Archive for the ‘Tribute’ Category

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!

 

 

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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!

 

A bit of history:

Raymond Chow‘s film company Golden Harvest hit it big in the early 70’s when they discovered a certain up and coming star called Lei Siu Long aka  Bruce Lee . Their mega-fruitful collaboration hit it’s stride with Lee and Chow even forming their own partnership/ production house Concord Prouction Inc. (each owning 50%)  Way of the Dragon was a product of that collaboration, as was  Warner Bros. cooperation- Enter The Dragon. Unfortunately Lee died before the world premiere of Enter The Dragon and Golden Harvest lost it’s biggest star way too soon.

Of course Golden Harvest  would find continued success in decades to come, skyrocketing the career of Jackie Chan in the 80’s and making popular TMNT films (together with New Line Cinema). But in that strange place between Lee and Chan they continued to produce films to different varies of success.

One of those was Lo Wei‘s Slaughter In San Francisco, there to fulfill Chuck Norris‘s contract, he signed on two films when he made Way of the Dragon. Now, another famous name that had a (three) picture deal was non other than one- off Bond from Australia, George Lazenby!

Now, on Bruce’s insistence Lazenby was signed on a three picture deal. First of the films was to be Shrine of Eternal Bliss aka Stoner, the movie he was ready to make with Lee and Japanese Karate movie sensation Sonny Chiba but Lee died and Chiba dropped out soon afterword. Warner Bros. co- production money was also gone and with it’s budget severely cut Lazenby was promoted to a star.

Lazenby as the Detective Stoner, investigating a new and deadly drug! I’m still not sure if that’s the best or a worst name for a character.

 

With all the controversy surrounding  it movie was still a minor success in both Hong Kong and Europe and the Golden Harvest collaboration continued.  Next up was a unique co-production too, joint effort between Chow’s Golden Harvest and The Movie Company from Lazenby‘s native country of Australia (even thou he was being demoted to a villain) and the film was called: Man from Hong Kong aka Dragon Flies!  That was right in the middle of both Hong Kong movie boom and Australian New Wave of films so as expected the result was seriously  bizarre mix of Hong Kong action and Aussie craziness and has to be seen to be believed. Still we will try to help you out  and pinpoint some of the most entertaining bits (and there’s a lot of those).

 

Movie starts with an Aussie journalist visiting Hong Kong– by a glider  of all things! I’m just going to assume she came from Australia to Hong Kong by a glider ’cause that’s just perfect.  She almost gets arrested by Jimmy Wang Yu ( One-Armed Swordsman, The Chinese Boxer) but he decides to show her what’s so special about special units anyway- in bed!

In the meantime very suspicious (and suspiciously scarred) Sammo Hung (Enter The Dragon, My Lucky Stars, Ip Man2 ) carrying a briefcase in the bus. Hardened Aussie  Detectives Gross goes after him and after a bit of a chase at the Ayers Rock  (and a bit of a brawl too) manages to arrest him.

Shortly after Wang Yu arrives in Australia to continue with the (you guessed it) Sammo Hung case. That means he will interrogate good ol’ Sammo– and by interrogating I mean beating him into submission. I guess Chinese people  don’t believe in human rights.  And just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Sammo a mysterious  assassins shots him (to prevent his from testifying I guess).

Wang Yu starts chasing him  and after a crazy pursuit they end up in the middle of a Chinese restaurant of all places!!!

We finally see the evil boss of crime and it’s (of course) non other that George Lazenby with a porno mustache to boot! He went from a Bond to a Bond villain, and it suits him well in fact. Yu contacts the journalist from the beginning of the movie– turns out the glider was borrowed from her boyfriends, she’s a bit of a slut that way.  Anyway, she takes him to the high class party where he meets Lazenby face to face.

 Did he just accuse Wong Yu that he’s yellow? That’s maybe taking it to far…
And surprisingly he finds information that the main center of the villains is the local Martial Arts Center. So he breaks into in, climbing the but it turns out the center was not so empty as he thought.  Massive showdown ensues in Martial Arts Center and continues climbing on another level against a seemingly endless number of attackers.

Of course- despite all his mastery he gets severely beaten and cut , and half dead barely manages to jump onto the first car shows up in front of the center. The Chinese lady co- driver hilariously proclaims “He is a good man, we must help him” even though she never saw him before.
They do the only  logical thing and that’s drag him to somebody who can patch him up– it turns out to be the girl’s father- veterinarian! Man, I’m starting to understand why Yu hated everyone and everything on the set.
 
She really thinks this is cute
While naively returning from the picnic ( and the obligatory picnic sex) Lazenby‘s gang attacks their car and his lady dies in a horrible explosion and he vows to get his revenge. Man,  that’s a bit excessive, he  didn’t even know her two days go!

So he does the only logical thing, borrows the glider from the journalist and uses it to break into his office by climbing down the pipes. He finds the office almost straight away and even though Lazenby is ready he is not ready for the rage of the dragon.  He manages to light him on fire and still keeps beating him ,  man- Wang Yu has no mercy at all!  And then he slips a bomb into his mouth!

 Just look at that!
The detectives wait for him outside and although grumpy at first  laugh with him at the explosion of the whole building floor and all the death that entails! Man, you get this sort of stuff only in the 70’s!

Trivia: The Man from Hong Kong was one of the subjects of highly entertaining documentary on Aussie cinematography: Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! It’s especially interesting seeing some behind the scenes like the power-strugle between the director Brian Trenchard-Smith and main actor Wang Yu who mostly wanted to direct everything himself, and his open disdain for white actresses he filmed love scenes with was definitely a bit unexpected.

 

Add to that and extremely hyped Quentin Tarantino who obviously enjoyed the movie immensely when he was about 10 years old.

Another fun bit of trivia, the other cop (one with an unruly set of hair) is actually Hugh Keays-Byrne later famous for his performance in Mad Max franchise (as a Toecutter in Mad Max and later as a Immortan Joe in Fury Road).

Also, it’s important to note  Umbrella Entertainment did a fine job of re- releasing the movie on BluRay in 2016, remastering it to 1080P HD, so if you ever want to check out the movie in best possible quality, you can order it here.

The movie formerly know as Star Warfare Rangers and the Cyborg Witch of Endor, now Interstellar Civil War (that Pyun fellow has a way with words) is finally nearing it’s release date.

Despite his ongoing health issues over the last couple of years Albert Pyun managed to finish his 54th film, a crazy mix of Star Wars, Dune, Cyborg, Mad Max and his trademark Kickboxing action with a help of excellent cinematographer Michael Su and a score by his long time collaborator Tony Rippareti. I’ll always have a soft spot for Pyun trademark Cyborg/ Kickboxing action and I hope this could be a bit of return to form of our old favorite.

 

 It stars Brad Thornton, Ellie Church, Kelsey Carlisle, Paul Gunn, Clare Hoak, Tommie Vegas, Jennie Carroll, Ashley Campbell, Nathan Ferrier, Nick Rush, Fulvia Santoni and Cat Cakmis as Leah C6 and you can enjoy the new extended trailer right here!

We spoke about the “Expendables of Horroraka Death House almost a year ago when principal photography was finished but now we finally have the first trailer (and the early release date too).

Death House staring genre luminaries like Kane Hodder, Gunnar Hensen, Barbara Crampton, Michael Berryman, Bill Moseley, Tony Todd, Wernon Wells, Sid Heig, and the talented Billy Oberst Jr. will be screened for the first time June 3rd at Scare-A-Con New England. So if you’re into that sort of thing (and you probably are if you’re a WM reader) you know the place to go.

Now enjoy!

 

Update: According to the latest information, movie will be released in cinemas by Regal Movies on 19. January 2018 to around 200 screens (double the originally planed number)!

Everyone’s favorite burlesque dancer/ martial artist/ actress Tura Satana is finally getting a documentary of her own!

Tura laid a blueprint for every female action star that we have today with her role as villainous gang leader Varla in Russ Meyer‘s classic “Faster, Pussycat!Kill!Kill!” ( it’s truly rare to see such an ass- kicking performance even now) but that’s just a tip of the iceberg. In her youth she  was a prisoner of Japanese- American internment camp, later she was a victim of racially motivated gang rape and yet she rose up to become a martial artist/ avenging badass, super- popular dancer an then legendary B- movie actress with her turns in Meyer’s Faster,Pussycat!(1965) and Ted V. Michael’s The Astro- Zombies (1968) and The Doll Squad (1973).

Even thou she survived further hardships like a  horrible car crash in the 80’s and had numerous operations to repair her back she never lost her will to live life to the fullest. Later in her life she worked as a nurse and a police dispatcher but in 2000’s she did return to acting appearing in the The Astro-Zombies sequel Mark of the Astro Zombies (2004) , women- in- prison film Suger Boxx and she also reprized the role of Varla in Rob Zombie‘s underrated animated movie The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009).

Cody Garret started working on the project before Tura’s death in 2011 and you can easily see that it was a passion project for her and the rest of the crew. The list of the people interviewed for the documentary is seriously impressive with everyone from Dita Von Tease , John Watters (Pink Flamingos)  and Ted V. Michaels (Astro Zombies) to  Kitten Natividad (Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens) and Shannon Lee ( Bruce Lee Enterprises) gladly taking part. Movie is also narrated by the Asian- American comedian Margaret Cho.

Now is your chance to contribute before the Kickstarter campaign ends in less than 48 hours. If you’re interested go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/148661830/tura-the-tura-satana-documentary

We already talked to some length of our love of Kazahstani cinema.  From the long lost action of Blizhniy Boy with Kickboxer/ MMA fighter Cung Le and the veterans like David Caradine, Carry- Hiroyuki Tagawa and Garry Busey to Beyond the Game with everyone from Olivier Grunner and Mark Dacascos to Eric Roberts and Michael Madsen.

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Well, now we finally have a new trailer (and the release date) for the long gestating  Diamond Cartel (formerly  know as  The Whole World at Our Feet). Featuring (as always) all- star cast of Armand Assante , Michael Madsen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Don “Dragon” Willson, Olivier Gruner, final performance of acting legend Peter O’Toole and my personal favorite old school Kung Fu ass-kicker Bolo Yeung!

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Enjoy the trailer and we’ll talk about the movie after it comes out March 31.