- Dec 31
- SARS WARS on HK English subtitled DVD
- Posted by Deljhp - 31/12/08 at 05:40 PM
Movies don't get much more outrageous than this. The real-life horrors of the SARS virus serve as twisted inspiration for the over-the-top Thai horror comedy Sars Wars from director Taweewat Wantha. Referencing everything from Star Wars to Matrix to comic books, this 2004 cult hit is a glorious blend of gore, action, comedy, animation, and zombies of every persuasion. The movie was released on R1 DVD way back in 2006, but if you missed it first time around here’s a second chance to give it a go - With the added bonus, the Hong Kong version is a lot cheaper than most online retailers we can find. Bargain.
When rich schoolgirl Liu is kidnapped by a gang led by transvestite Yai, Khun Krabii, armed with his trusty light saber are sent to save the girl. It seems like just another day in the work of a superhero when Khun arrives at the gang's hideout, but it turns out the building also happens to be ground zero for an outbreak of the Type 4 strain of the SARS virus. This particularly nasty mutation of the virus kills the afflicted - and then turns them into zombies! Soon he's not only battling the gang, but also the undead, including a zombie fetus and, yes, a zombie python. With his light saber running out of batteries and the Ministry of Health planning to bomb the building into oblivion, will Khun and Liu ever see the light of day?
- Dec 31
- First stills for Francis Ng’s martial arts actioner ZHUI YING
- Posted by Deljhp - 31/12/08 at 11:37 AM
Huayi Bros Pictures is producing a new big budget martial arts Wuxia fest Zhui Ying (Chasing Shadows), and the first stills are online. The film is to be directed by veteran Hong Kong actor Francis Ng with Jaycee Chan (son of Jackie Chan) leading the cast, playing a martial arts fighter Xu Sanguan. The film will pay tribute to martial arts classics of the 1970s such as King Hu's Dragon Inn and Come Drink With Me, Chang Cheh's The One-armed Swordsman, Yuen Chor's Ai Nu and Drunken Fist II by Kar-leung Lau. The story revolves around a gathering of kung-fu masters from different parts of China at a desert inn to unravel a mystery. A big budget Wuxia fight-off, with Kung-Fu masters and liberal helping of Ninjas thrown in for good measure. Oh I think we could force ourselves to watch that. Chasing Shadows is due for release in the new year.
- Dec 30
- Teaser trailer for Norwegian horror SKJULT (Hidden)
- Posted by Deljhp - 30/12/08 at 10:07 AM
Scandinavian countries have been responsible for turning of some great looking horror movies of late, and Norway with the recent and refreshingly different frighteners Fritt Vilt (Cold Prey) 1 and 2, is no exception. So when news of upcoming Norwegian scare flick Skjult (Hidden) turned up at our door, you can bet we took notice.
The pic is helmed by Pal Oie who made his major breakthrough to the big screen with the award winning feature, Villmark (Dark Woods) in 2003. It seems he hasn’t lost his touch with this new work. It looks beautifully shot with lush cinematography, bags of atmosphere and a good few scares thrown in. You can check out the teaser in lovely hi-res QuickTime over at the films official site, or standard res on Youtube. Hidden opens in Norway in April.
Synopsis: Kai Knutsen fled through the woods, from his crazed mother 20 years ago. Now the woman he hated more than anything on earth is dead, and he has inherited the house in the forest. It has a cruel secret.
The cancelling of Joss Whedon’s superb cult sci-fi series Firefly is possibly one of the most truly misguided and baffling decisions (that’s if you don’t count the ‘Star Wars Holiday TV Special’ in 1978) by a Fox TV executive, in history. So while we take a moment to mourn its passing there’s solace to be found in a shiny new Blu-ray release of Serenity, the film that capped off the series oh so short life. We for one would love it if Whedon would finally get of the fence as to whether or not there ever will be a sequel. But for now it's time for us to revel in hi-res sci-fi goodness.
- Dec 28
- Theatrical poster for French horror HUMAINS
- Posted by Deljhp - 28/12/08 at 05:21 PM
The theatrical poster for Pierre-Olivier Thévenin and Jacques-Olivier Molon's upcoming French horror Humains has made it’s way online. The flick follows the story of: "A team of several researchers travel to the Swiss Alps to investigate a scientific discovery on human evolution. The trip, however, turns into a deadly fight for survival when the team crash into a gully and find themselves falling prey to someone...or something." Still no sign of a trailer, but you can check out the poster full size, and some great looking stills, from the link. Humains opens in France in April.
- Dec 28
- Memories of Matsuko: R2 DVD Review
- Posted by Deljhp - 28/12/08 at 02:34 PM
Memories of Matsuko (Kiraware Matsuko no Issho) (2006) Director: Tetsuya Nakashima. Reviewed By: Darren Cenerini.
Memories of Matsuko was a film I had never heard of until I actually put it into my DVD player. There's often times when a real gem will sneak by you without you ever noticing until you one day come across it completely by accident, and this film is one of those gems. Memories of Matsuko is a movie which is very much aimed at women and those who want a good melodrama, however it's different by quite a large margin.
Memories of Matsuko tells the tale of Matsuko, a girl who has been trying to win her father's love since she was a child. Her sister Kumi was very ill when they were young, so Matsuko rarely got any attention from her father. After we're given this set up, we follow Matsuko's life as she grows up and becomes a teacher gifted with both a gorgeous singing voice and a face to match. She yearns to become a pop idol and has unrealistic ideals on life, believing that once she finds her one true love, she'll finally be happy. Matsuko isn't so lucky though, and after a field trip in which one of her delinquent students is accused of stealing, she takes the blame for it. What follows is her personal descent into misery and suffering, a sad tale of how if you can't help yourself, no one can help you. Does Matsuko manage to get out of her slump, or does she fall prey to the cruelties of life? It must be said that rarely does a drama ever reach the extent of suffering that Matsuko has to go through during the movie... Continue reading review here.
Splitting audience opinions right down the middle Tony Jaa’s Ong-Bak 2 has already caused controversy and broken box office records galore in it’s home country. Next to see the action is Hong Kong and what do know they’ve gone and got themselves a new version of the trailer (and synopsis), with even more bone crunching fight scenes to see. Ong-Bak 2 opens in Hong Kong on January 1st and all being well (I.E. a US distributor doesn’t pressurise the HK distributor to release it without English subs as they did with 'Chocolate') the movie should arrive on English subtitled DVD around March time. Can’t wait!
Synopsis: Tien, a boy who aspires to grow up to be like his father, Lord Sihadecho (Santisuk Promsiri), a gallant and loyal warrior. The treacherous and power-craving Lord Rajasena (Saranyu Wongkrajang) plots to seize total control of the country. He sends out vicious assassins do murder Lord Sihadecho's family and his loyal soldiers. The only survivor from this massacre is Tien, who manages to escape with deep vengeance in his heart. Tien is then captured and almost killed by slave traders before being saved by Chernang (Sorapong Chatree), leader of the renowned “Garuda's Wing” guerilla band, who takes Tien in as his adoptive son and raises him up as a bandit. Tien grows up excelling in all kinds of martial arts and war strategies including man-to-man fighting, boxing, incantation, and skills of such war weapons as sword, saber, club, and explosive.With all forms of martial arts instilled, Tien (Tony Jaa) eagers to vanquish the vengeance in his heart by killing Lord Rajasena with his own hands. But he must first get pass Rajasena's highly-skilled and vicious killers.The battle leads to the origin of the scar of vengeance that comes at a price of one?s blood, flesh and soul. Only unwavering faith can save Tien’s life.
- Dec 26
- Kamikaze Girls: R2 DVD Review
- Posted by Deljhp - 26/12/08 at 05:28 PM
Kamikaze Girls (Shimotsuma Monogatari) (2004) Director: Tetsuya Nakashima Reviewed by: Darren Cenerini.
Kamikaze Girls is the sordid tale of two very different girls: Momoko, a Lolita who dreams of meeting up with the other Lolitas in Harajuku one day and Ichiko, a member of an all female biker gang called "The Ponytails." The movie begins as we watch Momoko driving around on her scooter, seemingly distraught and completely determined towards an unknown goal. This is cut short though because she gets hit by a truck shortly afterwards, knocking her into the air along with vegetables and pachinko balls. The movie then quickly rewinds as we get a voiceover by Momoko explaining how this all came to be. Turns out that Momoko's mother ran off with her gynacologist after giving birth to her, and now she lives with her senile grandmother and her bungling father who happens to be a petty crook. After being run out of their old home due to her father's failed scheme to sell fake designer handbags, they move to the far, far country. Farming life and a complete lack of the style she loves so dearly soon cause Momoko to yearn for the big city again, and things take an interesting turn when she meets Ichiko one day. We watch as Momoko and Ichiko gradually become friends, overcoming personal demons and real world obstacles to make an impression that will change each other's lives forever... Continue reading review.
- Dec 24
- Christmas comes early. ROSEMARY’S BABY remake cancelled.
- Posted by Deljhp - 24/12/08 at 09:34 AM
Another film saved! According to producer Brad Fuller, a planned remake of classic horror flick Rosemary’s Baby has been scrapped. Fuller and Andrew Form had initially wanted to do a new adaptation of the 1968 movie, but decided to axe the idea after failing to come up with any new ideas. "We went down that road and we even talked to the best writers in town and it feels like it might not be doable. We couldn't come up with something where it felt like it was relevant and we could add something to it other than what it was, so we're now not going to be doing that film," Fuller said. “We couldn't come up with something where it felt like it was relevant.” Let’s revel in the irony of that statement for a moment. Could it be Hollywood is finally starting to see the light re the current obsession with needless, dreary remakes. We won't hold our breath just yet. Source
- Dec 23
- New poster for THE FATALITY
- Posted by Deljhp - 23/12/08 at 10:06 PM
While much of the movie industry and its associated marketing machinery in the West has already shut up shop - put the closed sign on the door and gone home for the holidays – It’s business as usual in Thailand. Cue a new poster for Thai/Taiwanese horror co-production The Fatality. Those in the know will have already read up on the movie, from previous posts. But if you missed them, here’s a quick recap. Directed by Thiwa Meyathaisong (Sisters) Fatality stars Pitchanart Sakhakorn and Kenji Wu - in a tale of death, reincarnation and retribution - always good horror topic territory. Originally due out in June, then November, third time lucky it now opens in Thailand in January.
Synopsis: A dying man miraculously recovers. Seemingly back from death he now bares a strange mark on his arm that provides him the supernatural ability to see ghosts. He uses his power and brings ailing people death to release them from their pain, while his wife is cheating and betraying him.
- Dec 22
- Frank Henenlotter’s BAD BIOLOGY on DVD
- Posted by Deljhp - 22/12/08 at 09:18 PM
Opening with the voice-over line, "I was born with seven clits," acclaimed shlock-horror director Frank Henenlotter (the Basket Case trilogy, Frankenhooker, Brain Damage) makes a welcome return - with his first film in 16 years, Bad Biology, a bizarre and twisted story of a genitally over endowed young woman's search for sexual fulfilment. Henenlotter it seems has lost none of his enthusiasm for putting on screen what most people wouldn't even dare to imagine, cramming in everything from penis point-of-view shots to topless models in vagina masks to an anthropomorphic Dick bursting through walls and floorboards, on a rampage of destruction. If tasteless gore filled hilarity is your thing, then look no further than a Henenlotter helmed movie. Bad Biology is released on R2 DVD Feb 16th.
Synopsis: Jennifer (Charlee Danielson), an insatiable nymphomaniac whose multi-pronged sexual organ has given her a constant craving for penile stimulation. Unfortunately, the sexual satisfaction Jennifer seeks is proving very hard to find. Worse, each disappointing sexual encounter she experiences results in a two-hour pregnancy period that produces an always-unwanted mutant baby. Unknown to Jennifer, just across town lies the solution to her frustration in the form of a young man called Batz (Anthony Sneed), whose own sexual shortcomings have led him to inject growth steroids directly into his penis. Thanks to some unfortunate side effects, Batz has now become the concerned owner of a 24-inch member with a drug addiction and a mind of its own! Naturally, Batz and Jennifer are destined to meet, but will their eventual encounter prove to be what either of them is looking for?
Bad Biology trailer (viewing discretion advised)
- Dec 21
- Sukiyaki Western Django: Review
- Posted by Deljhp - 21/12/08 at 05:32 PM
Director: Takashi Miike . Reviewed by: Dan King
In the 1950s, Asian cinema was a concealed muse of western cinema; as opposed to the high profile “inspiration” it is today. Akira Kurosawa shouted into the ether with ‘Shichinin no Samurai’ (Seven Samurai) and ‘Yojimbo’ (The Bodyguard). A few filmmakers heard and saw that the stories being told were universal in nature. These stories were retold and reverberated with filmmakers and cinemagoers the world over. In America, ‘Seven Samurai’ was retold as ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960), a genre defining ‘Western’, albeit with deep Eastern roots. In Italy, ‘Yojimbo’ was digested and regurgitated as a big bowl of spaghetti western in the form of ‘A Fist Full of Dollars’ (Sergio Leone, a name synonymous with the genre). These movies, and many like them, are iconic of the genre, and the genre in turn iconic of the (mostly American) film industry. Kurosawa’s echo has travelled around the world, collecting years of interpretation and degradation. We are fortunate that Takashi Miike picked up this signal from the past when it returned to sender…
Sukiyaki Western Django. As the title suggests is an outlandish gunslinger, with larger than life characters in a stereotypical remote setting with a definite “B” quality. Only this time around we have Japanese actors (speaking phonetic English), a Japanese director, and Japanese comedy sensibilities and flair for stylised violence. Miike, it is. And yes, there’s a gun in a coffin…Continue reading the review here.
- Dec 20
- Now with even more lushness - New RED CLIFF posters
- Posted by Deljhp - 20/12/08 at 01:22 AM
Just about every major cinema going nation in Asia is rapidly gearing up for the release of John Woo's Red Cliff (part 2). Latest treats to arrive are two new lush posters from Japan. Hmmm, mighty purdy. Check their full epicness (is there such a word?) from the links.
We’ve been reading rumours about this in the Chinese online press for several days, but now according to Variety Stephen Chow has definitely pulled out of directing the feature length adaptation of the classic 60s TV show The Green Hornet. Chow signed up in September to direct the film and play the role originated in the TV series by Bruce Lee, but has stepped down as director over creative (Word is he was more than a little unhappy with script) differences. Chow will still play martial arts expert “Kato” in the action pic, but with his exit as director, our interest in this production has taken one hell of a nose dive.
- Dec 19
- MONKEY MAGIC lands on R2 DVD
- Posted by Deljhp - 19/12/08 at 12:16 AM
2007 film Monkey Magic is to get an R2 DVD release in January! This is the latest in a long line of adaptations of the book written by Wu Cheng'en. One of the four great Chinese classics, Journey to the West, or Saiyuuki in Japanese, is about the adventures of Tang Dynasty monk Tripitaka and his mischievous magical disciples as they journey to India to retrieve the Buddhist sutras. This fantasy tale has been adapted countless times for the big and small screen, most notably the superbly quirky (made in Japanese, filmed in China and dubbed into English) 70’s TV show Monkey, which is a huge cult hit in the UK and Australia. Helmed by TV director Sawada Kensaku, feature film Saiyuuki retains the oddball zany energy and colourful demons that made the drama so fresh and damn entertaining.
On their quest from China to India to collect a set of ancient holy scrolls, the Buddhist monk Tripitaka (Eri Fukatsu) and his three protective disciples, Monkey (Shingo Katori), Pigsy (Atsushi Ito) and Sandy (Teruyoshi Uchimura), encounter a young princess, Reimi (Tabe Minako), who implores them for their help. Her once lush and peaceful homeland of the Tiger Kingdom has been taken over by two demon warlords, the cruel King Gold Horn and his equally tyrannical brother, Silver Horn. Having plundered the kingdom's palace and transformed Reimi's parents into turtles, the demons have also turned the surrounding countryside into a desert wasteland. Now, they plan to plunge the entire world into eternal darkness. Tripitaka agrees to help Reimi and, with Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy at his side, sets out to find Remi's grandfather who is believed to be in possession of a magical orb that holds the power to return the king and queen to their human forms. But, unknown to the band of heroes, the orb is also the key to the demons' final diabolical scheme.
Director: Steven Sheil. Review by: Pete Higgins
Mum & Dad’s opening title sequence, all jet planes and barbed wire fences, sets the film up as some kind of social-realist, state-of-the-nation, kitchen-sink mini epic. Which it sort of is. But it is also a visceral, nightmarish horror film which seizes on the blandness and anonymity of certain aspects of 21st century Britain and twists them into something utterly unforgettable. It’s all very Shane Meadows, right down to the casting of Meadows regular Perry Benson in the role of “Dad”. This particular actor is never going to be the next James Bond, but it’s to be hoped that he one day gets to play people who aren’t completely scuzzy and grubby and just plain revolting. Meanwhile, here he is, being all those things, and more.
The film’s plot involves a Polish immigrant working in an unnamed British airport. She is befriended by Birdie, a co-worker (played, not all that convincingly, by Ainsley Howard). It is all innocent enough, but there is an undercurrent of menace from the very beginning: Birdie’s questions are just a tad unsettling; her mute brother is also cause for concern, along with her habit of stealing things from the offices she’s supposed to be cleaning. At this point, the film could go either way. It could have been a larky little comedy-drama with a few salient points to make about the immigrant experience. Or, it could have been a nerve-shredding, wince-inducing freak-out, whose brief moments of humour are of the blacker-than-black variety.
Plan B, then. Because, make no mistake, Mum & Dad, for all its faults, is intense stuff. And intelligent stuff, too. The grimness and matter-of-fact horror is brutally effective. The little details (porn at breakfast, the Christmas prezzies, the toe-nail of terror) go a long way to making this film so strong. Its obviously low budget and occasionally weak acting actually help to make it believable. The points it raises along the way, about how easy it is for people to disappear, are as chilling as the gore and the torture. Similarities to the crimes of Fred and Rosemary West are there if you want them, which might put off some potential viewers. I wouldn’t blame them: Mum & Dad is not much fun, but it’s thrilling and disturbing, and very hard to forget.
- Dec 18
- SAMURAI ZOMBIE gets a trailer!
- Posted by Deljhp - 18/12/08 at 12:56 AM
Dysfunctional family members, insane gun wielding maniacs, severed limbs aplenty, buckets of blood and of course ancient undead warriors - it’s the first trailer for Tak sakaguchi's Samurai Zombie. Head over to the films official site to catch all the fun.
The plot: A family on a trip encounters a man threatening them with a gun on a desolate mountain trail. At a moment of maximum tension, a couple shows up out of nowhere, kill the man and disappears again. Shortly after a lunatic old lady comes and warns them of their impending death. The frightened family is headed for a showdown with Samurai Zombies resurrected from their graves.
- Dec 17
- Teaser trail for Korean action thriller MARINE BOY
- Posted by Deljhp - 17/12/08 at 01:04 PM
- 1 Comment
It has to be said we aren’t digging the English title of upcoming Korean gangland thriller Marine Boy (makes it sound more like a Disney production than a Mobster revenge movie), all that much - The teaser trail on the other hand looks pretty damn good. Helmed by first timer YOON Jong-seok, the pics stars CHO Jae-hyun, KIM Kang-woo and PARK Si-yeon.
Synopsis : Cheon-soo, a swimming instructor, loses everything on gambling. It also leaves him in huge debt that he has to pay off for the rest of his life. His moneylender, Kang approaches him with a dangerous proposition. He invites Cheon-soo to become a ‘Marine Boy’ - those who swim across the sea to smuggle drugs.
- Dec 17
- Take two on live action version of PRIEST
- Posted by Deljhp - 17/12/08 at 11:31 AM
Second time lucky perhaps. It was way back in 2006 that we covered the news on a first attempt to get a live action version of Tokyo Pop comic book Priest, off the ground. The project almost came together with Gerard Butler and Steven Strait starring, under the direction of Andrew Douglas but then it fell apart. Now Scott Charles Stewart (Legion) has signed to direct the horror Western and will star Road Entertainment's Josh Donen. The story is set in a world ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampire and follows a warrior priest who turns against the church to track down a murderous band of vampires who have kidnapped his niece. The premise always sounded interesting, and we are suckas (gettit) for a good Vampire fest. We’ll keep an eye on this one. Via
- Dec 16
- Korean trailer for John Woo’s RED CLIFF (part 2)
- Posted by Deljhp - 16/12/08 at 10:13 AM
Like much of Asia, Part 2 of John Woo’s mega budget period epic Red Cliff is set to open in Korea in January and that means new trailers! On the down side it also means no English subtitles, the plus - it’s a hell of a lot better quality than its Hong Kong counterpart. Quite simply, it looks spectacular. Head to the link for the epic eye candy.
Synopsis: In 208 A.D., in the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minster Cao convinced the fickle Emperor Han the only way to unite all of China was to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus began a military campaign of unprecedented scale, led by the Prime Minister, himself. Left with no other hope for survival, the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu formed an unlikely alliance. Numerous battles of strength and wit ensued, both on land and on water, eventually culminating in the battle of Red Cliff. During the battle, two thousand ships were burned, and the course of Chinese history was changed forever.
- Korean disaster epic THE TOWER: DVD review
- Official site for Sion Sono’s WHY DON’T YOU PLAY IN HELL
- APARTMENT 1303: DVD review
- Indie horror THE HUMAN RACE gets picked up for release
- New poster for HK horror TALES FROM THE DARK: Part 1
- TV spot for Hideo Nakata’s THE COMPLEX
- This new clip from Neil Jordan’s BYZANTIUM
- Full program for 13th Nippon Connection Film Festival