Saturday, November 24, 2007

Weng Weng filmography

The Complete WENG WENG filmography (so far)

Many thanks to Simon Santos from Quezon City’s VIDEO 48 whose tireless efforts in researching Philippines cinema has unearthed all of the following Filipino ads, and in the process has confirmed the existence of FOUR forgotten Weng Weng films.

1. Silakbo (1975)

Prima Productions (first screened October 17, 1975)

Director/Writer Manuel Songco Cinematography Rudy Quijano Music Demet Velasquez

Cast Eddie Gutierrez, Lotis Key, Dante Varona, Romy Diaz, Odette Khan, Zandro Zamora, Marie Antoinette, Alberta “Peaches” Rainge, Joe Villafranca, Lita Sandoval, Misty Gallardo, Jun Santos, Veen Rosette, Evelyn Shenna, Kiti-Kiti, Henry Pineda, Vivian Betty, Sheba “Mor” Tatad, Freddie Robles, Lilian Fernando, [uncredited] Weng Weng

Miracles keep falling from the sky... Cora Caballes' agent handed me a list of Weng Weng titles while I was at the ABS/CBN film archives in January 2008, and this one (along with a completely unidentifiable one, "Dugo May Umagos") was a mystery. I remember Weng Weng's brother told me his favourite WW film was "the one with Lotis Key".

Digging through the Archives, I found cast and crew details, and we hit gold: confirmation of the earliest known Weng Weng appearance on film, this time released just after his 18th birthday.

Until we find the movie itself, this is all I can glean of the film's details. From appearances it's a standard Tagalog action film with then-popular stars Eddie Gutierrez, Dante Varona (later in Weng Weng's Agent OO), Lotis Key (girlfriend of Dolphy and star of many comedies AND kung fu films) and Romy Diaz (regular Weng Weng villain).

2. Sila...Sa Bawat Bangketa (1977)

Liliw Productions (first screened 17th December, 1976)

Director Dante “Boy” Pangilinan Writer "Cora C. Ridon"/Cora Ridon Caballes Producer Twinkle Music Kuya Mimo Cinematography Nestor Orense

Cast Rez Cortez, Ramon “Boy” Bagatsing, Ingrid Salas, Yoyoy Villame, Weng Weng, Joy Navarro, Michael Vallar, Marie Grace Santos, Linda Castro, Sarah Gumaboa, Vivian Velez, Danny Glenmore, Ruel Romano, Odette Khan, Rudy de la Pena, Tony Orbeta, Angel Confiado, Gil Arena, Leo Langalong, SOS Daredevils, Larry Esguerra, Amay Bisaya

Weng Weng is featured in a sizable (ahem) role as the older brother of one of the criminal juveniles.


3. Chop Suey Met Big Time Papa (1978)

Liliw Productions (first screened February 3, 1978)

Director Dante "Boy" Pangilinan Screenplay Coran Ridon Caballes Music Anthony Castillano Producer "Twinkle" [also listed as producer of The Impossible Kid]

Cast Ramon Zamora (Chop-Suey), Weng Weng (Big Time Papa)

All that remains of this LONG forgotten Liliw production is the poster, starring popular martial artist and comedian Ramon Zamora as "Chopsuey", reprising his character from the 1975 Bobby A. Suarez production They Call Him Chop-Suey, and a twenty year old Weng Weng playing "Big Time Papa" in what could be his very first film. The poster even lists his vital statistics: "Weight 30 pounds, redbelt master, blood pressure 120/80"!!!

An early film for Pete & Cora Caballes, the husband and wife team who discovered Weng Weng through his martial arts instructor, formed Liliw Productions (later Liliw Films International) and sold Agent Double O to the world. When Cora was elected as a councillor in Manila, both Liliw’s output and Weng Weng’s career came to a grinding halt. The couple divorced in the late Eighties. Peter returned to his native Liliw in Laguna where it is believed he owned a resort and passed away around April 2007; Cora is a successful businesswoman who spends much of her time in the United States.

4. The Quick Brown Fox (1980)

RVQ Productions (first screened November 6, 1980)

Director Jett C. Espiritu Screenplay Vic J. Poblete Executive Producer Rodolfo V. Quizon [Dolphy] Cinematographer Claro Gonzalez Editor Efren Jarlego

Cast Dolphy, Nida Blanca, Jing Abalos, Paquito Bautista, Nonong de Andres, Teroy de Guzman, Paquito Diaz, Lea Dominguez, Fred Esplana, Jim Gaines (Assassin), Jay Grama, Anna Marie Gutierrez, Remy Mack, Carmi Martin, Panchito, Panchito Jr, Boy Pineda, Er Salazar, Tsing Tong Tsai, Conde Ubaldo, Max Vera, Weng Weng

A real coup for the Search For Weng Weng documentary was meeting Dolphy, real name Rodolfo V. Quizon: the undisputed king of Philippines comedy since the 1950s, and certainly the most prolific, with over 200 film appearances to his credit. At 80 he’s hinting at retiring the crown soon, with a rash of pretenders (Vic Sotto, Vhong Navarro) waiting behind the curtains to claim the throne, yet he still tapes a hugely popular TV sitcom each week, and is planning a feature with Sotto later this year. Aside from sentimental family-centric comedy, his main forte are parodies of pop culture, both Western and Filipino, and he’s been Tarzan, the Lone Ranger, Dracula, an effeminate Darna, and in the 1966 James Batman, both James Bond AND Batman – and sometimes in the same shot!

Before talking to Dolphy I headed for the ABS-CBN Archives to view a key film in unlocking the Weng Weng mystery. Dolphy’s Angels (1980), directed by kung fu specialist Luis San Juan for Dolphy’s RVQ Productions, is a freewheeling martial arts parody featuring Dolphy as a private investigator and introducing four models who, thanks to Dolphy, would become the most glamorous Filipina actresses of the early 80s: Anna Marie Gutierrez (later the lead in Peque Gallaga’s Scorpio Nights), Carmi Martin, Yehlen Catral, and Liz Alindogan. Considering Peter Caballes was such good friends with Dolphy, it’s little wonder the first three ended up in guest roles in For Y'ur Height Only the following year; the Caballes’ also poached composer Pablo Vergara, whose idiosyncratic, proto-Bondian score for Dolphy’s Angels is almost identical to FYHO. Classic bad guy Max Alvarado (FYHO’s villain in the tartan suit) also makes a guest appearance in a bright yellow fright wig as “Bertong Maize”.

Dolphy remembers working with Weng Weng well, and it was his relationship with Peter Caballes that launched Weng Weng’s film career. Then comes the bombshell: Da Best In Da West (1984) wasn’t his only film with Weng Weng. “Oh no. We made a film together in 1980 called The Quick Brown Fox. I play a spy, and Weng is my sidekick who can crawl into small places.” Silence. “He is captured by the bad guys and ends up crucified.” And THAT was Weng Weng’s first film???? “No, he did a small part in a film for Luis San Juan.” Do you remember the title of THAT film? “No, sorry…”

I headed straight to the ABC-CBN archives the next day and inserted the ancient pneumatic tape from RVQ Productions into the machine. And there was Weng Weng in the credits, along with Carmi Martin and Anna Marie Gutierrez. Dolphy plays a thief and secret agent, employed by Carmi Martin (who’s also, unbeknownst to him, a secret agent) to steal from classic bad guy Paquito Diaz (brother of Romy Diaz, also in Da Best In Da West). Dolphy’s partner is his on-screen wife from his long-running John And Marsha series, Nida Blanco; Weng is his tiny sidekick, looking even more baby-faced than ever, and without a screen persona as such, he’s a little awkward during his squeaky dialogue (all in Tagalog, of course, with no subtitles). Paquito’s goons corner Weng at Dolphy’s pad and he fights back like a little kung fu dynamo, grabbing one by the arm and swinging backwards to kick him in the head! Classic Agent OO moves, of course, and then…..

The picture disintegrates into a snowstorm. RVQ’s pneumatic tape shits oxide all over the machine’s heads, and no matter how many times I run the tape through the machine on fast forward, there’s sound and nothing else. A very apologetic Mary del Pilar from Archives tells me the only copy of The Quick Brown Fox in existence (!!!!) needs surgery, and if beyond resurrection, is gone forever.

I then rang Jim Gaines from a coffee shop. “Hey man, I’ve just seen another Dolphy film with Weng Weng in it.”
“Oh wow, dude. Congratulations.”
“Jim, you’re in the movie too.”
“I am? God. Really? Oh yeah, I was….”
I laugh out loud. “Jim, we’ve been talking about Weng Weng for eight months, and you FORGOT you were in a film with him?”
He laughs too. “Jeez man, I plain forgot. Oh wow…”

5. Stariray (1981)

RVQ Productions [first screened 13th February 1981] sometimes listed as “Istariray”

Director Romy Villaflor Story Roy Vera Cruz Screenplay Vic Felipe Executive Producer Dolphy [as Rodolfo Vera Quizon] Music Dominic Song “Ulam” Sung & Lyrics by Dolphy Set Decorator Pepe Cruz Cinematography Alfonso Alvarez Choreography Lito Calzado Editor Efren Jarlego Assistant Director Danny Hernandez Special Effects Danny Torrente Post Production Manager Alfredo Sta. Ana Sound Effects Demet Velasquez Makeup Ligaya Quince Layout Artist Eddie Domer Stillman Narciso Ocampo Schedule Master Butch Peralta Property Masters Maning Cabides, Doming Ocenar Assistant Editors Armando Jarlego, Dante de Leon Rerecording Technicians Ramon Reyes, Oscar Magnaye Field Soundmen Ledwino Robiso Cameraman Lito Lapara Fight Instructors Fred Esplana, Jay Grama, Roland Falcis Dolphy’s Makeup & Costumes Joey Luna Dolphy’s Makeup Assistant Joe Ledesma Publicity Directors Danny Villanueva, Vic Felipe Assistant General Manager Laura Cooper-Nurse Executive Assistant/Comptroller Paquito Principe Bautista Sound Supervision Luis Reyes General Manager Manny “Boy” Quizon Production Manager Caledonio “Boy” Pineda Project Officer Danding Inocencio

Cast Dolphy (Serafica Parakikay), Panchito (Police Captain), Rod Navarro (Rod), Paquito Diaz (Frank), Rodolfo “Boy” Gutierrez (Boy), Anna Marie Gutierrez (Mother's Monn), Carmi Martin (Stella), Bentot (Stella's "Aunt" #1), Teroy de Guzman (Stella's "Aunt" #2), Renato Robles, Conde Ubaldo, Georgie Quizon, Ferrarie Models, Lito Calzado’s Body Machines, Edgar Quizon, Weng Weng (Chief), Marissa Delgado (Serafica's Mother), Ading Fernando, Matimtiman Cruz, Don Pepot, Balut, Pamela Amor, Benny Mack, Amay Bisaya, Er “Canton” Salazar, Laura Cooper-Nurse, Ben Johnson (Mother's Driver), Ben Manalo, Atong Maximo, Robert Talby, Paquito Bautista, Vic Santos, Roger Saulog, Nery Santos, Sauro Cotoco, Sim Jorge, Francis Ubaldo, Rod Maximo, Tommy Romulo Jr, SOS Daredevils Gagambas Lito Calzado, Panchito Jr, Fred Esplana, Jay Grama, Manny Samson, Rolan Falcis

6. Da Best In Da West (1981)

RVQ Productions (first screened June 12, 1981)

Director Romy Villaflor Executive Producer RVQ [Dolphy] Story Roy Vera Cruz, Ben Feleo Screenplay Ben Feleo General Manager Manny “Boy” Quizon Choreography Lito Calzado Lyrics Dolphy Sound Supervision Luis Reyes Music Dominic Editor Efren Jarlego Director of Photography Alfonso Alvarez Sound Effects Darn Velasquez Layout Artist Eddie Domier Stills Roger Barvelo Schedule Master Butch Peralta Prop Masters Maning Cabides, Doming Ocenar Assistant Editors Armando Jarlego, Dante de Leon Re-Recording Technicians Ramon Reyes, Oscar Magnaye Field Soundman Ledwino Robiso Cameraman Lito Lapara Stunt Co-ordinators/Fight Instructors Fred Esplana, Eddie Nicart, Jay Grama, Jun de Guia Tailoring D’Sharp Shoes E. Morris Shoes Special Effects Eddie Torrente Set Director Pepe Cruz Assistant General Manager Laura Cooper-Nurse Executive Assistant & Comptroller Paquito Principe Bautista Production Manager Boy Pineda Project Co-ordinator Danding Inocencio Assistant Director Danny Hernandez Production Co-ordinator in Baguio City Barangay Capt Manny Tibayan Colour LVN Studio

Cast Dolphy (Wild Bill Hika), Lito Lapid (Dalton), Yehlen Catral (Jane), Nina Sara (Estralita), Romy Diaz (Facundo), Teroy de Guzman (barman), Conde Ubaldo, Weng Weng (Deputy Bronson), “Antonio Carrion”/Tony Carreon (Don Oligareon), Naty Santiago (Estralita’s Aunt), ER “Canton” Salazar, Manny Tibayan, Ben Johnson (Mayor), Amay Bisaya, Luis San Juan, Fred Esplana, Eddie Nicart, Jay Grama, Jun de Guia, Sancho Tesalona, Joe Cunanan, Romy Nario, Robert Talvy, Jing Caparas, Mel Arca, Nonong de Andres, Rene Tupez, Telly Babasa, Raquel Sayson, Dante Javier, Boyet Argame, “Pete”/Peter M. Caballes, Pete Andal, Kent Gonzales, Roger Saulog, Vic Santos, Neri Santos, Eddie Villamor, Remy Nocum, Ben Sanchez, Mando Pangilinan, Oscar Reyes, SOS Daredevils, Lito Calzado’s Body Machine, Panchito (Inkong Gaspar), Paquito Diaz (Diablo), Rodolfo “Boy” Garcia (Vic Tango), Max Vera (Joey Tango), Max Alvarado (Tito Tango), Dely Atay-Atayan (fat woman at film’s beginning), Georgie Quizon, Don Pepot (tribesman spokesman), Florence Carvajal (large native princess), Johnny Madrid, Efred Lapid, Robert Rivera, Steve Alcarado (bandit), Ruben Ramos (thug with sword), Avel Morada, Josie Andico, George Henry Jr

REVIEW COMING SOON! The second and more significant of Weng Weng’s collaborations with Dolphy (after 1980's The Quick Brown Fox) is Da Best In Da West from 1984, an elaborate 2 hour parody of Pinoy westerns again from RVQ Productions featuring Weng Weng in a cameo as Dolphy’s micro-deputy. Weng Weng’s director and instructor Eddie Nicart is stunt co-ordinator here for SOS Daredevils, and Peter Caballes is listed as an actor in the cast, as is For Your Height Only’s Yehlen Catral, Max Alvarado, Rodolfo “Boy” Garcia, and Weng Weng co-stars Romy Diaz and Tony Carreon (The Impossible Kid, D’Wild Wild Weng), Nina Sara (TIK), Steve Alcarado (DWWW) – the Weng connections are seemingly endless.

Dolphy plays a reluctant hero who inadvertently shoot’s a town’s corrupt sheriff, is proclaimed the new Head Honcho, and ropes in the local midget Bronson (nice touch) to be his deputy. To be honest, Weng has little to do in Da Best... other than provide a bizarre novelty backdrop, wear garish black-and-white cowboy outfits and gesture excitedly during the fight scenes. At one point you hear his real voice - as expected, child-like and even higher pitched than his vocal double in For Y’ur Height Only (1981).

7. Agent 00 (1981)

Liliw Productions (first screened May 29, 1981)

Director Eddie Nicart Screenplay Cora Ridon Caballes Music Pablo Vergara

Cast Weng Weng (Agent 00), Ramon Zamora (Agent 001/“Dragon”), Philip Gamboa (Agent 002/“Diego Salvador”), Dante Varona (Agent 003/“Ermitanyo”), Dolphy (The Quick Brown Fox)

THE BIRTH OF AGENT 00! Long thought to be another urban legend, the poster confirms the existence of a fourth (and original) Agent 00 film. Weng Weng’s “first starring role” reunites him with Ramon “Chop-Suey” Zamora, in a film that is unlikely to have been dubbed into English, and is currently AWOL. It’s also the first film as director for Eddie Nicart, award-winning Philippines stunt wizard through SOS Daredevils, who would also direct Weng Weng’s next four features as well as Dante Varona (SOS Daredevil turned actor) in 1981’s Commander Lawin.

8. Legs Katawan Babae (1981)

Margarita Productions (first screened 2nd July 1981)

Director Tony Ferrer Screenplay “Tony S.”/Antonio Mortel Music George Canseco Cinematography Ver Reyes Sound Jun Martinez Editor Edgardo “Boy” Vinarao

Cast Sonny Parsons, Mike Respall, Bernie Fineza, Joji Garcia, Mon Picazo, Myrna Castillo, Jess Lapid Jr, Weng Weng, Max Alvarado, Nick Romano, Victor Bravo, Mike Cohen, Rey Sagum, Val I glesia, Renato Robles, Vic Varrion, Ben Dato, Rusty Satos, Alex Bolado, Marissa del Mar, Monica Locca, Edna Gatchalian, Laarnie Enriquez, Dinah Dominguez

9. For Y’ur Height Only (1981)

Liliw Productions (first screened September 6, 1981)

[the company changed its name to Liliw Films International after FYHO was sold around the world]

Director Eddie Nicart Story/Screenplay Cora Ridon Caballes Producer Peter M. Caballes Executive Producer Dick Randall Cinematography Bhal Dauz Editor Edgardo Vinarao Stunt Co-ordinator Eddie Nicart Music Pablo Vergara Theme song “Nilikha Ba Ako Upang Masaktan” sung and composed by Maraya, produced by Light Star Productions Inc

Credited cast Weng Weng (Mr Weng, Agent 00) Uncredited on English version Max Alvarado (Columbus), Yehlen Catral (Lola), Mike Cohen (Professor Kohler), Tony Ferrer (Chief), Jim Gaines (voice: English version), Rodolfo 'Boy' Garcia (Mr Kaiser), Goliath (Mr Giant), Anna Marie Gutierrez (Anna), Carmi Martin (Marilyn), Romy Nario (Cobra), Nick Nicholson (voice: English version), Ruben Ramos (Jack), Beth Sandoval (Irma)

Also known as: For Your Height Only (export title)... Todliche Mission (“Dead Mission”, West German VHS release on the IHV label)… Erittäin Lyhyt (Finland)

The 1981 Manila International Film Festival was designed by First Lady Imelda Marcos as an elaborate showcase of Filipino culture. To everyone’s horror, the only film that sold to the world was a midget spy film – a miniature mockery of Western pop iconography, and a joyously naïve celebration of Filipino Goon Cinema - called For Y’ur Height Only.

Eddie Nicart, renowned stunt director for the SOS Daredevils, trained Weng Weng every day for three months to be a professional stuntman, and after Agent 00 (also 1981), this was his second opportunity to direct. And what a job he did - over the astounding course of the film Agent 00, our curious little brown hero with a receding Ramones bowl cut and an all-white suit and boater, cracks an international drug ring, gets the girl, loses the girl (“Irmaaaaa!”) and infiltrates the secret lair of evil criminal mastermind Mr Giant (played, appropriately enough, by a dwarf named Goliath), all with an armful of gadgets and his famous trick of punching someone in the balls, then running between their legs.

It’s hard to pin down the appeal of For Y’ur Height Only. It’s not just the novelty of seeing a Filipino midget pretending to be a gun expert and ladies’ man, or the inexplicable thrill of watching bad (and I mean BAD) kung fu movies. Maybe it’s the inadvertently genius deconstruction of both Western action films and their Pinoy counterparts, surreal pot-addled dubbing by American expats (and Apocalypse Now survivors) Jim Gaines and Nick Nicholson, or inspired casting of every Bad Guy (or “Goon”) still alive at the time, and the James Bond of the Philippines himself, Tony Ferrer aka Agent X44, as Weng Weng’s boss. Perhaps it’s a combination of its constituent elements, or something new altogether. It all adds up to an absurdist masterpiece of gloriously bad cinema, one which was sold all over the world and became one of the Philippines’ most successful exports.

10. D’Wild Wild Weng (1982)

Liliw Films International (first screened March 25, 1982)

Director Eddie Nicart Executive Producer Peter M. Caballes Story/Screenplay Cora Ridon Caballes Cinematography Bhal Dauz Music Pablo Vergara Editor Edgardo "Boy" Vinarao

Cast Weng Weng (Mr Weng), Yehlen Catral (Elsa), Nina Sara (Clara), Max Alvarado (Lupo the mute), Max Laurel (Gordon), Romy Diaz (Senor Sebastian), Ernie Ortega (Ku Manchu), Robert Miller, Rene Romero, Ike Lozada (Grateful villager, pre-credits), Dencio Padilla (Mr Dencio, Clara’s father), Joe Cunanan, Jay Grama, Gil Bandong, Nelson Armiza, Ray Albella, Lito Navarro, Fred Esplana, Alex Pascual, Lito de Guzman, Rio Esguerra, Domeng Reyes, SOS Daredevils, Goliath (Indian chief), Erning Reyes, Brando Navarro, Fullosa, Gody Pacrem, Arthur Liobon, Rey Valenzuela, Ben Sanchez, Elpidio Navillon, Bert Gamboa, Ernie Gubaton, Thumblers, Lawin Stuntman, Barusio Stuntman, Porso Boys, D’Professional Stuntman

Stunt Director Eddie Nicart Props & Setting Jaime Dionio, Eddie Caster, Bobby Caballes, Rod Reyes Production Manager Tino Veluya Schedule Master Bobby Caballes Stills Ricky Diaz Makeup Baby Gonzales Field Soundman Ruben Gultiano Assistant Cameraman Andres dela Paz Shooting Unit AM Productions Assistant Editors Isagani Cells, Danny Gloria Sound Effects Rodel Capule, Lando Capule Color Processing & Post Production Motion Picture Laboratories Post Production Magnatech Omni Assistant Director Mando Pangilinan Routine Instructors Oscar Reyes, Mando Pangilinan Sales Manager Rene Pascual

Click here for my full review

11. The Impossible Kid (1982)

Liwiw Films International (first screened July 23, 1982)

Director Eddie Nicart Producer “Twinkle” Executive Producer Peter M. Caballes Screenplay Greg B. Macabenta Story Idea “Cora C. Ridon”/Cora Ridon Caballes Editor Edgardo “Boy” Vinarao Cinematographer Bhal Dauz Musical Director Pablo Vergara Theme Song sung by Ruby (Tokem) Tia Assistant Directors & Fight Co-ordinators Mando Pangilinan, Oscar Reyes

Cast Weng Weng (Agent 00), Romy Diaz (Senor Manolo), Nina Sara (Lolita), Tony Carreon (Don Simeon), Ben Johnson (Chief), Rene Romero (Sgt Romero), Efren Lapid (Guest 1), Lita Vasquez (Guest 2), Chicklet Moreno (Secretary), Ruben Ramos (Abdul), Joe Cunanan (Joe), Romy Nario (Mr X), Ben Morro (Morro), Boy Banes (Agent 1), Renato Morado (Agent 2), Rolly [listed in opening credits as “Rowy”] Esteban (Agent 3), Vangie Evangelista (Agent 4), Amor Siron, Avel Morado (Guests), Jessie Lee (Minister), Jess Ramos (General de Vera), Jose Dura (Chief of Staff), Nini dela Rama (INP Chief), Jimmy Milallos (Hagad), Alma Siron, Barbara Manipol, Ailice Siron, Gina Samonte, Irene Robles The Americans George Gyenes, Lee Scott, David Anderson, Neils Elcehorn, Jack Holltz, Jim Crumrine The Goons Fred Esplana, Jay Grama, Erning Reyes, Roland Falces, Eddie Samonte, Rey Abella, Lito Navarro, Gil Bandong, Joe Andrade, Jess Bonzo, Joe Estrada, Roger Santos, Remy Nocum, Ernie Gubaton, Mando Manarang, Tony Bongat, Ramon Tiangco, Jimy Custodio, Mike Manarang, Triumpo Garces, Rodrigo Faculto, Rey Garces, SOS Daredevils, Thunder Stuntmen, D’Professional

Sub-Assistant Director Bert Soliman Stunt Co-ordinator Eddie Nicart Production Manager Evelyn Baruelo Special Effects T.N.T. Make Up Artist Baby Gonzales Prop & Setting Alex Pascual, Jaime Diono, Lito de Guzman Stills Roger Robles Legmen Bobby Caballes, Rod Reyes Utility Rudy Montallana, Rico Menzon Assistant Editors Gini Celis, Boy Gloria, Danny Gloria Sound Effects Rodel Capuli Sound Engineer Vic Macamay Recordists Florencio Ortega, Mario Alcantara Unit LL Production Post Production Magnatech Omni Processing Motion Picture Lab. (Philippines) Titles & Opticals Cinema Optics Film Services

Also known as: For Y’ur Height Only (Swedish VHS box title – the credits still read “The Impossible Kid”)… 007½: Rien N’Est Impossible (“Nothing Is Impossible” - French video released on Script)… L'Invincible Kid du Kung Fu (possible French cinema title)… The Incredible Kung Fu Kid, The Impossible Kid Of Kung Fu, The Impossible Kid Of Kung Fu (possible translations of the French title)

In The Impossible Kid, midget superhero Agent OO is back and is shorter than ever in his little white suit and pudding bowl haircut, now working for the Manila branch of Interpol. The Chief, a low-rent version of M complete with his own Miss Moneypenny, sends him in the pursuit of Mr X, an arch villian with a white sock on his head, who is holding the Philippines to ransom. Two businessmen, Senor Manolo (classic bad guy Romy Diaz) and Don Simeon (Tony Carreon), pay the demands but Weng Weng suspects foul play and goes deep undercover to reveal the identity of Mr X. Here the James Bond references kick into top gear: Agent OO has even MORE gadgets at his disposal, including a miniature bike which sounds like one of those high-pitched grass cutters and does an incredible leap across a ravine - along a very visible wire! Another highlight is an incredible stunt where Weng Weng gets to use his circus training and walks along a tight rope between two buildings. He then jumps down a garbage chute straight onto his waiting motorbike. Impossible? Mais non!

The opening is a killer - Weng is suspended over the side of a building and gets to ogle naked women through the windows. Now, nudity has never presented a problem to me. But in a Filipino kids film? With midgets involved? The Impossible Kid now ranks up there with 70s Danish sexploitation export The Sinful Dwarf as sleaze mini-classics. Not exactly “dwarfspoitation”, but very sordid indeed. Musically the film offers the same hodge-podge of garbled Bond scores courtesy of Pablo Vergara and, more bizarrely, the theme to The Pink Panther (well, almost). Top of the Manila hit parade is the opener “The Impossible Kid” sung by a cabaret songstress who croons to her micro-hero: “I love you my Weng Weng, come to me and kiss me, I love you Weng Wengggggg!!!” Unfortunately the film is no For Y’ur Height Only, so hoping to strike Comedy Gold a second time is really asking for the impossible - without the surreal rescripting and preposterous English dubbing with bad Peter Lorre impressions, it’s not the same delirious experience. Still, any Weng is good Weng, and we should be thankful for the little guy getting another shot at filmic infamy.

12. The Cute…The Sexy n’ The Tiny (1982)

Liliw Films International (first screened December 25, 1982)

Director Eddie Nicart Producers Pete Caballes, Cora Caballes Screenplay Pablo S. Gomez Music Pablo Vergara

Cast Berting Labra, Pia Moran, Weng Weng, Dencio Padilla, Beth Sandoval, Bonnie “Mong” De Jesus, Tony Jay Consunji, Liza De Vera

Once again, all that remains of this Liliw Films International production is the poster for its debut at the 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival.


Pablo S. Gomez (screenplay): Unbelievably prolific komiks writer with over 200 “nobelas” to his name. As with most komik creators (Mars “Darna” Ravelo, Carlos J. “Panday” Caparas), he also dabbled in screenplays, and wrote much of Fernando Poe Jr’s output from the late Seventies and Eighties.


Berting Labra: Former member of the “Lo’ Waist Gang” alongside Fernando Poe Jr, an iconic group of Young Turks defined by their hugely successful string of action-comedies in the late 50s. The late FPJ became the most famous actor ever in the Philippines; Berting was more of a versatile supporting actor with roles in comedies, goon actioners, drama, you name it.

Pia Moran: Flash-in-the-pan Filipino starlet with a handful of roles to her name before fading into obscurity.

Dencio Padilla: Another prolific actor, primarily in comedies, who starred alongside Weng Weng in D’Wild Wild Weng.

Beth Sandoval: “Irma” in For Y’ur Height Only and in two of Eddie Nicart’s other films, the western Zigomar (1984) and Calibre .357 (1985), she has since passed away.

Bonnie “Mong” De Jesus: Six foot nine pro-basketball player who starred in Carlo J. Caparas’ 1979 basketball comedy Mong. Playing the ying to Weng Weng’s yang, the awkward giant passed away in the early 80s.


1. Dugo May Umagos (c.late 1970s) NO OTHER CLUES AVAILABLE

2. A forgotten title for LSJ Productions (c.1979-1980)

Dolphy remembers Weng Weng making a cameo in a kung fu film for director Luis San Juan immediately prior to his cameo in The Quick Brown Fox (1980).


maDDDin said...

awesome, i never knew, that "Weng Weng" play in so many great films!


Alex said...

I have For Y'ur Height only, The Impossible Kid, and D'Wild Wild Weng on DVD. Does anybody know if it is possible to aquire any of his other films? I've got to see more!

Scott said...

Weng Weng was AWESOME. Ed the Sock
featured one of his movies. Now, I can't get enough of the little dude.