Tag: Martial Arts

Cinema Smorgasbord – Whatever Happened to Vic Diaz? – Project: Kill (1976)

Leslie Nielsen is leading a group of brainwashed, drugged up SUPER SOLDIERS in the Philippines but after taking a break from his daily dose of super soldier serum he starts to grow a conscience and goes on the run, with his first-in-command Gary Lockwood hot on his trail in William Girdler’s conspiracy action film PROJECT: KILL from 1976. If you like seeing two old, not-very-flexible actors throwing kicks and uppercuts while Filipino stuntmen go flying, this is the movie for you. Best of all SPECIAL GUEST Vic Diaz shows up to gnaw on the scenery. Check it out!

Cinema Smorgasbord – We Do Our Own Stunts – The Big Brawl (1980)

Jackie Chan in AMERICA! On this episode of WE DO OUR OWN STUNTS Jackie makes his first American excursion to star in the Robert Clouse directed comedy-action vehicle THE BIG BRAWL (aka BATTLE CREEK BRAWL). Despite Jackie knowing very little English (and having to promote the film on American television) and working a very different style than he was used to, the film is actually a ton of fun – as long as you don’t go in expecting the acrobatic fighting from his recent Hong Kong films. We also chat about the recent RIDE ON controversy, Jackie’s appearances in HIDDEN STRIKE and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM, and SO MUCH MORE. Check it out!

Cinema Smorgasbord – Whatever Happened to Vic Diaz? – Raw Force (1981)

On this high kicking episode of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO VIC DIAZ? we’re setting off with a nudity-filled sexploitation comedy mixed with a martial arts action film featuring a dash of the living dead, cannibalism, Nazis, explosions and a heck of a lot more with the wild 1981 mashup RAW FORCE from director Edward D. Murphy! Starring Cameron Mitchell, Geoffrey Binney, Hope Holiday, FIRECRACKER’s Jillian Kesner and – of course – Vic Diaz, this one is goofy as hell, and occasionally lives up to its extra lurid poster art. We also discuss cult film revivals, what it means for a film to be “trash”, the definition of exploitation and all sorts of other heady topics. CHECK IT OUT!

Cinema Smorgasbord – We Do Our Own Stunts – The Young Master (1980)

On a landmark episode of WE DO OUR OWN STUNTS, Jackie Chan has signed a huge contract with Golden Harvest which promises creative and financial freedom, and he kicks things off with the 1980 kung-fu comedy THE YOUNG MASTER! While at the same time his old boss Lo Wei wants his now-bankable star back and is willing to work with Triads to make it happen. UH OH! It’s a perilous time in Jackie’s career and will soon push him off to America for a while, but in the meantime we can enjoy this enormously entertaining, fight-filled film which features Yuen Biao, Tien Feng, Hwang In-Shik, and Shih Kien! CHECK IT OUT!

Cinema Smorgasbord – We Do Our Own Stunts – Dragon Fist (1979)

After a lengthy, contentious working relationship, Jackie Chan’s time with Lo Wei finally comes to an end (sort of!) with 1979’s DRAGON FIST, a film that had been sitting on the shelf since well before Jackie’s SNAKE IN THE EAGLE’S SHADOW kung-fu breakthrough. The film features a very stoic Jackie attempting to get revenge for his master’s death, which all sounds awfully standard, but the plot gets a lot more twisty as it goes, including Jackie reluctantly working for a group of bad guys before going BER-ZERK in the final ten minutes. We also chat about some of Jackie’s complications with trying to get out of his contract, and his upcoming excursion to America. CHECK IT OUT!

Cinema Smorgasbord – We Do Our Own Stunts – The Fearless Hyena (1979)

On this episode of WE DO OUR OWN STUNTS Jackie Chan’s relationship with Lo Wei comes to an end.. sort of.. with Jackie’s directorial debut THE FEARLESS HYENA! Filled with fights (choreographed by Jackie), and featuring perhaps his best performance of the era, it’s a film that owes a lot to his recent successes (with SNAKE IN THE EAGLE’S SHADOW and DRUNKEN MASTER) but also shows his growing confidence and range as a martial artist and creative force. We trace the film’s history, how it affected Jackie’s relationship with Lo Wei, and go through what we’ll be covering in the first few months of 2023. CHECK IT OUT!

Cinema Smorgasbord – We Do Our Own Stunts – Half a Loaf of Kung Fu (1978)

On this episode of WE DO OUR OWN STUNTS we’re going back in time! Back before SNAKE IN THE EAGLE’S SHADOW or DRUNKEN MASTER, when Lo Wei reluctantly gave Jackie Chan permission to – finally – make the kung fu comedy he always wanted. The result was HALF A LOAF OF KUNG FU, which Lo Wei immediately shelved until the international success of Jackie’s Yuen Woo-ping-directed films made him rush it into cinemas. How is it? Listen and find out!

Cinema Smorgasbord – We Do Our Own Stunts – Spiritual Kung Fu (1978)

On this episode of WE DO OUR OWN STUNTS, we continue our chronological look at the career of Jackie Chan and – surprise – Jackie is famous now! After the massive success of Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master, Jackie returns to Lo Wei who decides to dust some unreleased Jackie features off the shelf and rush them into cinemas. The first is the supernatural kung fu comedy SPIRITUAL KUNG FU, which features five bright white “ghosts” in red fright wigs (who arrived on a meteor) teaching Jackie the five style fists, while a murder mystery plays out in the shaolin temple! Features Jackie shoving living animals down his pants and ghost busting (via urination). CHECK IT OUT!

Cinema Smorgasbord – We Do Our Own Stunts – Drunken Master (1978)

It took 12 episodes to get here, but after the box-office success of SNAKE IN THE EAGLE’S SHADOW, Jackie Chan suddenly finds himself a bankable martial arts star. So why not do it all again, only better? DRUNKEN MASTER reunites Jackie with basically everyone who worked on the previous film, including producer Ng See-yuen, director Yuen Woo-ping, and stars Hwang Jang-lee, Dean Shek and Simon Yuen, and the result isa global smash that launched Jackie’s career and set both a pattern for the next stage of his career, as well as provided material for dozens of rip-offs, tributes and sequels. Join us on the latest episode of WE DO OUR OWN STUNTS where we discuss Jackie’s recent birthday, the death of Jimmy Wang Yu, and talk all about 1978’s DRUNKEN MASTER. Check it out!

Cinema Smorgasbord – We Do Our Own Stunts – Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978)

Over 10 episodes of WE DO OUR OWN STUNTS we’ve seen Jackie Chan struggle for respectability and recognition in martial arts films. There have been high and low points, but we always knew his launch to stardom was coming.. and now here it is! On this episode we’re looking at Yuen Woo-ping’s SNAKE IN THE EAGLE’S SHADOW, the film that was Jackie’s first step towards international stardom. But how did it come about? We look at how Jackie was leant to Seasonal Films, his first meeting with producer Ng See-yuen, his history with Yuen Woo-ping’s family and plenty more. CHECK IT OUT!