Tuesday, November 16, 2010

'Weapons of Death' aren't nerf guns or tasers

Weapons of Death (1986)
Starring: Eric Lee, Bob Ramos, Ralph Catellanos, Louis Bailey, Gerald Okamura, Gina Lau, Nancy Lee, and Paul Kyriazi
Director: Paul Kyriazi
Rating: Two of Ten Stars

When the owner of a martial arts school in San Francisco (Lau) refuses to pay protection money to a local Chinese mobster, vicious thug Bishop (Catellanos) is hired to kidnap her daughter, Angela (Lee). Her half-brother (Lee), father (Ramos), and boyfriend (Kyriazi) set out to pay the demanded ransom, but run afoul all sorts of trouble, mostly brought on by stupid scripting.

"Weapons of Death" is a title that prompted me to ponder the question, "Are there any other kinds of weapons other than weapons of death?"

I suppose there are... like tasers and Nerf bats. And then there is the Ugly Stick and the Stupid Stick, both of which were used liberally on many of the actors and all of the characters in this film.

As for the movie itself, the sheer idiocy on the part of the characters, the way motivations seem to be come and go and change between scenes, and the way some of the actors can't even seem to deliver a single line without sounding like they should be attending the Tromaville School for the Very Special (yes, i'm looking at you Eric Lee and Paul Kyriazi) make me wonder if the "script" for this film wasn't made up as shooting took place. Something was needed to tie the so-so choreographed and horribly filmed fight-scenes together after all. (Actually, i happen to know that at least one draft of the script was written, because the director makes reference to writing it on his website. It's too bad he didn't take it through several drafts; he might have realized that his kidnap was victim was annoying--particuarly the way she gets kidnapped, rescued, kidnapped, rescued, and then kidnapped again--his heroes were dumb and his villians dumber, and that an explanation for why the Chinatown crimelord and all his goons seemed to be living in a desert wilderness would have been nice.)

The only two actors who should put this film on their resumes are Louis Bailey (who plays the toughest of the bad guys, and who has a change of heart halfway throgh the film) and Ralph Catellanos (who, as Bishop, is such a nasty piece of work that even other bad guys don't like him). The rest of the cast are average or subpar.

Between the bad script, weak acting, and indifferent to shoddy camera-work, there is no real reason for you to seek out "Weapons of Death". It might serve as a B-feature on a Bad Movie Night, but otherwise this is a film best left to fade into cinematic oblivion.

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