Sunday, May 13, 2018
Rifftrax Watch: Honor & Glory (1993)
Format: Rifftrax on Amazon Prime Streaming
It's possible that Cynthia Rothrock movies aren't as good as I remember finding them in high school.
I have no idea where this movie falls in the spectrum of Cynthia Rothrock movies, but there's a reason Rifftrax offered up this movie and it wasn't so they could finally sit in hushed silence wordlessly taking in an amazing film.
Honor & Glory (1993) features world champion martial artist-turned-actor Cynthia Rothrock (a real name!). And in the early 90's, I was a kid who couldn't sleep at night (now I'm an adult who can't sleep) and had basic cable - and so it came to pass that I watched both China O'Brien and China O'Brien 2 and probably other Cynthia Rothrock vehicles. The kids will have to understand that in an era before CGI and speedy editing were the thing, watching a lady kick a whole lotta someones in the face was a pretty good way to kill 2 hours.
There was always something of a "we have some martial artists and we're gonna put on a show!" to her movies, but that speaks not to Rothrock's status so much as the low-budget nature of the incomprehensibly large number of martial arts movies dumped on the video market every year. Seriously - the 80's and 90's were a wasteland of cheaply produced movies employing karate school instructors as ninjas or thugs, operating in a world where everyone drops their guns and drops into a karate stance when things get serious. (Also: you always have to pause for extended sequences of karate experts doing their forms.)
Rothrock was never going to win any acting awards, but when someone has won three dozen world championship for their martial arts prowess - including entering men's competitions and winning those - who needs a @#$%ing Oscar? Here's to a one of the most amazing martial artists who ever lived and the really weird American martial arts cinema of the late 20th Century.
Anyway - I won't bother to actually describe the movie - it's not good. But it's always nice to spend time with Rothrock again and try to spread her legend to a new generation. And it's a lot easier to do with the Rifftrax crew to help the medicine go down.
Now, here's a compilation of fight scenes from various Cynthia Rothrock movies assembled by a YouTuber.