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  Angelfist Get Your Kicks With Cat
Year: 1993
Director: Cirio H. Santiago
Stars: Catya Sassoon, Melissa Moore, Michael Shaner, Sibel Birzag, Tony Carreon, John Crank, Ramon D'Salva, Roland Santes, Denise Buick, Jessica Roberts, Eddie Gaerlan, Bob Larson, Sheila Lintan, Ken Metcalfe, Jim Moss, Christina Portugal, Joseph Zucchero
Genre: Action, Thriller, Martial Arts, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Manila there has been an assassination of a top United States colonel whose limousine was stopped by a gang of masked men wielding blades who killed the military man's assistants and then bumped him off too. Luckily, there is evidence of this heinous crime which was captured by an American photographer who now knows she must get the reel of film away to a place of safety. However, there are sinister forces on her trail, and she manages to pass the reel to a taxi driver who then spirits it away - she is not able to get it back because she is murdered herself shortly after. Who will avenge her death?

How about her sister, Los Angeles cop Kat Lang, played by a woman the advertising for Angelfist proclaimed to be an American national karate champion, Cat Sassoon. She was the daughter of famed hairdresser Vidal Sassoon (her mother being actress Beverly Adams), who is now best recalled for dying of a drugs overdose at a New Year's Eve party about ten years after she made this, her most celebrated film. Most celebrated because all her other films, and she didn't make many, were pretty much terrible, and this was no exception although it did muster a small cult following of people who could not believe how bad it was.

Which only made it more entertaining than it would have been should you have misguidedly taken it seriously. The men behind this would-be starmaking movie were Roger Corman, who produced for a company which by this point was seeing most of its profits delivered on home video, and Cirio H. Santiago, the one man Filipino New Wave who produced and directed a vast quantity of cheapo efforts which would either go to the drive-ins and grindhouses of this world or latterly end up cluttering the video shelves. The fact that both of them had made this story before at least a couple of times with the semi-infamous T.N.T. Jackson in the seventies and the less well known Firecracker in the eighties was a warning to the savvier customer.

Or a welcome mat, given those fans would know what to expect which was essentially fight scenes alternating with nude scenes: Santiago ensured a sequence or five where both Sassoon and her co-star Melissa Moore enjoyed the communal shower in the karate establishment where the tournament took place at regular intervals while nubile nudes frolicked in the big bath in the background. Moore certainly looked well enough, but Catya was best recommended to those who prefer the heavily cosmetically surgerised look with a bosom which simply refused to move under any circumstances, not even in the sex scene with co-star Michael Shaner (as "Alcatraz") or perhaps more importantly the by now regulation gratuitous, topless combat sequence.

That bit was evidently intended to be the highlight, though there was a drawback which also afflicted the other fights in the movie: they didn't look natural, they looked stiffly choreographed which was an issue difficult to get over when there were so many of them. Whether the actresses are beating off the villains (steady) or squaring off against one another in the ring, Catya just didn't look like a champion anything, unless it was a champion at inflating your lips to alarming size. Her character was introduced not kickboxing but firing off a machine gun apropos of very little except to set her badass credentials in stone, something which is continued when she reaches Manila and meets Alcatraz who tries to play the knight in shining armour when she's sexually harrassed, only to end up saved by Kat instead, which was an amusing twist if nothing else. Otherwise, this looked cheap and (almost) cheerful, with not much to divert anyone but the hardiest trash aficionado and even they would need a high tolerance for tat. There must be better ways to commemorate the deceased. Music by Stephen Cohn.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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