Fist of Feature: The Holiday Wish List of Fury

Season’s Greetings! It’s that festive time of year when we drink too much egg-nog, eat too much Chanukah gelt, and air grievances that destroy relationships with friends and family.

In the spirit of the season, and because I’m a greedy prick, I thought it’d be appropriate to go over a short list of gifts I’m hoping to receive over the holidays.

Zubaz Pants
This fashion staple has been well-documented both here and in Google images searches for “road warriors AND dan marino.” Once the pants of choice for football players and pro wrestlers, Zubaz pants also caught fire with the martial-arts set in the late 1980s and early 90s. I’m ashamed to admit that I never owned a pair, though I did have one or two pairs from Zubaz’s primary rival, the checkered nightmares known as Skidz. After all these years, which brand is left standing in the popular conscience? FUCKYEAHZUBAZ.

Jewelry by Jalal Merhi
Action film director and actor Jalal Merhi apparently sold his share of a profitable jewelry business in order to break into film and form his production company, Film One. We haven’t covered any of his films yet, but if he was able to turn a profit as a jeweler, he’s definitely a better businessman than he is an actor. What would Jalal jewelery even look like? Necklaces weaved from the hair of his on-again/off-again ponytail? A golden medallion in the visage of Bolo Yeung? The possibilities are endless … and also poorly written, underlit, and have James Hong as the lead villain.

Expect No Mercy: The Game
Growing up during the SNES era, I loved fighting games, even the shitty ones. Shaq-Fu and Rise of the Robots found themselves on the same shelf as Street Fighter 2 Turbo and Killer Instinct. To my great surprise, I learned that Jalal Merhi’s 1996 film Expect No Mercy (also starring Billy Blanks) had a companion fighting game released on PC. I don’t believe anything I read on the Internet, particularly cross-promotional efforts for DTV sci-fi martial arts movies released during the 1990s, so I did some additional research (on the Internet) and confirmed it. Based on the clip below, the Expect No Mercy game is Mortal Kombat II’s poorly designed, underdeveloped, visually unimpressive copycat of a little brother. In other words, it’ll look great next to Kasumi Ninja and that first World Heroes port.

That Book Gary Daniels Was Reading in Bloodmoon
Remember the end of Pulp Fiction where John Travolta was taking a shit in the diner while the robbery was taking place? He was reading the first book in the infamous Modesty Blaise series. I didn’t buy this book and never read it. But I love seeing books appear in films and trying to figure out why a filmmaker would include them or how the book’s story might relate to the film’s narrative. More than that, I love adding said books to lists that I always fail to consult when purchasing books. I still have no idea why The Witness, Sandra Brown's thriller about a public defender who discovers a terrible secret about her new husband, was included in Bloodmoon. I think Gary Daniels was just trying to look well-read.

Keith Cooke’s Korflex Body Revolution 
While I’m no slouch (Tang Soo Do yellow belt FTW!) I’m no ironman either. January is a popular time of year for people to dedicate themselves to getting in shape. Anytime is a popular time of year for martial artists to launch new fitness crazes. For those and other reasons, I’m really itching to try the Korflex Body Revolution home fitness system by Keith Cooke of King of the Kickboxers and China O’Brien fame. Will it make me as physically fit as one of the best on-screen facekickers of all time? With a price tag of $40, and with the amount of beer I drink, probably not.

Billy’s Boot Camp DVD Box Set
While Chuck Norris may have beaten him to the fitness craze punch with his endorsement of the Total Gym system, Billy Blanks remains the only martial-arts actor to attain success with a true fitness phenomenon. His Tae Bo work-out demonstrated that pretending to beat the shit out of an invisible opponent was a great way to get in shape. However, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I used to do this all the time as a kid. I emulated my favorite action stars and pro wrestlers in my yard or basement but no one looked at that and said: “Hey, that looks like a great way to get in shape!” or “That’s a million-dollar fitness craze waiting to happen.” They said “what the fuck is wrong with that little jerk in the Skidz pants?” or “is that little jerk in the Skidz pants having a seizure?” In the world of business, the only thing separating the little jerk in the Skidz pants from the multi-millionaire fitness guru is clever marketing.

To all of our readers, Internet friends, and people who totally forgot they subscribed to the RSS feed, have a truly happy holidays!


  1. I like how if you were to get all of these gifts and put them all into good use, you'd end looking exactly like a dude from an early 90's punchfighter -- probably trying to start some shit with Daniels and Merhi and finding out the hard way you shouldn't have.

    Then as you lay on the floor, bleeding from the nose, your balls in serious pain, Daniels would notice you were carrying a copy of The Witness and go "Oh, I love that book!" while Merhi would notice the CD beta copy of Expect No Mercy sticking out of the pocket of your Zubaz pants. They'd figure that this guy, misguided as he was, couldn't be THAT bad, so they help you up and dust you off. Now all three of you are ready for the inevitable showdown with the real bad guy, played by Michel Qissi (or the guy who replaced him in Kickboxer 4: The Aggressor). OK, that's enough.

    Anyway, Happy Holidays right back at ya.

  2. Oddly enough, EFC, you named what has to be the only trio of martial-arts actors who've never actually worked together. (For shame!) Daniels & Merhi against Qissi would be a hellacious showdown, and not just because Merhi is slow as hell. I've got some of his stuff on tap for the near future, but I'm still shocked these guys haven't worked together given the amount of cross-pollination within this genre.

    I often use the IMDB overlap search (http://www.imdb.com/search/common) to find titles to add to my viewing roadmap. It's a handy tool if you want to track down collaborations.

    And would you believe that you can still buy Zubaz pants? I'm thinking of grabbing a pair or two as last-second Christmas gifts. To myself, of course.

  3. That Expect No Mercy game looks great! Jalal Merhi on your computer!

    Merhi and No Retreat, No Surrender 2 star Loren Avedon were in a movie together called Operation Golden Phoenix. Haven't seen it and there are no reviews anywhere.

  4. Ty, I was able to track down Operation Golden Phoenix on VHS but have yet to watch it. (I'm avoiding the torrent route for the time being)

    I'll probably get it up for review sometime in the next few months but I want to make sure I'm able to capture screenshots to complement the review. As luck would have it, that one has Karen Sheperd AND James Hong too!

  5. Nice! Great cast too! Didn't know Hong & Shepard were in it. Look forward to your review!


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