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Mike Abbott

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Mike Abbott (page 2)

Were you telling your lines of dialogue in English or in Cantonese?

Mike in Godfrey Ho's 1990 "Princess Madam",
with fellow gweilos Pierre Tremblay and John Ladalski.

Everything was always in English. As a lead, I would have as many as (maybe) 30 lines of dialogue (which actually is quite a lot), and a lot of screen time.

By the way, do you speak Cantonese?

Only a few words, as I've never been interested in the language. Actually, a lot of foreigners don't learn Cantonese, mostly because they don't like the sound of it. It's not a problem, because you can perfectly well make a living in Hong Kong if you just speak English.

How were producers Joseph Lai and his sister Betty Chan, if you ever met them? Was Mr Lai sometimes present on the set to supervise or was Godfrey Ho always directing alone?

I've never met Betty Chan. Joseph Lai, I met him once, shook his hand and that's all. He never went to the set. Godfrey Ho was always there, all the time, taking care of everything. He worked really hard. When Godfrey wasn't directing, Phillip Ko would direct. Phillip was an actor (he was in "Fatal Termination"), and was often there too. Both Godfrey Ho and Phillip Ko, as well as their film crews were great to work for.

You said you did one film with Tomas Tang, but as far as we know, it is unclear if Mr Tang was a real person or just a collective pseudonym used by several IFD / Filmark directors, and notably Godfrey Ho. Strangely, "Tomas Tang" was reported dead in the burning of the building in which IFD and Filmark companies had their office...

Tomas Tang is a real person, I have met him! I did one movie with him through his company Filmark. He needed actors, he was desperate, but I was already working for IFD, and the policy was "if you work for IFD, don't work for Filmark" and "if you work with Filmark, you don't work with IFD". So what happened was they asked me to do just one film, that's why I did only one with Tomas Tang and Filmark. At the time I worked with him, he must have been 35 to 40 years old. I remember him as a quiet and quite pleasant person. I do not know if he died in the Garley Building fire.

Bruce Baron also told us "the Triads were heavily infiltrated into the HK movie industry" and that on IFD films, "the crews were among the roughest and most dangerous [he has] ever had the ill fortune to work with, with a lot of low level triad thugs moonlighting as grips". Would you have any comment about the possible links between IFD / Filmark companies and Hong Kong syndicates?

"Thunder Ninja Kids: Golden Adventure" (1990),
that Godfrey Ho made with "Charles Lee" nickname.

Well, yes, I think that's right. I couldn't tell you much on that subject, but they were closely connected with triads, for sure.

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