Best of the Best


1h 35m 1989

Brief Synopsis

Sports adventure about a martial arts competition.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
PG-13
Genre
Action
Adventure
Drama
Martial Arts
Sports
Release Date
1989
Distribution Company
Taurus Entertainment Company (TEC)
Location
Southern California, USA; Seoul, South Korea

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Synopsis

Sports adventure about a martial arts competition.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
PG-13
Genre
Action
Adventure
Drama
Martial Arts
Sports
Release Date
1989
Distribution Company
Taurus Entertainment Company (TEC)
Location
Southern California, USA; Seoul, South Korea

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Articles

Edward Bunker (1933-2005)


Edward Bunker, the tough, charismatic ex-convict who eventaully turned his life around and became a respected writer, (No Beast So Fierce) and actor (Resevoir Dogs), died in Burbank on July 19 after complications developed from a surgical procedure to improve circulation in his legs. He was 71.

He was born on December 31, 1933 in Hollywood, California to a mother who was a chorus girl in a few Busby Berkely musicals, and a father who was a studio grip; two of the lesser positions in the Hollywood hierarchy. After his parents divorced when he was four, he spent the next several years in various foster homes and juvenile reform schools. By 14, he notched his first criminal conviction for burglery; at 17, he stabbed a youth prison guard; and by 19, he was considered so violent a felon, that he became the youngest inmate ever at San Quentin.

For the next 20 years, Bunker would be in and out of prison for numerous felonies: robbery, battery, and check forgery, just to name a few. While in prison, he read the novel of another San Quentin inmate, Caryl Chessman, whose book, Cell 2455, Death Row, was a reveleation to Bunker, so he set about devoting himself to writing.

He enrolled in a correspondence course in freshman English from the University of California, and after several years of unpublished novels, he struck gold in 1973 with No Beast So Fierce. The novel, about a paroled thief whose attempt to reenter mainstream society fails, was as tough and unforgiving as anything ever written about a parolee's readjustment to the outside, and it rightfully earned Bunker acclaim as a writer to watch.

After he was released from prison in 1975, Bunker concentrated on writing and acting. His big film break happened when No Beast So Fierce was turned into the movie Straight Time (1978) starring Dustin Hoffman. He co-wrote the screenplay, and also had a small part as one of Hoffman's cronies.

Bunker's next big hit as a screenwriter and actor was Runaway Train (1985), a pulsating drama about two escaped convicts (Jon Voight and Eric Roberts) where again, he had a small role as Jonah. It was obvious by now that Bunker, with his gruff voice, unnerving gaze, broken nose, and his signature feature - a scar from a knife wound that ran from his forehead to his lip - would make a most enigmatic movie villian.

A few more roles in prominent pictures followed: The Running Man, Shy People (both 1987), Tango & Cash (1989), before he scored the best role of his career, Mr. Blue in Quentin Tarantino's celebrated cult caper Reservoir Dogs (1992). It couldn't have been easy for Bunker to hold his own in a cast of heavyweights (Harvey Keitel, Lawrence Tierney, Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi), but he did - and with a muscularly lithe style that was all his own.

After Reservoir Dogs, Bunker was in demand as a villian. His next few films: Distant Cousins (1993), Somebody to Love (1994), were routine, but he proved that he could deliver with professional, if familiar performances. Actor Steve Buscemi helped Bunker get his novel Animal Factory to the screen in 2000, with Bunker again adapting his own work for film. He was last seen as a convict, although with sharp comedic overtones, in the recent Adam Sandler farce The Longest Yard (2005). He is survived by his son, Brendan.

by Michael "Mitch" Toole
Edward Bunker (1933-2005)

Edward Bunker (1933-2005)

Edward Bunker, the tough, charismatic ex-convict who eventaully turned his life around and became a respected writer, (No Beast So Fierce) and actor (Resevoir Dogs), died in Burbank on July 19 after complications developed from a surgical procedure to improve circulation in his legs. He was 71. He was born on December 31, 1933 in Hollywood, California to a mother who was a chorus girl in a few Busby Berkely musicals, and a father who was a studio grip; two of the lesser positions in the Hollywood hierarchy. After his parents divorced when he was four, he spent the next several years in various foster homes and juvenile reform schools. By 14, he notched his first criminal conviction for burglery; at 17, he stabbed a youth prison guard; and by 19, he was considered so violent a felon, that he became the youngest inmate ever at San Quentin. For the next 20 years, Bunker would be in and out of prison for numerous felonies: robbery, battery, and check forgery, just to name a few. While in prison, he read the novel of another San Quentin inmate, Caryl Chessman, whose book, Cell 2455, Death Row, was a reveleation to Bunker, so he set about devoting himself to writing. He enrolled in a correspondence course in freshman English from the University of California, and after several years of unpublished novels, he struck gold in 1973 with No Beast So Fierce. The novel, about a paroled thief whose attempt to reenter mainstream society fails, was as tough and unforgiving as anything ever written about a parolee's readjustment to the outside, and it rightfully earned Bunker acclaim as a writer to watch. After he was released from prison in 1975, Bunker concentrated on writing and acting. His big film break happened when No Beast So Fierce was turned into the movie Straight Time (1978) starring Dustin Hoffman. He co-wrote the screenplay, and also had a small part as one of Hoffman's cronies. Bunker's next big hit as a screenwriter and actor was Runaway Train (1985), a pulsating drama about two escaped convicts (Jon Voight and Eric Roberts) where again, he had a small role as Jonah. It was obvious by now that Bunker, with his gruff voice, unnerving gaze, broken nose, and his signature feature - a scar from a knife wound that ran from his forehead to his lip - would make a most enigmatic movie villian. A few more roles in prominent pictures followed: The Running Man, Shy People (both 1987), Tango & Cash (1989), before he scored the best role of his career, Mr. Blue in Quentin Tarantino's celebrated cult caper Reservoir Dogs (1992). It couldn't have been easy for Bunker to hold his own in a cast of heavyweights (Harvey Keitel, Lawrence Tierney, Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi), but he did - and with a muscularly lithe style that was all his own. After Reservoir Dogs, Bunker was in demand as a villian. His next few films: Distant Cousins (1993), Somebody to Love (1994), were routine, but he proved that he could deliver with professional, if familiar performances. Actor Steve Buscemi helped Bunker get his novel Animal Factory to the screen in 2000, with Bunker again adapting his own work for film. He was last seen as a convict, although with sharp comedic overtones, in the recent Adam Sandler farce The Longest Yard (2005). He is survived by his son, Brendan. by Michael "Mitch" Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall November 10, 1989

Directorial debut for Robert Radler.

Began shooting February 13, 1989.

Completed shooting April 1989.

Opened in Brussels June 27, 1990.

Opened in Munich June 28, 1990.

Released in United States Fall November 10, 1989