Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RAW FORCE (1982)

RAW FORCE (1982) 

Label: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Code: Region FREE
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 86 Minutes
Audio: DTS-HD Mono 
Video: 1080p Widescreen (1.85:1) 
Director: Ed Murphy
Cast: Cameron Mitchell, Camille Keaton, Vic Diaz, Geoffrey Binney, John Dresden, Jillian Kesner, Hope Holliday 

SYNOPSIS: 
When the Burbank Kung Fu Club travels to this mysterious island, they quickly find themselves facing the bloodthirsty vengeance of flesh ripping, kung fu fighting zombies, gun-toting white slave traders and a band of strange monks, who may be the only key to explaining the madness. Edward Murphy’s RAW FORCE is a virtual smorgasbord of over the top sleaze –mixing zombies, cannibals, outrageous action, gore, copious amounts of nudity and starring exploitation greats, Cameron Mitchell and Vic Diaz.

REVIEW: 

RAW FORCE (aka KUNG FU ZOMBIES) is a wonderfully confusing piece of trash cinema shot in the wild Philippines that combines a weird kung-fu action flick with a demented zombie movie and the end product is a mixed-bag of awesomeness. We have a pleasure boat with members of the Burbank Kung-Fu Club venturing to the Warrior Island where a group of evil laughing monks resurrect disgraced martial arts masters and trade raw jade for naked ladies from a German white slaver... it's just straight up weird and words fail to describe just how jaw-droppingly entertaining it is. 

The director throws everything at the screen mixing genres and numbing your mind with awful dialogue and gratuitous nudity. The story is a many tentacled beast that is way too convoluted to follow in it's entirety so I just sat back and took it in as best I could. In no way a good movie it is certainly entertaining with a non-stop flurry of fighting and fucking from start to finish with a finale that features the Burbank Kung-Fu Club versus an army of undead martial art masters with a barrage of explosions, a sweet beheading and a bunch of cheap gore gags, it's a bewildering tornado of questionable acting, stiff choreography and wonderful sleaze that proved to be highly satisfying.  


BLU-RAY: 
Vinegar Syndrome presents this slice of kung-fu action trash newly restored from the original camera negative and the new 2K scan is impressive. This film should look no where near as damn good as it does but the restoration is completely solid. A fine layer of grain throughout and some surprising detail and clarity. Colors pop off the screen and the bloodshed look glorious in HD! There's some print damage evident from time to time but nothing that will detract from your enjoyment of this crazy kung-fu action epic.  

The DTS-HD Mono soundtrack does a decent job with some limitations. There's some hiss present and damage to the audio track but again nothing that will detract from the experience - it probably enhances it to be honest. 


Extras include a making-of interview with Director Ed Murphy and Cinematographer Frank Johnson who seem like great guys and fondly recall their time making this one. They know what they made and don't have any illusions about this being anything other than a cheap piece of Filipino exploitation. 


There's also a five minute audio interview with director Jim Wynorski who re edited the film for it's theatrical release, it's very brief but Wynorski is a character and always a great interview. Extras are finished up with a theatrical trailer and a DVD version of the film with the same set of extras. 


SPECIAL FEATURES:

 - “Destination: Warriors Island” (The Making of RAW FORCE) w/ Director Ed Murphy and Cinematographer Frank Johnson (15 Minutes) 
- Audio interview w/ Finishing Editor Jim Wynorski
- Original Theatrical Trailer (5 Minutes) 


VERDICT: 

A supercharged slice of Filipino trash cinema that left me reeling with laughter and awe. Loaded with exquisite kung-fu nuttiness with no shortage of naked ladies. You get a lot of exploitation goodness in a short amount of time with zombie samurai, evil monks, women in cages and even man-eating piranhas. The only thing missing would a rubber monster raping the women in cages!  Quite a fun watch, a non-stop ride of delirious action, violence and naked women. 3 Outta 5 

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