Plot: Professor John Stoneman (Jeff Wincott) is a highly skilled, well trained martial artist, but he has little desire to put his violent talents into action. He always pursues a rational, peaceful resolution even in intense situations, but sometimes, even he can’t escape violence. This is the case when John’s wife is attacked in a parking garage, as his repeated attempts to defuse the confrontation are ignored, leading to his pregnant love being knifed in the stomach. This pushes even his most restrained impulses to the surface and he unleashes an epic ass kicking on the thugs, an event that becomes big news. The news coverage of John’s tragic situation is what attracts the attention of an underground combat operation, one that puts the most skilled fighters against each other, in duels to the death. These clashes are filmed and broadcast as a secret, insider only program, to entertain the super rich. When he is taken by this organization, he tries to resist, but will he end up locked in fatal combat?
Entertainment Value: This one is all 90s, all the time and for kind of a low rent Running Man knock off, is quite a fun ride. Also known as No Exit, Fatal Combat is a blend of anti-violence preaching, prison thriller, and 90s martial arts action, with some awesome land speeders as a bonus. I also appreciated how mean spirited some of the characters are, dialed up to ensure John looks like a saint by comparison, despite his obvious devotion to fighting methods. A vision of noble good against a team of corporate goons driven by greed, but of course, even a good man can be pushed over the brink. Jeff Wincott has the lead and he plays quite the lame duck here, a bookish, holier than thou warrior thrust into this den of vile circumstances. His performance is fine, but the role limits his bad ass presence, which is a shame. But to balance out his estrogen fueled role, we have Sven-Ole Thorson and his cruel, sadistic persona. He is a great villain, but too bad Fatal Combat doesn’t have a dynamic, cool hero to go against him. Despite the lamer than usual lead, this is still a fun slice of 90s action.
No nakedness. This one has no sex scenes or romance whatsoever, outside of a prison rape that takes place off screen. The movie does pack in some fun fight scenes, but there’s no bloodshed here. The brawls are simple and not all that involved, but still have a good b movie vibe, especially the ones within the competition. Other instances of violence pop up as well, but these are also free from crimson, perhaps as part of the film’s non-violent principles. Fatal Combat also features some training sequences, as well as some fetishistic, greased up meditation sessions. While the land speeders are super cool, no real chases are unleashed. The dialogue here includes casual racism and homophobia, tough guy talk, pretentious anti-violence morality lessons, consent to begin martial arts declarations, and that’s about it. Some fun lines, but not big quotable or over the stuff too often. As for craziness, we have those wicked land speeders, prison brawls, 90s vibes, hospital room news reports, and of course, gunning down karate experts while eating a chocolate bar.
Overall Insanity: 3/10