Action films were huge back when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s. Being an Asian American myself, I couldn’t help but notice some of the actors who shared my ethnic background playing awesome bad guy roles with a level of “badassery” that I looked up to. It’s even more interesting now to look back at films like “Die Hard,” “Bloodsport” and “Karate Kid, Part II” and realize that all these “Awesome Asian Bad Guys” (pun intended) had such a short lifespan on the big screen. Most of these guys would last only about two minutes before facing some sort of brutal defeat.
Well, guys, Stephen Dypiangco and Patrick Epino of the National Film Society YouTube channel are here to change that. Partnering up with popular Asian American blogger AngryAsianMan (Phil Yu), they’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 in hopes of developing an action/comedy web series titled … you guessed it: “Awesome Asian Bad Guys!”
As summarized in their Kickstarter page:
“The story follows two filmmakers who rush to assemble a volatile group of Asian bad guy actors to take down LA’s most nefarious mobster. But, in order to pull off their tricky mission, this unpredictable batch of misfits must do the one thing they hate most – work together.”
The web series will be distributed by PBS and star notable Asian American actors like Al Leong (“Die Hard”), Yuji Okumoto (“Karate Kid, Part II”) and Randall Park (“The Five Year Engagement”).
I had the pleasure of catching up with Stephen and Patrick over Skype to discuss their web series. We talked about their personal favorite Asian bad guy, their thoughts on whether their project will help change the way Asians are viewed in entertainment, and why they chose to do a web series on YouTube instead of a motion picture.