Posts Tagged ‘Muay Thai’

         We recently covered the ridiculous (but fun) Kickboxer IV: The Aggressor but now we got some fascinating follow-up news Director of Kickboxer IV (and also Kickboxer II: The Road Back ) Albert Pyun is considering teaming up with Sasha Mitchell once again for another Kickboxing epic, this time in the form of 12 part web series and we even have an official synopsis (although it is an early draft and some things could change before the final product emerges). You may notice that hero’s name is changed from David to Daniel due to Pyun not possessing the rights for Kicboxer franchise (that’s also considered for a reboot by a big studio) but don’t let that bother you, he’s essentially the same character. Here’s the synopsis from the Pyun-man himself!

        “In hiding in South America for the past 20 years, happy working as blacksmith and raising his family off the grid in a small high mountain village in the Andes, Daniel (SASHA MITCHELL), is reluctantly drawn into a conflict between a drug cartel and his village. In the aftermath, an old friend of Daniel’s from his days running a gym, JOE ( Michael Dudikoff?), now a DEA agent stationed in the region, offers his help.In a bigger skirmish with Cartel soldiers recognize Daniel as an ex-kickboxing champion and set out to force him to fight in UFC style fights to the death the Cartel stages deep in the Amazon jungle and Cartel territory. In an attack, Daniel’s family is captured by the Cartel and force marched deep into the amazon jungle. Danny goes after the Cartel, and, with the help of a village elder and Joe, tracks the Cartel deep into the Amazon. In the process, Daniel is captured and forced to participate in a MMA event staged by a Cartel for the pleasure of all Cartel bosses worldwide. The Pay For View signal is pirated around the world so audiences watch Daniel using his old style Muay Thai and Kickboxing against modern MMA styles.

A Pay For View Cartel event with, for Daniel, the prize his family’s life.”

Pyun  plans to start filming as soon as he’s done with Cyborg Nemesis: The Dark Rift. It could be as early as July, and setting is interestingly Ecuador. He also confirmed that he would absolutely love to include Michael Dudikoff (American Ninja, Avenging Force) as a local DEA agent and Sasha’s ally. As they worked together before on the manic Radioactive Dreams it would be timely reunion for those two.

SM

Sasha Mitchell playing with his dog, as far as we know the dog doesn’t have a role in the new Kickboxer series, yet…

What do you do when you’re faced with a stumbling franchise with it’s main star and only draw (Jean Claude Van Damme in this case) long, long gone?Hell, the only thing you really can do- bring Albert Pyun into the fold.(see under Albert Pyun). So what does Pyun offer that can potentially revitalize these films you might ask. Well that one’s easy: ton of idiotic bikers, (almost a midget) teenage Taekwondo chick, villain who wears make up in a desperate attempt to look Asian, a ninja pervert, couple of confused BJJ experts who’re not sure how they got there and some soft- core pornography. Hellyeah!

KICKBOXER 4 - THE AGGRESSORThe cool dude and the kid are not impressed!

In the begining we see the fabled third Slone brother, David Slone (Sasha Mitchell)- character who’s even existence defies the logic of the series (it’s absolutely clear from the first one that there are only two Sloan brothers. He is jailed although we are not informed of his exact crime but soon enough  gets a letter with an invitation to the greatest martial arts tournament of all times (if we exclude Bloodsport)! Invitation is kinda informal aka consists of his mortal enemy Tang Po who rubbing his nose with the fact that he has his wife as a hostage!

Somewhere around 15 minutes of his freedom and he already menages to get into a fight with some predictably dirty looking bikers. After an unimpressive victory where he threw some super- slow knees from Thai clinch he gets an offer  to go to Mexico and join the tournament… that he already had an invitation for? Hmmm… doesn’t matter!

He hitches a ride to Mexico. Naturally he walks into a biker bar and after witnessing extremely rude and extremely small teenage girl eating a beer bottle in the face he starts destroying the bar with his predictably slow kicks and knees. Interestingly Mitchell was once upon a time a fit and good looking model capable of holding his own but by this point he became a fat slob going thru the motions, casually trying to fake mastery in the art that he practiced for full two weeks  before the shooting. Little girl is surprisingly incredibly angry at him for saving her ass and it turns out that she is also here for the tournament.

Soon afterwards they are welcomed to the Tang Po’s hacienda (what’s Thai champion doing in Mexico again?). They withness the psychopathic musketeer looking fellow annihilating the dude’s face and then they fight for qualification, fight… each other!!! Little girls lasts about 5 seconds.

Kickboxer 4 The Aggressor (1994) DVDR NL Subs NLT-Release (DivX).avi_001601800Fair fight!

Tang Po is presented as successful record producer (?) and businessmen and he soon starts an all out, Hitler-like speech (strangely with a strong Mexican accent) to all the tournament participants,over the feast of course. Now we run into the first (really BIG) problem with this movie. Even thou original Tang Po actor Michel Qissi was hardly of Thai origin (in fact he was of Moroccan desceant) he had  vaguely  Asian features  needed to portray a Muay Thai wrecking machine convincingly. On the other hand Kamel Krifa, Tang Po actor in this movie was as white as they get and was even original star- Van Damme’s dubble for years. So let us analize this for a second… you have a dude resembling original Slone Van Damme and instead of doing the logical thing-  casting him in the main role you go for the 10th alternative option and force the dude into wearing a bold cap and hilarious make up so he can a resemble an Asian!? Damn! You have to ask yourself- was there even one sane person on this set?

Oh, and one more thing- he doesn’t even slightly resemble Asian person after all that trouble- NOPE! He looks like a washed up drag queen- not really a look you should go for if you are trying to present yourself as a feared martial artist!

Kickboxer 4 The Aggressor (1994) DVDR NL Subs NLT-Release (DivX).avi_002295600

A Muay Thai Killing Machine?

Then the night comes and with the night many peculiar things happen. Sloan becomes a ninja (???) and starts prowling around the hacienda. Logic would tell us that he is trying to find his captive wife but something stops him. No, not the armed guards- he finds one of the tournament fighters having a threesome with two oiled up blond babes and decides to stay and watch. Next thing you know it’s morning so he must have spent all night scouting the local perversions- shame on him!

 

Early in the morning the tournament continues and now we see why genders and categories exist in Martial Art competitions- Musketeer-like dude is doing his patented “face into concrete” move repeatedly on a woman in black kimono. First time you see it it’s kinda funny but after the seventh blow it’s nothing else but seriously disturbing. I’d like to think that even the evil martial art dudes chose to avoid crippling girls and women if they have a choice. Then we have an absolute devastation  of a black dude in Kempo kimono (as every other person of African descent in this film). Then as he’s laying on the floor without any signs of life,  his neck obviously broken someone is yelling “get up coffee” in the background. Idiotic and racist but funny as hell.

Kickboxer 4 The Aggressor (1994) DVDR NL Subs NLT-Release (DivX).avi_003270120

At certain point participants final realize that none of them will be left alive as the winner and that the whole grand turnament is  a sceem to (somehow) smuggle shipments of cocaine into the country. Lead by an extremly chileld dude (friend of Sloan) and a diminutive blond (that’s still around the tournament even thou she lost- something like Mirko Crocop on the last K-1 tournament) remaining martial artist raise against the Tang Po’s mercenaries with uzi’s using… Martial Art of course! ’cause, why not! You only live once.

Tang Po finally recognizes Sloan- maybe he tricked him by wearing the sunglasses (the old Superman/ Clark Kent trick). Doesn’t matter, Sloan bring the fight to the deadly Muay Thai machine himself and they end up battling it out (another bunch of lousy knee strikes) on the Swedish table!!! That’s just one step above fighting in the water as far as I’m concerned. Anyway Sloan escapes being hit by a bamboo stick (don’t know how that got there) and serves a plate of high-kicks to Po wrecking  him completely in the process. The main hencmen tries to escape with his wife but the Slone grabs a kitchen knife from the said table and the rest is history( mozda opet slika). Reunited with his wife (that’ll probably have to go trough the lifetime of psycho-therapy to face the fact that she was tortured and raped for about a year) he leaves the property of Tang Po never to return- unless someone decides to make another crappy sequel.

 Sorry, but this man just gets funnier every time you see him!

Trivia: Sequel in fact did get made but thankfully it featured a real martial artist( Mark Dacascos) and 0(zero) Sasha Mitchell which makes it almost an Oscar caliber film in comparison.

This movie was originally to be a third sequel in the  horrible, horrible Karate Movie franchise No Retreat, No Surrender aka Karate Tiger. The fact that they changed their minds didn’t make this movie a whole lot better anyway.

As with any action film of the 90es era this one is a rip- off of Van Damme’s  Kickboxer and Bloodsport with boosted levels of craziness and sheer idiocy.It is also a combination of Chinese production, horrible American actors and cheap sets on Thailand- and with a combo like that you know you’re doomed from a start!

The movie starts with Jake Donahue and his older brother in Thailand. Jake’s brother is fighting for the Kickboxing title of Thailand and wins his bout defeating a former champion, Manny Pacquiao- looking fellow. Then they leave the areana in some silly car wearing a championship belt but– soon enough they are ambushed by evil Khan and his henchmen. Khan is none other but mighty Billy Blanks. Yeah, the idiotic inventor of  Thai Bo exercise program* (Blanks didn’t learn to read or write ’till he was 40 years old and it shows.) He looks like some kind of steroided up, rag-top wearing Orc more than he resembles a normal human being. Apparently angry with Sean for taking Thai title- don’t know why, he doesn’t look Thai to me, Khan kills him with some silly kick combinations despite holding a machine gun the whole time!!! When a younger brother Jake tries to save him he gets schooled, but left alive despite suffering practically the same hits like his now deceased brother.

Ten years later, Jake is now a undercover police officer, doesn’t look anything like he did when he was young but he’s got a scar from the fight with Khan so it must be him.  He is a notorious lone wolf stooping crime by fighting criminals with kickboxing skills, defeating one mullet wearing baddie at the time. His commanding officer Captain O’Day tells him that there are filmmakers in Thailand who really kill the actors on the sets of their films (???) and that Jake has to travel to Thailand to stop them. Why would an American cop travel to Thailand to do some Interpol stuff is beyond me. In one of his rare moments of sanity Jake refuses but he unfortunately takes the VHS tapes with him anyway. After casually watching them (he had nothing better to do I guess) he notices the guy “who’s kinda good” and then the dude turns and he sees- The Khan. He calls his boss and accepts the assignment with crying voice and then screams his lungs out so we could all know what kind of pussy he really is.

Avedon and Blanks having a moment.

The he travels to Thailand. Decides to beat up some Muay Thai dudes for no reason but to feel good I guess but one of the students from that camp fallows him and kicks his ass to even the score. Humiliated Jack admits he is no match for Khan but a fighter tells him about Prang, a man who is now a drunken recluse living in the wild but was evenly match with Khan in the past. Jake finds Prang who at first rejects his offer but changes his mind when Jack tries to save him from some punks. In the middle of all that Prang’s monkey steals Jack’s passport ,maybe hoping he can use it to get out of the country?

If that wasn’t enough Jack succeeds in befriending ( and soon enough bedding )  idiotic trailer thrash blond Molly who was coincidentally almost raped by Khan only hours ago. I personally believe that there is no audience for love scenes between such ugly individuals but I could be wrong, it’s a strange world we live in after all.

Anyway we are treated with the most imbecilic training montage in history of training montages (which are not the most intelligent dramatic tools as it is)  where we see Avedon  being stretched, beaten and stretched some more and the mere glance at a skinny dude blocking three stomps with his elbows will make you laugh until you cry.After reaching masteryin something that should be Muay Thai Jack challenges a bunch of dudes in the illegal  fight circuit, and beats every one of them while at the same time wearing a female shirt?  One of the evil producers sees a potential in him and invites him to the set. Now his wish is granted and he can finally face the Khan and have his revenge!

    HO- MO- SEXUAL!

Obviously there is not a chance in hell he could beat Khan. Even if we presume that their technique is equal (and it’s not) Khan is far bigger and stronger fighter and would naturally tear him apart. Movie doesn’t concert itself with thing like that, you know common sense and  runs into a climactic final fight between Avedon- dressed like a court jester and Billy Blanks- who’s just being himself. The moment in which Khan deduces the identity of Jack  aka “you are… the BROTHER” after Jack throws him the old photograph is pure cinematic gold. And then as if that wasn’t enough he threatens to kill him and make him join his brother in hell- at that moment Jack loses it, yells “I’ve already been there… for 10 years” and then unleashes a girlish scream that would leave many of the ladies from horror movies envious.

                The proper way to evade a punch.

The fight itself is incredible mish- mash of American kickboxing, pro- wrestling,  Chinese wire-fu with some Muay Thai thrown in for good measure and yeah, they succeeded to take all the worst elements of them all and combine them in such God-awful way that the end result (which was indeed physically demanding and hard to accomplish) ends up being nothing short of absurd and laughable.

Cops -as the cliche goes- arrive late and do the only thing they can- START DESTROYING THE CRIME SCENE WITH FREAKIN’ BAZOOKAS! FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, WTF?!

Verdict: If you like kickboxing, Thailand, Ninjas, Blonds with pathetic boobs, training montages, Billy Blanks, random Zen riddles, Savages and monkeys- this is your movie!

PS For additional footage of  Billy Blanks embarrassing himself find any Tai- Bo instructional DVD.

               *???