Five Elements Ninjas (1982)

Main image – my photo of a hand-painted Ghanaian poster for “Five Elements Ninjas.”

Streaming on Amazon Prime and Netflix | imdb | trailer

Now THIS is a Saturday Night movie! Five Elements Ninjas is one of my top five favorite martial arts films of all time. The Shaw Brothers serve up a heaping helping of non-stop, insane, bloody ninja action. The film is often ridiculous, and utterly improbable, but it all works together beautifully somehow. Enjoy with your favorite psychoactive for maximum impact.

Available on Blu-ray from Tokyo Shock.

Coffy (1973)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

My girlfriend and I have an expression we use a lot – “Ten Times Pam Grier” (emphasis on ten times with pauses between the words). It works for many purposes. This comes from the time we saw a 35mm print of Coffy with a Pam Grier Q&A after. A very enthusiastic fan said the above words to Ms. Grier and followed by “I’ve seen this movie ten times” and many kind words about the actress. Pam loved it and I love this movie. It’s easily my favorite blaxploitation film and you can watch a nicely restored version on Amazon Prime.

Available on Blu-ray from Olive Films.

Dead or Alive (1999)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

This was my first Takashi Miike experience. I was lucky enough to see a 35mm print at the Philadelphia Film Fest (thank you Travis Crawford). I am always hunting for fast paced movies. This is one of the fastest! Dead or Alive is crazy, hyperactive action from start to finish. If you can forgive a little cheap looking CG at the end, this movie is a blast (pun intended).

Available on Blu-ray from Arrow.

Devil’s Express (1976)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

Aka Gang Wars. What the man doesn’t tell you is that back in the mid ‘70s New York City was plagued with Kung Fu gangs and zombies. Low-budget exploitation doesn’t get much better than this.

Please note: 1) Deep creep analog synth as the eyelid zombie staggers around NYC. 2) Theodore Gottlieb, who voiced the original Gollum, has a cameo as a priest.

Bonus: Yet another amazing 35mm double feature I saw was Devil’s Express with Death Promise. That’s right, this ain’t no Death Wish punk, it’s a PROMISE. You can watch them back to back on Amazon (psychoactives encouraged). Death Promise isn’t in HD but looks decent. If you’re doing things right, you won’t care.

Available on Blu-ray from Code Red.

Turkey Shoot (1982)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

Aka Escape 2000 this is a futuristic prison film where baddies hunt humans. This is a personal all-time favorite exploitation movie. It’s got everything: action, drama, sleaze and a belligerent mutant wolf man. Turkey Shoot may be the most bizarre of all the 80’s Australian exploitation films and is a blast from start to finish.

Available on Blu-ray from Severin.

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)

Streaming on Amazon Prime | imdb | trailer

A doctor’s wife is decapitated in an accident but he manages to keep her head alive while he hunts for a new body. This is might just be my favorite “so bad it’s good” movie. I’m pretty sure the 80’s classic Re-Animator was heavily influenced by The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. I’d recommend watching this with a few drinks, or whathaveyou, to loosen up. Maybe invite some friends. It’s quite a ride. The film is public domain so there are tons of shitty versions out there. Look for the one on Amazon Prime that is widescreen and 1080p.

Available on Blu-ray from Scream Factory.