72 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!

    Episode 71 - Philip Ng

    Episode 71 - Philip Ng

    When Philip Ng burst onto the scene in his 2014 leading-man debut, 'Once Upon a Time in Shanghai' - co-starring Sammo Hung and with fight choreography by Yuen Woo-ping - followed by his turn as Bruce Lee in the 2016 Hollywood biopic, 'Birth of the Dragon', the kung fu movie world was introduced to a wonderful new talent. In reality, of course, Philip's story of overnight success could not have been further from the truth. Since the early 2000s - when Philip decided to leave his home in Chicago to pursue a career in Hong Kong action cinema - he had been working tirelessly both in front and behind the camera, developing his skills as an action director and actor. He has become a leading light in a new generation of Hong Kong actors adept at sharing the screen with everyone from Donnie Yen to Simon Yam, Jackie Chan to Louis Koo, and working with directors as diverse as Ringo Lam, Stephen Fung, Benny Chan and Wong Jing. His 2019 martial arts film, 'Undercover Punch and Gun' - which is out now in North America courtesy of Well Go USA - is a love letter to the sort of Hong Kong action comedies he grew up watching in the 1980s and 90s. It sees him reunite with his long-time buddies and frequent collaborators, Andy On and Van Ness Wu. As well as being a fight-filled homage to the golden age of Hong Kong action movies, the film is equally dedicated to the three actors' friendship, which first started back in 2003 on the tournament movie, 'Star Runner'. Listen as Philip discusses his journey from an aspiring young martial artist into a fully fledged kung fu film star - and the ups and downs he has experienced along the way.

    LINKS
    Philip Ng on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1264535/
    Philip Ng on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/straightblast5/
    Philip Ng on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NgWanLung/
    Philip Ng profile on Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/ProfilePhilipNg
    'Undercover Punch and Gun' website: https://www.wellgousa.com/films/undercover-punch-gun
    'Undercover Punch and Gun' trailer: https://youtu.be/tNpZg_qzVjk
    Buy 'Undercover Punch and Gun' on Blu-ray, DVD and digital: https://www.amazon.com/Undercover-Punch-Gun-Blu-ray-Andy/dp/B091F2BJHQ
    'Undercover Punch and Gun' review on Kung Fu Movie Guide: https://bit.ly/UndercoverPunchAndGun
    'Once Upon a Time in Shanghai' review on Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/OnceUponATimeInShanghai
    Hi-YAH! website - start your free trial (USA only): https://www.hiyahtv.com/
    Hi-YAH! on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HiYAHTV
    Hi-YAH! on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hiyahtv/
    Well Go USA on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wellgousa
    Well Go USA on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wellgousa/
    Ng Family Chinese Martial Arts Association: http://www.ngfamilymartialarts.com/

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Episode 70 - Brahim Chab

    Episode 70 - Brahim Chab

    Over the last 15 years, French stunt performer and martial artist Brahim Chab has jumped, kicked and punched his way into the upper echelons of the fight film business. In 2021, he wrapped on 'Monkey Man' - the directorial debut of actor, Dev Patel, which has been picked up by Netflix. The film, described as 'John Wick in Mumbai', sees Brahim provide fight choreography as well as acting in a supporting role. In 2020, he went toe-to-toe with his hero, Jackie Chan, in the globe-trotting actioner 'Vanguard'. It has been a career forged in blood, sweat, and determination; a career which has seen him relocate from Europe to Asia where he has worked consistently on productions across many countries, including Thailand, India, UK, China and the USA. He has worked with everyone: Tiger Chen in 'Man of Tai Chi'; Scott Adkins in 'Boyka: Undisputed'; Donnie Yen in 'Big Brother'; Mark Dacascos in 'The Driver'; Jean-Claude Van Damme in 'Pound of Flesh' and his still unreleased pet project, 'Frenchy'. Despite years of working in the industry, Brahim still remains hungry - pushing himself to achieve more, develop his craft, and work on bigger projects. We discuss what makes a good fight scene, the rudiments of 'tricking', learning on set with Tim Man, and how to make it in the action business.

    LINKS
    Brahim Chab on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brahimchab84/
    Brahim Chab on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3100183/
    Brahim Chab on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bramtricks
    Brahim Chab action reel: https://youtu.be/MnPtJ9RqHvA
    Brahim Chab acting reel: https://youtu.be/iN8wbDto4eM
    Brahim Chab profile on Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/ProfileBrahimChab
    'Vanguard' trailer: https://youtu.be/Kw1u9PIbbt8
    'Boyka: Undisputed' fight scene: https://youtu.be/_hnxMqr3ICk

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Episode 69 - Ron Van Clief

    Episode 69 - Ron Van Clief

    Martial arts legend Ron Van Clief never wanted to be a movie star. Known as the 'Black Dragon' - a name originally given to him by Bruce Lee and adopted as his screen persona in a series of Hong Kong kung fu movies in the 1970s - Ron was dismayed at the lack of genuine martial artists he met when working in action movies. For the Brooklyn-born former US Marine and New York City cop, Ron's passion for the fighting arts was formed from an early age in real-life combat situations - the trauma of which still remain with him to this day. He fought in the Vietnam War where he lost his younger brother; in the early 1960s, he narrowly survived a lynching at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan. The attack inspired the name of his autobiography, 'The Hanged Man', which has been made into a documentary by the martial artist and filmmaker, Robert Parham. In spite of this - and his continuing battle with PTSD - Ron remains steadfastly dedicated to developing his skills in the martial arts, with accolades too numerous to mention - five-time world karate and kung fu champion, 15-time All American champion, a New York Times bestselling author, and the founder of his own combat system, Chinese Goju-Ryu Karate. Ron was the first Black action star to lead a Hong Kong film, and although he may not have enjoyed the fame, it has assured his reputation as one of the most iconic and important figures in martial arts cinema. Now, aged 78, it is encouraging to hear that he still shows no sign of slowing down.

    LINKS
    On 30 July 2021, Ron Van Clief will be one of 12 grandmasters judging the virtual Ultimate Warrior Cup Championship. For more information, email sifual@aol.com and ronvanclief@yahoo.com.
    Ron Van Clief's website: https://www.ronvanclief.com/
    Ron Van Clief on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0885885/
    Ron Van Clief on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kaivanclief
    Ron Van Clief on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackdragon1974/
    Ron Van Clief on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ron.vanclief
    Ron Van Clief profile on Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/ProfileRonVanClief
    Buy 'The Hanged Man' on Amazon (UK): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hanged-Man-Story-Ron-Clief/dp/1466374233
    Robert Parham on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/therealrobertparham/
    Robert Parham on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.parham

    COMPETITION
    We have teamed up with CineAsia (https://trinitycineasia.com/) in the UK to give away three copies of 'The Swordsman' on Blu-ray in this month's competition. Sign-up to our newsletter at kungfumovieguide.com before 31 May to be in with a chance of winning a copy. Good luck!
    Buy 'The Swordsman' on Blu-ray, DVD and digital in the UK via Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Swordsman-Blu-ray-Jang-Hyuk/dp/B08W7SNKTS
    'The Swordsman' review on Kung Fu Movie Guide: https://bit.ly/TheSwordsman2020

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Episode 68 - Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins / Tran Quoc Bao

    Episode 68 - Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins / Tran Quoc Bao

    It has taken 10 years to get 'The Paper Tigers' onto our screens - a slow and at times painful process full of ups and downs for its director, writer and producer, Tran Quoc Bao. The film - which finally lands in cinemas and on digital platforms in North America on 7 May 2021, courtesy of Well Go USA - is a heart-warming and funny take on the kung fu genre, centring on three former childhood training buddies who reunite in middle age to investigate the sudden death of their old kung fu master. As Bao would soon discover, talent, passion and dedication to the cause will only get you so far in Hollywood. Finding the finance for independent productions is hard enough, but made all the more difficult for kung fu films with people of colour in the lead roles. Bao and his fellow producers refused to compromise or 'whitewash' their story, eventually turning to Kickstarter to raise the money themselves. Filming would eventually take place in his home town of Seattle over a number of years, featuring a cast of leading actors from minority backgrounds: 'Helstrom' and 'True Detective' star, Alain Uy; Ron Yuan - a veteran of martial arts cinema; and Mykel Shannon Jenkins, well-known in action circles for his role as Turbo in 'Undisputed III: Redemption'. Alain, Ron and Mykel speak of the sacrifices Bao and his fellow producers had to make to get the film over the line, and how they responded in kind; each bringing their own wealth of experience as filmmakers to support the project, and helping to realise a unique and personal story about friendship, responsibility, honour, and kung fu.

    LINKS
    Book your tickets now to watch 'The Paper Tigers' on the big screen in the USA and Canada: https://www.wellgousa.com/films/the-paper-tigers
    'The Paper Tigers' trailer: https://youtu.be/uh4KU5Ep4ic
    'The Paper Tigers' on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_thepapertigers
    'The Paper Tigers' on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThePaperTigersMovie/
    'The Paper Tigers' on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_thepapertigers/
    'The Paper Tigers' review on Kung Fu Movie Guide: https://bit.ly/ThePaperTigersKFMG
    'The Challenger' (2015) short film: https://youtu.be/gcLNdniNR2M
    Tran Quoc Bao's website: http://pov-films.com/
    Tran Quoc Bao on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2041318/
    Tran Quoc Bao on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/tranquocbao
    Tran Quoc Bao on Twitter: https://twitter.com/_tranquocbao
    Tran Quoc Bao on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tranquocbao
    Tran Quoc Bao on Instragram: https://www.instagram.com/_tranquocbao/
    Alain Uy on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1751175/
    Alain Uy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/theAlainUy
    Alain Uy on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alainuy/
    Ron Yuan on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0950620/
    Ron Yuan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ronyuan
    Ron Yuan on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ronyuan/
    Mykel Shannon Jenkins on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0420926/
    Mykel Shannon Jenkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mykel_jenkins
    Mykel Shannon Jenkins on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mykelshannonjenkins/

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Episode 67 - Isaac Florentine / Max Repossi

    Episode 67 - Isaac Florentine / Max Repossi

    Isaac Florentine is one of those rare directors who possesses a style of filmmaking all of his own. Within a few minutes of watching one of his many great action movies, you will quickly realise you are in the world of Isaac Florentine. He wears his love for spaghetti westerns on his sleeve, almost as much as his passion for the martial arts. As an expert martial artist and karate instructor, he is keen to capture technique in his fight choreography. His combat sequences are often filmed in clean, complete movements, using close-ups and moving the camera in sync with the action. His style therefore demands the best physical performances from his actors, so it's no surprise that he has worked with some of the best in the business: Michael Jai White, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren and, his main muse, Scott Adkins. The 2020 film 'Seized' marked his ninth collaboration with Scott, and the two are very much the Scorsese and De Niro of the martial arts movie world. As well as the popular 'Ninja' films, the two worked to transform the sequels to a little-known boxing movie called 'Undisputed' into modern martial arts classics, introducing Adkins as the iconic character of Russian MMA fighter, Yuri Boyka. We discuss Isaac's upbringing as a film-obsessed kid in Israel who followed his passion for martial arts and movies to Hollywood - and how a stint working on the amazingly successful 'Power Rangers' TV show helped to launch his career.

    Last week, we learned of the sad and sudden death of Italian martial artist and actor, Max Repossi, who has passed away at the age of 33. I first met Max at the 2018 Fighting Spirit Film Festival in London, and in 2019, we recorded a conversation which would appear on Episode 43 of the podcast. We continued to keep in touch, and he became a good friend and supporter of the show. In tribute to Max, I have added the full, unedited conversation we recorded in September 2019 at the end of this episode. Learn more about Max Repossi via the links below.

    LINKS
    Isaac Florentine on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0282708/
    Isaac Florentine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/isaac.florentine
    Isaac Florentine profile on Kung Fu Movie Guide: https://bit.ly/IsaacFlorentineKFMG
    Max Repossi on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9846531/
    Max Repossi on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaxRepossiAction/
    Episode 43 of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast at the 2019 Fighting Spirit Film Festival: http://bit.ly/FSFF2019KFMGPod
    Max Repossi Hung Kuen demonstration at 2019 Fighting Spirit Film Festival: https://youtu.be/LV0AVB6w5CA

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Episode 66 - Tzi Ma

    Episode 66 - Tzi Ma

    Born in Hong Kong and raised in New York, Tzi Ma is a genre-spanning actor who has dedicated his career to documenting the Asian American experience. With every acting decision - whether it be on stage, screen or television - he has sought to portray fully rounded characters, working in an industry where accurate representation has not always been high on the agenda. He has turned down roles he has considered to be stereotypical, and instead, Tzi prefers to champion the voices of minority filmmakers often working with no money on projects which may never see the light of day. Sometimes, they break through - like Lulu Wang's critically acclaimed 2019 comedy drama, The Farewell. Even his mainstream roles challenge the preconceived notions of Asian characters in Hollywood movies: a compassionate father in Mulan; a geologist in Dante's Peak; a military commander in Arrival; Michael Caine's fixer in The Quiet American; 'the General' in the Coen brothers comedy The Ladykillers. When he has played roles in martial arts projects - like Rapid Fire, Rush Hour, or the Martial Law TV series - it was only ever to make the Asian leads look good, helping to promote the reputations of actors like Brandon Lee, Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung in the USA. In his latest TV series, Kung Fu - a reboot of the classic 1970s show starring David Carradine, which premieres on The CW Network on 7 April 2021 - he plays another doting father, further cementing his role as Hollywood's 'go-to Asian dad', according to Variety. It's a primetime American show focusing on an Asian American family, and another step towards improving representation on television, telling new stories from different voices and cultures. So what's next for Tzi Ma? Tune into the first episode in our sixth season to find out.

    LINKS
    #StopAsianHate: Following a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the USA, we stand in support of Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and call for an end to hate, discrimination and racism. Tzi is a vocal supporter of the #StopAsianHate campaign and has taken part in an initiative - organised by AT&T, the parent company of WarnerMedia - to raise awareness and encourage donations to help AAPI small businesses. Read more at att.com/StopAsianHate and watch the campaign video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tM-5YtfK1NY
    The CW website: https://www.cwtv.com/
    The CW 'Kung Fu' trailer: https://youtu.be/NvtMjNA9PJM
    Tzi Ma on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002245/
    Tzi Ma on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tzima8/
    Tzi Ma on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tzima8
    Tzi Ma on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Official.TziMa/
    Tzi Ma profile on Kung Fu Movie Guide: http://bit.ly/ProfileTziMa
    Variety article, 'How ‘Mulan’s’ Tzi Ma became Hollywood’s go-to Asian dad': https://variety.com/2020/film/news/tzi-ma-mulan-hollywood-career-1234758692/

    • 1 hr 15 min

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