Romano Kristoff is a Spanish actor, writer and director, better known for his work in Filipino cinema. He worked mostly in the Philippines between the 1980s and early 1990s. He was also credited as Rom Kristoff, Ron Kristoff, Run Kristoff, Ron Krastoff, and other similar variants.
Very little info on him can be about Kristoff anywhere, except that he was Spanish by birth, a martial artist (apparently holding a black belt in karate), ex-Foreign Legionnaire and had some legitimate training as an actor.
He appeared mostly in low-budget action and martial arts films such as Jungle Rats (1987), and Black Fire (1985), during the 80's, often directed by Teddy Page and John Gale (director). The vast majority of Kristoff's films were produced by K.Y. Lim's Silver Star Film Company (also called Kinavesa in the Philippines), a prolific, if somewhat notorious producer of Filipino action films. The Silver Star films usually recycled the same cast of American and European Z-movie workhorses from one film to another. Some of the recurring faces were Mike Monty, James Gaines, Mike Cohen, Gwendolyn Hung,Frank Juhas and Ronnie Patterson, and Kristoff acted with all of them. He became something of a star for Silver Star, appearing in several leading roles throughout the 80's, most prominently in Slash (1984), a film influenced by the Rambo films of Sylvester Stallone to the point of plagiarism. In 1981 Kristoff was cast as a supporting player in the Richard Harrison vehicle Intrusion Cambodia, directed by John Gale. The two became friends and Kristoff was later invited to Italy by Harrison to co-write and act in the 1986 film Three Men on Fire , which Harrison directed and starred in. Three Men On Fire was Kristoff's only film shot outside the Philippines. Kristoff also co-wrote the script to Ninja's Force (1985) with Ken Watanabe (not to be confused with the more famous Ken Watanabe), another member of the Silver Star entourage. Don Gordon Bell was another of the ex-pat actors, one of Romano's best friends appearing in several of the films made by Kinevesa Films/Silver Star Films.
He also appeared in some Italian productions made in the Philippines, such as the Vietnam war actioner Tornado (1983), directed by Antonio Margheriti and starring Giancarlo Prete and Antonio Marsina. Other Italian films he acted in were The Last Hunter, (1980), also directed by Margheriti, and Ferdinando Baldi films Warbus (1985), Ten Zan: The Ultimate Mission (1988), and Just A Damn Soldier (1988).
When the Filipino film industry dwindled at the turn of the 90's, so did the careers of many expatriate actors working in the Philippines. Kristoff, like Monty, Gaines and others, faded to obscurity as the 90's progressed. Although he wasn't a great actor, Romano Kristoff can definitely be called one of the more talented Silver Star stars and did possess a fair amount of physical charisma. Outside the Philippines, he could possibly have had a more successful career in action and martial arts films.
He seems to be now mostly retired from film, having made only the occasional appearance over the past fifteen years. Kristoff's most recent notable role was a small part in the Italian-Filipino Brigitte Nielsen actioner Doomsdayer (2000), directed by Michael J. Sarna and also starring former TV Tarzan actor Joe Lara and Udo Kier. According to an interview of Nick Nicholson on the French B-movie site Nanarland, Kristoff is currently managing a restaurant in the Philippines.
Sammo Hung, also known as Hung Kam-bo (洪金寶), is a Hong Kong actor, martial artist, film producer and director, known for his work in many martial arts films and Hong Kong action cinema. He has been a fight choreographer for other actors such as Jackie Chan.
Sword-and-sandal, also known as peplum, is a subgenre of fantasy, based on largely Italian-made historical or Biblical epics mostly set in the Greco-Roman or medieval period. These films attempted to emulate the big-budget Hollywood historical epics of the time, such as Spartacus, Samson and Delilah and The Ten Commandments. These films dominated the Italian film industry from 1958 to 1965, eventually being replaced in 1965 by the spaghetti Western and spaghetti spy films.
Yuen Biao is a Hong Kong actor and martial artist. He specialises in acrobatics and Chinese martial arts and has worked on over 80 films as actor, stuntman and action choreographer. Along with Peking Opera School "brothers" at the China Drama Academy, Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan, he was one of the Seven Little Fortunes.
Richard Harrison is an American actor and occasionally a writer, director and producer.
Godfrey Ho is a former Hong Kong-based prolific film director and screenwriter, sometimes considered the Ed Wood of Hong Kong cinema. Ho is believed to have directed more than one hundred films, including over 80 movies from 1980 to 1990, but only one film since 1995, apparently retiring from film-making in 2000. Many of his works are now regarded cult films by aficionados of Z movies as being among some of the most unintentionally humorous movies ever created.
Three Men on Fire AKA Terror Force Commando is a 1986 Italian movie directed by Richard Harrison. It stars Richard Harrison, Alphonse Beni, Romano Kristoff and Gordon Mitchell.
Bruce Baron was an American movie actor.
Teddy Page is a Filipino film director and occasional writer. Page, whose real name is Teddy Chiu, began his career as a young man in the early 1980s, directing low-budget action movies for producer K.Y. Lim's Silver Star Film Company.
Mike Monty was an American character actor, born in 1936 in Chattanooga, Tennessee as Michael O'Donoghue but he changed his name to Mike Monty late in life.
James Gaines, birth name James Larry M. Gaines Jr., is an African-American-Filipino character actor, writer and director with dual nationality, born on May 18, 1955, in Maui, Hawaii. He was sometimes also credited as Jaimes Gaines, Jim Gaines, and James Gainers.
Fireback is a Filipino low-budget action movie directed by Teddy Page (Teddy Chiu) and starring Richard Harrison, Bruce Baron, James Gaines, Ann Milhench, Gwendolyn Hung, Mike Monty, Ronnie Patterson, and Ruel Vernal.
Gordon Mitchell was an American actor and bodybuilder who made about 200 B movies.
Lau Kar-leung, also known as Liu Chia-liang, was a Hong Kong-based Chinese actor, filmmaker, choreographer and martial artist. Lau is best known for the films he made in the 1970s and 1980s for the Shaw Brothers Studio. One of his most famous works is The 36th Chamber of Shaolin which starred Gordon Liu, as well as Drunken Master II which starred Jackie Chan.
Mel Novak is an American actor who is best known for villainous roles in Black Belt Jones, Game of Death, and An Eye for an Eye. He is also known for doing all of his own stunts and fighting scenes.
John Gale, born Jun Gallardo, was a Filipino B-movie director, who started his career with martial arts movies in the 1970s and continued to Z-movie actioners in the 1980s, often produced by K.Y. Lim's Silver Star Film Company. Silver Star was a notorious but prolific producer of extremely low-budget action films, characterized by very low production values.
Bryan Leung Kar-yan is a Hong Kong film and television actor and film director who has played roles in numerous acclaimed martial arts films. He is affectionately known as "Beardy" due to his trademark facial hair. He also has characteristic hyper-extendable fingers, which can be observed when he has his palms open and his fingers outstretched. Despite being one of the most well-known faces in Hong Kong action cinema, he had no formal martial arts training, relying on his talents at mimicry to imitate the moves shown to him by the action directors.
The Last Hunter is a 1980 Italian "macaroni combat" directed by Antonio Margheriti and starring David Warbeck and Tony King. Initially made to capitalize on the success of The Deer Hunter, The Last Hunter marked the first Euro War set during the Vietnam War, as opposed to World War II like all previous entries in the subgenre.
Vengeance is a 1968 Spaghetti Western film written and directed by Antonio Margheriti. It starred Richard Harrison, Mariangela Giordano and Luciano Pigozzi.
Last Blood, also known as Tornado: The Last Blood, is an Italian "macaroni combat" war film directed by Antonio Margheriti and starring Giancarlo Prete.
Warbus is a 1985 Italian-Philippine internationally co-produced action film directed by Ferdinando Baldi under the pseudonym "Ted Kaplan".