I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Pound of Flesh teaser

It sounds like this trailer is not officially complete or something like that, but it looks great. I knew this was the title of an upcoming Van Damme picture but did not realize it represented such an excellent variation on the you took my daughter/son/elephant type premise. Also it looks like a high level of fighting for modern JCVD and his first use of the splits in a long time.

You may also notice that the late Darren Shahlavi is in there. I’m not sure if he’s playing a bad guy or the bad guy. IMDb lists him second so I bet it is one of the leads and not a henchman.

The director is Ernie Barbarash, whose last movie was the enjoyable FALCON RISING with Michael Jai White. With Van Damme he has done ASSASSINATION GAMES and 6 BULLETS. Fight choreographer John Salvitti is a long time Donnie Yen collaborator going back to IN THE LINE OF DUTY 4 and up to last year’s KUNG FU JUNGLE. He even helped out on BLADE II.

UPDATE: The original trailer I posted was taken down by the producers. I’ve replaced it with the newly released official trailer, which doesn’t make it that clear that it’s about him trying to get his stolen kidney back, and doesn’t have the impressive splits-related money shot that was in the other one (even though it ends with the same scene). Seems like a weird marketing choice to me to try to stop anybody from seeing the trailer that makes it look good, but this will all be moot once we get to see the movie.

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 Friday, January 30th, 2015 at 10:43 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.

27 Responses to “Pound of Flesh teaser”

  1. he paper cut the guy in the eye?

    that’s… biblical

  2. I so hope that HE JUST WANTED HIS KIDNEY BACK will be the tagline.

  3. The Undefeated Gaul

    January 30th, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I believe he does have a noble, non-selfish reason for wanting his kidney back, but I kinda wish it was just about the principle of the thing. This looks like a ton of fun though, love the creativity in that bit with the car at the end.

  4. The Undefeated Gaul

    January 30th, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Also, the “Hey guys, you don’t look like tourists” line made me smile. Bless the guy for never getting even a little bit better at English in all his years as an actor.

  5. Vern, have you seen ENEMIES CLOSER yet? Van Dammes loony performance is something to behold.

  6. Why do you tease me Vern? Video was taken down.

  7. This link was still active as of 1:25 PM Central: http://youtu.be/x7NTyaRZE5M
    It looks good but I somehow doubt it will get more than a token theatrical release in a few major cities while casting a wider net on VOD. At least I hope it comes to my area like ENEMIES CLOSER, which I’ll echo Shoot’s praise for Van Damme’s performance.

  8. Yeah, I would have seen ENEMIES CLOSER a lot sooner if somebody had told me that Van Damme was playing an evil blond kickboxing vegan mountie.

  9. Thanks for the link Al. If you click the video in the story it says the video was taken down for copywrite reasons.

  10. Van Dammes character has a funny but also highly disturbing monologue in ENEMIES CLOSER in which he explains why he became a vegan. He grew up on a farm, befriending a goose which he also says in a creepy way; “I really LOVED that goose” which implies he might have had a sexual relationship with the animal at an early age.(ugh!)

  11. Someone needs to create a clever word or phrase that really nails JCVD’s amazing later day resurgence. We have the McConaissance, but there has to be a similar portmanteau for the Muscles from Brussels. I’m just not clever enough to come up with it.

  12. animalramirez1976

    February 1st, 2015 at 8:08 am

    The VanDamption.

    Anyway, I laughed out loud at the last part of this.

  13. I love the risks Van Damme has been taking with his hair lately. Stallone has had the same haircut since at least CLIFFHANGER but Van Damme isn’t afraid to go poofy if that’s what the role requires.

  14. And unlike Sly’s it isn’t glued to his scalp.

  15. They had me at “HIS KIDNEY WAS STOLEN”.

  16. Since the teaser has been taken down, and I didn’t get to see it, what was in it?

  17. Lately his hair has seemed like a hybrid of a Jersey Shore reject and megalomaniacal super villain.

  18. http://youtu.be/5qZe8_arBno
    Mike Leeder posted this link to a 10-minute EPK for POUND OF FLESH. It has some new footage but doesn’t seem to give too much away, and it has nice little interviews with the cast and crew.

  19. So has anybody seen it yet?

  20. Broddie – yes, I’ve seen it and I didn’t care much for it, sadly.
    I need to see it again, but after one viewing I came away thinking it was such a shame the film didn’t have fun with
    the central conceit, instead of approaching it all with utter po-facedness.

    It’s a slow, plodding flick, very little action, and almost everyone seems bored, including Van Damme.
    I say “almost” because the one cast member enjoying himself is the late, great Darren Shahlavi .

    Easily the best thing in it, and more evidence he was becoming someone pretty special on screen.

    Such a shame he left us so soon.

  21. karlos – That’s a real shame to hear for sure. I want to see someone els take on this premise and really go nuts with it.

  22. Broddie – Yup, that’s exactly wht I was hoping for, too. Instead it goes the wrong route and treats everything
    with grim seriousness. Everyone bar Shahalvi looks miserable for the whole duration.

  23. I saw it a couple of days ago, and I have to say that I didn’t really like it either. As with the couple of other people, I found it too serious and maudlin. I can forgive the cheapens and low-budget-ness, but there wasn’t nearly enough action to really satisfy me. In terms of action, it peaked rather early although the final fight between Darren Shahlavi and JCVD was pretty good. Personally, I found 6 Bullets and Assassination Games to be far more enjoyable, although they have the same washed-out visuals and serious tone.

  24. I’m catching up on a lot now that holiday break is here. So I just watched it back to back with ENEMIES CLOSER and it was like night and day. One has JCVD having a ball. Like a wiry Jack Nicholson performance. He’s wearing kick-ass military overcoat in the beginning and he’s sporting some Doc Brown hair. It’s a joy to see. Another cool quirk is that his real life son plays his right hand man so you know he probably is generally enjoying the experience all throughout. It was the kind of mega acting I expected to see from him in The Expendables 2. I think Nic Cage and John Travolta would have been proud. He play the type of villain that they excelled at.

    This one has a performance more similar to what he did in ex2. It’s very somber pretty introverted kinda dark and I enjoyed it. I guess my expectations were really low because so many people hated this movie but I really thought it was going to be much much worse. It’s not the best of the recent JCVD joints. Far from it but it’s also the best one he’s made with this director. So take that for what it’s worth.

    I don’t know I just liked the intent. As cliche as it all is with the brother and the old peer and the contrived love triangle backstory I thought it had some kind of heart in spite of some bad acting and all that stuff. That indeered me to it. It has the Canon Films spirit which you don’t see enough of anymore since DTV is becoming a bit more sophisticated and civilized these days. I loved Canon Films. Sometimes that is enough to bring me joy

  25. When will Vern review ENEMIES CLOSER dammit?!

  26. I would like to see a review too. It had some of that badass juxtaposition that always appeals to Vern. I mean JCVD’s villain was a vegan, was a drug dealer (who tend to live by the gun) that absolutely despised guns and once owned a goose. I wasn’t expecting that and it really helped sell the performance to me.

  27. Yeah, he really LOVED that goose didn´t he? Maybe a bit too much….It´s been awhile since I saw it, but it seemed that way

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