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Blackbelt II (1989)

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Brad Spyder flies to Hawaii to uncover a web of bribery, betrayal and lies and when Spyder finds his partner dead, a cat and mouse game between killer and cop begins.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Blake Bahner ...
Brad Spyder
Ronald William Lawrence ...
Lee Stokes
Gary Rooney ...
Ed Skinner
Roxanne Baird ...
Karen Pendleton
Michael Vlastas ...
Sid Friedkin
Paul Holme ...
Roderick Pendleton
John P. Dulaney ...
Chief of Police O'Donnel (as John Dulaney)
Henry Strzalkowski ...
Ted Kanaka
Vic Diaz ...
Bill Akida
Derek Williams ...
Jeffrey Stokes
Louie Del Castillo ...
Meski Gelahun ...
Nancy Stokes
Eric Hahn ...
Hotel Clerk
Helen McNeely ...
John Falch ...


Brad Spyder flies to Hawaii to uncover a web of bribery, betrayal and lies and when Spyder finds his partner dead, a cat and mouse game between killer and cop begins. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

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Release Date:

August 1989 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Blackbelt II: Fatal Force  »

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Followed by Blackbelt (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

"There will be casualties on both sides!"
12 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

On a good day, BLACKBELT II would get two stars instead of one. The film has some B-movie charm to it and, realistically, isn't the worst you can go when it comes to low-budget action pictures. Nevertheless, the technical laziness and storyline hodgery of Blake Bahner's guns & karate vehicle weigh in on my nerves enough that I don't feel very generous. Chances are you've never heard of this movie before now, and with good reason: there is absolutely nothing special about the film, leading it to languish in utter obscurity.

The story: When the partner of renegade cop Brad Spyder (Bahner) is murdered while investigating the reappearance of his thought-dead brother in Hawaii, he makes it his mission to find out what happened and discovers a deadly crime syndicate trying to swindle money out of a desperate father (Paul Holme)...

The meat of the plot is that this syndicate (led by Gary "Skinner" Rooney and Michael "Friedkin" Vlastas) has promised the aforementioned father the return of his son, who went missing in Vietnam, but plan to trick him with the false testament of a fake POW before stealing his money. The idea has some potential, but it's presented in such a convoluted manner that few viewers will be troubled to continue to follow its development after the first half-hour. There's a political half-statement regarding the expendability of soldiers and the facilitation of a theory that, when too many soldiers deserted the military in Vietnam, they were declared MIA to cover up the embarrassment. Weird.

However, what kills the movie dead is its poor production. Far too many scenes are shot under dark lighting and have a bleak, washed-out look that makes this 1993 film seem like it was made in 1980. Expect incorrectly-synched sound effects galore. Worse still is the movie's atrocious editing, which not only cuts every shot half a second too early but also denies the film any ebb or flow via chronic inconsistencies between shots and a general lack of comprehensible pace. This carries over to the action scenes, which were the movie's last chance at any cinematic worth. A combination of bloody-but-unremarkable shootouts and worthless fistfights disappoints something awful. Blake Bahner has some decent kicks and more or less looks the part of the next Van Damme-wannabe, but save for so-so brawl he has with Gary Rooney at the end of the picture, the four fights either make dreadful overuse of the "many shots, one strike, quick edit" technique or are simply executed so lifelessly that it's very difficult to care who wins.

With the exception of "the jolly evil fat man of Filipino exploitation cinema" Vic Diaz, the cast is made up almost exclusively of bit-players and the acting is roundly questionable. The subliminal weirdness of the story and how the movie and the wonky production values might ultimately appeal to hardcore B-movie lovers, but this film clearly isn't for me. Rest assured, it has no connection beyond its title with the original Don Wilson outing, therein eliminating its final glimmer of possible intrigue. Continue to ignore this movie; it might as well not even exist.

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