56 episodes

Welcome to the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. Listen to exclusive, in-depth interviews with actors, stunt performers, directors, choreographers and writers discussing their careers and their passion for martial arts cinema. Hosted by Ben Johnson, the creator of kungfumovieguide.com. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and may Buddha bless you!

Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast Ben Johnson

    • TV & Film

Welcome to the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. Listen to exclusive, in-depth interviews with actors, stunt performers, directors, choreographers and writers discussing their careers and their passion for martial arts cinema. Hosted by Ben Johnson, the creator of kungfumovieguide.com. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and may Buddha bless you!

    55 KFMG Podcast Tara Macken

    55 KFMG Podcast Tara Macken

    The key to success in the stunt world, says Hollywood action star Tara Macken, is to be an all-rounder. Tara's resume is testament to that philosophy. Raised in the jungles of Borneo, Tara's adventurous spirit started at a young age. It has remained with her throughout her professional career, where she has found work as a dancer, gymnast, model, actor and stunt performer with over 100 films and TV credits to her name. She is a leading name in the action community, known for her fighting and martial arts skills, and doubling huge movie stars like Tessa Thompson, Rosie Perez and Eva Longoria. An incredibly versatile performer, Tara moves between stunt work on hit TV shows like 'Westworld' and films including 'The Hunger Games', 'John Wick: Chapter 3', 'Birds of Prey' and the new 'Mortal Kombat' film, to playing Bugs Bunny in a sequel to 'Space Jam', and stepping behind the camera to work as a stunt coordinator, fight choreographer and trainer. She now has her eyes set on joining the rising number of female stunt coordinators operating in Hollywood, following a path set by her friends and colleagues Zoë Bell and Heidi Moneymaker, determined to redress the balance in the industry and eventually move into main unit directing. In an already long list of amazing achievements, we can't wait to see what Tara will accomplish next. This conversation was recorded in London prior to the UK government lockdown caused by the coronavirus.

    LINKS

    Tara Macken on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2706388/
    Tara Macken on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/taramacken/
    Tara Macken on Twitter: https://twitter.com/taramacken
    Tara Macken on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tara.macken
    Tara Macken fight choreography reel: https://youtu.be/bYX9ofsJras
    Tara Macken fight reel: https://youtu.be/jjHaMBIjih0
    'Intensive Care' trailer: https://youtu.be/tTJo_vfeGI8
    'Intensive Care' review on Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://kungfumovieguide.com/intensive-care-2018/

    • 1 hr 4 min
    54 KFMG Podcast Richard Norton

    54 KFMG Podcast Richard Norton

    In the late 1970s, Richard Norton - martial artist and bodyguard to the stars - faced a crossroads in his life. He could either stay in Melbourne, Australia, and continue with his nine-to-five job, teaching martial arts in the evenings - a life he very much enjoyed - or follow the advice of singer Linda Ronstadt and move with her to California. It was a decision which would prove life-changing. Once in America, Richard started to supplement his days touring with some of the world's biggest musical artists - including ABBA, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, James Taylor and many more - with work in the movies, encouraged by his friendships with Hollywood action legends like Chuck Norris and Pat E. Johnson. It was Pat who first introduced Richard to kung fu superstar Jackie Chan, leading him to eventually work on some of the greatest Hong Kong action films of the period, including 'Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars' and 'Millionaire's Express' for Sammo Hung, and 'Magic Crystal' and 'City Hunter' for Wong Jing. He would work again with Jackie Chan in the 1997 film, 'Mr. Nice Guy', and continue his on-screen partnership with B-movie action queen, Cynthia Rothrock, appearing in 10 films together from Hong Kong to Hollywood. Nowadays, Richard can increasingly be found behind the camera, lending his extraordinary martial arts knowledge as a fight trainer and choreographer on some of the biggest action films of the last decade, including 'Mad Max: Fury Road', 'Ghost in the Shell', 'X-Men: Dark Phoenix', and 'Suicide Squad'. His next release, James Gunn's version of 'The Suicide Squad', is scheduled for release on August 2021. Recorded during the lockdown from his home in Melbourne, Australia, join us as we chat about his amazing journey and his many achievements, something that Richard - who turned 70 in 2020 - puts down to simply being a byproduct of his quest to become the best martial artist he could possibly be. Judging by his continued work-rate, training regime, and passion for the martial arts, it is clearly something he continues to pursue each and every day.

    LINKS

    Richard Norton on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rjnorton64/
    Richard Norton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rjbromleynorton
    Richard Norton on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0636280/
    Richard Norton profile on Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/ProfileRichardNorton
    Richard Norton interview from 2011 on Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/RichardNorton

    • 1 hr 17 min
    53 KFMG Podcast Vincent Wang

    53 KFMG Podcast Vincent Wang

    When a stunt performer couldn't get the right shot needed during a 70ft fall on the set of Vietnamese superhero movie, Lôi Báo (2017), the film's action director, Vincent Wang, made a quick decision. With time running out, Vincent relieved the stunt performer of their duties, strapped himself to a harness and performed the stunt himself - much to the shock of the rest of the crew. He nailed it first time. No surprise, really, considering Vincent's over two-decade career as a stunt performer in Hollywood, working on some of the largest action films of all time, including the Bond franchise (Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Skyfall), The Bourne Ultimatum, The Force Awakens and work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In more recent years, Vincent has pursued a career as a fight choreographer and action director, where his credits include Zhang Yimou's big-budget creature feature, The Great Wall (2016) - starring Matt Damon and Andy Lau - and work in Vietnam with the versatile director, Victor Vu. His most recent project is Cruella, a live-action prequel to 101 Dalmatians starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. During this face-to-face conversation - recorded in March 2020 just before lockdown restrictions were put in place by the UK government following the coronavirus pandemic - we discuss his upbringing in northwest China, where he was selected to train at a Chinese wushu school from the age of six. It was his move to the UK in 1991 to teach martial arts which would eventually lead him to work in the film industry; but martial arts remains his true passion, not just for self-defence purposes, but also as a way of building confidence and improving health. For more information about Vincent Wang, visit the links below.

    LINKS
    Vincent Wang on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0911058/
    Vincent Wang on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vincentwang99/
    Vincent Wang on Twitter: https://twitter.com/vincentwang99
    Vincent Wang on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMTmJKQsH9sLGW6hd6Z2cmg
    Lôi Báo review - Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/LoiBao2017
    The Great Wall review - Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/TheGreatWallKFMG
    Dragon Girls review - Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/DragonGirlsKFMG
    Debt Collectors review - Kung Fu Movie Guide: https://bit.ly/DebtCollectorsKFMG

    • 1 hr 3 min
    52 KFMG Podcast Scott Adkins / Maria Tran

    52 KFMG Podcast Scott Adkins / Maria Tran

    Tired of scrolling through streaming platforms trying to decide on the next thing to watch during lockdown? Then let the martial arts action star Scott Adkins help you, as he discusses his favourite fight films of all time on today's episode, including five bonafide classics and five lesser-appreciated head-kickers. During our chat - his fourth appearance on the show - we discover how he almost ended up in the 1997 Gary Daniels movie, Bloodmoon; what he learned from Donnie Yen and Yuen Woo-ping on the set of Ip Man 4; his thoughts about moving into directing; and the latest gossip on his many upcoming projects, including Dolph Lundgren's Castle Falls, spy thriller Legacy of Lies, sci-fi adventure film The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, and Debt Collectors, the surprise sequel to 2018's The Debt Collector. Debt Collectors is released on digital in the USA on 29 May and DVD on 2 June, courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films. In the UK, the film is known under the title, Payback, and will be released on digital on 8 June and DVD on 9 July, courtesy of Dazzler Media.

    We are also joined by Australian indie action filmmaker Maria Tran, who has spent her lockdown working on a new comedy short, Tiger Cop: Toilet Paper Hero; an homage to the 1980s Hong Kong action films she watched as a child, only with a topical pandemic twist. Maria is an actor, director, producer, writer, fight choreographer and mentor to up-and-coming filmmakers in Australia, who works hard to support people particularly from minority backgrounds in helping them to share their stories through film. She is also a kick-ass action star who has worked with Jackie Chan (for Bleeding Steel) and Roger Corman (for Fist of the Dragon), fought on-screen in China and Vietnam, and enjoyed success with her own independent shorts and features. Her first feature film, Echo 8, will see her in the lead role as well as directing, and will be completed in 2020.

    LINKS

    Scott Adkins on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thescottadkins/
    Debt Collectors trailer: https://youtu.be/lPDs-BU7y7c
    'Tiger Cop: Toilet Paper Hero' on YouTube: https://youtu.be/yTepmGqoueM
    Maria Tran's website: https://www.mariatran.com/
    Maria Tran on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mariatran85
    Maria Tran on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariatranactress/
    Maria Tran on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariatran85/
    'We need to embrace conflict': TEDxYouth@Sydney talk by Maria Tran: https://youtu.be/KVehRy-V07k

    • 1 hr 23 min
    51 KFMG Podcast Sarah Chang / Vincent Soberano

    51 KFMG Podcast Sarah Chang / Vincent Soberano

    You could say it was Jackie Chan that first brought together the Manila-based martial arts power couple, Sarah Chang and Vincent Soberano. They first met at the Jackie Chan Stuntman Training Centre; a huge complex in Tianjin, used by people from all over the world to train in the martial arts and make it in the movies. Vincent - a former professional fighter and pioneer of mixed martial arts in China, who helped to train the country's first UFC fighters - helped to design the facility; and in 2016, in walked Sarah Chang - actor, producer, fight choreographer, and five-time USA national wushu team member - training for a role in a movie. While she was there, she befriended the stunt coordinator, Sam Hargrave, who ended up using her to double Celina Jade in Wu Jing's action blockbuster, Wolf Warrior II. Vincent and Sarah connected over their passion for martial arts, and their drive to portray authentic fighting styles in the movies. But it wasn't until their work on the action horror, Blood Hunters - filmed in the Philippines - that the two decided to leave Beijing and move to Manila full-time, where they have since started a family, set up their own production company, and produced a string of films together, as well as working on their own projects. Their other films together include the tournament movie, The Trigonal, and the soon-to-be-released, Circle of Bones. Vincent and Sarah discuss the challenges they face making martial arts films in the Philippines, which is still an uphill struggle despite the international success of similarly 'hyper-local' fight films made elsewhere in Asia. They also share tips on how they are remaining busy (and sane) during the coronavirus lockdown. Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids is out now on digital platforms including Amazon, Vimeo on Demand, FlixFling, Vudu and Fandango, courtesy of DarkCoast.

    LINKS
    Sarah Chang on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/starringsarahchang/
    Sarah Chang on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/starringsarahchang/
    Sarah Chang on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahchangwushu
    Sarah Chang's website: https://starringsarahchang.com/
    Vincent Soberano on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VincentSoberanoFilms/
    Vincent Soberano on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vincentsoberano/
    Vincent Soberano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VinceSoberano
    Vincent Soberano's website: http://vincentsoberano.com/
    'Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids' on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bloodhuntersthemovie/
    'Circle of Bones' on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cobmovie/
    'Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids' review on Kung Fu Movie Guide: https://bit.ly/BloodHunters2019
    'The Trigonal: Fight for Justice' review on Kung Fu Movie Guide: https://bit.ly/TheTrigonal

    • 1 hr 2 min
    50 KFMG Podcast Gareth Evans

    50 KFMG Podcast Gareth Evans

    Through his trio of martial arts films - Merantau (2009), The Raid (2011) and The Raid 2 (2014) - filmmaker Gareth Evans helped to put Indonesian action cinema on the map, launched the careers of a new generation of fight stars (including Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman), and created some of the most exhilarating, inventive, and game-changing fight sequences of modern times. Not bad for a young filmmaker from South Wales, who grew up watching Jackie Chan films with his dad, who chose to invest in a video camera when he turned 17 instead of learning to drive. Following his adventures in Indonesia, Evans has since returned to Wales where he has been developing a range of projects exploring new mediums and genres, including the British gothic horror, Apostle (2018) - available on Netflix - and the nine-part TV series, Gangs of London, which lands on Sky Atlantic in the UK on 23 April 2020. The show, based on a computer game, sees Evans return to a contemporary action setting, working alongside his frequent collaborator, UK stunt coordinator Jude Poyer (featured in Episode 48), with a story focusing on the fall-out following the death of a gang leader. Listen as Evans explains how he believes Gangs of London contains some of his finest action work, as well as exploring the steps that led to him creating The Raid films, often regarded by critics and fans alike as two of the best modern-day martial arts films of all time. We also investigate the possibility of a reunion with Iko Uwais, the secrets to his visceral style, and what other genres he would still like to explore. This conversation was recorded in London in early March 2020 before a UK government lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak.

    LINKS

    Gareth Evans on Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/ghuwevans/
    Gangs of London trailer - https://youtu.be/VoJ_yZqhmAg
    Gangs of London on Sky Atlantic - https://www.sky.com/watch/gangs-of-london
    The Raid review on Kung Fu Movie Guide - http://kungfumovieguide.com/the-raid-redemption/
    The Raid 2 review on Kung Fu Movie Guide - http://kungfumovieguide.com/the-raid-2/
    Gareth Evans profile on Kung Fu Movie Guide - http://kungfumovieguide.com/profile-gareth-evans/

    • 1 hr 17 min

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