Saturday, 18 July 2020

"This is entertaining enough on a rainy Sunday afternoon but..."




Ian Jane has reviewed the new blu-ray release of P.O.W. THE ESCAPE (Gideon Amir, 1986) from Scorpion Releasing in detail over on Rock! Shock! Pop! (and he isn't happy). I haven't seen the film. What do you think?

Go here for Ian Jane's review (and useful info about the release + link to order the blu-ray).

Monday, 25 May 2020

BEHIND ENEMY LINES (aka P.O.W. The Escape) - soon on blu-ray


Check this out! BEHIND ENEMY LINES (Gideon Amir, 1986) (retitled P.O.W. THE ESCAPE and also aka ATTACK FORCE 'NAM) is coming out on bluray from Scorpion Releasing.

No release date yet nor any info about the release.

David Carradine is in it and so are a bunch of stalwart Filipino ex-pat actors: Ken Metcalfe, Jim Gaines, Eric Hahn, Henry Strzalkowski are in it. xD

PS: Not to be confused by the film KILLER INSTINCT that Cirio H. Santiago also made in the Philippines around the same time (1987). Roger Corman retitled it BEHIND ENEMY LINES for its US release. 


Trailer (widescreen + 1080p!)

Saturday, 23 May 2020

JUNGLE HEAT aka LAST BREATH - trailer for rare Thai version



LAST BREATH (Lee Ho/Jobic Wong, Taiwan, 1985) aka JUNGLE HEAT

There are four different edits of LAST BREATH: 

1. The original Taiwan version (also released in HK - released on HK VHS and US Chinatown VHS)
2. The international version entitled JUNGLE HEAT (alternative footage - released on various uncut VHS tapes, the best one being the Japanese VHS: uncut + letterboxed. The German and UK dvd's are cut!!!)
3. A censored version for Mainland China (cut for violence but includes some alternative footage - released on VCD)
4. A version made for Thailand - which has extra footage with Thai actor Sorapong Chatree (I'm going by the trailer and the Thai film poster here as the film itself hasn't been released to home video afaik).

I'm told a 16mm copy of the Thai version is stored in the Thai film archive. Hopefully, somebody will release it to blu-ray or streaming at some point.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

CANNIBAL MERCENARY 2 (Thailand, 1989) - full film

Original Thai English title: EMPLOY FOR DIE 2



I posted about this sequel years ago and eventually I got hold of the film on a video-cd from Thailand. Now somebody has actually uploaded the full film to YouTube. And they have even corrected the 4:3 fullscreen format from the VCD to letterbox. The picture looks alright.

Cannibal Mercenary 2 - video-cd (Thailand)
The film is in Thai with no subtitles. The running time is approx. 78 minutes. The first CANNIBAL MERCENARY is truly a wild and gory film and it's fun to finally be able to watch the sequel.

But let me say it right away: Don't expect the same level of insane and gory craziness! You'll be mighty disappointed. The first half of the film drags. The second half is somewhat better but it never touches the first film.

As far as I'm aware this version from Thai VCD is the only official release worldwide. Somebody put the film out as a bootleg in the USA but it's directly ported over from a VCD and they didn't bother to subtitle the film so you would be no better off getting the boot than downloading this upload.

The picture quality of the upload is only 360p but maybe that actually equals the quality of the VCD.

IMDb entry. 

Thai poster for Cannibal Mercenary 2



Sunday, 23 February 2020

BROTHERS IN BLOOD - now on blu-ray


Cover "A"
I mentioned this briefly in my last post; The good people of Germany have now released Tonino Valerii's BROTHERS IN BLOOD on blu-ray! Yay! Spiffy!! LOL.

I for one am certainly happy about this release. It's not a Filipino flick, and it's not gory or very extreme, but still, bloody good fun if you ask me. And I quite like Werner Pochat in these films. He was an Austrian actor and he had that perfect bad guy mug. And in this one he doesn't even play a bad guy but he still has the face of an unpleasant character! Unfortunately, in real life he passed away a long time ago. He was only 53. 

About the new release
Firstly and most importantly; Yes, the blu-ray is English friendly. According to on-line info the disk has both the English and German dubs + English and German subtitles.
Oddly enough it doesn't carry the Italian dub.

The blu-ray is released with three different covers (I've ordered Cover A) but otherwise the contents are the same:


From D&T's webstore (auto translated from German): 

* 28 pages booklet with an essay by script author Roberto Leoni in German and English
and an essay by Udo Rothenberg (blog "Green is the Heath") in German and English
as well as the Italian promotional material.
* Double sided poster with the Italian Locandia and US video cover
* EXCLUSIVE produced featurette "Basterd in Blood" with leading actor BO SVENSON
* EXCLUSIVE produced documentary " Mr. Nice Guy " about the life and work of
WERNER POCHATH with brother and film producer DIETER POCHLATKO
* International trailer
* International Picture Gallery



Cover "B" - under the alternative title of SAVAGE ATTACK

Also somewhat important to notice; As with so many of these German blu-ray releases this is a very limited release; as far as I can tell the print-run is 900 copies in total. The release date was 1. February so it's been out for about a month by now.

Here's a link to the blu-ray on D&T's site but you can also get it from German Amazon and some other web-stores in Germany and Austria.


Cover "C"



Friday, 21 February 2020

BROTHERS IN BLOOD - alternative versions

Italy (1987)
Original Italian title: La Sporca Insegna del Coraggio
aka: Savage Attack
Directed by: Tonino Valerii
Story and screenplay: Roberto Leoni, 
Cast: Bo Svenson, Carlo Mucari, Peter Hooten (Peteer Hooten in the Italian language credits), Werner Pochat, Nat Kelly Cole, Franklin Dominguez, Juan Jose' Caballos, Martin Balsam


Ex-rental VHS (Denmark)



12 MINUTES!?!?!?

Last night, I went to YouTube to try and relocated some of the trailers that had gone missing from this site. One of the trailers was for Tonino Valerii's Italian Vietnam War flick BROTHERS IN BLOOD.

I discovered that not only had someone uploaded the full film to YouTube as well as the trailer. But two different channels had uploaded the full film; One version was the Italian dubbed version, and the other was the English dubbed version. Usually that doesn't mean much of a difference apart from the language, obviously.  However, I noticed that the Italian version clocks in at 1:29:15 while the English dubbed version runs a mere 1:17:02. That's a difference of 12 minutes!!!

I decided to watch both versions simultaneously, side by side on my computer. No, not the best way to enjoy a wild 'n' trashy Filipino war flick but, hey, I'm a professional! (I kill me, hahaha).

As soon as I pressed "play" I discovered something else very odd: The Italian dubbed version has the on-screen intro text in English while the English dubbed version has the intro text in Italian!!!

This isn't a review so I won't talk too much about the plot but the film kicks off during the last days of the Vietnam War. A group of soldiers are trying to escape from a large group of Viet Cong soldiers and to make it to a helicopter. Most of the American soldiers make it but one guy is wounded and while he's lying on the ground crying for help the chopper takes off leaving him behind. 12 years later he's still royally pissed off about it.

The first few minutes made it obvious to me that the 12 min. difference probably wasn't just a matter of a few gory scenes that had been cut for the shorter version. No, the entire escape scene was edited differently in the two versions. Even bits and pieces of different footage is used. When the 5 minute intro is over the scene changes to Bo Svenson's present day life in New York many years later. And from then on I gave up trying to keep track of the differences between the two versions!

All throughout the film, scenes are edited slightly differently and the short version keeps cutting frames out; For instance, a man walks along a wall, in the short version he walks two metres less than in the longer version. And it takes longer for him to get around a corner. And a conversation takes longer. It's very odd. All throughout the film. I mean this isn't just a matter of a video label cutting their version because they felt the film was too long. There are different edits everywhere as well.

I pulled out my old Danish ex-rental VHS of the film and fast-forwarded the tape. It runs 89 minutes (and uses an English dubbed/English intro text version. Go figure).
Then I remembered that there's a new German blu-ray release of the film (actually I'd totally forgotten about this release so I ordered it right away, see my next post). The online info about the new blu-ray states it clocks in at the 93 minute mark.

However... I checked with IMDb and it says... 1 hour 16 min!!! Very, very odd. Why would they do two different edits of the film with different running times. As I said we're not talking missing scenes of violence or nudity (there's no nudity in either version). And it's not a matter of two versions running at different speed.

The short version has a German classification sign before the film starts so I assume it's from a German DVD (a VHS would be dubbed into German). The picture is clearly more dark than the Italian language print. Despite missing 12 minutes of bits and pieces, and frames here and there, the short version didn't feel too short or that important plot details were missing.

I'll post both version down below in case you wish to check out one of the versions (or both) + the trailer.



Italian dubbed version (approx 89 min)




English dubbed version (approx 77 min)





Trailer



Trailers gone AWOL



Maybe three quarters of the trailers on this blog were uploaded by other people over on YouTube. Needless to say, I'm aware that a trailer or two disappears from YouTube once in a while. Either when a channel gets taken down by the powers that be (due to the usual copyright infringement nonsense) or because a channel owner decides to close his account. However, last night I discovered that about 15 trailers were missing from this place. Not good!

Probably half of them were uploaded by my friend Diabolik and they went down the toilet when YouTube Gestapo decided that his trailer channel contained "pornographic" contents - despite the fact that he doesn't upload pornographic trailers.

Anyhoo, fortunately I've kept most of the trailers on my computer and I can probably find the last few missing ones over on Diabolik's old site so no biggie. It was just a pain to have to upload them all again (most of them I uploaded straight to his blog and thus don't have to worry about their being pulled from or by other channels).

Apart from TOUGH TO KILL (posted in the above) I have also reuploaded these trailers:

MISSING IN ACTION 2
LEATHERNECKS
HITMAN - Danish trailer
HITMAN - US trailer
DOG TAGS
COBRA MISSION 2
BROTHERS IN BLOOD

If you just wanna check out the trailers you can scroll down the bar on the right; Towards the bottom you'll find a trailer index.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Shopping tip

Here's a quick tip for a S-Korean VHS release of Jun Gallardo's rare RAIDERS FOR VICTORY. Or at least I think it's a page where you can buy the VHS. I don't have info on the dubbing – i.e. it may not carry the English dub.
Go here.

The only other release that I'm aware of is the Greek VHS.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

WARBUS - trailer



The trailer for Ferdinando Baldi's WARBUS (aka War Bus) disappeared from this blog a while back when YouTube decided to delete Hans-Jørgen Reimer's (aka Diabolik) channel which was chokefull of cool VHS trailers.

I hadn't saved the trailer but fortunately I was able to dig it out from under the rubble of another gone trailer and VHS cover site (DEVAG). I wish they'd put WARBUS out on blu-ray – it's one of thee most entertaining Filipino Vietnam war flicks if you ask me. 



Credits:

Director “Ted Kaplan”/Ferdinando Baldi Story/Screenplay Ferdinando Baldi, John Fitzsimmons Executive Producer Tony Miland Music “Robert Marry”/Detto Mariano Cinematography “Mark Marsch”/Marcello Masciocchi Editor Med Salkind Dubbing Editor Nick Alexander

Cast Daniel Stephen (Sgt. Dixie), “Rom”/Romano Kristoff (Gus), Urs Althaus (Ben), Gwendolyn Cook (Anne), Ernie Zarate (Major Kutran), Don Gordon [Bell] (Ronny), Zeny R. Williams, “Steve Eliot”/Benito Stefanelli (Debrard), Josephine Sylva

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Lost in the (Filipino) Vietnam jungle for 11 years!


Good grief! It has just dawned on me that this blog turned 11 yesterday!!!

Who would have thought I'd still be doing this after more than a decade. Oh well, it's not like I post all that often so NOT REALLY HARD WORK AT ALL, haha.

It's been fun, not least the one aspect which is different to my other blogs; the fact that I've met quite a few of the actors from those old B-flicks (met online at least). Actually, most of them found me, not the other way round. All good fun and a lot of hours spent watching entertaining B war flicks that never took themselves too seriously.

Too bad Nick Nicholson left us way too soon. Here's a toast to you wherever you are, sir. Thanks to everyone who ever helped out with info, films or even just posted comments on the blog and the fb page. Cheers.




Wednesday, 4 December 2019

"The Ultimate Mercenary Collection" 6 film blu-ray box set



I've recently bought a brand new excellent blu-ray box set of five Italian/German flicks of the sort we like on this here blog! Four of them are directed by Antonio Margheriti and one by Fabrizio de Angelis! 

"Brand new" as in I've had it sitting on my Amazon want-list for a couple of years! But brand new compared to the old Japanese VHS releases of the very same films that I have in my collection. And they're fully uncut ... and English friendly … and it's blu-ray! Reason enough to celebrate I'd say. 

The box set contains six films, the last one being the original THE WILD GEESE (UK 1978) that the Italians ripped off with some of their films in this set (I assume. I haven't watched the original film yet). 

The five Italian/German films all carry English audio for the films!
Unfortunately this doesn't apply for the extras which are in German, or Italian with German subs. 

As I write this the set is available from Amazon Germany. Go here.



The films in the box set are: 

TORNADO aka LAST BLOOD (Antonio Margheriti, Italy/Germany, 1983)
German title: "Im Wendekreis des Söldners"
Fully uncut. Several previous German vhs/dvd versions are cut

CODE NAME: WILD GEESE (Antonio Margheriti, Italy/Germany 1984)
German title: "Geheimcode Wildgänse"
Fully uncut. Arrow's UK blu-ray is cut 13 minutes!

COMMANDO LEOPARD (Antonio Margheriti, Italy/Germany 1985)
German title: Kommando Leopard
Fully uncut.

COMMANDER (Antonio Margheriti, Italy/Germany 1988)
German title: Der Commander
Fully uncut. The Arrow blu-ray is cut 1 minute

COBRA MISSION (Fabrizio de Angelis aka Larry Ludman, Italy/Germany, 1986)
aka Operation Nam
German title: "Die Rückkehr der Wildgänse"

THE WILD GEESE (Andrew V. McLaglen, UK 1978)
German title: "Die Wildgänse kommen"
In contradiction to the 5 Italian films, the UK film is of a lesser picture quality apparently; According to dvdcompare: "note the last 7 min 13 sec of the German BD are zoomed in and in much lower quality".








Thursday, 13 June 2019

COBRA MISSION - trailers

aka OPERATION NAM

Philippines/Italy 1986
Director: Larry Ludman (aka Fabrizio De Angelis)







Saturday, 1 June 2019

Bruno Mattei's ROBOWAR finally ... FINALLY ... on bluray!!!

They may not be in the porn business but even so the good people over at SEVERIN are trying their best to give fans of action cinema a throbbing hard-on! And they're succeeding!! I mean what other reaction would anybody (who's an action flick aficionado) get when they learn Severin are putting out Bruno Mattei's 300% entertaining remake of PREDATOR, ROBOWAR (Italy/Philippines 1988) on blu-ray!!!

Street date June 25. There's various different versions (and prices). Go here for the stand-alone blu-ray. There's a dvd release as well (but get the blu-ray, cabron!). John Dulaney posted about the release on one of my old posts about the film (from 2010!). John was in the film and in 2011 he posted links to behind the scenes videos that he and Catherine Hickland did. Incidentally, those very same videos are now being included on the blu-ray. You saw them here first! (I just had to say that, haha). This is certainly an old dream come true. Thanks, Severin! (please put out heaps more Mattei stuff). 



WE'RE ALL USED TO THE OLD SUBTITLED TRAILER FROM JAPANESE VHS SO HERE'S THE NEW ONE FROM SEVERIN:






INFO FROM SEVERIN'S SITE:

A year before their jaw-dropper SHOCKING DARK, director Bruno Mattei (VIOLENCE IN A WOMEN’S PRISON) and co-writers Claudio Fragasso & Rossella Drudi (NIGHT KILLER, ZOMBIE 4) first collaborated on this brain-melting mash-up of PREDATOR, ROBOCOP and Philippines war movie mayhem: When a team of badass commandos is hired for a jungle rescue mission, they’ll instead find them hunted by a kill-crazed creature that is part man, part machine and all glorious ‘80s ItaloSleaze. Reb Brown (UNCOMMON VALOR), Catherine Hickland (ONE LIFE TO LIVE), Massimo Vanni (RATS: NIGHT OF TERROR) and Jim Gaines (ISLAND OF THE LIVING DEAD) star in this “freaking awesome must-watch for any action fan” (BMovieCitadel.com), now scanned in 4k from the original negative and loaded with all-new Special Features.  

Special Features:
  • Robo PredatorInterview with Co-Director/Co-Writer Claudio Fragasso
  • Italian Rip OffInterview with Co-Writer Rossella Drudi
  • Violence She WroteCareer Interview with Screenwriter Rossella Drudi
  • Robo-LadyInterview with Actress Catherine Hickland
  • Papa Doc’s WarInterview with Actor John P. Dulaney
  • The RobowarriorInterview with Actor Jim Gaines Jr.
  • War in the PhillipinesInterview with Actor/Stuntman Massimo Vanni
  • Catherine Hickland’s Behind The Scenes Home Movies
  • Trailer

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

THE DEVASTATOR - trailer

aka THE DESTROYERS



Cirio H. Santiago (USA/Philippines 1984)

Cirio H. Santiago's THE DEVASTATOR on blu-ray



I own Cirio H. Santiago's THE DEVASTATOR (aka The Destroyers) on old ex-rental VHS but today I also received the new(ish) Code Red blu-ray (from 2017). I watched it right away and the print looks great. The disc also has a rather long interview with Terrence O'Hara (20 minutes) who was in the film, info from Katrina Leigh Waters, and the film's trailer. Good stuff  ^_^

Check a more thorough walk thru of the blu-ray on here.


Here's Bert Spoor talking about working on the film. It's from an old interview from Search My Trash site:

"The Destroyers, my first shoot with Cirio - I guess he liked my way of dying, because in this movie I probably died 4 or 5 times. And once I came pretty close to an accident. We were playing a couple of outlaws, defending our marijuana plantation!!! In one scene I was trapped, a booby trap was placed beneath a tree with a hanging rope, ending in a loop, I hook my leg and go face down, the camera stops rolling and my foot is placed in the loop. Camera rolls again. There were a couple of guys, pulling the rope, but with too much horse-power, I ended off-frame way too high. It had to be done again, and I was placed in position again, and "Action!"

And up again, at the right height this time, but I was moving and swinging too much, and Cirio wanted a 3rd take...

But half-way the 3rd take I went back down with the same speed as I got up. I hit the ground but was able to break my fall, the knot in the rope didn't hold and slipped. All four guys were down on their asses as well. I was furious, and told the director to find another stuntman to finish the take, I didn't feel much like hanging up side down again, well, they found me a double to finish the shoot. They placed a bamboo frame (having sharp spears in it) around his body.  I didn't know what was going on and asked someone what they were up to. I was told the booby-trap had a follow-up. This bamboo frame was supposed to pierce the guy as it swings down. Now it will be filmed backwards and later edited the reverse way. The same guys, holding the rope with the bamboo frame were to do the job again. On action they pull their asses off, and believe it or not, two of them slipped, and the bamboo frame went back all the way it came, the move came to a hold only inches before it was to hit the hanging man. My stomach turned: I was supposed to be hanging there, if I had, would the frame have missed me ????"

Bikini girls with machine guns

Yep, this video is from the one they're watching in Tarantino's JACKIE BROWN. It's an awesome video; I mean all it is is a bunch of scantly clad sexy babes with automatic guns going: "This is an AK47" pow pow pow pow - Haha. Absolutely fantastic! xD.