Dead or Alive: The Most Unappreciated Killer B of the 21st Century

Holly Valance
Holly Valance in one of the best shot fight sequences ever.

DOA: Dead or Alive (2006) – Movie Review

DOA was DOA on it’s arrival at the box office back in 2006. The $21million dollar film barely made 500K at the domestic box office. It faired a little better overseas thanks to popular soap actress and pop star Holly Valance. And has since been completely forgotten.


The Hollywood Pitch:

It’s from the director of “The Transporter”! It’s a popular game about Kung-Fu Bikini-wearing volleyball athletes. It’s got the girl from “Sin City” in it. Plus Pop Superstar Holly Valance – she’s famous in Europe and Asia. We’ll shoot it in China, so it’ll be like KILL BILL. It’s going to be amazing!

The Skinny:

It’s the movie adaption of the video game DOA: Dead or Alive. Imagine Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon” with beautiful women in bikini’s and you are half way there. Also, the girls beat up on A LOT of guys.

The Verdict:

So here’s my theory why it tanked at the box office, they completely targeted the wrong demographic. Sure there are a lot of fan service shots of beautiful women in very little clothes…. but it’s really market are girls and gay guys who have recently been broken up with. I know that’s when I watch it. It’s a big cheesy guilty pleasure, where lots of guys get beaten to a pulp by angry women.


The themes of this movie, friendship and sistership, girl power, boys-on-the-side, family, and getting over a double-crossing boyfriend who just so happens to be at the same competition as you…

Does this sound like a movie that teenage boys would like?

No, it sounds like LEGALLY BLONDE. And just like that movie, if you’ve just been dumped by a bastard (and really they are all bastards). This is the perfect movie for you!

Why you should watch it:

Aside from the aforementioned reason… you should watch this movie for the fight between Christie and Helena. It is one of the greatest fight scenes ever filmed. Shown in flashback, it tracks the story of Christie decoding the password for the safe. Shot in the rain in a bamboo forest, the cinematography and fight have been choreographed beautifully. There is a reason why this fight is all over youtube. However, I strongly suggest watching it in the context of the film. Like the car chase scene in “The French Connection” it makes more sense in context.

Other notable fights include when Devon Aoki uses her kimono to fight three hundred Ninjas, and where Holly Valance escapes the Hong Kong police while putting on her bra (in the movie’s nod to Basic Instinct).

The scenes with Jamie Pressly as a female pro-wrestler with her father are very funny. Especially the scene where her father (also a Pro-Wrestler) catches her bunking with Christie, and she tries to convince him that she isn’t a lesbian, is the funniest in the movie.

Last Word:

Don’t believe the critics who trashed it when it was first released. Or it’s 4.8 score on iMDB. That’s just because it’s been marketed to the wrong crowd. It is a killer B-movie. And I give it a 10. A guilty pleasure you won’t regret.

Watch the trailer

Speaking of killer B’s, why not take a look at the music video I co-directed. I homage to the Bourne Movies.

Top 25 films that blew my mind >>


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