Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Malibu McBee time!

So June marks the official start of summer or some shit, and with that comes all that cool shit that I like to do in the summer... like stay indoors out of the shitty sun and shitty heat and watch shit on TV.

Nowadays I spread the wealth around a vast array of films that I have collected in a vast array of ways. (cough)... But there was a time that summer TV watching meant lots of late night Time Life infomercials, Ricki Lake, and of course American Gladiators reruns.

Lots of American Gladiators reruns.

I'm not sure what it was about that show... maybe that it was just easy to ignore while I was pining away for some chick that was ignoring me, but it was a regular, and still makes me think about summer vacation.

Lame, depressing, summer vacation.

Well, all of this babbling is just a roundabout way to 1) make it seem like I am writing more than I actually am, and 2) introduce a new little series of films for me to review (or probably not review if my track record holds true) starring (or at least featuring) a particularly massive-maned man I once knew as Malibu.

Mr. Deron McBee!

Now I can combine my summer TV laziness with my current viewing habits and share my feelings on some Deron McBee movies with you, my loyal handful of subscribers!! Thanks to The Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema, I realized that Malibu just wasn't a dude that was really good at shooting tennis balls at people and bludgeoning with oversize q-tips, but an actor in quite a few movies... even starred in a couple... and most just seem right up my alley. I'll be discovering literally ALL of this as I go along.

I can't guarantee all will be starring roles, but if Malibu is entertaining, it's gonna get talked about, bitches.

Maybe the tough tits will be enough for me to actually post more than three times in a month and get my subscribers to a more respectible level like 70 or 71!

A man can dream.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

VHS Finds V

In the spirit of blogging laziness, I present to you another VHS tape that I still cannot watch because my VCR lives in the attic. Certain readers will get a kick out of this. Others will not even know what the fuck it is.

RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS, or I Predatori di Atlantide, is a humorously bad/awesome post-apoc flick where you get to see this guy:

This film is on one of the Mill Creek 50-packs, but I can't remember which one at the moment and I can't be bothered to look.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

VHS Finds IV


I typically don't buy VHS copies of films that have been released on DVD, but this cover just caught me at the right time. Plus, it's some shit I'd never drop coin for on DVD.

Wasting some time at a used bookstore the other day before work, I first saw the Cannon Pictures logo, then the MEDIA logo as I turn to the front.

Add in Mr. Norris and Mr. Gossett, and I'm sold. I'm sure it's a total ripoff of Indiana Jones, but I thought more of the old Stuart Whitman film Treasure of the Amazon that I reviewed here back in October 2009. Should be fun even if lame.

I really should hook up my VCR soon.

Little fun things like that in my personal life have become about as rare as my blog posts.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Original Title: Ma tou da jue dou
Year: 1973
Director: Ta Huang
Writer: Kuang Ni
Genre: Martial Arts

A martial arts fighter, haunted by his past, takes a job as a dock worker in a small village. His vow never to fight again is tested by the cruel owner of the pier.

I wasn't actually sure what to expect going into this film. Just going on the poster alone, I thought I was in for a Bolo as a bully or even a comedy. What I found was, despite Bolo being top billed, he was not in a large chunk of the film and it was a relatively serious story about common men fighting back against some oppressive, rich bastards.

(No real reason to post the Spanish/Mexican version of the poster here except that I think it's pretty sweet.)

Bolo Yeung is not the star of this film, but when he makes his appearance, it's quite an impact, as only a guy of his size and demeanor can. They really play off his massive strength and make him pretty fucking scary. That's the Bolo I remember from Bloodsport! (Plus a few more lines of dialogue...) The volume is turned up to motherfuckin' 11 when he's breaking furniture and logs and necks... my tv speaker was about to burst.

Maybe I was just in a particularly chipper mood from lots of coffee and tea for breakfast as I finally made it through this film with jittery hands and brain, but I had a lot of fun. The first half plodded on at times, but there is a pivotal scene with an old man fight that turned the corner for me.

As with big men in professional wrestling, Bolo was given a role here that works for a dude quite a bit larger than the others around him. While it was interesting to see him in a near comedic role in Fists of Justice, being the unstoppable monster. The fact that he can bust out the relatively quick kung fu makes it all the more badass.

Look at this suave motherfucker.

While the acting overall isn't phenomenal, and some of the faces made especially in fighting seem very ridiculous, I appreciated the emotion brought to the story here by all actors involved... Bolo included. The main character is tormented by a past mistake and is torn on protecting those around him from oppression. The dock workers are visually frustrated by their situation. The dock owner is an arrogant, cocky asshole. Even Bolo gets in on the fun with being cocky on one hand and frustrated with wanting to do things on his own as opposed to just being simply hired muscle.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not championing subtle acting nuances or anything like that... but having a group of actors actually seem excited to film a story adds to the overall effect for me in a postive way. I could get into the film a lot more than if everyone was just stoic. It's possible the decent English dub on this copy helped matters as well.

There are some cool/up-close angles at time, but for the most part the film is standard faire for a martial arts film. Ta Huang, who only directed two films both around the same time, did a serviceable job... especially for a first film. It's only about an hour and a half long, but I ultimately feel it is a bit too long... probably because of the first half that takes quite awhile to set things up.

I was all set to come on here and have some laughs and write about some silliness cheese in the film, but Chinese Hercules just isn't that film. It's not gonna blow you away, but get a little amped up on caffeine and it may just hit you in the right spot. Solid and different than expected.

Score: 6.75 / 10

Monday, February 28, 2011

Filling gaps - Bolo will return

Working a lot these past couple days... and really want to watch a Barry Prima/Chris Mitchum film tonight before bed, but I haven't forgotten about all you Bolo lovers!

While I am working (and not working) on a review for Chinese Hercules, here is a tribute video from YouTube with some pretty terrible music.

Can I say though, I am pretty fucking pumped to watch him in TC2000 with Billy Blanks

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I need this on a t-shirt.... now

Saw this from deviantART user ~vshen ( while googling for Bolo Yeung photos. I would love to have it on a shirt


Original Title: Bai ma hei qi
Year: 1977
Director: Yang Sze (Bolo Yeung)
Writer: ?
Genre: Martial Arts / Comedy

Two convicts get freed from prison and become lawmen in a corrupt village.

I realize that a film such as this isn't going to be the best representation of the body of work Bolo Yeung has put out over the years, but I thought it might be kind of cool to start out with a rare and silly film that he not only choreographed and starred in... but FUCKING DIRECTED.

Hell yeah!

Well, not really.

But it's at the very least an intriguing (at least for me, but I've been known as an idiot in certain circles) look into this seemingly quiet, toughman's creativity (?) and maybe even personality.

For those of you that may have issues with overly corny, Hong Kong slapstick comedy in your martial arts film, this film will probably not be for you.

I am definitely one of those people.

What I found watching this was a test of patience. It's really not very good. The editing and writing makes the story almost incomprehensible, and that comedy with food slapped in faces, eyes crossing, etc. just gets to be too much at times. The acting on top of the comedy is also very broad (not helped at all by a god-awful english dub on this copy), but that is one of the things for me that is both good and bad here.

It's bad for everyone except Bolo.

Bear with me here.

Bolo Yeung for me is a classic badass villain.... but oddly I really have only ever known him from one single movie... Bloodsport. Sure he was in Enter the Dragon, the film that helped him don the Bolo name, but we all know that's really the Bruce Lee show. He was a rather nasty baddie in another JCVD film Double Impact, but I only saw that for the first time when I reviewed it here on my blog last year. Other than that, my entire image of him has really been from Bloodsport... the uber-serious, cocky monster that obliterates Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds. SPOILER ALERT~~!

So seeing him in this role was certainly a cool change of pace for me. He acts silly. He is amazingly agile for a dude his size. He has a ridiculous fucking beard and hairdo.

The film may suck ass, but seeing Bolo have fun like this was really cool for me.

Part of the reason I am writing about a few Bolo flicks is to honestly just see more of his catalog. I'm not sure I've ever been a fan of an actor when I've seen as little as I actually have. The other reason is I just finally needed to break my streak and start writing shit again, and what better way to do so than with the Beast from the East... MISTER Tough Tits himself????

You don't have to answer that.

As I said, the plot is a total mess here. Truthfully I got completely lost about halfway through and only halfway paid attention to half of what was going on. Something about Bolo being a sheriff and there's some dude that used to be sheriff that is pissed and Bolo loves this super tall skinny lady and there's some shit about gold in there. Dammit I don't know.

And what the fuck is this?

Pretty much, I just looked up when the fighting would start, which thankfully was often, but it's all not enough to save the film overall. There's some decent stuff going on from time to time action-wise; some creative fight scenes that didn't completely rely on comedy which is always good for me. The co-star alongside Bolo, and I apologize for having no clue what his name is, was a talented martial artist himself, doing some sweet things with props in his scenes.

(Keep an eye out for a can fight and a fuckin' human being as weapon fight!)

Plus, it's cool for me seeing Bolo in a full on martial arts role, and not just the immovable monster. Reference is made to his size a few times, but otherwise he is treated as any other fighter in the film. Maybe this has something to do with his actually directing and choreographing it, but who knows?

Spellcheck has informed me that I've now spelled choreograph wrong twice... a different way each time.

Make that three times.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, tits.

Wait, tits?

Oops, I meant TITS


For fans of kung fu films, there is, well, not a lot here. For fans of martial arts... there's not a ton, but some entertaining stuff nonetheless. I think Fists of Justice is worth checking out to see the softer, sexier side of the man we all know as Bolo, but for casual passers-by, you aren't missing much by skipping this.

Will this be the beginning of my path to becoming a Bolo apologist?

And Jesus Christ how many times can I say Bolo in the next couple weeks much less this one blog post?

Talent... some people are just born with it.

Bolo Bolo Bolo Bolo Bolo

Score: 3.75 / 10

Friday, February 25, 2011

Enough bullshit... it's time for Bolo

Why can't I just sit my ass down and write something?

Bolo... let's bring it back.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Original Title: Ölüm Savasçisi
Year: 1984
Director: Cüneyt Arkin, Çetin Inanç
Writer: Cüneyt Arkin, Çetin Inanç
Genre: Action

A group of invincible ninjas in the U.S, start killing everybody, and the NYPD chief can’t solve the problem. The mayor thinks 'ONLY a Turkish detective can handle the situation', so they call for Inspector Murat (Kemal?) for help... and he comes to U.S. That’s when the action starts!

Three posts in the past two months. I rule.

Sorry to all zero of you who are let down that I didn't finish my number film countdown thingamajig. For anyone interested, the other films were Three The Hard Way (which I'd score an 8.5), The Two Of Us (which I'd score an 8.0), and.................. ONE ARMED BOXER (which also gets an 8.0).

Taaaa daaaaaaaa!

And what brings me out of my hibernation? Turkish ninjas of course. See, these ninjas are a samurai family that become darkness ninjas after dying. Yeah... zombies?

They can use playing cards and matchsticks as deadly weapons

They can live underwater for days without breathing

They know ALCHEMY! (what the fuck?)

They can see in the dark

Sometimes they even come back after dying (for the second time?)

And the only one that can stop them? This guy.

He's a pacifist (I guess?)... he's a lover... he will kick your goddamn face off. Unload a revolver into a Turkish ninja and he will keep coming. One kick from the Inspector and those bitches go down hard.

I'm not really exaggerating when I say that in the 1:17:00 runtime of this film, about 1:12:33 of it is ninjas training, ninjas kicking the shit out of people, and Murat kicking the shit out of ninjas. If you've ever seen a Turkish B-movie before, you pretty much know what to expect here, although I have to say this is possibly the most action packed one I have seen yet.

The story is pretty straight forward, and possiblymaybe could have been interesting in the hands of someone who knew how to write and direct a film properly. The narrative here is nothing new - bringing in a badass to take care of some bad guys that local authorities cannot handle - but it is slapped together in true Turkish cinema style making it more a collection of scenes loosely pasted together and padded with people running and screaming to fill out the time. These are the sorts of films you can honestly have on while not fully paying attention because they are certainly not heavy on plot details.

The fansubs are not perfect either, but who am I to complain about that? I feel very fortunate to be able to watch something like this and not be 100% lost. But really, if you find this without subtitles, you will have almost no trouble following what is going on. It personally drives me nuts to not know, but that's just me.

This film jumps freely from romance to mystery to cop to action and even some very bizarre horror and supernatural elements that make no sense whatsoever. But it's something about this strange mixture that make films like Death Warrior very endearing to me.

 You'd probably be very pissed if you went to a cinema today and plopped down 10 bucks and got a film like this on the screen. But enjoying it on your screen at home is a completely different matter.

The acting is hard to get a read on. Cüneyt Arkin as the inspector is really the only character you will get to know all that well. The man must have been doing something right as he has 270 acting credits, and I've read that he was actually in over 500 films. He certainly has a unique and cool Amitabh style about him. I'm almost certain he must have been as successful as he was due to his looks and suave demeanor... but that's OK. I was eating up a little myself. Despite some obvious undercranking for some ridiculously paced fights, he's pretty agile for a guy who would have been near 50 when this was filmed. Seeing him bounce on trampolines with silly looking spray painted swords is worth the price of admission.

True lovers of trashy, low budgeted cinema will enjoy this one quite a bit I think. I've been let down by silly Turkish films in the past  which ended up being all about the highlights from youtube and were boring otherwise (I'm looking at you here, Korkusuz aka Turkish Rambo), but Death Warrior stays actiony (I just made that word up) throughout with some ludicrous special effects and fights that really had me laughing and entertained.

For a film that for all intents and purposes would be considered a trainwreck anywhere else, I have to give a High recommendation to Death Warrior. Bravo, Mr. Arkin. You'll make a believer out of me yet.

Score: 7.5 / 10

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Film Geek's Most Wanted List

I'm putting the call out there. I'm curious to see what people (including film geeks themselves)
thinks are the must-see films for self-proclaimed celluloid nerd.




Obvious choices

What do you, loyal readers, think that a film enthusiast must see to represent the title properly?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things That Give Film Geeks Wet Panties I

Just picked up this sweet looking little book here for mere POCKET CHANGE on

Kubrick, New and Expanded Edition: Inside a Film Artist's Maze

A comprehensive study of the films of Stanley Kubrick.
Stanley Kubrick ranks among the most important American film makers of his generation, but his work is often misunderstood because it is widely diverse in subject matter and seems to lack thematic and tonal consistency. Thomas Nelson's perceptive and comprehensive study of Kubrick rescues him from the hostility of auteurist critics and discovers the roots of a Kubrickian aesthetic, which Nelson defines as the "aesthetics of contingency."

After analyzing how this aesthetic develops and manifests itself in the early works, Nelson devotes individual chapters to Lolita, Dr. Stangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, and The Shining.

For this expanded edition, Nelson has added chapters on Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut, and, in the wake of the director's death, reconsidered his body of work as a whole. By placing Kubrick in a historical and theoretical context, this study is a reliable guide into—and out of—Stanley Kubrick's cinematic maze.

I hardly fucking read anymore, but recently was going through a bit of Kubrick reeducation of sorts. I came across this while looking up stuff, and thought it looked very interesting. For three bucks, how could I go wrong?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Original Title: Three the Hard Way
Year: 1974
Director: Gordon Parks Jr.
Writer: Eric Bercovici, Jerrold L. Ludwig
Genre: Blaxploitation, Crime, Action

The story involves a white supremist plot to taint the United States water supply with a toxin that is harmless to whites but lethal to blacks. The only obstacles that stand in the way of this dastardly plan are Jim Brown, Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly, who shoot, kick and karate chop their way to final victory.

Whoa... is this the first blaxploitation film I've reviewed here? Odd

Countdownsploitation continues for better or worse. We're takin it all the way to ONE, baby!

Not only am I reviewing my first blaxploitation, we're also taking quite a sharp turn from my little theme here. My original choice for the "two title" was going to be a bloody/horror type film as well, so having 3 heavies with machine guns in a ridiculous action film is a welcome change. I've since changed up my two to keep things mixed a bit. And confession time again, this is another one I watched a month ago, and I have seen 80 (holy fuck) films since then.

Jesus I need a life.

So pardon a very abbreviated review here to just get the ball rolling. This is professionalism, ladies and gentlemen.

Three The Hard Way stars three huge names in the genre. Jim Brown as record producer Jimmy Lait, Fred Williamson as explosive badass Jagger Daniels, and Jim Kelly as martial arts expert Mister Keyes all team up to thwart a neo-nazi plan to poison black people through the public water system.

Yeah, it's that kind of movie.

The story is pretty absurd obviously. It's not the best written, and honestly the pacing and editing of the story is not that great either. I guess technically speaking Three the Hard Way is kind of a mess. But trust me when I say that there is enough sweet shit going on here to keep even moderate fans of the genre entertained. Jimmy Lait's wife is kidnapped after Jimmy stumbles into the supremacist group's plan, and he realizes he needs help from his two old buddies Jagger and Mister to help get her back. Oh, and stop the plan too or something.

 His name is Mister because his mama wanted people to show him respect. Yes.

The first 30 minutes of the film crawls just a touch as everything is being set up, with some gunplay and carsplosions thrown in there, but once the three guys are together it's pretty much nonstop for the last hour.

There is a very bizarre interrogation scene that must have inspired Quentin Tarantino as much as anything else he ever saw, that I would be remiss in leaving out of this discussion. Jimmy, Mister, and Jagger want information from a prisoner, and the best way Jagger knows how is through the help of some business acquaintainces of his who specialize in information extraction.

And they ride Kawasaki bikes in a nice colorful formation.

And they are three sweaty, hot, topless chicks.


Seeing this for the first time, I thought the crew coming in was some white-power special task force with the red/white/blue color scheme and the KKK spelled across the front of the three bikes. Bill from Outside The Cinema has since informed me that they are just Kawasaki bikes, and the K is just the logo. Heh...

The visual of the three of them standing all frustrated and out of breath, an Asian, white, and black together, along with the fact that they are chicks kicking this dude's ass and the mystery behind it all is really a great moment in the film, and probably the highlight for me. One can certainly see this type of playfulness and the over-the-top tough chick theme in Tarantino's work.

You get pretty standard performances from the three leads. None of them are award-winning actors as we all know, but fit very well into the genre. Williamson is probably my favorite with his ever-present cigar and natural charisma. Jim Brown is a good serious-minded type character. I think he may have done some of his own stunts, or at the very least the doubles were very well edited. And Jim Kelly... well... he has a six pack and kicks the shit out of people!

Three the Hard way is a whole stinkin messload of fun. It's a silly film but certainly a crowd pleaser. The soundtrack by The Impressions is solid (if not spectacular for the genre), there's plenty of shotgun/machinegun/grenade/carchase/carsplosion action, and Jim Kelly's grunts as he whips ass are pretty hilarious. That dude must have hated wearing a shirt.

Definitely recommended.

Score: 8 / 10

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Original Title: 4 mosche di velluto grigio
Year: 1971
Director: Dario Argento
Writer: Dario Argento, Luigi Cozzi (story), Mario Foglietti (story)
Genre: Giallo

A musician is stalked by an unknown killer who's blackmailing him for an accidential killing of another stalker. But is everything what it appears to be?

A bit of a hiatus there from my number themed flicks. Would you expect any less (more) from me?

Four Flies comes from a Dario Argento that hadn't yet reached his prime. (And if you are still counting today, he is well past it.) It is part of an unofficial "Animals Trilogy," consisting of three completely unrelated films that all have an animal in the title. The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, Cat O' Nine Tails, and this film. These were his first three directed films, although he had been a screenwriter for awhile before this. Most likely because it was still early on in his direction career, we don't have the stylish shots that Argento would grow into, but that isn't to say that the film isn't stylish. Also, possibly because it was still early and less focus was being made on his technical craft, the story itself is still strong as well. Later into his career, it seems that his work's focus shifted more to the directional style over the plotlines.

Four Flies follows a somewhat standard giallo structure, with a central character witnessing or experiencing something that finds him either obsessed or helplessly tied up in a dangerous plot. Roberto, played by Michael Brandon, is pretty solid in the role if not remarkable. There's not much in the way of standout acting I found, but there are certainly memorable characters. To me it seems important to have the central "obsessed" character in a giallo be someone who is not way far out there, as the outrageous things need to happen to them for the best effect. Bud Spencer on the other hand plays the bizarre character God (short for Godfrey), a large and larger than life hermit type that lives in a shack beside a river who Roberto visits for advice. In a way this God character reminds me of a similar strange hermit visited by the main character of The Bird With The Crystal Plumage as well. Guess Dario liked the idea and stuck with it.

The main female lead, Mimsy Farmer as Roberto's wife Nina, is OK in bursts but not ultimately compelling as she overacts a bit. Granted, she is dealing with some pretty frightening things, but i'm a bastard, what can I say?

I really like Argento's early work, as I've said, because I feel like it is a good balance between the style and the substance. Four Flies isn't the greatest story ever told, but it's solid enough and has some interesting twists. The ultimate resolution of the film had be guessing until the end and left me satisfied.

The Euro-flavor of much of the shots and structure were strong as well. Nice moody lighting, some great point of view deaths, attacks, etc., interesting camera angles... all kept things feeling fresh even at times when the story threatened to slow down just a bit. There is a neat recurring dream sequence that Roberto experiences showing a criminal being beheaded in a square in the middle east. It is stark and washed out (possibly due partly to the age of the film), but regardless is a stark contrast to the cooler, darker, wetter tones of the rest of the film.

I could go on, but 1- this is a film better seen than described, and 2- I haven't seen this for a month, and my lazy ass is just finishing the review now. Sorry if the review is shitty. I just need to move on already!

Suffice it to say a fan of gialli or Argento or both will have a good time with Four Flies on Grey Velvet. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but makes the wheel nice and shiny and fun to roll around on.

Score: 7.5 / 10