Saturday, May 26, 2007


Here's a welcome surprise that reared onto the Poptique radar recently - in a rather dubious case of slightly off-centre cash-in Tiger Beer are sponsoring a May 31st showing of two mega-rare Filipino exploitation epics from producer/director Bobby A Suarez, sticking the blanket of "Asian Grindhouse" over them in an effort to Tarantino up their offerings.

It's not such a terrible thing considering old QT supposedly has a 12foot painting of one of them greeting guests to his humble abode - but perversely it's not the film Tiger Beer and their associates Firecracker has chosen to promote most heavily, 1983's The One Armed Executioner.

Nope - the real gem on offer is They Call Her Cleopatra Wong (1978), a unique chance to see the original Nun with a Gun back on the big screen. Cleo was a cocktail of Bruce Lee, James Bond and Coffy shaken, stirred and poured into the gorgeous figure of Marrie Lee, a Singaporean starlet who went on to high kick international criminals in two more outrageous epics. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to meet and interview the charming Miss Lee, whose real-life adventures in the realms of Asian exploitation were perhaps even more amazing and dramatic than her films.

Firecracker have a handful of films from BAS productions available for viewing on their website, but it's a shame that a company such as Mondo Macabro hasn't already unleashed Cleopatra Wong on DVD, bagging the lovely Miss Lee for a no-doubt incredibly insightful commentary along the way.

I'll try and make up for that soon by posting some sections of our interview here, but don't hold you breath too long - work on the mysterious Cult45 is still relatively relentless...