Tag Archives: Asian cinema

Really Awful Movies: Ep 242 – Baskin



On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a sensational, Italian-style hard-horror coming to us from of all places, Turkey. Baskin debuted at TIFF’s Midnight Madness and caused a bit of a stir. And rightly so.

Now, Turkey is known for a spate of rip-off movies. There’s a Turkish Star Wars, Star Trek, E.T., Superman, Exorcist, Death Wish, and they’re all unbelievably bad. But of course, the country has produced some great cinema too.

Baskin is a dreamscape that follows six reprobate policemen, officers of the law who are by all accounts louts and shouldn’t really be in charge of keeping order. While on call to a remote town, the driver thinks he sees a figure dart out onto the road, swerves to avoid it, and puts the police van in the ditch.

From there, the men emerged with bruised egos and wet clothes, but face a much more perilous predicament. The group, comprising some jaded veterans but also young bucks, venture into the forest. It’s there they might a group of demented hillbilly folk. But expect the unexpected. From there, they explore a precinct abandoned since the glory days of the Ottoman Empire.

Baskin is a marvel. Bask in its glory (apologies). The film debut of Can Evrenol, based on his 2013 short film by the same name, is influenced by all the good stuff. While not exactly re-inventing the wheel, it pays home to (but doesn’t rip-off) the godfathers of Italian horror: Bava, Fulci, Argento.

On this episode, we talk Turkey (apologies again, dammit). What makes this film so unnerving and odd? What is it about Turkish culture that produced something so transgressive? We dive in headlong.

It’s available through Raven Banner. Buy it, track it down somehow…and listen to our chat!


Really Awful Movies: Ep 182 – Drunken Master



The phrase “human highlight reel” is pretty shopworn. In the world of sports, it’s used for the one-namers, your LeBron, Kobe, Jordan, etc. Jackie Chan DEFINITELY qualifies, albeit in a different medium. And here, Drunken Master (1978) is a showcase for all his wild, over-the-top, ground-breaking antics.

Whether you like it or not, this film put comedy kung fu on the map. It’s not exactly to our taste, as we like our Shaw Brothers productions, but there’s no denying the spectacular talent that is, Jackie Chan.

Directed by Yuen Woo-ping, fight coordinator for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Matrix and the Kill Bill films, Drunken Master finds Chan in peak form as a knave who runs afoul of the wrong people, and then is forced to study a variety of martial arts and eat crow, in order to best his enemies.

Chan plays title character Wong Fei-Hung (also referred to as Freddie Wong) who disgraces the family name by hitting on a distant cousin and by attempting to con a restaurant. He is sent by an embarrassed papa to study martial arts under the tutelage of the aged, yet incredibly limber vagrant, Beggar So (sometimes So Hi depending on the dubbing). So is played by genre staple Yuen Siu-tien, who was an inspiration for the unhinged late rapper, Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

But really, it’s not about the plot. It’s about the beat-downs.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, your genial hosts Jeff and Chris discuss:

  • Chan’s early roles
  • Bruce Lee
  • VHS tracking
  • Janet Jackson (!) and the similarities between adult films and kung fu films (!)
  • Our favorite kung fu films
  • Bolo Yeung
  • Asian cinema..and much more!

Tune into the Really Awful Movies Podcast every Friday!