AICN & Twitch Present International Eye Candy! Chow Yun Fat is Confucius! Andy Lau vs. a cyborg? Polish vampires! More!
Published at: Jan. 14, 2010, 6:41 a.m. CST by quint
Yes, a year has come and gone, I have spent nearly a week in hospital consuming vast amounts of opiate drugs, and the time is now upon us for another edition of International Eye Candy. Up in this edition? A fantastic slice of neo-giallo from Belgium. Polish vampires. Scandinavian undersea ninjas. The return of pinky violence. And Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau battling a cyborg who sprouts robot snakes from his arm. Life is good. Onwards!
We start in China where Chow Yun-Fat is starring in a big budget bio-pic about the life of Confucius. Yes, the man was once much, much more than a fortune cookie philosopher. Big, epic battle sequences in the life of Confucius? Yep, it came as a bit of a surprise to me, too, but they’re in there and the production values look fantastic. This one has appeared in these pages before but it’s back thanks to the new, final theatrical trailer.
Find the CONFUCIUS trailer here
Those who attended Fantastic Fest last year may have had the very good fortune to experience the work of UK animator Stephen Irwin. At Fantastic Fest we screened his short film THE BLACK DOG’S PROGRESS, a black and white, ‘flip-book’ animation chronicling the life of a puppy given as a gift only to end up stabbed, burnt and sodomized. A cheery piece? No. But brilliant. And now Irwin is back with his latest piece ATOMIC HUBBUB. Irwin is one of the most unique and distinctive animators in the world, dive in for a unique experience.
Experience the ATOMIC HUBBUB here
For something one hundred percent, completely and totally different – not to mention something that could easily be a product of a completely different era and was the buzz film of the Sitges festival towards the end of 2009 – we go to Belgium for neo-giallo AMER. Wondering why people don’t make films like those 70s Italian classics any more? Well, young directorial duo Bruno Forzani and Helene Cattet just did and the results are stellar. A brief teaser released back in the fall but the first proper look has just arrived. You’ll think you’re back in the golden age of Euro-cult.
Find the AMER trailer here
Because the world need more movies about Dungeons and Dragons and the people who play it, here’s the trailer for THE DUNGEON MASTERS. This US doc has been lying low and I really can’t understand why it hasn’t drawn more attention – and I mean a LOT more attention – because it looks absolutely fascinating and wildly entertaining. I never played the game myself but, damn, this makes me wish I did.
Find THE DUNGEON MASTERS trailer here
And after watching a trailer about a whole lot of people who must have spent much of their life trying to avoid being hit we present the latest trailer for a film in which a great many people really do get hit. It’s TRUE LEGEND, the 3D directorial effort from kung fu legend Yuen Woo Ping. Yep, we’ve shown a bunch of stuff from this one previously but Yuen is an icon for a reason and there’s plenty of new footage in this to ogle. Yes, please.
Find the new TRUE LEGEND trailer here
Right, off now to Poland we go for KOLYSANKA (LULLABYE in English), a new vampire comedy soon to hit screens in its native land. And this one looks like it could be tasty fusion of styles ... the spin on the vampire mythos is very uniquely Old World Europe but mixed in with that is a very compelling, very North American spin on the horror comedy, one loaded with great slapstick sight gags – including one particularly hilarious spin on the vampire glory-hole – and a soundtrack that could easily have come from Danny Elfman. The full trailer for this one has arrived and it’s a tasty one. Pass the blood.
Find the KOLYSANKA trailer here
Steam punk? We got some of that. Coming soon out of the UK is THE MARIONETTE UNIT, a Victorian-era steam punk picture revolving around theatre performers manipulated and controlled by a massive steam-driven organ, the project currently gathering – if you’ll pardon the horrible pun – steam. Producers are putting together funding for both short and feature versions of the concept and, to sell the concept, have put together a fantastic proof-of-concept trailer.
Check THE MARIONETTE UNIT trailer here
Well, we’ve had our representation from one set of the undead and here comes the other batch. Yep, it’s zombie time and the undead horde shows no signs of slowing. Director Casper Haugegaard is making his film debut with fifty minute zombie picture OPSTANDELSEN and while it often seems as though the zombie genre is wobbling along on its last legs but as long as directors like Haugegaard keep finding new spins on things then life will remain in those wobbling, rotting legs.
Find the trailer for OPSTANDELSEN here
It seems appropriate enough to move from Denmark over to Greenland, given the two nations’ close ties. And while it’s not surprising that Greenland doesn’t produce a lot of film, given the small population, what is surprising – particularly considering the incredible strength of Nordic film in general – is that the nation has apparently never produced a feature film at all, at least not until Torben Bech and Otto Rosing’s NUUMMIOQ. It’s very much an arthouse picture and very much a gorgeously shot one. Very nice.
Find the NUUMMIOQ trailer here
We’re gonna stick in the Nordic territories for a couple more here, going back to Denmark first for a bith of THERAPY. Danish actor Nikolaj Lie Kaas – you may know him as the assassin in ANGELS AND DEMONS – is a great favourite of mine, a prolific and very diverse performer but one thing that he hasn’t done a lot of before now is comedy. And if this is any indication, he should do more. Lots more. The pitch is basically THE MONEY PIT – a young couple buys a fixer-up house that they can’t really afford and rent the basement out to a couples therapist to make ends meet – but it’s THE MONEY PIT exceptionally well done with some fantastic physical comedy coming from Lie Kaas. Yes, please.
Find the THERAPY trailer here
And we end our Nordic sojourn by hopping over a fjord or two to end up in Norway, where we discover the first teaser for the aptly titled NORWEGIAN NINJA. Which is, of course, about a small clan of Norwegian ninjas. It sounds like a very deliberately goofy cult film, which it very much is, but it’s also something a whole lot more. See, the ninja commander is one Arne Treholt, an actual Norwegian politician and diplomat who was imprisoned as a spy working on behalf of the Soviet Union and Iraq in 1984 and the production is weaving large amounts of actual, documented facts of the shadow cabinets, terrorist movements and secret underground agencies that thrived at the height of the Cold War to create a revisionist history of the era that is, strangely, as plausible as it is absurd. Because, really, the Cold War was nothing if not strange and absurd.
And now, here are the NORWEGIAN NINJA striking from beneath the sea
For our penultimate entry we present an entirely different sort of oddity, an intentionally primitive piece of post-apocalyptic animation from Argentina. The film is EL SOL, from cult animator Ayar Blasco. Beyond that I say nothing.
Find the EL SOL teaser here
And, finally, it’s Andy Lau in FUTURE X-COPS, the latest from hit Hong Kong shlock-meister Wong Jing. And he’s living up to his reputation with this one. Bad jokes, cheesy effects, and one of the biggest Asian stars of all time doing battle with a bullet proof man-bat, giant robots, a cyborg who sprouts robot snakes out of his arm and more, more, more. It’s shamelessly derivative, totally trashy, and hysterically – and probably unintentionally – funny. Instant Cult Film.
Find the FUTURE X-COPS trailer here