Gymkata / one sheet / USA


Asia Mission (Germany)
Year of Film
Robert Clouse
Kurt Thomas, Tetchie Agbayani, Richard Norton, Edward Bell, John Barrett, Conan Lee, Bob Schott
Origin of Film
USA | Japan
Genre(s) of Film
Action | Drama
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
Size (inches)
27" x 40 15/16"
SS or DS
A new kind of martial arts combat! The skill of gymnastics. The kill of karate!

‘The skill of gymnastics. The kill of karate!’ – the tagline says it all on this US one sheet for the ill-advised martial arts clunker Gymkata, starring the American Olympic gymnast Kurt Thomas who won a string of medals towards the end of the 1980s. Thomas stars as Jonathan Cabot, a champion gymnast who is approached by the fictional Special Intelligence Agency (SIA) to take part in ‘The Game’. Held in the small fictional nation of Parmistan, The Game is a sort of decathlon with extra threats coming from Parmistan warriors who are pursuing the participants at all times. The winner of the event is granted their life and also a single wish, which the SIA want Cabot to use to request that the king of Parmistan allow them to set up a ‘Star Wars’ satellite monitoring station in the country (some premise!)

The film is quite the experience with several unintentionally hilarious sequences and consistently terrible acting throughout. This YouTube video features most of the ‘highlights’ from the film and hopefully gives you an idea of what you’re in for if you’ve not seen it. One particular sequence, known as ‘the village of the crazies’ has to be seen to be believed (YouTube link). Poor Kurt Thomas only appeared in a couple of other long-forgotten roles but his work in the world of gymnastics continues to this day. The director of the film Robert Clouse, of Enter the Dragon fame, probably should have known better, but it’s easy to see why producers chose him to helm the film.

Rather brilliantly, the ninjas featured on this one sheet don’t actually appear in the film itself and the intention was clearly to try and tempt fans of the then popular ninja sub-genre of martial arts films (with titles like American Ninja) I’m unsure who was responsible for the art so if you have any ideas please get in touch.

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