Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Updates and Visitor's Choice

Note: The June / July / August recommendations part is now filled up, so anyone who wants anything else added to the extras list (even if you've already picked one film for the first part) rec away and that'll be added as back-up if I make it past 20 this summer.

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Greetings friends!

First off, a huge thanks to all who've contributed and helped out thus far. Things are starting to get a little better on our end. Been waiting for what seems like forever for some paperwork to go through in regards to expensive medication so recently finding out we'll at least be getting a significant rebate is one big "Whew!" right now. Still got a ways to go getting this mess straightened out but any little thing that helps definitely keeps the hope alive. Second, even though I've not updated much the past few months, I have been watching what I can and been working on bits and pieces of reviews as time has allowed. I have - gasp! - an entire free weekend coming up so I'll be using that time to screen cap and finish up as many mostly-done reviews as I can. And I'll start posting them on Friday. So in the meantime I've done a list of whats to come the rest of this month. After that, we're going to try a visitor's choice type of thing, so please keep reading...

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MAY

- Chivalric Tornado (Xiao xia long juan feng) (1989; Chih-Cheng Wang) Taiwan
- Dragon Against Vampire (1985; "Lionel Leung") South Korea
- Hellgate (1989; William A. Levey) South Africa
- Night Has a Thousand Desires (Mil sexos tiene la noche) (1984; Jesus Franco) Spain
- Official Exterminator: Kill for Love (1987; "Raymond Woo") Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Poor White Trash Part II (Scum of the Earth) (1974; S.F. Brownrigg) USA
- Putri Kunti'anak (Kuntilanak Daughter) (1988; Atok Suharto) Indonesia
- The Takers (1971; Carl Monson) USA
- Tanha Nam Man Phrai (Lust of Corpse Oil) (1990; director unknown) Thailand
- Trhauma (Trauma) (1980; Gianni Martucci) Italy
- Wanita Jelmaan (Woman's Transformation) (1990; Sofyan Sharna) Indonesia

^ All of the above are mostly done. I'm going to start posting these on Friday after I have a chance to do the final edits. For three of these, the reviews I'm posting will be the first in-depth English reviews you'll find anywhere.

___________________________________________________________________________

After that? Well, I have a pile of stuff and a list of things I've been meaning to watch for a few years now but haven't gotten around to. And since I'm so indecisive and will sometimes spend an hour trying to pick out what to watch, I've decided to let you dictate what that will be starting in June. So view the list of 200 films below, pick out any movie you'd like to see reviewed or would like to learn more about and I will prioritize it and get it done sometime this summer.


SUMMER HIT LIST

- Adam (1973; Yona Day) Israel
- Aftermath, The (Zombie Aftermath) (1982; Steve Barkett) USA
- Alapaap (Clouds) (1984; Tata Esteban) Philippines
- Al Ta'awitha (Talisman) (1987; Mohammed Shebl) Egypt
- A Menina do Sexo Diabólico (The Girl of Diabolical Sex) (1987; Mario Lima) Brazil [X]
- American risciò (American Tiger) (1990; Sergio Martino) Italy
- Amore e morte nel giardino degli dei (Love and Death in the Garden of the Gods) (1972; Sauro Scavolini) Italy
- Aquella casa en las afueras (That House in the Outskirts) (1980; Eugenio Martín) Spain
- Attic, The (1980; George Edwards) USA
- Autopsia de un fantasma (Autopsy of a Ghost) (1968; Ismael Rodríguez) Mexico
- Ban Phi Pop (The House of Pop) (1989; unknown) Thailand
- Bayi Ajaib (Miracle Baby) (1982) Indonesia
- Bedroom Eyes II (1989; Chuck Vincent) USA
- Berenak dalam kubur (Birth in the Tomb) (1972; Awaludin, Ali Shahab) Indonesia
- Big Snatch, The (1971; Byron Mabe and Dan Martin) USA
- Bimbos B.C. (1990; Todd Sheets) USA
- Bin mei (Marianna) (1982; Pak Tong Cheuk) Hong Kong
- Black Panther, The (1977; Ian Merrick) UK
- Blade Violent - I violenti (Women's Prison Massacre) (1983; Bruno Mattei) Italy
- Blood of Fu Manchu, The (1968; Jesus Franco) Spain / UK / USA / West Germany
- Bôkô honban (Pleasure Kill) (1987; Hisayasu Satô) Japan
- Bôkô Kirisaki Jakku (Assault! Jack the Ripper) (1976; Yasuharu Hasebe) Japan
- Brain, The (1988; Ed Hunt) Canada
- Caller, The (1987; Arthur Allan Seidelman) USA
- Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (Caltiki il mostro immortale) (1959; Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda) Italy / USA
- Castle of Fu Manchu, The (1969; Jesus Franco) Italy / Liechtenstein / Spain / UK / West Germany
- Catacombs (Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice) (1988; David Schmoeller) Italy / USA
- Cazador de demonios (Demon Hunter) (1983; Gilberto de Anda) Mexico
- Chiller (1985; Wes Craven) USA [TV]
- Click: The Calendar Girl Killer (1990; Ross Hagen and John Stewart) USA
- Cold Light of Day (1989; Fhiona-Louise) UK
- Così dolce... così perversa (So Sweet... So Perverse) (1969; Umberto Lenzi) France / Italy / West Germany
- Couch, The (1962; Owen Crump) USA
- Crimes of Passion (1984; Ken Russell) USA
- Crystal Force (1990; Laura Keats) USA
- Cui hua du jiang tou (The Magic Curse) (1975; Chin-Ku Lu, Wen Po Tu) Hong Kong / Philippines
- Curse of the Alpha Stone (1972; Stewart Malleon) USA
- Da se (Lost Souls) (1980; Tun Fei Mou) Hong Kong
- Dark Romances Vol. 2 (1990; Rodd Matsui, Patricia Miller, four others) USA
- Davitelj protiv davitelja (Strangler vs. Strangler) (1984; Slobodan Sijan) Yugoslavia
- Dead Sleep (1990; Alec Mills) Australia
- Deep End (1970; Jerzy Skolimowski) UK / West Germany
- Der Mönch mit der Peitsche (The College Girl Murders) (1967; Alfred Vohrer) West Germany
- Der Nackte und der Satan (The Head) (1959; Victor Trivas) West Germany
- Desu pawuda (Death Powder) (1986; Shigeru Izumiya) Japan
- Devil Woman (She yao jing) (1970; Felix Villar, Chi-Lien Yu) Hong Kong / Philippines
- Diabólica malicia (What the Peeper Saw) (1972; James Kelley, Andrea Bianchi) Italy / Spain / UK / West Germany
- Die xian (Haunted Tales) (1980; Yuen Chor, Tun Fei Mou) Hong Kong
- Dolls (1987; Stuart Gordon) USA
- Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973; John Newland) USA [TV]
- Draugasaga (Ghost Story) (1985; Viðar Víkingsson) Iceland
- Du zhou (Curse) (1985; Ling Pang) Hong Kong
- El asesino está entre los trece (The Killer Is One of Thirteen) (1976; Javier Aguirre) Spain
- El bosque del lobo (The Ancines Woods) (1970; Pedro Olea) Mexico
- El carnival de las bestias (Human Beasts) (1980; Paul Naschy) Japan / Spain
- El siniestro doctor Orloff (The Sinister Dr. Orloff) (1984; Jesus Franco) Spain
- El violador infernal (The Infernal Rapist) (1988; Damián Acosta Esparza) Mexico
- Estigma (Stigma) (1980; José Ramón Larraz) Italy / Spain
- Estupro (Perversion) (1979; José Mojica Marins) Brazil
- Eugenie (Historia de una perversión) (Wicked Memoirs of Eugenie) (1980; Jesus Franco) Spain
- Evil Clergyman, The (1988; Charles Band) Italy / USA [short]
- Fei tou mo nu (Witch with Flying Head) (1982; Jen-Chieh Chang) Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Fireworks Woman, The (1975; Wes Craven) USA [X]
- Five Desperate Women (1971; Ted Post) USA [TV]
- Fright House (1989; Len Anthony) USA
- Funhouse, The (1981; Tobe Hooper) USA
- Gabi ng lagim (1960; Tommy C. David, Larry Santiago, two more) Philippines
- Ganja & Hess (1973; Bill Gunn) USA
- Gorgo (1961; Eugène Lourié) UK
- Gorilla at Large (1954; Harmon Jones) USA
- Gui yu (Avengers from Hell) (1981; Pei-Chuan Li) Hong Kong
- Hana to hebi: Kyûkyoku nawa chôkyô (Flower and Snake 5: Rope Magic) (1987; Masayuki Asao) Japan
- Hanging Heart (1983; Jimmy Lee) USA
- Hanno cambiato faccia (They Have Changed Their Face) (1971; Corrado Farina) Italy
- Hard Rock Nightmare (1988; Dominick Brascia) USA
- Haunted Strangler, The (1958; Robert Day) UK
- Holocaust 2000 (1977; Alberto De Martino) Italy / UK
- Hooray for Horrorwood (1990; Ray Ferry) USA [doc]
- Howling, The (1981; Joe Dante) USA
- Hu gui xi chun (Come Haunt with Me) (1971; Chun Hsieh) Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Humongous (1982; Paul Lynch) Canada
- Huo zhu gui (Burning Sensation) (1989; Wu Ma) Hong Kong
- Hyôryu kyôshitsu (The Drifting Classroom) (1987; Nobuhiko Ôbayashi) Japan
- Idi i smotri (Come and See) (1985; Elem Klimov) Soviet Union
- Il demonio (The Demon) (1963; Brunello Rondi) France / Italy
- Inquisición (Inquisition) (1978; Paul Naschy) Spain
- Iodo (Io Island) (1977; Ki-young Kim) South Korea
- Island, The (1980; Michael Ritchie) USA
- Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio, The (1971; Eric Jeffrey Haims) USA
- Jian yu bu she fang (Jail House Eros) (1990; Sai Hung Fung, Jing Wong) Hong Kong
- Jin nígu (Golden Nun) (1977; Tien-Yung Hsu) Taiwan
- Kaidan semushi otoko (Ghost of the Hunchback) (1965; Hajime Satô) Japan
- Kaidan zankoku monogatari (Cruel Ghost Legend) (1968; Kazuo Hase) Japan
- Katarsis (Sfida al diavolo) (1963; Giuseppe Veggezzi) Italy
- Killer! (1989; Tony Elwood) USA
- Killer Inside Me, The (1976; Burt Kennedy) USA
- Killing Spree (1987; Tim Ritter) USA
- Kiss Daddy Goodbye (1981; Patrick Regan) USA
- Kyôfu kikei ningen: Edogawa Rampo zenshû (Horrors of Malformed Men) (1969; Teruo Ishii) Japan
- La casa de las siete tumbas (House of the Seven Tombs) (1982; Pedro Stocki) Argentina
- La grande trouille (Tender Dracula) (1974; Pierre Grunstein) France
- La muerta incierta (The Uncertain Death) (1973; José Ramón Larraz) Italy / Spain
- La noche de los mil gatos (Night of a Thousand Cats) (1972; René Cardona Jr.) Mexico
- Lao you gui gui (Friendly Ghost) (1985; Chuan Chen) Hong Kong
- La pelle sotto gli artigli (The Skin Under the Claws) (1975; Alessandro Santini) Italy
- La rossa dalla pelle che scotta (The Red Headed Corpse) (1972; Renzo Russo) Italy / Turkey
- L'assassino è ancora tra noi (The Killer Is Still Among Us) (1986; Camillo Teti) Italy
- Le foto proibite di una signora per bene (Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion) (1970; Luciano Ercoli) Italy / Spain
- Leonora (1984; Derek Strahan) Australia
- Le porte dell'inferno (Hell's Gate) (1989; Umberto Lenzi) Italy
- Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971; John D. Hancock) USA
- Lin tou jie (Revenge of the Ghost Tree) (1988; Shan-Hsi Ting) Taiwan
- L'orribile segreto del Dr. Hichcock (The Horrible Dr. Hichcock) (1962; Riccardo Freda) Italy
- Lung hei bik yan (The Occupant) (1984; Ronny Yu) Hong Kong
- Macchie solari (Autopsy) (1975; Armando Crispino) Italy
- Marley's Revenge: The Monster Movie (1989; Jet Eller) USA
- Meng gui fo tiao qiang (Bless This House) (1988; Ronny Yu) Hong Kong
- Misterio en la isla de los monstruos (Mystery on Monster Island) (1981; Juan Piquer Simón) Spain / USA
- Monsters & Maniacs (1988; Ted Newsom) USA [doc]
- Monstrosity (1987; Andy Milligan) USA
- Murder à la Mod (1968; Brian De Palma) USA
- Naked Vengeance (1985; Cirio H. Santiago) Philippines / USA
- Nest, The (1988; Terence H. Winkless) USA
- O komis... Tsakonas (Count Dracula and His Draculettes) (1989; Takis Simonetatos) Greece
- Orca (1977; Michael Anderson) USA
- O Segredo da Múmia (Secret of the Mummy) (1982; Ivan Cardoso) Brazil
- Otra vuelta de tuerca (The Turn of the Screw) (1985; Eloy de la Iglesia) Spain
- Our Mother's House (1967; Jack Clayton) UK
- Passi di danza su una lama di rasoio (Death Carries a Cane) (1973; Maurizio Pradeaux) Italy / Spain
- Phantom of Hollywood, The (1974; Gene Levitt) USA [TV]
- Piranha (1978; Joe Dante) USA
- Pituitary Hunter (1990; Dan Pan) Hong Kong
- Poslední lup (The Last Theft) (1987; Jirí Barta) Czechoslovakia
- Predator: The Quietus (1988; Leslie McCarthy) UK
- Quatermass 2 (Enemy from Space) (1957; Val Guest) UK / USA
- Rage - Furia primitiva (Primal Rage) (1988; Vittorio Rambaldi) Italy / USA
- Rats - Notte di terrore (Rats: Night of Terror) (1984; Bruno Mattei) France / Italy
- Ravager, The (1970; Charles Nizet) USA
- Redeemer: Son of Satan!, The (1977; Constantine S. Gochis) USA
- Ren pi deng long (Human Lanterns) (1982; Chung Sun) Hong Kong
- Ren she da zhan (Calamity of Snakes) (1982; Chi Chang) Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Return of Dracula, The (1958; Paul Landres) USA
- Robowar - Robot da guerra (Robowar) (1988; Bruno Mattei) Italy
- Rock n' Roll Cowboys (1987; Rob Stewart) Australia
- Salinma (A Devilish Murder) (1965; Yong-min Lee) South Korea
- Sangue negli abissi (Deep Blood) (1990; Raffaele Donato, Joe D'Amato) Italy
- Scalps (1983; Fred Olen Ray) USA
- Serpent Warriors (1985; John Howard, Niels Rasmussen) Hong Kong / USA
- Sien nui yau wan (A Chinese Ghost Story) (1987; Siu-Tung Ching) Hong Kong
- Sien nui yau wan II yan gaan do (A Chinese Ghost Story II) (1990; Siu-Tung Ching) Hong Kong
- Spine (1986; John Howard, Justin Simmonds) USA
- Spook (1988; David Anthony Hall) Australia
- Stick, The (1988; Darrell Roodt) South Africa
- Suo ming (Spirit of the Raped) (1976; Chih-Hung Kuei) Hong Kong
- Sweet, Sweet Rachel (1971; Sutton Roley) USA [TV]
- Tales of the Third Dimension (1984; Worth Keeter, Earl Owensby, 2 others) USA
- Terror at London Bridge (1985; E.W. Swackhamer) USA [TV]
- Terror in Teakwood, The [Thriller series] (1961; Paul Henreid) USA [TV]
- 3D Saamri (Satan) (1985; Shyam Ramsay, Tulsi Ramsay) India
- Tiempos duros para Drácula (Hard Times for Dracula) (1976; Jorge Darnell) Argentina / Spain
- Threads (1984; Mick Jackson) Australia / UK / USA
- Tien ling ling, di ling ling (Abracadabra) (1986; Tai Kit Mak) Hong Kong
- Top Sensation (1969; Ottavio Alessi) Italy
- Tosui yugi (Bondage Ecstasy) (1989; Hisayasu Satô) Japan
- Trapped Alive (1988; Leszek Burzynski) USA
- Trasplante de un cerebro (Crystalbrain) (1970; Juan Logar) Italy / Spain
- 2019 - Dopo la caduta di New York (2019: After the Fall of New York) (1983; Sergio Martino) France / Italy
- Ulvetid (Time of the Wolf) (1981; Jens Ravn) Denmark
- Un bianco vestito per Marialé (Spirits of Death) (1972; Romano Scavolini) Italy
- Upír z Feratu (Ferat Vampire) (1982; Juraj Herz) Czechoslovakia
- Vampire Lovers, The (1970; Roy Ward Baker) UK
- Vengeance of Fu Manchu, The (1967; Jeremy Summers) Hong Kong / Ireland / UK / West Germany
- Victims (1982; Tony Vorno) USA
- Violent Midnight (Psychomania) (1963; Richard Hilliard) USA
- What's the Matter with Helen? (1971; Curtis Harrington) USA
- Wu gong zhuo (Centipede Horror) (1982; Keith Li) Hong Kong
- Xiang Gang qi an 5: Jian mo (The Criminals 5: Teenager's Nightmare) (1977; Chih-Hung Kuei, Tun Fei Mou) Hong Kong
- Xiao sheng pa pa (Till Death Do We Scare) (1982; Chia Yung Liu) Hong Kong
- Xie luo ji (Blood Ritual) (1989; Yuen Ching Lee) Hong Kong
- Xie mo (The Devil) (1981; Jen-Chieh Chang) Hong Kong / Taiwan
- Xie ying wu (Bloody Parrot) (1981; Shan Hua) Hong Kong
- Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1990; Harry Bromley Davenport) Canada
- Yellow Wallpaper, The (1989; John Clive) Canada / USA
- Yuan Zhen-Xia yu Wei Si-Li (The Seventh Curse) (1986; Ngai Choi Lam) Hong Kong
- Zeder (Revenge of the Dead) (1983; Pupi Avati) Italy
- Zombie Rampage (1989; Todd Sheets) USA
- Zuma (1985; Jun Raquiza) Philippines


So here's how this is gonna work. The first five people to chime in will have their pick put on the June list, which means it will be reviewed no later than June 30th. The next five will be put on for July, which means it will be done no later than July 31st, though if I have time I may get to it sometime in June. The next five will go on for August to be done by the end of the month, if not sooner. Then I'm going to pick five to do whenever. If I receive any other selections after that, they'll go on the "extra" list, which means I won't be touching them until after I get the first 15 done. This way you'll help me out by making most of the decisions for me and giving me a goal to reach, plus getting some reviews you may like to see. I'm not going to go any higher than 50 total because, as of right now, even promising 30 will be pushing it. If I'm in the position to do more than that, I will.

Anything from the above list that's not selected will go on the leftovers list at the very bottom. If this goes over well, I'll repeat it in September. Everything from the extras list not reviewed will carry over along with randomly selected movies from the leftovers list up to 100. I'll then add 100 other films not on this list that I have in my collection to make up another list of 200 and we'll repeat what we did here. Yes, I have far too many movies.

You can either leave a message here with your pick, send it on Twitter @bloodypit or send it to my email at thebloodypitofhorrorblog@gmail.com. I'll start listing them all below once they come in.


VISITOR PICKS (JUNE)

01. Turkey Shoot (Escape 2000) (1982; Brian Trenchard-Smith) Australia (thanks Andy)
02. She sha shou (The Killer Snakes) (1974; Chih-Hung Kuei) Hong Kong (thanks The Fiend)
03. From Hell It Came (1957; Dan Milner) USA (thanks Dinane)
04. Der fan (The FanTrance) (1982; Eckhart Schmidt) West Germany (thanks Anonymous)
05. Anyab (Fangs) (1981; Mohammed Shebl) Egypt (thanks Stjepan)

VISITOR PICKS (JULY)

01. Dr. Satán y la magia negra (Dr. Satan vs. Black Magic Woman) (1968; Rogelio A. González) Mexico (thanks Jeremy)
02. La morte accarezza a mezzanotte (Death Walks at Midnight) (1972; Luciano Ercoli) Italy / Spain (thanks Carolina)
03. Jû jin yuki otoko (Beast Man Snow Man) (1955; Ishirô Honda) Japan (thanks Bishop)
04. Ye jing hun (He Lives by Night) (1982; Po-Chih Leong) Hong Kong (thanks spookyx3)
05. Purani Haveli (1989; Shyam Ramsay, Tulsi Ramsay) India (thanks C. Wickham)

VISITOR PICKS (AUGUST)

01. Brain Eaters, The (1958; Bruno VeSota) USA (thanks Anne-Marie)
02. Death Ship (1980; Alvin Rakoff) Canada / UK / USA (thanks Christopher)
03. Draugasaga (Ghost Story) (1985; Viðar Víkingsson) Iceland (thanks Oliver)
04. This House Possessed (1981; William Wiard) USA [TV] (thanks Terri)
05. Yuan Zhen-Xia yu Wei Si-Li (The Seventh Curse) (1986; Ngai Choi Lam) Hong Kong (thanks Ellory)

MY PICKS

01.
02.
03.
04.
05.

VISITOR PICKS (EXTRA)

01. Caltiki, the Immortal Monster (Caltiki il mostro immortale) (1959; Mario Bava, Riccardo Freda) Italy, USA (thanks Kyle)
02.
03.
04.
05.
06.
07.
08.
09.
10.

(I'm going to max out at 30 here if need be)

LEFTOVERS

--


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Wanita Jelmaan (1990)

... aka: Wanita Jelmaan (Nyupang)
... aka: Woman's Incarnation
... aka: Woman's Transformation (Nyupang)

Directed by:
Sofyan Sharna

When a man sporting the most pronounced unibrow ever goes to take shower, his lover is accosted in bed by a snake that transforms into a woman who then kills her by levitating a vase and smashing it into her face. When the man exits the bathroom, he gets into a karate fight with the snake-woman, who does a few flips and lands a few hits before levitating something and smashing it into his face, causing a bloody mess. And then the man's friend shows up and gets into a karate fight with the snake-woman. He manages to dodge the levitating items thrown at him and forces her to jump out of the window after brandishing a dagger. She then breathes fire and runs off into the woods. All of that takes place in rapid succession over the span of 2 minutes 30 seconds before the credits have even had a chance to roll and my head is already spinning. Who? How? Whaaaat's going on? And what have I gotten myself into now?






We then get better acquainted with the snake-woman and her little snake-daughter. The daughter doesn't understand why they have to live in a cave isolated from the rest of society and why she can't play with the other kids. Snake-mother explains that humans are assholes and humans are dangerous and she's just too young to deal with them right now. Still intrigued, the girl sneaks around behind mum's back, observing humans and their odd behavior. She watches children flying paper airplanes, playing video games, taking karate classes, dancing and singing. And she peeps into the windows of a neighboring family's home to watch the father interact with his son and a mother reading to her daughter. She finds some human behavior amusing, especially the dancing, but you will too once you see it. After she's almost caught by a couple of guys she's spying on, angry snake-mother stresses the importance of always exercising caution when interacting with humans.






Jumping ahead a number of years, snake-girl is now an attractive teenage snake-woman named Sandra (Sally Marcelina). Mother snake (Kiki Amelia) is still around and she's even hoping to hook her daughter up with a suitable human mate. The two go to a nightclub where the popular and wealthy Edwin (Sonny Dewantara) catches their eye. Unfortunately he's already dating a beauty named Rani (Ranieta Manopo), who's become a little too spoiled and accustomed to being showered with expensive gifts and jewelry. But just how will she react when she finds out Mr. Moneybags is about to lose everything? Well, pretty much as expected as the next time we see her she's in bed with one of his friends, leaving Edwin alone and scrambling for cash. That leads him to a shady area of the city to pawn some of his few remaining belongings, which leads to him getting framed for stealing a purse, which leads to him fighting some goons, which leads to him falling off a bridge and bouncing off of a car, which leads him to meeting Sandra.






Sandra strikes a deal with Edwin. She tells him what she is and what she wants, which involves him being a faithful lover and also seems to involve him helping to wipe out some thugs at the mother's behest (though I may be mistaken since I don't speak Indonesian). For payback, she has a neat little trick where she sheds scales that turn into gold coins during sex. After just a few romps, Edwin's got enough money to get his house back plus buy a new car. However, once back on stable financial ground, he also finds himself disgusted by what Sandra really is and just as disgusted at himself for whoring himself out to a snake. He starts rejecting Sandra's sexual advances, rekindles things with Rani and, you know the old saying hell hath no fury like a snake scorned or, um, a woman in the grass, or, ehhhh, yeah, well...






Also thrown into the mix is Leila (Anna Shirley), the teen daughter of a karate instructor who's skilled at fighting from years of training with her father. I couldn't tell whether Leila was Edwin's sister, a childhood friend or if she just had a stalker-level crush on him, but I guess it doesn't even really matter. The point is she really wants to be involved in his life. And when she starts prying a little too much into Edwin's affairs, snake-mother casts a spell to bring forth a red-painted minion / demon decked out in a red sweatsuit to go after her. While driving, Leila has visions of the demon's laughing disembodied head on fire, which is so distracting it makes her run over a transvestite prostitute (!?) crossing the street. And that's not even half as weird as scenes of Edwin rolling around in bed romantically kissing a snake.






While not nearly as graphic or as out there as some of the more extreme Asian horror films, this was still more than kooky enough for my personal tastes. Filled with abominably-edited fight scenes, this also features lots of cheap jump cuts and time lapse effects, some really corny make-ups and plenty of miscellaneous bizarre stuff to sink your fangs into. The finale is also pretty lively, with the snake-woman throwing someone over a balcony and then torching them Godzilla-style, a fireball duel, someone getting crushed in a tree and, basically, what amounts to five of the characters beating the pulp outta one another.

I'm not entirely sure if I saw an edited version or not, but it appears that I did. The cut I watched ran 70 minutes but the running time is listed as 81 on both major Indonesian film databases. The violence and bloody bits (including a scene where a snake bites a guy on the crotch) appear intact but this abruptly cuts away during every single one of the love scenes. The VCD cover art features some old witch that isn't even in the film.

★★1/2

Monday, May 21, 2018

Tanha Nam Man Phrai (1990)

... aka: ตัณหาน้ำมันพราย
... aka: Craving for Corpse Oil
... aka: Lustful Charm Oil
... aka: Lust of Corpse Oil
... aka: Tạṇh̄ā n̂ảmạnphrāy
... aka: Tanha Nammanphrai

Directed by:
Unknown (Kamanita ?)

Wealthy, arrogant businessman Teera (Tanit Pongmanoon) is cheating on his wife and is so into his pretty mistress Pim that he gives her an envelope filled with money to find them a fancy new apartment to use as their very own love nest. Still, Pim is hot-tempered and the more demanding she gets the more Teera tries to keep a little distance. Hence, why he's not quite ready to give up his married life. Back home, his wife Nit (Pimphilai Chaiyo) spends her evenings waiting for her husband to return only to hear the obligatory bullshit businessman excuse of having to work late to explain away his arriving home at all hours of the night. Teera finally comes clean about his mistress but more or less tells the wife she's just going to have to deal with it. Nit finds the apartment Teera is paying for and goes there to confront Pim. The two women argue and Pim slaps her in the face, but the fight is broken up by Pim's much more subdued sister, Wan. Now at a loss as to what to do, Nit confides her troubles to her maid Pliu, who recommends they go consult a powerful black magician she'd previously had dealings with.






The magician, Sanae (Somsak Chaisongkram), knows what he's doing but he's also something of a sleazebag who'll take sex in lieu of money if a customer can't afford his services. Thankfully, Nit can, so she pays him for a special potion that should keep her husband from straying. She and her trusty maid slip it in Teera's juice and it seems to do the trick. As he's on his way to visit Pim, the potion kicks in, he turns right around, goes back to his wife and has passionate sex with her. Furious about being stood up, Pim finds out through a couple of shady male acquaintances about a female magician named Mae No who can also cast love spells. They go to her home, where she gives them an eyeless statue and instructs them to hide it somewhere on Teera's property. The two guys hop the gate and bury it in his yard.






The statue blows up and unleashes an invisible little boy imp dressed like a genie. He enters the home and Teera suddenly becomes vicious to Nit; slapping her and then heading right out the door to go see Pim. As long as the genie boy lurks in the home, her husband won't be back. Nit and Pliu return to Sanae and get their own idol. Once Nit prays to it, it shoots lasers and creates another imp boy who's slightly bigger than Pim's and manages to punch out and banish the other imp from Nit's property. Teera then returns home. As it's an ingredient necessary for an even stronger spell, both magicians conduct a ritual to resurrect a shrouded corpse which they then extract oil from using a candle. The back-and-forth magic spells continue until Mae No and Sanae find themselves at war with one another. Things spiral out of control from there.






For the first hour and 15 minutes we're treated to mostly melodrama, bickering, jealousy, mental breakdowns, lying, eavesdropping and backstabbing. And the plot itself isn't the only thing that's pure soap opera; so is the camera work. You know that shot every soap utilizes to include two people, where one is slightly behind the other's shoulder listening and reacting to the emoting / nefarious plans of the one in front? And then the one in front turns their head to the side to address the person in back then flip their head around to face the camera so they can make sneaky faces? That is basically every other shot of this movie.






After being pummeled with domestic drama, we finally get a sustain run of horror during the last 10 minutes, though it's not much. One of the imp kids shoots one of the shrouded corpses with a laser, rice is used as a weapon and much of the supporting cast gets strangled, slashed and stabbed. The philanderer has both of his arms ripped off (a very fitting end!) while the rival women both end up possessed. The plot is pretty reminiscent of those Shaw Brothers Black Magic movies from the 70s, only stripped of the action, production values, weird special effects, creativity and overall zaniness. In other words, stripped of pretty much everything that made those movies stand out.

This does offer up bare breasts during three soft-core sex scenes accompanied by soft jazz. During one of those between the maid and black magician, what sounds like an instrumental version of "What a Wonderful World" plays (!?) The opening credits use stolen music from the third Nightmare on Elm Street movie while the score from the fifth Friday the 13th movie is also pilfered.






Like about 99% of Thai horror films made before 1990, this was never released in America and is not currently available in English. Considering how talky it is, if you don't speak Thai, you'll probably just want to give it a pass. I'm not even entirely sure what to call this as there's no English title for it. Typing the original Thai title into the not-so-trusty translator brings back one word: Lustful. All of those symbols just for "lustful?" Actually, no. That's when we need to look at the other translation, Tạṇh̄ā n̂ảmạnphrāy. OK, so we have two words here? Again, nope. Putting a space between two of the symbols through another translator brought back "Lust Oracle," which I thought was a cool title and settled with for the time being. But then I poked around some more and discovered that title is probably also inaccurate.

Tạṇh̄ā, it turns out, is an important concept in Buddhism that refers to a craving / desire, either for existence, non-existence or sensual pleasure. Moving on to n̂ảmạnphrāy, I broke that up and ended up with Nam Man Prai, which is a special charm oil used in black magic that's obtained by using a candle to light the flesh of a corpse. Ding ding. We have a winner. That's exactly what happens here. But then we run into the issue of how to word this in English. Do we call it, "Craving for Corpse Oil?" Well, no one really craves corpse oil as it actually causes the craving. How about "Nam Man Prai Desire?" Well, that's... awkward. So we're just going to run with "lust" and "corpse oil" and call this "Lust of Corpse Oil" for the time being until my new multilingual Thai BFF stops by to help us out here.

1/2 (as is) ★★ (if the dialogue is fun and bitchy)
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