THE HIT LIST: December 17, 2018
My weekend was mostly contemplative. I may try to explain this before the year is out as I’ve normally posted yearly thoughts around this time…
My weekend was mostly contemplative. I may try to explain this before the year is out as I’ve normally posted yearly thoughts around this time…
First up is, Hammergirl, a piece I still pride myself on after all these years of following fight choreographer Vlad Rimburg’s work, and the second comes right from the bowels of EMC Monkeys with a test fight of their own with Tony Sre and Bryan Sloyer.
Well, Monday night has arrived and I pretty much consider myself well-rested seeing as how I ended up back in blogger-mode on Sunday night. Some days you burn out, and on others you just start clicking…it’s funny, really.
Anyway, with our return to the start of a new week, the Hit List is back just as well, lending nods to a meaty handful of stunt professionals every week in attribution to their hard work shown in reels and shortfilms alike. Alas, the new stunt reel playlist for the week is now up and running with reels by Donovan Sheehan, Boris Martinez, Marco Pancrazi, an awesome action reel by Raze co-star Allene Quincy, Jacob Sebastian Malm‘s latest reel featuring his Turandot stunt team from the summer in an illuminous new fire showreel, and actor David Sakurai in a new Vimeo-exclusive action reel of his own assembled from several of his recent action projects, including Dark Samurai and Echoes Of A Ronin!
David Sakurai Way of the Sword from サクライ on Vimeo.
Now onto more web content with some more specials, and if you were watching the last reel carefully, you may have recognized Andy Le who can also be seen among his principle team members at Martial Club in a new video up and running by Just Kidding Films where they learn all the ins and outs of Tricking. And if you know Just Kidding Films, you know your face is going to hurt plenty by the end. Enjoy in all it’s delightful laughs!
I seldom spot fan videos, although when I do, quite a handful of them present just the right amount of flair attributed to the respective works they acknowledge. It’s a case in no way dissimilar in actress and stuntwoman PeiPei Alena Yuan‘s latest love letter to martial arts action star Donnie Yen by way of the opening B-Boy sequence in Yuen Woo Ping’s 1995 Hong Kong action comedy, Mismatched Couples. Yuan also happens to be a dancer, and her credentials notwithstanding (i.e. Step Up 3D, Battle B-Boy), her talent speaks for itself. Watch and leasrn!
Now let’s get into some more action-oriented material with a nifty handful of trailers – one including some updated and rather crazy cool poster art as of late.
Aside from making other videos, Rising Tiger Films’s latest, Black Scar Blues, has clearly been a more concentrated effort at something larger in scale. The film is directed by Leroy Nguyen who stars along with Edmund Shum and Queen Sayat, and focuses on two drug traffickers whose bond of friendship is slowly eroded through a series of events when personal ambition, lust and greed get in the way.
Nguyen will be presenting the film later this year at the Urban Action Showcase and Expo in New York City for the last of its year-long festival run boasting a slew of laurels and accolades well-earned, including as recently as the past two weekends in California at An Anti-Hero Production Genre Film Festival and The L.A. Neo Noir Film And Script Festival. Hopefully by then, the short will be released on YouTube unless it acquires a decent on-demand or purchase platform beforehand. In the meantime, it’s got a fresh new trailer now running online with an updated poster, and once more, it has a quote. By me! And you’re welcome.
We also have a new behind-the-scenes featurette with Nguyen explaining the four year-long process in working up to the high creative plateau presented for the film’s final fight. Having seen it for myself, I have to say it really does deliver the desired effect.
Other trailers just beneath include the second promo for Dance Nocturnal creative Jyo Carolino’s new action short, I Am Spartan, Tokyo-based action actor Chuck Johnson’s upcoming surreal action comedy short, Fists Of Absinthe, and 3 Strands Of Rope Productions’s Assassin/Darkside, sequelizing actor Calvert David Miles’s 2014 awarded short, Assassin: Origins.
New short action vids are also circulating the web this week, and kicking this next leg off on the Hit List is League Of Legends themed short, Udyr’s School Of Kung Fu, initially released back in May from Art School Dropouts and Fighting Panda Productions. Actor and fight choreographer Joey Min leads this one and its one adding to his resume of years of awesome action shorts and films, which makes it all the more awesome and honoring that he’s now a part time contributor to Film Combat Syndicate to provide his perspective of action on film from time to time.
Check it out below as well as other new action projects this week, including Narayana Cabral’s Spy Vs. Spy with Angela Bend and Danielle Stahl, the long-awaited release, Grave Error featuring Darren Holmquist and the one and only Eric Jacobus, and…well, probably the sickest Mortal Kombat fan short you’ll ever see online..ever. And if you know RackaRacka, you know this ain’t gonna no PG-13 shit. So consider yourself forewarned!
Finally, a few new action shorts have also been unveiled this week in slightly longer duration. Azi Rahman’s cerebral action thriller, Drake is now online starring Cengiz Dervis in the role of a man trapped in his own mind amid spiritual battle with inner-demonic forces. The action is largely fueled by the music for a more dramatic affect so don’t expect any foley effects as the stuntwork is solely visual.
And last but not least, gladly continuing the vision of R-rated superhero fanfare with brutal and gory action sequences is the latest sequel offering from Workhorse Pictures, Storms Of Carnage: The Black Panther Unleashed Part 2. Actor and director D.A. Jackson reprises his role once more opposite K. Jackson in a story of espionage, betrayal and the moral paradox that arises when battling evil, ultimately pitting the Black Panther against opponents on both sides of the spectrum, humans and mutants alike.
Fans familiar with the source material may either love or hate this one depending on the viewer as these things normally tend to be slightly more controversial than intended (see Adi Shankar’s Power/Rangers). For what it’s worth though, this one has quite the admirable traits for something truly worth the enjoyment as it’s full of special effects, explosive action and dramatic intensity to accomodate the epic final fight between our embattled couple.
Twenty minutes and counting, folks. Press play and enjoy!
There is at least another short that I haven’t gotten around to yet as it’s forty minutes long and dated only by about few years, but I will share that one next week. For now though, if you have time to kill then last week’s Hit List may be worth your remaining minutes at the moment. Above all else however, do subscribe to the channels above, and if you or someone you know makes awesome, QUALITY action and stunt reels, films and shorts like these, send them to us at email@example.com!
Fancy some indie action to start your day? Are you up for a cool little fight scene in a parking lot?
No? Well, neither is independent filmmaker and online action creator Darren Holmquist in his latest comedic action interlude, Not Another Parking Lot Fight, with performances by Leonard Zhang and Alex Tasy, and cinematography by Atom Phly Media’s own Frank Hernandez . It’s awesomely tongue-in-cheek right down to the end, and if you’ve been a fan of independent action cinema long enough, you’ll get the joke (well, except for the weird part).
Check it out below, and with Holmquist catching up on a few other projects he plans on sharing real soon from Dardrex Productions, feel free to subscribe to the channel in the embed!
Independent filmmaker, martial arts action cinema favorite Eric Jacobus is back once more with the current filming of the action comedy follow-up short, Rope-A-Dope 2: The Return Of The Martial Arts Mafia. The sequel officially began production back in May, roughly a year since the first installment, Rope-A-Dope, was released, featuring Jacobus in a Groundhog Day-style short story about a Dope who wakes up everyday re-living the same bad luck over and over again until he finds a way to break the vicious cycle, leading to a hyper-kinetic final fight with a gang of martial arts thugs, led by Barrio Brawler co-star, actor and longstanding member of The Stunt People, Dennis Ruel.
Produced by Hollywood stuntman Clayton J. Barber and Death Grip co-star, actress Rebecca Ahn, Rope-A-Dope ultimately began its film festival run last summer, leading to a second place award at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival last November, and an award for best short film at the Sundial Film Festival in California earlier this year, among other things. This time, Jacobus and his team are back with an immensely talented line-up of action actors and stunt performers helping embody the Dope’s next misadventures as we learn more about the Martial Arts Mafia, and that the Dope is not the only one who can restart the day.
Filming is expected to continue from now through Monday with a hopeful release sometime in the Fall. In the meantime, a batch of new set pics are now making the rounds courtesy of the team, and you can now check those out below. And while you’re here, subscribe to the official Facebook page and spread the word!
Bridger Anne Fox and Evelyn Lesaca square off in ‘HETJA’!
You can pretty much cast aside any high expectations you might have for independent filmmaker Jeff Lunzaga‘s style of filmmaking when it comes to any type of story, character development or scene guidelines. Why? Well, because these are exactly the kinds of things that “hyper-reality” filmmaking deviates away from – a formula which Lunzaga used in his previous shortfilm, Agent 6 and once more in the new fantasy action free-for-all, Hetja.
The shortfilm was shot a few months ago as per the collaborative efforts of multiple actors, stuntmen and content creators from various YouTube platforms known as The Collective. Loaded with tons of unapologetic randomness ranging from flurries of kung fu fights, gun battles and explosions to fighter jets, slapstick comedy, wacky cosplay and a magic eight-ball in between scenes, Hetja perfectly exemplifies boundless creativity, whether you think it’s art or pure chaotic cheese. So it really doesn’t matter what you think, because it is awesome on its own accord, and if you have a mind open enough to accept that, then well…that settles it.
Hetja features Lunzaga with Bridger Anne Fox, Kelly Lou Dennis, Pierre Parker, Marcella Samuel, Robert Parham, Will Yick, Darren Holmquist, Ryan Liguid, Leonard Zhang, Enrique Garcia, Evelyn Lesaca and MANY more. Watch the new short below and check out a handful of some cool character posters below!
Darren Holmqist tries to force Shaun Beehag into submission in their latest fight.
It’s not often that independent online filmmakers and action performers travel to other areas of the world to make short test fights for the simple fun of it. However, for online actioner Darren Holmquist, it was quite convenient a pairing when Aussie professional traceur Shaun Beehag flew to California recently on business and decided to pay Holmquist a visit.
Hence, we are offered a brand new test fight this week featuring Holmquist and Beehag, choreogrpahed much to the tune of Holmquist‘s “New Style” of evolving choreography that strays from the usual Hong Kong elements he’s incorporated in his projects over the years. The new short was also another opportunity for Beehag to help sharpen his performance level as a stuntfighter since going on hiatus early last year to establish himself as a fitness trainer and an obstacle racer.
The project is also one in a small handful the few have worked on several years ago, formulating a creative understanding they have grown to mutually share and benefit to this day. Needless to say, Beehag agrees. “Darren is really patient and understanding, which for me as someone coming off a year of no filming was great because it enabled me to pace myself and ease back into choreography again.” he says. “He would be great for beginners to work with, and for more experienced filmmakers, he’s very eager to collaborate and work together on coming up with the choreography which is a great experience.”.
Beehag also added, “The shoot was really relaxed and a lot of fun, and lots of laughs were had which eased the strain of two hours sleep and the chill of San Francisco fog. Plus, he’s got a great team behind him too. Frank Hernandez and Jeff Lunzaga were both really nice to work with.”.
Holmquist has a few more projects that the public will get to see this year, including a few that are now in post-production dating back to recent work in Redding, as well as a new stunt reel on the way two weeks from now. Meanwhile, Beehag will be more focused this year on Parkour training, matriculating himself into Brisbane’s film festival scene, film production and will hopefully attain the funds needed to build his own multifunctional freerunning and cinema stunt training academy at home.
In between all these and more, if the two can find a way to collaborate once again, Beehag assures it. “Next time I’m in America I suspect, or if he comes to visit me in Australia.” he says. “We are both looking at spending some time in Los Angeles in the future, so if that lines up right, there would be a lot of work going for us then.”.
Check out the video below and subscribe to Holmquist‘s channel in the embed below, and feel free to pull open the description and click the link to Beehag‘s Youtube platform where you may also subscribe.
Are you feeling lonely? Are you in need of that special someone to help you work off some of that stress? Guess what! There’s an app for that, and actor and independent screenfighting action director Darren Holmquist is here to show you how to use it against fellow actress Jennifer Faust in the new test fight shortfilm, FIGHTR – Ultimate Fighting Phone App.
Be advised however, as curious as minds can be, this particular app doesn’t exist, but chalk another one up for the independent scene delivering another gem for the masses as Holmquist meets his lovely date, face first!
If the names are familiar to you, then you may recall a recent crowdfunder that launched for indie director Frank Hernandez‘s new spirited action revenge drama, Heart. And, in case you are not up to date, Holmquist and Faust are currently attached to the project, with further developments pending as we head into the remaining fifteen days.
In the meantime, you can watch Holmquist and Faust in action in the embed below, and if you’re interested, CLICK HERE to read our coverage of Hernandez’s Heart project.
Independent action film company Dardrex Productions debut its most recent experimental short film called Test Fight: Underground. The video clip illustrates actors Darren Holmquist and C.J. Thoms, illustrating the company’s latest efforts to deviate from its previous observances of Hong Kong-stylized action scenes, and into a newer, more brutal, grounded-in-reality style of fight choreography and stuntwork (otherwise known as the “Dardrex New Style”) to signify Dardrex Productions as a pivotal milestone in evolving the independent action film industry since their video announcement late last year.
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