Monday, March 31, 2014

Insomniac Theater Presents: The Prodigal Son (Sammo Hung, 1981)

In the 1970s, martial arts films from Hong Kong began to flood grindhouse theaters and late night television slots in America, creating a “Kung Fu Craze” that captivated action film fans. Martial arts director/star Sammo Hung, actors Lam Ching-ying and Yuen Biao made several standout films together together that not only fed the craze but also elevated the quality of film-making of the genre.  In the 1990s, my daughter and I used to watch bootleg VHS copies of these movies together.  One of her favorites was 1979’s The Prodigal Son, which was both a kung fu comedy with breathtaking action scenes and fight choreography and a warm tribute to the Peking Opera origins of the stars.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Insomniac Theater Presents: H.P. Mendoza's I am a Ghost

I started this blog in 2010, when I became ill and couldn't sleep.  The Insomniac Theater  was a chance to dump some of the obsessive thoughts into the larger muck pond of the Internet. My daughter's cat, Olivia, would pad into  my room as I set up my laptop and put on headphones.  Tucked under my chin, she would watch the colors of on laptop screen while I explored all the movies I could get my hands on.  We were a weird pair, me with my nearly useless limbs and this scrawny, angry black cat the only two creatures awake in the house.  A perfect time for ghost stories.

 H.P. Mendoza's ghostly chiller I Am a Ghost would have been a perfect movie for those nights.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


This special “I can’t believe it has been so long” edition of What I Watched Last Night presents a classic, double creature feature from the islands of “It’s More Fun in the” Philippines. Come to a land of beautiful sunsets, lush jungles, gorgeous, exotic women, blood thirsty vampires and horny, homicidal plant-people monsters and prepare your mind for the Twin Tales of Tagalog Terror!

The first feature was 1964’s The Blood Drinkers (aka Blood is the Color of Night), directed by Gerardo de León. The Blood Drinkers was the good movie for the night, a sure fire winner of a vampire film with its tragic love story and doomed search for redemption.  There is even a rubber bat (named Basra!)

Basra, the Bat