Monsoon-A-Day ‘The Boxer’s Omen’ (1983)

Welcome to Monsoon-a-day.
Where I watch and review a movie a day. Or whenever I fucking feel like it.

Day 82


There’s a scene in the film Ed Wood where the titular character is trying to convince a producer that he’s the right man to direct “I Changed My Sex”, which would eventually become the film Glen or Glenda. The scene serves a couple of functions: to convey to the audience that Ed has always been a cross dresser, to provide a little bit of his WW2 backstory and more importantly, how he was able to make films.

Unless a film is disastrously bad, most people never wonder how a film actually gets green lit. The assumption being that a director wanted to make a film, so he hires a screenwriter to write it and then finds a producer to finance it but that is hardly ever the case.

Ed Wood shows that 90% of the time, the producer is the driving force behind every film. Besides being the money man, he often already has a project in mind and simply needs people to make it. Sometimes it’s a novel he’s a acquired the rights to or simply a title with a premise.

John Carpenter famously made Halloween with nothing more than the title “The Babysitter Murders” to work with and Val Lewton (one of the great Hollywood horror producers) had complete creative control from the studios except for the title. He could do whatever he wanted as long as the title of the film stayed the same.

The Boxer’s Omen feels like it was made under similar circumstances. It feels like the director was given a studio mandated title and a premise that capitalized off of the success of Rocky. The producers wanted a Rocky knock off and for the first 15 minutes of this film, they got exactly that.

A boxer gets severely crippled during a boxing match and the brother seeks vengeance.

That’s the elevator pitch. Based on the title and premise, you, along with the financiers of this film, are led to believe that this is a sports film.

That is incorrect.

The director had no intention of making a sports movie. He shot all of that boxing shit during the first couple of weeks to make the money men happy because he knew that they would have never given him a dime to make the film he really wanted to make.

This film is delirium at 110 mph. Immediately after the brother swears revenge, this film switches gears and takes you by the throat into crazy town. On the surface, nothing makes sense but then you quickly realize that it makes perfect sense. The film just isn’t playing by the rules of sanity. Things happen and you’ll constantly question why but that’s a fool’s errand.

There was a part in the film that left me so befuddled, that I had to use a lifeline. I needed a Wiki synopsis to help me make sense of what I was watching.

That’s all the help they could offer. Because when you take on the madness of The Boxer’s Omen, you go it alone.

This film is like getting handed a drawing from an highly imaginative child. You’ll  question why the horse is blue with purple spots or why the moon is populated with cactuses. You’ll get an answer but you’ll left more bewildered than when you started.

The Boxer’s Omen is at least five films smashed together and each one is more bizarre than the last. You have the boxing film, than the Buddhist monk training montage, than the magic duel, back to boxing (to tie up that loose end I guess), the quest film and then the final confrontation.

It’s kind of structured like a sports film with the training montages and fights but instead of Rocky fighting Apollo at the end of Rocky, he fights a 1000 year old witch zombie that was birthed by a crocodile.

There are no words to describe the insanity that is The Boxer’s Omen. It is craziness personified and it just might be my new favorite film.