Don’t expect severed heads, blood spurting from ever orifice and dazzling dismemberment. The Dove Foundation frowns on such cinematic magic. But that doesn’t mean films they approve are to be poo-pooed. Hardly. Witness The Martial Arts Kid, a flick awarded five Doves, the Foundation’s highest possible score. The film is Family Approved for ages 12+; won four awards in film festival competition (including a Platinum Remi Award at the 2015 WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival); and was released theatrically in 20 cities in fall 2015.
So what are chatting about? The Martial Arts Kid tells the tale of troubled teen Robbie. When he runs into trouble once again in his Ohio hometown, his beleaguered grandmother sends him to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle, who owns a martial arts school in a sleepy, Florida beach community. The defiant teen is less than pleased with the “tough love” arrangement … until he encounters a local girl named Rina. However, her boyfriend, Bo, is the town bully and, backed by a posse of tough pals, seems to run things. With things spiraling out of control and desperately wanting to prove himself to his family and Rina, Robbie reluctantly turns to his uncle for help …
The film comes to Blu-ray, DVD and digital download on July 19 from Traditionz Entertainment. Stars include Jansen Panettiere; Kathryn Newton; Don “The Dragon” Wilson (an 11-time world champion kickboxer who has scored 47 knockouts, is a European Martial Arts Hall of Famer and a veteran star of more than 30 action films); Cynthia Rothrock (who holds six black belts and is one of the first female martial arts action stars); Mathew Ziff; and T.J. Storm (a world-class martial artist). Karate masters and grandmasters from across the country also populate the flick, including Gerry Blanck, Pete “Sugarfoot” Cunningham, Jeff Smith, Olando Rivera, Christine Bannon-Rodrigues, Dewey “Black Kobra” Cooper, Glenn Wilson, Barry Broughton, Sergio Barriga, Sayed Qubadi, Jody Nolan, Ewart Chin, Dr. Richard Hill and Kevin Bergquist.
There’s also a stellar soundtrack, with music from such artists as Martin Blasick; YouTube star Megan Nicole; Jamie Slocum; The Gills; Malik Williams;and Kayley Stallings (who also plays “Katie” in the film).