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The White-Bone Sword Part 4 (Review)

The White-Bone Sword (Part 4)

aka 白骨陰陽劍(四集) aka Bai gu yin yang jian, si ji aka Ingenious swords, part four
White-Bone Sword
1963HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Ling Yun

American elections in gif form!

This is it, the final chapter of the saga of The White-Boned Sword, the thrilling tale of some powerful swords that everyone wants so of course it attracts a bunch of jerks! Don’t leave yet, we still got one more brand new monster showing up later in the film, but first we have the amazing battle of the undead happening! When last we left, Wong Tin-ho had been poisoned, so Wu Sheung-fung was in search of the rare White-bone Grass to save him, but there was a pack of dancing skeletons in the way! Luckily, Luk Fong-fei and Vampire Lady were also around so Vampire Lady could send her pack of hopping vampires to fight the dancing skeletons. Thus the battle is joined…
White-Bone Sword

Wong Tin-ho (Walter Tso Tat-wah) – Poisoned at the end of the last part, after Wu Sheung-fung rescues him by getting the antidote, he can help the group with several adventures before the final fight against the villains!
Wu Sheung-fung (Yu So Chow) – Spends the first half of the film questing for the White-bone Grass to save Wong Tin-ho, and impresses Taoist White-bone with her bravery that he gives her the Grass. Later helps the gang battle against he Fire-spitting Deadly Dragon.
Luk Fong-fei (Connie Chan Po-chu) – She’s certainly around and probably does stuff, but nothing exciting enough to get a blurb.
Vampire Lady (Kong Bo-Lin) – Vampire Lady and her vampires return to kick butt of both the skeleton and normal variety!
Kam Yan-kit (Yu Kai) – Still looking to avenge his father against Chung Ching, but he’s not so avengful that he doesn’t have time to hit on Luk Fong-fei! Stay focused, buddy!
Chung Ching (Sek Kin) – Evil conspirator who works with the three devils Heaven, Earth, and Man to possess the White-boned Swords and thus rule the martial world. Also has a dragon, which seems cooler than some swords, but what do I know?
Fire-spitting Deadly Dragon (Himself) – A dragon who hangs out at Devil Mountain, he’s either part of Chung Ching’s group or he just chills on Devil Mountain and is angry when people bug him.
Tree Spirit (Himself) – Everyone’s favorite tree monster is back, this time to fight the Fire-spitting Deadly Dragon in a battle of the sparklers!!!

White-Bone Sword
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 26, 2017 at 7:55 am

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The White-Bone Sword Part 3 (Review)

The White-Bone Sword (Part 3)

aka 白骨陰陽劍(三集) aka Ingenious swords, part three aka Bai gu yin yang jian san ji
White-bone Sword
1963HKMDB Link
Written by Sze-To On
Directed by Ling Yun

Me after seeing the Kong: Skull Island trailer!

It’s now SOME UNKNOWN TIME LATER, a few things have happened. Okay, mainly one thing happened, which is Black Girl ran off and possibly recovered the White-Boned Swords only to hide them somewhere else. Exactly what happened to her will have to remain a mystery as the actress doesn’t appear in the series any more and there are no subtitles, so we can only assume she got on a bus to Mars. But who needs Black Girl when we got Wong Tin-ho, Wu Seung-fun, and Luk Fong-fei to wander around looking for Black Girl and/or the White-Boned Swords? Plus, if you are a fan of Vampire Lady, you will be happy to know that she is back as well, with an even larger squadron of hopping vampires to command! This leads to some amazing fight sequences later on with skeleton men. And there is a cool gorilla, which is all you need to know that it’s time to watch!
White-bone Sword

Wong Tin-ho (Walter Tso Tat-wah) – At one point Wong Tin-ho dresses up as a pregnant woman, and later he gets poisoned. And he’s the main star!
Wu Sheung-fung (Yu So Chow) – She doesn’t get poisoned, and goes on a journey to get to cure for Wong Tin-Ho. As well as getting involved in more martial intrigue and searching for Black Girl and/or the White-boned Swords.
Luk Fong-fei (Connie Chan Po-chu) – Now a martial arts veteren, but uncovers that Chung Ching is up to no good and that the White-boned Swords are loose once again and need to be tracked down!
Vampire Lady (Kong Bo-Lin) – Vampire Lady now has a full dozen hopping vampires, ready and able to take down the biggest threats! All hail Vampire Lady!
Kam Yan-kit (Yu Kai) – The son of Kam Tin-fung, who is killed by Chung Ching. Chung Ching convinces him that Wong Tin-ho and Wu Sheung-fung killed his father, which causes Kam Yan-kit to seek revenge against them.
Chung Ching (Sek Kin) – Sek Kin 3.0! An evil guy who does stuff that appears less evil and gains friends, though he really does what he does for more selfish reasons. Appears to have the missing White-boned Swords, killed Kam Yan-kit’s father, and conspires with his partners Heaven, Earth, and Man to poison Wong Tin-ho!
Old Devilish Eccentric (Ling Mung) – The mad wondering monk is still around and still helping people in need. This time it’s Kam Yan-kit.
Awesome Excited Gorilla (Himself) – Excited gorillas are the best gorillas, especially when they are excited to find wounded people that their master can then rescue. Awesome Excited Gorilla belongs to Old Develish Eccentric, because of course he does. He’s far too awesome to be owned by anyone else, and you can bet he’s only owned voluntarily.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 19, 2017 at 8:11 am

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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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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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The Future World (Review)

The Future World

aka دنیای آینده aka Donyaye Ayandeh
The Future World
2001
Directed by Ahmadreza Jaghtaei

The Future World

Why does the blue color in the toilet water stain my hands???


Iran’s film industry has a great reputation of producing killer good artistic flicks that light up international film festivals. Filmmakers work around the censorship of an oppressive regime to create amazing stories with greater allusions that slip past the censorship rules. The Future World (Donyaye Ayandehدنیای آینده) isn’t one of those films, this is a mainstream release that steals large portions of its look from Star Wars while giving it a kid-centric focus point. The resulting mishmash of cultures creates a bizarrely familiar film that is filled to the rim with cut rate shadows of the Star Wars originals. Basically, it’s ridiculous, but the slower pace puts it behind other bootleg Star Wars adventures like Turkey’s Dunyayi Kurtaran Adam. Still, there is just enough here that if you enjoy campy scifi stuff in a language you don’t understand with no subtitles (because at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!), The Future World just might be worth checking out. Everyone else can just enjoy the pictures and animated gifs, secure that they’re keeping two hours of their lives for more important things. Like looking for more animated gifs.

My mom says I’m the real Sith Lord!

As The Future World is rare and full of weird stuff, it gets the longform descriptive review treatment! As mentioned, it is without subtitles, and there is very little information about it in English. I only have the names of three of the actors and the director, everything else is a giant mystery that will probably be solved years from now when more information appears online. Until that day, we’ll do what we can.

The CGI used in The Future World would look great in 1982’s Tron, but The Future World dates from 2001, so it doesn’t look that great even in context. Sure, there was all those trade restrictions for decades, but no one is going to think about that when snarking on the CGI quality. All in all, The Future World is a perfect film for TarsTarkas.NET, as it’s something you’ve never seen before mixed with something you have. And it’s ridiculous!

The Future World

Y-Wing? Y not wing?


Original Kid (Hossein Yar Yar??) – The main character who spends much of the film being worried or complaining, even though is Dad is basically solving every problem rather quickly. Not to be confused with Knocking Kid or Third Kid. Pretty sure he’s played by Hossein Yar Yar, who seems to have no other credits in English so really, it is a mystery.
Dad – Original Kid’s dad, who has his own spaceship and wears a Han Solo vest. Very good at defeating Wampas and robots with toasters for heads.
Weird Uncle (Ghodratollah Izadi) – He probably isn’t the kid’s uncle but is just a random servant for the rich family the Original Kid belongs too, but he acts so much like a weird uncle that he is now Weird Uncle. Deal with it! He’s played by veteran actor Ghodratollah Izadi.
Black Beret (Mahshid Afsharzadeh) – Female member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Not a big fan of Darth Toaster. Totally not Original Kid’s Mom. Totally. Mahshid Afsharzadeh is not only an award winning actress (obviously slumming here) but also a director of 2003’s The Second Start and 2014’s A 5-Star.
Blue Beret – Female member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Wears a totally different color than Black Beret because color is in this season. Seems like the one to go along with Darth Toaster because she likes it, not out of fear.
Red Cap – Male member of the Brain Trust that runs the X2 under Darth Toaster. Seems like the one who would collaborate with Darth Toaster the easiest, despite not liking him. Which makes him weak willed and a bad leader.
Darth Toaster – The ultimate villain, a robot who has taken command of the X2 and kills all that are in his way.
Royal Toaster Guards – Darth Toaster’s two loyal guards who are always with him. They do nothing during the one scene where Darth Toaster is actually attacked.
Wampa – A mysterious lady turns into this Wampa and attacks the heroes, because why not have a random were-person on your spaceship?

The Future World

Spaceballs??


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 9, 2016 at 9:24 am

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Boy God (Review)

Rocco, Ang Batang Bato

aka Boy God aka Stone Boy
Rocco Ang Batang Bato Boy God Stone Boy Filipino
1983
Story by Joeben Miraflor
Screenplay by Eliseo Corcuerra
Directed by J. Erastheo Navoa

That vampire is paralyzed with shock at the idiocy he’s witnessing!

What a great movie for children! In the opening minute there is a woman being molested in her sleep by a spectral god, having an orgasm because, why not? Then her parents are gunned down less than two minutes later by a ruthless local warlord. An annoying fat kid then bloats up the running time until we finally get the werewolves, vampires, and monsters. Kids love violence and rape and annoying fat kids, and Boy God aka Stone Boy aka Rocco, Ang Batang Bato gives the children what they want!

If you aren’t familiar with Boy God, it’s a Filipino childrens’ film that was imported to the US and given an annoying dub and multiple titles. This lead to some confusion when attempting to track down rare films in the days before the internet. As far as I can tell, both titles are the exact same English dub and cut. I’ve not seen the original Filipino version, but the names in Tagalog do not seem to correspond at all with the English ones. I do want to see how the Filipino actor pretending to be the mad German scientist Dr. Mengele actually is supposed to be Dr. Mengele, and if he has a German accent. The gods all seem inspired from Clash of the Titans and similar films, as they are all Greek-looking. The vampires are more animalistic, like half-bat monsters, and Janice is dressed up as a Filipino komiks superheroine. So there is a healthy mixture of influences.
Rocco Ang Batang Bato Boy God Stone Boy Filipino
You can probably tell from my tone that I don’t really care for this film that much. The kid is among the most annoying I’ve seen in film, the most annoying child I’ve seen in a Filipino flick, and probably on my top ten list of most annoying children of all time. (That is a list with a heavy amount of Kennys!) But beyond that, the fantasy elements are pretty cool. They are all practical effects, and they are the lovable ridiculous practical effects that everyone rags on but secretly miss. Effects with heart. So I can’t hate on Boy God too much. Just the star, and the unfortunately decision to not kill the child off and replace him with someone not terrible.

Director J. Erastheo Navoa helmed a few other genre flicks, some have a bit written about them, and some are complete mysteries. His biggest is probably Darna at Ding, but there is also Tikboy and Pamboy and Super Islaw and the Flying Kids. The latter got a revival in the tv series Super Inggo, Super Inggo being the son of Super Islaw and a supervillainess. Movie superheroine Super Inday played Super Inggo’s fiance, Super Inday had her own movie in the 80s that was remade in 2010 called Super Inday and the Golden Bibe.
Rocco Ang Batang Bato Boy God Stone Boy Filipino
Despite this film being rather well-known among weird world cinema collectors, it doesn’t have that much written about it online, so enjoy the more detailed plot synopsis review below!

Rocco (Niño Muhlach) – Rocco has invulnerable skin, meaning he can’t be hurt by normal means. Rocco with the rock hard skin, a lot of creativity is present. His mom is named Cora (Cecille Castillo) and his father is Issabello, but both are killed when he is a baby and stuck in Purgatory. His real father is the god Pyfan. His grandmother is named Dunata, and is who raises Rocco. Rocco gets weak in water, which is a convenient excuse not to take a bath for a kid. His hobbies include rolling into a ball and bowling into people, defeating local warlords, fighting monsters, saving his parents from awful fates, and being annoying.
Tiki (???) – The talking parrot pet of Rocco who factors into the film in the beginning and then sort of fades away.
Robbie (???) – A local warlord dressed in a Flintsones cow toga who harasses the village. Killed Rocco’s parents. Is in league with Dr. Mengele. Robbie isn’t a name that instills in me a sense of terror, but occasionally it sounds like they are calling in Grobbie, which is even worse.
Golem (???) – A giant cyclops, not a golem, but whatever. Enjoys threatening and eating small people, but gets annoyed that they randomly have sharp knives on their bodies that he has to spit out. Tries to eat Rocco.
Janice (Liz Alindogan) – Why would you think this is Darna? She’s clearly Janice! A totally different Filipino wonder woman, and vaguely the love interest for Rocco, despite the fact he’s a goofy boy. Janice is named Janus in the Tagalog version, borrowing a name from Clash of the Titans
Dr. Rowling (Jimi Melendez) – A heroic doctor who tries to solve the monster problem in the neighborhood, and ends up teaming up with Rocco to do so. I don’t know if he’s related to the Harry Potter author. Dr. Rowling is named Eldee in the Tagalog version.
Dr. Mengele (???) – The infamous Nazi scientist has been hiding out in the Philippines under the name Dr. Desares, and he’s somehow also Filipino now! OMG! He’s behind the rash of monsters thanks to the continued efforst of his experiments, and he’s also financing Robbie’s reign of terror.
Vulcan, Elder of the Immortals (Venchito Galvez) – Vulcan shows up to do his blind soothsayer act and bestow upon Rocco a bunch of magic armor and a quest.

Rocco Ang Batang Bato Boy God Stone Boy Filipino
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 3, 2015 at 8:24 am

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