Monday, August 12, 2013


  It's time to break out that badass Japanese rising sun bandanna and those sweet aviator sunglasses that you've been holding on to since middle school, tear the sleeves off our shirts, oil up the nunchucks, dust off the secret shuriken collection, push the furniture back against the walls and turn the living room into a deadly dojo where we can practice our best martial arts forms in front of a full sized mirror and/or camera while the 80's inspirational montage rock cues up!  Yell it loud and proud from your guts!  Let your chi hammers break the chains that tether us to our normal everyday lives my fellow KVLTISTS, "NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER!"

  Question:  If some bad karate guys tried to buy out your dad's dojo in Los Angeles and then kicked his ass in front of you and the entire martial arts class for not selling what would you do?  Please take your time, think it through, and choose the best possible answer...

  Okay times up.  If your answer was to move to Seattle, join a new karate school, get your ass embarrassingly kicked in front of everyone on the first day then immediately run away with your tail tucked between your legs, get your ass re-kicked in front your girlfriend at her birthday party, then break into an abandoned house to set up a mock dojo of your own to train with Bruce Lee's ghost, then use the newly honed karate skills that you've acquired from said undead Jeet Kune Do master to save the asses of the guys who run the dojo that you were publicly shamed in during a martial arts tournament that you were only attending as a spectator, you'd be absolutely correct and you'd already know the plot of No Retreat, No Surrender!

Jean Claude Van Damme, "the muscles from Brussels" who taunts opponents by doing the splits during tussles.  

  The No Retreat, No Surrender itinerary of kickassery; awesomely bad 80's fashion, ridiculously overdone cable-drawn stunts during impromptu karate battles, like father like son public humiliation, multiple training montages (including a very homoerotic exercise involving a friend and ice cream), awesome power rock montage anthems with guitar work by none other than a then unknown Joe Satriani, a first-date in Seattle montage, Michael Jackson impersonators, a food fight, breakdancing, Bruce Lee's actual grave, Bruce Lee's (not actual) ghost played by Lee's actual stunt double Tai Chung Kim, Coca Cola's best product placement ever, Jean Claude Van Damme injuring multiple stunt men and actors over and over again, and the titular line dropped no less than 3 times throughout the film.  *Sung in a super serious montage rock voice*  Search deep within yourself, light the fire in your karate heart.  Become the lightning before the thunder, soar with the burning wings of your mindeagle, high above the karate'd corpses of the competition, and always remember there's No Retreat, No Surrender!  

Recognize this famous gif?  It's a deleted scene from the American release of No Retreat, No Surrender.  Bruce Lee's ghost sure has some interesting training techniques.  Somebody call Chris Hanson pronto! 


Jean Claude Van Damme's first credited role was in No Retreat, No Surrender as the film's main villain, Ivan "The Russian."

During production, Van Damme was reported to have injured stunt men and actors during multiple fight sequences that resulted in busted lips, bloody noses, bruises, and one actor being knocked unconscious from a poorly placed and timed roundhouse kick. 

At the time of it's release No Retreat, No Surrender was panned by critics claiming that it was a pastiche of ideas ripped off from other successful martial arts and action films of the day like The Karate Kid, The Last Dragon, and even Rocky IV. 

Never surrender