Wow, that was a lot of movies I just saw there. I’m still a little dazed. But while the cinematic extravaganza is fresh, I will provide a nifty capsule guide to everything I saw.
First, though, some notes. The samurai movie “I badly want to see, but which I did not catch the name of, so all I know is that there’s a young woman who apparently trains to be a samurai when her… brother? is killed…” is Azumi by Ryuhei Kitamura, who also directed Versus. This makes me want to see it all the more.
Enter… Zombie King! is in fact in the IMDB under the title Zombie Beach Party. I’ve submitted a change to the title, since as far as I can tell it wasn’t actually released as Zombie Beach Party, and will contentedly allow the smart people at IMDB to determine whether or not I’m right.
And now, the movies. I’m stealing my grading system from Chris; as he says, it’s too hard to rank these, so everything’s either great, OK, or not worthwhile. Great movies I want to own. OK movies I liked but don’t want to own. Not worthwhile movies suck; if any filmmakers are reading this, please don’t make any of those.
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Cutie Honey, live action anime which is so cute my eyeballs exploded. But they did so cutely.
Enter… Zombie King!, a movie about wrestling and zombies and rock and roll music. If I hadn’t already written part of a game about wrestling and zombies, this would have made me want to write a game about wrestling and zombies.
Executioners From Shaolin, a Shaw Brothers movie about revenge and kung fu and stuff. Big inspiration for Tarantino.
Into The Mirror, a Korean cop movie pretending to be a slasher flick. Superb use of mirrors. Creepy.
One Missed Call, Takashi Miike’s exceedingly disturbing entry into the Japanese postmillenial horror genre. Also a pointed critique of the Japanese obsession with cellphones and reality television, but mostly I remember the disturbing bits.
One Night Stands
The Bodyguard, a Thai comedy action flick which probably wouldn’t have made this category except I’m soft-hearted for romance.
Deadly Outlaw Rekka, a Takashi Miike yakuza story told in swift brutal bites.
Harry Knuckles and the Pearl Necklace was basically a high-grade fan film with some funny bits; I’ll cut it some slack for being a workprint, and also for a very funny gag about the obligatory training sequence.
Red Vs. Blue, funny machinima with an excellent sense of how best to use the tools available to the filmmaker.
Robot Stories, a great anthology science fiction film that’s about people rather than ideas.
Toolbox Murders, awfully good Tobe Hooper slasher movie. Whoever wrote this has a very good understanding of LA occult history; if I bought more horror DVDs I’d want to own this one.
My Eyes, My Eyes
Hillside Strangler, a self-indulgent exploitation flick pretending to be an art movie.
Malice@Doll, a self-indulgent CGI anime flick pretending to have a point.
Saving Private Tootsie, which deserves better than to be relegated to this category but which — looking back — just didn’t work for me. I am not the appropriate audience.