Directed by: Sam Firstenberg
Starring: David Bradley, Frank Zagarino, and Jennifer Campbell
Wes Healey (Bradley) is an ex-Marine who travels to Indonesia while on the hunt for his old buddy Keith Stone (Zags). Healey wants answers about the death of a mutual friend, and while in this foreign land, he stays at the palatial estate of Keith’s sister Karen (Campbell). However, it transpires that Keith is a megalomaniacal, unstable nutjob who has corraled some locals into becoming his own personal fighting force. He even demands they train in front of him while he watches them beat the living snot out of each other, for his own amusement, of course. When Healey rejects all the madness, Stone turns on him, and he has to save Karen and fight a bunch of goons. This, of course, leads to the final confrontation between Healey and Stone. And who exactly are the BLOOD WARRIORS here?
Huh? What? Oh, we’re supposed to review Blood Warriors. I’m sorry, our eyelids were getting heavy. You’d think - you’d REALLY think - a movie starring David Bradley and Frank Zagarino, directed by Firstenberg, would be a no-brainer winner. Well...not so much. It’s almost like they came up with the title first, but worked backwards - in the wrong direction. Here’s a conversation that probably happened: “I’ve got a great title for a movie!” “Oh, what is it?” “Blood Warriors.” “Yeah, that is good! Now what happens?” “Eh, I don’t know...” Basing our thoughts off of this supposition, we noticed that the whole movie’s vibe is just off. It’s like the rhythm of it all is wrong - it gets off on the wrong foot and struggles to recover for the rest of the running time.
Now that’s not to say that there aren’t a plethora of unintentionally funny moments. Blood Warriors is like watching a heart monitor for someone struggling to live: for a long period of time there’s a flatline, but then out of nowhere a few spikes will shoot up, then it will go back down.
The movie was co-written by Bradley, which may explain why he speaks in a tightly controlled rasp, wears a black cowboy hat that makes him look like country music star Clint Black, and can jump in slow motion off buildings and cars, and essentially slow down time and space at his will so he can fight nameless goons and shoot them. He also picks up a guitar at one point and begins serenading Karen. A crooning David Bradley. Now we’ve seen everything.
Everything about this movie screams “stereotypical stupid”. From the funny/dumb action scenes on down, from the Prerequisite Torture (this time not of the hero, but of Karen), to the boat chase. Said boat chase features music on the soundtrack that can only be described as “90’s Chase Rock.”
Anyone who’s ever seen an action movie from this time period knows what we’re talking about - generic rock with distorted guitars and squealing, wailing guitar solos. Naturally, it all caps off with the time-honored warehouse fight. But the whole outing is slow - Zagarino doesn’t even show up until 50 minutes into the movie even though he’s second-billed. We were on "Zag-watch". Blood Warriors drags for much of the proceedings and should have been chopped by about 10 minutes or so. Then we’d have something.
Yes, there are some occasionally funny moments that pop up in Blood Warriors, but is that what we’re watching these movies for? If you have some time on your hands and you don’t mind waiting to have a few yuks, by all means go ahead, but on the whole it’s a disappointment.
Comeuppance Review by: Ty and Brett