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Southeast Asian Challenge (Official, October 2020)

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OldAle1
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#81

Post by OldAle1 »

Hot Curries and Slow Cinema
Day 1 - two heavy meals of heavy Filipino slow cinema, and a rather stale Thai horror dessert

1. Imburnal / Sewer (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 196 minutes)
2. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 279 minutes)
3. See prang / 4bia / Phobia (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Paween Purikitpanya/Yongyoot Thongkongtoon/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2008, THAILAND, 112 minutes)

Day 2 - Lav Diaz' heavy sadness; Filipino vampires and Thai ghosts

4. Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 446 minutes)
5. Kulay dugo ang gabi / Blood is the Color of Night / The Blood Drinkers (Gerardo de Leon, 1964, PHILIPPINES, 87 minutes)
6. Suay Laak Sai / Sick Nurses (Piraphan Laoyant/Thodsopol Siriwiwat, 2007, THAILAND, 82 minutes)

Day 3 - Blood Island, and Kung-Fu fighting Snake Woman

7. Brides of Blood (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 97 minutes)
8. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 89 minutes)
9. Beast of Blood (Eddie Romero, 1970, PHILIPPINES , 90 minutes)

10. She yao jing / Devil Woman / Bruka, Queen of Evil (Felix Villar/Chi-Lien Yu, 1973, PHILIPPINES /Hong Kong, 95 minutes)

Day 4 - more from Eddie Romero & John Ashley; and worse

11. Beast of the Yellow Night (Eddie Romero, 1971, PHILIPPINES , 84 minutes))
12. The Twilight People (Eddie Romero, 1972, PHILIPPINES , 81 minutes))
13. Vampire Hookers (Cirio H. Santiago, 1978, PHILIPPINES , 80 minutes)
14. Primitif / Savage Terror (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1980, INDONESIA, 85 minutes)

Day 5 - Four domestic horrors, four female protagonists, four countries

15. The Maid (Kelvin Tong, 2005, SINGAPORE, 89 minutes)
16. Chanthaly (Mattie Do, 2012, LAOS, 99 minutes)
17. Cô Hâu Gái / The Housemaid (Derek Nguyen, 2016, VIETNAM/South Korea, 104 minutes)
18. Chermin / Mirror (Zarina Abdullah, 2007, MALAYSIA, 94 minutes)

Day 6 - Indonesian crazy schlock duo

19. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan / Lady Terminator (H. Tjut Djalil, 1989, INDONESIA, 81 minutes)
20. Dangerous Seductress (H. Tjut Djalil, 1992, INDONESIA, 94 minutes)
Day 7 - early Lav Diaz

21. Serafin Geronimo: Ang kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion / The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (Lav Diaz, 1998, PHILIPPINES , 112 minutes))
22. Burger Boy's (Lav Diaz, 1999, PHILIPPINES , 104 minutes))
23. Hesus, rebolusyunaryo / Jesus the Revolutionary (Lav Diaz, 2002, PHILIPPINES , 114 minutes)

Most people who have become at all familiar with Lav Diaz' later, more famous, lengthy films would probably not apply the term "genre director" to him; he is the purveyor of "slow cinema", an arthouse sytle, par exemplar. But he's clearly always had an interest in genre, and his two most recently-released 4-hour efforts, Season of the Devil and The Halt are apparently (I haven't seen them yet) a musical and a science fiction film - of sorts. But there is a genre category that has infused much of his work from the very beginning - besides "history", which has always been his central subject - and that is crime - usually of the despairing, gritty, noir-ish type. Certainly his first "mature" longer feature, Batang West Side, is at heart a crime/noir story, and his later Norte - the film that probably more than any other initially brought his name to some level of cineaste attention - is a free adaptation of one of the great crime novels, Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. I suppose it's a natural, given that Diaz - along with many of his compatriots in the Filipino film scene - sees much of the politics and societal order in his country's history in criminal terms. We may feel the same way about many of our countries in the near future - if we don't already.

So it was no surprise to me that Serafin Geronimo starts with a Dostoevsky quotation (not translated in the copy I watched alas) and is a crime story through and through - well, at least for it's first 3/4. The title character is a man in his 30s or perhaps early 40s who has come to Manila to meet a famous journalist - only to find out that she is dead, by murder. Instead he ends up interacting and eventually bonding with a younger woman journalist for whom the deceased woman was something of a mentor, and gradually he begins to trust her - and tell her his story, and how he was involved in a famous kidnapping several years earlier in which an infant and mother were snatched from a rich Chinese businessman by a notorious gang. This is a fairly violent (though the violence isn't terribly explicit - it never is in Diaz' work from what I've seen so far) and ultimately very sad film about what a man will do when he feels he has no choice; it's a solid example of the link between crime/violence and poverty, and it very much hits the noir vibe in many respects - until the last part which goes off in a different, rather melodramatic way, as we see how this kidnapping has changed Serafin's life, and what his life really has been like outside of it (earlier in the film we only saw it in flashbacks-within-flashbacks). There's a fair amount to unpack here, including the performances - Raymond Bagatsing as Serafin is usually stoic to the point of deadened, while Angel Aquino as the journalist is nearly the opposite, very emotional and prone to outbursts, crying, smoking continuously, nervous. This ended up pretty powerful and in the end more emotionally wrenching than I expected, though on the whole it's got a few too many narrative uncertainties and some problematic acting on the part of some of the minor characters to qualify as one of Diaz' great works. Would like to see a better copy though - this and the next film, and Naked Under the Moon which I saw a few years ago, seem to be available only in cruddy VHS-SD TV level rips.

Burger Boy's (what's with the apostrophe, Lav?) is... a mess. I don't really know how to explain or review this one; it is clearly an attempt to do a film-within-a-film, or rather a narrative where we have characters who are writing a screenplay - and then we are watching that screenplay play out with the four young writers/actors (three men and a woman) playing the parts they have written. It's another crime story for the most part - it starts off with a bank robbery - but it's full of semi-surreal, weird touches; the bank robbery just doesn't seem real, and the cops that follow them for much of the film are an obese, heavily made-up woman who wears strange suits, and an older man who is always quoting poetry, including a bit of "Oh Captain! My Captain!" - but whether this was referencing the Walt Whitman poem or Dead Poets Society was unclear. It goes back and forth from the film-within to the film-without but does so in a pretty sketchy, opaque manner and I was more often confused than not. Once again lots and lots of violence but here it's never quite clear whether we're supposed to take it seriously or whether it has much to do with the "real" lives of the main characters. I tend to like films where you're a bit divorced from reality and where you are kept uneasy as to what's real and what's not, but it's not an easy thing to do and when the characters are too fake or change too much from scene to scene, I lose interest. This had it's moments and certainly is a fascinating and different example of Diaz's work, but on the whole I have to see it as a failure after one viewing. Give how much I've grown to love the director I think it's likely that I'll give it another chance some day - if a better copy becomes available.

Hesus was, thankfully, a better copy, reasonably clear and sharp and with good color - and this makes some excellent use of color, with a couple of excellent scenes using subtle blue filters and slow motion that really stand out. This comes between the director's first two mammoth features, Batang West Side and Evolution of a Filipino Family, and it does have a bit more stylistic similarity to those two films than the other early films do - a few longer, held shots, a bit more of a "meditative" quality, particularly in the second half, and especially a focus on the Filipino politics and history. It's set about ten years in the future (from when the film was made) but don't let the "sci-fi" label on IMDb fool you, there's no science fiction elements here at all; instead this is more or less the diary/story of a young man caught up in a revolutionary group, embedded in a cell with four others, whose life changes forever when the man he reports to tells him he has to kill the rest of his group, because one of them is a spy. While the country's leader is a general who attained his rule through a military overthrow, and the various revolutionaries want (theoretically) to bring back civilian, democratic rule, there's an underlying feeling throughout that a new leader will be just the same as the old. Hesus goes from one scene of slaughter to another - the body count here probably approaches a typical Stallone or Schwarzenegger pic - and gradually comes to understand, I think, that nobody is to be trusted - and nobody is in the right. What is he fighting for? It's a dark and cynical film where the only hope is offered by family and love, and that seems very, very fragile. While this is an ordinary-length film and fairly narratively clear, I think it would be a good intro into Diaz' generally despairing view of the Filipino condition, for those who don't want to immediately dive into a 4-11 hour saga. The best of the early shorter films I'd say, though not necessarily on another level from Serafin.


2794 minutes total
psychotronicbeatnik
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#82

Post by psychotronicbeatnik »

13. The Offering (2016 / Kelvin Tong / Singapore) FTV 5/10 {95 m.}
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3894404/


Mad Monster Party?! Goes Southeast Asian!
1. Gancore Gud; aka: Dead Bite (2011 / Apisit Opasaimlikit / Thailand) FTV 6+/10 {94 m.}
2. Vampariah (2016 / Matthew Abaya / Philippines) FTV 6/10 {90 m.}
3. Brides of Blood (1968 / Gerardo de Leon, Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 7+/10 {97 m.}
4. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968 / Gerardo de Leon, Eddie Romero / Philippines) 7/10 {95 m.}
5. Beast of Blood (1970 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) 7+/10 {90 m.}
6. The Beast of the Yellow Night (1971 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) 6+/10 {90 m.}
7. Raw Force (1982 / Edward Murphy / Philippines) 8/10 {86 m.}
8. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan; aka: Lady Terminator (1989 / H. Tjut Djalil / Indonesia) 8/10 {82 m.}
9. Seed of Darkness (2006 / Michael Chuah / Malaysia) FTV 5/10 {102 m.}
10. The Attic (2017 / Kaprice Kea / Thailand) FTV 5/10 {72 m.}
11. The Twilight People (1972 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 5+/10 {81 m.}
12. Beyond Atlantis (1973 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 7-/10 {91 m.}

13. The Offering (2016 / Kelvin Tong / Singapore) FTV 5/10 {95 m.}
Views: 13 / FTV’s: 8 / Doubles w/ Horror Challenge: 13 / {1165 m.}
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#83

Post by mjf314 »

Spoiler
1. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 1
2. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 2
3. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 3
4. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 4
5. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 5
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#84

Post by sol »

Southeast Asia / 11 Countries Visited
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins
3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins
4. Mudras Calling (2018) Myanmar 106mins
5. My Stupid Boss (2016) Indonesia 106min
6. Jailbreak (2017) Cambodia 92mins
7. Yasmine (2014) Brunei 109mins
8. Munafik (2016) Malaysia 99mins
9. Insiang (1976) Philippines 83mins
10. Ilo Ilo (2013) Singapore 99mins
11a. Chau u Polo (2012) Timor-Leste 15mins
11b. Wawata Topu (2013) Timor-Leste 33mins
11c. Boneca de Atauro (2016) Timor-Leste 20mins

12. Monday Morning Glory (2005) Malaysia 82mins

Image

Caught by the authorities, members of a terrorist cell recount their planning of a series of attacks to a group of journalists here. For the most part, this is a slog to get through with few thrills and suspense as the terrorists recall their experiences. Most of the flashbacks consist of them standing around and talking as they plan the attack, occasionally shopping for minutes on end - and we never see the panic and mayhem of the attacks. Really dull.

Damn, I'm seeing some really terrible films so far - My Stupid Boss, Yasmine, Chau u Polo and now this. :( I'm getting a better batting average from the Horror Challenge this month, inconsistent as the genre tends to be. :shrug:
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#85

Post by sol »

Southeast Asia / 11 Countries Visited
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins
3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins
4. Mudras Calling (2018) Myanmar 106mins
5. My Stupid Boss (2016) Indonesia 106min
6. Jailbreak (2017) Cambodia 92mins
7. Yasmine (2014) Brunei 109mins
8. Munafik (2016) Malaysia 99mins
9. Insiang (1976) Philippines 83mins
10. Ilo Ilo (2013) Singapore 99mins
11a. Chau u Polo (2012) Timor-Leste 15mins
11b. Wawata Topu (2013) Timor-Leste 33mins
11c. Boneca de Atauro (2016) Timor-Leste 20mins
12. Monday Morning Glory (2005) Malaysia 82mins

13. Suzzanna Buried Alive (2018) Indonesia 125mins

Image

This benefits from focusing on an aspect of Indonesian folklore seldom depicted on film (the ghost here is technically a sundel bolong) with something quite dynamic in how she is unable to actually kill her murderers, but she is able to drive them insane and cause them to kill one another. Nifty as this might sound, the film exhausts itself at two hours long. It is more than thirty minutes before she is even killed and she has so few to exact revenge on.
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#86

Post by sol »

Southeast Asia / 11 Countries Visited
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins
3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins
4. Mudras Calling (2018) Myanmar 106mins
5. My Stupid Boss (2016) Indonesia 106min
6. Jailbreak (2017) Cambodia 92mins
7. Yasmine (2014) Brunei 109mins
8. Munafik (2016) Malaysia 99mins
9. Insiang (1976) Philippines 83mins
10. Ilo Ilo (2013) Singapore 99mins
11a. Chau u Polo (2012) Timor-Leste 15mins
11b. Wawata Topu (2013) Timor-Leste 33mins
11c. Boneca de Atauro (2016) Timor-Leste 20mins
12. Monday Morning Glory (2005) Malaysia 82mins
13. Suzzanna Buried Alive (2018) Indonesia 125mins

14. TNT Jackson (1974) Philippines 69mins

Image

The plot often feels like a mere excuse for one action scene after another here, but the whole thing is relatively exciting and decently put together (even if the occasional stunt double is noticeable). The film overplays its hand though by having its best fight in the first ten minutes as lead actress Jeannie Bell takes on a man with double switchblades. The rest of the action is somewhat more generic, but Bell is nicely charismatic in the lead role.
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#87

Post by Melvelet »

6. Sekala Niskala 2017 — a.k.a. The Seen and Unseen 6/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 82 min
A 10-year old sister copes with the impending death of her comatose twin brother by means of a sort-of-magical fantasy world that includes costumes and dance. I might rewatch this for the upcoming ICM film festival because it seemed to build a good atmosphere but I was not really in a situation to enjoy it. Then again, you certainly have to be in the right mood.

7. L'image manquante 2013 — a.k.a. The Missing Picture 7/10 - Cambodia 🇰🇭 95 min
Rithy Panh tells his story of growing up (losing all his family while doing forced labour) during the regime of the Red Khmer, using clay figures and rare archival footage although the title refers to the pictures inside his head for which no images exist.

8. Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag 1975 — a.k.a. Manila in the Claws of Light 9-/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 126 min
Finally watched this classic, certainly the most acclaimed classical movie of the region and it deserves its status. It mixes a neorealistic story for survival in city filled with fraud, corruption, human trafficking, protests, poverty and precarious living situations (the city itself is the titular character for a reason) with a mystery plot in which a young man from the countryside searches for his lost girlfriend which was lured there with a promise of a better life. Also includes some distinct 70s movie vibes, a gay subplot and a haunting finale. Should really be in TSPDT.
Spoiler
1. Kraben rahu 2018 — a.k.a. Manta Ray 6/10 - Thailand 🇹🇭 102 min
2. Insiang 1976 8-/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 94 min
3. Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal & a Whore 2014 6/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 73 min
4. Rak ti Khon Kaen 2015 — a.k.a. Cemetery of Splendor 6/10 - Thailand 🇹🇭 120 min
5. How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) 2015 7/10 - Thailand 🇹🇭 79 min
6. Sekala Niskala 2017 — a.k.a. The Seen and Unseen 6/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 82 min
7. L'image manquante 2013 — a.k.a. The Missing Picture 7/10 - Cambodia 🇰🇭 95 min
8. Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag 1975 — a.k.a. Manila in the Claws of Light 9-/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 126 min
Current recommendation: Monday (2000)


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Current focus: Directors: Rossellini, Sabu

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Melvelet
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#88

Post by Melvelet »

Added the newly official Pinoy Rebyu’s 100 Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time to the leaderboard and added a genre breakdown
Current recommendation: Monday (2000)


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Current focus: Directors: Rossellini, Sabu

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#89

Post by blueboybob »

59. Maid (2004) [Thailand] <--- this was kind of fun
60. Love Conquers All (2006) [Malaysia]
61. Grandmother (2009) [Philippines]
62. The Lover (1992) [Vietnam]
63. Moments in a Stolen Dream (1977) [Philippines]
64. The Bet Collector (2006) [Philippines]
65. The House in the Woods (1982) [Philippines]
66. Orapronobis (1989) [Philippines]
67. Cain and Abel (1982) [Philippines]
68. Burlesk Queen (1977) [Philippines]
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#90

Post by OldAle1 »

Hot Curries and Slow Cinema
Day 1 - two heavy meals of heavy Filipino slow cinema, and a rather stale Thai horror dessert

1. Imburnal / Sewer (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 196 minutes)
2. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 279 minutes)
3. See prang / 4bia / Phobia (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Paween Purikitpanya/Yongyoot Thongkongtoon/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2008, THAILAND, 112 minutes)

Day 2 - Lav Diaz' heavy sadness; Filipino vampires and Thai ghosts

4. Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 446 minutes)
5. Kulay dugo ang gabi / Blood is the Color of Night / The Blood Drinkers (Gerardo de Leon, 1964, PHILIPPINES, 87 minutes)
6. Suay Laak Sai / Sick Nurses (Piraphan Laoyant/Thodsopol Siriwiwat, 2007, THAILAND, 82 minutes)

Day 3 - Blood Island, and Kung-Fu fighting Snake Woman

7. Brides of Blood (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 97 minutes)
8. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 89 minutes)
9. Beast of Blood (Eddie Romero, 1970, PHILIPPINES , 90 minutes)

10. She yao jing / Devil Woman / Bruka, Queen of Evil (Felix Villar/Chi-Lien Yu, 1973, PHILIPPINES /Hong Kong, 95 minutes)

Day 4 - more from Eddie Romero & John Ashley; and worse

11. Beast of the Yellow Night (Eddie Romero, 1971, PHILIPPINES , 84 minutes))
12. The Twilight People (Eddie Romero, 1972, PHILIPPINES , 81 minutes))
13. Vampire Hookers (Cirio H. Santiago, 1978, PHILIPPINES , 80 minutes)
14. Primitif / Savage Terror (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1980, INDONESIA, 85 minutes)

Day 5 - Four domestic horrors, four female protagonists, four countries

15. The Maid (Kelvin Tong, 2005, SINGAPORE, 89 minutes)
16. Chanthaly (Mattie Do, 2012, LAOS, 99 minutes)
17. Cô Hâu Gái / The Housemaid (Derek Nguyen, 2016, VIETNAM/South Korea, 104 minutes)
18. Chermin / Mirror (Zarina Abdullah, 2007, MALAYSIA, 94 minutes)

Day 6 - Indonesian crazy schlock duo

19. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan / Lady Terminator (H. Tjut Djalil, 1989, INDONESIA, 81 minutes)
20. Dangerous Seductress (H. Tjut Djalil, 1992, INDONESIA, 94 minutes)

Day 7 - early Lav Diaz

21. Serafin Geronimo: Ang kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion / The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (Lav Diaz, 1998, PHILIPPINES , 112 minutes))
22. Burger Boy's (Lav Diaz, 1999, PHILIPPINES , 104 minutes))
23. Hesus, rebolusyunaryo / Jesus the Revolutionary (Lav Diaz, 2002, PHILIPPINES , 114 minutes)
Day 8 - 3 genre films, 6 directors, 3 countries

24. Shutter (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2004, THAILAND, 92 minutes)
25. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Emmanuel H. Borlaza/Ishmael Bernal/Peque Gallaga, 1984, PHILIPPINES , 125 minutes))
26. Perawan di Sarang Sindikat / Virgins from Hell (Ackyl Anwari, 1987, INDONESIA, 93 minutes)

Shutter strikes me as falling within a generally popular trend in Asian horror over the last 2-3 decades that involves media - bad things coming out of your phone, a videotape, an audio recording, the internet, etc. Of course this idea goes back further than the 90s and probably didn't originate in Asia, where horror films were a later starter compared to say, France or the USA, but in my mind at least these media-technology-obsessed terrors are more identified with Japan, South Korea, etc, than anywhere else today. And this Thai film has something of the same feel as some of the (admittedly few) films from those countries in this category that I've seen. The title refers to the shutter on a camera, but it also brings to mind the shutters on windows - something you close to keep out the storm, to keep out the night terrors - and "shudder" which of course is a word very apropos to horror generally. Neat. Anyway the story hear seems fairly conventional in many ways - guy and girl are out driving, they hit a woman, apparently, but when they look into it later there's no evidence of anybody in an accident. Then strange things start happening - both characters are photographers, and the first sign that there's something weird going on is seen in their photos. But while the woman sees and experiences some bad things, most of the real terrors happen to to guy. Interesting - why isn't the young lady the primary victim? We'll find out. Not going to spoil anything here - it goes in some interesting directions though for the most part not all that surprising; I have to admit that the final revelation rather surprised me, and I wonder if I would have gotten it had I paid closer attention. In any case overall this works pretty well and while it doesn't add up to anything really great for me, it as at least miles better than the two other Thai horror films I saw within the past week.

Shake is an anthology, the first in a series of 17 so far - I guess they're popular! Two of the directors - Bernal and Gallaga - are known for major "serious" Filipino dramas while Borlaza, who I'd never heard of, had an immense filmography (108 features) consisting largely of romances and other popular genre films, though it should be said that the other two made plenty of mainstream films also. Being purely an arthouse director seems to be a possibility that didn't exist in this cinema until about 20 years ago. Anyway the first segment,"Baso" (Glass) is from Borlaza, and it's one of those stories of people re-enacting events of past characters, past lives. Two young men and a young woman get together in a creepy ruined house and use something like a ouija board to conjure past lives and re-live a tragic love triangle from the 1898 revolutionary period. I'm sure knowing a bit more of the history would help give this more relevance, but I doubt it would be brilliant in any case - and it really isn't horror at all. The Bernal piece, "Pridyider" (Refrigerator) is maybe a little better, about a haunted refrigerator in a house that a mother and daughter have rented "for a steal". Good rule for all characters in horror movies: if the price is too good to be true there's probably gonna be DEATH involved! This was pretty well done but fairly conventional. The Gallaga segement "Manananggal" (not translated but basically a folkloric Filipino monster) is easily the best, the only one with any humor (this is listed as a comedy on IMDb) and the most fun overall, as a young strolling musician, encountering a previously unseen house in the forest (another thing to keep in mind - if on a regular walk you see something unexplainable that you've never seen suddenly there, AVOID!), decides to sing a love song for the beautiful woman inside, who turns out to be something more than just a girl of course. This had a great mood and the particular feel of the forest and everything was really cool - very much felt like a fairy tale that could have easily been from western folklore as much as eastern.

Virgins from Hell is a pretty meaningless and silly title that has nothing to do with the film - which is also silly and meaningless, but lots of fun, much like the two Djalil films I reviewed above. I watched this now because I had it on my list as "horror", and probably at one point it was listed by IMDb as such, but it's horror only in the same way the Indiana Jones films are - it has some gruesome deaths, but it's a pure action film and nothing else really. The thin plot is basically: a bunch (like, 30 or more) of hot babes, mostly wearing bright primary-color leather hot pants and jackets and boots, shoot up a casino, and then go after the secret hiding place of the man behind the casino, a drug lord/criminal who is making an aphrodisiac that will make women love slaves. The second attack doesn't go so well and all seems lost until the heroic scientist who is making the drug against his will comes to the women's rescue and...lots and lots and lots of shooting, stabbing, explosions, fires, etc, etc, etc. This feels absolutely like the best Cannon film ever that wasn't actually a Cannon film. The dubbing isn't quite as hilarious as it was on Lady Terminator, and there's no nudity (well, maybe just a flash, for like a half-second) but the insane low-budget action scenes are still enough to make this enormous fun.


3104 minutes total
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#91

Post by Onderhond »

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01. 2.0*- Kinatay by Brillante Mendoza (2009)

A film with some decent ideas, only the execution was incredibly flawed. It's a real skill to turn cheap into quality, but it's not a skill Brillante Mendoza possesses. The thoughts and intentions behind many of the choices here were obvious enough, but for the most part the effect simply wasn't there. Peping is a young student who wants to earn an extra buck and signs up for a "special project". He gets more than what he's bargained for when he finds out they're kidnapping a prostitute with the intent of killing her. Peping tries to get out of his assignment, but when that seems impossible he has to make a tough choice between his conscience and the money. The cinematography is terribly amateurish. The dark scenes in the middle somewhat hide that fact, but even then the camera work is simply atrocious. No doubt Mendoza hoped it would create some kind of voyeur effect, but that was a complete bust. The soundtrack comes off a bit overdone in combination with the images. It's not bad, but you can't make atmosphere with just the music alone. Performances are mediocre too and the pacing is sluggish. The potential was there, but the result isn't much to look at.


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02. 2.5*- 881 by Royston Tan (2007)

Quite a change of pace for Roystan Tan. I really liked his first two films, but he fell somewhat off the radar later on. After having seen 881, that's not really a big surprise. It's a film that is aimed squarely at a local market, which is pretty small considering Singapore is basically just a big city. The film puts the spotlight on some local folklore, namely the Getai singers. The Papaya Sisters are a newly formed duo that wants to perform on stage. To realize their dream they seek help from their aunt, a former Getai singer. The Durians (another popular duo) isn't too happy with their quick rise to success, and they're doing everything to stop them in their path. The Getai music is extremely kitsch, quite garish and unless you're into local pop music, a struggle for the ears. I'm sure every country has its pop scene that has no chance of crossing any borders, when you decide to make a musical out of it though, it's no surprise the rest of the world isn't very keen on picking it up. It's a colorful film, it's also pretty light and fun, but the musical bits make it hard to wholeheartedly enjoy.
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#92

Post by maxwelldeux »

The US was totally uninvolved here, right?
1. Shutter (2004, Thailand) 97m
2. Shake, Rattle & Roll (1984, Philippines) 124m

Everything was fine in this, it just didn't really grab me. The stories were either too meh or conventional or something.
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#93

Post by psychotronicbeatnik »

14. Demons (2018 / Daniel Hui / Singapore) FTV 7/10 {84 m.}
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8452036/

Mad Monster Party?! Goes Southeast Asian!
1. Gancore Gud; aka: Dead Bite (2011 / Apisit Opasaimlikit / Thailand) FTV 6+/10 {94 m.}
2. Vampariah (2016 / Matthew Abaya / Philippines) FTV 6/10 {90 m.}
3. Brides of Blood (1968 / Gerardo de Leon, Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 7+/10 {97 m.}
4. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968 / Gerardo de Leon, Eddie Romero / Philippines) 7/10 {95 m.}
5. Beast of Blood (1970 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) 7+/10 {90 m.}
6. The Beast of the Yellow Night (1971 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) 6+/10 {90 m.}
7. Raw Force (1982 / Edward Murphy / Philippines) 8/10 {86 m.}
8. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan; aka: Lady Terminator (1989 / H. Tjut Djalil / Indonesia) 8/10 {82 m.}
9. Seed of Darkness (2006 / Michael Chuah / Malaysia) FTV 5/10 {102 m.}
10. The Attic (2017 / Kaprice Kea / Thailand) FTV 5/10 {72 m.}
11. The Twilight People (1972 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 5+/10 {81 m.}
12. Beyond Atlantis (1973 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 7-/10 {91 m.}
13. The Offering (2016 / Kelvin Tong / Singapore) FTV 5/10 {95 m.}

14. Demons (2018 / Daniel Hui / Singapore) FTV 7/10 {84 m.}

Views: 14 / FTV’s: 9 / Doubles w/ Horror Challenge: 14 / {1249 m.}
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#94

Post by sol »

The best film that I seen so far for this challenge. :party: I almost feel like volunteering as Thai manager for the next World Cup already. :ermm:

Indo: 2 / Malay: 2 / Phili: 2 / Thai: 2 / Other: 7
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins
3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins
4. Mudras Calling (2018) Myanmar 106mins
5. My Stupid Boss (2016) Indonesia 106min
6. Jailbreak (2017) Cambodia 92mins
7. Yasmine (2014) Brunei 109mins
8. Munafik (2016) Malaysia 99mins
9. Insiang (1976) Philippines 83mins
10. Ilo Ilo (2013) Singapore 99mins
11a. Chau u Polo (2012) Timor-Leste 15mins
11b. Wawata Topu (2013) Timor-Leste 33mins
11c. Boneca de Atauro (2016) Timor-Leste 20mins
12. Monday Morning Glory (2005) Malaysia 82mins
13. Suzzanna Buried Alive (2018) Indonesia 125mins
14. TNT Jackson (1974) Philippines 69mins

15. Bad Genius (2017) Thailand 129mins

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Feeling sorry for a peer, a lonely high school student helps her cheat, only to become roped into wider scale exam cheating in this thriller that works on many levels. Eisaya Hosuwan is superb as the chirpy classmate who we gradually sense was only ever interested in her friendship for her brains. The film takes a sharp stab at standardised testing too and the teens themselves and their warped view that cheating is how to succeed. Intense stuff.
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#95

Post by hurluberlu »

3. Last Life in the Universe / Ruang rak noi nid mahasan (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, 2003) [Thailand] [Rewatch] 8>7+
#JeSuisCharlie Liberté, Liberté chérie !

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#96

Post by Onderhond »

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03. 3.5* - May the Devil Take You Too [Sebelum Iblis Menjemput: Ayat Dua] by Timo Tjahjanto (2020)

For the past 15 years, Timo Tjahjanto has worked pretty hard to become one of Indonesia's most revered genre directors. Shifting between action and horror, he built up an oeuvre of film that are characterized by a certain relentless darkness. Tjahjanto's sequel to May the Devil Take You fits right in. Alfie is kidnapped by a group of orphans, who were once abused by their caretaker. They need Alfie's powers to keep him at bay, after they'd set him on fire several years ago. Alfie accepts the challenge, but soon finds there's a little more to the story than they are telling her. Of course, all will be revealed. The setup is a bit long and some of the CG is a bit flaky, but once the film gets going it gets quite intense. There's nothing really original here in terms of horror, but the second half of the film features more than enough blood, kills and demons to make up for the slower first half. Had a lot of fun with this one.

Pimpaporn territory
01. 2.0* - Kinatay by Brillante Mendoza (2009)
02. 2.5* - 881 by Royston Tan (2007)
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#97

Post by blueboybob »

(No points) Ang magpakailanman (1982)

69. Oliver (1983) [Philippines]
70. Now Showing (2008) [Philippines] <---- just way tooooo long
71. Nostalgia for Countryland (1995) [Vietnam]
72. Bona (1980) [Philippines]
73. Before We Fall in Love Again (2006) [Malaysia] <----- This was decent. I could totally see this getting a hollywood remake
74. Transistor Love Story (2001) [Thailand]
75. City After Dark (1980) [Philippines]
76. A Short Film About the Indio Nacional (2005) [Philippines]
77. Magnifico (2003) [Philippines] <------- enjoyed this one too
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#98

Post by mjf314 »

Spoiler
1. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 1
2. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 2
3. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 3
4. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 4
5. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 5
6. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 6
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#99

Post by OldAle1 »

Hot Curries and Slow Cinema
Day 1 - two heavy meals of heavy Filipino slow cinema, and a rather stale Thai horror dessert

1. Imburnal / Sewer (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 196 minutes)
2. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 279 minutes)
3. See prang / 4bia / Phobia (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Paween Purikitpanya/Yongyoot Thongkongtoon/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2008, THAILAND, 112 minutes)

Day 2 - Lav Diaz' heavy sadness; Filipino vampires and Thai ghosts

4. Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 446 minutes)
5. Kulay dugo ang gabi / Blood is the Color of Night / The Blood Drinkers (Gerardo de Leon, 1964, PHILIPPINES, 87 minutes)
6. Suay Laak Sai / Sick Nurses (Piraphan Laoyant/Thodsopol Siriwiwat, 2007, THAILAND, 82 minutes)

Day 3 - Blood Island, and Kung-Fu fighting Snake Woman

7. Brides of Blood (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 97 minutes)
8. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 89 minutes)
9. Beast of Blood (Eddie Romero, 1970, PHILIPPINES , 90 minutes)

10. She yao jing / Devil Woman / Bruka, Queen of Evil (Felix Villar/Chi-Lien Yu, 1973, PHILIPPINES /Hong Kong, 95 minutes)

Day 4 - more from Eddie Romero & John Ashley; and worse

11. Beast of the Yellow Night (Eddie Romero, 1971, PHILIPPINES , 84 minutes))
12. The Twilight People (Eddie Romero, 1972, PHILIPPINES , 81 minutes))
13. Vampire Hookers (Cirio H. Santiago, 1978, PHILIPPINES , 80 minutes)
14. Primitif / Savage Terror (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1980, INDONESIA, 85 minutes)

Day 5 - Four domestic horrors, four female protagonists, four countries

15. The Maid (Kelvin Tong, 2005, SINGAPORE, 89 minutes)
16. Chanthaly (Mattie Do, 2012, LAOS, 99 minutes)
17. Cô Hâu Gái / The Housemaid (Derek Nguyen, 2016, VIETNAM/South Korea, 104 minutes)
18. Chermin / Mirror (Zarina Abdullah, 2007, MALAYSIA, 94 minutes)

Day 6 - Indonesian crazy schlock duo

19. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan / Lady Terminator (H. Tjut Djalil, 1989, INDONESIA, 81 minutes)
20. Dangerous Seductress (H. Tjut Djalil, 1992, INDONESIA, 94 minutes)

Day 7 - early Lav Diaz

21. Serafin Geronimo: Ang kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion / The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (Lav Diaz, 1998, PHILIPPINES , 112 minutes))
22. Burger Boy's (Lav Diaz, 1999, PHILIPPINES , 104 minutes))
23. Hesus, rebolusyunaryo / Jesus the Revolutionary (Lav Diaz, 2002, PHILIPPINES , 114 minutes)

Day 8 - 3 genre films, 6 directors, 3 countries

24. Shutter (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2004, THAILAND, 92 minutes)
25. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Emmanuel H. Borlaza/Ishmael Bernal/Peque Gallaga, 1984, PHILIPPINES , 125 minutes))
26. Perawan di Sarang Sindikat / Virgins from Hell (Ackyl Anwari, 1987, INDONESIA, 93 minutes)
Day 9 - just a couple more so-so horrors from the Philippines and Thailand

27. Lumaban ka, Satanas / The Killing of Satan (Efren C. Piñon, 1983, PHILIPPINES , 93 minutes)

While this is a Filipino film, it feels more like the Indonesian cheese-fests of this period than the other Filipino horror films I've seen; the earlier Eddie Romero and Gerardo de Leon films are certainly cheap and cheesy, but they feel more consistent, more like films with some kind of coherent story and directorial vison, while this is much more wild and nutty and bordering on incoherent a couple of times. Lando and his family live in a big city and are attacked by thugs, with the son killed and the man apparently so - until his bullet-to-the-head is miraculously healed, and we find out that his uncle living in a small village across the lake/sea (geography isn't that important here) has mystically healed the guy, at the cost of his own life, because he wants his nephew to come to the village and assume the mantle of village protector against the super-powered gang that attacks them, which is led by "the Prince of Magic", who is himself ruled by.... SATAN! No, the title isn't just a catchy string of words that has nothing to do with the plot, this is the real deal folks, this guy is going to KILL SATAN with his big wooden staff, his magic force-bolts, his very mediocre martial arts, and lots of visual and sound effects that sound roughly Space Invaders-era (1977) or a little earlier to me. Oh also he's literally got God on his side - this is one of the more overtly religious Filipino films I've seen for sure, in of course a melodramatic and silly way. Lots of fun.

28. Nang Nak (Nonzee Nimibutr, 1999, THAILAND, 101 minutes)

Much better made and more "modern" but to me a little less interesting and entertaining is this ghost story about Mak (husband) and Nak (wife) who are separated by war... and death. The prologue gives the basic premise away so it's not spoiler to tell you that Nak dies while Mak is away, but her love is so strong that she and her likewise dead baby keep waiting until hubby returns. The film throws a little red herring in - Mak is injured in the war and is at the point of death himself - and I thought the filmmaker was going to pull a fast one, or make both of them dead or something, but the way things go isn't that interesting. Both characters are pretty one-note, mostly crying and screaming for each other, but I did rather like Inthira Charoenpura as the wife Nak (why are the names so similar, is this common, or is there something that's being said here that, not knowing the culture, is over my head?) - she felt a bit more real to me. I guess I've seen enough of these person-living-with-ghost stories; they really have to do something special to work for me, and this just doesn't.

3298 minutes total
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#100

Post by mjf314 »

Spoiler
1. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 1
2. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 2
3. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 3
4. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 4
5. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 5
6. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 6
7. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 7

I like how they're slowly developing each character, one per episode, and all of the main characters are interesting. I think they're just about finished introducing everyone, so I'm curious where the drama will go next.
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#101

Post by blueboybob »

78. Oro, Plata, Mata (1982) [Philippines]
79. One More Chance (2007) [Philippines]
80. This Is How We Were Before, How Are You Doing Now? (1976) [Philippines]
81. A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (1965) [Philippines]
82. Todo todo teros (2006) [Philippines]


Not impressed with anything from today. But fuck 3+ hour movies
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#102

Post by zzzorf »

1. Leák (1981) - 4/10 - Indonesia - 116min
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#103

Post by OldAle1 »

Hot Curries and Slow Cinema
Day 1 - two heavy meals of heavy Filipino slow cinema, and a rather stale Thai horror dessert

1. Imburnal / Sewer (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 196 minutes)
2. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 279 minutes)
3. See prang / 4bia / Phobia (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Paween Purikitpanya/Yongyoot Thongkongtoon/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2008, THAILAND, 112 minutes)

Day 2 - Lav Diaz' heavy sadness; Filipino vampires and Thai ghosts

4. Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 446 minutes)
5. Kulay dugo ang gabi / Blood is the Color of Night / The Blood Drinkers (Gerardo de Leon, 1964, PHILIPPINES, 87 minutes)
6. Suay Laak Sai / Sick Nurses (Piraphan Laoyant/Thodsopol Siriwiwat, 2007, THAILAND, 82 minutes)

Day 3 - Blood Island, and Kung-Fu fighting Snake Woman

7. Brides of Blood (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 97 minutes)
8. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 89 minutes)
9. Beast of Blood (Eddie Romero, 1970, PHILIPPINES , 90 minutes)

10. She yao jing / Devil Woman / Bruka, Queen of Evil (Felix Villar/Chi-Lien Yu, 1973, PHILIPPINES /Hong Kong, 95 minutes)

Day 4 - more from Eddie Romero & John Ashley; and worse

11. Beast of the Yellow Night (Eddie Romero, 1971, PHILIPPINES , 84 minutes))
12. The Twilight People (Eddie Romero, 1972, PHILIPPINES , 81 minutes))
13. Vampire Hookers (Cirio H. Santiago, 1978, PHILIPPINES , 80 minutes)
14. Primitif / Savage Terror (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1980, INDONESIA, 85 minutes)

Day 5 - Four domestic horrors, four female protagonists, four countries

15. The Maid (Kelvin Tong, 2005, SINGAPORE, 89 minutes)
16. Chanthaly (Mattie Do, 2012, LAOS, 99 minutes)
17. Cô Hâu Gái / The Housemaid (Derek Nguyen, 2016, VIETNAM/South Korea, 104 minutes)
18. Chermin / Mirror (Zarina Abdullah, 2007, MALAYSIA, 94 minutes)

Day 6 - Indonesian crazy schlock duo

19. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan / Lady Terminator (H. Tjut Djalil, 1989, INDONESIA, 81 minutes)
20. Dangerous Seductress (H. Tjut Djalil, 1992, INDONESIA, 94 minutes)

Day 7 - early Lav Diaz

21. Serafin Geronimo: Ang kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion / The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (Lav Diaz, 1998, PHILIPPINES , 112 minutes))
22. Burger Boy's (Lav Diaz, 1999, PHILIPPINES , 104 minutes))
23. Hesus, rebolusyunaryo / Jesus the Revolutionary (Lav Diaz, 2002, PHILIPPINES , 114 minutes)

Day 8 - 3 genre films, 6 directors, 3 countries

24. Shutter (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2004, THAILAND, 92 minutes)
25. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Emmanuel H. Borlaza/Ishmael Bernal/Peque Gallaga, 1984, PHILIPPINES , 125 minutes))
26. Perawan di Sarang Sindikat / Virgins from Hell (Ackyl Anwari, 1987, INDONESIA, 93 minutes)

Day 9 - just a couple more so-so horrors from the Philippines and Thailand

27. Lumaban ka, Satanas / The Killing of Satan (Efren C. Piñon, 1983, PHILIPPINES , 93 minutes)
28. Nang Nak (Nonzee Nimibutr, 1999, THAILAND, 101 minutes)
Day 10 - bad schlock, good schlock, bad "remake" of good schlock

29. Demons of Paradise (Cirio H. Santiago, 1983, PHILIPPINES , 87 minutes)

As many people here know, I'm a generous rater and viewer, and I have a fairly high tolerance for both cheesy exploitation films, and boring art films. But when you put together a cheesy exploitation film with most of the fun stuff removed (just a second of nudity, very little violence until the last 15 minutes) and pace it not much faster than a Lav Diaz film, you're in trouble. This is a very ordinary and predictable monster movie, very much in the same 80s general type as many American films like, say, Humanoids from the Deep, but with very little style, nothing much happening till the end, and just a general sense of dull adequacy throughout. Because nothing is actually terrible here - the acting's all right, it's competently (if, as I said, not very stylishly) filmed, the locations (the Philippines pretending to be Hawaii) fine, etc, etc. It's just that we spend most of the film waiting around for more than a second's glimpse of the monster (very much in the Creature from the Black Lagoon tradition) that's been terrorizing a resort community, and the little subplots about a model and some drug smugglers don't go anywhere and don't matter. The last 15 minutes of pure action and monster killing people redeem it a *little* bit, and it's amusing to see how many things explode in fireballs for no good reason, but all in all this is unquestionably the dullest film I've watched this month.

30. Ratu Ilmu Hitam / The Queen of Black Magic (Liliek Sudjio, 1981, INDONESIA, 90 minutes)
31. Ratu Ilmu Hitam / The Queen of Black Magic (Kimo Stamboel, 2019, INDONESIA, 96 minutes)

There've been a couple of remakes of Indonesian classics from their golden age of cheesy action-fantasy-horror films in the last few years, both under the aegis of one of the country's top filmmakers, Joko Anwar (who wrote the screenplay to this particular remake, and wrote and directed the other one, Satan's Slave) - Anwar seems to be one of those guys trying to make genre films a little more artsy and classy, which...well, let's check out the results in this case.

The original film is, from what I've seen so far of this kind of stuff, fairly typical in it's bold colors, mostly bright lighting (even at night) and fine use of the Cinemascope frame. All the Indonesian cheese I've seen so far has been at least fun but this one ended up being a bit more than that, a really solid piece of crazy horror and action that features a man getting killed by a swarm of bees, a man's blood vessels popping all over his body, and our main antagonist (or so it seems) ripping his own head off with his bare hands. The story isn't necessarily any great shakes though it has some interesting little twists - Murni (Suzzanna) is the spurned lover of the most eligible bachelor in town, total asshole Kohar, son of the headman of the village. When Kohar marries someone else, all hell breaks loose at the wedding and he immediately - with no proof whatsoever - blames Murni as a witch, burns her house down with her mother inside it, and throws her off a cliff - with most of the townspeople on his side and actively helping him. Some vilalge! But Murni wasn't a witch, and she doesn't die, and is nursed back to help by an actual magician who helps her in her revenge - and eventually starts to goad her beyond her original desires. Meanwhile a young Muslim priest has entered town and is trying to get the people to go back to their abandoned faith, which he believes is responsible for the revenge-killings that have started to happen. But he turns out to be... well, I won't spoil it. Suffice it to say that this was pretty insane and the plot twists were silly but enjoyable and made it all the better. Definitely the best horror film from this region I've seen this month by a good margin

The 2019 remake isn't really that. Oh it takes the VERY basic central plot element - woman seeking revenge on those who've wronged her - and keeps the name Murni for the wronged girl/woman/eventual witch, but that's about it. In this film we have several middle-class folks - a young family with a couple of kids, two other couples (I think - it became hard for me to keep everybody straight) all going to visit the orphanage where the men were raised, and finding out that neither the head of the orphanage nor anything else there is what they remembered or claimed it to be. Eventually we end up understanding that there were lots of wrongs done in this place a decade ago, and that our witch has plans for revenge that don't allow the concept of innocence. This was probably better acted than the original film but that's about as far as I can go. I'm not a fan of the particular muted color scheme so prevalent these days, as I've mentioned before, but this wasn't a terrible example and looked good - sometimes - though many of the digital effects were pretty bad; really the visuals varied quite a bit, the bee sting sequence being rather laughable but the big fire scene near the end not so bad. Mostly there were too many characters who don't have enough exposition so that you know or care anything about them, and the whole second half of the film is pretty unrelenting screaming and crying and bad things happening, and it just got tiresome. Those who like their horror to be non-stop people being scared to death, yelling and crying, tortured, etc, will probably appreciate this more - it's not incompetent by any means, just for me eventually wearing, and not very interesting.



3571 minutes total
Last edited by OldAle1 on October 12th, 2020, 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#104

Post by sol »

Thai: 3 / Indo: 2 / Malay: 2 / Phili: 2 / Other: 7
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins
3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins
4. Mudras Calling (2018) Myanmar 106mins
5. My Stupid Boss (2016) Indonesia 106min
6. Jailbreak (2017) Cambodia 92mins
7. Yasmine (2014) Brunei 109mins
8. Munafik (2016) Malaysia 99mins
9. Insiang (1976) Philippines 83mins
10. Ilo Ilo (2013) Singapore 99mins
11a. Chau u Polo (2012) Timor-Leste 15mins
11b. Wawata Topu (2013) Timor-Leste 33mins
11c. Boneca de Atauro (2016) Timor-Leste 20mins
12. Monday Morning Glory (2005) Malaysia 82mins
13. Suzzanna Buried Alive (2018) Indonesia 125mins
14. TNT Jackson (1974) Philippines 69mins
15. Bad Genius (2017) Thailand 129mins

16. Nang Nak (1999) Thailand 121mins

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This has some truly horrific moments - corpse of an army buddy decomposing in the protagonist's arms; bloodthirsty crocodiles circling a dead body; rickety houses that bang and rattle at night. For the most part though, this is a romance movie, largely focused on the affection that the couple have for each other and love blinding him to the truth about her being a ghost. Unfortunately the romance mostly just consists of them shouting their names.
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#105

Post by blueboybob »

83. Aguila (1980) [Philippines]
84. 6ixtynin9 (1999) [Thailand] <--- interesting. Another film I could see getting an English remake
85. Overheard (2009) [Singapore] <--- decent thriller
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#106

Post by blueboybob »

86. Death in the Land of Encantos (2007) [Philippines] <---- like it wants to be an experimental film? it is so slow and boring. Not recommended.
87. West Side Avenue (2001) [Philippines] <---- THis is really good. I think the rating is so low on IMDB due to the length. But it goes quickly.
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#107

Post by mjf314 »

Spoiler
1. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 1
2. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 2
3. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 3
4. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 4
5. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 5
6. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 6
7. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 7
8. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 8
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#108

Post by cinephage »

01. Shutter, by Banjong Pisanthanakun & Parkpoom Wongpoom (2004) 7/10 (Thailand)

Nice ending, many cliches as well...

02. Birdshot, by Mikhail Red (2016) 8/10 (Philippines)

This was a very nice film, with many layers and themes. I found it quite thought-provoking...
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#109

Post by OldAle1 »

Hot Curries and Slow Cinema
Day 1 - two heavy meals of heavy Filipino slow cinema, and a rather stale Thai horror dessert

1. Imburnal / Sewer (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 196 minutes)
2. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 279 minutes)
3. See prang / 4bia / Phobia (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Paween Purikitpanya/Yongyoot Thongkongtoon/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2008, THAILAND, 112 minutes)

Day 2 - Lav Diaz' heavy sadness; Filipino vampires and Thai ghosts

4. Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 446 minutes)
5. Kulay dugo ang gabi / Blood is the Color of Night / The Blood Drinkers (Gerardo de Leon, 1964, PHILIPPINES, 87 minutes)
6. Suay Laak Sai / Sick Nurses (Piraphan Laoyant/Thodsopol Siriwiwat, 2007, THAILAND, 82 minutes)

Day 3 - Blood Island, and Kung-Fu fighting Snake Woman

7. Brides of Blood (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 97 minutes)
8. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 89 minutes)
9. Beast of Blood (Eddie Romero, 1970, PHILIPPINES , 90 minutes)

10. She yao jing / Devil Woman / Bruka, Queen of Evil (Felix Villar/Chi-Lien Yu, 1973, PHILIPPINES /Hong Kong, 95 minutes)

Day 4 - more from Eddie Romero & John Ashley; and worse

11. Beast of the Yellow Night (Eddie Romero, 1971, PHILIPPINES , 84 minutes))
12. The Twilight People (Eddie Romero, 1972, PHILIPPINES , 81 minutes))
13. Vampire Hookers (Cirio H. Santiago, 1978, PHILIPPINES , 80 minutes)
14. Primitif / Savage Terror (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1980, INDONESIA, 85 minutes)

Day 5 - Four domestic horrors, four female protagonists, four countries

15. The Maid (Kelvin Tong, 2005, SINGAPORE, 89 minutes)
16. Chanthaly (Mattie Do, 2012, LAOS, 99 minutes)
17. Cô Hâu Gái / The Housemaid (Derek Nguyen, 2016, VIETNAM/South Korea, 104 minutes)
18. Chermin / Mirror (Zarina Abdullah, 2007, MALAYSIA, 94 minutes)

Day 6 - Indonesian crazy schlock duo

19. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan / Lady Terminator (H. Tjut Djalil, 1989, INDONESIA, 81 minutes)
20. Dangerous Seductress (H. Tjut Djalil, 1992, INDONESIA, 94 minutes)

Day 7 - early Lav Diaz

21. Serafin Geronimo: Ang kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion / The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (Lav Diaz, 1998, PHILIPPINES , 112 minutes))
22. Burger Boy's (Lav Diaz, 1999, PHILIPPINES , 104 minutes))
23. Hesus, rebolusyunaryo / Jesus the Revolutionary (Lav Diaz, 2002, PHILIPPINES , 114 minutes)

Day 8 - 3 genre films, 6 directors, 3 countries

24. Shutter (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2004, THAILAND, 92 minutes)
25. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Emmanuel H. Borlaza/Ishmael Bernal/Peque Gallaga, 1984, PHILIPPINES , 125 minutes))
26. Perawan di Sarang Sindikat / Virgins from Hell (Ackyl Anwari, 1987, INDONESIA, 93 minutes)

Day 9 - just a couple more so-so horrors from the Philippines and Thailand

27. Lumaban ka, Satanas / The Killing of Satan (Efren C. Piñon, 1983, PHILIPPINES , 93 minutes)
28. Nang Nak (Nonzee Nimibutr, 1999, THAILAND, 101 minutes)

Day 10 - bad schlock, good schlock, bad "remake" of good schlock

29. Demons of Paradise (Cirio H. Santiago, 1983, PHILIPPINES , 87 minutes)
30. Ratu Ilmu Hitam / The Queen of Black Magic (Liliek Sudjio, 1981, INDONESIA, 90 minutes)
31. Ratu Ilmu Hitam / The Queen of Black Magic (Kimo Stamboel, 2019, INDONESIA, 96 minutes)
Day 11 - serious gore, and another original/remake, all from Indoneisa

32. Darah / Macabre (Kimo Stamboel/Timo Tjahjanto, as "The Mo Brothers", 2009, INDONESIA, 95 minutes)

I picked this one mostly because of Julie Estelle, who I (and a lot of people I'd imagine) first noticed in The Raid 2, and who I think is one of the most beautiful actresses in the world right now. She doesn't necessarily get to look her best in this film though

Image

which is easily the goriest, bloodiest, and most unpleasant film I've seen this month so far. Not at all bad, in fact overall I can say I'm giving this a very modestly positive rating - but really hard to endure at times and borderline tiresome in it's bloodletting in the last few minutes. Estelle plays Ladya, who in the beginning is estranged from her brother Adjie but is convinced to go along on a little trip with him, his very pregnant wife, and a few other friends. Just as they start their trip they pick up a young woman who seems to be in deep trouble, and offer to give her a lift since she's in Jakarta where they're going. Of course the house she lives in is way off the beaten track and apparently quite distant from any other people, and of course even though several of them feel uneasy on entering the house, meeting the two disturbing brothers and the even more disturbing and unusual- and very young-looking mother, they agree to have dinner, commenting that the meat is very interesting and unusual, and, well, soon there are chainsaws and machetes and bows and arrows and all kinds of other cutting and piercing and slashing weapons, and when we find out what this odd family has in store for the visitors, it's probably not too surprising - though I will say that the subs on the copy I had were poorly translated and helped to confuse this relatively straightforward cannibal film a bit. As tough going and brutal as the film was, at least I'm happy that Estelle ends up as the Final Girl in the end, driving away from the camera just as the should-be-dead century+ old mother's hand twitches in the foreground. And obvious ending but in this case I think appropriate and deserved.

33. Pengabid Satan / Satan's Slave (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1982, INDONESIA, 96 minutes)
34. Pengabid Satan / Satan's Slave (Joko Anwar, 2017, INDONESIA/ South Korea, 106 minutes)

The original film was, refreshingly, actually available in the original language, but while it's a widescreen copy (all the Indonesian genre stuff I've seen from the 70s-80s has been 2.35 and almost all of it properly framed on video) it was pretty far from hi-def. And it confirmed what I'd suspected - while it's in Indonesian, it's clearly post-dubbed, and I'm guessing all the similar films I've seen were probably likewise shot silent and then post-dubbed into several languages - at least Indonesian, Dutch and English. And I have no idea if the actors are doing their own dubbing, so whether this is more like the HK system where actors dubbed themselves if possible, or the Italian system where they quite often did not, I dunno. In any case, I would say there's not reason to shy away from these films because they're usually dubbed.

But you could make better choices than this film, which is neither wild and crazy enough to be in the so-bad-it's-good category, nor really good enough to be memorable, even if it is quite competent and has a decent aura of creepiness to it at times. Then again, a better copy might help a lot, particularly in a couple of dark indoor scenes which were tough to see. Basically we have a woman who as just died at the beginning of the film, and her husband, 20ish daughter, and slightly younger son mourn her - the son in particular can't let go and ends up doing some investigating into black magic to contact her or bring her back, so when a mysterious new maid shows up at the house and bad things start to happen - including the spirits of the dead apparently come back to haunt the family - we can guess the origin of some of them. Like many of the horror films from this region I've watched this month - most of them, actually - religion is a noticeable element, and in this film and the remake it's actually front and center or at least one of the major plot devices. In Filipino films it would be Catholicism, in the Thai films Buddhism, here it's Islam, and an important character who comes to the fore in the second half is the local Imam, who believes the devil is behind the weird things that happen (including a couple of killings, one of them a fairly hilarious motorcycle-car crash) and who decides the family isn't religious enough, and needs to BELIEVE and pray. While this is hard for an atheist like me to stomach, I do think the ending here, with the priest and many of his parishioners all chanting Allahu Akbar to drive out the evil spirits and in particular destroy the evil maid, is really well done and compelling, and helped lift the film at least into the "decent, more or less worth seeing" category.

Anwar's remake was apparently a pet project, the original having made a huge impression on him as a kid. This is a much closer remake than the Anwar-scripted Queen of Black Magic which I watched the previous day, but it's still got a lot of changes. In place of the maid and another servant in the original film, we have two more younger boys in the family, we also have a grandmother (whose importance in the film isn't really clear at all except that she's an early victim), and the mother isn't dead at the beginning, but suffering the final stages of a long illness. Also the mother was a famous singer and the breadwinner for the family, apparently upper-middle-class and living in a huge rural house but now probably having to make some lifestyle changes as the royalties are running out and the father is unemployed. It's set interestingly enough one year before the original film but there's no hint that it is in any way to be seen as a prequel rather than a loose remake until the very end. The basic plot isn't that dissimilar, with ghosts of the dead harassing the living, and a few deaths - though in this case they aren't the result of an outsider maid, but rather a hidden secret within the family which involves the youngest boy, an almost-7 kid who is deaf, in particular. Again there's an Imam and his church who make an important impact on the second half of the film, but their effectiveness is not the same as it was in the earlier film. I liked the use of the house, and I liked the way things play out for the most part, and the rather gloomy failure at the end, but on the whole this was just OK, the third OK film in a row for the day. Give me something really terrible and schlocky, or something really great, or both next, please!





3868 minutes total
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#110

Post by blueboybob »

88. Turn Left, Turn Right (2003) [Singapore]
89. Perfumed Nightmare (1977) [Philippines]
90. The Missing Picture (2013) [Cambodia]
91. The Big Bird Cage (1972) [Philippines]
92. Slingshot (2007) [Philippines]
93. Broken Marriage (1983) [Philippines] <---- Great movie. Going to be in my next top 500 < 400
94. Bar Girls (2003) [Vietname] <---- awful
95. Bang Rajan (2000) [Thailand]
96. Badjao: The Sea Gypsies (1957) [Philippines]
97. Refrains Happen Like Revolutions in a Song (2010) [Philippines] <--- This was decent. Definitely worth a watch.
98. Child of Sorrow (1956) [Philippines]
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#111

Post by mjf314 »

Spoiler
1. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 1
2. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 2
3. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 3
4. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 4
5. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 5
6. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 6
7. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 7
8. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 8
9. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 9
10. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 10
11. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 11
12. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 12
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#112

Post by blueboybob »

99. The Quiet American (2002) [Vietnam]
100. The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (2005) [Philippines] <--- interesting plot, poor execution
101. Sister Stella L. (1984) [Philippines] <----- fantastic film
102. The Tesseract (2003) [Thailand]
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#113

Post by Onderhond »

A surprising amount of films from this region popping up on my usual sources. Makes you wonder how far-reaching the influence of ICM is.

Image

04. 3.0* - Lang Tong by Sam Loh (2014)

A decent but visibly low-budget thriller/horror film from Singapore. Sam Loh made a pure genre flick, the kind where an up and coming director can establish himself without taking too many risks. A cookie cutter plot, some predictable twists and a little nastiness to please genre fans. Zach is a typical player. He acts all sweet and understanding when meeting up with prospective dates, but once he gets in a relationship he abuses them and starts sleeping around. When he meets Li Ling, Zach feels like becoming a better man, but Li Er, Ling's sister, has other plans for Zach. Performances are mediocre, some quick and dirty color grading is applied to make the film a tad more attractive. The setup is pretty simple and the story can get a little too transparent. The payoff is pretty great though and the pacing is solid. For genre fans only, but within that context this was decent filler.

Pimpaporn territory
01. 2.0* - Kinatay by Brillante Mendoza (2009)
02. 2.5* - 881 by Royston Tan (2007)
03. 3.5* - May the Devil Take You Too [Sebelum Iblis Menjemput: Ayat Dua] by Timo Tjahjanto (2020)
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#114

Post by jdidaco »

(Screenshots from '15: The Movie', 'Huling balyan ng buhi' & 'The Second Life of Thieves'),

Image

11. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Emmanuel H. Borlaza, Ishmael Bernal and Peque Gallaga, 1984) 7.5/10 (Philippines) (125 min)
12. 15: The Movie (Royston Tan, 2003) 8/10 (Singapore) (93 min)
13. Worldly Desires (Apichatpong Weerasethakul & Pimpaka Towira, 2005) 8/10 (Thailand) (43 min)
14. Huling balyan ng buhi (The Last Priestess of Buhi or the Woven Stories of the Other, Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2006) 8.5/10 (Philippines) (90 min)

Image

15. Kuaile gongchang (Pleasure Factory, Ekachai Uekrongtham, 2007) 7.5/10 (Singapore/Thailand) (85 min)
16. Darah/Macabre (Timo Tjahjanto & Kimo Stamboel, 2009) 5.5/10 (Indonesia/Singapore) (95 min)
17. The Tiger Factory (Woo Ming Jin, 2010) 8/10 (Malaysia) (85 min)
18. The Second Life of Thieves (Woo Ming Jin, 2014) 7.5/10 (Malaysia) (88 min)
19. How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) (Josh Kim, 2015) 7/10 (Thailand/Indonesia) (79 min)
20. Krabi, 2562 (Anocha Suwichakornpong & Ben Rivers, 2019) 8/10 (Thailand) (90 min)

Image

Spoiler
1. Shier lou (12 Storeys, Eric Khoo, 1997) 8/10 (Singapore) (104 min)
2. Daun di Atas Bantal (Leaf on a Pillow, Garin Nugroho, 1998) 8.5/10 (Indonesia) (79 min)
3. In the Room ( Eric Khoo, 2015) 6.5/10 (Singapore) (104 min)
4. Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku (Memories of My Body, Garin Nugroho, 2018) 8.5/10 (Indonesia) (107 min)
5. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan (Lady Terminator, H. Tjut Djalil, 1989) 7/10 (Indonesia) (82 min)
6. Bercinta dengan maut/Dangerous Seductress (H. Tjut Djalil, 1992) 7.5/10 (Indonesia/Philippines) (94 min)
7. Yao jie huang hou/Bugis Street (Yonfan, 1995) 8/10 (Singapore) (101 min)
8. Onthakan (The Blue Hour, Anucha Boonyawatana, 2015) 7.5/10 (Thailand) (97 min)
9. Ang Napakaigsing Buhay Ng Alipato/Alipato: The Very Brief Life of an Ember (Khavn (& Roxlee), 2016) 9/10 (Philippines) (88 min)
10. Malila: The Farewell Flower (Anucha Boonyawatana, 2017) 8.5/10 (Thailand) (95 min)
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#115

Post by Mate_cosido »

7. Headshot (2011, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang) - Thailand - 105 min

8. Headshot (2016, Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto) - Indonesia - 118 min

9. Birdshot (2016, Mikhail Red) - Philippines - 115 min

10. K'na, the Dreamweaver (2014, Ida Anita Del Mundo) - Philippines - 85 min
Seen so far:
1. Kisapmata - Blink of an Eye (1981, Mike De Leon) - Philippines - 98 min

2. Tôi thay hoa vàng trên co xanh - Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass (2015, Victor Vu) - Vietnam - 98 min

3. Nunal sa tubig - Speck in the Water (1976, Ishmael Bernal) - Philippines - 119 min

4. Chung một dòng sông - On the Same River (1959, Hong Nghi Nguyen, Ky Nam Pham) - (North) Vietnam - 94 min

5. Serafin Geronimo: Ang kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion - The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (1998, Lav Diaz) - Philippines - 122 min

6. Fan ba karaoke - Fun Bar Karaoke (1997, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang) - Thailand - 100 min

7. Headshot (2011, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang) - Thailand - 105 min

8. Headshot (2016, Kimo Stamboel, Timo Tjahjanto) - Indonesia - 118 min

9. Birdshot (2016, Mikhail Red) - Philippines - 115 min

10. K'na, the Dreamweaver (2014, Ida Anita Del Mundo) - Philippines - 85 min

Enjoyed everything in this batch, specially the Thai Headshot, and K'na the dreamweaver
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#116

Post by OldAle1 »

Hot Curries and Slow Cinema
Day 1 - two heavy meals of heavy Filipino slow cinema, and a rather stale Thai horror dessert

1. Imburnal / Sewer (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 196 minutes)
2. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 279 minutes)
3. See prang / 4bia / Phobia (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Paween Purikitpanya/Yongyoot Thongkongtoon/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2008, THAILAND, 112 minutes)

Day 2 - Lav Diaz' heavy sadness; Filipino vampires and Thai ghosts

4. Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 446 minutes)
5. Kulay dugo ang gabi / Blood is the Color of Night / The Blood Drinkers (Gerardo de Leon, 1964, PHILIPPINES, 87 minutes)
6. Suay Laak Sai / Sick Nurses (Piraphan Laoyant/Thodsopol Siriwiwat, 2007, THAILAND, 82 minutes)

Day 3 - Blood Island, and Kung-Fu fighting Snake Woman

7. Brides of Blood (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 97 minutes)
8. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (Gerardo de Leon/Eddie Romero, 1968, PHILIPPINES , 89 minutes)
9. Beast of Blood (Eddie Romero, 1970, PHILIPPINES , 90 minutes)

10. She yao jing / Devil Woman / Bruka, Queen of Evil (Felix Villar/Chi-Lien Yu, 1973, PHILIPPINES /Hong Kong, 95 minutes)

Day 4 - more from Eddie Romero & John Ashley; and worse

11. Beast of the Yellow Night (Eddie Romero, 1971, PHILIPPINES , 84 minutes))
12. The Twilight People (Eddie Romero, 1972, PHILIPPINES , 81 minutes))
13. Vampire Hookers (Cirio H. Santiago, 1978, PHILIPPINES , 80 minutes)
14. Primitif / Savage Terror (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1980, INDONESIA, 85 minutes)

Day 5 - Four domestic horrors, four female protagonists, four countries

15. The Maid (Kelvin Tong, 2005, SINGAPORE, 89 minutes)
16. Chanthaly (Mattie Do, 2012, LAOS, 99 minutes)
17. Cô Hâu Gái / The Housemaid (Derek Nguyen, 2016, VIETNAM/South Korea, 104 minutes)
18. Chermin / Mirror (Zarina Abdullah, 2007, MALAYSIA, 94 minutes)

Day 6 - Indonesian crazy schlock duo

19. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan / Lady Terminator (H. Tjut Djalil, 1989, INDONESIA, 81 minutes)
20. Dangerous Seductress (H. Tjut Djalil, 1992, INDONESIA, 94 minutes)

Day 7 - early Lav Diaz

21. Serafin Geronimo: Ang kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion / The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion (Lav Diaz, 1998, PHILIPPINES , 112 minutes))
22. Burger Boy's (Lav Diaz, 1999, PHILIPPINES , 104 minutes))
23. Hesus, rebolusyunaryo / Jesus the Revolutionary (Lav Diaz, 2002, PHILIPPINES , 114 minutes)

Day 8 - 3 genre films, 6 directors, 3 countries

24. Shutter (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2004, THAILAND, 92 minutes)
25. Shake, Rattle & Roll (Emmanuel H. Borlaza/Ishmael Bernal/Peque Gallaga, 1984, PHILIPPINES , 125 minutes))
26. Perawan di Sarang Sindikat / Virgins from Hell (Ackyl Anwari, 1987, INDONESIA, 93 minutes)

Day 9 - just a couple more so-so horrors from the Philippines and Thailand

27. Lumaban ka, Satanas / The Killing of Satan (Efren C. Piñon, 1983, PHILIPPINES , 93 minutes)
28. Nang Nak (Nonzee Nimibutr, 1999, THAILAND, 101 minutes)

Day 10 - bad schlock, good schlock, bad "remake" of good schlock

29. Demons of Paradise (Cirio H. Santiago, 1983, PHILIPPINES , 87 minutes)
30. Ratu Ilmu Hitam / The Queen of Black Magic (Liliek Sudjio, 1981, INDONESIA, 90 minutes)
31. Ratu Ilmu Hitam / The Queen of Black Magic (Kimo Stamboel, 2019, INDONESIA, 96 minutes)

Day 11 - serious gore, and another original/remake, all from Indoneisa

32. Darah / Macabre (Kimo Stamboel/Timo Tjahjanto, as "The Mo Brothers", 2009, INDONESIA, 95 minutes)
33. Pengabid Satan / Satan's Slave (Sisworo Gautama Putra, 1982, INDONESIA, 96 minutes)
34. Pengabid Satan / Satan's Slave (Joko Anwar, 2017, INDONESIA/ South Korea, 106 minutes)
Day 12 - 5 intense features from Mike De Leon

35. Itim / Black / The Rites of May (Mike De Leon, 1977, PHILIPPINES, 106 minutes)
36. Kakabakaba ka ba? / Will Your Heart Beat Faster? (Mike De Leon, 1980, PHILIPPINES, 107 minutes)
37. Kisapmata / In the Wink of an Eye (Mike De Leon, 1981, PHILIPPINES, 98 minutes)
38. Batch '81 (Mike De Leon, 1982, PHILIPPINES, 106 minutes
39. Sister Stella L (Mike De Leon, 1984, PHILIPPINES, 104 minutes)

Image

Mike De Leon is, along with Laurice Guillen (also born in 1947 and an actress as well, appearing in Sister Stella L from this bunch), one of the last surviving members of a great generation of Filipino directors that got their starts in the 1970s - Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal both died relatively early, in the 1990s, while Mario O'Hara died in 2012 and Peque Gallaga earlier this year. It's no wonder that Lav Diaz and many other filmmakers have continued to focus on the tragedies of the Filipino condition - besides all the horrible history of colonialism and totalitarian repression that have plagued the country for centuries, even the film industry has lost many of it's great early defining works to the ravages of time and a culture that until recently had little interest in or money for saving them, and many of it's pioneering creators have been lost too soon as well. So it doesn't surprise me that De Leon - from whom I'd seen just one film before, the rather experimental Bayaning 3rd World from 2000 - is also often focused on the negative and depressing aspects of his country. But his interest is different from Brocka's - his characters and families aren't generally part of the poverty-stricken classes - or Diaz' - he's interested in the here and now, and when history comes into play it's usually in the background. What he does focus on time and again - especially in Kisapmata and Batch '81 - is the bad behavior of macho, aggressive, angry men. Combine these films with the satirical attacks on Japanese and Chinese business interests in Kakabakaba ka ba? and the de-glamorizing of national hero José Rizal in Bayaning 3rd World and you might also suggest that his subject is the mythologizing of people, countries, and institutions, and how destructive that can often be. Apart from the second of these films, an uncharacteristic wild musical-comedy, these are not "fun" films or easy watches, but as a group they were very much worthwhile, and help to fill some of the small holes in the Swiss cheese understanding of this country that I have.

Itim is basically a horror movie of the ghost story variety, in which Jun, a young photographer returns to his family home, a huge mansion out in the country, where his ailing paraplegic and now voiceless father lives with a sardonic caregiver/cook and her husband, to photograph religious celebrations around Easter (hence the "Rites of May") title. He quickly becomes fascinated with a young woman he sees and shoots near a church, follows her, and becomes involved in her story, which involves an older sister who disappeared and is presumed dead, and a very puritanical, controlling mother. As our hero gets more and more interested, the girl becomes more frightened, pulls back, and we start to learn of connections between the two families involving not only the sister, but Jun's dead mother - and his father, who has no way to communicate any more about the sins of the past that are gradually exposed. This was very well done and fairly creepy at times, though it's more a story of family secrets and crimes than ghosts and horror, and it has some interesting filmmaking choices which we see pop up again in other De Leon films - a particular way of using cross-cutting that I don't see much in films of this or later decades, and occasional flashbacks that are always monochrome and slow-motion. Well done and in the end kind of sad.

Kakabakaba ka ba? is as I said a musical comedy - though the music is mostly in the last half hour, and only a couple of other short scenes earlier in the film - with a zany plot about a Japanese would-be yakuza who has already lost three finger due to being caught smuggling three times (in a hilarious prologue), trying one last time to smuggle something, we don't know what initially, in a cassette tape box. The box ends up in the coat of a young Filipino musician, and he and his girlfriend, and another couple, spend the rest of the movie trying to evade the yakuza and his equally incompetent huge black body-builder type assistant, and a group of mysterious Chinese criminals - also getting involved along the way with a priest who may or may not be what he claims, and eventually leading to a secret warehouse, drugs, super-weapons, and a couple of awesome musical numbers. This is the kind of film I should absolutely love but it didn't quite work for me overall - the middle stretch got a bit tiresome, and I think a lot of the cultural references were unclear and limited the comedic value to this westerner. But I suspect I'll get more out of it on another viewing; I'll also add that this was the only one of these five that I had in a good HD transfer which certainly makes a difference visually. In many ways this reminded me of one of the weirder blaxploitation films I've seen, Darktown Strutters, and in fact there's music early in the film which definitely has the funky vibe of films like that.

Kisapmata is described in the opening crawl as based on a true story, and it's one of those films that good-hearted but naive people would watch and tell themselves, "oh no, that's got to be exaggerated, these things don't happen in nice families" but I think most viewers will know better. Sadly it's an all-too common story of a violent, abusive, aggressive middle-aged ex-cop, living a nice enough life but wanting to continue to keep absolute total control over his daughter, who at the beginning of the film announces she's going to get married to a young man from her office. The father can't really handle this but tries to pretend at least to go along, and the bulk of the film charts the week or so starting on December 8th (lots of Christmas references sprinkled throughout the film) from the wedding until...the final resolution, which I'm not going to spoil. Basically the father keeps coming up with any and all excuses to keep the daughter at home - and ideally, keep his new son-in-law away, including sitting next to the phone and not allowing it to be answered, and locking the gate - even though the house is in what appears to be a nice middle-class neighborhood, he's got a high wall with barbed wire on top of it. Gradually we come to see this man as something far more than a typically overprotective but loving father, and Vic Salayan's amazing performance communicates this with every move of his large body, every paranoid and searching glance in his eyes. Ultimately, though this is hardly material that's going to be new to most people, it becomes something close to a masterpiece because of Salayan's acting and the quite realistic way in which we see people desperately wanting to think "it will get better, he can't be that bad". The ending felt inevitable and yet was still one of the hardest things to watch this month until...

Batch '81 which is even darker and more unpleasant, and more damning of the aggressive macho behavior that afflicts so much of Filipino, and probably every society. This is a fraternity film, and as it started out I thought, this feels just like a lot of American frathouse comedies of this period, cool - I'm in the mood for something a little lighter after the last film. Uh, good thing I'm not necessarily disappointed when films turn out to be something I didn't expect. I should mention that I have personally had only negative experiences with frats and sororities and the people I've met who were members; many of the worst people I've known at all well in my life, and many of my worst life-experiences, involve frat-boys and sorority-girls. So this story of a group of friends who pledge the coolest frat on campus, which "isn't into fighting" - something the women around them are all worried about - very much lined up with my own prejudices. I'm sure I've had bad luck in the people I've known, and I'm sure not every frat or frathouse "master" like Vince, the totally awful upperclassman who presides over the increasingly violent, humiliating, and dangerous initiation rites here, is an outright psychopath and Hitler wannabe. But the film definitely portrays this whole environment as a cultish, worshipful closed system where the frat always comes first and outsiders are to be derided or ignored at best. There's even a big musical number late in the film that actually comes right out of "Cabaret" and the message is obviously that these kids really don't have a clue as to what's coming - and even when they do experience their own sort of Kristallnacht in the form of an orgy of violence, they still don't get it (there's also more than a couple of subtle references to A Clockwork Orange here, including the Bach-on-synth music that's used at a couple of key moments). The way De Leon shoots this bloody carnage is about as visceral and unpleasant as anything I've seen in any war or horror film, but this doesn't seem to affect the survivors. Anybody that dies because of the frat had it coming; anybody that drops out is weak and a f----t. And the final sequence - set to an old German song that was popular during the Third Reich (De Leon got his start in film school in Germany, and German music and snatches of the language appear occasionally in a few of these films) - is deeply disturbing, but also like the end of the previous film, inevitable. In the end this is as close to the opposite of Animal House as you could possibly imagine. I'm inclined to think this is the director's best film at the moment, though Kisapmata and Bayaning 3rd World are on roughly the same level.

I didn't love Sister Stella L quite as much as some other seem to; I think overall my problem was that it's a little too fractured, it feels a bit undecided as to whether to focus mostly on the titular character (Vilma Santos) - either in her relationship with her namesake, the slightly older Sister Stella B (Laurice Guillen), her work with unwed mothers-to-be, one of whom in particular being a really problem case - or her ex-boyfriend, journalist Nick (Jay Ilagan), and on the labor strike they both get involved with. It seemed like it should have been a somewhat longer film - while it's refreshing that De Leon is the rare Filipino auteur who consistently keeps his films in the 95-110 minute range, and in his best work crafts really tight films with little wasted time, this seemed to me a case for a broader canvas. Every time I'm really getting involved in the labor struggle, or in Stella L's personal struggles as she finds it always difficult to continue her work, to know what God - or the Church, two very different ideas in this film - want from her, the scene shifts. Still the acting is all around good - I was often irritated with Nick but by the end I figured that was probably the way I'm supposed to feel, he's another somewhat controlling male in De Leon's cinema, but one who also has at least a little self-control and is never close to being a psycho or abuser - and as with all of De Leon's films the use of music is interesting. Worth seeing but a bit disappointing after the previous two great or near-great, rough viewings.



4386 minutes total
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sol
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#117

Post by sol »

Thai: 3 / Indo: 3 / Malay: 2 / Phili: 2 / Other: 7
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins
3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins
4. Mudras Calling (2018) Myanmar 106mins
5. My Stupid Boss (2016) Indonesia 106min
6. Jailbreak (2017) Cambodia 92mins
7. Yasmine (2014) Brunei 109mins
8. Munafik (2016) Malaysia 99mins
9. Insiang (1976) Philippines 83mins
10. Ilo Ilo (2013) Singapore 99mins
11a. Chau u Polo (2012) Timor-Leste 15mins
11b. Wawata Topu (2013) Timor-Leste 33mins
11c. Boneca de Atauro (2016) Timor-Leste 20mins
12. Monday Morning Glory (2005) Malaysia 82mins
13. Suzzanna Buried Alive (2018) Indonesia 125mins
14. TNT Jackson (1974) Philippines 69mins
15. Bad Genius (2017) Thailand 129mins
16. Nang Nak (1999) Thailand 121mins

17. Target (2018) Indonesia 91mins

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Indonesia's answer to Saw, this thriller has a small group of aspiring big screen actors finding themselves drugged and forced to play lethal games. The premise is pretty decent (the actors initially assume this is their audition) and there is some eeriness when things get underway with grim video instructions and traps. It is, however, 20 minutes in before the horror/thriller angle ignites, with lots of lame comedy, and then the idea exhausts itself.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
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Melvelet
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#118

Post by Melvelet »

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Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, highly recommended!

9. The Look of Silence 2014 8/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 103 min
Just like Act of Killing, it gets quite surreal when people keep talking such disturbing things with a smile on their face. Overall, a bit less ambitious than Act of Killing but I kind of liked this companion piece even more.

10. Daun di atas bantal 1998 — a.k.a. Leaf on a Pillow 6/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 79 min
It's a bit like an Indonesian Rose Seller but with a less memorable story and certainly with less memorable characters. But maybe that expectation was a bit unfair.

11. A Guerra da Beatriz 2013 — a.k.a. Beatriz's War 6/10 - Timor-Leste 🇹🇱 101 min
It is probably mostly watched as the movie from Timor-Leste. It feels quite amateurish but it's alright. For the Conquer the World challenge it's actually a good entry because we see a bit of the country and learn about it's history and traumas.

12. Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak 2017 — a.k.a. Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts 8/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 93 min
After The Seen and Unseen from the same year I begin to realize that Indonesia is slowly becoming a film country for which I have expectations for the future. It's shot wonderfully and tells a story of female empowerment. A letterboxd reviewer calls it a Spaghetti Western and I can see why. A woman's place is invaded by a gang of thugs who blatantly tell her their plan of raping her and stealing her cattle. She poisons most of the man and decapitates their leader whose head is from now on her companion on the roadtrip to the police to report the crime, chased by the surviving gang members and joined by other women (one of them pregnant). At the same time the stylish movie manages not to feel exploitative in the slightest and keeps an almost light tone with a couple of surreal elements. I can only recommend it and potentially want to find a way to promote it a bit, it's 500<400 material imo.

13. How to Disappear Completely 2013 7/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 79 min
Labelled as a horror movie this is mostly a stylish arthouse movie with plenty of slow-motion sequences accompanied by EDM tracks. I like it. The plot follows a young woman who's living with her parents, an alcoholic father and a very religious mother. At the same time there's the theme of an old lady's ghost who is still looking for her children after she was the sole survivor of a tsunami in the 1600s. I can't really comprehend the last scene that serves as a coda to the plot.
Spoiler
1. Kraben rahu 2018 — a.k.a. Manta Ray 6/10 - Thailand 🇹🇭 102 min
2. Insiang 1976 8-/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 94 min
3. Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal & a Whore 2014 6/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 73 min
4. Rak ti Khon Kaen 2015 — a.k.a. Cemetery of Splendor 6/10 - Thailand 🇹🇭 120 min
5. How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) 2015 7/10 - Thailand 🇹🇭 79 min
6. Sekala Niskala 2017 — a.k.a. The Seen and Unseen 6/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 82 min
7. L'image manquante 2013 — a.k.a. The Missing Picture 7/10 - Cambodia 🇰🇭 95 min
8. Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag 1975 — a.k.a. Manila in the Claws of Light 9-/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 126 min
9. The Look of Silence 2014 8/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 103 min
10. Daun di atas bantal 1998 — a.k.a. Leaf on a Pillow 6/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 79 min
11. A Guerra da Beatriz 2013 — a.k.a. Beatriz's War 6/10 - Timor-Leste 🇹🇱 101 min
12. Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak 2017 — a.k.a. Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts 8/10 - Indonesia 🇮🇩 93 min
13. How to Disappear Completely 2013 7/10 - Philippines 🇵🇭 79 min
Current recommendation: Monday (2000)


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Current focus: Directors: Rossellini, Sabu

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psychotronicbeatnik
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#119

Post by psychotronicbeatnik »

15. Dek hor; aka: Dorm (2006 / Songyos Sugmakanan / Thailand) FTV 7+/10 {110 m.}

Mad Monster Party?! Goes Southeast Asian!
1. Gancore Gud; aka: Dead Bite (2011 / Apisit Opasaimlikit / Thailand) FTV 6+/10 {94 m.}
2. Vampariah (2016 / Matthew Abaya / Philippines) FTV 6/10 {90 m.}
3. Brides of Blood (1968 / Gerardo de Leon, Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 7+/10 {97 m.}
4. Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968 / Gerardo de Leon, Eddie Romero / Philippines) 7/10 {95 m.}
5. Beast of Blood (1970 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) 7+/10 {90 m.}
6. The Beast of the Yellow Night (1971 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) 6+/10 {90 m.}
7. Raw Force (1982 / Edward Murphy / Philippines) 8/10 {86 m.}
8. Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan; aka: Lady Terminator (1989 / H. Tjut Djalil / Indonesia) 8/10 {82 m.}
9. Seed of Darkness (2006 / Michael Chuah / Malaysia) FTV 5/10 {102 m.}
10. The Attic (2017 / Kaprice Kea / Thailand) FTV 5/10 {72 m.}
11. The Twilight People (1972 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 5+/10 {81 m.}
12. Beyond Atlantis (1973 / Eddie Romero / Philippines) FTV 7-/10 {91 m.}
13. The Offering (2016 / Kelvin Tong / Singapore) FTV 5/10 {95 m.}
14. Demons (2018 / Daniel Hui / Singapore) FTV 7/10 {84 m.}
15. Dek hor; aka: Dorm (2006 / Songyos Sugmakanan / Thailand) FTV 7+/10 {110 m.}

Views: 15 / FTV’s: 10 / Doubles w/ Horror Challenge: 15 / {1359 m.}
mjf314
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#120

Post by mjf314 »

Spoiler
1. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 1
2. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 2
3. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 3
4. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 4
5. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 5
6. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 6
7. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 7
8. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 8
9. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 9
10. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 10
11. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 11
12. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 12
13. The Gifted (2018, Thailand) episode 13
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