By adulthood, I couldn’t even remember why I hated Condorman. I could only remember that I did. That was just too much like those stories where two sides have been killing each other for so long that they can no longer even remember why they are fighting.
On Diabolique: My three-part article, “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio,” examines A Chinese Ghost Story, the original story by Pu Songling, and the Shaw Brothers’ Enchanting Shadow.
On the Cultural Gutter, I am Searching for Odin, My Love — one of the most expensive, most lavish, most boring, and most infamous anime flops of all time.
On Cultural Gutter, we’re taking a trip to the future to discover that there’s No Place in Space as we explore the Soviet science fiction film To the Stars By Hard Ways. The movie begins with a group of cosmonauts on a routine mission. They happen across a derelict spaceship filled with what appear toContinue reading “No Place in Space”
Near the end of its lifespan, Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers studio decided that no film was too weird, resulting in a late-in-the-game deluge of utterly bizarre martial arts fantasy films.
Island of Death still has the power to shock and entertain in a hilariously debased, grubby way. Twists are heaped upon perversions until the whole thing threatens to collapse into one giddily irredeemable pile of filth.
Kung Fu Zombie, , one of the films that inspired the creation of Teleport City, pits Billy Chong against an indestructible living dead martial artist with flaming hands and feet.
A washed-up, alcoholic superhero must pull himself out of depression to defeat Christopher Lee in one of cinema’s first deconstructions of comic book superheroes. It also happens to be a musical.
We are increasingly left with a sort of bland guy who just happens to be named James Bond — which, in a way, might be bringing the character back around to how Fleming originally imagined him, as an anonymous blunt instrument into whom a reader could pour his or her own identity; a characterless cypher of a man who might not be interesting but to whom interesting things happened. But honestly, by the middle of the 1980s, with decades of suave, awesome James Bond under our belts, did anyone really want an anonymous 007?
They Were 11 is an interesting take on sci-fi anime from the eighties, and definitely a marked departure from the space operas overflowing from the previous decades and the wham-bam sci-fi actioners that defined the eighties. There is really only one action scene in the entire movie, and that’s a pie fight.
There are those among us who, in a moment of moral weakness, find themselves unwilling or unable to turn away from a grisly situation. As to the psychological motivations behind this tendency, they are legion and vary from person to person. Perhaps it is a desire to affirm that someone is worse off than you,Continue reading “Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf”
Dealing in broad Americana symbols, it only takes this pre-credit sequence to grasp the context of the film. The elevated train tracks, diners, poodle skirts, pompadours, leather-clad biker gangs, Studebakers are burned into our national psyche.