April 2011

Another blog. About Portland. And other stuff too.

about | archives | twitter | flickr | potma | iphone snapshots | facebook | yelp
rss feed | youtube | links | the burning log


Questions? Comments? Reservations?
anotherportlandblog[at]gmail[dot]com

Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

 

Grindhouse Film Festival

Portland plays host to plenty of festivals every year for international films, animation and locally-produced labors of love but rarely, if ever, for anything that falls under the label of "Geek Cinema." Where are the zombie and sci-fi events or something along the lines of Butt-Numb-A-Thon, an annual, 24-hour marathon in Austin that sells out months in advance?

In recent months, the Hollywood Theater has been doing its part with a recent Godzilla festival and last weekend's Grindhouse fest. For three days, the organizers presented a series of classic martial arts films that, for the most part, haven't been seen on American screens since the early 1980s. Even then, fans of this genre would have to tread into "Grindhouses," low-rent, run-down places that typically served more as shifty hotels than movie theaters.

The six films featured are all available on DVD but are still hard to find for those unwilling to shell out $27+ for an international copy. I've been trying to see Shogun Assassins since the name was dropped in Kill Bill 2 but Movie Madness doesn't offer it. Seeing that this was, as the website put it, "a chance of lifetime," I headed to the Hollywood and caught three of festival's six features.

SHOGUN ASSASSINS: Based on the classic Lone Wolf and Cub comic series, the movie is a blood-soaked samurai free-for-all and deserves a spot among the world's coolest films. Ogami Itto stars as a samurai seeking revenge for the death of his wife. Along for the ride are his toddler son and a baby carriage/cuisinart loaded with booby-traps. Comprised of highlights from the comics, the two are endlessly confronted by a slew of assassins and shogun warriors. The film's action sequences are among the most gory and over-the-top ever put on celluloid. Limbs go flying as the two make their way across the Japanese countryside in search of the Masters of Death, three bodyguards in service of a corrupt Shogun. In one sequence, Itto takes on a female warrior capable of stopping swords with her hands and leaping out of a kimono like a rocket. In another, the carriage manages to take out a small army of would-be ninjas. If you only see one blood-soaked, old school samurai explotation flick in this lifetime, this is probably the one to see. Shogun Assassins is actually a combination of two films in the original five part series, which means I have three more of these to track down.




LADY SNOWBLOOD: Allegedly the inspiration for Kill Bill, this one follows a woman out to avenge the death of her parents. The action sequences are inspired but the film trudges along through a series of slow subplots. The finale, set in the middle of a masquerade ball, and Lady Snowblood's encounter with an elderly enemy in a dilapidated hideout, make it worth seeing. I would have enjoyed it more had I not caught it on the heels of Shogun Assassins.

MASTER OF THE FLYING GULLOITINE: After his two disciples are killed, the blind master seeks revenge against the one armed boxer responsible. 93 minutes of mayhem follow as he takes on a Hindu fakir with the ability to extend his arms ten feet and a martial arts school that trains its students to run on walls. The film's main draw is the title weapon, a flying contraption that works as a sort of truncating boomerang. The martial arts battles are epic and everything else is ludicrous. Great stuff with an iconic theme song.

I also wanted to catch 36th Chamber of Shaolin, the nexus for the Wu Tang Clan, but didn't make it to the Sunday screening. The next time it hits the big screen in Portland could be 2060. It's a shame that festivals like this come around about as often as Halley's Comet.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home


SEARCH THIS BLOG? SURE, NO PROBLEMO, AS BART SIMPSON USED TO SAY....





www.flickr.com




-archives-

  • October 2003
  • November 2003
  • December 2003
  • January 2004
  • February 2004
  • March 2004
  • April 2004
  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011

  • Clicky Web Analytics


    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?