“War Bus” released on DVD
My role in “War Bus” was perhaps my best chance to show my acting skills in a dramatic role rather than action. I had nothing to do with writing the screenplay or military advice. I disavow responsibility for this, only for my bad acting. I did not play a Leading Role, but was in the Main Cast. Italian Director Ferdinando Baldi and a small Italian crew came to do a co-production with Regal International Films.
The plot concerns a small group of people who are forced to flee from their base (which happens to be a Christian Mission) in an old school bus when the VC launch a vicious assault upon it. Along the way they are joined by a group of three battle hardened American US Recon Marines, and together they desperately fight to make it to safety.
Whilst admittedly not particularly ambitious plot wise, it's the action that counts here and as previously stated, the film really delivers the goods in this department. It's especially great also to see the actors doing their own stunts including some stylish tumbling moves.” Review on IMDb (Internet Movie Database)
“On the surface Warbus appears to be a standard boring Italian Vietnam war flick, but in actual fact, and to my surprise, it turned out to be hilarious.
Ever watched an action movie where the heroine ignores the hero and cops off with a middle aged man? Or a movie where the hero has to use reading glasses to operate a radio? How about a main character who suffers from epilepsy, drinks too much, is a voyeur, pervert, gun toting, AND married to a cheating Missionary wife?
Warbus has it all, full of action, explosions, It's relatively well directed too, and the dubbing is competent for a late-era Italian genre movie. The action scenes seem to have more extras than your average Nam flicks, although no effort has been made to conceal the obviously Phillipino actors.
Well, you get the gist, these were B-movies that someone once said were “so awful they’re good” by Andrew Leavold, an Aussie who has a great blog on the genre of Filipino films here: BambooGodandBionicBoys
“Pulp Fiction”, “Kill Bill”, are just bigger budget versions that made it at the box office. The video craze created a market for films like Warbus, many never were even released in theaters until after they were released in Video. What a way to make a living though! Of course, hindsight is 20/20, things looked better looking back. There were also ‘starving actor days’ in between large foreign productions. It was this reason that caused me to start collecting drunk foreigners on the Streets of Passion, Mabini and Del Pilar, where 800 bars served the needs of the depraved. In the north, Angeles City catered to the needs of the huge US Air Force base. On the west coast the Subic Bay Naval base had its own ‘Red Light’ districts.
I began to be asked to get foreigners to be extras on local film productions soon after Apocalypse Now and Boys of Company C had finished. I was known as Ken Metcalfe’s assistant during these projects and thus began my days as an “Talent Agent for Film Extras”. I would only charge ten percent for each man/woman because I got the company to pay me an extra ten percent. An extra got only 150 pesos per day, 250 if he had “lines as a bit player” on local film productions.
In those days San Miguel Beer was less than 2 pesos at a Sari-Sari neighborhood store, (at 7.5 pesos/1$ it was about 20 cents US). Today even with inflation it is about, well, let’s see, 50 pesos/1$ and cost of a San Miguel Beer is according to Nick Nicholson 19 pesos or 40 cents US.