action movie freak    

Actionfest 2010 2011

ActionFest 2012
(April 12-15) Asheville, NC  |  Program .pdf  
Program created
by Mary McGahren (@Mary_McG)

skip to the FILM LIST with trailers . . .

Stay tuned to for all the fun if you can't be here in person, follow @Actionfest, and Like them on Facebook.

L-R  @DrewAtHitFix, @devincf, Chuck Norris,
@aloompanix (behind Chuck), Aaron Norris,
Bill Banowski (behind Aaron), @colingeddes,
and @twitchfilmtodd (behind Colin)

Apr 14 Day 2 Awards Ceremony
I was not able to hear everything, but here's what I got :D
The things I was not sure of have a question mark.  Aaron Norris was the emcee. The major award honorees were announced and came into a tent in the parking lot one by one. Tent Admission was for VIP level Badge Holders and above, but nearly everyone there had a badge, so there was overflow all around and a great deal of excitement for the occasion. When Gina Carano accepted her Award, the whole crowd had those Puss-N-Boots eyes from Shrek. They were clearly smitten. As Aaron Norris put it when he introduced her: "She could kick the ass of every guy in here." Reels were shown of the work of major honorees, and the Jury was on hand and presented various awards. They were given out in this order:

Trevor Habberstad  Young Stuntman? Award
(on hand to accept. I could not hear what he said when he accepted.)
Courtney Solomon  Producer of the Year
(not there. Sarah Finder, VP of Publicity & Promotions from After Dark Films accepted on this behalf. He is in Bulgaria, shooting his next film—not listed on IMDB. What an amazing list of movies to his credit in 2012! )
Jack Gill  Man of Action Award
(on hand to accept. Thanked Aaron Norris for inviting him. Said the digital realm will not surpass stuntwork, the upper echelon of the Hollywood will recognize what stuntmen do for a living, and that ActionFest is only going to get bigger and better.)
J.J. Perry  Fight Coordinator of the Year
(on hand to accept. There was a video from Chuck Norris who said "nobody deserves it more". He seemed like a really gracious and truly nice person and he thanked Mickey Gilbert for paving the way.)

Cung Le  Rising Action Star
(on hand to accept. He thanked ActionFest, After Dark, God, his agent, manager, "everyone", and USH, and the crowd cheered "Ush!"
BREAK:  Improv Comedy Performance with the line "Tell me where to stand so I don't get killed."
• Tim McGaren? :30 Seconds of Action Contest Winner for ____________?
(announced by Peter Kaplowsky. Couldn't hear title if that is what he was saying. Sounded like "Operation Sneed?")
Some talk about or by?Jury Member Eric Vespe  Best ? for ______________?  as just part of the introduction for . . .
Jason Lapeyre  Best Screenplay for I Declare War
(not there?)
James Frain  Best Villain for Transit
• Best Spirit of Action Award
to Manborg
(don't think Steven Kostanski was there. Colin? said they want to have "him" back next year to do an Independent Creative Action Films master class. Maybe he came an earlier year.)
Cung Le
  Best Fight (Street Fight #1) in Dragon Eyes
(this was Cung Le's first time as a Fight Choreographer. He joked again about his new "Ninja Toe Kick" that he's been knocking out his sparring partners with. Yikes! There's a more dangerous kick?!)
Not sure if this was just talk or an introduction of Jury Member Mitch Davis Best Action Sequence for _____________
heard something about  . . . the alleyway scene in The Lost Bladesman . . .
? Best Director __________________? for The Lost Bladesman?
There are two Directors listed on IMDB for The Lost Bladesman, and I didn't hear either name: Felix Chong and Alan Mak.
• Best Picture
 I Declare War
Gina Carano
inaugural Chick Norris Award
(on hand to accept. There was a video from Chuck Norris who said that an award to honor women in Action Movies was "long overdue". Gina said it was an honor to be there. She thanked ActionFest, J.J. Perry, stuntmen and women, and said she felt she had gotten more credit than she ever deserved. She then thanked her mother who was in the audience and said "[she  wouldn't have known what a strong woman was unless she had shown her]." Then Aaron Norris announced that Gina's birthday was on the 16th and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her.
Tom Elliott Best Action Sequence for _______________ ?  
(on hand to accept. They showed a reel and Aaron Norris called it the "Car Stunt of the Decade". Tom Elliott was Stunts Unlimited President 2010-11, and is now VP 2012. He said to Aaron Norris that ActionFest "has the complete support of all 50 members of Stunts Unlimited".)
Mickey Gilbert Lifetime Achievement Award
[Aaron Norris said that Mickey Gilbert had done everything you can do in the stunt business, and that he might be known to tell a story or two. "I got stories" he said. The crowd applauded him and he said the last time he was applauded was at 16 or 17(I think he said that age) by his parents when he left the house. It struck me at that moment that they do all this life-endangering work and they never do hear applause! He called up the four founders "the backbone" of ActionFest (Bill Banowski, Dennis Berman, Aaron Norris, and Tom Quinn) who took the stage with him and said that they were "going to see big things happen". Mentioned the Festival being moved someday to somewhere like Vegas (please no!), and that "'they're' going to be jealous of this (motioned with award in hand meaning someday the Academy Awards would be jealous of ActionFest Awards)".  He mentioned the only person to receive an Academy Award for anything Action related was Yakima Canutt who received an Honorary Academy Award "for achievements as a stunt man and for developing safety devices to protect stunt men everywhere" (from Wikipedia), and said he feels "for some reason 'they' are against us". He interjected "Oh, I gotta tell you something!" (so cute—he's got such a likeable personality) and the crowd laughed. Then he announced that in two weeks it would be he and his wife's 50th Anniversary. That got big applause. Then he went on to explain how the buffalo 'went down' (which someone had asked) in the reel of his work where it looked like they got shot with arrows and speared with a lance. He explained what a "running W" was, and ended with an anecdote that they called him to do the same thing on Dances With Wolves and he said "No!" LMAO!]
The last two Honorees recognized were tireless ActionFest behind-the-scenes workers:  "Hope" (Branch, Director of Operations at Carolina Asheville) and "Kelly" (Sanders?).

 When asked if he was going out drinking with everyone, Aaron Norris replied: "God only gives you so many drinks in a lifetime—I used all mine up in the '70s." He also said ActionFest would be building up the blog and blogging throughout the year and that he couldn't believe there wasn't a "major" Action Movie website out there. Back when I started this site (2009), I saw that as well, but I think of ActionFlickChick,, and OutlawVern are awesome, so if you haven't visited their sites, I highly recommend them!

Apr 13 Day 1 was packed with excitement!
I saw Let The Bullets Fly, The Wild Bunch (with an introduction by and Q&A after with Mickey Gilbert), Sinners & Saints (with a big crew from them, including Director William Kaufman, and stars Johnny Strong, and Tom Berenger), and Transit.

Apr 12 Solomon Kane
The Rocket Man kicked off the festival by flying over the red carpet in front of the Diana Wortham theater. (Dressed in a tux made it another level of cool!)  Although James Purefoy could not be there to introduce Solomon Kane, he wrote an email that Colin read to the crowd. I missed see Tom Quinn & Co. with swords and beers, though LOL.  The change of venue made it seem more intimate somehow (private party feel). The movie was great!

Apr 11 Tomorrow, tomorrow . . .
Arrived a day early. Gives me time to decide which movies to see.

Apr 7 The (almost) Final List is out . . .
And it's way more than expected!  Plus:  they mention: "Secret Screenings! TOP SECRET! One an upcoming action hit and the other an action classic — not to be missed!"

Apr 4 8 days and counting . . .
Here is the official ActionFest . . . I think I meant to put the trailer but it wouldn't load for me.  Guess I got interrupted on that post LOL And I just noticed I had "Charlotte" instead of "Asheville" on all 3 years.  OMG.

Mar 26 Film List (partial)
Where was I? Apparently (it's dated March 23rd) I missed the film list (so much for Google Alerts).  It is partial, but I added the films (with trailers, see below). 

Mar 25 ActionFest Program . . .
ActionFest's first Festival Director Matthew Kiernan @HQ10 tweeted "Not watching MAD MEN so I can work on program guide notes, which, ironically enough, will be filled with MAD MEN spoilers."

 Mar 9 The 2012 ActionFest poster . . .
Artwork by Kagan McLeod (self portrait and bio quote from his website). "Kagan McLeod has been illustrating for magazines, newspapers and design firms since 1999, after graduating from Sheridan College's illustration program. He began work as a staff artist for Canada's National Post newspaper, and has since had work published in magazines around the world. He lives in Toronto with his wife, two daughters and hound dog, Buddy."

I'm loving that a woman is the largest character on the illustration.

Opening Film It was also announced that Solomon Kane will be the opening film (trailer below). In the same vein as Centurion and Ironclad, it's sure to pump up the crowd! I LOVE seeing movies on the big screen that I would never otherwise have the chance to. The star of Solomon Kane

The Closing Film will be Wu Xia aka Dragon.  Trailers of both movies below in the film list I started . . .

Mar 8 The early bird price of $75 for a festival badge is over. The price is now $100, and still a bargain!  Colin Geddes said on his FB page that an announcement is imminent as he has secured the opening and closing films. I am guessing The Raid is the opening film.  Probably all the lucky film career people have already seen it at TIFF, but I am psyched to see it!

Feb 8  "Chick Norris" honoree announced . . .  HAYWIRE's Gina Carano!  "The festival will feature a lineup of action film from the U.S. and around the world, plus stunt demonstrations in the Carolina Asheville parking lot. [Festival Co-Founder Bill] Banowsky is also looking to have some ActionFest involvement in downtown Asheville. 'We would love to show films (downtown),' he said. 'Our goal is to outgrow the Carolina.'  Early ActionFest tickets will go on sale in a few days, with a film lineup announced in several weeks, he said."

Dec 20  ActionFest 2012 dates announced and this year's honoree is Mickey Gilbert, plus they are adding a new "'Chick' Norris" Award "to be given to a woman working in film today who best represents the spirit, attitude, athleticism and grit of Hollywood legend Chuck Norris."


Release Date

ActionFest 2012
Director Trailer
YouTube playlist of ALL trailers  
24 Sep 2009
(Fantastic Fest)

6 Nov 2009

Solomon Kane
(104 min.)  Action/Adventure/Fantasy
"A mercenary who owes his soul to the devil redeems himself by fighting evil."

Writers Michael J. Bassett and
Robert E. Howard (1906-1936) creator of "Conan the Barbarian in a series of short stories and novels... . Born in Peaster, Texas, he was raised in Cross Plains. His fiction was carried in pulp magazines of the time such as Weird Tales, and H.P. Lovecraft was a friend and admirer of his. He committed suicide [at age 30] after holding vigil by his mother's deathbed."

Michael J. Bassett


Solomon Kane
OH: "Dude, man, what was that? That was so loud. Rocket Maaaaan. No way! That's way cool!" Last night, downtown Asheville heard @ActionFest knocking with the Rocket Man's entrance . . .  in a tux! The site of this year's festival opener was the Diana Wortham theatre, right smack in the heart of things. Hovering over the entrance, complete with red carpet and velvet ropes, Rocket Man's jet pack read "ACTIONFEST" on the back.  That was exciting enough, but the crowd couldn't wait to get inside for the opening film Solomon Kane (official site) starring @JamesPurefoy. It was the another perfect, pump-em-up choice from Festival Director @colingeddes. The intimate @dwtheatre was the perfect setting, and it was packed! 

James Purefoy was unable to attend, but sent an email (read by Colin), which included a story about being injured on the SK set, and Purefoy later 'accidently' putting his spear through the cheek of that stuntman (who told him later he felt Purefoy's blade on his tongue).  I watched for that part but the Action was too awesome to be able to tell for sure without slo-mo, and so plentiful that it might have been any of many scenes. The movie was very good and the story fast paced. The creatures were the stuff of nightmares. Everyone played their parts well, and the "moveable feast" became a chase with a huge killcount that kept your heart racing, while Purefoy's moving performance and the character's situation kept you glued to the story. 

"I am not yet ready for hell . . . " It captured a dark time of superstition and sorcery where a man's speed and skill with a blade not only kept him alive but made him the stuff of legend. A fascinating character created by Robert E. Howard and published in Weird Tales magazine, there are other stories to tell, and there was talk of a sequel :)!

from Wikipedia:

"Howard described him as a sombre and gloomy man of pale face and cold eyes, all of it shadowed by a slouch hat. He is dressed entirely in black and his weaponry consists of a rapier, a cutlass, and a brace of flintlock pistols. During one of his latter adventures his friend N'Longa, an African shaman, gave him a juju staff that served as a protection against evil, but could easily be wielded as an effective weapon. It is revealed in another story, "The Footfalls Within", that this is the mythical Staff of Solomon, a talisman older than the Earth and unimaginably powerful, much more so than even N'Longa knew. In the same adventure with N'Longa, Kane is seen using a musket as well."


13 May 2011

15 Apr 2012

21 Apr 2012

Dragon (Wu Xia)
(114 min.)  Action/Drama
"A sinful martial arts expert wants to start a new tranquil life, only to be hunted by a determined detective and his former master."

Peter Chan

FILM LIST alphabetical . . .

30 Nov 2011

? Apr 2012

A Gang Story
(102 min.)  Drama
" A look back at one of France's most notorious crime syndicates, reminiscent of The Godfather and Heat."

Olivier Marchal

13 Apr 2012
Bad Ass
( ___ min.)  Action
"Danny Trejo plays a decorated soldier who returns from Vietnam only to be shunned by society. Forty years later, when he protects an elderly man from a pair of skinheads, he becomes a hero, but his good fortune takes a turn for the worse when his best friend is murdered and the police won't do anything about it. Also starring Charles Dutton and Ron Perlman."

Craig Moss

21 Aug 1981
(New York)

24 Feb 2012

? Apr 2012

Comin' At Ya!
(91 min.)  Western
"Alamo Drafthouse and Drafthouse Films bring us this newly restored 3-D funfest"
"Warning: The Management Is Not responsible For Where The Screen Ends And You Begin! "

Ferdinando Baldi


? Apr 2012
Dragon Eyes
(88 min.)  Action/Crime/Drama
"In St. Jude, drug dealers and corrupt cops have destroyed an urban neighborhood. But newcomer, Hong (Cung Le), has the fighting skills and moral vision to save this town from itself. " Stars MMA Superstar Cung Le (will be in attendance), and Jean-Claude Van Damme and Peter Weller "in this modern version of Akira Kurosawa's classic Yojimbo."

John Hyams


Dragon Eyes
"You've got two tigers inside you—the weak one, who doesn't believe, and the courageous one who does—which one will win?" So Jean-Claude Van Damme's character advises Cung Le's character.  This movie is an epic fight movie. It's almost hard to watch.  In the Q&A, Cung Le spoke of scenes that were almost 'fight porn'. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It's just a little hard to watch because it's that real looking.  It's a great compliment to the actors and stuntmen, but it's not for the faint hearted.  The story is fairly straightforward.  It's a passing of the torch as both men are talented kickers.  Two things I didn't care for were the use of an Asian actress whose body looked so plastic she might as well have been a blow-up doll, and the way they cut/edited the scene she was in.  It was soft-porn/masturbation material—strictly for men. Any woman watching would agree, guys would just be, well, guys.  That aside, I enjoyed the movie, especially Peter Weller's performance.  Cung Le's performance was touching, and a contrast to the brutality. I hope we see much more of him!

9 July 1987 Eastern Condors
(93 min.) 


Sammo Hung Kam-Bo



Eastern Condors
This is one of those foreign movies the average Action Movie Fan has probably never seen (or maybe even heard of) but, which belongs on a Top Ten list with Born to Fight (a brilliant choice from Festival Director Matthew Kiernan shown at ActionFest 2010)The Action is creative and the story is funny, unexpected, and moving, but thing that really stayed with me was that the performances and skill level of the players continually surprises. Even when you get to the end, it's like the keep on pulling out surprise after surprise.  You'll be shaking your head in appreciation and disbelief!

The movie stars Sammo Hung Kam-Bo (also the Director), Biao Yuen, Corey Yuen (both also stunt coordinators), Wah Yuen, and Woo-Ping Yuen. Sammo Hung looks so young! If you're not already a huge fan, you will be after this movie. When he screams while firing that cannon . . . , his jumping  up from the ground . . .  Actually, the thing about this movie is that everyone is good.  Really good.  The three "Guerilla Girls" will win you over with superior ass kicking and no fear. They are pretty but they are not bimbos. They are Joyce Godenzi, ______________, and Ci Chung Ha, and you will respect them!

The Action is acrobatic. You'll be wondering: Who is that guy and why have I never heard of him?  From IMDB: 

"Yuen Biao is regarded as one of the most acrobatic martial artists ever. Unfortunately, he is still underrated and not as popular as other contemporaries such as Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, and Jet Li even though he is the most critically acclaimed out of all of them and the most talented as well."

This movie features a few things I've seen re-created in later movies.  The Rundown came to mind with the "Thunder and Lightning" scene, as well as maybe my all-time favorite fight sequence from The Chronicles of Riddick: Riddick pulls off a flying two-fisted decapitation on one soldier, and then lands both blades into the chest of another! While David Twohy said if he'd seen it before he didn't want to use it in Riddick, you have to wonder if that scene came from this one. 

Great ending—they put a grenade in the annoying guy's mouth.  Bottom Line:  It impresses!

2011 God Bless America
( ___ min.)  Comedy

"Taking  out the trash, one jerk at a time."

Bobcat Goldthwait

2011 Goon
( ___ min.)  Comedy/Sport
"The most outrageous sports comedy in years stars Seann William Scott as a bouncer labeled an outcast by his brainy family. After overcoming long odds to lead a team of under-performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory by beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way, he must have a knock-'em-down confrontation with a famous enforcer (Liev Schreiber)."

Michael Dowse

4 Aug 2011 (Locarno Film Festival)

? Apr 2012

27 Apr 2012

(100 min.)  Action/Crime/Thriller
"Based on the international best-seller by Jo Nesbo, Askle Hennie stars as an accomplished corporate headhunter who moonlights as an art thief. When he steals a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary, he gets more than he bargained for, and must set off on a heart-stopping race against time to save his reputation and his life."

Morten Tyldum


? Apr 2012

28 July 2012

I Declare War
(90 min.)  Action/Comedy/Drama
"Stand By Me meets Full Metal Jacket when two groups of 13-year old friends play 'war' in a local forest. It's all fun and games until things get out of hand as bullies, crushes, and popularity contests all come into play on the battlefield."

Simon Lapeyre &
Robert Wilson

IMDB lists:
Jason Lapeyre


16 Dec 2010

2 Mar 2012

13 Apr 2012

Let The Bullets Fly
(132 min.)  Action/Comedy/Drama
"In 1920s China, a bandit arrives in a remote provincial town posing as its new mayor, where he faces off against a tyrannical local nobleman."

Wen Jiang


Let the Bullets Fly
Let The Bullets Fly
Colin Geddes, ActionFest 2012 Festival Director introduced this movie as "the highest-grossing Chinese movie in history". It's labeled as Action/Comedy/Western but the emphasis is on Comedy. Chow Yung Fat was great, as usual, in a double role. Seeing him be goofy was priceless!  The three actors were amazing together.  If only I understood Chinese to get their 'Buddy' dynamic (with three!) better with the language.

The opening was funny but also impressive as stuntwork. The bandits put ax blades into the railroad tracks then pounded them in with the butt of their rifles to de-rail the train. It didn't just de-rail it, it stopped it dead short and flipped it over! (I wonder if the ax thing is possible, metal into metal? It's a good question for Myth Busters—how much force would that take?) Another cool gimmick in the opening was the alarm clock as a timer on a confession. It gets tossed into the air, and the way they shoot it to pieces is clever as the metal ring that forms the outside of the clock goes flying into the camera, as if the camera passes through the hole where the clockworks used to be.  The "hang loose" symbol wooden sculpture as a headstone got a lot of laughs. According to Wikipedia "In China this gesture also means '6.' " (the dead bandit was "Number 6"), which I doubt that many of the ActionFest audience members knew. It just looked funny with the Western meaning as well. 

I prefer dubbing to subtitles—I know, I know, everyone disagrees, but I feel like I have to look away from the action to read. This movie's script was very funny and very fast. I didn't get to read every line because it went off the screen too quickly, and when it was white-on-white, the black outline was not enough to make the words clear at times. As a Comedy it was really funny. I can see why it was the highest-grossing movie. It might be a little like Rush Hour (in popularity for Action/Comedy) for us. I think there was probably enough Action, but there was so much comedy in between and mainly, that I would not think of this as an Action movie. As an Action Movie Freak, it didn't have enough Action for me. I almost fell asleep several times. I never do that in movies :-/. I did say almost. That aside, it was a clever script and kept an English language audience cracking up all the way through.

? Apr 2012?(Actionfest))

28 July 2012

(60 min.)  Action/Adventure/Comedy
"A zany mix of sci-fi, action and comedy, Manborg tells the story of a soldier brought back to life as a cyborg to fight against demon hordes in a dystopian future."

Steven Kostanski
SK on Myspace
SK on Youtube
Greypoint Films
Astron-6 Video


9 Apr 1993

? Apr 2012


(60 min.)  Action/Adventure/Comedy
"ActionFest co-founder Aaron Norris hosts a special family matinee screening of this 1993 favorite, starring his brother, Chuck Norris."  from IMDB: Barry is an asthmatic kid ... who lives with his father, a computer programmer, in Texas. Barry is struggling to get by in life, dealing with his rough school life, bullies, as well as his health. Barry's only source of enjoyment is fantasizing that he is with Chuck Norris. Barry becomes sick of getting picked on by the bigger guys, and decides to learn karate, in hopes of one day meeting the great Chuck Norris."

Aaron Norris



? Apr 2012


Sinners and Saints
(104 min.)  Action/Crime/Thriller
"with star Tom Berenger in attendance!) A tough New Orleans cop breaks in a new partner while investigating a series of brutal murders with ties to a crime war in the city's Ninth District."

William Kaufman


Sinners and Saints
What a TOTAL bad ass Johnny Strong is!  LOVED this Super Cop movie. His character NOLA Detective Sean Riley was a little out of control but reeled it in nicely at the end.  Described as a "band of brothers and sisters" there was a big group of people in attendance representing the movie:  Stars Johnny Strong and Tom Berenger, Director William Kaufman, and the Producers (and writer?).  In the introduction, the Director said the movie was an "indie guerilla film shot for a fraction of what they were told they needed."  You should see this movie ASAP! I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so if you don't want to know anything (which is always better), don't read below until after you see it.  This was the best movie of the Festival for me.

The theme of this movie was "Ever done something you wish you could undo?" The opening credits had a cool Instagram/gritty/color-filter look and they jumped right in with a major shootout—That was only the beginning. In another major gun battle, a van full of men with automatic weapons pulls up and it's just two cops with handguns, and one of the the two is hesitant (maybe terrified). Johnny Strong destroys the whole van of men and their barrage of bullets with just 3 clips and being accurate as hell! If there was ever a scene to drive home the importance of accuracy and not wasting bullets . . . 

Kicking it up a notch, they put a timer on the Action. I love when they do that!

The movie has some great lines but I really loved "Do I look like a humorist motherfucker to you?"

The scene where Riley (Strong) is running while shooting is so intense it makes him seem relentless, almost like a Terminator—the the most bad ass character I've seen in years. He's so skilled and focused! There are lots of payoffs in a good script. The characters are interesting and what a cast! It's like a list of 'cool' (in no particular order) Jürgen Prochnow, Costas Mandylor, Method Man, Sean Patrick Flanery, Bas Rutten, and more. This movie has it all: hot lead, gun battles, street shootouts, hand-to-hand body slamming fight, knife fight, major explosion (They blow up a house!), fire (gruesome crime scenes), and weapons . . .

WEAPONS! The weapons are outta hand in this movie. (The link is to the Sinners and Saints page on IMFDB Internet Movie Firearms Database—such a cool site.) The rifle with the light on it is scary (must be the "
DSA-SA58 OSW with Eotech holosight and Sure Fire M900A Vertical Foregrip WeaponLight"). And there was another weapon (I would have to—and will—watch the movie again to figure out which gun it is) that fired bullets so rapidly, the sound it made put fear of God in me, like how the sound of helicopters makes you think of war. You just want to hide. Also obvious was the careful thought and planning that went into the gun fights.  The pacing and strategy was evident. I love when they show you things like this and don't chop and cut to take away from the flow of the Action.  The reloads are a part of what's happening. It all adds up to increasing your fear (and appreciation) with the reality of it all.

The movie was touching for such a totally bad ass film. It really drove home "don't do something you can't undo" and explored the anger that is a result of feeling powerless.

Follow-Up Q & A
Stop kicking yourself for missing this. OMG what a lead character and what skills it allowed Johnny Strong to showcase. In the opening he said "the last year and a half I have expressed myself with knives" (what!) Tom Berenger told the audience that Johnny made the knives for the movie. (He sure knows how to use one.)  When asked about working with Tom Berenger, Strong said the first time he met him he thought to himself:  "That's Barnes! That's Sgt. Barnes!"  When they joked about this movie being "the prequel" Strong said "Tom, you're bulletproof" and Berenger replied "yeeesch!" which got a big laugh.  There is a late-fall-production sequel in the works and the Director said "S&S II is like this one on steroids". That's mind blowing to me because this one was so in-your-face good. Johnny Strong said Director William Kaufman had a roundabout way of getting him to star in the movie. Strong is also a musician (!!), so Kaufman sent him the script to do some music for the movie (the credit says Original Music by Johnny Strong and the closing song is him singing). When he read it, Strong said "one thing led to another and we both agreed I should star in the movie." LOL  They both praised the script writer (?Chad Law)  There was a question about how much it cost to make the movie and the Director said the "cash in for production was $658K." The Fight Choreographer, Stunt Coordinator, and Producer was Ron Balicki . I think he was there. They wanted to make the fighting look "as dirty and simplistic as possible", to be "fast and technical and push the boundaries of reality".  The script was written prior to Hurricane Katrina and had to be adapted because of Katrina.

Describing the cast as "World's most dangerous cast" they told us that the mercenaries and contractors are real (there's a video segment). That Delta operators from "the sandbox" were emailing Johnny about how cool the film is. (high praise)

2012 The Aggression Scale
( ___ min.)  Action/Thriller
"[I]ntense thriller about four heavily armed hitmen and two unusual teenagers who go to war over $500,000 of stolen cash. Starring Ray Wise, Dana Ashbrook, and Derek Mears."

Stephen C. Miller

15 Sep 2011

? Apr 2012

8 June 2012

The Day
( ___ min.) Drama/Sci Fi/Thriller
"Open war against humanity rages. Five survivors are lost and on the run. The pursuit is relentless, ammunition supplies are dwindling and the battle is everywhere. This is a 24-hour look into their lives. Fight or die. Starring Shawn Ashmore, Ashley Bell, Dominic Monaghan, and Shannyn Sossamon."

Douglas Aarniokoski

28 Apr 2011

? Apr 2012


The Lost Bladesman
( 109 min.)  Action/Biography/Drama
"From the director of Infernal Affairs (remade by Martin Scorsese as The Departed) comes the story of legendary hero Guan Yu (Donnie Yen) in his journey to slay six powerful generals."

Alan Mak

8 Sep 2011

23 Mar 2012
(USA limited)

? Apr 2012

The Raid: Redemption
(101 min.)  Action/Biography/Drama
"A Badge-holders-only screening of The Raid: Redemption (opening at the Carolina Asheville on April 13), from director Gareth Evans, whose previous film, Merantau, swept the Actionfest Awards in 2010."

Gareth Evans

18 Jun 1969
The Wild Bunch
( 145 min.)  Action/Western
"One of the greatest westerns of all time, hosted by this year's Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Mickey Gilbert, who was a stuntman on the film." (!)

Sam Peckinpah


March 2012

? Apr 2012


(84 min.)  Crime/Drama/Thriller
"Jim Caviezel stars as a father on a family road trip that's interrupted by a quartet of thieves who use his family as a decoy to evade the police after a daring armored car heist. James Frain (True Blood), Elisabeth Rohm and Diora Baird co-star."

Antonio Negret

? Apr 2012


Trailer War
(120 min.)  Crime/Drama/Thriller
"120 minutes of non-stop action movie trailers."


10 Sep 1993

? Apr 2012


True Romance
(120 min.)  Crime/Romance/Thriller
"The all-time-favorite film of 'Chick' Norris Award recipient Gina Carano, who will introduce" it.

Tony Scott



True Romance
What a great choice by Gina Carano! Introducing the movie, Gina said that she likes it that Patricia Arquette's character takes a beating. I love that when the bullets are gone, she beats on him with the gun, then pounds on him.
As great as Christian Slater's voice is, what makes it all for me is Arquette's narration. Her voice really fits her character. Brad Pitt steals the show though. For the very few minutes he's in the movie, he's just hilarious. Genius writing and acting of that character!  The whole movie has a feeling of wonderment and disbelief. Of unreality or hyper-reality. The ending is a blood bath. If I had to pick one Quentin Tarantino scene, the shootout in the hotel might be it.

The love story of Clarence and Alabama takes us through the depth of their love as she'll do anything for him because he proved he'd do anything for her. When he fights to free her, it's so primal! It's the ultimate All-For-Love Action Movie.  What a cast! And what a script! According to IMDB: "The screenplay of True Romance was originally part of a very long screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary. The other half of it was used for the film Natural Born Killers." WOW!! Natural Born Killers is a very underrated and underappreciated Oliver Stone masterpiece. 

Watching the movie on the big screen again at ActionFest was a treat! Lots of people came to see it—It's great that so many people love this movie. It was bittersweet to see Dennis Hopper . . .

10 Mar 2012

? Apr 2012


Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
( 79 min.)  Documentary/Fantasy/History
"A documentary about superheroines, particularly Wonder Woman, a true icon of comics, and an inspiration to feminism and to women of all ages."

Kristy Guevara-Flanagan





PANEL: Trailblazing Stuntmen:
Mickey Gilbert & Jack Gill
From the ActionFest site: "Veterans Gilbert and Gill have done remarkable things in their journeys as stuntmen and stunt coordinators, from leaping from exploding fireballs, to turning cars into airborne missiles. Now they'll be tackling the questions from the audience in an up-close and personal discussion, along with clips of some of their thrilling career highlights.

The Art of Fight on Film
From the ActionFest site: "Learn the ins and outs of depicting effective and realistic fisticuffs for the camera in this exciting panel discussion that includes ActionFest Fight Director of the Year J.J. Perry (Warrior, Haywire), “Chick” Norris Female Action Star Gina Carano (HAYWIRE) and Rising Star Cung Le (DRAGON EYES)."

Saturday, April 14th 2 PM
From the ActionFest site: "John Cann and his incredible stunt team will perform an awesome live stunt show with some of the top stuntmen in the movie business at The Carolina Asheville. John Cann is president and CEO of Action P.A.C. Stunts, LLC, and a veteran of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. He has appeared in over 100 feature films and television shows, and his specialties include stunt coordination, high falls, air rams, fire gags, stunt driving, fights, swordplay, rigging and more.

The ROCKETMAN returns! Rocketman is back at ActionFest 2012 for three thrilling flights! He will be appearing at Opening Night festivities and at The Carolina Asheville as part of the Stunt Show."



from the Actionfest site:  
2012 Jury

When it comes to selecting the best films of this year's fest, we knew we had to assemble a jury who knows action cinema inside and out, and we are proud to present this kick-ass jury for ActionFest 2012:"

  • Eric Vespe  “Quint” of the popular movie fanatic website Ain't It Cool News;

  • Mitch Davis  General Director of Montreal's legendary Fantasia Film Festival, the largest genre film festival in North America;

  • Borys Kit  Film writer for The Hollywood Reporter and founder of Heat Vision, THRs popular genre blog;

  • Dan Guando  Senior Vice President of Acquisitions at The Weinstein Company;

  • Marc McCloud  Owner of Orbit DVD and co-owner of TV Eye Video Emporium in Asheville, NC;

  • Sadie  DJ on “Mountain Mornings With Carson & Sadie” and “Everything That Rocks” on 105.9 The Mountain.


Action Fest FOUNDERS

Aaron Norris

Bill Banowsky




Dennis Berman

Tom Quinn (@aloompanix)

2012 TEAM

 Colin Geddes (@colingeddes


Rodney Perkins (@rodneydp)


Peter Kuplowsky


Matthew Kiernan

Programming Coordinator
Jeff Wright
Programming Consultants
Brian Udovich

 Drew McWeeny


Devin Faraci (@devincf

Todd Brown

Katarina Gligorijevic @katarinag  TIFF MIdnight Madness
Kat Scratch Fever
they shoot actors, don't they?


Director of Operations
Hope Branch
Carolina Cinema Operatives of Action:
Jeremiah Marchant, Josh Stauffer, Melanie Kurdyla, Steve Scruggs, Greg Branson, Amanda Sweet, Justin Souther

Webmaster of Action
Roger Erik Tinch
Web Producer
Cyril Chen
Blog Editor
Kieran Grant


From their website:  "consists of Hollywood's premiere second unit directors, stunt coordinators, and stuntmen in the industry today. STUNTS UNLIMITED is the best of the best, the cream of the crop. If you want to push the envelope, obliterate limitations, and go bigger, faster, higher, and more spectacular than anyone else . . . you call STUNTS UNLIMITED. "

Members Links to the IMDB pages of each Stuntman 

photo Name

Major Movies (abridged)

Mickey Gilbert 2012 Actionfest Honoree Mickey Gilbert
Stunts 116 Titles

 Second Unit Director or Assistant Director 27 Titles

 Actor 24 Titles


ActionFest 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree

Legendary Stuntman Mickey Gilbert has 116 Stunt titles to his credit.  He also has family in stunt work (as is common in the business). Lance, Troy, and Tim Gilbert are listed as members of Stunts Unlimited. Sons?

He doubled Robert Redford and worked on so many of our favorites as either Stunt Coordinator or Stuntman.

Bruce Almighty, Liar Liar, A Time to Kill, The Nutty Professor, Apollo 13, City Slickers I and II, Striking Distance,  The Last of the Mohicans (photos), Freejack, Barton Fink, Above the Law,  Little Nikita, The Fall Guy (TV series), Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Stir Crazy, Brubaker, The Blues Brothers, The Concorde... Airport '79, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Every Which Way But Loose, Hooper, Silver Streak, Rooster Cogburn, The Wind and the Lion, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, Blazing Saddles, The Sting, Westworld, Cleopatra Jones, Little Big Man, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,  The Wild Bunch, and Ben-Hur.

As Second Unit Director on Liar Liar, he must have been there when Jim Carrey hit his head on the bathroom floor. I heard that it was so loud, they left the actual sound in the movie. Owch!

  Tom Elliott President
  John C. Meier 1st Vice President
  Henry Kingi, Jr. 2nd Vice President
  Gregory J. Barnett  

Craig Baxley Jr.

Stunts     titles
Actor 10 titles
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director 4 titles
Self 1 title


From a stunt family, he is the son of Craig R. Baxley, grandson of Paul Baxley, nephew of Gary Baxley and cousin of Hunter Baxley.  Must be romantic. He got married on St. Valentine's Day. 


Steve Boyum  

Charlie Brewer  
Jeff Cadiente  

Steve M. Davison 
  Eddy Donno
Tony Donno


Danny Epper

Lance Gilbert

Stunts 109 Titles
Actor 7 Titles Second Unit Director 
or Asst. Director 5 Titles
Self 1 Title
Mel Gibson's personal stunt double (Dec 1997-Present) Sons of Anarchy (TV series stunt double: Kim Coates - 1 episode), Priest, Fast Five, S.W.A.T.: Firefight, Drive Angry, Takers, The Final Destination, T3: Rise of the Machines, xXx, Black Hawk Down, The Fast and the Furious, Pearl Harbor, The Patriot, Gone in Sixty Seconds, End of Days, Universal Soldier: The Return, Lethal Weapon 4, Titanic, The Long Kiss Goodnight, A Time to Kill, The Nutty Professor, Heaven's Prisoners (watching Alec Baldwin sweat), From Dusk Till Dawn, Waterworld, True Lies, Striking Distance, Last Action Hero, Cop and (starring Burt Reynolds and Tom Kouchalakos from my high school :D), Under Siege, Hero, The Last of the Mohicans, Freejack, Point Break, City Slickers, Barton Fink, Tremors, Freeway (brilliant film on juvenile justice Written & Directed by Matthew Bright), Above the Law

Tim Gilbert

Stunts 92 Titles
Actor 7 Titles
Self 1 Title

The Event (TV series) (stunt coordinator - 21 episodes)
Heroes (TV series 2008-10 stunt coordinator - 44 episodes)
The 40 Year Old Virgin, Collateral, Catwoman, Bruce Almighty, xXx, Windtalkers, Rat Race, The Patriot, End of Days, Mystery Men, Universal Soldier: The Return, Lethal Weapon 4, Starship Troopers, Liar Liar, Striking Distance, The Last of the Mohicans, Cyborg, Tequila Sunrise, Above the Law, Heat (1986), Invasion U.S.A., Fletch, The Fall Guy (TV series), Up the Creek (LOL!!), Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  Troy Gilbert
Andy Gill
Jack Gill ActionFest 2012 Man of Action
"Jack will be honored at ActionFest 2012 with the Man of Action Award for both his incredible body of work, and for his noble quest to secure recognition for stunt professionals at the Academy Awards."

Read the 2-part story on  Part 1 and Part 2.
  Jimmy Halty
Logan Holladay
  Buddy Joe Hooker ActionFest 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree
  Kanin Howell
Norman Howell

Jeff Imada  
  Brian Keaulana
Henry Kingi, Sr.
Hiro Koda
Gene Lebell
Jalil Jay Lynch
Mike Massa
Dustin Meier


Jimmy Nickerson  
  Eric Norris
Chris O'Hara
J. J. Perry ActionFest 2012 Fight Choreographer Award Honoree

Fun 3-Part Interview on ActionFestAsheville's YouTube channel:
Part 1, Part 2,
and Part 3

  Manny Perry
Steve Picerni
Charlie Picerni Sr.
Chad Randall
Jimmy N. Roberts
  Pat Romano  
Erik Rondell  
  Monty L. Simons
Mike Smith
Erik Stabenau
Charles A.

(Honorary Member)
  Matt Taylor
Jim Vickers
Scott Waugh
G. Scott Wilder
Glenn Wilder
Dick Ziker

  Not Listed on STUNTS UNLIMITED website:

Craig R. Baxley
  Stuntman / Actor
  2nd Unit Director
  Assistant Director
Predator, I Come In Peace, Diamonds Are Forever, The Long Riders, The Warriors, Logan's Run , Planet Of The Apes movies, Action Jackson, Rollerball, Mannix (TV series), The Dukes of Hazzard (TV series),  The A-Team (TV Series)

Janet Brady 

(Kitty O'Neil and Janet Brady first stuntwomen admitted to SU in 1976)
T2: Judgment Day, Die Hard and Die Hard 2, The Rock,  Sally Field's double in Smokey and The Bandit, Scarface, Blade Runner, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, Big Trouble in Little China, Escape From L.A., Action Jackson, The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave, The Last Boy Scout, Lethal Weapon 2 and 3, Money Train, Con Air, Titanic, Gone In 60 Seconds, Eraser, Airport '77, Silver Streak, Hooper, SO MANY MORE . . .

Doc D. Charbonneau Drillbit Taylor, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Flight of the Phoenix, Torque, Bad Boys II, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Windtalkers, Outta Time, Rat Race, The Fast and the Furious, Pearl Harbor, Spy Kids, Get Carter, The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave, Inspector Gadget, Deep Impact, Recoil, Titanic, Mimic, Spawn, Jingle All the Way, Last Action Hero, Batman Returns , Hook , T2: Judgment Day, Rescue 911 , Masters of the Universe , The Lost Boys, Stand by Me , The Goonies