Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stone Age Warriors

Stone Age Warriors Directed By Stanley Tong, Starring Siu-Wong Fan (1991).

The first time I attempted to watch this scrambled quality film, I got a migraine and had to shut it off. The subs flew by at lightning speed and everything was too grainy. This director went onto super stardom when he paired up with Jackie Chan in his American debut, Rumble in the Bronx. According to Clyde Gentry III's book on Chan "Inside the Dragon", the actor was so impressed by what he saw in Stone Age that he hired Tong on the spot.

The version I watched on Youtube recently was easier on the eyes but still, it needs a re-release. In the catalog, Chas Balun really oversold this one, claiming it has "carnivorous lizards, face flesh-munchers and unscripted animal antics." Sounds pretty mind-blowing to me, so here goes my second attempt with this film.

Down in the jungles of Papua New Guinea (a perfect location for an Italian Cannibal film), pasty slow moving natives chop off limbs and ambush a group of Asian adventurers, luckily they have machine guns to battle flying arrows and sharp tools. The gore is super meaty but gets over shadowed by the squiggled video quality (if only I could see what's happening)! Now into the land of business and cubicles, a pretty black coffee drinking girl named Lucy is getting all emotional (the white on white subs make it hard to figure out what's happening). Lucy is played by Nina Li Chi from Tiger on the Beat.
Well at least I can read that!

This movie likes to get seriously continental and switches locations like people switch dirty socks because now we're in Japan. Miss Eko played by Elaine Lui Siu-Ling is an ass-kicking kung fu actress on the set, showing off her moves (she makes a mistake and they cut the scene). She gets an urgent fax from Hong Kong and must sign a form concerning her father who's lost in the jungle. She doesn't believe he's dead though and wants to find him. Now in Indonesia (where we don't see Lady Terminator make a special cross over appearance), they meet a pudgy travel agent who yammers on and on, while the white on white subs blend into each other. He's shocked when the mother and stepdaughter (which was just now established) are looking for Mr. Nakamura. Eko bribes the fat dude with a gillion dollars (she should've bargained more) and the annoying blended in subs continue. At this point I wonder if I'd enjoy this film more if I learned the language.

If you ever see that rotten shithead Plastic Man, tell him he owes me a royalty check

The chubby Asian man Eddy Comboli (this is his sole acting credit) reminds me of Plastic Man's cartoon sidekick Hula-Hula and is actually named Abdullah. They all climb up a hill and are surrounded by African natives (or "Stone Age Warriors").  Siu-Wong Fan, the actor who played Riki -Oh, the stone and bone shattering kung fu juggernaut; right after this dreadful film was finished plays Lung Fei the resident medic of the tribe. These natives seem authentic and kind of do war dances in the background while the main characters bicker.

I smash in jaw bones and tear out spleens for Jesus now

There are real Komodo dragons in this film and from what I've gathered from extensive research (Ha, yeah right), they have attacked humans and are powerful carnivores that hold down their prey and use red saliva which carry septic pathogens. You know, this movie is pretty tedious, when I start prattling on about reptiles.

If only some Komodo Dragons visited the editing room of George Lucas before the ruining of Episodes IV- Jedi

The jungle foley sounds they play are the same kind you'd hear at Disney's Parrot jungle. The two pretty girls sort of compete for the affections of the jungle medic and attempt some weak comedy.  
After Eko gets to the tropical wasteland, she hardly shows off her martial arts skills and instead becomes the kung fu medic's helpless heroine. He flies up a tree and catches her just in time, she narrowly escapes a native trap (this besides the real Komodo dragons is the most thrilling segment). Some WWF reject types show up and make the film a little more interesting. In the Sho Kosugi world, I'd equate STONE AGE as this directors 9 Deaths of the Ninja (which also takes place in the jungle) as his weakest effort. People really seem to love this film for some reason, which is baffling to me? There's a very wacky, high in the tree tops kung fu battle, that would be cooler if I could make out what's going on beneath the haze of video scramble.

but first let me wrench out this delicious nose goblin

During a scuffle, one female character sprays a goon in the mouth and covers him with whip cream (why they packed that is anyones guess), but it kind of reminded me of the end of Cut & Run when Michael Berryman is defeated by a fire extinguisher. 

Some scorpions show up and cause the girls to almost break the sound barrier in screams (possibly they were real)? The animal hijinks continue as gigantic komodo dragons make an appearance, they all feast on a real carcass and hiss at the girls, chasing them up a tree. Some WWF looking dudes it turns out have taken their father captive, they almost pierce his wife's lips together but then let her go. Also there's an abrupt topless scene with a girl who looks like an Asian female Gene Simmons and a Corey Haim clone who snorts coke off her tits (gross)!

I know I'm totally wasted but that is one crooked nipple

Obviously I was not as enamored as Chas was by this film, but what do I know? During the credits there's even a blooper real with all the crazy animals. I'd say if there was a pristine copy of this film, I'd give it another chance in 10 years but the storyline itself is sloppy and all the best elements don't ever get off the ground and kind of bump into each other. Tong is a really great Jackie Chan director however, he's just not cut out for exploitation jungle fare.  


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