Ah, I can’t wait to plonk my carcass down in front of the box tonight. Not for Strictly or The X Factor, you understand, but because Kickboxer’s on TV (10:45pm, Channel 5), one of the best films that “the muscles from Brussels” Jean Claude Van Damme ever made.
Van Damme’s been off the radar for a while – he was famously omitted from Sly Stallone’s all-star action ensemble The Expendables and he’s only recently reappeared, shilling Coors Light from beneath a hideous mullet wig. But back in the ‘80s and ‘90s he was one of action cinema’s biggest stars. Heck, he even had a proper Euro accent to rival Arnie’s.
So, seeing as Kickboxer’s on and it’s the weekend, why don’t we all kick back and watch some of JCVD’s best fight scenes…
WARNING: the videos below contain violent scenes, which some people may find upsetting.
Kickboxer – Not only does Van Damme prove here that he’d make a mighty fine Strictly contestant, boogieing away to some cheesy sub-James Brown soul, he also demonstrates that he can kick an entire bar’s worth of butt while he’s doing it. Pure class.
AWOL– Blimey, look at the size of his opponent in this clip! He must weigh at least 20 stone – possibly more if his muttonchop sideburns are taken into account. Maybe not as high flying as some of his other fights but, wow, what a match up.
Bloodsport – Not even quicklime to the eyes can slow down our hero, as proven by the final fight from Bloodsport, in which the dastardly Chong Li tries to blind our man. Also features Van Damme outdoing Arnie and Hulk Hogan with a brilliant display of ‘hulking up’ at around the 5 minute mark.
Black Eagle – Never mind his opponent, here Van Damme makes the entire male population’s eyes water with some anatomy-defying splits in this scene from one of his earliest movies. Ouch!
Double Team – Having kicked, punched and smashed his way through pretty much everyone the world of martial arts cinema had to throw at him, Van Damme upped the ante in 1997 by fighting a tiger. Yes. A tiger. It happened…
So now you’ve seen what he’s capable of, grab a brewski, settle down on the couch and flip the channel over to 5. You won’t see action like this on The X Factor…