Newt Arnold‘s 1988 classic, Bloodsport is one of those films I’ve seen way too many times. Even at the (somewhat) mature age of 31, I find myself quoting it liberally. And as you probably noticed I also enjoy phonetically spelling out JCVD’s shitty Belgian accent, exactly as it sounds: “tren me” for “train me,” “gopher” for “go for,” and “SAIYET!!” for “say it.” Let’s just say it’s made an impression, this over-the-top martial-arts romp straight from the heart of the cornball 80’s, with its horrible acting all mashed up with it’s Karate Kid-esque inspirational-ism (dig those jams, man!). As a child I thought it was cool for being cool and now I’m in love with it for being just plain ridiculous. So why am I recommending something so unrepentantly stinky? Because it’s great cheese, endlessly quotable and reliable. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Frank Dux, a proud American G.I. who’s determined to be the first Westerner to win the illegal fighting tournament known as the Kumite. But given that the U.S. Army frowns upon those that leave early, they release the hounds (among them a young Forest Whitaker a.k.a.Ghost Dog). Despite this, Frank pushes onward and upwards, determined to prove white boys can throw kicks too – taking on larger-than-life Bolo Yeung of Enter The Dragon as the evil Chong Li. Oh and there’s a love interest too – who of course questions his involvement in the shady Kumite – but don’t worry, he not only wins her over with a bout of Belgian lovemaking but in the process gives us a nude butt shot – as if to say “Kiss my ass mofos, I’ve got this down!” So will Frank have enough “fight to survive”? I’m warning you in advance, the music elevates the fight scenes to an almost unbearable level of bliss – like you’ve died and gone to macho JCVD heaven. Your testosterone will leap out of your veins as Van Damme split-kicks the crap out of his competition and dunks the Ghost Dog in the dirty Hong Kong waters. It’ll never touch the Shaw Bros for fight choreography, but from start to finish it’s a train wreck that keeps on giving.
Before there was Harry Knowles, before thousands of bloggers were clogging the web with opinions, there was Rick Trembles with his unique take on film review. I first came across his art more than 15 […]