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domingo, 18 de marzo de 2012

Taiwan Black Movies at IFD & Filmark ( Part 1)

The early 80's was a great time for Spanish low budget video companies. VHS system was arising & many pirate labels offered to the hungry market tons of rare & obscure movies. Then little by little, step by step and with the new laws most of those labels dissapeared but some collectors kept those releases. One favourite genre was Kung Fu, the spirit of Bruce Lee was still around & many people didn't know, he died almost 10 years ago, then we also had Jackie's classic kung fu comedies...the audience was hungry of that kind of movies but the new laws cut the pirate circuits & the new legal releases arrived but we got a problem...Golden Harvest or Shaw Brothers movie rights were too expensive for those humble, modest companies so they had to get cheaper titles & that's how Ocean Shores or IFD titles flooded most of video rental shops!.

A documentary that was a great resource to find out a lot of information about IFD working ways.

At that time, we didn't know we were given some of the rarest, most obscure & now hard-to find titles from different places in South East Asia & specially from Taiwan. Then, almost 30 years later, in 2005, we were surprised with a documentary titled TAIWAN BLACK MOVIES that talks about gangster films shot in Taiwan from 1979 to 1983. Many people who starred the documentary complained that it is a pity many of those movies were gone forever since the negatives were destroyed after the film's commercial life, but...they never considerated that most of those movies were released on tape in countries like Greece & specially Spain!

Missing movie? No, no, no...some copies are still alive in collector's hands!

I didn't know about Taiwan Black Movie till early 2008 when my good friend Domingo López was told I was making a research about IFD & Filmark. Having friends & connections like Domingo López is a blessing since I was able to get a copy of that documentary to continue my "search of the truth about IFD & Filmark".

Ocean Shores, IFD, First Films & Filmark brought to Spain some gems from Taiwan.

After I watched it, I realized I had many of the mentioned movies!!! and even in very good conditions. Those spanish humble video companies got nice masters of some already missing Taiwan black movies and sincce the market was so hungry at the time, they released them several times just changing the sleeves & some times even the titles!!!

Tattoer Ma Sha movies were everywhere in Spain during the 80's!

Many Taiwan black movies arrived to Spain on their original cut, some of them with the original title credits in Chinese some, with new English titles when they came throught IFD.

Back on time, it was easier to find Elsa Yeung's movies in my video rental shop rather than Shaw Bros classics!

In the following posts, I will try to compile which Taiwan Black Movies arrived to Spain & how later IFD will re-used them with new added fotage for other European & American markets.

I don't like to review what I watch because my viewpoint about any movie has the same value as yours. I am nobody to judge a proffesional filmmaker work, or tell what is good or bad since all depends on your preferences: What you may think is a masterpiece in cinema history, it may be a piece of crap for myself...or viceversa; but I highly recommend to check this link if you need a nice review about Taiwan Black Movies documentary.
http://byjohncharles.blogspot.com.es/2011/09/movie-review-taiwan-black-movies-taiwan.html

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