Thursday, 15 January 2015

Blackbelt 2: Fatal Force


Directed by: Jose Mari Avellana & Kevin tent
Screenplay: Steve Rogers
Starring: Blake Bahner, Ronald William Lawrence, Gary Rooney, Roxanne Baird & Michael Vlastas

Ok I think I’ve got this right but there was whiskey involved while viewing this film so who knows, bear with me: Blackbelt was a solid and cool Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson action flick reportedly released in 1992. Blackbelt 2 would appear to be (and certainly sounds like) a sequel to Blackbelt, starring one time karate champion, Blake Bahner but reportedly has a release date of 1989. Huh! So Blackbelt 2 was released before Blackbelt? Ok! Blackbelt 2 sees Blake Bahner playing tough super cop Brad Spyder (awesome action movie name!) a character he also played a year earlier in the aptly named Spyder. Come to think of it most of the cast in Blackbelt 2 are from Spyder playing the same characters. However, Blackbelt 2 is not a sequel to Spyder but (possibly) to Blackbelt (though apparently Blackbelt follows Blackbelt 2 – huh!). It appears Blackbelt 2 is made up from a lot of cribbed footage from Spyder (directed by Jose Mari Avellana) with some new footage shot and added in (directed by Kevin Tent): or at least I think that’s what the case is. So in fact, Blackbelt 2 is a sequel (of sorts) to Spyder but also a remake (of sorts) of it and a sequel (of sorts) to Blackbelt (though Blackbelt may in fact be a sequel to Blackbelt 2!!!) and Blackbelt 2 may in fact just be the same film as Spyder!? What!!?? Oh, and all the above mentioned films were produced by Roger Corman. 

Which may go some way to explaining what the hell is going on in Blackbelt 2: which features very little karate fighting as the title would suggest but does feature a heap ton of gun blazing and vehicular stunt action! Corman has always been known for rushing films, recycling footage and churning out many a film in a year and Blackbelt 2 would appear to be a product of this. A sort of Vietnam-action-war-movie that morphs into a renegade-cop-out-to-catch-the-killer-of-his-dead-partner-flick, Blackbelt 2 rarely makes a lick of sense, has recycled footage a-go-go (I’m pretty sure there were shots and scenes from other Corman produced Vietnam flicks in there along with the scenes from Spyder!) and features all kinds of odd fades, music edits, dialogue overdubs and jump cuts in an attempt to piece together all the footage to make sense and produce a whole new movie.

However, despite the ludicrousness of the above Blackbelt 2 (if you can go with it) is a lot of action baloney fun. The film is crammed with fire-fights (often brutally staged), explosions, dangerous motorcycle stunts and even a few fist fights meaning the film rollicks along on its own absurdness. Black Bahner acts all tough and gruff (meaning he shouts a lot!), rocks the denim and wears leather gloves like a motherfucker! On top of all this there is the obligatory angry police captain (complete with comedy Irish accent!), some boobs and it all gets wrapped up in a neat, sweet 75 minutes. Awesome!

B-movie bonkers at its best!

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