Magazine Review: Asian Cult Cinema Magazine – Issue 61

ASIAN CULT CINEMA MAGAZINE – ISSUE#61
by Thomas Weissner
Published by ASIAN CULT CINEMA
Publication Date: 2008
Format: Color / BW – 62 pages
Price: $6

Cruel Restaurant starts this issue off, and what a film at that. However what makes it special is that author Edward Lee gives us the rundown. Not only is it good writing but it makes alot of sense.

With a slight historical approach to horror films that have the eating of human flesh, Lee leads straight into the setup on Cruel Restaurant that will have you wetting your appetites in anticipation. What’s this?….he is going so far as to call the film director Kawano a genius? Well I’m not gonna bicker, instead I’ll take that as a hint and make sure this is on tonight’s list of films to watch.. If you’ve been following the trend in Asian cinema you know full well that Cruel Restaurant isn’t the first of this kind. With films like “Dumplings” and “Untold Story”, the idea of serving up human fritters is a reoccurring subject of interest.

While i’ll confess that my interest in Asian cult cinema lies mostly on the horror and bizarre end of the spectrum, it still doesn’t take away the fact that many films of value are profiled and featured. I grew up on martial arts movies, which still provide a great sense of nostalgia in watching them. Of course the newer films have a different approach at times than the older with computers and other tools available to them. Issue 61, has a bit of horror titles of interest, though the focus here is surely on action films.

This issue has a extensive feature on the director John Woo. A favorite among Asian films lovers. It’s obvious the man has talent and can work the camera with great finesse, though I can say I have never been much of a fan of his films. Maybe it wasn’t the right ones or maybe just the wrong combination of actors but I still recognized the achievements in whicg he is highly regarded.

His latest effort is named “Red Cliff” which has been highly anticipated since it’s announcement. The premise is built around the Red Cliff battle , one of the most famous wars in all of Chinese history. Woo talks about the film in epic proportions as we start with an overview of the film and lead into a one on one interview with the director. I’m reminded of a few films I’ve seen in recent years, but I can say I always enjoy them. One for the map, this one.

Jason Statham is profiled in his own feature. Here is a guy who I instantly became a fan of. His Transporter films are easily found in my “can’t wait to see that” list of offerings to look forward to. With 3 under his belt, it appears the Transporter is indeed a franchise. We get a bit of his background in addition to being discovered on a Soccer ball field. What will they think of next? At this point, the actor is already getting roles in big features and whatever films that proceeded the Transporter series are surely getting relooked at now with different eyes. A nice bonus to the issue that I enjoyed.

A smaller article inside covers the Harakiri series, which now comes in a box set called Boobs & Blood. The series released as 3 parts originally has been collected now under one roof. The article goes on to describe a bit of what these shows are about. However I could tell real quickly they are all just setups to a bloody end exploiting ritual suicide. A few offer some complimentary nudity prior to the act, but i just wonder how one can really sit thru all these based around the same premise. The act that is featured is called seppuka and is just another method of self inflicted suicide. This one is primarily for gore hounds, but beyond that I cant see alot of value in it.

The issue round nicely with a few more action driven feature articles, some reviews and some nice photo spreads along the way.

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