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COOP gets an email from cult B-director Albert Pyun! First footage from TALES OF AN ANCIENT EMPIRE!

Posted on October 14th, 2009
Posted on October 14th, 2009


I know it’s probably a standardized letter sent out by an assistant, but I’m happy to know I’m on Albert Pyun’s radar and vice-versa.  Here’s his email…

Hi Coop,

Really enjoy your blog. Here’s the first released scene from Tales! Online at:

http://www.vimeo.com/7028173

Hope you approve and won’t tear me a new one. Let me know your thoughts! I appreciate your supporting blog.

Best,
Albert

Gotta love that self-deprecating humor.

I’m actually a little excited to get that email.  I’ve been a closeted fan of Pyun’s work since I was a kid. 

If you don’t know the guy then you probably didn’t frequent the same video stores I did in the 80’s and 90’s.  Pyun’s direct-to-video releases were infamous for their high-entertainment value despite being made on the extreme fast and cheap.  His most outstanding quality:  Pyun has an uncanny ability for creating inventive, kick-ass action sequences that are surprisingly ahead of the curve. 

Some liken him to Ed Wood, having directed a lot of el-cheapo stinkers with no redeeming value. 

I disagree. 

I think he’s a misunderstood auteur who knows how to entertain with a bare minium of resources, making him a B-action movie king during the heyday of the direct-to-VHS rental era.  He’s even got some pretty nice diamonds (or at least Zircons) in them there gravel pits. 

His best film of all time was ironically his first.  The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) CLICK HERE FOR THE TRAILER has gone down in history as one of the best fantasy movies of the 80’s.  It tells the story of exiled-prince-turned-mercenary Talon (Lee Horsley) hired to save a princess and her brother from the evil warlord Cromwell (Richard Lynch) while a vile sorcerer (Richard Moll) conspires to destroy them all.  Oh yeah, and there’s that ridiculously awesome 3-bladed sword that somehow shoots the 2 auxiliary blades like arrows. 

27 years later, Pyun and Horsley are finally back for the anticipated sequel, Tales of an Ancient Empire (which was actually announced/advertised at the end of the original film!).  With an impressive B-list cast including Val Kilmer, Christopher Lambert, Kevin Sorbo, Ralf Moeller and Olivier Gruner, this could be the B-flick event of 2010. 

The scene Pyun sent me from Tales that seems eerily similar to a key scene in Sword where a girl tries to talk the mercenary Aedan (Kevin Sorbo playing Talon’s son) into participating in a rescue.  Does this mean Tales is actually a semi-reboot of Sword

Logline:  “A princess is on a quest to unite the five greatest warriors to save her kingdom from a demon sorceress.” 

Sounds pretty close to the original to me.  More details to come.

Here’s the scene…

TAE_Scene_Clip_ROUGH_CUT_OCT_12 from A Pyun on Vimeo.

So in conclusion:  No, Albert.  I will not tear you a new one for returning to the franchise I love so much.  I dig the clip and I’m glad to see you back with a bigger budget.  Luau on, you crazy Hawaiian native!

Here are my personal favorite films directed by Albert Pyun:

Cyborg (1989) a.k.a. Masters of the Universe 2???? – Why anyone in their right mind would ever mistake, much less market, this film as a sequel to Masters of the Universe is beyond me.  It’s actually one of Jean Claude Van Damme’s first films and it’s a gritty, nasty, thrilling post-apocalyptic action film.  I saw it in the theater and I still credit it as one of Van Damme’s best. 

Nemesis (1992) – A “Terminator” knock-off which took on a life of its own as one of the first Hong Kong-styled action films in the Western world.  It kicked off C-list action star Olivier Gruner’s career and is constantly ripped off for it’s unique action gags. Remember when Kate Beckinsale used a machine gun to blast her way downwards through several floors of a building in Underworld?  It was done here first. It also features a young Thomas Jane who inexplicably stays naked through his entire role. The trailer is horrible, so you’d be better off watching the action-packed opening sequence…

Dollman (1991) – A hilarious, gory, sci-fi camp film in which a Dirty Harry-type cop (Tim Thomerson) from another planet crash lands on ours.  On Earth he’s the size of a Ken-doll.  Fortunately for him, he’s got a ridiculously powerful handgun.  Also starring Jackie Earl Haley as a slimy gangster…

Infection (2005) a.k.a. Invasion – A very interesting, experimental sci-fi/horror film shot in one long, continuous take from a police cruiser’s dashboard camera.  It’s about a meteor that crash lands in a national park, carrying an alien parasite that takes over the minds of humans.  As the infection spreads, the vehicle changes hands to non-infected characters who desperately try to escape the situation.  A very spooky and creepy (although very unevenly-paced) entry into the “found footage” sub-genre… 

Invasion Trailer

Cheryl Cooper|MySpace Videos

-C

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