230. Fist Fighter (1989)

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*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black leather jacket,  tie dyed t-shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers and gargoyle shades. He’s holding a sacred chalice of pepsi*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair…welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock makes lightning strike before walking inside*

Warlock: Tonight its another IT CAME FROM YOUTUBE and once again I’m flying solo.

*Camera pans to an empty lair*

Warlock: Tonight we take a look at Fist Fighter. Its the 1989 revenge, fighting movie starring Jorge Rivero. Why am I wearing a tie-dye tshirt? THE REFLECTION OF PERFECTION, THE NUMBER ONE SELECTION, THE MAN OF THE HOUR, THE ONE WITH THE POWER AND TOO SWEET TO BE SOUR…SUPERSTAR..BILLY…GRAHAM!!! Yes, former WWWF Champion “Superstar” Billy Graham is in this so I’m definitely interested.

*Warlock takes a seat in the recliner*

Warlock: Tape up your knuckles, its time for Fist Fighter.

 

Directed by Frank Zuniga

Written by Max Bloom and Carlos Vasallo

 

*Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “An ex-boxer comes back to a town called Rosario in South America taking revenge for the death of a friend”

Warlock: Oh boy, a revenge movie.

 

*Opening credits of some guy driving a bulldozer*

Warlock: The bulldozer already won best supporting actor 30 seconds into the movie.

 

*CJ Thunderbird (Jorge Rivero) is introduced at the pay window, two weeks pay, he hits up the Crazy Bull salloon. The arm wrestler (“Superstar” Billy Graham) has 2-1 odds to win*

Warlock: The women’s pet, the men’s regret where what you see is what you get but what you don’t see…..is better yet.

 

*The dog wants in the bar but the bouncer denies him. The arm wrestler wins and says to get him out of there. He wants 5-1 odds and CJ drops a grand on the table. Arm wrestler calls him a faggot and tells him to shut up*

Warlock: Graham playing the heel, old hat to him.

 

*Arm wrestler says he’s gonna break CJ’s arm. Arm wrestler gets the early advantage but CJ wins it. He hands some money to the guy Wrestler beat moments earlier to take care of his arm. Wrestler challenges him to another match and CJ says no. He goes to the bar and Wrestler walks away*

Warlock: What, no chair shot to the back or a bar clearing brawl?

 

*The dog begs CJ for attention as some woman rides a mechanical bull. CJ goes to leave but Wrestler stops him. Wrestler calls him a scumbag and CJ pops him and his two buddies*

Warlock: That’s more like it.

 

*CJ gets his jacket and goes upstairs. Next frame is CJ driving with the dog chasing behind*

Warlock: Forget the bulldozer, the dog is going to win best supporting actor.

 

*CJ reads a telegram that Rhino Reinhardt (Matthias Hues) is boxing near Bolivia, Rhino killed CJ’s friend two years earlier*

Warlock: Finally a plot.

 

*The dog chases after the jeep so CJ pulls over and lets him in*

Warlock: What’s the dog’s name?

 

*CJ takes a bus to Bolivia with the dog in tow*

Warlock: Could have edited this part out but whatever.

 

*CJ and the dog exit the bus. CJ asks where he can find Rhino. Some guy tells him around the corner. Meanwhile the manager (Helmut Schivety) trains King Bellinakov (Jimmy Nickerson). He asks if he managers Rhino and he says he trains him. CJ wants to fight Rhino but manager says if he wants Rhino, he has to fight King first*

Warlock: Good, keep this going, end it early.

 

*CJ takes the fight and some midget tells a hustler that the fight between CJ and King is that night. The hustler is Punchy Moses (Edward Albert). Punchy asks Manager what the odds on CJ/King is, Manager says no odds. Punchy then introduces himself to CJ as the dog chews on his leg*

Warlock: CJ’s bodyguard.

 

*Punchy bullshits CJ not knowing who he is and claiming “this guy CJ” is a real mean guy. CJ bullshits him back and asks if he knows him. Punchy says they’re good friends and he wants to put 2-1 odds on King. CJ says he’ll put 200 bucks down. Punchy asks his name and CJ says Charlie*

Warlock: Hustlers, gotta love them. Love Edward Albert’s fake latino accent though.

 

*Punchy goes around hobnobbing people. CJ bets 2500 dollars on himself. Billy Vance (Mike Connors) and Ellen (Brenda Bakke) look on. The final bets are made as CJ prepares for battle. Manager introduces King and CJ in a bare knuckles fistfight. No biting, low blows or kicks…2 time outs per person. The winner fights Rhino. Rhino shakes manager’s hand as King taunts Rhino by utting a cigar out on King’s own head. Rhino hopes he wins so he can get a good workout. The bell rings and CJ beats the crap out of King*

Warlock: Wouldn’t be much of a movie if he lost.

 

*CJ bloodies King’s face and drops him for the victory. Manager calls it off as Punchy celebrates*

Warlock: He’s acting like he won the pony.

 

*Billy, Ellen and Rhino watch. CJ collects his 5 grand as Billy calls it impressive. Billy wants to recruit CJ for his stable and CJ turns him down, he wants to fight Rhino. Billy says give him the 5 grand and he’ll put 45-1 odds on him. CJ takes it, tells Rhino he’s waiting a long time for this and says to Billy he’ll be in touch. Moreno (Simon Andreu) puts 100 grand on Rhino. Outside, Punchy and CJ share bonding moments*

Warlock: What a hustle.

 

*Punchy says CJ will need his help to train for the fight with Rhino. Punchy has a pet iguana named Quasimodo*

Warlock: Neyz would love that.

 

*CJ looks at Punchy’s wall of fame and CJ says he only wants Rhino, he’s done after. He asks about Billy and Billy is a big time gangster down there. CJ asks about the trophies inside and Punchy kind of blows him off. Punchy says he had a title shot for the world championship and a mobster told him to take a dive. Punchy refused, won the fight and the mobster had his leg cut off. CJ feels bad and asks him to be his trainer*

Warlock: Sweet, character development.

 

*CJ trains with Punchy acting as a trainer. We cut to the bar where Punchy and CJ make their appearance. Billy welcomes them and Punchy says he’s the manager. Billy says to ditch Punchy and join him, CJ turns him down.  The final bets are made, Billy bets 25 grand. CJ and Rhino get ready*

Warlock: This would be a pretty short movie if CJ wins.

 

*CJ sticks and moves to avoid the heavy haymakers early but Rhino gets the advantage in the corner. CJ ducks under a haymaker and corners Rhino much to Punchy’s delight. Rhino bearhugs him into the center but CJ drops him with a right hook. Rhino gets up and unloads on CJ in the corner. CJ ducks and Rhino dents the stantion. CJ rallies with right hands as Manager calls time with Rhino about to drop. Billy checks on Rhino and Rhino says his hands broken. Billy tells a lackey to go to the police*

Warlock: Something is afoot.

 

*Round two begins with CJ cleaning Rhino’s clock when the police guy hits the circuit breaker and a whole bunch of police flood the bar. The money is stolen as Punchy and CJ are placed under arrest along with most of the crowd.  Moreno is told by the Captain that this won’t happen again. Captain Delgado (Emiliano Redondo) reports to Billy who says it was an unfortunate mistake, Billy says to go with that and pays him off*

Warlock: What a crook.

 

*CJ and Punchy are set free and Punchy says he had Rhino beat.  CJ wants to confront Billy and Punchy says he’s too dangerous to be messed with. CJ and Punchy visit Billy’s residence with Ellen swimming around to a saxophone theme*

Warlock: Yeah, I see where this is going.

 

*Rhino sits with Billy as CJ confronts him about the night before. CJ wants the money and Billy says the police took it and to write it off as a business loss. CJ says he wants only the money he put in, Billy says put up another stake and they’ll have another fight. CJ says Billy needs to lean on the police to make it fair. Billy says not to threaten him, he doesn’t him as an enemy. Rhino has a cast on and he tells CJ had he not broken his hand, CJ wouldn’t be alive. CJ “Lucky me.” Billy tells Ellen to get rid of Punchy and CJ. She wants CJ’s attention but he blows her off*

Warlock: She was 26 and he was 51….huge age difference.

 

*Ellen wants to show Billy’s car collection to CJ and Punchy. They initially resist until Ellen pulls out the bag of money missing from the fight. Punchy grabs the money and Ellen has to hold CJ back from going after Billy. Punchy hides the money and CJ thanks her before leaving. Punchy celebrates at the bar but CJ is still down*

Warlock: Take it and run…..but then again there would be no movie.

 

*Punchy asks why Rhino means so much to him and CJ has his reasons. Delgado pulls up and Punchy tells him to get to the point.  Delgado takes the money bag and calls for his officers to arrest Punchy and CJ. Punchy says “I didn’t even get to finish my beer.” CJ then drops Delgado with a right hand and Punchy knocks out one of the other officers. CJ grabs Delgado and says to tell Billy to mind his own business*

Warlock: Assaulting an officer right there, not that it matters.

 

*Billy throws the money bag in front of Ellen in a jacuzzi. He says you can take the bitch out of the gutter but not the gutter out of the bitch and swipes at her. Billy starts slapping her and later she meets CJ. Her eye is nearly swolen shut and CJ consoles her*

Warlock: Good for heel heat.

 

*Ellen says she’s never seen Billy this crazy. She wants to go with him*

Warlock: Yeah, share the back with the dog.

 

*Pointless sex scene*

Warlock: Good, get it out of the way early, still have 45 minutes left.

 

*The dog barks to wake Punchy up and calls for CJ.  Delgado then has Punchy shot as CJ is taken into custody.  In a bad overdub, Delgado says you don’t want to get hurt. Delgado shoots at the dog and knocks out CJ*

Warlock: Well we had 45 minutes left, had to extend this somehow.

 

*CJ is taken to prison.Moreno is the warden and he  has someone hung up as an example of theivery. He’s then thrown into a cage. Moreno says if he wins the fight, he wins his freedom. His opponent is The Beast (Gus Rethwisch)*

Warlock: Its Buzzsaw from Running Man.

 

*Beast absolutely destroys the prisoner and snaps his neck. Moreno looks at CJ and said the prisoner killed two young girls*

Warlock: I like what I see, trash taking care of itself.

 

*CJ’s cellmate Munes (Eleazar Garcia Jr) finds a pidgeon as company. He kills it and eats it as breakfast*

Warlock: Good thing Neyzor Blades didn’t see that.

 

*Some vato threatens CJ in the mines, CJ holds his ground. Later The vato gang takes the cellmate hostage and CJ beats the shit out of them until Moreno arrives. Moreno calls CJ a brave warrior. Moreno explains the Inca warriors used to battle in the ancient times. Moreno wants him to be his yard boss and CJ refuses. Moreno says he can make his life a living hell and make his taty longer, CJ says he doesn’t plan to stay long. Moreno has CJ tossed in “the hole”. CJ shrugs it off*

Warlock: This went from a fighting movie to Lock Up real quick.

 

*Moreno offers CJ a fight with Rhino if he’ll join him, CJ walks off. Moreno makes CJ fill the whole it took him days to dig on top of his stay in the hole. Finally two guards release CJ from the hole and bring him to see Punchy. Punchy asks what they did to him and CJ says nothing he can’t handle. Punchy says Moreno wants him to fight and CJ says if he does, he’ll never get out of there. Punchy admits Billy blackballed him from everything in town. Moreno shows up and Punchy insults Moreno before he leaves. He says he’s gonna make CJ proud. Moreno has CJ detained and threatens him with more mine work. CJ does it without complaint*

Warlock: Ok, half hour left. Time to get out of prison.

 

*Munes says he may die in prison but CJ has other plans. Munes takes him to a secret area where there’s a hole. Munes says it leads to an old camp but is very dangerous. CJ and unes are taken away but they covered the hole first. An earthquake clears out the mine of the workers and guards so CJ and Munes clear the hole. CJ goes through it alone*

Warlock: Should have taken Munes with him.

 

*CJ makes his way toward the light where he finds human remains. Behind him guards approach. CJ picks his way free where he’s grabbed by awaiting guards. Moreno says he could have brought him fortune and honor*

Warlock: Wow, this really is Lock Up.

 

*Ellen tries to talk Punchy out of something stupid. Ellen says we need him*

Warlock: Who’s we?

 

*Punchy tells Ellen he loves her forever*

Warlock: 23 minutes left, how are they going to end this?

 

*Punchy confronts Billy, Rhino and Delgado. He calls Billy dogshit and Rhino goes to attack, Billy stops him. Billy says to find out how big a man he is. Rhino stands up and Punchy tries to fight him. Rhino no sells everything Punchy throws as Ellen screams to stop it. Rhino beats the shit out of Punchy as she continues to scream*

Warlock: Its not like CJ can save the day as he’s locked up in prison.

 

*Rhino continues the assault until Billy calls him off. Ellen tends to Punchy and says they can all rot in hell*

Warlock: This is gonna suck.

 

*Moreno has CJ in the cage to fight The Beast. CJ out manuvers the big guy, sticking and moving. Beast no sells a lot of punches but a kick to the face hurts him. Beast locks in a bear hug but CJ grabs him by the balls, beginning the comeback. The formerly hostile prisoners cheer for CJ as CJ beats the shit out of The Beast, dropping him with a flurry of punches. CJ goes to kill him but stops*

Warlock: Doesn’t want to bring him down to Moreno’s level.

 

*CJ yells to Moreno that he promised his freedom. CJ wants to know if Moreno is a man of honor or not. The entire crowd turns to Moreno and Moreno says he can go. CJ is carried out on everyone’s shoulders*

Warlock: Well that’s step one. Now he has to go save Ellen from Billy and Rhino.

 

*CJ goes to Punchy’s trailer where Ellen is. Ellen tells CJ that Punchy is hurt badly*

Warlock: Ever heard of a hospital.

 

*Punchy tells CJ that Rhino telegraphs every punch with his chest and to watch for it. Punchy says he had Rhino beat but he saved him for CJ. Punchy dies after telling CJ to kick his ass and that he loves him*

Warlock: *Fakes death* EHHHHHHHHHHHHH

 

*Ellen cries as CJ says he loves him too. Ellen says he never had a chance, he was drunk and a fool. Ellen grabs the championship belt Punchy had in his hands and says it doesn’t matter anymore. CJ it matters a lot*

Warlock: Killed the dog, killed Punchy, time for revenge.

 

*CJ confronts Billy at the cafe. He tells Rhino he did quitea job. CJ says to try him. Billy sicks Delgado, some goon and Rhino on him and Billy says he likes the odds. Moreno appears and says so does he. His prison guards cock their rifles*

Warlock: A face turn by Moreno….nice.

 

*Moreno tells everyone to sit down. He says he knows a good bet when he sees one. Moreno says that night at 9 PM, Rhino against CJ with no interruptions. Moreno tells CJ to beat it and he leaves. We cut directly to the fight between Rhino and CJ*

Warlock: Yeesh, no intros, no warning its “Oh time to fight!”

 

*CJ gets the upperhand as an increasingly nervous Billy screams at Rhino. They trade punches until CJ gets the advantage with haymakers. Rhino gets dropped as Billy calls for time. Billy shouts at Rhino in the corner as Moreno laughs with CJ in the other corner. The bell dings and CJ continues the onslaught but Rhino rallies with a series of left hands that drop CJ. The bell dings and the guards cock their guns to make sure Rhino doesn’t cheat. Rhino sits in his corner as Billy calls it beautiful. The midget reports to Moreno as CJ remembers Punchy’s words. A whole crowd of people run in to watch the third and final round. CJ dodges every punch Rhino throws and counters with haymakers. Rhino begins swinging wildly and CJ counters with crushing right hooks*

Warlock: He rope a doped him.

 

*CJ his about 20 straight shots before backing Rhino up against the pillar. CJ finishes him off with a series of right hooks as the crowd chants for CJ. With Rhino defeated CJ points a fist at Billy. Billy goes to threaten CJ and CJ punches him down. CJ wants to finish him off and Moreno says HE’LL take care of him, his way. He hands 25 grand to CJ as his share of the winnings as CJ walks out to Ellen. They kiss as CJ hands her a wad of cash and tells her to make sure Punchy always has flowers. She says to take care of himself as he walks off. End credits*

Warlock: He never got revenge on Delgado for shooting the dog. Kind of cheap but whatever.

 

The Warlock’s Assessment: Not the greatest movie but that has more to do with the cast than it does the story. There were some character development but the ending left a lot to be desired. Unless Moreno threw Delgado, Rhino and Billy into prison, it feels unsatisfactory. The heels pretty much got away with murder. For that I give the movie a 4.5 out of 10. I don’t recommend it unless you have absolutely nothing else to watch or are a big Superstar Billy Graham fan.

Final Grade: 4.5 out of 10 – Below Average

 

*Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Not the best I’ve seen, hopefully next time will be better. That about wraps up another below average adventure, have a pleasant evening.

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