It was last November when fans of cinema great, Albert Pyun, lost one of the most pivotal and influential genre indie filmmakers of the past century. Of course it remains to be seen when the remnants of the late director’s work will be posthumously completed as Pyun’s widow, Cynthia Curnan, and her team are overseeing things right down to the finish line. For fans within proximity of the Loz Feliz Theatre in Los Angeles, however, the ceremony will no less continue with a six-film tribute hosted by the American Cinematheque from May 7 to May 25.
Deteriorating from a deadly plague, 21st-Century America is descending into a barbaric nightmare. Only Pearl Prophet (Dayle Haddon), a beautiful half human/half cyborg, has the knowledge necessary to develop a vaccine. But during her quest to gather data and bring the cure to the world, Pearl is captured by cannibalistic Flesh Pirates who plot to keep the antidote for themselves and rule the world. Now, only saber-wielding hero Gibson Rickenbacker (Van Damme) can rescue her and save civilization.
Pyun’s film is a landmark direct-to-video action hit. Its successors also fare pretty well depending on who you ask; I’ve only seen the second and third films and as a young lad growing up with video stores within walking distance I didn’t think too critically. That said, Ferguson’s treatment remains to be seen the first official poster below is online as of this week to make the case.
Not to be downtrodden too much by this, however, Pyun, is still letting the creative juices flow and is reportedly developing another project in the form of Cyborg Knight. Pyun and wife and partner Cynthia Curnan wrote this particular script which ultimately returns our director to the cyberpunk genre with a story that mainly circulates its theme on Pyun‘s condition.
2015 is going to be a year full of kickboxing cinemafare between two entirely seperate projects, including filmmaker Albert Pyun who has been pretty busy plotting his own return to the Kickboxer fray having previously directed two of the films from the franchise dating back to 1989. The nature of Pyun‘s return has remained in constant development for a while in making whatever changes were required for the project. Now, the director is taking to Facebook to shed some more light on the progress he’s making with the story, the characters and the cast and crew he plans on bringing aboard.
Newly titled, The Kickboxer: City Of Blood, lead actor and martial artist Sasha Mitchell will star in a newly revamped story to portray troubled UN peacekeeper, David Anderson, forced underground through near century-old World War II tunnels to evading Myanmar’s secret police while protecting a young witness to a slate of political murders. Pyun reunites with Mitchell who starred in three of all five Kickboxer movies in which Pyun directed two, along with actress Clare Kramer following her performance in Pyun‘s 2012 flick, Road To Hell, while Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo rejoins with Pyun once more since appearing in the 2010 film, Tales Of An Ancient Empire. Mark Dacascos, who previously starred in helmer Kristine Peterson’s Kickboxer: Redemption (1995) is currently in the running to play the villain. Other casting to be determined includes the announcements of actors Michael Tushaus, Scott Paulin, Norbert Weisser and Dennis Chan who also starred in several of the original Kickboxer movies as Muay Thai master Xian Chow.
Pyun is now working to enlist a crew of familar faces to help formulate the new movie in addition to his director of photography on Cyborg Nemesis and Road To Hell, Mike Su, his composer on Heatseeker and Kickboxer 2 and 4, Tony Riparetti, and the hopeful recruitment of Cyborg editor Rozanne Zingale. Impact Online’s own Mike Leeder will be co-producing the film, which could potentially bring Dacascos aboard for the film having just completed the second feature-length project under Leeder’s Silent Partners banner, Ultimate Justice, due out in 2015 as well. This may also depend on how things will look as Dacascos has also been tied to the forthcoming production of Indonesian action thriller, Garuda 7, and both productions are expected to commense in January which may be cutting it close unless things change.
Pyun is aiming The Kickboxer: City Of Blood, to be his biggest film to date as shooting readies for Guangzhou, China over at ACE Studios at the end of January next month with the hopes of a Cannes screening in the following May. Further updates are still pending for who will fit the other shoes to be worn for this ambitious new reinstallation of thrilling martial arts action. So stay tuned for more information as it comes.
H/T: Albert Pyun
David Sloan (Sasha Mitchell), is chosen to escort an American aide worker, Jenny Reynolds (TBD), a witness to a cold blooded rape and murder of three Somali female aide workers, to the local magistrate across Mogadishu. The murder was staged to look like it was committed by a UN Peacekeepers. But Jenny recognizes the killer as wearing a UN Peacekeeper’s uniform but is a al-Shabaab terrorist name Siad Ali and not a real UN soldier.
To celebrate his four decade career, Curnan is helping promote a new star-studded, celebratory event in Los Angeles to celebrate Pyun‘s 40 year career with a screening of his most-awarded film, Road To Hell. The film sequelizes the 1984 rock and role cult action classic, Streets Of Fire, from director Walter Hill, with actor Michael Paré reprising his role as ex-soldier Tom Cody.
“While the screening went well in Albuquerque, my health has deteriorated further over the past 3 days. I now have complete numbness and pain on my entire right side (face, arm, chest, legs, even my butt! – sorry for that bit of more than you want to know info). Beyond the pain and brain fog that persists almost continuously now (some might say I’ve had this my entire filmmaking career). I don’t have the ability to function very well right now and i can barely walk and even think clearly most of the time now. I get easily confused and there’s a lot of pain. I know once I finish the medical tests in LA next week, I’ll be put on some meds and a program that will stabilize my conditions. I intend to add a camera bracket on my wheelchair so my entire life can be a continuous tracking shot. So I look at this as a brief enforced sabbatical and chance to think up new movies with a different perspective. My hands and arms are so weak and numb, I can make a movie called “Shaky Cam!! – the movie”. But in any case my filmmaking days are likely over.
This week now, it seems a new report forwarded from City On Fire is breaking the story that Mitchell and veteran B-movie action filmmaker Albert Pyun, known for hit films like Cyborg, Nemesis, and Mitchell’s second and fourth Kickboxer movies, are collaborating to go the way of Kevin Tancharoen and David Sloan to develop a new webseries based on the hit film franchise titled The Kickboxer. Pyun explained on Thursday in a Facebook post stating the following: