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Virtual Combat (1995)

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Kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson takes on the virtual world in this pretty interesting action film.

David Quarry and his partner John Gibson are grid runners, border cops who make sure that all is safe when it comes to the world of technology and virtual reality. Stationed in Las Vegas, Quarry spends his free time testing out a virtual combat game in which he is unable to defeat level ten. When a trio of thugs attempt to hack into the grid, Quarry and Gibson are able to stop the goons after their attempt proves unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cameron, one of the nation’s top scientists, has found a way to replicate virtual reality into actual reality. With the money provided by unscrupulous businessman Burroughs, Cameron replicates two women from a cybererotica program, Liana and Greta. However, in the mix of things, Dante, the level ten fighter from the virtual combat program, has also been unleashed and when Dr. Cameron refuses to let Dante unleash his friends from the virtual world, Dante kills the scientist and heads to Los Angeles to get the program necessary to get his friends out.

When Gibson is killed after getting in the way of Dante, Quarry must go to Los Angeles to find Dante, but also must deal with Burroughs’ goons, led by Parness. The only one who can help Quarry on his mission is Liana, who has a conscience upon her entry to reality.

Nearly a decade before Don “The Dragon” Wilson entered the world of virtual reality in X-Treme Fighter, he did a reversal of sorts with this sci-fi action tale in which he takes on virtual fighters in the real world. Directed by “jack-of-all trades” Andrew Stevens, Stevens does quite well as an action film director. William C. Martell’s script highlights the potential future of the cyber universe, with combat and cybererotica a mainstay in society, which is in some aspects, deemed mainstream in today’s world although it is more akin to the Internet rather than a virtual reality environment.

The film is definitely B-movie material and that is okay here. Of course as Las Vegas grid runner Quarry, Wilson plays the typical cop looking for revenge but finds something more to it. Yet it still works here. He personally wanted and got Canadian martial arts champion Michael Bernardo of the Shootfighter films and WMAC Masters, for the role of lead villain Dante. Bernardo has the physical presence for the role but it does sort of gets funny when instead of hearing Bernardo’s voice, we have Michael Dorn from Star Trek: The Next Generation as the “virtual voice of Dante”. It just doesn’t seem to match very well with Bernardo’s physicality and that’s a flaw in the film. Athena Massey does quite well for her first film role as cybererotica doll turned real life doll Liana, who of course, not only becomes Quarry’s love interest but shows she can kick some butt in one nicely shot sequence.

In charge of the fight scenes is none other than Art Camacho. As with all of the films he had done during this era, Camacho utilizes the cast’s martial arts skills quite well. Wilson has some decent fights in the opening credits of the film, where we see him in virtual reality and has some nice one against many fights throughout the film. Wilson even has not one, but two nice fight scenes against Loren Avedon, who lets his feet fly to great use against him as Burroughs’ right hand man Parness. In the short time he is in the film, Ken McLeod shows why he truly should have had another lead role after his performance in College Kickboxers and not be relegated to either supporting or villain roles. Michael Bernardo shows why he was a force to be reckoned with too action-wise despite the voice mismatch in the film. Bernardo truly has great martial arts skills and his finale with Wilson, even with the little bits of CGI thrown in there (after all, we are talking virtual reality bad guy), was well handled.

Virtual Combat is definitely B-movie material, but it is truly fun B-movie material. The action scenes featuring “The Dragon”, Ken McLeod, Michael Bernardo, and Loren Avedon are quite a delight to watch, but expect to laugh when hearing Michael Dorn voice Bernardo’s character in a truly poor kind of way. Worth a rental for action fanatics and B-movie lovers.

A-Pix Entertainment presents an Amritraj/Stevens Entertainment production. Director: Andrew Stevens. Producer: Ashok Amritraj. Writer: William C. Martell. Cinematography: David J. Miller. Editing: Tony Mark, Wayne Schmidt, and Mark Speer.

Cast: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Athena Massey, Ron Barker, Michael Bernardo, Loren Avedon, Turhan Bey, Ken McLeod, Dawn Ann Billings, Carrie Mitchum, Rip Taylor, Stella Stevens, J.D. Rifkin, Nick Hill, Timothy Baker.

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Slaughter in San Francisco (1974)

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Released as both Yellow-Faced Tiger and Karate Cop, American martial arts champion turned superstar Chuck Norris plays the villain once again in this very typical modern day kung fu film from director Lo Wei.

Don and John are two police officers in San Francisco. When they see a young woman, Sylvia Chu, apparently being raped, the cops stop the attackers. However, at the police station, Sylvia tells the chief that the two “rapists” are actually good friends and they were having fun. Feeling the embarrassment, Don and John are reprimanded and back to work.

However, Don’s world is about to be turned upside down. When John is kidnapped and attacked by a local gang, Don arrives to save John. However, during the attempt, he accidentally kills one of the street gangsters. Forced to give up his badge, Don spends a year in prison for manslaughter. Working as a waiter in a restaurant, Don grabs the attention of local crime lord Chuck Slaughter. Slaughter is impressed with Don and wants to hire him. At first Don refuses, but Slaughter gives him a week.

Meanwhile, John is ultimately killed when he attempts to stop a bank robber masterminded by Slaughter. To hide his tracks, Sylvia’s parents are accused of the crime and forced in prison. When Don learns of his best friend’s death, he decides to investigate. Throughout his quest, he learns that Sylvia has been dating Slaughter’s young brother Paul and that there is someone on the inside responsible for blaming the Chus. Don and a reformed Sylvia decide to make the wrong things right, forcing an inevitable showdown between Don and Slaughter.

After working with Bruce Lee on the 1972 Hong Kong hit film Way of the Dragon, one would have ever expected Chuck Norris to work on another Hong Kong film. However, he did just that in 1974 with this very standard action film. Norris once again plays the villain, in this case, a mobster who loves to spend money and spends his time perfecting his martial arts skills. Norris himself never got to see this film and chances are should he ever see it, he would most likely laugh at his role.

The film would make wave for a future action legend in Don Wong, who would go on to star in films like The Secret Rivals and Eagle’s Claws. The film’s female lead is another legend in Hong Kong cinema, Sylvia Chang. She would be best known for her role in the Aces Go Places series of action comedies. Here, she seems like someone who doesn’t care about anyone but herself and wanting to be popular of sorts. However, when her parents become accused of murder, she begins to have mixed feelings.

The film has quite an international cast and one wonders why the likes of Norris and the late karate master Daniel Ivan had dubbed voices. Nevertheless, the action is pretty standard fare here. The legendary Han Ying-Chieh choreographed the fight scenes and while Norris looks good, Wong himself gets to show little of his capabilities. He does get to pull off his jumping hook kick in one scene and takes on the likes of Chin Yuet-Sang and Lam Ching-Ying.

In any case, unless you are truly a fan of Chuck Norris, it is best to avoid Slaughter in San Francisco. If you’re heavily into kung fu movies, this one is your basic standard fare and only should be for hardcore kung fu film fans. Plus it does have a catchy theme song.

WFG RATING: C-

A Golden Harvest (HK) Ltd. Production. Director: Lo Wei. Producer: Raymond Chow. Writers: Lo Wei and Chang Yung-Hsiang. Cinematography: Cheung Yiu-Jo. Editing: Peter Cheung.

Cast: Don Wong, Sylvia Chang, Chuck Norris, Wong Sam, Erh Chun, Daniel Ivan, Robert Jones, Bob Talbert, James Economides, Ma Man-Chun, Tu Chia-Cheng, Chin Yuet-Sang, Lam Ching-Ying.

The Young Master (1980)

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Leaving Lo Wei’s Film Company, Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan makes his Golden Harvest debut with this instant classic kung fu comedy.

Two adopted brothers, Dragon and Tiger, enter a lion dance competition for their kung fu school. When they lose the competition, their father is none too happy with the results. However, it is revealed that Tiger was paid by the rival school to throw the competition. In anger, their father kicks Tiger out of the school and decides to take out all of his aggression on the fellow students. Having enough, Dragon decides that he must bring Tiger back to settle matters once and for all.

However, Tiger is given another job by the rival school. He is asked to join two assistants to free their captured master, Master Kim. When they successfully free Kim, the officials recognize only a fighter with a white fan. Dragon, who holds a white fan, is mistaken for his brother and chaos ensues. Soon, he feels the wrath of the local police captain, his son Fourth Brother, and his daughter. Dragon must take it upon himself to clear his name and find the real culprits.

Jackie Chan truly shines in this film, with his combination of comic flair and exhilarating kung fu fight sequences. Chan gets to show off his impeccable skills with a fan as a weapon against Fan Mei-Sheng, his skills with the lion dance, a nicely shot swordfight defensive attack against nosy policemen and his fight against real-life schoolmate Yuen Biao, who shines with the bench as Fourth Brother.

Chan even impersonates a style that the police captain’s daughter uses involving the use of a skirt to take on the likes of Lee Hai-Sheng and Fung Hark-On. What’s great is the combination of these fights with the comic relief that make Chan a true comic kung fu genius. Even Shek Kin, who is best known as the villain of Enter the Dragon, gets his hand in the comic portion of the film.

One martial artist impressed with the film is Hapkido grandmaster Hwang In-Shik, who plays the film’s main antagonist, Master Kim. A veteran actor of kung fu cinema, Hwang never truly showcased his skills of Hapkido until this film. The film’s climatic sequence, pitting Chan and Hwang, lasts a whopping fifteen minutes. This showcases two things in particular: Hwang’s breakdown of Hapkido and Chan’s ability to take some punishment. Hwang is definitely worth seeing here as he uses a combination of the kicking skills of taekwondo, the joint locks of aikido, and the throws of judo that make up the art of Hapkido. Those who really want to see the Korean style will want to see this particular battle.

Hwang and Chan would have their rematch two years later in an originally proposed sequel, Young Master in Love, which would later be known as Dragon Lord. Hwang would once again unleash his trademark Hapkido skills and once again, Chan would take the punishment alongside Mars, a veteran of Chan’s famous stunt team.

The Young Master is truly a nice blend of kung fu fight scenes and comic relief, with Jackie Chan at the top of his game. However, the real highlight is Chan taking nearly 15 minutes of punishment from Hapkido grandmaster Hwang In-Shik. A true classic!

WFG RATING: A+

A Golden Harvest (HK) Ltd. Production. Director: Jackie Chan. Producer: Raymond Chow. Writers: Edward Tang, Lau Tin-Chi, and Tung Lo. Cinematography: Chen Ching-Chu. Editing: Peter Cheung.

Cast: Jackie Chan, Wei Pai, Yuen Biao, Shek Kin, Lily Li, Hwang In-Shik, Lee Hoi-San, Fung Hark-On, Fung Fung, Fan Mei-Sheng, Tien Feng, Bruce Tong, Ma Chao.

Shaolin Deadly Kicks (1977)

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Superkicker Delon Tan shines in this very exciting kung fu film that he would virtually remake a decade later in America.

A band of robbers known as the Eight Dragons have stolen a rare treasure map. They decide to take the map and divide into eight pieces, one for each member. The leader of the gang makes the decision to wait three years before reuniting and getting their hands on the treasure. At first, tension nearly leads to dissention, but everyone eventually comes into agreement and waits the three years.

The three years have passed and it is time for the Dragons to reunite. However, it will not be as easy as they plan. When one of the members is arrested, he meets a young man who is willing to help him escape. When the young man tells the Dragon that he knows where some treasure can be found, they head with another member of the gang to an undisclosed location. The two Dragons soon learn it is all a trap and the young man is revealed to be police constable Hsiao Huang-Yi, who along with his partner Chun-Wei, are able to stop the Dragons. However, when Chun-Wei is killed in battle, Huang-Yi uses his flashy kicks to stop the Dragons.

From there, Huang-Yi begins to track down the members one by one to get all the pieces of the map and return it to its rightful owner. After a promise to Dragons member Chang Fang to help his sick son, Huang finds himself betrayed by the treacherous Fang and is forced to kill him. When Huang-Yi is set up by a goon hired by two more members, Huang-Yi fakes his death and is able to fight both members on separate occasions to defeat them. Huang-Yi eventually meets his match in Master Chi, who uses a poison blade to strike the kicking constable before he meets his maker.

Huang-Yi is eventually nursed back to health by Jade, a young woman he saved from bandits earlier in his mission. Jade turns out to be the daughter of the Dragons leader, the Chief. The Chief has changed tunes and has become a doctor. Jade knows nothing of the robbery and while Huang-Yi reveals himself and wants to help the Chief live a peaceful existence, things are about to go full speed. The final Dragons members, the Cutter, has returned and plans to do whatever it takes to get the treasure, even if it means betraying his own leader.

This is definitely an underrated martial arts film from the 70’s. While the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Sammo Hung dominated the classic kung fu era, there are some well-known names worth mentioning, notably Delon Tan and Lo Lieh. Tan, a grandmaster in the art of taekwondo, starred in the 1976 John Woo film Hand of Death alongside a young Jackie Chan while Lo Lieh starred in the first kung fu film to hit American shores, King Boxer, released as Five Fingers of Death, in early 1973.

While Lo takes a step back to play lead villain Cutter, it is Tan who truly shines here. Next to the “King of Leg Fighters” Hwang Jang-Lee, Tan is perhaps the second dominant kicker in classic kung fu films. Tan has flashiness in his left leg, thus earning him the rightful nickname of “Flash Legs”. Coincidentally, Flash Legs was an alternate title for this very film. While Tan does use some crispy handwork at times, the film is clearly a showcase to show his impeccable kicking skills. What will astound fans is that Tan’s left leg serves as a machine gun, shooting out at least 5 times or he would do his trademark “hopping kick”, where he hops his right off and shoots off a mid-level to high kick with such accuracy.

The plot of the film is quite interesting as well. While it may seem basic, it is noteworthy that cast in the film as the Eight Dragons are some well-known villain actors. Lung Fei (known to Western audiences as Master Pain/Betty in the spoof Kung Pow! Enter the Fist, Tsai Hung, and Wang Chieh prove to be the biggest competition for Tan in the film. However, for Tan’s opening fight scene, I was a little impressed with Li Hsiao-Ming, who plays one of the first members of the gang to fall victim to Tan. Li does some nice kicking himself and had he gotten just a little more flexibility, it would have been quite a nice kicking duel.

Tan would use the very theme for this film and twist it up for his 1990 Hollywood B-movie Breathing Fire. Using bank keys stolen in a robbery and melting them down in a fake “pizza”, the item is split between robbers. Tan would use the pseudonym “Delon Tanners” and came up with both the story and served as executive producer. He would also train the two stars of the film, The Goonies’ Jonathan Ke Quan and Eddie Saavedra in taekwondo.

Shaolin Deadly Kicks is truly a highlight for Delon Tan as the superkicker shines in the film with some very good support from veteran Lo Lieh as the villain. Definitely worth seeing for Tan’s superior kicking skills.

WFG RATING: B

A Wah Tai Motion Picture Co. Ltd. Production. Director: Wu Ma. Producers: Kwan Sin and Tung Chen-Ching. Writer: Chu Hsiang-Kan. Cinematography: Liao Wan-Wen. Editing: Ko Tan-Hung.

Cast: Delon Tan, Lo Lieh, Wang Hsieh, Doris Lung, Kam Kong, Lo Ti, Tsai Hung, Ou-Yang Sha Fei, Wu Chia-Hsiang, Lung Fei, Chan Wai-Lau, Gam Sai-Yuk, Tsang Chiu, Chan Sam-Lam, Lee Siu-Ming.

Get Ready to “Live Evil” on Halloween on Amazon!

Next week, on Halloween, get ready to Live Evil, as seen in the trailer of the horror-comedy from Ari Kirschenbaum.

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In what is described as Ghostbusters meets Dawn of the Dead, a small college town police station is besieged by “Evil” on a sleepy Halloween night. Pete, the sheriff, and Hancock, his loyal deputy, are thrown into the middle of holy chess-game that could destroy the town, and possibly the world.

Vladimir KulichCharlene AmoiaVincent M. WarsJ. Richey NashKaren Wheeling Reynolds, and legendary horror actor Tony Todd star in the film.

Simian Tales will release Live Evil exclusively on Amazon this Halloween followed by other VOD platforms.

Big Match (2014)

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From the director of Bloody Tie comes a film that can be described as a Korean version of the WWE film 12 Rounds but switch a cop for a mixed martial arts champion and adding a twist that is vital to the story.

Choi Ik-Ho is a former professional soccer player whose antics have destroyed his career in that sport. However, he decides to use his skills in the world of mixed martial arts and under the tutelage of his older brother Young-Ho, Ik-Ho, known as the “Zombie”, becomes a well-known fighter in the UFC. He becomes the perfect person for Ace, an insane mastermind who has created a new game that would have Ik-Ho use his skills.

When Young-Ho disappears, Ik-Ho is suspected for the possibility of murder and is held in a jail cell. From that moment, Ik-Ho’s life is seriously about to change as he gets his first transmission from Ace, who has admitted he has kidnapped Young-Ho in order for the MMA champ to play his game, in which the entire city is now the gameboard and Young-Ho must go through a series of challenges, beginning with busting out of the police station, in order to rescue his brother. Will Ik-Ho be able to complete the challenges and rescue his brother? Or will Ace prove himself to be the ultimate “game master”?

Director Choi Ho is quite an interesting director. His style of filmmaking in terms of taking his time can be said to reminiscent of perhaps art house auteur Wong Kar-Wai. However, Choi brings a more brutal style of action and drama to his films when it is called for. For this, his fifth film, Choi brings a bit of comedy into the serious tone of the titular “big match” where our MMA champion goes through a series of challenges to save his brother. This may bring to mind the 2009 thriller 12 Rounds, in which John Cena’s cop had to complete a series of twelve challenges to rescue his wife.

Lee Jung-Jae really does a great job as our hero, showing himself as a very cocky fighter who thrives on the attention. It is that attention that makes him the perfect target for Ace, our lethal “game master”, played in such a comical fashion at times by Shin Ha-Kyun. As Ace, it is funny to see Shin thrive on the glory when he announces the challenges towards the rich bidders who must decide and bet if our hero will pass or fail the challenges.

Interestingly enough, K-Pop icon BoA makes her film debut as a woman who proves to be vital to this very important game that can determine the fate of Choi Young-Ho. A flaw comes in the form of the constantly nagging Mrs. Choi, Young-Ho’s wife, played by Ra Mi-Ran. She just comes off as annoying throughout the film with her constant nagging and screaming. While Shin Ha-Kyun plays a comical-style villain, Kim Eui-Sung’s detective brings comic relief in exactly a “bumbling detective” way.

The action scenes are nicely done by the team of Kim Gil-Dong, Kim Tae-Hwan-I, and Seo Wang-Seok. Lee Jung-Jae trained hard in mixed martial arts for his role and while his first two major action scenes are more of an evading type, one scene really stands out. As part of the game, he is forced into a maze of hallways and takes on a band of gangsters. This is where we see Jung-Jae at some of his best, using all sorts of MMA-style maneuvers from flying knee strikes to kicks to grappling. Jung-Jae even gets into a climactic bout with a supposed rival at the UFC organization as part of the game, played by Russian powerhouse actor and martial artist Vlad Demin.

The bottom line is that Big Match is definitely a fun action film with comic overtones. Lee Jung-Jae and Shin Ha-Kyun give wonderful performances as the rivals while the action scenes are nicely done. Definitely one to check out for fans of Korean action cinema.

WFG RATING: B

Opus Pictures presents a BK Films production. Director: Choi Ho. Producer: Shin Bo-Kyung. Writer: Roy Kim. Cinematography: Choi Min-Ho and Kim Sung-Chul. Editing: Shin Min-Kyung.

Cast: Lee Jung-Jae, Shin Ha-Kyun, Lee Sung-Min, BoA, Kim Eui-Sung, Park Doo-Sik, Ra Mi-Ran, Son Ho-Joon, Vlad Demin.

Acquitted (2017)

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A police officer learns the hard way never to overstep his authority in this short film from Keith Collins II.

What was a simple routine stop turned into a deadly incident for Officer Miller, who oversteps his authority and kills a couple. The incident has forced Miller to be suspended pending a full investigation and on top of that, Miller’s partner Silva seems to have lost respect for him due to his actions. Miller, convinced he was doing his job, returns home to await the decision and soon finds himself haunted by the ghosts of those he killed as well as other apparitions. Miller learns a harsh lesson about what can happen if you overstep your authority.

The film was made by Keith Collins II with the script co-written by Collins, Jerry Sur, Matt Rossman, and John Maslowski. Rossman’s Officer Miller is the focus of the film, as he oversteps his authority when his would-be victim admits that he has a permit to conceal but doesn’t have it on him. It is this action that triggers the events that will plague this embittered officer, who thinks he is doing his job while his partner has no respect for him due to his overstepping of being a police officer.

The special effects of the film are quite intriguing as we see Miller not only being haunted by the couple he murdered, but two very nasty looking demons, played by Ember Burns and Porche Robinson. The aftermath is quite intense in some ways and features an appearance from Collins.

As this month is one full of Halloween madness, Acquitted makes for a pretty good short film about what happens when a cop oversteps his authority and learns the hardest lesson of his life.

WFG RATING: B+

A III Digital Rock Studios Presentation. Director: Keith Collins II. Producers: Keith Collins II, Jerry Sur, India Perkins, and Ron George. Writers: Keith Collins II, Jerry Sur, John Maslowski, and Matt Rossman. Cinematography: Keith Collins II. Editing: Keith Collins II.

Cast: Matt Rossman, Jerry Sur, John Maslowski, Ember Burns, Porche Robinson, Sabrina McPherson, Finn Fiasko, John Maslowski.

Thanks to Jerry Sur for the heads up on the film. Check out the full short film below:

Rumble (2016)

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Gary Daniels returns to kicking major butt in this throwback to some of his earlier gems from the director of Misfire.

David Goran was once a champion mixed martial arts fighter until he lost a major fight in Reno, where he seriously injured his knee. Living in a hotel room for the past month in Mexico, he has had a relationship with Eva, a former escort whose pimp is after her because she killed a client and is now indebted to him. To make the money for the debt, David and Eva fix fights but it seems like Eva might have returned to her former profession as a way to make the debt be paid off quicker.

One night, an argument between the two leads David to go to an underground fight club and enjoy a night of drinks. The next day, David wakes up in the apartment of hotel worker Ramiro, who brought him the night before. Suddenly, his hotel room has been emptied and David finds himself framed for murder. Upon seeing Ramiro, a mystery person calls David, informing him that Eva has been kidnapped and David must fight and win to get her alive. Meanwhile, a federal agent has arrived and finds himself involved with David as they seem to have a common enemy, the one responsible for Eva’s kidnapping. Will they be able to work together to rescue Eva and bust the one responsible?

British action star Gary Daniels has really proven his merit not only with his martial arts films, but showcasing his acting talent in films that doesn’t really require him to use his fighting skills. This helps bring a sense of versatility for his career and with his latest collaboration with R. Ellis Frazier, Daniels gets to bring both his acting chops and martial arts skills to good use.

As the embittered David, Daniels plays truly a tortured soul who just can’t get a break. A once champion fighter, a debilitating knee injury from a major fight has put him down and out. On top of that, he must help his girlfriend pay off a debt to her ex-boyfriend. Sissi Fleitas makes the most of her screen time as David’s girlfriend Eva, who proves that looks aren’t everything as she has the acting chops to play off quite well with Daniels. It may seem like the film has sometimes a “telenovela” vibe, but it fits well here.

Misfire co-star Luis Gatica does well as Agent Fonseca, who is there to do his job and ultimately becomes a reliable ally to David in his time of need while Fabian Lopez makes good use of his role of Ramiro, a hotel worker who introduces David to the underground fight club, but only for kicks. It is when David’s world is turned upside down that Ramiro helps out David when needed. Eddie Fernandez goes a bit over the top as Rampage, the pimp ex-boyfriend of Eva who comes to town when he learns that they are there and only wants one thing: his money. Justin Nesbitt provides some comic relief as Rampage’s cohort Marty, with some funny one-liners at times.

Daniels not only stars in the film, but served as co-producer, second unit director, and fight choreographer. The fight sequences were choreographed by Daniels and Marco Morales and they brought a bit of a throwback to some of Daniels’ action flicks during the 90’s heyday of the home video market. Daniels gets to use some of his trademark kicks and chain punching while also adding grappling moves seem in mixed martial arts today. While the fights may not be on the level of a Scott Adkins today, those who have enjoyed Daniels’ earlier work may just enjoy the action here.

Rumble is actually a pretty good throwback action film that makes great use of Gary Daniels’ acting and action skills once again, with some really good supporting performances, and somewhat jaw-dropping end to the film.

WFG RATING: B

Hannibal Pictures presents a Badhouse Studios (Mexico) production. Director: R. Ellis Frazier. Producers: R. Ellis Frazier, Arturo Jimenez, and Marty Murray. Writer: Benjamin Budd. Cinematography: Jorge Roman. Editing: Badhouse Post.

Cast: Gary Daniels, Sissi Fleitas, Eddie J. Fernandez, Fabian Lopez, Justin Nesbitt, John Solis, Pedro Rodman, Luis Raul Alcocer.

Yen and Lau Go Bad in “Chasing” Teaser

Get ready to see action hero Donnie Yen in a whole new light in the upcoming true story-inspired Chasing the Dragon.

Yen plays “Crippled” Ho, a Mainland China-based immigrant who arrives in 1963 Hong Kong and rises through the ranks to become a notorious drug lord, with a corrupt police officer named Lee Rock joining him.

Playing the role of Lee Rock is the legendary Andy Lau, who actually played the character in a 2-part film series from director Lawrence Lau in 1991.

Jason Kwan and Wong Jing directed this film with Wong writing the screenplay. Co-starring are Kent Cheng, Philip Keung, Wilfred Lau, and Michelle Hu.

Well Go USA has acquired the North American rights while a release date for Hong Kong is set for this Fall.

Bonejangles (2017)

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A meshing of intentional comedy and some classic horror clichés make up this latest thriller from director Brett DeJager.

A small town has been rocked by the murders committed by the unstoppable killer known as Bonejangles, who is disfigured and wears a skull mask. In a last-ditch effort to stop the killer, the miniscule police force learns of his location and in the midst lose another member of their force. However, using a specialized taser gun, the police force, made up of rookies Doug and Randy, and veteran Lisa, finally have stopped Bonejangles.

The trio of cops, along with another rookie, Larumba, are to transport Bonejangles to meet with another transport unit in the small town of Argento. Argento is Doug’s childhood home and ten years ago, he left town and is wary of returning due to his past. However, when Doug learns today is April 18, the town falls under a curse, where zombies take over the town for a night of carnage, forcing an upcoming wedding party to stay in the local recreation center. Randy finds himself kidnapped by the one responsible for the curse, Doug and Lisa get to the rec center where Doug learns the bride is his old sweetheart Sally, who is marrying the arrogant bully and supposed town hero Clint. However, trouble is brewing when Bonejangles himself is released!

Director Brett DeJager and writer Keith Melcher brings nearly everything but the kitchen sink in this intentional comedy-horror film that overdrives some of the conventions seen in horror films as well as brings some overdosing of hilarity that actually runs smoothly within its 78-minute running time.

The film combines many subplots that looks to have influences from the likes of The Purge with slashers like Friday the 13th and yet while some fans will be turned off by its intentional comedy, it’s actually quite fun because once you notice the convention, you wonder how it will be executed. In the titular role is actually writer Melcher himself, who brings a bit of Jason Voorhees and Leatherface mixed in with Mortal Kombat character Shao Kahn with his intricate look, picking off everyone in sight from unsuspecting campers (big surprise) to the zombies that plague the town. Phantasm series star Reggie Bannister comes in flashbacks as the killer’s father, who comes off a bit like Drayton Sawyer in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 when he tells his son to protect the “wee winkie”, which you can guess what that indicates.

Kelly Misek Jr.’s Doug is the typical former high school nerd who must somehow become a hero but finds himself scared yet still holds a flame for high school sweetheart Sally, played by Julia Cavanaugh. Devin Toft’s Clint has to be the most annoying stereotypical redneck this side of the woods, taking all the credit for the town’s heroics even when it was from bullying Doug as seen in a flashback. Elissa Donovan plays Rowena, the town’s succubus whose curse comes once a year, causing zombies to plague the town of Argento, which if you haven’t guessed by now, is named after famed Italian horror filmmaker Dario Argento.  Look out for a cameo from the director himself as a camping victim of our titular killer.

Bonejangles may not be everyone’s cup of team, but it’s such a fun ride that meshes typical horror conventions with intentional comedy that this is one killer I would love to see in a follow up.

WFG RATING: B

Wild Eye Releasing presents a Labyrinth Films/Mystery Library Production. Director: Brett DeJager. Producers: Zeke Hanson and Brett DeJager. Writer: Keith Melcher. Cinematography: Shaun O’Connell. Editing: Shaun O’Connell, Noelle Hanson.

Cast: Kelly Misek Jr., Julia Cavanaugh, Jamie Scott Gordon, Hannah Richter, Lawrence Wayne Curry, Devin Toft, Elissa Downing, Keith Melcher, Reggie Bannister.