What The Hell Is A Dim Mak?

In this inaugural episode its “The Muscles From Brussels” Jean Claude Van Damme vs. Steven Seagal. Nine of each superstars movies up against each other with deep dives on each. Who comes out on top? So make sure you grab a drink, find Richie, and make sure you don’t spill your popcorn while doing the splits listening to this episode of Yumper and Svo! 




Round 1:

Sudden Death (1995)

  • Directed by Peter Hyams
    • TimeCop
    • The Relic
  • Starring JCVD, Powers Boothe, Raymond Barry and Whittni Wright.
  • Box office 64 million on a Budget of 35 million
  • Trivia
    • According to writer Randy Feldman, he wrote the first draft of the screenplay for the movie as a comedy/action movie parody. The only scene that remained in the finished film was the scene where Van Damme fights the penguin mascot. The original vision for this movie would become the basis for the remake Welcome to Sudden Death (2020).
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis were considered for the role of Darren McCord, but all three turned the role down before Jean-Claude Van Damme got the part. Schwarzenegger turned down the role because he had already filmed True Lies (1994) and Junior (1994) back to back. Stallone turned the role down because he didn’t like the quality of the script. Willis turned the part down because he was already working on Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995).
    • Peter Hyams wasn’t interested in making the film when he first heard about it, thinking it was a lame idea for an action film. But Jean-Claude Van Damme, who had done Timecop (1994) with Hyams, recruited him after accepting the lead role, and Hyams liked Van Damme’s ideas for the film enough to agree to sign on as director.
    • Peter Hyams wasn’t interested in making the film when he first heard about it, thinking it was a lame idea for an action film. But Jean-Claude Van Damme, who had done Timecop (1994) with Hyams, recruited him after accepting the lead role, and Hyams liked Van Damme’s ideas for the film enough to agree to sign on as director.
    • The original script called for the Penguins to play the L.A. Kings.
    • James Woods was originally considered for the role of Joshua Foss – later played by Powers Boothe -, but he turned down the part because he didn’t like the direction of the character. That same year the film was released, Woods acted alongside Boothe in Nixon (1995).
    • None of the villains are killed by anyone other than Van Damme’s character, Darren McCord.



Half Past Dead (2002)

  • Directed and Written by Don Michael Paul
    • Death Race 4
  • Starring Steven Seagal, Ja Rule, Morris Chestnut, Tony Plana, Matt Battaglia, and Nia Peeples.
  • Box office of 25 million on a budget of 19.2 million
  • Trivia
    • In an article for the German publication Berliner Kurier, Wolfgang Lindner recalls the eccentricities of Steven Seagal on the set. Reportedly, Seagal traveled everywhere in the company of a Buddhist adviser whose verdicts on the state of Seagal’s karma would be reason enough for Seagal to halt filming for a day.
    • As of 2018, this is the only Steven Seagal film that is rated PG-13.
    • This movie was named after Steven Seagal’s eating habit, which he claims he would eat until he was “half past dead” before stopping.



Round 2:

The Expendables 2 (2012)

  • Directed by Simon West
    • Con Air
    • Lara Craft Tomb Raider
  • Starring Slyvester Stallone, Jean Claude Van Damme, Jason Stratham, Terry Crews, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Dolph Laudren, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth, and Scott Adkins.
  • Box Office of 315 Million on a 100 million budget.
  • Trivia
    • Sylvester Stallone asked Chuck Norris to include a reference to The Chuck Norris facts (a popular internet meme) in the screenplay. Norris’s wife Gena O’Kelly suggested him the one with the cobra. (“Chuck Norris was bitten by a cobra, and after five days of excruciating pain… the cobra died.”)
    • Sylvester Stallone explained that his casting was looking particularly for actors who had not experienced recent hits: “I like using people that had a moment and then maybe have fallen on some hard times and give them another shot. I like those kinds of guys. Someone did it for me and I like to see if I can do it for them.”
    • john Travolta and Nicolas Cage were considered to work with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone in this film. Incidentally, 15 years previously, Travolta and Cage took the roles of Sean Archer and Castor Troy in Face/Off (1997) which was made and written for Stallone and Schwarzenegger.
    • All of Jet Li’s scenes were filmed in Hong Kong because he was working on another movie at the same time.
    • Jackie Chan said he had been offered a role, but was forced to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with Chinese Zodiac (2012).
    • Van Damme redesigned his final fight with Stallone, with the latter’s approval. Van Damme was unhappy with the scripted fight, which had his character running away and only a brief confrontation between the pair. He felt that the audience wanted a longer fight scene between the two actors.
    • Chuck Norris agreed to come out of retirement from acting at the age of 71 in order to appear in this film.



Machete (2010)

  • Directed by Robert Rodriguez
  • Starring Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba, and Robert Deniro.
  • Box office of 44.1 million Budget of 10.5 million
  • Trivia
    • As Robert Rodriguez tells it, after conceiving of the character of Machete and telling Danny Trejo about it, Rodriguez started receiving phone calls at random hours of the day from Danny, trying to convince him to make the film. One day, Robert said to Danny that he was busy and asked why Danny can’t just send a text message instead of constantly calling, to which Trejo replied: “Machete don’t text.” This became one of his character’s catchphrases in the film.
    • This is Danny Trejo’s fifth movie appearance as Machete Cortez. The first four in the Spy Kids film franchise. However, the Spy Kids character and this movie’s character aren’t the same person, as their backstories and family connections are completely different.
    • Jessica Alba had a “no-nudity” clause in her contract, which is why her clothes were digitally removed for her “nude” scenes.
    • Danny Trejo’s first leading role.
    • Robert Rodriguez said in an MTV interview that his sister, who was also co-editor, told him during production that he needed to “add more hot chicks.” So he did.
    • Steven Seagal’s first theatrically released film since Half Past Dead (2002).
    • This is the first time Steven Seagal’s character has lost a duel against another character in a film, although it’s done in a way that suggests his character chose to lose rather than getting killed unwillingly.

Round 3:

Street Fighter (1994)

  • Directed by Steven Souza
    • Wrote
      • Die Hard
      • Commando
      • 48 Hours
    • Starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia, Kylie Minoque, Ming-na wen, Byron Mann, and Damian Chapa.
    • Box office of 99.4 million on a 35 million budget.
    • Trivia
      • The cast’s physical training was handled by Hollywood trainer and world karate champion Benny Urquidez, who also appears in the film as one of Sagat’s henchmen
      • Jean-Claude Van Damme revealed later that during filming, he had a drug problem (doing $10,000 worth of cocaine a week) and an affair with Kylie Minogue. Director Steven E. de Souza confirmed in 2018 that van Damme’s cocaine addiction caused constant disruptions during filming. The studio had hired a wrangler to keep an eye on van Damme, but this person was a bad influence himself. The action star would often call in sick, leave the set, show up late or not at all, forcing de Souza to find other scenes to film in order to make up for lost time.
      • For the role of M. Bison, Raul Julia researched various dictators and crime lords and their lives and personalities, and mimicked many of their traits to incorporate into the M.Bison character (notably Benito Mussolini’s hand gestures, Joseph Stalin’s mannerisms, Pablo Escobar and his elusiveness and Adolf Hitler’s love of art). Julia also approached the role with a Shakespearean tone, looking at Bison in the same type of villain as Richard III.
      • Director Steven E. de Souza deferred his salary to pay for his cast.
      • Raul Julia accepted the role of M. Bison because his children were fans of the Street Fighter games, and he wanted to participate in a film that he thought they would enjoy with him.
      • Although the film was panned by both movie-critics and fans of the Street Fighter games, it did become a commercial success. Raul Julia’s performance was also praised.
      • This was Jean-Claude Van Damme’s first PG-13 rated film. And additionally his first film not to be rated R.
      • Since Capcom held the rights to the game and was a major contributor to the budget, director Steven E. de Souza needed their approval on virtually everything. De Souza had wanted to focus on seven characters from the game, reasoning that it was the maximum amount of characters the audience could keep track of in the mere 100 minute running time. However, Capcom kept pushing him to include more and more characters, usually based on their popularity. This lead to many characters making only cameo-like appearances.
      • Fabio was considered for the role of Vega.
      • Damian Chapa initially turned down the role of Ken, as he wanted to do more serious, dramatic roles. His son who’s a fan of game series helped convince him take the part and also wanted to work with Raul Julia.
      • In the original game, Ryu and Sagat are archenemies. Yet, in this movie they barely attack each other. Ken oddly fights Sagat more than Ryu.
      • Street Fighter the movie the game lol


On Deadly Ground (1994)

  • Directed by Steven Seagal
  • Starring Michael Caine, Joan Chen, Billy Bob Thornton, and Richard Hamilton
  • Box Office of 78.1 million on Budget of 50 million
  • Trivia
    • Seagal won a golden raspberry for Director
    • Producer and director Steven Seagal filmed almost 40 minutes of footage for the environmental message at the end of this movie, and planned to use it all in the final cut. After pressure from Warner Brothers and a disastrous preview screening, where audience members booed, laughed, and made obscene gestures for the entire sequence, Seagal cut the final scene down to about seven minutes.
    • Steven Seagal agreed to appear in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995) if Warner Brothers allowed him to direct this movie.
    • There were allegations that Sir Michael Caine and producer and director Steven Seagal didn’t get along. In Caine’s memoir, “The Elephant To Hollywood”, he said he liked working with Seagal and the crew, but hated filming in Alaska, even joking that “On Deadly Ground” was an apt title.
    • When Danish stuntman and actor Sven-Ole Thorsen met producer and director Steven Seagal on the set, Seagal asked Thorsen to kick him, to show what Thorsen was capable of. Thorsen hesitantly kicked Seagal, who caught his leg and threw him to the ground. Seagal asked Thorsen to kick him again, giving it his best shot. Thorsen kicked Seagal as fast and hard as he could, and Seagal fell to the ground. When shooting a scene together a day or two later, Seagal hit Thorsen in the throat, leaving Thorsen unconscious for three or four seconds. It looked so realistic that Seagal decided that Thorsen’s character, Otto, had died, and his remaining scenes were cut from this movie.
    • Sir Anthony Hopkins and Alan Rickman were wanted for the role of Michael Jennings, before Sir Michael Caine stepped in.
    • After Warner Brothers offered Steven Seagal the directorial reins for this movie, then titled “Rainbow Warrior”, the budget blew out when bigger and more explosive action scenes were written into the screenplay. Warner Brothers turned to indie production company Largo Entertainment to share some of the cost. In return, Largo would get the international rights to the movie. After Under Siege (1992) performed beyond Warner Brothers’ expectations, they decided to fully finance this movie.
    • Henry Rollins was considered for the role of MacGruder.


Round 4:

Double Impact (1991)

  • Directed by Sheldon Lettich
    • Directed
      • Lionheart, The Order, Second in Command, Hard corps
    • Wrote Screen Play for Bloodsport
    • Wrote Rambo 3
    • Editor for Cyborg
  • Starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Geoffrey Lewis, Alonna Shaw, Phillip Chan, Alan Scarfe, and Bolo Yueng
  • Box offices of 30.1 million on a Budget of 15 million
  • Trivia
    • Due to a strong friendship formed between the two actors on the set of Bloodsport (1988), Jean-Claude Van Damme wanted no one but Bolo Yeung to play the lead villain in this movie.
    • Van Damme said his real life personality was closer to Chad than Alex. “In real life I am not this cold, quiet guy who goes around kicking butt.”
    • In 2010, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bolo Yeung were giving a martial art demonstration and Van Damme said hopefully one day he and Yeung will put a project together “Double Impact 2” and maybe Yeung will play a friend and not any enemy. In a 2012 interview promoting The Expendables 2 (2012), Van Damme mentioned that he would like to make another Double Impact movie with a more serious tone. During the interview, he also gave a rough idea of the plot: “Two twins one is coming back from Asia to Los Angeles to help his brother who is a con-artist and pretending to be a big Hollywood producer and he’s in trouble with the mob”. A Double Impact 2 script has been written by Van Damme and Sheldon Lettich (who co-wrote Bloodsport and Double Impact). Van Damme said “Hopefully, somebody smart enough, like an agent or a producer, can put that back together…I’m excited about it, you know?”
    • The film contains multiple similarities to the Double Dragon videogame series, including the concept of martial artist twin brothers and the archetypes of several lesser villains.


Hard To Kill (1990)

  • Directed by Burce Malmuth
    • Ring announcer in the first 2 Karate Kid Movies
  • Starring Steven Seagal, Kelly LeBrock, Bill Sadler, and Frederick Coffin
  • Budget of 11.5 Million and Box Office of 59.5 million
  • Trivia
    • Kelly Le Brock had pretty much retired from acting at the time and only did the movie as a favor for her husband. In retrospect she calls the movie “Hard to Watch” or “Hard to Believe”.
    • Steven Seagal did not get along with Bruce Malmuth and considered him to be a very poor director, stating in a 1990 interview “I think it’s a miracle that this guy can put one foot in front of the other.” Chief among Seagal’s complaints included dissatisfaction with filming the action scenes and being excluded from the editing process.
    • Steven Seagal’s iconic ponytail made its first appearance in this movie.
    • Originally, the movie ended with Mason actually killing Trent, and some time later Mason, Andy and Sonny attending a funeral for O’Malley. The theatrical trailer shows parts of the original ending.


Round 5:

Universal Soldier (1992)

  • Directed by Ronald Emmerich
    • Wrote
      • Independence Day and Independence Day Resurgence
      • Day After Tomorrow
      • 1998 Godzilla
    • Starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Ally Walker and Jerry Orbach.
    • Box office of 95 million on a 23 million budget.
    • Trivia
      • Both Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren attended the 1992 Cannes Film Festival in order to promote this film. Just outside the festival hall, Van Damme and Lundgren were shown having an argument, and then pushing and threatening each other before security guards intervened and stopped them. This brawl between the two became a talking point for the media and was reported on many news channels. However, years later, Lundgren revealed in an interview that it was all staged to garner publicity for this movie. Van Damme also confirmed this on a 2018 podcast.
      • Nearly all of the ice required for filming (an estimated 400kg) came from a local 7-Eleven in Arizona. Manager of that store Joaquim Alvarez was even invited on a tour of the Nugget Ice Corporation factory as his sales figures were so impressively high.
      • Nearly all of the ice required for filming (an estimated 400kg) came from a local 7-Eleven in Arizona. Manager of that store Joaquim Alvarez was even invited on a tour of the Nugget Ice Corporation factory as his sales figures were so impressively high.
      • ean-Claude Van Damme and Ralf Moeller previously worked with one another in Cyborg (1989).


Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)

  • Directed by Geoff Murphy
    • The Quiet Earth
    • Young Guns 2
    • Written By Matt Reeves of the Batman
  • Starring Steven Seagal, Morris Chestnut, Katherine Heigle, and Evert McGill.
  • Box Office of 104 million on Budget of 60 million.
  • Trivia
    • In November 2021, it was announced that the reboot of the original film series was in development. Timo Tjahjanto will serve as director, with a script written by Umair Aleem, based on an original story co-written by the pair. The project will be a joint-venture production between Warner Bros. Pictures, and Max Original Films, and is intended to be released exclusively via streaming on HBO Max. Production is expected to commence after the completion of Tjahjanto’s work on The Last Train to New York
    • The casting director drew the ire of Steven Seagal after the action star returned from a vacation in Indonesia and discovered that Gary Busey had been hired to play the villain – Busey famously played one of the villains in the first film, who was dispatched via explosion. Matters got worse when it was discovered that Busey had a “pay-or-play” deal which meant he got his fee if he was in the film or not. Ultimately, Busey was paid his $750,000 dollar salary – which allegedly came out of Seagal’s pocket as a producer – but didn’t work a day on the picture.
    • During this production Steven Seagal started wearing a girdle to contain his stomach, this was apparently a temporary fix as he intended to lose the excess weight eventually. This has not occurred
    • Gary Oldman, Laurence Fishburne, Julian Sands and Jeff Goldblum were among those who refused the role of Travis Dane.
    • Warner Bros. already planned on making third Under Siege film very soon after this one was released. Instead of writing original script, it was decided to find some spec script and turn it into another Under Siege sequel, just like what they did with second film. The spec they thought was the best and picked was one titled Pandora, by writer Dale Ashcraft, which they bought for “mid-six figures” price in early 1995, just months before Under Siege 2 was released. The plot of this spec was about giant defense plant which has been taken over by terrorists who want to steal secret computer warfare system called Pandora, and it is up to the former head of security and a temporary secretary to save the day.
    • But even though the script was changed into Under Siege 3, due to many legal and personal problems Steven Seagal got into in late 90’s and early 2000’s, and long and troubled history they had with him, Warner Bros. cancelled Seagal’s contract with them along with at least over dozens of different movie projects they had in which he was to star in, and which were all in full development at the time when this happened. Besides this version of Under Siege 3, some more well known cancelled projects included; Blood On The Moon (man hunts down modern pirate gang who killed his family) which was written by Scott Phillips and Steve Wang who also wrote and directed Drive (1997), White Star (based on the novel of same name about former sniper and his family who are stalked by another sniper he encountered during Vietnam war) which was going to reunite Seagal with Dwight H. Little who directed Marked For Death (1990), Secret Smile (about special agent tracking down a criminal genius and has to take “smart drugs” to help him), Black Top (in which Seagal was to play high-end car thief), and Yakuza (former FBI agent has to save his friend’s daughter who was kidnapped by Yakuza sex slavers).

Round 6:

Hard Target (1993)

  • Directed by John Woo
    • Hard Boiled
    • The Killer
    • Face Off
    • Mission Impossible 2
    • Windtalkers
  • Starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butlter and Arnold Vosloo.
  • Box office of 74.2 million on a Budget of 20 million
  • Trivia
    • In 1995, Van Damme said “Hard Target was a bad script, but we had some great action scenes, and John Woo made me look like a samurai with greasy hair.”
    • In 1997, Woo looked back on Hard Target, stating that it was “in some ways, quite a troublesome movie to make, but I’m rather happy with the way the action scenes turned out”
    • Universal was afraid that John Woo’s limited English would be a problem on set, so they hired Sam Raimi to oversee the entire shoot and replace Woo if need be.
    • John Woo’s original cut of the film ran nearly two hours and focused more on Fouchon. Jean-Claude Van Damme and his editor locked themselves in an editing room for two days and reedited the film for the producers. Van Damme stated that moviegoers were paying to see a Van Damme movie, not a Lance Henriksen movie.
    • Kurt Russell was originally sought for the role of Chance Boudreaux, but they couldn’t wait two years to film it with him. The studio then went to Jean-Claude Van Damme, who met with John Woo when he was filming Double Impact (1991) in Hong Kong.
    • The strong chemistry between Arnold Vosloo and Lance Henriksen led one Universal executive to quip that he wished he could have gotten the pair their own film together.
    • Arnold Vosloo said working with John Woo was like an actors’ dream come true.
    • During the final battle, Lance Henriksen’s coat accidentally caught fire. He never broke character and continued the scene while he pulled off the coat and threw it away. This remained in the final cut. The other actors were standing around because they were caught off guard and didn’t know what to do. He improvised the “Go on you sons of bitches. This is what you paid for.” line to keep the scene going.


Exit Wounds (2001)

  • Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak
    • Romeo Must Die
    • Cradle to the Grave
    • Doom
    • Street Fight: The Legend of Chun-li
  • Starring Steven Seagal, DMX, Anthony Anderson, Tom Arnold, Eva Mendes, Isaiah Washington, Michael Jai White, and Jill Hennessy.
  • Box Office of 80 million on 33 million budget
  • Trivia
    • Eva Mendes (who called this a “terrible movie”) said her dialogue in this film was entirely re-dubbed by another actress. Mendes says she learned of this when she attended the premier with her family and realized “…Something was wrong. Something was just off.” She says the producer later explained to her that her voice was replaced because she “didn’t sound intelligent enough.” Mendes told Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (1996), “A Steven Seagal film, and I didn’t sound intelligent enough?!”
    • In an interview with Huffpost Live, Tom Arnold claimed that Steven Seagal fell into the water while filming a scene on his character’s houseboat: Seagal had opted to shoot the scene without rehearsal and mistakenly exited through the wrong door, leading him to drop into the bay.
    • DMX did not enjoy working with Steven Seagal, describing him as a “dickhead”. Despite this years later he would work with him again on beyond the law (2019)
    • According to Stephen Quadros, the fight scene between Steven Seagal and Michael Jai White was not choreographed in advance; Seagal and White ad-libbed it during production.
    • Anthony Anderson joked that his main purpose in the film was to make DMX look good.
    • Jill Hennessy said being in this film was “one of the best times in my life.”
    • DMX had a small part in director Andrzej Bartkowiak’s first movie, Romeo Must Die (2000). His performance was a hit with audiences, so the studio made him one of the stars of this one.
    • Segal Lost weight to be in movie.


Round 7:

Kickboxer (1989)

  • Directed by David Worth
    • Lady Dragon and Lady Dragon 2
  • Starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Dennis Alexio, Dennis Chan and Michel Qissi.
  • Box Office of 50 million on a 2.7 million budget
  • Trivia
    • The film spawned several sequels. Despite Van Damme not returning, the film series between parts two and four continues the ongoing battles between the Sloane family (although now spelled Sloan) – expanded to include third brother David Sloan(e), played by Sasha Mitchell – and Tong Po. Michel Qissi returned as Tong Po for Kickboxer 2: The Road Back and appears in a flashback scene shown at the beginning of Kickboxer 4: The Agressor. This scene looks to be a seemingly deleted scene from Kickboxer 2 that never made the final cut. Tong Po was played by Kamel Krifa in Kickboxer 4. Kickboxer 5: The Redemption was a stand-alone story with new characters and has a small connection to the previous films.
    • Kickboxer was remade as Kickboxer: Vengeance, as a reboot of the series which was released on September 2, 2016
    • Dennis Alexio, who plays Eric Sloane, was a World Light Heavyweight and World Cruiserweight kick boxing champion in real life.
    • The scene in which Kurt has meat tied to his leg and is chased by Xian Chow’s dog was inspired by a real-life event in which a young Jean-Claude Van Damme was ordered by his karate teacher to wear a protective suit and withstand the attempts of a trained dog to pull him to the ground.
    • Michel Qissi was a technical advisor/choreographer when he overheard the production crew say they were looking for a tall oriental-looking guy with a background in Muay Thai. He volunteered, and got the part of Tong Po. Because he is originally from Moro Tong Po is mistakenly billed as playing himself (during the film’s credits). In fact, Michel Qissi played the villainous Thai for this film and its sequel Kickboxer 2: The Road Back (1991). Kamel Krifa played the character in the 4th. Qissi can also be seen in three other Jean-Claude Van Damme movies, Bloodsport (1988), Lionheart (1990) and Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016). In Bloodsport, Qissi is the fighter that gets his leg broken by Chong Li. In Lionheart (AWOL) Qissi plays Moustafe who alongside another legionnaire is trying to bring Lyon from America back to Africa. In Kickboxer: Vengeance, a remake of this movie, Qissi has a brief in-joke cameo as a prisoner who remarks “You forgot about me?” as van Damme walks past his cell.
    • Chuck Norris was originally supposed to star as Kurt Sloane.
    • The camp which Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character visits during his search to find a trainer is the Sor Thanikul gym of Bangkok. Though defunct since 2003, it was a genuine training center for Muay Thai practitioners – housing over 50 kickboxers at any given time
    • Although Jean-Claude Van Damme and Michel Qissi play mortal enemies, both actors have been good friends since childhood, exchanging fighting techniques and even trying their luck in Hollywood together. They had already cooperated on two movies before working on Kickboxer.
    • According to a 2022 interview with the Youtuber Viking Samurai, screenwriter/director Sheldon Lettich revealed that the original script for the film had Kurt Sloane defeating Tong Po in an American Kickboxing match at the beginning. Po then followed Sloane home and accidentally killed his mother while attacking him in revenge for the loss. This would have the impetus for Sloane to journey to Thailand in order to gain revenge on Po. Lettich hated this idea, especially that the mother would have been fatally kicked in the head while carrying a plate of cookies, and wrote up a treatment which made it Po crippling Kurt’s brother Eric in a match that was the reason for revenge. Lettich also claimed to have come up with the character of Taylor, based on a friend of his with the same name. Lettich however did not get along with producer Mark DiSalle and chose instead to focus on writing and directing the film Lionheart rather than doing so for Kickboxer.


Out for Justice (1991)

  • Director John Flynn
    • Lock Up
    • BrainScan
  • Starring Steven Seagal, William Forsythe, JO Champa, Jerry Orbach and Gina Gershon.
  • Box Office of 39.6 million on a budget of 14 million
  • Trivia
    • According to William Forsythe, Steven Seagal told Forsythe, “You really need to work on your Brooklyn accent.” Forsythe, a Brooklyn native, replied, “Trust me, YOU do.”
    • Gino fights a character called Sticks in the bar, played by veteran martial artist Dan Inosanto. He was one of Bruce Lee’s best friends and one of the three people Bruce let train others in Jeet Kune Do. He is also a master stick fighter and has studied multiple disciplines like Escrima and Silat, and was the person who taught Bruce Lee to use nunchaku.
    • Steven Seagal declared in an interview that the movie’s bar brawl was his personal favorite among all fight scenes he’s done.
    • Despite receiving many negative reviews, this debuted at #1 at the US Box Office, making this the third straight Steven Seagal movie to debut at #1 on its opening weekend.
    • The movie was originally over 30 minutes longer, which included some more plot details and character development. Steven Seagal cut some of William Forsythe’s scenes because he felt that Forsythe was upstaging him. Also, editor Michael Eliot re-edited the original cut of the movie. He did the same job with some other Warner Bros movies. Some scenes were deleted and some others were cut down for pacing. This is why there are two montage scenes with no dialogue in the finished film. Re-editing also caused some minor continuity mistakes.
    • Steven Seagal was difficult to work with during filming. At one point, he was driven to tears on set when a light went out in his trailer. He attempted to blame the mishap on a Teamster and have him fired, but was unsuccessful
    • John Flynn later recalled:
    • I really liked working with Bill Forsythe and Jerry Orbach and all those guys in the car who played the killers. But I didn’t get along with Steven. He was always about an hour late for work and caused a lot of delays. We shot until October 31, 1990, because an IATSE strike was threatened. (IATSE stands for International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts. – Ed.) Warner Bros. told us we had to be on a plane by November 1. So we shot for about a month in Brooklyn. The rest of Out for Justice was shot in and around south Los Angeles. We filmed those scenes on Lacy Street, in a slummy area of old wooden buildings that could pass for Brooklyn.
    • To date, this is the only Steven Seagal movie shot in New York.
    • Steven Seagal stated that due to his aikido training he was ‘immune’ to being choked unconscious. It has been alleged that at some point Gene LeBell heard about the claim and gave Seagal the opportunity to prove it. LeBell is said to have placed his arms around Seagal’s neck, and once Seagal said “go”, proceeded to choke him unconscious, with Seagal losing control of his bowels. The popularity of this incident led LeBell to be counted in 1992 as a potential additional member of Robert Wall’s controversial “Dirty Dozen,” a group of martial artists willing to answer to a public challenge made by Seagal. LeBell was requested to confirm the story publicly in an interview with Ariel Helwani in 2012, but he avoided answering the question, albeit implying that the incident was true. He was quoted as saying: “When we had a little altercation or difference of opinion, there were thirty stuntmen and cameramen that were watching. Sometimes Steven has a tendency to cheese off the wrong people, and you can get hurt doing that.” After being asked whether he was not going to directly confirm it, LeBell said: “Well, if thirty people are watching, let them talk about it.” When Seagal was asked about the incident, he denied the incident took place, calling LeBell a “sick, pathological scumbag liar,” and offered the name of a witness who would discredit the other account. LeBell’s trainee Ronda Rousey, assured Seagal was the one lying and said: “If [Seagal] says anything bad about Gene to my face, I’d have to make him crap his pants a second time.” Seagal bodyguard and stuntman Steven Lambert, stated he was present and said that a confrontation did happen. According to Lambert, Seagal explained to LeBell that he did not believe his choke hold was effective, and that he could escape from it. LeBell demonstrated the choke hold by putting it on Seagal. Without locking the hold, Seagal side stepped and swung his forearm backwards into his crotch. LeBell came off the floor by a few feet. As soon as he landed, LeBell used a foot sweep to sweep Seagal off the floor, with Seagal landing on his back. LeBell helped Seagal up.


Round 8:

Timecop (1994)

  • Directed by Peter Hyams
  • Starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, and Ron Silver.
  • Box Office of 101.6 Million on a 28 million dollar budget
  • Trivia
    • The film, which was originally based on a comic, was adapted into a two-issue comic book series of the same name. A game based on the movie was developed by Cryo Interactive and released on the SNES in 1995.[24] Additionally, a series of tie-in novels by author Dan Parkinson published in 1997–1999 featured the Jack Logan character from the television series.
    • Second Van Damme movie (solo hero) to cross $100 million worldwide.
    • First movie together for action star Jean-Claude Van Damme and director Peter Hyams. They followed up the cooperation with Sudden Death (1995) and Enemies Closer (2013), and almost worked on a movie in between called ‘Abominable’ before it was canceled. Van Damme later credited Hyams as the only person who came to visit him while he was in rehab.
    • In the beginning, Melissa hears in the mall “Does Anybody Know What Time it Is?”, by Chicago. Its lyrics has to do with a stranger asking for the time.


Above The Law (1988)

  • Directed by Andrew Davis
    • The Guardian
    • Holes
    • The Fugitive
    • Under Seige
  • Starring Steven Seagal, Pam Grier, Henry Silva, Ron Dean, and Sharon Stone
  • Box office of 18.9 million on 7.5 million budget
  • Trivia
    • Above the Law is regarded as the first American film to feature Aikido in fight sequences.
    • Steven Seagal tweeted plans for Above The Law 2 on August 1, 2016, but the project never came to fruition
    • Henry Silva broke Steven Seagal’s nose in the final fight scene. Seagal was rushed to the hospital. The next day Seagal was back at work. He stayed up all night icing it, so that he wouldn’t get a black eye.
    • Steven Seagal declared in an interview that among his first five film roles, Nico Toscani was his favorite character to play.
    • When Daniel Faraldo auditioned for his role, Andrew Davis thought he was too small to intimidate Steven Seagal. Seagal suggested Faraldo try to scare him, so he tried to break a chair over Seagal’s back. He got the part.
    • Before getting this part, Steven Seagal had to demonstrate his martial arts skills for the studio. He physically dominated his students, which terrified the executives. They didn’t know it was staged.
    • Pam Grier said this movie is one of her favorites because it shows off her acting skills.
    • Steven Seagal personally selected every weapon seen in the film.
    • Chuck Norris was offered the lead role before Steven Seagal came aboard. Cannon Films would not let Chuck out of his contract for this film.
    • Steven Seagal chose the film from a pile of scripts Warner Brothers had been saving for Clint Eastwood. It was re-written to focus on Seagal’s actual backstory. Many of his stories have never been confirmed.
    • Shot in Chicago


Round 9:

Bloodsport (1988)

  • Directed by Newt Arnold
    • Asst Director
      • Godfather 2
      • WarGames
      • Bladerunner
    • Starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Bolo Yeung, Donald Gibb, Leah Ayres, Norman Burton and Forrest Whitaker.
    • Box Office of 50 Million on a budget of 2.3 million
    • Trivia
      • Co-writer Sheldon Lettich came up with the idea for the film. According to Lettich:

“I had known Frank Dux for a number of months before I came up with the idea for Bloodsport. Frank told me a lot of tall tales, most of which turned out to be bullshit. But his stories about participating in this so-called “Kumite” event sounded like a great idea for a movie. There was one guy who he introduced me to, named Richard Bender, who claimed to have actually been at the Kumite event and who swore everything Frank told me was true. A few years later this guy had a falling-out with Frank, and confessed to me that everything he told me about the Kumite was a lie; Frank had coached him in what to say.

  • Frank Dux was the fight coordinator for this film. When Jean-Claude Van Damme was cast, Dux announced that Van Damme wasn’t nearly in good enough shape, and put him through a 3-month training program. Van Damme, a world-championship martial artist in his own right, called it the hardest training of his life.
  • The movie was touted as a true story, but over the years, doubts have arisen about its veracity. Most martial-arts enthusiasts view Frank Dux’ accounts of competing in secret tournaments as complete fiction, along with his claims he was an undercover CIA operative. Some have pointed out that nobody else has come forward to confirm his story about competing in secret tournaments, or told their own version. It is now generally accepted that Dux lied his way into Hollywood, and that he has likely never won or even competed in a single martial arts tournament. Records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show he was only in the US Marine Corps Reserve, and was never posted overseas, let alone to Southeast Asia as he has claimed. The CIA has no record of his ever working with them. His personal brand of martial arts, Dux Ryu Ninjitsu, is also a complete fabrication.
  • Michel Qissi knew Jean-Claude Van Damme as a teen, and they came to the US to become action stars together. He later played the main villain in the Kickboxer series.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme does his trade mark splits a total of seven times during the film.
  • According to Frank Dux, the character played by Donald Gibb was based on ex-biker and jujitsu practitioner Richard Robinson.
  • Jackson, Dux, Hussein, and Chong Li are the only Kumite fighters with dialogue.
  • STAN BUSH!!!





Under Siege (1992)

  • Director Andrew Davis
  • Starring Steven Segal, Tommy Lee Jones, and Gary Busey.
  • Box Office of 156.6 million on a budget of 35 million
  • Trivia
    • In November 2021, a reboot of the original was in development for HBO Max, with Timo Tjahjanto and Umair Aleem attached to direct and write the film.
    • Warners wanted Steven Seagal to star in the film but he turned it down at first. Seagal later said he had problems with the role of a character “who is at first a bimbo jumping out of a cake and gets paired up with me.” But he said that in revisions of the script, the role became a character “who gradually reveals her intelligence.
    • Steven Seagal doesn’t have his signature ponytail in the film. The Navy doesn’t allow hair to be longer than four inches.
    • Harrison Ford watched this film while he was deciding whether to take on the lead role in “The Fugitive (1993),” which had Andrew Davis already set to direct. Ford was greatly impressed by Davis’ work here and immediately accepted that role. Tommy Lee Jones as also cast in it.
    • Andrew Davis was reunited with Steven Seagal for this film. Davis had directed Seagal’s debut film “Above the Law (1988).” In many interviews, Davis has stated that Seagal was much more of a pussycat when he first met him years earlier, but was much more savvy and skilled in the ways of Hollywood when they met up on this picture. Davis admitted in interviews later that he agreed to direct because he wanted to work with Tommy Lee Jones again, not Seagal.
    • Included among the American Film Institute’s 2001 list of 400 movies nominated for the top 100 Most Heart-Pounding American Movies.
    • The issue of Playboy shown in the movie is also shown in Home Alone (1990). Daniel Stern appeared in that film, and later appeared in the movie Rookie of the Year (1993) with Gary Busey.




Drop List

Van Damme

JCVD, Cyborg, No Where to Run

As a Lead 566 Million but as a supporting cast 2.4 billion dollars



Into the Sun, The glimmer man, Deadly Contract

Worldwide Box office of 722 Million

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