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Gymkata (1985).

January 27, 2009

The Scoop:
Let’s just cut to the chase here. This is one of the strangest, silliest movies you’ll ever see.

Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas plays a secret agent who is a specialist in a martial arts discipline that is part gymnastics, part karate. Actually, in the hands of non-actor Thomas, it just winds up being all gymnastics and no karate. But that hardly matters, since the rest of the plot is pure gibberish anyway. There is some sort of a secret mission to a generic Eastern European country where Thomas has to play deathsports with other fighters. Somehow, a princess is involved, too.

Even after all these years, I’m still not sure what this all adds up to, but (spoiler alert!) the good guys win in the end. But that (and cracktastic fight choreography) is really about all you can expect from movies like this. It also happens to be Thomas’ only movie role ever. I wonder why?

This one is a bad movie must.

Best Bit:
The scene in which Thomas is chased down an alley by a gang of thugs, only to find a conveniently placed pommel horse, which he uses to defeat his enemies.

Side Note:
This is actually based on a novel, “The Terrible Game” by Dan Tyler Moore. I dare you to read it.

Companion Viewing:
I’m not sure what a good analogue for “Gymkata” would be. Maybe if you smooshed together “Enter the Dragon” (1973) and “Stick It” (2006), then drained out all the quality, that might come close.

A fan page that is pretty awe-inspiring in its own right.

Take a Look:
The trailer. Gymkata!

The infamous pommel horse scene. Thrill as hundreds of angry villagers just stand around waiting to be kicked!

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