1989. Director. Terence H Winkless.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
I have been consuming a stupid amount of 80s and 90s martial arts movies over the past month. I am currently writing a script that throws back to that era of fight flicks and so I am absorbing as much as I can. One of the franchises that I never paid much attention to was BLOODFIST, starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson. When this movie came along there had already been a string of successful films such as BLOODSPORT, KICKBOXER and KARATE KID. Being no stranger to cashing in on popular trends Roger Corman sliced his own piece of the cake with this trashy little movie. When it comes to shitty second-rate films, this is right up there with the best of them. In fact I would go so far as to declare it worse than NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER. But as you know... I am a sucker for bad cinema and for all of BLOOFIST's shortcomings, there's plenty of fun to be had. Straight off the bat it's a blatant knock-off of KICKBOXER and just about every other revenge-fuelled fight movie. A retired fighter travels to Manila to avenge the death of his brother. In order to do so he must compete in a fierce tournament, against merciless brutes. There is nothing new here but the level of hokiness raises BLOODFIST to awesomeness with it's simplistic script, woeful dialogue and z-grade acting (at times you'd swear it was dubbed). Despite being a shit movie, BLOODFIST was seriously profitable in the rental market and spawned 9 more sequels, with Wilson in all but the last. What the film genuinely has going for it is it's cast of actual champion fighters. Don Wilson, Billy Blanks, Rob Kaman and Kris Aguilar were all real legends in the martial art world and brought a level of skill and credibility that many of the other fight films of the time lacked. The other 9 films in the series also boasted professional fighting names too... lovers of gritty, realistic martial arts movies may want to look elsewhere but if you like stodgey sound effects (whack. thump. doof) and every cliche in the book then BLOODFIST is the shiz!