219. Ring of Fire (1991)

ring-of-fire

*The Warlock is in his lair. He’s wearing a black leather jacket, I SURVIVED SHARKNADO t-shirt,  blue jeans, white sneakers and gargoyle shades. Hooks up at his ceiling and shakes his head*

Warlock: Someday, we’re going to defeat you once and for all. Someday we’re going to finish what we began. Someday…

*Warlock turns toward the camera*

Warlock: Ah, you caught me early. Welcome to my lair…you know the drill. Tonight I’m flying solo yet again for another IT CAME FROM YOUTUBE.  Tonight’s b movie is Ring of Fire, the 1991 action flick starring Don “Dragon” Wilson. Rival kickboxing gyms turn personal and blood is shed…sounds like Chinese Connection to me.

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the recliner*

Warlock: Its time for Ring of Fire.

 

*The Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “LA’s Chinatown is disrupted by the cross-town rivalry between two kickboxing clubs, as the competitive sport is catapaulted from the ring of a gymnasium to a ring of fire.”

Warlock: So The Chinese Conection set 20 years later in a ring of fire, got it.

 

Directed by Richard W Munchkin and Rick Jacobsen

Written by Richard W Munchkin, Steve Tymon and Jake Jacobs

 

*Opening credits with someone practicing chi*

Warlock: I dig the theme song.

 

*Terry Woo (Steven Vincent Leigh) enters the ring and gets clobbered. His opponent attacks the ref and Terry gets the upperhand*

WarlockL What was the point of attacking the referee? Idiot.

 

*Opponent regains upper hand but stops to celebrate. Terry drops him with a savate kick to win the fight*

Warlock: He pulled a Ray Jackson.

 

*Two more fighters enter the ring, one white, one asian. The white guy absolutely annihilates his opponent and sends him to the hospital*

Warlock: He just got knocked the fuck out.

 

*Two more fighters are preparing in the back. One of them is Chuck (Vince Murdocco)*

Warlock: Former kickboxing cruiserweight champion Vince Murdocco.

 

*Julie (Maria Ford) visits Chuck in the locker room. She doesn’t want Chuck to get hurt. Chuck’s friend scoffs and says Chuck’s not even married yet and already he’s pussy whipped*

Warlock: Sucks to be him.

 

*Johnny Woo (Don “Dragon” Wilson) is the doctor pissed at Terry for fighting. Detective Lopez (Michael DeLano) walks in and calls the kid that got knocked out a gang member. Johnny introduces Terry as his cousin. Lopez “How ya doin?” Lopez grills Terry about the underground fighting and makes a backhanded racist jab saying its like Vietnam and they’re sticking together. Johnny walks away disgusted*

Warlock: Terry should have axe kicked him there.

 

*Kwong (Eric Lee) staggers into the ring acting drunk*

Warlock: Eric Lee in the house.

 

*Kwong staggers around and Chuck flip kicks him out of the ring. Kwong fights back and drops Chuck. A few more spinkicks has Chuck on the run but Chuck lands some haymakers. Suddenly Kwong lands a kick to the gonads that drops Chuck*

Warlock: Ohjhhhhhhhhowwwwwwwwwww

 

*Both men are counted out*

Warlock: Fan throwing their betting slips into the ring.

 

*Oriental Wok restaurant is shown*

Warlock: Nice name.

 

*Johnny walks into the restaurant and is lovestruck when he sees Julie. She wants tea and chopsticks thinking he’s the waiter. He goes to the back and gets it for her as Aunt Mei (Jane Chung) tells him let the waiter do it*

Warlock: He just wants to get into her pants, let him go.

 

*Julie continues to act like Johnny can’t speak English until he answers in perfect English its hard to eat noodles with chopsticks. Julie “You speak English really well*

Warlock: Wowwwwwwww

 

*Brad (Dale Jacoby) fights a big tall dude. Brad gives him the rapsberry before the fight*

Warlock: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.

 

*Brad drops big dude with one kick and several punches to the head*

Warlock: The guy looked so out of shape it wasn’t funny.

 

*Brad jumps up and says he wants Terry Woo. Back at the restaurant, Johnny annd Julie share bonding moments*

Warlock: Holy crap this acting is complete shit.

 

*Johnny “Don’t forget your fortune cookie.” All of a sudden Brad and Linda (Lisa Saxton) walk in with Chuck close behind. Chuck is Julie’s brother. Chuck pretends to be hurt to scare Julie. The white guy with a ponytail that annihilated the guy earlier is there along with a fourth white guy. Julie reads her fortunre*

Warlock: You’re gonna be eaten by a big greasy monster, have a nice day.

 

*Julie walks out with Chuck asking what’s wrong. She complains they never spend time together. Chuck wants to spend time now but she’d rather walk away. Back inside the restaurant, Johnny reads the flier that Julie left behind. Later on he practices his chi before sitting with Terry. Terry wants him to come down to the fights Friday night. Johnny “I’m a doctor, not a fighter. You beat em up, I patch them up”

Warlock: Dr McCoy approves

 

*Brad and Linda fight in front of their grandmother (Shirley Spiegler Jacobs). Brad and Linda then hit up the hot tub. Julie disrobes*

Warlock: Oh oh oh, here we go.

 

*Julie reads the fortune again. “Like a mountain lily, love grows in rocky terrain” Julie lays in bed thinking while Brad and Linda frolic in the hot tub. Johnny is in bed thinking too*

Warlock: Wonderful, can we progress the story now?

 

*Next day Johnny practices his chi with Terry reading the newspaper. Aunt Mei introduces Lee Ching Tong and she’s studying to be a nurse. Johnny says nice to meet you. Mei says she’s going to help with laundry. Terry says Johnny needs to settle down because he’s getting old*

Warlock: He was 37 at the time.

 

*Terry and Johnny spar a little. Johnny easily whips him*

Warlock: Terry was 27 at the time.

 

*Johnny rope a dopes Terry into jumping in the pool*

Warlock: Cannonball.

 

*Thong clad girl on roller skates skates around as Kwong hangs upside down and claims to be Bruce Lee’s teacher*

Warlock: Kwong takes a look at the girl and falls on his head.

 

*Brad’s crew shows up and pull’s Kwong’s pants down. Later on Bud (Gary Daniels) the guy with the ponytail hits on the thong clad girl when he feels something on his head. Kwong is pissing on him from the roof above*

Warlock: HAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!!!!

 

*Kwong runs away but is finally cornered*

Warlock: 4 against one.

 

*Kwong gets the crap beat out of him by Bud and his crew. Later on Terry asks what Johnny is up to, he’s going to the masquerade ball that Julie is going to. It happens to be in the white guy’s kickboxing gym*

Warlock: Nice song.

 

*Julie dances with Chuck who pretends to karate kick her. She’s miffed and Chuck asks if she wants to slow dance. Brad calls him over and Chuck says he’ll be right back. Meanwhile Terry gets intel from his crew that Kwong got put in the hospital by Bud and the “Surfers”

Warlock: They don’t look like surfers to me.

 

*Terry says he knows where Bud is and Johnny is there. Lopez walks up and taunts Terry about Kwong, Terry pretends not to know who did it. Lopez says he can be their biggest pain in the ass. Later on still no slow dance from Chuck but Julie spots Johnny dressed as the Phantom of the Opera*

Warlock: Hahahahaa everyone else is in zubaz or spandex and he’s in full costume.

 

*Julie and Johnny slow dance. She figures out he’s the waiter. Linda spills the beans to Chuck and Brad about Julie dancing with Johnny*

Warlock: Uh oh, here comes the jealous boyfriend act.

 

*The record stops as Chuck and Brad rip Johnny’s mask off. Terry and his crew walk in and stand with Johnny. Brad “What the hell is this, Pearl Harbor?”

Warlock: Somebody knock him out.

 

*The Surfer’s back Johnny, Terry and crew out of there. Later on Johnny explains why he was there, he really likes Julie. Terry “Too soon. First you get a Chinese wife, THEN you get an American girlfriend.”

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*Johnny tells Aunt Mei he doesn’t want to be introduced to anymore women. Mei says he’s 32 and needs to settle down*

Warlock: 37 but no matter.

 

*Terry says he met a blonde and Mei grumbles*

Warlock: She’s no baboi, that’s for sure.

 

*Julie and Wendy  have girl talk about Johnny, while he spies on her. Johnny walks into the clothing store and he says Julie is driving her crazy. Only problem is he’s talking to the wrong  changing room. Some old lady (Joan Blair) walks out and hugs him. He leaves, pissed. Julie and Linda laugh as the old woman says she’s in love*

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Julie and Wendy hit up the Oriental Wok looking for Johnny.  Terry’s crew gives them shit but Mei tells them to beat it. Mei “Sometimes they forget, where they come from.”

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*Julie and Wendy get their own table. Mei says Johnny isn’t a waiter and asks how old she is. She says 22. Mei “Good age to have children.” Mei asks what she had for breakfast and Julie says bacon and eggs. Mei “No McMuffin?” Mei then asks if she has pains in the chest and subtlely tells her he’s at the hospital. Wendy wants to go home*

Warlock: Aunt Mei with the scoop!

 

*Nurse (Diana Phipps) assists Johnny while Julie tells Johnny her plight. Johnny gets love struck*

Warlock: They call me DOCTOR LOVEEEEE, they call me Dr. Love, calling Doctor Love…got to cure your thinking offfffffff.

 

*Julie takes her sweater off and Johnny makes her take deep breaths*

Warlock: He’s gonna be hard for an hour.

 

*Julie asks what he thinks. Johnny turns to the nurse Maria and says prep for immediate surgery, gonna need a bone saw and a rip spreader*

Warlock: He beat me to the joke I was gonna use, fuck.

 

*Maria leaves and Johnny says the real cure is lunch with him tomorrow. Julie “I don’t think I like you anymore”

Warlock: Just wait until he delivers the anesthetic….

 

*Montage of Johnny and Julie going on a date*

Warlock: Wonderful, can we get back to the fighting now?

 

*Julie takes Johnny home and notices the ring on her finger. Julie says she’s engaged and supposed to get married next September. Julie isn’t sure about it, they’ve been going ouit for six years*

Warlock: She said she was 22, they’ve been dating since they were 16?

 

*Julie hits him with the Friend Zone card and he walks inside*

Warlock: Ouchhhhhhhhhh

 

*Chuck grills Julie about where she was. They were supposed to go to the movies together. Julie lies and says she was with Wendy. Chuck calls her a bitch and she apologizes. He asks what’s wrong and he goes to put the moves on her. Julie shuts him down. He says “Give me a call when you do.”

Warlock: I’m on Chuck’s side here. That’s bullshit.

 

*Bud trains at the beach when Terry’s crew confronts him. Terry wants him one on one. They fight*

Warlock: Now we’re getting somewhere.

 

*Terry beats the shit out of Bud and his crew leaves*

Warlock: Terry wins, flawless…victory.

 

*Brad confronts Bud what happened and Bud says 10 of Terry’s gang jumped him. Brad says they’re going to get him now. The entire Surfer gang heads for Terry’s gym. Kwong staggers outside drunk and spots them coming. He limps away. Terry’s entire crew walks out. Brad makes several racists comments. A big brawl develops*

Warlock: The Jets and the Sharks are going at it. All we need now is Mean Gene Okerlund.

 

*Chuck, Terry and Brad do the most damage out of everyone. Kwong spits rum at people*

Warlock: Haha.

 

*Fight continues*

Warlock: Well they’re fighting in the streets, with children at our feet….

 

*The cops show up and everyone scatters. Brad challenges Terry to a one on one fight on a bridge. They say deal before Lopez chases them all away*

Warlock: Right out of The Warriors.

 

*Lopez grills Johnny about the gang warfare. Lopez says Johnny is dealing drugs from the hospital. Johnny tells him to get the hell out. Lopez says he’s going to be on him like white on rice*

Warlock: Someone dropkick this guy around.

 

*Johnny grills Terry about what happened, Terry says a gang fight. Johnny says Lopez is out to get them and the violence needs to end. Terry says its not his fault*

Warlock: Gene Snitsky agrees.

 

*Terry, Brad and Chuck train for the big fight. Meanwhile Julie grills Johnny about his fighting. Johnny says he’s more low key than the others. He takes her to the beach and get their picture taken by the thong roller skating girl. Brad kicks a steel ringpost*

Warlock: Tong Po likes this.

 

*Terry trains with a sober Kwong as Johnny and Julie bond at the beach. Brad and Chuck spar in the ring with Bud and his boys watching*

Warlock: Would lovc to see these guys in a real shoot fight.

 

*Johnny explains how Chinese New Year works*

Warlock: The dragon is very good luck.

 

*Johnny explains how the yellow lions work. We cut to Johnny and Julie as Johnny explains more Chinese tradition*

Warlock: Pay attention boy.

 

*Johnny invites Julie to a traditional Chinese New Year dinner with Aunt Mei. More bonding mments*

Warlock: Alright we get it.

 

*More training and then Chuck walks into Julie’s store and apologizes with flowers*

Warlock: Why should he apologize, she’s the one cheating on him!

 

*Chuck asks her out and Julie says no, she’s too tired*

Warlock: Wowwwweeeee I can’t treat Chuck as a villain here. He’s getting screwed.

 

*Bud and Brad train with kendo stricks until Brad pulls out a katana sword*

Warlock: Now you’re taking it too far.

 

*Grandma is in her garden. Julie asks her about what she should do with Chuck and Johnny. She doesn’t know if she loves Chuck anymore or Johnny now. Grandma says to call off the engagement with Chuck. She hands grandma the picture and she freaks when she sees Johnny. She brings up how Julie’s father died. Julie says he’s Chinese, not Vietnamese. Grandma says it doesn’t matter to Brad and she better make up her mind what to do about Chuck. Meanwhile Terry trains in the pool*

Warlock: I can’t feel any sympathy for her, its not like Chuck’s blowing her off or being abusive.

 

*Johnny and Julie go on a date again. They go to kiss when Mei stops them. Johnny “I better go”

Warlock: Cock blocked.

 

*Yet another trianing montage with Bud and Brad*

Warlock: Jesus enough of the training.

 

*Julie looks at the picture of her and Johnny when Brad knocks on her door. Brad grills her about the Chinese music she was listening to. Julie says she and Chuck are good and Brad leaves. Julie visits Johnny at the hospital when Lopez walks in. Johnny asks what he wants, Lopez says there’s a secret fight going on and he wants to know where. Johnny has no idea about it and tells Lopez to beat it*

Warlock: Somebody knock him out.

 

*Julie and Johnny finally kiss on the beach. Next day Chuck walks in the store and wants to take Julie to lunch. She goes with him*

Warlock: Wow, she said yes. Its a miracle.

 

*Chuck asks her why she’s being distant. She hands him the ring and says she needs time. Chuck “Don’t you love me?” She doesn’t answer and gives him the ring back. Chuck asks who is it? He calls her a bitch and says Brad is going to take out Terry and then he’s going to take out Johnny. He tells her to flush the ring down the toilet and throws it at her*

Warlock: I’m on Chuck’s side. The movie writers made her look like the bitch, not him. He should have been booked as abusive or distant but he was neither.

 

*Terry trains and Johnny grills him about the big fight. Johnny whips him and wants to call it off. He says he’s dating Julie, Brad’s sister. Terry says he’s been pissed off his whole life about the racism and tonight its payback time. Johnny says all this is, is hate. He needs to love. Johnny says to call off the fight by getting Brad to agree to Bangkok rules, glass on hands, and he’ll be sure to decline. Johnny comes over to Julie’s and says Terry is going to call the fight off. Julie is happy. Brad smashes an ice block*

Warlock: Really setting up a hell of a fight.

 

*The surfer’s and Terry’s gang meet at the bridge. Terry challenges Brad to Bangkok rules and Brad accepts. Brad and Terry get packed for battle*

Warlock: 21 minutes left, this is gonna get ugly.

 

*Back and forth montage between Johnny making love to Julie with horribly overdubbed moans, and the Bangkok rules fight between Brad and Terry in a ring of fire. We cut to Julie and Johnny in bed. Johnny says he told Terry to challenge him to Bangkok rules and Julie hops up saying Brad is crazy enough to di it. Now Julie and Johnny are on their way*

Warlock: Its a race against timeeeeee!

 

*Terry and Brad continue the fight, Brad gets the upperhand. Brad cuts Terry’s throat with a back hand punch. A roundhouse kick by Brad ends it. Johnny runs into the ring and Brad attacks. Johnny dodges every blow and rushes to Terry’s aid. Brad kicks him in the back as the cops chase everyone away. Julie and Johnny are left with Terry in the ring. Terry’s dead*

Warlock: Aunt Mei is gonna be PISSED!

 

*Julie is preparing to go to Terry’s funeral. Brad says its not a good idea and Julie says she doesn’t care what he thinks anymore. Brad says how could he leave Chuck over the “gook.” Julie says she’s marrying him if Johnny wants. Brad says over his dead body. Brad threatens her and walks away*

Warlock: He’s got more heel heat than Chuck.

 

*Julie shows up to the funeral and gets eyeballed by all of Terry’s  crew. Johnny consoles her until Brad, Chuck and the Surfers arrive. They threaten Johnny and say to let Julie go. They demand her to go home…NOW. Johnny “For God’s sakes this is a funeral.” Julie pulls out the ring and puts it back on. She says “He’s right, I don’t belong here.” Julie “Johnny I don’t love you. I was just using you to make Chuck jealous.” Johnny doesn’t believe it and she slaps him. She sneers and walks away*

Warlock: Holy fucking shit, did NOT see that heel turn coming. Johnny you better go smoke them.

 

*Lopez says they arrested Brad and Johnny is pissed because Brad made bail. Johnny says Brad will get probation and walk.  He then laments over dinner. Julie then plays a piano*

Warlock: The movie writers made her the most detestable character of all.

 

*Grandma grills Julie about her horrible behavior. She takes her fortune away. Next frame is Grandma and Johnny talking one on one. She asks why he gave up Julie so easily, Johnny says she doesn’t love him. Grandma “More hogwash”

Warlock: Grandma knows what’s up.

 

*Grandma hands Johnny the fortune and he hits up the aerobics class Julie is at*

Warlock: The Aqua Net is killin me.

 

*Johnny walks in and makes a scene saying he loves Julie and can’t live without her. Julie hugs him. Brad and Chuck walk in and tell Johnny to beat it*

Warlock: Where the hell did any of them come from?

 

*Julie tells Brad to go away and he slaps her. Johnny slow burns. Next frame is inside the kickboxing ring, Johnny and Brad one on one*

Warlock: 7 minutes left, guess this is it.

 

*Johnny beats the crap out of Brad. Kwong “I drink to that!”

Warlock: Heh.

 

*Brad cheapshots Johnny and Johnny kicks the shit out of him. Johnny taunts him and is cheered by Terry’s old crew. Chuck interferes by smashing a stool over Johnny’s back. Kwong “Aw shit.” Johnny is double teamed by Brad and Chuck then goes down. Brad “Come around my sister again and I’ll kill you.” Johnny gets up and kicks both of them in the head. Down goes Chuck, down goes Brad*

Warlock: The big comeback.

 

*Johnny wipes out Chuck but Brad  grabs his sword. He goes to stab Johnny but Julie gets in the way and she’s cut open. Brad “What have I done!” Johnny tells Chuck to call an ambulance and he runs off to do so*

Warlock: Love how that turned real quick.

 

*Johnny caries Julie for 10 paces then smiles, end credits*

Warlock: Thank fucking God its over.

 

The Warlock’s Assessment: 4 out of 10. That was horrific in almost every sense imaginable. Apart from the fight scenes we had romance scenes that were horribly acted and dubbed. We had a heel character that wasn’t really a heel. A damsel in distress who was more detestable than he was. Then you have the main villain which wasn’t that hateable. It all boils down to a shitload of fuck. I don’t recommend it unless you’re a big Don Wilson fan or can fast forward to the fighting scenes.

Final Grade: 4 out of 10: Bad

 

*Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: That was a fail, the “ring of fire” was used for the wrong fight really. Should have been Johnny and Brad at the end. Horrible booking aside, I can’t recommend this unless you catch it for free. You know what the worst part is? There’s two sequels! Join us next time for part two, have a pleasant evening.

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