Don “The Dragon” Wilson

IndieGoGo Campaign for “The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback” is a Go!

It’s time to Go Go Go! With the success of 2015’s family film The Martial Arts Kid, it’s time for the sequel to finally come ahead.

But the filmmakers need your help! Traditionz Entertainment has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for the sequel The Martial Arts Kid 2: Payback, in which Frank Whitlaw (Chuck Zito), reeling from the events of the first film, seeks retribution against Uncle Glen (Don “The Dragon” Wilson) and Aunt Cindy (Cynthia Rothrock).

Returning for the sequel are Brandon Tyler Russell as Lenny, the best friend of the original Martial Arts Kid, Robbie; and Matthew Ziff as town bully Bo Whitlaw, the son of the villain Frank. T.J. Storm returns as Coach Laurent Kaine. Newcomers for the sequel will include Anita Clay and Sasha Mitchell, who played David Sloane in three installments of the original Kickboxer saga in the 1990’s.

To help make this a bigger sequel to the 2015 original, go to http://martialartskid2payback.com/ and donate to make this sequel come to life!

 

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Showdown in Manila (2017)

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An action ensemble cast joins Russian powerhouse Alexander Nevsky for this throwback action film which marked the directorial debut of Mark Dacascos, known to most today as the Chairman of Food Network’s Iron Chef America.

Nick Peyton has attempted numerous times to find the mysterious crime figure known as “The Wraith”. During their latest attempt, Nick is wounded by the Wraith’s top men but ultimately survives, hoping to one day seek retribution. The chance arrives when Matthew Wells is murdered at the hands of the Wraith’s organization and his widow seeks justice by hiring Nick and new partner Charlie Benz to find the Wraith.

On the streets of Manila, Nick and Charlie encounter various clues that may lead them to the location of the Wraith. When Nick finally finds Dorn, one of the Wraith’s cohorts and one of the guys who gunned Nick down, Dorn finally reveals where the Wraith is located. However, learning exactly where he is, Nick knows that he and Charlie will be not be able to capture him alone. Nick puts in a call to some old allies to help him on this dangerous mission. Will Nick get the Wraith and finally seek retribution for both himself and Mrs. Wells?

Alexander Nevsky is truly making his mark known for his low-budgeted action films which, depending on your taste, are either “love them” or “hate them”. After making his directorial debut with Black Rose, he has joined forces with Andrzej Bartkowiak, the director of Romeo Must Die and Cradle 2 the Grave, and 90’s action hero and current Iron Chef America chairman Mark Dacascos on this film, which takes its inspiration from The Expendables.

This time around Mark Dacascos makes his directorial debut on the film and has a cameo appearance as the ill-fated Matthew Wells, whose death triggers Nevsky’s Nick to not only capture his arch-nemesis and seek retribution for his near-fatal shooting. However, what stands out is that while Dacascos makes the most of the locations and budget, Nevsky, who also served as a producer, helped bring in a slew of 90’s B-movie action stars to the forefront and have them align with himself for its third and final act.

Much of the film focuses on the ongoing investigation of the location with the Wraith, played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, a veteran known for epic villain roles such as Yoshida in Showdown in Little Tokyo, Sangha in Kickboxer 2: The Road Back, and Shang Tsung in the first Mortal Kombat movie. Here, he is the mastermind known simply as “The Wraith” and he spends most of the film hidden. After the film’s opening action sequence, he is sporadically seen until the third act, instead leaving the work to 90’s powerhouse villain actor Matthias Hues to do the dirty work. Tia Carrere, who gained fame for the late 90’s action series Relic Hunter as well as appearing in films like the aforementioned Showdown in Little Tokyo, doesn’t get much action but stands more as the woman who hires our heroes to find out who killed her husband.

As for Nevsky, he has a new partner in Straship Troopers’ Casper Van Dien and the two have chemistry meant for a buddy action comedy. Nevsky’s by-the-book hardcore cop complements Van Dien’s laid back womanizing detective. However, the third act, set in the jungle is where the action really picks up as fans of this throwback era will have the likes of Cynthia Rothrock, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, and Olivier Gruner along with Dmitriy Dyuzhev as fellow Russian Victor, all of whom play characters who have worked with Nevsky’s Nick at one point.

In charge of the film’s action sequences are Al Dacascos and Emmanuel Bettancourt with Sonny Sison serving as second unit director. Al Dacascos, the father of our film’s director, is a martial arts legend, finding the style of wun hop kuen do, itself based off Kajukenbo. While many would expect with a cast of 90’s action stars a style similar to what was seen back in the day, with the resources they had to work with, Master Dacascos utilized more realism by providing short and quick fights that sporadically come throughout the film with the finale in the jungle combining both martial arts action and gunfire galore.

If you are a hardcore action film that expects plenty of fisticuffs and love that low-budget feel to it, add to the mix a 90’s B-movie dream cast, then Showdown in Manila is worth taking a look. If you’re expecting something along the lines of a martial arts epic considering the cast, then you will want to avoid this one. This is one instance where as mentioned, you will either “love it”, “like it”, or “hate it”. Nevertheless, this is one team I’d be happy to align myself with.

WFG RATING: C+

ITN Distribution presents a Hollywood Storm/Czar Pictures production. Director: Mark Dacascos. Producer: Alexander Nevsky. Writer: Craig Hamman; story by Hamman, Alexander Nevsky, and Mark Dacascos. Cinematography: Rudy Harbon. Editing: Stephen Adrianson.

Cast: Alexander Nevsky, Casper Van Dien, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tia Carrere, Matthias Hues, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, Olivier Gruner, Dmitriy Dyuzhev, Mark Dacascos, Iza Calzado, Robert Madrid, Polina Butorina.

ITN Distribution will be releasing this film to select theaters on January 19, 2018 followed by a VOD and Digital HD release on January 23, 2018.

Virtual Combat (1995)

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Kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson takes on the virtual world in this pretty interesting action film.

David Quarry and his partner John Gibson are grid runners, border cops who make sure that all is safe when it comes to the world of technology and virtual reality. Stationed in Las Vegas, Quarry spends his free time testing out a virtual combat game in which he is unable to defeat level ten. When a trio of thugs attempt to hack into the grid, Quarry and Gibson are able to stop the goons after their attempt proves unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cameron, one of the nation’s top scientists, has found a way to replicate virtual reality into actual reality. With the money provided by unscrupulous businessman Burroughs, Cameron replicates two women from a cybererotica program, Liana and Greta. However, in the mix of things, Dante, the level ten fighter from the virtual combat program, has also been unleashed and when Dr. Cameron refuses to let Dante unleash his friends from the virtual world, Dante kills the scientist and heads to Los Angeles to get the program necessary to get his friends out.

When Gibson is killed after getting in the way of Dante, Quarry must go to Los Angeles to find Dante, but also must deal with Burroughs’ goons, led by Parness. The only one who can help Quarry on his mission is Liana, who has a conscience upon her entry to reality.

Nearly a decade before Don “The Dragon” Wilson entered the world of virtual reality in X-Treme Fighter, he did a reversal of sorts with this sci-fi action tale in which he takes on virtual fighters in the real world. Directed by “jack-of-all trades” Andrew Stevens, Stevens does quite well as an action film director. William C. Martell’s script highlights the potential future of the cyber universe, with combat and cybererotica a mainstay in society, which is in some aspects, deemed mainstream in today’s world although it is more akin to the Internet rather than a virtual reality environment.

The film is definitely B-movie material and that is okay here. Of course as Las Vegas grid runner Quarry, Wilson plays the typical cop looking for revenge but finds something more to it. Yet it still works here. He personally wanted and got Canadian martial arts champion Michael Bernardo of the Shootfighter films and WMAC Masters, for the role of lead villain Dante. Bernardo has the physical presence for the role but it does sort of gets funny when instead of hearing Bernardo’s voice, we have Michael Dorn from Star Trek: The Next Generation as the “virtual voice of Dante”. It just doesn’t seem to match very well with Bernardo’s physicality and that’s a flaw in the film. Athena Massey does quite well for her first film role as cybererotica doll turned real life doll Liana, who of course, not only becomes Quarry’s love interest but shows she can kick some butt in one nicely shot sequence.

In charge of the fight scenes is none other than Art Camacho. As with all of the films he had done during this era, Camacho utilizes the cast’s martial arts skills quite well. Wilson has some decent fights in the opening credits of the film, where we see him in virtual reality and has some nice one against many fights throughout the film. Wilson even has not one, but two nice fight scenes against Loren Avedon, who lets his feet fly to great use against him as Burroughs’ right hand man Parness. In the short time he is in the film, Ken McLeod shows why he truly should have had another lead role after his performance in College Kickboxers and not be relegated to either supporting or villain roles. Michael Bernardo shows why he was a force to be reckoned with too action-wise despite the voice mismatch in the film. Bernardo truly has great martial arts skills and his finale with Wilson, even with the little bits of CGI thrown in there (after all, we are talking virtual reality bad guy), was well handled.

Virtual Combat is definitely B-movie material, but it is truly fun B-movie material. The action scenes featuring “The Dragon”, Ken McLeod, Michael Bernardo, and Loren Avedon are quite a delight to watch, but expect to laugh when hearing Michael Dorn voice Bernardo’s character in a truly poor kind of way. Worth a rental for action fanatics and B-movie lovers.

A-Pix Entertainment presents an Amritraj/Stevens Entertainment production. Director: Andrew Stevens. Producer: Ashok Amritraj. Writer: William C. Martell. Cinematography: David J. Miller. Editing: Tony Mark, Wayne Schmidt, and Mark Speer.

Cast: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Athena Massey, Ron Barker, Michael Bernardo, Loren Avedon, Turhan Bey, Ken McLeod, Dawn Ann Billings, Carrie Mitchum, Rip Taylor, Stella Stevens, J.D. Rifkin, Nick Hill, Timothy Baker.

ITN Distribution Picks Up “Showdown in Manila” for January Release

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Get ready for the long awaited Showdown in Manila in the new year!

ITN Distribution has picked up the rights to the action film, which marked the directorial debut of action star and Iron Chef America chairman Mark Dacascos and has set a release date for January 2018.

The film was produced by and stars Russian powerhouse Alexander Nevsky and features an ensemble cast of action stars, including Dacascos himself, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, Casper Van Dien, Matthias Hues, Tia Carrere, Olivier Gruner, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa.

The film follows private detectives Nick (Nevsky) and Charlie (Van Dien) who live and work in Manila. A murder investigation leads them to the jungle camp of an international terrorist called The Wraith. Not trusting the police, Nick and Charlie assembly a team of daredevils to walk straight into the Wraith’s lair and fight an army of his goons.

Dacascos’ father, legendary martial artist Al Dacascos and Sonny Sison, collaborated on the fight choreography of the film. Mark Dacascos directed from a script by Craig Hamann.

Look out for Showdown in Manila in select theaters on January 19, 2018 followed by a VOD/Digital HD release on January 23 from ITN Distribution.

Bloodfist IV – Die Trying (1992)

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Kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson goes a fourth round in one of B-movie martial arts’ top film series of the nineties.

Danny Holt is a repo man who is good at his job. A skilled fighter as well, he will use his skills against anyone who attempts to prevent him from doing his job. He is also a loving father to young Molly. One day on the job, Danny finds himself doing a repo on a car that belongs to Weiss, an arms dealer, after facing off against Weiss’ man Scarface. Danny finds a box of chocolates in the car and takes them out.

Unbeknownst to Danny, the chocolates contains pieces of a nuclear warhead that Weiss plans to sell. When Weiss learns of the repo, he sends his men on a full-fledged assault at the repo garage, killing all of Danny’s friends. Weiss also sends in Lisa, one of his top associates, to disguise as a babysitter to kidnap Molly. Danny soon learns the truth, but finds himself not only facing Weiss and his goons, but the FBI, who consider Danny a suspect. To clear his name, Danny must rely on both Molly’s real babysitter Shannon and his martial arts skills.

After Bloodfist and Bloodfist II, both of which can be deemed tournament films, the third installment began more of an action-adventure scheme that would be the heart of the rest of the series. While Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight can be pretty much deemed as the worst of the series, this fourth installment is a major improvement.

As with the third installment, kickboxing champion turned actor Don “The Dragon” Wilson plays a new character. In this case, he is repo man Danny Holt, who finds himself in the wrong place and the wrong time. What makes the film interesting is the very twisty plot. As it starts with Danny doing his job and getting the wrong car, it goes from a man rescuing his kidnapped daughter to a man having to do both rescue his daughter and clear his name as he is wanted by both sides of the law. He is a true underdog here, yet it helps that he knows martial arts.

While the supporting cast consists of veteran actors such as James Tolkan (best known for his role as the Principal in the Back to the Future films) and Amanda Wyss (best known for her role in the original Nightmare on Elm Street), as with the other Bloodfist films, kickboxing champions help make up the supporting cast as well. In this installment, there’s former K.I.C.K. Super Middleweight Kickboxing Champion Dennis Keiffer (who later got rave as the bullwhip wielding henchman of Christopher Walken in The Rundown (2003)), former kickboxing champ/boxer Dino Homsey, and Gary Daniels, who made a name for himself in the 1990’s as one of the top B-movie action stars.

The fight choreography here is perhaps the best of the entire series. With the success of Ring of Fire, veteran Art Camacho handled the fight sequences here and with his role as one of PM Entertainment’s top fight directors, Camacho brings his style to this film and his experience with Wilson and Daniels showcases why the two on-screen battles between the two are clearly the best of the film. Not to mention that the other fights, even with future Angel Fist star Catya Sassoon, were well handled.
As a result, as its own movie, Bloodfist IV: Die Trying is actually a really good Don Wilson film. It is a shame that they called it “Bloodfist IV,” but that shouldn’t stop anyone from seeing it and judging for yourself.

WFG RATING: B

A Concorde (New Horizons) production. Director: Paul Ziller. Producer: Mike Elliott. Writer: Paul Ziller; story by Rob Kerchner. Cinematography: Christian Sebaldt. Editing: David Beatty.

Cast: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Catya Sassoon, Amanda Wyss, Kale Browne, James Tolkan, Gary Daniels, Liz Torres, Dan Martin, Dino Homsey, Gene LeBell, Herman Poppe, Stephen James Carver, John LaMotta, Alexander Folk, Heather Lauren Olson.

Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight (1991)

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After two outings as Jake Raye, kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson is back in this third installment…as a prisoner.

In prison, Jimmy Boland attempts to protect a friend from a local bruiser gang when he sees his friend being assaulted. Using martial arts, he ultimately kills the leader of the gang and when the warden gets wind of what has happened, he decides to send Jimmy to the worst prison block. The reason is because the warden knows that Blue will seek revenge against Jimmy. Luther was Blue’s drug supplier and now that the supply is gone, Blue does indeed plot his revenge.

Upon his entry in his new “home”, Jimmy meets Wheelhead, the leader of a band of white supremacists. When he invites Jimmy to join the gang, Jimmy, who is Asian-American, refuses and Wheelhead, feeling offended, also wants to get rid of Jimmy. Meanwhile, Jimmy has eventually bonded with his new cellmate, Stark, who is set to be released soon. However, Blue and Wheelhead have decided to put aside their differences to take out the common enemy and that common enemy is Jimmy.

With his starring role in Bloodfist and Bloodfist II, where he played the hero Jake Raye in two different tournaments, kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson returns in this third installment that takes a different route. To start, Wilson plays a brand new character in Jimmy Boland. In addition, the film is set in a prison and it was released at a time when the infamous tale of Rodney King occurred. Perhaps the reason why this film was made was to bring the effects of racism in the midst, but in addition, make for a decent action film.

Kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson once again shines as this time, he is in the middle of a race war that puts him as the common enemy between two stereotypical gangs. One is the African-American drug dealers led by Blue, played by the late Gregory McKinney. The other is a gang of white supremacists led by Wheelhead, played by Rick Dean. Like its predecessors, the film also features real-life martial arts champions in roles as pretty much thugs sent to kill Wilson’s character. They include Australian kickboxing champion Stan “The Man” Longinidis and former kickboxing champion Ian Jacklin as members of Wheelhead’s gang and Peter “Sugarfoot” Cunningham, who is sadly wasted when compared to his performances in both No Retreat No Surrender and Above the Law, as a member of the drug dealing gang.

The original Shaft, Richard Roundtree, brings a more grounded effort in the role of Jimmy’s cellmate Stark, who serves as a mentor to Jimmy. Stark believes in equality rather than separation and it is after one of Wilson’s confrontations that his voice is heard as perhaps the catalyst that brings a sense of unity amongst some of the prisoners. And naturally, this angers the two villains of the film. There is an additional side character in Diddler, played by John Cardone. While his crime isn’t completely revealed, the appearance of someone during visitor’s day gives the viewer quite a guess and it is when he helps Wilson’s Jimmy that brings a sense of redemption for this character.

Paul Maslak, Eric Lee, and Don “The Dragon” Wilson choreographed the film’s fight sequences and while there are fisticuffs in the film, it is sporadic compared to a more dramatic element that is meant to serve its purpose in terms of the effects of racial prejudice. The fights though are not too bad for the most part. The Longinidis-Wilson brawl in the prison yard is a short and sweet fight that makes good use of both the martial artists’ skills. While McKinney and Dean are not exactly martial artists, they do quite well when it comes to being masterminds and manipulators. Richard Paul’s warden is also quite a manipulator as he intends to make life hell for everyone to keep his authority in line but even that tends to have some possible consequences.

Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight is a pretty good installment of the film series, all in part to its message about racism while at the same time, making the most of its fighting cast.

WFG RATING: B

A Concorde (New Horizons) production. Director: Oley Sassone. Producer: Roger Corman. Writers: Alison Burnett and Charles Mattera. Cinematography: Rick Bota. Editing: Eric L. Beason.

Cast: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Richard Roundtree, Rick Dean, Gregory McKinney, Richard Paul, Charles Boswell, Brad Blaisdell, Stan Longinidis, Peter Cunningham, Laura Stockman.

Bloodfist II (1990)

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Jake Raye is back and finds himself in his most dangerous fight yet!

After avenging his brother’s death in Manila, Jake Raye has become a kickboxing champion. However, in his latest title defense, he accidentally kills his opponent Mickey Sheehan. Jake has decided to retire from fighting. A year has passed when he gets a call from friend Vinnie Petrello, who was his former trainer. Vinnie has gotten himself in trouble with Su, a notorious gangster, in Manila. Asking for Jake’s help, Jake reluctantly goes back to Manila.

There, he meets the mysterious Mariella, who serves an ally but also the treacherous Dieter, who works for Su. Jake finds himself kidnapped and taken on board a boat. There, he reunites with friends Bobby and Sal as well as meeting boxer John, taekwondo champion Tobo, and martial artist Manny. The group learns that Su has arranged for the fighters to compete against Su’s personal army of warriors in a tournament. Much to Jake’s dismay, he soon learns his one-time best friend has set him up and has allies himself with Su. Will Jake be able to overcome the odds and stop Su, Vinnie, and his army of warriors?

In what would be the only related installment of the eight-film martial arts series, kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson returns as Jake Raye, the hero from Bloodfist. Here, he finds himself in another deadly tournament. However, unlike the original film, he goes up against steroid-driven warriors from Su, who is played by Joe Mari Avellana, who played Jake’s mentor Kwong in the original film. Avellana does play quite a devious mastermind with Filipina actress Rina Reyes as Mariella, who seems to serve as both an ally and well, someone forced into a situation that causes her to be on the other side. ON the other hand, Robert Marius is truly evil in the role of Dieter and we mean an evil henchman who tends to sometimes go over the top when the scene calls for it.

Much like the original film, the supporting cast is made up of real-life fighters who transition to the big screen. The most recognizable face aside from Wilson would be Timothy Baker, who played Kurt McKinney’s father in No Retreat, No Surrender. Here, he plays Jake’s old pal Sal Taylor, a Shotokan karate champion and former club bouncer. Baker still has it quite well as does kickboxing champions Richard Hill as military man Bobby and James Warring as boxer John. Another kickboxing champion, Maurice Smith, as the traitorous Vinnie, would go on to have a future as a UFC fighter. The film also features two local talents in Manny Samson, who would go on to be a stunt coordinator in Filipino action films as well as taekwondo champion Monsour del Rosario, who went on to become of the Philippines’ top names in action films.

With the ensemble cast of fighters, it is clear that the fights have to be amped up a bit and do so to good effect. Wilson gets a chance to show more fighting in this one from open to end. Like Avellana, look out for martial artist and actor Ned Hourani play a different character who once again suffers a fate in the opening film. And despite some action scenes before the film’s tournament sequences, it is the tournament scenes themselves and climatic aftermath that serve as the best fights in the film as it allows the cast to showcase their skills in the screen.

Bloodfist II is just as good, if not slightly above the original film that makes good use of its fighting cast with a very intricate story involving kidnapping and betrayal. One of the best installments of the film series.

WFG RATING: B

A Concorde (New Horizons) production. Director: Andy Blumenthal. Producers: Roger Corman and Cirio H. Santiago. Writer: Catherine Cyran, based on characters created by Robert King. Cinematography: Bruce Dorfman. Editing: Karen Joseph.

Cast: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Joe Mari Avellana, Rina Reyes, Maurice Smith, Robert Marius, Richard Hill, Timothy Baker, Steve Rogers, Monsour del Rosario, Manny Samson, Chris Aguilar, Ned Hourani.

Bloodfist (1989)

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Kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson gets his first lead role in this martial arts action film that would be just the beginning of a successful career for him.

When Michael Raye wins a martial arts tournament in Manila, he is mysteriously attacked that night and ends up brutally murdered. Michael’s brother Jake is a boxer who runs the family gym in Los Angeles. Giving up a life of fighting after donating a kidney to his brother, he is happy becoming a teacher until he learns that Michael has been found dead. Jake heads to Manila to claim the body but intends to learn the truth about his brother.

Jake learns that Michael was involved in the tournament, Jake decides to enter the tournament to perhaps find his brother’s killer. He finds a mentor in Kwong, who saves him from some local thugs. As Jake begins training, he becomes versed in martial arts, having to go up against some of the top fighters in the world. They include the high-kicking Black Rose, Muay Thai fighter Raton, and the monstrous Chin Woo. Jake also learns his new friend Baby is also competing in the tournament, and gives him his full support. As the tournament begins, Jake makes it clear that he will find his brother’s killer.

Hailed as one of the greatest, if not the greatest kickboxer in the world, Don “The Dragon” Wilson had done some small roles in films, including a 1982 Hong Kong action film called New York Chinatown and an appearance as John Cusack’s sparring partner in the hit Say Anything. “King of the B-Movies” Roger Corman was truly impressed with Wilson and this would lead to this film, which would be just the beginning of Wilson’s prolific career in films.

Wilson actually does well acting wise for his lead debut as Jake, a former boxer who must learn kickboxing to avenge his brother’s murder. For a lead role performance, Wilson holds himself quite well on both an acting level and getting the chance to showcase his kickboxing skills on screen. Filipino actor Joe Mari Avellana plays Kwong, Jake’s mentor, who provides a good teacher role of sorts. Michael Shaner’s Baby is the comic relief of the film, while Riley Bowman, as Baby’s sister and Jake’s love interest, has no needs to be a damsel-in-distress, but instead becomes an important ally in the story.

In what would be a trend of Corman’s films, Wilson would co-star with some top notch martial arts talents. They would include Dutch-born Muay Thai kickboxing champion Rob Kaman as the German fighter Raton, superkicker and the founder of Tae-Bo himself, Billy Blanks, as Black Rose; and the hulking Chris Aguilar, who is known today as the head bodyguard and spiritual adviser of Filipino boxing champion/politician Manny Pacquiao. Ronald Asinas, Corman’s go-to guy for action in the Philippines, teams with Fred Esplana on the action scenes and for a late 80’s B-movie, it’s quite good. Especially seeing Wilson, Blanks, Kaman, and even Aguilar show their skills on the screen to good effect.

This film would go on to be one of Corman’s favorites in a way as he has made not only sequels to the series, but went as far as rebooting this film on four occasions. The first “reboot” came with Full Contact in 1993, which launched another kickboxing champion, Jerry Trimble, to leading man status. The second, 1993’s Angel Fist, was a female-driven reboot led by the late Cat Sassoon. 1994’s third reboot, Dragon Fire, was an attempt to launch New York-born martial artist and actor Dominic La Banca. Finally, in 2005, fans were treated to Bloodfist 2050, which was an attempt to launch XMA star Matt Mullins to leading star status and features Avellana as the head judge of the tournament.

In the end, Bloodfist is a worthy lead role debut for Don “The Dragon” Wilson, filled with a clichéd revenge plot, but decent fight sequences and well as makes good use of its location shooting.

WFG RATING: B

A Concorde (New Horizons) production. Director: Terence H. Winkless. Producers: Roger Corman and Cirio H. Santiago. Writer: Robert King. Cinematography: Ricardo Gale. Editing: Karen Horn.

Cast: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Joe Mari Avellana, Michael Shaner, Riley Bowman, Billy Blanks, Rob Kaman, Chris Aguilar, Vic Diaz, Ned Hourani, Marilyn Bautista, Kenneth Peerless, Edgardo Castañeda.

Magic Kid (1993)

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Junior martial arts champion Ted Jan Roberts makes his film debut which features legendary kickboxer turned actor Don “The Dragon” Wilson in a special appearance.

Kevin Ryan is a young martial arts champion from Kalamazoo, Michigan who is heading to California with his sister Megan to see his idol, kickboxer turned action star Don “The Dragon” Wilson. Kevin’s uncle Bob, a talent agent, is the one who promised Kevin and Megan, who wishes to see teen heartthrob Tommy Hart as well. However, what the duo do not know is that Uncle Bob isn’t as big as he once was.

Bob is a down on his luck agent who owes a gambling debt to some local hoodlums. Desperate for money, Bob still attempts to make Kevin and Megan’s trip memorable. When Kevin learns the truth about Uncle Bob, he is at first heartbroken. However, he becomes determined to help Uncle Bob fend off the goons with his martial arts skills. Soon enough, when Megan goes on a date with Tommy, that night will soon be unforgettable to this trio of uncle, niece, and nephew.

At the time of the film’s release, L.A.-based PM Entertainment began slowly becoming one of indie action cinema’s top film companies due to the likes of Don “The Dragon” Wilson and Gary Daniels making their way to become 90’s action heroes. Deciding to take a chance on adding a family demographic, the search was on for a young martial artist who would become their PM’s newest star.

Enter twelve-year old Ted Jan Roberts, who after a brief appearance on an episode of Married with Children, makes his film debut in the titular role. As the young Kevin, the film gives Roberts a chance to showcase his martial arts skills and truly looks like he is having fun with the role. While his character calls for him to meet the legendary Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Kevin does find himself having to defend his Uncle Bob, played by Stephen Furst, who has a bit of fun himself as a down on his luck agent who finds himself in a terrible jam but remains loyal to his family. Furst had so much fun making this film that would go on to not only return for the sequel, but make his directorial debut on that very film.

Of course, to rival another family martial arts film released at the time, 3 Ninjas, there has to be some idiotic goons who Kevin must face off against and they come in the form of Billy Hufsey as Guido with Red Horton and Joe Murphy as his thugs. Hollywood veterans Chris Mitchum and Lauren Tewes make cameos as Kevin and Megan’s parents who need a vacation, so they send the kids to California. Art Camacho makes a cameo himself as Kevin’s martial arts teacher in the opening tournament sequence and also served as the film’s fight choreographer.

The film may be somewhat of a showreel for Roberts when it comes to his martial arts skills, but Camacho’s fight choreography makes it quite a hoot to watch. Aside from Guido and his goons, Roberts take on some bikers at a pool hall, some goons at the beach, and then the finale in a nightclub, where everything comes to a head. There’s even a fun sequence set at Universal Studios to take away the more serious plot of the film as a breather/intermission of sorts.

Magic Kid may not be as big as 3 Ninjas at the time, but it is still a fun martial arts adventure for the family that highlights the talents of young Ted Jan Roberts as the titular role, filled with some fun fight sequences and any Don “The Dragon” Wilson fan will want to see his special appearance in the film.

WFG RATING: B

A PM Entertainment Production. Director: Joseph Merhi. Producers: Joseph Merhi and Richard Pepin. Writer: Stephen Smoke. Cinematography: Ken Blakey. Editing: Geraint Bell.

Cast: Stephen Furst, Ted Jan Roberts, Shonda Whipple, Sandra Kerns, Billy Hufsey, Red Horton, Joe Murphy, Joseph Campanella, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Chris Mitchum, Lauren Tewes.

Paying Mr. McGetty (2016)

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2016, Traditionz Movie II Ltd.

Director:
Michael Baumgarten
Producers:
Karen Kaing
Cheryl Sanders
James E. Wilson
Writers:
Michael Baumgarten
Adam W. Marsh
Cinematography:
Stephen Graham
Editing:
Jamie Lockhart

Cast:
R. Marcos Taylor (Tyrell)
Don “The Dragon” Wilson (Shota)
Anita Clay (Meena)
Alissa Schneider (Cecilia)
Jonathan D. Lee (Vinnie)
Wade Williams (Rocco)
Forbes Riley (Mrs. R)
Paul Logan (Low-Gunn)
Natasha Blasick (Nikki Nixx)
Martin Blasick (Nick Nixx)
Cynthia Santos (Talia)
Lisa Catara (Mistress Virtigo)

A man is about to go through the worst day of his life in this action-comedy from the makers of The Martial Arts Kid.

Tyrell is a dry cleaning deliveryman and aspiring rap producer who after a night of drinking and gambling wakes up one day to find he isn’t home but in bed with a young woman named Cecilia. She swears nothing happened, but Tyrell still doesn’t understand the situation. When Tyrell receives a call from his girlfriend Meena about having to pay Mr. McGetty, their landlord, two months rent to prevent an eviction, he leaves and goes to work. However, this will just be the beginning of a long day for Tyrell.

Rocco, a local gangster, has learned about Cecilia and Tyrell since he has a relationship with her. When he and buddy Vinnie attempt to confront Tyrell, things don’t go as planned. Rocco makes a phone call to his boss, Cecilia’s father, and he decides to hire assassin Shota to do away with Tyrell. As Tyrell juggles between his job, his dreams, and dealing with both his girlfriend’s wrath and being hunted down by Shota as well as other goons hired by Cecilia’s father, Tyrell is in for a long day. All he can hope to do at this point, is survive.

The writing team and the director of the well-received family film The Martial Arts Kid follow it up with this action-comedy all set in one day and revolves around one man’s completely bad luck as he struggles to not just keep his job, keep his girl, and pay his landlord (the titular Mr. McGetty), but now thanks to some goofball who decides to cause trouble, he must learn to survive the worst day of his life.

R. Marcos Taylor, best known for his role as rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight in the hit film Straight Outta Compton, gets the lead role this time as the very unlucky Tyrell. Taylor is quite fun to watch as Tyrell as we see him in one unfortunate circumstance after another. These circumstances lead Tyrell to either try to escape or in some scenes, having to defend or fight. Thankfully, this allows Taylor, a former kickboxing champion, to showcase his skills when necessary and does well in terms of playing someone who is just very unlucky and does what he can to make things right.

Kickboxing legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson gets some major screen time in as Shota, the Japanese-born assassin for hire. Wilson spends most of his screen time doing what he does best, fighting. However, Shota also shows a soft side to his character as he eventually learns the truth about things yet at the same time, gains respect from other assassins for hire when they converge at a social club just to chat and not try to kill each other, a quite welcoming scene that involves the likes of Paul Logan and Natasha and Martin Blasick amongst others.

Anita Clay and Alissa Schneider make the most of their roles as Tyrell’s concerned yet constantly bickering girlfriend Meena and mob boss daughter Cecilia, who gets Tyrell in this situation in the first place. While Meena may come off as a bit of annoyance, she does have that side of concern it seems while Cecilia’s intentions to put Tyrell in the situation that becomes his unlucky day are not exactly what one would think and it’s clear that the apple does sometime fall from the tree.

In charge of the film’s fight scenes is John Kreng, a stunt legend in his own right and has a noteworthy book on the subject of fight choreography. Kreng gets to showcase the talents of veteran Wilson and lead star Taylor. There are plenty of scenes that are some pretty good fight scenes and the finale is a short and sweet fight that is set in a local sports stadium in Tampa. And when we mean short and sweet, it is exactly that, short and sweet because it’s all part of the action-comedy aspect that makes this fight just work out in the end.

Paying Mr. McGetty is a fun ride into one unlucky man’s worst day ever, with R. Marcos Taylor and Don “The Dragon” Wilson being the driving forces of the film. Some fun fight scenes and the funny assassin gatherings are quite a hoot. Overall, it is good harmless fun that fans may end up enjoying.

WFG RATING: B

A Special Thank You goes out to Traditionz Entertainment’s James Wilson for allowing World Film Geek to see this film!