Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mystery Movie Solved! HAN BO WARRIOR (1982)



Here's a 2-for-1 deal: one movie that solves two mysteries! Alice Hsia's Transmedia Distribution Corp. released seven martial arts movies in the early '80s, six of which starred Billy Chong (KUNG FU EXECUTIONER, A HARD WAY TO DIE, SUPER POWER, JADE CLAW, KUNG FU ZOMBIE, A FIST FULL OF TALONS). The seventh, HAN BO WARRIOR, opened in only two theaters in midtown Manhattan on August 13, 1982 before traveling to the outer boroughs, Jersey, Connecticut and action theaters elsewhere, which leads us to the conclusion that Transmedia only had two prints. It turns out HAN BO WARRIOR was 10 years old at this point; a recent investigation by the sleuths here at Temple of Schlock revealed its true identity as MENG HU XIA SHAN/THE RAGE OF WIND (1972), starring Chen Sing and Yasuaki Kurata.


The film stayed in circulation for almost two years. Here it is playing second fiddle to MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY in a Baltimore grindhouse (courtesy of Washington D.C. sub-distributor Ross Wheeler) the week of February 10, 1984.


Below is a funny article written by Baltimore Sun syndicated columnist Matt Seiden about his experience attending the MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY w/ HAN BO WARRIOR double bill.


Meanwhile, the World Northal "Black Belt Theater" television packages were earning great ratings for channels like WNEW 5 in New York, which ran martial arts movies every Saturday afternoon on their DRIVE-IN MOVIE program. One movie I always wondered about was THE NINJA WARLORD, which premiered on DRIVE-IN MOVIE on February 26, 1983. The TV listing below gets the date wrong and the plot turned around --


A Hong Kong production where the Japanese are the good guys? Yeah, anyway, when the Transmedia films were picked up by World Northal for inclusion in the "Black Belt II" package, the title of HAN BO WARRIOR was changed to THE NINJA WARLORD (Right, because in addition to always being the villains, all Japanese are ninjas!). In other words, the film was still playing the kung fu circuit as HAN BO WARRIOR while showing on TV as THE NINJA WARLORD. As an elderly Italian-American co-worker of mine used to say, "Nice in America!"

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Movie Ad of the Week: THE FLOWER WITH THE DEADLY STING (1975)



The giallo IL FIORE DAI PETALI D'ACCIAIO/THE FLOWER WITH STEEL PETALS (1973) -- directed by Gianfranco Piccioli and starring Carroll Baker, Gianni Garko and Pilar Velázquez -- opened in Boston as THE FLOWER WITH THE DEADLY STING on August 22, 1975.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mystery Movie solved! LADY LEE'S REVENGE (1978)



Another day, another Ark Films release without a billing block -- but once we recognized Kathy 'Kat' Lee as Polly Shang-Kuan, LADY LEE'S REVENGE (U.S. release: 1978) was pretty easy to nail down as GAN LIAN ZHU DAI PO HONG LIAN SI / GAN LIAN ZHU DESTROYS THE RED LOTUS (1976) a.k.a. HEROINE KAN LIEN CHU. The above ad is from Odessa, TX on March 6th, 1981 (The second feature, HAMMERFIST, still needs to be ID'd). The ad below is from Miami on January 19, 1979.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Movie Ads of the Week: Toho's "Bloodthirsty Trilogy" in Hawaii!



THE VAMPIRE DOLL
February 24, 1971



LAKE OF DRACULA
June 19, 1971


EVIL OF DRACULA
August 30, 1974


EVIL OF DRACULA w/ THE VAMPIRE DOLL
August 10, 1979

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Mystery Movies solved! SAVAGE RIDERS and TORNADO ON WHEELS (both 1973)



Seven years ago we did a Mystery Movie post about two unidentified motorcycle movies, THE SAVAGE RIDERS and TORNADO ON WHEELS, and we're happy to report that both films have now been ID'd with help from Temple of Schlock contributor Mike MacCollum. Shot in 1972 as A HARD RIDE TO THE MOVIES, the R-rated THE SAVAGE RIDERS was directed by hardcore filmmaker Jack Genero and stars Robert Harvey, Darlene Genero and Chuck Wells. TORNADO ON WHEELS, which was released with a G rating by the Dallas Film Exchange during the 1973-1974 drive-in season, is actually I FIDANZATI DELLA MORTE/THE BOYFRIENDS OF DEATH (1957), a widescreen color Italian film dubbed into English and starring Rik Battaglia and Sylva Koscina. A print was recently restored through a crowdfunding campaign by Fenland Classic Motorcycles and can now be purchased on DVD here.


Thanks again to Mike MacCollum, who was at the Skyline Drive-In in August 2015 when the only known print of THE SAVAGE RIDERS was shown as part of the Skyline's weekend late-night "Drive-Insanity" series.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Movie Ads of the Week: Dragon Lee in New York!



THE REAL BRUCE LEE
April 13, 1979


DRAGON ON FIRE
July 4, 1980


RAGE OF THE DRAGON
December 26, 1980


THE CLONES OF BRUCE LEE
April 17, 1981


GOLDEN DRAGON, SILVER SNAKE
October 9, 1981


THE DEADLY SILVER NINJA
February 5, 1982


DRAGON'S INFERNO
April 23, 1982


JUSTICE OF THE DRAGON
October 1, 1982


ENTER THE DEADLY DRAGON
October 8, 1982


THE DRAGON'S SHOWDOWN
February 11, 1983


DRAGON LEE VS. THE 5 BROTHERS
February 18, 1983


THE MARTIAL MONKS
January 27, 1984


THE SECRET NINJA
February 24, 1984


THE DEADLY DRAGON FIGHTS AGAIN
March 2, 1984

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Mystery Movie solved! BLACK BELT ANGELS (1980)



There's a big empty space on this poster where the billing block should be, but we've managed to identify BLACK BELT ANGELS (U.S. release: 1980) as FEI YAN SHUANG JIAO (1978), a.k.a. THE LADY CONSTABLES, starring Angela Mao and Judy Lee.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Movie Ads of the Week: Sonny Chiba in New York!



THE STREET FIGHTER
January 29, 1975


RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER
August 13, 1975


THE KILLING MACHINE
January 21, 1976


CHAMPION OF DEATH
October 20, 1976


SISTER STREET FIGHTER
March 11, 1977


THE BODYGUARD
September 30, 1977


THE EXECUTIONER
July 19, 1978


"The Sonny Chiba Film Festival"
January 12, 1979


THE STREETFIGHTER'S LAST REVENGE
April 6, 1979


THE ASSASSIN
November 23, 1979


"Big Triple Show"
January 4, 1980


KARATE WARRIORS
June 6, 1980


DRAGON PRINCESS
January 9, 1981


ROARING FIRE
December 10, 1982