Saturday, March 26, 2011

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM (#8 in a series)

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM
 Montreal, March 27th, Foufounes Electriques

The biggest question that I usually get from wrestlers is usually something along the lines of,

"Yeah, yeah your Addy Starr piece was great. Made her look like a total bad-ass even though I happen to know that every time she sees a spider in her apartment she has to call someone to come and kill it."

Good thing she is fighting a cow then.

"Whatever. I understand that you had to talk about Colt Cabana and Giant Tiger and the Contender's Clash, but..."

Wait for it. Wait for it.

"When in the blue hell fuck are you going to get to my match!?!"

And some ISW wrestlers aren't even that polite!

I just got off the phone with a very angry Badd brother. So angry that I am uncertain whether it was Chad or Brad. It may have been both of them taking turns yelling at me.

I have strict instructions to relay the following information...

"You writing this down you little punk? I will rip your head off and shit down your neck you get this sumbitch wrong! Little cock-sucker prancing around in your monkey suit being Mr. pansy-ass big shot. Mr. La-di-da Commissioner. FUCK YOU PUNK! You don't drive a Harley! You Ain't SHIT! Don't even drive a fucking rice-burner! How can you call yourself a man? 

People been telling me you been writing about this match and that match, but when my Momma has someone read to her all those fucking words you write are any of them about the BADD Family reuinion? 

Are any of them about the BADD-le Royal? HELL and Fucking NO! COCKSUCKER! 

Well you type all this down, you tell them sumbitch snot-eating peckerheads that the BADDs are coming to BONER JAM for the BADD Family Reunion. 

You get that out there so my Momma can hear it. 

You hear this Momma? 

They are talking about the BADD Family on this fucking intra-cob-webby circle-jerk thinger-jammer-whickey-whatsey. 

You tell all our cousins and uncles and cousins and nephews and cousins and aunties and cousins and all to come to BONER JAM. 

And you come too Momma! 

I love you MOMMA! 

But Momma if you come to the BADD-le Royale, I am going to throw you over the top rope onto your head! 

Yes, I will! 

Because that was how we were raised! 

You get all that cock-sucker? Get'r Done!"

Got "R" Done!

And if you are a member of the BADD Family or just want to rub elbows with the wrestling world's most notorious bad-ass biker rednecks stomp you into a mudhole just for looking at them funny family, you can only do it at Foufounes Electriques, this SUNDAY! SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!!! at BONER JAM!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM (#7 in a series)

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM!
 Montreal, March 27th, Foufounes Electriques

Turning from the Inter Species Wrestling Title Match and the Contender's Clash to talk about the OTHER matches on the card, it is only appropriate that we talk about the ISW OTHER Title.

The current holder of the belt is PETA poster boy, Moohammad the Terrorist Cow. The Bovine Bomber was either unable or unwilling to cross the border to put his belt on the line at Exact Change Only, so he sent his "pet" the wrestler formerly known as Flip D. Berger to fight Addy Starr for him. Flip lost the match leading to Moohammad changing the name of his human pet from Flip to Shitty and challenging Addy Starr to a match (not to mention cyber-stalking her).

It's A... Yeah How Did You Know?
Cue Admiral Ackbar...

Did I say that Flip lost his match against Addy Starr? More like Addy WON that match, the same way that she has been winning all of her ISW matches over the past two years. Moohammad is convinced that he is the dominant species, but based purely on her performance in the ring, Addy may prove to be a shock (cattle-prod?) to Moohammad's smug world-view.

Perhaps more importantly, if the rumours that I have heard are to be believed, Addy Star has been a member of the 4-H club since she was a little girl. In fact, if my sources are correct, she has been punching cows and hog-tying steers since she was 8 years old.

If Moohammad doesn't come to his senses and begin treating Addy Starr as a very dangerous opponent, he may find himself leaving BONER JAM battered, beaten and beltless... and possibly branded...

And that is if he is lucky. If he is unlucky, the only trace of Moohammad that we may ever see after BONER JAM is Addy's new black and white saddle!

Will it happen? Will Addy win the OTHER Title? Will she turn Moohammad into a variety of leather goods sold on Etsy?

Well, I would like to think so, but let me consult my in-office expert...

Magic 8-Ball says:  
To find out, you will have to be at Foufounes Electriques this SUNDAY! SUNDAY!! SUNDAY!!!


Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM (#6 in a series)

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM
Montreal, March 27th, Foufounes Electriques

A whole whack of media about the ISW Title match which keeps threatening to tear the internet in half.

I have written about the match between ISW Champion (and possibly Worst Person On EarthGiant Tiger and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana a couple of times before, but there have been a flurry of promotion for the match which (Panda!) bears repeating.

First Colt Cabana has been name-dropping BONER JAM during his weekly podcast called the Art of Wrestling. His podcast deserves a listen. Colt gets great guests and he is a really great interviewer, using his backstage access to full advantage. His most recent show is an AMAZING conversation with Davey Richards. He does a new show every week and they are all available on his web-site

During what I can only describe as a truly horrible and truly great podcast called The Programme, Colt Cabana was ambushed by Giant Tiger. Colt quickly turned the tables on the Gingerbread Man, using his interviewing skills for his own protection (and possibly edification). Used to being yelled at, GT was almost flabbergasted by Colt's genuine curiosity.

Yes, we did in fact just promote an ISW show with an extended bout of gay phone sex. If you were in Michigan listening to the podcast live, you might have seen a disturbing mushroom cloud out your window. As it turns out, that cloud was just Rotchy's head exploder-vating.

HERE! is the full pod-cast including a little bit of me.

The other podcast that covered BONER JAM is HERE!

And here is the final You-tube promo for the show:

This will be a show that you can't afford to miss!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Colt Cabana Tour = Most Amazing Weekend in Quebec Wrestling Ever?

The Colt Cabana Tour = Most Amazing Weekend in Quebec Wrestling Ever?

The two things are not necessarily related, but the newly crowned NWA World Heavyweight Champion, "Boom-Boom" Colt Cabana is about to make a mini-tour of Canada, stopping in Ottawa and Montreal and his arrival coincides with the most jam-packed wrestling weekend in theses parts that I can remember.

To start with: on Friday, we have the International Wrestling Syndicate charity show "For James" as the IWS comes out of retirement for one special night to raise money for our friend James Bryant and his family to help with his fight against leukemia.

If you can't come to the show, but would like to donate to James and his family, you can do so by clicking on the donate button below:

If you will be at the show, here is what you will see:

International Wrestling Syndicate
For James
Friday, March 25, 2011
Royal Canadian Legion Hall, 141 rue de la Legion, Deux-Montanges, Quebec, Canada
Doors Open at 7:30
Tickets are $20 - All profits to James Bryant and his family

Show will be hosted by Iron Mike Paterson
Joseph Fitzmorris promises us a special appearance by the Real Jake the Snake Roberts

The If We Were Still Running This Would Be For the IWS Tag Team Title Match:
Shane Matthews and Jagged vs. Twiggy and Franky the Mobster

The Gorilla vs. the Metrosexual Match:
Urban Miles vs. Alex Silva

The Mark the Grizzly Completely Random Partner for Arsenal Match:
Mathieu St. Jaques and the Arsenal vs. the Hardcore Ninjaz

The Black Angus Match:
Dan Paysan vs. Beef Wellington

The Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match Featuring the Last IWS Champion and His Biggest Rivals Match
Sexxy Eddy vs. the Green Phantom vs. PCP Crazy F'N  Manny



On Saturday, in Ottawa, Capital City Championship Combat Wrestling presents Level Up 2011 featuring NWA World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion Colt Cabana.

The best thing for local wrestling promoters is that they had no idea when they booked Colt Cabana that he was about to become the champion and defender of wrestling's oldest continuously defended title belt. It's lightning in a bottle for promoters and an amazing opportunity for the wrestlers who get to face him in the ring.

For those attending, here is what you will see:

C*4: Capital City Championship Combat
Level Up 2011
Saturday, March 26th, 2011
Knights of Columbus Hall 260 McArthur Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
VIP Tickets $20 – Doors at 7PM (VIP ticket includes first choice seating and two bonus matches!)
General Admission Tickets $15 – Doors at 7:30pm
Show starts at 8PM

Six Man Tag Team Showdown Match:
2.O (Shane Matthews & “Jagged” Scott Parker) and Cecil Nyx vs. Lucky Sabiti, Max Boyer & Brent B.

Special Challenge Match: 
“Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. El Generico

6-Man Wildcard Elimination Showdown Match:
Winner will become the #1 Contender to the C*4 Championship
Dan Paysan vs. Jae Rukin vs. Sexxxy Eddy vs. Mathieu St. Jacques vs. Player Uno vs. “Hacker” Scotty O’Shea

Open Contract Match:
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana vs. Sebastian Suave
Colt Cabana's Title is on the line

C*4 Tag Team Championship Match:
C*4 Tag Team Champions The N.B.A. (“MVP” Michael Von Payton & “The Prince of Persia” Rahim Ali) vs. The Wolfmun (Twiggy & Beef Wellington)

Special Challenge Match:
“Textbook” Tyson Dux vs. “Canadian Crazyhorse” Michael Elgin

“No Escape” Chain Match: 
MVP & Rahim Ali (Natural Born Assholes) banned from ringside!“Psycho” Mike Rollins vs. “Ronin” Josh Alexander

C*4 Championship Match:
C*4 Champion “Player Dos” Stupefied vs. “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen

Colt Cabana has almost as much confidence in the literacy of wrestling fans as I do


On Sunday afternoon, Colt is making an appearance for a promotion less well-known outside Quebec, CRW. Inside Quebec, it is best known for being essentially Sylvan Grenier's home promotion. Grenier used to promote a fed called T.O.W. but that fed has been defunct for several months. T.O.W.'s strategy was built around holding a few shows per year, with each one held in an arena with special guest stars.

CRW's much smarter strategy is to hold more frequent smaller shows. They took good promotional advantage from the T.O.W. shows when they were being held. It sometimes seemed like the T.O.W. ownership were either losing money or barely breaking even just to advertise CRW's shows.

Here is what they are presenting:

Colt Cabana Live
Sunday, March 27th, 2011
Centre CRW 4372 Boul. Des Grandes Prairies, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
VIP Front row: 15$ - VIP Second row: 12$ - General Admission: 10$
Restaurant Opens at 11AM - Door Opens at 1:15PM
Meet and Greet with Colt Cabana 1:30PM

The The Black Gorillaz vs. The Guitar Heroes Match:
Johnny Jack Spade & Alex Silva vs Brandon Model & Mike Gibson

The Come See The Quebec Carlito Clone DIE DIE DIE Match:
Darkko vs. Paul Rosenberg

The Sunny War Cloud sez Noone Ever Really Retires From Wrestling:
Chris Cruze vs. Alextreme

The Number One Contender's Match But Only If Dru Onyx Wins Match:
Dru Onyx vs. Sylvain Grenier

The Pat Skillz Has a Death Wish Match:
Pat Skillz vs.  “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen

The Montreal Crowds Like to Yell OLE! Match:
Thomas "The Pipes" Dubois vs. El Generico

CRW Quebec Championship Match:
CRW Quebec Champion Mathieu St-Jacques vs. Sexxxy Eddy

NWA World Heavyweight Championship Match:
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana vs. Leon Saver
Assuming of course that Colt retains the title against Sebastian Suave the night before.

As Far As I Can Tell Leon Saver is Sexxxy Eddy's Unacknowledged Illegitimate Son


The Climax of Colt Cabana's mini-tour is Inter Species Wrestling's long awaited return to it's spiritual home: Foufounes Electriques. In a show called BONER JAM! As Colt himself said, "It was meant to be!"

If you love wrestling, this is the show for you.

If you HATE wrestling, this is DEFINITELY the show for you!

Also fair warning I am announcing for this show.

And if you wisely come out to Foufounes Electriques on Sunday night this is some of what you will see:

Inter Species Wrestling
Sunday, March 27th, 2011
Foufounes Electriques 87 Ste Catherine East, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Tickets are $15, Doors Open at 7PM, Show Starts at 8PM

Llakor Updates on the show

Mr. E Opponent
The Debuts Match:
Dan Barry vs. Mathieu St. Jacques

The Monster Mash Match:
Bastian Snow vs. Izzie Deadyet vs. A Mystery Opponent

The Bring It On Match:
Michael Von Payton vs. Frankie Arion

The Dance Battle? Match
Moostafa vs. “Canadian Dynamite” Max Boyer

The Badd Family Reunion Match:
Badd Family “Badd-le Royal”

The Beef vs, Bear III Match:
Beef Wellington vs. El Hijo Del Bamboo

The Other Title Match:
ISW Other Champion Moohammad The Terrorist Cow w/Shitty vs. "Barely Legal" Addy Starr

The Contender's Clash Match:
Player Uno vs. Sexxxy Eddy vs. Twiggy vs. “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen
The winner becomes ISW Number One Contender

The Inter Species Championship Match
ISW Champion (Beef Father Fucker Champion) Giant Tiger vs. NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana
The ISW Title is on the line. If Colt Cabana is still NWA World Heavyweight Champion, his title MIGHT be on the line.


That is so much wrestling that someone's head is going to explode!

Friday, March 18, 2011

2011 YoungCuts Film Festival Submission Poster

 2011 YoungCuts Film Festival Submission Poster 

As previously mentioned, the YoungCuts Film Festival is currently looking for "Great Short Films by the World's Best Young Filmmakers".

You can apply on-line through

Download the 2011 application form here: 2011 YoungCuts Application Form.

Our regular deadline for the Festival is March 31st, but we accept films until June 15th.
(But the earlier that you submit though, the better your chance for your film to be accepted.)

For more information on submitting your film go HERE!
Or contact Michael Ryan: 514.285.4591


Download the Poster here:
2011 YoungCuts Submission Poster

Submit Your Film Today!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM (#5 in a series)

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM 
Montreal, March 27th, Foufounes Electriques

Following up on yesterday's discussion about the Inter Species Wrestling Contender's Clash, it is time to turn to this match's forgotten man, Twiggy...

One of the nice things about being involved in the Quebec wrestling scene is that I get to be involved in the promos. Sometimes, I am actually in them, but mostly I help the boys cut better promos. I am not actually writing scripts for them, usually I am just suggesting a word, or a phrase or an attitude and they take that and run with it.

And then sometimes promos happen almost by accident and those are frequently the best ones.

I was in the process of fumigating the ISW office chair (that a half-naked Giant Tiger had sat in) when Twiggy came by to see me. I don't want to say that Twiggy was depressed, because that is definitely not the right word and angry doesn't really do it justice either. Twiggy is probably the most optimistic, positive up-beat wrestler person that I have ever met. Some wrestlers are "glasses half-empty" type people, Twiggy is a "forget that glass, let me tell you how deeply I believe that I am going to pin a guy who is six inches taller than me and one hundred pounds heavier than me" type wrestler.

What had Twiggy fuming a bit was a conversation that he had overheard from three ISW fans while our Air Guitar Hero was filling the black hole that he calls a stomach at Bofinger's in Montreal. One of the fans argued that Kevin Steen would win the match on the grounds that Kevin Steen always comes up big in big matches like this; a second fan believed that Player Uno would win so that he could get revenge on Giant Tiger; and the last ISW fan was trying to convince anyone who would listen (including the perplexed Bofinger staff) that Sexxxy Eddy would win this match to continue the domination of ISW by the League of Extraordinary Gentleman. None of these fans gave Twiggy the slightest chance to become the ISW Number One Contender.

I understood immediately why Twiggy was upset.

I am not going to argue that Twiggy isn't a serious underdog in this match, but consider the following:

-Twiggy has previously pinned Player Uno.
-Twiggy has previously pinned Kevin Steen (believe it or not)
-Twiggy took out Sexxxy Eddy during the cage match in Connecticut (during Exact Change Only) allowing Player Uno to win the match by pinning Giant Tiger without interference.
-This is the exact kind of match most likely to be won by a roll-up and Twiggy has won more matches by roll-up than the other three wrestlers in this match... combined.

Following up on that last point, it is easy to forget that Twiggy is one of the best trained wrestlers in Quebec. Before Beef Wellington and El Generico would let Twiggy even think of entering the squared circle for the first time in a real match, they put him through twice the training that they gave to any other wrestling student in their school at the time. Every step along the way in his training and in his career, Twiggy has had to prove that he deserves to be a professional wrestler.

Heck, Beef and El Generico used to haze Twiggy with a somewhat cruel game where they got him into pinning predicaments and if Twiggy couldn't kick out for real, they cancelled his training for the day and sent him home early. I remember the first time that Twiggy was forced to leave training early. He stormed past my office swearing that it would never happen again and (to the best of my recollection) it never did happen again.

Do I think Twiggy is a lock to win this match? Of course not, but he definitely has a shot and if Twiggy had to wrestle in any kind of match to earn a shot at the ISW title, this is probably the match that gives him the best chance to surprise an opponent for three seconds and get a flash pin.

I was saying all of this to Twiggy in the ISW office, when I added the other reason that I thought Twiggy had a great shot at winning the match, "You know Twiggy, when you think about it, Kevin doesn't need this opportunity, Sexxxy Eddy doesn't want this opportunity, and Player Uno has already had this opportunity."

(I like triptychs, sue me.)

Twiggy's face lit up and the next thing I knew he was yelling for a camera and he was taping a promo right then and there:

I think that I can say with some confidence that no one in this match wants the victory more than Twiggy, but sometimes desire is not enough. Can desire beat the veteran cruelty of Sexxxy Eddy? Can desire save Twiggy from the bullying tactics of  "Mr. Wrestling" Kevin Steen? Can Twiggy's desire overcome Player Uno's thirst for vengeance on Giant Tiger?

My heart says yes, but my head like those ISW fans at Bofinger's says, "Probably Not."

Only one way to find out for sure though...

Get your tickets for BONER JAM now! Contact me at to buy them in Montreal.

Get Your Tickets NOW!

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM (#4 in a series)

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM 
Montreal, March 27th, Foufounes Electriques

Having already looked at the Title match between Inter Species Wrestling Champion Giant Tiger and the recently crowned NWA World Heavyweight Champion Colt Cabana, let's turn our attention to the men jockeying for position to challenge the winner of that match.

There are four men set to wrestle one another in a Contender's Clash match at BONER JAM (Kevin Steen, Player Uno, Sexxxy Eddy and Twiggy.) and the winner of the match will become the ISW Number One Contender.

The match started (as so many ISW matches do) after a chance encounter in the men's washroom of an Ottawa Legion hall.

The odds-on favourite to win this match is Mr. Wrestling Kevin Steen. The irony is that Steen has previously won a match to become the ISW Number One Contender... only for Kevin to never actually cash in his victory and challenge for the ISW title. In a way, it has always seemed like Kevin Steen has for years been about to win the ISW Title and just never got around to it, like it was the last thing on his to-do list that he never quite got around to checking off.

I understand all about procrastination and the regret that sometimes comes from putting off until tomorrow --- next week --- whenever that thing that never seemed quite important enough to get to until you realize the opportunity that you just let slip by. Imagine how Kevin Steen feels now. If he had cashed in his opportunity and claimed the ISW Title earlier, it would be Kevin Steen getting ready to face the NWA World Heavyweight Champion instead of Giant Tiger. There is no guarantee that Steen would have been able to turn the match into title vs. title (or a guarantee that he would have won the match) but a victory over Colt Cabana in Kevin's hometown in a match where the NWA title was not on the line, would immediately propel Steen into consideration for a title match against Cabana for the NWA title down the line.

I can tell you that Steen is furious over this lost career opportunity and when Steen gets mad his only solution is to hurt other people in the ring.

One of Steen's favourite targets to destroy in the ring is Player Uno, but Uno has become increasingly difficult for Steen to kill. Player Uno has strong motivations to win this match: he has unfinished business with Giant Tiger who ambushed Player Uno at the end of our 4 Year Anniversary show and essentially stole Uno's belt (with Sexxxy Eddy's help.)

Since losing his belt to Giant Tiger, Uno has actually pinned Giant Tiger but not in a match where the belt could go back to where Uno believes that it rightfully belongs - around his waist.

So Player Uno has to win this match to get his revenge match with Giant Tiger. To do so all he has to do is to beat on a rival that he dislikes (Kevin Steen) and the other man who cost Uno his belt (Sexxxy Eddy).

It would be easy to underestimate Sexxxy Eddy in this match. Eddy has always treated ISW like a huge drunken lark. And for ISW fans, Eddy winning this match would seem like a worst-case scenario. After all, he seems to be only in this match to protect the interests of Giant Tiger and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

On the other hand, Eddy has always valued titles over friendships and allegiances. He has never really shown that gold-hungry mercenary streak in ISW, but then again he has never, ever been in a position to win gold in ISW before.

Eddy winning this match might actually be the worst thing that could possibly happen... not for the fans, but for the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I am sure that in theory it makes sense that if Sexxxy Eddy won this match that he would immediately allow Giant Tiger to pin him, but I don't think that Sexxxy Eddy is hard-wired that way. I don't think that Sexxxy Eddy is physically capable of passing up a chance to win a title any more than he is capable of overlooking a pretty girl.

Could Sexxxy Eddy winning this match be the first domino to fall in a chain that eventually topples the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

There is of course, one final wrestler that I am overlooking, that the fans are ignoring and that the wrestlers in this match are not taken as seriously as they should... which might just be his secret weapon, but more about Twiggy tomorrow...

Get your tickets for BONER JAM now! Contact me at to buy them in Montreal.

Get Your Tickets NOW!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fantasia 2004: 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984) Hong Kong

Fantasia 2004: 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (1984) Hong Kong
8 Diagram Pole Fighter aka Wu Lang ba gua gun (1984) Hong Kong imdb Directed by Chia-Liang Liu Written by Kuang Ni and Chia-Liang Liu

You can blame Rusty Shackles on this review. I sent him a copy of 8 Diagram Pole Fighter to thank him for the kitty picture that he drew for my girlfriend Bridget so that I could give it her on Valentine's Day. We agreed that I would send him 8 Diagram Pole Fighter and the Korean vampire movie Thirst and I threw in a copy of Wham! Bam! Thank You Ma'am! (signed by Twiggy) from Inter-Species Wrestling, the rather insane wrestling federation that I am powerless Commissioner of and occasional ring announcer for.  (Cheap Pug Department: our next show is Boner Jam in Montreal at Foufounes Electriques on Sunday, March 27th.)

Rather than mailing the package right away, I sat on it for a few days --- a week --- until yesterday. Partly because I am procrastinating asshole, but also because I wanted to watch the films before I shipped them. I watched 8 Diagram Pole Fighter right away, Thirst took a bit longer and I am still processing what I saw in that Korean mind-fuck.

8 Diagram Pole Fighter

I was startled watching 8 Diagram Pole Fighter to realize that I had seen it before during the Fantasia Film Festival. It was from a year when I didn't review any films from Fantasia, but the film was not in the 2004 Fantasia catalog or on the 2004 Fantasia web-site. The only confirmation that I could find that the film played then was a blog post which settled for describing the film as "exuberant". Normally, OCD pack-rat that I am, I hang onto my Fantasia tickets (one of the reasons that I write Fantasia reviews is that for some weird reason afterwards, I feel permission to throw the tickets away) but I don't seem to have a 2004 ticket for the film.

Here is what I think happened. I had a ticket for another Shaw Brothers film, but when the print didn't arrive in time, we got 8 Diagram Pole Fighter instead.

I seem to recall seeing the film in a dreamy haze caused by lack of sleep. (I must have seen it late in the Festival.) I liked it but it didn't make a huge impression me, evidenced by the fact that I promptly forgot about it until I slid it into my DVD player. Fortunately, it is a film with depth that improves the more that you watch it and study it. In reexamining it, I can see why I watched it in a waking dream state. It is a very colourful film that plays like a waking dream, reminding me in a very weird way of Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker. Heresy, I know, but they both have a lush colour scheme and a strange pacing for films that pretend that they are building to something and then give us something unexpected.

Scenes from the very artificially staged opening.
Pole Fighter is odd right from the opening credits, which run during what looks and feels like a Peking Opera recreation of an historical battle. Because it is the opening credits it sort of works, but it really does feel like a sequence from another movie. As Ben Martin puts it , "almost like something out of an old MGM musical."

The opening adds to the film's dream-like feeling. What puts it over the top is the way that the film tries to cram in almost every trope from martial arts until the film feels like it was constructed from left-over bits from a dozen other films. Just off the top of my head the film has palace intrigue, a chief bad guy who is a weird combination of Benedict Arnold and Machiavelli, a prophecy that is misread and comes true in the most tragic way possible, a Chinese family with an "unbeatable" style and a foreign enemy who invent a new weapon designed to neutralize that unbeatable style and a massacre that leaves a family decimated and that's just in the first ten minutes.

Then you throw in one brother on the run (Gordon Chia Hui Liu) who angrily tries to become a Shaolin Monk and who must learn humility from the monks to be redeemed - according to Wiki, the movie is based on the true story of this 5th Yang brother who invented the Yang Ga Ng Long Baht Gwa Kwun (Yang Family 5th brother eight diagram pole) style; another brother (Yang 6) who goes crazy after the massacre (the scene chewing Alexander Sheng Fu); a virtuous mother (Lily Li) who uses an ax given to her by the Emperor to literally kick-ass and finally a sister (Kara Hui) who disguises herself as a boy to try and get a message to her brother in the Shaolin Temple.

Gordon Liu's Yang 5 Angrily Self-Mutilates Himself Insisting That He Must Be a Monk

With so many tropes and archetypes being stuffed into the film, it is only natural that one falls out. The thread that is simultaneously the weakest and the strongest is the palace intrigue strand represented by the film's arch-enemy, Yelu Lin (Wang Lung Wei) who is the father of the Emperor's wife. A great deal of the film is spent discussing getting the surviving Yangs in front of the Emperor to testify against Yelu Lin's treachery. This is a complete red herring and a bit pointless.

Wang Lung Wei as Yelu Lin
What does emerge from this seemingly pointless exercise is one of the most complex bad guys in the history of kung-fu cinema. Yelu Lin has two problems. First, the too-loyal and virtuous Yangs one of whom (Yang 6) killed one of his sons in a kung-fu tournament. Secondly, the Mongols who are threatening to chip away at the Empire piece by piece. In a move of Machiavellian brilliance, Yelu Lin uses one problem to fix the other, offering to step the Imperial army aside, allowing the Mongols to conquer an outlying province in return for the Mongols destroying the Yang family and their army.

This works out so well it is almost like Yelu planned it that way. The Mongols win but take casualties. The Yangs are massacred, but 2 (Yang 5 and Yang 6) escape the ambush. Yelu Lin is able to avoid making good on his promise to sacrifice a province to the Mongols by sending them to chase after the elusive Yang brothers, arguing that as long as they are loose they are a threat to both his position and that of the Mongols. This has the advantage of being true, but it also allows Yelu Lin to distract the Mongols from their ambitions to conquer Imperial land. (It also leads to a fantastic and funny sequence when a Shaolin monk acting as a Yang messenger discovers disguised Mongols in a town and everywhere he runs for help he discovers more disguised Mongols.)

Yelu Lin is evil and he dies as horribly as he deserves to, but like the best villains, he has a seductive and logical argument to explain his evil decisions. Still, his storyline is a bit of an over-stuffed plot thread that distracts from the main storyline.

Part of the reason that the film is so distracted and over-stuffed is that the film was struck by tragedy:
Fu Sheng bought and lived in the late Bruce Lee's house in Kowloon. On 7 July 1983, he was returning home from a dinner engagement at the Clear Water Bay Golf Club. His Porsche 911 Targa, driven by his brother, took the curves of Clear Water Bay Road too fast and crashed into a cement wall. Fu Sheng was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries and died three hours later widowing Cantopop superstar Jenny Tseng with no children. He was 28. He died almost 10 years after Lee had died on 20 July 1973. 
Fu Sheng as the crazy Yang 6

The film was clearly set-up to tell the story of the redemption of the crazy 6th Yang brother. But when Sheng Fu died, the film had to switch its focus to the story of the kung fu style inventing 5th Yang brother. And this shift in focus does save the film in a way, because the Gordon Liu character has a great redemptive character arc, clearly influenced by films like One Armed Boxer.

Like the martial arts school in One Armed Boxer, the Yangs are virtuous Chinese, officially recognized for their loyalty to the Emperor and they practice a martial art which they have perfected (the spear) and at which they can not normally be beaten. Like in One Armed Boxer, the bad guys are foreigners (Mongols) in the employ of rival Chinese (Yelu Lin). The bad guys only win through an ambush and because they are employing techniques and weapons specifically designed to neutralize the Yang's martial arts style by trapping their spears.

This defeat of the spear traumatizes the Gordon Liu character and spiritually cripples him. Partly in shame and partly because it is the only way to neutralize the Mongol weapons, he burns off his spear head, leaving himself with a pole instead of a spear. In a very real sense, by burning away his spear head he figuratively cripples himself in a similar way that Jimmy Wang Yu's characters were literally crippled. This is only reinforced by the sequence when Yang 5 reveals his identity to the head Shaolin monk who refuses to believe that this would-be monk is the 5th Yang brother because he uses a staff not a spear. (His paraphrased reaction is "No Yang would ever cut off his spear!")

Gordon Liu as Yang 5 finally humble and centered

Like a good wrestling card that gets tipped over into greatness by a fantastic main event, 8 Diagram Pole Fighter is a good film that tips over to greatness by a fantastic final fight scene which manages somehow to be a completely satisfying organic ending, but also completely (and brutally) surprising.

Best of all, the ending gives Yang 6 a moment of grace in the midst of violence as the once angry and defeated general becomes a humble and triumphant monk, oddly a better leader in humility than he was in his days as a proud Yang general.

Recommended if you like kung-fu cinema.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM (#3 in a series)

Inter Species Wrestling presents BONER JAM 
Montreal, March 27th, Foufounes Electriques

I was incredibly excited to post this video, but as sometimes happens in the wacky world of wrestling, events in the larger wrestling universe have overtaken my petty little schemes. What seemed like a stroke of genius only Friday now seems like an act of idiocy that could shake the very fabric of the wrestling universe.

Before we get to the video, I should explain a little bit of the context. Unlike much of the Inter Species Wrestling upper management, until the Inter Species Wrestling 4th Anniversary show, I never really had a problem with Giant Tiger. In fact, the reason that I was randomly named ISW Beloved Commissioner for Life (by Rotchy and Twiggy on commentary) in the first place?  Beef Wellington was trying to weasel out of wrestling Giant Tiger and I forced Beef to do the match. The Gingerbread Man was very appreciative of my efforts on that day and has generally shown me respect backstage ever since.

We actually almost bonded when Giant Tiger confessed to me that he was a "crack addict" until he explained that he wasn't talking about drugs and his (drunken) explicit description of rimming left me nauseous and repulsed.

To cut a long story short (too late) the point is that even after Giant Tiger and Sexxy Eddy attacked me in the ring at the conclusion of our 4th Anniversary show - leaving me with a concussion and a partially detached retina (that I will only be able to have corrective surgery for the week after BONER JAM)... Even after that, the Gingerbread Man and I have at least been able to have civil discussions and negotiations, unlike say GT and Rotch who invariably end up looking like a pair of angry 12 year-olds trying to fight while wearing Sumo fat suits. Giant Tiger even sent me an apology gift after putting me in the hospital - granted it was a box of his shit, but it's the thought that counts... Right?

When Rotchy was unable to get Giant Tiger to sign a contract to wrestle Colt Cabana at BONER JAM, I was the guy that he turned to do his dirty work. This video is the result of my meeting with Giant Tiger to discuss the contract.

Yes, I did trick Giant Tiger into signing a contract to wrestle Colt Cabana. In my defence, if Giant Tiger is still taking wrestling promoters at their word after this long, well he desperately needs to be taught not to trust us back-stage weasels. (Normally, I would love to say exactly how long GT has been in the wrestling game but Giant Tiger is the most frustratingly difficult wrestler to research that I know of.)

And I will admit, I was feeling pretty good about getting GT to sign the dotted line and he was equally pissed off at me... until Colt Cabana pinned NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam "Scrap-Iron" Pearce on Sunday at the NWA Hollywood Pro Show to become NWA World Heavyweight Champion for the first time, making him the latest champion in a proud tradition that includes Lou Thesz, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Terry Funk, Ric Flair, Sting and Ricky Steamboat, not to mention Canadian legends like Whipper Billy Watson, Yvon Robert Sr. and the recently deceased (adopted-by-Quebec as one of their own) Edouard Carpentier.

A proud tradition that might, just might, now be sullied by adding the names "Giant Tiger" to that list. There is an infinitesimally small, but real possibility that after March 27th, 2011, the Gingerbread Man could be the Inter-Galactic Beef Father-Fucker Wrestling Champion AND the Inter Species World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion AND (God Forbid) the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

Despite the hourly phone calls, text messages and tweets that I have been receiving from members of the League demanding a title vs. title match between Colt Cabana and Giant Tiger at BONER JAM, at this time I can neither confirm nor deny that the match will be title vs. title. Heck, I can't even confirm that the match will be sanctioned by the NWA or even if Colt Cabana will still be NWA Champion on March 27th.

But there is a chance, maybe only a lottery ticket chance, but still a chance that at BONER JAM, Giant Tiger could become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion and that possibility fills me with dread and massive, massive, massive GUILT.

On the plus side, Giant Tiger just left a tweet saying that he wants own the belt that used to belong to Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, so Colt's actual belt may not be in that much jeopardy after all.

No matter what happens though, BONER JAM has just gone from a MUST-SEE show to a OH MY GOD! CAN'T MISS THIS SHOW. Get your tickets Now! Contact me at to buy them in Montreal.

Get Your Tickets NOW!

Corrections Department

In my last post about this show, I wrote the following:
before our 4th Anniversary show, Rotchy failed to get Giant Tiger to sign a contract for a match. This led to GT coming to the ring and challenging Rotchy to a match. When Rotch refused to wrestle Giant Tiger, GT declared victory and then used that victory as the basis for challenging Player Uno at the end of the show allowing Tiger with Sexxxy Eddy's help to steal the ISW title from Uno.
 I have been reminded by a certain Mikhail Rotch, Esquire, owner of ISW, of the following:
GT was granted an open contract - and he challenged me (Rotch).  I didn't come out - so it was STILL an open contract.  Thus, granting him (Giant Tiger) the chance to challenge for the title.
Rotchy is of course correct. The exact sequence of events of that show is somewhat cloudy in my mind, given that I received a concussion at the end of the show from a beating administered by Giant Tiger and Sexxxy Eddy, but I do regret this tiny, niggling error.
I will try and do a better job in the future of remembering the exact sequence of events that happen at shows where I get the shit kicked out of me.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"For James" an IWS Extreme Wrestling Charity Bash

For James an IWS Extreme Wrestling Charity Bash

It has only been a few months since we held the Last International Wrestling Syndicate Show EVER! and we are holding another show. Holy Ric Flair! Even by the standards of wrestling retirements that was quick right?

Well, don't call it a come-back. We have no intention of running shows, but when we found out that James Bryant (the son of a friend of ours) had leukemia, we couldn't stand by and do nothing. So we decided to help the only way that we knew how: by lacing back on our boots and inviting our fans and friends to come watch us destroy each other in the ring the way that only the IWS can..

So on Friday, March 25th we are getting together at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall in Deux-Montanges, at 141 rue de la Legion for a charity wrestling gala. The doors open at 7:30 PM and the show starts at 8:30 PM. Tickets are $20 in adavance and at the door and all profits from the show go to James Bryant and his family.

This will be an ALL AGES Show! (After all the guest of honour is under 18!)

I should have the full card next week, but I can announce that "Iron" Mike Paterson will be announcing the show as only he can.

If you would like to buy tickets in advance or can't go to the show but would like to donate, please click the donate button below and GIVE 'TIL IT HURTS!

You can pick the amount you give but if you want tickets you must give $20 per ticket that you want. You can also come by my office to pick up tickets for the show.

As a special bonus to encourage your charity, anyone who gives at least $20 can buy any IWS DVD that I have left for $10.00. E-Mail me a list of what DVDs that you want:

Here is the poster for the show:


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Call for Submissions: YoungCuts Film Festival 2011

Call for Submissions: YoungCuts Film Festival 2011 

The YoungCuts Film Festival is looking for Great Short Films by the World's Best Young Filmmakers (25 and under).

Started in 2001 as the Toronto International Teen Film Festival, the festival changed its name (and increased its age limit) in 2005 and moved to Montreal in 2006.

Every year, the festival selects it's Top 100 short films from more than a thousand submissions from more than 30 countries.

We present awards in multiple categories including the High Fidelity HDTV award for Best Documentary, the award for Best Canadian Film, the award for Best Quebec Film, the award for Best Short Short (film under 5 minutes) and the award for Best Educational Film amongst many other prizes.

Part of our larger mandate is to find and create paying film projects for young filmmakers, like the films we did for Canadian Heritage's Canada's Got Treasures! project.We do this through our sister site If you need to hire a filmmaker or if you are a filmmaker who needs to be hired, come give us a try!

Take a look at Last Year's Winners! And the Top 100 films from last year!

You can apply on-line through

Download the 2011 application form here: 2011 YoungCuts Application Form.

Our regular deadline for the Festival is March 31st, but we accept films until June 15th.
(But the earlier that you submit though, the better your chance for your film to be accepted.)

For more information on submitting your film go HERE!
Or contact Michael Ryan: 514.285.4591