STUDIO: Shock-O-Rama Cinema
MSRP: $19.95
RUNNING TIME: 184 Minutes

  • Three 1 minute TV Spots for Psycho Kickboxer
  • Canvas of Blood feature film
  • Shock-O-Rama trailer vault
  • Color Booklet featuring Liner Notes!

The Pitch

Psycho Kickboxer: A man, left for dead after the murder of his father and fianceé, is rescued and transformed into the avenging streetfighter known as The Dark Angel by a wheel-chaired Vietnam Vet.

Canvas of Blood: Another Vietnam Vet decides to avenge the botched surgery performed on his daughter by going around with a homemade mechanical appendage mangling people.

The Humans

5-Time World Kickboxing Champ Curtis Bush is the star of Psycho Kickboxer, while no one of any importance is in Canvas of Blood.

Henry nevered mastered the art of ‘giving the finger’.

The Nutshell

Curtis Bush is getting engaged, and he’s really excited about it. His girlfriend, who is suffering from a severe case of  frizzy hair is also excited, and they make a very cute couple. Meanwhile, an evil crimelord hates Bush’s father, who happens to be the chief of Police, and sets about to do him in. So while the happy family are leaving their celebratory dinner, they are set upon by some ’90’s thugs with foolish haircuts, and whisked away to a secluded locale. There the bad guys tie up the future Mr. Kickboxer, then go about blowing his father’s head off in front of him and raping his girlfriend before cutting her throat (a scene stolen straight from the 3rd season of The Waltons). Afterward the evil doers make the classic villainous mistake: they leave not-yet Psycho Kickboxer alive to bask in his growing need for vengeance. Fortunately for us he is rescued by a wheel-chaired Vietnam Vet, who makes it his goal in life to transform the victim into the mighty Psycho Kickboxer! While he refuses at first to don the Ninja suit Wheels wants him to, he soon realizes how awesome he looks in it and agrees, thus creating the icon that the local media eventually dubs The Dark Angel

Canvas of Blood can piss off for now. I’ll get to it later.

Both Johnny and O’Standings try to perform the Boxers Handshake.

The Lowdown

Psycho Kickboxer is terrible. I know this may come as a shock to some of you, but I really feel the need to come right out and tell you this. Otherwise you would be fooled by the DVD cover art into thinking this film was amazing, a true triumph of cinematic glory. But alas, that is not the case. Directed by the imitable Mardy South (David Haycox is co-credited, but that’s probably more to do with the film being shot over a period of several years, and one of them may not have been available at the time – or couldn’t be bothered), and shot on 16mm film stock, it has the look and production qualities of an old home movie. But who really cares? If you somehow have a few too many drinks and end up accidentally watching this thing anyway, you propably aren’t too concerned with the picture quality.

“Listen here, what do you mean there aren’t any Ninja parking spaces left?“.

Arguably the best thing about this film is the music, which sounds like it was somehow scored using an old Sega Genesis. It has that unique 16-bit sound quality to it – heck, I’ll even go so far as to say it may even be 32-bit! In either case it is a wonder to behold, and is featured prominently in the menu screen, complete with hilarious punching sound effects and a man getting his head kicked off. What’s not to like?

While Psycho Kickboxer and Canvas of Blood both feature nudity, it isn’t the good kind. In both cases the women look a little rough, with maybe one or two exceptions, but even they aren’t worth mentioning. You know, in a film of such questionable quality as these two, the least the film makers could have done was to propagate their products with some decent nudity.

One aspect that was surprising was the gore, but only in Psycho Kickboxer (Canvas of Blood must not have known what gore was, see below). For a movie with a paltry budget they were able to pull off a few decent shots, most notably the exploding head via shotgun wound. It’s a fairly seamless shot and was one of the few things in the movie that was executed very well. Everything else is amateurish at best, for instance the editing is terribly sloppy and prone to jumpiness – just what you’d expect in a low budget feature.

As for the fight scenes, they are as bad as the effects, which is the one thing I didn’t expect since a 5-time Kickboxing champ was the main star. I didn’t think they would be groundbreaking by any means, but I did at least think it would be somewhat serviceable. I was sorely mistaken. There’s a good chance I could have staged a more realistic Ninja fight than the goons in charge of this fiasco. Slow moving action scenes when they should be fast, coupled with punches that don’t come close to landing – but somehow magically do – and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a totally crappy Ninja film.

Before he could start the new BattleDragons game, O’Standings first had to select the
proper dice, using only his well-trained meaty hands.

As if one shitty fight movie wasn’t enough, the fiends over at Shock-O-Rama felt the need to package an EVEN WORSE movie with their already abominable offering, this being Canvas of Blood. Shot using the same awful production values (and that’s a term used loosely here), Canvas manages to be creatively four times worse than Psycho Kickboxer! In this one a man goes on a rampage after his daughter has a surgery to repair a busted hand due to excessive violin practicing, but when the surgery goes awry he uses the Special Forces training he picked up in Nam to fashion a small bandsaw-like appendage, with which he performs woeful kills on those who were responsible.

 With his daughter being a useless violin player now with no Kung-Fu skills, it’s left up to the father to defend her honor, even though he doesn’t have Kung-Fu skills either! Instead he runs around town mangling those who crossed him, but unfortunately the special effects that go along with this vengeful killing spree are nothing short of total balls. Bad blood effects, ground beef used to simulate human meat, and a baleful soundtrack featuring songs from the armpits of Satan, this film is one raging pile of stool.

This guy never got to see the end of Dragonheart.

I’m going to wrap this up now, because frankly I’m fed up with both of these movies. I’ve devoted too much of my time covering them, and I fear I’ll never get that time back unless I somehow master black magic and gain the knowledge of Time Control. But I’m not going to hold my breath until then. No, instead I’m moving on to greener pastures – I have 10 Ninja movies that demand my attention next, and they’re starting to get irritable because of my attention to Psycho Kickboxer and Canvas of Blood. Normally I wouldn’t care what a movie thinks of me, but I’ve had a look at most of them and come to the conclusion that they’re not to be messed with.

So let me close by offering you this bit of advice: if you cherish your money, and more importantly your dignity, stay well clear of this compendium of soggy ass. There is nothing here for you that will make your life better, your mind will not be expanded by having viewed them. If anything,
a piece of your soul will be damaged beyond repair if you purchase this.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Package

While this is a two-disc feature set all of the extras are for Psycho Kickboxer, while Canvas of Blood gets the shaft (and no one on Earth gives a damn). There are three 1 minute TV spots made by the local news station (it was filmed in Virginia Beach, VA.), but it’s little more than a minor curiosity, although I have to say Curtis Bush equips himself nicely in those interviews: his enthusiasm for the project comes across during them. The other so-called extras are nothing more than a bunch of trailers for other Shock-O-Rama products, while the liner notes booklet is at least interesting to read, as it is an open letter from Bush explaining why he became interested in martial arts and how this film came to be. Of them all, this is by far the better “extra”.

Now go watch something real, like Ninja Kids Phantom Force.

1.0 out of 10