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Don "The Dragon" Wilson - Information, Updates & Discussion

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The king of the late 80's to mid 90's B movies.

 

I have sort of a soft spot for Don movies because they were a big part of my childhood. It could just be the nostalgia of my dad renting them for me and my brother growing up, but at the time I remember really loving his movies. He was probably the biggest martial arts movie star in America at the time not named Van Damme or Segal. For this alone the man deserves his respect.

 

So recently I decided to buy a few of his movies off of amazon and wow. The acting and choreography were laughable. Come to think of it I believe I have seen better acting in a porno flick. The funny thing about it all though is I still enjoyed every movie. Don just has a screen presence that demands attention regardless of how bad the movie is. His movies are more complex than one might think though. First you have the laughable dialogue. Then if your lucky you get "The Dragon" in some sort of soft core sex scene. Last you get Don kicking some bad guy butt, and he is a former kickboxing champion so we know he can. I also noticed he did a lot of movies with Roger Corman who is legendary B movie producer. Anyway overall Don is cool in my book, and will always be a legend to me. Not the best actor, but a great martial artist that happened to be in bad movies.

 

Movies I like

Bloodfist 1-5

Ring of Fire 1,3

Out for Blood

Red Sun Rising

Future Kick

Black Belt

Night Hunter

Cyber Tracker

 

Haven't seen Virtual Combat, but I read that it's not bad.

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I liked how some of his films were ripoffs of others at times

Notably

Out for Blood was basically a B-movie version of the Yuen Biao film Above the Law. He was a lawyer by day and a vigilante known as the Karateman by night.

Bloodfist 8: Hard Way Out was practically a True Lies ripoff only replace Jamie Lee Curtis as the wife to another actor as his son who learns about Dad's secret past as an Irish government agent. (Wilson is half-Irish and half-Japanese).

Plus, Bloodfist was like the Fist of Fury of the 90's as it was copied the most times.

Bloodfist clones all from Corman's company:

Full Contact - Jerry Trimble

AngelFist - Catya Sassoon

Dragon Fire - Dominick LaBanca

Bloodfist 2050 - Matt Mullins

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Guest Markgway

I saw a few of those Don Wilson flicks back in the day... and more recently revisited Bloodfists 2-4, which, for what they were I found enjoyable enough.

2 is the tournament job

3 is the corrupt prison job

4 is the mob after a mcguffin job

The last one there was surprisingly well made.

Haven't seen the original.

I seem to remember liking Red Sun Rising.

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I liked RING OF FIRE, RED SUN RISING and the BLOODFIST with Steve James as a villain. The rest I've seen didn't do anything for me. Like Van Damme, he really needed acting lessons and better choreography.

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I met Don Wilson few years back on Aikido seminar in Belgrade he was nice. I saw many of his movies but i think that The Night Hunter is the best one, also i think that Virtual Fighter was quiet bad but not too bad.

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I liked RING OF FIRE, RED SUN RISING and the BLOODFIST with Steve James as a villain. The rest I've seen didn't do anything for me. Like Van Damme, he really needed acting lessons and better choreography.

Seems like all the nice guys make shit movies.

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The first Bloodfist is fun enough, I recall - after that, not really seen much with him in.

He always struck me as likeable enough, but he seemed, by accident or design, to always end up working with the wrong people.

Did he ever work with any interesting directors? I know Corman produced a lot of his films, but don't think he was in a film by, say, Cirio H. Santiago (one the kings of expliotation flicks).

Also, I think he looks like Lou Diamond Phillips!!

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One of his latest films was with director Jesse V. Johnson. The film is called The Last Sentinel and is actually pretty cool!

Hopefully he will keep working with some interesting directors and become more of a character actor!

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The Last Sentinel was released in 2007 according to his IMDB page. He hasn't made a movie since, and it doesn't look like he has any future projects in production. I wonder if "The Dragon" has retired from making movies?

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I saw Don The Dragon on May 15th, 1999 in Lowell, Massachusetts,on ppv at 45 years of age, The Dragon stepped back into the ring to fight for the vacant IKF Pro FCR Cruiserweight World Title against big mouth Dick Kimber who wrote a check with his big mouth that his ass had to cash. Man it was the funnies thing I every seen .

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Wasn't he the skull faced dude who loses to Chris O-Donnell in Batman Forever?

That's correct.

While I like D"TD"W, most of his movies were more miss than hit for me. My favs thought are: Bloodfist 1 & 2 (& whichever one had Gary Daniels in it); Nighthunter; Black Belt; and Red Sun Rising.

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That's correct.

While I like D"TD"W, most of his movies were more miss than hit for me. My favs thought are: Bloodfist 1 & 2 (& whichever one had Gary Daniels in it); Nighthunter; Black Belt; and Red Sun Rising.

Daniels was in Bloodfist IV: Die Trying as Scarface. I felt Wilson and Daniels had the best fights of that installment. I also liked Bloodfist II's opening fight between Wilson and Ned Hourani before Maurice Smith turns villain. My all time favorite DTDW film is Ring of Fire, the first one.

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Guest Yi-Long

I liked his movies OK when I was a young teen and hadn't really seen HK movies yet. Don seems like a nice/good guy, but even back then, I could already tell he was quite a poor screen-fighter being cast in very bad movies, as so many western martial arts 'stars' were back then. Which is also partly to blame ofcourse on bad directing and choreography.

I occasionally come across his movies on TV late at night, and they're still pretty bad.

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I liked his movies OK when I was a young teen and hadn't really seen HK movies yet. Don seems like a nice/good guy, but even back then, I could already tell he was quite a poor screen-fighter being cast in very bad movies, as so many western martial arts 'stars' were back then. Which is also partly to blame ofcourse on bad directing and choreography.

Yeah, I pretty much agree with that.

Daniels was in Bloodfist IV: Die Trying as Scarface. I felt Wilson and Daniels had the best fights of that installment. I also liked Bloodfist II's opening fight between Wilson and Ned Hourani before Maurice Smith turns villain. My all time favorite DTDW film is Ring of Fire, the first one.

Thanks. I need to see BF4 again. It's been a while.

While I think BF2 is one of Wilson's better films fight-wise, I believe the only issue I have with it is the use of certain fight footage repetitiously. Like, they used the footage shot correctly (say, from a right angle) and then a minute later they would use it again but the film would be flipped (to show it from a left angle). And that seems to be specific to Wilson's and Smith's end fight. I always wondered why that was. Did the choreographer run out of ideas or something?

I don't remember particularly enjoying ROF though. If I recall, Wilson doesn't do any fighting until the end and then I didn't think it was all that great. Maybe I need to see that one again, too.

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Yeah, I pretty much agree with that.

Thanks. I need to see BF4 again. It's been a while.

While I think BF2 is one of Wilson's better films fight-wise, I believe the only issue I have with it is the use of certain fight footage repetitiously. Like, they used the footage shot correctly (say, from a right angle) and then a minute later they would use it again but the film would be flipped (to show it from a left angle). And that seems to be specific to Wilson's and Smith's end fight. I always wondered why that was. Did the choreographer run out of ideas or something?

I don't remember particularly enjoying ROF though. If I recall, Wilson doesn't do any fighting until the end and then I didn't think it was all that great. Maybe I need to see that one again, too.

You're right, in ROF he doens't fight until the end, but has some nice spars with Steven Leigh and the fights overall are well done, from Gary Daniels vs. Ron Yuan to Vince Murdocco vs. Eric Lee, to Steven Leigh vs. Dale Jacoby.

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I enjoyed a couple of his films back in the day when I was little, but I don't remember them well.

I saw him working out in the gym in 2004 or 2005. He would throw punches and kicks in the air in between sets. He looked very tall and skinny.

Last film I saw him in was Stealing Harvard with Tom Green.

I honestly don't know a whole lot about him other than he made a lot of Corman films, including some in the Philippines and that he was commentator for a UFC event or two in the early days around UFC 4.

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I always found that he was a much better professional kickboxer than a fighting actor. The choreography in most of his movies is mediocre at best and I find that he never had much charisma on the screen Just an opinion. Having said that, Black Belt, Bloodfist 1, 2 and 4 and Ring of Fire 1 are probably is best movies and can be fun to watch for a late night viewing with a good drink or two!

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Daniels was in Bloodfist IV: Die Trying as Scarface. I felt Wilson and Daniels had the best fights of that installment. I also liked Bloodfist II's opening fight between Wilson and Ned Hourani before Maurice Smith turns villain. My all time favorite DTDW film is Ring of Fire, the first one.

I agree that Ring of Fire is his best movie even though he only fights one time at the very end of the movie. It sort of had that same slow build up of him getting involved in the action like Bruce Lee in The Big Boss. The other fight scenes were enough to hold me over in the meantime. Plus there is a nice love scene with Don and 90's B movie soft-core starlet Maria Ford. I would recommend Ring of Fire to anyone wanting to check out some of Don's work.

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I agree that Ring of Fire is his best movie even though he only fights one time at the very end of the movie. It sort of had that same slow build up of him getting involved in the action like Bruce Lee in The Big Boss. The other fight scenes were enough to hold me over in the meantime. Plus there is a nice love scene with Don and 90's B movie soft-core starlet Maria Ford. I would recommend Ring of Fire to anyone wanting to check out some of Don's work.

Is Ring one where his gf gets killed in the very end?

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SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, she get sliced with a samurai sword, but it implies that she does not die.

Sorry I did not think about that:tinysmile_angry2_t:..It has been ages since was ROF and I recall it was ok movie, maybe should get it.....

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