Karate Ghost 2: Dojo of Death (Review)

Director – James Balsamo (Bite School, Killer Waves)
Starring – James Balsamo, Joe Borlik (Hollywood Werewolf, Karate Cop), and Dani Bliss (Las Vegas Frankenstein, Silly Dilly Why So Killy? (Dildo of the Dead))
Release Date – 2024
Rating – 3/5

It’s not often I find a sequel to be just as good, or better, than the original film. I’ve seen films like Return of the Living Dead Part II and Halloween II (Carpenter’s) be equally as enjoyable as the original film but there have been a few sequels that have surpassed the original in my opinion. While I respect the films Hellraiser and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it’s the sequels to them both that I enjoy more than the originals.

That brings me to Karate Ghost 2: Dojo of Death from director James Balsamo. I was sent this one a few weeks back, but I wasn’t able to get to it then and didn’t really want to make time for it after watching the original Karate Ghost. However, I’m glad I did because I enjoyed it. I want to thank James for sending this one over!

**Spoiler alert** The film once again follows Nick Laser (Balsamo) who is tasked with stopping the evil Black Belt Joe who has escaped his belt and is going on a rampage. **Spoiler Alert**

I went into Karate Ghost 2 expecting it to be another rough watch but I found myself enjoying it for the most part. Sure, I’m over horror films shot guerilla style at horror conventions but the absurdity of this one mixed with Balsamo’s humor made it worth my time.

The acting in this one is just as uneven as in the first film. Balsamo’s performance is wild. He once again brings in that exaggerated performance that is clearly meant to parody straight to video action and martial art films of the 80s and 90s. However, the remainder of the cast seems to consist of people he had ran into at various conventions or paid to cameo in the film. It’s very inconsistent and doesn’t really do much for the film aside from destroy the pacing.

The story for this one is extremely campy and cheesy but I dig it. It’s follows in the next logical evolution of the story with Black Belt Joe escaping again. While I did have fun with it, the film could have been trimmed down to a short without the cameos and convention goer scenes. These really did take away from the pacing and impact of the story.

Finally, the film has more of the DIY effects shown in the first film with fake limbs, blood, and even a creature of two. It’s a lot of fun and adds another layer of humor to the film but those of you looking for serious gore will be disappointed. Overall, Karate Ghost 2 is an improvement overthe first film but there is a lot that could be changed to make it better. However, I enjoyed it and if you dig campy action flicks then I’m sure you would too


(Staff Writer) Lover of all things horror and metal. Also likes boobs and booze.

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