Imagine a low-budget version of Lethal Weapon where Mel Gibson spends most of his time being racist to the Japanese, attempts to sleep with anything that moves and walks around in his pants a lot. That’s Samurai Cop, but it really is so much more than that…
On 8th September, Bristol Bad Film Club will be taking over #MTOS and turning the conversation to cinema’s worst.
Every Sunday at 8pm on Twitter, a series of 10 questions (one every ten minutes) is asked around a particular theme, with the hashtag #mtos.
Started by @MovieTOS, it has grown to be hosted by different people each week, with a wealth of topics covered. It’s a bit of fun on a Sunday evening.
Just start each tweet on the topic with the answer number, and finish it off with the #mtos hashtag, so your tweets look thus:
“A3. My amazing thoughts on this film. #mtos”
Anyone can join in – just follow @MovieTOS, or search the #mtos hashtag.
On Sunday 8 September from 8pm, Bristol Bad Film Club will be hosting the questions, all around – unsurprisingly – bad films. Of course, we’re not talking bad films like Transformers 3 or Taken 2, but the ones of the ‘so bad, they’re good’ variety.
Follow us @TheOtherBBFC (or click the Twitter follow button on the left) for the questions appearing on the night. To have a think in advance, please take a look at the questions below.
Q1. What makes a bad film so enjoyable? #mtos
Q2. What do you think of the recent trend of ‘intentionally bad’ films, like Sharknado? #mtos
Q3. What is the best giant animal monster seen on the big screen? #mtos
Q4. Who is the best DTV star of their generation? #mtos
Q5. What’s your favourite piece of dire-logue ever? #mtos
Q6. What are the worst special effects you have ever seen? #mtos
Q7. Sci-fi bad film or action bad film. Which is the most entertaining and why? #mtos
Q8. Which decade is the best for producing bad films, and why? #mtos
Q9. How do people making bad films not realise they’re bad films? #mtos
Q10. If you could see any bad film on a big screen, what would it be? #mtos
Bristol Bad Film Club holds screenings of these films at venues around Bristol. Our first screening, a sell-out, was of Edward D. Wood Jr’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. Our second screening is of the 1980s bizarre classic SAMURAI COP. If you’re local, why not come along and join the mayhem on Wednesday 18 September, at 8pm, at The Island (The Old Police Station) in Broadmead, Bristol.
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?
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.
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.
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.