dsc00822There’s certain movies that I can’t help but watch when I’m flipping the channels and run across them. Evil Dead 2. Billy Madison. Caddyshack. And of course, Bloodsport. One of the worst, and best, martial arts movies ever made. It was a mainstay of my childhood sleepover parties, each fight scene painstakingly reenacted by pre-pubescent 10- and 11-year-olds until someone accidentally got punched in the face or fell off the arm of the couch and started balling after a poorly executed flying roundhouse kick. 

If you’re not familiar, Bloodsport is your typical cheesy 80’s action flick, on the scale of Commando or American Ninja (which I’ll admit I will also watch if home alone on a Sunday afternoon). Tale of a young man named Frank Dux (played by Jean Claude van Damme) who travels to Hong Kong to fight in the world’s most secretive, deadly martial arts competition, The Kumite. The movie also features Chong Li (Bolo Yeung), the largest and most intimidating Asian man ever put on the face of the Earth. Freakish pecs. And a penchant for killing his opponents in the squared circle.  

Long story short, Frank befriends a fellow American after arriving in Hong Kong (Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds) who is seriously injured in a fight with Chong Li. Then Frank kicks and punches his way to the top of the tournament to face his nemesis in the final death match to decide it all. After having cocaine thrown in his eyes in a dirty move, Frank miraculously comes back to beat Chong Li, avenging his friend and honorably representing his shidoshi, Tenzo Tanaka. The man who taught Frank the Way of the Tanaka Clan. Toss in an under-developed romantic plot, a couple training montages set to synthesizer music, and some over-acted martial arts scenes, and you’ve got yourself a nice little Wednesday evening of movie watching fun.

I sipped on Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumking Ale while I enjoyed this classic, and developed some pretty immediate opinions with each slow pull. I know this gets high marks by many, but it really didn’t do it for me.

Poured with almost no head, but a nice orangey coloring. The pumpkin comes screaming at you in the nose. Way too much in my opinion. And it’s not really “pumpkin pie”, which I prefer, but more like raw pumpkin. Kind of a vegetable quality, or even egg nog. I took my first sip, and the sweetness took over, cloying and nearly undrinkable. I could hardly choke down one glass before I gave the rest to my fiance, who unlike me, really liked this beer. From what I drank, I couldn’t really tell in the aroma or taste that this beer is 9% ABV. 

I think the problem I have with this beer is that it’s more about pumpkin than it is about beer. Too gimmicky. I really liked Southern Tier’s Imperial IPA, so I’m wondering if their offerings like Creme Brulee or Cherry Saison are good, or more along the lines of Pumking. Overall, I just didn’t care for it. But I’m also a guy that thinks Bloodsport is good entertainment. So take it for what it’s worth.   

Rating: C

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