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Got something to say about Asian movies
Topic Started: Sep 26 2007, 03:30 PM (10,685 Views)
Sweeney Todd
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SONG AT MIDNIGHT: the original movie, directed by Maxu Weibang in 1937, is available on DVD. At least three different editions exist...
But I don't know if the sequel, also shot by Weibang some months later, still exist...

About the two first PONTIANAK, I really never understood this story about the producer destroying the negatives and the prints. If it's true, it was totally foolish, as both movies were among the most succesful of Malaysia's cinema history. Furthermore, both were shown in other Asian countries, not only in Singapore and Malaysia, so, how can we tell that no copy subsist somewhere ? including in the USA for the first one, as apparently it was shown on US TV !!!
And just explain me why a producer would destroy two of his movies and not the others - and among his titles, just the more successful ones ??? incredible. And this, just because his wife wanted more place in their house ! it would have been far more judicious to kill the wife !
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Sweeney Todd
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This sad story is related in an number of websites, about Maria Menado and the Pontianak movies. Apparently some years ago she gave a party and wanted to locate a print of her first Pontianak movie and was saddened in learning the fate of the two first movies in the series.
"Pontianak Kembali" apparently is also a "lost" film.

The following link contains a VERY detailed review of "Sumpah Pontianak", and includes informations about the destruction of the prints of the two others. On the same site, you'll find also another BIG review of "Pontianak Gua Musang". Both contains spoilers but can also serve as a guide to fully understand the movie's complicated screenplays.

http://www.braineater.com/pontianak/sumpah.html

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Sweeney Todd
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Hello Steve, remember me ? you recommended "Phi Ta Bo" some years ago when we had some correspondence and it remains one of my favorite "old" Thai movies - it was made in 1981 so it must be a prehistoric object in Thailand :lol:
The problem is with the VCD itself - as it's cropped as so many other titles on VCDs and even sometimes DVDs in Thailand. More exactly, it's in Pan&Scan, at least during the credits, and it's painful to watch as these credits were originally written on the left of the screen, then on the right for the following ones, then on left, etc. so the video tries to "follow" them... it's ridiculous.
But "Phi Ta Bo" is so interesting as a movie that a company of the caliber of "Mondo Macabro" could eventually re-release it after complete restoration and a new master respecting the original ratio... and adding English subs of course.

The poster:

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Incidentally, if somebody sees "Phi Ta Bo" in a video list - most of the time it's the 1990's remake :

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I have both and the original is the best, of course.

Incidentally, Stephen, did you ever find WHO directed "Phi Ta Bo" ? it was (apparently) made in 1981, and the actors were Porjed Kaenpetch, Naowarat Yooktanum, Lor Tok (an actor who made more than A THOUSAND movies !) and Phochet. The only way to find the other credits would be to make scans of the Thai credits (from the poster, or, better, from the video itself) and send them to a Thai website in English. I made this sometimes in the past and they were able to identify some of the movies I have, or posters. In using this method I found than one of my Thai posters, depicting a Universal-type Frankenstein Monster battling with a werewolf (!) and starring Lor Tok as usual was something translated as "Power of the Zombie" ! :)

Sorry for the bad repro below but, having no camera, I was forced to scan the poster in several pieces and then re-unite the pieces, so it's not perfect. But the poster itself is mint of course (even after the scans!). Lor Tok is the guy in blue shirt on the right.
And apparently Glenn Strange was in the movie :lol:

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Sweeney Todd
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Yes, for PHI TA BO I found an original VCD only three years ago, so it could surface on eBay or in websites like eThaiCD. I still continue to collect old Thai horror movies, among the last ones were a DVD of DARUNEE PHI SING (1973), and the VCDs of KRAI THONG 2 and THE WEREWOLF, both starring Sorapong Chatri...
To date I didn't find a copy of "Power of the Zombie", but it could surface at any moment, in an old VCD edition. The original title was something like "Deet pee dip", it was made in 1984 by Kaai Tip (sometimes listed as "Guy Tip"). It starred Wit Nimitdee as the zombie, Lor Tok, Poonsawad Thumakorn. On the poster, two other actors are also mentioned, I was unable to find a "regular" transcription of their names but one is something like "yot na-kon naayok" and the other is "bprit-na ni-pa pon" in phonetics (I tried this method several times and it works - if you know the regular transcription of the name you can identify the actor from these phonetics). Of course it's far more easy if you have a Thai friend!
I also got some of the old "Mae Nak" movies, "Mae Bia", a lot of various crocodiles and tigers disguised as humans (or the contrary), etc.
Incidentally, did you ever identify the Thai movie released in UK many years ago on VHS as "Oil of Eternal Life" ? it was a krasue story, but I have no credit for this one. It was released circa 1987. The synopsis was as such: "When an old witch shoots ray in her mouth and eyes before exploding, a young woman becomes a vampiric kra-sue, whose head, glowing heart and lungs detach themselves from her body when she searches for her victims" (from Stephen Jones' "The Essential Monster Movie Guide", 1999, page 287). Of course it could be ANY krasue movie, but it's perhaps the one just known as KRASUE, made in 1982...
I also started a collection of Cambodian horrors, but of course most, if not all, of the movies made before the REAL horror in Cambodia seem lost for ever, they were destructed in the same time than their makers and stars were killed by the Khmers Rouges. Among the rescaped movies are one of the three Krai Thong movies produced by and starring Dy Saveth (The Crocodile Men) and one or two of her appearances as the Snake Girl. But most of my titles are of recent years, several being about the local "kra sue" or "penanggal" (I don't remember how they are named in Khmer).
About Malaysian/Singaporean horrors I must have 25 titles by now, but I'm still trying to find the others, I plan to buy GERGASI for instance. Apparently three of the early "Pontianak" movies are still lost... :(

DVD of "Darunee phi sing" (1973)
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VCD of "The Werewolf" (1987)

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