Professor John Stoneman Teaches at the local university. John philosophy is to prevent violence and handle any situation without hurting anybody. But his way of life changes when a few ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Professor John Stoneman
...
Darcona
Phillip Jarrett ...
Doc
Richard Fitzpatrick ...
Armstrong
...
Carmel Stoneman
Joseph Di Mambro ...
Jason Samuels
...
Tayback
Kerry Harris ...
Mr. Kerry
Dennis O'Connor ...
Doctor
David Fraser ...
Dave
...
Hank
David Campbell ...
Henry
Derek Clifford ...
Slick
Rogue Johnston ...
Maitre D
Mark Huissman ...
Boy Boy
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Storyline

Professor John Stoneman Teaches at the local university. John philosophy is to prevent violence and handle any situation without hurting anybody. But his way of life changes when a few punks attack his wife and stab her, which causes her to lose her baby. This incident catches the attention of a man who makes illegal broadcasts of fights between two people, where they have to kill or be killed. John is kidnapped by him and is brought to the place where all the fights are taking place. At first John refuses to kill any opponent, but will he change his mind when his wife's life is on the stand...? Written by Asaf Peeri <peeri@actcom.co.il>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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It's illegal. It's immoral. And it's always deadly.

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Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for continuous strong violence and language | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

1995 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Fatal Combat  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

[after getting stabbed through the hand, and licking off the blood]
Darcona: I'm gonna hurt you. I'm gonna make you scream!
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Soundtracks

Elixer
Written by John Boswell
Courtesy of John Boswell Records
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User Reviews

 
"You confuse perversity with potential"
25 November 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

FATAL COMBAT here (originally and more aptly titled NO EXIT) isn't your typical Jeff Wincott action picture. There are fair few aspects linking this one to typical martial arts B-movies of the time, with a better-than-average dramatic cast and a script that definitely tries to be more consequential and serious than most films dealing with secret fight tournaments. For some folks, this might make it one of the best Wincott vehicles. Me, I thought it was all a bit much; part of this can be blamed on the movie's marketing, which doesn't indicate that this is a departure from the norm for Jeff, but also on the fact that there's not much payoff for the drama in either a resolution or karate fights.

The story: Philosophy professor and martial artist John Stoneman (Wincott) is kidnapped by a wealthy sadist who broadcasts a to-the-death tournament to paying clients from a subarctic prison (Richard Fitzpatrick).

I think most of this film's unusual nature can be attributed to writer-director Damian Lee, the boxer-turned-filmmaker who became one of the more ambitious, hit-or-miss blenders of the action and drama genres. His film here is equal parts drama and action, but the latter is definitely weaker than the former. There are between four and six fights - depending on what you consider to be a fight scene - and virtually none of them are really worth watching. Jeff's really by himself here, since the closest he comes to having an opponent who can match his martial arts is Sven-Ole Thorsen as the sadistic champion, but Thorsen's more of a brawler and doesn't contribute a good match. Even when Jeff engages a couple opponents in spear fights within an electrified cage, the result is merely average (how is that even possible?).

At its height, the movie certainly approaches being a respectable drama. The cast also includes the late Guylaine St-Onge as Wincott's wife and Douglas O'Keefe (Nuremberg) as the top henchman, and the result is a film that focuses more on and mostly pulls off its acting content. Jeff's given more legitimate dramatic scenes in this one than perhaps any other of his films from the same era. The problem for me is that the movie is so unabashedly dark and bleak that it gets downright depressing after a while. Here's infanticide and rape in the same movie, not to mention weightier murders than we're used to in films like these, without any substantial payoff - jeez, even THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION knew when to throw a bone, and it didn't even have martial art fight scenes.

Two things I admire about the film are the philosophical (or anti-philosophical?) angle the script tries for and how believable the freezing setting is made, with the performers' breath visible when they're speaking - it probably wasn't the easiest shoot. Altogether, the movie is an interesting departure from the action norm, but the novelty wears off by the time the film is halfway over due to a lack of tradeoff from the action department. On a bad day, this would get two stars from me, but because I can see the genuine effort that went into this one's production, I'll be generous.


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