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domingo, 31 de octubre de 2010

Danny Ng, the ninja with no name part 2

Not too long ago, I posted an entry dedicated to Danny Ng, a never credited stuntman who used to take Richard Harrison or other gweilohs places when they "played" their ninja techniques on IFD movies. Do you ever notice Richard Harrison had chinese eyes when he was fighting his enemy???

Danny Ng in Jackie Chan's The Protector

As I stated in the previous entry about Danny Ng he was " the ninja with no name" because until Joseph Lai gave him main roles on IFD war movies like the Aerolite force saga ( The brave platoon, High Sky Mission...etc) & the urban thriller " a la heroic bloodshed" War City ( The red heat conspiracy, The extreme project...etc), his name was a mistery.

Those IFD sagas were mainly directed by Philip Ko or Ridley Tsui Po Wah, so I deduced he might belong to Ko's or Tsui's stunt team. Lately I have been watching movies directed by Philip Ko & Ridley Tsui outside IFD & movies starred by them trying to find out Danny Ng on them to prove my deduction: I saw Danny Ng on THE DRAGON FAMILY, ANGEL ENFORCERS, & ANGEL MISSION. Curiously, all these movies had Ridley Tsui & Philip Ko as actors, or action directors or in the case of ANGEL MISSION Ko was the director.

Danny Ng in Kirk Wong's Gunmen

Finally, I went to the HKMDB to look up more info about Danny Ng & I found him credited as UNKNOWN STUNTMAN (7). To my surprise, Danny has been on screen for so long & he has starred in very important movies along big stars.

This is Danny Ng's HKMDB filmography:

-The Protector
-Police Story
-Angel ( aka Iron Angel)
-The dragon family
-Edge of Darkness
-Tiger Cage
-God of gamblers
-Angel enforcers
-A Punch to revenge
-City Cops
-Long arm of the law 3
-Angel Mission

Danny Ng in Lau Kar Wing's masterpiece The Dragon Family, Philip Ko & Ridley Tsui also starred in this classic actioner

About his movies on IFD productions, we could say he was in front / behind camera in most movies directed by Philip Ko & Ridley Tsui but since I haven't watched all IFD movies there are many chances this info could not be 100% reliable. So, the below uncompleted filmography is based on the IFD movies I have watched till today where Danny Ng has a role as an actor or stuntmen:

-Areolite force: The brave platoon - Actor
-Aerolite force 2: The untouchable glory ( aka, American eagle, aka Ninja untouchables)- Actor
-Aerolite force 3: High Sky mission- Actor

-Platoon the warriors - Stunt double

-War city: Die to win- Actor
-War City 2: The red heat conspiracy- Actor
-War City 3: The extreme project- Actor
-War City 4: Kingdom of power- Actor
-War City 5: Law of honor- Actor

Danny Ng was directed again by Lau Kar Wing in City Cops, the action director was Ridley Tsui Po Wah who would direct Danny in many IFD movies at the same time City Cops was done.

Danny Ng also was stunt double in most of ninja movies where Joseph Lai was credited as director. Those movies, in fact, were directed by Godfrey Ho, Philip Ko or just by the action director & actor John Cheung.

-Ninja operation 3: Licence to steal- stunt double
-Ninja operation 5: Godfather the master- stunt double

-Royal Destiny- Actor
Danny Ng & Grant Temple crossing their swords at the shooting set of IFD's Ninja Operation 3: Licence To Steal

I have to repeat, this IFD filmography for Danny Ng is uncompleted since I haven't seen every movie from Joseph Lai's company, so I hope I can update it as I find him in more movies.

The pics showed in this entry have been taken from The picture of Danny Ng & Grant Temple was courtesy of Regis Autras from

jueves, 28 de octubre de 2010

Some impressions about ANGEL ENFORCERS

If we check IFD movies from 1989 on we find out many technicians left Joseph Lai's company & companion and new directors, photography directors, stunts coordinators arrived. So where did the previous ones go?
Godfrey Ho & Philip Ko went on their own founding their own production companies: Filmswell & Regal respectively. They brought with them many of the technicians who had been working along them on IFD. And here is when ANGEL ENFORCERS enters.

Ho & Ko learnt how to make cheap but highly gorgeous movies at IFD before set their own companies

-The ninja fever had passed away, it was time for kickboxing movies in the West & Angel movies in the East, althought Angel movies were more popular outside Asia.

-Godfrey Ho felt he was losing money & wasting his talent being under Joseph Lai's orders so he ran away from IFD & he started to produce his own movies based on what he had learnt on IFD: low budgets, short periods for shooting, gweiloh actors for international look, international markets for distribution, many subplots weakly linked to the main story,etc, etc etc.

-Angel enforcers has all the above stated plus the same photography director Raymond Chang who had been working with Godfrey Ho for years at IFD & Filmark. Chang was PD of Ho's Filmark movie Top Mission starring Alphonse Beni

-Philip Ko who was action director & director at IFD also has a small role & was the Action director in Angel Enforcers

-Ridley Tsui Po Wah whose debut as director was at IFD also has a supporting role in Angel enforcers as policeman at the begining & he plays a frightening stunt falling down from a bridge & hitting a truck & a car before land on the floor. The stunt is showed to us twice from different angles.

On the upper side Danny Ng, Ridley Tsui Po Wah two of the best stunment from IFD

-Danny Ng, the ninja stunt double for Richard Harrison & many IFD main actors ( remember they got chinese eyes when they were masked on ninja suits????), who also got important roles at IFD during the last years in sagas such as War City & Aerolite force has a supporting role with dialog lines in Angel Enforcers.

Danny Ng as a police officer, a role he had played before at IFD latter action movies

-James Ha who also got supporting roles on IFD movies in sagas like War City or Filmark productions such as Satanic Crystals is also on a supporting role in Angel Enforcers

-Might be Danny Ng, James Ha & Ridley Tsui members of Philip Ko stuntmen team at that time??

-Mike Abbott, Edowan Bersma, Mark Houghton, Paul John Stanners, Phil Dodge & plenty of IFD/ Filmark regular western faces got their chance to show their acting or fighting skill in Angel Enforcers.
Mike Abbott opens Angel enforcers playing a drug dealer

Edowan Bersma is a very bad dude to deal with.

-George Lai. Joseph's brother, was the international distributor for Angel Enforcers, and now Angel Enforcers is on IFD catalog for worldwide sales.

-Angel Enforcers proves what IFD could have offered us if they had injected a bit bigger budget on their films like the producers did on this one.

No budget for guns??? well, no problem, we can use tools as deadly weapons

-Angel Enforcers proves Godfrey Ho is much better director than many people still think about him.

-Angel Enforcers offers us Girls with guns top action, great martial artists such as Dick Wei, Sharon Yeung Pan Pan & Philip Ko delivering stunning fights.

A great shot taken by Photography director Raymond Chang

-Angel Enforcers offer us weird & bizarre sex scenes with the only & the one Charlie Cho, a not too pretty gweiloh girl & two faggots from Hollywood porn industry (!!!) who will put Cho in some troubles

Charlie Cho likes fish but he is going to try meat from Hollywood!!!

Charlie Cho checks in horror his gweiloh girl's friends are looking at him with lovely eyes.

Angels Enforcers is not an IFD movie but it was done & delivery to us by the people who worked at IFD. If Director Godfrey Ho would have done more movies like this one maybe his reputation among HK moviegoers would not be so mean.

miércoles, 20 de octubre de 2010

Just a nice location for IFD's Ninja Knight 3: Heaven's Hell

I remember during the last week of January 1990 when I was just 14 years old I suffered a very severe flu that made me stay on bed more than two weeks suffering high fever. During the time I was on bed, I didn't have too many bad moments, only headaches & throat pain, but I enjoyed a lot because my late mother brought me a lot of movies she rented in our regular video rental shop. I still remember the day she brought me Ninja Knight: Thunderfox & Ninja Knight 3: Heaven's Hell.
Opening title credits for one of the first movies Philip Ko directed for IFD

The opening scene of Ninja Knight 3: Heaven Hell shows us a gweiloh guy jogging through a bridge just before being killed by a ruffian who holds an axe. Then we find out that killer was sent by Mike Abbott & the killed guy has a brother who will take revenge for his brother death.

Run, man, run

I fell in love with that scene, I fell in love with the movie itself that used a taiwanese weird drama as source movie & of course Mike Abbott became one of my favourite actors. He has a special " touch" to portray bad guys.
But from this time on, I started to feel in love with IFD shooting locations. By the time, I had seen many locations from Tsim Tsa Tsui, Shatin, Tsim tsa Tsui East ( around Shangri La Hotel, Royal Garden Hotel,etc) but the locations used in Ninja Knight 3: Heaven's Hell were new to me and I kept them on mind.
I arrived to this location more than 20 years after Philip Ko shot there.

In January/ February 2009 I left my birth country Spain for the Philippines & I stopped over in Hong Kong for a while before I moved to my new home. With the help of Mike Abbott & my experience from past trips to Hong Kong, I decided to find out so many IFD locations as possible & I decided to start by Ninja Knight 3 so I went to KAM SHAM COUNTRY PARK to takes photos & video an here it is the result.
Just compare, the place. It hasn't changed too much since Philip Ko shot there the opening scene for Ninja Knight 3: Heaven's Hell.

The water reservoir in Kam Sham coutry park. The mountains at the back belongs to Lion Rock Country park where other IFD movies were also shot.

The opening plateau of Ninja Knight 3 was also used at the end of Johnnie To's Election.

By the way, during this past summer while I was watching Johnnie To's ELECTION, I realized the place where Simon Yam kills Tony Leung Ka Fai was exactly the same place used by the opening shot of Ninja Knight 3: Heaven's Hell.
I fell really happy when I saw it!!!

domingo, 17 de octubre de 2010

Lisa Films: IFD European Connection

The wonderful action film magazine Impact offered us a really nice interview with Joseph Lai on its issue on Octber 2000 That interview can be read on this blog in two different ways: as it was published & also in its"uncut" version kindly offered by the author Mike Leeder.

Joseph Lai said in the interview he & his company were avaliable for co-productions since this formula has been always very profitable & less risky. We just have to remember he co-production system offered us real masterpieces in european cinematographies during the 50's , 60's & 70's. Each production company don't take so many risks when they invest their money in a film & the benefits from the different international markets ensures the investment. For expample Spanish & italian co-productions gave us the very best Spaguetti Western & horror movies ever done, French & german coproductions let us see the most exciting erotic movies in the same period. The most important thing is those movies are still giving benefits to their producers dued to the revivals & the fandom. So, We have to accept Joseph Lai was totally right when he said he was opened to do co-productions.

Lisa Films, an Austria based film company that co-producced all kind of movies during the golden age of european co-productions was perfect for this matter.
Click this link to visit its official website

They have all its catalog movie by movie with technical details, from the ones Lisa Film has produced to the co-productions. We can see all time favourites like the Spaguetti Western Sartana to Bud Spencer's Banana Joe or even the erotic thriller shot in Hong Kong Vanessa. And YESSSSSS, I found Royal Destiny under its german title IM FADENKREUZ DES BÖSEN. The result of this search just confirm what Big commented on the previous post: Royal Destiny was started in 1995 & it was probably unfinished while on production with Lisa Films & IFD and then Joseph Lai used vault material to finish the movie. Anyway, after checking the trailer, it seems Royal Destiny is a great movie from IFD. Raymund Harmstorf looks like a clon of Richard Harrison & the action scenes from Tsui Po Wah are superb.

I don't know in which way Lisa Film co-produced War city 5: Law of honor since there is nothing on the movie we can tell has something to do with the germans or austrians. On the other hand Royal Destiny was starred by some famous German actors like Raymond Harmstorf, a very popular face since he played the villain in some Bud Spencer movies such as The Sheriff & the Satellite Kid or They call him Bulldozer & Julia Kent a TV actress from the german tv. Oddly enough is the fact that Royal Destiny is copyrighted in 1998 exactly the same year Raymond Harmstorf passed away & Julia Kent did her last role on German TV.

The technical info from Lisa film website adds Bryan Baker & Mike Abbott also took part on Royal destiny as actors, as well as Brent Gilbert. This info confirms the added material to Royal Destiny was shot during 1987/88 while Gilbert & Abbott starred the first chapters of War City saga as well as some chapters of American / Advent Commando saga.

Meanwhile if you Click this link to check IMDB Lisa Films produced movies from 1965 to 2010. The movies co-produced with IFD are missing. The same happens if we check Raymund Harmstorf, Julia Kent or Otto Retzer filmographies.

I hope & wish we could enjoy one day a dvd release of Royal Destiny. Joseph Lai has provided us a lot of rare movies from Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan & Korea, but it seems his co-production with Lisa Films has the privilege to be the rarest movie ever produced by IFD. Now I have to be happy just watching the original trailer.

Did you see Bruce Fontaine, Danny Ng, Mark Watson ( Mike Abbott's deadliest enemy in IFD movies), Bryan Baker & many other are on this movie???? It seems Royal Destiny has not an asian source movie as main body but regular gweiloh actors shots plus the german actors new fotage.

viernes, 15 de octubre de 2010

IFD Copyright misteries

The copyright dates shown on IFD productions always amazed me. IFD used to add a copyright date in Roman numbers at the finale of opening credits. Sometimes the date info said we were ready to watch a 1985 movie production but when the movie started the screen was full of people wearing fashionable clothes from the 70's as well as haircuts from the same time.

When I met Mike Abbott in Hong Kong he told me most of the movies he did for IFD along Richard Harrison were shot during October 1986 ( Hitman the Cobra & Ninja operation 7: Royal Warriors) & the remaining ones in 1987. In 1989 he did his last job for IFD (Thunder ninja kids Golden Adventure) when he had already opened his own company Abbott Leisure.

All this information provided by Mike Abbott would not be interested at all if the Copyright dates shown on screen were the same but when we play, for example, Ninja Operation 7: Royal Warriors or any chapter from Ninja Knight saga we see all of them are copyrighted in 1988. Two years later for movies that were usually shot in two weeks!!!!

BUT, But, But...what could be Joseph Lai's purpose to copyright a movie shot in 1987/88 in 1995???? That's a real mistery I really can't understand at all...or not????

Last weekend I watched WAR CITY 5: LAW OF HONOR, the last chapter from War City saga whose first chapter War City: Win to Die has a 1988 copyright date on screen like the others from the same saga. So, why this last one was copyrighted in 1995?

War City 5: Law of honor copyright date is from 1995. Almost 10 years later since it was shot.

The answer to this question might be found in a deal between IFD & other companies like Yip Sing Co. & the Austria based film company Lisa Film that "co-produced" another IFD movie in 1998 entitled ROYAL DESTINY.
Of course, Royal Destiny was not shot in 1998, after I saw the trailer ( I don't own the movie...siiight) I saw Jonathan Isgar & other gweiloh actors wearing the same clothes they used in the movies they shot in the middle 80's & you can easily notice they are younger. It seems these two companies gave some money to IFD to produce a movie & IFD just offered some material that had been shot but unseen several years ago. I really can't imagine another reason.

IFD dealed with Lisa Film GMBH co-producing War City 5: Law of Honor & the lost "gem" ( I don't know anyone who owns it) Royal Destiny

Another hint that could prove 1995 is a fake copyright date for War City 5: Law of Honor is the cast who star in the movie. Brent Gilbert & Bryan Baker.
Gilbert after working for IFD & Filmark moved to the Philippines where he shot a Vietnam war movie titled BATTLE RATS copyrighted in 1989, he was credited as Jack Gilbert, then he dissapeared from the film industry.
Bryan Baker, credited as Nick Masters, starred in 1988 Tiger on the Beat as the villain who holds a rifle with a knife against Chow Yun Fat who holds a big machete tied to his weapon.
Baker, also starred another IFD movie along Mike Abbott titled Advent Commando 7: Guns to Heaven in 1987/88 where the cast had many of the supporting actors seen in War City 5: Law of honor.