Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bloodfist VI: Ground Zero

BLOODFIST VI: GROUND ZERO is DIE HARD in a missile silo, as executive-produced by Roger Corman. One of the best things about the many direct-to-video action movies of the 1990s starring kickboxers is the credits’ insistence on listing the stars’ credentials along with their names. So here we have “WKA World Kickboxing Champion” Don “The Dragon” Wilson starring in a film that bears no resemblance to any other of the eight (!) BLOODFIST movies except it has Wilson in it.

Numero Seis stars Don as Nick Corrigan, an Army courier who stumbles upon terrorist Fawkes’ (!) plan to hijack a nuclear missile base and hold the world’s largest cities for ransom. Corrigan (Wilson) doesn’t appear to be a highly respected soldier—his dispatcher calls him an idiot over the radio—but he reveals a few hidden talents when he is trapped inside the base with only Fawkes’ motley band of machine-gun-toting sycophants for company. Since we already know Wilson is a real-life world kickboxing champion, no points for guessing that Corrigan is an ex-Secret Forces commando who was demoted for disobeying a direct order to abandon his men in a combat zone.

GROUND ZERO might be the cheapest BLOODFIST film of all. Corman’s excuse for a base is a guard booth set up next to what looks like a radio station transmitter, and the massive underground facility is really a couple of corridors and some rooms lined with chintzy electronics. The fight scenes aren’t up to Wilson’s usual standards either. Not that he’s Jackie Chan or anything, but the action isn’t as fast or as brutal as it should be. Director Rick Jacobson stages the action poorly anyway--apparently trained soldiers at their physical prime are unable to hear gunfire echoing just a few feet away.

He could have used a better cast too. Jonathan Fuller (SKYSCRAPER) as Fawkes is over-the-top awful, but at least he shows some energy. Robin Curtis (Kirstie Alley’s replacement as Saavik in STAR TREK III) is dead wood as Wilson’s outside contact, and second-billed Cat Sassoon’s best scene is a topless one. Former L.A. Dodger Steve Garvey oddly appears as a brave Army major who gets to make out with Sassoon (ANGELFIST). Sassoon also fought the Dragon in BLOODFIST IV. Wilson and Jacobson worked together four times in three years, including BLOODFIST VIII.

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