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Low budget cinema gold from around the globe. "Exclusive Delirium" - Anonymous

Updated: 2018-04-13T02:22:44.077-07:00


THE END OF WORLDWEIRD CINEMA?!? And the latest from Mondo Macabro!!


So I'm sure most of you have noticed that there hasn't been much going on here of late. In fact, it's been more than four months since my last post. My thanks to anyone who's still been checking in to see if there's anything new, my apologies to all who might be disappointed that there hasn't been. Truth is, my heart just hasn't been in it. From a personal life in turmoil to a wide range of interests other than movies to often just wanting to sit back and enjoy a film and not have to think about how I'd write about it, the reasons for my absence are many and varied. I'd love to say that this is a temporary hiatus, but I'm not sure. Anyway, this might be my last post for awhile. I need to figure out what my priorities are and get some things straightened out in my head before I can devote my time and concentration to writing about cinema again. But I still love movies, and I love the whole 'Worldweird Cinema' concept and feel there is still great work to be done in this field so I imagine I can’t stay away forever. But before I go off into self-imposed exile, I'd like to whole-heartedly recommended to all of you (however many of you might be left) the two most recent releases by our fave DVD label of all time Mondo Macabro. I speak of course of their two Jess Franco blockbusters SINNER and LORNA THE EXORCIST!Of course the troubles that have plagued these discs have become the stuff of legend, particularly in the case of LORNA. I will not repeat the litany of obstacles that nearly derailed this release; you can find those at your nearest Google search. I will only praise the immense effort that MM has put into both discs. They are among the best ever presentations of Jess Franco’s work available. The movies are incredible too. SINNER is as solid and foursquare a movie as Franco ever made, but still washes over you with degenerate sex and heady, psychedelic music. The acting is surprisingly good for an early 70s soft sex epic and while a few plot points are muddled, the story is absorbing and solid. LORNA on the other hand, is just completely off its rocker. It is perhaps Franco’s most bizarre and unsettling movie, trading in the uncanny and unhealthy atmosphere that have always pervaded the wayward autuer’s best movies, but here cranked it up to full blast. The cut on this DVD is almost 20 minutes longer than any version ever released on video, with the most important revelation being the long-written-of but-rarely seen dildo initiation scene between starlets Pamela Stanford and Lina Romay. It’s transgressive, disgusting and highly erotic all at once. The United Nations should consider giving Pete Tombs and Andy Starke some sort of medal for unearthing this scene and several others which have fleshed out this morbid and disquieting film. Another key trait to note about both films are their incredible scores. SINNER’s is wild and psychedelic, LORNA’s hypnotic and melancholy, both hold the films together, lending a linear thread to hang the degeneracy and weirdness on.The DVDs themselves are nearly flawless. SINNER looks as just about as perfect as one could hope for and while the quality of LORNA varies with the different prints used to re-construct this uncut version, it’s practically a miracle that it exists at all. There are great extras as well. Steven Thrower contributes an overview of Franco’s films as well as introductions for each movie. As Thrower is perhaps the most insightful of all cult film critic/historians, these interviews are absolutely must-views for fans of Jess. You will come away with some new perspectives on his bizarre, labyrinth filmography, I promise. Also featured is an exclusive interview with editor Gerard Kikoine, who worked on many of Franco’s pictures during his time making movies for producer Robert De Nesle. He’s quite charming in a very Gallic sort of way and there’s plenty of insight to be gleaned from him about early 70s French exploitation cinema scene. Great stuff. These extras are featured on both discs. Basically, you NEED both of these amazing DVDs, surely amo[...]

New Onar DVD coming soon?



Long thought lost, but now found, Onar is unleashing this comic book-based Turkish western on an unsuspecting world in October (maybe). That is, if everything goes fine between now and then. This title is a dream release for Onar Mastermind Bill Barounis and for all we know might be the last Onar disc ever, considering all the trouble his previous releases have caused him. But gosh, I sure hope not - so everyone HAS to buy this thing and line Bill's pockets with gold coins so he can continue his extrodinary streak of amazing DVDs. Details of the package below.

ULTRA-LIMITED EDITION OF 500 numbered copies
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Levent Cakir (Zagor)
Poster Insert
Aspect ratio: 16:9 - 1.78 Full Frame
Turkish audio with English & Greek subs
Dolby Digital 2.0


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Korean Horror! At Unkown Kino! WWC says check it out!


In the interest of keeping the barest of pulses still moving here at Worldweird Cinema, let me point you to a spate of recent reviews by my friend Mathieu St-Pierre. He lives in The Republic of Korea (that's South Korea to most of us in the English speaking world), and the lucky bastard has easy (or at least, easier) access to the incredibly obscure world of pre-millennium Korean horror flicks. His blog Unknown Kino is just about the only place other than yers troolies where the so-inclined can read about this almost entirely unknown region of international exploitation cinema. So soak it up. Unless Mondo Macabro or some other brave entrepreneurs strikes a deal with the Korean Film Archive to remaster and unleash some of these on DVD, our two sites are just about the only English language options for finding out about these things. There are a few Korean DVDs out there. I leave it to you to do your own digging.
On to the reviews! Take it away Monsieur St. Pierre!




Impulse/Synapse unveils the initial disc in their Nikkatsu Roman Porno line!


Out November 9th of this very year. Looks freaking awesome, aye? Synapse aren't sure which actual R.P. film will be the first to roll out but speculates that it may be DEBAUCHERY aka BEAST COLOR. We know nothing about this film and can find noting about it under that title. Nonetheless - SOLD! We love this stuff 'round here and so will you!
More updates will be forthcoming, including a roundup of recent sexy Severin DVDs! We swear! Stay tuned!

FREE MAIDEN (South Korea, 1982)


FREE MAIDENJa-yu-cheo-nyeoReleased: October 29, 1982Republic of KoreaShin Han Films Co., Ltd.Directed by Kim Ki-youngWritten by Lee Mun-wungProducted by Jeong Do-hwanCinamatography by Jeong Pil-siArt Direction by Lee Myoung-sooEditing by Hyun Dong-choonLighting by Seo Byoung-SuMusic by Han Sang-kiCASTAhn So-youngShin Seong-ilKim Won-seobCho Ju-miHan Woo-riThe stirringly lovely Ahn So-young, star of the (very) soft-core hit film AEMA BUIN, plays a free-spirited young graduate student whose casual affairs with impressionable young men causes consternation among her colleagues. Motivated by a pursuit of commitment free-pleasure, So-young feels little guilt about bedding and forgetting a string of handsome beaus. Like the AEMA series, the model here would seem to be the European EMANUELLE films, with their schmaltzy, discofied ambience and (often hypocritical) free-love ethos. But FREE MAIDEN was directed by South Korea’s premier eccentric auteur Kim Ki-young and he takes this formula and curdles it, making a film that is riddled with his own bizarre obsessions.So-young’s commitment-phobia is seriously tested for the first time by an older professor whom she feels sympathy for after learning of his recent suicide attempt. It seems the old doc can’t get it up anymore and has fallen prey to the depths of despair. His loving wife tries in vain to alleviate his impotency by all manner of oddball cures in an extended sequence that’s pure Kim. A bitter herbal broth chased by an assortment of multi-colored hard candies, pornography, dressing in a middle-eastern-y looking veil, hypnosis and finally standing him on his head and shaking his legs around vigorously. None of this works of course. If you’ve seen any of Kim’s other films like INSECT WOMAN or WOMAN OF FIRE I’m sure you can guess what eventually does cure his chronic erectile dysfunction. A chance encounter with So-young provides the opportunity for the professor to loosen (and stiffen) up but his despair seems too great and an initial seduction ends in failure. But while wandering an empty field at night our loveless doc (an entomologist obsessed by butterflies) is entranced when So-young hoists up the sides of her dress and flaps them around like an insect. The professor chases her with his butterfly net, catches her, tosses her to the ground, flings her legs apart and re-discovers his manhood. It’s another memorable scene that could only have sprung from the cracked imagination of Kim Ki-young.An intense affair begins, despite the abject disapproval of So-young’s fellow students. So-young has finally learned how to feel real love. But soon enough it becomes apparent to the professor’s suffering wife what is going on. She takes legal recourse (it seems as though adultery is a serious civil offense in the Republic of Korea, or at least it was at this time), threatening suit and forcing So-young to sign papers forbidding her illicit affair with the older woman’s husband. Though crushed, she agrees, but attempts suicide by taking an overdose of pills. She survives, perhaps because the bottle of pills she swallows clearly states that they’re “Vitamin E” tablets (?!?!?). But passion cannot be denied and the professor seeks her out for one last rendezvous, which makes up the films climatic and best love scene, an intense and emotional love-making swathed in vibrant and cartoonish crimson lighting. It’s the only such scene the escapes either faux-Europorn cheesiness or the loopy almost by-the-numbers eccentricity of director Kim. It’s also the only time in this film or in any other South Korean movie I’ve seen of any sensual nature that comes close to matching the vivid intensity of the contemporaneous Japanese “Roman Pornos”. It’s a wonderful, galvanizing and even emotional sequence that should linger long in your memory. The movie just sort of winds down after that, having blown its stack, so to speak. There isn’t much to say ab[...]

NEW TENANT (Hong Kong, 1995)


NEW TENANT (Hong Kong, 1995)San fong haak (Cantonese)/ Xin fang ke (Mandarin)“New Neighbor”Universe Film Productions/Galaxy FilmsDirected by Anthony Wong Chau-sangProduced by Leung Hung-wahWritten by Lau Wing-kin, Leung Hung-wah, Anthony Wong Chau-sangCinematography by Tsang Chun-chungArt Direction by Danny YuenMusic by Raymond Wong Ying-wahCast:Anthony Wong Chau-sangDolphin Chan Hoi-hangLawrence Ng Kai-wahDayo Wong Chi-wahParkman Wong Pak-manYip Wing-choWith stomping Canto-metal blasting away on the soundtrack, the movie begins with actor/director Anthony Wong getting a haircut from UNTOLD STORY director Herman Yau made up like Paul Stanley from Kiss. It just gets weirder from there. It’s 1994 in Hong Kong and Wong is being discharged from a mental hospital. He claims he can no longer remember why he was originally admitted and therefore must be fully recovered. His doctor approves and, seemingly a bit of a Jesus freak, prays with him, and seems more mentally unstable than Wong does. Out on his own, our hero rents a flat in a building scheduled to be condemned in three months. Although he is the only current tenant he occasionally sees neighbors going in and out, only to later find their respective apartments empty, apparently for years. On his first night, he dreams (or does he?!?) that his face has become grotesquely disfigured and his hands have begun to stigmata. Rushing in a panic out his front door, he is confronted with the oppressive image of the hospital again, beckoning him to return. The following day, while sitting down to defecate, he is intruded upon by a rotund, mustachioed gentleman who, unable to see Wong already using the facilities, promptly whips it out and starts pissing directly on him. Blessedly, he disappears, but Wong is understandably upset and confused by this odd plot twist. Rushing into his living room he is astonished to find several people having a get-together in his apartment. They can neither see nor hear him. Anthony Wong, unsurprisingly, freaks out. These flashes continue and eventually he finds that one member of the household can at least hear him, a cute teenager improbably named Dolphin (also improbably the name of the actress playing the part and Wong’s girlfriend at the time). While in her room he happens to notice a calendar on the wall. He has suddenly found himself in 1984. Anthony Wong has become unstuck in time.This brings us to the second act of the film, wherein Wong and Dolphin became acquainted and even sort of romantically involved. But soon enough the sinister strains of the first act begin to creep back in. Dolphin’s sister Whale (no really, that’s her name) goes missing soon after becoming engaged to the odd duck Anthropologist who lives downstairs (played by ubiquitous Category III leading man Lawrence Ng). Dolphin suspects that he has done something unspeakable to her, but really only because he makes weird noised at night that she hears through the ancient piping in their building. Dolphin and Wong sneak into his apartment one night to investigate and spy him opening a brief case and carefully inspect a mutilated canine inside. Convinced of his culpability, Wong checks in on the nutty professor back in 1994. He audits a class of his on the anthropology of human sacrifice. He speaks with unreserved passion about the cannibalization of loved ones in some “savage” societies, proclaiming the act to be the ultimate in intimacy. Confronting him afterwards the creep confesses to ritual murder and cannibalism of Whale and gives him a knowing look, perhaps somehow aware of Wong’s cross-time continuity. NEW TENANT spirals down from here into its unabashedly weird and incoherent climax. I don’t want to reveal too much, but I will tell you this about the end of the movie: It makes no fucking sense whatsoever.Which is OK with me, really. This is a most unusual HK flick to be sure. There aren’t many pulp films from the f[...]

"This film is cursed!" LORNA disc to be delayed.



Mondo Macabro have announced that their highly anticipated DVD of Jess Franco's amazing LORNA THE EXORCIST will be delayed.

To quote from their blog:

"Due at the end of this month, it will now be a month or so late. This is due to circumstances GENUINELY beyond our control. Trust us, if you knew how hard we’ve worked to get round this, you’d be minting us medals rather than hurling epithets. In our defence, we’d like to point out that in nearly 50 MM releases, this is the first time this has happened….so…apologies..."

Sad, so sad. Pete Tombs was nice enough to share with us what exactly had gone wrong with the materials they had received from the licensor:

"LORNA had been turned into a porno movie in Italy. They removed more or less all the plot and replaced it with hideous porn inserts. The ending was almost completely gone. It was a disaster. The english soundtrack did not match either. The worst fuck up I have so far encountered in nearly 15 years of doing this!"

The good news? They seem to have been able to fix the probs and it will still be published. The even better news? The legendary "power transference by dildo" scene exists and will be on this disc for all to behold! The following screengrab confirms this beyond all doubt.


While it may not be on time, and it may have nearly ruined the sanity of the Mondo Macabro brain trust, LORNA THE EXORCIST will surely be one of the DVDs of the year.
If you so desire, you may put your faith where your wallet is and pre-order this masterpiece here.

Here are some other screengrabs from MM's blog. For those of us who've only experienced this movie from 7th generation bootlegs sourced from ancient SECAM VHS tapes, these are a true revelation!


THE THIRD EYE (Italy, 1966)


IL TERZO OCCHIOProduction Company: Panda Societa per L’Industria CinematographicaReleased June 11, 1966Directed by Mino Guerrini (as “James Warren”)Screenplay by Piero RegnoliProduced by Ermanno Donati and Luigi CarpentieriCinematography by Alessandro D’EvaMusic by Francesco De MasiEditing by Ornella MichelliAssistant Director Ruggero DeodatoCastFranco NeroErica BlancGioia PascalOlga SolbelliFranco Nero is constantly on the verge of insanity as Mino, an heir to a wealthy estate. He is hemmed in by the overwhelming feminine forces in this life: his mother (Solbelli), his fiancée, Laura (Blanc) and his maid (Pascal). Each seeks to possess him, despite his obvious instability. And each seeks to remove the others in the process of possessing him. The maid, Marta, eventually wins this battle of wills by murdering both the mother and the fiancée. The loss of these two important figures in his life tips Mino into full-blown crazy as he embalms his dead fiancée’s body (he is an expert taxidermy hobbyist) and begins to randomly murder local floozies he is easily able to seduce. Of course Marta is there to enable this murderous grief as a means of weaseling her way into his life more officially, essentially blackmailing him into making him his bride. Her devious plan is then complicated by the untimely arrival of Laura’s sister Daniela (Blanc, again), a plot twist that doesn’t do Mino’s state of mind any favors. He sees Daniela as his once dead, now apparently living bride-to-be and intends to make her his for eternity. Marta attempts one last stab at his heart by attempting to kill her, only to become Mino’s final victim in his series of ritualized murders. This bloody act done, Mino abducts/elopes with Daniela to achieve his defiance of death, hurdling both of these doomed souls towards the film’s tragic conclusion.This synopsis should ring familiar to fans of Joe D’Amato’s gore masterpiece BEYOND THE DARKNESS. In fact, that film is almost a scene for scene remake, despite the almost total lack of acknowledgement in literature devoted to the D’Amato version. BEYOND makes explicit that which is mostly implicit in THE THIRD EYE. Made in the mid-sixties, EYE skirts around the necropliliac assumptions as well as shying away from the viciousness of murder that is the D’Amato film’s stock in trade. Which is not to say there is not a pervasive sickness in the atmosphere of this film, like many 60s Italian gothics, which often seemed more like sex films in a horror drag. The movie actually has more in common with the giallo genre, with its lack of an overt supernatural element and its preoccupation with murderous intrigue. But the shadowy, monolithic mansion with its menagerie of looming taxidermied animal corpses and the crisp chiaroscuro photography lend a decidedly gothic feel to the production, sorting it out from the candy-coated proto-slasher antics of the later thriller trend. This odd genre-resistant strain marks THE THIRD EYE out as a unique film in the heyday of Italian popular cinema.But why THE THIRD EYE? What does this title mean and what does it indicate about the themes of the film? At one point in the film, after murdering his second victim Mino says, cryptically, “It’s as though I suddenly had a third eye … it always stares in the same direction”. In most esoteric philosophical systems, both eastern and western, “the third eye” is a reference to metaphysical or spiritual sight, the ability to see beyond the mundane world of ordinary physical existence, or beyond life itself into the realms of death. Mino is preoccupied with overcoming the towering presence of death in his life, his taxidermy and murders are an alchemical attempt at defying and transmuting its omnipresence. He can see beyond death’s veil – “always … in the same direction” - and in doing so thinks that he can sum[...]

The uncensored cover for Mondo Macabro's SINNER!


No date yet but here's the uncencored version of the cover. Hot Stuff!


We'll post more info on this release as we get it. Sorry for the lack of updates lately, but for those interested a new review will be posted by the end of the week!

If you see only one movie in a theater this year ...


for God's sake make it GONE WITH THE POPE. I just witnessed this resurrected masterpiece at the Grand Illusion Theater here in Seattle and it is nothing short of spectacular. Can't wait for the DVD, or hopefully, the Blu-ray. Seriously, if you get the chance to see it in a theater, with a crowd that's game, you owe it to yourself to do so. It will be the best decision you make all year. I mean really, would you rather see that CLASH OF THE TITANS remake in 3D? Or goddamned HOT TUB TIME MACHINE? I fucking Think Not! Here's the ultra-rad poster, the ultra-rad trailer and the ultra-rad remaining theatrical dates for this incredible piece of American Trash Cinema.


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April 23 & 25 - CPH PIX Festival, Copenhagen

May 6 - George Eastman House, Rochester, NY

May 10 - Doc Films, Chicago

May 21 & 22 - E Street Theatre, Washington, D.C.

June 4 & 5 - Landmark's Sunshine Cinemas, NYC

June 11 & 12 - Uptown Theatre, Minneapolis

June 18 & 19 Main Art Theatre, Detroit

June 25 & 26 River Oaks, Houston

July 2 & 3 Inwood Theatre, Dallas

Movie Review: SABIK ... KASALANAN BA? (Philippines, 1986)


RJR Films International/Fantasy Films InternationalRelease date 1st May 1986Directed by Lito J. de GuzmanProduced by Soledad NequintoStory by Danny RiveroScreenplay by Armando de Guzman, Jr.Cinematography by Joe TutanesMusic by Jeny LeeEditing by Rene TalaStarringGeorge EstreganJoy SumilangMaureen MauricioTani CincoGino AntonioDaria RamirezUbiquitous Filipino sexfilm actor Estregan sets in motion a sleazy chain of events when he successfully seduces his stepdaughter (Mauricio). While her mother, his wife (Ramirez), is none the wiser the younger daughter (Sumilang) spies on their heated couplings with guilty excitement. Inevitably his attentions turn to this curious virgin. Although at first she resists his affection, it’s only a matter of time before she relents, in surprising hardcore fashion. This being a rather typical erotic melodrama, she soon finds herself in a family way. Wanting to hide her and her Stepdad’s shame, she agrees to marry the young good looking suitor (Cinco) she had previously found little time for. But while young love blossoms between the two, his dedication to getting ahead at his job soon frustrates our young heroines escalating sex drives. She finds sweet relief in the arms of her husband’s best friend (Antonio), in another extended hardcore sequence. But even he cannot give her all she needs. So she begins to entertain most of the single men in her neighborhood, as the local busybodies whisper in earnest. Unavoidably, her husband walks in on her rigorously boffing his closest friend. Slipping away unnoticed, he plots his revenge, poisoning a dinner he skips out on, killing his pal and framing his wife. Overpowered by the guilt of her unscrupulous actions Sumilang takes the rap and resolves herself to a life in prison. But her husband is crushed by his own guilt and soon confesses to the crime. In a parallel tragedy, the karmic wheel set in motion by Estregan’s transgressions turns back onto him. His wife catches him passionately screwing her eldest daughter. Turning his own gun on him (is he a cop?) his wife murders them both. But somehow we get a happy ending. Years later, Sumilang’s husband is released from jail and is reunited with his wife and daughter, back to a karmic square one.Although hardly the most original or clever plot, SABIK keeps the sleazy melodrama coming at a pleasing pace. It never flags, consistently tossing a soft or hard sex scene at you every ten minutes or so. The film-making is proficient but uninspired, never reaching the delirious quasi-art film highs of other Filipino sex productions like SILIP or HUBO SA DALIM. But it does manage to keep its drama just enough on the boil to hold one’s interest. The tone is deadly serious throughout, blessedly never copping out to a superfluous comedy subplot like so many Southeast Asian movies. In fact the only concession to lightness comes at the end of the film and it feels phony. The downward spiral of the story is too neatly resolved, running against the grain of the film’s direction. But that said, the plot is never very complex or rich so it’s not much of a betrayal. The only real point of the movie is the fucking, which it provides in a number of soft scenes and two extended hard scenes. But the hard stuff is rather unimaginative and unarousing, consisting mostly of George Estregan and/or Gino Antonio’s wrinkly balls slapping mercilessly against poor Joy Sumilang’s anus. Rather it’s the sleazy incestual undertones which mark out SABIK as unusual and interesting, and the way these taboos lead to the eventual disintegration of the Sumilang’s moral character. Not that her performance carries any of this dramatic weight. In fact all the performances are rather flat, with only Filipino b-movie vet Estregan providing any charisma, althou[...]

Wild Turkish Erotica!


From the mid 70s until the military coup in 1980, erotic films made up the bulk of the cinematic output in Turkey. Here's a selection of clips and (where applicable) ad art of some of these raw and mostly forgotten artifacts. The good news is: all the films below are available in English subtitled versions from our friends at CIKO. Just check out their ebay page here.SONSUZ GECE1978; Directed by Yucel UcanogluStarring Unsal Emre and Zerrin EgelilerYALAN1976; Directed by Cetin InancStarring Yalcin Gulhan, Figen Han and Erol TasYALAN - THE LIE 1976CIKO MySpace VideoKAFES1976; Directed by Yucel UcanogluStarring Unsal Emre and Aynur AkarsuKAFES - THE CAGE 1976CIKO MySpace VideoKIVRIL FAKAT KIRILMA1976; Directed by Cetin InancStarring Unsal Emre, Ceyda Karahan and Alev AltinTWIST BUT NO BREAK - 1976CIKO MySpace VideoCILDIRTAN KADIN1978; Directed by Cetin InancStarring Tarik Simsek and Zerrin EgelilerGUNAH1974; Directed by Cetin InancStarring Arzu Okay and Tugay TuksozGUNAH - THE SINCIKO MySpace VideoSON GULEN1977; Directed by Cetin InancStarring Yalcin Gulhan and Necla Fine[...]




Incredible cover! June 29th, 2010! More info to follow when we get it.



When MM first made their announcement that they’d be releasing SADIST WITH RED TEETH on DVD, there were several cult-film pundits crowing about the utter awfulness of this French vampire opus. And indeed by anyone’s standards of what constitutes a “normal” film, SADIST is mind-bogglingly terrible. Its plot is hopelessly confused, its script sounds made-up on the spot, the performances practically define the description “wooden” and the special effects are totally unrealistic. Your average self-respecting horror fan might look on these meager works and despair. But the open-minded cult film fan, the lover of the eccentric and the bizarre in world cinema will look upon SADIST with nothing but wide-eyed affection. For me it was love at first sight. SADIST is pure weirdo entertainment, more psychedelic than terrifying, mesmerizing in its total commitment to its own oddness.A man thinks he is becoming a vampire following his release from a hospital. His doctors attempt to continue and foster this belief to further some obscure occult conspiracy. Eventually of course he ends up murdering some people and the police are soon hot on his trail. Except that that in no way sums up what is actually going on in this movie. SADIST is confoundingly weird, separating you from any sensible interpretation of the gothic events unfolding willy-nilly. Grainy stock footage of natural disasters regularly intercedes on the action ostensibly illustrating the main character’s violent state of mind, along with arty polarization effects and random shots of snakes and spiders, but these wayward avant-garde effects do more to interrupt the viewer’s frame of mind than reveal anything of value about the characters. Oddball characters waft in and out of the story with little rhyme and certainly no reason. My advice? Just give up and go with the flow. If you like weird movies, and you probably do, this is seriously one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen. It has a weirdness that is beyond words. SADIST WITH RED TEETH comes with Worldweird Cinema’s highest recommendation possible. If you don’t like this movie, it’s possible that bizarre foreign cult movies are just not for you.I wish I could say the same about FORBIDDEN PARIS. Oh, it’s pretty weird, and has some wonderfully odd images and moments, but it just barely held my attention throughout. Director Van Belle’s first feature film, it’s a “mondo” style documentary depicting a swath of oddballs and nutjobs in the Paris of the late 60s. It starts off strong with a slow motion shot of a woman walking through the streets in the buff, and then heading into a vignette showing a family of three preparing for a post-nuclear future. But overall there’s a little too much drag in the episodes, with the usual fakirs and animal deaths and whatnot. I am not much of fan of this type of cult movie, and PARIS did not covert me. It does have a great droney pop-jazz score and it looks good, but I doubt I’ll be returning to it anytime soon, unlike SADIST, which is already demanding an encore viewing.Mondo Macabro’s digital video presentation of each of these rare and almost lost films is nigh perfect. A wee-bit of damage on the negative for SADIST comes through, but otherwise it’s astonishingly beautiful, colorful and sharp. PARIS fares even better, looking as though it could have been filmed last year and not 40 years ago. There’s a great French language documentary about Van Belle, which centers on this enigmatic directors propensity for storytelling and obscuring the truth of his own biography. Liner notes from Christophe Bier, who is also interviewed in the docu, do their best to separate fact from fiction but ends up emphas[...]

DVD Review: ALTIN COCUK (Onar Films)


International spy films have often used Istanbul as a stock location to give a feeling of mystery and intrigue. Its unique architecture and deep history lend this easily, and it doesn’t hurt that during the 60s and 70s there was a film industry based there which actively sought out international co-productions. Istanbul was cheap and exotic, two very big plusses when it comes to the b-movie industry. So why wouldn’t the Turks want to take advantage of this themselves and not just leave it to the Italians or the Brits? They did so starting in ‘66 with a series of amiable James Bond knockoffs filmed under the banner ALTIN COCUK. Onar’s latest DVD is a presentation of the first film in that series, and while it probably isn’t going to blow your mind or change your life it is terrific fun nonetheless. Featuring romantic leading man Goksel Arsoy as the Bondish Altin Cocuck (or “Golden Boy”) a super-suave, super-deadly superagent out to protect Turkey from Cold War-era nogoodniks and to get as many lovely and scantily clad Anatolian chicks into bed as possible. There are a lot of double crossings, disguises, torture, gunfights, near-naked girls, underwater hi-jinks and love on the sly as our hero prevents mega-Turk-baddie Altan Gunbay from blowing up all Istanbul in an event which Gunbay predicts will be “more fun than Hiroshima”. One girl is whipped nearly out of her dress and another is strung up while in a bikini and slowly hung as the ice she’s made to stand on melts away under a heat lamp and the diabolical glare of Gunbay. The movie spits out one fast-paced scene after the next in the best Yesilcam cheap-but-entertaining tradition and is never, ever boring. But if you’re looking for the weirdest or wackiest or bloodiest or sexiest Turkish film, this one ain’t it. Not by a long shot. But it’s wild enough and rare enough to hold a bright spot in your heart and your DVD collection if you’re just willing to let it in and do its thing.More in the movie’s favor than its plot or action are its relatively great cinematic qualities. Director Memduh Un enriches each frame with a wonderfully expressionist, almost noir-ish eye. Dutch angles and moody lighting give it an atmosphere beyond the simple and action and poverty of plot. ALTIN COCUK looks great, better than it should, and is a shining testament to the often unheralded talents that were behind these disposable pop films. The acting isn’t anything that you wouldn’t find in any other Turkish film (or Spanish or Greek or Egyptian for that matter), but the cheap charisma of Goksel Arsoy holds things together nicely for the brief duration of the flick. And of course Altan Gunbay, in one of his earliest roles is typically great as the bald bad-ass out to betray his brethren. But really, it’s the endless parade of beautiful ladies that keeps your attention in scenes not featuring gunfire or torture. Sevda Nur plays the main girl, and while she hasn’t much to do, her dark and ethereal beauty are mesmerizing and after awhile you don’t really remember that she not really all that great as an actor. There’s quite a bit to be excited about in this movie, especially if you enjoy 60s spy flicks. Honestly, it’s never really been my cup of tea, I don’t even care for the Bond movies, but one thing I do like is Turkish pop cinema, in any shape or genre, and so ATLIN COCUK gives me just enough of that thrill that it will keep me coming back as long as it remains in on my DVD shelf.Onar’s discs just keep getting better. This is one of the best looking yet. On par with many of Something Weird Video’s transfers of American 60s low budgets epics, you get a lovely, clear b&[...]

DVD Review: THE ALCOVE (Severin)


Set during the years of Italy’s ill-fated imperial drive into East Africa, Joe D’Amato’s ultrasleazy THE ALCOVE plays deeply on disturbing master-slave dynamics of that era for its particular brand of kink. Al Cliver (DEVIL HUNTER) plays an aristocrat returning from the front with one impressive spoil of war, an Abyssinian princess played by legendary Eurosex goddess Laura Gemser. He returns home to a domestic situation already brimming with erotic confusion as his wife, Allessandra ( BEING TWENTY’s Lili Carati) has begun an affair with the secretary (LAURE’s Annie Belle ) hired to aid him in writing his war-time memoirs. The addition of Gemser to this hothouse of potentially dangerous sensuality causes the whole thing to boil over. Soon, Belle and Cliver are out of favor with the wife, who has succumbed to the savage charms of the African slave-queen. Throw in a leering brute of a gardener (spaghetti western and Poliziotteschi vet Nello Pazzafini) to the volatile mix and you know events are bound to end with the usual violence and rape. Tables are turned, dynamics are reversed, and reversed again, and the film ends with an actually somewhat shocking, fiery conclusion.The film is enflamed with political incorrectness as an aid to its erotic aims. There are several references to Gemser as nothing more than an animal, which seems to be a driving factor in the film’s view of her sensual allure, for both the characters and the intended audience. The racist implications of Italy’s African colonial adventure are played out in an almost satirical manner in this porno/chamber drama, serving needs both lascivious and political. The shifting power dynamics both cultivate and expose racist attitudes in what is ultimately a rather confusing mish-mash of intentions. Gemser gains the upper hand over all the other characters in the film, revealing herself to be the most powerful and headstrong in the ensemble. The climax of the film has Gemser orchestrating a filmed rape of Belle by Pazzafini and Carati in a nun’s habit. With this humiliation Gemser enacts a cultural revenge for her own violation at the hands of Cliver. But there is yet another reversal of fortunes which serves to only re-emphasize the racial status quo of the time period.But still, with all that, THE ALCOVE is great Eurotrash entertainment. Gemser is a powerful presence throughout, and her performance carries the dramatic thrust of the film. But even she possibly couldn’t have saved this from being a dreary and/or completely offensive movie without the deft cinemagraphic hand of Director D’Amato. His beautiful compositions and lighting give THE ALVOVE a classy sumptuousness it almost certainly does not deserve. And then of course there’s just the ironic thrill of the offensiveness itself. There is no way in hell a movie like this could be made anywhere in the world today, making it a unique artifact. If you’re of the right mindset, and most readers of this blog probably are, the constant non-p.c. sleaze on display will make you light up like Christmas. I had never seen this one before this fine DVD, and it only deepens my appreciation for Joe D’Amato as both a cinematic craftsman of a high order and as filmic pimp and conman, letting you peep in on a world you’d never want to live in but might just be very curious about nonetheless.Severin’s DVD looks pretty good. It’s flagged for progressive playback, it’s anamorphic, roughly the correct aspect ratio and the colors are strong. There’s a constant high level of grain throughout, betraying the low-budget origins of the movie which the otherwise beautiful cinematography might hide. I[...]

The Twisted Path of R1 DVD!


Here's a quick rundown of some upcoming R1 DVDs of interest to Worldweirdians. All dates are subject to change, perhaps even likely to change. Images are copped from as always.

BATTLE GIRL: LIVING DEAD IN TOKYO BAY (Synapse) coming 02-23-10

BEHIND CONVENT WALLS (Cult Epics) coming 03-30-10

BUSHIDO: CRUEL CODE OF THE SAMURAI (AnimEigo) coming 02-09-10

DEATH JOURNEY (Code Red) coming 03-16-10

FERNANDO ARRABAL COLLECTION VOL. 2 (Cult Epics) coming 02-23-10

GIRLY (Scorpion) coming 3-30-10

INTERNECINE PROJECT (Scorpion) coming 02-23-10

MEAN JOHHNY BARROWS (Code Red) coming 03-16-10

PORNO (Impulse) coming 04-27-10

POWER PLAY (Scorpion) coming 02-23-10

SADIST WITH RED TEETH/FORBIDDEN PARIS (Mondo Macabro) coming 03-30-10

SAYURI ICHIRO: FOLLOWING DESIRE (Kimstim/Kino) coming 03-23-10

SCREAM (Code Red/Shriek Show) coming 02-23-10

SWEET TEEN (Mya) coming 04-27-10

TAXI HUNTER (Eastern Star) coming 02-23-10

TWISTED PATH OF LOVE (Kimstim/Kino) coming 03-23-10

WITHOUT TRACE (Mya) coming 04-27-10

YAKUZA JUSTICE: EROTIC CODE OF HONOR (Kimstim/Kino) coming 03-23-10

More good Worldweird stuff to come, including reviews of Severin's new D'Amato sleazefest THE ALCOVE and Onar's latest essential Turkish cult release ALTIN COCUCK! Stay tuned for those as well as more reviews of extremely obscure foreign cult goodies!

Merry Xmas EVIL!!!


Hey worldweirders, enjoy this little smidgen of sicko Xmas cheer. WWC will be back in full force with new reviews and news next year!

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Movie Review: DE ESPALDAS (Cuba, 1956)


DE ESPALDAS"Backs Turned"aka CUBAN CONFIDENTIALCuba, 1956Directed and Produced by Mario BarralScreenplay by Mario Barral, Francisco Pazos, Francisco Forcade, Oscar Luis LopezCinematography by Manuel S. CondeEdited by Michael CeroneMusic by Jose de AguileraCAST:Emilio G. NavarroMaria BrenesJose de San AntonManuel EstanilloArmando MartinezA man awakens to find his mood troubled. While walking to work he unknowingly wanders into a graveyard and so begins an existential musing that lasts for the rest of the day and the film. Mostly he aimlessly wanders the streets, constantly asking himself ‘Why?” when stumbling across social injustice. He ponders the evils of sick children, poverty and Marxism. At one point he flashes back to a fortune teller and her witchy words make him believe he has power over life and death. He informs a dying boy that he will not die after all, only to hear mere seconds later that the child has gone and croaked anyway. This does nothing to alleviate his mood. While stopping outside a prison, a warden appears and asks him to speak with a man condemned to die. It is his last wish to speak with the first man the warden comes across. The doomed man explains that his only real crime is being ugly, and therefore impossible to believe when he claims he did not murder his beautiful lover. Our hero does believe him and comes away more convinced than ever of the hopelessness of the world. Which is only further exasperated by a chance meeting with a random floozy (perhaps prostitute – the narrative is unclear) with whom he tries to make sense of the days events before her angry husband comes home to beat her in what appears to be a daily ritual. All his sadness and misery are solved, conveniently, by his return home. Met by his adoring children and maid-like wife, our man in Havana is welcomed by the warm embrace of family, of middle-class life and most importantly perhaps, of television. The films ends with the entire family gathered around its hearth-like glow, entranced by its angst-easing flicker. In an odd and ostensibly poetic bit of casting, his family are all played by the same actors who portrayed the various shady characters encountered in his long’s days journey into TV-illuminated night.DE ESPALDAS has serious artistic aspirations. It’s full of 50s European-esque arty angst a la Bergman or Italian neo-realism, but it just doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still an entertaining and interesting movie. Just not for the reasons it is intended for. The hero’s completely ridiculous voice-over monologues seem almost like a parody of existential navel-gazing, it’s so over the top and full of square-jaw sincerity. Despite its utter seriousness of intent, it comes across completely comedic. The English dubbing may have something to do with this, sounding as though it were recorded through a megaphone rather than a microphone. The music, too, seems at odds with the grave events unfolding. It’s a swath of typically 50s sounding library cues more at home in a pirate adventure movie than a film about a man touring through the suffering of the world. It creates an unintentional frisson which works in spite of itself, but only though an unhealthy veil of snickering irony. The film’s best moments are the hand-held street scenes, particularly a lively street carnival, filled with outrageous, campy costumes. Meant to represent the main character’s disorientation, it the only time when the movie feels alive and in it’s own skin. The rest of the movie, with all it’s labored conscientiousness, feels a [...]

DVD Review: BORN OF FIRE (Mondo Macabro)


Mondo Macabro has done it again. They’ve uncovered a mostly unknown and completely unique film and given it the red carpet, 5-star treatment. BORN OF FIRE is an imperfect film, but is such a bizarre and visually stimulating piece that its faults dissipate quickly from your mind. A mystic-minded horror-fantasy with a healthy dollop of art-film gravitas, BORN bends and slinks around most of your “normal” preconceptions of genre or mainstream narrative. Its Islamic context gives it a refreshing texture that is effortlessly exotic (it would make a fine double feature with another Islamic art-horror: Kutlug Ataman’s THE SERPENT'S TALE). The film carries you along by magick and music, by imagination and emotion rather than plot, which is somewhat weak. A concert flautist’s chance meeting with a mysterious woman takes him unexpectedly to Turkey to investigate the circumstances of his father’s death. His father had gone to Turkey to study under “The Master Musician”, a man of supernatural musical talents who is somehow responsible for his death. This investigation leads to obscure revelations concerning the end of the world by excessive solar and volcanic activity. Our hero must prevent this occurrence by a musical dual with the Master, who, it turns out, is essentially Satan.The synopsis above does not, and cannot, possibly convey the impact this movie has. It’s full of weird and mysterious events which make little or no logical or narrative sense: a woman stoned to death by flowers instead of rocks, a djinn who responds to a sung Muslim prayer by shooting flames from his eyes, a vulture crashing through a shattered windshield on a rainy London night, the hero’s mysterious woman-friend, possessed by the djinn sends a steam of menstrual blood down her leg into a salt-water pool which later becomes a cocoon containing a monstrous moth that somehow causes her death when it hatches. Taken apart, these events hardly attach themselves to the “save the world by atoning for the sins of the father” thrust of the BORN’s plot. Taken together, with the other-worldly ambiance which seems to seep subconsciously into your mind, these images and many others like them form the dream-like corpus of the movie. Your perception abandons the narrative and floats along this metaphysical, surreal visual stream. Occasionally the spell is broken, mostly by clunky, tin-eared dialog (“The music originates here. The fire is its source” for one example) which reads almost like poetry on paper but sounds insufferably pretentious when voiced aloud by the actors. And the plot itself sometimes comes off half-baked, as though perhaps compromises during the film’s production limited the material that could be filmed, giving it an unintended ambiguity. But ultimately, ambiguity is OK with me, as long as the film itself is interesting enough to carry it through. BORN OF FIRE is, if nothing else, very interesting.The DVD is total aces. The 1.85:1 widescreen presentation is spot on and beautiful. I could find no fault in it. A ton of relevant extras round out this great release, most notably three interviews with cast and crew. Director Jamil Dehalavi discusses his career and BORN OF FIRE in particular in great detail which is gives the film some nice context. As an aside I might point out that Dehalavi seems to agree with me about the dialog, insisting that you could do away with it and not adversely affect the film. Peter Firth is next and is very charming, and although proud of the movie seems still a little befuddled by it[...]



From Onar HQ, the News!

Dig the Details:


If there was something the Turks were great at- besides Superhero adaptations- that sure was Spy special treatments. ALTIN COCUK was such a hit in 1966 that spawned 3 sequels in no time thus rendering the title hero more successful and cult than Mr. Bond himself! Luckily, the last surviving materials were found in pretty good condition, securing convenient entertainment through this worldwide DVD premiere.


Country: Turkey
Year: 1966
Director: Memduh Un
Actors: Goksel Arsoy, Altan Gunbay, Sevda Nur, Reha Yurdakul

ULTRA-LIMITED EDITION OF 500 numbered copies
Turkish audio with English & Greek subs
Dolby Digital 2.0
INTERVIEW with Altan Gunbay
TURKISH INTRIGUE (Article on Turkish Spy Films)
Spy Films Selected Filmography
Poster Insert
NEW Trailers (A Newly-discovered, considered lost, KILINK film, PLUS another LOST gem, RINGO GESTAPO'YA KARSI!! Both trailers will premier exclusively on this DVD and nowhere else!!)

DVD Review: HARDWARE (Severin Films)


Richard Stanley’s HARDWARE finally makes its debut on DVD (as well as Blu-Ray) after a decade or more of legal entanglements have kept in video limbo. Though it may have been a long time in coming, the wait is well worth it. Severin has pulled together a generous amount of supplemental material and has remastered the picture itself to perfection. HARDWARE is a cacophonous and kaleidoscopic apocalypse thriller which veers from flesh-ripping gore to dreamy idyll with disturbing ease. Set in a bleak future made terminal not by a single holocaust but by many and varied Armageddons, Stanley’s film depicts the struggles of two primary characters, Mo (Dylan McDermott) and Jill (Stacy Travis) to connect with each other amidst the rubble. Making this connection ever more complicated is the android killing machine that Mo, a post-industrial scrap-metal scavenger, has brought home in pieces as a Xmas present for Jill, a post-industrial scrap-metal sculptor. Unbeknownst to either of them, this killbot (officially known as MARK 13) is actually still operational, and what’s more, has a rather precocious talent for rebuilding itself. You can see where this is going I’m sure. Add in healthy doses of hallucinatory drugs, slimy voyeurs, nosy dwarfs, GWAR concert footage, lots of saws and drills and therefore also barrelfuls of blood and you have the makings of an exhilarating if not always coherent film explosion.But coherency is not really what Stanley is after here. Delirium is the standing order of the day, and a fractal sort of sensory reaction to all the bloodspurting and metal-crawling. Highly influenced by Dario Argento and other Italian horror directors, Stanley is aiming after the same kind of disorienting effects those maestros so effortlessly achieve. He is drowning you is visceral details, loud music and vivid neon color schemes to plunge you into a heightened and fugue-like state of mind. He’s trying to alter the chemicals in your brain, and he does a damn fine job of it. The movie doesn’t work as well as a simple exercise in sci-fi or horror. Structurally, it’s quite messy. Before you know it, you’re smack dab in the middle of the violent climax of the film less than an hour into it, which then lasts the rest of the running time (in the audio commentary Stanley remarks that this is deliberate and an homage to a similar structure used in TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2). This explodes the three-act structure and its inherent means of generating suspense giving you no choice but to experience the movie in very different frame of mind. The film works more as a hallucinatory experience than a standard thriller. HARDWARE is as much a drug as it is a film. It tosses around your perceptions wildly, from moody synth soundscapes over red-tinted desert skies to flesh-ripping animated mechanical debris and clutter scored to Ministry songs, from evoking Hindu gods and New Testament apocalypses to paranoid musings on what terrors the Military-Industrial complex may hold in store for us.But there is a point to all this, all this shredding and screaming and brutal android-human interface: HARDWARE is all about humanity’s death wish. About those suicidal drives which collectively embroil us in wars, which make us disregard the ecological effects of our lifestyles or which treat other human beings as nothing but playthings for our own shallow pleasures. A plot thread running almost underneath the events of the picture involves a government population control program [...]

UPDATED!! Coming soon from Mondo Macabro: THE SADIST WITH RED TEETH!!


OUT MARCH 30, 2010!!!

It's with barely contained excitement that Worldweird Cinema brings you the big scoop on the next MM DVD release! It will be none other than Belgian director Jean-Louis Van Belle's lost vampire opus THE SADIST WITH RED TEETH! We've wanted to check out this Jean Rollin-influenced poetic horror cheapie since first reading about some years ago in the essential book IMMORAL TALES. And now we will get our chance to gaze firsthand at this rarity! Making this even more mouth-watering is that it will be a double feature! Van Belle's mondoesque (and even more rare) FORBIDDEN PARIS is also included! That's just too much obscure Euro-ecstasy for us to handle! Also to be included in the package will be a new documentary about Mr. Van Belle as well video introductions to the two films by the director. No idea yet when this will bow, but here's some quick screenshots to get you in the mood.


For more info, here's a previous Mondo Macabro blog post all about Jean-Louis. And of course here's his IMDB page, for what it's worth. More info will be presented here when we have it!!

Coming soon from Mondo Vision!



Coming Next Year, the fourth in Mondo Vision's spectacular series of Andrzej Zulawski Special Edition DVDs! Stay tuned for further details.

R1 DVD Insanity!


More upcoming R1 DVD stuff that you should consider checking out!

L'AMOUR BRAQUE (Mondo Vision) Out 10-15-2009

ART OF LOVE (Severin) Out 11-24-2009

BLADE OF THE RIPPER (Mya) Out 1-26-2010

DESIRABLE TEACHER (Mya) Out 1-26-2010

DUSAN MAKAVAJEV, FREE RADICAL (Eclipse/Criterion) Out 10-13-2009

GOODBYE GEMINI (Scorpion) Out 2-23-2010

HUMAN COBRAS (Mya) Out 11-24-2009

HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (Mya) Out 11-24-2009

THE LADY MEDIC (Mya) Out 11-24-2009

THE LAST DECAMERON (Mya) Out 11-24-2009

MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE (JRH Films) Out 10-29-2009

PETS (Code Red) Out 10-06-2009

THE REAL EMANUELLE (Mya) Out 11-24-2009

RITUALS (Code Red) Out 11-17-2009

SATAN'S WIFE (Mya) Out 1-26-2010


SEX ADVICE (Mya) Out 1-26-2010