Saturday, July 4, 2009

Santa And The Ice Cream Bunny

Here it is folks - the legendary Santa And The Ice Cream Bunny, a movie so fundamentally bad that it's almost impossible to wrap your head around the fact that it was in fact created by human hands and not some sort of demon spawn of the devil himself....

In case you didn't already know, the premise of Santa And The Ice Cream Bunny is that Santa Claus gets abandoned by his reindeer in Florida (!) when his sleigh gets stuck in the sand, and telepathically summons a group of kids to come help him get out of this mess before he dies from heat exhaustion or something. So the group of kids come along with a bunch of farm animals and after some hilarious unscripted shenanigans with uncooperative animals and Santa drunkenly muttering about the hot weather in Florida, Santa Clause just says screw it and starts telling the children the story of either Thumbelina or Jack And The Beanstock, depending on which version you happen to purchase. So anyway, that's about all I can say about this movie without giving away the ending, but let's just say that the eventual appearance of the so-called "Ice Cream Bunny" is such a bizzare disappointment that it's literally one of the most awesome things ever put to film.

Santa Claus And The Ice Cream Bunny is one of those films that anyone interested in cult films has to have in their library. This is actually worse (and thus more hilarious) than Plan 9 From Outer Space, folks - it's a must-have! Click here to buy it now!

Here's a teaser clip (which actually spoils the ending, but it's not like you're gonna want to watch this for the story anyway) featuring the Ice Cream Bunny. Enjoy:

Seeding of a Ghost Review

Seeding of a Ghost poster

Seeding of a Ghost is a neat little film produced by the infamous Shaw Brothers Studio in their last few years of existence while the company was falling apart from the inside. It's an interesting artifact from a time when the studio was trying to re-establish relevancy with the film-going public in Hong Kong in the face of stiff competition from the newer, hipper studios that were at the time dominating the box office while Shaw was bleeding financially and struggling to keep their actors and directors from jumping ship. So how does an old-fashioned Hong Kong film company make a movie that speaks to the audience of China circa 1983? Why, by making a sleazy exploitation movie about ghosts, sex, and voodoo, of course...

I don't like to go into too much plot synopsis, as quite frankly it's really boring, but luckily for me there isn't too much of a plot going on here, so this part will be pretty short. Basically our hero's girlfriend is raped and murdered by some thugs, and he goes about getting his revenge with the help of a crazy-looking voodoo priest. And that's pretty much it. Violence, nudity, sex scenes, reanimated corpses, and general chaos ensue.

Personally I think Seeding of a Ghost is a pretty good little movie, but probably only if you're into this sort of thing - This is a straight-up black magic vengeance and really angry Chinese ghost skin flick from Hong Kong's Shaw Brothers circa 1983, after all. You either enjoy this kind of stuff or you don't. And it gives you pretty much whatever you would reasonably expect from such a film: possessions, witchcraft showdowns, steamy shower scenes featuring full frontal nudity and painfully terrible elevator music, baseball bat chop-socky, and some hot necrophilia.

As awesome as that sounds though, I do think this flick is missing that certain something to push it over the top. It has a very slow and deliberate pace (not necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely could have gotten to the point a bit faster than it does), and if you're looking for some good old fashioned monster-smashing or lots of gore you're better off looking elsewhere. Despite having a little bit of magical bloody violence and a pretty cool latex baby monster at the end, this is more of a mystical crime procedural drama.

Still, it's a good film for a very specific audience, which I guess includes me as I enjoyed it. Highlights include some solid Grade-A 80's nudity and creative special effects scenes. Seeding of a Ghost isn't something to go out of your way to see, but with the right mood and appropriate amount of booze, it's a good way to add some spice to a boring weekday night when you're home alone...

Here's an incredibly non-erotic clip from the movie featuring a cartoon ghost making sweet love to the badly decomposed, animated corpse of the main character's wife. Enjoy!

Seeding of a Ghost

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sedmikrásky (AKA Daisies) 1966

Daisies Sedmikrasky DVD cover
Ahhh, Sedmikrásky (probably better known as its Americanized title Daisies), a delightfully weird and kitschy romp of an adventure about two girls named Marie who decide that the world is bad so they should be bad too. There's obviously some subtext to this movie, but I think Daisies' most endearing quality is that it's just fun to watch these two women and their wacky misadventures. Thrown in some ahead of its time experimental film techniques and all around surrealism and you've got one heck of a Czech Feminist art film. I'm not all too familiar with the Czech new wave that Sedmikrasky was right in the middle of, but this definitely makes me want to check out more of them. It's girl power wrapped up in social and political commentary with a sweet sugary shell and psychedelic colors - Perfect for a fun, light-hearted evening. If you're at all interested in experimental art films and haven't seen Daisies yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Directed by renowned Czech filmmaker Vera Chytilová, Sedmikrasky is awesome and definitely worth your time (and yes, the DVD does have English subtitles).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

SARS Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis

SARS Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis is a great cheesy b-movie horror spoof from Thailand, one that I fully recommend to anyone with an interest in these types of films and hasn't seen it yet, however with a few reservations. Picture something similar to Wild Zero, only not nearly as well-made and yet a whole lot more entertaining and you basically have the gist of what SARS Wars is like. What you're getting from this is a movie filled with silly costumes, zombies, a thumping soundtrack, cartoon sound effects, over-the-top acting and violence, a giant snake, out-of-place animated sequences, scantily clad female characters doing sexy dances, and a general sense of fun and energy. If that sounds awesome to you, then you'll love this movie. I nearly gave it 5 stars myself, but there were a few too many lame jokes and "plot-twists", and it sort of fell apart near the end. It also looks absolutely terrible (shot on digital video with horrible lighting and then run through a heavy grain filter to make it look like film), but actually has some decent cinematography and CG effects. So in conclusion, SARS Wars: Bangkok Zombie Crisis is complete trash, but it's entertaining trash, and it's still better than about 90% of the other zombie movies out there.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Funky Forest: The First Contact (Naisu No Mori)

Naisu No Mori (AKA Funky Forest: The First Contact): Cult-favorite director Katsuhito Ishii (The Taste of Tea, Shark Skin Man & Peach Hip Girl) teams up with the talented Shunichiro Miki and ANIKI to create a visually inventive masterpiece! Funky Forest is full of hilariously wacky and strange characters that takes you on an incredibly odd cosmic journey.

The story of Funky Forest centers around three unpopular brothers, Masaichi, Masaru and Masao, who are trying to be popular with the ladies, without much luck. But they finally get a chance to have a co-ed picnic with some sexy young women, and wacky hijinks enuse. With 21 surreal, free-associative stories ranging from a nonsense "sci-fi" comedy to a dance battle daydream, Funky Forest: The First Contact will challenge your mind and melt logic, as its unique characters find themselves in bizzare dimensions way past our imagination. Among many standouts, there's a very weird scene involving a guy in a yellow Teletubbie suit with a very long yellow penis that is as iconic as it is creepy and weird.

If I had to compare Funky Forest: The First Contact to another movie, I'd say that it probably most closely resembles Citizen Dog, although the two films really are nothing alike. To be honest, I don't think there are too many other films out there that are similar to Funky Forest: The First Contact, if any. It's truly a unique and mind-bending experience, the kind of which you can only get from Japanese cinema. Check it out!