Gymkata | Chicago Reader

Gymkata

No real film lover could help but muster some affection for this bedraggled action movie, shot in an extremely unpicturesque Yugoslavia on a budget that must number in the hundreds of dollars. The lead, Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas, is clearly a stranger to the thespian arts, but it's pointless to single him out in a cast that seems to have been assembled from all the expatriate American used-car salesmen living on the Adriatic coast. Charles Robert Carner's screenplay (a slim variation on The Most Dangerous Game, with Thomas as an American agent who must survive an Eastern kingdom's death-hunt ritual in order to win the right to install a radar base) is full of mind-warping non sequiturs, and director Robert Clouse (Enter the Dragon) lets most of them stand, in what appears to be a valiant, last-ditch effort to bring some entertainment value to a hopeless project. But when the opportunity arises, Clouse is still capable of some atmospheric and suspenseful action sequences. In short, a genuine Z-movie, of the kind that disappeared with American-International. With Tetchie Agbayani, Richard Norton, and Edward Bell (1985).

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