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miércoles, 20 de julio de 2011

Nathan Chukueke Strikes Back

The interview Nathan Chukueke granted me exactly 2 years ago ( July 2009), is the most visited & read post of this humble blog. I suppose most of regular readers & visitor of my place have read or checked it already. So there is no need to introduce or explain who this great person is.

Nathan Chkueke on IFD's Hitman the Cobra

He played many & different roles during the 80's in countless Hong Kong movies, he worked for Shaw Brothers, Golden Harvest, Cinema City & of course he worked for IFD in Hitman the Cobra as one of Mike Abbott's henchmen. Other movies he played in Hong Kong inluded Dragon From Russia, Midnight Angel, Blood Sport and many many more .

At his days working for Shaw Bros

Two days ago, I got this email:

Hello, You profiled Nathan Chukueke on your website some time ago, and I wanted to let you know that Nathan is featured in an upcoming documentary on martial arts. The first trailer for the film, titled BLVD. WARRIORS, will World Premiere at San Diego Comic-Con this week!! Here are the details if you'd like to stop by, or can share with your audience: Thursday, July 21st, during the Superhero Kung Fu Extravaganza Panel, from 7:45-10:45 PM in Room 6A. Best Regards, Rene Carson (director)

I have felt very happy for Nathan to know he is back in action in some ways. I got the chance to changed many emails with him & he proved to be, as I said above, a great guy.
I am really looking forward for this documentary BLVD WARRIORS & I wish to see Nathan's perfomance & feature on it.
People from San Diego should not miss this chance at the comic convention.

Along Wang Lung Wai shooting at Shaw Bros.

My very best wishes & thanks to Rene Carson.

domingo, 17 de julio de 2011

A man named Geoffrey Brown Part 2

Geoffrey Brown was one of those gweiloh actors who appeared in many IFD movies that has gave me too much time to identifie. My task got success after I checked many of the pressbooks from the movies he starred that are avaliable on IFD official website. This way of identification was risky & not 100% reliable since many actors changed his name to avoid taxes & triad activities but I got the feeling I was on the right direction.
He was not the main actor but IFD put his name in big letters on the poster of Rage of a Ninja

His name was in smaller letters in Ninja Operation 5: Godfather the master, but also his role was just episodic

It is summer time & some spanish tv channels offer special programmes full of action movies of all kinds from Spaguetti western to Kung fu movies and not too long ago I got to re-watch Jackie Chan's Armour of God on TV & then...I recogniced Geoffrey Brown as one of the monks.

Ken Boyle giving orders to Geoffrey Brown in a moment of Armour of God

He has a lot of screen time & he even has lines. I have seen Armour of God dozens times & I never noticed most of the monks were starred by many IFD & Filmark regular gweilohs including Wayne Archer ( the monk who bites Chan's hand), Edowan Bersma ( the monk who finds Alam Tam in the kitchen after Tam has rolled down from a tunnel), Grant Temple ( the bad ninja in some IFD) & many more.

Geoffrey Brown in a red circle prays in Armour of God. The guy in the green cricle played the main villain in Filmark's Ninja project daredevils & the moustached one in the yellow circle was also in countless IFD & Filmark movies.

It is a pity the monks are not credited at the end titles, so I had to check Jean Claude Van Damme's BLOODSPORT again. This movie is maybe the bible of gweiloh actors in Hong Kong. Not only most of them are on the movie as fighters but they are even credited at the end titles. So, again, I was right, Geoffrey Brown was credited as Paredes' friend.

The coloured names worked for IFD or Filmark during their time in Hong Kong. Their true names were credited on Bloodsport while their works for IFD or Filmark was full of colorful fake names.

Suan Paredes played by Van Damme's friend Michel Quissi was the brazilian fighter who gets his leg bone out courtesy by Bolo Yeung...but who was his friend???? the scenes that show Paredes are fight scenes or just sitting waiting for fighting but then Geoffrey Brown is on screen, sitting next to Paredes & holding a very big radio-cassette player.
Geoff Brown sits next to Michel Quissi in Bloodsport

He pays attention to the fight in the tatami

Geoff Brown as he is credited in Bloodsport has not dialog lines this time but he has some screen time that allowed us to trace him down.

Michel Quissi ( Suan Paredes) gets sleepy while he is waiting for his turn to fight, but what the hell is doing Geoff Brown with a hi-fi player?????

But Geoffrey Brown was not only in this movies from IFD, Armour of God or Bloodsport....his movie career in Hong Kong was developed by more supporting roles in movies such as Angel Mission or just tiny cameos of mere seconds in other movies that include Undeclared War where he played a police officer in the funeral parlour shootout & I spotted him in his tiniest role in a moment of Shanghai Shanghai where he is talking to other gweilohs who also got their time at IFD & Filmark.

Geoffrey Brown is with no doubts one of the most underrated gweiloh actors who has ever worked in Hong Kong. I say this because he was in countless movies but he was never given a chance to bright like others did.

sábado, 16 de julio de 2011

A man named Geoffrey Brown Part 1

Hong Kong movies from the last 80's & first 90's are full of western actors that audience could recognice them because they were in many movies but althought they were everywhere from big budgeted movies to cheapo films from IFD & Filmark, we only knew their faces but no their names because they were seldom credited or they were hidden behind fake nicknames to avoid taxes or just not to let the audience get boring showing them too many times.

A bad ninja with nice face: a terrible enemy!

There are particular cases like Johnathan Isgar, Wayne Archer or Mike Abbott just to mention 3 of them that worked with big stars playing important roles, we also have actors like Edowan Bersma who was like a chamaleon & harder to follow because he had beard in some movies, he was nicely shaved in others, then credited under different names...etc and then we have the ones we can easily recognice from movie to movie but we never knew his real name or background....till now.

And here Geoffrey Brown enters

I really don't know Geoffrey Brown's nationality but I would bet my neck he is from England because his resenblance to Wayne Archer. While Mr Archer was big noised, Mr Brown is big-eared but both of them really look like to each other.

Are you talking seriously, boss?

He started playing small roles on IFD ninja movies starred by Richard Harrison like Ninja Hunter where he played one of Stuart Smith's henchmen & then did similar roles as one of Mike Abbott's bad ninjas in Rage of the Ninja. His face is nice & he didn't suit villain's roles so Geoffrey Brown started to play good boy roles in more IFD movies along Richard Harrison & Mike Abbott in titles such as Ninja operation: Knight & Warrior, Ninja Operation 5: Godfather the master or Ninja Operation 7: Royal Warriors.

Geoffrey Brown in Ninja Operation: Knight & Warrior as a drug dealer...

just to be killed by black ninja Alphonse Beni few minutes later

Geoffrey Brown is still a mistery in Hong Kong Cinema because like my good friend James Mutch Crockett, he was in dozens movies but his name was never heard & just written in big letters on IFD movies. The next entry on this blog will be dedicated to Geoffrey Brown other Hong Kong & American movies...yes, you read properply, american movie but shot in Hong Kong!

Geoffrey Brown was credited together with other IFD big names in Ninja Operation : Knight & Warrior

At last, he played the hero's sidekick in Ninja Operation 7: Royal Warriors


domingo, 10 de julio de 2011

Shooting around Kowloon Tong 6: nameless alley across Cumberland Road

One of my favourite Filmark ninja movies is Ninja Force of Assassins. The reasons? Apart from the great thai source movie starred thai superstar Chatchai Plengpanich, because of the locations used in the new pasted scenes that are quite easy to find if you walk around Kowloon.

Once again, Cumberland road, the street where Bruce Lee's home is located was again used in Ninja force of Assassins. The firt post I dedicated to Kowloon Tong locations showed this road & the O Mas Hotel. Well, just few meters away from O Mas Hotel we find a nameless alley that crosses & joins Cumberland Road with Surrey Lane.

O Mas hotel in Cumberland Road leads you to the ninja alley

A view of the ninja alley from Surrey Lane

We can see 2 green/blue knucle pins at the entrance of the alley that allowed me to recognice the place as they are shown in the movie from the opposite angle.

While the bad ninja is displaying his skills, we can see at the background a filipino maiden who in coming back from shopping & passes next to the pins located at the beggining of the alley.

The good white ninja takes an hostage in this nameless alley while a police car is patrolling Cumberland Road

A view from the entrance of the alley to the opposite side. This angle is not covered by Google Street view but Ninja Force of assassins showed it.


lunes, 4 de julio de 2011

Pierre Tremblay's English Interview at Nanarland

Today when I checked my email I got a big nice surprise: my good friend Regis from Nanarland sent me an email telling the interview they made to Pierre Tremblay in French language has been finally translated & published in English. And I just can tell I have enjoyed it so much as the films he played.

the evilish red ninja in Ninja Champion

Pierre Tremblay worked in several IFD movies as supporting actor in titles such as Diamond Ninja Force or Ninja Dragon portraying an evil role in the first one & just a tiny cameo as Richard Harrison's poker friend in the second one. Then he played Harrison's police boss in Ninja Operation: Knight & Warrior (aka Silent Assassin, aka Black ninja).

After Richard Harrison left IFD, Pierre Tremblay was casted as main actor along Bruce Baron in Ninja Champion and Challenge the ninja. While Bruce Baron played the hero, maybe dued to his pale resemblance to Richard Harrison, in both movies, Tremblay played the bad guy.

Richard Harrison & Pierre Tremblay as bussinessmen who earn their lifes playing poker in Ninja Dragon

Nanarland guys had made a great work & Mr Pierre Tremblays talks about his experiences as actor on IFD, his role in Tsui Hark's Dangerous encounters, his TV career in commercials & cantonese soap operas, his dubbing work & a lot of TRUE and interesting information and details that have never been explained or read anywhere else.

A shot from Challenge the ninja

Please, don't continue reading this post & run to Nanarland's Pierre Tremblay's interview. C'mon ,my firends don't waste your time here and click HERE right now or just type this adress:
A recent pic from Pierre Tremblay taken from Nanarland

domingo, 3 de julio de 2011

Shooting around Kowloon Tong 5: Surrey Lane

The first post dedicated to the shooting locations used by IFD / FILMARK crews around Kowloong Tong was about Cumberland Road, a famous street becuase of Bruce Lee's house set location & the hourly love hotels around.

Cumberland Road also includes crossed streets & alleys that were also used by Godfrey Ho & Tommy Cheng in their ninja adventures. One of the most used streets that crosses Cumberland Road was Surrey Lane.

Here we see Surrey Lane corner with Cumberland Road. we can tell this is the entrance to this street that goes along a subway pass that take us to the MTR station in Yau Yat Chuen.

Look at the top of the pic in the left side, we can see the KCR train, under the train is located the subway pass we have seen in countless Hong Kong movies such as Angel Terminator, Ninja force of Assassins, Ninja the protector or Live Hard just to mention some of them.

Then, on the right side of the pic, we see a narrow alley that has been used also in countless movies from the early 80's to almost today. That alley was seen in The struggle starred by Wilson Tong & John Cheung who will play an important role at IFD during 1986/87 as action Choreographer.

IFD used this alley in a good bunch of ninja movies such as Ninja Dragon in the scene where Richard Harrison kills a guy wearing a white t-shirt using a double chinese broad swords

The same exact location was used for some scenes in Ninja Operation 3: Licence to terminate & Operation Ninja 5: Godfather the Master (aka Power of ninjitsu)
These two movies Joseph Lai was credited as the director but they both were directed by Godfrey Ho & choreoagraphed by John Cheung. There are some pics of those shootings that prove what I am saying.

Surrey Lane Alley was also used by Godfrey ho for the first fight in Lethal Panther (aka) Deadly China Dolls

Filmark used this alley in Ninja in action