Monday, April 30, 2012
Starts off with Sho doing some sword work in the credits with 007 type music going on, immediately we see Sho in full ninja atire and he gets attacked by a group of grey ninjas, then he faces a ninja in a demon mask which is awesome, presumably the leader of the grey ninja and then you find out that this is just a tv show that the 2 boys were watching.
Then you see a karate class where one of the boys excel and they up one on their dad (Sho) after dinner just to show that Sho has his ninjitsu background hidden from his own kids.
Then we see Sho dressed in a Japanese monk outfit in a temple and a masked red ninja attacks him. It's a pretty cool fight and it is revealed that the red ninja is someone that Sho knew and was close to... then some weird old man with wild hair attacks Sho with a sword. Sho was apparently having a flash back as he was meditating in what appears to be the same temple where he killed the red ninja. We get to see another pretty cool fight scene, sword versus spear. old man is apparently Sho's dad and wants Sho to forget the past and not hold guilt. My guess is that he taught Sho and his brother ninjitsu. The old man beats Sho and it is revealed that the red ninja was Sho's brother.
So he gives Sho an ancient helmet and gives him his blessing for Sho and his family to move to America.
Less than 20 min into the film and there has been a lot of fight scenes already.
Sho and his family arrive to the USA, and move into a place owned by a nice old man but it turns out that these gangsters are stashing some jewels there unknown to the old man.
When the gangsters find out that someone has taken the jewels they suspect the old man and kills him.
For some reason also, it looks like Sho and his family moved into a pretty bad neighborhood, even the resident kids are bad, and try to take steal a bike from one of the boys, as he fights back, the gangsters appear and abduct one of the boys.
Sho goes to rescue his son and they hang him up and torture him in a very awesome scene where the gangster cuts him on the chest and he doesn't even flinch. He successfully saves his son, but his wife keeps telling him to go to the police. The mobsters decide that Sho knows too much and try to kill him.
Sho goes to the cops and basically here we learn that the crooked police were the ones that stole the jewlry from the mob.
Sho's wife and son get hit by a car and of course he goes after the guys that did it and it results in their deaths. The message is, loud and clear, do not go after a ninja's family.
So now we see Sho going to the ship harbor onto a large ship where the gangsters are having a party and he infiltrates, taking out numerous guards and then in a pretty cool scene, right in the middle of the party the lights go out and he threatens the leader right there, leave the Saito family or you will pray for death! Hence the title!
While they try to build up the bad guys in this movie, sadly, they are really just racist low lives, I'd prefer to see Sho facing opponents that are more worthy.
In the hospital the thug leader who looks like a bad guy Tommy Lee Jones kills Sho's wife and tries to kill his son.
In an homage to the old italian mobster films the Tommy Lee Jones look alike blows away the crooked cops with a machine gun and retrieves the jewels.
Sho begins his kuji kiri (finger weaving) with some beads wrapped around his hand. he forges a sword and the 80s music "Back to the Shadows" begins.
Sho sports the crazy ninja helmet that makes him look like Shredder from the Ninja Turtles, in fact Shredder was probably based off of this. The helmet has a ninja star right at the front almost like a nose guard. It looks pretty cheesy. We briefly see his sons take out some bad guys with their ninja bicycles which is pretty silly.
Sho infiltrates the head mobsters house and as you expect from a sho kosugi film, there are tons of cool rare and unique weapons you probably won't see in any other film.
The final fight is between Sho and the Tommy Lee Jones guy and the one thing I didn't like about it is when the katana gets broken. My other complaint is that Sho needed a worthy adversary, they tried to make this guy a good match but he totally wasn't. Some kind of back story was needed like this guy was ex special forces that became a cleaner for the mob or something like that.
Not the best Sho Kosugi flick but not the worst either.
We have martial arts films that showcases a certain style. For instance we have, Above the Law with Steven Seagal doing Aikido, Only the Strong with Mark Dacascos doing Capoeira, The Perfect Weapon with Jeff Speakman doing Kenpo Karate, and of course Kickboxer with JCVD doing Muay Thai Kickboxing.
Well this 1984 film Sticks of Death shows the Filipino Martial Art of Arnis. The main character is played by a big muscular guy named Roland Dantes, I didn't know this when I saw this film, but after I made a video review, I got many comments about the actor, apparently he is some legendary actor over there in the Philippines. The impression I get is that he must be like a Fred Williamson.
The movie is outdated, the story is really not good, somehow the blending of trying to be an action flick, a biography, and a promotional item for the art of arnis does not work well here.
The good thing is that it seems to be shot on location in the philippines so you get to see how it was over there back in the day from poor and fancy areas to urban and beautiful country sides.
There is quite a bit of Arnis involved which is really the reason why I was watching this, so this was pretty cool.
From a low budget campy perspective we got some really cheezy fun here. The main character is a body builder with a killer mustache, suppose to be a drug dealer in the beginning of the film. In the city he gets jumped on the street and is shot, then he has a sort of rebirth in the countryside where he does some intensive one on one arnis training with his grandpa. This is the typical training scene you find in martial arts movies. Don't miss the weird chamber like contraption made of sticks.
After he completes the training, his grandpa hands him a special weapon that was suppose to be given to his deceased father. This is basically a spring activated steel collapsable baton with a small sai like guard on it. Very cool! This is like when Conan found the Atlantean sword, except the main character hardly uses it.
Then he joins the police and starts an arnis program where there is actually a segment that is nothing but demonstrations of the art by some random people. More promotions as he competes in an arnis tournament, warning the tournament segment is not filmed like your usual tournament in martial arts action flicks, this is more like a documentary from far away. Throughout the film we get to see single and double stick action, disarms, and of course the stick is treated as the most powerful weapon in the world in this film, it beats knives, guns, and even a car!!!
I can't say this film was good but it's a pretty unique B-movie because it focuses on arnis and because it is set in the Philippines.
Martial Arts action film reviews by Wmpyr
Anything and everything from the old classic Kung Fu films, to the low budget B-movies, to the big screen Hollywood, and of course international films.
Many more coming soon!
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
THE FOOT FIST WAY
MASTERS OF MARTIAL ARTS
PRAY FOR DEATH
REVENGE OF THE NINJA
STICKS OF DEATH
TIGER CLAWS 2
SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO
NINJA DEATH 3
KING OF THE KICKBOXERS
SHAO LIN MEN AKA THE HAND OF DEATH
BLOOD OF THE DRAGON (1971)
The Demzly Show Youtube channel hosted by martial artist Duane who also interviews other Youtube martial artists.
Why the channel name?
Wmpyr is a hybrid between a vampire and a demon, basically the same idea as the western dragon, it symbolizes conquering your inner demons.
Website and designs
My website is www.k4s.i8.com
I've been trying to make my knife designs come to life, I've had to put a hold on my own knifemaking skills recently, but I will continue soon again and keep designing, keep making prototypes, it's a hobby and a dream, I'm not going to stop.
Why I use knives and what are the benefits?
I use knives because to me it is the sword of modern times. The benefits of the knife go beyond protection, because the knife is a useful tool.
How do I train to stay in shape?
My daily routine consists of sticks, shadowboxing, Kata, Russian health exercises, using dumbbells like kettlebells, stretching, breathing, and cardio.
Why I do escrima, what is it, and is it a good art?
Escrima is the art of stick fighting, famous for being from the Philippines, it is a heavily weapons based style that starts you off with double sticks right away.
FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) is very compatible to other styles, and teaches you the art of improvised weapons. I also like how the stick techniques offer a puzzle that I have to keep solving.
Inspirations and role models, what gets me up in the morning?
My 3 biggest role models have been, Dracula, Bruce Lee, and Kenshiro from the anime Fist of the Northstar. I just want to live a happy life, for that to happen, inner strength, safety and discipline to me is a must.
Have I ever had to use my skills in real life?
Yes but not in the way you might be thinking, all my street encounters have been about avoidance, escape, awareness, prevention, verbal diffusion, and outsmarting my possible assailants. I've had a gun pulled to my head twice that I'm aware of, and my life threatened numerous times. It all comes with the territory when I was working security and living in very bad neighborhoods.
Name 3 useful MA
I believe all MA can be useful. It's not what can this style give you? But what can you make of this style? Whatever you put in is whatever you get out.
What does MA mean to me as a person, how has it helped me as a person?
MA helps me walk the path of life, it has improved my personality.
It has given me a warrior code to follow, constantly helps me to have a clear mind. And to be strict to myself so I don't become self indulgent.
Would you like to be in films?
Yes I would like to be involved in the making of B-movie films because those are the ones I enjoy the most.
Any projects that I've created myself?
I've been writing, MA books, and game books. Most of this stuff can be found on my website: www.k4s.i8.com
Any books, magazines, or dvds to recommend?
The Book of Five Rings and The Art of War. As for BJJ, Mario Sperry's Vale Tudo DVDs 1-12 changed my game tremendously, later on Eddie Bravo's DVD The Smoking Machine/Twister, and his book Jiu-jitsu Unleashed had a huge impact on me.
What is your favorite film? Any MA films that I recommend?
I don't have a favorite film right now.
I recommend Way of the Dragon, The Karate Kid, Iron and Silk, A Grande Arte (Exposure), and the documentaries Choke and Rites of Passage.
Any quotes to share for us?
"You can only see the stars when it gets dark enough." -Anonymous
"The art of guerilla fighting is to make every disadvantage into your advantage, this is what indomitable spirit is all about." -Wmpyr
What is your teaching experience?
I owned and operated a school in san antonio and houston. But I've been teaching a long time now, even when I was training in MA, often times I was the assistant instructor.
Any advice for people starting off in the MA?
I hope you view it as a journey rather than a class. Be humble, patient, and diligent.
Don't become a blind follower or you can get brain washed, stay away from people who take advantage of those things. stay away from people that are negative and put down styles.
What is the purpose of my channel?
To provide interest in the martial arts, and hopefully help make the community a better place by encouraging the right things.
How has having a channel been beneficial to me?
I'm getting practice in making videos, work on public speaking, and gives me constant teaching practice.
Is it possible to learn from internet videos?
100% I say yes, where there is a will there is a way, but you also need to have experience training under an instructor in person.
What makes a good/bad instructor, good/bad student?
Good instructor is like Mr. Miyagi teaches you to be a better person. Bad instructor uses you and forces you to be not yourself. Good student trains for the right reasons, bad student trains for the wrong reasons.
What are the pros and cons of the internet?
How easy it is for a person to comment is a double edge sword. Nice to interact with my viewers, but there are some really rude people out there.
Do you do any body hardening exercises?
Knuckle pushups, shin hardening, and other stuff back in the day, not so much now.
Recommend just one exercise
The escrima sticks, you don't have to be in shape, and you can train alone.
Your philosophy on MA?
Way of the warrior is to become strong first, then nice, and to not become negative towards a style or technique, which means don't be negative towards other people's ways but instead open towards how you can make it be a positive thing.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Hello this is wmpyr here to do another martial arts movie review, today we have Tiger Claws 2. First of all let me just say that I haven't seen the original Tiger Claws since the 90s, but it was one of my favorite B movie martial arts flicks. I remember the story to be pretty cool, it was an urban crime story where two cops were trying to find a serial killer that killed elite martial artists using the tiger claw style. The cast is awesome, I remember the chemistry between Jalal merhi and Cynthia Rothrock being good, and of course we have Bolo Yeung who steels the show. The training scenes were mega cool and the showcase of the Tiger Claw style was fascinating. One more thing is that I also remember the music in the film to be very catchy and well done. So now let's go to Tiger Claws 2, I've been wanting to see this since forever especially because I liked the original so much. For the first time, I just saw it the other day. Now I read some reviews and some people seem to have hated this film. Let me just say right away, the first one is awesome for a B movie, this one is nowhere near as good, but I personally enjoyed it, I've wanted to see this for so long, I'm just grateful to finally be able to, and it was nice to see the same trio again but also some other very recognizable faces. Tiger Claws was released in 1992, Tiger Claws 2 was released in 1996, I read someone saying that Cynthia Rothrock for her age which she was suppose to be in her 40s at the time looked good, and I have to agree, we see her trademark scorpion kick, and she seems to be in good shape, however I was bummed to see her with long hair in this one, I liked her short hair in Tiger Claws. Even though he is known as Beirut's Steven Seagal, Jalal comes across kind of like a Van Damme except a very skilled Kung Fu stylist with some smooth moves but not as muscular, he has an accent, and I think his best roles are kind of like VD when he plays the strong silent type. Bolo in this one is now basically a good guy, which is crazy because he was an insane serial killer last time, I guess they were trying to do the Darth Vader thing, but I think it works, not story wise, but film wise, Bolo pulls it off. This time the emphasis on the Tiger Claw style is almost zero, and the main bad guy you will recognize from the Ice Factory fight scene as the brother of Wong Jack Man that fought Jason Scott Lee in Dragon The Bruce Lee Story. This actor Ong Soo Han, is a physical specimen, I've also seen him play the main bad guy in Blood Sport 2 and I can't say I'm too impressed with his acting as the main villain, imo he doesn't deliver the lines well, and for some reason they gave him a lot of lines. Evan Lurie whom I've seen in a ton of B martial arts films to me looks like a bigger version of MMA fighter Guy Mezger. Anyway this guys character makes this film a little bit more interesting. Your also going to see Eric Lee as the master, and when he shows up that's when the story really starts to go in the realms of supernatural, you see him doing some crazy Chi moves, and the whole portal to the ancients, with a fogged up dungeon maze and a martial arts tournament makes me feel like I'm watching an episode of the Mortal Kombat TV show, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but definitely can catch you off guard, cause it's so different from the original. There are some interesting fight scenes, one guy who is even bigger than Bolo or Ong Soo Han is in the tournament, interesting to watch, and a guy with an eye patch is seasoned with the Escrima stick and has a pretty cool fight scene with Cynthia. The music in this one I think was done by the same person who did the original but this time around it seems like they went more all out, it's not bad at all, but I do miss the catchy theme from the original. Originals better but I still enjoyed it. Not sure if I've seen Tiger Claws 3 but you can bet that I'm looking forward to reviewing it!
Saturday, April 21, 2012
You will get my K4S System ebook which is my hybrid style of solo and cross training in the martial arts, knife, stick, empty hand, and more. I also cover the popular topics from my Youtube channel, Karambit, MMA, P001 Pistol Knife, and Knife choosing. youtube.com/wmpyr
Price: $10 USD
Once you place an order, after I receive confirmation from Paypal, I will send you a link for download. I will try my best to make the transaction as soon as possible! If you do not receive anything within 24 hours PLEASE let me know! My email:Knifebat@yahoo.com
All proceedings will be donated to my Wmpyr Youtube channel. Thank you for your support and interest!
Saturday, April 7, 2012
80s kid here, and one of my favorite toys of all time was He-man and the Masters of the Universe toy line.
My Top Favorites List
Dig the off beat colors such as orange armor and sword, blue skin. Sticker on the chest. Due to the colors, obviously not a good faker but I think that's what I like about him, quite campy, a really cool figure.
I don't know if Skeletor was over exposed, but Hordak seemed a bit cooler and more unique. Skeletor basically has a grim reaper look which makes him more generic.
Cyborg looking guy, very cool gimmick, twist the waist and the head pops up, should have had a cool helmet for head butting, his club took a while for me to get use to, but I do like it.
Definitely has some good play value here with his spikey armor.
Personally I think the concept of Man-E-faces is much cooler than the result. The guy is an egg head, a humpty dumpty if you will. Toy wise, I like the way eyes rotated for Tri-clops much better than the bulky head of Man-E-Faces.
5. Cobra Khan
Basically a spray bottle action figure. Nice and simple gimmick that works, Whiplash is another one that I feel falls into the category of simple gimmick, yet still cool, and between the two, I prefer Cobra Khan for some reason.
One giant hand is one of the weakest gimmicks, we have Clawful which wasn't too impressive of a figure if you ask me, and Fisto seemed even weaker, because his fist couldn't even hold anything, on top of that he basically was a twin of Jitsu, two figures that were basically the same in concept just different in looks. That being said, as an adult I can appreciate Fisto much more now, his looks is what does it. In every way he is the bigger stud than He-man, just look at that mustache! Fisto should have been the main character. He looks Kingly for crying out loud!
What can I say, I like robots! When I was a kid Trap Jaw was my favorite figure, I didn't have Roboto, but come on, he is basically an improved Trap Jaw. On top of having the interchangeable weapon arm, he has the moving jaw, and best of all the clear body with the functioning gears, totally cool, just wish he had a loop hole somewhere so that he could also slide down to action like Trap Jaw.
2. King Hiss
Since Conan the Barbarian was one of the first R rated movies I was allowed to watch as a kid, snakes had an impact on me, they were evil, and since He-man was based off of Conan, to me King Hiss was the ultimate villain. And how can you not like his gimmick? Pretends to be a heroic warrior but then his torso splits off like a shell to reveal a body made of multiple snakes, now that captures the imagination.
As an adult I ordered him off of ebay. After watching a ton of MOTU vintage and classic toy reviews on Youtube, I am convinced that he is the best figure of the entire toy line.
Basically like Modu-Lok but looks way cooler imo. Modu-Lok's alien-ant looks a bit too creepy to me, those buggy eyes and really thin physique didn't really fit with the rest of the MOTU. Multi-bot on the other hand fits right in and I also like that Modu-Lok built him, basically making Multi-bot the Frankenstein's monster.
Of the many versions of Skeletor including the original, Battle Armor Skeletor, Dragon Blaster Skeletor, and Terror Claws Skeletor, I think Battle Armor Skeletor would be scariest to face, and it makes more sense that Skeletor rather than He-man, can heal his damage since he does use magic. Terror Claws Skeletor is menacing so he is 2nd place, however I wish they had made him with a glow in the dark face like Scareglow.
This is what I remember having as a kid: