Posts Tagged ‘Karate’

In the late 70’s, the early days of post- Bruce Lee boom, we were bombarded with all kinds of Kung Fu flicks-from the Shaw Brothers to the to the rise of young Jackie Chan‘s to the budding American Martial Arts flicks but it’s a movie called Death Promise that really sticks out like a sour thumb. I mean to this day I haven’t encountered another a Kung Fu movie like that- a film about the common folk’s rise against their evil landlords. Combining Asian Martial Arts with the harsh social reality of the life in the projects and Charles Bronson or should I say Charles Bonet style complete overkill revenge movie.

In New York City, slum lords are resorting to using nefarious methods to evict tenants or have them leave so they can tear the buildings down for more commercial properties. One such victim is Charley Roman, a karate expert whose electricity and water has been shut off courtesy of the slum lords.
Unfortunately it doesn’t show that the effects of the late-70s New York
financial crisis also include Karate and Kicking Ass!

Obviously someone is dead set on evicting poor souls out of their homes but at this point we have no idea who. Their next play is to set buildings on fire. To that end we have some bad archival footage of fire.  They tried to set fire to his building too, even thou the few card-boards they have wouldn’t make much difference. But Bonnet won’t give them any chance, So he jumps in and immediately starts kicking ass. Unfortunately the bearded punk didn’t seem ready for this and he started going into some kind of spasms as soon as Charles Bonet touched him. I wasn’t sure should I laugh out loud of just feel sorry for the guy.

Well, at least the bearded guy survived…

After Bonet dispatches of the arsonist gangs we finally see the evil cabal that’s behind all of this aka The Landlords and for and I must say for an evil cabal they are very diverse group of people from very different backgrounds, everything from the elderly high court judge to the nasty ghetto pimp. I have to wonder just how all these people got together in the first place?

Anyway , Charley’s dad ends up mysteriously dead on the kitchen floor. He seemingly met his demise without any resistance, uncharacteristic for him. All the while Bonet and his black friend (with an awesome name Speedy Leacock) were having fun at the bar. But who could have defeated an old boxer like him so effortlessly? I mean we saw him dispose off some young punks with no trouble earlier in the film. The plot thickens. Bonet finds his father’s body and completely loses his mind– coupled with a ridiculous scream effect!

Now, despite the wishes of his late father his teacher Shibata show him the letter (revealing their enemies) right away, without a second thought. Unfortunately according to Shibata his skills are not up to par, so before any revenging is done- so he sends him away to China (or maybe upstate New York )  to his master Tony Liu (The Way of the Dragon, Fist of Fury) to sharpen up his skills. There’s just one thing, Liu is absolutely not an old man (hell, he is 65 now- 40 years later and that’s still not that old) and grey in his hair is painfully obviously a paint.

Also if you pay any attention the fact that his master- a Japanese Karate practitioner Shibata was taught by a Chinese Kung Fu Man who’s style is definitely not Karate doesn’t seem to bother anyone. But it’s an old American picture, maybe we should just be happy there’s no yellowface involved.

Returning to his home after months of heavy duty training he is right away reunited with Leacock. And with his help he is making a list of people he needs to kill. As we all know you can’t really achieve anything if you don’t make a list fist. They start of by pouring the poison down the string Ninja style, ending a life on elderly Judge in his sleep without anybody noticing a thing before it’s too late. Their next kill is a bit more public, Bonet dispatches of the evil businessmen by punching him to death trough a car window after a lengthy chase! They also get reinforcement, Liu’s other student shows up to help out- looking like a Bruce Lee’s mentally challenged third cousin.

Now, when they get to the pimp, Leacock insist on doing he deed himself. You can get complete picture of situation in those slums and it’s neighborhood when you hear his 12 year old brother had gone OD (must be some relative of  Drew Barrymore too).

He seems as shocked by her disproportionately large nipples as the rest of us.

The remaining Landlord, an old man with a cane sends his men on the three of them and tries to run away but gest a shuriken into his hand, then one in his back. Bonet follows him to the roof where he gets cut by a katana in front of his eyes !? It turns out, Shibata is a Yakuza!  He was behind the landlords all this time! So, wait, why did he then send his student to sharpen his martial arts prowess so he can more easily defeat him? Must be some Honor code we just can’t understand?

Aaaayyyy blonde dude is so fuckin’ awesome!

The remaining Landlord, old man with a cane got a shuriken into his hand, then his back. Bonet follows him to the roof where he gets cut by a katana in front of his eyes !? It turns out, Shibata is a Yakuza!  He was behind the landlords all this time! So, wait, why did he then send his student to sharpen his martial arts prowess so he can more easily defeat him? Must be some Honor code we just can’t understand?

They go into a prolonged fight with Shibata before killing him with his own sword– irony, right? Also he then throws his lifeless body aka something that is obviously not a human being down the building.  Also that something seems very, very heavy because someone in great shape like him  can barely lift it.

Maybe even a greatest fall in history of the cinema!

Verdict: Unfortunately Death Promise’s  Charles Bonnet never got to be the next best thing in Martial Arts movies, even though he did get to act again in his friend’s Roy Van Cleefe’s (another Martial Art legend)  Black Dragon Revenge and Way of Black Dragon. And for all the cheesiness of Death Promise I consider that to be shame ’cause the dude was a real life badass and  genuinely excellent Martial Artist and  different than many tournament fighters back in the day  he actually looked good on the camera. At least we finally did get a Latino American Martial Art super- star with Marko Zaror (Savage Dog, Reedemeer, Machete Kills, Undisputed 3) but we had to wait for 2000’s for that.

And now one more time: Death Promise theme!

Trivia: Interestingly in the old days when movies were made on the dime- posters were often masterpieces! Death Promise poster for example was done by the legendary comicbook artist Neil Adams (Batman, Deadman, X-Men). Now in the days of multi- million dollars franchises, we often only get bad Photohop photo- manipulation.

 

 

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Though Cinthia Rothrock is most recognizable because of her classic Hong Kong movies (often with Richard Norton) and later a solid string of American Martial Arts B- movies (lots of those in the 90’s) she actually had roles in more than a couple of Indonesian flicks in the beginning of her storied career and as we all know- there’s not quite like an Indonesian action movie!

Now, one of the main selling points of this movie (for us) is without a doubt Peter O’Brian (The Intruder/ Rambu, The Stabilizer). To the best of my knowledge this is a man who who was offered a part in an Indonesian action movie (before that was hip) due to his uncanny resemblance to one Sylvester Stallone (the fact that one of his movies is called Rambu is a dead giveaway) and he said “Hell yeah!” and never looked back .To top it off in  this movie he plays a deranged villain Bolt and his foil is non other than “Lady Dragon” herself Cintia Rotrock and with that combo like that- you can do no wrong.

 

Bolt (O’Brian) is brutally torturing a man (at one point his goon, an  Asian Mr. T taking off some of his fingers with a meat chopper)  and at  the same time showing off his impressive physique. The poor man holds on before they threaten his young daughter and then he finally breaks down and gives Bolt the information. Information about what you ask? You’ll find out in a just a second.

Nancy Bolan (Cyntia Rothrock) is a head of security at HTI and she’s arriving to Indonesia as a courier carrying a mysterious silver briefcase. Not even ten seconds after she arrives at the station in a typical Asian fashion she and her colleague get attacked by a bunch of goons  and after a hell of a fight they manage to take off in a speed boat. It seemed that they are finally safe but situation evolves into a gunfight at see and after defeating the goons and things finally look safe Rothrock gets drugged and passes out.

Now, the men holding her turn out to be working for her-  ex- boyfriend! It turns out the said boyfriend faked his own death and waited three years all in effort to finally catch the Bolt– man he has a bone to pick with this dude! Rothrock on the other hand doesn’t seem to mind and the two of them continue where the left off with their romance.

The day after on the company meeting we finally learn the whole story. Rothrock is using three couriers (including herself) to carry a super- computer to the state, two being distraction and one being the actual real deal .Ironically no one knows where the real one is (at least as far as I can see). We also learn why is the criminal targeting them called Bolt, it’s because he is “The Terrorist Who Strikes Like Lightning“ (I just love that).

And then we have the fantastically ridiculous “Mission Impossible” scene where the black dude from the meeting takes off the mask- and it was Bolt all along! Considering they didn’t really have a budget for anything resembling a mask you see the scene from the back of the car.

Slika?

So, here we go again, everyone is waiting for the briefcase to come via boat but Nancy  secretly changed the plan and the real briefcase is actually coming to the airport via helicopter. Actually some blond Brad Pitt looking dude is carrying it. Unfortunately, Bolt is already onto them. He intercepts the car of her boss and goes straight to the airport where shootout ensues and the blond boy gets it.  The shootout is one of my favorite things in this movie because it literally makes no sense, most of the actors seem like they never seen firearm before and everything ends up exploding for one reason or another.

Now,  in the middle of all the craziness she’s going out shopping with her friend and her daughter. Unfortunately ‘s man tried to kidnap her and end up taking a little girl (her friend’s daughter). She viciously goes after them (on a motorbike) and after some nearly impossible stunts she stops them end… they freakin’ kill the child- in slow motion! Man, nothing is sacred for the Indonesian filmmakers!

Confusingly after the traumatic death of a child Nancy goes on a romantic evening with her boyfriend and they have a strange sex scene  with spliced footage of them kissing on the docks (these people are not sure how love scenes are supposed to work). After she wakes up tomorrow morning she immediately gets kidnapped and  ends up being tortured by Bolt and his Asian Mr. T henchmen.

HTI arranges a trade, briefcase (the final one) for Nancy but of course her boyfriend crashes a meeting (literally- via jeep trough the wall) and a complete Martial Art/ Gun- Fu madness ensues with briefcase changing hands like a hot potato.

Bolt gets completely unhinged and starts destroying everything on his way and his showdown with Rothrock is truly of EPIC proportions. Unfortunately, it gets interrupted by her boyfriend (who seems to have made a habit of that) but then- he wants briefcase all for himself! She goes after him and the fight ends up in the helicopter- she conveniently strangles him with his own tie (you should take a lesson and never get in a fight in a business suit).

Verdict: Now,  this movie has completely impossible fight scenes, bizarre editing choices and people who for the life of them can’t hold a gun properly. Production values are severely lacking (you’re sure to start laughing at some of the chases, explosions and gun battles) and that lack especially shows in the sound department (to the best of my knowledge Rothrock is the only actor that isn’t dubbed in the whole movie) but I challenge you to watch Angel of Fury and not have fun.

 

Complete Killcount by Cinthia, number 11 is especially impressive!

Trivia: We also have a bit of news to cap things off. Fantastic Mr. O’Brian is supposedly eying  his comeback to the film industry after lengthy time away he spent teaching English and being a life coach. He’s been offered a role of  a British General Cameron, commander at the Battle of Gate Pa–  whenever this comes true or not one thing is for sure- everything this man does will be on out “must see” list!

Goldsen4          Just look at this face!

 

 

 

 

 

SamuraiCop2

Things are obviously moving along quite nicely as Matt Hannon and Mindy Robinson go trough the rigorous fight training. Matt’s Samurai chops look better than ever and he even found the time to hang out with the UFC Hall of Famer and Expendables franchise alumni Randy “The Natural” Couture.

 

Matt and RandyThe Ultimate Friends!

And if this is not enough for you, here’s Matt’s personal update on the movie, and we can expect shooting to start very, very soon (December 14 to be precise).

Now, we all know that Mr. Seagal made his fair share of bad movies (you could easily fit his complete filmography between 2002- 2010 in that category and you wouldn’t be wrong) but this isn’t about that. It’s about something far more fascinating. You see, by the middle of the 90es Seagal contract with Warner Bros. was almost up and someone in the TekMagic company decided that the time was right for him to cross over to the new kind of media- video games!!!

Seagal gameOriginal preview of the game

Now, ludicrous as it sound, those were the days of action movies and fighting games so it kinda makes sense… a little bit. And then it all goes haywire! Caption was done by Karateka and teacher of women’s self- defense unable to replicate even one Seagal trademark move (Seagal is mostly known as a practitioner of Aikido, and has a 7 Dan black belt in the art). In fact Greg Goldsholl managed to replicate only Seagal’s trademark pony-tale and that’s where all likeness stops.That combined with the lousy controls, sub- par graphics (even for the 90es), and only 2 kinds of enemies (poor scientists and almost as poor Nanotech mercenaries).

Look at him go!

Seagal license did bring a lot of interest but game failed to meet it’s initial ’94 release date, was later moved  to PlayStation and N64 and renamed to even more Seagal-like title of Deadly Honor but again failed to come out in ’99  and was soon after officially pronounced dead. Here you have the opportunity to seem what could have been. First the official plot…

Steven Seagal is a legendary runner, but commanders dislike his loose style and contempt for rules. His partner Jack Fremen, was killed on their last mission. There is no evidence to support it, but many wonder if he might still be alive had Seagal followed orders.

Trish Morgan, another veteran runner, has been assigned his new partner. She’s tough as any but has the attitude that commanders look for.

Now, the rebels will attempt the ultimate mission: an assault on Nanotech’s main campus. High command nervous about Seagal. They know he’s out to avenge Freman’s death. But he’s the best chance they have.

He’s the only choice…

(If you still don’t get it- Seagal and SF don’t mix)

…and when you’re done you can enjoy some of the surviving gameplay footage. And don’t forget to enjoy Seagal’s hillarious screams of death- you sure won’t find that in any other medium he tackled!

PS There’s also an urban legend (at least partially true) that at some point Goldsholl run into Seagal on a Martial Arts seminar and after bragging that he played him in the video game he got his arm twisted and cried like a baby. So, I guess Seagal wasn’t a fan.

There are many people who claim that this is, by far, the best Chuck Norris movie. I have to admit that I am having problems imagining that a  Chuck Norris movie can be considered  as anything else but a complete disaster. But again, what do I know? Trailer for Code of Silence even shows our hero with gun!!! This could be interesting! So let’s check it.

Graveyard in broad daylight… Two men are there. One is sitting (Cragie), the other one is standing (Nick). Cragie (played by Ralph Foody) is drinking and suggesting Nick (played by Joseph Guzaldo) to piss on someone’s grave. Obviously, they are vandals. WRONG!!! They are undercover agents (?!) On the other side of block, their leader Eddie Cusack (Chuck Norris) is waiting in the trash truck with his fellow agent. They plan to interrupt drug shipment. After busting in drug lair, shooting and some ridiculous rooftops chasing, the dealers have been dealt with (with some casualties on both sides, including hilarious mullet dude). Also, one of the officers got shot and informer is dead. But that’s not everything. While scouting nearby building Cragie managed to shoot and kill 10 years old kid. Of course, after seeing what he did, Cragie planted gun in cold hand of already dead kid. Not a fully successful mission, don’t you think? And I forgot to mention that some bandits had managed to escape.

Shortly after the big action, two arrested gang members are questioned in police station about whereabouts of their escaped comrades. Interesting thing is that interrogators are using new method – 1 good cop and 2 bad cops. But villains remained silent, even after being intimidated with name of Luis Comacho (Henry Silva) who appears to be the big bad boss of crime. Sounds familiar? In the same time Cragie has been suspended until hearing for killing kid and his partner is transferred to work with Chuck Norris. Sounds like a promotion to me.

Pedja - fazon

THIS…IS…NOT…FUNNY!!!

Meanwhile, there is someone’s birthday in the house on the other side of town. We see a woman who has a face similar to the one you get when you draw eyes and mouth on balloon. She is carrying a cake. Her name is Diana (played by Molly Hagan) and she is the daughter of Tony Luna (Mike Genovese), another detective working on the case. And the cake is meant for her mother Molly. But, Tony gets a phone call and announces that he needs to depart. This has been followed by phrases like “Your job is more important to you than your own family” and similar women crap. If you guessed that balloon-face girl had said all of this than you guessed it right. Tony is afraid that if Victor Comacho get’s out they are all will be dead.

After seeing his comrades dead Luis Comacho gets pissed off and threatens Eddie with the Columbian neck-tie. Chuck Norris doesn’t seem to be touched by this token of gratitude, while being surrounded by Luis’ gang members, including Comacho’s right hand who’s look resembles to Serbia’s politician Vuk Draskovic.
Next scene takes us to introduction of new member of police force. No, it is not some badass, experienced detective. It is a robot cop named Prowler, the ultimate weapon in fight against crime, at least judging to words of it’s representative, who is played by no one else than John Mahoney.

Chuck Norris using a weapon less deadly than himself

Chuck Norris using a weapon less deadly than himself

Now pardon me for absence of spoilers which can be found in most of my reviews, but writing about this movie is such an agony so I’ll do a fast forward. Next one hour is consisted of artists using drugs in middle of exhibition, Eddie Cusack being known as “Stainless Steel” on the street, villain being killed by the boat after the most ridiculous chasing and even more ridiculous jumping into river (you got to see this), kidnapping of balloon-face girl who’s face gets larger and larger from scene to scene, Chuck Norris being hit in the head with snooker ball and then beaten up (that can happen too), and Chuck Norris’ testimony against Cragie which brakes CODE OF SILENCE among cops…

Fully pumped up baloon face

Fully pumped up balloon face

Also, I have to mention his driving skills that caused the death of one high rated gang member, uncle Felix (don’t know his exact roll here due to severe memory damages caused by watching this movie).

This man is going to die

This man is going to die!!!

All of above mentioned nonsense has been just introduction in the final stand off – Eddie Cusack vs Luis Comacho. Greatly outnumbered by Luis’ forces, Eddie was cornered and certain death was approaching him with the light speed. But he got a backup!!! It was Prowler, who swiped the entire gang, including Luis,  with it’s rocket missiles and thus saving Eddie’s bad acting ass.

Conclusion: Despite many people claims that this is the best Chuck Norris movie, WE claim that this is even worse than The Octagon and Invasion USA, which makes this the worst Chuck Norris movie (in pretty strong competition) and one of the worst movies of all times (even worse than Godfather 3)!!!

For all those who had the nerves to read this review through end, here is the treat I had promised you earlier:

Bird crap falling off the sky!