5 Questions: Heatseeker
In this edition of 5 Questions, I’m going to take a look at another one of director Albert Pyun’s futuristic tales… Heatseeker.
In Heatseeker, Keith Cooke plays Chance O’Brien, the only 100% human kickboxer competing and he also happens to be the World Champion of Kickboxing. All the other competitors have cyber implants and are no longer 100% human. The movie asks the question, which is superior man or machine?
Well, I have some questions of my own…
1. Who is on the cover of the Heatseeker DVD?
As I mentioned above, Heatseeker stars Keith Cooke (who was introduced to the action movie world in China O’Brien) and Gary Daniels. Now while neither Cooke or Daniels were going to sell a movie based on their name alone, you would think at least one of them would make the cover. To help make them more recognizable stars in the future you’d want to showcase them wouldn’t you? Instead we get generic cyborg kickboxer man.
2. Are you looking for a unique way to propose to your girlfriend?
If you answered yes then you may want to take a page out of Keith Cooke’s character in Heatseeker, Chance O’Brien’s book. He proposes to his trainer/girlfriend Jo (Tina Cote) in between rounds of a kickboxing match. A few important notes… make sure you are world champion level kickboxer if you are going to go this route because your girl may respond like Jo did and agree to marry whoever wins the match.
3. Col. Ted Masters is that you?
After you watch Heatseeker you may never be able to watch the classic Iron Eagle the same way again. In Iron Eagle, Tim Thomerson plays Doug Masters father, Col. Ted Masters. Masters is a family man and a proud member of the United States Air Force. In Heatseeker, Thomerson plays the Oldest Elder of the Sianon Corporation. He’s got dyed hair and a coke finger. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.
4. Is kickboxing the answer?
The Sianon Corporation in the movie Heatseeker is not unlike any other corporation in the world, they are constantly looking at the bottom line. Sianon specializes in cybernetic technology and apparently in 2019 there are a lot of corporations in this field. Unfortunately for Sianon they are losing market share. They went from 53% of the market to 39% in just two years. It doesn’t take a business major to know that trend is going in the wrong direction. What could possibly change the fortunes of Sianon? Well the head of marketing over there Tsui Tung (Norbert Weisser of The Secret of the Ice Cave fame) believes sponsoring a kickboxing tournament where all the corporations with cybernetic technology will choose a fighter to represent their company in the tournament. Then the world will know who has the best cybernetic technology. Because you know THE WORLD WILL BE WATCHING a kickboxing tournament.
Up until this point cyborgs have been able to compete in the kickboxing world, but they still had to be 90% human. In this special tournament, described as the Super Bowl, the World Cup and the Olympics all rolled into one “multimedia mega event”, the fighters can have 50% cyber implants. This change is made so the enhanced Xao (Gary Daniels) can compete and represent the Sianon Corporation. To give the tournament some added credibility, Tung also manages to coerce the champion of the world, Chance O’Brien, to compete by abducting his girlfriend Jo and then “convincing” her to train Xao.
Am I supposed to believe that 4 years from now, corporations will be determining market share via kickboxing matches? And bonus question… why did movies believe kickboxing was going to sweep the nation in the 1990’s?
5. Was Keith Cooke trying to “out ass” Jean-Claude Van Damme?
There is a scene in the movie where Chance O’Brien,on his way to New Manila to compete in the tournament, is beat up and left knocked out in an alley. As he is unconscious in the alley , the locals help themselves to his belongings. All of them. So when he wakes up he is naked. His bare backside is on display as he runs away and before he finds a towel hanging on a clothesline to cover himself.
Anyone who has every seen a classic Jean-Claude Van Damme movie knows JCVD set the trend for showing off. No doubt Cooke felt if JCVD could do it, he could do it too… the problem is as Chance continues to run through the city trying to get to the docks so he can get on the boat to New Manila, his towel is ripped off and we now have a prolonged scene of his naked rear end. It’s like Cooke added up all the minutes on all the JCVD bare butt scenes up until that point in movie history and wanted to “out ass” JCVD in a single movie. There should be a rule against such gratuitous nudity.
To even things out there is a pretty lengthy look at Tina Cote’s boobs so at least the movie kept things balanced.