A lively if routine actioner, OUT FOR BLOOD stars Don "The Dragon" Wilson as John Decker, a savvy LA lawyer who is plagued by incomplete memories of the slaughter, fifteen months earlier, of his wife and son when they innocently stumbled into the middle of a boat-basin drug deal.
LAPD Lieutenant Croft (Michael DeLano) is annoyed at Decker's inability to identify the killers. Decker's "selective amnesia" is being treated by his friend Dr. McConnell (Ron Steelman). One night, while employing his martial arts skills to break up a street drug sale, Decker finds himself
beginning to remember the painful events more clearly. He continues this violence-as-therapy against other drug dealers, and the media soon dubs this unknown vigilante as "Karateman." Croft's superiors are upset, since Karateman is doing their work for them to great popular approval.
Also upset is local drug king, Rick (Todd Curtis). Decker falls in love with art gallery owner Joanna Montague (Shari Shattuck), which angers Joanna's previous jilted boyfriend, mysterious businessman Geisler (Robert Miano). Decker also befriends Joanna's principal artist, the philosophizing
Hiroshi (Aki Aleong). Decker's nightly violent forays eventually lead to Rick, who kidnaps Joanna and whom Decker now recognizes as his wife's murderer. In a dawn air-strip standoff, Decker rescues Joanna, McConnell is revealed as Rick's crime boss (he dies as his escape-route plane explodes,
arranged by Geisler, who slyly thanks Decker for eliminating his drug-business competition) and Rick is gunned down by the suddenly appearing Croft, who announces (shades of the Dirty Harry opus MAGNUM FORCE) that he's now leading a cop vigilante gang "reporting directly to the mayor."
Despite its complicated, downright hallucinatory ending (the year's best bet for hitting the rewind button: did Croft really say that?), OUT FOR BLOOD is strictly formula genre fare, with the audience always one step ahead of Decker and the plot.
David S. Green's screenplay leans heavily on DEATH WISH and its myriad sequels and clones. Its most risible elements are Decker's solemn meetings with the all-seeing, all-knowing Hiroshi, who spouts orientalist nonsense with a straight face ("Violence could become a servant to peace, but beware
when the servant becomes master"). Director Richard W. Munchkin (RING OF FIRE, DEADLY BET) keeps things moving sufficiently, with well-executed car chases, gun battles and martial arts displays (choreographed by Wilson and Eric Lee). As with other PM Entertainment direct-to-video releases
(producers Richard Pepin and Joseph Mehri provide the initials), OUT FOR BLOOD is technically assured and features Pepin's usual excellent cinematography.
Star Don Wilson (DRAGONFLIGHT, the BLOODFIST series), a former World Kickboxing Association light heavyweight world kickboxing champion, seems determined to become a martial arts-driven action hero in the mold of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal. He's not much of an actor, but he has a
certain boyish charm unusual in this macho movie world. (Violence, substance abuse, profanity.)
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: R
- Review: A lively if routine actioner, OUT FOR BLOOD stars Don "The Dragon" Wilson as John Decker, a savvy LA lawyer who is plagued by incomplete memories of the slaughter, fifteen months earlier, of his wife and son when they innocently stumbled into the middle of… (more)