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domingo, 29 de abril de 2012

Taiwan Black Movies at IFD / Filmark ( Part 5): Guns to Heaven

We can't deny Joseph Lai had a good eye for bussiness, he knew what audiences wanted to see. He soon realized audiences of the VHS era just looked for fast entertainment, action, kung fu, girls, popcorn & beer. He made his life through selling & producing exploitation movies from Korea. Till here nothing new under the sun because we all already know which kind of movies IFD distributed through Asso Asia, but what it could be a bit surprising is the fact he bought a good package of Taiwanese social dramas and he turn them into action movies just re-dubbing those films or adding new scenes shot in Hong I said above this could be a bit surprising but what is makes it very surprising is that 30 years later, those Taiwanese gangster movies are claimed by critics & even some of them are considered masterpieces. Indeed, Joseph Lai made a big favour to weird cinema fans "saving" some of those movies because it is well known many of those films were destroyed after their commercial life was over. Thanks to Joseph Lai's IFD & Tomas Tang's Filmark International, many of those movies have survived in private collections around the world. So, here we go again with another Taiwan Black Movie brought to us by IFD during the 80's.

IFD bought a Taiwanese gangster film titled WHO KNOWS ABOUT ME shot in 1983 when the black movies sub-genre was going to end. The main star of this film is Wong Goon Hung, baptised by IFD as Champ Wang and whose movies should have been quite popular in Spain back then since most of his filmography was available on video.

Who Knows about me? was retitled by IFD on its international release as GUNS TO HEAVEN. IFD just dubbed it into English and kept the original taiwanese running time for the spanish video market. But then, someone at IFD thought that Guns To Heavens was a very engaging title althought has nothing to do with the film & they shot new scenes starring Mike Abbott, Bryan Baker & Edowan Bersma to mix them into the original Who knows about me? with a new dubbing work. The new mixed film was retitled Advent Commando 7: Guns To Heaven.

I don't know if the new mixed version of Who Knows about me? was released somewhere, I have been looking for it but it seems IFD never sold it. This new version sadly never arrived to Spain as other "double cuts" did. The original tawianese version re-titled Guns to Heaven was released in Spain on video around 1988/ 89, exactly when the boys at IFD shot the new scenes for the mixed version. 
Please, if anyone knows Advent commando 7: Guns to Heaven was released somewhere, let me know.

 As you can see, IFD avoided the original scenes on its new pressbook where we can only see shots from the new scenes starred by Mike Abbott, Edowan Bersma, Bryan Baker, Danny Ng and Frank Juhasz.

 Who knows about me? was released on VCD in Taiwan & it should be avaliable there.

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