All the showbiz talk shows last weekend covered the passing of action star Rudy Fernandez. I started thinking about it, and I realized that I don't particularly remember any Rudy Fernandez film. His most popular movies are Baby Ama
and Markang Bungo
, but I can't remember seeing either (or if I did, I guess they weren't particularly memorable. I'm quite sure I've seen some of his other movies, like Lagalag
, which was about his uncle (and Pops Fernandez's dad), The Vincent "Bingbong" Crisologo Story
, about the early life of the Quezon City congressman, and that movie where he hooked up with Lorna Tolentino that had Somewhere
as its theme song (I don't think that was an action movie though).
Now, this is odd because I usually remember particular movies by his contemporaries from that particular period. So yeah, this is really just an excuse for me to write about some old Pinoy action films. I'm not even going to mention FPJ, Binoe, or Manoy because we won't be seeing an end to this post.Philip Salvador
-- Balweg, the Rebel Priest
- this was the one about the rebel soldier. Fr. Balweg goes up to the mountains, preaches liberation theology, and, with his M-16, goes medieval on Martial Law-era battalions operating in the Cordilleras. He was a priest!
-- Joe Pring
- this was about the famous Manila cop. He's a good cop, catching lots of bad guys, but he also nails lots of chicks (to his wife's chagrin). My grandfather, who was a photographer, supplemented his income by doing crime scene photography work as well as basic private investigation, so he had a lot of friends in the police. Some of them came over the house occasionally. One of them was Joe Pring himself. I was so disappointed because he *so* did not look like Philip Salvador.Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr.
-- Boy Tornado
- this was a Rocky knockoff, with Bong Revilla playing an up-and-coming boxer preparing for his eventual championship match with champion Ruel Vernal. Of course, he also has a chip on his shoulder because Vernal's promoter screwed his dad many years before. At the end, some of his loved ones are kidnapped. My absolute favorite thing about this movie is that Boy Tornado suddenly, mysteriously becomes an expert deadshot with his .45, allowing him to kill all the bad guys while rescuing everyone.
-- Pangako Sa 'Yo
- this was a Maging Sino Ka Man
rip-off starring Bong Revilla and Sharon Cuneta. For some weird, fucked-up reason, Bong Revilla decided to wear a horrible ponytail for this movie. But check out this movie just to see how hot Sharon Cuneta looked in it; the Megastar hasn't looked as good before or since. Seriously.Lito Lapid
- this movie starts out as Karate Kid with arnis (the title comes from the tree from which the sticks are made). Lito Lapid plays the Miyagi role, with JC Bonnin as his Daniel-San. They don't wax in (or wax out, for that matter), but they do stand on poles to practice their moves. JC then lets his skills go to his head and becomes a cocky professional arnis fighter. He seeks revenge by challenging arnis champion Ruel Vernal, but Vernal cheats a lot with mirrors on his sticks to reflect light to blind JC, who gets his ass handed to him. Lito Lapid has no choice but to fight Ruel Vernal, in the process destroying not only Vernal's reign, but JC Bonnin's showbiz career as well, forcing him to migrate to the UK to become a vicar. It's true, look it up.
-- Ok, I don't remember the title of the film, but there's this movie where Lito Lapid plays a soldier, and he's in the battlefield where he goes hand-to-hand against Max Laurel (a.k.a. the musclebound guy who played Zuma). Max Laurel tries to squeeze the life out of him with a bearhug, but he survives using karate chops to Laurel's head. Later on, he gets hit with a bullet to his stomach. The wound is pretty bad; in fact, his intestines are spilling out literally! Unfazed, he takes a helmet, cups his intestines in it, and charges the enemies while continuing fire. I don't remember anything else about the movie, but dammit, that was motherfuckingly awesome.Jinggoy Estrada
-- Eagle Squad
- if you ignore for a moment the fact that this film stars Jinggoy Estrada, you'd realize that this was a pretty cool movie. The government needs to crack down on crime, so they decide to form an elite unit to deal with the situation. The police assemble the Eagle Squad from different parts of the organization, so the very best patrolmen, detectives, sharpshooters, etc. were recruited. It had a cool, Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven/Ocean's Eleven feel to it. After they were done, they ended up with some of the very best group of young action stars that the movie's budget could afford: Edu Manzano, Ricky Davao, a very young Robin Padilla before he broke out in Bad Boy
, George Estregan Jr., Monsour del Rosario, and a bunch of others. They even let Jinggoy be part of the group, probably because he was one of the movie's producers. My favorite member was Monsour del Rosario, who was recruited because he was a tae kwon do champion. Yeah, because his expertise would *really* come in handy when the bad guys come shooting at them with, you know, guns.
Anyway, they get the team together and they go through a crash training, where they do a lot of push-ups and run around obstacle courses. They're then pressed into active duty with immediate results, busting several illegal operations and earning the ire of the big crime syndicates. One by one, members of the Eagle Squad are assassinated with the help of some corrupt members of the police. Now, I don't actually remember the end of the movie, but I think they all got killed in the end in an ambush. Which would have been an awesome, ballsy ending but I seriously don't remember if that was really how this movie ended or I just have it confused with the finale of Force 1 Animax from Funny Komiks.
A couple of months ago, I actually caught the movie showing on Destiny's local movie channel, and I was hooked. But I wasn't able to finish the movie because I had to go to work, and that's when I finally made up my mind about leaving my job. A man shouldn't have to be made to choose between going to work and watching how Eagle Squad
Actually, there is a Rudy Fernandez film that I love. It was Waway, which was about the crazed hostage-taker who was talked down by journalist Ruther Batuigas. It wasn't much of an action movie, but it was really well-acted (Ronnie Lazaro was really great in it, as he is for most of the projects he's been in). I didn't post it initially because I couldn't remember if it was Rudy Fernandez or Philip Salvador who played the title role. Also, Cesar Montano starred in a shitty remake of the film, because that's what Cesar Montano is: a shitty, unoriginal action star whose career only took off while Robin Padilla was in jail.
Also, I'd forgotten to add, three of the four action stars whose movies I discussed above are currently proud members of the Philippine Senate. Isn't that great?
Labels: actionstars, moves