My first film was, Ilsa : Harem Keeper to the Oil Sheiks. 1975.
There, I said it. Yes that was me, credited under my real name, but not my voice. It was dubbed for reasons I wont go into now but I learned a great lesson on that film about how to survive acting in movies. Talk about getting thrown to the sharks. The less said the better. A truly atrocious piece of merde.
The biggest star in the film was the tarantula from Dr. No. The most outstanding aspect of Ilsa are the production values. Considering the fact that the Director of Photography was Dean Cundey and the Production Designer was J. Michael Riva (look THEM up and be amazed at their collective bodies of work), it should come as no surprise.
As I mentioned before, Ilsa was my first experience as a film actor. I suppose one of the few consolations of participating in this dance of fools is that Ill never, ever, come remotely close to having to waltz through anything like that again.
I followed with Planet of the Dinosaurs, then, Hot Ice directed by the notorious Ted Apostolof and also Ed Woods last attempt at acting. In 1977, I starred in - along with Frank Sinatra Jr. - Do It in the Dirt, a dirt-biking film that my riding, as much as my acting, skills, landed me the role. I dont know what happened with this film. I dont think it was ever released and I have yet to see one frame of it.
On an off-day from, Do It in the Dirt, I met with Elliot Hong, who was to direct, The Retrievers. Right now Im too lazy to dig for the records but I think it was 78 when we started the film and I remember meeting and training with Bong Soo Han. He had been the martial-arts coordinator on Billy Jack and numerous other pictures and he was a stern task master. Although since 66, I have been aware of, and practiced some aspects of different schools, I am not a martial-artist. Lets get that straight right now.
I am blessed with a love of sports and a lot of playing as a child in Detroit. Ice Hockey, Baseball, Football, Basketball, Boxing and Swimming. In the course of doing action-films it has all served me well.
Im also not a stuntman. During a big fight scene on the roof of a building, getting thrown around by the bad guys, I was too ignorant to wear pads. It was only afterwards, bemoaning my aching body to a stuntman pal that he asked me incredulously, You didnt put any pads on? I bought my own pads the next day.
Im an actor, thats what I am.
By the way, The Retrievers and all the movies previously mentioned were shot at various locations around Los Angeles, California USA. Not the Philippines. I wouldnt arrive there until 1983.