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Jean-Claude Van Damme


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Everyone knows that Jean-Claude Van Damme is the greatest thing to have ever come out of a womb, but for some reason both his martial arts skills and his competence as a movie star are often treated as something of a joke. This is unacceptable.


The time has come to set the record straight so I have taken it upon myself to provide you - the misguided Van Damme-hating public – with a handy guide to his movies so you can learn to appreciate his unique approach to film-making.


1) Maximum Risk (1996) - The beginning of the 'Second Coming of Van Damme' (approximately 22 months between late '96 and early '98). Awesome film. Undoubtedly his best work to date. Great story, great acting, great car chases and unusually high production values. Also Natasha Henstridge gets royally *fruitcage*ed up against some sinks with such vigour and determination it's as if she had the cure for cancer somewhere in her vagina and VD's chest x-ray has come back covered in suspicious dark spots...


2) Universal Soldier (1992) - A hands-down classic and the first film in the 'Brass Age of Van Damme' ('92-'94). This is a great movie with a (half) decent plot and some quality acting from (almost) everyone involved. There's loads of unnecessary punching and kicking and shooting and titties and peasants getting blown up and all sorts of *beep*. Has a bit of guff about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well so it's relevant for today's kids too! Two things I bet you didn't know: firstly, this was directed by the same guy that did Independence Day and secondly, Universal Soldier is widely regarded as Dolph Lundgren’s best film (and that includes Masters of the *fruitcage* Universe!).


3) Bloodsport (1988) – Now we’re talking, the film that shot VD into the limelight and probably the best movie he made as a genuine martial artist. Bloodsport is a great film even when viewed against other action movies and as it’s based on real-life events, you can’t even *badgeress* about the plot! Much. The film is also notable for being the first time VD got his *albatross* out on camera. If you're into that kind of thing.


4) Hard Target (1993) - VD's on a roll. Desperately searching for places to hail from that will explain his odd accent, he ends up coming from... New Orleans! This is hands-down a great action movie. It even won awards for cock's sake! The motorcycle chase is amazing and it features some great performances from several well-known actors, including Lance ‘Bishop’ Henriksen and Arnold ‘Imhotep’ Vosloo. Watch this movie and try not to enjoy it, I dare you. As an aside, if you ever caught Yancy Butler in Brooklyn South or Witchblade, she's in this too but doesn't get naked. However she does get naked in The Hit List (1993) and The Ex (1997). If you're interested that is.


5) Knock Off (1998) - First off - this is a COMEDY not an action movie. Do NOT watch this film if you want to see people falling into threshing machines or getting their faces smashed away with bricks and bats and clubs. This film has little to do with martial arts or gunfire and is solely about showing VD as the great comic actor he is. Paired with Hollywood grease-rat, Rob Schneider the duo quip and tumble their way through a ridiculous storyline stopping only to ogle girls or evade the Chinese. It is an absolute guilty pleasure. This was written by Steven E. de Souza too, the same dude who did Die Hard and Beverly Hills Cop III so it has some pedigree!


6) Double Impact (1991) - Bit of a double-edge sword this one. On one hand it's a great example of VD at his best. Excellent gunplay and some great-looking fisticuffs, and you get double the 'Damme-age' as he plays twin *albatross*-kicking brothers. There's also an erotic semi-lesbo frisking scene that still gets my tip wet to this day. On the down side the plot flows like it's been written by a fourteen year old teenager and Chad is one of the most annoying characters ever to appear in the history of film. However, all in all this is a classic VD movie and well worth the £1.74 you can pick it up for on Ebay.


7) Kickboxer (1989) - Pretty much exactly the same premise as Rocky but with more deforestation and less endorsement by the W.B.A. However for a VD film this ain't bad; there's some decent fighting and you get to shout Tong Po over and over again while slapping your elbows.


8) Double Team (1997) - 93 minutes of fast-paced action and crashingly bad one-liners but this is a blast. Get some beers in, turn off your mind and enjoy. VD does what he does best - beats people up, Mickey Rourke rocks like a hyperactive gangster with Tourettes and Dennis Rodman oozes faux-cool like it's a genetic make-up of his sweat. Great fun.


9) Timecop (1994) - Widely regarded as VD's best performance to date by critics and fans alike, however it doesn't reach the top of this list because of the shitness of the supporting cast. Although the film is fun to watch and has some great set pieces, I hate Ron Silver's senator and I hate Gloria Reuben for ruining ER with her endless whining. This is a great action movie make no mistake, but I end up grating my teeth every time I watch it. Not VD's fault I know, but he was let down with this one.


10) Sudden Death (1995) - Suffering from the crushing tom-shittery of Street Fighter, VD gets his gameface on and rips off Die Hard. That said this is a pretty decent film and although he plays a guy called Darren, it has some great action sequences and benefits from a decent display of menace from Powers Boothe. No tits though.


11) Wake of Death (2004) - An odd one this as it's both fairly good and pretty *fruitcage* lame at the same time. VD's still unwilling to admit his nationality but he does play a Frenchman which is at least getting more geographically accurate. There's a good scene where a guy gets tortured with an electric drill which is worth a gander.


12) Nowhere to Run (1993) - Riding high on the success of UNISOL, VD goes back to basics to play a character he loves - the understated good-guy who just can't let *beep* people get away with *beep* things. To VD's credit the movie tries to be a 'proper' film, shying away from the usual spin-kickery that made him famous. Still has plenty of nudity though, special mention going to Rosanna Arquette who gets her bush out. Also has the dude from Monk as the main baddie but his bush most definitely does not get an airing.


13) Cyborg (1989) - Not a bad one, this. VD plays a wandering mercenary named after an electric guitar (look it up) and you get to see some tits by a campfire. VD also wields a mean multi-barrelled shotgun and some dude gets stabbed in the chest.


14) Death Warrant (1990) - VD makes the move away from playing mad Russians and is cast as a French-Canadian. Although still refusing to honour his Belgian heritage, at least playing a Mountie is seen in a slightly less hateful light in the eyes of the American movie-going public. The plot is a standard VD affair that involves a lot of fighting in a prison, and very little else.


15) In Hell (2003) - Directed by Ringo Lam who also did Maximum Risk, this is a break from tradition for VD. Set in a Ruski prison, he gets bullied and beaten and (probably) bummed. He sleeps in a pool of ###### and *beep* and even contemplates suicide. It's not as funny as it sounds.


16) Replicant (2001) - Another multiple-character premise for VD. This time it’s a psychotic killer who likes to burn his victims and a 'replicant' of said killer used by the government to hunt down the original. Yes, it is as rubbish as it sounds. Although some say that VD's portrayal of the permanently bemused, childlike, *albartroth*-witted, retard is his most impressive role to date...


17) A.W.O.L.: Absent Without Leave (1990) - VD is Lyon Gaultier, mad, bad and French. This is a pretty lame effort which sets up as many fight scenes as possible and then desperately tries to link them into some semblance of plot. And fails. However you do get to see VD smashing up some Scotch guy which can only be a good thing.


18) No Retreat, No Surrender (1986) - A testament to the Yanks not having a flying clue about any other country but their own. Because VD has a ‘funny’ accent he was cast as… a Russian. He’s not bad in this actually but he doesn’t really do much and it was only billed as a Van Damme movie after he was famous. The lead went to some ###### called Kurt McKinney, and you don’t see him getting his own Filmography Proficiency Chart do you?


19) Derailed (2002) - Two words for you: Laura Harring. Okay, she doesn't get naked in this effort but by Thor's penis she's one hot-looking bird. My advice is to ignore this low-budget heap and get a copy of Mulholland Drive. Hubba-*fruitcage*-hubba...


20) Second in Command (2006) - Very bad. Another attempt at 'drama' when all we want to see is a return to the glory days of *albatross*-kicking and needless nudity. Also features some of the worst-looking US soldiers in cinema history.


21) Desert Heat (1999) - Pretty average revenge movie that doesn't offer anything that elevates it above any of the rest of VD's back catalogue. Bit of fighting, bit of sex, bit of a dump.


22) Universal Soldier: The Return (1999) - 'Money, money, money, I need money, I'll do a sequel' ABBA nearly sang. And if they had have sung it, it could very well have been about this film.


23) The Hard Corps (2006) - Okay, let me explain the plot and you can decide for yourself: VD plays a combat vet who, on returning to the US from Iraq, is hired as a bodyguard for a former heavyweight boxing champ. The reason? Because the champ's family are being threatened by a rap star mogul. Exactly.


24) Legionnaire (1998) - Don't know what happened here, VD decided that now would be a good time in his career to actually start acting and the result is a watery, plot-holed, *beep*-parade. No, Jean-Claude, bad boy.


25) Black Eagle (1988) - Another film when VD is cast as the generic evil Russian because he sounds like one of the aliens from the Cantina scene in Star Wars. This is not a good film and odd that it was released directly after his stunning show in Bloodsport.


26) The Quest (1996) - Basically Bloodsport but set in the 1940's. This is not fun. It was VD's directorial debut although sadly his talents do not lie behind the camera where slurring words and doing the splits are of little help to actors and crew. It's got Roger Moore in it but that's a bit like saying domestic abuse is okay because at least it happens inside away from bad weather.


27) Breakdance: The Movie (1984) – ‘One of the best dance movies of the 80’s!’ according to an idiot. Despite this being a highly wank effort, it does pull itself up the scale somewhat by being the answer to the *badgeress*-hard Trivial Pursuit question: Which film starred both Jean-Claude Van Damme and Ice-T? I know… unbelievable. Although he was unaccredited in this heap, look out for Muscles’ Oscar-winning performance as a ‘Passer-by’ in the first dance sequence.


28) Rue Barbare (1984) – Played a background performer (or Extra to those not in ‘the biz’). Strange French film adapted from a book by David Goodis. I have no idea who the *beep* that is. Anyway, look out for VD in the police arrival sequence.


29) Monaco Forever (1984) – Jean-Claude’s first credited film role! Unfortunately it’s notable only for the fact that he played a gay karate fighter. A wondrous start to a glittering career I’m sure you’ll agree.


30) The Order (2001) - An offensive, mind-ruining, dog-raping, leper's cock of a film. Charlton Heston is the best thing about this movie, that's how bad it is.


31) Sinav (2006) - This is actually a weird teen movie in which VD has a cameo and declined a wage. I have not seen it and don't intend to. With that said it's a rubbish film filled with hateful toss-faces who deserve to be fed to pigs.


32) Street Fighter (1994) - And with that the 'Brass Age of Van Damme' comes to a crashing end, sending all involved into a spiral of drink, drugs, depression and meaningless sex with ugly strangers. This film is utter toss. Jean-Claude is toss. Kylie is toss. Raul Julia is toss. There's also another ER connection here too as the girl who played Chun-Li also played Dr. Chen. She is also toss.


So there you go, consider yourselves informed. Now get down to Blockbuster, or if you're too lazy, VD's entire back catalogue can be picked up on Amazon Marketplace for about £6. For some reason...

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not seen maximum risk, but universal soldier is great.


i read your blog yesterday and thought your rant about mr dam was very well thought out lol,


i would like to add a side note that the muscles from brussels was actually the guy in the foam suit in predator. however he only did the shots in the tree's all the close ups were of a huge black guy in a suit (well, a tiny little predator standing up to arnie would have just made it a comedy) and he is uncredited for that part.


See, he has been in a good film lol

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I cannot take your views seriously. UniSol: The Return is a FANTASTIC film. Your inability to recognise this casts doubt on anything else you might say.




That is precisely the kind of misguided, knee-jerk, anti-Van Damme, media propaganda this guide was created to combat. :D

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What, 10 years or so after his death?


Its pretty intense, "Jason Stillwell, a Bruce Lee fan, is beaten numerous times and trains from the ghost of Lee. Jason then must use his newly acquired skills to save Seattle from a crime syndicate, whose top martial artist is the deadly Ivan."


EDIT see the bit in hard target where bishop disfuses the grenade and then it blows up anyway, whats going on there?

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