Five years ago, acclaimed Japanese fashion photographer and music video director Kazuaki Kiriyamade an explosive and groundbreaking assault on the movie world with his directorial debut feature, the visually stunning and hugely ambitious sci-fi epic, ‘Casshern’. Now, Kiriya returns in his own inimitable style with the equally spectacular period, fantasy action-adventure, Goemon.

Produced by Kiriya and legendary producer Takashige Ichise (The Ring; Dark Water; The Grudge; Shutter) and boasting a star-studded cast that includes Yosuke Eguchi (Shaolin Girl), Takao Osawa (Ichi; Sky High), Jun Kaname (Blood; K-20; Casshern), Tetsuji Tamayama (Norwegian Wood; Casshern) and Susumu Terajima (Casshern; Ichi The Killer), Goemon is based on the exploits of the film’s eponymous, ninja bandit hero – the Japanese folklore equivalent of Robin Hood.

The year is 1582 and the ruler of Japan, Oda Nobunaga, has been brutally murdered leaving the country in a state of political chaos. Meanwhile, a chivalrous thief known as Goemon, whose loyalties lay with Nobunaga, has risen as a hero figure amongst the populace thanks to his propensity for stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Goemon’s latest haul, stolen from one of his arch-enemies, includes a small wooden box of Western origin which he believes to be worthless and accidentally bestows upon a young street urchin. In truth, the box is a priceless artifact - a true Pandora’s box that holds a deep secret coveted and sought by Japan’s most powerful and deadly warlords.

Realising his error, Goemon seeks to regain possession of the box before it falls into the wrong hands. But its existence has also attracted the interests of a legendary swordsman, Matahachi, the legendary ninja Hattori Hanzo, and Goemon’s fearsome former friend and current rival, Saizo. With such a prize at stake, the stage is set for a series of bloody frays between Japan’s most skilled and deadly ninjas and swordsmen in a conflict that will have a profound effect on the country’s future.

Goemon (15) is released by Momentum Pictures and opens at selected UK cinemas on 23rd July 2010.


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Trailer for director Scott Stewarts Legion. The cast includes Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany, Kevin Durand, Adrianne Palicki, Kate Walsh, Doug Jones, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, Willa Holland, Jon Tenney and Charles S. Dutton.

God loses faith in humanity and sends the heavenly host to wreak havoc on the world. Only the archangel Michael and a small group of humans stand in their way. Michael believes that one of their number may be pregnant with the saviour and that she must be defended at all costs.

legionmovie.com


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Directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi Hausu (House) is an unforgettable mixture of bubblegum teen melodrama and grisly phantasmagoria, Obayashi's deranged fairy tale Hausu (House) is one of Japanese cinema's wildest supernatural ventures and a truly startling debut feature.

Distressed by her widowed father's plans to remarry, Angel sets off with six of her schoolgirl friends in tow for a summer getaway in her aunt's isolated mansion. But all is not well - in this house of dormant secrets, long-held emotional traumas have terrifyingly physical embodiments and the girls will have to use all their individual talents if any are to survive.

A rollercoaster ride without brakes, Hausu is by turns sinister, hilarious and curiously touching, with ceaseless cinematic invention and a satirical, full-blooded approach to the horror genre. A gigantic smash upon its original release in Japan, the Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present its UK premiere on DVD, released on 25 January 2009.


Order Ink on DVD or Blu-ray

Director Jamin Winans' hit Independant fantasy Ink is available to pre-order now from amazon. If you'd like a signed DVD or Blu-ray you can also pre-order from Double Edge Films website.

Chris Kelly, Jessica Duffy, Quinn Hunchar,Jeremy Make, Jennifer Batter, Eme Ikwuakor and Shelby Malone star.

Ink - trailer

Ink - trailer 2 on our Virb page.

www.doubleedgefilms.com


First trailer for Terry Gilliam's (Tideland) The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which stars the late Heath Ledger alongside Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present-day. It tells the story of Dr. Parnassus and his extraordinary 'Imaginarium', a travelling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. 
 
Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Doctor Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. An inveterate gambler, thousands of years ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr. Nick, in which he won immortality. Centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr. Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his daughter reached her 16th birthday, she would become the property of Mr Nick. 
 
Valentina is now rapidly approaching this 'coming of age' milestone and Dr. Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr. Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr. Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. 
 
In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr. Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all!

Via: Yahoo! Movies


Valhalla Rising

A few images from Danish film-maker Nicolas Winding Refn's Valhalla Rising which premièred at The Venice film festival and plays at the London BFI festival in October '09. Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre in Casino Royale) stars as Harald.

Refn is best known for the cult Pusher trilogy and more recently directing Bronson.

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

Valhalla Rising

Mute slave Harald escapes his Scottish masters with the help of 10 year old Are, torturing and killing them before joining a band of dispossessed Vikings. They go to sea, determined to return to Scandinavia to fight the spread of Christianity, but for Harald the journey is also a personal one to discover his own origins. Caught in a terrible storm, the group drift for 40 days until, on the verge of death, they find themselves in a freshwater river. The land seems at once strange yet familiar.

When they come under attack by unseen assailants, the groups' quest for their homeland takes on a bitter urgency as one-by-one they succumb to the onslaught, dying at the hands of the invisibles. Worse, they are no clearer about where they are or if this place even exists outside their imagination. Have they finally reached the new world, or Valhalla?"

Valhalla Rising - Promo Trailer

quietearth.us has a couple of trailers that are worth checking out as well.


Angry Robot Books

Angry Robot ™ is a new global Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror imprint from HarperCollins. Traditional SF and fantasy has been ploughing an entertaining furrow for many decades, but to our way of thinking much of it is missing a trick. "Crossover" is increasingly the way forward and you'll find plenty of it here, without batting an eyelid. New heroes and new settings - if there's an energy in a book that gets us jumping up and down, we're all over it.

Angry Robot launched in the UK in July 2009, and in the US and the rest of the world from September. Ebook editions will be available worldwide from July. Its first titles are a mix of genres, from a street smart neat-future thriller to ultra-dark horror to wild modern fantasy. Its authors, too, fulfil its mission: two men and two women, .....


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Trailer for Jamin Winans (11:59) very impressive looking independent sci-fi fantasy film Ink.

"As the light fades and the city goes to sleep, two forces emerge. They are invisible to us except for the power they exert over us in our sleep. These two groups battle for our souls through our dreams. One force supports our hopes and gives us strength through good dreams, the other force leads us towards desperation through our nightmares.

Chris Kelly, Jessica Duffy, Quinn Hunchar,Jeremy Make, Jennifer Batter, Eme Ikwuakor and Shelby Malone star.

Check out the second trailer on our Virb page.

www.doubleedgefilms.com


Creating Coraline - Images

Above: Animator Chris Tootell readies Coraline to cross a snowy forest in Henry Selick's stop-motion animated 3-D adventure Coraline.

Creating Coraline - Images

Above: Animator Bartek Prusiewicz works outside the Pink Palace house/apartments complex situated on a soundstage.

Creating Coraline - Images

Stop motion animation fascinates me, marveling at the Dinosaurs of Jim Danforth and Roger Dicken in The Land that time forgot as a child. The maestro Ray Harryhausen work in everything he did and later the surrel imaginings of check master Jan Svankmajer. As well as creations like Morph the animated companion of the late great Tony Hart and top notch kids show The Trap Door. Apart from generally just loving the look of Stop motion the patience of its creators amazes me. Anyway check out the images above from Coraline.

You can view slightly larger versions over at our Virb page (click to enlarge them)

Above: Set construction supervisor Bo Henry makes final adjustments to one of the dozens of hand-crafted elaborate sets made for Coraline

Based on Neil Gaiman’s international best-selling book and helmed by "The Nightmare Before Christmas" director Henry Selick, - is the first high definition, stop-motion animated feature to be shot in 3-D.

Coraline features he vocal talents of Dakota Fanning, Keith David, Dawn French, Teri Hatcher, John Hodgman, Ian McShane and Jennifer Saunders.

Coraline - Trailer

Coraline - Images

www.coraline.com


Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) is set in northern Spain in 1944, after the victory of Franco and his fascists. The film revolves around Ofelia, a young girl whose father is dead and mother has re-married. Her new husband is a vindictive fascist army captain. The captain believes that a son should be born near his father and so has his pregnant wife and stepdaughter Ofelia are sent for to join him in northern Spain, where he and his men are locked in a tit for tat battle with anti-fascist rebels. The lonely Ofelia, whose only real escape, is into the fairytales she reads, appears to create a fantasy world for herself. As a way to deal with her environment, though soon the border between fantasy and realty becomes blurred, and young Ofelia finds both reality and fantasy can quickly turn into a nightmare.

Pan's Labyrinth is directed by the much admired Guillermo del Toro, who came to the attention of many genre and world cinema fans with 1993's Cronos. He then hit a more mainstream audience with Mimic and from there has managed to alternate between more independent personal feeling projects and studio fair. While always retaining his genre edge. It is his studio fair, Blade 2 and Hellboy that most people will recognise him for and they are very good mainstream genre films, but it’s in his more personal projects that he really elevates genre film to its highest plateau. The ghostly drama The Devil's Backbone is probably his best work to date. Even though many critics are calling Pan’s Labyrinth his "Masterpiece", which is a great way to get on the poster or trailer, I am not totally convinced that this new film, good as it is, surpasses the 2001 cult classic. Guillermo del Toro has in his independent Spanish language films established himself as one of the modern masters of giving fantasy and genre film a very real world feel. This is not something I like as much as more mainstream critics, not that I believe genre film has to in any way be camp and comic, just I didn’t come for the relationship issues and family bonding. That said when it comes to Guillermo del Toro, he does it so naturally and so skilfully I can’t fault him for it.

Although the fantasy element which has been heavily played up in the films marketing is an essential part of the film, Pan’s Labyrinth is a far more serious film than many will be expecting. The fantasy elements though well conceived and executed, actually do not occupy anywhere near the amount of screen time many will be expecting and the film carries a very human and arguably very socio-political message. Fantastic as Pan looks, as grotesque as the giant toad is and horrible as the pale man comes across, it is the monstrosity that is fascist ideology and its unquestioning avatar Capitan Vidal that are the films real monsters. Some have described it as a film of two parts, but Ofelia's fantasies and the very real setting are both intrinsically important in delivering del Toro’s message and should not be separated. Yes Pan's Labyrinth may seem like a dark fairytale and can be described as such, but it is not necessarily just the fairy folk that qualify it. In fact it is the moral of the tale that makes it take on the quality of the traditional or classic fairytale. Other viewers will of course interpret the film differently from me, as is the subjective nature of art, but for me this is a tale about choices and the way we go about making them. It is a tale that looks at the way the right path is not always the easiest and may not always have the best consequences for us personally. It is a look at the fallibility that comes with being human and the way that even though our choices may not always be right, we should never be afraid to make them.

Though set in the 1940's only those sleeping at the back or whose waking state is never more than a subjugated, uneducated dreamscape will fail to see it's relevance to our times. The temptation to hand over our personal independence and liberties in favour of promises of freedom and defence by the seemingly strong is omnipresent. Pan’s Labyrinth highlights that the weak can be the strong, the strong the weak, the cowardly the brave and even a young girl can be more of a man than the unthinking automaton of authority. For how much strength is there really in never having question? Propaganda, rhetoric, hate and repeated mantra's can give an illusion of strength, but if you don’t question and make decisions personally where is your strength of character. Character like muscle should be built and the ability to make and stand by personal judgements should never be undersold or under estimated.

Guillermo del Toro, like the best storytellers presents us with a film where the allegorical though there for the taking does not overpower the story. If you want to just enjoy the film as a drama set in fascist Spain with a fantastic twist, there is no reason why you can't. The creatures are well designed and both Pan and "The pale man" are fantastically portrayed by "man in a suit" specialist Doug Jones (Hellboy, Carnies). The acting is fantastic across the board with stand out turns from Álex Angulo (Action mutante, The Day of the Beast) as the doctor and Sergi López (Between Your Legs, Sólo mía) as Capitan Vidal. Ivana Baquero who some might remember from Francisco Plaza's Romasanta gives a very mature turn as young Ofelia. The stand out for me though is Maribel Verdú as Mercedes; she also has arguably the best scene when she stands up to Capitan Vidal.

Beautifully crafted, shot and realized, Pan's Labyrinth has a timeless quality and an intelligent undertone that will have viewers revisiting it for years to come.

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www.panslabyrinth.com


Tideland

Tideland is Terry Gilliam's adaptation of Mitch Cullin's novel of the same title. The film follows a short period in the life of a young pre-pubescent girl, Jeliza-Rose. At the outset of the film, Jeliza-Rose is living with her hipster parents. Middle age hippy rockers for whom the party never stopped, and consequently both are now badly strung-out on heroine. We only get to know her mother, played by the "milfalicous" Jennifer Tilly briefly, as she is pretty quickly the victim of an overdose. Rather than face up to what has happened, Jeliza-Rose's father Noah, played by Jeff Bridges, decides to flee to the prairies where he was raised with his young daughter in tow. Once they arrive at the home of Noah’s now deceased mother. Noah decides it's time for a little chemical vacation of his own, but sadly he, too, is never to wake.

Tideland is in some ways a dark fairytale, but essentially it’s a look at the resilience of a child's mind. With her father dead in the chair where he overdosed, Jeliza-Rose is left to fend for herself. There’s no food in the long-abandoned house and untended grain fields stretch for miles in every direction. For sustenance she has only a jar of ageing peanut butter and for company, 4 dolls heads. Thus with her little body starved of physical sustenance and human company, Jeliza-Rose retreats into her own mind, using the everyday items around her to weave fantasies and adventures, in a way that only a child can.

Canadian child star Jodelle Micah Ferland, who you may recognise from Silent Hill and The Messengers, takes the lead as Jeliza-Rose. The then-10 year old actress carries most of the film on her own, which is a seriously impressive feat. Considering  the fairly adult themes and the fact she also gives each dolls head its own voice and personality (though thinking about it, it is pretty natural for kids to create personalities for their various toys). The Dolls heads form her main co-stars with the blonde headed "Mystique" being her main companion. However, the prairies are not totally empty; Jeliza-Rose meets an almost feral brother and sister. Dell, played by Janet McTee, is a wild-looking woman dressed in black who believes The Bees are out to murder her and has an obsession with taxidermy. Dell's younger brother, Dickens, played by Brendan Fletcher, is a young man suffering with heavy educational retardation, which appears to be the result of a lobotomy, but could be the results of an incident involving a school bus and a train. Dickens strongly believes the train is a Great Shark Monster that he is destined to one day kill. Mentally a child himself, Dickens like Jeliza-Rose, lives in a world within his fantasy filled mind. Unlike her though, he will never be able to grow out of it.

Jeliza-Rose's time in the prairies is brief and her interaction with other humans limited to the two siblings, but in that time she find herself exposed to things that would shock many adults. I get the feeling though the thing which has made the film gain mainly negative criticisms is the undercurrent of burgeoning sexuality. Jeliza-Rose is nearing puberty and the dawning of womanhood, she is not there and is still an innocent, but it looms close. Jeliza-Rose develops a childhood crush on Dickens who is in his mid 20's, and pecks at him with the kisses of childhood, again with all the innocence in the world and in fact his mental challenges make Jeliza-Rose the real power in their relationship. At one point she witnesses Dell copulating and performing fellatio on a delivery guy. As with any child she is not offended because only the tainted can be offended, it’s very difficult to offend innocence as sexual hang-ups and prudishness are the things we adults put onto children. And before anyone cries, everyone is fully dressed and obviously they didn’t really do anything in front of the young actress. It’s just a film, as much a fantasy as those the young character creates in her mind. The problem, I guess, is that while it’s perfectly acceptable for Guillermo del Toro to cast the similarly aged Ivana Baquero in Pan's Labyrinth. A film which features some fairly extreme graphic violence in places, sex remains a huge taboo. Which is funny because everyone will be exposed to sex in their life, but the level of violence seen in the likes of del Toro's film will be witnessed by a relatively low percentage of people who are born and grow up in the western world.

While watching Gilliam’s film, the two films that came to mind were John Duigan's Lawn Dogs and Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Innocence. Lawn Dogs because it to deals with a plutonic relationship between a young girl and a grown man (and the results) and Innocence which is hard to sum up here, but kind of deals with a perceptions of pre-pubescent girls and innocence. Both are films I recommend you see and both make good companion pieces to Tideland.

I personally enjoyed Tideland, it took me a while to get into but once I did I found the setting interesting and the performances strong. I don't think its a match for Gilliam’s best and it does fall short of what it could have been (I think there was a masterpiece in the combining of Gilliam and this story, but for some reason, probably financing problems and budget restraints, it misses out on those lofty heights). I think better realized fantasy elements would have endeared the film to more people, as they have with Pan's Labyrinth. Gilliam's choice to keep the film very grounded and lay off the fantastic elements he is famous for, was a commercial, and to some extent, cinematic mistake. However, I have to go against the tide (pun intended) and say this is a good bit of challenging filmmaking from a director -now in his 60's - something shamefully lacking from the works of people half his age.

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Aerosol

"When an ant appears on the factory belt, a worker's life changes forever."

A Worker is making aerosol cans on a Tayloresque factory floor.

The routine of his job is wrecked when an ant crawls into his machine. The game of cat and mouse, fueled by paranoia and hatred, begins and ultimately ends with the destruction of the machine that provides the Worker's livelihood.

The ant, feeling guilty, tries to help reconstruct the machine. From this moment, the Worker begins to realise that there is more to being human than his life to that point has lead him to believe.

Set in what appears to be a totalitarian, socialist, industrial retro-future; Aerosol is a very visually appealing short film. The set design is very reminiscent of Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's The City of Lost Children as well as later features such as Ernie Barbarash's horror sequel Cube Zero. Fusing with this increasingly popular but still very appealing future-retro styling is a very fitting sonic backdrop with the machine and worker creating / contributing to the music, think similar to the scene Takeshi Kitano's Zatoichi with the workers in the field.

Although the film feels a little like a high quality television advert or music video at times, I guess as a result of the limited screen time, it does manage to be fun and thought provoking. Although maybe not as deep as it thinks it is; a worker in a repetitive job feels animosity towards an ant and then finds an understanding and a common ground. You would have to be pretty unintelligent not to see the allegory, still its delightful in its simplicity, sometimes we miss the obvious because it's all around us and things like this can be a wake up call and a reminder.

The CGI ant while strikingly cute against the films Industrial background is a very effective and emotive character, who will bring out a warm fuzzy feeling in all but the most hardened viewer.

Wojciech Wawrzyniak and his team have created a great short, if you get the chance to catch it, make sure you do it’s a delightful little film.

To find out more visit Ozzywood Films Website.

Running time 10 mins (Short / Fantasy)

You can watch Wojciech Wawrzyniak's short film Aerosol at switch.tv (though the quality is not great, hopefully it will appear on Vimeo)


Moonheart - Charles De Lint

Having spent the past few years working my way through the standard fantasy offering in fiction, you know the type; elves, dwarves and societies not dissimilar to Earths middle ages, I felt it was time for a change. Now don’t be alarmed, I didn’t mindlessly wander into the Chick Lit or Richard and Judy’s Recommended section of Waterstones; hell my obsession with other worldly make believe wouldn’t let me. I still faithfully stuck with my favourite genre but thought I would widen my tastes a little. Traditionally I would reach for the novel that took me as far away from my mundane life as possible, discovering the wonders and mysteries of imaginary worlds without a single mention or link to reality. However after a while the standard formula began to get a little repetitive, leading me to discover Charles De Lint’s ‘Moonheart’; his twist on Native American and Celtic folklore, the Faerie Otherworld and Ottawa, Canada.

Sara Kendall and her uncle James Tamson live in Tamson House, a labyrinthine residence that covers 4 acres of downtown Ottawa, built by James’ grandfather at the turn of the century. The house is like a drop in centre for travellers, with many of the sprawling rooms housing a whole array of passing characters over the years from artists and poets to tattooed bikers. Currently living in the house with Sara and Jamie are Fred, the gardener, Sam, an author and Blue, the Biker and Blue’s girlfriend Sally. Their adventures begin when Sara uncovers a strange painting of a Celtic bard and an Indian Chief, and a bag of bone discs in the backroom of their antique shop.

Keiran Foy is the apprentice of the elusive Thomas Hengwr in the mysterious Way, a teaching that strives for internal silence and harmony with the surrounding world, a side effect being paranormal powers. When Thomas Hengwr goes missing, Keiran follows his trail to Ottawa where he soon discovers the local RCMP are hot on their trail, wanting to question the pair as part of their paranormal research operation.

When Jamie takes one of Sara’s strange bone discs to the museum to have its use identified, their troubles really begin as the bone disc turns out to be one of Thomas Hengwr’s weirden stones and the police are informed. They soon discover that being wanted in connection with a renegade wizard by the RCMP are the least of their worries as they find themselves transported into Thomas Hengwr’s Otherworld, through the portal that is Tamson House.

The Otherworld is inhabited by ancient magic, ageless bards and many other beings of native American and Celtic folklore. The residents of Tamson house, along with Keiran Foy and Inspector Tucker must collaborate with the Otherworld’s inhabitants, not only to find a way home but to also stop the evil Mal’ek’a that threatens to suffocate their world and our own. Unfortunately though the only person who can help them, Thomas Hengwr, lies in a coma in the bedroom.

Moonheart is original, fast paced and straddles many different fictional facets seamlessly. In essence this is a fantasy novel but the juxtaposition of Ottawa, the Otherworld and the RCMP investigation make ‘Moonheart’ a creative mix of fantasy, fiction, crime, folklore and romance all rolled into one. The characters of our world are refreshingly multi-dimensional, much like the plot and veer away from the cliché, especially Blue the Biker, a tattooed hell’s angel with a penchant for watercolour painting. That said, the breadth of characters is vast and some like Keiran’s friend Jean-Paul are somewhat redundant. This isn’t helped by the unpronounceable names of the native American mythical beings, and whilst authentic, endless characters with names broken by random apostrophes such as Tep’fyl’in and Ha’kan’ta can lead to confusion.

The overall story weaves itself in unexpected threads, leaving the reader baffled as to what is going to happen next, though this may be more due to the unfamiliar folklore and cultures rather than any intricate plot. However no one can fault De Lint’s research and knowledge in this archaic sphere. Those more accustom to native American mythology and Celtic folklore may not find such an air of mystery or originality in the tale as those that don’t, though the twists in character development and unexpected dispositions should keep even the most informed reader eager to turn the page.

The book is not without it’s faults (please can someone explain to me how Madison and his troops were able to enter Tamson House, see debris of the fight with the Tragg’a and then leave again back into Ottawa when none of the others can?), but it is nonetheless an exciting and innovative read.


Kung Fu Wonder Child

While walking down the street, a man and his teenage daughter are attacked for no reason. "Obey me and you will live, turn against me and you will die" cries the laughing maniac. It seems he is after their clans silver skull (don't ask me, I have no idea why they have such an item). The old man refuses to hand over the skull so is told that he and his daughter must die. A fight breaks out in which deadly beams are thrown and ninja smoke blasted, but the man and his daughter are quickly overcome. The laughing maniac then takes the souls of the defeated twosome and places them in pots with others who have lost to him and tells his zombie slave to guard them.

Enter a beautiful girl who is searching for her now missing father and sister. She's quick with her leg,s but it will take more than that to overcome the evil master and stop his diabolical soul stealing plans. It's not long before she enlists the help of the Kung Fu Wonder child, his grandfather and his two bumbling friends. Together they just might be able to do it, but first the kung fu wonder child has to go through being miniaturised, placed in a dolls house and fight a plastic face hugging scorpion ... no really.

Directed by cult Hong Kong director Lee Tsonam aka Tso Nam Lee (Shaolin vs. Lama, Hot, Cool and Vicious, Black Belt Jones 2). The film stars Lin Hsiao Lan as the titular Kung Fu Wonder Child, quite obviously a female, but she plays a male character anyway. Joining her is the lovely Yukari Ôshima who fans of cult Hong Kong Cinema will recognise from ultimate Hong Kong cult movie Riki Ô AKA The Story of Ricky amongst other stuff. Jack Long is in their as well a guy who has appeared in some real genre classics including fan favourites like The 18 Bronzemen, Born Invincible and Master of the Flying Guillotine.

Kung fu Wonder Child if you have not worked out already from the title is not a serious film. In fact it’s far from such mixing high camp, cheesy dialogue, toilet humour and crazy fantasy effects to produce a pretty ridiculous piece of celluloid fun. I guess it would fall in the fantasy Horror category, but this is low rent stuff compared to Sammo’s Close encounters of the spooky kind or Tsui Harks Zu Warriors of the magic mountain. But to its credit it is very entertaining and will appeal heavily to the fans of bizarre, cheesy and so bad it good films. There’s no getting away from the fact its trash, but its lots of fun and even if it is nonsense. Where else will you hear the line "Shut up! I am your master! I will urinate wherever I want!", or see a couple of young female orphans hopping after there deceased zombie father, who stops to give them a hug … ahhhh. Yukari Ôshima looking like she has been ripped right out of the old Nintendo street fighter game shows off some impressive legwork (and legs). The exaggerated by wires reaction to the blows that are dealt out by the various characters is cool. Some of the comedy is actually funny, which is not always the case with these cheese fests and director Lee is happy to throws in everything but the kitchen sink to make this entertain you.

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Jeliza-Rose is a young child in a very unusual situation - both her parents are junkies. When her mother dies, she embarks on a strange journey with her father, Noah, a rock'n'roll musician well past his time.

The film drifts between reality and fantasy as Jeliza-Rose escapes the vast loneliness of her new home into the fantasy world that exists in her imagination. In this world fireflies have names, bog-men awaken at dusk, and squirrels talk. The heads of four dolls, long since separated from their bodies, keep her company: Mystique, Baby Blonde, Glitter Gal and Sateen Lips, until she meets Dickens, a mentally damaged yong man with the mind of a ten-year old.

Dressed in a white suit and speedo, he spends his days hiding out in a junk heaped wig-wam turned submarine waiting to catch the monster shark that inhabits the railway tracks. Then there's his older sister Dell, a tall ghost-like figure dressed in black who hides behind a beekeeper's mesh hood.

As optimistic as it is surreal, as humorous as it is suspenseful - Tideland is a celebration of the power of a child's imagination.

www.tidelandthemovie.com

Dreams: The online Gilliam fanzine

www.revolvergroup.com


Ryuhei Kitamura's hyper violent girl with a sword movie Azumi is to get a limited theatrical release in North America on 21st of July 2006.

Orphaned in 19th century war-torn Tokugawa Shogun period of Japan, Azumi is found and raised along with nine other orphans by Ji, the mentor. The Shogun, sickened by innocent lives lost in senseless warfare, had commissioned Ji to cultivate assassins that could eliminate warlords before they could strike.

... Even if you have seen Azumi, which I expect many of you will have, it should be great fun to catch on the big screen. If you have not seen it yet there are plenty of versions available on DVD including the UK disc which you can pick up from amazon.co.uk


Creature Stills:

Ofelia and Pan

Doug Jones as the child-eating 'Pale Man'

Drawing Board:

 

Set Design - Totem

Set Design - sketch of tree/doorway to the Labyrinth

Character Stills:

Sergi López as Captain Vidal

Ivana Baquero as Ofelia


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