The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Monday, May 7, 2007

Bloodsport 2: The Next Kumite (1996)

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I found out as I was doing research for this film that it is in fact not direct to video. It grossed over $600,000 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112536/business). I wrestled with the dilemma of reviewing it anyway for over five minutes, before I just decided, what the hell.

Bloodsport 2: The Next Kumite is about Daniel Bernhardt as Alex Cardo (the same character as in Bloodsport 3, but not 4, even though all three are played by Bernhardt), a master thief sold down the river by his partner after stealing the late Pat Morita's katana. In prison, Bernhardt meets James Hong, who teaches him the Iron Hand after he sees him get his ass kicked by vicious prison guard Demon, played by Ong Soo Han. The point of Hong teaching Bernhardt is so he can fight in the kumite and win it for him. Some strings are pulled by Morita to get Bernhardt out so he can retrieve the sword: it's the grand prize in the kumite. The delightful "Tiny" Don Gibb, who got his ass kicked by Bolo Yeung in the first Bloodsport, returns to reprise the role no one really gave a shit about.

Bernhardt has to balance dealing for the sword from his old partner and winning the contest, and the whole thing almost blows up on him when he gets the sword, but is slashed in the ab by it to. Oh yeah, and his final opponent in the kumite is Demon, just 'cause.

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This film is ten shades of hilarious. Dialogue is strung together in this unnatural manner that gives one the impression of 8th grade theater. There's a great scene where Bernhardt starts a conversation with some guy who's a "Street Fighter", and the useless Tiny lectures him on not talking to the fellow fighters. Why, I have no idea, because they all end up being friends two scenes later. There's also a guy who fights Bernhardt, loses to him, then helps him win by being his corner man or something. Bernhardt's getting his ass kicked, and the guy yells "Do you want to beat him? Then attack him on his left side!" and Bernhardt's response is to slam his hands on the mat like he's just been told to go clean his room, even though he gets up and wins the fight.

James Hong makes it to the final battle, and he reminds Bernhardt when fighting Demon to use the Iron Hand. Also, a shaking water pail reminds him too. I'm just not sure you could make a spoof of fight films better than Bloodsport 2. I really didn't get why Bernhardt needed to have his ab slashed for the fight. I think beating Demon would've been enough for the audience. Making him win with a deep, potentially fatal, open wound is just pushing the audiences credulity-- even for bad action.

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But i think all that makes this ridiculous is what makes it endearing. As a viewer, it's great to see every cliche utilized to its utmost. When playing the bad action movie drinking game, a film like this really gets everyone wasted pretty quick. It's filled with great material to mock. If I were to make an action film, I'd borrow a lot from how this was made.

If you've seen either Bloodsport or the MST3K episode of Future War, this is well worth your time. You should be able to buy it for like $5. I've seen it listed on TV too, but not recently. This is also the perfect rental for a bad movie night. You really can't go wrong with it.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112536/

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