No Retreat, No Surrender


Remember Karate Kid? This was made two years later and is pretty much the same movie. Some bad guy wants to own all the karate shops and gets the goon van Damme to beat the owner if they don’t say yes. Then one of the students go beat the Damme and it ends.

This movie was made by Seasonal Film Corporation. Which sounds like they only make Christmas movies. But this was released in May 1986. Jean Claude has about five minutes of screen time. One beat down at the start and a main fight at the end. The rest of the movie is a mess of a story about a guy that is a karate student, gets beaten up by some guy in another karate school, has a mental breakdown and talks to fake Bruce Lee, becomes a good fighter and beats up Jean Damme. There is another story during the movie where a fat guy bullies a black guy. There are no parallels on this except that it creates a reason to have a few more fight scenes. They use the black guy to walk around and be a victim everywhere. Seasonal Films probably thought that it was racism season.

Why was this made? The budget was about $400k and it made $2m. So its successful. Claude van wasn’t famous yet. He would only make Bloodsport in a year or two from now. The rest of the cast and crew were off the street. It was released a month before Karate Kid 2. So there wasn’t really a guarantee of being a hit. Maybe it was related to the Ninja theme which was in full swing in this year, 1986. We’re unsure. There isn’t a good story that needed to be told. No mad skills. No good character stories. No memorable scenes. Come to think of it, it was a pretty boring film.

Watch it. But don’t expect to love it.