Judge Daryl Loomis pays somebody to walk behind him shouting, "JDL! JDL! JDL!"
The winner gets ten million dollars. The loser…dies!
It was just last week that I begged for a moratorium on pro wrestlers appearing in feature films, and now I get another. I can scarcely contain my assignment. I hadn't seen the first Ultimate Death Match, though. Had I, I would have known what I was in for: a wrestling show posing as a movie. It annoys me when wrestlers try to act, but there's no acting here. Nor is there a story or characters, except for those actually built in bingo halls across the country. Because of its total lack of cinematic value, I actually liked Ultimate Death Match 2.
If you really need the plot for this, here you go. One year ago, Ultimate Death Match was born. Unlike other death matches that wimpier companies might put on, the trick here is that somebody in the tournament will actually die. When one entrant fails to show up, it gives another an opportunity to enter the tourney and vie for the millions.
Now that's what I call a plot. Well, not a movie plot, but the plot of about half the wrestling tournaments I've seen in my life. Ultimate Death Match 2 is barely a movie. Maybe I missed all the exposition from the original Ultimate Death Match, but in the sequel, the plot concerns take up some four minutes and include such thrilling moments as older wrestlers wishing for one last match, a girlfriend who doesn't want her boyfriend to die in a match, and other extremely basic points to make sure we understand that this is a movie. As a sports drama, this is about as worthless a film as you'll find, but the fact that it's just a filmed wrestling show is all that counts.
The tournament has some classic names, which should appeal to wrestling fans from fifteen years ago. Former WWF/WWE superstar Al Snow, making his second UDM appearance, gets the most lines as the commentator. ECW's Kid Kash is the star, doing about as well in the dramatic scenes as you expect him to, though he is a strong hand in the ring, so it's hard to fault his twelve poorly delivered lines too much. Also appearing are the likes of Raven, Kevin Nash, Johnny Swinger, Dan "The Beast" Severn, and The Sandman. It's a spectacular tournament lineup if this was 1997, and I guess that shines a sad light on the state of wrestling today.
Ultimate Death Match 2 comes on DVD from MVD and is as basic as you can get. The production looks like any old independent wrestling promotion's DVD they sell at the shows. Shoddy camerawork and a poor image transfer meet a tinny stereo mix for an altogether non-cinematic experience. There are no extras.
I can't wait for Ultimate Death Match 3, coming soon to an online order near you. I'm putting money down that Shane Douglas gets to the finals and loses.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
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