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Blind Vengeance (1994)

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A martial arts champion instructor gets involve in a conflict when he falls in love for one of his students, who happens to be ex-girlfriend of another martial arts instrutor and old rival.

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Rod Kei ...
Rick Dircks
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Tony Minelli
Cheryl Kalanoe ...
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A martial arts champion instructor gets involve in a conflict when he falls in love for one of his students, who happens to be ex-girlfriend of another martial arts instrutor and old rival.

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Blind Attack - Hart... Schnell... Gnadenlos...  »

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"I can't tell you how sorry I am this keeps happening"

BLIND VENGEANCE is the second and last film starring professional martial artist Rod Kei, and perhaps the most complimentary thing I can say is that it's a step up from his previous L.A. TASK FORCE. It might satisfy viewers who are just in it for the fights, but it's also a sloppy and amateurish adventure that represents the lower rungs of 90s action fare.

The story: The violent rivalry between two martial arts instructors (Rod Kei and Carl Van Meter) is aimed towards a violent end by a beautiful kickboxer (Cheryl Kalanoe).

There's a decent amount of fighting in here, and most of it's good. Kei and Van Meter are solid on screen performers, as is Cheryl Kalanoe, and there's even a nice role for the late Master Pely Ferrer. The dramatic portions are written well enough that the bad acting doesn't entirely crush them, and overall, this is a little more memorable than I expected it to be. Nevertheless, it's still bad. The story relies on tired macho tropes to keep from ending prematurely, women are collectively depicted as incredibly foolish, and there's a distasteful amount of sexism and intimate partner violence. There are also some plainly weird aesthetic decisions, like how scenes are interspersed by unexplained shots of Kei and Van Meter striking forms.

Equally as bad as all of these things is the film's technical presentation. As was the case with the aforementioned film, I got hold of a pretty bad DVD release. Maybe there's a better version out there, but this one has a terrible soundtrack, with the score and dialogue alternatively muffled to near-silence or bled together so much that you can barely understand what the characters are saying. It's not so damning once you realize that you can capture the gist of events by fast-forwarding to the fight scenes, but it makes it all the harder to appreciate a movie that already has little going for it.

Rod Kei didn't have much of a movie career, and though you see flashes of charisma here and can definitely glean why he was considered a prospect, I don't think the part of a lead star was right for him. I wish he'd hung around filmmaking longer, but as is, I think we see the cumulative best of what he had to offer here. If it's any consolation, I've seen worse.

P.S. Contrary to the film's page, neither Gerald McRaney nor Marg Helgenberger appear in this movie.


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