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A feast in a time of plague.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

If you notice posts here becoming more and more sparse over time and you also see a concurrent slowdown in my regular writing for the site, do not be alarmed. It's just that I'm taking a step back to try and regain some much needed inspiration and energy that's been sorely lacking in my work of late. I'll attempt not to leave you completely stranded, but for the next couple months you may be reading less of my blathering than you're used to. Just so you know.


It's the trailer for Land of the Dead!!!


A while back, Barrie Maxwell at the Digital Bits intimated that he'd eventually be doing a column fixated on Westerns on DVD. Now, with a slew of oaters about to hit the small screen in the next couple months (I'm ordering my copy of Edward Dmytryk's Warlock as we speak) he's made good on that promise with a huge rundown of gunslinging disks.


Coming Soon has a short interview with Korean helmsman Kim Ki-duk.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hollywood is building theaters across the globe. Now poor saps all over the world can have ads forced down their throat and buy overpriced concessions in the sterile environment of the local googolplex. Some dare call it progress.


Monsters At Play gushes about a PAL disk of the 80's schlock film The Forbidden World. In other DVD news, Cinema Nocturna has some new reviews today as well, including Anchor Bay's new disk of Stevan Mena's Malevolence.


NoShame Films is everywhere these days with their fine looking Italian DVD reissues: if it's not Sergio Martino, it's a film by Vittorio de Sica. This outfit has come out of nowhere to start churning out some really great sounding disks--and I'm sure looking forward to Your Vice is a Closed Room and Only I Have the Key (Best. Giallo. Title. Ever.) in the future. One can never have too much Edwige Fenech.

Yep, that's the stuff

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

SF Gate examines the legacy of the Shaw Brothers in the wake of Kung Fu Hustle. A good primer for the uninitiated.


DVD Drive in checks in with a glance at a pair of nice looking NoShame Films Eurohorror DVD's by Sergio Martino.


Ohhhhh, cool. A Bollywood remake of The Eye? I'm so there.


It's DVD release day for Jim van Beber's film on The Manson Family, a project that's seen many mixed reviews--enough that I'm so intrigued I'll have to watch it. But hell, I'm a sucker for any project on the bunch from Spahn ranch, so that's no real surprise.


Y'know, The Birds is pretty far from my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie. But the idea of a hack like Michael Bay remaking it is still almost more than I can bear.

A bird in the hand...

Monday, April 25, 2005

It's a super slow Monday here, which means there ain't a whole lot to look at. But have a gander at some assorted Japanese trailers just for fun anyway.


The director of Rambo and Tombstone has passed on.


Be on the lookout for an upcoming review of the rockumentary Dig! this week in my usual space--it's a look at a pair of bands, the really interesting one of whom is The Brian Jonestown Massacre. I have Take It From the Man! in heavy rotation right now and it rocks, if a bit derivatively.


Oof. A comedy remake of the Land of the Lost TV series starring Will Ferrell? Does that sound like a spectacularly lame idea to anyone else?

Sid and Marty are rolling over in their grave!  Oh wait, they're still alive...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Pelleas.net does the once over this week on some old black and white animation from Toei Studios. And they actually look even better than Kimba, the White Lion.


The legendary Marilyn Chambers (caution advised for work surfers), one of the central figures in the 70's American sex film scene turns 53 today. Best wishes go out to this former Ivory Snow model (who once also appeared in The Owl and the Pussycat) on her special day.


Providence-born actress Ruth Hussey--probably best known for her role as the long-suffering foil of Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story--has passed away at the age of 93.


10,000 Bullets reviews the triple disc set Home Vision Entertainment has put out of the infamous Hanzo the Razor series. I'm slightly dubious about these (they look quite a bit meaner than I generally like), but it's certainly great that HVE has put out the set so I'll likely eventually pick this up. I have always loved the work of Kazuo Koike, the man whose manga from which they are adapted.

It's black and white stuff from Japan day!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I guess this makes it close to official: looks like we're getting some Dark Phoenix with our X3. Back in my superhero comics reading days, I really loved that story in the XMen book. Of course, that was before they splintered the muties into so many incarnations it wasn't much fun any more to try and follow all the storylines.


Subversive Cinema has updated their site, with new trailers 'n stuff. I can't wait for that Candy Snatchers disk.


Twitch says that the Thai language ghost story P (directed by Brit Paul Spurrier) has won the audience award at the Erlangen Weekend of Fear.


The Big Cartoon Database reports that a new animated film by Michel Ocelot will make its premiere at Cannes this year.


Looks like a goodly portion of my end of May will be spent taking in a great retrospective of the films of Busby Berkeley. There's nothing like absurdly overdone musical numbers, I always say.

Did I say absurdly overdone?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Fango has a first look at the Lucky McKee/Angela Bettis flick Roman; in addition they have some sweet news that both the new Cronenberg and the new Romero films will debut at Cannes.


MonkeyPeaches gives us non-Chinese types a handy browsing guide to the official site for Seven Swords.


Speaking of Cannes, they've announced the lineup for this year's fest--and there's some good looking stuff this time around.


Subway Cinema's Grady Hendrix has a brand new blog to update you on your Asian film news.


10,000 Bullets takes a glance at MGM's release of a great Francois Truffaut film adapted from the writing of misanthrope Cornell Woolrich.

Marriage is a terrible, terrible thing

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The most recent Senses of Cinema has a really nice interview with b-movie script writer Charles B. Griffith.


There's a new Midnight Eye, with a piece on Kihachi Okamoto, an interview with Ryuichi Hiroki, a pink movie roundup and a handful of reviews--one for The Neighbour #13, a film adapted from a manga by Santa Inoue.


Barrie Maxwell has a vast overview of recent classic DVD releases.


The Daily News takes a look at the smaller theaters that still survive at the feet of the hideous ad spewing chains in the Big Apple.


Monsters at Play is extensively covering the fantastic films being unveiled at the Philly Film Fest. And it looks like the Cutie Honey review goes up today--I'm soooooo jealous.

Comics adaptations are where it's at

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Washington Post tackles the story of DVD's sanitized for the marketplace by the removal of "offensive" material and the people who hate them.


By way of Twitch: the official website of the Umezu Kazuo horror adaptations that'll be made from the work of.....well, Kazuo Umezu.


Korean star Jun Ji-hyun to appear in a Hong Kong film by Andrew Lau.


A.S. Byatt writes in The Guardian about an animated film called Tale of Tales that sounds pretty amazing.


Reading The Groovy Age of Horror over the weekend led me to this fine site that celebrates the women from the old Hammer films.

I want to drink your blood

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Check out the LA Times' Sunday calendar today: great articles on studios hiding DVD profits and the way they market those disks. Lots of anecdotes that make you realize how the theatrical release becomes less important seemingly every day. To wit:


But now that a DVD release date has taken on such consequence, a studio sometimes will pick a time for a film's theatrical debut by working backward from its projected DVD launch, which often follows the theatrical debut by three months.

"In many cases, the theatrical release date is adjusted because of the DVD release date," Beeks says.

Your Friday nite date at the theater is essentially a commercial for the disk on the shelf. Get used to it.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Twitch reports in from the Philly Film Festival on a few of the more cultish offerings.


Well, not only did Ian Somerhalder get waxed on Lost but it also appears that he's moved from the Wes Craven piece The Breed over to the remake of Kurosawa's Pulse.


Is this rumor actually true? Will Ray Harryhausen come out of retirement to help with the new Sinbad movie? (No, not the "comedian"). That's very cool, if it's legit.


What would tax day be without a not-so-safe-for-work 51st birthday tribute to Seka, the platinum princess of the Golden Age of porn? That ought to take the sting out of sending in that check to the damned government.

Now, if only people would stop swiping my Desperately Seeking Seka review

Thursday, April 14, 2005

I was excited to learn today that Retromedia is planning to do another Larry Buchanan double feature this summer that'll include The Eye Creatures and Zontar, the Thing From Venus.


Did I ever link to this piece by Tag Gallagher on Douglas Sirk? I may have, but I just revisited it this morning and it's worth another look even if I did.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

My new favorite blog is cinema.3yen.com, a look at the world of Japanese cinema. The most recent post details some info on Miike's latest: Yokai Taisenso, a tribute to the Yokai monsters of the sixties.


Check out Orson Welles doing a frozen pea spot.


More Asian monster movie type stuff as Sony signs up Ghost House for Grudge 2 and Scarecrow, the latter an English language film by the Pang Brothers. Hopefully it'll be better than Oxide's The Tesseract, 'cause that one sort of sucked.


Greencine Daily hipped me to this one: a new issue of Firecracker Magazine is out, and it's loaded with goodness.


Let me just say that I love the idea that they've moved up the release date of Romero's Land of the Dead to June. That rocks.

Change that date to June!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

New stuff at the DVD Drive-in: reviews of Olga's Girls and a mangled version of Women's Prison Massacre as well as the specifications for some upcoming Sergio Martino R1 releases from company NoShame Films.


Prolific Japanese filmmaker Yoshitaro Nomura has passed away at the age of 85. Unfortunately you can't get a DVD of his famous Castle of Sand in R1, but Zero Focus and The Demon are available.


Also on the train to Box City is 70's actress Debralee Scott, best known for her work as "Hotsy Totsy" on Welcome Back Kotter as well as many appearances on The Match Game. RIP.

Debralee Scott, 1953-2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle took in a cool $293,025 in seven theaters in NY and LA over the weekend. Hopefully that's enough to get it to my town inthe near future. We're just getting the Old Boy tickle down effect this weekend--I think I'll haul my ass to the theater for that.


The Times UK has a nice batch of articles on Alfred Hitchcock this week.


Here's some promising remake news: director Brad Anderson to helm the do-over of George Romero's The Crazies.


With the upcoming DVD release of the Jaws 30th Anniversary Edition in June, maybe it's time to revisit the giant shark eats people film? You really can never have too many of those, even if Jan de Bont is in charge. Though I may regret saying that once the movie comes out--I remember what he did to The Haunting.


Via the inimitable Greencine Daily comes a pointer to a Bangkok Post piece on the next Pen-ek Ratanaruang film. It's a nice look at filmmaking in the globalized economy, to wit:

But deeper than that, it's a natural step of cultural evolution in this heyday of global trafficking in moving images. Influences, styles and stories from disparate sources seem to have entered a communual stream of cosmic vision tapped into by artists. Lubricating this stream is the money pooled from as equally disparate pockets, and the finished work will feed the thirst of fans in the two hemispheres.

If globalization is going to give me stuff like this, I'm all for it--this film sounds spectacular, what with the Christopher Doyle and Tadanobu Asano appearances as well as Kang Hye-jeong. Sign me up.


Friday, April 08, 2005

It's yet another great batch of films from the American Cinematheque: this time it's a slew of flicks yet to be released on video. Personally, I've been waiting for Lost Horizon for some time now...


More speculation on Chloe Sevigny and the role she'd like in Spidey 3: is it the Black Cat?


Also in comics to film news comes word that a film adaptation of Monster, a manga by Naoki Urasawa is in the works. To be honest, I don't know the book--but from the looks of it I imagine it'll be OK.


The Hills Have Eyes remake seems to be getting booted around a bit, but apparently it's still on.I just hope Dee Wallace and Michael Berryman get cameos.

Dad?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Transformers movie is coming--helmed by the dreaded Michael Bay. I was never a huge fan--well, except for the Steve Ditko version--so that doesn't strike me as that big a travesty.


The newest slightly obscure fantastic film that I desperately want to see is the Catalan sci-fi comedy Tempis Fugit, which I only know has played at a festival or two. Sounds good, though.


In Toronto, it's time for Images Festival 2005. I can't honestly say that I know a lot about any of the artists here (though Anipages daily today looks at a past winner of its Award for Excellence), but if you're up that way go take a look.


Gamespy has an interview with Peter Molyneaux, the idea man behind the upcoming PC game The Movies.


I thought that DVD File was dead, but recently it's shown some signs of life--like this news update detailing a release of the Wes Craven werewolf pic Cursed in its uncut and unrated form. Sounds like there's a cool Rick Baker featurette too.

raaarrr!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

What's in the upcoming release wagon these days? Well, Mondo Erotico just pointed out recently that the DVD of Danger Diabolik streets on 6/14, the Digital Bits notes all sorts of upcoming classic releases such as Nightmare Alley, Image's great looking Alien Attack and Monster Madness collections, Ronin Gai from HVE, Laughsmith's amazing The Forgotten Films of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and.....well, so much more.


Thanks to Twitch yet again, this time for hipping me to the details on the next film by Kim Ki-duk.


Having just finished watching Tokyo Shock's great DVD of The Mysterians (and with Attack of the Mushroom People in the queue!) I was very excited to see Henshin Online's exclusive look at the upcoming Varan the Unbelievable and Dogon (aka Dagora the Space Monster) disks from Media Blasters. This is turning out to be a *great* year for fans of the rubber suited monster set.

I miss the Creature Double Feature

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The absurdly busy Henry Selick signs on for an animated version of Laura Ruby's The Wall and the Wing.


The Grey Lady takes a look at the restoration of nitrate film at the Filmmuseum in Amsterdam and notes their discovery of the once thought lost film Beyond the Rocks.


Is Ryan Reynolds in talks to play Namor, the Prince of the Sea? (Or is it the Flash???) Well, in any case, it sure beats The Rock as the Sub Mariner. (The first article actually has an even worse rumor: The Rock as the Silver Surfer. Ai yi yi.)


For Those About To Rock: We Salute You.

Let Me Rock in Peace

Monday, April 04, 2005

Is The Watchmen movie having some production difficulties? That'd be a drag...


Via HK Entertainment review, I see that bc magazine has issued their third annual Golden Durian awards, which are always worth a look. There's a pointer to a HK Film Awards recap or two as well.


I had thought that all of the "top films of 2004" lists were done with (save for the MHVF one which in years past has been a great read, but this year seems to have disappeared into a void of uncaring at that shadow of its former self site even though some of us took the time to fill out ballots all the way back in January) but reverse shot online has a last gasp look at the films of the year past. The list skews a little arty, of course, but what are you gonna do?

We're Number One! We're Number One!

Friday, April 01, 2005

AICN checks in with a review of the French zombie flick Les Revenants. I only skimmed the lookover, so I'm not sure if there's spoilers or not. Proceed at your own risk.


Time's Richard Corliss reminisces about the halycon days of porn.


Initially, I was mad when they killed the Hwood remake of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's awesome Kairo, but now that it's got a first time director coming out of advertising and the uninspiring choice of Kristin Bell in the lead, I'm not so sure. Speaking of Kurosawa, though, it does appear that his new short (Soul Dancing) stars the ubiquitous Tadanobu Asano, which is nearly always a good thing.


There's no one out there who treats their back catalog the way that Warner Home Video does; if you don't believe me, check out this transcript wherein there is much detail of the fine, fine material they've got coming. And that reminds me, I still have yet to purchase the Classic Comedies Collection. So many disks, so little cash.

There will never be another

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