With Fist of Steel, what we have here it’s not the 1989 movie Fists of Steel with Carlos Palomino and Henry Silva, this singular fist has Cynthia Khan and Dale Cook starring in the 1992 movie (although sometimes the year of release is stated as 1991, so pick your favourite) directed by Teddy Page (under the pseudonym Irving Johnson). So that should clear any confusion one might have. Oh, and sometimes it’s known as Eternal Fist. You’re welcome.
Lately I’ve been again craving some post-apocalyptic stuff with martial arts movies, and what’s better than to combine the two, right? Yep, right. And what’s the end result of such a mixing? Well, post-apocalyptic martial arts craziness, that’s what!
So, what is this movie all about? Well, it’s all about kicking ass!
OK, I admit, although that would be really a valid evaluation of this flick, I am sure you would want to hear a little more. In the end, it’s not 1990s anymore – you know, the era when wild, colourful posters and VHS tape covers sell anything and when we’ve devoured B-movies (and not only B’s also Z’s!) by dozens. Nope, today we’re savvy, we want more, and only the best (well, that’s debatable, I am OK with a movie trash, but here you go).
Oh, while talking about movie posters and DVD covers (OK, OK, also Blu Ray disc covers and VHS covers – completists need their fix) – have you noticed today’s boredom masqueraded as creative arts? I think many will agree with me, that art really sold movies back then – and who cared if the movie actually haven’t delivered ninjas, blowing up helicopters and various other fancy stuff promised by the poster? That was the magic of exploitation. True art, if you ask me.
But now…remember posters for “Get Out”, or “Us” or similar? Believe me, you can try to be artistic all you want, these are examples of boring art. And boring art won’t convince me to check the movie (“Get Out” was an exception and I don’t really consider it a good film neither, but that’s for another time). What is a paradox, there are still some practicing good old art of selling movies with posters/covers, and although they are usual really low-budget, independent B-movies, the feeling they bring along is like meeting an old time friend.
Enough ranting though, let’s get back to this movie. Well, the setting is post-apocalyptic, which translates rougly to the statement of “it’s really cheap to produce such stuff and post-apoc was still in fashion due to Mad Max” or something similar. Really, if this movie was based in some underworld of illegal fighting championships, you wouldn’t really spot the difference. But I have a soft spot for post-apocalyptic movies, so I give Teddy a thumb up for this.
I am pretty sure that in the movie, there are really just a handful of people around, creating the atmosphere, but from the very beginning we are introduced to Amp (Dale Cook) and Lyssa (Cythia Khan), who are fleeing before the gang of marauders led by Mainframe (Greg Douglas). Bang, they are caught and Lyssa is murdered, while Amp is left to die nailed (through the palms of his hands) to the ground in the crucifiction pose (which instantly flashed to me the scene from Albert Pyun’s Slinger/Cyborg with crucified Jean-Claude van Damme).
That actually has left me quite perplexed..dafuq is that? I certainly haven’t expected Cynthia Khan’s character to die off literally minutes into the movie! Well, fear not, fellow movie-watchers, Teddy Page is a clever movie-meister and we see that after freeing himself Amp is taken care of and cured in the post-apocalyptic settlement by Wild, who looks exactly like Lyssa! Well, it’s Cynthia Khan again!! Talk about great scriptwriting!
Well, Amp is not really welcome in the compound, for the very reason we will witness a little later. So obviously, he leaves and Wild tailing along. Not happy about it, Amp returns with her to the compound, finding it burnt down and inhabitants killed. Well, so much for harboring a fugitive from marauders.
A little further into the movie we see Wild starts to understand why she need to – in Amp’s words – “toughen up”, and we’re gonna witness a great – quite often – repeated scene of training the newbie. Cynthia looks so cute trying to appear like she do a proper fist hit, but luckily for us, in a few minutes she’s changed from rags wearing girl to a spandex-and-leather ass-kicking machine. And let’s be honest – this is why we watch these movies for!!! Beautiful girls kicking butts!!!
And from now on it’s basically non-stop action till the end, briefly interrupted with some stuff little resembling a story – kick butt, do a little talk, move to another settlement, kick butt…and so on. Of course, we all know these arena-fighting movies are beat’em ups from computers and arcades translated to screen/TVs, which means, in the end, there will be a fight with the big bad boss (in this case, the aforementioned Mainframe), but not before two things happen – first, the murder of Amp’s friend (and our duo’s latter company) Scudder (played by great Jim Gaines, with so many amazing B-movies under his belt that I need yet to watch) and the fight with Mainframes’ side-kick Wires (Don Nakaya Neilsen).
And of course, you know the end. That was the time nobody asked for story-twists and stuff like that – and therefore nobody was forced to deliver those.
I have to say though, although I definitely don’t mind mindless trash movies like this one, the truth is, it was little dragging by the end and basically just rehashing the concept again and again. Not that I am complaining, after a long day I couldn’t pick up a better movie for a movie night.