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New footage from Sngmoo Lee’s THE WARRIORS WAY

It was well over a year ago that we exclusive dropped the news that a jaw dropping 3.5 minute trailer had hit the web for Sngmoo Lee’s martial arts action fantasy western - starring Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush - The Warriors Way. Even for a promo reel the film looked simply phenomenal, but after receiving a rather unpleasant email from some lawyers demanding we removed even just a link to the trailer, we had to pull it off site. Ever since it’s all been very quiet as to when the flick was ever going to see the light of day.

That was then, what’s happening now? Well finally there are some signs of life starting to appear for this much anticipated action fest. We’ve just found 2 new brief but tantalising FX promos featuring - both finished and behind the scenes - footage from the film, and now finally there’s talk of release dates in  (albeit so far only in NZ and Australia) November, being bandied about. Why they've waited so long to release it, and when the rest of us will get to see it is still a mystery, but when we know you will. Links to both promos are below. 

 

Warriors Way promo 1

Warriors Way promo 2

Full Fantasia Film Festival lineup announced

One of the worlds premiere Fantasy, Horror, and Sci-fi film festivals, Canada’s Fantasia Film festival has just announced their full line-up of films and events, and it is HUGE. So huge in fact we just couldn’t do it justice in single article. Suffice to say the three week event is stuffed to the rafters with - the latest in genre - movies screenings, seminars, panels, meet the stars events and much more. Full details of everything can be found over on the fests official site, and if you’re lucky enough to be going - Boo to you - we aren’t jealous in the slightest. Yeah OK that was a lie. Fantasia opens for business on July 8th, and you can check it out, in all its glory....here.

GOEMON: Review

Director: Kazuaki Kiriya. Review: Dan King.

The ambitious nature of ‘Casshern’, Kazuaki Kiriya’s debut feature, showed promise, with jaw-dropping visuals and groundbreaking CGI sequences, although this was to the detriment of the films narrative – a case of style of substance, not unexpected from a former fashion photographer and music video director. Goemon has the same stunning aesthetics, but this time Kiriya has much needed restraint from the source material. Having said that, the film is a fast-paced action adventure, with the best elements of the greatest swordplay epics, and the spirit of Goemon is far from ‘restrained’!

The film follows the story of the eponymous hero, an explosive mix of Robin Hood, Spiderman and ninja bandit, whose quest for a life of ‘freedom’, stealing from the rich and sharing the wealth amongst the poor, inadvertently gets him wrapped up in the bloody politics of the country’s rulers, past and present. Haunted by his past, he encounters his former friend and rival, Saizo. Saizo has been sent, along with other shady character, all with their own agenda, to retrieve a box stolen and discarded by Goemon which contains secrets that threaten the standing of the war-hungry warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi.

Goemon could quite easily have been a by-the-numbers swords and Ninjas affair, but the stylistic flair of Kirya elevates it to something more, breathing new life in to what is an age old formula. The set pieces are staggering, and the design of the costumes, weapons and armour twists the view of the history of the ‘Warring States’ period. The live-action-manga/video game visuals hit you like an arrow through the face. The choreography is flawless, with fight scenes reminiscent of anime, and full scale battles with a CG boost, and while there is an impressive 2500 CGI segments in the film, the overall style of the film allows you to suspend green screen cynicism. These well executed elements, as well as world-class acting from the entire cast (supported by 1000+ extras) make Goemon absorbing, beautiful, and most of all a hell of a lot of fun! Goemon is released in select UK theatres, July 23rd.

Swiss Indy Sci-fi thriller CARGO hits UK DVD

Heralded as Switzerland’s first ever sci-fi movie, we’ve been hearing good things about Ivan Engler and Ralph Etter’s thriller Cargo, so its news of note that we’ll soon be able to get our paws on this little known Indy gem when it lands on English subbed DVD in the UK next month. Optimum releasing are doing the business on the distro front, and it goes on sale July 5th.

Synopsis: 2267 and Earth has become almost uninhabitable due to environmental deterioration. The human race now populates overcrowded space stations orbiting the planet, whilst dreaming of being able to afford the trip to live on the paradise-like planet Rhea. Desperate to raise the money for the trip so she can reunite with her family Dr Laura Portmann signs up for a job aboard the cargo ship Kassandra, on an 8 year trip to a space station in Rhea's orbit. On board, each crew member spends much of the voyage in hibernation, each waking for a solitary 8 month shift monitoring the ships operations. Nearing the end of her vigil, Laura begins to suspect she may be being watched, and hearing sounds from within the hold of the ship. Along with security chief Samuel Decker she awakens the captain and the rest of the crew to investigate the dark recesses of the cargo bay. Gruesome discoveries are soon made and fractures appear in the crew's relationships, then Laura and Decker uncover Kassandra's true destination and what secret cargo she carries.

Cargo official site

Curzon midnight movies present Vampires VS Werewolves

Sick to your back teeth of preppy Vamps and sulky teens? Then forget ‘Twilight' and check out London’s Curzon cinemas latest Midnight movies offering. On Friday July 9th it’s an 80s Vampires v Werewolves showdown, and you get pick which movie to see....

The Lost Boys Director: Joel Schumacher. Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman. Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It's fun to be a vampire...

Or:

Teen Wolf Director: Rod Daniel. Starring: Michael J. Fox, James Hampton, Susan Ursitti. Puberty comes with a few surprises as Scott discovers werewolf powers that make him a hot basketball player and a hit with the ladies.

We know which we’d pick! For details on the screenings check out the Curzon website here.

DEMON WARRIORS (aka Opapatika): DVD Review

Director: Thanakorn Pongsuwan. Review: Adam Wing.

You know you’re in for a rough ride when a message flashes up at the start of the movie stating that suicide is a sin and the filmmakers don’t condone it. Then we see a man take his own life in gruesome fashion, there’s a good (?) reason for this but lets make one thing clear, director Thanakorn Pongsuwan likes his action bloody. A man learns a powerful lesson about the price of immortality in Demon Warriors, a new supernatural action thriller from Thailand. The Opapatikas are a special breed of people who have died only to be resurrected and given special powers: they are invincible in combat and gain unique superhuman skills in return for killing themselves. Sounds great on paper, but believe me when I tell you there is a flipside. Detective Techit (Putthipong Sriwat) is a police investigator who has learned the secrets of the Opapatika and wants to join their underground fraternity; he approaches Opapatika master Mr. Sadok (Nirut Sirichanya) and it’s downhill from there...Continue review here.

Demon Warriors teaser trailer

Demon Warriors full trailer

Tilda Swinton set to become THE BLOOD COUNTESS?

Now if this isn’t an example of a superb casting decision, we don’t know what is. Tilda Swinton is currently being tipped to star in a German/English horror co-production about the life story of the Countess Báthory, titled The Blood Countess (aka Die Blutgräfin). Unlike Julie Delpy’s 2009 contemporary retelling (‘The Countess’) of the infamous lady's story, it looks like director Ulrike Ottinger’s new version will take a more “artistic” slant of events. The plotline reads more like a - Countess Dracula - approach to her reign, as the murderous Vampire aristocrat who was said to bathe in Virgins blood. Here’s hoping Tilda definitely takes the role, her playing a bloodthirsty Vampire noble women, cutting a bloody rampage across Europe, is something we’d pay good money to see. Still in pre-production The Blood Countess is due out next year.

Synopsis: Impatiently awaiting the arrival of her devoted maid Hermine, the countess Erzsébeth Báthory, also known as La Comtesse Sanglante, a tigress in human disguise, ascends into the open daylight. At breathtaking speed, the two women race through a Vienna of ghoulish beauty. Their entourage: Báthorys nephew Bubi, a vegetarian vampire who refuses to follow family traditions, his therapist, two wacky vampirologists, some members of the duelling fraternity "Vampiria", an all-female music ensemble, and many more. "Wiener Blut", Viennese blood is shed by the buckets while the hearts of the present Habsburgians and Viennese beat high. This is a cracked journey to the roots of a myth that has lost nothing of its appeal: to the Vampyre Empire! Naturally, the showdown takes place at Vienna´s "Prater" - during a midnight supper on that fair´s famous Ferris wheel.

Yes! The first trailer for VALHALLA RISING is here!

With the Pusher trilogy and Bronson, director Nicolas Winding Refn has shown himself to be one of the best new directors on the scene and the trailer for his most recent film has finally dropped. Valhalla Rising is an epic Viking movie starring Mads Mikkelsen that debuted at the Venice Film Festival last year and has been getting some extremely encouraging reviews since.

One reviewer called it "Terrence Malik making a silent horror movie or the great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky making a lovechild descent into madness B-movie with early John Carpenter and that's gloriously on the mark as the film is savage, fierce, eerie and unsettling." 

Sounds amazing and the trailer looks amazing, too. We cannot wait to see this, but it looks like US residents will have to until at least July 16th when the film hits in limited theatrical release and on VOD.

 

Get your eyes on this trailer!

 

14 BLADES: DVD Review

Director: Daniel Lee. Review: Adam Wing.

There are two film stars who can guarantee my complete attention when it comes to Hong Kong cinema. The first one is Donnie Yen. Goes without saying really, Donnie seems to be keeping the Hong Kong film industry alive on his own at the moment. The second one is Vicki Zhao, not because she’s particularly kick-ass you understand, mainly because she’s cute as a kitten and I adore her. Which brings us to Daniel Lee’s (Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon) action extravaganza 14 Blades, how can the film possibly fail I hear you cry? Well, lets cut to the chase shall we, it can’t. Not in my eyes anyway. Accomplished filmmaking - up to a point perhaps. Substance, depth and emotion – you’ve got to be kidding me. Donnie Yen kicking ass across your TV screen – that’s more like it. We’re definitely getting warmer here. 14 Blades will never be considered high art, and some might argue that it lives in the shadow of John Woo’s Red Cliff, but Daniel Lee knows a little something about style over substance so lets give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Yen plays fearless assassin Quinlong, top dog in the elite team of Jinyiwei. They are masters of the 14 Blades, eight for torture, five for killing and one for personal sacrifice if you really must know. Quinlong carries them around in a mechanical box on his back, a supercharged CGI gimmick that belongs in a Batman movie, not a period action epic like this, but we’ll let it go for now because it looks really cool when he opens it. Quinlong is betrayed by both evil eunuch Jia (Law Kar-Ying) and fellow Jinyiwei member Xuanwu (Qi Yuwu), who spend the rest of the movie trying to kill him. What they’ve forgotten is that we’re talking about Donnie Yen here so this could take some time. Quinlong escapes into the night and bumps into the ever-infectious Vicki Zhao. Vicky plays Qiao Hua, his accomplice and companion for the rest of the movie. Not that she has a choice in the matter, Quinlong kidnaps her in order to make some ridiculous point to the recently corrupted Jinyiwei, but lets be truthful here, she probably would’ve gone anyway. I would have. Perhaps I should get on with the review now…Continue reading.

14 Blades official site

New York JAPAN CUTS film festival full line-up announced

JAPAN CUTS Festival of Contemporary Japanese Cinema (July 1-16) is coming to Japan Society for its fourth consecutive year, with its biggest line-up ever. With 24 titles and 30 screenings, this is the largest showcase of contemporary Japanese film outside Japan, with international and U.S. premieres, special guests (filmmakers Noboru Iguchi, Yoshihiro Nishimura, Tomorowo Taguchi, Toshiaki Toyoda, Hitoshi Yazaki, and Isao Yukisada; and actors Tatsuya Fujiwara and Daichi Watanabe), parties (Festival Launch Party on July 1st, SUSHI TYPHOON! on July 3rd and NIGHT OF THE FILMMAKERS on July 10th) and giveaways.

In addition to independent and big budget feature films from the past year and 8 titles co-presented with the New York Asian Film Festival, the 2010 edition caps the decade with the Best of Unreleased Japanese Films of the the "Naughties", a digest of overlooked films from the past ten years which - for whatever reason -have not been treated to U.S. distribution. Highlights include: Alien vs. Ninja (Directed by Seiji Chiba) , Mutant Girls Squad (Directed by Noboru Iguchi), About Her Brother (dir. Yoji Yamada), Blood of Rebirth (dir. Toshiaki Toyoda), Bare Essence of Life: Ultra Miracle Love Story (dir. Satoko Yokohama), Dear Doctor (dir. Miwa Nishikawa), Golden Slumber (dir. Yoshihiro Nakamura), Nightmare Detective II (dir. Shinya Tsukamoto), Parade (dir. Isao Yukisada), and Zero Focus (dir. Isshin Inudo).

More information on the festival, as well as all the events, is available at the fests website here.

THE SHOCK LABYRINTH on English subtitled DVD

You’d have thought with such a big name in Asian horror attached as director, distributors in the US and UK would be falling over each other in the rush to get this on sale!? But after 6+ months of waiting for someone there to get off their behinds and release ‘The Grudge’ helmer, Takashi Shimizu's latest horror flick The Shock Labyrinth on English subtitled DVD, we’ll just have to go elsewhere for it thank you very much. Taiwan is set to drop the movie onto R3 DVD with English subs, and that’s more than good enough to be going on with. The Shock Labyrinth is up to order from tomorrow. Hoo-damn-rah!

Synopsis: Ten years ago Yuki disappeared at the amusement park haunted house. One rainy night she suddenly returns, and faints in front of her shocked friends. Her friends rush her to the hospital, but what awaits them is an endless labyrinth of unspeakable horrors.

 

 

Order your copy here

The Shock Labyrinth website

UK prepare for the horror of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE

UK horror fans who were so far feeling a bit left out and sulky due to the lack of a release date for -Tom Six’s bizarre and let’s be honest here, more than a little bit twisted, body horror - The Human Centipede, can now take heart in the fact that it will indeed soon be arriving on your shores. No word yet on the exact date, but the official site is already (but no content as yet) live, so we reckon it wont be too long at all! More as we get it. 

Synopsis: Two pretty but ditsy American girls are on a road trip through Europe. In Germany, they end up alone at night with a broken car in the woods. They search for help and find an isolated villa. The next day, they awaken to find themselves trapped in a terrifying makeshift basement hospital along with a Japanese man. An older German man identifies himself as a retired surgeon specialized in separating Siamese twins. However, his three "patients" are not about to be separated but joined together in a horrific operation. He plans to be the first person to connect people via their gastric systems. By doing so, he plans to bring to life his sick lifetime fantasy, the human centipede.

 

Human Centipede UK site

Human Centipede trailer

Via BritFilms

Christopher Smith’s - BLACK DEATH: Review

Director: Christopher Smith. Review: Pete Higgins.

You could accuse director Christopher Smith of lots of things, but predictability would not be one of them. After all, this is the man who brought us a collection of films which practically defines the term ‘mixed bag’ (Creep, Severance and Triangle). And now he’s back with his latest low-budget, high-entertainment epic, ‘Black Death’. And, yes, it’s set in the fourteenth century, and, yes, it’s about the Black Death.

Eddie Redmayne plays our hero, a monk with one or two doubts about his faith, who longs for a chance to prove himself in the world outside his monastery. Enter Sean Bean, who just happens to be looking for someone to lead his band of not-very-merry men through some dodgy marsh in a quest for a village where the plague has not taken hold. Right, that’s that out of the way – now let’s get on with it. Cue lots of bloody executions, excellent fight scenes and macho posturing. But then they hook up with Carice Van Houten (dressed impeccably in a collection of items from the 14th Century Boden catalogue) as an apparently benevolent pagan living in the said village. Everything’s going to be fine... right?

Black Death is, as I said, low on budget (it probably cost about as much to make as they spent on catering for ‘Avatar’) but it is very high on edgy, gripping, brutal entertainment. Packed with interesting characters, full of surprises, endlessly gripping, it shows that the British film industry is as healthy as ever: this kind of solid genre thriller is exactly what we should be producing more of. I await Mr. Smith’s next movie with interest, and absolutely no idea what it will be about, when it will be set, or even what planet it will take place on.

Black Death Official site

Yimou’s BLOOD SIMPLE remake to hit the US in September!

Zhang Yimou's wacky remake of the Coen Brothers' first feature Blood Simple will finally hit screens in the US this September 3rd, courtesy of Sony Pictures Classic. The film we be titled A Woman, A Gun And A Noodle Shop in the US and will be given a limited theatrical run. No word on specific cities just yet.

The original film was a noirish thriller set in Texas about a bar owner who hires a private detective to kill his wife and her lover. Yimou's remake, on the other hand is said to be a thriller-comedy set in a noodle shop in a Chinese desert. In addition, the film includes a rap song penned by the director. Yeah, you read that right. A Zhang Yimou rap song.

Check out the trailer and see for yourself.

Thanks to ThePlaylist for the heads up.

Histeria director returns to horror with SINI ADA HANTU

After the success of his 2008 shock gore horror "Histeria," Malaysian filmmaker James Lee has revealed in an interview with local movie site ‘Cinema Online’ that he’s to return to fright flicks, with his latest work entitled "Sini Ada Hantu" (aka Here Is A Ghost). Info on the movie is still thin on the ground, but Lee does let slip some juicy details in the interview on what to expect, and if his earlier work is anything to go by, it’s going to be bloody! Hantu is slated to open at the end of the year. Read the full interview, and check out a trailer for 'Histeria,' at the links.

Synopsis: The movie begins with Rama a supervisor of a delivery & transport company that is looking for driver at the last minute for a delivery at night out of town. Rama manages to get Ah Meng and Bakri to do the tasks with additional overtime and bonuses. The only catch is that they have to deliver a Chinese style large wooden coffin on time. For the extra sum of money, the two men take up the job and travel in the van through the quiet expressway. During their journey, the delivery van's radio player gets busted. So in order to kill time, both men begin to tell ghost stories which they declare genuine. Bakri starts off the ghost stories from his kampung that involves a young man and a banana tree spirit.

James Lee Interview

Histeria trailer

U.S.A rejoice! THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE WEIRD on R1 DVD!

It really should need no introduction. After an age of waiting, Kim Ji-Woon’s madcap Korean, western, crime caper The Good, The Bad, The Weird is finally up for pre-order on R1 DVD and Blu-ray. GBW hits the stores on August 17th, 2010. Go get it, its great!

Synopsis: Set in the 1930s Manchurian desert where lawlessness rules and many different ethnic groups clash, three Korean men fatefully meet each other on a train. The train’s diverse passengers and imminent danger with guns and knives everywhere serves as a microcosm of the turbulent times. Do-won (JUNG Woo-sung) is a bounty hunter who tracks down any criminals with rewards on their heads. Chang-yi (LEE Byung-hun) is the leader of a group of tough-as-nails bandits. He cannot stand to be the second best. Tae-goo (SONG Kang-ho) is a train robber with nine lives. The three strangers engage in a chase across Manchuria to take possession of a map Tae-goo discovers while robbing the train. Also on the hunt for the mysterious map are the Japanese army and Asian bandits. In this unpredictable, escalating battle for the map, who will stand in the end as the winner?

 

Good,Bad,Weird trailer

Concept pics from Jaume Balaguero’s horror SLEEP TIGHT

If you consider yourself a fan of world horror, then the name Jaume Balagueró should be ringing more than a few bells. Whilst busy - with co-director Paco Plaza - dishing up a second dose of hard core horror in [REC]2, he’s has been working away on a solo project the Spanish horror thriller Sleep Tight, and we’ve just dug up some first concept pics for the film. We say “concept” because if these are actual screen shots from the movie then it looks like - this is going to be a tad surreal, and - Balagueró is using some kind of funky colourisation technique on the film. Originally titled “Flatmate” the flick recently underwent a name change (probably to make it more accessible to the U.S market) so expect news on a release in the States soon. Stills at the link.

Synopsis: Cesar works as a doorman in a Barcelona apartment building. Happiness eludes him and he feels the need to reaffirm his reasons for living on a daily basis. He goes about his day to day work mainly unnoticed by the residents of the building, but he pays close attention to them. He knows all the intimate details of their lives, everything about them, especially one of them. Clara is a happy-go-lucky young woman, who always looks on the positive side of things. Her cheery attitude to life makes Cesar’ skin crawl. He won’t be happy until he has wiped that smile of her face once and for all, because Cesar feeds off other people’s pain. He delights in the unhappiness and anguish of others and he loves nothing more than to plant the seed of misery and watch it grow. In Clara he has found the perfect target, and he will go to extreme lengths to make her life miserable. But Cesar is starting to get a bit too cocky, and soon his carefully thought out plans will start to unravel… Luckily for him, he has one last ace up his sleeve.

Sleep Tight stills

KAMUI: THE LONE NINJA on R2 DVD

Deadly Ninja, fierce warrior clans, treacherous pirates and fearless shark hunters? Yoichi Sai’s Kamui: The Lone Ninja (aka Kamui gaiden) is heading for release on UK DVD and Blu-ray. Based on the multi-volume Manga series created by artist Sanpei Shirato in 1964, Lone Ninja comes to the screen as a live-action, effects-laden extravaganza, but don’t go into this expecting guys wearing pitch black Shōzoku, flitting over rooftops. Kamui takes a far grittier look, at the life of a Ninja on the run, and arrives on shelf via Manga Entertainment on 9th August 9th.

 Synopsis: 17th century Japan and from a young age Kamui has been considered something of an outcast, even within his own ninja clan. Disillusioned with the laws and principles, which dictate that he must use his skills to kill others, Kamui chooses to leave his past behind him and go in search of true freedom. But for a ninja liberation comes at a price and the only way to escape the bonds of the ninja brotherhood is to die. Now a fugitive on the run from his clan, who are determined to hunt him down and eliminate him for his betrayal, Kamui finds himself constantly fighting for his life and unable to trust anyone. He eventually finds some solace when he meets an indomitable fisherman who saves his life and invites him to settle with his family. Unexpectedly, the arrangement brings Kamui face to face with a long-forgotten nemesis of his, another renegade ninja with a deadly score to settle. Meanwhile, the ninja army hunting Kamui is setting a trap from which there can be no escape…

Kamui trailer

YATTERMAN: DVD review

Director: Takashi Miike. Review: Adam Wing.

One of Japan’s most prolific directors returns to family friendly territory with his take on Yatterman, the globally popular TV animation from the 70s. It’s nothing new for the so-called Oriental Tarantino; he’s swum in these waters before. The Great Yokai War was a mischievous romp for the whole family to enjoy, far removed from celebrated classics Ichi the Killer and Audition. Miike’s no stranger to superhero movies either, if you haven’t all ready checked out cult oddity Zebraman there’s never been a better time; a sequel has just been released in Japan. Which brings us to Yatterman, a film destined to redefine the robot action adventure genre.

Gan (Sho Sakurai), the only son of a toyshop owner, is inseparable from his close friend Ai (Saki Fukuda). Together they build Yatterwoof, a dog-shaped robot that shares their will. They also build a small robot called Toybotty, and together they transform into Yatterman 1 & 2 to fight for justice, honour and world peace. Doronjo (the ever adorable presence of Kyoko Fukada) is the sexy female boss of the Doronbow Gang, aided by her mechanically minded stalkers Boyacky and Tonzra. A mysterious big bad called Skullobey hoaxes her into finding the Skull Stone, a weapon so powerful it’s said to realise any wish, the stone has been split into four pieces and lost around the world. When Gan and Ai learn about this sinister plot, they take flight to foil the Doronbow Gang’s dastardly plans. Did you get all that? Good, it’s time to step inside Takashi Miike’s deranged mind once again; it’s time to go a little insane. Albeit, in a family friendly, all singing, all dancing kind of way...Continue reading review.

Yatterman trailer

Order your copy here

More DEATH BELL posters, than you can shake a Hammer at

Always the way. No sooner do we mention that the trailer has dropped for upcoming Korean horror Death Bell 2, and then they go and release a ton of new things for us to see. The films official site has just gone live, and there’s a stack of new character posters to check out.

 

 

 

 

Death Bell 2 official site