REVIEW: Fighting Spirit (1992)

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1992, Silver Screen International/Cine Excel Entertainment

Director:
John Lloyd
Producer:
K.Y. Lim
Writer:
Rod Davis
Cinematography:
Vic Adams
Editing:
Rene Tucker

Cast:
Loren Avedon (David Carster)
Sean Donahue (Billy Edwards)
Greg Douglass (Tony)
Michelle Locke (Judith Edwards)
Ned Hourani (Russell)
Jerry Beyer (Murphy)
Santi Jordana (Joyce)

Loren Avedon stars in this martial arts action thriller with an interesting twist. Some markets have released this as an in-name sequel to The King of the Kickboxers, but it is even not even close to being related.

Judith Edwards is a young woman who has been assaulted to the point where the shock of the attack has rendered her blind. Her brother Billy, a troublemaking fighter, has learns that Judith will need surgery to regain her vision. When Billy has nowhere to turn to, a local crime boss Russell makes Billy an offer he can’t refuse. Billy engages in illegal street fights to help get money for his sister’s surgery. Despite reservations from his best friend David, Billy continues to fight until he has had enough one day.

When Billy tells Russell he wants out, Russell finds Billy too much of an asset. When Billy learns that it was Russell and his number one man, Tony, who masterminded his sister’s attack, he is killed for discovering the truth. Becoming a ghost, Billy turns to David to help him seek revenge and help Judith. David begins learning from Murphy, Billy’s trainer who despite his ties to Russell, is not truly siding with the crime boss and sees David as his chance for redemption. Once he has mastered the skills and has the guidance from both “Billy” and Murphy, David is ready to avenge his friends once and for all.

After his departure from Seasonal Films, Loren Avedon continued to prove himself a name in the 1990’s B-movie circuit of martial arts action films. For this film, Avedon went to the Philippines to shoot this action film that brings a bit of the supernatural, but more of a guidance rather than something bordering on the absolutely atrocious. Avedon doesn’t get to strut his skills until the second half of the film with the first half going to stuntman/actor Sean Donahue as Avedon’s best friend, who finds himself in one fight after another as he attempts to help his sister out after a terrible assault.

Ned Hourani, who has appeared in many Filipino-shot martial arts during this era, takes on the role of lead crime boss Russell but in an interesting twist of the story, the main villain of the film is not so much Russell, but it is actually Tony, played with some overacting at times by Greg Douglass. Michelle Locke spends most of the film laying up in a hospital bed and doesn’t have to rely much on her acting skills while Santi Jordana vamps it up as a potential love interest for David, who starts out somewhat a shy boy but gains the confidence once he has that “spirit” invoked in him.

Hong Kong kung fu star Chiang Tao and Chin Ping-Po served as the film’s action directors. They allow the cast to use their martial arts skills to good effect, even if some cast members aren’t as technical as others. The choreographers adapt well to the cast, utilizing whatever they can. Donahue, Avedon, and Hourani are the best of the core cast with some stuntmen showcasing their talents as well. Others use more of a street style that may be used but are not technical like the others. However, one thing that has to be mentioned is the film’s soundtrack, in which the fight scenes tend to have a 1970’s TV theme funky score that for a 90’s film proves to be more laughable. However, that should not take away the fight scenes themselves.

Fighting Spirit is not that bad of a B or C-movie, but the soundtrack can be ridiculous at times and the appearance of a ghost may prove to be unintentionally laughable. However, the fight scenes are not too bad and are fun to watch, especially with Loren Avedon and Sean Donahue using their skills to good use.

WFG RATING: C+

VHS

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