SOLD OUT: GYMKATA (1985) – 22nd January 2015, Southbank Club, Bedminster

Watch the most 80s film ever as gymnast Kurt Thomas combines the “skill of gymnastics with the kill of karate” to ensure that the US has a base for their new satellite nuclear-weapon tracking system!


The year was 1980. The US had boycotted the Moscow Olympic Games because the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan. For three-time World Champion gymnast (and a sure bet for Olympic Gold) Kurt Thomas, it looked like all his hard work would be for nothing. Luckily for us, MGM Studios and Enter The Dragon director Robert Clouse had other ideas.

Adapting Dan Tyler Moore’s The Terrible Game into a James Bond-esque adventure for the athlete led to one of the most mind-boggling and unique films ever made. Its bizarre premise, off-the-wall (literally in some cases) fight scenes, weird locations (Yugoslavia stands in for the cheese-sounding country of Parmistan) and awkward acting makes it an unintentional comedy and has secured its place as a cult favourite.

Kurt Thomas was not your average 80s action star. His five foot five frame and mullet could not be more different to the likes of Arnie and Stallone, yet there is no disputing his athletic prowess. Also, who needs weapons when many of the locations seem to have parallel bars or pommel horses just lying around?!

Unfortunately, or perhaps unsurprisingly, the film flopped and Kurt Thomas earned a Razzie nomination for Worst New Star. He never starred in another film again, however he does run Kurt Thomas Gymnastics in Texas!


When: 8.00pm, Thursday 22nd January 2015

Location: Southbank Club, Dean Lane, BS3 1DB

£5 (in advance)/£6 (on the night) (all profits to Amnesty International)

Jonathan Cabot is a champion gymnast. In the tiny, yet savage, country of Parmistan, there is a perfect spot for a “Star Wars” site. For the US to get this site, they must compete in the brutal “Game”. The government calls on Cabot, the son of a former operative, to win the game. Cabot must combine his gymnastics skills of the west with fighting secrets of the east and form GYMKATA!


“No real film lover could help but muster some affection for this bedraggled action movie, shot in an extremely unpicturesque Yugoslavia on a budget that must number in the hundreds of dollars.” David Kehr, The Chicago Reader

“It’s a little known fact that the Third World bases most of its civic infrastructure on parallel bars and pommel horses.” Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium

“Hey, you got your gymnastics in my karate! No, YOU got your karate in my … oh never mind. You just won’t find a movie much stupider than this one.” Scott Weinberg,