Dirty Rebel

Back in the mid 80’s Benjie Lim of Fiesta Films approached Jett Espiritu and asked him if it was possible to do some “Scene Insertions’ for a real “Stinker” Sylvester Stallone movie he had purchased distribution rights to. It was an old movie and Stallone was still relatively unknown when the film was made.

Jett informed Benjie that it was indeed possible and he would be willing to direct the scenes. Jett watched the film and figured out what he would cut from the film and what he would add. he then put together a treatment and from there came up with Casting for the additional scenes.

He had come up with the idea to use Edgar Quizon (one of Dolphy’s sons) as a double for Stallone. From the side or half front (?) he had an uncanny resemblance to Stallone. Then he had his trusty stuntmen Fred Esplana and Jay Grama for stunt and fight coordinators. Then came us: James Gaines, myself, Steve Rogers, Ronnie Patterson and David Light. We also had a few more stuntmen (sorry guys, can’t remember your names) to play Viet Cong

The idea was to due some war footage and Stallone gets captured and we go out to free him. We shot most of these scenes in Zambales near Subic City (Not to be confused with Subic Naval base). Jett was declared “A Son Of Subic” as he shot a lot of filming there and we were able to get away with a lot more use of locations at cheaper rates.

Nothing really remarkable happened on this shoot except for the shit that happened towards the end. We were in a place between Subic City and Olongapo City which was surreal to say it best. Most of the structures were made of bamboo including the duck boards that served as a sidewalk. The inhabitants were for the most part employees at the nearby Kawasaki Shipyard. Steve and I ended up there at the suggestion of Jett, he told us, “There are some Honky Tonk joints up the road a piece. Why don’t you guys hang out there for a while.” So we went. It was evening and everything looked like a bad acid trip. For the most part there wasn’t any electricity.

We ended up in a small bar, the illumination came from San Miguel Beer bottles, filled with kerosene and stuffed with a piece of tshirt as a wick. The floor was dirt and the jukebox was powered by a jeep battery. That is where we saw what we thought was an apparition. A woman with long black hair that reached her ass, wearing a blue satin gown that hung to her ankles and no shoes, just her bare peasant feet splayed on the floor. She flashed us a smile that revealed several gold teeth.We were outta there.

The following day, we were shooting near that bar, in the backyard of one of the bamboo homes. A tiger cage had been rigged, hanging from a tree with Edgar inside. Suddenly there was a commotion, so Steve and I followed the crowd to see what was going on. It seems that the woman was throwing her live in boyfriend out of the house and he had his two prized possessions with him which consisted of a blanket and an umbrella.

Nasty words were exchanged and the skinny little dude hit her with his umbrella. That was the biggest mistake of his life. This woman (The very same as the apparition) had arms the size of a heavy weight prize fighter and she threw punches like one too. She clocked him and he was down for the count much to the amusement of the residents. He got up and was going to have another try at her, and she flexed the muscles in her arm, and he took off, slipping and sliding in the mud, dragging his blanket and his umbrella broken with the ribs sticking through the cloth.

We didn’t have much money left and one night Ronnie Patterson came to our room with a huge doobie, which we smoked. After that, Steve and I decided to go into town and see some live music. We went into this place called the Led Zep club thinking we would hear some good metal. The band wasn’t on stage yet, so we sat and drank a beer. Then the band came in. Dressed in leather, spiked hair and chains and whatnot. Just by the looks they seemed to hold some promise. Then the music started! Fuck me dead! They were playing Spandau Ballet crap. It made me want to throw up! Fucking shit band! So we left while shouting insults at the band! We ended up on a bizarre jeepney ride back to Villa Rovisa…Steve was groping some girl sitting next to him and I was sitting next to a guy who was a baker and was explaining how donuts were made all the way back.

While shooting we stayed at the Villa Rovisa which was across the street from Kale Beach (almost) before reaching the left turn point going to Baloy beach. The place was run by this aging queen by the name of Arnold.

The rooms weren’t too bad but the only problem was water. Sometimes there was water and other days the taps were dry. In the event the water was off, we would go down to the swimming pool with our soap and used the pool like a huge bath tub.The one saving grace was Arnold allowed us to run a tab. So even if we didn’t have cash, we could still drink beer and order food. The tunes on the jukebox were mostly metal so the place was almost bearable.

The last day of the shoot, we were informed by Benjie Lim that we would be paid in Manila. We all went, “What the fuck?” There was a lot of grumbling and cussing. Benjie tried to take off to manila with his equipment and a “I’ll pay you later” to Arnold. Arnold let him know in no uncertain terms that he (Benjie) was not leaving till he paid the bill. Likewise we told him we were not leaving till he paid us as well. So, Benjie took off for Manila on his own. The Ariflex, lenses, lights and tripods were in a room with two of his caretakers. It was a Friday night. Edgar said if we were staying so was he. Benjie was shocked at this since his office was across the hallway from RVQ Productions. He was like, “Why doesn’t anybody trust me? Nora Aunor has worked with me!” Everybody told him that they didn’t give a rat’s ass who worked with him. Bottom line was money talked and bullshit walked.

The next day, Steve, Ronnie Patterson Sonny Sarret and I went over to the beach while waiting for Benjie to return with the cash. Jaimes gaines and Edgar headed into town to score some Valium. By 11:00 am we still hadn’t see hide nor hair of Benjie and we drifted back to the hotel. Steve went up to the room as did Ronnie.
Sonny and I were at the hotel entrance when jaimes and Edgar arrived loaded up on downers. They asked about Benjie and we told them that he still hadn’t shown up. The two went inside. A little bit later Edgard came out and told us that he had taken the Ariflex, and he was going into town to see if he could pawn it to somebody. Sonny and I just looked at each other. :What the fuck?”

Not too much later one of the caretakers came rushing up to us and said, “Boss! Boss! Somebody stold the camera!!!” Sonny calmly told him, “You better call Mr. Lim.” The caretaker disappeared after that and so did Sonny and I! We raced to our rooms. I then told Steve what went down and we laughed as we smoked a joint.

Two hours later Benjie pulled up in front of the hotel. That was all it took! The thought of losing his ariflex put rockets up his ass! he had our cash, we got paid, then we paid Arnold what we owed him. Arnold told us prior to that, if Benjie stiffed us, he would sue benjie, and include what he owed us, and would inflate the amount so we would all be happy campers.

I wish I could get my hands on a copy of that film, but couldn’t find one. maybe I will drop by and see if Benjie still has an office and If he has a VHS tape of that film.


2 Responses to “Dirty Rebel”

  1. Andrew Leavold Says:

    Is this the original Stallone movie? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066156/

    If it is, your rejigged version (it was also redubbed as a comedy called A Man Called Rainbo) was only ever released in the Philippines!

    Nick, we NEED to find this!!!!

    • pinoywood Says:

      Sorry it took me so long to reply. I have been down with the flu. You know what? I think this is or may be the film that we added scenes to. The only person who might have it would be Benjie Lim of Fiesta Films. You might ask James Gaines about him as he has friends in China Town and Escolta. Fiesta Films used to be across the hall from RVQ Productions.

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