Sunday, April 04, 2021

Movie Ad of the Week: KAIJU JAKUMA NO MOSHU w/ GYAKUSHU AMANO HASHIDATE (1961)

Two 60-minute, black-and-white Toei productions -- KAIJU JAKUMA NO MOSHU (a.k.a. STRIKE OF THE JAGUMA) and its sequel, GYAKUSHU AMANO HASHIDATE -- opened on a double bill at the Toyo Theatre in Honolulu on December 22, 1961. Set in 16th century Japan, the films tell the story of the legendary samurai Iwami Jutaro, who is best known in folklore for defeating a white-haired ape-like monster known as the hihi. This confrontation is depicted in the first movie, in which the hihi (someone in a white gorilla suit) runs interference for the dreaded Jakuma and his (its?) band of thieving ninjas in demon masks as they move from village to village ripping off the chiefs and kidnapping their daughters. Good stuff! The sequel, which isn't available, sounds more routine in that it deals with Iwami pursuing the traitors who killed his father, the chief investigator on the Jakuma case. Iwami is played by Kôtarô Satomi, before he really hit his stride in films like 17 NINJA (1963), THE THIRD NINJA (1964), HONOR AMONG BROTHERS 2 (1966), RED PEONY GAMBLER 5 (1969) and the Eiichi Kudo classics 13 ASSASSINS (1963), THE GREAT KILLING (1964), and 11 SAMURAI (1967).

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Movie Ad of the Week: A FIST FOR A FIST (1981)

The Taiwanese martial arts movie LANG ZI DI SHI SAN (1980) a.k.a. TRIUMPH BY TWO KUNG FU ARTS, was released in the U.S. by Unifilm International as A FIST FOR A FIST beginning in 1981.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Movie Ad of the Week: THE MEATEATER (1979)

THE MEATEATER, filmed in and around the dilapidated Crest Theatre in Monrovia, CA in 1977 by indie filmmaker Derek Savage, opened in two theaters in Fresno, CA on March 14, 1979. Chris Poggiali and William Wilson's interview with Mr. Savage about the making of THE MEATEATER will be published in the next issue of Deep Red, due later this year!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A CONVERSATION WITH TONY ANTHONY - This Saturday at 7:00 PM (EST)

Hey everyone! Don't miss the special Zoom event A CONVERSATION WITH TONY ANTHONY this Saturday, March 20, at 7 PM (EST). Included in the program is a "A Long Journey," a 70+ minute audio interview that librarians Phil Poggiali (Yonkers Public Library) and Chris Poggiali (New Rochelle Public Library) conducted with actor/producer/writer Tony Anthony (The STRANGER trilogy, GET MEAN, COMIN' AT YA!). Also, Jay Michaels Communications has put together a series of readings from Tony's new book, Anthony's Quotes & Thoughts Collection That Might Touch a Nerve. Please join us!

Zoom info: https://zoom.us/j/94117200022
Meeting ID: 941 1720 0022
Passcode: 515622
or call 1-929-205-6099 (ID# 941 1720 0022)

This event is co-sponsored by Jay Michaels Communications, The New Rochelle Public Library, The Friends of Crestwood Library, Penzero Productions. Special thanks to Lisa Petrucci/Something Weird Video

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Movie Ad of the Week: NINJA STRIKES BACK (1981)

The Hong Kong production QI QIAO FENG HUANG BI YU DAO (1979) a.k.a. BRUCE TUAN'S 7 PROMISES was released to U.S. theaters by Unifilm International beginning in 1981 as NINJA STRIKES BACK, and is not to be confused with the Dick Randall production XIONG ZHONG, starring Bruce Le, which is also known as THE NINJA STRIKES BACK.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Mystery Movies: DEATH MASK OF THE NINJA (1981) and THE JACKY CHAN CONNECTION (1983)

When DEATH MASK OF THE NINJA was first issued on videotape in March 1986 by Master Arts Video, "The finest in martial arts entertainment," it was revealed to be the Shaw Brothers production SHAOLIN PRINCE with the opening credits lopped off. Since Shaw already had a distribution deal with World Northal, which released SHAOLIN PRINCE to theaters as IRON FINGERS OF DEATH in 1984 (and then sold it to television under the same title as part of their Black Belt Theater 4 package), we're pretty sure whatever movie premiered at the Cine 42 on June 12, 1981 under the title DEATH MASK OF THE NINJA was not SHAOLIN PRINCE (which didn't open in Hong Kong until 1983). Besides, our pal Shawn Johns tells us that he saw DEATH MASK OF THE NINJA at the sleazy Westdale 4 multiplex in Phoenix in October '84, and although he can't remember what movie was actually shown that day, he does know that it definitely wasn't SHAOLIN PRINCE. So the question is, what the hell movie did get released to theaters as DEATH MASK OF THE NINJA?

Utilizing photos from THE YOUNG MASTER and SPIRITUAL KUNG FU in their deceptive ad campaign, Ivory League Pictures (run by the late Ivory Lee Harris, former print controller for World Northal) premiered something called THE JACKY CHAN CONNECTION at the Times Square theater on December 30, 1983 and then proceeded to play it all over the U.S. for the next two and a half years -- yet no one seems to know what Chan movie was really being peddled under this title. In the book Dying for Action: The Life and Films of Jackie Chan, author Renée Witterstaetter states that it's TO KILL WITH INTRIGUE, but other sources claim it's SHAOLIN WOODEN MEN. Does anyone know the true identity of THE JACKY CHAN CONNECTION?

Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Endangered List (Case File #169)

BANDITS ON THE WIND (1961)
a.k.a. YATO KAZE NO NAKA O HASHIRU

Starring
Yôsuke Natsuki (Taro)
Makoto Satô (Gale)
Somegorô Ichikawa (Gen)
Izumi Yukimura (Kayo)
Chishû Ryû (Village Priest)
Akiko Wakabayashi (Sawa)
Kôshirô Matsumoto (Tasaka)
Nami Tamura (Sato)
with
Mannosuke Nakamura
Jun Tatara
Tadao Nakamaru
Chusha Ichikawa
Akira Tani

Directed by
Hiroshi Inagaki

Written by
Masato Ide
Hiroshi Inagaki
Takeshi Kimura

Produced by
Tomoyuki Tanaka

Cinematography by
Kazuo Yamada

Music by
Kan Ishii
Running time: 111 minutes

A Toho production

Honolulu premiere: February 14, 1962
Los Angeles premiere: September 14, 1962
New York premiere: January 14, 1964
The Honolulu Advertiser - February 16, 1962

Los Angeles Times - September 19, 1962

South China Morning Post - October 24, 1963

Daily News - January 15, 1964

New York Times - January 15, 1964