Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Diamond Ninja Force (1988) [copyright 1986]

... aka: Ghost Ninja(s)
... aka: Justice Ninjas
... aka: L'enfer des ninjas (Hell Ninjas)
... aka: Ninja Boxing Force
... aka: Ninja Kuvveti (Ninja Force)
... aka: Ninja Mission
... aka: Ninja Warriors

Directed by:
Godfrey Ho

Another of Godfrey Ho's cut-and-paste jobs for Joseph Lai's IFD Films and Arts company, this takes a preexisting Taiwanese Poltergeist knock-off and adds a new ninja story line to that, creating a horribly-edited and dubbed clusterfuck of utter confusion, though this one is slightly more coherent than many other Ho movies I've seen. The newly-added footage centers around Gordon (Richard Harrison), an incognito ninja master vacationing in Hong Kong with his wife Lori (Harrison's real-life wife Maria Francesca). Gordon is part of an elite group of fighters called the Diamond Ninja Force and has inherited the powers of the "Golden Ninja Warrior" that a group of bad guys want and will kill to get. A ninja assassin shows up at Gordon's home, makes goldfish leap from the bowl and then steps on one of them (?!) and then chain whips and murders Lori. Gordon vows to avenge her death, while the group of bad guys - led by Kogan ("Donald Kong" / Tao Chiang) - are intent on reviving the "Black Ninja Clan;" who were all killed off by the good Diamond Ninjas a century earlier.







Meanwhile, this keeps cutting back to the crazy (and trashy) Taiwanese footage and they do their best to try to meld the two plots together. A construction crew unearth a bunch of human remains in an unmarked mass grave. Billionaire real estate tycoon Vernon Wong, owner of Wong Properties Limited, pays them off to shut up about it and keep building. He's later given a fatal heart attack after a ghostly encounter in his limo. Soon after, Vernon's daughter Fanny ("Yolanda Chang") arrives in town from America with her architect husband George ("Curtis Yao") and bratty young son Bobo (yes, Bobo... and he's hilariously dubbed by an adult female) to take up where her dad left off. They move into Vernon's seaside mansion and face a curse and several ghosts due to her father's unethical activities.







The new English dub and added footage makes the discovered remains those of the Black Ninjas and the bad guys intent on getting Fanny's land so they can revive the fallen warriors. To do so, Kogan pays a sorceress named Ghost Ninja three million dollars to unleash her "devil magic" and make the home haunted so they'll cave in and sell. Fanny keeps seeing a black cat and several female ghosts clad in white, finds a severed living head in a laundry basket and has visions of frogs, snakes and mice. Flowers wilt in a matter of seconds, the image of an old woman appears in a mirror, kitchen utensils start flying around and her bath is spoiled when a zombie hand clamps down on her shoulder. During one scene, Fanny and George have sex while a horny young female ghost watches, strips and caresses her breasts. The ghost girl later decides to step in and help out when the the semi-frigid wife refuses to put out for her hubby.



This Garfield phone featured in numerous Ho movies has a cult following all its own.




In between all that, Ninja Master Gordon slaps on a bright red ninja suit and heavy eyeliner and takes out each of Kogan's (mostly Caucasian) henchmen; killing them off in scenes utilizing a samurai sword, a kama, chains and throwing stars. Unfortunately, all of these scenes are over in a matter of seconds before they even threaten to become exciting and it's mostly just a bunch of guys posing with their various weapons. The only battle that's given much choreography is the climactic battle between Gordon and Kogan and even that isn't much.







I tried to uncover the identity of the original Taiwanese film but was unable to. It may have either been unfinished or unreleased - either that or just released in Taiwan and nowhere else -  as there is no evidence of an existing film from the early 80s with a similar plot featuring the same actors. The two known cast members in the original film are Dan Yang, who plays a goofball named Firecracker who gets scared off by ghosts and maggots pouring out of a bathtub faucet, and Yee Yuen (billed as "Yick Yuen" and listed over on IMDb as "Yi Yuen") as an exorcist named Magic Chan. Seeing how it borrows the 'haunted house on a burial mound' idea from Poltergeist and the copyright for Diamond is 1986, the original film had to have been shot some time between 1982 and 1985. Oh, and did I mention this film was issued on home video under about a gazillion different titles, such as...






The American VHS release came courtesy of Trans World Entertainment, who released several other Ho films. Videoasia then released it on DVD (a shoddy VHS transfer as per their usual) under the title Ghost Ninja (well, actually it says Ghost Ninjas on the box) on their set "Tales of Voodoo: Volume 2." The Videoasia release also comes with the Indonesian film Primitives (1980); which rips off Italian jungle cannibal films.

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The 2015 Orloks - 1978 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1978
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Dawn of the Dead
Italy, USA / 105 points / George A. Romero
* * * * * * * * * *
2. Halloween
USA / 101 points / John Carpenter
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
USA / 33 points / Philip Kaufman
* * * * * * * * * *
4. Magic
USA / 19 points / Richard Attenborough
* * * * * * * * * *
5. I Spit on Your Grave (Day of the Woman)
USA / 15 points / Meir Zarchi

_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. (tie) Les raisins de la mort (The Grapes of Death) / France / 14 points / Jean Rollin
6. (tie) Long Weekend / Australia / 14 points / Colin Eggleston
6. (tie) Piranha / USA / 14 points / Joe Dante
7. Blue Sunshine / USA / 11 points / Jeff Lieberman
8. Damien: Omen II / USA / 10 points / Don Taylor
9. (tie) Panna a netvor (The Virgin and the Monster) / Czechoslovakia / 9 points / Juraj Herz
9. (tie) Toolbox Murders, The / USA / 9 points / Dennis Donnelly
10. Shout, The / UK / 7 points / Jerzy Skolimowski

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

- Ai no borei (Empire of Passion / France, Japan / Nagisa Ôshima
- Alien Factor, The / USA / Don Dohler
- As Filhas do Fogo (Daughters of Fire) / Brazil / Walter Hugo Khouri
- Bilbao / Spain / Bigas Luna
- El huerto del Francés (The Frenchman's Garden) / Spain / Paul Naschy
- Fury, The / USA / Brian De Palma
- House of the Dead, The (Alien Zone) / USA / Sharron Miller
- It Lives Again / USA / Larry Cohen
- Jaws 2 / USA / Jeannot Szwarc
- Jennifer / USA / Brice Mack
- La montagna del dio cannibale (Mountain of the Cannibal God) / Italy / Sergio Martino
- La visita del vicio (The Coming of Sin) / Spain / José Ramón Larraz
- Mafu Cage, The / USA / Karen Arthur
- Manitou, The / USA / William Girdler
- Medusa Touch, The / France, UK / Jack Gold
- Osou! (Attack!) / Japan / Yasuharu Hasebe
- Patrick / Australia / Richard Franklin
- Redeemer: Son of Satan!, The (Class Reunion Massacre) / USA / Constantine S. Gochis
- Salinnabileul ggotneun yeoja (Woman After a Killer Butterfly) / South Korea / Ki-young Kim
- Someone's Watching Me! / USA [TV] / John Carpenter
- Terror / UK / Norman J. Warren
- Warlords of Atlantis (Warlords of the Deep) / UK / Kevin Connor
- Within the Woods / USA [short] / Sam Raimi
- World Beyond, The / USA [TV] / Noel Black
- Yaru! (Raping!) / Japan / Yasuharu Hasebe
_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

< Back to 1977                    Continue to 1979 >

The 2015 Orloks - 1965 Results

Started many moons ago by Prof-Hieronymos-Grost, the Orloks were a yearly poll on the IMDb horror boards where users submitted Top 5 lists of their favorite horror movies for each year. All of the results were then tabulated to come up with a definitive list of the year's most-liked genre offerings. Alas, when the good Professor decided to depart the boards years ago, the awards went with him... that is until now. IMDb-er seth_yeah - taking on responsibilities as both host and calculator - has decided to bring back this long-standing tradition in 2015, and now the awards will have a permanent place right here on this blog. Scoring is rather simple and done on a weighted system where first choice receives 5 points, second choice 4 points, etc., with a +1 bonus then awarded to the #1 selection on each list. IMDb release years are being used, but it is left up to voters to determine what they may or may not consider horror (which may be in conflict with IMDb's genre labeling system). If you'd like to participate, head on over to the IMDb HORROR BOARDS to vote! So without any further ado, the results...

_________________________________________________________________________________

1965
Top 5
* * * * * * * * * *
1. Repulsion
UK / 85 points / Roman Polanski
* * * * * * * * * *
2. Terrore nello spazio (Planet of the Vampires)
Italy / 43 points / Mario Bava
* * * * * * * * * *
3. Amanti d'oltretomba (Nightmare Castle)
Italy / 24 points / Mario Caiano
* * * * * * * * * *
4. (tie) Il boia scarlatto (Bloody Pit of Horror)
Italy, USA / 18 points / Massimo Pupillo
* * * * * * * * * *
4. (tie) The Skull
UK18 points / Freddie Francis
* * * * * * * * * *
5. Dr. Terror's House of Horrors
UK17 points / Freddie Francis
_________________________________________________________________________________

Making the Top 10:

6. I Saw What You Did / USA / 13 points / William Castle
7. (tie) Nanny, The / UK / 10 points / Seth Holt
7, (tie) Fanatic (Die! Die! My Darling!) / UK / 10 points / Silvio Narizzano
8. (tie) Cien gritos de terror (100 Cries of Terror) / Mexico / 9 points / Ramón Obón
8. (tie) Die, Monster, Die! / UK, USA / 9 points / Daniel Haller
9. (tie) La donna del lago (The Lady of the Lake) / Italy / 6 points / Luigi Bazzoni and Franco Rossellini
9. (tie) Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie (The Saragossa Manuscript) / Poland / 6 points / Wojciech Has
10. (tie) 5 tombe per un medium (Terror-Creatures from the Grave) / Italy, USA / 4 points / Massimo Pupillo
10. (tie) Fool Killer, The / MexicoUSA / 4 points / Servando González
10. (tie) House of the Black Death / USA / 4 points / Harold Daniels and Jerry Warren
10. (tie) La vendetta di Lady Morgane (Lady Morgan's Vengeance) / Italy / 4 points / Massimo Pupillo

_________________________________________________________________________________

Others receiving votes:

- Beach Girls and the Monster, The / USA / Jon Hall
- Color Me Blood Red / USA / Herschell Gordon Lewis
- Compartiment tueurs (The Sleeping Car Murder) / France / Costa-Gavras
- Curse of the Voodoo (Voodoo Blood Death) / UK, USA / Lindsay Shonteff
- Dark Intruder / USA / Harvey Hart
- Evil Brain from Outer Space / Japan, USA / Koreyoshi Akasaka, Teruo Ishii and Akira Mitsuwa
- Furankenshutain tai chitei kaijû Baragon (Frankenstein Conquers the World) / Japan / Ishirô Honda
- Il mostro di Venezia (The Embalmer) / Italy / Dino Tavella
- Kaijû daisensô (Invasion of Astro-Monster) / Japan / Ishirô Honda
- Le vampire de Düsseldorf (The Secret Killer) / France, Italy, Spain / Robert Hossein
- Libido / Italy / Ernesto Gastaldi and Vittorio Salerno
- Monster a Go-Go / USA / Herschell Gordon Lewis and Bill Rebane
- Morianerna (Morianna) / Sweden / Arne Mattsson
- Two on a Guillotine / USA / William Conrad
- Yotsuya kaidan (Illusion of Blood) / Japan / Shirô Toyoda
_________________________________________________________________________________

Links here will be connected when the time comes.

< Back to 1964                    Continue to 1966 >

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