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lunes, 29 de noviembre de 2010

Jackie Chan at IFD

Richard Harrison IFD movies are the most popular ninja movies ever came from IFD. The reason may be they were released when the ninja craze was at its peak. Joseph Lai's publicity department worked very hard at the time offering hooking titles based on Hollywood hits, so after the ninja word we used to find another nouns such as Terminator, The protector, Platoon, Red Heat, Cobra...etc so we could easily imagine the original titles but full of ninjas. A very smart market skill indeed but how about if we add something else in the credits? I mean a top class action hero like Jackie Chan.

The real Jackie

Jacky Chan was the real star of Ninja Thunderbolt in places such Egypt. The thing is Jacky Chan doesn't appear for a second in the movie.

Would you believe if I tell you Jackie Chan worked in 2 IFD ninja movies??? Would you look for Jackie Chan cameos in Ninja Thunderbolt & Ninja the protector? The answer to the first question is Jackie never appeared in a Joseph Lai's production but his name was credited in the screen & in some international video art covers from those movies. The answer to the second question is: I did....and I found him...uh, oh...well, lets say I found someone who looks like Jackie in Ninja the protector.

Jackie from IFD

Now the question is: Did IFD need to use Jackie Chan's name to promote its movies? I don't really think so, but remember the Bruce Lee clones phenomenon years ago. Most of those movies were made for the international markets like the IFD movies were. I find quite funny to find Jackie's name & some pics in the art cover of some editions of Ninja the Protector & even more, a Jackie Chan lookalike taiwanese actor who might not know what is this story about. If you are an open-minded person, these kind of marketing skills are also some of the special enchanting things I enjoy from IFD movies.

Ninja the protector starring Jackie Chan!!!!...they even pasted a pic of Jackie in the art cover in Germany.

We cannot forget the last movies came from IFD at the beggining of the 2000's were Bruce Lee clones movies starring Dragon Sek Ting Lung that keep the original flavour of the very best IFD movies from the 80's. If you can, please take a look to DRAGON THE MASTER, where find Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Tiger & Dragon style fights & even Wong Fei Hung's music theme.

Joseph Lai really knows what the audience wants to see!

lunes, 22 de noviembre de 2010

The FALSE interview & info about Godfrey Ho

Several years ago, I got very surprised when I found out a supposely interview Godfrey Ho had given to someone nicknamed GARAIJAN. At the time, Internet was still quite young & it was not so easy to contact people, beisdes, there were not so many websites dedicated to rare movies & the ones at the time usually offered uncompleted info or countless mistakes, so this interview about one of the most underrated directors ever came from Hong Kong was a real present for IFD / Filmark movie goers like me.
I have to confess that for a period of time I truly thought this interview was real. The info provided on it showed real facts mixed with crappy lies that could easily confuse people.

Finally, months later, the boys at, interviewed Bruce Baron who thought Garaijan was Godfrey Ho himself & he also said it was Ho who spread the rumor Mr Baron had been dead dued to a drug overdose in Sweden (!!!!!!).

Bruce Baron came back from the shadows to prove he was still alive & healthy.

Luckily, all this was fake & unfunny joke. GaraiJan was not Godfrey Ho but a joker who knew there were too many IFD movie fans but not too much info about them & he just wanted to re-write IFD / Filmark history. Internet has improved a lot in the last years & now if you are really interested at any matters, you can investigate about it & contact people related to it.

Anyway, Here I paste the false interview to let people check how things about IFD movies have changed today.

The False Godfrey Ho Interview by GaraiJan

Hey there Ninjafans! So you want to learn about the man behind the fast-kicking action - Mr Godfrey Ho? Well, here's where the man himself tells us a little bit more.
A big thank you for my colleague and devoted IFD/Filmark fan GaraiJAN for allowing me to publish this transcript of his interview with the venerable and almost mythical Mr Godfrey Ho here. GaraiJAN also would like to give special thanks to Phillip Ko and Chang Lung So 'for finding the right Godfrey Ho and making this interview possible'.
NinjaNote: GaraiJAN's questions/comments are in black.

Different logos for IFD along the years

GaraiJAN: It is an honor to speak to such an icon in HK movies, as I really appreciated your agreement for this interview. Before I unload with the questions, how did you get involved with movies?

Godfrey Ho: It is a pleasure, and I hope I have all the answers to your questions. My parents wanted me to become a concert violinist, and sent to lessons and music school. I loved the violin, but I also loved movies. Any movies, bad or good, I was fascinated by, so I signed up for filming school at 17, but it was acting and not writing.

Is this the Peking Opera School?

No, it was a local school in Guangzhou. We were poor, but it was free, but donations were encouraged, but not mandatory. But at one point I was encouraged to join the Peking Opera!

What became of you with this opera school?

My parents wanted me to be a part of it, but I didn't like it; partly beacuse I knew the game that was being played there: they did the same thing too many times for little money, and limited exposure. The most they would have accomplished was to be transfered to another school to perform, and then would return. Those who succeeded were the ones that left. I also knew that the teachers would beat you up so badly, you would either be crazy or crippled! And the excercises, I wouldn't want arthritis! No future there, so I went to study filmmaking in Canada as an exchange student, but didn't know English too well or French, so I went back to Hong Kong to work as a script writer.

Script writer? So, its imgaination that counts, not a degree of some sort?

In the early day of Hong Kong, you had a name in the industry, which meant you were educated domestically, had a foreign experience, or learned through an actual experience. I learned how to write from Huang I, of the Shaw Brothers, and was an apprentice until people ran out of ideas. That is how I earned my name, and sought attention. I was also invited by some good firneds, prosperous in the market today, to go to England to learn about film. I didn't go, and I regret it to this day, although I learn to forget about unimportant things quickly in this industry.

Is this true you went to the same film school as director John Woo?

I never attended any film school with John Woo.

When did you work with I Kuang, the then chief writer of the Shaw Brothers?

In between 1972 and early 73, I assited I Kuang uncredited until 1975, and then became known the year after. I Kuang wouldn't have used me without a purpose. People had alot of ideas, and it was very competitive for writers then. That's when I Kuang needed newer ideas, and that's when I became efficient and then notorious.

In the late 60's, did I Kuang collaborate with director King Hu, and did you, uncredited, participate in the writing of scripts for his movies?

I was involved somewhat, but not a deeply as our work for the Shaw Brothers.

Which Shaw Brothers and King Hu projects were you involved in?

I don't know; it's too long ago. But the Shaw Brothers really introduced me to very important people, who have helped me promote myself as free agent.

And that is how you earned your spot in the Shaw Brothers?

Right. You have to teach yourself, and listen and learn. If you don't do so, you will never progress, and will not survive in this business. That goes for a lot of things in life.

I just want go back a bit, were the Shaw Brothers your first experience in movies, or were there others?

I made many appearances in unknown movies and television productions as an minor actor, or credited with technical work. Most of my early movie work started in the mid 60's, after I came back from Canada.

Did you work with Producer Ng See Yuen? Was he also an apprentice?

I worked with Ng in the early 70's in maybe 4 or 5 movies before he left.

Did this inspire you to leave the Shaw Brothers to direct or produce your own movies?

Everybody involved in the movie industry wants to leave and let their dreams direct them. It is the amount of work you complete and the people you know before you make a career descision. Many directors past and present let their dreams direct them, and avoided reality. Those people who cheated these steps lost face and were finsihed in the business. It takes determination and the right people, then you could make whatever you wish a reality.

Is this what lead you to the top director at "JOSEPH LAI'S IFD ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT?"

Not quite; I never left the Shaw Brothers, because I was fired with others when movies didn't sell. Also, connections and politics were involved with this decisions, and I had to respect it or else it wouldn't look good for me or the company. But, I knew enough to go out on my own. Joseph Lai never had a Production company; his father bought a small production company owned by an elderly director, who sold it to Lai's father very cheaply. I was engaged with Betty Chan, who was Lai's sister, so I was involved with "IFD's" creation, when we found hundreds of film reels inside such a small room! I should say that the production company was located inside a small shack in a business plaza in Kowloon! Very hot; no air conditioning!

Thoesse words in your screen were the trademark for 86 minutes of crazy fun

Just what I wanted to ask? Did you use these reels as edited to pieces to make a movie? If so, how did this elderly director aquire all this footage?

I never edited footage together in my movies! Who told you this? The footage was from Taiwan and were useless and were sold to other directors!

The reason I asked this is because your movies seem to have 2 storylines and lead actors.

That is a secret in the movie business that I can't talk about. But, it is impossible to sell unfinished movies or hybrids. There is no market for that.

I thought you said unfinished films were not profitable. Then how could you have sold the film reels to their directors when Lai bought the company in 1979?

You see, different productions have different criteria for filmmaking and marketing; we were lucky to sell the footages. However, "IFD" and many other production companies had different standards that were adverse to using unfinished movies.

I even have others that agree, there seems to be two movies in one! Why do your movies have this effect? For example, you made a ninja movie in 86' called "DIAMOND NINJA FORCE," in which there are the ninja story, and there is an unrelated ghost story. Explain?

I don't remember those movies; I can say that Joseph Lai has a lot to do with what goes on after the script is filmed.
The most famous IFD logo. Taken from a scene of the taiwanese movie Pink Force Commando. A kind o Columbia films logo from HK.

Why did you hire Richard Harrison as the lead in those mid 80's ninja movies?

I didn't hire him; it's the casting directors job.

If I read the credits to your many mid 80's ninja movies, you were listed as the writer and director? You must have been involved in the production much more than you say?

Joseph Lai, I, and others would exchange ideas for a new movie, so there was a decision in who would write them.

And you still insist that you do not edit movies together?

Impossible! Production companies do not waste their time and money in unfinshed movies.

Now, explain this! That movie I claimed was unfinished, called "DIAMOND NINJA FORCE", was actually part of a 1985 already released horror movie in Hong Kong called the "GHOST HUNTING." What is this movie doing with your edited ninja footage!

I do know of that movie. Remember that Joseph Lai was in charge of the movie after production work. I am guessing that it was a "IFD" production edited at the last minute. Still, this was uncommon then, and today.

It wasn't an "IFD" production.

I wasn't aware of this, and I have no knowledge of these films being produced when I worked in "IFD."

Anyway, what is the AVV creative unit? Is this the brains behind the script? Remember that AVV is in the credits of every "IFD" movie you ever filmed.

I don't know about them. Joseph Lai and others were in charge of the script after 1986, because I just wanted to direct.

In 1987, why did you use pseudonyms and not your real name?

Really I have many pseudonyms, like Charles Lee, Alton Cheung, etc. The truth is I make too many crazy movies. I used to make fifteen movies each year and it's a little complicated to put out all the movies with the Godfrey Ho name. And I try to change my name, depending on the kind of movie. For erotic or modern day gun movie I am Godfrey Ho. I try to change the name, but the problem is, now everybody knows me and everybody understands that Charles Lee and Alton Cheung are the same man as Godfrey Ho. Now I forget all the pseudonyms and I have only Godfrey Ho.

Tomas Tang has been compared to you in terms of production standards and marketability. You have worked with him in the past, tell me about him?

Oh, about fifteen years ago. I made movies with Tomas Tang. I try to find young directors, let them grow. I try to do many movies, also as producer. I did a fantastic movie called "CLASH OF THE NINJA" with Tomas Tang, starring martial artists from Europe and America, all set in Hong Kong. It's really a fantastic movie, nobody has seen this movie a lot. Unfortunately Tomas Tang died, so this is his best movie he has ever made. That is the only ninja movie I remember, because it was the best movie I ever made.

Tomas Tang went on his own founding Filmark

There have been sources in Hong Kong that said you were actually Tang, and used "FILMARK" as a front for profit aside "IFD."

That's untrue; I have many enemies in the HK movie business, so they make mean rumors about me.

Strong evidence has it that you were Tomas Tang for a while. I don't if you are familiar with Thai director Ratno Timoer and Wu Kuo jen. Both have admitted that "FILMARK" was sold to them from you in 1986, when you had the IRS after you.

As I said, I have many enemies in the HK film business, and they have made many terrible rumors.

Why did you leave "IFD" for "BO HO" and "WIN WIN" movies?

At that time, I was producing triad movies and "ANGEL" movies for that current market, but "IFD" didn't have enough money to make such films. So, I got an offer from them through my colleague Phillip Ko.

Was it true that triads controlling "IFD" scared you away from them. Some say that this is true, as you have built "IFD" to success, where you had become the dominant figure in that company. That meant you got payed the most, and had personal control of every production.

The triads have been a major force where money has been. There were never any triad influences when I was there, but today they own the entertainment business. "IFD" treated me well but I was payed according to the box office, and was lucky to be successful with the 80's market.

Your first project with "BO HO" and "WIN" movies was "PRINCESS MADAM ("UNDER POLICE PROTECTION")" was a partly completed production directed by Phillip Ko, which you completed in 1990. Was this a complete full fledged production or did you complete it half way through?

This is true; Phillip was working on too many movies at once, and asked me if I could complete it, and convinced me to defect from "IFD."

I heard that Phillp Ko was completeing another movie in Thailand, which took up his time in Hong Kong? I also heard that hiring back Michiko Nishikawa and Moon Lee was very difficult, as you used "IFD" actors to fill in the roles.

I didn't have any casting problems with Michiko, beacuse she really didn't have a name in the industry like the other girls, but Moon Lee didn't return. I think she was working with another company, and was never welcomed back. This is why she cannot make movies like she did anymore.

Do you think the girl-n-gun-fu story will always be popular in Hong Kong?

It was never popular in Asia, it only sold well European market and America. The feminist character is not that strong or accepted in Asia, so it is not made for Hong Kong. I heard that it is popoular in north central China and elsewhere, but not here.

You mentioned that Asia didn't accept the female heroine character, yet you say parts of China Asia do. Explain?

Northwest China hasn't had economical impact on the film industry beacuse of its location and governing; that's why everything they get is appreciated, which is possible through video piracy. But, that's missing the point; cultural backgrounds play an important role if the state is goverened by it, where it it impacts; China and Korea as a whole do not favor these movies publically, but everyone has a different taste; if you would ask old people and youths in Hong Kong and there, that would most likely favor it personally. Although, they might not share their enjoyment with others in a public atmosphere for loss of face! Audiences in Vietnam, Thailand, and the Phillipines really could care less if the hero is portrayed by a man or a woman, just as long as they enjoy the movie. However, a Vietnamese person might hate the movie, and would be motivated to spat insults at it to everyone he sees, but that would signal he is crazy or a fantic, which isn't a mainstay for their cultures. There is an international language that transcends cultures; we all have our prefferable tastes regardless them.

Then, why did you make girl-n-gun "ANGEL" movies for "IFD?"

"IFD" movies were only made for the American and European market, but I got in the wrong hands and made to places like the Phillipnes, Malaysia, and Europe.

The "IFD" movies never made it to HK theaters?

Sometimes. Only if we had the right promotion, and we managed to release movies in the theaters; we did that in the late 80's with the "ANGEL" movies and modern action movies.

And with the ninja movies?

Yes, we released those, too. Some, but not all, because our movies were designed for the western market. That's where we made big money.

What projects did you direct and write after "PRINCESS MADAM?" Any documentaries or international projects?

Yes; I had completed a project very quickly, because it was mostly editing work from Japanese WWII reels; the recreations were filmed by someone in 1988. It was very controversial in Hong Kong and Taiwan, so it was edited down, and that's where I dropped my name from the credits. I made 3 more of these kinds of documentaries after, but none had the same impact as the first.

And, what about the international projects, one called "HONOR AND GLORY" and "UNDEFEATABLE" I have noticed a few under the Godfrey Hall name? Was that you?

The American producer didn't like my last name, so he changed to Godfrey Hall in the credits.

Was this a "BO HO" and "WIN" production?

Yes; but it was designed for two markets, that's why it is available in two different versions.
I noticed two projects with footage from both movies. I found that Moon Lee starred in both with Robin Shou.
That was stock footage from another unfinished "ANGEL" movie from 1988. Moon lee isn't allowed to make movies with "BO HO" and "WIN" movies anymore, or any movies with money anymore. "BO HO" is incorporated with Hong Kong's most profitable production companies, so it's not that easy.

I am getting the impression that you never liked editing unfinished movies with your movies, only that it was part of the assignment from your producers.

I am not proud of it, but I cannot defy orders or I would have been out of work for good!

About the dubbing coordination. How do you make your movies "not" obvious of the dubbing. It is pretty strange to see a Cantonese movie redubbed into Cantonese. I know that Mandarin movies are dubbed into Cantonese, but there is mostly little variation in the pronunciation of Mandarin and Cantonese words. Does this redubbing bother you?

It doesn't bother me or the viewers. We don't mind these things in Asian cinema, as long as the characters could be understood.

You also made an extremely popular series called "LETHAL PANTHER." Was this a full fledged movie with out pieces of unfinished movies? Because there are some parts of the movie that seem to have a seperate story on their own.

On my half, that was a full fledged movie with a workable budget, because I did the casting and wrote the script. However, I was given pieces of an unfinsihed Sibelle Hu and Waise Lee at the last minute, because the producer wanted them as image stars, but there is very little of them to affect the story.

Did you often collaborate in Phillip Ko's movies? Did you direct or co-direct anymore of his movies?

I was hired to edit his movies, not direct them.

I heard that you retired in 1999, why?

The film industry wants less directors and more international exposure for names, which costs less and maskes more money. That meant opportunists like me and other little companies lost their benefactors, and died. The best time for us was in the 80's, because there was more money and interest in Hong Kong action movies, because it was new back then. However, today's HK film industry copies the beaurocracy of Hollywood; I predict there will be 10 years of this until the industry figures out nothing is happening.

Where is the movie industry flourishing today?

Europe; there is not only more money and opportunity, but there is interest in movie making and ideas are encouraged; this creative freedom and the aquired taste of the European audience is what makes this so successful and enjoyable to work in. It is also the only continent where old experienced filmmakers work with the younger generation without ego, on various projects. With a varied market with enthusiatic filmmakers young and old, it's a beautiful thing, but it's nothing new. However, Asian movie industries have little in common with the European market, except for quality and ideas. From my experience, it is often costly and frustrating working in international projects. However, it depends on what the production wants out out of the movie; it is the morale that is very important, and those Europeans have a 120% of it!

Very eloquently said, I too agree Europe is the source of great talent and resources. I would like to know about your last project, "MAHATTAN CHASE;" this was filmed in New York or California for budget reasons, and was it produced by "BO HO," and was it a successful project?

The last 10 years have been in transition for "BO HO" and "WIN" movies; they began to push and support certain directors for a name. However, my record was quite embarrasing, so I was used for the middle-of-the-road movie, which doesn't exist anymore in Hong Kong. "MANHATTAN CHASE" was a well budgeted Filipino production and was referred by Phillip Ko for this project. Yes, it was filmed in New York.

I want to touch upon your mid 80's ninja movies with Richard Harrison. How long did it take to make them?

We only had 2 weeks of shooting and 3 weeks of post-production work from Joseph Lai. This was done every month for close to a year.

And "BO HO's" shooting schedule?

3 months the most. However there was 2 weeks of post production unit work, where I had to edit and choose the music score.

About the music score, was it composed and customized for your movies?

No; we have a music supervisor who has samples of music from various movies and stock music. Sometimes you can hear the same music I use on the "DISCOVERY CHANNEL" wildlife documentaries. It's very strange, but that's is what I used.

What is your impression of giants like Jackie Chan, Stephen Chiao, Jet Li and Chow Yun Fat? They have never worked with you because of their success in larger acclaimed productions.

Jackie Chan was at his best until 1988. After that, he was never the same; his character changed and his films began to become strange. I think he had creative burnout, and was used to becoming a star instead of a growing filmmaker. I personally liked Jackie Chan as the serious character, because he is such a good actor, and has a lot of emphasis on expression. His new comedic style is irratating and out of place, and that's why he's never had a hit so far. I think Chan should leave "GOLDEN HARVEST" and do some smaller work for awhile, in the Phillipines or Thailand for a change. I don't think the US audience will ever accept Jackie Chan, because their humor is seeing someone run over by a truck, someone being shot or people, or people uselessly verbally insulting each other. I even advise writers and directors to stay away from the US market, since you have to have a cold heart and the name they like to live in their industry. Stephen Chiau is only funny when he writes his own movies; when someone writes for him, he is not funny and rather silly, because his comedy is modern compared to the outdated Hong Kong comedic gags. Those other actors you mentioned will be thrown out of the market sooner or later.

What about Jet Li?

He is no exception; he was a politically promoted star, because he made a Mainland kung fu movie. He was promoted mostly in Europe, where he had a following, but he is just an actor, and nothing like Jackie Chan. He'll have to swim back to China to be like Jackie. Jet has a complex know because of his past, so he thinks he is a hot item and throws away money naking deals for face, which he doesn't have. He is also popular for attending Shaolin, which is questionable, but he cannot choreograph better than Jack Lam or anyone in the industry because he isn't creative, and doesn't have such an imagination. He is a puppet in the hands of Ching Siu Tung and the Yuen family, nothing more; the most he'll get in the states is the villain role.

What do you think about American action movies?

The Americans can only make dramas and comedies, but cannot make any action movies. In their whole movie history, I have never seen one decently made action movie, even with the help from Asia! Basically, they don't know how to write an action movie script, and their choreographing is terrible! They have blue screens and specials effects, but that is not practical when have cheated all the steps. Their scripts do not pace or time the action right, and the body of their stories are too unorthodox to be practical to what has begun and what will end; it is terrible. Their movies have violence and gore, but it's not necessary for their scripts.

Do you consider your scripts as good examples?

"IFD" isn't Hollywood, so we can't take the time to plan everything. We are given material, and we are expected to do are best with it. Sometimes we have to write things that are impossible to take seriously or make any sense of. If I had worked with a company that makes serious movies with a better budget, I would prove the point by making a decent film. But, there is no opportunity for these kinds of productions at this time.

You mentioned that American movie scripts are not written well and there is needless gore that is not executed properly from the script. Do you consider Hong Kong Category III movies and HK movies in general an exception to terrible scripts and badly executed violence?

In Hong Kong, we comprehend movies differently. We watch them with feelings and openess in order to understand the movie's artistry and poetry. The Americans are only interested in seeing freakshows starring big names. There is a small group of advanced movie fans, but don't we have them all over the world?

What about these big shot American writers; they have certificates and a name?

They have all that, but they still don't know what the hell they are doing! You see, they have a connection, and this production company works with their own kind and people of their choice, so these producers says this and about this writer, and they get a job, but no one else is a llowed to write. And before you know it, this writer stars in more projects with the producers that hired him, and other producers are reffered to him. Then one movie is chosen to be a hit, and then he is popular for all the credit. That doesn't mean he wrote the best movie ever made? It is who you know, not what you know in America. In Hong Kong, they are trying to do this, but before this capitalistic filmmaking, if you wrote bad scripts producers didn't like or did your profession bad, you were fired on the spot, or would never work again.

And finally, did you ever achieve your dream, as well as being a director?

More than definitely. The main thing was is that I had the best time of my life making movies, regardless of production company or budget.

What do you have to say to the next generation of filmmakers?

Work hard at your profession, don't give up, and find a good production company. From there, the sky's the limit.

I thank you for this wonderful interview, and thank you even more for clearing up these nasty rumors about you.

I must admit I am not proud of everyone of my movies, but that is the only way for a little man in an idealistic and profiting industry to survive.

What is the future of Godfrey Ho?

I have already made my living, and I was wise with where my money went. But I have spent alot of it making movies, because moviemaking is part of my life, but I enjoy making movies, and that's what counts. But, when the time is right, I will return to the film industry. Meanwhile, I would like to get into music again and be involved with the stock game.

Thank you for your time and for being on the hot seat. And best of luck with your future plans.

Your welcome, and keep on enjoying movies!

NinjaFootNote: Tomas Tang

The name Tomas Tang and the production company "FILMARK INTERNATIONAL" is one with an unknown beginning and a mysterious ending. Actually, Tomas Tang never existed; it was another pseudonymn for Godfrey Ho, who created it in the hopes of creating another production company without anybody(aside from his production crew) knowing it was Ho behind it.

Ho started using the name "Tomas Tang" as a co-producer along side Betty Chan, since "JOSEPH LAI'S IFD ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT" was on the scene in 1979. In 1986, Ho broke the "Tomas Tang" name away to create "FILMARK INTERNATIONAL," and released "his" first movie, "CLASH OF THE NINJA," which starred Americans Paulo Tocha(credited as Paul Torcha)" and Eric Neff. "FILMARK" was one of the first cut-and-paste movies to edit unfinished Asian movies and hire the lead actors that played on it for few scenes, while the new scenes are Anglo Ninjas. "FILMARK INTERNATIONAL" moved to Malaysia after the release of "CLASH OF THE NINJA," when "IFD FILMS" began to distance themselves from Ho, and the IRS was investigating the validity of "FILMARK" as a registered production company, which it wasn't.

While in Malaysia, Ho began using the pseudonyms Richard Philips, Mark Coston, Daniel Wells, Mick Stuard, Bob Poe, Ken Ashley, Carmen Heller, Bert Brooks, Edgar Jere, Victor Sears, Bruce Lambert, Ted King and Burt Petersen, as he disowned himself from these productions, loaning "FILMARK" to a producer from Malaysia, to sign the right for the company under another name, but the films being released in Hong Kong under "FILMARK INTERNATIONAL," but it went through many production companies along the way("NINJA HUNTER"). With the fluctuations in its ownership, a number of genres were touched upon, including science fiction, war movies, the ninja, and the vampire; all done in the shoddier qualities of Malaysian movies.

In 1990, the Malaysian Ratno Timoer producer, saw that Wu Kuo Jen also owned "FILMARK" with the same title design and had a wise idea, said "FILMARK" went bankrupt, and sold the company rights back to Ho. However Timoer kept on making movies under the "FILMARK" label without Ho knowing it," keeping his crew, and became successful, with a flurry of movies. Since Ho aquired "FILMARK," nothing was made out of, so he dropped it while in a contract with "BO HO/WIN" films.

By 1993, Ho sold it to other producers, but "FILMARK" finally ended when its new producer died in an apartment fire in Hong Kong, and was labeled as the actual "Tomas Tang," therefore ending the "FILMARK" and its "owner".

Ho was on the spot for suspicion in Dragon Lee's 1983 overdose murder, so the end of "FILMARK" saved Ho from more trouble. Questions have surfaced if the fire was actually and accident or a set up, since Ho was investigated at that time. Although denies ever falsifying a production company secretly, or disguising himself as "Tomas Tang." A false rumor had Wu Kuo Jen "Tomas Tang," as he created theri best films under the "FILMARK," but that's not true, as there are hundreds of "Tomas Tangs" with different directing styles, so that defeats that purpose of one director. Some compare Tomas Tang to an Asian Alan Sithee, but I say otherwise, since it is a mistake for one, an opportunity for the other, and a living for the latter; an organization. Although, pseudonyms are not uncommon in Hong Kong, as a director will save his name the standards of one production are not up to expectations.


Well, what's true & what's false????

martes, 9 de noviembre de 2010

IFD / FILMARK Spanish Art covers / Caratulas españolas de la IFD y la Filmark

I am quite busy lately but I haven't forgotten the blog. I am preparing some interesting new entries such as new & interesting interviews, shooting locations pics & new taiwanese / korean & filipino titles used as source movies by IFD & Filmark. But as I have stated, I prefer to post them when I got a bit of free time. By now, I hope you may enjoy these Spanish art covers from my own collection.

-ACT OF GANGS ( La Ley de los Gangsters): Here we have another war gem from Filmark. It is a thai war movie edited together with new fotage from the regular gweilohs at Filmark: Paul John Stanners, Phil Dodge or Gregory Charles Rivers just mention few of them. As always, Donald Kong & ex-vemon Sun Chien took care of the action & they play supporting roles.

Most of Filmark war movies were edited on tape in Spain. At the begining of the 90's those tapes could be found at almost every video rental shops in Spain. Now they are really hard-to find ones.

-The Iron Fist Adventure (El regreso del ninja): I would like to know where the Spanish translator of this movie starred by Jimmy Wang Yu edited in Spain by Filmark learnt English. The original title is The iron fist adventure but the spanish title was The return of the ninja (!!!!). Hell, there are no ninjas at all in the production but a bunch of gunmen in some iced badlands of Siberia or China.
The return of the ninja??? No ninjas at all on this Jimmy Wang Yu iced adventure!!!!!

Well, since ninjas were everywhere during the 80's, the spanish distributor of this film tried to sell it as a ninja movie offering a very inappropriate title.

-Survival of a Dragon ( La supervivencia de un Dragon): This one is another lost rare move from IFD catalog. It is a taiwanese movie whose script might be used years later to produce Yuen Biao's The Iceman Cometh. So we have ancient warriors coming to our time to settle down their problems. Very nice movie indeed.

A very ugly art cover for an extremely nice movie from IFD.

-Scape to High Noon (Escapada Infernal): this is a taiwanese movie starred Elsa Yeung distributed by IFD. It is a patriotic tale about group of soldiers & prisoners during the japanese occupation of Taiwan during WW2. Another similar title was 800 heroes.

Scape at High Noon is another lost & rare taiwanese movie that has disappeared from IFD catalog.