2 Preposterous “Bloodsport” Rip-Offs
As the ninja boom disappeared back into the shadows in the late ’80s, a buff Belgian stepped in to take its place. In 1988 Jean-Claude Van Damme punched and kicked his way into the box office with “Bloodsport” and followed it up the next year with “Kickboxer.”
Each film grossed ten times its budget, so unsurprisingly the wily producers at IFD wanted a piece of the action. They put away the colorful ninja costumes and built a boxing ring in their studio where they churned out a dozen kickboxing flicks in two years. Two standouts were Kickboxer King and Kickboxer the Champion. The former mashes up the story of a steroid-addicted boxer with an incoherent but spectacular stunt-filled Thai action flick. The latter, in what might be an IFD first, collides its modern-dress kickboxing story with TWO period kung-fu films.
Join Kenny B and myself for a very punch-drunk edition of the Golden Ninja Podcast!
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