Saturday, November 22, 2014

Mondo Robo

With bulky man-in-suit robots throwing down against all variety of monsters to the accompaniment of a pep squad of AV girls in metallic knickers undulating to deafening JPop, the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku is Japan throwing down a challenge to the rest of the world. "You think we're crazy?", it seems to be saying. "Well, you don't know crazy."

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Tokyo, here I come.

Because I am a blogger who likes to keep his readers aware of his movements, I want to let you all know that, starting tomorrow, I am off to Japan for a couple of weeks. Barring I get thrown in jail for punching a Harajuku girl, I will be back after the Thanksgiving holiday. Until then, I am trusting you to look after this blog by yourselves and to behave like adults. Don't have one of those wild 80s movie parties where someone drives a car into the swimming pool and your algebra teacher jumps out of the cake. I want to find it just as I left it.

Seriously, though, other than scheduled posts like Friday's Best Pop Song, it is unlikely that I will be posting anything new during my absence. Anything is possible, however, and, in the best of circumstances, I might at least update with some relevant photos of my trip, such as my eagerly anticipated visit to the Thunderbirds Café. But it is just as likely that, once there, I will just say "fuck it" and blow off doing any writing of any kind.

In any case, don't assume that, because you have not heard from me, it is because I have succumbed to Ebola and been reduced to a cobwebbed skeleton slumped pathetically over a keyboard. Rather, rest assured in the knowledge that I am visiting a foreign country where I am most likely bellowing in English at people who have neither the desire nor the ability to understand me about where is the Godzilla statue. See you when I get back.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Smashed! Blocked!

Our tweet-along to Casus Kiran, aka Turkish Spy Smasher, this past Tuesday may not have been the most well attended of the Monthly Movie Shout Downs, but it was nonetheless a smashing success. Why? Because I said so!

Judge for yourself from the below linked transcript:

And now here is a trailer, in Deutsch, for our next feature, Felidae. Rest assured, however, that we will be watching the English language version. Still, kitties!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tonight! The 4DK Monthly Movie Shout Down talks Turkish trash with CASUS KIRAN, aka TURKISH SPY SMASHER!

Turkey, where the men are men, the women are armed, and the air is thick with a heady musk of testosterone and motorcycle exhaust. This is a nation that, throughout the 60s, created an action cinema unlike any other, of which Yilmaz Atadeniz's Casus Kiran, aka Turkish Spy Smasher, is a particularly rollicking example. Join the proud men and women of the Shout Down Crew tonight as we tweet along to this ADD addled tour de force. The fun starts at 6pm PT, sharp, when YOU will log in to Twitter, fire up the movie using the link below and, using the hashtag #4DKMSD, join the lively conversation that this rowdy, rough edged masterpiece will no doubt inspire.

Be forewarned, however, that, because film preservation is a pastime deemed too effete by a nation whose men and women have so much spy smashing to do, Casus Kiran looks like it has spent the last 47 years marinating in a rancid pond. That is just the way these movies look, and trying to ascertain what is going on in them while viewing them through a curtain of filth and decay is just part of the process of watching them. You'll get used to it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

This Tuesday! The 4DK Monthly Movie Shout Down cleans up after TURKISH SPY MASTER

Now with Pop Offensive out of the way, the next monthly social media-based pseudo-event coming down the pike to send angry ripples throughout  the internet is, of course, the 4DK Monthly Movie Shout Down. This time we will be setting our sights on Casus Kiran, known to the less worldly cult film obsessives among us as "Turkish Spy Smasher". Those yet to be indoctrinated into the world of Turkish pulp cinema--with all of it's furious action, gratuitous belly dancing, and ruinous print quality--are in for a treat. Here's a preview.


The fun starts at 6pm PT on Tuesday, November the 11th. Just sign in to Twitter and start the film with the link provided here on this blog, and then--using the hashtag #4DKMSD--join in on the commentary that, in this case, will not only be running, but running, leaping and punching like a vengeful Turkish superhero. See the official Shout Down site for further details.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The best offense...

This last may have been the least offensive Pop Offensive ever, what with a narrowly avoided explanation of the term "Bunga" and our mealy-mouthed cultural sensitivity around the issue of Southeastern Europe/The Balkans/Former Yugoslavia/whatever-the-fuck-you-want-to-call-it. Musically, however, we took no prisoners. This night's mix was a driving collection of world pop, be it of the Japanese Idol variety, good old American power pop, Euro dance, or whatever Jeff Heyman and I could find to give you a happy feeling in your shoes. Hey, we even featured a pretty broad survey of great tunes past and present from... well, for the sake of sparing peoples feelers, let's just call it Narnia.

To hear it for yourself, simply head to 9th Floor Radio's Pop Offensive Archive, where the episode has just been made available for both streaming and download.

Personally, on the subject of Jeff and my uncharacteristic reticence, I prefer to see it as just another baby step on this fledgling show/podcast's road to maturity--and something that is now less likely to happen again. Ours, after all, is a very lighthearted cultural conversation--it's about pop music, for god's sake--and to have it derailed by political correctness... well, that really would be offensive.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pop Offensive returns this Wednesday!

The various peoples of the world may not agree on everything, but one thing they all share is an inability to resist a head-bopping beat and a catchy chorus. That, at least, is the premise of POP OFFENSIVE, the monthly radio show I co-host with my pal Jeff Heyman over at Peralta College's 9th Floor Radio. People of Earth, bring us your pops Canto, Italo and Swe, your Pop Ye Ye and Ye Ye Girls, your Northern Soul and your beats both freak and Mersey. We will play it all! And if you do not, by the time it's over, find yourself foot stomping along... well, all I can say is rest in peace.

Our next show--which will be Pop Offensive #7, believe it or not--can be streamed live from the 9th Floor site this Wednesday, November 5th, starting at 7 pm PT. During that time, you can tweet us your over-shares, hygiene tips and Tourettes-inspired explosions of word confetti at @PopOffRadio. Afterward, you can stream or download the episode from the Pop Offensive Archives, where it will be interred, ghoul-like, only to rise again and again. Come!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Celebrate Halloween the 4DK way!

Halloween movie lists have become a staple of the season. But one has to admit that there's a numbing amount of overlap between them. I mean, does one really need to cram that much Vincent Price into their cinematic diet all in one go? In response, I have called shenanigans, emerged from my sharecropper's cabin, stumbled down the hill and perched myself in front of the community center's battered old Mac to do something that I should have done long ago. Below is a list of movies that, if you can find them, will guarantee you a Halloween like no other. (Please note that, where I have provided links, they are, in most cases, to unsubtitled versions of the films).

Da Khwar Lasme Spogmay, aka Cat Beast (Pakistan, 1997)

One owes it to oneself to, at least once in their life, watch a Pashto language horror film... before, of course, solemnly swearing to never watch one again. Da Khwar Lasme Spogmay has all of the hallmarks: fat ladies twerking in wet spandex; sound effects that are as incongruous as they are deafeningly loud, men with echoplexed voices pointing and shouting at each other. The works.

Plenilunio (Uruguay, 1993)

Uruguay comes through with that rarest of cinematic unicorns: a shot-on-video horror film that is not only well directed, well written and well acted, but that also provides some genuine scares... even if its creature effects are as ridiculous as they come. READ MY REVIEW

Sumpah Orang Minyak (Singapore, 1958)

The Oily Man rises from the swamp of Southeast Asian folklore to provide, not only an exotic addition to the usual cast of Halloween creatures, but also a simple and easy costume idea. All you need is a body stocking and a can of STP. READ MY REVIEW


The Savage Hunt of King Stakh (USSR, 1979)

Highly recommended by a well-meaning idiot who wrote: "The Savage Hunt of King Stakh luxuriates in gothic atmosphere, putting it in good company with the Italian thrillers of Margheritti et al, the AIP Poe films, and Hammer’s horror friendly take on The Hound of the Baskervilles. In contrast to those, however, it also boasts elements of stark modernism." READ MY REVIEW


Nyi Blorong, aka Snake Queen (Indonesia, 1982)

What would a 4DK Halloween be without Suzzanna, the queen of Indonesian horror?--here seen in one of her most iconic roles. As an added bonus for the ladies, we also get a shirtless Barry Prima. READ MY REVIEW


Ghost of Guts Eater (Thailand, 1973)

What? You say your seasonal gallery of ghouls does not include an entrails-trailing flying severed head? You are obviously a racist. READ MY REVIEW


Haram Alek, aka Ismail Yassin meets Frankenstein (Egypt, 1954)

That oldies-loving friend of yours insisting on yet another Halloween viewing of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein? Why not shake things up and switch it out with this charming Egyptian remake. READ MY REVIEW


And finally...

Pyasa Shaitan (India, 1995)

...if watching all of the above in short order does not completely blow your mind,  here you go. The film that will spontaneously give you the ability to spout "WHAT THE FUCK, JOGINDER?" in flawless Tamil, not to mention every other language spoken by sane, decent minded human beings. READ MY REVIEW