Welcome to Coolasscinema.com! This is a site dedicated to the propagation of strange and exciting cinema (and television) from all over the world as well as America's own grand tradition of exploitation cinema classics. From the front (and back) seats of drive in's across the nation, to the sleaze pit theaters of New York's famed 42nd street, to the comforts of home watching fantastic cinema on the Late Show, remember those classic (and sometimes classless) films of old and even discover some new ones.
THE AGE OF AQUARIUS: NEW YORK CITY SLEAZE KINGS PART 1--This first entry of a possible series covering selected independent companies centers around Aquarius Releasing. Part 1 of 2 covers sexploitation and kung fu flicks distributed by one of trash cinemas most notorious outfits!
ANGELS, CHROME & HOT LEATHER: BIKER MOVIES FROM HELL PART 1--Get your motor runnin' for this three part article that looks at the often overlooked Biker movies, a style of exploitation cinema that catered to the trash tastes in us all. A product of the times, this inaugural first chapter takes a look at the big examples that got the genre revved up, the misogyny and racism inherent in the genre!
ANGELS, CHROME & HOT LEATHER: BIKER MOVIES FROM HELL PART 3--This concluding chapter leaves the others in the dust going on with a bang covering the 'King of the Biker Movies', William Smith, Manson style conceits in biker films, black biker films, the wackiest biker films and the end of the genre as it rode off into the 1980s!
BIG BUGS & KILLER KRITTERS: 50 YEARS OF MAN VS. NATURE--This special 500th post at CAC covers the gamut of 'Nature Amuck' movies and how they've both changed and stayed the same over the years. It features dozens of images including rare behind the scenes shots taken from various Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines!
BLAXPLOITATION CINEMA OVERVIEW PART 1--A three part look at Black Action Films of the 1970s, dig it! In part 1 you'll find discussion on Sydney Poitier, SHAFT, SWEET SWEETBACK, Fred Williamson and Jim Brown!
CINEMA OF EXCESS: CHANG CHEH & HIS FILMS PART 7--Part seven focuses primarily within the year 1971 -- one of the directors busiest years. The Iron Triangle are the center of attention here, with a bit on Jimmy Wang Yu in relation to the One Armed Swordsman character leading into the third film in that series. Also THE ANONYMOUS HEROES and DUEL OF FISTS are covered. In addition, there's a feature called 'The Women of the Iron Triangle' included within this article.
CINEMA OF VIRTUE: LIU CHIA LIANG, MASTER OF KUNG FU CINEMA PART 1--This first chapter covers the late, great Liu Chia Liang (Lau Kar Leung), his early life and his entrance into HK cinema. There's moderate coverage of his first three movies he directed for Shaw Brothers -- accompanied by a number of behind the scenes photos. Comparisons with Chang Cheh are discussed, among other things. Also included are brief write-ups on Liu's two other famous brothers, Liu Chia Yung and Gordon Liu Chia Hui.
CINEMA OF VIRTUE: LIU CHIA LIANG, MASTER OF KUNG FU CINEMA PART 2--Part 2 begins with coverage of Liu's famous 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN and carries through to MARTIAL CLUB; all flanked by rare behind the scenes photos. Liu's subverting of genre conventions is covered again, and also a brief write-up on Master Liu's nephew, Jimmy Liu, and also Hui Ying Hung.
CINEMA OF VIRTUE: LIU CHIA LIANG, MASTER OF KUNG FU CINEMA PART 3--The final installment on one of HK's most celebrated filmmakers starts with LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF KUNG FU and continues with his remaining Shaw pictures, and briefly covers the remainder of his career leading up to his death. Lots more rare photos from film sets, his first wife and family, and capsule write-ups on Wong Yu, Hsiao Hou, and Yang Tsing Tsing.
COOL ASS CINEMA GETS EVIL: 15 YEARS SURVIVING THE HORROR PART 4--This concluding chapter covers RE 5 and the newest sixth game. The article also covers the claims of racism against the fifth game. Additional Survival Horror games covered are ONIMUSHA and DEAD SPACE. There's also brief coverage of the RE film series.
DECADES OF EXPLOITATION: THE ART OF THE MOVIE POSTER PART 1--This article covers the changes in publicity ballyhoo for cinema through the years as well as the exaggerated imagery given to low budget movies to make them seem bigger than they were really were. Also, comparisons are made between import and export handling of promotional materials!
DECADES OF HORROR PART 1--From the beginning of cinema to the modern age and how horror was expressed decade by decade. This multi-part article starts here with an overview and covers the 1920s through the 1940s. The more things change the more they stay the same!
DECADES OF HORROR PART 2--Part two covers the decade of the 1950s including the Cold War, the threat of atomic weapons, alien invasions, big bugs, delinquents and the comics code vs. EC comics!
DECADES OF HORROR PART 3: THE 1960s CHAPTER 1--Part three tackles the naughty 1960s and features the sexual revolution, race riots, assassinations, Roger Corman and Poe and the burgeoning market for sex and violence in movies!
DECADES OF HORROR PART 3: THE 1960S CHAPTER 2--The second and concluding chapter on the 1960s covers a lot of calamity including the Vietnam War, protesters, hippies, changing movie trends and the Manson Family among other things.
FISTS, KICKS, AND KUNG FU THEATER: GROWING UP WITH MARTIAL ARTS MOVIES--Growing up with Kung Fu movies is the subject of this personal article about my long time love affair with Hong Kong martial arts cinema from the days of first seeing them at Drive-in's, to television, collecting tapes, and more. Includes some old mail order ads, and some bloody, HK movie related artwork from back in the early 90s.
FRANCHISE OF FEAR: HALLOWEEN PART 1--This is a possible ongoing feature covering a horror franchise from its bloody beginnings to its brutal ending. Part 1 of this first entry covers HALLOWEEN parts 1 through 3!
GODZILLA VS. GAMERA VS. METAMORGUS: A 'WHAT IF' SCENARIO--A big screen match-up between Toho's Godzilla and Daiei's Gamera has been a dream match for decades. This story is based on an outline for a possible Godzilla movie I wrote back in 1995, and combined with a Godzilla vs. Gamera vs. Ultraman comic I wrote in 1991 with new material added.
HEROES OF HORROR: NEW BLOOD & OLD HATS PART 4--Part four of this planned five chapter series covers Horror's Big Gun, John Carpenter and others including Ti West, Lucky McKee, and newcomers like Jim Mickle and the Ford Brothers. The currently MIA Greg McLean and crap filmmakers like Uwe Boll and Rob Zombie are also covered here!
INVINCIBLE ONE: THE EMPIRE OF SIR RUN RUN SHAW PART ONE--Part One of a two part article on the most influential producer of Hong Kong cinema, the late Sir Run Run Shaw. This first installment covers he and his brother Runme's early showbiz career, building the studio, the actors training academy, famous foreign stars visiting the studio, their theater chains and promotional events. Rare photos from old magazines fill out the piece!
INVINCIBLE ONE: THE EMPIRE OF SIR RUN RUN SHAW PART TWO--Part Two concludes the Shaw article. This even bigger piece contains even more rare photos and covers Shaw's kung fu movies, co-productions, his women, his battles with his stars, his alleged iron fisted methods, his charity work, his knighthood, the end of the Shaw Studio in the mid 80s, and Shaw's last few years!
ITALIAN CRIME CINEMA OVERVIEW PART 1--The crime movies of Italian cinema may look like rip offs of more popular American thrillers, but their stories more often than not were taken straight from the headlines cataloging the crime riddled streets of Roman cities! Part 1 covers Italian political thrillers!
MICHAEL GOUGH: THE OTHER GENTLEMAN OF HORROR--CAC pays tribute to the great British character actor, Michael Gough. He headlined a handful of cult horror favorites, but took supporting roles in many others. He's often overlooked in favor of the the more well known Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. This ode to the Gough is peppered with interview quotes and movie quips from the man himself!
MONSTER KID MOVIE MEMORIES PART 1--This three part series is a personal diary cataloging my personal monster memories growing up in the late 1970s through the 1980s. Part 1 covers creature features, cartoons and great TV shows back in the day!
MONSTER KID MOVIE MEMORIES PART 2--Part 2 covers my fascination with videotapes in the early 80s, buying monster magazines and enjoying horror hosts on the weekends!
MONSTER KID MOVIE MEMORIES PART 3--This concluding chapter covers VCR's, tape collecting through mail order catalogs, NWA pro wrestling, CDs and my then preoccupation with drawing superheroes and villains!
MONSTER KID MOVIE MEMORIES REVISITED: COLLECTING BUDGET VHS TAPES--This loose fourth installment in the Monster Kid Movie Memories series of articles is about some of the earliest budget tapes I ever bought from local department store outlets. The tapes discussed are a small handful of videocassettes I didn't realize I still had, and are the last surviving LP and EP mode tapes still in my possession. This is more of an addendum than a full article, and strictly for sentimental reasons.
MUTE SAMURAI SERIES OVERVIEW PART ONE, THE--Part one of this two part overview of the dynamically gloomy samurai series based on Sergio Corbucci's THE GREAT SILENCE (1968) begins here. Also included are brief write ups on the star Wakayama Tomisaburo and 1-5 of the 10 best episodes!
MUTE SAMURAI SERIES OVERVIEW PART TWO,THE--Part two highlights more positives and negatives of the series, and includes a write up on Katsu Shintaro and 6-10 of the best episodes. All this accompanied by a number of images from the series!
NEGLECTED DIRECTORS OF SHAW BROTHERS STUDIO: MOU TUN FEI--This single, but lengthy chapter in the Shaw Neglected Directors Series is all about the controversial filmmaker, Mou Tun fei who will be best remembered for MEN BEHIND THE SUN (1988). This article covers his five year career at Shaw Brothers with numerous behind the scenes photos and promotional materials for his movies including some that were never released to DVD.
RAY HARRYHAUSEN: MAGIC, MONSTERS & MYTHOLOGY PART 1--This first of a three part overview of Ray Harryhausen's career covers all his works from the 1950s. Included are quotes from, and about the man himself, monster movie memories of Harryhausen and 1-4 of the 'Best of Ray's Beasts' -- scenes and or the monsters made famous in his movies!
RAY HARRYHAUSEN: MAGIC, MONSTERS & MYTHOLOGY PART 2--Part 2 in this trilogy begins with Harryhausen's first Sinbad movie and ends with 1964s FIRST MEN IN THE MOON. In between, there's rare advertisements, magazine photos, and images from the films, as well as 5-8 of the 'Best of Ray's Beasts'!
RAY HARRYHAUSEN: MAGIC, MONSTERS & MYTHOLOGY PART 3--The third and final installment of the Harryhausen tribute article begins with his prehistoric dinosaur-Raquel Welch opus, and finishes up with CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981). The remaining 4 Best Beasts of Ray's movies concludes, as well as a handful of Harryhausen projects that never materialized.
GIULIANO GEMMA: REQUIEM FOR RINGO--This is a tribute to Giuliano Gemma, the great Italian actor of many memorable Euro-westerns, and so many others. It covers his signature films that made him famous, and also covers some of his other talents.
THE RISE & FALL OF THE ACTION HERO PART 1--A three-parter, this first piece on macho action heroes from their construction to their crumbling begins with guys like Johnny Weismuller, Buster Crabbe and Errol Flynn, and on to Steve Reeves and Sean Connery, and the types of genre pictures these men helped popularize. At the bottom is a link to take you to part two.
THE RISE & FALL OF THE ACTION HERO PART 2--Part 2 brings in some of the big guns of westerns and the 70s cop thrillers they molded into. The influence of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, and Charlton Heston are covered, as well as the black action, and martial arts genres from Hong Kong and Japan with the likes of Richard Roundtree, Bruce Lee, director Chang Cheh, and Sonny Chiba. Follow the link at bottom to part three.
THE RISE & FALL OF THE ACTION HERO PART 3--This three part series closes out with a bang covering the 1980s, the most crucial era of action movie masculinity. Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis are all accounted for, as well as the ninja craze spurred by action star Sho Kosugi; and others including Carl Weathers, Dolph Lundgren, Steven Seagal, and Jean Claude Van Damme. Coverage includes Tough Guys doing comedy, the big ego's, and the decline of the Macho Hero into the 90s and new millennium.
RUBBER SUIT KINGS: THE MEN & MODELERS BEHIND THE MONSTERS PART 1--One of the most mammoth articles written here at CAC is this two part look at Japanese movie and TV monster suit actors and the men who made them. Part one covers primarily suit performers -- the three generations of Godzilla suitmen; it also includes women and midget monster suit actors, and a sidebar on building a monster suit the old fashioned way. Lots of behind the scenes pics!
SANTO & THE LEGENDARY LUCHADORES OF MEXICAN FANTASTIC CINEMA PART 1 OF 2--This two part article details the various aspects that make the Lucha Libre genre one of the more entertaining, if underrated cult cinema forms out there. Part 1 looks at Santo and his societal influence, Blue Demon, the economics involved in Mexico at that time, and the impoverished budgetary restrictions of those films.
SANTO & THE LEGENDARY LUCHADORES OF MEXICAN FANTASTIC CINEMA PART 2 OF 2--Part 2 covers more about Santo and how the character changed through the 1970s, English dubbed Lucha movies, the wrestling, the inclusion of elements that might not translate well outside of Mexico, Sex in Santo movies, other comic based superheroes, and a list of 14 films that are among the best and most entertaining.
STOP-MOTION MASTERS: THE AGE OF ALIENS, DINOSAURS, AND MONSTERS & THE ARTISTS WHO ANIMATED THEM--This is a companion article for the Ray Harryhausen three part tribute series. This article is dedicated to the handful of other stop-motion animators who had great careers in their own right, but never attained the level of legendary status as Mr. Harryhausen. Jim Danforth, David Allen, Phil Tippet, Doug Beswick are among those featured. Unrealized projects, a King Kong commercial and advancing SPX technology are explored here!
THE TAO OF RIC: TRUE LIES & A FISTFUL OF MEYERISMS PART 1--In this seven part series, CAC takes on Ric Meyers, the so called "leading authority" on martial arts cinema for his 30 year crusade spreading as much Faux Fu knowledge as humanly possible. His rampant mistakes and fantastically made up stories are legendary. He often says "my work speaks for itself", and this expose proves that very thing! Parts 1-7 are linked at the bottom of each article! Or, if you want to skip to a particular chapter, click the separate links below!
THE TAO OF RIC: TRUE LIES & A FISTFUL OF MEYERISMS PART 4--The Shaw Wars continues in this third sequel to the "groundbreaking" (haha) unveiling of the mountainous amount of mendacity Ric Meyers has perpetrated onto a mostly unsuspecting public for over 30 years! Some of Meyers' most shocking remarks are found in this chapter!
THE TAO OF RIC: TRUE LIES & A FISTFUL OF MEYERISMS PART 6--This monumental fifth sequel is the biggest up to this point! Shaw Wars concludes while Japanese Chambara and Ninja cinema invades this article to divulge Ric's equally clueless knowledge of Nipponese cinema! The words of noted Japan-a-cinema celebrity Brick McBurley add an extra layer of authoritative reporting to this piece!
THE TAO OF RIC: TRUE LIES & A FISTFUL OF MEYERISMS PART 7--This seventh and "final" chapter in the acclaimed (haha) and revelatory series deals solely with the single worst audio commentary ever conceived! And Ric Meyers is behind it! Revel, marvel and be shocked by the sheer idiocy of the Inheritor of Kung Fu commentary track which features Meyers babbling about the wrong damn movie! Meyers also gets the director wrong, the actors, screenwriter, etc. A precedent of irresponsible reporting is set here! There's nowhere to go but up, right? Not in Meyers' case! See article below!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #1: WILLIAM SMITH--Retrospectives of the Bad Men of the Silver Screen begins with the biggest, baddest Tough Guy of them all, William Smith! Smith has literally done it all both on and off screen and you can read all about it here!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #2: HENRY SILVA--Who better to follow the King of the Bikers than Henry Silva? This actor has been in hundreds of television shows and movies of both US and European origin and one of the best examples of the bad guy ever to appear on the Silver Screen!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #3: HWANG JANG LEE PART 1--This special edition of the Tough Guys Files covers Korean super kicker Hwang Jang Lee. There's five parts to this one. At the bottom of each part is a link to the next one, or you can just click them separately. Part One covers his beginnings and films including his two co-starring roles with Jackie Chan. Also, this series covers 14 of the most oft seen examples of kicks done by HJL!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #3: HWANG JANG LEE PART 2--This second chapter covers his other collaborations with the Yuen's including a movie that either was never finished, or has yet to be discovered. Hwang's kicks, 4-6 are featured!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #3: HWANG JANG LEE PART 3--Continuing from part 2, the third installment discusses more about the various other kung fu stars that did multiple movies with the Korean kicking sensation. Kicks 7 and 8 are covered, Hwang's directorial debut, and also a dozen movies that feature the slackest, least believable Hwang Jang Lee deaths at the hands of those films' heroes!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #3: HWANG JANG LEE PART 4--Part 4 covers more movies, stars like fellow Korean super kicker, Kwan Young Moon, Hwang's kicks #s 9-11, his few movies as a good guy, his aborted directorial debut at Shaw Brothers and much more. This one comes fully loaded with lobby stills and vintage magazine scans!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #3: HWANG JANG LEE PART 5--This whopper of a finale goes out in a flurry of kicks covering Hwang's exit from HK and entering Korea once again where he made a slew of flicks for Filmark International among others. It also briefly covers his return to HK, but in more of a supporting status. Wedged in between all this is a Hwang Jang Lee 10 Best and 10 Worst list of the King of the Kicks!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #4: CHAN WAI MAN PART 1--Here's a two-parter on one of Hong Kong cinemas true to life on and off screen bad asses -- Chan Wai Man aka Chen Hui Min! Part One of Two covers much of Chan's early movie and boxing career, unmade films, patchwork productions and 1-5 of a 'Ten From Chen' list highlighting ten of the man's best works!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #4: CHAN WAI MAN PART 2--The concluding chapter includes much discussion on Chen's Triad background in real life and in the movies, more rare films, rare behind the scenes pics, promotional advertisements, and 6-10 of the 'Ten From Chen' list and more!
TOUGH GUYS FILES #5: SHO KOSUGI--The files on big screen Tough Guys continues with the man who made the word 'ninja' a household name--Sho Kosugi. The article covers the man's early years, his movie career, the marketing of Kosugi and everything ninja, the unmade Sho Kosugi movies, and the significance of Sho's career compared with other Asians who broke into the US film industry!
THE UNSEEN FREAKS: LOST SCENES FROM TOD BROWNING'S CLASSIC--This detailed article covers the various deletions, additions, and reworked sequences of Tod Browning's infamous classic, FREAK (1932). The article includes a few images of deleted scenes. Some of the cut scenes explored include differences from script to screen of 'The Wedding Feast' sequence and the notorious finale that hasn't been seen since the initial test screenings.
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I've been a huge movie buff since childhood catching old horror and monster flicks on Shock Theater and kung fu movies at the drive-in during the late 70's and early 80's. I've had a long time fascination with, and appreciate all genres of fantastic cinema, good and bad. One fans cheese is another fans juicy steak. I like both equally and seldom find a film I truly dislike as I will find something of interest in just about anything. The bulk of the films or tv series' seen here are mostly from my childhood, or films I own in what has become an Amazing Colossal DVD collection.