mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

July 1, 2014

Episode 173: No Retreat, No Surrender (1986)

Special Guest: Keith W. Strandberg
Guest Co-Host: Zachary Oberzan

Step into the ring and fight for your independence on this Independence Day episode where Jean Claude Van Damme plays an evil Soviet fighter - it's No Retreat, No Surrender! The 1986 low-budget martial arts film stars Kurt McKinney as Jason Stillwell - a young man who continues to learn karate despite his father's wishes. Jason not only has to navigate the ups and downs of being a teen but he meets up with Bruce Lee who gets him ready to square off against the man of muscle West Coast gangsters used to push his father of out of the dojo business.

We are joined by the writer and producer of No Retreat, No Surrender Keith W. Strandberg.

Guest Co-Host this week is Zachary Oberzan - a JCVD enthusiast and filmmaker who played "The Muscles from Brussels" in his film Your Brother, Remember?

Buy No Retreat, No Surrender on Blu-Ray
Buy/Stream Zachary Oberzan's Your Brother. Remember?
We talked to Zachary Oberzan about his first film, Flooding with Love for the Kid on our First Blood episode

Listen/Download Now:



  1. The Foreign ViewerJul 24, 2014, 9:07:00 PM

    I'm really confused by this episode... mainly because I don't see what's the point of it.

    Excluding the excellent interview with the writer of No Retreat, No Surrender, the show is mostly a sequel to your Flooding with Love for the Kid episode. I know you like Zack and have to plug your guests' work, but you went overboard this time. This was suppose to be a show on No Retreat, No Surrender, not Zack's power hour.

    First you discuss Van Damme's films in a most anti-intellectual way possible ("who cares about plots and characterizations when it comes to his work") which was highly ironic to me since I consider your show to be easily one of the most intellectual shows out there (in a good way), yet this time you come off as total movie snobs (on the level of "who cares about the plot and characters in a porn" snobbery). Then you promote Zack's stuff (and that's fine), but then you continue to focus on Zack and his stuff and in the end, other than the interview with Keith W. Strandberg, there's nothing in this episode that has anything to do with the topic of the show. Even your "fanboy" discussion on Van Damme was ridiculously simplistic and felt unengaged. With all do respect, I could lead a better discussion about his work with my senile neighbor.

    And I'm truly surprised that you couldn't find anyone else from a semi-forgotten and often ridiculed 80s B movie oddity to talk to for the show. Even Keith couldn't help you with that, at all? And there's no authors who wrote something on Van Damme, or at least on 80s action, martial arts or cult movies? You could've kept all the parts with Zack and then expand the show with an expert on the matter.

    I know I often sound like the worst kind of fanboy when I comment on your shows, but that's because I care about quality content and after listening to this episode I was left with a strong impression that you didn't really care too much about this one yourselves.

    Anyway, I don't mean to sound like a dick to Zack (he sounds like a guy who works hard and with passion to make his dreams come true). No, I put the "blame" for this lacking episode solely on the two of you.

    Still love you guys, though, and thanks for that Keith interview, at least.

    How about you now get your s##t together and make penance by doing a proper job on The Last Dragon (1985) or Street Fighter (1994) episode?

    And if the latter is too blue collar for you, just remember you had an episode on Chicken Park and unlike that p.o.s., there's actually an audience for a Street Fighter episode. :)

    1. OUCH!

      Well, Ty Cobb only hit .367 and he's consider the greatest ball player of all time. So, I guess we are doing better than 40% - in your mind. While not your idea of a great show, that's fine... I thought it would be interesting to include someone whom took their interest in Van Demme to a level that most others have not.

      Anyhow, this show came about - as Mike said - out of a request. I think we did pretty well with it. Can we always add more (interviews, etc.)? Sure. But, this is what it is... and I was happy with it.

      Look forward to chatting with you about what we do in the future.



  2. It was great to hear from Keith W. Strandberg. That alone made the show for me and was definitely the highlight of the episode. Just a shame the other guests hadn't really seen the film until recently. It would have been nice to have had someone on who was a fan of the film or had seen it more than once.
    Can't really fault the rest. Many thanks.