THE HIT LIST - December 29, 2014

It's been another amazing year of presenting independent action to help their respective creators attain bigger audiences. There were a few that were supposed to come out by now, but unfortunately some of those (as usual) tend to take longer, whether or not they have to do with post-production or other plans for allocation. Maybe 2015 will bring better, much deserved prospects. Action films need to get better, and the folks included in this week's Hit List are just a handful of people worthy to help in this cause.

What better way to celebrate post-holiday cheer than to watch two Santas duke it out to see which one is more badass?! It's Good Santa vs. Evil Santa performed by Italian stuntfighting team D-Unit's own Mirco Cazzol and Loris Ripamonti in Mission: Impossible - Christmas Protocol!

Here is another new gem from Canadian stunt team, Eclipse Stunts with a newly released trailer for Jingle Bell Rocked. The project never got finished, as always with a lot of independent shorts that fall ill to lack of time and busy scheduling of its performers, but it still presents a nice little glimpse of what could have been. Maybe one day we will get to see a full fight scene from it, although I'm not sure. At any rate, the trailer is up for viewing.

Seven years after mixing it up on YouTube, stuntmen and brothers Alfred Hsing and Alvin Hsing are following up on their holiday tradition with another installment of Holiday Hsing Fight. It's got a nice little set up and both of these guys have have sharpened greatly over the years within their repsective careers. It shows and hopefully you've already taken notice. If not, then it's not too late to do so now.

Independent filmmaker and martial arts enthusiast, Eric Nguyen re-launched his official website for his film platform over at Lunar Stunts Action Cinema. As such, he's accompanied his latest update with fresh new content in the form of some cool behin-the-scenes footage showcasing Nguyen with performers Irvin Nguyen and Mickey Arce on the set of his own recent short, El Guerrero. It's not often shorts like these get their own making-of featurettes, so its great to have these little windows that allow us to look at these up-and-coming professionals from a genuine perspective; In my own humble opinion, one thing I've noticed is that Irvin smiles a lot. He can literally kick your ass with a smile on his face and not even know it... I guess some of us have yet to reach that level of "cool".

Take a look below and feel free to visit the website and check out Nguyen's entry along with a couple of set pictures for good measure.

Up next is another little bit of back and forth from Wolf Stunts' own David Conk behind the lens, collaborating with screenfighters Anthony Anderson, Blake Roach and Neil Bogucki. It's shorter than a minute but still cool to check out as a pre-requisite for what will hopefully come next this year. Check it out, in addition to two more reels featuring Conk, and fellow collaborator, action actor Ben Aycrigg.

French stuntman and filmmaker Godefroy Ryckewaert first came on my radar about a year ago. He's got a great eye for the lens and he's back to highlight that fact once again with the new comedic action short, Tatapis Tami, which I can only summarize as gang warfare at its most prepubescent! I thought this was funny, charming and well executed, and I'm hyped to see what Ryckewaert comes up with next after this.

Filmmaker Fernando Jay Huerto's year has proven quite fruitful, with a feature film in development with an official cast announcement pending, and a flurry of online action collaborations with a number of young and inspired performers at home and abroad. You can check out a glimpse of those in his newest 2014 martial arts action reel, featuring clips of previous and upcoming shorts to come!

There isn't much I can say about this particular video. It intially released online back in July as a concept for a new series titled Interface, which aims to introduce a story that crosses between the visionary strengths and urban, gritty tone of films and TV shows like The Raid, Inception, Blade Runner and The Wire. Blood And Bone helmer Ben Ramsey and actor, martial artist and writer Arnold Chon are behind this ambitious project, and not more has been built on it except what has been left with a Facebook page to further champion the concept with news articles devoted to innovative science and technology relative to the subject matter. If this all suits you, feel free to take a look and subscribe to the page, and hopefully it will mean this concept will be done some cinematic justice. For now though, the video is below. Oh, and for good measure, there's some more Interface footage in stunt performer Christopher Balualua's summer reel from earlier this year just beneath!

For this segment, we have some previz footage featuring UK stuntmen Jean-Paul Ly and Law Jhon for the new martial arts action short, Deep Pan Fury from filmmaker Charlie Dennis. Both are attached to the project with Ly (Lucy, Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist) directing the action in a spiritual thriller about a Japanese fighter in search of redemption with no choice but to reclench his fists once more when local Yakuza underlings threaten his grandfather's pizzeria.

I'm a pizza lover so I'm proudly partial. I can't wait to see the ass-kicking that awaits, and I hope it gets funded as it deserves to be. Check out the video and head over to Kickstarter to watch even more solid concept footage within the campaign video!

French action director Cedric Tellier delivered an impressive action short earlier this year in the form of Elit Unit prior to puttng up a small teaser for another upcoming fast-paced short titled La Casse back in October. This month, he's offered another small teaser, now with an additional kick in the eardrums courtesy of Metallica, and you can now check that out as well.

It's been quite a while since I last wrote about Danny Vega's upcoming directorial debut, A Dance With The Devil. Mainly, the production has hit a few snags between now and last year, so the project is now undergoing some reconstruction and it may be a while before we learn what that means. Nevertheless, Vega has taken to the interwebs to share one of the project's pivotal fight sequences. Hopefully we see more of this, because it really looks worthy of something larger in scale. Check it out!

Dardrex Productions's latest piece of work showcases what happens when a teacher becomes weary of his student's suspicious absenses. Missing Student is the name of the project with Darren Holmquist and Frank Hernandez working the lens with performances by Martin Chan and Eddie Ramos.

Swedish stuntfighter, up-and-comer Betim Alimi's latest showreel is online, and it's worth a look. Alimi has been aspiring for this particular field for close to ten years now, having been a martial arts purveyor since he was five. Endulging on a staple diet of the Hong Kong classics of yesteryear was what led him to start cutting his teeth in 2005. 2009 saw the worst of it when he broke his leg, and his screenfighting recovery has largely been a slow and steady one as more projects have followed, and I've had the good fortune of sharing a few of them on this site this year.

The stunts, the takes and the injury are among all you will see summarized in the following reel, highlighting Alimi's driven spirit to keep going.

Epic Bully Fight is a bit of a throwback. It's a little over a year old and features performances by YouTube personalities Dominick Sandoval and Jerel Mascarinas, and to be honest, I don't remember if I shared this on my blog or not, and I don't really care, because it's worth sharing as its one of the most fluid and slick videos I've seen in my time as a blogger. It's got action, goofball comedy and some spectacle to boot, and even though these two aren't known for making these kinds of videos, I certainly wouldn't complain if they made more.

If you watch enough online tutorials on martial arts, you probably know who Wing Chun expert Master Wong is. He talks a lot of shit, but backs it up pretty awesomely, and it's all very informative and entertaining as well. Moreover, I've been curious as to whether or not he would accomodate doing an action film someday, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that opinion. Well, to those it may concern, our curiosity here gets somewhat rewarded in his latest video pitting Wing Chun against boxing.

It's the stuff of all sorts of martial arts fanboy chatter when compairing styles, so take a look and feel free to decide who wins in the end. This should be interesting!

With this year's induction of vampire slasher comic book pitch, Heartbreaker, and sword-wielding samurai short, Bladed Minds, former adult entertainer-turned-screenfighting temptress, actress Celine Tran has already set herself up for potentially greater prospects in the action genre, provided that her efforts remain continued. The responses from online netizens have been nothing short of positive, and action fans can only hope we see much more sooner. And if you're one of those fans as of late, then you'll be delighted to take a look at Tran's newest action short, Burst, with director Vincent Gatinaud back behind the lens and Mathieu Lardot directing the truly cutthroat action!

And lastly, freerunner Ryan Doyle has something he wants you to know. And you know what? I believe him!

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