Friday, October 12, 2018

Movie Review: "Raw Force" (1982)

Director: Edward D. Murphy
Year: 1982
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

A group of vacationing martial arts students heads for an infamous forbidden island that is said to house the souls of disgraced martial arts masters. En route, they are forced to face off against human traffickers, but it can't prepare them for what they will encounter when they actually get to the island.

Raw Force 1982 kung fu zombies
"Those of you who wish to end up sitting on the toilet for the rest of the trip, with violent, projectile diarrhea, try the Hungarian food in our restaurant, courtesy of Michelle the Hungarian bitch." (Image Source)
When we heard that "Raw Force" was about Kung Fu zombies, we thought it sounded like it would be full of campy fun. Unfortunately, things don't always work out the way you hope. "Raw Force" is written and directed by Edward Murphy, not to be confused with comedy legend Eddie Murphy. Murphy would go on to direct only one other movie, the 1985 low budget action adventure film "Heated Vengence." After seeing this film, it's not hard to understand why his career as a director didn't flourish. "Raw Force" is about a group of martial arts students and instructors from the Burbank Kung Fu Club, who take a vacation in East Asia that's really more of a pilgrimage to Warrior's Island, a forbidden land that is said to house the souls of disgraced martial arts masters. A gang of human traffickers who use the island for their own nefarious purposes will do whatever it takes to stop them from getting there, but these inconveniences are nothing compared to the horrors that await them on the infamous island.
Raw Force 1982 kung fu zombies
"You can't do nothing right, Cooper! You stupid sonofabitch! You should have been destroyed at birth! That's what I get for teaming up with a hippie!" (Image Source)
We are willing to give many concessions to low budget horror movies like "Raw Force." We understand that often times, productions don't have the money or resources to create great practical effects, even when they are as bad as they are here. The zombie makeup work looks like it was done with off-the-rack greasepaint you can buy from your local grocery store come Halloween time. We know the actors are mostly amateurs working for the least amount of money possible (if they even got paid at all) so we can understand when performances are horrible. That being said, if you're mission is to make a Kung Fu zombie movie, you damn well better make that flick as fun and entertaining as possible. Therein lies the failure of "Raw Force." This is not to say there are zero moments of joy because there are a few, but there isn't enough absurdity and campiness to make sitting through everything else worthwhile. The martial arts action scenes are sometimes amusing, we just wish the final showdown between the Kung Fu living and the Kung Fu dead would have been much more epic than what winds up on screen.
Raw Force 1982 kung fu zombies
"Save your breath, son, you're only talking to the sharks." (Image Source)
In the end, the bad stuff far outweighs the campy good stuff in "Raw Force." Skip this one.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: ~5.6/10
RT Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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