Bad Movie Club: Night of the Kickfighters
1988 kickfighter movie
Bad Movie Rating: 3/5 (Mark: 2/5; Johnny: 3/5; Josh: 4/5)
Plot: A millionaire with his own cool laser has the more likable of his two daughters kidnapped by a bunch of people with hats that make them look like they have mullets. They're led by a woman with an incomprehensible accent and a very tall bald man. The millionaire calls in the nondescript action hero, a kickfighter who assembles a ragtag collective of meth-head weapons experts, a black guy, a freakin' magician, and a loquacious floozy.
We watched this to celebrate the life and career of Adam West. Having seen a pair of West's movies before with the Bad Movie Club--Zombie Nightmare and Omega Cop--so it was Night of the Kickfighters chance to shine. Things start slowly with this one, the only intrigue being the bad woman's towering henchman (played by Carel Struycken, the guy who played The Giant in several Twin Peaks episodes and Lurch in the Addams Family movies) and his ridiculous grunting sounds and the bad woman herself, played by Marcia Karr, a woman who couldn't make up her mind what accent she wanted to use for this character. Later, she'll get a nice moment where Lurch strokes her hair as she strokes a snake, but the first part of the movie is just her failing to act seductively and garbling every single line she has.
Things pick up a little once Adam West emerges to show off his laser. After that, the movie can finally find what passes for a plot in a movie like this. There's a clumsy car chase with a chauffeur who knows his way around a dangerous car chase, the hiring of that nondescript hero, and the recruitment of his team of magicians to take down the bad guys and save both daughter and laser. OK, so there's just the one magician--Aldo, played by Philip Dore who is actually Philip Dorr in this one--but he's the most entertaining thing about this. One of his tricks involves a blow-up sex ninja doll, and most of his lines are delivered with the kind of gusto you'd expect from a magician during a performance.
The fight choreography is laughable, especially whenever Carel Struycken is involved. That guy is apparently only good at being tall. The best--and by that, I mean worst--fight scene in the movie takes place when the main kickfighter guy finds his black pal in some sort of shady bar. There's a dude playing the piano, a scantily-clad woman dancing, and a bunch of guys who want to fight for some reason. It's all pretty stupid.
Lots of those guys with the mullet hats die as the crew infiltrates Marcia Karr's lair. The weapons and magic tricks used by the kickfighters are almost fun. There's a moment of peril, some Jeeps, a silly denouement, and a jarring transition to a beautiful wedding. And then it all ends with a song over the credits called "Carry On" with a terrifically awful vocal performance by somebody named Tony Reyes.
Sorry about those spoilers. And rest in peace, Batman.