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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight

July 26, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #516: Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never had to karate fight its way out of any sort of situation, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number five hundred and sixteen, I take a look at the third movie in the Bloodfist franchise, Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight, which hit movie theatres in early January of 1992 and then home video at some point after that.

Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight


Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight, originally known as simply Forced to Fight, is not a direct sequel to Bloodfist II. Outside of having Bloodfist in the title and starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson, it has absolutely nothing to do with the first two Bloodfist movies. Forced to Fight is very much its own thing, and, as I’ve read on multiple websites, including imdb, producer Roger Corman made Forced to Fight a Bloodfist sequel because the Bloodfist and Bloodfist II made a fortune on home video so why not make this Don “The Dragon” Wilson vehicle another Bloodfist? People will watch Bloodfist III, even if it has nothing to do with the first two.

Directed by Oley Sassone (he also directed the unreleased Fantastic Four movie for Corman), Forced to Fight has “The Dragon” as Jimmy Boland, a mysterious badass in Wingate State Penitentiary, a “state-of-the-art” California prison run by a man named Goddard (Richard Paul, who played the mayor of Cabot Cove on Murder, She Wrote multiple times and was Jerry Falwell in The People vs. Larry Flynt). After we see Boland working out in slow motion over the movie’s opening credits, he beats the crap out of several thugs who prison rape and murder a young inmate for some reason. Boland ends up fighting the lead thug, a guy named Luther (I don’t know who plays him), and kills him in self-defense. Of course, prison officials don’t believe Boland when he says it was self-defense because they’re a bunch of assholes. Goddard, along with his direct underling Taylor (Charles Boswell), decide right then and there to send Boland to the notorious cell block C, where, I guess, they hope Boland will disappear into the crowd of super criminals. Goddard plans on running for state’s attorney general and, I guess, doesn’t want Boland to get in contact with the media or some bullshit like that.

So Boland is sent to cell block C, and immediately he’s a marked man. Block C is the home of two of the prison’s big time gangs, with the black gang, which used to be run by Luther, is now run by Blue (Gregory McKinney), and the white Nazi gang run by Wheelhead (Rick Dean). Blue wants Boland dead because he killed Luther and disrupted the prison’s drug running operation, while Wheelhead wants Boland dead because he’s “some kind of Asian.” Now, at first, Wheelhead sort of likes Boland because he killed black guy Luther and, as a white racist, he’s okay with that. But because Boland doesn’t want to hang out with a racist asshole like Wheelhead, Wheelhead decides that he wants Boland dead, too. Boland is a tough guy to kill and or beat down, as he’s a martial arts master and takes absolutely no shit from anyone, so taking him out is a huge issue. Because, really, how the hell are they going to do it?

Now, Boland, while trying to stay away from the gangs, isn’t necessarily above making friends in prison. Boland befriends Diddler (John Cardone), a pervert/pedophile that never gets to eat his food in the cafeteria (the bigger guys always steal it) and, eventually, Samuel Stark (John Shaft hisself, Richard Roundtree), an old school prisoner who has become a kind of prison lawyer for everyone. In fact, Boland ends up sharing a cell with Stark. Boland and Stark don’t get along at first, as Stark doesn’t know how to react with Boland and Boland is just leery of Stark. As time goes on, though, Boland Stark become friends, and Boland meets with Stark’s buddies who all work in the prison garden (Tony D, as played by Tony DiBenedetto, and Clint, played by the legendary Andre Rosey Brown).

The rest of the movie is Boland trying to survive repeated attempts on his life from both Blue’s gang and Wheelhead’s gang and, eventually, both of them together. At the same time, attempts are made on Stark’s life, as he’s set to get out of prison soon and no one wants to see that. We also find out that the gangs are in cahoots with some of the prison guards and, not that shockingly, Taylor, as they all make money and whatnot from the prison drug business.

It’s hard to call Forced to Fight an out and out action movie, at least compared to the first two Bloodfist movies. It definitely has action in it, but it’s not the knock-down, drag out action movie that the title would suggest. Large chunks of Forced to Fight play more like a typical prison drama, and while those chunks work, it just seems odd that they exist in this movie. But then, when you realize that Bloodfist III didn’t start out as a Bloodfist movie, it all starts to make sense. Now, will action movie nerds enjoy Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight? Maybe. Don “The Dragon” Wilson fans will likely love it, and action movie fans that are adventurous might like it. If you’re an action movie fan that just wants action scene upon action scene and endless fights, Forced to Fight is not for you.

So why did Corman and “The Dragon” make this movie in the first place? I have no idea. They liked the script? It seemed like a good idea at the time? The world really, truly needed a low budget prison movie in 1992? It’s certainly a change of pace for Wilson, as he isn’t the fighting machine you expect it to be. He fights in it, and being a martial artist is very much a part of Wilson’s Boland character, but Boland has a weird kind of melancholy about him that makes Boland interesting. Part of it is Boland’s background and why he’s in prison in the first place (basically, Boland was railroaded into the joint), and another part of it is his trying to survive the day in, day out of prison. Yes, Boland ends up having friends, but even then he’s still kind of a loner. How many loners in action movies do you see sans any sort of melancholy?

The fight scenes are generally well handled and exciting. Wilson isn’t an unstoppable badass as Boland, but he usually finds a way to win in the end and overcome the odds. There are moments where Wilson’s Boland gets his ass kicked and it’s awkward as hell. Wilson is a pro throughout and makes everything he does look fabulous. And Wilson’s acting is terrific, as he shows that he can hold his own up against screen legends like Richard Roundtree.

The prison set certainly looks like a prison, or at least a movie prison. In fact, it almost looks like the prison set at the end of Maniac Cop 2, just shot from a different angle. The prison cafeteria is the only prison set that looks like a movie set as opposed to a real deal prison. The prison garden actually looks like the top of a building somewhere. Now, life inside of the prison is odd. Prisoners wear jeans. Prisoner cells are chock full of personal belongings. When prisoners get visitors the visitors basically have the run of the place and no one seems to be worried about fights breaking out amongst the visitors or the other prisoners. The guards are all hardass douchebags, as you would expect them to be. Is this all part of Goddard’s “state-of-the-art prison” idea that he talks about at the beginning of the movie, or is this just how director Sassone sees this prison?

And why the hell would the prison allow two rival race gangs to occupy the same cell block? Does that happen in real life prisons? And, yes, there’s a major drug operation going on inside of this prison and the gangs are running the business, but they also kind of hate one another. Wheelhead’s gang is a full on white supremacist gang, so you know how that’s going to work out. And Blue’s gang is racist in a slightly different way. Blue’s gang doesn’t like white people, and they also seem to have a real problem with Asians. Wilson’s Boland is referred to as both a Chinese slur and a Japanese slur (Wheelhead’s gang does the same thing but it plays differently from Blue’s gang. I don’t know why, it just does). Why would the prison deliberately put people who despise one another in the same general vicinity?

The race element is also somewhat off putting and makes Forced to Fight more of a drama as opposed to an action movie. That’s not to say that action movies can’t deal with ideas and provide social commentary, but the race issue as seen in Forced to Fight gives the movie a different feel that may make some audiences uncomfortable. You just don’t expect to see it.

As I said, Wilson does a great job as Boland. He holds his own against Roundtree and shows that he’s more than just an action guy. Wilson fans already knew that, but it’s always good to point that out to people who may be unclear on it. And Roundtree, just like Wilson, is phenomenal as Samuel Stark. Roundtree commands the screen in every scene he’s in and provides a certain gravitas to the movie that only he could provide. In short. Richard Roundtree, as always, is just goddamn awesome.

Gregory McKinney does a fine job as Blue, the black gang leader. He’s quite the sadistic piece of shit who gets thrown into being the leader of the black gang when Luther is killed. Blue probably didn’t want to be the leader, but, hell, he has to be so he does it. And Rick Dean is hilarious as white gang leader Wheelhead as he’s just as sadistic as Blue but comes off as a goof more often than not. That goofiness makes Wheelhead dangerous.

John Cardone’s character, Diddler, is going to divide people. He’s a pervert/pedophile of some sort (there’s a scene where he fixates on a female child that’s in the prison to visit her father that’s creepy as fuck) but, within the confines of the prison, he’s just some meek guy that gets his ass kicked all of the time. And when he makes friends with Wilson’s Boland, you may start to wonder why Boland isn’t kicking his ass, too. I’m assuming that because Diddler is bullied we’re supposed to like him, even though he’s a pervert, and because Boland doesn’t like bullies that’s why Diddler, at least in the prison, is meant to be a good guy. Cardone is a good actor, so that could be a factor, too. I don’t know, the whole character is weird.

Richard Paul isn’t in the movie all that much as Goddard the prison warden, but he does a good job with the scenes he’s in. He isn’t as sleazy as Charles Boswell’s Taylor, but he’s a terrible person. And, yeah, Boswell’s Taylor is just awful. At least he’s damn good at being awful.

Andre Rosey Brown is a hoot and a half as Clint. There isn’t a scene where he isn’t a goddamn riot. And Tony DiBenedetto has a few nice scenes as the uber Italian cook.

Forced to Fight kind of peters out at the end, but it’s still worth seeing. It isn’t quite the action and fighting extravaganza you want it to be/expect it to be, but it’s still pretty good. I liked it. Just be aware that while it may be called Bloodfist III, it’s really only Bloodfist in name only.

See Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Maybe 6.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: Yes, briefly, but it’s in a scene from TNT Jackson, the movie that the prison decides to show to the prisoners as part of movie night. Would a real prison show a movie with nudity in it and a scene where a naked woman beats the crap out of people? There’s also some nudity on the walls of some of the cells via posters from porno magazines, but those are hard to see.

Doobage: A media presentation about a prison, prison rape, shiv to the back, a one man against many hand-to-hand brawl, double shiv attack, drugs in the toilet, blue jeans, attempted eating, mild homophobia, slow motion thugs walking down a hallway, attempted beating, racism, laundry room hooey, a laundry room brawl, an exercise yard brawl, more shiv hooey, isolation hooey, gameshow watching, attempted assault via rake, baseball bat attack, mutiny, off screen stabbing, communal cigarettes, chicken in the cafeteria, a surprise stabbing, a prison riot, torch making, surprise luggage, and an odd, downbeat ending.

Kim Richards?: None.

Gratuitous: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Don “The Dragon” Wilson’s professional fighting credentials listed in the opening credits, Don “The Dragon” Wilson training in slow motion over the opening credits, cell inspection, Richard Roundtree, “black power” posters on the wall, scrambled eggs, Andre Rosey Brown, Don “The Dragon” Wilson reading a book, “knowledge is power,” a “Do Not Stick Fingers or Anything Through Cages” sign, visitor’s hours, Don “The Dragon” Wilson exercising, impromptu pole fighting, ethnic Italian love, Don “The Dragon” Wilson fondling a flower, Richard Roundtree talking about “the system,” prison movie night, a film projector, TNT Jackson, a prison movie that has copious female nudity in it, naked pictures of women on the wall, a guy masturbating in his cell, President’s Day celebration, multiple “man jokes” about “wanting pussy,” Richard Roundtree talking about the beach at dusk, and an odd, downbeat ending.

Best lines: “A fitting end to a piece of filth like Luther. But not in an election year,” “Now it’s my turn to do some cutting!,” “I wasn’t hungry anyway,” “What the fuck you talking about, man? You let crackers get away with shit like that they be killing niggers all day long!,” “Hey, I just gave you some food. You got any other problems take it up with the chaplain,” “This is my power,” “Stark? What? Can I borrow a book?,” “Just tell me what my job is,” “He’s through,” “You mind your own business! Pervert!,” “You are an idiot,” “You watch your ass, boy! We’ll watch it for you!,” “Hey, I’m an American. Born and bred. Just because I’m half Japanese cops are always looking at me sideways,” “Just get your guinea ass out here, man!,” “Hey, can’t you find some chicken? I’m tired of this shit!,” “All of you for one man?,” “What you doing, house nigga? Working for the warden?,” “I got no problem with anyone,” “You see a boy, Lucas, you get down and suck his bald dick!,” “Have you lost your taste for freedom?,” “There are a lot of people out there in their own little prisons,” “Goddamn! A whole half-chicken! Red, white, and blue silverware! And corn on the motherfucking cob!,” “You did this!,” “Go on, chinaman! You ain’t never gonna get out! Do it! I don’t wanna get out!,” “On the outside. Outside,” and “Let’s go, counselor.”

Rating: 7.0/10.0


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Check out that interview here!

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Things to Watch Out For


Alita: Battle Angel: This, of course, is the big hooha collaboration between director Robert Rodriguez and producer Jim Cameron and based on a famous manga. It did okay at the North American box office but was a bigger hit overseas, and while I missed it in on the big screen, just based on the bits and pieces that I have seen of it this always looked like a movie that would “find its audience” later on via home video and TV. Yes, it looks visually stunning, but at the same time it also doesn’t look like anything we all haven’t seen, in one form or another, a million times before. I definitely want to check this out, and now that it’s on home video, it will be easier. Maybe. Anyone out there see this? Is it good? Bad? Just okay?


Critters Attack!: This is the new Critters movie, although I’m not sure if it’s considered a sequel to the original four movies or if it’s related to that series/show/whatever the hell it is on Shudder. I did read somewhere that Dee Wallace is in it and is playing the same character she played in a previous Critters movie, but if you look at the trailer she’s got a gun and appears to be one of the bounty hunters. I don’t remember, was that a storyline in one of the original four movies? Anyway, Attack! looks like goofy fun, or at least it looks like it has the potential to be goofy fun, so on that level it’s worth renting/seeing. I know I want to see it at some point.


Hellboy: This is the much maligned reboot from director Neil Marshall. I have no idea if that sentiment is justified as I also missed this movie on the big screen, too (damn, I’ve missed quite a bit of stuff this year. What the hell?), but the trailers weren’t all that impressive. They didn’t look terrible, but they didn’t make me jazzed to see it. Outside of the apparent bad behind-the-scenes stuff that went on, a good chunk of the reviews I read for this movie said that while it’s gory as hell the story is terrible and David Harbour does, at best, an okay job as the hero Hellboy. Now that it’s considered a mega flop, will it “find its audience” on home video and become a cult classic in a few years? It will be interesting to see how all of that plays out. Still not jazzed for it, but I’m definitely curious about it, more than I was before. Who saw this? Is it good? Bad? Just okay?


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Bloodfist III: Forced to Fight

Don “The Dragon” Wilson– Jimmy Boland
Richard Roundtree– Samuel Stark
George McKinney– Blue
Rick Dean– Wheelhead
Richard Paul– Goddard
Charles Boswell– Taylor
John Cardone– Diddler
Tony Di Benedetto– Tony D.
Andre Rosey Brown– Clint

Directed by Oley Sassone
Screenplay by Allison Burnett and Charlie Mattera

Distributed by Concorde Pictures, New Horizons Picture, and New Horizons Home Video

Rated R for violence, language, and sensuality
Runtime– 88 minutes

Buy it here or here or you can watch it on the Shout Factory TV website.