Archive for the ‘Tribute’ Category

We enthusiastically talked about the first post- Expendables 2 movie for Chuck Norris- The Finisher.  Unfortunately that project never came into fruition (even though they were talks of it shooting in Australia with out favorite Aussie badass Richard Norton directing) but now we finally have some good news for all you Norris fans out there!

15056431_1137649649646235_6784295093935268070_n  Just a cool photo of Chuck stretching Norton from our friends at Action Elite

Chuck has signed to appear in African (Botswanan to be precise) movie with some B- movie heavy hitters like Michael Jai White (Spawn, Black Dynamite) and previously mentioned Richard Norton, now a famed choreographer having worked on Mad Max: Fury Road, Suicide Squad and Ghost in a Shell).  The writer is Motswana- born Edward Sebati and on the directing duties we have none other than the action maestro Isaac Florentine of Undisputed and Ninja fame! I see him as a sort of heir to the Menahem Golan of the legendary Cannon Films (just better).

943363_360839514037845_1477549880_nMcDaniels brothers, only their mother can tell them apart!

Movie centers around the two brothers Sasha McDaniels and  Dumisani McDaniels who end up caught up in a net of poaching, robbery, murder and even a serious political conspiracy. Chuck is of course playing their cool uncle Sean Kane. Pre- production is well on the way and filming should beginning early 2017 and I’m sure I speak for all of us- it was about damn time!

320350_361977167257413_1249151529_nDeadly villain Sahili played by Aurelien Henry Obama,much deadlier than the regular Obama!


 

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As far as we can see it seems the cast is a good mix or original actors:  irreplaceable Tom Neyman as The Master, Diane Mahree as Maggie (I had no idea she was still around) and Jackie Raye Newman as Debbie (of course) joined by Bryan Jennings (aka the son of the original’s Sheriff Williams Bryan Jennings) and also the new addition: Nuria Aguilar , Danielle Daggerty, Christopher Barnes and Christina Pezzo as Nicki.

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Now, make it or break it moment of the casting is the replacement for Torgo (as original actor John Reynolds tragically died before the movie come out in 1966). For this crucial role they picked Nebraska born- LA based actor Steven Shields (from the award winning short film “The God Chair”) who as far as I’m concerned really looks the part. “I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to bring Torgo to the screen” he stated. I for one can’t wait to see Torgo back in action.

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2017 and Manos Returns can’t come soon enough!

 

It’s always fascinating to think about the crazy, CRAZY movies that almost happened- like Tim Burton/ Nicolas Cage Superman or Albert Pyun’s Spiderman but that list now has a new and unexpected addition. Through the Blumhouse‘s horror podcast Shock Waves  we found out about the script for an unprocessed (Charles Band’s) Empire Pictures Horror directed by Stewart Gordon (Re-Animator, From Beyond) featuring none other but the The Governator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger!!! This was supposed to be Schwarzenegger movie after Raw Deal (1986) and it would have probably come out in between Predator and The Running Man (1987).

It turns out that Schwarzenegger’s Terminator stunt double also had a role in Re-Animator and that led to the friendship between Gordon and Arnold. They considered working together and came up with the idea of a wrestler that loses his mind because of super- steroids, and then naturally going on a murder spree all through New York city. I mean, Schwarzy yelling like a madman and ripping  arms and legs left and right. I would so pay to see that! Thankfully there is one piece of promo artwork saved in the archives, so you can get the idea.

That also sounds a bit like the real murder- suicide of the famous WWF wrestler Chris Benoit. and Joe Begos actually found out about this movie talking about the case with Gordon.

empire51Movie was originally going to be called STEROID but they later changed it to much more awesome- BERSERKER!

Trivia: Another cool, random Arnie-fact made a comedy/ drama Stay Hungry with the young Jeff Bridges in the 70’s!

The last part of the famous Cannon Film’s Ninja trilogy (of completely unrelated films) is without the doubt the craziest and the must fun of them all.  Fact that we have an absolute miscast, a dancing star Lucinda Dickey (Breakin’, Breakin’ 2: The Electric Boogaloo) in the main role only makes it that much sweeter.

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This movie starts with too seemingly unrelated scenes, a Ninja prepping his ancient and deadly weapons in the cave and some ritch guys playing golf without a care in the world. Turns out Ninja was payed to kill one of the rich golf playing pricks. Which one, who knows- he killed them all!

He’s maybe good at killing but strategy is certainly not his greatest strength.

Now, beside some fun moments in the fight I have to wonder why did someone trained in the art of deception decide to kill people in the broad daylight on the location where it’s almost impossible to for him to hide. I mean he even runs by foot being chased by cop cars and motorcycles. Stopping numerous cops, including two riding a helicopter he menages to escape barely alive by burying himself deep in the sand. Cops eventually give up on the pursue and he menages to get to a random girl fixing a phone line while listening to modern dance music on a boombox ( I guess she doesn’t have a cool Walkman like everyone else). He grabs her and after some scuffle she excepts an gift, Ninja To (sword) after which he finally drops the bucket.

Then we are treated to flashbacks of the Ninja’s battle that happened literally 3 minutes ago!!! Did they really want to beef up the  running time of this movie or what? She ends up interrogated in the police station and one of the younger officers Billy Secord , irritatingly insist on taking her out on a coffee. She continues to have flashbacks and runs away.But after playing some games on her… she decides that it’s noting some aerobics won’t fix.

It seems gyms  bring out the worse in men, because more than a couple jacked up idiots are making advances to one of the aerobic chicks Lucy to the point of being ready to take her by force. And that’s not in a dark ally but in the broad daylight in front of dozen witnesses! I don’t know what they’re on but it’s not doing them any good. Thankfully, the evil ninja ghost kicks in and Christie transforms into a deadly ass- kicker. And after an impressive acrobatic routine Christie kicks the crap out of muscle-heads while people cheer (why not one of them even thought about helping a girl out- who knows?)

Irritating cop Billy finally menages to pick her up in his car. Now, remember boys if you are stalking a girl long enough she’s going to eventually give up! Or call the cops, thankfully Secord is a cop himself so he doesn’t have that problem. They get into a bit of a fight but shockingly she takes the dude home, and gets to undressing part really, really quick. I don’t think we can blame the evil ninja spirit for this behavior.After the sex scene we are treated to some light show and a flying sword which all indicates Ninja possession is becoming even stronger.FlyingSword

And it is- as she dresses up in the costume and goes after one of the cops who killed “him”. The old man is playing pool in his home (who has a pool table in his living room?) and doesn’t see it coming. I guess he never had an avenging Ninja problem before. Soon enough another police officer ends up dead (the one in a Jacuzzi with couple of girls) but she still can’t put the peaces to together and thinks it’s all a nightmare.

Dead Ninja is sorry he didn’t kill absolutely everybody and goes after the cops that eventually stopped him.

Also, my favorite Sho Kosugi arrives to the US via airplane. He’s interesting because he doesn’t have an eye but he did what any other badass would do, he made and eye-patch out of sword shielding and wears it proudly for all the world to see. You know you don’t want to mess with a person like that.

Ninja III The Domination (1984).mp4_001862318Man, he’s awesome!

Her boyfriend I guess (that was fast) Billy kinda figures out what is going on and brings her to a Japanese mystic a Japanese mystic (played by James Hung, a Chinese man). She gets tied up and he performs and Asian Exorcism (like the regular Exorcism only in Japanese). In spite it being very amusing for the audience Ninja is is not impressed and he refuses to leave her body.

“You fool! You cannot stop me. I am a NINJA!”

It turns out that an ancient law applies here (the one I actually never heard before) “only a ninja can destroy a ninja” So that’s where Sho Kosugi comes in. His fellow ninja cost him his Master and his eye and he will get his revenge. She gets back home and angry at herself decides to battle the possible loss of her body and should to an unclean and evil presence bydirty dancing! ’cause that’s how you solved problems in the 80’s Did any problems actually got solved in the 80’s? I seriously doubt it.

Now Ninja continues his devious plan by attending the funeral of the cop- just to use the gathering as an opportunity to kill the remaining cops. Man he is insatiable!  Thankfully things get sorted out-  an exorcism finally separates the demon Ninja and the girl and Ninja ends up in a duel with Kosugi in an old temple in the most awesome Kung Fu moment of the whole movie. 

Slightly less epic battle ensues on the hill and seemingly indestructible Ninja  finally meets his demise by the only way possible, a freakin’ knife to the brain! You can’t go back from that… well except if you’re some kind of zombie ninja, but being that we experienced a demon ninja here I guess everything is possible. Cannon never picked up from here (making another unrelated Ninja sequel) but truthfully there is still no way to top this movie, is it?

Ninja III The Domination (1984).mp4_005302005This is the end, my Ninja friend, the end…

Verdict: It can be said that this movie is Cannon Films in a nutshell.

I mean it has dancing, aerobics, synth score, Asian Martial Arts, over the top acting and the ridiculous plot all rolled up in one! If you meet a person who knows nothing of Cannon Studios opus this would be more than a fine example (even more so than their more popular franchises like American Ninja, Missing in Action or endless string of Death Wish sequels).

Trivia: And ’cause it’s always fun to hear it from the people who were there in Cannon’s golden days (including Lucinda Dickey) here’s a clip from the documentary Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films.

 

WantedGregory

In the 80s with the exploitation scene still booming in Italy, a special kind of hero was born. Androgynous heavy metal teenager with a love for bodybuilding was ripped straight from his shoe repair shop and thrown directly onto the silver screen. And ignoring all the detractors who called him gay and made fun of him he actually made quite a splash staring in a surprising string of exploration success- even spawning a number of sequels and all just in a span of several years. Looking at the numbers now, he made the incredible 10 films in a span from from ’82- ’89 including two series like Bronx Warriors 1 and 2 (rip offs of the The Warriors, Escape from New York and Mad Max) and (Navajo) Thunder 1-3 (Rambo). He even had a team-up with another B- movie action hero veteran- Frank Zagarino (Ten Zan: The Ultimate Mission)!

Then after the movie Afganistan – The last war bus disillusioned with a movie industry in just 25 years of age he decides to quit acting. And soon enough every trace of his existence on this earth is gone- just like that! The Bronx Warriors enthusiast Lance Manley spent years trying to locate him, even going as far as contacting his old director Enzo Castellari and visiting the gym he was hitting in the 80’s but to no avail.

There was a rumor earlier that Marco is now working as a marketing specialist in the Milan area but it has  since been debunked. New information suggests that he works as a decorator in Cesano near Rome but nothing is confirmed ’till we have a photo of him. One thing is for sure, in the internet era were we can track down anyone and even facilitate a comeback of lost B movie legends like Eric Freeman or Matt Hannon Marco Di Gregorio is still as elusive as ever, still a complete mystery.

 

 

Martial Arts legend Bruce Lee unfortunately didn’t live to see his ultimate triumph of Enter The Dragon (he died weeks before the premiere). After his popularity exploded all over the world (not just Hong Kong) people were hooked and were left desiring a product (cool Bruce Lee movies)- but having no one to deliver it.

Well,  a great number of people saw this as an opportunity for a quick cash grab and soon Brucexploitation was born! Cheaply patch together movies full of horrible look-a-likes (not really) all sporting the names that are so close yet so far away. Names like Bruce Le, Bruce Li, Dragon Lee (who looks like Bruce on steroids), Bruce Ly, Bruce Thai, Bronson Lee (aka Tadashi Yamashita later also a staple in Ninja movies like American Ninja and Octagon).

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

Now enjoy our Top 5 choices!

05. Bruce Lee in New Guinea

In this mind-boggling flick Bruce Li manages to father a child to a princess of the Snake Island. Also he fights a wizard. When a Kung Fu movie steals the show with nudity and not action you know there’s something seriously wrong with it.

04. Enter The Game of Death

Like the title says Enter The Game of Death is a combination of Enter The Dragon and Game of Death– with a hint of Fist of Fury. It stars Bruce Le who’s generally one of the worst imitators and it has him fighting evil  Japanese people again and again and refusing to visit the fabled pagoda for way too long. Lone bright spot is (again) Bolo Yueng as the leader of the first Japanese gang (even thou heis Chinese). It’s nice seeing him rock a cool Katana sword for a bit.

03.Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave aka Visitor of America

This is actually  a Korean film that had nothing to do with Bruce Lee until the US Distributor decided to add this awesome intro with the imitator jumping fiercely from the grave. The rest of the movie deals with Wong Han a Korean man trying to discover the truth behind the death of his brother.

02. The Dragon Lives Again AKA Deadly Hands of Kung Fu

This movie starts with the announcement “this film is dedicated to millions who love Bruce Lee” but that doesn’t even start to describe what you’re in for. It shockingly starts after the death of Bruce Lee- who’s soul ends up in Hell. There he meets some fun people like Kwai Chang Caine (from Kung Fu series), Fang Kang (One Armed Swordsman) and also a cartoon character Popeye too? He opens a Martial Arts Dojo with Popaye but attracts a vicious mafia (consisting of Dracula, James Bond, Zatoichi and Man with No Name– not played by Clint Eastwood but rather a local Chinese actor).

Bruce Lee uncovers a conspiracy of Mafia to overthrow The King of Hell (shockingly using a soft- core porn star Emanuelle !!!) He menages to defeat the Mafia ans save the King who grants him back his life. It is definitely the most out there of all Brucexploitation and I wholeheartedly recommend it!

01. Clones of Bruce Lee aka Death Penalty on Three Robots

This is the undisputed winner considering the ridiculousness of the plot ( Profesor Lucas clones Bruce Lee into three adult clones that are then sent to battle crime including a gold smuggler and an evil scientist), presence of the actual Bruce Lee movies luminaries like Jon T. Benn- the Italian mob boss from The Way of the Dragon as crazy scientist (again seen in recent films like Fearless and also Man with the Iron Fists by RZA) and the legendary evil henchmen Bolo Yueng. It also a kind of The Expendables or The Avengers of the Brucexploitation genre because it teams ups all the prominent Bruce Lee imitators like Bruce Le, Bruce Lai, Bruce Thai and Dragon Lee in one place.

Hell, it even has the random FBI agent that looks just like Bruce Lee! If you want a Lee overdose this is the film for you.

To top it off we need to mention the excellent parody of the Brucexploitation genre “Finishing the Game”directed by Justin Lin of Fast and Furious fame. It’s a comedy but man- it’s one of those “it’s funny ’cause it’s true” type of deals.

 

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It is time that we honor the recently deceased legend that is Sir. Christopher Lee. Of course we will leave the beautiful and touching tributes to other people much better than ourselves- we’ll honor him in our own unique- twisted way. By reviewing the movie he was most ashamed of and publicly apologized for in numerous occasions- Howling 2!

Chistopher Lee SpaceChristopher Lee reading Bible in Space! This intro kicks so much ass-unfortunately the movie doesn’t!

The movie starts right after the end of the original with Ben, previously unmentioned brother of the deceased journalist Karen White facing the fact that something was not quite right with the way she died.The occult detective Stefan Crosscoe pays him the visit and even thou there’s extensive video evidence he refuses to believe his sister was a werewolf. In the end it takes a werewolf resurrection of Karen to convince him otherwise.Also we learn that only titanium can kill a werewolf? That’s something new.

Watch Howling II Your Sister Is a Werewolf Online Free Putlo.mp4_002171695 Remember this scene, this won’t be the last time you see it…

 It turns out that there’s a werewolf uprising caused by the waking up of their Witch queen Stirba played by non other but B-movie sex symbol Sybil Danning.  Ben, Kelly and Stefan ( Christopher Lee) decide to do the only logical thing- hitch a ride to Transylvania and stop the incoming treat. For some reason this movie mixes up werewolf, vampire and witch myths.

Stirba also likes werewolf threesomes when time permits

Strangely enough the three of them pretty much lose track of one another once they reach the town. I they couldn’t resist the local Gypsy celebration (that lasted their whole visit). In the end Ben menages to track down the Stirba cult to the haunted castle but his would- be girlfriend Jenny ends up being captured. We’re also treated with a head exploding dwarf ’cause Stirba’s power knows no limit. Ben survives her spell by using holly (blessed by a local priest) ear- plugs!

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Although she summons all of her werewolf forces Stefan, Ben and the villagers menage to reach the castle. Couple of villagers lose their lives but that is to be expected. When a Village priest confronts Stirba she menages to disfigure him using his stick with a demon- bat (nifty little thing) but Stefan continues on. She uses all of her sorcery on him but Lee is adamant. Her thrust a stake in her stomach “in the name of God” and then they strangely burn out together. I guess Lee had no reason to live after he finished her off?

Ben and Kelly on the other hand run as far away from Transylvania  as they can and after a while they finally settle together in the States. Then a trick-or-treater dressed as a werewolf shows up on their  t doorstep and we have to presume that their problems are still far from over.
Trivia 1: When Christopher Lee was cast in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the first things he did was apologize to the director Joe Dante (who directed the original Howling) for being in this film.As far as we know apology was  accepted.Howling 2

Trivia 2: The music for the movie was provided by little known new wave band called Babel that also plays the title song “The Howling” in the movie. The members of the band would later form a new band State Project and their keyboardist Simon Etchell continued his music career by composing the themes for UK TV show Catchphrase as well as many other TV tunes and soundtrack like the one for the movie Vanished.

Now let us enjoy the title/ end credits song (with record 17 time repeated scene of Sybil Daning ripping her shirt off to reveal her breasts)