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Ted V. Mikels
John P. Baniqued,
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Ted V. Mikels
Junkman and movie-maker Harlan Hollis struggles to stay alive when a jealous partner in his company hires goons to kill him. Full of amazing car chases, fantastic crashes, and edge-of-your-seat action.
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It's a martial arts film made by Ted Mikels...need I say more?!
It's too bad that IMDb does not allow single sentence reviews. After all, anyone who is remotely familiar with the work of schlock auteur Ted Mikels will know that if he's the one making a particular film, it is guaranteed to be horrible and that could be summed up very easily. It's just a given...trust me on this. He is a bottom of the barrel producer, editor and director and has no pretensions of being an artist--he just makes really, really, really cheap films. No need to do re-writes or re-takes--just make it fast and get it in the theaters or on DVD even faster seems to be his mantra!
The first thing I noticed about this film is that although it's relatively new, the print was rather grainy. Is this because the camera equipment was that cheap or did Mikels keep the print in his garage?! The second thing I noticed was that although the film has a copyright date of 1991, the clothes, music, fashions and cars look like they were much older. Did this film sit on the shelf for a decade before being released? It looked so early to mid-1980s (you gotta love those mullets). The garage theory is starting to look even more plausible. Plus, when I checked out Tiger Yang's web site, it said he stopped making films about 1980--lending further credence to my contention that the film was held for many years before its 1991 release.
The film itself is about a group of arms merchants wanting to sell guns, nuclear detonators and other bad stuff to crazed revolutionaries. However, Tiger Yang comes out of retirement to stop them. I'm really not sure who this man is, but the old overweight guys playing the baddies seemed afraid of him. I thought at first he was a dietitian and personal trainer (now THAT would have really scared them), but it turns out he's a combination martial arts expert and government agent! However, given the looks of the baddies, I really didn't think they needed to bother with Yang...I mean, how hard could it have been to take out THESE guys?! I kind of think the film could have just as well been called "Attack of the Paunchy Middle-aged Accountants".
By the way, since I am pointing out how most of the bad guys look nothing like bad guys or even actors, I'm going to say something that may sound very mean--but it's very true. Many of the 'sexy ladies' in this film are about as un-sexy (and sometimes quite old) as you can find in films--even low-budget ones. It looks as if either Mikels had a hard time finding actors or he just let all his friends appear in the film--or both.
So does this dumb film have anything going for it? Well, Tiger Yang is clearly an accomplished martial arts master and he did seem to know his stuff (something that CAN'T be said of some of Mikels martial arts stars from other films). While he doesn't have a lot of charisma, he seems like he's pretty good with his kicks and other moves...though, of course, against REAL baddies this shouldn't matter even if you suspend disbelief. That's because arms merchants who never use guns or other weapons is a bit of a tough sell!
Overall, the film is exactly what you'd expect from Ted Mikels and sadly not one bit more! For bad movie fans, it's a must-see. Others...beware. Also beware if you see it, as there is a reasonably high amount of nudity...so you might not want to show this film to your mother or priest.
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