In case you might have missed it…Malaysian-born filmmaker James Lee is revving up to blow action fans away with the upcoming martial arts thriller “Kill Fist”, which has recently wrapped production. The film, which reunites him with “Headshot” villain Sunny Pang following their past collaborations “The Collector” and “Call If You Need Me”, was completed through Lee’s production company, Doghouse 73 Pictures, and will reportedly merge classical martial arts action with the world of underground MMA fighting.
In a recent interview with Film Combat Syndicate, Lee stated that “Kill Fist” will serve as a nostalgic throwback to martial arts films of the 1980’s. “It was simply an idea to just make an no-nonsense martial arts action movie, like those in the 80’s with titles like ‘Kill And Kill Again’. With focus on the families of the characters, I was inspired to write and design a story that will legitimize the action look instead of bringing action just for the sake of action. The two mutually co-exist and so the story will still play an inherent, important part in the film.”
Of course, stunt people, screen fighters, and action filmmakers are well-accustomed to the more rigorous physical demands of their genre, and as Lee further revealed, the indie roots of the “Kill Fist” called upon his entire cast and crew to rise to the occasion, along with offering a glimpse at the stylistic flavor of the film’s plentiful fight sequences:
“The biggest hurdles were the fight and action scenes totaling about ten scenes, with Sunny himself in eight of them. It was really a demanding shoot for all of us, and so we didn’t have ample pre-production time to complete the choreography, so five of the scenes were choreographed and improvised on set…I envisioned a modern-day kung-fu fight thriller pitting traditional styles against each other. We did not use much grappling or ground work as they’re actually harder to design compared to stand up striking techniques. So Chee Hong had to choreograph five of the major fights in a period of over a month. We trained and met up every Saturday to do the choreography with his team when available. It was truly an indie effort.”
For “Kill Fist”, Sunny Pang will appear in the role of Zhang, a sales rep in the midst of a bitter custody battle with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Alan Yun will also appear opposite Sunny in the parallel role of John, a pastor whose wife is battling cancer, with the two crossing paths as they enter the world of underground fighting with the common aim of walking away with the competition’s cash prize.
“Kill Fist” comes on the heels of Sunny’s villainous turn in last year’s “Headshot”, and is one of several projects he has set for release this year. Among them is “The Night Comes For Us”, which will reunite him with his “Headshot” co-director Timo Tjahjanto and his co-stars from the film Iko Uwais and Julie Estelle, along with Iko’s fellow alumni from “The Raid”, Joe Taslim. While the action of “Headshot” was predicated primarily upon Silat, “Kill Fist” is set to incorporate a wide range of different martial arts disciplines into its fight sequences, with Sunny’s character reportedly being an exponent of Praying Mantis kung fu, news which will no doubt bring immense delight to all discerning aficionados of martial arts action!
Stay tuned for more exciting news on the thrill-a-minute underground action “Kill Fist” is set to unleash as it becomes available. In the meantime, what are some of your favorite indie action films, or movies about underground fighting? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation and Like/share this on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. (Want more reasons to twist your fists-of-FU? Then check out more of our martial arts news, reviews and exclusive interviews, too!)