|Index||4 reviews in total|
Fists of Iron is your typical "Fight film with a heart". Even though the story's been told a zillion times, Director Munchkin gives it a fresh perspective. He brings the sometimes predictable script to life with interesting characters, and fight "maestro' Art Camacho does a great job with the fight action. Michael Worth makes up for his lack of charisma with his earnestness and veteran actors Sam Jones and Marshall Teague practically steal the show. Overall it is a very well done low budget flick proving that low budget doesn't have to equal bad filmmaking.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dale Hartwell (Worth) is an easygoing mechanic and single father with
some impressive fighting skills. One day his friend Matt (Nick Hill)
takes him to a ritzy mansion where "Peter Gallagher's All-Stars" (not
related to the awesomely-eyebrowed actor\singer), fight in a backyard
ring for big money cash prizes. Matt foolishly thinks he can go two
minutes in the ring with hulking super-brute Victor "The Destroyer"
Bragg (the always charming Hues). Bragg has the most arrogant name
since Trevor Gottitall from American Shaolin: King of the Kickboxers II
(1991). If you're the Victor, ya gotta Bragg.
Sadly, Matt dies of internal injuries and a heartbroken Dale vows retribution. So like C.J Thunderbird in Fist Fighter (1989) wanted a piece of "Rhino" (Hues), Dale wants a piece of Bragg (Hues).
Thankfully, Dale hangs out at the local watering hole, also frequented by Daniel & Tyler (Lee and Jones respectively), two former fighters with a history with Gallagher. They train Dale to take on the reigning champ in a series of montages. To get revenge for Matt, Dale must go up the ranks. (Dale fights the usual "Boxcar Joes", "Barts", and "Butchys" and the like at the CAR-U-RENT trucking stop). Add to this a ridiculous love triangle and the end result is pure Iron Gold.
There is a lot to love about Fists Of Iron: It has a lot more heart and character development than your average punchfighter. The main protagonists Worth, Jones and Lee are all likable and you care about their mission. Jones and Lee make a great comic team and there is a lot of humor in the film as a whole. (i.e. the subplot about a meathead refusing to pay for his fixed motor). Hues plays the evil villain with aplomb. (mid-film they change his name to Victor "The Giant" Bragg). Jones looks like Chuck Norris with his beard and wisdom. Every male in the movie except for Eric Lee has a square head. Where was Howie Long when you needed him? Taking a cue from Shootfighter II (1995), Gallagher's fighters have their own pants. They are blue with white polka dots. The ring announcer screams (with no microphone) "Let's get ready to rumble!" Michael Buffer charges five million dollars to say this. This is copyright infringement and the filmmakers might be hearing from Buffer's lawyers soon. As for the softer sides of the movie, Worth looks way too young to have a daughter that looks about 12 years old herself. He looks 16 at best. As for the love interest, she is not very attractive and it's not believable that she would be the focal point of a love triangle between Dale and Gallagher. They should have gotten Shannon Tweed, Shannon Whirry, Joan Severance, Angie Everhart, or someone of that ilk to play the part.
In the one of the montages, Dale has to pick up a boulder from one of the many boulders in Tyler and Daniel's front yard. Then it's "Meathead in the stone" as Dale tries to be the chosen one. It is like The Karate Kid (1984), but interestingly, there are two Mr. Miyagis training him.
Richard W. Muchkin knows how to make a quality punchfighter. Just see Ring Of Fire for more evidence of his talent.
A cut above the average meathead flick, we recommend "Fists Of Iron".
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The early 90's was awash with baggy trousered guys fighting in the
gardens of private mansions, underground car parks or rings, each with
terribly cheesy acting, hammy fight scenes, and long hair.
While that was going on, us real fans of action and martial arts, were getting stuck in to the very best of Hong Kong cinema courtesy of Jackie, Sammo, Yuen Biao and the rest of the stars that put any US film to shame!
I remember when Enter The Shootfighter came out on video. The cover wasn't overly tempting and it seemed the distributors weren't trying too hard to pull in an audience.
So I ignored it.
Recently though, I found it on DVD in my local Poundland, and having since become a fan of the handsome and talented Michael Worth, I thought I'd give it a go.
Pleasantly surprised, in regards to its story and action, we also had the bonus of getting B-movie stars such as the hilariously OTT Matthias Hues and Marshall Teague in the bad corner, with cult faves Same Jones and Eric Lee as Worths training masters who pulled things off quite well.
Michael Worth has always impressed. I can't understand why such a good looking guy, with great body, fighting skills and decent acting ability, has never gotten that big break?!
In ETS, he doesn't fail to impress yet again, and as always, is a joy to watch.
No matter what title you pick it up as, ETS is an enjoyable 90 minutes of martial arts action, drama and comedy, that is still better than half of the crap they try dishing out today in the same genre!
This is one of the weakest movies I have ever seen.
The fighting in the movie cannot be called martial arts. The acting was
horrible, the plot was senseless, and even the filming needed
There is nothing more to say than...Bad movie, stay away!
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