Bruce Lee kicked ass – no doubt about it – but most bozos don’t go any further than Enter the Dragon for their Karate flick kicks. We here at CO-ED are proud to present you with some American-style chopsocky – let’s call it chopsuey.
10. The Karate Kid (1984)
Before you roll your eyes, check yourself. Even with two-decades worth of pop culture under its black belt – has anybody ever not attempted to crane-kick in a fight? – nothing can tamper with The Karate Kid‘s legacy.
9. Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)
Big Trouble in Little China‘s spiritual little brother, starring Dolph Lundgren and Brandon Lee as cops cracking down on the violent, drug-dealing gangs of Los Angeles. Hawaiian hottie Tia Carrere makes a guest appearance.
8. Hard to Kill (1990)
Steven Seagal plays a go-for-broke cop named Mason Storm. That’s all you need to know.
7. Kickboxer (1989)
A quick-and-dirty cash-in on Jean Claude Van Damme’s success in Bloodsport. Genius!
6. No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)
Classic Van Damme-age before Bloodsport. Genius!
Check out the Top 5 (with video clips for each one) after the jump.
5. American Ninja (1985)
Michael Dudikoff, a ninja, takes on a platoon of ninjas by himself in the Philippines. The martial-arts version of Rambo. Seriously.
4. The Last Dragon (1985)
Criminally underrated. Blaxploitation-influenced karate flick with a kick-ass soundtrack (by Berry Gordy) and a gang-leader named Sho’nuff. ‘Nuff said.
3. Best of the Best (1989)
Team USA, rich with the world’s finest fighters, competes against Team Korea for the Taekwondo title. The original Street Fighter, son!
2. Bloodsport (1988)
The end-all-be-all for pit-fighting films. Over half the flicks in this Top Ten list wouldn’t exist without Jean Claude’s Kumite classic. FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL!
1. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Big Trouble in Little China is impossibly rad; anybody who’s ever watched it can attest to that. Kurt Russell plays Jack Burton, the most macho, clueless trucker in movie history who just wants his truck back from the goons who stole it from him. But like most films based upon the clash of American and Chinese culture (and big-rig trucks), situations are never clear-cut as suggested.
Jack Burton finds himself knee-deep in the Chinese underworld; hilarity, karate, buxom babes (one being none other than Kim Cattrall, pre-Sex in the City), black magic and a fistful of one-liners ensue. The main bad guy is a 9-foot demon named Lo Pan – he’s been alive (and cursed) for thousands of years and needs a girl with green eyes to become mortal again. There’s also a lightning-wielding warrior that’s a dead-ringer for Mortal Kombat’s Raiden – years before the game’s release.
Big Trouble in Little China is the highpoint of American culture – there, I said it.