Kick'em In The Ghoulies

"It's The Only Way To Survive"

Classic Film Review

(c) 1991 Seasonal Film Corperation


King of the Kickboxers - 1991

Starring : Loren Avedon , Billy Blanks , Keith Cooke

Directed By: Lucas Lowe - 1991

aka: Karate Tiger 4  / No Retreat No Surrender 4

In this 1991 classic Loren Avedon plays Jake Donahue a New York Cop who gets the Job done , even though he might bend the rules slightly.

Having Just busted up a drug ring as a undercover Jake is reprimanded for going it alone and not waiting for help and not giving his colleagues the right address .

His Captain thinks he has the right job for him to get him off his back for a while , Interpol need a exchange  Cop for a undercover exorcise.People are making illegal movies and they need Jake to pose as a fighter to get in to the organization.

But when Jake finds out the job is in Thailand , he refuses to go, but when he views the evidence, he changes his mind, for Jake is going back to face his worst nightmare .

The nightmare is a man called Khan (Billy Blanks) ,Khan is the man who killed Jake's Brother right in front of him 10 years earlier when Jake's brother was competing in a Kickboxing championship and won.

Khan and his men ambushed Jake and his brother Sean, killed Sean and scarred Jake for life.

Now Khan is back and this time he's killing on film .

Jake must uncover the crime that is the snuff movie as they are widely known.

A organization are making fight films where Westerners are hired to fight in the film , but little do they know that their first days filming will be their last when they come up against Khan who will kill them on screen for real and earn a pretty penny doing so to.

Jake arrives in Thailand to meet his contact and get the info he needs ,he then sets out to get him self noticed by getting stroppy at the local Muay Thai clubs .After creating a commotion with the locals he gets involved in saving a young girl named Molly ( Sherrie Rose) from some Thai bandits ,showing them his trademark kicks.

Little does he know, Molly has just escaped from Khan who was going to have his way with her.

Molly is one of our unfortunate young girls who travel to make their fortune as a model or actress and fall foul of criminals who force them in to prostitution and such like.  

After loosely explaining his reason for being in Thailand the two get to know each other.The following day Jake notices he is being followed , catching his stalker unawares he discovers he is one of the fighters who he saw at one of the clubs .After a altercation in which the two fight Jake discovers his fighting ability may not be up to scratch ,and definitely not up to beating Khan. 

But his friendly adversary offers advice about a man called Prang (Keith Cooke) who once nearly beat Khan in a fight .

He tells Jake where to go ,whether Prang will teach him is another matter.

Arriving at Prang's residence which is out in the wilderness ,all he finds is a scatty old Drunk .Who Just happens to be Prang by chance.Leaving as quickly as he arrived as he feels this guy is just a loser .

Little odes he know Prang's Cheeky Monkey has stolen his Passport and when Jake returns to find  Prang surrounded by thugs ,Jake storms in to action to save him only to be saved himself by Prang who reveals his true self in a blistering display of foot action.

Once their foes are dispatched ,Prang invites Jake to dinner ,the two get to know each-other and why Jake must fight Khan.Prang tells Jake to be up early ,Jake says ''Why'' Prang Replies ''for your training''

The morning arrives and Jake begins his masterclass in how to beat the fiercest fighter in Thailand .Prang puts Jake through a series of extreme stretching,and full contact fighting moves .Using the natural environment to his trusty club with which he bashes Jake with. 

The ultimate goal for Jake is to master Prang's defense against Khan's combo kick maneuver.With the aid of Tree's ''YES Big Tree's .Jake must defend in sequence as Prang unleashes a torrent of nature at him,only then will he be able to face Khan and become the King of the Kickboxers.

Once training is done .Jake must get noticed by the film companies scout ,and what better way then to enter the local fighting tournaments.And just as planned Jake is approached to  star  in their latest kill flick.He just doesn't know he is the one to be killed.

after agreeing to show up he gets approached by his Interpol agent along with his Captain who has found out his past and wants him to return Home.But when the agent finds out Jake has been approached , they decide to let Jake ride with it.

The morning comes and Jake sets off to face his past and capture the bad guys.

But new plans are in motion .The film makers at Khan's request have chosen to use the relatives ,friends of the fighters they hire to get a more dramatic effect .

When Jake arrives and changes in to costume , he battles a series of guys ,but decides it's all to real  as people are getting hurt for real. He says he's leaving , with that Khan appears saying 'Not before you fight me '' . In Khan's hands are the bodies of his friends Molly who is still alive and Prang who Khan tosses in the water wrapped in a sheet and when Jake see's him he is most distraught.

Now the battle begins as the two clash in a barrage of kicks and elbows and punches you can feel the pain . 

From platform to platform our combatants jump using what ever they can to survive .Even when the two take up swords and injure one another they fight on. 

Khan using his size to push Jake back but Jake is not going to give in and when all seems lost he comes back to pound Khan once again ,it's now that Khan will unleash his combo and it is now that Jake will put in to play all that PRANG taught him.

In the end it all pays off and even with Khan regaining consciousness ,this just puts a end to him as Jake delivers a devastating blow with the  aid of a big spiked wooden gate that is.

The cavalierly arrive just in time to arrest the others and burn their den down  .

The film ends with Jake and Molly reunited alongside Jake's Captain.

As a classic piece of Martial cinema King of the Kickboxers is one of those films that you never tire of.

One of the 3 pictures that Loren did for Seasonal it once again showcases superb martial arts that are well  shot and choreographed .

Loren is given many occasion to spring in to action displaying all matter of skills in the action department.

Then along with Billy Blanks as his adversary who gives a sense of fear to the proceedings in his cartoonist portrayal of Khan the evil Killer.You could a liken him to some one like Shere Khan in the Jungle book story.

Then we have the teacher, Student relationship between Prang (Keith Cooke ) who also gets to show some lighting fast techniques.

But then they do say Keith Cooke is as fast with his feet as Bruce Lee was with his hands.And I for one would agree with that .

So want some classic action that would stand the test of time and then some. 

But remember to be well rested before hand as your be on the edge of your seat shouting at that TV.

Then look no further then the Brilliant 'The King of the Kickboxers.

 Score out of Ten = 9

Review By : Sertes Nake 

Review Date : 22-10-2010

Review Update : August 2021


Loren Avedon

Martial artist - Instructor / Actor 

Loren Avedon is a Martial artist in the art of  Taekwondo and Hapkido holding a total of 4 different Black belts from four organisations.
Loren as a child starred in Commercials and also lived in London UK for a while. 
Loren got his break when training at Taekwondo when a film producer phoned his training hall and Loren took the call. 

Billy Blanks

Martial Artist - Instructor / Fitness Guru / Actor

Billy Blanks is a Martial artist trained in Taekwondo ,Karate and Boxing , he became known for starring in Martial art films in the late 80's and 90's . From playing villians in King of the Kickboxers to good guy roles in Expect No Mercy and Talons of the Eagle. As well as bit parts in various other films. 
His biggest success was when he took his martial arts experiance and melded it with boxing creating a fitness regime for all which he named Tae-Bo.  At the height of the fitness boom Tae-Bo became known all around the globe selling over 1.5 Million videos in it's first year.

Keith Cooke Hirabayashi

Martial artist and Instructor  / Actor  / Stuntman 

Keith Cooke Hirabayashi is a American Martial artist of part Japanese desent on his fathers side..
He came to fame in the Golden Harvest China O'Brien Films with Cynthia Rothrock and Richard Norton. He went on to play Prang in the Ng See Yuen production King of the Kickboxers .
He is also the man behind the mask of Reptile and Subzero in the two original Mortal Kombat films with Robin Shou.
Nowadays Master Cooke teaches at his Karate Dojo in the USA. 

Sertes Nake
aka The Snake

Founder : Kick'em in the Ghoulies
Martial Artist
Film Collector

Sertes Nake owner and Founder of this very site. 
Martial artist and Film Buff.
And Friend of the Stars.
Entrenpeanur of Asain Culture 

Seen Here Holding his original VHS copy of 
King of the Kickboxers

Click here to edit text



Directed by Lucas Lowe
Produced by See-Yuen Ng
Keith W. Strandberg
Written by Keith W. Strandberg
Starring Loren Avedon
Richard Jaeckel
Don Stroud
Billy Blanks
Music by Richard Yuen
Cinematography Viking Chiu
Distributed by Seasonal Film Corporation
Release date(s) 1991
Running time 99 min.
Language English