Deadly Bet (1992)

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Angelo Scala is a former gambler who is ready to leave Las Vegas with his girlfriend Isabella. Before leaving, Angelo attempts to pay a debt to local gambling hotshot Rico. The bet involves a kickboxing match between tough guy Al and British fighter Fletch, the latter who Angelo bets on. After Rico convinces Angelo to make a bet to settle the debt, Angelo wins. However, Rico makes a final bet that he can beat Angelo in the kickboxing ring.

Angelo makes the bet but uses Isabella as collateral. When Angelo loses, he relapses into gambling big, making him the target of more loan sharks. His attempts to see Isabelle tend to be futile at times but he is determined to find a way to get her back. Meanwhile, fights to the death are being held in a tournament for a prize of half a million dollars. Angelo seeks the opportunity to redeem himself and hopefully seek revenge on Rico to get Isabella back.

From the director of Ring of Fire (1991) comes this tale of a gambler on the road to redemption the only way he knows how: fighting. The film is a welcome combination of drama and action. Lead actor Jeff Wincott does well as the down on his luck Angelo. He is literally a tortured soul who struggles to accept the fact that he lost his girlfriend to his arch-nemesis.

Dallas starlet Charlene Tilton plays a somewhat vulnerable yet strong-willed damsel in distress as Isabella. She is vulnerable in that she doesn’t fight but has the strength of speaking her mind. Steven Vincent Leigh plays Rico as someone who means business. While he has Isabella in control, he does give her respect and treats her quite well.

In charge of the fight choreography is Eric Lee, the legendary “King of Kata”. Anyone who loves martial arts films will see a who’s who of martial arts and stunt guys. Gary Daniels has the opening fight scene and one of the best fight scenes pits Steven Ho against David Wald as both display their amazing kicking skills. Gerald Okamura, Art Camacho, and Jon Agro are just some more of the names in the film, which employ PM’s trademark double and triple take fight scenes that look great.

Deadly Bet is another underrated fight drama from PM Entertainment. Jeff Wincott does a great job as the man in search of redemption in the world of underground kickboxing matches. Worth a rental.

WFG RATING: B+

A PM Entertainment Production. Director: Richard W. Munchkin. Producers: Joseph Merhi and Richard Pepin. Writers: Robert Tiffe and Joseph Merhi. Cinematography: Richard Pepin. Editing: Geraint Bell and John Weidner.

Cast: Jeff Wincott, Charlene Tilton, Steven Vincent Leigh, Michael DeLano, Mike Toney, Jerry Tiffe, Ray Mancini, Sherrie Rose, Patty Toy, Cole S. McKay, Art Camacho, Gary Daniels, Steven Ho, David Wald, Jon Agro, Hayward Nishioka, Gerald Okamura, Leo Lee.

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