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Eric Hahn

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Eric Hahn (page 2)


Viewing your filmography, we noticed you often worked with Jose Mari Avellana, who directed several post-Nam war action movies. Is he a person you liked to work with? As Jose Mari was a long time Cirio Santiago collaborator (he wrote scripts, cast the actors and acted in many Cirio's pictures since the 70's), did he help you in your professional career?

We called him Joe. And he was truly a very nice man, on or off the set. He was a good actor also. He was one of the few people that I've met in my life that was totally free of malice. I never heard him say a bad thing about others. He helped me a lot without asking anything in return. In "Fist of Glory", he expanded my role because he liked me. Yes, he helped my career, a lot. He was also an excellent set designer, and did this for most of Cirio Santiago's films.

You also did several films with producer / director Cirio H. Santiago. What memories do you keep of this great figure of Filipino movie industry, and of the atmosphere on the sets?


An extra part as a Nazi soldier in Cirio H. Santiago's "Future Hunters"
aka "Deadly Quest" aka "Spear of Destiny" (1986).

Cirio was very good to work with. I would do it again if he asked. If you were part of his team you were like family. He took care of people on and off the set. If someone died, he would pay for the funeral and give money to the widow. There were a lot of old people on the set that had worked for Cirio or his father for many years. Cirio never laid anyone off unless they were dishonest. I was very thankful that he gave me a chance to act, and to help with casting on several of his projects. I don't care what some say about his films. With what Roger Corman gave him budget wise I think he did a great job. And he was good to all of us who had the privilege of working with him. How many directors do you know who could make an action film for one or two hundred thousand dollars? If he called me and invited me to do a film there I would do it for free, except for expenses. I wouldn't do that for anyone else except for Joe Mari. I wouldn't be able to run through the jungle with an M60 or get blown up much anymore. But I would enjoy the experience again.


Cirio H. Santiago's "Equalizer 2000" (1986).

You often acted as a soldier ("Behind Enemy Lines", "Code Name Wild Geese"...) and a POW ("Women of Valor", "Return From the River Kwai"...) ; were you specifically "labelled" for those roles or is it just that there were a lot of job opportunities as an extra in war movies?


With Mike Monty in "Tough Cops" (1988).

To be honest, on those productions, there was a need for a lot of white faces in the background. That was one of the attractions of shooting in the Philippines: the abundance of extras whether they were white, Vietnamese-looking Filipinos, or Latin types. They were all there. But while most of the extras were goofing around, working for beer and whore money, I was one of the few who wanted to learn the ropes and get some of the roles that Nick, Romano, Mike and others were getting regularly. I was part of the second generation. Others were Jim Moss, Jeff Griffith, James Gaines, Steve Rogers, Warren Mclean... As I never had any real acting classes, I watched the actors and learned. I learned a lot from the coaching of Nick Nicholson, Henry Strzalkowski, Mike Monty, crazy Don Gordon, and others.

We know a little about Anthony Maharaj as we watched a movie he directed, "Return of the Kickfighter : Mission Terminate", with Richard Norton, Bruce Le and Nick Nicholson, and others he wrote and / or produced for Cirio Santiago. Was Tony Maharaj a Filipino director?

I only worked on "Not Another Mistake" a.k.a. "Crossfire" with Tony, as we called him. No he was not a Filipino director. He was either Indian or Pakistani. I enjoyed this movie a lot. He was very laid back and seldom lost his temper. All of us worked well with him.


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