What Not To Watch: Blood Warriors
After the success the site had earlier this month with our review of the new Michael Dudikoff movie, Navy SEALs vs. Zombies, I really wanted to do another action movie that infused elements of horror in it, especially with Halloween just a few days away.
When I stumbled upon the movie Blood Warriors, I thought I may have found just what I was looking for. The title Blood Warriors conjured up images of vampire shootfighters in my head. But what Blood Warriors actually was proved to be much more terrifying than any vampires. Blood Warriors is a movie that dared to pair up David Bradley with Frank Zagarino. If that is not a horrifying combination I’m not sure what is.
I’m not trying to say all David Bradley movies are horrible. But his movies have a much better chance of being watchable if he is surrounded by some quality co-stars. Steve James in American Ninja 3: Bloodhunt, Mark Dacascos and John Fujioka in American Samurai for example. I would not categorize Frank Zagarino as a quality co-star, I’m not sure I would categorize him as any kind of star.
When you look up Frank Zagarino on IMDB, he is know for Convict 762, Orion’s Key, Barbarian Queen and Airboss. Not only have I never seen any of those films, I have also never heard of them. I have seen Mr. Zagarino in other films, but it is pretty sad when the films you are “known for” are that obscure.
Zagarino’s most positive contribution to this film was the line “Listen bitch, show some gratitude! I just saved your ass!”
But the lackluster cast is only one of the problems Blood Warriors had to contend with.
Take a look at Blood Warrior’s tag line. “Swift. Silent. Deadly”. When the tag line of your movie can also describe flatulence, you are up sh*t creek!
And then there was the movie itself…
- Trick or Treat: At the beginning of the movie we see some war flashbacks, a staple of many an action film, and our hero Wes Healey (David Bradley) being sentenced to two years in prison. At first I thought I was watching an alternate beginning to the movie Hard Justice (a David Bradley movie I actually enjoyed watching). When I realized that was not the case I optimistically thought to myself that Blood Warriors might be as good as Hard Justice. That would have been a real treat. But it didn’t take too much longer to realize Blood Warriors was more trick than treat.
- Dr. Frankenstein: Blood Warriors took one of my favorite directors, Sam Firstenberg and transformed him into Dr. Frankenstein. I say this because Blood Warriors seems like it was put together with a bunch of hacked up pieces from other movies. At first it feels like a prison flick, then it becomes part Taken with Wes rescuing an old friend who was kidnapped by a drug lord, then it throws in some elements of Death Wish 4 with feuding drug lords and after all that we get into the actual plot of Blood Warriors. It is like the first two acts of the movie were just filler when they realized there was no way they were going to be able to stretch the film’s flimsy premise into a full 95 minutes.
- The (Burial) Plot: Wes, who as I mentioned earlier was sentenced to two years in prison, was granted an early release thanks to the influence of his old buddy from the Marines, Keith Stone (Frank Zagarino). Keith is a powerful businessman in Jakarta and by businessman I mean drug lord, something Wes doesn’t realize until he takes the trip to Jakarta. The reason Keith sprung his buddy Wes out of prision was because he was looking to recruit Wes to join his drug running mercenaries. Wes kindly refuses the offer, but says he wouldn’t mind taking Keith’s sister Karen back with him to Texas (this is a common reaction when a hot chick tries to seduce you by stripping down to her bra and panties). This sets Keith off and leads to a speed boat chase, Keith threatening his sister with incest and finally a showdown between Wes and Keith in an industrial setting.
Blood Warriors was all over the place. You would think with everything going on that this movie would fly by, especially since so much of the story was jammed into the third act. That was not the case at all. It was like the highway was closed and you had to take all sorts of detours and back roads to get to your destination and when you finally got to the destination it sucked big time. Now it would have sucked if it took you 15 minutes to drive there, but it really sucked since it took 95 minutes to get there.
My Blood Warriors viewing experience haunted me to a degree, since it was a blemish on Sam Firstenberg’s directorial career. This is the man who was at the helm of Revenge of the Ninja, American Ninja, American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, Avenging Force and the amazing Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. One of the reasons I gave Blood Warriors a chance was the fact that Sam directed it. You let me down Shmulik.
There have definitely been worse “What Not To Watch” movies than Blood Warriors and while watching Blood Warriors won’t give you nightmares, it is not going to entertain you either.