Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fun with Flix in the Big Apple over the next week

As a promise in an earlier posting today, I'm going to start posting schedules for genre-related cinema entertainment around NYC. I thought Thursday would be a great idea to post on,but as it turns out the Clearview Chelsea(260 W 23rd St between 7th and 8th ave)shows Chelsea Classics. For $7.50, you get a classic movie at 7 an 9:30 every Thursday night. So I'm going to have to start posting on Wednesday. Tonight is a fuckin' spectacular too. Muthafuckin' Foxy Brown(1974). I might have to go catch the 9:30 PM just for the chance to see it on the screen.

So to start it off, here is what we have for cinematic awesomeness going on over the next week:

The Warriors(1979)93 min. March 27th at 9:00 PM, 92Y Tribeca 200 Hudson st at Canal St.
I Say."One of the best 70's gang movies ever! Fuck that! One of the best movies ever. If you really need a description you probably grew up in a closet eating cat food."

Videodrome(1983)87 minutes-March 27th and 38th at Midnight.IFC Film Center 323 Sixth Ave at Waverly Pl.
IMDB says "Sleazy lowlife cable TV operator Max Renn discovers a snuff broadcast called "Videodrome." But it is more than a TV show--it's an experiment that uses regular TV transmissions to permanently alter the viewer's perceptions by giving them brain damage. Max is caught in the middle of the forces that created "Videodrome" and the forces that want to control it, his body itself turning into the ultimate weapon to fight this global conspiracy. Written by Serdar Yegulalp {}"

Vampyr(1932)70 min. March 31st at 6:50 and 9:15 PM 30 Lafeyette Ave at Flatbush St, Brooklyn
IMDB says-"oung traveller Allan Grey arrives in a remote castle and starts seeing weird, inexplicable sights (a man whose shadow has a life of its own, a mysterious scythe-bearing figure tolling a bell, a terrifying dream of his own burial). Things come to a head when one of the daughters of the lord of the castle succumbs to anaemia - or is it something more sinister? Written by Michael Brooke {}"

Now I have to figure out whether I'm going to see Foxy Brown tonight or The Warriors tomorrow.

Updates and Overhauls

When I first started this blog a few months ago I felt that I would have the time and ability to write more than 2 reviews in a week. Boy was I wrong. I probably could if I was a complete recluse and had a strong opinion about everything I watch, but I don't so fuck it, I'm only really good for a couple reviews a week tops. I may get more in some weeks, or less, but that's the average. This is why I've chosen to add writers. You may have noticed Monday's posting by my good friend Nate Inferis. he writes his own blog Full Extent of the Jam( a "street-level gamers blog" as he refers to it. If your into that kinda shit check it out. I also plan on adding a couple more regular contributors so I can constantly keep things fresh.

Even though Facebook is the new black, I've decided to finally start MySpace page( Yeah, I know ShitSpace is a networking dinosaur, but it is still a good promotional tool for artists, something FB needs to work on. It may seem like we're behind the times, but fuck it, it's all about getting the good word out.

And last but not least, I'm going to start adding a local entertainment section. I do live in NYC and there is usually something going on in the realm of genre entertainment. So every Thursday, I will be bringing you the news on what to expect for the next week. Granted it only applies to those of you in the NYC metro area, but people will travel this summer.

Tune in for more dumb shit to come....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tokyo is Burning...should you care?

From the team that brought you the over-the-top splatter/comedy/martial arts/revenge flick, The Machine Girl, comes Tokyo Gore Police. For those who have seen The Machine Girl, it goes without saying that Director Yoshihiro Nishimura ( who provided the gooey goodness for Machine Girl ) has quite a tough act to follow. In fact, it may be Nishimura's desire to outdo the insanity of the previous outing that leads to Tokyo Gore Police being decidedly less satisfying.

Tokyo Gore Police stars Eihi Shiina ( known to most as the piano wire wielding psycho from Miike's "Audition" ) as Ruka, a ruthlessly efficient Police Officer tasked with hunting down and eliminating a breed of vicious super-mutant criminals known as Engineers. Besides being extraordinarily depraved, the Engineers are also extremely difficult to kill: each open wound regenerates itself as a bio-mechanical weapon. This leads to some inventive ( and revolting ) setpieces involving partially dismembered Engineers sprouting chainsaw limbs, penis cannons, and drooling crocodile vaginas. The effects are impressive for the most part and, thankfully, lean more heavily toward practical elements as opposed to CGI. The action is the sort of hyper-kinetic, gerbil-on-meth style that can be expected of this kind of Asian splatterfest and the level of gore and sadism on display rivals Hershell Gordon Lewis at his most excessive.

So, where does Tokyo Gore Police go wrong? One would think that the combination of unapologetic, grotesque elements offered here would lead to a non-stop, blood-drenched good time. One would be only partially correct. The problem lies with the fact that Tokyo Gore Police aspires to be too much and as a result, fails to acquire any real consistency of issue only exacerbated by its longer-than-average running time. In between bouts of flashy dismemberment and imaginative mutants, Nishimura attempts to place the story within a dystopic, nihilistic social context. In Nishimura's Tokyo, the Police have become a privatized, for profit enterprise and society has come to reflect humanity at its self-absorbed, narcissistic, jaded worst. The Engineers can be said to only be a symptom of a greater problem, as Televisions cheerfully advertise products such as the "Wrist Cutter" and "Remote Control Terminate." The Police seem to treat their duties as a glorified gladiator sport rather than public service.

There is certainly nothing inherently wrong with attempting to frame mayhem within a greater, satirical context. Where Tokyo Gore Police turns a potential asset into an Achiles Heel is that it can't seem to decide whether it wants to go for a darkly humorous tone or simply drop all pretense and let the audience have it full-on in the face with a firehose of gore. Nishimura attempts to do both, and instead of an engaging, intriguing experience like Suicide Club, we are left with a loosely connected series of set-pieces unsuccessfully straddling the divide between clever and stupid.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dr Mordrid(1992)

Typically when I mention Full Moon Entertainment, or any of there many releases, to my friends who are familiar I usual get an answer somewhere along the lines to "fuck that shit". Not that I hang out with film school fuckfaces, but a great deal of my compatriots are fans of the-gorier-the-better-school of horror. Even though Full Moon claims to produce horror movies, most people know that their releases are far from scary, most are actually so cheesy by accident it becomes hysterical. look at such greats as Troll, Ghoulies, and the Puppet Master series. If you know anybody who has ever had nightmares or been surprised by any of these movies, there is probably something wrong with them. Full Moon horror is far from scary, ever-so-slightly gory and the closest they get to "risque" comes in the form of f-bombs and the occasional boob. So you can see why horror purists would have a problem with most of the Full Moon catalog. Their movies are quite retarded, and this is one of the things I love about them. Not quite in the "so bad, it's good" or "bad-good,good-bad" categories, but somewhere around there. I always love taking in a Full Moon movie with several beers, a light snack, and a whole lotta giggling. This is exactly what I did tonight with Dr. Mordrid, sans the brew.

Dr. Mordrid is not exactly a horror, it is more of a low-budget fantasy, which makes it more retarded then the previous Full Moon features I have cast my eyes upon. Dr. Anton Mordrid is an occult researcher/NYC landlord by day, and the protector of the 3rd Dimension/Earth by night. He has been trapped on our planet for the better part of a century awaiting for the return of the sorcerer known as the Death's Head aka Kabal. As the story goes, many centuries ago, Mordrid and Kabal were both gifted sorcerers from an early age, growing up together. As young male friends-who-are-like-brothers tend to do, they were very competitive in their mystical studies, always trying to one up each other as if life was a game. As they both grew older and more powerful, each chose a different path to follow in life> Mordrid as the Protector, and Kabal as the Enslaver. When Kabal becomes too unruly, Mordrid casts him and his demonic minions into magical imprisonment and leaving the 4th Dimension awaiting the day that Kabal might escape as fate predicts.

As I said before, a century goes by with Mordrid as the Protector of Humanity. I don't really know if he is earth's only hero because I'm not that familiar with the Full Moon Universe. With all the tie-ins the company puts out(Dollman vs. Demonic Toys vs. Puppetmaster,ect.) I'm guessing he could probably wrangle up a couple of other bad mutherfuckers who fight for truth, justice, and Albert Band way. But he didn't, so the good ole' Doctor only has the help of Samantha the occult investigator against Kabal and his headbangin' minions. Sounds pretty easy for someone who has had a hundred years to perfect, doesn't it? Wrong again. When Kabal's far-from-virginal teenage concubine is found dead, Mordrid becomes public enemy number one according to the NYPD. How will the good doctor ever protect the human race from the inside of a cell?

I'm not even going to go into an ending. Not like I ever do anyway because I don't want to spoil this awesome piece-of-shit for you potential viewers, and I do hope you take the time to get wasted and laugh hysterically. Can you really go wrong with such great names for actors as Jeffrey Combs(Re-Animator) and Brian Thompson(Ugly muscular dude,X-Files,Baywatch,ect)playing roles they were obviously born for, like every other role the played previously and after.Besides, do you really want to take the opportunity to miss the stop motion animation sequences? That's right, stop motion animation. The high-end special FX used in such cinema classics as Jason and the Argonauts and The Gate. The dino-skeleton battle is to die for. Who needs Jurassic Park level CGI(which I believe was in theatres at this point) when you have stop motion animation?

It's unfortunate that Full Moon never went ahead and did with Dr. Mordrid what they did with Puppetmaster. This is one of those movies I would love to have seen multiple sequels of. There are just so many unanswered questions. What of his budding love affair with Samantha? Will he ever get an apprentice? How would Anton look in a shiny ruby red outfit? I want to know, dammit!!! Besides, a series could have made Jeffrey Combs a household name. Regardless, this movies is a fun watch as long as you don't expect anything deep, well acted, or grotesquely horrifying. If your into watching silly shit every once in awhile, grab a couple of Old English 800's and prepare to giggle yourself retarded.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Satan's Cheerleaders(1977)

Since I was but a wee boy during my short life in the 70's, there is very little I can tell you about cinema during the disco days. What I do know I learned later on in life in the form of DVDs and trailer collections. Typically, it's the trailer collections I see that make me want to seek out the movie itself. I love trailer collections. In the last year, I have seen hundreds, I mean hundreds, of trailers. Most of the trailer collections I have come upon are of the grindhouse variety(go figure), and I can honestly say most of the movies advertised are from that coke-and-VD decade known as the 70's. Like with any period of time, you are going to find reoccurring subject matter in a number of movies made within a short amount of time. Call it mockery, flattery, looking for a fast buck, ect, happened then, it happens now, and it's probably going to keep happening long after we're dust. Monkey see, monkey do. Why create something new when we can just make it over and over until it dies from overkill? Anyway, two of the common themes I've noticed during the mid-70's were satanic worship and cheerleaders. Many movies were made, many of which I have not seen, but how many combined the two subjects? One that I know of, but I'm probably missing a couple, and Satan's Cheerleaders is the title it go's by...big fuckin' surprise!!

I don't really know if I can go ahead and say Satan's Cheerleader's gives either of the two genres it crosses justice, seeing as that I am unfamiliar with both, but i can definitely give it an opinion. First though, a brief synopsis. Billy, the tongue-tied High School janitor, is sick of being kicked around by the student body and life in general. Therefore, with the help of the local cult of hicks-turned-witches, he turns to the aide of the Dark Lord for some respect. All that is required is a virgin sacrifice. So guess who becomes the target? Little does he know that these cheerleaders, or any fuckin' cheerleaders throughout history, aren't exactly pure of body. But he's a fuckin' Satan-worshipping janitor, what the fuck does he know? After a rival cheering squad/football team decide to tee-pee the school, Billy loses it. To make matters worse, he is accused of being a "prevert" by the local football jocks after he is discovered rummaging through the girl's locker room. He, of course, is a perv, but that doesn't mean he likes to be called out. So with the powers of darkness and cick old man fantasies compelling him, he casts a spell before the big game, causing the cheeleading squad to fall into his broom-calloused hands on a deserted country road. Leading the girls to a hidden alter, he proceeds to try to rape one of the head cheerleader, but is struck down by his own Dark Master for reasons unbeknown. the girls, thinking Billy is dead, quest to find the local sheriff to report the death, not knowing that he along with everyone else in the town are also practitioners of the dark arts. the girls are then held captive against there will, for sacrificial purposes. What the cultists don't know is Satan has picked the head cheerleader as one of his own, and she's not going out without a fight.

Satan's Cheerleaders was one of those movies that I only have to see once, or never really had to to begin with. Like many 42nd street classics from the 70's, the trailer is much more entertaining than sitting through 90 minutes of horrible acting, un-entertaining humor, and minimal nudity. That's right kids, minimal nudity, probably 2 minutes worth. It couldn't even redeem itself through the most basic of levels. Not that the actresses were that worth looking at to begin with. But it's supposed to be a cheerleader movie. It wasn't a complete waste of the time though. There were a couple of things I found entertaining:

-How many movies have you seen that have a satanic janitor? Not only does he worship the dark forces, he wears a denim shirt with sequins on it. the character alone is worth the first 20 minutes.

-Old man fistfight. Who doesn't want top see a couple of dudes in there 60's duke it out for Satan. Fucking fantastic!

-John Carradine as the Bum. If you don't know of John Carradine's illustrious B-movie career, you probably don't live in your mom's basement. John has roles in such piles of shit as Astrozombies and Red Zone Cuba, which is a Coleman Francis production and one of the worst movies ever according to IMDB.

-misuse of pagan imagery. Anybody that knows anything about popularized satanism knows the pentacle, all the cultists were rocking, was facing the wrong direction. Come on guys, your not praying to your earth mother for a successful love life. Your worshiping the Prince of Darkness for fuck's sake. Turn your Spencers Gifts-bought pendant upside down and grow a pair!

That's not all, but what more do you need to justify 90 minutes of your life for this piece of shit. I probably would of had more fun if I was drunk, but I decided to be a good boy and stay clear of the booze. Bully for me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Black Cat's Revenge(Kaidan noberi ryu,1970)

To most red-blooded American men, nothing screams “hot” like one of the many toy-breasted, tan-whores you see every month exposing their generic trampstamps in the pages of Maxim and other such PG-rated jerkbooks aka fantasymags for jocks. I’m not going to say that those of us in the “geek” crowd always have a more refined taste in attraction, but most of the nose-in-a-comic types that I know find the above mentioned abhorrant. Of course, we all love the “librarian” stereotype as a reflection of our high school past, but over the years the tastes become more variant, and in some cases, fuckin’ weird(hello furries!). Lately, for me, nothing says “sexy” more than kimonos, kitanas, and the enemy’s blood stained upon paper walls, usually in that order. That’s right, folks, I’m talking of the female yakuza, especially those portrayed in 70’s Japanese cinema. One actress in particular, Meiko Kaji, has been the object of my nerdly desires. Or, rather, the Meiko Kaji of three decades ago. If only I had been born in post-war Tokyo. Damn time displacement!!!

In Black Cat’s Revenge(Kaidan nobori ryu,1970) stars my current unrealistic fantasy as Akemi, inheritor of the Tachibana clan. After spending 3 years, Akemi is torn between retiring the clan as her dearly departed father-and-former-clan head supposedly wished, or bringing the Tachibana clan’s name back to it’s former glory. Unfortunately, things aren’t going to be easy if she plans on the latter. First off, Tachibana clan’s men and women dropping like flies, with there bodies being found minus the family tattoo, a dragon that stretches across the entirety of the Tachibana clan when they are lined up in battle formation. Akemi also happens to be plagued with reoccurring nightmares of a black cat who wants nothing more than to take her vision. During the course of the movie, these nightmares take a physical form when a black cat repeatedly is around when clan bodies are discovered.

It turns out the a rival clan of drug dealing, slave traders are responsible for the grotesque murders. All the while trying to pin in on another local clan of wannabe-turf leaders. Not only do these truly evil, peddlers-of-vice have the help of a Tachibana turncoat, but also that of a mysterious, blind she-warrior who wants nothing more than to destroy Akemi. Who she is and why the vendetta are the mystery to be answered at the very end of the movie.

As the bodies pile up, Akema eventually has to make the decision the right decision, and once again the Dragon Formation will be completed.

Although not as action-packed as I expected it to be, coming down from my Lady Snowblood-high, Kaidan nobori ryu had it’s fare share of swordplay and bloodsprays. It was enough to keep the most diehard fan of the yakuza genre entertained. But where it lacked in action, it more than made up for in cross-genre style. We not only have strong elements of suspense and horror, as seen in the grisly murders and reoccurring use of the black cat to induce more fear, the director, at times, likes to throw in psychedelic elemnts, which really threw me for a curveball. The scene I speak of involves the mysterious blind women and the freakshow of circus company she involves herself with. After demonstrating her unearthly knife throwing abilities, we are sent into a torrent of surreal direction involving a bestial hunchback and the washing of blind feet. Fucking weird, but it was something that was pretty popular in American exploitation cinema at the time, so I wasn’t that weirded out by it. Although it might seem out of place in this kind of period piece, the director, Teruo Ishii, is able to blend it pretty well along with the other directional elements I mentioned. After watching this, I’m curious of his other work, which I hear is pretty spectacular in some cases.

Although not my favorite Meiko Kaji flick, I would recommend this movie to anyone interested in Pinky Violence or Yakuza movies from the 70’s. Even if you don’t know anything about said genres, it is still fun to watch hot, tattooed girls spill blood in heavy amounts. Besides….Meiko Kaji is fuckin’ hot! Nuff said.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Manga to Movies Week

Over the last week or so, I have watched several Japanese movies from the 60's and 70's to support my current habit for all things Toei and Toho. As it turns out ,several of the movies I watched were adaptations from Manga, as Lone Wolf and Cub is. This was not on purpose, except for the in the case of the Golgo 13 movie I watched. I played the shitty video game 20 years ago and have known for several years that it is one of Japan's longest running mangas. I figured instead of writing one seperate review, I would just give you a rundown of the comic-born awesomeness that blessed my television screen.

Lady Snowblood: I would have to say Lady Snowblood now has a place in my permanent top 10 if I had such a thing. I started watching Snowblood knowing that Tarantino was heavily influenced by it. So much in fact, he used alot of the greatest elements found in Lady SnowBlood and used them in Kill Bill. Killer swordplay, ridiculous blood sprays, and vengeance up the fuckin' ass. This movie was very much the blueprint for the latter half of Kill Bill. I tried, for the life of me to write a seperate review, but i couldn't put into words how great this movie is. Take a very hot Meiko Kaji, of Pinky Violence genre fame, and throw her into the role of an assassin raised to avenge her mother, add a sword and some very violent killings, and you have yourself a masterpiece. At first I picked this up because its considered a Pinky Violence, but then realized there was a whole fuckin' bunch more to it. It turns out that the creator of the manga, Kazuo Koike, is also the same guy responsible for Lone Wolf and Cub. Yet another reason this caught me hook, line, and sinker. I have never been much of a manga fan, as I have stated in ealier posts, but watching Snownlood has made me crave for something more than the two movies, which I'll still watch over-and-over again.

Oggon Batto(the GoldenBat)
:It's a bird,it's a plane, it's...ummm......a flying mummy with a shiny, gold jumsuit and a hideous laugh?!? As ridiculous as it sounds, Oggon Batto was a pretty entertaining movie. If your a fan of Kaiju, golden-age superhero serials, and Sonny Chiba in one of his earliest roles (no he wasn't the Golden Bat), this is probably the movie for you. This was yet another movie that was not only based on a comic character, it was based on THE japanese comic character. Apparently, Oggon Batto has existed in one for or another since the 40's and is Japan's first superhero creation. The movie had such a great reception when it was first released in 1966 that it ran for 52 episodes on TV as an anime series,w hich is apparently impossible to find if you live in the States like I do. Fucking bullshit. It's probably a good thing I can't get my hands on the anime series right now, I wouldn't leave my room until I had seen every fucking episode because I'm like that.

Golgo 13: Kowloon Assignment: What more do I really have to say about this than Sonny Fuckin' Chiba plays manga's premiere sniper. Not only do we get Chiba shooting muthafuckas with pinppoint accuracy, but we also get the ultra-violent karate action that made The Street Fighter such a fucking kick ass movie. This happens to be the second Golgo 13 movie, I still have yet to see the first one. Again, all I really have to say is Sonny Fuckin' Chiba and that name should speak volumes.