Our Friend, Power 5 (Review)

Our Friend, Power 5

aka 우리들의 친구 파워 5 aka Wurideul-ui Chingu Pawo 5
Our Friend Power 5 우리들의 친구 파워 5
Written by ???
Directed by Park Ho-Jin

Our Friend Power 5 우리들의 친구 파워 5

Teenage Hungover Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of the headlining franchises of my youth, and while I never got involved with the toys, the comics, cartoons, and video games were a constant presence. And years ago, I heard about a Korean bootleg Ninja Turtles movie, but thanks to the shifting sands of the internet it was years and years until I got a copy. Then I sat on it for a few years, but now it is time to actually finish jobs, and it’s time for Our Friend Power 5 to get its due on TarsTarkas.NET!

Our Friend Power 5 isn’t just a bootleg Ninja Turtles, it is in fact selling its own bootleg Ninja Turtle toys, complete with their own giant robot bootlegged from another toy line! It is part of literally hundreds of Korean children’s films pumped out with ridiculous costumes, terrible acting and overacting, and lots of rubber suits and animation of giant robots and spaceships mixed in. It forms a delirious genre of cinema that few people outside Korea have heard of, and fewer people have seen multiple entries. Fortunately for you (but unfortunately for us!), TarsTarkas.NET is one of those locations that is very familiar with this genre. Be it Alien Lightning Dragon, Hwarang-V Trio, Robotstar Jjanga, Super Batman & Mazinger V, or Korean Terminator, this ridiculous films are a constant presence. They will be so in the future as well, because you better believe I’m sitting on a whole slew more of them!!! That’s a threat, buddy!

But we must talk about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles here. First of all, there are FIVE of them! And one is a princess, in fact she’s the Princess of their race, and in turtle mode she has pink ventral shell. The ventral shells (the chests for those of you who aren’t biologists) are how you tell these characters apart, each one has a different color there – Pink, Black, Yellow, Brown, and Purple. Their masks are molded so they permanently have the Ninja Turtles grimace, and there are obvious eye holes (and other holes in the suits, either so the actors don’t sweat to death or so the suits are easier to maneuver and don’t fill with air and get weird shaped!) Their bandanas are all red and only the Princess seems to have any custom weapon, her wand. One of the turtles shoots what looks like metal wire out of his wrist to snag a villain out of a tree, but that’s the only complicated things the turtles do. Even with the many holes in the costume, it’s obvious the actors inside are barely able to see and most of the choreography involving them is weird and slow like they are underwater. Usually they default to the child actors for the action scenes to attack the villains. Outside of the princess, the other four don’t really have much of a personality, they are just there, and during the climax I’m not even 100% sure where two of them go.

When your wire salesman demonstration goes totally wrong!

The villains are a bunch of rat men, so yes, it looks like Splinter is hunting down his own family! Despite the villains being rats, their leader is named Shark and has taken a human face disguise (outside of an obviously terrible beard) The rats are all the same rubber mold, but they made their leader more grey and gave him blue eyes instead of red. They stomp around and carry laser guns but must have gotten their training at the Imperial Stormtrooper Academy as they can’t hit the broad side of a turtle barn.

This film is basically a commercial for their bootleg toys, as the entire climactic sequence involves the toy robot piloted by the Turtles (and some kids, it’s more dumb than complicated but let’s just continue) smashing the crap out of the villain’s fleet and his own robot. The Comentor Robot also drives the plot, it’s the plans the Princess is carrying that the villain wants to get his hands on. A space princess with some plans a villain wants, huh? The name Comentor Robot comes from a translation of the plot, I’m not sure if it is supposed to be like Cometor as that sounds more spacey, or if this robot spends its down time arguing that fluoride is mind control below Yahoo News articles. The robot itself is ganked from the Go-Bots Powersuits Power Warrior so it’s like two bootlegs combined into one! Synergy, baby!

Our Friend Power 5 우리들의 친구 파워 5

Suck it, Harry Potter!

Thankfully whoever ripped this tape left all the production logos on it, including the SKC company ad for their video tapes, floppy discs, and their brand new CD technology! CDs, it’s the FUTURE!!! As this is a rare film, we will give our patented incredibly thorough description of what is going on so you too can follow along at home, along with a side of snark. And like every single one of these Korean Children’s films, there are no subtitles, but at TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles!

Hyuk (???) – Our hero is just some rando kid who happens to be the son of the famous astronomer Dr. Yang. Thanks to his irresponsibility he is granted phenomenal powers that he uses to fight evil Ratmen from space while befriending refugee turtles.
Bow Tie (???) – The required by Korean Kiddie Movie Law comic relief, Bow Tie here is a huge wimp who hangs around with children while failing to ask out Tae Kwon repeatedly (and later Princess Turtle repeatedly)
Tae Kwon (???) – The tough daughter of Dr. Yang who has the power of knowing tae kwon do, something alien ratmen armed with laser guns are helpless against!
Dr. Yang (???) – Brilliant scientist who is far too busy building weird telescopes and letting his children run wild to go see a dermatologist about that weird growth on his head. Helps build a fleet of attack ships for the Earth and helps the Turtles create their robot.
Princess Turtle (???) – – The Princess of the turtle world who leads the survivors of her conquered race in a desperate attempt to escape the evil Shark and his army of Ratmen. Has the plans for the powerful Comentor Robot that Shark wants. The Princess is armed with a magic wand that she’s pretty irresponsible with, and is also a brilliant tactician as shown later in the film where she commands a space attack. She transforms into….
Pink Turtle (???) – The lead turtle with the power of pink. All other turtles obey her orders. Outside of the Princess, none of the other turtles seem to have names (and even if they did, there ain’t no subtitles!) we will refer to them by their underbelly colors, as that is the only difference between the characters. They all use the same Michealangelo-base mold, which is seen by the “M” on all their belts. None of them really have personalities.
Black Turtle (???) – The turtle I got the least clear shots off in screencaps! Our made up biography reveals he is obsessed with football, but was never able to go pro due to a knee injury in college. Only the destruction of his homeworld prevented him from getting a job selling women’s shoes.
Yellow Turtle (???) – The Yellow Turtle is yellow. Shocking, I know! Despite that, he isn’t a coward. Congrats! Our made up biography reveals Yellow Turtle is a brilliant florist but lost last year’s rose competition due to internal politics. Luckily every other turtle florist is now dead, so he is a shoo-in to win this year!
Brown Turtle (???) – Our made up biography of Brown Turtle is that he was initially another color but he never bathes, thus giving his belly the brown color by which he got his new name. His original color was lost over time, even he doesn’t know what color he is supposed to be.
Purple Turtle (???) – This turtle is usually flying the Turtle spaceship but outside of that doesn’t do much interesting. Our made up biography indicates he is very into stamp collecting, to the point where he has taken out multiple mortgages to afford those stamps where the plane is upside down.
Shark (???) – Leader of the evil Ratmen who commits genocides on Tuesdays and wants the Comentor Robot to further his genocidal ambitions. Judging by how the transformed Ratmen look in the film, Shark has taken human form and is just another Ratman.
Ratmen (???) – The Ratmen are the disposable flunky troops of Shark. The leader is more grey and has blue eyes, while all the rest are more brown with red eyes. None of them are Splinter, unless this is the Mirror Universe! Wait a minute, maybe it is….

Our Friend Power 5 우리들의 친구 파워 5

We get it, you vape!

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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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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.

White-bone Sword
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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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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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The Future World (Review)

The Future World

aka دنیای آینده aka Donyaye Ayandeh
The Future World
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


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