Sunday, April 23, 2006


As you read this, someone in Greece is suffering for your entertainment. Bill Barounis, founder of Onar Films, is painstakingly adding the finishing touches to a DVD presentation which became a nightmare task of Herculean proportions – somewhat ironic considering the film in question stars three of the world’s most enduring Super Heroes.

3 DEV ADAM (or 3 MIGHTY MEN) - an immensely enjoyable Turkish production from 1973 - features a reasonable facsimile of Mexican Masked Marvel Wrestler EL SANTO, teaming up with the Star-Spangled CAPTAIN AMERICA on a mission that boldly infringes all manner of copyrights. Together they battle Your Friendly Neighbourhood SPIDER-MAN, who for reasons unexplained has grown massively hairy eyebrows and is terrorizing Istanbul. Decidedly less amiable than his American counterpart, Turkish Spidey loves to torture his victims in imaginative ways - inviting his girlfriends along to enjoy a good chuckle with him. Reversing a motorboat into an unfortunate young lady buried in the sand, or shooting guinea pigs down a plastic tube to chow down on a petrified individual – it’s par the course for the wacky web-slinger.

The film has been familiar to cult movie fans for many years, especially after coverage in Pete Tombs’ highly influential MONDO MACABRO, but until now it’s only been available on virtually unwatchable, washed out bootleg copies.

Despite a series of heinous setbacks (detailed in a blow by blow account on Onar's website), an exhaustive search has uncovered the best quality source material available. A limited edition disc will be unleashed in May, including a fistful of trailers, interviews and promotional art - best of all, the film will be subtitled in English for the very first time!!. Feel free to frisbee all those nasty bootlegs out the window, as overnight this will become the only worthwhile way to witness such an incredible example of demented pop-cinema!

Onar are "humbly positive that the sales will be gigantic if not phenomenal...
Seriously now, the bitter truth is that sales will be tragic, but it's also true that ONAR FILMS will never be daunted nor restrained and will always be CRAZY ENOUGH TO RELEASE SUCH FILMS WHETHER THE MAJORITY LIKES IT OR NOT

Read the story so far, and get in the queue by clicking the cover below. Excelsior!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

LADY TARZAN - India 1985(?)

Here's a movie with something for everybody - one of the many Tarzan "inspired" films produced in India since the 1930s. I've sat through a few Lady Tarzan picutres from Bollywood, but this Telugu production looks far and away the most fun. I'm guessing it was produced sometime in the mid-80s, but so far a copy has eluded discovery.

There used to be a few pages from the distributor of the film on the web, but they've long since vanished. Most of the image files were dead when I visited, and a rather foreboding sound bite kept repeating "Lady Tarzan" - enough to scare even the most diligent researcher off. Nevertheless, a brief synopsis promised that Lady Tarzan knew "no language or even clothing".

All that and garish musical numbers? This movie must be found!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

DAYASAGAR - dir. Vijayachandar 1979

What's Easter without a religious epic after you've gorged yourself on chocolate eggs - so how could you go wrong with a vibrant, day-glo Bollywood version of the Passion Play? I heard about this version of the Jesus story on a fairly run-of-the-mill Channel 4 documentary "The Passion : Films, Faith & Fury" screened last night (and repeated on Friday 20th April at 1:40am). A quick search on google reveals the entire film is available to view online at the following site, if you have two hours to spare :

From what little I've seen, it's a pretty interesting production, with some great musical numbers and wild special effects.

If you need convincing about the propaganda value of film, supposedly seven million people in India have converted to Christianity after viewing Dayasagar (Ocean of Mercy) - the producers having screened the movie on bed sheets in remote villages all over the country!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Supposedly Spring is officially here, so this seems as good a time as any to highlight a great lazy swing track from "The Personality Girl", Annette Hanshaw.

For more information on Miss Hanshaw, check out out Joe Werner's fact filled site -

That's all.

FOR YOUR HEIGHT ONLY dir. Eddie Nicart, 1979

For many years a James Bond spoof from the Philippines, little known outside of cult film circles, sat near the top of my “Must See” list. The reason was simple – it showcased the adventures of a safari-suited super spy who just happened to be three feet tall. When I finally located a copy it wasn’t the film itself that grabbed my attention, but the decidedly odd cover art.

As hinted in the title, the gimmick of For Your Height Only is it’s star, Filipino icon Weng Weng. The obscure UK video label that released the film (circa 1986) must have thought the addition of Roger Moore’s instantly recognisable mug, shorn of his luxurious coiffure and bald as a new born babe might get a few more copies flying off the rental shelves. Closer inspection reveals the image, snipped from a random Bond poster, is pasted over a fairly unaccomplished rendering of Weng himself. Such a cunning, if slightly cack-handed marketing decision immediately earned my undying respect.

The movie itself is a rare beast – actually living up to it’s legendary reputation. Produced in 1979 by notorious sleaze-hound Dick Randall, it chugs along at a disorientating pace, chock full of double-take moments, disco dancing and surprisingly well choreographed fight scenes. They even find time for a Thunderball style rocket pack sequence, swinging a clearly terrified Weng high above a river. It’s rounded out with a bizarrely scripted, but frequently hilarious dub track, featuring passable imitations of Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson and Katherine Hepburn.

Somewhat disturbingly, Weng Weng spends the movie being thrown around like rag doll, most of the time sporting a glazed expression like a heavily sedated Buster Keaton. Just to prove he’s in on the joke, we get the occasional sly glance or cheeky grin – especially after using his X-ray specks to ogle some naked secretaries. In fact, despite his diminutive size, nasal twang and passing resemblance to Andre Previn, he’s a wow with the ladies, who can’t get enough of the fella. Attacking the action sequences with aplomb, Weng clearly enjoys sprinting through henchmen’s legs and kicking them square in the balls.

Essentially a series of vignettes, the basic plot follows Weng on a mission to bust a scheme for world domination by the mysterious Mr Giant. (I won’t spoil Mr Giant’s identity for you, but it’s another reason to love this film!) Fact fans may like to know that the all-guns-blazing climax takes place at same location used for another seminal cult classic from the thrifty Randall – Bruceploitation epic The Clones of Bruce Lee.

Come back soon, for a little more on the amazing Weng Weng – officially the smallest leading man in cinema history!!

Thursday, April 13, 2006


It Came From the Rental Store – Poptique’s cut and collect tribute to the early days of home cinema.

Remember your old video rental store? I’m talking about the really old one, which you abandoned long ago for a franchise like Blockbuster, (which you subsequently left behind for Pay-Per-View, rent by post or perhaps even naughty downloads…).

Back in the early days of the rental boom your local independent was most likely a veritable Aladdin’s Cave, bloated by an endless supply of unfamiliar but strangely appealing titles. It didn’t matter that many were mastered from battered, badly dubbed prints and barely fit for mainstream consumption – the idea was to stack ‘em high and rent ‘em cheap.

This was mainly due to the major Hollywood studios, who viewed the rental boom with the same suspicion they granted Television in its infancy. This allowed a massive gap in the market, eagerly filled by independent and fly-by-night distributors. Shelves were soon flooded with lurid exploitation movies and top-shelf titillation, often resorting to incredible depths and outright fabrication to grab the attention of the more adventurous or foolhardy viewer. Virtually anything was fair game when it came to separating the punter from their hard earned cash for the pleasure of an overnight rental (to be returned by 6pm the next day).

The idea that you could actually take home an entire movie to watch whenever you wanted was incredibly exciting, especially to someone who grew up when this was all brand spanking new. Out of reach to the average pre-teen, kaleidoscopic rows of fascinating forbidden fruit littered the walls - each promising an incredible experience, invariably undelivered.

I’ve remained transfixed with this era of exploitation, when the glut of Grindhouse titles left an indelible thumbprint upon the industry and impressionable young minds. In fact, I’ve spent the pass few years researching, sourcing, and distributing videocassettes from this era, earning some decent spare cash from the little bits of knowledge I’ve acquired.

So, all this pointless pontification leads to this : one of the features I’ll be providing on the Poptique blog for your entertainment and approval - a personal guide to some of my all-time favourite exploitation movies alongside their unforgettable artwork from the glory days of your local rental store!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Hello. Poptique starts here.