Ragin’ Cajun (1990) – Review

1/2 Star

I consider myself an aficionado of bad movies. I’m not talking about the typically sub-par product churned out by the big studios week after week. No. I’m thinking of movies from Cannon, Troma, and Roger Corman’s production company. These are usually action, horror, thrillers, and kickboxing flicks. So, I’m well versed in recognizing the good ‘bad’ from the awful ‘bad’. Ragin’ Cajun is one of the worst films I’ve ever reviewed for this website. It’s not only visually bland, undercooked from a story standpoint, and full of musical numbers, but its deadly boring as well. This is a b-movie that sells itself as being in the vein of Kickboxer and Bloodsport but it’s more like a terrible high school production of Coming Home Meets A Star is Born.

A former Vietnam vet turned kickboxer named Cage Diamonte (David Heavener) suffers from PTSD during a prize-fight. His mental breakdown costs him the fight and sets him on the wrong side of a vengeful mob boss (Allan Rich). Looking to start a new life in California the fighter checks himself into a VA hospital where he coaches a friend (Sam Bottoms) back to normality. When he’s back on the streets the Cage decides to pursue a career in country music. In his pursuit, he finds and falls for a beautiful singer (Charlene Tilton), but their love is tested when she is kidnapped by Cage’s old nemesis from the fight game. Now, he must fight to free her and prove himself.

Ragin’ Cajun features about a dozen musical interludes, the worst being David Heavener’s solo on a park bench in which the soundtrack obviously plays the music while he badly impersonates a musician, the others aren’t much better. The script features a useless supporting character in a VA hospital, a starlet girlfriend, and a villain named Dr. Death. This is my first taste of the screen talents of star David Heavener and I find him suitable to the material. Perhaps, if I had grown up with his movies as I did with Don Wilson, Van Damme, Thomas Ian Griffith, then I would be less harsh on the actor. Director William Byron Hillman stages the movie in a flat unimpressive manner with a climatic fight taking place in near total blackness. Ragin’ Cajun doesn’t’ even amount to entertaining junk, it’s truly a waste of everyone’s time involved. Sam Bottoms method performance is the only reason to sit through the entire running time.

Director: William Byron Hillman
Stars: David Heavener, Sam Bottoms, Charlene Tilton

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