Movie Reviews-Cops Vs Thugs (Blu Ray)…Brain Damage (Blu Ray)….The Assassin (Blu Ray)…Wolfguy(Blu Ray)

Review-Before there was a “ Battle Royale”, director Kinji Fukasaku gave us “ Cops vs Thugs”. In this film, there are two yakuza families who are at war over an acting boss who steals a deal from one of the families. The interesting thing about these two families is that one called the Kawade use political leaders and associations to further their criminal activities. The other family known as the Ohara use the police. You have to understand the mindset of the mid 70’s, this country was wanting a passive president who would not bring us back to war. The war raged on television about politics vs police corruption. This film subtly tries to ties them to the Yakuza. This film really blurs the line as to what cop and criminal is all about. We watch early on as some cop has his way with a young yakuza and assumes his ties with the yakuza boss is enough. Then, we watch as a new chief comes to play and this activity is no longer acceptable. This film really feels like it should have been released along the time “ Infernal Affairs” was the hype. Today, a film like this just feels lost in the shuffle or a victim of too late. I am not saying that this film is bad, it is a very entertaining film. The subject matter though just seems so passe as to where we are at today. The acting in this film is fine, there is no Oscar worthy stuff but the film is not entirely wooden and not personality filled. This film though does feel at times a little unsure and not even. I would assume that people in today’s culture with today’s mindset want something fast and efficient. They lack the patience to want to follow a film that has an eventual payoff. This film does take patience to get thru at times, and at other times it is fairly fast paced. So, we can say the editing and pacing needed to be worked on a little bit more. All in all, this film is not the worst film you will see. Also, this film could be an inspiration for people like Tarantino. This film is good enough for one viewing but keep your expectations realistic.

7 out of 10

Brain Damage is basically about an average dude living in New York City that becomes dependent on an evil, blue-veined penile parasite ‘thing’ named Aylmer. Aylmer feeds this kid Brian a substance that sends him to a state of euphoria in exchange for brains of innocent victims in the city. Brian becomes an addict. Like many of the addicts in New York, he frequents the back alleys of night clubs, toilet cubicles to feed his habit, and public showers. You get an abundance of wonderful 1980s underground New York City clubs and locations! It’s heavenly. After Brian sees the horrible wrongdoings of the blue veined phallus he wants out for good. However, it’s hard to resist that wonderful blue juice injected into his spinal cortex that keeps his health from rapidly declining. Aylmer also SINGS! That’s enough to drive a man crazy. It’s like, instead of having a monkey on his back, he has this penis parasite instead. Well, it’s actually a brain.My favorite scene would have to be when the lady goes to suck Brian off in the alley and Aylmer jumps out of his crotchal region to suck her brains out. This is a very graphic scene. The dinner scene where he sees tiny brains instead of meatballs over his pasta was quite a riot and it looked pretty delicious. The movie features a lot of killing scenes that are funny, but still quite gory. It’s all accomplished with humor and spectacular effects. All of the death scenes are sick, twisted, and hilarious. As for the ending, it’s priceless. Drug addiction is a dead end path for those who decide to venture. I feel this whole film’s message is about drug addiction and the downward spiral portrayed against the backdrop of Manhattan. The acting is pleasing enough for an 80s horror comedy. The actors didn’t have much of a career but the director Frank Henenlotter will remain a favorite for horror fans. Brain Damage is a gem. Basket Case is a gem and Frankenhooker is a gem. Some interesting facts: Two minutes were cut from the film to keep it from gaining an X-Rating. This is thanks to the infamous fellatio scene in the alley. During that fellatio scene the crew walked out of the production refusing to work on the scene. A similar incident happened during the shooting of ‘Basket Case’ You can see the full uncut version on dvd. We get a cameo appearance from the lead character in Basketcase, carrying his basket on a subway train. It was listed in Fangoria’s 100 must see Horror films and It’s banned in Iceland.

10 out of 10

Review-With the death of Chris Cornell today my heart will weep, much like the untimely death of Elio Petri. Where Cornell was 52, Petri was 53 in 1982 when he passed away. Most known for his writing and his attention to detail. Carlo Di Palma who would also work with Woody Allen was the cinematographer in this film. The one two punch of these two masterminds creates a must see little film that will keep you thinking about it, long after the final credits. The premise is simple but yet very well conceived. The story takes place in Italy post war and shot in black and white. We meet Nello who is awaken by the police and accused of being a murderer. It seems his lover who is also the financial backer to his failing business has died. What starts off as a basic cop thriller, ends up being a human chess match between the gigolo Poletti and police. We see his ways but we are never quite sure he is a murderer. This film has so much style and flair that it is so easy to get lost in this noir. The depth the director got off of his main character is so fluid and yet smart. This film does run into its problems later in the film as the film seems to lose itself and become a little too talky. This film being too talky is basically saying it has pacing issues. The film just seems to try and finish in a fast fashion but seems very oddly structured as it goes that way. I love the film enough to want to watch it again, but this film just felt towards the end that it was not quite sure what it wanted to be.

8 out of 10

Review-Finally my favorite Sonny Chiba film is going to see the light of day, thanks to Arrow. If you are a Sonny Chiba fan or not, know this, this film is fucking insane. We learn early on that Chiba is the sole member left of a werewolf clan. He also parades around as a crime reporter who tries to hide his true identity from people. The film opens with a bang, we watch this woman with supernatural powers go crazy and kill some people very brutally. The opening has this spacey psychedelic feel to it, then it goes into this science fiction feel almost immediately after. This film is bloody, amazing, fucking blood filled and fucking brilliant. This film is nonstop insanity from opening sequence to bloody amazing ending. This film has nudity, sexual situations and a wolf fighting. This film has everything except the proverbial kitchen sink. This film would be a perfect double feature with “ Riki-Oh”, another film that needs an Arrow release. This film is going to excite the fans and hopefully the sales of this film will encourage Arrow that the fans are supporting their titles and to make more. This is a must own if there ever was one.

10 out of 10