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Showing posts from April, 2012

Machete Maidens Unleashed! (2010)

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During the rule of Ferdinand Marcos, lax safety rules, low costs and government assistance made the Philippines the go-to place for low-budget film makers. While Filipino filmmakers made some classic horror films for the U.S. market, everyone from Roger Corman to Francis Ford Coppola took advantage of the opportunity (and, often, the locals) to make their films.

Director Mark Hartley originally began making this documentary when he became interested in the films of Weng Weng, the two-foot-nine martial arts star of a number of Filipino James Bond parodies in the early 1980s. However, he found that the history of filmmaking in the Philippines went a lot deeper, from early horror to such genre classics as [i]The Doll House[/i] and [i]Black Mama, White Mama[/i]. The number of directors and actors interviewed are numerous, from the few Filipino directors that were still alive at the time to many familiar faces.

It is a rather fun documentary (and, yes, quite a bit of time is spent concent…

The Gamma People (1956)

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Journalists Mike Wilson (Paul Douglas) and Howard Meade (Leslie Phillips) are on their way to a music festival when, due to a prank, their car is detached from the rest of the train and sent down a forgotten spur which winds them up in the country of Gudavia. The Gudavians are just as surprised, as no train has arrived there in five years.

As soon as they step off the train they are arrested by Commander Koerner (Philip Leaer), the chief of the Gudavian security forces, who fears they may be spies. They are, however, quickly released, and begin seeking a way out so they can continue on. Wilson tries get use of the country's only car, while Meade attempts to contact the outside world - only to find out that the telegraph building is only for show and all phone lines have been cut. It also turns out that Gudavia had a king until five years previous when his mysterious death led to the country's rule being transferred to the mysterious Dr. Boronski (Walter Rilla).

To complicate …