Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Cheapo DVD Reviews: Kingdom of Blood: Legend of The Red Eagle (2012)



Genre: Historical Adventure

The Story
  A small town in Spain is due to host an International Peace Summit attended by the most powerful rulers of 17th century Western Europe. Louis XIV of France, Charles II of England and of course Philip IV of Spain. 
  Little does Philip know that the event is merely a front for a dastardly plot to murder him and parcel Spain out between her enemies.  
 Luckily the heroic Red Eagle, Champion of the People, is ready to put a spanner in the works.
  Or he would be if he wasn't having some personal problems...


 These days I'm a little wary of European films given smack-inna-mouth packaging because half the time the film I get isn't the film I thought I was buying. 

  In this case I am pleased to report that Kingdom of Blood: Legend Of The Red Eagle is the swordswinging adventure I was expecting.  Sort of. 
 More on that later. 

 I was initially nonplussed when the (obviously medieval) goons chasing a beautiful woman are interrupted by what is to all intents and purposes a Ninja. 
 Then Louis XIV shows up - big wig and all - and the time period gets another unexpected, hefty nudge. But once I got used to the setting Kingdom Of Blood turns out to be decent little historical adventure with enough evil plotting, meaningful glances, fiery women  and sword & matchlock action to keep fans of The Three Musketeers entertained.  I could have maybe done with a little less of the "comic" foils but they don't harm the movie too much. I also find it interesting that at the film's big climax, the hero is...off doing something else.

 What I did find disconcerting is that we're dropped into events with very little explanation as to who all these people are and their relationship to one another might be. In fact, I was wondering if it was based on a comic that Spanish fans were very familiar with so there was no need to explain the backstory. 

  A little research brings up something interesting:  Across most of Europe this is known as simply Red Eagle,  because audiences in France, Spain, Germany and so on are already familiar with the characters.

This is a film based on the Spanish adventure series Ćguila Roja, a big hit all across Europe except for a certain group of foggy islands. Basically it's the Iberian equivalent of Zorro or Robin Hood. 
 The DVD might even be a "Film version" of a couple of episodes stitched together. Hard to tell.

 Either way it doesn't matter overmuch because I did enjoy Legend Of The Red Eagle. As a decent swashbuckler to watch while eating my tea, this film more than delivered.

How much did I pay for this DVD: 50p

Was it worth it: Yes. Minor quibbles aside, this is a fun film with a likable hero and even as a proud Englishman it's hard not to be moved by the stirring "For Spain!" heroics at the end. 

 Here's the trailer:























That's All Folks. 


Friday, 26 May 2017

Anime From The Vault: Saviour Of The Earth (1983)



The Story

Evil genius Dr. Butler creates a brand new energy thing and uses it to cause havoc by tapping into the world's computers. Planes crash, trains crash, nuclear missiles get fired, and traffic jams get really bad. All of which causes the authorities to call in non-evil genius Dr. Kim and his assistants: ice queen Sheila and hapless loser Keith. Dr. Butler takes exception to their interference so all three are sucked into the computer world where Kim and sheila are put to work on some evil project or another and Keith is forced to play computer games...

To The Death!

Can Keith escape? Can our heroes stop the evil Dr. Butler? Why is there a tiny robot girl with no nose? Why is her sister a sexy pirate chick? What the bloody hell is going on anyway? 

  I can remember seeing this one on the "Anime" shelf  back when the whole Japanimation was starting to get attention in the UK and even then recognised it for what it was:   An old anime film repackaged for the kiddie market and subsequently reshelved in the hopes that anime fans might go "Ooh. that looks Japanese. Me buy"

  Except it isn't Japanese. 

   This is a Korean film called Computer Haekjeonham Pokpa Daejakjeon which is a lot of words to say "Blatant Tron Ripoff"  There's even a frisbee fight FFS. 

 Lack of originality isn't the only problem. Even compared to other work from 1983 the animation is nowt special and if I didn't know better I'd be convinced that this was stitched together from a TV series as that's the artwork standard.  Then there's the story which drags like hell. A sequence where hapless gamers are dropped into arcade games to see how they like being blasted is stretched out for too long and a car-chase suddenly judders to a halt when Keith becomes playmate to the aforementioned robot girl. 
  Why anybody thought that was necessary to the plot puzzles me. You couldn't have given the sexy piratess more screen time?  She's more fun than Sheila who is about as much fun as televised furniture-polishing.

 By the time the climax arrives, I didn't care any more.

  The big, bigger, biggest problem, however, is the dubbing because holy crap it is terrible. 

  Saviour Of The Earth is appallingly bad. Flat, robotic voices, dodgy accents, stilted dialogue...all the hallmarks of disinterested, low-budget voice-dubbers are present and correct. There is literally not a single person who manages to give their performance any kind of sparkle or effort. Were there even professionals involved or did the dubbing director just round up some of his cleaners and stick a mic in their faces?

  To sum up: Do not watch this movie. I did and I regret it. 

 I would post screen shots but I don't want to take up even more of my time on this movie. So let's have a couple of Pirate Captain Ann - who deserved a much better film.

  These two are sisters. Don't ask me how.  

  A shot the animators liked so much they used it twice. 


That's all folks. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Eurovision Metal Contest Group 3

Metal Songs About Metal. Ultimate Metal Song List

 How time flies when you're...busy with work and life and a bunch of other crap. Oh well. 

This is the belated final batch of this year's  Eurovision Metal Contest. Hope you like it.

Austria

Insanity Alert - Metal Punx Never Die (2016)



Credit to: Bruno Terrosa

Germany

Sacred Steel- Heavy Metal Sacrifice (2016)



 Credit to: Unknown Power Metal YT


Switzerland

Burning Witches - Metal Demons (2017)


Credit to: Burning Witches


Poland

Kelthuzzar - Prawdziwego Metalu Kult (2007)


Credit to: Xsatanisticx


Slovakia

Oldblood - Heavy Metal Night (2010)


Credit to: Mefistofelesblack

And that's it for another year.
Yes, I know I posted Portugal twice. 

Oops.


That's all folks. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Eurovision Metal Contest 2017 (Group 2)



Well that's Eurovision done with for another year and it delivered more than enough drama, bum notes, bizarre voting and weird shit for anybody's liking. (Seriously, does anybody know wtf was going on with Azerbaijan's horse-man on a lader?) Never mind, we can still milk the Eurovision euphoria for a wee while longer with a second dose of Eurovision metal.
See here: The-eurovision-metal-contest-2017-group 1 for the first batch of songs and a quick rundown of the rules.

Greece

Paladine - The Metaliser (2017)




I'm cheating a bit on the next one. 

Sweden

Golden Resurrection - Heavenly Metal (Instrumental 2013)


Credit to: Walter Dornez


Norway

Black Viper - Metal Blitzkreig (2016)


Credit to: Shinjuku Mad

Portugal

Alcoholocaust - Thrash Metal Ataque (Demo 2006)




Credit to : ThrashMetalPT



Arkham Witch - Metal Queen 2014)


Credit to: The Nazgul

See you soon for the third and final batch.

That's all folks. 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Eurovision Metal Contest 2017 (Group 1)

Ultimate Metal Playlist

 The eyes of the world are once again drawn to the annual event that is the Eurovision Song Contest, where the nations of Europe (And Israel. And several states in the Caucasus. And ...err...Australia.) come together in a glorious celebration of song, spectacle, silly outfits and dubious voting practices.

  And as is my annual custom I'm going to do my own version. 

Here are the rules.
1. The song must contain the word "Metal" or some variation thereof. (See the enormous header.)
2. It must be a song I have never posted before. (Which can make life awkward)
3. It must be from within the last 10 years. (A rule I'm quite flexible on, actually.)
4. Songs will be posted in small batches. (Because I'm lazy)
5. If I don't post a song from a particular country it's only because I can't find one. (Laziness again.)

So here we go with the first batch. Enjoy.  

Australia

Archaize - Metal Exorcism (2014)



Credit to: Matt Tyson


Portugal

Autopsya - Thrash Metal Army (2013)


Honour to: Bruno Terrosa


Finland

Night Crime - Metal Pollution (2014)



Credit to: Antti Heikenen

And you can exepect to see that cover in an upcoming edition of Heavy Metal Cover Girls.


Czech Republic.

 Falcar - The Metal Crusade (2016)



Netherlands

Chainsaw- Metal Commandments (2013)


Credit to: ChainsawHellYeah

That's it for this round but expect more to some.
Exactly how many depends on whether I can find songs for Azerbaijan and San Marino and
whether I decide to sneak in some other random countries. Indonesia for instance.

That's all folks. 


Monday, 8 May 2017

So there was this spider...

 It was sometime in the early hours of the morning and I had just drifted from a deep sleep into a state that was not quite awake, not quite asleep. Conscious enough to talk to you but not enough to remember what the hell either of us had said - that sort of thing.

Let's call it "sleep-drunk"

   I shifted my head on the pillow. Shifted it again...then rolled over and opened my eyes...

...To find a spider hanging 3 inches away from my nose. 

   Most of the time me and spiders are cool. They do their thing, I do mine and we co-exist quite happily.

  This spider was not cool. For starters it was ghostly-white and it was staring at me with eight blood red eyes, quite obviously intent on crawling up my nose while I was asleep and laying it eggs in my brain.

 (Did I mention that I was half-asleep at the time and Mr "Rational Thought" hadn't reported for duty yet.?)

  Which, I think, explains why my immediate reaction was to go "Aaarrgghhh" and launch a wild left-hook. 

  The evil, brain-eating arachnid had just time to register the fleshy asteroid inbound and hostile before it was crushed violently between my knuckles and the wall.

 In retrospect punching it another couple of times may have been overkill. 

 So if my neighbours are wondering why I was banging on the wall last night, that's why. It's also why I was pulling the mattress and bedding off so I could make sure the fucking thing was actually dead.   

 Because you know what's worse than a spider from hell?  A spider from hell that wants revenge.

That's all folks. 


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