Forgotten Action Cinema: Psycho Kickboxer

Damn you, Shock-O-Rama! Despite the fact that the scene depicted on the packaging for directors David Haycox and Mardy South’s cheesy martial arts revenge saga “Psycho Kickboxer” never actually appears in the film, I just can’t stay mad at you. After all, I probably never would have stumbled across this trashy, gore-soaked train wreck of a motion picture were it not for the dedicated guys and gals who quietly slave away in your acquisitions department. Five time World Kickboxing Champion Curtis Bush stars as Alex Hunter, a desperate wannabe superhero seeking vengeance for the cold-blooded murder of his father and his fiance. All of the standard action cliches apply: random fights, crippled mentors, shady double-crosses, pointless nudity, and impossibly wooden acting are all accounted for. Did I mention that our hero also has the ability to magically locate crime as its happening? That’s a pretty handy skill to have in a situation like this. The film’s numerous fight scenes are surprisingly well-executed, though the accompanying sound effects strangely resemble something you might find in a cheap, off-brand 8-bit Nintendo game. In other words, this is typical genre diarrhea, the sort of rank material that never would have seen the light of day before the advent of the DVD. That said, “Psycho Kickboxer” is as ridiculously entertaining as horrid no-budget cinema gets. By far the most fun I’ve had all week. Then again, it has been a pretty slow week. If you love cheeseball kung fu, this one should satisfy nicely. Those of you who are just interested in the best scenes from “Psycho Kickboxer” will probably get a kick out of the video embedded below, though I strongly suggest watching the whole movie.