While we all love huge blockbuster films with big budgets, tons of green screen, visual effects and bug name actors and actresses, I get equally excited when I see a small (and sometimes non-existent) budget, tons of heart, creative fight scenes and labors of love that can be found in indy martial arts films. Today’s Trailer Tuesday is going to celebrate that spirit with a mixed bag of indy martial arts movie trailers. Some are new, some are old and some of the films these trailers have never been seen (at least to my knowledge), including one original Hi-Yah TV Original! Get ready for Trailer Tuesday: Indy Action Showcase!
Dragon Of The Law (2020)
Director : David Vuong
Director of Photography: Therese Chen
Police Officer – David Hong
Zhao Tian Ba – Michael Tang
Man in grey suit – Eric Tat
Man in navy suit – Brendon Chhor
Inspector Kit Chan – David Vuong
Police Captain – Phuoc Quan Vuong
Plot: Inspector Kit Chan is on the case!
FilM Fan Dojo reaction: Sydney, Australia based Silver Harvest studios brings us this trailer that is a clear homage to the 80’s Hong Kong action cop films. We see Inspector Kit Chan (David Vuong) is on the trail of the gangster Zhao Tian Ba (Micahel Tang) and we get the cool 80’s HK sound effects and the action choreography in the trailer is spot on to the style of the era: the HK screenfight kickboxing style pioneered by greats such as Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung! Lots of Taekwondo round kicks, crescent kicks and jumping kicks as well as wide arching punches and quick jabs dominate this short trailer. Silver Harvest films seems to have captured the essence of the 80s HK action style and film (even the slightly grainy and faded video)! Dragon of the Law is going to be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to watching and reviewing this short.
Battle of Brothers
Plot: Wong Fei Hung and Hung Hei Kwun have a closed door duel.
Film fan Dojo reaction: Silver Harvest returns with some cool homage to the old school with Battle of the Brothers trailer! We get some cool shapes from both Andy and David and you can see their love for Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest in this short teaser. Again, the old school “hitting powder” is in effect along with the sound effects we, as old school fans, love. The choreography and editing seem to be a mixture of 70s style screen kung fu and 90s style screen wushu reminiscent of Once Upon a Time in China (minus the wirework). Like Dragon of the Law, Silver Harvest manages to get us excited about the short and stay true to the game! Look out for these guys!
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Both Films are currently available on Silver Harvest You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr1w5ponVLxhBJs3XiBwdTQ
Wu Tang vs The Golden Phoenix
Fight Director: Robert Tai
Starring Chi Kwan Chun, Robert Li, The RZA, Shi Yan Ming, Robert Tai, Dr. King Ogun Ali Muhammad
Plot: A band of kung fu fighters protect the Wu Tang weapon from the Golden Phoenix and his henchmen.
Film Fan Dojo reaction: This is what The Man With The Iron Fists should have been! Honestly, looking at this trailer and the way it was shot really makes me want to see this movie! While I liked The Man With the Iron Fists I thought it really was made for a more mainstream audience and that’s what underwhelmed me about it. This, however, seems to have been filmed for fans of old school kung fu movies! We get action direction by the late Robert Tai (fight choreographer for Five Venoms, Kid with the Golden Arm, Invincible Shaolin, The Heroes and Ten Tigers of Kwantung just to name a few). Additionally, from 1:50-1:57 we see old school kung fu mainstays such as Wang Chi Sheng, Ching Kuo Chung and the legendary Chi Kuan Chun as Golden Phoenix! I think I even spotted the Venom Mob’s Chu Ko (Masked Avengers, Five Element Ninjas, House of Traps)! We are even treated to an 70’s style voice over, stop frame motion, naming of the styles, over the top voices and all the things we love about kung fu movies! Sadly, this film has never been released to my knowledge, but hopefully The RZA will release it on DVD or Digital one day soon! Oh what could have been!
CRAZY SAMURAI: 400 vs 1
Starring Tak Sakaguchi
Plot: When a master samurai arrives to duel the disgraced Yoshioka dojo, he walks into an ambush. In the world’s first 77-minute, one-take action film sequence, Miyamoto Musashi (Tak Sakaguchi) fights for his life against 400 warriors, earning a place in history as the CRAZY SAMURAI MUSASHI.
Film Fan Dojo reaction: Japanese action maestro Tak Sakaguchi (Versus, Kingdom, Re-Born) stars as Miyamoto Mushashi (Japan’s most famous swordsman) in what is promised as one long action take! From the trailer , this looks to be a martial arts movie fan’s dream! We get double sword action, Kusarigama action, Katana’s being slashed across the midsection, mass Samurai combat and theaction of Japan Chanbara style! In my opinion Japan has kept (mostly) it’s unique style of martial arts action and has not succumbed to HK style, new Chinese Contemporary Wushu style action or even American action styles! This trailer showcases their signature weapons style screen combat!
While I don’t expect much in terms of plot, acting or even super high quality filmmaking I do expect action and I am confident I will get it from Tak Sakaguchi who has remained somewhat of a cult figure in worldwide action circles. CRAZY SAMURAI: 400 vs 1 is coming to Well Go USA’s Hi Yah TV streaming service February 12, 2021 and will also release on DVD/Blu Ray and VOD at a later date.
What indy trailers do you like? Which indy studios or stars should we be on the look out for? What are some of your favorite Japanese martial arts movies or Tak Sakaguchi movies? Leave your comments below and as always thanks for reading!