The Black Dragon's revenge (1975)

Director: Chin Ku Lu
Actors: Ron Van Clief, Charles Bonet, Phillip Ko

The Black Dragon’s Revenge aka Death of Bruce Lee was one of many movies that surfaced after the sudden death of Bruce Lee on July 20th, 1973. A new genre of martial arts film would soon be born known as “Brucesploitation” in an attempt to grab box office sales with anything linked to the name Bruce lee. Yes, it seems sleazy & yes, the Hong Kong film industry wanted to leech on this for obvious reasons. They seized the opportunity to quench the thirst of fans with the fascination of the man, the myth, the legend of the diminuitive one. The production of some of these movies are quite frankenstein-esque, but it’s the formula of train wrecks in film that when it’s so bad, it makes it so good! This movie does NOT recreate a clone of Bruce Lee, but instead tells a tale of the speculation of the Little Dragon’s death. The Black Dragon, a hired gun from the USA is recruited to try and piece the puzzle together of who, what, why, & how Bruce died. He tag teams and karate kicks with another compatriot played by Charles Bonet. Upon the Black Dragon’s investigations in Hong Kong, he runs into a myriad of obstacles that hinders his search.
The Black Dragon character is played by the real life BLACK DRAGON himself, New York martial arts legend, RON VAN CLIEF. Bruce Lee had dubbed Van Clief as the Black Dragon upon their encounters in the late 60’s! Grandmaster Clief has been a big proponent of Goju-Ryu Karate in NYC since the 1960’s. He studied with the grandfather of NYC martial arts, Moses Powell as well as other famous teachers like Peter Urban & Wing Chun’s Leung Ting. He went on to develop his own hybrid style of fighting called Chinese Goju. Hanshi Charles Bonet who plays the Black Dragon’s sidekick in the film is also another big force in the NYC martial arts scene since the 1960’s. Bonet is of puerto rican descent and spent his time in the Bronx and Spanish Harlem. He was known as the “White Dragon” in the martial arts world. It seemed like the NYC martial arts community developed alot of badass mofos in the 1960’s-1980’s! The drug infested streets, poverty, grit, grime & crime of NYC helped bred a generation of tough, no nonsense individuals. Another common denominator with these two NYC fighting legends is that they both served in the military. Van Clief & Bonet are militiary & NYC street combat approved!
The martial arts action by these two in the film are fast & furious! I can tell you it’s raw with no special effects of any sorts. It’s the pure action of whoopass from these urban artists which manifests itself through the extension of their hands & feet whole heartedly without being tampered with from technology that makes these movies such a gem! Go check this film out in your nearest grindhouse theatre…or bootleg enclave!
The Black Dragon, Ron Van Clief , although relocated to the Virgin Islands, still has a New York state of mind. He conducts seminars & runs classes on the weekend on the beach!
The White Dragon, Hanshi Charles Bonet no longer resides in New York, but the nuyorican in him & his voice can never be denied. He has been teaching his Shorin-Kai International system in Arizona for at least a decade now.

John Leguizamo at Best Buy Union Square


John Leguizamo did an instore interview & CD signing at Best Buy Union Square with a host from urban latin radio to discuss his one man broadway act, “Ghetto Klown”. He was also there to promote his new music CD, JOHN LEGUIZAMO Ghetto Klown – MUSIC FROM MY HOOD which is a compilation of latin songs that he & his family grew up listening to. Some of the artists include Willie Colon, La Lupe, Celia Cruz, Fania All Stars, & Ray Barretto. A strong latin contingency showed up at this event or should I say ALL latin crowd besides this one martian in attendance with his C-Town converse all star stance ready to pay homage to this multi-talented NYC product! Leguizamo walked out & gave a big shoutout to all the NUYORICANS in the house before the commencements of small talk began!
I haven’t seen Ghetto Klown on broadway yet, but I have seen two of his other one person acts on broadway, FREAK & SEX-A-HOLIC! His one man broadway show renderings are too, freaking hilarious! All his shows on stage are reenacted stories from his childhood growing up in new york city with his colombian-puerto rican family which provides such a colourful palette of paint on a solid canvas that leads to noodles of laughter! Reading the brief synopsis of Ghetto Klown reveals that this latest project melds all the stories together from the 1960’s in NYC to the current times. The critics say Leguizamo’s impressions of Kurt Russell, Patrick Swayze, & Robert Deniro are spot on! I could almost start cackling & pig snorting thinking about his delivery of these impressions! I can’t wait to check it out before the broadway show closes in July. My favorite films of John Leguizamo includes Hangin with the Homeboys (Johnny), To Wong Foo (chichi), Carlito’s Way (Benny Blanco from the Bronx), Undefeated, & Empire! Leguizamo also made some drug lord cameos on MIAMI VICE! Now, that’s original gangster boogie! Also, do you guys remember a variety comedy show on Fox in the mid 90’s called HOUSE OF BUGGIN’ ?! Leguizamo rocked that jam as well. Man, IN LIVING COLOR and HOUSE OF BUGGIN’ ! Now, these 2 shows describe the 90’s to a tee in my book! It’s blazin hip hop, comedy, & R&B ! Homey don’t play dat! Throw in some grunge music & we’ll have a quadruple threat!

olek's crochet art: a tribute to banksy's balloon girl

Outside of the christopher henry gallery building 127 Elizabeth Street



Muhammad and Larry : ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series


Directed by Albert Maysles and Bradley Kaplan

ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series showed a cool film targeted at hurt fans & boxing historians alike called MUHAMMAD AND LARRY which chronicled the behind the scenes footage and training sessions leading to the boxing match on October 2, 1980 between the old lion, Muhammad Ali & the new tiger in the ring with the heavyweight title, the Easton Assassin, Larry Holmes. Larry served as a sparring partner in Ali’s younger days and they were very good friends to boot. Most believed that this fight should have never happened as a dilapidated Ali showed signs of father time & other neurological signs of impediment. But, who can deny the former champ if he wants to step in the ring for a cool 8 million? As far as Ali was concerned, the mirror told him that he still looked pretty as he gazed & asked the reflection of himself, who’s the fairest of them all? He felt like he could still pull a rabbit out of the hat & find a way to beat the Easton Assassin.

Here are some pretty interesting quotes from some of Ali confidants and other guests that were in the film including Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, trainer Angelo Dundee,assistant trainer Wali Muhammad, the wife of Larry Holmes, boxing historian Bert Sugar, & the famous cartoonist-writer for the Daily News, Bill Gallo.

Dr. Pacheco: “All the people involved in this fight should of been arrested. This fight was an abomination, a crime.”

Bill Gallo (Daily news cartoonist & writer): “There was no heart in it. All it was, was a glorious man slowly getting chopped down like a big tree.”

Howard Cosell: “Ali is learning that even he cannot be…forever young.”

Larry Holmes: “A lady came up to me and said Hi, I hate you”, Larry asked why? She said because you beat up Muhammad Ali.

Wali Muhammad: “Angelo Dundee had noticed that Ali’s speech & movements had been slower”.

Mrs. Holmes: “Nobody ever talks about Larry Holmes. Look how long it took before this story came out. Larry was always thought of as a shadow of Ali, & not a successor.” “A couple of times, Larry wanted them to stop the fight in the ring because they were friends, close friends.”

Bert Sugar (after the Ali vs Holmes fight): “Ali ran out of miracles. He was a man magician that wasn’t. He had a job but didn’t”

Angelo Dundee: “Ali says the mirror tells him that he’s got a chance, who’s the fairest of them all.”

The consensus was that Ali’s camp, Holmes’ camp, & boxing experts all knew that Ali showed signs of wear & tear, neurological damage, & weight gain. His punch output had slowed down tremendously, & he was going into the ring with the Champ, the Easton Assassin, a far less traveled warrior with lots of pep in his step, & an excruciating stinging jab as a firearm. Holmes knew that it was a lose-lose situation. If he knocked out & beatup the legendary champ, he was supposed to. But if he lost, that would of been devastating. Although, the odds were severly against that outcome. Larry Holmes did not take this fight lightly as Ali is still Ali. This was still his biggest fight yet that would earn him a cool 8 million in 1980. I guess Muhammad Ali was still very confident with his victorious rematch 2 years earlier on 9/15/1978 against Leon Spinks. I’m also very sure, the 8 million he was offered to fight the Easton Assassin didn’t hurt, either.

Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, the fight doctor for Ali, was totally against Ali fighting after the Thrilla’ in Manila with Joe Frazier. Pacheco witnessed training techniques from Ali in the Holmes preparation including taking blows on the side of his body to toughen it up. Pacheco responded, “you can’t toughen up the kidney’s”. After the Holmes massacre on Ali, a reporter asked Pacheco: Were there any questions on why Ali fell apart? The doctor responded: “Ali was talking slower, mumbling his speech, walking slower, & punching less. He can see him falling apart and if he keeps on fighting, he’s going straight to the grave. Pacheco said that after the Thrilla’ in Manila fight, Ali was mumbling his speech.” In July of of 1980 before the fight, Muhammad Ali checked himself into the Mayo clinic for a full report on a renal & neurological exam as stated by the boxing commission. After the exams, the report showed that Ali had a slight degree of missing the target when touching his finger to his nose. It was also reported that he showed signs of short term memory loss. This of course wasn’t made public at the time while the boxing commission continued on with the fight.

No need for me to regurgitate the fight results between Ali vs Holmes in Las Vegas on October 2nd, 1980. All you need to know is that Ali was bruised & battered while Holmes looked pretty like a beast from the Serengeti. Holmes wanted the referee to stop the fight because it was a total abomination & domination for 10 rounds. Angelo Dundee finally stopped the fight after the 10th round in mercy of his wounded warrior who probably could of continued to finish the fight like a zombie.

Some cool tidbits from this film that I didn’t know beforehand was that Muhammad Ali loved to perform card tricks and magic. He performed the take a bite off of the quarter trick & spit it back to recreate a full coin! I’ve seen David Blaine do this trick once before! He definitely was a master of illusion & the slight of hand! In hindsight, this makes total sense! Fast hands & quick movements! Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee!

Ali’s quote from the movie: “I’m the master of illusion. Ali is my name, but magic is my game!” Another fun quote from him in the documentary: “Aint’t I pretty..since I’ve grown my mustache, you can call me Dark Gable.”

Larry Holmes seemed like a very dignified heavyweight champ who had an amazing career. He never did rise from the shadows of ali, but proved to be a very fitting successor in taking the heavyweight champ baton from the legend himself. I feel he is one of the most underrated champions of all time. Even Mike Tyson admitted on the “CenterStage” show with Michael Kay on the YES network that had it been the younger Larry Holmes that Tyson fought in the ring, Tyson would of had some trouble with the size, savviness, ring generalship, & jab of the Easton Assassin! A few funny scenes of Larry Holmes from the documentary included him driving in his pimpin’ car, putting in a music cassette in the stereo, & singing to a Kool & a gang “ladies night” instrumental with modified Holmes lyrics! Seconds later, he would then call his wife in some spaceship looking brick shaped mobile phone in the car to warn her that he’s got 3 car loads of the film crew about to invade the house! Ironically, at the end of the movie, 30 years later, a new millenium edition of Larry Holmes came on the screen while driving his pimpin’ car, a little puffier in the face wearing glasses while talking to his wife on his cell phone via bluetooth! The Easton Assassin seems to be at peace with himself & enjoying life to the fullest with his family in Easton, Pennsylvania! Live it up champ! It’s really nice to hear a happy ending in a tale of a professional hurt man! Fairy tale endings for boxers usually don’t go hand in hand.

Darlings played Kim's Video and Music


On March 15, Darlings released their new EP and played a local video and music store in New York City. The band set up shop in front of the blaxploitation, giallo and porno shelves and played catchy pop-punk songs that reminded me of old Sebadoh and Pavement tunes, but with female vocals thrown in the mix. Darlings is made up of four friends who met during their college years at NYU and started playing together in 2007. Peter Rynsky (guitar and vocals), Maura Lynch (guitars and vocals), Joe Tirabassi (bass) and Matt Solomon (drums) played a bunch of upbeat garage-pop tunes to a crowd of people wedged between the used CDs and vinyl racks. They played a decent amount of tunes: a couple from their new EP titled “Warma” on Famous Class Records which they recorded last year and newer songs too. I believe this was the first in-store performance at Kim’s Video and Music since their move to 124 1st Ave. and it was definitely a nice one and hopefully there will be more to come. Darlings have a couple shows coming up in the near future: March 25 The Record Release Show with So So Glos, Snakes Say Hiss, Sundelles and Teen Witch at 285 Kent Ave. in Brooklyn 7 p.m. ($7) and April 12 at Glasslands 289 Kent Ave. in Brooklyn 8:30 p.m. ($8 adv) with Surf City, Lingering Doubts and Little Racer.



The 13 Steps of Maki (1975)

Directed by: Makoto Naitô (1975)
Starring: Etsuko Shihomi as Maki
Tatsuya Nanjo as Tetsuya Eto
Hiroshi Nawa as Ryunosuke Daimon, the Yakuza Boss

After further analysis, Cynthia Rothrock & Angela Mao might have some serious competition as the reigning belt holder of being the most revered onscreen kickass chick! Etsuko Shihomi, who is better known for her Sister Street Fighter roles with Sonny Chiba plays Maki, a leader of the stray cats gang! She is the mother hen that nurtures her runaway, outlaw sister chicks. She teaches the stray cat members her deadly form of karate in order to protect themselves from the doggy dog world of rival switchblade sister gangs in the classic sense & one that is in disguise of a corporate entity. The opening scene of the movie involves a pair of tortured & bruised up stray cat members who are tied flat on their backs on the railroad tracks waiting for some fresh skidmarks. Maki suddenly appears on the scene with a white overcoat, her number 13 black top, & her red gloves to whip some urban ass with her powerful & rhythmic flow of karate while performing some amazing spinning back kicks, jumping front, side, hook, & crescent kicks, rabbid school of hard knock punches, & some aikido like throws! Beautiful & deadly, Maki shows the thugs what’s up! The opening soundtrack & theme song of the film got me real psyched up to do a few ki-yaa’s myself & take a some swigs of sake at the same time!
Despite the Stray Cat Gang’s badass reputation, other rivals most notably Takako, a daughter of a tycoon business owner of Ebihara Tourism challenges Maki & her crew. Ebihara hires a tight fisted, street fighting karate expert named Eto to go toe to toe, mano y mano, man vs woman with number 13! Another interesting scene in the movie involves a woman getting stripped down against her will while a traditional japanese tattoo done the old school method was being freshly laid upon her! The two rival parties go back and forth with each other when a Yakuza clan comes in swift like an eagle to eat up the Ebihara Tourism empire and their lucrative business of their Geishas of Sukiyaki in which they planned to open up branches in New York & L.A. .
Meanwhile, Maki has family issues of her own while pondering on the whereabouts of her long lost brother played by Sonny chiba(brief cameo appearance) who hasn’t returned from L.A. yet. The Yakuza clan uses false information of the whereabouts of Maki’s brother to lure the other stray cat members in to kidnap them. Their ultimate goal is to drug up the stray cats, & the geisha girls of Ebihara, sex them up & then sell them overseas to the underworld. Maki also gets the hook, line, & sinker as she gets framed for robbery & intrusion when she tries to save the ladies! Off to jail she goes! The ginga gang catches up to Maki in prison & some cat fighting is definitely on the menu! In the end, # 13 will find her way out & collaborate with whoever’s left with Ebihara Tourism in order to eradicate the Yakuza! Some serious single & double nunchaku fare will be offered by Maki on her quest of vengeance, you can believe that!
If you want some no nonsense old school karate served up by a cute but deadly chick, check this joint out! I could picture 13 Steps of Maki selling out to grindhouse crowds at 42nd street/Times Square in the 1970’s! In my martian opinion, the 13 Steps of Maki is Etsuko Shihomi’s best film! Better than the Sister Streetfighter series & Dragon Princess, fo sho! Grab a bag of dried octopus, some pocky chocolates, & some mochi and enjoy the hell outta’ the MAKI! Just be sure that junior isn’t around because flashing tities and rebel yells have been known to make some cameo appearances in this jam! Thanks to grandmaster HAZ from Kung Fu Cinema for providing a remastered AND 1st ever english subbed copy of this classic!

Note: This review is in conjunction with the Japanese Cinema Blogathon to help aid the recent natural disasters in Japan, hosted by JapanCinema and CinemaFanatic.


courtesy of kkamagi on Youtube

THE FOUL KING (2000)


Director: Jee Woon Kim
Actors: Sang Myeong Park,Kang Ho Song,Ho Kyung Go
Korean comedy,drama: wrestling

It’s been hella fun participating in writing about K-inspired films in conjunction with the Korean Blogathon 2011 from March 7-13th! I’m still discovering about Korean films new & old everyday and this blogathon is a great hitlist for me to explore after the smoke clears! It’s nice sidestepping away from my usual Hong Kong fare!

Generation X slackers, let me hear you say Dae HO-ooo! Tell me if you’ve ever hated your pencil pushing job while dressed in that penguin suit, despised your boss, or disappointed your parents because you still act like a child, but you have this deep passion for…professional wrestling?! This movie is based on all of the above told in a comedic clothesline undertone that will grab you by a fistful of hair, ram you into the turnbuckle, & pile drive you into oblivion!
Im Dae Ho(Kang Ho Song) plays a bank clerk who struggles with his office space job, is late for work everyday, & hates his boss who tries to instill fear into him by clamping him in a headlock that he cannot escape from to insinuate that this is the real world, & that only the tough survive. My man is disillusioned with life as he slacks away. Dae-Ho’s light bulb turns on when he sees an ad for Jang’s Pro Wrestling gym! He races to the gym to pledge his allegiance & finds out that the coach is one of his favorite wrestling idols of yesteryear, The ULTRA TIGER MASK with the famed ultrapower boom boom aka ultra tiger power bang as his signature fatality move! Ho professes his love for wrestling by mentioning old school wrestlers with their famed move, but the ULTRA TIGER thinks that he is a flake, & pushes him to the curb stating that this is not gym that any Wang Kang Bulgogi can walk into and train like in a Tae Kwan Do studio. Dae-Ho begs him to at least show him how to breakout of a headlock & the master/minister/mister(comedy from movie) obliges. The secret technique ends up to be…tickling! He goes home & has a nice intimate dream of being a wrestler in his elvis uniform adorned in all the ruffles & embedded crystal gems as he kicks the crap out of his boss in the ring! Life continues at the office space as he continues to be late, & the boss continues to scold & scoff! The boss attempts the headlock move on him again, but the tickle technique is applied which broke the stronghold! The Ho is on top of the world! His luck will further continue as the master from Jang’s Gym calls him to ask if he is interested in training in wrestling to specialize in the “cheating move”. The cheating technique is one when the wrestler uses props “illegally” in a match which of course, is all staged. Im Dae Ho is in heaven as his not so Ultimate Warrior training is underway! The Ultra Tiger’s daughter, Min Young whips the little kimchi in shape! Im’s character is to be named the “Foul King” & he is decorated in a face mask! He learns various props like a wooden fork painted in silver to look like stainless steel, slippers, white powder, & a two fingered thrust that would frighten Moe, Larry, & curly! The daughter shows him proper techniques of the back drop, & other leg maneuvers that could even turn the Iron Sheik into a kebab! Dae Ho is a training machine as he studies wrestling moves from tapes of Stone Cold Steve Austin vs the Undertaker! He finds himself using the straphangers on the city subway as training devices! With these new found skills especially when he wears his face mask, he finds solidarity, enthusiasm, confidence, & strength! The mask symbolizes a new life with no fear, but he is crippled because he heavily relies on physically wearing the mask in order to manifest these feelings. A few scenes from the film which show him with this persona include the skit with the young punks, his father, & his confession to a girl that he likes at work. The attachment to this face mask will soon be challenged when he is signed up for a tag team match with some scary, talented mothersuckers! It’s the FOUL KING-ASURA X & the HUMAN KONG-KING KONG vs the SULTAN OF STRENGTH- No Ji Shim & the “Best in technical wrestling”, YUBIHO ! You will see some serious flying dropkicks, backward somersaults off the top turnbuckle, suplexes, backdrops, a move called the firebomb, & bodyslams that will make your ancestors feel the pain! There will be a skirmish that would be developed outside the ring that involves chairs, barricades, a bell, a stick, & other immovable objects that look painful! The guest referee of this tag team duel was the lead actor from The City of Violence, Doo Hong Jung! References of Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, & Julia Roberts are even thrown in the match! The “Requiem in the Ring” would incite a revelation to Im Dae Ho aka the Foul King! The final scene in the movie involves the Ho man & his boss!
Funny flick, y’all which is worth a Hulk Hogan leg drop! I’ll give it a dropkick and a half myself!

CHAMPION (2002)


Director: Kyung Taek Kwak
Actors: oh-seong yu, Min-seo chae, seung-won yun
Genre: Sports; boxing based on a true story

CHAMPION is based on the tragic life story of Deuk-Gu Kim, an impoverished south korean boy who struggles through hardships of day to day life to eventually blossom into a refreshing young adult with positive traits of perseverance, honor, loyalty, heart, & courage. Champion is the familiar story of Korea’s number one son, & most prized boxer in their nation who lost his life in the boxing ring to WBA Lightweight champion, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini on November 13, 1982 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Kim’s biography starts off like a real life korean Rocky, but unfortunately the ending is heartbreaking.
The movie begins with a re-enactment of Kim & Boom Boom Mancini in the outdoor ring of Caesar’s Palace on that fatal day. The opening bell rings & the two pugilists clash with a synchronized trading of blows of the right cross variety that met each others head at the same time. The moving image freezes at this point & the story segues into Kim as a young boy. The film concentrates on Deuk Gu Kim as a young boy hustling in the streets to make a buck whether it’s using his charm for free transportation to selling books to giving blood for cash. His military order is based on only the strong survive & his astonishing skill to absorb punishment(mentally & physically) without flinching was his specialty which in the end proved to be his downfall. Gang beatings, & adolescent physical confrontations were endured by Kim as his tolerance for pain seemed to be at an all time high. His second new chance in life surfaced when he was introduced to the Dong Ah Boxing club. The boxing club’s trainer would soon find out that he had the strength of a bull & the heart of a lion when training in the gym. Kim would spar in the ring with far more talented boxers in the club & got a royal beatdown, face bloodied & all, but he would always maintain his composure & be coherent. The trainer would provide much discipline & focus for him as he respected the coach like a father figure. Kim would work his way up from the lower ranks of the gym while maintaining a job at the steel/iron factory. The trainer’s motivational speeches to his boxing warriors & favorite quotes from the movie always entailed the definition of being a REAL champion which includes:

“Be the best that you can be in whatever you do.”
“Every profession is equally honorable.”
“Being a champion is a state of mind.”
“This is a mark of a true champion.”
“Boxing is a fight against yourself!”

Kim rose to the top & earned much respect from other boxing clubs in South Korea. Competing gyms even started paying him to fight their top prospects. He would earn extra money if he could withstand the punishment from these foes. Fight after fight, Deuk Gu would remain standing & after a while, he started dishing 5 fisted leather back at his opponents which they couldn’t bare as they started dropping like maggots. Don King equivalent like promoters from Korea wanted a piece of Kim, but the brotherhood & bond of his club mates would prove to be too strong as he remained loyal to Dong Ah. Another predictable side “bon chon” was added to the story when love was introduced to the crime scene. Kim would fall madly in love with a young lady that would lead him to court her even at the house of worship despite her fathers disdain of ‘hurt men’. He would try to fight this feeling of love as he looked at written quotes on his wall that state:

“A woman is a hindrance in life.”

This quote would soon be dismissed as Deuk Gu Kim would eat up another bambi in the ring & gain the Lightweight All Asia Championship belt! Kim’s new quote on his wall had been modified to:

“A woman is a stepping stone in life!”

All seems well as a hand in marriage is soon in place & his boxing career is in full blossom! Having the pull of being the lightweight champion in asia, Kim’s coach was able to negotiate a fight with the promoter of Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini to fight for Mancini’s WBA’s lightweight heavyweight title. 21 year old Boom Boom would be pitted against the 23 year old Korean for a world title fight in las vegas! Unfortunately, we all know the tragic outcome of this fight & the results that lingered afterwards. Full of spirit, heart, & ‘soul’ of Korea, Kim Deuk-Gu would eventually lose his life to a 14th round TKO punch. The accumulation of 14 rounds of brutal punishment offered between the two & the heat of Las Vegas were probable causes. If this wasn’t heartwrenching enough, Kim’s mom would commit suicide months later, & the referee of the fight would take his life as well. These suicides were not told in the movie. This fight between these pugilist warriors would change the rules of boxing to decrease the rounds of boxing from 15 to 12. Despite the grim outcome of the fight, there was a hint of sunshine at the end of the movie that shined for a moment which you have to see for yourself, no spoilers here!
I really enjoyed this movie because the story focused on celebrating Kim Deuk-Gu’s life as opposed to concentrating on his death. Kim most certainly gave it his all, bared his heart, showed his soul, & even threw in the kitchen sink but unfortunately, that was a bit too much in this case. CHAMPION is far from a rags to riches, Dr. Feel good film, but it does provide great insight to a man that the characters from the WIZARD OF OZ: the LION & the TIN MAN could only wish they can be more like.

Killers on Wheels (1976)



Director: Kuei chih Hung
Producers: Shaw Brothers
Actors: Ling yun, Terry Lau, Danny Lee, Kong San, Eddie Lam

What do you get when you mix in a bunch of motorcycle outlaws, throw in some wild child titty flashing girlfriends, an innocent couple, their sister, & strand them on an island, a boat ride away from hong kong?! Final answer….Killers on Wheels! This chauncey is a Shaw Brother produced film that is full of senseless action, cute chicks, raggamuffins on yamaha motorcycles performing some cool & raw stunts, all encompassed in a mood of terror which leads to desperate acts of vengeance! This is my kind of exploitation film! It all starts out with a bunch of motorized 2 wheeling numbnuts from hong kong that board a ferry to a remote island not too far away from the city for a weekend of fun. With no police or peace officers abound & a total of 10 or so families living in this island, some fun is to be had in the minds of these outlaws. Unfortunately, a young married couple with their sister is also aboard this ferry enroute to a weekend of terror lurking in the background. The fun or the assault starts (depending on your point of view) on the boat when the sister is groped & stroked by the “cream of sum dumb guys”. The cycle gang party hard & party fast while tearing up the local dirt roads & paths with their 2 stroke 250cc Yamahas! Some pretty cool & what looks to be like unrehearsed motorcycle riding is captured on film! A neat road race ensues up a mountain which dislayed some raw riding skills as well as some raw spills, up & down a hill…all for the chance to pick a girl of their choice to sex up for the winner at hand! The innocent couple, the sister, & a guy they meet on the island will soon be joining the journey of fear when they get harassed & assaulted by the thugs because of the two pretty woman in their arms. The gang is relentless in the pursuit of searching for pussy especially when the island has more “sausages than garages” that can be parked in (bad analogy by a martian?). Unfortunately, forcing the hand of rape is in their minds. The two innocent bold men fight a good fight, but the numbers are against them & with no police, no order, no phones, & a ferry that departs once a day at 5pm…what can you do? Some western movies that came to my mind that sparked the same kind of emotions most notably of terror & fear when watching Killers on Wheels include THE WARRIORS, DEATH WISH, HOME ALONE, & the scene with Angela Mao in ENTER THE DRAGON. I wonder who will be the contestants on the ferry ride back to Hong Kong at 5pm? Guess, y’all have to find out! I sensed an absurd social commentary being laid up on the table by the villains at the end of the movie when one of the antagonists said that their kind (outcasts from society, poor, uneducated) are looked down upon from the rich & well to do in Hong Kong which forces them to do un-godly acts! Like what, murder & rape?!!! The protaganist from the film replied by saying something like, you can always protest or file a complaint with the government when you feel like you are being treated unjust from the rest of society. Really?

On another side note, these sizzle chest outcasts were singing a canto-pop song in the movie that was very popular & ran rampant in the late 70’s to 80’s on vinyl & 8 track as I listened to this song being played nonstop by my sisters sporting a beehive hairdo while cruising in their 1978 ford thunderbird in NYC’s chinatown! Unfortunately, I can’t get that tune out of my head now!

All in all, this was a fun, off the wall exploitation film by the Shaw Brothers that needs to be seen especially on a depressing, rainy day as today when I can’t take my two wheeler out to pop a wheelie & do excessive burnouts while terrorizing the streets of my suburban neighborhood! Big shoutout to FuSubs for providing an excellent remastered copy & doing a wonderful job of subbing this joint into english because otherwise this Shaw Brother flick would of been off limits to the ‘engrish’ speaker. I believe the only language that this movie was subbed in was french before FuSubs got a hold of it. Thanks mang, for providing access to this film!

FAT BEATS NYC


Craig G and DJ Jab

Sadat X and Thirstin Howl III

Just Blaze

Breez Evahflowin, Karniege and C-Rayz Walz

Fat Beats in New York City was the place to go for underground and real hip hop music. It was a record store that carried all the latest vinyl releases, CDs and DVDs and stepping in there was sacred ground for many fans of the genre. I used to go in there with the Planet Chocko Crew all the time especially when they held in-store performances and signings. Sometimes the small store on Sixth Ave. between 8th and 9th Streets was packed and hot as Africa in there but it was worth it to see the likes of Immortal Technique, Black Milk, the X-Ecutioners, or Talib Kweli perform there. The signings were crazy too…where else could you get your stuff signed by your favorite MCs and DJs: RZA, Raekwon, Das Efx, Dilated Peoples, Gang Starr, Q-Tip, Mix Master Mike, KRS-One, Jean Grae. Way too many to list here…not always on time, but they showed up eventually. It is no easy task to navigate and park in NYC during rush hour. It would also be a sin not to mention the always friendly and informative staff that worked there. So anyway, when Fat Beats closed and shut its doors forever in 2010 it was a kick to the nuts and the end of an era for hip hop in New York City (the birthplace of the genre…that sh!t ain’t right!). DJ Eclipse, the manager at Fat Beats and host of the Halftime Show on 89.1 WNYU FM (tune in every Wednesday night at 10:30 pm to 1 am!) said, shortly before the closing that pretty much rent was high and sales were low.

Going to the store in its final days of business was difficult to say the least. We definitely lost something special. Fat Beats went out swinging in that final week with full days of performances and appearances by some of the best underground hip hop artists to bless a stage. It was like a hip hop woodstock up in there last September and everybody was there to pay homage to their favorite hip hop shop from DJ Premier, Masta Ace, and Pete Rock to newer generation of cats like Cold Heat and Brown Bag Allstars. It was insane and you were lucky if you got in on the last day. The crowd spilled out into Sixth Ave and across the street while people reminisced about the store and ciphers formed and MCs freestyled until the sun the went down.

Almost a half year later, on the Halftime Show, Eclipse announced that Fat Beats was opening a Pop-Up Store in Brooklyn! DJ Jab (Joseph Abajian), the founder and owner of Fat Beats planned on opening a portion of the warehouse in Brooklyn as a retail space for customers to come by and buy some vinyl, CDs, shirts and they’ll be opening their doors every once in a while. Perhaps every month, I guess it all depends if the Pop-Up is successful. So, come through represent and support
Saturday March 5 from 12-8 pm at 110 Bridge St. 3rd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201.
Subway riders: take the F Train to York St. DJs will be spinning all day: DJ Spinna, DJ Evil Dee, Rich Medina and most likely surprise guests. I think they have something planned for Record Store Day in April. So, come on down, have fun diggin’ in da crates and support real hip hop in New York City! In the meantime and in between time check out their website for updates and releases. FAT BEATS Lives on!




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