Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mystery Movies Solved! The Kung Fu Edition



In the past couple of years we've identified a number of martial arts movies that played in the U.S. under alternate titles, including LADY LEE'S REVENGE, BLACK BELT ANGELS, REVOLT OF KUNG FU LEE, KUNG FU COPS, KUNG FU KIDS and the legendary DRAG-ON TOKER: KUNG FU SMOKER. Here are 10 more that we've recently ID'd...

WHEN DRAGONS COLLIDE first surfaced on the kung fu track in 1983 from Elmark General Film Corp., a short-lived company headed by jazz pianist J. LaMont Johnson, who also ran Twin World (BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD) and Artisan Releasing (THUNDERFIST, DON'T LEAVE GO MY HAND). We couldn't figure this one out, so we asked for help on Facebook and -- within minutes -- the combined efforts of Kristopher J. Law, Brian Bankston, and John Grace produced the answer: TOU DU KE (1973) a.k.a. THE RENDEZVOUS OF WARRIORS, directed by Jimmy Shaw Fung and starring Ying Bai and Betty Ting Pei. Thanks, guys!

(Top: Orlando - November 18, 1983; Below: New York - March 16, 1984)


Next, a correction to the Internet Movie Database...


FISTFUL OF THE DRAGON is credited as an alternate title for FISTS OF FURY PART II, but it's actually FIST OF FURY III -- which the IMDb claims is a 1979 film, but here it is in Louisville on December 23, 1978...


Moving on to a double bill in Philadelphia on March 5, 1982...


LEE VS. THE BROWN BOMBER is LAO TOU QUAN TOU DA MAN TOU (1979) a.k.a. AGAINST RASCALS WITH KUNG FU. The second feature, FINGER OF IRON, is TIE TOU TIE ZHI TIE BU SHAN (1977) a.k.a. SHAOLIN IRON FINGER, RENEGADE MASTER and IRON HEAD, IRON FINGER, IRON CLOTH.


WIZARD OF KUNG FU is a Filipino movie called THE BLOOD HERO (1975)


DRAGON'S TWIN BROTHER is PI LI LONG QUAN (1978) a.k.a. MY NAME CALLED BRUCE. The ad above is from the Tallahassee opening on December 12, 1980.


KUNG FU MYSTERY KICKER is ZA MA (1978) a.k.a. MYSTERIOUS FOOTWORKS OF KUNG FU


BRUCE VS. THE RED-EYED MONSTER, which started playing the U.S. kung fu circuit in 1981, is GUAI QUAN GUAI ZHAO GUAI SHI ZHUAN (1978) a.k.a. BOXING WIZARD a.k.a. DRUNKEN MASTER STRIKES BACK a.k.a. IRON FIST BOXER (Above: Ft. Myers, Florida - February 5, 1982).


SHAOLIN DOUBLE DEMON is the supernatural horror/kung fu hybrid SHAO LIN SI CHUAN QI (1981) a.k.a. ABBOT WHITE


Lastly, MASTER OF VIOLENCE is HONG YI LA MA (1978) a.k.a. RED CLOTHES LAMA a.k.a. SHAOLIN RED MASTER a.k.a. SHAOLIN TOUGH KID

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mystery Movie Solved! THE BODY (1975-1980)



About a year and a half ago we put up a Mystery Movie post about THE BODY, an Independent Artists release from 1981 that we could find no additional information about. Some people wrote in and suggested that it was the Lugi Scattini erotic thriller I CORPO/THE BODY (1974), while John Charles of Video Watchdog smartly theorized that, given that graphic and a tag line hinting at a metamorphosis of some kind, it could be a reissue of León Klimovsky’s sci-fi gender-bender I HATE MY BODY (1974). Wellllll, just last week our friend Bill Van Ryn of Groovy Doom, "The ghastly home of horror fanzine Drive-In Asylum," sent us the newspaper ad below...


Miami - December 12, 1980

...which confirms that it is indeed a re-release of IL CORPO/THE BODY, starring Carroll (not Carol) Baker, Leonard Mann, Zeudi Araya and Enrico Maria Salerno. Thanks to the 1978 edition of John Willis' Screen World (Volume 29), we were under the impression that THE BODY was first released in the U.S. in April of 1977...


...but the ad above, which tries to sell it as a blaxploitation female empowerment actioner (like the second feature), is from Newport News, Virginia on November 27, 1975.


(Above) THE BODY in Boston on April 27, 1977, with CLEOPATRA JONES AND THE CASINO OF GOLD as the second feature. (Below) Here it is again, this time in Hartford, Connecticut on May 6, 1977.




Sunday, July 15, 2018

Movie Ad of the Week: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK (1984/1985)



Sergio Martino's 2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK was scheduled for U.S. distribution by Almi Pictures in the fall of 1984, not long after the company had released Lucio Fulci's HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY sans an MPAA rating (It carried the warning "Due to the graphic nature of this film, no one under 17 will be admitted"). When the film was submitted to the Code and Ratings Administration it was slapped with an X rating for violence, and Almi came close to releasing it unrated. How close? The ad above is for the November 21st, 1984 opening in Los Angeles, which was cancelled so the film could be edited and resubmitted for an R. This cancellation, however, was not brought to the attention of Los Angeles Times critic Kevin Thomas, whose positive review did appear on November 21st!


When the film finally arrived in L.A. two months later (January 25, 1985), Almi had scrapped the exciting painted artwork of the original campaign and replaced it with a black-and-white photo of star Michael Sopkiw posing like Plissken under a reprint of Thomas' review.


A few months later, in Fangoria #44 (May 1985), Almi president Frank Moreno explained to writer David Everett why the ad campaign was changed after the issues with the MPAA caused the L.A. engagements to be cancelled: "I had gotten a lot of negative feedback from the film community on the advertising approach that we had been taking. So we looked at it again and decided that they were right and that our approach was wrong. No one here feels like they wrote the book. We feel we can learn from other people. I personally take responsibility for the mistake that was made in the original approach to the marketing of AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK. I made a mistake. I don't think it's wrong to make mistakes. I think it's wrong not to improve upon things. I think that the new approach that makes use of of an excerpt from the Thomas review is much better for the film, which is a Mad Max sort of picture with some form of comedic appeal to it. That sort of look, we feel, will attract a larger audience."

Two months after this interview was published -- and eight months after the first release was cancelled -- AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK opened in New York (July 26, 1985) with much smaller newspaper ads featuring a quote from Applause writer Brett Walker.



Vestron had the videocassette in rental shops two weeks later.


August 9, 1985

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Mystery Movie Solved! LOVE TIMES THREE (1973)



Acquired for the U.S. by Serafim Karalexis' United International Films and released by Howard Mahler, LOVE TIMES THREE opened in the NYC area on December 14, 1973 with a self-applied X (It was submitted for a rating in '74 and received an R). The billing block in the promotional materials is bogus, but we recently watched the trailer for LOVE TIMES THREE on a Something Weird DVD and were able to ID the movie as WILDER SEX JUNGER MÄDCHEN/WILD SEXY YOUNG GIRL (1972) a.k.a. AUS DEM TAGEBUCH EINER FRÜHREIFEN/FROM THE DIARY OF AN EARLY BIRD a.k.a. LOVEPLAY, starring Astrid Kilian, Katharina Mayberg and Monica Marc.


Sunday, July 08, 2018

Movie Ads of the Week: TOWING (1978) a.k.a. WHO STOLE MY WHEELS (1979) and FUN GIRLS (1980)



Almost seven years ago we did an Endangered List entry for Maura Smith's action comedy TOWING (Case File #94), a film worth revisiting since it's still MIA and we've recently found some better newspaper ads for it under all three of its titles. The above ad is from its Sioux Falls, SD opening as TOWING on May 24, 1978.


On August 10, 1979 it made a pit stop in Albuquerque, NM as WHO STOLE MY WHEELS?


Sporting a fake R rating, it pulled in to Tallahassee, FL as FUN GIRLS on November 28, 1980.

Friday, July 06, 2018

TEEN LUST in 35mm on 7/12 at the Nitehawk!



Temple of Schlock founder Chris Poggiali will be at the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn on Thursday, July 12th, to introduce a rare 35mm showing of James Hong's THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR (a.k.a. TEEN LUST)! This event, part of the “The Deuce” screening series, is expected to sell out, so get your tickets now! Written, produced and directed by busy and beloved character actor James Hong, this episodic, idiosyncratic bad-taste comedy about a group of high school newly-grads consistently surprises by giving equal time to their creepy parents, neighbors, clergymen, and local law enforcement. Filmed in 1977 under the title SO LONG, COLUMBUS HIGH but completed as THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, it failed to find an audience upon its release in 1978 as THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR and spent the next five years haunting drive-ins under yet another two titles before hitting the Deuce on September 9th, 1983 (Top-lining a triple bill at the Victory with GETTING IT ON and THE CREEPER).

“…authentically trashy….amounts to a John Waters movie made by a retarded midwesterner.” – Sleazoid Express

The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and, as always, there will be prizes afterwards. For more details, head over to the event page.