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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shaw Brothers Cinema: Rare, Obscure & Bizarre Independent Asian Movies

Poster for Taiwanese spookshow, THE BLUE LAMP IN THE WINTER NIGHT (1975)

This is a special edition of Shaw Brothers Cinema: Behind the Scenes for a couple reasons. First and foremost, there's nothing here that's Shaw Brothers related. This is a strictly independent Asian movie article showcasing rare, super obscure and totally bizarre Asian films. An independent kung fu edition is in the near future. All these productions range between the years of 1975 through 1978. This post is for Jack J who runs the great trashy Asian cinema blog, BACKYARD ASIA in addition to a couple other film related blogs. If you've ever read Pete Tombs excellent book, MONDO MACABRO: WEIRD & WONDERFUL CINEMA AROUND THE WORLD, then you have an idea what Backyard Asia is all about.

THE DEVIL CROWS (1975) looks to be a period piece version of THE BIRDS (1963). Judging by some of the photos, it appears there's either zombies, or vampires in it, too. Above and below are from a two page spread from Cinemart magazine. The page below has some English text that details the plot.


THE BIRTH GODDESS (1978) looks to be an interesting fantasy/horror flick and an indy feature I've never heard of. Above and below are from a two page Cinemart spread on the film.

THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN'S BODY (1977) doesn't appear to be an exploitation movie, but I've included it here as it's the first ever interracial Asian movie I've ever come across and that poster is just plain bizarre.

Above and Below are images from a two page magazine spread from Cinemart.

THE REVENGE OF THE TWO EXORCISTS (1975) is another rarity; this one from Lai Sheng Ying, a cinematographer turned director. Based on a Chinese folk tale, according to the article, all the stars are new faces and a portion of the film was shot in Japan.

Advertisement for a horror picture called THE MIDNIGHT SONG (1977)

WITCHCRAFT OF MIAO PEOPLE (1977) aka THE PRINCESS & THE TOXICANT aka SUCCUBARE is a peculiar little movie. I have a copy transferred from the US tape and judging by images from this magazine spread, a lot of things have been cut out. Still, the movie has enough exploitation value in its dubbed export version.

The movie concerns primitive mountain villagers in the Kuai Chou and Yun Nan provinces and their black magic practices. Carter Wong is in this to add some kung fu fighting marquee value to what is obviously an indy take on the popular BLACK MAGIC movies being done at Shaw Brothers studio.



Jack J said...

You're too kind. I feel like Canada. Thanks, Brian!! :D

Jack J said...

That girl in the last scan looks like the girl from WITCH WITH FLYING HEAD (I don't know her name).

venoms5 said...

Hey, no problem, Jack. It's a great looking blog and it reminds me a lot of that Tombs book, which is one of my favorites on my bookshelf.

That WITCHCRAFT movie is pretty terrible, although I've only seen the version under the SUCCUBARE title. It's got lots of real animal violence in it including these intermittent scenes of some scraggly Asian man furiously chowing down on various live animals. These scenes (at least in this US version) have nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but there is a scene where the mountain villagers ritualistically slaughter a bull. The article mentions thousands of snakes were killed in the making of the movie and that the actors were in frequent danger while shooting. I assume that ballyhoo was just a lot of hot air.

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