Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Good Guys

Steve Chase (James Ryan) - The alpha dog; contract operative and all-around badass.

It was the cinematic diptych of Kill Or Be Killed and Kill and Kill Again that launched Ryan's on-screen career. In addition to acting, Ryan authored a book titled, Screenwriting from the Heart and has taught as a Professor of Playwriting at the Actors Studio School of Drama at the New School University in New York.

Online research yields little, if anything, about his martial arts background--training, discipline, style, etc. Perhaps he was only trained for his roles in KOBK and KKA.

Note: James Ryan discusses his martial arts background in the audio interview on the 30th Anniversary S.E. DVD.  --Ed.

The Fly (Stan Schmidt) - The gentle warrior; martial arts master and monk.

Though his acting career pretty much begins and ends with KOBK and KKA, Stan Schmidt is a world-renowned practitioner of Shotokan karate. He trained under the Japan Karate Association, eventually forming a JKA chapter in his native South Africa. He also founded the College of the Open Hand.

In addition to his starring roles, Sensei Stan was also a coordinator for the fight sequences in the Kill movies.

Gypsy Billy (Norman Robinson) - The washout and "ex-champion of the world."

With two on-screen appearances to his credit (both in the Kill movies), Shihan Norman is a highly-regarded martial artist--recognized as 8th Dan in Shotokan karate. He trained in Japan with Stan Schmidt in the early '60s and is currently the chief instructor of Japan Karate Shotokai South Africa.

Robinson also coordinated fight sequences for the Kill movies.

Gorilla (Ken Gampu) - The muscle and lovable giant.

In addition to his role in KKA, Gampu has a lengthy CV with notable appearances in movies including Zulu Dawn, The Gods Must Be Crazy, and The Air Up There. Before his discovery as an actor, Gampu was a physical training instructor, teacher, salesman, interpreter (speaking seven South African dialects in addition to English and Afrikaans), law clerk and a police officer.

Ken Gampu died in November 2003 of natural causes.

Hotdog (Bill Flynn) - The fearless prankster and keeper of nunchucks.

The role of Hotdog was Flynn's acting breakthrough. He subsequently starred in numerous stage and television roles and also enjoyed a lengthy career as lead singer in two rock and roll bands.

Bill Flynn died in July 2007 of cardiac arrest.

Kandy Kane (Anneline Kriel) - The sex kitten; undercover CIA operative and feminist pain-in-the-ass.

With KKA as one of her three on-screen appearances, Kriel is better known as Miss World 1974, representing South Africa. She actually placed second in the competition, but inherited the title when the original winner was forced to resign due to the discovery that she had an 18 month old son.

In addition to her film roles, Anneline Kriel also recorded the single, "He Took Off My Romeos" which appeared on the South African Pop Chart in 1981.


Anonymous said...

"Note: James Ryan discusses his martial arts background in the audio interview on the 30th Anniversary S.E. DVD. --Ed."

Could you possibly post some of the main points of what James said?
I'd really appreciate it.. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Loved the movies...especially Kill and Kill Again. James Ryan, NOrmal Robinson, and Stan Schmidt are great! Anneline Kriel is so beautiful!