Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Strike Commando 2 (1988)

Strike Commando is a Bruno Mattei-Claudio Fragasso action film that has gotten a cult following over the years because of how goofy and fun it us, the constant ripoffs of other movies (mostly Rambo: First Blood Part 2), and Reb Brown's trademark yelling-while-firing-guns technique. I'm not sure how this warranted a sequel all the way back in 1988, but it got one! It also got one with Richard Harris as the main villain. Yeah, THAT Richard Harris! THE Richard Harris!

Strike Commando 2-starring Brent Huff this time round, not Reb Brown-is about Michael Ransom's quest to find his former commander from the war Major Vic Jenkins (Harris), who's been kidnapped by a group of heroin smugglers, who want a ransom of diamonds-but is all as it seeems?...

The movie open with Ransom-in an apartment in Manila-having a 'Nam flashback. We see Ransom getting shot, but he's saved by Jenkins, who rescues him from the battlefield...all in slow, SLOW motion! Ransom wakes up to the sound of a knock on the door. At the door is an old war buddy, who comes in and tries to comfort Ransom over the recent death of Jenkins. Then he breaks the news that Jenkins is still alive in the most casual way possible!

The war buddy says he has contacts in the CIA who told him this-that Jenkins faked his death for an assignment for the CIA, who he's been working for since the war ended, and now Jenkins is in some kind of trouble. He assumes Ransom is here to find out what happened to Jenkins, and after giving Ransom the info, he leaves. The army buddy is on a train where he is seen by Kramet (Mel Davidson). He runs away from Kramet, but is cornered and murdered, despite his protests that he did what 'they' wanted.

Ransom follows the lead that his buddy gave him, a CIA guy, Peter Roeg. He goes to where Roeg is and heads for his office-and armed security follows. He asks Roeg where Jenkins is, and when he doesn't say, Ransom smashes Roeg in the face with a photo of his family and grabs him in a chokehold until Roeg spills the beans. Now that Ransom knows where Jenkins' safehouse is, he evades security and heads there as fast as he can. While he tries to infiltrate the safehouse, the CIA tell Jenkins that Ransom is coming. Jenkins tells them that Ransom surely isn't coming to kill him, but that he's an old friend.

Ransom is captured by the safehouse's security, but escapes and goes to Jenkins, who tells Ransom that he's safe, but glad that Ransom's here. Outside, two security guards are shot dead by Kramet, and when security tries to radio them, Kramet picks up one of their walkie-talkies and says "We can't answer you anymore, we're dead!". After Kramet's one-liner, the safehouse is attacked by a helicopter. Ransom tries to get Jenkins free, but he's kidnapped by some goons and flown away in the copter.

Ransom is arrested and semt to prison, until he's bailed out by Kelly Sellers (Massimo Vanni), a special agent. Sellers takes Ransom to Roeg, who explain that Jenkins knew a lot of valuable state information, and shows Ransom a tape that the CIA received-a ransom video, demanding a ransom in diamonds. Ransom is given the ransom (*sigh*) and sent to find Jenkins and get him back. Ransom goes by boat, which goes well until it's attacked by pirates. Ransom dispatches them all except for one, who's snuck up onto the boat's roof and starts strangling Ransom. If you guessed that the boat is heading towards something in danger of blowing it up, and that Ransom kills the guy by stabbing him, then congrats, you've seen both Rambo 2 and Strike Commando. Yeah, that's right, Strike Commando 2 rips off it's own prequel!

 Ransom goes and finds himself in a bar-run by Rosanna Boom (Mary Stavin), who's busy playing a drinking game with a patron. After winning the game, Rosanna closes the bar and orders all her patrons out. Ransom however, stays behind to talk to her. She questions him, but before she can get far, Kramet bursts into the bar, flanked by ninjas (yes, really!). He asks Ransom for the diamonds, and when Ransom gives him them, Kramet inspects them and realizes that they are fake and crushes them in his palm. He orders his ninja lackeys to get the diamonds off Ransom by force. Ransom fights the ninjas and pushes one of them onto the bar's fireplace. The flaming ninja (hopefully a patented drink) runs around screaming and sets the rest of the bar on fire. And while all of this is happening, a nifty musical score plays that is most definitely not from this movie.

If this all (plus the screenshot of Kramet above) seems familiar, then congratulations, you've seen Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Though no, there isn't a scene where Kramet grabs the diamonds when they're burning hot, leaving their imprint on his palm. While the bartender shoots the ninjas with a rifle, and is killed, Ransom hides behind the bar with Rosanna. Rosanna shows him crates of dynamite that she has under the bar and Ransom grabs her and hightails it out of the bar, which explodes just as they escape.

Rosanna is seperated from Ransom. She tries looking for him and bumps into Kramet. Rosanna: "So now you're gonna rape me, huh?" Kramet: "I hate women!" Rosanna: "Yeah, I have a lot of gay friends too." Kramet: "I hate queers!" Before Kramet can kill her, Ransom Tarzan-kicks him with a vine, knocking him out.

The two trek though a forest and Rosanna yells at Ransom for destroying her bar. She says that there was $10,000 stashed away in it, the bar itself was worth $20,000, and her business partner-the bartender-was worth $20,000. She tries to take one of the diamonds, but then strikes up a deal with Ransom to split the diamonds when his mission's finished and Jenkins is rescued. Ransom is looking for Huan To (Vic Diaz), a sadistic drug lord who's holding Jenkins hostage. Rosanna knows where To is and she leads Ransom to him. They case To's heavily fortified camp out, then leave. Ransom gives Rosanna the diamonds and tells her to go to Bon Tuoy Plains, because if he is found with the diamonds, he'll be killed. It's at this point in the movie when the goofy 'comedic banter' music is introduced-also, when Mary Stavin isn't yelling, she says 'goddamn' a LOT.

Ransom goes into the camp and takes a guard hostage. He makes the guard lead him to Jenkins. Ransom recues Jenkins and goe to leave when his hostage escapes. Somehow Jenkins manages to be in front of the guard and kills him, even though Jenkins was with Ransom, who the guard was running away from at full pelt-I guess that Harris just used his magic Dumbledore powers (which is also probably responsible for suddenly shifting the scene into broad daylight!). Ransom and Jenkins escape, but Ransom is double-crossed by Jenkins. Rosanna spies this through the bushes and escapes. Ransom questions Jenkins as to why he's doing this. Jenkins says that he's sick of the government considering him as expendable and a necessary target due to the state secrets he knows. Ransom calls bullshit on him and just thinks that he's in it for the money. When Ransom refuses to work for him, Jenkins tells Kramet to torture the location of the diamonds out of him...

And then immediately after the mention of torture, we cut to a hooker-truck driving into the camp, with he most lighthearted music that Bruno Mattei could've found playing! Rosanna is in the truck as well, disguised as a hooker. While the other hookers go around choosing their men, Rosanna is chosen for Huan To. To tries to seduce her, then gets violent, and while To is about to look into the bag with the diamonds, Rosanna stabs him in the back. Meanwhile, Ransom is being tortured by Kramet, with electricity and bad puns-"I have a shocking surprise for you!". Ransom gets Kramet in a leg-grip and knocks him out, then escapes. Rosanna is just about to be decapitated by a ninja when Ransom comes and casually blows the ninja away with the massive sentry machine gun he's now armed with. He hands Rosanna a machine gun and drags her out of the room before she can get the diamonds from To's dead hands.

The duo both shoot the guards, then Ransom picks Rosanna up and throws her in the back of the truck. He gets in the drivers seat and speedily escapes. Unfortunately head henchman Jimmy (Ottavania Dell'Acqua...I think...) and a band of ninjas were hiding in the back of the truck. While Rosanna is bound and gagged, the ninjas climb the sides of the truck to get to Ransom. Ransom swerves the truck into trees, knocking both waves of ninjas off the truck. Then Jimmy climbs onto the truck's roof and boots Ransom out of the truck via the driver's seat. Ransom, still holding onto the door, manages to climb onto the truck's roof and he boots Jimmy out of the truck, the same as Jimmy did to him. Ransom drives for a bit more, then stops. He goes to the back, gets Rosanna out and unties her. This leads to the funniest scene in the movie...

Ransom: "What did you say about the diamonds?" Rosanna: "They're back at the camp." Ransom: "What?!" Rosanna: "They're back at the camp." Ransom: "They're back at the camp?!"  All while this banter goes on, the goofy music plays again! The two find a helicopter, which Rosanna can fly. They get in the copter and head back for the camp to get the diamonds back...

This movie is great! It's certainly not a good movie, but it is hella entertaining! The movie is a comedy (on and off past the half-hour mark) and when it's not having the goofy banter scenes between Brent Huff and Mary Stavin, it's ripping off not only Raiders of the Lost Ark, but also Strike Commando, which in turn rips off Rambo 2. Huff is fun as Michael Ransom, Mary Stavin is scary, and yes, Richard Harris is really in this movie! Mel Davidson makes for a fun villain, even though he only successfully kills someone at the start of the film.

As a sequel to the hilarious Strike Commando, this doesn't compare, mainly because it's clear that this is in no way connected to the first one! This film tries to be funny, and I'm not sure if it's naturally funny, or if the humour's so bad that it comes around and becomes funny. The film is full of goofy overacting, bad dubbing, hardcoded Japanese subtitles and VHS quality (which both add to the feel of movies like these) and great action scenes (Which may or may not be original to this movie, Bruno Mattei does tend to use stock footage from his own movies).

If you're a fan of goofy 80's action movies, give this a watch. And by 'give this a watch', I don't mean find and buy the DVD, no, that is beyond impossible! Probably the only way to watch this movie is youtube. So here's the link, enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

7 Mummies (2006)

7 mummies is one of those films that prove that something doesn't have to be good to be entertaining. It also proves that Danny Trejo is willing to appear in anything!

7 Mummies is about a group of prisoners whose transport truck crashes and they escape with a guard as a hostage. After a trek throught the desert, they come across a strange little town that may mean the end of them...

The film opens with a pair of prospectors hauling a coffin across the desert. During the haul, the coffin breaks, gold pouring out from the hole. Instead of being pissed off, the two guys just laugh...and laugh...and laugh! The laughing in this movie has only just begun! Their jubilation at being rich doesn't last long however, as a shadowy man on horseback comes and slices them both up. Then we're treated to a long opening credits sequence of a spider walking across the desert. After the thrilling spider-trek, the film cuts to a crashed prison van. A bloodied-up guard tries to radio for help, but is killed by the escaped prisoners.

The prisoners, led by Doug (Matt Schulze) take the other guard, Lacey (Cerina Vincent) hostage and start their long trek across the desert. As the group get thirsty, Travis (Billy Wirth) suggests digging for water. A few dig and they find a skeletal corpse buried in the soil, along with a medallion. They keep walking, and one of the guys decides to leave on his own, sure that Doug is leading everyone to their deaths. The walking finally stops when they come across the house of an old Indian man (Danny Trejo).

Trejo gives them food and water, and tells them the story of the Spanish who dug for gold in the area, and how the massive gold cache was moved and hidden by seven Jesuit priests, sworn to secrecy about the gold's location. Trejo explains further that a town was built near the site in an effort to try and find the gold. He gives vague directions to the town-"A place that can only be found when the day and the night are of equal length, everywhere at once". With the Mexico border in one direction and the gold  in the opposite, the gang choose the treasure.
Horror Film Survival Lesson No. 177776: If a mystical old wise man tells you of a legend of hidden gold in the middle of a desert, don't go, you are likely to be attacked by mummies who know kung-fu.

The gang leave to find the town and Danny Trejo laughs...and laughs some more for a full minute! The majority of his extended cameo in this film is him laughing! While the gang trek, the guy who abandoned them earlier stumbles around, delirious and trying to murder the sky with his gun, then shoots himself in the foot. The gang soon come across the town, which is full of wild-west types wearing old-timey clothes-and sporting modern-day boob jobs. the gang is greeted by a local (Martin Kove), who leads them into his saloon-"The first and last drinks are always free!".

The gang drink for a little while until Billy Drago shows up. Drago plays a preacher/sheriff who constantly rambles on about stuff and he laughs...and laughs...and at one point he's laughing so hard, it sounds like he's dying! He threatens the gang on the grounds that they had to register to him before going in the town. He gives them a free pass though and tells them to enjoy themselves-"As the darkness will be upon us...soon enough!". And he laughs some more...

The gang drink some more and a few enjoy themselves with hookers. But then night falls and the town's populace suddenly turn into vicious zompires! While the guys with the hookers are mostly screwed, the other guys can fight back, because they've got firepower. Doug and Travis take out heaps of the zompires with boomsticks, then Martin Kove has some fun dialogue, followed by a one-liner-Kove: "The first one's always free, but the second's one's gonna cost ya." Doug: "Keep the change!"

What's left of the gang escape from the bar with a human woman (Adrianne Palicki) who says she was kept alive to look for medallions, and the last surving prisoner upstairs kills the zompire hooker and jumps out the window, breaking his leg.

The gang take refuge in an abandoned building, and from it they see the guy with the broken leg hobble towards them. He nearly reaches them until Billy Drago sweeps by on horseback and decapitates him. The gang splits up to investigate the building they're in, with Travis and Lacey going upstairs. They go into a room and find the guy who abandoned the group earlier, alive and well. He shows them a vampire hooker that he killed and then a golden cross that he found. But then he makes the mistake of saying, 'that's not all I found', and he's immediately killed by the vampire, who comes back to life for no reason other than that the screenwriter probably couldn't be bothered to write what else the guy had found.

Travis, Lacey and Adrianne Palicki escape the room and go to a garage in another building and they find a motorbike. Their excitement is short-lived when Billy Drago and his goons corner them. Adrianne has betrayed Travis and Lacey to Drago, but when they don't have the medallions on them like Adrienne said, she's killed by a boob-slash from Drago. Before they can be killed, Travis and Lacey escape.

The gang all get together again and head for a church. In it is a massive stone tablet, which glows for a bit, then they push it open, revealing a ladder leading into the ground. Down in this pit is the worst horror of all!... ...well, it's kung-fu mummies actually, but I guess they can be called the greatest horror of all if guns don't kill them, unlike the three-quarters of the town's undead population that are killed. And if there was ever a way to make mummies threatening again after The Monster Squad, giving them kung-fu powers and the ability to fly was definitely the way to go!

7 Mummies isn't a good film, but is is a lot of fun, from the laughing (which Danny Trejo gets more of at the end) to the vampire hookers, the hilarious 19th century boob-jobs, a horse-motorbike chase scene, Billy Drago's crazy ramblings and of course, the karate mummies!

The film does have pacing issues though, the treks through the desert feel long and the middle of the film feels longer, in part due to the lighting, and lots of stumbling around in the dark. And as well as the lighting being too dark to see what's on screen some of the time, the characters are never given anything to do other than exist-they're just there. Billy Wirth plays a good-guy-prisoner, and Lacey is his love interest, that's all the character we get from the movie.

The acting is pretty dull overall, save for Danny Trejo and his exposition-cameo (and laughing), Billy Drago, whose overacting know's no bounds!, and Martin Kove, who only be's villainous for about twenty seconds before getting gunned down, but it's a fun enough twenty seconds. Billy Wirth and Cerina Vincent barely have twenty lines between them during the whole movie-Adrianne Palicki has a quarter of the screen-time as Wirth and Vincent, yet still has heaps more lines. The story is also a muddled mess!

So that's 7 Mummies, if you're in the mood for a fun horror movie, or you're lamenting the loss of mummies as a horror film villain, give it a watch, it's worth it.

Hahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah-oh, word of warning, watching 7 Mummies will cause constant and random bouts of laughter!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bloodsport 4 (1999)

The original Bloodsport was the real career starter of Jean-Claude Van Damme, and was famous enough to warrant three sequels, all starring Swiss/American martial artist Daniel Bernhardt. Surprisingly Bloodsport 2 and 3 actually follow on from each other-4 however, doesn't.

Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite is about a police officer who goes undercover in a prison to investigate the mysterious rash of prisoner disappearances.

The film starts off with Sergeant John Keller (Bernhardt) at a Kumite tournament. Keller defeats his opponent, but refuses the crowd's shouts for him to kill. He chastises the audience for their bloodlust, then leaves with his partner, Blaire (Lisa Stothard). Watching him from atop the audience is the fight's organiser (and the film's main villain), Justin Caeser (Ivan Ivanov), who admires Keller's fighting skills and wants him as a fighter.

Keller and Blaire go to a nightclub that just happens to have been attacked by Schrek (Stefanos Miltsakakis), a serial killer who Keller has encountered before. Schrek has a female cop hostage at pen-point (death by pen is his M.O.). The cop begs Keller to take the shot, but Keller freezes and Schrek stabs her in the neck. Keller chases after Schrek and fights him until backup arrives and arrests Schrek.

Schrek's appearance at the club is a mystery, as he was recorded as having been executed a month ago. When Keller's boss, Captain Anderson (Jeff Moldovan) does some digging, he finds that Schrek was being transported and one of the transport van's tires blew and Schrek took advantage of the moment and killed all three guards and escaped. Anderson deduces thhat something fishy is going on at Fuego Penal, the prison that Schrek was 'executed' in, and decides to put Keller in there undercover.

Keller goes into Schrek's cell and starts beating him up for information, and two other cops come in and Keller 'shoots' them, then is 'apprehended' by Blaire. He is put on trial and given a life sentence at Fuego by the loudest judge ever! This actor has no idea what voice depth is!
"ORDER! ORDER IN THE COURT! This court finds you guilty, John Keller, for the aggravated and unprovoked murder of two LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS! I'm recommending a life sentence, without parole. You will be remanded to the MAXIMUM SECURITY PENITENTIARY, Fuego Penal!"

Keller is taken to Fuego and meets the Warden (Derek McGrath), a tubby sadist, and Files (Dennis La Valle), the head guard. Files is a leather nut who has a couple of great lines! ("Screw with me and by sweet sunny Jesus, I will use your prostates as goddamn trampolines!"-"Mind your manners, or I'll reach my fist so far up your asses I'll pull out your lungs!"). The Warden tells Keller that his prison only has one rule-there are no rules! Also inmates of the prison are Winston (Michael Krawic), a guy who 'can get things', Dr. Rosenbloom (Elvis Restaino), an insane guy who murdered his parents and likes to make paper flowers, and Billings (David Rowe), a guy who was arrested by Keller and has found religion, which makes him say 'Praise Jesus' every other minute when he's threatening Keller with his life. So far, you can totally see the resemblance this has to the first Bloodsport!

Blaire checks in on Keller, disguised as a nun. She ask him what he's found. He replies, "Nothing yet, however, the warden runs a small-time black-market cockfight". Oh, I see, Keller, you've found out nothing except for the information you've found out! Then Blaire does the same thing! She hasn't got any info herself, except for the fact that there's a U.S. Marshall mole in the prison. THAT IS SOMETHING, YOU STUPID BITCH! Keller is called into the warden's office and Warden offers Keller the chance to fight in his cockfight. Keller be's sarcastic with Warden, leading him to say this golden line! "I appreciate a good fighter, Keller, sarcasm from a shit-fuck cop-killer is something that I simply will not tolerate!".

Warden calls Caeser, who's swanking it up in his uber-groovy love-den with about a dozen gals. This would be a good time to mention that the actor playing Caeser is probably the worst actor in the film (and that is saying something!). He talks very woodenly, and he... ...talks like... ...this... ...dragging his... ...sentences out... long! Ceaser forbids Warden (if his actual name was mentioned in the film, I missed it) to kill Keller, as he wants him for his Kumite. Warden leaves and tries to act like he's scared out of his boots by Caeser, even walking right up to the camera and steaming it up!

Keller spars with a random prisoner and defeats him (after Warden says his 'rules' line again!), and when he doesn't kill him, the warden gets angry, Looney Tunes angry! Literally! He's like Yosemite Sam come to life! A little while later, Keller talks with Winston, having deduced that he's the mole. Winston thinks that his days are numbered, as the warden now knows that there's a mole in the prison, he just doesn't know who yet. Keller starts to train Winston in self-defence and the training session end up as a sparring match with Billings. Despite Billings' eagerness to turn Keller into pulp, he gets his ass kicked. A few days later, Winston warns Keller that the warden is going to get Keller with a sexy woman in a sound-wired room to try and see if he's genuine, and not undercover.

Keller is drugged and wakes up in a lavish room, on a bed with the sexy gal. They talk for a bit, and then they have sex...with their underwear on! Don't ask me how that's possible! While they do that, Warden is listening in, while eating popcorn! When that's done, Warden calls Caeser, who's dozen girls all slowly hand the phone down 'pass the parcel' style to Caeser. He tells Caeser that Keller is legitimately in prison, and not undercover. Caeser by the way, is the worst guy to have a telephone conversation with-he always sounds bored, he talks over Warden, and he constantly hangs up while Warden's still talking!

Things go wrong when Keller, along with Schrek, Winston, Billings and a few random inmates,  are sent for execution via lethal injection. They are all 'executed' and are covertly sent to Heavens Hill, to the palace where Caeser lives. In the meanwhile, Captain Anderson hears the bad news and breaks it to Blaire, who denies it and runs off. She goes to the prison again and is given a paper flower by Dr. Rosenbloom from Keller. She goes home and drinks away her sorrows, and she pours her wine over the flower, revealing the secret words 'Heavens Hill'.

Caeser introducts his new fighters to the art of Kumite, then starts the tournament for the blood-hungry audience. It's here where for one time, Caeser says a whole sentence in one go, and the first time he actually raises his voice above a whisper. Before the fight begins, the audience is treated to a (fun) pantomime opera. Then the games begin and Keller is in the fight for his life as Blaire races to Heavens Hill to save him...

This is not a good film, make no mistake about that! The acting is terrible allround, from main cast members, to brief extras. Daniel Bernhardt can't act very well, but that doesn't matter too much, because his talents lie in martial arts, which he's very good at. Ivan Ivanov is terrible as Justin Caeser, he sounds bored, he can't act or even emote, and he constantly drags out his sentences interminably! Simply put, he is NOT a threatening villain! And neither is Derek McGrath as the Looney Tunes caricature Warden, although he's a slightly better actor. Dennis La Valle however, is a fun and threatening villain, and he chews the scenery all the way through! Stefanos Miltsakakis as Schrek is decent, but barely talks and he does barely anything during the whole movie. Lisa Stothard is decent as Blaire and genre actor and stuntman Jeff Moldovan is good in his five-or-so minutes of screen time. Michael Kawic is good as Winston. Apparently the producers really liked him, because his character dies, yet still makes it through to the end of the film alive!-he get's shot, he's on the ground for about twenty minutes, then he's all hunky dory as he, Blair and Keller walk off into the Bulgarian sunset...

Speaking of Bulgaria, that's where this movie was shot, and it shows! This is meant to be set in America, which is a tough pill to swallow, given the Eastern architecture and snow palaces!

This film also has one of the worst choreographed action finales I've ever seen. At first, the movie just has ludicrously easy neck breakings, but when the finale rocks around, no-one could not laugh their ass off at how bad it is!

The movie's script is something special, from the above quotes, and this exchange-Schrek: "What's up, asshole."  Keller: "I thought you were dead, asshole!". No surprise, given that one of the film's writers is also one of the film's worst actors! And at the end, after jamming a pen in Schrek's ear, Keller says "I seem to have misplaced my pen"!

As a sequel to Bloodfist, The Dark Kumite is lying in the dust after having been TKO'd forty simeltaneous times by JCVD himself. As its own film, it's still terrible, but it's fun and entertaining, and that's really all one could ask for with direct-to-video films like this.

Bloodfist II (1990)

Yes, I'm reviewing Bloodfist II out of order, but it's not like it has anything to do with it's one prequel and seven sequels, so I get a free pass.

Bloodfist II sees the return of Don "The Dragon" Wilson as Jake Raye, the character he played in the first movie-but don't let that fool you into thinking that this is actually a continuation of the first Bloodfist, no, this one has a couple of continuity errors with its prequel, so feel free to just assume that Don's playing another kickboxer who just happens to be named Jake Raye.
The movie opens with Jake Raye in the middle of a match. He fights furiously against his opponent, who just won't go down. Eventually Jake kicks the man in the neck and TKO's him. While Jake is declared the winner, the stand-by doctors pronounce his opponent as dead. Jake, shaken, angrily throws away his award and vows never to fight again. We cut to several months later, and Jake is in bed with a hooker, and is woken up by a phone call. The caller is Jake's old friend Vinnie Petrolla (Maurice Smith). Vinnie is calling because he's in trouble with a seedy manager named Su (Joe Mari Avellana). Jake agrees to fly to Manila to help Vinnie out.

Jake arrives in Manila and is hounded by several taxi drivers. Jake picks the cheapest and asks him to go to the gym. The taxi driver takes him to the gym, or so he claims. As soon as Jake's out of the taxi, a random group of thugs attack him. Yeah, this movie reaffirms the well-known fact that all taxi-drivers are evil (although Don doesn't take a giant drill to this guy). He defeats them easily and jumps onto the fleeing taxi and knocks it into a wall. He questions the taxi driver, who knows nothing, then he gets real directions to the gym and steals the taxi to get there.

He arrives at the gym, and after kicking a punching ball of it's hold across the room, the other fighters talk to him. None of them know anything about Vinnie. Jake goes into the gym's back office and finds Dieter (Robert Marius), a sinister (well, he tries to be) German guy. Dieter summons a couple of thugs into the office and tries to shoot Jake, but Jake disarms him and beats the thugs down. He escapes the gym and is followed by more thugs. Also following him is Mariella (Rina Reyes), a woman from the gym who supposedly wants to help him out.

While Jake dispatches thugs along the way, Mariella leads him to an abandoned warehouse to hide out in. It's a trap however, and Dieter is there waiting with an army of henchmen (do you buy these guys or something?). Jake is drugged and he wakes up on a boat, with five other martial artists. The fighters-all manacled-talk about how they were captured and wonder what's happening, then they arrive on an island. Their leg shackles are undone by a guard, as 'the fighters are not to be damaged'.

The fighters are greeted by Su, who slashes the guard's head open for undoing the leg chains and stabs him (with a huge arterial burst!). He introduces the fighters to his private island, Paradise, then walks over to each fighter and says their fighting stats. Just as he finishes, one of the fighters breaks free and fights back against the henchmen. The rest of the fighters get free and defeat all of the guards present. Another truckload of henchmen comes however, and the fighters are all detained, except for Jake, who escapes into the ocean.

The fighters are all taken to a cell, and Su, who is revealed to be Mariella's father, has Vinnie-who's really on Su's side-whip her for being too kind to the prisoners. In the meanwhile, Jake is sneaking around on the island and knocking guards out. It takes about the fifth one he comes across before he gets the idea to put a guard's suit on to sneak into Su's headquarters. He knocks out a few guards inside and comes across Mariella. He's angry with her at first until he sees the whip scars on her back. She tells him of Vinnie's true involvement with Su and explains that Su's operation is to do with drugs.

Jake investigates the island more and he and Mariella listen in on a meeting Su has with a bunch of buyers. Su has a new steroid-created by Dieter-that is entirely undetectable by testing, and he has set up a gladiator contest to be held between the fighters and Su's steroid-enhanced men to test the drug out to the buyers. Jake and Mariella go off into another room and they...oh Don, you awesome man-whore! Nevermind that you're on a maniac's private island, henchmen are everywhere looking for you, and said maniac is in a room about five feet away discussing his evil plans, if you don't get get some nookie, the world'll explode, won't it!

Jake tries to free the other fighters, but he's fooled by Vinnie, who knocks him out with a plank of wood. Jake is taken with the rest of the fighters to the gladiator arena, where the fight of their lives awaits them...

Bloodfist II is great! Don "The Dragon" Wilson is fun as usual. His martial-arts are impresssive and his acting barely falters. Joe Mari Avellana makes for a good villain, and Rina Reyes can act, she's very pretty on the eyes, and she kicks more ass than Don when fighting with him!

The other actors are good, but not great. The ones playing the fighters overact to the hilt (and so does Don in one scene). John Marius as Dieter is ok, but not threatening and not very entertaining. The acting is at its worst with Maurice Smith as Vinnie-he's not good at all! Among the actors is Rick Hill, but not Deathstalker Rick Hill, just another guy with the same name (although the DVD doesn't know it and lists him as the other Rick Hill in the actor biographies).

The martial arts is well choreographed and the finale is one big action extravaganza! There is one massive downside though-one of the fighters inflicts a brutal, BRUTAL groin-punching! And in another scene, Mariella smashed two guards where it hurts with two huge weights!! Come on girl, they're evil but they don't deserve that!

Also, the film's ending is abrupt as hell! Don has kicked Su off a balcony, he goes down to Mariella and they and the fighters walk off into the sunset-The End! All in under a minute!

In closing, Bloodfist II is a must-watch for fans of goofy martial-arts/action and Don "The Dragon" Wilson.