Monday, 6 April 2009



Before we get going with the worthy selection for this installment, let me say that it's with great honor that I bring one of my personal creations and favorite regularly presented columns to write - THE EURO EYE - here into Ballistic Blood Bullets territory. For those of you unfamiliar, THE EURO EYE is a special column that I had been beginning to offer frequently to the readers over at Cinema Nocturna ( as a fresh bi-weekly piece. Now I've decided to tweak it a little and introduce it to a second home, and one it will no doubt get a great deal of love at, here in the newly painted hallways of Ballistic Blood Bullets (a thick coat of red, of course). Those new to the piece with a flair for spotting the many eclectic, fascinating and familiar faces associated with European Cult Cinema will find hopefully, a great deal of enjoyment within. Through the gaze of THE EURO EYE, we look deep into the careers of some of the most beloved, the forgotten, and those that should have been but never were along the strip of International stardom, and down the dimly-lit streets of Grade Z European refuse. Different from Cinema Nocturna, I'll be breaking it into sections - or as I'm calling them, "sectors", to appropriately pay homage to those who left an indelible mark on their respective "specialty genres", if you will. Many of these outstanding (and sometimes not so outstanding) talents deserve the chance to duck a Ballistic Blood Bullet and instead get hit with the spotlight one more time. I also truly and most importantly hope THE EURO EYE serves to inform inquiring film fanatics as we go. With that said, for the first time ever in Triple-B Vision...

Looks at...


Skilled, entertaining, easily recognizable, yet largely unknown; this is a fitting description for Filipino veteran of Italian action, Rene Abadeza. Born Rene Abadesa to minor special effects technician, Apollonio Abadesa (who himself had a brief run working on a couple of Italian action pictures in the early eighties), young Rene picked up not only in the footsteps of his father's talents, but also beyond, stepping in front of the camera as an actor. He himself would take on the challenges of special effects work as his career went on, but prior to, and even today, Abadeza is spotted and remembered as a wily background player mainly in the films of Antonio Margheriti. Getting his start in 1982 with the prolific Margheriti when the director chose to film both his nod to INDIANA JONES AND THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) - I CACCIATORI DEL COBRA D'ORO (HUNTERS OF THE GOLDEN COBRA) - as well as its unofficial companion piece, FUGA DALL'ARCHIPELAGO MALEDETTO (TIGER JOE), in the Philippines - the stage was set for a long working relationship.

Often times in Margheriti's films, Abadeza was relegated to supporting and cameo spots, however, being such a unique presence, he still managed to stand out as a memorable character - even if he was often essentially playing the same one. He would turn up next in what I've cited on more than one occasion as his most entertaining role, playing the ill-fated jungle guide, Kim, in Margheriti's GEHEIMCODE: WILDGANSE (1984) (CODENAME: WILDGEESE). Rene swiftly leads his way through the jungle, but runs into a good spot of trouble in his final moments, as he's dispatched at the hands of a planted mine field, carefully creeping along in nearly all the right places before running out of luck. For one of Antonio Margheriti's more star-studded affairs, featuring Klaus Kinski, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Van Cleef, Mimsy Farmer and Lewis Collins (mind you, it's not the cast of KILLER FISH), little Rene Abadeza makes his impact here, with next to no dialogue, just prowling about the greenery and in the process, supplying one of the most pulse-pounding moments in the film. Following WILDGEESE, Abadeza would be kept working by Margheriti, along with remaining in the company of Luciano Pigozzi and Lee Van Cleef, who appeared as one of the leading co-stars in his next film, LA LEGGENDA DEL RUBINO MALESE (1985) (JUNGLE RAIDERS), again, one of the background players of an Indiana Jones style trek, headed up by Christopher Connelly in one of Connelly's most memorable outings. Another example of the case being that, while Rene Abadeza stood out among his fellow cast members, his roles, although energetic and fun, rarely distinguished themselves from one another. I guess it would be correct to state that Abadeza fell into the category of being typecast - perhaps even partially and unfairly due to his background and language barriers.

By the late-1980's, Rene Abadeza would find that he wasn't quite as much in demand as he had been earlier in the decade by Antonio Margheriti - due in part to the declining Italian film industry as a whole. Add also the fact that with the number of Italian productions dwindling, Antonio just wasn't travelling over as much to shoot in the Philippines as he had previously, and Abadeza was primarily a Philippines-based actor. He would however find work with another beloved veteran of European fringe film of all shape and size - the remarkable Bruno Mattei. Ol' Bruno was putting together a Vietnam rescue mission movie starring the generally wooden, but still appreciated and swooned over, Miles O'Keefe. Mattei needed a few good mercenaries, and Rene fit the bill, as uncredited and unremarkable as the part may have been. More importantly to Abadeza though, it would be the first time he'd have reign over special effects, coming full circle and following in the path of his father. The final result was the not generally favoured, DOPPIO BERSAGLIO (1987) (DOUBLE TARGET). Rene's next picture under the good natured watch of the man otherwise known as Vincent Dawn, coming also in 1987, is a film on the other end of the spectrum from DOUBLE TARGET - not necessarily in content, but rather cult appeal today. STRIKE COMMANDO - the amped-up, rip roarin', Reb Brown screamer that so many fans find endless joy in quoting mind-altering, voice raising dialogue from, would also become another noted film on Abadeza's resumé. While again finding himself as the nameless assassin type (this time a Viet Cong soldier), Rene's scant STRIKE COMMANDO screen time is enough to still solidify for me as another Abadeza spotted favorite, trying to keep Reb Brown's attention diverted just long enough to plunge a massive knife into him. The man's death scenes could often be as fun as the spry side characters he played to perfection, and that is certainly the case as well with this small role, as ragin' Reb simply takes him out with a time tested gun butt smash to the face.

Unintentionally, Abadeza would end up working with Bruno Mattei one last time during this period - when the director, along with his running buddy, Claudio Fragasso, took over the filming of ZOMBIE 3 (1988) from an ailing Lucio Fulci. While not much more in terms of depth, Rene would finally get the opportunity to move away from the constant typecasting that plagued his acting career and try something new. He would take on a simple cameo of sorts, albeit one that never grows old in terms of popularity, playing one of the living dead. As the eighties drew to a close, so did the on-screen career of Rene Abadeza, completing his last film with the man who gave him so many breaks early on, Antonio Margheriti. He would cast Abadeza as an Amazonian tribesman in his cry against destruction of the rainforests, INDIO (1989), featuring the acting debut of 'Marvelous' Marvin Hagler - ex-Middleweight boxing champ. Quietly, after INDIO, Rene Abadeza would leave the world of cinema for over the next five years before a chance mini-reteaming and final hurrah with none other than Bruno Mattei at the unlikeliest of times, brought the journeyman Filipino's name back into the mix.

Starting again around 1995, Abadeza would dabble here and there after a long down time, in special effects for a few relatively unknown Filipino/Tagalog features. Offers hadn't come by way of the wildly inventive Italians for ages, and Rene likely wasn't expecting any of his old colleagues to pop up with something new. Then out of the blue, there he was suddenly in 2003 working behind the scenes after all those years with his respected former mentor of the lens, Bruno Mattei, as the director attempted singlehandedly and with a Herculean effort, to revive the long since lost Italian cannibal and zombie subgenres. The finished products were of course also some of the wonderful Mattei's parting gifts to the world - those being MONDO CANNIBALE (CANNIBAL WORLD) and NELLA TERRA DEI CANNIBALI (LAND OF DEATH), on which Rene Abadeza served as property gun master on both. A nice way to wrap up in Italian cult attractions for a man who in many ways, came all the way around in his career and life more than once - through the dream of his Dad to the directors he worked with and learned under. Rene Abadeza is certainly a rare and interesting individual among his peers in the annals of the exploding action picture's of Italy and it's a pleasure to give him his due through view of THE EURO EYE.

"Jakoda, over there!"

-Rene Abadeza in STRIKE COMMANDO before trying to dish out a bug-eyed stabbing to Reb Brown


DIR. Antonio Margheriti

DIR. Antonio Margheriti

DIR. Antonio Margheriti

DIR. Antonio Margheriti

DIR. Bruno Mattei

DIR. Bruno Mattei

~ZOMBIE 3 (1988)
DIR. Lucio Fulci

~INDIO (1989)
DIR. Antonio Margheriti


  1. Always Interesting to learn about the overshadowed background players in these movies we all watch & love. Even with a surname that conjures up thoughts of a Magician, Rene Abadeza is definitely a recogniseable face. Great first pitch Devin & great to see The Euro Eye find a flourishing home here at Ballistic Blood Bullets. Looking forward to much more from you right here in the coming weeks & months ahead.

  2. One of my favorite faces!! Looking forward to lots more of the Euro Eye and all the balls out bulletering!

  3. A huge thanks to both of you! THE EURO EYE is a labour of love for me and Rene Abadeza is just one of several that need another dose of the limelight. Glad there's others out there fond of him too! An easily recognized face indeed, DZ! Wonder if Nick Nicholson ever came across the Philippines-born Abadeza in his film travels over there?
    Lots more to come!:)