Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Updates and Visitor's Choice

Greetings friends!

First off, a huge thanks to all who've contributed and helped out thus far. Things are starting to get a little better on our end. Been waiting for what seems like forever for some paperwork to go through in regards to expensive medication so recently finding out we'll at least be getting a significant rebate is one big "Whew!" right now. Still got a ways to go getting this mess straightened out but any little thing that helps definitely keeps the hope alive. Second, even though I've not updated much the past few months, I have been watching what I can and been working on bits and pieces of reviews as time has allowed. I have - gasp! - an entire free weekend coming up so I'll be using that time to screen cap and finish up as many mostly-done reviews as I can. And I'll start posting them on Friday. So in the meantime I've done a list of whats to come the rest of this month. After that, we're going to try a visitor's choice type of thing, so please keep reading...

___________________________________________________________________________

MAY

- Chivalric Tornado (Xiao xia long juan feng) (1989; Chih-Cheng Wang) Taiwan
- Dragon Against Vampire (1985; "Lionel Leung") South Korea
- Hellgate (1989; William A. Levey) South Africa
- Night Has a Thousand Desires (Mil sexos tiene la noche) (1984; Jesus Franco) Spain
- Official Exterminator: Kill for Love (1987; "Raymond Woo") Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Poor White Trash Part II (Scum of the Earth) (1974; S.F. Brownrigg) USA
- Putri Kunti'anak (Kuntilanak Daughter) (1988; Atok Suharto) Indonesia
- The Takers (1971; Carl Monson) USA
- Tanha Nam Man Prai (Lust of Corpse Oil) (1990; director unknown) Thailand
- Trhauma (Trauma) (1980; Gianni Martucci) Italy
- Wanita Jelmaan (Woman's Transformation) (1990; Sofyan Sharna) Indonesia

^ All of the above are mostly done. I'm going to start posting these on Friday after I have a chance to do the final edits. For three of these, the reviews I'm posting will be the first in-depth English reviews you'll find anywhere.

___________________________________________________________________________

After that? Well, I have a pile of stuff and a list of things I've been meaning to watch for a few years now but haven't gotten around to. And since I'm so indecisive and will sometimes spend an hour trying to pick out what to watch, I've decided to let you dictate what that will be starting in June. So view the list of 200 films below, pick out any movie you'd like to see reviewed or would like to learn more about and I will prioritize it and get it done sometime this summer.


SUMMER HIT LIST

- Adam (1973; Yona Day) Israel
- Aftermath, The (Zombie Aftermath) (1982; Steve Barkett) USA
- Alapaap (Clouds) (1984; Tata Esteban) Philippines
- Al Ta'awitha (Talisman) (1987; Mohammed Shebl) Egypt
- A Menina do Sexo Diabólico (The Girl of Diabolical Sex) (1987; Mario Lima) Brazil [X]
- American risciò (American Tiger) (1990; Sergio Martino) Italy
- Amore e morte nel giardino degli dei (Love and Death in the Garden of the Gods) (1972; Sauro Scavolini) Italy
- Aquella casa en las afueras (That House in the Outskirts) (1980; Eugenio Martín) Spain
- Attic, The (1980; George Edwards) USA
- Autopsia de un fantasma (Autopsy of a Ghost) (1968; Ismael Rodríguez) Mexico
- Ban Phi Pop (The House of Pop) (1989; unknown) Thailand
- Bayi Ajaib (Miracle Baby) (1982) Indonesia
- Bedroom Eyes II (1989; Chuck Vincent) USA
- Berenak dalam kubur (Birth in the Tomb) (1972; Awaludin, Ali Shahab) Indonesia
- Big Snatch, The (1971; Byron Mabe and Dan Martin) USA
- Bimbos B.C. (1990; Todd Sheets) USA
- Bin mei (Marianna) (1982; Pak Tong Cheuk) Hong Kong
- Black Panther, The (1977; Ian Merrick) UK
- Blade Violent - I violenti (Women's Prison Massacre) (1983; Bruno Mattei) Italy
- Blood of Fu Manchu, The (1968; Jesus Franco) Spain / UK / USA / West Germany
- Bôkô honban (Pleasure Kill) (1987; Hisayasu Satô) Japan
- Bôkô Kirisaki Jakku (Assault! Jack the Ripper) (1976; Yasuharu Hasebe) Japan
- Brain, The (1988; Ed Hunt) Canada
- Caller, The (1987; Arthur Allan Seidelman) USA
- Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (Caltiki il mostro immortale) (1959; Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda) Italy / USA
- Castle of Fu Manchu, The (1969; Jesus Franco) Italy / Liechtenstein / Spain / UK / West Germany
- Catacombs (Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice) (1988; David Schmoeller) Italy / USA
- Cazador de demonios (Demon Hunter) (1983; Gilberto de Anda) Mexico
- Chiller (1985; Wes Craven) USA [TV]
- Click: The Calendar Girl Killer (1990; Ross Hagen and John Stewart) USA
- Cold Light of Day (1989; Fhiona-Louise) UK
- Così dolce... così perversa (So Sweet... So Perverse) (1969; Umberto Lenzi) France / Italy / West Germany
- Couch, The (1962; Owen Crump) USA
- Crimes of Passion (1984; Ken Russell) USA
- Crystal Force (1990; Laura Keats) USA
- Cui hua du jiang tou (The Magic Curse) (1975; Chin-Ku Lu, Wen Po Tu) Hong Kong / Philippines
- Curse of the Alpha Stone (1972; Stewart Malleon) USA
- Da se (Lost Souls) (1980; Tun Fei Mou) Hong Kong
- Dark Romances Vol. 2 (1990; Rodd Matsui, Patricia Miller, four others) USA
- Davitelj protiv davitelja (Strangler vs. Strangler) (1984; Slobodan Sijan) Yugoslavia
- Dead Sleep (1990; Alec Mills) Australia
- Deep End (1970; Jerzy Skolimowski) UK / West Germany
- Der Mönch mit der Peitsche (The College Girl Murders) (1967; Alfred Vohrer) West Germany
- Der Nackte und der Satan (The Head) (1959; Victor Trivas) West Germany
- Desu pawuda (Death Powder) (1986; Shigeru Izumiya) Japan
- Devil Woman (She yao jing) (1970; Felix Villar, Chi-Lien Yu) Hong Kong / Philippines
- Diabólica malicia (What the Peeper Saw) (1972; James Kelley, Andrea Bianchi) Italy / Spain / UK / West Germany
- Die xian (Haunted Tales) (1980; Yuen Chor, Tun Fei Mou) Hong Kong
- Dolls (1987; Stuart Gordon) USA
- Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973; John Newland) USA [TV]
- Draugasaga (Ghost Story) (1985; Viðar Víkingsson) Iceland
- Du zhou (Curse) (1985; Ling Pang) Hong Kong
- El asesino está entre los trece (The Killer Is One of Thirteen) (1976; Javier Aguirre) Spain
- El bosque del lobo (The Ancines Woods) (1970; Pedro Olea) Mexico
- El carnival de las bestias (Human Beasts) (1980; Paul Naschy) Japan / Spain
- El siniestro doctor Orloff (The Sinister Dr. Orloff) (1984; Jesus Franco) Spain
- El violador infernal (The Infernal Rapist) (1988; Damián Acosta Esparza) Mexico
- Estigma (Stigma) (1980; José Ramón Larraz) Italy / Spain
- Estupro (Perversion) (1979; José Mojica Marins) Brazil
- Eugenie (Historia de una perversión) (Wicked Memoirs of Eugenie) (1980; Jesus Franco) Spain
- Evil Clergyman, The (1988; Charles Band) Italy / USA [short]
- Fei tou mo nu (Witch with Flying Head) (1982; Jen-Chieh Chang) Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Fireworks Woman, The (1975; Wes Craven) USA [X]
- Five Desperate Women (1971; Ted Post) USA [TV]
- Fright House (1989; Len Anthony) USA
- Funhouse, The (1981; Tobe Hooper) USA
- Gabi ng lagim (1960; Tommy C. David, Larry Santiago, two more) Philippines
- Ganja & Hess (1973; Bill Gunn) USA
- Gorgo (1961; Eugène Lourié) UK
- Gorilla at Large (1954; Harmon Jones) USA
- Gui yu (Avengers from Hell) (1981; Pei-Chuan Li) Hong Kong
- Hana to hebi: Kyûkyoku nawa chôkyô (Flower and Snake 5: Rope Magic) (1987; Masayuki Asao) Japan
- Hanging Heart (1983; Jimmy Lee) USA
- Hanno cambiato faccia (They Have Changed Their Face) (1971; Corrado Farina) Italy
- Hard Rock Nightmare (1988; Dominick Brascia) USA
- Haunted Strangler, The (1958; Robert Day) UK
- Holocaust 2000 (1977; Alberto De Martino) Italy / UK
- Hooray for Horrorwood (1990; Ray Ferry) USA [doc]
- Howling, The (1981; Joe Dante) USA
- Hu gui xi chun (Come Haunt with Me) (1971; Chun Hsieh) Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Humongous (1982; Paul Lynch) Canada
- Huo zhu gui (Burning Sensation) (1989; Wu Ma) Hong Kong
- Hyôryu kyôshitsu (The Drifting Classroom) (1987; Nobuhiko Ôbayashi) Japan
- Idi i smotri (Come and See) (1985; Elem Klimov) Soviet Union
- Il demonio (The Demon) (1963; Brunello Rondi) France / Italy
- Inquisición (Inquisition) (1978; Paul Naschy) Spain
- Iodo (Io Island) (1977; Ki-young Kim) South Korea
- Island, The (1980; Michael Ritchie) USA
- Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio, The (1971; Eric Jeffrey Haims) USA
- Jian yu bu she fang (Jail House Eros) (1990; Sai Hung Fung, Jing Wong) Hong Kong
- Jin nígu (Golden Nun) (1977; Tien-Yung Hsu) Taiwan
- Kaidan semushi otoko (Ghost of the Hunchback) (1965; Hajime Satô) Japan
- Kaidan zankoku monogatari (Cruel Ghost Legend) (1968; Kazuo Hase) Japan
- Katarsis (Sfida al diavolo) (1963; Giuseppe Veggezzi) Italy
- Killer! (1989; Tony Elwood) USA
- Killer Inside Me, The (1976; Burt Kennedy) USA
- Killing Spree (1987; Tim Ritter) USA
- Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981; Patrick Regan) USA
- Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû (Horrors of Malformed Men) (1969; Teruo Ishii) Japan
- La casa de las siete tumbas (House of the Seven Tombs) (1982; Pedro Stocki) Argentina
- La grande trouille (Tender Dracula) (1974; Pierre Grunstein) France
- La muerta incierta (The Uncertain Death) (1973; José Ramón Larraz) Italy / Spain
- La noche de los mil gatos (Night of a Thousand Cats) (1972; René Cardona Jr.) Mexico
- Lao you gui gui (Friendly Ghost) (1985; Chuan Chen) Hong Kong
- La pelle sotto gli artigli (The Skin Under the Claws) (1975; Alessandro Santini) Italy
- La rossa dalla pelle che scotta (The Red Headed Corpse) (1972; Renzo Russo) Italy / Turkey
- L'assassino è ancora tra noi (The Killer Is Still Among Us) (1986; Camillo Teti) Italy
- Le foto proibite di una signora per bene (Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion) (1970; Luciano Ercoli) Italy / Spain
- Leonora (1984; Derek Strahan) Australia
- Le porte dell'inferno (Hell's Gate) (1989; Umberto Lenzi) Italy
- Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971; John D. Hancock) USA
- Lin tou jie (Revenge of the Ghost Tree) (1988; Shan-Hsi Ting) Taiwan
- L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock (The Horrible Dr. Hichcock) (1962; Riccardo Freda) Italy
- Lung hei bik yan (The Occupant) (1984; Ronny Yu) Hong Kong
- Macchie solari (Autopsy) (1975; Armando Crispino) Italy
- Marley's Revenge: The Monster Movie (1989; Jet Eller) USA
- Meng gui fo tiao qiang (Bless This House) (1988; Ronny Yu) Hong Kong
- Misterio en la isla de los monstruos (Mystery on Monster Island) (1981; Juan Piquer Simón) Spain / USA
- Monsters & Maniacs (1988; Ted Newsom) USA [doc]
- Monstrosity (1987; Andy Milligan) USA
- Murder à la Mod (1968; Brian De Palma) USA
- Naked Vengeance (1985; Cirio H. Santiago) Philippines / USA
- Nest, The (1988; Terence H. Winkless) USA
- O komis... Tsakonas (Count Dracula and His Draculettes) (1989; Takis Simonetatos) Greece
- Orca (1977; Michael Anderson) USA
- O Segredo da Múmia (Secret of the Mummy) (1982; Ivan Cardoso) Brazil
- Otra vuelta de tuerca (The Turn of the Screw) (1985; Eloy de la Iglesia) Spain
- Our Mother's House (1967; Jack Clayton) UK
- Passi di danza su una lama di rasoio (Death Carries a Cane) (1973; Maurizio Pradeaux) Italy / Spain
- Phantom of Hollywood, The (1974; Gene Levitt) USA [TV]
- Piranha (1978; Joe Dante) USA
- Pituitary Hunter (1990; Dan Pan) Hong Kong
- Poslední lup (The Last Theft) (1987; Jirí Barta) Czechoslovakia
- Predator: The Quietus (1988; Leslie McCarthy) UK
- Quatermass 2 (Enemy from Space) (1957; Val Guest) UK / USA
- Rage - Furia primitiva (Primal Rage) (1988; Vittorio Rambaldi) Italy / USA
- Rats - Notte di terrore (Rats: Night of Terror) (1984; Bruno Mattei) France / Italy
- Ravager, The (1970; Charles Nizet) USA
- Redeemer: Son of Satan!, The (1977; Constantine S. Gochis) USA
- Ren pi deng long (Human Lanterns) (1982; Chung Sun) Hong Kong
- Ren she da zhan (Calamity of Snakes) (1982; Chi Chang) Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Return of Dracula, The (1958; Paul Landres) USA
- Robowar - Robot da guerra (Robowar) (1988; Bruno Mattei) Italy
- Rock n' Roll Cowboys (1987; Rob Stewart) Australia
- Salinma (A Devilish Murder) (1965; Yong-min Lee) South Korea
- Sangue negli abissi (Deep Blood) (1990; Raffaele Donato, Joe D'Amato) Italy
- Scalps (1983; Fred Olen Ray) USA
- Serpent Warriors (1985; John Howard, Niels Rasmussen) Hong Kong / USA
- Sien nui yau wan (A Chinese Ghost Story) (1987; Siu-Tung Ching) Hong Kong
- Sien nui yau wan II yan gaan do (A Chinese Ghost Story II) (1990; Siu-Tung Ching) Hong Kong
- Spine (1986; John Howard, Justin Simmonds) USA
- Spook (1988; David Anthony Hall) Australia
- Stick, The (1988; Darrell Roodt) South Africa
- Suo ming (Spirit of the Raped) (1976; Chih-Hung Kuei) Hong Kong
- Sweet, Sweet Rachel (1971; Sutton Roley) USA [TV]
- Tales of the Third Dimension (1984; Worth Keeter, Earl Owensby, 2 others) USA
- Terror at London Bridge (1985; E.W. Swackhamer) USA [TV]
- Terror in Teakwood, The [Thriller series] (1961; Paul Henreid) USA [TV]
- 3D Saamri (Satan) (1985; Shyam Ramsay, Tulsi Ramsay) India
- This House Possessed (1981; William Wiard) USA [TV]
- Tiempos duros para Drácula (Hard Times for Dracula) (1976; Jorge Darnell) Argentina / Spain
- Threads (1984; Mick Jackson) Australia / UK / USA
- Tien ling ling, di ling ling (Abracadabra) (1986; Tai Kit Mak) Hong Kong
- Top Sensation (1969; Ottavio Alessi) Italy
- Tosui yugi (Bondage Ecstasy) (1989; Hisayasu Satô) Japan
- Trapped Alive (1988; Leszek Burzynski) USA
- Trasplante de un cerebro (Crystalbrain) (1970; Juan Logar) Italy / Spain
- 2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York (2019: After the Fall of New York) (1983; Sergio Martino) France / Italy
- Ulvetid (Time of the Wolf) (1981; Jens Ravn) Denmark
- Un bianco vestito per Marialé (Spirits of Death) (1972; Romano Scavolini) Italy
- Upír z Feratu (Ferat Vampire) (1982; Juraj Herz) Czechoslovakia
- Vampire Lovers, The (1970; Roy Ward Baker) UK
- Vengeance of Fu Manchu, The (1967; Jeremy Summers) Hong Kong / Ireland / UK / West Germany
- Victims (1982; Tony Vorno) USA
- Violent Midnight (Psychomania) (1963; Richard Hilliard) USA
- What's the Matter with Helen? (1971; Curtis Harrington) USA
- Wu gong zhuo (Centipede Horror) (1982; Keith Li) Hong Kong
- Xiang Gang qi an 5: Jian mo (The Criminals 5: Teenager's Nightmare) (1977; Chih-Hung Kuei, Tun Fei Mou) Hong Kong
- Xiao sheng pa pa (Till Death Do We Scare) (1982; Chia Yung Liu) Hong Kong
- Xie luo ji (Blood Ritual) (1989; Yuen Ching Lee) Hong Kong
- Xie mo (The Devil) (1981; Jen-Chieh Chang) Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Xie ying wu (Bloody Parrot) (1981; Shan Hua) Hong Kong
- Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1990; Harry Bromley Davenport) Canada
- Yellow Wallpaper, The (1989; John Clive) Canada / USA
- Yuan Zhen-Xia yu Wei Si-Li (The Seventh Curse) (1986; Ngai Choi Lam) Hong Kong
- Zeder (Revenge of the Dead) (1983; Pupi Avati) Italy
- Zombie Rampage (1989; Todd Sheets) USA
- Zuma (1985; Jun Raquiza) Philippines


So here's how this is gonna work. The first five people to chime in will have their pick put on the June list, which means it will be reviewed no later than June 30th. The next five will be put on for July, which means it will be done no later than July 31st, though if I have time I may get to it sometime in June. The next five will go on for August to be done by the end of the month, if not sooner. Then I'm going to pick five to do whenever. If I receive any other selections after that, they'll go on the "extra" list, which means I won't be touching them until after I get the first 15 done. This way you'll help me out by making most of the decisions for me and giving me a goal to reach, plus getting some reviews you may like to see. I'm not going to go any higher than 50 total because, as of right now, even promising 30 will be pushing it. If I'm in the position to do more than that, I will.

Anything from the above list that's not selected will go on the leftovers list at the very bottom. If this goes over well, I'll repeat it in September. Everything from the extras list not reviewed will carry over along with randomly selected movies from the leftovers list up to 100. I'll then add 100 other films not on this list that I have in my collection to make up another list of 200 and we'll repeat what we did here. Yes, I have far too many movies.

You can either leave a message here with your pick, send it on Twitter @bloodypit or send it to my email at thebloodypitofhorrorblog@gmail.com. I'll start listing them all below once they come in.


VISITOR PICKS (JUNE)

01. Turkey Shoot (Escape 2000) (1982; Brian Trenchard-Smith) Australia (thanks Andy)
02. She sha shou (The Killer Snakes) (1974; Chih-Hung Kuei) Hong Kong (thanks The Fiend)
03. From Hell It Came (1957; Dan Milner) USA (thanks Dinane)
04. Der fan (The FanTrance) (1982; Eckhart Schmidt) West Germany (thanks Anonymous)
05. Anyab (Fangs) (1981; Mohammed Shebl) Egypt (thanks Stjepan)

VISITOR PICKS (JULY)

01. Dr. Satán y la magia negra (Dr. Satan vs. Black Magic Woman) (1968; Rogelio A. González) Mexico (thanks Jeremy)
02. La morte accarezza a mezzanotte (Death Walks at Midnight) (1972; Luciano Ercoli) Italy / Spain (thanks Carolina)
03. Jû jin yuki otoko (Beast Man Snow Man) (1955; Ishirô Honda) Japan (thanks Bishop)
04. Ye jing hun (He Lives by Night) (1982; Po-Chih Leong) Hong Kong (thanks spookyx3)
05. Purani Haveli (1989; Shyam Ramsay, Tulsi Ramsay) India (thanks C. Wickham)

VISITOR PICKS (AUGUST)

01. Brain Eaters, The (1958; Bruno VeSota) USA (thanks Anne-Marie)
02. Death Ship (1980; Alvin Rakoff) Canada / UK / USA (thanks Christopher)
03. Draugasaga (Ghost Story) (1985; Viðar Víkingsson) Iceland (thanks Oliver)
04. This House Possessed (1981; William Wiard) USA [TV] (thanks Terri)
05.

MY PICKS

01.
02.
03.
04.
05.

VISITOR PICKS (EXTRA)

01.
02.
03.
04.
05.
06.
07.
08.
09.
10.

(I'm going to max out at 30 here if need be)

LEFTOVERS

--


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Xiao xia long juan feng (1989)

... aka: Chess Boxing Matrix
... aka: Chivalric Tornado
... aka: Fo men xiao jiang shi
... aka: Jiang shi zhuo yao
... aka: Labyrinth of Death
... aka: Vampire Strikes Back

Directed by:
Chih-Cheng Wang

A chubby emperor and his army do battle with a bunch of hopping vampires until a magical swordswoman (Yu-Neung Ti) flies in and proposes a more humane approach. She recommends (per the subtitles) "they have a chance to meet buhdasm" before zapping them off to "another world." Meanwhile, the white-haired "King of Evil" aka possessor of very ill-fitting vampire dentures, and three of his henchmen chase off a caravan of people who run away and leave a young princess behind. The King pulls back the girl's veil and doesn't like what he sees ("What an ugly lady... better than nothing"), but before he can put the bite to her, the swordswoman appears yet again to do battle. She zaps him to a crypt and then uses a crossbow to shoot a "bloody sword" into his heart which will keep him out of commission for a thousand years so he has time to mull over his evil ways. He's then sealed in a tomb with a magic mirror, Sky Dragon sword and a ruby.






Seven hundred years later we meet a Taoist Grandpa (Jack Lung) and his granddaughter Phi Phi, who oversee a bunch of hopping vampires at a temple. Grandpa has a mahjong obsession and gambling problem while Phi Phi basically tries to keep him in check. One night as Grandpa's leading a group of vampires through the forest, it starts raining. They seek refuge in a cave that turns out to be the same tomb the swordswoman sealed vampires in centuries earlier. How it manages to be just a few hundred feet from the temple yet never discovered in that time is anyone's guess. Thinking he's found treasure, Grandpa removes the ruby safeguard and resurrects the Evil King, along with a (not evil) vampire family consisting of a dad, mom (played by a man) and their supposed-to-be-cute but annoyingly whiny little vampire son, Chian Chian. Grandpa promptly gets possessed by Evil King, while the vampire family venture outside and become friends with Phi Phi.






At a nearby school, another Taoist who's just referred to as Teacher (Mark Lung) and two of his bumbling students, Black Boy and White Boy, also have their own pack of hopping vampires they keep in check with spell paper. Phi Phi, a local boy called Dark Face Tsai (?!) and the vampire family stumble upon them and they all fight over a jewel called the Pearl of Sun that was stolen from the tomb, while the Evil King and his three minions (bat, fox and spider) fight everyone else. Eventually, an adult woman joins our heroes, as does a well-trained teenage girl named Lun Lun, who flies in from 700 years in the past to help out. Some of these people are not in the film one minute and then suddenly jumping into fights the next, without so much as an explanation as to who they are.






This is going to be too incoherent, chaotic and annoying for most adults to endure (I barely made it through!), but trying to view this through the eyes of myself as a young kid, would I have enjoyed it? Probably. There's almost no plot to worry about but the action never lets up for a minute. This is essentially just one extended fight scene stretched over an hour-and-a-half with lots of lasers, weapons, gadgets, cheap special effects and comically overused wire work. The costumes and makeup are absolutely terrible but I don't think very young viewers would really mind. Children are also about the only demographic who are going to find some of these gags funny.






While crude humor is pretty commonplace in Asian kid's movies, it's hilarious imagining American parents showing this thing to their little ones. Here we get 1. Someone shooting diarrhea out of their ass. 2. The vampire mother getting turned on whenever her tits and ass are grabbed. 3. An arrow going up a man's ass. 4. Two young boys smelling each other's crotches while in a standing 69 position. 5. The vampire boy pissing in another boy's mouth. And that's not even including some profanity and the nonstop violence, including parents and grandparents being killed right in front of their children and little kids being punched, kicked, thrown around and killed.






Also for your money you get multiple possessions, some kind of man-in-a-suit horned bull / tiger monster (it looks even sillier than it sounds), a plant monster, a winged snake, four of the fighters joining into one Transformers-like super fighter, a "three treasures become one" fighting technique that looks like a cheerleader pyramid and an excellently overacted campy performance from the guy playing the King of Evil (whoever this actor is I'd love to know). And, one has to at least admire how they managed to keep the momentum going for as long as they did here even though it grows tiresome very quickly.


The director was the assistant director for Hello Dracula (1985) and went on to make Hello Dracula 2 (1987) and Vampire Kid II (1988), so this is very familiar territory for him. There have been numerous releases with English subtitles. Tai Seng released this on VHS under the title Vampire Strikes Back as did Xenon as Chess Boxing Matrix. The Digital Remix also released it on DVD under their "Black Belt Theater" banner as Labyrinth of Death.

1/2

Friday, May 18, 2018

Official Exterminator: Kill for Love (1987)

... aka: Kill for Love
... aka: Ninja Brothers of Blood
... aka: Ninja Killer
... aka: Ninja Knight: Brothers of Blood
... aka: Ninja Knight 2: Blood Brothers

Directed by:
Richard Chen (uncredited)
"Raymond Woo" (possibly Godfrey Ho)

Here's another IFD Films & Arts Ltd. production following their usual pattern of taking an obscure Asian film, cutting it to ribbons, re-dubbing all the dialogue and then occasionally splicing in new scenes of whities and a few new action scenes and attempting to tie it all together. The victim of the pillaging this time out is a 1982 Taiwanese thriller called Chi qing qi nu zi, or Kill for Love, directed by Richard Chen. As was typically the case, that film was never released in its original form in English, so this is the best look many of us are ever going to get at it. This new IFD version become the first entry in a series of releases that also included Official Exterminator 2: Heaven's Hell, Official Exterminator 3: Joy for Living Dead, Official Exterminator 4: Goddess Mission and Official Exterminator 5: Enter the Victory. Most of these have "Official Exterminator" title screens and original posters bearing that name but were distributed under a host of other titles on home video. For instance, this first one was released on VHS as Kill for Love, Ninja Brothers of Blood, Ninja Killer, Ninja Knight - Brothers of Blood and possibly even more titles I'm unaware of.


I'd imagine this was a huge disappointment to basically anyone who saw it back in the day. I can see ninja-loving 80s kids eyeing the enticing video box above, slapping down a few dollars to rent it, excitedly rushing home, popping it in their VCR and then boring themselves silly slogging through a talky, poorly-dubbed, melodramatic love triangle patiently waiting for their beloved ninjas to finally make an appearance. The good news? A ninja does eventually show up. The bad news? There's only one, it doesn't appear until 70 minutes into this 85 minute movie and it's only featured in one scene that lasts about a minute total. Poor 80s kids.


Things begin with a hilariously awkward board meeting featuring amazingly stilted line-reading and deer-in-headlights "acting" from all involved. The members of an unnamed company are scrambling to stay afloat as they're being crushed by competitor The Pacific Corporation. In an effort to hobble the rival organization, one of the men suggests they have a lower-level employee get a job with Pacific Corp. plus get in the good graces of the president's daughter as a means to accomplish their task. They all decide on new guy Charlie Fong ("Sidney Chao" / Shu-Hoi Chiu) because he's good-looking, charming, intelligent and a hard worker. Company boss Blake (IFD regular Mike Abbott) nods, "If he can get into the family, I have it made!" It's just that easy, folks!

We're then introduced to a couple of small town girls; the meek and naive Fonda Chan ("Fonda Lynn" / Hsiao-Fen Lu) and her outgoing best friend Mary Wong (Viola Ku), who've been lured to the big city by an ad promising tour guide jobs. Instead, they've been tricked into working as strippers / prostitutes at a sleazy bar. While Mary complies for the easy money, Fonda fights off the guys with a broken bottle and then runs off and finds work in a factory. She then runs into poor college student Charlie, who rents her a spare bedroom in his tiny apartment. Fonda goes beyond the call of duty as a housemate; cleaning, doing his laundry and picking up the slack so Charlie has more time to concentrate on his studies and excel in school. The two soon get romantically involved and plan to marry as soon as he graduates. Things start looking even better for the couple when Charlie gets promoted to manager at work.






Little does Fonda realize, but the reason Charlie's climbing the corporate ladder so fast is because he's agreed to seduce artist Sophie Dao ("Lona Chang" / Fu-Mei Chang), daughter of the Pacific Corp. president, so he can get the goods on their company. But then Charlie finds himself falling in love with the sophisticated, educated, wealthy Sophie and wanting to pursue an actual relationship with her. Seeing how she's supported him all this time, even going so far as to have an abortion so it wouldn't ruin his reputation and thus threaten his job, Fonda's now (more than justifiably!) feeling the sting of being used and then discarded. When her desperate pleas fall on deaf ears ("You can tell me, even hit me, it's OK, just come back!") she ends up going the irate / unhinged stalker route. And yet this is somehow completely understandable considering what a self-serving asshole Charlie turns out to be. After all the crap he puts her through, you want nothing more than to see Fonda fuck his world up.






The original unaltered film is a companion piece to another film from the same year called Leng yan sha ji, or EXPOSED TO DANGER. It also features a love triangle plot with an obsessive, mentally-unstable woman and even stars the same two main actresses seen here, except they've swapped roles. Exposed was itself acquired, dubbed and distributed by IFD, though they didn't bother to add any new scenes or random ninjas to it. They also gave it the new title Breakout from Oppression, which caused a lot of confusion over the years as that title had already been used for an earlier martial arts film starring Gordon Liu. I also need to point out that Exposed is far more of a horror film than this one. Outside of three or four scenes (including the bloody, slow-motion wedding finale inspired by Ms. 45), Kill for Love is mostly a drama.






Cut between the main story line are IFD scenes featuring a cop named Greg (Mark Watson), who's investigating Blake's company. Greg barely manages to survive an assassination attempt by samurai swordsmen on bicycles (!) but his partner Tim (Pedro Ernyes) isn't so lucky. He then decides to quit the force and go rogue after discovering his superior has been paid off to close the investigation. Blake not only orders his men to try to kill Greg but he also sends them after Fonda so "that bitch gets taught a lesson" for causing Charlie problems. After his men fail, Blake then calls up Charlie and demands he murder her. And, surprise, surprise, Charlie actually goes through with it by taking her canoeing and attempting to drown her. Told you he was an asshole.

The one and only ninja scene here is when Blake sends his "best man" Dragon after Greg. Dragon is a ninja. We know this because he wears a headband that says "Ninja" on it lest we be confused. He and Greg get into a swordfight that lasts a whopping 30 seconds and ends with Dragon easily being defeated after getting knocked off a mound and crashing through some flimsy bamboo scaffolding.






By IFD standards, this is surprisingly coherent. The new scenes and the recycled footage never butt heads to the point where this stops making sense. That by itself is something of an accomplishment for them, I guess. As usual, Joseph Lai and his wife Betty Chan proudly claim producer credit, but the identity of director "Raymond Woo" is pretty much up for grabs. It's probably Godfrey Ho because he's credited here for the screenplay as "Benny Ho;" an acknowledged alias of his.

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