Sunday, October 29, 2017

Movie Ad of the Week: THUNDER WARRIOR (1985)

The Italian action film THUNDER, filmed in Arizona and Utah in 1983, opened in two theaters in Nashville as THUNDER WARRIOR on August 30, 1985. The distributor, VPD International, was the short-lived theatrical arm of Trans World Entertainment run by Sunil Shah (before he left to form Imperial Entertainment). Most people who saw this BILLY JACK meets FIRST BLOOD ripoff, which stars Bo Svenson and Mark Gregory, either rented the Trans World videocassette or caught it on cable TV. Two direct-to-video sequels followed.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Movie Ad of the Week: DRAG-ON TOKER (1978)

The "high flying" and "hard hitting" kung fu joint called DRAG-ON TOKER (THE KUNG FU SMOKER) beat Cheech & Chong's UP IN SMOKE to theaters by at least six months. Here it is in Orangeburg, SC on March 10, 1978. "What the hell is the real title" you ask? It's actually SHAO LIN BAN PAN TU (1977) a.k.a. SHAOLIN TRAITOR. Mmm, good stuff!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Movie Ad of the Week: PLAY DEAD w/ SPLATTER UNIVERSITY (1986)

The three-screen Sunset Drive-in theater in Colchester, VT ran a double bill of Troma horror films on May 16, 1986. PLAY DEAD, shot in 1981, stars Yvonne De Carlo as a wealthy woman with supernatural powers who uses her pet rottweiler Greta to kill off her family members over a past misdeed. The second feature, Richard W. Haines' SPLATTER UNIVERSITY (1984), was filmed around the New York tri-state area mostly in 1981, with some additional scenes shot in 1982 to expand the film to feature length.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Movie Ad of the Week: THE HUNTER WILL GET YOU (1982)

L'ALPAGUEUR/THE HUNTER WILL GET YOU! (1976), an action thriller from France directed by Philippe Labro and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Bruno Cremer, opened in Tallahassee, FL on November 28, 1982.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Movie Ad of the Week: REVOLT OF KUNG FU LEE (1977)

A double bill of REVOLT OF KUNG FU LEE and THUNDERFIST opened at the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit on October 12, 1977.

REVOLT OF KUNG FU LEE is TIE HAN (1973) a.k.a. THE IRON MAN, starring Yu Wang (Jimmy Wang Yu).

The second feature, THUNDERFIST, is originally titled ZE WANG and is also known as DEATH BLOW. Rated PG and advertised as "the first kung fu karate motion picture for family audiences," it first appeared in U.S. theaters in October 1973 from Artisan Releasing Corporation, a short-lived distribution company that also released THINGS FALL APART, DON'T LEAVE GO MY HAND (a.k.a. BLACK HOOKER), a reissue of the concert film SOUL TO SOUL, and possibly a second martial arts film called THE COBRA KNOWS NO MERCY. The head of Artisan was jazz pianist James LaMont Johnson, whose LaMont Johnson Quintet did the music for THUNDERFIST. Johnson later ran two other exploitation film distribution companies, Twin World Films (BARN OF THE NAKED DEAD) and Elmark General Film Corporation (WHEN DRAGONS COLLIDE), and passed away in 1999 at age 58.