Blog Archives

Chanbara Beauty (2008)

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The tagline for this one is “Blades, Bikinis, and a Fistful of Zombies”, and I can tell you that these guys believe in truth in advertising. True, there’s only one bikini, worn rather fetchingly under a poncho and hat à la Clint Eastwood, although the bikini-wearer doesn’t have the grimy toughness of Clint, and I have no intention of imagining Clint in a bikini.

There are also only two blades – one wielded by Bikini Girl, and one wielded by … (read more)

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Alien vs Ninja (2010)

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What sort of Asian film geek could resist a title like Alien Vs Ninja? It would take a better geek than me.

The story is a simple one: a group of ninjas get sent out to investigate a fireball that falls near their village, only to be attacked by a tremendously fast and brutal alien that’s unfazed by their weapons. One by one they fall victim to the beast, eventually killing it only to discover that oops, there’s another … (read more)

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A Million (2009)

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What would you do for a million dollars? Among the things I wouldn’t do is take part in a reality show – I think I’d rather eat my own toenails, or anyone else’s toenails for that matter. But unlike cranky folk like me, there’s a lot of people who’d like nothing better than to spend several weeks exposing their every breath to millions of viewers. Even when the ‘reality’ involves spending 7 days in the Australian outback, in an arduous … (read more)

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MPD Psycho (2000)

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Psst, hey! Yeah, you. No, don’t turn around. I know what you’re looking for. You don’t want that mindless action, or no romcom. That’s kid stuff. Tame. You want something different. Something that’ll do your head in. You’re a connnoisseur. I can spot ’em a mile away. Come with me, nice and easy like, and I’ll satisfy your craving. I got the goods, me. Just you trust me, sunshine, and I’ll give you what you want.

MPD Psycho is another … (read more)

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Bystanders (2005)

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There must be something in the air in Korea that enables them to churn out so many tight cop thrillers. Whatever it is, they’ve got plenty of it, and they’re clearly making good use. Maybe it’s the fact that they’ve got so much rain, and know how dramatic well-photographed rain can look.

Bystanders leaps right into it during the opening credits, introducing the plot (a serial killer stalking schoolchildren) and the two cops, Ja-young (Shin) and her junior Dong-wook (Mun). … (read more)

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Wild Zero (2000)

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I confess that I’m at a loss how to begin talking about this one: I mean, what can one say about a movie that features aliens, rock ‘n’ roll, zombies, combs, tight shorts, and true love? But I’ll give it a go, and try to make some sort of sense about a movie that makes no sense, but is buttloads of fun.

First up, this is a road movie. Not a road movie like Thelma and Louise, or Easy (read more)

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Tomie 3: Rebirth (2001)

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Well, there’s a thing: a Tomie movie with a plot! And I have to say it’s not at all bad, despite being made on a budget that would make a grown director weep.

Perhaps some of this giddy enthusiasm comes from having sat through the interminable Tomie 2. Sheer relief at not being faced with another whey-face, smirking teen queen may have led me to see this one as better than it is. Or perhaps it’s because some of … (read more)

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Tomie 2: Replay (2000)

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Alas, poor Tomie: I knew her, Heroic Cinemanauts. A girl of infinite flirting and fancy, with a side order of cutting a bloody swathe through the teen male population. I was pleasantly surprised by the original Tomie, and so settled in for a marathon of Tomie-watching.

Alas for my expectations, this sequel is a poor imitation. We’ve lost the bewitching Miho Kanno, who was capable of making a psychotic, unkillable, regenerative boy-killer seem like a poor misunderstood girl (at … (read more)

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