martial arts action is terrific with prolonged back and forth fights that take place in jail cells, inside an apartment that spills out into the rest of the building and alley, in a parking lot, etc. Familiar faced stunt men like Jeff Imada, J.J. Perry, Phillip Tan, Roger and Ron Yuan and Hakim Alston pop up as hard kicking adversaries and stunt doubles. A former dancer, Wong trained for six intense weeks before shooting and showcases some excellent movement and high kicks along with leading man charisma.
Bandit films filmed over 72 days in North Carolina with a budget of $2.5 million each so I'm guessing Vanishing Son fell in the same ballpark even though Bandit had car chases compared to Son's hand to hand sequences. Of the five series of films, Hercules, TekWar and Vanishing Son would go to series. Son ran for 13 episodes in 1995 that seemed to play sporadically on my local station, usually late at night while Hercules got the more prime Saturday afternoon time slot. Shot mainly in San Diego, the series follows Jian-Wa as he travels city to city, The Fugitive style, trying to clear his name with feds on his tail, helping oppressed citizens, romancing the ladies, taking on bad guys of all shapes and sizes while still having conversations with the ghost of his dead brother. One episode reintroduces Dustin Nguyen's character from the second film while Hercules alumni Alexandra Tydings pops up along with a pre-JAG Catherine Bell in others.
While Hercules ran for six seasons, Vanishing Son was not picked up beyond it's initial 13. Rumors swirled that Son was canceled in favor of Xena: Warrior Princess as the syndication package could only take two shows. Xena and Hercules shared much of the same crew and locations, crossed over frequently and became cultural icons. Creator Cohen would continue to work with Universal, churning out DragonHeart, Daylight and the Skulls before hitting it big with The Fast and the Furious and re-teaming with Vin Diesel on XXX. Director Nicolella would graduate to features with 1997's Kull the Conqueror starring fellow Action Pack breakout star Kevin Sorbo for Son executive producer Raffaella De Laurentiis. Lo would go on to star, write, produce and direct Catfish in Black Bean Sauce with Sanaa Lathan (Alien VS Predator) and Paul Winfield (The Terminator). While Wong would co-star opposite Christopher Walken in The Prophecy II and battle Jet Li in Romeo Must Die before making history as the only Asian actor to headline two television series with the CW's short lived Black Sash.