Night of the Kickfighters (1988)

How cool would it be if there was a kickboxing-champ-turned-action-hero that us mere mortals could emulate? What if there was a guy taking on impossible missions to save chicks and the world that wouldn’t be a threat to our fragile masculine egos? Wouldn’t such a fellow be in for a long and successful career with his regular Joe qualities?

No. Not really. In fact, the same things about such a guy that would cause him not to threaten us normal dudes would be exactly the same things that would make us laugh uncomfortably whenever this regular kickboxing guy foolishly attempted to strut his lame stuff.

Do you really think you want to see an out of shape, balding, middle-aged loser huff and puff his way through a series of fight scenes so badly staged that a professional wrestler in his first match would cringe at their amateurishness?

Is there any possible entertainment value in watching a couple of kicks delivered with deadly slowness to guys who are even worse fighters than our hero? Guys who are seven feet tall, about one hundred pounds and don’t look like they’ve fought anything more serious in their life than a trying to find a pair of pants to fit their bizarre frame?

Guys so slow that our hero has to practically stand around so long that he has time to read Kickboxing For Dummies while waiting for them to muster a half hearted punch or kick in retaliation? Can any of that be truly the stuff of kickboxing movie legend? Of course it can!

Night Of The Kickfighters proves to be memorably horrible on all levels. From the nonexistent fighting abilities of all the actors to the nonexistent filmmaking abilities of everyone behind the camera, Night Of The Kickfighters is a veritable symphony of bad editing, worse special effects, and a story so woefully wrong, you’d think they were trying to be campy on purpose!

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How else to explain the presence of Adam West as the father of the kidnapped girl who also happens to be the guy that’s developed a smart laser than can target people on the battlefield based on scanning their eye, even with their back to the laser! And Adam West is the best performer in the whole movie!

The movie really brings its Z game though when star Andy Bauman begins to assemble his team that would assist him in rescuing the girl.

Socrates is a guy who owns a strip bar and I suppose he’s called Socrates because he’s smart. At least he was reading a book at his strip club – I never did notice anything else about him that made me think he was smart. The fact that he was buddies with Andy kind of told me he was the opposite.

And his strip club was really just a regular bar with one gal in a swimsuit dancing on an a stage that was about four foot long and two feet wide, just set up off to the side of the bar! Then there’s the worst bar fight in the history of bar fights that happens for no reason! A couple of guys start brawling and Socrates and Andy embarrass themselves by wading into with their inept skills!

As hideous as that was, nothing could prepare you for another member of Andy’s team. I am talking about Aldo the magician of course. Aldo demonstrates some of his magic skills on Andy including the self-inflating decoy designed to screw with the kidnappers’ henchmen when they invade the fortress to rescue the girl.

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One of the greatest moments of home video I’ve ever been a part of has to be when Aldo whips this thing out, it inflates and turns out to be blow up doll dressed up as a ninja! How did Andy not fall over laughing, his flabby sides cramping up, when he saw that?

And I’m not sure whether this is better or worse, but during the actual mission, Aldo uses inflatable dinosaurs dispatched throughout the fortress to confuse the guards! And a guard even delivers a roundhouse kick to one of them! The only inflatable dinosaur you’ll see in a Steven Seagal movie is Steven Seagal!

The whole movie is filled with startlingly awful moments like this. The lady villain of the piece sneers and snarls while prancing around in a blue jumpsuit straight out of some late 1960s superspy movie. A guy driving a limo declares that he’s going to lose a couple of people tailing him and we’re treated to scenes of a limo trying to outrun a Dodge Charger and a couple of vans. A girl dresses up as a ninja and surprises her sister in the bathtub because she’s upset that her sister is getting married!

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Andy even has his own version of James Bond’s Q named Bomber who presents him with a heatseeking arrow to use with his mini-crossbow and the classic throwing star hidden in the shoe gadget!

And no one ever lets on that they’re in on the joke! In fact, it’s all taken so deadly seriously that one of Andy’s team is killed in some microwave gizmo and Andy spends the last moments of the film contemplating his loss on a rock as the sun sets and the nauseating ballad of a theme song plays before the credits roll.

On the one hand, it’s a shame that we can’t confirm whether Andy actually made any other films since it would be interesting to see where he’d go from here. On the other hand, I can’t imagine where he could possibly go from here.

If your video library was a traveling carnival, Night Of The Kickfighters is one of those strangely deformed freaks that would be exhibited in an area separate from the rest of your kickboxing flicks. Please note: in consideration of their delicate sensibilities, under no circumstances will women and children be admitted to this attraction without being accompanied by a paying adult male! Or an inflatable ninja!

© 2013 MonsterHunter

3 thoughts on “Night of the Kickfighters (1988)

  1. don.t know if I should thank you or not for not including me in your dislike of the film
    funny stuff though….it should of been a comedy. bomber

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