American Kickboxer 1


"If anything, American Kickboxer 1 is the only movie in history to feature '1' in the title."

- American Ninja Man

American Kickboxer 1 (1991)

AKA: American Kickboxer, American Kickboxer 1: Blood Fighter

Director: Frans Nel

Writer: Emil Kolbe

Cast: John Barrett, Keith Vitali, Brad Morris, Terry Norton, Ted Le Plat

Running Time: 92 min.

Plot: Champion kickboxer B.J Quinn fights his way back to # 1 after serving prison time for manslaughter, the new champion however is the deadliest fighter the new champ, Jacque Denard is the deadliest kickboxer Quinn has ever faced.


AMERICAN NINJA MAN'S REVIEW: If anything, American Kickboxer 1 is the only movie in history to feature "1" in the title. Of course the explanation is that not-unlike a prophecy foretold, American Kickboxer 2's brilliance was documented by this movie. Okay, let me put it this way, for years people were waiting for the answer to the meaning of life, how we got here, what life is really about, why we die and what is the purpose of our existance and in 1990 we demanded some answers, not to disappoint us, the man upstairs delivered some of the answers disguised as American Kickboxer 2 and to prove a sign for the foreshadowing of answers to come, this movie wasn't labeled "American Kickboxer" because such a thing would not cause much of a ruckus among religious groups, but American Kickboxer + 1= American Kickboxer 1 which translates into the foretelling of the paradise ahead.

However American Kickboxer 1 isn't the ball of sunshine that American Kickboxer 2 is, because there's no Apollo, Dale Apollo Cook that is, and with out the god of sunshine, this only serves as a biblical reminder of what came afterwards.

The plot (I use the word hesitantly) is just plain stupid. We have John Barrett who not only was in Gymkata (Yakmallah!) but also in American Ninja 3. So with that one-two punch it's really surprising he got this role in the first place and it becomes quite apparent that he's secretly gay. His girlfriend looks like a man with a low pitched voice and decidedly manly features but then again though, Barrett is hardly a looker, he somehow comes off looking like an even punch drunker version than Sly Stallone in Rocky V and what's even worse is that he insists on wearing zubas, while waxing up his chest, and spending way too much time with his kickboxing buddy (Keith Vitali, who I interviewed!) who talks really high pitched and really you can barely tell the difference between the kickboxing buddy and the girlfriend, maybe Barrett just got confused, he also drinks a lot, and i'm willing to bet that anyone drunk would confuse the two. Although there is not enough beer in the world to make the girlfriend attractive, and trust me when I'm drunk enough, even K.D Lang is fuckable. Although the doctors advice me never to get that drunk again.

Anywho the main opponent is Jacque Denard, he's supposed to be french and I know I'm spelling his name wrong, but he's french so fuck him all the same. He's supposed to be a badass kickboxer but he looks too much like George Michael, the fact that he wears pink underwear over his blue spandex which doesn't help us convince us that he's a really tough guy. He also gets up on stage and yells for the audience to "kiss his butt".

American Kickboxer 1 spends most of the time showing us John Barrett thinking about where life went wrong, I myself watch movies to escape from doing so, therefore this ripple effect gets me to admit defeat along with our hero making me sad, oh another shot of Jim Beam, don't mind if I do. Anyway there isn't enough fighting and it's lame to expect us to sit through this, with barely any action to enjoy. He's also pondering his meaningless existance (Don't worry American Kickboxer 2 is on the way...) because of the manslaughter charge, in which he killed an innocent bystander who breaks up two professional fighters. I'm not one to say anything but ridiciulously dense do you have to be to do such a thing, I mean your I.Q level is obviously below Alvin George, a new term invented to describe a level below clinically retarded. Still who does this? Of course the question is who watches this stuff sober, I'm happy to report that i'm innocent on all charges.

Then there are those fight scenes in which George Michael and John Barrett engage in a mediocre showdown which has tons of slow motion, no real sense of martial arts style (It's no Kickboxer) and it lacks the sense of stupid action that was contained in the classic American Ninja (Fuck anyone on COF, who hates it, you all can shove pollos up your collos!) so with that we have crap that paved it's way for the movie that really helped us learn what life is all about.

Other unintentional humor? Well for one when John Barrett trains, a song called "He's A Man" plays which has the lyrics "He's a man, yeah he's a man, yeah he's a man!" and this is meant to embrace that he is well, a man. Of course whenever I decide to show everyone that i'm a man it gets me thrown in jail. What the fuck does Barrett have that I don't? I mean i'm most likely a better actor and I wasn't in Gymkata, so where's my power ballad?

Oh yeah, George Thurgood's One Burboun, One Scotch and One Beer doesn't exactly make for the best kickboxing tunes.

Anyway American Kickboxer 1 is stupid, somewhat funny, somewhat boring and somewhat watchable in a silly bad movie type of way.