Desert Kickboxer (1992)

I don’t talk about it much because it’s pretty sacred and all, but I’m part Indian. And let me tell you, that part of me loved every minute of Desert Kickboxer! The alternately touching and thrilling story of Indian half-breed Joe Mullethawk grabbed me by the hair, threatening to scalp my very head with its double crosses, flashbacks, fighting, and yes, its loving!

Writer/director Isaac Florentine (U.S. Seals II, Special Forces, Savate, Cold Harvest) knows that no man is more manly than when he’s being haunted by the demons of his kickboxing past! Or when he’s using the tale of his haunted past to bang some pretty squaw who’s on the run from a drug kingpin!

Mullethawk used to be a big city cop. Probably the best there was, but none of that mattered that fateful weekend when Mullethawk’s kickboxing hobby got out of hand and he killed a guy in the ring who spit on him!

Now Mullethawk is a deputy in the desert, but his efforts to get a lead on notorious drug lord Santos are fruitless. He tells the sheriff he wants to quit and that he’ll make his living selling authentic handcrafted Indian wood carvings.

It isn’t long though before Mullethawk gets his break in the Santos investigation since an accountant employed by Santos has fled and is probably headed Mullethawk’s way! If they can capture her, she could testify and put Santos away forever!

Mullethawk locates her and her retarded brother in the desert and takes them back to his camper. It’s not really that easy since he first has to kick the asses of a couple of Santos’ men that are shooting it out with the woman. Then she and her retard brother escape while Mullethawk is sleeping in the desert.


Finally, he has to rescue her from being raped by a bounty hunter dressed as a priest and her retard brother from being beaten up by the priest’s biker buddies! Who ever would have thought the desert could be so action packed!

After a night of knocking moccasins with her though, a terrible bit of treachery occurs that leaves his girlfriend kidnapped, retard brother dead and Mullethawk shot in the head! Even worse, the bad guys blow up his freaking trailer!

Luckily, Mullethawk’s mullet took the brunt of the bullet to his skull and he’s up and around and engaging in a montage of rehab and reflection in no time! He crawls around, using his mutant Indian powers to find water under plants, make fire, and use herbs to cure his mullet wound.

Next, he buries retard brother on sacred ground and Mullethawk poses on the rocks while a hawk flies around squawking. Then he goes into montage overdrive, losing his shirt and engaging in an exquisite series of tai chi positions, all intercut with shots of the hawk flying here and there.

We even get close ups of the hawk and if it could talk, it would have no doubt said, “what’s this shirtless Indian stud up to with all this kung fu mumbo jumbo?”


He’s up to payback, that’s what he’s up to you dumb majestic nosy bird! First is accosting the guy who betrayed him! Mullethawk means business as he mentions how his grandpappy was at the Ghost Dance of 1890 and came back with a whole bunch of scalps!

This guy doesn’t want to get scalped, so Mullethawk goes easy on him and only steals all his dope and tells him to tell Santos that he’ll trade it for his old lady!

Then it’s back to Mullethawk gearing up for some old school Indian whup ass. We’re talking arrows and a red handprint painted on his chest! When an Indian warrior wears the mark of the red hand on his chest, it means that Paleface better have AFLAC!

Mullethawk shoots guys with arrows, nails another with a spear, and chucks a knife into Santos! That only leaves Bruno, Santos’ right hand man who was a kickboxer so brutal he was banned for life!

A big old desert kickfight breaks out, highlighted by Bruno spitting on Mullethawk! Mullethawk almost kills this guy with his deadliest punch, but stops himself! And just in time, too since Santos comes alive and Mullethawk has to use Bruno as a shield!


The action and fight scenes aren’t much to write home about and Santos is a fat guy in a white suit who reads his lines like he was some sort of fat robot in a white suit, but the retard is great and Mullethawk just gets better and better as the movie goes along.

The movie is full of those little touches that make it easy to recommend to people who want some Billy Jack-type shenanigans, but without all the tedious political stuff.

For instance, Bruno systematically breaks a guy’s arm and knee and explains it all to us during an interrogation scene. You also have the woman accountant supposedly transferring $20 million belonging to Santos to a secret account with a computer despite only using a word processing program. Finally, Mullethawk shows how much he’s into his old lady during their love scene by licking her like she was a tanned and toned Italian Popsicle!

As awesome as the ancient desert kickboxing tradition it depicts, Desert Kickboxer is rightly revered by my people. The White Man will also enjoy it though he will likely try to steal your copy of it if you aren’t careful.

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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