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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Ultimate Fights: SE
Ultimate Fights: SE
Universal // Unrated // April 16, 2002
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by G. Noel Gross | posted April 12, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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CineSchlock-O-Rama

FlixMix made A LOT of noise with their inaugural release Boogeymen: The Killer Compilation. Horror icons Clive Barker, Robert Englund and Gunnar Hansen were squired before wide-eyed fans to tout the disc's praises at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors. Then print, radio and television campaigns boogeyed the frightful news all over the country. Now, it's round two and while the marketing push isn't quite so fierce, Ultimate Fights (2001, 54 minutes) is anything but timid with more than 16 of the most bone-crushing fist, sword, gun and cat fights ever filmed.

The movie: As with Boogeymen, viewers can adjust the flow of info bombardment by layering in audio commentary, trivia factoids or, gulp, both while watching Russell Crowe convince the whole world he really is a Gladiator. There's also no shortage of "Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-YAH!" kung fu fighting with the likes of Jackie Chan and Jason Lee in Rumble in the Bronx, Legend of the Drunken Master and Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. Bullet ballet in The Killer and Scarface. But NO compilation of brawls would be complete without a nod to the hellacious two-man slugfest in They Live. Yes, CineSchlockers, Rowdy Roddy Piper made the cut!!! In fact, there's quite a bit here for genre fans to lick their chops over. Most notably, two DELICIOUS easter eggs. The first, and most easily discovered, is a clip from Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks featuring two topless gals wailing a fella senseless. (Those intrigued by this teaser should pick up the special edition disc.) Now the second egg of video goodness is a bit more illusive. Persistence will produce a reel from Something Weird Video's awe-inspiring Wraslin She Babes of the '50s. These two ALMOST top Boogeymen's fleshy egg from Jack Frost 2: The Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman.

Notables: No breasts. 71 corpses. Pool cue to the back. Arm amputation. Exploding blood zit. Sword play. Slow mo. Fast mo. Poison dart. Multiple gun battles. Head butting. Cranium clobbering. Catfighting. Spitting. Battle axe to the foot. Knife fight. Tazer zapping. Gratuitous Vietnam flashback. Racking. One dead tiger.

Quotables: Diamond is a supremely annoyed stripper who ain't taking it no more, "It's bitches like you who make it hard for women like me!" Al Pacino ain't going out like a chump, "Say 'Hello' to my lil friend!" And perhaps the best ad-libbed line of all time, "I have come here to kick ass and chew bubble gum. And I'm all outta bubble gum!"

Time codes: Vampire slayer Blade disposes of an unsightly blemish (7:42). Jackie gets the royal hot foot (24:12). Son O' Bruce Lee clobbers deadly sheets of ice (36:12). Roddy gets, um, rowdy (50:12).

Audio/Video: Only Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is shown in its original aspect ratio. The rest are cropped to fill the screen, which makes for some claustrophobic and disorienting moments. While the image quality of each clip varies, the majority lean toward Blursville. The Killer looks like a "So You've Got Glaucoma" training reel. Presented in an intentionally loud Dolby Digital 5.1 track that varies in the same manner as the visuals. Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" even rattles the walls on the optional 2.0 track.

Extras: Dialed up a notch from Boogeymen. An advertised commentary by kung fu producer/director guru Tsui Hark. Yet despite his vast knowledge, he fails to site Cannonball Run as Jackie Chan's first introduction to American audiences. Dig a bit deeper and there's aural insights from Hollywood "Fight Master" James Lew who also hosts the 10-minute "Behind the Punches: How to Stage Your Own Movie Fight" featuring inside tips from Jean-Claude Van Damme. Optional on-screen "FlixFacts." Mighty amusing "Fight Cards" give a tale of the tape for each bout with winners and losers by judges score. But they have the nerve to say Nada got clobbered. Hey! Frank PUT ON the shades right?! So there! If one is so inclined, bed ridden or just plain bored, there's even an option to pick your five fave scenes for playback in any order. Techno fans can twirl their glow lights to house tunes mixed especially for your next kegger with the "Ultimate Rumble Party Mix." Ever-thrilling "Name that Frame" game (Note to FlixMix: How about a video reward instead of just "CORRECT!" popping on the screen?) Trailers for Scarface, Legend of the Drunken Master, Crossing the Line, Gladiator, Time Cop, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, They Live, Black Mask, First Blood and The Killer, plus extracurricular clips for Boogeymen, American Pie 2, The Fast and the Furious, Slapshot 2: Breaking the Ice. Music video for "Control" by Puddle of Mud. DVD-ROM features include a trivia game. Explosive animated menus with audio. Printed insert with chapter list.

Final thought: An even harder swing at true interactivity than its predecessor with ferocious clips and generous layers of entertaining extras. Recommended.

Check out the CineSchlock-O-Rama interview
with FlixMix producer Gary Shenk.

G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.
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