Posts Tagged ‘David Caradine’

Gary Daniels was always a personal favorite of mine even since I fist saw him in an unexpectedly cool live action adaptation of a manga- Fist of the North Star.  But even thou he did everything from the slew of 90’s Kickboxing movies to the  Hong Kong appearances ( City Hunter w/ Jackie Chan) to his high profile Expendables (2010) role (he got to fight Statham and Jet Li at the same time!) he did make a few bizarre little movies along the way. And of course being who we are, we’re gonna cover some of those.

‘Punishment starts predictably enough with a story of Kickboxing champion doing some king of possibly illegal Martial Arts presentation in a seedy looking bar. He gets picked up by cops, after beating them up for good measure.

http://www.myvideo.ge/v/1517514

Then we have a scene in which the police Chief (David Caradine) shows him a history of project K.I.C.K. (in a scene suspiciously reminiscent of the Enter The Dragon exposition). It’s all about Kwan Lee, Taiwan chemist who in the 60’s invented some kind of growth hormone that makes people immune to pain. Coincidentally Daniel’s old Sensei from Japan Tadashi Yamashita (The Octagon, American Ninja, Seven) is running the drug operation right now.

  Here we can see Tadashita killing a watermelon, while not killing Gary Daniels- and we’re all grateful for that

He doesn’t want anything to do with cops but they convince him that exposure to the drug can result in genetic mutations and he panics because he has baby on the way. He rushes to visit his wife at a hospital  he ends up fighting a bunch of goons in his way, with one of the cops seemingly dying in the process but that’s how it goes).

Seeing that his wife is not doing that bad he shifts the focus on his upcoming title Kickboxing match. So, we get the fist (but not last) training montage of the movie.

 

Fight goes his way but after he won they accuse him of having metal in his gloves and then try to arrest him? No due process here!  Things are getting crazier by the minute. Daniels easily frees himself and kicks cop’s asses and gets away. Just like that.

Fighting in the ring…            

… and then fighting the cops for a good measure .

A blond lady- detective contacts him when he gets home but before they can come to an agreement another batch of goons attack them. Man, this is becoming a regular occurrence! Daniels goes after one of them while the lady manages to burn his whole house down, even thou she defeated the remaining attacker. “People are so strange these days” as the wise man Tommy once said.

Crazy and homeless Daniels searches for answers the only way he knows how- with his fists! That’s right kids, all your problems can be solved with violence. Fighting everyone and anyone we gets a lead that leads him to the (shockingly!) abandoned warehouse but he gets overwhelmed by the sheer number of attackers and ends up captured. Yamashita shows up to torture him for a bit but the detective saves him before everything goes up in flames (of the archive footage).

After that he goes to his Martial Art Master (not the drug dealing one) to get his body back in balance or something. Also it turns out that the X-Ray of his unborn child is actually a toy made in Hong Kong. And he never suspected anything!? WTF?!

Now, he’s off to do some revenging- now more than ever! Straight into the ice factory (another Bruce Lee no I guess, Big Boss this time). Among the goons we get one really pleasent suprise, a young Scott Shaw (of Vampire Bikers from Hell, The Rollerblade Seven fame).  He even gets to die via kick activated domino effect (dominoes being the blocks of ice, not really large enough to seriously injure a human being).

He gets to Yamashita but then it turns out his wife was a traitor too (even thou I don’t know why). The only problem is you can’t really tell what was his endgame. Even after decades living in the US his English is so broken that I can’t figure out his explenation for the life of me.

Good thing the cop and the reinforcments (very animated Gerald Okamura) arrive and the tide finally turns. Daniels even got to throw Yamashita off the building. Now, after siting in his office Caradine finally decides that’s it’s his time to act and steals the truck with drugs- but he ends up exploding on the bridge (another archive footage)- so maybe he should have tough twice about that.

Okamura smacking his head is an excellent bonus!

Verdict: this film has of the most nonsensical plots I’ve even encountered (I had to go over it 3 times just to get a vague idea of what’s going on) but it does have  more fights than a Mortal Kombat walktrough so that’s surely saying something.  So, if you leave your brain at the door (and forgive some repetitive choreography and terrible camera) you are bound to have fun with this one.

Trivia: Tadashi Yamashita was always a well  respected as a Karate/ Kobudo practitioner (even thou I’m always a bit skeptical when someone proclaims he is a 10 dan Black Belt in anything) and he is notable for milking both Bruce Lee craze (as Bronson Lee in Soul of Bruce Lee and Bronson Lee, Champion) and Ninja craze (The Octagon, American Ninja and The Shinobi Ninja). And as far as his technique is concerned, you can judge for yourself:

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During this (Barbarian) month we covered a wide range of Sword and Sorcery flicks and as you noticed nearly every single one of them was a rip off of ‘s Conan The Barbarian. Well, not this film!
This movie is a rip-off of Kurosawa’s legendary Yojimbo! Literally you just take Yojimbo, change a setting to the desert planet of Yura, replace fantastic Toshiro Mifune with less than fantastic David Caradine , add some bad creature effect , a four breasted stripper and sparkle it all with a doze of acid and voila- you get The Warrior and the Sorceress!

Disclaimer: David Caradine looks nothing like this mighty dude!Disclaimer 2: Woman with an extra set of breasts has only a small cameo !

A hooded warrior  (Caradine) arrives in the town. Right off the bat we see the half- naked sorceress Naja (Maria Socas) being tortured by one of the gang members. He quickly decides to cause the commotion in this case by fighting the knights guarding the city’s well. As you can guess they prove no match to his (caugh, caugh) Kung Fu skills. Left unguarded well gets overan by villagers making the leaders of both city’s clans extremely unhappy.

Just look at those bare legs of Caradine, the sign of the real Warrior!

With his reputation preceding him The Warrior visits the first of the clan leaders, the fat man. Dude looks like a giant bold baby, surounded with naked women and his personal assistent
the Lizardman (who’s by all accounts- a hand puppet)*.  They strike a dead right there and then and Caradine walks away with a … of gold. in the meantime… Fat man’s cometitor is trying out a sword made by the priestess. She promised to make a sacred sword of Yura for him, sadly she did not deliever and was imediatly returned to the her cell.

Man’s best friend- his lizardman!

Soon the two sides confront each other in the city’s square. Caradine, a supposedly big asset to the fat man decides to sit this one out and completely changes the complexion of the fight. But just as thing were starting to heat up the slave-owners entered the city gates. As they all love slaves they stop what they’re doing and start biding with the monstrous slave-owner Burgo. After a fine day of selling and buying the slave-owners dance the night away. But little do they know that the Fatman and his trusted lizard poisoned Burgo’s wine in an attempt to frame their competition aka the mighty Zeg. Things seemingly go as planed ad the scaly slaver prophets his revenge with the brilliant words “gather our army and avenge out deaths”. Hopefully he dies at that instant, that would be cool.

He doesn’t look too good, does he?

Dark Warrior seeing all that goes staight to Zeg and offers to sell an information. He explains fat man’s scheme to Zeg, takes some gold and then start roaming around the castle. He finds the Sorceress in the dungeons. She starts rambling something about the secrets and prophecies and then finally agrees to come with Caradine. He starts cutting through soldiers with his usual ease and they succeed in escaping. Next thing Warrior does is almost unforgivable, he steals the (fat) man’s best friend, his lizardman and delivers him to Zeg.What fallowes is the exchange Sorceress for Lizardman and we finally start to wonder does the Warrior have a plan or is he just enjoying fuckin’ with everyone (and getting rich in the process).

Because of all the stuff he (seemingly) did for him the Warrior is invited to the grand feast at Zeg’s place but uses opportunity to AGAIN free the Sorceress (and kill a ridiculous tentacled monster but the less said about that the better). He plays dumb and continues the drinking at a main table but this time Zeg’s got a superise for him! Yeah, the main selling point of this movie a stripper (backed with techno soudntrack), but not just any stripper, a four boobed stripper!!!

Just in case you find yourself in this kind of situation…

Scenes with her are so funny and absurd that they almost make this mess worth a while. Ending her act she attacks Caradine and he chockes her to death but not before she poisons him.For some reason they do not kill him right there and then but they chain him and put him in the cell.

Воин и колдунья (The Warrior And The Sorceress 1984).avi_003661027

Let’s celebrate our new-found partnership!

Then Zed offers an alliance to the fat man which he jolly excepts. when they hug to celebrate he stabs him to death and finally succeeds in reaching the complete domination. Unfortunately just as he was at the top of the world the bunch of lizard-like slavers launched the attack on his army. Naja, the Sorceress frees the Warrior with Caradine’s help finally forges the magic sword of Yura and using it they lead a rebellion against the powers that be- in this case the Slavers. Warrior suddenly appears leading the villagers and then… does what he always does, funny circular motions that are usually supposed to represent Kung Fu. The power of the mighty sword of Yura that we waited to see entire film is… NOTHING AT ALL. The damned sword doesn’t even have cool sound effect that goes with it and doesn’t seem to help Caradine the slightest. He even menages to loose it half-way into the fight with Zeg’s former general and still win fairly easily. Damn, that Sorceress is an incompetent bitch!

David Caradine + Sword of Yura = Everyone dies

After massacring every last Slaver and all of their human underlings (with minimal help from the villagers) Naja tells him “to holy victory” * which is supposed to mean something but it doesnt Being the cool cat that he is he leaves them all and walks into the sunset into new adventures that thankfully didn’t get filmed or captured in any way.

Yeah, hi to you to!

Verdict: Idea a of Samurai film by the way of  of SF/ Fantasy seemingly has some potential but that potential is mostly wasted. Caradine seems to be having a good time and feels constable in his role but the fact is he made his living by acting martial artists and never bothered to learn any and that completely undermines all his effort. If you want to be a convincing warrior in a Sword and Sorcery flick you need to look the part/ or have some serious sword-fighting skills and truthfully (ignoring the man’s significant cool factor) he really had none. Also the movie is considered one of the most violent and bloody barbarian flicks and that may be true but the doesn’t make silly action scenes any better. The only thing that separates this movie from the rest of the pack is the presence of four-boobed stripper and mind0 boggling weirdness of her scene is the only thing worth watching in this film.

Knowing how cheap Corman is, this girl probably had real four boobs, I can’t imagine him paying to get them made…

Trivia: When the director of the film  John C. Broderick originally read the script he called Corman and said that he couldn’t do it because movies was not based of Yojimbo but an (almost) straight scene for scene rip- off. Corman said that the same was true of The Fistfull of Dollars and that Leone had no trouble because Kurosawa used an American book Red Harvest as a model for his film- so there is no real original. He got Broderick to direct but that statement was of course a  blatant lie- because Leone was sued and forced to pay compensation to Kurosawa for remaking  Yojimbo without his knowledge. Thankfully for Corman almost no one knows of existence of  The Warrior and the Sorceress so he’s safe… FOR NOW.