Action Movie Fanatix Review: Devil’s Dynamite

For The Shadow Warrior – No Enemy Is Too Deadly

Starring: Harriet Browne, Bob Poe, Mick Stuart, Walter Bond, Richard Phillips, Ted Wald, Eddie Leo, Mark Coston

Director: Godfrey Ho aka Joe Livingstone

1987  |  90 Minutes  |  Not Rated

“All I need right now is revenge.” – Steven Cox

What the hell did I just watch!?!  The VHS cover appears to show a group of ninjas shooting down a helicopter but that certainly never happens here.

A smuggling ring run by blood sucking vampires is infiltrated by a karate kicking shadow warrior, Alex (Bob Poe); this fearless warrior summons all of his skills to fight off the fanged onslaught.  But how can one man fight an army of the undead?

On top of the vampire vs. robo shadow warrior there is some sort of story regarding gangsters, buried gold treasure, a funeral, a wedding, jealousy and, of course, revenge.  I couldn’t make much sense out of most of what was going on but there is a cringe worthy scene where a man with an eye patch is ordered to stab his remaining eye… to which he obliges and then we never see him again.  That scene made this half of this movie sorta worth it.

Apparently Godfrey Ho’s claim to fame is taking 2-3 lesser known Chinese or Thai movies and piecing them together into one “masterpiece”.  He dubs over all the dialogue with a whole new, usually batshit crazy storyline.  This holds 100% true with Devil’s Dynamite.  There are two completely unrelated storylines going on that never really intersect.  Neither really makes a ton of sense on its own either.

Our hero is Alex.  I think Alex is a cop or something but he is able to transform in the blink of an eye into the shadow warrior which looks like a guy wearing an oversized Robocop helmet and a jump suit made out of one of those silver fire retardant blankets.  Alex is apparently a very skilled martial artist.  He often uses very technical maneuvers like the double punch or the punch-kick.  Don’t know what those are?  Odds are you did them as a kid with the basic understanding that throwing two punches at once must be better than throwing only one punch.  After all, vampires can only block one strike at a time.

The main villains are a group of Chinese gangster controlled vampires which seem to have been created by some Taoist voodoo.  Huh!?!  These vampires, we are told, get stronger each time they taste human blood.  All have metallic blue faces with a bad complexion.  All apparently know kung fu.  And all hop around with their arms stretched out straight in front of them as they move around everywhere.  You would think that would be easy enough to get away from but it’s not.

3M must have sponsored this movie in some way.  The only way to control these vampires seems to be long yellow Post Its with Chinese writing on them.  I’ll have to remember this for the next vampire outbreak.  Maybe Post Its could be used to stop the Twilight movies too.

At some point a group of vampire ninjas come hopping into the picture to attack some kids, one of whom is hopping around like a vampire himself.  The Robocop lookalike appears out of nowhere to save the day.  What ensues is a very slow moving martial arts fight where our hero blocks every strike before getting stabbed by about five swords at once and then fighting back only to have the vampire ninjas up and disappear into thin air.  The little girl then walks through the doorway and disappears herself.

The only scene I really got a laugh out of was when one of the vampires tries to bite the shadow warrior and ends up biting off a piece of his helmet off.  The shot shows the vampire with a very confused look on his blue face with a cheap piece of metal (or more likely plastic) in his mouth.

I almost feel like doing an honest review of Devil’s Dynamite isn’t completely fair.  This can’t have been made in any sort of serious mindset.  The editing is really poor.  The dubbing is horrible.  The story is almost completely incoherent.  The fights are cheesy.  It just isn’t good in any way, shape or form but I also don’t think it ever intended to be good.  I can sometimes put up with intentionally bad movies but I just didn’t find much to be entertaining about Devil’s Dynamite either.

The only way I see Devil’s Dynamite being entertaining would be if you could sit down with a group of your bestest best friends and a LOT of alcohol.  You would probably laugh and joke about how ridiculous this crazy thing was, mostly paying no attention to it at all and then you would all wake up with splitting headaches and no memory of what you had just watched.  Yeah, that actually sounds nice.