Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Weapons of Death|
Actors: Ralph Catellanos, Eric Lee, Bob Ramos
Director: Paul Kyriazi
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
When San Francisco thugs meet up with martial arts expert Eric Lee they discover that they have met their match.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE Rating: R UPC: 692865426332 Manufacturer No: T-4263
I directed this movie in Panavision 2:35 & Technicolor
Paul Kyriazi | Los Angeles,, CA. United States | 06/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's too bad that this DVD release of "Weapons of Death" is full frame cutting off 50% of the action making the shots look 'too close'. But actually most of the action was filmed showing the actors head to toe while occasionaly moving into waist shots, still by cutting half the frame in this dvd everything feels cramped with half the actors unseen.
Made in 1980 long before the influx of big budget Chinese martial arts movies, I wrote, produced and directed this in 36 days on a budget of only $180,000.
Still it was the only independent action movie to use the new Panaflex cameras filming in 2:35 wide screen, technicolor developing and printing, and a 32 track sound mix at the Saul Zantz Studio. The movie played all over the USA and broke ticket sales record in one theater in New York.
In every theater the audiences were cheering, especially for the actor who was using a pistol against the sword wielding attackers. This was before Indiana Jones did it, so audiences had never seen anything like that before.
Great care was taken to be sure that the pistol guy only shot six times and then he was shown reloading on the run. You can count six shots, then see him re-load.
Now with the full frame bad quality print (not printed by Technicolor), the large scale that we tried to achieve is completely lost. I purposely wrote the script to have seven bad guys and 5 good guys so that the wide screen would always be filled. Also the twenty sword women and 30 bikers filled up the screen nicely. But now only half of those actors are lost in the full frame. Too bad.
If you had seen the movie on the large screen before the other Chinese import movies came, it would have been impressive to see a rare American made kung fu movie filmed in San Francisco's China Town with a large cast of Asian American actors, such as Kung Fu magazine cover fighters, Eric Lee, Gerald Okamura, Gini Lau, and Sid Campbell.
All the stunts were real, including the pistol guy running across the railing of that foot bridge, making the audience cheer. Excluding the high falls, all the actors did their own stunts, including all the swords women.
For detailed information on this making this movie, go to paulkyriazi dot com, and then to 'feature film director', and find info on all my productions.
I give this movie five stars because of what was accomplished with the tiny budget. But mainly for the fact that this movie meant so much to so many people that worked and acted in it. All the actors and martial artist were happy to be able to show their skill on the big wide screen. I only wish you could have seen it on that wide screen, 32 track sound mix, with the audience in 1980.
Oh yeah, I was the guy with the pistol running across the bridge in a wide shot to show the rocks below, with no net. And I was shooting six shots at a time. Count 'em. And then reloading."
BIG EXPECTATIONS IN LITTLE CHINA
Karen Shaub | the inner reaches of the outer limits | 05/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"YEP, big expectations were what everyone in the American martial arts community had when we heard that Eric Lee, our own Little King of Kata, was finally going to have his own starring role in a martial arts film! This was going to be dynamite, right? I mean it had to be. Over a four year period from 1970 to 1974 Eric had dominated the American martial arts scene, competing in empty hand, weapons, any form of kata that was open to him and amassing over 100 world titles. Its a fairly obvious fact that forms competitors are more successful in transitioning to film since they know how to sell the action rather than simply how to beat the excrement out of people, film is ALL about appearances. So this was gonna be good!
Expectations rose even higher among those of us who were familiar with Hong Kong movie scene, for Gini Lau had been signed on to the film as well! Lau was well-known as a weapons' master and former classmate of Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao. Her great grandfather Lau Fat- Mang had been an extremely famous eagle claw master back in his day. This just kept getting better and better!
Yep, really high expectations. The inevitable sign of impending doom.
The 5 star rating on this film is an error that I can not correct. It was supposed to be 1 star. Why won't amazon let you change these things?
It wasn't so much the plot that torpedoed this flick, we're accustomed to dealing with the nonsensical and/or nonexistent. In this case the story concerns a shakedown by a Chinese-American Triad Boss named Fong (played by Alan Gin) who has it in for the Liu family because Mom (Leemoi) hasn't been forthcoming over the years with her protection money. This simple plot device is complicated by a second group of kwailo evil-doers that Fong induces to kidnap young Angela Liu for ransom purposes.
There are further complication, of course. Bishop, the head of the kwailo evil-doers has a history with the Liu family himself, one that led to the break-up of Mom and Dad's marriage and which will lead to some juicy end-of-the-movie revenge. There's a gang of bikers, an entire army of Fong's men, as well as a bunch of hot, sword-wielding Asian chicks for our heroes to contend with before they can count the day as having been saved and Nancy as rescued. It sounds pretty good on paper, does it?
So what went so horribly wrong? It has even more impressive credentials that I haven't mentioned. Co-choreographer Sid Campbell is a very respected martial artist himself with tons of awards and truck loads of respect. All of these talented, respected martial artists put together all their resources and the result was this excruciatingly mediocre movie that is made all the more painful to watch BECAUSE of their connection with it.
The fight scenes themselves are not particularly well constructed or interesting, and they are filmed in such a manner as to completly ruin whatever action, style, and technique they do have to offer. The camera consistently moves in too close giving us facial shots when what we want to see is body movement. Bad editing compounds the problem by breaking up the flow of the fights so that we aren't even given an opportunity to become involved in the action before we are whisked away to another shot we care nothing about.
WEAPONS OF DEATH proves that it takes more than a gifted martial artist to make a martial arts movie. It takes someone who understands film. Check out Steve Wang's KUNG FU RASCALS for a comparison.
My version was a full screen, with bad color, and no special features from TRINITY.
WEAPONS OF DEATH
Written and Directed by: Paul Kyriazi
M/A Choreograohy: Eric Lee and Sid Campbell
Starring: Eric Lee, Bob Ramos, Ralph Castellanos, Louis Winfield Baily, Gerald Okamura, Nancy Lee, Sid Campbell, Gini Lau, Paul Kyriazi