Continuing from our previous interview, Attack from Planet B talked with Liam O’Donnell about his previous projects for Hydraulx VFX, and the various influences that have helped shape him as a filmmaker, and his well-received follow-up to Skyline; the aptly titled Beyond Skyline.
After co-writing and producing Skyline in 2010, Liam O’Donnell spent the better half a decade working on his directional debut; the well-received follow-up, Beyond Skyline. Attack from Planet B talked with Liam about his experience on both movies, and the challenges associated with making a hybrid genre film.
“In the first cut that I showed the producers, during the end fight scene – the martial art scene – they were like, this is just alien knife porn!”
Released in 2017, seven years after it’s predecessor Skyline, the aptly titled Beyond Skyline sees Liam O’Donnell take over the directorial reigns from Greg and Colin Strause, in his directional debut.
Beyond Skyline was unwarranted. It is a sequel no one expected, and perhaps, a sequel no one wanted. Even as someone that appreciated the first movie, Beyond Skyline went beyond (pun intended) my expectations entirely. It works because it is so wild…so out there… Beyond Skyline is an experience.
“Survive? We did a hell of a lot more than survive… We evolved.”
Back in the late 80s/early 90s I was not allowed to watch the many horror films that adorned the plastic shelving of my local video store. Some might say that is wise parenting, considering I was only 5 or 6 at the time. But strangely action films were deemed ok to view (such as substandard fare from Cannon Pictures and Guild Video).
“Look, there’s a lot of us working to make a bad world better. Remember that.”
Out of all the bizarre trends the ’80s hoisted upon pop culture, ninjas have to be among the most prolific. Suddenly, any two-bit action flick schlock factory received a license to render their product “mysterious” and “exotic,” just by decking out half their actors in black long johns. Never one to pass on a fad that could net them some extra bucks, the Cannon Group gladly hopped aboard the martial arts bandwagon, putting out a series of cult cheesefests that included 1985’s American Ninja.
“The deadliest art of the Orient is now in the hands of an American.”
Of all the bad films I have had the guilty pleasure (and at times displeasure) to watch, none have be as sentimentally close to me as Steve Wang’s live action take on the Japanese Manga; Guyver. A sequel to 1991’s The Guyver (itself a mediocre Americanized take on the source material), Guyver: Dark Hero was everything its predecessor should have been. Granted many might think this is just Power Rangers with blood and gore, but for its minuscule budget it contains impressive practical effects and brilliantly choreographed wirework.
“The Zoanoids weren’t the failed experiment. The Guyvers were. The aliens created the Guyvers to fight their wars for them. The humans rebeled. Out of control. The Guyver is nothing more than a weapon…”
Kurosawa’s epic movie Ran is a cinematic masterpiece that has survived the test of time. Dazzling cinematography on the mountain slopes and volcanic plains of Kyushu and spectacular battle scenes earned Kurosawa a Best Director Oscar nomination and made Ran the most expensive Japanese movie ever produced.
One of the elements that makes the film so compelling, is the skill with which Kurosawa remodels Shakespeare’s King Lear to Japanese legend…
“In a mad world only the mad are sane.”
PC review of 2010’s Lugaru HD. “Will I have to kill everybody to make this right?” Easy to learn, but difficult to master. PRESS PLAY ►
1993’s Ninja Scroll is critically acclaimed with good reason. The Japanese animated action thriller has its roots placed within the groundwork laid by Ninpocho, a series of historical fiction by Futaro Yamada; specifically Makai Tensho. For me, Ninja Scroll is one of the most memorable Japanese animated films that I have seen.
“If you so want the company of devils, you’d better hurry back to hell…” PRESS PLAY ►
The Lo Wei Motion Picture Company, particularly Lo Wei himself, was frustrated that their previous attempts to market Jackie Chan as the next Bruce Lee were not proving to be fruitful for the production house. As a result Lo Wei gave Jackie Chan a degree of creative control over 1978’s Half a Loaf of Kung Fu; a decision Lo Wei would initially regret.
“It’s my kung fu. It’s no good for anything, except laughs.” PRESS PLAY ►
This is a movie that went on to become known as one of the greatest martial arts movies in history and maintains its cult status today. Sadly, the movie marked Bruce Lee’s final film appearance before his death. However, the movie and the actor himself continue to influence the world today in many different ways…
“The first American produced martial arts spectacular!” PRESS PLAY ►
Our newest contributor Adam Carl Parker-Edmondston reviews Ring of Steel (1994), directed by David Frost.
Recently dumped from his sword fighting job Alex Freyer is at a low ebb after killing an opponent accidentally in combat tournament. Luckily his sadness is short lived as the mysterious man in black offers him a job at his club the ring of steel, where it’s no hold barred sword fighting with no rules and money on the line. Some great fight scenes mixed with some fun acting makes this a great pop corn flick to settle down to when you fancy a change from watching Bloodsport.
DEATH JUST BECAME A SPECTATOR SPORT! PRESS PLAY ►