Once again it's time for another edition of the Mad, Bad and Downright Strange Showcase (MBDS Showcase) were we invite some of our Favourite critics / bloggers to pick their essential five films from our list.
For this latest edition of the MBDS Showcase we are joined by the illustrator, bad movie blogger and owner of "Lost Video Archive", The Goodkind. This is his showcase.
As Bryce mentioned in the previous installment of the Showcase, picking among the films on this list is well nigh impossible. As I was scrolling through trying to pick, I was struck by the number of them I loved but hadn’t seen discussed, on my own site or elsewhere. So I deliberately picked five of the most obscure and bizarre off the list. At the same time I tried to keep my list as international as possible. Good thing is they’re all readily available, at least for now. As we gradually transition from physical to digital media, many of the foreign movies we love may become harder to find all over again as the cost of releasing them, one more time, proves too much. This little list is just a slice of a much larger, project to save the good stuff before it’s forgotten. I’m glad I could contribute; call this my own top five to see before you die.
El Espejo de la Bruja
Challenge of the Tiger
Bruce Lee may have died too soon, but at least he made an impact sufficient to generate years of impersonators and many hundreds of films. From Bruce Li, Bruce Leung and Bruce Leong the misadventures were many, but Bruce Le takes the cake for his spirited channeling of the master in this awesome and bizarre actioner-cum-comedy. Le plays a campy Lee to co-star Richard Harrison’s low-rent, lecherous Bond to foil a nefarious plot to sterilize the world’s men. Supposedly directed in part by both stars, each takes a turn providing some of their trademark moves, and with the ridiculous dubbing, plot twists, bull-fights and boobs, you’re in for something like three laughs a minute.
The Devil’s Sword
Too often national cinema from small countries outside the United States has little choice but to emulate the Hollywood model as best they can. In Indonesia however, things took a much more parochial spin. Four evil warriors will stop at nothing to possess The Devil’s Sword, a weapon that grants it’s bearer unbelievable power. Good warrior Mandala however, is more than prepared to do the stopping for them. In battle after mind-boggling battle, Mandala dispatches all manner of nefarious baddies, from crocodile men to headless witches to screaming rock trolls. The Devil’s Sword is a visual smorgasbord of Indonesian flavor that is not soon forgotten.
Mo (aka Boxer’s Omen)
Shortly before folding, Shaw Brothers Studios in Hong Kong, most famous for their kung-fu, produced a gaggle of horror flicks. Many among these were Chinese spins on premises already familiar to USAmerican audiences, others, like Boxer’s Omen, were completely out of left field. My friend described this film as a Chinese Buddhist version of Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain minus the feel-good existentialism, plus martial arts. All necessary but not sufficient conditions to experience the gross-out good time that is an unforgettable, life changing movie. As far as I’m concerned, all supernatural gore horror owes a debt to Mo, whether they know it or not, for this is the lost legend among the genres highest peaks.