Category Archives: martial arts

Beast (2017)

Director: Michael Pearce
Starring: Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn,Geraldine James  .UK. 1h 46m

Director Michael Pearce has constructed a commanding movie with a complex layered story, this deeply psychological drama/thriller is a smouldering beauty with lots of eerie undertones.The films flaming lead Jessie Buckley gives an excellent lead performance who’s beauty gives the film a touch of piercing clarity, as Pearce builds mystery with intense fascination, often revealing big scenes with fine balance as he grips the viewers attention with climatic stages.

Set in Jersey while a serial killer has murdered several young girls, the village tries to solder o while there’s a giant elephant in the room. In among the normies is Moll (Buckley) a 27 year old who’s a deeply unhappy woman and put upon daughter by an extremely domineering mother (James) she lives out her days under the total control of her mother and carrying out a soulless job as a tour guide. There is a reason for the watchful eye of Moll, she has a dark secret that manifested in her past school girl days, and in turn she’s still basically treated as a child while her siblings are on their own pedestals. Her sister manages to upstage her at her own birthday party while announcing her pregnancy, Moll, having enough of the family antics storms out abandoning her family and Cliff, a stuffy young police officer who wanted to make Moll his new girlfriend. Into the night she runs and joins another party, meeting the mysterious and alluring Pascal (Flynn). Continue reading Beast (2017)

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Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

Director:Yoshiaki Kawajiri .
Characters: Master Rai, Rebi Ra, Earth Demon, Mephisto, Rapist, Hag, Yin, Chibi, Water Demon, Genichiro, Rama . Japan. 1h 25m

The makers of this slightly underpowered Anime are responsible for much more adored favourites such as Ninja Scroll (1993) and Wicked City (1987), so it’s got a high standard to live up to. The story is somewhere between Supernatural adventure and a Romantic horror, and at times seems to be a missing link between the two.

Opening mid way through a battle between good and evil, two men, former friends Rebi Ra and short lived hero Genichirou are doing cool battle shit when one hits a limit break and kinda sparks off a huge explosion which opens a gateway to hell and this envelopes the Shinjuku area.(as you do) Cut to the modern day and only a few years after this “event” and the city has been become a no go area. The military had tried to control the nasty creatures that reside there but failed miserably but despite this an underground of people still live in their beloved district. Continue reading Demon City Shinjuku (1988)

Hong Fen Bing Tuan / Golden Queen Commando (1982)

Director: Kevin Chu.
Starring. Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh, Loretta Yang, Teresa Tsui, Sylvia Peng  Taiwan. 1h 30m.

I’m not sure which came first, Golden Queen or Pink Force as they were both made in 1982(?) but these explosive action adventure Commando movies often have each other’s scenes spliced into one another. Personally I found Pink Force to be way more thrilling with its stronger western themes and total kookiness, but that doesn’t mean that this prison based flick is worse, but it has very different themes with an almost identical cast.

Golden Queen Commando opens with some Visual Kei gang leader playing cards with some street gangster types when a fight breaks out despite her fast shooting the police crash the party and she’s sent to prison, other short vignettes for other criminal women (Black Fox, Clack Cat, Dynamite, Sugar Plum, Amazon, Brandy and Quick Silver (our stunning card shark)), each with their own special skill and extreme costume all end with them being sent to the same nazi war prison.

Things being to heat up when one of the women starts to antagonise the others while getting a feeling for their strengths and weaknesses. And they slowly hatch a plan to escape and to kill the vile fat nazi warden and his henchmen and then head out to destroy a WWII nazi chemical lab. But not before they being total chaos and mayhem with their unique fighting skills, and all looking totally beautiful within the prison walls..

Control of tone is essential to any film but this is kicked into the wind and blasted to pieces, the film had no formula and that’s what makes it a marvellous and highly entertaining bonkers exploitations flick. The final act is highlighted with a soundtrack from Ennio Morricone which makes this a hash up of the Dirty Dozen (1967) / Magnificent 7 (1960)a la psychotronic style. Obviously there is a stunning finale and the scene which sees a spy outed is straight out of an X-Japan music video. All round fun and frolics that’s hard to ever forget.

Rating 5/10

RPink Force Commando (1982), Love Massacre (1981),
L – A-Z of Taiwan Cinema Vol 1.
A – Pink Cinema
Vs –  Pink Force Commando Vs Golden Queen Commando.

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Boyka –  Undispited IV (2016)

Director: Todor Chapkanov.
Starring. Scott Adkins, Bulgaria. 1h 13m.

BOYKA BOYKA BOYKA!! Scott Adkins should just change his name to Uri Boyka, I mean this wholeheartedly, he’s so perfect for this role. Although in this new instalment of Undisputed Boyka is a little different. After gaining his freedom in Undisputed 3, I did predict that Boyka would have a massive change of heart and run an orphanage, and I was close. .. (shush don’t burst my bubble). So Boyka is refreshed, a free man, he’s still fighting with devastating results, and is being noticed by influential people and could possibly start going pro, he has an important fight coming up but to keep fresh he’s still taking out the competition. After delivering some bibles to the local church Boyka is seen SMILING!!! OMG the priest urges him to stop fighting, live a better life, but he’s soon back in the ring, the first is brutal, he’s back to telling everyone to “shut the fuck up” and then beats the living shit out of his opponent. After the fight he notices the medics removing the guy, he doesn’t look good. Boyka gets news of his death and feeling immensely guilty he collects his belonging and finds a letter to his (late) wife. Boyka is grief stricken and decides to take the letter to her in Russia, where he’s still a wanted man. Continue reading Boyka –  Undispited IV (2016)

Ninja Scroll (1993)

ninja scroll

Director/Writer: Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Based on: Makai Tensho by Futaro Yamada
Starring: Koichi Yamadera, Emi Shinohara, Daisuke Gori, Kareshi Aono. Japan. 1h 34m.

I can’t believe this is my first Manga installment on the blog, but I have to start somewhere and I would have believed it would be with Akira (1988) or something cyber as that was always my main attraction to Japanese animation and Akira literally blew my away for years I was sketching scenes, trading cards and obsessing over rebuilding Tokyo.. but eventually I got into some other genres and then left it all behind when it became tooooooo computerised and cute, and err popular.. Hipster am I yes. Continue reading Ninja Scroll (1993)