Saturday, 9 April 2016

Film Review: Blood Street (1988)

 As-kicking PI Joe Wong is hired to find a beautiful woman's missing husband but instead he finds himself in the middle of a drug war. 

Leo Fong in a horrible hat. 
(No kidding. It looks like a gorilla was playing with it.)  
Richard Norton in a tiny pair of speedos
(He's only wearing them in the one scene but dear gods, that's enough)
Ex-Playmate Kym Paige
(Trying to play a femme fatale)
Chuck Jeffries
(Trying to play Eddie Murphy)
A bunch of people
(Trying to act. Who cares. They're all gonna die anyway.) 

This is the sequel to Low-Budget cult fave LOW BLOW  which I stumbled across by accident and decided to watch through a mixture of morbid curiosity and a need for a new post.  

 "Blood Street" can best be summed up as an attempt to update the classic film-noir to the era of "straight-to-video movies about druglords." 
 (Has anybody ever sat down and worked out how many of those there were in the 1980s? There must have been hundreds of movies about plucky cops/PIs/ex-soldiers trying to take down a guy in a baggy suit and his army of pony-tailed mooks called "Bruno" )

  Joe Wong plays the classic PI, complete with world-weary voice-over, but breaks out the martial arts and a sawn-off shotgun when things get dicey. I'm actually amazed at how casual he is about killing. Leaving aside the frequent shootouts, at one point our hero skewers a pub-brawling baddy with a flung dart - just for the hell of it. 
 I will say this for "Blood Street": If you like violence there's plenty of it. When Joe isn't breaking somebody's arm, the rival drugs firms are  gunning each other down in broad daylight.      

 The problem is, none of this is particularly well directed or choreographed so it has minimal impact. 

And I think that sums up this film. Minimal Impact. 

 The story happens in choppy fashion, rather than flowing, and I really have no idea why they decided to throw a long flashback in halfway through because other than giving Joe Wong a chance to get reflective, it has nothing to do with anything. 
 The acting is variable. Richard Norton does probably the best performance and when that happens, you know something is wrong.  Leo Fong is monotone through the entire film, making his "quips" land like custard on a paving stone and Kym Paige ...wasn't hired for her acting chops. 
 The music is better than "Low Blow's" soft-rock synth noodlings in that this time we get 1940s jazz noodling instead. I think that was a deliberate attempt to recreate the aforementioned film-noir atmosphere but it sits a bit strangely beside 1980s hair and Uzis.

Also in this film  

Casual racism
(Joe Wong is Chinese. This is pointed out frequently
Violence against women that's slightly disturbing.
(Nobody has a problem with slapping a ho'. Or shooting her in the back either.)
Some terrible attempts at sexiness.
(The opening orgy scene is less erotic than your average Duran Duran video)
Gangsters who have a curious reluctance to use guns on the hero.
(Fuck knows why. They're ok with gunning down women in cold blood after all.)  
Bad attempts at wit
A colossal waste of Richard Norton's proven martial arts skills.
(The guy could fight. Maybe the climax should have used that.)
(No. No. No. No. No.)

To sum up: If you like dumb low-budget 80s flicks about white druglords or want to check out everything Richard Norton ever did then you may like "Blood Street" I wasn't impressed.

I'll end with a question: Why "Blood Street"? why not Blood Streets?   That would make more sense. 

That's all folks 


  1. Sounds awful.
    My favourite from that era and oeuvre was "Number One With A Bullet", d'you recall that one?

    P.s. I watched "Super" last night, which I picked up for less than three quid. If you haven't seen it, then find it and see it IMMEDIATELY!

    1. I've never seen "Number One with A bullet." I'll see if I can track down a copy.

      Also "Super" is a brilliant film. It's a better depiction of damaged "superheroes" than any Batman film you care to mention.


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