Monday, January 30, 2006

live trailer mash-up

From Toronto based artist Brian Joseph Davis, the man who first told me the Herzog quote I use on this blog, comes "Voice Over", where Davis created a text based on lines from 500 different film trailers, then gave the cut and pasted text to a professional voiceover artist Scott Taylor to read. You can stream Voice Over from this page, or download the MP3 here. I will have to bug him for a source list! Also check out Brian's Ten Banned Albums, Burned, Then Played project.

I have a nostalgic love for the movie ads that played on radio and ignited my overactive imagination as a child. I have been lucky to even find a few on 45 records over the past years with my biggest score being the 45 radio ads for ENTER THE DRAGON, FIST OF FURY and CHINESE CONNECTION. Maybe I will post them in the future... In the meantime, visit Skinny Robbie's blog that features a heaping pile of MP3 files of radio ads for horror films from the 60s and 70s.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

a great double bill for a hot date?

Thanks to all who came out for the Kung Fu Fridays show of BLONDE FURY tonight. Any feedback? The humour is a little overwhelming at times, but when the action kicks in, the audience gasps and cheers makes the film! And what about the scene where the Thai leg fighter gets Rothrock's heel buried in his leg and then she starts pouning on his wound! Yeouch!

One of the special things about the Kung Fu Fridays series, is that there is really nothing else like it in this city. Not trying to pat myself on the back, but I feel nostalgic for a time and place that I was unable to enjoy --- being able to see fun kung fu, horror, action and trash flicks in Toronto cinemas in the 70s and early 80s. Growing up in the country didn't offer me much of a chance at that. Seems like the state of cinema in this city has devolved, but that is due to changing home cinema tech and dvd consumerism. Poor rep houses like the Bloor, Paradise and Royal try and show older titles, but the audiences that come out are often disappointing (6 people at FITZCARALDO at the Paradise). Enough of my whining! Let me share a clipping that I found that is topical, especially after I talked to and audience member about MASTER KILLER and sayiing hello to dear friend and zine mentor Hal "Trash Compactor" Kelly...

This clipping is for an old Chinese run cinema at around College and Bathurst in Toronto which is now either a paint or a computer store. Not sure what the date of it is, but maybe 1986-ish? What a double bill!

And of course, Gung Hei Fat Choy! Happy Year of the Dog!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

we have a winner!

Thanks for all those who gave my little mini-contest a go! I think the hint was pretty obvious, but I didn't want a total stumper! Here is the answer from "Poptique" aka Matt Richardson from the UK:
"Hmmm - is this Follow That Star or Follow the Star? It's supposed to be a crazy comedy with a bunch of weird bad guys in..."
Matt will be getting a CD compilation of over 50 monkey themed rock and roll, R&B, rockabilly and soul songs compiled from premium giveaways from the Dave the Spazz show on WFMU. Congrats!

And for everyone else who gave it a go or even read the blog posting and wondered, here is a runner-up prize 'cause we want no losers! It's a flash update of a retro computer game posted by the fine masters of visual fu at Transbuddha. However, be warned, the next contest will be a little more challenging!

Monday, January 23, 2006

who's my monkey?

Not sure if I have enough traffic on the site yet, but I have a Hong Kong movie question for any players that want to take it on. Can anyone name what movie the following disturbing picture is from? Hint #1: The director triggered the West's interest in 80s HK film. I'll mail a prize to the first comment with the right answer! (Only one try per person)

Friday, January 20, 2006

the ultimate in kung fu...

I quickly wanted to pop up another post as it looks like I am getting lots of hits after pointing Twitch Film to a link for a silly short film starring Sam Rockwell as Batman.

Above is a newpaper ad from the Toronto Sun circa January 11th, 1974, the glory days for seeing kung fu films in cinemas in North America. An awesome double bill plus a live martial arts demo! Starring Jimmy Wang Yu, BEACH OF THE WAR GODS is pretty fun, but imagine it on the big screen with a rowdy audience!

I took the ad as visual inspiration for the poster below which I designed for one of my early early kung fu film screenings, ENTER THE FAT DRAGON starring Sammo Hung. This was in 1998, when the shows where held on the University of Toronto campus and on a Saturday, before the film series got a regular cinema it could call home. I took the cartoon image of Sammo from the lobbycard for the film. The screening was a success and has been a beloved staple of the cult film experience in Toronto.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Ultimate Showdown

Behold another animated work of pop cult genius thanks to this wonderful world wide web, a musical tale of the greatest battle to ever occur. And the ditty can be downloaded here.

Kung Fu of the Damn Dirty Apes (part 1)

With all the ape frenzy due to the King Kong remake, I thought I would jump on the chimp bandwagon with a few notes on simians in kung fu films.

Monkeys seem to come up quite regularly in my life. I find them a source of constant amusement but not the point of chasing after those office calendars with chimp faces and human slogans. One weekly monkey detour is the Dave the Spazz show on WFMU, where the DJ spins old R'n'R in a control room full of monkeys. You can listen to old shows in the WFMU archive - check out the great Halloween shows for ghoulish hip shakin'.

And more recent monkey ramblings can be found on the hilarious Ricky "The Office" Gervais' podcast with their segment called "Monkey News".

Ever wonder how good apes are when it comes to kung fu combat? The answer can be found in BRUCE LEE THE INVINCIBLE (aka DIE GELBENAUGEN DES GORILLAS) when Bruce Li aka Chung Tao, meets a guy in a rather ragged and flea bitten costume, who seems to have knocked off a few years in the Shaolin Temple. Li plays a kung fu student who goes to Malaysia to bring to justice a former student who has become a thug. When the love interest is kidnapped, Li and his mentor, Chen Sing (one of the unsung founding fathers of 70s kung fu cinema and also known as "Kung Fu Bronson"), must battle these grappling gorillas.

Sadly, that is the only high point in the film. Of course after much leaping, the apes go down, one with blood foaming from his eyes and the other with his scalp ripped off. And sadly there is NO dialogue like, "Those apes. They know kung fu!" Is there such a film?

Bruce Li always got a bad rap. He wasn't too bad of a martial artist, but shameless producers never let him do his own thing until later in his career, by which time he was tired of being passed off overseas in ads as a Bruce Li imitator.

"You may call me Ho Chung Tao or James Ho. I don't like to be remembered as Bruce Li or Li Hsiao Lung because producers manipulated that for the market-place. I want to be myself."

Sadly, there is not the same pride in being a Bruce Lee impersonator as there is in being an Elvis impersonator. Heck, even a poor Elvis impersonator is embraced! Ho Chung Tao now runs a gymnasium in Taiwan. For more info, visit the Bruceploitation Trilogy. And I found a torrent for the film here.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

a few Chuck Norris facts

This has been buzzing around the internet lately, but worth reading for a good laugh.

I bet you didn't know THESE facts about Chuck Norris. Facts such as:

"Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs."
"Chuck Norris has a word for a person he puts into a coma; that word is "lucky"."

If you don't care for Chuck Norris, just sub in "Sonny Chiba" for any mention of Norris and it works pretty darn well! Visit here for more facts.

Monday, January 09, 2006

soundtrack to an ass whupping

Okay, here is an honest to goodness kung fu related post. Get it while you can, as the link might expire, over at sounds of champaign, where you can find obscure lounge and soundtrack albums posted, the original sountrack for FIST OF FURY! And not just the run of the mill musical soundtrack - this has sections of dialogue from the English dubbed release including lots of screaming, hollaring and smashing! GO BRUCE!!! What a rarity! Thanks to number 6 for posting this!

a fist with no name...

Before turntable specialists like DJ Shadow (see previous post) made sampling an artform, the Hong Kong film industry beat them to it liberally lifting scores from other films and splicing them into the soundtracks of chop socky flicks. When watching fu flicks you can hear looped snippets of John Barry (007), the Imperial theme from Star Wars and of course, Ennio Morricone and other Italian western soundtracks.

That leads us to the great collection of Spaghetti Western soundtrack compilations that Kung Fu Fridays friend Klaus Kinski Jr. has posted over at his blog. Curious about classic Spaghetti Westerns? Obviously, check out the Sergio Leone classics, but also try and watch DJANGO, as recently reflected on at Menooshea's blog, THE GREAT SILENCE, COMPENEROS or RUN, MAN, RUN for starters. There are loads of them out there, but not all are worth attention, plus many are unavailable in North America, like my personal fave, FACE TO FACE. And sadly, there has not been a release of FISTS OF SHANGHAI JOE aka THE DRAGON STRIKES BACK, the cover above, one of the kung fu/spaghetti western crossovers like RED SUN or THE STRANGER & THE GUNFIGHTER. Ahh, poor SHANGHAI JOE. One can only hope...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

foxy 70s ladies and their fu

I have journeyed back to the land of comic books following a long hiatus after reading recommendations on BIGFOOT and DOOMED from Bookgasm. The trip to Toronto's best comic book store, The Beguilling, provided me with two more tips for SHAOLIN COWBOY and DOC FRANKENSTEIN, but more on those later. Plus, I have found a great site, Datajunkie, with high quality PDF scans of lurid 70s comics with horror, sci-fi and even giant monster titles! I like reading comics, not hoarding them in plastic bags and this site gives me access to the forbidden fruit that my parents would not let me bite into when I was a kid!

Now my next order is for this one shot, a reprinting of DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGONS, a strip that appeared in the last issues of Marvel's DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU. Don't recall it and I only read a few issues of that mag back in the day, but it looks intriguing, a spin on ENTER THE DRAGON, but with hot kickin' ladies! Created in 1977, the panels seem fresh with the inspirations coming from the kung fu and blaxploitation cinema craze of the day. And again, I read it at Bookasm. Visit this link for great scans of the old covers like the one at the top of this posting.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Are you ready to get your guts kicked out?

I was planning on posting this up earlier, but I got around to pimping up my template. Check out the snazzy side banners for the next two Kung Fu Friday screenings. And thanks to author and friend Brian Davis for pointing the Herzog quote to me. On to the post...

Recently stumbled across this song by DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist off of their collaboration Brainfreeze which uses an old radio ad for a film that I have on Super 8 digest. What a great excuse to scan in the box. Okay, crappy art, BUT that tagline! Yikes! Never really went to a film looking to see someone get a deep intestinal kick, but I guess audience expectations in the 70s were different. I did threaded the film through the projector, but don't recall it being anything special. It was interesting to see a 70s kung fu film in B&W. Felt like I was watching my parents' old Hitachi set.

And of course, I MUST share the song with you. Click to listen or download, etc...

I also scanned two other Super 8 Digests and plan to share those in the near future. Enjoy the tune!