Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Tao of Ric: True Lies & A Fistful of Meyerisms: Part 7



"He just doesn't seem to have any idea...if...he needs somebody like a Fred Astaire to tell'em, ya gotta show the whole body. When you're doing a kung fu movie, the beauty of it is you get to show everything." *--Ric thinking he's referring to director Chen Hung Lieh for INHERITOR OF KUNG FU (1977), but it's actually prolific cinematographer and director Pao Hsueh Li's movie bearing the same title from 1981.

Up to this point, you may remember a few allusions here and there towards this INHERITOR OF KUNG FU movie spread out over this article and in the accompanying Meyerisms list. What's the big deal about this movie, you ask? Well, absolutely nothing, but the accompanying commentary is. This last chapter is all about that single movie and why this particular audio commentary is the single most useless and laughable excuse of audible cinematic journalism you will ever hear in your DVD lovin' lifetime.

On another commentary track for MYSTERY OF CHESSBOXING (bearing the onscreen title of NINJA CHECKMATE), Ric Meyers and Bobby Samuels, apparently cognizant of the large number of upset fans regarding their mostly useless play by play, asks for constructive criticism from said fans. That's totally understandable and all, but when you do an audio commentary for THE WRONG MOVIE, the potential for losing credibility is enormous, and Meyers has proven to be a better running gag than a kung fu movie enthusiast; a FACT he proves ten fold with this here INHERITOR OF KUNG FU (1981) commentary. He's great at being an enthusiast on himself and all he's done over the course of his "career", but lousy when detailing a subject he's had over 30 years to get the hang of.

Anyways, this particular commentary is without doubt, the worst of all time partially because the film these two are discussing is not from the actual individual they credit with directing it. Not only that, but both Meyers and Samuels (Samuels seem more like he's just going along with Ric than anything else) repeatedly throw jabs at who they think was the director of the film. Had either Meyers or Samuels bothered to pay attention to the credits, they would know who the director was. What exactly were they doing the whole time? The purpose of an AC is to give the listener pertinent information about the fucking movie they're watching. But if the geniuses spoutin' off into the microphone aren't watching, or don't even know Jack Shit about the movie, what the hell is the point, then?!?!?! Granted, Bobby Samuels actually has some legit credentials with his involvement in the HK film industry, but his participation on some of these releases is lacking to say the least. He divulges some interesting info on some of the discs, although it's still baffling that he sits there and goes along with Meyers the bulk of the time on these things. Possibly he just wanted to watch the movies and occasionally nod his head in aggreance in a bid to keep Meyers' ego sufficiently stroked. Still, he is far more knowledgeable from the standpoint of someone having actually been a part of the action than the man coined the "leading authority". Anyway, back to INHERITOR.

There are two films that bear this title, one from actor turned director Chen Hung Lieh released in 1977, and the other from former cinematographer turned director Pao Hsueh Li released in 1981. They are "watching" the latter. I guess it's easy to fuck that up since both guys have a word that sounds like "Lee" in their names. Pao's film is actually titled THE HEROIC ONE, but, for whatever reason, was retitled for its Ocean Shores release on videotape. The film itself is a peculiar one as it's choppily edited and all over the place rendering it near impossible to decipher as to what it's about aside from the search for a kung fu manuscript. There's a reason why the film is as confounding and frustrating as it is, but it's nowhere near the mess as that of the beyond idiotic commentary track that's been provided for your amusement. The following information was relayed to me by an actor/martial artist who was in the film.

The director, Pao Hsueh Li, signed Ti Lung to do one film, the shooting of which, was to be partially done in Japan. With the schedule going on longer than expected, the esteemed actor discovered this single movie was now going to be two movies. Basically, Ti Lung was getting paid one time, but for what was eventually going to be two films. According to Anglo actor-martial artist John Ladalski (who shows up during the finale), Pao didn't have the finances to pay Ti Lung for the second feature, but agreed to do so after the film was released. Figuring that since the director was being deceptive about the shooting of the second movie, Ti lung decided to leave the production when enough footage was shot for the first picture.

Image from HKMDB

This would explain why shots of Ti Lung battling Kwan Young Moon are featured prominently on the promotional spread for the second picture, HERO AT THE BORDER REGION (1981) as seen above. The second film was never finished and was likely padded out with portions of THE HEROIC ONE which would explain why it's so choppy. Either way, the film stinks, but never approaches the massive level of suckage that is Ric Meyers' commentary.

The DVD box further adds insult to injury by listing it as Chen Hung Lieh's version (a more traditional fist and kick movie while Pao's film is a swordplay picture); this coming from Tai Seng, the company that proclaimed, "We know kung fu!" With these older, less important films, why should even a modicum of accuracy or investigative research come into play? Who will care, right? Regardless of the historical significance of ANY subject, if it is as lazily discussed and promoted as this worthless attempt at an audio commentary is, then we are doing ANY topic of even the most minor of cultural, social, historical, or cinematic significance a gross disservice. While we're on the subject, it should be noted that the Tai Seng DVDs are nothing more than the Ocean Shores VHS tapes transferred to disc. Only one film from OS was ever released in widescreen that I am aware of and that's Lee Tso Nam's EAGLE'S CLAW (1977), which is also out on Tai Seng's Martial Arts Theater label.


"He's [I Kuang] supposedly the writer of this movie, but I have no idea how true that is..." *--Read the fucking credits, Ric!!!

Getting back to the INHERITOR OF KUNG FU commentary track, Meyers babbles on making insulting comments towards Chen Hung Lieh's lack of directorial skills when it's actually somebody else's movie! He also states I Kuang is the writer. Well, he is, but on Chen's film, not Pao's film, the one on the damn DVD! Jin Shu Mei (who co-scripted THE HEROES from 1980 with I Kuang and happens to be married to director Pao) is the writer for Pao's picture and Meyers would have known that had he paid fucking attention to the opening credits! To compound things, neither Meyers nor Samuels knows who Kwan Young Moon is (aside from his fan handle as 'The Mad Korean'). Samuels at least knows some of his actual, FACTUAL background information.

Astonishingly, Meyers doesn't even know who Pearl Cheung is, an actress most famous for WOLF DEVIL WOMAN (1981) and two loosely related follow ups and other films such as MY BLADE, MY LIFE (1982). Adding to this nonsense that extends beyond the shiny disc space housing the shitty INHERITOR OF KUNG FU and its even shittier play by play, Meyers states on the KUNG FU EMPEROR (1981) commentary that it's "quite possible" Pao directed INHERITOR OF KUNG FU! He says this with the utmost of conviction as if he has suddenly transformed into the kung fu version of Sherlock Holmes. He goes on to deduce why he believes Pao, the director of KUNG FU EMPEROR, also directed INHERITOR OF KUNG FU, but isn't quite sure! GO BACK AND READ THE FUCKING CREDITS, RIC!!!

Adding further fuel to this nonsensical fire, Meyers occasionally refers back to the INHERITOR film and his imbecilic presumption of Chen Hung Lieh's participation. With this single joke ass DVD commentary, whose stench extends to other waste of disc space, Ric Meyers proves without a shadow of a doubt the only martial art he is proficient in is the art of Clueless Kung Fu.


Both Meyers and Samuels reaffirm us on the INHERITOR OF KUNG FU commentary that Ti Lung had to have done this movie as a favor. Actually, Ti Lung had requested permission to freelance outside of Shaw Studio in mid 1978 for the potential lucrative benefits offered. As the actor told Saturday Weekly in June of '78, "Many Shaw contract players have been granted permission to freelance once a year. I hope I will be given the same treatment." He was, and in September of 1979, Ti Lung, along with Shih Szu , flew to Taiwan for a two week stay to headline a movie together. The actor was also working on five films at Shaw Brothers during this time, too. This was Ti Lung's first time freelancing in his then eleven year career. He also did a few other independent movies around this time such as THE HEROES (1980), THE REVENGER (1980) and KUNG FU EMPEROR (1981), all with Shih Szu and the latter two with his wife, Amy Tao.


This last list of Ric-Rolled Meyerisms contains some of the man's nuttiest, insane, arrogant, and ill-informed utterances yet!

NUMBERS 195-230!

195. "The Chinese government put out an official decree, uh, reprimanding its own cinema for not doing it first." *--Meyers twisting the truth yet again in reference to the Chinese not making KUNG FU PANDA (2008) first. You can read more about it in Part 1. What he didn't tell you was that several big name Chinese directors were covertly assassinated by the Flying Guillotine squad for not beating the Americans to the punch. That's what REALLY happened.

196. "I know lots about ninja...this is remarkably accurate." *--This statement contains several words you'd never associate with Ric Meyers--"I know lots about..." and "remarkably accurate".

197. In a boldly ironic statement on the LIFE OF A NINJA (1983) commentary, Meyers says that the reason Warner Books hired him to take over the series was because "they already knew about my reputation with martial arts movies and Asian films..." *--They say ignorance is bliss.

198. "When somebody says 'I'm a ninja', you're pretty well guaranteed they're not." *--Prick Meyers gets offensive when uttering insulting comments towards real life ninjitsu master, Stephen K. Hayes. On the LIFE OF A NINJA commentary track, he goes on for a few minutes denouncing how Hayes couldn't possibly be a ninja regardless of the fact that the man studied in Japan for at least five years prior to writing several books on the subject as well as being the bodyguard of the Dalai Lama. I think it's a safe bet Hayes doesn't walk on walls, nor scurry feverishly underground accompanied by ridiculous sound effects. Yet again, Meyers is a storyteller who enjoys confusing history with fantasy. When you say you're a martial arts movie expert, Ric, we're pretty well guaranteed YOU'RE NOT.

199. Moments later on the same commentary, Meyers can't remember what Sumo wrestling is, then jokingly implies how embarrassed he is claiming this is the first time he's made such a mistake(!!!) and that he is now going to have to burn all copies of LIFE OF A NINJA because of his Alzheimer's moment. Burn all your commentaries, Ric...BURN THEM ALL.

200. Chen Kuan Tai did not make a "great splash" in Chang Cheh's VENGEANCE! (1970), Ric. He was simply a background performer, nothing more.

201. Chang Cheh did not direct KING GAMBLER (1976), you idiot. That was a Cheng Kang movie.

202. "But after the closing of the, uh, Shaw Brothers studio film units in about, 19, uh, 85 [Chen Kuan Tai] was forced to take, um, uh, parts in movies like AMBITIOUS KUNG FU GIRL (1982) and uuuummm...(laughs)...GANGMASTER (1982)..." *--Those WERE Shaw movies and made before they closed their doors you giggling idiot. The LIFE OF A NINJA kook commentary strikes again! In another commentary from around this time, Ric proudly stated that GANGMASTER was one of the best Shaw movies. Go figure.

203. Yet again...Jeez, this is getting tiresome...Meyers incorrectly names an actor this time on the LIFE OF A NINJA commentary. He goes to his "reliable" IMDB list of credits for the actors and when he gets to Chen Hung Lieh (refer to the INHERITOR OF KUNG FU debacle discussed at top; Meyers treds that ground here, too, yet again!), he mistakes Tin Man Chung for Chen Hung Lieh, despite Meyers going on and on about the actor and his films. You'd think that if Meyers were familiar with him, he'd know what the man looks like by now.

204. Meyers claimed that Billy Chong, who enjoyed a brief HK kung fu career, got fat and owned a billiards parlor in Hong Kong after his star faded, but actually he returned to his Indonesian homeland where he continued his career and reportedly married a beauty queen.

205. Ric says that Ti Lung became an established, major superstar after appearing in the SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN series. Ti Lung was a major box office attraction well before then and had already went solo in a number of films before doing the SENTIMENTAL SWORDSMAN movies.

206. "Most of the Shaw Brothers movies, I believe, are fairly well lost forever. It's a terrible, terrible shame." *--Well, Ric, you would be fairly well wrong on that, too.

207. On the FISTS & GUTS (1979) commentary Meyers states that because of the use of a meticulously constructed straw hut, that the filmmakers obviously had a bit more money at their disposal than the average independently produced movie. You're kidding, right? I guess the straw was definitely not 'Made In Taiwan'.

208. "The Master Killer may be familiar to people who have seen THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR...This wonderful movie, THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR (1975), which was clearly designed for Liu Chia Hui was taken away and given to Yul Brynner." *--Meyers repeats this same load of bull on multiple commentaries, so I will repeat it here, too, for like the third or fourth time. Gordon Liu was just a supporting player in Hong Kong in 1975, so the likelihood of him getting a lead role in a US production was about as likely as Ric Meyers being taken seriously by Asian cinema circles possessing even the most rudimentary of knowledge.

209. Slick Ric even goes so far as to say that Lo Lieh reclaimed audiences attention with his BLACK MAGIC in 1975; a movie in which Lo Lieh just had a supporting role. The main stars were Ti Lung and Ku Feng.

210. Lo Lieh was not a mad doctor in HUMAN LANTERNS (1982), Ric.

211. HUMAN LANTERNS is also not a slasher film, you fucking moron.

212. It's BAMBOO HOUSE OF DOLLS (1973), not BAMBOO HOUSE OF DEATH, Ric. Do I have any Aleve left?

213. On the DEATH RING (1984) commentary, Meyers again, for like the fifth or sixth time, runs down Run Run Shaw making the bogus claim that they stopped making movies because his actors and filmmakers were getting too famous and were making demands on him for more money and better working conditions. Meyers insinuates that Shaw closed his doors to keep from "paying these supposedly ungrateful people, so he simply shut down his film units." *--Shaw is never gonna look at that book now, haha!

214. Meyers rambles off a slew of errors back to back on the DEATH RING (1984) commentary. He claims Chang Cheh closed down his Shaw affiliated-Taiwan based Chang's Company (not to be confused with his later, solo Chang Ho company) because of the failure of several costume epics. Who's costume epics? Chang was sent there to make movies with Shaw capital that couldn't be taken out of Taiwan. The shooting of FIVE SHAOLIN MASTERS used up much of the funds due to poor weather conditions. Anyway, Meyers proceeds to babble that Cheh returned to Shaw's in 1975. It was actually 1977 when he returned full time. He then, inexplicably and rather confusingly attributes Chang Cheh's HEROES TWO (1973) as a Sammo Hung film. HUH?!?!?!?!? He must mean WARRIORS TWO which wasn't even a Shaw picture and was made in 1978.

215. "It's very rare that everybody died in the FIVE DEADLY VENOMS movies although there were occasionally movies like THE DAREDEVILS (1979) where all the characters died, but usually Philip Kwok made it to the fade-out to say something about the folly of men." *--Um, there wasn't an actual venoms movie where they all died, Ric. Both Chiang Sheng and Lu Feng SURVIVED in THE DAREDEVILS; the latter actor, Lu Feng, the one you said ALWAYS plays the villain, was a good guy. He was also a good guy in INVINCIBLE SHAOLIN and BRAVE ARCHER 1-3 to name a few; part 3 of that series being an official venom film. That enlightening piece of misinformation is on the DEATH RING (1984) commentary track. As much as he drools over the venoms, you'd figure he'd be able to get this right, at least.

216. Damn, come on, Ric. Only four of the venoms were in TWO CHAMPIONS OF SHAOLIN (1980). They all didn't return for MASKED AVENGERS (1981), either. Only three of the original group are accounted for. HOUSE OF TRAPS (1982) was not the last film to feature all five of the venoms. Lo Mang is not in it. The last would be BRAVE ARCHER 3 (1981). This is easy shit, Ric. You shouldn't be mucking this kind of thing up!

217. "Black Belt Theater, which was created by World Northal, was trying to break into television, and they loved the idea of me going into a book which would educate their viewers as well as their buyers." *--The notion of Meyers "educating" anybody on any subject is a scary thought.

218. Crave Online Interviewer: Lau Kar-leung, is that how you pronounce it…?

Ric Meyers: Low Kar-Lee-Ung, yeah.

Me: Make him stop.

219. "Sammo’s the king of homophobia, xenophobia and macho chauvinism." *--Meanwhile Ric Meyers is still the reigning king of Mythomania, Prevaricative Babble-Boasting and Absolutely Fabulist ( interview; Sept. 2011).

220. Not only was Ric the master of mendaciousness when it came to commentaries and spreading the Faux Fu word, he also added his special brand of WTF? to a number of DVD covers when Celestial became his next victim by allowing him to design the synopsis' for anywhere between 300 and 400 DVD boxes. His number fluctuates, so just know he fucked up there, too. On the CHINATOWN KID DVD box, Meyers states Chang Cheh used stock footage of San Francisco in his movie. I guess the city had stock shots of Fu Sheng walkin' the streets and hoppin' aboard the street trolley's too.

221. On the same DVD box, Meyers states Fu Sheng's character "defeats each venom while succumbing to the seductive powers of sex symbol Shirley Yu only to learn that heroism leads to nihilistic desecration." *--Fu Sheng doesn't defeat each venom: Sun Chien is a good guy here, Kuo Chui "defeats" Lo Mang and both Lu Feng and Chiang Sheng have "blink an you'll miss'em" roles. The last part of that statement is another confusing case of Ric tossing big words around without rhyme or reason.

222. For the synopsis on the back of the IVL Hong Kong DVD for BRAVE ARCHER, Meyers says that Chang Cheh "...uses this Martial Arts World phantasmagorical to test future superstars Kara Hui Ying-hung...." *--Hui Ying-hung is barely in this movie and fails her test here only to pass with flying colors by the time Liu Chia Liang put her through a crash course in kung fu with flicks like MY YOUNG AUNTIE (1981) and LADY IS THE BOSS (1983).

223. On the back of the NEW SHAOLIN BOXERS Hong Kong DVD, Meyers refers to Fu Sheng finally getting his own showcase as opposed to being part of the protagonists in Chang Cheh's "trilogy" of SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS (1974), 5 SHAOLIN MASTERS (1974) and DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN (1975). Meyers, for whatever reason, leaves out HEROES TWO (1973) and MEN FROM THE MONASTERY (1974). Also, DISCIPLES OF SHAOLIN isn't actually a Shaolin movie and while Chi Kuan Chun is in it, it's predominantly Fu's movie and also Chang Cheh's biggest HK box office hit.

224. I don't recall FLAG OF IRON being filled with "don't-blink-or-you-will-miss-something" gags, Ric. Maybe you mean the unusually short fight scenes? I've seen the film many times and haven't noticed anything any different aside from the fact that the editors could've shaved off about 15 minutes and it pales in comparison to the film it's a remake of--Chang's own THE DUEL (1971).

225. Meyers says this at the tail end of his MASKED AVENGERS synopsis: "Only three fearless fighters dare investigate, leading to mass murder and magnificent martial arts." *--Just who in the hell are the three fearless fighters? It's a group of them!

226. Ric's brilliance at making shit up is utilized yet again with his description for LEGEND OF THE BAT (1978). The last sentence reads, "The movie is also a significant milestone in the amount of female flesh revealed onscreen." *--Ooookayyyy. There's a scene where a few naked girls are fished out of the water, but we barely get a look at them, and I'm not sure how a few seconds of bare skin accounts for a milestone. Apparently, Meyers hadn't actually watched any of Li Han Hsiang's erotic pictures. But then, he doesn't seem to watch the movies he claims he's seen, either.

227. "I want to help make an authentic kung fu videogame." *--I think you've helped enough just in your spreading the counterfeit kung fu info. ( interview; Sept. 2011)

228. Meyers was replaced as director of his own movie, FILMS OF FURY, by two guys named Andy.

229. Ric considers KUNG FU PANDA 2 (2011) a failure. He also was disenchanted to discover that his "straightforward rules of kung fu" he gave to the director were ignored and discarded. I'd like to shake her hand. However, he praises the KUNG FU PANDA TV series since, not surprisingly, he was allegedly a "Creative Consultant" on it.

230. And finally, I figure it's fitting to close on this classic Meyerism from the KUNG FU MASTER (1994) audio commentary that also had Bobby Samuels and Frank Djeng picking up Ric's slack. At one point, Ric goes on and on about some director named Lau Ka Yung who's done a lot of films for Shaw Brothers which were, at the time (again, according to Err Meyers) being held hostage by the studio. We'll pick it up here....

Bobby Samuels: Now do you mean Lau Kar YUNG or Lau Kar LEUNG?

Ric Meyers: (Silence)


Ric: (Silence)

Bobby: Who are you talking about?!

Ric: What's the difference?!

Is that classic shit, or what?! This article isn't necessarily a condemnation of Ric Meyers; well, it is, but mostly, it's simply addressing a problem that still persists from a guy who takes an enormous amount of pride in having "started it all", and it was already started before he began making shit up, mixing and matching actors and actresses, royally fucking up basic kung fu iconography and generally making a mockery of the martial arts film genre. To use your own phrase, "You Don't Know Fu!"
If ever there were tall tales to be told, Ric was the teller. If nothing else, I've given Err Ric (see what I did there?) a lot of information for his next book. This article could of been longer, but I think you guys have suffered, and been tortured enough.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Tao of Ric: True Lies & A Fistful of Meyerisms Part 6



"After more than a decade of promises and hopes, we're still left with only the bootlegs while Run Run Shaw is still laughing the longest, loudest...and last." *--Ric's pomposity knows no bounds; this being from 2002 shortly before the Shaw remasters emerged. So not only did Shaw refuse your written word, but he also got the last loud and long laugh on you, Ric.

*This is a BIG'UN. Some last minute additions demanded it. The breadth of this post will go a long way in painting an even bigger picture of Ric's path of destruction and we're only covering his raping of Asian movies. On another note, Fellow blogger, Steve Hardy who runs the dedicated and well written Asian cinema blog, Chopsticks On Fire contributed an hilarious image (see above) and samurai cinema celebrity, Brick McBurly kindly consented to allow his review for one of Ric's non Chinese crash and burn commentaries. Also, a big thank you to Japanese cinema authority, Michael Reid for providing me with a lot of helpful information on Nipponese cinema. *

If you've been keeping up, or have even maintained both the stamina and the patience to make it this far, you will have surmised that Ric Meyers has spent an enormous amount of his "career" spreading a high degree of misinformation regarding Asian cinema. He has proven to have an easily bruised ego should you not heed his words (read holier than thou), or show zero interest in his written endeavors. This trend is noticeable in his vocal assaults against the Shaw Brothers (his Shaw "doesn't want anyone to make money but him." * verbal skirmishes are priceless) and also most recently against the makers of not only KUNG FU PANDA 2 (2010), but those behind his own FILMS OF FURY book-to-movie documentary. The sources and his actual words have been documented here throughout this series of articles. The sad state of affairs is that Meyers holds more credence in his rejection than he does in the mango sized explosive diarrhea he has projected over the years.

He's insulted several of the subjects mentioned during his unbelievably useless commentaries (much like we're doing here) and made even more baffling remarks that are both racist and untrue. But what's most startling is how frequently he contradicts much of the things he has said, some of which was covered in Part 4. Equally insulting is that ever since writing his first book, he has taken credit for spreading the martial gospel as if everybody had forgotten the 1970s, or had never heard of their local version of Kung Fu Theater. Furthermore, it's entirely applicable that some fans discovered the genre through Ric's writings and that alone is a terrible injustice. It's also saddening that many of us initially took Ric's rambles as fact (including myself) till it eventually became obvious the man was a fraudulent talebearer.

He's also displayed a total inability to take photos without shoving his book into the camera. Also, he rarely goes too long without promoting himself, or his "accomplishments", the likes of which truly pornogrify (haha, I just made that word up) the meaning. His special brand of back patting is legendary and frequently mentioned throughout this series; the one quoted below being an especially choice example.

"What can I say? I don't want to take credit for psychically forcing the Shaw Brothers Studio to finally put their movies where their mouths are, but what else can we conclude? Here are the facts. You be the judge." *--Yes, the FACTS, Ric. Amazingly, when the Shaw titles were finally confirmed to be hitting DVD shelves, Meyers tried to take credit for their release!

Even more ignominious was after years of stating the Shaw films were either destroyed in a fire, or dissolved, when they finally did surface beautifully restored in widescreen, Meyers brazenly alluded that he was somehow responsible! He made even more outrageous statements that he had predicted it(!) despite his repeated claims of the disintegration of the Shaw library by whatever catastrophe he happened to decide on at the moment. After all these years of spreading an incredible, and uncatalogued degree of exaggerations and fabrications, Meyers is still in business snagging numerous gigs and landing jobs where he continues to make a mockery of the genre all the while masquerading as kung fu's champion.

Meyers also has a new book out entitled FILMS OF FURY--a disastrous waste of trees if the Introduction is anything to go by--which also bears high praise from the Boston Globe championing Err Meyers as "America's Leading Expert On Martial Arts Movies." Proving he has learned little after all these years, right from the very beginning in said Introduction of his new book, Ric makes an incredibly sloppy error that any moderately knowledgeable fan would know the difference in; this major mistake being his referencing the pronunciation of Liu Chia Liang as Cantonese when in fact it's the Mandarin pronunciation. And he doesn't stop there. He goes on for half a page about how he's most familiar with the directors Mandarin name of Lau Kar Leung and that's how he will refer to him throughout! That's an awfully LONG typo, Ric! Liu is Mando, Lau is Canto. What's so disparaging is that he claims to have multiple proofreaders to catch this shit.

If that weren't "hand on the chalkboard" enough, in the trailer for Meyers' "movie", Lo Lieh is incorrectly labeled as Gordon Liu! He may not be directly responsible for that one, but it's hilarious knowing his reputation for doing this same exact thing that it would manage to seep into a film he had a hand in.


"One extra, though, just flat out sucks. This is the first film in the Samurai Cinema series that has included film commentary, and Animeigo couldn’t have picked someone worse to do it. The commentary is by one Ric Meyers...The short version is that Meyers buys into Ninjer lore big time, doesn’t talk about the film, and really enjoys talkin’ about Ric Meyers. It’s awful, and only the pile of dung that is the commentary for Snake Woman’s Curse keeps it from bein’ the worst DVD film commentary the Brickster’s ever heard." *--Japanese celebrity and samurai cinema specialist, Brick McBurly brilliantly summing up Asian cinemas "leading authority" after listening to his SHINOBI NO MONO 2 commentary track.

If his decade spanning mutilation of Chinese cinema weren't damaging enough, Meyers has also turned his trademarked Asian Death Ray against the artistry of Japanese Chambara pictures. Like Godzilla crushing Tokyo underfoot, Monster Meyers unleashed his 'no-nothing-at-all' on a slew of DVD releases from Animiego, a company that specializes in Japanese samurai cinema. Discs such as the SHOGUN ASSASSIN box set, the SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH box set and SHINOBI NO MONO 2 all bear his seppuka inducing vocal accompaniment.

I've not listened to any of these, and while I know relatively little in regards to samurai movies, there are many others who do and are far more learned on the subject than Mr. Meyers. One such knowledgeable Daimyo of Japanese sword slinging cinema is Cincinnati born Brick McBurly. He has kindly given his consent to use the Ric related portions of his review that beautifully lays siege to Meyers' movie malarkey that has recently migrated to the Land of the Rising Sun. Below are the best parts--which constitutes the whole thing, really--that accentuate the accompanying list of Meyerisms; so think of this as something of a bonus!

"The Brickster usually likes to keep things on a postive note, but I just heard the second worst samurai film commentary of all time and I feel the need to do some rantin'." *--Where have I heard something similar before? Hmmmmm.....

"To my knowledge, this is the first time Animeigo has included commentary on one of its 'Samurai Cinema' releases, and hopefully they can get someone better next time (like Pat Galloway, fer crissakes)." *--Pat Galloway is a noted, very much learned expert on Japanese cinema and an author of three great books on the subject.

"Your host for this exercise in inanity is Ric Meyers. I knew this commentary would likely be trouble when the DVD copy described him as 'martial arts scholar and author of the Ninja Master book series'. There's at least two red flags right there. 'Ninja Master' sounded vaguely familiar and sure enough, when the Brickster rooted through his ficton collection, he came up with a copy of 'Dragon Rising' from 1985. I had bought this book years ago on eBay in a lot of 20 samurai fiction books. It's the adventures of Brett Wallace, the American Ninjer Master, and Brett lives to perpetuate every ninja sterotype there is. Well, thinks the Brickster, Ric's had over 20 years to learn a bit more since that's been written-maybe his commentary will reflect it." *--The rib-tickling hilarity and gut busting irony of that last statement is that even after 30 years "being in business", Meyers can't put the right name to a face much less give us an authoritative assessment of Japan's rich history rife with ninjers and female samurai.

"No such luck. Now, Ric Meyers doesn't seem to know a lot about Japanese history, samurai, ninja, or film history, but he sure does know a lot about Ric Meyers. Unfortunately, he's more than happy to share, and takes up a huge chunk of the film's openin' tellin' you how great he is and also spends time later tellin' you how fantastic his Ninja Master books are and how they'll give you a true picture of ninjitsu. In fact, he spends more time time doin' this than he does talkin' about the film-a cardinal sin. If yer doin' commentary, COMMENT ON THE DAMN FILM. I don't think he actually speaks of the film for more than 10-15 minutes of the runnin' time." *--The more of this condemnation of Ric's pestilent potpourri I read, the more I think McBurly and I have to be kindred spirits of some kind.

"He's also a self proclaimed butcher of the Japanese language, which he admits to twice durin' the proceedin's. To give you an idea, he pronounces the name of the hero, Goemon, as 'Go-Man'. Similar names and titles get the same treatment." *--Ric "The Butcher" Meyers has committed similar atrocities on the Chinese language, too, Brick. This series of articles is infested with them. If he's not mangling names, he's giving them to the wrong damn actor.

"But worst of all, he's spreadin' the ninjer gospel. Big time. He claims to have went to Japan and gotten his information from Japanese historians, but they must be the same 'martial arts' historians Stephen Hayes uses. Paraphrasin'-'Samurai practiced Bushido, and therefore had to hire commoners and specialized warriors to carry out their dirty work. These warriors were held in contempt by samurai and were of low status. They formed large ninjer clans and hired themselves out to the highest bidder. They practiced the 18 sekrit martial arts of ninjitsu and nothing is really known of them because everything was kept sekrit. Ninjitsu itself came over from China.' If that ain't enough, he throws in gems like 'kunoichi were female samurai', Akechi Mitsuhide-who he never mentions by name-is 'the 15 day Shogun', and 'samurai were about 3% of the population'. When speakin' of the historical situation the film covers (Akechi Mitsuhide's rebellion and Honnoji), he shrugs it off with "I think a lot of this did happen in real life" but never mentions who any of the iconic figures are (Ieyasu, Nobunaga, Hideyoshi, Mitsuhide, etc)." *--Interestingly, Meyers repeats some of this on many of his gloriously erroneous kung fu commentaries (or 'Hard Work' since he now so proudly proclaims that kung fu isn't actually kung fu, but hard work), but adjusts it to suit the Chinese parameters such as elaborating on ninjas as originally being the Mao Shan priests who are featured in numerous 'Hard Work' movies such as Liu Chia Liang's LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF CHINA (1982).

"This was enough to make the Brickster weep. But wait-there's more! Film history time! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is called the best of the western ninja movies, and Meyer's Ninja Master series the best western ninja fiction-although he also calls Eric Van Lustbader's crap-tastic novel 'Ninja' a 'well written book that treats ninjitsu seriously'. He brings up more Chinese ninja films than he does Japanese ninja films. His commentary on film history was so bad, in fact, that Animeigo had to include Commentary Notes in their extras specifically to correct points he had made about Ichikawa Raizo and the Shinobi No Mono series." *--Ric is apparently an animal lover as he also states that KUNG FU PANDA is the greatest kung fu movie of all time. For more of Ric's ninja nonsense, the amount of spooge he ejaculates onto the LIFE OF A NINJA (1983) disc is anything but orgasmic.

"Sheesh...I think I can calm down now. By all means, buy the DVD-it's fantastic. But I'm tellin' ya-don't press that commentary button, unless you've got a strong masochistic streak." *--The use of "masochistic streak" would no doubt get Ric all a tingle since he's a fist pumpin' purveyor of Japanese bondage-rape movies. He's also starred in, and allegedly directed two bondage porn flicks (which are covered in Part 1); one of which he bragged about a 'Hard Work' fight scene he participated in. Honestly, Meyers' boasting of this scene is premature and far from the money shot he would have you believe. See what I did there?

"Not only is Shinobi No Mono 3: Resurrection (BW, 1963) the best of the ‘Goemon’ trilogy that led off the eight film series, but it’s made even better by the fact that Animeigo was smart enuff to not include a wretched commentary track by Ric Myers this time around! No more hearin’ about how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the best of the western ninja films, loads of factual errors, butchered Japanese names, boatloads of ninja legends floated as fact, or Myers singin’ his own praises as a self-proclaimed ninja expert." *--This is a bonus Brick remark of an already bonus series of Meyerisms detailed by somebody else who has experienced the Horrors of the Malformed Meyers Mendacity.

It's been passed on to me that Animeigo used Ric the Great for their releases because he was a good talker, was enthusiastic about the job and to top it off, worked for free. Not only has the man been a virtual Pied Piper of Chinese martial arts cinema, but now he's set his prevaricative sights on samurai movies in what is the equivalent of cinematic rape. Unfortunately, the fine folks at Animeigo forgot what their parents told them about accepting candy from strangers; especially those unassuming clowns brandishing a Shaolin Abbot beard and a neverending array of Hawaiian T-shirts.


NUMBERS 153-194 including bonus Japanese Meyers Malarkey!

153. " I was ahead of the curve there, and ever since I have remained ahead of the curve because I’ve found that Americans, as I say in the American chapter in the book, don’t like kung fu. They like taekwondo. They like karate. They like stuff that’s angry, that’s aggressive, where you can look cool and use your muscles and your emotions. While kung fu is very, you know, Kung Fu Panda [and] Shaolin Soccer." *--Tell that to everybody who was 'Kung Fu Fighting' with Carl Douglas back in the 1970s you babbling moron. ( interview)

154. States on the INHERITOR OF KUNG FU (the 1981 movie he stupidly believes is the 1977 film) commentary that Chu Yu-wan's (it's Chu Yuan, of course) swordplay films will never be seen in America because they are gone forever.

155. Ric makes the absurd statement that the director of INHERITOR OF KUNG FU has "obviously never done martial arts movies before." * The director is Pao Hsueh Li, who formerly was a cinematographer and directed numerous Shaw Brothers action movies including several co-directed efforts with Chang Cheh as well as a slew of independent features.

156. Once more on the INHERITOR OF KUNG FU commentary, Meyers, who apparently isn't watching the film, credits I Kuang as screenwriter despite it being written by Jin Shu Mei (who also wrote and supervised THE HEROES), who also happened to be married to the director, Pao Hsueh Li. I Kuang actually is writer on the OTHER film that bears this same title.

157. States actor Chen Hung Lieh only directed one movie despite four other directing credits.

158. THE CASINO from 1972 is the first kung fu gambling movie, Ric, despite you listing it as uncategorizable.

159. States Cheng Tien Chi went from starring in SUPER NINJAS from 1982 to SEVEN STEPS OF KUNG FU in 1979.

160. In 2001, Ric wasn't sure if BELLS OF DEATH (1968) was a Shaw Brothers production or not, despite the widescreen Southgate tape having been around for almost two decades. He calls it a kung fu movie even though there's no kung fu, but plenty of Japanese styled swordplay.

161. On the back cover of the SWORDSMAN & ENCHANTRESS (1978) Hong Kong DVD, Meyers writes "...wushu warriors try to attain the 'deer sword' and escape from the insidious maze-like 'Toy Land'....a fascinating and entertaining adventure of consummate swordsmen and sorceresses." *--There is a Toy Land, but no mazes, nor are there any sorceresses.

162. Meyers enjoys repeating a lot of the same bullshit from one joke commentary to the next. For the third time, he mentions Ti Lung starring in Chang Cheh's 8 MAN ARMY; a film "which has never been shown here." *--It's never been shown anywhere, Ric, because the damn thing doesn't exist.

163. Constantly refers to HEROES OF THE EAST (1978) as the KRAMER VS. KRAMER of kung fu movies. The correlation, aside from two bickering married couples, between the two films alludes me.

164. "For years I’ve been advising the DVD industry that they need to put their Hong Kong Cinema releases into context." *
--What the Obama of the Martial Arts film genre is REALLY saying here is that he wants to do commentaries and synopsis' for any and all Asian films so that he can thoroughly piss all over them in his own inimitable fashion by making up random stories, misnaming the actors and intermittently shill his wares on those watching and the unfortunate souls that listen to his useless commentaries. That run-on sentence was enough to make ya choke, but it had to be done.

165. Ric, to this day, makes the generality that American action filmmakers grew up watching fullscreen kung fu movies which explains why they shoot all the action so tight in the camera. He usually adds to this how he saw them in beautiful widescreen prints in theaters as if nobody else had ever done so.

166. "I hope you enjoyed those credits, by the way, because those are the only ones you get! (Laughs) You don't get the co-stars, you don't get, uh, the writer, you don't get nothin', except, of course, here on the audio commentary track. That's what I am here to tell you." *--We, the viewers, would get more accurate info by you shutting up.

167. CALL ME DRAGON, starring Bruce Liang and Yasuaki Kurata was made in 1974, not 1978.

168. On the commentary for THE FISTS, THE KICKS AND THE EVILS (1979), both Meyers and Samuels refer to ACTOR Lin Ho Nien (THE MASTER [1980]) as Lee Tso Nam, the DIRECTOR of such movies as THE HOT, THE COOL AND THE VICIOUS (1976) and CHALLENGE OF DEATH (1978). They also insinuate Lee Tso Nam is the credited director, Do Liu Boh, whose name graces the credits of very different movies. The plot thickens.

169. Again on the FISTS, KICKS AND EVILS ramblefest, Ric reads off his IMDB list yet again, but for whatever reason, forgets once more to discuss Bruce Liang's father, Liang Shao Sung, who was also an actor and martial arts choreographer.

170. Ric mildly argues with Bobby Samuels on 1978s NINJA CHECKMATE (MYSTERY OF CHESSBOXING) commentary over whether the film is a Taiwanese or HK production. "...Daniel Farmer and Bruce Long, who are sort of, like my fact checkers along with, uh, Laynez Zebrowski(?) always does the fact checking on my writing..." *--To quote Donald Trump, "You're fired."

171. The movie with the flying spiders and black monk is not NINJA HUNTER (1984), Ric. It's NINJA: THE FINAL DUEL (1986).

172. On the commentary for NINJA CHECKMATE, alias MYSTERY OF CHESSBOXING (1978), both Meyers and Samuels subtlely address fan criticism of their frequently erroneous play by play but ask for "constructive nice, or be gone...we have enough abuse in our lives without you guys..." *--Get your shit right, Ric, and maybe you wouldn't get abuse. You been fuckin' up for what, 30 years now? And stop makin' shit up, too, while you're at it.

173. "My work speaks for itself." *--Let's see, we are six chapters in, and so far, this is the single most accurate thing you have EVER said.

174. On the same NINJA CHECKMATE commentary, Ric reads excerpts from other peoples writing including a lengthy, nauseatingly dull overview of Chinese Checkers (don't laugh!) that goes on for what seems like an eternity.

175. If I listen to one more Rollickin' Ric commentary where 60% of it is reading verbatim from IMDB and the other 40% is repeated, nonsensical, wishy-washy jargon from other commentaries I'm gonna take revenge for master.

176. The June 1997 issue of Asian Cult Cinema was the inaugural appearance of Meyers' 'Ric and Infamous' column. He starts things off by feverishly patting himself on the back about his "god given talents" then proceeds to heap praise on his own book and any other book his greasy mits have touched pen to paper. Meanwhile, other far more reliable and respectable authors such as Bey Logan have their contributions referred to as "a considerable continuation" or a "fine fan's celebration."

177. In nearly every single article and column write up from Meyers, he consistently promotes himself and his books either at the start, at the end, or often times, both. The man's back surely must be sore by now.

178. In the January, 1998 issue of Asian Cult Cinema, Ric states this regarding the re-opening of the Shaw Brothers studio--"...the majority of people the studio fired are still begging for work. Will the disgraced and rejected be allowed back? Will they be willing to work for a pittance and/or a room in the old Shaw star dorms?" *--apparently Ric still felt the sting of Sir Run Run Shaw not showing any interest in having a copy of his catty contribution to the "Hard Work" genre so he felt the need to make up yet another scathingly crude remark. How the hell can one man be so ego-crushed when his book was jam packed with more lies than all of former USA Today reporter and Nobel Prize finalist Jack Kelley's crap combined.

179. In the same issue, Meyers actually refers to his updated book as "long awaited". Yes, Ric, we kung fu fans were waiting with bated breath for your special brand of falsified information.

180. Asian cult Cinema issue 22 has a multitude of culture clashing Meyerisms--He rambles on and on about how so many of Hollywood's high society continuously refers to 'Kung Fu Movies' as 'Karate Movies', etc; something he still does today. If only we could get you to properly recognize the right damn movie you're doing commentary for, or know the correct name for whoever happens to be onscreen at the time. Also, Meyers still doesn't know the difference between Cantonese and Mandarin.

181. In the same issue, Meyers attempts to champion his false stance for truth, justice and the American way by denouncing an alleged NY Times article that listed translated Cantonese titles of American movies. No one in their right mind would have taken this list seriously--a list that was proven mere days later to be a hoax--but Meyers uses it as a means by which to stand atop his double-dealing, and very slippery soap box.

182. In issue 23 from 1999 of Asian Cult Cinema, Meyers refers to his own book on martial arts movies as groundbreaking. Okay. I guess I will step into the Meyers-Zone and state that this article here on his ignominious, misguided label as a "leading authority" is "groundbreaking", too!

183. In issue 29 of Asian Cult Cinema from 2000, Meyers refers to HITMAN IN THE HAND OF BUDDHA (1981) as Hwang Jang Lee's only hero role. I guess movies like RAGING RIVALS, FIVE FINGERS OF STEEL and SHAOLIN FIST OF FURY don't count.

184. ACC Issue 33 from 2001 features more mythomaniacal Meyerisms with his continued animosity directed towards Sir Run Run Shaw--"The sad fact of the matter is that if Run Run Shaw had known how successful his films would be on American television, he never would have sold them to World Northal's Black Belt Theater. He seemed more interested in making some fast, easy money than actually giving his stars and directors international credibility." *--Lo Lieh in STRANGER & THE GUNFIGHTER? David Chiang in LEGEND OF THE SEVEN GOLDEN VAMPIRES? Ti Lung in SHATTER? The plethora of Shaw actors in CLEOPATRA JONES & THE CASINO OF GOLD? Please refer to Part 5 to see that both Shaw Brothers and Kung Fu movies were Alive and Well, and Living In the 1970s long before Shaw sold them to television.

185. For this one here, forget for a moment that Meyers had previously and repeatedly stated the Shaw library was gone forever. In issue 37 from 2002 of Asian Cult Cinema, Meyers has the temerity to allude to the notion that his participation has made the crew at Celestial realize these are more than just 700+ of old movies. He even goes on to boast about helping them with behind the scenes articles! What articles? This would explain why some of the extra features have conflicting information.

186. To bask in the sloppiness of the now buried rag mag, Asian Cult Cinema, it should be noted that Ric's column, 'Ric and Infamous' is frequently mislabeled in the Table of Contents as beginning on the wrong page, or not even listed at all!

187. Filmmaker and former ACC columnist, Max Allan Collins once made the remark that Ric Meyers was "doing a hell of a job on those [DVD] commentaries."--If spreading lies, blatantly making shit up and erroneously mislabeling actors, directors and entire movies constitutes doing a "hell of a job", then Meyers has cornered the market.

188. If Ric fucking up Chinese movies and becoming a "leading authority" in the process weren't bad enough, he also has seen fit to rape the shit out of Japanese movies, too. In his "revised and corrected" 2001 update of his first book from 1985, Meyers seems to have corrected little, if anything at all. He claims there are 11 films in the SLEEPY EYES OF DEATH series starring Raizo Ichikawa when it's actually 12, plus two more with Hiroki Matsukata making 14 total for Daiei's series.

189. Meyers claims to be a huge fan of the Zatoichi series and proves it by describing the first film in great detail... only this feeble-minded synopsis belongs to the first sequel, THE TALE OF ZATOICHI CONTINUES (1962).

190. Ric puts in some serious overtime massacring the famed ZAT series further by proclaiming ZATOICHI ON THE ROAD (he refers to it as ZATOICHI & THE SCOUNDRELS) is not only from 1964, but it is also the sixth film in the series as well as the first in color. It's from 1963, is the FIFTH film in the series and the THIRD movie was the first in color. Phew!

191. On a related note, Ric continues his problem with numbers by stating there are only seven films in the eight film SHINOBI NO MONO series starring Raizo Ichikawa.

192. Toho took over the series for the last three entries despite Meyers saying it was two. These three are ZATOICHI AT LARGE, ZATOICHI IN DESPERATION and ZATOICHI'S CONSPIRACY.

193. Meyers is also apparently oblivious to the fact that there are three films in the HANZO THE RAZOR trilogy. He only discusses the first two, but leaves out the third, WHO'S GOT THE GOLD? (1974) without even a mention of it.

194. Just what in the hell are the GAMBLER COP and LONE WOLF GAMBLER series' starring Sonny Chiba, Ric?! Must be more of that patented creative licensing that made Meyers such an attractive proposition for Thomas Weisser's Asian Cult Cinema magazine; a publication where some of the contributors lived in the Land of Made Up Shit. I am gonna assume Err Meyers is attaching his own titles to Chiba's YAKUZA DEKA films and his co-starring role in WANDERING GINZA BUTTERFLY 2: SHE-CAT GAMBLER (1971).


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