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South Jersey Indie Film Receives International Attention

Killer Ex, the most recent film by celebrated director Jim Towns, has been selling out theatres since it hit screens in February 2024. With over 1,000 tickets sold and three sold-out screenings, Jose Luis Torres II and the rest of the cast are creating a buzz and turning heads in the independent film space. 

Making his big-screen acting debut, New Jersey-based international martial artist Grandmaster Jose Luis Torres II plays Victor, an altruistic, clever, and powerful ex-assassin turned family man who is forced back into his former life when his ex shows up with a slew of killers after her. Torn between his love for his family and desire to protect his ex, Victor Reyes attempts to walk a fine line while maintaining his integrity and reputation while ensuring the woman he once loved isn’t killed. 

I had a chance to visit Jose at one of his premiers last month, and it truly is a must-see film. The realistic fight scenes and laugh-out-loud moments have me already eager for what’s to come in Killer Ex 2. From the film itself to the execution of the screenings, I was thoroughly impressed from start to finish and, of course, made sure to get my autograph from the newest noteworthy actor to hit screens. 

Filmed in a variety of South Jersey locations, Killer Ex features many local performers as well as martial arts film icons like Mohammad (Michel) Qissi and William Christopher Ford, along with the “killer ex” herself, actress Elena Churinova. Churinova brings grace and charm to the screen with her witty demeanor and unapologetic attitude, offering a refreshing compliment to the family man Reyes. 

The fourth screening of Killer Ex will take place at RC Reading Movies 11 and IMAX in Reading, PA, on June 14th. They are turning things up a notch with a VIP event featuring some of the film's most memorable actors. Join Jose Luis Torres II (Victor), Bill Pugh (Steven), Chase Mullarkey (Nico), and Connor Mullarkey (Sage) at 7:00 pm for an intimate filming experience.

Following the screening, on Saturday, June 15, Jose Torres and Bill Pugh will be hosting a Cinema Combat Seminar: “Fighting for Screen” at Open Call Martial Arts in Reading, PA. More information and tickets can be purchased at by searching “Killer Ex.”

Also announced this month, the cast of Killer Ex will be taking the show overseas in the second half of the year. With premiers scheduled in the Caribbean and Europe, Killer Ex is climbing the charts quickly as Torres is becoming known by film enthusiasts as the “Latin Dragon” in this must-see martial arts movie. Killer Ex will be screened in Trinidad & Tobago on Friday August 9th and in Rotterdamn, Netherlands on November 8th. 

Lead actor Jose Torres is a 9th-degree Tang Soo Do Black belt and decorated martial artist from Edgewater Park, NJ. His martial arts career began in 1982 under Master William Hamilton. Over 40 years later, Torres has seen great success, including the opening of the Team Torres Martial Arts franchise, after-school programs for the youth, the production of international and domestic martial arts events, and so much more. 

As a martial arts master, father of three, and college soccer coach, Victor Reyes's role was seemingly written with Torres in mind. 

“It is an unbelievable opportunity to be cast as the lead for this film,” shared Torres. Director Jim Towns is an outstanding director and writer. I am excited to bring the character Victor Reyes to life. The whole cast of the film is truly top-notch. Both William Christopher Ford and Mohammed Qissi are amazing human beings who have starred in iconic martial arts films. I'm honored to work with them. It’s a dream come true.” 

Learn more about Jose Torres, Killer Ex, and Team Torres Martial Arts at and listen to his interview with me on The Coolest People in the World, available wherever you stream podcasts. 

Grandmaster Jose Torres is also the creator and host of the 18th Annual NAFMA Nationals Martial Arts Competition, which will take place at Atlantic City Sheraton on May 24th and 25th, 2024. Click the link for more information.


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