Friday, February 12, 2016

Son of Deep Red Deluxe


SON OF DEEP RED DELUXE Compiled by Chas Balun (1989).

This review is bitter sweet because it's another seriously rare tape from the DR archives that Skunkape crawled through a sewer pipe John Goodman/ William Forsythe Raising Arizona style to procure a copy for me. It's bitter sweet because I'm not even sure if any of the other tape comps in the catalog will surface like Deep Red Deluxe 1 & 2, who knows if anyone has a copy. Afterward he handed me the tape, that generous primate stunk up my couch for a week, there existed no tomato sauce in the world that could rid the stench of excrement, mud and cinnamon (why)? I finally had to ditch my apartment, because the odor just permeated my nostrils and kept me up late at night. So I hope everyone appreciates all the hard work the TOG goes through.

So worth crawling through miles of shit

So what's on this extremely rare VHS compiled by Chas once again, well it starts off with some deleted scenes from John Woo's The Killer and continues on with others celebrating the man's filmic brilliance. We're treated to a smorgasbord (or Dim-Sum Buffet) of Golden Harvest Woo related trailers from the catalog like The Young Dragons (which steals Morricone's Big Gundown theme). A wacky slapstick comedy called Rags to Riches with Mr. Vampire's Ricky Lau.
For Dragons, Woo is credited as Wu Yu Sen and according to Chas, that film is his debut even though most consider his first film to be Last Hurrah For Chivalry. I was so ignorant toward Asian cinema until I picked up the Deep Red catalog, but now I've seen so many titles and possibly have developed an unhealthy fixation with the Far East, thanks to Mr. Balun (R.I.P).

Anyone who thinks John Woo purely made shoot em' up gangster flicks is totally wrong, he's delved in almost every genre (starting off in 1968). Of course here at TOG, we favor the horror over the Wu-Tang or El-Rey approved shit. But I'm cool with half of the chop sockey and hong kong phooey, sure I've been known to nod off during lots of clanging and banging fight scenes, but if it looked excruciatingly realistic then I'm on board for the pain train. 

It's kind of amazing how John Woo's Chow Yun Fat vehicle The Killer, which is owned by Miramax and will periodically surface on Netflix in pristine condition, but his other work never really streams anywhere else. I would really like for some Roku app to stream only JW titles-- I'm looking at you Criterion, quit wasting everyone's time with Wes Anderson and Lena Dunham and get crackin'.

Ok you learn HTML and create a fucking app!

I still have never seen Bullet In The Head and it took me years to revisit Hardboiled (which I remember getting on video when it was first re-released in dubbed form). I remember renting A Better Tomorrow from either 16000 or Video Waves and a friend who watched the scene where Chow gets punched directly in the nose, exclaimed "OK that shit was totally real" probably because there was no cut on impact. I have to revisit to confirm and I don't really recall.

You might as well call "SON OF DEEP RED" a dedication to John Woo, it's mainly all of his trailers, deleted scenes and even live on set behind the scenes footage with Lance Henrickson on fire. Which was sadly JW's American Van Damme debut Hard Target. I like how Lance gets high on the adrenaline of being engulfed in flames and says "I'd only do that for John Woo". 

I'm so High on Fire!

Next up is Ronny Yu's The Occupant and Godfrey Ho's Lethal Panther. Skunkape likes Bruno Mattei with equal fervor as he enjoys shit by Godfrey Ho.  Both directors junk gives me an instant migraine but as far as Ho's sequel to Men Behind The Sun goes, I'm looking forward a wimpy watered down version of concentration camp torture thank you very much (note this is before I endured this travesty, look out for the full review shortly).

Oh great another TRON sequel

Then a gothic mystery trailer shows up for Dominique with Cliff Robertson and Jenny Agutter, could it be as shitty to me as the criminally overrated Let's Scare Jessica to Death, possibly. Funhouse is tacked on again (I don't know what people see in that flawed carnival freakout). I'm willing to guess this is a favorite of Balun's, Skunkape will attest to its brilliance, visually it's fucking great, I just could've used a more coherent storyline or characters. Then things get major trippy, eat a whole bag of mushrooms or drop some orange sunshine because we get a nice trailer for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which my humanities teacher once explained to me had a lot to do with intergalactic sperm and the re-birth of civilization. Or maybe it's just a total mindfuck and really makes no sense at all (no one knows exactly what it means).

It's time to start trippin balls

This portion of the tape you'd want to get all toasted if you're not already (TOG doesn't condone drug use by the way, wink wink say no more). Then comes the mother of all disappointing stoner flicks (to me at least, sorry), Alan Parker's Pink Floyd's The Wall. Anyone who likes this shit-fest please defend it in the comments. Ok, I like the animated segments, but if you're gonna recommend a pot-head cartoon flick lets' go with Heavy Metal or Ralph Bakshi's Wizards, no? 

How can you have any Tapioca Snack Packs if you don't eat yer Steak-Um?

The lamest part on the tape is what's described as a "Virtual Drug Trance" but looks suspiciously like those old timey internet circa early 90's light music synch ups. For more on the subject go to this link.

Get ready to be bummed out maannn!

Next we have Chas Balun (who presents) and Dennis Daniel (who interviews) Dario Argento at a convention. Chas mentions how Argento's films are a "feast for the senses" among junk food trash like Bud The Chud and Friday 8: Jason Takes Manhattan! FUCK YEAH! Horror fans now take all this shit for granted but at the time the U.S. just got a truncated version of Suspiria on VHS and they were grateful. I hate to be all "get off my lawn youngsters", but we all obviously take this for granted now, seeing as how you can find any Argento title for dirt cheap on pristine DVD/ Blu-Ray format. But obviously this is the reason the mold was broken and boundaries were broken down by Deep Red Magazine, they influenced all of these early DVD companies to release them.

Hey Check out my Count Floyd impression, A-AAA HOOOOOOOO!

Dennis Daniel does a back stage interview in a dimly lit hall, he's is partially responsible for bringing Dario to the masses and used to these notes to assemble a great interview in an early issue of Psychotronic Video. They discuss music a lot and Argento mentions how he's a big fan of Fassbinder. It's funny to me that they mention how Goblin doesn't have any recordings available (maybe there was a language barrier). This interview was conducted in 1989, I figured this out because they mentioned how Bob Dylan's "Oh Mercy" album was new.

Next are some more trashy trailers tacked on like Psycho Sisters (which looks fun) and Catholic High School Girls in Trouble from my all time favorite Kentucky Fried Movie. Last but not least is David Cronenberg on Lettermen promoting Naked Lunch. I love these VHS comps, they're like finding a bag of peanut M&Ms in the back of the fridge that you completely forgot about or something even more delicious and inspiring! I owe everything to that god damn Skunkape, pat him on the back next time you see him and give him a few more likes on our YT channel, he's the greatest! (I tried to upload this on YT but those fascists immediately took it down, total bullshit).



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