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  • Rev Horror

Karate Ghost

Dir. Bobby Canipe Jr. (2023)

A jiu-jitsu master gets revenge on the man who killed his brother, but when he comes back from the dead, he must face his greatest test once again.


Y’all, this movie is dumb as hell. I’d be remiss not to point out, however, that that is very much the intent, as this film is written by the amazingly funny (and pretty awesome) James Balsamo, who previously let us check out his movies Bite School and From Dusk Till Bong. The plot is straight-up kung-fu classic, with a man (Balsamo himself, who plays Nick Laser) seeking revenge on the evil guy, Black Belt Joe (Joe Borlik), that killed his brother, but things go a bit different when his foe is raised from the dead by the power of a mystical black belt to become an ass-kicking zombie. The puns and wordplay fly fast and furious as the pair must eventually face off in business owner/karate novice Allen’s (Cagney Larkin) new dojo.

The movie is plenty funny as could be expected, and some of the gore isn’t half bad either. New feature director Bobby Canipe Jr. does a pretty good job with his production, throwing in plenty of kung-fu cinematographic staples with slow motion, montage, and even lips moving independent of the words that are spoken (though to be fair that could have been an addition by Balsamo.) The plot of the movie is crazy as all get out and the constant puns can be grating if this isn’t your type of movie, but it is mine and I absolutely loved it. Balsamo writes movies that have a certain audience, and I believe I compared him last time to Chris Seaver (the Mulva and Teen Ape movies), but he’s got a much more relatable sense of humor that’s a bit more playful (and usually less inherently racist) and I actually laughed through most of the movie. If stupid horror comedies are your jam, this one will be right up your alley.

Who this movie is for: Stupid comedy lovers, Kung-fu movie fans, Janitors with a past

Bottom line: More than enough comedy if the style fits your preferences and with some decent (though certainly not extraordinary) gore, Karate Ghost is the dumbass horror comedy that you need in your life. Balsamo’s films are a treat, and even though they may not have great plots or even a completely coherent storyline, they’re always good for a bucket of laughs and a head-shaking good time. Check this one out if you get the chance, and you can pick up your copy at Wal-Mart of all places.

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