Bloodstone: Subspecies II (1993)

Didn’t Radu die in the first Subspecies?

Well, yeah. But now his minions have simply reattached his head and taken the stake from out of his heart, allowing him to Hicks and Newt the hero of the first film, Stefan, killing him within moments of the film’s opening, sending heroine Michele to Bucharest with the titular Bloodstone in the hopes of getting help from her sister Becky.

Meanwhile, Radu’s mother — yes, known as Mummy — comes on the scene and tries to help him turn Michele to the side of the vampires, which leads directly into Bloodlust: Subspecies 3, which was shot at the same time as this film.

A rare sequel that is even better than the original, this starts strong and gets even better, with actually scary moments and a multi-layered antagonist. I don’t own the box set and action figure of Radu for nothing.

You can watch this on Tubi.

BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Attrazione Pericolosa (1993)

Dangerous Attraction tells the story of Carlo Monti (Gabriele Gori, The Bronx Executioner), a graduate student who wants to discover why his mother mysteriously died and get to know if his father — who was an Italian exploitation director — was involved. And who better to tell the tale of the foibles and vices of the scummy side of the Italian film industry than Pierre Le Blanc, who we all know is none other than Bruno Mattei?

Carlo discovers his father’s home, which is packed with trunks filled with old scripts and posters of his films. It’s also where he meets Emma (Monica Carpanese, Madness), who claims to be his sister yet still becomes incredibly attractive to our hero.

This film finds itself — like most of the direct-to-video erotic thrillers released in the 90s — between the softcore film and the giallo. This has an intriguing theme — who is Carlo’s father, why did he potentially kill his mother in a car accident and, this being an Italian movie, will he sleep with his half-sister — to keep things moving across 88 minutes.

As for Carlo’s father, he’s played by David Warbeck, a veteran of Italian film, thanks to appearances in The BeyondThe Ark of the Sun GodMiami GolemRatmanDomino and Fatal Frames. It was pretty great to see — for me — a major name show up in one of Mattei’s late period films.

Here’s hoping someone — Severin, one would assume — gets all of these 90s Mattei movies out sooner or later. If we can enjoy a gorgeous version of Fulci’s The Devil’s Honey, why not Attrazione Pericolosa?

BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Gatta Ala Pari (1993)

Ninì Grassia may have wrote, produced and wrote the music for this film, but in moments you can tell that it was directed by our pal Bruno Mattei, who didn’t even use one of his many names and just went anonymous (although Gianni Cozzolino, who did second unit on Mattei’s Legittima Vendetta and Omicidio al Telefono is listed as the director on IMDB).

Suria and her sister Nancy (Cristina Barsacchi, First Action Hero) are two young women from a wealthy family with very diferent love lives. Nancy plans to marry Roger, while Suria and her husband James (Antonio Zequila, who shows up in so many of Mattei’s softcore nineties output) constantly sleep around on one another.

Their lives change when Roger runs over a woman named Baby Ryan, which is the most hilarious character name I’ve heard of in some time. She’s played by Malù, the former adult star Ramba who is attempting to go legit. Yes, working with Bruno Mattei can be considered going legit.

The truth is that Baby Ryan is really Frank’s — the guardian of Suria’s villa — lover, but Frank is sleeping with Suria and this young girl gets intertwined into everyone’s lives, learning that James wants to sleep with her when he isn’t also having a bedroom rodeo with his secretary and maid.

But oh, the truth takes this movie from just a sexy Cinemax film to the realm of the giallo, as Baby Ryan is actually James’ sister. Their mother died young because she was so disgusted with her son, which is a very Italian mother reason for dying. That means that everyone decides to set him up with an orgy, because just divorcing the guy is not enough, convincing Frank that his sister has given him some oral cuddling, which is somehow a punishable offense in Italy. You’d never guess that from their movies, but there you go. Frank is shamed and everyone decides to live together and there will never be any jealousy issues or weirdness ever again.

If you ever wonder, what exactly is a Bruno Mattei completist, it would be the person who sought out this movie, found it and posted it to numerous internet sites. That would be me. I probably should be ashamed of my addiction.

Alien Intruder (1993)

“In the Year 2022 we made contact . . . too bad.”
— When copywriters know it’s all crap and just give up

So, what do you get when you cross Ridley Scott’s Alien with Robert Aldrich’s 1967 war classic The Dirty Dozen? Oh, and what the hell, a little pinch from Escape from New York can’t hurt. Oh, and let’s pinch Hal (and fem and porn ’em up a bit) from 2001: A Space Odyssey while we are at it. And since we can’t afford to pay twelve actors, we’ll get a dirty quartet. And the budget can swing a Lando Calrissian for a bargain and a song.

Saddle up, boys! Let’s make a movie! Yee-haw!

VHS image courtesy of ronniejamesdiode/eBay.

Commander Skyler (a sadly slumming Billy Dee Williams) offers four convicts (lead by the deserves-better-than-this Maxwell Caulfield) doing life at Earth’s New Alcatraz Maximum Security Prison the chance to have their sentences commuted for a “routine space salvage” mission. Of course, it’s all on a “need to know,” natch, and what they don’t know is that Captain Dorman (Jeff Conway, really hitting rock bottom) of the U.S.S. Holly became addicted to a virtual reality program run by the ship’s computer and he killed everyone on board.

Oh, and, in the grand tradition of Space Mutiny (yes, this movie also has a wealth of “rail kills”), Jeff’s space freighter interiors’ shoot-out was shot in the back of a wholesale warehouse (when you see the concrete floors and floor-to-ceiling metal shelves, you’ll see what we mean). Eh, why not. Let’s shoot inside a factory, too, since all of those pipes and valves look like the ship’s “engineering section.” Yeah, just tack up those corrugated metal sheets over there . . . and wire up some tube lights over there . . . hot glue some scrap metal and nobby-thingys over there. . . . Dude, where’s all of those leftover sets from Roger Corman’s Battle Beyond the Stars when you need ’em? I mean, what the hell, Rog? You lent them out to Fred Olen Ray to make Star Slammer in 1994. (Oh, guess what . . . Alien Intruder was, in fact, shot inside an old Oscar Mayer meat processing plant in Los Angeles. So, there you go!)

My space ship has a first name . . .

Anyhoo, Commander Skyler, his four convicts, and their “Mother,” aka, a Postironic “Model 4” Android, hop on board the U.S.S. Presley and head off into deep space for the “dreaded G-Sector” . . . and, what the hell? We’re in the Wild, Wild West, then a reenactment of Casablanca, and then an old ’50s biker flick? Huh? Maxwell Caulfield is running in a pair of Speedos, riding a surf board, and taking soft-porn showers with a beach bunny? And why is ex-model-turned-actress Tracy Scoggins in all of these scenes, smoking? (Oh, and if the western scenes look familiar, that’s because it’s the same sets from CBS-TV’s Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman on the Paramount Ranch back lot.)

Oh, I get it . . . to help the crew cope with the stress of long space flights, they bed down in virtual reality simulators to live out their fantasies. Of course, the computer’s VR-self is Ariel, a seductress in the form of . . . yep, Tracy Scoggins (of the ABC-TV prime time soaps Dynasty and The Colbys; Captain Elizabeth Lochley during the final season of Babylon 5 in 1998). And, before you know it, the crew is at each other’s throats for her skin-tight, red-dressed affections. Oh, I get it . . . Ariel is actually an “alien organism-cum-virus” that exists in the “dreaded G-Sector” and reprograms any invading ship’s computer to kill everyone on board.

We think.

What the frack is this feldergarb? No, we can’t blame this on Battlestar Galactica or Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (both which actually look better than this space romp, if you can believe that). No, we’re blaming this on Star Trek: The Next Generation, courtesy of that show’s Holodeck tomfoolery. But, you know what? As bad as it all is, Alien Intruder has a Space Mutiny-like fan base (and if you’ve seen that space ditty, you know what we mean); it’s fun to watch because the actors, while down on their luck, are giving it their everything. One fan, who runs the You Tube page bmoviereviews, went as far as to isolate several choice action sequences and dialog vignettes:

Billy Dee Williams Gets Smoked
DJ Bites It
Entering the G-Sector
Flamethower Death
“Hey, screw you, Mancuzo!”
“I’ll Fry Your Cortex”
Quit Yer Bitch’n Get In Yer Pod”

And it’s all courtesy of PM Entertainment, who brought us Anna Nicole Smith in all of her action hero bad-assness in Skyscraper (1996). If you need a heavy fix of movies starring Wings Hauser, Erik Estrada, Dan Haggerty, Traci Lords, Lorenzo Lamas, Sam Jones, and even more films starring Maxwell Caulfield, as well as William Forsythe, Micheal Ironside, and Jeff Fahey — basically all of the actors we love here at B&S About Movies — then look no further than the defunct PM Entertainment imprint (1989 – 2002). You can read up on the studio at their extensive Wikipage.

Now, if those clips and the trailer don’t do it for ya, you can free-stream Alien Intruder in its entirety on You Tube. And when you have a chance to see an alien Tracy Scoggins take a bubble bath, how can you not?

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

Lifepod (1993) and (1981), and Inhumanoid, aka Lifepod (1996)

“It’s a homage, not a remake.”
— Tony Award-winning actor Ron Silver about his film directing debut

If you’re familiar with the classic, 1944 Hitchcock source material, you know that Lifeboat* was a World War II-set psychological thriller about a group of shipwrecked survivors adrift in a lifeboat — and they have to depend on a surviving Nazi officer to sail them to rescue.

This Fox Television sci-fi version — which aired simultaneously as a commercial-free Cinemax cable exclusive, was produced by Trilogy Entertainment, the studio that also produced Ron Howard’s firefighter drama Backdraft and Kevin Costner’s big screen Robin Hood romp — is written by Jay Roach, whose expansive resume has given us everything from the ’80s Animal House-inspired radio romp Zoo Radio to the Oscar-beloved Bombshell.

We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert.

This time out, our group of survivors (a great cast of Silver, Robert Loggia, C.C.H. Pounder, and Adam Storke, who you’ll recall as Larry Underwood in the ’94 TV adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand) are lost somewhere between Venus and Earth on Christmas Eve in the year 2169 on a shuttle craft jettisoned from an exploded spacecruiser. And they spend the rest of the film — in plotting that reminds of John Carpenter’s The Thing remake — bickering over who is alien-infected set the bomb that destroyed their ship and has already murdered one of the survivors.

So, do the Star Wars-inspired bells and whistles satiate the younger Starlog magazine subscriber-set in digesting Hitchcock? Well, courtesy of the remake homage’s financial and creative backing by Trilogy and Fox, the production values are high and the acting is top notch . . . but didn’t we see this film already? Wasn’t this fodder for an old ’80s Battlestar Galactica or Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode? Weren’t Starbuck and Cassiopeia or Buck and Wilma lost on a lifepod with a gaggle of ne’er do wells before their series cancellations?

Me and Kristin DeBell stuck in a space pod? Sounds like heaven.

No . . . wait a minute . . . now I remember! I’m thinking of the screenwriting and directing debut of go-to TV main titles designer Bruce Bryant (Salvage I) and his sci-fi remake (not a homage; this time) of the Hitchcock concept with 1981’s Lifepod. And that one, starring TV’s Joe Penny (Jake and the Fatman) and Kristin DeBell (Meatballs), and was made by producer Allan Sandler for Gold Key Entertainment for the VHS home video shelves. And yes . . . we are talking about the same Gold Key who gave us the early ’70s kid adventures of H.R Pufnstuff and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. But, since this is B&S About Movies: Gold Key unleashed the likes of Amando de Ossorio’s Fangs of the Living Dead (1969), I Eat Your Skin (1971), UFO’s: It Has Begun (1981), Piranha (1982), and Don Dohler’s The Alien Factor upon the unsuspecting drive-in masses. (Is this the same Gold Key who also produced comic books; my beloved cheap jack Space Family Robinson issues bought in a three-pack off the comic rack at my local strip mall bookstore, in particular?)

Anyhoos . . . the Joe Penny one is set 22 years after the Ron Silver one, in the year 2191, with the maiden voyage of the Whitestar Lines’ (know your British nautical history) new Arcturus cruiser in jeopardy on the way to Saturn. Hey, wait a minute . . . this is SST: Death Flight all over again! No, wait . . . Starflight One (where’s Lee Majors?)**. Ugh, don’t you follow along, B&S readers: Lifepod ’81 is the same, but different: we have a talking “Mother” computer, like Alien, natch, who alerts everyone to abandoned ship . . . so instead of planting a bomb, the ship’s “main cerebral” is sabotaged. See, different. Oh, no! Wait . . . the ship was originally intended as an interstellar exploration vessel and the greedy corporation refitted the Arcturus into a pleasure cruiser . . . so, what we really have here is Hitchcock meets Kurbrick, aka a confused Hal has another temper tantrum over mission directives. But since there’s more than one lifepod bouncing amid the stars, we also have a touch of James Cameron’s Titanic in the pinch-o-rama spacestakes.

Wait, what? Oh, by the Lords of Kobol . . . not another Lifepod movie! Is Glen Larson committing sci-fi larceny, again? Roger Corman, are you making more cheapjack sci-fi cable movies? Ugh, not more footage and sets from Space Raiders, again. Please, spare us the Buck Rogers plastic sets, Glen.

Aka, Lifepod. What, no “3” suffix, Mr. Distributor?

While it’s not a Larsen or Corman flick (Oh, no! A “Roger Corman Presents” title card!), this is, in fact, a third Lifepod flick, one that’s also known as Circuit Breaker and Inhumanoid in various markets. In this version of the battle of the Lifeboat/Lifepod sci-fi homages remakes reboots, this one was released direct-to-video in 1996 and stars Richard Grieco (Art of the Dead) and Corin Bernsen (The Dentist). Ah, oh, okay . . . I see, it’s not the same, but different (you know, like when Within the Rock clipped Armageddon and Creature), since, in addition to Lifeboat, they’ve also ripped the 1989 Sam Neill-Nicole Kidman starrer Dead Calm — with Richard Grieco as the star-stranded galactic serial killer, aka the Billy Zane role, and Corbin in the Sam Neill role. And I refuse, on principle, to ever watch it: ever, as I have my limits on how much galactic feldercarb I can swallow a secton. Hey, wait a sec . . . yep, ol’ Rog is copycatin’ again! Event Horizon, which started out with the pitch of “Dead Calm in space” (and became something completely different by the time it hit the big screen), came out in 1997 — and it starred Sam Neill. Bravo, Rog! You beat ’em to the punch, again!

2001: A Space Boat Odyssey.

I have, however, watched the 1981 and 1993 Lifepod flicks, and truth be told: they’re really not that bad and both are solid on the production and acting fronts (the ’81 Penny over ’93 Silver for me). But I have not watched the flurry of pumped-out-in-quick-succession sci-fi flicks by writer-director-producer Allan Sandler (and his partner, Robert Emenegger) between 1980-1981 under the Gold Key banner:

  • Beyond the Universe — Starring familiar TV actor Christopher Cary of Planet Earth.
  • Captive – Staring Cameron Mitchell and ubiquitous TV actor David Ladd.
  • Escape from DS-3 — Stars Cameron Mitchell’s son, Jr.; he had a small role in Space Mutiny with his dad and sister, Cissy. (If you haven’t seen it — and you’re into “prison in space” flicks — pencil this one on your watch list.)
  • The Killings at Outpost Zeta — Jackson Bostwick, aka ’70s Saturday Morning TV’s Captain Marvel!
  • Laboratory — Another Mitchell daughter, Camille, stars alongside Martin Kove (John Kreese from The Karate Kid!).
  • PSI Factor — Starring familiar TV actress Gretchen Corbett and go-to TV bad guy Peter Mark Richman (one of his films was Jason Takes Manhattan).
  • Time Warp — Corbett and Cam Jr. returns, along with Adam West.
  • Warp Speed — Cam Jr., Camille and West returns, along with TV actors David Roya (Law & Order franchise) and Barry Gordon (Archie Bunker’s Place).
  • Lifepod — The best-known and distributed of the bunch, thanks to an also-pay cable run and the presence of the always likable Joe Penny (then hot with TV’s The Gangster Chronicles and the syndicated Rip Tide).

So, based on these film’s syndicated UHF-TV and VHS quick releases and common-cast actors throughout (including many more, familiar ’70s TV actors in support), rest assure — without even seeing the films — I’ll bank that there’s plenty of stock prop, set, and footage recycling (with production design courtesy of Steven Speilberg’s sister, Ann!) amid the planets. Are two films with Adam West enough to make you hit the big red streaming button? Uh . . . after the likes of Omega Cop and Zombie Nightmare . . . Magic 8-Ball says, “Proceed at your own peril” with Sandler’s space opera oeuvres of the Corman-Larson suspicious recycle variety. (Plus, I am too lazy to Google all of those titles. Go find your own damn movie links for a change.*˟)

You can stream the 1981 Joe Penny “remake, not a homage” version on Amazon Prime (and You Tube) and the 1993 Ron Silver “homage, not a remake” version on Amazon Prime (and You Tube). Oh, if you absolutely must defy the Magic 8 Ball’s heeds . . . you can watch the 1996 Richard Grieco one on You Tube.

* From the “Everything You Wanted to Know About Lifeboat but Were Afraid to Ask” Department: Film Talk Society answers all the questions with their “Beginners Guide to Alfred Hitchcock: Lifeboat” feature.

** Be sure to check out our Lee Majors Week tribute of film reviews. We are also reviewing Battlestar Galactica and Within the Rock during this week’s “Space Week” tribute, so look for them.

From the “Never Say Never, Young Warrior” Department: A month after writing this review, I caved and skimmed all of ’em (but Warp Speed held my interest as the best of the bunch, as far as acting, sets, and script; it reminds of a cheaper Silent Running). Let’s put it this way: Are you into Alfonso Brescia Italian space operas (and who isn’t; see our “Drive-In Friday: Pasta Wars” tribute to Uncle Al’s five Star Wars rips¹), or hankering for Ark II, Jason of Star Command, and Space Academy Saturday Morning “Star Wars” homages, or wondered if there were pseudo-sequels (at least in style and tone) to the Canadian Star Wars rip that is The Shape of Things to Come? Did NBC-TV’s plastic Star Wars hopefuls The Martian Chronicles and Brave New World capture your imagination? Well, then, you’ll have yourself a fun-filled weekend of it-ain’t-George Lucas-or-even-Glen Larson-it’s-Allan Sandler movie watching to occupy your time adrift on that intergalactic lifepod that Alfred Hitchcock built. And yes, there’s stock footage, sets, props, and costume recycling adrift in those there star, Big Hoss.

¹ Check out our month-long “Star Wars” tribute blowout rife with over 50 space opera droppings and clones reviews.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

The Heroic Trio (1993)

An invisible woman — actually, Invisible Woman as played by Michelle Yeoh — is stealing newborn children who are destined to be world leaders for her boss, the Evil Master. He needs to be stopped but Invisible Woman owes him her life after leaving behind an abusive father. Luckily, she has two other heroes to push her to the path of righteousness — Wonder Woman (Anita Mui), who is the mild-manner wife of a cop by day and a sword and knife-wielding heroine by night and Thief Catcher (Maggie Cheung), a motorcycle-riding, bomb-throwing mercenary struggling to also find her good side.

It was produced by Ching Siu-tung (who directed A Chinese Ghost Story) and directed by Johnnie To, who was also the director for its thematically different sequel, Executioners.

Let me be perfectly clear: this movie is everything that I want in a film, with monstrous bad guys, unstoppable women and plenty of kinetic martial arts. Sure, it’s often style over substance, but that’s quite often exactly what I’m looking for.

 

Iron Monkey (1993 HK/2001 U.S.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a ghostwriter of personal memoirs for Story Terrace London and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

I saw Iron Monkey for the first time during its 2001 U.S. release.

Settling into my seat, I knew relatively nothing about it other than it was considered a modern classic Kung Fu film. When I realized it was about young Wong Fei Hung it was like opening a surprise gift. Being a big fan of Once Upon a Time in China with Jet Li and being familiar with the long, rich cinematic history of the character in HK movies made Iron Monkey even more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise.

I patiently waited for the Wong Fei Hung theme music to kick in. When it never did, I realized it was because the film had been re-scored for the American release. The cinematic equivalent of watching a James Bond film without the classic theme. That being said, the music in this version was actually pretty good when compared with some of the criminal hack jobs Miramax perpetrated on to other Asian films in the ‘90s. Quentin Tarantino’s name in the credits no doubt had something to do with the overall respect shown here. That it was given a wide release in North America with subtitles is a glorious thing.

Iron Monkey tells the story of a Dr. (Yu Rong Guang) who dons a mask during his off-time to steal riches from corrupt village officials and give the money to the poor. When a pre-teen Wong Fei Hung (played in the grand Cantonese tradition by a female – Angie Tsang) and his legendary father Wong Kai-Ying (Donnie Yen) come to town, it makes for one of the best Kung Fu movies I’ve ever seen. Each fight is better than the last and the final battle, which takes place mostly on top of wooden poles over a burning fire is truly a thing of beauty. Younger audiences will be familiar with Donnie’s amazing fighting techniques from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The equally talented Yen Shi-Kwan (Iron Robe Yim from OUATIC) plays the main baddie.

Every time I read a discussion centered on this film, everyone always goes on and on about Yuen Woo-Ping. He is indeed a brilliant artist. However, I feel just as much of the credit for the success of Iron Monkey should go to Producer/Writer Tsui Hark. I have viewed other films from roughly the same time period of both men and have to say that I have consistently enjoyed Tsui Hark’s body of work more than Yuen Woo-Ping’s. Iron Monkey is a great collaboration and should be viewed by all who are even the slightest bit curious about Kung Fu films.

The Untold Story (1993)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Upton is an American (non-werewolf) writer/editor in London. She currently works as a ghostwriter of personal memoirs for Story Terrace London and writes for several blogs on topics as diverse as film history, punk rock, women’s issues, and international politics. For links to her work, please visit https://www.jennuptonwriter.com or send her a Tweet @Jennxldn

To understand the intense lead performance in The Untold Story, we must first learn about the performer. Anthony Wong Chau-Sang was born on September 2, 1961, to a Chinese mother and a British father. His father later abandoned the family, leaving Wong the man of the house.

Growing up in Hong Kong with mixed lineage was difficult. His classmates teased him and eventually quit high school. His career as an actor began purely by accident when a friend asked him to accompany him to an audition at the ATV television studio. Ironically, Wong got in and his friend didn’t. He then attended the prestigious Academy of Performing Arts. His film debut appearance was in 1985’s My Name Ain’t Suzie. 1992 would be the turning point in his career when he appeared in  two highly recognizable roles opposite Chow Yun-Fat in Ringo Lam’s Full Contact and John Woo’s Hard Boiled. In 1993, he made a big splash (literally and figuratively) with his role as real-life Macau serial killer Wong Chi Hang in The Untold Story. The film justifiably propelled him to stardom in Asia. The performance is exceptional. For his efforts, Wong won the first of many acting awards and would lay the foundation for an exemplary career.

Don’t watch this expecting a re-hash of its contemporary cannibal thriller Silence of the Lambs. Being a Category III film, The Untold Story is a far more painful a film to watch. Wong Chi Hang is far less charismatic than Hannibal Lecter. The viewer often walks the line between hating Hang and actually feeling a bit sorry for him as he withstands beating upon beating at the hands of Macau police. Danny Lee plays the Chief Inspector who shows up with a new woman on his arm in every scene. Rather than being sympathetic like Clarice Starling, he’s almost as loathsome as Chi Hang himself. The realism comes to a crescendo when Anthony Wong vomits noodles for real on cue. Both the actor and director Herman Yau verified this on the audio commentary track of the special edition DVD. A splash indeed. 

After days of questioning, Wong Chi Hang finally confesses. He not only killed a lot of people, but he disposed of their remains by grinding them up and using them to make “Human Barbecued Pork Buns” or Cha Siu Bao (a tasty little Dim Sum item made from fluffy dough with a savory BBQ pork filling.)

This film is not for the squeamish by a long shot. The flashback scenes at the end where we get to see what Chi Hang did to his victims are probably some of the most brutal of the ‘90s and include incredibly sadistic acts of sexual violence.

If you can stomach it, it’s definitely worth watching for the great acting and creepy realism. Although many films have now eclipsed it in terms of violence, gorehounds will probably enjoy this Category III classic. Chopsticks will never be the same. Ever.

The Bride with the White Hair (1993)

Lian Nichang, the main character of this film, comes from Liang Yusheng’s novel Baifa Monü Zhuan, which also served as source material for Wolf Devil Woman. However, director Ronny Yu saw this film as more of a romance than a fighting movie, believing that the central story was truly about the struggled against fate and the need to fulfill heroic duty.

Zhuo Yihang (Leslie Cheung) is a swordsman raised in the world of chivalry, charged with leading the eight major martial arts schools against an evil cult led by cojoined twins named Ji Wushuang. Those very same twins have raised Lian Nichang (Brigette Lin), a wolf-girl orphaned as an infant, making her one of the strongest martial artists of all time.

Can two enemies find love despite being raised to hate one another? And when forced to turn upon one another, can anyone survive?

This is a gorgeous film that demands to be watched. It’s like a moving painting, a film that’s just as much a romance as one devoted to wire work and swordplay. And for people like me who demand those types of things, there is stil plenty of fight scenes.

You could say that this movie looks like a dream, but I’ve never had one quite so vivid.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Precious Victims (1993)

Paula and Robert Sims (Park Overall and Robby Benson) are in a bind. Their twelve-day-old baby has been kidnapped and they beg the public for help. Sadly, their daughter is soon found dead to great sympathy. But when the same thing happens three years later, well, that’s when the law — Sheriff Frank Yocom (Frank Forrest) and Agent Jimmy Bivens (Brion James) — get involved.

Originally airing on CBS on September 28, 1993, this was a ripped from the headlines movie based on the book by Charles Bosworth Jr. and Don W. Weber. It’s directed by Peter Levin, who also brought us A Killer Among UsDeadly NightshadeThe Royal Romance of Charles and Diana and plenty of episodic TV.

This has a really solid supporting cast with Richard Thomas, Eileen Brennan, Nancy Cartwright, Robyn Lively (top that, Teen Witch!) and Cliff DeYoung.

Robert Sims comes off as a maniac, forcing his wife and daughters to sleep in the basement because of their smell and continually growing angry because he can’t have sons. And he’s the innocent one!

Now that I spoiled this, you can watch it on YouTube.