Saturday, October 24, 2015

Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku..... - Day #24 - SILVER SCREAM SATURDAY (Screen Four)

Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...

... to 'Day Twenty-Four' of "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" and the fourth instalment of "Silver Scream Saturday" where, each week, I will recommend another horror movie classic which can be streamed to your television set(s) via the magic of Roku player !!

So if, like me, you plan to while away the hours during these dark autumnal evenings by watching a succession of Hallowe'en / Horror-themed movies to get into the (ahem) "spirit" of things, you should make a point of looking back through the posts I've made on this blog EVERY SATURDAY since the start of October for some absolute classics of creepy cinema to set the mood for the season !!

Today, I have decided... given the influence Japanese Horror or "J-Horror", as some call it, has had on the horror genre (as a whole) in the last couple of decades, it seems only fair to add a little Asian spice into the mix for this series of Hallowe'en posts. Fortunately, I didn't have to look too far before coming across a Roku channel that offered not only J-Horror, but also "K-Horror" (that's Korean Horror, if you were in any doubt) and "HK-Horror" (yep, you guessed it... Hong Kong Horror) as well as Thai Horror (dare I suggest, "T-Horror"... anyone? no? oh, well... I tried!). Suffice to say that, if you're partial to horror movies of an Asian persuasion, then you'll want to add this channel to your macabre movie viewing, in the final week leading up to Hallowe'en !!

It probably comes as no surprise to you, that this Asian Cinema-based Roku channel can be found in the "Movies & TV" genre (i.e. category) of the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. Generally speaking, the 'Asian Crush' movie channel provides an assortment of the hottest summer blockbusters, plus leading martial arts & action films, popular animé & gut-wrenching cult indies as well as the newest romantic comedies featuring your favourite stars, all of which can (currently) be watched (on an ad-supported basis) completely free-of-charge. With movie genres (i.e. categories) ranging from things like Action to Comedy, Cult to Drama and Romance to Thriller, plus (of course) Horror, Independent Films & Documentaries, you'll never be hard-pushed to find something that suits your taste in films. Best of all, however, is that the movies are ALL COMPLETELY FREE TO WATCH when viewing them on an ad-supported basis. However you are also given the choice to pay & watch individual movies on an entirely ad-free basis for that full, uninterrupted movie-watching experience. The cost of the ad-free service is $0.99 per movie but as I always say, for the sake of sitting through a few commercials, I think you're better off going down the ad-supported route and maybe spending your money on some popcorn to eat while you watch any, or all, of these films for FREE !!

Obviously, having multiple genres to choose from in the main menu of the 'Asian Crush' channel means that not all of the included content is relevant to this post. As I mentioned before, there are other loosely relevant genres included (such as Cult and Thriller or perhaps even Drama, Action or Comedy) in which you might find something from "the best of Asian cinema" that grabs you but, sticking to the general theme of Hallowe'en, the (current) selection to be found in the "Horror" category of 'Asian Crush' on UK Roku player (incl. IMDB links) is as follows:-

  • End Call (aka "Sataniki Klisi") [Feature Film] (2008) [dir. Kiyoshi Yamamoto] (1h 32m)
  • Antarctic Journal (aka "Namgeuk-Ilgi") [Feature Film] (2005) [dir. Pil-Sung Yim] (1h 55m)
  • Feng Shui (aka "Huang Jui Fa-Din-Khon-Likhit") [Feature Film] (2003) [dir. Bunthin Thuaykaew] (1h 33m)
  • The Evil Twin (aka "Jeonseol-Ui Gohyang") [Feature Film] (2007) [dir. Kim Ji-Hwan] (1h 35m)
  • Be With Me [Feature Film] (2009) [dir. Hong Dongmyung, Eun-kyung Jo, Jho Gwang-soo Kim] (1h 48m)
  • Gurozuka (aka "Guroduka") [Feature Film] (2005) [dir. Yoichi Nishiyama] (1h 23m)
  • Haze [Feature Film] (2005) [dir. Shin'ya Tsukamoto] (0h 49m)
  • Haunting Me (aka "Hor Taew Tak") [Feature Film] (2007) [dir. Poj Arnon] (1h 31m)

Despite the rather small selection on offer, my own PICK OF THE BUNCH would have been the intense exercise in basic fear & dread, that is... claustrophobic japanese horror mystery "Haze" (2005) which was directed by Shin'ya Tsukamoto. However, instead... I'm going to recommend "Fine, Totally Fine" [aka "Zenzen Daijobu"] (2008) [RUN TIME: 1h 50m] directed by Yosuke Fujita. Now, I know some of you are probably thinking, "wait a minute, that's not even in the list", and you'd be right... BUT it is part of the 'Asian Crush' selection and can be found under the "Cult" category. I reserve my right to include it as "Pick Of The Bunch" on account of the fact that one of the principle characters, Teruo, is a haunted house enthusiast (obsessed with scaring people and collecting monster figurines) and whose dream is of one day building the most "Super-Ultra-Haunted-House-Deluxe" that will literally "scare people to death". So, if that doesn't scream "Hallowe'en" at you, then you're probably missing a funny bone or two which would otherwise get tickled to death by watching this cult comedy. If, however, you'd like to know more about this movie, IMDB has all the details VIA THIS LINK.

Moving on, and getting back to the "Horror" category (as outlined above) another recommendation would be "The Evil Twin" (2007), directed by Kim Ji-Hwan, as your next best option on account of the beautiful cinematography and costumes. That said, some of the translation(s) in the subtitling do leave a lot to be desired. If you've ever seen a lyric insert from a piece of Japanese vinyl, then you'll know exactly what I mean !! Other than that Pil-Sung Yim's icy thriller "Antarctic Journal" (2005) is also worthy of watching, thanks largely to the presence of Korean megastar Song Kang-Ho in the lead role. Alternatively, if you're in the mood for more of a Horror-Comedy (feat. four ageing-yet-still-outrageous drag queens running a boarding house with ghosts in the dormitory) try "Haunting Me" [aka "Hor Taew Tak"] (2007) directed by Poj Arnon. On the other end of the scale, THE ONE'S TO AVOID ARE... the likes of Thai horror "Feng Shui" [aka "Huang Jui Fa-Din-Khon-Likhit"] (2003), directed by Bunthin Thuaykaew, and Kiyoshi Yamamoto's "End Call" [aka "Sataniki Klisi"] (2008), but you can pretty much take your pick of the others and they should be ok. Still, this horror-themed content will ensure that you have plenty of ways to pass the time between my daily doses of Roku-related Hallowe'en horror in "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" while, at the same time, satisfying your appetite for even more horror movies in the build-up to Hallowe'en !!

Meanwhile, if you'd like to discover more about the 'Asian Crush' channel for Roku player, you can do so via their Official Website FOUND HERE. Alternatively, you can visit the dedicated page on their developer's website VIA THIS LINK. Those wishing to connect with the 'Asian Crush' channel can use their Twitter Feed: @asiancrush or else, get social with them via: Asian Crush (Facebook)

It may further interest you to know that, according to the channel description for the 'Asian Crush' channel, taken from the Official Roku Website, the channel was developed for Roku by a company called adRise. If that name happens to sound familiar to you, it could be because that company is also responsible for the development of the 'Premiere' channel available on Roku players not to mention the MANY OTHER FAMILIAR CHANNELS they have created over the years for Roku channel store(s) IN ALL REGIONS. Should you need to contact this developer, you can do so via their Twitter Feed: @ad_Rise or else, get social through: adRise (Facebook). Of course, you can always find out more about adRise by visiting their Official Website VIA THIS LINK, or by using their CONTACT FORM to ask a specific question that you may not have been able to find an answer to on their site. The folks at adRise would also like to hear from you if you're interested in partnering with them (either as content owners or advertisers), if you have some news to share, or if you'd just like to know more about the many other channels that they have developed for the Roku player. 

Those of you who wish to add this channel to the Hallowe'en-themed entertainment on your Roku player(s) but are, perhaps, unable to access the Channel Store on your device at this precise moment... can also take care of things by simply LOGGING-IN to your Online Roku Account, scrolling down to the 'Manage Account' section, and using the "Add a Channel" option. That way, when you do have access to your Roku player, the 'Asian Crush' channel will be there ready for you to watch whenever you so choose !! All you must do to achieve this, is type the following access code under "Add a Private Channel" and click the 'Add Channel' button:-

ACCESS CODE:- asiancrush

Anyway, that's pretty much all there is to it, except to point out that the 'Asian Crush' channel has been given an average score of "3.5 out of 5" from 1,458 ratings (so far) in the channel store description from the Official Roku Website. That statistic alone should be reason enough to give this a try, never mind that ALL THE FILMS ARE FREE TO WATCH too (even if they are ad-supported) !!

Having said that, if this particular Hallowe'en / Horror themed Roku channel was not to your liking then FEAR NOT because there will be something else on offer in tomorrow's post, continuing the month-long blogathon that is: "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku", as we bring you more devilish delights EACH AND EVERY DAY from now UNTIL HALLOWE'EN... 

So, with that in mind, I'd best get writing... so as not to keep you waiting like I did today!

Still... fangs again, for stopping by !!

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