Review: Bloodsport 4: The Dark Kumite (1999)
Starring Daniel Bernhardt, Stephanos Miltsakakis, Michael Krawic
Fight Choreography by Jeffrey Moldovan
Directed by Elvis Restaino
Daniel Bernhardt is a martial artist whose claim to fame has long been for the fact that he resembles Jean-Claude Van Damme a bit, and so gets to make inferior, low budget sequels to JCVD’s films, which is a shame, as Daniel himself is a good martial artist who could probably have forged his own place in martial arts cinema, much like Bruce Li. Here, however, we are given what must be his most low-budget, worst film in what is thankfully the last of the Bloodsport films (for now…).
In this film Bernhardt plays Keller, a cop who, with his new partner, find themselves perplexed when a thug he had sent to prison and was presumably put to death suddenly arrives on the street and kills again. They capture him, and then Keller goes undercover in the same prison the man he busts is sent to (not the smartest thing to do…) and there meets a crazed, cowering warden who engages the fighters in a series of fights, the winners of which get to go to the mansion of James Caesar, where they fight in a new Kumite where the reward is freedom ( which still makes no sense, as they would eventually be found out anyway, and thrown right back in prison). Keller must battle the very men he put away in order to survive long enough to stop Caesar…
This film is profoundly silly, and the budget was the lowest of the low. In no way, shape, or form does the police station look like one. Or the prison. Or the club. I think the only scene where the set was what it was supposed to be was a street corner. The acting in this film is absolutely terrible across the board save for Bernhardt, but the script doesn’t help him much either, as it is as bad as everything else.
The fights are about as shittily (if that’s not a word, it should be) choreographed as they come, as at one point before the Kumite *chuckle* a character claims that different styles are used, but it all looks like the same style of fighting the entire film. No one is doing anything different.
I would normally say a lot more, but this film is so terrible that I don’t want to waste my time any longer on it than I have to.
Kiai-Kick’s Grade: 1
Ugh. This is one of the worst martial arts films I’ve ever seen. Stay far, far away from this one.