An ingenious method of interrogation is unleashed in this 90’s B-movie action film from director Albert Pyun.
A mysterious man goes after another in the desert. When the man catches up, he beats up and leaves his opponent tied to the heat of the sun. The one responsible is Brick Bardo and he is a kickboxer who is searching for answers. Five years ago, his brother Wood Wilson was murdered when he uncovered an illegal fight fixing ring. He has already killed one person responsible and knows there are four others. The man he stopped, Davey, knows the names of the four responsible for the fix.
They are down and out fighter Mike Johnson, retired world champion Billy Munoz, current middleweight champion Brett Caldwell, and former fighter turned corporate boss Connie Angel. Along with his partner Max, Brick has Mike, Billy, Brett, and Connie kidnapped and sent to an abandoned arena with a ring. Brick informs them of their crimes and will interrogate each one of them by fighting them in the ring, looking for answers. While the four are responsible for the fight fixing ring, one of them actually committed the murder of Wood Wilson. Who did it and what will be left of the ones responsible?
With the success of Cyborg and Kickboxer 2, director Albert Pyun returns to the martial arts genre with this action film that revolves around a fight fixing ring, a murder, and the method of fighting each suspect in the ring as a means of interrogation. While the method of kickboxing as a method of interrogation is quite one that’s ingenious, the main issue with the film doesn’t lie in the script, from K. Hannah, or Pyun’s direction. It’s more in some possible miscasting in terms of two central characters.
Thom Mathews may be perhaps more known for his work in the horror film genre, such as the first two Return of the Living Dead films and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives as franchise hero Tommy Jarvis. However, compared to other cast members of the film, he seems a bit out of place in the role of Brick Bardo, who is searching for his brother’s killer. While he may not seem like he can fight, thanks to choreographers Jimmy Nickerson and legendary kickboxer Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, Mathews isn’t actually quite bad in his fight scenes and can take a fall quite well when it comes to impact shots.
Hope Marie Carlton may have handled a gun well in some of the Andy Sidaris-directed action films, but here, she doesn’t exactly bode well when it comes to using martial arts. There are better fight scenes that come from the likes of Thunder Wolf taking on the likes of Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham, Patrick “Outlaw” Buckley, and the late Hector Pena. Dale Jacoby channels the energy he used in No Retreat, No Surrender and the first Ring of Fire film to play the bad boy of the group, Brett Caldwell while Wolf’s Mike Johnson and Benny Urquidez’s Billy seem to be more like they did it for certain reasons beyond their control, but their involvement alone makes them guilty parties.
Bloodmatch has an ingenious idea but despite a bit of miscasting, is not a completely bad 90’s B-martial arts film. Where else are you going to get the idea of interrogation by kickboxing in the ring?
WFG RATING: C+
21st Century Film Corporation presents a Power Pictures production. Director: Albert Pyun. Producer: Rick Blumenthal. Writer: K. Hannah. Cinematography: George Mooradian. Editing: Paul O’Bryan.
Cast: Thom Mathews, Hope Marie Carlton, Marianne Taylor, Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, Dale Jacoby, Thunder Wolf, Vincent Klyn, Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham, Patrick “Outlaw” Buckley, Hector Pena, Michel Qissi.