#CineMemories: Getting Films in the 90s

The "indie movie" scene in Singapore in the mid-to-late 90s revolved around the annual Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF), at least for myself personally, and the ability to secure movies other that that shown in local cinemas, was a total mystery to me then, and in many ways still is now.

I have zero war stories to share about those days of "alternative cinema", even though whispers of THAT video store down in Tanglin blew by my ears only decades later, and I had always been too introverted a cinephile and human being to extract information from other folks beyond my small circle of friends who accompany me to screenings - which most times I do so by myself anyways, sorry to say …

… the only other "options" available, were of the "carnal" persuasion, with my one sole experience of transaction happening at the basement of Delphi Orchard, for a VHS "blue tape" with which I had zero memories of it's contents too (although it might have been a 70s' porn disguised as a cutting-edge 90s adventure … can't be sure if this was "memory" or "self-construct"… ANYWAYS,) … but at the very least I could still somehow gain contact and procure porno, but "films"?

The only other venue I knew of, and was a firm regular clientele I was of, was the comicbook shop! Specifically those who took orders from the PREVIEWS catalog.

Offered every month for pre-orders were anime and sometimes non-English languages films - which we recognize very early were not necessarily "porn", but were of the "off the beaten cinematic path" variety, and I am grateful for the opportunity and option.

Having a monthly salary also helped fueled the fever, because they did not come "cheap". Essentially any US$ SRP came to us were at a "times x2" rate, regardless of monetary conversion. And most times, they came through, way before when censorship crushed all out collective dreams of untainted films LOL

I was thankfully introduced to one of my then favouritest Japanese director; Shinya Tsukamoto, by which I was able to procure "Tetsuo The Iron Man", "Tetsuo 2: Body Hammer", and the VHS shown here: "Tokyo Fist" … and subsequently continued forth with film festivals devouring his films, like "Snake of June" and "Vital".

A video posted by TOYSREVIL (@toysrevil) on

(Excerpt from my new blog #mygeeklife - Read in Full HERE)