So last night I treated myself to a little Jean Claude Van Damme double feature. Two films I haven't seen in many years, but that I have seen multiple times each:
Bloodsport and Kickboxer!
I may have some spoilers in here just as a warning
My family didn't get cable until I was in the 8th grade (1989 or so), and my parents were holdouts on getting a VCR even. I can attribute this lack of initiative for my current lack of genre film experience. I grew up watching Kung Fu Theatre on a local public low bandwidth channel... and when we finally got cable (with Cinemax AND Showtime!), my genre experience moved largely to Emmanuelle type movies on Friday nights.
Hey, I was 13, what do you expect?
Anyway, these two films were ripe for the picking of the movie channels in the late 80s/early 90s. I was talking with Mattsuzaka from Chuck Norris Ate My Baby about the fact that Bloodsport was (and still is) shown on cable tons more than Kickboxer. While I am pretty certain I never rented them, I do know I have seen them so it must have been on cable back in the day.
But what was most interesting was how much the two films had blended together in my head. And it was mostly elements of Kickboxer leaking into my memory of Bloodsport, particularly the scenes where JCVD is kicking hanging pots full or water, and the friend being paralyzed (I thought he died actually!) as the driving force of the final showdown.
After watching the two again, I think my opinions of them changed as well. For whatever reason, I remember liking Bloodsport better, but I definitely think now that I enjoyed Kickboxer more. I like the outdoor, old school style training sequence. Also, while there is more actual fighting in Bloodsport, much of is it presented as musical montage... huge disappointment there. But the final fight in Kickboxer is worth the price of admission.
Well, that and JCVD drunk dancing in a local bar.
So check out both these movies for
- Jean Claude's nipple warming, pleated khakis
- Men's faces spinning into the camera with blood flying from the mouth
- Forrest Whitaker looking like a nerd and a half (Bloodsport)
- Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds (also Bloodsport)
- Sweat stains galore (JCVD does one spin kick and his denim shirt is instantly drenched)
- JCVD splits and training to achieve the split
- Cool late 80s style martial arts flicks.
- Feathered hair and lip gloss... on JCVD (Bloodsport again!)