She may have succumbed to the icy depravity of Jason in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, but the always revivable Judie Aronson was, thankfully, able to turn the tables on all conquering villainy with her appearance in 1992’s sandy action-fest Desert Kickboxer.
Here as the determined Claudia Valenti, Aronson is able to get the goods on her shady, drug dealing employer and live on until the movie’s romantic, sun streaked fadeout. While filled with the standard good cop-bad cop dynamics of such fare (IE: the chiseled yet damaged hero, the moustache twirling antagonist), Aronson is actually given a full range of emotions to play – feistiness, terror and remorse – and she makes the most of them.
While most of her screen time is opposite John Haymes Newton’s troubled yet victorious Hawk, genre fans may be more specifically attuned to her scenes with genre veteran Paul L. Smith. Smith, who did acclaimed work as dark figures in such acclaimed/cult affairs as Midnight Express, Popeye and Pieces, barely has to lift a muscle here to project all the monstrous activities that his Santos is capable of. Aronson reacts to this deviousness with panache. She allows Claudia both a cautiousness and steel resolve that gives the early encounters between these skilled performers a fun sense of cat and mouse.
Thus, while her work on such projects as Friday, Weird Science and After Midnight may command focus, fans of her eclectic resume are sure to find much to enjoy in this less visible project, as well.
Be sure to keep track of Aronson and her many other projects at https://www.facebook.com/JudieAronsonFanPage/.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!