The Super-Kumite: Round 1, Bout 4 results

tn_Super-KumiteHere we have a hell of a matchup: two movies with serious b-movie credentials. Jalal Merhi vs. Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Canada’s Film One Productions vs. Roger Corman’s Concorde, late ’80s-barely-theatrical vs. mid-’90s-DTV, fist vs. talon. And both of them have Billy Blanks in the cast.



In the battle of the Blankses, BLOODFIST is victorious. The story is better constructed, finding plenty of non-athletic pursuits while still respecting its tournament. The ratio of legitimately-badass to unintentionally-funny is a little higher. The hero is more likable. I like that it uses the tournament movie formula effectively but also throws in an innovative twist or two (the traitorous mentor comes to mind). TALONS OF THE EAGLE only uses the tournament as a setup for a buddy cop/undercover story, and those cliches are not as re-usable, in my opinion. Not as mythic.

So the Red Fist Club will continue into round 2. But this was competitive. Don’t let the loss deter you from watching TALONS OF THE EAGLE, an unusual combination of usual ingredients.

Now that I’ve completed Round 1 of the Super-Kumite I’m going to take a break to catch up on review of other non-fighting tournament movies I’ve been watching lately. During this time you guys can help me out if you’ve seen any of these movies slotted for rounds 2 or 3. I think I fucked up and scheduled more non-tournament movies, for example after more reading it seems that BLOODFIST II ditches the Ta-Chang tournament for non-tournament matches. Am I right about that? Does BLOODFIST 2050 (or any of the others) have an actual tournament? Or do I need to substitute screenwriter Robert King’s other takes on the same idea, FULL CONTACT (1993) and DRAGON FIRE? But does DRAGON FIRE even have a tournament? And what about those Bolo movies, did somebody say those were gonna get disqualified?

I’m gonna hold off on the official brackets until I have this settled, but here are the remaining teams:


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9 Responses to “The Super-Kumite: Round 1, Bout 4 results”

  1. I think it’s interesting that despite Billy Blanks’ participation in the Super-Kumite, nobody ever even mentioned Tae-Bo.

  2. That’s a good point, CJ – it’s actually kind of inspiring that a guy stuck in low budget B-movies ends up becoming a household name/building an empire from using his martial arts expertise, making it accessible, and teaching it to the masses via exercise videos. I actually have a bunch of those Tae Bo videos and I love them, they’re just the right mix of challenging and do-able, it’s no surprise they’re as popular as they are. He’s a pretty charismatic host and his daughter Shellie is not hard on the eyes either. She acts basically as his right hand man/sidekick during the videos, I kinda wish she would dip into some acting herself, maybe a China O’Brien reboot.

  3. I feel like Team Blanks might’ve been victorious if you had watched TALONS OF THE EAGLE last. That freeze-frame ending is too perfect; it’s medically impossible to not be elatedly jazzed after seeing this

    But congratulations, Team Red Fist.

    I’m now pulling for Team The Women, by the way. They seem like both the underdogs and the favorites somehow.

  4. Bloodfist advances to my NetFlix queue!

  5. Or, to my Saved Queue, anyway.

  6. Bloodfist 2050 does have a tournament, at least at the end. It’s the first one since part one to do so. Part three does have some prison fighting, and is excellent despite not being an “Undisputed” sequel.

  7. After researching an impeccable source (http://mistermajestyk.blogspot.com/2010/02/as-you-may-recall-bloodfist-was-cookie.html) I can verify that there is indeed tournament-style combat in BLOODFIST II. An evil villain kidnaps a bunch of fighters and forces them to do battle in a ring. I believe that qualifies. It would be a shame to eliminate the Red Fist Club’s strongest competitor right when they have a chance to go all the way.

  8. I forget, why aren’t we including Van Damme’s THE QUEST? I legit liked that movie in the ’90s.

  9. Because it doesn’t really fit in any category, and Vern thinks he’s seen it already, if I’m not mistaken.

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