Category Archives: News

Samurai Cop and the films of Amir Shervan

September’s screening from the Bristol Bad Film Club will be 80s action classic Samurai Cop – but who made this film and what other wonders did he give the world?

Samurai Cop

All around the world, there are film fans and historians that are delving through archives trying to find lost footage of Kubrick’s assorted masterpieces and other beloved movies. However, in a far corner of the internet, there is an equally passionate group who are trying to find the lost films of Amir Shervan – the Iranian director of two of cinema’s best trash action masterpieces – Samurai Cop and Hollywood Cop.

Firstly, who is Amir Shervan? Well, a quick look at IMDB and Wikipedia will glean little information, but he was born Amir Hosein Ghaffar in Tehran, Iran on 24 May 1929, before he moved to California in the 1940s to study theatre. He returned to Iran to start his career as a film-maker, but after the 1979 Iranian Revolution all movies were subject to review by the Iranian government and many of them banned due to their content. For anyone who has seen Shervan’s work, you can imagine his were heavily “purified” or altered to suit the growing anti-western and pro-Islamic sentiment.

Unsurprisingly, Shervan upped sticks and moved to the US to begin his film-making career abroad. According to assorted fan sites, Shervan liked to use improvisational acting and dialog  – mainly as English wasn’t his first language and this was the Iranian style. His fellow crew members and actors were often as equally educated in the ways of film-making, and thus Shervan made films of a much lower standard than most US audiences were used to. However to Iranian audiences, they would have been top-notch.

As his films contained a large amount of accidental humor and bloopers, due to the cultural differences, he soon became a cult-classic b-movie director in the US, thought ironically he is still regarded as one of Iran’s most polished filmmakers of the 1970s. Apples and oranges, I guess.

He died on 1 Nov, 2006 at the age of 76, however his films live on.

As well as Samurai Cop, which you can book tickets for here, Shervan’s CV contains some truly wonderful titles that if you have the means, you must check out.

Hollywood Cop (1987) is the most famous and sees a mullet-wearing dectective attempt to save a kidnapped child. So far, so average, but look at the trailer!

Shervan’s other films are desperately sought by film fans Killing American Style (1990) (starring Jim Brown and Samurai Cop veteran Robert Z’Dar) and Young Rebels (1992) (starring Robert Z’Dar (again)). Little is known about them as they appear never to have been released on VHS or DVD, but the posters alone put them on our ‘must find and watch’ list.

Rumours are that Cinema Epoch are planning special edition releases! Here’s hoping that’s true.

For all news relating to Amir Shervan films, check out Facebook.com/AmirShervan

“Visits? That would indicate visitors…”

Last night, at The Lansdown in Clifton, The Bristol Bad Film Club held its first ever screening – and by all accounts, it was a complete success!

Ed Wood’s anti-classic Plan 9 From Outer Space, often called the worst film ever made, was received incredibly well, selling out four days before the screening. There were even people turning up at the door hoping for last minute seats.

For a first screening of a never-before-tried venture, in the middle of the quietest month of the year, it was humbling to have such an incredible response.

We mentioned some names at the screening, but wanted to make a more public note of appreciation and thanks to several people without whom the evening could not have been possible.

Kerry Bradshaw of The Magic Lantern Film Club and James Ewen of CineMe, who provided some invaluable advice in the early stages of planning the BBFC.

Elliot Jay Stocks, who designed our fantastic logo, proudly emblazoned on our T-shirts last night.

Tiff Farrant, who designed our immense flyers and posters which you may have seen around the city. The number one in the top right corner is indicative of things to come…

The staff at The Lansdown, for making us feel so welcome.

And of course Dr Mark Bould, a lecturer in film at the University of the West of England, who was our guest for the evening, and gave an insightful and enlightening talk before the film. Enhancing the viewing with tidbits about the film, we are indebted to Mark for taking time out to talk about this film – on his birthday no less! –  and for doing a Q&A afterwards.

It turned the evening from a simple film screening into a fuller, more satisfying, evening.

And finally, to the audience who came – you really made our night.

You showed us that Bristol has a thirst for bad films and by coming you supported Awamu, the charity for the evening, to whom all profits from the screening will be going.

Watch this space for details of our next screening, coming very, very soon. We have exciting things on the horizon, and we hope you can all join us.

Bristol Post’s New Weekend Cover Girl!

With less than a week left until the first screening on Thursday 15 August, Bristol Bad Film Club has made the front cover of the Bristol Post‘s Weekend magazine!

Edward D. Wood Jr’s Plan 9 From Outer Space will be screened at 8pm in the Lansdown, Clifton, and there is just a handful of tickets left.

This is just the first screening; like the undead, the Film Club will rise once more, and return to bring more bad films to Bristol!

If you’re not able to come to this screening for whatever reason, keep an eye on our Facebook page and our Twitter feed for up to date info.

And as if local paper coverage wasn’t enough, tune in to BBC Radio Bristol on Tuesday 13 August, 3.15pm, to hear BBFC co-founder Timon Singh talk about the Club.

To paraphrase Plan 9, you can bet your badges you haven’t seen the last of us weirdos.

Bristol Bad Film Club is invited onto The Bioscopist movie podcast

Bioscopist

Listen to Bristol Bad Film Club on local movie podcast The Bioscopist!

So last week, Bristol Bad Film Club was kindly invited on to The Bioscopist podcast to promote our first screening which, in case you’d forgotten, takes place on the 15th August at The Lansdown Pub.

As well as talking about the upcoming screening on Plan 9 From Outer Space and recent releases, such as Pacific Rim, we also talked to Stu, Court and Matt about their favourite bad films.

And yes, Shark Attack 3 was mentioned.

Make sure you give it a listen (click below).

+ The Bioscopist podcast

Behold Bristol Bad Film Club’s poster for its Plan 9 From Outer Space screening!

In order to promote our first screening (which we are really excited about!), one of our uber-talented friends has made us this stunning poster. 

Plan 9 From Outer Space poster

Awesome isn’t it? Feel free to share it on Facebook, tweet it or print it out and hang it on your wall.

Full credit and thanks go to Tiffany Farrant-Gonzalez, who we heartily recommend for any design work.

Remember, our screening will be presented by UWE’s resident sci-fi expert Dr. Mark Bould, who has also offered to answer any questions you may have about the film. We imagine you will have several…

Book your tickets for the 15th August screening here now as seats are limited!

“Plan 9? Ah, yes. Plan 9 deals with the resurrection of the dead…”

Vampira

Few films have gained as much notoriety, or achieved such popular cult status, as Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space and rest assured, it’s just as magnificently terrible as you’ve heard.

Aliens invade Earth in hubcap flying saucers to implement their ninth plan of conquest, after their first eight failed. This time however, they’ve decided to raise the dead in order to conscript armies of mindless cadavers. Among the undead hordes are the most famous lady zombie of all, Vampira, the hulking ex-wrestler Tor Johnson and Bela Lugosi in his final performance. Sadly, the Universal horror legend died before filming was completed, but luckily Wood’s wife’s chiropractor, who looked nothing like Lugosi at all, was on hand to step in and destroy all sense of continuity!

The Bristol Bad Film Club thought it would be the perfect film with which to launch our venture – to introduce cinema’s best of the worst to Bristol, one film at a time.

To find out more information about our screening and to book tickets, click here.

If there are any films that you’d like us to screen, please name them below, on our Facebook page or on Twitter.