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BATTLING IT OUT - HUNG FU

STYLE

West meets East in a National Nine Network special, "Kung Fu Kil- lers," which was filmed

in Hong Kong.

By

Julie Kusko

ABOVE: Grant Page (left), who learned

unarmed combat when he was a member of an Australian commando unit, does battle with kung fu expert Carter Wong on a hill overlook- ing Hong Kong

BELOW: Adelaide-based Grant Page is a stunt man whose speciality is climb- ing. In Hong Kong he climbs a 300ft sheer cliff which claims at least one life every two years

ABOVE: Grant Page and American actor Stuart Whitman (left) talk about fights and stunts in films. Grant also met George Lazenby. the Australian who played James Bond, in Hong Kong - Lazenby was making his first kung tu film there. Both meetings are included in the special.

"Kung Fu Killers" may be seen in Sydney on TCN9 on Tuesday, April 30, at 7.30 p.m.; in Adelaide on NWS9 on Wednesday, May 1, at 7.30 p.m.; and in Melbourne on

GTV9 on Tuesday, May 7, at 7.30 p.m.

WHEN one man highly trained in the Western style of un-

armed combat meets another man skilled in

the Eastern art of kung

fu, who wins?

That's what Sydney film producer Brian Trenchard

Smith set out to discover when he took Adelaide

based stunt man Grant Page lo Hong Kong.

For most of his life. Grant, who holds a diploma in advanced physical educa- tion, has earned his living by living dangerously.

A former commando -

he spent four years with an

Australian unit - he now specialises in stunt climbing.

An ideal image of the Western male - rugged good looks, average height,

muscled but trim Grant could hold his own in any light. Western style.

Then, in Hong Kong, Grant met Carter Wong, rising Pastern movie hero, who is an expert in the martial arts, particularly kung fu.

The result of their clash, which took place on a hill overlooking Hong Kong, is the climax of a TV special (soon on the National Nine Network) called "Kung Fu

Killers."

Brian Trenchard Smith, who wrote, produced, directed, and sometimes helped film the 90-minute special, is the author of a previous kung fu special, titled " I he w'orld of Kung

Fu."

"What intrigued me then." said Brian, "was what would happen when East met West, when the different styles of fighting clashed.

"So last Christmas, when everything here shut down for a couple of weeks, I decided to keep myself occupied by making a movie.

"I'd worked with Grant

before, in a special I made some time ago called 'The Stuntmen,' and I knew he

was the right person for this. He's a genius when it comes to manipulating his body for

film stunts.

"We spent 14 days in Hong Kong and we've come

up with what is really an Australian's journey through the world of kung fu.

"Grant has two battles with Carter, one unarmed and the other armed with a

grappling hook, knife, knuckle-duster, and knife against Carter's single fighting stick.

"Apart from the battles with Carter Wong, we

examine the culture and the

background of kung fu and

how it became transformed into a movie craze.

"Grant talks to George Lazenby - the Australian

James Bond - who was then making his first kung fu movie in Hong Kong, and

Stuart Whitman who was also filming there.

"I don't think the kung fu movie is a one-day wonder. lt's here to stay, and

Hollywood is realising it, too. It's a genre of its own.

"It's very like the Western, only Eastern. It has

the same excitement of the

good winning over the bad after lengthy fights.

"I think the quality of the movies will improve. Some of them in the past have been, unintentionally, quite funny.

"Being a stunt climbing expert. Grant also climbs a

300ft. rock which claims one

life every two years. Ifs crumbling sandstone and the footholds often give way.

"I went up the easy way. following the goat track.

Grant went up the sheer

face."

When Grant and Brian

returned to Sydney, Angela Mao. known to her many movie fans as "Lady Kung Fu," happened to be on a

tour of Australia. The female

kung fu expert challenged Grant to a fight.

Who won the TV encounters? Wait and see ...

Grant's journey into the land of kung fu has made him eager to take up the study of that ancient form of self-defence, and he's taking

lessons.

He might just get a

chance to show off what he's

currently learning when Brian's new project gets off the ground. It's a TV series about "danger freaks, people who really like to live dangerously."

"We examine the culture and the background of the art..."

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