Tagged: arrow video
Movie Melt Podcast: 1984’s ‘FURIOUS’ Excels in Chicken Themed Martial Arts in the Astral Plane!
Some movies are just sooooo strange it’s hard to even describe the plot without sounding like you’re losing your mind! That would be most definitely be 1984’s FURIOUS! A movie I’m not sure was supposed to be as weird as it turned out to be? Fear not though I went back on the MOVIE MELT podcast and jumped deep into the void! It’s a strange So-Cal Martial arts adventure that feels like it takes place in an alternate reality, where everything is just slightly off with bizarre things going down on screen for no apparent reason and plot that seems to incorporate transforming people into chickens! Yeah, there’s a lot of chickens in FURIOUS as well as some, lets say “questionable” but entertaining martial arts battles to tantalize your mind!
I’m a big fan of dream-like movies and this one definitely feels pulled straight from the REM sleep arena for all to enjoy and try to make a lick of sense of! Could FURIOUS be the most dream-like film off all time? Should Christopher Nolan have taken notes from this one before directing ‘INCEPTION’? I personally think so! I mean people transform into pigs for no reason, take that ‘Inception’!!
If you’re a fan weird forgotten action cinema this episode will not disappoint! We get DEEP into the meanings all the onscreen nonsense, talk about cool movies you need to check out and even have a “chicken themed” battle of the bands competition!! Plus soooo much more cinematic trash to load your brain with than you ever imagined possible! Check out the EPISODE RIGHT HERE!!! Oh and if you want to experience the strange world of Furious, the whole damn thing is right here on Youtube!
The Story of Riki-Oh vs. the Savage STONE AGE WARRIORS!
‘Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky’ has a huge cult following for a goddamn good reason, obviously the extreme over the top gore is what really grabs people initially but also the film’s star Fan Siu-wong just kills it as the film’s main character Riki-Oh. Well if you’re looking to see another excellent action bonanza starring lead Fan Siu-wong you’ve come to the right place.
I just watched ‘Stone Age Warriors’ from 1991 and it’s a real treat jam packed with jungle action, babes, hunks & adventure galore. It also stars a couple other heavy hitters it’s female cast, the ass kickin’ Elaine Lui and my new Hong Kong crush, Nina Li Chi, wife of famed superstar Jet Li. It’s a ton of fun, with some Indiana Jones/Romancing the Stone flavor thrown in for extra good measure.
Deep in the rain forests of New Guinea, wildly aggressive natives attack a group of Asian treasure hunters. They go missing and soon a Hong Kong insurance investigator/girlfriend of the lead adventurer(Nina Li Chi) leaves for New Guinea along with his daughter, a martial arts superstar actor(Elaine Lui) to search the jungle on a mission to rescue her dad. However to navigate through the dangerous terrain they’re going to need a damn good guide, luckily they run in to the mysterious Christian missionary/martial arts master played by Fan Siu-wong.
However it’s not just wild animals and wicked terrain they’ve got to worry about, there’s a bigger threat in the jungle, a colorful gang of evil violent drug traffickers have teamed up deep in the jungle with the local tribes as thsir minions. Of course this wicked gang of outlaws are heavily armed & highly proficient in the martial arts and ready to take out anyone who comes anywhere near their operation.
The baddies are lead by “The Leopard”, a wild freaky martial arts bunny boiler babe portrayed Devi Sabah, a total on screen force to be reckoned with. She’ll fuck you up bad with her seriously killer form of martial arts and give you a solid scare with her wildly animalistic unpredictable persona. And no she’s not part of any jungle tribe! But she’s easily one of the coolest villains I’ve seen in a Hong-Kong feature film and quite some time. Her right hand man is a cocky totally over the top 80s white dude, who you might expect to be full of hot air, but he also has got all the right kick ass moves as well as commanding the savage “stone age warriors” (nope seriously though no one is from the Stone Age in this movie). He’s got their undies all up in a bundle when the trio arrives on their rescue mission.
Add in a few more vicious mercenaries and you’re in some serious early 90s trouble with a big ass “capital T”. But hold your horses- things are even more dangerous from the get go for all who step foot in this jungle. Nina Li Chi & Elaine Luis square off against all the odds of nature here when they get separated from their guide and there’s some crazy stunt work the two pull off here (during the credits you get to see them in action). They slide down muddy trails, fall off of waterfalls, get swept away in the river rapids, get covered in scorpions and in the most frightening sequence are being chased by REAL Komodo dragons. If you know anything about them, you know how dangerous they are to be in such close vicinity too and this part of the movie is actually pretty terrifying.
Fan Sui-wong really shines here as well with his ridiculous physique and crazy ass martial arts on FULL display. There’s some super wild fight scenes here especially in the final 3rd of the film in trees, rickety bridges & helicopters, Fan gets to really shine in one of his best lead roles as he’s clearly a larger than life hero once again. It’s not just the boy’s club here though, Elaine Lui also get just as much martial arts action as well as she goes head on with The Leopard woman who’s badass enough to take on BOTH her AND Fan together. Stone Age Warriors is total blast with three charming leads, cool villains, plenty of “Indiana Jones” type shenanigans, wild for real dangerous animals, romance and crazy kung fu.
This one deserves an official fancied up blu ray from someone like Vinegar Syndrome as it really is a total forgotten gem. It also great to see Fan “Riki-oh” Sui-wong featured prominently in sweet action adventure extravaganza! I got this one for pretty cheap off eBay but the official dvd of it’s a pretty rough transfer (but worth the watch). BEWARE though It’s got those annoying subtitles that sometimes blend into the bottom of the film, still tho, highly recommended!
The Northwoods of Wisconsin’s 1980s Horror Films & FANGORIA Connection?!
I just visited my old stompin’ grounds up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin & it peaked my interest into a specific window of time in the late 1980s & early 90s when apparently horror movie productions were a hot commodity up there-Fangoria was on the cutting edge of “cheesehead” fright flicks! Who knew? So waaaay up north there’s a cluster of small towns, Eagle River, Three Lakes, Sugar Camp & Rhinelander that were the main staple in filming many of these late 80’s early 90’s horror films. There was a unique studio all the way from the UK that oddly made it’s headquarters somewhere between this little group of cities. My mom currently lives in Three lakes (we had a cottage on a lake there since the 80s, my dad grew up there, my Aunt does too and owns a property in Sugar Camp & my mom also just bough a property in Rhinelander) alas I have spent a LOT of time there throughout my life. In fact I was just up there for an entire month. However I never suspected it was a mini horror mecca until recently. Why? Well let’s find out! Wisconsinite horror fanatics, this one’s for YOU!
Windsor Lake Studios which was based in Eagle River, Wisconsin, (I’ve heard possibly Sugar Camp Wisconsin too?) population 1300, produced a number of films for Fangoria and a few other smaller VHS only companies, though a few actually have made it onto blu ray over the past few years. Oddly only one of the trio of Fangoria Films releases have seen blu ray releases. At the time it was a big deal in the horror community when they started producing their own movies. It’s strange to me how or why a movie studio that produced predominantly horror flicks was open and operational in this tiny region nestled in the thick of the Northwoods and it’s plentiful chain of lakes. It’s definitely NOT Hollywood in the Northwoods-I can fully attest to that! That being said you just might run into a Rhinelander, Hodag (pictured below) in the woods if you’re lucky enough..
Windsor Lake Studio was started in 1987 and attracted the talent of Eagle River native Hank Carlson, only a teen at the time but had ambitions to be the “next Tom Savini”. He went on to become quite an impressive practical fx artist getting his start at Winsdor Lake by being annoyingly persistent, visiting the studio property many times though univited. There’s a great interview with him right here for all of you locals who want the scoop on this regional horror legend. He also gives some excellent perspective in the commentary of the Arrow Video blu ray’s for ‘Trapped Alive’ & ‘The Chill Factor’.
The three owners of the studio were from the UK and producers of major Hollywood hits ‘Heathers’ and more notably ‘Hellraiser’ & ‘Hellraiser II: Hellbound’. Apparently the premiere for ‘Hellraiser’ happened at the Vilas theater in small town Eagle River where Hank Carlson worked. I wish I’d have known that back then dammit!
VHS Verdict: 1986’s ‘BULLIES’ Channels ‘The Karate Kid’ Via ‘DELIVERANCE’!
I just watched what I consider to be a true bonafide lost 1980s gem, at least to me this movie was something I’d only found and watched by sheer chance. I frequent thrift stores quite often and upon discovering director Paul Lynch’s ‘Bullies’ a 1986 Canadian genre mash up of horror, thriller, action and revenge on VHS, I was most certainly intrigued, while realistically not getting my hopes up too damn high.
I’m pleased to report that ‘Bullies’ delivered the damn goods and then some in nearly every way I’d been hoping! Like I said in the title, this movie is essentially a mixture of The Karate Kid and Deliverance. I guess we’d categorize it as “Hicksploitation”. Sorry all you lovable hillbillies out there, but it’s kinda like if The Karate Kid’s Cobra Kai were evil messed up psycho mountain men! And when I say evil I mean evil with a capital E!
We follow the simple story of a teenage boy who moves with his mom and stepfather to a cozy little mountain town smack dab in the middle of the woods to run a family business. The only problem is some of the locals are restless and don’t particularly like the new arrivals in town…at all. A wicked gang of family hicks are on the prowl to fuck with anyone they please and no one seems to give a damn, not even the cops- imagine that huh?!
Luckily our teenage equivalent to Daniel Laruso befriends a cool local Native American man, who he establishes a strong bond with and like Mr. Miagi he teaches him some serious life lessons, survival and even a few nifty combat techniques. Something his stepfather whom he somewhat loathes and views as a useless coward doesn’t seem to have ANY interest in being part of. Of course he meets the beautiful Olivia D’Abo, and of course crushes out hard. I mean what are the chances he meets a babe like her in this po-dunk town? Lucky guy! Or is he?
As it just happens to turn out that she’s the sister of one of the insane maniac hillbillies who who threaten the town folk on any whim. But that’s not gonna stop the teen romance though as the two are immediately lovestruck. So the pissed off hillbillies up the ante with their evil shenanigans and the boy’s step dad is too chicken to stand up to them. These guys not only terrorize the teenagers but also go on the war path against the parents too, leading to a truly shocking rape scene that ups the stakes to deadly proportions and drastically shifts the tone. Be warned! ‘Bullies’ takes some dark twists and turns but by the final act you’ll be rooting for revenge with all of your damn heart. Even though it does go to some dark places it oddly has a lingering light feeling to it somehow, an 80s charm of something like The Karate Kid or My Bodyguard. Most importantly are how, for the most part, endearing the characters are in this grimy little banger. It makes the journey one worth taking.
I’d say this is the perfect coming of age revenge flick, filled with genuine heart, romance, comedy and some pretty wild and crazy action sequences. You also get served some gory kills and some intense explosions that put this one in a league of its own as a intriguing lost 80s gem. Bullies exists on VHS only and is just begging to be cleaned up and released on a slick blu ray. It really deserves far more attention from cult movie fanatics, if you get a chance check this one out, but beware, these “Bullies” are playing for keeps!!
Movie Melt Podcast: Bryan Yuzna’s Gory Y2K Spawn Ripoff FAUST!!
YES! U-Dork joined forced with the ‘Movie Melt‘ podcast where we give major coverage to the nearly forgotten Y2K Spawn rip off ‘Faust: Love of the Damned’!
Yes Brian Yuzna who’s helmed some real fucking horror gems, the likes ‘The Bride of Reanimator’, ‘Return of the Living Dead 3’ and total horror jam ‘Society’ deserves WAAAY more damn love! Instead of covering those though we decide to go REAL “hardcore Yuzna” and cover one of his most under appreciated films from an era of horror that’s not very widely beloved! The damn year 2000!! Who many consider to be one of the worst years for horror!
This darkly ridiculous superhero horror romp kinda has to be seen to be believed, Jam packed with a full soundtrack of freakin’ nu-metal, hot babez, hunky duderz, over the top gore and cool practical fx monsters!
You’ll learn more about this rad director and this obsurdly charming movie then you ever dreamnt possible.
But that’s not all there’s plenty of ridiculous cinematic junk food covered as in addition to FAUST! The Internet’s most unsuccessful blogger gets real with the cast of Movie Melt and shit gets def! Check out the mayhem right HERE!
Cult Flicks in DESPERATE Need of a Blu Ray: Crazy 80s Australian Gem ‘FORTRESS’!!
I’m back again continuing the second installment of nearly forgotten cult gems that desperately need a fancy blu ray release! Here’s one from 1985 that’s definitely ripe for the picking, a movie that I’ve owned on VHS for quite some time now that’s shockingly underrated and underseen by most cult classic cinemaniacs!
‘Fortress’ was released on HBO back in 1985 and later in 86′ it hit theaters in Australia where the movie was produced. It tells the simple story of a teacher (Rachel Ward) who’s tiny countryside shoolhouse comes under attack by shotgun wielding, masked psychos hell bent on taking her and the children captive, hiding them in a cave in the Australian outback.
All goes as planned until the seemingly mild mannered teacher decides to take matters into her own hands. The tension & level of suspense are through the damn roof as it becomes abundantly clear that their captors are no push overs and aren’t afraid to pull the trigger. We’re treated to plenty of action, suspense, some truly inspiring outback locales, creepy masked bad guys (one who dons a Santa Claus mask) and a bit of a darker Amblin “kids in danger” / coming of age style shocker here as well. It becomes an epic tale of cat & mouse survival where no one is safe and its anyone’s guess who’s going to bite the bullet.
Most notably, right around the third act the movie goes pretty off the rails when the teacher and her students become a major force to be reckoned with. Almost transforming into bloodthirsty “Lord of the Flies” territory in the shocking action packed, blood soaked finale. It’s got some excellent twists and turns that are likely to satisfy both fans of 80s action as well as horror.
The shocking end scene becomes even more perplexing and unforgettable cementing this firmly on the forgotten list of cult gems. It’s a real treat how dark this one goes. Trust me if you’re a fan of weird 80’s horror/thriller/action hybrid flicks then this one will not disappoint! There was a DVD release of this movie a while back that’s out of print now, this makes the need for Fortress to receive a special edition blu ray even more necessary. Plus with fan favorite Rachel Ward (The Final Terror/Night School/Against All Odds) as the film’s trusty heroine you get an added edge of star power.
Fortress packs a powerful punch and in many cases leaves you stunned and shocked by the roll of the credits. It’s a well executed unpredictable
Ozploitation film that more genre fans need to check out, just waiting to be someone’s new favorite cult classic!
Cult Flicks In Desperate Need of a Blu Ray: 1988’s ‘WATCHERS’!
I’ve been looking at my VHS tapes lately and have been compiling a list of some of my favorite cult horror flicks that for some god forsaken reason have still gone without an official fancy new blu ray release! One of the first movies that comes to mind is one of my all time favorite underrated gems of the late 80s, featuring Corey Haim in the lead role in this nostalgic, yet largely underseen creature feature ‘Watchers’ directed by Jon Hess (Alligator II).
I definitely consider this to be “prime” Cory Haim and quite frankly the perfect addition to a double feature with ‘The Lost Boys’. In some ways it almost feels like an extension of Haim’s character “Sam Emerson” in The Lost Boys. He’s got his rad eighties fashion, comedic licks and hair dialed up to an 11 and really is perfectly in line with the tone of The Lost Boys. In my opinion at least, it’s a perfect campy 80s creature feature/coming of age adventure featuring teen heart throb Haim on the run with with a canine who possesses human intelligence thats escaped from a secret nearby research facility. If you’re a fan of dogs in leading roles in horror movies this is definitely a gem!
What are they on the run from? Well, Michael Ironside and a savage mutant beast dead set on reuniting with the dog and literally destroying anything in its path of course! To put this in a nutshell, this flick is the epitome of what a series like Stranger Things is trying to desperately replicate. The Watchers is the real deal & it’s naturally got the authentic 80s “kids in danger” charm down perfectly to a T. Like an R-rated Amblin production.
I actually also really dig the special effects on display here, there’s some cool gore and also a pretty sweet realistic, yet slightly stupid looking savage hairy monster! I really don’t mean that to be a negative either, I like the monster, he just looks kinda like a moron!
A very realistic stupid looking monster, hey I’ll take that any day of the damn week! This movie was based on a Dean Koontz novel and spawned several sequels. My second favorite of them is 1998’s ‘Watchers Reborn’ the 4th installment which features Mark Hamill in the leading role. I’d love to see all of the sequels get a Blu-ray release as well and hoping that someone like Vinegar Syndrome or Shout Factory can grab this and give it some new gas in it’s tank.
It was released on VHS and also an out of print combo DVD with the sequel that features “Beastmaster” Mark Singer included which is very hard to find now. So all kick ass blu ray labels out there take notice, The Watchers is the perfect movie to get into the grimy hands of some hungry horror hounds and ripe for the picken!
‘TRAMPA INFERNAL’: Freddy Krueger meets Rambo in this 80’s Mexican Horror Gem!
It seems like cult movie connoisseurs are finally catching wind of just how awesome some of the 1980’s Mexican horror flicks truly are! Just a couple months ago Vinegar Syndrome released Ruben Galindo jr.’s three nearly forgotten creepy classics, ‘Don’t Panic’, ‘Grave Robbers’ & my personal favorite ‘Cemetery of Terror’. I’ve been yammering on about those same movies right here, years before Vinegar Syndrome got wind of them. Not to toot my own horn too much but hey give me some damn street cred! So I’m here to give you the scoop on yet another 80’s Mexican horror cult classic that I’m certain must get a fancy ass blu-ray release ASAP. 1989’s ‘Trampa Infernal’ AKA ‘Hell’s Trap’, is definitely worth tracking down!
With a lean runtime of 74 minutes, this one’s never a bore and frankly never skimps on bringing everything you love about the 80’s slasher front and center in a way they can only do south of the border. Director Pedro Galindo III introduces us to a a couple of ultra competitive rival macho men, who make a bet on catching and killing a wild bear that’s been tormenting the countryside. Of course they gather some friends for this sweet camping trip & when they arrive to their destination it’s clear that the forest is housing something much more sinister than a damn bear. We’re introduced to one hell of a slasher villain, he wears the glove of Freddy Krueger, sports a mega creepy emotionless mannequin mask with a wild hairdo and carries an arsenal of firearms with him wherever he damn well pleases.
This asshole’s copletely compelled to kill anyone who steps in his freaky neck of the woods. Yeah the plot is pretty damn flimsy just the way I like it sometimes. We’ve got a pretty sweet gang of colorful characters who go head on into battle with this weirdo, along with some well executed inventive kills mixed with plenty of action and a handful o’ cool explosions to boot. Plus who doesn’t want to spend some action packed time in 1980s Mexico? Sign me up any time! Oh Yeah and the amped up 80’s fashion sense is worth the price of admission alone, this gang of campers can sell me cool vintage clothes for my vintage shop any day of the week. So moving on, this here turns into one deadly game of cat-and-mouse that really benefits from the beautiful setting of Mexico’s woodsy backdrop. It’s fierce villain who appears to be some sort of ex-soldier with an extreme case of PTSD is bound to generates his own cult following here in the US amongst fans of icons like Leatherface and Michael Myers. This guy’s a total badass! See for your damn self:
He’s kinda got an Owen Wilson type o’ thing going on? Well director Pedro Galindo, I can only assume must be related to Ruben Galindo jr. The Galindo’s must have had some sort of stranglehold on the horror genre back then there as they’ve put out some pretty excellent movies. Pedro Galindo III also has a couple other movies on my radar, ‘Panico en la Montana’ and the sequel to ‘Vacations of Terror’. So if you’re longing for something different in the horror genre, take a trip to Mexico in the 1980s and make sure to check out ‘Trampa Infernal’. There’s a whole treasure trove of cool horror films just waiting to be discovered by American audiences from our friendly neighbors. So you heard it here first Vinegar Syndrome, Arrow, whoever! Jump on this one ASAP as it’s another true forgotten cult classic..