Posts Tagged ‘Scott Snow’

Gary Daniels was always a personal favorite of mine even since I fist saw him in an unexpectedly cool live action adaptation of a manga- Fist of the North Star.  But even thou he did everything from the slew of 90’s Kickboxing movies to the  Hong Kong appearances ( City Hunter w/ Jackie Chan) to his high profile Expendables (2010) role (he got to fight Statham and Jet Li at the same time!) he did make a few bizarre little movies along the way. And of course being who we are, we’re gonna cover some of those.

‘Punishment starts predictably enough with a story of Kickboxing champion doing some king of possibly illegal Martial Arts presentation in a seedy looking bar. He gets picked up by cops, after beating them up for good measure.

Then we have a scene in which the police Chief (David Caradine) shows him a history of project K.I.C.K. (in a scene suspiciously reminiscent of the Enter The Dragon exposition). It’s all about Kwan Lee, Taiwan chemist who in the 60’s invented some kind of growth hormone that makes people immune to pain. Coincidentally Daniel’s old Sensei from Japan Tadashi Yamashita (The Octagon, American Ninja, Seven) is running the drug operation right now.

  Here we can see Tadashita killing a watermelon, while not killing Gary Daniels- and we’re all grateful for that

He doesn’t want anything to do with cops but they convince him that exposure to the drug can result in genetic mutations and he panics because he has baby on the way. He rushes to visit his wife at a hospital  he ends up fighting a bunch of goons in his way, with one of the cops seemingly dying in the process but that’s how it goes).

Seeing that his wife is not doing that bad he shifts the focus on his upcoming title Kickboxing match. So, we get the fist (but not last) training montage of the movie.

Fight goes his way but after he won they accuse him of having metal in his gloves and then try to arrest him? No due process here!  Things are getting crazier by the minute. Daniels easily frees himself and kicks cop’s asses and gets away. Just like that.

Fighting in the ring…            

… and then fighting the cops for a good measure .

A blond lady- detective contacts him when he gets home but before they can come to an agreement another batch of goons attack them. Man, this is becoming a regular occurrence! Daniels goes after one of them while the lady manages to burn his whole house down, even thou she defeated the remaining attacker. “People are so strange these days” as the wise man Tommy once said.

Crazy and homeless Daniels searches for answers the only way he knows how- with his fists! That’s right kids, all your problems can be solved with violence. Fighting everyone and anyone we gets a lead that leads him to the (shockingly!) abandoned warehouse but he gets overwhelmed by the sheer number of attackers and ends up captured. Yamashita shows up to torture him for a bit but the detective saves him before everything goes up in flames (of the archive footage).

After that he goes to his Martial Art Master (not the drug dealing one) to get his body back in balance or something. Also it turns out that the X-Ray of his unborn child is actually a toy made in Hong Kong. And he never suspected anything!? WTF?!

Now, he’s off to do some revenging- now more than ever! Straight into the ice factory (another Bruce Lee or I guess, Big Boss this time). Among the goons we get one really pleasent suprise, a young Scott Shaw (of Vampire Bikers from Hell, The Rollerblade Seven fame).  He even gets to die via kick activated domino effect (dominoes being the blocks of ice, not really large enough to seriously injure a human being).

He gets to Yamashita but then it turns out his wife was a traitor too (even thou I don’t know why). The only problem is you can’t really tell what was his endgame. Even after decades living in the US his English is so broken that I can’t figure out his explanation for the life of me.

Good thing the cop and the reinforcements (very animated Gerald Okamura) arrive and the tide finally turns. Daniels even got to throw Yamashita off the building. Now, after siting in his office Caradine finally decides that’s it’s his time to act and steals the truck with drugs- but he ends up exploding on the bridge (another archive footage)- so maybe he should have tough twice about that.

Okamura smacking his head is an excellent bonus!

Verdict: this film has of the most nonsensical plots I’ve even encountered (I had to go over it 3 times just to get a vague idea of what’s going on) but it does have  more fights than a Mortal Kombat walktrough so that’s surely saying something.  So, if you leave your brain at the door (and forgive some repetitive choreography and terrible camera) you are bound to have fun with this one.

Trivia: Tadashi Yamashita was always a well  respected as a Karate/ Kobudo practitioner (even thou I’m always a bit skeptical when someone proclaims he is a 10 dan Black Belt in anything) and he is notable for milking both Bruce Lee craze (as Bronson Lee in Soul of Bruce Lee and Bronson Lee, Champion) and Ninja craze (The Octagon, American Ninja and The Shinobi Ninja). And as far as his technique is concerned, you can judge for yourself:


This is an early “hit” film by the renewed author, martial artist and actor Scott Shaw (with co- director Donald G. Jackson) and as much as I like the idea of Scott Shaw’s Zen film-making (no script, pure improvisation) the results are less then stellar (and that’s an overstatement). Without an actual aim or direction the film quickly dissolves into a mess of crazy psychedelic scenery, random badly choreographed violence and bunch of nonsensical overacted monologues by famous guest stars (in fact the cousins of famous people like Frank Stallone or Joe Estevez).

rollerblade7Black Knight played by  Frank Stallone, slightly less popular brother

Crosshatched with music vide0- like vignettes and so many stop- starts that you forget what your watching. New characters are constantly introduced (see Fukasai Ninja) just to be squandered on useless cameos that doesn’t drive the story forward by one inch.The story (as far as we can figure) fallow deadly warrior Hawk who is sent on a mission by the mysterious Father Donaldo to rescue (their?) Sister Sparrow from the clutches of the evil overlord Pharaoh and his knight Frank Stallone. The whole film takes place in a deadly region known as The Wheelzone where the only way to travel is (for some reason) by means of roller skate. Except for Hawk who uses a Harley Davidson motorcycle. 

Now even if we all ignored aforementioned things, every director knows that a movie is in fact mostly made in editing room. And that’s where the REAL problems start. Editing here is just extremely sloppy and the the insisting on repeating scenes 2-3 times (sometimes even 8 times) ends up being just damn tiring . And then they add the icing on the cake by using repetitive synth score that drowns out all the natural sound of the movie and upgrades incoherent and messy moments to the plain unwatchable level (yet we soldiered on like we always do).

The Roller Blade Seven (1991) . PumperKink . - Stagevu Your .avi_004430600“Brilliant! I have absolutely no idea what’s going on”

Lesson: If you want something done right what you need is PLANING! Dedication and a good plan, and enough time to realize the said plan.that is more important than all the money can buy, Now I’m not knocking down improvisation- you should always be free to let happy accidents happen but if you don’t have an aim-there’s no way you can hit it, and this ,movie is a perfect example of that Now If you decide (against your better judgement) to watch this movie try countering it with some psychedelics- maybe that will balance things out and it  somehow all make sense, ’cause it sure doesn’t this way.