Sunday 13 November 2011

Ebay VHS Goodness

Ebay Auction VHS Movies
(November 2011)

Pre-Christmas VHS Crackers up for Auction, and what a surprise package to be pulled, with nary a Turkey in sight :) .

Japanese VHS Originals, Greek Rarities and some UK PAL video Action flicks from the glorious Eighties. There's The Good, The So Bad They're Good, and the Ugly ducklings that to some are Swans in disguise, resplendent in their goofiness, absurd and downright fabulous :) .

Please do check out some of the Original cover art from titles on offer, and as always these are true scans of what are actually being offered in the Auction.

Explosive Eighties Action !. From the Karl Landgren lunge to the Maurizio Merli slap down. Gung Ho Goodness, Post Apocalyptic Fantasy & Brutal Spaghetti Western rareness, to politcally incorrect Euro / Italian Seventies Crime flicks, all looking for a good home at a fair price.

Thank you in advance to all who take the time to check the Auctions out, and a Huge Thank You particularly to those that place a bid.

Good luck, and hopefully there is something for all who stop by the Ebay express :) .

Thank You

Thursday 14 July 2011

Sign Up For The Death Corps ...

Shock Waves
(1977 / USA)

‘‘The sea spits up what it can’t keep down’’

Nazi SS Zombie death troopers rise up from a watery grave to seek vengeance upon their creator. Programmed to kill, and created to overcome any terrain, in any condition or circumstance, these unyielding harbingers of devastation are the apocalyptic abominations of biblical prophecies. Enhanced evolutionary killing machines, these un-dead soldiers of war are the ultimate evocation of evil. They are the F├╝hrer’s Death Corps !.

Aberrations genetically designed in experimental laboratories at the end of World War II. Brought into being by the maniacal minds of Nazi SS scientists, instructed to create a super soldier. A remorseless killing machine in the image of man, but born from the manipulated DNA structure of reanimated human hosts.

The movie begins with a small private boat, captained by horror stalwart John Carradine, out on the ocean with a small compliment of crew and a handful of paying vacationers, including a very young and cute Brooke Adams. As night falls the boats occupants witness an unusual light array emanating from the ocean bead, explained away by the cranky old sea faring captain as a barometric anomaly. Later, into the sleeping hours, the boats night watchman and a sleepless Brooke Adams are startled by what appears to be a very large freighter ship bearing down upon them. Their small boat is hit, but the only trace of what caused the incident is a ghostly outline of a sunken wreck witnessed beneath the sea upon the next days dawn breaking.

With a damaged ships hull the occupants of the boat row ashore to a close by remote island in order to seek assistance. Mysteriously, the captain of the vessel has disappeared during the night. As the small party feel land beneath their feet, upon safely arriving upon the island, they are soon taken aback at the discovery of the captains lifeless body washed up upon the beach. John Carradine’s atypical movie cameo appearance, during this stage of his very long career, meets cessation with the death of his character with no apparent cause !?.

Right from the off Shock Waves ripples with atmosphere and a terrific sense of real tangibility, as if you are alongside the on screen characters experiencing what they are. Great credit to Director Ken Wiederhorn for bringing out sound performances from his ensemble of both seasoned actors, and fledgling stars of the future. His creativity in bringing the best from what is essentially a basic storyline, and delivering to his audience a finished product that refreshingly rewards well above expectations.

Peter Cushing appears on screen when the bedraggled island crashers arrive upon his doorstep. A run down old hacienda styled hotel that Cushing’s character, of a reclusive ex SS commander, resides in alone, living out the final days of a life that is clearly racked with memories of a past that haunts him.

Italian horror icon Lucio Fulci may well have been influenced by Shock Waves for his 1979 classic Zombie gore onslaught, Zombie Flesheaters. The gathered party of people, gathered in a run down haven upon a remote island, following boat trouble, is the very same scenario. Uncannily representative of the cult Euro directors memorable moments is when the first un-dead SS death corps officer rises up from his watery grave, and traverses across the ocean bed. Fulci added a shark attack to his underwater Zombie, but the general scene resemblance is most notable.

The visualisation of the German SS soldiers emerging up out of their watery grave is as memorable as that of the knights templar shuffling to the shore, after their ghostly galleon is raised to the bottom of the ocean after being engulfed by fire, in the Spanish horror classic Ghost Ships Of The Blind Dead (1974). An eerie image of the living dead, fatigued in full SS uniform, and oversized protective eye goggles adorning their countenance.

Seeking a way off the island, and pressing for answers as to the SS commanders past, the people from the boat are warned to stay away from the water, and to leave the island as soon as possible. Peter Cushing delivers a fine performance as a scarred former cog to the might of the Nazi wheels of war. He reveals his past and foretells of the impending attack upon them all by his creations. Describing them as the most vicious and blood thirsty of all of the SS divisions. His creations are a group of commandos designed specifically to acclimatise under water. The Death Corps are neither dead, nor alive, but somewhere in between. Towards the end of the second world war they were dropped into war zones and let loose upon the enemy, and anyone that was unfortunate enough to cross their path. With the war lost the SS commander sent his ship, and its cargo of Death Corps soldiers, to a watery grave at the bottom of the ocean. Now time has turned the tide and his progenies have reawakened from their watery internment, and their killer programming has not altered !.

The final third of the film is about survival against the re-emergent un-dead soldiers of death, and Peter Cushing’s time of atonement against his creations.

Shock Waves proves to be an effective horror that has not been diminished with the passing of time since its first release. A genuine cult piece that is deserving of being rediscovered by a modern audience. Refreshingly free of CGI, and needless excesses of blood and gore, yet simply and effectively resplendent in its consummate horror traditions.

Movie Rating: 7/10

Review by Paul Cooke / Source UK PAL Region 2 DVD

Shock Waves (1977)
Director Ken Wiederhorn

With Fred Buch, Brooke Adams, Peter Cushing,
Jack Davidson, Luke Halpin, D.J. Sidney,
Don Stout & John Carradine

Thursday 2 June 2011

Prior To War There Is ...

The Final Sanction
(1990 / USA)

‘‘The American, he does not have a chance’’

What if the future of world wars were decided upon the confrontation between chosen participants, each representing the super powers of the planet, highly trained individuals conditioned to kill !?. The fate of democracy and free will would then lay in the outcome of … The Final Sanction !.

Prolific ‘B’ movie Action film making auteur David A. Prior directs his interpretational concept of war chess, in placing two combatants fighting against each other, winner takes all.

When the United States Of America and Russia launch nuclear missiles in pre-emptive strikes against each other it signals the gauntlet to spare two nations mass populations, a preamble to logical resolution of disagreement, and a practical solution to safeguarding the innocent. The two super powers arrange for a showdown, on a level playfield, in a neutral zone, between their chosen champions. A modern day equivalent of a duel. The winning combatant giving right of resolution to their governing heads of state.

Sergeant Tom Batanic, a disgraced special operations soldier, convicted criminal and incarcerated in a maximum security prison, is emancipated from his long term hell. With the opportunity to have all charges against him wiped clean Batanic takes up the mantle charged to him by his country. He is fast tracked into a full on training procedure to hone his already given talents. Army training and Batanic training, however, don’t actually see eye to eye. The former sergeant isn’t one for taking orders, but when set free from the shackles of bureaucratic pomp and procedure Batanic is a man of mass destruction !.

In the Russian Spetsnaz command camp their military leaders task Major Galashkin, played by the ubiquitous mighty bad assed villain William Smith, to evaluate, train, and psychologically hone their war readied beast, Sergeant Sergei Schvackov !. A man mountain of forward motion muscle, who’s perchance is a lethal throwing delivery of a sharp edged shovel like weapon. Robert Z’Dar is perfectly cast as the Spetsnaz version of Robocop, an unyielding force of unmitigated might, and a man with a bigger chin population than the whole of China !.

Schvackov is subjected to the most intensive physical and mental training schedule, isolated away in a dark and clinical low level facility away from the outside world. His one on one total fortification is engrained upon him by the unforgiving solidarity of William Smith’s superbly grizzled army major. Robert Z’Dar’s larger than life plastic action commando figure is breathed life into by Smith’s character, and once freed from the figurative plastic covered box containment he’s ready to turn his opponent into a disfigured Ken doll, and make Barbie look like a twisted version of Jackie Stallone.

The coming together of the two combatants upon the battle zone is high Action entertainment. Both machines of war let rip upon each other with guns, knives, brawn and bravado, but in the end it is the use of brain and tactical nouse that wins the day.

After throwing everything at each other, including brazen use of a bazooka, the two seasoned warriors gain respect for each other and come the end the result of the coming together is resolved in good old fashioned hand to hand, mano a mano combat. Both men aware that they are first and foremost soldiers, and not pawn representations of their governing puppet masters. They cut the strings of the insidious charade and fight for their own honour, each resolute in the satisfaction that may the best man win.

Big Fun Action outing from Director David A. Prior, with sound performances from his lead players. A very prophetic take on how future major disagreement outbreak may be resolved, but even with minimal loss of life will we ever be able to overcome the far greater reaching ramifications that still involve us all !?. Free your film Fun, drop such politics and pick up this ‘B’ movie Prior‘ity’. Now that’s a Final Sanction !.

Movie Rating: 6/10

Review by Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS

The Final Sanction (1990)
Director David A. Prior
With Ted Prior, Robert Z’Dar, Renee Cline,
David Crawford & William Smith

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Death Stalker's Devastating Form In ...

The Destroyers

‘‘Now let’s kill some sons of bitches’’

Vietnam war veteran Deacon Porter (Rick Hill) receives a telephone call from the wife of a friend, and fellow ‘Nam war buddy, informing of his death in a car accident. The grieving wife tells Porter that she believes it was murder !.

In a back hills Californian town crooked business man John Carey operates a marijuana trade. The surrounding lands are the perfect plantation spot for cultivation of the illegal substance, and with the local police sheriff on his payroll Carey’s production schedule is in full force.

Carey has a large stable of armed men under his leadership, all tasked with keeping the marijuana fields guarded at any cost. Trespassers aren’t just frightened off, they are hunted down and killed !. Anyone that may directly attract attention to them meets with a more subtle form of accidental death. Deacon Porter’s ‘Nam buddy uncovered the operation, and his transgression led to Carey staging his death to look like it was accidental.

Porter drives into the same town to ask questions about his friend. Word of his investigations soon reach Carey and it is not long before he too is set upon by the drug barons goons. Beaten, bloodied, shot and then having his car forced off the road by pursuit vehicles, careening into a ditch and exploding into a plume of flames, Porter just about gets out in time. Believed dead, and so not attracting any more concern from the aggressor Carey, he retreats back home to dress his wounds and formulate a plan of retaliation.

Anther ex ‘Nam war friend, and explosives expert, comes to Porter’s aid, offering his assistance in bringing the war to John Carey and his illicit operation. Whilst Porter rejuvenates, and forms a plan of action, his good buddy sets about calling upon a couple of former Vietnam war brothers in arms. Weapons and tactics soldiers, still alert of mind, and fleet of foot and fist. Bringing together a formidable small strike force of four Deacon Porter, and his three dogs of war, return to the backwoods Californian town to serve notice of hostile intent upon Carey !.

Guns, grenade launchers and plenty of explosive devices, bring proceedings into the high octane Action percentage column in the final third of the movie. Vietnam vets against drug running animals. The only way for Porter and his men to cull the rabid beasts is to put them down. Outnumbered, but out smarting such overwhelming odds, the battle seasoned pros bring a war to Carey that raises all hell, and his Marijuana operation to the ground.

Rick Hill steps out of ye old world Deathstalker (1982) mode, and muscles right on into modern Action hero mould pretty seamlessly. Crofton Hardester plays the mean spirited and avarice hungering bad guy role of John Carey well enough, ably assisted by Cirio H. Santiago recognisable regulars Nick Nicholson and Don Gordon Bell, amongst others, as his heavy handed henchmen.

Left to team Porter the bad baggage gets taken down, toe tagged and sent packing care of lethal Vietcong man traps and bad ass bravado. The Destroyers is a low budget, high value Action fest that delivers the goods.

Movie Rating: 6/10

Review by Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS

The Destroyers (1986)
Director Cirio H. Santiago
With Rick Hill, Katt Shea, Crofton Hardester,
Kaz Garas, Terrence O’Hara & Bill McLaughlin

Monday 23 May 2011

Japanese VHS / DVD Deals On Ebay ...

Ebay Auction Listings
May 2011

Gargantuan Japanese goodies abound on the 'Bay. Back with more Bruno Mattei Hut Annihilation's with Strike Commando 2, starring Brent Huff & Richard Harris, and Born To Fight, again with Brent Huff this time squaring up to Werner Pochath.

Throw in some Cannibals from Jess Franco, mix up with Luigi Cozzi's Contamination, while spicing up with some icky gooiness in Breeders & a Creature feature aka Titan Find, in a glorious Wide Screen print, with Klaus Kinski, and there's a whole heap of Action, Sci-Fi, Carniverous capers to feast thine eye's upon.

In with the Japanese Tapes this time out is a very nice Japanese DVD Original of Franco Prosperi's The Last House On The Beach. This infamous grisly home invasion thriller stars Florinda Bolkan & Ray Lovelock. This is an Unopened, unplayed Japanese DVD Original in its proper aspect ratio & Uncut. Very, Very Nice collectable.

Pre Lord Of The Rings raw talent Peter Jackson's Braindead aka Dead Alive explodes onto the 'Bay here with a double, reversable Big Fun graphic insert art card. Roger Corman's awesome Forbidden World, big horror Fun with Dead Heat & there's even some horror schlock from Fred Olen Ray with Biohazard !. Rounded all off nicely with a vibrant metal effect insert cover art for William Lustig's Bruce Campbell featured Maniac Cop.

Please do check out all these first time listings from me over at Ebay now.

As always the copy cover inserts as displayed below, and as shown on Ebay, are scans of the actual VHS / DVD covers themselves, from the items offered for sale.

Thank you for checking out the Auctions & thank you to anyone taking the time and trouble to consider or make a winning bid.

Happy viewing & hoping these go to good homes.

Thank you

Friday 13 May 2011

Cirio H. Santiago's Post Nuke Carnage ...

Wheels Of Fire

In a post apocalyptic future, where fuel is precious, those that rule the roads set the rules. A despotic bandit known as Scourge terrorises the desolate landscape, taking what he wants from those that stray from the protective umbrella of the last remnants of societies liberal governors. With a small army of barbaric men at his command there is little resistance left to oppose his reign of terror, and high on his agenda is illicit regulation of the regions fuel reserves. The fight for the future rests with Mad Max makeover macho man Trace (Gary Watkins), and a gutsy gung ho girl named Stinger (Laura Banks), to stand up to the Scourge and bring hope to a post nuke nightmare !.

A Filipino filmed fuel injected futuristic flick, made on a micro budget for Roger Corman’s Concorde Pictures production company. Polish is applied to proceedings by director Cirio H. Santiago, who knows how to deliver Action entertainment. Ably squeezing all the thrills and spills, along with mighty explosions and car stunt arrangements, into his predominantly exterior locations shot frames.

Tough guy Trace looks out for himself and his own, avoiding unnecessary run ins with the Scourge and his anarchic army of followers. That self imposed law is revoked when Trace’s sister Arlie (Lynda Weismeier) is chased down, beaten, raped and taken captive by the lawless lackeys of the Scourge. Trace weapons up and revs up his super charged super car, engaged for Action and hell bent on getting his sister back !.

The desert backdrop landscape is the perfect canvas for Cirio H. Santiago to adorn his Action laden picture with multitudes of speeding motorcycles and automobiles, racing around, smashing and crashing all over the place. Trace tears up his tires in relentless pursuit of Scourge’s hideout, and in his destructive wake he gives aid to a female soldier of fortune, caught in the crossfire of a Scourge attack. Together they take out the trash, and Trace has a new ally in the shape of Stinger (Laura Banks), one tough tigress of a girl who it just so happens also has a score to settle with the Scourge.

It’s an inevitability that Trace and Stinger will come face to face with Scourge, and in that respect the Action filled finale does not disappoint. Their journey together on route throws up a few tricky encounters along the way, including a run in with an underground race of flesh eating beings known as The Sandmen. Pulled into the caverns of The Sandmen, beneath the surface of the shifting sands, Trace and Stinger have to fight their way out against a daylight affected race akin to the Morlocks from The Time Machine (1960). Here they meet and rescue a young woman named Spike, a feisty girl who can look out for herself and who also has the gift of E.S.P. Her ability to read thoughts proves invaluable and immediately gives her and her two new friends the advantage they need to make good their escape from the frenzied cannibals !.

Plenty of gun Action, fist fights and pretty well staged car chase sequences, and crash stunts, keep viewers nicely preoccupied with what is front and centre, cleverly detracting from what is otherwise a flimsy script and bare bones set up. It is easy to forgive any shortfalls here though as Wheels Of Fire never once pretends to be anything other than what it is, and that is low budget ‘B’ movie hokum, with an accentuation on Action. A bare bones, bare breasted, bare knuckle ride along the highway to hell, in a post apocalyptic world where each new day is a fight for survival !.

Movie Rating: 2.5/5

Review by Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS

Wheels Of Fire (1985)

Director Cirio H. Santiago
With Gary Watkins, Laura Banks, Lynda Weismeier,
Linda Grovenor & Joe Mari Avellana