Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Andrew Leavold closing and selling TRASH VIDEOS!




Hi all,

Well, it’s official: it’s time to bid a sad farewell to the store.

I’ve had a fantastic fifteen years at the Trash helm, and the store has provided the greatest possible number opportunities and adventures along the way. Through the doors have come some of the most amazing fellow freaks, some of whom have become lifelong friends, and I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to meet some of my all-time filmmaking heroes. It’s been an exponential learning curve, and wouldn’t have missed a single moment.

Like any micro-business, however, and particularly those catering to “fringe interests” it’s also been a hard road. The last twelve months in particular have been gruelling, but somehow, with each obstacle that has appeared, we’ve managed to keep the doors open, and we thank you for your patience during these turbulent months.

Turning 40 back in February was a big wake-up call for me. I realized I’d spent most of my young adult life in the store; it was a fresh-faced 25 year old who opened Trash Video Mark I back in 1995, their dream job, filmic obsession and childhood fantasy rolled into one. I’ve changed a lot as a person since then, and so has the rest of the world. It’s a mixture of stubbornness, pride and nostalgia – not to mention fear of the unknown - that’s made me stick around for as long as I have. 

It was my father’s passing last month that really put things into perspective. Dad had been in poor health for quite a while, and quite seriously ill for the last year, and so it came as no surprise, but still… As devastating and heartbreaking as the experience was, his bravery and dignity towards the end taught me an invaluable life lesson, and that’s to let go when the time comes.   

You can imagine spending fifteen years in any one spot…you’re going to start to smell and outwear your welcome! So it’s time, my friends, to bid you adieu.

For me, leaving the store allows me more time to focus on creative projects. The PhD on Philippines B films is more than half finished (a shrunk-down 10,000 word version’s at www.bamboogodsandbionicboys.blogspot.com/2010/07/bamboo-gods-aseacc-conference-paper.html), Machete Maidens is in the can and there are two more films, including Search For Weng Weng, on the boil. I also need to spend more time with my family now that Dad’s gone. More than ever, the last month has been a stark reminder to concentrate on the important things in life while you can.

So what now for Trash?

The doors officially close on 31st August. If anyone wants to make a serious offer to take over the shop, I’m certainly interested, but you need to contact me quick, or else we start selling off the stock on Saturday 7th August.

If there are no offers on the shop, there’s the arduous task of liquidating the massive DVD and VHS collection, and dealing with the remaining 28 months of our current lease.

  • So…Do we sell the store as a business?
  • Do we just sell the collection, in its entirety or by selling it off tape by tape, disc by disc?
  • Do we find a new tenant to take over the lease?

I look forward to hearing your responses.

...............................................................................................

Some things will never change…

We will still program our weekly TV show “Schlock Treatment” on Briz 31 TV (www.schlocktreatment.blogspot.com)...

Sell our Schlock Treatment titles via mailorder…

PLUS book screenings at Tribal Theatre twice a month. Trash’s August screenings, celebrating our last month of operations, should be a KILLER…

8pm Friday 6th August – Trash Video’s GRINDHOUSE 101 presents WENG WENG vs LADY TERMINATOR!

Tribal Theatre, 346 George St Brisbane. Tickets only $8.

At Tribal, we’re now screening twice a month, and dividing the nights into “ARTHOUSE 101” and “GRINDHOUSE 101”, each night introduced by yours truly. There’s popcorn and a snack counter, BYO beer and wine (just remember the $5 corkage fee per wine bottle or sixpack), and look forward to seeing you at our new big screen home! Oh, and please check out Tribal’s current and upcoming events at www.tribaltheatre.com.au

LADY TERMINATOR (1988) PLUS Q&A! "First she mates...then she terminates!" Ultra-bizarre Indonesian ripoff of Arnie's original Terminator with more sleaze, buckets more gore, and some of the most eye-popping action scenes to come out of South East Asian exploitation! PLUS as a special treat, meet Lady Terminator herself, Barbara Anne Constable, as she introduces the movie and goes one-on-one with Trash Video's Andrew Leavold after the film!

PLUS... THE IMPOSSIBLE KID (1982) The return of Weng Weng (Agent OO), the two foot nine James Bond of the Philippines, in the sequel to Grindhouse 101 favourite For Y'ur Height Only!

In The Impossible Kid, midget superhero Agent OO is back and is shorter than ever in his little white suit and pudding bowl haircut, now working for the Manila branch of Interpol. The Chief, a low-rent version of M complete with his own Miss Moneypenny, sends him in the pursuit of Mr X, an arch villian with a white sock on his head, who is holding the Philippines to ransom. Two businessmen, Senor Manolo (classic bad guy Romy Diaz) and Don Simeon (Tony Carreon), pay the demands but Weng Weng suspects foul play and goes deep undercover to reveal the identity of Mr X. Here the James Bond references kick into top gear: Agent OO has even MORE gadgets at his disposal, including a miniature bike which sounds like one of those high-pitched grass cutters and does an incredible leap across a ravine - along a very visible wire! Another highlight is an incredible stunt where Weng Weng gets to use his circus training and walks along a tight rope between two buildings. He then jumps down a garbage chute straight onto his waiting motorbike. Impossible? Mais non!

The opening is a killer - Weng is suspended over the side of a building and gets to ogle naked women through the windows. Now, nudity has never presented a problem to me. But in a Filipino kids film? With midgets involved? The Impossible Kid now ranks up there with 70s Danish sexploitation export The Sinful Dwarf as sleaze mini-classics. Not exactly “dwarfspoitation”, but very sordid indeed. Musically the film offers the same hodge-podge of garbled Bond scores courtesy of Pablo Vergara and, more bizarrely, the theme to The Pink Panther (well, almost). Top of the Manila hit parade is the opener “The Impossible Kid” sung by a cabaret songstress who croons to her micro-hero: “I love you my Weng Weng, come to me and kiss me, I love you Weng Wengggggg!!!” Unfortunately the film is no For Y’ur Height Only, so hoping to strike Comedy Gold a second time is really asking for the impossible - without the surreal rescripting and preposterous English dubbing with bad Peter Lorre impressions, it’s not the same delirious experience. Still, any Weng is good Weng, and we should be thankful for the little guy getting another shot at filmic infamy.

My LADY TERMINATOR interview for next week’s Rave Magazine:

“First she mates…then she terminates!” the posters screamed outside New York City’s fleapit cinemas back in 1988, and for once it wasn’t just some Z film producer’s huckster hyperbole. One can only imagine the 42nd Street crowd’s reaction to bizarre Indonesian splatter-sci-fi Lady Terminator, with the plot of Arnie’s first Terminator grafted onto a supernatural horror tale of a South Seas Queen possessing an ‘American’ anthropologist. Gorgeous, big-haired Barbara Anne Constable plays both Tania and the Queen’s unstoppable killing machine, mowing down hundreds of innocent bystanders with her AK-47, while - in an unexpected riff on the original Terminator - fornicating like a banshee. Breathtakingly surreal, hyper-sleazy and violent in equal doses, and crammed with one over-the-top action setpiece after another, the film is about as loopy as Asian exploitation gets.

Over the years, the legend of Lady Terminator grew amongst tape-trading film nerds. Meanwhile its ‘American’ star was tucked away safely in her suburban home in Brisbane raising two kids, blissfully unaware of her B Queen status. One day a bored Barbara googled her name, and BAM! DVD rereleases, film festival screenings, dress-up parties… Welcome back, Lady T!

London-born Barbara grew up a professional dancer in Australia whose leg injury took her to Hong Kong and into the world of modelling and fashion reporting. After a chance audition for an Indonesian film company, Barbara was offered the lead role in a local Terminator ripoff: no acting experience necessary, but physical endurance was a plus. The film’s cartoon-like Indian producer Ram Soraya “met me at the airport and held up a big wad of cash in US dollars to the customs officials when I arrived. So that set the scene.”

Without warning, Barbara was plunged into the Wild West chaos of Indonesian B-filmmaking. “Everybody were smoking joints on the set, people were off their nuts! I don’t know how they got anything done.” Barbara was expected to perform her own stunts, and as a dancer that didn’t pose a problem. Even so, her pain threshold was pushed to its limits. “I had so many near misses, like half car bodies flying and missing me by two centimetres! I nearly got killed so many times during that film…” After three gruelling months of clinging onto car bonnets and being burnt by bullet squibs (“serious, second-degree burns!”), the final shot was Barbara kicking through a glass door. “The glass should have shattered into small pieces. It was a real pane of effing glass!”

Her ankle was skewered by a long shard of glass, just scraping past her Achilles tendon. Production was shut down for a month – with Barbara on full wages – while a military hospital stitched her up and she regained the ability to walk. “Then I shot that last scene, the candy glass broke the way it was supposed to, and we wrapped.

“Ram Soraya called me a couple of years later and said, ‘We want you to do a comedy.’ I said no. ‘I’ll pay you double?’ ‘No, I’m not coming back. I’ll never get out otherwise!’“

Barbara accepted her role –and her fate – as Lady Terminator, on the understanding that the film would never be screened outside Indonesia. Two years later, Ram Soraya sent Barbara a Betamax copy – and a press clipping the New York Times. “I was like, ‘You’re f*cking kidding me?’ I was mortified.” Even more disturbing was the ‘possession scene’, in which a brutally primitive CGI snake slithers its way into her – ahem – bikini bottoms. “They wanted me to fall onto a bed. I was tied up, and they wanted me to look like I was possessed. That was the scene. They didn’t say, ‘Afterwards we’re going to put this friggin’ snake thing that goes up your v*gina…’!”

Is Barbara still mortified, I wanted to know. “I’ve seen it since with friends over a few drinks, and just laughed all the way through it. It’s a crack-up! People were like, ‘That’s YOU? That’s weird!’ I know!”

8pm Friday 20th August – Trash Video’s ARTHOUSE 101 presents THE OFFICIAL TRASH VIDEO WRAP PARTY!

We say farewell to fifteen years of Trash Video by revisiting two of our favourite Trash memories: the SBS documentary on Trash Video from 2003, ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE TAPES, and our own $700 fake Sixties exploitation fature LESBO-A-GO-GO (dir. Andrew Leavold, 2003). Party? YOU BET!!

MY INTERVIEW WITH ABC RADIO’S RICHARD FIDLER IS NOW ON-LINE!

Wednesday 30th June’s hour-long talk on "Conversations with Richard Fidler" is now at www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2010/06/30/2940992.htm . You know you're bona fide when you're interviewed by a Doug Anthony Allstar!

TRASH VIDEO: “34 days and counting...”
1/73 Vulture St , West End Qld 4101, Australia
ph 07 38447844 (or intl code + 61 + 7 + 38447844)
OPENING HOURS: 12pm to 7pm, 7 DAYS A WEEK

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