Mambo Girl

This classic from the vaults of Hong Kong’s illustrious Cathay Studios begins with a shot of Golden Age screen icon Grace Chang shaking her bon-bon to a Latin-flavored mambo number while wearing cute, checkered capri pants. It’s already one of the best movies ever made in my book

Golden Buddha

When one thinks of the myriad espionage exploitation films that flickered across movie screens in the wake of James Bond’s unprecedented success as a film franchise, one generally thinks of the countless cheap though often entertaining Eurospy entries into the genre. After all, there were scores of them, and a lot of them weren’t half…

Ring

Scary movies are hard to come by. Gory? No problem. Sorta cool and creepy? Sure, we got those in spades. But genuinely scary movies are rare as diamonds and, to be, infinitely more valuable. There is something wonderfully affirming about watching a movie that keeps you awake at night, that gives you eerie nightmares. There’s…

Treasure of the Four Crowns

In the case of the oft-forgotten Indiana Jones rip-off, Treasure of the Four Crowns, all anyone could remember was “something about a lot of flaming rocks swinging around on really obvious wires.”

Nowhere to Hide

It’s bombastic, it’s flashy, it’s innovative. It has something to say even if people seem not to hear it. But none of that matters much if it isn’t an enjoyable film, and I thought Nowhere to Hide was simply fascinating.

The Octagon

It’s not Chuck’s fault that fashion in the late 1970s was so abysmal. Luckily for him, cowboy fashion has been the same pretty much since the 1800’s, so at least he isn’t strutting around in all those plaid flares Sonny Chiba had a tendency to don.

Enter the Ninja

From crappy American ninja movies to guys with mullets wearing ninja pants and practicing their nunchuka skills in the park, Enter the Ninja spawned far more idiocy than it actually contains. Goofy action fun is all I need sometimes, and that’s all Enter the Ninja delivers.

Ghost of Yotsuya

Tokaido Yatsuya Kaidan is one of the most famous of all horrific Japanese legends. It’s been told and retold countless times via literature, word of mouth, kabuki theater, and of course film. The 1959 version directed by acclaimed master of Japanese horror Nakagawa Nobuo is generally regarded as the best of the movie versions.

The Soldier

The Cold War produced a lot of great films, or at least a lot of enjoyable ones. It also produced some godawful dreck, though even some of that dreck was at least entertaining. Cold War paranoia films took on many forms. In the 1950s, there were a lot of those “realistic” atomic war movies that…

Pray for Death

Just when you thought America’s cities were getting safer, you leave the house to walk down to the corner bodega and catch sight of a bunch of cops fighting with a ninja.

China Strike Force

The only thing memorable about this film is how good it might have been if someone else had directed. As has always been the case, Stanley Tong was given all the pieces for a great film and just couldn’t make them fit together. Awkward drama, awkward comedy, and awkward action sequences are tenuously strung together in what proves to be a very average film.

Uzumaki

Uzumaki is a film for people who like to be fucked with, who like to be unnerved, who like to get depressed and disturbed by a film out of nowhere, days or weeks after they’ve seen it. You’re sitting there, thinking happy thoughts, and all of a sudden you just feel creeped out.