Director Robert Samuels presents Beast: Chronicles of Parker

Dojo Review: Beast: Chronicles of Parker

beastExecutive Producers: Alan Goldberg and John Deblasio

Director: Robert Samuels H.K.S.A.

Action Director: Manny Ayala

Starring: Marco “Da Answer” Johnson, Kimberly Bowden, John “Phoenix” Legrande, David Lavalee, Tom Lugo, Matt Healey, David Luptak, Tarell Kota Bullock

Beast: The Chronicles of Parker tells the story of agent Robert Parker (Marco Da Answer Johnson) who chases an unknown mysterious suspect who may be carrying a lethal toxin.  To find the toxin and the suspect Agent Parker is put to the test by Mr. David (David Luptak) and his men all of whom are skilled in different deadly fighting techniques.


Robert Samuels (H.K.S.A) makes his directorial debut in this highly anticipated hand to hand (and hand to weapon) action fest. Director Samuels’ considerable action education (a disciple of legendary action master Sammo Hung and one of a handful of foreign members of the world famous Hong Kong Stuntman Association) comes into play in this action thriller. Samuels along with fight choreographer Manny Ayala, who has cut his teeth with prolific HK action director Tony Leung (H.K.S.A.) craft kinetic action sequences with a mixture of an old school 1980’s and 1990’s Hong Kong action style with a unique urban flavor that is missing in big budget action movies (no shaky cam allowed).


This style of action suits star Marco “Da Answer” Johnson. Marco is a newcomer to the action movie scene and he has “star” written all over him. Johnson also has a distinct swagger that shows a confidence that comes from years of hard training and time honing his craft. “Da Answer” was discovered in the first “Call to Action” held at the prestigious Urban Action Showcase in 2015. Marco, son of the legendary Willie “the Bam” Johnson of WMAC Masters, shows off his incredible speed and agility with deft hand and leg movements. This Wu Shu stylist ducks, kicks, and flips with his own unique flavor which adds more visual flare to the fight scenes.  Punctuate this flavor with the pulsating soundtrack courtesy of Owen “Newo Tha Kid” Austin, Jr. and you have action scenes that move and vibrate.


Beast: The Chronicles of Parker is a flavorful entry into the action genre. Director Samuels skillfully mixes the kinetic ballet of martial movement prevalent in 80’s and 90’s Hong Kong action film making with the diversity of Urban Action of 2016 to create his own vision for the genre.  Written and produced by Robert Jefferson, Beast is a monster action film at 17 minutes; I cannot wait to see what awaits us in the next Chronicles of Parker.


Be sure to check out the world premiere of Beast: Chronicles of Parker at the Urban Action Showcase November 12 and 13, 2016 in NYC.

*all photos courtesy of Robert Samuels, H.K.S. A.


The Many Faces of Lo Meng

The Many Faces of Lo Meng

Before Sifu Lo Meng became a household name with classic kung fu film fans worldwide, he was known to many of us by the names of the characters he portrayed. His solid physique, honed by years of training in the Southern Mantis style of kung fu, and his charismatic personality made him a stand out in the world of kung fu cinema. For many of us at the time (for me the early 80’s) his real name was a mystery yet we referred to him by the iconic characters he brought to life. Here are just a few of the many faces of Sifu Lo Meng.


Golden Arm- The Kid with the Golden Arm 

As the chief of the feared and notorious Chi Sa gang Golden Arm invoked fear with his highly impervious “golden arms.” In the opening description of the gang we learned they are ranked according to skill and not age. Golden Arm was number so that said plenty about his skill. Only through trickery and a highly thought out plan could Golden Arm finally be defeated.

The Shaolin Hercules- Two Champions of Shaolin

Tong Chin Chin, a Manchurian Shaolin student developed tremendous strength through his training and became known as the “Shaolin Hercules.” Although strong he was very skilled at kung fu and killed one of the Wu Tang’s most famous fighters. In the film, Tong uproots a tree and bends a man in half before succumbing to his injuries.

Master Kau-Brave Archer 2 and 3

The deadly Iron Palm Master that gave our hero Kuo Tsing (Alexander Fu Sheng) fits in parts 2 and 3 of the Brave Archer series, he broke boulders and rocks with his incredible Iron Palm style. His flowing red cape and beard gave this character an even more bad-ass look to go with the bad-ass skills. He proved to be one of the tougher foes of the Brave Archer.


The Toad- Five Deadly Venoms

One of the most iconic and endearing roles that Sifu Lo has played is undoubtedly The Toad aka Number 5 from the classic Five Deadly Venoms. With his iron skin, precise kung fu and giving nature The Toad is a fan favorite among many classic kung fu connoisseurs. One of the saddest moments for me as a viewer was his torture and death perpetrated by The snake and the Judge. The Toad will go down in kung fu cinema history as one of the most beloved and iconic characters to grace the silver screen.


Just call him Sifu Lo Mang

Whatever your favorite character may be (and we have just covered a very small number) Sifu Lo Meng brought the goods to the role. His good looks, ability to play serious or comedic, his incredible totally real kung fu, and his charisma had you anticipating his appearance and you left wanting more. Thanks to people like Sifu Robert Samuels Sifu Lo Meng is more accessible to Western fans and we are eagerly awaiting meeting him, talking with and sharing what he means to us. In the meantime, checkout his classic Shaw Brothers movies and see the man of many faces and talents Sifu Lo Meng.



Dojo Review: Kuro Obi

Our love of Japanese Martial Arts movies continues with a review of 2007’s return to old school Karate actioner Kuro-Obi. What did Golden Arm Kid think of this movie? Read below and find out…

Dojo Review: Kuro Obi (Black Belt)


Director: Shunichi Nagasaki

Fight Choreographer: Fuyuhiko Nishi

Starring: Akihito Yagi, Tesuya Naka, Yuji Suzuki, Arashi Fukusawa, Kenji Anan, Yosuke Natsuki

Plot: The Japanese Army are taking over Dojo’s in 1930’s Japan occupied Manchuria. The Dojo of Master Eiken Shibahara (Yosuke Natsuki) is taken over and the master killed after the nefarious acts of the Army. Three disciples of the master Taikan (Naka), Giryu (Yagi), Choei (Suzuki) each take different paths and ultimately meet up again to determine who the true successor of the master.


Karate Content:fist1fist1fist1fist1

Kuro Obi is a very good movie and the fight scenes really add to the aura of the overall film. This is some very authentic Karate in this film. The film’s stars are all black belts and it shows. Tetsuya Naka (7th Dan Shotokan), Akihito Yagi ( 7th Dan Goju Ryu), and Yuji Suzuki (1st Dan Kyokushin Karate) all showcase some very precise and clean Karate.  Fight choreographer Fuyuhiko Nishi makes sure the fights are short, intense, and full of power. By the way CGI is nowhere to be found (which is refreshing). Kuro Obi is one of the best representations of the art of Karate on film. Fights to pay attention to are the first fight in Master Shibahara’s Dojo when the Army confronts the three disciples, the challenge fight between Taikan and Togo (Karate fighter in the black Gi), and the final confrontation between Taikan and Giryu *. As an added bonus all of us traditional Karate heads get to see some precise Kata performed by the stars. Sweet!



Kuro Obi is somewhat of a throwback film in many ways. The heart of the film is about budo (the martial way) and the motivations of those who practice Karate. This “ heart” is something that is missing in many martial arts films of today. Kuro Obi may not have the long fight scenes of the kung fu movies, but what the fights lack in length they make up for in intensity and some very good Karate.  The inclusion of real life high ranking black belts truly make this film feel more authentic and real. Kuro Obi is a must see for those who like real Karate in their movies, those who want a story and not just fights, and a return to quick short fights filled with technique (think Sonny Chiba minus eyes popping out).

*check out these clips at our sister site The Dojo Fight Masters.

My love of Japanese Martial Arts Movies

As a kid I grew up on martial arts films. I could not get enough of Shaw Brothers movies. In a short while I was exposed to (and hooked on) Golden Harvest films, Ocean Shore Distribution films, Seasonal Films and any other Chinese kung fu movie I could get my hands on. I thought I had been exposed to all the martial arts movies there was to see ( remember I said I was a kid).

One night I was allowed to stay up for Charlie Rum’s Martial Art Theater ( the Detroit equivalent to Black Belt Theater) and saw a movie that changed my perception of martial arts movies and introduced me to a wealth of martial arts movies that were not Chinese: The Street Fighter.

I had no idea who Sonny Chiba was but I knew he was a bad man. He crushed skulls, exploded eye balls, was intense as hell and crazy cool. I mistakenly thought this was “kung fu” and was later informed by my older brother that Sonny Chiba practiced Karate and The Street Fighter was a Japanese movie. I really wanted to study Karate after seeing this, but my parents wouldn’t let me.

Fast forward a number of years and I get a job at Blockbuster Video. While I still watched kung fu movies I had a number of Japanese Samurai movies at my finger tips. I devoured the foreign movie section that housed such classics as Sword of Doom, KILL!, Ran, The Hidden Fortress, Zatoichi and many others. After watching these movies I became a fan of period Japanese Samurai Movies (Chanbara) and would seek out as many as I could find.

I came across Thomas Video in Royal Oak, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit) and discovered some genre classics such as Shinobi No Mono, Sanshiro Sugata, Shogun Assassin (they actually had some of the Lone Wolf and Cub series) and much to my surprise Sister Street Fighter, Return of the Street Fighter, Shogun’s Ninja and more. During this time in my life (early 20’s) I absolutely fell in love with Japanese Martial Arts movies.

Along with my childhood favorites such as Ti Lung, The Five Venoms, David Chiang, Chen Kuan Tai, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Angela Mao, Lau Kar Leung, Gordon Liu ( just to name a few) I added names such as Shintaro Katsu, Sue Shiomi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yusuaki Kurata (just to name a few) to my “always must see list.”

The Japanese Martial Arts movie have their own unique flavor in terms of drama, dialogue, action scenes as well as cinematography, camera movement and pacing. The martial art styles represented are varied: Karate, Judo, Kenjutsu, Ninjutsu, Jujutsu, Naginata-Jutsu, (again just to name a few) and they show the great diversity of the Japanese Martial Arts movie viewing experience.

Tune in to Film Fan Dojo (and our sister site The Dojo Fight Masters) for more on some of our favorite Japanese Martial Arts movie stars, fight scenes, movie reviews, and more!



Wu Tang Wednesday: Purple Hooded Ninja

Wu Tang Wednesday: Purple Hooded Ninja

The Purple Hooded Man Poster

Welcome to another edition of Wu Tang Wednesday! In honor of Japanese Movie Month here at the Film Fan Dojo we present, courtesy of our friends at the Wu Tang Collection, Purple Hooded Ninja aka Purple Hooded Man. This 1958  movie stars Kataoka Chiezo  a veteran of over 300 films! Purple Hooded Ninja is the story of Murasaki Zukin who helps those in need and punishes those who do evil to the people. Purple Hooded Ninja is a perfect movie to get over hump day and enjoy some cool Japanese Martial arts movie action.  Also, Ninjas happen to rule!

Samurai, Ninjas, Street fighters, and more

Samurai, Ninjas, Street fighters and more


The Japanese film industry has put its particular stamp on the martial arts genre in a number of ways. Enduring characters such as Zatoichi, Ogami Itto, Hanzo the Razor, Jubei Yagyu, Terry Tsurugi and others have left great impressions on those who have had the pleasure of viewing them in action.

Actors such as Shintarô Katsu, Sonny Chiba, Tomisaburô Wakayama, Toshiro Mifune, Hiroyuki Sanada, Etsuko Shihom, Yusuaki Karata and others have burned permanent places in our hearts for their action packed performances. Japanese Chanbara films have influenced such directors as George Lucas, Cheng Cheh and Quentin Tarantino (just to name the more famous directors).


Japan’s mysterious and mystical Ninja warriors have influenced worldwide pop culture in such areas as movies, video games, Historical documentaries, books and slang.  1962’s Shinobi No Mono,starring Ichikawa Raizō, has remained one of the classics of the Ninja films and is one heck of a good movie.


Karate movies (movies that actually feature Karate as the main fighting style) have produced some of the most dynamic and violent martial movies of the  genre.  The Street Fighter, Karate Bullfighter, Dragon Princess, Roaring Fire and others have given us a great glimpse of the work of Japan’s top action directors and action stars.

Japan’s great martial arts history has influenced its very entertaining cinema and has given us some (and still gives us) some great moments, bad ass characters, and thrilling action sequences that showcase creativity and great story telling.

Film Fan Dojo(and the Dojo Fight Masters) is proud to dedicate the months of April and May exclusively to Japanese Martial Arts cinema. Stay tuned to see what we have in store to celebrate the fantastic martial arts cinema of Japan.

Wu Tang Wednesday: The Victim

Wu Tang Wednesday: The Victim


The Victim is truly one of the classics of kung fu cinema. Directed by Sammo Hung and featuring the cast of Leung Kar Yan, Chang Yi, Fanny Wang, Wilson Tong, Karl Maka and Chung Fat The Victim has all the elements of greatness.

The Victim is the perfect movie for Wu Tang Wednesday. Get over the hump with some incredible fights scenes, funny moments, and the intensity that only “Beardy” can bring. Sit back, relax and enjoy The Victim, courtesy of the Wu Tang Collection on this Wu Tang Wednesday. Peace.