Saturday, March 12, 2016

Interview with Filmmaker, Thomas Eikrem of Filmrage Productions

A world traveler, photographer and visionary, Thomas Eikrem is redefining horror with his own brand of an upscale transgressive throwback with grindhouse qualities. Set for his feature films to debut, Eikrem is featuring some big names and the anticipation is palpable.

Body Count Rising: You are a strong proponent of subversive film, and are editor and publisher of ‘Filmrage’ magazine, the ultimate journal of exploitation. How did the magazine evolve into what it is today?

Thomas Eikrem: I grew up in Trondheim, Norway: a windswept shithole in the middle of Norway. The city had, despite its miniscule size, a half-decent independent music and film scene with an underground culture. While I was plotting my escape, I spent at least three nights a week watching films at the local film club. On a good night the club would attract a crowd of a thousand. Not bad.

In May 1990, I published ‘Filmrage 1’. The first issues had interviews with Buddy Giovinazzo, director of “Combat Shock”, Jorg Buttgereit, director of “Nekromantik” and “Schramm” and Nick Zedd, artist and director of “Police State”. The magazine got a mail order arm, but slowed down in 1995 when I moved to Copenhagen, although still available on an irregular basis. There were also screenings and VHS collections of subversive short films. I then relocated production to London in 2001.

In 2008 ‘Filmrage’ was relaunched as a luxury fanzine. I had a collection of several hundreds of thousands of movie stills and posters and I didn’t want to make the magazine digital. It’s been in the hardcover format ever since: coffee-table sized (11”x13”, 28x32cm) and 200+ pages. These are limited collectors’ editions and only 665 copies are produced. They sell out every time. The price covers production costs. It’s non-profit and always will be.

Body Count Rising: God, there is something just magical about a hardcover with a bunch of really amazing photos. What can we expect from your next edition?

Thomas Eikrem: Vol. 2 No. 13 will be out in a few months. Recent writers include directors Jack Hill of “Coffy”, Gary Sherman of “Vice Squad”, Shaun Costello of “Waterpower”, Maria Beatty of “Bandaged” and many, many more.

Body Count Rising: Your films, especially the black and whites, remind me of New York’s Cinema of Transgression. Were you inspired or influenced by Nick Zedd and Richard Kern?

Thomas Eikrem: I love the Cinema of Transgression movement with its incredibly interesting and angry urban punk underground. I lived in New York City for a few months in 1990. After my stay I got Lydia Lunch and Emilio Cubeiro to Trondheim. I also arranged screenings with Nick Zedd all over Scandinavia in the 1990s. Kern was and still is a good friend. He still writes for my magazine, ‘Filmrage’ and has a feature coming out. He is a fun and incredibly talented guy.

I think that my editing is very mathematical in its approach. I discussed that with Kurt Kren, one of the Vienna actionists, who was a good friend until he passed away. I think it happened by chance, but there are patterns, rhythm and structure that could be attributed to science and mathematical theory.


Click here for more short films. (18+ only please.)

Body Count Rising: The use of ethereal and up-tempo music countered with subversive images also reminds me of Kenneth Anger. Was he also one of your influences?

Thomas Eikrem: Yes, but not initially. I did work with Beatrice Eggers in Copenhagen, a good friend of Anger, and Anger I met recently. His work is amazing and important. Most recently, I have made a few films that are closer to Angers work, such as “Mynxie”. I also recently picked up an incredible rare collection of UK produced occult stag films from the 1950s and 60s. I think the occultism and mysticism will have a different meaning going forward with the world turning to control, neomoralism and religious fanaticism.

Body Count Rising:You have worked almost exclusively with the band, Rockford Kabine. How did this relationship originate?

Thomas Eikrem: They contacted me. They had just produced a film called “Xero”, directed by Jack the Zipper, who wrote a piece for ‘Filmrage’. I asked them about making music for me, and that has worked out nicely. There are still a few copies left of “Le Accelerator” soundtrack, but most previous releases are now hard to get. They are awesome!

Body Count Rising: What appeals to you most about their music?

Thomas Eikrem: I think their soundscapes are truly cinematic. They are also exceptionally hard working and focused. They have a fantastic studio in Bochum. We recently met in Berlin for beers.

Body Count Rising: I can certainly understand the cinematic quality. Their sound is layered and complex. For the past two decades your specialization has been short films. What made you decide it was time to transition to feature length?

Thomas Eikrem: Money. Even a short Super 8mm or 16mm film will cost a few bucks. I got grant to study at the renowned Norwegian University of Technology, and got a Masters Degree in Theoretical Physics. One of my teachers won the Noble Price in Medicine. They paid me a grant, and I spent the money on making films. I was bored, but it paid the bills.

At one point the commercial market for short films all but vanished. Also, film festivals started charging quite high fees for submissions, and I was doing around 100 festival screenings per year. I still love short films, but my films coming out in 2016 and 2017 will be for private clubs and unlikely to be screened in public.

Body Count Rising: What special challenges did you encounter on feature length films versus the shorts and how did you overcome these?

Thomas Eikrem: “Le Accelerator” was a 100 day shoot, and I do not work long hours, or with a lot of people, so it was usually just me, one assistant and the necessary actors. It requires discipline to stay focused, but it was a blast. The lead David Sakurai was exceptional and is a good friend as well.

The Moroccan border police almost didn’t let us in the country, as they found it peculiar that two guys in sharp suits would arrive with carry-on luggage filled with just a vintage camera and Super 8mm film for a 48-hour visit. We did, however, get in.

We improvised shots in some amazing locations: the Hotel La Mamonia, where Hitchcock shot “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, CafĂ© Arabe, where Sir Winston Churchill used to drink during WW2 and the local mosques.

Body Count Rising: That sounds absolutely stunning! I understand you exhibit your film art in galleries. Are you doing photography for the exhibits during the shoots, or are you using the film stills?

Thomas Eikrem: Yes, all movies come with a book and prints. The books are printed or eBooks. For photography I actually shoot digital using a Leica D-Lux 4 (2008 version). I am looking for a scanner that can do proper 4K scans of Super 8mm single frames, but the technology isn’t available yet.

Body Count Rising: Where are you currently showing your art?

Thomas Eikrem: Everywhere! From Copenhagen to Mexico City. From Izmir, Turkey to Texas.

Body Count Rising: You have stated in previous interviews that you self-fund to maintain autonomy. How do you feel about crowd funding?

Thomas Eikrem: I think artists, especially those who deal with controversial ideas, have a difficult time, for two reasons: the current generation believes that music and films are free just because they are available on the net. Consequently, there is a large no-budget scene and a large big-budget mainstream output. I have seen crowd funding work and fail. I have chosen to self-finance my own film, pay those who are part of it and then to sell films when they are done and move on to bigger budget.

I love making movies, and with a small crew you can get a lot of value for money. “Le Accelerator” was shot in Copenhagen, London, Bath, NYC, Bangkok and Marrakech, on film, and the total budget was a low five figures.

Body Count Rising: “Le Accelerator” is receiving quite a vibe of anticipation. From what I’ve seen this is not your typical martial arts film. What makes this film so unique that it has everyone talking?

Thomas Eikrem: As I am a migrant and have been travelling all my life, I am interested in different cultures, what makes people different and what we’ve got in common. The theme is that the only thing we all have in common is we’re all going to die. As Mark Twain said, the fear of death follows from the fear of life. The assassin in the movie lives by this. Stylishly it’s a mix of 1960s French crime and 1970s Hong Kong martial art films.

Body Count Rising: Did you bring the cast with you across the continents to film, or were you gathering scenic shots alone?

Thomas Eikrem: Only the lead, David Sakurai. When we shot in Hong Kong, extras were sourced from the local martial art gym. When we needed a scary torture chamber in Copenhagen, we dropped by famed photographer, Sebastian Solo’s infamous dungeon, and his friends were always willing victims.

Body Count Rising: What was the most impressive city that you’ve visited in your travels?

Thomas Eikrem: I few years ago I would say London or New York City, but the gentrification is ruining both. Manhattan as well as Central London are becoming places where you simply work and sleep. The creatives are moving out. I still love Paris, for the food, the wine, and it still values culture… and Bangkok for the craziness. Marrakech is still pretty much unspoiled…

Body Count Rising: What was your most rewarding experience regarding this film?

Thomas Eikrem: Having fun with great people. After the trials and tribulations of “Detroit Rising”, “Le Accelerator” was a walk in the park. Usually David and I would meet up with a few actors, (usually someone who got killed, as there are 100+ deaths in the movie) and then we hit the bars. I am pretty sure everyone had a great time. It’s the only thing you should never compromise on.

Body Count Rising: Horror fans love Bobby Rhodes from “Demons” and he’s appearing in “Le Accelerator”. What can we expect to see from Bobby?

Thomas Eikrem: While in London we booked Bobby, who ended up doing a fight scene with David wearing a vintage Saville Row pinstriped Gives & Hawkes suit (Bobby is exactly my size). Bobby was hilarious, still in incredible shape, and kept going “Hit me! HIT ME HARDER!” A top man!

Body Count Rising: You are self-distributing “Detroit Rising” and “Le Accelerator”. When will these films be available for purchase?

Thomas Eikrem: Both will hit festivals and private screenings in 2016. Let’s see what will happen and who will be interested. I need guarantee that the films are not copied and distributed, and there is an issue with increasing entry fees. There is a lot of interest, and people seem to want to discuss the subject matter and the content as well: it will do galleries. It will have performances with a live soundtrack by Rockford Kabine. Maybe Tim Dry will read the voice over live.

Body Count Rising: “Detroit Rising” appears to be like Buddy Giovinazzo’s “Combat Shock” meets Adam Gierasch’s “Bunny Game”. Would you say this is a fair appraisal? Why or why not?

Thomas Eikrem: I would take that as a compliment. Also, both Buddy and Adam have been writing for ‘Filmrage’. I think there’s a dash of surrealism and a splash of strong anti-religious propaganda in “Detroit Rising”. A lot of people will hate it for sure, but I loved making it.

Body Count Rising: How is your film different from “Combat Shock” other than the location and the war referenced?

Thomas Eikrem: Good question. I think that the protagonist in “Detroit Rising” (James VanBebber) actually wants to be a good American and return to sanity, but he is beyond help. The war is in his head, whilst in “Combat Shock” the insanity, the rage and the violence is triggered by external events. I have added some very cruel and violent scenes, but I did not want to make them socially realistic. I used a lot of performance artists for those shoots, including Amy Kingsmill and Sophia Disgrace.

Body Count Rising: Did you film this in 8mm or 16mm, like you do with your shorts?

Thomas Eikrem: “Detroit Rising” is Super 8mm and 16mm, color (ISO 200 and ISO 500, KODAK and expired Ektachrome), black and white (KODAK Tri-X and expired 4X from the 1970s). “Le Accelerator” is strictly black and white Tri-X Super 8mm.

Body Count Rising: Will “Detroit Rising” retain your same sleazy, grit-art aesthetic of the shorts you create?

Thomas Eikrem: It’s worse… and better! The shorts are mild compared to the feature.

Body Count Rising: Did Jim VanBebber take part in any filming, as 8mm is one of his specialties?

Thomas Eikrem: Yes, VanBebber flew in from Tampa and we spent two days shooting in the ghettos of Detroit. I then shot subsequently scenes in London, Copenhagen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.

Body Count Rising: You cited difficulties surrounding “Detroit Rising” in a previous interview and said that David Hess was intended to be in the film, but David died in 2011. How long has this piece been in the works?

Thomas Eikrem: Since 2010. I took a break from in in 2012, but it is now in post production. David never told anyone that he was ill. I just didn’t think he wanted anyone to know. Lovely fellow. At the same time the film was half written by Shaun Costello (“Forced Entry”, “Waterpower”) and the remainder was completed by Tim Dry (“Return of the Jedi”, “Xtro”) who did some amazing work. It was done in weeks, and we published a book that’s selling quite well.

Body Count Rising: Did you always intend for Jim Van Bebber to be in the film?

Thomas Eikrem: Yes. I didn’t want a typical 20-something war veteran, and I knew Jim from ‘Filmrage’. Jim wrote a piece of “Deadbeat at Dawn” and “The Manson Family” for 'Filmrage' Vol 2 No 7. I sent him an email, and within minutes, we had a deal and met in Detroit. Jim is great to work with. He is an old-school filmmaker.

Body Count Rising: So, are you a “Deadbeat at Dawn” fan?

Thomas Eikrem: Absolutely. I paid a fortune for a VHS copy back in the day from a German company called ArtWare ProVision. It was impossible to get for years. I think it has aged well, and it’s proper, no-nonsense, guerilla filmmaking.

Body Count Rising: I love that film too. Jim kicks some major ass and I love that he does all his own stunts! I believe I saw that he goes by his own name in “Detroit Rising”. Is this true?

Thomas Eikrem: Yes, I thought that was funny. I am not really interested in realism, but I am sure that some people will go “Hey, Jim never went to Iraq!” Similarly, the voiceover writer, Tim Dry is a Brit, and his writing is British. He doesn’t sound like a white boy from Detroit. But then again, this is a film about the collapse of the American Dream, and that’s a global experience!

Body Count Rising: “Detroit Rising” is labeled as a horror film. What elements will it contain to traverse transgressive cinema over to horror?

Thomas Eikrem: There is lot of anti-religious imagery, blasphemous rituals meeting modern state-sponsored torture. It’s anti-establishment but from the angle of a guy who’s so sick in the head that he is outside of any establishment or society.

Body Count Rising: Sounds like transgressive cinema to me! Can you give us any details about memorable scenes from the film?

Thomas Eikrem: There is a powerful scene with Jim in front of a place where a 13-year-old girl was shot five times in the head by a rival gang. Her friends had made a shrine, mostly out of half empty booze bottles. Jim is in the middle of the crazed installation, drinking the remains of the booze. There is also a scene involving a crucifix that makes “The Exorcist” look like “Gone with the Wind”.

Body Count Rising: What’s next for you, your production company and your magazine?

Thomas Eikrem: I will be releasing 12 short films about a Go Go Gorilla (vintage burlesque) this year. Also the sequel to “Vampiras Satanicas” is coming out starring Alice Bizarre and MisSa Blue. The rest of the year is all about getting “Detroit Rising” and “Le Accelerator” out. ‘Filmrage’ Vol 2 No 13 will be out in Q2 2016. And, most importantly, I plan to have fun and spend time with good people making interesting things.

Keep up with Thomas’ many artistic and insightful projects on his IMDb, 'Filmrage' magazine site, “Detroit Rising” and “Le Accelerator” official sites or follow him on Facebook.
Read More »

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Scream Factory Announces Final List of Extras for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2' Blu-ray

The full details are now available for the upcoming Blu-ray release of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2" from Scream Factory

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 Blu-ray cover

Here is what they revealed today on Facebook.

Check out the final list of extras we cooked up for this wild, Cannon Pictures-produced sequel, which include and all-new HD transfer and nearly 5 hours of new exclusive content!

Disc 1:

  • NEW 2016 2K HD scan of the inter-positive film element
  • NEW Audio Commentary with director of photography Richard Kooris, production designer Cary White, script supervisor Laura Kooris and property master Michael Sullivan
  • Audio Commentary with director Tobe Hooper
  • Audio Commentary with actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams and special effects makeup creator Tom Savini
  • NEW Extended Outtakes from It Runs in the Family featuring L.M. Kit Carson and Lou Perryman 
  • NEW Behind-the-Scenes Footage Compilation from Tom Savini’s archives 
  • Alternate Opening Credit Sequence 
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Still Galleries – posters and lobby cards, behind-the-scenes photos, stills and collector’s gallery
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots

Disc 2:
  • MGM’s original HD Master with color correction supervision by director of photography Richard Kooris
  • NEW House of Pain – a interview with make-up effects artists Bart Mixon, Gabe Bartalos, Gino Crognale and John Vulich 
  • NEW Yuppie Meat – a interview with actors Chris Douridas and Barry Kinyon 
  • NEW Cutting Moments – a interview with editor Alain Jakubowicz 
  • NEW Behind the Mask – a interview with stunt man and Leatherface performer Bob Elmore
  • NEW HORROR’S HALLOWED GROUNDS – revisiting the locations of the film – hosted by Sean Clark plus a special guest 
  • It Runs in the Family – a six part feature-length documentary featuring interviews with screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson, actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams, Bill Johnson, Lou Perryman, special makeup effects artist Tom Savini and more…

We hope you’re buzzing (pun intended) with excitement of the news Official street date is 4/19/16. Pre-order now at the Shout Factory website and get it shipped early plus you’ll receive a FREE limited edition 18” x 24” poster of the newly-designed art from artist Joel Robinson. (While supplies last…and they’re going fast!)

Read More »

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Scream Queen Debbie Rochon Debuts Trailer and Art for Directorial Debut 'Model Hunger'

Debbie Rochon Serves Up Deadly Delicacies
In New Art and Trailer for Model Hunger
WildEye Releasing Plans Domestic Release for Summer

Model Hunger poster

New York, NY - WildEye Releasing is honored to team up with legendary Scream Queen Debbie Rochon to feed audiences her directorial debut, Model Hunger. After nearly 300 films, Rochon ("Return to Nuke 'Em High," "Phobia," "The Theater Bizarre") steps behind the camera to skewer audiences with her blood-curling take on an actress' response to forced retirement.

B-movie legends Lynn Lowry ("Shivers," "The Crazies," "Cat People") and Tiffany Shepis ("Tales of Halloween," "The Violent Kind," "Sharknado 2") headline as two women on a deadly collision course. Supported by Brian Fortune ("Game of Thrones"), Suzi Lorraine (Wrath of the Crows) and Carmine Capobianco (Galactic Gigolo), the feeding frenzy begins Summer 2016.

Former pinup model Ginny (Lowry) had been cast aside by the heartless and exploitative modeling industry. Ginny didn't take rejection well and grew into a revenge-seeking, bloodthirsty, broken woman. When her new neighbors Debbie (Shepis) and Sal (Capobianco) move in, Debbie begins to notice strange things going on. Sal believes she is mentally unstable, but Debbie becomes determined to figure out what secret life Ginny is leading. Her new nosy neighbor throws a damper on Ginny's private life: her cannibalistic addictions and ever-growing body count. Both women become determined to put an end to the other's obsession.

Read More »

Lauren Cohan Stars in the Chilling Thriller 'The Boy' Available on Digital HD April 26 and Blu-ray & DVD May 10

Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) Stars in the Creepy Tale of a Very Unique Boy

The Boy Blu-ray cover


Universal City, California, March 9, 2016 – A young American woman uncovers the menacing nature of the English family she cares for in "The Boy," a terrifying thriller debuting on Digital HD on April 26, 2016 and on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand on May 10, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. From Lakeshore Entertainment (Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Underworld Franchise) and STX Entertainment (The Gift, Secret in Their Eyes), the film is a frightening thrill ride directed by William Brent Bell (The Devil Inside) and starring Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”).

Greta (Cohan) is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village. She soon discovers that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that they care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta’s worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive.

The film will be available on Blu-ray with DIGITAL HD and UltraViolet and DVD.

  • Blu-ray unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring 6X the picture resolution of DVD, exclusive extras and theater-quality surround sound.
  • DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
  • DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.

For more information on "The Boy," visit the following:

Universal Pictures

Read More »

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bigfoot on the Loose in New 'Stomping Ground' Clip

"Stomping Ground" which we previously covered here is available on DVD & VOD March 8, 2016. An exciting new clip from the film is now available and you can watch it below.

Stomping Ground poster

Stomping Ground is an independent horror-comedy about Bigfoot from director Dan Riesser, former producer of E!'s The Soup. John Bobek, Tarah DeSpain, Jeramy Blackford and Justin Giddings star, with a special appearance by Theresa Tilly (The Evil Dead).

"Everyone from Team Stomping Ground is thrilled to finally get to unleash our film into the world," states Riesser. "Every member of the cast and crew worked really hard bringing it to life. We hope folks enjoy our different sort of Bigfoot creature feature."

Stomping Ground cast and crew members - including Riesser and Tilly - will celebrate the film's release with a signing at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA on March 8th at 7pm. The cast and crew will also be in attendance for a special screening of the film at Laemmle's Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, CA on March 10th at 7:30pm.

Limited edition Stomping Ground DVDs, which include an 11x17 poster signed by the cast and crew, can be pre-ordered directly from The movie is also available for pre-order through Amazon.

Stomping Ground is the story of Ben and Annie, a young couple on a weekend trip to Annie’s small North Carolina hometown. At the local bar they run into Paul, a charming old friend of Annie’s, and Ben learns something he never knew about his girlfriend: She believes in Bigfoot. In fact, she and her friends used to “hunt” for the creature when they were kids. Before Ben knows it, he’s off on an impromptu Squatchin’ trip deep in the Carolina backwoods. Amidst the Squatch calls, campfire stories and beers, Ben quickly realizes that Paul may have an ulterior motive in bringing Annie to the woods. And something else out here seems to be after her as well. Everyone but Ben thinks its Bigfoot. But it can’t be, can it? After all, Bigfoot isn’t real.

DVD Special Features
  • 11x17 Poster Autographed by Cast & Crew ( exclusive, limited to 100)
  • Audio Commentary by Writer-Director Dan Riesser and Stars John Bobek & Tarah DeSpain
  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Trailer

Read More »

VOD News on the Upcoming Thriller 'Blood Rush' Starring Stella Maeve and Michael Madsen

Out this month on VOD from Osiris Entertainment

Blood Rush poster

The unnerving Blood Rush, starring award winning actress Stella Maeve (Transamerica) and acclaimed actor Michael Madsen, is now available on VOD from Osiris Entertainment.

Directed by Harris Demel, the film fixes on Nicole Diamond, an internationally-known model, who finds herself in an upside-down car in the middle of nowhere. In the passenger seat is her unconscious boyfriend, pop singer Scott Donnoly, a.k.a. Scotty Dee. Not a soul is around to help, and her legs are wedged under the dashboard. She's trapped.

Danger lurks everywhere, including a small fire under the car, wild animals in the vicinity, and the unknown, life-threatening physiological effects of hanging upside down indefinitely. With her damaged cell phone, she dials random numbers until she finally reaches someone willing to help – a mysterious man named Casey.

However, she soon learns that roadside assistance is the last thing on Casey's mind.

Read More »

Indie Horror 'Lilin's Brood' Now Available in US, UK and Ireland on iTunes

Lilin's Brood is spreading its wings and becomes available to a wider audience

Lilin's Brood poster

Lilin's Brood is Now Available in the U.K., Ireland & the U.S.!

Watch Lilin's Brood on both AMAZON and ITUNES! 

A “New Media” news coverage team (W.H.I.S.T.L.E.) is stranded near a beleaguered brothel in the middle of nowhere; recovered footage will reveal what happens when they encounter a group of women with a terrifying secret.

Check out the film on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also read our review of the film.

U.S. iTunes

U.K. iTunes

Ireland iTunes

Read More »

Rage of Honor (1987) - Blu-ray Review - Arrow Video

Sho Kosugi Returns for More Hi-Def Action in "Rage of Honor"

Rage of Honor Blu-ray cover

Released by: Arrow Video
Release Date: March 15, 2016 (US) 
Production Year: 1987
Region Code: A
Running Time: 1:31:47
Audio: English LPCM Mono
Video: 1080p (1.85:1 Aspect Ratio)
Subtitles: English SDH

Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap
 THE FILM - [ 2.5 / 5 ]:

Following his star turns in '80s actioners Enter the Ninja and Revenge of the Ninja, Sho Kosugi continued his domination of the US martial arts movie with 1987's "Rage of Honor," helmed once again by "Pray for Death" director Gordon Hessler (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad). Federal agent Shiro Tanaka (Kosugi) used to live for his job - now, he lives only for revenge. When his partner is killed during a bungled drug bust, Shiro throws away his badge and the rule book with it: arming himself with an array of deadly weaponry - including nunchucks, blades and ninja stars - he sets out to Buenos Aires to settle the score with the bad guys. Packing explosions, flying kicks and somersaults aplenty (as well as some truly logic-bending stunt sequences), "Rage of Honor" sees Kosugi at the top of his game as he battles his way from the streets of the urban jungle to the very literal jungles of South America.

As a matter of personal opinion, I did not enjoy this film as much as "Pray for Death." Maybe the "Miami Vice" type of outfits was a bit of a turn off. However, it is not due to lack of action as this film features a number of fight sequences and exciting moments. Sho Kosugi is once again a mostly one man wrecking ball barreling his way through the bad guys. Okay, not quite like that since he uses a great deal of finesse and tactics, but you get the point. It's hardly fair for the villainous henchmen when they have to face Shrio (Kosugi). He is not invincible though as you will see in the film. Although often times his greatest weakness is those he cares about.

Yes some of the acting is not particularly good in the film and there are also some silly fight scenes where Shiro is seemingly able to hit any target with a throwing star but for me, that makes some fight scenes more entertaining.  

Sho Kosugi Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap

AUDIO - [ 4 / 5 ]:

The Blu-ray comes with one audio option being an English LPCM 2.0 track. English SDH subtitles are also included. Overall the audio sounded very good. There was only one instance where it sounded a little tinny for a couple seconds. Other than that I thought the audio was well balanced and maintained good, even levels throughout the film.  

Sho Kosugi Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap

VIDEO - [ 3.5 / 5 ]:

"Rage of Honor" comes to U.S. Blu-ray thanks to Arrow Video via MVD Entertainment Group. The film is presented in 1080p with a 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. I thought the video quality was above average for the most part and in brighter scenes it looked very good but it did not fare as well in darker scenes. So it's a bit of a mixed bag in regards to the picture. Colors generally looked bold and vibrant. Skin tones looked fine. As can be expected, in brighter scenes there is a pleasing amount of detail present. In the darker scenes there can be a serious lack of detail. I do feel that the good outweighs the bad though. You can judge for yourself via the included screen captures. There are white specks that sparingly appear during the film as well as the occasional scratch. 

Appearing a couple times including around 1:22:45 is a short bluish-purple vertical line which you can see in the screen capture directly below. You can click on the picture for a larger version. 

Sho Kosugi Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap


Sho and Tell Part 2 (17:48) - Sho Kogushi talks about his career from "Rage of Honor" onward in this interview recorded October 2015 in Japan. Mr. Kosugi speaks on a variety of subjects including his family, turning down work in films, a book he's writing, and martial arts.

Stelvio Cipriani Interview (2:47) - Composer Stelvio Cipriani talks about meeting director Gordon Hessler as well as some of the films he previously worked on. 

American Ninjas (7:34) - Writer Chris Poggiali talks about the rise in popularity of the Ninja film in the U.S. during the 80's. Mr. Poggiali speaks about films, tv shows, books and even toys which helped the ninja films become more popular. He talks about how after the death of Bruce Lee, people were on the lookout for the next martial arts movie star. 

Sho Kosugi Trailer Gallery:
  • Enter the Ninja (2:53)
  • Revenge of the Ninja (1:41)
  • Pray for Death (2:11)
  • Rage of Honor (1:35)

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin.

Sho Kosugi Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap


Above average audio and video, the Blu-ray from Arrow Video also includes a few extras. If you own other Sho Kosugi films on Blu-ray you'll probably want to add this to your collection as well. Unless a new master of the film is created, this will most likely be the best that this film will look. 

OVERALL RATING - [ 3 / 5 ]

Sho Kosugi Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap

Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap

Sho Kosugi Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap

Sho Kosugi Rage of Honor Blu-ray screen cap
Read More »