IFD as we have stated in previous posts was always opened to all kind of markets. IFD offered classic kung fu movies from Korea when Snake in the eagle's shadow & Drunken Master made Jackie Chan a superstar. At that time Joseph Lai & Tomas Tang brought us a good bunch of similar products throught Asso Asia, then the ninja boom came followed by Kickboxer movies & even animation films were bought in korea to put them in the international markets. So, if if the taiwanese production company TOMSOM was also selling their KUNG FU KIDS series internationally, IFD tried that subgenre as well with the Thunder Kids saga that was retitled Thunder Ninja kids in Usa where the Ninja craze lasted longer than in other countries.
But IFD didn't" betray" its ways of working so Joseph Lai bought a bunch of korean movies were some local Kung Fu kids starred their adventures against evil people, ninjas or just they were trying to get or protect a treasure & they added to the original film some new shots starred by the gweilohs we had previouly seen in the ninja, war, moder day thrillers. So Jonathan Isgar, Mike Abbott, Wayne Archer, Grant Walpole and other regulars changed their oufits & they became into a mix of ninja-kickboxers-soldiers in the middle of nowhere interacting with the people from the other movie.
Thunder Kids 2: Wonderful mission was distributed on tape using a fancy art cover work where we could see Cho Ha Foo & the chubby boy, two of the original taiwese kung fu kids from Tomson films then they also added a ninja in background just to make us think we could find them as well just as IFD tried to do.
But since I am a curious guy, I tried my best to find out what korean movie Joseph Lai used as source movie to design his own Thunder ninja kids 2: wonderful mission. I have to admit that after months of search in the KMDB I didn't get a single hint & one good day while I was checking the wonderful website VINTAGE NINJA, I found this pic & my search got finished.
Thunder Ninja Kids 2: Wonderful Mission was done using a korean movie titled IL CHI MAE. THE FLYING BOX. It seems IL JI MAE was a folk korean character in the tradition of Robin Hood or simialar heroes. After checking KMDB I found out there are many films based on this character, if you are interested on the character just type IlJimae in the KMDB browser to check how many productions that used that name have been produced.
Here again, I ask for help: If anyone knows how to get a copy of the original korean movie used by Joseph Lai to create Thunder Ninja Kids 2 Wonderful Mission, I would be highly appreacited.
Are they ninjas??? Are they kickboxers??? it doesn't matter at all: they are the Thunder kids!