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The White-Bone Sword Part 2 (Review)

The White-Bone Sword (Part 2)

aka 白骨陰陽劍(下集) aka The Yin Yang Blade aka Ingentious Swords, Part Two aka Bai gu yin yang jian, xia ji
White-boned Sword
1962HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Ling Yun

Dancing with the Trees never took off like Dancing with the Stars did…

The magic of The White-boned Sword continues with Part 2, which features slightly less monsters but slightly more martial intrigue. Which means the entry is less friendly for watching without subtitles. There is some nice sword fights, nice animated martial effects, and the return of the Tree Spirit. But there is also a bunch of people arguing, a pointless martial tournament, and weird pipe fighting that sounds cool but gets old really quick. A disappointing second entry, but the next two parts give us some more monsters so I’ll take this brief break in the fun.
White-boned Sword

Wong Tin-ho (Walter Tso Tat-wah) – Helping Luk Fong-fei and Black Girl train along with Wu Sheung-fung, but is drawn into more sword-related martial intrigue. Doesn’t really do much amazing stuff in this entry.
Wu Sheung-fung (Yu So Chow) – Still helping Wong Tin-ho train Luk Fong-fei and Black Girl, she proves her martial superiority early in this entry, and even tricks some of the dumbest villains in martial history.
Luk Fong-fei (Connie Chan Po-chu) – Daughter of a murdered family and training to get revenge, while also being a rebellious teen who sneaks out to do more martial arts stuff. Like teens do.
Pak Ha-mui aka Black Girl (Yip Wai-Ngai) – Daughter of a murdered mother and possessor of magic swords. She also is easily offended when you blame her for people being killed. She’s so over being part of a franchise and being responsible for magic swords
Vampire Lady (Kong Bo-Lin) – Vampire Lady is back in domino form. This is probably her weakest appearance in the series, but she makes up for it in the other entries.
Tree Spirit (Himself) – He’s dead but he’s back, because you can’t kill a spirit. Or at least a spirit that is connected to the sword via magic and it can summon him to fight evil.
Ghost Mother (Kam Ying-Lin) – The nefarious Ghost Mother returns, now teamed up with a new group of baddies who don’t give her any respect. She’s graduated from being the big bad to being the person killed by worse villains just to show how evil they are. At one point the synopsis calls her Blue Flower Ghostly Mother so that’s probably her full, legal name for you trivia buffs out there!
Pipe Guy (Chow Gat) – Part of a pipe-based martial sect who briefly orchestrates posession of the White-boned Swords before his group is easily tricked out of them. That must not be tobacco they are smoking in those pipes!
Sek Kin 2.0 (Sek Kin) – I never figured out what his character name was, but Sek Kin 2.0 keeps up the tradition and dies just like his identical twin brother did in Part 1. He works with the Five Element Taoists in a sword-snatching scheme that backfires because they are the villains and not the heroes in the story, you see. His name might be Three-hand Lohan Mak Tin-lung, which is a cool name but as I couldn’t prove it was him, it will go unassigned until I use it in a story I write years form now…
Old Devilish Eccentric (Ling Mung) – A mad wondering monk who is good and trains Black Girl after she runs off after fighting with Luk Fong-fei. The world needs more crazy martial guys who wander around and live in trees, so I support him 100%!

White-boned Sword
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

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Open Marriage opens the problems on Lifetime!

Open Marriage

Is this an open marriage or a square dancing session?

I love reading relationship subreddits because of the piles and piles of drama, but one thing that has become a very common problem in recent years is people opening up their relationship and leading it to ruin. (Before I go on, yes, sometimes things work out, but we’re obviously not talking about those rare occasions!) Often, it looks like one partner is pressuring the other into it to get some guilt-free cheating, which isn’t really an open relationship nor respectful to your partner. Occasionally, those stories then flip while the one who was eager for the open relationship strikes out while their reluctant partner is bombarded with hot new partners. Basically, it’s drama city, full of ridiculous and cool stories, and add that to the mix of everything else going on in the relationship forums and…wow!

The next logical step is for these relationships to show up on Lifetime, and here they are with Open Marriage! Let’s bring on the drama…

Becca and Ron’s marriage is in a rut; it’s been months since they’ve been intimate. When their friends Mindy and Max tell them they’ve been experimenting with an open marriage and it’s done wonders, Becca and Ron are reluctant to the idea. But they can’t deny their curiosity and the two couples switch partners for a night of wild pleasure. The spark in Becca and Ron’s marriage has been reignited, and the more they experiment, the more their passion is fueled. But as they spiral into a world where anything goes, heartbreak and betrayal soon follow. As Becca and Ron’s marriage gets worse, a stranger secretly watches them, luring them away from each other. It’s only when their marriage reaches its breaking point that the stalker makes their presence known and paints a twisted fantasy that can only end in bloodshed.

Open marriage betrayal and a stalker who is obviously one of the people in the other couple. It can only be Lifetime!

Open Marriage stars Nikki Leigh (Unlucky Charms), Tilky Jones (Never Back Down), Kelly Dowdle (Big Momma’s House 2), Jason Tobias (The Adventures of Avery & Pete), and Debra Wilson (Knight to F4). It is written by Jason Byers (His only credit) and directed by Sam Irvin (Deadly Skies), and was formally known as To Have and To Kill

Open Marriage premieres Saturday, January 14th on Lifetime!

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 1:07 am

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Under the Bed brings the stalker inside the house on Lifetime!

Under the Bed Lifetime

Just when you thought you were safe from all your stalkers by going inside, one of them has to up the game and live under your bed! That’s the horrifying premise of Lifetime’s latest flick, Under the Bed. Yes, this actually happened in real life and not in the stories you tell at campfires! We all know that truth is stranger than fiction, but then fiction then gets an SVU episode as well as a Lifetime flick, and here we are. This one looks spooktacularly creepy, and has the potential to be even scarier than if monsters or aliens were running around in the house.

What makes this worth knowing about is the director is one of the directors of the original Blair Witch Project, Daniel Myrick, and if the preview is indicative of the whole film, there will be several scenes of creepy POV night footage of the stalker madman just to make everything even more disturbing.

Under the Bed stars Hannah New (Maleficent), Beverly D’Angelo (Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay), Pat Healy (Home Alone 3), Ryan O’Nan (Albion: The Enchanted Stallion), Alexis Krause (Baby Booty Camp), and Toni Garrn (You Are Wanted). It’s directed by Daniel Myrick (The Blair Witch Project), who also scripts it from a story by Richard Halpern (W.M.D.)

Under the Bed premieres Saturday, January 7th on Lifetime!

via Lifetime

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 6, 2017 at 7:58 pm

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The White-Bone Sword Part 1 (Review)

The White-Bone Sword (Part 1)

aka 白骨陰陽劍(上集) aka White-Boned Sword (Part 1) aka The Yin Yang Blade aka Ingentious Swords, Part One aka Bai Gu Yin Yang Jian, Shang Ji
White-Boned Sword
1962HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Ling Yun

White-Boned Sword
Break out the vintage machine because we’ve got some classic Cantonese fantasy wuxia for your entertainment. The White-Bone Sword dates from 1962, and is a four-part epic that features plenty of kung fu battles, along with lots of animated martial effects and three wonderful monsters to add to our Field Guide to Cantonese Fantasy Monsters and Creatures!

The White-Bone Sword (which also goes by a lot of names such as The Yin Yang Blade and Ingentious Swords, “Ingentious” isn’t even a real word so someone done goofed up the translation machine! The Chinese title 白骨陰陽劍 has “white bone” in the name so we’re going with The White-Bone Sword as the “real” English title) is based on a serial novel by Luk Yu featured in the newspaper Wah Sing Pao. I am guessing the story has the same name in the paper, but that wasn’t explicitly stated, so don’t take that as gospel. We’re going to call the sword the White-Bone Sword, but don’t be too shocked if a stray White-Boned Sword or two slips in.

The White-Bone Sword was the inaugural film series from Longway Movie Enterprise production company, which would make about six or seven other films before disappearing. It’s directed by Ling Yun (who would go on to direct the excellent Buddha’s Palm films!) and the scripts are by Sze-To On, who wrote over 250 Hong Kong movies and if you’re even a moderate fan of Hong Kong cinema you will have seen something he wrote. Basically, this is a great creative pedigree that helped produce an above average fantasy flick series that has some cool monsters and effects even as it suffers from some of the conventions of the day, such as a slower pace and weird filler spots. As usual with these rarities, there are no English subtitles, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!
White-Boned Sword

Wong Tin-ho (Walter Tso Tat-wah) – Martial arts hero selected by his sifu to track down the White-Bone Sword along with Wu Sheung-fung. Ends up saving Luk Fong-fei and Black Girl again and again.
Wu Sheung-fung (Yu So Chow) – Martial arts heroine selected by her sifu to track down the White-Bone Sword along with Wong Tin-ho. Ends up saving Luk Fong-fei and Black Girl again and again.
Luk Fong-fei (Connie Chan Po-chu) – Daughter of a nice local dignitary until he’s murdered and their house is torched by Ghost Mother and her gang. Flees with Black Girl and her servant with the gang in pursuit until Wong Tin-ho and Wu Sheung-fung begin saving them.
Pak Ha-mui aka Black Girl (Yip Wai-Ngai) – Her mother Pak Ching-wah has a secret knife that can kill the Tree Spirit that guards the White-Bone Sword, but luckily she hid it by giving it to her daughter. Pak Ching-wah was murdered along with Luk Fong-fei’s father by the Ghost Mother gang, and Black Girl seeks revenge. Yip Wai-Ngai is sometimes called Yip Wai-yee.
Vampire Lady (Kong Bo-Lin) – Though we don’t know her real name, Vampire Lady was ubiquitous in the series and often saves the day after our heroes get in trouble bumbling into villains. She commands an army of hopping vampires with flag commands.
Tree Spirit (Himself) – A spirit who controls the weather, has a magic sword stuck in its body, and is outfitted with mouth sparklers!
Ghost Mother (Kam Ying-Lin) – A woman who uses a skull prop as a conduit to magical powers. She is the boss of Monk of Black Wind and Cheng Hang.
Monk of Black Wind and Cheng Hang (Sek Kin and Ho King-Fan) – One of them is played by Sek Kin, and the other is Ho King-Fan I don’t know which one is which, but as Monk of Black Wind has the cooler name and Sek Kin is the cooler guy, I’m assigning the roles that way. Both of them are thugs who work for Ghost Mother.
Animated Skeleton (Himself) – Ghost Mother sends this animated skeleton to attack the heroes. It can shoot animated flames from its mouth. Totally not a prop guy off camera waving a skeleton around on a string.

White-Boned Sword
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 5, 2017 at 8:53 am

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Go! Godman: Godman vs. Stegojiras and Akumon (ゴッドマン対ステゴジラス・アクモン)

March of Godzilla Godman

Go! Godman: Godman vs. Stegojiras and Akumon

aka ゴッドマン対ステゴジラス・アクモン その1 – その6 aka Goddoman Tai Sutegojirasu – Akumon
Stegojiras Akumon Godman
Week of April 5 – 11, 1973

Godman’s one weakness — bullets!

Stegojiras and Akumon are among the most pathetic designs of the monsters Godman faces. These monsters aren’t even monster suits, just two idiots in slightly oversized masks. One interesting thing is they are more successful than many of the actual monsters at fighting Godman, even though they still lose. Another interesting thing is that they seem to worship an active volcano, and that volcano gives them orders. Just who or what this volcano is, is never explained. Even the accompanying material treats the volcano monster as a mystery. Is this the dark force behind all the other evil monsters Godman fights? Is it just some random underground fire that a couple of brain-dead monsters decided to worship after far too many bong hits? Mysteries forever, that’s what this episode is full of!

Stegojiras has a big blue-green head with giant horns on the top and some other random horns popping out of the bottom. He appears to have big red fish stapled to his shirt, and appears to be slightly more competent than Akumon. Akumon is the red masked monster whose vocals are chicken squawks and he has a gold glitter swastika symbol on his chest, white symbols on his arms. Stegojiras and Akumon vaguely resemble the Chinese legendary creatures With-the-Wind Ear/順風耳/Shunfeng Er and Thousand Miles Eye/千里眼/Qianli Ya, both of whom were seen in The Legend of Mother Goddess and The Ginseng King. Both of them work for some sort of volcano deity mystery monster that lives in the volcano or who knows what, that even the Godman DVD files just refers to as “???”. It is a mystery to never be solved, because no one will ever care to solve it. If you need any other Godman information, be sure to check out the Ike! Godman Splash Page!

Once there were two monster idiots named Stegojiras and Akumon. They worshiped a burning volcano in a forest, which commanded them to steal children. The monsters attempt to steal a young girl from a group of kids at an amusement park, but these monsters are so terrible that one of the teachers accompanying the group chases them down. This teacher manages to hold his own while fighting both of them, despite being an obvious older hippy type who should be more about the free love and peace instead of monster violence. Eventually the teacher is defeated, and the rest of the kids call in Godman after their other teacher asks them to. Hmmm, does that mean only children can call in Godman to fight their battles for them? I guess that’s why Godman is never called upon to do taxes or clean the gutters.

Godman fights Akumon first as we jump to tsuzuku…

The next episode begins with Akumon making chicken noises as he fights Godman. He’s punched out and Godman wakes up the kid, then shoves her away. She yells “Thanks” as she runs, but him shoving her is funny. But the other children are being menaced by Stegojiras, the noise of which distracts Godman enough that Akumon is able to recover and punch him in the back!

Stegojiras and Akumon tie up the female teacher and rekidnap the girl from earlier, taking her to their super sweet ginormous 1970s car. I guess these guys got to wear normal people clothes instead of full costumes because the monster suits couldn’t really fit in the car.

Godman stands in front of their moving car, and as this series doesn’t have the budget to have Godman get hit by the car, the monsters stop and get out of the car again to fight him. The rekidnapped girl escapes again, but…. (Tsuzuku)

Akumon rerekidnaps the girl by punching her in the gut while Godman is busy fighting Stegojiras. Stegojiras pulls out his tiny whip, so out comes Godman’s flail. They fight so hard that a hair gets stuck to the camera for several shots, the action sequences so exciting the cameraman didn’t even look through the camera to see the obvious hair! Godman is then shot in the leg by a drug dart, and Akumon drives away with the girl.

Godman tosses a bunch of explosives at the car that’s speeding away with the innocent girl in it. Luckily for her, he misses the car and she doesn’t die a violent death from being inside an exploding car. Tsuzuku.

We start the next episode with Akumon and Stegojiras arriving at their hidden compound by car and running inside with the kidnapped girl. The car vanishes, because of course it does! Does this mean the car went invisible? Teleported? Never existed? Answers, I hope you like not having them!

The monster hideout is a bunch of creepy abandoned buildings. Godman arrives and looks around the area, only to be ambushed by Akumon! Finally, Godman shows some basic competency and starts to get the upper hand in fighting Akumon, but then Stegojiras points a gun at Godman’s head!

Godman surrenders (!) Except he doesn’t surrender, he pretends to long enough to kick the gun out of Stegojiras’ hand. Godman battles the two monsters some more, until Stegojiras gets his gun again and starts firing at Godman. Luckily for Godman, Stegojiras is worst shots than a Stormtrooper and hits nothing but trees. Tsuzuku.

Godman scares the two monsters off by tossing more explosives. Akumon retaliates by grabbing a Tommy gun and firing it at Godman while Stegojiras drives. Yes, the monsters are doing a drive by on Godman!

They drive to the mysterious Volcano and then Godman shows up so there is more fighting. The monsters rarely remember they have guns in their hands, and when they do, Godman just does a quick tumble to dodge the bullets. Godman rescues the kidnapped girl again, tossing her into a ditch so he’s free to fight the monsters once more. Yes, the hero just threw a small child into a ditch. Tsuzuku.

The monsters fire the Tommy gun at Godman, but that brilliant plan fails when Godman fires bullets back our of his fingers! Godman remembers he has an ultra-strong finishing move, and fires his Godman Supersonic Wave, first at Akumon and then at Stegojiras. At this point, the monsters flip, and then se wee just their masks on the ground, which explode.

So were they monsters, or a fiendish cult straight out of True Detective wearing masks? Mysteries! Godman also defeats the volcano monster by destroying the monsters, as the smoke then goes in the opposite directing, sinking back into the volcano.

The day is saved, Godman returns the now probably traumatized forever child to her teachers and friends and flies away, a hero to those who need heroes named Godman. Which means the kids who need Godman to satiate their bloodlust or enjoy the weirdly sexual wrestling between Godman and the monster of the week.

Akumon and Stegojiras are legit creepy monsters in that they look like they could be your freaky neighbors dressed in ridiculous costumes and kidnapping your child. In this case, the cheapness enhances the scary, because it brings it to a real level.

This was the last series of original Godman shorts. Though some of the monsters would return in Ike! Greenman, Godman himself was not seen again until 2008’s Go Forth! Godman. Which might just get some attention here sooner than later…

Until then, we’re all Godmanned out! Expect these entries to get random updates over the years when I track down different missing pieces and have time to write them up in future Marches of Godzilla. For now, March of Godzilla: Godman has completed its life cycle. You might say we blew up the volcano! But there is always the Godman Splash Page if you want to catch back up with Godman, for some reason.
Stegojiras Akumon Godman
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 22, 2016 at 8:05 am

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Go! Godman: Godman vs. Jilarji (ゴッドマン対シラージ)

March of Godzilla Godman

Go! Godman: Godman vs. Jilarji

aka ゴッドマン対シラージ その1 – その3 aka Goddoman Tai Shiraaji
Jilarji Godman
Week of March 15 – 21, 1973

Sometimes you spank the monkey, sometimes the monkey spanks back…

Of all the monsters Godman fights, Jilarji is the most sympathetic. For he is not a monster that roams the countryside before stumbling across children who call upon their murder god, but instead is a small, frightened monkey who is taunted by a vicious pair of bratty children until he explodes with rage, mutating the monkey into the monstrous Jilarji. Yes, this is a monkey who basically becomes the Hulk, and then Godman comes to punish the monkey instead of the children. Hello, these kids are not only being cruel to animals, but this animal was obviously a former lab monkey who had been retired, so now it is fair game for kids to taunt lab monkeys? That’s how Outbreak scenarios happen, Godman!

Jilarji is a cross-eyed monkey monster with a silver skull face and a random horn on the top of his head. He’s cool enough he was made into toys and shows up again in a few other things. Sometimes he’s called Shiraji and there is argument of which is the official translation of his name.

Jilarji is the second half of the week’s adventures, Godman had just spent three days (presumably) slaughtering Totsaurus. But those episodes aren’t important enough for use to get to see, so just forget about them. Just remember these episodes, the ones deemed acceptable by the random DVD gods.

Two rude bratty children in short shorts tease a poor monkey in a cage with a stick. This proves to be ill-advised, and not just because PeTA will say things about you on the radio. The monkey explodes into the new monster, Jilarji. Jilarji is unable to extract revenge upon the children, who immediately call for Godman to save them. Godman is a servant of the spoiled child class and instantly appears to protect his masters from their own folly.

There is a lot of punching and slapping as the two fight. Jilarji then grows big to tower over Godman. We all know Godman will grow big also, but first, we tsuzuku to next time!

As predicted, Godman grows big as well. It’s like I’m Nostradomas or something. Despite Godman shooting Jilarji a few times, Jilarji is getting the better of Godman and is on top choking him to death like it’s some sort of creepy sex thing. It might be, maybe Godman is one of those guys who needs to be choked to get off, like David Carradine. It’s sort of weird to be doing it in the middle of a battle, but whatever floats your boat, right? I would like to point out that Godman is literally being choked by a monkey. Tsuzuku to next time to see if he lives, or finishes, or not.

Godman and Jilarji continue to struggle with each other like titanic lovers, rolling on the ground into the nearby town. Godman whips out his flail and starts whallupping Jilarji! Godman introducing sex toys to their public session? To be expected from this perv!

Godman doesn’t even do his normal finishing moves on Jilarji. Instead, he just beats up the monkey monster some more, and tosses him over a hill, where the monster promptly explodes for no reason.

The children are free to bully more and more innocent creatures until they explode into monstrous rage and threaten millions of lives. Where are those Godman opponents who kidnap children when you needs them? Remember, this is not the only time a Toho tokusatsu mercilessly slaughtered a monster derived from an innocent primate! It’s like Godman and Zone Fighter were in a competition to be evil or something.

Fuck you, Godman!

For more Godman atrocities, check out the Godman Splash Page, and expect more as March of Godzilla: Godman continues!
Jilarji Godman
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - December 15, 2016 at 8:56 am

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