We talked at length about different Kickboxers who transitioned to action movies during the golden age of VHS.

One of our favorites among them was always ass- kicking blonde-haired Brit Gary Daniels. Dude went from Taekwondo to Kickboxing and then went on to star in everything from City Hunter to Fist of The North Star to The Expendables (where it took the combined might of both Jet Li and Jason Statham to finally defeat him).

Although mostly known for B-movie action roles he did give us a couple of curve balls this year, first as villain in a new Kung Fu series on CW, something I wasn’t really expecting but now even more so as a Model and Martial Art consultant in a new Epic, Post- Apocalyptic comicbook called RIVALS. It’s Dark Fantasy look is reminiscent of things like Berserk and Fist of the North Star as well as Mad Max and of course Conan the Barbarian.

Gary Daniels as Sago Astar

RIVALS is a Graphic Novel series created by Gerrard and Clarke . Set in a medieval and dark fantasy world with post-apocalyptic overtones, the story revolves around the character Sago Astar – a fight trainer and guard to the leader of Jaan City, Sword Dorn Haath. Though it is a fortified emporium and the one true stronghold on planet Alter, Jaan City is under constant threat from the leaders of the planet’s other six large cities , including the Gokin – a biomechanical and weapon-fused race, and the Dark Mizus amongst many other horrors. Rivals is a new action-packed and epic saga to rival all others.  Prepare for war and adventure, for it is coming in droves.

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You can see the trailer for the campaign bellow , and if you want to support it Kickstarter link is right here. I for one hope it’s a great success and we can maybe see a live- action version of it one day- my general opinion is that there’s never enough Barbarian style movies out there and Daniels is as good as he ever was.

Movie starts with a trio of (ethnically diverse) fighters that are demonstrating their deadly abilities. After an OK from a stern looking Madam Lee (Mari Honjo) they are taken to a darkened room where they are injected with some sort of a super- serum.

Ron Marchini, Michael Chong & Joshua Johnson

They get going right away, disposing off criminals left and right, first by ramming a tractor in a phone booth, then continuing with a car into the Italian restaurant and then big finale- attacking a Karate school (that’s a front for a drug dealing operation I believe).

Unfortunately they are all yellow belts.

’cause Death Machines are many things but Ninjas they aren’t. Silent and deadly approach just doesn’t work for them. They get in with as big BANG as they can. It would be a fair fight but I guess most of the Karate students are beginners so Machines start beating them like rented mules.

Madame uses their killing spree (and a basket with a decapitated head) to convince the main Mobster Mr. Gioretti (Chuck Katzakian) that they are only game in town if you need someone offed.

Things get complicated when it turns out that the blonde dude from the Karate Dojo Frank survived and they send the White Machine (Ron Marchini) to silence him. He ends up in the police custody but the concerned detective uncuffes him and whole hell gets loose!

Damn, there goes the police station!

After a hard days work Marchini goes to a restaurant to get a hamburger but ends up in the fight with some idiotic bikers. When we think that he finally has no more energy to keep fighting the rest of the Machines show up and clean up the place.

In the meantime Frank Thomas (John Lowe) goes back to the dojo where he got his hand cut off. Now if this was a Hong Kong flick he would dedicate himself to training and become stronger than ever. Hell, maybe he would be punching his opponents with a cool metal fist! No such luck here.

He is just super depressed and the only person who seems to care is his nurse who might be nice or just a stalker (jury still out on that). One of the most entertaining scenes is our hero Thomas taking his nurse to the seedy bar where he works. And I mean seedy enough that it has a stripper that dances next to the jukebox, every time the music plays.

An old drunk man punches out the owner, than the bartender and then demolishes the whole place (with a little help from a local biker dude) and then I guess goes somewhere else to continue his complete rampage. And no one can stop him!

I want a spin-off movie of this dude!

Beaten and even more depressed Thomas decides to leave town (with his nurse ofc) but they actually ran into Machine’s car- he writes down the license plate, sends the nurse to call the police and goes after them.

Madam Lee decides that Machines have become a liability and they need to die but that’s easier said than done. Thomas follows the car to her mansion and almost gets his head chopped off with a katana by Lee- but police arrives just in time to save him.

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And Death Machines- they just got away with everything- they a re last seen at the airport. Remember kids if you’re bad-ass enough police won’t ever catch you.

Verdict: This movie defies the norms by not actually having a main character. It’s actually very hard to classify Frank Thomas (John Lowe), as a protagonist. I mean he is a Karate yellow belt with a dead- end job and gets destroyed by everyone in every fight, from the titular “Death Machines” that’s to be expected, but by an old man an a woman too. That’s a bit too much. His only win was that he got and he successfully tipped off police.

Also we never find out what happened to the mysterious bearded figure that actually provided the super- serum for those killers. PS Jon T. Benn from The Way of the Dragon would have been a great choice.

The distributor bizarrely decided to present this as a SF movie (like Martial Arts weren’t a thing in the 70’s) which couldn’t be further from the truth-but hey I do like the poster with the evil tower buildings showing their teeth.


Trivia: Marchini was a well known name in the Karate circles in the 60’s and interestingly Chuck Norris earned his first martial arts tournament victory by defeating Marchini in the finals by a half a point. Marchini would go out to have a movie career for decades being lead in movies such as Karate Cop, Omega Cop and generally any movie that has Cop in it. Also some with Ninja in it too.

One of our favorites as far as restored 80’s films are involved Vinegar Syndrome are ready to take thing up another notch. They have acquired a negative of a lost 1984 Ninja movie, New York Ninja originally produced by Arthur Schweitzer (Mutant World, Night Terror). Shot in 35mm the project was abandoned during post- production and VS were forced to meticulously reconstruct the movie, edit and even dub the whole thing without the original script that was lost to time.

A telephone repair man (John Liu) unleashes his ninja roots in New York City to avenge the murder of his pregnant wife.

The lead (also the director) is very entertaining John Liu, Taiwanese Martial Arts actor, the star of such films as Secret Rivals (1976), The Invincible Armor (1977), Goddfrey Ho’s The Dragon, The Hero (1979) with Dragon Lee (+ Bolo Yeung cameo) and Made in China (1981) with another favorite Casanova Wong. This was to be his American debut.

Film was finished by producer/ editor Kurtis Spieler (The Devil’s Well). Without a script he had to figure out what he thinks actors are saying and write around that (something you don’t hear every day– maybe on some old Italian films).

Next they recruited an all-star cast of (voice) actors, all genre movie royalty. Names like Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Linnea Quiqley, Vince Murdocco, Leon Issac Kennedy, Ginger Lynn, Michael Berryman and last by not least “Lady Dragon” Cynthia Rothrock.

Final touch, soundtrack was provided by the Synth/ Rock trio Voyag3r that brings authentic 80’s feel to the movie:

Can’t wait for this one, I think we all need to reconnect with our Ninja roots.

Art by Simon Bisley

Glenn Danzig‘s Death Rider in the House of Vampires had it’s official premiere in Westwood at the historic Regency Bruin Theater. Director and the cast were present for the Q & A after the screening and we also got these cool interviews with the star of the movie Julian Sands (Warlock)…


…and the director Glenn Danzig (Verotika) himself:

Vampire Spaghetti Western will open across the U.S. at select theaters on August 27. You can find if it’s playing in a theater near you on- https://deathridermovie.com/theaters/

 

We finally have the news on the release of Death Rider In the House of Vampires and Danzig fans rejoice because it’s coming to select theaters in US on 27th August. There will also be 2 advance screenings the week before in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Vampire Spaghetti-Western is Glenn Danzig‘s second feature film and has an all- star cast consisting of Julian Sands, Danny Trejo, Devon Sawa, Kim Director, Eli Roth and the man himself:

 

Our old acquaintance Brian Yuzna (Re-Animator, Society) is at it again! And he is actually working on a comic series which kinda makes sense when you think about it. I mean Yuzna movies did tend to be completely over the top and comicbooky as it gets.

Now, Tales of Blood Island is a tribute to the 60’s and 70’s B-horror movies made in Philippines, especially Eddie Romero/ Kane W. Lynn Blood Island series, consisting of Beast of Blood,  Terror Is a Man, Brides of Blood and The Mad Doctor of Blood Island. Interestingly Yuzna was actually born in Philippines so this is a bit of a full circle for him.

                                            Yuzna single-handedly  bringing the tiki- horror back!

Comic series is written by Mark Cerulli and David Sehring, drawn by Stephen Sistilli and colored by Dexter Weeks based on concept art by Anthony Palumbo. You can see the Kickstarter campaign here. It has everything from comicbooks to t-shirts to tiki mugs. And if it proves to be a success I’m sure a Yuzna produced Blood Island movie is sure to follow.

 

To anyone following our blog for any length of time it’s clear that beside watching strange B-movies we also spend a considerable portion of our time following cult director Albert Pyun‘s exploits. Just see Worse News: Albert Pyun strikes again (w/ Bad Ass Angels)! We did grow up in the 90s with stuff like Cyborg (Jean Claude Van Damme,Vincent Klyn ) and Nemesis ( Olivier Gruner, Brion James, Cary Tagawa) so it’s only natural.

But there’s another little gem of Pyun‘s career and this one doesn’t contain any Cyborgs whatsoever. You see in 1997 he directed an awesome John Woo meets Battle Royale (even before Battle Royale) style shoot-em-up called Mean Guns. With an impressive ensemble cast including the likes of Christopher Lambert (Highlander), Ice- T (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Thom Mathews (Friday The13th: Part 6) and Yuji Okumoto (Karate Kid 2) it was quite a treat to action aficionados everywhere. And even now years later it still has a considerable Cult following.

But, the story doesn’t end there– there’s a new addition to Mean Guns mythos with an Anthology Graphic Novel that acts as a prequel and helps flesh out some of the characters we know and love. And even better we have an exclusive interview with the writer Jeremy Frazier of Creamy Rat Studios who’ll share some insight into the process of making Mean Guns: Mistakes Have Been Made GN and what can we aspect from from the comic:

01. First things first, I would love to know more about your comicbook background. I actually have your Synthcore Dreams #01 right here, and it’s a great looking comic.

Thank you. I’m really proud of Synthcore Dreams. That one is a 30 band charity comic including Leaether Strip, Chemlab, Skrew and many more…comes with a CD. I’m working on the next issue now.

I also have…
Meathook Massacre: First Hunt– A prequel for the movie series.
Storming the Gates of Heaven– Official Rotting Christ comic
Dave and Creamy– Comedy serial published in China.
Electronic Saviors– Charity book that is a side story for Synthcore Dreams.

Then I have Mean Guns and a few other band projects being worked on.

02. So, I remember renting Mean Guns on VHS as a kid and enjoying it quite a bit. How did you initaly find that movie and what was your first reaction?

I was in Germany looking for something to watch. The cover stood out and once I saw Lambert I knew I had to rent it. We watched Mean Guns 3 times over the weekend. Rented it multiple times before we finally found a copy. First reaction? Amazing. So much violence, so little blood. Great dialogue and the soundtrack really set it apart.
One of the few scores I actually own. Got it signed by Riparetti too!

03. It would be interesting to know more about the process of getting the rights. How did you initially contact the director Albert Pyun and was he receptive to the idea of further exploring the Mean Guns world-in the form of a comic?

The rights process. I asked…just sent a message on Facebook to him. Pyun was receptive but I do have strict guidelines. It was an easy decision since Pyun was working on funding his new Cyborg film. I payed a very fair fee for 2 of the available properties.

04. Now, what is your favorite Mean Guns character or characters and how easy was it coming up with their back stories (beyond what we saw in movie).

The easy answer would be Moon (Ice-T) or Lou (Lambert), but I will say Hoss and Crow. In a movie with standout dialogue they do have the best. The actors look like they are genuinely enjoying the roles. I actually have something special planned with Crow (Thom Mathews).

Art by J.D. Santibanez

Back to the question! The cards with the character’s crimes are what made me want to write the comic. Those and a few random lines of dialogue gave me enough inspiration. I actually started with a no name character who only has about 1 minute of screen time. Start with a challenge.

05. If it’s OK, could you give as a little preview of the artwork (and say a few words about the artists involved) and tell us when and where can we expect to see Mean Guns on sale.

Three of the stories are drawn by J.D. Santibanez. Very talented artist from Ecuador. His 3 focus on Hoss, Crow, D and the unnamed character. One is by Zoran Jankovic… we wouldn’t be talking without him. His story is about Barbie and how she came to work for Moon. Jason Hehir is handling the shared past of Lou and Marcus. Robert January is working on Moon’s origin.

Art by Zoran Jankovic

I expect the book to be printed by May 2021. Half of the art is finished…all stories have been started. All depends on funding!

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Since this interview was conducted, campaign for the comic has gone live, so if you want to support it, you can find it here: https://igg.me/at/NdzYvf8Cd4U/x/17885269#/

And for our previous interview with Albert Pyun himself, you can go right here.

First trailer for Glenn Danzig‘s Vampire- Spaghetti Western is now online and it’s all we’ve been expecting and more. Also, seeing Danny Trejo with vampire fangs (again) makes it worth the wait all by itself!

Death Rider in the House of Vampires follows the Death Rider, who travels to the desert Vampire Sanctuary, ruled by Count Holliday. The price of admission… one untouched virgin.

 

Movie features the talents of Devon Sawa (Final Destination, Casper) , Julian Sands (Warlock), Kim Director (Blair Witch 2), Danny Trejo (Machete), Eli Roth (Inglourious Basterds) as the awesomely named Drac Cassidy and the man himself Glenn Danzig as Bad Bathory.

It seems we got some more gifts for the holidays! That’s right…

And if that isn’t enough for you, you can see couple more previews (all via Bloody-Disgusting. com– property of El Diablo Pictures) below:

Unexpectedly the rest of the cast seems equally impressive as Sands– with Devon Sawa (Casper, Final Destination) as Death Rider followed by likes of Danny Trejo (Machete), Lee Ving (Fear), Eli Roth (Inglorious Basterds), Kim Director (Blair Witch 2), Playboy centerfold Tasha Reign and even the main man himself Glenn Danzig (The Prophecy II) in a small role. Hopefully we won’t have to wait long for the first teaser.

This wretched year has finally come to an end and although WM crew wasn’t very active during it’s course (we were forced to get real jobs due to lack of donations), we felt we should celebrate upcoming new year our style with this Canadian gem. And no, in case you already heard of it, this isn’t underrated as many people would say it is. In fact, looking at IMDB rating we would say it is greatly overrated.

We have a young couple Jenny (played by Riva Spier) and Marty (played by Murray Ord) on holiday in some snowy mountain region of Canada, accompanied by a sluttish friend of theirs Chrissy (played by Sheri McFadden) who has the hots for the man. One day they are out on their jet-skis when suddenly their machines pack out!! Oh no!! Luckily for them, there’s a long abandoned old hotel nearby, presided over by a mad Native old bat (played by Georgie Collins) with two sons. There’s one can of food in the entire place, but the group sings songs by the fire and makes the best of the situation they’re in, all the while wondering if people from their own lodge were out looking for them. Something isn’t right with the old lady and her son is never around, either. There go the plans for the party. Soon enough, Chrissie goes missing (of course, we know she’s had a little accident with someone’s blade and her delicate throat in the scene that resembles the popular shower scene from Psycho) and the one working snowmobile has been tampered with. With waist-high snow, a pounding blizzard and no transportation, Marty and Jenny are stuck in the place. Now the party can begin.

It is quite obvious that director Jim Makichuk was attempting to make his own cash-in of The Shining. The problem is that, apart from creeby scenery and music by Paul Zaza (Prom Night, Curtains) he didn’t have any actual plot here. Anyway, as strange things begin to happen, Jenny stumbles upon a book of Native legends and reads about the “windigo”, a giant spirit of the North that feasts on human flesh and the keeper that makes sure it’s fed because of an ancient power. In that moment old lady’s son starts chasing her and ends up impaled on a fence, cheerfuly swinging on it as a gentle breeze and blizzard are moving his body back and forth.

Seeing corpse on a fence Marty completely loses his mind (you might say he is as mad as a blizzard) and starts accusing Jenny of murdering Chrissy and the other guy. He decides then to take a stroll alone through woods. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, local storekeeper (played by Les Kimber) arrives just in time for his own death. You guess it, old lady butchers him. Jenny is back at the hotel too. She finds a shotgun and confronts old lady. In a heartbraking plot twist it turns out that old bat is Jenny’s long lost mother and had been taking care of Windigo (who is also her son). Jenny shoots her and apparently gets possessed by old lady’s madness. Jenny finds Windigo locked away in some basement room and promises she is going to take care of him from now on. She takes over the hotel as the new Ghostkeeper. Oh right, and Marty sits somewhere in woods frozen to death.

Conclusion: Taking its premise from the North American Indian legend of the Wendigo (or “Windigo,” as Ghostkeeper spells it), a Northwoods-dwelling, flesh-eating monster that is one of the country’s only mythical beasts, the film promises a uniquely nationalistic creature feature, but never quite unfolds that way, eventually getting lost in the snowy wilderness itself. There’s a few problems with the pacing as the characters walk around too much and make several boneheaded mistakes. It’s not so bad until it all unravels and you realize that you’re in for a dumb twist and a hairy guy in a cellar who effectively does nothing. Given its potential for creating a distinctive Canadian horror film, it’s hard to classify Ghostkeeper as anything but a spectacular failure.