One man. One neighbourhood. A new set of rules.
Teddy Page (going by Ted Johnson here) took a break from filming jungle action in the Philippines to churn out this little kickboxing "gem". Four kickboxing champs are happy and drunk over one of their kin winning a championship medallion go to a supermarket and get rowdy, After accidentally killing the store owner the four flee but their car breaks down. Within walking distance of an ex-wife, they go to get water for the engine. Another fight ensues and both the girl and her new partner are killed. In their haste the medallion is left behind, and it turns out that the dead ex-wife was the step mother to Steve Callahan (Sean Donahue). Steve's girlfriend recovers the medallion from the scene and shows Sean who makes it his mission to get revenge.
This is a by-the-numbers bad kickboxing revenge movie, but if that's your thing then there's a lot to like here. It's hard to write about as it's so completely generic but I think it's worth your time to check it out. Sean Donahue is up there with Reb Brown in the hilarity stakes, constantly yelling and pulling awesome fight-faces that are worth the price of entry alone. The acting is awful but who cares really, the plot is so wafer thin you only come here for the fights and bad dialogue.
They are pretty good by the way (the fights, not the dialogue although it's pretty funny too). The beatings from the bad guys at the beginning are all quite funny and pointless - why would four slightly drunk guys kill a shop owner when they weren't trying to steal anything? Callahan takes on a few street gang types which is amusing, but the real fun begins in the third act when he starts taking revenge good and proper. After a payback attack on his girlfriend's father that hospitalises him, Callahan decides he has to get into shape. Cue montage (see video below). After that he gets stealthy and follows the four of the guys around before picking them off one by one in more and more hilarious ways; following them into bar bathrooms, pretending to be interviewing for a Kickboxing magazine etc. One guy even gets tied to train tracks which ends how you expect it to.
The film is filled with Filipino action staples; Jim Gaines (Robowar, Blood Ring, Strike Commando, Phantom Soldiers), Ned Hourani (Bloodfist 1 and 2, Black Cobra 2 and 3, Kill Zone) and Nick Nicholson (Raiders of the Sun, Live by the Fist, Eye of the Eagle, Zombie 4: After Death) being the highlights. I'm also very surprised it was filmed in 1990. It looks far more like a 1979 kung-fu movie in denim jeans than the year portrays.
Sorry for the shorter than usual review but there's not much to say here. It's a bad kickboxing movie that's funnier than it aught to be. If you get a few beers and mates in I think you could have a great time laughing at Sean Donahue's antics and his lame girlfriend (Christine Landson, whose only other credit is SFX Retaliator with Linda Blair) and her father's cue-card line reading. If the cover didn't sell you then the screenshots will. Beyond that I can't convince you much more. Well okay, check out the video below it's pretty awesome.
It sucked, basically. The DVD is an out-of-print Payless R4 that was dark and murky, which I could deal with. The real problem was that the film must not have been properly aligned as it was being scanned in and the picture jumps quite a bit throughout the entire picture. The audio is muffled a bit as the production on set was cheap and nasty. Keep your sea sickness pills on standby for this one. Runtime 88 minutes.
A lucky pickup in a second hand store for a dollar.
Thanks to Karl Brezdin for finding the trailer! I couldn't find one when I did the review so to make up for the shorter-than-usual review, I have captured both the hilarious montage scene and one of the best fights from the end. Enjoy!