Hollywood, CA. DON “THE DRAGON” WILSON, the reigning WKA, KICK and PKO light-heavyweight world kickboxing champion, reprises his tremendously successful original starring performar:ce in “BLOODFIST” with an upgraded budget and shooting schedule in Roger Corman’s Concorde Pictures’ “BLOODFIST 2.”
In this latest martial arts actioner “THE DRAGON” returns to Manila to help a kickboxing buddy out of a gambling jam. (This friend in need is portrayed by former real-life WILSON contender and current WKA Heavyweight World Champion MAURICE SMITH.) But a criminal millionaire uses beautiful RINA REYES to entrap WILSON and to abduct him to a private island where “THE DRAGON” is forced to participate in gladiatorial fights to the death.
One of the striking features of “BLOODFIST 2” is the secret locale for these so-called gladiatorial death matches. Most of the film’s key fight scenes were shot in and around a huge mansion formerly owned by dethroned Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. Other martial artists appearing in the film are WKA Cruiserweight World Champion JAMES WARRING (also a former real-life WILSON contender), KICK Welterweight World Champion RICHARD HILL as well as noted martial arts journalist and 1982 IKA World Tournament Karate Champion TIMOTHY BAKER. “BLOODFIST 2” earned an average of $3,000 per screen at nearly 100 venues during its opening weekend on October 12th in Atlanta an outstanding start for a small regional release. The film was directed by ANDY BLUMENTHAL, formerly an editor and second unit director on Wes Craven’s “SHOCKER.” CATHERINE CYRAN scripted an associate produced.
DON “THE DRAGON” WILSON initially came to national prominan as a martial artist in 1980. Then the number-one contender and apparent to the PKA middleweight throne vacated by WILSON’s kicking mentor BILL “SUPERFOOT” WALLACE, WILSON refused to sign an exclusivity contract with the PKA as a condition of championship. WILSON was the first major US kickboxer to declare himself free agent, an event which eventually led to a revolution in the sport’s administration.
DON “THE DRAGON” subsequently has become, pound for pound, greatest champion in kickboxing today. He is the only kickboxer have won ten world titles in three weight divisions and for five sanctioning bodies (WKA, KICK, ISKA, PKO, STAR). He also is the only champion to have disposed of eleven other world champions, twelve number-one contenders and fifteen national champions on five continents in a career which includes national television appearances in North America, Europe and Asia.
In 1980, WILSON established the new WKA and STAR light-heavyweight world titles with a second-round knockout of US Champ ANDY WHITE, making WILSON the first universally recognized champion of Asian descent as well as the first kung-fu stylist (Dragon stylekung-fu from whence he gets his nickname) to win a kickboxing world crown. In 1981, “THE DRAGON” debuted on ASHAI network TV in Japan with a second-round knockout of MOHAMMED ASHRAF TAI and on TVB-TV in Hong Kong with a successful title defense against Royal Thai Champion PANYA SORNNOI.
In 1982, WILSON startled ring experts by decisively outpointing PKA Heavyweight World Champion DEMETRIUS “OAKTREE” EDWARDS with an artistic lesson in kicking. In 1983, “THE DRAGON” TKOed CURTIS CRANDALL on independent syndicated TV at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas to win the KICK lightheavyweight world crown. Also, he won the WKA and STAR cruiserweight world titles with a decision over MAURICE SMITH on Japanese national TV.
In 1984, WILSON debuted on NBC network TV with a decision over DENNIS ALEXIO (“KICKBOXER”) to win the WKA and STAR super lightheavyweight crowns. Later that year, with his STAR undisputed crown at stake, WILSON fought to a draw in Montreal with his legendary arch-nemesis PKA World Champion “THE ICEMAN” JEAN-YVES THERIAULT on Canadian national TV. (Most ring observers, including THERIAULT’s hometown newspapers and 8,000 live spectators, believed that “THE DRAGON” was cheated out of his just victory by local judges.) 1987, WILSON earned the largest kickboxing purse on record US$60,000 — for his seventh-round knockout of Yugoslavian strongman BRANIMIR CIKATIC in defense of his KICK and STAR titles. In 1988, “THE DRAGON” won the ISKA cruiserweight world crown with a decision over ROB SALAZAR and in 1989 he won the PKO lightheavyweight crown with a nineth-round TKO over German superstar and WAKO World Champion FERDINAND MACK. In 1988, 1984 and 1983, WILSON was chosen “Fighter of the Year” by Official Karate magazine and by the STAR System independent ratings.
Later, he was inducted into the prestigious “Black Belt Hall of Fame” (along with Bruce Lee, Mike Stone, Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, Bill Wallace and Benny Urquidez) and he was awarded the STAR Ratings Career Championship as the highest-rated kickboxer of all time. DON WILSON made his motion picture debut in the 1983 Hong Kong film “ABC IN CHINATOWN.” Later, WILSON appeared as a regular throughout an entire story arc (28 episodes) on ABC-TV’s “GENERAL HOSPITAL” as well as made a second motion picture appearance with JOHN CUSACK in Twentieth Century-Fox’s 1988 critical and financial megahit “SAY ANYTHING.”
Finally, in 1989 Hollywood’s maverick producer “King Of The Bs” ROGER CORMAN (“ST. VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE”) cast WILSON as the star of Concorde Pictures’ “BLOODFIST.” CORMAN, a role-model hero to independent filmmakers, is world famous for his ability to spot hot new film talent. During a distinguished career which includes over 250 films as producer and some fifty others as director, CORMAN discovered such powerhouse directors as FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA (“THE GODFATHER”), MARTIN SCORCESE (“THE RAGING BULL”), PETER BOGDANOVICH (“THE LAST PICTURE SHOW”), RON HOWARD (“SPLASH”), JONATHAN KAPLAN (“WHITE LINE FEVER”), JOE DANTE (“GREMLINS”), JONATHAN DEMME (“MARRIED TO THE MOB”) and even Cannon/21st Century chief MENAHEM GOLAN (“HANNAH’S WAR”). Among today’s top stars and actors also discovered by ROGER CORMAN are JACK NICHOLSON (“BATMAN”) 1 ELLEN BURSTYN (“THE EXORCIST”) 1 ROBERT DeNIRO (“THE RAGING BULL”) , BRUCE DERN (“COMING HOME”) , DIANE LADD (“WILD AT HEART”) 1 TALIA SHIRE (“ROCKY”) 1 PETER FONDA (“EASY RIDER”), WILLIAM SHATNER (“STAR TREK”), CHARLES BRONSON (“DEATH WISH”) and, of course, DON “THE DRAGON” WILSON.
Wilson’s first film for CORMAN, “BLOODFIST,” originally intended as a video title, became the biggest money-maker in the history of Concorde Pictures. “BLOODFIST” grossed over $2,000,000 at the domestic boxoffice during its specialty release and also sold over 80,000 vidcassettes (or $8,000,000 retail) for MGM/UA. So impressed was ROGER CORMAN with “BLOODFIST”‘s performance that Concorde Pictures has signed “THE DRAGON” to a new three-picture deal, bringing WILSON’s total commitment to five martial arts films over the next year. Each successive picture will be produced on larger budgets to coincide with Wilson’s rising theatrical prominence. “THE DRAGON”‘s next film, “FUTURE KICK,” due out in the spring,
features MEG FOSTER (“MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE”) as a widow who hires futuristic bounty hunter DON WILSON to track down her husband’s murderer EB LOTTIMER (“STREETS”) and his cyberhuman henchman CHRIS PENN (“BEST OF THE BEST”). “FUTURE KICK,” which completed principle photography last September, was directed by DAMIAN KLAUS and produced by MIKE ELLIOTT and CATHERINE CYRAN from a script by all three.
Meanwhile, back in the kickboxing ring, “THE DRAGON” TKOed Soviet Champion YULEE KAZAKOV of Kiev in the fifth round last July in Palm Beach as part of the first-ever US/USSR competition, bringing WILSON’s record to 68-5-2, with 46 KOs, 6 by KKO. WILSON also plans a WKA title defense in Los Angeles before Christmas and a rematch with MAREK PIOTROWSKI next summer or fall, again with his WKA and/or KICK titles on the line.
Text by Paul Maslak
Cast of Bloodfist 2 Movie:
World Kickboxing Association
World Light Heavyweight Champion
World Kickboxing Association
World Heavyweight Champion
International Karate Association
World Karate Champion
World Kickboxing Association
World cruiserweight Champion
International Sport Karate Association
World Welterweight Champion
Associate Producer: CATHERINE CYRAN
Director of Photography: BRUCE DORFMAN
Edited by: KAREN JOSEPH
Music by: NIGEL HOLTON
Screenplay by: CATHERINE CYRAN
Produced by: ROGER CORMAN
Directed by: ANDY BLUMENTHAL
World kickboxing champion Don “The Dragon”, Wilson returns to the screen as light-heavyweight kickboxing wor’ld champion Jake Raye in the action-adventure sequel to the boxoffice smash Bloodfist. Our hero, who has vowed never to fight again after accidentally causing the death of an opponent in an especially spirited title bout, finds himself in Manilla, in search of friend and former contender Vinnie Petrella (Maurice Smith). Jake uncovers more than he bargained for, however, when he becomes trapped in the midst of a madman’s murderous plot to revive the ancient sport of gl~diator fighting with a series of elaborate martial arts duels to the death. Jake is lured by the beautiful and seemingly vulnerable Mariella (Rina Reyes) into the clutches of Su (Joe Mari Avellana), the orchestrator of this psychotic plot, through! her offer to help Jake find Vinnie. Instead, Jake finds himself chained to several other martial arts champions (James Warring, Richard Hill, Timothy Baker) in the hull of a yacht en route to “Paradise”, a small island off the coast of Lagazpi. It is there that the fighters learn of Su’s plan to force them to fight for their live~ against his personal cadre of steroid-trained athletes as entertainment for himself and for his exclusive clientele of gamblers. Fortunately, Jake manages to escape and to, evade Su’s deadly guards.
Once in seclusion he uses stones to pound pimself free from the chains that bind his hands while he plots the escape of his fellow fighters. Su, anticipating Jake’s imminent return, places Mariella, Vinnie, now Su’s most fearsome enforcer– and his 1 other guards on the lookout. It is Mariella who discovers our hero, but as she has become increasingly disillusioned with Su and his growing thirst for blood, she agrees to help Jake in his attempt to free his friends. They are unsuccessful and Jake is captured.
The gladiatorial matches ensue, with Su’s guests placing bets on the fighters and voting to decide the fate of any living losers. The final match takes place between Jake and Vinnie when Jake discovers that his old friend has betrayed him. As Jake delivers a final deadly blow to his traitorous “friend”, Mariella reappears and frees the remaining living fighters. They escape into Su’s mansion where Jake fights one last battle against the madman and emerges victorious.
DON “THE DRAGON” WILSON, a genuine lethal weapon in the form of a handsome young actor, jump-kicks ontq the screen as the star of Roger Corman’s Concorde Pictures’ new martial arts actioner “BLOODFIST 2”. And this reprise of his original starring performance must be described as nothing less than spectacular.
Once again, WILSON blends commanding screen presence with superb physical prowess and consummate skills in the martial arts, while broadening his talents as a very capable actor.
Prior to “BLOODFIST 2”, the light-heavyweight world champion — already the highest-paid kickboxer i_n history — made his starring debut in the 1989 Concorde Pictures’ release “BLOODFIST”, which subsequently became the highest grossing film in the history of Concorde Pictures and which also sold qver 80,000 vidcassettes for MGM/UA.
In addition, WILSON appeared with John Cusack in Twentieth Century-Fox’s “SAY ANYTHING,” and was a “regular” throughout an entire story arc on ABC-TV’s “GENERAL HOSPITAL”.
Pound for pound the greatest champion in kickboxing today, DON WILSON is the only kickboxer to have won ten world titles in three weight divisions and for five sanctioning bodies (WKA, KICK, ISKA, PKO, STAR) . He also is the only champion’; to have disposed of 11 other world champions, 12 number-one contenders and 15 national champions on four continents in a career which included national television appearances on NBC and ESPN-cable TV in the US, CBC and TSN-cable TV in Canada, CHANNEL 5 and SKY-cable in Australia, ASHAI-TV in Japan, CANAL UN-TV in France, VERONICA-TV in Holland, TVB-TV in Hong Kong and CHANNEL 3-TV in Thailand. In 1983, 1984 and 1988, he was chosen “Fighter of The Year” by Official Karate magazine, Black Belt magazine and the S.T.A.R. System independent ratings. Later, he was inducted into the prestigious “Black Belt Hall of Fame” (along with Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis and Mike Stone) and he was awarded the s.,T.A.R. Ratings Career Championship as the highest-rated kickboxer of all time.
WILSON became interested in the martial arts when, as a 205-pound captain of _his high school football ,team, he agreed to don boxing gloves in a friendly bout against ‘,his 155-pound brother, Jim. At that time Jim had studied kung-fu ‘for two years and after Don had been bounced around the family’!’? backyard for several frustrating minutes from Jim’s kicks alone, WILSON decided that the martial arts would be in his future.
He studied Gojo-ryu karate under Olympic judo coach Chuck Merriman for a year at the Coast Guard Academy. Later, when he transferred to Brevard Community College to earn an AA degree in electrical engineering, he studied Pai ‘Lum kung-fu from his brother, eventually being awarded with a black belt in 1974.
The name of the kung-fu style WILSON learned from his brother translates into “Dragon style” and is an acr,obatic Northern chinese art which traces its origins directly back to the Shaolin Temple … the one portrayed on ABC-TV’s 1973 “Kung-Fu’l series. Thus WILSON’s nickname of “THE DRAGON” would seem appropriate, especially since he is the first kung-fu stylist to hold a world title in kickboxing and since he is the longest-reigning champion of Asian descent (half Japanese).
When DON WILSON first entered the professional world of kickboxing as an “average 18-year old kid going to college and working at night,” he predicted becoming the sports’ champion. Now, fifteen years later, the reigning phenomenon of the sport is making new predictions as he begins work, with Meg Foster, on his third starring role in Concorde Pictures’ “FUTURE KICK”. “I am approaching acting the same way as I did kickboxing,” says WILSON. “You have to have a positive attitude. If I began the fight game thinking I couldn’t be champion, then there was no way to reach the top. I have to have the same positive attitude towards acting. I want to be the first ‘action start to win an Oscar!”
And since WILSON has the oriental good looks of Bruce Lee, speaks English as well as Chuck Norris and carries the discipline of a professional martial artist into his acting roles, who’s to say that he won’t succeed?
Andy Blumenthal, the director of Concorde-New Horizons Pictures new kickboxing movie, “BLOODFIST II” is not short on film credits. Shortly after graduating from U.C.L.A. film school, he was busy with such notable projects as John Badham’s 70s phenomenon “SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER,” and Barry Levinson’s “DINER.” Blumenthal’s collaboration with Levinson continued in “THE NATURAL,” and later teamed up with Wes Craven, as editor and second unit director for “SHOCKER.” “BLOOD FIST II” is Blumenthal’s third time directing for Concorde-New Horizons Pictures.
The saga of independent filmmaker Roger Corman ranks with the more amazing movie success stories. Having produced more than 175 films and directed fifty others, Cormap’ s discoveries include Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorcese, i Peter Bogdanovich, Ron Howard, Jonathon Kaplan, Joe Dante, Jonathon Demme, and Jimmy Murakami.
Among today’s top-rated actors and actresses, Corman can lay claim to Jack Nicholson, Ellen Burstyn, Robert De Niro, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd, Talia Shire, Peter Fonda, and.Charles Bronson.
Corman’s modus operandi has been to spot the artists and their potential, put up the money, and order them to work. He is one of few to consistently offer responsible jobs in film to women. Born in Detroit in 1926, Corman graduated from Beverly Hills High School. In 194 7, he received a bachel’or 1 s degree in engineering from Stanford University. He took a job at 20th Century Fox and by 1949 was a story analyst at the studio. Disenchanted with studio protocol, however, he left Fox fqr England where he did post-graduate work in modern English literature at Oxford University’s Balliol College. Upon returning to f!ollywood, Corman worked briefly as a literary agent.
In 1953, Roger Corman sold his first screenplay which he associate produced for Allied Artists. Th~ following year he made “MONSTER FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR”, his firsti film as an independent producer, on the unprecedented budget of $18,000. The picture earned a bundle. ‘ Corman’s films became a graphic testament to the notion that a movie need not cost a fortune to be good, He began cranking out low-budgeters, all of them extremely successful, each having something to say, yet couched in entertainment values accessible to audiences in every walk of life.
His cycle of eight Vincent Price – :Edgar Allan Poe horror classics gained international attention in the 1960’s. When the French Film Institute honored him with a retrospective in 1964, Roger Corman became the youngest producer/director ever to receive such acclaim.
Corman’s long line of box office hits literally built American International Pictures into a major force. Yet, despite his success, Corman opted for an escape from major studio supervision, somewhat appalled by the intrinsic waste and constrictions of studio overheads and executive interference, he founded New World Pictures in 1970, his own production and distribution company. New World 1 s first year in operation astonish~d even Corman as all eleven pictures distributed showed profits’.
New World rapidly grew into the largest independent motion picture distribution company in the United ,States. In addition to providing the public with such fast-paced ,entertainments as “BIG BAD MAMA” and “EAT MY DUST”, or cult films:, such as “ROCK AND ROLL HIGH SCHOOL”, New World soon became the leader in presenting high quality foreign films to the American publiq; these included movies by Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut, Frederico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Werner Herzog, Volker Schlondorff, and Fracesco Rosi, among others.
In January of 1983, Roger Corman made,the decision to sell New World Pictures in order to continue :producing without the distraction of managing a huge distribution business and because he wanted to make pictures on larger budgets (and could utilize funds from the sale to finance them).
The day after selling New World Pictures, Corman announced the formation of his new production company, Cqncorde-New Horizons. In the year that followed, he released five new films: the teen comedy “SCREWBALLS”; the sci-fi adventure “SPACE RAIDERS”; the sword and sorcery epic “DEATHSTALKER”; “SUBURBIA”, a punk drama directed by Penelope Spheeris; and “LOVE !LETTERS”, a tender love story starring Jamie Lee curtis. Concorde’s more recent releases include: Isaac Asimov’s classic “NIGHTFALL”; a sci-fi horror film “THE TERROR WITHIN II”; “STREETS”, a love story starring Christina Applegate; the sequel to Concorde’s successful kickboxing movie, “BLOODFIST II”; the sexy “BODY CHEMISTRY”; and steamy thriller “OVEREXPOSED”, I and II.