REVIEW: Blood Hands (1990)

bloodhands

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An aspiring second-generation kickboxer decides to put his dreams on the backburner for revenge in this B-movie Filipino-U.S. action film.

Steve Callahan is looking forward to following in his father’s footsteps and become a champion in the sport of kickboxing. Always training hard, Steve is ready for the fight of his life. However, on his birthday, things take a tragic turn. Upon returning home, he has learned his parents were brutally murdered with a clue being a medal seen at the crime scene. Deciding to take a backseat from his dreams, Steve now decides to start a quest for revenge.

The murderers are a gang of martial artists led by James, a current kickboxing champion who once dated Steve’s mother before she left him and found the love of her life in Edward, Steve’s father. As James learns the medal he had goes missing, he goes on a frantic search to find the medal, not knowing that Steve already has the medal and is looking for him. Steve slowly tracks down each member of the gang when he learns who is responsible and James himself ups the ante when he kidnaps Steve’s girlfriend Tracy. Now, Steve is preparing for a fight like he never imagined.

Philippines-based film company Silver Screen International has brought us some low-budgeted action films which might not be quality action, but can be hailed as cult classics in a way with their cheesy acting and martial arts action, which are a mixed bag. This film is no different as it gives stuntman Sean Donahue the lead role of a kickboxer seeing revenge for the deaths of his parents. Donahue, the son of Kill Squad director Patrick Donahue, may not be the greatest martial artist, but as a stunt performer who does his best to throw down, he gets some credit.

Leading the way as lead villain is Ned Hourani, a martial artist who is known for these brand of roles if he is not the first to get killed, like in Don Wilson’s first two Bloodfist films. Hourani is truly a more capable fighter than Donahue, but he has never had the chance to play a lead role in this genre. Instead, he is destined for villainy before retiring from films to become a fitness instructor in the Philippines. Here, he does well as the leader of the gang who has a connection to our hero and takes full advantage of that connection, all leading to a showdown.

The rest of the gang are played by fellow ex-pat actors Jerry Beyer, Richard Olney, and Jim Gaines, and are given their own brands of justice in various ways that showcase the stunts, after a massive beatdown at the hands of Steve. Nick Nicholson, another staple of the Filipino-made action film of the era, makes the most of his role as Steve’s father, who meets his fate early in the film despite a valiant effort to fend off the thugs.

Blood Hands is a run of the mill B-movie that had it had better fights could be quite a wild ride. Despite a good effort, these are a pair of hands that should just be washed away in the long run.

WFG RATING: D

A Silver Star Film Company Presentation of a Tower Bridge Investment Co. Ltd. Production. Director: Ted Johnson. Producer: K.Y. Lim. Writer: Rod Davis. Cinematography: John Aloha. Editing: Benny Tucker and Adam Blake

Cast: Sean Donahue, Ned Hourani, Jim Gaines, Jerry Beyer, Ronald Olney, Nick Nicholson, Christine Landson, Jim Moss.

This title is currently out of print but is available through current distributor Cine Excel via the company website.

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