I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Van Damme is okay

vandamme-snakeYesterday it was reported that Jean-Claude Van Damme suffered a mild heart attack while in New Orleans filming for WEAPON, a movie where he’s co-starring with Scott Adkins. Van Damme is reportedly okay and has returned to Belgium. If you need any more reassurance, LIONHEART director Sheldon Lettich posted on thevandammefans.net and from what he says it sounds like it was a few days ago and he’s long since back to normal.

But of course you gotta worry about a guy with a physical job like that having those type of health issues, and I know many of us here are fans of Mr. Van Damme (who by the way turned 50 on Monday). Not only has he made many of our favorite cheeseball American martial arts movies (KICKBOXER, BLOODSPORT, HARD TARGET, etc.) but in my opinion he’s on a hell of a roll right now. First he had a surprisingly good dramatic performance in UNTIL DEATH, then his best (and most) martial arts in years in the Isaac-Florentine-disowned THE SHEPHERD: BORDER PATROL, then of course a big breakthrough with his best acting ever in JCVD and the best DTV movie to date UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION. And since then he’s directed THE EAGLE PATH so we’ll have to see how that turned out when it gets released.

So my hat is off to Mr. Van Damme for his hard work and I think I speak for all of us in wishing him good health. Take care of yourself bud and don’t do the splits too much.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 12:18 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

25 Responses to “Van Damme is okay”

  1. In total agreement Vern. Personally I thought Van Damme looked really TIRED in The Shepherd, but his fight
    scenes were very good. However Universal Soldier – Regeneration was a complete revelation. That whole,
    long take sequence as the camera follows him through that old building as he dices and slices – that could only
    work if Van Damme was committed 110%.

    Really looking forward to seeing Weapon, as much for Van Damme as for Scott Adkins.

  2. Damn… I’ve been going through the guy’s catalog recently, so I can appreciate JCVD more than ever right now. Maybe he should change the choreography of a few of his upcoming fight scenes to something like that one in LIONHEART where he drops the guy with one punch in the balls. Get well soon Mr. Damme

  3. From his official Facebook page:

    “Hours ago, I read a rumor online about me suffering heart attack!!
    Please, do not believe all what you read from rumors on any unofficial JCVD sites. Jean-Claude Van Damme is 100% healthy, training well for taking the fight and sending his fans & friends much love. — JCVD”

  4. The guy did a lot of snow over the years.

  5. The original Paul

    October 20th, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Well that’s horrible news that this happened to him, but good news that he’s recovering. What I hope though – and I mean this as a complete compliment to Van Damme – is that his career doesn’t suffer because of it.

    I’m a fan of some of his films, not so much of others, but I give JCVD huge credit for being a consummate entertainer. He’s done some of his best work recently (“JCVD” and “Universal Soldier: Regeneration” in particular) and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can surprise me with next.

    In other news, Patrick Swayze is dead. (Apparently this one’s real – for a while I thought it was another Internet hoax.) Bad news never comes one piece at a time, does it?

  6. I was shocked by this when i first read it. He is still in great shape, so i guess a heart attack can happen to anyone. Glad to hear he is feeling etter.

  7. Paul, Swayze has been dead for like a year now. But I guess you and that spambot on the Point Break review just heard so the pain is still fresh for you. I’m sorry for your loss. Tell the spambot if he just needs to talk or anything I’ll be there for him.

  8. The original Paul

    October 20th, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Majestyk – seriously? I just read the spambot thing, looked it up, and found Swayze was dead. It didn’t say WHEN.

    I’m sure the spambot appreciates your concern though. Of course, it’s smarter than me, so it would probably resent me talking “for” it…

  9. Hendrik> I think you can be as fit as a fiddle on the outside, but if you spent the nineties with a fierce cocaine habbit, its gonna do the old insides some damage somewhere down the line. I think cocaine covers the heart in scar tissue, which eventually fucks up.

    But if you had asked me yesterday, after looking at that picture of Seagal looking like Elvis, I would have called Seagal getting ill first.

  10. Mr Majestyk> Spambot counciling, thats sweet.

  11. The original Paul

    October 20th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Ace Mac – when Judgement Day comes, spambots may be the only things left on the planet. We should get used to treating them as people, and, eventually, as our rulers and masters.

  12. I think you guys are overlooking the fact that Mr. “Simon Miller” posted a quote from Van Damme off his Official Facebook page, saying that the whole heart attack thing was not true.

    Regardless, glad he’s ok. Like you’ve all been saying, he’s been doing some good work lately.

  13. I’m glad he’s fine, I was worried when I heard that yesterday. I hope he and Adkins get to do more than in The Shepherd in this WEAPON movie though. Can’t wait to see it.

  14. I am glad JCVD is OK. His movies were a big part of my youth and I glad that his career has had some what of a resurgence with JCVD and US3 (both are great films). I think he has a lot to offer as a preformer at this stage of his career, and I am excited to see anything he puts out.

    He is still in great shape but that doesn’t always mean you are healthy. His troubles with coke are no secret. I hope he is clean, healthy, and in a good place as person.

    Also, since everybody seems to enjoy a good list and in honer of his speedy recovery here is my top 5 Van Damme films.

    1. Bloodsport
    2. JCVD
    3. Universal Soldier Regeneration
    4. Lionheart
    5. Hard Target

  15. Vincento, Van Damme does not have a Twitter. Must be a fake.

  16. The original Paul

    October 21st, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Charles – good to see some “Bloodsport” recognition. I don’t think there’s any way I’d rate it above US:R, but that’s a good list you got there.

  17. I don’t get the US:R love. I enjoyed it as a watchable piece of DTV crap, but damn. Best DTV of the year? Ever? Hell no!

    I own Undisputed 2+3, Blood and Bone, The Tournament, and Ninja. I’d rank Ninja at the bottom of that list, but still higher then UniSol 8 or whatever the fuck number it is.

    I thoroughly agree DTV is making a huge upswing in quality and entertainment, but I’ll be goddammed if JCVD is ‘leading’ that movement. He always looks like he’s about to fall asleep. Or cry. I’ve never understood the love for Van Damme.

    Whatever gets ya off though.

  18. The original Paul

    October 21st, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    JSix – I think it was better than that, but heck, we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one I think. Of all the films I’ve seen on recommendation specifically from Vern, I think that one was the one I appreciated the most, because I would never have seen it otherwise. The performances from Van Damme and Lundgren in particular just blew my mind. I don’t think I’ve ever seen either of them be as good as they were in that film.

  19. The original Paul, US:R is good stuff, and in some ways it is superior to Bloodsport, but I can’t tell you how many times I watched Bloodsport growing up so I have a great deal of nostalgic affection for the film. It will always be the definitive JCVD movie to me.

  20. If Van Damme died today i wouldn’t give a damn. I never liked him, i never admired his actionman athleticism, i don’t like him as a person, i don’t like anything about him. If he died, i wouldn’t pretend i would be sorry and sad. I wouldn’t be an hypocrite. I think we should speak of people in death as if they were still alive.

  21. The original Paul

    October 22nd, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    AsimovLives – well, I agree with the last sentence at least. “I don’t like him as a person”? Did you even KNOW him as a person?

  22. An interview about the “heart attack” (it never happened).

    http://jcvd.freeforums.org/post6470.html?ref=nf#p6470

  23. Well, okay. Better tell Sheldon Lettich. I just hope he’s taking care of himself.

  24. That is the best picture ever you found for this update. Did they actually release that as a publicity still? I don’t imagine the studio could be that with it and embrace the awesomeness of it.

    FWIW:

    1) Universal Soldier
    2) Double Team
    3) Bloodsport
    4) Sudden Death
    5) US:R (really good. I’d put Ninja above it though)
    6) Kickboxer
    7)JCVD
    8) Street Fighter (soft spot)

    And I really hate Timecop. Really.

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