* * * * (1993, 95 minutes, Rated R)
Featuring the Best Worst Fight Scene Ever.
Being a reviewer of bad movies is a lot like being a wise man... A wise man who can find the
beauty in stupidity. A wise man who contemplates such universal questions such as “If a tree falls
in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” and “What would a Jackie
Chan movie without Jackie Chan look like?”
The answer to that last question is Undefeatable.
Anna has a problem: Her boyfriend, Paul, has given up his steady career in auto maintenance to
participate in underground “death matches,” which are just like kickboxing matches without refs.
Actually, Anna has two problems: the second being that Paul is a complete psycho.
Another underground brawler is Kristi, played by martial arts superstar Cynthia Rothrock. She and
her gang of Asian Janet Jackson back-up dancers meet up with some vaguely tough types – you
can tell they’re tough by their chains and bandanas and studded collars. Kristi gets in the face of
one of the toughs, bets are made, and it looks like we’re getting our first taste of Street Fighter
|Sadly, no one throws a fireball in this film.
|And then the two gangs have to ruin it by
clapping and stomping rhythmically. I
wouldn’t have been surprised if they all
They do actually fight, and I don’t mean to
bury this in the middle of the review, but
martial arts superstar Cynthia Rothrock is
considered a martial arts superstar for a
reason – she doth kicketh much ass.
Unfortunately for her, the cops show up about
two seconds after she wins, arresting her
and taking her well-earned cash. That leaves
it up to the Janet Jackson back-up dancers to
get Kristi’s pre-med sister to bail Kristi out. Here’s the line they use to smooth-talk sis – it’s
meant to be flirty but is delivered as if our gang member was a soft-spoken teenage girl: “Anyway,
once the cops meet you, and see how you’re her beautiful sister and a terrific student and all,
they’ll [something] let her go.”
Somehow, that actually succeeds in both getting Sis to go down to the police station. Turns out
that Kristi is only doing the street-fighting to put Sis through med school, and we get a
shoehorned backstory that sounds like a testimonial arguing for health care reform (back in
1993!). Kristi is released, and it certainly helps that the cop clearly has a thing for Kristi.
Let’s talk about the cop for a minute, because he’s actually a major character. He also appears
to be a martial artist – it’s the kind of film where everyone is a martial artist – and perhaps the
only detective out on the streets of Los Angeles. Seriously, he arrives to break up Kristi’s street
fights on at least three different occasions throughout the film. Unfortunately, I forgot to write
down his name, so let’s call him Barry.
While Kristi and Barry the Cop Whose Name Isn't Really Barry are learning about each other at
the police station, Anna and Psycho Paul are learning about each other, too. Anna learns that
she doesn’t enjoy those pre-dinner rapes (it’s a rough scene to sit through, but never feels
exploitive), so she beats feet, leaving Paul a delicious steak and a Dear John letter.
Paul takes it about as well as you’d expect a complete psycho to take being walked out on. As
BadMovies.Org would write, “21:45 – Violence against beef!” Paul literally hulks out before our
|Each year, thousands of
innocent steaks are senselessly
dashed against dining room
walls. Please, help curb the tide
of man-on-steak violence.
eyes, and we get a quick flashback showing that he has
just a few mommy and abandonment issues. Back in the
present, Paul bug-eyes into a mirror as he spray paints
his permed mullet and vows to find Anna.
Instead, Paul finds a couple making out in a parking
garage. He’s an Asian fellow in a bad suit, she’s a
brunette in a gaudy floral print dress. Paul pulls them
apart and starts calling the lady “Anna,” even though it’s
clearly not her – this lady and Anna have the same hair
color and same taste is terrible dresses, but that’s about
it. That doesn’t stop Paul from karating the guy to death
(he puts up a fairly good fight – like I told you, everyone in
this film is a martial artist) and dragging the lady off for a
fate worse than death, followed by actual death.
Because Barry the Cop Whose Name Isn’t Really Barry and his partner are the only detectives in
Los Angeles, they investigate. Turns out the Asian guy was a karate champion (I told you!), and
both he and his lady friend have had their eyes plucked out. Ew. We also learn that there have
been a string of similar killings of late, with all of the victims being young brunettes in floral print
dresses. If I’m being honest, I could see how the fashions of the Dress Barn would drive
someone into a psychopathic rage.
|Dress Barn: Causing psychopathic fits of rage
After a few more random street fights and
eye plucking, we catch up with Sis, who
apparently has been shopping at the
Dress Barn. Uh-oh.
Kristi swears revenge, and takes it to the
streets. She beats the snot out of a
number of non-threatening gang types
(including one extra bouncy guy in an
orange ninja suit) before teaming up with
Barry. Because in L.A., it’s completely by
the book for family members of murder
victims to accompany detectives during
They finally get a major tip from Anna’s psychiatrist. Unfortunately, that’s right around the time
that Paul gets tipped off to the fact that Anna was seeing a psychiatrist. Paul abducts the
psychiatrist, who nearly escapes his lair by using her super-psychiatry powers. Kristi shows up,
and she and Paul engage in the first of two climatic battles. The fight consists of lots of posing
and leaping and tumbling, and it’s actually pretty exciting though a bit silly.
But that’s just an appetizer for the big fight between Paul and Barry (Kristi joins later), which is
generally regarded as the Best Worst Fight Ever.
The posing. The yelling. The clumsy shedding of shirts. The slow-motion punches to the face,
complete with out-of-synch facial reactions. It’s utterly hysterical, and I am compelled to include it