Friday, January 7, 2011

Krzysztof Kolberger RIP!

Not everyone knows who Krzysztof Kolberger was, but here in Sweden – and especially inside among the fans of cult cinema – he was Christopher Kohlberg, the actor playing Mason, the hero ninja in Mats Helge Olsson’s action classic. Not that he was a martial arts-expert or something, but he had that good look and was talented actor.

Everyone knows what a chaos the shooting of The Ninja Mission was, Bo F. Munthe once told me they called him late in the evening at his home in Stockholm, because they realized that they needed him that day. He jumped into the car, drove down where they shot the movie, arrived in the middle of the night and found out that they forgotten him. Another problem was the communication with Krzysztof Kolberger and Hanna Bieniuszewicz (who got the more English-friendly name “Hanna Pola”), to very serious actors ( who didn’t know English at all. In the end Bo F. Munthe demanded to be killed off so he could go on with his life and the legend says that Krzysztof and Hanna took one of the production cars, escaped back to Poland and sold it to get some money for their work.

The Ninja Mission wasn’t Krzysztof’s first movie, he already had 17 movies and TV-show behind him, and probably a lot of theatre. And his once-in-a-lifetime performance as a ninja didn’t end his career either. He made another forty or so movies back in Poland, a popular character actor. One of them is Katyn, who’s available on blu-ray in Sweden.

My favourite Krzysztof Kolberger-movie isn’t The Ninja Mission, instead I consider Curse of Snakes Valley my preferred choice when it comes to a good, cool Krzysztof Kolberger-o-rama. It’s a Polish Indiana Jones-style movie with a twist of Alien DNA! Shot in Thailand, or maybe Vietnam, with quite an impressive budget, this is a movie that needs a good English-friendly DVD-release.

About a year ago I tracked him down, and with the help of his very nice daughter Julia (also a filmmaker) I got the signed and dedicated photo that you can see above.

Today, 7th of January 2011, he died from cancer...

Rest in peace, Krzysztof – may the world never forget how cool you were!


Anonymous said...

So sad. Such a lovely man nbd a fabulous voice. Here's a tribute to him.

Vallaor said...

It may come as a surprise, but I started to admire NINJA DIXON blog after reading your post about Kolberger and his two action movies! Quite probably you are his bigger fan outside Poland and even here not many people have heard about NINJA MISSION! To my great regret, this movie was never distributed in my home country... For the most viewers K.K. was an actor associated with the theatre, reciting poetry and "high art" in general (IMO his key role was Adam Mickiewicz, the most famous Polish poet). It was very refreshing to read, that he will be rememebered not only for this, but also for his venture in Swedish action cinema!