Hot! B-MOVIE BINGO: GYMKATA


GYMKATA (1985)

Showing Tuesday 11/1/2016 at The Hollywood Theatre

In 1980, the Soviet Union hosted the Olympics, and the United States boycotted the games. This meant that world champion gymnast Kurt Thomas was unable to compete. One thing led to another, and he eventually went on to star in a movie called GYMKATA in 1985. It was his only starring movie role, and his only real attempt at anything movie-related, and we’re finally showing it for B-Movie Bingo.

Thomas stars as Jonathan Cabot, a fighter who is approached by a CIA-like entity known as the “SIA” (Special Intelligence Agency) to participate in something called “The Game”. The Game takes place in the mysterious and dangerous country of Parmistan, which is sort of near the Himalayas. In this game, he navigates a disorienting obstacle course through the rugged Parmistan backcountry while fighting off vicious Parmistani warriors. His prize for winning The Game is his life–and one wish. The US government wants him to use that single wish to secure permission to install a missile detection system.

Along the way he falls in love with the daughter of the Parmistani king, trips through a village actually populated by the criminally insane, and draws the ire of a Parmistani warrior played by B-Movie Bingo favorite Richard Norton, who seems to show up in about a third of the movies we show. That’s us staying true to our vow of bringing you movies featuring friends, relatives and employees of famous people (in the 1970s, Norton was a bodyguard for The Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, David Bowie, ABBA, John Belushi, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks, to name a few).

From the back of the VHS box:

Kurt Thomas, athlete extraordinaire and the first American to take the gold in world gymnastic competition, makes his film debut in a martial arts spectacular like none seen before. When the deadly secrets of the East and the fighting skills of the West are united in an Olympic-class gymnast, the result is astounding: the Gymkata warrior!

The key to national security lies in obtaining a “Star Wars” warning location in the savage country of Parmistan. To win this vital site someone must play The Game, a deadly test of endurance and risk. Jonathan Cabot (Thomas) volunteers to try and accomplish the impossible.

Under the guidance of a beautiful and mysterious princess, Jonathan turns his incredible array of gymnastic feats into a lethal arsenal. Braving betrayal and terrorists, Jonathan gets his turn at the terrors of The Game. Can he win? Thomas’ charisma and his ability to electrify his audience transfers powerfully to the screen. The talented producer-director team that introduced Bruce Lee to American audiences ensures non-stop action. Together, they promise GYMKATA means excitement!

Directed by Robert Clouse.