Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Green Ghost and the Masters of the Stone

Usually, you have to be born into a family of superheroes, like the Incredibles. Charlie Clark was unofficially adopted. They wanted to keep the superpower stuff away from the gringo, because he is a bit of a screw-up, but somehow it rubs off anyway. Now, they’ll have to work together to save their Nana, the world, and pretty much everything in Michael D. Olmos’s Green Ghost and the Masters of the Stone, which releases today on VOD.

Eons ago, there were aliens, stargates, stones of power, and whatever. Cut to the chase, Nana is a keeper of the power stone and she invested her grandchildren Marco and Karina with its power. When Clark was a boy, Nana took him in, because his own family was a mess. Then one night, Nana protected him from her rogue sister, the Sauron figure after the stone. He assumed it was all a dream, but obviously it wasn’t.

He was also touched in the process. To save Nana, Marco and Karina need grown Clark to awaken his qi and join it with theirs, but he will need a lot of quick training from the “Masters.” Even though Clark has served for years as cage-fighting Marco’s masked luchador-ish sidekick, the “Green Ghost” (not “gringo”), he still hasn’t picked up many skills.

It is easy to see
Green Ghost was an ultra-microbudget DIY affair, but its energy level is infectious. You can practically envision co-screenwriter Clark, who plays a somewhat fictionalized version of himself (in terms adoptive family relationships) yelling out: “you guys, lets make this movie ourselves.” The thing is, they did and the generous helpings of martial arts action are not half-bad. In fact, they somehow recruited Chilean martial arts star Marko Zorar to play Drake, the champion warrior of the forces of darkness (and to sign-on as a producer).

Honestly, there are a lot of first-class stunt performances and wire work in
Green Ghost. Danny Trejo also earns a fair number of chuckles as Master Gin. Supposedly, he is a master of drunken boxing, but really, he is just a master of drunkenness. Clark probably isn’t going to be the next big thing, but he is all kinds of earnest and he certainly isn’t afraid of looking ridiculous. Cast-members like Sofia Pernas, Kuno Becker, Arnold Chon, and Andy Cheng also deserve a lot of credit for their chops and the training they clearly put in.

Okay, this isn’t
Shang-Chi, but it is cool how close Olmos, Clark, and Zaror got working with a budget of about fifty bucks and change. This is a hard film to dislike, first and foremost, because they take care of the martial arts business. Recommended for fans of luchador movies and superheroes outside the Marvel/DC universes, Green Ghost and the Masters of the Stone releases today (6/28) on VOD.