The Dark Angel: Psycho Kickboxer (1997)

The Dark Angel: Psycho Kickboxer (1997)
Genre: Action | Horror
Country: USA | Director: David Haycox & Mardy South
Language: English | Subtitles: None
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 | Length: 84mn
Dvdrip Xvid Avi - 512x384 - 23.976fps - 701mb

A bunch of nasty thugs who work for vicious crime kingpin Hawthorne (a deliciously hammy portrayal by Tom Story) kill both the father and fiancé of ace martial artist Alex Hunter (a hopelessly wooden performance by real-life kickboxing champion Curtis Bush). The thugs severely beat Alex up, but don't finish him off. Big mistake. After being nursed back to health and extensively trained in the fine art of down'n'dirty streetfighting by tough, yet friendly crippled black Vietnam veteran Joshua (amiable Rod Suiter), Alex decks himself out in black ninja garb, assumes the gnarly name the Dark Angel, and declares open season on no-count criminal scum who terrorize the streets of the city. Naturally, everything eventually culminates in the inevitable showdown between Alex and Hawthorne and his army of mean flunkies.

Man, does this often uproariously atrocious honey possess all the right wrong stuff to qualify as a real four-star stinkeroonie: we've got totally all-thumbs (mis)direction by Mardy Smith, laughably lousy acting by a game, but lame no-name cast, tin-eared dialogue, a funky, syncopated synthesizer score by Danny Dennison, a by-the-numbers hackneyed and predictable script by Kathy Varner, clunky action set pieces, a gut-busting godawful ending credits theme song, and an "it ain't over yet" sequel set-up conclusion (alas, said sequel has so far not been made). 

Moreover, this flick offers an inspired sense of the absurd. For example, every back alley, parking lot and street corner in the city just happens to have nefarious hoodlums on it. Plus Alex magically pops up out of nowhere to save the day time and time again. Bonus points are in order for Kim Reynolds as feisty meddlesome tabloid newspaper reporter Cassie: Although the lovely lass probably couldn't act her way out of a soggy cardboard box, Miss Reynolds still gets my respect because she apparently never bothers to wear underwear and takes a wholly gratuitous, but still much-appreciated bath so male viewers can drool over her luscious naked body. 

In addition, this movie really pours on the marvelously excessive brutal and gory over-the-top violence: throats are sliced open, heads are blown up, hands are cut off, and, in the undeniable sidesplitting splatter highlight, an irate female motorist runs over the head of a would-be carjacker. While by no means a genuinely good picture, this baby nonetheless does possess a certain clumsy sincerity which in turn greatly enhances its considerable campy charm. A complete cruddy riot.
 The Dark Angel: Psycho Kickboxer (1997)

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