It’s time to kick ass old school, and that’s exactly what ‘The Last Kumite’ aims to do. This Kickstarter film will take the 80’s kid in us back to the golden era of brutal-yet-inspiring martial arts action from ‘Bloodsport’, to ‘Kickboxer’, and ‘No Retreat No Surrender’; and we’ll be led there by legends of that era in front of and behind the camera.
Once again, a heroic underdog will push their body to superhuman limits in musical training montages before battling within a blood-scented arena for love and honour. That’s the dream for the team behind ‘The Last Kumite’ that wants to bring back the time of 80’s martial arts action, and the crowdfunding project launched recently, promises to do just that.
An Underdog’s Tale
The story follows skilled martial artist Michael Rivers who, when his daughter’s life is endangered, takes part in a brutal illegal tournament.
Once he signs up for the fight of his life he soon learns that he is not the only one ‘forced to fight’ for his loved one.
From the synopsis alone we can expect lots of varied fighting styles, unscrupulous fight agents and wagers, sneering villains, not to mention training montages and exciting showdowns.
The film will be directed by veteran cameraman and cinematographer Ross W Clarkson whose work includes ‘Undisputed 2 and 3’, ‘Never Back Down; No Surrender’ as well as ‘The Expendables 2’, ‘The Mechanic; Resurrection’ and ‘Ninja: Shadow of a Tear’.
Judging from his extensive CV Clarkson knows how to capture the excitement and tension of thrilling fight action, together with a legendary cast making up a who’s who of the golden era of martial arts films
The Line Up
When infusing your film project with 80’s nostalgia you need some legends of that time in your line up.
The film’s production team have signed up a heady mix of old school heavy hitters alongside this generation’s cream of the crop. These include the ‘Lady Dragon’ herself Cynthia Rothrock, VHS actionstar and king of Tae Bo Billy Blanks, and German heavyweight action star and KFK Hall of Famer Matthias Hues, alongside Abdel Qissi (‘The Quest’), Kurt McKinney (‘No Retreat, No Surrender’), and Tong Po himself Mohammed ‘Michel’ Qissi.
Making up the younger generation of kumite-kas are , Emilien De Falco (‘Boyka: Undisputed 4’), Mathis Landwehr (‘Lasko’), and stunt performer Aurelia Agel (‘Black Widow’, ‘John Wick 4’) will make her acting debut.
Leading this stellar cast is KFK Hall of Famer, actor, stuntman, and stunt & fight coordinator Mike Moeller who will choreograph the fight action. Anyone who has seen Kung Fu Kingdom’s Hall of Famer Mike in ‘One Million K(l)icks’ knows he is more than up to the job of putting on some spectacular battles invoking titanic showdowns of the 80’s classics this film homages.
Looking to bring all this together to ensure the finished film has the look and feel of those classic old school hits is filmmaker Oliver Harper, director of 80’s action love letter ‘In Search of the Last Action Heroes’
No 80’s throwback fight film would be complete without the beat, melody, and inspirational lyrics that made those films air-punchingly awesome! Who better than to give the film a worthy soundtrack than the dynamic duo of Paul Hertzog and Stan Bush (‘Bloodsport’, ‘Kickboxer’), and who have already given us a taste with the anthemic ‘No Surrender’.
Launched on Kickstarter in March, ‘The Last Kumite’ is on a mission to find the remaining production costs of £132,470 from martial arts film fans and investors. The project is already 60% funded and there are 10 days remaining to hit its funding target.
To draw in the crowd for this main event fans will get the chance to own a piece of this cinematic 80’s action love letter with their own copy of the finished film in exchange for a pledge.
That’s not all however, with plenty of other enticing rewards that include the finished on Blu-ray packed with special features, a copy of the soundtrack featuring Stan Bush’s anthemic song, as well as an assortment of limited merchandise.
For higher value pledges, funders will receive autographs from the film’s legendary stars as personal video messages, behind the scenes set visits, and – if you want to be in the film business – a producer credit.
Many of these rewards are limited in number so once they’re gone, they’re gone. For more information and to pledge your support head over to ‘The Last Kumite’ Kickstarter page for your chance to bring back the time and magic of an unforgettable golden era of martial arts action.