Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Top 5 Shitty Martial Arts Movies Starring White People

As a avid lover of the chop-socky genre, I appreciate an actually good quality martial arts movie.  Then again, I am also a lover of the shitty turd film genre so I LOVE a good cultural appropriation white person in martial arts film fail a little bit more sometimes.  Whether you are or are not familiar with the genre, to sum it up, these films usually involve a white dude raised by lone old wise Asian man taught in the ways of ambiguous martial arts, the teachings and technique of which the filmmakers often take a lot of liberties with.  Then the aforementioned man with a name that sounds like a nick name for a penis will join a police force or the military only to have his unknown martial arts skills rear their head just in time for friends, enemies and big-tittied lady girls to take notice.  Then shit explodes, shirts come off and our hero round houses his way into our hearts and our already moistened vaginas.  The end.  Here is a list of my top 5 favorite movies in this genre, unfortunately excluding two of my very favorites just because I've already reviewed them in other ways (you can read about High Kicks here and Ninja III: The Domination here and you should).

5.  Day of the Panther (1988)

Not only is this film a martial arts vehicle with a white dude as the star, but it's set in Australia!  Edward John Stazack plays Jason Blade, a martial arts expert trained in China by the secret martial arts group (and no, their "martial art" is never fully identified) the Panthers.  He, his fellow Panther member and partner in something, a "beautiful" blond named Linda (played by Linda Megier), are sent on a secret mission to Perth, Australia to stop an evil drug lord and fellow martial arts expert ZukorLinda is killed while taking photographs of the drug operation and both Jason and other fellow Panther, Linda's (uncle?father?) vow to take revenge, sort of.  They're not too pissed about it actually.  The rest of the film involves Jason taking on Zukor and his many henchmen (and also "getting" on Linda's still alive and cuter cousin, Gemma (Paris Jefferson).  There is a final showdown with no conclusion because the whole thing ends on a cliff hanger.  Why do you ask?  To answer that question, read on to Fists of Blood!

4.  Fists of Blood (1987)
Here's where shit gets weird.  Fists of Blood is supposed to be the sequel to Day of the Panther even though it was released a year before.  It begins with scenes pulled from Day of the Panther in flashback sequences with narration.  In fact, over half of Fists is Day of the Panther.  They also try to establish in Fists that Jason and Linda were a couple, reason being he is attempting to seek revenge against Zukor because he killed his girlfriend, but if you actually watch DOTP, there doesn't seem to be a romantic relationship between them at all.  This is actually good to know, because if you only watch Fists, you might think Jason is a total douchebag for screwing his dead girlfriend's young cousin so soon after her death.  Although, he probably is an asshole regardless with a name like Jason BladeFists has a more somber tone than DOTP, kind of like Empire Strikes Back in that way.  Linda's uncle/father is hit by a car and barely survives, Gemma is eventually kidnapped by Zukor's men and Jason must go to their drug compound and save her.  Don't worry though, just when Jason's chips are down, good old Linda's uncle/father is able to motivate him using telepathic cheerleading from his hospital bed.  The highlight of Fists is when Jason takes on a mission from someone to rescue their daughter who was kidnapped and is hooking at a brothel somewhere in order to feed the drug habit the kidnappers forced on her.  What?  It happens.  Jason busts in this stately house filled with naked ladies and senators and takes pimps and hos down one by one with karate or another martial art of some kind.  The girl he saves even uses some S&M hooker's whip against her as a weapon.  Both of these films are great, although Fists holds a special place in my vagina heart.  One of the few times a VHS box delivers on the cool shit it's advertising.  Look at that video cover!  Fuck yeah!       

3.  American Ninja (1985)

American Ninja, made in sunny 1985 and directed by Ninja III: The Domination and the Breakin' films director, Sam Firstenberg, stars non-martial arts expert and pretty boy actor Michael DudikoffDudikoff plays Joe Armstrong, a troubled young drifter who suffers from amnesia, gets in a lot of trouble and happens to be trained in the deadly martial arts.  After getting arrested, again, the judge gives Joe the option of enlisting in the army or going to prison.  He chooses good old Uncle Sam, of the iconic variety, not the prison nick name.  While being stationed in the Philippines, a convoy he is in, along with the Colonel's totally fuckable daughter, is ambushed by a band of evil ninja thugs from a local drug ring.  Joe decides to fight back to save the girl and in the process all of his fellow soldiers are killed.  He returns to base with the girl, but is only met with bullshit from all the higher ups for fighting with the gang and possibly inciting them to kill everyone in his platoon.  Eventually he wins back respect after getting into a fight with a high ranking officer whom he impresses with his caucasoid ninja skills.  The evil ninja drug lord, boss of the thugs from earlier, wants Joe dead for interfering with their evil ninja plans and the movie climaxes with a ninja off as Joe infiltrates the drug compound to kill the drug lord, the men responsible for killing his fellow soldiers and to save the Colonel's daughter who has been kidnapped for a second time.  Dudikoff had no martial arts training when cast for this film and it shows.  He barely has any lines and pretty much just hangs out acting aloof and trying to smolder, but this is just one of many endearing qualities of this shit awful movie.  Also, a missile is thrown at a helicopter just as ninja Joe pulls the Colonel's daughter out of it.  Come on, I had you at "missile."  Check out the trailer below.

2.  Gymkata (1985)

Starring Kurt Thomas, a real life Olympic gymnast, Gymkata attempts to take the athleticism of gymnastics and pair it with the "excitement" of karate.  FAILThomas plays Jonathan Cabot, an (here's a stretch) Olympic gymnast who is hired by the SIA (Secret Intelligence Agency, totally real) to enter a secret tournament (where was the gymnast in Mortal Kombat?) known as "the Game" in a small (fake) city Parmistan somewhere in the "old country."  The game is pretty much this giant obstacle course that tests your endurance and strength while being chased by local ninjas and thankfully has plenty of pull up bars and chalk-powdered balance beams within it.  If you win "the game" you get to not die and are granted "one wish."  SIA is hoping Jonathan will win so he can wish for permission to set up a U.S. satellite tracking system thing so America can be more prepared for nuclear war from the commies.  I don't think I want to ruin this movie by continuing to give away any more plot points, it would just cheapen it, really.  What else do you need to be sure that this is one of the greatest white person in a martial arts movie premises you've ever heard?  Still not convinced?  Then check out the trailer below.  Pure gay gold! 

1.  Samurai Cop (1989)

Starring Robert "The Face" Z'Dar and an eventual porn star, Samurai Cop is not only one of the best of the worst white person in a martial arts movie, but it's one of the best of the worst all kind of movie of all time!  Ridiculously long-haired and tan Matt Hannon plays Joe Marshall, a cop who plays dirty and knows how to swing a sword (if you're picking up what I'm putting down).  Not only that stuff, but he is also trained in the "ways of the Samurai" as well as the ways of being an incredibly huge douche.  I'm not even sure where to begin with what this movie is about.  Basically Joe and his wise-cracking easy going partner are trying to take down a group of criminals run by a king pin whose number one henchman (Z'Dar) is trained "in the ways of the Samurai."  There are sped up footage fights, open talks of sex in hospitals, a black man who is threatened to have his "gift" cut off, horrible sets, awful lighting, shitty stunt doubles, obvious wigs on the long-haired hero and more!  The dialogue consists of nuggets of wisdom, such as this interaction between Joe and a fellow officer that he is boning.  She asks him to come by that night, but he can't so he says to her, "...Keep it warm for me."  What the fuck?  Joe parades around in black bikini underwear for much of the film and he has a lot of unnecessary slut sex, but eventually woos the good girl somehow.  This thing is so amazingly bad, it's definitely one of my favorite all time shitty movies in general.  For more examples of its pure beautiful shittiness, check out some clips below!

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