Plot: Keller (Daniel Bernhardt) is a police officer who also happens to compete in an underground combat tournament, often known as a kumite. These forbidden fight rings are illegal, but draw in the most talented martial artists from all over the world, which is why Keller risks his badge to test his skills. While he loves the competition, he dislikes some aspects of the kumite world, including how some believe the tournament should have fights to the death. His attention will soon be taken elsewhere however, when he is asked to go deep undercover as part of an operation to figure out why so many prisoners have turned up dead of late. While his cover paints him as a murderer, the other inmates are still suspicious since he was once a cop, but Keller holds his own and soon learns that the dead prisoners were part of a sadistic prison fight club. But can Keller put all the pieces together before his cover is blown?
Entertainment Value: This is an odd, but fun installment in the Bloodsport series, with Daniel Bernhardt back for a third time in the lead role. But he plays a new character this time around, so the saga of Alex Cardo doesn’t continue on here. If you’re here for the wild, tournament driven martial arts action, you might be let down, but the movie still has some tricks to unleash. The draw of Bloodsport 4 is how ridiculous the prison life is, as it is loaded with outlandish elements that escalate to dizzying levels, including a man who looks like Ben Franklin as a pimp, who lords over the prison from a grand ballroom complete with golden cages. In essence, this one is a prison drama with some action thrown in, then it goes off the rails at a certain point and spirals into nonsense, which is where it really shines. Bernhardt is a capable lead, though he isn’t able to showcase his fight skills often, while the supporting cast includes pimp Ben Franklin, which is all you need to know. While it is slow at times, the sheer lunacy that unfolds toward the finale is enough to recommend this to fans of 90s action flicks.
No nakedness. The movie has a lot of women involved, especially since it takes place in a men’s prison, but none get naked. There is an odd scene where Ben Franklin sits on a throne atop a large staircase, while women line each side wearing just a bra and panties, as well as pork pie hats. This one has the usual prison stab jobs and some fight related injuries, as well as a glorious, beautiful use of an ink pen as a weapon. The blood gushes in huge doses from this pen assault and while it is the lone scene with heavy crimson, what a wonderful sight it is. The dialogue is solid, though not as insanely wild as it should be, given the batshit crazy finale. But we get tough guy talk, prison lingo, and perhaps the loudest judge in cinematic history. As for craziness, well we have the ink pen fiasco, pimp Ben Franklin, the ridiculous renaissance fair inspired lair of the villain, a bizarre musical number, old timey gangsters out of nowhere, and only one rule…there are no rules.
Overall Insanity: 6/10