The Art of Self-Defense gets a vintage infomercial for new karate comedy

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

When I was in high school and would sleep overnight at my buddy's house, we would stay up way too late while listening to Marilyn Manson, playing Super Mario Kart, and watching infomercials until we passed out. Among the many cringe-worthy adverts that we would endure wihle watching late night public access televison, I have to say that my favorites were the ones for the Sobakawa Pillow, the Flowbee, and of course, the Power Juicer as presented by Jay Kordich, or as I liked to call him back then, the Human Carrot.

These over-the-top yet informative advertisements were always a laugh riot, and today, Bleeker Street has unveiled a vintage-style infomercial for their upcoming dark comedy THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE that hearkens back to the infomercials of old, when the only ones watching were insomniacs with money to burn … a couple of stoned high school students.

As you can see from the video above, THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE is leaning real hard into the film's self-defense aesthetic. I'd recap the highlight of the above video, but honestly, it's best if you just experience the whole thing for yourself.

Misogynistic philosophies and hilarious band names aside, the infomercial serves as an inventive promo for THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE, a film directed and written by Riley Kortschak. In the film, a man is attacked at random on the street. After the scuffle, he enlists at a local dojo, led be a charismatic and mysterious sensei, in an effort to learn how to defend himself.

The black comedy stars Jesse Eisenberg (AMERICAN ULTRA, THE SOCIAL NETWORK), Imogen Poots (I KILL GIANTS, BLACK CHRISTMAS), Alessandro Nivola (FACE/OFF, AMERICAN HUSTLE), Steve Terada (CRANK, MACGRUBER), and Phillip Andre Botello (PLEDGE, SILVER SKIES), among others. Andrew Kortschak, Walter Kortschak, Cody Ryder and Stephane Whonsetle are producing, with plans for the film to be unleashed on July 12.

And now, a message from Sensei himself:

Would you rather be weak with a strong mind, or strong with a weak mind? The answer is simple. Be both.

Karate teaches us that training the body is important, but training the mind is only slightly less important. 8 out of 10 students trained in my dojo will defeat an untrained student in a battle of unarmed combat, and the student that combines the lessons of the fist with the lessons of the brain will prove most effective of all.

For eons the practitioners of martial arts have held the secrets to the art of self-defense. Grand Master passed these lessons down to me — the same lessons that have, since ancient times, proven essential in conquering weakness and perfecting masculinity.

Now you can learn these priceless secrets in a deluxe set of motivational cassettes for only 10 easy payments of $4.99. For less than the cost of a $5 product, you can discover true greatness.

Go forth, and kick your way into enlightenment.

The Art of Self-Defense, Bleeker Street, Jessie Eisenberg

Source: Bleeker Street

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.