Thursday, July 29, 2021



FOUR DRAGONS-(KINTA)-2008-Chinese immigrants working at a tin mine in Malaysia complaint and the boss has them all killed except four friends who escape the worst for wear. They are taken in and nursed back to health by Tok Mat and his workers. Tok turns the four into a fighting group with the names Dragon, Blaze, Ace and Tiger. 

Confusing martial arts drama (said to be the first from Malaysia) with a lot of flashbacks by directed C L Hor.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Shaw Brothers



THE SWORD OF SWORDS-1968-Mei Ling Chung (Miao Chin) has an ancient and magical sword everyone wants. When he and his wife and daughter are attacked by The Shangs, they are saved by the Ninja like Fang (Feng Tien). At his school Shang Kwan (Chun-Hsin Huang) is actually a trouble making spy and wants to eliminate Chen Chow (Jimmy Wang Yu), their teacher's favorite pupil. Although the way the teacher treats him I find that hard to believe. After Chen Chow is given the sword and Fang's spying is revealed, The Shangs kill Chow's aunt and kidnap his wife. Unfortunately he can't go help her because he promised his teacher he wouldn't use the sword for personal matters. They get his wife back but then she's recaptured. 

While Chen goes to save his wife Kwan tries to learn the location of the sword but winds up killing Chen's parents, sister and aunt and burning down their house. Betrayed by Fang, Kwan gets the sword, blinds Chen and leaves him for dead, a bloody mess. Of course, Chen battles back. In the strange violent finale, Chen is tricked into killing his friends (including a child) before killing all the bad guys and Kwan and getting the sword back. 

Writer-director Kang Cheng later made IMMORTAL WARRIORS and INVINCIBLE ENFORCER.

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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Ultra Men!



THE 6 ULTRA BROTHERS VS. THE MONSTER ARMY-1974-For some reason the sun has come dangerously close to the Earth causing droughts. Some kids dance around a temple praying for water. When robbers come to steal, one boy Koh tries to stop them and he's shot in the face and killed. While his friends mourn his death the 6 Ultramen and the mother of Ultra try to rectify his death by fusing Koh with the Hindu god Haruman. He's sent back to Earth to get the robbers and to fix the sun's rotation problem. He finds the robbers and crushes the trio then helps save Koh's friend's life. He also visits the god of the sun (?) and the sun moves away from the Earth. 

Unfortunately some scientists at a missile launching base screw up and destroy the whole facility and in the process release some gigantic monsters living under the Earth! Haruman takes them on and does pretty good until the four on one situation (a fifth monster terrorizes a woman and her kid) proves too much and Haruman is imprisoned in an energy sphere. But it's the 6 Ultra Brothers to the rescue. They free Haruman and beat down the bad boys. After 4 of the monsters are vanquished poor Gomora is left and used as a punching bag by the good guys until Haruman slices him in half! 

Wonderful cheesy effects in this epic that was co-produced and filmed in Thailand. It was the subject of much controversy for years. I apologize if I didn't  get  the whole plot correct (the copy I viewed had no subtitles).

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Rim Shit


ATLANTIC RIM-2013-Stupid confusing shit from The Asylum is a blatant rip off of PACIFIC Rim but on a much lower budget. Graham Greene is the cliche spouting commander. Red (David Chokachi) is the asshole best pilot who proves if he got killed no one would care. He's assisted by Tracy (Jackie Moore) and Jim (Treach). 

This nonsense was released to cash in on the success of PACIFIC RIM, a stunt The Asylum as tried before. It's also  known as FROM THE SEA. The director Jared Cohn has made other stuff.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Damned Kids!



VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED-1960-The English village of Midwich suffers a strange phenomena when the entire populace seem to faint away. Everyone recovers but a while later all the women in town become pregnant including virgin teens and a wife whose husband has been away for a year. When they are born, the kids all look alike with blond hair, weird eyes and are extremely intelligent. They are rather evil too and make 2 villagers commit suicide. 

Gordon Zellaby (George Sanders) & wife Anthea (Barbara Shelley) are proud parents for a while until they learn this is not an occurrence particular only to Midwich. Other groups of cold calculating children have been born in other parts of the world. After the rest have died or are destroyed it's up to Zellaby to come up with a plan to stop the sinister kids. 

This MGM-British co-produced science fiction film went through many stops and starts before it came to the screen. Originally proposed as an US production the screenplay was written by American Stirling Silliphant. When director Wolf Rilla was hired he helped make the script more “English”. 

It's a great black and white weird and suspenseful film based on the novel “The Midwich Cukoos” by John Wyndam (who also wrote the novel “The Day of The Triffids”).

Thanks for reading!

Hammer Horror

  (Wikimedia Commons)

HORROR OF DRACULA-1958-Jonathan Harker (John Van Eyssen) goes to Castle Dracula to be a librarian for Count Dracula. No one is there when he arrives but a woman (Valarie Gaunt) appears and asks Harker to help her but she runs away when Dracula shows up. It seems Harker is really there to destroy the vampire. Later the woman shows up again and begs Harker to help her. But when she gets close she tries to bite him. Dracula intervenes. Harker awakes the next day with bite marks on his neck and goes looking for the count's resting place. He finds it and destroys the woman but Dracula wakes up and makes Harker a vampire. Later Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) arrives in town looking for Harker. A helpful waitress gives him some info but he's too late. Dracula is gone and he has to put a stake in Harker. Arthur Holcomb (Michael Gough), the brother of Harker's fiance Lucy (Carol Marsh) doesn't accept the doctor's story of her husband to be's death. Especially since Lucy is kind of sickly and waiting anxiously for his return.

 Unfortunately Dracula decides to make Lucy his next conquest. Dr. Seward (Charles Lloyd Pack) thinks she has some kind of anemia. Mina (Melissa Stribling), Holcomb's wife asks Van Helsing for a second opinion. He suggests putting garlic around the windows but the maid removes the smelly stuff and the next day Lucy is dead. Holcomb blames Van Helsing but when his maid's daughter says she talked to Lucy he starts to think differently. He and the courageous doctor find Lucy's resting place and drive a stake into her. While the men search, Dracula puts the bite on Mina. In the great climax Van Helsing and the king of vampires have a memorable showdown. 

This Hammer production was freely adapted from the Bram Stoker novel by Jimmy Sangster and directed with style by Terence Fisher (the two had collaborated a year earlier on THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN; also with Cushing & Lee) and would go to make REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN the same year. Fisher and Sangster would also concoct THE MUMMY (with Cushing & Lee) in 1959 and BRIDES OF DRACULA in 1960 with Cushing reprising his role as Van Helsing. Lee wouldn't play the infamous count again until 1966's DRACULA-PRINCE OF DARKNESS (also by Fisher & Sangster).

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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Short But To The Point


THE ERL KING-1931-A man races on horse back through a forest with his dying son but death in the form of the lurking Erl King (elf king) pursues them. This early French sound film (based on a novel Goethe) features crude but effective sfx. It was made in France by Marie-Lousie Iribe, a former actress who formed her own film company and directed her own movies. Highly recommended.

Thanks for reading!