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Another Ng See Yuen produced Seasonal production (his production company) that puts a Western cast in basically a Hong Kong style action film. Its low budget attempts an epic quite successfully. Loren Avedon stars as an American in trouble in Thailand eventually waging a small war against some Russians to get his girlfriend back.
Loren Avedons first starring role. He performs all the martial arts really well and these Seasonal films have given him a cult following around the world. Review after review will tell you this guy is a great performer. His acting is likable but his martial arts is among the best on screen from a westerner. Like all the other reviews I believe its a shame he never went to Hong Kong to make films but at least people continue to give him credit. One of the best screen fighters I have seen.
Cynthia Rothrock gets in the story as a cocky chopper pilot and has some great martial arts scenes of her own. She did go to Hong Kong and made some pictures there. Yes Madam is a classic film that was also directed by Corey Yuen.
Matthias Hughes stars as the Bad-ass Russian who apparently learned to fight for the screen during the films production. They kept his choreography to late in the shoot and I couldn't tell this was a first for him. It really is quite good. Having the end fight scene against Loren Avedon is enough of a physical spectacle. Hughes went on to appear in Hollywood films.
The other supporting player is Max Thayer a wheeling dealing Viet Nam vet. He ads some actual acting to the mix and performs some action of his own. I don't think he is a martial artist but they give him some moments to perform less demanding violence like burning faces with his cigar or throwing snakes! He also drinks snake blood which is shot in a single tracking shot from the snakes drained gizards to it being drunk out of a shot glass.
Its a cool picture in the greatest Hong Kong/American crossover series ever made. Its complete trash and enjoyable all the way. I don't know how these cheap films get away with their comedy but all three films in the series have some great goofy moments. They have tried to pack quite a lot into this film for the budget.
The films director, martial arts choreographer is Corey Yuen and the action scenes are pretty top- notch. There is a high impact quality to all the blows. Lots of flips and spirals to the ground. Very much in the Hong Kong style, the set pieces are quite creative. Not over edited. The choreography is really enjoyable to watch with multiple attackers at times. I think the evening fight at the open air market/eatery is the best. There could have been a little more fighting in the film but what there is doesn't disappoint.
The transfer I have isn't the best print and the audio was probably never great on this picture but if you are familiar with this genre, like chop-socky films from Hong Kong and American kick-boxing strait to video titles it's going to be up your ally. The production is fascinating. Such a multicultural cast and crew on a limited budget. The cheesiest story and most blatant use of Russian bad guys except for the first film topped off with expert martial arts choreography.
I think these Seasonal pictures, produced by Ng See Yuen are great. They are rough and cheap but they deliver the goods.
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