Monday, May 31, 2010

Blackbelt (1992) * * *

Cast:Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Matthias Hues, Dierdre Imershein, Richard Beymer

Directed by Charles Phillip Moore, Rick Jacobson

Matthias Hues and his imposing screen presence is the show in this violent cross between The Last Dragon and The Bodyguard as The Dragon is brought in to protect rising singer Shanna (Imershein) from killer kickboxer John Sweet (Hues) and mobsters who want her to sign an extension on her contract so they can make money of her. Blackbelt then is a pretty silly effort with only great villains and some amped up fight sequences to make it worth seeing. The story is certainly a mess as plot holes are a plenty. For instance the whole aspect of Mobster Beymer wanting to kill the Pop-star for the insurance as such would be at the most 80 thousand dollars, given the fact said singer has only just started to get big. Another aspect of the film is the pop star herself. The pop star is hands down one of the most slutty characters we’ve seen as she pretty much humps anything that moves,  in fact it's even hinted that she may have been with her engaged gal-pal.  (Maybe I just have a sick mind)  Honestly though I wouldn't put it past the pop star's character.  Indeed the way she tries to seduce the Dragon makes her come off as a hoe. I'm not saying Imershein is that way in real life but her character makes Kelly Bundy seem like a nun. Indeed she's also manipulative as well, as she has sex with her protector of course after telling The Dragon it’s over with her manager boyfriend, which clearly it isn’t which then starts fight between The Dragon and the Manager which one wonders if the pop star didn't do on purpose just for kicks.  Also she clearly jerks the Dragon around and is clearly with her manager until Hues intervenes. Obviously this pop star  became the pre-cursor to today's pop stars. Why she gets mad at The Dragon for cleaning out her ex’s clock (and in a clear case of  self defense.) isn't even explained.  Leading The Dragon to quit.  This stuff even if it isn't necessary make the movie more interesting than the usual Dragon bash fest.   Also among that  is a huge goof  which finds Hues cutting off his finger and then somehow magically growing such back for his big showdown with The Dragon, indeed we even see his finger grip a sword in the dojo climax. There are also some other things that don’t make sense, mainly why Matthias Hues’ motivation for stalking the pop star is because his mother was also a pop star who he had an incestuous affair with (?!) and the pop star in peril  was also molested by her father. What is most surprising about such is that none of this even ties into the plot as it really could be just a psychopath kickboxer with no back story and such would’ve been the same. Indeed this whole movie is just weird on so many levels, on how it has enough plot for three kickboxing movies ( at least 13 Don The Dragon Wilson movies) and yet I still enjoyed this. The production values aren’t too bad for a Corman kung fu epic and I liked seeing Richard Beymer and Matthias Hues tear up the scenery. The fight sequences are also the selling point and these happen frequently enough and are well staged so one never gets bored with the movie. Certainly Blackbelt features a messy plot and lead characters that are just plain bizarrely written, but this works in making Blackbelt more fun than most Dragon efforts and I also appreciated the upping of carnage as clearly this is probably The Dragon’s most blood thirsty movie to date. Movies like Blackbelt are worth seeing for fans of B.(ad) movies because it delivers what it promises and even more with chunks of unintentional hilarity. Blackbelt then is a must for kung fu fans and yes, this is head and shoulders above most of The Dragon’s efforts. I mean mainly for the cast, as where else are you gonna see The Dragon take on Tony from West Side Story. So yes it's a decent Don "The Dragon" Wilson movie. Take that anyway you want...


  1. What makes Hues so great in this film is the too sweet mullet he sports. Nothing like a fabulous Ape Drape, that's what I always say.

  2. I still think Don Niam's Butafuco inspired mullet was more epic. Sorry. Matthias Hues always sports such. Someone once told me that he was the white Bolo Yeung. Which I think is praise. If I had a villain hall of fame I would include Hues, as I would Bolo Yeung,Soon Tech Oh, Professor Toru Tanaka, Cary Tagawa, Al Leung and Michel Qissi are all some of the best in bad action. People would want Billy Drago and I might consider, because he was good in The Untouchables.

  3. There's also Stacy Keach, Richard Lynch, James Lew, Rick Yune and Andrew Divoff.