IP MAN 3 continues the ongoing story of Chinese martial artist and Wing Chun master teacher Ip Man (or Yip Man), most famous for teaching martial arts to the legendary martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. The 3rd film in the trilogy, starring Donnie Yen reprising his role as Ip Man, once again (more…)
In my mind, when I first popped in director Don Coscarelli’s horror film PHANTASM, there were three very distinct yet vastly different aspects of this film that truly stuck out to me. The film, now having attained a (more…)
To be honest, it really has been years since I have gotten around to watching another Jackie Chan flick and many years since I have watched one of the films in the POLICE STORY series. I believe that the last film I have seen from this pretty popular series was (more…)
Director (and actor) Teddy Chan’s KUNG FU KILLER (overseas and elsewhere known by the title KUNG FU JUNGLE) is the story of a martial arts instructor on the police force who gets locked up for accidentally killing (more…)
I am starting to become a big fan of the Mo Brothers, although KILLERS is the only sample of their work I have seen. I have seen a small sampling of Timo Tjahjanto’s work as director of the segment “Safe Haven” in V/H/S/2 and “L is for Libido” in THE ABCs OF DEATH. I am anxiously waiting to pick up MACABRE and watch that. I will be ordering an import edition of that on Blu-ray.
What drew me to watching KILLERS (more…)
Movies that revolve around criminal organizations, such as the Italian Mafia, the Mexican Mafia, the Japanese Yakuza, and the Chinese Triads–have always intrigued me. I feel that they make for great films, if done right, and if one fills them full of violence, treachery, and bloodshed, they can be a decent viewing even if the writing is not superb and the dialogue is lacking in emotion, as some of these movies tend to do. Director Daniel Yee Heng Chan (more…)
Director Juno Mak, quite possibly as famous for his role in (and the creator of) the Wong Ching-po directed slasher/love story REVENGE: A LOVE STORY as he is for his career as a pop singer with Universal Music, comes to horror fans once again with his directorial debut, RIGOR MORTIS, a homage of sorts to the (more…)
The film KID CANNIBUS is based on the true story of Nate Norman (portrayed by Jonathan Daniel Brown), a teenage dropout that builds a massive multi-million dollar marijuana drug ring with his best friend Topher (Kenny Wormald) by legally traveling into Canada through the area where it borders Iowa and then buying large and felonious quantities of premium bud and sneaking it back across the border into Idaho to sell it. Sounds like a sweet and pretty (more…)
IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT a.k.a. Yip Man: Jung gik yat jin (2013), the 4th and seemingly final entry in the widely and internationally popular IP MAN series that explores the legendary Wing Chun teacher and Grandmaster Yip Man (also spelled Ip Man and known as Yip Kai-man), is the story of the later years in the extraordinary teacher’s life when he was living in Hong Kong. It also was during this time period (later on) that Ip Man’s most celebrated student, Bruce Lee, rose to (more…)
A film originally titled THE SAMURAI OF AYOTHAYA (2010) and now released out on Blu-ray from the gang over at WELL GO USA in 2012 under the title of MUAY THAI WARRIOR, of which I found odd the retitling of it, but maybe the recent trend over the years of Muay Thai/Thai Boxing films gaining popularity like ONG BAK and Tony Jaa films the reason being so. Regardless of which title you know the film as, director Nopporn Watin’s historical drama is filled with incredibly authentic real Muay Thai fighters training in Muay Boran (Thai boxing) throughout the film in showing (more…)
TAI CHI ZERO, the first of a planned trilogy of Martial Arts Extravaganza-fare with a Steampunk-flare look to them, director Stephen Fung (HOUSE OF FURY, JUMP) has teamed up with a legend in Martial Arts and action films, Sammo Hung, in getting him to choreograph the all the Martial Arts choreography, as well as some very talented and new names in this Hong Kong-style Martial Arts action flick coming out of China. Released by WELL GO USA, an American distributor that to my knowledge is releasing many of the most current Asian Action/Martial Arts flicks on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as some decent horror and dramas, I have found that looking for the newest dvd bootlegs (or what seem to be bootlegs) in Chicago’s Chinatown is proving to be pointless as the quality of the copies are pretty horrid and Well Go USA is giving its prints the all-star treatment in quality and sound.
TAI CHI ZERO is an action-packed Martial Arts fight-fest that is (more…)
Directors KIM Jee-Woon (I SAW THE DEVIL) and YIM Pil-Sung (HANSEL & GRETEL) have created an anthology of three distinct visions, entitled DOOMSDAY BOOK, of what may lay ahead in the future. Since the world has survived a Mayan doomsday prophecy and the end of the world does not seem to occurring this month, it is only prudent that a film regarding apocalyptic endings should be reviewed. (more…)
Director Takashi Shimizu has gained much of his notoriety, if not all of it, for his writing and directorial efforts in starting the creation of the GRUDGE franchise, known in Japan as JUON: THE GRUDGE or JU-ON. At one point in my life, my film viewing genre of choice was strictly watching films from Japan, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Korea. My favorites were usually coming out of Japan and I remember having such a fondness the first time I saw (more…)
What can I say? A film from Sushi Typhoon will always interest me due to their creativity in pushing the level of gore and blood with each film they put out, as well as presenting it to viewers in an almost light-hearted and cheerful sort of way. I guess “cheerful” may not be the best way to describe it, but that is just how the film made me feel! (more…)
I just watched the trailer for WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW: SEEDIQ BALE and I have to say that it looked to be pretty damn cool. It sort of reminded me of THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, just in that it has a native tribe fighting against the military and I don’t think there really are going to be any other similarities except that the film is based on history and it looks to be pretty violent and have some wonderful cinematography! Check out the trailer here, as well as some of the screen shots from the movie. Here is the synopsis:
Wei Te-sheng’s epic film Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale reclaims an extraordinary episode from 20th-century history, which is little known, even in Taiwan. Between 1895 and 1945, the island was a Japanese colony (more…)
MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD, the Splatter-ific, Kick-tastic, Raunchy Riff on the X-Men Movies Debuts on Blu-ray™ + DVD Combo Pack and DVD May 22nd! Bonus Materials Include Featurettes, Interviews with the Filmmakers and the short film Yoshi Zero!
PLANO, TEXAS. (March 19, 2012) – Three leaders in the Japanese splatter movement — Noboru Iguchi (The Machine Girl), Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police) and Tak Sakaguchi (Yoroi: Samurai Zombie) — join forces to bring three times the heart-pounding action, three times the jaw-dropping comedy and three times the head-exploding splatter of your average action/horror/comedy with Mutant Girls Squad, debuting on Blu-ray™ + DVD Combo Pack and DVD May 22nd from Well Go USA Entertainment. (more…)
A POPULAR OVERSEAS 3D SCI-FI BOX OFFICE SMASH HIT DEBUTS ON NORTH AMERICAN HOME ENTERTAINMENT SHELVES FROM WELL GO USA AND SHOUT! FACTORY arriving on 3D Blu-ray and DVD. SECTOR 7, a Major Motion Picture from the Filmmakers of Haeundae (Tidal Wave) and starring Ha Ji-Won, Ahn Sung-Ki, Oh Ji-Ho, is packed with eye-popping visuals, high octane action sequences, English & Korean audio tracks, revealing bonus content and more! Own it on Blu-ray 3D and DVD June 26, 2012 from SHOUT! FACTORY!
Japanese horror films have always held a special place in my heart, but not just specifically horror—all films from Japan from all the various genres have always been a cultural curiosity, sort of thing for me. There culture is just so fascinating and interesting, whether it be the ways they prepare and consume food, how they build such awe-inspiring electronics, or even the consumer products they put in their vending machines on the streets. Really, one can go to a machine and buy a bottle of booze or purchase a pair of used panties for the jerk-off ride home on the train. Don’t forget to grope the sexy schoolgirl with the short Catholic plaid skirt and knee-high stockings, shortly after every dude on the train jumping in on the action in Chikan frenzy! (more…)
Protect the Temple
Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse and Jackie Chan Star in the Epic Martial Arts Masterpiece Debuting on Blu-ray™ and DVD October 25
Collector’s Edition Includes More Than Two Hours of Bonus Materials, Including a Behind-the-Scenes Featurette and Deleted Scenes
It looks like Jet Li’s films are now getting remade. What stuck me as interesting was the fact that Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, and Nicholas Tse are starring in this Martial Arts film. I can’t remember if I have even seen SHAOLIN TEMPLE or not. I need to go dig up all my Martial Arts films from Tai Seng that I have on VHS and have not bought on DVD/BRD yet. As always, not a year goes by without seeing Jackie Chan’s name attached to a movie coming out of Hong Kong. That man is a movie-making machine! Benny Chan has made more than a few movies with Jackie Chan, including NEW POLICE STORY, Jackie Chan’s WHO AM I?, and ROBIN B HOOD I will be looking forward to re-visiting the original SHAOLIN TEMPLE and see what is done differently or the same with SHAOLIN. Well Go USA really packed in the extras on the Blu-ray release of the film, too. Look for the review at SHU-IZMZ in the near future.
PLANO, TEXAS. (September 14, 2011) – Andy Lau (House of Flying Daggers, Future X-Cops), Nicolas Tse (The Stool Pigeon, Storm Warriors), and international superstar Jackie Chan (The Karate Kid, Rush Hour trilogy) star in the martial arts drama Shaolin, debuting on Blu-ray™ + DVD Combo Pack, DVD and Collector’s Editions DVD and Blu-ray™ October 25 from Well Go USA. In this remake of Jet Li’s Shaolin Temple (1982), acclaimed director Benny Chan (City Under Siege) tells an epic tale of sadistic warlords squaring off against noble monks in “a tale of monstrous evil, spiritual transformation and ultimate self-sacrifice” (Mark Jenkins, NPR). The Collector’s Edition features extensive bonus materials including deleted scenes and a “Making of” featurette. Shaolin will be available for $24.98 SRP (DVD), $29.98 SRP (Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack, DVD Collector’s Edition), and $32.98 (Blu-ray Collector’s Edition).
In the early years of the Republic, China has been plunged into chaos as feuding warlords battle to expand their power and their lands. Young army leader Hou Chieh (Andy Lau) and his sworn brother Tsao Man (Nicholas Tse) find themselves on opposing sides as the war escalates. The ultimate battle ensues when the army is set to besiege the peaceful Shaolin Temple and the peace-loving monks are forced to take up arms to protect their people and beloved temple.
Bonus Features Include:
§ Behind the scenes interviews (including interview with Shaolin Abbot)
§ Making of
§ Deleted Scenes
Shaolin has a runtime of approximately 131 minutes for DVD and Combo Pack and 250 minutes for Collector’s Editions and is rated R.
SOURCE: WELL GO USA
WELL GO ACQUIRES NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS TO TAKASHI SHIMIZU’S TORMENTED AND THE SHOCK LABYRINTH
TORMENTED WILL PREMIERE IN VENICE FOLLOWED BY A COMPETITION SLOT IN SITGES
PLANO, TEXAS. (August 29, 2011) — Well Go USA has preemptively acquired all North American distribution rights including theatrical, DVD, Digital, VOD and Television to the upcoming 3D horror thriller TORMENTED from Hong Kong/Netherlands-based Fortissimo Films. They have simultaneously also acquired all rights to the 2010 horror classic THE SHOCK LABYRINTH. Both films were directed by edgy auteur Takashi Shimizu, best known for the original 2002 Japanese hit The Grudge (Juon) and the 2003 sequel The Grudge 2 (Juon 2) as well as the US remakes of both films. The original film and the English language remakes grossed over $270 million worldwide.
TORMENTED will premiere at the upcoming Venice Film Festival in Official Selection Midnight. It has just been announced that it also has been selected for Official Competition at the Sitges Film Festival, the world’s foremost fantasy and horror film festival to be held in October this year.
The deal was brokered between Doris Pfardrescher, President, Well Go USA Entertainment and Winnie Lau, EVP, Sales & Acquisitions, Fortissimo Films.
“We are looking to push the envelope and bring unique filmed entertainment from all corners of the world to the North American market,” said Doris Pfardrescher. “We are excited to have secured rights to these films directed by the very talented, visionary director Takashi Shimizu that will no doubt resonate with the huge and passionate genre fan base.”
Fortissimo’s Lau added, “ In the last few years Well Go has established a very strong reputation in North America for its exciting selection of films combining great marketing with great distribution. We are thrilled that Fortissimo’s first two 3D titles will be in their excellent hands and we are looking forward to strong results across all media.”
TORMENTED centers on a young boy whose family seems to be unraveling around him. His sister is grappling with the reality of life or death, while his storybook illustrating father walks a line with insanity. The situation intensifies when the boy manifests a dangerous friendship with a stuffed toy rabbit that comes to life. Is he crazy or are they all delusional? Shimizu ventures once more into the terrifying corners of the mind where the lines between fact and fiction are blurred. This film marks his first collaboration with award winning director of photography Christopher Doyle who has previously worked with many other noted Asian directors including Wong Kar Wai.
THE SHOCK LABYRINTH 3D
THE SHOCK LABYRINTH (2010) marked Japan’s first foray into the world of live-action 3-D feature films. The story follows a group of teenagers dealing with the disappearance of one of them, Yuki, at an amusement park’s ghost house. On a rainy day 10 years later, Yuki inexplicably returns. However, no sooner is she united with her former friends than she collapses, and the group rushes Yuki to a nearby hospital. But after checking in, they discover that things are not quite as they seem at the medical center. As the night wears on, the group sinks deeper and deeper into the events from a decade ago that led to Yuki’s disappearance.
About Well Go USA
Well Go USA, Inc. (www.wellgousa.com) is a theatrical and home entertainment distribution company that specializes in bringing top content, including the best in Asian Cinema to North America. As a leader in independent film distribution, Well Go’s titles can be seen across a variety of formats and platforms including in theaters, on DVD, Blu-ray, digital (video-on-demand, electronic sell-through and streaming) and broadcast television through cable and satellite. Since 1994, Well Go has acquired and released over 2,000 titles worldwide. In 2005, Well Go expanded its distribution to North America where five to ten titles are released monthly. Well Go USA’s corporate headquarters are in Plano, TX with offices in Taiwan and China.
About Fortissimo Films
Fortissimo Films (www.fortissimofilms.com) is an international film, television and home entertainment sales organization specializing in the production, presentation, promotion and distribution of unique, award winning and innovative feature films from independent film makers from all over the world.
Well Go USA’s BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE(2009), directed by relative-newcomer to filmmaking Geoff Klein, who until this film has only directed a few shorts (if IMDb is correct) has crafted a slasher flick that follows all of the known conventions to the slasher genre but one- creating a film that has on-screen violence/murders, blood and gore, or nudity. The film has a pinch of each-but not enough of any one ingredient to keep the movie interesting enough through all the elements one is accustomed to finding in a horror film, and in particular, a slasher film.
What makes a successful slasher film one may ask? For starters, how about some on-screen slashing instead of each and almost every kill scene cut (by the director, mind you, and not by the psycho in the film) from the movie right before any opportunity of blood spilling occurs for the viewers. Gee, I thought that the whole point of watching a horror film marketed and advertised as “a brilliant mix of FRIDAY THE 13TH and URBAN LEGEND” and “a classic slash-action that horror fans everywhere will die for” was to actually deliver a miniscule amount of what the film is hyping itself up about. I think that BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE had the potential to be a decent low-brow, run of the mill slasher film that would be fun to watch and be regarded as a solid slasher film to watch-maybe nothing new to add to the genre but a film that could possibly have been created to cater to fans of mindless gore that actually might have had a few scenes of solid suspense mixed in with some blood oozing out from knife, axe, or blunt objects being used as murder weapons—but no. No such luck. The film lacks everything that could have made it a glorious, low budget, probably B-grade slasher film. What was particularly nerve-wracking was the fact that the cast gracing the screen was filled with lovely figured girls prancing around in bikinis throughout the whole film, including Chicago-native Danielle Doetsch (BLACK DAYS), Scream Queen Suzi Lorraine (TORMENT, DESTINED TO BE INGESTED), Cindel Chartrand (MISBEHAVIOR), Christina Sciortino (THE END), Kerri Taylor (SATAN’S SCHOOLGIRLS), Caroline Faille (a first time actress) and a few other attractive girls clad in bikinis. The title did not lie—there were girls in bikinis throughout the whole film. The problem was that there were girls WEARING bikinis throughout the whole film and not girls TAKING OFF bikinis throughout the entire film. I figure if a movie whose plot revolves around a bus full of women’s soccer players stranded at an abandoned gas station during a fundraiser for their soccer team is filled with beautiful women with trim and fit bodies sporting bikinis, then I want to see a little bit more than just some cleavage and buttocks peaking through in skimpy attire. There was one sex scene within the film in which Nikki (Taylor) goes for a little lesson in stick with a customer of the car wash that is offered much more than just a wash. This is the one and only scene of nudity and its a topless sex scene and is fairly brief. I was kind of a little bit disappointed by this. Thankfully for the film, the acting in it was not horrible and at times pretty convincing but mediocre acting in a slasher film with hardly any blood and gore with a majority of the murders cut before any actual flesh is cut or chopped apart really became quite annoying. I was sure I had put in a slasher film in that was not approved for PG rating because if that one brief scene of nudity was omitted from the film, it would able to be presented on the Disney Channel or another such network.
The director Geoff Klein even states during the films commentary that he consciously made a decision to not film much of the violence within the script on film because he felt that it would be scarier and viewers imaginations would run wild and come up with their own ideas about what happened. Sadly, the only thing I was thinking about was how much potential this film had and how it could have been way better if their was quite a bit more on-screen violence shot in the film and if there was a load more blood and gore. Save the lack of blood and violence within a film for “thrillers” and “suspense” films, not movies dubbed “slashers”.
On a positive note, I absolutely loved the movie’s cover art, as well as the title itself. BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE has a certain ring to it that screams out exploitative scenes of nudity, blood, and guts and going into the film I could tell right off the bat that I was going to be in for a major disappointment. I felt that the two actresses whose characters stood out and gave me something to keep me attentive were the performances of Danielle Doetsch and Cindel Chartrand. The two characters are best friends in the film and really gave believable performances. Doetsch, in particular, had a real energetic buzz going on around her and her animated performance kept me awake during this less than adequate entry to the slasher genre.
The killer in the movie, dubbed the name “Moe” because it is written on the work shirt he is wearing during all the murders that viewers are not privy to, just goes stomping around grunting and exhaling loudly while quickly entering a shot and raising a weapon, only to have the director yell “CUT!” before anything is done on camera for the viewers’ enjoyment. I also noted that the director really has a hard-on for the Australian horror film WOLF CREEK whose plot revolves around a group of young adults stranded in the middle of a barren stretch of Australia only to ask for help from a psychopath who takes them captive and begins to torture and kill them. If only the director had taken his love for WOLF CREEK and applied some of the aspects of it that made the film so popular with viewers–the addition of blood and gore to each murder that was filmed.
The special features on the film are pretty decent and include a Behind the Scenes segment, Deleted Scenes, some bloopers, and trailers. In listening to the commentary with director Geoff Klein and writer/producer Jeff Ross, I found out that Klein really enjoyed WOLF CREEK, even going so far as to throwing in his film his favorite sound that was used in WOLF CREEK for a scare scene or murder sequence. What I did not understand is why the director than did not decide to go the route in which WOLF CREEK took where there is tons of blood, torture, and on-screen violence. Our psychopath in the film also has no motive or reason for killing other then that he is absolutely completely nuts.
I did enjoy the commentary, but noticed that both Ross and Klein delivered it with about as much enthusiasm and interest as young child forced to watch foreign news report on changes in the stock market. I can see myself definitely using the movie’s commentary as background noise to fall asleep to at night. The intonation in both their voices rarely fluctuated and was so soft-spoken that it makes for perfect napping audio.
BIKINI GIRLS ON ICE is not the worst slasher film out in the genre, but it is one that I feel is worth skipping over–especially if looking for a bit of nudity, more than a sprinkle of blood, and scenes of on-screen violence actually shot and shown to viewers instead of leaving the violence in the imagination of the viewer. I have a wonderfully twisted and sadistic imagination but I watch horror films to see what OTHER twisted and sadistic visions filmmakers can conceive of and capture on film. I look forward to seeing a film that director Klein creates with the intention of leaving nothing to the viewers’ imagination and instead, just show us what you have in that creative brain of yours, Geoff.
(Look for this review, along with many others, in the 2nd Issue of SHU-IZMZ ZINE, due out later this month!)