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  • Viva Las Vegas! The bright neon lights help enrich this wonderfully attractive city. Players from around the country (and the world) make dangerous bets for the thrill of it all. Caught in the middle of the Vegas spectacle are an ordinary man, Angelo (Jeff Wincott, an incredible martial artist) and his girlfriend, Isabella (Charlene Tilton). Both of them hope to escape from the high energy madness. Unfortunately, you know who has one last bet to make...

    In the harsh, brutal world of illegal kickboxing, Rico Daraby (Steven Vincent Leigh) controls all of these *underground* kickboxing bouts. Angelo thinks that he can tear Rico apart so he decides to challenge him to a kickboxing match. Idiotically, the supercilious Angelo has put up his life savings in his favor...and that shall cost him dearly...

    Within a few minutes, Rico ends up making a travesty of a mockery of a sham out of Angelo. Angelo finds himself beaten horrendously by Rico thereby losing the bet. That should not matter, just as long as Angelo and Isabella have each other. WRONG! That is not the worst of this at all. There is so much more to this predicament...

    Sadly, Angelo foolishly sets up his girlfriend as "collateral." When Isabella finds out about being set up this way, let's just say she took it pretty well. Yeah right! Actually, Isabella is quite furious, thank you very much. She then leaves Angelo by giving him a cruel slap on the face. Ouch! Anyway, Angelo turns out to be both a drunk...and a degenerate! Angelo tries to drink his problems away, but he knows that this is not the right solution to all of his problems...

    Unexpectedly, both Rico and Isabella are kicking it back, enjoying a luxurious lifestyle. Meanwhile, Angelo is desperately trying to pay off all of his debts by doing some dirty work on behalf of mob boss Greek (Michael DeLano) and his assistant, Johnny (Mike Toney). To make matters even more dire, just about everyone else is out to kick Angelo's rear end!

    Angelo, the alcoholic martial artist discovers a way to redeem himself. He must compete in a one-on-one, kickboxing tournament where 50 individual fighters have their eyes on a prize worth half a million dollars! This tournament is maintained by none other than the vile Rico the unbeatable. Angelo has to succeed in this tournament in order to win back his girlfriend...and his honor.

    DEADLY BET may seem like pretty much the same old "good guy must triumph over villain" scenario. There are lots of macho, bone-crunching action in this movie. Some of the fighters also display incredible moves, especially the guy who played "Killer Conroy." DEADLY BET may be a ROCKY clone but, (Surprise!), as far as this genre goes, this film rises above the competition.

    Less discriminating viewers will especially enjoy a different twist from the traditional "fight or die" formula. Jeff Wincott himself is a highlight of this motion picture. Unlike most B-movie martial artists, Jeff Wincott at least has a semblance of a personality. He is rather compelling as a compulsive gambler and alcoholic who must use discipline and skill to pull himself out of the depths of his own despair. What makes Wincott and his character even more remarkable is that people can relate to his dilemma. Jeff Wincott did a great job delineating a character who represents the courage and determination of a man struggling to fix himself from destruction and to make ends meet. Though Wincott is sometimes laconic, he has established himself as both an actor and a martial artist. Wincott delivers a few of the most praiseworthy moves ever.

    The supporting cast is definitely talented. Steven Vincent Leigh (RING OF FIRE, CHINA WHITE) is rather manipulatively charming as the antagonist who shows a soft and tender side towards Isabella. It's cool to see Michael DeLano (OUT FOR BLOOD, TOP OF THE WORLD) portray Greek, a crooked but sympathetic bookie instead of his usual role as a stereotypical cop. DeLano's role as Greek is a nice departure for this character actor. Charlene Tilton is proficient also as Angelo's sassy girlfriend who often relies on "tough love" just to help out Angelo when he's in trouble. This is quite evident when she keeps insisting that they move to Colorado just so Angelo can overcome his gambling addictions. Another interesting perspective in this movie focuses on the realistic relationship between Angelo and Isabella. Isabella wants Angelo to get rid of his gambling habits, yet he resents her for trying to help him...

    Technically speaking, DEADLY BET is expertly made. The great jazz score helps spice up this film. Also, the neat cinematography by Richard Pepin

    allows the viewer to get a fighter's perspective during several of the matches. This aggressive movie just happens to have a few socially redeeming values. One is that hard work will pay off. The most notable lesson though is that a person should always, as the saying goes, "Bet with his/her head, not over it."

    DEADLY BET will satisfy most action fans. The nonstop martial arts battles will keep fans pleased. The story is a slight variation of the "kickboxer with a vengeance" theme. In addition, DEADLY BET contains many encouraging messages of morality. Another message of particular worthiness to be extracted from this film: never use your girlfriend as collateral under any circumstances...

    Thanks to Richard W. Munchkin's artful direction, DEADLY BET is much better than it deserves to be.

    RATING: **1/2 out of ****.
  • "Deadly Bet" is another fun action flick from PM.

    The Plot: Angelo (Wincott) had it all: money, A woman he loves, and just plain luck. Until his last bet turned deadly. His arch nemesis Rico (Steven Vincent Leigh) just took his girl after he drunkenly lost against him. Now Angelo has to fight his way back to the top.

    The action choreography is fantastic. You can see all the moves with no flashy editing. Jeff Wincott plays a good hero. You can root for him. Leigh is the old-fashioned villain, but he does it well. Gary Daniels also makes one of his first appearances as a fighter.

    If you liked "Fist Of Honor" or any PM movie, don't forget to check this one out.

    For more insanity, please check out: comeuppancereviews.com
  • Warning: Spoilers
    DEADLY BET is an unremarkable action vehicle from the guys at PM Entertainment, once again revolving around a kickboxing tournament. Jeff Wincott plays a tired-acting gambler who finds himself in the clutches of a ruthless gangster who forces him to fight in the ring to pay off his debts. Personally I think PM Entertainment peaked during the mid 1990s when they finally had the budgets to do their action justice, but this film was made slightly before then and as such it feels very low budget and sloppy at times. There's a lot of action but the choreography isn't that great and cameoing stars like Gary Daniels don't really get to do much. Wincott's protagonist is entirely unsympathetic and the film as a whole just fails to spring into life for me.
  • I bought this film for $2 from the Reject Shop. It has another film on the same disc called "Entangled".

    Given that I am not into kick boxing films I might be prejudiced in my views but whilst I found the acting to be adequate this was very much a typical film of this genre and I guess if people like that kind of stuff they will like this. Everyone else beware.

    On the plus side, um...let's see...there must be a plus side somewhere. Oh, yes, the music wasn't too bad.

    Oh, BTW, I can't believe that there are copies going on Amazon UK for 73 pounds!! I thought the $2 I paid was too much!!