Thursday, April 30, 2015

(Pre)miere: Pound of Flesh w/ Jean-Claude Van Damme

Skin Trade premiere in Hollywood at The Egyptian on Wednesday, 5.6 with Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa in attendance and hopefully co-stars Michael Jai White and Peter Weller as well. Awesome. Then the NEXT night, Jean-Claude Van Damme action-thriller Pound of Flesh holds it's premiere at The Grove a few minutes down the street! Mr. Van Damme has been in Los Angeles for a short spell, working out at Gold's Gym, hitting some clubs, supporting animal rights and looking yoked. It seems like all involved are very proud of Pound of Flesh as producer Kirk Shaw and Ernie Barbarash, along with their leading man, are putting in some solid promotional effort. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Shaw and Barbarash, both great guys and true professionals. Be on the look out for those write ups soon.

Pound of Flesh finds Deacon (Van Damme) partying it up in Manilla before he's due to donate a kidney to his niece. But after a night of booze and sex, Deacon wakes up in a bathtub full of ice missing one of his organs. We find out that Deacon is actually a badass mercenary who is ready to exact brutal and bloody justice on his attackers. The flick was shot in China and sports what looks like Van Damme's most elaborate fight scenes in quite some time. Hong Kong producer Mike Leeder brought in real life martial artist and instructor turned choreographer John Salvitti to bring his Flash Point and Special ID brand of realistic, rough and tumble, MMA style fights to the flick. The script by Joshua James is said to include plenty of drama as well and provides JCVD another chance to show off his underrated range that we've seen in J.C.V.D., Until Death, Wake of Death and The Expendables II.

Kirk Shaw has been a prolific producer for quite some time and has worked with the likes of Dolph Lundgren, Steven Seagal and Wesley Snipes in the action world. This marks his first outing with Jean-Claude so here's hoping we'll see another leading man vehicle for our man Van in the near future. Pound of Flesh reunites Van Damme with director Ernie Barbarash for a third time after 2011's Assassination Games with Scott Adkins and 2012's 6 Bullets. So far all signs point to Pound of Flesh being their biggest and best collaboration to date. See ya at the show!

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