Big Commotion (1968)

I'm starting to get back into the swing of things. I got a job, I feel like the madness of our life changing move is finally settling down. I'm finding myself back in a routine which is giving me the right state of mind for movie viewing. I mentioned in my last review that I came across a wonderful video store in South Pasadena called Videotheque. It's an all meat no filler kind of place. It ranges from an assortment of some of the greatest movies ever made to some of the weirdest movies ever made and in turn some of the most rare movies ever made. They carry a lot of films put out by 5 Minutes To Live (now known as Cinestrike). I've spent the last five years or so slowly building up a nice little 5mtl hoard but there's still so much more to be discovered and at $15 a pop (plus $6 for shipping) it can be a pricey hobby. And let's face it, collecting movies such as those sold on 5mtl and in my own online shop (I admittedly sell movies I dislike) can be hit or miss. The option to rent is a lifesaver! On that note, I was particularly enthralled to see that they carried what was going to be my next purchase from "Cinestrike" (still can't get used to calling them that). The 1968 Japanese film Big Commotion (Nippon oyafukô jidai)...

The major selling point on this one is that it stars my FAVORITE Japanese group, the Spiders, whose cd I bought on a whim a few years ago based on the incredible cover and have since played it out. They've been compared to a lot of bands, the Beatles, the Electric Prunes, the Ventures and the Monkees (the latter I think is most accurate). Really though, they're a superb rock n' roll group who has a distinct flavor of their own. It wasn't uncommon for them to open for the Beach Boys in Japan. I dare say their sound is in that vein as well, during the Pet Sound years. I could really gush over this group. They're wonderful and if you're unfamiliar I give them my utmost recommendation.

For some reason I thought this one had subtitles but unfortunately it didn't and as far as I know there isn't a copy floating around that does. I was a bit disappointed at first because there does seem to be a plot and I was having a hard time following it, but after a while you get the gist of what's going and I was able to engage myself in the comedic antics. The underlying storyline I seemed to notice revolved around the the lead singer, Masaaki Sakai who was lovesick over a girl and often slipped into fantasy sequences in which he makes a ridiculous cross-eyed face prior to. I found his role in the movie to be completely adorable! His animated features and movement made this movie a lot more watchable. I later realized that he's the main character on the show Monkey Magic! Which I believe was mostly directed by Jun Fukuda.

Aside from him, the rest of the band (there are seven total) seemed be the foils for his shenanigans. I read that this was Japan's answer to the Beatle's Help! but it struck me a lot more like an extended episode of the Monkees television show with Masaaki as the Peter Tork character. Aside from all of that, I still was a bit lost with the story but the other selling point were the awesome live performances and music videos. I'm surprised none of that footage has made it to youtube (unfortunately I don't know how to do any of that or I'd upload them myself). In fact, I'm disapointed that there aren't any decent clips of the Spiders at all other than a 1981 reunion where they cover Day Tripper, which I wouldn't say is one of their finest moments. I was thrilled to hear (and see) all of my favorite songs including Kaze Ga Naiteriru, which has made countless mixes.

All in all, worth a view for serious fans of the Spiders or the Japanese GS movement of the 60's. I was hoping for a bit more psychedelia to get me through the subtitle-less-ness but considering this movie is over two hours I would say it held my attention pretty well. At very least check out their music. You can get the cd used on Amazon for around $10. WELL WORTH IT.


Gone with the Pope (1976/2010)

I'm back again! This time hopefully for good. Just as suspected, everything fell into place right befre the move. We had a delightful cross country trip. Including a tourist-y afternoon spent in Tombstone. It was still fun for me because before that day I'd never even seen the desert in person. We arrived two weeks ago and things have been crazy-hectic ever since. Between family events, filling out applications, going to interviews and re-familiarizing ourself with the area it seems like we've barely had a moment's rest. Unfortunately almost all of my movies are packed up in the storage shed so our viewing options are very limited. We've bought a few movies but even still haven't had much time or space to watch them. Our living area is really small and cluttered right now so even when we have had the time it hasn't been very comfortable and cohesive for a proper viewing experience. Alas, one of the best things about living in LA are the amazing theaters. My favorite is of course, the New Beverly. The only note worthy movie experience I've had (other than discovering an incredibly hip rental place called Videotheque in South Pasadena which I'll be touching upon more in the future) was finally seeing the much anticipated Gone with the Pope.

Director and star Duke Mitchell was best known for his Dean Martin impersonations, particularly in his role in Bela Lugosi meets the Brooklyn Gorilla. He went on to make the cult classic Massacre Mafia Style. Gone with the Pope was intended to be the sequel, which I wasn't aware of until after I saw it. Although it didn't prevent me from thoroughly enjoying and following along fairly easy anyway. This was considered Mitchell's lost masterpiece. Scraping pennies and filming it on weekends when he could get the money, cast and crew together he filmed most of it in pieces over the course of five years. Over time the project was abandoned. In 1981 Mitchell died leaving Gone with the Pope unfinished to collect dust in his son's garage. In 2009 Grindhouse releasing were offered the opportunity to assemble the piece to make it a coherent film. Bob Murawski ( who was there to introduce the movie the night I saw it) made it his pet project in between his bigger jobs ( Drag Me To Hell, Spiderman 1,2 & 3 and the Hurt Locker, ).The end result is a hilariously offensive cult film on par with the work of the Kuchar Brothers.

The story revolves around Paul (Duke Mitchell) a hitman who's recently been released from prison. He's hired for a new job and recruits a goofy lopsided hispanic with a unsettling grin to assist him. After collecting payment we see a montage of him and his girlfriend playing and having fun. So absurdly over the top, it had the entire audience in hysterics.

He gets his group of buddies together and he cooks up a scheme to sail from California to Rome, Italy so they can kidnap the Pope for a ransom of one dollar from every Catholic in the world. A great plot if you ask me and even in it's flaws it's the small details that make this movie so perfect. The almost homo-erotic "buddy" scenes, Paul throwing his friend's necklace in the ocean for no reason at all and maybe best of all, the off-putting John Water's-esque "sex"(?) scene with a random obese woman he finds on the street. People who take movies too seriously might not see the genius of Gone with the Pope but those with a love for all things campy and high tolerance for sexist, racist and generally offensive dialogue will be dying of laughter at this resurfaced gem.

As of now it's still touring select cities. It will no doubt be getting a DVD release in the near future so if you miss out on the screenings keep your eyes peeled, here's the link to the official website.

So am I back for good? For the most part. Like I said, my movies are still packed and until all of the kinks are ironed out of the arrival (for instance, being on shared computer) my reviews may still be a bit sparse. However I am certainly in the right place to continue my hunt for the weirdest and wildest movies around so don't be discouraged if my blog updates are still somewhat sparse. I'm making a comeback and it will be more awesome than ever so stay tuned!


Satanik (1968)

Satanik is one of the many Euro-crime movies to come out in the 60's. A category I generally enjoy because even when they're a bit slow or mediocre they have a stylish flair that belongs to this particular sub-genre. Satanik is based on the comic by Max Bunker who's most famous for doing Kriminal and Alan Ford. Kriminal was also made into a movie in 1968 directed by Umberto Lenzi. I always assumed it was a rip-off of Danger: Diabolik, and it probably is, but it certainly has a life of it's own. The Satanik comic is similar in flavor. The only difference, this super-kriminal is female.

A hideously deformed lady scientist is working on cell regeneration with an elderly scientist. He tells her the formula isn't ready. They've been experimenting on animals and the subjects have become extremely hostile after being given the treatment. Unable to cope with her appearance any longer she kills her fellow colleague and takes the solution. She wretches, gags and passes out, when she awakens she's been transformed into a drop dead gorgeous sex pot. After this point the movie kind of goes no where. She philanders around using her looks to steal money or at least have men throw money at her. Nothing really out of the ordinary about that. The only real difference from her and any run in the mill gold digger is that she requires medicine that keeps her from looking like the crusty old hag that she really is. Obviously with Jekyll/Hyde overtones. The idea is that when she's ugly she's "normal" and when she's beautiful she's wicked, but that doesn't make any sense. She did kill the other Scientist in order to get the solution in the first place. Magda Konopka is great in the leading role. She looks pretty disgusting in her old bag make-up and transforms into a sultry swan-like bombshell. The plot is pretty watered down. I can still dig it because I have no problem just enjoying retro clothes and atmosphere (although the quality of my copy left something to be desired) but I can see how it often being bulked with Diabolik, Killing, Kilink (the unauthorized Turkish Killing) , Kriminal and other masked thieves, could leave something to be desired. The poster art is a bit misleading. She only wears the famous costume in one scene and it's for a striptease. No sneaking around stealing diamonds here.

Is Satanik a bad movie? Not by my standards. It's not a shining example of Euro-Crime or even Super-Kriminal, but I still wouldn't write it off. It has an offbeat charm that only the sole lady-kriminal could offer and is certainly worth a look for devotees of retro Italian cinema.

Book Review: Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies

A Film Critic's Year-Long Quest To Find The Worst Movie Ever Made, by Michael Adams

Ahh, my first book review, and what a perfectly appropriate choice for this blog. My husband bought this on a whim when I dropped him off at the bookstore while I had to go run some boring wedding errands I didn't want to subject him to. When I picked him up he said this looked like something we'd both like and started reading it out loud to me. He was right. We both got so into it we've been reading it out loud to each other on and off in our spare time during all of this marriage bedlam. Writer Michael Adams uses a toy bingo machine to decide his bad movie fate for an entire year. This immediately reminded me of our process of elimination. "the hat game". Whenever Arthur and I can't decide what movie to watch we write down the contenders and pull them out of a hat. They may not all be intentionally bad, but chances are most of them are video age dreck. Searching for the worst movie ever made is a noble feat and for me personally it sounds like a lot of fun. It takes a lot of dedication to stick it out. As much as I revel in everything awful there are territories I don't tread. This book makes me feel like I could even brave Da Hip Hop Witch and Cool as Ice. I won't lie, this awesome book will probably effect my reviews for a while.

I enjoyed reading his thoughts on the movies I had seen, but there were still quite a few that were foreign to me and his musings, no matter what the verdict was, were funny and honest. Mixed with anecdotes about trying to accomplish this goal while maintaining a balance of work and family. It's an engaging and relatable book to any cinephile with questionable taste. Interestingly, while writing the book he was the co-host of "The Movie Show" where he's forced to share his opinion on new releases. I imagine watching Bratz: the Movie (or something equally hideous) at work and coming home to suffer through a Uli Lommel marathon could feel like self induced torment.

The interviews with celebrities were educational. My favorite quote is from Mike Nelson of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 fame. "A lot of people say, 'What's the worst movie ever made?' The worst movie ever made, you wouldn't want to watch: it's boring.", when describing the difference between truly bad boring movies and the hilarity that is, his favorite (and one of mine), Roadhouse. Which is really where the bad movie road splits down the middle. Nobody likes boring movies, but any cult fanatic worth their salt wants to see how bad something can be and still be entertaining. It seems like Michael Adams had his fair share of both and for this brave attempt I salute him. Of course there really isn't a definite answer, I've seen many horrible movies that I hate equally and many wonderful movies that some consider unwatchable garbage. It's the thrill of the hunt and a love/hate relationship with these disasterpieces that makes it all worth it. So if you want some great recommendations to lovingly annihilate with a group of friends or just want to know what to avoid, Showgirls, Teen Wolves and Astro Zombies is a perfect place to start.
click here to read Movies So Bad They're Unmissable by Michael Adams


Back to Normal...sort of?

Ok, well now that all that is over. I'm officially an old married woman and happy to have it all behind me. Everything was lovely, it was wonderful seeing everyone now I couldn't be happier for things to go back to normal. Kind of. As I mentioned, now we have to prepare for our move to Los Angeles just a few weeks away. I've always been terrible at planning moves and trips so as you can imagine about 90 % of the house in unpacked. I'm trying not to worry too much.  Everything will fall into place just in the nick of time. Although getting right to work packing and organizing would be wise I've spent most of these past few days catching up on sleep and lounging around grazing on wedding leftovers. Not very glamorous but much more comfortable and appealing than the New Orleans Honeymoon we had planned after the hellaciously stressful and exhausting week leading up to the big day. It didn't help that amidst all of this chaos I had to entertain guests. Needless to say my movie watching has most definitely suffered. But I've managed to pepper a few in here and there so this post will serve as both an update and overview on what's been going on.

Lifetime is an untapped resource of genre movies.

For some reason various Lifetime movies had been getting brought up in conversations a few weeks back. I was telling my then fiance about two I remembered seeing when I was a kid that I recalled being pretty fun. One I couldn't remember the title of, but thanks to my friend Mark over at Soiled Sinema, he somehow unearthed the forgettable title "Someone is Watching" out of thin air based on my vague description. I remembered that a creepy man had built an underground tunnel from his basement to the closet of the little boy next door. The boy was talking to him at night, when he'd tell his mother about his "friend" she assumed he was imaginary. I seem to remember it having a weak ending, but the synopsis alone was enough to freak out my tween self. Thanks to Mark I now know that when I decide to make the leap I can get this from Amazon for a mere .74 cents. The other movie was much more memorable and starred one of my favorite people to dislike, Tori Spelling in Co-ed Call Girl. I remembered this movie being so tacky and lame that even in my youth I could see it's camp value. A nerdy pre-med school girl gets manipulated into a call girl service. She goes from overalls and giant flannel shirts to whore-ish skank garb in about 5 seconds. I had promised myself that I wouldn't accept any more trades on Ioffer until after I moved but when someone made me an offer for My Mom's a Werewolf and I noticed she had nothing but Lifetime movies I couldn't help but check. Sure enough, the made for tv embarrassment was there and I accepted the trade. Not realizing at the time that Susan Blakely plays the Mom in both movies, which adds to the irony/strange timing of this whole transaction.

While I was waiting for it to arrive this wasn't my only experience with Lifetime original movies. I had to do some work at my Mom's house to prepare for the reception. There was a lot of painting to do, Arthur and I had forgotten to bring music and I really didn't feel like listening to the Seal cd my Mom has been playing on repeat for weeks now. So I opted for the TV. We ended up watching the 1958 version of the Fly for the first time. Wow, what an epic classic! We ultimately put down our paint brushes and all got involved in the movie. Even my Mom who's never really been into horror, especially classic horror. Unexpectedly it actually creeped me out a little bit. Much like the Tingler, I expected to admire it's craftsmanship but didn't expect the terror it ultimately delivers. That my friends, is the calling card of a timeless classic. Shame on me for waiting this long to see it.

Unfortunately the TV didn't have much else to offer on this particular day. After the Fly I channel surfed until I saw a ridiculous title that I couldn't help but check out. The Pregnancy Pact. Oh dear. It didn't take me long to realize that this atrocity was featured on none other than the channel of the week, Lifetime. It starred Thora Birch as a reporter trying to figure out why there is an epidemic of teen pregnancies in a particular town. It was truly terrible. Sappy crappy annoying bullshit. The teens in this movie are unlike any I've ever encountered which makes it hard to believe this was actually based on a true story. What the fuck is wrong this these retards? They make a conscious effort to get knocked up at the same time. This is pretty good example of what makes Lifetime such tasteless garbage. They attempt to make sociologically relevant movies but all they ever accomplish is churning out exploitive trash. Sure, they can't all be winners, and I probably could have lived without seeing this one. But I've been getting a lot of signs from the shitty-womens-television-gods saying that its high time I tap into this particularly asinine part of made-for-TV history, track down the good, the bad and the worthless and review some of this schlock! Think about it. What are the primary subject matters of Lifetime movies. Romance...? No, not really. Try rape, violence, drugs, and fucktard teenagers doing fucktard things.

And on that note, a few days later I received Co-ed Call Girl in the mail. I tried hiding my excitement from Arthur but he knew that I wanted nothing more than to lock myself in the bedroom with my shitty Tori Spelling movie. It's like it's 1996 all over again! I won't lie though, it wasn't quite what I remembered. The images of her getting screwed in a pool were obviously my wanting this movie to be Showgirls. Alas, it was still awkward and trashy. I love looking at all of her mid-90's hooker attire. Spelling is such an odd looking bird. Mother nature was not kind to her, but thankfully her rich daddy was. Co-ed Call Girl was much more scandalous when I first saw it at age 11, now it's a bit fluffy but still a great example of tacky awkwardness. It has a true essence of cheese. Maybe some day an auteur filmmaker can buy the rights to some of these terrible Lifetime movies that show some kind of promise, edit in sex scenes with body doubles and create a hybrid of cult movies!

For some reason apart of me worried that Co-ed Call Girl would be the last movie I saw as a "bachelorette". I view movies very sentimentally and I associate them with times in my life. But thankfully the spirit of Al Adamson smiled down at me (or up at me, whatever) and a truly remarkable thing happened. The night before our wedding we weren't partying with the guys or gals. Completely exhausted from cleaning, painting, shopping, going to the tailor, and running various wedding related errands we landed a few hours before bedtime to watch a cult classic. Satan's Sadists.

Ok, so maybe "remarkable" isn't the word, but considering how long it had been since I'd seen a movie on my wavelength it was nice to be able to relax and watch something wild and fun. In a sense it was as if we got to have our own little bachelor party with the likes of Russ Tamblyn as "Anchor" and his band of outlaw rejects. I can see why it's considered one of the best biker-sploitation movies ever (and respectively one of the worst). Tamblyn's mother said that it killed his career, but I disagree. I think it may be one of the strongest roles in his entire career, and I was already a big fan of his. His ruthless insanity couldn't have been pulled off by just anyone. It is in my opinion Tamblyn's most iconic role. I was also impressed with Regina Carrol (Adamson's real life wife) as "Gina" the used up biker bitch who was treated like nothing more than the community cum dumpster. A depressing character, but it's a depraved movie and I found myself feeling for her and saddened by her reaction to Anchor's rejection. Also couldn't help but wonder if Cassandra (Elvira) Peterson's cameo in Pee Wee's Big Adventure as the biker babe is a nod the that character. Especially since Cassandra's line is almost verbatim to one of Regina Carrol's. Something like "I say you let me have him first!" when the tough guy bikers are trying to decide how to kill a cop (or...Pee Wee Herman).

Yes, I was more than pleased for thoughts of bikes and bimbos to be hanging out in the back of my mind while gussying up for my big day. So what was our first movie as a married couple? Feeling stir crazy the day after the wedding, we'd caught a second wind and didn't feel like doing much of anything so we caught the last showing of Machete.

Verdict: pretty good. Though to be honest after such an intense waiting period I expected a little more. Obviously the whole Grindhouse sensation signified a tongue in cheek throw back. The trailer for Machete was especially appealing because it represented a type of over the top action movie that has all but snuffed out completely. What I wanted from Machete was mindless ass kicking by the hand of Danny Trejo. A tiny plot to string together scenes of senseless violence but not putting much importance on the story. What we actually got was a plot heavy rush job. Great start, decent finish, but that whole middle period lagged big time, and who's to blame? Jessica Alba. Well, really whoever wrote Jessica Alba's part. That police sub-plot really made the movie feel more sluggish than it should have. A sex object is fine and there was lots of sex, and it was good! But that romance jargon is the fastest way to kill my action movie boner. I was perfectly content with Michelle Rodriguez and her hot iconic glory, and I'd be lying if I said Lindsay Lohan as the drug addicted skank webcam porn avenging nun wasn't totally awesome and worthy of her being absolved of all of her suckery. Lest we forget Jeff Fahey. Oh how I love Jeff Fahey. Is it just me or is he getting sexier with age? But Danny Trejo is the real star here and truth be told there just wasn't enough of him. He's been acting for 30 years and has had to play second banana and ugly henchmen goons for his entire career, finally the man gets a leading role and it's just not enough. I get it, he gets the hot girl, it's apart of the formula. But the movie was really about HIM, and HE is what the people want to see. Still fun and violent and all that good stuff. Worth a look.

Other than that we've only really watched one other movie. Post-Wedding/Machete, we're groggy and recovering from a hangover that would last for days we decided to pick a random video from our endless stack of unwatched crap. We ended up picking Escapes, an atrocious anthology movie featuring old man Vincent Price. The cover boasts as him being the star but the slow moving shot on video results make me think the entire budget must have gone to the 5 minutes of screen time Price performed. The five stories they try to cram into 72 minutes range from 3 minutes to 15 all of which seems too long. Dragging out scenes for 5 and 10 minutes that could have been summed up in 20 seconds. I found myself getting really tired watching this. Maybe I should blame the hangover for that, but if there's anything I have a low tolerance for it's a boring movie. For that reason I understand why Escapes has never made it to DVD. It tries to be a Twlight Zone meets Amazing Stories, but the stories just aren't good. The dialogue is repetitive, the costumes and effects are non-existent and it's full of continuity errors. No thanky.

So that pretty much brings us up to date. Even with the move a few weeks away I'm sure I'll be able to make more time for movie watching/reviewing that the past few weeks. I'm still anxious to see Spermula and it looks like I have a copy of Haseena Atom Bomb arriving any day now.

Until then! <3


Life & Stuff

These next few weeks are going to be so hectic that I thought I should go ahead and apologize in advance for my absence. On a personal note, I'm getting married in 11 days! Big stuff, I know. I avoided it (preparation, not getting married) for the longest time but I'm afraid with just a week and a half to go it's finally time for me to get into bride mode. Yuck! I suck at weddings. What's even more stressful is that we're moving to LA three weeks after. As of the past few days I've been a big ball of mess. I so just want to relax, pack a box or two a day and watch movies which in turn I would review, but it's looking like I'm not going to have much time for that in the upcoming month. Though I promise to try! I just got my last order I'll be receiving in this household. Including Spermula, Monster Shark, Ator the Fighting Eagle and a bunch of other stuff. I don't even have shoes to go with my dress yet....but I have lots of schlocky out of print movies! Geez. As of right now I'm hustling to get my house in order for company and getting my Mom's house in order for the reception/dinner party. All I've made time to watch since the Noble War is Ren & Stimpy and Black Books (the second seasons sucks, btw). If I can find time to watch some of my new weirdies I promise to crank out a quick review. But until then please excuse my (re)tardiness. I'll be busy doing wife things. Like this...

ACK! yeah right.

If you're at all interested I might be posting little updates on my other blog Unicorn Wizard. Also, my music archivist fiance and I will be compiling a great cd for our guests to take with them (sort of in place of a program). I'm going to post it as a download on Unicorn Wizard, I'll be sure to link you to that as well ;-)


The Noble War (1984)

I realized that it had been almost a month since I reviewed my last Sompote Sands disaster, Hanuman vs. 7 Ultramans. This is just unacceptable. I became so enamoured with Sands as a director, producer and a douche bag that I found his work to be truly daunting. Alongside alluring, disgusting, hypnotizing, ugly and somehow whimsical. The first experience left me with a lot to think about. As a reviewer and the direction this obsession could take me. It was a little terrifying to jump into the next one. I decided to sit with it for a while and fully absorb Hanuman vs. 7 Ultramans.

The past week I've been feeling the itch for more, but where to start? I decided to take a step back and try something a little more "tame". Now that  I've seen The Noble War I realized that that's just not a word to use when describing this guy's work. Because my reception of this movie was so bewildering I'm going to describe what it was like for me going into this completely blind with nothing but language and cultural barriers.

As I'm sure you've guessed, like pretty much all of Sompote Sands movies, there are no subtitles. I can usually deal with this pretty well. It's easy to follow a simple plot by observing the actions and change of setting. The Noble War was a little more difficult. For one, the acting is in traditional theatre style. They're almost dancing out their actions. Lyrical body language while Thai overdubbing speaks for the characters whose lips aren't even moving. This distracted me from following the story as well as I might have.

From what I could tell it revolved around all of the Hindu deities. Doing all kinds of senseless things I couldn't begin to fathom. It started out simple enough. Hanging out in a glorious palace fit for a ...God! Meanwhile lower/God/Monkey-things played flute and entertained the higher God(s?) and pretty ladies would feed them grapes (ok I made up the grape part). Much how you'd suspect an Eastern God would hang out. In come new similar looking Gods and they chatter for a while. Then they go outside and look in a magic mirror to see a war going on.

Here's where I got kind of lost because these characters, although awesome and sometimes different colors, all looked alike to me. The language barrier prevented me from catching their names so pretty much from there on out I had no fucking clue what was happening. So let me try and break it down.

  • Nobody likes the Green guy.
  • the Red guy likes to rip shit out of the ground.
  • In Thailand tree bark looks like peacock feathers.
  • Sompote Sands loves that fucking crocodile.
  • "What's that rotting rotisserie chicken doing floating in that pond?"
  • Hindu deities puke milk.

That pretty much sums up my viewing experience. I paid CLOSE attention to the dizzying psychedelic scenery to make sure I didn't miss anything that might perhaps transcend cultures.Only the three V'sViolence, vileness and vomiting. Make that four V's: Visuals. The Noble War is visually stunning. Nothing short of an epic, really. The rich pigments made my entire living room illuminate with glowing rainbow hues. Definitely a candidate for movies that should be experienced under the influence of LSD. At times it reminded me of the Thief of Bagdad (1940) with it's elaborate technicolor atmosphere. Even at times of utmost confusion the electric Bava-esque surroundings will keep you glued to the screen.

After the movie I felt really good, enriched somehow. I'm also left with a sense of fulfillment I've only gotten seeing a Sompote Sands movie. I can see a trend forming. Of course I got online to do my usual post-movie-research only to find that there's little to no information on it. Only the review that lead me to it on Die, Danger, Die, Die Kill!'s blog. Perhaps I'm just completely dense and oblivious to the Hindu religion or maybe I'm just less educated on the subject. To refrain from anymore paraphrasing and because I'm forever grateful to I do recommend reading Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill's review as it appears to be much more self aware than I am. I was far from making any connections with the Ramayana, the epic Hindu legend. The Noble War was evidentally based on the Thai adaptation, the Ramakien. Being a newbie to Thai culture I wasn't even aware that they had their own adaptation (that's what I get for dropping out of World Religion). Being familiar with the Ramayana though, I was able to make connections that didn't even occur to me as I was watching. I think I might have caught on if Sita (Sida, pretty grape feeding lady by Green man's/Rama's side) was in it more, since she's basically the reason the war began!

So for those who are unfamiliar with this story, I suppose the plot can be summarized as easily as the Ramakien or the Ramayana. A war erupts between Rama and Thosaganth for the kidnapping of Rama's wife Sita/Sida. Only Rama gets Hanuman and his army of Monkeys to do his bidding. That's it! All that scrambling around was just the result of Sompote Sands unrelenting shenanigans.

 Compared to what I've seen and what I know of Sompote Sands I think it's safe to say this is traditionally one of his "better" movies. Aside from a few nasty out-of-place sequences peppered in The Noble War really does have a touch of class. The date throws me off a bit though. Based on what I've read on thereformentioned blog and Sci-Fi Japan. Hanuman vs. 7 Ultramans and the Noble War share a scene. Hanuman is in outer space talking to a Deity in a fiery orb (the sun I imagine). Yes, he is the kind of director that reuses scenes from his own movies. Although there's really no solid information about any of these movies, I've been under the assumption that Hanuman vs. 7 Ultramans was made in 1974 since that's what all websites and bloggers I've encountered cite. But that movie obviously a mish-mesh of a scenes from other movies (ie: the 6 Ultra Bothers vs. the Monster Army). I highly doubt he used a scene from Hanuman vs. 7 Ultramans for The Noble War. It MUST have been the other way around. You know what I think? I think we all have the Hanuman date wrong. It's always classified as being from 1974 but I think that's because of the common misconception that Hanuman vs. 7 Ultramans and the Six Ultra Brother vs. the Monster Army are the same movie, when in fact they aren't.  Sompote Sands used scenes (a lot of them) from Monster Army but they are separate entities completely. If you've seen it, think about Hanuman vs 7 Ultramans. Think about how it looks. Refer to the picture in my review if you want. It really looks 80's! Mid/late 80's in fact. I think I'm onto something here. I'd be interested to hear everyone's thoughts.

I can easily say I enjoyed this as much as my first Sompote Sands movie. Where Hanuman Vs 7 Ultramans lacked, the Noble War provided. I don't mind being baffled by a candy colored absurdity. When it comes to Sands the payoff is pretty good. Not for everyone but worth while for explorers of true outsider cinema. No pretense here, folks. Just raw unadulterated curiosities.


TV Tuesday: Spider-Man (Toei)

Chances are you've seen the intro to this kooky fun fest (if not scroll down and watch it NOW). It's pretty much gone viral because of it's obvious coolness. There's something about taking an iconic character and putting them in a foreign setting with foreign characters that makes it feel very so strange and off. Seeing this Supaidaman is almost as wonderfully weird as the Turkish false eyelash wearing rapist Spiderman in 3 Dev Adam.

Apparently for four years Marvel allowed Toei to do whatever the fuck they wanted with whatever character they wanted (?). I'm sure you can imagine that Toei did things with the character that Marvel never dreamed of like make it, um...AWESOME!? Truth be told I'm not really that kind of nerd. I've never gotten into the Marvel/DC/any-superhero-related-comic thing. I'm not sure if that makes me biased or unbiased. I love the idea of foreign reworkings, no matter how artfully (or poorly) done it is it always feels wrong. Sometimes Usually so wrong that it's right. And the Toei Spider-Man feels oh so right.
No Peter Parker here. Our hero is Takuya Yamashiro, motorcycle racer whose father is killed after a UFO lands. The ship is called "the Marveler" and the remaining survivor is from a planet called "Spider". The mysterious Alien gives Takuya a bracelet that gives him the power of the Spider! There are also some bad guys lead by "Professor Monster" (best villain name ever). Oh yeah, and a giant fucking robot! Not surprising from the tokusatsu stand point, but totally out of place if you're used to the boring American storyline.

Apparently this show set the standards for a lot of Sentai and Tokusatsu in the following years. It really is a staple and a great place to start if you're new to the frantic antics of Japanese Super Hero shows and wacky world of Toei.


The Prophecy (1979)

When I bought this I think I was mixing it up with the 1995 movie The Prophecy with Christopher Walken, not that I would rather have that one. In the long run I think I'm better off with this John Frankenheimer version. What starts out as a really serious eco-political thriller ends up being a total schlockfest in the end, and isn't that the way it should be?

Robert Foxworth plays a peace loving doctor who is frustrated with his futile attempts at making the world a better place in a big city. When offered a job with the Environmental Protection Agency which would give him a change of scene and a chance to make a difference in another way, he accepts. He doesn't know that his wife, Talia Shire, is pregnant. She's afraid to tell him because he doesn't want to contribute to the over population and squalor of the world today. Understandable.

When they arrive they discover that the loggers and the local American Indians are feuding over land. It has turned violent and his job is to investigate to see what he can turn up. Armand Assante plays the leader of the Indians and he gets into a particularly awesome skirmish with a lumberjack. A fight ensues with an axe and a chainsaw as the battle weapons!

Something very large and scary is killing people. The loggers think it's the Indians retaliating but the Natives know better, they think it's "Katahdin" a legendary beast who's described as "larger than a dragon with the eyes of a cat". Not quite, but I'm getting there. Hawk's wife Romona is a midwife who describes birthing babies with deformities that usually die right away. Many locals get very sick and collapse. The white devils of course chock it up to the old stereotype of redskins not being able to hold their firewater. When Ramona introduced the Doctor and his wife to her father, he describes the place as being "the Garden of Eden " and fishes out a skanky mutant tardpole for proof.

At first I just thought it was a mudskipper but upon closer inspection I noticed that it wasn't, and it also couldn't be from the Garden of Eden because this is truly AN ABOMINATION OF GODDDD!!!

Need more proof? Check out this freak baby...

They realize that the Paper Mill is secreting mercury in the water so the whole area is a melting pot of grotesque deviation. Everyone/everything drinks the water, eats the fish and then dreadful mutations occur.

Oh, and did I mention that the large scary thing killing people is a BEHEMOTH MUTANT BEAR??...

I was pretty surprised about that. I was expecting something a little more monster-y. As far as I can tell, aside from it being hideous, it seems to act like any grizzly bear. Especially one whose baby has been stolen! (yeah, that was a cub up there) At first I was disappointed by this, I liked the idea of the Indian legend monster being real. But no, just another don't fuck with nature horror movie. I got over it quick though. The bear delivers some nice fuck-uppery though. Lots of people throwing, face eating, bitch slapping, it can even breathe under water.

In a lot of ways this movie reminds me of a better version of Godmonster of Indian Flats! Toxic gasses make local sheep turn into mutant sheep that serve ample helping of terror to the local assholes. Toxic mercury make big bear a BIGGER face-inside-out beast freak. They even kind of look alike!

Papa Bear

Sheep Fart Man

 For the record I'm not really sure where any "prophecy" fits in here. Not that I mind. I love that I was inadvertently mislead by this movie. It made all of the antics more entertaining in the long run. In the end...well, I'll let you find out. But for the record, preggo Talia Shire eats the same fish that Momma bear does. Suddenly that abortion that the Doc suggested is sounding pretty good!


The Room (2003)

Spoilers Ahead!

Ok people, where the hell have I been? Apparently this movie and it's overwhelming cult status have been sweeping the Country for God knows how long and I'm just now finding out about it. A friend on Facebook asked me if I'd seen it. I'd never even heard of it, so I watched the clips he sent me and IMMEDIATELY bumped it to the top of my Netflix que. I had a to wait a whole weekend to see it and let me tell ya... pure torture. I spent the entire weekend watching any youtube video with Tommy Wiseau's name attached to it. It was becoming clear that I was onto a new favorite movie.

To sum it up, it may just be the best worst movie ever made. There is so much wrong with it you'll find yourself looking for anything decent, functional or coherent about it. It's almost hard to believe that there's a plot, but somehow something is there!

 A successful banker named Johnny is madly in love with his "sexy" fiance Lisa, but her boredom and selfishness has lead her to seduce his best friend Mark. All the while, getting every single person they know involved in their affair. Since that synopsis sounds like I could have read it from the back of the box, let me break it down for you...

  • Successful Banker Named Johnny - The first time I watched this movie (yes, first time, as in, I watched it TWICE...in a row.) I did not notice any mention of what his profession was. In the second viewing I realized he does slur the word "bank" in his usual guttural fashion.
  • "Sexy" Fiance Lisa - Ok, let's be honest. Despite the male cast repeatedly reminding us that Lisa is "beautiful", who are we trying to kid? Let's start from the top: brassy peroxide hair with nappy roots, black eyebrows, old man big pickle nose, potato shoulders and a wardrobe that consists of mostly clothes from Fashion Bug. At BEST, she looked like pre-nose job Courtney Love. Only, she's about as alluring as a venerial disease.
  • Seduce - let's talk about cliche's, shall we? Candles. Red dress. Red Roses. Petals on the Bed. Silk Sheets. Sheer Drape Over Bed, and most importantly Sensual Urban Music.

The other Characters include, Denny the orphaned college kid who Johnny (Wiseau) has pretty much adopted. Which makes no sense because he's an adult. He has an unhealthy obsession with both Lisa and Johnny. He does incredibly creepy things like jump into bed with them pre-coitus for a pillow fight before reasoning that he just "likes to watch you guys." They say "aww" and give him a pat on the head before sending him off so they can mix their ungulating bodily fluids. Then there's Claudette, Lisa's mother who doesn't care about anything but her daughter's financial security. One of the most refreshing characters (and actors) in the whole movie with moments like "Well, I got the test results back, I definitely have breast cancer." They also have a group of fucktard friends whose names (although repeated 50 times) I didn't bother to remember.

It's shocking that this was made in 2003. It REALLY feels like late 80's/early 90's. I've questioned the sincerity of it. As I'm sure a lot of you have. HOW could this be unintentional? At least on some level. Tommy Wiseau - who wrote, directed and starred in this narcissistic self-indulgent disaster - claims that everything went according to plan. It was intended to be a black comedy and he's happy with it's reception though he's huffy about certain critic's obvious responses. For the most part, I think that he's just going a long with it because of it's insanely trendy reception. Why not capitalize on it, right? Tim and Eric are working with him now. He was in an episode of Season 4 and they've been pushing to get his sitcom The Neighbors on Adult Swim. I'm still not sure if this is straight forward. Tim and Eric are known for mocking the very thing that is The Room. I've often wondered if David Liebe Hart or any of their other targets are completely in on the joke. Surely they must be. If by some stretch of the imagination, the Room and Tommy Wiseau's essence are fabricated like some elaborate Sacha Baron Cohen character, I would bow down to his genius. But until disproven, I can only assume he's a hulking goon with the longest buttcrack known to man...

I've barely even talked about the man himself! Johnny, aka, Tommy Wiseau. I want to start by saying that, to my personal taste in men, he is the most revolting creature I've ever seen. That stringy unkempt long black hair, strange deep set face muscles not to mention unnatural lumps and indentations all over his filthy rectangular body. What woman would want this?

Did anyone else notice the ridiculous use of primary colors in this film? And what about that amazing skyline on the roof? What about the obsession with tossing a football 4 feet away from eachother?

When discovering that his girlfriend and best friend have been falandering he loses control, humps her dress and blows his brains out.

Did he just jizz in his pants?


This movie has brought me so much joy in the past few days. It's worth every bit of the hype. It's a remarkable achievement, even if it is a mistake. How many terrible movies end up being this entertaining anymore? This surpasses even some classic era baddies. I watched Fred Olen Ray's Cyclone a few days before this with every intention of reviewing it and all of it's 80's Motorbabe glory, but now I can't even think straight. The Room is so trashy and ugly that it can only be admired. It has redefined my views of bad and badd-er. Going even beyond that, challenging some of the worst movies of all time. There can only be one, and it is The Room. Not A Room. THE ROOM!