Dale Cook

American Kickboxer 2 (1993)

americankickboxer2 usa-iconPhilippines-icon

1993, Davian International

Jeno Hodi
David Hunt
Jeno Hodi
Greg Lewis
Paul Wolansky
Blain Brown
Lawrence A. Maddox
Tim Spring
Paul Wolansky

Dale “Apollo” Cook (Mike Clark)
Evan Lurie (David)
Kathy Shower (Lillian Hansen)
David Graf (Howard Hansen)
Ted Markland (Xavier)
Jeffrey R. Iorio (Hammer)
Jessica Springal (Susie)
Greg Lewis (Uncle Francis)
Jeno Hodi (Attila)

Two rivals must unite to rescue a kidnapped girl in this in-name “sequel” to the 1991 kickboxing film.

Lillian Hansen married Howard, the CEO of her father’s company, after the birth of her seven-year daughter Susie. However, she is still an heir apparent to the fortune. Xavier, a top criminal, decides to kidnap Susie for a ransom of one million dollars. When he succeeds in the kidnapping, Lillian attempts to get the money from her uncle Francis, who is the current relative who has access to the funds. However, when he decides to think about helping Lillian out, Lillian decides to go another route.

She hires her ex-husband Mike Clark, a volatile police officer who likes to do things his way without any help. However, when Howard is not too thrilled about Lillian calling Mike due to their destroyed marriage, Lillian does find a possible alternate. David, a local martial arts teacher, who had an affair with Lillian while her marriage with Mike was failing, is hired by Lillian. However, Mike has gotten the call as well as now, these two rivals have no other choice but to join forces for the sake of Susie’s life, even if one of them is actually the father of the girl.

The first time this film was reviewed, it was given as very bad and terrible. However, the time came to give this film a second chance and the major issue is that the film is being seen as a sequel to a 1991 kickboxing film called American Kickboxer. Under a different title, this would have better sense, and who knows why the Filipino-based Davian International got the rights to the name to make this a sequel but overall, it’s not a completely bad B-movie that takes the classic “rivals must team up” gig all for the sake of a “mission”.

Kickboxing legend Dale “Apollo” Cook, who graces the film’s poster, plays the very volatile Mike, a cop who is all about action and lets his fists do the talking. His introductory scene has him taking on a group of thugs using some of his martial arts skills. However, when it comes to martial arts, the film’s true star is Evan Lurie, who gets his biggest role to date as David, a playboy martial arts teacher. Their connection is Lillian, played by former Playmate turned B-movie star Kathy Shower. Shower, a staple for erotic thriller films, gets her most mainstream role yet as the troubled former wife of Mike and former lover of David, who is conflicted not only with her daughter being kidnapped, but struggles with who is in fact the father of the girl.

Cook and Lurie actually are quite an interesting duo as when they are not fighting and shooting at the bad guys, they are fighting each other. Their first meeting in the film shows a volatile Cook and a defensive Lurie at each other’s throats when a bystander arrives and threatens to call the cops. Cook gets the upper hand in most of the scuffles between the two but they either end it quick or find themselves being threatened by other goons. One of the four confrontations is forced as they are forced to entertain a crowd in an abandoned warehouse.

Police Academy’s Tackleberry, the late David Graf, plays Howard as someone who is more business-minded and not the action nut his iconic character is, yet he makes the most of his role in the film. Ted Markland is truly a mastermind as Xavier while he has the likes of Jeffrey Iorio, Ned Hourani, and Kris Aguilar as some of his goons. The final act shows Lurie doing all of the fighting while Cook protects Shower and her daughter by shooting. This allows Lurie to get the spotlight and he definitely has the skills to boot.

Despite the title, American Kickboxer 2 should not be seen as a sequel as the 1993 Cannon FilmTo the Death is the real sequel. However, this is actually a decent B-movie buddy film that could have a chance to have given Dale Cook a better chance to show his skills while Evan Lurie does get to show his skills. Overall, the film is a middle of the road B-action film.




Triple Impact (1992)

tripleimpact Philippines-iconusa-icon

1992, Davian International

David Hunt
David Hunt
Steve Rogers
Arnold Alvaro
John Landas

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.