Bristol Bad Film Club is going on the road… and we’re bringing Samurai Cop to Oxford!
As part of the Bristol Film Festival, we’re doing a special double bill of one of our favourite ‘best/worst’ movies – Samurai Cop AND its long-awaited sequel Samurai Cop 2: Deadly Vengeance!
We don’t normally show trailers for films that we’re not showing… but this is no ordinary film.
Here’s hoping Cinema Epoch let us screen this sequel once it’s finished!
And yes, that was The Room’s Tommy Wiseau…
As well as using social media to spread the word of our screenings, we’ve also been reaching out to and receiving a wave of good will from some of Bristol’s biggest magazines, websites and radio stations.
When we first started the Bristol Bad Film Club, our first problem was – how do we let people know that we even exist? In this day and age, the answer is generally social media, so our first step was setting up a Facebook and Twitter account.
This was all well and good, but we soon realised that we wanted to let people that might not be online know about who we are and what we were attempting to do. As one of us is an online editor, we wrote a series of press releases which we then sent out to the likes of the Bristol Post, Guide 2 Bristol and Bristol 24/7. Anything to get a couple of column inches or a passing mention.
The response we got was beyond anything we ever hoped for.
The Bristol Post put us on the cover on their weekend magazine and both Guide 2 Bristol and Bristol 24/7 ran articles on us. All of them were instrumental in building buzz for our first screening.
Now, ahead of our fourth (Starcrash), we’ve even been getting requests for interviews.
This month, co-founder Tim was featured in the ‘Bristol Lives’ section of Clifton Life Magazine, while the both of us were interviewed for Bristol’s biggest monthly magazine – Bristol Magazine (see below for both interviews).
We’ve also been invited numerous times on to BBC Radio Bristol to plug our shows and are very grateful to Laura Rawlings, Phil Hammond and Martin Evans for having us on.
Local movie podcast The Bioscopist has even had us on twice! Clearly we have the perfect faces for radio…
Last night at The Island – the old police station in Broadmead – over 100 bad film fans sat down next to the jail cells to enjoy our sophomore screening: SAMURAI COP.
Made in 1989 by Amir Shervan, Samurai Cop is a film that just keeps on giving. And for the vast majority of the audience (me included), this was a gift that was being unwrapped in all its awful, aweful glory for the very first time. And OH MY GOD it was glorious. The remastered version has just been released by Epoch Cinema, and I can’t recommend picking up a copy enough.
Welcoming the audience – an audience that was nearly double that of the Club’s first screening in August, of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space – was oddly less nerve-wracking than the first time. Funny how that works out. At that first screening we raised over £200 for Awamu, and that is thanks to the paying audience who came to enjoy the awfulness.
David Fells, founder and director of the Whiteladies Picture House Campaign talked about the project’s fundraising efforts, and the progress being made. Proceeds from this screening are going directly to the group. (We’ll let you know how much was raised from this screening once we’ve crunched the numbers.)
Timon introduced the film itself – of the two of us, he had seen it, loved it, and was insistent this be an early screener. Now I see why… He teased out details to look out for in the film itself – wigs falling off, black underwear, uncomfortably long love scenes – so that we could better enjoy the masterpiece to follow…
It’s a pure joy to be part of over 100 people laughing along to a truly terrible film. It’s a great thing to know there are fans out there wanting more of the same. Next month is a Hallowe’en special. And it’s going to be very special indeed…
See you at the next one.
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…
Described as “both the best and the worst action film ever”, Samurai Cop is an unintentionally hilarious action film that sees San Diego cop Joe ‘Samurai’ Marshall dispatched to stop the drug-trafficking Yakuza cartel – The Katana Gang. Continue reading SOLD OUT: SAMURAI COP (1989) – 18th September 2013: The Island (The Old Police Station), Broadmead
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.
For all news relating to Amir Shervan films, check out Facebook.com/AmirShervan