Phew...thanks for coming back!
And then Mean Guns happened. I love that film...it takes a great premise and then goes balls to the wall ballistic and plays around with your conceptions of what the movie will be. Mambo? Fantastic!! So, my interest in Albert Pyun films was sparked again-not to mention that you could not throw a stick in a video store and not see his name for a few years. Fat Joe--Action Star? Hah! I had to see it.
Around this time a friend returned from Hollywood and mentioned she had worked on a movie called Mean Guns (I doubt she thought I would have heard of it)-and I was in full on Mean Guns Mania mode at that point.
Albert Pyun does not make normal films, he makes his films. Love them, hate them...it doesn't really matter. While the creative reach and fiscal grasp would seem to be radically apart on many productions, I wonder if he hasn't finally found a venture that really will allow him to do what he was doing with films like Deceit many years ago. Small films. Idiosyncratic characters. Stories that never really go where you think they will.
I watched the Nemesis films again and while I'll never think of it as a highlight, I have returned to Nemesis 4 several times for a reason I am not sure I can relate...yet.
After Mean Guns the next big Pyun film for me was Left For Dead, which I watched again last night in the newly released "INFERNO" version. That is pure Pyun in a lot of ways really, a Weird Western Tale that focuses more on the character twists than the tropes that the genre demands. Left For Dead could be anything really, as long as the characters are the same. Jess Franco could have made it in to 30 variant films over the years, and Pyun and Franco aren't all that far apart from me.
Genius? Lunatic? Hack? Storyteller?
All of the above fit in my opinion, for both men. However, I think each of those have a place in my cinematic universe. I use the term TRASH film a lot. I don't mean it is literal trash, stinking and rotted. No, this term has always been a term of honor for me. Trash is the stuff we use, the things we watch and enjoy and move on from. Pyun has made some trash films for sure, working with finances and egos and actors and other situations that were most likely beyond the control that any of us readers could exert. Rough edges are the name of the game. However, the best thing someone struggling to tell a story can do, in my opinion, is tell it to the best of their ability and with the tools at hand. Pyun always does that, you can spot his films a mile away. The term GRINDHOUSE was popularized fairly recently, and what Albert Pyun is doing is closer in spirit than the film that used that term.
Making movies isn't easy, cheap or something everyone gets to do. Albert Pyun has, does and continues to do so. I respect that and am looking forward to using this space to look at the films, the ephemera and maybe learn a little more about the man and each of these movies along the way.
Besides, I still have my notes for a book I wanted to write on the Pyuniverse back when the Urban Trilogy films were being released. Like the current Curnan Films projects, that include a Nemesis 2.0 reboot, why cast aside old ideas in some private memory box? Remix, mutate and remaster.
So, enough of me-but this is where I'm coming from...where the Pyuniverse takes me and my collaborators is anyone's guess. I sure don't know, but on the subject of Albert Pyun, you just never know.
Look for posts that will range from reviews to links to trailers and images-I hope you have as much fun looking at them as I do finding them. I'm excited to have my main man in Sweden, the one and only NINJA DIXON working with me. You can go check out his review of NEMESIS right now, right here...today.
-Your Pyuniversal Soldier...DZ