As this series goes on, it sort of becomes more difficult to find anything fun or new to say about it. Don Wilson remains a solid-ish actor, the fight scenes remain at a pretty high standard, the plots remain fairly labyrinthine, and the budgets remain low. We can, of course, discuss the movies they “get inspiration” from – part 6 was a stew of different action movies, and part 7 is “The Fugitive”; but I think you’re all unlikely to be joining the series this deep in anyway, so you’re on board no matter what.
As a short preamble, this was never intended to be part of the Bloodfist franchise, and was indeed originally released on DVD as “Manhunt”, but was renamed later. No idea why, there’s zero continuity to this series, and looking at Don Wilson’s filmography, you could just pick 8 random movies, call them “Butt-Kicker” 1-8 and boom, you’ve got another franchise (seriously though, don’t do that, I don’t think I could review another 8).
Don is Jim Trudell, a guy who’s just driving round, it would seem. Helping out a woman in a redneck bar, he gives her a lift, puts her up in his hotel room and how does he get repaid? She steals his car, that’s how! Then, in a chain of events I’m still a little unclear on, he finds her car nearby and decides to try and track her down, despite his car being battered and hers being a top-end BMW. This gets him arrested for murder – a shady cop is searching her house at the same time he arrives, and Don kills him in self-defence – then he escapes and tries to stay alive, out of sight and try and solve the mystery of who the woman is and why everyone wants to kill him.
Steven Williams is Captain Doyle, the new cop in town who is tough but fair (Williams must have played this sort of role a thousand times) – so we’ve got him gradually coming to understand there’s something fishy in his own department at the same time as tracking down that evil cop-killer. Oh, and it turns out that Jim Trudell is a Special Forces badass who, identically to part 6 where he played a different character, was booted out of the Army for being too awesome. I wonder if they just made this script on a computer but forgot to change the “character origin” parameter?
Honestly, it’s another in a series which has turned out to be pretty fun. I mean, you’d probably be better off watching the films they take inspiration from, but if you’re looking for something new, there’s a lot worse you could do. There’s fun things to notice in this movie, anyway – the incredibly ugly shirt villain DT is wearing at around the 49:00 mark (it’s beyond hideous, really); the immensely unlikely set of circumstances that draw Don into the events of this movie; the way that for the second Bloodfist in a row, no-one can shoot worth a damn; the stunt double with really long hair, doubling for a guy with a close crop.
Just over 80 minutes (including a bizarrely abrupt cut to black right at the end), no muss no fuss. Just good old low budget action fun.
Rating: thumbs up