Category Archives: Action films

Really Awful Movies: Ep 161 – No Retreat, No Surrender

What reigns supreme? LA or Seattle karate? That’s a good question. And that’s one that is explored in the wacky chop-socky Karate Kid knock-off, No Retreat, No Surrender.

Jason Stillwell is a 3-year veteran of the deadly arts, but not nearly competent enough to either a) represent Seattle in a TV combat tournament or more importantly, b) defend himself against bullies. That’s where Bruce Lee comes in, not as inspiration, but from beyond the grave! Someone who bears a very superficial resemblance to Lee, tutors Jason about how to punch, kick, dodge punching bags, and find is inner chi/qi.

That sets up the final showdown, as Jason is in the fight of his life, with none other than The Muscles from Brussels, Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg, better known as Jean-Claude Van Damme!


Really Awful Movies: Ep 159 – Death Race 2000

Movie poster for David Carradine film, Death Race 2000There’s a race. And there’s death involved.

In the then distant future, society is transfixed by a bloodsport, one that involves mowing down pedestrians in a cross-continental race. David Carridine, of the legendary familial acting dynasty, stars as Frankenstein, a popular and seemingly indestructible driver in Death Race 2000.

He has to do battle with other drivers, and points are awarded according to cohort deaths: running over babies and the elderly garner the biggest scores. Cheery stuff!

Actually, there’s a zany, over-the-top quality that was the hallmark of Paul Bartel films (he directs). But there’s more to Death Race 2000 than your run-of-the-mill roadster movie. The film asks a lot of pertinent questions too. Look out for Sly Stallone as Machine Gun Joe and Mary Woronov as Calamity Jane Kelly.

Gentlemen (and gentle-women), start your engines! And tune in for new episodes of the Really Awful Movies Podcast every Friday.