"I take orders from the Octoboss."

The Super-Kumite, Round 2, Bout 1 Results

tn_Super-KumiteTHE SUPER-KUMITE continues to be a rewarding viewing experience. In this battle between TEAM BOLO and THE WOMEN I was able to see two fairly ridiculous movies, both loosely based on the BLOODFIST template, and by watching them in such proximity I’m really able to properly appreciate them as valid variations on an American-ish artform. So which will it be: the MBA who goes to Hong Kong and enters a tournament after his brother dies of a drug overdose, or the cop who goes to Manila and enters a tournament after her sister is killed for knowing too much about an assassination?

Let’s consider what we got here:

Both FEARLESS TIGER and ANGELFIST have the weakness of a tournament that is somewhat incidental. But ANGELFIST at least places it at the end of the movie as the location of the other climax, and the movie seems to care about the outcome of the fight, which FEARLESS TIGER strangely doesn’t. So ANGELFIST is better tournament-wise.

Both have pretty good older mentors (although neither with much screen time). FEARLESS TIGER’s is very traditional, a wise, elderly master (plus Bolo as bonus mentor). ANGELFIST’s is more cool and macho, with that awesome mustache. But part of what I like about him is the unspoken bond he seems to have with Kat, and then it turns out to be fake, so fuck that guy. FEARLESS TIGER wins in the mentor category.

FEARLESS TIGER has the more memorable villain. Not necessarily through anything in the script, but that Lazar Rockwood guy just has such a weird vibe. I definitely gotta give the movie credit for casting him. I glad to know about him.

Both are on the cheesy b-movie side, but I would say ANGELFIST is more competent filmatistically and moves along faster.

And ANGELFIST has by far the better protagonist. Merhi is I think a more legit martial artist than Sassoon, but lacks her screen charisma, and is playing a character who is immature and annoying. Sassoon’s character is arrogant in more of a funny Kurt Russell way and not in a self-centered little kid kind of way.

So it’s kinda close, but…


I gotta give this one to the ladies. Sorry Bolo. It wasn’t your fault. The Women will be moving to the finals, represented by a movie called BARE KNUCKLES (2010).



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6 Responses to “The Super-Kumite, Round 2, Bout 1 Results”

  1. flyingguillotine

    July 30th, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I love everything about this series of articles.

    I recall seeing one called SHOOTFIGHTER back in the day that I found pretty enjoyable. Is that in contention?

  2. SHOOTFIGHTER would’ve been Team Bolo, so it is now not in contention. But I do plan to watch it (and part 2) later on.

  3. I’ve been waiting for the second round anxiously. Great upset by the Women on team Bolo. It’s an awesome series of reviews that’s a lot of fun to read. Who knew there were so many unknown tournament movies… Good stuff!

    PS. Been rocking my Super Kumite T-Shirt at Fantasia and Cinema Excentris in Montreal. Good times!

  4. Loving these review vern!

    I just watched some YouTube footage of various Kumite’s. nice. It got me thinking: has there ever been a found footage martial arts film? Maybe a retired martial artist and camerman are filming a documentary of an underground fighting tournament and he gets dragged into competing and ultimately winning the tournament, before being double crossed and killed? Only the camera man escapes with the footage. The irony could be that the fights are filmed nice and clear, unlike the found footage shaky style used in Warrior…….

  5. At the start of the Super-Kumite, I don’t think the Women were even on my radar as potential finalists. I’m glad I was wrong. Just from the title, I know that the Bare Knuckles review will make for a great read.

    Also, the mention of Shootfighter in the comments made me wonder if you’ve considered having a sort of Bronze Medal match featuring 2 movies from teams that got eliminated.

  6. The original Paul

    August 1st, 2013 at 4:53 am

    Dayyyyyyyyyyum. Bolo’s out. Didn’t expect my dark horse to actually come through, but I guess that’s why it’s called a dark horse.

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