What Not To Watch: Fighting Spirit
As a public service I have warned movie goers about more than 30 movies that they should avoid at all costs as part of the site’s What Not To Watch feature.
So why, when the President of the Loren Avedon Fan Club told me that Loren Avedon himself has advised fans NOT to watch the 1992 “film” Fighting Spirit, did I go ahead and watch this steaming pile of garbage anyway!? Am I that stubborn and nobody is going to tell me what to watch or what not to watch? Is it the whole train wreck mentality? Or am I becoming addicted to bad movies?
Whatever the reason, here’s my reasons why you should NOT WATCH Fighting Spirit….
- The Name Game: Fighting Spirit is also known as King of the Kickboxers 2. I’m not a fan of movies with alternate titles, but in this case it was twice as offensive to me. Why? Because the original King of the Kickboxers was a quality movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it did not deserve to have its good name sullied by the crap fest known as Fighting Spirit. The only thing the two movies have in common is that Loren Avedon is in both, but he plays completely different characters. The name Fighting Spirit eventually makes sense after you get about 3 hours into this movie (at least it felt that long when watching it).
- Opening Scene: I’ll say this much for Fighting Spirit it never lulls you into believing it may be a quality movie, the sh*t hits the screen early and often. In the opening scene we see one of the most painful exchanges of dialogue between Judith Edwards (Michelle Locke in what is NOT surprisingly her only film appearance) and a unnamed female co-worker. The two ladies work at a local watering hole and unfortunately for them they have an old drunk dude who just doesn’t want to go home, thus keeping the ladies there after closing time. After they insist he leaves he responds with, “All you women, you’re all the same. Just a bunch of nagging b*tches. Just like my old sea hag.” When he finds out that his “old sea hag” is outside looking for him, he slips out the backdoor and the ladies can finally call it a night.
- The Most Despicable Character: Judith was supposed to get a ride home from her brother Billy Edwards, played by stunt man turned actor Sean Donahue in his first starring role, but he lost track of time while practicing his martial arts at the gym. So Judith decides walking home at 2am is a good idea and that is when we first meet Tony, a character that I believe is a candidate for the most despicable character in the history of cinema. Tony is played by Greg Douglass. Douglass does not have many movies to his credit (three total) and I would not be surprised if the reason for this is because he was as big of an A-hole in real life as he was in this movie. Tony and two of his buddies happen upon Judith as she is walking home and they are looking for some female company… when Judith resists, they beat her up and knock her out and then Tony proclaims, “Let’s get started while she’s still warm.” Fortunately before the three scumbags can gang rape her, Billy shows up and runs them off. This whole scene is witnessed by a creeper named Russell, who goes into good Samaritan mode and helps Billy get Judith to the hospital, he even offers to pay her medical bills and for the critical surgery she must have. This seems like a strange thing for a complete stranger to do, but wait… there’s a catch.
- Kickboxing Underground: Russell wants Billy to repay his debt by competing in underground fights for him. This really didn’t come as a surprise to me since this movie was made in the early 90’s and if action movies have taught me anything, there were underground fighting circuits on just about every corner back then. (They have since all been replaced by Walgreens). When Billy eventually puts two and two together and realizes Russell set the whole thing up (he is Tony’s brother so being a dick must run in the family) he rebels against Russell and he gets tied up and dragged behind two jeeps until he dies… at this point I was debating if getting dragged by a jeep would be less painful than watching this movie.
- Dead Man’s Party: Loren Avedon plays Billy’s best friend in the movie, David Carster. After Billy’s gruesome death, he appears to David in the form of a spirit. You know he’s a spirit because there is dry ice involved when he appears on screen. After seeing the spirit of his dead friend Billy, David knows he must avenge him and he scores the first points for the side of good by banging Tony’s girlfriend. Way to go David! And with shots fired now from both sides, you know this is all building up to a final showdown between David and Tony… but again it feels like hours go by until we actually get to that point.
I was not sure if any movie was going to be able to unseat Ironheart as the worst movie I had ever seen, but take a bow Fighting Spirit because you just did. And I’m glad Loren Avedon himself has denounced this movie, because I don’t want to tick off any Loren Avedon fans. Or tick them off anymore than I already did with a certain Movie Kumite I wrote.
Actually the more Loren Avedon I watch, the more I get his appeal. He is kind of the opposite of Chuck Norris. Norris shows little to no emotion in his movies, while Loren Avedon is emoting all over the place in his movies. Every action star has their clunkers, but I still feel bad that Loren Avedon had to appear in such an awful movie as Fighting Spirit.
If I ever have the opportunity to speak to the people responsible for the release of this film, I believe I would quote their own movie back to them, specifically Billy’s last words… “F*ck you all!”
I will say this for Fighting Spirit, I don’t think I have feverishly took so many notes about a movie the way I did for Fighting Spirit. Like I said earlier, the sh*t hit the screen early and often…
- Hold the Phone: At one point David is talking to Billy on the phone, it is painfully obviously Billy is just off camera talking to David while David has the phone up to his ear.
- Dumb Question: A motorist in trouble flags down Billy as he is riding his motorcycle and asks if he has any tools. There was literally nowhere that Billy could have had tools on this motorcycle or on his person, but toolless Billy still tries to help they guy. I almost didn’t feel bad that this was the set up that gets Billy killed.
- Pool Hall Decor: I can’t say that I’ve ever spent a great amount of time in a pool hall, but I found the shelves with vases on them in the pool hall scene a bit out of place. It is like they were put there just so they could be broken.
- Police Procedure: When the police want to question David after the death of Billy, David’s father accompanies the detective. I’ve seen enough Blue Bloods to know that’s not how that works.
- Mrs. Clean: For those of you wondering, Judith’s surgery was a success, but she is temporarily blinded. But she’s all gung ho to leave the hospital so she could go home to cook and clean… I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t want a blind woman doing my windows.
- Future Scene of the Week?: When Loren Avedon pukes all over the floor, I understand it was actual puke, apparently he had just watched some of the dailies.
- Despicable Quote: “I might pop one of your eyeballs out and skull f*ck you first!” – Tony to a blind Judith
- Great Question: The song that plays over the end credits is titled “Why Must This Be?”