REVIEW: Triple Impact (1992)

tripleimpact

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1992, Davian International

Director:
David Hunt
Producer:
David Hunt
Writer:
Steve Rogers
Cinematography:
Arnold Alvaro
Editing:
John Landas

Cast:
Dale Cook (Dave Masters)
Ron Hall (James Stokes)
Bridgett Riley (Julie Webb)
Robert Marius (Sgt. Adams)
Steve Rogers (Capt. Burroughs)
Nick Nicholson (McMann)
Ned Hourani (Karl)
Tom Seal (Russo)
Sheila Lintan (Toi)
Mike Cole (Cobra)
Barbara Dougan (Mabel)

It’s a race for a rare golden Buddha head as evil mercenaries must face off against three world-class martial arts experts in this action film from the producer of American Kickboxer 2.

Twenty years ago, a band of soldiers in Cambodia are attacked by the Khmer Rouge. While attempting to escape, Captain Burroughs and Sergeant Adams find a rare golden Buddha head. However, an altercation due to greed by Burroughs causes the captain to be blinded and Adams serves a twenty-year sentence in prison.

Dave Masters and James Stokes are best friends who stage fake fights to rip-off fans who love seeing bloodshed. After one of their “fights”, they accidentally run into the newly released Adams, who is chased by four goons. The duo use their martial arts skills and save Adams, who wants to prove his gratefulness by offering the duo a chance to find the long lost golden Buddha head. The two ultimately decide to do it after an offer of splitting the money three ways.

Meanwhile, a unscrupulous businessman, McMann, wants the golden Buddha head for his own nefarious purposes. When his right hand man Karl shoots Adams, killing him, Dave and James head to Thailand en route to Cambodia to find Julie Webb, a Muay Thai kickboxer and ex-girlfriend of Dave’s. When she decides to get in on the action, the trio head to Cambodia with McMann and his goons trailing not too far behind.

Shot on location in the Philippines, this nifty little B-movie actioner has the selling point to featuring three world class martial artists. They come in the form of kickboxing champions Dale “Apollo” Cook and Bridgett “Baby Doll” Riley and wushu expert Ron Hall. Cook plays Dave with a bit of B-movie comedy ferocity combined with his kickboxing skills. As the more serious minded James, Ron Hall definitely looks like he has fun in the role, especially when he looks funny in his “fake” fights against Cook. However, once he unleashes his skills, look out as his acrobatic moves are nothing short of amazing. As for the debuting Riley, she holds herself quite well with someone who loves some action but shows some sort of emotion with her turbulent relationship with Dave.

The villain side is led by cult favorite Nick Nicholson, who appears in many Filipino-shot films normally in bad guy roles. Here, he plays a slick businessman-type who makes the blind Burroughs his key to getting the Buddha head. Feeling like almost all of his men are moronic, he eithers grimaces, screams, or rolls his eyes. However, the action portion comes in the form of Ned Hourani’s Karl. As Nicholson’s right hand man, he sports a beard and has a striking resemblance to one real-life 80’s version of Frank Dux.

The action scenes were choreographed by Filipino martial artist Fred Esplana, whose line of work include the original Bloodfist. Esplana does a pretty good job in terms of making the triple team of Cook, Hall, and Riley look good. There is a pretty well done “ring of death” fight scene, in which the trio must fight to survive after being kidnapped by drug runners. Riley fights a female fighter, Hall takes on a big burly type, and Cook takes on a very acrobatic and superkicking Filipino stuntman. The way Cook’s fight ends starts out comical before it delves back into serious territory. The final fight scene, a three on twelve fight in a cave, is quite nicely done. It is no surprise that it is highly likely that this was the same location for another one of Cook and Hall’s films, 1993’s Double Blast.

Triple Impact is a nicely made little B-movie that showcases the talents of Dale Cook, Ron Hall, and Bridgett Riley. Despite the cliche in villains, the film is a nice little nod to the adventure film thanks to Fred Esplana’s fight choreography.

WFG RATING: B

DVD

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