Plot: Five years ago, bitter rivals Shu (Muriel Hofmann) and Wai (Kathy Wu) fought to a draw in the finals of the kumite. The two refused to share the prize money, so they agreed to return with proteges, who they would train to fight on their behalf in the next kumite. Wai selects a troubled street tough named Ling (Jenny Wu), while Shu has a more unconventional representative, an American waitress named Jane (Amy Johnston), but the stage is set for the showdown. Both masters face an uphill claim with their pupils, as each student struggles with some aspects of the warrior spirit. At the same time, Jane is somewhat distracted by a search for information about her father, who was involved in a kumite himself. As both sides fine tune their fighting skills, a field of the world’s toughest warriors is doing the same. Before Ling and Jane can face off, they’ll need to survive several rounds of fights, no simple task. As Shu and Wai look on, how will their pupils fare in the brutal kumite?
Entertainment Value: I love movies about fighting tournaments, so I knew I had to check out Lady Bloodfight. The story is fine, setting up rival fighting masters to pit their students against the world’s best, but of course numerous side plots unfold and ensure things are never too simple. As the title suggests, this is an all female brawl and features some bad ass women. Amy Johnston has the lead and is more than capable, both in the fight scenes and the more dramatic moments. She has the presence, charisma, and fight skills to be a formidable action star, without question. Mayling Ng was another standout, an imposing presence that added a lot to the kumite experience. The rest of the cast is good and the kumite field was colorful and varied, but Johnston and Ng steal the show here. I do think the movie is better when it focuses on the action, but most of the non action scenes fare well also. I do think the whole “ghost dad” element seems out of place and quite odd, but it adds some unintentional humor. The fights are brutal, the fighters are bad ass, and it is just awesome to have a movie about fierce females that doesn’t pull any punches. If you’re a fan of action movies or martial arts cinema, Lady Bloodfight is one you’ll want to check out.
No nakedness. In a welcome turn, this movie has no romantic entanglements or forced love interests. This is just about a field of warriors kicking ass. The fights here are brutal and there’s a good amount of of blood involved. The usual bloody noses and scrapes of course, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg here. These fighters beat the shit out of each other, often both wind up looking like a walking crime scene. In the weapon round, this goes even further with slices, stabs, and a vicious throat slash that evokes a slasher movie level of bloodshed. This is not foxy boxing, these fights are nasty and brutal in every case. The non kumite action is a little less gruesome however, as Jane beats up creepers and thieves in a more traditional action movie style. The dialogue is mostly serious and doesn’t offer much camp, though fans of Bloodsport will pick up on a few subtle tributes. A few memorable lines in this one, but for the most part the action speaks louder than the words. On the craziness side, aside from the hyper violent fights the only real outlandish moment is the “ghost dad” inclusion. I know it makes sense kind of, but it instantly made me laugh and didn’t have emotional resonance. Maybe it was a tip of the hat to Star Wars, who knows. In any event, the “ghost dad” and brutal fights earn points, but otherwise, this one’s not too outrageous.
Overall Insanity: 2/10