The Cult of Jean Claude Van Damme: Sound On Sight Podcast #114

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The late eighties and early nineties were the golden age of American martial arts action films. Which, of course, means that it was a cinematic dark age for anyone who doesn’t drunk-drive pick-up trucks while listening to Toby Keith CDs. Cheap and easy to produce, 80s movies like Above the Law and China O’Brien didn’t need scripts longer than a paragraph’s worth of block printing, provided they had a roundhouse kick and a blond woman being put in her place. And it was at that time that Jean-Claude Van Damme, the Muscles from Brussels, was king. After a string of big screen hits, however, Van Damme disappeared into the world of direct-to-DVD releases. But last year’s JCVD, an inventive crime film that casts Van Damme as himself, promises, or perhaps threatens, a comeback for the Belgian action star. Tonight, Sound on Sight takes a look at JCVD, as well as six of Van Damme’s other action films. Remember, we watch these movies so you don’t have to.

Episode 114 -Part 1

Listen to Episode 114 (part 1)

download part 1 in a separate window

Episode 114 – Part 2

Listen to Episode 114 (part 2)

Download part 2 in a separate window


  1. Sandy Schriefer says

    In defense of JCVD following-up Bloodsport with Cyborg. JCVD signed-on to do Bloodsport, and after completing the movie, the release of it was put into limbo for a while. JCVD went ahead and signed-on to do Cyborg and Death Warrant awaiting the release of Bloodsport. So don’t look at Cyborg and Death Warrant as crap following the decent Bloodsport movie.

    1. John says

      Yes but that doesn’t excuse the director for making such a bad movie.

  2. VienDammage says

    Uh did you actually watch any of these movies you claim to watch so others don’t have to? Can’t pronounce Dux or Kumite and realize that they don’t fight in a square ring? Come on, all of those things are in the trailer you took up space with!

    1. Al Kratina says

      Sure, we did. It’s just REALLLY hard to pay attention during a Van Damme marathon.

    2. Ricky D says

      I assume this comment is directed towards me because I seem to recall mispronouncing Frank Dux and Kumite. I did indeed watch these movies and in fact I was the host defending the films. It was mentioned in the trailer but since I am the producer of the show, I am too busy working on the mix boards, mics, sound levels and everything else that I have to monitor. I just simply do not have time to pay any attention to what is being said during the trailer. In fact the trailers themselves are used primarily to give me time to do everything else I need to get done. Keep in mind this is a radio show that broadcasts live. Unlike most radio stations we do not have someone sitting there getting paid to cue all the clips and check to make sure everything is working fine. It is a one man operation.

    3. Ricky D says

      Also I could care less if the ring was an Octagon. It wouldn’t change my views on the film.

    4. Mike D says

      Wow. I think you made a JCVD fan cry. lol. Sorry VienDammage but his movies suck. You can say whatever you want to try and defend them but at the end of the day your still an idiot and his films are shit.

      1. Mike says

        I think we all deserve to know what action movies you do like. If there is one Vin Diesel film on that list, im gonna wind up throwing my computer across the room. lol

  3. MIke says

    I’m not sure where you got the info about Cyborg bringing down Cannon. The movie was made for under $2 million and wound up grossing about $11 million in US theaters…not to mention whatever it made on video when it came out.

    1. Ricky says

      Well regardless of whatever money it made, it was the last film that Cannon made before going bankrupt. In any case it really is one of the worse films I have ever seen. Also should we be doing a part 2 to JCVD since he is so popular on our site?

      1. Anonymous says

        Great!! It was a lot of fun listening to you guys even though I do LIKE pretty much all of his movies including Cyborg.

        1. Ricky says

          Wow! I wish more people were like you and not take offense to our joking around on the show because they happen to like a movie which we dislike. Also what exactly did you like about Cyborg and have you seen it recently or is this based on your vague memory of watching the film back in the 90`s?

          1. MIke says

            It was a movie I grew up watching so that helps but I just think it’s a fun shit flick. I still give it the annual viewing to this day. Of course it’s a B movie to the max but I would still take it over a lot of the big budget crap that comes out like The Fast and the Furious turds and pretty much everything Jason Statham is in…with the exception of some of his British crime flicks.

  4. Zach says

    I just wanted to point out to Simon that Jean Claude Van Damme was not an action star of the 80`s but rather the 90`s. At the end of the show during your rewiew on JCVD, you mentioned 80`s.

  5. James B. says

    I object to this no-Steven Seagal policy.

    1. Ricky says

      I will try to find an interesting way to include Segal on the show!

  6. Ryan Kenner says

    Actually the people that like action movies are just regular guys who also like football and pizza, not just rednecks. I mean let’s not make fun of people who like action flicks. Also I love bad movies, so don’t forget that section of people. I mean nobody denies that these movies are trash, but fun trash.

    1. Ricky says

      Hey Ryan, ignore Al and his comments. It’s all a show. He’s just trying to make people laugh and get a reaction. Deep down inside there’s a nice guy under all that hate.

      1. Al says

        And under that nice guy is a redneck.

    2. Ricky says

      Also I really don’t consider some of these movies trash. I was the one defending Bloodsport, JCVD, Double Impact and Universal Soldier.

  7. Ricky says

    Anyhow I had a lot of fun with this show. I just watched Hard Target too and it is one of his best films. Don’t forget to check out my top 5 JCVD films on the site.

  8. Tim says

    I think you guys should do a Segal special next. Even if it’s just one hour. I admit he’s awful, but I think you can still get something out of it.

  9. Jeff Woods says

    Hard Target is the best Van Damm film. You should have reviewed it so Ali would have enjoyed at least one film. He punched a rattle snake, races a helicopter with a horse and stand up on a motorcycle while shooting a ton of goons. Awesome shit that you should one day watch.

  10. James says

    I hate Van Damme and I hated every single one of his movies that I was forced to watch as a child by my older brother, but I enjoyed this show immensely. Great job guys. I feel sorry for Ali. She’s a good sport to sit down and watch these horrible movies.

    1. Al says

      Woah, whoah, whoah. Why is Ali the only ‘good sport’ here? I’m pretty sure neither Simon or I were particularly excited about watching these pieces of shit.

  11. Tom says

    Universal Soldier is the best of his films. This show was amazing. You guys did such a great job. I loved the trivia facts and it reminded me of when I was young. Streetfighter. I completely forgot about that film. I wish you picked it to review. I also remember Timecop being good. Maybe Rick is right. If I watched it today I might not like it. I agree you guys we hilarious.

  12. Tristan says

    Alright, now I feel like watching Double Impact again. I admit that it was fun, but I just remember it being somewhat embarrassing. My reasons for liking Timecop have to do more with nostalgia, though if I watched it today I probably wouldn’t be too fond of it. Universal Soldier was pretty cool. I don’t think I liked Replicant very much, but knowing me I’m probably getting it confused with Double Impact and Maximum Risk. I liked JCVD as well. I don’t know, aside from JCVD I haven’t watched a Jean Claude Van Damme film for a while…

    Anyway, great show! Al was hilarious.

  13. Tristan says

    I’m listening to Part 1 at the moment. I really like when you guys review these sorts of films. I mean, I like when you guys review Independent films a bit more because I often learn a lot more about films that way and I learn to find more to appreciate about the films you review, but it’s nice that you guys are more open-minded about film in general. It’s really cool. Anyway, my favorite Jean Claude Van Damme film is Timecop, so I’m really interested in what you have to say about that. I’ve seen all of the ones that you review in this and Bloodsport is awesome and I’d say that the worst in my opinion is probably Double Impact. I saw Cyborg too long ago for me to even remember it but I remember that it was kinda boring.

  14. Ricky says

    Two hour special for all our great listeners!

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