CANNON MONTH 2: Bloodmatch (1991)

As Michael Winner was to Cannon, Albert Pyun was to 21st Century Films under Menahem Golan.

In this film, Pyun is telling us the story of Brick Bardo (Thom Matthews, who has already been Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Freddy in Return of the Living Dead). He’s hunting down the people who killed his brother and the first is Davey O’Brien (Michel Qissi, Tong Po from Kickboxer) who he knocks out and ties up in the middle of the desert. He wants to know how his Brother was pushed into fixed kickboxing fights and murdered. In pain, Davey spills four names: Brent Caldwell (Dale Jacoby, No Retreat, No Surrender), Mike Johnson (Thunder Wolf, Shootfighter: To the Death), Billy Munoz (Benny “The Jet” Urquidez) and Connie Angel (Playboy Playmate for June 1985, Hope Marie Carlton, who is also Taryn in Andy Sidaris’ films Hard Ticket to HawaiiPicasso Trigger and Savage Beach).

Brent also has a paerner by the name of Max Manduke — man, can Pyun put names in his movies or what? I mean, Cyborg has every character named for a guitar — who sleeps with kickboxing champion Brent and knocks him out with ether while still on top of him. Mike is running from some hooligans and Max saves him to go to Vegas. Brick kidnaps Billy’s daughter. As for Connie, she’s now an executive for the World Martial Arts Council — is this a WMAC Masters crossover? — and has been sleeping around behind her husband’s back. Brick arrives, destroys her boytoy and then knocks her out. The team of Brick and Max bring all four to Vegas. There, a kickboxing ring will be the courtroom so that they can get the answers about Wood, the dead brother, who was forced to put over Connie in a man vs. woman match.

How serious are they? Well, they already killed the promoter and as a carny who has worked for way too many bad wrestling promoters, I am full behind making Brick the hero of this movie.

Brick lays out the rules: if Mike fights him an dwins, everyone gets to go free. If Mike dies, the trial continues. Mike puts up a decent battle but just as Brick is about to, well, drop a brick on him, Billy offers what he knows. Brick responds by informing him that he already killed Billy’s little girl. Billy goes shithouse and nearly kills Brick, but he’s too emotional. As he lies there nearly knocked out, Brick claims that he will spare Billy’s son’s life if he says who set up his brother. Billy says he doesn’t know, so Brick informs him that he plans on killing his son and then, to hammer his point home, he breaks Billy’s back, killing him.

Mike pulls a knife on Max but gets shot. Brent jumps in to fight and Connie realizes from his words that he’s the guilty one. Connie, still tied up, deciphers that Brent is the one who killed Wood Wilson. Brick tells Brent, who is begging for his life, that Wood didn’t beg. He knows because he was there. Meanwhile, a nearly dead Mike hands Connie the knife.

Connie frees herself and kills Max. She faces off with Brick and learns the truth: Brick is Wood.

Huh?

He was destroyed by Brent five years ago and changed his face through plastic surgery. Connie tells him the truth: she set everything up because she was in love with him and wanted to escape the fight underground, but Wood wanted nothing of her plan. So Brick/Wood reveals that Billy’s kids are alive and they’ll be set free if she wins a fight against him. So, to affirm that this is a 90s direct to video movie, he tries to sexually assault her, so she ends up killing him.

And that’s, well, a happy ending I guess.

The name Brick Bardo also gets used in a few other Pyun movies, like DollmanCyborg and Radioactive Dreams. And this was probably made — I agree with the always awesome Bulletproof Action — at the same time as Pyun’s Kickboxer 2: The Road Back, which also has Qissi and Jacoby in the cast and was also choreographed by Urquidez.

As a bonus, Vincent Klyn, who was Warchild in Point Break, Fender Tremolo in Cyborg and Wild One in Double Dragon, has a brief part in this.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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