Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Dragon Has Bloody Fists

My cinemasochism knows no bounds, apparently, as last week, I ordered two more "previously viewed" Bloodfist DVDs from online dealers. The Bloodfist series, you'll remember, starred kickboxer Don "The Dragon" Wilson in a series of unrelated action vehicles for producer Roger Corman back in the early 90s.

Both discs, ordered from different dealers, showed up in my mailbox in less than a week, and as I was feeling under the weather for the last few days, I had time to to watch them both. Now, I'm not the first guy to subject himself to the whole series, but I may be unique in that I'm actually (non-ironically) enjoying the experience so far.

In Bloodfist IV: Die Trying, Don plays single father/repo man Danny Holt, who repossesses the wrong BMW and finds himself embroiled in a convoluted plot by foreign agents to steal "nuclear triggers" for an unnamed, Middle Eastern nation. Over the course of the film, all of his co-workers are massacred by the bad guys, his daughter is kidnapped, and he's repeatedly forced to kickbox the hell out of cops, Feds, fake cops, fake Feds and other assorted high kickin' assailants, including sexy Cat Sassoon (Angelfist).

Don is fine here - these sorts of films don't really require a great actor, after all. And he gets some decent support from vets like James Tolkan (Back To The Future, Masters of the Universe) as an FBI agent and Amanda Wyss (A Nightmare on Elm Street, To Die For) as the stock "pretty girl who gets caught up in his troubles and helps him despite all reason" (i.e. Rae Dawn Chong in Commando, etc.).

The plot is standard DTV stuff, and doesn't hold up to much inspection, but director Paul Ziller manages to work a fight in every few minutes, and, for the most part, those fights actually do serve the narrative and keep the flick moving at a good pace. I also thought the fights were better staged than usual for a Wilson flick. I was disappointed that the final clash with the late Sassoon was so brief, but overall, I enjoyed the movie.

In Bloodfist V: Human Target, Don wakes up in the hospital after being shot in the head, suffering from amnesia (as, you know, always happens in these cases). Denise Duff (the Subspecies series) shows up, claiming to be his wife, but it's soon clear that she's lying. In fact, like the previous entry in the series, no one in the film is who they're first portrayed as, and the viewer is soon as confused as poor Don (who may not be much of a thespian, but has "confused" down pat).

But... there are a fair number of fights, Duff is, as usual, appealing and pretty, and the great Steve James (American Ninja 1, 2 & 3, The Delta Force, I'm Gonna Get You Sucka) makes his final feature film appearance (he died of pancreatic cancer the same year) as the flick's "Big Bad" and has a couple of decent bouts with Wilson.

It'll be a while before I can order any more Bloodfist movies (I'm told that part III is the best one), but I don't regret getting the ones I have. I find them perfectly satisfactory cinematic junk food, a lot more palatable than 90% of what passes for B-action films these days.

1 comment:

Marty McKee said...

Getting to see Wilson and Steve James, two '90s action icons, fight each other is worth watching IV for. And I have a thing for Cat Sassoon for some reason.