REVIEW: Karate Warrior 3 (1991)

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A new “Karate Warrior” comes in the form of Ron Williams, who replaces the original, Kim Rossi Stuart, who thankfully has moved on to bigger and better movies and TV.

Leaving Miami, Anthony Scott has decided to bequeath his golden gi to a local martial arts school, where his friend Greg helps run. A new face comes in the form of Larry Jones, who has moved from Cleveland to Miami with his mother and sister to start life anew.  Larry accidentally runs into Sammy, the daughter of a rich businessman, and it is soon revealed that these two are going to start a relationship. However, her father doesn’t approve but offers Larry a deal to help his mother out if he leaves Sammy alone.

However, problems arise in the form of local martial arts bully Joe Carson. When he humiliates Greg at the beach, Larry stands up for him by throwing Joe’s boombox against a wall. This causes serious issues between Joe and Larry. To make matters worse, Joe frames Greg for an apparent hit and run so he can steal Anthony’s golden gi for an upcoming match. Larry, growing tired of Joe’s antics, decides to challenge him. Larry finds a martial arts master in Mr. Masura, who was once a friend of Master Kimura. Masura trains Larry to take on Joe in the challenge match.

Three years after Karate Warrior 2, Fabrizio de Angelis has decided to return to the martial arts genre with a new installment of the series. Wisely, Kim Rossi Stuart has decided to stay away as by this time, he has become one of Italy’s top notch actors with his roles in The Cave of the Golden Rose films. Instead, de Angelis finds a new Karate Warrior in Ron Williams, who somewhat fits what one would expect in this brand of shlock film.

Think of the film as a precursor to The Next Karate Kid, and instead of Master Kimura, we have Masura, who seems to be a friend of Kimura’s who becomes our new mentor. He even teaches Larry that special move that is the trademark of the film series, “The Dragon Strike”, which is now a double ridge hand strike as opposed to the palm strike. Williams makes the most of his role as newcomer Larry, who faces quite a few obstacles. Aside from the required face the bully challenge in the film, he must deal with a new relationship with local rich girl Sammy, played by Dorian D. Field, and while they seem happy, her father doesn’t approve and even attempts to bribe Larry into not seeing his daughter anymore.

Once again, Christopher Alan plays yet another villain. After his appearance as Dick Anderson in Karate Warrior 2, de Angelis brought back Alan to play a new and even tougher bully, Joe Carson. Carson is basically hell bent on tarnishing the legacy of original Karate Warrior Anthony Scott by not only stealing the famous “golden gi” (or kimono as seen in its original Italian title), but flaunting it as a complete sign of disrespect. Even his two goons are laughable as they seem to be scrawny surfer types who just stand there to be Joe’s little dogs. Of course, if you have seen the previous films or any of this brand of martial arts film, you know what the end result will be.

Karate Warrior 3 is well, exactly what you would expect if you have seen the previous two films, a blatant attempt to take advantage of the home video market of martial arts films in the 90’s. However, unlike most of the films out in the era, the action here is not exactly exciting but more standard and typical. Yet they tried, and Ron Williams does make the most of his role as the new Karate Warrior. The end fight actually isn’t bad for this shlock film.

WFG RATING: D+

A Fulvia Film s.r.l. production. Director: Fabrizio de Angelis. Producer: Fabrizio de Angelis. Writers: Dardetto Sachetti and Olga Pehar. Cinematography: Nick Gemser. Editing: Adriano Tagliavia.

Cast: Ron Williams, Dorian D. Field, Christopher Alan, Scotty Daffy, Katy Johnson, Lauren Russell, Richard Goon, William Rothmell.

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