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This fourth entry in Roger Corman’s produced BLOODFIST series is an improvement over the lackluster third film. While the story has quite a twist involving mini-nuclear warheads, it’s more of a father attempting to save his daughter story that features improvement in the fight department as well.

Danny Holt (Don “The Dragon” Wilson) is a repo man whose job is simple: repossessing cars. Danny is also a single father to Molly (Heather Lauren Olson). When Danny goes on a job and apparently finds the car, he gets into a fight with the car’s alleged owner, Scarface (Gary Daniels). The two duke it out only to knock each other out with a jumping round kick.

This is where the chaos begins. The owner of the car is Weiss (Kale Browne), a suspected arms dealer who has hidden pieces of a nuclear warhead in the pieces of a box of chocolates. When Danny gives the box to a co-worker, his life is turned upside down when his co-workers are killed by Weiss’ men and Molly is kidnapped by Weiss’ girlfriend, Lisa (Catya Sassoon). With the help of babysitter Shannon (Amanda Wyss), Danny sets to rescue his daughter. However, one more problem lies with Danny. The CIA and FBI are after Danny, as they think he may be connected to Weiss and was responsible for the deaths of his co-workers. Danny must now rescue Molly and clear his name as well.

After BLOODFIST (1989) and BLOODFIST II (1990), both of which can be deemed tournament films, the third installment began more of an action-adventure scheme that would be the heart of the rest of the series. While BLOODFIST III: FORCED TO FIGHT (1991) can be pretty much deemed as the worst of the series, this fourth installment is a major improvement.

As with the third installment, kickboxing champion turned actor Don “The Dragon” Wilson plays a new character. In this case, he is repo man Danny Holt, who finds himself in the wrong place and the wrong time. What makes the film interesting is the very twisty plot. As it starts with Danny doing his job and getting the wrong car, it goes from a man rescuing his kidnapped daughter to a man having to do both rescue his daughter and clear his name as he is wanted by both sides of the law. He is a true underdog here, yet it helps that he knows martial arts.

While the supporting cast consists of veteran actors such as James Tolkan (best known for his role as the Principal in the BACK TO THE FUTURE films) and Amanda Wyss (best known for her role in the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), as with the other BLOODFIST films, kickboxing champions help make up the supporting cast as well. In this installment, there’s former K.I.C.K. Super Middleweight Kickboxing Champion Dennis Keiffer (who later got rave as the bullwhip wielding henchman of Christopher Walken in THE RUNDOWN (2003)), former kickboxing champ/boxer Dino Homsey, and Gary Daniels, who made a name for himself in the 1990′s as one of the top B-movie action stars.

The fight choreography here is perhaps the best of the entire series. With the success of RING OF FIRE (1991), veteran Art Camacho handled the fight sequences here and with his role as one of PM Entertainment’s top fight directors, Camacho brings his style to this film and his experience with Wilson and Daniels showcases why the two on-screen battles between the two are clearly the best of the film. Not to mention that the other fights, even with future ANGEL FIST star Catya Sassoon, were well handled.

As a result, as its own movie, BLOODFIST IV: DIE TRYING is actually a really good Don Wilson film. It is a shame that they called it “BLOODFIST IV,” but that shouldn’t stop anyone from seeing it and judging for yourself.

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