Posts Tagged ‘Richard Norton’

In news almost too good to be true for the fans of VHS Martial Arts movies like ourselves we have the information that our favorite Aussie ass-kicker Richard Norton has joined Cynthia “Lady Dragon” Rothrock‘s project Black Creek (2024).

Known as the Martial Arts version of Fred Astair & Ginger Rogerst, Norton and Rothock started working together in the 80s Hong Kong under Sammo Hung in Millioner’s Express and Wong Jing in The Magic Crystal (1986).

They would continue their partnership in an American (but still Golden Harvest produced) China O’Brian (1988) and China O’Brian II (1990)- directed by Robert Clause (Enter The Dragon). They followed that up with actually the first Rothrock flick I’ve ever seen, her trademark Lady Dragon (1992). Their last full- on collaboration would be Rage and Honor II (1993) shot in Indonesia a year later. (Their last off- screen collaboration was when Norton served as a fight choreographer on Guardian Angel (1994), job he would continue to excel in in years to come– working on movies like Condemned, Mad Max: Fury Road, Suicide Squad 1 and 2, Triple Frontier and the upcoming Furiosa.)

It’s incredible that we had to wait 30 years for these “old gunslingers” to get back on the horse, but I’m so glad they did. You of course could never tell it’s been so long just by looking at them.

Black Creek, Western/ Martial Arts hybrid marks the first movie Cynthia has a complete creative control on and features a bevy of B-movie action legends beside Norton, from Olivier Grunner (Nemesis, Automatic) to kickboxing champ Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Bloodfist, Ring of Fire) to Kevin Sorbo ( Hercules, Andromeda) and is currently #01 movie project on Kicktarter blowing all the expectations out of the water. If you’re so inclined there’s still time to support it, so just click here.

Probably the most imposing bad guy in the history of Martial Arts cinema Yang Sze aka Bolo Yeung is finally getting his own documentary and we must say- it’s long overdue. From learning Kung Fu with different masters as a child to his competitive Bodybuilding years (he would go on hold a Mr. Hong Kong title for a whole decade) his story fits the “stranger than fiction” category easily. Not to mention the fact that he freakin’ swam from China to Hong Kong to escape Communism!!! Or the fact that he met Bruce Lee while filming Winston Cigarettes commercial (you just got to love the ’70s).

He stared (mostly as a villain) in over 100 movies raging from Shaw Brothers (The Heroic Ones, The Deadly Duo) to Golden Harvest (Enter The Dragon) to Bruceploitation (Clones of Bruce Lee, Dragon Lee Fights Again) to Van Damme films (Bloodsport, Double Impact) and even Jalal Merhi films (Tiger Claws 1 and 2, TC 2000). He even showed that he could be an awesome good guy/ wise mentor character in films such as Shootfighter 1 and 2 (featuring Karate Kid/ Cobra Kai’s Billy Zabka).


Movie is being directed by Aziz Cem and Pavel Nyziak (who Bolo actually collaborated with on his final movie, the Kazakhstani produced The Whole World at Our Feet aka Diamond Cartel) and features exclusive interviews with the likes of Bob Wall, Richard Norton, Cynthia Rothrock, Matthias Hues, Coreena Everson, Cung Le and many, many others.


To celebrate the release of the new Black and Chrome edition of the fantastic Mad Max: Fury Road we take a look at the seemingly endless number of films it inspired: the good, the bad and the ugly!

05.  1990: The Bronx Warriors (1982)

Directed by “Italian George Miller” Enzo Castellari this movie takes a peek into distant future (8 years later) where  war is raging between street gangs in post-apocalyptic New York. Amidst all of that is the gayest anti-hero Mark Gregory (who mysteriously disappeared from the face of the Earth) who manages to reunite street gangs and win against evil government agent Hammer (played by Vic Morrow). Fred Williamson also takes roll in this battle.

04. The New Barbarians (1983)

Another feature from mastermind of The Bronx Warriors Enzo Castellari only one year later. This time two mercenaries Scorpion (played by Giancarlo Prete) and Nadir (played by Fred Williamson) help wandering caravans fight off an evil band of white-clad bikers after the nuclear holocaust. In order to achieve this they had to go through a living hell, including Scorpion’s ass being penetrated by gang of gay Templars in this hilarious scene:


03. Made by a Pinoy c- movie maestro Cirio H. Santiago and staring our favorite Aussie bad-ass Richard Norton and eponymous. Equalizer 2000 (1987) the movie doesn’t offer much in the way of story but makes it all up with a whole lotta bullets and bombs (one babe too). Also Norton swears that the damned thing could actually work and I’m not going to question him for sure.


02. Steel Dawn (1987)

Swayze is most popular when dancing (), or fighting people in bars but in the late 80’s Swayze decided to take a post-apocalyptic vacation of sorts. In this career left turn Road Warrior meets Martial Arts as Swayze plays. Also it’s worth noting that new regions like China are just discovering the Mad Max franchise as evident recent rip- off , the Chinese Mad Shiella. So, I guess post- apocalyptic wasteland won’t stop being a popular destination any time soon.

01. Steel Frontier (1995) places Joe Lara (Legends of Tarzan) in a post- apocalyptic Western wasteland and surprisingly- it works! Actually it’s a good candidate for my favorite Lara film. The plot is your basic Yojimbo/ Fistfull of Dollars thing but if it works why fix it. General is played by always super entertaining Brion James (General Quantrell) and Lara even goes mano- a- mano with Kane Hodder aka Jason Vorhees himself!

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!


In the post- apocalyptic future all that is left of human race now lives in a desert wasteland of North Alaska?! Yeah, that’s right. A new form of government has risen from the ashes of the old world,  The Ownership (and it looks kinda like a deadly combination of the American capitalism with German Nazism) rules the land with the iron hand  controlling all that is left of the natural resources- quickly depleting supplies of Oil. That of course prompts the creation of various rebel factions and it all results in a seemingly never ending war. During one of the battles father of muscle bound silent type Slade (Richard Norton) is shot. Slade disobeys a directer order from his commander Colonel Lawton desperately trying to help him but in spite of all his toughness and Martial Art prowess he ends up knocked out and captured. It turns out Lawton was just waiting for something like that to happen. Jealous of Slade he uses the opportunity to pronounce him a traitor and a wanted enemy of the Ownership.

Norton menages to escape using his superior fighting skills but ends up mixed up in another fight when he helps the mysterious and rebellious beauty Karen (Caorinne Wahl). He ends up wounded and she drives him to her village.There they stop the bleeding and effectively save his life.As Slade recovers he plots his revenge. He fixes the legendary Equalizer 2000, gun made of many more guns and by default the manliest thing ever.

Equalizer-2000-1What a gun, what a man!

Lawton eventually founds out where Slade is (with a little help from the future Terminator alumni Richard Patrick). Norton decides to hold his own while village gets evacuated and Equalizer enables him to do just that. Karen insist of helping him and the two of them start wreaking havoc on the army of The Ownership. After sustaining significant loses Lawton decides that he wants that gun. Easier said than done thou.

Equalizer 2000.avi_002706937Dynamic Duo!

After the short detour that consists of fight with Deke’s (Robert Patrick) men and a romantic evening with Karen Slade gathers up all the different rebel factions and takes the fight to the The Ownership themselves striking their fortress with all their might. Lawton uses the opportunity to kill his superior and take all the power for himself but as we learned power is nothing without the Equalizer.

Notice how the tribal rebels with bows and arrows can actually shoot better than those with guns.

After a hard and devastating fight Slade finally kills Lawton and people are finally free. Unfortunately his lady died in the process. Little bit shaken he goes back to his cool muscle car and rides away, presumably into some new and cool adventures.

Verdict: This movie is an all out balls to the wall action! It makes little to no sense but if there’s one thing you’ve got to admit- those Filipino exploitation directors (and Cirio H. Santiago a long time Roger Corman associate is  a true veteran of that genre with over a 100 movies under his belt) sure knew how to film crazy ass car chases and explosion and that’s practically all there is to Equalizer.

Trivia: Now the real fun part is the mere fact that the main actor, Aussie Richard Norton actually managed to get a role in a new Mad Max movie (Fury Road) as a fight choreographer and one of the villains!!!I’m pretty sure it’s more due to his incredible Martial Arts knowledge  ( he is an Okinawan weapons expert, one of the founders of Zen Do Kai Karate style and is also popular as a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and self- defense expert) and not due to George Miller’s being a fan of Equalizer but no mater how you look at it, it’s one hell of a Aussie Cinderella story.


34zex35 Richard on the set of Mad Max: Fury Road, nothing has changed




Never change a winning team. That rule obviously was a guiding star for good (and not very bright) people from MGM. So they paired up themselves once again  with sure-to-be-success Chuck Norris. I don’t know if this was success but I do know that this movie is one of the most idiotic and illogical craps MGM ever  made. With shitloads of decent action. Well, I am sorry, but decent action alone, even when performed by Chuck Norris, is just not merely enough.

As intro, we see a giant neon sign (I don’t know what it says since it has Chinese letters on it) in front of which several silhouettes are showing their  martial arts skills. That lasts for about 2 minutes, giving you some time to prepare for incoming brain raping. Brain raping starts with Chuck Norris  monologue about his comeback to Los Angeles. He doesn’t seem to be happy about that. Anyway, he parks his car in front of some big mansion. His name is Josh  Randall and he works as a security guard in David Paschal’s casino. And sometimes he takes part-time job as debts collector. Like now, for example. So, when  owner of that mansion refuses to pay his debt to Randall’s boss things turn to be ugly. Randall beats the hell out of every single bodyguard in mansion,  occasionally cracking out unfunny remarks and collects the money eventually. Nothing unpredictable when Chuck Norris is about.

Job is over and it is time for Randall to go back home. On his flight back to Hong Kong we learn from his monologue and visions of the past that he is orphan adopted by Chinese Jewish family. I must admit I have some difficulties picturing that even with Randall’s vision of his Chinese father dressed as Rabin. Oh  well. After giving debt money to his boss David Paschal (played by Frank Michael Liu) Chuck returns to his regular duties in casino which include sending  home thieve black jack dealer without his pants! And putting an end on attempt of casino vault robbery, but that is not much important. Between undressing  disobedient employees and stopping a robberies Chuck likes to relax on his boat-house with his girlfriend. What can I say, the man got it all. Or at least he  had it until the moment when Sam Paschal (played by David Opatoshu), a man who employed him and to who Randall is very loyal, decided to refuse business  offer from certain Mr Stan Raimondi (played by Michael Cavanaugh). Nothing strange considering Raimondi’s power of persuasion. “Expand or die”, he said to  Sam. It is hardly to believe that anyone sane would accept business offer described in such way. But tricky part is that Sam’s son David has led casino to  bankruptcy with illegal gambling and betting. And he owes a big one to Raimondi. So it is casinos war. I don’t know how it is possible since casinos aren’t  even allowed in Hong Kong. All of that resulted in Raimondi having killed David and Sam. Randall found their bodies and displayed Chuck Norris style  emotions.

EmotionsStone cold

Randall decides to protect Sam’s daughter who is third co-owner of Lucky Dragon casino. Her name is Joy Pashcal (played by Camila Griggs). Don’t miss the  scene where he comes to take her and meets his own gay version (played by Richard Norton). I don’t know what was James Fargo’s (director) idea since that was  the only scene where Richard Norton shows up. Maybe he wanted to see how Chuck Norris would look like in underpants? Who would know? Anyway, Randall takes  Joy to his boat-house. His girlfriend Claire (played by Mary Louise Weller) seems to didn’t like that idea a bit. Quite understanding since Joy is pretty
hot. Well, she’ll have to live with it (or her, for that matter). As soon as Randall got to boat he got arrested under suspicion of killing David and Sam. Of  course, one phone call and he is back on the street. Epilogue of that is Inspector Kek (played by Jimmy Shaw) got beaten up by Randall. So much about no one  being above the law. Being unwilling to risk someone sinking his boat-house Chuck decides to hide two ladies in a hotel room. It turns out that it wasn’t  smartest idea to do since thugs have found them a moment they stepped in. Chuck shoots his way through (yeah shoots; you can’t see many movies where Chuck is  using firearms) incoming waves of hired scum. Eventually, he hides Joy and Claire at his friend LeRoy Nicely’s (played by Bob Minor) house (that looks more  like budoar to me, with it’s naked Asian chicks and such). Leroy is also Chuck’s ex-army buddy. You can’t go wrong with ex-veterans.

It turned out that it wasn’t smart idea either (WRONG AGAIN CHUCKY!). You see, while Randall was out burning homosexuals alive (true story) and interrogating  old man and hookers, Raimondi’s men found ladies’ hideout. LeRoy tried to defend them but did a pretty lame job even armed with machine gun. Randall  discovers that main villain is actually Stan Raimondi’s father Simon Koo. He was planning to make a new Las Vegas out of Hong Kong and Paschal family was  standing on his way. Well, I hope that info was worth enough to Chuck since, when he came back to LeRoy’s place, he found Claire’s raped corpse (although we  can clearly see she is breathing), Joy kidnapped and his friend lying on his deathbed. Randall tried to comfort him with words “You’ll be alright man”  despite the fact that poor LeRoy had so many holes in him that he could barely breath. And yeah, Chuck displayed the same amount of emotions as when he had  found Sam’s corpse.

GayburningHot boys

So basically this turn out to be avenging movie. Randall wasn’t so pissed off when they killed Sam and David. He gets really pissed off only when someone is  picking on his hat. And raping his girlfriend just adds an oil to fire. Now, at this point, we all know what we can expect from this movie so I am going to  keep it short. Randall takes on his military uniform and goes into killing frenzy. Firearms and martial arts – Chuck combines it all. It didn’t took him  long to arrive to Stan Raimondi’s yacht and killing his goons. Raimondi engages in fight with Randall (which wasn’t very well choreographed, just to add),  manages to disarm his opponent with a rusty hook and meets his end when Chuck kicks him off the yacht. How? Well, one of the yacht ropes got around his neck  so he ended up hanging from one side of his yacht. And even that haven’t been filmed properly since we could clearly see harness while Raimondi was hung by  the neck. Such things tend to ruin your sense of reality while watching movie.

For great finale Randall goes to Simon’s mansion on a small island, killing everyone on his way. There we can see another goof of this movie. Just 30 seconds  after harness scene, Randall takes out one man, then throws his knife and hits the stomach of a second man. The thread the knife travels on to that man can  be seen and then it even can be seen breaking as the man falls. I really hope someone got banned from filming because of all this “little” mistakes. Anyway,  let’s get done with this movie already. Randall finds Simon Koo (played by Peter Gee). He is weak, 200 years old, wheel chaired old man. After short  conversation Chuck decides to spare his life (he has big heart). But on his way out Randall gets his portion of blood he came for. Raimondi’s personal  bodyguard, the one who raped and killed Claire, attacked him. A bit of fighting, martial arts, silly combat, Chuck’s awesomeness and bodyguard ended up with  sharp glass impaled in his throat. Joy has been saved, Simon gets committed to mental institution for his crimes (some law they have there), another Chuck’s  monologue about Hong Kong, ending, credits and me being robbed of 90 minutes of my life.

Don't be fooled. This sweet old man is evil!Don’t be fooled! This sweet old man is evil!

Conclusion: This movie has very amateurish filming (so many goofs), awfully stupid dialogs and weak weak weak weak acting. If there were any script at all it seems that actors didn’t even bother to read it. Dialogs, same as the acting, seems to came as the movie went along. In some moments it gets unintentionally  funny, which is making, otherwise beautiful, surroundings to look shameful. Chuck’s inability to show any range of emotions stronger than plain bronze statue would have shown on his place is something that, I believe, we all got used to long time ago. But what about other actors? What is their excuse? Ending is  laughable at best. Seriously, I strongly recommend you to avoid watching this movie. And if someone forces you to watch it then you will have full right to apply FORCED VENGEANCE!