A Movie A Day #236: Bad Blood (1994, directed by Tibor Takacs)


Though it is sometimes hard to remember, there more on late night Cinemax than just Shannon Tweed films like Scorned and Body Chemistry 3.  There were also Lorenzo Lamas action films, movies like the Snake Eater trilogy.  Though Lamas was a terrible actor, his direct-to-video efforts were always a hundred times more violent than everyone else’s and, for male viewers of a certain age, it did not hurt that his then-wife, Kathleen Kinmont, often showed up in various states of undress.

Kathleen Kinmont did not appear in Bad Blood but the movie made up for her absence by being so violent that it was originally given an NC-17 rating.  As a result, there are actually two versions of this movie floating around: the slightly cut R-rated Bad Blood and an unrated version called Viper.  (Interestingly, the violence in both Bad Blood and Viper is really no more graphic than the violence that was featured in a lot of mainstream films released in the mid-90s.)

In this one, Lorenzo Lamas is Travis Blackstone, a former cop who was kicked off the force after he destroyed evidence to protect his smarmy brother, Franklin (Hank Cheyne).  Travis was sent to prison but now that he is out, he is working in a shipping yard and coaching little league baseball.  (I do not know many parents that would be happy with an ex-con as their child’s little league coach but that is the power of Lorenzo Lamas.)  Unfortunately, Franklin has gotten in trouble again, embezzling millions from the mafia.  Not only does Travis have to find the money to repay the mob but he also has to keep Franklin safe.  Unfortunately, since Franklin is now involved with Travis’s ex, Rhonda (Frankie Thorn), Travis’s new girlfriend (Kimberly Kates) assumes that he is cheating on her and tells the mob where they can track down the Blackstone brothers.

The main bad guy, Chang, is played by Joe Son.  (The unrated version begins with Chang giving a little girl a lollipop and then shooting her dead.)  Joe Son was a UFC fighter who was later revealed to be just as bad a guy in real life as he was in the movies.  After being convicted on rape in 2011, Son was sentenced to seven years to life.  As soon as he arrived in prison, he beat his cellmate to death and received an additional sentence of 27 years for voluntary manslaughter.

As for Bad Blood, by the standards of the typical Lorenzo Lamas action movie, it’s not bad.  The action is constant and fierce, with Travis gunning down a seemingly endless number of gangsters in designer suits.  Tibor Takacs was a better filmmaker than most of the directors that Lamas worked with and it appears that he managed to keep Lorenzo Lamas’s ego under control, the result being far less shots of Lamas posing than in any of the other movies that Lamas made during this period.  The production values of Bad Blood are also consistently better than what was on display in the Snake Eater films.  There is even a scene where Lamas not only flips over a speeding car but he shoots the driver while he is doing it.  Let’s see Steven Seagal or even Dolph Lundgren do that!

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