Friday, February 13, 2009

Hostage Syndrome (1988)

1988 – Hostage Syndrome (F. Puzon Film Enterprises)

[Export movie filmed in English; released on French VHS as “Syndrome Otage”]

Director “Dominic Elmo Smith”/Eddie Rodriguez Screenplay David Benton, David Brass Executive Producers Conrad C. Puzon, “Pierre”/Pio C. Lee Cinematography Arnold Alvaro Music Marita A. Manuel Editors Amang Sanchez, Mark Tarnate Production Designer Robert Lee Theme Songs Performed by Jaime Blanch, Susan Reyes Associate Director Joe Towers Assistant Director Jose Aguilar Production Manager Glenn Parlan Casting Director Philip Gordon Art Director Jun Sancha Camera Operators Pablo Bautista, Roy Sangco Script Continuity Millet de la Croix Special Effects Guy Naelgas Set Director Melchor Defensor Set Artist Jun Peregrino Property Master Benjie Lee Wardrobe Master Leonardo Enriquez Wardrobe Mistress Rosemarie Parian Wardrobe Assistant Belen Roranes Makeup Artist Ed Cruz Makeup Assistant Arnold Perez Production Assistant Rodrigo Riyos Gaffers Lito Lapara, Ading Cruz Stunt Coordinators Roland Falcis, Jolly Joqueta Stills Rudy Castillo Schedule Master Jess Aguilar Location Manager Albert Amaranta Transportation Manager Edgar Laguda Sound Mixer Rolly Ruta Field Sound Supervisor Bong Perez Sound Effects Editors Jun Cabrales, Rudy Cabrales Assistant Editors Pat Abad, Ariel Abad Post Production Manager Johnny Leoncio Property Custodian Arthur Amarante Production Comptroller Abraham Edusma Field Cashier Marjorie Camacho Production Secretary Josie P. Almazan Producers’ Secretary Meddy L. Tajonera Bestboys Cinex Boys Titles Boy Quilatan

Cast Brad Zutaut (Grant Vincent), Karen Lundeen (Jean Kirby), Robert Marius (Vladimir Dmilrievich), David Brass (Averill Hunter), “Costa Mandyflor”/Costas Mandylor (Andrei Arbitovich) Carolyn Hudson (Joyce Kirby), Irit Haimov (Jacqueline), Paul Sperry (Trash McCarty), Lars Jorgensen (Edsel), Michael Schnull (Danny Vincent), Andrew Scott (Mick), Neil Larsen (Dr Harold Willis), Arthur Smith (Dr Frank Jenkins), Larry Copeland (Dr Marley), Paul Adams (Edward Slate), Nick Henson (Bodyguard 1), Alex Cohen (Bodyguard 2), Bernard Will (Mort), Ralph Miles (Guts), Eduard Collins (Banger), Anthony Miller (Jerk), William Hart (Shades), Ronnie Peters (Coconuts), Robert Lee (Dick), Harold Anders (Roger), John Douglas (John), Michael Reagan (Flipper), Don Thomas (Zig Zag), Johanna Griffith (Mrs Willis), Christopher Dalon (Rick Willis), Lalaine Williams (Mrs Jenkins), Bernadette Fields (Susie Jenkins) SWAT Team Gregory Reynolds, Richard Taylor, Wilfred Young, Albert Reeds, Arnold Freeman {uncredited] Nick Nicholson (Barfly Drug Dealer)

Mini-review by Andrew Leavold:

Manila once again doubles for Southern California in HOSTAGE SYNDROME (dir. “Dominic Elmo Smith”/Eddie Rodriguez, 1988), a slick, not-terrible export and nearly all-white goonfest from the final glory days of Cinex Films producers Conrad “Boy” Puzon and Pio C. Lee. German-born Robert Marius is outstanding as insane would-be Russian Czar Vladimir Dmilrievich, throwing three scientists and their families into his yacht’s dungeon to work on a Super Steroid serum to transform his prize fighter Andrei (first film role for Australian-born Costas Mandylor) into a seemingly unstoppable eye-rolling, bone-snapping killing machine. FBI agent Hunter (co-writer David Brass, feeding himself the best lines) and his curvy big-haired assistant Joyce (Carolyn Hudson) set up a prize fight using troubled ex-cop, crack shot and surfer lookalike Grant Vincent (Brad Zutaut from Back To School and Hardbodies 2) as ringbait. Naturally Grant doesn’t care for money or duty, and manages to resist the charms of Joyce and her petulant sister Jean (Karen Lundeen), until his coked-up brother is found floating next to Vladimir’s boat. Suggestions of Rocky IV and Chuck Norris’ Silent Rage abound, with Marius attempting an Ivan The Terrible but instead ends up channeling Udo Kier in Flesh For Frankenstein, and no more so than in his exquisitely over-the-top death scene; an uncredited Nick Nicholson pops up for a memorable moment, as he does in other Cinex projects, as a barfly drug dealer – “I call you SHIT until you give me some cash!” – and underscores the fact these Puzon/Lee cheapies really were decent, goofy fun.

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