Gorgeous Thai Film Posters

March 16, 2011

I’m not nothing about how film promotion works in Thailand, but their posters always seem to make anything they advertise more interesting. They often seem to use using existing posters for a template, and then give them this exotic flair and painter like quality that are usually reserved for Indiana Jones or Star Wars film posters. This stylish Thai trend seemed to have existed from the 1970s to the 1990s and then it stopped. Does anyone know what happened? Why would they stop designing things as nice as these?

A View To Kill Thai Poster
A View to Kill (1985)

Rambo Thai poster
First Blood (1982)

Just Heroes poster
Just Heroes (1989)

La Femme Nikita Thai poster
Nikita (1990)

Police Story 2 Thai poster
Police Story 2 (1987)

The Terminator Thai poster
The Terminator (1984)

I have some more I may post another day and I have these files in a higher resolution if anyone is interested as well. Any requests?


Miami Connection Overview

March 12, 2011

Miami Connection is a 1980s martial arts film that has recently been touring North American theaters in hopes of finding a cult following for lovers of bad cinema. I mean really, really, bad cinema. The Troll 2 and The Room variety. It features competent martial artists who are stuck in a mess of incompetent filming, acting, writing, music, lighting…anything that generally makes a good movie. The trailer gives a good idea of what to expect.

If anyone knows of an original trailer, I’d love to see it!

This trailer only scratches the surface of the multiple problems with this film. The story starts in Miami at night when a cocaine deal goes bad. (Going bad meaning that a team of black-cloaked ninjas swarms a gang of thugs and steals their coke). The ninja leader Yashito (Si Y Jo), takes the drugs to his buyer named Jeff (William Eagle). They meet at a local nightclub where unbeknown to Jeff, his sister Jane (Kathy Collier) is a singing with a band called Dragon Sound.

The members of Dragon Sound are all martial artists, including John who is romantically linked with one of the singers named Jane. The members of Dragon Sound are confronted by rival bands (who are jealous of Dragon Sounds gigs and popularity) and Jeff’s gang (who doesn’t like John dating his sister Jane). After various unsuccessful fights between the gangs and Dragon Sound, Jeff accidentally falls to his death. This brings Yashito’s attention to Dragon Sound who sends his squad of ninjas to finish them off.

Cheesy doesn’t begin describe Miami Connection. It crosses the boders of cheese into always fascinating “what were they thinking?” territory. For starters, the protagonists (who all look about 20 years too old to be in college dorm buddies) have no charisma. Zip. Nil. Even your average Disney protagonist have a bit of an edge to them, but these guys make Shirley Temple feel like Gordon Liu. When they aren’t giving martial arts a bad name, Dragon Sound also manage to ruin rock music. Their “Against the Ninja” song in the trailer will rekindle everyone’s memories of the worst qualities usually associated with 1980s music. And I’m not even going talk about the second song: “Friends Forever“.

Another scene that goes on forever showcases a martial arts demonstration. Not a fight, just a mock demonstration which includes moves that involve people’s noses are grabbed between toes. Why is this in the movie!? I’ve concluded that it’s in the film to pad the running time or to promote YK Kim’s training dojos. What’s most unfortunate about Miami Connection is that during the fight scenes, all the actors are obviously competent martial artists who do show off some sort of skill. But most of these fight scenes take place at night and are poorly lit and edited which ruins any genuine enjoyment of them. I do not want to spoil too much more, but I must mention my favourite scene that involves the ninjas arriving to ambush Dragon Sound on motorcycles (!). As soon John spots them, he flatly delivers the line “Aw no…Ninjas!”.

For me, bad films have to have one continuous over the top level of awfulness to make them enjoyable. Miami Connection begins to lose it’s shtick when the goof ball dialog becomes minimal and the story fails to go into the crazy improbability of let’s say…Ninja III: The Domination. I would still recommend watching it if for the good amount of cheap laughs as it’s still a minor, but still pretty amazing piece of bad cinema.

Miami Connection VHS cover

Whenever I see a film as bad as Miami Connection, I get obsessed with it. How was it made? Where did it go wrong? Who’s to blame? I’ve done a little research about the production of the film. And it mostly surrounds the actor, writer and co-director YK Kim.

In the early 1980s YK Kim created one of the largest Taekwondo organizations in the world. He had schools in eight locations including one in my current home: Ottawa, Canada. In 1985, Kim was approached by the Korean filmmaker Woo-sang Park who had the film’s basic plot in mind after watching Kim being interviewed about one of his Taekwondo books. Park had previously made the mysteriously ninja-less film known as Ninja Turf. Kim was not an avid film fan and only watched about two or three movies a year, but agreed to to help make the film. For the production staff, Kim hired many of his martial arts students who either had a role in the movie or contributed props and facilities. Kim also put forth his own money (over one-million dollars) to aid the film’s production. Co-producer William Young said the total budget of the film ran ”seven figures, a couple times over.” Miami Connection never had a written script as Woo-sang Park fed lines to actors before filming.

On watching a private screening of Miami Connection, Kim said the film made him feel physically sick. On trying to sell the film to Cannes International Film Festival, he was told “It isn’t a movie”. Down but not out, Kim read eight books on film making and by 1987, he had re shot most of the film including changing movie’s ending and adding new dialogue. The film received negative reviews from critics, and Kim did not expect the film to turn a profit. ”I know I lost money in the movie, but I do not regret it at all…I’m very proud to have finished it. I can work hard to pay off my debts. That’s a piece of cake.”

YK Kim has not made another film since Miami ConnectionMiami Connection as after a jarringly bloody battle finishes the film, we are left with this quote.

I still believe in your vision YK Kim! For more fun, check out his new career as a “modern philosopher” which is as humorous as his film.

Source 1 | Source 2.


Cyborg Director’s Cut

March 7, 2011

The unearthing of a director’s cut of Cyborg is not as important as let’s say…the missing scenes from Metropolis. But let’s take a look at it either way. Cyborg does not have a lot going for it for me personally. I am only mildly fascinated by Jean-Claude Van Damme’s career and I usually run away from most action films that bare the Cannon logo (which is a large amount of 1980s action films).

Cyborg is not only a Cannon film, but a cobbled together Cannon film. In 1987, Cannon lost a great deal of money with Masters of the Universe and the unwatchable Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. EUGH. There are problems with that one. I can only imagine the conversations in the Cannon Offices when they thought this up:

Superman IV

Cannon Films Nuclear Man

This is just a theory but I can not see anything other than the above happening. The important thing is, that Cannon were planning a Spider-man film at the time and with the money lost on the above films, they had to scrap it. Sets designed for Spider-man were than used in the quickie we know as Cyborg. Director Albert Pyun leans a bit too close to pure exploitation for me, but I have found people who can get into this early Van Damme film. I don’t think Van Damme can be that fond of this one. He accidentally caused a stuntman to lose an eye on set in an accident and was sued for $500,000. Ouch. Van Damme was weary of ever making another film in the Hollywood again after this, but we all know how that turned out. Van Damme probably won’t be too happy about this cut either. Along with a new score and more violence, this cut reportedly has another actor dubbing for Van Damme. Without having seen any version of Cyborg, I can not go much further but this small intro that director Pyun has posted himself should give a few clues of how this film really is. Judge for yourself.


1990: The Bronx Warriors Review

February 25, 2011

I’m fascinated by director Enzo G. Castellari. Unlike the average Italian genre directors who usually stuck to giallo and horror films, Robert Mr. Castellari attempted to make several action films in his career and seems to be quite proud of his work.

Depends on the movie indeed. My first experience in watching 1990: The Bronx Warriors was at the Babylon Nightclub on mute. Top Obviously, I was only really able to grasp what was going on after a theatrical showing. In this film, cheap nba jerseys Castillari cuts a nice slice of rip-off pie that swipes ideas from The Warriors and Escape From New York. The film is set in the futuristic year of 1990, where the Bronx is declared a no man’s land and is overrun with violent gangs. Anne (Stefania Girolami), the daughter of the president of the Manhattan Corporation, runs away from home to the Bronx where she runs into Trash (Mark Gregory) Fairview the leader of the gang called Riders. The President sends an ex-cop named Hammer to retrieve Anne and wipe out the gangs.

I’m okay with plot rips-offs I’m fine with as long there are interesting things happening cinematically to carry Look the film somewhere new. There are some wholesale jerseys in The Bronx Warriors, but it’s all amazingly miscalculated. Our unique gangs include a roller 2016 skating gang (in full knee pads and helmets), tap-dancing gangs that tap-dance while they fight and whose make-up would give Visage a wholesale mlb jerseys run for their money. And least interesting is a gang of pseudo-zombies who are never really explained. This would be fine and dandy if they were all convincing bad-asses right? Outside the American actors (specifically Fred Williamson), the acting and dubbing of the cast induces more giggles than awe, especially Trash who shows no charisma in lead role at all. What kind of name is ‘Trash’ anyhow? It’s hard to get behind someone named Trash. Not that the others have better ones.

Try to guess who’s who before rolling over!

Wasn’t that great Neikos fun? It’s like you known these guys for years now! So can Trash, Review Ice, Hammer and Hot Dog fight? The action scenes do not cut it. For battles, they are wholesale nfl jerseys mostly restricted to unrealistic fist fights and blunt object beatings that resemble swashbuckling films more than street brawls. I can not recommend the film unless you are totally in love with trash cinema, especially the Italia-brand: Bad dialog, rip-off story line, and bad ideas. This one would have it all if the action scenes were thought out a bit more and could at least reach the level of enjoyably-bad.