Take an ensemble cast, mesh up kung fu films and grindhouse exploitation, and you have the kung fu comedy version of a Troma film from the duo of Sean Stone and Alexander Wraith.
Logan “The Fist” McQuad is not only a top notch fighter armed with a pair of powerful hands but he was a major adult film star. That was in 1977. It has been seven years and with the Golden Fleece missing, The Fist has lost his mojo and is now relegated to working in a local bagel shop. He has two best friends, El Guapo and Okinawa Jackson. Superfly, a tough crime lord, is attempting to take over the streets of New York. However, when the Fist and his crew successfully stop Superfly, The Fist finds himself interested in Ana Conda, one of Superfly’s crew members who possesses some fighting skills despite not being the brightest of the bunch.
While he is sometimes still hailed as a hero, the Fist still suffers from losing his mojo. He learns that the Golden Fleece, the source of his powers, has been found. However, in order to get the Fleece back, he must go through a series of tests. Along with El Guapo and Okinawa, The Fist must take on a series of various fighters. However, in order to successfully earn the Golden Fleece back, he must undergo training under a legendary fighter known as the Dragon and together, The Fist must go to great lengths to stop the ultimate villains and get his mojo back to become the man he once was.
There must be a warning that should be disclosed before the review of the film. If you are looking for a seriously-minded martial arts action film, then it’s best to just turn around and walk away. If you are in the mood for something insanely ridiculous with some beats of decent kung fu at times, then keep reading.
This wacky martial arts comedy, from the minds of actor/stuntman Alexander Wraith and second generation filmmaker Sean Stone, brings a style that would even make the Troma Team film. While Troma is more known for using excessive, over the top gore, that factor doesn’t come to play here but instead, there are beats of adult humor along with martial arts insanity and with the mere fact that the film can be said to be comprised of quite an ensemble cast, this is truly not one to be taken seriously and sometimes, even the more serious minded person could use a break and watch something as ridiculous (in a good way) as this.
Stone plays the titular Fist, a former adult film star turned hero who is the primary focus of this film as he goes a quest of sorts to retrieve both his mojo and the Golden Fleece, the source of his powers. Sporting a Jack Burton-style look and melds pretty much Burton and Austin Powers, Stone may not be an able bodied fighter like his co-stars, but it is clear he is having fun with the role as is his collaborator Wraith, whose character of El Guapo is a martial arts fighting version of Tony Montana of Scarface fame. His scenes with Juhahn Jones’ Okinawa Jackson are quite funny, especially a scene where El Guapo reveals to Okinawa how the Fist went from zero to hero in 1977.
The film boasts an ensemble supporting cast from many of Hollywood’s veteran actors and up and comers. Bianca Van Damme, the daughter of action legend Jean-Claude Van Damme, plays Ana Conda, a member of Tiny Lister’s Superfly’s crew who becomes the on-off love interest of our hero while former MMA fighter Don Frye brings an over the top performance as Willy that is reminiscent of Peter Boyle’s Joe from 1970. Kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson plays Duck Suck Song, the martial arts mentor of our hero who is using his school for a more political purpose with Ernie Reyes Jr. as new student Padawan. Bill Goldberg is funny at times as “The Supervisor”, one of a few crime bosses the Fist must take on in his journey along with Michael Dudikoff’s “Superboss”, who sports Heath Ledger-style Joker make-up and does a performance that even shows he can be a better Joker than a certain Suicide Squad star. Perhaps if there comes a time to bring an elder Joker in the mix, call the former American Ninja. Jason and Jeremy London play two thugs known as “Superfoot” and “Lightning Leg” who have a funny scene against the likes of Wilson that ends in one of the most ridiculously funny slow motion impact shots. Also look for a certain Flash Gordon actor reprising that role but in a more comical fashion, even more insane than Ted. There is also Taimak, who plays The Last Dragon…or just Dragon, who helps The Fist find his way.
Wraith and producer/stuntman Pete Antico served as the film’s fight choreographers. While martial arts Cynthia Rothrock makes a non-action cameo, it is clear that the duo made good use of not only Wraith himself, who has some impeccable moves, but the film gives Bianca Van Damme a chance to show that she’s learned a lot from her father. Van Damme’s look may have bring some controversy, crossing between Native American woman and KISS’s Paul Stanley, when she throws down, she definitely can pull off some kicks including her father’s trademark helicopter kick to an unsuspecting bystander. In what can be described as Wraith’s best fight, it leads to a hilarious homage to the ending of a 1974 Turkish action film entitled Karate Girl.
On a technical viewpoint, the film’s piece de resistance is that the film is shot and presented in a grindhouse-style screen and when there are fights galore, blood is splatter literally on the screen to show the ridiculous nature of what to expect while seeing this film.
So in conclusion, Fury of the Fist and the Golden Fleece is truly not to be seriously. It is clear that the filmmakers and cast were having fun making the film and while it is ridiculous, it is still a fun film nonetheless.
WFG RATING: B
A Comedy Dynamics Production. Director: Alexander Wraith. Producers: Pete Antico and Patrick Durham. Writers: Sean Stone and Alexander Wraith. Cinematograph: David Bacon. Editing: Alexander Wraith.
Cast: Sean Stone, Bianca Van Damme, Alexander Wraith, Juhahn Jones, Don Frye, Taimak, Michael Dudikoff, Bill Goldberg, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Ernie Reyes Jr., Danny Trejo, Tommy “Tiny” Lister Jr., Richard Grieco, Chuck Zito, Jack O’Halloran, Michael Winslow, Ron Jeremy, Sam J. Jones, Jason London, Jeremy London, Cynthia Rothrock, Maryse Mizanin.