If you profess a love of cinema, but have been eschewing the excellent films coming out of Korea, you really have been missing out on some top-notch entertainment. I went into Han Jae-Rim’s movie The King, knowing only that it had been described as a political thriller. That covers about half of it – it’s also a satire about corruption within Korea’s legal system, it’s a gangster movie, it’s a revenge tale and yes, it’s a crime thriller too. If Wes Anderson decided to make ‘Goodfellas’ with Ben Wheatley, The King might just be the movie they’d have aspired to. Imagine that.
Lucio Fulci’s The House by the Cemetery (1981) is notorious in the United Kingdom for being one of the 39 movies that were prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act in the 1980s. Dubbed a ‘video nasty’ by the garbage British tabloids, The House by the Cemetery was effectively banned from distribution and personal possession…
If you are prepared to endure the awful dubbing, The House by the Cemetery is deserving of its cult reputation.
“Read the fine print. You may have just mortgaged your life!”
Before Umberto Lenzi’s 1981 exploitation film Cannibal Ferox (aka Make Them Die Slowly) was “banned in 31 countries”, Almost Human had a reputation as a particularly nasty Italian crime thriller.
The late, great Tomas Milian (The Designated Victim) stars as the sadistic, criminal low life Giulio Sacchi, a man capable of rape, torture and murder.
“CAUTION: This picture may shock you, but it’s an experience in psychosadism you’ll never forget!”
The South Korean film industry has enjoyed a twenty year renaissance especially in the thriller/horror/gore genres. The release of Oldboy (2003) put South Korean cinema back on the map, after seeing its once glorious traditions wane for many years. I Saw the Devil is the penultimate representative of this new style of Korean cinema, with acting, cinematography, direction and production values equal to any of the world’s leading movie centers.
“Don’t act so weak… this is just the beginning. Remember… your nightmare’s only getting worse!”
Trapped inside an old haunted property, a body builder finds himself tormented by a relentless ghost with a 30 year grudge in Shinichi Fukazawa’s tongue-in-cheek splatter comedy; Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell. With the assistance of Terracotta Distribution, Attack from Planet B has had the opportunity to interview Shinichi Fukazawa to discuss his first feature-length film.
“When I watched Evil Dead in the theater, it inspired me a lot. Then I started to make similar short horror movies.”
The Wailing offers images that appear in many a horror films: disembowelled livestock; creepy candlelit shrines plastered with odd photographs; curtains of blindingly heavy rain; a foul-mouthed, possessed child; blackened, rabid zombies lunging at stunned victims and blood-splattered murder scenes.
It’s unlikely however, that any horror aficionado has seen all these tropes thrown with such bravado into the same melting pot, producing such a rich and unsettling brew.
“You awoke something recently that you weren’t supposed to. You disturbed it.”
I usually have a bit of a problem with zombie movies – I find them dull. Yes, I know zombie fans will be throwing their Walking Dead box sets at my head (and those are some hefty tomes) but I find that, although they may be a popular horror monster, zombies are forced to rely heavily on the cheap, gross-out factor in order to distract from the fact that they have scanty horror mileage, no rich mythos to draw on and offer little scope for variation, tension or development. I am left to suppose that zombie fans are in it for the fashion statement. I am however, an Asian horror enthusiast.
“Life-or-death survival begins.”
Also known under the name The Devil’s Daughter, Michele Soavi’s The Sect (1991) is an intricately stitched, cult masterpiece; from a decade not well regarded for its genre output. Soavi himself had already cemented his career as a director of the macabre, with his feature length debut StageFright (1987) and Dèmoni sequel-turned-standalone horror The Church (1989). Indeed, The Sect would also be branded a Dèmoni sequel upon its home video release.
“Satan has chosen his victims. The battle with evil has begun.”
Also known by the appropriate name Cathedral of Demons, Michele Soavi’s 1989 Italian Gothic horror The Church is widely considered as the official sequel to Lamberto Bava’s Demons 2 (1986).
Indeed The Church was originally conceived as Demons 3, but upon Soavi’s insistence the film stands alone. For those of you who intend to purchase the new release from Shameless Screen Entertainment, The Church has no direct thematic link to either Demons (1985) or Demons 2 (1986).
“In this unholy sanctuary you haven’t got a prayer…”
Directed by Shinichi Fukazawa, Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell is a Japanese splatter film that pays tribute to the enduring spirit of director Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981) and Evil Dead II (1987).
Known as the ‘Japanese Evil Dead’ to those few that have actually managed to get their hands on this no-budget horror flick outside of Japan, Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell meshes the SFX style of Hausu (1977) with the comedy and splatter associated with The Evil Dead series.
Originally released in 1971, A Bay of Blood was later refused certification from the BBFC in 1972, ensuring that the film could not be shown at any cinema within the United Kingdom. Fast forward to 1984, and the unmonitored home video market was beginning to find traction with consumers. Bava’s A Bay of Blood would finally find a UK audience upon it’s simultaneous release on VHS and Betamax (from Hokushin under the title Blood Bath) that same year.
“Diabolical! Fiendish! Savage… You may not walk away from this one!”
Let’s get right to it; is this movie the final installment of The Bronx Warriors trilogy that includes 1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx, or not? The short answer in my opinion is no, it most definitely is not. It bears no resemblance, nor any connection to the previous films that I could detect; though it is supposedly set in New York, I don’t recall any reference to it in the dialogue.