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Wednesday 28 March 2012

Burl reviews Fists of Blood! (1987)

Hullo, hullo, it’s Burl here to review some Australian action! Ha ha, in the land down under, is it true that roundhouse kicks are delivered counter-clockwise? Fists of Blood is the movie that might have the answer to that question for you!
Just as I did, you’ll probably figure out pretty quickly that this movie, the original title of which is Strike of the Panther, is in fact a sequel, because as with some other sequels, like Silent Night, Deadly Night part 2 for example, long reams of footage from the first installment (Day of the Panther in this case) is used to kick off the story and get untutored viewers such as myself up to speed! In fact we seem to see pretty much all of Day of the Panther compressed into fifteen minutes or so, and it leaves you feeling that you could pretty happily go the rest of your life never bothering with the full-length version!
Ha ha, Fists of Blood ought to come in a fifteen-minute version too, now that I think about it! Like Deadly Prey, it’s an example of Ridiculous Action, although at a few points it clearly knows it! A potato-faced muscleman plays the irresistible Jason Blade, who, his mentor’s incessant voiceover tells us, is all things good, and is trained in the mysterious martial arts! But the nefarious Baxter, Jason Blade’s archest enemy, busts out of the Australian prison he’s in and hatches a scheme involving an army of hockey-masked ninjas, Jason Blade’s girlfriend (whom he loves but can’t commit to, natch), a bundle of dynamite and the old abandoned power plant!
Ha ha, this is a real daffodil, this one is! The potato face (every woman's dream?) is pretty much free of anything so burdensome as a personality, and the action scenes are staged with only minimal excitement! There are a few laffs here and there – note spelling, please! – none of which, or perhaps one of which, are intentional, and there’s also a great deal of aerobic dancing! There’s a pretty good scene where Jason Blade’s mentor, despite his years of training in the mysterious martial arts, is door-hammered by someone in a passing car and has to help Jason out psychically from his hospital bed thereafter!
But it’s mainly just silly, and the silliness is not robust or full-bodied enough to satisfy the way something like Raw Force manages to! And there’s an unfortunate dearth of Cameron Mitchell in this picture too, it ought to be noted! I give Fists of Blood one chicken suit and an extra helping of potatoes! 

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