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.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bloodfist VII: Manhunt (1995)

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I could've sworn I'd reviewed this one way back when I first started the DTVC. I know I saw it on Spike, and back then, if I caught a film like this on Spike, I'd just write the review and see if I could Print Screen some images from the trailer. Those were some crazy days back in 2007. It feels like forever ago, huh? And apparently they were more crazy than I thought, because a few months ago I went to the archive to look at my Bloodfist VII review, only to discover, it didn't exist. Boy do I have egg on my face.

Bloodfist VII has our hero Don "The Dragon" Wilson back in his reoccurring/non-reoccurring role, this time as a drifter heading to Mexico when he bumps into Jillian McWhirter, who pulls the ol' "can we share a hotel room I'll wake up before you in the morning and steal your car and leave the keys to my Beamer" maneuver, which Wilson doesn't take too kindly too. He tracks her to a house in Hollywood, which has been ransacked, and in which he's ambushed by an off-duty cop, whom he kills. After a quick interrogation where he tells police captain Stephen Williams what happened, some other off-duty cops take him to a place to beat info out of him he doesn't have, he escapes, and the Bloodfist parts IV, V, VII, and VIII paradigm is on, where it's Wilson against the world, and he can't trust anyone as he tries to put the pieces together and clear his name.

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I actually really liked this one. It's 86-minute running time moved very quickly, and didn't have the usual downtime and awkward plot exposition scenes that hamper some of the other films in the series. Wilson was great, especially with the martial arts, and Stephen Williams was too amazing for words (though I'm going to try in a couple paragraphs). Don't get me wrong, this is pure DTV bad action, from the music, to the shimmying stuntmen getting sprayed with Uzi fire, to the Chess King fashions, but it's the kind of pure DTV bad action that works really well, especially in 2011.

This was the kind of movie that got Don "The Dragon" Wilson into the Hall of Fame. I mean, the film starts with Rick Dean at a biker bar acting like a sleazeball, just asking for D The D Dubs to smack him with the butt end of a pool cue. And from there, it's either Wilson fighting, or Wilson running from the cops in some great foot chase scenes. We don't need Wilson to act, we need him to fight, and that's what we got here, great Wilson action.

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The reason we don't need Wilson to act? That's right, Stephen Williams did all the acting we needed. I swear they wrote the character name "Marvosa" into the script just to hear Williams say it. I mean, the moment he steps on-screen, it's like he's saying "step aside children, Daddy's here", and from that moment, he owns it like it's his-- "this is my house, my lawn, my barbecue, and I'm willing to let you kids hang out, just as long as you know whose shit this all is." What a coup it must have been to get him in this movie, but we're all better for it.

There was a Neo-Geo sighting. There's a pic of it on the image page. I guess it was at the police station. I went with that for this paragraph over the Ian Jacklin sighting and Jillian McWhirter's hair-- which I have no idea what they were thinking with that, "hey, let's give a 30-year-old woman a 50-year-old haircut." I don't really remember the Neo-Geo. They had it at the local arcade, but I don't think I played it. Too much Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter I guess.

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Who's that dude rocking the Chess King/Color Me Badd outfit? It's Stephen Quadros, or as I like to say, The Poor Man's Kevin Bacon. There were some better pictures where he looked more like Kevin Bacon, like one of him wearing a welding mask, but I just loved the clothes here. This is an area where I like the 80s/90s movies better than today's that the modern movie can't really help. This shirt is the Ed Hardy busy T-shirt of 1995, and just because the older one has the charm of age on its side, doesn't mean it's any less egregious a fashion error. Maybe in ten years we'll see a dude in a punchfighting flick with a sleeve of tats and an Affliction T and we'll be like "they don't make clothes like they used to." Maybe we won't.

This is no longer on Netflix, but can be bought new at Amazon for as little as $3. Thing is, that's too expensive when you tack on the additional $3 in shipping. It does mean it could turn up in a bargain bin here or there, so keep an eye out. This is a total fun time.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112533/

11 comments:

  1. Excellent Review. The screengrabs you got are great. Love the one with the Neo-Geo arcade system in the background.

    Next week, we are finally going to watch the 1st 4 Bloodfist movies.

    Don "The Dragon" Wilson always delivers the silly action.

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  2. I know, I had to get the Neo-Geo on there. I've been meaning to do Bloodfist 2 for some time now, but can't find a copy cheap enough, but I've seen it, and it's pretty great-- an Enter the Dragon. The rest of them I have up. I think you'll have fun with them, especially Richard Roundtree in 3 and Gary Daniels in 4.

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  3. Love Neo-Geo. Wanted a Neo-Geo AES, the home system, but at $600 in 1992 with games _starting_ at $100 and going past $400 back then (there are $3000 games now) there was no chance.

    For anyone else in Australia, check your Go-Lo bargain bins as the entire Bloodfist series of 9 movies are available for RRP $2.

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  4. I thought I remembered the Neo-Geo home system being expensive like that, but I wasn't sure, and didn't want to start throwing erroneous numbers around. I think there were myths among my friends about someone knowing someone who was really rich who had it, but I never saw it.

    And good looking out on the set in Australia. I think Amazon sells a Region 2 set. That's Europe and Japan, right? Does that include Australia too?

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  5. Region 2 is the UK (not sure about Japan? They are NTSC like the US) and we are region 4. Many discs are both region 2 and 4 as we are the dominant PAL territories.

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  6. I looked it up on <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD_region_code>Wikipedia</a>. Japan is Region 2, along with almost all of Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), The Middle East. Egypt, and South Africa. I guess the region has more to do with pricing than NTSC/PAL formats. It's an interesting article.

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  7. Ahh yes, I remember playing the crap out of Neo-Geo back then. I thought it was pretty cool, but apparently not a lot of kids must've shared my sentiment.

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  8. Thing is most kids simply couldn't afford the Neo Geo, it's retail price was $650.00 and the games individually sold for 200 dollars each! Unless you're family was rich or won the lottery, you'd have to save for months just to buy the damn thing and then save some more just to buy one game! It's no surprise that the system was never popular was a massive price tag like that.

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  9. I don't remember why I didn't play the arcade console. It must've been Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. Other than Galaga, there's no game I played more than those two. I always liked games that gave me the most for my quarter, considering I didn't have much for an allowance.

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  10. And totally off topic, but I'm eating my words when it comes to the initial bad reactions I had to the Statham remake of 'The Mechanic'- it was utterly brilliant; one of the best movies I've seen this year!

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  11. Wow, I'll have to check it out then, that sounds good.

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