Archive for the 'Kung-fu' Category

Apr

posted by Doktor | April 13, 2015 | 90's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Kung-fu, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Samurai Cop

Tagline: You Have the Right to Remain Silent … Dead Silent

Year: 1991          Runtime: 96 min

Director: Amir Shervan

Writer: Amir Shervan

Starring: Robert Z’Dar, Matt Hannon, Jannis Farley

Note: Samurai Cop is a tough movie, from a very rough time in American history—the 90s. This roughness manifests itself in some explicit language. It’s not drunken sailor level but enough to be offensive to innocent ears. We’re family friendly here at The Lost Highway and therefore have taken the liberty of substituting more appropriate language, [in brackets like this], to keep things PG.

On with the show.

First and foremost let me say Samurai Cop sets the bar for entertaining b-movies in a way not achieved since Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. Now, I know what you’re thinking, Doktor is nothing if not hyperbolic, and you’re right. This time I’m serious. Serious as waking up to find a pool of blood on your pillow. And you’re in the middle of downtown’s main square. And you’re stark naked. Yeah. Samurai Cop is that good. I mean bad. Whatever.

Here’s the one-sentence pitch: Miami Vice meets Miami Connection set in Los Angeles.

Not sure exactly what that means, where here’s the long and long of it:

[Warning: Because Samurai Cop is so AWE-some This Review is One TL;DR Spoiler]

The movie opens with a Katana gang strategy meeting. Nothing gets an audience excited like a gang working on their mission statement. It grounds the movie in the staleness of the everyday. Everyone can relate to the dreaded Monday Morning Meeting, right? Filmmakers would later learn that it’s gritty reality that really gets audiences’ juices flowing, but we’re talking 1991 here. Having guys who look like they were picked up at Stop n Go passing around a Mad Dog 20/20 discus how to grow their gang’s brand was edge-of-your-seat story-telling.

According to the minutes, the Katanas need to befriend other gangs, except the Japanese. It’s war on the Japanese. So says Fujiyama, Katana leader. It’s heart-breaking. Self-hating Japanese. They’re their own worst enemies.

First item on their agenda is have another meeting. This time with the Chinese. Fujiyama sends his best man, Z’Dar-san on this delicate diplomatic mission. Mr. Lee, the Chinese leader, decides is no good. Z’Dar-san and minions kill the fool. If the Katanas can’t have you as their friend, no one will.

But enough of that, jump cut to: our heroes, Samurai Joe and Frank the Black Guy. Samurai is a highly trained martial artist, fluent in Japanese, and has a man mane that makes first season Full House star John Stamos look like Sir Patrick Stewart. Frank is black.

They’re cops, i.e. a Value Brand X version Crockett and Tubbs, but less creepy. Frank brought Samurai to help bust the Katana gang. Or is it Samurai is there because he has some information on a Katana gang drug deal? It’s confusing. Regardless, Samurai is in from San Diego. Is that important? Not really. Samurai Cop is chocked full of not important exposition.

The drug deal is going down at the marina. Frank calls in helicopter support for production value, and to help tail the Katana’s blue van. And watch the boat in the marina. Luckily Whirlybird Wench Peggy is on duty. She has eyes that move independent of one another like a chameleon, which is great in this situation. Not so much at parties. At parties she just freaks people out. Because there’s some confusion about where the cocaine is, in the boat or in van, Frank wants her to watch the boat, Samurai the van.

Unfortunately everyone is inept, and they lose sight of both. And what’s really important in life. It’s a right proper cluster jam.

In the resulting confusion, the sale is made. This segues nicely into the need for a pathetic chase scene. Pathetic in that the footage is sped up to give the illusion the cars are moving faster than 10 mph. Moreover, the villians can’t hit Samurai and Frank’s car, with a shotgun, out the wide open back of the van, despite there being less than a car length between them. All the while Samurai’s coaching Frank, “Shoot. Shoot. Shoot him.” Add awesome coach to Samurai’s impressive skill set above because, sigh, it works.

Then the van comes to a soft stop by driving into a dirt pile and explodes. Because.

Having accomplished something, Samurai and Officer Peggy Harlot do celebration Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums.

Note: I’m not being misogynistic with the name calling. I’m trying to capture the Shervan’s portrayal of his female characters which is informed by his understanding of women which stopped when he was 13. Peggy is a one dimensional nymphomaniac wrapped in a sexual harassment joke. And she shows her ta-tas. Te he he!

Back at Katana HQ, Fujiyama is pissed. He orders Z’Dar-san to behead the captured Katana thug and place the head on his piano. That’ll show him. Or something.

At the hospital, the hood’s room is exactly next door to the dentist office. This raises a question: what kind of government funded halfway hospital is this? Anyway, Samurai and Frank want to question their suspect but can’t because his back was badly burned in the ‘splosion. Needless to say, his lips won’t work for a  couple months.

There’s some prepubescent flirting with a nurse after which Samurai instructs the guard to only allow doctors and nurses into room. So when Ginger, Z’Dar-san’s main squeeze and all around evil gal, comes disguised as a cleaning crew person to change the garbage, wheeling in a big, covered cart, she’s allowed right in. Some people are so weak minded not even Jedi Mind Tricks are necessary. A completely convincing decapitation ensues, which turns into a lame chase through the hospital. Z’Dar-san and Ginger escape through the back exit, which is an apartment complex. Add a farmer’s market, tax assistance, and furniture and tire sales to this hospital and you’d have a ghetto swap meet.

Enter Captain Oscar Grouch. Samurai and Frank get the business from their uptight commanding officer. “Grumble, grumble, grumble. Dead bodies piling up. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Loose cannon. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Yeah, like somebody stuck a big club up my [tail pipe] and it hurts. I’ve got to figure out a way to get it out of there.” Whoa! Not a proportionate escalation there, Captain.

Samurai and Frank extract themselves to follow up a lead at the Blue Lagoon. Fujiyama is meeting with his lawyer and seducing Chickie, the young, blonde daughter of the owner of the restaurant. There’s some apathetic looks and then Samurai erupts with a mind numbing speech about selling destruction to the children. He’s gonna put a stop to it by putting Fujiyama and the Katanas in the ground. To put a point on it he concludes with a little flirting with Chickie.

Oooo. Burn, Fujiyama. Burn!

Z’Dar-san’s doesn’t allow that insult to to pass quietly. He sends in the goons for some poorly choreographed slow-fighting with Samurai and Frank in the parking lot. One goon grabs a katana from a random Datsun, failing to understand this is a gun fight. Frank guns him down as a lesson. Samurai seizes the opportunity to add some more production value by severing another goon’s arm. Z’Dar-san, following the “Code of Silence,” kills all the fallen goons to keep them from talking.

Later, back at the Blue Lagoon, Samurai puts on the Old Spice charm. Lion Head, Girlie’s magical wall ornamentation is not impressed. Lion Head grants Girlie the power of chastity +3 against cheesy pickup lines. This allows her to make her saving throws verses Samurai’s charms. What’s more, she has to go to church, so…

Maybe next time, Samurai.

Before Samurai can even make it to the front door some punks stop him for more poorly choreographed slow-fighting. Samurai takes them out with a couple hi-ya chops. Steven Hawkins could’ve taken them, but a fight scene’s a fight scene, amirite? One punks runs, but after a stilted Horror Ingenue Trip and Fall, Samurai catches him. A twist of the arm and he’s wagging his tongue prettier than a $3 prostitute.

Samurai learns that Okamura, Fujiyama’s number 2, hired the assassins to kill him. If he and Frank catch Okamura they can bring down Fujiyama. Why can’t they do so for Z’Dar-san sending in the boys to kill them in the Blue Lagoon’s parking lot? Again, because.

At Okamura’s house Police Hooker Peggy throws herself at everyone present. Seriously, it’s anything that moves with her. This has nothing to do with anything of course, but it does pad out the runtime. Still, there’s a job to do, and no one has money for penicillin, so back to the action. Or whatever. Samurai and Frank bust in on Okamura’s Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. A pulse slowing chase scene develops, followed by some Kung Fool fighting. Just when we think Okamura is down, his ruse works allowing him to disarm Frank. And Samurai has to kill Okamura which sends them back to the drawing board.

Uhm. Hello! Z’Dar-san killed several people, and attempted murder of police officers.

Cut to a second Katana meeting. The topic this time is their police problem. They can’t kill the cops, that would obviously be connected to them. Solution: call in the New York bruisers to break Samurai and Frank’s legs. Why this is less likely to be traced back to them, when they haven’t been arrested for killing their own guys and attempted murder of police—

Okay, fine. You get it. There’s a huge plot hole. I’ll move on. I’m just saying. Doesn’t anyone pay attention?

The next scene is a real head scratcher. Samurai is at movie studio, specifically in the editing room. Not surprising there’s no explanation. No context. Nothing. My guess is Samurai’s watching dailies of the film so far. Enter the New York Bruisers. Cue another gimpy fight. The bruisers, like their LA couterparts, are terrible shots, even up close with shotguns. This is laughable because Samurai moves slower than trying to pass a bowel movement composed of six pounds of steak.

But enough of that, the movie needs some lurvin’. Cut to Z’Dar-san and Ginger doing Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. If Okamura can get some strange why not number one Z’Dar-san? Sadly, like Okamura’s, his is interrupted. By a call from the boss. No time for tomfoolery. Fujiyama’s mullet may suggest there’s a party going on, but he is all bidness.

Now we’re at the Episcopal Church. Remember, Girlie couldn’t go on a date because she had church. Well, ever the smooth operator, and knowing Lions Head won’t be there to negatively affect his vibrations, Samurai catches her on the way out to her car. He uses the old, “I’ve got some police questions for you. They’re over here in my windowless van.” line.

Hook. Line. Sinker.

Fujiyama’s man, who was there to pull the same ambush, witnesses the whole affair and runs home to tell on Samurai. All bets are off. Fujiyama wants Samurai dead.

At Samurai’s house we learn what Shervan considers a little romantic lunch: a stolen neighbor’s pet chicken, killed, de-feathered, and fried, a bag of wine, and some wax fruit. This starts a Samarai’s Gonna Get Some and The Bad Guys Are Closing In montage:

  • Z’Dar-san and hoodlums start at Sargent One-Line’s house to get Samurai’s address. No good. They kill Sargent One-Line and his wife. Z’Dar-san and gang split into two teams. One for Frank. The other for Pegboard Peggy.
  • Meanwhile, hot speedo action on the beach with Samurai and Girlie.
  • Hoodlums at Franks threaten to cut off his “black gift”. Frank’s too smooth for all that jive. Besides, someone’s got to warn Samurai.
  • Meanwhile, swimming in Samurai’s pool. Girlie shows her diving skills that lost her last place in the Special Olympics 1990. Awe-struck, Samurai doesn’t hear his phone ringing.
  • At Doozy Floozy’s, Trollop Peggy is frying up some ice cubes. She thwarts the hoodlums initial attacks on her. Goes for her gun, but they overpower her. They hold her down while Z’Dar-san pours hot grease on her bathing suit area. Knowing the Humped Strumpet’s proclivities, a deep-fried bologna curtain is worse than death, so he leaves her alive. Mostly. If you call a fried Pacman living.
  • Meanwhile, Samurai sings happy birthday to Girlie in his speedo. Ugh. I don’t know which is worse, the singing or the speedo. (Be warned, seeing both will burn the accursed images into your mind. FOREVER!) This sets things up for Samurai’s second helping of Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums. Frank is good enough to wait postcoitus to call back.

Z’Dar-san and hoodlums show up just as Frank warns Samurai. Samurai and Girlie try to escape out the back window, only to be chased around the house Yakety Sax style. When all looks lost, Samurai gets the bright idea to go back inside, wait a moment, and then leave out the front. Samurai’s sweet Honda is in the driveway. Duh! They jump in and zoom off to safety.

Samurai drops Girlie off at the Blue Lagoon. Girlie’s mom has been worried sick about her. Girlie always comes straight home after church. And Mr. Fujiyama has been looking for her. How careless of Girlie. What about all the things Fujiyama’s done to help them out. But Girlie doesn’t care, the ungrateful jezebel. She’s in LURV. With Samurai!

Fujiyama was behind the door. He overheard. Duhn Duhn Duhn!

Samurai and Frank return to Captain Oscar Grouch for a final counsel. “Grumble, grumble, grumble. Lose my job. Grumble, grumble, grumble. Breathing down my neck. Grumble, grumble grumble. All I care about is getting Fujiyama. Go on a killing spree. Burn his house into a blood bath. When it’s done we’ll all turn in our badges.”

Wait. What? Seriously?

At Fujiyama’s. Seriously. Can you guess what happens? Can’t shoot gun fight. Where does Fujiyama find these guys? As a last defense, Fujiyama uses Girlie as human shield. Samurai and Frank disarm and Fujiyama shoots Frank. He villain monologues before shooting Samurai, which gives Frank time to get his gun and shoot Fujiyama first.

But wait a minute. He shot Frank. We saw him fall. Well, yes and no. Sadly, this is the only time a bad guy’s bullet hits the mark, but, wait for it, Frank was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Insert Price Is Right Fail Dramatic Sting.

Finally, the final boss fight. Z’Dar-san vs Samurai. Z’Dar-san drives up in his Suzuki Samurai. Shervan just couldn’t help himself. There’s a long, dark walk of shame as Samurai and Z’Dar-san show off their Star Wars Kid style, that is, they flail their katanas around destroying the landscaping and a passing pigeon. Samurai wins, natch. As Samurai is about to finish Z’Dar-san off Frank stops him. “No, Samurai. Your a cop.”

‘Cos killing him would be wrong. Never mind the sponsored killing spree you were both just partaking of.

One final Sexy Sexy Speedo moment with Samurai and Girlie before fading to black.

This movie is the quintessential “so bad it’s good” movie. It is a must see for any MYSTie type, and will even go over well with those who are not necessarily fans of b-movies. I cannot stress it hard enough that you run to your favorite DVD seller and get your copy. AND, better still, according to Cinema Epoch, Samurai Cop is going on the Midnight Movie Circuit, so look for it in an art house theater near, or far, from you starting May 31, 2015.

roadside attractions

  • Hear! Samurai’s fluent Japanese when he translates words like Katana (“It means Japanese sword”)!
  • See! The unbelievable mansion, on the beach, in Los Angeles, that Samurai is renting while working on the Katana gang case. Consulting gigs are SUH-weet!
  • Thrill! At Good-to-Go Peggy’s magic drawer. At first it only contains an automatic pistol. Jump cut and it’s full of miscellaneous debris. Jump cut and she’s pulling out an old-time western revolver. David Copperfielderific!
  • Experience! The lack of continuity (AGAIN) in the final battle scene as Samurai’s gun changes from an automatic to a revolver to an automatic!
  • Feel! The stomach churning passion of hideous men doing Hootchie-Kootchie Lick-em Yum-Yums on actresses who didn’t sign up for this [puppy]!
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

This movie is slathered in the old Louisiana Hot Sauce!

10

blood

BREASTS

The men are hi-deous. The womerns de-lovely and de-licious!

10

beast

BEASTS

Robert Z’Dar!

10 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the trailer for “Samurai Cop”

trailers

dripper
Aug

Comments Off on Bloodsport

blood sport
Bloodsport (1988) is an interesting bit o’ film, as it is a better Street Fighter II flick than Street Fighter, which shares a star in Jean-Claude Van Damme. Bloodsport, unlike Street Fighter, actually features a fightin’ tourney, full of half-naked, sweaty dudes. Sure, Street Fighter has its share of half-naked sweaty dudes, but they ain’t fighting in a tournament.

If’n it’s fighters going toe to toe and working their way through a crazier bracket than NCAA Basketball could ever hope for, Bbloodsport montage splitloodsport is yer flick. All your really need to know is Bloodsport stars action b-movie favorite, Jean-Claude Van Damme. I could stop there, really, but I won’t.

Van Damme plays Frank Dux, an American who takes part in the underground, and illegal, martial arts tournament called the Kumite (for the Communications majors out there, that’s koo-me-tay, not koo-MITE). An early highpoint of the film is a flashback, which happens in the first, thirty seconds, give or take. We’re treated to a kid playing a young Van Damme, which is all kinds of great. The flashback continues for what feels like 47 minutes, and shows Van Damme growing up and training in the art of Ninjutsu. Van Damme suffers through one of the best training montages of the 1980s, including a scene where he does, brace yerself fellas, a complete split. Yes, with his legs.

There’s plenty of punching, kicking, and yelling to go around. Bloodsport doesn’t really have any dull moments. If someone isn’t yelling, they are punchin’ and or kickin’. Bloodsport is basically a ‘gritty reboot’ of Karate Kid if’n it was directed by guy who made Commando.

bloodsport splits

Revenge of the Nerds fans take note: Donald ‘Ogre’ Gibb plays Van Damme’s burly buddy. He’s a lovable pit fighter, which is the best kind, really. On the other side of the fighter spectrum is baddie Chong Li, played by the unmistakable Bolo Yeung (who plays a similar role in Enter the Dragon). You may not remember the name, but Yeung is one of those ‘Oh, THAT guy’ actors. And really, if Van Damme ain’t reason enough for you to take a gander at Bloodsport, Bolo Yeung as Chong Li sure as whiskey-fire is—even just to hear him say the classic line, “You break my record, now I break YOU!”

Tiger says, Bloodsport is a must watch for any martial arts movie fan. And for fans of watching guys act uncomfortable when Van Damme does the splits.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Complete Splits
  • Crotch Punches
  • Walled Cities
  • Arcade Game Showdown
  • Yelling
  • Screaming
  • Death Punch
  • Breaking Bricks
  • Man Boobs
  • Ninja Training
  • Van Damme Butt Shot
  • Blood
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

BLOOD is in the title!

4

blood

BREASTS

Plenty of man boob to go around.

10

beast

BEASTS

Chong Li, and the rest of the fighters, are pretty dang crazy.

8 OVERALL
dripper
Jun

Comments Off on Hard Target

hard target snake eating

Take Road House, mix with Hard Boiled, add a ladle of gumbo, and you pretty much have 1993’s mullet-tastic Hard Target. Starring the ‘Muscles from Brussels’ himself, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Hard Target is 97 minutes of Cajun-flavored insanity.

But, unlike my twin brother we don’t talk about, this is the good kind of insanity.

Hard Target is a John Woo film, so toss all concepts of reality and physics out the window. Which is fine. The action in Hard Target is so insane, it touches on brilliance. Like most Woo films, there is plenty of gunplay—but there is also upside down gunplay. Yes, Van Damme fires a handgun upside down at one point. It is jaw-droppingly crazy.

Let’s rewind a bit though. Hard Target is a ‘man hunts man for sport’ story, or to be more specific, ‘the rich hunt the poor and homeless for sport.’ It makes one wonder why they don’t reboot this for today, ’cause I’m sure the 1% would eat this up like caviar at a yacht club ho-down.

hard target motorcycle

Representing the poor and the homeless is Van Damme, as Cajun street fightin’ man, Chance. So named because ‘his mama took one.’ The hunters are Lance Hendrickson, the guy who played The Mummy in The Mummy, and a bunch of other toughs, including frequent Arnold Schwarzenegger foil, Sven Thorsen.

While there is plenty of gunplay, including a few crazy guns (even one what shoots arrows), Van Damme’s martial arts skills are given loads of screen time. In fact, one could play a drinking game based on Van Damme knocking cigarettes out of mouths and sunglasses off of faces.

There are three shining jewels in Hard Target, which make it worth a watch alone. First, Van Damme’s mullet. It is the stuff of legends. If you looked up ‘Kentucky Waterfall‘ in the hair dictionary, there would be a screen capture of Hard Target. Second, the infamous ‘snake-punching’ scene. Van Damme shows he has a way with nature—by beating the ever-living crap out of a snake puppet. The cherry on top is Van Damme doing the bayou version of St. Patrick, and biting off the snake’s rattle (Van Damme has his reasons).

brimley hard target

The last jewel in Hard Target‘s triple crown is Wilfred Brimley. Yes. Mr. Oatmeal plays Van Damme’s moonshiner, swamp dwelling uncle—complete with a Cajun accent. I like to think Brimley was the inspiration for Katniss in The Hunger Games, because he is an ace with the bow, and if you squint real hard, he kinda looks like [what’s her face].

An’ don’t go thinking Hard Target is all snake-punching and fancy kickin’ neither. There is plenty of motorcycle action too—mostly EXPLODING motorcycles (it is a John Woo movie after all), the best of which is the scene where Van Damme STANDS UP on a moving motorcycle to shoot bad guys.

If you have an itch for an over-the-top, physics ignoring action film, then Hard Target is the scratch you need. Tiger says, Hard Target is a must watch.


Tiger Sixon is forced to watch B-movies from the comfort of a secret government base in Death Valley. He looks nothing at all like Daniel J. Hogan (@danieljhogan) who draws the comic Clattertron.

roadside attractions

  • Arrow Guns
  • Upside Down Guns
  • Snake Punching
  • Snake Biting
  • Kicked Off Sunglasses
  • Crazy Guns
  • Hands Free Motorcycles
  • Cajun Moonshiners
  • Creepy Parade Floats
  • Kicking
  • Mullets
  • Exploding Motorcycles
totals

10

blood

BLOOD

People get shot, kicked, stabbed, blown up, and bit by snakes.

2

blood

BREASTS

You see a pair on an ad for an adult business. That’s it.

9

beast

BEASTS

Van Damme and those hunting him count as beasts, because why not?

7 OVERALL
dripper

Now here’s a helpful b-movie survival tip from Hard Target!

trailers

dripper
May

Comments Off on Sins of the Dragon

Usually I get swamped with short horror films, gore-fests and Troma wannabe’s and most recently, Asian erotic thrillers (don’t get me wrong, these are good things and I love stuff like that). Then out of nowhere, I received something a little different: A martial arts film that wasn’t a Godfrey Ho cut and paste movie or a Bruce-sploitation flick. So I got curious and checked out the trailer for a little short indy flick called Sins of the Dragon and let me tell you something… I was not expecting to see the awesomeness that I saw. (Editor’s note: I’m totally surprised to see that awesomeness is a word. That squiggly red line didn’t appear under it when I typed it)

Sins of the Dragon isn’t your straight forward martial arts flick. It’s also a fantasy film, so it doesn’t take place at any specific time in history or in the future. Hell, maybe not even this world. But where and when never come into question. Right from the get-go, they explain what you need to know: There are four separate territories and each is ruled by a dragon. Well, the dragon is actually a martial arts master that possesses superhuman abilities. So what do you think if, for example, someone decides they are going to kill the other dragons and gain their powers? They would rule the world, duh!

And it just so happens that someone is doing exactly that. He goes by the name Caligo and wears like this half Jason mask on the bottom half of his face. This is where the movie opens up at actually. We see Caligo fighting Master Sozen, who looks kinda like Raiden from Mortal Kombat (well, actually he is wearing the same hat, but to be honest, I forgot what those were called, so I knew you would be able to follow along if I made that reference). Caligo informs the Master Sozen, and the audience, that he has already killed two of the dragons and is about to make it three.

sotdSins of the Dragon does actually build up their characters and makes sympathetic. Cunri lives with an almost uncontrollable rage, due to his village being slaughtered by Caligo during his quest to kill the other dragons. Thus, it orphaned Cunri, but as fate would have it, he is trained by Master Shaw and met Kaia. See, not all bad, right? Lose your family, gain awesome martial arts skills. Even Steven?

All of this boils down to the final showdown between Cunri and Caligo, after he and Kaia are attacked and exhausted by a group of ninjas. Cunri must use all of his skill to defeat the now almost invincible Caligo. But what of Kaia? What about her fate? Everything rests on this battle!

You’ve probably been seeing the phrase ‘martial arts’ a bit in this review and you must be wondering, “Is there actually any martial arts and is it any good?” To answer it simply: Yes. Oh lord, yes. Sins of the Dragon has more impressive fight choreography than any other big budget movie in the past few years. It’s actually very impressive.

The plot itself is also quite impressive. The characters have an anime vibe to them; Cunri being the brooding protagonist with his smart-arse she-sidekick as they encounter a group of buffoonish thieves; one who is the ‘brain’, one who gets lost in his own metaphors and the third is the silent type all on a quest to stop an evil villain. Sins of the Dragon definitely sets up a fantasy world and invites you in without overwhelming you with complicated mythos or an overabundance of unnecessary back story. It also has its share of special effects that are pretty decent considering the budget and type of film it is, but it’s not what it’s about and you won’t be paying any attention to it once they start roundhouse kicking everyone. It’s an easy film to sit down, watch and enjoy some major butt kicking!

Running in at just under half an hour, everything is well developed and fleshed out, you’ll feel like you watched an episode of some new anime and you want to see what happens next to these characters and you want to see where they go. In a short amount of time, you do feel attached to these characters and at times, you’ll wish there was a more fortunate path for them.

Sins of the Dragon shouldn’t be missed, whether you are looking for a martial arts film or something with some fantasy, it shows how far you can go with a little imagination. Now, run away to Platypus Underground’s website to watch it (there is also an extended cut available)… before Caligo destroys you!

roadside attractions

  • -Ninja Overload!
  • -Ken Masters Stunt Double.
  • -Everyone really does want Kung-fu fighting.
  • -Half Jason/Half Vader
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Sprays, splatters and even a decapitation!.

5

blood

BREASTS

In its place, I offer you ninjas.

9

beast

BEASTS

Did I mention ninjas? Oh and an evil ninja?

7 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Sins of the Dragon”

trailers

dripper
Mar

posted by Doktor | March 11, 2012 | 70's movies, Action, B-movie Reviews, Kung-fu, Review by Doktor

Comments Off on Black Belt Jones 2: The Tattoo Connection

Tagline: Jim Kelly is back and tougher than ever!

Year: 1978      Runtime: 88 min

Director: Tso Nam Lee

Writer: Hsin Yi Chang (screenplay), Pai Sheng Lu (screenplay)

Starring: Jim Kelly, Sing Chen and Tao-liang Tan

How do you say “beat down” in Cantonese?

“Black Belt Jones!!”

Normally the extra exclamation point is superfluous, but this is Jim “Stomp a Mud Hole in You” Kelly. Not being gratuitous is criminal.

One might ask, “When would you need this phrase?” Because in Black Belt Jones 2: The Tattoo Connection some Hong Kong gangsters have stolen the North Pole Star diamond. Black Belt Jones’ twin fists, Punch & Punch, are on a mission to connect with some faces.

Now, Black Belt Jones would normally care less about such mess, but this time it’s personal. Oh, no, wait a minute. It’s not. He just happens to work for the insurance company that’s covering the diamond. Still, someone’s got to pay. His ire was raised by the chairman of the board’s impassioned plea:

CotB: “Mr. Lucas [i.e. Black Belt Jones], the board of directors have given their approval for you to take any action necessary for the recovery of the North Pole Star.”

BBJ: “I’ve been known to be called the black 6 million dollar man.”

What kind of response is that? One of a man so enraged that he can’t even make no sense. Without delay he’s on his way.

Side Note: Even though he speaks English, Black Belt Jones delivers his lines like the English dubbing. “I’ve been… known to be called… the black $6 million man.” The filmmakers didn’t want his dialogue to stand out  too much from the rest of the acting.

Because this film takes place in Hong Kong, one of the “not America” countries you hear about on the PBS,  you expect things to be  a little different, but these people are way out there. For instance, take Black Belt Jones’ first outing with his friend on the police force; they visit a local whore house. Good a place as any to start the search, as prostitution is run by gangsters and gangsters are who he’s looking for. Thing is, the Madam knows the cop by name, and the particular girl he fancies.

Whoa! Say what?!

Better still, Black Belt Jones orders up some women. He may be ready to kick ass, but there’s no need to rush.

A film can’t be blaxploitation without some racialistic hatred. It’s not just the white man that slings the Uncle Tom discrimination. Take this exchange, between Nana, the strip club’s hottest act and Black Belt Jones:

BBJ: “That’s one thing I really admire about you, Nana, your oriental nature. Shall we make friends?”

Nana: “Let me tell you, I don’t want to because I don’t know you, and because you are black.”

Damn, oriental cracker! We’re all pink and juicy on the inside.

But where Nana might not be racially sensitive, she is a brilliant logician. When she is trying to get her boyfriend, Tin-hao, the boss’s right-hand man, out of the gang, she argues, “What’s the difference between a beggar and a robber? One gets his money illegally, one does not.”

Valid. Sound. A perfect argument. Advantage, and point, Nana.

Speaking of the boss, Mr. Lu, he’s not a very nice man. The big boss usually isn’t. One evening his manly needs require attention, and he chooses Nana. Problem is, she’s Tin-hao’s girl. Even though she’s turned away his advances before, this time no means yes.

So, she starts crying and… there’s tender music playing. Huh?! I was completely confused. Then, as Mr. Lu connects, there are sounds of race cars racing and flashes of a still picture of the Marlboro F-1 car. Huh!? I know that cigarettes are bad for you, deadly even, and racing is dangerous, but I don’t think either ever raped anyone? Although, truth be told, when I sat on the Marlboro Man’s lap one Xmas, he did rest his hand on my thigh for an uncomfortable amount of time, but that’s something totally different.

Tin-hao hands out relentless beatings worse than those received by a 16 year old’s wee-wee. Yet, he’s got a soft heart. After his girlfriend is raped, his heart starts to harden, particularly towards Mr. Lu. This sets up the final boss fight scene, Mr. Lu vs Tin-hao and Black Belt Jones. I’ll not spoil the explosive ending, but I will say that Tin-hao promises that when he’s out of jail, in a year and a half (life is very cheap in Hong Kong), he’s going to the States to hang with his new best friend, Black Belt Jones.

In closing I’d be remiss if I failed to give you one bit of warning: there is so much polyester my nipples got sympathy chafing just watching it. Before you fire up this movie, slather on a dollop of Vaseline, runner’s nipples is no joke.

roadside attractions

  • Pastel Credits to Stroke Out To
  • Bolo Yeung Crooning
  • The World Standard for AWE-some Fro
  • Kung Fu
  • Groin Hit Combo Breaker
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

They went light on the Louisiana Hot Sauce Blurd™, but there was plenty of internal hemmoraging from the beat downs.

7

blood

BREASTS

At least three different scenes with bare breasts to carry the film through the non-fighting parts.

10

beast

BEASTS

Bolo Yeung, ’nuff said!

8.3 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Black Belt Jones 2: The Tattoo Connection”

trailers

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About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>



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