Tag Archive | 1980s

5 Quick Ocean Shores VCDs (Kung Fu / Wuxia)

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I’m on a mission.. moving shortly and trying to catch up with my collection, these just so happen to be my remaining unwatched VCD’s. Over the next 2 days I will try to cover all of these, very briefly. Funny enough these have been lying around for 7-8 years in my shelves so I guess the time is just about right. I greatly enjoy these types of films so it should be a breeze.

Ill update the post as i’m watching them.

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The Samurai (1979)
aka: Love and Sword, Yao ming di xiao fang, 要命的小方
Director: Yu Kan-Ping
My Rating: 7.0

The martial world is ruled by those seeking glory through fame and greedy bountyhunters who are just in it for the wealth. A honorable swordsman who wants to become ‘number 1’ is hired by the blind daughter of a nobleman (who got assassinated) to track down a killer currently ranked ‘number 1’ in the martial world. On his mission he meets various types including a bullied kid who becomes his disciple.

Well recognizable Tien Peng in the lead on the hunt for a mysterious killer, there’s plenty of showdowns with mostly good fightscenes and a fair amount of wirework. Also there’s fantasy elements in plenty such as a scene kind of resembling a scene in particular from the masterpiece Kwaidan. Overall very enjoyable and worth of a look if you’re into the genre.

It’s funny, but I guess for a reason, that the kid (after the initial scene) is mostly for reactive shots – the reason being that if there’s a message to this story it’s about how future generations can learn from mistakes done in the past (notice that this is not the mainfocus in the story, it’s more underlined – the blind daughter for example).

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Soul of Samurai (1973)
aka: Impetuous Fire, Long hu da jue dou,  怒火
Director: Chan Hung-Man
My Rating: 5.5

A small town is terrorized by a group of bandits called ‘the hooded hoodlums’, they wreak havoc in the locals and government by plunder and murder. The hoodlums are after a magic book carried by a team called ‘the deadly duo’ (the woman in the duo is named Cherry Pie). As crimerates increases, various locals are being interrogated by the government – including a roaming swordsman who seem to be the only one able to go toe to toe with the bandits.

Action is plentiful, including an almost 10 minute initial fight, but it’s mostly generic and the characters/storyline itself isn’t really fleshed out. There’s even some, sort of (as no hints of the fantastical are given until they happen), unexpected oddities like ghosts, but it never gets really interesting. An obscure one that understandably have fallen through the cracks – skippable although I always value my time when I watch certain genres from a certain timeperiod (Wuxia / Taiwan / 1970s .. der we go!).

 

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The Guy with Secret Kung Fu (1980)
aka: Cai yang nu bang zhu, 採陽女幫主
Director: Law Chi
My Rating:

TBA

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A Brotherhood of Heroes (1980)
aka: Knights of Misadventure, Kuai le ying xiong, 快樂英雄
Director: Ulysses Au-Yeung
My Rating:

TBA

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Green Jade Statuette (1977)
aka: Killer’s Game, Fists of Vengeance, Shen dao liu xing chuan, 神刀流星拳
Director: Lee Tso-Nam
My Rating:

TBA

The Dragon’s Snake Fist (1981)

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aka: Xue zhan wu ying quan, 血戰五形拳
Director: Godfrey Ho, Kim Si-Hyeon
My Rating: 7.0/10

A feud between two clans is settled with a showdown between two masters. One master is trained in the snake fist style, the other in the crane fist style. Whoever looses must leave the area and allow the other to teach it’s style in peace – the snake fist master is victorious… 25 years later, Dragon (Dragon Lee), a disciple of the snake fist style leaves the area to get married but also to teach in a territory where the crane fist clan resides – inevitably the old rivalry is once again started..

A classic showdown between good and evil. There’s not really any questions on which one will come out on top – to me it doesn’t really matter, as this type of story is mostly about the ‘hero journey’ – Jammed with non-stop action, spectacular physics, a stereotype japanese guy (with a bandana, wielding a really small samurai sword), eyegouging and a unusual amounts of gore (for the genre).

With high entertainment value, this doesn’t fall that far behind other Godfrey Ho greats like Duel of the Tough and Golden Dragon, Silver Snake and is indeed well worth checking out.

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Call from Darkness (1981)

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aka: Mayonaka no shôtaijô, 真夜中の招待状
Director: Yoshitaro Nomura
My Rating: 7.5/10

A woman visits a psychiatrist, not for herself but for her fiancee whose three brothers have mysteriously vanished. Without hesitation the psychiatrist starts the investigation and is early on lead to various clues (such as a common dream shared among the brothers, and seemingly coincidental dates of when they all disappeared)..

Well produced and well crafted mystery simply put. There’s a constant slowly unfolding development of the mystery early on. Many of the clues points towards the subconscious (Jung being cited etc) as well as a handful of characters are introduced along the way to keep things interesting. The only negative to me was when things are about to come together it gets sort of trailing and a bit repetitive, although the ending ties everything neatly together.

A first (and certainly not the last) for me from seemingly prolific director Yoshitaro Nomura. Mostly recommended.. slightly generous rating from me..

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Reason to Die (1989)

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aka Våldets Gator (Swedish VHS – Jaguar Film)
Director: Tim Spring
My Rating: 4.0/10

Wings Hauser is Canner – A bountyhunter and ex-sergeant who is sent to South Africa to take care of one of his own kind, another ex-sergeant who just so happens to be on the other side of the law slashing local prostitutes.

A typical good guy vs bad guy scenario where the outcome is predicatable but the way to the finale hopefully ends up beeing interesting. On the VHS-cover Wings Houser is beeing sold with a Charles Bronson persona, which is kind of funny as that is not at all the case – sure the major vehicle to the story is this cat and mouse game between bountyhunter and killer where Wings resorts to gun violence but to me his persona doesn’t even come across as seasoned or the silent trigger type, it’s just not convincing in any way.

The scenery pretty much shift between ‘the red light district’, shabby joints, church and your everyday streetviews – no part of this presentation really brings any excitement. There’s even a lovestory thrown in between Wings and a local reporter as filler material. If i’m able to throw something positive towards this movie it would be that it’s not an amateurish production but it’s just bland and boring.

Blood Delirium (1988)

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aka Delirio di Sangue
Director: Sergio Bergonzelli
My Rating: 6.5/10

A woman gets a warning, from the future!, that her life might very well be in danger. Meanwhile, in a remote castle, the wife of a painter (looking exactly like this woman) dies on that very night. The painter now finds himself unable to paint anything but his darkest fantasies, as he was used to painting while his wife was playing the piano but that is no longer an option. One year later… In a desperate attempt to get his creative juices flowing he digs up the corpse of his wife but it doesn’t quite do the trick, however his path eventually eventually crosses, at one of his art exhibitions, with this woman who looks exactly like his wife and eventually he will find the way again…!

With a slightly confusing plot, things won’t end up making sense until halfway through. I initially though this first woman was the actual wife (as both are played by the same actress and this is pretty much happening in the first few scenes) and that the story would evolve around making sense to this but that’s not really the case. The continuation is all about the new relationship between the woman resembling the painters wife and how the painter after an incident where his frenzied servant ends up killing the stablemaid in a rapeattempt and how the aftermath of this event enables the painters creativity once again.

At the point of beeing within the odds and ends of italian horror cinema i’ve held of on this one for a while for no particular reason. This is indeed low-budget appearing to be a quick job (not necessarily a bad thing). What, atleast to me, makes it worthwhile is the couple of delirous scenes somewhere in the middle that feels kinda unmotivated. Employing more classic elements like the gothic setting which is more of a front for this seminal sleazepot – I won’t try to convince anyone to give this one a spin – but if you end up doing so it wouldn’t be a bad thing to watch it along with Herschell Gordon Lewis Color Me Blood Red as a doublebill of ‘delirous painters and the macabre’…

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