Fist of the North Star

How is it possible to make a movie this bad?

It has a who's who of B-Movie actors, from Malcolm McDowell , to "Downtown" Julie Brown and the the kid who played Rufio in Hook (Dante Basco).

This film is disappointing in nearly every way a movie can be. First of all, it's so slowly paced that, even at just 90 minutes, it's too long.  Secondly, the casting is just terribleCostas Mandylor-who was at his best in Picket Fences -is the main villain, Lord ShinHe mugs and grimaces at the camera and delivers his line in a way that a nine year old might find scary. Also it doesn't help he's wearing a ridiculous wig that he can't stop playing with. 

But probably the most grievous of all the miscues in this movie, is the casting of a kick boxer as the man who supposed to be the Fist of the NorthstarGary Daniels plays Kenshirô, the titular Fist-and he's aggressively unappealing in the role. He wanders his way through a Dystopian Landscape TM that is caused by an unknown event at an unspecified time, as Malcolm McDowell vaguely puts it an opening monologue that says "bad things happened" as we scroll past a demolished city.

Not that we need motivation for violence in a movie, but if you're going to have a flashback explaining everything, you might want to give it to us while we still care. You see, apparently Shin betrayed Kenshirô and poked a punch of holes in chest, one by one, with his index finger-as the lady they'd been feuding over looked on. We get to see this in a flashback that looks like it was filmed on the set of a high school production of MacBeth, and it takes far too long to get to it.

Before that, Lord Shin's Goon Squad-consisting of Chris Penn and Clint Howard -hassle and capture a bunch of rebels, the aforementioned Downtown Julie Brown, and Melvin Van Peebles. Yes, that Melvin Van Peebles. The movie is cut up between the goon squad doing bad things, and then Lord Shin saying how it's all part of his master plan, wash, rinse repeat.

After a bunch of vaguely related scenes and some very boring fight sequences with gratuitous slow-mo, we at last get to the final battle between Shin and Ken. Personally, I rooted for Ken, because Lord Shin dresses like he was at a fashion show for Super villains ("This fall, all the most stylish dystopian dictators will be going with the lace-up leather tank top.")

Can you Cavalcade this movie? Sure, but we don't recommend it. It's too dull. But if you just really had to, this movie could go well with Street Fighter: The Movie, just in terms of sheer badness.