Archive for the ‘Worse Interview’ Category

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.

 

 

 

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We at WM Crew are of course giant Manos: Hands of Fate fans. So it’s only natural that we decided to promote the Kickstarter campaign for the  long time coming sequel Manos Returns– with this awesome interview with Debbie aka Jakey Neyman Jones. Enjoy and don’t forget to visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1840778752/manos-returns

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1. What’s the clearest memory you have of Manos: Hands of Fate filming?
I have lots of memories of being on the set but a significant memory for me was my first scene. It was the summer between first and second grade and I had been learning to read so Hal gave me my own script and taped it to the floor of the back seat so it wouldn’t blow away. It wasn’t at all necessary but it made me feel important and special.

Also is it true that you were the only actor that got paid for the filming, with a new bicycle and a food for your dog?
No one got paid anything for doing Manos and some, like my dad, invested a lot of their own resources other than their time. My dog, Shanka, the Doberman were the only ones on cast or crew who were compensated. I got a new red bike with training wheels and plastic streamers coming from the handlebars and Shanka got a 50 lb. bag of grocery store brand dog food.

2.One of the staples of the movie, the actor playing Torgo- John Reynolds sadly passed away shortly after the filming was wrapped. What are your memories of him? Were you close during the filming?
He was a very sweet quiet shy man in my eyes. Mostly during filming he kept to himself to stay in character or disappeared somewhere out in the desert. But when we were both there and not working, he would hang out with me on a low wall outside the house (Valley Lodge). We would talk a little and he would entertain me with silly physical comedy or simple magic tricks while waiting and watching the filming.

3.How did you decide to write a book that documents your experiences from the Manos filming? What can we expect from Growing up with Manos?
I am an artist but I’ve always written here and there and often thought of writing a book. Several years ago I decided to start a blog http://debbiesmanos.blogspot.com about Manos beginning with my memories and clarifying things I knew to be more accurate than the Manos Mythology that had been circulating for so long. It was also an experiment with myself to see if I could come up with enough for a book, be disciplined enough to complete a project, and I needed to know if I would have an audience. I was surprised when in less than a year, I was averaging 3000 views a month. I knew I couldn’t do it all alone so I found my fabulous co-author Laura Mazzuca Toops and I set to writing and research. We found a publisher with Bear Manor Media pretty much the moment we sent out our pitch letters and now the book is just waiting for publication. It took 16 months to complete and was an amazing journey of connecting with long lost people and discovering others who were involved in Manos and never credited. It’s a good story of how this famously bad film came together, who all the players were behind it, and how they not only got pulled into the project but stuck it out in spite of the handwriting on the wall. It goes on to follow the chain of events that brought it to today and the dark side that threatened future inspired projects.

4. How does it feel being back in the world of Manos- filming a sequel incredible 5 decades after the original? Tell us about the old and the new faces working on Return of Manos.
I’ve been in the world of Manos all along as the only surviving cast or crew willing to discuss Manos but that’s pretty much been all fun and games. This is fun too, but it is important to me to somehow give my dad especially a tribute for all the fandom and for the pop culture phenomenon Manos has become. He offered so much of himself and his family to help Hal get his movie done and all he received was emptier pockets and a load of humiliation. Current day Manos is a way for him to have fun with it, for us to have more time together and for the fans to see The Master once again. In the process of researching my book, I discovered the woman who sang “Forgetting You” in the soundtrack. Nicki Mathis has a wonderful career as a Jazz singer and still performs. She has agreed to re record “Forgetting You” for us. We have a few more surprises too for the cast of Manos Returns.

5. We at WM are overjoyed that the Master, your father Tom Neyman is back in the sequel. How does your father feel about Manos after all this time, and what does it feel like working with him again on the new one?
My dad has always stayed very private about Manos although he is always happy to hear about the happening in the Manos world. I enjoy sharing with him and passing messages from the fans. At 80 years old, he’s enjoying it vicariously through me. When the idea of a sequel came up, I knew I couldn’t do it without him, so when he agreed to reprise the role of The Master, it just had to happen.

6. How do you plan to recapture the unique atmosphere of the original Manos and will you include the original Torgo’s music theme, which was used so often in the first one.
I’ve studied this Manos thing for some time, and with closer scrutiny than most, and I believe that it would not be possible to successfully recapture the magic that is Manos. It was made earnestly and unintentionally bad. We are a group of talented indie film makers and professional creative types with a lot more knowledge, technology and resources than Hal could ever have hoped for. That and the Kickstarter funding gives us a great shot at creating a low budget independent film that will be a blast to make and fun for the fans.
One thing we are re-creating is the music. The soundtrack is really quite good and we intend to re record. We will do the Torgo Theme as close to the original as possible.

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Just when you thought he’s done with Cyborgs constant fixation on our blog Albert Pyun is back with new SF epic called STAR WARFARE RANGERS and the CYBORG WITCH of ENDOR.

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Both movie and graphic novel are to be released in May of 2016 and the plot is as it follows:

The 7th Empress (ELLIE CHURCH) of the Imperial Empire is faced with a rebellion by the edge of the universe races who believe in mysticism and dark forces. The rebels are led by a powerful Aym Mystic named Kindo-Ker (GLENN MAYNARD) who believes he was awakened (reincarnated) to destroy the Imperial Empire and bring life to the darker sides of mysticism. The Empress assembles an elite team of soldiers, the Star Warfare Rangers, on the planet of Endor. The special ops team is led by Captain “Starkiller” Merin (BRAD THORNTON) and the team includes Lt. Li-Lin Lucas (MAYLING NG), CWO Kelli Kurtz (KATI SALOWSKY), CWO Lani McCallum (JAX SCOTT), Corporal Robin Watts (ASHLEY CAMPBELL) and two Sniper Specialist, Sgt. Lobo Katz (PAUL GUNN) and Corporal Willard McQuarrie (TRAVIS KRAUSS). The Rangers are to find and rescue a teen age Cyborg (CAT CAKMIS), who the Empress believes can stop the rebellion. Kindo-Ker is assisted by an creature assassin named Maanu-agu (FULVIA SANTONI) and a warrior mutated by the dark forces of Hell, Anak-Mindo (NATHAN FERRIER). The film opens a 100 years after the events in the film and we are led into the story by the 8th Empress of the imperial Empire (TOMMIE VEGAS).
Obviously inspired by the likes of Power Rangers and Star Wars  WARFARE RANGERS is promising to be a bit of a return to form for Pyun who mostly dabbled in the micro- budgeted artsie flicks last couple of years. It also features Brad Thornton (Kikcboxer 4, The Sensei), Ellie Church, Nathan Ferrier  and the interesting new talent Tommie Vegas who already collaborated with Pyun on The Interrogation of Cheryl Cooper short film last year. And all of that for a hardcore 200000$ budget!

You can also see the first trailer right here:

via https://www.facebook.com/Star-Warfare-Rangers-and-the-Cyborg-Witch-of-Endor-134893146869501/?fref=ts

One of our most reviewed directors on our blog is by far Mr. Albert Pyun (Cyborg, Nemesis, Sword and the Sorcerer…), so naturally we wanted to have a few words with him, find out a thing or two about the classics and also see what’s he been up to these days. So, here we go!

01. I understand that you started your career working with the great Toshiro Mifune and legendary Akira Kurosawa.
What was the whole Japanese experience like and what is the most important thing you learned while working there?

I learned the value of having a hardcore work ethic and preparation. The thing I loved most was watching such a high level of talent and artistry and how they applied their skills to the smallest detail. I also enjoyed the dedication everyone, including Mr. Mifune, had to doing their best no matter the challenges.

02. It can be said that you were slightly ahead of the curve with your Sword and the Sorcerer which came out almost simultaneously with Conan The Barbarian and started a trend of Barbarian movies which lasted some years. I would love to hear about your main inspirations for The Sword and Sorcerer?

My main inspirations for The Sword and the Sorcerer were Richard Lester’s The Three Musketeers, John Milius’ The Wind and the Lion and The Baby Cart samurai series.

03. One of the of the signatures of your involvement with the film is often a combination of  kickboxing and hybrid martial arts with a post- apocalyptic backdrop. I am interested to hear how you developed that unique approach to action/adventure movies.

I know, but what’s odd is I didn’t being with great interest in martial arts or with post apocalyptic stories. I was drawn to martial arts as a lower cost replacement of firearms in my films. I was drawn to Post apocalyptic settings because they were easier to create on a limited budget. And there were no rules on how it had to look. I actually feel my current film “ROAD TO HELL” is one of the first films where I got the setting I was after without compromising for budget.

04. I find that most of your movies have a kinda comic-book quality (of course you also you directed one of the early Marvel adaptations). Did you grow up as a comic- book aficionado and if so what were/are some of  your favorites?

Yes, I grew up on all the DC and Marvel comics along with the Japanese Manga books and Tintin as well because I lived i foreign countries as a child so I was exposed to many different types of comics and books.

05.What is the favorite actor/actors that you worked with and why? And is there some actor whose work you greatly admire but you haven’t gotten the chance of working with?

I’ve really enjoyed working with all the actors for the most part.  I never really had any problems there. My favorites were likely Scott Paulin and Norbert Weisser. Both understand my sensibilities. Sasha Mitchell, Michael Pare’ and Christopher Lambert were great as well. I liked them as people immensely. The most colorful was probably Burt Reynolds and Dennis Hopper. Loved both and Ice-T as well. Jean-Claude and Steven Seagal were interesting because they aren’t actors so much as archetypes. So that was a challenge. I really liked them all as they always brought great ideas and all were very easy to work with.

06. You worked on films of many, many different genres (SF, Fantasy, Horror, Contemporary Action even Western),  do you have a favorite movie genre that you enjoy more than the others?

I love musicals most of all and sort of experimental films where I can play with form and structure.

07. I believe that you are hard at work at a Cyborg sequel/ prequel so it would be interesting to hear something about the basic plot, actors involved and of course about general tone and the esthetics of the film.

I’m just trying to make something different. Something a little experimental and surreal. And, yes, like an opera. A very pessimistic film.

Thank you and all the best!