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This week, it’s time to do a truly dumb bonkers of an action flick – Teddy Page’s Blood Debts. Teddy Page is a Filipino film director who wrote from time to time. He is mostly known for working on low budget action flicks for Silver Star Film Company. The primary claim to fame for Silver Star Film Company is that they made very, very low budget movies. Page, whose real name is Teddy Chiu, would get hired to crank out these cheap-o movies, but he would get a little bit of an ace in the hole from producer K.Y. Lim’s Silver Star – he’d get some established actors.
Chief among them in a few early Page films was Richard Harrison. He was a former Spaghetti Western and Sword and Sandal star who racked up over 130 credits. A whole bunch of these credits, like Blood Debts, came in the 80s. This was considered a real low point in his career. What didn’t help him much was when he reunited with Chinese filmmaker Godfrey Ho. By this point in Ho’s career, he would make these cut-and-paste type of ninja movies. He’d get the rights to a film already made, cut them in half, hire actors to make another full movie, cut them in half, and create these full movies. Harrison didn’t so much mind getting work, he did end up being in WAY more movies than he signed up for, thus making him frustrated and an unwilling star of twice as many really low-grade movies.
I mean… I could probably schedule an entire year of B-Movie Enema articles for Godfrey Ho’s filmography. I would like to maybe not do that. Instead, I would like to talk about Blood Debts. I think what makes this movie so interesting is that it’s not just bad. It’s very, very weird. The movie doesn’t feel like there’s much of a script. And that’s bonkers because Richard Harrison is an uncredited writer on the film. It’s also very strange that the movie is paced very oddly, but ultimately nearly perfect in its formula.
You also have the appearance of the movie. It looks like something that wasn’t made in 1985. It looks like it was made in the 70s. But then again, there are things in it that also looks like it is the early 80s too. But it also looks to have been made on film that was left out in the rain in the 70s. It might just be a timeless movie. I’m already confused and I’ve already seen this movie and I know exactly what happens in it.
There’s also a big ol’ elephant in the room for this movie.
And that’s Mike Monty as the villainous Bill! Mike Monty is the star of a whole bunch of B-Movies. He played the mean ass general in Zombie 3 which was covered previously on B-Movie Enema. He was just one of those guys who ended up in a lot of the same movies, or at least the same type of movies, that Richard Harrison was in. Despite being in a whole bunch of foreign movies, Monty was an American. He was born in Tennessee. I actually always assumed he was Italian.
Anyway… Richard Harrison. Mike Monty. Nothing else at all that this movie is known for. No other Elephants in the room whatsoever. No sir. Oh, I guess Teddy Page was a big fan of comically large weapons – as seen on the movie’s box art or that Richard Harrison carries around with him throughout the finale of the movie. But… There’s nothing else to be aware of in this movie whatsoever. Especially not the ending. Nope!
Nah, I’m fuckin’ with ya. This movie has the greatest conclusion ever seen in any film ever. Let’s just go ahead and get this shit out of the way right now. This movie ends with a tiny gun that fires a rocket that explodes a dude.
Goddamn… That’s amazing. However, we can’t get there until we get through the rest of the movie.
This movie doesn’t wait around for anything like plot, or character development, or no other pussy shit like that. This jumps right the fuck in. We have young lovers at a picnic. The white boy here is trying REAL hard to get this lady’s jean skirt right the fuck off. He says things like, “WOW! WHAT A GREAT IDEA TO HAVE A PICNIC! HERE’S A DR. PEPPER AND A SAMMICH! WOW YOU PRETTY!” And the girl’s all like, “Yeah, sure. Whatever. This Pat Benatar haircut is too cool for your polo shirt, dork. Also… Thanks for the sammich.”
But uh oh! Out of nowhere a gang of roving thugs and gun-wielding nuts shoot their bucket of chicken, then attack! They surround the lovers. They laugh uncontrollably. They separate the pair. Whitey tries to fight off his attackers to save his girlfriend who is about to be raped by this roving gang of maniacs.
The guy runs from the attackers who plan to hunt him. We see that the guys have finished up with the girl, and she, too, is going to be hunted by the crazies. The boy gets shot in the back by one of the villains. Another is quite upset because I guess they were fine with shooting a bucket of chicken, and the harassment, and the rape, and the general terror, but they were NOT going to kill anyone. They carry these guns because it makes them look cool and that is it.
Well, anyway, that guy is dead. The girl is making her way to the edge of the park calling for her dad. Her dad? That’s fucking Richard Harrison. He may look horrified right now, but he’s as good as the Taken guy as far as we’re to believe.
The girl is killed, and as Harrison, playing Mark Collins, runs to her, he’s grazed by another bullet. The baddies take off after a brief argument between the leader of the group and that one guy who only joined the gun gang to be kewl. The screen fades to black and tells us it is “a few months later”.
The movie is not even 7 minutes old, and we hear the leader of the gun gang tell us that the dad of that girl they killed is “after their asses”, and it makes me wonder… DO YA THINK? You killed a guy’s kid, right in front of him no less, and you’d think that there would be no repercussions? Also, you’re just hanging out, seemingly, in the same park right next to Mark Collins’ house. What did you think was going to happen?
And why are just hanging out drinking beers in the same place RIGHT NEXT TO HIS HOUSE?!?
This is the shit about this movie that tickles my enema bone… Er, um… Eh [shrugs]. This movie makes me think the Philippines is just loaded with roving rape riots and gun gangs. I mean these kids were just having a picnic in the middle of the day – this whole movie is in the middle of the day, but I digress – and they get attacked AND murdered. But the murders weren’t on the gun gang’s agenda that day. It just happened because, meh fuck it. This movie is almost an hour and a half long and we’ve already seen an action sequence, violence against THREE people, and we’re told that Collins is after their asses. This movie doesn’t fuck around.
So by minute #1, the young couple is attacked. By minute #6, the girl’s been raped, both have been killed, and her father has been grazed in the head by a bullet. By minute #7, we learn Collins is on a Death Wish style revenge bent. By minute #8, he’s already got a gun to the face of the first guy he plans to take out from the gun gang.
Mark isn’t going to kill this guy. He wants to know who the other guys are. He says it very angrily so we know he means business. Apparently, this goofus gives up the info because before they 8 1/2 minute mark, we already have a second thug approached.
He approaches the musclebound man and says, “Come on monkey, get your bananas!” as he motions for him to approach for a beating. The guy, much younger, and much more muscular than Harrison, is like, “Oh fuck yeah, old man!” After getting a couple good hits in on weightlifter, the guy tosses Mark around. At this point, I’m guessing Mark isn’t so sure he can get revenge for his daughter’s death, but as the weightlifter dude goes to crush his face with a weight, Mark snatches his gun that was knocked out of his hand earlier, and shoots the guy.
This happened before the 10-minute mark.
Leader of the gung gang is pissed at the guy who gave away the info on the gang members’ whereabouts. So boss man kills the dude by first smashing his skull against a wall, and then shooting him. Believing he’s put in a good day’s work, boss man goes home. There, he finds Mark Collins waiting for him and making himself at home with boss man’s magazines.
It should come as no surprise that, behind that magazine, Mark is packing heat. He kills boss man, and immediately goes to the final guy’s office and pulls out a gun and kills him. Have I mentioned that this movie does not fuck around?
Enter the kingpin of all the crime, Bill. Bill sends his lieutenant to find out what’s going on with the deaths of these thugs. He wants to know who is behind this, and the how, and I suppose the why too. Shit, throw in the when while you’re at it! The lieutenant dude meets a guy taking a piss in a bathroom and gives him money. Now… I’m not so sure I’m totally up on all the codes from the general Southeast Asia area of the world, but I’m thinking money being given to a guy at a urinal will probably mean you are going to get a real interesting, if not happy, ending to that day.
The guy with the info tries to stonewall the lieutenant by asking for more and more money. This doesn’t end well for the guy with the very, um, effeminate overdub.
The informant says it is Mark Collins wiping out that gun gang. We see Mark at home with his wife that seems to be way too young for the daughter they had, but I guess personal loss and tragedy does fucking wonders for your looks. And your sexiness.
Later on, Mark gets his red tracksuit jacket on and goes for a walk. I think it is implied that he’s not finished wiping out these fools. Like, I think we’re supposed to believe that he’s not just been taking out the gun gang. He’s been wreakin’ havoc on the island Punisher style.
Sure enough, while on his nighttime walk, he hears a woman being attacked by yet another crazy Filipino. This gives him flashbacks what I suppose he assumed happened to his daughter (because he wasn’t there for all of the attack). As he shoots the attacker, the lieutenant snaps a picture of him for Bill. He even puts together a little slideshow of Mark for Bill. This lieutenant goes the extra mile, man. Not only does he put the little slideshow together for his boss, but he also got the info about Bill on the cheap by dumping that dude’s head in his own piss earlier! This guy is totally Employee of the Month material!
Bill orders his lieutenant to dig up as much information about Mark Collins as he can. He doesn’t want this guy slipping through their fingers, and he’s not wanting to get rid of this guy too quickly. The next day, Mark and his wife are going… somewhere, and her purse gets snatched. Mark recovers it by kicking three guys’ asses. His wife wants him to get the police involved, but Mark says they won’t handle anything. He’s gotta go out and kill them all. He promises he will stop the killing once he gets the last guy involved with the murder of their daughter.
Which I think technically happened several days ago. I’m fairly certain Mark is just killing for sport now.
That night, this stinking drunk dude at a bar is flashing his money a little too liberally. Some thugs decide to ambush him. In the meanwhile, Mark comes in to get a beer. The drunk dude goes to drain the lizard and gets jumped by the thugs. At the bar, the lieutenant is there too watching Mark. Mark realizes something is up and finds the drunk beaten up on the floor.
Mark decides he’s gonna make amends for this. As he leaves to find the guys who took the dude’s money, the lieutenant follows but loses our hero. The thugs count their stolen money. Mark comes in and declares that the old man wants his money back and proceeds to fuck these idiots up. But he fucks them up by shooting them all dead despite them being unarmed. He brings the old man his money.
Okay, so one, Mark is not totally lost to his revenge, right? Yes, he wants to kill the people who killed his daughter. However, he has shown that he will help a woman about to be attacked on the streets and old men who get beaten up and robbed. That’s not where this movie excels, oh no, dear Enamaniacs. No, this movie does not let more than a few minutes go by before Mark has to do something vaguely action-y, or straight up kill a dude. It’s bonkers in that regard. Feel like there’s too much plot coming along to slow this movie down? Fuck it! Have Mark beat up or kill a guy. Afraid your movie’s getting boring? Nope! Mark straight up murders some punks.
This movie wants to be something of a Dirty Harry or the aforementioned Death Wish. However, it isn’t really much more than a movie made up of all the scenes you scrub past the boring story bits to get to. As bad as some of the Death Wish sequels are, they still had a plot. Okay, they had the loosest of loose plots, but this doesn’t stop for more than a couple minute at a time to do something. So we don’t know too much more about Mark other than he’s married to a hot woman who is probably roughly the same age as their daughter. He was not just injured by the gun gang, but he saw them shoot and kill his daughter. What else do we know about Mark? We don’t even know his wife’s name – and that has nothing to do with him and his character!
Alright, so another really stupid scene happens. The police are talking about the various murders that have happened over the last couple months, right? Well, apparently the guys who killed Mark’s daughter (whose name I also do not know) was killed some months ago. Not just that, but they were also all “reputable” men. Okay, we saw that one guy work in an office, but I don’t know enough about any of the rest of these assholes. I know they went around in broad daylight with machine guns and looked for trouble. I mean… Last time I checked, these attributes with the guns and the daylight and the what not does not a set of reputable people make.
The cops are going to squeeze their informants to find out more about the guy killing these people. But fuck that! It’s been too long since an action-y Mark thing. We see a guy on a golf course. A ball of his goes into the rough and we see Mark replace the ball with one that explodes and kills the dude. Who that guy is? I don’t know, but he was on Mark’s list.
Mark tells his wife on a nice little walk in a park and he tells her that he’s done with the killing. This leads to a wonderful ramen noodle date in which the two seem to be healing after the tragedy of their daughter’s death. They even do it. I guess it is to maybe make a new child to replace the one that got killed?
Don’t look at me like that. If you were watching this movie, you’d think the same thing.
Lieutenant guy tells Bill all about Mark. Mark is a Vietnam vet. He planned to settle down but his daughter was killed. Bill realizes that the guy who killed his daughter was probably already killed. He asks, though, why Mark continues to kill. The lieutenant guy says it’s probably because some of these events reminds him of that day his daughter was killed. Either which way, Mark has a Death Wish to do some real Dirty Harry stuff all alone as if he’s Rambo.
Bill sends some guys to kill Mark, but he bests them. Bill suggests that they find out what Mark’s weakest point is and take advantage of it. So they kidnap his wife. They call him and say if he wants to ever see his wife alive again, he’ll meet at midnight that night. When he goes to meets the bad guys, he’s ambushed and surrounded. They blindfold him and take him to Bill’s hangout. He’s told that there’s enough evidence from the pictures the lieutenant took earlier in the movie, so what they want is for him to be given names to kill off these other goons around town. He’s told that kill off the people whose names he’s given and he’ll be rich and have his wife back.
Oh, and he’s going to have a partner, Liza. If anything happens to her, the same fate will befall Mark’s wife. With that, you’d think Mark and Liza will be hot on the trail of these bad guys, right?
Okay, maybe not much. They sit around, have a beer, smoke some cigarettes, and talk. Liza says that she used to be a hitwoman for the mob and she turned state’s evidence. But now, I guess the mob is making her kill again or something. I don’t think that’s normally how THAT works, but whatever. They have her daughter so she has to do what they tell her much like Mark.
Now, I guess Liza is a hitwoman, but it seems as though Mark is doing all the killing. He kills a businessman and Liza drives off with him on a scooter. So she’s apparently the getaway driver. Mark visits a guy I think we’re supposed to know as his inside guy, but we’ve not seen him before. He knows what Mark does, though, because he asks Mark if he’s now some sort of bounty hunter.
We then see a gang of people stick up a liquor store and kill the husband and wife who run it. We think Mark will come in and blow these motherfuckers away. Besides, isn’t he supposed to be going through a list of baddies to save his wife? Right? Where’s he at?
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking… Isn’t Mark worried about his wife? Isn’t Liza worried about her daughter? Shouldn’t they get a move on with this list of bad guys the other bad guys want them to kill? I bet you’re all thinking this, but let me remind you of an old saying: “Why so rushed when there’s drinks, pools, and bikinis?”
Despite Mark lamenting that Liza being given a lead to find some of this gang has “ruined his day”, they go out and find a member of this gang that killed the old folks at the liquor store. Liza and Mark find the rest of this gang after roughing up a member of the gang to get the location – which so happens to be an abandoned monastery or something. They kill all the bad guys, but Mark is a little concerned. They don’t know who is really giving them their orders. They were originally put together in a dark room with only a voice over an intercom. Now, they only get phone calls to tell them who to kill next. Mark figures that after they are done, their boss will likely have them killed. I assume, despite him not saying anything, he’s worried about his wife and Liza’s daughter… right?
Fuck it, they get a call to go have a shootout in a parking garage and kill a couple more guys.
The cops are still frustrated over these murders. One cop is fine with it. He’s tired of arresting crooks only for them to go right back out onto the streets. He figures these killers are doing them a favor by cleaning up the streets. However, the police chief says that, if they let anyone take the law into their own hands, they would walk the streets littered with dead bodies.
After a brief scene of a woman just hanging out in the open of the most crime ridden city on the planet getting raped and killed, we learn that, oh no, this isn’t just some dumb action movie with Bill telling Mark and Liza to go kill bad guys for the sake of having action set pieces. Nope! There is a real plan here. Bill plans on expanding his criminal empire. He wants to move into the drugs and prostitution racket. Mark and Liza’s incredibly efficient job of littering the streets with dead bad guys (the guys from the previous gang in this particular part of town, mind you) has the cops too busy to crack down on hookers and blow. So, see? This movie has an intricate plot…?
Speaking of this other group, the Syndicate, Mark’s inside info man tells him that the people he’s been ordered to kill aren’t who he’s been told they are. They aren’t petty thieves. They are all members of this Syndicate. Mark wants this guy to find out who’s paying him and Liza and if they are somehow connected to the Syndicate. Again, this scene of exposition is way too boring, so we see a young couple murdered by a roving street thug. Meanwhile, Bill tells his lieutenant that he wants the former customers to be told they are now in charge and occupying the streets. He wants more pimps and more pushers to be recruited. He wants informants to be bought, and cops paid for. They are ready to take over completely. His lieutenant wants to pull Mark and Liza out of the streets if their people are going to be told to stay out of their way, but Bill says no because that will supposedly make them suspicious?
It probably should have happened. Mark and Liza are on patrol in a park, looking for a guy they are supposed to kill. She is following the guy and ends up being snatched by this baddie. This guy has Liza in some hideout or something and holding a knife to her. It’s heavily implied he has some issues with women. She fights the guy, and he eventually ties her to a chair while Mark is looking for her.
It’s at this point that I find a flaw in this incredibly flawless movie. Liza is this bad ass hitwoman, right? She’s pretty good with a gun. She seemed to be good enough and bad enough to work for the mob. Now, you’d think it is possible that this crazy guy would be able to get the drop on her. This guy is not like her normal targets, right? He’s crazed. He’s out of his mind. He’s gross. You’d think, with her experience, that when he wants her to tell him that she wants him, thinks he’s handsome, etc. that she’d know what to do – do what he wants and seduce him to the point that she can get the upper hand and fuck him up. She doesn’t do this. She is no different than any other woman that had been previously attacked. This leads me to think that this part of the movie is simply there for us to watch one of the attractive leading ladies in this movie get messed with by the movie’s psycho that appeared for the first time just a few minutes ago.
Anyway, Mark saves her and shoots the crazy dude to death.
By the way, I finally learn of Bill’s lieutenant’s name – Peter. Julius, Mark’s informant, learns that indeed, the new gang that’s moved in is likely the guys who hired Mark and Liza. He tells Mark that they set it up to make the cops go after them while the new group starts peddling dope and broads. He says he couldn’t get any names for Mark, but something big is happening that very night. Just after giving Mark that info, some guys roll up on a motorbike and gun Julius down.
Mark explains to Liza that they’ve been played. The group they’ve been killing for wiped out Liza’s old group and taking over crime in the town. But now he’s aware of the big delivery going on, so he asks her if she wants to go fuck this shit up. She agrees, but she gets shot. Just before she dies, she tells Mark that she’s known all along what’s been going on. She was part of Bill’s group. She says Bill is the guy he needs to go after. I’m sure this will prove useful to him as there surely is no other guy around named Bill.
The next day, Peter comes into Bill’s office to say that Liza and Mark killed Bill’s kid Dave. He also says that Liza’s been killed and spilled the beans to Mark about the whole deal. How Peter could possibly know what Liza’s last words were, I do not know, but whatever. Bill tells Peter that they will gamble with Mark and he tells Mark that they are giving him his wife and the money they promised.
They put a shitload of money into a briefcase and give it to Mark’s wife. They send her to a rendezvous to return her to Mark. But guess what! What’s the sure fire way to make sure Mark doesn’t come looking for more revenge against you?
Oh, Jesus. No, that’s not the right answer! That’s not the right answer at all! The answer is you give Mark his wife and his money and see him on his way! You don’t blow up his wife AND the money! Bill, I think you are probably an idiot. You also maybe don’t send more guys to kill him. If he gets away, he might come for you with a itty bitty rocket launcher.
Peter tells Bill that Mark got away and that his wife got blown up (one of these things I feel like Bill already knows). Bill sends the photos and evidence against Mark to the cops. The police chief decides that this sudden appearance of all this evidence is no big deal. He wants to go after Mark right away. Peter explains to Bill that the cops seem to be in a holding pattern and waiting for Mark to come out into the open.
Mark is not exactly coming out into the open as the cops expect. He’s going to one-man-army his way into Bill’s compound and wipe out all his goons. These last 7 or 8 minutes of the movie is nonstop explosions, pew pew, and sneaky sneaky. Mark literally kills everyone. He ends up getting a giant bazooka like weapon off Peter because of course he does. We’re all heading to that wonderful explosive conclusion that I always ready talked about at the top of this review.
I do find it funny that the cover of this movie’s VHS box had that giant bazooka gun and Peter talked about how easy it will be to get rid of Mark with a gun like that, but he fires it twice, misses Mark both times, and Mark is able to kill him and take the bazooka from him no problem. He then properly uses the gun and wipes out all of Bill’s men like it’s no big thing at all.
Anyway, remember, Bill gets a shot in, but ultimately, Mark has that literal ace up his sleeve and launches a rocket to explode Bill. Pieces of Bill are still in the air as the film freeze frames to tell us that Mark gave himself up and is now serving a life sentence in prison. That’s all she wrote, man. The movie ends with music that seems to be fitting for some Super Bowl Highlights from NFL Films.
This movie is one of the crazier action films I’ve covered. It’s action scene after action scene with very little in between the set pieces to tie anything together. Again, it’s like someone saw all the Death Wish sequels and thought a movie with just the scenes of Charles Bronson blowing assholes away would make for an AWESOME movie. I mean… They are obviously right, but woo boy. It’s also hard to believe this movie is nearly 90 minutes. When the movie is so front-loaded like it is, you can’t believe the movie has enough gas to make it over the 60-minute mark, but, somehow, it does it.
There’s really not much more to say about Blood Debts, so let’s wind this shit down, eh? Next week, I’m moving onto something more adventurous. I’m gonna check out a 1975 film based on the pulp hero Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze! Get back here in seven days to see what I have to say about this G-rated fun!
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See you next week, Enemaniacs!
2 thoughts on “Blood Debts (1985)”
Holy hell! You’re covering Doc Savage next week?
( Cue John Phillips Sousa theme music)
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Hell yeah! Let’s get some American pride up in here!