I don’t know about some of you but my new year already had a few stumbles in its first week. Granted we still have about 355 days left of the year as we are now fifty-one weeks in, and the internet is ripe with action-packed content ready to share, thus commencing the return of The Hit List – our weekly column in which we boost some of the best and impressive videos showcasing stunts, demos, test fights, trailers and complete, independently-produced shortfilms that live up to the task of delivering great storytelling and action.
If you’ve been with us at all in the last two years since this column of Film Combat Syndicate began, you know how this script goes. However, if this is your first rodeo, hopefully you’ve got some time to kill.
As always, our first playlist comes jam-packed with terrific stunt and demo reels from today’s talented professionals and up-and-comers and we begin with Shawn Bernal‘s latest reel for the new year, followed by reels from Leaphy Khim, Jason Triplett, Laura Napoli, Malcolm Washington, Alina Andrei, Zia Kelly, Jackie Chan protégé Andy Long Nguyen, Katelyn Brooke, Heather Hayes, Brandon Ly, Joshua Zacharias and Shayan Safar and Jaxon Wong.
Continuing the playlist is a stellar grouping of reels by several independent groups and filmmakers, ensuing with the latest reel from Rising Tiger Films – the creators behind the upcoming action crime noir, Black Scar Blues. Rounding it all out are reels by Eastern Heroes, Singapore-based JKHH Films along with showreels from Martial Club, Flawless Films, and that of Kamikaze debut star and filmmaker, actor and stuntman Marcus Shakesheff with an extensive highlight reel of his own.
Up next are a few promotional bits and the first comes straight from Whirlwind Action, the makers of the hit action comedy webseries, Slug Street Scrappers which ended in 2014. Directed by Micah Brock, the series encompasses the story of a rogue’s gallery of fighters partaking in a mysterious tournament for the ultimate prize of “Toughest In Town” while hidden supernatural forces lie in wait with agendas of their own. The series has now been revived in a much more evenly-paced, serial form by Brock who stars in the series inspired by cosplay and classic Beat ‘Em Up games of the 1980’s. Plans to crowdfund another round of the series are also in tow while the promo is the first you’ll see in the trailer playlist below with the first episode now viewable HERE.
Rounding out the playlist is a trio of trailers along with a Facebook exclusive and the first nod goes to actor and filmmaker Lorenz Hideyoshi for the upcoming martial arts drama, Passage. The short combines the screenfighting expertise of both Hideyoshi and fellow action actor and stuntman Andy Long Nguyen who star in the story of a man who takes issue with his sister’s romantic suitor. Expect this one to arrive next week, and at that, just weeks prior to the Tet release of the upcoming Vietnamese martial arts comedy, Luc Van Tien in which Nguyen leads and will go toe-to-toe opposite Lorenz and his equally talented brother, Felix Hideyoshi.
Next is a trailer for the latest project from writer and director Marcelo Mayen titled Bullock The Bruiser. It’s got the nifty feel and tone well-suited for a British crime comedy with New York City as the backdrop, and actor Will Parker leading the tale of a brawler whose increasing reputation as a crimefighter continues to sink him deeper and deeper into dangers he may not be ready for. The three-part webseries project is coming sometime this year and you may also find more on it via social media.
FCSyndicate reader and Action Academy social media contributor Andrew Benkovic continues the supply with a trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Dissent, an inspired new short film taking its cues from the popular video game. It’s more of a pitch envisioning what director Wayne Dalglish and producer Brady Romberg hope to achieve from their script and while story details aren’t laid out, the concept is laid out pretty clear for us to see, and with none other than a cast featuring Bat In The Sun’s own John Hennigan, actors Ashton Moio, Chris Jai Alex among the talents on hand. I personally hope this one goes all the way as we can never have enough gems like these.
With these four completing the YouTube playlist, the final trailer for this segment leads us now to the hypnotic new pitch for upcoming short, Break Room. Director Andy Hourahine sits in the chair while Canadian Karate nationalist Julia Hourahine stakes her claim in acting for the screen following a pair of inspirational Karate videos which aired in the last few years, here and now in the role of a woman whose first day of teaching at a prestigious school offers her more than what she bargained for. Judging by the trailer, of course, we’re talking a day of some serious knock-down, drag-out, bonecrushing fight club type of stuff, all cadenced delightfully to the sounds of singer Lisa McVey and musician Kyle Olthoff in the trailer from the Facebook page.
Press play on all and enjoy!
Onward and upward to the weekly tradition of showcasing some of the best in online screenfighting talent, Puerto Rico’s own Jose Manuel is sure to pop up a bit this year following last year pilot trailer for developing crime series, Uncompromised. Until then, feel free to sample Manuel’s latest test fight offering with fellow stuntman and PR local, Kawui Joa, and lensing by Angel Vasquez.
Following that is a nifty little knife fight over at Mykola Galagan‘s channel, some camera test action courtesy of WOLF Stunts, some year-end Holiday fight action from the guys throwing down over at Bryan Sloyer‘s channel, the Hsing brothers – Alfred and Alvin with Emergence, Jared Kirby among a quartet of drunken brawlers for Dylan Hintz’s latest short, Paddy Night Fight, and Eric Nguyen over at Lunar Stunts where The Fighting Journey continues in a Korean-style cinematic match by Darren Holmquist and Alex Meiglei.
Team Cascade takes the slate further with the first of a series of test fights to come this year on their channel, followed by helmer Lloyd Pitts from 9 To 5 Films with drunken style kung fu comedy, Last Call by performers Leon Ngo and Tony Falcon, Andrew Kim’s own restauraunt brawler in A Series Of Misfortunes, and a stellar group fight practice piece assembled by the one and only Emmanuel Manzanares.
Keeping the pace going are some extra jewels of fan service, first with a new short from Martial Club’s own Andy Le and featuring performances by DY Sao and Du Au in an inspired fantasy fight between Donnie Yen’s Chirrut Imwe from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Matrix‘s own Neo. Distinctive Light Entertainment continues the action further with an experiment in sci-fi and high-flying Lucy-inspired action with Yadi Nieves as our drug-infused metahuman fighting back against her captors, while the gang over at Eunoia Creations lights it up in Canada with a League Of Legends-inspired festival of action, spectacle and fisticuffs, and Fernando Jay Huerto lays the groundwork for Jacqui Vedura in her own iteration as Harley Quinn in their most recent offering, Harley, from Jabronie Pictures.
Finishing off the playlist are three of some of the best, most exceptional shortfilms befitting for The Hit List and the first one comes straight from Art School Dropouts with The Legend Of Korra: A New Beginning, and I have a few more details you can read over at ScreenAnarchy last week where I gush about its star, actress and martial artist Angela Jordan, and then some.
From there we head to Poland with a stellar piece of work having caught my eye while browsing LinkedIn. This one is called Jaga and it’s the fifth in a shortfilm series over at the Allegro YouTube Channel titled Legendy Polskie (or Polish Legends for that matter). Award-winning filmmaker Tomek Baginski directs all five, the fifth in which actress Katarzyna Pośpiech as a mysterious witch who mitigates with dark forces to free herself from captivity, and despite the film’s more periodic-setting, our witch is laying waste to a bunch of dudes in SWAT gear to make her case. It’s awesome stuff and the Allegro website has more for sure.
Lastly in the playlist is Darren Holmquist’s newest, Missing Teacher, following Missing Student in 2014 where Eddie, our lead TaeKwonDo purveyor has earned the title of Master – only the weariness of having his first student puts him in hiding, only to land him back on the business ends of his instructors’s fists and feet of fury as penance. Can he fight his way out this time? Watch and find out with Heriberto Inda, Martin Chan, Hilda Hernandez and Brian Tack starring.
Last and far from least, I’m throwing in a webseries pick of the week here and it comes courtesy of Garage Hero where maverick Tokusatsu filmmaker Bueno is seuging along nicely toward the development of his latest genre nod, Strega. Until then, his latest feature film release prospect, Strega’s cult hit predecessor, Gun Caliber, is already available as of last year and choc-filled with the NSFW goodness fans enjoyed in its periodic online screenings. It’s edited in thirteen epsiodes for the time being which should serve amply until we get an official street date from the good folks at SRS Cinema who will release the whole film in full sometime this year.
This week was probably overkill but, indeed it’s been a good three weeks since the last Hit List and a lot has happened, so feel free to take it all in at your own pace. Surely, there will be a staple balance of light and heavy Hit List entries as long as the creatives out there keep on creating and putting out amazing content, and we’ll be here to weigh in every week. Happy New Year, and e-mail us at email@example.com!