"I take orders from the Octoboss."

Posts Tagged ‘Paul Hertzog’

The Last Kumite

Tuesday, June 18th, 2024

THE LAST KUMITE is a movie designed for a very specific demographic some of you may be familiar with. It’s a throwback to ‘90s tournament fighting movies, its cast is heavily populated with venerated icons of the genre, and they even managed to get a score by Paul Hertzog (BLOODSPORT, KICKBOXER), his first since 1991’s BREATHING FIRE. Best of all it features two new songs by the king of montage rock, Stan Bush (if you’re not familiar he did multiple songs on KICKBOXER and BLOODSPORT and “The Touch” from TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE).

Knowing all that, and that it was partly funded with Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, you could reasonably expect it to be directed by some young fanboy, but in fact it’s from someone who’s been in the trenches of legit DTV martial arts movies since the ‘90s. Ross W. Clarkson got his start doing cinematography for Ringo Lam (he’s worked with him on five movies) and he did Dolph Lundgren’s THE MECHANIK, Isaac Florentine’s UNDISPUTED II and III and NINJA I and II, and Michael Jai White’s NEVER BACK DOWN: NO SURRENDER. So he knows what he’s doing.
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Breathing Fire

Friday, April 1st, 2022

“Listen, Annie’s parents were killed for a piece of plastic pizza. I want you guys to just stay home and not get hurt.”


If you’re like me, you’re very excited for Michelle Yeoh’s new movie EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE, which is in a platform release right now in the U.S. (I’m gonna see it tomorrow, some cities are getting it next Friday). And if you know about that movie you may also know it co-stars Ke Huy Quan, formerly known as Jonathan Ke Quan. He’s a superstar to anyone who was a kid in the ’80s, because he played Short Round in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and Data in THE GOONIES. But after that he worked more sporadically than he wanted. He’s American, born in Vietnam, but he did a few movies in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong, while his most prominent Hollywood roles were a season of Head of the Class and a small part in ENCINO MAN.

He left the business in the early 2000s, but the success of CRAZY RICH ASIANS inspired him to try again, and right away he got to play Michelle Yeoh’s husband! Good for him. His return inspired me to finally check out a movie I’d been curious about for years, BREATHING FIRE (1991), because it’s his only previous English language martial arts movie, and very much the kind of chintzy low budget b-movie I enjoy. Atrocious dialogue and acting, convoluted-to-nonsensical story, but lots of laughs, training montages and pretty cool Hong Kong style fights. A fun time. To give you an idea, the DVD I rented was a double feature with a dubbed Bruce Li vehicle called EDGE OF FURY, and the cover pretends like Bolo Yeung (who plays one of the bad guys and is credited as “Bolo Young”) is the star. (read the rest of this shit…)