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Whirlwind Mask vs. Kung Fu Manchu

Crash crashes the old school martial arts party

By BRIAN THOMAS     February 26, 2003

Just curious I wonder how many people watch DVDs on a video game system? I first watched DVDs on my computer, but always considered that a compromise until I could afford to buy a 'real' DVD player. Nowadays you can probably buy coffee makers that play DVDs, but I wonder how many people bought game systems and found watching movies with it to be a bonus. Or did most consumers decide that a game system that plays DVDs was a great 2-for-1 deal...? Write in and let me know at feedback@cinescape.com.


SPOTLIGHT OF THE WEEK


This week, our spotlight falls like the Dragon Fist on Crash Cinema, who have been steadily increasing their stock among fans of vintage martial arts action pictures by releasing more titles in nice widescreen transfers from good prints, even as some of the same titles are available from competitors with only second generation video transfers. Add to the superior transfers the fact that their discs regularly contain extras like cast bios, bonus fights (sample scenes from other titles), galleries and trailers, and you've got a company that's making points. This spring, they're launching the Mondo Crash line as well, offering a line of twisted, off-the-wall psychotronic trash from the vaults. This week, they're pioneering an odd promotional gimmick with their "Power of Five Collection", which are available separately or as a box set. Each title contains an insert that can be used to get a discount on a P5 game controller a glove-like unit that can be used with X-Box and PS2 game systems! The titles are:


[ ]     BATTLE OF SHAOLIN (Crash Cinema) Wang Tao is a stagecoach driver that must survive attacks by Angela Mao, Phillip Ko and Lo Lieh.
[ ]    
LADY WHIRLWIND & THE RANGERS (Crash Cinema) Polly Shang Kwan is very cute as she kicks ass fighting a gang of outlaws.
[ ]    
MASK OF DEATH (Crash Cinema) Kung fu murder mystery starring Chan Sing, Wang Tao and Stephen Tung.
[ ]    
SHAOLIN VS. MANCHU (Crash Cinema) Taiwanese flick in which a disgraced Shaolin student named Rocky (!) trains to become a champion to battle the Manchus.
[ ]    
WAYS OF KUNG FU (Crash Cinema) Chi Kuan Chun and Leung Kar-yan star in this DRUNKEN MASTER type training & fighting flick.


Crash is [IMG2R]also releasing a second wave of their critically acclaimed Pagoda Premium Collection:


[ ]     AMSTERDAM CONNECTION (Crash Cinema) Modern day action as Jason Pai must fight his best friend when they join rival drug smuggling gangs.
[ ]    
SHAOLIN TIGER CLAW (Crash Cinema) Cliff Lok battles Shih Kien (ENTER THE DRAGON).
[ ]    
STORY IN TEMPLE RED LILY (Crash Cinema) Delon Tan and Judy Lee fight evil Lung Fei in this remake of the first known martial arts flick.


NEW RELEASES


[ ]     BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: BELLE'S MAGICAL WORLD (Buena Vista) Second direct-to-video sequel to Disney's hit. Anyone else think they're milking these things dry?
[ ]     BLOOD CASTLE (Retromedia) Jose Merino's IVANNA, released last year as SCREAM OF THE DEMON LOVER, but Retromedia promises a superior print and transfer.
[ ]    
BLOODY BIRTHDAY (VCI) 1981 slasher flick about killer kiddies.
[ ]     DARK SHADOWS Collection #4 (MPI) Spooky '60s soaper continues.
[ ]    
DRUMS OF FU MANCHU (VCI) Creepy Republic Pictures serial on a 2-disc set with commentrak and gallery.
[ ]     FACELESS MONSTER (Retromedia) Barbara Steele causes trouble in Retromedia's upgrade edition of NIGHTMARE CASTLE, aka NIGHT OF THE DOOMED
.
[ ]    
FARSCAPE Season #2: Volume #5 (ADV Films) Is FARSCAPE dead? Not on DVD!
[ ]    
FIREBALL XL5 (A&E) A&E continues to release Gerry Anderson sci-fi TV on DVD with this complete early "marionation" series.
[ ]     HORRORS OF THE BLACK MUSEUM (VCI) Cracked horror classic about a crime writer that commits murders based on his own private Black Museum exhibits.
[ ]     KNOCKAROUND GUYS [IMG3R](New Line) Crime comedy thriller about junior mobsters who lose a fortune in Montana and try to get it back; with commentrak, script and more
.
[ ]     RED DWARF: Series I and II (BBC) Cult British SF comedy TV series, with commentrak, deleted footage, outtakes and more. Available separately or as a box set. Smeggin' brilliant!
[ ]     ROAD TO PERDITION (DreamWorks) The Lone Wolf & Cub concept relocated to Depression-era Chicago, starring Tom Hanks. Director Sam Mendes' commentrak, deleted scenes, making of, etc. Widescreen or fullscreen editions available.
[ ]     ROBOCOP: DARK JUSTICE (Lions Gate) Made-for-cable cyborg action sequel.
[ ]    
SATANIK (Retromedia) Euro-pulp nuttiness based on the Italian photo-comics.
[ ]    
SECRET AGENT X-9 (VCI) Lloyd Bridges stars in this serial based on the popular comic strip. 2-disc set with commentrak, trailers, etc.
[ ]     SEVEN BLOOD-STAINED ORCHIDS (Media Blasters) First rate Umberto Lenzi giallo thriller.
[ ]    
SINFUL DEEDS (MTI) The old psycho stalking strippers routine.
[ ]     Star Trek: [IMG4R]Deep Space Nine - The Complete First Season
(Paramount) The best of modern STAR TREK debuts on DVD, with the remaining six seasons scheduled to be released by the end of 2003.
[ ]    
SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE Deluxe Series Box Set (Creative Design) $80 (srp) gift box includes the DVD, poster and commemorative booklet.
[ ]     THE TUXEDO (DreamWorks) Mild Jackie Chan misfire attempts to get him in on the recent spy spoof movie craze (check out THE ACCIDENTAL SPY for a more solid effort). Director's commentrak, deleted scenes, bloopers and more.
[ ]     2019: AFTER THE FALL OF NEW YORK (Media Blasters) Sergio Martino's wild
MAD MAX knock-off.


ANIME ADDITIONS


And last [IMG5R]but not least, our rundown of the constant stream of anime imported from Japan:


[ ]     AI YORI AOSHI #1 (Faithfully Yours) (Pioneer)
[ ]     BEYBLADE (Let It Rip) (Pioneer)
[ ]     DRAGONBALL Z (Red Ribbon Army Box Set) (FUNimation)
[ ]     THE GUYVER Volume 1 (Manga)
[ ]    
THE GUYVER Volume 2 (Manga) This series about a bio-mechanical superhero gets bogged down in episodic plots, but the incredible (and influential) character designs inspired by H.R. Giger, and bloody violence, give it a creepy edge.
[ ]    
VIRUS Volume 2 (Manga)
[ ]    
POKEMON: JOHTO LEAGUE CHAMPIONS (The Quest for the Hidden Temple) (Pioneer)
[ ]     REIGN: THE CONQUEROR (Vol. 1 - Director's Cut) (Tokyopop)


That's it for now... don't forget to check back next week for CINESCAPE's DVD Shopping List!


DVD Shopping List is our weekly DVD column.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.

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