Fighting Times: News of Celebrities in the Martial Arts

118

UNIVERSAL KARATE By Stuart Sobel

UNIVERSAL CITY, California- The popular Urquidez Brothers staged a karate demonstration and family free-for-all at the Universal Studios Tours Theater in July. Their show was built around the recreation of their six-man fight scene the formidable brothers performed in a TV pilot for independent producer Roger Corman.

With TV personality Terry Wilson, the troupe demonstrated weaponry as well as hand-to-hand combat. Such exotic oriental weapons as kobudo-sai, nunchaku and tonfa came into play.

Benny and Smiley Urquidez staged a slow-motion fight and then were joined by their other brothers in a fast-moving show of their TV fight.

MaryAnne Corcoran, a shorin-ryu black belt kata champion, defended herself against Terry Wilson in a crowd-pleasing comedic moment. Then Mary-Anne launched a series of devastating attacks against Wilson just to show the distaff side how easy it was if you had that black belt.

In the capacity crowd were some celebrities, fans and friends of the Urquidez clan. The Urquidez Brothers answered questions and explained the demonstration in a short session after the show.

On hand was Malia Dacascos lending support to her protege MaryAnne Corcoran.

Production of the karate/martial arts event was by Creative Action, Inc. News of this company is detailed in issue number two of this magazine. Profiles of Terry Wilson and the Urquidez clan ran in the July 1974 issue of KARATE ILLUSTRATED.

KUNG-FU RINGS BOX OFFICE CASH REGISTERS

A GLANCE at the weekly box-office returns of current martial arts films will quickly dispel any notions held by pessimists who would like to believe that a) the martial arts films are only a trend and b) that trend is on the downswing. Three martial arts films which arc presently in release-Golden Needles, Three the Hard Way, and The Return of the Dragon-are all enjoying excellent returns.

Dragon, the last complete film Bruce Lee made before his death, grossed 5175,000.00 during its first week at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre. Three the Third Way, starring Jim Kelly, Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, has been pulling in amounts up to 535,000.00 in Chicago in its fifth week. with similar figures in other cities. Golden Needles, which was filmed on location in Hong Kong, and stars Joe Don Baker, Burgess Meredith and Elizabeth Ashley, took in over $7,000.00 in one day of its New York run.

If the financial success of these films is any indication, the “fad” has not faded, and, accordingly, martial arts movies are still being produced at a steady rate. In the month of August, The Chinese Mechanic, Mandarin Magician and Bamboo Brotherhood were released simultaneously in Los Angeles. Other popular films include Street Gangs of Hong Kong, Kung Fu Mama and The Trial of Billy Jack (1974). The latter film, a sequel to the highly-successful Billy Jack.