Sunday 27 March 2011

Filippino Post Nuke Pretender ...

W is War

‘‘With or without a badge I’ll find a way’’

Filippino Action fury with an anachronistic feel of a futuristic post apocalyptic movie, yet set in its contemporary time line of production in the early Eighties !?. A bizarre combination of Mad Max (1979) and The Warriors (1979).

Law enforcer Sergeant W2 heads up his team of fellow enforcers against the scourge of Asia. Their greatest concern is the ever burgeoning manufacturing and distribution of drugs. The continents largest cartel is The End Of The World Organisation, and they have a centre of operations right on Sergeant W2’s patch. Headed up by the garish, fanatical Jim Jones type guru, Nosfero, and his legion of loyal acolytes. A small army of shaven headed thugs, garbed in minimalist fetish leather, bonded together like a futuristic variant of the Hell’s Angel’s. Nosfero leads them with a iron grip and the steely facial intensity of Jack Palance, set apart from his bald followers by a side set pigtail and one mean manicured uni-brow !.

Sergeant W2 and two of his men get into a scrape with a rowdy bunch of Nosfero’s men outside of a club. When a knife is pulled W2 instinctively reacts by pulling out his gun. In the line of duty, and deemed in self defence, W2 shoots and kills his attacker, the brother of Nosfero !. Back at enforcer HQ W2’s superior officer informs him that he is suspended from duty, and told to take some time off. Whilst away W2 marries his sweetheart, but during their honeymoon period W2 is attacked by Nosfero’s men in an act of retribution. W2 is beaten and eternally branded by an act of castration upon his person !.

W2 is a broken man, and with no job, and a wife he can no longer satisfy, he fully channels his frustrations towards Nosfero and his illegal operations. As a renegade though he is outnumbered and outclassed. Falling into the hands of Nosfero once again W2 is tortured and made an example of. Coming to W2’s aid is a female member of the Nosfero cult, a reluctant submissive soldier seeking a way out, she frees W2, and together they formulate a way to strike at the heart of Nosfero and The End Of The World Organisation’s operations.

Even in castrated form W2 has the balls to bring down the rebel force, but not with a solo hand, as his loyal enforcers become his wing men once more, and aided by his new found princess this alliance is readied to bring Nosfero’s evil empire down !. W is war up against Nosfero’s camp clan of Frankie Goes To Hollywood look alike bandits, and what is it good for ?, absolutely nothing but big bang, all out explosive fun for the finale.

The closure is the meat and two veg of the piece that W2 longs for, and gets with the assistance of his trusted cohorts, and a customised assault vehicle that is most definitely straight out of a Euro Post Nuke movie from the Eighties. Armour plated and replete with weapons of mass destruction. W is war for sure at this juncture, and raises the films fun factor several notches. Three wheeled super charged motorbike riding villains against the Philippines version of Mad Max, in an off road warrior warpath of wanton death and destruction. Deliriously delivered ‘Pines on toast whole hearted ‘B’ movie goodness.

Movie Rating: 5/10

Review Paul Cooke / Source Japanese NTSC VHS

W is War (1983)
Directed by Willie Milan
With Anthony Alonzo, Paul Vance,
Joonee Gamboa, Alicia Alonzo & Ada Hubert

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Norwegian Wood Or Limp Horror ? ...

Fritt Vilt III
aka Cold Prey 3

Luke warm prequel to the impressive original movie, and its equally thrilling sequel. The Fritt Vilt franchise sees the emotionless killing machines inception. Its tale of the young boy believed lost in the wilderness of the snow laden landscape in Jotunheimen, Norway, reveals what really happened, and then sets up the storyline leading into Fritt Vilt.

Ten years or so later we are introduced to six early twenty something’s taking a hiking trip to the Jotunheimen region during the Eighties. It is springtime and so getting to the closed down hotel resort setting for the first movies is easier, although the region is just as remote. The local police enforcer gives the group of friends a ride as far as he can in his land rover. He drops them off and promises to be at the same place to pick them up a couple of days later. Time enough for them to enjoy the benefits of outdoor living. It’s not too long, however, before they are dieing to get away from it !.

The killer is on the lose in the wooded region and there is nothing more agreeable than a bunch of young town folk meandering around acting stupid. Stalking, chasing and a heap of slashing and stabbings follow, all done in pretty graphic style. Picture Michael Myers let loose in natures back garden, even the wildlife begin to believe in Halloween !.

This is the third director in the series, and although it is accepted that there has to be a whole new cast, the characters and actors are not as accomplished as the very polished original. Although Fritt Vilt II also had a new director in Mats Stenberg, he pretty much stuck to the formula, so perfectly sculpted by Roar Uthaug directing Fritt Vilt, that the film had an almost seamless continuation. With Fritt Vilt III it all pretty much is formulaic stalk and slash, young people in peril territory. Enjoyable enough, but you just want the running duration to play through its obvious course as swiftly as possible. Knowing that the protagonist is not going to be bested, and that it is inevitable that everyone else will die, doesn’t leave much to keep suspense or surprise going for the viewer.

To its advantage the movie has the same green / brown hue to it that made the first two ventures look so very authentic. Adding credence to the fact that the movies are set twenty to thirty years ago, and delivering that feel of a slightly faded old style photograph. Perfect for the feel and texture of the movie. What is seriously undervalued here though is the effectiveness and importance the part of the snow white blanket scenario, and the ice cold conditions had to play in making parts one and two so very, very integral to the enjoy ability of the films.

Perhaps Fritt Vilt III is best then viewed first by anyone interested in seeing the series for the first time, but for those who have revelled in the delights of the originals this outing is a tame affair and is unlikely to be revisited by true followers of parts one and two. Buy Fritt Vilt, and Fritt Vilt II and treasure in your film collection, but rent and watch Fritt Vilt III if you really want to visualise the back story, which in truth is best left to the creepy imagination and inferences made in the original films. This third Cold Prey is far from the icing on the Norwegian movie landscape, and one you can a ‘fjord’ to miss !.

Movie Rating: 5/10
Review Paul Cooke / Source PAL Region 2 DVD
Fritt Vilt III (2010)
Director Mikkel Brænne Sandemose
With Ida Marie Bakkerud, Kim S. Falck-Jørgensen,
Pål Stokka, Julie Rusti, Arthur Berning, Sterla Rui,
Endre Hellestveit, Terje Ranes & Nils Johnson

Friday 18 March 2011

Early Easter Ebay VHS Goodness ...

First and foremost on behalf of myself, and I'm sure all who stop by here at Ballistic Blood Bullets, may I say that our thoughts and prayers go out to Japan, and all its people, at this time of alarming devastation and distressing tragedy.

Ebay Auctions
March 2011

It's that time of year when Easter is almost upon us and the Ballistic Blood Bullets Bunny is hopping around collecting up a whole basketful of Japanese Video Goodies to be gobbled up right now over on up at Ebay.

Star of the goodness up for grabs this month is without question the gory kick ass caveman classic Master Of The World. Euro Italian produced prehistoric gruel where the only rules were those of survival. This particular tape on offer is in Superb condition both in Excellent quality of print, in a Fabulous Wide Screen ratio, and complete with a clean and typically cool Japanese insert. The Japanese tapes are pretty much always the standard bearers when it comes to quality, but this particular release is in all my time of collecting one of the finest issues ever, without question. Master Of The World is a Must Have.

Familiar Eighties goodness also abounds with the delights of Luigi Cozzi's classic chunk blower, and body exploding Sci-Fi schlocker Contamination aka Alien Contamination, Antonio Margheriti's monster from the sea Actioner Alien From The Deep, and the low budget, but big bang for your bucks Alien (1979) cash in Italian rip Alien 2 Sulla Terra.

A massive favourite from the Post Apocalyptic cycle of Eighties Euro Action greatness from the prolific Italian production stable is 2019: After The Fall Of New York. The Michael Sopkiw and George Eastman starer from Director Sergio Martino under the pseudonym of Martin Dolman. You'd have to be a Big Ape to have missed out on this one.

Infamous Cannibal jungle gut muncher Make Them Die Slowly aka Cannibal Ferox eagerly awaits to be gobbled up by a collector looking for something to satisfy their hunger for this particularly grizzly genre.

Lucio Fulci's late Eighties entry Sodoma's Ghosts is relatively hard to come by and worth checking out, but please be aware that this particular Japanese VHS release is in its original Italian language only with the usual small Japanese subtitles. There is no English dubbing nor English subtitles with this one.

Cruel Jaws awaits a keen collector of Jaws (1976) inspired shark attack goodness. A pretty decent outing from 'B' movie king of the Italian Xerox greatness himself Bruno Mattei. Definitely one to sink your teeth into, so please dive in early to secure, before someone else bites your hand off to get it !.

Once again, all insert art covers displayed are of the actual VHS Tape that you will be purchasing.

Thanks to anyone, and everyone who takes the time to check out my Ebay Auctions, and a huge thank you in advance to any that make a purchase. The very best of luck in bidding. Thank you.

Friday 4 March 2011

SyFy Opens Hanger 18 ...

Area 51
(2011 / USA)

‘‘I want this to go quickly, and cleanly’’

When the government, under continued pressure, gives in to allow strictly monitored visitor access to Hanger 18 in Area 51, what has lain secret for decades takes a fancy to its ‘Alien’ visitation.

Reporter Sam Whitaker (John Shea), and highly watched news blog investigator Claire Fallon (Vanessa Branch), are allowed chaperoned access to Area 51, along with their personal photographer and camera woman, to take notes and ask questions on a specially arranged guided tour. Once the doors open the floodgates soon spill forth far more than any of them could have ever imagined for, beyond their wildest expectations !.

Base leader Colonel Ronald Martin (Bruce Boxleitner), of the U.S Air Force, takes the reporter quartet on the suitably arranged show and not so much tell walk through the infamous Hanger 18. Global spy devices and prototype weapons are discussed and shown off, whilst anticipated talk of any alien activity and captivity is dismissed by the military man.

In a lower level of the base scientists and security go about their regular daily routines, including of course interacting with the actual alien life forms that do indeed reside, and in many cases are actually restrained in high security isolation. On this particular day, however, things do not go schedule. Alien Patient Zero, a shape shifting entity able to adopt and mimic the physiology and characteristics of whatever living thing it comes into contact with, chooses this very day, after twenty five years of passive stability, to escape its cell and wreak havoc throughout the base.

The internal alarm is raised and lockdown is instigated. It isn’t just Patient Zero that Colonel Martin and his men have to concern themselves with, but the escape of some other alien entities, far less intelligent than Patient Zero, and with a violent temperament and hunger for flesh !.

What excels, to the movies great credit, is its non reliance on any overly apparent CGI, and indeed some good old fashioned cool looking men in monster suits. Gore splattering, sinew snapping, blood spurting schlock horror galore ensues in this very well made, better budgeted than usual, SyFy Channel outing. Sure it borrows heavily from a multitude of Sci-Fi, horror themes and movies, but does so with an enjoyable spring in its step. Military fatigued soldiers issued with regulation weapons and perimeter scanning devices is straight out of Aliens (1986), but it’s a well used staple that pretty much succeeds every time, and this is no exception.

There is some alien folklore titbits amongst the mix to look out for, and indeed smile at their introduction, such as the introduction of Hanger 18’s resident friendly alien J-Rod, working with the military on a way to return home since crash landing here in the desert back in the fifties !. A highly intelligent being who’s understanding of the entity Patient Zero assists Colonel Martin is invaluable. Along with the four guest visitors to the base they have to work together to stay alive, and find a way to bring order back to the facility.

With the nastier alien variants escaping from the lower levels, up and out to the topside facility, it lays with the brave last line of military defence to go head to tail with them. Guns and gore galore as aliens and soldiers go out on a limb to take each other out !. Pretty impressive stuff then for a made for television syndication movie, and most worthy of any sci-fi, horror, action loving fans attention.

Movie Rating: 6/10

Review by Paul Cooke / Source SyFy Channel

Area 51 (2011)
Director Jason Connery
With Bruce Boxleitner, Jason London, John Shea,
Vanessa Branch & Rachel Miner