People are talking, they come up to me all the time, they say Trump likes BLOODSPORT. BLOODSPORT is Trump’s favorite movie.
The thing is, I also love BLOODSPORT. I wouldn’t call it my favorite movie, but it’s way up there when it comes to fight films of that era. There’s a purity to its setup and execution you just can’t beat.
Still, I don’t want to like the same films as Trump. Rather than turn my back on BLOODSPORT, I want to figure out what appeals to him so much and then make sure that’s not why I enjoy the film.
Everyone is Stupid
BLOODSPORT takes place in a version of the world where everyone has the intellect of a child. The characters hardly speak; most of them - including its star - appear to have trouble with English. You could watch it on mute, you could even watch it in fast forward, and you wouldn’t miss much. It has the simplicity of a cartoon.
Treatment of the Media
Leah Ayres co-stars in the film as Janice Kent, a reporter trying to get a scoop on the Kumite. Everyone gives her the cold shoulder except for fighter Hossein, who ignores her questions but tries to force her into his room. Van Damme saves her and in return she sleeps with him. He still refuses to help her with Kumite information so instead she sneaks in by pretending to be a prostitute. This is all a very Trump way to see females, reporters, and female reporters.
It Boils Race Down to Fighting Style
The Kumite attracts fighters from all over the world. Much like STREET FIGHTER, one person will represent an entire culture through their fighting style, even if the film has to make a fighting style up (I’m looking at you, dude who rolls around on the floor and chops coconuts). The point is, not everybody in Thailand practices Muay Thai, but an idiot watching BLOODSPORT while putting ketchup on his well-done steaks might get confused.
To take this just a little bit further, we must acknowledge that BLOODSPORT’s Kumite victor is American, which probably pleases Trump, despite that American’s very thick Belgian accent.
You Just Know Jackson’s a MAGA
Frank Dux may be BLOODSPORT’s hero, but Jackson is its humor and heart. Somehow, this severely American wrestler biker guy weaseled his way into a secretive, deeply-traditional fighting tournament despite his extreme lack of skill or style or anything else that takes work. Constantly swilling beer, Jackson gets by on sheer rebellious gumption and blowhard charm. Even when the film has the villain stomp his head in, it refuses to kill him, turning him instead into a platonic love interest Dux must avenge. It’s not difficult to imagine this guy at a Trump rally, giving the side-eye to anyone who looks like they might be press.
The Stupid Fickle Kumite Crowd
Trump can play crowds of supporters like a fiddle. If anything doesn’t hit, he just changes the subject like his previous bit didn’t happen. Maybe he learned from BLOODSPORT’s crowd of Kumite spectators. These bozos indiscriminately chant for whoever is winning with no allegiance or continuity whatsoever. They go from loving Chong Li, to loving Dux, to shaming Chong Li when he kills a guy, to loving Chong Li when he blinds Dux, to loving Dux again as soon as he starts beating Chong Li. They came to cheer, goddammit.
Frank Dux Was Likely Full of Shit
BLOODSPORT is supposedly based on a true story. It ends with a card informing us of Dux’s highly impressive Kumite career, including stats like fastest kick, fastest knockout. What an impressive guy! It turns out none of this probably happened at all. In a very Trump move, Dux may have even purchased his own Kumite trophy to show off. Fake it ‘till you make it.