A Gathering Of The Most Awesome Human Weapons
Starring: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Billy Blanks, Rob Kaman, Kris Aguilar, Michael Shaner, Riley Bowman
Director: Terence H. Winkless
1989 | 85 Minutes | Rated R
“It is vengeance you live for.” – Jake Raye
“It is vengeance you die for.” – Kwong
Bloodfist is a Bloodsport clone starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson that spawned seven sequels SEVEN SEQUELS!!! That is insane for any movie much less a lowly copycat tournament fighting movie. So many elements of that concept make Bloodfist and its sequels must see material for me.
Jake Raye (Don Wilson), a retired champion boxer, travels to Manila to find the man who murdered his brother, Mike. Once there, he discovers that the only way to find the killer is to enter into a kickboxing tournament with some of the best fighters from around the world.
Bloodfist lacks a certain Bolo Yeung quality. Kris Aguilar’s super scary, badass villain fighter is pretty scary and pretty badass but nowhere near as scary or badass as Bolo Yeung’s in Bloodsport. Chin Woo was definitely a formidable opponent but he was no Chong Li, that is for sure.
Don “The Dragon” Wilson is also no Jean-Claude Van Damme. To be fair though, this is the very first starring role The Dragon ever had. It’s understandable if he isn’t winning Oscars at this point in his career. To his credit, I wasn’t missing Van Damme in this the way I was missing Bolo Yeung.
It’s also interesting to note that Billy Blanks is featured as pretty much an equal to Don Wilson on the front cover of the movie and yet Blanks doesn’t utter a single line the entire time. I fully expected to see the two squaring off in the finals of the tournament, not to be cordial rivals.
The story of Bloodfist completely out cheeses Bloodsport. Everything about it. First off, Jake enters this tournament because, somehow, this will be how his brother’s killer will “reveal themselves”… whatever that means. Well, we sort of find out what that means but it sure didn’t make a lot of sense to me going in. On top of that we are told that Jake is a boxer, not a kickboxer and yet he is trained to kickbox in a matter of days or weeks, we can’t be entirely sure. It’s obviously completely impossible to learn a fraction of what he did in the amount of time that he did so it is best to just ignore that part of your brain that says “wait a minute…” and take it for what it is.
Cheesy or not I really did enjoy the training scenes with The Dragon. The director did a really good job of showcasing Wilson’s true skills as a martial artist.
Bloodfist’s main attraction are some decent fights with some mildly interesting looking fighters. I say interesting looking because other than Raye and Davies no one else speaks.
Seeing as how the main reason would be watching this is the fighting and the cast is mostly made up of past fighting champions it might have made sense to spend a little more time on putting together some really fantastic, mostly realistic fight choreography. That said, the last 20 minutes or so of the movie really came alive for me. This story that only had me moderately interested for the last hour suddenly had me on the edge of my seat
All in all I would say that Bloodfist was worth my 85 minutes and the five dollars I spent on the DVD. It’s an obvious cash-in type of movie, the acting is sub-par, the fights could have been better and the story is cheesy but… I liked it.