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Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Mike Abbott. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta Mike Abbott. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 29 de marzo de 2013

A Chat with The Ultimate Ninja by Shitcasecinema

I still remember Easter of 2008, it was about that date when I first contacted by email & then by phone with Mike Abbott. I was tremedously happy and I felt myself very lucky because I had been talking with one of my childhood favourite movie villains...during the late 80's I have been watching most of IFD movies he played and also the ones Mike Abbott starred in Indonesia. So, I can't explain with words how happy I was when I knew Mike Abbott was in the other side of the telephone line!!!!

A pic of Mike Abbott  & I in Hong Kong taken the first time we met on January 2009.
Then, of course, the communication among us continued and eventually we met in Hong Kong. There are a lot of priceless memories of conversations, jokes, meetings...etc. Five years have passed since then and now, it is Easter again and while I was searching some videos on YouTube, I have found the following one.
This video-phone interview has been done by the guys from Shitcasecinema  and that happiness memories have just come back to me when I listened Mike Abbott giving to the interviewer many of the same answers he gave me 5 years back!

I won't get tired to repeat Mike Abbott is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. A gentleman and a good-hearted giant who tought I was Danny De Vito's twin brother the very first time we met in Central Station in Hong Kong.

It is a pity we can't see Mike Abbott more oftenly in Hong Kong movies, specially right now when many western actors are again in front of the camera like in the old good days.

domingo, 17 de marzo de 2013

Lover & Killer ( aka A Fierce Lady) is at home: Turning the impossible into possible 2!!!

The title of this entry it is just the only one I could have given because these days I got another personal goal since I started to investigate about IFD & Filmark. One of the most important one was when on May 2010 I got a good bunch of unreleased or barely released IFD movies on DVD from a legal distributor in South Africa. You may check it HERE. I also have commented many times my love for Ninja Knight Thunderfox & the taiwanese movie used on it, you may check also HERE & HERE.
Today, Thanks to Toby Russell, a person who has been working on Asian films since he was a teenager & a great guy who has released many great movies throught his Eastern Heroes & other labels, sent me the original movie used on Ninja Knight ThunerFox: A Fierce Lady. A movie that I have been looking for years since I saw the IFD edited version in 1990 for first time.
Just imagine how nervous & anxious I was when the postman delivered the package to me!!!...The moments before I opened it & I played were priceless, I was like a child waiting to open his new toys! So, eventually, my dream of watching the original film became true...and now the best is coming...



While I was researching information about this taiwanese movie along with Teddy Wong from HKMDB, we find out the art cover & the title, A Fierce Lady, but the English titled displayed on screen on the copy Toby Russell sent me we can see the English title was Lover & Killer.



And, and, and...the it includes English subtitles!!!!....so the experience of watching it, was a real pleasure since I could follow the original storyline and this fact delivered me another surprise... The new edited version with new fotage starring Mike Abbott & Marko Ritchie just follow the same original storyline...and even the dialogs are exacly the same in both versions. IFD just added the new fotage & adapted it to the original one without any changes!
While I was watching Lover & Killer, I got surprised that IFD even didn't change the order of some scenes as it happened in some other movies or as it happened in most of the movies edited by Filmark. In this case IFD version just follow the original edited version.


The only changed made by IFD was the music of the OST, while IFD, as always, used a synthesizer electronic music and in this case, a part of Nighmare on Elm Street at the end battle between Mike Abbott & Marko Ritchie, the original taiwanese cut just "vampirizes"  the music from movies such as Death Wish 2 for the opening titles and some other music from other american hits during the running time.

 

Well, the bad news is that Lover & Killer is a very cut version for the local market. Every erotic frame has been edited out, even kisses...also some bloody action was also cut. Thankfully, the IFD version contains all the gory & erotic moments & since the dialogs & story line is the same, a fully uncut version could be possible edited...some day...


Once again, Trillions thanks to Toby Russell for his kind help and unlimited thanks for making my dream have come true!

miércoles, 5 de diciembre de 2012

Platoon The Warriors on YouTube...

I didn't know till now that Youtube is full of users who upload tons of full-lengh movies into their accounts...I was used to see clips from all kind of movies but this thing of uploading full movies has really surprised me. But I have to say my heart is divided into two parts because of this....First, I am happy because we are given the chance to watch many rare movies from every corner of the world. I have seem movies that are not avaliable on DVD, VCD or VHS outside third-world countries or they are just collectors pieces...but in the other hand, I don't agree about uploading  copyrighted movies...I consider myself a collector, I enjoy cinema & I think I have to pay for a work other people have done for my own entertainment. It is fair...You make a work, you develope your owns ideas, you have the right to get your benefit...I hate piracy & I despise pirates...

Platoon The Warriors is a copyrighted feature from IFD that is still on their catalog...someone has uploaded it to YouTube. The source is an English-dubbed language VHS from Greece, since the film has not known DVD release, I have decided to include it here, just in case some reader hasn't seen it yet. Anyway, I encourage you to purchase legal releases...

 Platoon The Warriors, as you may know, was directed by Philip Ko who used as main body a 1984 filipino production titled Diegong Bayong, starred by filipino star Anthony Malonzo. Diegong Bayong is a powerful, bloody & gritty action drama that was nicely edited by Philip Ko. Platoon the Warriors is a personal favourite of mine. Oh, I also found in Youtube the original Spanish trailer. I have to say, I had never seen it before on any spanish release...& I like it a lot!!!!!...


sábado, 23 de junio de 2012

Taiwan Black Movies at IFD & Filmark (Part 10): Ninja Knight Thunder Fox uncovered!!!

I have a special feeling for Ninja Knight Thunder Fox for several reasons. When I first found it in my video rental shop I got in love with the Spanish art cover. When I rented it I got a love-hate relationship with the film itself since not too many ninjas appeared in the movie but Mike Abbott's charisma got my heart!...later in 2008, when I first contacted Mike Abbott, he told me this movie was his 3rd work for IFD & the first one he did after Richard Harrison left IFD &Hong Kong when they finished the back to back shooting of Hitman the Cobra & Ninja Operation 7: Royal Warriors ( aka Hands of death), the very last movie Richard Harrison did for Joseph Lai.

Spanish VHS cover. How could I resist to rent a film with such art cover??? I simply love it!!!

Ninja Knight Thunderfox was the first episode of a saga directed by several directors such Godfrey Ho, Philip Ko and some newcomers to Lai's factory. Ninja Knight saga had suffered several changes on their titles depending on the country and the only link between all the episodes was Mike Abbott who always played the main villain in the 4 movies included in the saga. Mike Abbott is to Ninja Knight movies what Shek Kin was to the old Wong Fei Hung movies starred Kwan Tak Hing.

Since his first role at IFD Mike Abbott always got the most importat place at IFD pressbook & art covers...His name was placed before the main good guy & his pics were also bigger!..

Ninja Knight ThunderFox was done using a taiwanese gangster movie from the middle 80's that still used the same ingredients of the "classic" Taiwan Black movies produced just few years back. We can tell the movie used to design Ninja Knight ThunderFox is a neo-.taiwan black movie or just call it a post-taiwan black movie done when the subgenre was over but keeping the atmosphere & topics from those productions.

 Mike Abbott, Marko Ritchie & Peter Cressall

If you got the chance to see Ninja Knight ThunderFox you will notice the original taiwanese movie is full of unscrupulous gangsters played by ugly actors who seems real gangsters!!!!, then we have regular actors who spent the previous years doing gangster movies, usually repeating their roles movie after movie. So, we find here familiar faces like Lu I Chan, Mike Tien Ming ( Tin Ming) or  Lee Miu Chan whose movies were released internationally by IFD &Filmark. 
 For years, I have been looking for this ultraviolent taiwanese movie but in vain, I didn't have a clue about the title, I just knew some names of the original actors but it was not too much help. Then in 1997, my good friend Domingo López, one of the few real experts on Asian Cinema in Spain, launched his seminal book Made in Hong Kong where he reviewed many IFD & Filmark movies.

IFD new Pressbook for Ninja Knight ThunderFox...it is cool, but I still prefer the original artwork by Eagle Leung used in the Spanish VHS cover.

On his review of Ninja Knight Thunderfox, Domingo suggested that the original taiwanese movie used by Ho & Lai may be a 1982 production directed by Hui Sing Yue titled The Red Rattlesnake. It was indeed a good hint since some of the taiwanese cast of Ninja Knight Thunderfox also appeared in this film. But it wasn't the one used by IFD.
Original Poster of The Red RattleSnake displayed on HKMDB.

But today, I have finally found the film used by IFD to design Ninja Knight ThunderFox. Checking both art covers, we see Domingo's suspects were clearly in the right direction since both movies shows a very similar girl with similar suits plus many of the same cast are in both movies...

Original Taiwanese art cover of the film used by IFD to design Ninja Knight Thunderfox. An English translation of the chinese title would be highly appreciated.

The only problems now is to translate the original chinese title into English or guess if this film got any international english title...ah, I forgot...another problem is to get a copy of it. I guessed which movie was used bought by Joseph Lai but the real challenge now is to get a copy of it & check if the original print also contains the same level of violence & sex as the ones showed in the re-edited version of IFD's Ninja Knight Thunderfox.

Special Thanks to Teddy Wong, editor of HKMDB for sharing the original taiwanese covers!

domingo, 27 de mayo de 2012

Taiwan Black Movies at IFD & Filmark (part 7): Ninja Commandments

When the ninja craze was at its peak in the video markets, Joseph Lai & Tomas Tang needed a lot of raw stuff to created their ninja movies. The market was so hungry that they seldom have time to get new titles at the different video markets, so the solution was to re-use some movies that they previously bought & released on their original cut.
Ninja Commandments Spanish VHS

 Original taiwanese VCD of Ma! Don't Die on my back.

The ninja films starred Richard Harrison were the lucky ones because at the time they were shot, 1985-86, IFD still had several taiwanese movies on their vaults that were never released in the west previously & they were the ones used in films like Ninja Commandments, Ninja Showdown, Ninja Dragon and even several episodes of the Ninja Operation saga.



Ninja Commandments was supposely directed by Joseph Lai in 1987...well, at least this is what we can see on the credits but since Richard Harrison parted away from IFD at the end of 1986 after he is second teamed with Mike Abbott in Ninja Operation 7: Royal Warriors shot in November 1986 ( Mike Abbott kindly provided this information), we believe Ninja Commandments was very probably shot at some time in 1986 before November & of course it wasn't directed by Joseph Lai but by Godfrey Ho or some of his assistants.




Ninja Commandments was done using a 1981 taiwanese drama starred by Elsa Yeung &  O Chung Hung titled Ma! Don't Die on my back directed by Chen Yun Quan who has no more directional credits. Ulysses Au Yeung whose black movies were quite well considered was credited as Planning in Ma! Don't die on my back.
 


Ma! Don't die on  my back was not the average revenge drama used to be shown in taiwanese black movies but an intense, existentialist drama where the characters are ill-fated from the very first begining. There is no hope for them. Elsa Yeung proved she was also a very good dramatic actress besides an action star. Not to mention Tattoer Ma Sha & Lee Siu Fei who became regular actors in many taiwanese black movies are also on this one.


Ninja Commandments is remembered as one of the worse ninja movies from IFD. Probably a movie like Ma! Don't Die on my back doesn't suit at all those ninja interludes starred by Harrison & his pals. What the hell are doing the ninjas in the middle of rural drama???...We should ask to Godfrey & Joseph since I don't have the answer!

sábado, 19 de mayo de 2012

Taiwan Black Movies at IFD / Filmark (part 6): Kill Butterfly Kill

May is a very busy month for spanish people. we have to prepare the yearly Tax declaration & we have to pay a lot different taxes. This month, my younger brother also got married so all these matters have kept me away from the blog...no need to say that since NINJA THE MISSION FORCE series has ended its first season, I have down the rythm of the entries. Anyway this site is about IFD / Filmark movies not my personal troubles so here we are again with another Taiwanese Black movie used & distributed by Joseph Lai during the early 80's in Spain & other countries. 

Is it a kung fu movie? Is it a horror movie? No...it is a taiwanese black movie hidden behind a shocking VHS cover
 Kill Butterfly Kill was another gangster /drama movie distributed in Spain as an kung fu actioner by IFD. We have to say the spanish distributors also helped to create that false hope adding fake synopsis or false promotion lines. Obviously when you played the tape & you didn't found any kung fu ( or the fights displayed weren't exactly what you expect from a kung fu movie) you felt cheaten...but if you were ( as I am) an open-minded person who loves to be presented by unexpected surprises, Kill Butterfly Kill became into a guilty pleasure full of raw violence.

When you see this title credits you feel something special is coming...and it is not a kung fu movie!!!
  Kill Butterfly Kill is a taiwanese version of Abel Ferrara's Ms 45 where a woman is viciously raped & she developes a hungry feeling of vengeance towards the people who humiliated her adding some subplots & gangsters " a la taiwanese" style. The director of Kill Butterfly kill goes beyong Ferrara & he also makes us feel dirty while watching the movie.


Tattoer Ma Sha can't imagine how much IFD promoted him outside Taiwan!!!
 Kill Butterfly Kill was starred by Taiwan's Black movies' superstars  Tattoer Ma Sha and Champ Wang Goon Hung & Juliet Chan Lai Wan who was also the main star iin IFD famous Scorpion Thunderbolt & the star in Who Knows About Me? , the taiwese movie distributed by IFD in Spain on its original taiwanese cut as Guns to Heaven. We can't forget that later, Guns to heaven became into Advent Commando 7: Guns to heaven just adding new shots starring Mike Abbott & Edowan Bersma and other ifd regular gweiloh actors around 1987/88.


a movie that contains this kind of scenes can't be a bad movie!!!

As it happens to Guns to Heaven, Kill Butterfly Kill was later re-edited by director Charles Lee Chiu adding to the original taiwanese film new scenes starred again by Mike Abbott & other regular western actors. The new "movie" was then retitled by IFD as Advent Commando 4: Kill Butterfly Kill.  We were not so lucky in Spain & we never got this new edition released in our video markets. Anyway, I have no information at all if this Advent Commando 4: Kill Butterfly Kill was ever released in any country...it seems it had the same fate as Guns to heaven.
Mike Abbott as the villain & Mark Miller as the hero became the new stars of this re-edited version of Kill Butterfly Kill while the original credits dissapeared!.


Kill Butterfly Kill was the IFD title for a taiwanese film titled I Want To Be A Good Person  a 1982 production directed by Chui Yuk Lung who also directed Who Knows About Me? & other films that were bought & distributed by IFD. This fact proves that IFD used to buy movie packages from the same producers as it happened with the Korean / Thai / Filipino films.



miércoles, 2 de mayo de 2012

War City 3: The Extreme Project Uncovered: Original Filipino Movie!!

War City was an IFD 5 movies saga that tried to emulate the modern day actioners that were being produced in Hong Kong in the middle 80's. We ccould say IFD War City saga was a kind of cheapo Ultraforce ( aka In the line of duty) version where gunplay mixes kung fu in a perfect way.
Philip Ko directed the first 3 episodes of this saga.  The common nexus of these 3 movies were, apart from the director Ko, the gweiloh actors who starred them : Mike Abbott as the villain & Brent Gilbert as the hero Jack Kelly who must destroy Abbott in different adventures. Well, we also find a BIG difference among the three first episodes: War City: Die or Win & War City 2: Red Heat conspiracy used korean movies as source while War City 3: The extreme project ( and the following episodes, as well) used Filipino actioners directed by great pinoy action directors.

War City 3: The Extreme Project was the last episode of War City saga directed by Philip Ko & starred by Mike Abbott.
In this case War City 3: The Extreme Project was done using a 1981 filipino production titled DEADLY BROTHERS, directed by Jun Gallardo and starred by filipino superstar Rudy Fernandez among other well known filipino actors. As always, Philip Ko shot new scenes with Mike Abbott & Brent Gilbert & mixed them into the original film, creating a very interesting product that offers very good action scenes from both directors Ko & Gallardo.

Andrew Leavold, webmaster of the superb site Bamboo Gods & Bionic boys & Simon Santos webmaster of Video 48 kindly help me to identify this filipino production bought by IFD & re-edited by Philip Ko. But that's not all, someone uploaded the original film to Youtube cut in several parts. So we can enjoy this fantastic film on its original version & running time.

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 Kong...as 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.

jueves, 17 de noviembre de 2011

Mike Abbott & Hitman the Cobra GET HONORED by French fans (part 2)

Few days ago, we talked about how IFD's Hitman the Cobra & Mike Abbott have gained a cult status among French fandom. We saw some videos where the dialog, music & some scenes from Hitman the Cobra were spliced into some "cut & paste" short movies & even a cartoon video based on Mike Abbott's character. Today we go beyond those cut & paste video editions & we publish here ORIGINAL & NEW videos starred by French fans of IFD.

I got really happy & surprised how professional they are & how they know to re-shoot what Godfrey Ho did looong time ago. Indeed they have watched Hitman the Cobra more than a couple of times.

We start with the original video from IFD



And then, we have a group of avid fans!!!







This one is in my opinion the very best one. It runs 40 seconds only but it has the true spirit of IFD.

domingo, 13 de noviembre de 2011

Mike Abbott & Hitman the Cobra GET HONORED by French fans (part 1)

Hitman the Cobra was Mike Abbott's film debut & the last but one for Richard Harrison at IFD (the last one was Ninja Operation 7: Royal Warriors) shot during October of 1986. Mike Abbott, Richard Harrison & Godfrey Ho couldn't imagine at that time Hitman the Cobra would become into a cult classic in many countries, specially in France...

Iam not talking nonsenses, important websites like www.nanarland.com dedicated some special posts, interviews & a lot of pages in its forum to this movie & the people involved on it. And the below video is a instant winner among people who likes IFD movies.



The original english dialog was hilarious but the French dubbing was even more & more hilarious & that's why this movie has got such status.



So some French fans did some videos where Hitman the cobra & the French dialog were the main topic like this one



And even Mike Abbott has become into an animated character. I definetively love this this video & the passion these French guys devote to Hitman the Cobra.



VIVA MIKE ABBOTT

domingo, 25 de septiembre de 2011

Ninja Knight Thunderfox Rough Ending...but What then?

I am used to spend too much time reading opinions & reviews of IFD movies in internet. I really enjoy them, even when the reviewer hasn't even seen the movie he is writing about or when he has just seen only one movie but he has the "right" to give the same value to all Joseph Lai's catalog. But I still have to recognice some ( well, many) reviews that complain about some ( well, many is the correct word again) aspects of IFD movies are well-unfounded.

A good sample of those bad aspects found in some IFD movies is the rough ending in titles such as Ninja The Protector, where Richard Harrison after defeating the evil chubby ninja says: " I am the Champion of the ninjas" & leaves the place in a cocky way and THE END in big letters appears in your screen. Then your brain starts to think about what's wrong... Similar cases are the endings of Rage of a ninja & speacially Ninja Knight Thunderfox.

A nice still pic taken during the shooting of Ninja Knight Thunderfox courtesy of Mike Abbott!

When I met Mike Abbott in Hong Kong in Feb 2009 for an interview he told me these words: "At the end of THUNDERFOX I die by having a sword thrown into my chest.They filled four bags full of different coloured powders and put them inside my ninja suite and then exploded them as the sword hit my chest"

His words can be checked in the following video about the final duel & ending of Ninja Knight Thunderfox



The ending of the movie is maybe the roughtest ifd ending along with Rage of the ninja ( also starred by Mike Abbott & Marko Ritchie). So the question I do in the post title gets its meaning at this point. THEN WHAT? What happened after Mike Abbott got the blade into his chest and he exploded without any logical reason? we got the answer from Mike Abbott with the following picture!
This is the result when you are a ninja & you get a sword into your chest

THANKS TO MIKE ABBOTT, one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life & a true gentleman despite he always played a villain in Hong Kong movies!