Archive for the ‘Tribute’ Category

Here’s something for those who missed our previous article– and those who want to learn some more about Hawk the Slayer sequel comicbook published by the Rebelion. 2000 AD Thrill-Cast conducted a fun interview with the writer Garth Ennis where he explains his lifelong fascination with the movie and his approach for the comic. He talks about everything from getting a blessing from John Terry to why is Hawk more memorable than Krull (not sure I agree). Surprisingly he also touches upon another WM classic Laserblast! Enjoy the interview right here:

You can find the first one on the stands now packed with Judge Dredd Megazine #440 and here’s an awesome cover for the second issue – coming out (just after my birthday) 8 June 2022.

Cover art by Rob Steen

Tribute: Mark Gregory R.I.P.

Posted: 05/03/2022 in Tribute

Quite often a discovery of a beloved B-movie celebrity after decades of obscurity is a moment of joy and celebration by the fandom (see Matt Hannon or Eric Freeman). I hoped we’d get another one like that but it just wasn’t meant to be.

This time things took a dark turn- Mark Gregory aka Marco De Gregorio was finally found and it turns out he quietly passed away in Castel Madama in 2013.

Starting his film career in the late 70’s Marco De Gregorio beat hundreds of competitors to get cast in Enzo G. Castellari’s post- apocalyptic epic Bronx Warriors (1982). He reprised the role for Escape from the Bronx (1983) and acted in the Ramboesque trilogy Thunder (1983- 1988). He even themed up with another B-movie stand out- Frank Zagarino in Ten Zan- The Ultimate Mission (1988) , movie with the
unusual distinction of being one of the only Western productions to ever shoot in North Korea! After ’89 being disillusioned with the movie industry he returned to his first love- painting, occupation he would continue for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately in the early 2000’s he ended up being a victim of a vicious scam and lost his house and almost all of his belongings. That strained his relationship with his family and sent him spiraling into depression. He moved to Castel Madama (Lazio), with only his guitar as his luggage. He lived quietly there continuing to paint and occasionally selling his works in Rome. Unfortunately his depression never went away and he ended his life with prescription pills in January of 2013.

We would like to extend our condolences to his family and fans.

Info: https://cinemaitalianodatabase.com/2022/03/04/in-memoria-di-mark-gregory/

Our old acquaintance Brian Yuzna (Re-Animator, Society) is at it again! And he is actually working on a comic series which kinda makes sense when you think about it. I mean Yuzna movies did tend to be completely over the top and comicbooky as it gets.

Now, Tales of Blood Island is a tribute to the 60’s and 70’s B-horror movies made in Philippines, especially Eddie Romero/ Kane W. Lynn Blood Island series, consisting of Beast of Blood,  Terror Is a Man, Brides of Blood and The Mad Doctor of Blood Island. Interestingly Yuzna was actually born in Philippines so this is a bit of a full circle for him.

                                            Yuzna single-handedly  bringing the tiki- horror back!

Comic series is written by Mark Cerulli and David Sehring, drawn by Stephen Sistilli and colored by Dexter Weeks based on concept art by Anthony Palumbo. You can see the Kickstarter campaign here. It has everything from comicbooks to t-shirts to tiki mugs. And if it proves to be a success I’m sure a Yuzna produced Blood Island movie is sure to follow.

 

Earlier this week we saw Fox’s The Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space (in 3D) as one of the number of projects (including The Sims movie?) that Disney has canceled after the acquisition. But now it seems that things are actually looking up for the Chiodo Brothers.

In a Hollywood Reporter interview Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Jungle Book) casually mentioned an animated project with Chiodo Brothers, and it seems it’s a done deal.  He said “…even talking to [an outlet] like Quibi about doing short-form stop motion, working with Netflix on a stop-motion Christmas special. I’ve been trying to work with these guys the Chiodo brothers, who did the stop-motion on Elf, it took over 15 years, only because the business model changed.”

Then the brothers let it slip that the special is actually based on their ’15 Christmas picture book ALIEN XMAS.

Nothing says Christmas like marauding aliens who mistake Santa’s workshop fora weapon-building facility.

 

Color me interested! We don’t know how far along it is, but hopefully we’ll get it this Christmas on Netflix.

Probably the most imposing bad guy in the history of Martial Arts cinema Yang Sze aka Bolo Yeung is finally getting his own documentary and we must say- it’s long overdue. From learning Kung Fu with different masters as a child to his competitive Bodybuilding years (he would go on hold a Mr. Hong Kong title for a whole decade) his story fits the “stranger than fiction” category easily. Not to mention the fact that he freakin’ swam from China to Hong Kong to escape Communism!!! Or the fact that he met Bruce Lee while filming Winston Cigarettes commercial (you just got to love the ’70s).

He stared (mostly as a villain) in over 100 movies raging from Shaw Brothers (The Heroic Ones, The Deadly Duo) to Golden Harvest (Enter The Dragon) to Bruceploitation (Clones of Bruce Lee, Dragon Lee Fights Again) to Van Damme films (Bloodsport, Double Impact) and even Jalal Merhi films (Tiger Claws 1 and 2, TC 2000). He even showed that he could be an awesome good guy/ wise mentor character in films such as Shootfighter 1 and 2 (featuring Karate Kid/ Cobra Kai’s Billy Zabka).

 

Movie is being directed by Aziz Cem and Pavel Nyziak (who Bolo actually collaborated with on his final movie, the Kazakhstani produced The Whole World at Our Feet aka Diamond Cartel) and features exclusive interviews with the likes of Bob Wall, Richard Norton, Cynthia Rothrock, Matthias Hues, Coreena Everson, Cung Le and many, many others.

If you’re child of the 80’s like we are you’ll probably remember seemingly endless stream of Ninja movies staring mustachioed white ninja called Gordon on the TV. Later I would find out that those were directed by the notorious Hong Kong director by the name of Godfrey Ho (also known as  Godfrey Hall, Benny Ho, Ho Chi-Mou and Ed Woo) who routinely used cut- and- paste method producing dozens of Ninja movies every year. One of the tricks he used was to buy an unfinished Taiwanese film (or 10) and pepper it with his default Ninja fight scenes to create a unique mutant of the Martial Arts genre (often featuring dual storylines by sheer necessity).

Most of those Joseph Lai produced gems featured Harrison (sometimes even without his knowledge or approval), anything from Ninja Terminator (1985) to Ninja Strike Force (1988). And I can’t forget all the brightly colored uniforms or those headbands with Ninja written on them to this day!

Quite possibly the greatest scene in the history of Martial Arts cinema!

To go back in time even more so Harrison started his career much like Eastwood acting in Italian movies– albeit initially in the sword and sandals genre (The Magnificent Gladiator). He would eventually move up to the more commercial Spaghetti Western films (Gunfight at Red Sands, also first Ennio Morricone scored film ever) before becoming the European answer to 007 aka 077 (no, I’m not making this up). Also you should definitely check out his Italian team- up with  Bruce Le called Challenge of the Tiger. Eurospy meets Bruceploitationyou don’t see that every day!

Beware of that buff Italian guy!

He also famously turned down the opportunity to act in A Fistful of Dollars and recommended Clint Eastwood for the role. He jokingly said he considers that his greatest contribution to the world of cinema.

He first started collaborating with a Hong Kong studio when he played  the title role of Marco Polo in  Shaw Brothers‘s production in 1975 and Commander von Waldersee in The Boxer Rebellion a year later. More than a decent start. But in the 80’s with the fall of both Western and Eurospy movies he ended up signing a multi- picture contract with Joseph Lai’s Imperial Entertainment which lead him to Godfrey Ho and as they say- the rest is history!

We want to thank Guru Khalid Khan for this wonderful interview, It’s really uplifting to see a legend like Harris still alive and kicking  while being charismatic as he ever was.

 

 

 

In 2016 a sole remaining 35mm print of the infamous Turkish Star Wars “Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam” aka “Man who Saved the World”– was found by a a B-movie aficionado Ed Glaser. Now, two years later a complete restored- 2k version of the movie is premiering on the only proper date –May the 4th (Star Wars day) simultaneously in London and Glasgow!

BluRay release of the movie is still not discussed (and it would be extremely difficult to accomplish due to a great number of borrowed scenes and themes most notably from
LucasFilm properties: Star Wars and Indiana Jones) but we’ll keep you informed on the US premiere and any further dates as they become available.

You can enjoy the trailer right here:

And for those of somehow still unfamiliar with the cult that is “Man who saved the world” there’s an informative clip that Neon Harbor put out, with a nice little history lesson on Turkish exploitation, their major action hero Cüneyt Arkın and the sneaky director Çetin Inanç solving his production problems with some slightly criminal activities.

 

Robert “Bronzi” Kovacs is a Spanish musician and actor with an uncanny resemblance to the late, great Charles Bronson (strangely, there’s more that a couple cases of Bronsonism here in Europe).

Something like this…

He already made his first steps in fulfilling his  destiny as a Bronson double for the Western themed commercial for LIDL, European mega- supermarket chain.

He followed that up a Western/ Horror production called From Hell to the Wild West, and  now to top it all off, he takes a lead role in a awesome looking Death Wish tribute called the Death Kiss, coming to the screens later this year. You can enjoy the first trailer right here:

Just look at him go!

 

 

We talked before at length about the crazy and  wild world of Bruceploitation cinema. You can even read our tribute here. Now, unexpectedly, genre is making a slight resurgence with Michael Worth (himself a Martial Art actor/ director)’s excellent efforts shining the light on Brucesploitation with a book (Bruceploitation Bible), documentary and even a weekly podcast.  This once forgotten genre is finally getting the love it deserves!

Let the real Bruce Lee please stand up!

Now, to make things even more interesting we  have news of  Ugandan‘s premiere director Nabwana I.G.G. (Who Killed Captain Alex? and The Return of Unkle Benon) making his own spin on the Bruce Lee formula in an upcoming film staring African Kung Fu sensation Mansul Kiiza as the titular Bruce U. This will mark the first time Wakaliwood (Wakaliga, Uganda) Ramon production films in the People’s Republic of Chinaincluding the legendary Shaolin Temple and even The Great Wall of China!

Premiere of the movie was even attended by the Chinese ambassador in Uganda-  Chu Maoming and Star Times CEO Andy Wang so I wouldn’t be surprised with further China/ Uganda cinematic collaborations!

   Ugandan boy and Kung Fu fan Kiwa accidentally gets a chance to learn Kung Fu at China’s Shaolin Temple!

 

 

 

Our blog generally has a soft spot for Barbarian fantasy and we usually try to have a month every year where we concentrate just on Sword and Sorcery films be it an American productions like  Sword and the Sorcerer or more esoteric ones like The Conquest.

But this time we’re not here to discuss any single movie (even though you can read our review of The Barbarians)- this time we’re here to talk about people who weren’t just an actors ,people who were barbarians 24/ 7!  The Barbarian Brothers, Peter and David Paul.

 

 

via  Nick’s Strength and Power

Even though they never formally competed in bodybuilding they were crazy- obsessed gym rats often displaying almost absurd feats of strength like those you can see in this Japanese TV Show.

I especially like the backing vocals from the giant!

It seemed inevitable that they would transcendent the fitness world and go into films and that happened with when notorious Cannon Films decided to back them up. They already had some experience co- producing Sword and Sorcery flicks in Italy so it’s seemed like a perfect fit. Interestingly the original director was going to be our (Serbian) famed director Slobodan Šijan ( Who’s Singing Over There, The Marathon Family) and he even went as far as to scout locations but Šijan was eventually replaced with a B-movie maestro Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust).

 

They followed it up with films like Think Big (as idiotic truckers hired to transport toxic waste), Double Trouble (with brothers paired against each other as a Criminal and a Cop) and Twin Sitters (actually the first Barbarian Bros. movie I ever watched). Their career got another great wrinkle when the legendary Oliver Stone cast them as Hun Brothers in young Tarantino penned Natural Born Killers. Unfortunately their scene was cut in the theatrical release, but you can see it in all it’s awesomeness in the Director’s Cut version!

..and yes that’s a young Tony Stark with a mullet interviewing the Barbarian Brothers!

As the 90’s ended their draw as the leads faded tooDavid Paul branched out into Poetry and Photography (mostly for muscle magazines ) and you can even buy his collection Art of Bodybuilding (with foreword by non other than Arnold Schwarzenegger) right here.  He is also trying to establish himself as a director with a faith based, experimental film on the way but all in all he actually seems like a chill dude.

On the other hand his brother Paul is roaming the college campus of University of Rhode Island calling himself a “Knight of Light” possibly claiming to be a second coming of Jesus Christ.

…we’re not too sure, but you can judge for yourself

Anyway, here’s another Barbarian Rap to enjoy!

 

…and another one!

           feat. Michael Sembello of Flashdance fame!