Sunday, December 14, 2008

A new discovery in the amazing world of superheroes

We have all seen Spiderman, Batman, Superman and other superhero movies. But you haven't seen a superhero until you have seen these:

Japanese spiderman:

Turkish superman:

I love these movies. Well, the Japanese spiderman is a TV series from 1978, but it's love none the less. But today I discovered a new superhero. You have to see it, to believe it. Here is;


Monday, December 8, 2008

Worldwide VHS ex-rentals and the demise of Indie companies

Being a fan of many genres that have lost gems, movies that will never be released and will never see the light of day, I see myself searching more and more for old ex-rental VHS tapes. But they get more and more expensive. I recently bought a VHS tape that could have got me 7 DVD’s. That is 7 more DVD’s for my collection, but instead, I bought and old Greek ex-rental VHS. Sure, I’m a movie collector, not a DVD collector, so it is a good entry to my collection, but they cost shitloads! THE RAPE AFTER went for over $150, and RAMBU for over $120. Do you actually know how much that is, with the currency rate right now? It’s shitloads in Norway.

Luckily, we have many companies now a day that release these rare titles. But there are also bootleg DVD’s and some download sites that have these kinds of titles. But if you, like me, are a collector, you want the real deal. You shouldn’t support that kind of thing, when we have good people who release rare titles for us, and barely makes money out of it. Just see how many indie DVD companies that had to shut down last year:

PANIK HOUSE, SUBVERSIVE, CASA NEGA, BARREL etc. They're all gone. Why? Because sales suck right now.” - Don May Jr – President of Synapse Films

I also think that the quality speaks to people. I see a lot of the people I know, buy VHS tapes of movies that they probably have double dipped on DVD already, but they love the old look, and the old and rare covers.

Let’s say; The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I have it on many DVD’s and Blu-ray, but I still love the grainy VHS look. Because it is a gritty and dirty movie, it should be viewed on those terms. Another friend of mine, a while back bought a really expensive Japanese ex-rental VHS of CALAMITY OF SNAKES, and a couple of months after he bought it, it was released on a Eastern Horror box set. He used $300 on this VHS, because of its reputation for being such a huge Asian cult film, and then two months later, he could get it for $20. So sometimes it’s better to wait. Because there are so many companies that release these kinds of titles at the moment. It’s just so sad that the DVD industries are doing badly, so that they don’t dare to put out the most bizarre of the bizarre amongst worldweird cinema. But I can’t complain. They release some really weird stuff, which is good enough for me.

A rare piece of cinema is always good. So keep supporting indie DVD companies, so that we can get these titles on DVD. Ex-rental VHS is also good, but who wouldn’t mind movies like RAMBU on DVD? I’m pointing my finger at you Mondo Macabro. Release it!

I also had a chat with Don May Jr, President of Synapse films, about the downfall of DVD purchases and the ever-growing world of downloading.

BMA - I know that Synapse films have been focusing on Ozploitation, or Australian cinema lately, which is great, but what will be the next step for you?

DMJ - The ONLY step we're taking right now is how to stay in business. Last year, nine DVD companies went belly up and the industry and market for independent DVD companies is the worst it's ever been. Sales are way down and we're just trying to do films that will continue to sell for us. Seems to be working so far, but one misstep on a title and it could be the end. People really need to support all us indie DVD companies by buying our titles, instead of downloading illegally or renting (which seems to be the reason we're all suffering).

BMA - You mentioned that downloading and rental are hurting the DVD business. But considering the titles you release, don't you feel that you have very dedicated fans and that you appeal to DVD collectors and the fans of the genres you release? Most of the people who love these genres are dedicated collectors and will buy your DVD’s no matter what. I for one would never think about downloading any Synapse title, or any title by an indie company.

DMJ - Being in this business for almost 20 years, I know we have dedicated fans but the sales have decreased exponentially in the past 3-4 years. Those fans, if they are dedicated, have decided to stop buying like they used to, for whatever reason. The economy is bad, people don't have disposable income and the faster speed on the Internet is all contributing to decreased sales. With the advent of NETFLIX and BLOCKBUSTER.COM, people are renting, burning the DVDs for themselves and sending them right back. It happens... I know there are people who are true, dedicated collectors and fans, but there are a LOT of people who just bootleg.

When there were slower Internet speeds and no online rentals, people HAD to buy our product to get it. Now they don't and the sales are waning. It's just a sad fact of the business and economy and it sucks. People who bootleg and download don't realize how much it hurts the smaller companies. They just don't think about it and now look... great companies like PANIK HOUSE, SUBVERSIVE, CASA NEGA, BARREL, etc. They’re all gone. Why? Because sales suck right now... but they’re stuff is all readily available with a few click on any torrent site. They were victims of slagging sales. And, to a certain extent, ELITE and UNEARTHED have slowed releases to a crawl because there's just no money to be made.

BMA - I can see that you have more information on this then I have, because I would never think that people who are fans of exploitation/the weird and Bizarre, Euro-crime, horror etc, would download. And as you said, they don't know how much they hurt indie companies.

DMJ - One only needs to look at website like to see that many of our fans have decided to bootleg and download our DVDs instead of buy them. This is just ONE example of the many, many offshore website that contribute to indie companies' demises.

BMA - I read something interesting the other day. You are in fact, just two people behind Synapse films. Correct? How do you manage to do all the work? Because I have to say that I see the love in your titles, and I see that you put a lot of hard work into this.

DMJ - Believe me, we'd hire more people if we could, but the sad fact is we CAN'T afford it. There's just not enough sales these days to bring anyone else onboard with Synapse. I work every day of the week for Synapse. I'm just used to it, I guess.. it's hard, but it's the only way to survive right now.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pinoy weirdness & 80's exploitation

Yesterday I received a bunch of DVD’s. And two of those movies would make an awesome afternoon. I’m talking about SAVAGE STREETS and THE KILLING OF SATAN.

Have you seen these movies? If you have, you know what I’m talking about.

I started off with SAVAGE STREETS, a gritty but fun 80’s Exploitation movie with balls to the wall type of music, just smaller balls then usual, because it was kind of hair metal. And after viewing a fun filled, emotional and cool exploitation movie, I went on to a horrible Phino (Philippines) movie; THE KILLING OF SATAN. Yes, it was horrible. But I had a hell of a good time! This movie was so fun and stupid, and just all over the place. It made my beard tickle. If you haven’t seen this then you should. Imagine a Phino guy in a Jeans jacket and Jeans battling a fat Satan who’s wearing a Dracula outfit, who started out as a skinny pajama type overall wearing Satan bastard. And I almost forgot; great visual effects and a driving story.

Check them out.

After nearly being rundown by a gang known as the Scars, Brenda (Linda Blair) and her friends trash the leader's car. Gang leader, Jake, exacts his revenge by getting his cohorts to gang-rape her mute-deaf sister, Heather (Linnea Quigley). Armed with a crossbow and a bad attitude, Linda Blair sets out to avenge her mute-deaf sister while blazing a bloody, Bronson-inspired trail through 80's Los Angeles.

Life is not easy for an ex-convict, and Lando San Miguel knew it would take courage and perseverance to rebuild his family and start a new life. An island where Lando’s uncle was living seemed to be the perfect place to start again. Frightening events and strange coincidences prove that this is no ordinary island. Lando is soon to find his destiny on this island of fear. He is about to come face-to-face with the terror of darkness. It is Lando’s horrifying fate to battle the Devil himself!