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Karl Adhihetty

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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Karl Adhihetty (page 2)

"Dragon Hunt" in particular sports a rather large selection of colorful henchmen and assassins. Most of the actors there only appeared in the McNamara films, what can you tell about them? Did you know each other prior to making those films?

Curtis Bush.

I knew most of the cast members, i.e. the villains since they were drawn from the students at Twin Dragon Kung Fu club at the time of the shooting of the two films. "Dragon Hunt" sported 3 Kickboxing World Champions amongst its roster of bad guys. Paul Biafore, Rob Borden and Curtis Bush all appeared in the film. Curtis went on to several more roles in US action films and credits "Dragon Hunt" as being his first film role. Actually, several of the main villains in "Twin Dragon Encounter" as well as the sequel "Dragon Hunt" were friends of hired actor B. Bob. They were the members of a Punk rock group from the Kensington Market in Toronto. The name of their group was was "Bunch of F-cking Goofs"! They performed many times in various Punk rock clubs throughout Toronto back in the 80's & early 90's.

Would you have any funny or memorable anecdotes about the shooting?

As I mentioned earlier, the fact that my friend and I were able to stroll into Parry Sound's Canadian Tire and pick up girls despite our appearance continues to be hysterical to this day! As for the other shenanigans, here are a few relating to "Twin Dragon Encounter".

We would film in the day from sunrise till sunset and would then retire to the "villains" camp for dinner and some home made wine. The stuff was disgusting but was it ever potent! The "rushes" of the previous days filming where reviewed every evening on an old projector and screen in the middle of the camp. The film's budget constraints forced us to reside in the prop tents that had been set up as the "baddies" camp. Food was acquired at the local grocery store and then cooked over the open fires. Bathing was done "au natural" in the cold waters of Georgian Bay. I remember (when we were headed towards the set) that Mick McNamara informed us "there will be absolutely no skinny dipping" because "I don't wanna catch a Muskie"!

In the first week of filming the weather turned unseasonably cold and we bloody well froze in the flimsy tents that had been set up as "props" on the set. Needless to say the alcohol consumption went up as the weather went down. One of the rowdies from Martin's club got drunk one night and was such a pain in the ass that his friends locked him up in one of the prop cages that the "baddies" used to contain their captives. In the middle of the night, one of the guys had to go out and throw a blanket in the cage to shut him up when he started whining that he was too cold!

The cold weather prevented us from taking our daily bath in the frigid waters of Georgian Bay. That, together with the dampness in the air, caused most of us to develop a nasty rash of pus filled nodules on our bodies, particularly on the genital regions! After some initial concern that this was the manifestation of a sexually transmitted disease, I was assured by Martin McNamara that this was just a result of being wet all the time and not being able to bathe! Let us say that I was very much relieved. Later, as the dampness finally broke, we all happily bathed and discovered that he was in fact correct.

As filming continued, we realized that we were all fortunate to be fully trained martial artists. The lack of stunt men required us to accept the occasional mistimed punch or kick to the face. For the most part we were able to avoid injury because of our training. There were a few exceptions however.

The storyline required the use of a Hovercraft in one of the scenes. The Twins were able to barter the use of a Hovercraft by agreeing to put the owner in the film. The owner of the Hovercraft was supposedly the "Canadian Hovercraft Champion", although I highly doubt such a title even existed! Anyway, this guy was scripted into a fight scene. Here's how it unfolded. The two Twins beat the crap out of our gang at our base camp. I attacked Mick with a stick and was quickly dispatched when he blocked the stick and kicked me in the head! Then Martin jumped down from a platform and planted a punch on the jaw of the "Canadian Hovercraft Champion" knocking him out cold! The fight scene continued with various combatants stepping on the prone "Canadian Hovercraft Champion". Finally the director yelled "cut". All of us stood up and dusted ourselves off with the exception of... the "Canadian Hovercraft Champion"! The man was so shook up he refused to simply lie in the scene for the continuity to the next scene. We had to dress up former World Champion kickboxer Paul Biafore as his lookalike so there would be a body laying in the next scene after the previous fight!

World Kickboxing Champion Paul Andrew Biafore...

...who turned musician.

Now, here are some funny things that happened on the set of "Dragon Hunt".

As with "Twin Dragon Encounter", the cast and crew of the film were housed in the prop camp of the film's "bad guys". Garbage on the film set was cast into a giant pit and then set on fire. One of the pyromaniacs from one of the other clubs got in the habit of throwing a cup full of gasoline into the pit to start it. The resulting explosion felt like a bomb being dropped at close quarters! The shrapnel from the explosion flew out dangerously close to our encampment each time the gasoline was thrown into the pit! I quietly stewed about this idiotic behaviour but bit my tongue. One day I could take it no longer! I stormed towards the pit to confront the idiot just as he was throwing his "Molotov cocktail" into the pit. Just as I was about to throttle him, he dropped the gasoline into the pit. The explosion blew me back from the pit! Bits of burning shrapnel flew everywhere and my clothing caught on fire. As I felt the flames climbing up my jacket towards my face, I hit the ground dropping and rolling! One of the other members ran to my aid and helped put out the flames. I emerged from the incident with singed eyebrows and moustache! Needless to say, from that point on I took over the garbage burning duties!

All meals were prepared onsite by any cast and crew that were not involved in the afternoon filming schedule. With the diversity of the people that were on set, the dinner menu was always a surprise. One evening we sat down to a delicious beef stew. It was so good and there was so much of it that we all returned for additional helpings. At one point someone commented on the tastiness of the beef and how fresh it tasted. Somebody asked Mick where we got this great tasting beef and then the story came out... The Twins were in town gathering supplies two days earlier. On their return to the film set, they witnessed a bear getting hit by a truck. The bear was mortally wounded in the accident and was gasping its last breaths as the Twins came across it. Unfortunately, bear hunting was out of season so they were hesitant to put the bear out of its misery with a bullet. Luckily the bear only lived a few minutes. Sensing an opportunity, the Twins retrieved the body and on the pontoon trip back to the set, they gutted and skinned the bear and prepared the meat for consumption! It was the Bear meat that we were eating in the stew!!! Needless to say there were a few turned stomachs and suddenly sick individuals amongst the more squeamish! I recall seeing longtime member Al gagging at this point! One of the "Chef's" that day thought it would be appropriate to bury the entrails within sight of the eating area... the bears paw was positioned sticking out of the ground in a classic "up yours" salute!!

Heidi Romano & Sheryl Foster.

On one occasion, I was left alone in the camp with Jack (a Twin Dragon member who was cast as a villain) and Sheryl, the part-time actress and strip joint waitress. It would be our turn to prepare dinner for the rest of the cast and crew! Jack was a long time member of the Twin Dragon North location run by Mick McNamara. He had trained with us since he was in his early teens, Jack had lived a somewhat sheltered life and was not very experienced with the opposite sex at that time. Anyway, we were all peeling potatoes when I mischievously suggested that Sheryl had got some dirt down her top. "No I don't!" said Cheryl. I continued to bait her "yes you do". Suddenly she lifted her top and said "No I don't. See!" Young Jack's eyes nearly popped out of his head as she nonchalantly pulled her tube top back over her best assets! We then went back to preparing supper for the cast and crew. I'm sure this will forever be a "coming of age" moment for Jack!

Unlike the "Twin Dragon Encounter", this time Mick McNamara was able to sell his film "Dragon Hunt" to Cineplex Odeon and the film was scheduled to debut in theatres across the GTA. I remember we went to the premier as a group. I doubt that there was a seat in the house purchased by anyone not affiliated with Twin Dragon as the film promptly sold out. I cannot begin to tell you the thrill I had, seeing our movie unfold on the big screen, nor the horror I experienced when the sun hit my wedding finger and the golden flash from my ring showered the screen like a halo! I had forgotten to take off the ring for the scene! I took my daughter Tasha with me for the premiere when she was 4 years old. I will forever remember that whenever her dad appeared on screen she would chant Daddy, Daddy, Daddy - a la Jerry Springer! After the scene where I was killed, Tasha started to cry! I had to convince her that it was only a movie and that Daddy had survived!

Do you remember the directors of each movie, Paul Dunlop and Charlie Wiener ?

I remember they were both very nice guys. I believe Charles was just out of film school at the time while Paul was quite well known in the industry mostly for his work on nature shows for TV.

Who was the fight choreographer on those movies? In "Twin Dragon Encounter", there's a pretty convincing sequence where you seem to be highkicked in the skull by one of the McNamara brothers. Were some strikes real?

I would say the films are at least 95% true to the brothers personna! Some of the incidents depicted i.e. the girl being attacked by the mugger in "Twin Dragon Encounter" are based on actual incidents that occurred at some point. All of the fighting techniques used by the Twins reflect the actual methods of combat that they teach at their clubs and that I continue to teach at my own club. The Twins have been hunters for many years, so I guess the survivalist skills that they exhibit in the film are pretty much true to life. On the other hand, the guerrilla warfare was pretty much a fictional account. The attack on the Twins by the People's Private Army was purely fictional.

In the films, the twins have a definite tendency to hit their opponents in their most sensitive parts again and again: was it a humorous wink or something that's really part of their technique? (We think that question was worth being asked, since they look deadly serious doing it!)

As I mentioned earlier, most of the techniques you see in their films are definitely used in the fighting system the Twins have developed over the years. The fighting style they have created has come to be known as KUNG FU KICKBOXING. The style combines the dirtiest techniques of Kung Fu with the most effective techniques of Kickboxing. The Twins definitely like to attack those "sensitive parts"!

In the films and on their website, the McNamara brothers tend to blur the lines between their fictional characters and their real personas. Could you shed some light on which parts of the films are pure fiction, and which parts were actually inspired by real events or real skills from the twins' life? In addition to being serious martial artists, they're also portrayed as experts in guerilla warfare for instance...

AI would say the films are at least 95% true to the brothers personna! Some of the incidents depicted i.e. the girl being attacked by the mugger in "Twin Dragon Encounter" are based on actual incidents that occurred at some point. All of the fighting techniques used by the Twins reflect the actual methods of combat that they teach at their clubs and that I continue to teach at my own club. The Twins have been hunters for many years, so I guess the survivalist skills that they exhibit in the film are pretty much true to life. On the other hand, the guerrilla warfare was pretty much a fictional account. The attack on the Twins by the People's Private Army was purely fictional.

Did you ever appear in another movie? Did you play a character in the last McNamara's movie, "The Right to Fight/The Real Twin Dragons"? Do you know if this movie will be released some day?

I did in fact participate in the filming of "The Right to Fight". It was a very small non-speaking part since I did not have enough to participate in a bigger part. The movie has been held up due to financing issues. I'm not sure when this film will be released.

On behalf of the whole Nanarland team, and of all our readers who we know will be glad to come upon this interview, thank you very much for your time, Karl!

You are very welcome! Thank you for taking the time to look me up. It has been a pleasure walking down memory lane to answer your questions! I think I have answered everything as completely as I can recollect - it has been 20 years since "Dragon Hunt" was filmed! If you need anything else don't hesitate to email me and I will do my best to answer any further questions!

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