But who didn’t cry their eyes out when they saw Bloodsport in all its ultimate glory?
It’s the film that put Jean-Claude Van Damme on the map and one beloved by ultimate action movie fans the world over, but Bloodsport was nearly a complete disaster.
Speaking during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Van Damme revealed how the original cut of the Cannon Films’ classic brought him to tears – but not in a good way.
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The First Bloodsport Cut
Back in 1988 the Muscles from Brussels was busy filming Kickboxer, over in Bangkok when he got a call from screenwriter Sheldon Lettich.
Lettich had worked with Van Damme on Bloodsport and, after viewing the initial cut of the Cannon Films classic was calling the Belgian with bad news.
“‘Your movie looks like shit,'” Van Damme recalls Lettich saying. “I came back from Thailand, and we saw the cut and I wept.”
Interview: Sheldon Lettich on Bloodsport, Van Damme and Stallone
The Most Ultimate Tears Ever
Suddenly Van Damme’s dream of making it big in Hollywood was in peril – had Bloodsport been released in its original form, it could well have disappeared into 1980s VHS mediocrity.
But, as Van Damme recalled to THR, he wasn’t about to let that happen without a fight.
He sought out producer Menahem Golan, the man who had given him his big break with Bloodsport and begged him to let the film be re-cut.
The Bloodsport We Know and Love
After some grovelling, Golan relented, with Van Damme, Lettich and Carl Kress, the editor of The Towering Inferno, working together to put an improved cut of the movie together.
Golan had been planning to release the film directly to video after seeing the initial cut but was persuaded otherwise.
Instead, Bloodsport was put on one screen in New York.
The positive response to that screening was enough to convince Golan to grant Bloodsport a proper release and the rest, as they say, is history.
How hard did you cry when you first saw Van Damme in Bloodsport? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!