Bad Movie Club: Superfights

1995 super 80's movie

Bad Movie Rating: 3/5 (Fred: 4/5; Josh: 4/5; Libby: not sure if she participated)

Rating: 9/20

Plot: A twerp who works as a bus boy in a warehouse (that line's repeated twice, so I know I'm right) has dreamed of being a superfighter, sort of a WWF organization run by a shady guy. He gets his chance after the shady guy sees him fighting off thugs near an ATM on the news. He superfights off the advances of his trainer, Angel, and has success in the ring. However, he discovers the sinister truth of what the superfighter organization is up to--robbing Chinese restaurants and taking steroids--and winds up superfighting for his life.

First, the fights. Siu-Hung Leung, the director and action choreographer, is no joke. He's been involved with Jackie Chan in The 36 Crazy Fists and Ip Man, the latter which might be the best kung-fu movie of the last ten years. And the fight scenes, mostly due to Brandon Gaines who moves well, are plenty good. And there are plenty of them. You don't have to wait long to get to the next fight scene in this one, so if pure action is your thing, this works fine. This was surprisingly Gaines lone movie role. The guy could definitely kick his way out of a paper bag if he couldn't act his way out. Even watching him go after mannequins in that warehouse where he apparently buses tables was exciting. Well, almost exciting. Now, it's completely obvious that a lot of the punches and kicks aren't actually landing, but there's still some spiffy high-flying gymnastics stunts and a few fun props.

One great scene has Brandon Gaines doing his best Rocky impression, running through the streets of wherever he's from while people cheer and ending up with an enthusiastic celebratory jump on some stone steps. If Gaines ever brags to people about his acting career, I imagine that's the scene that he shows off. Most of what he does, at least in the first half of the movie, is overly enthusiastic. The guy's a little spark plug, and you get the impression that he needed some Ritalin or something.

Having said that, the movie's pretty ridiculous, often in a fun way. My favorite character was the grandfather of the Mark's love interest, who during their first meeting, asks Mark to try to touch him. If Grandfather taught me one thing, it was that Tai Chi involves going for opponents' crotches much more than I would have suspected. The McMahon character's got some swiftly-moving legs, too, and he even displays some dance moves during the climactic fight scene. Angel, played by a Kelly Gallant who also finished her movie career with this movie, displayed a rockin' bod. My favorite line of the movie was from one of the Superfighter thugs: "Name's Dark Cloud, but you can call me Chuck." This movie has the second violent ceiling fan incident we Bad Movie Clubbers have seen in 2016, a terrific action sequence where cooks from a Chinese restaurant kitchen try to defend the joint with cleavers, a "Beast" character who engages in a little Tyson-esque cannibalism in a nutty fight-to-the-death sequence, acupuncture that didn't seem to work very well, and lots of really gross 80's-style movie score.

Take away some of the styles and stripes of the mid-90s, and you've got yourself a ridiculous action-packed 80's movie here.

Fans of bad-movie Gymkata might like this one. There's no pommel horse though unfortunately.

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