G. Castellari. There's nothing original here folks, but Castellari shows great skill here and makes a generic western much better than it would have been with a less competent director. George Hilton plays The Stranger, the mercenary in the west. One day he's on a train that's getting robbed by the fearless Monetero (Gilbert Roland) and his gang of thugs. They steal 300 000 dollars, but get's deceived by one of their own who hides the treasure before getting shot and killed. 

Clayton (Edd Byrnes), the bank man responsible for the money, of course want's it all back... and now The Stranger, Clayton and Monetero starts to deceive each other to get first to the treasure, friends in one seconds, enemies the second after...

It reminds a little bit of The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, but it's more of a light-weight version of it. George Hilton is a more nice guy-version of the Man with no name, and you can trust me that only the really bad and greedy will die. It's very stylish and never, never boring. Castellari fills his movie with nice camera movements, witty dialogue and fun characters. The action is of course great, and it's a lot of wild stunts going on. People falling from horses and houses, some acrobatics and spectacular Spencer/Hill-esque fistfights. 

Something I noticed was the city in the last part of the movie. I mean, just change the clothes and it will be the set of a peplum. It wouldn't surprise me if they just redressed one of those sets to make it look like a western-town instead.

Any Gun Can Play won't change your view of the world, but it's damn fine entertainment at least.

X-rental: A Dragonfly for Each Corpse (1974)

Yepp, that's Paul Naschy dead (I guess) on the front! It's the "spanish giallo" A Dragonfly for Each Corpse with a very misleading cover and text on the back (something about killer-dragonflies...). I guess I have to get a beta-player to watch this, because I've always wanted to see it!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

X-rental: Doctor Justice (1975)

This looks fun! John Phillip Law plays comic book hero Dr. Benjamin Justice! Gert Fröbe is the bad guy and martial arts master Roger Paschy is starring to.  And Paul Naschy seems to have  part to in it! I need a betamax-player now!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Giallo (2009)

Giallo is, interesting enough, almost the opposite of a giallo. Another deconstruction of the myth and the genre that Argento himself made so popular ages ago. Here we see the killer almost at once, and we slowly stating to realise that the mystery isn't who it is, but who people can be. Yellow is the man who kills young girls in Rome. He's suffering from jaundice and has a yellow skin. He looks ugly, like an old slimly eighties rocker who sucks on a pacifier when he wanks to photos of his dead victims. On the other side of the coin is Adrien Brody as Inspector Enzo Avolfi, and almost emtionless policeman who's only goal is to find the killer - and nothing more than that. Emmanuelle Seigner plays Linda, who's sister is the latest kidnapping victim of Yellow, and she's trying to help Enzo to find the killer...

Among the first things we see in Giallo is three dragqueens. It sets the tone, because what they show is that no everybody is what they seem to be. There's always two faces of everything. It dosen't mean there's a physical mystery in this movie, more a psychological mystery than anything else. Duality is something else that shows up a lot, the killer with his childhood trauma, the cop with his childhood trauma, the sisters, the mothers (so different, but not different at all - it's just the money that's the difference), a killer who want's to help and a cop who don't want to help. 

This is a movie that grows on you. It's a tease, a play, a something that people don't expect. The style reminds me of Card Player, but it's more in the vein of Do you like Hitchcock? The gore and blood is of course plenty, but far from so violent as in Mother of Tears. It's a slick movie with a more composed story than his latest movies, but it's also pretty standard - which I guess can be both good and bad. I like when Argento fucks with us, and he's doing it again. There's a couple of red herrings in the movie that makes you confused, especially because there's not many suspects and the suspect himself is strange. Like we've seen him before. Then something else comes around, and the stupid thought we had about the storyline dosen't work anymore - which is good, because it would have been to silly. 

The actors has always been a story of their own in Argentos movies, and I'm happy to say that this is his most well-acted movie since Deep Red. The characters feels logical, they do stuff that you can believe in and the over-acting is more or less extinct. Adrien Brody and Emmanuelle Seigner makes a fine screen-couple and are surrounded by good supporting roles. 

I like the ending to, and I know a lot of people will hate it. If I where Argento I would have changed one thing, but I'm just an ordinary nerd writing ordinary reviews. So fuck it.

A movie I will rewatch again soon. Maybe I will continue my writings then.

And yes, of course, don't believe all the morons who says this is Argentos version of Hostel. It's just bullshit. Some torture, yes, but that dosen't make a Hostel. People just don't know what to write anymore.

28 Weeks Later (2007)

I know, 28 Weeks Later is almost a to new movie to be on this blog, but I just sat down and watched it again and it really hits me how powerful this movie is. Since the Dawn of the Dead-remake in 2004 there's been tons of movies with either infected or undead people running around biting everything. I love a lot of these movies (even Steve Miners silly, but gory Day of the Dead) but no one has hit me in the stomach like this fucker.

First of all, it's way better than the first movie. I liked that one to, but it felt to fragmented and even a bit to pretentious for it's own good. Not a bad movie, but over-hyped. Here we have a story with strong emotions, some very interesting questions about morality and humanity. What would you do if you're loved one was in a room filled with infected people and everything seemed hopeless? I understand Robert Carlyles characters, but nothing is black and white here.

The second thing that I think surprised people where how they show the US soldiers. I remember when the news broke about the sequel and the story was about US soldiers cleaning up UK and saving everybodys ass. Some people, usually those who can't stand sequels, where quick to dismiss it because of that. Now there's nothing of that. The US soldiers are there, doing their job, but it's also the incompetence of their officers that makes the shit hit the fan once again. But of course even this stuff have more grey than black and white.

To be honest, I'm a sensitive guy. I'm like my mother, getting tears in my eyes when ever something is touching my soul. This movie has a lot of these scenes, but thank Mothrzokk, the gore, blod, action, explosions are also there to hide that I'm a cry-baby.

Do I dare to say it? Yes, it's a masterpiece. Now I said it. It's a perfect horror movie, both psychological and splatterlogical. I recommend it in triple-feature together with Children of Men and V for Vendetta.

Some screenshots from The Stone Killer

I reviewed the Charles Bronson-masterpiece a while ago, something no one noticed. Here's some screenshots (originally for the Bronson-thread at avmaniacs) which might show how cool this movie is.

Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale (2000)

Tobias Schneebaum is a typical jewish homosexual painter. And this is the true story about he got lost in the Amazonas and became a cannibal. I saw this documentary on television quite a few years ago and it never left me. I bought the dvds and I found it that it was even better than I expected. A slightly bizarre, funny and emotional story about a man who travels back to the places that sealed his destiny and at the same time tells the story about his life. 

At the time of the shooting of this movie Tobias was in his late seventies, suffering from Parkinsons and have a good life in New York with a fifty year younger boyfriend. He survives and earn money on holding lectures on luxery cruises around Indonesia, telling rich, fat americans about his life in the jungle. He kinda enjoys it, but it's a doubled-edged sword. Because everytime a tourist - or even himself - visits one of the tribes, something is destroyed in their culture. 

We follow him to the Asmat-people in New Guinea, where he spend many years researching their art. By chance he run into his old lover (in the Astmat-culture almost every man has a male lover) and it's almost love again. The trip goes on to Peru where he finally meets the people that made him a cannibal fifty years earlier...

It's an amazing documentary! Tobias was quite a character, a funny and open-minded man who was terrified of mouses (as his old friend Norman Mailer recalls in the documentary) but had no hesitations to go out in the jungle alone for many days! He loves New York, Coney Island and hot dogs, but seems to be as relaxed there as with a primitive tribe somewhere on earth. Thru the movie there's a couple of old clips from tv-shows which is very interesting, but the coolest is the few clips from his super-8 movies taken in the jungles. It's like something that's been left over from Cannibal Holocaust. 

But it's really not about the natives themselves. Tobias Schneebaum has avoided to go back to Peru after the cannibal-incident, and just don't want to talk about it. It was a small part of his life, but still something he just can't cope with. Here he get's an opportunity to revisit his past and go full circle with his life-history. And yes, for those who have seen Welcome to the jungle, the Asmat is the same people that was rumored to have eaten Michael Rockefeller in 1961.

We have adventure, cool locations (shit, I really, really, really have to go to Machupicchu!) and a unique personality. For fans of good documentaries, this is the one to get!

(I'm sure I've mixed up the tribes here in the review, so I hope you can live with that...)

X-rental: Death Moon (1978)

Death Moon is an american TV-movie about a werewolf on Hawaii! Robert Foxworth and Joe Penny runs around, hopefully, in tacky seventies fashion and fights a guy in a monster suit. But what do I know, haven't seen it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mute Witness (1994)

Mute Witness is a damn fine movie. And it's also more or less forgotten. If it was released today as a new movie it would be called "torture-porn" by people who don't know so much and it would be another movie in the vein of Hostel. But this was long before this trend, and I would say it's one of the most underrated thrillers of the ninties.

It's set in Russia and the shooting of a new lowbudget-slasher. The director is british, but most of his crew are russian talent. His make-up artist is mute, communicates with sign language. And she's our heroine. One night she's left behind in the studio by mistake and discover that the actor and the director of cinematography secretly produced pornographic snuff movies! She escapes, but the two men are getting closer and soon she get's involved in something much more bigger...

First of all, there's no chance that you can see that this is a low budget movie. It's beautiful, have big sets and a great (but uneven) cast. The locations are used to maximum and it's both exotic and realistic. It's not that graphic, but is violent and has some very smart movies. It makes a couple of turns and it's both good and bad. Some might think the finale is less good because it almost changes genre, but I just thought it was refreshing.

The weak part is the guy playing the director, who think's he's in some college comedy instead, but if you can look beyond his acting talent you will have a great time - and probably the most thrilling cat-and-mouse-concept I've seen. Watch out for Alex Guiness in a cameo, a part he shot nine years before, on his way to the airport!

X-rental: Day of the Cobra (1980)

Never thought Day of the Cobra was one of Castellaris better movies, but Franco is good as usual and watch out for Michele Soavi in a fun cameo. If I'm not remember it wrong Franco fights against a transvestite in this movie, which is cool. I think I has this one both on VHS and Beta.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Strike of the Panther (1988)

Edward John Stazak is back as Jason Blade! This was shot back-to-back with Day of the Panther, and I would like to say that Strike of the Panther is the better movie of the two. Life goes on in Perth, and Jason is happy with his girlfriend. But one day one of the bad guys from the first movie escapes from prison, takes the girlfriend hostage in an empty factory and sets up the ultimate trap to kill Jason Blade!

Like the first one, we're not talking about a big masterpiece. It's cheesy and the eighties is as beautiful as we can expect it. When the first movie had a bizarre dance/work-out routine, this actually has a dance-scene - thank Mighty Mothrzokk it's quite short! What makes it's more entertaing is that they seem to have a couple of hundred more bucks in the budget. There's a little bit more destruction, a few more extras and more fun locations. The first fight is in a luxery bordello for example. Another new thing here is that the master has a psychic connection with Jason Blade and helps him through the last fight!

The last fight yeah, it's in this factory and Jason (and also a minor SWAT-team) have to fight against a small army of ninjas wearing hockey-masks! The fighting is maybe a little bit more uneven here, but more things are going on and the tension is more... tense (I'm running out of words here). One of the new characters is a Sgt Lucy Andrews, and with her looks I just presumed she sometime must have starred in a couple of episodes of the australian show Prisoner (Kvinnofängelset in swedish), and of course I'm correct about this. Sometime I wonder if there's not one australian female actor who hasn't been in that show?

Okey, I know. This aren't any masterpieces. But I like them. I can't help it! They're a bit silly, but there is some fun fighting and it's just popcorn. Just fast food for the mind, and I can't resist it! I think Australian should thank their lucky stars for having Brian Trenchard-Smith there to clean up the entertainment-trash!

X-rental: Day of Judgment (1971)

Another italian western I haven't heard about. But Gordon Mitchell is in it, if that means something.


I've been obsessed with finding every movie that George Lazenby made recently. Of course I will never finish that goal, but I will get his best and coolest movies from the seventies. As you noticed, I'm waiting for Stoner and The Man from Hong Kong now, and that's just be beginning! My dream is to get Universal Soldier, the movie he made instead of the next Bond-movie. 

Most importat, Lazenby was  a very good actor. He don't consider himself a good actor, and I knew more than one person that think he's worthless. But I think he's criminally underrated, but as a character-actor and when it comes to action. Who saw her die? could never have been the same movie without his haunted performance, and his brilliant cameo in Peter Bogdanovich Saint Jack is the best thing with that movie.

I have Al Adamsons Freeze Bomb somewhere in the basement to, so I will dig it out and give it a new try after all these years. 

And did I forget to mention that he's fantastic in On Her Majesty's Secret Service? :)

Day of the Panther (1988)

Brian Trenchard-Smith is the man of the year for me. I don't know why, but suddenly my collection is flooded by his masterpieces. Day of the Panther is a slightly forgotten kung fu-movie that he did during the eighties, and I wonder what's the story behind it? He obviously shot the sequel at the same time and they where released the same years. The graphics looks cheap, but it's fun and a little bit cheesy slice of ozploitation!

Edward John Stazak plays Jason Blade, a kung fu-fighter trained in the ancient Panther-school in China. When his partner dies during a secret operation he comes to Australia to get the killers himself. The local police force is of course not happy with him going after the famous business man Damien Zukor (Michael Carman), but they realise also it's a good opportunity to let someone take of this evil drug dealer (and his henchmen) once and for all. 

Do you want eighties fashion? Eighties people and eighties dialogue? Then this is the movie for you! You'll also get some basic, but fast and good, kung fu and a lot of slow-motion! Brian Trenchard-Smith is a man of style, and even if the budget is low he really makes everything looks more expensive than it is. The first scene is a chase/fight in an old factory, that partly dosen't work because the woman who's chased isn't so good in fighting as you have wished. But the stunts are nice and it's shot in a glorious way. 

The rest of the action is better, and Edward John Stazak is a good fighter and really, really fast. What became of him anyway? He did these two movies and then disappeared. It's a pity, because he could had a decent career in Hong Kong as a western baddie or just continue ordinary acting. Anyway, Day of the Panther isn't a bad movie, it's cheesy but well made and has good action. If I have the power (and mostly, inspiration), I will try to watch the sequel tonite and see what happens to Jason Blade and his "mates".

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Today's shopping orgy!

Yeah, it's pay-day and I've started to spend the little money I have on dvds! It's a lot of action and adventure:

- Backwoods-adventure-thriller with Henry Silva!

Stunt Rock
- Action directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith!

Day of the Panther
- Action directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith!

Strike of the Panther
- Action directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith!

The Man from Hong Kong
- Action directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith!

- Italian western with Ringo Starr!

- Shaw Brothers-action with George Lazenby!

Blood Money
- Shaw Brothers-western directed by Antonio Margheriti!

Icon's of Scifi - The Toho Collection
- Three classics from the master Inoshiro Honda!

- Monsters in space!

American Cyborg
- A guilty pleasure of mine, and I'm not ashamed of it!

I think that's all... :)

The Terrorists (1986)

The Terrorists is hardly the glory of Indonesian filmmaking, but it's still a nice trashy mix of not more than three different genres!

First it starts as a lowbudget version of a big budget Hollywood-film. Terrorist attacks plagues the world (which means a lot of cheap miniatures getting blown up) and a local gang of bad guys uses this fear to create their own attacks and steal some money (or whatever) at the same time... which means a little bit martial arts and a car-chase...

... that ends inside a hospital! And here the movie continue like a pre-Die Hard, pre-Hard-Boiled, action movie where the terrorists takes hostages in the hospital. But of course there's two men who can stop them, one of them is Barry Prima! So he goes in, shoots a lot and one of the bombs goes of...

... and suddenly we have a cheap version of Towering Inferno! People trapped in the fire, on the roof, people falling to their death and the firemen tries hard to rescue everybody! And at the same time the last terrorist goes around like Al Pacino, screaming and wawing with a gun! Until he get's shot down and the movie is over.

Barry Prima has more of a cameo, and the movie barely hangs together. The stars are more the bad guys actually! It's a cheap knock-off on big budget action with cartoonish backprojections and an idiot storyline. But it works quite fine anyway, and is never boring - except during the end where some of the fire-stuff goes on way to long.

Classic obscure trash for a trash-generation! Long Live Barry Prima!

X-rental: Cobra (1971)

Yves Boisset is one of the best action directors from France, and it irritates me that I only have Cobra on beta and can't watch it now! I've heard it's one of his most violent movies, and that of course sounds fab. 

Polska Smierc (1995)

"Every country get's the murders it deserves"

A cynical policeman complains that when the US have murders with beautiful women and fast cars, the polish murders are with ordinary women and motorbikes. Polska Smierc, or Polish Death, is a polish tv-drama from 1995. A dark, black and slow story about Osso (and excellent Cezary Pazura) who finally meets the girl (Agnieszka Pilaszewska) of his dreams and get's involved in a serial killer case. There's just one problem: The girl is a cynical mean bitch who only cares about her own business and probably is a serial killer!

It's a bleak and funny look at a depressing polish society where people are so lonely that they stand in line to confess to be the killer. Osso is an expert in death, and studies litterature about how to die in proper way, which get's the police interested quite soon - both as a suspect and an expert. He's also very kind. To kind. He helps all the people in the house, everything from watching the children to wake up the old russian man who hypnotizes himself by mistake every night. The comedy is dry (and so are the murders), but over all it's an excellent and funny production. 

There's a discussion if the people that get's killed maybe deserves what's coming to them. The only thing these people are doing is complaining and whining about life... so soon even the police understands the murder. But when the killer is starting to kill random people around Osso, it's a clear understanding that someone want's him for him- or herself. So though it's a mystery, the ending is cryptic and sudden, and it's fits perfect in a movie about a subject that really dosen't have any answers. 

Of course it's not out on dvd, as usual with good tv-movies. Especially one from Poland. But if you find it some other way, take a chance!

Monday, August 24, 2009

X-rental: The Inglorious Bastards (1978)

Here it is, the release that introduced me to The Inglorious Bastards. I've seen it many in this way :)

Phantom Soldiers (1987

Teddy Page page directed this neglected action-classic, Phantom Soldiers, and it's time it deserves some respect! It's not forgotten among us fans of philippino action, but what about the rest of the humanity out there? Nothing at all! They MUST LEARN!

Max Thayer plays Daniel Custer, a texas...ranger? I have no idea, but he's some kinda police. His brother get's missing in action in... guess where?... Vietnam and Daniel goes there to get him home again. But the big problem is The Phantom Soldiers! It's a bunch of highly trained, sadistic unknown soldiers in black clothes and gasmasks that kills, kills and kills everything they see. And our little brother is their prisoner! Time to act!

Phantom Soldiers is a full fucking-mayhem-filled piece of shot-in-the-face-movie. No, it's not crap, but it's just a simple premise and a lot of violent action. The first scene is legendary! The Phantom Soldiers slaughter a whole village. And it's quite a big village, and... I've never seen so many people get shot at the same time. It's a lot in Born to Fight and the latest Rambo... but this is every standard school massacre in the US times... twenty! Something like that.

And I must confess it's quite well made to! Teddy Page delivers a nice looking movie with amazing action-pieces. The explosions are large, the squibs are plenty and the blood spurts from every hole. It looks kinda expensive sometimes to, so there must have been quite a lot of money spent on the action. Mike Money shows up in one small part and he's... lousy! He's a competent actor, but here he overacts like he had a gun to his crotch! But the rest of the cast works fine.

Nice action for nice people!

The Wild Angels (1966)

Forget Easy Rider. The Wild Angels are the essential biker-movie. The only biker-movie worth watching. Sure, there's nothing wrong with Easy Rider, but nowdays it's more of a holy grail than an important movie. Where Rider hits the chest, Angels hits the groin. 

During the sixties Roger Corman was the master, and it's when you revisit his old movies that you realise how good he was. A trendsetter and himself a follower of trends, but always with his own personal style. Never afraid of politics, drug-issues, action, social commentary, violence and smart dialogue. He was so much more than an ordinary exploitation-director. It's strange that it's the same guy who directed such slick minor masterpieces as The Secret Invasion and The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, as controversial youth-movies like this one, The Trip and Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It. But that's just a proof of his multi-talent.

Cormans movies, especially from this period, always looked much more expensive and slick than other b-movies, and here he also have a stellar cast of character-actors, many of them who got their first big break: Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Nancy Sinatra, Diane Ladd, Gayle Hunnicutt and the always weird and great Michael J. Pollard. The story is bascially about Hell's Angels partying, fucking, taking drugs and then mourns (in their own special way) the loss of The Loser (Bruce Dern). It's also an interesting look at a complicated society that desperate trying to be wild and free, but still are caught in their own rules and traditions. The gang comes around like being quite childish sometimes, something that often becomes pure sadism - physical and psychological. 

We're just to everything nowdays, but I'm sure this movie had been quite controversial even today. With swastikas, rapes and the lack of what some people call moral could, I guess, upset some people even today. In the italian nazisplotation-movies the symbols stood for evil, here it's just symbols for "I don't care". Just like the characters of this movie, at least from the beginning. 

The Wild Angels will finally get a release in Sweden, and it's Studio S who gives the honor. A lovely, anamorphic 2.35:1 print to. No extras, but who cares anyway? Great movie, maybe close to a exploitation-masterpiece. For me it's the best biker-movie ever made.

X-rental: Deadly Hunt (19??)

This movie sounds so good. It's thai, and stars legendary macho-hero Sorapong Chatree in the lead. I find no information on IMDB about it, but I guess it's a hidden masterpiece waiting to be discovered by me ;)

An interesting detail: the distributors of this tape clearly don't know anything about the thai-language, so the poster is actually "mirrored", if you understand what I mean?

Killer Elephants (1976)

Important notice! I've actually bought the rights to this movie and it's now available on DVD! Buy it from Diabolik DVD for example and then visit my company's Facebook page!

Okey, I'm not really sure about the plot. Thai-action-beefcake Sombat Metanee plays a bandit that I thought where the nice hero until he beats up his pregnant wife in ultra-slowmotion. So he just turned out to be the anti-hero, because there's another guy to: his best friend, now a cop and as Sombat dubbed by someone that sounds EXACTLY like Dr. Lucien Sanchez in Garth Marenghi's Darkplace. The friend must arrest him, but of course another baddie steps in and kidnaps Sombat's wife... Sombat has nothing else to do than order his army of Killer Elephants (controlled by men) to take back the wife and kill the really really bad guys!

First I was slightly disappointed because this wasn't a revenge-of-the-nature-movie. No elephant-stampedes among innocent people, no underwater-attacks close to beaches and so on. Just guys steering the elephants to crush houses (well, .... huts...), turning cars up-side-down and helping the heroes to get revenge on the bad guys. It started of well with a cheap but fan car-chase with at least one cool stunt, and then it's at least one fight/chase every ten minutes until the final where the elephant-army attack the jungle-village where the wife are. Nice stunts, some looks dangerous: a guy getting trapped in a jeep that's crushed for example. He seems to look at the camera when i finally get's out just to say "What the fuck are you doing? That was SO close, motherfuckers!". But he didn't Good actors stay in character.

Both Sombat, who is one major stud - at least for the thai-women during this time, and the other guy get's to show their skills with a lot of fistfighting and they're very macho and never leaves a poor bad guy alone. The main baddie himself has a mustasch, of course, because that's the cinematic rules. So lot's of cheap action and less boring than I thought it would be.

Ah, yes. Before I forget. The best scene, and I've never seen anything like it, is when one of the henchmen get's knocked out by hitting his head in an elephant-penis! AND of course I'll give you photographic evidence!

Art. Great art.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monsieur Nick Nicholson in action!

I couldn't stop myself from grabbing a few screenshots of Nick in The Siege of Firebase Gloria! He's playing a combat photographer and get in some trouble with a bunch of character actors! ;)

Nick's just trying to give the world some answers with his camera...

Wings Hauser grabs him! "What the fuck man?"

Wings Hauser, Nick Nicholson, R. Lee Ermey and Albert Popwell! Four tough guys. One with a huge beard. Which is even tougher!

Nick have to surrender his "Cambodian Red" to these new kids on the block!

...And get's pulled away by Wings, of the the front to be a soldier!

And ten minutes late Nick's killing for his life! And I think this is the last we see of him in The Siege of Firebase Gloria!

The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989)

"Anyone know who these belong to? This is Corporal Miller. He's dead. Hell, the whole gun crew's dead. And to add insult to injury, Charlie took the fifty-fucking caliber machine gun with him. I don't have any respect for Corporal Miller anymore, because he allowed his troops to relax. They let their guard down for five fucking minutes, and Charlie took advantage of it. Look at 'em, Goddammit! Pay attention. Stay alert! Stay alive! It's as simple as that!"

Spoken by R. Lee Ermey as Sgt. Maj. Bill Hafner when he's walking around with two decapited heads, belonging to two of his former soliders. This more or less says everything about The Siege of Firebase Gloria. It's a hard-hitting, black, very violent and critical view at the Vietnam-vet, mostly from the US view, but here and there we see scenes from behind the enemies line showing that's the same discussions, relationships and violence going on there.

We bascially follow two ass-kicking (at least what we think from the beginning) officers in the US army, Cpl. Joseph L. 'Nard' DiNardo (Wings Hauser, wonderful as usual and very intensive) and Sgt. Maj. Bill Hafner. After finding one of their friendly villages butchered they continue, with one surviving child, to firebase Gloria - that's run by a man that they quickly get rid of - not by killing him, but faking a Viet Cong-attack so he get's hurt, and taking charge themselves. 

But charlies is everywhere and they have orders to bring down firebase Gloria to any cost!

This is a very impressive action-drama. Brian Trenchard-Smith is a brilliant director and in this case he's bringing us both good drama and characters and marvelous action as well. It's action most of the time and it has a huge bodycount. But it's never "funny" in the way as Final Mission or Strike Command, this is more related to The Iron Cross or The Big Red One. It's also nice to see a Vietnam-movie where the vietnamese is more than cannon-fodder. 

According to the end credits Eddie Nicart was the stunt choreographer, but even more fun is that we have our good friend and fellow blogger Nick Nicholson in there with to credits - in small acting part as a combat photographer and as casting director. His acting part is great, and gives us some comic relief. He's like Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now, but much friendlier and way funnier. Great job, Nick!

I'm sure that Nick can explain to us what Cambodian Red is by the way? :)

This is a smaller masterpiece and it's strange that such a good movie isn't out on dvd yet. It should be, because it's a shame that people are missing it because of lack of distribution. 

X-rental: Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984)

Shame on me for haven't seen Bloodbath at the House of Death yet. I've heard it's a very, very silly parody on british horror movies... and has Vincent Price in it. As a child I always saw this movie in the video store, but never got a chance to see it. 

The swedish title is, if you translate it literally: More blood in the bowl boys!

Final Mission (1984)

After spending a whole day waiting for my big scene, who finally was cancelled because of the rain and I had to walk home with a big paycheck for very little work, I just felt for watching some glorious philippino-action. So I dug up my official thai-dvd of Final Mission, warmed a microwave-pizza and made myself a cozy place in the sofa and watched this really fun and violent revenge-story!

Richard Young had is fifteen minutes of fame when because his similarity to Harrison Ford, and he also starred in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and in the ultra-expensive bore-fest Eye of the Widow the same year. But he had a proud career even before this, and my favorite is as the clean cut Deacon in this Cirio H. Santiago-directed production of pure art. Where back to 1973, and he leaves his old friend and traitor Slater (an excellet John Dresden) to be killed and tortured by the locals. 

He forgets about everything and becomes a badass police in LA that takes out bad guys one after another. He's getting more and more famous and one day Slater sees him on tv - because Slater is not MIA, he's just been preparing his revenge for all these years! He brings together a bunch of assholes and blows Deacons family to bits... and now it's time for our hero show them who's the man!

It starts with helluva great action-sequence. An ambush in the djungle with fat explosions, a graphic decaptiation, squibs and fights. Great, great stuff! Then we have the most catchy rock tune I've ever heard in one of this movies, "Always on my mind" with Steve Butler. Could have been a big hit if it hasn't been in one of these movies I guess. Well. Then it time for Deacon taking care of a group of bad guys in LA, which have great stunts, a bloody knife-fight and more violence. And there's more. Deacon takes out the main bad guys in small town somewhere, which echoes First Blood until the very last minute - but here he never gives up, just keep shooting and killing! Moahahaha!

Sure, it has it's silly bits to... for example the "we're-so-lucky-in-slow-motion"-montage of Deacon and his family, and one tacky eighties sex-scene with soft light and lot's of cheese. But we don't have to wait long until they get's blown up anyway! 

Santiago gives us here a very slick and well made movie which also is very violent. The thai dvd has okey quality, but is fullscreen. Not sure if it's open matte or not. 

(I've borrowed the cover from When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

X-rental: The Big Shots (1972)

French action, Les caïds,  with a couple of robbers who are stuntmen at the same time. I just love that flying exploding car on the front, so I guess this is a movie for me. Michel Constantin is somewhere in the movie to, which always is good.

an early morning

I woke up around 05:20 this morning and is not really tired (I'm one of those people that never has a problem waking up early), but a little stressed. I'm early because of an acting job (I'm filming at the Wennergren Center today), and after that I just want to go home to be alone. My partner is going to Poland today, so I won't see him for a week and in these cases I just want to hide and watch trash-movies :)

So I'm not sure when I'll be home today, but hopefully there will be a new x-rental post around 10:00 today, but I'm not sure about reviews... we'll see.

Take care!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Panna Rittikrai: The art of kicking thai-ass!

I love Panna Rittikrai, even the crappy movies he made - and that's a lot. He started young, gathered his friends and started to make his own movies in the late seventies. The stunts and fighting got crazier and crazier and everything evolved into the modern day action cinema of Thailand. 

Here's the end fight from Gerd Ma Lui, one of his most popular from his early years:

Here's the brutal endfight in Gerd Ma Lui 3:

Here's a trailer for Battle Warrior (it has another titles, but I just can't remember it now) where they try to fool you that Tony Jaa has a big part. He hasn't, but there's a lot of great jungle-action. It's out on an okey US-dvd by the way.

Gerd Ma Lui (the original one, he used the same title for his "remake", Born to fight), Battle Warrior and something called Thai Police Story is out on dvd and is easy to get. Thai Police Story has crappy quality, but is the most actionpacked of the three of them. And the one with least budget to.

Hard Gun is another movie out from BCI. It's quite okey, but has very little action and is more focus on drama and comedy. And of course, Tony Jaa just has a small part in it - so don't be fooled by the cover. Spirited Warrior (or is it Spirited Killer?) is out on dvd to, but it's a very boring and cheap movie.

I have a bunch of his old movies on vcd and dvd and they're a must for fans of thai-action!

Kommando Leopard (1985)

When Kommando Leopard was in production it was already the most expensive swiss-italian movie ever made. Fifteen million francs was spent on this action extra-vaganza starring Lewis Collins, Klaus Kinski and a bunch of mostly swiss and german characters actors. And yeah, Mike Monty and Luciano Pigozzi also shows up in minor parts. The director is of course Antonio Margheriti, a man who went from gothic horror and sci-fi to become one of the most skillful italian action directors ever lived. He maybe lacked some of Castellari's personality and the crazy style of Mattei, but could set up extremly spectacular action pieces, worthy a Hollywood-movie.

What we have here is some random story about freedom fighters in South America (which of course is The Philippines). Lewis Collins plays the leader, and though he's a über-brit, Carrasco as a name fits him well. Kinski is the dictators closest man takes the power himself when the dictator becomes to weak and silly (prefering to concentrate on his make up before speeches than anything else). 

So that's the story. It's bascially a good, not badly written movie, that revolves around a couple of very impressive action scenes. The first one is cool, where the freedom fighters blows up a huge dam. Then we have the famous airplane-bombing! Here Margheriti uses really detailed and wellmade miniatures, that blows up in slow motion. Inbetween there's a lot of shooting, more explosions, and superior action direction. This is among the best I've seen in such a movie. It's huge, expensive and has advanced takes - far from the more primitiv (but great) style of Mattei. 

If you buy the cheap ABUK-release there's a very entertaining vintage making of to. Crap quality, but cool to see behind the scenes of this kinda of movie. A bonus is a couple of scenes where Kinski get's furious and starts screaming, and one where he have problem answering the questions because his girlfriend is to close and he's getting excited. 

For fans of eighties action, like me :)

X-rental: The Beast (1970)

Original title: La Belva, an italian western with the one and only Klaus Kinski. Looks fun.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

DTV-festival: Against the Dark/Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

I decided to throw out all what quality control is and watched two direct to dvd-classics ;) That reminds me of one thing that Tarantino said, which is true: DTV is the new grindhouse. And yes, I agree. It's cheap movies, made for little money to bring in a lot of cash.

First out is Against the Dark, starring and produced by a fat and chunky Steven Seagal in a black leather coat. Probably shot in Romania in some left over-sets and with a cast of unknowns, and Seagal thrown in here and there, it was actually quite ok. Not good, but it delivered some gore, blood, Seagal in zombie-mode (which means his acting, and not that he becomes a zombie or something) and a script so stupid that it made the next movie look smart. Is it me, or did they hardly show Seagals face? I think he's getting sensetive about him getting older... and fatter. There's some random stock footage take from some other movie to, and I can swear that when the hospital explodes in the end you can see parts from an airplane in the explosion.

Which brings us to Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus! The Asylum has made some totally unwatchable movies (Alien vs Hunter), some mediocre (10 million years BC) some good (I am Omega and Monster) and now this, which is their strongest movie so far I've seen. The effects are cheap and goes from lousy to quite okey. There's two really fun scenes where the shark do:

1. Jumps a couple of kilometers and eats an airplane in the sky!
2: Chews the Golden Gate Bridge into tiny pieces!

But what makes it's good is good characters and a script that never really stops from being entertaining. Even the scenes that are there to make the movie longer is often quite funny. But believe me, it's no masterpiece. 

X-rental: Wheels of Fire (1985)

My second philippino-movie for today, in my x-rental section :) A Cirio Santiago-production, and it's a vhs-release from Juno Media. Haven't seen it though, but I gave it a try... discovered it was cut to pieces and fucked it. So I guess I have to see Wheels of Fire some other time. 

X-rental: Suicide Force (1982)

Suicide Force, which is some lesser known and lesser loved philippino action-flick. Read more at Jacks great site about these kinda masterpieces. I like the cover though, and it looks more like an italian war-movie than anything else. It's only the names telling us it's philippino.

The Legend of Wisely (1987)

I wanted to see more adventure from Hong Kong, and the choice fell on The Legend of Wisely, starring my old favorite Sam Hui (from Aces goes places-fame) and the always cool Ti Lung. I have a love Indiana Jones-style movies and this was one of them. 

Wisley (Sam Hui of course) is an adventurer and writer, and this time he's on the hunt for The Dragon Pearl, who's somewhere in Nepal. His friend David (played by director Teddy Robin Kwan) tricks him and the everything leads to Hong Kong and Egypt and two powerful men: the mysterious Howard Hope (Bruce Baron of all people!) and über-rich Pak Kei-Wei (Ti Lung). Both want the pearl, but for very different reasons! Of course Wisely falls in live with Pak Kei-Wei's sister and the chase is on!

I've heard the title before, but it's one of the most anonymous "big" movies I've ever experienced. There's some money spent here, both on fantastic locations all over asia and some really fun and comic book style-action scenes. Sam Hui may be a poor mans Jackie Chan, but he's a star of his own and works fine has a comedy actor and seem to leave the stunts and fighting to stuntmen. There's not fighting going on anyway, as usual with Sam's movies, and the focus is cool chases and slapstick. This feels like a sequel to Armour of God, just with less fights.

There's a couple of stand out sequences: a chase with one car, four motorcross-bikes and a truck, a great fight with Ti Lung against some monks and the finale, which makes the movie even more similar to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull than it should be. 

This was lovely adventure-movie that deserves more respect than it gotten through the years. There's been other movies with Wisely, but no one is really related to one another. Maybe not as tight and funny as Aces goes places, but quite close!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

City on Fire (1979)

I adore... no, love disaster movies. It's something about the thin plot, underwritten characters, shameless exploitation of human feelings and often quite graphic carnage that feels close to me. Disaster movies are good as long they're not on an airplane or under water. But that's a whole different story. City on Fire is together with the Roger Corman-produced Avalanche, one of my biggest guilty pleasures and I never get tired of it. 

The swedish x-rental has been in my possession a long time, but nowdays I usually watch the limited X-Rated release which is dubbed in german! Believe me, it dosen't matter. The dialogue is as stupid anyway. 

Barry Newman, the cool actor that didn't get such a big career is good as the honest doctor, Ava Gardner does a variation of her character in Earthquake - the alcholic emotion-monster, Leslie Nielsen is the brave mayor, Shelley Winters the tough nurse, James Franciscus as Gardners loving TV-producer and of course Henry Fonda, standing more or less in the same location the whole movie, as with almost all his movies during this time.

A crazy guy, Jonathan Welsh - not bad at all, get's revenge at the oil refinery because he's being promoted! Well, he dosen't want to get promoted and refuses the job, and they fire him instead. So he sets the whole place on fire and then ends up as one of the rescue workers at the hospital that everything revolves around. 

And as in every soap opera, all characters meet somehow and destinys are sealed... 

Yeah, there's nothing new at all here. But I just love it. I can't stop loving it. It's like heroin ;) No, just kidding. But this movie gives us so much cool stunt work, violent fires and huge explosions that it's hard not to love it. I guess some is stock footage, but a lot is shot for this movie. The fire stunts are very spectacular and even beats a lot of the stuff from Towering Inferno. One of the best scenes is when a woman runs down a street and slowly catches fire. Great stunt, and a lot of it in one take to. 

For being a tv-movie it's also very nasty. The make-up effects of burned victims are really good and looks terrible! Not much are being hidden from the audience. Sure, it might be tv-crap, but it's so much fun and so much action. And don't we all love Leslie Nielsens career before he became a comedy star? He's the man! He won't be wresting with a bear in this one, but sure takes control over a whole hospital and even survives in the end!