Plot: Ivy (Cynthia Rothrock) is a master of the fight game, she knows all of the ins and outs of the business and has managed countless champions. While some managers sign entire stables of talent and hope some will find success, Ivy prides herself on selecting only the best of the best. As her stable has one open spot available, she invites a group of young, gifted fighters to her plush estate, to evaluate their talent and see which one has what it takes. She also evaluates them in other ways, using her closed circuit camera system to watch them in more intimate settings. But a couple of the fighters see a chance to leapfrog their careers and steal Ivy’s personal files, then give them to a rival in order to score a rich contract. Ivy usually thinks several moves ahead, but will she finds herself in check this time?
Entertainment Value: If you’re a fan of David DeCoteau, the premise of Badass Showdown should be a familiar one. A group of young, super fit dudes show up at a plush mansion and shower a lot, while a genre cinema legend watches over the entire affair. In this case, we have Cynthia Rothrock on hand and she gets a lot of screen time, so this isn’t a glorified cameo. The focus is on the buff guys and their drama, but she has a lot of lines and is a core element of the narrative. A lot of critics dislike DeCoteau’s shift to shirtless guys and long showers, but this is clearly where his passion lies and I am glad he continues to produce movies. In the case of Badass Showdown, there’s some light, MMA inspired action mixed in, as well as drama and while the narrative is simple, it does what it needs to do. The performances are a mixed bag, some are quite good and others are rather shaky, while Rothrock serves an anchor that keeps things on track and on solid ground. I appreciate how DeCoteau shifts his signature elements through various genres, as it keeps things a little fresh and more interesting. This one is likely to most appeal to fans of Rothrock and DeCoteau’s 1313 series, so if you’re into one or both of those, you’ll have fun here.
No nakedness. This one has a ton of shirtless, ripped dudes and features several, quite extensive shower scenes, but no sensitive areas are showcased. This one is all about those six packs. No blood. The movie has some light fight scenes, as I mentioned before, but it isn’t high impact or overly violent. The kind of back and forth you’d expect from sparring matches, which makes sense, as the fighters are just going at half speed per the narrative. The dialogue is passable, but the tone here is serious and little camp is able to sneak in. But some of the more awkward performers end up adding a touch of unintended humor, while the various fight game lingo is kind of fun as well. As for craziness, the finale throws in an odd twist that stands out, but otherwise, this one stays on the main path.
Overall Insanity: 1/10