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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: Eliminators

April 26, 2017 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #407: Eliminators

Adkins April: Week 3

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never had to hide out in England for any reason, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number four hundred and seven, Adkins April concludes with Eliminators, which appeared on home video in December of 2016.

Eliminators

Eliminators

Eliminators, directed by James Nunn, is one of the more disturbing low budget action flicks in recent memory. The movie has a fairly somber tone, and a mean streak that will stick with you when the credits roll. I know I wasn’t expecting to be sort of upset after watching a low budget Scott Adkins movie. In fact, I think Eliminators may be even more disturbing, on a plot level, than last issue’s Hard Target 2, a movie about a disgraced professional fighter hoodwinked into becoming the real life prey for a pack of rich assholes who get off on hunting and killing people. That’s messed up.

Eliminators stars Scott Adkins as Thomas, a former deep cover U.S. federal agent who lives in London as part of the Witness Protection Program. While in London, Thomas is a regular single father who goes to work every day as a security guard and takes care of his young daughter Carly (Lily Ann Harland-Stubbs). One night, after a normal day of working out, making Carly breakfast, taking her to school, working, and then making Carly dinner, Thomas’s home is invaded by a gang of hooded scumbags looking for cocaine. After finding out that the gang has the wrong address, Thomas kills every gang member with his martial arts skills and a gun. Thomas then passes out, wakes up, and finds himself in a hospital cuffed to a bed. He’s under arrest for murder. What? Murder? For a clear case of self-defense? What kind of bullshit is that? And where’s Carly?

So then some stuff happens, we find out that Carly is in protective custody until her father’s legal situation is worked out, and Thomas’s story is a highlight on the local news. Thomas sees his face on TV and immediately freaks out because, heck, he’s in witness protection. No one can know that he’s in London! So the news story goes viral on the internets, Thomas’s handlers back in the United States find out what happened, and then the people who want Thomas dead find out where he is. See, several years ago, Thomas infiltrated the criminal organization of worldwide illegal arms dealer Charles Cooper (James Cosmo), forged a romantic relationship with Cooper’s daughter, got caught, and in the ensuing mess got her killed. Thomas went into the Witness Protection Program as a result, and ended up in London with Carly. Cooper has been looking for him ever since. So Cooper finds out where Thomas is alive and makes a call to Bishop (Stu Bennett, also known as Wade Barrett), a notorious and mega lethal high priced assassin. Cooper wants Bishop to find Thomas, kill him, and then find Carly and “rescue” her.

Now, while all of that is going on, Thomas is anxious because he’s stuck in the hospital and the local cops don’t believe his story. His old pal and direct handler Ray (Daniel Caltagirone) is en route from Washington but it will be hours before he shows up and straightens things out with the authorities. And where the hell is Carly? Cooper probably knows what’s going on, and Thomas knows that it’s only a matter of time before the mob boss sends someone to get him. So Thomas decides to break out of the hospital and take matters into his own hands. Because he’s a martial arts badass, breaking out of the hospital is fairly easy. He has to beat the crap out of some cops and steal some clothes, but that’s something he probably did all of the time back when he was undercover.

And as all of that is going on, Bishop is close to finding Thomas. Using the super computer (I don’t know what else to call it) in his BMW, Bishop figures out where Thomas likely is and follows the trail. Bishop kills a bunch of people on the way. The man is a ruthless killer and that’s what ruthless killers do.

And while all of that shit is going on, Carly, under the direct protection of social services agent Stacey (Ty Glaser), is moved to a safe house. Social services has no idea that a highly paid assassin is looking for her, but social services knows that her father Thomas is a dangerous criminal and he’s managed to flee the hospital. What if he comes looking for her?

The flick picks up considerably when Thomas and Bishop finally meet and the movie turns into a down and dirty chase story. Thomas tries to stay one step ahead of Bishop since Bishop has a gun and is a ruthless fucking prick, but it isn’t easy. Thomas also has to deal with random street thugs looking to make a quick buck (Bishop offers two gigantic assholes ten thousand large to beat the crap out of Thomas inside a public gondola and the assholes takes Bishop up on his offer. Thomas makes short work of them because he’s Scott Adkins, but Bishop doesn’t have to deal with that kind of shit. If people get in his way he just shoots them dead).

Ray finally shows up and rescues his old friend Thomas, takes him to a safe house in a rundown public apartment complex, and, for a few moments, it looks like Thomas might make it out of his predicament in one piece. He’s got Ray by his side, the authorities now know that Thomas isn’t a psychopathic murderer, and the American Embassy has agents dispatched to take Carly to a safe location. But then Bishop, with the help of his super computer, finds Ray’s safe house. And Cooper is on his way to London, too.

Crap. What the hell, man? How is Thomas going to get out of this situation and save his daughter?

By the time Ray shows up and rescues Thomas there’s a good chance you’ll be both enthralled by the action and depressed about the story unfolding before you. The fights and chases are all well staged and fun to watch, but there’s a real sense that our hero might not make it out of the story alive. Despite being highly skilled and Scott Adkins, there’s a real sense that Thomas could lose at any moment. That’s difficult to accept and experience in a low budget action movie, especially when Eliminators is essentially a star vehicle for Adkins and Adkins is the hero. How is that possible? Because the assassin character Bishop is a goddamn force of nature.

Yes, a force of nature. Bishop is basically unstoppable. He kills just about everyone he sees, he shoots freely in public, and you get the sense very early on that Bishop really likes what he does. He isn’t killing people and whatnot for the gobs of money he collects, he’s killing people because he enjoys it. But at the same time he isn’t one of these psychopaths who wallows in the gore and cuts people’s faces off and wears them and stuff. He just needs to kill. How is Thomas going to stop that? Again, Thomas is Scott Adkins, one of the best martial artists in the world of cinema. He can kick anyone’s ass. But Bishop? How is he going to stop Bishop, especially when it looks like Bishop isn’t going to give him the necessary time to do a brutal super martial arts kick that knocks him out? Thomas does get to do several mega kicks that look amazing, but they barely do anything to Bishop. Bishop just keeps coming. What the hell, man? It’s like Bishop is a slasher movie villain. It’s like he’s Jason Voorhees.

On top of that, none of the London authorities seem to be all that prepared to deal with someone like Bishop. You’d think they would. You’d think there would be someone that knows guys like Bishop exist and work in London and Great Britain in general. But, good God, the authorities are fucking clueless in this movie. Why would they even suspect that Thomas is a criminal? The thugs in his house had hoods and guns and knives and shit. They must have had criminal records. Why didn’t the cops figure out who they were before accusing Bishop of anything?

And then there’s poor Stacey. She’s just a young woman trying to do her job, a difficult job. She has no idea what the hell is going on, no one bothers to tell her what the hell is going on, and as a result she’s knocked and shot multiple times off screen by Cooper’s main female henchman Hannah (Olivia Mace). Jesus Christ! What the fuck? What kind of fucking scumbags live in this world?

And Cooper… oh my God. What kind of international businessman shoots an upset client in his own home? Why wouldn’t he try to figure out how to fix his client’s issue and move on? If he kills the client he can’t make any more money from that client. So, again, what kind of businessman engages in that kind of behavior? And on top of that, if he’s so worried about Carly and her safety, why the hell would he send a guy like Bishop to look for her? Didn’t Cooper realize that if he sent a lethal psycho to look for his granddaughter there’s a real chance she might end up with a goddamn bullet in her head? Bishop shoots at damn near everything. He’s a good shot, obviously, but still, stuff happens. Yes, Cooper may despise Thomas, but would he put his hatred for him above his love for her? He shouldn’t, but he does. Absolutely despicable.

Adkins, as usual, does a great job as Thomas. He’s believable as a doting father and Adkins knows how to make you root for him. You want him to succeed and win. His “American” accent is less awkward here and he seems more comfortable using it. His fight scenes are all definitely must see stuff. I would like to know, though, how many Americans work in London as security guards for parking garages? Is that something that happens all of the time? And Carly is an American child with an American accent. She isn’t the daughter of a high ranking government official. Don’t the “local” kids wonder why the hell they have an American in their school?

EliminatorsAdkinsWade

Wade Barrett/Stu Bennett is terrifying as Bishop. His attitude, his ruthlessness, the way he walks with a gun and just shoots people, it will give you chills. Barrett, one of the best pro wrestling bad guys in recent memory, knows how to make you hate him and knows how to project being an absolute fucking prick. And Bishop is a piece of human garbage. What’s also terrifying about Bishop is that he comes off as a guy who might actually be able to beat Thomas/Scott Adkins in a fight. Bennett isn’t a martial artist as far as I know (wasn’t he a boxer or something before he got into pro wrestling?) but, goddamn, he brings it hard on Adkins. Bennett is no longer in the WWE and, I guess, is trying to be an actor. Based on his performance here, he could easily have a tremendous career in the low budget action movie world, both as a hero and as a villain. He could easily be the next Vinnie Jones.

The flick’s other standout performance belongs to Daniel Caltagirone as Ray. At first, he looks like your typical low budget action movie secondary character. He’s probably going to get shot because he’s an idiot or an asshole or he’s going to turn on the movie’s hero and reveal himself to be on the take. How many times have we seen both of those things? Well, when Ray has to arm up and throw down at Adkins’s side, holy shit. Caltagirone is a beast, a badass, a guy you don’t want to mess with. As far as I know he isn’t a martial artist, either, but if he wanted to Caltagirone could become the British low budget action movie king based solely on this performance. You have to see it to believe it.

And James Cosmo makes Cooper a complete sleazebag. And, as I said earlier, Cooper is despicable as hell. You want to see him get his ass kicked and his face shot off with a shotgun. Unfortunately, the shotgun thing doesn’t happen, but when he does go down you will cheer. God job, Cosmo. Cooper is absolute garbage.

Eliminators is a messed up action movie. Its story will stick with you and, possibly, sicken you. You’ll want to watch it again for the fights and chase scenes, yes, but the story is way more disturbing than your average low budget action flick. It’s absolutely worth seeing, but at the same time be aware that you’re probably not going to turn it off with a smile on your face because you watched something awesome. You’ll likely wonder why the world is such a goddamn shithole. What the hell is wrong with people, man?

See Eliminators. See it, see it, see it.

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 20+

Explosions: One.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Stock shots of the London skyline, a somewhat upbeat opening song, a brutal morning workout, orange juice, drawing, a glass bottle of milk, breaking and entering aluminum baseball bat attack, attempted throw down, attempted throat slitting, gun stealing, an off screen arrest, hospital TV, shooting customers, strippers, cocaine snorting, pimping, more cocaine snorting, an assassin killing everyone he can inside a bar, a nasty head shot, paper clip stealing, a bed pan beat down, clothes stealing, multiple cop beatings, hat throwing, a choke out, I-phone computer hacking bullshit, a random shooting, a fire extinguisher used to keep an elevator door open, cell phone smashing, a stairwell chase, a taxi escape, an inquisitive taxi driver, police impersonation, gas station hooey surveillance camera hooey, escape via public gondola ride, a public gondola beat down, arm breaking, phone stealing, a maze of rooms, wound fixing, a bloody shirt, new clothes, machine gun hooey, a refrigerator gun, some really poor machine gun shooting, exploding wall, shotgun hooey, an evacuation, a kidnapping, public bondage, a hidden knife, two body slams, chain choking, a wicked reverse double jump kick, truck stealing, an off screen shooting, pissing in the bushes, more shotgun hooey, scarecrow killing, righteous shotgun hooey, a windmill, dropkick, attempted suplex, elbow drop, choke slam fireman’s carry slam, pickaxe through the back, a standoff, knife throwing, and a subdued ending.

Kim Richards?: Attempted.

Gratuitous: Scott Adkins, Scott Adkins working out, Scott Adkins looking into his bathroom mirror, a bracelet, Scott Adkins as a security guard at a parking garage, the British Miranda warning (I assume that’s what it is), notebook drawing, Scott Adkins watching TV in the hospital, Wade Barrett, writing down a phone number, Wade Barrett saying “shit,” shooting in public, Wade Barrett keeping clean clothes in the trunk of his car, Scott Adkins using a hurricanrana in a fight, Wade Barrett using multiple pro wrestling moves in a street fight, and an old man just dying on a couch.

Best lines: “She’s growing up real fast,” “The coke! Where’s the cocaine?,” “I will put a bullet in your kid’s head unless you tell me where it is,” “Ray, we have a situation. In London. Tom’s in trouble,” “Hey! What the hell is going on?,” “These guns you sold me are a piece of shit,” “Where is he?,” “Smoking is going to be the death of you, mate,” “Tough day? Excuse me. Yeah, nothing I couldn’t handle,” “What the hell? I nearly killed you!,” “Oy! Ten grand if you knock him out for me!,” “This comes straight from the top. Diplomatic intervention,” “Nice place,” “There you are, Thomas,” “It’s not your fault,” “You good? Let’s move,” “Are you ready? What’s the alternative? That wasn’t the question,” “Like I said, fuck you!,” “Sorry about your dead friend,” “Very scenic,” “You think you got what it takes to kill a man like Cooper?,” “Impressive,” “We have a problem,” “You haven’t got any kids, have you?,” “I believe you’ve been looking after my granddaughter. Your services are no longer required,” “You’re a worthy adversary, I’ll give you that,” “It’s been fun, but this fight is over,” and “It looks like all of those fireworks have stopped, huh?”

Rating: 8.0/10.0

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EliminatorsAlternatePoster

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Things to Watch Out For This Week

UnderworldBloodWars

Underworld: Blood Wars: I saw this when it came out and thought it was pretty good. I was confused by quite a bit of it, but it had generally exciting action in it, some cool gore, and Kate Beckinsale rocking tight clothes and kicking ass. The whole “intricate vampire family hooha” part of the plot wasn’t all that interesting, but, again, I was confused by most of it. And I’m a fan of the Underworld franchise. I can’t even imagine what a non-Underworld fan would think of it. Can’t wait to see it again. I hope they keep making them.

TheMarine5

The Marine 5: Battleground: Man, I really need to see the The Marine sequels. I’ve been meaning to, but I just haven’t gotten around to it (perhaps it’s time for a full on The Marine marathon? That would mean having to re-review the first movie, which wasn’t that great). Anyway, the Miz returns for his third go as the title character, and it looks like he’s brought along fellow WWE superstars Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, Naomi, and the Miz’s wife Maryse. The director of Eliminators is also the director of Battleground, so it has that going for it, too. What do you guys think? Should I do a The Marine marathon at some point? I’ve been meaning to do a WWE Films marathon at some point.

TheGirlWithAllTheGifts

The Girl With All of the Gifts: Glen Close appears in this, I assume, sort of post-apocalyptic zombie movie that doesn’t want you to think that it’s a zombie movie. It’s an “infection” movie? What bullshit. Infection movies are zombie movies. Anyway, this flick looks like it has a nice, slick sheen to it, and some pretty good action and whatnot. I’m surprised that this didn’t get a large theatrical release. I bet it could have made someone some money. Anyone out there see this?

MeanDreams

Mean Dreams: This is some sort of lowish budget thriller about, I guess, teenage lovers trying to figure out how to leave the hellish world that they live in. The now late but always great Bill Paxton is in it, presumably as a villain of some sort. The movie does look depressing as hell, though. Rentable.

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B-Movie News

PaulMormandoBoundByDebt

The Bound by Debt trailer has arrived!: Paul Mormando’s next action vehicle, Bound by Debt, is set for release this December via Cinevest Interactive and, quite awesomely, the flick’s first official trailer has been released. Mormando looks in fine form, punching and kicking damn near everything in his way, including beating the crap out of a heavy bag. Yes, Bound by Debt is a low budget effort, but already it looks like it has more heart, not to mention badass skill, than movies that cost ten times as much. Mormando, “Mr. Karate USA,” is indeed the real deal, and if you’re a martial arts movie nerd, Bound by Debt is definitely something you’ll want to check out. Go ahead, watch the trailer below, check out the movie’s Facebook page, and then hope and pray that you live until December so you can see the actual movie.

KickboxerRetaliation

The next Kickboxer set to possibly appear this September!: According to the fine folks over at The Action Elite, the next Kickboxer flick, Kickboxer: Retaliation, is set to debut this coming September. AE got word of the flick’s release via the Kickboxer: Retaliation Facebook page. Now, we don’t know when in September the movie hits, but I’d imagine that if we, like AE, “like” the Kickboxer: Retaliation Facebook page we’ll know more as information is released. There was also, allegedly, a trailer that was available but, for whatever reason, it was removed from the internets quickly. I’m actually shocked that someone hasn’t posted it anyway.

I generally liked the Kickboxer reboot, Kickboxer: Vengeance (check out my review of the movie here) and am eagerly anticipating this sequel. Because, you know, what the heck is going to happen next? Will Van Damme rock a new kind of hat in this sequel? The world has to know, man!

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Who is the Douchebag of the Week? Go here and find out!

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Next Issue: Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD!

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Check out my review of david j. moore’s The Good, the Tough, and the Deadly here!

Check out my interview with the man hisself david j. moore here!

Check out the interview I did with the great Jino Kang here!

Check out my interview with character actor Vladimir Kulich here!

Check out my interview with martial artist and actor Paul Mormando here!

Check out my interview with director Michael Matteo Rossi here!

Check out my interview with actor Tyrone Magnus here!

Check out my interview with Hector Barron here!

Check out my interview with Jeffrey Orgill here!

Check out my interview with director Michael Baumgarten here!

Check out my interview with actor and stuntman R. Marcos Taylor here!

Check out my interview with action movie legend Don “The Dragon” Wilson here!

Check out my interview with Paul Kyriazi, the director of Ninja Busters and Death Machines, here!

Check out my interview with martial artist and actor Eric Jacobus here!

Check out my interview with martial artist and actor Juju Chan here!

Check out my interview with noted stunt performer and stunt coordinator Luke LaFontaine here!
Check out my interview with film journalist Marco Siedlemann here!

Check out my interview with Revenge of the Ninja and American Ninja director Sam Firstenberg here!

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Follow me on Twitter!

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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

Eliminators

Scott Adkins– Thomas
Wade Barrett/Stu Bennett– Bishop
Daniel Caltagirone– Ray
James Cosmo– Charles Cooper
Ty Glaser– Stacey
Olivia Mace– Hannah
Nick Nevern– Detective Inspector Quinn
Lily Ann Harland-Stubbs– Carly

Directed by James Nunn
Screenplay by Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby

Distributed by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and WWE Studios

Rated R for violence, language, and some drug use
Runtime– 95 minutes

Buy it here