Amazon Prime Video continues to be a source of delight for lovers of obscure and little-seen world cinema. Here are my picks of some of the recent additions to the service. As usual, I discover these  – not through the front page of the service – but through browsing the entire catalogue of “Recent additions”. This is a time consuming process, given the amount of spam videos added, but is the only way to encounter some of the gems which pop up, away from the popular films and recommendations offered by the imperfections of the algorithm.

becauseofthecatsFirst up is the disturbing and controversial Because of the Cats (Fons Rademakers, 1973). Not only has this film been added, but six other works from the award-winning Dutch filmmaker are also available, including Max Havelaar (1976), De Dans van de Reiger (1966) and Mira (1971).

Italian genre cinema continues to be well-represented with the addition of several films by Michele Lupo, including Bud Spencer in Buddy Goes West (1981), Why Did You Pick on Me (1980) and Bomber (1982), the giallo/Agatha Christie-tinged The Weekend Murders (1970) with Ida Galli, spy caper Master Stroke (1967) with Richard Harrison and the pirate saga Avenger of the Seven Seas (1962). Also appearing is Ursula Andress in Lupo’s Africa Express (1975), part of a unconnected trilogy of Andress-in-exotic-peril films, which culminated in Martino’s Slave of the Cannibal God (1978).africaexpress

Klaus Kinski continues to be well-represented with the addition of La Belva (1970) and the bizarre giallo La Bestia Uccide a Sangue Fredo (1971). Also in the same genre is La Morte Risale a Ieri Sera (1970) from Duccio Tessari, whose Indiana Jones rip-off Tex and the Lords of the Deep (1985) also makes an appearance. Those who prefer the Italian crime genre will be interested in Antonio Racioppi’s The Black Hand (1973) an interesting New York-set mafia period piece and an interesting early precursor to Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Kinski turns up again with Philippe Leroy in Le Mano Spietata delle Legge (1973), which is a more traditional contemporary poliziotesschi from director Mario Gariazzo. Also listed is the obscure E Venne il Giorno dei Limoni Neri (1970), starring Anotonio Sabato and Florinda Bolkan.slaughterhotel

Joining the range of Umberto Lenzi Crime and War films on the service is Daughter of the Jungle (1982), a thankfully rather more tame jungle epic than is usual from Lenzi, starring Sabrina Siani and Giovanni Lombardo Radice.

guruAndy Milligan fans – who number into the dozens – will be delighted to find that Guru the Mad Monk (1970) and The Rats are Coming! The Werewolves are Here! (1972) have been added to Carnage (1986) from a few months ago. Fans of almost-unwatchable horror will also be thrilled by the appearance of British “auteur” Paul Matthews’ Grim (1995) an entertainingly inept monster movie filmed partly in a cave system in the Forest of Dean. Some of Matthews’ low-budget fantasy films have also been added to the service, though sadly not his magnum opus with Samantha Janus, Breeders (1997). The rather unfortunately-titled but hugely enjoyable Evil Dead-inspired Demon Wind (1990) is also now available and highly recommended if suitably accompanied by strong drink and like-minded friends.

As usual, there are just too many great titles to list in any detail, so I’ll finish with a quick list of other notable films which have recently been added: David Niven in The Statue (1971), Gary Graver’s Trick or Treats (1982), Rene Cardona Jr.’s The Bermuda Triangle (1978), Cameron Mitchell in The Toolbox Murders (1978), Ishiro Honda’s Matango (1963) and ex-“Video Nasty” Blood Song (1982).matango

Note: Some of the foreign language films on the service appear to composite prints which contain passages in the original language without subtitles. Switching on Amazon’s closed captioning during these sequences usually furnishes an appropriate translation.

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