Saturday, 25 February 2017

THE LETHAL HUNT (Philippines, 1985)

Original title: Partida
Directed by: Ben G. Yalung
Starring: Fernando Poe Jr
For full credits list check Andrew Leavold's blog

VHS / Greece / fullscreen / English dub / Greek subs / uncut afaik
300 dpi hi-res scan

Not to be confused with the Indonesian film THE LETHAL HUNTER (also on this blog)

THE DAY THEY ROBBED AMERICA (Philippines 1985) [REVIEW]

Original Filipino English title: The Sangley Point Robbery
aka American High Commando


VHS / Greece / fullscreen / English dub / Greek subs / uncut afaik
300 dpi hi-res scan


Dir: Manuel 'Fyke' Cinco

I'm not even sure if I should post this review on my When the Vietnam War Raged... in the Philippines blog or on my Backyard Asia blog! Hell, maybe I'll do both!

The thing is, the latter is a blog about wild and crazy Asian films and the first is dedicated to Vietnam War flicks made in the Philippines. And Manuel "Fyke" Cinco's THE DAY THEY ROBBED AMERICA is part Vietnam War flick - kinda without actually being a Vietnam War flick - and part wild and crazy Asian movie!

Most of these Filipino Vietnam War films are filmed in the Philippines but they're set in the Vietnam War which took place in, well, Vietnam, obviously. But this film, while it does take place during the Vietnam War, and while it does star an soldier who's just been fighting in the Viet Cong, the film is actually set in the Philippines! And lots of wild and crazy stuff take place! But, hey, it's been a long while since I wrote my last review of a Filipino Vietnam War movie and I'm stalling. Grab your beer and let's get going with the plot.

1971. An American soldier in Vietnam is captured and tortured by the Viet Cong. The soldier is played by a gwilo called James Acheson that I've never seen in any  other film but who, according to the bloody IMDb, was also in the  Vietnam War movie P.O.W. THE ESCAPE from 1986. The Viet Cong's got his girlfriend and they're going, "If you don't tell us what we want to know we're gonna off yer girlfriend". The soldier knows bloody well he's out of luck so he goes, "Fuck you and fuck the horse you rode in on". Fortunately, his mates arrive just in time to save him and kill the Viet Cong. Unfortunately, they've already off'ed his gf. After this he's a mental wreck and the army send him to a US base in the Philippines.





In the Philippines Rudy Fernandez plays a cop who kills a bad dude in the line of duty and decides to the force as a result. The bad dude's brother is obviously pissed off and asks one of his henchmen to off the cop but the henchman dude misses his mark and shoots the cop's dad instead. The cop, who's really a good law-abiding feller, then decides to participate in a bank robbery in order to pay for his dad's operation. He's got a wife and a girlfriend and neither of them are happy about the situation (!).

The ex cop and his posse of misfits plan to hit the American bank at the army base (!!) and needless to say it all goes terribly wrong. In the middle of the robbery a ton of American soldiers start shooting at them (what did they expect!), and the American solder who returned from Nam, his gf works at the bank and the ex cop and his gang kidnap her to use as a shield. They let her go soon enough but it still leaves her completely traumatised (quite funny actually, earlier on in the film she said to the soldier, who had experienced heinous things in Vietnam and had seen his ex girlfriend get killed in front of him, "you gotta leave all this behind and move on". Well, obviously she didn't handle being kidnapped for half an hour too well as she ends up traumatised in a wheelchair!). The ex Nam soldier decides to go on a revenge spree and starts to hunt down the cop and his mates one by one.





This is a quick run down of the plot and there's a lot that I'm omitting. THE DAY THEY ROBBED AMERICA is a wild and obscure film - but also slow in places and talkative. Obscure because the film doesn't stay in just one genre. It's part Vietnam War movie, part cop flick, part vigilante film, and it's part ... crazy Asian. It's not least obscure because we've actually got two main characters, the ex Vietnam soldier turned vigilante - and the ex cop turned bank robber. Neither of them are bad and as a viewer we feel for both of them. It's a dilemma and makes for a different and captivating storytelling in a genre that, despite being entertaining, is often more straight forward than straight forward.

In addition to  Rudy Fernandez I also noticed a few other well known faces, Nick Nicholson, David Light, and a few more. You can check the complete credits list on Andrew Leavold's blog.

Highly recommended.


VERSION REVIEWED: Greek ex-rental VHS. Fullscreen, English dub, Greeke subtitles, good picture quality.


Monday, 20 February 2017

ZUMA 2: HELL SERPENT (rare English dubbed print!!!) - full film


 In 2011 I posted a clip from a very rare English dubbed version of the Filipino film ZUMA 2 - HELL SERPENT (aka Anak Ni Zuma). The film was available on an un-English friendly VCD out of the Philippines but nobody seemed to have the English dubbed print.

However, somebody has not only found a print but has found a print and uploaded it to YouTube! In all its VHS glory! My guess is it comes off a Malaysian or Indonesian VHS tape. The two sets of subs look Malaysian and Chinese to me. I'll embed the film here and hopefully it'll stay on YouTube but you never know how long these things get to stay so I'd recommend you save a copy for yourself.



Thanks to Ira Brooker and someone on Facebook whose name escapes me now for letting me know about the upload. Cheers mates!

Friday, 2 December 2016

ONCE UPON A TIME IN TRIAD SOCIETY (Cha Chuen-Yee, HK 1996)

I've just watched ONCE UPON A TIME IN TRIAD SOCIETY for the first time and now I'm kicking myself in the head for having had it on my shelf for bloody five years without watching it. It is awesome! So different, so inventive, so smart and clever. Different from any other HK film I've seen, and mind you this isn't even some art-house film, it's "just" a clever gangster film - and somehow it's the complete opposite of THE KILLER, the message in this one is trust no one, everyone's bad, everything is a lie, and the main character bad guy (Francis Ng) isn't good underneath it all, he's just a cunt. But even so has sympathetic features. 

Five years ago this Malaysian DVD was the only DVD release of the film anywhere in the world and it might still be. A quick google turns up zilch. The DVD carries the burnt-in theatrical HK subs in English and Chinese (and optional Malay subs). There's an unrelated sequel by the same director.



People who complain about the level of medical attention in their home country should try and seek help at a Hong Kong hospital. Here's a scene of a guy's been shot in the chest and a nurse is trying to save his life putting a Kleenex on the wound. o_O

PS: by the way, the hot nurse in the screen grab is poor Pauline Chan. Six years later she jumped out a 24th floor window. Her sad story is on Wiki.

Monday, 24 October 2016

The LOST sequel to THE BIG BOSS is finally getting released to home-cinema!!!

Awesome news!!!

THE BIG BOSS PART 2 starring Lo Lieh and Bruce Le from 1976 (which I strongly believe is an official sequel to Bruce Lee's THE BIG BOSS) is finally getting a blu-ray release!!!


Years ago I posted about the film and the elusive 35mm copy that the person behind the South African video label Globe owned and later sold off to a cinema in Zambia. Well, it seems he DID make a copy (I have no idea in which format - dvd-r maybe?) before he sold off his 35mm print to the Zambian cinema, and he has now sold off his copy (dupe) to a label. They (the label) wrote to me recently because they though I owned a 35mm print (as I had re-uploaded the Globe guy's 10 min footage to YouTube). I am certain it's the same label. I won't mention who they are till there's an official announcement but it's a good, well-known label in the USA. No release date yet.

I have the info about the Globe guy's copy from a post of his on Kung Fu Fandom message board from last Tuesday.

This is indeed great news and I can't wait to see the film. I'm fully aware that fans of "real" martial arts films consider BIG BOSS PART 2 to be a piece of shite like the rest of the brucesploitation films. But I kinda come from the other side of "karate film" fandom, the "dark side" if you will, I'm totally into trashy B movies and as I said I can't wait to see this.

Finally. After fuck knows how many years I've been looking for a copy. I tried several times to get a copy from the Globe guy but without any luck.

Here's a link to my old main post about the film (which includes the trailer and 10 minutes of footage which was uploaded by the Globe guy). And here's the entry for the film at the Hong Kong Movie Data Base.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

BLACK CAT 2: The Assassination of President Yeltsin (HK 1992)

I just rewatched Stephen Shin's Hong Kong film BLACK CAT 2 from 1992. Not surprisingly it's a sequel to BLACK CAT (1991) also directed by Stephen Shin. The film's original cinema title is actually BLACK CAT 2: THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT YELTSIN, hahaha.

Anyhoo, while the first film is a direct remake of Luc Besson's French film NIKITA, the sequel is a film all of its own. I remember when it came out 20 years ago, nobody - as in NOBODY - had anything positive to say about the film and, uh, maybe I bought into that notion a bit. I remember watching the film many years ago and disliking it not least because I thought there were simply too many gwailos in it. LOL. 

It's been a number of years since I watched the first film so this time I was able to watch the sequel as a stand alone film and quite frankly I enjoyed it quite a bit. No, it's probably not all that well written in the plot department, and no, the main character of the film, the "Black Cat" aka Erica, isn't even really the main character in the film. She's so two-dimensional that she comes across as a cartoon character, no depth what so ever. 

What saves the film are the action scenes, the shoot-out scenes and the fight scenes. And they come aplenty. As I said the first film is a remake and maybe because Stephen Shin & Co. actually had to come up with a plot of their own this time they kinda forgot what kind of character Erica is (a hitman). Instead they turned her into almost a cyborg. If part 1 was Nikita this film is Terminator 2!!! 


The ending is terrible but, hey, that's just Hong Kong for ya. But don't worry, there's two more sequels, BLACK CAT IN JAIL (2000) and THE BLACK CAT AGENT FILES (2003). Part 3 is right out terrible and part 4 only exists on unsubbed DVD (after having owned part 4 for something like a full decade I still haven't bothered to watch it). 


I highly recommend part 1. It's a better film than the film it remakes! Part 2 is recommended for those of you who are able to accept a wild action movie with a shit plot. Forget about part 3 and 4 and watch part 1 again. 


PS: it's a old (and now stained due to being right next to the coffee machine) poster from one of the Chinese cinemas in Melbourne on my wall. I actually watched BLACK CAT there in the early 90's.


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Last MAD MAX 2 clone from Santiago now on DVD

I posted about WATER WARS, Cirio H. Santiago's last film, way back in 2011. The film is yet another MAD MAX 2 post-apocalypse rip-off (and yay to that!) from the Philippines. The initial title was Road Raiders but it was later retitled WATER WARS.

Unfortunately, Santiago passed away during production and apparently Jim Wynorski had to finish the film. It dawned on me a couple of days ago that WATER WARS is now on DVD in Thailand!! (I'm told it actually came out last year!). As far as I know, the Thai DVD is the only release worldwide. I placed my order last week but haven't received the film yet. According to the webstore in Thailand the DVD carries the English dubbing.

A few people have pointed out that WATER WARS uses quite a bit of footage from WHEELS OF FIRE, another of Santiago's post-apocalypse films that he shot in the Philippines. And that the film isn't all that great. Oh well, on this blog we (royal "we") often find great entertainment in pop-culture that the squares and mainstreamers discard as trash. Maybe it is trash but I've seen quite a few flicks in my time that delivered heaps of entertainment despite (or because of) their being trash. Let's wait and see. I knew I had to, simply haaaad to, order a copy when I found out the film had been released.

More info on the disc as I receive it. The DVD is available from eThaiCD. I've never had any problems with them and they've got free postage worldwide!

Friday, 31 July 2015

BRUNO MATTEI's best post 2000 film finally getting a release Stateside

Cover for the upcoming reg. 1 DVD
Bruno Mattei's THE JAIL: A WOMAN'S HELL is finally getting a DVD release in the US. Needless to say, regular readers of this blog know the film was released on a spiffy English friendly DVD in the Czech Republic quite a few years ago (and it was a pain to order thru a Czech language website lemme tell you!! Haha). There's a Japanese release as well. But in any case, I'm certainly happy Mattei's cool film is finally getting released to a wider audience. The label is Intervision Picture Corp which also released Mattei's two post 2000 cannibal films and his two post 2000 zombie films.

Cover for the old Czech DVD
In my opinion THE JAIL is the best film of the lot! In fact it has everything, torture, gore, nudity, girls. It is everything, WIP film, jungle film, cannibal film, gore movie. It's an Italian film but mind you it's a Filipino exploitationer as well (it was filmed entirely in the Philippines)!

By this stage Yvette Yzon had become somewhat of a Bruno Mattei regular in lead roles and she's in this one as well. Also Filipino film regulars Mike Monty and Jim Gaines are in this as well (Monty in a blink-and-you'll-miss him role. He looked ill and passed away shortly after the film was made). According to Intervision's facebook page they've done a brand new interview with Yvette Yzon for the DVD.

I uploaded this old Yvette Yzon interview five years ago but it's still pretty cool. My old channel also has a Bruno Mattei interview from the same set but it's in Italian only.



Trailer:

Friday, 24 July 2015

Update #2

Whoever uploaded the way cool RAW FORCE trailer decided to delete it again. Fortunately I had already copied the trailer and have just uploaded it again for your enjoyment! :P

Awesomeness right here.