By: John M Jerva
If you’re an action cinema junkie like me and if you read this site then chances are good you are, then Amazon Prime is a literal treasure trove of hard to find action classics from the 80’s and 90’s. I was lying in bed last night and looking for something to watch as I actualy took the time to relax and decided to scroll through what Prime had to offer and low and behold, I found this little gem from 1993 called Bounty Tracker which starred the one and only Lorenzo Lamas who was one of the kings of the mountain during the 90’s video action boom. You know the decade well if you were old enough as it seemed like an action fueled flick came out every week at your local video store on good old VHS. I remeber when this one came out as it was right up my alley as I was full on into my martial arts training and I was eating up all these films as soon as they reached the masses.
Lamas was riding the wave of B movie success during this time as his TV show RENEGADE was on the air and Lamas starred in a bevy of straight to video action goodness and I think I owned them all at the time of their release. My cousin owned a video store which I worked at and I was able to get all these movies when they came out and even knew about them ahead of time.
Funny enough, Lamas played a former cop turned bounty hunter in the TV series and here he plays a former Marine and cop turned bounty tracker so you know he’s a bad ass. Lamas is Johnny Damone and he’s Boston’s top skip tracer. If there’s a criminal needing apprehending, Damone’s your guy and we see this in the opening scene as Damone takes on a few bad guys in a local club to het his man. One of the anatagonists is former kickboxing expert and champion Thunderwolf who starred in another fave of my called Bloodmatch. It is also a rather funny scene as Lamas pretends to be British to throw everyone off.
Damone has a brother and sister-in-law who live in Los Angeles and Damone decides to talke some time off to visit but unfortunately, his brother Paul is in some serious trouble as his partner in a tax consulting firm has been in cohoots with some powerful and deadly criminals. It seems that Luis Sarazin, a top mob boss, is in jail and he needs the witnesses against him to go away. Enter Erik Gauss, played by awesome 90’s baddie Matthias Hues, and his elite team of assassins. Gauss and company assault Paul’s office killing his partner and everyone else but he manages to escape.
Gauss always gets his man and when Johnny comes to visit, Gauss and his crew attack Paul’s house killing him, the cops assigned to protect him and his pregnant wife. Johnny manages to fight off a few in the process but he is too late to save his family. This doesn’t sit well with Damone who just happens to be lethal with his hands and feet and he sets out on a kill mission of vengeance to take out Gauss and his entire crew.
Now this film comes from the production company called Image Organization which is responsible for some of Jeff Wincott’s best work like Martial law 2: Undercover and Mission Of Justice and director Kurt Anderson, who helmed those flicks, directs here as well and you can tell as this film has the same flavor of those. Lamas was perfect in these roles and he sold us on the action scenes whether he was running and gunning or letting his fists of fury fly.
Bounty Tracker has some nifty little action sequences with the highlight being a fight that takes place in a Dojo where Damone goes looking for answers. Of course, the owner of the school, played by Leo Lee who also stareed in those other flicks, works for Gauss and Johnny must fight his way through a gauntlet of expertly trained fighters to get the answers he is looking for. Lamas even has a great line when he is surrounded by his attackers and asks, “What is this, the advanced class?” The scene is great and is loaded with some awesome choreography from Jeff Pruitt who also starred in a host of these films. Pruitt, who is ligtning fast with his hands and feet crafts a spectacular brawl in the Dojo that includes empty hands, swords, spears and killer looking slo-mo spinning hook kicks and bodies flying into furniture. Pruitt also gets to have fun by taking on Lamas in the scene along with real life fight talent like Burton Richardson and Koichi Sakamoto who is also a veteran stunt and fight coordinator.
Now this wouldn’t be the classic film that it is without Hues getting in on the action and he gets ample opportunity to strut his stuff in a few scenes leading up to the fiery climax where he and Lamas goe toe to toe with bone crunching results. The finale takes place in an old car junk lot and it features bullets flying through the air as well as fists and feet as Hues and Lamas take each other on where both combatents get their chance to shine. Once again, we get some awesome slo-mo kicks that was a staple of these films and the decade. Even though figh choreography has excelled throughout the years, these films still satisfy with what they had to offer and that was expertly choreographed and crafted scenes of bone jarring mayhem.
I have to say that I really enjoyed revisiting this one as it brought me back to a simpler time in my life where every week was an adventure watching all these wonderful and action drenched films that were coming out. Lamas was indeed a staple at the time and I wish that he would suit up just a few more times to deliver some much needed old school action. I know he’s older now but I think he could bring it on when he had to. Hues is still going strong to this day and is even playing a few good guys as of late like in Ultimate Justice with Mark Dacascos. He still is turning on the evil and it’s great to see him bring the bad still in action films.
Bounty Tracker is available on Amazon Prime but I think I’m going to track a copy down and reinsert it into my collection. There was no time like this time and the films still hold up to this day even though a lot of them are cheesy. You have to be a true action film buff to appreciate these films and I am grateful I got to experience this decade to its fullest. Check out Bounty Tracker now on Amazon Prime and watch Lamas take out the trash with style because he’s the best in the business…and business is good!