Lingerie Kickboxer The Promise and the Paradox

jule-strain
Lingerie Kickboxer: The Promise and the Paradox

Originally from the Scott Shaw Zen Blog

By Scott Shaw

The Zen Film, Lingerie Kickboxer, has an interesting evolution in the realms of the Zen Filmmaking Archives. It is one of those films that should, could, and actually was/is something very unique in the dominions of artistic cinema but someway/somehow it sadly got lost in its own pathway of creation.
 
For myself, as a filmmaker, I always fully intend to follow through and to make any film I create a finished product. I know that should sound like an obvious statement, but that is not always the case. This is especially true in the realms of independent cinema. A lot of films go up, but the reality is, only a small percentage of them find their way to completion.
 
I have spoken and written so much about the caution factor(s) for this in my many years of creating cinema, teaching courses on filmmaking, and documenting the film industry, that I won’t go into it here. But, that’s a fact of the fact. In fact, my Zen Filmmaking Brother, Donald G. Jackson, who was the co-creator of Lingerie Kickboxer, was notorious in this pattern of behavior. He or I would get an idea, we would go out and film some footage, but then he would lose interest, hide the footage away, and no matter how many hours of a film was filmed, he never went back to complete it. Like I have said for a long time, the best thing that happened to DGJ’s filmmaking career is him passing away because, just before he left this life, he gave me all of the footage, and I spent the next couple of years, while continuing to create my own Zen Films, completing the films we/he had begun but did not finish.
 
LKB has a little bit of a different evolution, however…  
 
It’s interesting, I believe, and the fact is, I don’t really think about this film very much. But, this being stated, LKB is one of the films that I am continually asked questions about. Generally, a couple of times a week, someone wants to know something about the whys and the wherefores about this movie and why it will never be seen.
 
In all truth, I have been offered a lot of money to release the film. I would sometimes make the joke, pay me fifty thousand dollars and I will set up a screening room and you can see it. I say this as I possess one of the only two Master copies of the film which is stashed away in my film vault over at one of the major studios…. I’m not going to tell you which one. But, so far no takers… :-) And, that’s probably a good thing. They probably would have big-time buyer’s remorse if they actually did pay that much to see the film. But, more to the point, I wouldn’t do that anyway, as I will explain in a moment.
 
Just an FYI: There’s a page on this site devoted to the film,
Lingerie Kickboxer. There you can see some of the production stills I took. Plus, find out some information about the foundations and the evolution of the movie.
 
Here’s the written bit that on that page:
 
The concept for Lingerie Kickboxer was conceived by Scott Shaw. The story was developed by Scott Shaw and Donald G. Jackson several years before it was actually filmed in 1998. The team had planned to make the film the story of a female secret agent who hid behind the guise of a professional kickboxer. Scott Shaw had the story written out and it was planned to go up several times. Each time, however, something happened, and the film was pushed back. Perhaps the most interesting example of this occurred when Scott Shaw and Donald G. Jackson had planned to shoot the entire movie on 35mm film in only twenty-four hours. They planned to do this for many reasons—mostly to prove that an entire 35mm action-adventure could actually be filmed in this short amount of time. Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, the L.A. Times, and other news sources were scheduled to meet the team at various shooting locations around Los Angeles during that day of filming. The cast and crew were scheduled to meet at 5:30 AM on Saturday morning at the offices of Shaw and Jackson in North Hollywood. At 4:30 AM Shaw received a telephone call from the actress who was scheduled to play the lead role. She told Shaw that she could not make the shoot due to the fact that her boyfriend was having a family reunion in Fresno, California and she had to attend. Due to this girl’s actions the shoot for that day had to be shut down. This illustrates how so many people have the chance to make it in Hollywood and throw it away.
 
Julie Strain and her then husband Kevin Eastman (Co-Creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) began a close association with Scott Shaw and Donald G. Jackson in 1997. They did several films together. Due to the fact that Kevin was a practicing kickboxer and had access to a kickboxing studio and Julie had a number of friends who were well-known in the adult industry, the feature was finally filmed in 1998. Upon completion Shaw edited the movie a copy of it was given to Kevin and Julie. Though Scott and Don loved the bizarreness of the finished product, Kevin came up with a list of fixes he wanted to add to the film. But, due to various scheduling conflicts, the additional scenes were never filmed.  
 
Currently, Lingerie Kickboxer is lost in Hollywood Never-Never-Land.
 
That’s the nuts and the bolts of the background and what happened to this film, but there is a deeper truth that is not spelled out on that page. Here goes…
 
Julie and Kevin, well actually Kevin, as it was all his money, were the financial backers of this film. Julie, of course, was a well-known component of the exotic industry and had titled herself, Queen of the B-Movies. She had a very high-end publicist at the time, and they got Entertainment Tonight to come onto the set. They did a piece on Julie as the director and star of the film. When it showed on TV, a couple of weeks later, Don completely freaked out, as he or I were not mentioned at all. If you look hard you can kind of see us in the background of the piece but that’s it. And, I will say, that was not very cool on the part of Julie for letting that happen when the entire concept for the film belonged to Don and more precisely, myself.
 
With Don freaking out, he asked me to contact Entertainment Tonight, and tell them the true what’s-what. I did. But, as the segment had already been broadcast, and ET wasn’t going to do a re-do, I never heard anything back from them.  Nonetheless, the process of the film’s evolution continued…
 
After we completed principal photography, I edited the movie. I tend to be a very fast editor. It took me two-days. Don and I had rented the equipment, and I did the cut in our production offices. When the cut was done, we, of course, knew that it needed to be M&E’d and have some Special Effects added, which were not that easy or cheap to do back then as editing on a computer really wasn’t a viable thing as of yet. We drove a copy of the film over to The Turtle Mansion, as we titled the home of Kevin and Julie, and they liked what they saw.
 
Kevin had his friend, Simon Bizley do the poster for the film. He initially had my name as one of the cast members, as I do a big fight scene in the film, in the ring, with a professional Masked Mexican Wrestler named Sergio, Jr. But, I asked that my name, as a cast member, be removed, which it was. Though if you look at the poster you can see my character wearing that metal mask. …Thus, just leaving my name on the poster as one of the filmmakers: Written, Produced, and Directed by Julie Strain, Donald G. Jackson, Scott Shaw.
 
The production poster was completed, printed, and released very quickly. Soon it was being sold in comic book shops like Golden Apple, (the original store) on Melrose.
 
Kind of a funny sidebar here… When I saw it being offered for sale, and noticing that Kevin and Julie had signed the poster, I asked the clerk at Golden Apple if he wanted me to sign it, as well, as I was Scott Shaw. But, as you may know, there’s a very famous comic book artist also named, Scott Shaw. The guy assumed it was that Scott Shaw and not me. He refused to let me sign. :-)
 
As stated in the piece from the website, Kevin had some ideas to do a re-shoot. He wrote them all out and they sounded great. They were all very big money items, however. Though Don and I were happy to play along, but they never happened.
 
The film sat around for a while as Don and I moved on to do other features. A little bit later, the American Film Market was coming up. Julie had the idea that she wanted to take named control as Director of the film, removing Don and my names. This, even though I was the only one who had actually done any real directing on this film, as well as most of the story development, fight choreography, and much of the camera work. Don was just kind of a stand-around, non-participant on this movie and Julie, except for when ET was there and she was pretending to direct, did little more than sit around and talk to her friends or smoke dope when we were shooting at the Turtle Mansion.

In any case, her plan, as she stated it, was to sell the movie to Troma Entertainment. Don and I thought that was strange in that Lloyd Kaufman, the owner of Troma, never paid anyone for their films. He would take them on for free, distribute them, and make all of the money from their sales. But, he never paid anyone for their movie.
 
Julie’s offer actually happened at a very ideal time, at least for me. My ’64 Porsche 356 SC had been in the shop. That car was not cheap to fix. The job had just been competed, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to come up with the three thousand dollars to pay for the repairs. That same day, Don called me, and that was exactly the amount Julie was offering to buy the rights to the film from Don and I for, three-thousand dollars a piece.
 
The fact of the matter was, I was a bit surprised Don even told me about this deal. He could be a little underhanded; especially when it came to money. There was more than a couple of times when he snaked me out of money I was owed. But, it was my film more than his, and I guess Julie wanted/needed and directly asked for my face-to-face approval. We went over, she wrote us the checks, we took them to her bank in Beverly Hills, where we bumped into Little Richard, (that was cool), cashed them, and that was that. I drove off and paid for my Porsche repairs. Though I held the copyright on the film, maintaining my ability to shoot another version, Julie had bought the rights to this particular movie.
 
Both Don and I always expected to hear something else about the film; either to do the re-shoots or something??? But, we never did. Me, I haven’t watched the film since I originally edited it. But, via all the questions I receive, I know interest has remained high with this film.
 
Time went on and Don had kind of fucked me over with Julie. He liked to do that kind of stuff. He made it sound like I was taking some trash about her behind her back, which I was not. Kevin and I were great—always happy to see one another. But, whenever I would see Julie, after that, she kind of gave me the cold shoulder. I always thought that was sad as I really liked her. But, that’s the kind of shit that Don was known for doing.
 
Sadly, Julie and Kevin eventually got divorced. Julie moved out to Temecula, California. Kevin sold his ownership in the Teenage Mutant Turtles, moved down to San Diego, and got remarried.  
 
Maybe a year or so before Julie died, a journalist contacted me and interviewed me about her. He had heard that she was on her way out due to advanced dementia and wanted to do a piece on her before she was gone. He also asked me about LKB. I told him what I knew. At the end of the interview I also pointed him in the direction of some of Julie’s friends and family so he could speak to them, as well. I don’t know what ever became of that interview??? If you know, let me know.

About six years ago, I came across some behind-the-scenes footage from Lingerie Kickboxer. I edited it and put it up on YouTube. You can check it out if you feel like it. That Zen Documentary may provide you with a bit more insight into what actually went on:
Lingerie Kickboxer: Behind the Scenes.
 
That’s the story of Lingerie Kickboxer, at least the crib note version of it. Probably most of the people who contact me about the film don’t read this blog, so the questions will most likely keep coming. But, that’s okay. Ask away…
 
But, if you wanted to know, now you know…

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